Who owned the universe before Goldman Sachs?
Focus: The anti-American rioting continues in Afghanistan. It is not about burning the Koran, y'know, it's about hating the occupiers. The Afghans know that the lies, damn lies, and pablum the last two Administrations have spread is mostly about the keeping the empire.
Moving The Goal Posts: AIPAC – Israel's lobbyists on Capital Hill – have managed to get Senator Joe-the-puppet Liberman to push a bill that would declare it “unacceptable” for Iran to possess the capability of building a nuclear weapon. Not of building one ( or 120 or more, like Israel) but just having the capability.
Fraudus Interuptus: A year ago the government spent $77 million on a Medicare fraud detection system. Just knowing Big Brother was watching seems to have sent the crooks packing; how else to explain that only $7,591 worth of actual fraud has been detected.
Proof Of... Something: My eyes have been lying to me again, because Google Trends does not show an increase in people searching for gas prices, which is means that there is no increase in gasoline prices and the media are making it all up and “there's nothing special about the current jump.” Where do they get these people?
Competition, Defined: When the pundits say that globalization means the US worker has to become more competitive, what they mean is we must become more like the Chinese. Apple doesn't build its stuff there because the workers are well-educated, they ship jobs there because the workers are afraid and desperate and because China permits (and encourages) labor practices that democracy does not allow. “Because in China employers can and do make people live in dormitories at the factory and can roust them at midnight and make them work 12-14 hour days, seven days a week, using toxic chemicals.” Because it is cheaper, and cheap is good. If we do not fight, we will lose more than jobs.
Paper Chase: The primary reason for the surge in oil prices – beyond the Bomb Iran hysteria – is the surge in money-printing by the Fed BofE and ECB. That $2 trillion in extra liquidity had to go somewhere, so gold and oil – among others – have benefited.
And Away We Go! Germany's Interior Minister thinks Greece should leave the Eurozone "to regenerate itself and restore its competitiveness." In the US this sort of balloon is floated anonymously.
Protect and Defend: Santorum says “I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." In which case I hope a lot of people remember the oath says “to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and elected.
Carthago Delenda Est! Reasons to attack Iran: Iran cut off their oil before we could. Israel wants us to. The guy on television said we should. They're not civilized. We have documents that prove... Women who survive our bombardment will have more rights, like in Virginia. War is good for the U.S. economy. War will help Obama get re-elected. I just saw 'Act of Valor'!
Zoom: Oil (WTI) is up to $110 and is on a roll. The last time oil went in this direction, it caused a slowing in the global economy that led to a global financial panic. What's causing it? Peak oil, Chinese growth and lots of potential oil disruption. Pretty much the same factors that caused it last time.
What Doesn't Go Up May Come Down: The price difference between a barrel of WTI oil and a barrel of North Sea Brent crude is about $15. Goldman thinks it will shrink to a $5 difference by year's end and Citi thinks it will widen to $20. Ah, experts talking their books.
The Reformation: Newt says he can 'reform' the federal Civil Service and save “a minimum of $500 billion a year.” Neat trick, in that the federal payroll, including the military, is $432.6 billion. Maybe he plans on making US civil servants pay the government for the privilege of working for him... like in Greece.
GEDs All 'Round: Sanctimonious Rick says that education for the underclass has gone far enough and that those who have high school degrees should be happy if their kids can get a GED. Santorum doesn't want “everybody in America to go to college;” and we certainly don't need any more uppity blacks becoming president.
Porn O'Graph: Hitting the slopes!