In a sign that more banks are under great pressure from the recession, 34 financial institutions did not pay their quarterly dividends in August to the Treasury on funds obtained under the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP)....
"The banks are not paying their dividends because they are worried about preserving capital," says Eric Fitzwater, associate director of research at SNL Financial.
WASHINGTON – The number of job seekers competing for each opening has reached the highest point since the recession began, according to government data released Friday.
The employment crisis is expected to worsen as companies stay reluctant to hire. Many economists expect a jobless recovery, putting pressure on President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to stimulate job creation.
Factoid: Stats show 6.3 unemployed workers for every available job. The .3 is the guy who will get hired.
As I am about to become a .3 myself, things here are clearly looking up.
BISMARCK, N.D. — A truck driver who lost control of a semitrailer carrying missile parts from North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base was distracted by a “large insect” that flew in a window and landed on the driver’s back, the military said in a report released Friday. The Air Force said the truck from the base’s 91st Missile Wing, which overturned Aug. 31 on a gravel road in northwest North Dakota, was carrying rocket engine parts for intercontinental ballistic missiles but no nuclear material.
...The shipment also contained two 14-gallon tanks of liquid rocket fuel, but never was in danger of exploding or leaking, the military said.
LAS VEGAS—The Miss America Organization says Rush Limbaugh will be a judge for the 2010 pageant in Las Vegas.
7:21 P.M. — MIAMI — A judge who routinely granted extensions in foreclosure cases for compassionate reasons has been chastised by a state appeals court, which said her rulings amounted to an abuse of discretion.
The Third District Court of Appeal said “benevolence and compassion” were not legally sufficient grounds for Circuit Judge Valerie Manno Schurr to allow a Miami couple an extra month to try and sell their home before a foreclosure sale.
The decision to bestow one of the world's top accolades on a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo....
Ho hum. I don't pay all that much attention to the Academy Awards either.
PS For about the same reasons.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Gone are the hot breakfasts in most dorms and the pastries at Widener Library. Varsity athletes are no longer guaranteed free sweat suits, and just this week came the jarring news that professors will go without cookies at faculty meetings.
By Harvard standards, these are hard times....
1. The planning of 9-11 was done in hotels and apartments in Germany and Spain, and flight schools in the United States. Even Paul Pillar, former CIA deputy chief for counter-terrorism will tell you that an al Qaeda base in Afghanistan would not significantly increase threats to the United States.
2. If the Taliban had control of Afghanistan, it would likely not allow al Qaeda in. Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. president's guy in Afghanistan, will tell you the same....
Take a break, Bunky. Seriously. You gotta see The Pirates of Penzance. Found on Hulu the other night when I was just poking around there, it's a 1983 film featuring Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt, and, sure, a bunch of other people and based, of course, on Gilbert and Sullivan's fantastic operetta of the same name. It starts a little slower than is the modern fashion, but if you stay with it until the cops arrive there will be no going back.
Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal has given Microsoft's Windows 7 a glowing review, noting that Microsoft's latest operating system is still behind Apple's Mac OS X, but not by much.
When glowing reviews are written...
Some on the [Olympic] bid committee were saying Chicago had up to 33 votes in the first round. Charlie Battle of Atlanta, among half a dozen international relations consultants paid by the bid committee, said he expected "23 or 24."
...half a dozen interfreakingnational relations consultants, who knew? And I've been looking for a new career. Dude, this could be it.
Justice Antonin Scalia...insisted the First Amendment did not allow the government to limit speech and expression unless it involved sex or obscenity.
In an effort to rid the Good Book of "liberal bias," [Conservapedia] has set up the Conservative Bible Project, which aims to rewrite the Bible from a modern, conservative perspective.
When I was in the fourth grade, I discovered a copy of "The Wizard of Oz" in the neighborhood library. I was spellbound. It was the first book I ever read, and it was the one thing that turned me on to a life of reading and writing. Years later, I found out that it was also this amazing movie.
Embarrassing confession: When I was in college, I was cast as one of the Lollipop Kids (even though I was six feet tall.) I think there might have been other resemblances.
Anyway, it was magical stuff. And that movie endures, 70 years later. Priceless.
So what did we learn from this moment? For one thing, we learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old.