Wednesday, August 31, 2011

US private sector adds 91,000 jobs

Anemic to say the least.
The US private sector added 91,000 jobs in August, fewer than expected, according to a report from private payrolls firm ADP released Wednesday.

Net job creation slowed from the revised 109,000 payrolls added in July, the report said.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Confidence Drops to Lowest Level Since April 2009

No surprise here.
U.S. consumer confidence crumbled in August to its lowest level in more than two years as the fallout from political wrangling over a budget deal took its toll, according to a private sector report released Tuesday.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes sank to 44.5 from a downwardly revised 59.2 the month before. The index was well off a poll of economists by Reuters for a reading of 52.0.

The index was at the lowest level since April 2009, the report said. July was originally reported as 59.5.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lawrence Solomon: Science getting settled

Interesting but not so surprising a story, please read it all.
New, convincing evidence indicates global warming is caused by cosmic rays and the sun — not humans

The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from ├╝ber-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.

In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.

Poll: Only 17 percent hold positive view of federal government

Go figure.
Americans have a more favorable view of every other industry — including oil and gas — than of the federal government, according to a new poll released Monday.

Only 17 percent of Americans surveyed have a positive view of the federal government.

According to Gallup, this is the first time the federal government has ranked at the bottom of a list of industries, displacing even the oil-and-gas industry, which came in second to last this year.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vid of the Week

The Weather Channel's hyperbolic BS is exposed again HERE.

Sunday Funny

From RR.

Friday, August 26, 2011

US economy grew just 1.0% in second quarter

Kinda makes the Bush years of 6% growth and 4.5% unemployment look pretty dam% good.
WASHINGTON — The US economy grew at a weaker pace than initially believed in the second quarter, the government said Friday in a report that underscored the tenuous nature of the two-year-old recovery.

The Commerce Department lowered its estimate for second-quarter growth in gross domestic product to an annual rate of 1.0 percent from the first quarter, from a prior reading of 1.3 percent.

"The recovery continues, but is extremely fragile. The economy has expanded just 1.5 percent over the past year, too weak to create the job growth necessary for a self-sustaining expansion," said Augustine Faucher at Moody's Analytics.

Growth in the April-June period was hit primarily by downward revisions to inventory investment and exports, that were only partly offset by upward revisions to business fixed investment and consumer spending.

Pic of the Day

Speaks for itself.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Percentage of Young People Employed in July Is Lowest on Record

Stagnating economy plain and simple.
(CNSNews.com) – Although more young people found jobs between April and July, the percentage of young people employed in July 2011 was the lowest July rate on record since the government started tracking the numbers in 1948.

Data released on Wednesday by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that only 48.8 percent of young people ages 16-24 were employed in July, a slightly lower percentage than last year. Youth employment typically peaks in July, as high school and college students work summer jobs and graduates take permanent jobs.
Raising the minimum wage certainly didn't help.

Jobless claims in U.S. rise to 417,000

This week up, last week revised up, 4 week average up, surprise, surprise.
New applications for U.S. unemployment compensation rose 5,000 to 417,000 , the Labor Department said Thursday. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 412,000 from an original reading of 408,000...

The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, increased by 4,000 to 407,500...In addition, the Labor Department said the number of Americans who continue to receive state unemployment checks fell by 80,000 to 3.64 million in the week ended Aug 13. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

67% of Political Class Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction, 84% of Mainstream Disagrees

Just proves that the politicians and the journalists that report on them are living in LA La Land.
Recent polling has shown huge gaps between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans on issues ranging from immigration to health care to the virtues of free markets.

The gap is just as big when it comes to the traditional right direction/wrong track polling question.

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 67% of Political Class voters believe the United States is generally heading in the right direction. However, things look a lot different to Mainstream Americans. Among these voters, 84% say the country has gotten off on the wrong track.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of Mainstream voters consider fiscal policy issues such as taxes and government spending to be the most important issue facing the nation today. Just two percent (2%) of Political Class voters agree.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

July new home sales fall for third straight month

So many facets of this economy are dependent on home sales. Untill this shows some serious strength, the economy won't.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. sales of new homes declined in July for the third straight month, a sign of continued woes in the housing market.

Sales fell 0.7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, the slowest pace since February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Sales had reached 316,000 in April before slipping.

The drop was a surprise to analysts. The consensus forecast of Wall Street economists was for a 1% gain in home sales to a 315,000 rate.

Another Business Flees Illinois

More than double the tax rate in 1 year and this is unexpected?
Tomorrow (Tuesday), Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is expected to announce that Indiana will welcome a new business that will bring 240 new jobs to Indiana — all thanks to Illinois’ Governor Quinn, the Illinois Democrats, and the major hike in Illinois’ taxes the Democrats put on Illinois businesses.

Modern Drop Forge, of Blue Island, Illinois, is expected to move its operation to Merrillville, Indiana. They are also expected to make a $7 million investment to improve the new property, according to NWI Times news of Indiana.

“The Democrats just don’t get it,” said Scott McCoy, a businessman and candidate for Illinois State Representative of the newly formed 106th House District in Central Illinois. “The Democrats caused this with their huge tax hike on Illinois businesses. Now, Illinois businesses are looking for more business friendly states and I can’t blame them. Illinois is doing this to ourselves. I hope the people in our state figure it out before we look around and see no businesses or jobs left in Illinois.”

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mortgage delinquency rate rises to 8.44%

Continuing positives from Hoover errr... Obamaville.
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Mortgage delinquencies rose in the second quarter, a development that reflects the deterioration of the job market, the Mortgage Bankers Association's chief economist said on Monday. In the second quarter, the delinquency rate for mortgages on one-to-four unit residential properties reached a seasonally adjusted 8.44%, up from 8.32% in the first quarter, yet still down from 9.85% when compared with the second quarter of 2010, according to the MBA's quarterly delinquency report.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Headline of the Week

Obama Pushes for Action on Jobs While Vacationing on Martha's Vineyard. Also he's taking the ridiculously expensive vacation so we don't have to.

West Point reinstates cadet in LaBelle altercation

About dam# time.
A West Point cadet from Houston will return to class Monday after military academy officials rescinded a suspension that came after he was embroiled in a March altercation with singer Patti LaBelle's entourage at a local airport.

Word from the New York military academy came as dueling lawsuits - one filed by cadet Richard King, the other by LaBelle - await resolution in local courts.

King's attorney, John Raley, said Houston police recently apprised academy officials that the 23-year-old cadet had not been implicated in wrongdoing in the March 11 incident at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Michelle’s Separate Travel Costs Taxpayers Thousands

We need to eat our peas while they dine on caviar.
Michelle Obama Thursday traveled separately from President Obama to Martha’s Vineyard, costing taxpayers thousands in additional expenses to get her a few hours of extra vacation time.

Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived just before 2 pm Thursday on a U.S. government jet, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, which got its information from the local airport. The first lady’s office has been silent on her travel. President Obama arrived in the evening along with the family dog Bo.

The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s solo trip mainly include the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.

Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy – in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.

This is not the first time Michelle has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ tab. Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jobless Claims UP

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, according to a government report on Thursday that suggested hiring in August was steady but not robust.Meanwhile, the Labor Department says the Consumer Price Index rose 0.5 percent in July, following a drop of 0.2 percent in June. Gas prices accounted for much of the swing. Prices increased by a seasonally adjusted 4.7 percent, after falling sharply in June.

The core index, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 0.2 percent. That's below the 0.3 percent rise in each of the previous two months.
Steady but not robust? Brother that is some serious spin.


UN says withdraws non-essential staff from Syria

Going down.
The United Nations has withdrawn non-essential staff from Syria where President Bashar al-Assad is seeking to crush a five-month uprising against his rule, a senior UN official said on Wednesday.

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams said in a statement to Reuters that the 26 non-essential international staff members and their families had left Syria. (Reuters)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Perry Vaults Into Double Digit Lead

We figured Perry would enter the race and be near the top but 11 point lead out of the chute, wow.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, the new face in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has jumped to a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann with the other announced candidates trailing even further behind.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary voters, taken Monday night, finds Perry with 29% support. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, earns 18% of the vote, while Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who won the high-profile Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday, picks up 13%.

Housing starts slip 1.5% in July

And the beat goes on...
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Housing starts slipped 1.5% in July, according to data released Tuesday that highlight the lack of demand for new homes.

Starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 604,000, down from a downwardly revised 613,000 rate in June, the Commerce Department said.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Obama Hits New All Time Low

From Gallup: 39% Approve, 54% Disapprove, and It's ALL adults no less.

Pawlenty Out

And this blogger says "good riddance".
Tim Pawlenty will announce an end to his presidential candidacy after a disappointing third place finish in the Ames, Iowa, straw poll, sources participating in a conference call Sunday told Fox News.

The former Minnesota governor was expected to make the announcement on a Sunday morning talk show.

Pawlenty received 13 percent of the vote in the poll, which is not generally a marker of the future presidential nominee. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann received 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 votes cast followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who earned 27 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum earned 9 percent and businessman Herman Cain received 8 percent.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Federal judge throws out Obama drilling rules

Working out to be Obama's worst month in office yet.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge on Friday threw out Obama administration rules that sought to slow down expedited environmental review of oil and gas drilling on federal land.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled in favor of a petroleum industry group, the Western Energy Alliance, in its lawsuit against the federal government, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The ruling reinstates Bush-era expedited oil and gas drilling under provisions called categorical exclusions on federal lands nationwide, Freudenthal said.

The government argued that oil and gas companies had no case because they didn't show how the new rules, implemented by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service last year, had created delays and added to the cost of drilling.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Appeals court rules against Obama healthcare law

WOW!
(Reuters) - An appeals court ruled Friday that President Barack Obama's healthcare law requiring Americans to buy healthcare insurance or face a penalty was unconstitutional, a blow to the White House.

The Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, found that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but also ruled that the rest of the wide-ranging law could remain in effect.

The legality of the so-called individual mandate, a cornerstone of the 2010 healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the Supreme Court. The Obama administration has defended the provision as constitutional.

Postal Service proposes cutting 120,000 jobs, pulling out of health-care plan

SEATTLE — The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is proposing to cut its workforce by 20 percent and to withdraw from the federal health and retirement plans because it believes it could provide benefits at a lower cost.

The layoffs would be achieved in part by breaking labor agreements, a proposal that drew swift fire from postal unions. The plan would require congressional approval but, if successful, could be precedent-setting, with possible ripple effects throughout government. It would also deliver a major blow to the nation’s labor movement.
Oh my.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wis. GOP holds off Democrats in recall elections

This is significant.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans held onto control of the Wisconsin Senate on Tuesday, beating back four Democratic challengers in a recall election despite an intense political backlash against GOP support for Gov. Scott Walker's effort to curb public employees' union rights.

Fueled by millions of dollars from national labor groups, the attempt to remove GOP incumbents served as both a referendum on Walker's conservative revolution and could provide a new gauge of the public mood less than a year after Republicans made sweeping gains in this state and many others.

Two Democratic incumbents face recalls next week, but even if Democrats win those they will still be in the minority.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

In Debt Downgrade Aftermath, Obama Serves Up a Silly Speech

Read the whole thing, with a few exceptions, it's spot on.
First, do no harm. That is a useful injunction for doctors, lawyers, and, it turns out, U.S. presidents.

But President Obama’s useless speech Monday about the basic soundness of the American economy managed to reinforce all the concerns Americans on the left and right have about his stewardship of the country.

The speech did at least temporary harm. As soon as he finished speaking, the already jittery financial markets plunged.

Americans didn’t want to hear that we’re fine people or that Warren Buffett thinks that we should have an impeccable credit rating.

They didn’t want him to repeat his basic talking points: the need to marshal the “political will” to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits, or create an infrastructure bank....




Monday, August 08, 2011

Explosive Jackie O tapes 'reveal how she believed LBJ killed JFK and had affair with movie star

Personally, I think Jackie Kennnedy-Onassis was a flake.
Jackie Onassis believed that Lyndon B Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons were involved in the assassination of her husband John F Kennedy, ‘explosive’ recordings are set to reveal.

The secret tapes will show that the former first lady felt that her husband’s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.

She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald – long claimed to have been a lone assassin – merely part of a much larger conspiracy.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Quote of the Week

David Gregory, moderator of "Meet The Press" on NBC: "Are U.S. treasury bonds still safe to invest in?"

Alan Greenspan, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve: "Very much so. This is not an issue of credit rating, the United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So, there is zero probability of default."
Words fail me.

Geithner to stay on as Treasury chief

Good, let the blame fall on Obama where it belongs.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told President Barack Obama that he intends to stay on the job, Treasury said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

"Secretary Geithner has let the president know that he plans to stay on in his position at Treasury," Assistant Treasury Secretary Jenni LeCompte said. "He looks forward to the important work ahead on the challenges facing our great country."

Geithner had indicated he might leave after a debt-limit increase was approved, but administration officials indicated that both Obama and the White House chief of staff had urged Geithner not to leave now.

Sunday Funny

From RR.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Real Story

Labor Force Participation Rate Drops To 63.9%, Lowest Since January 1984

Friday Funny

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Boy, 13, gunned down playing basketball: 'He died doing what he loved to do'

Very sad. These SOB's responsible need to be put down like the dogs they are.
Basketball was a way of life for Darius Brown, 13 and determined that one day he would play in the pros.

"He watched it, he played it. All day," said his mother, Stephanie Brown.

Darius was playing at Metcalfe Park in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when a shot from a passing car hit him in the neck. He died hours later as family, friends and coaches held a vigil at Comer Children's Hospital.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A hamburger today for $2.4 trillion tomorrow

Classic bourgeois, good for thee but not for me.
President Obama took his debt team out for burgers at Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, giving new meaning to the "Popeye" character Wimpy's catchphrase "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today."

The White House said the outing, at which the president consumed a meal of about 1,700 calories, was a reward for the debt team's "nonstop" work over the last few months as they worked out a deal with Capitol Hill to extend the government's borrowing limit. Mr. Obama signed the extension into law Tuesday, just ahead of the deadline, allowing up to $2.4 trillion in debt to be accumulated.

Good Stuff marks the latest stop in Mr. Obama's Hamburger Diplomacy in and around Washington.

U.S. Layoffs Soar to 16-Month High in July

Obama "focusing like a laser"
The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose to a 16-month high in July as sectors which had been seeing fairly few layoffs unexpectedly bled jobs, a report Wednesday showed.

Employers announced 66,414 planned job cuts last month, up 60.3 percent from 41,432 in June, according to a report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

July's job cuts also were up from the same time a year ago, rising 59.4 percent from the 41,676 job cuts announced in July 2010, and recording the largest monthly total since March, 2010.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Falls as Hiring Slumps

"Unexpected" for the 1000th time.
Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer spending unexpectedly dropped in June for the first time in almost two years and savings climbed, adding to evidence that the slump in hiring is hurting household confidence.

Purchases declined 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.1 percent increase. Incomes grew at the slowest pace since November.

The lack of jobs combined with wage gains that have failed to keep pace with inflation raise the risk of further cuts in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the world's largest economy. Companies like Newell Rubbermaid Inc. are among those cutting forecasts for the year.

Monday, August 01, 2011

ISM Craters

More "unexpected" bad news from Obamaville.
Stocks fell into negative territory, erasing an early rally Monday after ISM manufacturing index hit its lowest level since July 2009 and amid renewed worries over some euro zone countries.

Stocks opened sharply higher after top U.S. lawmakers sealed a deal to raise the debt ceiling one day ahead of a deadline for a potential default.

The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed more than expected in July, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM index slipped to 50.9from 55.3 the month before, shy of expectations of 54.9, according to a Reuters poll of economists.