Earliest Mayan calendar shows no hint of ‘world end’ AFP. In case you were worried.
US panel approves anti-HIV pill BBC. Aargh. What about condoms? HIV is actually not all that contagious (some of my gay friends are up on the transmissiblity stats, by practice), even though the consequences are life-changing.
Bans on School Junk Food Pay Off in California New York Times (May S)
UH OH: Facebook IPO Seeing “Weak Demand” Clusterstock. Ahem, maybe they shouldn’t have bargained so hard on the gross spread. Lower gross spread = lower selling concessions (as in no bonus credits when there is a ton of paper here to move).
ECB talks money (and the lack thereof) MacroBusiness
Bundesbank Prepared to Accept Higher Inflation Der Spiegel (Aquifer). Too little, too late.
Thousands of British police join anti-austerity protest Reuters (Lambert)
More on tepid Chinese inflation MacroBusiness
Biden Said to Apologize to Obama for Gay Marriage Remarks Bloomberg. So much for Obama’s courage. Much more from Lambert below.
Fixable Error, New Insight, and Social Security Rdan, Angry Bear (Aquifer)
Poverty’s Poster Child Nicholas Kristof, New York Times. I don’t know how he has the stomach to cover all these depressing stories in person.
S&P warns of $46tn refinancing challenge Financial Times
Sovereign Currency Issuers Are Always Solvent New Economics Perspective. Nice video.
Easy Useless Economics Paul Krugman, New York Times. I wish he’d used the argument against structural unemployment which strikes me as the killer: if there was indeed structural unemployment, you’d expect to see considerable variability of unemployment levels among job categories. You don’t see that.
How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. This has been making the rounds. Nice summary.
Wall Street’s immunity Glenn Greenwald
Ecuador law would forgive mortgage debt Miami Herald. Less here than meets the eye. Basically turns some mortgage debt into non-recourse. But the fact that AP and the Herald noticed is a good sign.
Breaking Up Four Big Banks Simon Johnson, Economix
Citi’s Fitzpatrick: STOCKS COULD TUMBLE 27% FROM HERE Clusterstock. Two crash alerts worry me less than one.
Why the Civil Rights Model Will Not Work for Occupy Firedoglake (Carol B). Informative, but a bit of a straw man. David Graeber reports that Global Justice movement is more germane (“Otpor was the CIA teaching Serbian students how to do our techniques!”).
* * *
D – 120 and counting*
If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog. –Harry Truman
Gay marriage feeding frenzy. There isn’t too much love in the world. And words (even if not performatives) do count. Glenn Greenwald: “[A]n important, and positive, step no matter what else is true about Obama and no matter what else he has done”. Perez Hilton: “Better late than never”. Best headline: “Questions linger after gay marriage frenzy” (George Stephanopoulos, nine questions).
Steney Hoyer has a change of heart. The Onion: “Casual One-Nighter Gives Strom Thurmond Change Of Heart On Gay Issue”. Chris Floyd: “President Strom Thurmond announced today that his thinking on race relations has ‘evolved,’ saying that he now favors equal rights for Negroes. … The president made it clear that he was simply stating his personal view on race relations, and that he would respect the decisions of individual states on the issue. In most states, various levels of racial segregation are enforced by law”. “They also said they were not changing positions on an Executive Order that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against federal contractors”. “But the Obama administration has gone out of its way to create an impression that it has done much more for gay people than it actually has”. “Obama’s gay marriage announcement followed by flood of campaign donations.” And the rollout was long-planned. So maybe Biden only seemed to drive the timing. Trial balloon for bagging Charlotte, no doubt because of incidents like this: Lesbian seeking marriage license arrested in NC. Good for her!
Clooney fundraiser. “Obama is testing his newest appeal to wealthy backers — his public support for gay marriage — at three West Coast fundraisers, including dinner at the Los Angeles home of movie star George Clooney.” $40,000 a plate. Tens of thousands donated an average $23 each for a chance to win a ticket. Two winners and their guests will attend. Robama “is expected to discuss policy in the low-key environment of Clooney’s canyon home [!] over a dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck”. “Celebrities have always played a role in presidential campaigns, but experts say they have never seen this kind of involvement on this scale”.
Bullying feeding frenzy. It’s heartwarming to see oppo from the Ds at last. Because, ya know, the timing: “… the day after President Obama announced he supports gay marriage … At the exact moment Romney doesn’t want to talk about gay stuff… “. Best headline: “Former Romney Classmate Describes ‘Bullying Supreme’ – A ‘Pack of Dogs’ Who Targeted ‘Different’ Boy”. A three-fer, since it includes the current assault (“bully”), the most recent assault (“hates gays”), and the 2008 assault (“Seamus the dog”). Best question: “‘How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?’ the former classmate said.” (What’s with “fellow,” anyhow? Are there really people who still use this word? Who knew? Is it a prep school locution?) Romney issues a defiantly retro non-apology apology: “And if anybody was hurt by that or offended by that, I apologize”. I find this controversy confusing. If we want a President who can order American citizens to be whacked, or blow civilians to red mist with a drone strike, isn’t “vicious” exactly what we want? Did I not get the memo?
The graveyard of empires. “The war, which will be in its 12th year on Election Day in November, has an inconclusive balance sheet at best”. 66% oppose, 40% “strongly.” 37% support among Rs, down from 58% a year ago. Ds 30% to 19%, Is flat. The graveyard of empires doesn’t poll well. Ending the empire: Another issue we can’t talk about.
The economy. “American optimism on economy and on Obama’s ability to handle it well is fading, poll shows”. The gloomier outlook includes a “steep decline” in Ds who call the economy “good,” down from 48% in February to 31% now. (Look! Over there! Gay marriage!) From the same article: “U.S. presidents have limited ability to affect gas prices, which are determined in international markets.” (Oh? Robama could prosecute speculators. But we can’t talk about that.) Boehner plans to focus on jobs, and not “hold up various shiny objects.” He may even believe this. The Times has a jobs tracker that may help him (data from Moodys). Meanwhile, they take meetings. “Treasury’s Geithner Meets With CEOs To Discuss Economy”. Readers, is this less informative than usual? Could the meeting have been “hastily called”? Or do I not yet know this patch of ground?
WI recall. Voting Day for the WI gubernatorial recall day is June 5. Candidate Barret (D) not the labor candidate, who lost the D primary. Record $23 million from outside groups. AFSMCE contribution level as yet unknown. Very few undecided, so hinges on GOTV.
Elizabeth Warren is 1/32 Native American, according to documents unearthed by genealogists at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Again, I’m sure Warren must be in disbelief that this happening to her, exactly like Romney (or, for that matter, John Edwards. “That’s their case?[!]“)
The Greens. Green to run in NY-10: “We need to create a new, more stable system based on investment in people and local communities instead of shareholders and corporations.” Crazy talk!
Bipartisanship! Three House Rs and a D seek to halt Robama’s medical marijuana raids.
Three think pieces on political economy: The descent into stasis (hat tip rde); Why the civil rights model will not work for Occupy; The Principles of Newspeak.
– Horse race-related tips, links, hate mail to lambert
* 120 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with a low-key dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Cross-posted to Corrente. In Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64, 120 is the maximum number of Power Stars a player can get.
Antidote du jour. Ferrets have been underrepresented on NC. I am told they make great pets: