The labor movement is our main defense against predatory capitalists. Or was.
Don't Blame Me, They Were Crazy When I Got Here: Is John Boehner crazy enough to crash the economy for 'principle' – the principle being that the leader of a bunch of suicidal fanatics has to at least pretend to be a true believer? Of course he'll say that Obama made him do it. The fanatics are in charge. What if they refuse to budge and hold out for no tax increase at all for anyone until major cuts are made in Medicare and Social Security? Do we join them in seppuku?
Housing Bloom: The Case-Shiller house price index is now off about 30% from the peak and up 5% from the apparent bottom. Hooray, Hooray: That house with the $100,000 mortgage is now worth $7o,000 instead of the $66,600 it was before the recoveryTM.
Inquiring Minds: For the moment, let us assume that the shale-oil enthusiasts are right and the country will be able to eventually produce 3 or 4 million barrels a day. Put that next to the anticipated world-wide decline in production from current fields to 23 million barrels a day by 2030. That will leave a shortfall of about 60 million barrels a day. That's five or six new Saudi Arabia's that we're missing. Anybody seen 'em?
Fun With Guns: During 2010, there were an average of 85 gun deaths in the US every day. Two were accidents.
Journey's End: Increasing numbers of elderly Germans are being resettled in retirement and long-term care facilities in Eastern Europe and Asia because of the growing costs of caring for them in the Homeland. At least they are not been shipped off in cattle cars.
Noted: As an indication of how severely the US deficit and the national debt are viewed by investors, US Treasuries continue at record lows. Remind me why we're going to starve the peasants and reward the rich while throwing the economy back into another recession. Oh, right. Government is bad and must be shrunk; sorry, I forgot for a moment.
One Day In The War: The surviving relatives and friends of the 11 people – including a woman and a 7 year-old child – who were killed when the pickup they were riding in was blown up by a
Fun With Math: Egypt's new constitution, which half the people hate, passed with over 63% of the votes. Only one-third of eligible voters showed up at the polls, which is a comment of some sort.
Prophets & Loss: Promising teachers a bonus if their students do better is not nearly as effective as giving them a smaller bonus and telling them they'll have to give it back if student scores do not improve. Seems a bird in the hand is more motivating than whatever is hiding in the bushes. Psychologists say we hate to lose more than we like to win, which explains a lot more than student scores.
Watt's Wrong With This Picture: Electric utilities in Germany, rather than shutting down their fossil fuel-fed plants during times of low demand, are paying commercial customers to use the excess power. They're doing this to accommodate the fluctuation in solar and wind generation, which rather defeats the point of having solar and wind generation.
Porn O'Graph: Excitement builds.
The Parting Shot: