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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

News Factoids for August & September 2011


The percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2010 was 15.1 percent, the worst since 1993.
~~ per New York Times, 9/2011

Meanwhile, Rick Perry brags about his policies as Texas governor, and 18.4% of Texans were living below that same poverty line in 2010, up from 17.3% a year earlier – 21.9 percent above the national statistic!

How's the economy? Game hardware and software sales were down 26 percent in July over July a year ago, and down 23 percent in August over August 2010.
~~ per Zach Epstein of Boy Genius Report blog and The N.P.D. Group

Here in New Mexico, the Valencia County Building Inspection Department has shut down, due to lack of housing starts this year (less than a dozen, from hundreds per year before Bush); any new permits will be handled by the state, with the regular inspectors (plumbing, electrical) keeping an eye out for non-permit work.

"Between 2004 and 2009 median net worth of white households in America fell 24 percent, [while] median net worth of black households fell 83 percent."
~~ per Economic Policy Institute, in 2011

"Eleven states earned more revenue from lotteries than from corporate income taxes in 2009." ~~ Reuters

"They [the energy industry] claim that the economy is being smothered by regulations designed to keep our air and water safe. No iota of evidence is being offered, and in fact the record profits of big energy companies indicate a spectacular lack of suffering."
~~ Miami Herald journalist Carl Hiaasen

About one-fourth of the world's aluminum is stored in Goldman Sachs warehouses in Detroit, Michigan; the raw materials are being released as a daily trickle that has shortened the supply and driven up the price. Goldman Sach makes $165 million in storage fees per year, as well as profits from trading the essentially-cornered commodity. ~~ per Reuters, July 2011

3-D movies made $6 billion worldwide in 2010, which is 20% of box office revenue.


"U.S. electric utilities [use] seven times more water than all U.S. homes, 1-1/2 times the water used by all the farms in the country. In fact, 49 percent of all water use in the United States is for power plants ... And 16 percent of water pumped into water mains by U.S. utilities simply leaks away, back into the ground."
~~ Charles Fishman


Eric Cantor outlined the Republican vision in a recent memo – they will gut environmental regulations, repeal health care reform, and attack workers.
~~ Guy Cecil

Republican hypocrisy: Newt Gingrich's campaign T-shirts are made in China, and Herman Cain's campaign T-shirts are made in Honduras.

91% of donations to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads this year came from billionaire donors bent on destroying unions and the democratic process: Texas oilman Trevor Rees-Jones, Texas billionaire Robert Rowling, Ohio billionaire Carl Linder, and billionaire TV exec Jerry Perenchio. ~~ per various news sites in June 2011

John Ashcroft, formerly U.S. Attorney general under George W. Bush, was hired in June by Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) as their 'ethics chief'.


Retail bookseller Borders Group filed bankruptcy in February, and began liquidating their stores in July.

Books-A-Million, now the second-largest bookseller, reported an 11 percent decrease in sales in the last quarter.

B&N reported that key indicator 'revenue in stores open at least one year' fell 1.6% at regular stores and 1.8% at college bookstores. ~~ per Reuters

Barnes & Noble's sales of the Nook device rose 140 percent last quarter, and Toys & Games showed large increases, but the overall sales results were still negative.

If on January First you had decided to invest $100 in Amazon, $100 in Barnes & Noble, and $100 in Books-A-Million, your investments would now stand at: Amazon up 14.75%, B&N down 26.20%, and Books-A-Million down 55.63%.

Copyright 2011 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved

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