As you shake your head over the latest political stupidity by state level politicians, keep in mind two things: your state could be next, and these folks want to go to Washington.
Deja vu all over again: The administration wants to make mortgages more widely available by extending loans to those with weaker credit, so The RecoveryTM doesn't leave the poor behind, punish those with weak credit records (without actually uttering the words 'sub-prime lending'), or exempt young people from debt slavery that might enrich the banker class. Housing officials want banks indemnified by the federal government against legal and/or financial repercussions for making riskier loans. They also want “lenders to use more subjective judgment” in granting loans. File under 'short term memory loss.'
Mumble, Mumble: So Cyprus bowed to their masters in the EU/ECB/IMF and 'taxed' about 60 or 70 or 80% of bank deposits into gift wrapping for Brussels, in return for the needed bailout. So why are The Usual Villians forcing Cyprus to sell off 10 tons of its gold? Was the cupboard bare when they showed up to loot it? Is this forced sale the reason gold is dropping and Goldman telling everyone to avoid buying it (so they can gobble it up...)?
Progression: We are currently 3 million jobs below the pre-recession employment level. At 200,000 new jobs a month it will be over another year before we get back to where we started. Oh, wait; we're not even adding that many. Good thing the labor force is shrinking so we can fool ourselves a bit longer.
Dealing From The Bottom: After defrauding more than 4 million families through shady foreclosure processes (and document forgeries and lying to courts etc, etc.) 13 lenders – as part of a no-one-goes-to-jail agreement – are beginning to pay $300 to $500 to each wrongfully foreclosed homeowner as a way of saying 'Go away, kid, y'bothering me.'
Time Out!The EPA has notified its 17,000 employees that they be will getting four extra days off between April 21 and June 15. Without pay. To celebrate the sequestration.
Rose Garden Glasses: Obama's budget assumes the economy will grow 2.3% this year, marked down from a 2.7% estimate last July and 3.0% 14 months ago. It also assumes a housing recovery and a resurgent auto industry. Less cheerily, the administration assumes unemployment will remain at 7.7% - maybe they think there are no more folks who can afford to drop out of the labor force.
Methy, Very Methy: Before we fully discover what an economic Chimera fracking is, we're going to try a new experiment: mining gas from the seafloor. No, we have not considered the environmental risks and no, we have no idea how to make it profitable, but it's energy, it's carbon, it's gonna make us rich and provide so much energy they'll give it away! What? No there's no danger of an accidental massive methane release. And burning all that methane will convert it into CO2, which warms the planet much, much slower. Yup, a whole new world.
Service/Servants: The food services industry has been adding jobs (fries w'that?) for 37 months in a row. Over 850,000 of the low paying (averaging $11.98 an hour), mostly benefit-free jobs have been added during The RecoveryTM. Health care jobs have also been growing rapidly – and we're talking more custodial aids than nurses. Again, low paying.
Warm-up Question: Does inequality feed on itself? There's a lot of research to show that “inequality undermines the confidence of the disadvantaged and boosts the confidence of the advantaged.” It's called history. Google Rockefeller, Bush, Clinton, Roosevelt...
Footnotes: Without mentioning the pipeline rupture in Arkansas, or the spill in New Orleans or the nearly forgotten Exxon Valdez thingy, the National Safety Council (which is made up of executives from Dow, Exelon, DuPont and... Exxon) has given ExxonMobil an award for excellence in
public relations “safety, security, health and environmental performance". They were necessarily absent, so BP accepted the award for them.
Same, But Different: Republicans in North Carolina want to make background checks for welfare applicants mandatory, while opposing background checks for buying a gun. But if you get the gun, maybe you can get the food without the background check.
The Parting Shot:
Viola pubescens Yellow violet.