We could have stopped long before the last passenger pigeon died.
Castor Oil: Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 countries have signed up to a German-inspired treaty enshrining tougher fiscal rules to help underpin the euro. This is actually not a bad ides - unifying the finances of the EU. It is probably the only way to save the euro. But it will take the willing cooperation of the peoples of these 25 nations to make this work, so the euro is most likely toast.
Judge, Jury... and Executioner: When 'the intelligence community' wants to off an American, they take their case to the President - "When we say someone is a terrorist, then we can kill them, because they're a terrorist,"according to Leon Panetta - and the President makes the decision which citizens are to be murdered by the state without a trial, without facing the accusers, hearing the evidence against them or having an opportunity to defend themselves. We have suspended the Constitution in order to save it.
Volunteers: To Rumsfeld's 'unknown unknowns' should be added 'the willingly unknown', the 'too hard to understand unknown' and that favorite couple of the financial set, "things we are too lazy to know"and “things we don't want to know.”
Home Owership: The Census Bureau says that the number of people paying outrageous rents to banksters for the privilege of thinking they're home owners has fallen 65.5%, the lowest level since 1997. Imagine how low the rate would be if all those who are hopelessly underwater just walked away.
I'm Lovin' It: McDonald's says it is no longer using bleached fatty beef trimmings scooped from the slaughterhouse floor as a filler to enhance the flavor and reduce the bacteria in its hamburgers. The 'beef product' is still used in the National School Lunch Program. Still want those fries?
One More Verse: The Case-Shiller Index for November reported a 1.3% house price decline over the previous three months and -3.7% on an annual basis.
Asked & Answered: The San Francisco Fed asks “Why is unemployment duration so long?” and then answers, “Stricter market incentives to control costs in the face of stiff domestic and international competition may also be factors.” What they meant was that globalization's race to the bottom has cut labor costs to the bone, then ground up the bones.
A Litany: America is producing more now than before the recession, but is doing so with 6 million fewer workers. Incomes continue to fall - even if you include Mitt and those Wall Street fellows. Consumer spending picked up in December only because consumers raided their piggy banks. In 4Q11, government spending dropped at an annual rate of 4.6 % – and that’s likely to continue. All of which raises a basic question: Who or what is the economy for? Just those at the top?
Funny Bone: Two Brits exchanged Tweets about partying in Los Angeles. In Great Britain. Weeks before flying to LA. When they arrived in LA they were scooped up by Homeland Security as terrorists. They spent their vacation being interrogated and then locked up with drug dealers. After the Protectors of Democracy got it thought their heads that the Brits' use of 'destroy' was synonymous with 'party hearty', they were thrown on a plane and deported back to London. They did not Tweet about their experience. Not having Homeland Security's Twitter intercepts, NY has subpoenaed Twitter to provide the user information and all Tweets posted between September 15 and December 31, 2011 by Malcolm Harris. Harris is being charged with disorderly conduct. Party on.
Up and Down: Here's the question: Will profit margins stay at their current near-record levels? Here's a better question: Now that corporations have wrung the last drop out of workers, what can they cut now to lower unit costs? And who are they going to sell to, anyway?
Porn O'Graph: Spring Break.