“Letting a thousand flowers bloom only really works if you then cut down the flowers that turn out to be really ugly.” Matthew Yglesias
Hopetemism: Obama's Climate Change speech was... well, a speech. It had some good stuff (bashing coal and climate skeptics) some bad (fracking, nukes, XL pipeline) no surprises and a whole lot left out: blood, sweat and tears - or in this case, a rapid reduction in fossil fuel use no matter what the fuel, a rapid and far-reaching reduction in energy use and waste, and turning the country away from the automobile-based mistake we have become. Most of all, it was a speech. Expect the Republicans to snipe at every Executive action and to prevent every step requiring congressional approval. Expect lots more talk and pretty much no action. Most of all, expect 4ºC to 6ºC by 2100, the disappearance of Arctic Ice and a fair melt on Greenland, higher seas and more sever weather. And Republican obstructionism, did I mention the Republican obstructionism? And Big Coal's deep pockets?
Entrails: Russia is evacuating the last of its personnel from Damascus, out of concern for their safety. From which we infer...
Mixed Bag: GDP was revised, downward of course, from 2.4% annualized to 1.8%, mostly because consumers - 78% of whom don't have enough savings to make it through a medical emergency or a job loss - didn't go far enough in debt and didn't get a raise and many of them didn't get a job. The stock market, gleeful at the bad news which means the free money frenzy will continue, went up, of course. And existing house prices were reportedly up 11.6% y/y, even though existing wages are not. In fact, wages continue to fall (in real terms) at a frightening pace.
Blame The Victim: The Egyptian government blames the country's ongoing fuel shortage (and food shortage and so on) on the people, who want to drive their cars (and eat, and so on). Oh, ditto for jobs and civil rights and such.
Now Playing: Are we watching a remake of The Terminal, with Edward Snowden in the Tom Hanks role, or some version of Edward and Goliath with Ecuador as The Mouse that Roared. It is sad that the spotlight is on Snowden, and not the assault on law and order (not to mention privacy) perpetrated for a decade or more by No Such Agency. To the question “How many Americans does the NSA spy on?” the only possible answer is to ask “How many Americans are there?” The whole shebang suggests that while the US government spends tens of billions of dollars to intercept nearly all communications (along with its junior partner, the UK), it still can't figure out much. Greatly wasted dollars, thank goodness.
Ah, There's The Rub: Are you annoyed at how right Paul Krugman has been?
Skunk, Stripes: It turns out that Mario Draghi, currently head of the ECB (in which role he lead the charge on Greece for its fudging its debt reports) and formerly director of the Bank of Italy and before that a senior member of Goldman Sachs, cooked Italy's books far more drastically than the folks in Athens had. When will we stop being disgusted at the venality and essential immorality of damn near everyone above the mail clerk in any and all financial organizations?
Typecast: According to the IMF, "fiscal consolidation has typically had significant distributional effects by raising inequality, decreasing wage income shares and increasing long-term unemployment." By golly, and they were trying so hard to raise up the poor...
Confusion: The Supreme's knocked down the silly Defense of Marriage Act (Yeah, Supremes!) but gutted the Voting Rights Act (Boo, Supremes!). Now we will be treated to a decades-long pointless rear-guard action on same-sex marriage by the Rs (look for the same tactics that have been spent in beating back abortion rights) and a rapid descent into all sorts of voter suppression tactics, starting in Texas – also by the usual suspects. The Supreme Court does not so much decide things as stir them up.
Fairness Doctrine: I still don't see the excitement over the IRS at least pretending to investigate the charitable nature of organizations claiming tax exemptions. Why are the Republicans so upset that at least a few government employees were doing their job?
The Parting Shot: