Humanity isn't inherently evil, but we're fast learners.
Mulberry Bush: It is hard to tell which was worse, the behavior of the Greeks in the streets of Athens, or the behavior of those in the Parliament building as the EU/ECB/IMF foreclosed on the country, using it as a conduit to pass 100 billion euros to the banks. The questions now are (i) what the Greek population will do in response to the terms of surrender forced on them and (ii) what Germany will do next to force Greece out of the eurozone. Somehow the markets think things are better, as if words and deeds might coincide.
Idle Hands... Pew reports that only 54% of young adults (18 to 24) have a job.
Chattel: The GOP under Mitch McConnell says employers should have the right to exclude any health service or procedure they personally find objectionable from the medical insurance available to their employees. No more C-sections, perhaps. Or no coverage for vaccinations and immunizations. Let's bar female doctors from treating men... This is not about freedom of religion, it's about gutting health care in this country any way they can.
“And then what?” The same bunch that promoted the troop-free smash and grab of Iraq are now urging a 'surgical strike' against Iran's nuclear facilities that would have no collateral damage and no repercussions to the US, Israel, or the oil industry. Wrong. War is messy. War with Iran will be very, very messy. They've been preparing for this longer than we have.
Watched Pot: Scientists now estimates that by 2100 the earth will be at least 2°C warmer (we've already added 0.75°C) and possibly as much as 5°C hotter. Call it 3.5°C and put a fork in us.
Fine Print: There is no official version of the "mortgage agreement" agreement available and there will not be. The details will only be released when the documents must be filled in federal court, and a fully authorized, legally binding deal signed. And even after that the servicers will have three months to develop ways pass the costs on to the public. But don't worry, we're told, they document isn't available because they're trying to make it a better deal. For the banks?
Our Gang: Western Hemisphere oil exporters net output available for export fell from 2005's 6.0 mbd to 4.8mbd in 2010 and is still falling. Global net exports available to importers other than China fell from 40mbd in 2005 to 35mbd in 2010. That's why oil goes for $100 a barrel.
Lying Eyes: For 20 years Monsanto has been selling dramatically increased food production and reduced pesticide use. No, no, just kidding. For 20 years they've been advertising those things and selling lots of Roundup and Roundup-Ready nostrums. The increased production and lowered costs? Hey, it's advertising.
Candid Camera: It is a felony in Illinois to make a recording of a police officer beating the crap out of non-resisting citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. It'll be interesting to see just how even-handedly this law is applied come May's G8 and NATO gatherings in Chicago. Given the ubiquity of cellphones with video capability, lots of luck.
Sin-be-Gone: Florida Republicans think that Florida's poor are too dumb realize that a dollar in food stamps from their right pants pocket will buy a dollar of healthy stuff, freeing a dollar in their left pants pocket to buy sweets and chips. It this idea worked, then prohibiting a charity from using federal dollars to promote birth control and abortions wouldn't free up dollars that used to be spent elsewhere for birth control and abortion services. Look up the word 'fungible.'
Storytime: According to our text, the US “is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency... Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years... [and] prices will fall “in the long run because long-term production is declining.” (Note that the laws of supply and demand have been rescinded.) “The U.S. is producing so much natural gas that it is no longer profitable to produce , where the government warned four years ago of a critical need to boost imports, it now may approve an export terminal.” And so on. Pathetic.