Next Up: A US drone has killed two “suspected Al Shabaab militants” ( or a couple of guys in the wrong place at the wrong time ) in Somalia, as the empire attempts to get a war going there as a backup in case the need for random deaths in Pakistan and Yemen tapers off.
Sources & Methods: Self-confessed serial liars General Keith Alexander, director of NSA, and James Clapper, Jr., the director of national intelligence, today claimed that they had not collected tens of millions of phone calls by French and Spanish citizens. They then went into detail about how they happened to come by these phone calls - a gift from admirers, apparently - explaining that their critics didn't understand ... balderdash and bathwater.
The Witch Is Dead: US wholesale prices dropped in September as food costs retreated, an indication inflation remains tame. Try as it will, the Fed seems incapable of pushing inflation up to its 2% target – much less cause the dreaded runaway inflation so beloved of the GOP.
Victory: The Congress has managed to cut nearly a million undeserving, slothful veterans from the food stamp rolls, effective Friday. That leaves about 46 million Americans on the dole, as the number receiving food stamps continues to increase, even as employment slowly recovers – another sign that millions of working Americans don't make enough to feed their families. 76% percent of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits. Kicking those veterans off will really save money.
Retailing Retail Sales: Retail sales, less cars and gasoline, climbed just 0.4% in September. Auto sales fell 5.1% m/m. Make up a story...
Asked & Answers: How Does the Global War on Terror Ever End? (a) It won't because it creates more of 'the enemy' every day. (b) It cannot, because terrorism is a process, not a person, place or thing. (c) It is not intended to end, we need something to focus our daily two minutes of hate on.
Austerity: No matter how emotionally satisfying it might be, cutting government spending while the economy is floundering is the wrong thing to do. It's basic: while belt tightening during hard times is a Good Idea for individuals, it is a Terrible Idea for the economy. If everyone stops demanding, there will be no demand, thus no production. If, however, the government steps in and gives individuals some money to spend, presto, changeo: demand. Sure it may create a little inflation – so you get to pay back your house mortgage with cheaper dollars. Good for you, bad for Daddy Warbucks. Which explains why those guys keep pushing austerity, not stimulus.
Win Some, Lose Some: Measures to prevent and treat head trauma have cut the incidence of “brain death” by half in the last decade. Which is good. A side effect, however, is a matching loss of transplant organs.
The Parting Shot: