- In a press conference late last night, Lord Darth Vader announced that Obi-Wan Kenobi was killed in a firefight with Imperial forces on Sunday. "The death of Kenobi marks the most significant achievement to date in our empire's effort to defeat the rebel alliance," stated Lord Vader, "But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that the rebellion will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad."
- The Japanese government has agreed to a plan to use more than $60 billion in taxpayer funds to help TEPCO pay compensation to people injured or displaced by the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The agreement could help TEPCO avoid bankruptcy, but the Japanese government insists it is not a bailout.
- NATO airstrikes - again, not assassination attempts (despite repeated statements from NATO and EU officials that Gaddaffi "has to go") - hit Muammar Gaddafi's home in Tripoli again. You do have to wonder how air strikes on Tripoli serve "to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" or serves "to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians"?
- An adviser to President al-Assad has stated that security forces have been given strict orders not to fire on crowds at this Friday's pro-democracy protests. There is no word about whether batons, tear gas, and tank treads count as "firing on crowds".
- The United Nations Environment Programme released a report today warning that, if changes are not made - global consumption of minerals, fossil fuels, and biomass could triple by the year 2050. The overall theme of the report is stressing the importance of "decoupling" human well-being and economic activity from resource use - i.e. finding ways to become more efficient in global resource use without degrading standards of living or harming economic growth. Read the report.
- In testimony before Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned against using the federal debt ceiling as a political bargaining chip. "It is a risky approach not to raise the debt limit in a reasonable time. The worst outcome would be one in which the financial system was again destabilized as we saw following Lehman, for example, which would of course have extremely dire consequences for the US economy."
- Another Congressional hearing today will be raking the SEC over the coals for a ten year failure to investigate the Ponzi scheme allegedly run by Allen Stanford, despite repeated attempts by SEC examiners to bring the matter to the attention of the SEC's enforcement division. The SEC, which says it needs a 16% budget increase to boost enforcement efforts, will probably need to put on a star performance today.
- The Senate Finance Committee will also be taking a few shots at the SEC, after a report by the Project on Government Oversight revealed that 219 SEC officials since 2006 have left the agency to take on advisory roles with Wall Street firms, bringing fresh allegations of a "revolving door"policy that makes the SEC too cozy with the firms it should be regulating. Particularly in light of the criticisms made by the SEC's Inspector General of the agency's failure to adequately document potential conflicts of interest.
- The House Armed Services panel approved $690 billion in military spending for 2012 - that's $553 billion for the base budget and $119 billion for "overseas contingency operations". They also approved $18 billion for the Energy Department's military-related nuclear activities.
- In "pot, meet kettle. Kettle, pot." news: Senator Jay Rockefeller, who has a personal net worth between $61 million and $136 million according to his 2009 mandated financial disclosures, accussed oil executives of "being out of touch - deeply, profoundly out of touch" with ordinary Americans.
 Dare I say "sustainable".
 He hasn't been convicted yet.
 And also happens to be the great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller.