Greed and fear, the financial fundamentals.
Pig In A Poke: No public version exists of the treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism - the one that will give unelected technicians in Brussels veto approval over national budgets. Rumors say that the treaty must be ratified by all 17 of the euro nations by July of this year - actual discussion of the terms can wait.
Just War: United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, commander of the unit that killed 10 unarmed Iraqi women and children at point-blank range as the huddled in a bedroom, will serve 3 months in confinement and have his pay cut. The other members of the squad "have been exonerated".
The Revisions: The IMF now says the world economy will grow only 3.5% in 2012, down from an earlier estimate of 4%. US growth is predicted to be 1.8% of GDP while the Euro nations will show a decline of about 5%. Sharp contractions were forecast for Italy and Spain. All this in an attempt to bully Germany into putting up more money to rescue failing European economies.
Civics Lesson: Which is more shameful, that Mitt paid only 13.9% of his 2010 income in taxes, or that his income was $21.6 million? He made the average American worker's yearly income of $42,000 every four hours and garnered enough in the first week of the year to be in the top 1%.
Clear and Present Danger: Previous plans to save the euro have failed, the current proposals seem doomed to fail, many euro countries cannot continue to fund their debts at current levels. It would take €5 trillion just to save the PIIGS and there isn't €5 trillion to be had. Several sovereign defaults are likely. The risk of systemic collapse in a week, a month, or a year is real and will not disappear quickly or easily. There is simply too much debt. So says Simon Johnson, former IMF economist, who adds "A rapid shift from low-level crisis to collapse is very plausible."
Some Are More Equal: Andrew Adler, editor/publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, called for the assassination of Barak Obama by agents of Israel's Mossad. If a follower of Islam had made such a suggestion, his waterboarding would be underway at Guantanamo.
Double Dipping: Okay, maybe Dick Cheney earned his $125,976 a year pension – after all, starting wars is hard work. And I'd have no problem with Newt drawing $100,200 a year in his retirement – as long as he stays off the Federal payroll.
Stupid Is As Stupid Does: Hedge funds escape a lot of regulation because their customers are supposedly drawn from the financially sophisticated. So sophisticated that they happily give billions of dollars to hedgies who keep 98% of the profits for themselves.
Without Comment: Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey has filed a bill that bans foods or products using aborted human fetuses, claiming “there is a potential that there are companies that are using aborted human babies in their research and development of basically enhancing flavor for artificial flavors.”
Essay Question: Why do we lock so many of our fellow citizens up? [Note: “Because they're black” is not an acceptable reason.]
Translation: Tennessee Tea Party leaders insist that "no portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens.” in textbooks or classroom teaching. That is, no mention of "made-up criticism" of the Founding Fathers by mentioning that they owned slaves or slaughtered Indians. "We seek to compel the teaching (of) the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.” Me, too. Try Howard Zinn's "A People's History".
Posturing: Researchers have found that using tablet computers like the Apple iPad on your lap can cause neck and shoulder stress. Microsoft assisted in the research.