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Daily Digest - Dec 5

Friday, December 5, 2008, 7:18 AM

Record number of Americans on food stamps, big three spend millions on lobbying, Bush's new digs, and charts of auto sales, same store sales, and weekly unemployment claims. 

Economy 

Record number of Americans using food stamps: report  

One in 10 Americans were participating in the food stamp program as of September, said Dottie Rosenbaum, analyst with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank. 

That's
approaching the all-time high of 10.5 percent of the population that
used the program in 1994, and is similar to levels seen in the early
1980s, she said.

States that have seen a drop in job numbers and
increase in home foreclosures such as Florida and Nevada also have seen
a marked increase in food stamp use, Rosenbaum said.

Food banks are struggling to meet increased requests for food, said Maura Daly of Feeding America, a network of food banks.

"The
tough economic time that our nation is facing is having a tremendous
impact on the level of food assistance needed across the country," Daly
said.

On average, people who used food stamps received $100 per
month in benefits in September. That increased slightly in October to
account for higher food prices, but hunger groups said the benefits
still don't go far enough at a time of high food prices and home
heating costs.

Last month, the USDA said 36.2 million
Americans or 11 percent of households struggle to get enough food to
eat, and one-third of them had to sometimes skip or cut back on meals.
 

 

Big Three Spending Millions On Lobbying 

Take Sen. Carl Levin, who received $438,304 from the automotive industry. And in the House, Rep. Joe Knollenberg received $879,327. Rep. John Dingell got nearly a million from the industry. All have enjoyed generous support from the auto industry over their careers, with GM and Ford as their two top contributors. All support a bailout. 

But nobody's been a bigger advocate for Motor City interests than Dingell. And for him, the stakes aren't just political, they're personal.

"There's an actual conflict," said Ryan Alexander of the nonprofit group Taxpayers for Common Sense. "His personal financial health, you know, the wealth of his family is tied up in the car industry."

Dingell's wife Debbie once worked as a lobbyist for GM.

When she married the congressman, she became a senior GM executive at an undisclosed salary. And we found the couple has extensive GM assets.

Dingell's current financial disclosure filed in May lists GM stock worth up to $350,000, options worth up to $1 million more, and a GM pension fund. In 2000, among the Dingells' GM assets were stock options worth up to $5 million.

And in 1998, the congressman reported selling GM stock options worth up to $1 million dollars.

Dingell wouldn't agree to an interview.

Bush on Economy: 'I'm Sorry' (Reality Lags Perception) 

Dubya's New Digs 

First couple drops $2.07 million on 1.13 acre Dallas spread

DECEMBER 4--This is the Texas home that George W. Bush has purchased
for his fast-approaching post-White House years. The home, on a Dallas
cul-de-sac, sits on 1.13 acres and offers 8501 square feet of living
space, according to city appraisal records. The property was purchased
for $2.07 million in early-October by Robert McCleskey, the president's
accountant, who is listed as trustee on deed records. Built in 1959,
the home has been improved with a detached garage (1150 square feet),
servants quarters (896 square feet), and a storage building (240 square
feet).

While
the Bush property certainly appears comfortable, it is dwarfed by the
20-acre estate it abuts. That sprawling property (seen here) is owned
by billionaire investor Tom Hicks, who, in 1998, purchased the Texas
Rangers from a partnership in which Bush held a stake (the deal netted
the future president about $15 million). Hicks, 62, was a leading
supporter of Rudolph Giuliani's presidential bid and hosted a
fundraiser last year at his home--reportedly the largest in Dallas--for
the former New York City mayor. (2 pages) 

Auto Sales (yr/yr chart by brand)

Same Store Sales (yr/yr chart by company)

Weekly Unemployment Claims (chart at Calc. Risk)

 

 

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4 Comments

mcafeejs's picture
mcafeejs
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 21 2008
Posts: 34
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 5

http://seekingalpha.com/article/109210-the-manipulation-of-gold-prices?s...

 Davos/Chris/Erik, I'd love to hear your comments on this article which outlines the Fed's tactical moves supporting their grand strategy.  Wow!  

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 5

Hello McAfeeJs:

I'll defer to the two experts and those others more versed about this. Chris sent me, and this is a first, some links for tomorrows blog, this was one of them, I'm on paragraph 3 so far. I had read something about this in DeepCaster but didn't follow thier links to it.

I'm not done with the article, as I said, so I don't know if this is out of place to say or not, but I did read a week or 4 ago that the Fed can purchase anything now with the new powers Congress gave it. Securities, products etc. So I would assume that gold is something they could buy or in this case sell (sell as in short and or sell as in out of the basement.)

I'm not a gold bug, but I have faith in 3 things: God, Gold and Goverment as in the Government will screw up anything it tries to fix and it will be worse than if they had just left it to be. So, if they screw up the money by fixing it then I would suspect gold will hold its value and the money they are printing will be worthless. If they are shorting it to surpress the price then I'm certain one day its value will be worth a few trillion more than when they started holding it down.

Nothing against the govt. I just have seen what they have done to Social Security, Ethanol, taxes, budgets, and well pretty much everything they touch. I think Al Bartlett said it best, our problems are our solutions. 

Take care 

raptor's picture
raptor
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 27
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 5

WOW. Could this be true ??

 

http://investment-blog.net/us-ships-800-billion-ameros-to-china-prepares...

RikD's picture
RikD
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 5 2008
Posts: 4
Re: Daily Digest - Dec 5

Definitely not true...  This website is some kind of spoof.  BTW, my anti-spyware software alerted me of two threats on that site.

 For more info about the Amero story (which was proposed at one time) is nicely summarized in Wikipedia: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_currency_union

 

 

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