Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.
White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.
The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci - who, like many contemporary reporters, has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times - pulled out a small video camera last week and shot some protesters interrupting an Obama fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel.
Posted by traderrob at 4:50 AM
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Obamanomics on parade.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. economy slowed markedly in the first quarter and inflation accelerated, clear evidence of the double whammy on the economy from higher gasoline prices.And this:Initial Jobless claims jump in latest week. Unexpectedly Rises to 429,000
In its first estimate Thursday, the Commerce Department said gross domestic product rose at a 1.8% annual rate between January and March, slower than the 3.1% pace in the prior three months.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a slightly weaker 1.7% growth rate. They blamed the slowdown on weather disruptions and higher gasoline prices, as well as a drop in defense spending. See our economic calendar with forecasts of major indicators.
Posted by traderrob at 6:42 AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
What on Heaven or Earth could possibly make people feel "more" confident
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Consumer confidence recovered somewhat in April, though the impact of a spike in gasoline prices is still evident, according to data released Tuesday by the Conference Board.
The confidence index hit 65.4 in April, compared with an upwardly revised 63.8 in March. That’s still below the 72.0 reading of February, as gasoline prices nationally have approached $4 per gallon.
The increase came as consumers’ 12-month inflation expectations declined to 6.3% in April from 6.7% in March. In addition, consumer views about the present situation improved.
Posted by traderrob at 8:29 AM
Monday, April 25, 2011
Our Captain Obvious post of the week. This time from the always cutting edge Washington Post.
Soaring gasoline prices are biting into household incomes and nibbling at Americans’ fuel consumption — and support for President Obama, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
About six in 10 respondents said they had cut back on driving because of rising fuel prices, and seven in 10 said that high pump prices are causing financial hardship.
Obama, like previous presidents in times of high oil prices, is taking a hit. Only 39 percent of those who call gas prices a “serious financial hardship” approve of the way he is doing his job, and 33 percent of them say he’s doing a good job on the economy.
The Energy Information Administration said Monday that gas prices climbed last week to $3.88 a gallon, up 81 cents since the start of the year. That is the highest pump price since August 2008, before the financial meltdown.
Posted by traderrob at 5:39 AM
Saturday, April 23, 2011
A very ominous stat indeed.
U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.
Households received $2.3 trillion in some kind of government support in 2010. That includes expanded unemployment benefits, as well as payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and stimulus spending, among other things.
But that’s more than the $2.2 trillion households paid in taxes, an amount that has slumped largely due to the recession, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Times.
Also, an estimated 59% of the 308.7 million Americans in this country get at least one federal benefit, according to the Census Bureau, based on 2009 data. An estimated 46.5 million get Social Security; 42.6 million get Medicare; 42.4 million get Medicaid; 36.1 million get food stamps; 12.4 million get housing subsidies; and 3.2 million get Veterans' benefits.
And the handouts from the government have been growing. Government cash handouts account for a whopping 79% of household growth since 2007, even as household tax payments--for things like the income and payroll tax, among other taxes--have fallen by $312 billion.
Posted by traderrob at 9:04 AM
Chocola's a good man, more power to him and the CFG.
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola gave six-term Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) some unsolicited advice Tuesday: Retire.
Chocola, a former Congressman from Indiana who served in the House from 2003 to 2007, told ABC’s “Top Line” that his fiscally conservative organization is considering getting involved in Lugar’s 2012 re-election campaign in the Hoosier State. The club has already met with Lugar’s primary opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R).
“We are looking at that race very closely,” Chocola said. “We do have some concerns about Sen. Lugar and his service. We think it would probably be best if he would retire at this point. So we haven’t made any decisions at this point, but we are looking at it very closely, and it is one of the races that is very high on our radar.”
Posted by traderrob at 6:53 AM
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Real class act folks...
A University of Iowa professor felt the need to reply to a blast email by the College Republicans on Monday morning. Ellen Lewin, a professor of Anthropology and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies in the Department of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, sent a vulgar response to a College Republican email about the group’s, “Conservative Coming Out Week.”
The College Republican email, which was sent to the entire University of Iowa Community, had been approved by a number of university officials before being sent out.
Lewin responded to email by writing, “#*@% [F-Word] YOU, REPUBLICANS” from her official university email account.
Natalie Ginty, a University of Iowa Student and Chairwoman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans, demanded an apology from Lewin’s supervisors. “We understand that as a faculty member she has the right to express her political opinion, but by leaving her credentials at the bottom of the email she was representing the University of Iowa, not herself alone,” Ginty wrote to James Enloe, the head of the Department of Anthropology.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Federal government has always been a great investment....or not.
The U.S. government plans to sell a significant share of its remaining stake in General Motors Co. this summer despite the disappointing performance of the auto maker's stock, people familiar with the matter said.
A sale within the next several months would almost certainly mean U.S. taxpayers will take a loss on their $50 billion rescue of the Detroit auto maker in 2009.
To break even, the U.S. Treasury would need to sell its remaining stake—about 500 million shares—at $53 apiece. GM closed off 27 cents a share at $29.97 in 4 p.m. trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, hitting a new low since its $33-a-share November initial public offering.
Posted by traderrob at 1:41 PM
How can someone read this article and not understand why this country's in the financial condition it finds itself..
State labor officials asked their inspector general Monday to investigate why a Central Florida agency wants to spend public money to furnish the unemployed with capes. Dubbed the "Cape-A-Bility Challenge," a $73,000 public-relations campaign by Workforce Central Florida features a cartoon character named "Dr. Evil Unemployment" and includes handing out about 6,000 red superhero capes to jobless Central Floridians. The campaign, revealed Saturday in a report in the Orlando Sentinel, was met with derision by many unemployed who questioned spending more than $14,200 on capes and $2,300 on foam cutouts of "Dr. Evil Unemployment."Good grief, that's the least of the problems with this ridiculous program.
They said the campaign's tone risked minimizing the severity of the region's labor problems. Monday, the executive director of Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation, echoed those criticisms. "I have serious concerns with the content and approach" of the project, Cynthia Lorenzo wrote to Workforce Central Florida Executive Director Gary J. Earl.
Posted by traderrob at 5:17 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Inc. cut its outlook on the U.S. to negative, increasing the likelihood of a potential downgrade from its triple-A rating, as the path from large budget deficits and rising government debt remains unclear.
"More than two years after the beginning of the recent crisis, U.S. policy makers have still not agreed on how to reverse recent fiscal deterioration or address longer-term fiscal pressures," S&P credit analyst Nikola G. Swann said. He said the rating agency puts the chance of a U.S. downgrade within two years at least one-in-three.
Posted by traderrob at 4:43 AM
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Joan of Ak really hits the nail...
Sarah Palin unleashed a withering critique of congressional Republicans Saturday, lambasting them for not cutting spending deeper and faster, and saying the party needs to “fight like a girl.”Video HERE.
"We didn’t elect you just to rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic," Palin said during a rally in front of the Wisconsin statehouse in Madison. "What we need from you, GOP, is to fight." Pointing to the national champion University of Wisconsin women's hockey team, Palin said the GOP could learn from its resolve and “needs to learn how to fight like a girl."
Posted by traderrob at 2:14 PM
This thing is really starting to heat up.
CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson is reporting that the information contained in the e-mails is “damning.” The e-mail exchange is with David Voth, group supervisor for ATF’s Phoenix Group VII. Voth is the agent who infamously sent an e-mail to other ATF agents, goading them into participating in the Gunrunner project without question, or to find a different job. This column discussed the Voth e-mail here.
I don’t know what all the issues are but we are all adults, we are all professionals, and we have a (sic) exciting opportunity to use the biggest tool in our law enforcement tool box. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work – period! This is the pinnacle of domestic U.S. law enforcement techniques. After this the tool bag is empty. Maybe the Maricopa County Jail is hiring detention officers and you can get paid $30,000 (instead of $100,000) to serve lunch to inmates all day…We need to get over this bump in the road once and for all and get on with the mission at hand. This can be the most fun you have with ATF, the only one limiting the amount of fun we have is you!—e-mail from David J. Voth, group supervisor, Phoenix Group VII.
Posted by traderrob at 6:17 AM
Friday, April 15, 2011
The highlighted portion of this excerpt says it all.
Can we finally dispense with the myth of the pro-life Democrat? In the Senate last night, three "pro-life" Democrats voted in lockstep with America's Official Abortion Party to maintain federal funding for Planned Parenthood in a stand alone vote. There was nothing to camouflage or obfuscate the issue. In case you've forgotten, Planned Parenthood is the nation's number one provider of abortions. Ninety-seven percent of pregnant women who enter its doors are no longer pregnant when they exit, and almost 40 percent of the group's revenues stem from abortions. It was founded in racism (remnants of which remain alive and well today), it is systemically corrupt, and its moral degradation reaches far beyond its abortion-related services.
Planned Parenthood receives nine figures in government funding each year, and when presented with the chance to shut off the spigot, "pro-lifers" Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Ben Nelson, and Sen. Bob Casey all declined to do so. If one cannot bring oneself to strip government funding from the nation's largest abortion mill, one should abandon the pretense of calling oneself "pro-life."
This combined with an inflation rate running at 6+ percent spells big trouble.
Real earnings fell for a fifth straight month as wages fail to keep up with soaring gasoline prices and other costs. Inflation-adjusted earnings for all private workers dropped 0.5% in March, the worst monthly drop since July 2008, according to Labor Department data. Nominal wages were flat while consumer prices climbed more than 0.5%for a second straight month.
Year over year, inflation-adjusted weekly pay sank 0.4%. That’s the first drop in a year and down from a 2.2% gain in October.
Since October, real weekly wages have dropped at a 3.8% annual rate — matching the decline set in July 2008, when oil prices peaked above $147 a barrel.
Posted by traderrob at 4:54 AM
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I wonder if the group of 88 Duke faculty members will write a letter on her behalf this time.
DURHAM, N.C. — Family members of a man who was stabbed in his home April 3 say he died Wednesday evening. Crystal Mangum, the Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006, has been charged with assaulting him.
Durham police confirmed Thursday morning that Reginald Daye, 46, had died.
"The case remains under investigation, and we do anticipate upgrading the charges. However, no new charges have been filed at this time," police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said in an e-mail to WRAL News.
Police said Mangum, 32, stabbed Daye in the torso with a kitchen knife during a dispute at 3507 Century Oaks Drive early on April 3.
Posted by traderrob at 7:08 AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The longer it goes the more people become informed.
By 45%-42%, voters back Republican efforts to balance state budgets by limiting collective bargaining rights for government unions, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll. That stance is backed by Republicans, 80%-8%, and by independents, 46%-36%. Even 14% of Democrats say limit collective bargaining.
That’s a switch from last month when an IBD/TIPP poll asked whether voters favored Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker or the state public employee unions in that state’s showdown over bargaining rights. That poll found the public supported the unions, 49%-43%. Democrats backed the unions, 83%-11%, while independents backed them, 47%-42%. Republicans backed Walker, 82%-11%.
Posted by traderrob at 5:43 AM
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
You just have to appreciate a great irony.
Huffington Post bloggers who think they ought to get paid for their volunteer writing have been litigating their case in the court of public opinion. Now they’re taking it to a real one.
Today, a group of bloggers led by union organizer and journalist Jonathan Tasini filed a class-action suit against the Huffington Post, founder Arianna Huffington, and AOL, which acquired the news-and-blogs site in February.
Posted by traderrob at 11:01 AM
I've never had much faith in CNN polling but this is interesting nonetheless.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump is tied for first in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, according to a new poll of Republicans.
Nineteen percent of Republicans named Trump, who is flirting with a run for the party's presidential nomination, as their top choice for the nomination, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Tuesday. Another 13 percent said Trump was their second choice in a nominee.
Posted by traderrob at 5:04 AM
Monday, April 11, 2011
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 19% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -20 (see trends).
Today’s numbers reflect the lowest level of Strong Approval yet recorded for this president. There has been a sharp decline in enthusiasm among liberal voters.
Posted by traderrob at 7:23 AM
Thursday, April 07, 2011
A befuddled Harry Reid (D., Nev.) threw a flash tantrum on the Senate floor just a while ago. He slammed the House Republicans’ latest effort to avoid a government shutdown — a one-week continuing resolution that cuts spending by $12 billion but also funds the Defense Department through September 30 to ensure that military personnel are paid even if the rest of the government shuts down — calling it a “fantasy” that will never make it past the president’s desk, and accused the GOP of “procrastinating” and “trying to avoid making the tough choices.
Coming from the leader of a Democratic-controlled Senate that could not pass a budget last year, even when Democrats still controlled the House, this line of criticism borders on delirious.
Posted by traderrob at 7:38 AM
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
I know at least 2 people in my family that are going to be really PO'd.
Glenn Beck will end his daily Fox News Channel program later this year.
His departure was jointly announced in a statement on Wednesday by Fox and Mr. Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts. The statement did not specify an end date for the show, called “Glenn Beck,” which has been telecast at 5 p.m. on Fox News since early 2009.
Posted by traderrob at 6:33 AM
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Balls back in the Democrats court, good move.
Republicans on Monday night introduced a measure to fund the military through September and government operations for one more week.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his conference about the legislation — which contains $12 billion in spending cuts — during a Monday night meeting, his office said. The move is intended to prevent a government shutdown that would start after Friday unless Congress approves another measure to fund the government.
Posted by traderrob at 5:49 AM
Monday, April 04, 2011
Saturday, April 02, 2011
This goofy bimbette needs to lose her job and spend some serious time in the hoosegow.
Investigators on Friday looked into an additional violent threat by email — this one against Gov. Scott Walker — allegedly sent by the same Cross Plains child care provider already charged with emailing death threats to Republican state senators.
The threat against Walker, emailed Feb. 17, uses language including "watch your back Adolf Walker" and "we will not hesitate to punch where it hurts." It says it's from Katherine Windels.
Journalists discovered it as part of a review of thousands of emails sent to Walker's state account in response to his controversial budget repair bill. The Department of Justice was informed of the email — it apparently had gone unnoticed amid the electronic avalanche — and was investigating to verify its source, said spokesman Bill Cosh.
Posted by traderrob at 4:42 AM
Friday, April 01, 2011
A majority of Americans are really starting to worry, and rightly so.
A majority of voters are fine with a partial shutdown of the federal government if that’s what it takes to get deeper cuts in federal government spending.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters think making deeper spending cuts in the federal budget for 2011 is more important than avoiding a partial government shutdown. Thirty-one percent (31%) disagree and say avoiding a shutdown is more important. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.
Posted by traderrob at 1:31 PM
House Republicans offered delayed outrage to President Obama's point man on U.S. development and humanitarian missions, who testified before Congress this week that a budget plan House Republicans passed last month would lead to 70,000 kids dying.The current budget aids and abetts 1.2 million abortions per year. Who's the baby killers?
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah told the House Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee on Wednesday that the budget plan, which would cut $61 billion in federal spending, would lead to the deaths of 30,000 kids in a malaria control program that would have to be scaled back, 24,000 from a lack of immunizations and 16,000 from a lack of skilled attendants at birth.
"There's a way to do this that does not have to cost lives and we're very focused and very much want to work with the committee to identify a path forward that can allow us to be effective at doing so," he said. Shah is seeking $59.5 billion in funding for his agency, up 22 percent, or $10.7 billion, from the current level.