Perhaps this is the best of all possible worlds.
Again: Thursday the US Treasury borrowed $29 billion for 7 years at 1.125%, and could have sold three times that amount of bonds. US debt now stands at $15.75 trillion, and nobody but a bunch of Republicans seems to care.
Correction: The meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear complex released at least 2-1/2 times more radiation that the Japanese government had previously acknowledged. Hard to believe, huh?
Plan Ahead: Citigroup economist Michael Saunders is not certain, but he thinks that Greece will leave the euro on January 1, 2013. Maybe. The Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten claims that "The Greece-exit is a done deal...” because the EU has finally realized that the Greeks make promises with their fingers crossed.
He Says, He Says: The Democrats in the Senate want the reauthorizaton of the Violence Against Women Act to include protections for native Americans, gays, lesbians and transgendered people, and – to some degree – illegal immigrants. The Republican House would prefer to simply not reauthorize the Act.
Factoid: The Congressional Research Service reports that producing and using petroleum from Alberta's oil sands – from digging it up to burning it in your car - produces 14 to 20 percent more carbon emissions than other oil the US imports.
Paying The Band: In 2008 the Koch brothers – before corporate money could be legally hidden – spent over $54.5 million on anti-abortion ads and the front groups behind the Ground Zero Mosque ads. They also spent more – a lot more – electing the current Congress that was previously known. Thank the Roberts Court: One dollar, one vote.
Balancing Point: Faced with the choice of preserving Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed for the nearly 40 million sockeye salmon that spawn there each year or permitting the development of large-scale mining for gold and copper, which do you think is going to prevail? Hint: Salmon do not hire lobbyists.
Boomerang: Things are spiraling out of control in Montreal as Quebec's 'truncheon law' unifies the populace against the government. Following the lead of their US brothers, Canadian police have arrested 700 protesters, waded into the crowd with nightsticks and indiscriminate pepper spraying – including spraying tourists at an sidewalk cafe – and starring a female officer spraying peaceful young people not once, but twice. Bet things'll calm down now.
Practice Run: Two USA Today reporters filed a story on the “dubious, costly” propaganda efforts carried out by private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. They singled out Leonie Industries, which was $4 million behind in its federal tax payments, for special attention. Leonie has repaid them by deploying their propaganda/psi-ops tricks against the reporters. Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts, fake blogs in their names, entries on message boards and a false Wikipedia entry were created, some suggesting the reporters were undercover Taliban agents. It is not clear if Leoni billed the Pentagon for this propaganda onslaught.
Mulligan: Climate scientists are asking for a do-over on their predictions for the global temperature rise by 2100. The IPCC had originally aimed for 2ºC, but they realized that no country was going to keep its pledge to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions (the US is supposed to cut emissions by 17% by 2020, ha). So the goal was raised to 3ºC about 6 months ago. Already it has become obvious that we have little inclination to cut our fossil fuel use enough to make that a possibility, so it's now a case of pick a number - but anything over 4ºC is pretty much the Fat Lady singing, and it is all happening faster than expected.
The Parting Shot:
Time, trees, sunlight and a trail...