Sunday, March 28, 2010
Cuts would be limited in 2010 - Cameron | Reuters: "LONDON (Reuters) - Conservative leader David Cameron said on Sunday there would be a limit to what the party could do this year to tackle the country's deficit if it wins the upcoming election."
Saturday, March 27, 2010
"The poll showed Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have overturned David Cameron and George Osborne's lead on economic issues.
Mr Brown and Mr Darling were backed by 33 per cent of voters on the economy; Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were supported by 27 per cent."
Various members of the DNC — including Chairman Tim Kaine, Executive Director Jen O’Malley Dillon and Communications Director Brad Woodhouse — contacted their respective RNC counterparts this week in hopes of getting RNC Chairman Michael Steele to co-sign a document with Kaine that, in part, called for “elected officials of both parties to set an example of the civility we want to see in our citizenry.”
“We also call on all Americans to respect differences of opinion, to refrain from inappropriate forms of intimidation, to reject violence and vandalism, and to scale back rhetoric that might reasonably be misinterpreted by those prone to such behavior,” read the proposed joint statement, which came at the end of a week which saw acts of vandalism and threats of violence directed at members of Congress from both parties, but mostly aimed at Democrats who voted “yes” on the health care bill.
Republicans see the statement as an attempt to force them to either reject the statement — allowing Democrats to say the RNC finds the incidents acceptable — or to sign on to something that the DNC would later wield against them.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/35096.html#ixzz0jMsMSpGI
Friday, March 26, 2010
Forty-three year old Grigory Perelman turned down the prize from America’s Clay Mathematic Institute and said he would rather live penniless cockroach-infected tiny apartment.
The theoretical problem ‘Poincare Conjecture’ had baffled experts since it was put forward in 1904.
The problem was so difficult that it took mathematicians around four years just to check whether it was right or wrong."
According to an ICM poll carried out for the News of the World, the Conservatives went down three points to 38%, ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's ruling Labour Party, which went up one point to 32%."
"These days, opinion polls seem ten a penny, but some still have the power to cause genuine ripples in the pond. I think one of those has been published today. This ComRes poll for the BBC shows that 33 per cent of voters back Labour on the economy and 27 per cent support the Conservatives"
"LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The U.K. opposition Conservative Party saw its lead over the governing Labour Party slip to two points in the latest YouGov poll commissioned by the Sun newspaper.
The poll, published late Wednesday, showed the Conservatives with 36% of support, Labour with 34% and the smaller opposition party, the Liberal Democrats, with 17%."
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Republican 1 "Hey, though we lost the election lets get our most radical and charged supporters to engage in massive protests, with lots of signs, and pump them up with anger and hatred so that images of them protesting full of rage will be all over the news"
Republican 2 "Well in the 1960s people on the Left did that and it didn't work out too well for them. In fact for decades we got benefit from tying all Democrats to such protests"
Republican 1 "Yah but those were Jews, N*ggers, and F@gg0ts"
"FLASH: Ann Coulter Ottawa speech shut down... 2000 protesters surrounding building with rocks and sticks -- pulled fire alarm in building. Cops shut it down! Blogs calling for Coulter to be hurt. MPs were banned from going, Coulter denounced by an MP in the Parliement."
Wow, well what goes around comes around I guess. To think of mobs of people, full of anger and hate, treating a person, trying to stop them from engaging in democratic process and impose an outcome.
Shame shame shame isn't it.
But hey, in Canada maybe they call themselves some stupid name like "tea parties" and see themselves as heros.
"According to a Gallup/USA Today poll conducted the day after health care legislation passed the House of Representatives, 49 percent of the respondents think the passage of reform is a 'good thing,' compared to the 40 percent who think it is bad. The numbers are a welcome relief for a party and a presidency that had been bleeding popular support over the course of the past six months."
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
"Samantha is expecting a baby in September, a Conservative spokesman has said."
Now that is desperate. "Don't think we should keep it between us until after the election" "no baby the peasants love a pregnant chick" Do wonder who the dad is?
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Healthcare vote: Barack Obama passes US health reform by narrow margin | World news | guardian.co.uk
But here's the thing. Community hasn't succeeded very often in American politics, but when it has, it's tended to work better than advertised. Social Security and Medicare (universal coverage for senior citizens) are very popular. Once changes like these are made, well, it takes a while, but most people tend to like them. And maybe that's the real reason Republicans are so unhinged right now.Healthcare vote: Barack Obama passes US health reform by narrow margin | World news | guardian.co.uk
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The followers of Moktada al-Sadr, a radical cleric who led the Shiite insurgency against the American occupation, have emerged as Iraq’s equivalent of Lazarus in elections last week, defying ritual predictions of their demise and now threatening to realign the nation’s balance of power.Followers of Sadr Emerge Stronger After Iraq Elections - NYTimes.com
Their apparent success in the March 7 vote for Parliament — perhaps second only to the followers of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki as the largest Shiite bloc — underscores a striking trend in Iraqi politics: a collapse in support for many former exiles who collaborated with the United States after the 2003 invasion.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Obesity: The killer combination of salt, fat and sugar | David A Kessler | Life and style | The Guardian
But it was thinking creatively about how to attract more consumers that led Starbucks to the Frappuccino, the venture capitalist told me. Although its stores were crowded early in the day, by afternoon "they were so empty you could roll a bowling ball through them". The creation of a rich, sweet and comforting milkshake-like concoction utterly transformed the business. A Starbucks Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino comes with whipped cream and 18 teaspoons of sugar: all in all, this "drink" contains more calories than a personal-size pepperoni pizza, and more sweetness than six scoops of ice-cream. By encouraging us to consider any occasion for food an opportunity for pleasure and reward, the industry invites us to indulge a lot more often.Obesity: The killer combination of salt, fat and sugar | David A Kessler | Life and style | The Guardian
“We are adding balance,” said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction on the board, after the vote. “History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left.”Texas Conservatives Win Vote on Textbook Standards - NYTimes.com
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Abdulrahman Zeitoun is the real-life hero of Dave Eggers's new book. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina he paddled from house to house in a canoe, offering help to his neighbours. For his trouble, he was arrested as a suspected terroristThe amazing true story of Zeitoun | World news | The Guardian
Kucinich Confirms His Opposition To Dems' Health Care Reform Plan--Even If He's The Deciding Vote (VIDEO) | TPMDC
"This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry," Kucinich told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. "$70 billion a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance...I'm sorry, I just don't see that this bill is the solution."What an ass!! People who vote for Kucinich are a lot like Nader voters, in fact, they're generally the same people. Sacrificing any progress in the name of a fictional total progress that never comes in large part because they reliably block the first step every time some more practical person comes along and tries to take it.
Kucinich Confirms His Opposition To Dems' Health Care Reform Plan--Even If He's The Deciding Vote (VIDEO) | TPMDC
At the time, I was disappointed that Kerry prevailed. And it's certainly true that Kerry lacked the communications skills to be a presidential nominee. But compared to that field, he was a giant. He's the only candidate you can imagine actually serving as president without bringing about some enormous disaster. And he's handled himself pretty well since losing the race. Indeed, the only other 2004 candidate who's actually raised his stature among Democrats is Sharpton.Revisiting The 2004 Democratic Presidential Field | The New Republic
What enabled the Blue Cross plans to succeed was their effective monopoly on the health insurance business. They had a huge, diverse base of customers--one based heavily on large groups of employees, like the Dallas schoolteachers--which meant they had sound finances. The majority of people were relatively healthy, with few medical bills. Their accumulated premiums were sufficient to cover the bills for that small group of people who, because of accident or disease, had much higher bills.
But as enrollment in the Blue Cross plans swelled, the commercial insurance industry took notice--and saw an opportunity. If Blue Cross was selling to everybody and charging everybody the same rate, that meant some people--healthy people--were effectively paying a bit extra in order to subsidize the sick. The commercial insurers figured that if they could target just the healthier customers, by charging higher premiums or refusing coverage to people with medical problems, they could offer lower premiums to these people and still make a profit.
Tangled Up In Blue | The New Republic
Mr Clegg launched a scathing attack on the Tories, accusing them of whipping up fears in the City of London that a hung parliament would create a run on sterling as a minority government would lack the political will to tackle Britain's £178bn deficit.
He insisted: "We are the guarantee, if you are worried that Labour is not taking it [the deficit] seriously enough and Gordon Brown is in denial.
"We are the guarantee that it will be taken seriously because we are candid and open about the enormity of the problem. If you are worried that the Tories would cut the deficit from day one when there is no economic case and when the effect would be unfair, you can rely on us to make sure that cuts would be implemented when the economy can sustain it and in a way that is fairly distributed."The Liberal Democrat leader argued that an "open-ended" election result could be "a virtue" because his party would have the most detailed and costed plan for tackling the deficit of any party
My demands for a post-election deal, by Nick Clegg - UK Politics, UK - The Independent
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
It has been suggested that the bugging exercise might lead to the betrayal of crucial tactical nuggets to England's World Cup opponents. But the likeliest scenario is that someone was hoping to capture salacious gossip and sell it for cash to the tabloids. The Independent understands the contents of the tapes were offered for sale to Sunday newspapers late last week, and subsequently to other newspapers.England step up security after hotel was bugged - News & Comment, Football - The Independent
"We are deeply disturbed that elements of the Conservative party are allying themselves with the organisation Young Britons' Foundation, whose aims include liberalisation of gun laws, and that senior Conservative figures are espousing the views of this disturbing group," said Gill Marshall Andrews, chairwoman of the Gun Control Network.Eric Pickles distances Tory party from rightwing training organisation | Politics | guardian.co.uk
"Ordinary people in the UK are fearful of guns and do not want to see a return to the pre-Dunblane situation where pistol shooting was the 'fastest growing sport'. Then we were clearly heading along the American road, a road we fervently hope that the Conservatives will not take us down again."
One source familiar with thinking on Northern Ireland on both sides of the Atlantic added: "The fact that George W Bush has decided to intervene is really significant. He was interested in the peace process as president and appointed an envoy. It is a general sign of how concerned people are in the US about what David Cameron is up to."George Bush to David Cameron: don't derail Northern Ireland peace process | Politics | The Guardian
Monday, March 08, 2010
The white supremacists and anti-government militia who are out to get the president should not be underestimated, he says. "These groups aren't al-Qaida. Most of them look vastly more bumbling than effective." But then he adds: "It only takes one to get through. Timothy McVeigh taught us that."Inside the world of Obama's secret-service bodyguards | World news | The Guardian
Sunday, March 07, 2010
The business secretary went on: "Mr Cameron would rather be seen as complicit in Ashcroft's deception than take him on … [Ashcroft] has David Cameron by the balls. Stand up to him, and the Tories lose his money. Bow down in front of him, and Ashcroft continues to call the shots."Peter Mandelson raises stakes in Lord Ashcroft row | Politics | The Guardian
Saturday, March 06, 2010
One more wobble and the game's over - Telegraph
Actually this article is just a long winded nothing. It ends up being a total Tory ad, but today to get attention even the Telegraph has to run negative Tory headlines.
The links are likely to be deeply embarrassing for the Tory leader, David Cameron, who has pledged to make the NHS his top priority if he becomes prime minister and has attempted to present his party as the choice for green voters. The Conservatives have also talked tough on torture, with the shadow foreign secretary, William Hague, saying torture "helps terrorists justify their hostility to us".'Tory madrasa' preaches radical message to would-be MPs | Politics | The Guardian
Friday, March 05, 2010
(Reuters) - Little-known brokerage firm Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co has long toiled in the shadows of Wall Street, but the boutique suddenly has been thrust into the limelight because of an "ideas dinner" it sponsored last month for a group of about 18 hedge fund tradersHedge fund dinner party sparks U.S. euro probe | Reuters
Monness Crespi sponsors unscripted dinners from time to time, said people familiar with the get-togethers. They provide a chance for managers to swap trading ideas, network with their peers and meet some of Monness Crespi's largely equity-focused analysts.
A February 8 dinner is sparking controversy because one of the nearly two dozen topics discussed during the program was how hedge funds could profit from a decline in the euro, one of the world's most heavily traded currencies.
The portion of the program, at the Park Avenue Townhouse restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, devoted to trading the euro took up no more than five minutes, according to people familiar with the event.
But ever since the Wall Street Journal wrote about the dinner and the discussion about the euro in a February 25 article, a shadow has been cast over much of the $1.5 trillion hedge fund industry.
The dinner adds to the growing perception among the general public and some political leaders that many hedge funds prosper by making money off misery -- whether it is betting on the decline of a stock, a bond, a currency or even a country's debt.
The U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division has sent letters to a number of hedge funds that attended the February 8 dinner, asking the funds not to destroy any trading records involving market bets on the euro, said people familiar with the situation.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Republicans embarrassed by 'evil empire' Obama smear | Richard Adams | World news | guardian.co.uk
The Republican party sought to distance itself from the memo, with an RNC spokesman saying: "Fundraising documents are often controversial". Its statement also said that Michael Steele, the party's chairman, "disagrees with the language and finds the use of such imagery to be unacceptable. It will not be used by the Republican National Committee – in any capacity – in the future."
The report says that, unlike during the 1990s, the patriot movement's core ideas are more widely propagated and accepted by prominent politicians and some in the mass media, such as the Fox News presenter Glenn Beck.US facing surge in rightwing extremist and militia groups | World news | guardian.co.uk
BBC News - Greece bond issue oversubscribed
Greece has seen strong demand for its latest government bond issue in a vote of confidence for the country's debt-ridden economy.
The 5bn euro ($6.8bn; £4.5bn) issue was oversubscribed, an indication that some investors are not overly concerned about Greece defaulting on its debts.
But the government had to offer a high rate of interest to attract investors.
On Wednesday, Greece announced an austerity package worth 4.8bn euros in order to cuts its debt levels.
Despite the strong bond demand, the euro fell against the dollar.
The 16-nation currency fell by more than 1% to $1.3584. The euro had risen sharply on Wednesday.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.Darwin Foes Add Warming to Targets - NYTimes.com
"Cameron is used to giving out personal abuse and questioning other people's integrity but today he's asked difficult questions about when he knew what Lord Ashcroft was doing and he doesn't want to answer. He treats MPs and journalists like they're obnoxious oiks. We will not let this drop." Labour insisted the Tory chief's stonewalling of questions shows he is unwilling to be truthful with the British people.Tories in crisis as Lord Ashcroft scandal deepens - mirror.co.uk
BBC News - Service sector growth hits 'three-year high'
The service sector in the UK grew at its fastest monthly pace in three years in February, providing further evidence of the economy's recovery.
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) index rose to 58.4 from 54.5 the previous month, its highest since January 2007.
The index allayed fears among some economists that the UK could slip back into recession in the current quarter.
The service sector is a vital component of the UK economy.
Any index score above 50 indicates growth.
"It's a staggering rise which suggests the services sector in the UK is in rude health," said David Page at Investec.
BBC News - Job market in Britain 'continues to improve'
The UK jobs market is continuing to improve, with the biggest growth in new permanent staff positions for two and a half years, a report has claimed.
More full-time jobs were added last month than at any time since July 2007, said the study by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG.
However, it cautioned that the rise in temporary positions in February was the slowest for three months.
It also said plans to cut public sector jobs may impact on the wider economy.
'Road to recovery'
The report said the growth in new job creation was being led by the IT sector; as well as engineering and construction, which it said were "clearly on the rebound".
"The latest figures seem to confirm that the UK jobs market is on the road to recovery," said KPMG's head of business services, Bernard Brown.
"However, this all comes with one big warning - the impact of the inevitable public sector recession on the jobs market has yet to be felt, and will be played out over the next six months."
The report is compiled from speaking to 400 employment consultancies.
Demand for more staff has now grown for five consecutive months, according to the study.
So it looks like as long as current policy remains in place we won't see 3 million out of work. All bets off if policy is changed radically soon.
The euro has risen against the dollar as Greece unveiled a new series of austerity measures.BBC News - Euro rises against the dollar on Greek austerity plan
BBC News - UK consumer confidence 'hits two-year high'
UK consumer confidence reached a two-year high in February, as sentiment was buoyed by the news that the country had exited recession, a survey has said.
The Nationwide said its consumer confidence index rose to 80 last month, its highest figure since January 2008, and double February 2009's figure.
The report said consumers were also now more confident about how the economy will develop as 2010 progresses.
The UK emerged from recession during the last three months of 2009.
The latest official figures have shown that the economy grew by 0.3% in this period.
"Following a small dip at the end of 2009, consumers have started this year in a more optimistic fashion with February's figures showing a surge in confidence in both the present and future situation," said Nationwide chief economist Martin Gahbauer.
"A strong influencing factor behind this uplift is likely to be the news that the UK has come out of its longest recession on record following six consecutive quarters of contraction beginning in 2008."
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
BBC News - India to review economy stimulus
Stimulus measures introduced to boost the Indian economy during the downturn will be reviewed, the government said as it unveiled its annual budget.
Indian federal finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the measures had helped to maintain strong growth, but inflation must now be controlled.
The government also pledged to cut debt levels and review public spending.
The Indian economy is expected to grow by 8.7% in the current fiscal year, Mr Mukherjee added.
"The Indian economy now, is in a far better position than it was a year ago," he said.
"The first challenge before us is to quickly revert to the high GDP growth path of 9%."
India's economy is recovering faster than expected - it grew at an annual rate of 7.9% in the three months to the end of September 2009, after growing 6.7% in the year to the end of March 2009.
Strong growth in India's manufacturing sector is also helping to compensate for falling agricultural output.
These rates of growth are only 2% higher than US rates, so it is possible the US could ease back its stimulus over the next year, followed by the EU, assuming no one loses his nerve.
This was the first globally coordinated response to a major economic crisis, and it has been a stellar success. America was still hit hard, but given that every one of its major banks with the exception of a few were on the point of failure a bit over a year ago we should count are blessings.
US consumer spending rose more than expected in January, providing further evidence of a steady recovery for the world's biggest economy.
Spending during the month increased by 0.5%, following upwardly revised growth of 0.3% in December, the Commerce Department said.
The measure has now risen for four consecutive months.
Consumer spending is watched closely because it accounts for more than two-thirds of overall US economic activity.
Last week, revised figures showed that the US economy grew by 5.9% in the last three months of 2009 - higher than the first estimate of 5.7%.
While the US economy is growing strongly, high unemployment and fears of a renewed downturn are curbing spending.
KENNETH CLARKE: How dare they say this crisis isn't their fault | Mail Online
It is time to take a clear, unblinking look at the UK economy.
With a General Election only weeks away, the indicators are uniformly bleak.
The UK is the last economy in the G20 to leave recession and is now witnessing one of the weakest recoveries in the industrialised world.
Our budget deficit is the highest of any developed country. One in five of our young people cannot find work. Perhaps most striking of all, one pound in every four our government spends has to be borrowed from the markets.
We are faced with the most extraordinary background to economic policymaking I have ever seen. Not since the war has there been such a need for concerted leadership and a programme of action.
Why the Tories are in trouble is clear here. Ordinary people don't care much about rankings of G20 or even budget deficits and young people don't vote. Compare this to the issue in the United States. Unemployment is much much higher in the US. When you lose your job in the US you almost certainly lose your health care coverage and 50,000,000 Americans don't have health insurance. 100,000s of people have lost their homes in foreclosure and almost every Americans home is worth less now than it was 5 or maybe even 10 years ago.
I little lesson on human behavior: blaming things on deficits or G20 ranking are not real issue to people. People either feel secure in their own economic life or not. In highly Capitalistic societies like the US or UK failure to make money is felt as a self loathing. Few people face hunger or death. A small number of people in the United States now face the prospect of early death because of the economy, but mostly the impact is on people's self esteem. Making less money they feel "less of a man" and look for scapegoats. An easy scapegoat is "bloated government spending" or deficits and you might find people saying they are worried about these, but you will almost always find that people's concerns on debt depend more on who is in power or not.
Certainly the UK government has taken on a great deal of debt, as has ever industrial nation in the world. From China, through Brazil, India, France, Germany, the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Spain, well hell the entire EU and any other nation the Public sector has had to come in to fill a gap left by the Private sector. The private sector was living on debt so the Public sector, to prevent inflation or the need to expand taxes, has had to live on debt as well. For years the economy was being propped up by consumer and business debt.
This will be problem in the future and will need to be dealt with, but to the well earned credit of the UK government Clarke had to go fishing to find something wrong. He could not say: hundreds of thousands have lost their homes or fear losing their homes because that is not true. They can't say "over 3 million Britons are now out of work" because that is not true. He can't say that the Pound is at the lowest point in 10 years, that UK unemployment is at the highest level since the Great Depression or that actually the Christmas shopping season was that bad.
Actually to be frank the British are a race of bloated pig who have grown too rich too fast and have become generally clueless as to how bad things have become for Americans and other Europeans over the past 3 years.
But with no real daily fear nagging at the normal English the Tory pitch probably should change. Deficits are a sure fire loser, they should see that clearly already. People who face massive debt bills are not going to cry about currency traders concern about their long bets on the pound.
Lets be frank about this, the Tories are trying to act as though the crisis never happened, by taking a purely City investor view of the entire thing. Given how serious the economic crisis that CAME FROM AMERICA was and HOW MUCH MORE OTHER NATIONS PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED the Tories seem oddly out of place going nuts about a AAA credit nation which still can borrow all the money it needs until the economy picks up.
But this is beyond just negative vs. positive slogans, there is a very good chance that since we don't really know Tory plans they could, if they won, cause a second recession. Their priority of the debt as the ONLY economic issue could very well cause much worse problems if they pulled the stimulus too soon to have an economy where everyone is now saving. As Japan should teach England, their is a paradox of thrift.
A previous analysis by the same team revealed that Britons aboard the Titanic were more likely to exhibit good manners by queuing for lifeboats and allowing the vulnerable to board first than other nationalities.Why women and children were saved on the Titanic, but not the Lusitania | Mail Online
It is thought the phenomenon explains why British passengers were the most likely to perish.
Professor Frey said: 'The Americans at the time were not very cultured, while the English were still gentlemen.'
BBC NEWS | Business | Market Data | Stock Markets | London Stock Exchange LSE | FTSE 100 UKX
The FTSE 100 index for the UK raises questions about a "broken UK" economy. Perhaps you could argue that these numbers contain an assumption that a Tory government will form this year, but even so it is obvious investors don't see the Tories as having too much trouble mending a broken economy. An invest of 350 dollars last year would now be worth almost 550. Certainly that came after a terrible a major fall, but we see solid evidence of a economy still very much alive and still very much facing problems most investors think it can solve.
But then again why would anyone read too much "reason" within the acts of investors.
Monday, March 01, 2010
Blair protested that this was unnecessary. He had already given assurances to both Brown and Prescott that he was secretly planning to leave in 2007 anyway. But this time his deputy was not willing to be smoothed into submission. Prescott responded that private promises like that weren't good enough any more. "Gordon doesn't believe you. And I don't fucking believe you."How the bloody anarchy of Iraq broke the spirit of Tony Blair | Politics | The Observer