The Mess That Greenspan Made - Part 416

Hitler Rants About the 405 Freeway Closure

When I first saw this last week, it had only been viewed ten or 20 thousand times – now it’s past a quarter million as the 405 Freeway closure in Los Angeles over the weekend apparently wasn’t the calamity (or Carmageddon) that some feared.

In my twenties and thirties, I spent a fair amount of time driving up and down the 405, to and from work and school. Though it’s been years since we were in that part of Southern California, every time we drive through some big city where you have four, five, or six lanes in each direction, it reminds me of those days and makes me wonder how people continue to do that, day after day, year after year, decade after decade.

The Best of the Bozeman Police Reports

Culled from the Police Reports page of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle come the best of the Bozeman police reports from the last week along with some items from the Sheriff’s Office.

More reports of late night drunks stumbling around town and ending up in all sorts of  places they shouldn’t be will probably be the norm for the rest of the summer since summers are short around here and people certainly won’t be stumbling around at 2 AM in a few more months. Aggressive and odd door-to-door salesmen (in recent weeks, the two characteristics sometimes being combined) are an ongoing problem in the area (as is late-night public intoxication/urination) and … yes … the peacocks are still in town.

  • Door-to-door vacuum salesmen were warned for being aggressive.
  • During the night a drunken man stumbled into a stranger’s house on Koch Street and fell asleep on the couch. The owners of the home found him snoring on the couch at 4:15 a.m. and called the police. Officers came to wake him up and the man went home.
  • A customer at Yellowstone Gateway Sports in Four Corners pointed an unloaded handgun at an employee when he didn’t get what he wanted in a pistol trade in. The complaint is under investigation.
  • At 6:30 p.m. a man climbed a ladder to the roof of a home on Meagher Avenue, drank a beer, and then left.
  • A quick-change artist was videotaped at Wal-Mart at 7 p.m.

(more…)

Good Riddance – She Was Creeping Me Out!

I don’t know the first thing about News Corp executive Rebekah Brooks, but, after watching her palling around with Rupert Murdoch over the last week or so, she was really starting to creep me out (along with much of the Western world, I would guess). It’s probably a good thing she resigned today, according to this report at Reuters.

Rebekah Brooks resigned as chief executive of News International on Friday, yielding to political and investor pressure over a phone hacking scandal that has shaken Rupert Murdoch’s media empire on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 43-year-old Brooks, a former editor of the scandal-hit News of the World and of flagship daily tabloid The Sun, was a close confidante of Murdoch, who described her as his first priority when he flew in to London this week to manage the crisis at News Corp’s British newspaper unit.

In her place, he named a trusted News Corp veteran, New Zealander Tom Mockridge, who has spent the past eight years running the group’s Sky Italia television interests in Italy.

The public disgust that erupted over reports that the News of the World may have hacked into the voicemails of murder victims and other vulnerable people prompted Murdoch to shut down the paper and pull a $12-billion bid to buy the 61 percent of British pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB he does not own.

If that photo doesn’t send a chill down your spine when contemplating what the media has become, it should… She would probably bite my head off for writing this if she could…

Consumer Sentiment Plunges

The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index plunged to its lowest level since March 2009, down from 71.5 in June to just 63.8 in the first of two readings in July, as a faltering economy, weakening labor market, and the ongoing debate over the debt ceiling and spending cuts sapped the confidence of Americans.

Interestingly, the last time the mood of the consumer was this sour, the S&P500 stock index was below 800, more than 42 percent below its current level.

Though the July drop pales in comparison to the 10 point plunge in March (just as gasoline prices were beginning to soar) and the 12.7 point free-fall in October 2008, it was one of the biggest monthly declines in the last decade. The current  conditions index fell from 82.0 in June to 76.3 in July and the expectations index dropped nine points, from 64.8 to 55.8.

Unlike earlier in the year, rising inflation expectations played no role in the overall decline as the one-year outlook for consumer prices fell from 3.8 percent to 3.4 percent and the five year inflation forecast dipped from 3.0 percent to 2.8 percent.

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