It's always a good idea to discover who's pulling your strings and exactly how they are doing it. Joseph J. Romm
As Expected: California chipped in this week and drove initial unemployment claims up 38,000 (over 10%) over last week's spuriously low 333,000.
Spring Springs Eternal: Spring has come, again, to Egypt, which is described as “ungovernable” and “in revolt”. The security forces no longer control several cities and Mubarak's hated “State of Emergency” laws have been invoked by
current temporary interim President Morsi.
Translation, Please: Lamar Alexander (Lost-TN) says that video games are “a bigger problem than guns” because “video games affect people.”
Real Politik: Pakistan is going forward with an “essential pipeline” bringing Iranian gas to southwestern Pakistan – despite (or possibly because of) US objections.
Better Late Than... Former UK Chancellor Lord Lawson, who no longer has any say in the matter, now says that RBS should be “fully nationalized”. He also said that bonuses at the bank should be cut and if so-called star performers left, well, they weren't overly stellar to begin with.
Incentive: A new report says that 44% of US households would be plunged into poverty if they suffered a major medical emergency, lost a job, or encountered some other serious financial shock.
Observed: “We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population or the natural world will do it for us.” Sir David Attenborough
Rendering Unto Caesar: The persecuted 1% have to pay an average 5.6% in taxes, while those rotten takers at the bottom – the poorest 20% - pay an average of 11% in taxes.
The Usual: Many churches are threatening to withdraw their sponsorship of Boy Scout troops if they let gays join. A Texas legislator wants tax breaks for companies that refuse to cover emergency contraception like the morning after pill that would let women control their own bodies in defiance of the good old boys. Bobby 'I'm a populist' Jindal is set to cut Louisiana’s Medicaid programs for at-risk children, care visits for HIV patients, and assistance to new mothers. Republican fundamentalist robots in AZ, CO and OK are pushing ALEC-designed laws to require teaching that global climate change is a fraud. And a similar bunch in CO, MS, MT and OK is backing ALEC-written laws that would require teaching creationism. Republican mullahs in Arkansas are pressing ahead with laws that would (unconstitutionally) criminalize abortions after heart sounds are detectable (about week 6). Similar legislation has also been introduced in North Dakota's legislature.
Porn O'Graph: Reality vs Theory.
The Parting Shot: