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It's the Economy, Stupid!
Author: BobR    Date: 01/11/2008 13:17:45

I know it's Friday, and I know we all want happy fun time, and for a lot of people it's payday, but for a lot of people... it's not anymore. Most of you have already heard that the jobless rate rose to the 5% mark last month. According to Merrill-Lynch (not exactly a bastion of liberal thought), that was the final straw. They have finally declared that Yes, we are in a recession:
The feared recession in the US economy has already arrived, according to a report from Merrill Lynch.
It said that Friday's employment report, which sent shares tumbling worldwide, confirmed that the US is in the first month of a recession.
....
Merrill Lynch said that the figures showing the jobless rate hitting 5% in December were the final piece in that puzzle.

"According to our analysis, this isn't even a forecast any more but is a present day reality," the report said.


Along with the jobless rate, the sales of existing homes fell as well:
Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes fell more than forecast in November, signaling further deterioration in housing.

The National Association of Realtors' index of pending home sales decreased 2.6 percent to 87.6, following a 3.7 percent gain in October that was larger than previously estimated, the group said today in Washington.

The figures underscore Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's forecast that the housing recession will continue, posing the biggest risk to economic expansion. Economists said more stringent lending practices following the collapse in subprime mortgages and prospects that home prices will keep falling are deterring buyers.

Of course, these are the big stories. There are thousands of smaller stories all across the country, although they're always big to those in the middle of it. One that's big in Atlanta is finally getting some press nationwide. Grady Hospital, which is a teaching hospital, provides indigent care, and has the best trauma center in the state, is perilously close to closing it's doors:
Pamela Vaughn is a Grady baby. Like tens of thousands of Atlantans over the last 115 years — like Gladys Knight, the soul singer, and Vernon Jordan Jr., the presidential confidante; like more than one in three babies born here in the last decade — Ms. Vaughn entered the world at Grady Memorial Hospital, one of the nation’s largest safety-net hospitals.

Ms. Vaughn was not only born at Grady, she also works there, as a senior nurse in the diabetes clinic, where many of her patients are Grady babies, too. And now, like thousands of other Atlantans, she is hoping to save the teeming charity hospital that has provided her with both life and livelihood.

To generations of Georgians, this city is unimaginable without Grady. Yet that has been the prospect facing the region for the last year, the result of a multimillion-dollar shortfall in the cost of providing charity and emergency care that no one — not the counties, the state nor the federal government — has been willing to cover, though Grady provides vital services to the entire region.

Once admired for its skill in treating a population afflicted by both social and physical ills, Grady, a teaching hospital, now faces the prospect of losing its accreditation. Only short-term financial transfusions have kept it from closing its doors, as Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles County did last year. That scenario would flood the region’s other hospitals with uninsured patients and eliminate the training ground for one of every four Georgia doctors.

It seems some real leadership is required to handle this mess. But wait!! Our pResident is on the job, and his big plan is to... ummm... say it's not that bad, and keep taxes low:
President George W. Bush said the U.S. economy is sending contradictory signals, and Congress must keep taxes low to avoid creating further economic turmoil.

"Recent economic indicators have become increasingly mixed," Bush said today after lunch with Mayor Richard Daley and city business leaders at the Union League Club of Chicago. "In a time of economic uncertainty, we don't need to be taking money out of your pocket."

Government reports in the past two weeks showed new home sales fell to the lowest in 12 years, job creation slowed and the jobless rate rose to 5 percent in December from 4.7 percent. The reports spurred concern the economy will fall into recession, and U.S. stocks last week had their worst start to a year since 2000.

"When you cut taxes, it means people have more money to save, spend or invest," Bush said. "I will strongly urge that Congress keep taxes low," he said, while pressing Congress to make permanent tax cuts enacted early in his administration.

Those income tax cuts sure are a boon to the unemployed! :rolleyes2:

The face of an honest man that knows what he's doing:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/data?pid=avimage&iid=i0V0GGH4cwmY

... or not.

Actually, it may take some pressure from his rich buddies - and that might finally occur, since they are feeling the pinch too.

As the credit crisis drags on, not even the world's millionaire investors are immune from its effects, and the private banks that manage their money could be the next to feel the pain.

Rich investors are reducing leverage on their portfolios, depriving wealth managers of a lucrative income stream just as difficult financial markets cast a shadow over their results.

As the credit crisis eats away the value of their assets, millionaires are paying back cash they borrowed for investment purposes to reduce risk, private bankers say. "We've seen leverage vanish completely almost overnight from the beginning of November," said Nicolas Sarkis of Alphaone Partners.

Or both he and Cheney could just resign and let the adults take over. :pray:

Hey - it's Friday, ya bastahds! A guy can dream, right?


204 comments (Latest Comment: 01/12/2008 06:47:01 by shelaghc)
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Comment by m-hadley on 01/11/2008 13:56:54
Dream on, Raine, dream on...I'm like Momma, impeachment talk makes me hot. Let's throw the bastards out. I have a job that I enjoy, but I recently applied for another job and found out yesterday that over 50 other people had applied for the same job. Think I'll stick with the job I've got. Happy Friday everybody!!!

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/11/2008 14:00:59
Hello all. :yawn:

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:05:10
:yawn:



Nice ( by nice I mean panic attack inducing ) blog opening.

On my homefront, Banc of America buying Countrywide means that BofA now owns my motgage as well, giving them ALL of my debt, save my Student Loan. That, my friends, is a frightening thought. They are getting bigger and stronger and I am sure very soon will be telling little people like me to take it up the tailpipe.



I'll be looking into moving all of that debt to a Credit Union loan.



F*ckin' Frank!

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/11/2008 14:08:31
Quote by starling310:



Nice ( by nice I mean panic attack inducing ) blog opening.

On my homefront, Banc of America buying Countrywide means that BofA now owns my motgage as well, giving them ALL of my debt, save my Student Loan. That, my friends, is a frightening thought. They are getting bigger and stronger and I am sure very soon will be telling little people like me to take it up the tailpipe.



I'll be looking into moving all of that debt to a Credit Union loan.



F*ckin' Frank!






Whaaa? You don't like the convience of the one stop shopping for financial services with Octopus Bank? Wht thats un-American!

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:18:05
Obama/Kerry? Oh my God...It will take them 4 hours to answer a single question.

Obama is great at the stump speech, but his debate answers take just as long as Kerry's.



:yawn:

Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 14:18:50
Ah, that's why we're with a neighborhood bank. We left the big boys pretty darn close to 10 years ago and haven't missed the 'convenience' of nickels and dimes being pulled out of our arses for 'services'.





Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:21:04
Quote by TriSec: Ah, that's why we're with a neighborhood bank. We left the big boys pretty darn close to 10 years ago and haven't missed the 'convenience' of nickels and dimes being pulled out of our arses for 'services'.







Actually, BofA does not charge me fees of any kind. My fear is they will start jacking up all of my interest rates!

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:25:58
See, that's what I mean. As soon as my RICH/UBER CONSERVATIVE boss said "I hate Edwards. . . we'll see who is running on my side...I might vote for Hillary," I KNEW with absolute certainty that EDWARDS is the right choice "for change."

My boss said, "I know it will be a Democratic President. I just have to figure out which one will hurt me the least." Of course he means "hurt" in the wallet! Funny. . . he'd vote for Hillary, or Obama.





Starling would like to note that, per her story yesterday, she has 2 bosses. My direct boss is female and her boss ( the one who hates Edwards ) is male.

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:27:48
No caller. . . I would NOT push that email on. And, I am not for Obama.



Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 14:28:01
ACK! Good morning! I need more coffee..

Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 14:28:27
Oh yeah? I'll see your rich/uber conservative boss and raise you mine.



Whose last name is the same as the President's I might add.



Ah, the irony.











Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 14:30:25
Today's Blog was written by BobR!! Raine did the one thing that is a no no... I forgot to log off this computer last night.



So it is nice to know BobR made you all Hot MH! :rofl:

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:31:02
Quote by TriSec: Oh yeah? I'll see your rich/uber conservative boss and raise you mine.



Whose last name is the same as the President's I might add.



Ah, the irony.









Ugh...really?



But, yeah, "Sub-Mook" made a good point; it's easy to see who they are afraid of. And, they aren't that afraid of Clinton or Obama. Edwards, on the other scares the pants off of them, because they love their MONEY!









Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 14:34:15
in todays AJC...



F*ckin Frank!


Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 14:37:25
Good morning all.



I guess that Nyquil keeps me sleepy.

At least I'm up for Kucinich.

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:38:17
Quote by Raine: in todays AJC...



F*ckin Frank!




: note to M-HADLEY and SHELAGHC :

"F*ckin Frank!" is a catchphrase which began when Starling was condescended by an unsavory, mysoginist named Frank. It comes in handy when expressing frustration. Please use as you see fit. Raine has taken it to it beautifully!



Comment by m-hadley on 01/11/2008 14:38:24
I lurve me some Dennis Kucinich - remind me again, why he doesn't have a chance?

Thanks BobR for my morning hot flash

Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 14:39:50
Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 14:41:44
Quote by Raine: in todays AJC...



F*ckin Frank!


If 10,000 people are lining up for a single Wal-Mart job, the economy is worse than what the mainstream media tells us.

Comment by shelaghc on 01/11/2008 14:42:33
G'morning all.



I knew it was a mistake not to create a schedule for today before I went to bed last night.

Now I'm looking around the apartment and don't know what to do. And for some reason, I have trouble following a sked I've created the same day.....



I've been up for an hour already and haven't even had my tea or breakfast.



Maybe I should have chocolate Maypo and boost my blood sugar....



Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 14:43:05
Speaking of money, did we all notice that Congress just gave themselves a $4000 pay raise?





Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 14:44:51
Quote by Raine: in todays AJC...



F*ckin Frank!




Wow, for $10.56 an hour at that...



Why the hell haven't we stormed the White House and Congress again?







Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 14:46:28
Quote by TriSec: Speaking of money, did we all notice that Congress just gave themselves a $4000 pay raise?





Gee, why wasn't that in the news?

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:46:43
Quote by shelaghc: G'morning all.



I knew it was a mistake not to create a schedule for today before I went to bed last night.

Now I'm looking around the apartment and don't know what to do. And for some reason, I have trouble following a sked I've created the same day.....



I've been up for an hour already and haven't even had my tea or breakfast.



Maybe I should have chocolate Maypo and boost my blood sugar....





ShelaghC's sked for 1/11/08:



1. Turn on Stephanie Miller



2. Make tea.



3. Eat breakfast.



4. Take nap.



Mmmm....I got nothin' after that.



Comment by shelaghc on 01/11/2008 14:46:59
Are there any people in the medical profession on the blog?

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:48:59
Today is Poppa 's birthday!!!





Comment by BobR on 01/11/2008 14:49:04
morning, folks... :coffee:



I fixed the blog author value so credit is given where due... :P

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 14:49:43
Quote by shelaghc: Are there any people in the medical profession on the blog?




I have to give my cat heart medication every day. Does that count?



Comment by shelaghc on 01/11/2008 14:52:52
Quote by starling310:
Quote by shelaghc: G'morning all.



I knew it was a mistake not to create a schedule for today before I went to bed last night.

Now I'm looking around the apartment and don't know what to do. And for some reason, I have trouble following a sked I've created the same day.....



I've been up for an hour already and haven't even had my tea or breakfast.



Maybe I should have chocolate Maypo and boost my blood sugar....





ShelaghC's sked for 1/11/08:



1. Turn on Stephanie Miller



2. Make tea.



3. Eat breakfast.



4. Take nap.



Mmmm....I got nothin' after that.






No no! No naps! I hate naps - they're time stealers.



I have to clean up the livingroom, and figure out what else needs to be packed.



Then later today I have to start ripping covers off video cases, call the mechanic who was supposed to get back to me about a part for my car and list the last of the vids on yahoo groups for sale.



bleaugh.....



I need to make a schedule so I don't miss anything important today.

Comment by shelaghc on 01/11/2008 14:54:02
Quote by BobR: morning, folks... :coffee:



I fixed the blog author value so credit is given where due... :P






I wondered about that "guy can dream" thing under Raine's by-line.

Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 14:55:24
I like naps.

Comment by shelaghc on 01/11/2008 14:56:07
I need to find someone who knows medical stuff to read this:

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7009673827



and tell me how I can get my mother in on this. She's got Alzheimer's but isn't so far gone that she's incapacitated. She can't live alone and her memory is *really* bad, but she's not completely gone from us.



I want to get this for her and see if it helps.

Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 14:56:59
Uhm... bush didn't know??? OMG< OReilly just gets better and better.

Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 14:57:31
When I went to get my photo ID, I told them I was Chris LaVoie. :P

Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 14:58:58
Sounds like he's melding the Fox News and Glenn Beck promos.



"I'm a thinker." :puke:



Nah, you're a right-wing tool.

Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 14:59:53
Quote by shelaghc: I need to find someone who knows medical stuff to read this:

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7009673827



and tell me how I can get my mother in on this. She's got Alzheimer's but isn't so far gone that she's incapacitated. She can't live alone and her memory is *really* bad, but she's not completely gone from us.



I want to get this for her and see if it helps.


Who is her (tri may be able to correct me on this) health care proxy? Perhaps they could take to her primary care Doctor and see what can be done. I hope that Some is signed of as her proxy provider at this point.

Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 15:00:33
Quote by Raine: When I went to get my photo ID, I told them I was Chris LaVoie. :P


:rofl:

Comment by Raine on 01/11/2008 15:04:30
Quote by Mondobubba: Hello all. :yawn:


hey! you alright?

Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 15:07:24
Quote by shelaghc: Are there any people in the medical profession on the blog?






I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV.



Seriously though...I'm a former EMT-MAST and currently work in the 'back office' area, overseeing claims transactions and billing for national payors and clients in 42 states...





Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 15:11:16
Yeah, just saw below. What Raine said...direct contact with her PCP and asking specifically about the drug in question should start the wheels turning.



And about the Health Care Proxy, as she declines, someone needs to be the designated decision-maker for any and all future care, so check that out if you haven't signed anything about it yet.





Comment by wickedpam on 01/11/2008 15:13:15
Morning! :hug:

Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 15:18:32
So Bush's goal is to be a motivational speaker? Another job he sucks at.

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 15:20:15
I know you guys have hated each other for 4 million years or so, but kiss and make up by the end of my pres - - - this year.

Comment by shelaghc on 01/11/2008 15:22:26
Quote by Raine:
Quote by shelaghc: I need to find someone who knows medical stuff to read this:

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7009673827



and tell me how I can get my mother in on this. She's got Alzheimer's but isn't so far gone that she's incapacitated. She can't live alone and her memory is *really* bad, but she's not completely gone from us.



I want to get this for her and see if it helps.


Who is her (tri may be able to correct me on this) health care proxy? Perhaps they could take to her primary care Doctor and see what can be done. I hope that Some is signed of as her proxy provider at this point.






My rather estranged sister has her POA. If I bring it up with her she'll be skeptical that it's another of my pie in the sky ideas. Mom's doctors are pretty much old-fashioned farts who don't want to try anything that's not in their regular lexicon.

Comment by livingonli on 01/11/2008 15:23:54
Quote by starling310: I know you guys have hated each other for 4 million years or so, but kiss and make up by the end of my pres - - - this year.


If he thinks that's gonna salvage his presidency, think again. Not that chimpy is known for his ability to think.

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 15:25:41
Quote by shelaghc:



My rather estranged sister has her POA. If I bring it up with her she'll be skeptical that it's another of my pie in the sky ideas. Mom's doctors are pretty much old-fashioned farts who don't want to try anything that's not in their regular lexicon.




That's the wonderful world of Western medicine.

Comment by starling310 on 01/11/2008 15:27:02
Huckabee is likable??? Ugh....



Comment by wickedpam on 01/11/2008 15:28:26
I thought government officals were not allowed to accpect gifts?

Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 15:28:42
Quote by shelaghc:
Quote by Raine:
Quote by shelaghc: I need to find someone who knows medical stuff to read this:

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7009673827



and tell me how I can get my mother in on this. She's got Alzheimer's but isn't so far gone that she's incapacitated. She can't live alone and her memory is *really* bad, but she's not completely gone from us.



I want to get this for her and see if it helps.


Who is her (tri may be able to correct me on this) health care proxy? Perhaps they could take to her primary care Doctor and see what can be done. I hope that Some is signed of as her proxy provider at this point.






My rather estranged sister has her POA. If I bring it up with her she'll be skeptical that it's another of my pie in the sky ideas. Mom's doctors are pretty much old-fashioned farts who don't want to try anything that's not in their regular lexicon.




Power of Attorney and Healthcare Proxy are two different things....



Sounds like you'll have to get vocal; see if you can pull any more info from the FDA website or the manufacturer about said drug and try to make a case.



(thankx, BTW....Mrs. TriSec's papa was diagnosed last year...he's still mild, but if anything will help, let's go for it!)









Comment by TriSec on 01/11/2008 15:30:45
Quote by starling310: Huckabee is likable??? Ugh....





Sure, in the same way that America wanted to have a beer with Bush last time around...



I have heard him in some non-political situations, Huck is a pretty affable guy, but that doesn't mean he'd be a good president.