PoliticsPresident Barack Obama

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To: Bread Upon The Water who wrote (110494)3/2/2012 1:25:49 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
The US can't regulate oil speculation. It's a global market. If speculation is restricted here it will just move off shore and have the same effect on price.

Good point. However, I think you could make it more difficult if Chicago, NY and London.......the major markets for oil trading......worked in concert. The world shouldn't be held hostage to the whims of hedge fund traders.

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From: tejek3/2/2012 1:32:43 PM
   of 149288
Hitting Limbaugh where it hurts

By Steve Benen
Fri Mar 2, 2012 11:31 AM EST

Getty Images

Following up on an earlier item, waiting for Rush Limbaugh to apologize for his misogynistic tirades this week is probably pointless. The more interesting point is what the host's advertisers think about his remarks.

One of Rush Limbaugh's advertisers announced Friday that it was pulling all of its commercials from his radio show in the wake of Limbaugh's incendiary comments about a female law student and contraception.

After being bombarded on Twitter, mattress store Sleep Train said that it would no longer advertise during Limbaugh's top-rated show following days of outrage over Limbaugh's statements about Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown student who was denied a chance to speak at a Congressional hearing about birth control.

"We are pulling our ads with Rush Limbaugh and appreciate the community's feedback," the company wrote in a tweet.

ThinkProgress added, "ProFlowers, eHarmony, and several other companies have also been fielding complaints as well, and both companies have said they are considering taking action as well."

A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was willing to go so far as to say Limbaugh's attacks were "inappropriate." Under the circumstances, that's a pretty mild rebuke for such ugly and offensive language.

What's more, to reiterate a point from this morning, the larger political implications matter. Thanks to an aggressive culture-war agenda -- including, but not limited to, contraception, abortion rights, and mandatory ultrasounds -- Republicans have made themselves vulnerable to criticism as an anti-woman party. Limbaugh's over-the-top misogyny, coupled with his role as a leading GOP voice, make it that much easier for Democrats to make their case this election year.

Indeed, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) connected Limbaugh with the Republican agenda in an interview with Greg Sargent this morning.

If Republicans had any control over Limbaugh, GOP leaders might put in a call to the host, asking him to scale back the anti-woman rhetoric for a while. Unfortunately for the party, the power seems to run in the other direction -- Limbaugh gives orders to Republicans, not the other way around.

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From: tejek3/2/2012 1:39:37 PM
   of 149288
Detroit narrowing the car quality gap with imports

By Peter Valdes-Dapena @PeterDrives

Cadillac ranked third behind Lexus and Porsche in the latest J.D. Power Dependability Study as domestic automakers closed the quality gap compared to imported cars.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The dependability of cars is continuing to improve, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates and domestic brands, in particular, are narrowing the gap in quality compared to the Japanese automakers.

Overall scores in the survey were the best they've ever been since the survey's inception in 1990.

The top three brands with the fewest problems were Lexus (Toyota's ( TM) luxury brand), Porsche and General Motors' ( GM, Fortune 500) luxury brand, Cadillac.

The most problem-free car captured in the survey was the 2009 Lexus LS.

But while car owners are reporting fewer problems, car shoppers still don't seem to be getting the message, especially in regard to domestic vehicles, the market research company said.

J.D. Power surveyed owners of three year old cars -- those from the 2009 model year -- about how many problems they'd experienced in the past year. Dependability is gauged by the number of problems per 100 of each make and model of a car.

Most automakers improved since last year's survey, which involved 2008 model year cars, but domestic automakers improved faster than the Japanese brands. The gap between Japanese and domestic brands narrowed from 20 problems per 100 vehicles last year to 17 this year.

European brands, overall, slightly lagged both American and Asian automakers. On average, European cars had six more problems per 100 vehicles than domestic cars.

Among European cars, Mercedes-Benz was the only brand besides Porsche to rank above average.

Buyers aren't getting it: In a separate survey, J.D. Power found that customer perceptions about vehicle quality seriously lags the data.

"In particular, during the past four years, models Buick, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai and Lincoln have achieved consistently strong levels of dependability, but still have relatively high proportions of new vehicle buyers expressing concerns," said David Sargent who heads the automotive division of J.D. Power.

Often, consumers' perceptions of vehicle quality are based on past experiences or anecdotes form acquaintances, which may represent incomplete or outdated information, Sargent said.

While domestic brands improved, overall, not all did well compared to competitors. Besides Cadillac, the only brands to actually rank above average were Ford's luxury Lincoln brand, its mainstream Ford brand and General Motors' Buick.

Gallery: 8 very valuable Buicks - yes, Buicks The three Chrysler brands -- Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler -- filled the bottom three ranks in the survey.

Chrysler's quality has improved over the last three years, however, according to two other surveys: J.D. Power's Initial Quality Surveys and Consumer Reports' surveys. Historically, J.D. Power's Initial Quality Survey, which measures how many problems new cars have in the months after purchase, has been shown to be a good predictor of longer-term dependability.

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To: Road Walker who wrote (110486)3/2/2012 1:54:30 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
This is nothing short of amazing. Walker promised he would create 250K jobs during his first term in office. He has been in office a little over a year and WI could have less jobs than when he started even as the recovery is picking up steam. Instead, all he has done is divide WI in a way I have never seen before.

March release of employment situation highly anticipated

11:49 AM, Feb. 21, 2012 |

The state Department of Workforce Development will release job numbers next month that could be the most anticipated statistics of Gov. Scott Walker's short tenure.

If the January and February numbers show Wisconsin lost another 4,500 positions, the state will — on paper — have fewer jobs now than before Walker took office.

That could be a big blow for a governor who once joked that he'd tattoo "250,000 jobs" on the foreheads of his cabinet secretaries to remind them of the administration's reason to exist.

If this comes to pass, Republicans likely will downplay the numbers, and contend their reforms are working and only require more time before the benefits are clear.

Democrats, on the other hand, will seize the numbers as proof the governor's efforts have failed.

But over at the agency that puts out those numbers, Nelse Grundvig will just shake his head and keep plugging away. Grundvig is DWD's labor market information director — a job that requires a skill in high math and a tolerance for partisan bickering.

He is the kind of person who can add two plus two and end up with three. Or five, depending on the margin of error. The kind of person for whom "accurate" and "precise" hold different meanings. In short, a numbers person.

Every month, DWD jobs numbers are snatched up and bandied about as proof of either our salvation, or ruination, depending on your political persuasion. Problem is, those numbers were never meant to be taken as gospel.

"They have become lightning rods," he says. "People don't realize, they're basically just a poll. They're not meant to be taken as a census of jobs in the state."

Welcoming new jobs When Walker took office, Wisconsin had about 2.74 million jobs. For the next six months, the state ticked upward slightly, increasing the official tally to about 2.77 million. But beginning in June, the state started a six-month slide that cost 35,000 jobs and left it about where it started.

Walker visited manufacturing sites in Greenville and Peshtigo on Monday, pushing the creation of nearly 100 jobs by two businesses.

During his visit to Industrial Ventilation Inc. in Greenville, Walker pushed the need for the state to generate more family-sustaining jobs.

Industrial Ventilation, a mechanical contractor that employs 127 people, said Monday it plans to build a 27,000-square-foot facility that, when finished in late summer, will create 30 new jobs, including engineering and assorted manufacturing positions.

"We're pleased (Industrial Ventilation) decided to expand here," Walker said Monday. "We need more stories like IVI."

He said the Greenville company chose to expand in Wisconsin because it preferred the state's business climate. It did not receive any state assistance or other incentives to expand, he said.

Walker said the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the former state Department of Commerce, can be effective in helping other companies succeed in Wisconsin as well as luring business away from neighboring states.

Earlier Monday in Peshtigo, Walker welcomed Precision Iceblast Corp. to the state. That business is relocating from Wallace, Mich., and is expected to bring 64 new jobs.

"They also preferred Wisconsin's business climate," Walker said. "To make the move happen, we had to help with tax credits, which the WEDC was able to provide. We have to be good stewards of the taxpayer's dollars and do things that will create jobs … it's a careful balance."

WEDC is providing Precision Iceblast with up to $400,000 in tax credits over three years to support its relocation. Precision IceBlast plans to invest more than $1.45 million to construct its production and product-training facility.

Assessing the job market When trying to determine Wisconsin's job market, officials employ a methodology similar to the one pollsters use to chart a politician's popularity. The approach is uniform among the states and has been used — with some tweaks — for more than 100 years.

In Wisconsin, labor officials poll 6,000 employers, about 4 percent of the total. These businesses represent types of industry, which means changes at one plant or company can color the results for an entire sector.

But whenever experts like Grundvig look at these numbers, they keep in mind that these monthly estimates carry a margin of error of plus or minus 9,400 this year. This means that when they see a report showing the state added 6,000 jobs, they know the reality could be the state lost 3,400.

A similar approach is used to gauge the state's unemployment rate. To get that data, the U.S. Census Bureau surveys a group of about 54,000 homes across the country, about 1,450 of them from Wisconsin.

The unemployment numbers have a margin of error that decreases when the jobless rate gets higher. An unemployment rate of 5 percent has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.5 percent.

Sometimes the unemployment numbers do not match the job numbers, which can seem counter-intuitive. In December, the state experienced an official drop in jobs at the same time as the unemployment rate dipped from 7.3 to 7.1 percent.

"They measure similar things but use two different approaches to tell what is happening with the economy," said Dennis Winters, DWD's chief economic adviser. "Usually, eventually, they fall in line at some point."

Charles Franklin, a Marquette University Law School political scientist and longtime pollster, said this approach is a logical one.

"We like to say those kinds of numbers are accurate, but not precise," he said. "But in the long run, they can give you a fairly clear picture of what's going on (in) the state."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases job numbers in its monthly preliminary report, a set of numbers that are often incomplete and misleading. Participants do not always reply by the deadline, causing fluctuations.

DWD releases "revised" numbers the next month, which are more accurate. But those numbers rarely generate the kind of media attention the early ones do.

In 2011, the difference between preliminary and revised numbers averaged more than 1,400 a month. The worst example was in October, when the preliminary numbers were off by 7,300. That month the Bureau of Labor Statistics originally said the state lost 9,700 jobs; the revised number was a loss of 2,400.

"Sometimes it can just be noise," Grundvig said. "That's why you can't make too much out of any set of numbers."

read more...............

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To: sylvester80 who wrote (110501)3/2/2012 1:56:40 PM
From: bentway
   of 149288
That was great! Watching it, I was thinking, I'd LOVE to see Obama eat lunch with a birther, a racist hater, and someone who thought he was a secret Muslim!

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To: tejek who wrote (110506)3/2/2012 2:06:51 PM
From: Road Walker
   of 149288
This is nothing short of amazing.

Quit with the sarcasm! If the Reps were actually to create jobs, there would be more competition for them and they would have to pay people more. Maybe give them benefits! That's the last thing they want. You know that.

The Reps have been in the business of destroying jobs for at least a couple of decades. They want a cheap, plentyfull, desperate and hungry labor force. And credit where credit is due; they are doing a hell of a job.

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (110500)3/2/2012 2:19:03 PM
From: John Vosilla
   of 149288
Look at what happened to Brietbart. Always aspiring to tear down everything.

Do you think he was that way in real life or that he grew into this persona seeing how marketing anger and hate and division sells and makes you wealthy in his line of work?

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To: tejek who wrote (110503)3/2/2012 2:45:09 PM
From: Bread Upon The Water
   of 149288
Well I do think that is a big "IF"--with all due respect. Although good in theory, I think in fact some ME or Asian country would see an opportunity to profit from those "crazy" infidels turning away good money.

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To: Road Walker who wrote (110508)3/2/2012 2:48:06 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
This is nothing short of amazing.

Quit with the sarcasm! If the Reps were actually to create jobs, there would be more competition for them and they would have to pay people more. Maybe give them benefits! That's the last thing they want. You know that.

The Reps have been in the business of destroying jobs for at least a couple of decades. They want a cheap, plentyfull, desperate and hungry labor force. And credit where credit is due; they are doing a hell of a job.

I can't argue with you..........their 'program' has met with considerable success.

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To: John Vosilla who wrote (110509)3/2/2012 3:03:39 PM
From: ChinuSFO
   of 149288
I don't think you can fake things to make a living. There are many with the traits of Obama's personality: cool even in the face of challenges, happy that things will work out for the good in the end etc. A can do attitude instead of "I want that other person to fail."

That is all. I just want to learn something from the way Brietbart passed and make sure that we particularly me quit being so negative.

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