We've only just begun: However much oil is leaking into the Gulf – and it is clear that 5,000 bpd was always laughably low – it will probably keep on keeping on for another 75 days or so. By then it will have reached Florida, the Keys, Palm Beach, reached far into the food chain and poisoned it for years.
Mission Creep: The US has now spent over a trillion dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghanistan is the longest war in our history, Iraq, second. What have we gotten that was worth the money, worth the blood?
The Best Defense: Transocean says its liability in the Deepwater Horizon disaster should be limited to $26.7 million, because there is no evidence “of any contamination from the rig itself.” And also because BP hasn't been paying the rent on the rig since it capsized and sank. Transocean didn't mention that the rig was over-insured and they made a couple of hundred million on the insurance settlement.
Another Country: Marijuana workers in San Jose are unionizing. Oakland plans to tax the crop.
Censorship: Media organizations claim they are encountering passive censorship as it becomes more and more difficult for reporters to investigate the oil spill “on the ground”. We would tell you about it, but we're not allowed to.
One Big Happy: Having learned that General McCrystal wants to fight the Taliban in Kandahar without fighting the Taliban in Kandahar, military planners are working on a unilateral strike against the people in Northwest Pakistan, near the Barg-e-Matal district of Nuristan, Afghanistan, where the Taliban have over-run the district and taken control.
Dateline: Scientists in Mexico claim to have found the horniest dinosaur.
Canard: Not only does money not buy happiness, it ruins the simple pleasures in life. Once basic needs are met, more money has little effect on the enjoyment of life. I keep telling my wife that, too.
Fault Line: The root cause of the housing bubble is still firmly in place. Now it is Freddie and Fannie and the FHA that are enabling the banks to extend doomed loans to the unqualified. Mortgage lenders are happy to collect their fees as the government underwrites and guarantees 99% of all US mortgages, while the Fed has sopped up $1.2 trillion in unsound MBS. The default rate on FHA guaranteed loans (which is most of 'em) is now 20%. The government is willing to write off (bill the taxpayer for) 1 out of every 5 mortgages – within a year of origination. Gotta go now, don't want to be here when the wheels come off.
Opinion Poll: Everybody but JPMorgan thinks the markets are going to crash.
Memorial Day: As has been known but not commented on publicly for years, most of the prisoners at Guantanamo have been low-level fighters or simply hapless fellows that someone wanted gotten out of the way – or were 'named' just to get the reward. The Guantanamo Review Task Force reports that only 10% of the Gitmo detainees were ever “leaders, operatives and facilitators involved in plots against the United States.”
Cup/Lip: For years it was official US policy, encouraged by the seacoast states, to prohibit drilling along the continental shelf while encouraging (and subsidizing) deep offshore drilling. Out of sight, out of mind. How's that working out?