The banks will be fine as long as the laws are not enforced.
Warning Label: The IMF's Christine Lagarde says the Troika's bludgeoning of Cyprus will restore the Cypriot economy to full health by 2020. Given her predictive success with the austerity programs in Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal, you've been warned. But this is still the out-of-town tryouts, the fate of the euro will be decided by Italy.
Initiation: Researchers believe they have found the remains of a human-Neanderthal hybrid. No, not on a college campus.
Parameters: Is there a meaningful difference between retaliation and 'imminent threat'? What is the deciding factor in a drone strike, religion or class? Why is is acceptable (sic) to use drones in the remote parts of the world, but not in, say, West Virginia or Sussex? If the US government was using drones to assassinate Americans, what are the odds they would admit it? Can we believe them when they deny it? Why?
Drive By Shooting: Observing the EU/ECB in various Eurozone crises makes abundantly clear that they are not following a plan – they are simply making things up as they go along.
School Solution: The IMF says the simplest way to combat global warming would be to stop the $1.9 trillion a year direct and indirect subsidies given to fossil fuel producers. The report also strongly endorsed levying “appropriate carbon taxes” on greenhouse gas emissions. These steps could reduce CO2 emissions by over 10% a year, reduce air pollution and associated health costs, and strengthen the finances of many poor countries, and they will never happen.
One Down: The man the US selected to be the next prime minister of Syria has been rejected by the military command of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, even though the US has been training and arming Sunni and tribal Bedouin Syrians to press the fight. Oh, and financing, don't forget the financing. Once again, we end up paying the band but not getting to name the tune.
Equal Opportunity: A woman who facilitated torture of al-Qaeda suspects and later helped destroy the videotape records of waterboard interrogations has been selected to be head the CIA's clandestine operations. It helps to know where the bodies are buried – or even to have helped bury them.
Listen Up! The federal deficit is shrinking. No, really: The deficit is shrinking. We do not have a deficit problem, we have a 'Republicans hate the idea of government' problem. That's why they are pushing the government (with Obama's encouragement) to cut government spending deep enough to cause another recession and to slash Social Security enough to cause widespread poverty among the elderly. They also want to hobble Medicare even though the rate of increase in costs has fallen significantly. We don't need to shrink the deficit, we need to shrink the Republicans.
Ah, Napalm In The Morning: Air traffic data, backed by off-the-record interviews, show that Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been airlifting weaponry via Turkey to support the Syrian rebels for over a year. The ultimate source is thought to be, of course, the CIA, as America prepares a replacement war for the one now ending in Afghanistan.
Quoted: “The greatest truth to emerge from the past thirty years of our nation’s retirement planning experience is that Wall Street, i.e., private financial services companies, cannot be trusted...”
Porn O'Graph: Heat sink.
The Parting Shot:
Alfonso Lombardi’s Compianto su Cristo Morto, San Pietro, Bologna