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How the Sausage is Made (and Sold)

This little ditty by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the main “architects” of the Affordable Care Act (more affectionately known as “Obamacare”) has been making the rounds over the last day or so and for good reason.

It would seem that the most disturbing thing about this is that he’s got a little gleam in his eyes, as if he’s proud of what could be accomplished through this deception.

There’s much more on this here and here as, for obvious reasons, right-leaning and libertarian minded folks are having a field day with it.

The U.S. is the world leader in prison population and a close second in prison population rate. How we got there is shown below from the animated graphic in this story at Vox.

We currently lead the world with over 2 million people incarcerated (many for drug crimes as part of the wildly unsuccessful “War on Drugs”) and our prison population rate is exceeded by just one country – the Republic of Seychelle (no, never heard of it before either).

What Could Go Wrong?

Via Deutsche Bank and this Business Insider item comes the graphic below that is only slightly out-of-date following geopolitical developments yesterday in Ukraine and Gaza.

It appears that markets are already getting over both of these stories as prices for safe haven investments such as Treasuries and gold are tumbling while stock market futures are up, though the latest data indicate only a portion of yesterday’s decline has been reversed.

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Get Ready for a New Middle East

This Atlantic report shows where Middle East international borders are probably headed as the recent invasion by ISIL (formerly known as ISIS) has most of the world thinking the “democracy and capitalism fairy dust experiment” in Iraq (I forget who characterized it as such recently, but it kind of stuck – also see Was Joe Biden Right?) has finally failed.

You know the rest of the world is a bit behind the curve on the whole Iraq mess when the media can’t decide what to call the group that is redrawing the borders, a point that is taken up in ISIL or ISIS? Why the World Can’t Decide at Quartz. BTW, how ’bout that stock market?

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