Exceptionalism: The US government has acknowledged that Australian David Hicks, who the CIA tortured for five years, turned out to be innocent. A letter of apology will not be forthcoming.
This Will Go Over Well: The White House says that the President will not be meeting with Israeli President Netanyahu when he visits the House of Representatives to thank them for voting the way Israel's lobbyists pay them to. He'll also tell them – or at least Boehner and the Republicans – to stop Obama's negotiations with Iran.
Happy Birthday: On the 42nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, House Republicans pushed through another pointless bill tightening federal abortion restrictions. This was the annual ceremonial passing of a ban on using federal funds to pay for abortions, with the added foolishness of banning those who receive any federal support in paying for their insurance – which is the poor and near poor and mostly women – from using that insurance to cover an abortion, even if medically necessary. Way to go, guys. And it's just the guys – the lady Republicans feel they don't want to defend the old “legitimate rape” thingy again. None of this matters, it's just pandering to the conservative Christians who spend too much time trying to control women. Obama will veto the measure if it limps through the Senate.
Fried With That? McDonald's has reported a 7.3% fall in quarterly sales and an annual profit plunge of 15%. Because the recovery...
Repeat Business: Supreme Court appears ready to gut the fair housing act by requiring that plaintiffs prove intent on the part of bankers and realtors to discriminate in housing, rather than pointing to the actual effects of their discrimination. Basically the argument (which the Roberts court bought in the voting rights case) is that results don't matter, just intent – and intent has to be in the form of some evidence written down somewhere that the plaintiffs can access and produce in court.
Scouting Report: Former Bundesbank president and current chair of UBS Axel Weber says that the ECB's attempt at QE is not sufficient either in scope or amount and that “changes to labor market rules and pension schemes” are also needed. Those 'changes' include the abolishing of labor laws and the looting of pensions.
Recovery 6.4: Sales of existing homes has fallen Y/Y for the first time in half a decade, mostly because the middle class isn't anymore.
Quoted: “We think that the current trends in the oil market and the global economy are only pushing the world oil to lower levels. We think the crisis is only at its earliest stages and the demand situation in world market is not really conducive to oil prices going up,” Vagit Alekperov, CEO of Russian oil giant Lukoil, pointing to a possible $25/bbl environment for crude oil . Others suspect that if oil drops below $30 a barrel,a severe global recession “is inevitable.”