Video: David Axelrod Unedited Interview

Video: David Axelrod Unedited Interview – TheDailyShow – Jon Stewart- In this complete, unedited interview, David Axelrod details the Obama administration’s progress on health care and financial reform.
 
 
 

Deliberate Cover Up Of Oil With Sand On Pensacola Beach (Video) I was on the beach last night and it was covered in oil, this video shot before 6am shows heavy equipment that had been working through the night covering the oil, still at it. SOMEBODY has to put a stop to this – They are just covering the oil and toxins.

Louisiana Reports Oil Spill Illnesses – More people who have been exposed to the BP oil spill are falling ill. To date, reports CNN, 162 cases of sickness have been reported to the Louisiana state health department, citing a report released yesterday. Of the 162 cases, 128 involved workers who were either on oil rigs or who were involved in clean-up efforts. Generally, symptoms involved “throat irritation, shortness of breath, cough, eye irritation, nausea and headaches,” said CNN, citing the department’s oil spill surveillance report. The report, which is released weekly, pulls together information from physicians and various medical facilities. This week’s report stated that since the disaster struck, 120 male and eight female workers and nine men and 25 women from the general public have complained of illnesses allegedly linked to the spill, according to CNN.

Despite an order to stop from the EPA, BP continues to spray toxic oil dispersants in the Gulf – BP is still spraying the same stuff – under the brand name Corexit – that led to EPA concerns in May. A month ago the Environmental Protection Agency ordered BP to stop spraying so much dispersant on oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon well and to find a less toxic alternative to the chemical it was using.  Meanwhile, federal scientists confirmed this week what University of South Florida researchers and others had found: plumes of tiny oil droplets that stretch for miles underwater, which “is consistent with chemically dispersed oil.” Some of it, they found, had oozed into more shallow waters close to shore. “That’s particularly troublesome,” said Ernst Peebles, a biological oceanographer at USF. Contaminants in more shallow water – about 30 feet deep – can be blown around more easily by wind, spreading it along the gulf’s biologically rich continental shelf, he explained.

Gulf Dead Zone Grows as No-Fishing Area Expands – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it had decided to expand the fishing closure from its current northern boundary as a precautionary measure to make sure consumers don’t eat seafood contaminated by the gulf oil spill. All told, a little more than 80,000 square miles, or 33 percent of Gulf of Mexico’s federal waters, are now considered a closed area. Because this remains an evolving situation, NOAA said that it will retest the area and reopen fisheries when they are deemed safe. Meanwhile, commercial fishermen in the Gulf, who harvested more than one billion pounds of fish and shellfish in 2008, face another threat to their livelihood: a growing "dead zone" with little or no oxygen in the water.

 
Roubini says Greece needs orderly debt restructuring to avoid ‘inevitable default’Greece needs an orderly restructuring of its public debt to head off an "inevitable default", says Nouriel Roubini, the man credited with predicting the financial crisis. He said the "draconian" austerity measures agreed as part of a €110bn (£90bn) EU-IMF bailout is prolonging the country’s recession. "It is time to recognised that Greece is not just suffering from a liquidity crisis; it is facing an insolvency crisis too," he writes in the Financial Times.  In return for the emergency loans, Greece has pledged to bring its fiscal shortfall under the EU’s 3pc by 2014 from 13.6 percent last year and to implement structural reforms in its economy to make it more competitive.  Mr Roubini said this would still leave the country with an "unsustainable" public debt-to-GDP ratio of 148pc by 2016 and vulnerable to a further debt crisis from even minor shocks.
 
Derivatives group in $1 trillion warning – U.S. companies may be required to secure as much as $1 trillion due to a change in the wording of the financial reform bill currently being finalized in Congress, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association Tuesday. The group said companies will need a combined $400 billion for collateral to cover the current exposure of their over-the-counter derivatives transactions and another $370 billion in additional credit capacity to cover potential future exposure of those transactions. "If markets return to levels prevailing at the end of 2008, additional collateral needs would bring the total to $1 trillion," said ISDA in its report. The comprehensive financial reform bill is aimed at establishing standards for mortgage underwriting and strengthening bank capital among other measures.
 
New Feudal War Part 3: “Austerity” – By now all the major activities of big corporations and government combine in a nexus of organized crime. In principle the finance sector’s activity is meant to help corporations and governments cover up for the fact that all sectors are mature, that it’s been many years since there’s been any real growth, and that most large entities are in the red if not insolvent. This covered up as long as it could for the structural collapse of the debt economy, resource depletion, and the fact that much of what wealth is still being produced is simply embezzled from society by a handful of gangsters. The criminals, in corporations and governments, engage in this control fraud to pretend the money is still there and growing. That’s the nominal fraud mode. When the ponzi scheme blows up, as with American mortgages, everything shifts into disaster capitalist mode. The system pretends the blowup is some kind of act of god, force majeure which is nobody’s fault. It’s also the implicit will of god that the rich who benefited from the bubble don’t have to divest themselves to cover the losses now that all those “profits” are proven to have been fictional.
 
Nearly 1 in 3 first-quarter home sales a foreclosure: report (Reuters) – Nearly one out of every three U.S. home sales in the first quarter was a foreclosure property as steep price discounts boosted demand for distressed real estate, RealtyTrac said in a new report on Wednesday. Foreclosure homes accounted for 31 percent of all residential sales in the first quarter of 2010, with the average sales price of properties that sold while in some stage of foreclosure nearly 27 percent below homes that were not in the process, Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac said. "In a normal market, only 1 to 2 percent of home sales are foreclosures, so this is certainly a significant level," Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac, said in an interview."
 
French Public Debt Rises 3.1% as Borrowing Jumps —France’s general government debt, as defined under the Maastricht Treaty, rose €46.5 billion ($56.72 billion) in the first quarter to €1.54 trillion, reflecting a sharp increase in borrowing by the Treasury, French statistical agency Insee said Wednesday. Public debt at the end of March represented about 80.3% of France’s gross domestic product, up 2.2 percentage points from three months earlier and a whopping 10.8 points from a year before. France’s external debt has been climbing at a fast pace due to last year’s economic slowdown, which has caused a sharp deterioration in the country’s public finances.
 
Democrats, Obama willing to scale back – Key Senate Democrats offered, during a White House meeting with President Barack Obama and skeptical Republicans on Tuesday, to scale back their ambitious plans to cap greenhouse gases across multiple sectors of the economy. Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman told reporters after the 90-minute West Wing meeting that Obama held firm in his calls for a price on greenhouse gases. But they said the president acknowledged that he could agree to a more limited climate and energy bill than any the senators had previously drafted. “We believe we have compromised significantly, and we’re prepared to compromise further,” Kerry said."The president was very clear about putting a price on carbon" and curbing greenhouse gases,  he added.
 

Potentially ‘Thousands’ Of Homeowners Improperly Denied Obama Mortgage Modifications, Administration Admits Potentially "thousands" of troubled homeowners were denied opportunities to lower their monthly mortgage payments under the Obama administration’s signature foreclosure-prevention plan due to servicer errors and inadequate oversight by the Treasury Department, a government audit has found. Mortgage servicers failed to comply with basic guidelines, used different criteria to evaluate borrowers, recorded error rates up to six times their established thresholds, and couldn’t provide evidence that potentially eligible homeowners had been solicited for the administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program, also known as HAMP. The errors are partly due to Treasury’s failure to issue specific guidelines for servicers to follow, and the administration’s lack of quality-control standards. Because servicers aren’t required to adhere to the same set of standards, there’s a risk that firms aren’t identifying practices "that may lead to inequitable treatment of borrowers or harm taxpayers through greater potential for fraud or waste,"

Treating R&D as Investment, Rather Than Expense, Boosts GDP – If research and development costs were treated as an investment, rather than as an expense, gross domestic product would have been 2.7% higher between 1998 and 2007, according to updated figures released Wednesday.The way GDP is currently calculated counts R&D as a so-called “intermediate expense” — salaries paid to research scientists are lumped with salaries paid to assembly-line workers, for example. But a joint study from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Science Foundation that is now in its fifth year treats R&D spending as an investment, such as the cost of a new computer. Accounting for R&D in this way — something the Commerce Department plans to do eventually — adds $301 billion to GDP between 1998 and 2007. It also shows that GDP grew, on average 3% during those years, up from 2.8% under the current methodology.

 

Getting used to disappointment – IT HAS been a rare economic variable in recent months that has surprised to the upside. That should probably tell us something important—that expectations are likely to fall. Things like this won’t help: Nonfarm private employment increased 13,000 from May to June 2010 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report®. The estimated change in employment from April to May 2010 was revised up slightly, from the previously reported increase of 55,000 to an increase of 57,000. June’s rise in private employment was the fifth consecutive monthly gain. However, over these five months the increases have averaged a modest 34,000. Recent ADP Report data suggest that, following steady improvement through April, private employment may have decelerated heading into the summer. Meanwhile, forecasters had been expecting an increase of around 60,000 private sector jobs. The official Department of Labour number will come out on Friday.

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