If You Have To Ask: Is Google assisting the NSA in developing psychological profiles of web users?
Pragmatists: One thing you can say for many of the nation's largest employers – they know a good deal when they lobby for one. Walmart and McDonald's (and many, many others) do not pay their employees a living wage because they know the taxpayer will keep them fed and housed through food stamps, Medicaid, housing and heating grants and other social services. At no cost to Walmart, McDonald's...
Protect & Serve: The Director of Naval Intelligence and the Director Of Naval Intelligence Operations – both admirals have had their security clearances suspended as part of a major bribery scandal involving a foreign defense contractor. Military intelligence has always been an oxymoron, no?
Adjust Seasonings: The austerity measures imposed on the country so far have pushed the nation's GDP about 7 below what it would have been without the 2007 – 2011 recession. That's a $1.2 trillion we will essentially never get back. Since 2008 US unemployment went from 4% to more than 10% and has declined ever so slowly to 7.3%. And they want us to swallow some more of that austerity stuff... “What passes these days for sound policy is in fact a form of economic self-mutilation, which will cripple America for many years to come.”
Henry VIII: The US ambassador to Spain has assured Spain that whatever the NSA does is legal because the NSA does it “for security reasons never for economic reasons.” Never ever, cross my heart.
Fun With Numbers: The goodish news was the reported 2.8% growth in GDP in 3Q2013. The not-so goodish news was that final sales were up just 2.0% and consumption was a dreary 1.5%, which means most of the goodness of the goodish news came from inventory accumulation – which will be a drag on the next quarter. Spending on health care is falling so fast that the projected humongous growth thereof previously projected will not show up. But don't tell the deficit hawks and debt doomsters.
Apples & Oranges: The European Commission says that it will not relieve Karel De Gucht of his duties as EC trade chief simply because of his tax fraud problems. After all, 900,000 in unpaid taxes is a personal failing and fraud in negotiating trade deals is a professional goal.
Beginnings: Why does JPMorgan still have a banking license? An excellent question, but why stop with JPMorgan? Make a list of all the to big to jail who have paid immense fines for fraud of one type or another and then explain why any of them should be allowed to be “banks” of any sort. Or even still in business.
The Parting Shot: