I put it below the fold to give you time to put down all liquids. Seriously, but them down.
You're not listening. Put down the cup or glass before clicking!
Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you.
Recession: Economics. a period of an economic contraction, sometimes limited in scope or duration.So, you tell me; which of the two definitions above more accurately describes today's economic state?
Depression: Economics. a period during which business, employment, and stock-market values decline severely or remain at a very low level of activity.
Friday BlogaroundIt's like stealing candy from a baby. Well, except code isn't candy. And MB isn't a baby. Otherwise, it's almost the same.
Here's the LC take on the news and esoterica of the week.- A Blog Around The Clock: doing homework today.Here comes March like a lion...
- archy: show us Bobby Jindal's birth certificate.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: finally an adult addresses Congress.
- Bloggg: Community? Ha.
- Dohiyi Mir: NTodd remembers a friend; remembers Whitman.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: women are different than men.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: inundation.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces of the week.
- Musing's musings: so resign already.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web loves her job.
- Rook's Rant: new day, same ideological divide.
- rubber hose: residual force.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: tea, no sugar.
- Speedkill: affirmative action.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: of chimps and watermelons.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: representation for D.C.
- The Invisible Library: kindling a fight.
- WTF Is It Now?? show me the salt-marsh mouse.
I'm sure it was just a simple malfunction. It's not like there are people out there who would stoop to such levels as to sabotage a NASA rocket. Right?
(CNN) -- A NASA satellite crashed back to Earth about three minutes after launch early Tuesday, officials said.
"We could not make orbit," NASA program manager John Brunschwyler said. "Initial indications are the vehicle did not have enough [force] to reach orbit and landed just short of Antarctica in the ocean."
"Certainly for the science community, it's a huge disappointment."
The satellite, which would have monitored greenhouse gases to study how they affect the Earth's climate, was launched on a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:55 a.m. PT (4:55 a.m. ET).
But the payload fairing -- a clamshell-shaped structure that allows the satellite to travel through space -- failed to separate from the rocket, NASA officials said.
Common DreamsI rarely post an entire article, but damn, there is not one bit I can leave out. It's all scary. And I don't give a damn about the conspiracy theories floating over in the conservative zone, Soros and Volcker are both economic geniuses. Say what you will about Soros, but he saw trouble coming, got back into the game, and saved his fortune. I'll not argue against his point. And Volcker may be more responsible for the economic prosperity during the Clinton years than any other person.
NEW YORK - Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis.Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.
He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system.
"We witnessed the collapse of the financial system," Soros said at a Columbia University dinner. "It was placed on life support, and it's still on life support. There's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom."
His comments echoed those made earlier at the same conference by Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman who is now a top adviser to President Barack Obama.
Volcker said industrial production around the world was declining even more rapidly than in the United States, which is itself under severe strain.
"I don't remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world," Volcker said.
Personally, I like the sound of this better;
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Citigroup Inc. is in discussions with regulators about a plan for the federal government to take a larger ownership stake in the bank, according to published reports.
The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that the government would convert a large portion of its preferred Citigroup shares to common shares.
The Obama administration has said it wants to keep the banking system in private hands, which seems to suggest it isn't aiming to run the likes of Citi and BofA. But that leaves the door open to an "intervention" -- a takeover of a troubled bank for the purpose of breaking it up, bringing in new capital and finding new owners and management.Since it appears that Citi and BofA are too big to fail, than cut them apart and make them small enough to fail individual without taking the rest of the nation with them.
[highlighted by me]
This is just a small example of what lies ahead for Obama. He will have to slowly tip tow through a mine field of political and tribal conflicts that have been plaguing both Afghanistan and Pakistan for centuries. A situation left for him by the Miserable Failure.
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Taliban gunmen detained a senior official in Pakistan on Sunday, demonstrating their grip on a critical northwestern valley while pursuing a peace deal the United States fears will amount to a militant victory.
Police said armed men waylaid Khushal Khan and six bodyguards as they drove to Swat, where militants have defied an army offensive, beheaded opponents and burned girls' schools.
Hours later, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the official had continued his journey after "having tea with our comrades," but officials could not immediately confirm his release.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A day after publishing a cartoon that drew fire from critics who said it evoked historically racist images, the New York Post apologized in a statement on its Web site -- even as it defended its action and blasted some detractors.This is what we call in the CD biz a "Ya But" answer. In other words; yes you're right, but no you're wrong. So, basically, everyone is both right and wrong in the criticism of the cartoon.
The Post said the cartoon was meant to mock what it called an "ineptly written" stimulus bill."But it has been taken as something else -- as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism," reads the statement. "This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize."
But the statement immediately swerves to fire back at some of the image's critics.Nice going on covering all bases! Yes. Very impressive.
"However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past -- and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback," the statement says. "To them, no apology is due. Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon -- even as the opportunists seek to make it something else."
LC had to say about all of the fun.That's right. I'm back in the saddle again. You got a problem with that?- A Blog Around The Clock: Coturnix in the Big Apple.Two big car shows this weekend; one in downtown Miami on Saturday, and the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance on Sunday. I'll be there.
- All Facts and Opinions: contemptuous dude.
- archy: outrages.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: the other "F" word.
- Bloggg: Moi has an idea.
- Dohiyi Mir: get your prosecution on.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: the way of all flesh.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: how to end gerrymandering.
- Iddybud Journal: One-Man Village.
- Left Is Right: papal hypocrisy.
- Musing's musings: sorry, Roland.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: Elayne's prepping for a trip to England; want to guest-blog for her while she's gone?
- Rook's Rant on Eric Holder's speech about race.
- rubber hose: test threat.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: Heath Shuler gets scrutinized.
- Speedkill: religion and morality.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: Cut!!!
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: 2010 might be tough for Democrats.
- The Invisible Library: Publishing on demand -- the cutting edge of respectability.
- WTF Is It Now?? isolating the Christian gene.
- ...You Are A Tree is game-blogging again.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a blunt assessment of race relations in the United States, Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday called the American people "essentially a nation of cowards" in failing to openly discuss the issue of race.You know the wing nuts are going to go, well, errr.... nuts over this.
(CNN) -- Marvin Schur may have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the World War II veteran was chronically late in paying his utility bills during the two years before he froze to death last month at age 93 in his home in Bay City, Michigan, after his power was cut off.Boy, talk about not noticing someone having difficulty. Considering this man's history, it was obvious something was wrong. It was not a case of willfully refusing to pay. Schur was having difficulty in functioning. And nobody took notice. A WWII veteran deserved better than this. Bay City, Michigan really screwed the pooch.
In February 2007, Schur tried to pay about $350 at his bank, according to a city accounts supervisor. Ten days later, the supervisor says, a city worker made a notation that Schur's bank was not an authorized payment center.
The following month, the same city official says records show Schur tried to pay $876 at a different bank that could accept utility payments. However, the city says its records inexplicably don't reflect that the payment was made.
After receiving a fine for unpaid bills, Schur wiped the slate clean with a $1,000 payment, according to Bay City Accounts Supervisor Tina Cooper.
Somehow, Putin figures into this move. Does he have enough clout with the Kyrgyzstan parliament to cause this move? I suspect he does. Unfortunately, all I have are suppositions and hunches. But, then, once upon a time, that's all our administration had.
(CNN) -- Kyrgyzstan parliament has voted to close a base the U.S. military uses as a route for troops and supplies heading into Afghanistan, a government spokesman said Thursday.
Of the 87 members of parliament who attended the session, 78 voted to close it, the spokesman said.
The law must now be signed by the Kyrgyz president. It will then be forwarded to the United States, after which the U.S. military has 180 days in which to withdraw from the base, the spokesman said.
MSNBCSo, which politicians will be exposed?
WASHINGTON - Banking giant UBS has agreed to pay $780 million and turn over once-secret Swiss banking records to settle allegations it conspired to defraud the U.S. government of taxes owed by thousands of American clients.
As part of the deal struck in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, UBS has made the unprecedented step of agreeing to turn over to the U.S. government immediately account information for U.S. customers of the bank's cross-border business.
You're getting more and more pathetic. Desperation just doesn't look good on you, my fellow ex-stoner.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The judges in the Minnesota Senate trial have denied a request from Norm Coleman that they reconsider a ruling unfavorable to his case.
Last week, the judges eliminated from consideration about a dozen categories of rejected absentee ballots. That limited the number of votes Coleman, a Republican, might be able to get counted as he tries to overtake Democrat Al Franken's 225-vote lead.
(CNN) -- California lawmakers were told to bring their toothbrushes and prepare for a long day Tuesday, with the goal of passing a budget as the state faces a $42 billion deficit and 20,000 layoff notices were set to go out to state workers Tuesday.Although, I think in this case, Cali is following the country.
The Republican governor, who declared a fiscal emergency in December, has butted heads for months with the Democratic majority over alleviating the state's $11.2 billion revenue shortfall this fiscal year alone. The cuts would save California $750 million for the year. The state's $42 billion deficit is for the current and next fiscal years.
Schwarzenegger warned lawmakers about the cuts last week, urging them to approve the latest budget proposal. However, voting was stalled over a 30-hour weekend session as the legislature mulled over 26 pieces of legislation that make up the budget package.
The State Assembly in Sacramento postponed action until Tuesday. A single Republican vote was holding the budget from passing with a two-thirds majority, McLear said.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The founder of an Islamic television station in upstate New York aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes has confessed to beheading his wife, authorities said.My problem with organized religion is that it's a construct of man. And since man is flawed, that makes organized religion flawed. Now, give me an organized religion that openly, honestly and with great humility, acknowledges it's flaw, then I might be willing to step inside one of their houses of worship. But as long as people like Muzzammil Hassan, Fred Phelps, Pat Robinson, Osama bin Laden, et. el., are the faces associated with fundamental religions, I'll pass.
Muzzammil Hassan was charged with second-degree murder after police found the decapitated body of his wife, Aasiya Hassan, at the Bridges TV station in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, said Andrew Benz, Orchard Park's police chief.
One point that seems to be largely lost in the discussions about what to do about the banking system is that every week the FDIC is "nationalizing" banks, or more specifically putting them into receivership.And then asked the $1,000,000,000,000 question;
So the question is why, other than the fact that they're very politically connected, the "big" banks like Citi and Bank of AMERICA, are exempt from this standard process.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani government officials announced Monday that they have reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow strict Islamic law, or sharia, to be implemented in parts of North West Frontier Province.This is a problem. Especially since it is happening in a country supposedly on our side in the Global War On Terror. Once again, more proof of the utter folly of BushCo™.
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (CNN) -- Hillary Clinton says her first overseas trip to Asia as U.S. secretary of state is aimed at creating a "network of partners" to tackle problems that no nation can deal with alone, including the global economic crisis.Good luck Hillary. Hopefully, you'll restore our honor after having had the face of the US be a shoe shopping incompetent.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in an accident with a French submarine while on operations in the Atlantic Ocean, CNN has learned. Both vessels are understood to have been carrying nuclear warheads at the time and to have suffered damage.I know there was a time France and England were enemies, but still.....
(CNN) -- The second-highest ranking official in Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's political party resigned Saturday, along with four other high-ranking Kurdish politicians, officials said.The kids just don't seem to be getting along. They are not playing or working well with each other.
The New York TimesSo much so, he's my hero!
The provision, written by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, highlighted the growing wrath among lawmakers and voters over the lavish compensation that top Wall Street firms and big banks awarded to senior executives at the same time that many of the companies, teetering on the brink of insolvency, received taxpayer-paid bailouts.
(CNN) -- The U.S. Senate gave final approval Friday to a $787 billion recovery package that President Obama hopes will help boost an economy in freefall[sic] with a combination of government spending and tax cuts and credits.Now, while the Republicans may whine about it's lack of effectiveness, I think enough people in the nation saw how they were obstructionists, showing only concern for their political standing, and not caring one iota for the majority of Americans who are currently suffering through this economic crisis.
(CNN) -- Five children were among "a number" of civilians killed in a firefight between insurgents and Australian troops in Afghanistan's Oruzgan Province, Australia's Defense Ministry said in a news release issued Friday.
What is it Atrios is always saying? Oh ya.
WASHINGTON - Nearly 5 million Americans continued to draw jobless benefits late last month, and new requests again exceeded 600,00 as companies lay off scores of workers amid a deepening recession.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of initial jobless benefit claims dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 623,000, from an upwardly revised figure of 631,000 the previous week. The latest tally still was above analysts' expectations of 610,000 claims.
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Two satellites, one Russian and one American, have collided some 800 kilometers (500 miles) above Siberia, the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, said ThursdayLooks like there's a need for Space Traffic Control.
The collision produced two large debris clouds, which are not believed to pose a threat to the International Space Station as long as the clouds continue moving in a lower orbit, Roscosmos said.
There is a chance the debris could hit other satellites at the same altitude, however, the space agency said.
"We have not received a warning of the possible danger to the ISS. The fragments may descend to the ISS orbit in several years, although I do not rule out that some fragments may go down within several days," Mikhail Martirosov, from the Russian mission control center, told the Russian news agency Interfax Thursday.
Just to clarify those last sentences: The banks bought the bad assets at high prices. They need to sell them at low prices. But this banker is arguing that they are too financially stressed to absorb the losses that would entail. Conversely, so long as they don't sell the assets, they can pretend they haven't lost any money on them, as they can pretend that they will rebound to a better price once the mania is over. The other way of putting this is that much of the banking sector is already insolvent, it's just not prepared to admit it.Give that man a paddle!
(CNN) -- The Obama administration's $838 billion economic stimulus plan survived a key vote in the Senate, putting a compromise version of the bill on track for passage Tuesday.At this point, any stimulus plan is better than none. And it looks like those provisions that were pulled during negotiations, President Obama plans on introducing in separate legislation.
DETROIT - General Motors says it's cutting 10,000 salaried jobs, blaming the need to restructure the company amid the continued drop in new vehicle sales.
The Detroit-based automaker says it will reduce its total number of salaried workers to 63,000 from 73,000 this year. About 3,400 of GM's 29,500 salaried U.S. jobs are expected to be eliminated.
Friday BlogaroundUp here, March madness, with it's usual assortment of winter storms, is approaching.
It's been a very stimulating week. Let's see what the LC has been talking about.- A Blog Around The Clock: DC press corps dissed again.Spring training starts soon...
- archy: talking about my generation.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof on schoolyard discipline.
- Bloggg: why is this person working?
- Collective Sigh: Awwww....
- Dohiyi Mir: teach-in.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: lost lives.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: e-mail your senators about the stimulus package.
- Left Is Right: spine time.
- Musing's musings: highway musings.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: bus sign fun.
- Rook's Rant: Donald Trump on the bailout.
- rubber hose: Joe the GOP strategist.
- Scrutiny Hooligans
- Speedkill: crazy fun.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat, on faith-based initiatives.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: Rush and criticism.
- The Invisible Library looks forward to the next few election cycles.
- WTF Is It Now?? -- Alberto Gonzales reflects on his legacy at DoJ.
- ...You Are A Tree -- it's everywhere...
What the hell. Thank you George W. Bush. You were, beyond a doubt, The. Worst. President. Ever!
WASHINGTON - New jobless claims jumped far more than expected last week in an already dismal labor market, and there's no relief in sight for workers as mass layoffs persist.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 626,000, from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 591,000. The latest total is far more than analysts' expectations of 583,000.
Larry King: Is Obama right or wrong to go after these executives with salary caps?
Donald Trump: Well, I think he's absolutely right. Billions of dollars is being given to banks and others. You know, once you start using taxpayer money, it's a whole new game. So I absolutely think he's right.
King:What about the whole concept of bailouts?
Trump: Well, it's a little bit different. A lot of people are not in favor of bailouts. You know, we talked about all the different things going on in this country. Let's face it, Larry, we are in a depression.
If they didn't do the bailout, you would be in depression No. 2 and maybe just as big as depression No. 1, so they really had to do something. The problem is they're giving millions and billions of dollars to banks and the banks aren't loaning it.
If you are a prime customer of a bank and if you need 10 cents, you can't get it. The banks are out of business. They're not loaning. Now, billions of dollars has been given. They're supposed to be loaning out that money and they're using it for other purposes, so it is a real mess.
And he already calls the current economic situation a depression.
Police: Doctor injured when bomb erupts in LexusSomething tells me this is going to involve some divisive subjects. The word terrorist has already been thrown into the mix.
(CNN) -- The chairman of the Arkansas Medical Board was critically injured Wednesday when a bomb placed on the front end of his Lexus hybrid SUV exploded at his West Memphis, Arkansas, home -- a blast heard a mile away, police said.
I doubt it's a brown skinned terrorist. More than likely, it's a home grown christian extremist.
Dr. Trent Pierce, a family practitioner, was flown to a hospital across the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, after the 8 a.m. blast, police Chief Robert Paudert said, adding that Pierce may be transferred to a burn center in Ohio. Officials said he was in critical condition.
"It's a terrorist attack on Dr. Pierce," Paudert said. "We just don't know why someone would do this... We're going to find out.
I have a question for the Obama staff. Why was the Democratic Party so miserable in trying to explain your stimulus plan to the American people when the mass media finally gave them some air time? Why did you let the messaging get away from you? Why wasn't this LIST immediately implemented to take the lead on the messaging of his economic plan? Don't you think it's a little late to remember that this LIST existed?Obviously, I don't believe Obama forgot the list. In fact, I am quite sure he knows it's there. But there is such a think as over kill. During a presidential campaign, we all are more than willing to put up with a constant stream of email's requesting donations, enlisting aid, etc., etc., etc. But there is no campaign. This is a different situation, with different expectations. Are people willing to put up with the same level of emails from the President? Will it even work? And if it does, will it work every time he breaks it out?
The bigger point is that the Republican conservative caucus is going to listen to a speech about the economy, and ostensibly listen to the speech, by a failed unlicensed plumber who cheated on his taxes. Evidently they couldn't find an economist, or maybe the last economist they quoted refuted them?But wait, there's more! Lest we forget, there's the bomb shell ex-beauty queen from Alaska that get's talked up by Newt:
"If Sarah Palin seeks out a group of sophisticated policy advisers and spends time developing a series of fairly sophisticated positions," Gingrich said during his 33rd visit to the Christian Science Monitor breakfast series, "she is very formidable."Newt, you old hound dog! You eying wife number..... Well, I've lost count of the number of wives you've had.
"Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job."I guess that means Mr. Steele is not getting paid for his Chairmanship.
(CNN) -- Sen. John McCain said Monday that President Obama and Democrats will have to "seriously negotiate" with Republicans if they want to pass a stimulus plan with bipartisan support.
But contrary to others, my abilty to exhaust vehement hatred toward people like Tom Daschle for having a very stupid accountant is limited by, well, I guess shit that might actually have damaged the country. After eight years of George Bush having a cabinet filled with cronies who thought spying on Americans and torturing non-Americans were awesome activites, you'll excuse me for not being fazed and/or hurdled into a screaming rage over the discovery that rich people fuck around on their taxes. I mean, for godssakes, Obama's nominee for Attorney General is being held up because he apparently recognizes that 24 is a fictional television program. Can we get started with that decade-due return to focus, please?I could be wrong.
Despite calls to the contrary by the corporate arm of the Republican Party, self-policing does not work. If the human animal was as pure and selfless as they like to profess, the need for the war on drugs is also not needed. If the markets are self-correcting, so to would the human race self-correct on the use of drugs.
Federal officials have released a tidal wave of fresh recalls in the past 24 hours as they connect the dots in the supply chain of tainted peanut-related products.
The latest recalls by 25 companies listing dozens of items include Walgreen's chocolate candy with peanuts, Best Brands peanut butter cookie dough and Hain Celestial's frozen pad Thai dinners, including one made for Trader Joe's.
On Saturday, Harry and David of Medford joined the recall, pulling Olympia Delight Trail Mix products, and Berkeley, Ca.-based Clif Bar and Co. pulled eight more of its protein bars.
The recall has reached a fever pitch since it was expanded to include all products - from roasted peanuts to peanut butter -- from Peanut Corporation of America's plant at Blakely, Ga., where Food and Drug Administration investigators found two strains of salmonella and evidence that on 12 occasions in 2007 and 2008 the company sold food even after it had tested positive for salmonella.
In a startling revelation on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution said the president of Peanut Corp., Stewart Parnell, serves on an industry advisory board that helps the U.S. Department of Agriculture set quality standards for peanuts.