Energy first; everything else second.
Once More, With Clarity For All: "The Big Lie is that 'Social Security is going broke, causing huge deficits that will burden our children.' Social Security is not going broke. It has nothing to do with the deficit. The workers pay for it themselves. They can always pay for it themselves. If the costs of retirement rise as they are expected to, the cost of Social Security will rise.... about eighty cents per week per year. This is not a burden on the young. It is money they will get back with interest when they need it most. It is in fact the best deal that workers have ever had. Tell the people. "
Too Good To Miss: “So God made a banker.”
Misery Sisters: At the current Eurozone budget meeting, Germany and the UK are pushing for everyone in the EU to adopt austerity programs similar to those that have already ruined Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal. France and Italy, with less docile citizens, want to maintain their budgets and use them to create jobs. Is it time to start placing bets on the date of the breakup?
Quoted: “The US faces a two-tiered system of justice that . . . all but assures more excessive risk-taking, more crime and more crises.” Neil Barofsky, former TARP Inspector General.
Forever Blowing Bubbles: Back in 2004 and 2005, house prices were running away at 8%, 12% a year. In December 2012 they rose at 8% (and higher in many regions). Back then it was a bubble. Today it's a recovery. Back then it was 'unsustainable', today it's... Today it's 'investors' buying up distressed houses in hopes of a quick profit – what used to be called flipping. Still is. Robert Shiller's
not a fan says there is little reason to expect prices to return to their former levels.
God Will Know His Own: A Lutheran minister in Connecticut has publicly apologized for praying with Jews, Muslims and non-Lutherans at a vigil for Sandy Hook victims. It's a sin.
All In Favor: As the first crop of 401(k)ers reach retirement, they are finding out that they were another broken promise. Most do not have near enough to maintain a decent lifestyle in their
ground-down golden years. Most will depend on Social Security, which simply isn’t enough. We need to remove the salary cap and push the rate up about 0.5% all-round. And then we need to increase Social Security benefits by at least 20%. The 401(k) experiment has been a disaster for everyone except the firms that collect the fees on them. The rest of us need to go back to caring for one another.
Road to Nowhere: Another week, another boring 366,000 in initial unemployment claims, here in the land of the
A Sound Policy: Michigan Republicans, knowing it to be hopeless but needing to mark their territory, have introduced yet another law requiring women undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound before having an abortion. Tennessee's cavemen have introduced a similar bill. In Iowa, nine Republican troglodytes want to define 'person' to apply from the moment of conception, and to make abortion at any point an act of murder. They say it will clear up any confusion and simplify prosecution of everyone involved.
The Parting Shot: