“Everybody wants a box of chocolates... and a long stemmed rose." Leonard Cohen
This Side Up: The top 1% got not only all of the income gains since 2009, they got 121% of the gains – by taking some away from the rest of us. While they were taking it all and then some, the bottom 99% of us had our income fall by 0.4%.
Footnote: While President Obama talked a lot about jobs and all that, it might be useful to keep in mind that “President Obama is apparently having his economic policy dictated by economists who do not seem to know how the economy works.”
Slip Sliding Away: Don't look now, but we're quietly slipping into a global police-state, complete with drone strikes, extraordinary rendition, torture (you really think that's stopped?), austerity for all except the very few at the top, government (and commercial) spying on everything we do, anywhere, anytime, and 'extrajudicial' killing of anyone, anywhere without appeal. For our own good, we're told. And most of us quietly nod our heads and accept this as the price of what passes for freedom. Or at least a chance to see the one more sunrise.
Bad to Worse to Worser: On top of a
failed betrayed popular uprising, Egypt is running out of diesel at the same time it is running out of money. The cure, according to the IMF, is austerity. Given the state of civil(?) society in Egypt, a little bit of additional austerity may be like straw on a camel's back.
Angles On Pinpoint: A US/NATO pinpoint missile (drone) attack - the same kind that kill only their very carefully selected targets according to White House briefing papers - has killed ten civilians - five of them children - in Afghanistan.
Crimes and Punishment: Italy's former intelligence chief has been sent to prison for 10 years for allowing the CIA to abduct people off the street in Milan and torture them for four years in a series of secret prisons. The CIA's station chief at the time got a 7-year sentence in absentia. Twenty-five other Americans, mostly CIA employees, have also been convicted. pretty much their punishment is pretty much being unable to have their pictures taken with fake gladiators in front of the Colosseum.
Perks: When Benedict XVI wakes up on March 1st he will no longer be infallible. This gift from God goes with the office. Wonder if he'll lose immunity for all the crimes he helped conceal back when he was just Cardinal Ratzinger, in charge of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, where he made sure the Vatican stone-walled all claims of sexual abuse by predatory priests.
About Austerity: It is a Good Thing that the Greek economy doesn't depend on customer spending - 40% of Greeks have no disposable income to spend. Oh, wait...
Brotherhood: Sure, we had 'whites only' water fountains, but did we have rules that said blacks were not allowed to stand next to whites at bus stops? Because our good friends the Israelis claim that "Palestinians are not supposed to stand next to Jews." How long are we supposed to feel guilty about what Hitler and the Germans did to the Jews?
Let Me Call You Sweetheart: Big Pharma spends more buying politicians than any other industry - even the insurance folks, Big Energy and the Defense Junta. That's why our medicine costs so much. And they're not even using their money - they take if from your wallets and pass it on to our (more properly their) elected officials.
The Parting Shot: