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Archive for September 2nd, 2009

‘Cash for Clunkers’ Gives Auto Industry a Lift

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:45 am by HL

‘Cash for Clunkers’ Gives Auto Industry a Lift
Those dangerous socialists in our federal government have really done it this time. Why, they’ve … engineered a way to give the American auto industry a much-needed boost with their successful “Cash for Clunkers” program.  —KA CNN Money.com: The auto industry temporarily awoke from its slumber last month thanks to the U.S. “Cash for Clunkers” offer, led by a 17% sales jump at Ford Motor Co. (F) that further highlighted the performance difference between it and Detroit rivals General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. Ford’s gain was also helped by its trucks posting the first year-over-year sales increase in nearly three years. Meanwhile, Chrysler’s 15% decline was in part due to a lack of inventory – most of the company’s plants sat idle for almost three months as the auto maker dealt with its bankruptcy process. Chrysler finished the month with 100,238 units in inventory, down 74% from a year ago, and representing just a 28-day supply. That’s why the company recently announced a 50,000-vehicle boost to planned output. Read more READ THE WHOLE ITEM

auto industry

Those dangerous socialists in our federal government have really done it this time. Why, they’ve … engineered a way to give the American auto industry a much-needed boost with their successful “Cash for Clunkers” program.? —KA

CNN Money.com:

The auto industry temporarily awoke from its slumber last month thanks to the U.S. “Cash for Clunkers” offer, led by a 17% sales jump at Ford Motor Co. (F) that further highlighted the performance difference between it and Detroit rivals General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.

Ford’s gain was also helped by its trucks posting the first year-over-year sales increase in nearly three years. Meanwhile, Chrysler’s 15% decline was in part due to a lack of inventory – most of the company’s plants sat idle for almost three months as the auto maker dealt with its bankruptcy process.

Chrysler finished the month with 100,238 units in inventory, down 74% from a year ago, and representing just a 28-day supply. That’s why the company recently announced a 50,000-vehicle boost to planned output.

Read more

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Fighting Swine Flu With Elmo, Obama
As American schoolkids clamber back onto buses and funnel into classrooms, the federal government is working on ways to squelch the swine flu virus, which may not be as ferocious as health officials first feared but is proving to be pretty tenacious. President Obama, as well as a familiar red fuzzy friend, are on the case in this clip from The Associated Press. READ THE WHOLE ITEM

Elmo

As American schoolkids clamber back onto buses and funnel into classrooms, the federal government is working on ways to squelch the swine flu virus, which may not be as ferocious as health officials first feared but is proving to be pretty tenacious. President Obama, as well as a familiar red fuzzy friend, are on the case in this clip from The Associated Press.

READ THE WHOLE ITEM

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Report: Contractors Outnumber Troops In Afghanistan By Highest Ratio In U.S. History

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:44 am by HL

Report: Contractors Outnumber Troops In Afghanistan By Highest Ratio In U.S. History
In the clearest sign that the Pentagon has become dependent on privatization, a new report reveals that today there are more defense contractors than U.S….

Blackwater Gets Iraq Contract Extended by State Dept
The State Department has extended a contract with controversial private security firm Blackwater, ABC News has learned. The contract was due to expire this month….

White House: Obama May Detail Health Care Goals In Speech, Shift Strategy
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, faced with falling approval ratings and increasingly impatient with Senate negotiations over health care, is weighing a shift in strategy…

Maddow Interviews Tom Ridge About Iraq Intelligence, Hurricane Katrina, Politicized Threat Levels (VIDEO)
Rachel Maddow interviewed former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge tonight, who is out promoting his new book The Test of Our Times, and she confronted…

Ed Schultz Slams Michele Bachmann For Asking For “Covenant To Slit Our Wrists” Against Health Reform (VIDEO)
The Ed Show’s eponymous host has a recurring segment on his program called “Psycho Talk,” and never has that title been more appropriate than when…


Goldberg ignores Bush’s responsibility for $1 trillion deficit in 2009

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:43 am by HL

Goldberg ignores Bush’s responsibility for $1 trillion deficit in 2009

In a September 1 USA Today op-ed calling Republicans and Democrats “hypocrites for caring about the deficit,” Jonah Goldberg wrote that “Obama’s budget will have, for the first time, a single year deficit of $1 trillion,” adding that “Obama’s 2009 budget deficit will be greater than all of the Bush deficits from 2002 to 2007 combined.” Absent from Goldberg’s analysis was the fact that before President Obama took office or signed any legislation, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that, based on actions taken by President Bush and economic conditions at the time, the deficit for fiscal year 2009 would reach $1.2 trillion.

Goldberg: “Obama’s budget will have, for the first time, a single year deficit of $1 trillion”

From Goldberg’s September 1 USA Today op-ed:

Obama’s budget will have, for the first time, a single year deficit of $1 trillion and, according to the Obama administration’s own projections, the same stack will be over 600 miles high ($9 trillion) at the end of 10 years, and that might be optimistic. Obama’s 2009 budget deficit will be greater than all of the Bush deficits from 2002 to 2007 combined, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl. And none of this takes into account that Obama’s health care ambitions, nevermind cap and trade, could swell the deficit much more, if realized. Nor does it take into account the fact that unless the economy revives, tax revenues will continue to plummet as they have been (this year saw the greatest drop-off of receipts since 1932), which would make the shortfall even worse.

Based on Bush’s actions and economic conditions, CBO projected $1.2 trillion deficit on January 7

$1.2 trillion projection based on legislation Bush passed before Obama’s inauguration. From CBO’s January 2009 budget report, released on January 7:

The ongoing turmoil in the housing and financial markets has taken a major toll on the federal budget. CBO currently projects that the deficit this year will total $1.2 trillion, or 8.3 percent of GDP. That total, however, does not include the effects of any future legislation. Enactment of an economic stimulus package, for example, would add to the 2009 deficit. In any event, as a percentage of GDP, the deficit will most likely shatter the previous post-World War II record high of 6.0 percent posted in 1983.

A drop in tax revenues and increased federal spending (much of it related to the government’s actions to address the crisis in the housing and financial markets) both contribute to the robust growth in this year’s deficit. Compared with receipts last year, collections from corporate income taxes are anticipated to decline by 27 percent and individual income taxes by 8 percent; in normal economic conditions, they would both grow by several percentage points. In addition, the estimated deficit includes outlays of more than $180 billion to reflect the cost of transactions of the TARP.

The projected deficit for 2009 also incorporates CBO’s estimate of the cost to the federal government of the recent takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because those entities were created and chartered by the government, are responsible for implementing certain government policies, and are currently under the direct control of the federal government, CBO has concluded that their operations should be reflected in the federal budget. Recognizing the cost of the takeover adds about $200 billion (in discounted present-value terms) to the deficit this year, reflecting the long-term net cost of the more than $5 trillion in credit guarantees issued and loans held by those entities at the start of the fiscal year. In addition, the cost of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new credit activity in 2009 will total $38 billion, CBO estimates.


Legendary GOP Bamboozler Hitches Wagon To Tea Party Brand

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:42 am by HL

Legendary GOP Bamboozler Hitches Wagon To Tea Party Brand
Remember Howard Kaloogian? He was the Republican House candidate who in 2006 tried to pass off a picture of a quiet Istanbul street as having been taken during a trip he made to Baghdad — then told a string of…

Study: More Contractors In Afghanistan Than Military Personnel — Highest Ratio Ever
Private Defense Department contractors outnumber the ranks of uniformed U.S. military in Afghanistan, according to a Congressional Research Service study obtained by the invaluable Secrecy News. As of March, there were over 68,000 contractors in Afghanistan and over 52,000 military…

No Support For Sanford Among SC House GOPers
The first line of this report from the South Carolina’s The State newspaper is pretty stark: Gov. Mark Sanford had no defenders when South Carolina House Republicans discussed his fate Saturday at an annual retreat….


The real Death Panel

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:38 am by HL

The real Death Panel


Clinton Approval Fell Faster

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:37 am by HL

Clinton Approval Fell Faster
Contrary to assertions made by David Brooks, President Obama has had the second greatest rate of decline in approval, reports Charles Franklin.

“Clinton did worse, falling at a monthly rate of 2.3 points. If you look back to the first figure, you see that Clinton fell faster and further, but then rebounded a bit at the end of the summer, making his net change a little smaller (-14) but his overall rate of decline a bit steeper. Obama’s chart shows two phases, an initial shallow decline with a bit of a rebound and a more recent decline at a higher rate. Linear fits don’t distinguish between these details. But it is pretty clear that based on the linear trend, Clinton fell faster than Obama, contra-Brooks.”

Blue Dogs Still Want Health Care Reform
“Even after the tough town-hall-style meetings, unrelenting Republican assaults and a steady stream of questions from anxious voters, interviews with more than a dozen Blue Dogs and their top aides indicate that many of the lawmakers still believe approval of some form of health care plan is achievable and far preferable to not acting at all,” the New York Times reports.

“The political temperature of the Blue Dogs — and their ideological counterparts in the Senate — after the five-week recess is crucial. As representatives of some of the nation’s most conservative territory represented by Democrats, they potentially have the most to lose if a Democratic bill spurs a backlash. Even with healthy majorities in Congress, every Democratic vote is critical given the reluctance by some Democrats to consider a major overhaul and near blanket Republican opposition.”


There’s a Bubble That Still Threatens the Entire American Economy … and Few Are Talking About It

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:36 am by HL

There’s a Bubble That Still Threatens the Entire American Economy … and Few Are Talking About It

Outrageously large rewards for executives give executives an incentive to behave outrageously — and engage in behaviors that put the rest of us at risk.

The Wing-Nut Code: What Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin Are Really Saying to Their Followers

You thought they were just unhinged. But here's what they're really saying to the armed and dangerous.

The Wing-Nut Code: What Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin Are Really Saying to Their Followers

You thought they were just unhinged. But here's what they're really saying to the armed and dangerous.

Call Chevron to Account for Its Assault on the Amazonian Ecosystem

Over the past 28 years, the oil giant has polluted rivers, poisoned the atmosphere and caused immeasurable damage to children.


SECULAR SAINTS

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:35 am by HL

SECULAR SAINTS
The only time I had the privilege of sitting with Senator Ted Kennedy in his Capitol Hill office was when I was in the company of another great American Irishman, Michael Harrington. Mike, who saw Ted Kennedy as akin to…






Sponsored Topics: Ted KennedyMichael HarringtonCapitol Hill Washington D.C.Capitol HillUnited States

The Apparent Unmotivated Idiocy of Labor Union Members, Especially Teachers
Steven Brill has a long essay in the New Yorker about the long process required to fire teachers in New York City. Now, any discussion of due process, whether in firings or criminal justice, inevitably can stack the deck by…


Sponsored Topics: New York CityTrade unionUnited StatesSteven BrillNEW YORK

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Grassley: The ?Only Way To Get A Bipartisan Agreement Is To Defeat A Democratic Proposal On The First Hand?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Grassley: The ?Only Way To Get A Bipartisan Agreement Is To Defeat A Democratic Proposal On The First Hand?
Over the August recess, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), one of the three Republicans engaged in the “Gang of Six” health care negotiations, has repeatedly made public statements that have created deep doubts about his commitment to reaching a bipartisan deal on health care reform. Just yesterday, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reported that Grassley sent […]

grassleyisnothealthreform

Over the August recess, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), one of the three Republicans engaged in the “Gang of Six” health care negotiations, has repeatedly made public statements that have created deep doubts about his commitment to reaching a bipartisan deal on health care reform. Just yesterday, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reported that Grassley sent out a fundraising letter requesting help in his effort to “defeat ‘Obama-care.’”

Now, Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports that on a conference call with Iowa radio reporters today, Grassley suggested that the only way to reach a bipartisan compromise would be to first defeat the current Democratic health care proposals:

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says there may be only one path Democrats can take to get Republicans to support for health care reform. “There’s a feeling that the only way to get a bipartisan agreement is to defeat a Democratic proposal on the first hand and then the Democrats will come to Republican leadership and then, at that point, they’ll know the only way they’re going to get health care reform is bipartisan,” Grassley says.

In the past month, Grassley has been all over the place whenever he has attempted to describe how a bipartisan deal can be reached. On August 17, Grassley said that he was unwilling to vote for a “good” bill unless it got support from “more than four Republicans.” Days later, he told the Washington Post that “We ought to be focusing on getting 80 votes.” Last week, he said he wouldn’t vote for an “imperfect bill.”

Grassley has also repeatedly changed his “make-or-break issues” for a compromise. On August 19, he told National Review that he needed “no public option, no rationing, no government bureaucrats getting between doctors and patients, and tort reform.” The next day, he expanded the list in an interview with NPR, making it “No public option, no pay-or-play, no things that are going to lead to any rationing of health care, no interference with doctor-patient relationships, and tort reform.” In an interview with the AP yesterday, Grassley said that on instructions from the GOP, he has sought “no public option, no rationing and tort reform.”

The Wonk Room has launched “GrassleyWatch” — an effort to track Grassley’s health care misrepresentations and obstructions. Check it out HERE.


Obama Urges Precautions Against Swine Flu; N.Y. Schools to Give Free Vaccine

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 2nd, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Obama Urges Precautions Against Swine Flu; N.Y. Schools to Give Free Vaccine
President Obama called on Americans on Tuesday to take common-sense steps to help contain the expected impact of swine flu, including staying home from work when they are sick, frequently washing their hands, and covering their sneezes with a sleeve instead of a hand.

Obama Administration Fishing for a Comeback
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who spent part of his August break fishing out West, offered a wry response when asked earlier this week what the administration’s plan is for health care. “Catch more fish,” he e-mailed back.

Report Details Â?Lewd and Deviant’ Behavior by Guards at U.S. Embassy in Kabul
Private security contractors who guard the U.S. Embassy in Kabul have engaged in lewd behavior and hazed subordinates, demoralizing the undermanned force and posing a “significant threat” to security at a time when the Taliban is intensifying attacks in the Afghan capital, according to an…

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