Station Break: We interrupt the US economic boom to note that US wholesale prices declined 0.5% in February (both headline and core measures) making it four consecutive months of economic deceleration. Hard to see the onrushing surge of inflation that everyone wants the Fed to combat with higher interest rates.
Evidence: Obama says that Venezuela's trampling of human rights, beheading of political opponents, public flogging of protesters and arbitrary imprisonment of any and all constitutes “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security” and must be punished with economic and military sanctions. Oh, wait. That's Saudi Arabia... or Egypt, or any number of US allies and dependent states. Venezuela must have done something really bad, like having oil or being a functioning democracy...
Reminder: As the Arctic warms – and temperatures there are rising two or three times faster than elsewhere as the ice cap melts – the temperature gradient lessens and the jet stream weakens and wanders. This is what lets the cold air slip down in polar vortexes. It will also cause summer heat waves to be longer and alters rainfall patterns so we will get less frequent but far more intense storms. Recent extremes are just the beginning. By the end of this century (except in GOP controlled states) global temperatures will rise by 6°F or more. Smart money's on 'more'.
Compare & Contrast: How does the “bulk collection” of our electronic communications differ from the “mass surveillance” of our communications? Kinder, gentler.
The Voices of Democracy: “Elections change nothing.” - German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. “There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.” - President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker. His predecessor José Manuel Barroso said - “democratic governments are often wrong. If you trust them too much they make bad decisions.” (Note that the European Commission is appointed, not elected and “represents and upholds the interests of the EU as a whole.” It was the EU that deposed the elected leadership of Greece and Italy and imposed IMF approved puppets in 2011.) These are the people who now suggest that Greece not pay any salaries or pensions “for one or two months” so the government can pay German and French banks.
One and Done: A senior water scientist at NSAS/JPL reports that California “has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.” And praying for rain is probably illegal.
The Obvious: Finally some researchers have stumbled across the 99% probability that man-made endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are ubiquitous in the environment are, at minimum, “linked to” ADHD, autism, obesity, diabetes, infertility and other health problems. We're doing it to ourselves, mostly in the name of profits.
Put Down That Smartphone And Step Back: A Republican legislator in Texas wants to make filming the cops a crime.
Name, Rank & Sexual Number: Oklahoma is considering the a bill that would give businesses the right to refuse service if it is against their religious beliefs. Especially if the business is related in some way to marriage. Y'know, like in the south where blacks were not allowed to eat with, much less marry god-fearing crackers. But this is different, it's aimed at gays, so that's all right.
Porn O Graph: The GOP's designated losers.