Friends: A UN report has identified Rwanda, which wants to annex 'a sliver' of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as ““sponsoring, arming, and commanding the insurgent M23 forces” terrorizing the DRC. Rwanda is a US ally, so the US is attempting to suppress the report.
It's A Start: Two of the most conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives have been kicked off the House Budget Committee.
Devil/Details: The IMF now accepts the concept of “ direct controls to calm volatile cross-border capital flows”. But only in “selected countries”, and they get to do the selecting. So you thought it was your money...
Motivational Research: The Republicans foisted the Bush tax cuts on the country by promising economic growth and a widely shared prosperity. Neither showed up, yet they want to continue the tax cuts. Why? Is there something the cuts achieved that they are happy with? Like the upward redistribution of wealth, the decimation of the social safety net, and now the potential destruction of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?
District Nine: Amsterdam's city fathers, tired of providing “social housing” for anti-social slobs who won't follow the rules and insist on being a nuisance to their neighbors, will exile such persons from the city and house them in trailers or containers with “minimal services” under constant police supervision. When this doesn't work...
Enough Unto The Day: The Republicans, citing abortion and home schooling, defeated US approval of the UN disability treaty modeled after US law by the Bush administration, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with abortion or home schooling.
Tailoring: Verizon has joined Comcast in patenting a DVR that would allow them to watch and listen to you as you watch TV (and maybe whenever you are in the room) so they can better target their ads at you. What? No, I didn't say anything about the NSA...
Essay Question: What is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the US today? Tomorrow?
Dictionary: Just as “states' rights”, “forced busing” and “Welfare Queens” were Republican code words for blacks, the poor, and minorities, now they say “entitlements” when what they mean is you-know-who.
Teeter Totter: In October, US house prices had climbed 6.3% y/y, but fell 0.2% m/m. Who, pray tell, got a large enough raise in the last year to afford paying 6% more for a house?
Agreement! The conservative wing of the conservatives agree with the Democrats – John Boehner's latest pretense of a compromise is “utterly unacceptable.” It was also, generously, characterized as “not serious.” In fact, “It is bad policy, bad economics, and, if we may say so, highly questionable as a negotiating tactic." Proving that while you can't please everybody, you can piss almost everyone off.
Précis: It is time to abandon, abolish, do away with, kill the Debt Ceiling. Past time.
Clip & Save: Record coffee harvests in Brazil, the world's biggest grower, are expected to push the cost of coffee down another 12% on top of the 34% they have already fallen this year. What, your morning latté hasn't dropped by over a buck this year?
Profit Motive: In a drive to increase the profitability of for-profit prisons (what could go wrong, huh?), CCA is using violent gangs to control the rest of the inmates. It cuts down on the number of guards they must pay. Allegedly. Even so, it's probably better than being in prison in NC where inmates are forced to rub hot sauce on their testicles. And to kiss snakes, but in NC that may be a mitzvah, not a punishment.
Porn O'Graph: Body farm.
The Parting Shot: