If you love your country, (for USA residents), watch the video below. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann sometimes borders on committing the same sins of hyperbole and one-sidedness that he rightfully calls out the likes of Hannity and Glenn Beck for on a regular basis. Every now and then I’m reminded he is truly on a different intellectual plane than his detractors when he delivers an especially hard-hitting, well-reasoned “Special Comment” that spares no one, not even the political leaders with which we all may think he is normally aligned.
Tonight was such a night, with Keith coming to the Shirley Sherrod fray guns a ‘blazin. He really had me when he said to President Barack Obama – beseeching him to return to the ‘Fired Up – Ready to Go’ Barack – “We’re in a freaking war out here!”
Watch Olbermann, you’ll know of which war he speaks. And, even if you’re not on his side, perhaps some of his words will at least make you think about where you’re getting your information — and what you’re doing with it.
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress
Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
July 21, 2010
Chairman Dodd, Senator Shelby, and members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.
Economic and Financial Developments
The economic expansion that began in the middle of last year is proceeding at a moderate pace, supported by stimulative monetary and fiscal policies. Although fiscal policy and inventory restocking will likely be providing less impetus to the recovery than they have in recent quarters, rising demand from households and businesses should help sustain growth. In particular, real consumer spending appears to have expanded at about a 2-1/2 percent annual rate in the first half of this year, with purchases of durable goods increasing especially rapidly. However, the housing market remains weak, with the overhang of vacant or foreclosed houses weighing on home prices and construction.
Ohio Newspapers’ Public Pension Systems Project
- Many top educators double dip the system – Akron Beacon Journal
- School chiefs get better deal than teachers – Akron Beacon Journal
- Double dipping saps pension funds as school superintendents cash in – Toledo Blade/Akron Beacon Journal
- Pension rules encourage retire-rehire deals – Dayton Daily News
- Double dipping state and local employees collect paycheck & pension – The Plain Dealer
- Ohio taxpayers pay for state workers’ pensions but it’s all cloaked in secrecy – Akron Beacon Journal
- Pensions lobby has power at the Statehouse – Toledo Blade
Tea Baggers and Loyal to a Fault Republicans will be interested to know that The One (Ronald Wilson Reagan) had essentially the same approval rating after a year and a half in office as that of President Barack Obama. The screen grab below comes from Gallup’s Presidential Job Approval Center, which is an interactive way to track and compare presidential job approval ratings all the way back to Harry Truman. If you haven’t already clicked the link above, click the image below to go to Gallup’s site. Check out the tabs in the interface to discover all of the depth in these stats and their presentation. Oh, and for the record, after 507 days in office: Reagan 45% and Obama 46%.
Release date: 16 June 2010
Following a meeting with the President of the United States, the BP Board announces an agreed package of measures to meet its obligations as a responsible party arising from the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Agreement was reached to create a $20bn claims fund over the next three and a half years on the following basis:
BP will initially make payments of $3bn in Q3 of 2010 and $2bn in Q4 of 2010. These will be followed by a payment of $1.25bn per quarter until a total of $20bn has been paid in.
While the fund is building, BP’s commitments will be assured by the setting aside of U.S. assets with a value of $20bn. The intention is that this level of assets will decline as cash contributions are made to the fund.
Well it’s about time, isn’t it? According to the AP, taxpayers have pumped $145 billion into the two comatose mortgage guarantors. These companies should have never been allowed to engage in the sort of mortgage speculation that other banks, brokers and mortgage companies.
Fannie, Freddie to Delist – Associated Press
The first half of President Barack Obama’s first Oval Office address was as it should have been: holding BP accountable for the devastation to our Gulf Coast and outlining in broad terms what the government is going to do to ensure people and the environment are made whole.
The second half of the speech was unnecessary at the moment and came across as political opportunism.
I don’t doubt for one second that Obama believes it when he says this country is addicted to oil and that energy independence and a clean energy future are strategically – perhaps existentially – critical goals for the United States.
I don’t think tonight was the time because now is the time for the nation to be laser-focused on our neighbors’ travails on the Gulf Coast. Everyone knows that the Obama Administration’s commitment to clean energy and a green economy is only rivaled by its commitment to health care reform. It wasn’t necessary tonight to take the focus off of the immediate task, even for the eight minutes or so the president discussed national energy policy. And, that energy policy is a politically divisive topic as it is currently framed. Evil, multi-national oil companies and terrorists on one side vs. Smart Car drivin’, Birkenstock wearin’ idealists on the other. It’s just not fair to the people of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to have to share their moment with the Cap and Trade debate.
Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for a president of the United States of America to utter words to that effect regarding energy policy in this country. Tonight, though, they rang hollow. I’m watching this live feed of black and brown shit jetting, pouring into the Gulf of Mexico at the revised-again rate of 65-100 thousand barrels per day. Anderson Cooper is on TV with not just oil-slicked birds, but the eggs of brown pelicans – recently stepped on by “BP cleanup workers.” Keith Olbermann actually screamed “Goddammit” last night on Countdown. (That was actually about something else.) One crisis at a time, please!
Source: White House Press Office
Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al Qaeda wherever it exists. And tonight, I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.
Siphoning of the oil from the BP oil spill was suspended for at least a time today when there was a fire on the derrick of the ship collecting the black gold. See story at MarketWatch.
BP Covering Up Wildlife Deaths Due to Spill?
Finance, Markets, Economy
- Markets Pricing in ‘Paradigm Change’ – El-Arian – CNBC
- Best Buy profits don’t meet target - CNBC
- Data and BP top market agenda - MarketWatch
- Efforts to control gulf spill described as ‘chaotic’ - New York Times
- Setbacks cloud U.S. plan to exit Afghanistan – New York Times
- Banks Yielding on Volcker, Picking Other Fights – New York Times
- Kasich’s tax returns flip flop - Columbus Dispatch
- Editorial: Your tax dollars at work - Columbus Dispatch
- U.S. man arrested in Pakistan for Hunting bin-Laden – Agence France Presse
- More Alvin Greene - Washington Post
From the FBI today regarding the release of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s bureau files:
This release consists of material from seven FBI files—three Headquarters files and four field division files, totaling more then 2,200 pages. It covers the FBI’s relationship with Senator Kennedy from 1961 to 1985. At no point do these files suggest that the FBI investigated Senator Kennedy for a criminal violation or as a security threat. The bulk of this material concerns FBI investigation of threats of violence and other extortion claims against Senator Kennedy and other public officials.
A quick scan of the docs, actually shows that there are some going up to 1991. If you’d like to view the files you can find them here.
“Are You Impaired?”
Suspenders and softballs are officially out at CNN weeknights from 9 to 10 p.m. eastern. I just heard that Piers Morgan of Britain’s Got Talent will be replacing Larry King as CNN’s major talk show host.
Sky news has this on the story. Recently the King has been going through some retrospective nights and his ratings have been slipping badly. Probably just a matter of time. Although Larry wasn’t known for going hard to the hole with guests, his show offered a relatively safe zone for many a political or celebrity n’er do-well to begin the age-old American ritual of “coming back.”
As usual, the New York Times’ interactive maps rule. You can visit the Times’ oil spill tracking map here. Check out the “play” feature at the upper left portion of the map to see the oil spill grow and move over time.
There are also tabs at the top of the map to change the data shown. For instance, you can see a plot of the effects of the spill on wildlife.
If you’re looking for a lot of information on the BP oil spill and what the government is doing, this site has its pluses and minuses. For instance, you can find the disposition of some U.S. Coast Guard assets and transcripts of media briefings. On the minus side, when you click the link for Oiled Wildlife, you’re taken to a page with no pictures or statistics of the devastation, but there is a phone number to call if you encounter an oiled bird or other animal. Even more manipulative than the dearth of information on oiled wildlife is the cute picture of a pristine, baby sea turtle on the homepage of this PR-driven site.
One way to kick someone’s ass over this tragedy would be to put the whole truth out there for the American people. Federal government fails with this site. It’s so benign it’s ludicrous.
- Op-Ed, Thomas Suddes: Pandering in Ohio is a Two Party Business – The Plain Dealer
- Editorial: What Price are Cafaros Paying? – The Vindicator
- Kasich and His ‘Bible Guys’ – Columbus Dispatch
- Op-Ed, Brent Larkin: Close Races Brewing in Ohio – The Plain Dealer
- Editorial: Ohio Senate Vacation Extends Foreclosure Follies – The Plain Dealer
- NRA Working Ohio Legislature – Columbus Dispatch
- ODOT Looks for Future Funding of Rest Areas – The Plain Dealer
- Op-Ed, Joe Hallett: Redistricting Reform Falls Prey to Dreams of Power – Columbus Dispatch
- Op-Ed, Jonathan Riskind: Election Surprises Loom in November – Columbus Dispatch
- Editorial: Dollar by Dollar – Akron Beacon Journal
- Editorial: Dollar by Dollar (Part II) – Akron Beacon Journal
- Editorial: Ohio Late but on Right Testing Track – Dayton Daily News
- Tobacco Lobbyist Biggest Boehner Donor – Columbus Dispatch
- Kilroy on FinReg Conference Committee – Columbus Dispatch
- Brown, Voinovich Work to Fund Nuclear Cleanup – Columbus Dispatch
- Increasing Number of Mahoning Valley Families Face Foreclosure – The Vindicator
- Sex Offender Registration Force Some Underground – The Plain Dealer
- Do Sex-Offender Laws Make Us Safer? – The Plain Dealer
- 17.5% of Ohioans Underemployed – Dayton Daily News
- Dayton-Cincy Corridor Important to U.S. Exports – Dayton Daily News
- Commercial Properties Selling at Deep Discounts – Dayton Daily News
- Op-Ed, Michael Douglas: An Energy Revolution for the Great Lakes – Akron Beacon Journal
It’s totally reasonable and inevitable that the share price of BP would suffer mercilessly from the company’s gargantuan liability in the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this week I created the following chart of BP’s daily closing share price for it’s U.S.-listed shares.
When Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opined publicly that the company ought to be responsible for all unemployment claims related to the federal government’s six month moratorium on offshore Gulf drilling, BP’s stock took an especially nasty dive to a 14-year low on Wednesday. I hope that the Obama Administration’s efforts to turn public opinion back in the president’s favor on this mess don’t backfire and kill what this country needs to be the proverbial “Golden Goose” for the next several years. A heavily-regulated and monitored BP – in a strong financial position – is the company that will be able to afford the tens of billions of dollars needed to make the people and environment of the Gulf Coast whole.
- Who is Alvin Greene? – New York Times
- Strange Senate Campaign Moves Forward – The State
- Is the Tea Party waning? – Washington Post
- NY Pension Fund Shell Game – New York Times
- OH Governor’s Race: Lots of Cash on Hand – Columbus Dispatch
- Rescued Teen Sailor Wants Another Go at Record – Fox News
The BP Mess
- Spilled Oil Makes Way Into Supply Chain – Associated Press
- Deepwater Horizon Incident Response – U.S. Government Official Site