Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Saturday, 17 May 2008 at 8h 43m 42s|
About those employment numbers again
"Companies did not cut as many positions as expected, they cut the hours instead. The average work week plunged 0.3% (and,
aggregate hours worked were down at an annual rate of 1% in the past three months), which, by the way, would be the equivalent
of 400,000 job cuts.
This is a sign that labor market conditions and domestic demand are far softer than the headline suggests. What drives consumer
spending inevitably is income growth. Average weekly earnings fell 0.2% sequentially in April in what was the largest decline in
two years. This dragged the year-on-year rate down to 3.1% from 3.3% in March, 3.7% in February and the nearby peak of 3.8%
posted last November in what is clear disinflationary trend in wages.
The rebound in the Household survey was all in part-time employment. While there was a nice rebound in the Household Survey,
it was all in part-time employment – that is not the driver of confidence and spending. Growth in full-time jobs is what drives
those things. And, full-time employment actually fell 375,000 in April and is down 572,000 year-to-date; of the folks who were
working part-time in April, the number doing so because of “economic reasons” (mostly slack business conditions) surged
306,000 or 6.3% – again the steepest runup in two years. The diffusion indices fell through the floor to 45.4 in April from 48 in
March – this measures the share of industries adding to payrolls and shows that even though the headline job loss was lower
than expected, the decline was very broadly based across sectors.
[SOURCE: David Rosenberg | Merrill Lynch | ]
hat-tip to Barry Ritholtz at thebigpicture blog
You should click the source link and read further. Rosenberg "debunks" 5 myths:
- The first quarter GDP report says no recession
- The April employment report was benign
- The Fed is done and the next move is to hike
- The credit crunch is over
- Housing looks set to stabilize
You see, when you manage the portfolios of billions of dollars, you have to be honest. The television talking heads are for the
useful idiots. The elites don't listen to the hired hacks who promote Walt Disney World economics for the lower classes.
|Sunday, 11 May 2008 at 9h 32m 25s|
Insanity at work in the Bush Justice Department
(WASHINGTON) — The Bush administration on Friday urged a federal appeals court to stop meatpackers from testing all their
animals for mad cow disease, but a skeptical judge questioned whether the government has that authority.
The government seeks to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Arkansas City, Kan.-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to
conduct more comprehensive testing to satisfy demand from overseas customers in Japan and elsewhere.
Less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are currently tested for the disease under Agriculture Department guidelines. The
argues that more widespread testing does not guarantee food safety and could result in a false positive that scares consumers.
"They want to create false assurances," Justice Department attorney Eric Flesig-Greene told a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court
Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Hannel | Time | 9 May 2008]
Did you catch that quote from Justice D attorney Flesig? "THEY WANT TO CREATE FALSE ASSURANCES."
Oh so testing cows to help get a contract from Japanese customers is creating false assurances? Why is the Justice Department
even involved in this case? You would think the federal government would want to be helping to develop the trade of meat with
foreign nations rather that represent the short-sided, narrow-minded interests of large corporate bean counters who refuse to
spend any money at all, even if it benefits their long-term interests.
This is where the need for federal subsidization comes in. If businesses won't (or can't because their profit margins are too thin)
invest money to aide their long term business trends, the government should provide the funds.
|Sunday, 11 May 2008 at 9h 14m 20s|
McCain's GOP convention choice lobbys for Burmese dictatorship
Around noon today, the powers-that-be at NEWSWEEK posted "A Convention Quandary" on our website. In the story, investigative
ace Michael Isikoff reported that the man chosen by John McCain's presidential campaign to run this summer's GOP convention--
Arizonan Doug Goodyear--was causing some headaches within the ranks. The problem? Goodyear is CEO of DCI Group, a
consulting firm that earned $3 million last year lobbying for ExxonMobil, General Motors and other clients--not the most
convenient association for a candidate who's already struggling to reconcile his reputation as an anti-special interests crusader with
the sizable number of lobbyists on his senior staff. Further complicating matters: Isikoff's revelation that DCI was paid $348,000 in
2002 to represent Burma's military junta, leading "a PR campaign to burnish the junta's image, drafting releases praising Burma's
efforts to curb the drug trade and denouncing 'falsehoods' by the Bush administration that the regime engaged in rape and other
[SOURCE: Andrew Romano | Newsweek | 10 May
Remember: this is the same McCain who is heralded by the corporate media as an anti-lobbyist maverick.
|Saturday, 10 May 2008 at 9h 35m 37s|
The real reverend scandal
I am sick of this Reverend Wright non-scandal the media is using to smear Obama. Taking what one man said over 30 years out
of context and implying that it proves Obama is out of the main-stream public opinion is ridiculous. Furthermore, maligning
what Obama himself said about his own Grandmother is appalling. Anyone manipulated by this crap is mindless and addicted to
television pundits thinking for them.
The real Reverend scandal involves Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who has owned the Washington Times newspaper for the last 15
or so years, and has links with the GOP that are as long as Reverend Wright. The difference is that Wright actually provides a
service to the community. What does the Korean Reverend Moon do?
Click here for a short film on the insanity that is
Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
I bring you Cliff Schecter.
Progressive author John Gorenfeld recently released a book exposing the unsavory ties between the GOP and billionaire,
Washington Times Publisher (and convicted tax cheat) Reverend Sun Myung Moon. In his book, Bad Moon Rising, Gorenfeld shows
the relationship between many in the Republican hierarchy, including the Bush clan, and a man who has often been charged with
being a leader of a cult.
What is beyond question, however, is that a high-ranking McCain Campaign official, Charlie Black, has planned ceremonies for
Moon to be crowned "King Of America," and Moon has had damning things to say about the Christian faith.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
First from an email chain between Gorenfeld and Black:
From: John Gorenfeld
Subject: Re: Moon event at Dirksen Senate Office Building, 3/23
05/06/2004 09:31 PM
Dear Mr. Black,
Thanks for your reply.
It's kind of an amazing event, with Moon being coronated as the king and declaring himself the Messiah at a federal building. Can
you tell me how you got involved with inviting people? Is this an annual event, or just a one-time thing?
On Apr 28, 2004, at 10:34 AM, CHARLIE BLACK wrote:
I lent my name and sent invitations to a few friends. Unfortunately, I had a conflict and couldn't go to the event.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
... what is clear from this email is that top Mccain advisor Charlie Black is admitting that he helped plan, and would have attended,
an event where a convicted tax fraud would have been crowned King Of America and declared himself the Messiah--all on U.S.
Government federal property (on March 23, 2004).
According to The New York Times:
"Mr. Moon, an eccentric billionaire, convicted tax cheat, conservative publisher and power broker, grandly donned scarlet
robes and a golden crown at the Dirksen Office Building. ''I am God's ambassador, sent to earth with his full authority..."
|Friday, 9 May 2008 at 17h 46m 47s|
Another funny cartoon
I guess I'm a little prolific this afternoon. Nothing like a cafe with free wi-fi, and a double latte to sip -- which helps the nausea. Its
my way to deal with the rampant insanity of the modern world, and the zombies who live here.
|Friday, 9 May 2008 at 17h 25m 12s|
More reasons why the Iraqi's love the occupation
The latest in a long, long line of scandals plaguing Iraq contracting company KBR, today the Times of London reports that British
employees of KBR working in the British Embassy in Iraq have been accused of sexual harassment. One Iraqi woman, a cleaner at
the embassy, says that the KBR employee offered to double her pay if she slept with him; when she refused, she was fired:
The Iraqis accuse the embassy of leaving the abuse unchallenged and failing adequately to respond to complaints against several
British managers for KBR. The company was allowed to conduct its own inquiry, an arrangement criticised as a very serious
conflict of interest.
The complainants — the cleaner and two male cooks who worked in the embassy canteen — say that some KBR managers groped
Iraqi staff regularly, paid or otherwise rewarded them for sex and dismissed those who refused or spoke out.
All three Iraqis lost their jobs in the Green Zone. Two KRB employees who worked in the embassy spoke out in support of the
women; a few days later, KBR sent them home on paid leave and later fired them. The women also say KBR never interviewed
them when conducting their internal review.
[SOURCE: | ThinkProgress | 8 May
[SOURCE: Deborah Haynes in Baghdad, and Sonia Verma in Dubai | London
Times | 8 May 2008]
|Friday, 9 May 2008 at 17h 3m 48s|
Clinton's "street cred" on national security consists, of course, of being massively wrong on the most important national security
issue of her career. Paradoxically, a lot of folks find her massive wrongness on this hugely important issue reassuring because they
and their friends were also wrong and they view having made the right call to be a suspicious quality. After all, the Iraq War may
have led to thousands of U.S. deaths, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, and millions of
Iraqi refugees all at a cost of over $1 trillion and in ways that's damaged the strategic position of the United States, but war
opponents were all a bunch of hippies.
[SOURCE: Matthew Yglesias | The Atlantic Monthly blog | 9
|Friday, 9 May 2008 at 16h 53m 19s|
Self-righteous breeders of democracy
the US military and its Iraqi "allies" are laying siege to a sprawling neighborhood in Baghdad housing roughly 2.5 million Iraqis,
launching air strikes, artillery attacks, tank shells and other assorted ordnance, shutting down hospitals and bombing others,
cutting off the supply of food and walling off entire sectors of the embattled region, causing a refugee crisis by their actions -
and now actually pursuing a policy with the intent of creating a larger refugee crisis!
For what reason: because a majority of residents in these regions support a political movement, and militia, that oppose our
presence. Can't have that. Because we have to keep 150,000 troops in Iraq to safeguard the Iraqi people. After all, whose gonna
set up the tents in the refugee catch basins we so magnanimously helped set up to receive the overflow from our relentless
assault on political movements that would make it harder for us to stay in Iraq. To safeguard the Iraqi people.
Martin | American Footprints blog | 9 May 2008]
The link provides a summary of the events from 2 reputable news sources : BBC and McClatchy News Services.
This is how we bring them freedom. We bomb and kill the Iraqi civilians merely because the citizens of Iraq support resistance
groups which oppose being occupied by American troops at 14 military bases. They will love us more when we flatten their cities
and create tens of thousands of refugees, some of whom were not involved with the resistance groups.
I look at all these people driving around with "Pray for Our Troops" or "God Bless America" stickers and fight the urge to scream
at their clueless dumb asses thinking they are exerting patriotic pride when they put a sticker on their vehicle.
How much have these suburbanites really sacrificed to support this invasion? Are they buying bonds to support the war effort?
Are donating scrap metal to support the war effort? Are they sending more taxes to support the government's ability to pay the
exorbitant contracts of the cost-plus government contractors? Are they bothered when the god damn VA is cutting back on
services to the veterans who return home? Are they helping Vets from the National Guard make their mortgage payments when
they can no longer work at their old jobs after they were stop-lossed 3 times in a row? Do they concern themselves with the
children who grow up never knowing their father or mother because they got killed in this conflict? Do these bumper sticker
patriots even give a shit how the average Iraqi feels about our actions half way across the world?
No. They have their heads shoved so far up their god damn asses, that it's impossible for them to understand the morbid
hypocrisy that they exude every single moment of their pathetic lives.
I need to throw up.
|Friday, 9 May 2008 at 16h 33m 41s|
Word Problems for Hedge Fund Managers
This is hella funny. Click here for a
sequence of comedic word problems that poke fun at hedge fund managers.
Here's two examples:
Among those earning 10-figure incomes, Mr. Soros's total annual compensation is greater than Mr. Falcone's. Mr. Falcone's is
greater than Mr. Griffin's. Mr. Griffin's is smaller than Mr. Soros's, and Mr. Paulson's is greater than Mr. Soros's.
In descending order, list the men by the respective hotness of their trophy wives.
~ ~ ~
Your middle-class parents have a combined household income of $115,000. You receive an allowance of $20 per week. If you save
all your allowance for two years, how much debt will you have to finance to hostilely take over your family? How will you structure
|Friday, 9 May 2008 at 16h 6m 29s|
Leo Tolstoy, on the Great Approaching Danger
"With the enemy's approach to Moscow, the Moscovites' view of their situation did not grow more serious but on the contrary
became even more frivolous, as always happens with people who see a great danger approaching.
At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal power in the human soul: one very reasonably tells a
man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of escaping it; the other, still more reasonably, says that it is too
depressing and painful to think of the danger, since it is not in man's power to foresee everything and avert the general course of
events, and it is therefore better to disregard what is painful till it comes, and to think about what is pleasant."
--Leo Tolstoy, "War and Peace"
hat tip to Barry Ritholtz.
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