Monday, February 25, 2008

Barack's Blockbuster in Akron

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All across Ohio, Barack has been greeted by huge crowds of supporters -- 7,000 folks Saturday night in Cleveland; 15,000 yesterday in Toledo.

Saturday, over 5,000 people in Akron waited out in the cold, in a line that wrapped around the John S. Knight Center, because they wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves and hope again...
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Obama: McCain Puts Lobbyists 'In Charge'

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Sen. Barack Obama said Saturday that the
Republican presidential nominee in waiting, Sen. John McCain, has
lobbyists as top aides and "many of them have been running their
business on the campaign bus while they've been helping him."
The Democratic presidential hopeful also said McCain's health
care plans reflect "the agenda of the drug and insurance
lobbyists, who back his campaign and use money and influence to
block real health care reform."
Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for McCain, said the Arizona
senator "has been an agent for change for his entire career - he
is the greatest change agent in our party - and we plan to
highlight that record in this election."
Obama broadened his criticism to McCain's ties to lobbyists
He takes their money and has put them in charge
of his campaign."
Obama was referring to Charlie Black
to a recent published report that said the McCain strategist, who
is a registered lobbyist, does a lot of work by phone from McCain's
campaign bus.
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Exiting Home Sales "Slipped" 23.4%

Existing-Homes sales "slipped" some in January, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The problem, the Realtors point out, is simply that some potential buyers are waiting on sidelines.

Delve beneath the national average into the details, and you find all manner of ugliness.

-Median existing-home price was $201,100 in January, down 4.6% from a year ago (National average)
-Total housing inventory rose 5.5%

-At the end of January, existing homes available for sale were  4.19 million, a 10.3-month supply at the current sales pace (up from a 9.7-month supply in December). 

-Single-family home sold at an annual rate of 4.34 million in January. This is 22.4% below January 2007. 

-The median existing single-family home price was $198,700 in January, down 5.1% from a year ago.

-Existing condominium and co-op sales dropped 6.5%, and are 30.2% below the year ago levels. The median existing condo price ($220,400) is only 1.0% lower than January 2007.
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People rest in one of Nairobi's temporary shelters

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Zohra Bensemra of Reuters took this photo of people from the Kikuyu tribe resting today at a temporary shelter in Nairobi's Mathare slum. They are among the thousands of Kenyans who have been displaced in recent weeks by post-election violence in Kenya.
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Alan Blinder and Lawrence Summers both wrote about the problems the economy faces from foreclosures and the possible solutions
Blinder looks at the possibility of reviving the New Deal-era Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. “The HOLC was established in June 1933 to help distressed families avert foreclosures by replacing mortgages that were in or near default with new ones that homeowners could afford. It did so by buying old mortgages from banks — most of which were delighted to trade them in for safe government bonds — and then issuing new loans to homeowners.
in the Financial Times Summers proposes bankruptcy overhauls and more voluntary restructurings
“Bankruptcy reform alone could, on some estimates, avert 500,000 foreclosures
Proper support for voluntary restructurings involving interests in future appreciation should realize still greater benefits.”
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The Technology Tech Leaders Fear the Most

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You know that cool Web site you found or the device that makes you more productive? Better not bring it to the office: The majority of corporate tech leaders say that these tools don’t belong in the workplace.
That’s according to CIO Magazine, which found that 54% of the 311 tech leaders it surveyed said that technology designed for consumers was inappropriate for corporate use.
Here are the top nine
Voice-over-the-Internet software
Online productivity software. This surprised us, but software like Google Apps and Zoho
Digital cameras
Remote storage
Social-networking Web sites. Ten percent of tech leaders are frightened by sites like MySpace and Facebook.
Instant Messaging. Online chat is a large enough security threat that 11% of tech leaders said it was their biggest fear.
Web-based email accounts. Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail topped the list
Portable storage devices. A runaway winner, devices like USB drives were the biggest fear for 43% of tech leaders.
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