Nirvana: The Labor Department reports that unemployment claims have hit a 42 year low. They didn't direct our attention to the fact that it would take a 4.1 million increase in the labor force participation rate to match 2000's. But adding those 4.1 million into the unemployed would spoil the fun. And the recovery. “The three mainstream employment statistics — unemployment, labor force participation and employment-to-population — all document an ongoing economic weakness far deeper than the result of a business cycle downturn.”
Business Is Business: A US appellate court has ruled that pharmacy owners are in the business of selling pills, not bibles.
Constitution, We don't need no constitution: The constitution says that if you are born here you are a citizen. End of requirement. Well, except in Texas, where you don't get a birth certificate saying you are a naturally born US citizen if your parents are not. The state says they can't be taken to court for this federal violation. Maybe that's why the legislators in Austin want people to be able to carry guns in hospitals – to help them get birth certificates.
Go Away: The army has told its recruiters to treat all the armed gun nuts who have shown up “to protect” recruiting stations as threats to their security. It's hard to tell a gun nut from a home-grown terrorist until it's too late.
The Joke's On Us: The drug traffickers' favorite money launderer, HSBC, has paid £28m to settle a Swiss money-laundering case – on the condition that no criminal prosecutions are pursued. This is another slap on the wrist, with yet again no admission of guilt on the part of HSBC, its officers or employees and no significant hit to their profits.
Yellow Card: Caterpillar reports that its sales are down 14% y/y globally, 19% in Asia and a whopping 50% in Latin America. In that Cat sells the big equipment for mining and construction, this is not a confidence builder for the global economic outlook.
Hot Springs: The lack of snow last winter has led to thousands of salmon dying in Oregon steams and hatcheries that are not being cooled by runoff this summer. Many are being trucked north into Washington state to be held until they can be returned to their natal waters for release. Yep, global warming.
The War Lover: Bomb'em Boehner has promised to do everything he can to make sure that the treaty preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons is defeated, so Israel can bomb them at will. With their nukes.
Friends In High Places: In order to avoid embarrassing Prime Minister Margret Thatcher, MI5 covered up the ongoing pedophilia of a senior Tory MP, Thatcher's Home Secretary, Parliamentary Private Secretary, Minister for Northern Ireland, and at least one titled diplomat. Those four were named because they are dead and no longer have immunity. Others? Are there others?
Vanishing Point: Based on published scientific studies, reports and comments, only 0.006% of climate scientists reject anthropogenic [human-caused] global warming.
Warm-Up Questions: As the nation's big five health insurance companies devour each other, will efficiencies of scale lower health insurance costs?