Mission Accomplished: Afghanistan has been throughout the American occupation the largest producer of opium and heroin in the world, and its production continues to increase. The Taliban, you may remember, had nearly eradicated poppy growing as morally unacceptable. Times change.
A Dollar Here, A Dollar There: Apple is sitting on $158.8 billion in cash, apparently hoping that it will magically hatch into something; more money, one supposes. Obviously they cannot find anything useful to do with it, so the pile keeps growing – by $12 billion in the last quarter. They say they are doing buybacks, but the current rate the pot will keep increasing. And they claim they're spending on R&D, but $1.3 billion a year could come out of their stamp fund. But they seem sure something will come along. Meanwhile Apple stock has fallen below $500 a share, down 13% from last month.
Countdown: Louisiana has enacted 'emergency' regulations requiring women to wait 30 days for an abortion after they formally request one.
With A Little Love In Your Hearts: “All you need for a financial crisis... are excess optimism and Citibank.” Citi is the poster child for the problems with megabanks, and there is scant evidence to suggest that the too big to comprehend banks are run any better today than before they tipped over the apple cart the last time.
The Fine Print: Three years ago, House Republicans pushed a bill to permanently eliminate taxpayer funding for abortions except for cases of 'forcible, legitimate rape' - and even then the woman would have needed documentation to prove the crime to the IRS. This didn't work out too well for them. Now they are pushing nearly the same bill, but attempting to achieve an abortion-free American by limiting women's ability to buy health insurance to pay for the procedure by prohibiting policies sold through Obamacare to cover abortion under any circumstance. The measure has no chance of passing, but that's not the point. It is just the Republicans tossing raw meat to the far right. It also tells the rest of us what the GOP would do if it gained control of the Senate and the White House.
Shut Up And Deal: Fox News' Martha MacCallum says that women do not need any special laws requiring equal pay for equal work because women are already paid “exactly what they’re worth.”
Chicken Or Egg? Stephen Kinzer,in the Guardian, asks if Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions have clouded her morals. What makes him think you can have both?
The Last Round-up: Scientists report that deforestation in Mexico (which destroyed their winter habitat) and Monsanto in the US (whose glyphosate herbicide has destroyed their food source) are threatening the Monarch butterfly with imminent extinction.
Up Is Down: Sen. Ted Cruz (Forgetful-TX) says he doesn't remember nearly single-handedly shutting down the government last October and wishes people would forget about it too. Or blame Harry Reid and President Obama, like he does.
Viewpoint: Former Ukrainian president Kravchuk fears the country is on the verge of a civil war, but it is not. A civil war is when two or more factions resort to violence to dominate the government. In Ukraine it is a simple matter of rebellion: the people vs. the government.
Yes Or No: If Justin Bieber was in the US on a student visa, how long ago would he have been deported?
Porn O'Graph: What goes around, goes around.
The Parting Shot: