Banks rob taxpayers because that's where the money is.
Monkey See: Obama just gave a talk about budgets and deficits. It will be taken seriously, ponderously dissected and in the end matter about as much as the one that Ryan guy gave a week ago. Talk, like the dollar, is cheap.
Fine Print: When is a budget agreement not a budget agreement? Why, when it's Republicans doing the agreeing.
Suddenly I'm a Birther, Too. Like others, I thought Sara was the granny but couldn't see the advantage she would gain except some sort of twisted attempt at a sympathy vote and no one could be that cynical, could she?
Love Hurts: The big banks are actually government-sponsored entities, allowed to gamble and keep their profits while their losses are underwritten by the taxpayer – witness the ongoing bailouts. So says Thomas Hoenig, President of the Kansas City Fed. They are, he said, “a public utility, for crying out loud”.
If a train leaves... House prices are falling because they are still well above the level that can be supported by the fundamentals of the market. It's a train called deleveraging and it hasn't reached the end of the line yet.
Cleaning Up: The corporate free-market capitalists at Proctor & Gamble and Unilever have admitted they conspired to set prices and divide up the European market. The companies management said the $456 million in fines would be covered by surplus funds they had set aside in case they got caught.
Assignment: Read Matt Taibbi's The Real Housewives of Wall Street (Rolling Stone), then explain in detail why there are homeless children in America.
Some Data: In 1959, the poverty rate among the elderly was 37.% By 1969 it had dropped to 27% and by 1979 it was down to 13%. By 1999 it was at 7%. Medicare was one of Johnson's 1965 socialist programs that have ruined the country and forced the government into people's lives.
Simon Says: "The executives of the top 14 financial institutions took out in cash $2.6 billion between 2000 and 2008. The top 5 took out $2 billion.” They “earned” this by running too-big-to-fail firms onto the rocks and then demanding (and getting) taxpayer bailouts for taking stupid risks. And they will do it again.
Failure: Under the general heading of “There's got to be a better way.” the French have such a veil of fear they don't see what they're doing. In Paris, Rosa Parks is called …
Diagnosis: The economy is not growing and not generating jobs because people don't have any money to spend and if they did they would pay off some of their debt and if they managed that they might even think about trying to save a bit to make up for what they lost to Wall Street and they don't need a loan and don't want a loan. The big problem is that things won't get better until they get better.
Once Upon A Time: Remember the raging inflation that crippled Carter and ushered in the Reagan era? Inflation, using pre-1980 rules would be 9.6% today.
Kill Bill: Why do “entitlement reform” discussions always talk about cutting the entitlement and not about reforming the costs? And most certainly, the end-of-life discussion must be had, painfully and as adults. Should healthcare be a for-profit enterprise, and how did all our hospitals become their hospitals?
Two For One: The US drone program, having pretty much finished off US/Pakistani relations, has now turned to accidentally killing US troops.
Sausage-making 101: Republicans now support the $450 billion in Medicare cuts that are part of Obama's health care reform – the very same cuts they criticized before the elections. Another case where the public mistakenly thought that what the Republicans said had some relationship to the truth. They now make up a large part of Paul Ryan's $5.8 billion shell game – which will ultimately turn out to be just a talking point for illustrative purposes.
I'm With Harry: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) does not say "under God" in reciting the pledge of allegiance. Harry and I grew up in the era before God became a partisan political idea.
Scrapbooking, Bonus Round: Via Michael Panzner we get some delicious bed
wetting time reading.