When the world as we know it ends another will begin, without us.
Privatizing Medicare, 2 Years At A Time: Raising the Medicare eligibility age - the current favorite Republican camel's nose - would lower the deficit 5.7 billion (out of trillions) and cost taxpaying citizens who paid Medicare premiums for years and years $11.4 billion in insurance costs - mostly profit for the insurers. This is not a new idea, just a bad one.
The Good and The Bad: The good news is that the Doha round of the ongoing UN global warming negotiations ended in an agreement. The bad news is the agreement - which is to eventually re-ratify the totally ineffective Kyoto accord, which covers only 15% of global warming emissions. The largest emitters either never have been signatories (China and the US) or have withdrawn from the agreement (Russia, Canada, and Japan). The rest of the "accomplishment" of this effort - which started in 2010 - is to agree to try to come to an agreement in 2015 which would be ineffectively and toothlessly in effect in 2020.
Thought Experiment: What happens to the cornucopian forecasts for Middle Eastern oil production when the intercine warfare between Shia and Sunni begins dissolving the pretend countries the West drew on their maps a century ago or so.?
Inquiring Minds: If a soldier must disobey illegal orders and the president tells him to torture someone, must he do it? Or to conduct murder of civilians by drone? If he does, is he liable under the law? Is the president liable for the consequences of his authorization of illegal acts? Even if he's no longer president? Or if he still is?
For Howard Zinn: In the last four years alone, in its war on terror, the United States has used drones to kill people in six predominantly Muslim countries (probably more), repeatedly annihilating entire families, dozens of children at a time, targeted and killed people rescuing and grieving for victims of previous killings, and deliberately (or recklessly) killed its own citizens. The US continues to support the world's worst tyrants and unashamedly embraces moral double standards in overlooking the worst behavior of its client states. It has a global network of prisons where caged people are kept indefinitely with no charges and no rights. It has declared itself exempt from the same international justice systems which it insists must punish the leaders of small weak states that have annoyed it. Less than a decade ago, it created a worldwide torture regime and then launched an aggressive war that destroyed a nation of 26 million people, one that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings. Now it is turning its attention to its own citizens.
Dibbs: China is upset that India is showing interest in exploring for oil in the South China Sea. Also with Japan and Vietnam and anyone else anywhere else that thinks they can filch "China's" oil.
Benefits: In the last 30 years, tax rates for the poor dropped 5%, for the 1% they dropped 14.2%. The poor haven't had a raise in those 30 years because all of the productivity profits went to the top. Only in Lebanon, Russia and Ukraine is wealth more unequally distributed than in the USA.
Frills: Multimillionaire Tom Coburn (R-OK) says Social Security and Medicare should be cut becuse "we don't absolutely need" them. Who's we, rich guy? Meanwhile Bob Corker (R-TN) says the R's can let taxes on the rich rise now because next year they can take the government hostage over the debt ceiling and force the Dem's into cutting Medicare and Social Security, "like we did last time." The country has a lot of real problems without the make-believe 'the debt ceiling is falling' malicious Tomfoolery.
Porn O'Graph: Men at work. Or not.
The Parting Shot: