“The thing Americans ought to miss most about facts is the lack of agreement that there are any facts.” Mary Poovey.
One Down (Almost): Budgetary talks between the Dutch pro-austerity minority government and Geert Wilders anti-EU party collapsed this weekend, weakening the government and bringing on elections that will serve as a referendum on the Netherlands' continuing relationship to the EU and the euro. See also: France.
Always... I'm shocked that WalMart has been caught bribing elected officials in Mexico. I'm not shocked they were bribing them, just that they got caught. Their defense is that everyone does it and that there's little difference between lobbying and campaign donations and direct payments to government officials. There is, but not much.
Guilty Plea: The USA reporter and editor investigating illegal Pentagon propaganda activities have fallen prey to illegal Pentagon propaganda activities.
Re-Runs: The IMF has received $430 billion in new, “firm commitments” from member states, including $100 billion from emerging markets. How does this funneling of resources from non-European nations into the EU differ from the old colonial model?
Icing on the (Rice) Cake: China and Iceland have signed agreements for coordinated research in areas that are thought to contain large amounts of petroleum. .
Why More Is Less: The US is producing more crude and using less gasoline, so why is it still $4.00 a gallon? And, no, it is not Obama's fault. Nor are the Republicans driving up prices to embarrass Obama. Prices are up because the world is using more and not producing more. For once, it's not just about us. Some industry analysts say prices have already peaked this year. Some don't.
In Transit: The European Parliament has caved in to US demands that European airlines proved US Homeland Security with the name, contact details, payment data, itinerary, email and phone numbers of all passengers flying to or through the US.
Call Webster: Senator Lieberman (Alien, CT) says that Obama is “accountable” for the Secret Service prostitution scandal. What does “accountable” mean in Connecticutease?
Think: IBM plans to grow its earnings by reducing US employee head-count by 78%over the next three years. This will leave only top management, sales and those employees working on government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. That's all, folks.
Belaboring The Obvious: In light of falling sales of existing homes, stagnant unemployment data, house sales at 37% below peak and house prices still falling, massive under-employment and the student loan burden, it would seem that the optimism reportedly growing over the housing market is... premature.
Don't Worry, It's the Government: NSA has long since been capable of intercepting all of our communications and those of potential enemies anywhere in the world. That's technology. But don't get too excited, government employees have to understand and act, which – based on the record – lessens the threat.
Detour: Why hasn't the phenomenal increase in productivity since WWII and especially since 1980 delivered us all into the land of milk and honey? In you answer, discuss the capture of democracy by
the forces of evil corporations and the rich, and cite any specific time since this country was founded by the landed gentry when a different outcome might have occurred.
Porn O'Graph: Wish you were there.