Those living in the real world need accurate information, the rest get by on opinions.
Choosing Sides: Shi'ites and Sunis – who have been fighting over the family inheritance for about 1400 years – are killing each other with increasing enthusiasm in 1) Syria, 2) Iraq, 3) Lebanon, 4) all of the above and more. Before you get all high and mighty, remember Europe abut 500 years ago. Or Ireland, just last week.
Trading Secrets: Citibank, like GE before it, 'settled' FHFA's accusing Citi of 'misleading' Fannie and Freddie into buying $3.5 billion in flakey MBS. No admission, no public information about how much – or more likely how little - the settlement amounted to. They decided it is none of the public’s business. That's 2 for 2 so far for FHFA in its pursuit of 18 banks for over $200 billion in questionable MBS. Or more likely 2 for 2 for the banks.If you substitute 'fraud' here and there, you might wrongly conclude there was a crime here. Or maybe not.
Greetings: Your friends and neighbors have selected
you 750,000 DoD employees to get sequestered one day a week off for the next three months – without pay. Hey, it's only a 20% cut in pay and they're all patriotic, right?
Boom Times: “Rarely has there ever been such an equity boom [built] on such quicksand.” Like in 1937. QE has been remarkably ineffective beyond driving up asset prices, the consensus is that QE has become “a dangerous addiction” that will be increasingly difficult to unwind. Globally the signs are for more tightening, at exactly the wrong time. Like in 1937.
Sending A Message: The Louisiana House refuses to repeal a 1981 creationism law that was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1987, “for symbolic reasons.”
Creepy Socialism: In 2011 the hated Obamacare socialized medicine saved patients and hospitals at least $147 million by permitting adult children up to age 26 to stay on their parent's health insurance. Fortunately the Republicans are going to save us from it, or die trying. I vote for 'die trying.'
Daily Data: GDP was revised downward, unemployment claims wandered upward, politicians continue to confuse posturing with governing.
Knee Jerks: Reacting to yesterday's report that in 40% of all households with children under 18 mothers are either the sole or primary source of family income, Fox's Lou Dobbs said that this was proof that American society is collapsing, Juan Williams said it would have negative consequences, specifically the disintegration of marriage, and Eric Erickson said nature intended for women to be subservient to men. Christian radio blabber said that women were not designed to be 'providers.' On what may or may not have been a different subject, Fox's John Stossel reminded us that no one died of starvation during the Great Depression and so we don't need the modern welfare state. Don't touch that
Number 2 With A Bullet: Actually it was a drone, but either way the 'number two Taliban leader in Pakistan' that the US assassinated yesterday has been replaced. They've got a deep bench.
Calendar: A wide coalition of European groups – "all citizens, with or without party, with or without a job, with or without hope" – will unite on June 1st to protest austerity measures imposed by the troika of all-powerful financial institutions that have led to unemployment, foreclosures, social inequity and cuts in health care and education, all in the name of a debt crisis that "once again privatizes profits and socializes losses, while demanding bloody cutbacks in return."
Future Tense:A neurologist from Oxford University says that one day science will be able cure people of religious fundamentalism. Better yet, it may be possible to cure people of the belief that it is okay to beat a child. Voting Republican was not mentioned, but research continues.
Bricks Without Straw: US personal consumption continues to increase as a percent of GDP while US manufacturing continues to decline. Neat trick.
The Parting Shot:
Honeysuckle. Lonicera japonica.