Saturday, May 07, 2011
A Saturday post:Things your date never did at the prom
Sweet Jesu !
Will you look at that smile on Christina Hendrick's face?
I honestly found some sympathy for Barack Obama this morning3:58:00 pm permanent link# 0 Comments
More Fakery From The Obama Administration
P.S. Turns out now, those photos of Obama giving his 'I caught Bin Laden' speech were fakedRead the rest HERE.
Could the Obama White House communications folks have found anything else to step in over the presentation this week of their boss and the dramatic recounting and re-recounting of the execution and really rapid remains disposal of Osama bin Laden?
It turns out now that all of the non-White House still photographs of the president's dramatic entrance down the hall into the East Room and the late Sunday evening speech itself were faked.
They were not taken during the actual event, which was photographed only by official White House photographer Pete Souza during the live TV broadcast.
The widely distributed press photographs were, in fact, shot during a reenactment of the entrance, the firm presidential strides down the carpeted hall and the speaking by the president right after the real event...
These staged news photos were immediately flashed around the world for millions to see with varying captions about the president reading his statement for photographers, distinctions that may well have been lost in translations and publications.
It is a minor matter unless truth is a concern....
Perhaps staging photos is not of great significance. But why would the Obama administration bother doing so? And why can't the Obama administration be less concerned with burnishing Obama's image and more concerned with governing?
The faking of these photographs serves only to contribute to the growing conspiracy theories related to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Additional reading: Does America even know what courage is anymore? and worth your time.
Hat tip to Z for the graphic to close this post:
The West's Blindness
Why Would We Reveal This Information Unless We Did Not Want To Actually Make Use Of Even A Bit Of It?
U.S. intelligence is now in possession of a veritable "playbook" of al Qaeda operations -- from potential terror attack targets to information on international safe houses and top commanders -- thanks to the Navy SEAL raid that took down Osama bin Laden Sunday, officials told ABC News today.
The cache of electronic and handwritten materials obtained by the SEALs includes numerous hallmark al Qaeda plots including attacks on infrastructure targets such as water supply and transportation including rail and air, in what one official described as a "strategic guide for how to attack the U.S." In the past, al Qaeda planned for attacks on water supplies have included an interest in mining dams and in poisoning water supply. Intelligence experts have also have found what appears to be information about safe houses around the world and about al Qaeda leadership.
In telling the world about the capturing of this "Playbook" have we not just alerted every single last Jihadi to leave their safe houses immediately and get to work establishing new ones?
Does the Obama Administration do this kind of stupid shit because they are incompetent, or do they do it because they do not want us to succeed?
Great Moments in The History of Pacifism, In Which Gandhi Says Muslims May Live According to Their Religious Dictates, But Christians and Jews May Not
Watch, as Gandhi justifies Islamic conquest of Jerusalem, but denies Jews the same dedication to their religious beliefs. Let me be clear that, in showing this to you, I am not justifying Holy War on the part of the Jews. I am simply saying, Gandhi believed that land taken by Muslims in a Holy War was their land, but denied Jews the right to take land themselves.
Do the Muslims claim Palestine, or will they restore it to the Jews who are the original owners?Really, what kind of sense does that make? Gandhi was not a Pacifist. He was a pussy, and he was afraid of Muslims. He even goes so far, in the paragraph above, as to ask Jews and Christians to think of the feelings of "the seventy million Muslims of India" when considering the question of the Jewish control of Israel.
The Muslims claim Palestine as an integral part of Jazirat-ul-Arab. They are bound to retain its custody, as an injunction of the Prophet. But that does not mean that the Jews and the Christians cannot freely go to Palestine, or even reside there and own property. What non-Muslims cannot do is to acquire sovereign jurisdiction. The Jews cannot receive sovereign rights in a place which has been held for centuries by Muslim powers by right of religious conquest. The Muslim soldiers did not shed their blood in the late War for the purpose of surrendering Palestine out of Muslim control. I would like my Jewish friends to impartially consider the position of the seventy million Muslims of India. As a free nation, can they tolerate what they must regard as a treacherous disposal of their sacred possession?
Why? Why should Jews and Christians care what Muslims in India think? Is Gandhi trying to tell us that they would get violent with the Hindus of India, and then the blood would be on our hands? That's absolute crap. Let Gandhi take care of his relationship with Muslims. Don't shirk off the responsibility on Jews and Christians. For God's sake. What a twit.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Pakistan In Deep Shit?
Bill Roggio cites Pakistani newspapers which report that hundreds of people, including politicians and a federal lawmaker, have gathered to commemorate Bin Laden. They also denounced the U.S. for killing him and violating Pakistani sovereignty. Another newspaper urged the government to counter the impression that Pakistan provided “safe sanctuaries of terrorists on its soil.”
The Pakistani Army said “a decision had been made to reduce the number of U.S. military personnel to the ‘minimum essential’ levels.” They warned that
it would review its military and intelligence cooperation with Washington if the United States carries out any more similar raids. Earlier, the government had warned of “disastrous consequences” if the U.S. staged a similar attack on its territory.They would say that, wouldn’t they, after Osama bin Laden had been found hiding less than a mile from their military academy.
The government of Pakistan, or a rogue element within it, has for some time been waging an undeclared and treacherous war on the United States. Their public responses so far have not been to regret this fact, but to haughtily insist that they be allowed to continue this belligerence undisturbed and, if possible, at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.
They are free to wish for anything they want. But sooner or later history demonstrates that those who wage war in treachery are sooner or later the object of return fire. Unless Pakistan changes its policies, it will eventually provoke a reaction that cannot be deflected by insincere protestations of innocence. And that day will be a day of disaster for Pakistan and its people.
The response will not necessarily come from America. But it will come from somebody. Islamabad has shown a shocking willingness to use force outside its borders. In India. In Afghanistan. In Bahrain. And in downtown Manhattan. It is out of control. Even if it decided to amend its ways, the numerous terror groups it has spawned may yet continue to rampage on their own, like berserk Frankenstein monsters. Pakistan is its own worst enemy.
What the Bin Laden raid should tell Islamabad is that its cover stories are blown. They don’t work any more. The secret pathways of its belligerence are no longer hidden. It cannot know the extent to which its communications, human networks, funding sources, and strategic direction have been penetrated by America. Or to what extent that penetration has been shared with others it has attacked through the years. Yet it must realize that at the minimum their plots have been laid bare enough to find their deepest secret and to brandish it in their faces.
A May Day rally in Los Angeles, co-sponsored by the SEIU and various communist groups, as well as other unions, reflected yet another step in the normalization of self-identified communist and socialist ideologies in the Obama era. Not only did the SEIU help to organize the rally in conjunction with communists, they marched side-by-side with communists, while union members carried communist flags, communists carried union signs, and altogether there was no real way to tell the two apart.
Southern California citizen journalist and photographer “Ringo” was on hand to record the day’s events, and posted a full-length photo essay on his site Ringo’s Pictures. To bring this important photo essay to a wider audience, I present here a small selection of Ringo’s May Day pictures; visit his site to see dozens more photos from the rally.
When I tell people that public political rallies are more and more being led by communists and socialists, most folks simply don’t believe me. Aw, come on, you’re just giving decent protesters an extreme label, they say. No, actually, I’m not: The communists freely and proudly declare their affiliation.
And the SEIU has no problem marching arm-in-arm with them.
“Smash Capitalism” is a slogan the SEIU apparently endorses — or at least doesn’t mind marching behind.
In case you think the SEIU is some peripheral out-of-the-mainstream organization:
The SEIU devoted $28 million to Obama’s campaign, making the SEIU “the organization that spent the most to help Barack Obama get elected president.” Furthermore, who is Obama’s favorite White House guest and one of his closest confidants?
The individual who has visited the Obama White House the most: SEIU President Andy Stern, who has visited 53 times.Obama is closely linked with the SEIU.
The SEIU is closely linked with communists.
You do the math.
Click here to see the rest of the photos.
First Mosque Friday After The Killing Of Osama bin Laden
Check out THIS STORY at the Daily Mail. One sentence from the article:
Radicals carrying placards proclaiming 'Islam will dominate the world' branded US leaders 'murderers' and warned vengeance attacks were 'guaranteed'.Mere venting? Maybe. But maybe not.
I wonder what kinds of sermons went on and are going on in mosques all around the world this first Friday after the death of Osama bin Laden.
Evidence at bin Laden’s home raises nuclear concerns
Pakistani government links suspected
Intelligence analysts are sifting through phone numbers and email addresses found at Osama bin Laden’s compound to determine potential links to Pakistani government and military officials while U.S. officials and analysts raise concerns about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear materials.
According to three U.S. intelligence officials, the race is on to identify what President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, has called bin Laden’s “support system” inside Pakistan. These sources sought anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.
“My concern now is that we cannot exclude the possibility that officers in the Pakistani military and the intelligence service were helping to harbor or aware of the location of bin Laden,” said Olli Heinonen, who served as the deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2005 to 2010.
“What is to say they would not help al Qaeda or other terrorist groups to gain access to sensitive nuclear materials such as highly enriched uranium and plutonium?”
The U.S. has worried quietly about the infiltration of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and military for years. Those concerns heightened in recent months when the CIA learned that bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad was a stone’s throw from Pakistan's military academy.
Politico first reported this week that CIA Director Leon E. Panetta told members of Congress that bin Laden’s clothing had two phone numbers sewn into it at the time of the raid. Those numbers and other contacts found at the compound are key clues in an effort to determine what elements of Pakistan’s national security establishment provided support to bin Laden and al Qaeda.
“I can tell you that concern about al Qaeda and other terrorists’ infiltration into the ISI is not new on the part of the Congress or the [George W.] Bush and Obama administrations,” said Rep. Steve Rothman, a New Jersey Democrat who serves on two House Appropriations subcommittees that fund defense and foreign aid.
Mr. Rothman has attended top-secret briefings on the Abbottabad raid and the impact of the raid on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“As a matter of course, and for good reason, the materials that were removed from bin Laden’s home in Pakistan are being run down for leads that could assist the United States in apprehending individuals or entities who have sought to harm Americans or who have enabled others to harm Americans,” he said.
Another U.S. intelligence official told The Washington Times that other phone numbers and emails were recovered in the raid.
Story Continues →
Remember how Obama told us Osama is not representative of the Muslim world, yet he gave Osama an Islamic burial?
Well, if Osama is not representative of the Muslim world at large, apparently, he is representative of at least three countries; Pakistan (where he was, apparently, hidden from our view with the knowledge of the government), Sudan and Kenya:
(Memri) A requiem for Osama bin Laden was held yesterday in Khartoum, the Sudan capital, by three organizations, One of the organizations is headed by the extremist Islamist Al-Tayeb Mustafa, leader of the Just Peace Forum and uncle of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.
During the prayers, the worshipers called bin Laden a "martyr" and shouted "Khabar, Khabar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return (referring to the battle of Khabar, in which Muhammad killed 100 local Jews). The demonstrators also demanded that the street on which the U.S. Embassy is located be renamed after bin Laden.
In his sermon during the event, Abu Zaid Muhammad Hamza, leader of the Salafi organization Ansar Al-Sunna Al-Muhammadiyya, expressed hope that all the Muslim leaders would be like bin Laden. Islamist oppositionist Hassan Al-Turabi said that he was saddened by the death of his "friend" bin Laden even though he disagreed with his path.Hmmmm...."expressed hope that all the Muslim leaders would be like bin Laden"The religion of peace.
Read the full story here.
- Reactions to Killing of Osama Bin Laden: Arab Criticism of Osama Bin Laden's Assassination.(Memri).It is noteworthy that Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Al-'Arabi said the Egyptian government had "no official response to the event," adding that Egypt opposed all forms of violence in international relations. In contrast, there were also responses condemning the assassination, threatening revenge, and expressing skepticism that bin Laden had, in fact, been killed. This report will focus on these reactions.
The Killing of Bin Laden – An American Act of Terrorism .
Isma'il Haniya, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, was the first, and so far the only, Arab leader to condemn the operation. He said: "We believe that this continues an American policy that is based on oppression and on the shedding of Arab and Muslim blood. Regardless of the different views in Arab and Islamic circles, we, of course, condemn the assassination or killing of a Muslim mujahid and an Arab. We pray for Allah to cover him with His mercy, next to the prophets, the righteous, and the martyrs."
Isma'il Al-Ashkar of Hamas, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, characterized the killing of bin Laden as "state terrorism that has been perpetrated against Muslims by America, which could have apprehended [bin Laden] and brought him to a just trial. With this crime, [America] has harmed itself and provoked Islam and the Muslims." He added that though Hamas and bin Laden had not seen eye to eye on all issues, Hamas nevertheless regarded him as "an ascetic and a mujahid who, though he was a billionaire, preferred to fight the Russians alongside his Afghan brothers..."
Ibrahim Al-Amin, board chairman of the pro-Syrian Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is close to Syria and Hizbullah, harshly condemned bin Laden's killing and the Arab reactions that welcomed it. He wrote: "...I cannot stand the criminals in the palaces and military bases in the West gloating over the man's death, or their counterparts across the world... I consider this man, with his mistakes and severity, to be the rival who gave these murderers insomnia – [these murderers] who were brought to power by stupid, hostile, and oppressing peoples. These peoples deserve to be harmed, because of the leaders, commanders, and spokesmen they elected. There is no place and no need right now for logic as long as we are dealing with the madness of those who continue to kill us anytime, anywhere. As far as they are concerned, no one deserves to live except for their own families, which are as filthy as they are, and except for anyone who agrees to be a wretched servant in their palaces…
"I feel revulsion at the American president's smiling face... The Americans fire weapons outside their territory only to kill innocents... They were overcome by fear when they attacked, shot at, and killed [bin Laden], and [then] examined him to verify their crime. They didn't want him to have [a grave] that would become a shrine... [so] they threw him into the sea... Don't these fools know that killing only causes [more] killing?..."
Bin Laden Was Not Buried in Accordance with the Shari'a
Much criticism was voiced regarding the manner of bin Laden's burial. Senior clerics, such as Egyptian Mufti Dr. 'Ali Gum'a and Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, claimed that Islam forbids burial at sea and requires that bodies be buried in the earth. The vice president of Al-Azhar University, Dr. Taha Abu Kuraisha, said that the casting of bin Laden's body into the sea was tantamount to mutilating his corpse.
In his column in the London-based daily Al-Hayat, Daoud Al-Shiryan, editor of the Alarabiya.net website, questioned the U.S. claim that bin Laden had been given a proper Islamic burial: "Sources from the Pentagon said that [the Americans had] adhered to all the rules of Islam in performing the prayers over bin Laden's body, but did not mention any details regarding the ritual cleansing of the body. Was the body washed by a Muslim?... It would seem that it was not, since the body was torn to shreds or burned, or because there was not enough [fresh] water, as the washing took place aboard a ship... The statement discussed the details of the prayers [said over bin Laden's body], and said that an officer had recited the prayers [in English], which were [then] translated to Arabic. We do not know why the translator himself did not recite the prayers himself, if he is fluent in Arabic. Perhaps the officer was a Muslim and the translator was not! If this were the case, how did they permit the translator to attend the prayers, and how many people recited the prayers over body?"
Bin Laden's Killing Exposes the U.S. as Unjust
Many writers asked why the Americans had not brought bin Laden to trial, arguing that this was further proof of America's unjust behavior. 'Abd Al-Bari 'Atwan, editor of the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote: "Civilized countries that adhere to the law and to the principle of a fair and independent trial do not kill all of their enemies, and even if they do kill them, they do not cast their bodies into the sea. It was infuriating after the assassination to hear the American president declare that justice had been done."
In another article, 'Atwan wrote: "That U.S. President Barack Obama allowed an unarmed man to be killed is evidence that he is not the president of a democratic country that respects human rights and is committed to law and justice. [Rather], the man is the leader of a gang that specializes in killing, kidnapping, and terrorism. In a country of law and order, criminals or terrorists, and all those who break the law, are arrested and brought to justice in court... That is what the Allies did in the Nuremberg Trials against the Nazis, who killed more than 40 million people during the Second World War. I do not think that Sheikh Osama bin Laden is more dangerous than they [were]. Was his barbaric treatment the result of being an Arab and a Muslim?... Al-Qaeda's leader was assassinated to prevent him from being brought to trial, and this was done for the same reason that the U.S. refuses to release Tareq 'Aziz, Iraq's former deputy prime minister and foreign minister... It is afraid that during the trial, secrets will be exposed about the U.S. and its invasion of Afghanistan, and even about its clandestine role in 9/11..."
Saudi academic and journalist Dr. Malik Al-Ahmad also discussed what he called the American double standard: "The killing of bin Laden – if it proves to be true... indicates the moral, ideological, and judicial bankruptcy of the U.S. – which [claims to] adhere to human rights, justice, and respect. The scenario [presented by the U.S.], if it is accurate, is the height of contempt for Muslims, their values, and all they deem sacred... This screenplay, if accurate, is the best possible proof of America's barbarism..."
Syrian columnist Ziad Abu Shawish wrote in the daily Al-Watan, under the heading "The U.S. Celebrates The Murder And Proves Its 'Humaneness'": "On a daily basis, the U.S. incites to killing everywhere, which has created a culture that brought thousands of Americans into the streets to celebrate the killing of Sheikh bin Laden and others – in spite of everything that can be said about the vengeance that their Christian religion opposes..."
Bin Laden's Killing Will Only Increase the Violence
Alongside the condemnations, there were also threats about possible retaliation against the U.S. and the West by terrorist organizations. A senior member of the Egyptian organization Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya, Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasser, known as Sheikh Abu 'Omar Al-Masri, said that, by assassinating bin Laden the U.S. had "dug its own grave," because the act would open the gates of Hell and expose it to the revenge of the Muslims.
The Root of Terrorism Is U.S. Policy, Not Bin Laden
Another recurring claim was that the U.S. and Israel were the cause and the root of terrorism, so bin Laden's death would not stop this phenomenon. Al-Azhar Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb wrote that terrorism would not end because it stemmed from Israel's acts of oppression. Hafez Al-Barghouti, editor-in-chief of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote: "...The future of the Arab world is greater extremism, rather than moderateness, because Arab moderateness is greeted by the West with contempt. Bin Laden's killing will not lead to Al-Qaeda's dissolution, because he has become an emblem for the [terrorist] organizations. Al-Qaeda cells are dispersed throughout the world, and he has not been their [actual] leader for years. Al-Qaeda and [organizations] like it can be routed out only by eliminating the root causes [for their existence], which are still there and are in fact proliferating. As long as imperialist terrorism continues, Al-Qaeda will find excuses to be present... Bin Laden is not the only terrorist; he is part of an array with many components, which includes states, parties and [even] regimes that claim to be democratic..."
The U.S. Has Not Presented Evidence of Bin Laden's Death
Some writers cast doubt on the veracity of the report of bin Laden's death, claiming that the U.S. was lying regarding the unfolding of the operation and its results. Al-Quds Al-Arabi editor 'Abd Al-Bari 'Atwan wrote: "There is increasing doubt over the credibility of the official American account of the assassination of Al-Qaeda commander Sheikh Osama bin Laden... As of this writing, the American administration has yet to produce a single reliable piece of evidence that the Al-Qaeda commander has been killed. The doubts peaked when it was claimed that the body was 'buried' at sea, on the pretext that neither his native Saudi Arabia nor any other Islamic country had agreed to bury him on its soil.
"This administration is lying. I have not heard a single Islamic country confirm that the American administration phoned to propose that the body be buried on its soil. There are some 60 Islamic countries in the world; contacting them [all] on this issue would have taken several days. The burial – or, more accurately, throwing the body to the sharks – took place within hours of [Bin Laden's] assassination. Why the rush? Why not wait a few days or even weeks?... It is very difficult to believe a single detail of the American story – it is full of contradictions and – I don't hesitate to say it – lies. Is it conceivable that a man who fought the Soviets for 10 years and the Americans for more than 15 years, and who emphasized on more than one occasion that he aspired to die a martyr, and who more than once stressed that he strove for martyrdom, would use his wife as a human shield to protect himself?...
Syrian columnist 'Issa Al-Ayyoubi likewise doubted the American account: "Perhaps bin Laden died or was killed some time ago, and the U.S. discovered it... It was [the U.S.] that created him and made him a hero, and now it is 'creating' his death and making a big deal of it. But the official American account convinces no one, except for those who applaud American stories and films..."
Columnist Hazem Al-Hadidi wrote in the Egyptian Al-Akhbar: "There is no convincing proof that the U.S. killed bin Laden and buried him in the depths of the sea. The only thing we can be sure of is that bin Laden is in America's hands, and perhaps it is now interrogating him, trying to extract secrets about Al-Qaeda. The story that he was killed and buried at sea is a lowly and dubious propaganda film... [America] is concerned about what his supporters might do if they knew he was alive, and that is why it invented the media story about killing him and burying him at sea..."Hmmmmm.......And this latter might be the worst...just imagine that they believe that the US is holding their beloved 'hero' Osama Bin Laden alive as a captive?Read the full story here.
With thanks to Will at The Other News:
(Spectator) Melanie Phillips.Dear Prime Minister,I was interested to read that, when you met Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, you said:
‘Britain is a good friend of Israel and our support for Israel and Israel's security is something I have described in the past, and will do so again, as unshakeable.’I wonder, therefore, if you make a habit of threatening your friends? For you also said that unless Israel ‘engages seriously in a meaningful peace process’ with the Palestinian Authority, the more likely it is that Britain will endorse the ‘State of Palestine’ for which the PA is expected to seek recognition at the UN in September.This is not the behaviour of a friend so much as the kind of intimidation that is more reminiscent of a Mafia protection racket.
First of all, you have incomprehensibly decided to pressurise the victim in this conflict to make peace with her aggressor, even though the victim is the one party that constantly tries to make peace while the aggressor does not. It is the PA which has refused to negotiate with Israel, not the other way round, on the spurious grounds that Israeli expansion of Jewish homes beyond the ‘Green Line’ is a bar to negotiations.
I wonder whether you might explain to both Britain and the Jewish people why you do not insist as a non-negotiable precondition that Mr Abbas ‘engages seriously in a meaningful peace process’ by unambiguously renouncing – in both English and Arabic – his repeated assertions that his people will never accept Israel as a Jewish state, the casus belli of the entire conflict?
I wonder also if you might explain to both Britain and the Jewish people why you implicitly endorse the racist ethnic cleansing inherent in the putative ‘State of Palestine’ which the PA says it will declare – a state in which Mr Abbas has repeatedly declared that not one Jew will be allowed to live -- but which you have now threatened to support? I’m sure the British people in particular would be interested to know when you decided that racism and ethnic cleansing were part of your modernising programme for the Conservative Party.Read the full story here.
Solid April jobs report shows economy gaining momentum
Nation’s employers added a bigger-than-expected 244,000 jobs last month, data show
WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy added a stronger-than-expected 244,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said Friday, as employers continued the solid pace of job creation seen in the prior two months.
The number of jobs created last month was well above the 185,000 new jobs that analysts had predicted, the government reported. Private employers created 268,000 jobs — the most since February 2006.
April’s job gains were widespread. Retailers, factories, financial companies, education and health care and even construction companies all added new workers. Federal, state and local governments cut jobs.The data suggest businesses are confident in the economy despite weak growth earlier this year. Payrolls growth increased sharply in February and March, marking the fastest two-month pace of job creation since before the recession began and heralding a decisive shift in the labor market.
“The trend now is definitely up,” former Federal Reserve governor Larry Meyer told CNBC Friday. “The economy is regaining momentum and we are on the path for above-trend growth. This [number] is much stronger than expected.”
However, the jobs report showed the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in April from a two-year low of 8.8 percent seen in the prior month. The increase was the first since November, but was due in part to the fact that more Americans have resumed looking for work.
Reacting to Friday’s jobs numbers, Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told CNBC he expected the nation’s unemployment rate to fall if job creation continues at its current pace.
A string of downbeat economic data this week — including a sharp slowdown in the vast services sector, a decrease in hiring by private companies in April and an eight-month high for jobless aid applications — had some worried that April’s jobs report could be weaker than expected.
With gas prices spiking, consumers are spending more to fill the tanks, leaving them with less to spend elsewhere. As a result, consumer spending has weakened and many companies are feeling less certain about the economy's health.
"High gas prices are a big headwind for the economy. It's sucking money out of people's wallets," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services.
Most analysts agree that the economy has strengthened enough to keep growing this year. And many say the factors that held back growth at the start of the year were most likely temporary. They predict growth will pick up over the rest of the year.
There have been some positive signs. Retailers reported strong April sales, helped by a late Easter. Auto companies reported brisk sales. And factories have expanded production this year at the fastest pace in a quarter-century.
Economists' prediction for a pickup in overall growth is based, however, on gasoline prices stabilizing in the months ahead and then dropping to around $3.50 a gallon or lower near the end of the year.
The national average was $3.99 a gallon on Thursday, according to the AAA.
If gas prices keep rising, consumers are likely to spend less on other goods and services. That could prompt companies to hire fewer workers.
Yeah, ok. What this, and most similar headlines today, fail to mention is that 62,000 of those jobs were created by McDonald's hiring binge last month. Without those 62,000 jobs the hiring last month would have been several thousand BELOW what they were projecting.
And what kind of jobs was McDonald's hiring for? Burger flippers? French Fryers? Some management? A great deal of part time and/or minimum wage.
How does the government or the pollsters or econowonks tout this as good news? How do they expect your more experienced (read: older) U.S. workers to survive and feed their families at minimum wage? If they can even pull down that job, which is much more likely to go to someone younger (like my neighbor's 16 yr old) and less likely to jump ship when something better comes along?
Don't get me wrong, it's terrific that McDonald's did this and is getting some people back to work.
But please don't call this a sign of recovery. It is not. Especially when worker's wages rose an average of only 3 cents an hour especially when gas prices alone are $1.30 higher than last year in many places. Then factor in the groceries and everything else.
The far more telling number here is in the McDonald's article, a true sign of the trouble and depression we're in.
The number 1,000,000. 1,000,000 Americans are so desperate for any work that they applied for 50,000 fast food low wage jobs.
Which means 950,00 were turned away and still seeking a job.
And the rest of us, too. All 15 or 18 or 23 million or whatever the REAL number is these days. People like me who are about to end their second year of making lunches.
“The president is about to order companies that do business with the federal government to disclose their political donations.”
Well that settles that..
Click on the title if you need more confirmation.
From Will at The Other News:
These days, threats from Al-Shabaab in neighboringis concern to many , and it has been increasing ever since Shabaab made direct threats against Kenyans for supporting and training Somali government forces in Kenya and Somalia border.Hmmmm....Will they give her a Islamic burial?
Kenyan government now claims Shabaab is sending assassins to kill Obama’s Grandma (Saarah) in Kenya.In revenge of Osama Bin Laden’s killing, terror networks are expected to retaliate or show some sort of strength.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Shabaab carried out such an attack, but it would be the first of it’s kind.
Read the full story here.