Thursday, December 04, 2008

Food Stamp Usage Explodes

The economic ruin being left by the Bush Administration has caused a surge in the usage of the nations Food Stamp Program which aids the poor.
Food stamps, the main U.S. antihunger program which helps the needy buy food, set a record in September as more than 31.5 million Americans used the program -- up 17 percent from a year ago, according to government data.

The number of people using food stamps in September surpassed the previous peak of 29.85 million seen in November 2005 when victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma received emergency benefits, said Jean Daniel of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service.

September's tally -- the latest month available -- was also boosted by hurricane and flood aid, Daniel said on Wednesday.

But anti-hunger groups said the economic downturn is the main reason behind the higher figures.

"It's a disturbing trend," said Ellen Vollinger, legal director with the Food Research and Action Center. She said she expects more people will turn to food stamps as unemployment figures rise and the economy remains weak.

One in 10 Americans were participating in the food stamp program as of September, said Dottie Rosenbaum, analyst with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank.

That's approaching the all-time high of 10.5 percent of the population that used the program in 1994, and is similar to levels seen in the early 1980s, she said.

States that have seen a drop in job numbers and increase in home foreclosures such as Florida and Nevada also have seen a marked increase in food stamp use, Rosenbaum said.

Food banks are struggling to meet increased requests for food, said Maura Daly of Feeding America, a network of food banks.

"The tough economic time that our nation is facing is having a tremendous impact on the level of food assistance needed across the country," Daly said.

On average, people who used food stamps received $100 per month in benefits in September. That increased slightly in October to account for higher food prices, but hunger groups said the benefits still don't go far enough at a time of high food prices and home heating costs.

Last month, the USDA said 36.2 million Americans or 11 percent of households struggle to get enough food to eat, and one-third of them had to sometimes skip or cut back on meals.

Hunger groups want Congress and the new administration to increase food stamp benefits as part of an economic stimulus package they hope will come in early 2009.

The benefits go directly to people who spend it at local grocery stores, supporting businesses and jobs, said Vollinger of the Food Research and Action Center.

"They (the benefits) don't sit in a pocket," she said, pointing to USDA estimates that $5 in food stamp spending generates $9 in economic activity.
I never thought I would see the day that the heavy reliance on the Food Stamp Program would be part of an economic stimulus package. Do you still think we are the richest nation on earth?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Economy Continues To Crumble

Best Buy warns and Circuit City announces bankruptcy.

Home Prices Fall for the Seventh Consecutive Quarter.

Intel Stock Price at 12 Year low.

President-Elect Obama is walking into a disaster of historic proportions. This is what happens when you have an incompetent fool in the White House. Thankfully the adults will be in charge on January 20, 2009 but will the damage be so drastic that it will be impossible to fix? What is needed is a modern day New Deal which would rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and keep people employed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Special Comment on Bigotry

I was elated when it was announced that Barack Obama had won the presidency and had done so convincingly. My elation was cut short when I realized that California passed Proposition 8 which has effectively classified gays and lesbians as second class citizens. Being a gay man it was a bitter pill to swallow. Many of the minority groups I have always helped had decided that I was somehow less a person than they were. Many are saying it was wording of the Proposition, others are saying it was the inflammatory rhetoric. I am saying that in America it is OK to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians. I will remember that the next time the right wing comes after the Hispanic population with an "English Only" ballot measure whose sole purpose is to incite fear and hatred. I will remember that when all Affirmative Action programs are on the ballot for elimination. Without a coalition of people willing to stand up for the rights of others the mob mentality will always win the day and those deemed less than will forever be classified as second class citizens. They took away my rights, what makes you think that they won't come after yours?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Elected President By A Wide Margin

The country chose hope over fear and made history. Barack Hussein Obama is the nation's forty-fourth President.

The task ahead is daunting. He has been left a monumental task to clean up the mess being left by the worst administration in history. We all need patience and as we struggle to solve this nations problems. Lets all give our new President the support necessary as he makes those diffucult decisions but lets also stay informed and speak out when we feel his decisions are not in our best interests.

Today is a day for celebration but tomorrow we must face the world head on and start to understand the shared sacrifice necessary to bring this country off its knees. We must understand that together we can solve anything but divided we will see the great promise of this nation destroyed. Congratulations President-Elect Obama

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brarack Obama Makes His Closing Arguments

I am proud to support Barack Obama. If the Middle Class is to have any chance of survival, we need a drastic change. I feel Senator Obama is the right man at this important point in our history. Senator McCain has sold his soul to the devil in one of the nastiest and most dishonest campaigns I can ever remember. He would be an older and even more erratic continuation of the worst administration in our history. This is simply something we can not endure. Barack Obama offers the hope and inspiration we need to bring this country back to its former greatness. The job ahead is tough and we will need to be united if there is any chance of restoring our standing in the world and bringing our middle class back to being the envy of the world.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Voter Fraud?

Do not believe the lies.

Is It A McCain Rally or a KKK Rally?

These people are truly revolting and stupid. If McCain was a decent human being he would make a national address and ask his supporters to stop this racist bullshit.

Foreclosures Just keep Rising

US foreclosure filings up 71 percent in 3Q
The number of homeowners ensnared in the foreclosure crisis grew by more than 70 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2007, according to data released Thursday.

Nationwide, nearly 766,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice from July through September, up 71 percent from a year earlier, said foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.

By the end of the year, RealtyTrac expects more than a million bank-owned properties to have piled up on the market, representing around a third of all properties for sale in the U.S.

That's bad news for anyone who lives nearby and wants to sell their home. While foreclosure sales are booming in many areas, those properties are commanding deep discounts and pulling down neighboring property values. "It has a pretty significant impact in terms of pricing," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president for marketing.

RealtyTrac monitors default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. More than 250,000 properties were repossessed by lenders nationwide in the third quarter, 81,000 of which were taken back last month.

Six states — California, Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan and Nevada — accounted for more than 60 percent of all foreclosure activity in the quarter, with California alone making up more than a quarter of all U.S. foreclosure filings.

Detroit and Atlanta were the only cities outside California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona to make RealtyTrac's list of the 20 hardest-hit metropolitan areas.

The combination of sinking home values, tighter mortgage lending criteria and an economy that many economists think has already slipped into recession has left hundreds of thousands of homeowners with few options. Many can't find buyers or owe more than their home is worth and can't refinance into an affordable loan, with the global credit crisis making loans far less available.

For those who can qualify for a loan, or have cash to invest, there are bargains to be had, especially in ravaged markets like Nevada and California. Last month, foreclosure resales accounted for more than half of existing home sales in California last month, as home sales jumped 65 percent from a year ago, while the statewide median home price fell 34 percent to $283,000, according to MDA DataQuick.

RealtyTrac, however, reported foreclosure filings in September were actually down 12 percent from August. But much of that decline was the result of new state laws that delay the foreclosure process. In California, for example, lenders are now required to contact borrowers at least 30 days before filing a default notice. A similar law in North Carolina gives borrowers an extra 45 days.

Still, that's not likely to be enough to save homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Nearly 12 million of the 52 million Americans with a mortgage — that's 23 percent of them — are in that position, according to Moody's Economy.com.

It remains to be seen how much the government's intervention will stem the housing crisis. Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Administration launched a program that aims to prevent foreclosures by allowing homeowners to swap their mortgages for more affordable loans, but only if their lender agrees to take a loss on the initial loan. The bill is projected to help about 400,000 households.

Meanwhile, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which took over Pasadena, Calif.-based IndyMac Bank over the summer, has been aggressively modifying troubled home loans since August in an effort to stave off foreclosures. Congressional Democrats are calling for that approach to be expanded as the Treasury Department buys billions in troubled mortgage debt as part of a $700 billion financial industry bailout.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin Is Not A Bright Woman

She doesn't even know the Constitutional role of the office she is seeking. Can someone tell me again why she was picked to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Colin Powell has announced that he is supporting Barack Obama as President. One of the major issues was McCain's pick of Sarah Palin. He also lit into the Republican party for their tactics during the campaign.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scary Stuff

Still think the Mccain campaign is not inciting violence? These people are sickening and very very uninformed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Parade Of Racists Continue

I am starting to wonder if its a McCain/Palin rally or a KKK rally. I can't tell the difference anymore except these people are too stupid to cover their faces. These are the very people who will be hurt the most by our economic collapse. I can't say I would be sorry to see these fools living in a cardboard box under a highway overpass. That would be karma.

Asshole on the way into the rally.



This is him inside the rally realizing that he just got nailed by CBS News.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Thursday, October 09, 2008

McCain Supporters

This is scary stuff. Do any of these people have the mental capacity of an 8 year old?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

U.S. May Nationalize Banks

The party of free market philosophy makes it necessary for the ultimate government intervention.
Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.

Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it. Such a move would quickly strengthen banks’ balance sheets and, officials hope, persuade them to resume lending. In return, the law gives the Treasury the right to take ownership positions in banks, including healthy ones.

The Treasury plan, still preliminary, resembles one announced on Wednesday in Britain. Under that plan, the British government would offer banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC Holdings up to $87 billion to shore up their capital in exchange for preference shares. It also would provide a guarantee of about $430 billion to help banks refinance debt.

The American recapitalization plan, officials say, has emerged as one of the most favored new options being discussed in Washington and on Wall Street. The appeal is that it would directly address the worries that banks have about lending to one another and to other customers.
This is what eight years of pigs at the trough have broughtus. They will now use our tax dollars to buy banks so that they will finally do what they are in business to do. We are truly at a crossroads in this country and the future is not looking very good. Unless we understand exactly how this happened we are doomed to repeat it. I would like to see many of the Wall St. executives marched off to jail or sued for their large pay packages. We ar at the cusp of a major financial disaster that could have repercussions for a generation and we were brought here by greed. Lets make greed very costly to those who brought us to this point.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Is An Ass

While watching this all I could think of is how I really wish Rosie O'Donnell would have slammed this worthless idiot into next week. The double standard this woman shows is amazing. Here are some Keating 5 facts:

1)McCain met with regulators twice to call off the dogs on Mr. Keating.
2)McCain had the closest relationship with Keating and received the most money.
3)Cindy McCain turned a few hundred dollars into millions investing with Keating.
4)McCain and family received several free vacations from Keating.

You call that innocent? I call that corrupt. As Whoopi said McCain is doing this because he is losing. If you can't win fairly then why not cheat. It seems to be the way for the Republicans. Oh and lets not forget that Sarah Palinb is currently under investigation yet that never gets uttered by this bottle blond fool.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Stocks Continue Their Decine

Pessimism about a protracted economic downturn washed over the financial markets Thursday, sending stocks plunging and further tightening the credit markets. Reports on declining factory orders and a seven-year high in jobless claims stoked fears that the government's financial rescue plan won't ward off a recession, and the Dow Jones industrials skidded nearly 350 points.

Investors appeared to be settling in for a prolonged economic winter. The main concern is that the $700 billion bailout plan won't be enough to stimulate growth, and economic reports delivered Thursday show that the U.S. continues to struggle.

The government said the number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week and that demand at the nation's factories has fallen by the largest amount in nearly two years. The market is interpreting the Commerce Department report on factories as a sign that tight credit conditions are hitting manufacturers.

"The economy is what's driving this weakness," said Subodh Kumar, global investment strategist at Toronto-based Subodh Kumar & Associates. "I think now what's going on is a focus on the economic weakness in a whole bunch of areas."

He also said, "the next couple of days are going to be pretty intense politically" as Wall Street girds for another vote on the financial bailout plan. The bill that passed the Senate late Wednesday will be sent to the House as soon as Friday. The latest version of the bill adds $100 billion in tax breaks for businesses and the middle class and raises the limit on federal deposit insurance to $250,000 from $100,000.

Supporters are hoping the sweetened bill will be more palatable to some of the 133 House Republicans who rejected the measure in a vote Monday that took Wall Street, and many on Capitol Hill, by surprise.

Those in favor of the plan to let the government buy billions of dollars in bad mortgage debt and other now-soured assets say it will help unclog the world's credit markets. Banks are fearful of making loans, even to each other, because of worries they won't be repaid. That, in turn, is weighing on the economy, making borrowing more difficult and expensive for businesses and consumers alike.

The credit markets showed some increased strain Thursday. The yield on the 3-month T-bill, the safest type of investment, fell to 0.70 percent from 0.79 percent late Wednesday. The historically low yields indicate investors are willing to accept the smallest of returns to safeguard their money.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, fell to 3.64 percent from 3.74 percent late Wednesday.

The stock market is a leading economic indicator of sorts, because investors tend to buy and sell based on where they believe the economy will be six months or more in the future. Thursday's big drop points to a market increasingly resigned to further economic instability whether or not the bailout plan becomes law.

"There are a lot of people who think regardless of a bailout, there's still this economic data and the horror stories out there," said Todd Salamone, director of trading at Schaeffer's Investment Research. "Certainly, there's a negative psychology."

Investors might get another grim reading about the economy on Friday when the Labor Department releases its September jobs report, one of the most closely watched indicators. The report is expected to show a loss of 100,000 jobs, according to a median estimate from economists. That would be the ninth straight month that the economy has lost jobs.

The Dow fell 348.22, or 3.22 percent, to 10,482.85. The blue chips plunged nearly 778 points Monday, logged a partial rebound Tuesday and finished modestly lower Wednesday; still the Dow has had triple-digit swings every day this week, having fallen more than 200 during Wednesday's trading.

Broader stock indicators also fell sharply Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 46.78, or 4.03 percent, to 1,114.28, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 92.68, or 4.48 percent, to 1,976.72.

Light, sweet crude fell $4.56 to settle at $93.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold and other commodities also declined during the session.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said the U.S. has been hit with an "economic Pearl Harbor," and the government must respond quickly. "That sounds melodramatic, but I've never used that phrase before. And this really is one," Buffett said in an appearance on the "The Charlie Rose Show" on PBS stations.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 497,000, above expectations for a 475,000 increase. That's the highest seen since the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and unnerved investors worried about not only about strains in the financial market but also the effect on the broader economy.

Beyond employment, the government reported that orders for manufactured goods fell by 4 percent in August from July. Economists had expected a 2.5 percent decline. It is the biggest drop since a 4.8 percent decline in October 2006.

The dollar was higher against other major currencies, particularly the euro, even after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged. Higher interest rates in Europe generally make the euro more attractive to investors than the dollar.

The ECB left its key interest rate unchanged amid concerns over inflation but explored the option of lowering the rate as the financial crisis increasingly affects the continent. The central bank is also weighing a bailout of the region's financial system, similar to what U.S. lawmakers are considering.

That raised the question of whether policymakers globally might be less focused on fighting inflation, and instead trying to come up with short-term solutions to stimulate the economy.

"At some point, you have to face the realities that we have some serious problems and there aren't going to be any quick fixes," said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at Voyageur Asset Management. "Even if bailouts pass, the fact remains that it might get credit flowing again but won't solve the broader issues out there."

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 33.92, or 5.05 percent, to 637.67.

Declining issues led advancers by a 3 to 1 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 6.16 billion shares, up from 5.59 billion on Wednesday.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 1.88 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.80 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 2.51 percent, and France's CAC-40 lost 2.25 percent.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Why Did The Bailout Fail?

Today's defeat of the Wall St. Bailout happened for many reasons but the main one is that this bill is very unpopular and its an election year. House Republicans need something to bring back home to their districts to avoid a complete rout in November. They think they have found their talking point.

I was also against the bill for many reasons but I also know that without some sort of plan the economy could spiral out of control. Bad debt has infected nearly every sector of the financial markets. Remember they were told these mortgage backed securities were safe investments with many having an A rating. Today's record point drop in the stock market showed that we are dangerously close to the tipping point. Banks have stopped lending to each other and each day another large institution fails. We are in the most serious financial meltdown since the depression. Wall St. executives are the robber barons of our time and another great depression could be looming. What can lawmakers do now? First and foremost any rescue plan should include taxpayer ownership of the companies that require a bailout. There needs to be some upside for the taxpayers after the investment firms have cleared their books of these bad assets. There must be a limit to executive compensation in all forms. There must be a tax on all investment transactions to pay for this huge bailout. We must also lower our corporate tax but cut out all loopholes. Corporate tax receipts as a percentage of our GDP are at a historic low. What good is a 35% tax rate when only small business is paying that? We must outlaw lobbying, it is legalized bribery and we should amend the Constitution to stop this incredibly destructive practice.

Today over 1 trillion of value was lost. The Dow is now lower than when President George W. Bush took office. We have all effectively lost 8 years of retirement savings and in twenty years the number of elderly who will live in poverty will grow unless a drastic market rebound occurs. The elimination of pensions for defined contribution plans made most people stock holders. This was a deliberate move by Wall St. for expanded profits. Now most Americans invest in stocks and its this fact that has made some institutions too big to fail. This problem is now worldwide and it threatens to wreak financial havoc throughout the world.

Our country is in danger of becoming a third world nation. We no longer are a manufacturing giant, in fact we hardly manufacture anything here. We are the world's largest debtor nation and our levels of poverty are getting close to third world status. Our population is less educated and the quality of our jobs is on a steady decline.

This is the result of deregulation and the idea that industry can police itself. John McCain recently said that deregulation has helped grow the economy. My 401(k) statements show that to be untrue.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wall St. Bailout Imminent

Congressional leaders and the White House agreed Sunday to a $700 billion rescue of the ailing financial industry after lawmakers insisted on sharing spending controls with the Bush administration. The biggest U.S. bailout in history won the tentative support of both presidential candidates and goes to the House for a vote Monday.

The plan, bollixed up for days by election-year politics, would give the administration broad power to use taxpayers' money to purchase billions upon billions of home mortgage-related assets held by cash-starved financial firms.

President Bush called the vote a difficult one for lawmakers but said he is confident Congress will pass it. "Without this rescue plan, the costs to the American economy could be disastrous," Bush said in a written statement released by the White House.

Flexing its political muscle, Congress insisted on a stronger hand in controlling the money than the White House had wanted. Lawmakers had to navigate between angry voters with little regard for Wall Street and administration officials who warned that inaction would cause the economy to seize up and spiral into recession.

A deal in hand, Capitol Hill leaders scrambled to sell it to colleagues in both parties and acknowledged they were not certain it would pass. "Now we have to get the votes," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the majority leader.

The final legislation was released Sunday evening. House Republicans and Democrats met privately to review it and decide how they would vote. "This isn't about a bailout of Wall Street, it's a buy-in, so that we can turn our economy around," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The largest government intervention in financial markets since the Great Depression casts Washington's long shadow over Wall Street. The government would take over huge amounts of devalued assets from beleaguered financial companies in hopes of unlocking frozen credit.

"I don't know of anyone here who wants the center of the economic universe to be Washington," said a top negotiator, Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. But, he added, "The center of gravity is here temporarily. ... God forbid it's here any longer than it takes to get credit moving again."

The plan would let Congress block half the money and force the president to jump through some hoops before using it all. The government could get at $250 billion immediately, $100 billion more if the president certified it was necessary, and the last $350 billion with a separate certification _ and subject to a congressional resolution of disapproval.

Still, the resolution could be vetoed by the president, meaning it would take extra-large congressional majorities to stop it.

Lawmakers who struck a post-midnight deal on the plan with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson predicted final congressional action might not come until Wednesday.

The proposal is designed to end a vicious downward spiral that has battered all levels of the economy. Hundreds of billions of dollars in investments based on mortgages have soured and cramped banks' willingness to lend.

"This is the bottom line: If we do not do this, the trauma, the chaos and the disruption to everyday Americans' lives will be overwhelming, and that's a price we can't afford to risk paying," Sen. Judd Gregg, the chief Senate Republican in the talks, told The Associated Press. "I do think we'll be able to pass it, and it will be a bipartisan vote."

A breakthrough came when Democrats agreed to incorporate a GOP demand _ letting the government insure some bad home loans rather than buy them. That would limit the amount of federal money used in the rescue.

Another important bargain, vital to attracting support from centrist Democrats, would require that the government, after five years, submit a plan to Congress on how to recoup any losses from the companies that got help.

"This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with," said Republican presidential nominee John McCain. "The option of doing nothing is simply not an acceptable option."

His Democratic rival Barack Obama sought credit for taxpayer safeguards added to the initial proposal from the Bush administration. "I was pushing very hard and involved in shaping those provisions," he said.

Later, at a rally in Detroit, Obama said, "it looks like we will pass that plan very soon."

House Republicans said they were reviewing the plan.

As late as Sunday afternoon, Republicans regarded the deal as "a proposal that is promising in principle, but that is still not final," said Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt, the top House GOP negotiator.

Executives whose companies benefit from the rescue could not get "golden parachutes" and would see their pay packages limited. Firms that got the most help through the program _ $300 million or more _ would face steep taxes on any compensation for their top people over $500,000.

The government would receive stock warrants in return for the bailout relief, giving taxpayers a chance to share in financial companies' future profits.

To help struggling homeowners, the plan would require the government to try renegotiating the bad mortgages it acquires with the aim of lowering borrowers' monthly payments so they can keep their homes.

But Democrats surrendered other cherished goals: letting judges rewrite bankrupt homeowners' mortgages and steering any profits gained toward an affordable housing fund.

It was Obama who first signaled Democrats were willing to give up some of their favorite proposals. He told reporters Wednesday that the bankruptcy measure was a priority, but that it "probably something that we shouldn't try to do in this piece of legislation."

"It's not a bill that any one of us would have written. It's a much better bill than we got. It's not as good as it should be," said Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the House Financial Services Committee chairman. He predicted it would pass, though not by a large majority.

Frank negotiated much of the compromise in a marathon series of up-and-down meetings and phone calls with Paulson, Dodd, D-Conn., and key Republicans including Gregg and Blunt.

Pelosi shepherded the discussions at key points, and cut a central deal Saturday night _ on companies paying back taxpayers for any losses _ that gave momentum to the final accord.

An extraordinary week of talks unfolded after Paulson and Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, went to Congress 10 days ago with ominous warnings about a full-blown economic meltdown if lawmakers did not act quickly to infuse huge amounts of government money into a financial sector buckling under the weight of toxic debt.

The negotiations were shaped by the political pressures of an intense campaign season in which voters' economic concerns figure prominently. They brought McCain and Obama to Washington for a White House meeting that yielded more discord and behind-the-scenes theatrics than progress, but increased the pressure on both sides to strike a bargain.

Lawmakers in both parties who are facing re-election are loath to embrace a costly plan proposed by a deeply unpopular president that would benefit perhaps the most publicly detested of all: companies that got rich off bad bets that have caused economic pain for ordinary people.

But many of them say the plan is vital to ensure their constituents don't pay for Wall Street's mistakes, in the form of unaffordable credit and major hits to investments they count on, like their pensions.

Some proponents even said taxpayers could come out as financial winners.

Gregg, R-N.H., said: "I don't think we're going to lose money, myself. We may _ it's possible _ but I doubt it in the long run."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jobless claims pushed to 7-year high

Hurricanes Ike and Gustav and weak economy push jobless claims to 7-year high

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP News

Sep 25, 2008 09:23 EST

New claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to their highest level in seven years due to the impact of a slowing economy and Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The department said new requests for jobless benefits for the week ending Sept. 20 increased by 32,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 493,000, much higher than analysts' expectations of 445,000.

Wall Street was more focused on Washington, though, where lawmakers and the administration appeared to be moving closer to a $700 billion bailout package for the financial system. Stocks rose, with the Dow up more than 200 points in early trading.

The two hurricanes added about 50,000 new claims in Louisiana and Texas, the department said. The four-week moving average, which smooths out fluctuations, rose to 462,500. That's the highest it has been since Nov. 3, 2001.

The level of new claims was the highest since shortly after the 9/11 attacks, when it reached 517,000.

David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities, said Thursday's figure is the second-highest since July 1992. Claims have topped 500,000 only a handful of times in the past twenty years, he said, and were consistently above that level during the 1991 recession.

Even excluding the effects of the hurricanes, jobless claims remain at elevated levels. Weekly claims have now topped 400,000 for ten straight weeks, a level economists consider a sign of recession. A year ago, claims stood at 309,000.

The report "reflects a marked deterioration in the job market," Resler wrote in a note to clients. "That deterioration may well accelerate as the distress in the financial markets deepens and the effect of credit impairment spreads to other sectors."

The number of people continuing to draw jobless benefits last week was 3.54 million, up 63,000 from the previous week and nearly a five-year high. The four-week average of continuing claims was 3.49 million.

Other economic indicators Thursday were also negative. The Commerce Department said that orders for big-ticket manufactured goods fell by 4.5 percent in August, far more than the 1.6 percent decline economists expected.

And new home sales fell by 11.5 percent in August, the Commerce Department said in a separate report, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 460,000, the lowest level in more than 17 years.

Hurricane Gustav first had an impact on jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 13. The department said Thursday that Louisiana reported an increase in claims of 18,409 during that week, mostly due to Gustav.

The financial crisis, falling home prices and slowing consumer spending continue to apply the brakes to the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate jumped unexpectedly to 6.1 percent in August, the highest level in five years.

Last week, drug maker Schering-Plough Corp. said it plans to cut 1,000 sales jobs to reduce costs, part of a 10 percent reduction in staff announced in April. Also, the nation's largest chicken producer, Pilgrim's Pride Corp., announced it would reduce 100 jobs besides the 600 job losses it previously announced.

Source: AP News

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Republicans: Proud of Deregulation

Let their own words hang them. If you vote for more of this shit then you deserve the economic hardship that is sure to follow.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Obama Ad On Healthcare

Where has the discussion of health care gone? People will still get sick even in the middle of a financial meltdown.

The Truth About Middle Class Tax Cuts

No Bailout Without Ownership

There can be no bailout of Wall Street without ownership by the citizens of the United States of the companies requiring bailouts. Why should our hard earned money be used to prop up entities whose greed and shoddy business practices got us into this mess?

It is inevitable that the taxpayers will be called upon in order to stem the tide of damages being inflicted worldwide. What is also obvious is that the financial condition of this country is dire. We are the worlds largest debtor nation and our levels of consumer debt are at record levels. The Conservative mantra that deficits don't matter is ridiculous as is indicated in the constant decline of the U.S. dollar. We must get our financial house in order. How can we even consider tax cuts with a deficit expected to top one trillion dollars in the next fiscal year?

Will the United States have an Argentina like meltdown that will plunge a vast percentage of our population into poverty overnight? I believe that remains a possibility.

Please call your elected representatives and tell them a no strings bailout is unacceptable.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We Were Days Away From A Complete Meltdown

Wow we were literally days away from a worldwide depression the likes of which we may have never experienced. Ask yourself one really big question and that is who fought for this deregulation. Both parties fought for this to some degree but the lions share of the blame goes to the Republicans who believe industry can police itself. How does that philosophy seem now? If the people of this country elect John McCain who voted for every deregulation law ever put in front of him then they deserve the economic collapse that will surely come with that decision.

From David M. Herszenhorn of the Washington Post:

It was a room full of people who rarely hold their tongues. But as the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, laid out the potentially devastating ramifications of the financial crisis before congressional leaders on Thursday night, there was a stunned silence at first.

Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"When you listened to him describe it you gulped," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.

As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program "Good Morning America," the congressional leaders were told "that we're literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally."

Mr. Schumer added, "History was sort of hanging over it, like this was a moment."

When Mr. Schumer described the meeting as "somber," Mr. Dodd cut in. "Somber doesn't begin to justify the words," he said. "We have never heard language like this."

"What you heard last evening," he added, "is one of those rare moments, certainly rare in my experience here, is Democrats and Republicans deciding we need to work together quickly."

Although Mr. Schumer, Mr. Dodd and other participants declined to repeat precisely what they were told by Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson, they said the two men described the financial system as effectively bound in a knot that was being pulled tighter and tighter by the day.

"You have the credit lines in America, which are the lifeblood of the economy, frozen." Mr. Schumer said. "That hasn't happened before. It's a brave new world. You are in uncharted territory, but the one thing you do know is you can't leave them frozen or the economy will just head south at a rapid rate."

As he spoke, Mr. Schumer swooped his hand, to make the gesture of a plummeting bird. "You know we'd be lucky ..." he said as his voice trailed off. "Well, I'll leave it at that."

As officials at the Treasury Department raced on Friday to draft legislative language for an ambitious plan for the government to buy billions of dollars of illiquid debt from ailing American financial institutions, legislators on Capitol Hill said they planned to work through the weekend reviewing the proposal and making efforts to bring a package of measures to the floor of the House and Senate by the end of next week.

Lawmakers in both parties described the meeting in Ms. Pelosi's office on Thursday night with Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke as collaborative, and that they were prepared to put politics aside to address the needs of the American people.

While Democrats initially said after the meeting that they planned to use the administration's proposal of a huge rescue effort to win support for an economic stimulus package, they pulled back slightly on Friday morning, saying that their top priority was to help put together the bailout package and stabilize the economy.

But it was clear they continued to examine ways to make clear that the government was stepping up not just to help the major financial firms but also to protect the interests of American taxpayers and families by safeguarding their pensions and college savings, and by preventing any further drying up of consumer credit.

In addition to potential stimulus measures, which could include an extension of unemployment benefits and spending on public infrastructure projects, Democrats said they intended to consider measures to help stem home foreclosures and stabilize real estate values.

Among the potential steps Congress can take include approving legislation to allow bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of primary mortgages - authority that the bankruptcy laws do not currently allow and that the banking industry has strenuously opposed.

But the Democrats said it was too soon to discuss such details, and that they were awaiting a draft of the proposal from the Treasury Department.

"We have got to deal with the foreclosure issue," Mr. Dodd said. "You have got to stop that hemorrhaging..If you don't, the problem doesn't go away. Ben Bernanke has said it over and over again. Hank Paulson recognizes it. This problem began with bad lending practices. Those are his words, not mine, and so this plan must address that or I'll be back here in front of a bank of microphones at some point explaining the next failure."

Even before the drafting of the plan was complete, the Bush administration and the Fed began efforts to sell the idea of a huge rescue to potentially skeptical rank-and-file members of Congress. Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke held a conference call with House Republicans to explain their thinking.

Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate banking committee, said in a television interview that cost to the government of purchasing bad debt could run to $1 trillion - a potential warning sign since Mr. Shelby is a longtime skeptic of government intervention in the private market.

Until Mr. Shelby was interviewed on Friday morning, officials on Capitol Hill had been careful not to discuss specific figures, though the rescue envisioned by the Treasury Department clearly entails a government appropriation of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Canadian Vacation

I am away in Canada until Sunday and will report back on some interesting conversations I had with average Canadians. We really are becoming the worlds joke.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When Will This Economic Nightmare End?

The horrible economic news just keeps coming. When will the people of this country wake up?
Stocks plummeted Wednesday, with the Dow industrials falling 449 points in its second worst session of the year, as the government's emergency rescue of AIG amplified fears about the stability of financial markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 449 points, or 4% and fell to the lowest level since November 2005. The Standard & Poor's 500 (SPX) index lost 4.7% and fell to its lowest point since April 2005. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) lost 4.9% and ended at its lowest point since August 2006.
Now watch MSNBC's Chris Matthews take apart a Republican asshole. It says all I want to say and more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bad Economic News Keeps Coming

Stocks See there worst one day decline since 9/11.

The nations largest insurer near collapse as a result of the credit crisis.

Nations largest thrift lowered to junk bond status .

This is the result of greed furthered by a lack of regulation. The Republican mantra was let industry police itself. If you think that philosophy works then keep voting for these clowns. It happened in the 1980's with the Savings and Loan crisis which nearly culminated with a censure against John McCain for helping Charles Keating bankrupt his institution at a cost of 2 billion to the U.S. taxpayers.

If you don't learn from history you are bound to repeat it. How many times can we repeat these same mistakes.

In Frantic Day, Wall Street Banks Teeter

Just when we thought the economy had bottomed comes this news of one of the most troubling days in Wall Street history.
In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street's history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer.

The humbling moves, which reshape the landscape of American finance, mark the latest chapter in a tumultuous year in which once-proud financial institutions have been brought to their knees as a result of hundreds of billions of dollars in losses because of bad mortgage finance and real estate investments.

But even as the fates of Lehman and Merrill hung in the balance Sunday night, another crisis loomed as the insurance giant American International Group appeared to teeter. A.I.G. sought a $40 billion lifeline from the Federal Reserve, without which the company may have only days to survive.

The stunning series of events culminated a weekend of frantic around-the-clock negotiations, as Wall Street bankers huddled in meetings at the behest of Bush administration officials to try to avoid a downward spiral in the markets stemming from a crisis of confidence.

"My goodness. I've been in the business 35 years, and these are the most extraordinary events I've ever seen," said Peter G. Peterson, co-founder of the private equity firm the Blackstone Group, who was head of Lehman in the 1970s and a secretary of commerce in the Nixon administration.

It remains to be seen whether the sale of Merrill, which was worth more than $100 billion during the last year, and the controlled demise of Lehman will be enough to finally turn the tide in the yearlong financial crisis that has crippled Wall Street and threatened the broader economy.
We all need to ask ourselves how we got here. It was the systematic deregulation of an industry that controls our nations finances. Ask yourself who was to benefit from these weaker regulations? Does anyone still think that industry can police itself? The Republicans systematically rolled back depression era regulations which were put in place to avoid a repeat of the Great Depression. Who helped to roll back these regulations?

One needs to look no further than Phil Gramm who is a top economic advisor to Senator John McCain.
The general co-chairman of John McCain's presidential campaign, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today's economic turmoil.

"A regulatory structure set up for banks in the 1930s needed to change because the nature of business had changed," the Illinois senator running for president said in a New York economic speech. "But by the time [it] was repealed in 1999, the $300 million lobbying effort that drove deregulation was more about facilitating mergers than creating an efficient regulatory framework."

Gramm's role in the swift and dramatic recent restructuring of the nation's investment houses and practices didn't stop there.

A year after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the old regulations, Swiss Bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. Two years later, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS's new investment banking arm.

Later, he became a major player in its government affairs operation. According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006.

During those years, the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages.

For his work, Gramm and two other lobbyists collected $750,000 in fees from UBS's American subsidiary. In the past year, UBS has written down more then $18 billion in exposure to subprime loans and other risky securities and is considering cutting as many as 8,000 jobs.

Gramm did not respond to an e-mail, and was unavailable for comment, according to a UBS spokesman. The bank has no official position on the subprime crisis, the spokesman said, but is a member of the Financial Services Roundtable and other industry groups that are actively lobbying Congress on the issue.

Now, some housing experts and economists see Gramm's thinking in the recent housing proposal from McCain, the Republican Party's presumed presidential nominee. Gramm is often a surrogate for the Arizona senator, particularly in meetings focused on the economy. And McCain has hinted he'd consider the former Texas senator for Treasury secretary in a McCain administration.
If America votes for more of this crap then they deserve what will come. We have gone from surpluses to record setting deficits. We have seen the value of our homes collapse and the greatest increase in consumer indebtedness in our history. Our middle class is nearly gone and yet this election remains close. What more will it take for us to wake up and say ENOUGH?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

If You Love Animals You Need To See This

This made me angry. Is this the type of person we want a heartbeat away from the Presidency?

The Lies Of John McCain

Please pass this onto 10 people and ask them to do the same. We can not allow the lies to continue. The future of our country is at stake.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wow She Lies As Easily As She Talks.

The problem is that our electorate is too lazy to check the facts and they know that. Show this video to everyone you know.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Weeks Economic News - And it's All Bad

Just when you think things have got to get better we are inundate with stories that show the worst is yet to come:

Unemployment Soars.

Foreclosure Rate Soars.

Gov't takes over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

How can anyone even consider staying on the same course? Have we all lost our collective minds. This mess was years in the making. It is lack of regulation that have led us to where we are today and what does john McCain promise? He promises more of the same. Is there anyone who still believes that less regulation is the way to grow this economy? This idea that less regulation will cause industry to police itself is as crazy as believing that Sarah Palin is a true reformer when her history shows us the opposite. Are we really that lazy that we will no longer investigate what we are being told? Those who have the most to lose seem to understand less than those who have everything to gain. We risk becoming a society of haves and have nots without a knowledgable electorate. Today it is easier than ever to fact check and learn the truth.

We have turned the Presidential election into a popularity contest not a test of ideas. We elected the person we most wanted to have a beer with and 8 years and a devastated economy show where that led us. Are we willing to make the same mistake again? Our standard of living is on the decline. We are now a paper tiger saddled with the world's largest national debt. Is this really the direction we want to take? Or military might can only take us so far. So what we can destroy the world 100 times over. Will that fact educate our people, provide decent affordable health care for all or keep our poverty rates from soaring? The answer is no.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

McCain Son's Bank Goes Belly Up

I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Does anyone remember the Keating 5?
Regulators shut down Silver State Bank, saying the Nevada bank failed because of losses on soured loans, mainly in commercial real estate and land development. It was the 11th failure this year of a federally insured bank in the U.S.

Nevada regulators closed Silver State and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the bank, based in Henderson, Nevada. It had $2 billion in assets and $1.7 billion in deposits as of June 30.

Andrew K. McCain, a son of Republican presidential nominee John McCain, sat on the boards of Silver State Bank and of its parent, Silver State Bancorp, starting in February but resigned in July citing "personal reasons," corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show. Andrew McCain also was a member of the bank's audit committee, responsible for oversight of the company's accounting.
I guess like his father, he doesn't really under the economy. Being part of the audit committee that is supposed to catch these things is troubling. I wonder how much this loss will cost taxpayers. I am sure it will be less then when his father used his influence to help Charles Keating which cost taxpayers billions.

Lets hope this incident will remind people of the corruption that John McCain was part of in the Savings and Loan crisis.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin Stint As Mayor Included An Explosion of Meth Labs in Her Town

What does it say for a city government that sees its meth labs explode year over year? I say it screams incompetence. Now lets talk about Sarah Palin's record as Mayor and Governor then decide if she is ready to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Remember she would be second in line to the oldest President in history. Are we really willing to take that chance?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Does Sarah Palin Share the Views of Her Church

It seems her church feels Israel being attacked by Palestinians is justified.
After several months of scrutinizing Barack Obama's former place of worship, reporters are now taking a close look at Alaskan churches frequented by presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

As the Huffington Post reported earlier Tuesday, Palin addressed a gathering at the Wasilla Assembly of God, asking them to pray for oil pipeline development and "God's will" in Iraq. Meanwhile, the Boston Herald and Newsweek have both identified Wasilla Bible Church as the Alaska Governor's most recent church. And it was at that Bible Church where a recent guest described a Palestinian attack on Israeli citizens as part of God's judgment coming to pass on Earth -- an analysis likely troubling both to Jews, as well as to mainstream foreign policy analysts.
This woman was not vetted at all. She was simply picked because she was a woman and she was extremely pro-life. The Republicans felt Hillary supports would support Sarah Palin just because they both have vaginas. John McCain had six months to pick a Vice President and this is what he came up. This was a purely political pick with no regard to the country he says he puts first. If you want more pain vote for McCain.

Former POW With McCain on Why He Should Never Be President.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Picks Sarah Palin as his VP

McCain Picks Sarah Palin the first term Governor of Alaska as his running mate.
Sarah Palin, 44, is a first-term governor who unseated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary in 2006 and went on to defeat former Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, in the general election.
I would say it will be kind of hard to say Obama is not ready for the Presidency when you select the first term Governor of Alaska to be the second in line to a 72 year old. If McCain is elected she could very well one day become the President. Keeping with Republican tradition she is also under investigation in Alaska.
When Sarah Palin was elected governor as a Republican outsider in 2006, she didn't just take on an incumbent from her own party. She took on Alaska's Republican establishment.

Ms. Palin vowed to clean up a long-cozy political system that had been sullied by an FBI corruption investigation. She endeared herself to Alaskans by making good on her reform promises and showing homey touches, like driving herself to work.

Now, one of the bright new stars in the Republican Party has suddenly become tarnished. The state legislature this week voted to hire an independent investigator to see whether Ms. Palin abused her office by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper.

"This is a governor who was almost impervious to error," says Hollis French, a Democratic state senator. "Now she could face impeachment, in a worst-case scenario."
If you want more pain then vote for Mccain. This just shows it is business as usual for the Republicans who have steadily destroyed the American Middle Class.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brilliant Speech By Hillary Clinton

I think this speech just sent shivers down the spines of the Republicans who were hoping for a fractured Democratic Convention. The Republicans truly are bad for the average working American. When will the middle class stop voting against their own economic best interests?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

John McCain and George W. Bush



They try to say Barack Obama is a risk. Well this is not a risk its a certainty that the policies of the Bush administration would continue under McCain.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lieberman Is A Worthless Piece of Dirt

Joe Lieberman is a worthless piece of shit who used Barack Obama when he was in the political fight of his life. How does he sleep at night knowing what a useless backstabbing Judas he is? How do you use someone to further your own career then lie about one of the people who helped you stay in the Senate? Today he questioned Obama's patriotism. I can't wait until the Democrats no longer need this idiotic fool. Why doesn't he ask his good buddy John McCain why his adviser, Randy Scheunemann, signed a $200,000 contract to continue providing strategic advice to the Georgian government in Washington and did that contract play a part in his condemnation of the Russian Government? I bet that will never cross his lips. Job LIEberman, the biggest ass of all.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Truth About Drilling For Oil



Ask yourself one question. Who benefits the most if the oil stays in the ground? The answer is easy. Its the oil companies who want to control the supply to keep prices high.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jobless Claims Surge

Jobless claims surge to highest level in 6 years.
The number of newly laid off people signing up for jobless benefits last week climbed to its highest point in more than six years as companies cut back given the faltering economy.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 455,000 for the week ending Aug. 2. The increase left claims at their highest level since late March 2002.

A program to locate people eligible for jobless benefits played a role in the increase, a Labor Department analyst said. However, the analyst couldn't say how much of a role.

The latest snapshot of layoff filings was worse than analysts expected. They were forecasting new claims to drop to around 430,000.
I wonder if Phil Gramm would consider these people whiners.

Consumer Debt Soars

The Middle Class is now the working poor with a credit line.
U.S. consumers - fortified by the government's rebate checks - boosted their borrowing in June at the fastest pace in seven months.

The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that consumer credit increased at a brisk annual rate of 6.7% in June. That was up from a 3.8% growth rate in May. It marked the biggest increase since November when consumer borrowing grew at a 8.2% pace.

Debt rung up by consumers rose by $14 billion in June from the previous month to a total of $2.59 trillion. That was more than the $6.4 billion over-the-month increase economists were forecasting.

Demand for non-revolving credit used to finance cars, vacations, education and other things, went up at a rate of 6.6% in June, marking a sizable pickup from May's sluggish 1.5% pace.

Meanwhile, consumers' appetite for revolving credit, which is primarily credit cards, increased at a rate of 6.8% in June, a moderation from a 7.6% growth rate logged in May. Consumers have been forced to charge more of their purchases on credit cards as banks have tightened lending standards on other types of loans.
How exactly are they supposed to pay ths back at the incredibly high interest rates charged on credit cards? The answer is they are not. They will just continue to pay interest to these credit card companies and never get ahead. The death of the American Middle class is almost complete.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

June Inflation Jumps As Incomes Barely Rise

The bad economic news just keeps coming.
Consumer prices jumped at the sharpest rate in more than a quarter century during June, and consumers coping with soaring costs received their smallest income gain in a year, the government said on Monday.

The Commerce Department said personal incomes edged up 0.1 percent after rising 1.8 percent in May. June's rise was the smallest since April 2007, when income was flat.

On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 4.1 percent in June, up from 3.5 percent in May, for the biggest annual gain since May 1991.

An inflation gauge tied to consumer spending jumped 0.8 percent in June, its steepest gain since a 1 percent rise more than 27 years ago, in February 1981.
You would think with the continual news of a sinking economy that the race for president would be over. We have one candidate who voted to support Bush policies over 90% of the time or we have another candidate who understood the War in Iraq would be a colossal disaster and yet the race is neck and neck. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate. If this country votes to continue these failed economic policies then don't be suprised when we have an economic collapse like Argentina.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Unemployment Numbers Are Low But Those Now Working Part Time Soars

The number of workers cut to part time hours soars.
The number of Americans who have seen their full-time jobs chopped to part time because of weak business has swelled to more than 3.7 million — the largest figure since the government began tracking such data more than half a century ago.
This is the result of an economy built on a house of cards that has finally come crashing down. The middle class are surviving on credit that many are unable to pay back.
The loss of pay has become a primary source of pain for millions of American families, reinforcing the downturn gripping the economy. Paychecks are shrinking just as home prices plunge and gas prices soar, furthering the austerity across the nation.

"I either stop eating, or stop using anything I can," said Marvin L. Zinn, a clerk at a Walgreens drugstore in St. Joseph, Mich., who has seen his take-home pay drop to about $550 every two weeks from about $650, as his weekly hours have dropped to 37.5 from 44 in recent months.

Mr. Zinn has run up nearly $2,000 in credit card debt to buy food. He has put off dental work. He no longer attends church, he said, "because I can’t afford to drive."
If you think this can not happen to you, you are sadly mistaken. How did we get here? We got here by electing the most destructive administration in our history. They destroy everything i their path except of course for their cronies who have enjoyed unprecedented financial gain at your expense. Why is this next election even close? Do we all want a repeat of the Great Depression? I can tell you our economic fundamentals are the closest to depression era statistics since that awful period in our history.

We have a negative savings rate for the first time since the Depression. The most home foreclosures in our history and we are now the largest debtor nation on earth. We are also considered a pariah nation by billions all over the earth. This is the destruction that has been perpetuated by this criminals. Just remember John McCain voted over 90% of the time for Bush Administration policies that got us into this mess. Do you really think he will be any better? Wake Up America before it really is too late.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Record Budget Deficit Expected in 2009

Nice work George, you took a record surplus and turned it into a record deficit.
The next president will inherit a record budget deficit of $482 billion, according to a new Bush administration estimate released Monday.

The administration said the deficit was being driven to an all-time high by the sagging economy and the stimulus payments being made to 130 million households in an effort to keep the country from falling into a deep recession.

But the numbers could go even higher if the economy performs worse than the White House predicts.
Also you need to remember that this deficit DOES NOT include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which are handled as supplemental expenses and are not included in the numbers.

This administration has destroyed the economic security for the next generation. We will soon see the baby boomers retiring without the pensions that their parents enjoyed. We will see a huge jump in the elderly living in poverty but the rich will have grown even richer. When will the American people wake up and understand that the middle class has become the working poor with a credit line and with credit so hard to come by soon they will just be the working poor. War, lies, poverty and corruption will be the words that define the Bush administration and we as a country will be paying the price for the next generation.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

McCain Takes Money From Big Oil To Change His Position on Off Shore Drilling.

Do you still believe that maverick crap?
Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling.
This man will do anything and say anything to be elected President. He has flip flopped on every issue imaginable but now he has changed his tune to get some money in his campaign coffers. I'm sorry but to me that is bribery plain and simple and taking a bribe is illegal.

When will the media play fair and expose this blatant corruption?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cost of Fannie, Freddie Rescue - $25B

Once again a company comes hat in hand to the goverment for a bailout. Why is it that the government will constantly bail out these companies that practice horrible business practices yet the homeowner who got in over his head should take some personal responsibility?
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday estimated that a government plan to stabilize mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could cost government coffers an average of $25 billion.

CBO's $25 billion cost estimate is an average based on "the path of housing prices in the next several months." They considered three scenarios: prices stabilize, grow modestly or decline steeply.

The CBO report came out a day or two before the House is expected to debate and vote on a rescue plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last week. Paulson asked Congress to give the Treasury broad, but temporary powers intended to provide a liquidity and capital "backstop" for the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

Paulson requested that the Treasury be allowed to offer Fannie and Freddie an unlimited line of credit for 18 months and be given authority to buy stock in the companies if necessary.
Where is the credit line for the average taxpayer who can't make ends meet? Where is the ability to file bankrupcy and start over. Oh thats right those laws were changed to benefit the credit card companies.

Why is it that some companies are deemed too large to fail? Why aren't those companies deemed too large to fail held to a higher standard if they may be coming to the government for a bailout? These companies know that they can do almost anything even skirt legal standards and NOTHING will ever happen to them. You and I will be forced to open our wallets and bail them out while those at the top of those companies are allowed to keep there excessive bonuses.

It is time that government bailouts come at a price for these companies. We must demand the bailout be a loan at prevailing interest rates and we must demand that those at the top help finance the bailout with lower profits. The goverment should become a major stockholder and should share in any future profits.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Inflation At Fastest Pace in 27 Years

Memo to Phil Gramm, people are really suffering.
The Labor Department reported that soaring costs for gasoline and food pushed inflation at the wholesale level up by a bigger-than-expected 1.8% in June, leaving inflation rising over the past year at the fastest pace in more than a quarter-century.

Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices are up 9.2%, the largest year-over-year surge since June 1981, another period when soaring energy costs were giving the country inflation pains.
Phil Gramm doesn't understand the suffering of the average American and he is Mccain's chief economic advisor. He is also responsible for a great deal of legislation that did away with oversight. Imagine him as the Treasury Secretary under McCain. That should send chills down the spine of all middle and lower class Americans.

These people do not have your best interests at heart. They are there solely to facilitate the destruction of the middle class. The understand that without a middle class it is much easier for a ruling class to take and hold power. It has been the middle class that has kept our democracy strong. Kill the middle class and you will kill the democracy but hey that's exactly what they want.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Consumer Debt Surges $8B In May

The financial condition of the middle and lower classes continues to deteriorate.
Consumers boosted their borrowing in May, mostly reflecting heavy credit card use to finance their purchases.

The Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3.6% in May, roughly the same pace as logged in the prior month.

The pickup pushed total consumer debt up by $7.8 billion to $2.57 trillion. That was a bit more brisk than the $7 billion over-the-month increase economists were expecting.

The increase was led by much stronger demand for a category called revolving credit, which is primarily credit cards. Use of revolving credit rose at a 7.1% pace in May, a month where a flow of tax rebates helped to energize consumer spending. In April, consumers cut back on such credit at a 0.5% pace.
What this reports tell us is that the middle and lower classes are depending on high interest credit cards to meet the ever rising cost of living. Most consumers are at or close to maxing out on their credit and do not have the ability to pay more than the minimum payment. The credit cards companies will see ever greater profits while the middle and lower classes will be choked by high interest payments on this debt. This cycle can only mean that a recovery from this economic mess is nowhere in sight.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Job Market: No Bottom Until '09

So we have a housing market in the toilet, a stock market in bear territory and a worsening job market that will be in turmoil until 2009. Can things get any worse?
Economists are forecasting that the unemployment rate retreated slightly in June after May's big spike. But few believe that is a sign that the battered labor market is at or even near the bottom.

When the Labor Department releases its June employment report Thursday, economists expect the unemployment rate to fall to 5.4% from 5.5% last month.

But job losses are also expected to continue. Economists are predicting that employers cut 60,000 positions from U.S. payrolls in June, up from the 49,000 job loss reported in May.

This would be the sixth consecutive month of job losses.

One reason for the expected decline in unemployment at the same time that overall job losses are increasing is that the unemployment reading jumped in May due to a large number of teenagers looking for summer jobs.

Many of those teens likely gave up job search efforts in June, which will reduce the number of people counted as unemployed. It's also worth pointing out that even if the unemployment rate dips to 5.4%, that's still up from 5% in April.

And some economists even think the unemployment rate increased in June, due to the flooding in much of the Midwest.

Rich Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research, said he believes unemployment could inch up to 5.6% in the month.

But putting aside the monthly blips in the unemployment rate, there is no denying that the job market is weak. Several economists see more job losses ahead as employers pull back on hiring plans due to soft demand for their products.
The job market has been weak for some time. Finding high paying middle class jobs is becoming harder and harder. Is there anyone that works for a large company that is not dealing with processing or accounting done in Mumbai or other areas outside the United States? How do our lawmakers pay them back for shipping our jobs overseas? They give them tax incentives to do it.

When will the middle class wake up and realize that it is their political ineptitude that allows this corrupt system to flourish? When will they stand up and say enough is enough? When will they realize that paying a larger share of taxes on a higher income is better than a lower rate on lower income? In the end there will still be more money for everyday needs and a federal deficit that will not kill the economic future of the next generation. Will we again let these politicians use fear and loathing to get us to vote against our own best interests?

This election could be the start of the rebirth of the greatest country on earth or it could be the final nail in the coffin of what was the envy of the world. The choices are clear, the policies of the two Presidential candidates are so different that a decision should be easy. If you let them scare you with terrorism or play to your prejudices then we will all lose and the future of this nation will be one of militarism and poverty for the masses. That is not what our founding fathers had in mind.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Home Prices Post Record 15.3% Drop

Prices in 20 cities fall for 21st month in a row. One sign of hope: Pace of decline eased in many areas.
U.S. home prices posted record declines in April, extending a painful losing streak for U.S. home prices.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index fell to a record low of 15.3% on a year-over-year basis, and was down 1.4% from March. The 10-city index was down 16.3% year-over-year and 1.6% for the month.

The 20-city index is based on data going back 19 years, while the 10-city index is 21 years old.

There is one sliver of hope. Although every city surveyed posted year-over-year price drops, the month-to-month pace of declines did slow in many cities. And eight metro areas actually posted gains from March to April.

Bright spots
Hard-hit Cleveland was the biggest winner, with prices up 2.9%. Charlotte, N.C. posted a slight gain of 0.2%, up for the second straight month, while Dallas prices were up 1.1% in April, also up for the second month in a row.

"There might be some regional pockets of improvement, but on an annual basis the overall numbers continue to decline," said David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's.

Indeed, there are anecdotal reports that investors have begun to snap up distressed Cleveland properties at very low prices, according to Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington-based think tank.

"The data suggests that Cleveland has found a bottom," he said, "although it's just one month's data and I wouldn't make too much of it."

Also on Tuesday, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) reported that its monthly house price purchase index was down 4.6% year-over-year in April.

While the closely-watched Case-Shiller index tracks the sale prices of the same homes over the years, OFHEO's index only tracks sales of homes with mortgages insured by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These loans were for $417,000 or less, until Fannie and Freddie's loan limits were raised in early March.

The overall price declines reported by Case-Shiller have been remarkably consistent over the past two years. Prices on the 20-city index have dropped for 21 straight months, since July 2006. The 10-city index has fallen every month since June 2006.

Declines accelerating
What's more, recent drops have been particularly steep. The 20-city index fell 2.2% in March, 2.6% in February and 2.3% in January, and is now it down another 1.4%.

"In the bubble markets, we continue to see very rapid rates of price declines," said Baker. "If anything, it may be accelerating."

Las Vegas prices plunged 26.8% compared with April of 2007, the worst drop among the 20 cities Case-Shiller covers. Prices there fell 2% in April.

Other hard hit cities include Miami (down 26.7% year-over-year and 4.1% in April), Phoenix (25% and 3.4%) and Los Angeles (23.1% and 2.2%).

"Bubble markets are now trapped in a vicious negative cycle," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com, "with foreclosures driving prices down, which leads to more foreclosures."

Foreclosures account for a much larger proportion of sales than they did a year ago, he said, and that pulls down the numbers. "But just because the average home in your market is down 25%," he said, "doesn't mean that your house is down 25%."

Still, plummeting prices could derail some of the foreclosure prevention efforts underway across the nation. As home prices fall, that wipes out home equity, often leaving homeowners underwater, with mortgages worth more than their homes.

Some 10 million homeowners are now underwater, according to Economy.com, and that number will continue to grow as home prices plummet.

Underwater borrowers have higher rates of foreclosure than those with some home equity, since they can't tap their homes for cash in case of an emergency. And some owners are simply walking away from homes that have lost so much value rather than continuing to make expensive payments every month.

The flood of foreclosures may be darkening an already bleak picture, said Zandi, "but the market is very bad right now."
If you feel poorer lately its not just a feeling it is a reality. We are facing an economic perfect storm that has the ability to wreak havoc for the next few years as we try to dig our way out of the mess left behind by the awful policies of this administration.

They allowed the financial industry to regulate itself and as usual the American people are left holding the bag while those at the helm of these financial firms walked away with millions. Once again the little guy gets screwed while the rich laugh all the way to the bank after robbing the middle and lower classes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bush Urges Congress To End Offshore Oil Drill Ban

Exxon Mobil profit when Bush took office was 8 Billion, it is now over 30 Billion. Still think he isn't in the pocket of Big Oil and that drilling will only benefit them.
President George W. Bush urged Congress on Wednesday to end a ban on offshore oil drilling, responding to consumer anxiety over soaring gasoline prices with a plan sure to anger environmentalists.

Bush said opening federal lands off the U.S. coast -- where oil drilling has been banned by both a presidential executive order and a congressional moratorium -- could yield about 18 billion barrels of oil.

That would meet current U.S. consumption for about 2-1/2 years, but it would likely take a decade or more to find the oil and produce it.
Still want to drill and destroy the only environment that we have to get a short term fix a decade from now or do you want to develop alternate sources of energy that could replace oil? That will never happen as long as oil men and their flunkies roam the halls of Congress and get installed as President of the United States.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Two Faces of John McCain

This is really brilliant. Now we need to ask does he just not remember what he is saying or is he lying? Either way he should never enter the White House.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Senate GOP Blocks Windfall Taxes On Big Oil

Do you need any more proof that the GOP is bad for the middle class?
Saved by Senate Republicans, big oil companies dodged an attempt Tuesday to slap them with a windfall profits tax and take away billions of dollars in tax breaks in response to the record gasoline prices that have the nation fuming.

GOP senators shoved aside the Democratic proposal, arguing that punishing Big Oil won't do a thing to lower the $4-a-gallon-price of gasoline that is sending economic waves across the country. High prices at the pump are threatening everything from summer vacations to Meals on Wheels deliveries to the elderly.
To make matters worse they made sure that alternate sources of energy would lose their tax breaks.
Shortly after the oil tax vote, Republicans blocked a second proposal that would extend tax breaks that have either expired or are scheduled to end this year for wind, solar and other alternative energy development, and for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. Again Democrats couldn't get the 60 votes to overcome a GOP filibuster.
The GOP will continue to stand in the way of economic progress that could help the average family until there is a filibuster proof Democratic majority. Remember this come November and make them a permanent minority party if not an instinct party. If you are a middle class American and vote for more of this shit then you are worse than stupid, you are suicidal. Disgusting absolutely disgusting.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hillary Clinton Concedes

She may have lost but she has forever changed the role of women in politics. I didn't always agree with her tactics but I did feel something wonderful was lost today when she ended her historic run for the Presidency. Unfortunately only one could win but both made history. Hillary Clinton will remain a force to be reckoned with and will forever be known as the woman who broke through so many boundaries. Love her or hate her it is hard not to feel some sense of pride in her accomplishments and some sadness that someone had to lose..

Unemployment Rate Sees Largest Monthly Jump Since 1986

The national unemployment rate increased by a half percentage point in May, the largest monthly jump since 1986, and employers cut 49,000 jobs.
There are about 1.5 million more unemployed job hunters now than at this time a year ago, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. An estimated 8.5 million unemployed people are looking for work.

Joblessness in May soared to 5.5 percent, up from 5 percent in April, reaching its highest rate since October 2004.
Every time you turn around the economic news worsens. Families across the country are afraid of what tomorrow holds.
"The numbers are consistent with an economy on the edge of recession, if not in one," said Frank Lenk, chief economist at the Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City. "Since payroll employment data tends to get revised downward once all the data is collected, it might be worse than the current data suggests."

The statistics bureau's report did, indeed, issue revised employment counts for March and April, indicating that employers had 15,000 fewer workers on their payrolls in April and 15,000 fewer on their March payrolls than initially estimated for those months.

The jobs report indicated that the January-May period this year represents the first time since February-June 2003 that national payrolls declined for five consecutive months.
John McCain will be having some sleepless nights digesting this report. Remember he recently said people were better off now then they were seven years ago. Sure they are John for your rich lobbyist friends. The rest of us are screwed.