Payback: Obama's Chief of Staff called on Israel to end its “50-year occupation” and withdraw from all occupied Palestinian territories. The White House also suggested that Israel's get-out-of-jail-free card at the UN might expire and that Bibi's “sorry” didn't cut it, John McCain got – and I'm reading from the AIPAC talking points here - “upset”.
Initiation Ritual: Senate Republicans, needing to pretend they control the Obama White House, will delay confirming Loretta Lynch as Attorney General because... well, they don't really have a reason.
For Sale, Make An Offer: The administration, in conjunction with the states, is undertaking another effort to sell off more US factories, forests and infrastructure to foreign investors.
Q&A: “Is a new political system emerging in this country?” In short, yes. But it is not 'emerging', it is nearly full grown and pushing the smaller, weaker, earlier version called popular democracy out of the nest. Elections are now by and for the 1%. Government has been essentially privatized by Wall Street and the rich. The President and Congress have been marginalized in the new national security state – which makes the Stasi, the KGB and the Gestapo look like children's playthings. Privacy has become a mythic memory. Like global warming, the evidence of democracy's demise is all around and we refuse acknowledge it. Concentrations of wealth lead to concentrations of power and may well soon lead to concentration camps. A new kind of politics, a new kind of governance is being born right before our eyes. We should stop pretending it’s not happening.
Picture Perfect: Apple, a designer of toys manufactured in Asian sweat shops, will soon be valued at more than $1 trillion. Anybody got a clue?
Don't Look Now: As the dollar strengthened against foreign currencies, US companies that make significant profits overseas have seen the value of those earnings drop. Companies that earn half of their profits outside the US are expected to show over a 10% decline in earnings in the first quarter. And those corporations with billions overseas will also find the mice have been nibbling at their cheese – maybe to the extent that it would have been cheaper to pay their taxes in the US.
Protect And Sever: AZ Republicans want to pass a bill to permit the identities of cops who kill civilians to be kept secret, in order to protect the guilty.
Noted: The F-35 is quite possibly the absolutely worst clusterfuck the Pentagon and the politicians have ever engaged in. The $1.4 trillion boondoggle is too big and too expensive to cancel even though it does not work and is not likely to ever do so. It is the epitome of the military-industrial complex's dominant position in American political and economic existence.
Cautionary Tale: FEMA says that beginning next year states that do not have governor-supported climate change mitigation programs will not receive federal disaster preparedness funds. Republican troglodytes will most certainly bellow and stomp and hold hearings and all that jazz.
Nor Any Drop to Drink: The UN says that absent timely actions today, the world will face a 40% shortfall in water within 15 years. And like everything else connected to global climate change, nothing will be done until it is too late.
In God We Thrust; Sam Johnson (Religious Enforcer, TX) wants the USAF Academy to abolish the freedom from religion and force all cadets to include “so help me God” as part of their annual oath of office because the only way to protect religious freedom is to abolish it and force everyone to genuflect to one nation, under GOP.