Quote: “I asked that you [President Obama] make public the section of the TPP that creates a new transnational governance structure known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission. The details of this new governance commission are extremely broad and have the hallmarks of a nascent European Union, with many similarities... [T]his new transnational commission – chartered with a “Living Agreement” clause – would have the authority to amend the agreement after its adoption, to add new members, and to issue regulations impacting labor, immigration, environmental and commercial policy. Under this new commission, the Sultan of Brunei would have an equal vote to that of the United States.” Senator Jeff Sessions.
Noted: The US could completely convert to running on renewable energy by 2050, but won't.
It's A Miracle: A couple of things didn't get mentioned in all the celebration over the new PCSK9 inhibitor cholesterol drugs. The cost will be upwards of $12,000 a year. No long term studies on efficacy or safety have been completed. Nothing has changed regarding the validity of the cholesterol drug pandemic: it still takes treating 1,000 patients who have had a prior heart attack for an entire year in order to save one life. But not to worry, Uncle Sam will end up paying most of the cost ($23 billion a year) and you might be that lucky one person saved.
Skirmish: The budget proposed by Republicans continues their practice of not funding rules, regulations or agencies they do not approve of but do not have the power to overturn. Now they intend to starve the FCC so that it cannot enforce the net neutrality rules. This benefits donors such as ATT, Verizon, Charter and such and harms the average citizen. As usual.
Now They Tell Us: The IMF (which took part in the crushing of Ireland “to save the banks”) now says that Iceland, by putting the bankers in jail and letting the banks go bust, has recovered quite nicely. Unlike those who were intimidated by the IMF, EU and ECB. And the US, which was intimidated by the bankers.
Emphasis: There's a fair amount of self-congratulation wandering around, taking credit for reducing the annual US budget deficit to a seven-year low. What's not pointed out is that the lower the deficit, the less demand for goods and service the government places on the economy, precisely at a time when the economy is suffering from a lack of consumer demand. In other words, lowering the budget deficit is not a good thing right now.
Back To The Past: Tony Abbott, Australia's PM, is working hard to reduce the use of renewable energy in the country, to the benefit of those who mine and burn coal. As a justification he maintains that windfarms are health hazards, and are “visually awful” Unlike smog and global warming, which are shining proof of profitable fossil fuel industries.
Porn O'Graph: Momentum.