Boeing has announced plans to cut $1.6 billion of costs in its defense division. These cuts come on top of $2.2 billion of previous reductions the company has made during the past two years. The downsizing is a strategic initiative to better position the defense division, which constitutes 40% of the entire company, in an environment of sharply reduced government spending. The decision is not related to the sequestration issue now looming over the federal budget.
The move includes significant layoffs of up to 30% of management personnel, plant closings and renegotiation of terms with suppliers. While the company will try to find places for affected employees in its growing commercial businesses, the losses will be felt in today’s listless employment market, especially as defense industry jobs tend to be among the most highly paid. Other defense contractors face similar pressures, and Boeing joins Lockheed Martin , Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, who have all been slashing costs.
Photo: Boeing Headquarters, courtesy of J Crocker via Wikipedia
Spending Daily | November 8, 2012
New Video: What was this election about?
Bankrupting America took to the streets to ask voters why they voted and what they want to see from Washington in the next four years. With unemployment at 7.9 percent, our national debt over $16 trillion and the fiscal cliff looming at the end of the year, there’s a lot to be concerned about. Click here to watch the video.
Shot: Biden Promises Fiscal Cliff Compromise
The Associated Press reports, “Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he and President Barack Obama are anxious to move forward on a bipartisan solution to the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ that could force tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts next year. The real question is what Republicans in Congress will do, Biden said. Democrats will keep control of the White House and the Senate, while Republicans will stay in charge of the House. … ‘I know it takes a little time to kind of digest what’s going on. But I think people know we’ve got to get down to work and I think they’re ready to move,’ Biden said.” He also said he “believes there are at least six Republican senators who are prepared to compromise on fiscal issues, adding that Democrats ‘are going to have to compromise too. It’s not like we’re going to go in and say: This is our deal. Take it or leave it.’”
Chaser: Biden Claims Election Gives Tax Hike Mandate
The Huffington Post reports, “Vice President Joe Biden, speaking to reporters the day after the election, said the Obama administration has a mandate on the issue of tax policy heading into the next critical weeks. ‘You guys have probably looked at the internals of the vote more than I have so far,’ Biden said, according to a transcript provided by pool reporters. ‘But from what it appears is that, on the issue of the tax issue, there was a clear, a clear sort of mandate about people coming much closer to our view about how to deal with tax policy.’ What this means in legislative terms was unclear. Biden said he thought corporate tax reform may come quickly, as both parties agree that lowering the overall rate while closing loopholes and ending reductions constitutes common-sense reform. But on the big debates -– what to do about the expiring Bush tax cut and the forthcoming $1 trillion in automatic spendingcuts — the vice president left lingering questions unanswered.”
Obama, Congressional Leaders Talk Lame Duck
According to the Associated Press, “Taking little time to celebrate, President Barack Obama is setting out to leverage his re-election into legislative success in an upcoming showdown with congressional Republicans over taxes, deficits and the impending ‘fiscal cliff.’ House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans are willing to consider some form of higher tax revenue as part of the solution – but only ‘under the right conditions.’ … Even before returning to Washington from his hometown of Chicago, Obama was on the phone Wednesday with the four top leaders of the House and Senate – Boehner included – to talk about the lame-duck Congress that convenes just one week after Election Day.”
Federal Reserve’s ‘Easy-Money Policies’ to Continue
The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Barack Obama’s election-night victory means the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies are likely to continue until the economy strengthens significantly. The central bank has said it expects to keep short-term interest rates near zero at least until mid-2015 and Mr. Obama is unlikely to want to change that. Though presidents can’t influence the politically independent central bank directly, they do shape its decisions by making appointments to the Fed’s seven-member board, subject to Senate confirmation.” Read More…
Election Over, But Uncertainty Looms
Reuters reports, “The election results were clear, but the path forward is not. With Washington moving on with essentially the same trilateral team that froze fiscal policy for the last two years, it’s not obvious or certain what will happen to taxes, interest rates, markets and the economy under President Barack Obama, the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. ‘We still live with uncertainty on this that puts us all in planning-land dilemma,’ says Greg Rosica, a tax partner with Ernst & Young.”
Washington Showing Signs of Compromise
The Washington Post reports, “Less than 24 hours after the election, President Obama and congressional leaders moved with alacrity Wednesday to show flexibility in solving the nation’s biggest economic problems and recast Washington’s often divisive politics. With a sluggish economy facing major threats, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) opened the door to increased tax revenue as part of a bipartisan deal to tame the soaring national debt. Republicans are ‘willing to accept new revenues,’ Boehner said, suggesting he is willing to break with the orthodoxy of many influential Republicans out of a desire to ‘do what’s best for our country.’”
Greece Awaiting Next Batch of Bailout Cash
The Associated Press reports, “Greece’s euro partners are unlikely to sign off the release of the country’s next batch of bailout cash at a meeting next week, even though its Parliament narrowly backed more unpopular austerity measures early Thursday. … The approval of the austerity bill early Thursday, which will further cut salaries and pensions and increase taxes, was a key step towards persuading Greece’s international creditors to release the next (EURO)31.5 billion ($40.15 billion) installment of the country’s vital bailout loans. Without it, the government has said the country will start running out of cash Nov. 16.”
Greek Gov’t Approves Austerity Measures Amid Protests
Reuters reports, “Greece’s government voted by a razor thin margin on Thursday to approve an austerity package needed to unlock vital aid and avert bankruptcy, despite an internal rift and violent protests at the gates of parliament. Lawmakers approved the spending cuts, tax hikes and measures making it easier to hire and fire workers after nearly 100,000 Greeks waving flags and chanting ‘Fight! They’re drinking our blood!’ descended on Syntagma Square in central Athens.”
“EU Slashes Growth Forecasts”
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Europe’s official economists cut their growth outlook for the region on Wednesday amid turmoil spawned by the euro-zone debt crisis, forecasting deeper recessions in austerity-battered nations and lower growth in France and even Germany. The report from economists at the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, depicts an economy with few bright spots. High and rising unemployment will drag on consumer purchasing power, as will government budget cuts aimed at mending ragged public finances.”
The 2012 electorate made its choice… Free Stuff instead of Freedom. Oh, and maybe since America elected a black man as president for two terms, lib-progs will finally stop throwing their race cards around so much (yeah right, I know).
Cross-Posted: TobyToons.com (Conservative Political Cartoons)
We the undersigned hereby urge our Republican members of congress to elect Congressman Paul Ryan Speaker Of The House on the first day of the new congress.
We’d like to thank Speaker John Boehner for his service to the 112th Congress but due to the re-election of president Barack Obama we feel the House of Representatives is in need of new, stronger leadership, someone who can and will stop the tide of big government and new taxes proposed by the Obama administration and stand as a firewall to continued barrage of overbearing federal regulation.
We believe Congressman Paul Ryan to be the right choice to lead the 113th Congress of the United States.
Now that President Obama will never face re-election again, it is time for the campaigning to end. Perpetual political rhetoric and promises do not matter any more. Action—and leadership—are sorely needed on pressing issues that threaten the United States. America’s people are under threats to their livelihoods, their protection, and their freedom. For some of these, deadlines for action have already come and gone, making them more dire than ever.
Here are the top five problems that require the President’s immediate attention.
1. Massive Tax Increases Scheduled
When the chairman of the Federal Reserve says the nation is headed over a cliff, the President should take notice. A total of nearly $500 billion in tax increases—old tax policies expiring and new ones taking effect—is scheduled to hit on January 1. This “Taxmageddon” fiscal-end-of-days scenario will hit individuals and their families, struggling small businesses and investors alike. So much for creating jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, which does not normally forecast recessions, has said that without some action to change our direction, the country is heading straight for another recession in 2013. As Heritage’s J.D. Foster wrote, “If a slowdown or even a recession unfolds as CBO predicts, the blame will lie with President Obama.”
2. Cuts to the U.S. Military
Through a legislative process called sequestration, the President and his allies in Congress thought they could secure tax increases by holding America’s military hostage. So they programmed massive cuts to our defenses to take effect in January. Using the military as a political weapon is wrong, and nothing has been done to prevent these harmful cuts. While our enemies build up their weapons programs and terrorists target Americans around the globe, the U.S. is preparing to radically downsize the military—all because the President and liberals in Congress want to raise taxes.
So far, the President hasn’t achieved his tax hike goal. If the military cuts are allowed to go forward, it will devastate our defenses. Contrary to the political rhetoric, Washington leaders could fix this without raising taxes.
3. The Middle East
It’s easy in a campaign to say you’d rather focus on “nation building here at home.” But the Middle East is ablaze with conflict, and that is not going to be put on hold for the President to focus on other issues. According to some reports, Iran could be able to arm a nuclear bomb within the next few months.
Heritage’s James Carafano writes today: “Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, protests in the Gulf States, an increasingly unsteady Egypt, terrorists in the Sahel—these are all distinct problems, yet each has the potential to cascade throughout the region and beyond.”
To begin, the President needs to come clean about the intelligence regarding the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and others.
There is more than enough evidence that the President’s counterterrorism strategy, though less than two years old, has come to the end of its life. That strategy focused on “decapitating” al-Qaeda. It didn’t work because al-Qaeda is really just a piece of a global Islamist insurgency. Unlike a drug cartel, it can’t be taken down by just taking out the leadership. Unless the President changes course soon, terrorists will have more sanctuaries by 2016 than they had in 2010.
5. Obamacare’s Mandate Threatening Religious Liberty
Just a few days ago, a second federal district court issued a preliminary injunction on behalf of a family-owned business against the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate under Obamacare. The HHS mandate forces nearly all employers to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraceptives in their employee health coverage, regardless of religious objections. It disregards conscience and steamrolls religious freedom: Religious charities and family-owned businesses that object are forced to pay massive fines for non-compliant plans—up to $100 per day per employee. For a company like Hobby Lobby with more than 500 stores, that fine would amount to $1.3 million per day.
No wonder more than 100 plaintiffs have joined legal challenges to the mandate, which went into effect on August 1. As employers reach their health plan annual renewal date, they’ll be forced to comply. This is only one of the many obtrusive parts of Obamacare, but it is an immediate problem for employers—costly, demoralizing, and a direct attack on religious freedom.
Time to get to work, Mr. President.
From Bay City News Service:
A Napa man was arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of burglarizing six residences, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s St. Helena house twice, a Napa County sheriff’s captain said.
The five burglaries in Napa County and one in Solano County occurred in the past week, Capt. Tracy Stuart said.
The suspect, Kevin Michael Hagan, 21, admitted the six burglaries since Halloween, including those at Pelosi’s residence on Zinfandel Lane outside St. Helena on Nov. 5 and 6, Stuart said.
Deputies found a glass door to the main Pelosi residence and a glass door to the pool house had been smashed when they responded to an alarm there around 2:50 p.m. on Nov. 5.
No one was home at the time and it’s unknown what was taken, Stuart said.
On Nov. 6 at 9:50 a.m., a caretaker at the Pelosi home discovered plywood that was placed over the broken glass doors the day before had been removed, and someone entered the main house and pool house, Stuart said.
It appeared someone looked through drawers and cabinets, Stuart said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded at 10:10 a.m. today to a residence at 2150 Silverado Trail outside St. Helena after a caretaker found an upstairs door open and a locked bedroom door, Stuart said.
Thinking someone might be inside the house, the caretaker called police, Stuart said.
A sheriff’s deputy discovered a window had been removed and a suspect was inside the house, Stuart said.
Hagan was found and admitted burglarizing the Pelosi residence twice and two other properties on Zinfandel Lane, Stuart said.
Cliff Notes: Great Expectations
The election may be over, but the real fight over the fiscal cliff is just beginning. Every day we’re taking a step closer to the edge—and potentially closer to sinking back into recession. Public Notice recently sent letters to President Obama and Speaker John Boehner urging them to come together to find responsible spending cuts to replace the sequester. Now, with the election behind us, the first order of business for President Obama and leaders of both parties to come up with a plan that averts this crisis before Washington drives America off the cliff.
Here’s What They’re Saying…
Obama Faces “Epic Year-End Battle” Over Fiscal Cliff
President Obama returns to Washington from the campaign trail Wednesday to face an epic year-end battle over taxes and spending that could ultimately tame the national debt and advance his ambitions for a second term. The president, who won reelection late Tuesday, must now confront the “fiscal cliff…” (Lori Montgomery and Zachary A. Goldfarb, 11/6/12)
Fiscal Cliff could be the “most urgent economic priority” for the WH
Many U.S. employers are wary of expanding or hiring until that potential crisis is averted. That’s why analysts have said resolving, or at least delaying, the fiscal cliff should be the most urgent economic priority for the White House. (Christopher S.Rugaber and Paul Wiseman, 11/7/12)
Fiscal Cliff = Slow Motion Train Wreck
The fiscal cliff is the legislative equivalent of a slow-motion train wreck that Congress and President Obama can avoid … but only if they work together. (Jeanne Sahadi, 11/7/12)
Fitch Ratings warns of U.S. credit downgrade from fiscal cliff
Fitch Ratings said that there would be “no fiscal honeymoon” for President Obama, warning early Wednesday that the U.S. probably would lose its AAA credit rating if the White House and Congress don’t address looming tax increases, spending cuts and the fast-approaching debt ceiling. (Jim Puzzanghera, 11/7/12)
Obama win has U.S. investors staring at fiscal cliff
U.S. investors will hit trading floors this morning with the same president and the same problems in gridlocked Washington. First up: a looming budget crisis that could send the U.S. economy reeling. (Rodrigo Campos and Steven C. Johnson, 11/7/12)
World Worries as U.S. Fiscal Cliff Looms
International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde has previously spoken out about the fiscal cliff. … “[T]here is still that big uncertainly as to how it’s going to be resolved in the short term, but also how will be resolved in the medium term. What is the strategy of the United States when it comes to its debt, when it comes to its deficit. The world doesn’t know and the world wants to know.” (Kevin Voigt, 11/7/12)
Obama Must Deal with the “Fiscal Cliff” before Second Inaugural
Even before Obama gets to his second inaugural on Jan. 20, he must deal with the threatened ‘fiscal cliff.’ … Experts have warned that the economy could tip back into recession without an agreement.” (Nancy Benac and Nedra Pickler, 11/7/12)
Analysis: Both Sides See Mandate, Hard Road Ahead
Obama signaled some of his second-term goals in a recent Des Moines Register interview. The fiscal cliff’s economic threat is so severe, he said, that a congressional compromise is likely. (Charles Babington, 11/7/12)
Uncertainty on Fiscal Cliff Already Taking It’s Toll
Talking to customers, “what we’re hearing is that they’re not hiring, they’re not investing right now,” Greg Lehmkuhl, president of Con-way Freight Inc., said during a Nov. 1 call with analysts. “They’re waiting for some more stability in the political and fiscal policies. Hopefully after the election and with the dealing of the fiscal cliff our customers will feel more confident in investing in their businesses.” (Alex Kowalski, 11/6/12)
US stocks open lower as political uncertainty fades, ‘fiscal cliff’ and Europe return to fore
The election behind them, U.S. investors dumped stocks Wednesday and turned their focus to a world of problems — economically harmful tax increases and spending cuts at home and a deepening recession in Europe. (Associated Press, 11/7/12)
Election Over, Obama, Boehner set to renew fiscal battle
Failure to prevent a dive off the cliff could rattle U.S. markets, and push the U.S. economy into a recession, which could have global implications. How Obama fares with a familiar set of challenges – most notably the Republican-controlled House -could color his second term. (Kim Dixon andThomas Ferraro, 11/7/12)
Republican Leader Boehner to call for action on “fiscal cliff”
Boehner, the House speaker, will argue that Republicans and Democrats must “take steps together,” a spokesman said in a brief press release. Bipartisan action is needed by the end of December to avert a crush of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that could deliver a jolting blow to the already struggling U.S. economy. (Thomas Ferraro, 11/7/12)
Fiscal Cliff: “we have to get a solution”
“We have fiscal cliff coming and we need a bipartisan compromise. The things that have to happen to get a solution have such tight boundaries that it doesn’t matter who is elected.”—George Feiger, chief executive officer of Contango Capital Advisors Inc., who manages $3.5billion (Inyoung Hwang, Whitney Kisling and Nikolaj Gammeltoft, 11/7/12)
WSJ – A re-elected President Barack Obama will quickly face the challenge of reworking the U.S.’s most important relationship after a campaign that made China a central issue, and as Beijing changes its own leaders.
Once Mr. Obama and Xi Jinping, to take over as head of China’s Communist Party in the coming week and as president in the spring, meet as counterparts, thorny issues and strains await—from trade conflicts and disparities over human rights to the U.S. strategic pivot to build its military and diplomatic presence in Asia and China’s increasing assertiveness vis-à-vis neighbors in disputed waters.
The Obama administration has angered China by supporting calls for a multilateral solution to competing territorial claims in the resource-rich South China Sea. It has also pledged to extend U.S. missile-defense systems to guard against potential actions from North Korea and said it will put 2,500 Marines on Australia’s north coast, moves that have stirred concern in Beijing.
WSJ – House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) on Wednesday said he is ready to negotiate a budget deal with President Barack Obama to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that includes new tax revenue, as long as Democrats agree to cuts and changes to federal entitlement programs.
Mr. Boehner’s remarks, made one day after Mr. Obama won election to a second presidential term, signaled House Republicans may be more willing to negotiate a budget deal than was likely before the election.
“If there is a mandate in yesterday’s results, it is a mandate for us to find a way to work together on solutions to the challenges we face together as a nation,” Mr. Boehner said.
National Geographic –
Sarah, an 11-year-old cheetah at the Cincinnati Zoo, set a new world speed record this summer during a shoot for National Geographic magazine. She first earned the title of world’s fastest land mammal in 2009 when she covered 100 meters in 6.13 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 6.19 seconds set by a male South African cheetah named Nyana in 2001. On June 20, 2012, Sarah shattered all 100-meter times when she posted 5.95 seconds. By comparison, Sarah’s 100-meter run was nearly four seconds faster than the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, whose fastest time for the same distance is 9.58 seconds. Sarah’s top speed was clocked at 61 mph.
Her run was photographed for a November 2012 National Geographic magazine article that will include never-before-seen high speed photographs and video of cheetah movement.
Cameras captured the record-breaking run on Sarah’s first attempt on a specially designed course certified by the Road Running Technical Council of USA Track & Field.
Sarah and the Cincinnati Zoo’s other four cheetahs in the Cat Ambassador Program regularly run at the Zoo’s Regional Cheetah Breeding Facility. The documentation of the run was supported in part by National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative — http://www.causeanuproar.org — a long-term effort to halt the decline of big cats in the wild.
Cheetahs are endangered and their population worldwide has shrunk from about 100,000 in 1900 to an estimated 9,000 – 12,000 cheetahs today. The Cincinnati Zoo has been dubbed “The Cheetah Capital of the World” because of its conservation efforts through education, public interpretation, and the captive cheetah breeding program. The Zoo’s Regional Cheetah Breeding Center is one of only four similar facilities in the United States managed by the Species Survival Plan. In total, there have been 64 cheetah cubs born in Cincinnati.