Our capacity for self-deception is boundless.
What If They Held
A War An Auction And Nobody Came?The European Financial Stability Facility received barely enough bids to cover the €3 billion in bonds it was offering. The price was higher than anticipated, too. The auction had already been postponed for a week due to lack of interest. This is the instrument Markozy wants to use to raise €1 trillion to to bail out damned near everybody in Europe. Good luck with that. Also, Italy has canceled its scheduled November 10 auction because the anticipated interest rate was far higher than it could pay. France announced new austerity measures as it tries to hang on to its AAA credit rating, and Mr. Berlusconi is hosting intrusive IMF surveillance of Italy's economic reform.
Takes One... Jack Abramoff admits he was corrupt, denies he corrupted others because the entire system was corrupt without his help.
The Bell Tolls:Syrian 'defense' forces have killed more than 100 protesters in the last five days, as the city of Homs has become an urban battlefield under Assad's version of a cease fire.
Bella Italia: The euro zone periphery was a sideshow. This stuff with Italy is the real deal. Austerity is not going to save Italy (nor Greece). There are only two possible outcomes. Worst case, Italy's collapse will usher in a depression. Best case, Italy's near collapse will trigger a severe, multi-year recession.
Stunted Growth: Even though prices have increase significantly, world oil production – conventional oil and well condensate – has remained between 72 and 74 mbd since 2004. Production of “all liquids” (which includes fuel from tar sands, biofuels and such) has slowly climbed from 84 mbd in 2005 to about 87 mbd in the last two years. This looks a lot like stagnation. What, me worry?
Knee Jerks: A group of Republican state senators in Michigan want every kid in every public school to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day. It will be scheduled between the mandatory self-criticism session and the group-denunciation period.
Murder, Incorporated: Tobacco companies argue that the government-required warnings that Big Tobacco is out to kill their customers interferes with their right to profit from encouraging the customer to commit suicide. Under this logic, professional assassins also have the right to advertise.
Slip Sliding Away: Letting any industry impose costs on all of us through its destruction of the environment is a form of hidden subsidy from our politicians who are paid to protect businesses from public accountability – especially energy companies and industries which dump huge amounts of CO2 and other emissions into the air. Europe has started to impose a carbon tax on airlines, which has brought the usual knee-jerk reaction by the usual jerks.
Timing: BLS keeps reporting unemployment at 9.0% and higher. Yet Bernanke says "We're prepared to do more and we have the tools to do more." If not now, when?
Obe$ity: Research indicates that processed foods and sugary drinks can hijack the brain in ways that resemble addictions to cocaine, nicotine and other drugs. This suggests that American obesity may be the result of an intentionally imposed addiction-for-profit. Expect food companies to react to this data just like the tobacco companies did when it was their turn in the barrel.
Some Data: Nearly one-third of America's 14 million unemployed have had no job for a year or more. More than half of America's unemployed have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Republicans are expected to block any attempt to extend the program that provides emergency unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks – which would not help the millions who have long since passed that milestone.
Porn O'Graph: More for less.