Sunday, November 30, 2008

Circle Dachshund

For those of us who feel they are constantly spinning their wheels...

Mumbai Attack Pre-Warnings

I just read that the death toll from the Mumbai attack could hit 300. That carnage was caused by 10 well trained assassins.

This could prove to be a huge problem with talk of governmental splits in India and even war. Its time for some expert diplomacy to say the least.

The Hindu: Pointed intelligence warnings preceded (Mumbai) attacks
India’s intelligence services had delivered at least three precise warnings that a major terrorist attack on Mumbai was imminent, highly-placed government sources have told The Hindu.

However, weaknesses in police manpower and training allowed the attacks to proceed, the sources said.

Saber Rattling

Pakistan announces it needs to prepare itself for any eventuality with India.

Get Used To It

This was over at Wonkette.

Its a clip advertising a video called, "They're Coming To Your Town."

The video is about how gay people are taking over city and town governments one by one. Hehe. The video comes from the Christian right - duh.

I don't get into the prop 8 issue here, but this is just too ridiculous.

CNN: Obama's National Security Team

Swiss Approve Unique Heroin Program

Drugs just don't go away. The interest in getting involved with drugs like heroin also keeps arising. Why is that? Its clear it has no benefit and the life of a junkie is limited and its not like the word isn't out. Yet its a reoccurring issue.

Here, the Swiss have legalized heroin centers to give addicts highly controlled amounts of the drug. It will be interesting to see how heroin addiction in that country changes for the better, or for the worse. Hopefully politics will keep its fact twisting little nose out of the equation.

Yahoo: Swiss approve pioneering legal heroin program
Sixty-eight percent of voters approved making the heroin program permanent. It has been credited with reducing crime and improving the health and daily lives of addicts since it began 14 years ago.

The aim is to help the addicts learn how to function in society, with counseling from psychiatrists and social workers.

Ocean Power

This sounds promising. Portugal is already invested in using ocean currents to generate electricity.

Telegraph.UK: Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists
The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot - about one mile an hour - meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe.

Existing technologies which use water power, relying on the action of waves, tides or faster currents created by dams, are far more limited in where they can be used, and also cause greater obstructions when they are built in rivers or the sea.


More data concerning Black Friday sales is set to come forward today, Sunday.

This will greatly set the tone for I would suspect the next month. As you know, consumer spending is essential to America's economic prospects, and America is the world's economic engine, at least for the time being.

It is hard to imagine that the DOW will regain some more of the 60% of value that it has lost since roughly May of '08. The tendency would be to think that last week's five days of gains will not continue.

Reuters: Stocks face dour jobs and retail data
"The most important thing for the economy going forward will be jobs," said Gail Dudack, chief investment strategist of Dudack Research Group in New York.

Data showing store traffic and sales for the Black Friday weekend will be released by Sunday, which could set the tone for the beginning of the week.

Good Old War

"Coney Island"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shop Till You Drop

“Reform the 'fools' with the help of your 'tongue of fire' and devour all the meat consuming violent people.” - Indian origin

"Goodbye garage fees, hello holiday shoppers" - Trenton Newspapers
Americans did their country proud on Friday and shopped their size 30 to 46 extra-large hineys off, trampling anyone or anything on the beeline to their prize. Gorging sharks are known to behave better.

Many stayed home and locked the doors, afraid, trembling, and rightfully so. Deep flesh wounds, twisted elbows, and bone bruises are not for the meek.

Black Friday is well named. Blood Letting Friday is more accurate but Black Friday is more acceptable. Early data shows strong Black Friday shopping certainly appears that consumers are willing to spend more than most expected," said ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin. "Everybody wants value for their dollar, so we saw a tremendous response to the discounts."

CNN: Taj Majal Hotel Damage - First Look

CNN: Mumbai


Retard In Chief

OK, I think that writing down expletives in the main body of some personal commentary AKA this blog, is wrong.

I am not adverse to writing a comment after the fact using a few four lettered friends.

However allow me to write for all present as if this were one voice -

This is complete bullshit, Bush is a fucking retard.

Actually I used to work as a counselor to adults with retardation. They were generally far more astute and honest than the retard in chief.

Raw Story: Bush wants history to see him as a liberator of millions
George W. Bush hopes history will see him as a president who liberated millions of Iraqis and Afghans, who worked towards peace and who never sold his soul for political ends.

The Air That We Breathe

At this point, there is no excuse for the deforestation of the Amazon other than sheer stupidity. Greed is certainly the factor, but underlying greed is simply basic stupidity.

BBC: Amazon deforestation accelerates
"There was a lot of burning on the ground in the second half of 2007, which could have led to a much greater increase in deforestation."

In late 2007 and early 2008 there were signs that deforestation was on the rise again - with land said to be in demand for cattle and soya at a time when commodity prices were high, says the BBC's Garry Duffy in Sao Paulo.

"Don't You Evah"


Friday, November 28, 2008

Eat Blueberries

Great news, blueberries are on the house...

BBC News: Blueberries 'reverse memory loss'
The foods, known as flavonoids, were historically believed to act as antioxidants in human bodies.

But the study indicates they also activate the part of the brain which controls learning and memory.

Rove's Deluded Revisionism

Poverty In The Suburbs

The economic crisis is creating more poverty. This is easy to understand, and difficult to accept.

I try to make a distinction between poverty and impoverishment. Hearing about Wal Mart shoppers trampling someone to death in a frantic rush to pursue a bargain is a case of impoverishment. There is a sense that they have lost a connection to the humanity aspect of a human being.

A person who is in poverty does not have to yield their humanity. Its just the opposite, hard times require us to act more humane.

Reuters: Poverty spreading in suburbs: study
Poverty in the United States is spreading from rural and inner-city areas to the suburbs...

...poverty levels in the world's richest nation were on the rise.

CNN: Now In The News

Iraq Violence 11-28-08 Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 12 south of Baghdad

Shopping Psychosis

I hope security cameras identify the "people" that did this. What's more important saving $50 or stopping for a moment in order to not trample someone to death. This is way beyond disgraceful, this is savagery.

We call it civilization but that is really being optimistic, nothing civil here.

Daily News: Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede
A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The Market On Friday

(Addendum - even though futures were down, the DOW gained a decent 100+ points. Somebody must have gotten a great dinner yesterday. Could it be all turkey leftover sandwiches with mayo? That's five days of gains in a row.))

Friday is a short day on Wall Street, only one half day of carnage.

It looks like things will begin with a drop, and it could very well be a large drop.

After 4 consecutive days of gains, this may be the deal breaker. But, you never know. Some magic wand could magically change everyone into Snow White, where a happy ending is in the storyline. What are the odds of that happening?

Regardless the market is still down in totality about 60 to 65 percent over its high in the Fall of '07. We are hurting, thirsty, hungry, and we have a long walk ahead of us in the hot desert to get to civilization.

Reuters: Stock futures slip on worry about consumer, energy
Stock index futures slipped in thin holiday trade on Friday after a four-day streak of gains as investors nervously eyed the post-Thanksgiving sales for clues on how retailers will fare this holiday season in a deteriorating economy.

Jive Samba

Cannonball Adderley

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Food Baby Day

Help, I'm in a food induced stupor. I can barely move and talk.

We've played the requisite scrabble, and mercifully not having a TV we are spared football of which I am not a fan, at all, ever. After getting my nose broken in high school playing football, I ditched it.

We substituted chocolate cream pie for pumpkin, and it was f-ing incredible.

So, work it off, take one for the team, eat that extra helping.

I'm going to sleep.

Obama - Thanksgiving Address

Thanksgiving '08

This terrorist attack on Mumbai along with the economic crisis is dampening the ambiance to this year's Thanksgiving celebration.

Reports now indicate that the militants responsible for the attack are from Pakistan.

We already know that Pakistan is the alleged center of the terrorist threat, the alleged most dangerous country. One would suspect that the military operations involving Pakistan are far from over. This will be another great problem for Obama to tackle.

Regardless, its still a day for relaxing and gathering the energy to make it through the Christmas holiday. jcsande.blogspot wishes everyone including reforming neo-cons a Happy Thanksgiving.

These are always mixed times because many people hold memories of times past and there is a certain melancholy that some experience as a result. I would witness this during my stint as a hospice worker back when.

So take it slow, enjoy, reflect on the good things... Militants who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan: army official

The Market On Thursday

Wall Street is closed today, the financiers are eating crow along with turkey.

The "socialist" President-elect Obama has settled corporate nerves rather quickly by demonstrating that he will play ball their way. People that were expecting otherwise are disappointed with this demonstration of rampant capitalistic handshaking. Let's just cut to the core here, someone who reaches the presidency is not about to take down Wall Street and reinvent the model.

We are reading that Obama has made personnel choices for his economic team that McCain could very well have made. How else could it be.

Obama can make changes. These changes will be slight but they will still affect millions of people, for the better. The system is rigged, radical change is not permitted. I would suspect that Chomsky will pen, if he has not already penned, an article on this very fact of American politics. I will look for it.

Reuters: World stocks hit 2-week highs
Renewed expectations that Washington will bail out the U.S. motor industry and China's aggressive interest rate cut on Wednesday had helped lift some of the gloom surrounding the global economy.

Stir It Up

Bob Marley

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Attack In India

They're back...

Times Online: Intelligence chiefs were expecting Al-Qaeda spectacular
The multiple attacks on Westerners in Bombay last night showed all the signs of an al-Qaeda strategy — picking on vulnerable Western “soft targets” but not in a country where there would be maximum security.

Obama At The Food Bank

Yes, There Is A Turkey

Obama, what can I say, more news conferences announcing economic advisers with credibility, and more plans on how to save the economy, please. And keep up the good work.

Friday is a short day on Wall Street, hopefully the market can stall heading back to 7500 for a while.

Reuters: Wall St rallies on tech rebound, GM and energy
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI shot up 247.14 points, or 2.91 percent, to 8,726.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX gained 30.29 points, or 3.53 percent, to 887.68.


“Religion is the last refuge of human savagery.” Alfred Whitehead
The economy is collapsing, and some would say it has already collapsed. The list of miseries surrounding this situation are innumerable.

People are finding comfort in their spiritual traditions, religions are happy to get the support.

Its interesting that it takes a collapse of the externalities for people to examine the alignment of the internal. I'm not judging here, just taking a stab at articulating a complicated idea. I guess sometimes we have to hit bottom in order to make positive changes.

Yahoo: Religion May Help Extend Your Life
When the researchers adjusted the data to account for physical health, age, ethnicity, income, education, social support, important life events and life satisfaction, they found that weekly religious service attendance was responsible for a 20 reduction in the risk of death. Attending less than once a week was responsible for a 15 percent drop in the risk of death.

But, attending religious services didn't improve the risk of death from cardiovascular disease or improve heart outcomes, the study found.

Although the study noted a decreased risk of death, Schnall wouldn't say that the prescription for good health is to attend religious services regularly.

"I'm not saying our study yields such a prescription, but our findings are intriguing and we do at least have some ideas of why there is a benefit, but we have not completely explained it all," he said.

Volcker To The Rescue

Obama Set For Third Press Conference In A Row

Obama's announcement of a independent economics team to advise him on job growth and handling the crisis might be the gift of the day from the point of view of affecting Wall Street.

It is clear that Obama although not technically the president has completely usurped Bush on the economy. This is an excellent development. The man is literally working to affect markets, this is a Christmas present. In the face of this ongoing and deepening crisis, Obama is so far the silver lining. Could we imagine Palin - McCain in this proactive role. I don't think so.

Perhaps the market will close on Wednesday in the green after all. Hope springs eternal...

Yahoo: Obama to name board of economic advisers
President-elect Barack Obama is naming a board of economic experts outside government to advise him on ways to create jobs and bring stability to the ailing financial system.

Obama was expected to introduce members of the advisory board Wednesday at a news conference, his third in as many days as Americans moved into the long Thanksgiving weekend. It was a remarkable burst of public activity for Obama, who has sought to assure nervous consumers and financial markets that he will bring swift economic relief as president.

The Market On Wednesday

Essentially the same line is being repeated over and over, investors are uncertain or have fears about the economy.

Various reports are due out today concerning consumer spending etc etc. We already know that the news will indicate drops.

The market is expected to open lower with futures down from yesterday. Let's hope that at some point during the day a rally will make up for the expected losses.

The market is of course closed on Thursday, mercifully.

Governments are trying to hold back the tsunami. Stability would be nice.

Reuters: Wall Street futures point lower, economic data in focus
Futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq 100 are down 0.7-1.2 percent on Wednesday.
Reuters: Oil edges above $51 ahead of U.S. fuel data
The slowing global economy has hit oil demand hard, with many analysts predicting demand growth next year could be flat or even fall for the first time since the early 1980s.
Reuters: China slashes rates, EU launches stimulus plan


Nat "King" Cole

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nikkei Opens Lower On Wednesday

Japan's Nikkei is the world's second largest stock market after Wall Street.

One might think that after all of the promises made to bailout everything in sight, that markets would react favorably for at least a little while.

The extent of the economic collapse has taken time to sink in. Tokyo stocks open lower despite U.S. aid package
In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 77.50 points, or 0.93 percent, from Tuesday to 8,246.43.


What is it with all the UFO media attention lately. Doe it have to do with how people are reacting to the economic meltdown.

Bad Move

Obama blunders and keeps Bush appointee Gates on as the Sec Def.

Gates is way too connected to the bad guys, the neo-cons.

ABC: Gates Cabinet Appointment 'A Done Deal'

Obama Plans Economic Rescue


The second theorem on how to jolt the world and US economy back to life is being touted - cutting interest rates especially in larger national economies.

The first theorem is to bailout and throw moon sized money loads at it.

Gulf News: Economies need tax cuts to limit financial crisis impact: OECD
The world's largest economies need further interest-rate reductions and tax cuts to limit the impact of the global financial crisis, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said.
Then there is the third theorem - nobody is going to spend their money.

Reuters: U.S. economy contracting, slow recovery seen: OECD
The U.S. economy has probably slipped into a recession that will last through the middle of 2009, and recovery will be slow as consumers cut spending to rebuild lost wealth, the OECD said on Tuesday.
Rebuild our wealth - in six months - I don't think so.

The Market On Tuesday

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

Wall Street responding pleasingly to Citigroup's massive bailout and Obama's economic team roll out.

Now its back to business...

Reuters: Index futures point to weaker Wall Street opening
Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average DJc1, the S&P 500 SPc1 and the Nasdaq 100 NDc1 down 0.3-0.5 percent, pointing to a weaker start on Wall Street after a strong rally in the previous session.

Lazy River

Louis Prima

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama's Economic Team

Zakaria - Al Gore And The Economy

Citigroup Saved, Stocks Surge, Obama's Team Accepted

Yes, but how will it all work out tomorrow. Can the DOW stay at its present anemic 8,500ish area at least. Or does it break through the 7,000 point barrier into 6,000 territory. The signs still indicate the latter.

There appears to be a coalescing of opinion on how to work with the economic crisis - throw tons of money at it. Is it real money? No one seems to care.

Reuters: Wall Street flies after government rescues Citi
"The markets love a bailout," said Brian Gendreau, investment strategist at ING Investment in New York. "It seems to have instilled a bit of confidence in the sector itself."

Adding to the optimism, President-elect Barack Obama named his team of economic advisors -- viewed as being favorable for Wall Street.

188 And Counting

With 70% of the votes recounted in Minnesota, Coleman is leading Al Franken by 188 votes.

It would be nice to see a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate.

Bush: Pleased With His Absoute Failure

Yahoo: Separate bombings in Baghdad kill at least 20

Bush is very pleased with the outcome of the Iraq war/occupation.

Which part is he pleased with? Let's summarize just a few points:

- The original pretext for the war, Iraqi WMD, never existed.
- The nuclear bomb over Boise, never existed but the outing of an agent's indentitiy over the issue did and Bush was in the center of it.
- The Paul Bremmer - Bush inspired mishandling of the war's aftermath led to an ongoing insurgency and civil war causing millions of refugee Iraqis and untold numbers of Iraqi deaths. The final outcome is a state that is for all purposes completely segregated where Shiite and Sunni live in separate areas risking death if they intrude on one another. Since the war, suicide bombings are now a regular part of life in Iraq.
- Abu Ghraib and the reintroduction of torture as an American tradition. This and the war itself leads to the complete disregard for America in the world's eyes.
- Almost 5,000 American soldiers killed in action and tens of thousands injured in ways that defy the limits of suffering.

George Bush is flailing. He is desperately seeking to resurrect his miserably failed presidency and to create for himself a sense of achievement in his administration, a legacy. He's not going to get it, history will not be re-written. Simply because he gets to speak through a huge megaphone, this does not mean that he is a president of substance.

Yahoo: Bush 'very pleased' with Iraq war outcome: report
US President George W. Bush believes the Iraq war was a success and is "very pleased" with what is happening there, he said in a pre-recorded interview broadcast on a Japanese television network Sunday.

The Market On Monday

We get the sense that Obama and company are trying to get a little rally going on Wall Street.

He picks his team, he is describing further bailouts and more money printing, we assume, to cover it. All of this is to influence the emotional state of the financiers which at present is pure confident fear.

It looks like the market might open higher, when Obama announces his economic team maybe we get another rally. This is all about trying to hold back the flood waters and jumping all over the place at the speed of light to fix the massively damaged levee.

Its nice in a way because up to this point, its only been about a steady state of pessimism in addition to Bush being virtually useless, so the ship is going nowhere.

Obama is trying to create an energy field, a virtual new deal. Its good, the mood changes a little bit, a little positive thinking, why not.

Here's the thing, they want a 200 to 500 point gain on the day they roll out the blue team. Its going to look pretty depressing otherwise. Will it happen? Yes

Reuters: Stock index futures open higher
Stock index futures opened higher Sunday night in New York, building on Friday's rally, with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama expected to announce his economic team on Monday.

Mad Rush

Phil Glass - piano

Sunday, November 23, 2008

538 - Franken To Win By 27 Votes

These guys are pretty good, if this is right, no need to look any further in the future.

FiveThirtyEight: Projection: Franken to Win Recount by 27 Votes

Resale Value

CNN Money has a report on the top ten cars that have the highest resale value. In other words these are the cars that maintain value.

The obvious is that the list does not include one single car made by an American Big Three manufacturer - nothing new here.

The list is dominated by Honda, especially Toyota including Toyota's lower priced Scions, along with one BMW, and one VW car.

What exactly has Detroit been thinking all of these years - talk about existing in a separate reality.

CNN: Top 10 resale value cars

Then there is this from the GM website:
GM is already confidently moving into a bright future. See how GM is a leader in alternative fuel and fuel economy, technology, design, safety and quality.
This is like reading praise for the Bush administration.


Using cash is sensible. Some people are forced to use credit when their income dries up. It seems unlikely that the credit card river will return in full force for some time.

Reuters: More customers resume using old-fashioned cash
Retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and J.C. Penney Co. are noticing a marked shift away from credit cards in favor of cash and debit cards

Bush Really Is An Idiot

Housing - Worst Is Yet To Come

This is astonishing news and it requires reading it several times to get the enormity of the issue.

Approximately 25% of all home owners with mortgages are now underwater, meaning they owe more on the home than the home is worth. For example, paying a $250K mortgage on a home that is now worth $190K.

The kicker is that as home values sink even more, the number goes from 25% to 40% of home mortgages going underwater.

Talk about foreclosures, this would mean the potential for foreclosures is increasing.

McClatchy: Housing is bad enough, but wait — it'll get worse
That means about 25 percent of all U.S. mortgages are exceeding the value of the homes the mortgages are financing.

Nevada led all states with 48 percent of homes with negative equity. Florida and Arizona each had 29 percent of homes with underwater mortgages, while 27 percent of mortgages in California were upside-down, the group said.

If home prices fall another 10 to 15 percent, as measured by the Case/Shiller Home Price Index, then four out of every 10 mortgages in the U.S. could be underwater, Feldstein said.


The Week Ahead

Good god, Wall Street is a regular bloody fiasco, the war on value, its a massacre.

Several items make the rounds this week which will affect the market.

Will Obama's economic team selections cut the mustard. Will Wall Street like these guys. Also will Obama's 2 year economic crisis recovery plan be viewed as viable and capable of creating stability. Stability is one of the new hot terms.

And then there just a few other little items on the plate.

Citigroup is on the ropes, and its only the second largest US banking monster. People are waiting to hear if any type of restructuring or sale of Citigroup will occur today - Sunday. If not the market heads towards the 6,000 point area. We are playing with a completely deflated basketball.

Then there's just a few other little mentions. Friday is Black Friday and you know how important sales are to the US economy. Well its not looking good either.

Finally, there will be news on housing sales for October. I'm going to go out on a limb and say, its bad news.

Personally I am single handed trying to correct the economy as we have just signed a contract to sell our present house and we have signed a contract to buy a new house. So that alone should raise the numbers by a good 50%.

Reuters: Wall St Week Ahead: Stocks eye Citigroup, Geithner's next moves
Key economic indicators on tap for next week include existing-home sales for October, consumer sentiment and confidence, and weekly U.S. jobless claims data.

But market-watchers will hone in on Citigroup over the weekend for any developments as to the future of the bank, the second-largest in the United States by assets.

"...If we get nothing out of Citibank, we have a little bit of a problem on Monday morning."

The dismal week capped off a historic November that is quickly becoming one of the worst months for U.S. stocks since October 1987.

...outlooks from major retailers suggest this could be one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in years.

Geither and Summers

Reuters: Obama picks point men for crisis fight back
President-elect Barack Obama has picked two experienced policymakers, Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, to spearhead the fight against the global financial crisis -- appointments which should bring some cheer to world markets

Both men command wide respect in financial markets.

Haydn Trumpet Concerto, 3rd Movement

Tine Thing Helseth on trumpet

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Worst Is Yet To Come

Hey, what's a year or two, 365 days maybe 730 days. The first significant crash occurred in January when the market really dropped. This is when the extent of the mortgage crisis became apparent. So we have been living in a recession for almost a year. The election kept us preoccupied, and the recession fueled the election.

Obama will get tremendous criticism in 2009. Unfortunately the right is losing a great deal of air, right now most of its air. With eight years of Bush under our belts, the right has nothing to offer, other than criticism.

Yahoo: Worst of financial crisis yet to come: IMF chief economist
The IMF's chief economist has warned that the global financial crisis is set to worsen and that the situation will not improve until 2010, a report said Saturday.

The central banks "should lower interest rates to as close to zero as possible," he said.

Cut Him Loose

Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins writes a tongue in cheek column calling for Bush to resign ASAP.

The idea resonates all too well as the notion of Bush resigning persistently occurs to reasonable people. The economy is melting down and we have Nero in charge. Republicans might want to consider the amount of damage their good old boy Bush is doing to the party as he tortures his way and our way through two more unbearable months.

NY Times: Time for Him to Go
A great many Americans have been counting the days all year on their 2008 George W. Bush Out of Office Countdown calendars. I know a lot of this has been going on because so many people congratulated me when the Feb. 1 Bush quote turned out to be from one of my old columns. (“I think we need not only to eliminate the tollbooth from the middle class, I think we should knock down the tollbooth.”)

This was not nearly as good as Feb. 5 (“We ought to make the pie higher”) or Feb. 21 (“I understand small business growth. I was one.”) But we do what we can.

Ray McGovern on Robert Gates

Ray describes Gates as someone who wanted back into the center light of DC politics. As part of the ISG (Iraq Study Group - remember them) he wanted troop withdrawal because Iraq was not winnable.

When Rumsfeld himself started to realize that Iraq was out of control, he then leaned towards withdrawal. Rumsfeld is replaced by Gates knowing that the options are lose or postpone losing with a surge. Gates is described as being more than happy to follow the company line.

Ray also describes the surge as concocted to give Bush and Cheney breathing room, to be able to high tail it out of town in January 2009 with Irag held in a cosmetic sling.

Regardless, Obama needs a new Sec Def. He can't be thinking to actually leave Gates. On the other hand if Gates is simply willing to tow the corporate line, will he accommodate a withdrawal from Iraq.

ZMag: Robert Gates: As Bad as Rumsfeld?
The aim (of the surge) was to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq until President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney could swagger from the West Wing into the western sunset on Jan. 20, 2009.

On Nov. 5, 2006, Bush had a one-on-one with Gates in Crawford and the deal was struck. Forget the torturously hammered-out recommendations of the Iraq Study Group; forget what the military commanders were saying. Gates suddenly found the "surge" an outstanding idea.

Well, not really. That's just what he let Bush believe. Gates is second to none — not even Petraeus — in ambition and self-promotion. He wanted to be Secretary of Defense, to be back at center stage in Washington after nearly 14 years in exile from the big show.

Economic Downturn In Hong Kong - Buy A Rolls Cheap

Obama's Second Youtube Address

Obama - Two Year Plan

As time goes on, we will learn what Obama's plan entails.

He wants to create millions of jobs.

It will be interesting to see what will come of it. We must remember that Bush and his gang of robber barons have completely bankrupted the country, and have feverishly worked to place all wealth into the hands of a few.

At least there is a president elect who is planning to work for more than just a few.

Reuters: Obama says long haul ahead
President-elect Barack Obama said on Saturday he was crafting a two-year plan to fight an economic crisis...

Obama gave a bleak view of the situation, saying swift and bold action was needed to prevent a deep slump, a spiral of falling prices, and millions of job losses.

He signaled he was prepared to push for a much larger package than the $175 billion stimulus measure he called for in his election campaign. His plan would set a goal of creating 2.5 million more jobs by January 2011 -- a two-year scenario.

Don't Dream Its Over - Live

Crowded House

Friday, November 21, 2008

Afghanistan Surge

Reuters: U.S. eyes "surge" of over 20,000 for Afghanistan
The Pentagon is considering a plan to send more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next 12 to 18 months to help safeguard elections and quell rising Taliban violence, officials said on Friday.

Alien Planet

Obama's Huge Decision

On news of Obama's Treasury Secretary pick, the DOW zoomed.

Now we begin the process of figuring out who Tim Geither is.

Allegedly the announcement comes on Monday. What remains to be seen is will there be a sense that someone has their hand on the financial steering mechanism. Last we heard from Bush, he was out riding his bike on the bridge to nowhere.

MSNBC: NY Fed President Tim Geithner To Be Treasury Secretary
...NBC News' report on Tim Geithner likely to be named Treasury Secretary, stocks rebounded sharply. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading in negative territory -- down about 38 points -- before the news. Moments after, the Dow zoomed more than 300 points.

Aliens On Mars and In The Treasury Department

Does anyone else find it odd that as we head full tilt into economic collapse, stories about aliens are starting to reappear with regularity on the MSM.

All things extraterrestrial seem to be a type of ameliorative for the fear.

To be continued....

The Daily Show - Iraq Surrenders

The Market On Friday

It looks like the financier gods have decreed a day of reprieve from the eternal slaughter they have wielded on our assets.

We are in fiscal hell. The economy is frying in its own vicious fluids, shrinking and fading away into a speck of capitalistic mayhem. Hopefully that speck will explode yielding the equivalent of an economic big bang. We need an economic rebirth, any mythology will do, just show us some value.


Reuters: Global stocks rebound on rate cut hopes

Reuters: Wall Street futures shoot up
Stock futures pointed to a rebound on Friday after sharp losses in the previous session. Dow Jones futures were up 3.9 percent, S&P 500 futures were up 4.5 percent and Nasdaq futures were up 3.9 percent at 5:03 a.m. EST.

Fly Me To The Moon

Diana Krall

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Water On Mars

The Real Story: Massive frozen water reservoirs discovered on Mars

You Don't Know Dick - Indictments

The Daily Show

Breaker Breaker - Elephant Down, Elephant Down

We are not quite done with the polls yet.

Gallup is polling public opinion and public opinion about Republicans in general is sinking faster than Wall Street.

CNN: Poll: GOP image goes from bad to worse
Just 34 percent of Americans in a Gallup Poll released Thursday say they have a favorable view of the party, down 40 percent from a month ago, before the election.

What’s worse: 61 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party.


Just checked to see how Al Franken is doing in Minnesota. He is down 136 votes and they are about half way through the recount.

Recount in Minnesota


Excuse me for a moment while I dab tears from my eyes.

Alright, better now. So we'll all be a bunch of 70 and 80 something year olds working jobs. But we'll be happy. Stocks tumble to 5-year lows, led by financials
Stocks have plunged again to levels not seen in more than five years as hopes fade that lawmakers will soon put together an aid package for U.S. automakers.

Bully Bush Gets Snubbed


Going through some of the early Thursday headlines regarding the economy, we see that unemployment is deepening and it would be hard to imagine the situation improving anytime soon. Eventually some daylight will appear, so hang in there.

The price of oil has dipped below $50 per barrel. This is shocking. We are going from inflation to deflation within a few weeks.

We know we are in "the" rough economic period. We don't expect anything from the present administration, nor do we want anything from the present administration because they are not equipped to handle the problem. One suspects that Bush is overwhelmed with inaction and malaise. His descent is consistent with his governance.

As an observer of the stock market, I would say one of the strangest sights I have seen today is GM stock hovering around $2 per share. Its not looking good for the big three especially GM. They could crash anytime now. Why would anyone want to buy a GM car right now unless the price becomes so reduced as to make the deal impossible to refuse. New York crude prices sink below $50 line for 1st time in 22 months

Banned Food

Banning fast food ads is a good move. We support this.

Like sex, the promotion of food in America is about as neurotic as it gets.

We are simultaneously supposed to be healthy and trim yet the messages say eat and then eat some more, and by all means eat incredibly high caloric, fatty, and processed food. And while you are at it, eat more of it.

So is it any wonder that we are a nation of mini - hippos. Fast food is garbage. Food that is unhealthy and unfit for us is not food, its poison. Go ahead eat a majestic triple plot cheese smothered heart clogger, but do it once a year not three times a day.

This is not preaching, this is common sense.

Reuters: Fast-food ad ban could cut child obesity: U.S. study
Banning fast-food advertising on television in the United States could reduce the number of overweight children by as much as 18 percent, researchers said on Wednesday.

The Market On Thursday

The article basically reads - the pain continues.

Life is not all about money, it helps that's for sure. We'll all get through this recession. That's for sure as well.

Could this be the day that the DOW at 7500 is "reached." Yes it is, but like every day in the past several months, we hope we are wrong.

Reuters: Stock futures signal more pain
Stock futures pointed to a drop on Thursday, adding to the previous session's plunge, as investors worried about the fate of stricken U.S. carmakers and the specter of a prolonged economic downturn. At 5:33 a.m. EST, S&P 500 futures were down 1.9 percent, Dow Jones futures were down 1.3 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 2.2 percent.
Reuters: Over 100 U.S. "blue chips" now selling for under $10 a share
So far this year, the S&P 500 has plunged 45 percent. It is now worth just over $7 trillion, the index's lowest collective market value in 11 years.

Twenty-five stocks, or five percent of the index, don't make the $1 billion mark in market cap, and just 11 exceed the $100 billion level.

Fools Rush In

UB40 - vocalist Ali Campbell is exceptional.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daily Affirmations

The Al Franken vs Norm Coleman recount to determine who will be Senator from Minnesota is in progress.

See the latest updates here.

Kennedy Assassination Observers

This couple saw the assassination up close and personal.

Everything you read on the topic tends to lead into more than one gunman.

The thing about the Kennedy assassination that is so distressing is that here we are 40 some odd years later and that single murder changed our nation's course. Some might even say radically changed its course.

Think about it - Vietnam, to Nixon, to neo-cons, all would probably have turned out differently. Alas there is no crying over spilled milk. Its not productive but the occasional contemplation of the alternative is interesting. Grassy knoll couple recall Kennedy assassination
Do the couple feel a second gunman fired from the grassy knoll?

"I do tend to want to lean in the direction that it was a conspiracy, meaning more than one person was involved. But so far, no one's ever come forward with concrete evidence," Bill Newman said

Hitler Goes Into Foreclosure

Trying to make light of a difficult situation -

Chickens Stop Two Rabbits From Fighting

Many people could benefit from the example demonstrated by these two chickens.

Presidents take note.

Doodle Analysis

Pakistan Violence 11-19-08

The de facto secretive war with Pakistan's Taliban and al Qaeda on Pakistan's territory continues. The news articles play along by casually labeling the missile and drones attack as "suspected American." Somehow or other this alone will ameliorate world opinion.

The problem with hiding the offensive is clear. What other country has this type of military flexibility and what other country would want to do this.

This will be a sticky issue with Obama who seems more than willing to escalate this offensive. Of all the various wars we are now involved with, this is the most serious. Pakistan is a nuclear power, not a nuclear power to be.

Reuters: Suspected U.S. strike kills 5 militants in Pakistan
A suspected U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles at a house in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing five suspected militants, possibly including an Arab al Qaeda operative, intelligence officials said.

The Market On Wednesday

Futures are down so stocks will open lower. The best case scenario would be like yesterday when out of the blue, there was a spike in prices ending with a bang.

Hey, we are saying the DOW will oscillate between 7500 and 9500ish. That could be a little too optimistic.

Reuters: Stock futures sink ahead of data; autos eyed
Stock futures pointed to a lower Wall Street open on Wednesday, signaling a reversal of Tuesday's gains. Dow Jones futures were down 1.4 percent, S&P 500 futures were down 1.5 percent and Nasdaq futures were down 2.2 percent at 4:30 a.m. EST.

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto 3rd Movement

Christian Ferras - violin

This man was a stunning musician, I am so pleased to have only recently found his work. His playing is unbelievably stable, beautifully sound, and almost understated in its reasonableness.

From Wikipedia - "In spite of the beautiful music he produced from his instrument, Christian Ferras struggled with severe lifelong depression. The illustrious career of this distinguished violinist came to a tragic end when he committed suicide on September 14, 1982."

He was 49 at the time of his death.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stevens Loses

There is a Santa.

Palin will need to find a different felon to pal around with. Stevens loses Alaska Senate race

Cheney, Gonzales Indictment

This may be rather ineffective and impotent (sic) from the point of view of an effective indictment.

However, any indictment of Cheney and Gonzales is a good indictment.

CNN: Texas grand Jury indicts Cheney, Gonzales
A grand jury in south Texas indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on separate charges related to alleged prisoner abuse in federal detention centers...

Another Democratic Senator On The Horizin

Its not looking good for Palin pal around felon Republican Senator Stevens.

Alaska is turning bluer.

Stevens just turned 85. Imagine turning 85 and getting tossed out of your heavenly power perch as a result of being a convicted felon. Some politicians have successful careers, others gradually become crazed egomaniacs.

Regardless, it appears that Alaska may soon have a new Senator, Democrat Mark Begich.

Stevens is one of the many corrupt GOPers lining up to take on the role as poster child for the war, incurious, anti-intellectual, morally superior Republicans. Stevens falls further behind in Alaska Senate race
He trailed Begich by 2,374 votes as of Tuesday afternoon

Fundamental Health Care Issue

Creating universal health care is a good idea but we need actual doctors to provide services.

Reuters: Many doctors plan to quit or cut back: survey
Primary care doctors in the United States feel overworked and nearly half plan to either cut back on how many patients they see or quit medicine entirely...

More than 90 percent said the time they devote to non-clinical paperwork has increased in the last three years and 63 percent said this has caused them to spend less time with each patient.


We already know a segment of Palin - McCain supporters.

The clip gets into the Obama backlash in the South.

The Daily Show - G20

The Market On Tuesday

The roller coaster has hit a series of descents.

Reuters: Stock futures point to weaker Wall Street opening
Stock futures pointed to a lower Wall Street open on Tuesday, with futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 down 1.5 to 1.8 percent at 5:54 a.m. EST.

Shake It Babe

Howlin' Wolf - The paradigm musician and its hard to think of anyone who did this type of music better. I think he was so important that thousands of players emulated him. The thing is, this type of rockin' blues music got so overplayed and eviscerated over the years that it became a horrible cliche. But these old clips of Howlin' Wolf show that it was at one time very fresh and vital.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Clinton To Accept Secretary of State

According to the Guardian UK - Clinton will accept the position.

Is this the final word? You got me.

Obama Meets With McCain


The Bush - Cheney - Rove administration came into power like bulls in a china shop.

The notion of bipartisanship was unheard of. In fact it was quite the opposite. Rovian politics created more divisiveness. More divisiveness has led to a complete breakdown in cooperative governance.

This is Bush's legacy, he has been a tyrant. Look at where this has brought him and our country. Rove enjoyed salting the wounds of division. Listening to him now one sees a person deeply out of resonance with their own history. He is attempting to make himself over as some kind of medium.

Obama is setting out on a decent course. He is unwilling to take the divisive road. We know that his administration will be primarily Democrats but he will ask for the Republican voice. I hope he follows through and appoints someone like Hagel to his administratin.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, Lincoln, and the greater good, Obama met with McCain today. This is a good thing. It creates a sense of peace and it is only a sense of peace, not actual peace. But for the public its a meaningful gesture.

So let's give them a B+ for appearances and effort. Let's also hope our next Republican president, who is out there watching and waiting, can learn a lesson here. President-elect Obama, McCain vow to work closely
When asked if he planned to help the Obama administration, McCain replied, "Obviously."

Krugman on The Great Depression

14 Months Of Recession?

Considering how accurate our public speaking economists have been so far, we might consider taking this 14 month recession plan with a grain of salt. Take it with two grains of salt.

Basically they are saying we are half way through the recession. Are you buying it?

Reuters: U.S. recession will last 14 months: Fed survey
The forecasters survey also said the U.S. economy entered recession April and that the downturn would last for 14 months.

Obama - Close Gitmo & No More Torture

The Market On Monday

Futures are up today pointing to a rise at the bell.

How the market will hold up throughout the day is a different story. The economic news is negative, so its a matter of financiers finding bargains and affecting the significantly depressed market within the lowest ranges.

Reuters: Stock futures signal gains, automakers eyed
Stocks pointed to a higher open on Monday, reversing some of the sharp losses endured on Friday when dismal monthly retail sales triggered a sell-off. At 5:18 a.m. EST, S&P 500 futures were up 0.1 percent, Dow Jones futures were up 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 1 percent.
Reuters: U.S. in recession, jobless to peak at 7.5 pct: survey
The U.S. economy is in recession and will contract at a faster pace in the fourth quarter, extending the decline into early 2009 as high unemployment crimps consumer spending, a survey showed.

Chanson Russe

Stravinsky performed by violinist Christian Ferras

**** Four Stars - Sande

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Week Ahead

In short, this will likely be a good week to reflect on all of the positive things, our families, friends, relationships, lives, personal resources, our values.

Hey just imagine all this economic turmoil with massive inflation - (like the way it was about 6 weeks ago.)

Market Watch: Housing starts expected to hit half-century low - Consumer prices falling at fastest pace in 60 years, economists say
Few observers have ever seen anything like the economic data that will be released in the coming week, with the consumer price index and housing starts each expected to breach records dating back to the late 1940s.

As the economic slump has spread around the globe, commodity prices have plummeted. The Federal Reserve no longer considers inflation to be much of a worry, and no wonder: The consumer price index is expected to fall 0.9% in October, the biggest one-month decline since the government began tracking the CPI in 1947.

First Glimpse Of Monday

It might be difficult to find positive economic news this coming week. Who knows what will happen but the DOW fell to 7500, rose into the 9000's and now is falling again. Let's hope the descents are a little less severe this time. Tokyo stocks open lower on weak Japan GDP data, after summit outcome

Big Three Collapse Projections

This Guardian article answers some projections about how a one, two , or all big three collapse would affect employment and the economy.

It is not a highly detailed article as it treats the numbers and dollar signs in the broadest of strokes.

We suspect an article of this nature would greatly influence the debate on the government's role in attempting to resurrect GM. Rejecting or passing a bailout for GM is a very heavy decision.

UK Guardian: Crash of US carmakers risks three million jobs
"Nearly three million jobs would be lost in the first year if there was a 100 per cent reduction in Big Three US operations..." Cole said. (head of the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR), an influential Detroit think-tank)

...35,000 jobs will be lost if the government intervenes to save the industry.

Job losses among suppliers of car parts and car sales companies, as well as those on the production lines, would be compounded by a massive drop in taxes and consumer spending power that would further cripple the already hobbled American economy.

SNL - The Kissing Family

GM Fading

As we know GM is on the ropes. The implications and results of a GM bankruptcy are huge. The number of people employed directly and indirectly through GM is large. Besides the obvious construction and distribution of the vehicles there is parts manufacturing, transportation, advertising revenue, repair shops and workers, retirees and all of the managerial services that goes into these sectors.

Reading the Times article there is mention that GM is throwing new car design overboard in an effort to maintain some liquidity which would allow them to survive a little longer. Does this seem like a good idea? Do they think people still want the old stuff.

They are feverishly bailing out a sinking ship and the rate of water going in exceeds the amount going out.

Strictly from the point of view of employment and the implications of many more thousands of people becoming unemployed especially in a place like Michigan among others, I support a bail out of GM. However, there has to be a silver lining. I can't believe that this behemoth company cannot retool to manufacture a product that is extraordinarily good.

How many of GM's issues were a result of the spike in gasoline prices and the ongoing recession - probably most it, but they essentially produce dinosaurs. Even in a recession people still need transportation. Is General Motors Worth Saving?
...GM's bosses have been frantically throwing all manner of stuff overboard — retiree health-care benefits, people, assets, new car design — to conserve $5 billion.

"Immediate federal funding is essential in order for the U.S. automotive industry to weather this downturn..."

The whole industry would not be able to build cars in the U.S. (even if only one of the big three were to go into bankruptcy), because of the lack of parts.

"They still need to take structural steps: reduce suppliers, reduce the number of plants, reduce the cost structure and get rid of excessive debt."

CNN: Now In The News

Reinventing The GOP

Interesting article over at Salon on the post election state of the GOP.

We acknowledge the need for a multiparty system. I would like to see more than two major parties. This us or them thing is painful, third option anybody. The Green Party is not taking off like a cannon.

Personally, I see two glaring problems with the GOP. They are hopelessly linked to the Evangelical right and as such the gay marriage, anti-abortion issues becomes the fundamental vision. That's fine but tack onto those two non shakeable pillars of ideology - anything else possibly something about how people move into the future in a collectively progressive way. Its unlikely we return to a 1950's leave it to beaver world of white picket fences and disasters surrounding a failed casserole. That never actually existed.

The second problem is the free reign of the "neo conservatives" or as Bush's father George H W Bush called them - the crazies. Guess what, they are still rabidly crazy, witness the 8 year Bush debacle which we are not rehashing at the moment.

Call to all moderate Republicans - reclaim your party. We are pleading with you.

Salon: The GOP's last chance: Become Democrats
...Republican thinkers have pondered what went wrong, searched their souls -- and decided that the way to regain power is to move further to the right.

Coulter wrote, "The only good thing about McCain is that he gave us a genuine conservative, Sarah Palin. He's like one of those insects that lives just long enough to reproduce so that the species can survive..."

As national security has faded, the last thing holding the right together is its hatred of the Democrats and everything they stand for. This glue still binds the party's ideologically driven base.
NY Times: The Moose Stops Here by Frank Rich
The worse news for the country is that at a time of genuine national peril we actually do need an opposition party that is not brain-dead.


National leaders met yesterday to figure out how to stop the world from sliding into an even deeper recession.

We have already seen the two key points everyone seems to have agreed on.

They agreed that cutting interest rates was essential. We are witnessing that happen. It seems to have worked as well as pill 1 in a 30 round pill regimen to stop an infection. The US is at 1%, not much wiggle room left there.

The second point is to continue with fiscal stimulus plans like our $700Billion bailout to nowhere. The idea is to try to "align them across borders."

Playing the role of the pessimist - sarcastic curmudgeon here, the only decent news seemed to be Bush's admission that this was his last economic meeting with world powers. Its hard to imagine Bush himself actually inputting substantial policy ideas into a meeting of this nature. I think of it as like bringing your 3 year old to a meeting where you put him in a chair with a coloring book and a fruit drink.

Reuters: Leaders pledge fiscal boost to save world economy
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said $1 trillion of public money had already been put up to pad spending around the world. But he added that the IMF had warned leaders on Saturday that it expects $1.8 trillion worth of economic activity to be drained away by the crisis next year.

"Each country's fiscal stimulus can be twice as effective in raising domestic output growth if its major trading partners also have a stimulus package. Everywhere, where you have low inflation, this has to be considered," he said.
Here is one immediate response to the summit - Gulf stocks plunge as G20 fails to halt panic
Stock markets in the Gulf states plunged on the week's opener Sunday as panic from the fallout of the global economic crisis continued to dampen investor sentiment.

The slump came despite the approval by leaders of the G20 nations of an action plan on Saturday to restore global growth and prevent future financial upheaval while promising new spending plans and a set of reforms.
Can we assume that Wall Street will follow this trend on Monday?

Kingston Town


Saturday, November 15, 2008

TV Emptiness

TV is boring, sorry but it is. The web, now that's a different story. Watching TV has prepared me for looking at a screen. TV is a primer for the web, but the web is more dynamic and faster.

We had a couple over for dinner one time. Before dinner we sat in our living room to chit chat. They asked us where was our TV. When we said we didn't have one, they actually looked like they just heard that a loved one had suddenly died. We became weird to them.

I used to work in a hospital. This was a long time ago. I would go into people's rooms to do orderly types of things and the damn TV was always on. People would be sleeping, recovering, and in some case dying, but there was always a laugh track and a commercial for some crappy life insurance or cleanser. TVs are always on in hospitals, even in the waiting rooms. Now that's depressing at best its tragic. I think its one of the reasons why I dislike hospitals so much, they are full of TVs everywhere.

Yahoo: Unhappy People Watch Lots More TV
The researchers are not sure, though, whether unhappiness leads to more television-watching or more viewing leads to unhappiness.

In fact, people say they like watching television.

But perhaps the high from watching television doesn't last.
Who gets high watching television? What the hell is this person talking about.

Clinton As Secretary Of State

Spam Spam Spam Spam

I still get tons of spam and have not seen a drop off in it. Allegedly there is a drop off in spam with "McColo" being shut down. Still I find it interesting that one host was responsible for so much spam.

BBC News: Spam plummets as gang leaves net
Anti-spam firm Ironport has seen junk mail levels drop by 70% since McColo was taken offline on 11 November.

But, it warned, it will be a temporary respite from the menace of spam

It (McColo) is believed that it hosted gangs running botnets - networks of computers that have been taken over by criminals to send malicious software and spam.

According to MessageLabs, botnets are responsible for over 90% of spam.

"Spam levels will come back to normal as we build up to Thanksgiving and Christmas," he said.

Obama's First YouTube Address

He plans on doing a youtube address each week.

Condi Rice Praises Obama Victory

I would bet that Condi Rice voted for Obama. She is continuing to offer praise and congratulations for his victory.

The question remains, where has her conscience been over the past 8 years.

World Net Daily: Condi Rice praises Obama's election as 'a good thing' - 'I think the time comes … for new people and new ideas'
"[For] a girl like me who grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, to now elect an African-American president is an extraordinary matter," Rice declared, "and it says to the world that differences can be overcome and in a world in which different is still a license to kill; that is an awfully important message."

Some Economic Gauges

Layoffs, Wall Street tattered, more crisis around the corner, GM on the ropes - we are in a negative feedback loop.

If you don't have an income, you can't pay your bills, and you can't buy. Plus you are afraid.

If you do have an income, but your investments are now worth half their value, you are going to refrain from buying because you are wondering how your future is shaping up. Plus you are afraid.

Reuters: Wall St Week Ahead: Weak stocks face earnings and CPI
Wall Street will struggle to avoid a third straight week of losses next week as investors face another flood of earnings and data, including PPI and CPI, that are likely to signal a prolonged economic slowdown.

Next week, the U.S. Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index will give Wall Street a reading on to what extent the weaker economy is keeping inflation at bay. October PPI is due on Tuesday, with October CPI on Wednesday. One factor to keep in mind with both reports: The price of NYMEX front-month crude oil dropped a record 32.62 percent in October to settle at $67.81 a barrel.
Reuters: Citigroup to cut 10 percent of jobs: source
The cuts could result in a loss of roughly 35,000 jobs, based on the bank's reported 352,000-person workforce as of Sept 30. The cuts will be on top of the 23,000 jobs Citigroup has already slashed this year.
Reuters: Looming credit card debt may be next crisis
Banks are already reporting losses in both credit cards and home equity loans.

Americans had accumulated $971.4 billion in revolving consumer debt at the end of September, up 3.4 percent from the end of 2007, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
CNN: GM failure: The shockwave
In the United States alone, GM spends $31 billion on parts from 2,100 different suppliers.

A GM failure would also affect about 14,000 dealers in the United States...half of the nation's 29,000 dealerships that specialize in domestic vehicles.

Love Sneakin Up On You

Bonnie Raitt

Friday, November 14, 2008

Clinton? Richardson

An awful lot of former and present Clintonites are showing up on the Obama transition to administration team.

Richardson over Clinton any day. Obama weighs Clinton, Richardson as sec. of state
Richardson is the governor of New Mexico and has an extensive foreign policy resume. He was President Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations and has conducted freelance diplomacy as governor in such hot spots as Sudan and North Korea.