“Being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid.” Dick Armey
Takes One.. David Stockman says that the Ryan budget is an “empty conservative sermon” and a “fairy tale.” As Reagan's director of OMB, he should be familiar with fairy tales.
The Right of the People to Peaceably Assemble... The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act makes it a crime if you, on government premises, shout at or heckle or boo a political official. That's being disorderly and disruptive and it is forbidden.
Look/Leap: The head of Hungary’s far-right anti-Semitic fascist party just found out he's Jewish.
Geo Politics: Turkey, international oil companies, the US and other Western governments, Assad's Syria, the Ayatollahs in Iran and, last and least effectively, Baghdad, are all trying to make some sort of deal with the Iraqi Kurds. All but Baghdad keep nodding and winking and muttering “independent Kurdistan.” But quite where this mythical place will be and how is uncertain. Parts of northern Iraq and adjacent northern Syria and part of western Iran; but no Turkish territory. Forced relocation/cleansing?
Shocker! Hand counting the votes in Wisconsin keep coming up with different numbers than the computer tabulations showed. Sometimes significantly different. Imagine.
Fresh Numbers: July's retail sales increased 0.8% m/m and up 4.1% y/y, after June's data was cut from -0.5% to -0.7%. Producer prices rose 0.3%, which was the biggest jump in 6 months. Euro-area GDP fell 0.2% during 2Q2012 – with increases in the north and decreases in the Mediterranean states. In July, Spanish banks borrowed €375.5 billion from the ECB(Germany), a record. House prices in Phoenix are up 35% y/y while 23% of office space in Chicago's suburbs is vacant. Feel informed?
Just Say'n: The VIX closed at 13.7 and the first two times the VIX closed below 15%, the S&P fell 5.25% and 7.75% in the next two months.
Priorities: The biggest threat to a sitting president's re-election is the economy, not the opposition. And the drought could be the tipping factor this fall, especially if food prices rise significantly, because unemployment seems to have become simply another disappointing fact of life.
Candid Cameras: There's a new service(?) being tested that uses a camera at a store entrance hooked to facial-recognition software that identifies the incoming customer and offers them specifically tailored deals. Currently the marks have to sign up for “Facedeals”. You are already signed up for the government version.
In Hot Water: The Millstone nuclear power plant in Waterford, CT had to be shut down because the cooling water was too warm. Wonder what other safety margins are... melting away?
The Parting Shot:
In the limelight.