Saturday, January 24, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to move quickly to tighten the nation’s financial regulatory system.
Officials say they will make wide-ranging changes, including stricter federal rules for hedge funds, credit rating agencies and mortgage brokers, and greater oversight of the complex financial instruments that contributed to the economic crisis.
Broad new outlines of the administration’s agenda have begun to emerge in recent interviews with officials, in confirmation proceedings of senior appointees and in a recent report by an international committee led by Paul A. Volcker, a senior member of President Obama’s economic team.
A theme of that report, that many major companies and financial instruments now mostly unsupervised must be swept back under a larger regulatory umbrella, has been embraced as a guiding principle by the administration, officials said.
Or we could just keep giving them all free money with no oversight or accountability.
BAGHDAD, Jan. 24 -- Assailants detonated a booby-trapped vehicle by remote control Saturday near a police convoy in western Iraq, killing five policeman and wounding 11. It was the most lethal attack on a violent day as the country prepares to hold provincial elections in a week.
Friday, January 23, 2009
And if George Bush has "kept us safe," what exactly is it that these terrorists have done?
Of course that absurd situation will never actually happen so we don't have to bother thinking about it.
Another person pointed out to me that after Rice’s arrival in 2005 the tone of official State Department publications changed; they began to praise and glorify Rice. “No prior secretary,” said the twenty-year veteran, “did anything like this.”
And more than that, one of the people is angry because their plan to feed the meter all day while at work didn't work! That isn't what 2 hour on street parking is for!
NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O) said on Friday it will launch options trading on its three-week old Government Relief Index, which tracks the performance of companies bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.
The Government Relief Index lists 24 companies that received at least $1 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and other government aid plans. (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer, editing by Gerald E. McCormick).
Thursday, January 22, 2009
WASHINGTON -- A wage discrimination bill that heralds the pro-labor policies of the Democratic-controlled Congress and White House cleared the Senate Thursday and could be on President Barack Obama's desk within days.
The legislation reverses a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that narrowly defines the time period during which a worker can file a claim of wage discrimination, even if the worker is unaware for months or years that he or she is getting less than colleagues doing the same job. It has been a priority for women's groups seeking to narrow the wage gap between men and women.
The House is expected to act quickly to again approve the measure, sending it to Obama for his signature. The House passed a nearly identical version two weeks ago but then combined it with another bill that the Senate didn't consider.
WASHINGTON — On the plane, no longer Air Force One but now Special Air Mission 28000, they talked about the speech. George W. Bush, the former president, was heading home to Texas with his inner circle, having just left the west front of the Capitol, where his successor first thanked him for his service and then proceeded to trash it.
The Bush team had worked assiduously to make the transition smooth for incoming President Obama and stayed out of the way as he used the post-election period to take leadership of the economy even before being sworn in. And now, as far as some of them were concerned, the new president had used his inaugural lectern to give the back of the hand to a predecessor who had been nothing but gracious to him.
He may have been gracious, but he also left him with a giant steaming pile of poop to clean up. Thanks for nothing, George!
Rather than issuing its second-quarter results in the customary fashion after the market closed, Microsoft rushed out the news Thursday morning that it will lay off up to 5,000 of its 94,000 employees over the next 18 months, including 1,400 people Thursday. The layoffs span across research, sales, finance and technology roles, the company said.
A majority of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll oppose the use of torture in terrorism investigations, backing Barack Obama's pledge that "under my administration, the United States does not torture." But there's an even split on whether he should investigate whether laws were broken in the way suspects were treated under the Bush administration.
Overall, 58 percent support the prohibition Obama declared before taking office, but there's a wide gap across party lines: 71 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents in the poll said torture should never be used, but most Republicans, 55 percent, said there are cases in which the U.S. should consider using torture against terrorism suspects.
Put together, all Americans break 50 percent in favor of investigations, 47 percent opposed.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
New York State’s unemployment insurance system, besieged by claims from laid-off workers, ran out of money on the first business day of the year and is borrowing daily from the federal government to bridge a fast-growing and potentially huge deficit, state labor officials say.
Fortunately we'll still have the stupid media to kick around! So at least we won't be bored.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government lost its final attempt Wednesday to revive a federal law intended to protect children from sexual material and other objectionable content on the Internet.
The Supreme Court said it won't consider reviving the Child Online Protection Act, which lower federal courts struck down as unconstitutional. The law has been embroiled in court challenges since it passed in 1998 and never took effect.
I appreciate the concerns people have about children and the internets, but this was just bad law.
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Sixteen Luxembourg-based funds that have put euro1.9 billion ($2.46 billion) into a massive pyramid scheme allegedly operated by U.S. financier Bernard Madoff have stopped investor withdrawals, the country's fund industry said.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Barack Obama's first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.
The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama's White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.
I'll allow myself one more moment to be grumpy, remembering 2001 when they were immune to reality. They went to great lengths to protect the viewing public from the protests, and the NYT published a lovely photo of George Bush which made it seem as if he'd actually walked the parade route, which he didn't do.
Monday, January 19, 2009
The New York Times Company said Monday it had reached an agreement with the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú for a $250 million loan intended to help the newspaper company finance its businesses.
Under the terms of the deal, Mr. Slim, who already owns 6.9 percent of the Times Company, would invest $250 million in the form of six-year notes with warrants that are convertible into common shares, the company said in a statement. The notes also carry a 14 percent interest rate, with 11 percent paid in cash and 3 percent in additional bonds.
Not bad! If they'd let me I'd scrape together the pennies under my couch cushions and lend it to them for 14%.
Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc slumped by the most in two decades in London trading on concern the government may have to take full control of the bank after forecasting the biggest loss ever reported by a U.K. company.
The stock dropped 67 percent, the most since September 1988, to 11.6 pence, paring the Edinburgh-based lender’s market value to 4.6 billion pounds ($6.7 billion).
“Nationalization at zero value is implicit in the price,” said Derek Chambers, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s Equity Research Ltd. who has a “hold” rating on the stock. The stock price “is an option on the vague chance that it doesn’t get nationalized.”
Plenty of companies go under and wipe out shareholders. You can argue that the banking system needs to be preserved, and that even individual institutions need to be preserved in some form, but there's zero reason that shareholders of large banks are special creatures who deserve to be bailed out.
6 pm-? at the Plough and the Stars, in Old City on 2nd street near the corner of 2nd. and Chestnut, conveniently located near the 2nd st. MFL so you can get your Barack On and maybe not have to drive home.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Poor Kurt Warner is going to regret ever leaving the Iowa Barnstormers.
"The good news for Bush: That 31 percent figure is 7 points higher than it was in November, a typical 'nostalgia bump' that most outgoing presidents get," Holland added. "The bad news is that except for the rating Richard Nixon has when he resigned, that's the lowest approval rating an outgoing president has received in the six decades of scientific public opinion polling."
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his presidential transition?
Approve Disapprove No Opinion
January 12-15, 200984% 14% 2%
Whites 81% 17% 3%
Blacks 96% 3% 1%
Dec. 19-21, 200882% 15% 3% Dec. 1-2, 200879% 18% 3%
•ABC’s “This Week,” — Guest: David Axelrod, senior adviser to President-elect Barack Obama.
•CBS’ “Face the Nation,” — Guest: Lawrence Summers, Obama’s choice for director of the National Economic Council.
•CNN’s “State of the Union,” — Guests: President-elect Barack Obama; David Axelrod, adviser to Obama; Dana Perino, press secretary to President George W. Bush; Bush White House counselor Ed Gillespie.
•“Fox News Sunday,” — Guests: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat; Robert Gibbs, Obama’s choice for press secretary.
•NBC’s “Meet the Press,” — Guests: Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s choice for chief of staff.