Local Stories, Events
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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
Thinking about Recoveries
Does anyone really believe that it is the Dr’s and hospitals which are in the driver’s seat and NOT the insurance companies? Can a national health care reform result without Uncle $ugar taking on the role of the “sole” underwriter or coverage provider? Will the medical insurance industry yield without a fight?
I’ve been thinking about recoveries. Actually I’ve been thinking about my post-operative return to normal, my recovery goals, the status of the US recovery, and the US recovery goals. My open heart surgery will be a scant three weeks in the past on Wednesday. My recovery is progressing exceptionally well. To all who have thought of me and prayed for me, a most heartfelt THANK YOU! I am now back home, I have progressed from sponge baths to hand-held (sit down) showers, I can comfortably walk up and down 14 steps, and I can now walk around my entire block unassisted (with only one brief pause at the halfway point and with the company of a neighbor— just in case ). Monday, I retrieved my Scottie, Mac II, from the kennel. I wish I could say that things are going as well for the US and the economy.
You see, for the past two plus weeks, I was offline and out of the loop as far as what was going on economically, financially, domestically and internationally. We are still in the opening phases as what has been billed as the worst economic downturn since the Great “D” of the 1930’s. Given the serious “dead in the water” status of the entire real estate sector – both residential and commercial, it seems a tad premature to blow off any further looming RE negatives. By my estimations on the housing side, only one third of the bad mortgages, the sub-prime loans, are now in our rear-view mirrors. A surge of the alternative A loans will hit late his summer and fall. The tsunami of interest-only adjustable rate ARMs will reset and unravel starting early next spring. Add to that the defaults and delinquencies for conventional RE financings which are surfacing because of job losses and downsizings, and the RE drag on the economic recovery is far from over.
The unemployment/underemployment front has not turned the corner yet, either. The DC spinmeisters have made gold from straw in their interpretation of the most recent declines in new claims and cumulative individuals drawing unemployment benefits. The job losses, however, have been so consistently large for so long now, that sooner or later, you will reach a point whereby the pool of those who are working has diminished; so, while the percentage of job losses remains unchanged (and high), the absolute number of recently terminated persons seems smaller. Then too, even with extended payment timeframes for the unemployed, the clock runs out eventually on benefits, and fewer “appear” to be drawing them. Nobody wants to proffer these more-than-likely explanations. Not one sector appears at even the beginning of a hiring surge. Recent college grads are facing perhaps the worst spring/summer hiring cycle in more than a generation.
I find it particularly interesting that somehow during the past couple of weeks, the MEGA (too big to fail) banks and investment banks have not only turned the corner, they want to pay back Uncle $ugar any bailout monies received and TARP monies accessed—thereby returning to a pre-crisis state. Could it be that they do NOT want to deal with the new regulatory restrictions being currently put forth by Treasury Secretary Geithner? Or, closer to home, could it be that they absolutely do NOT relish any restrictions on the bonuses and perks traditionally lavished on the performing stars, the mediocre players, and the managerial “turkeys” in their organizations?
The US Government continues to expand its ownership of what had been private enterprises and industries. While the bankers may want to eject Uncle from their boards of directors, the auto industry is proving a nice temporary distraction for the economic and financial headlines. It now looks like the auto debacle will shortly give way to the unfolding debate, finger-pointing, and mud-slinging focused around health care reform! Does anyone really believe that it is the Dr’s and hospitals which are in the driver’s seat and NOT the insurance companies? Can a national health care reform (make that a major medical insurance coverage fix) result without Uncle $ugar taking on the role of the “sole” underwriter or coverage provider? Will the medical insurance industry yield without a fight? They do want a highly public debate – full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. But.... their dream conclusion is for Washington to mandate coverage for everyone, with all that coverage being purchased from them!
This June of 2009, I at least seem to be in control of my own recovery. I can see progress each day. Some days I can see progress in the afternoon from just what I did in the morning. I wish I could say the same for the status of the US recovery, and the US recovery goals. My low point was when the surgeons cracked open my chest and began to task of repairing my defective mitral valve and partially clogged arteries. We won’t know the US economic/financial low point for at least two quarters after it has passed.
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on June 22, 2009.