Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

In The News 10/24/08

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A campaign volunteer for John McCain in Pittsburgh, PA made up a story about being robbed at an ATM, then being assaulted by the robber once the 6’4″ black man figured out she was driving with a McCain sticker on her car.  The story was ludicrous when it first came out, but that certainly didn’t stop propaganda outlets like Fox from running with the story as hard as they could.  Ashley Todd made up this disgusting story.  She filed a false police report after inflicting the wounds on herself.  Seriously, what has happened to the Republican party?

Lots of economic news again today.  First up: OPEC’s supply decision.  OPEC will cut production by 1.5 million barrels per day.  They think there’s too much supply in the system.  What they’re really saying is that $140 oil makes them more money than $70 oil.  That might sound like a “Duh” type of statement, but it should serve as a lesson to the pro-drilling crowd.  Any additional supply the U.S. might bring to market in 10 years will simply be taken off the market by OPEC.  That means we’ll pay more for gas (not less!) because OPEC wants more for its oil.  The drilling fetish folks are looking to grab some of the profit along the way.  What do we get out of it?

“Too-big-to-fail” insurance giant AIG has not just already blown through the original $85 billion loaned by the government (corporate welfare with taxpayer money), it’s nearly blown the additional $37.5 billion extension loan too.  It doesn’t stop there: AIG may ask for even more money.  Remind me again why American taxpayer dollars are bailing out firms when we’re not allowed to know where the money is really going.

Foreclosures are up 71% over last year’s level.  Nationwide, nearly 766,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in the last quarter, as reported by RealtyTrac.  Remember, RealtyTrac isn’t keeping track of foreclosures in 900 rural counties nationally.  The numbers could have been worse.  Many states have initiated foreclosure-delay programs.  Without additional work, I expect an artificial ‘explosion’ of foreclosures in this quarter.

Meanwhile, the number of new applications for unemployment insurance rose to 478,000.  People without jobs cannot pay their mortgages.  Corporations continue to announce massive numbers of layoffs.  The economy is going to continue to get worse before it gets better.

Cry me a freaking river.  The recession is beginning to hit rich folks’ golf communities.  People that live in the communities are not that upset about the decrease in their home values.  They’re upset because they can’t golf everyday.  They’re upset because they can’t hang out in the clubhouse all day.  These are some of the same people that are upset over inheritance taxes.  They don’t provide labor to the economy, and they think they’re so much better than the rest of us that they shouldn’t have to pay for their fair share of the nation’s infrastructure that they use.  Meanwhile, middle- and lower-class families are becoming homeless and jobless.  The fact that this article was even written is sad commentary on the state of our society.

Inside Colorado, a successful sale of bonds by the state will finance 12 construction projects on college campuses across Colorado:

1. University of Northern Colorado: Butler-Hancock Renovation

2. Colorado Northwestern Community College: Academic Building, Craig Campus

3. Colorado State University at Pueblo: Academic Resources Center Remodel

4. Colorado School of Mines: Brown Hall Addition

5. CSU Fort Collins: Clark Building Revitalization

6. Auraria Higher Education Campus: Science Building

7. Western State College: Taylor Hall Renovation and Addition

8. Mesa State College: Wubben Hall Expansion and Renovation

9. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs: Renovation of Science Building

10. Morgan Community College: Nursing, Technology & Science Building

11. Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus: Science Classroom Project

12. Fort Lewis College: Berndt Hall Reconstruction

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