The morning cup: Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finally, finally, the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” report has been released!  Guess what it says?  Gays in the military?  No big deal. Take that John McCain.  Now what’s your excuse for not supporting its repeal?  Go ahead, tell me.

Obama is at a White House bipartisan meeting as we speak, discussing the Bush tax cuts.  Coincidentally, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program ends today.  If it’s not extended, the argument goes, it’s because it costs too much and leads to complacency when looking for work.  Consider that there is one job available for every five unemployed Americans.  Consider also that the reason unemployment is so high is because the global financial crisis caused by the subprime loan fiasco that started with the financial sector’s schemes to Ponzi and Vegas themselves into ill-gained fortunes left businesses with pension portfolios all but depleted, requiring them to stop hiring, start firing, and scrambling to find money since banks became wary to lend.  And yet, the fat cats on Wall Street and in the banking industry can’t come up with enough ways to spend their multi-million dollar bonuses so they don’t.  So yes, by all means, let’s continue to give the millionaires and billionaires Bush’s tax cuts.  By all means.

Which leads me to WikiLeaks.  Julian Assange just produced memos and confidential communications between diplomats and leaders of Middle East countries, as well as Russia and the United States.  Next up, Assange claims, is Wall Street. Those are the documents I want to read.

Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA, is preparing for the GOP to thwart her at every turn, as they’re threatening to do come January.  Newsweek gives us her rational, level-headed response, summed up nicely as “The EPA is Not the Villain”.

The Senate today passed a food safety bill that would, presumably, make our food safer.  The House passed its own version earlier and now must reconcile theirs with the Senate, which they hope to do before this lame duck session ends.

Planet Money on NPR is a favorite of mine, when I remember to tune in.  For the common man, they explain economics in ways both understandable and entertaining.  Today, check out Hans Rosling’s “A History of the Modern World, In Less Than Five Minutes.”  Rosling is not only fun, he’s optimistic.  It’s what we need.

Finally, I leave you with a cartoon from theoatmeal.com, which is crass because all of his stuff is and laughing out loud is worth it.

I hope I’ve provided you with some edification today.

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