Sequester 2013 explained: Obama inflates fiscal danger of budget cuts

Sequester 2013 explained: Obama inflates fiscal danger of budget cuts

Sequester crisis? The sequester deadline has passed and the American economy lives on. Did President Barack Obama exaggerate the sequester’s impact in his fight with Republicans to agree to tax increases to reduce the budget deficit? In the lead up to a March 1 deadline, President Barack Obama portrayed the budget sequester as an economic doomsday for America. Administration officials warned of how cuts might impact the TSA. They said slashes to the FAA budget would mean fewer air traffic controllers. Officials even warned a plague might threaten American crops. But the sequester deadline has passed and the American economy lives on. Did Obama exaggerate the sequester’s impact? The sequester amounts to $85 billion in…

Catalonia closer to seceding from Spain

Catalonia independence: vote may lead to secession from Spain

Catalan voters go to the polls this weekend in a snap election that will serve as an unofficial referendum on independence for Spain’s second-wealthiest region. Catalonia’s election could make a bad situation in Spain even worse. Spain is still reeling from the 2008 economic crisis, with the government planning to implement to austerity measures worth more than 90 billion euros over the next two years, despite an unemployment rate of 25.8 percent. If Catalonia secedes, other regions such as the Basque region may follow, leading perhaps even to the complete disintegration of a country that has suffered three civil war in the past 150 years. Catalonia, which has maintained its own unique culture and language…

Spain protests 2012: Police brutality in anti-austerity riots

Spain protests 2012: Police brutality in anti-austerity riots

Spain’s police drove anti-austerity protesters to rioting and the Spanish government turned a blind eye. Shocking videos posted on YouTube show police and protesters clashing in Madrid earlier this week. Where was the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy while all this mayhem erupted? Chillaxing in New York. Protests against the government’s austerity program are cropping up all over the country. The government’s program includes budget and public service cuts, not ideal for a country with a nearly 25 percent unemployment rate. Possibly a bigger issue related to the current unrest is the Catalonian separatist movement. If Spain does not make fundamental changes to its government, Catalonia, as well as other autonomous regions, are threatening to…

Food Stamps fuel America’s appetite for junk food

Food Stamps fuelling America’s appetite for junk food

A record 47 million Americans are on food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as it is formally known. This costs the US federal government $75 billion per year. Is that money being spent wisely? Research from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University suggests not. A study from the center estimates that as much as $2.1 billion in food stamp money is being spent each year on sugary drinks. Some states have proposed efforts to limit purchases to healthy food. But these efforts have been opposed by Big Candy, Big Soda and Big Food. According to the report “Food Stamps: Follow the Money,” companies such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola…

Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart boycotted

Market forces defeat boycott attempts

Boycott Groupon? Morality in Media is organizing one. The conservative group is upset Groupon sold tours of an adult film studio. But will consumers listen? More than 1,000 bought tickets to see the San Francisco BDSM set. Porn must be really popular! And there’s the rub: boycotts fail because organizers misjudge consumer demand. Gay marriage opponents can’t give up Starbucks caffeine. Gay marriage backers can’t convince southerners to give up delicious Chick-fil-A chicken. Boycotts of Rush Limbaugh and Jon Stewart don’t work because advertisers want to reach their massive audiences. And that’s the reason why China has failed in attempts to organize an advertising boycott of the Apple Daily newspaper. Readers want a pro-democracy newspaper!…

Goldman Sachs banker Greg Smith slams firm in NYT

Goldman Sachs banker Greg Smith slams firm in NYT resignation letter

Greg Smith, a London-based Goldman Sachs vice president, publicly resigned from the financial firm in a scathing New York Times op-ed piece published Wednesday. In the article, Smith lashed out against Goldman’s “toxic” culture which, he feels, places profit above the best interests of clients. Smith likened the business to an elephant hunt, where bankers push investors into deals that will make the most money for the firm. Adding insult to injury, Smith claimed clients were consistently referred to as “muppets” in internal emails. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein and President Garry Cohn defended the firm in an internal statement. It cited a survey in which an overwhelming majority of Goldman employees said they think the…

Tide crime wave washes over America

‘Tide’ crime wave washes over US

Call it a rising Tide of crime. Police and other law enforcement agencies across the US are on alert following reports of a new crime wave sweeping the country — theft of the laundry detergent Tide. The Proctor & Gamble product is in high demand among thieves and junkies who are apparently using it as a form of currency. Tide maintains a steady price, is a well-known brand and lacks serial numbers, which makes it harder to trace those who steal it. A report on the phenomenon in The Daily said that one thief in Minnesota was eventually busted after pilfering US$25,000 of the product over 15 months. ENGLISH:

Xi Jinping wooed by Obama White House

Xi Jinping wooed by Obama White House

Xi Jinping, expected to succeed Hu Jintao as China’s president, was in Washington after a stop in Iowa to meet with President Barack Obama and other White House officials. Xin Jinping, who is currently the Chinese vice president, discussed economic policies and America’s trade deficit with China. Obama and Xi spent nearly 90 minutes together in what commentators described as a “getting-to-know you moment” or a “date night,” and Xi invited Obama to visit China again. What did Xi and Obama do? NMA imagines how their “date” went …