What Did He Do And When Did He Do It: In 2010, Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Congressman for 20 years and Republican Majority Speaker from 1999 to 2008, agreed to pay an as yet unidentified person $3.5 million
It's Mom's Fault: The government is expected to report that GDP fell by 0.8% in the first quarter because it snows in the winter.
Grounded: The IMF says the world can no longer afford giving fossil fuel companies $5.7 trillion a year in taxpayer funds, subsidies and tax breaks. Many think a “draconian carbon-emissions tax” noose will be hung around the profits of the global fossil fuel industry this year, which will begin the inevitable process of writing coal, oil and gas industry reserve asset values to zero. The IEA chimed in, saying that two-thirds of all fossil fuel reserves can never be burned if the world adopts a 2°C goal this year, rendering such assets worthless. Others are more realistic.
No Praxis In Practice: Wisconsin Republicans are urging schools to stretch GOP slashed budgets by replacing certified, college trained teachers with high school dropouts.
Damnation: A long term study involving over 11 million people reports that 75% of current American high school seniors view religion as “not important at all” in their lives. There is also an “increasing acknowledgment that religion is not consistent with scientific understanding”. Maybe all that creationism talk has driven kids away, at least the smarter ones.
Either/Or: If the Patriot Act expires, NSA's spying on all of us will continue. It'll just be illegal. As it already was.
For Better Or Worse: A minister in Alabama was arrested, jailed and fined for performing a wedding for a lesbian couple – on the day after a Federal judge had ruled the state's anti-gay marriage law to be unconstitutional. If Alabama didn't exist, Texas would take up the slack.
Odds On: Deutsche Bank, which has a few shekels riding on the outcome, views a Greek default on its IMF debt as “70% likely.”
The Eyes Have It: The DOJ is operating a fleet of 100 or more helicopters and small aircraft – registered to non-existent companies - to monitor cities nationwide. The purpose is presumed to be surveillance of large swatches of urban areas, using technology capable of capturing super-high-definition video of a 15-square mile area and automatically tracking all moving vehicles and people in that area. Warrantless, and unwarranted.
Either/Or: The drinking water of 117 million Americans will be protected under new regulations issued by the Obama administration. Or, from the Republican point of view, Obama is once again intruding on the freedom of landowners to pollute at will.
Motivation: Senator Gardner of Colorado wants to make birth control available over the counter everywhere, without a prescription. The goal seems to be to increase the cost of contraception to women by making it non-prescriptive and thus not paid for by Obamacare health insurance.