Saturday, October 8, 2011

SAR #11279

Apathy is the classic response for the powerless… and passive aggression.

Fun With Numbers: In September, 103,000 were added to US payrolls. But. But 45,000 of those were Verizon strikers going back to work, so really only 58,000 new jobs were created. Worse, there were 444,000 new part-time jobs added, which means that the US economy lost 341,000 full-time jobs. If the government counted those who have left the labor force in the last two years – given up completely – unemployment would be over 11%.

Tit for Tat? "A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other war-zones... The virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it.” Suspicion has fallen on Iran, motivated by the damage the US Stuxnet worm inflicted on its nuclear facilities.

Butcher Shop: In the last round of sausage-making, Fitch and Moody's have variously lowered, lowered with negative expectations, or 'placed under review' the credit rating of: Italy, Spain, Belgium, 9 Portuguese banks, 12 British financial institutions, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Gratitude: Ahmed Karzai, handpicked by the US to be President of Afghanistan, says that 10 years of non-stop military efforts by NATO have failed to provide basic security to Afghans (and to their own troops). So the US is planning on 10 more years, just to get this thing turned around.

Best Two Out Of Three: There's a  rumor going around that corporations are not hiring. Not true.  They are, just not humans. Since the recession 'ended'® businesses have not added many new workers nor given any wage increases. They have, however, increased spending on equipment and software by 26%. Robots may cost more to hire, but they work cheaper, longer. Plus unemployment provides former workers more time to rage against the machine.

Revolver: In August, consumer credit, expected to grow by $8 billion, fell $9.5 billion, the first contraction in a year and the biggest one-month drop since April 2010. The big surprise was non-revolving credit – car loans, student loans and such - which fell by 5.4%. Revolving credit (credit cards, mostly) fell a bit less in August than in July. That sound you hear is not the consumer, riding to the rescue.

Disappearing Ink: Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla is on trial in Chicago and faces life in prison for dealing large amounts of drugs. He says he was granted immunity from prosecution by the US in return for ratting out the competition. The government acknowledges that some sort of deal was made, but refuses to provide the documentation because of the “potentially volatile” information the documents contain and argues that none of the material should ever become public. File under 'promises, promises'.

Q & A: If the US manages to generate 261,000 jobs a month every month for then next 5 years, will the US unemployment rate in October 2016 be higher or lower than it was in December 2007? 1) Higher. 2) Pigs can fly. 3) Last month actual job creation was 58,000.

Silent Auction: North Carolina held a silent auction and millionaire Art Pope was the winning bidder. He paid 75% of the external funding costs for the Republicans and owns them outright, and gave half a million dollars to NCSU's economics department and got first refusal rights on faculty hiring and speaker invitations.

We're Still in Kansas, Toto: Three things: The city of Topeka is so broke it cannot afford to prosecute domestic battery offenses. The county DA refuses to prosecute any misdemeanor committed in Topeka due to lack of funding. Bludgeoning your wife is a misdemeanor in Topeka. Nothing like getting the government out of personal affairs.

Porn O'Graph: Up is the new down.

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