Sounds Familiar: The European Commission, taking their cue from the American TPP rules for the US Congress, has ruled that politicians can only view the text of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in a secure reading room in Brussels. No note taking allowed. Because while ignorance may be bliss, knowledge will pretty surely sink this one, too.
Ah, Recovery: The forecast for third quarter GDP growth has now been cut to 0.7% - and that's before the Fed dons its inflation-fighting costume and begins hiking interest rates.
Room 641A: Media headline writers are scandalized to discover what we've known for years – AT&T has been willingly helping the NSA to intercept “vast quantities” of internet communication” for decades, giving the NSA “access to billions of domestic emails” as well as providing “technical assistance” in “wiretapping all internet communications at the UN headquarters in NY. Nonetheless, AT&T spokesman Brad Burns says, “We do not voluntarily provide information to any investigating authorities other than if a person’s life is in danger and time is of the essence.”
Who's Your Daddy? Texas and Arkansas, having lost their battle against same-sex marriage are now fighting a losing battle to keep gay couples from being listed as the legal parents on their children's birth certificate. How many taxpayer dollars will be spent on this snipe hunt?
Asked & Obvious: Have we reached the point of no return in our efforts to warm the planet sufficiently to drown most of our civilization and bake the rest? Yes. Every few years the IPCC comes out with “worst case” predictions and has to begin revising them to “worser cases” within a few months. If you think we can stop it, you are not well informed. Duck and cover.
Rights 'R' Wrong: The entire Republican starting bench embraces one crackpot economic idea or another as the key to prosperity. But it matters little if any political ideas are good or bad, moral or immoral, logically sound or harebrained – what matters is how many people believe in them and will act on that belief. Sad but true. Jebbie, for one, refuses to rule out torture, calling it “a useful tool.” Speaking of useful tools...
Look Out Below: US exports shipped by container fell 5.8% m/m and 29%y/y. Whatever it is we make and grow, they don't seem to want it very much these days. Partly this is the result of the stronger US dollar, which makes our stuff more expensive, but mostly it reflects a shrinking of the market as global economies slow.
Research: Fox, in association with The Donald, has abruptly announced that Megyn Kelly is taking a long-unplanned vacation, effective immediately. Let's hope she is working on a Trump exposé.