Yankee's new Leaf Peepr app, free and downloadable for iPhones and Droids, lets users check color status by region or zip code...
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is insisting that “any potential emergency disaster aid be offset by spending cuts.”
...but I'm willing to bet a modest amount that Cantor's state, Virginia, is as close as one comes to being a federal state. With dozens of military installations and federal properties (the CIA's headquarters at Langley is only one example), not to mention being home to a great many folks who work in D.C., I'm thinking we could save a whole lot of money by just cutting Virginia off. And then maybe Eric Cantor will just STFU.
(BTW, it looks like Virginia is dead center in Hurricane Irene's path so good luck to our Virginia friends.)
One positive thing in Bernanke’s speech — I’m trying to look on the bright side — is that for what seems to me the first time he has more or less acknowledged that we are not, in any real sense, experiencing a recovery...
These days, apropos Obama, some lines from a Hollywood classic, "Touch of Evil," float into my mind:
Welles: Come on, read my future for me.
Dietrich: You haven't got any.
Welles: Hmm? What do you mean?
Dietrich: Your future's all used up.
State Rep. Carol McGuire (R-NH) believes the federal minimum wage is too high. In a statement to reporters, she said she would like to repeal all minimum wage laws and have corporations pay workers whatever rate they desire. She also said the $7.25 minimum is overly generous to young people: “It’s very discriminatory, particularly for young people. They’re not worth the minimum,” she said.
And she's from New Hampshire, too. So I guess all New Englanders aren't commies after all.
I suppose, though, she thinks she's worth the $7.25. Not just any mope can say things that dumb.
Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said Thursday on PBS NewsHour that “people at all levels” would have sacrifice to repair America’s budget problems....
But Huntsman said he didn’t mean “higher taxes” and wouldn’t elaborate on what “shared sacrifices” he would propose.
“Over time, we’re going to figure that out."
The former dictator of Libya seems to have a crush.
As rebel fighters ransacked the compound of Muammar Gaddafi following the fall of Tripoli, an unusual item was discovered: a photo album containing nothing but photos of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
A woman has dreams that she is a werewolf. She goes out and finds men. She proceeds to have sex with them and then rip their throats out with her teeth.
I was just looking for a mindless movie and here it is, the answer to my dreams!
(Reuters) - Astronomers have spotted an exotic planet that seems to be made of diamond racing around a tiny star in our galactic backyard.
(Never mind about the platinum coin. It's just as far away.)
Not only are 25 million unemployed or underemployed, but American companies continue to cut wages and benefits. The median wage is still dropping, adjusted for inflation. High unemployment has given employers extra bargaining leverage to wring out wage concessions.
All told, it’s been the worst decade for American workers in a century. According to Commerce Department data, private-sector wage gains over the last decade have even lagged behind wage gains during the decade of the Great Depression (4 percent over the last ten years, adjusted for inflation, versus 5 percent from 1929 to 1939).
The USA...has the highest prison population rate in the world, 743 per 100,000 of the national population, followed by Rwanda (c. 595), Russia (568), Georgia (547), U.S. Virgin Is. (539), Seychelles (507), St Kitts & Nevis (495), British Virgin Is. (468), Belize (439), Dominica (431), Bermuda (428), Grenada (423) and Curacao (422).
Also Belize! Dude!
But with the exception of Bernie Madoff (scheduled date of release: 11-14-2139), who made the unpardonable error of actually ripping off rich people, and a UBS whistleblower (yes, whistleblower!) named Bradley Birkenfeld, who made the upardonable error of ratting out rich people, there are virtually no big banker-investor-con-artist Wall Street types among the 2.3 million prisoners held in the US, and virtually none of the politicians who love them, either.
This does not pass the smell test.
While young bankers said they enjoy their jobs, most are
dissatisfied with pay and hope to leave the field, with almost
60 percent saying they want to work in private equity, according
to a survey released yesterday by headhunting firm Capstone
“It’s been a rough couple of years for them,” Rik
Kopelan, managing partner at New York-based Capstone, said in a
I wonder if flipping burgers is counted as "private equity."
(Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's pursuers must act fast to stop the trail going cold or risk prolonging Libya's war by months, if not years, analysts say.
“I think each of those Bush presidents, and a possible future president, bring a unique aspect of the table. But what they have in common is a quiet dignity and love for America that makes me still support them everyday when I wake up.”
"Yes, there is a direct connection between earthquakes and homosexuality. There was in Haiti and it is here, in New York, in Washington, D.C., where they passed homosexual legislation ordinances, in New York City and state, where they opened, especially on Sunday early, where they passed the homosexual marriage law."
The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum....
In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.
A power play is underway in the foreclosure arena, according to the New York Times.
On the one side is Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, who is conducting his own investigation into the era of securitizations – the practice of chopping up assets like mortgages and converting them into saleable securities – that led up to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
On the other side is the Obama administration, all the banks, and, now, apparently, all the other state attorneys general....
Why? My theory is that the Obama administration is trying to secure its 2012 campaign war chest with this settlement deal. If he can make this foreclosure thing go away for the banks, you can bet he’ll win the contributions battle against the Republicans next summer. Which is good for him, I guess, but it seems to me that it might be time to wonder if is this the most disappointing president we’ve ever had.
(Reuters) - With Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule effectively over, Libya's new leaders and their foreign allies face the daunting task of restoring order, beginning reconstruction and avoiding collapse into conflict and chaos....
You have to feel for the Administration. They're faced with a dual revolt on their hands: on the one hand, they have angry progressives and liberals who expect something remotely approaching governance on behalf of the people instead of Wall Street. And on the other, they have banksters threatening to give all hard stolen earned money over to Mitt Romney.
Faced with that hard choice, the Obama Administration has chosen to protect the banksters. Not surprising: they expect irrelevant liberals to fall in line, and they know Wall St. cash is a more fickle mistress.
Somehow this seems like we're they're about to fall for the old adjustable-rate gag again.
Fool me twice, you can't fool me again.
A South Dakota school district has joined the march toward a four-day school week to save money.
The Irene-Wakonda district figures it can save $50,000, or the equivalent of one teacher, by running classes Monday through Thursday and stretching each day by about 30 minutes.
A "desperate situation" is developing at Tripoli's Rixos hotel, according to BBC correspondent Matthew Price, who is now trapped there along with some 35 other journalists and foreign nationals.
...and the laundry put starch in our shorts.
U.S. shares were set to fall on Wednesday, giving up some of the hefty gains of the previous session, which were based on hopes that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will announce measures to stimulate the struggling U.S. economy...
...when these Wall Street guys say "U.S. economy" they're not talking about quite the same thing I'm thinking when I say "U.S. economy"?
Despite the carping by critics, I’m glad the president went on vacation because one of the most useful things he could do right now is play golf — a lot of golf — but not that friendly foursome thing with his aides that he usually does. No, real golf: Match play, head to head, with real money on the line. Match-play golf is a great teacher.
(And, Obama is no Jimmy Carter, he's more like Tiger Woods. Seriously.)
Well, it turns out I am the only guy on the planet who thought Jimmy Carter did a good job in the White House, and also I don't play golf. Moreover, I am trying to cut back on linking to the New York Times; this is an exception.
An earthquake on the east coast...
The shaking was felt on the Martha's Vineyard golf course as Obama was just starting a round.
But worse, it woke me up from my nap.
Fabulous! Rattled the windows and everything. Made the house sway around a little (a good Nor'easter can do pretty much the same).
Earthquakes around here are pretty rare but, according to the science types, when they do occur the shock travels a long, long way. Something about an old, hard crust.
I can identify with that.
...I heard some guy say it's beginning to feel a little bit like autumn, and that very evening, yesterday, I noticed for the first time the evenings are starting to cool off earlier, and first thing this morning on the weather widget it was 53. It's beginning to feel a little bit like autumn, I guess. Right on cue.
(Reuters) - Former Alaska [Half-] Governor Sarah Palin on Tuesday shot down speculation that she is close to deciding whether to jump into the 2012 presidential race, after talk that she would announce her plans during the Labor Day holiday weekend in early September.
Wouldn't it be awesome, though, if Backmann and Perry (or Parry) have moved things so far into craZy that Palin can come back as mainstream? Wow!
Obama's payroll tax cut sounds good until you realize that he's really taking the money out of Social Security and not from the general budget. This is the same Social Security he thinks is in so much trouble. The guy has a hard time doing right even when he tries to do right.
Whoever dreamed this idea up should be collecting unemployment insurance tomorrow. It was a dumb idea when they did it and it's even dumber now that they want to extend it. Either they don't know how Social Security works (which is entirely possible, it seems) or they're cynically trying to coax a few votes from voters who don't; either way it's YA numbskull move.
We have all the good charts:
“The market has got in its head that any help from policy makers is desperately needed,” said Robert Buckland, global equity strategist at Citigroup in London.
HOUSTON — The fighting is not yet over in Tripoli, but the scramble to secure access to Libya’s oil wealth has already begun.
"Although it is clear Gaddafi's rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya and calling for those forces that continue to fight to lay down their arms," Obama said.
All this Libyan stuff reminds me of when I was an idealistic college student and the leader of the valliant rebel band unseating the vicious, corrupt dictator, Batista, was Fidel Castro. I seem to remember a story in Life magazine, or maybe it was Time, or very possibly both, of Fidel in the back of the obligatory rebel pickup truck, heading down the road toward Havana.
The next morning, it was suddenly revealed Fidel was a commie and the entire U.S.A. fell into a swoon from which it has not yet recovered. I know as well as anyone Fidel was not exactly our BFF (can you spell "Cuban missile crisis"?) but still, that was half a century ago.
And does anybody know who those Libyan's are? I mean, yea freedom and all that, but still.
With Congress returning to Capitol Hill on Monday to debate steep spending cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.
Good friggin' idea!
Click the list for Bernie's list; there is not a surprising name on it.
Investigative reporter Russ Baker has been marginalized because he’s dared to ask questions “real” journalists aren’t supposed to touch (like who really killed Jack Kennedy).
...now that the archvillain bin Laden is dead (hooray!) can we carry as much shampoo as we want to on our next flight? Can we stop being scanned? Can we stop bombing Pakistan? Or can we close down our secret overseas prisons? Can we stop installing cameras on every intersection and listening in on telephone conversations and do away with that pesky no-fly list?
The President -- who kicked off his campaign vowing to put an end to "the era of Scooter Libby justice" -- will stand before the electorate in 2012 having done everything in his power to shield top Bush officials from all accountability for their crimes and will have done the same for Wall Street banks, all while continuing to preside over the planet's largest Prison State . . . for ordinary Americans convicted even of trivial offenses, particularly (though not only) from the War on Drugs he continues steadfastly to defend. And...none of this has anything to do with Congress and cannot be blamed on the Weak Presidency, the need to compromise, or the "crazy" GOP.
Which are not the only reasons I won't vote for him next time, but some. A vote for a guy like this is called enabling, and I won't do it.
Click the top link for Greenwald's complete article.
We are totally bummed.
Capitol police arrested three people Saturday afternoon for selling lemonade on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building. They were participating in “Lemonade Freedom Day” — a national demonstration against a spate of recent lemonade stand shutdowns by police and health inspectors.
If the President in his desire to be the Compromiser in Chief doesn't point a finger at those responsible for the mess, the public won't just give up and forget about the crime. They'll find a scapegoat instead. Ultimately, someone will be punished for the destruction of the middle class in America, and the punishment will be as severe as the crime--whether it falls on the head of the guilty or not.