Saturday, October 3, 2009

Last Call

From CalcRisk:
Here is a graph with an estimate of the impact of the preliminary estimate of the annual benchmark revision. (ht John)

Percent Job Losses During Recessions Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line is an estimate of the impact of the large benchmark revision (824 thousand more jobs lost).

The graph compares the job losses from the start of the employment recession in percentage terms (as opposed to the number of jobs lost).

Instead of 7.2 million net jobs lost since December 2007, the preliminary benchmark estimate suggests the U.S. has lost over 8.0 million net jobs during that period.
In other words, almost two years after this recession began, we've lost five percent of the jobs in this country. Only the recession of 1948-50 came close to that, and it was over after two years. We're still looking for the bottom. The reality is we've almost lost six percent of the jobs in this country.

They're not coming back, for the most part. Eight million jobs lost in 21 months. America will be fundamentally different. There will be no V-shaped recovery. There will be no easy or quick fixes. It's going to be a long, hard slog, and frankly I doubt we'll get those eight million jobs back for a very, very long time...and the truly miserable part is there's still going to be millions more jobs lost before we turn the corner.

The housing market is still in a depression. The American consumer is tapped out. Our economic engine is broken. America will have to reinvent itself, and when it does, it will no longer be the economic superpower, that mantle will have passed to China.

Our time is coming to a painful end, folks.

Cooking A Self-Hating Turkey

A really weird story coming out of the UK Telegraph today, they are claiming that Iranian President (and part-time Holocaust denier) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in fact born Jewish.
A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots.

A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.

The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth.

The Sabourjians traditionally hail from Aradan, Mr Ahmadinejad's birthplace, and the name derives from "weaver of the Sabour", the name for the Jewish Tallit shawl in Persia. The name is even on the list of reserved names for Iranian Jews compiled by Iran's Ministry of the Interior.

Experts last night suggested Mr Ahmadinejad's track record for hate-filled attacks on Jews could be an overcompensation to hide his past.

Ali Nourizadeh, of the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies, said: "This aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad's background explains a lot about him.

"Every family that converts into a different religion takes a new identity by condemning their old faith.

"By making anti-Israeli statements he is trying to shed any suspicions about his Jewish connections. He feels vulnerable in a radical Shia society."

Which means this is either one of the most Epic Fails in history, or the CIA finally figured out how to pull a regime change without actually hacing to bomb anybody. As Larisa Alexandrovna puts it:
I give Ahmadinejad 24 hours before Iranian clerics demand his ousting.

And here is something else to consider. If Ahmadinejad's mother was also a Jew, then the conversion to Islam is irrelevant in the eyes of Jewish orthodoxy. He is still a Jew - albeit - a Jew practicing another religion. And if you want to have a very good laugh at how ironic this can get then consider too that if his mother was in fact Jewish, then as a Jew he has automatic Israeli citizenship.

A self hating Jew, how lovely for Ahmadinejad. I wonder if his family lost anyone in the Holocaust, the horrific crime he claims never happened?

This is one of those interesting times the Chinese proverb keesp telling us about living in.

Off Again, On Again, Off Again

Despite Friday's protestations that the public option will be in the bill, Sen. Ben Nelson is now saying any government run health care plan is effectively "shelved" until further notice.
The idea to allow the federal government to compete with private insurance companies via a so-called “public option” has been “shelved” in Congress, U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson said Friday.

It doesn't have enough votes, he said.

“For the moment, the public option is shelved,” said Nelson, who gave an update on health-care reform to a group of Nebraska doctors in Omaha.

So what's going on here? Every time the Democratic leadership announces that the final bill will have the public option, it's the ConservaDems like Nelson who pipe up and say that the public option is effectively dead.

Which is it, Dems? After all, it's only going to take one Dem to side with the Republican filibuster to effectively kill all health reform.

Who's going to cross their palm with silver? Dems like Nelson keep warning it will happen, but who wants to actually be the Democrat that killed health care reform? I'm thinking none of them.

Blame It On Rio

The unrestrained Wingnut glee in "Obama's crushing defeat" in yesterday's rather stunning loss of Chicago as the site of the 2016 Olympics is summed up by HuffPo's Sam Stein.
Upon being informed of the news, a gathering of conservatives at the Americans For Prosperity -- one of the main organizing groups behind the tea party protests -- erupted in applause. They cheered once more after they were told that Chicago had been eliminated during the first round of voting.
Nice guys, conservatives. But it gets worse:
Around the same time, RedState's Erick Erickson took glee in Chicago - and, by extension, Obama's - rejection.

"Hahahahaha," he wrote. "I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not. So Obama's pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him."

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, meanwhile, wrote that the news effectively ended the Obama campaign motto of "Yes We Can" by dawning in a new slogan: "No, You Can't."

"This is a big win and a massive relief for taxpayers," she wrote. "But Chicago cronies are not going to take this well. Gird your loins."

Story continues below

The National Review Online called the episode an "embarrassment for Obama," before adding the predictable conservative ribbing: "If he can't work his personal magic with the Olympians, why does he expect it to work with the Iranians?"

Rush Limbaugh called it "the worst day of his presidency," adding that Obama "has failed" and the entire episode was an illustration of Obama's "Mars-sized ego."

The Drudge Report -- topping them all -- blared the headline: "THE EGO HAS LANDED

They hate Obama so much that they look for his failure and their own vindication in everything he does, to the point where average Americans are scratching their heads going "What the hell is wrong with these guys?"

And I guarantee every single of one of these idiots would be calling for a boycott of the 2016 games if this same first-round rejection had happened to President McCain.

But this is the worst day of Obama's already failed presidency, apparently. And people wonder why these guys lost in 2008.

[UPDATE 7:56 PM] TBogg notes the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes is now fully expecting the Village to turn against President Ofailure's failed faily presidency of abject failure to prove they aren't in the President's back pocket.

And even Fred Barnes (Fred Barnes!) knows that only fools bet on long shots because they have failed to weigh all of the available evidence and tend to think not with their heads but with their ---

Sorry. What? Oh...

Standard editor Fred Barnes recalled being “struck by how smart Palin was, and how unusually confident. Maybe because she had been a beauty queen, and a star athlete, and succeeded at almost everything she had done.” It didn’t escape his notice, too, that she was “exceptionally pretty.”

Well yeah, but what about that time when the Huffington Post asked 27 Very Smart People (including Karl Rove, George Will, Ed Rollins, and Morton Kondrake) on 11/2/2008 who was going to win the election and all 27 of them picked Barack Obama---

What? Oh, one person didn't:

Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard editor
Winner: McCain
Electoral College: Obama 252 McCain 286
Senate Seats: 55 Democrats 43 Republicans
House Seats: 255 Democrats 180 Republicans

How bad was that? Even Mark Halperin (Mark Halperin!) got it right, and I'm pretty sure that he's brain damaged.

Because the only thing matters in America to the Wingnuts is that Obama fails.

[UPDATE 2 8:10 PM] Steve Benen has more. And yes, the Wingers are actually saying if the Obamas hadn't gone to Copenhagen, we might have won. And actually, what counts as "we" and "America" to these assclowns anyway?

This Week's Busted Banks

Three more banks failed this week, bringing the total this year to 98 through the first nine months of 2009.
Banks in Minnesota, Michigan and Colorado were shut by regulators, bringing this year’s toll of U.S. failures to 98 amid the worst financial crisis in more than seven decades.

Jennings State Bank of Spring Grove, Minnesota, and Warren Bank of Warren, Michigan, were closed by state regulators and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver, the agency said yesterday in statements on its Web site. Southern Colorado National Bank of Pueblo was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the FDIC said.

“Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC,” the agency said. “There is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage.”

Regulators this year have closed the most banks since the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s as lenders struggle with mounting losses on real-estate loans. U.S. job losses accelerated last month as the unemployment rate climbed to the highest level since 1983.

U.S. payrolls dropped by 263,000 in September, exceeding the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey, the Labor Department said yesterday. The jobless rate rose to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent in August, while working hours matched a record low.

The FDIC deposit-insurance fund has been depleted by 120 bank failures in the past two years. The agency proposed asking banks to prepay three years of premiums to raise $45 billion. Yesterday’s failures cost the fund $293.3 million.

And the funeral processions continue as smaller banks are consumed and Too Big To Fail banks become bigger and bigger, assuring the next financial meltdown breaks the back of global finance.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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