Mujahedin 2.0: The US is going to train 2,000 Syrian rebel fighters in Turkey before letting them loose. Not any rebels, of course, only the moderate ones. What could go wrong? Okay, but besides turning on us?
Keys To The Kingdom: With or without a Presidential veto, the Keystone pipeline extension will be approved and make little difference to eventual global warming. The pipeline would cut the transportation costs of Alberta's heavy, tar-like oil a bit, but it will not accelerate the rate nor extent of the eventual mining of the tar sands, the spewing of its CO2, the despoliation of the environment or its contribution to our eventual 7 degrees of self-immolation. That's all priced in.
Sadly: Surveys show that Americans are less violent than ever, except for the cops.
Love 'em & Leave 'em: After years of neglect, the Pentagon's nuclear arsenal needs billions of dollars to get them ready so we won't have to use them. Thought we weren't gonna study nuclear war no more.
After Action Report: An internal IMF review has concluded that almost everything the IMF suggested or insisted on following the financial collapse was wrong to the point of making things worse. It says this circuitously in rather big words, but that's the conclusion. The IMF now pretends that it always was in favor of infrastructure investment as an appropriate stimulus and doesn't know where this terrible idea of government austerity came from, but they lie. In their heart of hearts, as IMF Director Lagarde insists, the “move toward measured consolidation was the right call to make.” A simple “I'm sorry.” would have been nice.
Dodge Ball: Bristol-Myers Squibb's subsidiary in Luxembourg has one employee, a part-timer who earned €3,700 in 1012 while racking up €7.6 billion in profits – after paying €82,000 in taxes. How are things in your part of the world?
Per Capital: Federal judges have ordered California to begin releasing non-violent offenders by January in order to reduce prison overcrowding. California argues that the sate cannot afford to lose the cheap prison labor, and fears that the current drive to privatize California prisons will not bring in as much money if the head count goes down.
No more Mr. Nice Guy: Just when you thought he'd caught on to the general idea, Pope Francis reverts to the old 'we know what's best for everyone' style of religious demagoguery and calls euthanasia and abortion “sins against god”. Which god, he didn't mention, but it's a good bet it's not the Jesus fellow.
Return Engagement: Congressional Republicans are rattling the 'shut down the government' saber again. Already. To teach the President that he can't use the powers of the presidency just because he's the President. The biggest problem with democracy is the people the people elect.
Asked & Answered: “Is Mitch McConnell evil or just plain stupid?” Yes.
Fly By: US federal marshals are putting devices on small planes that mimic cell phone towers, enabling them to collect data on tens of thousands of people's cell phone calls with a single flight. And without a single warrant. But you're not doing anything that's currently illegal, are you?
No Comment: Economists claim that Greece’s recession is over even though unemployment is still at 25.9%. There's a lot of that going around.
Be Afraid: Kurdish leaders are claiming that ISIS does not have 20,000 fighters, as the US claims, but an army of 200,000. That's why the US must give them more money and more arms and, especially, more money.
Sharing The Blame:
Porn O'Graph: The future in the rear view mirror.