Point, Counterpoint: The GOP went to the White House and demanded that Obama surrender. Surrender on Obamacare. Surrender on the Keystone pipeline. Surrender on the budget. Surrender his birth certificate. Surrender, surrender, surrender. And left empty handed. If you don't think the government will shut down next week, tell me who is going to blink. Not the Tea Party Republicans, they think they are winning and that shutting down the government is a disaster to be embraced to prove their manhood. Obama isn't going to surrender his signature achievement and sell the public into slavery. After a week or so – my guess – the public and or big business (feeling the economic swan dive that will begin) will force the Republican Right to crawl off-stage, claiming victory, sort of like the US in Vietnam. Hopefully taking Boehner with them.
Edited for Accuracy: According to a Guardian headline, "To reform the NSA, fire officials who lie." Too many words; imagine a government where we fire all the officials who lie.
About Prosperity: Despite the much mentioned economic recovery TM , poverty in the US remains unchanged from last year at 15% of the population. That's 46.5 million Americans still living in poverty and abusing the food stamp program. Nearly 25% of all kids under the age of six live in poverty. And they don't have health care, either. It would cost much less than 1% of our GDP (or less than 25% of what we spend on 'defense' every year) to eliminate poverty in the country. That's about the same amount of money that we give homeowners through various tax deductions. We have poverty because we choose it.
Wish Granted: The head of the Barilla pasta empire says his company does not want gays eating his products. Me, I think we should all – gay and straight together - give him his wish.
Round & Round, Up & Down: Every time the economy perks up a bit, interest rates rise a tad and kill the recovery in housing and autos, which drives down interest rates so the Fed reverts to QE. And any talk of reducing QE also dampens the economy – or at least the market, which is not the same thing. Rinse and repeat for years and years.
What Goes Around... The Russian government has censored a website about the Russian government censoring websites.
Sweat, Shop: The Bangladeshi government is using parmailitary forces to crush the massive protests for better pay and safer working conditions in the garment industry that are now in their second week. Its a good thing Wal-mart is stuffed with inventory, because some of their cheap clothing hasn't been getting made of late.
Bull: As swallows are to spring, headlines like Seeking Alpha's “It's Not Too Late To Capitalize On The Real Estate Recovery” pretty much tells you it is too late.
Sure Thing: We are on track for at least a 7°C rise in global temperature by 2100. That's 5°C hotter than at any time since we settled down 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent and started being farmers. Actually, in at least the last 15 million years the global temperature has never spiked above 2°C from modern norms. There are things we could have done, things we could do; but we have not done them and are not doing them and will richly deserve what we get.
Unclear on the Concept: A Kansas school board has voted to allow student-led prayer over the school intercom. Good, my Wiccan daughter and her Muslim girlfriend have been wanting to gain a bigger audience for their prays for peace and tolerance.
The Parting Shot: