Pendulums swing in two directions.
Patience/Virtue: When Republican Senators tried to attach a series of unrelated amendments about soot pollution and the jobs bill to a bill concerning international currency values – not as serious attempts to pass such unrelated legislation but as a way of delaying the administrations agenda and forcing useless votes - Democrats finally had had enough of the GOP showboating and voted to end the practice. Ending their ability to 'filibuster by amendment', upset the Republicans, who have delighted in tying up the chamber and delaying meaningful legislation they oppose.
Liberal, But Not Too Liberal: Paul Krugman thinks the Occupy Wall Street movement should submit a list of changes they'd like The Powers That Be because “it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.”
Flood, Plain and Simple: The flooding around the county this year has taught us one thing – insurance companies don't do floods. But congressmen are not afraid of Mother Nature, so the House of Representatives – who can't find money to feed hungry children – extended and expanded the National Flood Insurance Program, so people can keep on building in places where they shouldn't, because “flood insurance is essential to a properly functioning real estate market."
Small Steps: In Florida the GOP plan to create jobs includes repealing the ban on dwarf-tossing.
Just So: Those who concentrate on the street theater cosmetics of Occupy Wall Street street are missing the point. In a different context, Steve Jobs explained the movement's essence when he asked “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” The struggle is not any of the traditional yin/yang playacting of the US political scene - left versus right, democrat versus republican, liberal versus conservative. It is the struggle of people against the corporations, against the banks, against the international financial institutions promoting greed over people, but most of all it is a reaction to the corrupt political system that permits the excesses. And the anger has been a long time coming.
They're Back: Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims for last week was 401,000, and the 4-week moving average was 414,000. Over 1.6 million former workers have now been dropped from those receiving extended benefits, having been unable to find a job in over two years. The market was up on continued hope for an orderly dismantling of society.
School Solution: "If they can not address [the financial crisis] in a credible way I believe within perhaps 2 to 3 weeks we will have a meltdown in sovereign debt which will produce a meltdown across the European banking system. We are not just talking about a relatively small Belgian bank, we are talking about the largest banks in the world...” IMF bailout expert Robert Shapiro.
The Hits Roll On! It used to be “Number one with a bullet!” but these days it is more often a drone that the administration uses to kill citizens. It is not a random process. Anonymous, secretive 'senior government officials' nominate folks for the hit list, let the president in on the decision, then ask friendly dictators for help locating the
guilty accused unlucky bastard. No public record of the panel nor its decisions exists. No law was ever passed creating the Star Chamber. Instead of viewing Awlaki's murder as a crime, the White House claims it shows what a tough guy Obama is. The White House also insisted “we make sure that we follow international law.” Really, there's an international law that specifies how to go about legally killing your citizens? The Bill of Rights doesn't have the word 'unless' in it.
G'way, y'botherin me: The attack on the EPA's new coal regulations continues, with “news” reports that when the rules go into effect in January they will cause the closure of old, dirty plants. Critics claim that this will endanger “about half of the critical spare capacity that protects the reliability of the grid.”
First Do No Harm: Joining the major medical groups, the government now says routine PSA screening for prostate cancer is a waste of money that does more harm than good, that the test should no longer be given to healthy men of any age, and that the biopsies the test often leads to are a pain in the ass...