Tuesday, February 19, 2008

At the End of the Day - February 19, 2008

Sorry, but this stuff doesn't happen by accident. Later in the broadcast, Matthews stated, "You may have noticed a graphic over my shoulder -- a picture we showed over my shoulder -- that was a mistake earlier in the broadcast. We apologize for the error." He provided no further explanation of the error or why it occurred. No one has asked me, but if they did, I would recommend we deal with this sort of idiocy the way good teachers deal with consistent discipline problems. Networks need to start suspending entire staffs when the Osama / Obama juxtaposition happens. Tweety definitely needs a good checking. If it knocks him on his ass, all the better.

Wheeeee! Oil prices shot up over a hundred bucks a barrel on Tuesday, in the wake of a weekend refinery accident in Texas.

The refinery, located in Big Spring, Texas, processes 70,000 barrels of crude per day, and could be closed for as long as two months. Don't be surprised if the price remains at or above a hundred bucks - for a while. OPEC has hinted at reducing production next month.

Always ask that follow-up question...When the latest employment figures were released in January, 52 consecutive months of job expansion ended with a contraction of 17,000 lost jobs. The Bush administration immediately dismissed the lost jobs by pointing to the low overall unemployment rate.

Fortunately, McClatchy asks the follow up questions. When they looked behind the numbers touted by the Bush administration, they found that jobless Americans are spending more time looking for work and that those who can't find work now make up a greater share of the unemployed.

But where the picture changes rapidly is when the long-term jobless (over 27 weeks out of the workforce) are added to the equation. The long term jobless comprised 18.3% of all the idle workforce in January. "Long-term unemployment is really very interesting and in some ways a more telling indicator," said Jared Bernstein, a labor economist with the liberal Economic Policy Institute in Washington. "It basically says that given the particularly low level of unemployment, you'd expect a much lower share (of long-term unemployed) on the jobless rolls. Job creation has been anything but robust."

Foreclosures really can destroy entire neighborhoods...As the foreclosure epidemic rocks middle America, there is a brutal irony for many homeless people. In many cities, on any given night, they are outnumbered by vacant homes. This has led to street people squatting in recently foreclosed homes. Recently foreclosed homes have a tremendous advantage over boarded up dilapidated buildings - often the utilities are still on. "That's what you call convenient," said James Bertan, 41, an ex-convict and self-described "bando," or someone who lives in abandoned houses.

If someone can cut through the BS here, would you please explain it to me? And can Democrats stop with the infighting and get busy scrutinizing the Straight Jacket Express, please? I'm no wizard with finances, but my instinct is this doesn't pass the smell test.

Wow. Wisconsin handed down a definitive decision. Obama took it standing up - 60-40 is what you call "decisive." But look at the totals - Approximately a million Democratic ballots were cast, to less than 350,000 Republican ballots. Hillary, finishing a distant second, garnered more votes than all the Repugnant Ones put together. So when the nomination is sewn up, lets keep the momentum going all the way to November. It's the only chance we have of restoring what we've lost these last seven years.

Well, that's it for Tuesday.