I’m writing early, and it’s day 1. A forecast heat wave looks like it will be far less severe than anticipated, so today will likely be the only hot day. I have remained silent on Syria intervention, which I consider a mistake, because I’m wafting for specifics to which to respond. For now, McConJob is still insane!
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 4:00 (average 4:57). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From Think Progress: One week after conceding that it underestimated the negative impact of austerity measures in Greece, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is condemning American lawmakers’ rapid turn to spending cuts. The fund’s analysts say that “an excessively rapid pace of fiscal deficit reduction” will cost the country between 1.25 and 1.75 percent points of GDP growth this year, and it now projects just 1.9 percent total growth for 2013.
The IMF notes that the wound is self-inflicted and offers three specific suggestions for salving it:
• Repeal the sequester and adopt a more balanced and gradual pace of fiscal consolidation. […]
• Raise the debt ceiling to avoid a severe shock to the United States and the global economy.
• Adopt a comprehensive and back-loaded set of measures to restore long-run fiscal sustainability. […] New revenues could be raised through a reduction in tax exemptions and deductions, as well as though the introduction of a carbon tax and a value added tax. Spending measures would need to curb the growth in public health care and pension outlays.
The report also notes that sequestration’s damage will carry on past the near future and warns that its “arbitrary reductions in education, science, and infrastructure spending could also reduce medium-term potential growth.”
From this one might think that the Republican Party is ignorant with respect to the effects of their austerity programs. Think again. They know exactly what the effects are, and it’s intentional. Sabotaging the American people is sedition.
From Raw Story: Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.
The employee statements were filed late last week in federal court in Boston as part of a multi-state class action suit brought on behalf of homeowners who sought to avoid foreclosure through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) but say they had their cases botched by Bank of America.
Since the evidence is apparent, DOJ should be using it in a criminal complaint against the Banksters.
From The Hill: A recent briefing by senior intelligence officials on surveillance programs failed to attract even half of the Senate, showing the lack of enthusiasm in Congress for learning about classified security programs…
…Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity. The room on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center is large enough to fit the entire Senate membership, according to a Senate aide. [emphasis added]
What can I say? This is a national shame!