Saturday, May 30, 2015

SAR #15150

There is a difference between a free press and a responsible one.

Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? 1Q2015 GDP has been reduced from the initial guess of 0.2% growth to a 0.7% decline – a “surprising and inexplicable contraction.” The fault, experts claim, does not lie in the Fed's efforts, but in the “unusually severe weather.” But so far, 2Q isn't looking very good either, “casting doubt on the strength of the widely expected bounce-back in the US economy in the second quarter”. But cheer up, the same experts who have repeatedly been wrong assure us that “America, it seems, will avoid recession.” 
Bottom's Up: The Budweiser folks have halted beer production in order to provide drinking water for flood victims in Oklahoma and Texas. I'll drink to that.

Hush, Money: Billionaire Irish media boss Denis O'Brien owes €500 million to the Irish Bank (what used to be the Anglo Irish bank before the ECB forced the Irish taxpayers to assume its bad loans) and, even at the bargain 1.5% interest rate he was given, can't seem to pay it back. Neat thing is, the Irish Parliament has forbidden anyone to report on O'Brien's financial problems. No one is supposed to comment on the sweetheart deal he got when he bought Siteserv from the bank, either. The rich are different from you and I – they make the rules.

Cut Off: Fox News is not mentioning Rand Paul in their political coverage, having apparently decided that he is not a serious contender for the Republication nomination. Nah, can't be that – almost none of them are.
Friends: Much to PM Erdoğan's displeasure, there's a video showing trucks belonging to Turkish intelligence (MIT) transporting weapons and ammunition to jihadists in Syria. The same folks Turkey has agreed to help the US fight
Open Season: Cameron's government is supporting legislation that will permit the UK's electronic snoops to track “everyone's web and social media use” and continue its bulk intercept of the content of all electronic communications in the country. It'll be called the Orwell Act of 2015.

Going With The Flow: Anticipating that its reserves of oil and gas will be gone within 50 years, the United Arab Emirates is planning to establish a research station on Mars by 2021. Unless Mars once had vast forests, they're not going to find oil and gas...

Friday, May 29, 2015

SAR #15149

We are the children of mutants.

What Did He Do And When Did He Do It: In 2010, Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Congressman for 20 years and Republican Majority Speaker from 1999 to 2008, agreed to pay an as yet unidentified person $3.5 million in blackmail "to compensate for and conceal" prior "misconduct against" that person, according to prosecutors." Hastert has been indicted for lying to the FBI about the large amounts of cash he was withdrawing from his bank to pay the hush money.

It's Mom's Fault: The government is expected to report that GDP fell by 0.8% in the first quarter because it snows in the winter.

Grounded: The IMF says the world can no longer afford giving fossil fuel companies $5.7 trillion a year in taxpayer funds, subsidies and tax breaks. Many think a “draconian carbon-emissions tax” noose will be hung around the profits of the global fossil fuel industry this year, which will begin the inevitable process of writing coal, oil and gas industry reserve asset values to zero. The IEA chimed in, saying that two-thirds of all fossil fuel reserves can never be burned if the world adopts a 2°C goal this year, rendering such assets worthless. Others are more realistic.

No Praxis In Practice: Wisconsin Republicans are urging schools to stretch GOP slashed budgets by replacing certified, college trained teachers with high school dropouts.

Damnation: A long term study involving over 11 million people reports that 75% of current American high school seniors view religion as “not important at all” in their lives. There is also an “increasing acknowledgment that religion is not consistent with scientific understanding”. Maybe all that creationism talk has driven kids away, at least the smarter ones.

Either/Or: If the Patriot Act expires, NSA's spying on all of us will continue. It'll just be illegal. As it already was. 
For Better Or Worse: A minister in Alabama was arrested, jailed and fined for performing a wedding for a lesbian couple – on the day after a Federal judge had ruled the state's anti-gay marriage law to be unconstitutional. If Alabama didn't exist, Texas would take up the slack.

Odds On: Deutsche Bank, which has a few shekels riding on the outcome, views a Greek default on its IMF debt as “70% likely.” 
The Eyes Have It: The DOJ is operating a fleet of 100 or more helicopters and small aircraft registered to non-existent companies - to monitor cities nationwide. The purpose is presumed to be surveillance of large swatches of urban areas, using technology capable of capturing super-high-definition video of a 15-square mile area and automatically tracking all moving vehicles and people in that area. Warrantless, and unwarranted.

Either/Or: The drinking water of 117 million Americans will be protected under new regulations issued by the Obama administration. Or, from the Republican point of view, Obama is once again intruding on the freedom of landowners to pollute at will.

Motivation: Senator Gardner of Colorado wants to make birth control available over the counter everywhere, without a prescription. The goal seems to be to increase the cost of contraception to women by making it non-prescriptive and thus not paid for by Obamacare health insurance.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

SAR #15148

Wish I'd Said That: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is “a hero to me” because he “the NSA whistleblower “gave up his own life . . . to help the rest of us". 
A Definition: The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is not a “free trade” agreement; it isn't about trade at all. It is about corporate globalists circumventing sovereign nations' control and regulation of their empires. “The long-term goal of the globalists is an international rule of law unaccompanied by democracy.” And pro-slavery Republicans like Paul Ryan and Democrat Barack Obama are doing their best to shackle America to the corporate dungeon walls.

More: Israel wants a 50% increase in its allowance from the US for weaponry so it can continue to confiscate Palestinian lands and kill the occupants. And they'd like a new, more AIPAC-compliant President.

A Precedent: Madagascar's parliament voted to remove the country's president for “general incompetence.” Not beating about the Bush, are they.

Signs of Life: Greenland's parliament has unanimously approved same-sex marriaage. The Scottish government has banned creationism from science classes. Cuba, after 50 years of US economic and political sanctions, has achieved an average life expectancy of 78.45 years, one of the highest in the world, matching that of the US.

Say 'May I': Britons may soon face identity checks to access adult material on the internet even if such censorship is against EU rules.

Headline News:Senator Lindsey Graham Claims He Knows the 'Iranians Are Lying' Because His Parents Owned a Pool Room.” Don't ask.

First More, Then Less: Scientists expect that at least 70% of Mt Everest's glaciers will melt away by 2100. At first the increased meltwater will cause flooding, but at the glaciers disappear, so will the annual melt which supplies over a billion people with water.

An Easy Mark: "The biggest surprise for me … is the degree to which politicians are willing to put political interests ahead of helping people in need. Watching the political/policy reaction to the Great Recession was both disappointing and eye opening..." - Mark Toma.

Question: Could lucrative book deals explain most of the Republicans in the Clown Car?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SAR #15147

There is always a next bubble.

It Lives! The TPP contains a clever little provision – the “living agreement” provision – which enables representatives of signatory nations to “update the agreement as appropriate to address trade issues that emerge in the future as well as new issues that arise with the expansion of the agreement to include new countries.” This commission would have the power to revise, extend and change the agreement without reference to such noisome bodies as Congress or the public. So much for the pig in the poke. Thankfully, neither the Dems or the GOP want the TPP to be mentioned during the presidential election process, so we may be safe until 2017. Then duck.

Sides: Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have captured a Turkish intelligence operative fighting alongside ISIS militants. Tell me again whose side Erdoğan is on?

Drumbeats: The world economy is disturbingly close to stall speed. The longer this soggy patch drags on, the greater the risk that the six-year old global recovery will sputter out. Global authorities have alarmingly few tools to combat the next crunch, given that interest rates are already zero across most of the developed world, debts levels are at or near record highs, and there is little scope for fiscal stimulus. 
Bottomed Line: Kansas now prohibits welfare recipients from withdrawing more than $25 a day and limits them to ATMs to access welfare payments. And each $25 withdrawal costs $2.50, which is deducted from their welfare account. If an individual receives $250 a month in support, the banks will end up with at least 10% of that. It is simply stealing from the taxpayer to give to the banks, while pretending that the money is going to the poor.

Us and Them: Gambia is undertaking to reduce its contribution to global warming by reducing its carbon emissions. Gambia is responsible for 0.05% of the globe's emissions – about what you emit, daily. What is it that you're going to give up to help keep the planet habitable?

Memorial Day: “[A]nyone born in the past 13 years has never known an America that isn’t at war. Anyone born after 1984 has likely seen America at war for at least half of his or her life” [WaPo]. And we lost both Iraq and Afghanistan. The War on Terror is as sensible as a War on Flanking Maneuvers, since terror is a tactic, not an enemy. The War on Drugs is shuddering its way to an awful conclusion, with 4:20 today’s equivalent of “11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.” In fact, over the course of my lifetime, I can’t think — let me pause here to chant U.S.A! U.S.A!, just to establish my bona fides — I can’t think, I say, of a war we’ve won. Except the War on Poverty, of course, a war we have to keep fighting over and over again, for some reason.” - Lambert Strether, at the Water Cooler. 
Self Hoisting Petard: The latest miracle promised us is the self-driving truck, which in a few short years will haul stuff from sea to sea. The boosters don't mention that this will put 3.5 million long-haul drivers out of work, along with the waitresses, restaurants, and motels they support.

Definition: The Vatican says Ireland's gay marriage vote is a “defeat for humanity.” I think they've once again confused ”humanity” with “the church”.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SAR #15146

To Whom It May Concern: A Chinese state-owned newspaper – presumably speaking for the government – says that if the US doesn't stop poking its nose into China's “land reclamation” project in the South China Sea a war is “inevitable”, and that “the intensity of the conflict will be higher than what people usually think of as ‘friction’.” 
Clip & Save: Iraq's Prime Minister assures the world that Ramadi “will be retaken in days.”

Blaming the Victims: Bangladesh's Prime Minister is calling for “strict punishment” of those who “illegally” leave Bangladesh looking for a better, or at least survivable, life, because “They are tainting the image of our country on the international stage." As if.

Is Finance Parasitic? Yes, in detail. Always was, can't be otherwise.

The Easy Button: Texas' Greg Abbott has signed a bill that will allow the permitting process for industrial progects to be essentially secret, with little if any public notice or scrutiny. It'll speed things up, the governor said, especially the destruction of the environment. 
Mission Impossible: Here's another example of things Obama says cannot happen under the TPP or TTIP: The EU has dropped its plans for safer pesticides because of pressure from US and provisions of the TTIP.

Good Question: What if what everyone knows about the economics of the technological revolution is wrong?

Evidence Based Economics: The low-tax, low-service economic model followed by a number of Republican-led states has proven to be an ineffective model for economic development. But that won't stop them from inflicting ever more damage on their citizens and their economies in the pursuit of justification for the emotionally-inspired infliction of suffering on the poor.

Multiple Choice: Mike Huckabee says the next president (but presumably not this one) must obey a 'Supreme Being' instead of the Supreme Court. He didn't specify which Supreme Being he had in mind.

Monday, May 25, 2015

SAR #15145

If you are black, calling the cops for help is generally contraindicated. The odds are they won't do much to help but are fairly likely to shoot you or one of your kids. If you are white the odds are somewhat better.

Bad News/Good News: Senate Republicans approved giving Obama 'fast-track' authority to ram a totally secret trade agreement through congress with no debate and no consideration of changes even though the TPP cedes sovereignty to non-state, non-elected corporate-driven boards. The good news is that the bill contained a provision that prohibits the TPP from being signed by any nation involved in human trafficking – which includes specifically Malaysia and quite reasonably several other East Asian nations. Obama continues to maintain, falsely, that there is no treat to US sovereignty, even though the WTO – under similar wording – has ordered the US to essentially revoke US regulations pertaining to labeling the country of origin on imported meats. Ministerial level talks on finalizing the TPP treaty have been postponed indefinitely
Second Thoughts: An Archbishop in Ireland says God is re-evaluating the question of Adam & Dave.

To Bed Without Suffer: JPMorgan has officially apologized for being a criminal enterprise, however the $5.89 billion in fines the 5 too-big-to-flail banks are paying for cheating nearly everyone in the world amounts to 3% only of their annual earnings. If anyone seriously wanted to stop this sort of chicanery, all that would be required would be to send just one of these CEO's to jail. Ain't gonna happen.

Magic Disappearing Act: Late last week a Yemeni group of hackers released thousands of top secret Saudi government files. Not a word of this or their content has appeared in/on any US news media. Wonder why. 
Land Of Milk And Honey: In none of the United States can a single minimum wage earner afford a one-bedroom apartment. It takes between 60- and 80 hours a week of minimum wages to afford a “market-rate” place. And 44% of these low-wage workers have at least some college. Should they be dumb enough to have a kid, it'll take them $19.35 an hour for a two-bedroom place. It could be worse; in Missouri the legislature over-rode the Governor's veto of a “welfare reform” bill that will let 6,400 children go hungry. That's why America's poor are 'envy of the world,' says Congressman Darrell Issa, our richest Congresscritter.

The Way We Were. And Are: A few more white folks are beginning to realize that the criminal justice system isn’t broken. It’s fixed. It's been fixed for generations. Against the poor and the black, which is nearly always redundant.

Wording: The 'new' Cameron government in Great Britain has lost no time in settling scores and imposing its will after an impressive thin-margined win. He proposes a “working man's budget”, which assumes the working man makes upwards of £50,000 a year, and promises to pay for it by cutting taxes on the rich and cutting payments to the poor as part of a plan to cut £30bn in spending including £12bn in welfare under the rubric of “social justice.” He's also directing the police to confiscate the wages of illegal workers, prior to shipping them off to penal colonies – maybe in the EU, if they are successful in convincing the voters to accept Britain's pulling out of the union next year. And with their surprising victory, they've renewed their attack on the National Health Service as a prelude to privatizing and looting the last bit of British socialism and planning to require TV programs to get government approval before broadcasting a show.

Them vs. Us: The panicked, blood-crazed cop who stood on the hood of a car and pumped 49 shots into a car with two unarmed passengers was acquitted, even though he had to stop and reload several times to get off that many shots. The Judge felt that the people in the car were already dead by then from the 95 rounds other cops had already poured into the car. This is Cleveland, where the cop that murdered Tamir Rice six months ago has not even been questioned about the shooting.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

SAR #15143

Are they legalizing marijuana in order to empty the jails for the next wave of victims?

Great Big Nothing: The FBI's IG reports that although the Bureau obtained “large collections” of data about Americans, the information gathered under the Patriot Act's super-snooper powers has not led to solving or preventing a single case of terrorism in the US. The only 'successes' have come from agent provocateurs conning hapless dopes into stupidly following the agents' suggestions.

No Harm, No Foul: The Pentagon, admitting it squandered $34 million on a lavish facility in Afghanistan that was never used, says it was a prudent investment and seemed like a good idea at the time. 
Socialists: France will require supermarkets to donate unsold but edible food that is past its 'sell-by' date to charity rather than throwing it away.

Point Made: While Obama and Company keep telling us that the TPP and TTIP will not encroach on national sovereignty, the EU has dropped regulations limiting the use of hormone-damaging chemicals as a result of pressure from... US officials. And a consortium of tobacco companies are filling multi-billion dollar compensation claims over potentially lost profits due to the UK's requirement for plain packaging of cancer drugs.

Cat/Bag: Even in Japan they realize that Hillary Clinton’s life of crime has been very lucrative.

Zero Sum Game: Obama, at West Point, claimed that those who deny the reality of human induced climate change are endangering national security, which is why he had to open the Arctic to oil drilling... or something like that. 
Echo-Echo: A Federal judge has once again ruled that gay couples have the right to marry in Alabama, even though Alabama's chief justice continues to maintain that the “pursuit of happiness” means following the Bible and stoning gays and adulterers and interest charging bankers to death
Count Me In: Mike Huckabee says you’re a bad person if you enjoy watching the con-artist child molesting condoning Duggars fall from grace and watching the Republican presidential hopefuls, including Huckabee, scurry away from their praise for the whole litter.

Panic! Florida says it will encourage folks trying fleeing hurricanes to clear their way by brandishing sidearms.

An Education: Robert De Niro dropped a bit of realism into his commencement address at NYU, telling the grads, “'You made it -- and you're fucked.”

Friday, May 22, 2015

SAR #15142

Everyone is subjective, even me, I fear. 
Felonless Felonies: A handful of big banks have been fined $5.7bn for rigging foreign exchange rates for years and years. Decades. Barclays alone got hit with a £1.5bn fine. No guns were used in killing the savings, dreams and futures of tens of millions, so no one goes to jail. Steal $23.74 from the local 7/24 and you'll do hard time. Equality.

Paradise Found: While celebrating the low unemployment numbers, keep in mind that 40% of unemployed Americans have given up looking for work and do not count. This suggests that the effective unemployment rate is easily double that claimed by the government. It many also explain why Uncle Sam spent $100 billion feeding his citizenry last year, and why the US (along with its Little Buddy Israel) has the greatest inequality in the developed world.

Read None About It! A federal court has ruled that the Senate's 7,000 page report on CIA torture will remain secret, not because it should but because it is a Congressional report and is under the Senate's control and not subject to FOI demands. Remember that the CIA destroyed the videotapes of torture sessions (and how clever was it of them to record criminal acts?) because “the reaction around the world would not have been survivable.”

Cart/Horse: Obama has signed a bill designed to protect the police from threats. That man can't get anything right.

Humor: Saudi Arabia, which is currently auditioning candidates to find eight more executioners and has beheaded 85 people so far this year, wants to move up from simply being a member of the UN Human Rights Council to being the head of the Council.

Market Fresh: Recently a family member had surgery and a 4 day hospital stay. The hospital billed $48,000, the insurance company paid $1,480 and we paid $370 . Who knows what the true cost was? Wouldn't a price list be nice? And flat-rate pricing?

Democracy Be Damned: In case you hadn't noticed, Germany is still bigger than Greece, which thinks it is David and just might be. Stay tuned. 
Our Gang: Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, waving his hand all-encompassingly, declared "This land is ours. All of it isours." Said they may just repeat the ‘Nagasaki and Hiroshima’ bombings. One supposes that's the same mind-set that leads to Israel telling the Swiss court that it will not pay Iran the $1.1 billion it still owes Iran over a pipeline dispute years ago. Didn't claim they did not owe the debt, just that they were not going to pay it.

Ratio: In the last 30 years, Chicago cops have killed over 1,600 people, more than one a week. Not a single one of these shootings have been found to be unjustified. But in Baltimore, six officers have been indicted in Freddie Gray's death. Publicity matters.

Regrouping: Ukraine has passed (or issued, democracy being a debatable concept in Ukraine) a law honoring nationalist groups that worked with the Nazis – some of which are now training with US troops. It's all in service of looting the country, so whatever...

The Mirror: Cops in Britain say there are 1,400 suspects in the belated but ongoing investigation into the sexual abuse of children over the last 30 years by senior politicians and various celebrities. In Berlin, there are allegations that in the 1980's and 90's the Berlin branch of the Green Party sexually abused as many as 1,000 minors.

Free Is Free: The enemy has gathered enough votes to shove Fast Track authority through the Senate. John Kerry tells us “Globalization has no reverse gear, my friends.” and “Corporations are people, my friends.” 'My friends' my ass.

Good Question: “What if everybody didn’t have to work to get paid?” Maybe we could cure unemployment and inequality in one swell foop. Nah, it'd never work; Americans don't want government benefits for others, just for themselves.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SAR 15141

Assassination is not a respectable civil service career.

Just home from a 20 day too-many-airports tour, finding dejection, desolation and despair everywhere and good food here and there. The proof of austerity's failure (if you corner of the US of A isn't sufficient) can be found throughout Europe, so naturally the Brits will impose more on themselves and the Germans will inflict greater pain on the Greeks.

Don't be surprised when it all goes wrong.

For light reading I've been catching up on climate change reportage... comments to come.

Given a day of rest & recrimination, there should be a new SAR posting come Friday bright and early.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SAR #15127

Gone fishing for a week or so. Be good.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SAR #15125

Just because something is technically possible does not mean it is a good idea.

Senseless Data: There are 15 neighborhoods in Baltimore with life expectancies lower than North Korea. Those born in a wealthy neighborhood can expect to live to 84, well above the U.S. average of 79. Those born at the same time a few miles away will die 19 years earlier at 65 - 14 years below the U.S. average. 
Them That Has, Gets: The clever civic boosters of Lockport, NY have given Yahoo a half billion dollars in subsidies for creating 200 jobs. That's $2.4 million per job. Even Jerry Jones didn't get that good a job.

Simon Says: A federal task force stole a truck from a small company, got one of its drivers to try to smuggle a load of drugs into Texas from Mexico. Didn't work out well, the klutz was killed by the cartel and nothing good came from the operation. The truck, shot to pieces, was returned to the company. The company tried to sue the DEA for the damages, but the judge ruled that you can't sue the government, even if they steal your truck and get it shot up.

Relax: The US Senate, by a vote of 50 – 49 decided that climate change is not caused by humans. Which is some sort of comment on the Koch brothers.

Grammar Test: Parse this: “In the end, the staff forecast of economic activity during the Great Recession should be judged by how useful it was to the conduct of monetary policy at the time.” From the Forecasts Governors of the FED, explaining the usefulness of all those bad forecast they've made over the last decade or so.

It's In There: When (not if – they'll keep hammering until they get their way) TPP passes, another two or three million jobs will be “offshored, permanently lost.” Because trade and profits...

Noted: The WHO has pointed out that most countries have no plans for how to handle the health crisis that will arise when antibiotics stop working. Not if, when.

Plankton:The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all? Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class, or do we continue to slide into economic and political oligarchy?” Bernie Sanders.

Monday, May 4, 2015

SAR #15124

What He Said: “There is no longer much point in questioning whether the glory days are over. The models and approaches developed to understand the post-war business cycle and its bias toward moderate inflation are worse than useless today... optimism is out of fashion.” Brad DeLong. 
Good Neighbors: The Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA) is designed “to improve shared situational awareness” by having the Pentagon “partner” with DHS and the other alphabet of federal police agencies “to develop continuous, automated, standardized mechanisms for sharing information with... key allied and partner militaries, state and local governments, and the private sector.” The act will also “protect companies from lawsuits for oversharing information with the DHS.” They lost me at “shared situational awareness”, and I don't want none of that “oversharing” either.

Asked & Obvious: Many of our pundits, viewing the militarized police response to civic disturbances, wonder if Americans are being deliberately conditioned to accept martial law. Hey, guys, ever hear of Jade Helm?

The Real Deal: China took delivery of 50.8 tonnes of gold last week.

Hall Pass: Saudi Arabia has been using cluster bombs in Yemen. The Convention on Cluster Munitions" – signed by 108 nations - bans the stockpiling, transfer and use and cluster bombs. But these are US cluster bombs and the US is not a signatory because “their use reduces the number of aircraft and artillery systems needed to kill large numbers of civilians over long periods of time.

Slip Sliding... Auto sales have fallen for the fifth consecutive month, and have turned in the worst YTD record since the less than banner year of 2009. Construction spending is also falling and manufacturing employment is the lowest its been since 2009. New orders were also weak and exports fell. Boy, that darn winter weather sure is hanging on.

A Nutritious Lunch: An East Texas school served pork that had been languishing in a freezer for six years for lunch. With lots of gravy to hide the smell. But no Oreos.

Spaced Out: Lamar Smith (Stupid, TX) and the rest of the Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee plan to cut the NSAA budget for Earth Sciences by $320 million – 32% - so they will be forced to concentrate more on space travel and forget about global warming. This is the same group that only last week banned mention of the idea that there was any such thing as global climate change and if there was it certainly wasn't caused by humans operating coal companies
On Paper: When some Baltimore cops told an on-air CNN reporter to shut it down and move along, he asked “Are we under martial law?” The cops didn't answer, but told him rather forcefully it would be best for him to “comply.” A Guardian reporter was arrested and held without charges for 49 hours for thinking the Constitution applied in Baltimore. Silly fellow. And of course the guy who recorded Freddie Gray's arrest was himself arrested at gunpoint. A clever bunch in California have developed an app that allows you to send your recording of miscreant cops to their computers for safe-keeping before the cops can erase it
Winning Friends: US-led air strikes in Syria managed to kill 52 civilians and not a single ISIS fighter this time.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

SAR #15122

Noted: The ticking bomb that is race relations in the US did not start with the rioting and did not start in Baltimore. And the problems will not be solved there either.

Follow The Money: A dozen current and former law enforcment officers from NC and VA have been indicted on 54 counts of bribery, drug smuggling, and money laundering. Wall Street banks that launder drug profits for the cartels are shaking in their boots... with laughter.

Bottom Line: Need a reason to oppose the Great Atlantic & Pacific “T” parties? They subvert the Constitution and are a blatant surrender of our sovereignty to faceless unelected representatives of international corporations. How much worse could it get?
Democracy Now! Baltimore suspended legal procedures and imposed bail bonds of up to half a million dollars on the city’s most impoverished residents.

No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers either. Thank you, Governor Brownback, for proving that Art Laffer has been misleading Republicans for thirty years. Cutting taxes on the rich does not increase tax revenues and does not act as a magic elixir to the economy. At least 8 Kansas school districts are ending classes and terminating the school year early because state leaders cut school funding dramatically in order to patch massive holes in the state's budget. When that wasn't enough, the Republicans cut everything from welfare to road repairs. In Republican Kansas, not even the roads are built with good intentions.

Soundless Fury, Signifying Little: The Axial Seamount, an active undersea volcano 300 miles off the Oregon coast appears to be erupting. While interesting, the event will have no noticeable effect on coastal areas. 
One Size Fits All: Brother Jeb says that the solution to all our problems will start with for profit charter schools “higher accountability and dramatically different kinds of schools”.

Prevention: 225 Republicans and 3 Democrats have voted to grant employers within the District of Columbia the right to fire women for using birth control pills or for seeking in-vitro fertilization services. Because religious belief... 
Serendipity, Not: Economists and politicians note the loss of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US and the downward pressure on the wages and blame the “natural process of globalization.” Untrue. Globalization is not some unavoidable natural process” like gravity, it is the direct and predictable outcome of deliberate government actions designed to put Americans in direct competition with low-paid workers in Third World countries, all for the betterment of corporate profits. And it could be reversed. And should be. Period. End of discussion.

Early Warning System: HSBC, the world's third largest bank, is advising its clients to avoid investing in fossil fuel enterprises because they are becoming “economically non-viable.”

Finely Printed: The major rating agencies have ruled that when Greece defaults on its payments to the ECB and IMF, it will not actually be in default, although it will have technically defaulted, technically. It's an accounting thing. 
Porn O'Graph: Flatlined.