The Other Guy Did It: Vladimir has told all the little Ivans that the big bad wolves in the US and Europe are jealous and have conspired to thrust the Russian economy into a recession that could last at least two years. He is not all wrong, either. But never fear, Putin will persecute enough journalists and gays to make everything all right. Very far right..
On The Record: The inequality gap between the rich and the rest in the US today is the widest in history; worse than in apartheid South Africa, or in slaveholding Colonial America, and twice as wide as in the Roman slaveholding empire.
One Out Of Two Is Close Enough For Government Work: The Times says North Korea was behind the Sony hack, while Wired says “the evidence is flimsy” for such a pronouncement. The US, citing 'national security' promises a 'proportional' response against China, Iran or Russia or some other country that annoys Obama. Besides, when did the quality of evidence matter to the Times or the Government?
Forward Edge of the Battle Area: US troops on the ground in Iraq have clashed with ISIS fighters attempting to overrun the US base. Hundreds of US troops are now deployed in Iraq’s Anbar province and more are headed to Iraq in a couple of weeks.
Datum: Caterpillar's global sales have now fallen for 24 consecutive months during 'the recovery', which is 25% longer than it suffered during the Great Recession.
They Knew: As far back as 2009, the CIA knew and tried to warn the administration that assassinating “high-value” terrorist targets (mostly via drones) does little good and “boosts support for terror groups.” Didn't keep Barak from continuing and intensifying the program, and the problems.
Mummies The Word: A recently discovered ancient burial site in Egypt contains tens of thousands of mummified remains – perhaps more than a million.
Shacking Up: Credit derivative gamblers have bet some $25 billion on how long Radio Shack can keep tottering on the brink of bankruptcy before plunging into the abyss. But those who will profit more by a longer deathspiral are cheating – they're helping keep the company afloat – not in hopes of making it a going concern, but in order to make more from its demise. Ah, capitalism.
Scales of Justice: The EU's highest court has ruled that fat people are victims of a disability and enjoy all the protections and benefits that the lame, the halt and the blind receive. Wait till folks in Middle America hear the good news.
Then I Sat Down At The Piano: The Fed has stopped using any of the traditional statistical benchmarks because the economy is not improving anywhere near the way the numbers claim. So now, in place of relying on unreliable data, the oracles will simply make pronouncements. You know, like Alan used to do.
Go Away, Y'bother'n Me: The Swiss, trying to keep the money fleeing the ruble collapse from damaging the franc, are going to start charging customers 0.25% for the privilege of holding cash in Swiss banks.