HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » marmar » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,646

Journal Archives

Only 3 states - Michigan, New York and New Jersey - are on track to contain coronavirus, per this:


Retail Sales by Segment in 12 Hair-Raising Charts: It's a pandemic, so there are problems with data

Retail Sales by Segment in 12 Hair-Raising Charts
by Wolf Richter • Jun 16, 2020 •

It’s a pandemic, so there are problems with the data.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Total retail sales in May bounced off 17.7% from the April low, according to the Census Bureau today. April had been the lowest April since 2013. May retail sales, at $485 billion seasonally adjusted, were down 6.1% from May 2019, down 3.3% from May 2018, and up 2.6% from May 2017. It seems, people are spending their stimulus checks and their extra $600 a week in federal unemployment compensation.

Ecommerce sales skyrocketed 30% year-over-year to another record. Sales at building materials, garden supply, and equipment stores jumped to a new record. Other segments bounced off strongly, but remained at low levels. Two segments that had spiked in March – grocery and general merchandise stores – fell halfway back to earth in April, and stayed there in May. Department stores and clothing & accessory stores, though they too bounced, remained at horribly depressed levels that, other than April, were multi-decade lows. There is no good news for malls. We’ll get into each of those segments:

The pandemic impacts data collection, leading to large sampling errors and huge revisions.

The Census Bureau acknowledged, as it had done in April, that due to the pandemic, it changed its data collection procedures. This data is based on surveys sent to 5,500 randomly selected retail and food services locations, of the over three million such locations in the US. Normally, data are collected “on paper, online, fax, and through telephone interviews.” But due to the pandemic, it was collected “primarily via email requests and online reporting, supplemented by calling operations.” In addition, the Census Bureau said it altered the method of seasonal adjustments.

The same issues dogged the surveys in April. And so, as part of its data release today, the Census Bureau revised its April data. Revisions are normal. But some of the revisions for April were huge, up and down. The list below shows the percentage differences between the April dollar sales levels of the “advance estimate” released a month ago, and the revised data:

• Food services and drinking places: revised down -7.5%;
• Sporting goods stores revised up +7.7%;
• Clothing and accessory stores revised up +18.9%;
• General merchandise stores revised up +10.5%,
• Furniture stores revised up + 23%.
• Overall retail sales revised up +2.1%.

A month from now, we might also see these types of mindbogglingly large revisions of today’s retail sales for May. .............(more)


How Trump's missteps undermined the US's recovery from pandemic

How Trump's missteps undermined the US's recovery from pandemic
Situation could have been somewhat rescued if president backed his own administration’s efforts, experts say, but instead he has shown little leadership

Oliver Milman
Wed 17 Jun 2020 09.04 EDTFirst published on Wed 17 Jun 2020 06.15 EDT

(Guardian UK) Despite the inertia and dysfunction that plagued the early stages of the US government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the situation could still have been somewhat rescued if Donald Trump had merely backed the efforts of his own administration, public health experts say.

Instead Trump has shown little active leadership and frequently undermined government efforts and advice aimed at curbing the virus by encouraging reopening protests and refusing to wear a face mask.

As America pushes ahead with reopening businesses and allowing public gatherings even as Covid-19 infections have jumped to alarming new highs in a number of states, missed opportunities have severely undermined the recovery phase of a pandemic that has already claimed 116,000 lives in the US.

On 16 April, the White House issued guidelines to states on how to safely restart normal life again. Many epidemiologists saw them as flawed – too broad, still not backed with a robust system of testing and tracking infected people to prevent a resurgence of the virus – but it was at least something consistent to work to at a delicate stage of the pandemic. .........(more)


Black Women Mayors Healing and Leading Their Communities

from Ms. magazine:

Black Women Mayors Healing and Leading Their Communities

In the weeks following George Floyd’s murder, communities around the U.S. have collectively mourned the killing of another African American at the hands of police officers.

In the midst of widespread civil unrest, black women mayors have taken the lead in speaking out against the murder of George Floyd, standing in solidarity with protesters, and helping to protect the safety and wellbeing of their communities.

Here are seven black women mayors in major U.S. cities helping to heal and strengthen their communities.


San Francisco Mayor London Breed

Mayor Breed, the first black woman to be elected mayor of San Francisco, addressed protesters outside of San Francisco’s City Hall on June 1.

“Yes I’m a mayor, but I’m a black woman first,” she said, later describing her own experience losing a family member to police violence. ..........(more)


Is the Trump family destroying Donald's presidency from the inside?

Is the Trump family destroying Donald's presidency from the inside?
Arwa Mahdawi

The president’s niece Mary has reportedly written a ‘salacious’ book about him. It seems that no one hates the Trumps as much as they hate each other
Tue 16 Jun 2020 07.48 EDTLast modified on Tue 16 Jun 2020 11.03 EDT

(Guardian UK) Revenge, as Mary Trump seems well aware, is a dish best served cold. Twenty years after a bitter familial feud over her grandfather’s will, Donald Trump’s niece looks like she is finally about to wreak vengeance on her uncle.

The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Mary, 55, who is the daughter of Donald’s late brother Fred Trump Jr, has written a “harrowing and salacious” book about the president. Too Much and Never Enough will be published in the US on 28 July, a month before the Republican National Convention. The timing is clearly designed to do maximum damage.

Why the bad blood? Well, for one thing, Mary reportedly blames Donald for mistreating her alcoholic father – behaviour she believes contributed to his death from a heart attack at the age of 42. Then there was the fight over Fred Trump Sr’s estate in 2000. Mary and her brother, Fred Trump III, claimed they were dealt with unfairly in their grandfather’s will as a result of “fraud and undue influence” by Donald and two of his siblings. The ill will is said to have escalated when Donald, in retaliation for the lawsuit, cut off medical insurance for Fred III’s seriously ill infant son, who required round-the-clock care. Fred III was quoted as saying: “Our family puts the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional.”

Dysfunctional is an understatement. The appearance-obsessed Trumps project an image of unity, but, behind the polished facade, they seem to loathe and distrust each other. This is not surprising, considering that one of Donald’s favourite mantras to his kids growing up was reportedly: “Don’t trust anyone.” According to a GQ profile of Donald Trump Jr, the president used to ask his children whether they trusted him. When they replied: “Of course,” he would tell them off for not learning their lesson. Maybe he had a point: Mary’s book (which is also said to contain “damning” comments from Donald’s sister, the retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry) marks the first time a Trump has written a critical tell-all about the president, but I would be surprised if it were the last time one of his own undermined him. The question is: which Trump will turn on the president next? ............(more)


Second Michigan poll shows Trump even farther behind, with Biden leading by 16 points

(Detroit Free Press) The damage done to President Donald Trump's standing in Michigan following recent protests outside the White House and in cities across the U.S. may have been even greater than originally believed, a new poll released to the Free Press said Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, EPIC-MRA of Lansing, a polling firm that does work for the Free Press, released a survey showing former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leading Trump 53%-41% in Michigan, a 12-point edge.

But a second poll, started on May 31, a day after the first poll began, and concluded a day later than the first poll, on June 4, showed Biden leading Trump 55%-39% in Michigan, a 16-point margin. As it did for the first poll, EPIC-MRA surveyed 600 randomly selected likely voters for the second one, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. .........(more)


New York MTA moves forward with ultraviolet pilot for disinfecting full trains

New York MTA moves forward with ultraviolet pilot for disinfecting full trains
Full train sets are now part of the pilot program to disinfect using full spectrum ultraviolet technology.

MTA – New York City Transit

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is piloting ultraviolet disinfecting technology across entire train sets.

The pilot was initially focused on identifying ways to eradicate COVID-19 in rolling stock, including car classes R188, R62, R46, R68, and R160 at Corona, Coney Island, Jamaica and Pelham Maintenance Shops. Rolling out full spectrum Ultraviolet (including germicidal UV-C, UV-B and anti-bacterial UV-A) to pilot on full train sets marks the latest progress in the MTA's efforts to clean and disinfect its more than 6,500-car fleet.

"We continue to move full speed ahead with our efforts to explore any and every idea that might help keep our system safe during these challenging times," said Senior Vice President for Subways at New York City Transit Sally Librera. "Ultraviolet technology is one of many outside-the-box ideas we're pursuing to disinfect the system. I look forward to continuing to expand this pilot and learning more about how ultraviolet technology can best help us moving forward."

MTA says ultraviolet light is an efficient, proven and effective technology for eliminating viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. ............(more)


The gap between Trump's world and reality is widening. It's disturbing to watch

The gap between Trump's world and reality is widening. It's disturbing to watch
Francine Prose

In Greek mythology, Cerberus – angry and snarling – stood at the gates to hell. Trump and his inner circle are our Cerberus
Mon 15 Jun 2020 03.30 EDTLast modified on Mon 15 Jun 2020 03.31 EDT

(Guardian UK) Given how busy most Americans are these days – home-schooling their kids, dealing with unemployment, waiting on line at food banks, protesting systemic racism, worrying about our economy and our educational system – few of us have the time, the energy or inclination to wonder what it’s like to be Donald Trump, to imagine how his mind works, what he really thinks and believes. But over the past few weeks, the increasingly strange, intentionally provocative, inappropriate and frankly delusional tweets and pronouncements issuing from the Oval Office have once again caused us to reflect on the president’s inner life. We’ve grown accustomed to his shortcomings, the regular failures of decency, common sense, and good taste. Yet the gap between what the president is saying – and the reality we observe around us – appears to be widening.

Does Trump truly believe that Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old protester shoved to the ground by Buffalo police officers, was an Antifa insurrectionist plotting to block the communications equipment of the officers who shoved him and left him bleeding from the ear? Does the courtly, somewhat hesitant Gugino really look to anyone like a dangerous thug? How could someone have watched that video and floated the idea that the attack on Gugino, still hospitalized with a brain injury, “could be a set-up?”

Is it possible that a president who has spent four years lying to the American people now assumes that everyone is lying? Or can he simply no longer distinguish between fact and fiction, between conspiracy theories spread by fringe “news” outlets such as the One America News Network and observable reality? What sane human being could imagine that America wanted to hear that George Floyd was smiling down from heaven at the day’s modestly improved job reports?

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the 8,000 word “long telegram” that George Kennan, then the American chargé d’affaires in Moscow and later an architect of the Cold War, sent to the State Department in 1946 – a document in which Kennan described the methods of an authoritarian dictatorship, “so strange to our form of thought”. Under Stalin, wrote Kennan, “The very disrespect of Russians for objective truth – indeed, their disbelief in its existence – leads them to view all stated facts as instruments for furtherance of one ulterior purpose or another.” ............(more)


An Epically Bad Week for US Brick-and-Mortar Retailers and Landlords

An Epically Bad Week for US Brick-and-Mortar Retailers and Landlords
by Wolf Richter • Jun 14, 2020 •

Winners in this crisis: Ecommerce – for retailers that don’t sell men’s office & formal wear – and for sure, lawyers.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Tailored Brands, a holding company for men’s apparel stores, including Men’s Wearhouse and JoS. A. Bank, is considering filing for bankruptcy, according to sources cited by Bloomberg on June 8. Bankruptcy would allow the company to shut weaker locations while keeping other stores operating, the sources said.

The company confirmed in an SEC filing on June 10 that it may have to file for bankruptcy:

“If the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are protracted and we are unable to increase liquidity and/or effectively address our debt position, we may be forced to scale back or terminate operations and/or seek protection under applicable bankruptcy laws. This could result in a complete loss of shareholder value,” it said.

But its problems started years ago, including the misbegotten $1.8 billion acquisition of JoS. A. Bank in 2014, whose revenues promptly went into a death spiral. Overall revenues fell every year since 2016. .............(more)


Because we could all use a laugh....this made me LOL

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Next »