Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Sunday 'Report;' 10/30/2011

What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
All American Bank Fails; 2011 Tally at 85
By Philip van Doorn
October 28, 2011
DES PLAINES, Ill. (TheStreet) --The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on Friday shuttered All American Bank of Des Plaines, bringing this year's total number of bank failures to 85.   All American Bank had $37.8 million in total assets and $33.4 million in deposits when it failed.  
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver and sold the failed institution to International Bank of Chicago.   The failed bank's office was set to reopen during normal business hours as a branch of International Bank of Chicago.   The FDIC estimated the cost of All American Bank's failure to the deposit insurance fund [....]

Things Debt Collectors Won't Say

by Sarah Morgan
October 21, 2011

1.  We'll say anything to get you to pay."
"You just need to pay me $1,200 by 2 p.m. or I'm going to send the sheriff out to arrest you." That's what one debt collector told a client of credit counselor Jan Jones, who works with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Alaska. One woman in her 70s who fell behind on credit card payments was told she'd be deported if she didn't pay right away, says Dafne Torres, director of operations for [....]

Ad for gun training bars Muslims and Obama voters

By Zachary Roth
Senior National Affairs Reporter
The Lookout
October 28, 2011
A radio ad for a handgun training class that bars Muslims and Obama voters has sparked an investigation in Texas.  "We will attempt to teach you all the necessary information you need to obtain your [Concealed Handgun License]," the ad says. Then towards the end, it adds: "If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision under the law."  And then: "If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you, and God bless America."  The ad ran for six days on KHLB, [....]

Herman Cain Says Jesus Was ‘a Perfect Conservative’ Who Was Condemned By a ‘Liberal Court’

by Billy Hallowell,
October 20, 2011
Last December, GOP presidential contender Herman Cain penned an interesting article about Jesus Christ that has been resurrected (no pun intended) and is getting some attention in the blogosphere. Published just five days before Christmas, the piece claims that Jesus was “a perfect conservative” and that “he…changed the world for the better.”  In his article, Cain goes on to explain, though, the reasons why he believes [....]

Rebellion Against The US Junta

by Ralph Benko
October 30, 2011
Does this government represent you? 78% of us say that America is on the wrong track. Only 15%, near an historic low, feel America is headed in the right direction. This implies that a supermajority says that their intention, their well being, and their very dignity are being violated.
The “ruling junta” governing the U.S. seems to have forgotten an axiom critical to its legitimacy: “the consent of the governed.” Americans of all parties and ideologies bitterly cling to a fundamental American principle, stated in the Declaration of Independence, that we “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” … and “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” (Emphasis added.)  Complaints about the unresponsiveness to popular will have been emerging with greater and greater clarity and force from the populace. They were called [....]

Shale gas drives US energy group mergers
By Sheila McNulty in Houston
Financial Times
October 26, 2011The total value of US oil and gas mergers and acquisitions increased 135 per cent to $48.8bn during the third quarter of 2011, driven by a long-term bet on shale gas, according to a new study.  The study, to be released on Wednesday by PwC, the consultancy, counted 46 deals with values greater than $50m – the minimum threshold to be included in the study – and was up from $20.8bn during the same period in 2010.  Thirteen of the deals, totalling $22.6bn, or 46 per cent of deal value, were related to shale – the geologic formation the industry has only been able to economically extract gas and oil from in recent years.  Among them were four transactions in the Marcellus Shale, totalling $3.6bn, and four in the Utica Shale, totalling $3.1bn.
Given the high gas content in these formations, the deals revealed continued interest in natural gas despite the drop in prices to about $4 per million British thermal units from a record of $13.69 per mBtu in 2008.  “Shale gas assets continue to attract vast interest from oil and gas companies, with five of the top 10 largest deals in the third quarter involving shale plays,” said Steve Haffner, partner in PwC’s energy practice.  Analysts said [....]

School Competition Rescues Kids

by John Stossel
October 26, 2011
For years, American education from kindergarten through high school has been a virtual government monopoly.
Conventional wisdom is that government must run the schools. But government monopolies don't do anything well. They fail because they have no real competition. Yet competition is what gives us better phones, movies, cars -- everything that's good.   If governments produced cars, we'd have terrible cars. Actually, governments once did produce cars. The Soviet bloc puts its best engineers to work and came up with the Yugo, the Volga and the Trabant. The Trabant was the best -- the pride of the Eastern Bloc. It was produced by actual German engineers -- known for their brilliance. Yet even the Trabant was a terrible car. Drivers had to put the oil and gas in separately and then shake the car to mix them. Trabants broke down and spewed pollution. When government runs things, consumers suffer.   Our school system is like the Trabant. Economist Milton Friedman understood this before the rest of us did. In 1955, he proposed school vouchers. His plan didn't call for separating school and state -- unfortunately -- but instead sought a second-best fix: Give a voucher to the family, and let it choose which school -- government-run or private -- their child will attend. Schools would [....]

Speculation On Apple's Next Big Thing:
A Home Entertainment Center

by: Robert McDonald
October 28, 2011
Steve Jobs of Apple (AAPL) stated in his just released biography by Walter Isaacson that “television” is another consumer product area that he wanted to revolutionize. He goes on to say that "I'd like to create an integrated television set. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud ... It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine."  Given that, you have to believe that Apple has initiated a highly secret internal project to move this idea forward. The only question is how far downstream are they?
Monday morning Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray who has also been speculating on this idea for some time, is saying that Apple is already building prototype TV sets and has a supply chain starting up in Asia.  It is only logical that Apple will apply its perfectionist “Gucci” like design skills in combination with existing hardware and software core competencies to start up yet another highly profitable business. This business will produce home [....]

How to Avoid Costly Home Repairs
by Farnoosh Torabi

Yahoo Finance
October 24, 2011The costs of home ownership stretch far beyond mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance. From clogged gutters to broken shingles and mold, home repairs can easily add up — especially with all the precipitation and cold weather this time of year. We spoke with home improvement specialist Ron Hazelton for his preventative home maintenance checklist, which he says can save the average owner over at least $100,000 in repairs over the years.
Inspect Your Foundation
Foundation repair can cost as much as $25,000, so Hazelton's first bit of advice is to survey the exterior base of your home for any cracks, which may have been caused by rainwater mixing with soil. "When soil meets water, the soil tends to expand like a sponge and exert a great deal of pressure on a home's foundation and basement walls," says Hazelton. "After a heavy rainstorm go outside and walk around your home. Check within five feet of the house to make sure you don't see large puddles...Avoid having any water soaking the ground right next to your house."  For foundation repair, it can cost $400-$800 to repair simple, tiny cracks in the foundation. Moderate damage can run as high as $8000-$30,000 to repair, according to
Routinely Unclog Your Gutters
Check for built-up debris in your home's gutters, which may also lead to cracks in your home's foundation. Hazelton says that as rain falls, water may spill over the edge of the home and directly onto the ground. The water may saturate the soil surrounding the house and, again, force [....]

What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls
October 29, 2011
Investor Confidence Gains Seven Points on Saturday
Obama 45%, Perry 38%
Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 44%, Democrats 36%
16% Say U.S. Heading In Right Direction
For many conservatives and Tea Party voters, the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination boils down to “anyone but Romney.” Yet the former Massachusetts governor remains a frontrunner for the nomination, while the various conservative hopefuls rise and fall.   Romney is still the GOP presidential contender who voters consider most qualified to be president, although he falls short of the number who feel that way about President Obama. But most GOP voters think all four top hopefuls for their party’s presidential nomination have what it takes, although they’re a little less sure about Herman Cain.  The Republican numbers tell an interesting story. Cain has surged to challenge Romney in recent weeks as Texas Governor Rick Perry has stumbled. But our latest numbers show that 61% of GOP voters now think Perry is qualified to be president, up from 52% in late September and virtually tying the number who feel that way about Romney. In that same period, however, the number of Republicans who think Cain is qualified to be president as risen only marginally from 49% to 52%.   But those numbers still don’t translate to all voters at large. Romney is the only Republican who consistently runs even with Obama, running neck-and-neck with the incumbent again this past week. The two men have been within two points of each other in surveys since mid-September. Frontrunners for the nomination typically run [....]

Solyndra with a Needle:
Obama Considers Injecting U.S. Children with Anthrax

by Ben Johnson,
The White House Watch
October 28, 2011

Update: The advisory board voted to move the process forward on Friday by asking a review committee to solve the ethical problem of injecting children with anthrax. “Protecting children still stands, for me, among the most important responsibilities that we have as a nation,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie (see below). In this case, “protecting” means injecting children who will probably face no threat of being exposed to anthrax with a vaccine that has caused the most fit Americans, its servicemen, such severe reactions as heart problems and diabetes. — BJ.
The Obama administration is considering injecting American children with an anthrax vaccine in an unprecedented scientific experiment that bioethicists say will unnecessarily endanger the youngsters’ lives and health. The National Biodefense Safety Board (NBSB), will vote today about whether the pediatric vaccinations should go forward. A smaller working group comprised of a whopping eight members endorsed the vaccinations in September.  Since 1998, more than a million people have been vaccinated, mostly servicemen stationed overseas. The vaccinations were temporarily halted by court order but continue today.  Following the 2001 Anthrax infections on Capitol Hill, which resulted in [....]

Occupy Wall Street and Entrepreneur Investment

by Jeff Carter
October 30,2011
Reading many blogs from various VC’s and entrepreneurs, I get the impression that they are on the side of Occupy Wall Street. Or, if they aren’t on their side totally, they are cheering for them.
Here is what I don’t understand. The VC and entrepreneurial community wants to fund businesses that are disruptive, make things horizontal, and decentralized. Currently, many of the hottest businesses take the power from dominant players and put it into the hands of individuals. There is huge power in catering to individual choice, and individual consumers can exert a great amount of influence over the profitability of a company. Freedom is unleashed and the power of that freedom increases productivity and profit. Individual choice benefits the masses.  Yet, when it comes to government, these same VC’s and entrepreneurs contribute, and actively campaign for Democrats. Democrats are the antithesis of where most of them try and earn a return on their investment dollars. Democrats are for huge centrally planned bureaucracies that always screw things up and cater to the middle, not the individual. Freedom is limited and restrained. Certain favored individuals get what they want, but the masses are left in the lurch.
The logic doesn’t add up.
Here is a different way to put it. If you are a VC that supports Occupy Wall Street, don’t invest one new dollar in Silicon Valley or Boston or Austin. They are the 1%. Invest in Detroit or Cleveland. Aren’t they the 99%? If you happen to be fortunate enough to earn a return, donate most of the profit to charity.   That’s what Occupy Wall Street is telling everyone, or at least that’s what I am hearing.
Just a point of information.
None of the Tea Parties turned into mobs where thugs were arrested for drugs, rape, beatings, and public indecency. As a matter of fact, in a lot of places the streets and parks they marched in were cleaner than when the Tea Party first set foot there. Occupy Wall Street is a useless leftist movement for the most part. For the people that are truly frustrated, I empathize. But what OWS stands for won’t get you what you want. It’s tough [....]

Hundreds Want Death-Defying Beagle Named Daniel

Good Morning America
October 28, 2011
Hundreds Want Death-Defying Beagle Named Daniel (ABC News)
Hundreds of people are vying to adopt Daniel, a 5-year-old miracle beagle who sniffed at death and came out of an Alabama gas chamber wagging its tail.   The pooch was sent to his doom along with 18 other dogs at an overcrowded animal shelter in Florence, Ala., on Oct. 3.  But when the animal control officer in charge of the operation returned to the locked chamber he found the dog waiting at the door, wagging its tail. The other dogs were dead.  His amazing survival has attracted [....]

Ford reintroduces the 1965 Mustang

If all you wanna do is ride around, the classic convertible can be yours for $15,000.
By Justin Hyde
Yahoo! Autos
October 28, 2011

Ford Motor Co. will soon sell brand-new 1965 Ford Mustangs for just $15,000 each. The only hitch: There's some assembly required.  As part of its Ford Reproduction business, Ford revealed today it had approved a new stamping of the steel bodies for first-generation Mustang that buyers could then build into their own 1964 1/2 through 1966 Mustang, using whatever engine, axles, interior and other parts they can find on their own.  The first-generation Mustangs rank as America's most-restored vehicle, and the cottage industry of reproduction parts [....]

..Gadhafi’s dead, but White House war on “leading from behind” escalating

By Laura Rozen
Senior Foreign Affairs Reporter
The Envoy
October 27, 2011Moammar Gadhafi was buried in a secret location in the Libyan desert this week, bringing closure to Libyans' nine-month struggle to topple their dictator of 42 years.
Despite the victory celebrations in Benghazi over Gadhafi's demise, the Obama administration apparently is still bothered by a noteworthy phrase that has been used to describe President Barack Obama's chosen form of military intervention.  "Leading from behind" is  [....]

Luck of O'bama: Another CEO Bites the Dust

by John Ransom
October 30, 2011If you’ve had anything to do with Obama from a bumper sticker to bailouts, you might want to turn a circle three times in your tracks while you cross yourself. Or tack a horseshoe above your door. Or do a novena to Saint Jude.   Because the president is more than just a bad executive, he’s star-crossed. From union bosses, to Chicago, to CEOs, to millionaires, to billionaires, homeowners and healthcare practitioners, everyone involved with him is feeling hexed.   The hasty departure of First Solar CEO Robert Gillette, an Obama favorite, sent share prices for the publicly-traded “green” energy company tumbling 25 percent on Tuesday, on general jitters that another green rat may be abandoning another solar-powered sinking ship.  The company, whose stock [....]

Best jobs for fast growth

by Jessica Dickler,
Anne C. Lee,
Greg Swiatek

If you're stalled or burned out, these fast-growing fields (with relatively low barriers to entry) can help you earn more, get ahead and put life back into your career.
Software Developer.
Median pay: $82,400
Top pay: $118,000
10-year job growth: 32%
Total jobs: 380,000
The job:
As technology evolves rapidly, companies continue to need developers to design, test, and debug software programs for mobile devices and apps. Since the landscape changes so often, even longtime developers frequently need to retrain and learn new programs, lowering the barriers to entry for job switchers.
How to switch:
If you have a technical background, all you need are self-study courses for vendor-specific program certifications. Tech newbies should start with a programming course at a local college. [....] 
Until Next Sunday....



No comments: