Democracy was not designed with the brain dead in mind.
Legally, Sort of: While it has long been thought that the NSA had the ability to collect any bit of electronic communication it wants, for some reason it long ago went to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for the power to demand phone companies (specifically Verizon, but who knows...) provide records about millions of customers' calls. Not content, it seems at least under this warrant, but who, when and where.
Who, Me? While proclaiming it hasn't grown that strain of wheat in a decade, Monsanto admits that it is still field testing GMO wheat. It claims that the new trials are “an entirely different event”. These can't spread, either.
Noted, Sadly: 125 Reservists are undergoing a month of training in Texas before being deployed to Guantanamo to help force feed the hunger-striking political prisoners.
Simpleton Math: Turns out the 157 White House visits by the head of the IRS were not really visits, they were clearances to visit. He did, apparently, treck over to the EOB quite frequently, meeting with the white House Office of Health Reform. Suspiciously, he did visit Obama on eleven occasions. At most. Maybe only five
Conscience Money: Making the workplaces where your jeans are sewn safer would add 4% to their cost, you up for that?
Is There An Echo In Here? Recycling part of a speech by his predecessor, newly elected Pakistani PM Sharif has declared that forcing the US to end its use of drones in Pakistani airspace is a primary goal. Of course like Pakistanis under drone attack, the PM's promise was dead on arrival.
Real Tale: Euro-area retail sales fell -1.1% y/y. So we'll have to apply some more austerity.
Let Me Count The Ways: Here's a list of 18 signs that suggest not all our economic problems are behind us. This is a civil matter; preponderance of the evidence is all that's required.
Bottom Line: Not a single one of the Patriotic Nut Organizations was kept from organizing by the IRS review of their 501(c)(4) applications, nor silenced in any way. The review was undertaken to ascertain if the American taxpayer should subsidize their political ranting.
Can You Hear Me Now? A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's demand that the Administration make Plan B emergency contraceptive pills available without any restrictions, including age. By next week. The judge said the government's foot-dragging has come close to being criminal.
Multiple Choice: Who Won the Iraq War? 1) Iraqi Shia, 2) Blackwater and friends. 3) Iran, 4) Iraqi Sunni, 5) China, 6)The Usual Suspects. Or 7) the US taxpayer.
Shadow Boxing: Some US Senators have drafted legislation that would end Fannie and Freddie and create an government re-insurer of mortgage securities to assume the risks associated with bundling, blending and chopping up batches of mortgages, especially the ones that should never have been made. There is so much gravy involved that this effort will slither around for years before the goodies are all split up.
The Parting Shot:
Bachelor's button, Centaurea cyanus.