Thursday, January 8, 2009

Latest Signs of the Apocalypse... Or, News that Will Make You Even MORE Depressed

... "Joe the Plumber" is becoming a war correspondent.

... The upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama is an attractive target for international and domestic terrorists, but U.S. intelligence officials have no information about specific threats to the Jan. 20 event.

... Testifying on Capitol Hill yesterday, leading economists warned that, unless comprehensive action is taken, the economy will shed another 3 million jobs in 2009, real Gross Domestic Product could drop by $750 billion, and the unemployment rate will top 10 percent.

... On "Fox News Sunday," former President George H. W. Bush said he's ready for another Bush in the White House. He hopes his son Jeb runs for Senate in Florida and one day for president.

... The Bank of England slashed interest rates by half a percentage point (to 1.5%), bringing its benchmark rate to the lowest level since the central bank was founded more than three centuries ago.

... According to a poll conducted by Deloitte ("Financial Fraud: Does an Economic Downturn Mean an Uptick?"), nearly two-thirds (63.3 percent) of executives polled expect accounting fraud to increase during the next two years.

...Same-store sales slumped in December, and even Wal-Mart Stores wasn't immune, cutting expectations for the current quarter. Neiman Marcus reported a 28% decline, as luxury retailers continued to suffer. Target's same-store sales fell 4.1% and it said profitability was pressured by deep markdowns.

... Nearly half of Americans (48 percent) reported that they will wait longer before their next vehicle purchase, according to the results of Consumer Reports' 2009 Auto Brand Perception Survey.

... Real estate Web site calculated a value for the White House were it actually a home that could be bought and sold. That estimated value - $308,058,000 - would make it by far the most expensive residence in the U.S., however still more than $23 million less than its value one year ago.

... Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General.

... ... A dogsled race near Frazee, Minnesota, was canceled because there’s too much snow.

And last but certainly not least...

... Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis and HUSTLER magazine publisher Larry Flynt are petitioning the newly convened 111th Congress to provide a $5 billion financial bailout for the adult entertainment industry. "People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt says, "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

For once, I agree with Mr. Flynt.

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