Barf Bag Please: NSA director General Alexander says that “NSA protects America's privacy and civil liberties,” and only listens 24/7 to our every whisper in order to keep foreign terrorists from diminishing those rights. In other words, NSA invades our privacy to make sure no one else does.
Positively Negative: US consumer confidence fell sharply in October, we were less optimistic about the current situation, and are decidedly gloomier about the future. Yeah, recovery.
Unsinkable: One of Obamacare's greatest survival factors is that it will deliver a lot of profit to insurance companies and keep most American's health insurance costs to 8% or less of their income. Sure, both of these will drive up the deficit, but two out of three ain't bad.
Fear And Loathing: American conservatives' dislike for poor people – witness their current drive to dismantle the food stamp program, the refusal of 26 Republican governors to accept the no-cost expansion of Medicaid coverage under Obamacare, and their unthinking rejection of Obamacare in total – is mainly based on fear. Some small part of their abhorrence of the poor may stem from sophomoric idealization of 'free markets' and the idea that those who fail to succeed must be defective, even more of it is the desire to elevate oneself over others, but a great deal of it is simple racism.
Push/Shove: No matter how much the Fed would like inflation to be higher, without putting money in the hands of consumers – a direct stimulus - it cannot succeed. Flooding the world with money does them little good if the money is not used (borrowed) by companies to expand their output, and a company does not make more widgets if it does not see customers for those widgets. As long as the customer doesn't have the money (or sufficient credit) to buy the widget, the cash just piles up in asset heaps, uselessly.
Baby Steps: the cops now have GPS bullets that can be fired into a target – say a car – and let the cops tract the location of the target at their leisure. It may cut down on dangerous high-speed chases. It also may be the precursor of smaller versions with other uses.
Prior Restraint: Britain's press is going to court in a bid to stop the imposition of new rules developed after the country's phone hacking scandal. Essentially the establishment wants to impose gag orders on the press to prevent their ratting out their betters. Luckily we in the US still have the First Amendment. Still.
Caught In The Middle: Obamacare will not solve the most severe problem facing the use healthcare consumer – the fact that both the doctors and the insurance companies want to make a profit. This leads the doctor to over-prescribe and the insurance company to fight tooth and nail to keep the doctors from prescribing at all. Insurance companies demand massive amounts of paperwork out of rational fear of fraud – with drives up administrative costs. Doctors perform for-profit procedures that guarantee more explanatory paperwork. What is best for the patient is seldom the primary concern of any of the clerks involved in the ensuing paper wars.
He Said She Said: NSA documents show that NSA has tapped into communications links from Yahoo and Google data centers around the world. But NSA director General Alexander claims this is not true, that the NSA hasn't infiltrated their servers. “Infiltrate” would suggest it was done in secret. It wasn't. Previous reporting suggests that NSA paid them for the access.
Porn O'Graph: This time's different, f'sure.
The Parting Shot: