Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Parting Shot

airplane banner reads:
         "Hey Mitt! Worried about us now? -- the 47%"


courtesy of

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Romney Shrugged (an involuntary apology)


Was he lying then?

Or is he lying now?

In May, when Mitt Romney said to a roomful of his wealthiest donors that 47% of Americans saw themselves as “victims” and, as President, his job was “not to worry about those people” – was he lying to his donors then in order to get their money?

Or is he lying to us now in order to get our vote?

Why did it take Mitt Romney nearly 3 weeks after the video became public to apologize?  Was it because his poll numbers plunged precipitously as a result of his comments?  Was it because other Republicans were distancing themselves from him in order to save their own campaigns?

If Romney really felt he was wrong, why didn’t he apologize as soon as it became public instead of defending his extremely callous and disparaging comments for 3 weeks?

What does that 3-week delay say about Mitt Romney’s character?

More importantly, what does it say about what he truly believes?

Like an unscrupulous salesman, Romney seems to tell us whatever he thinks we want to hear, in order to seal the deal.

Here's what he said to his donors:

Here's what he told you and me:     

Which do you think is the real Mitt Romney?
Are you willing to risk America's future that you are right?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heckler Interrupts Romney with Question on Climate Change . . . . Watch What Happens

A fascinating video clip from earlier today at a Romney campaign stop where an audience member unfurls a banner and shouts: "What about climate change? That’s what caused this monster storm."
But that’s not the fascinating part. What occurred after is like something out of a Twilight Zone episode as the crowd begins chanting "USA, USA" – as if chanting “USA” is somehow the answer - or solution -- to the issue of climate change!
And then Romney, after a long pause, continues with his speech as if the issue never came up at all.
Truly a bizarre occurrence.
Watch it for yourself in this brief, 1-minute video clip:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Employees' Jobs Threatened if they Vote for Obama, Romney Encourages It

With encouragement from Mitt Romney, a number of employers have told their employees that, if they vote for President Obama on November 6th, it will cost them dearly.  They have been informed that if they vote for Obama, they may have their hours cut back . . . lose their insurance . . . or lose their jobs.

This is not a joke.  I wish it were.

As illegal as this tactic sounds, I was shocked to learn that the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling makes this sort of employee intimidation and coercion completely legal!

If there was any doubt in your mind that next week's election has far-reaching consequences -- well beyond who occupies the White House for the next 4 years -- this ought to put your doubt to rest.

This is all the more reason why we need to do everything we can to encourage everyone we know to vote on November 6th.

Because, if we don't -- they will.

Please share this information with your friends.  It's not just our country, but our entire Democracy that is at stake.

Here's a few quotes from the articles (links to articles follow below):

"Terry McTaggart, the president of a Michigan convenience store, liquor and home heating conglomerate, sent his employees a letter this month suggesting they vote for GOP nominee Mitt Romney and threatening to cut their hours in order to save money under President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

McTaggart joins a handful of CEOs who have urged their employees to oppose Obama, including Westgate Resorts founder David Siegel and the Koch Brothers. Corporations were banned from pressuring their employees on voting for decades, but the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision freed employers to campaign among their workers as a form of free speech.

Romney has encouraged employers to pass their views along to their employees. The National Federation of Independent Business, which almost exclusively backs GOP candidates, will host an event this week to educate bosses on how best to pressure their workers come Election Day."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Romnesia Alert Issued


WARNING: U.S. Health Alert Issued Earlier Today

The Federal Center for Disease Control issued a warning earlier today that an outbreak of Romnesia has been identified in several states and is spreading rapidly. All Americans are advised to remain calm, but to be alert for common symptoms, which include:

Rapidly shifting statements of your positions and beliefs
Shortness of memory
Discomfort with 47% of Americans
Absence of self-awareness

Additional Romnesia symptoms may include:
believing women dwell in binders;  mistaking corporations for actual people;  confusing your dog with your luggage;  eagerness to randomly and casually make $10,000 bets;  not knowing which of your houses your key unlocks;  and believing $200,000 to $250,000 is middle-class income

At risk groups include:
women, seniors, students, the working class, immigrants, gays and lesbians, scientists and researchers, and the easily deceived

The risk to your health remains high.

This afternoon, President Obama issued an urgent statement to all Americans regarding Romnesia:  (it's pretty funny!)

The FCDC reminds you to take all necessary precautions when you vote on Tuesday, November 6th in order to prevent Romnesia from reaching epidemic proportions.

If you found this announcement helpful, you may also like:  
37 Reasons You Might Want to Vote Republican: 

Monday, October 15, 2012

FDR's Post-Crash 1936 Speech Provides Surprising Parallel to 2012 Election

The parallels between the recovery in 1936 and in 2012 are unexpectedly surprising. In many ways, FDR could have been describing the circumstances of the past 4 years and the current political climate . . .

[note: the following introduction is taken from David Remnick's 10/13/12 New Yorker blog]:

In 1936, Franklin Roosevelt was faced with a vicious reelection campaign. He was vilified for the New Deal reforms. The word “boondoggle” was popularized in the U.S. the year before to describe alleged abuses of the New Deal. Opposition politicians and critics compared F.D.R. to Lenin. The Depression was still on, and unemployment, which had dropped significantly, was still high, over fourteen per cent. What Roosevelt had going for himself was a real set of policies and the capacity to speak on their behalf—a willed capacity to state things plainly, forcefully, and effectively. Never more so than on September 29, 1936, at the New York Democratic State Convention, in Syracuse.

Excerpts from FDR's speech to the New York Democratic State Convention 9/29/1936:

The task on our part is twofold: First, as simple patriotism requires, to separate the false from the real issues; and, secondly, with facts and without rancor, to clarify the real problems for the American public.

There will be—there are—many false issues. In that respect, this will be no different from other campaigns. Partisans, not willing to face realities, will drag out red herrings as they have always done—to divert attention from the trail of their own weaknesses.

This practice is as old as our democracy. Avoiding the facts—fearful of the truth—a malicious opposition charged that George Washington planned to make himself king under a British form of government; that Thomas Jefferson planned to set up a guillotine under a French Revolutionary form of government; that Andrew Jackson soaked the rich of the Eastern seaboard and planned to surrender American democracy to the dictatorship of a frontier mob. They called Abraham Lincoln a Roman Emperor; Theodore Roosevelt a Destroyer; Woodrow Wilson a self-constituted Messiah.

In the spring of 1933 we faced a crisis which was the ugly fruit of twelve years of neglect of the causes of economic and social unrest.

Most people in the United States remember today the fact that starvation was averted, that homes and farms were saved, that banks were reopened, that crop prices rose, that industry revived, and that the dangerous forces subversive of our form of government were turned aside.

A few people- a few only—unwilling to remember, seem to have forgotten those days.

Why did that crisis of 1929 to 1933 pass without disaster?

The answer is found in the record of what we did.

We met the emergency with emergency action.

Let me warn you and let me warn the Nation against the smooth evasion which says, "Of course we believe all these things; we believe in social security; we believe in work for the unemployed; we believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things; but we do not like the way the present Administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them- we will do more of them we will do them better; and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything."

But, my friends, these evaders are banking too heavily on the shortness of our memories. No one will forget that they had their golden opportunity—twelve long years of it.

Remember, too, that the first essential of doing a job well is to want to see the job done. Make no mistake about this: the Republican leadership today is not against the way we have done the job. The Republican leadership is against the job's being done.

You cannot promise to repeal taxes before one audience and promise to spend more of the taxpayers' money before another audience. You cannot promise tax relief for those who can afford to pay, and, at the same time, promise more of the taxpayers' money for those who are in need. You simply cannot make good on both promises at the same time.

Who is there in America who believes that we can run the risk of turning back our Government to the old leadership which brought it to the brink of 1933?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

You can watch or read FDR's entire speech here: 

Here is a link to Davdi Remnick's New Yorker article which brought FDR's 1936 speech to everyone's attention:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Intimidating Billboards Attempt to Suppress Black Voters in Ohio, Wisconsin

Tell me once again that the Republican-sponsored Voter ID Laws in numerous states are intended only to preserve American Democracy and not to suppress minority votes (which, typically lean heavily Democratic).

Just last week, intimidating billboards began appearing in predominantly black neighborhoods in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio (battleground state) and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin informing residents that "Voter Fraud is a Felony!" and is subject to "3 1/2 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine".  The sole image is one of a judge's gavel striking a block.

As if it's not bad enough that Republican legislators and Republican operatives have altered voting regulations in many states in order to remove legitimate Democratic voters from the voter rolls, NOW they have erected billboard signs in predominantly poor, lower-education, minority neighborhoods implying that simply casting a vote can land you in jail.

This is absolutely outrageous and the only way to fight this blatant attempt at voter intimidation is for every one of us to redouble our efforts to get out the vote on November 6th.

You can read the full article here on Bill Moyers web site:

In 2010, the right attempted to suppress the Latino vote by creating a front group called "Latinos for Reform" and running an ad on Spanish language TV instructing viewers that the "only way to send a clear message to Washington is to NOT vote!"  You can read about that attempt here:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mitt Romney Explains Republican Education Policy to America's School Children

37 Reasons You Might Want to Vote Republican:

1. If you think that those Americans who fight our wars, police our streets and heal our sick don’t deserve equal rights and protections under our laws because they happen to be gay – then you might want to vote Republican.
2. If you think that another war in the Middle East is the best way to prove America’s superiority, then you should be voting Republican.
3. If you believe that global warming/climate change isn’t real, then you might want to vote Republican.
4. If you think that those who have amassed vast fortunes in America earned it because they worked harder than you and I, then you should be voting Republican.
5. If you think that our Constitution imbues corporations with the same inalienable rights as people (despite the fact that corporations are never mentioned in the Constitution), then you might want to vote Republican.
6. If you think that legislators have the right to force women who have been raped or who are the victim of incest, to bring the resulting pregnancies to full term, you might want to vote Republican.
7. If you think that those with extreme wealth should be allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence America’s elections, (and the resulting laws and public policies created by those they elect), then you should be voting Republican.
8. If you think that “clean coal” is real, and that coal is America’s 21st century energy solution, then you should probably vote Republican.
9. If you think that women seeking an abortion should be forced to go through invasive – and medically unnecessary – vaginal ultrasounds, you might want to vote Republican.
10. If you think that access to affordable health care for every American should be considered a privilege rather than a basic human right, then you might want to vote Republican.
11. If you think that Big Oil companies should be subsidized by collecting more taxes from middle-class Americans, then you should be voting Republican.
12. If you think it’s justifiable that, over the past 25 years, the wealthiest 1% of Americans have seen their income increase by 275% while the rest of us have seen our incomes increase by only 40%, then you should be voting Republican.
13. If you think that the greed-fueled banks and financial institutions which caused America’s 2008 economic collapse should be rewarded with less oversight – rather than more oversight – then you should be voting Republican.
14. If you think the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be gutted or abolished, then you might want to vote Republican.
15. If you think that creating obstacles for legal citizens to vote (including immigrants, minorities, the poor and the elderly) furthers our American democracy, then you might want to vote Republican.
16. If you think anyone with the cash should be able to buy automatic, military-style assault weapons – weapons which are specifically designed to kill other humans – then you should be voting Republican.
17. If you think that life-saving, embryonic stem-cell research should be prohibited in the U.S. because of certain religious beliefs, then you should be voting Republican.
18. If you think that President Obama should have allowed our automobile industry to collapse, along with nearly 1,500,000 related American jobs, then you should be voting Republican.
19. If you think that immigrants to America are a problem, then you should be grateful that your ancestors arrived when they did, and you should probably vote Republican.
20. If you think that America should create laws to enforce religious ideology and beliefs upon all citizens – then you should be voting Republican.
21. If you think that businesses and corporations should be allowed to influence our elections and public policy, then you should be voting Republican.
22. If you think we actually need to cut back on the number of American school children who go on to college, you might want to vote Republican.
23. If you think the U.S. Department of Education should be abolished, you might want to vote Republican.
24. If you think that environmental and consumer protections (like food safety; workplace safety; toxic waste; air and water quality; drug and medical testing; etc.) should be weakened or eliminated because it costs businesses money to ensure their products will not endanger the lives of American citizens, then you might want to vote Republican.
25. If you think that industries like banking, Wall Street, oil and gas exploration, insurance and food production should be unfettered and allowed to police themselves, then you should be voting Republican.
26. If you think that women do not deserve the same pay as men for equal work, you might want to vote Republican.
27. If you think that the safety of retired Americans’ Social Security earnings should be dependent upon the whims and integrity of Wall Street investment bankers and the stock market, then you should be voting Republican.
28. If you think that “drill now, drill everywhere” is a sound energy policy for America’s future, then you should be voting Republican.
29. If you think that the current national minimum wage of $7.25/hour is too high and should be eliminated to make businesses more competitive, then you should be voting Republican.
30. If you think the interest rate on student loans should be allowed to double, making it harder for America’s children to get a college education, then you should probably vote Republican.
31. If you think that businesses should be allowed to get tax breaks for sending American jobs overseas, then you should be voting Republican.
32. If you think that the law-abiding children of illegal immigrants, who were born and have lived their entire lives here, should not be given a path to citizenship, and the ability to further their education, then you might want to vote Republican.
33. If you think that Medicare should be turned into a “you’re on your own” voucher system, you definitely want to vote Republican.
34. If you think that the poorest and most impoverished amongst us should be required to pay taxes so they “have some skin in the game”, then you should probably vote Republican.
35. If you think America’s school children – the hope for America’s future competitiveness in the world – should be taught that creationism and evolution hold equal weight in the scientific world, then you might want to vote Republican.
36. If you think this election is about Bain Capital or President Obama’s birth certificate . . . then you haven’t been paying attention.
37. If you care about what kind of country America becomes over the next 4 years, you better get out and vote on Tuesday Nov. 6th
38. If you think that I made all this up, then you need to click on these links:,8599,2096055,00.html

and on the humorous side, though with more than a bit of truth:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

4 Years Ago

Republicans have been asking lately if we are better off today than we were 4 years ago. Here's a small sampling of newspaper headlines and job layoff reports from Fall of 2008 to help jog their memory (and ours):

Lost: 1.9 million jobs

The 2008 tally soars after payrolls shrink by 533,000 in November, the biggest one-month decline in nearly 34 years. Unemployment soars to 6.7%.

By David Goldman, staff writer

Last Updated: December 5, 2008: 5:02 PM ET

NEW YORK ( -- The economy shed 533,000 jobs in November, according to a government report Friday - bringing the year's total job losses to 1.9 million.

November had the largest monthly job loss total since December 1974.

"This is a dismal jobs report," said Keith Hall, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at a congressional hearing. "There's very little in this report that's positive. This is maybe one of the worst jobs reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (founded in 1884) has ever produced."

The number of jobs lost in the current recession, which began in December 2007, surpasses the 1.6 million jobs lost in the 2001 recession.

The job market expansion leading out of that recession was drawn out and tepid, so the jobs lost now are more at the core of the nation's economy - a scary sign.

According to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the unemployment rate rose to 6.7% from 6.5% in October. The rate is compiled in a separate survey from the payroll number.


Economists surveyed by had forecast a loss of 325,000 jobs in the month.

Revisions to the two prior months brought more dismal news. October's job loss was revised up to 320,000 from 240,000, and September was revised up to 403,000.

The revisions brought the 3-month job loss total to 1.3 million.

November's report provided the first glimpse at employers' reaction after the peak of the credit crisis, reached in mid-October.

With credit largely unavailable and expensive, consumers scaled back their spending, dragging down manufacturing and construction businesses. Travel has also been scaled back.

As a result, job losses were spread across a wide variety of industries: manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, construction and even, in the midst of the holiday shopping season, retail.

Also seeing sharp declines were professional and business services, a category seen by some economists as a proxy for overall economic activity, and financial services, at the heart of the current crisis.

Deeper cuts likely to come

With the economy in a recession and most economic indicators signaling even more difficult times ahead, economists say job losses will likely deepen and continue through at least the first half of 2009.

Citing weak economic conditions, a slew of large-scale job-cut announcements came this week.

On Thursday alone, AT&T (T, Fortune 500), DuPont (DD, Fortune 500), Viacom (VIA), Credit Suisse (CS) and Avis (CAR, Fortune 500) announced cuts that totaled nearly 23,000 cuts, most of which will take place over the next several months.

According to a report by the outsourcing agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas, planned job cut announcements by U.S. employers soared to 181,671 last month, the second-highest total on record.

Temporary employment, including workers employed by temp agencies, fell by 100,700 jobs last month, the highest on records that go back to 1985. That could mean even more full-time payroll reductions to come, as employers often cut temporary workers before they begin cutting permanent staff.

Tig Gilliam, chief executive of placement agency Adecco, the nation's third-largest employment agency, said employers are trying to position their companies to weather the ever intensifying economic storm.

"CEOs are trying to get their businesses better positioned for the start of the year so they're not constantly chasing the slowdown" he said. "December will be another very tough month."

In another sign of weakness, a growing number of workers were unable to find jobs with the amount of hours they want to work. Those working part-time jobs - because they couldn't find full-time work, or their hours had been cut back due to slack conditions - jumped by 621,000 people to 7.3 million, the highest ever on records that date back to 1955.

Underemployment at 12.5%

The so-called under-employment rate, which counts those part-time workers, as well as those without jobs who have become discouraged and stopped looking for work, soared to 12.5% from 11.8%.

But there was hiring in some economic sectors last month. Government hiring has stayed strong throughout the downturn, adding another 7,000 jobs in November. Education and health services also grew payrolls, with a gain of 52,000 employees.

The average hourly work week fell to 33.5 hours last month. Economists expected the workweek to hold at October's level of 33.6 hours. But with a modest 7-cent gain in the average hourly salary, the average weekly paycheck rose by 52 cents to $613.05.

Obama: Time for stimulus

With 2008 already the worst year for jobs since 1982 and on pace to become the worst since 1945 - and second worst on records that date back to 1939 - support for a second stimulus package to boost the job market has grown among economists and lawmakers.

The prior stimulus package, in the spring, sent tax rebate checks to millions of tax filers. It helped the economy grow in the second quarter, but it did little to stem the tide of job loss in the country.

But the proposed stimulus package, supported by President-elect Barack Obama, would focus on aid states and municipalities as well as consumers, adding millions of infrastructure jobs for Americans.

"Our economy has already lost nearly 2 million jobs during this recession, which is why we need an Economic Recovery Plan that will save or create at least 2.5 million more jobs over two years," said Obama in a statement. "There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better."

Experts say a two-part stimulus package is the right way to stem the tide of mounting job losses.

"First, you have to get consumers to spend, since 70% of the GDP is tied to consumer spending, and then you need job stimulus like highway projects to maintain economic job growth," said Gilliam. "This number is so bad that Obama will have to do something drastic soon."

In the meantime, Bush administration officials say the priority remains restoring liquidity to the financial system.

"We have to get the job done that we can while we have time left in office, and that is restoring credit," Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez told "This is the key first step to restoring growth and restoring jobs."

The White House echoed the Commerce secretary.

"We need to focus on the causes of the economic downturn in order to reverse this trend in job creation, said Dana Perino, White House press secretary. "We intend to continue our aggressive efforts to restore health to our credit and housing markets."

First Published: December 5, 2008: 8:37 AM ET

U.S. Job Losses 2008-2009:

Job Layoffs for January 2009:

Pink Slips

January 2009 Layoffs

Compiled by Klaus Kneale, 02.06.09, 02:00 PM EST

January layoffs have exceeded 160,000 at America's largest companies.

Layoffs for January 2009 at America's 500 largest public companies*:


Jan. 30: Sears Holdings (nasdaq: SHLD - news - people ) dismisses 300 corporate employees as consumer spending slumps.

Jan. 29: Broadcom (nasdaq: BRCM - news - people ) cuts about 3% of workforce (200 workers) and tightens discretionary spending.

Jan. 29: International Game Technology (nyse: IGT - news - people ) cuts 200 from its manufacturing sector.

Jan. 30: Caterpillar (nyse: CAT - news - people ) increases previous layoffs from 20,000 to 22,110, and share price hits 52-week low.

Jan. 29: Eastman Kodak (nyse: EK - news - people ) took a $137 million Q4 loss and will cut up to 4,500 jobs, up to 18% of workforce.

Jan. 29: Textron (nyse: TXT - news - people ) subsidiary Cessna Aircraft will increase layoffs from 2,600 to 4,600, to be completed by April.

Jan. 29: Ford's (nyse: F - news - people ) credit subsidiary cuts 1,200 jobs, about 20% of its workforce.

Jan. 29: Black & Decker (nyse: BDK - news - people ) will eliminate 1,200 jobs as power tool sales decline and Q4 earnings plunge.

Jan. 29: ESPN, part of the Walt Disney Co. (nyse: DIS - news - people ), (nyse: DIS - news - people ) will cut 200 jobs and Disney-ABC Television Group will release 400 to cope with weak economy.

Jan. 28: Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ) increases previously announced layoffs--bringing total to 10,000 workers, or 6% of the company’s workforce.

Jan. 28: Starbucks (nasdaq: SBUX - news - people ) organizes closings at 900 stores worldwide and fires 6,700 in the process.

Jan. 28: Target (nyse: TGT - news - people ) cuts 400 open positions and 600 employees on sagging sales.

Jan. 27: Time Warner's (nyse: TWX - news - people ) AOL reduces workforce by 10% (700 workers) as it fights declining ad revenue.

Jan. 27: Cabinet company Merillat--a subsidiary of Masco (nyse: MAS - news - people )--cuts 20% of workforce (70 workers).

Jan. 26: Texas Instruments (nyse: TXN - news - people ) pink-slips 3,400 (12% of workforce).

Jan. 26: IBM (nyse: IBM - news - people ) selects 2,800 to participate in its “current resource reduction action.”

Jan. 26: Lincoln National (nyse: LNC - news - people ) posts five quarterly declines in profit; cuts 540 (5% of workforce).

Jan. 26: Caterpillar (nyse: CAT - news - people ) announces quarterly profit plunge of 32%; fires 20,000.

Jan. 26: Following the acquisition of the small drug outfit Wyeth for $68 billion, Pfizer (nyse: PFE - news - people ) closes five factories and cuts 15% of total workforce (19,000 workers).

Jan. 26: Sprint Nextel (nyse: S - news - people ) pink-slips 8,000 workers--recording more than $300 million in severance charges but saving $1.2 billion a year in labor costs.

Jan. 26: Home Depot (nyse: HD - news - people ) closes high-end home design shops and slims ranks at headquarters; dismisses 7,000.

Jan. 26: General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) cuts production at several plants and fires 2,000 in Michigan and Ohio.

Jan. 23: Brazil-based Deere & Company (nyse: DE - news - people ) subsidiary lays off 502 employees.

Jan. 23: Abercrombie & Fitch (nyse: ANF - news - people ) cuts 50 from headquarters as company leans expenses.

Jan. 23: Harley-Davidson (nyse: HOG - news - people ) sees 60% drop in profits in fourth quarter of 2008; fires 1,100 (10% of workforce).

Jan. 22: Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) has first mass layoff in 34-year history; pink slips 5,000.

Jan. 22: Huntsman (nyse: HUN - news - people ) reduces workforce by 9%; cutting 1,175 regular workers and 490 full-time contractors.

Jan. 21: Burlington Santa Fe cuts 2,500 workers (5% of workforce) despite a 19% jump in earnings during the fourth quarter.

Jan. 21: UAL (nasdaq: UAUA - news - people ) fires 1,000 to cut overhead costs.

Jan. 21: SPX (nyse: SPW - news - people ) attempts to sell a business unit and cuts 400 employees to help endure the downturn.

Jan. 21: Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people ) closes five manufacturing plants and pink slips 5,000.

Jan. 21: Walt Disney (nyse: DIS - news - people ) offers voluntary buyouts to 600 theme park executives on poor attendance.

Jan. 21: Wynn Resorts wraps up construction on Las Vegas Strip casino with 53-worker layoff in design and construction affiliate.

Jan. 21: Eaton (nyse: ETN - news - people ) brings total workforce reduction since the beginning of last year to 10% with 5,200-worker cut.

Jan. 21: Warner Bros. Entertainment--a part of Time Warner (nyse: TWX - news - people )--cuts 10% (800) of its jobs.

Jan. 20: Clear Channel Communications (nyse: CCU - news - people ) reduces workforce across the entire company by 9% accounting for 1,850 job losses.

Jan. 20: Deere & Co. (nyse: DE - news - people ) dismisses 120 at Iowa plant.

Jan. 16: ConocoPhillips (nyse: COP - news - people ) trims capital spending by 18%, writes off $34 billion and reduces workforce by 4% (1,300 jobs).

Jan. 16: Hertz Global Holdings (nyse: HTZ - news - people ) sets out for worldwide restructuring in first quarter of 2009; cuts 4,000 jobs.

Jan. 16: WellPoint (nyse: WLP - news - people ) reduces workforce by 600 and removes 900 open positions.

Jan. 16: Advanced Micro Devices (nyse: AMD - news - people ) reduces global workforce by 9% (1,100 jobs).

Jan. 15: Xerox (nyse: XRX - news - people ) cuts 275 jobs in New York region.

Jan. 15: MeadWestvaco (nyse: MWV - news - people ) fires 2,000 and plans closings or restructurings at up to 14 plants.

Jan. 15: Autodesk (nasdaq: ADSK - news - people ) expects loss from 2008 fourth quarter; pink-slips 750 (10% of workforce).

Jan. 15: Marshall & Ilsley (nyse: MI - news - people ) cuts 8% of staff (830) in ongoing cost-cutting.

Jan. 15: General Electric (nyse: GE - news - people )'s (nyse: GE - news - people ) jet-engine group cuts 1,000 white-collar jobs.

Jan. 14: Ecolab (nyse: ECL - news - people ) restructures and reduces workforce by 4% (1,000 jobs).

Jan. 14: Delta Air Lines (nyse: DAL - news - people ) gives 2,000 early retirements as part of 8% capacity reduction.

Jan. 14: Motorola (nyse: MOT - news - people ) lays off 4,000 following a 3,000-worker layoff last year; expects savings of $700 million a year.

Jan. 14: Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) fires 100 hirers as it cuts back on contract workers and temporary employees.

Jan. 13: Cummins (nyse: CMI - news - people ) freezes salaries for the rest of the year and lets 800 go.

Jan. 13: Pfizer (nyse: PFE - news - people ) cuts 800 researchers as it lowers cost in the face of poor performance and coming patent losses.

Jan. 12: Mosaic (nyse: MOS - news - people ) fires 1,000 in Saskatchewan.

Jan. 12: Aircraft maker and Textron (nyse: TXT - news - people ) subsidiary Cessna sends 2,000 packing.

Jan. 12: Best Buy (nyse: BBY - news - people ) clears 12.5% of its headquarters staff with 500-employee layoff.

Jan. 12: Precision Castparts (nyse: PCP - news - people ) dismisses 40 as airline industry continues to struggle.

Jan. 9: Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL - news - people ) reportedly cuts 500 from U.S. sales and consulting businesses.

Jan. 9: Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ) cuts 4,500 and returns workforce size to what it was in early 2008.

Jan. 9: Freeport-McMoRan (nyse: FCX - news - people ) slices workforce in half at Arizona mine; 1,550 workers let go.

Jan. 9: Smitfield Foods' (nyse: SFD - news - people ) Butterball--the nation's largest turkey company--fires 75 at Missouri plant.

Jan. 8: Union Pacific (nyse: UNP - news - people ) pink-slips 230 as company struggles; stock down 22% year-to-date.

Jan. 8: Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works--owned by General Dynamics (nyse: GD - news - people )--dismisses 179.

Jan. 8: Continuing companywide job cuts at Eaton (nyse: ETN - news - people ) hit Iowa, with 78 laid off.

Jan. 8: Walgreen (nyse: WAG - news - people ) cuts 1,000--roughly 9%--from corporate and field manager ranks.

Jan. 7: EMC (nyse: EMC - news - people ) fires 2,400 as it reduces 2009 expenses by $350 million.

Jan. 6: Alcoa (nyse: AA - news - people ) starts global salary and hiring freeze, plans sale of four non-core businesses and cuts workforce by 13% (13,500 jobs).

Jan. 6: Aqua Glass--a subsidiary owned by Masco (nyse: MAS - news - people )--pink-slips 30 employees.

Jan. 5: Cigna (nyse: CI - news - people ) reduces workforce by 4% (1,100 jobs).

Jan. 5: United States Steel (nyse: X - news - people ) cuts 50 jobs as it closes production lines in Texas.

*Total announced layoffs at America's 500 largest public companies as measured by a composite ranking of sales, profits, assets and market value during November 2008. Includes layoffs at subsidiaries, joint ventures and majority-owned companies.

Job Layoffs for December 2008:

Pink Slips

December 2008 Layoffs

Compiled by Klaus Kneale, 01.05.09, 01:45 PM EST

December layoffs have exceeded 100,000 at America's largest companies.

Layoffs for December 2008 at America's 500 largest public companies*:


Dec. 31: Mohawk Industries (nyse: MHK - news - people ) closes spun yarn operation; 160 fired.

Dec. 31: Tyson Foods (nyse: TSN - news - people ) lays off 75 while converting North Carolina plant; drops 45 at Virginia plant.

Dec. 31: Target (nyse: TGT - news - people ) lays off 132 while converting Arizona store into a Super Target.

Dec. 30: Allegheny Technologies (nyse: ATI - news - people ) pink-slips 323 as stainless steel orders decline.

Dec. 30: Motorola (nyse: MOT - news - people ) increases October-announced layoffs by 400.

Dec. 29: Advanced Micro (nyse: AMD - news - people ) increases previously announced layoff by 100.

Dec. 23: Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ) and Lockheed Martin (nyse: LMT - news - people ) joint venture ULA reduces previously announced layoff from 350 to 172.

Dec. 23: Johnson Controls (nyse: JCI - news - people ) expects loss in final quarter of 2008. Fires 125.

Dec. 23: Las Vegas Sands (nyse: LVS - news - people ) drops 500 more in Macau.

Dec. 22: Parker-Hannifin (nyse: PH - news - people ) fires 405 in varied locations as part of overall cost cutting.

Dec. 22: Eaton (nyse: ETN - news - people ) pink-slips 331 at factories across the U.S.

Dec. 19: Genworth Financial (nyse: GNW - news - people ) cuts global workforce by 14% (1,000).

Dec. 19: Electronic Arts (nasdaq: ERTS - news - people ) increases previously announced workforce cut from 6% to 10%. Total becomes 1,000.

Dec. 19: Sovereign Bancorp (nyse: SOV - news - people ) fires 1,000 while lowering costs.

Dec. 18: Omnicom Group (nyse: OMC - news - people ) slims itself with 3,000-worker layoff.

Dec. 18: Caterpillar (nyse: CAT - news - people ) pink-slips 814 workers in response to poor demand.

Dec. 17: Discontinuing supply chain operations in parts of South America, Ryder System (nyse: R - news - people ) fires 3,100.

Dec. 17: Western Digital (nyse: WDC - news - people ) cuts 5% of workforce (2,500) and slows production in response to decline in orders.

Dec. 17: Aetna (nyse: AET - news - people ) cuts costs for the new year. Drops 1,000 (3% of workforce).

Dec. 17: Bristol-Myers Squibb (nyse: BMY - news - people ) slices 10% of staff (3,700) following a 10% cut in back in July.

Dec. 16: CBS Corp (nyse: CBS - news - people ) fires 30 focusing on in-house network programming.

Dec. 15: Merrill Lynch (nyse: MER - news - people ) dismisses 400 amateur brokers-in-training.

Dec. 15: Charles Schwab (nasdaq: SCHW - news - people ) expects to pay out $20 million in severance as it cuts 100 jobs.

Dec. 13: Union Tank Car Company--majority owned by Berkshire Hathaway (nyse: BRK.A - news - people )--reduces production from 60 rail cars a week to 50. Lays off 130.

Dec. 12: Masco (nyse: MAS - news - people ) subsidiary KraftMaid Cabinetry pink-slips 500.

Dec. 12: International Paper (nyse: IP - news - people ) fires 1,500 as it continues cost-cutting.

Dec. 12: Las Vegas Sands (nyse: LVS - news - people ) pink-slips 216 staff in Las Vegas area.

Dec. 11: Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ) plans 35,000 layoffs over three years; trying to survive recession and successfully absorb Merrill Lynch.

Dec. 11: Whirlpool (nyse: WHR - news - people ) cuts 150 positions at refrigeration plant.

Dec. 10: Dal-Tile--owned by Mohawk Industries (nyse: MHK - news - people )--cuts 105 from Gettysburg, Pa., branch.

Dec. 10: In line with plans to close a Clairol plant, Procter & Gamble (nyse: PG - news - people ) severs 320 jobs.

Dec. 9: Praxair (nyse: PX - news - people ) cuts costs. Closes extraneous product lines and fires 1,600.

Dec. 8: Anheuser-Busch (nyse: BUD - news - people ) cuts U.S. workforce by 6% (1,400), freezes hiring on 250 open positions and eliminates 415 contractor jobs.

Dec. 8: 3M (nyse: MMM - news - people ) lowers 2008 outlook; fires 2,300.

Dec. 8: Wyndham Worldwide (nyse: WYN - news - people ) pink-slips 4,000 while trimming timeshare business.

Dec. 8: Dow Chemical (nyse: DOW - news - people ) closes 20 plants, sells several businesses, cuts workforce by 11% (5,000 jobs).

Dec. 5: Legg Mason (nyse: LM - news - people ) lays off 200 (8% of staff).

Dec. 5: Newsday--owned by Cablevision (nyse: CVC - news - people )--raises newsstand price and fires 100.

Dec. 5: Staples (nasdaq: SPLS - news - people ) pink-slips half home office as part of 140-person layoff.

Dec. 5: General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) still suffering. Dismisses 2,000 more.

Dec. 4: Steel Dynamics (nasdaq: STLD - news - people ) lets 65 go in response to poor steel demand.

Dec. 5: Engine-maker Cummins (nyse: CMI - news - people ) cuts 500 white-collar jobs globally despite 25% net income growth last quarter.

Dec. 4: Telephone and broadband outfit Windstream (nyse: WIN - news - people ) fires 170.

Dec. 4: General Electric (nyse: GE - news - people )'s (nyse: GE - news - people ) NBC Universal pink-slips 500 (3% of workforce).

Dec. 4: DuPont (nyse: DD - news - people ) cuts 2,500 jobs in poor home-building, auto sectors.

Dec. 4: AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) cuts capital spending and 4% of workforce; 12,000 fired.

Dec. 3: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (nyse: FCX - news - people ) lays off 600 from New Mexico mine.

Dec. 3: Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney--owned by United Technologies (nyse: UTX - news - people )--lays off 350.

Dec. 3: Struggling media company Gannett (nyse: GCI - news - people ) cuts about 2,000 jobs throughout its publishing arm.

Dec. 3: Adobe Systems (nasdaq: ADBE - news - people ) warns of rough fourth quarter and 600-worker layoff.

Dec. 3: Jefferies Group (nyse: JEF - news - people ) pink-slips 300 (13% of workforce).

Dec. 3: Attempting to steel itself against the economy, Viacom (nyse: VIA - news - people ) freezes some salaries and dismisses 850 workers.

Dec. 2: Continuing difficulty in the steel market forces United States Steel (nyse: X - news - people ) to idle three facilities. Fires 3,500.

Dec. 1: JPMorgan Chase (nyse: JPM - news - people ) reduces workforce of recently acquired bank Washington Mutual (nyse: WM - news - people ); 9,200 workers (21% of WaMu staff) let go.

Dec. 1: PepsiCo (nyse: PEP - news - people ) pink-slips 87 workers at an Oklahoma Gatorade plant.

Job Layoffs for November 2008:

Pink Slips

November 2008 Layoffs

Compiled by Klaus Kneale, 12.02.08, 01:15 PM EST

More than 90,000 people lost their jobs at America's largest public companies in November 2008.

Layoffs for November 2008 at America's 500 largest public companies*:


Nov. 25: Dana Holding (nyse: DAN - news - people ) cuts 50 jobs at Missouri factory. Plant makes axels for Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ), General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) and Nissan (nasdaq: NSANY - news - people ).

Nov. 24: BlackRock (nyse: BLK - news - people ) fires 10 of its investing staff.

Nov. 21: Manufactured home builder Clayton Homes, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway (nyse: BRK - news - people ), dismisses 90 from corporate headquarters in Tennessee.

Nov. 21: International Paper (nyse: IP - news - people ) closes Louisiana Mill indefinitely due to poor pulp demand. Fires 550.

Nov. 21: Western Union (nyse: WU - news - people ) cuts 200 jobs globally. Blames “challenging economic environment.”

Nov. 20: Bank of New York Mellon (nyse: BK - news - people ) reduces workforce by 4% (1,800 employees).

Nov. 20: Whirlpool (nyse: WHR - news - people ) sacks 100 from Indiana-based plant. Cites poor refrigerator demand.

Nov. 19: GM Thailand closes 130,000-unit-per-year factory for two months. Fires 258 from another.

Nov. 19: Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ) pink-slips 800 workers at defense facility in Kansas.

Nov. 19: Carpeting company Shaw Industries, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, fires 125 from Georgia-based plant.

Nov. 18: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (nyse: FCX - news - people ) cuts 600 U.S. mining jobs. Blames sliding metal prices.

Nov. 17: Citigroup (nyse: C - news - people ) raises the interest rates on its credit cards and cuts 52,000 jobs.

Nov. 14: Boeing and Lockheed Martin (nyse: LMT - news - people ) joint venture ULA announces 350-worker layoff (later reduced to 172).

Nov. 14: Computer network builder Sun Microsystems (nasdaq: JAVA - news - people ) hopes to save $800 million a year with a 6,000-person reduction in workforce.

Nov. 13: United States Steel (nyse: X - news - people ) pink-slips 675 workers (2% of its staff). Stock down 80% from July to November.

Nov. 12: Hoping to save $400 million a year, Applied Materials (nasdaq: AMAT - news - people ) cuts 1,800 jobs (12% of workforce).

Nov. 12: Las Vegas Sands (nyse: LVS - news - people ) is putting several billion-dollar Macau-based projects on hold. As many as 11,000 workers will be laid off.

Nov. 12: Morgan Stanley (nyse: MS - news - people ) announces 2,000 job cuts. This includes a 10% cut in the company's institutional securities group and a 9% cut in its asset-management group.

Nov. 12: Liberty Media (nasdaq: LCAPA - news - people ) (nasdaq: LCAPA - news - people ) home shopping channel QVC announces a 910-worker layoff.

Nov. 12: Cessna Aircraft, a subsidiary of conglomerate Textron (nyse: TXT - news - people ), fires 665.

Nov. 11: AK Steel Holding (nyse: AKS - news - people ) suffers from decline in steel demand. 800 workers lose jobs as two factories go idle.

Nov. 10: General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) lays off 1,900 employees from its powertrain and stamping division. An additional 3,600 assembly employees were already getting pink-slipped.

Nov. 7: Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ) cuts 2,600 hourly employees in the U.S.

Nov. 6: Advanced Micro (nyse: AMD - news - people ) lays off 500.

Nov. 6: Toy producer Mattel (nyse: MAT - news - people ) announces 1,000 job cuts globally in preparation for a tough holiday season.

Nov. 6: Five-year-old Atlantic City establishment the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa--a joint venture between Boyd Gaming (nyse: BYD - news - people ) and MGM Mirage (nyse: MGM - news - people ) --sacks 400 employees.

Nov. 6: Advertising agency BBDO Worldwide, part of Omnicom Group (nyse: OMC - news - people ), is firing 145 from its Troy, Mich., office.

Nov. 4: Hartford Financial (nyse: HIG - news - people ) is dropping 2% of its staff (500). Blames--what else?--sagging investments.

Go Back to the Layoff Tracker

*Total announced layoffs at America’s 500 largest public companies as measured by a composite ranking of sales, profits, assets and market value since Nov. 1 2008. Includes layoffs at subsidiaries, joint ventures, and majority owned companies.

U.S. Job Losses 2008-2009:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Today's headline - a brief lesson in how the news gets shaped and reported

Today's (Feb. 3, 2012) jobs report was seen as unexpectedly good news for the economy, but it's always interesting to see how different news sources report the information and how they use their headlines and lead paragraphs shape public opinion.

Not only was Fox News the only major source to lead with the negatives on what is clearly very good economic news, but nowhere in their headline or their opening paragraphs did they disclose the impressive number of new jobs created -- 243,000 -- something which every other major news source put right up front. 

Note that most major media provided the same or similar cautionary information that Fox did, but they focused on the positive news at the head of the article, unlike Fox which mitigated the good news with negatives right up front.  Studies show that most readers "skim" articles and read only the headlines and, maybe, the opening paragraph or two.  Once you know that, Fox News' bias becomes more apparent.

Here are the headlines and first paragraphs from news sources you know and trust(?):

Unemployment rate falls to 8.3 percent in January after hiring burst
WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent in January, marking the fifth straight month of decline thanks in part to a hiring spree in the private sector.

The Labor Department report suggests the job market is improving, though longer-term economic projections remain dim. The Congressional Budget Office reported earlier this week that its analysts predict the rate will creep toward 9 percent again before the end of the year.

Job growth surges, jobless rate drops to 8.3 percent
The economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate dropped to a near three-year low of 8.3 percent, providing some measure of comfort for President Barack Obama who faces re-election in November.

Nonfarm payrolls jumped 243,000, the Labor Department said on Friday, as factory jobs grew by the most in a year. The gain in overall employment was the largest since April and outpaced economists' expectations for a rise of only 150,000.

Unemployment rate falls to 8.3%; fifth straight monthly decline
The U.S. job market strengthened at the start of the year as employers added an unexpectedly large number of new jobs and the unemployment rate in January dropped for the fifth straight month to 8.3%--the lowest in nearly three years.

The Labor Department said Friday that employers nationwide added 243,000 net new jobs in January – about 100,000 more than what analysts were forecasting. Job gains were broad-based, powered by increases in manufacturing, professional and business services such as accounting and engineering, and in leisure and healthcare industries.,0,6620355.story

Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.3%; Payrolls Jump
Employment climbed more than forecast in January and the U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest in three years, casting doubt on the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep interest rates low until late 2014.

The 243,000 increase in payrolls was the most since April and exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.

U.S. adds 243K jobs in January; unemployment rate drops to 8.3%
The nation’s unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month to 8.3 percent, its lowest level in three years, the Labor Department reported Friday, with widespread hiring across the economy.

The number of jobs grew by 243,000, the government said.

The Labor Department recorded gains in many parts of the economy including the restaurant business, accounting, health care and retail stores.

U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 8.3 Percent, a 3-Year Low
The United States economy gained momentum in January, adding 243,000 jobs, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, giving a cause for optimism as the economy shapes up as the central issue in the presidential election. The Labor Department’s monthly snapshot of the jobs market uses a different survey, of households rather than employers, to calculate the unemployment rate.

January jobs report: Hiring ramps up, unemployment falls
American employers substantially stepped up their hiring in January, bringing the unemployment rate down for the fifth month in a row.

Employers added 243,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported Friday, marking a pick-up in hiring from December, when the economy added 203,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%. That is the lowest since February 2009.

Then, there's this that just showed up minutes later 

The bad news behind the January jobs report
Three years after Obama became president, even the official unemployment rate still remains high. The newly released 8.3 percent unemployment rate is still a half a percentage point higher than when he took office.

But that still might be looking at the bright side. If we include those who have given up looking for work and those who could only find part time work, the unemployment rate stands at almost an entire percentage point higher than when Obama entered office.


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