It is irrational to believe in rational markets.
Musical Chairs: The media (and the markets) are full of hand-wringing, afraid of what the probable election of Hollande will mean for France and for the euro. No one seems to consider that what happened to Papandreou and Berlusconi could happen to Hollande if he doesn't play ball.
Do As I Say: In a stunning display of mendacious artifice, Obama plans to impose sanctions against those nations which use technology to advance their human rights abuses - through phone intercepts, monitoring emails or social media, and other forms of high-tech surveillance.
Big Lie, Repeated: Medicare’s death has been predicted for 28 dates which have already passed, starting with the 1970 prediction that it would be broke in two years. In a day or two the 2012 prediction will be out – probably something before 2020. Be afraid, quietly.
Be Advised: One third of US states currently allow debtors to be imprisoned, no matter what you think you learned in high school.
PT Barnum Memorial Rant: “No wonder one third of Americans are obese. The crap we are shoveling into our bodies is on par with the misinformation, propaganda and lies that are being programmed into our minds by government bureaucrats, corrupt politicians, corporate media gurus, and central banker puppets. … No one could ever accuse the American people of being perceptive, realistic or critical thinking when it comes to economics, math, history or distinguishing between truth or lies.”
Emeritus: Half of all recent college graduates are either jobless or 'underemployed', which makes paying back their student loans... difficult.
More? You Want More? OPEC has told Europe to suck it up, that there will not be any increase in petroleum supplies and that they will have to cope with current prices and shortfalls in supply. [Translation: We can't replace Iranian shipments, no matter what we've promised before.]
Facilitation: The IMF's newly inflated cash cache will mainly go towards enabling Germany and friends to pursue even further adventures in austerity – which is a guaranteed way to make those funds essential - given that Europe remains bent on committing “economic suicide” -- in Paul Krugman's words.
Oldies But Goodies: The annual Social Security Trustees' report is out and now we have to sit through any number of Chicken Littles making dire, but inaccurate, predictions. Remember: The Social Security Trust Fund can continue to pay full benefits until 2033. That's another 20 years. After that it will continue to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits.
Where's Waldo? Romney went to a drywall factory that closed under Bush to show how Obama was ruining the economy. Housing bubble burst, remember?
Assembly Line: There are 243 million working age Americans, 142 of them are employed but only 101 million of them are working full time. According to the BLS, 88 million Americans have chosen not to work and only 12.7 million are unemployed. At 63.8%, participation in the workforce is at its lowest since 1980. Since 2009, the working age population has grown by 5.7 million but the number of employed only grew by 3.6 million. The unemployment rate today is 8.1%. Want to hear about the bridge I've got for sale?
Pots And Kettles: Senator Cornyn (R-TX) says the Democrats are trying to “score cheap political points” with women by reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which provides funding to local communities to improve their response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The Republicans oppose the bill because it might benefit some abused undocumented immigrant.
Doctor's Orders: Hungary intends to stop financing treatment for those diabetics who do not stick to their diets. Makes sense to me.
Voting Requirements: Women who backhand 3 year-olds in Wal Mart should not be allowed to be parents. Voters who don't know which party wants to do away with the federal government, which party refuses to cut defense spending, which party wants to eliminate abortion should not be allowed to vote. The silent majority doesn't bother me. The ignorant majority scares the bejezzus out of me.