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Jan 13, 2009

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Global warming has doomed us all, says this NPR article

This is awful. Here in the Louisville area we still have 173,000 homes w/o power. Granny wants to knoiw hwere all dat global warmin' is? She all tuckered out from shovelin' snow off the driveway. Uncle Ferd stayin' in where its warmMore http://www.usatoda ms/winter/2009-01- 31-ice-storm_N.htm ?csp=24&RM_Exc lude=Juno  (Jan 31, 2009 | post #192)

Is Oprah using Obama?

Mebbe she coulda got Congress to join her Book-o'-the Month club... US talk show host Oprah Winfrey was considered for Obama's vacant Senate seat Jan.27,`09 : Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has told ABC's Good Morning America that he considered offering the Illinois senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama to talk show host Oprah Winfrey. According to the BBC, he told ABC that Winfrey, one of America's wealthiest women, would have been unlikely to accept. "She was obviously someone with a much broader bully pulpit than other senators," he said. Winfrey has said she did not know that she was being considered as a potential senator and that she was "pretty amused by the whole thing". "If I had been watching as I normally watch from the treadmill, I probably would have fallen off," she told the Siruis XM radio station. Winfrey said she thought she could be a senator but that she was "just not interested". Blagojevich's eventual choice for the seat, Illinois attorney general Roland Burris, took office in January after initially being blocked by senators. Under the 17th amendment of the US constitution, state governors have the power to appoint temporary replacements for senators who resign, die or are expelled, until special elections can be held. http://feeds.bigne x.php?sid=458963  (Jan 27, 2009 | post #1)

Rescue people, not just banks, U.N. official urges

What its really gonna costMore http://money.cnn.c om/2009/01/27/news / rtune/index.htm  (Jan 27, 2009 | post #2)

Foreclosures on the horizon - North Adams Transcript

Finally some foreclosure reliefMore http://money.cnn.c om/2009/01/27/news /economy/fannie_fe d/index.htm  (Jan 27, 2009 | post #257)

Citigroup to cut another 53,000 jobs

Guess they used the bailout to buy another corporate jet ews/companies/citi group_plane.reut/i ndex.htm  (Jan 27, 2009 | post #2)

Health - Global Warming May Pose Threat to Heart

Past the tipping point already?... [quote] Report: Some climate damage already irreversible 26 Jan.`09 WASHINGTON — Many damaging effects of climate change are already basically irreversible, a team of international researchers declared Monday, warning that even if carbon emissions can somehow be halted temperatures around the globe will remain high until at least the year 3000. "People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 years; that's not true," climate researcher Susan Solomon said in a teleconference. Solomon, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory, is lead author of an international team's paper reporting irreversible damage from climate change, being published in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She defines "irreversible " as change that would remain for 1,000 years even if humans stopped adding carbon to the atmosphere immediately. The findings were announced as President Barack Obama ordered reviews that could lead to greater fuel efficiency and cleaner air, saying the Earth's future depends on cutting air pollution. Said Solomon, "Climate change is slow, but it is unstoppable" — all the more reason to act quickly, so the long-term situation does not get even worse. Alan Robock, of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers University, agreed with the report's assessment. "It's not like air pollution where if we turn off a smokestack, in a few days the air is clear," said Robock, who was not part of Solomon's research team. "It means we have to try even harder to reduce emissions," he said in a telephone interview. Solomon's report "is quite important, not alarmist, and very important for the current debates on climate policy," added Jonathan Overpeck, a climate researcher at the University of Arizona. In her paper Solomon, a leader of the International Panel on Climate Change and one of the world's best-known researchers on the subject, noted that temperatures around the globe have risen and changes in rainfall patterns have been observed in areas around the Mediterranean, southern Africa and southwestern North America. Warmer climate also is causing expansion of the ocean, and that is expected to increase with the melting of ice on Greenland and Antarctica, the researchers said. "I don't think that the very long time scale of the persistence of these effects has been understood," Solomon said. [/quote] More http://www.usatoda ate/globalwarming/ 2009-01-26-climate -change-irreversib le_N.htm?csp=27 &RM_Exclude=Ju no  (Jan 27, 2009 | post #2)

1st layoffs scheduled at Autolite plant in Fostoria

How dey gonna run the gubmint if'n nobody gotta job to pay taxesMore http://money.cnn.c om/2009/01/26/news /economy/job_cuts/ index.htm  (Jan 26, 2009 | post #6)

Bitove: HDTV would counter industry consolidation

Uncle Ferd workin' onna way to hook it up to a modemMore http://www.usatoda chpolicy/2009-01-2 6-digital-tv_N.htm ?csp=24&RM_Exc lude=Juno  (Jan 26, 2009 | post #6)

Should home owners facing foreclosure get gov help

Obama gonna stop foreclosures... [quote] [b]Obama team working on foreclosure plan[/b] [i]WASHINGTON, Jan. 25,`09 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's administration has not decided on a strategy to fight the tide of U.S. home foreclosures, experts say.[/i] The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that among the possible measures being pushed by interest groups is a six-month foreclosure moratorium, a doubling of the mortgage interest deduction, a tax credit for those who buy homes and a federally sponsored mortgage refinancing program. "They're just getting started," said Steven Adamske, spokesman for the House Financial Services Committee. U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner said last week the White House was still wrestling with proposals. The Times said the political challenge for the Obama team will be crafting a foreclosure prevention package that promotes refinancing without unfairly benefiting irresponsible borrowers or lenders. University of California at Berkeley economist Kenneth Rosen met with the Treasury Department's transition team this month to present his ideas for addressing the housing crisis. He said whatever course the administration might choose, more foreclosures are inevitable. "Many people will lose their houses anyway," he said. "They're just stretched too far." [/quote] /Top_News/2009/01/ 25/Obama_team_work ing_on_foreclosure _plan/UPI-22421232 931882/  (Jan 26, 2009 | post #1)

Recession conversion adding to economic woes: experts

Gonna get worse before it gets betterMore http://money.cnn.c om/2009/01/26/news /economy/nabe_surv ey/?postversion=20 09012600  (Jan 26, 2009 | post #2)

Obama Says US economy ‘Very Sick’.

The other shoe about to fall... [quote] [b]Earnings, economy - here comes 'terrible'[/b] [i]January 25, 2009: The week ahead: Investors gear up for a deluge of weak earnings and the biggest plunge in GDP in 26 years.[/i] Investors this week will face the largest batch of company report cards yet, in what is quickly shaping up to be the worst quarter for corporate profits in a decade. The earnings avalanche will test the market's mettle. Last week, the Dow fought back after falling below the 8,000 point psychological benchmark for four days in a row. Analysts say if the Dow can hang on to this level in the weeks ahead, that's a good indication that a bottom has been set. The biggest week for earnings brings reports from 137 S&P 500 companies and 12 Dow components. Standouts include Caterpillar, American Express, McDonald's, Yahoo, Wells Fargo and Exxon Mobil. Only 10% of the 85 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped forecasts. Another 60% have met estimates and another 30% have missed, according to Thomson Reuters. "We're in the process of absorbing just how bad the fourth quarter was," said Bernard McGinn, CEO of McGinn Investment Management. "We had a feeling things were terrible, now we're getting proof of it. The question is 'where do we go now?" This week also brings the latest Fed policy meeting - although it's likely to be less influential than usual since the central bankers are expected to keep interest rates unchanged near zero, said Kenny Landgraf, principal and founder at Kenjol Capital Management. Investors will also digest reports on housing, consumer confidence and leading economic indicators early in the week. The end of the week brings the fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report. It's expected to have fallen by an annual rate of 5.2%, it biggest plunge in 26 years. "Everyone is bracing for the GDP number to be pretty terrible, but the bigger surprise could come with the housing numbers, which are also expected to be awful," he said. Landgraf said that investors are also looking for more concrete news to come from the Obama administration this week regarding the use of the remaining $350 billion of the TARP money and negotiations on the $825 billion stimulus package. [/quote] More http://money.cnn.c om/2009/01/25/mark ets/sunday_weekahe ad/index.htm  (Jan 25, 2009 | post #2)

Emissions plan fills void left by feds: Schwarzenegger

Obama doin' a quick turnaround from Bush position... Obama to push for stricter fuel standards January 25, 2009: WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Sources said the President would direct the EPA to allow California to impose tougher limits on car emissions, and the Department of Transportation to lay out new mileage rules. President Barack Obama will start reversing former President George W. Bush's climate change policies Monday by taking steps to allow states to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars and by ordering 2011 vehicle fuel efficiency standards to be set by March. An administration official said late Sunday that Obama, who took office last week, would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider a request by California to impose its own strict limits on car emissions. The request was denied under the Bush administration. The official said a final decision by the EPA would likely take several months. Another official familiar with the policy shift said Obama would instruct the EPA to approve the waiver allowing California to impose the rules. California last week asked the new administration to reconsider the state's request. California and other states sued the EPA after Stephen Johnson, the agency's chief under the Bush administration, denied California's request for federal permission to impose new limits on carbon dioxide emissions from cars. In a letter to Obama, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked the president to "direct the U.S. EPA to act promptly and favorably on California's reconsideration request. The White House official said Obama would also direct the Department of Transportation to move forward with setting 2011 vehicle fuel efficiency standards by March. Obama's memorandum would also instruct the agency to reconsider how such standards are set for later years in a separate process. Obama promised on the campaign trail to take aggressive action to fight global warming and reduce emissions blamed on heating the earth. Shortly after his victory in the Nov. 4 election Obama reiterated his commitment to bringing the United States firmly back into the fold of nations trying to reach a global agreement to limit emissions once the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol runs out at the end of 2012. http://money.cnn.c om/2009/01/25/news /economy/obama_fue lstandards.reut/in dex.htm  (Jan 25, 2009 | post #2)

U.S. summons banks to meet on $700B rescue plan

The other shoe about to fall... Bigger bank bailouts coming? January 25, 2009: Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers leaves the door open to more money being allocated to the rescue of U.S. banks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicates additional funds may be needed. WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President Barack Obama's top economic adviser would not rule out Sunday that more money may be needed to stabilize the U.S. financial system as a deep recession increases banks' losses. Lawrence Summers, head of the National Economic Council, also said there was no question that tax cuts passed under former President George W. Bush needed to be repealed, though he would not be pinned down on exactly when. "We can make important progress and get started with the support that has been provided," Summers said on NBC's "Meet the Press" when asked whether taxpayers should expect another request for funding to shore up the financial system. "What ultimately will be necessary is something that will play out over time." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier that "some increased investment" may be needed beyond the $700 billion approved last fall. The bailout fund was first pitched as a way to get bad assets off the banks' books in the hope that doing so would help restore normal lending and get the economy going. Instead, most of the money has gone to buy stakes in banks, and both Democrats and Republicans have complained that the cash was doled out with too few strings attached and insufficient oversight. But as the economy weakens and unemployment rises, the pile of bad debts on bank balance sheets is likely to grow, which may force Obama's administration to take bolder action. One idea that has been much discussed on Wall Street is setting up a "bad bank" that would serve as a repository for those assets that are difficult to value or sell. Summers did not comment directly on that concept, although other members of Obama's economic team have mentioned it as an option. Repeal tax cuts http://money.cnn.c om/2009/01/25/news /economy/summers_s ut/index.htm  (Jan 25, 2009 | post #4)

Emission Targets Set at Helsinki Summit

Obama settin' the tone on auto emissions... [quote] [b]Official: Obama to let states set emission rules[/b] [i]25 Jan.`09 WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is poised to let California and other states control their own more stringent car tailpipe emissions.[/i] An official familiar with Obama's decision said the president will reveal the policy Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been publicly announced. California and at least 13 other states want waivers from the federal Clean Air Act so that they can impose stiffer air pollution standards than the federal government. The Bush administration denied the states that permission. Obama's move would empower the Environmental Protection Agency to reverse that conclusion. [/quote] http://www.usatoda environment/2009-0 1-25-emissions_N.h tm?csp=24&RM_E xclude=Juno  (Jan 25, 2009 | post #2)

Police offer reward in credit-card thefts

Crackin' down on credit card gimmicks... [quote] [b]Cracking down on credit card craziness[/b] [i]Wed., Jan. 21, 2009 - Help is on the way for consumers fed up with excessive fees, rate hikes[/i] Elisa Rizzo of Seattle just got her credit card statement. Her “fixed” interest rate nearly doubled, from 7.99 percent to 14.99 percent, even though she always pays her bill on time and has a good credit score. Why? The bank told her it had to charge the higher rate because of the downturn in the economy. Rizzo says she is “appalled at this action” and wants something done to “stop this madness ASAP!” Let’s cut to the chase. For years, banks have taken advantage of their credit card customers with excessive fees and unexpected interest rate hikes. People who can barely make their monthly payment are devastated when it doubles overnight. “It is literally in some cases pushing them over the edge,” says credit counselor Renee Chamkunthod. Help is on the way. In December, the Federal Reserve Board issued regulations to stop what it called “certain unfair acts or practices” that hurt cardholders. Among other things, the new rules will limit unexpected interest charges, prohibit an interest rate hike on pre-existing balances and require a reasonable amount of time for customers to make their payments. Consumer groups like the new rules. But they say the Fed gave banks way too long – until July 2010 – to implement the changes. Consumer groups want Congress to stop the pain now. “The Federal Reserve said these are abusive and deceptive practices,” notes Travis Plunkett, legislative director at the Consumer Federation of America. “It’s unfathomable that they would wait a year and a half and let the credit card companies continue to use them.” Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, believes the credit card companies “will continue to take advantage of consumers to boost their profits until these rules go into effect.” Congress is already on the case. Last week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced her Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009. “This bill will allow consumers to manage their credit and not get interest rate increases unfairly put on them,” Rep. Maloney says. “They will know the information that is given to them is accurate.” [/quote] More http://www.msnbc.m /  (Jan 24, 2009 | post #2)