The future affects the present.
Fate Worse Than Death: There is tremendous angst in the eurozone over François Hollande. To start with, he's a socialist. Boo, hiss. Worse, he thinks France can write a budget without getting permission from Berlin. He also believes in taxing the rich and feeding the poor and giving the old the retirement benefits they've paid for. But mostly, he hasn't drunk the austerity Kool Aide.
How Do You Say Stalag In Greek? The Greeks have opened the first of 50 planned concentration camps for illegal immigrants, each holding 1,000 people. Immigration has been a prominent issue in next week's elections. The far-right Golden Dawn party - which wants to deport all immigrants, is expected to win its first ever seats in parliament. The ruling party and its main conservative rival have also been beating the immigration drum while their followers are beginning to beat the migrants.
Germany is supplying the cattle cars.
Not Necessarily the News: The big Wall Street banks are helping police identify and track #Occupy protesters.
Damned Data: Based on the most recent data, every percentage point of structural fiscal tightening (aka austerity) lowers GDP by 1.5%. German imposed austerity in Greece lowered its GDP by 12 per cent. Plus, there is no evidence that severe austerity moves produce the promised confidence and growth. Instead, they bring exactly what one would expect: small contractions bring recessions and big contractions bring depressions.
About That US Oil Boom: US crude oil imports rose for the fourth time in the last five months, increasing over half a million barrels a day over February 2011, while consumption dropped 0.72%. So much for supplying the world.
More Disappointment: The combined economies of the eurozone shrank 0.3% in 4Q2011, while inflation puttered along at 2.6%, and banks sat on the trillion euros in cheap funding from the ECB because corporations are not seeking loans - all of which suggests the eurozone economy will fall deeper into recession, as at least 10 of the 17 already have.
Your Mileage May Vary: The US consumes about a billion gallons of gasoline a year more than it would if we weighed, on average, what folks did back in 1960.
More of That Truth Stuff: "The same people who were blithely unworried about deficits back when deficits really were a bad thing '[the Bush tax cuts and two unfunded wars] are now the ones who are crusading against deficits now, except not if it means increasing taxes on rich people." - Paul Krugman.
Corporations Are People, Bad People: Take a walk around a mall and look at the kids. If that doesn't depress you, visit a mall in Tennessee. The war for our children's future is over. We lost. The food and drink industries won. Never mind the ever mounting scientific evidence of the role of unhealthy food and children's marketing in obesity - kids don't hire lobbyists, corporations do.
Picture This: Seers say that by 2030, the rich nations will see their middle classes decline, while the middle classes of all the rest of the world increase. Emigrate now, avoid the rush.
Assassins R US: A bill that would have prohibited the government from assassinating US citizens without “due process” received only two votes in the House. We have become a nation of murderers by proxy, convinced that assassination is a proper centerpiece for US foreign policy.