Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Fabled Recovery

By Bill Wilson
When the housing bubble popped in 2007 and financial mayhem ensued over the next two years, revenues to the federal and state governments dried up. This has produced untenable budget situations as states struggle to keep spending at pre-financial crisis levels. “Stimulus” has been justified in part to give the economy the juice it needs to restore growth, which in turn would promote higher revenues.

“We need a big stimulus package that will jolt the economy back into shape,” said Barack Obama on January 2th, 2009.

The trouble is that it just has not happened.

The American people are still waiting for this fabled recovery. With growth slowing to 1.7 percent in the second quarter and unemployment remaining unacceptably high, the long-awaited recovery has now become an article of faith on the Left. It has become akin to the belief that the end times will come in our lifetimes.
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Fun Halloween

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Buoyancy Bazooka Saves Lives The Rambo Way

It’s a common scenario. You’re out at sea with your friends in your favorite boat, drinking, playing Scrabble and watching Jaws. None of you are aware that someone in the group has decided to go for a swim and has suddenly been overcome by fatigue or sickness or playfully deadly mermaids.

Upon hearing his cries for help, you put on your best Rambo face, grab your Buoyancy Bazooka, and shoot your friend a life-saving foam ring.

“It’s ok” you say to your other friends, “he’s well within the 150 meter range of the Buoyancy Bazooka.”

Well, it’s a device, and it won the 2010 James Dyson Awards, which is an annual international competition for inventions. The actual name of this uber-potent gadget is Longreach Buoyancy Deployment System, but the competition judges, figuring it looks like a grenade launcher, gave it its more military nickname.

It fires a small grenade-like projectile made of lightweight hydrophobic foam that, upon contact with water expands to 40 times its original volume within 15 seconds.
That’s that. Now go save your friends from drowning.

ADP National Employment Report: September 2010

Today, private staffing and business services firm ADP released the latest installment of their National Employment Report indicating that the situation for private employment in the U.S. took a turn for the worse in September as private employers shed 39,000 more jobs than they created in the month, the first monthly decline in eight months, bringing the total employment level 0.33% below the level seen in September 2009.

Goods-producing firms fared worse losing on net 45,000 jobs while service-providing firms added just 6,000 jobs nationwide.

Manufacturing firms shed 17,000 jobs and construction firms lost 28,000 while all size firms (1-49 employees, 50-499 employees and above 499 employees) saw losses on the month.

Looking at the chart (click for full-screen dynamic version) showing ADP’s total private nonfarm payrolls since 2001 as well as the year-over-year and month-to-month percent change, you can see that the so-called “recovery” has been both anemic and, as of late, actually weakening.

Perusing the rest of the data in the ADP dataset it’s obvious that our economy faces some significant headwinds coming from the job market with continually collapsing goods-producing payrolls and feeble trends service-producing payrolls.

Look for Friday’s BLS Employment Situation Report to likely show a similar weakening trend.

Chicago faith leaders issue statement in support of activists targeted by the FBI

Chicago anti-war and international solidarity activists whose homes were raided by the FBI last month publicly declared their decision to resist government intimidation and harassment today in Chicago.  The Chicago activists decided to invoke their Fifth Amendment right not to testify in front of a Grand jury investigation.

This morning the peace and solidarity activists were surrounded by a diverse community of Chicagoans who stood outside the Federal Court building to send a clear message that FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas will not silence dissent and peace activism in the United States.  Stephanie Weiner, one of the subpoenaed activists, said to the press in Chicago, “We believe we have been targeted because of what we say and who we know. This sets a dangerous precedent and endangers the rights of every person. It goes beyond this corner and those subpoenaed.”

by Jennifer Bing 
Similar protests and rallies have been held in over 60 locations around the country since the late September raids on 14 activists, mainly located in the midwest. Yesterday a successful National Call-In Day was organized with thousands phoning to demand that U.S. President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder publicly call off the Grand Jury investigation.

People of faith and conscience were among those standing in the early Fall crisp Chicago weather, holding signs that read “FBI Raids and Grand Juries Chill the Faithful Call to Peacemaking.”  A statement prepared by Chicago’s progressive interfaith community condemned the raids as a violation of the constitutional rights of the people and organizations raided and as a dangerous step to further criminalize dissent.  Several of the 18 groups who initiated the faith statement have first-hand experiences in conflict areas including the Middle East, Colombia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The FBI raids chisel away and bypass fundamental constitutional rights by hauling activists before grand juries under the guise of national security. An overly broad definition of "material support for terrorism" in the June 2010 US Supreme Court ruling concerns us as people of faith who continue to be actively engaged in humanitarian work and peacemaking.”

The statement continues: “The real illegitimate activities are U.S. foreign policies that support war and occupation. We believe that peacemaking is a sacred commandment. We feel compelled to work to end military solutions that kill and maim innocent people, destroy civil society institutions, create massive poverty and dislocation of people from their homelands, militarize our own nation and continue to create more animosity against the United States, thus undermining our security.”

People who would like to view the Chicago Faith community full statement, can read and sign the petition

To follow or support the ongoing organizing work around these FBI raids, visit

Two cops are accused of robbing undercover narco cop

Two Cops Accused of Robbing Undercover Officer
Officers allegedly stole marijuana from undercover officer with intent to distribute

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Two Philadelphia police officers have been charged with criminal conspiracy, robbery, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, theft, and other related charges, according to officials.

Sean Alivera, 31, and Christopher Luciano, 23, allegedly robbed a supposed drug dealer of 20 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $24,000 as well as $3,000 in cash.

It turns out that the man they thought was a drug dealer was actually an undercover officer. Authorities also believe that the two planned to have the drugs redistributed on the street by an un-named drug dealer.

“These two men are a disgrace to their badges, but they should not reflect on the hard working men and women in the police department,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

At least five Philadelphia officers have been accused or convicted in the past year of trying to rob drug dealers.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey reportedly plans to clean house in the 6,600-member department. "As far as corrupt cops, if they want to continue to do what they're doing we will find them, we will arrest them and they will be prosecuted, period," said Ramsey.

"There is no middle ground here. Absolutely none." _______________________________________ Detective Shavedlongcock: Rumor has it these two officers are from the Philadelphia Predictive Analytics Group and failed to predict this was an undercover cop they were robbing....

Breaking News: Patriots trade Randy Moss to Vikings

The Patriots [team stats] have traded star receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Herald has learned, completing a mega deal that just a few days ago seemed implausible.
Now, it is reality.

The Patriots have received a 2011 third-round pick in exchange for Moss, sources say. Moss was originally traded to the Pats in 2007 for a fourth rounder.

Moss heads back to the Vikings, the franchise that drafted him in 1998, allowing him to finally play with legendary quarterback Brett Favre. Moss has family that lives in Minnesota, and even though he said he would have liked a contract extension from the Patriots, sources close to him say he welcomes the idea of returning.

Moss has not yet begun contract talks with the Vikings on a new extension. He is in the final year of a three-year, $27 million contract.

The Patriots will move on from the future Hall of Famer and perhaps the NFL’s best deep threat. The player who lit up the scoreboard in 2007 with 23 touchdown passes ended his Patriots career with no catches in the Monday win over the Dolphins.

But what he did accomplish was significant. Moss caught 50 touchdown passes in 52 games with the Patriots, to go along with 3,904 receiving yards. Pats coach Bill Belichick, with whom Moss still has a strong relationship, called Moss this morning to tell him the news.

Without Moss, all eyes turn to youngsters such as Brandon Tate and perhaps 2010 third-round pick Taylor Price. Either way, expect Tom Brady [stats]’s offense to continue to feature two tight end sets and target Wes Welker as much as it has been doing.

Moss requested a trade from New England following Week 1, believing he wasn’t in the Patriots’ future plans. He had said he wanted to retire a Patriot but understood that may not happen.

“I’m 33 years old,” Moss said earlier this season. “I’m on my way out of this league. I’m not into it. As far as financial security for me and my family, I think that’s something we need right now. My contract is over, I would like a new one. It’s as simple as that.”

By Ian R. Rapoport

Man Pops A CAP In Teenager’s AZZ For Sagging His Jeans

A Memphis man has been arrested after poppin’ a CAP in a young man’s azz for refusing to pull up his sagging jeans:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say a 45-year-old Memphis man angry over two teens’ sagging pants shot one in the buttocks during an argument. He faces aggravated assault charges.

he boys were walking through a southeast Memphis neighborhood when Kenneth E. Bonds yelled at them to pull up their pants, according to an arrest document.

Police Sgt. Ron Perry said the teens refused and the three began arguing in the street. Bonds then brandished a semi-automatic pistol and threatened to shoot the teens.

Perry said Bonds fired several shots and hit one of the teens as the pair ran away. The teen’s wound wasn’t critical. The other wasn’t injured in the Sept. 25 shooting first reported by The Commercial Appeal in Memphis.

A court clerk says it’s not clear if Bonds had a lawyer.

Fresno, CA - Driver Cuts Off Suspect, Missing Found Safe

Fresno, CA - An 8-year-old girl who was abducted while playing outside a Fresno home escaped from her captor Tuesday morning after a driver recognized the suspect’s vehicle and cut it off, police said.

Elisa Cardenas was found in Fresno about 11 hours after she disappeared around 8:30 p.m. Monday, triggering a statewide Amber Alert. The suspect — identified as Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, of Fresno — was later arrested.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the driver was following a truck that matched the description of the abductor’s vehicle. The driver recognized the truck from media reports that showed surveillance video of the vehicle.

When the driver saw Elisa’s head in the window, he cut the truck off and Elisa bolted, Dyer said.
She was taken to Community Regional Medical Center and was in good condition, although Dyer described her as “frightened, traumatized.”

“I’ve got to tell you, it was the highlight of my career seeing Elisa and her mom unite in that hospital room,” Dyer said. “Because we beat the odds today because in many cases, we don’t find the child alive.”

The truck was later spotted by authorities, who had received a tip about its whereabouts, and Gonzalez was arrested in the parking lot of an apartment complex, police said.

Authorities said Elisa was playing with six other girls when the suspect — a stranger — approached them and managed to lure her into his pickup. Two adults who saw what was happening shouted for the girls to run away. But the man grabbed Elisa and drove away, as witnesses chased the vehicle, police said.

Fresno police said Gonzalez fits the description of a man who had exposed himself to two girls earlier in the day.

More than 130 officers were called in to help with the search and went door-to-door over a 3-mile area.

Video: President Obama's Podium Breaks at Fortune Summit

By Zeke Turner
October 6, 2010 | 7:47 a.m.
While President Obama was speaking at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit on Tuesday evening in Washington D.C., the presidential seal fell off of his podium. "That's all right," he said. "All of you know who I am." The President was in the middle of talking about how America will lose out on high-wage, high-tech jobs in the next generation if we don't improve our math and science education.

Obama Clinton 2012 Ticket Possible?

 By Shannon Bell

Bob Woodward has suggested that an Obama Clinton 2012 ticket was “on the table.” Good news for democrats who have very little to look forward to between now and then. With democrats looking square in the face of an electoral defeat of epic proportions, bouncing Joe Biden from the ticket and replacing him with Hillary Clinton might just be what the doctor ordered to drum up excitement for depressed dems.
Sep. 01, 2010 - Washington, District of Columbia, U.S. - The White House Washington DC 09-01-2010.President Barak Obama restarts Middle East peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.Hillary Clinton. 2010.I15304CB. © Red Carpet Pictures

Clinton, much to my surprise and others I’m sure, has remained relatively quiet during the first 2 years of the Obama Administration. It’s hard to say if that’s by design or if Obama purposely put her in a position where her policies wouldn’t clash with his; probably a little of both.

At this point, not even two years away from another presidential bid, you get the feeling that the standard Obama Biden ticket just won’t cut it. An Obama Clinton 2012 ticket may be the only hope that Barack H. Obama has at a second term.

During an interview with CNN’s John King, Woodward said that Clinton advisors feel that it’s definitely possible that she could replace Biden on the 2012 ticket. What would happen to good ol’ Joe at that point? Woodward also speculates that Biden and Clinton could actually switch jobs. My advice to Obama; dispose of Joe totally. Of course for the comedic benefit I like having the guy around.

The biggest obstacle to an Obama Clinton 2012 ticket might be Hillary herself; especially if she has her eye on a bigger prize. We’ll just have to wait and see how things shake out after this fall’s drubbing by the republicans.