Austerity works, just not the way its backers claim.
Flag of Convenience: The hordes traipsing about Washington this weekend, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, are missing the bigger picture. Yes, Canada's oil sands production is one of the most carbon-intensive sources of crude in the world, but coal-fired power plants in just the state of Wisconsin produce nearly as much CO2. Yes, mining of the oil sands should cease. So should burning coal.
Act, Caught In: European Commission Vice President Olli Rehn says that the economic recovery he's been predicting for the last two years hasn't happened because somebody killed the confidence fairy. So, a fairy story.
Two Out Of Three: Some of ex-cardinal Roger Mahony's sins of omission in not removing (and delivering to the legal system) pedophilic priests is now being laid at the doorstep of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose boss refused to allow Mahony to proceed. The Cardinal then in charge of protecting pedophiles, Joseph Ratzinger later became the very same pope who is now – as this news is leaking out – quitting as head of the world-wide conspiracy and, reportedly, seeking “legal immunity” from the Italian courts. Then there was the matter of those leaked documents a couple of months back, which may be the third shoe in this symphony.
De Minimus: Before the Republicans reach full throat ranting about the sky falling, remember there is just isn’t any evidence that raising the minimum wage reduces employment. The supposed cost in terms of employment from increasing low-wage workers’ earnings is a myth, while the increased income will show up quite directly at the cash registers.
Reality Challenged: Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claims that our nation's health care programs for the middle class must be slashed in order to keep from “destroying the military.” But if that's the trade-off, what is it that we're defending?
Interesting: A Federal Reserve study reports that weak demand, not taxes, is the main impediment to an expanding economy and increased employment. Just thought you'd like to tell Certain People.
Teatime Chatter: The co-CEO of Denmark's Saxo Bank suggests that the current decline in the economies of Germany, France, and Italy are just beginning and that once France enters a “full-scale crisis, it’s over”. Not just for France, but for the euro, which he describes as a political and not an economic project. “Right now we’re in one of those fake solutions where people think that the problem is contained or being addressed, which it isn’t at all.” And so on, and so forth. Doom and all that.
Pssst: There are currently 437 nuclear power reactors in the world and no permanent repository for high-level radioactive waste.
All In Favor: Here's the basic case for Obama's push for early childhood education. It’s fun, you learn things, you make it easier for Mom and Dad to earn a decent living, you begin the process of socialization, and when you grow up you will be better able to earn a decent living yourself. At that point, you will start paying taxes that return the favor, helping finance the retirement and health care of the generation that invested in your education. Obviously a socialist plot.
A National Mythtake: Let's face it, America ceased to be the land of opportunity some time back. We have become the land of the complacent. How else can the quality of our political leaders be explained? How else can our docile acceptance not only of enormous income inequality, but of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security and 24/7 surveillance be explained? Why else do attacks on women and scientists and logic continue unabated? Excuse me, someone's at the door. I'll be right b...
Porn O'Graph: Land, they're not making it like they used to.
The Parting Shot:
Memo? What memo?