Article 43

 

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

For Want Of A Dentist

By Mary Otto
Washington Post
February 28, 2007

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren’t so hard to find.

If his mother hadn’t been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

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Posted by Elvis on 02/28/07 •
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bad Moon Rising Part 10 - Glimpse Of Wall Street’s Next Crash

Dow Jones Drops 500 Points

By Ellis Mnyandu
Reuters
February 27, 2007

Stocks sink on fears about CHINA and GROWTH

U.S. stocks tumbled on Tuesday, driving the Dow Jones industrial average down in its worst slide since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, as a sell-off in China’s stock market raised concerns that equity valuations may be too high.

A U.S. government report showing a bigger-than-expected drop in January’s new orders for U.S.-made durable goods added to investors’ concerns about the outlook for economic growth and corporate profits. Those worries added more fuel to the sell-off and helped contribute to a loss of about $600 billion in market value for the day.

The New York Stock Exchange’s closing bell was greeted with a chorus of “boos” from the trading floor. A surge in trading volume triggered a technical glitch in late afternoon, contributing to an abrupt swing in the Dow average, which briefly fell 500 points. A Dow Jones Indexes spokeswoman said the glitch did not affect stock prices.

Investors dumped stocks with the biggest exposure to Chinese demand, including Caterpillar Inc., whose shares slid 3.6 percent, while Tuesday’s sell-off wiped out the year’s gains for all three major U.S. stock indexes.

“There seems to be just an air of nothing is safe anymore, there’s nowhere to go and people are rotating into bonds as a safe haven,” said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in Princeton, New Jersey.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 416.02 points, or 3.29 percent, to end at 12,216.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 50.33 points, or 3.47 percent, to finish at 1,399.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 96.65 points, or 3.86 percent, to close at 2,407.87.

GOODBYE TO THE YEAR’S GAINS

At one point, the Dow fell as much as 546.20 points, or 4.32 percent, to a session low at 12,086.06. It was its biggest one-day point decline since after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 had their worst one-day percentage drop in almost four years, while the Nasdaq had its worst day since December 2002.

For the year to date, the Dow was down about 2 percent, while the S&P 500 was down about 1.36 percent and the Nasdaq was down about 0.31 percent.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note dropped to 4.50 percent, the lowest since late December, as investors bought bonds in a flight to quality. The 10-year note’s price, which moves in the opposite direction of its yield, rose more than a full point, or 1-1/32, to 101.

BAD NEWS BEFORE THE BELL

On Tuesday, the die for the trading day was cast when China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped almost 9 percent on fears that the government would crack down on speculation that has driven stock prices there to record highs.

Before Wall Street’s opening bell, there was more bad news. A government report showed a much bigger-than-expected drop of 7.8 percent in January’s new orders for U.S.-made durable goods, which added to concerns about a slowdown in economic growth.  Durable goods are big-ticket items, including home appliances and computers, intended to last three years or more.

“Durable goods are a key forward-looking indicator of business activity, so the broad-based drop that we saw today means that confidence in the economy is weaker across a number of sectors and the chance of an investment-led recession is quite a bit higher,” said Andrew Bernard, professor of International Economics at the Tuck School of Business in Dartmouth, New Hampshire.

FEAR FACTOR SKYROCKETS

In one sign of how shaken investors were, the CBOE Volatility Index, known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” surged 70.5 percent to a session high at 19.01 and then retraced its steps a bit to end at 18.31, a gain of 64.2 percent.

Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard & Poor’s, said the stock market’s tumble wiped out more than $430 billion in the S&P 500 stock values, almost matching the value of stock buybacks by S&P 500 companies last year.

He estimated that for the overall market, the loss was $600 billion.

All 30 stocks in the blue-chip Dow average finished in the red as investors unloaded shares of companies with big exposure to the Chinese economy.

During the session, all three major U.S. stock indexes broke below their 60-day moving averages—a sign that the momentum that has carried U.S. stocks through a record run higher from July has begun to stall.

Exxon Mobil Corp. was the biggest decliner in both the Dow and the S&P 500, with its stock falling 4.7 percent, or $3.57, to $71.83 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Caterpillar Inc., the U.S. heavy equipment maker that does extensive business in China, dropped 3.6 percent, or $2.43, to $64.83, also on the NYSE.

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange’s semiconductor index ended down 3.1 percent, its second-sharpest one-day slide this year.

Shares of technology bellwether Cisco Systems Inc. skidded 5.6 percent, or $1.53, to $25.71. The stock was among the biggest losers in both the Nasdaq 100 <.NDX> and the S&P 500.

A rare bright spot on the Big Board was RadioShack Corp., up 11.9 percent, or $2.68, at $25.13. The stock was the NYSE’s No. 1 percentage gainer after reporting higher quarterly profit, due to cutting costs and closing unprofitable stores.

Volume was heavy on the NYSE, where about 2.41 billion shares changed hands, well above last year’s estimated daily average of 1.84 billion. On the Nasdaq, about 3.02 billion shares traded, sharply exceeding last year’s daily average of 2.02 billion.

On the Nasdaq, the number of advancing issues totaled just 281 stocks—the smallest number in about 10 years. In contrast, a total of 2,832 stocks fell on the Nasdaq—with the decliners outnumbering the advancers by a ratio of slightly more than 10 to 1.

On the NYSE, more than six stocks fell for every one that rose. A total of 2,949 NYSE stocks declined, while only 451 shares rose and 104 issues were unchanged. (Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch, Emily Chasan and Bill Rigby)

SOURCE

Bad Moon Rising
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5
Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9 - Part 10
Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15
Part 16 - Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20
Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24 - Part 25
Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30
Part 31 - Part 32 - Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35
Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45
Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48 - Part 49 - Part 50
Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54

Posted by Elvis on 02/27/07 •
Section Bad Moon Rising • Section News
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Operation Falcon and the Looming Police State

By Mike Whitley
Information Clearinghouse
February 26, 2007

On 29th June, 1934, Chancellor Adolph Hitler, accompanied by the Schutzstaffel (SS), arrived at Wiesse, where he personally arrested the leader of the Strum Abteilung (SA), Ernnst Roehm. During the next 24 hours 200 other senior SA officers were arrested on the way to Wiesse. Many were shot as soon as they were captured but Hitler decided to pardon Roehm because of his past service to the movement. However, after much pressure from Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler, Hitler agreed that Roehm should die. At first Hitler insisted that Roehm should be allowed to commit suicide but, when he refused, Roehm was shot by two SS men. (Spartacus.schoolnet.co)

Later, Hitler delivered a speech at the Reichstag in which he justified the murders of his rivals saying:

“If anyone reproaches me and asks why I did not resort to the regular courts of justice, then all I can say is this: In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the German people, and thereby I became the supreme judge of the German people. It was no secret that this time the revolution would have to be bloody; when we spoke of it we called it ‘The Night of the Long Knives.’ Everyone must know for all future time that if he raises his hand to strike the State, then certain death is his lot.”

The Night of the Long Knives is seen by many as the turning point where Hitler made it clear that he was above the law and the supreme leader of the German people.

Operation Falcon: Blueprint for removing dissidents and political rivals

The Bush administration has carried out three massive sweeps in the last two years, rolling up more than 30,000 minor crooks and criminals, without as much as a whimper of protest from the public.

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Posted by Elvis on 02/27/07 •
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Monday, February 26, 2007

Poverty In America at 32 Year High

Plight of poorest of poor extends to suburban areas

By Tony Pugh
Houston Chronicle
February 25, 2007

The percentage of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high as the gulf BETWEEN the nation’s “haves” and “have-nots” CONTINUES to widen.

A McClatchy Newspapers analysis of the 2005 census figures, the latest available, found that nearly 16 million Americans are living in deep or severe poverty. A family of four with two children and an annual income of less than $9,903 half the federal poverty line ח was considered severely poor in 2005. So were individuals who made less than $5,080 a year.

The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That’s 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period.

McClatchy’s review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn’t confined to large urban counties but extends to other areas.

The plight of the severely poor is a distressing sidebar to an unusual economic expansion. Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries.

That helps explain why the median household income for working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

These and other factors have helped push 43 percent of the nation’s 37 million poor people into deep poverty the highest rate since at least 1975.

The growth, which leveled off in 2005, in part reflects how hard it is for low-skilled workers to earn their way out of poverty in an unstable job market that favors skilled and educated workers. It also suggests that social programs aren’t as effective as they once were at catching those who fall into economic despair.

SOURCE

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The 2008 recession has caused massive increases in extreme poverty.

By Evan Soltas
June 23, 2012

For the purpose of our analysis here, an individual as “extremely poor” if he or she resides in a family unit whose income is less than half of the federal poverty threshold. To give you a sense of what that means, the awful extremity of extreme poverty: a single person under 65 must have made less than $5,851, and a family of four must have made less than $11,509. (In my opinion, it is likely that for the majority of the extreme poor, taxable income is zero.)

Recessions, in fact, appear to affect disproportionately the extreme poor, rather than those closer to the federal poverty threshold or the “near poor,” those whose income is less than half of the federal poverty threshold.

Consider this: in 2010, 6.7 percent of Americans were among the extreme poor, as compared to 5.2 percent in 2007 and 4.5 percent in 2000. That’s a 50 percent increase in the fraction of extremely poor individuals—the greatest increase, by far, of any income group relative to the poverty threshold.The unambiguous statistical trend since 2000 has been large increases in the fraction of Americans at the extreme end of poverty, with little to no change in the fraction of Americans considered “near poor.” The poor, in other words, are getting poorer—or more precisely, poverty in America is becoming an increasingly extreme and unequal phenomenon.Observe, for example, that since 2008, the percentages of individuals making between one-half and three-fourths of the poverty threshold, and between three-fourths and up to the threshold, have seen the second and third largest growth since 2000—27 percent and 21 percent respectively. The former has increased from 3 percent of Americans to 3.8 percent, the latter from 3.8 percent to 4.6 percent. Meanwhile, the fraction of near-poor individuals has remained roughly stable in the 18 percent range since 2000.

If you’re an economist, you might notice that the statistical behavior of the two most extreme poor groups in the first graph—less than half of the threshold, and between half and three-fourths of it—is dramatically different from the other income brackets. They appear highly sensitive to recession, rising as sharply as a fraction of the population during the recessions of 1981, 1990, 2000, and 2008. All other poverty-threshold groups show little to no cyclical behavior.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 02/26/07 •
Section Dying America
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Made In America. I think.

Yesterday I posted a casualty of AT&T’S USE of DISPOSABLE day laborers.  Today I WONDER who Lockheed Martin’s software programmers are, and where they COME FROM.

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Navigational software glitch forces Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors back to Hawaii, abandoning first foreign deployment to Japan
By Juston Wastnage
Flight Global
February 14, 2007

Lockheed Martin is rushing a software fix to Hawaii after 12 US Air Force F-22A Raptors en route to Japan for the stealth fighters first overseas deployment had to turn back because an unspecified problem with their navigation systems.

The F-22s, of the 27th Fighter Squadron from Langley AFB in Virginia, were en route from Hickham AFB in Hawaii to Kadena AB on Okinawa for a three- to four-month deployment. They are expected to try again by the end of the week, after the software fix is incorporated and tested.

Asked to comment on rumours the problem related to crossing the international dateline, the USAF said: “The aircraft experienced a software problem involving the navigation system en route from Hickam to Kadena. For operational security reasons we will not discuss specific aircraft systems or locations.”

Taking delivery of the first F-22 for the Pacific Air Forces at Lockheeds Marietta, Georgia plant on Monday, USAF Gen Paul Hester said the reason for sending the Raptors to Kadena is ғto learn how to deploy with the F-22. We get a manual with the aircraft and we are learning every day the capabilities built into the aircraft.

PACAFԒs F-22s are being delivered to Langley for training, with the first eight aircraft to arrive at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska in August and two squadrons to be operational by the end of 2008. Eventually, Raptors will also be based at Hickam.

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Posted by Elvis on 02/26/07 •
Section General Reading
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