'Home' and 'happiness' are not destinations.
Starting The Engines: The ISM report cited US factory growth as the best in 10 months, contrary to some regional manufacturing reports which showed output slowing. US car sales by GM and Ford declined less than expected, while Honda beat estimates by having its sales fall only 2.2%. Chrysler gained a bit, as did Toyota. Get Well Soon cards are still in order.
Facing Up To Being Faced Down: If a Europe invigorated by a Hollande victory begins to resist the Merkelization of budgetary control, will Germany turn once more to nationalism? Will protectionism and xenophobia return? If the European recession gets deeper and unemployment continues to climb, will the streets catch fire?
No Death, No Foul: Attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on US and NATO troops and facilities are not reported to the media unless American or NATO troops are killed. And when a death (or deaths) is reported, there is no mention made of the number of non-fatal wounded.
Silent Movie: Still unreported in the US, the large student strikes and demonstrations in Canada – in Quebec and in downtown Montreal – continue. Now in its 11th week, in the face of police brutality, hostile coverage by the media and a studied refusal by the Quebecois government to negotiate, this is an historic strike and deserves our attention. And admiration.
Castor Oil: Paul Ryan acknowledges that austere cuts cause terrible pains, and says he wants to cut budgets now so as to avoid the pain later on.
Turn On The Tap: Economists Reinharts and Rogoff argue that debt levels above 90% of GDP are "associated with" economic growth rates around 2%, and conclude that generating higher growth rates at the current level of debt will be... difficult.
Slimy mad pink cows: Back in 2005, USDA tested 500,000 of the 30-plus million cows we slaughter each year for mad cow disease. Now it's down to 40,000 a year, thanks to budget cuts. But don't get all upset. The Republicans will do away with it entirely, to save money and protect the tax cuts for the rich.
Headcounts: Apple, mostly by driving othrs out of business, has destroyed about 490,000 American jobs, while "creating" 514,000 jobs. But Apple counts the employees at Fed EX as holding jobs that Apple created, along with the people at Corning which makes the glass used in iPads. On balance, for all the billions it has taken out of the US economy, Apple may have created about 25,000 jobs.
Sitting On The Stove: Scientists studying ice loss in Antarctica say that it is not atmospheric warming that is causing ice loss, but rather warm ocean currents are melting the ice shelves from below - to the tune of several meters a year. As the ice shelves melt, the inland glaciers flow more quickly to the sea, contributing to global sea level rise.
Just The Facts: Analytical thinking is anathema to religious belief.
Catechism: Symantec, the computer virus people, reports that you are three times as likely to get a virus or malware by visiting a religious site than from a porn site. Porn site operators have a vested interest in running clean sites so the paying customers can keep coming back.
Whiner Take All:The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. Dysfunctional, it makes constructive approaches to the nation's problems politically impossible. Compromise even when both sides want it has become anathema. Republicans block all of the Presidential appointees, just because they can. Forcing super-majorities on routine votes thwarts the will of the people. The Republican Party is becoming an apocalyptic cult. Their ideological aggression will undoubtedly grow after the elections, no matter what the outcome. Things will become even worse; perhaps there is no getting better. [The book is It's Even Worse Than It Looks, Mann & Ornstein.]
Porn O'Graph: Together into the abyss