Eating, Writing & Arithmetic: In Dallas and Boston, Atlanta and Chicago, and lots of places in-between, so many students (90% in Dallas) qualify for free or reduced cost meals at school that it is administratively easier and less expensive to simply offer free meals to all of the students. Is our children learning? Or are they too hungry to concentrate? And what do they eat on weekends and in the summer? Ah, rugged individualism. Meanwhile the Swiss are considering raising the guaranteed monthly income for every adult to $2,800.
Errata: : General Alexander has corrected his earlier statement that NSA's disregard for the Constitution and the general concept of privacy had prevented 54 terrorist attacks by revising that estimate to one. Maybe two.
Calling It Quits: All that glitters is apparently not gold. Or profitable. Shell is selling its entire 106,000-acre holding in the Eagle Ford Shale and another 600,000 acres in the Mississippian Lime play in Kansas in favor of expanding its efforts in the Gulf and off-shore in Malaysia.
Stay Tuned: A Canadian company is suing Canada under the 'lost profits' clause in NAFTA saying that Qubec's ban on fracking deprived it of profits. Supposedly the lost-profits clause is to protect foreign companies, but this outfit – although it operates only in Canada, is chartered in Delaware. You can bet corporate lawyers are following this one very closely.
Conquestus Interuptus: The US, after a year of talks, threats and bribes, has been unable to get Karzi to let them leave a 10,000 man
Lies, Damned Lies and Republicans: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was scandalized to discover that the Democrats profess the same views and values in private that they do in public.
Band Aid: The IMF and EU/ECB - desperate to show that the crushing austerity forced on Ireland as the price for bailing out Irish banks was a smashing (sic) success – are going to lend the Irish the billions it needs to repay the bailout on schedule. Read that again, slowly.
Clarification: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a “free-trade” agreement. It is a “free-to-plunder” agreement. The goal of TPP negotiators is to impose an international regulatory structure which will in things like health, safety, the environment, and most of all profits, override and supplant national and sub-national law – often by increasing the barriers to trade if that will increase profits.
Paraphrased: In our nation's history there has never been a more irresponsible, lazy, vicious, ignorant House of Representatives than the current politically stupid, blindly ambitions and reality challenged bunch of Republicans. They have shut down the government because they dislikes a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court. They don't like it and that's sufficient grounds for them to behave with total self-centered pettiness. All over a law that simply extends the possibility of health insurance to millions of the poorest Americans. A law based on ideas from a conservative Republican think tank. A law first implemented in his home state by the Republicans' latest nominee for president.
Snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too. Both sides did not do this. Both sides are not to blame. There is no compromise to be had here that will leave the current structure of the government intact. The vandals are tucked away in safely gerrymandered districts, their control over state governments unshaken by events in Washington; there will be no great wave election that sweeps them out of power.
We have elected people to govern us who do not believe in government. We did this. We, the people.
The Parting Shot: