Variety Act: Germany says the adults have carried the day. Greece, after saying “the deal is dead and buried” has agreed to something or other – quite what isn't exactly clear – that will postpone Armageddon for four months. Certainly Varoufakis will have a far more difficult time than Schauble in selling the reported agreement, mainly because Germany still seems to be calling the shots, especially in making the new Greek government forget about moderating any of the austerity measures that have essentially ruined the country and the society to the benefit of Northern European banks. Everyone agreed to kick the can four months down the calendar, which is pretty much the MO for financial efforts in Europe. Hard to envision the Greek populace accepting these terms, and if the current leadership can't deliver on their promises, Golden Dawn will be the big winners, not Berlin.
Pulling A Fast One: If it seems like there are more ads on TV, it's because there are more ads on TV. Cable operators are ever so slighly speeding up programs and cutting down the credits, giving themselves an extra three or four minutes an hour to sell to people who want to sell things to you. For them, less is more.
House of Cards: Standard & Poor’s says that Greece leaving the euro would only be a minor inconvenience for the rest of the EU. This is the same group that thought all those mortgage derivatives were good investments.
Another Veil: As the daily surveillance state strip-tease continues, today we learn that Lenovo (world's larges maker of computers and essential MS partner) has been installing software on all of its computers that tracks everything you do so that ads more tailored to you pop up everywhere you go. Oh, and they can sell the info, too.
Wow, Really? “Presidential libraries are a costly scam”.
Here Or There: Some economists have just noticed that “US employment comoves negatively” with the accumulation of piles of cash by US corporations. Then they try to figure out what this means. Here, lemme help: Corporations see no demand for more or new products because the US consumer is flat broke and way too far in debt, so they see no point in hiring anyone and thus keep putting all that money under the mattress. And I don't think “comoves” is a real word, either.
Beauty Pageant: According to Michele Fiore, Republican assemblywoman from Las Vegas, getting raped only happens to “young, hot little girls” and it they were given guns, rapist would all be killed. Who gets to hand out the guns wasn't immediately clear.
Objective: "The essential … goal of the euro system [was] to create a situation where markets can 'pressurize governments into sound economic policies'... this requires limits on national sovereignty, which will be resisted by democratic governments; and... can only be overcome through the threat of a crisis..." As in Greece, and Ireland before that. Or to quote Beppe Grillo, “The Eurozone chess game enters its final stage: Germany wins in three moves”. Or four months.
Lies, Damned Lies & Politics: In Kansas, where truth and facts are optional in both education and government, Secretary of State Kris Kobach was going around beating the drums to frighten the citizenry over voter fraud. He claims to have referred several cases to the US Attorney's office to no avail. The US Attorney, Barry Grissom, replied: “So we can avoid misstatements of facts for the future, for the record, we have received no voter fraud cases from [Kobach's] office in over four and a half years. And, I can assure you, I do know what I’m talking about." But facts don't matter much in Kansas any more, haven't in quite some time.
Porn O'Graph: The Subprime Also Rises