Semantics: If you think the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the US-EU trade talks are about open markets and free trade, you've fallen for their propaganda. What these negotiations are actually about is manipulating regulatory issues in ways that could never stand examination in the light of day, and have as their goal the elimination of competition and free trade. All, of course, as a way of delivering money from your pockets to the coffers of multinational corporations. 'Twas always so.
They're Baaack! Mandiant, a private security company that helps companies and government agencies defend themselves, reports that Chinese Army hackers are mounting a new attack on the US electrical grid, which could put the entire nation's energy network at risk.
Picture This: Anthony “That Might Be Mine” Weiner, now a candidate for mayor of NYC, still has an image problem. Specifically on his campaign website, which carries an image of the Pittsburgh skyline.
Usual Suspects: Following the European Commission's antitrust investigation into the manipulation of oil prices, BP, Shell and Statoil have become the first to be sued for intentionally manipulating the benchmark price of Brent Crude.
The Old One-Two: Mexico, the headlines claim, has the world's second-largest percentage of obese people. Don't panic, Walmart customers in Tennessee assure the US of permanent hold on first place.
Fumbling Forward: Economic forecasts rest on the assumption that economies ultimately heal themselves (because obviously central bankers have not done so). Or that at the very least, over time economies muddle through. Time being the operative factor. The goal of central bankers is to stay in office until the passage of time turns them into effective leaders.
Revisiting Blaise: Pope Francis has changed the rules of the game; he says that ““The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” Good guys finish first, regardless of the baggage they carry, or don't.
Insult/Injury: The Medical Ethics Board of TN has found that Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), a physician in real life, had sex with some of his patients and tried to persuade at least one of them to have an abortion. DesJarlais paid a $500 “reprimand”. The Republican leadership are “happy to get this [the abortion part?] resolved.”
Cue the Twilight Zone Theme: Opposing a bill to lower the Kansas sales tax on food, state Senator Jeff Melcher (R, of course) explained that lowering the tax would be “encouraging the behavior of purchasing food and discouraging the behavior of purchasing anything else.” Like votes?
The Parting Shot: