Our greed and our willing stupidity define our future.
Mirror Image: It appears that the center-left has won the lower house in the Italian election, while the center-right will control the Senate. Sound familiar? Certainly the Italian electorate has rejected the German appointed proconsul and the entire European austerity program. Is this the straw that will topple the euro? No, but it will not be seen as a step in the right direction, although it probably is.
Quotes: “President Obama has revealed his real preferences in the current blame game by not calling for a clean bill eliminating the Sequester. . .. The only logical inference . . . is that Obama remains committed to inflicting the ‘Grand Bargain’ . . . on the nation.” Republicans, on the other hand, “don’t care about the deficit. They care about exploiting the deficit to pursue their goal of dismantling the social insurance system. They want a fiscal crisis; they need it; they’re enjoying it.” The two have the same goals – dismantling Social Security and Medicare - why can't they get along?
Chapter 47: The Mukhtar Army – a Shiite group with support from Iran – is leaving leaflets on Sunni households in Baghdad's Jihad neighborhood that tell the Sunni's to get out or “face great agony”. A democracy, blooming in the desert. Just as George, Dick and Donnie-boy promised.
Two Nations: The primary concern of 87% of America's wealthy is the deficit. Only 7% of the downtrodden care about the deficit in the least – they want jobs. Guess who gets to set the agenda.
Progress: Over a century ago, back in 1901, an American officer in the Philippines was sentenced to ten years at hard labor for waterboarding a prisoner. Obama insists that no American officers will be prosecuted for waterboarding prisoners. Oh, yeah, he said they shouldn't do it, but has granted blanket immunity. Carry on.
Conundrum: Americans traditionally got their health insurance coverage through their employment,but current data suggests that only 45% of the US workforce is covered by insurance from their employer.
Briar Patch: The US continues (its mostly illegal and certainly immoral) efforts to coerce Iran into abandoning its nuclear efforts by preventing Iranian crude from being sent to market. As a result, Iran is 1) keeping more of its oil in the ground, where its value increases, and 2) working to build refineries in-country to increase the value of their petroleum even more. This will probably work out about as well for the US as arming the Afghan mujaheddin did.
Marketing: A few hundred years of continuing failure at the celibacy thing has yet to have much lasting influence on Roman Catholic dogma. How much longer can this antiquated bureaucracy continue without coming to terms with simple biology, with the fact of sex and sexual imperatives? It is unrealistic to expect an organization that can't deal with heterosexual marriage or the existence of women as autonomous individuals could deal reasonably with homosexuality.
The Parting Shot: