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The Bottom Line

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The Minyanville take daily on news, commentary and opinion from around the world:

One of the main reasons for China's perpetual trade surpluses with other countries is its low level of consumer spending, which reduces the amount of foreign goods bought by the country's 1.3 billion people. In the Asia Times, Sue Anne Tay writes that this is changing thanks to the creation of a nationwide personal-credit information database, which became operational in January.

  • Bottom Line:
    - In the U.S., a negative report from a lender to one of the three privately-owned credit agencies could affect your ability to obtain a loan at favorable rates.
    - In China, a negative report from a lender to the People's Bank of China credit agency could affect your ability to obtain... air. (Gulp.)


Many electric utility companies across the nation are collecting billions of dollars from their customers for corporate income taxes, then keeping the money rather than sending it to the government, the New York Times reports. The practice is legal in most states.

  • Bottom Line: I'm actually fine with this. Let's see, whom do I trust more? Big electric utilities that provide power? Government officials? Hmmm.

Downloaded Internet photo of something having to do with electric utilities.


"Car makers have long talked about the "face" of a car -- headlights for eyes, grille for a mouth and the bumper as jaws -- and auto designers say the difference between a hit and a flop may come down to a vehicle's visage. Car makers used to strive for an inviting face, but lately they're pushing an edgier look: car faces that look meaner, angrier and, at times, even downright evil," according to Jonathan Welsh in the Wall Street Journal.

  • Bottom Line: New bumper sticker: My other car is a switchblade.


The second race at Laurel Park today was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill $10,000 claiming race at seven furlongs won easily by the favorite. The horse's name? Faye Kinitt. So what, you might ask?

  • Bottom Line: Faye Kinitt... by Built for Pleasure... out of Fabulous Joy... bred by Ernest Moody? Seriously. You can't make this stuff up!


Last Saturday night the Gridiron Club, a group of mostly senior reporters, staged their annual dinner at the Capital Hilton in Washington D.C. According to the Washington Post, among those in attendance were President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Sen. Barack Obama.

"For 121 years, the dinner has been for Washington pols and press "a place for them to relax and tell stories," said Gridiron President John Hall, an affair where people could let their hair down and crack a few jokes without having to pay for it politically," according to the newspaper.

Reporters are not allowed to report on the dinner, which features skits performed by a variety of media types and politicians, but since reporters are involved information does leak out. "Tim Russert, making his first appearance as a new member, decked out in a blue dress and a shiny blond wig as one of the cable news bunnies, singing about torture, subbing "rendition" for "tradition" and borrowing the "Fiddler on the Roof" song."

  • Bottom Line: A funny song about torture!?!? Hahaha! Tim Russert, you card, stop it... you're killing me! Hahaha! Wait... get it? Killing me? Hahaha! Wait, here's one: what do you call a nation's revolt against torture sanctioned by its government? A laugh riot!

Apparently, all this picture needs is a funny song!

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Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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