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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
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"Dow about 8 percent off 2000 peak, when adjusted for inflation."

The Dow Jones’s new high is fake

Posted by Ezra Klein on March 5, 2013 at 11:09 am

The Dow Jones industrial average passed 14,164.53 today. That’s its highest reading ever. Huzzah!

Or not. That number doesn’t adjust for inflation. As CNBC’s Jeff Cox writes, “in inflation-adjusted dollars, the Dow would need to hit 15,731.54 to break the record.” In fact, in inflation-adjusted terms, the Dow is still well below it’s 2000 high.

Oh, and the Dow Jones industrial average, which measures the performance of 30 companies, is a useless market indicator, and you should follow the S&P 500 instead.

Sorry to be a bummer.


It is always the real problem ...

The real problem with the sequester is that it unfairly targets the poor

Skeptics have downplayed the likely impact of "sequestration" – the $85bn cut in federal funding that's slated to begin Friday – noting that it equals just 2.4% of total federal spending this year and that spending will continue to grow despite the cut. But this math obscures the harm that sequestration will do, not just to Americans across the country but also to the economy as a whole.

First, let's examine the 2.4% figure. While accurate, it's meaningless because the cuts aren't occurring across the entire federal budget. Some programs, notably social security, are exempt, and the cuts to Medicare are strictly limited.

Instead, the cuts are concentrated in what's known as "discretionary" programs, because Congress funds them on an annual basis (unlike "entitlement" programs, like social security, which have permanent funding). About half of discretionary spending is for defense; the other half is for a wide range of activities including education, medical and scientific research, law enforcement, environmental protection, international aid programs, and support for low-income individuals and families.

Discretionary spending accounts for about 35% of total spending, but it will bear roughly 80% of the cuts under sequestration.


Chris Christie on CPAC snub: ‘I can’t sweat the small stuff’

Chris Christie says he’s not sweating “the small stuff” on Wednesday, after American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas said the New Jersey governor wasn’t invited to speak at CPAC because he didn’t have an “outstanding year.”

"Listen, I wish them all the best. They're going to have their conference, they're going to have a bunch of people speaking there. That's their call,” Christie said when asked about the snub at a town hall meeting, according to The Star-Ledger. “It's not like I'm lacking for invitations to speak around the country."

"I can't sweat the small stuff," he said. "I've got a state to rebuild."


This is the reason for 4 paragraphs .. from terms of DU service

Don't willfully and habitually infringe on others' copyrights.

To simplify compliance and enforcement of copyrights here on Democratic Underground, we ask that excerpts from other sources posted on Democratic Underground be limited to a maximum of four paragraphs, and we ask that the source of the content be clearly identified. Those who make a good-faith effort to respect the rights of copyright holders are unlikely to have any problems. But individuals who willfully and habitually infringe on others' copyrights risk being in violation of our Terms of Service.

and if you had read the rest of the article you would have found what you were looking for ...

OK: warp-sped

"A Supreme Court that tramples its citizens' inalienable rights has no authority."

Time To Stop Monsanto And The US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court heard a case on February 19 that is interesting perhaps not even so much because of the topic at hand but more because of the level of absurdity involved. It feels like we warpsped our way into a parallel universe where the laws of nature are entirely different from those on earth.

That is to say, the court should never have been in a position to hear the case, but it has created the legal space for itself, aided and abetted by Congress and the US patent system, to hear it anyway. Because of this we should all ask ourselves: How on earth have we ever allowed things to get this far? What were we thinking, and what were we not, because we were busy doing other things? And finally: how do we get out of this parallel universe and into our own?

I would argue that it's perhaps the US Supreme Court itself (and maybe the US government as a whole) that should be taken to court by the international community, for instance for grossly overstepping its legal boundaries, but let's first look at the case before the court last week.

The original suit, one that involved patent infringement, was filed by chemical conglomerate Monsanto, which has aggressively moved into the food industry in the past few decades with the implicit purpose of using it to sell more chemicals, against Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman.


"No Shit" really

Greed caused BP's gulf oil spill, lawyers argue

NEW ORLEANS — Energy giant BP, behind schedule and $50 million over budget drilling a deep-water well, emphasized cost-cutting over safety, causing the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, lawyers said Monday as the company's high-stakes civil trial began.

Lawyers used PowerPoint presentations to provide a dramatic recounting of the April 20, 2010, explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 crew members. Workers were preparing to temporarily cap the Macondo well 4,100 feet underwater when it blew up. The 30-story drilling vessel about 50 miles offshore burned for two days before crumpling into the gulf.

The resulting spill of more than 4 million barrels of oil damaged the waters and economies of five states. And the responsible party was BP, according to the lawyers representing the federal government, Gulf Coast states and private parties.

The long-awaited trial, which is expected to last several months, could expose BP to about $17 billion in fines for violating the Clean Water Act. Federal District Judge Carl Barbier will decide whether BP's actions were negligent or grossly negligent, which could force higher fines on the company.


Boehner says US veterans' claims system is broken

CINCINNATI — U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said the system for handling veterans' disability claims is broken and he wants the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain what is being done to fix it.

Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said in a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki this week that the benefit delivery system for veterans has not shown any noticeable improvement in the four years Shinseki has headed the department and the backlog of compensation claims "remains alarmingly high."

The VA was preparing a formal response to Boehner's letter, a VA spokesman said Friday. The VA has said it completed a "record-breaking" 1 million claims per year the past three years.

But the speaker wrote in his letter that the backload remains high, especially in Ohio, despite the announcement at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Regional Office last summer of a new organizational model to help reduce the backlog by 2015. The Cleveland office, which handles claims from around the state, is now processing claims in an average of 334 days compared with the national average of 272 days and the VA's own goal of 125 days, Boehner said.



Is Boehner hinting that the VA disability system is politically oriented ....???

Not just another coal mine ...

The children who work in India’s rat-hole coal mines for $4 a day

Thirteen-year-old Sanjay Chhetri has a recurring fear: that one day, the dark, dank mine where he works will cave in and bury him alive.

Like thousands of children in India’s remote northeast, Chhetri begins work in the middle of the night, ready to dig pits, squat through narrow tunnels and cut coal shards.

At four feet six inches, the skinny teenager is the perfect fit for a job in the lucrative mining industry in Meghalaya state whose crudely-built rat-hole mines are too small for most adults to enter.

Each day Sanjay makes his way down a series of slippery ladders in the pitch-dark, carrying two pickaxes, with a tiny flashlight strapped to his head.

Seven months into the job, he still walks gingerly, taking care not to miss a step and fall fifty metres (165 feet).


Obama Faces Risks in Pipeline Decision

President Obama faces a knotty decision in whether to approve the much-delayed Keystone oil pipeline: a choice between alienating environmental advocates who overwhelmingly supported his candidacy or causing a deep and perhaps lasting rift with Canada.

Canada, the United States’ most important trading partner and a close ally on Iran and Afghanistan, is counting on the pipeline to propel more growth in its oil patch, a vital engine for its economy. Its leaders have made it clear that an American rejection would be viewed as an unneighborly act and could bring retaliation.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s first meeting with a foreign leader was with Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, on Feb. 8. They discussed the Keystone pipeline project, among other subjects, and Mr. Kerry promised a fair, transparent and prompt decision. He did not indicate what recommendation he would make to the president.

But this is also a decisive moment for the United States environmental movement, which backed Mr. Obama strongly in the last two elections. For groups like the Sierra Club, permitting a pipeline carrying more than 700,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude into the country would be viewed as a betrayal, and as a contradiction of the president’s promises in his second inaugural and State of the Union addresses to make controlling climate change a top priority for his second term.


Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Pollutocrat Kochs

A new academic study confirms that front groups with longstanding ties to the tobacco industry and the billionaire Koch brothers planned the formation of the Tea Party movement more than a decade before it exploded onto the U.S. political scene.

Far from a genuine grassroots uprising, this astroturf effort was curated by wealthy industrialists years in advance. Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry’s role in driving climate disruption.

The study, funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health, traces the roots of the Tea Party’s anti-tax movement back to the early 1980s when tobacco companies began to invest in third party groups to fight excise taxes on cigarettes, as well as health studies finding a link between cancer and secondhand cigarette smoke.

Published in the peer-reviewed academic journal, Tobacco Control, the study titled, ‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party, is not just an historical account of activities in a bygone era. As senior author, Stanton Glantz, a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) professor of medicine, writes:

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