Does anybody remember how the national narrative goes?
Truth Fairy: Remember that booming 13% increase in Black Thursday/Friday sales? Well, forget it. That was based on interviews with shoppers, but they lie. Interviews with actual the cash registers of 16 national retailers shows a 1.6% increase overall, with Target (down 1%), Kohl's (down 5.6%) and Macy's (down 0.7%) not even doing that well. All Walmart will say is that the crowds were larger this year, but their customers have been getting fatter for years.
Tantrum: One day after the UN voted overwhelmingly to grant de-facto statehood to Palestine, Israel said it would expand further into East Jerusalem and the West Bank and to expedite planning for thousands more in an attempt to kill Palestine's hopes to form a viable state. Because they can – but only if the US goes along with them.
Mean Streets: Congressional Republicans say they will support upwards of $100 billion in aid for victims of Sandy, as soon as Obama comes up with offsetting cuts in other social support programs. Don't hold your breath.
We're Screwed: The current gathering of UN envoys in Doha is a continuation of talks that started back in 2007 aimed at arriving at a draft fossil-fuel emission lowering treaty by 2015 that would go into effect in 2020. Current pledges – few if any of which have been kept – are inadequate to limit ever-increasing global warming. Nothing suggests that whatever limits are agreed to for 2020 and beyond will be adhered to, either.
Costs/Benefits: AAA warns that Congress' trying to buy farmers' votes via the ill considered requirement that US gasoline contain 15% ethanol will cause damage to tens of millions of vehicles now on the road.
As If: The global economy is weakening, they say, as though there really were a “global economy”.
Me, My, Mine: The Corps of Engineers intends to cut the flow of the Mississippi by about 60% as it attempts to offset the summer drought on the Northern Plains and restock the reservoirs fed by the Missouri. No, not for the farmers - for the frackers, who use immense amounts of water. What, waste water shipping stuff around? Nah, oil's the name of the game.
Mumble, Mumble: The EIA, continuing its assault on credulity, says that China's petroleum consumption dropped 4% in 2012. BP, which also has had some credibility problems, disagrees, says its use was up 5.5% over 2010.
The Process: The new constitution that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood muscled through parliament has now gone to the streets, for ratification by the people, many of whom seem to have thought they were getting a democracy, not another pharaoh.
Full Menu: We have a complete range of
possible probable disasters looming not far over the horizon: Pandemics, always a dependable favorite. Global warming inspired sudden climate shifts. Hackers bringing down computer systems and networks. And various and sundry ne'er-do-wells disabling the national power grid with their slingshots. Go ahead, order the whole menu and enjoy.
Datapoint: The current tax deductions (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes) taken by the rich could pay off over $1 trillion the deficit. That's big money at my house.
Porn O'Graph: Behind and behinder.
The Parting Shot: