Tag Archives: FEMA

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

This is what Sandy looked like from New York City.

Do you remember that I mentioned that there was this plant, in New England, that made an injectable steroid compound? That compound got infected with a fungus that I’d never heard of before. The number of deaths from this infection is now 28. There’ve been 377 infections. Again, let me say, we need more not less government oversight in order to prevent things like this from happening again.

Every now and then, in this 24/7, gotcha media environment that we live, in people get on camera that shouldn’t. People simply get airtime who shouldn’t be given the time of day. For reasons that are unclear, somebody decided to interview Michael “heckuva job” Brown about FEMA’s response to hurricane Sandy. Michael Brown thought that the Obama administration was “premature.” Basically, they operated too fast. In our society, there are some people that should be seen and not heard. (To be honest, some people should not be seen or heard.)

Today, was the first time I’d heard in conjunction with Hurricane Sandy a real discussion about climate change. Look for Fox News push back tomorrow.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I’m not sure what to make out of Mitt Romney’s latest ad that is airing in Ohio. Basically, the ad suggests that Jeep, a subsidiary of Chrysler, is shipping jobs to China.

This was completely discussed in the WaPo

Here’s what Romney said last Thursday in Ohio: “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China. I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair.”

This was completely wrong. Bloomberg News had reported that Fiat, the majority owner of Chrysler, was planning to once again start building Jeeps in China, after production had been on hold since 2009.

The article made clear that Chrysler was was “adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China,” but some blogs, such as the Washington Examiner’s Washington Secrets,misinterpreted the article and reported: “Jeep, the rugged brand President Obama once said symbolized American freedom, is considering giving up on the United States and shifting production to China.”

After Romney made his comments, Chrysler issued a statement firmly denying that any North American production was being moved to China:

“Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.”

In response, a Romney spokesman explained: “The larger point that the governor made is that rather than creating jobs here, the foreign owner, handpicked by President Obama, is planning to add jobs overseas.”

This is a strange bit of spin, given that all international automakers build cars in other overseas markets. In this case, one could argue it is a sign of the company’s growing strength that it is returning to a major overseas market that it had abandoned. (Moreover, Chrysler is planning to add to its Jeep workforce in the United States in 2013.)

Saturday Morning News Roundup (Updated)

Solyndra executives were summoned to Capitol Hill yesterday. They took the fifth. This is curious.

There’s more going on in Wisconsin with regards to Governor Scott Walker and some secret investigation. Scott Walker’s spokesman has received immunity. This can’t be good.

Sometimes, government is hard. Other times, it’s just politics. It appears that a government shutdown is on the horizon, again. The Republicans have not given up on insisting on funding cuts before funding FEMA disaster relief.

I find it kind of amusing that we are instructing Europe to be more aggressive on their debt crisis. This is in spite of the fact that we really haven’t solve our own debt crisis.

Scientists at Penn State College of Medicine announced that they have found a virus capable of killing breast cancer within seven days. If this is true and if there are no untoward side effects, like getting some other type of cancer, this would be a huge breakthrough.

Michele Bachmann during last week’s debates basically proposed no taxes. I’m not talking about a system with fewer taxes. I’m talking about a system without any taxes. I guess that government would run on a voluntary basis. There would be no military. There would be no Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. There would be nothing. No disaster relief. The crazy, irrational philosopher, Ayn Rand, would be proud.

For quite some time now, some money gurus have been touting the safe haven of gold. After yesterday’s losses, I’m guessing that gold and silver aren’t that safe anymore.

One of the darlings of Wall Street has been this company called GroupOn. Just like every other phrase on Wall Street, Groupon was initially overvalued at $20 billion. Its revenues were nowhere near this lofty number. There seems to be some accounting irregularities which reduce the revenue from over $700 million to $312.9 million. That’s a huge accounting discrepancy.

I’ve been extremely critical of Hewlett-Packard. I think that they’ve lost their way. They have fired their old CEO and have hired eBay’s old CEO Meg Whitman. She’s got a lot of work to do.

Nice article on making your smart phone – smarter.

The NRA is confused and delusional. They seem to be upset that Obama has done what he said he was going to do. Nothing. He wasn’t going to touch gun control. That simple task of Obama’s sticking to his promise has gotten the NRA in a twist. Read this craziness.

Is Putin back in as the Russian president? Nice gig if you can get it.

UBS CEO has stepped down over the $2 billion losses. Remember, I mentioned several days ago that a “rogue” trader lost $2 billion at UBS. I think that it is important to point out the wink, wink, nod, nod that is going on here. This trader wasn’t a rogue. He was just the same as those other knuckleheads. Matt Taibbi put it this way

They’re not “rogue” for the simple reason that making insanely irresponsible decisions with other peoples’ money is exactly the job description of a lot of people on Wall Street. Hell, they don’t call these guys “rogue traders” when they make a billion dollars gambling.

The only thing that differentiates a “rogue” trader like Barings villain Nick Leeson from a Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuld, John Thain, or someone like AIG’s Joe Cassano, is that those other guys are more senior and their lunatic, catastrophic decisions were authorized (and yes, I know that Cassano wasn’t an investment banker, technically – but he was in financial services).

In the financial press you’re called a “rogue trader” if you’re some overperspired 28 year-old newbie who bypasses internal audits and quality control to make a disastrous trade that could sink the company. But if you’re a well-groomed 60 year-old CEO who uses his authority to ignore quality control and internal audits in order to make disastrous trades that could sink the company, you get a bailout, a bonus, and heroic treatment in an Andrew Ross Sorkin book.

Right on cue, Larry Flynt, founder of Hustler magazine, has offered $1 million for anyone who has proof of a sexual affair with Rick Perry.

Cain wins Florida straw poll. Interestingly, Michele Bachmann finished last. She finished behind – Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich (who has gotten no traction at all) and Jon Huntsman.

What’s on your mind? What stories are you following?

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

More than 300,000 residents in Connecticut are still without power.

Connecticut’s governor calls Ron Paul an idiot. Remember that Ron Paul wants to get rid of FEMA.

Serious delinquencies at Freddie and Fannie are unchanged this month. Wasn’t this supposed to be getting better?

Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC news analyst, has been trying to change his soft and milquetoast image. He’s been trying to be a little bit more forceful. He had a segment the other night where he went after Rudy Giuliani. Now, I have no love for Rudy Giuliani. I think that there are very few people outside of the Bush administration who exploited 9/11 more than “America’s Mayor.” I’m not sure why Lawrence O’Donnell decided that this was a good time to go after Rudy Giuliani since he’s not running for office and we’re still approximately two weeks away from the anniversary of 9/11. Yet, it’s hard to argue with his points.

Representative Allen West considers leaving the Congressional Black Caucus. Really? Who cares?

Three graphs which you should show anyone who tries to tell you that Obama is spending “too much.”

Where were the Tea Party dudes when Bush was spending and spending? One supplemental spending bill after another was passed without much fuss from Republicans.


Although I would be the first to admit that the stimulus did not go far enough and did not help as many people as intended, it is clear that the stimulus stopped our trend of hemorrhaging jobs.

I do not support the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. I cannot remember any merger over the last 10-15 years which has actually benefited the American people. Mergers like these decrease competition and increase the monopolistic tendencies of these huge companies.

A suspicious package was delivered to an Army base. Three people who handled the package developed a mysterious rash. I’m not sure what this is.

Remember all of those secret flights carrying those terrorism suspects to places unknown? It looks like the court has shed some light on this subject.

Please file this under – You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me. The Florida legislature spent time, effort and brainpower passing a bill which bans saggy pants on college campuses. As a matter fact, a Florida legislator stood on one of the Florida campuses and handed out belts to those who “needed it.” Florida’s unemployment rate currently sits at 10.9%. Instead of trying to find jobs the Florida legislature is sitting around passing laws about style. This is so wrong I do not know where to begin.