(MarketWatch) I have good news and bad news. The good news is really good. But the bad news is really, really bad.

We’ll get to them in a moment.

Talk of secession is in the air. The White House this week confirmed that residents in all fifty states had submitted petitions asking to leave the union. Will the last one left please turn out the lights?

Residents in seven states, all in the former Confederacy, submitted more than 30,000 signatures each — enough that some hapless bureaucrat or intern will now have to take a look at their petitions.

The news comes 150 years after the Civil War, and just in time for Steve Spielberg’s biopic of Abraham Lincoln, the man whom we have to thank — if that’s the word I want — for the continued forcible marriage of the once-independent states.

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