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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

‘The video is not good': Cincinnati braces for footage release in campus cop killing of Sam Dubose

An Ohio prosecutor is refusing to release body camera video from the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man during a traffic stop — but top officials are suggesting that the video disputes the campus police officer’s claims of self-defense.

Officer Ray Tensing, of the University of Cincinnati police department, shot and killed 43-year-old Sam Dubose during a routine traffic stop July 19 near campus.

Tensing stopped Dubose about 6:30 p.m. because he did not have a license plate on the front of his car, in apparent violation of Ohio law, about a half-mile from campus in Cincinnati’s historic Mount Auburn neighborhood.

The officer claims Dubose would not show his driver’s license and instead produced a bottle of alcohol and refused to get out of his vehicle. .....................(more)


U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls to the Lowest Level Since the 1960s

(Bloomberg) The share of Americans who own their homes fell to the lowest level in almost five decades, extending a multiyear decline as families struggle to regain ground lost during the financial crisis and rentals gain favor.

The U.S. homeownership rate was 63.4 percent in the second quarter, down from 63.7 percent in the previous three months, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. It was lowest reading since 1967.

Would-be homebuyers have been held back by stringent mortgage standards and wage growth that hasn’t kept up with surging home prices. The average household income in June was 4 percent below a record high set in early 2008, even as unemployment dropped to its pre-recession rate, according to Sentier Research LLC.

“We’re still suffering the effects of the housing collapse and the financial crisis,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We may have another percentage point to go before we see a bottom” in the homeownership rate, he said. ..................(more)


China is not a sideshow; it's the radioactive core of the entire global bubble.

By David Stockman, David Stockman’s Contra Corner:

Bubblevision’s Scott Wapner nearly split a neck vessel today denouncing the US stock market sell-off. It was completely unwarranted, he thundered, because China don’t have nothin’ to do with anything.

Why, insisted CNBC’s best dressed pom-pom boy, China’s stock market has never been correlated with its economy, and, anyhow, its economy doesn’t matter all that much to the S&P 500 because China accounts for only 14% of global GDP.

Besides that, China’s stock market is exactly like what Yogi Berra said about his favorite restaurant: It’s so crowded, nobody goes there anymore!

That is, according to the talking heads Chinese household’s don’t go to the bourses, either. Few of them own stock and equities account for only 20% of household wealth compared to upwards of 65% in the US.


Here’s the thing. Between the 2007 pre-crisis peak and 2014, the estimated world GDP expanded from $53 trillion to about $69 trillion. But fully 33% of that $17 trillion gain was directly accounted for by China; and far more than half of the total is actually attributable when the multiplier effect on resource suppliers like Australia, Brazil and Canada is accounted for, and when the pull effect on intermediate component suppliers like south Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan is added to the brew.

That’s not 14%. The collapse of red capitalism in China is exporting gale force deflation to the global economy, meaning that the already evident rollover of world trade is just beginning its descent. .............(more)


Toronto: Improvements to 33 Off-Peak TTC Bus and Streetcar Routes Coming

Toronto Mayor John Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle on July 27, announced off-peak service improvements that will provide more frequent, less crowded and more comfortable service on 33 of the city's busiest bus and streetcar routes this fall.

These service improvements largely reverse off-peak services cuts that were made in February 2012 and are in addition to improvements announced to 61 routes already this summer. The increased service will start in September, and is made possible by the $95 million investment in transit in the 2015 Budget.

"I am committed to getting Toronto moving, which is why in my first budget as Mayor we made the single largest investment in transit in recent memory," said Tory. "Today, we are seeing more results from this investment which will make it easier for the people of Toronto to get to work and home to their families."

These improvements to 26 bus and seven streetcar routes across the city will provide a noticeable improvement in service quality, resulting in shorter wait times, less crowding and a better chance for customers to get a seat. .................(more)


Au revoir to the Northern White Rhino ..........


(Bloomberg) One of the world’s most endangered animals, the northern white rhinoceros, edged closer to extinction when one of the last five of its kind known to exist died in a Czech zoo.

The 31-year-old female Nabire, who lived her life at the Dvur Kralove zoo, about 140 kilometers (88 miles) northeast of Prague, died on Monday of a ruptured cyst, the zoo said on its website Tuesday.

Nabire’s death “brought another species closer to complete extinction,” zoo director Premysl Rabas said. He blamed the plight of the northern white rhinoceros on “meaningless human greed.”

Northern white rhinos were last seen in the wild in central Africa in 2007. Their disappearance stemmed from demand for their horns, which are used for medical and cultural purposes in some parts of Asia and the Arab world. The last surviving male lives in Kenya with two females, and the other female lives in San Diego, according to the Czech zoo. ...............(more)


Will Hillary Clinton Adopt Hedgie Billionaire John Arnold’s Schemes for Retirement Insecurity?

Will Hillary Clinton Adopt Hedgie Billionaire John Arnold’s Schemes for Retirement Insecurity?
By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

The front-running scheme for “retirement security” — backed by billionaire John Arnold — looks an awful lot like it’s “on the table” because it guarantees that middlemen collect fees for “managing” what we used to call your “nest egg.” Will Hillary Clinton’s campaign platform support it?

Hillary Clinton Has Ruled Out Expanding Social Security

This was the line in Talking Points Memo, back in April:

Hillary Clinton is not taking a position just yet on Social Security expansion, an issue with growing support in the Democratic Party that several of her prospective presidential primary rivals have endorsed.

The Clinton campaign told TPM on Thursday, in response to a query, that the Democratic frontrunner “will have a lot to say” about the issue and emphasized her opposition to privatizing Social Security.

But here’ s Clinton’s platform today:

“Explore ways to enhance” most definitely does not mean “expand,” especially when Clinton plans to include “saving” in any plan to allow working people — since “working families” doesn’t include those who aren’t married — to “retire with dignity.”


Clinton May Be Leaning Toward “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs)

Check out this beat sweetener for potential charismatic technical spokesperson, Teresa Ghilarducci, in the National Journal (hat tip AH), where we see the Clinton code of omerta fully operative:

(Ghilarducci) will not talk about how many times—or when, or where—she has met with Clinton … Though Clinton has begun her campaign on a decidedly liberal note, it’s anything but clear how far she’ll go in adopting the kind of agenda that Ghilarducci advocates. Clinton gave “retirement security” a shout-out in her campaign launch speech on Roosevelt Island, but there were no specifics.


Not Terrorism? (cartoon)


China Has Biggest One-Day Stock Crash Since 2007

(Bloomberg) China’s stocks tumbled, with the benchmark index falling the most since February 2007, amid concern a three-week rally sparked by unprecedented government intervention is unsustainable.

The Shanghai Composite Index plunged 8.5 percent to 3,725.56 at the close, with 75 stocks dropping for each one that rose. PetroChina Co., long considered a target of state-linked market support funds, tumbled by a record 9.6 percent. China Securities Finance Corp., a state-backed agency that provides margin financing and liquidity, hasn’t exited the stock market, China Securities Regulatory Commission spokesman Zhang Xiaojun said in a statement after the close of trading.

Monday’s retreat shattered the sense of calm that had fallen over mainland markets last week and raised questions over the viability of government efforts to prop up share prices as the economy slows. China’s industrial profits fell 0.3 percent in June from a year earlier, the statistics bureau reported on Monday. The International Monetary Fund has urged China to eventually unwind its support measures, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“Investors are afraid the Chinese government will withdraw supporting measures from the market,” said Sam Chi Yung, a strategist at Delta Asia Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Once those disappear, the market cannot support itself.” ...................(more)


Kuala Lumpur’s $1 Billion Air Terminal Is Sinking, Airline Says

(Bloomberg) Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s new budget passenger terminal is sinking, with cracks appearing in the taxiway and water forming pools that planes must drive through.

The defects could cause flight delays, increase wear and tear on planes and pose potential safety risks, according to AirAsia Bhd., the new terminal’s biggest user. Though take offs and landings aren’t affected, the carrier has asked Malaysian authorities to fix the problems before passengers get hurt, Chief Executive Officer Aireen Omar said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

“The airport is still sinking,” Aireen said. The operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd., “has done some partial resurfacing, but what the airport actually needs is a permanent solution.”

Complaints about the new terminal cap a bad run for Malaysia’s aviation industry, after two deadly accidents for the national carrier -- the unsolved disappearance of Flight MH370 in March 2014 and the shooting down of another plane over Ukraine last July. Construction expenses for klia2, as the new terminal is known, ballooned from an initial estimate of about 1.7 billion ringgit ($446 million) to 4 billion ringgit. .................(more)


Is the Ugly German Back? Flames of Hate Haunt a Nation

from Der Spiegel:

During the first six months of this year, right-wing extremists in Germany committed attacks against places housing asylum-seekers on an almost daily basis. Many refugees living in the country fear for their lives.

It's a Monday night in July and Samuel Osei is frightened to death. Two neo-Nazis have entered the concrete bloc apartment building where Osei is staying, on the edge of Greifswald, a city in eastern Germany. The two men are drunk and swearing. Osei, an asylum-seeker from Ghana, steps out on his balcony and tries to placate them. "I'm sorry," he calls out. But the right-wing extremists only grow more aggressive. They begin shouting. One of the two takes off his shirt and Osei recognizes a swastika on his chest.

The men storm into the building and begin pounding on the door to Osei's apartment. They then go down to the basement and remove the fuses, cutting off the power. Osei cowers in his room in the dark. He calls a friend who in turn alerts the police. The attackers have already left by the time officers.
Osei chokes up when he talks about that evening a week and a half ago. Traces of the attack are still visible -- the door is dented and its peephole shattered. "These guys wanted to put an end to something," he says.

Osei, who is 29, has been living in Germany for eight months. He's taking German lessons and earns his money by helping other refugees move. Osei likes Greifswald, which is located on the Baltic coast -- he especially likes the sea and the Old Town. He says most people in the city are friendly and helpful. At the same time, he's struggling with the animosity he has experienced at the hands of racists.

One of the men involved in the attack had already cursed at him on the street. His mailbox at the apartment was also vandalized several times. The Ghanaian also has photos of the two attackers and has given a statement to the police. The state Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is responsible for monitoring extremists, including neo-Nazis, in Germany, has also opened an investigation. "It was mental torture," Osei says. .................(more)


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