I Like Your Nurse's Uniform, Guy - 6/29/2012
Here's what we're following this morning:
What they really said during the Eurosummit (the 28th summit, mind you, since 2008) - Reuters via Zero Hedge | A decisive solution, indeed: using a fund that doesn't exist to buy debt that will never be repaid via a mechanism that hasn't been finalized. These are the people who (for the 28th time in 4 years but with significant turnover) are supposed to be getting us out of this mess?
Was Roberts successfully pressured? - Never Yet Melted | "Scalia's dissent, at least on first quick perusal, reads like it was originally written as a majority opinion...(in particular, he consistently refers to Justice Ginsburg's opinion as "The Dissent.")." In May, there were rumors floating around legal circles that a key vote was taking place and that Roberts was feeling tremendous pressure from "unidentified circles." The full piece is here; more evidence that the vote shifted is here.
Grieving father struggles to pay dead son's student loans - Truthdig | Because the loans have been sold and resold, no one has been able to determine exactly how much is owed or even what company holds the loans. Only a few private student lenders offer debt discharges in the even of the borrower's death. Dangerous Minds posted a decent comparison of the American post-secondary system to the post-secondary systems of the Nordic countries.
Troops have withdrawn from Iraq but US money hasn't - Washington Post | It's been 3.5 years since diplomats moved into the $700 million compound, and they're about to spend an additional $115 million for upgrades. The new construction is estimated to take 2-3 years to complete. Hope you're still not clinging to the fallacy that we're out of the "bringing democracy to the Middle East" business.
A place at university guaranteed or your money back - The Telegraph | What would preclude a British student from attending University A would not prohibit a Chinese student (paying the placement company's fees, of course) from attending that same University A. Oh, and the placement company will write your "personal statement" for you; they will also coach you on how to lie during your visa interview. Classy group, huh?
Why none of Europe's attempts to save itself will work - Counterpunch | Nothing like good old-fashioned dissent on the streets to throw a monkey wrench into those plans cobbled together during the 28 Eurosummits. What used to be friction between entire countries has morphed into friction between the Eurozone Haves (fewer by the day, mind you) and Eurozone Have-Nots (greater by the day).
Bankia is not worth nothing; the reality is much worse than that - El Pais | Ahead of the nationalization process, the value of a group of banks has been estimated at minus (MINUS!) 13.63 billion Euros. And yet the same bailout processes (or new ones, via the EFSF and ESM mechanisms "suggested" last evening) are thrown at the problem. No wonder Rajoy is saying that quick decisions are needed to shore-up the Spanish economy.
We could stop importing oil from the Middle East today if we wanted to - Mother Jones | It's a big fracking deal.
Priced out of the middle class - Charles Hugh Smith | $106,000 is more than double the median household income, but that seems to be what is required to be considered, at least from a quantitative perspective, "middle class." Puts the tax increase from yesterday into perspective, doesn't it?
Do you like taking pictures of yourself? Do you agree with Magritte that it isn't really a pipe? - io9