Something's not working the way it's supposed to.
Constitutional History: The concept of habeas corpus, the right to know the charges against us, and the right to a jury of our peers are the very basis for our consensual government. Congress is trying to take these rights away from us, and the White House says we no longer have them anyway. The dispute between Congress and the President comes to this: the Administration does not want to open its dictatorial powers to public scrutiny.
Pot/Kettle: The US has called on Russia to respect peaceful protests.
Too Little: The climate talks in Durban accomplished nothing, no matter what spin is put on it. The agreement was an agreement to negotiate. Not to do, to negotiate, to pursue a new accord with the hope of competing it by 2015, that would bring all nations under greenhouse gas restrictions – without being “legally binding” - by 2020. It is too little, too late. But, as Tony Blair admitted back in 2005, “The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge.”
Too Late: Even with a strong La Niña, 2011 was one of the ten hottest years on record and 13 of the 15 warmest years on record have been in the last 15 years. Arctic ice is melting faster than at any time in the last 1450 years. Melting permafrost will soon begin releasing massive quantities of methane. The IEA's Fatih Biro suggests we are on path to a 6ºC warming by 2100. Government climate-change negotiators pretend they want to keep the rise to “only” 2ºC, but Dr. James Hansen warns that a 2ºC average global temperature rise “is a prescription for long-term disaster... If we want to maintain a planet that looks like the one humanity has known, then we're out of time. We have got to start reducing emissions,” else civilization may not survive the present century. We know what we must do, we simply are not going to do it.
It Pays To Advertise: Studies show that people do not recognize government benefits that are hidden in the tax code as benefits at all, but view things like mortgage interest deductions as a right, not a benefit. Hiding government programs in the tax code undermines the social support system because it obscures the role that government plays in society.
Euro Mural: The main accomplishment of the 8th Save The Euro meeting was to place the European Union in jeopardy. The best possible outcome now is that the ECB – or someone - will find a way to hold the whole thing together until March, when the circus reassembles. The markets want the ECB to bail them out – and that's the bottom line. To that end the bankers want strict budget deficit limits, EU level approval of national budgets, and bailout funds provided (via the IMF to provide pretend legality) to absolve the banks of their stupidity while stripping debtor nations populations of their wages, pensions, health care and infrastructure. But all this would require a new treaty, and there is not that much time left.
Wholly Grail: If the US could convert 100 percent of the solar energy stored in plant matter into fuel, it would supply only half our current energy consumption.
Now That's Rich: If you are tired of hearing that the 400 richest Americans have as much wealth as the poorest 150,000,000 of us, try this: The six Wal-Mar Waltons have more than the poorest 100,000,000 of us put together. But they're not the idle rich, no, no. They spend a lot of time making sure that inheritance taxes never touch them. And they did not do it by 'creating jobs', they did it by killing tens of thousands of small businesses and shipping hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas.
Porn O'Graph: The big upswing...