Neither Congress nor the president has the power to create a legal justification for killing in violation of the law of war.
Crime Pays: Whatever moral force there once was behind the social agreement to obey the law out of respect for authority, it has been chipped away to the vanishing point. It is time to rename the JusticeTM Department something more descriptive, perhaps The Facilitators. Fraud, no matter how blatant nor how egregious is no longer punished. An outfit in Florida fraudulently foreclosed on over a million homes, and paid a measly $35 million in lieu of any criminal penalty. And the big banks – and their CEOs - continue to grow their immunity, being too big to fail and too big to jail.
All Or Nothing: They only uncertainty is whether the Arctic will be ice free in the winter of 2030, not just the summer. All the rest is counting deck chairs...
Gold and Ruling: Following last week's State of the Union address, Exxon prevented Comcast from running a climate change public service ad. The satirical spot, "Exxon Hates Your Children", had already aired on MSNBC and been viewed by nearly 200,000 on You Tube since early December. The ad urges Congress to eliminate fossil fuel industry subsidies
Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Raising the minimum wage is a very popular idea. But Republican leaders are opposed, supposedly due to a sincere concern for workers who might lose their jobs. If they were better at faking sincerity, I might believe them.
Shrink Wrapped: Last year's drought drove grain and feed prices to record highs, making it difficult for cattle farmers to make a profit. Modern
medicine biochemistry to the rescue: drug salesman pushing Zilmax claim that it will allow feedlots to add over 30 pounds of meat to each carcass without increasing the animal's food or water intake. Can't wait to see that in the market, clearly labeled of course.
Quiz: Shortest all-inclusive answer wins the usual prize. The best thing Congress could do in response to global climate change is ___________ . Not quite as easy as it seems, especially if it has to be politically realistic.
Sweets Eaten In Secret: The handouts keep coming. Secretly. The latest is the deal (from last summer) that became public last week, in which the NY Fed specifically shielded Bank of America from billions of dollars in legal claims stemming from its fraudulent mortgage-backed securities business. The Fed declines to publicly defend, much less explain, its actions. After all, it's not your money, is it?
A Penny Saved: The GAO has added up the damage the banksters did to the economy, and so far it comes to $22 trillion. And Congress is all excited about the national debt at a piddling $16 trillion.
Poke/Pig Therein:Madrid's labor market reforms are unlikely to contribute to improved economic performance, despite austeritans' claims that by limiting wages and imposing 'flexible' working conditions, companies in Spain will become more competitive. Flexible in these terms means employment-at-will, which means low wages, few benefits and no job security. Spain's unemployment stands at 26%, but the bankers want more. It looks quite possible that civil unrest will pick up long before GDP does. All the politicians and bankers are doing is handing the jobs around, lowering the wages at each step. And if the Spanish gain a job or two this way, it will be because their lower wages took it away from an Italian, German, or Belgian worker. Solidarity.
Refinement: It is not the risks presented by climate change that are worrisome to business and political leaders, it is the inevitable consequences climate change will have on our economic system and its functioning... or lack thereof.
Porn O'Graph: What goes up....
The Parting Shot: