|The real culprit.|
Stockton California is a harbinger of more problems to come, perhaps even DOOM. In a state that is notorious for it's overspending, cities are not immune from the threat of bankruptcy, but that isn't even the real problem.
|The real culprit.|
|What's in your wallet?|
In a weak economy with high unemployment, Dvorkin noted, many people with big card balances become vulnerable to financial catastrophe.Lewis J. Altfest, a Manhattan adviser who targets professional, high-income clients, devotes part of his practice to telling the well-heeled how to cut back on credit card debt. "It's still a big problem. Some people want to live life to the fullest even though they are using their cards too much," Altfest explained. He said many clients last year tried to reduce card debt. But some "are falling back into their old ways."Indeed, last holiday season many consumers financed Black Friday trips to the mall and Cyber Monday online buying sprees by making purchases with plastic, Dvorkin contends."As the bills begin to roll in, consumers may find themselves unable to pay them off. It's good to see an increase in consumer spending, but never is it worth going into debt," according to Dvorkin.
|A proud tradition of protesting intelligent decisions since the 1960s.|
TransCanada Corp. (TRP-T42.390.390.93%) said it will spend $2.3-billion to immediately build the southern leg of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, aiming to fill a shortage of crude supply to refineries while the company works to make the full Alberta-to-Texas line a reality.Calgary-based TransCanada plans to connect the major North American oil hub at Cushing, Okla., to the Texas Gulf Coast, where giant heavy oil refineries are running under capacity due to shipping constraints from Cushing. The bottleneck has weighed on prices for crude shipped to Cushing, as supplies in storage grow.
Any measure which establishes legal charity on a permanent basis and gives it an administrative form thereby creates an idle and lazy class, living at the expense of the industrial and working class. This, at least, is its inevitable consequence if not the immediate result. It reproduces all the vices of the monastic system, minus the high ideals of morality and religion which often went along with it. Such a law is a bad seed planted in the legal structure. Circumstances, as in America, can prevent the seed from developing rapidly, but they cannot destroy it, and if the present generation escapes its influence, it will devour the well-being of generations to come.
If you closely observe the condition of populations among whom such legislation has long been in force you will easily discover that the effects are not less unfortunate for morality than for public prosperity, and that it depraves men even more than it impoverishes them.
|One guy, no so much.|
|Stop me before I host again.|
|Wake up Republican voters.|
8. Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)Has said, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country.” Supports civil unions and stringent gun laws. After visiting Houston, he criticized the city’s aesthetics, saying, “This is what happens when you don’t have zoning.”
|Helping the cause. But which one?|
“I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are.”
...if reducing contraception use, lobbying for Freddie Mac and promoting huge government programs such as moon colonies and No Child Left Behind are the best ways to create jobs, then it could be true that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are our strongest candidates in a general election.Of course, it might also be true that dousing yourself in fairy dust does not guarantee that you will find the perfect mate and get the perfect job.We're being asked to hand Obama another four years in the White House in order to "send a message." To whom? And what message? That we're morons? Message received!
Two American troops were gunned down by a man wearing an Afghan uniform in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, a U.S. official said Thursday.Mohammad Hassan, a local Afghan leader in Nangarhar province, says the shooting occurred outside an American base in the province during a riot against the Koran burnings. He says the gunman was an Afghan soldier.The shooting is the latest in a rising number of attacks on NATO troops by Afghan police and soldiers or militants dressed in their uniforms.
“It is an outrage that President Obama is the one apologizing to Afghan President Karzai on the same day two American troops were murdered and four others injured by an Afghan soldier. It is Hamid Karzai who owes the American people an apology, not the other way around.”
Gingrich added, “This destructive double standard whereby the United States and its democratic allies refuse to hold accountable leaders who tolerate systematic violence and oppression in their borders must come to an end.”
|Next debate: Bean bag chairs.|
Imagine this family budget:Last year, you earned $24,700. But you spent $37,900, incurring $13,300 in debt, and you were already $153,500 in debt.So you say, "I promise I'll spend $300 less this year!"Anyone can see that your cutback is pathetic and that you need to spend much less.Yet if you add eight zeroes, that's America's budget.
|Drudge: Casting any and all contenders in an unfriendly light. This time, Santorum.|
|The Krugman answer.|
Specifically, in early 2010 austerity economics — the insistence that governments should slash spending even in the face of high unemployment — became all the rage in European capitals. The doctrine asserted that the direct negative effects of spending cuts on employment would be offset by changes in “confidence,” that savage spending cuts would lead to a surge in consumer and business spending, while nations failing to make such cuts would see capital flight and soaring interest rates. If this sounds to you like something Herbert Hoover might have said, you’re right: It does and he did.Now the results are in — and they’re exactly what three generations’ worth of economic analysis and all the lessons of history should have told you would happen. The confidence fairy has failed to show up: none of the countries slashing spending have seen the predicted private-sector surge. Instead, the depressing effects of fiscal austerity have been reinforced by falling private spending.Furthermore, bond markets keep refusing to cooperate. Even austerity’s star pupils, countries that, like Portugal and Ireland, have done everything that was demanded of them, still face sky-high borrowing costs. Why? Because spending cuts have deeply depressed their economies, undermining their tax bases to such an extent that the ratio of debt to G.D.P., the standard indicator of fiscal progress, is getting worse rather than better.
"Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped ... we will sell our oil to new customers," spokesman Alireza Nikzad was quoted as saying by the ministry of petroleum website.
Iran is poised to greatly expand uranium enrichment at a fortified underground bunker to a point that would boost how quickly it could make nuclear warheads, diplomats tell The Associated Press. They said Tehran has put finishing touches for the installation of thousands of new-generation centrifuges at the cavernous facility -- machines that can produce enriched uranium much more quickly and efficiently than its present machines.While saying that the electrical circuitry, piping and supporting equipment for the new centrifuges was now in place, the diplomats emphasized that Tehran had not started installing the new machines at its Fordo facility and could not say whether it was planning to.Still, the senior diplomats -- who asked for anonymity because their information was privileged -- suggested that Tehran would have little reason to prepare the ground for the better centrifuges unless it planned to operate them. They spoke in recent interviews -- the last one Saturday.
JERUSALEM — President Barack Obama’s national security adviser huddled with Israeli leaders on Sunday to discuss Iran’s nuclear program following growing speculation that Israel is planning military action against Tehran.
Tom Donilon was to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak before leaving on Monday.
|Happy birthday to me.|
|Different time frame, but same principal.|
Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum decided to skip the March 1 debate that was to be co-hosted by CNN and the Georgia and Ohio state Republican parties, their campaigns confirmed Thursday.CNN decided to cancel the debate after being left with a single confirmation, Newt Gingrich, who would have been left to square off solo with moderator John King. Gingrich’s camp is unlikely to be happy with the turn of events as the former House speaker has used the nationally televised spectacles to savage the media and twice revive his lagging campaign.
|More debates? No. Did I mention I don't care about the very rich or poor?|
CNN canceled its March 1 Republican presidential debate on Thursday after three of four candidates declined to participate, citing busy campaign schedules leading to Super Tuesday on March 6."Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party, and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential primary debate," CNN said in a statement. "Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate."Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum also said he would not participate, leaving only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich committed to attending.
|That was my skull!|
Sean Penn is accusing British media of pushing for war instead of diplomacy to resolve the United Kingdom's dispute with Argentina over the islands both countries claim in the far South Atlantic.The Oscar-winning actor said British journalists had twisted his comments the day before in support of Argentina's push for a U.N.-sponsored negotiated settlement to the sovereignty dispute."Good journalism saves the world. Bad journalism destroys it," Penn said.London's conservative Daily Mail called the statement "an ugly attack on the press" by a "left-wing U.S. actor" in its Wednesday editions and quoted a member of parliament, Patrick Mercer, as calling Penn's comment "moronic."
"My oh my, aren't people sensitive to the word 'colonialism,' particularly those who implement colonialism," Penn said Tuesday night. He then doubled down on his criticism of Britain's actions leading up to the 30th anniversary of Argentina's failed 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands, a British territory that Argentines claim as the Malvinas. More than 900 people were killed in the war.Britain says it will never negotiate with Argentina as long as the Falklanders want to be British. It has sent Prince William on a six-week air force mission to the islands, along with its most powerful destroyer, the HMS Dauntless. The British government also hasn't denied reports that it sent a nuclear submarine, possibly with nuclear missiles, to the disputed southern seas.
|Not like this.|
(CNSNews.com) – A top Muslim Brotherhood official has warned that any cuts in U.S. aid to Egypt could affect Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel – the latest sign that Egypt’s emerging political forces intend to call Washington’s bluff over the diplomatic dispute triggered by a crackdown on non-governmental organizations.Egyptian judges have referred 16 Americans and 27 others linked to NGOs for trial, accusing them of using foreign funds to encourage disruptive protests. Among the targeted NGOs whose assets and funds have been seized are the U.S. government-funded International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute....the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), which won almost 50 percent of the seats in recent legislative elections and dominates parliamentary committees, is making its position clear...Any U.S. aid cut to Egypt, top MB lawmaker Essam el-Erian told the pan-Arabic al-Hayat newspaper, would violate the U.S.-brokered 1979 peace agreement with Israel.The Jerusalem Post quoted Erian as saying that if the U.S. cuts aid to Egypt, the MB would consider changing the terms of the peace treaty. He is warning that the U.S. should understand that “what was acceptable before the revolution is no longer.”
|Harsh, but not wrong.|
|The Republican vote split - is it simply geographic?|
|Forget calculus, study unicorns and rainbows.|
The Department of Education today announced the release of its draft Environmental Justice (EJ) strategy. The Department’s draft EJ strategy focuses on healthy learning environments for students, energy-efficient school facilities, sustainability education and environmental literacy, and energy efficiency in the Department’s facilities. This draft EJ strategy is the Department’s plan to address environmental justice concerns and increase access to environmental benefits through the Department’s policies, programs, and activities.
The US trade deficit increased more than expected in December on rising imports and higher oil prices, lifting the 2011 gap figure to the highest level since the financial crisis.Separately, consumer sentiment slumped in early February as concerns over falling incomes outweighed renewed optimism over jobs.Commerce department figures released on Friday showed the trade gap grew 2.7 per cent to $48.8bn, the highest level since June, from a revised $47.1bn in November. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the deficit to rise to $48.5bn in the final month of the year.December’s increase lifted the full-year trade gap 11.6 per cent to $558bn, the highest level in three years, with imports and exports both hitting record levels.Imports were up 13.8 per cent to $2.7tn, as purchases of foreign cars surged. Oil prices reached record highs last year, also lifting the cost of imported fuel. Meanwhile, exports grew 14.5 per cent to $2.1tn. President Barack Obama has set a goal of doubling exports by 2015.The trade gap with China, a closely watched and politically sensitive figure, rose to a record $295.5bn in 2011 as record imports outpaced export growth.
|OMG, I've gone hippie! Or not.|
Greece will pledge permanent spending cuts, including lower pension payments and a 20 percent reduction in the minimum wage, as the economy contracts this year at a faster pace than originally estimated, according to the draft of a new financing deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.“To restore competitiveness and growth, we will accelerate implementation of deep structural reforms in the labor, product and service markets,” according to the letter of intent addressed to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in a document obtained by Bloomberg News.
Canadian oil and business executives are well-represented in the delegation travelling to China with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, since oil exports are expected to be high on the government's agenda.A delegation assigned to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver includes eight mining or oil and gas companies.Harper's own delegation includes a wider businesses focus, with top executives from Air Canada, SNC Lavalin and Bombardier, Manulife and Scotiabank.Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz will also visit China.China's total investment in Canada used to add up to millions of dollars, but since 2009 has increased to up to $20 billion.It has come with a shift in this country from relying solely on the United States as the only buyer of Canadian oil and gas — something Harper emphasized repeatedly when U.S. President Barack Obama delayed a decision and then denied a permit to TransCanada for its Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would have sent oil from Alberta through the U.S. to the coast of Texas.
|In the weeds.|
But near the table where participants were to sign an affidavit stating under penalty of perjury that their religious beliefs precluded their ability to vote during regular caucus hours, a cluster of voters who did not meet that requirement slowed the line as they were turned away, one by one. Most had come at the urging of the Ron Paul campaign, which had placed calls to its supporters informing them of the "second chance" to vote Saturday night."I received probably 10 phone calls today saying if you didn't make it this morning to your caucus, you can come down here - 30 minutes away from my home - and they would let you vote, get a second chance at it," said 23-year-old Henderson resident Michael DiCicco, a Paul supporter who said he was not aware the late caucus was reserved solely for those who practice certain religions. "It's discrimination."
“I misspoke,” Romney said Thursday in an interview aired on KSNV, a CNN affiliate in Las Vegas. “When you do I don’t know how many thousands of interviews, now and then you may get it wrong, and I misspoke.”Romney made the original comment in an interview with CNN on Wednesday morning, in which he said he was not "concerned about the very poor" because there is a safety net in place for them—but added, "if there are holes in it, I will work to repair that."
The son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is among 19 Americans being referred to criminal trial for allegedly receiving foreign funds illegally and being involved in banned activity in Egypt, several news agencies reported Sunday. In all, Egyptian officials say 44 non-governmental organization workers will be put before the court after investigating judges claimed they had reason to try the democracy and rights workers.
Bitterly cold weather sweeping across Europe claimed more victims on Sunday and brought widespread disruption to transport services, with warnings that the chilling temperatures would remain into next week.
At least 200 people have lost their lives as freezing weather sweeps across the continent westwards, while airports in Britain and France saw disruptions from new snow.