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Archive for September 26th, 2011

The First Amendment doesn’t trump big money

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

The First Amendment doesn’t trump big money
Well one thing we learned this weekend is that Freedom of Speech and assembly is available for crazy racists in tri-corner hats, but not those who deign to criticize the multi-millionaires of Wall Street.

BEHOLD THE MODERN GOLDEN CALF by Christopher Chan at flickr.com

Well one thing we learned this weekend is that Freedom of Speech and assembly is available for crazy racists in tri-corner hats, but not those who deign to criticize the multi-millionaires of Wall Street.

You criticize the bull you get the horns.

We have learned the media will not pay attention to those protesting large scale thieves even in large numbers until they are forcibly removed for having the temerity to engage in said fictional rights. But if you are a crank who doesn’t think the 16th Amendment exists you and your two friends will get a Cable Network to do your bidding.

These Wall Street Protesters were arrested by cops because they are mad about being fleeced by the rich…worse than people usually are.

But if they were protesting that cops should be stripped of their pensions, salaries, and collective bargaining rights — they’d be able to sit there and waive their fake Kenyan Birth Certificates as much as they’d like.

Late, Late Night FDL: Bad Day
R.E.M. – Bad Day

R.E.M. – Bad Day

It is truly a sad day…! R.I.P., R.E.M…!

What’s on your mind tonite…?


The Growing Student Debt Bubble

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

The Growing Student Debt Bubble
In the aftermath of the stock market failure of 2008, another type of economic bubble is swelling: student debt. And it’s no surprise, since Congress has done nothing to change the lending practices that brought the U.S. to the brink three years ago. The social statistics on the debt are appearing in financial journals and in the work being published by economic research groups. According to Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Mich., in 2010, “the average borrower graduating from a four-year college left school with roughly $24,000 of student debt, despite the grim statistic that—according to a Rutgers University study—only 56 percent of 2010 graduates were able to find work following completion of their studies.” In July, credit rating firm Moody’s Analytics warned that student debt could lead to the next financial crisis. The stories of a number of former students and more urgent figures appear in the article below. —ARK AlterNet: A recent piece in the Atlantic noted that student debt has grown by 511 percent since 1999. At that time, only $90 billion in student loans were outstanding—by the second quarter of 2011, that balance was up to $550 billion, according to the New York Fed. And the Department of Education estimates that outstanding loans total closer to $805 billion—and that number will pass $1 trillion soon. As student loans rise, so has delinquency. Phil Izzo at the Wall Street Journal reported that 11.2 percent of student loans were more than 90 days past due and that rate was steadily going up. “Only credit cards had a higher rate of delinquency — 12.2 percent — but those numbers have been on a steady decline for the past four quarters,” he noted. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that student loan defaults are going up as young workers especially are struggling in the current economy. Izzo reported, “Workers between 20 and 24 years old have a 14.6 percent unemployment rate, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent recorded in July. That comes even as the share of 20- to 24-year-olds who are working or looking for a job is at the lowest level since the 1970s, before women entered the labor force en masse.” Read more

In the aftermath of the stock market failure of 2008, another type of economic bubble is swelling: student debt. And it’s no surprise, since Congress has done nothing to change the lending practices that brought the U.S. to the brink three years ago.

The social statistics on the debt are appearing in financial journals and in the work being published by economic research groups. According to Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Mich., in 2010, “the average borrower graduating from a four-year college left school with roughly $24,000 of student debt, despite the grim statistic that—according to a Rutgers University study—only 56 percent of 2010 graduates were able to find work following completion of their studies.” In July, credit rating firm Moody’s Analytics warned that student debt could lead to the next financial crisis.

The stories of a number of former students and more urgent figures appear in the article below. —ARK

AlterNet:

A recent piece in the Atlantic noted that student debt has grown by 511 percent since 1999. At that time, only $90 billion in student loans were outstanding—by the second quarter of 2011, that balance was up to $550 billion, according to the New York Fed. And the Department of Education estimates that outstanding loans total closer to $805 billion—and that number will pass $1 trillion soon.

As student loans rise, so has delinquency. Phil Izzo at the Wall Street Journal reported that 11.2 percent of student loans were more than 90 days past due and that rate was steadily going up. “Only credit cards had a higher rate of delinquency — 12.2 percent — but those numbers have been on a steady decline for the past four quarters,” he noted.

It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that student loan defaults are going up as young workers especially are struggling in the current economy. Izzo reported, “Workers between 20 and 24 years old have a 14.6 percent unemployment rate, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent recorded in July. That comes even as the share of 20- to 24-year-olds who are working or looking for a job is at the lowest level since the 1970s, before women entered the labor force en masse.”

Read more

Related Entries



Brent Budowsky: Republicans Are Driving America to an Economic Crash

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Brent Budowsky: Republicans Are Driving America to an Economic Crash
Never before in American history have leaders of any party attacked the Federal Reserve Board for trying to use monetary policy to strengthen the economy during a recession or depression. It has never happened before, not once in American history.

Brad DeLong: Review: Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men
Two and a half years ago I would have given long odds that Ron Suskind’s â?¨book would provide me with a lot of the answers to the questions I had about why the Obama economic team chose the policies it did. Unfortunately, it does not.

Companies Face Backlash Over Anti-Gay Aid
The culture war over gay rights has entered the impersonal world of e-commerce….


Hotel: Fruit And Drinks Came With Those ‘$16 Muffins’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Hotel: Fruit And Drinks Came With Those ‘$16 Muffins’
Those $16 muffins everyone is up in arms about? Turns out they came with free fruit and drinks.


DOJ: Rick Perry’s Texas Redistricting Plan Purposefully Discriminated Against Minorities
The Justice Department said late Friday that based on their preliminary investigation, a congressional redistricting map signed into law by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry appears to have been “adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to Congress.”

Presented By:


Bible College Psychologist

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Bible College Psychologist


Historic Negativity Toward U.S. Government

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Historic Negativity Toward U.S. Government
Gallup finds a record-high 81% of Americans “are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, adding to negativity that has been building over the past 10 years.”

Words Have Meaning
Mitt Romney declared in last Thursday’s debate — unlike his rival Rick Perry — that he stands by what he wrote in his book No Apology. Said Romney: “Words have meaning.”

But a new Perry web video aims to show how his rival deleted key lines and rewrote passages from the paperback version of the book.


How Investing in Medicaid will Create Jobs

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

How Investing in Medicaid will Create Jobs
Cutting Medicare and Medicaid are the new favorite solution for Democrats and Republicans–but actually, investing in those programs would do more for jobs.

6 Ways the Rich Are Waging a Class War Against the American People
Denying the very existence of an entire class of citizens? That’s waging some very real warfare against them.

From Palin to Perry: The GOP Shifts From Sexual Spark to Empty Machismo
If Palin was on the McCain ticket for her sizzle, Perry might be on the next ticket for his faux cowboy image, just four years after the last Texan in a cowboy hat.

The Rise of the Pro-Ignorance Right Wing Puts us All In Danger
Tea Party simpletons wrap themselves in prideful ignorance, and treat matters of life and death, like global warming, with dismissive derision.

Is New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the One to Finally Fight Big Money’s Power in Politics?
Schneiderman is the best and probably last hope for some kind of public retribution against the banksters, some righting of wrongs–rolling of heads–as far as the Great Recession.


Mr. President: Play Jujitsu With The U.N. Vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Mr. President: Play Jujitsu With The U.N. Vote
The most frustrating thing about Gershom Gorenberg’s smart letter to President Obama in The American Prospect is that there is nothing in it that its recipient does not already know: Abbas is going to the U.N. Security Council because bilateral…

The Capitalist Crack-Up
Fitzgerald, by then deep into an inglorious relationship with Gin Rickeys, was lucid enough, in 1936, to explain that “all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work – the…


John Bolton Rejects Proposal For Hotline With Tehran

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

John Bolton Rejects Proposal For Hotline With Tehran
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton took to Fox News this morning to blast the idea of a “hotline” between Iran and the United States. Bolton is quick to dismiss the concept as cheap political ploy to heighten Iran’s “prestige”: Well it’s not always the best course to assume the Ahmadinejad’s being entirely logical in what […]

Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton took to Fox News this morning to blast the idea of a “hotline” between Iran and the United States. Bolton is quick to dismiss the concept as cheap political ploy to heighten Iran’s “prestige”:

Well it’s not always the best course to assume the Ahmadinejad’s being entirely logical in what I will call the “Western” sense of that word. But it’s possible on the hotline, what he has in mind, is a mechanism that he thinks will enhance Iran’s prestige. After all, how many countries does the U.S. have that kind of hotline with. I think this is part of his charm offensive. It’s hard to use that phrase when he’s also accusing us of masterminding the 9/11 attacks but again, in his rather strange way, this is a signal as well to us as inside Iran to try and enhance his position in the political infighting that’s going on there.

Watch it:

While Bolton is dismissive of establishing a hotline, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen, speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace last week, said:

We haven’t had a connection with Iran since 1979. Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union. We are not talking to Iran, so we don’t understand each other. If something happens, it’s virtually assured that we won’t get it right — that there will be miscalculation which would be extremely dangerous in that part of the world. […]

And one day before Mullen delivered his remarks, The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials were examining the establishment of a hotline following a series of “near miss” encounters between American and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf.

Bolton dismisses the hotline as a ploy by Ahmadinejad to increase his “prestige.” But the U.S. military is increasingly voicing concern that a misunderstanding with Tehran could lead to a wider conflict in an already tense region.

Is Joe Bastardi the Worst Long-Range Forecaster Ever?
Many of the key Arctic sea ice records fell this year (see “Record Low Sea Ice Volume, Area and Extent*). In short, the Arctic death spiral continues. Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has always made nonsensical forecasts like “The coming cooling of the planet overall will return it to where it was in the ’60s, ’70s, and […]

Many of the key Arctic sea ice records fell this year (see “Record Low Sea Ice Volume, Area and Extent*).

Records

In short, the Arctic death spiral continues.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has always made nonsensical forecasts like “The coming cooling of the planet overall will return it to where it was in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.” No doubt that’s a key reasons he is no longer AccuWeather’s chief long-range forecaster.  But before he left, Bastardi made a prediction that reveals how his anti-scientific views destroy his forecasting credibility.

On September 20, 2010, Bastardi predicted that Arctic Sea Ice extent would return to 2005 levels:  “We are going to recover dramatically here with a cold that is coming over the next 9 to 12 months“!

I know you are wondering where that cold was (see “Third Hottest Summer Globally, Second Warmest for U.S. With Stunning Weather Extremes, Texas Drought Worst in Centuries“).  And for those who find it hard to believe anyone could have made such a ridiculous forecast, let’s go to the videotape [put on those head vises]:

Now Bastardi is safely ensconsed at one of the most extreme, anti-scientist organizations in the world, the “American Tradition Institute.”

He also regularly appears on Fox News, inducing many climatologists to explain he is “completely wrong” and “does not understand the very basics of the science.”

Yet he also landed at WeatherBell, a weather consulting firm, where he is “Chief Forecaster.”  To ensure no one would take them seriously, WeatherBell also hired another well-known science denier Joseph D’Aleo as “Chief Forecaster.”

Seriously, how consistently wrong does a forecaster have to be before people stop paying attention?

h/t Neven of the Arctic Sea Ice Blog


On West Coast, Obama makes fundraising push

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 26th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

On West Coast, Obama makes fundraising push

SAN JOSE — President Obama opened a West Coast fundraising blitz Sunday with appearances at four events in Seattle and San Jose as his reelection campaign sought to make up ground after a series of summer setbacks.

With his popularity fading in national polls, Obama challenged his supporters to “shake off any doldrums” and recapture the yes-we-can attitude of his historic 2008 campaign.

Read full article >>

Verdict on Kagan’s first year on Supreme Court

The phone rang last year as soon as the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan as the Supreme Court’s newest justice.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said he wanted to be the first to congratulate and welcome Kagan to the court, she recalled at a recent event at the Aspen Institute. And Roberts told her one other thing: that the two were going to be serving together for the next 25 years.

Read full article >>

Netanyahu declines to address GOP critique of Obama on Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Sunday that his nation’s bond with the United States and President Obama remains strong, but he declined to counter harsh criticism of Obama’s Middle East policy by Republican presidential candidates.

Speaking as the United Nations’ Security Council prepares to debate an application to create a Palestinian state—a move Obama has pledged the United States will block—Netanyahu said he stands ready to sit down and negotiate a peace deal. But he said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ request for UN intervention was undermining peace efforts.

Read full article >>