Most days I'm part of the group that doesn't get it.
Incentive: Obama says that cutting Social Security and Medicare will “reinvigorate the middle class” by making concessions to the Republicans in order to make them feel better for having lost the election. As for the energized elderly, pitchforks and torches are traditional.
American NATO air attack killed 10 children, wounded six women and killed eight men militants – two of whom were “senior Taliban commanders” - in eastern Afghanistan. A US “civilian adviser” to Afghan intelligence was also killed in the attack.
Worse and Worser: Climatologists say that conditions in more than half the US are in a pattern that is similar to conditions that led to the most severe droughts in US history, including the 1930s Dust Bowl. The 2013 drought season has started worse than 2012 or 2011, which NOAA says is a good indicator that the entire year will be drier than last year.
Conditional Conditions: The IMF insists that Cyprus must increase taxes, “cut state pension costs and reform its welfare system” if it wants to get the IMF's €1bn share of the needed €10bn bailout loan. Cypriot unions took to the streets to show their appreciation of Ms. Lagarde. Citizens who have lost 40%-80% of their savings were also delighted to learn what more they could do to keep German banks sound.
Polluting Pays: Subsidies to the fossil fuel industry around the globe increased by nearly 30% in 2011, to $523 billion – a gift on top of all their profits that is double the funding channeled toward renewable energy sources. It takes money to make money. It also takes money to buy politicians.
Lies, Damned Lies and Republican Biology: Kansas Republicans have passed a law instructing doctors to tell pregnant women that abortion causes breast cancer. Of course there is no such connection, but reality hasn't bothered Republican lawmakers for quite some time. The bill also 'celebrates God's creation' by conferring 'personhood' at the moment of fertilization. In a one size contaminates everything move, the bill also strictly regulates what schoolkids can learn about sex and contraception, and takes tax breaks away from all facilities that offer abortion services. It's part of the GOP's outreach to women.
Speed Dating: Ice of the Quelccaya ice sheet in Peru that took 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years. Do the math.
Muffler: Exxon, extending its occupation of Arkansas, has taken over the responsibilities of the stat's environmental and wildlife officials, and limiting media access by setting up a Public Affairs desk and then threatening to arrest a reporter who showed up seeking information.
Claws and Effect: Reagan’s budget director David Stockton, who has been saying a lot of crazy stuff lately, says that the massive rigging of test results in Atlanta's schools is “symptomatic of a huge national problem.” No, not the No Child Left Behind obsessive testing. It is, he says, the result of higher taxes and defense cuts.
Briefly: The sequester is being blamed for cancer clinics turning away thousands of Medicare patients.
Measure For Measure: Ten percent of Europe's oil refineries will close in the coming decade because the austerity-plagued economies simply do not consume enough petroleum products to make refining profitable. Oil consumption has declined consistently since 2008. Wonder why?
Universal Fault Divorce: Republicans in North Carolina, having abandoned their plan to declare Christianity as the state’s religion, have decided to prolong broken marriages by requiring couples to go through two years of classes and workshops before a judge can grant a divorce.
Porn O'Graph: Raise your hand.
The Parting Shot: