Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:1. Experts say that fears of widespread defaults on municipal bonds are “overblown.” So move along, there’s nothing to see here.
2. “Overblown” fears aside, President Obama is proposing a large aid package for state’s struggling to cope with huge unemployment insurance costs.
3. 70-one per cent (71%) of all mortgages in Clark County, Nevada are under water. Clark County is Las Vegas, basically.
4. The city of Detroit continues to teeter on the edge of financial ruin. Mayor David Bing has turned to crowd-sourcing for ideas on how the city might be turned around.
5. Texas Governor Rick Perry says that balancing the state’s budget will involve tough choices, but will not require tax increases. Texas House and Senate leaders are planning to cut school aid by $10 billion. Billion with a “b.”
6. Tea Party Republicans joined Democrats to defeat an extension of the Patriot Act that was expected to pass the U.S. House with relative ease. The GOP House leadership embarrassed itself by not having a firm head-count on the measure.
7. U.S. allies in the Middle East are urging President Obama to take great care with regards to the “situation” in Egypt. The leaders of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are all concerned about “regional destabilization,” which is of course code for “regime change.”
8. Huge crowds gathered in Cairo yesterday, keeping up the pressure on the Mubarak regime. Meanwhile, the US pressed for a speedier “transition,” which is of course code for regime change.
9. An Iranian opposition leader said yesterday that a demonstration next week in solidarity with the protest movements of Egypt and Tunisia would be a significant challenge for both the Iranian government and the Iranian “green” movement.
10. Republican presidential candidates will be speaking at the CPAC conference in Washington, DC. There will no doubt be a straw poll. None of it will matter but it will get a lot of coverage.
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