Economy – up?; Piracy; Defense Budget; Cuba

A "glimmer of hope," says President Obama. Bob disagrees that we've turned the corner on the economy, saying that we're laundering toxic assets for the hedge funds and leaving the residue of the bad assets for the taxpayer. A bank-centric Tony says you can't fix the economy without fixing banking. Arianna says there's nothing like enough transparency, and let's stop pretending there's good news. Matt says the business people he's been meeting with appear to consider the prospects of an upswing. What to do about Somali pirates? Tony suggests that the Navy was asleep at the wheel, when the captain jumped out of the lifeboat but got pulled back by the pirates. Proof that these giant war machines have no real reason for existence when it's IEDs and pirates, low-tech criminal Davids against high-tech military equipment. Warfare ain't the same, says Bob, but there'll be military contract protectionism all the same. And has Obama charted a whole new foreign policy course with all these openings to Russia, Iran, and now Cuba? Tony says the Black Congressional Caucus should've met with the dissidents, too.