Low expectations mean I'm rarely disappointed.
Smoke and Mirrors: President Obama emphasized climate change as a priority of his second term. Nice, but it's too late. Within the lifetime of today's children, global warming will push the average temperature up by more than 4ºC, producing a climate that has not existed on earth for 15 million years. It is technically possible to halt such changes by ending our use of fossil fuels. We are not going to do that. We are not even going to reduce our use of them. The administration has not proposed and have no intention of proposing a carbon tax. - probably the only step we could actually take of any consequence. It would have to be a big tax, growing bigger quickly. Don't hold your breath.
Shocking! It turns out that “so-called ‘Right-to-Work’ and ‘Paycheck Protection’ bills are really just meant to bust unions and strip workers of their rights.” Who would have guessed?
Stat Salad: One-third of adults living in poverty are employed. In the US, one out of four jobs pay below the federal poverty level. Low-paid 'temps' are becoming the norm. About half of US college graduates are working in jobs that do not require a college education.
Revisionism: The NM Republican who wanted to send rape victims to jail if they aborted a resulting pregnancy, has said that that was not the intent (although it clearly was) and has amended the bill to remove the victim from the threat of jail But those who “assist in destroying evidence" would to go to jail for a few years. That'd be the nurses, receptionist, doctors and, one supposes, the taxi driver. Sadly, the Republican right blames women for making men beat on them, blames women for letting men rape them, and sees no reason why women should be allowed to learn read and write. Or vote.
Perspective: While the Case-Shiller Index shows housing making the best gains (5.5% y/y) since The Crush, it remains unclear just how much of the increase is driven by investors buying up slums to rent to the unemployed.
Devil/Details: Caribbean coral reefs are producing " less than half of the key ingredient that makes their calcium skeleton compared to pre-industrial times." Many reefs are no longer growing, and coral reefs are declining around the world. Caribbean corals have shrunk by about 80% in the last 40 years. Who cares? Well, the half a billion people who depend on corals for their living.
New & Improved: The US, running out of brides to kill in Pakistan, is relocating some of its drones to a base in Niger, near the Mali border. What could go wrong?
General Explanation: As humans evolved, increasing levels of intelligence conferred competitive advantages to the brighter. Once language, and especially writing, developed, native intelligence stopped being much of an advantage, as we could - and do - simply steal good ideas from others. And that explains far more than one would wish.
Equality: BP has plead guilty to, among other crimes, felony manslaughter in the deaths on the Deepwater Horizon rig. No one is going to jail. Don't try this at home.
For Profit: A charter school in Chicago fines parents if their children misbehave in school. Big time. One unemployed mother got hit with a $3,000 bill. In the last 3 year this charter school operator has collected nearly $400,000 from low-income families. They may not be good at teaching reading and writing, but they sure are teaching the principles of capitalism.
The Parting Shot: