Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Red Boots ...From Paris

Goldman's chief economist predicts mid-9 percent jobless rate in 2012

Jan Hatzius, Goldman's chief US economist, pegged recession chances at 40 percent and said the jobless rate is likely to surge to the mid-9 percent range in 2012.

Mamma Mia!

Ratings agency Moody's slashes Italy debt rating by three points, increasing pressure on European governments trying to contain financial crisis.

Cain catches up with Romney in CBS poll

Giant asteroid Vesta has a mountain taller than Everest

We are learning many amazing things about Vesta, which we call the smallest terrestrial planet," Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission, said in a statement. "Like Earth, Mars, Venus and Mercury, Vesta has ancient basaltic lava flows on the surface and a large iron core … The south polar mountain is larger than the big island of Hawaii, the largest mountain on Earth, as measured from the ocean floor. It is almost as high as the highest mountain in the solar system, the shield volcano Olympus Mons on Mars.

Two mountain lions seen resting on a driveway near Pasadena,CA

Officials are cautioning residents to be alert after two mountain lions were found early Tuesday morning sitting on the front lawn of a home in Sierra Madre.

A resident reported seeing the two cats about 12:32 a.m. in front of a house on the 600 block of Camillo Road, said Sgt. Ruben Enriquez of the Sierra Madre Police Department.

The cats were still in the yard when officers arrived, but police scared them off by turning on their sirens, he said.

Wildlife encounters are common in the community, which lies in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Durbin's Debit Card Fee Debacle

Durbin thought he was pulling a fast one on the banks. All he did was get banks to pass the new costs of doing business on consumers. Thank him for the new debit card fees.


From the WSJ:

The Durbin amendment tasked the Federal Reserve with establishing the allowable maximum interchange fees. It originally intended to slash them by 70%-80%. In response to a firestorm of criticism, the Fed cut the fees about in half, to about 24 cents per transaction from an average of 44 cents per transaction, including a one-penny allowance for fraud prevention. The new fee limits apply to any bank with more than $10 billion in assets.

Faced with a dramatic cut in revenues (estimated to be $6.6 billion by Javelin Strategy & Research, a global financial services consultancy), banks have already imposed new monthly maintenance fees—usually from $36 to $60 per year—on standard checking and debit-card accounts, as well as new or higher fees on particular bank services. While wealthier consumers have avoided many of these new fees—for example, by maintaining a sufficiently high minimum balance—a Bankrate survey released this week reported that only 45% of traditional checking accounts are free, down from 75% in two years.

What a ride!

Room for one more? World's first 'super bus' can take 23 passengers but looks more a Lamborghini (and boasts a top speed of 155mph)

Roomy: The first ever super bus can travel at up to 155mph and will be used for the commute between Abu Dhabi and Dubai

The midnight-blue, electric-powered vehicle is the work of an astronaut and a former Formula One aerodynamics expert. It costs £7 million and has been bought by a sheikh in the Middle East so he can commute 75 miles from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 30 minutes. Passengers will be able to enjoy comfort equal to that of a luxury limousine or private jet.

Plane wins prize after flying 200 miles on a half gallon of fuel

A Pennsylvania company has won a $1.35 million prize from NASA for developing a highly efficient airplane power by electricity.

Pipistrel-USA.com of State College earned the top prize in the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, NASA announced Monday.

The plane developed by Pipistrel doubled the fuel efficiency requirement for the competition – flying 200 miles in less than two hours while using less than a gallon of fuel per occupant or the equivalent in electricity. The winning plane used a little more than a half-gallon of fuel per passenger for the 200-mile flight.

Another green government boondoggle

President Barack Obama’s “green jobs” initiatives suffered another major blow late Monday, as the nonprofit National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, announced a plan to lay off roughly 10 percent of its staff through a voluntary buy-out plan.

According to the Denver Post, the lab plans to eliminate between 100 and 150 of its 1,350 jobs. The Obama administration supported the NREL in 2009 with roughly $200 million in stimulus grants. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu visited Golden in May 2009 to promote the NREL as a beneficiary of those funds.


Chris Christie has decided NOT to run

Wall Street protests: a sign of desperation on the Left

In the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Left thinks it might have found its own tea party.

MoveOn.org and some unions have embraced the protesters. The left-wing Campaign for America’s Future is featuring them at its conference devoted to reinvigorating progressivism. Liberal opinion-makers have celebrated them — Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne welcomes their spirit, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof compares them, astonishingly enough, to the demonstrators at Egypt’s Tahrir Square.

This is a sign either of desperation to find anyone on the left still energized after three years of Hope and Change, or of a lack of standards, or both. The Left’s tea party is a juvenile rabble, a woolly-headed horde that has been laboring to come up with one concrete demand on the basis of its — in the words of one sympathetic writer — “horizontal, autonomous, leaderless, modified-consensus-based system with roots in anarchist thought.”

Starbucks to Begin Collecting Donations to Stimulate U.S. Job Growth

Starting Nov. 1, Starbucks will begin collecting donations of $5 or more from customers to stimulate U.S. job growth through its “Jobs for USA” program. The Seattle-based coffee chain is collaborating with the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit that works with nearly 200 community development financial institutions to provide loans to small businesses and community groups. Starbucks says 100 percent of the donations will go toward loans for firms and organizations that can add jobs or stem job losses.

Three U.S.-born scientists win Nobel Prize in physics

Three U.S.-born scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for overturning a fundamental assumption in their field by showing that the expansion of the universe is constantly accelerating.


Documents show AG Holder mislead Congress

New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."