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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

Orders for U.S. Goods Excluding Transportation Unexpectedly Drop

(Bloomberg) Demand for U.S. durable goods other than transportation equipment unexpectedly dropped in August for a third consecutive month, signaling that slowdowns in business investment and exports will further restrain the economic recovery.

Orders for goods meant to last at least three years, excluding volatile demand for such things as airplanes and automobiles, fell 1.6 percent last month after a greater-than- previously estimated 1.3 percent decrease in July, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. Total bookings plunged 13 percent, the most since January 2009, paced by a decline in demand for civilian aircraft.

Manufacturing, once a pillar of the economic recovery, has cooled, hurting companies such as Caterpillar Inc. as concern about the fiscal cliff of tax increases and government spending cuts that may take effect next year causes businesses to pull back. Slowing growth from Europe to China also is putting a dent on exports, another headwind for American factories.

“There was broad-based weakness,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York. “What this now means is that capital expenditures are now going to probably fall for the first time since the recovery started. It remains a terribly challenging backdrop in the U.S.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/orders-for-u-s-capital-goods-signal-business-spending-slowdown.html

OK, maybe it's the beach-goers who are out of place, not the sharks?

Shark Attacks Spark Kill Orders to Protect Aussie Beaches

(Bloomberg) The government of Western Australia said it plans to track, catch and if necessary kill sharks threatening beachgoers after a record five fatal attacks in the state in the past year.

Officials will be allowed to destroy sharks “posing an imminent threat,” Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said in an e- mailed statement today as he announced a A$6.85 million ($7.1 million) protection, research and education program. Previously the state only issued kill orders following a shark attack.

Tourism operators in Western Australia are attempting to lure domestic and international visitors to the state’s 12,000- kilometer-long (7,500-mile) coastline, which is studded with pristine beaches. The most recent attack saw a 24-year-old surfer taken by a five-meter great white shark on July 14 off an isolated beach about 160 kilometers north of the state capital Perth. His remains weren’t recovered.

There have been at least 869 shark attacks in the nation since 1791, 216 of them fatal, according to the Australian Shark Attack File based at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. The deaths in Western Australia in the past year include an American scuba-diving tourist, a body boarder and a swimmer at Perth’s Cottesloe Beach, it said. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/shark-attacks-spark-kill-orders-to-protect-aussie-beaches.html

Thousands Surround Spanish Parliament in Bid to "Occupy Congress" and Stop Austerity

from Democracy Now!:

Pt. I

Pt. II


AMY GOODMAN: Joining us from Madrid is Democracy Now! correspondent and independent journalist Maria Carrion, who has been at the protest all day yesterday.

Maria, welcome to Democracy Now!

MARIA CARRION: Thank you, Amy. Good to be with you.

AMY GOODMAN: Tell us what’s happening.

MARIA CARRION: Well, as you, as your viewers and listeners have been able to see, it’s a very serious situation here in Spain. This is just the latest of many, many protests that we have been having here in Spain, in the last year, especially, and there will be many more coming. People have lost faith in government. People have lost faith in the main institutions. And we are facing 27 billion euros in social spending cuts. Every week, the government unveils a series of new measures that affect primarily education and health and salaries and the welfare of Spanish people. And as we saw at the top of the hour, Greece is really an example of what’s coming our way, and that’s why I think people are so enraged and so worried, because they see that none of the measures imposed on Greece on in Portugal or in Ireland are having any sort of effect on the economy, on people’s welfare, on employment. And so, I think people are saying we do not want to head in that same direction.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Maria Carrion, you’ve spoken also about some of the effects on people already with the austerity measures in place, quite apart from what might happen tomorrow. Can you talk in particular about housing and food? ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/26/thousands_surround_spanish_parliament_in_bid

Keiser Report: Kiss My QE

Published on Sep 27, 2012 by RussiaToday

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss punk rock 'Tall Paul' giving the two finger salute to Ben Bernanke's QE3 and gold adjusting for zero growth, yield, velocity and confidence.

The GOP's 10-year campaign to gin up voter fraud hysteria—and bring back Jim Crow at the ballot box

from Mother Jones:

The Dog That Voted and Other Election Fraud Yarns
The GOP's 10-year campaign to gin up voter fraud hysteria—and bring back Jim Crow at the ballot box.

—By Kevin Drum

On March 21, 2005, a sandy-haired 43-year-old attorney named Mark "Thor" Hearne took a seat under the Greek Revival dome of the Ohio Statehouse to testify before the House Administration Committee. The committee was holding a field hearing on the subject of voter fraud, a hot topic in Congress—and in Ohio, where George W. Bush had eked out a narrow, hotly contested victory over John Kerry the year before.

Hearne introduced himself as counsel for the American Center for Voting Rights. The Buckeye State, he said, had suffered from "massive" registration fraud during the presidential election. Liberal groups like ACORN and the AFL-CIO were implicated in illegal voter registration schemes. An NAACP operative had paid for fake registrations in crack. Then, after enrolling thousands of phony voters, these same groups had flooded the courts with lawsuits designed to create bedlam on Election Day and prevent fraudulent votes from being discovered. To back up his story, Hearne submitted a 31-page report, signed by more than a dozen Ohio attorneys.

It was a startlingly lurid picture—and the latest chapter in a long-simmering feud between Republicans, who claim that fraud is rampant in US elections, and Democrats, who say such charges are merely an excuse to suppress the vote. Still, there was something different about this episode. It wasn't just a one-off bit of bluster during a bitter recount battle. That would have been politics as usual. Instead, it marked a dramatic widening of the war. This was, after all, a congressional hearing, and Hearne represented an organization dedicated to pushing Republican claims of voter fraud not just during post-election court fights, but everywhere and all the time. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/voter-suppression-kevin-drum

Republicans Lost the War With Women the Moment They Declared It

from truthdig:

Republicans Lost the War With Women the Moment They Declared It

Posted on Sep 27, 2012
By Peter Z. Scheer

A new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll has the voting women of Ohio giving Barack Obama 25 points over Mitt Romney. In Pennsylvania, women prefer Obama by 21 points and in Florida the president has a 19-point advantage, according to the same poll. That might have something to do with the war on women Republicans have been accidentally waging this summer. Well, the war is not accidental—it’s quite intentional—it just wasn’t meant to be this public.

Let’s talk about women.

My grandmother didn’t think her daughter needed to go to college. Mom could find a husband to provide for her. She went anyway and worked her way through school until she got herself a “copyboy” job at the Los Angeles Times at a time when women, if they were hired to write at all, wrote about clothes and food.

My mom became a reporter, an editor, a bureau chief, an edition chief, an associate editor in charge of 10 sections and a vice president of a company that, when she got there, thought she might be an aspiring secretary. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/republicans_lost_the_war_with_women_the_moment_they_declared_it_20120927/

Student debt stretches to record 1 in 5 households

WASHINGTON (AP) — With college enrollment growing, student debt has stretched to a record number of U.S. households — nearly 1 in 5 — with the biggest burdens falling on the young and poor.

The analysis by the Pew Research Center found that 22.4 million households, or 19 percent, had college debt in 2010. That is double the share in 1989, and up from 15 percent in 2007, just prior to the recession — representing the biggest three-year increase in student debt in more than two decades.

The increase was driven by higher tuition costs as well as rising college enrollment during the economic downturn. The biggest jumps occurred in households at the two extremes of the income distribution. More well-off families are digging deeper into their pockets to pay for costly private colleges, while lower-income people in search of higher-wage jobs are enrolling in community colleges, public universities and other schools as a way to boost their resumes.

Because of the sluggish economy, fewer college students than before are able to settle into full-time careers immediately upon graduation, contributing to a jump in debt among lower-income households as the young adults take on part-time jobs or attend graduate school, according to Pew. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://news.yahoo.com/student-debt-stretches-record-1-5-households-220125251.html

Contempt for Congress Rampant as Public Rejects Sacrifice

(Bloomberg) The U.S. public is critical of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress for failing to resolve such issues as the national debt while rejecting the sacrifices that may be needed to fix it.

According to a Bloomberg National Poll, Republicans in Congress have an unfavorable rating of 51 percent, and Democrats are only in slightly better shape, with 49 percent of poll respondents viewing them unfavorably.

“Congress hasn’t been able to do anything except name post offices over the past two years,” said Steve Crews, a 29-year- old writer and independent voter from Long Beach, California. “As soon as one party or the other becomes a majority, they think they have this mandate from God Almighty and the other side must be the devil incarnate,” he said.

With Congress recessing until after the Nov. 6 election, lawmakers left a pile of unresolved issues. Chief among them is a debt-reduction agreement that would address the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and $1.2 trillion in automatic spending reductions set to begin in January. The deficit is projected this year to reach $1.1 trillion, which would make it the fourth consecutive year the government has run trillion-dollar shortfalls. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/contempt-for-congress-rampant-as-public-rejects-sacrifice.html

There Will Be No Bacon Shortage


There Will Be No Bacon Shortage
How a British trade association press release sent the Internet into a senseless panic.

By Matthew Yglesias|Posted Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, at 3:08 PM ET

It all began, strangely enough, with a press release from an obscure foreign trade association. The National Pig Association of the United Kingdom, you see, wants British customers to feel OK about the idea of paying a higher retail price for pork products. They’d particularly like it if British customers went out of their way to buy locally produced pork. And why wouldn’t they?

“Vendors want you to buy more of their product at higher prices” is more or less the ultimate dog bites man (or, as the case may be, pork chop) story. But the press release’s provocative lede—“A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable”—captured the imagination of the Internet. Not right away, mind you. The release is dated Sept. 20, but the looming bacon shortage didn’t start making global headlines until Tuesday, Sept. 25.

“Bacon Shortage Worldwide ‘Unavoidable’ UK Pig Group Says” was CNBC’s headline, while CBS went with “Global Bacon Shortage ‘Unavoidable,’ Group Says.” Up in Canada, the CBC offered the pithier “Global Bacon Shortage ‘Unavoidable.’” The news made the Huffington Post and even the Washington Post's weather blog (“Weather a factor in looming global bacon shortage”).

Given the rise of bacon worship in recent years, perhaps it’s no surprise that people are upset at the thought of a bacon shortage. But is the shortage real? And does it even have anything to do with bacon in particular? Are we headed for a dystopian future of food lines and bacon rationing? ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/09/unavoidable_bacon_shortage_u_k_s_national_pig_association_has_everyone_worried_about_the_price_of_pork_.html

The Price of US Interventionism

from Consortium News:

The Price of US Interventionism
September 26, 2012

Mitt Romney and his neocon advisers want to confront the Muslim world with a “credible military threat” as if more American “tough-guy-ism” will quell the region’s anti-Americanism. But the reality is that the long history of U.S. intervention has engendered the hostility, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.

By Ivan Eland

The attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four U.S. diplomats, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, is the latest example of tragic blowback from the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy in the Islamic world. That it happened on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an even more severe example of such blowback, is a cruel irony.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush told us that Islamist terrorists attack us for “our freedoms.” This contradicted the conclusion of his own Defense Science Board and other expert opinion — including that of the perpetrator of those attacks, Osama bin Laden — that al-Qaeda attacked us for our foreign policy of intervening indiscriminately in Muslim lands.

The enduring lack of introspection on the part of the American government and people about the ill effects of those needless interventions leads to their continuation and consequent unpleasant blowback. Unfortunately, the killing of American personnel in Libya and the attacks on and violent protests at U.S. diplomatic facilities in 20 Islamic countries are examples of this payback.

At the time, critics of the overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi rightfully asked during the process exactly who made up the opposition the U.S. was supporting and what kind of government would replace him. They held out the possibility of post-Gaddafi instability, tribal warfare, and maybe even an Islamist takeover of the country. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/09/26/the-price-of-us-interventionism/

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