Play Acting: The President and the Democrats want to raise the minimum wage. John Boehner and the Republicans are not about to let it happen. The Democrats know this, but are playing to their base. So, too, the Republicans.
Verbiage: Sales of existing houses plunged/fell/ tumbled/dipped – depending on the reporter's outlook - 5.1% m/m in January, reaching the lowest level in 18 months. Weather, interest rates, groundhogs etc. were all used to explain away the disappointing news.
Big Brother: The FCC wants to put government agents in newsrooms to observe how the news is collected and
The Farce That Launched A Thousand Slips: Remember a few months ago when Blackstone gave you a chance to buy some Rental Backed Securities? A sure thing, because people gotta pay the rent, right. Well, the rental income backing these securities declined by 7.6% in the last 4 months, as tenants fell behind on the rent or decamped leaving units vacant. Blackstone thought their units would only be vacant one week a year. Guess they hadn't been landlords before. Now they're going to cut rents to attract tenants. Poorer tenants. What could go wrong?
Opinions Vary: NOAA says the globe has just experienced the fourth warmest January on record. Folks in Atlanta were not consulted.
Giving At The Office: The City of Detroit is reassuring its retirees in both the General Retirement System and the Police & Fire Retirement system that they will continue to get their pensions. The former will be 34% less than is due them and the cops will get 90% of what they were promised, but hey, it's not the city's fault you greedy people forced the city to be so generous in word and parsimonious in deed.
Laugh Test: The USPS is planning on issuing a 'Steve Jobs' iStamp.
On The Other Hand: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who is on record complaining that "regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness", has signed a petition to prevent would-be fracking operators from using water sources near his home in fracking operations. It would be an eyesore and lower his property values.
In The Beginning: Tom DeLay, former exterminator, convicted money launderer and one-time congressman, says the country went astray because "we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that he wrote the Constitution.” Because the Bible, at least his version, tells us so.
Porn O'Graph: Cornucopia.
The Parting Shot: