Quoted: “War thrusts power into the hands of those who covet it. Only the perpetuation of war, whether under the guise of “keeping us safe” or “spreading freedom,” can satisfy the appetite of those for whom the exercise of power is its own reward. Only war will perpetuate their prerogatives and shield them from accountability. … War is the health of the state. Headline-grabbing scandals involving the national security apparatus come and go. Today’s is just one more in a long series extending back decades. As long as the individuals and entities comprising that apparatus persist in their commitment to permanent war, little of substance will change.” Andrew J. Bacevich.
Bad News: Always late to the party, the US consumer now, as the sweater comes unraveled, has the highest level of confidence in the economy since 2006. And we all know what happened in 2007.
Inquiring Minds: Why won't Obama release the 1,700-page Justice Department report on torture? Could it be worse than the Senate's version? Apparently.
Blink: It's high noon on Petroleum Place, with US shale producers facing off against OPEC. OPEC is going to win. US shale outfits are simply in it for the money, and once the price of oil drops enough to make it unprofitable, (WTI at $57 makes 80% of shale production “non-economic”) they will cut back quickly. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Venezuela cannot – they depend on oil income to keep their populations quiet - cutting back on social spending courts civil unrest. But most of OPEC can withstand several years of $50 oil because they have immense financial reserves. But the UAE, Iraq and Iran can last just about a year and a half; Venezuela and Nigeria might make it to next summer. Interesting times.
Blame Game: LA Gov. Bobby Jindal, trying out for the next round of Republican pick-a-nut primaries, says that it was those gays and sluts having abortions that caused Hurricane Katrina.
Unclear On The Concept: A regional SWAT team in Massachusetts says that it is a private corporation and thus doesn't have to abide by the state's Public Records Law – and just because it is made up of local police doesn't mean it's a public entity. Nor a very clever one. What are they hiding?
New and Improved: Verizon's new encryption system comes with guaranteed ease of use... for the NSA.
Deutsche Bank Explains: "If it was a free market and central banks were not allowed to intervene anymore then we would be very bearish as the global financial system is not sustainable."
None Out Of Two: The billboard put up in Richmond, VA by an anti-gay group pictured twins and claimed one was gay and one not, thus proving homosexuality is not genetic. Okay, but it was two pictures of the same guy, who is not a twin and is gay, proving nothing much.
Porn O'Graph: All that bubbles isn't oil.