"This can't be right." Scott Stantis
The Twins: Romney's choice (?) of Ryan seems an act of desperation. Running on a platform that advocates privatizing Social Security, demolishing Medicare and Medicaid, and putting women in burkas is not a proven winner. Will Romeny, who has been reluctant to acknowledge his most important legislative accomplishment, now boldly adopt his VP’s draconian budgetary ideas?
No Means No: Filling in for the vacationing Frau Merkel, deputy chancellor Michael Fuchs cleared up any question about further aid to Greece, saying that Germany had "reached the limit of its capacity" over additional EFSF payments to Greece. He also made it clear that Germany does not want the ECB to act as “a money printing press in disguise”. Their money, their rules.
Backgrounder: There are Kurds in Iran, in Turkey, and in Iraq. They all want a Kurdish nation – although not the same Kurdish nation. Those in Iraq are sitting on oil. They think it is their oil, although Baghdad disagrees. The Iraqi Kurds ship their oil to market through Turkey. The Kurds in Turkey – as part of a decades old independence struggle or simple political blackmail, your choice – from time to time blow up the pipeline. Turkey has taken to dealing with Iraqi Kurds as though they were the Kurdish nation (which, de facto, they are). Imagine the bargaining. Imagine the effects on the Middle East.
Hot Enough For You? Climate models predict that droughts will become an increasingly common feature of life in the US – and in most of the rest of the world's agricultural areas - in the coming decades. At this point it seems fair to point out that so far climate scientists have been overly conservative in their predictions.
Clear And Present Danger: A nationwide analysis of US election fraud since 2000 has found ten – exactly ten – cases where in-person voter impersonation was alleged. Not proven, alleged. This is the terrible threat to democracy (and Republican candidates) that the voter ID laws are going to prevent.
Faster Than Expected: Some 900 cubic kilometers of ice has disappeared from the Arctic so far this year – 50% more than was expected. The volume of Arctic summer sea ice has dropped 70% in the last 30 years. At this rate summer ice will disappear within a decade. The Arctic is very vulnerable to global warming's impact and the consequences include increasing volatility in US weather due to jet stream instability. Something's happening here, and what it is is increasingly clear.
Inconvenient Data: The CBO says that on a per-beneficiary basis costs of Medicare and Medicaid spending have grown less rapidly than costs for private health insurance in recent years, thus it is difficult to claim that government healthcare spending is “out of control”.
“Studies Show”: Research reveals (hush!) that CEOs of large corporations face an entirely different legal system than the rest of us. Really?
Belly Up To The Trough: The American way of greed is now poised to capture the taxes that pay for public education, as they cheapen education as much as possible and pocket literally billions of ill-gained dollars. The golden moment arrived on the back of Bush's pseudo testing spawned by No Child Left Behind, and the destruction of Teacher's unions. Look at Louisiana and tell me you want your kid educated this way.
The Parting Shot:
Playing the field.