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Exxon (XOM) gets slammed in a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists for disinformation campaign knowledge.  See Reuters Article

 In Exxon's response they admit,   "While there is more to learn on climate science, what is clear today is that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors that contribute to climate change, and that the use of fossil fuels is a major source of these emissions. "

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Hope, Fear and Lack of Outrage Toward the Merchants of Debt
Written by Deborah Evans   

Hope, Fear and Lack of Outrage Toward the Merchants of Debt
Photo: Rhubarble, Creative Commons, Flickr

James Grant wrote an article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal wondering “Why No Outrage?” from the public concerning Wall Street’s reckless behavior during the credit boom and the assistance they’ve received from their government enablers.
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Post-Vacation Blues and the Current Market
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
Post-Vacation Blues and the Current Market
Photo: Petrick2008, Creative Commons, Flickr
Since coming back from my holiday last week I've made a point of walking past the New York Stock Exchange on my way to work. I sat on a bench and looked at the traders as they exited the building after the close, and every now and again I eavesdropped on their conversations.

Something is wrong.

I keep telling myself that it's all going to be OK, I keep telling myself that things are never as bad as the fear mongers proclaim, but I can't shake off the feeling that the situation is about to take a turn for the worse...

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A Different Type of Secret in Iran
Written by Deborah Evans   
Uranus influences can manifest as a defiant and rebellious energy in an effort to challenge authority. Uranus energy is erratic and unpredictable. Uranus rules uranium, an element that, if enriched, can supply the fuel to build a nuclear weapon. These characteristics of Uranus could describe the behavior of the Iranian government.
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Inflation: A Treading Problem
Written by Deborah Evans   
There are goods and services consumers can cut back on or cut out altogether, but riding on low tread tires should not be an option. Unfortunately, an article in today’s USA Today reports that some people are doing just that.
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Wag the Dog: A Memory List for those Afflicted with Political Alzheimer's
Written by Arnaud C. Enée   
As I mentioned in my article "The Phony 'Bush Lied' Storyline," the MSM and the Dems should have remembered that since the 1998 Iraqi Freedom Act, enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton, it was the law of the United Stated of America to seek regime change in Iraq. Instead the angry left claims that George W. Bush lied to the American People.

Following is a Memory List for those afflicted with Political Alzheimer's:

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President Bush Blames Democrats For High Gas Prices
Written by Deborah Evans   
President Bush Blames Democrats For High Gas Prices
Photo: misterfreak, Creative Commons, Flickr

I know the Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past. Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If congressional leaders leave for the 4th of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act. And Americans will rightly ask how high oil -- how high gas prices have to rise before the Democratic-controlled Congress will do something about it.

– President Bush

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Consumer Driven Healthcare: More Rhetoric than Reality
Written by Deborah Evans   
Republicans have long asserted that the solution to solving America’s health care crisis is to give greater power to the consumer to make her own health care choices. Republicans view high deductible plans and electronic medical records as tools that will give consumers greater control over their health care. It sounds good conceptually, but reality has proven time and again that these ideas don't currently work.
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Time, Money and Airport Delays
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
Time is money, especially when it comes to airport delays. In 2007, travelers lost 320 million hours to flight delays, according to Forbes Magazine. A May report from Congress' Joint Economic Committee put the total losses at $40 billion annually. As Forbes points out, everyone is frowning, except the vendors in the terminal. People don't take it out on Starbucks or Hudson News when their flights are delayed; in fact, they'll likely buy a latte while they wait. What else can you do when you are locked inside a shopping mall?
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The Fed Fails to See GM’s Reality
Written by Deborah Evans   
Two men spoke at the exact same time Wednesday morning. Both are well aware that their words have the ability to move the markets. One continued to reiterate that a rosy economic scenario lies ahead and defended his actions. The other acknowledged that his company’s once most profitable product line needs to be put out to pasture.
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Will High Oil Prices Regulate the U.S. Economy?
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
"In the U.S., the Euro Area and the U.K., the track record of inflation during the past few years has deteriorated to the point that a material loss of credibility may well be imminent for all three central banks involved - the Fed, the ECB and the Bank of England," wrote Willem Buiter in a recent piece published by the Financial Times.

"Not surprisingly, mean inflation expectation one year ahead (according to the University of Michigan survey) now stand at 5.7 percent. Mean inflation expectations 5 to 10 years ahead are 3.5 percent. Loss of credibility in the Fed’s willingness and/or ability to maintain price stability is a fact - not surprising, given the institution’s willingness to cut rates massively and swiftly when the real economy turned down, despite continuing high inflation."

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Pfizer’s Chantix Gets Grounded
Written by Deborah Evans   
Pfizer’s Chantix Gets Grounded
Photo:colros, Creative Commons, Flickr
“Based on this emerging information, it is no longer acceptable for controllers and pilots to be taking the drug.” – FAA spokesman Les Dorr
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Phoenix to Rise from the Ashes on Mars
Written by Deborah Evans   

Phoenix to Rise from the Ashes on Mars
Photo:TopTechWriter.US, Creative Commons, Flickr

“To get to the ice, you have to go through the fire.” So begins Tuesday's New York Times article about NASA’s Phoenix Lander scheduled to touchdown on Mars Sunday, May 25, 2008.
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Recommended Reading: May 14, 2008
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   

Double or nothing: The uncertain future of emissions trading.

Who gives most in private aid to poor countries?

Planes are viewed as an obvious source of pollution. The same is not true of the computer industry.

Childish superstition: Einstein's letter makes view of religion relatively clear.

Graphic: The true value of the dollar.

 
The Inflation Data Conspiracy
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
The Inflation Data Conspiracy
Photo:peterandringa, Creative Commons, Flickr
Call me a conspiracy nut if you like, but I'm starting to believe that the U.S. government is actively manipulating inflation data. PIMCO's Bill Gross recently suggested that the U.S. government wants to keep Social Security payments and other government costs pegged to an artificially low index, and he even suggested that this practice may have fueled the housing bubble. "The government can claim there's no inflation but all they're measuring is a reduced standard of living," argues Peter Schiff at Euro Pacific Capital.
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Will Bernanke Ignore Rising Shoe Prices Too?
Written by Deborah Evans   
Forget Iron Man and Superman. A new super hero has emerged; spawn of the creature from Jekyll Island–Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke!
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Will the Dollar Break Out as Correlations Break Down?
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   

The Dollar
Photo:Eric Gjerde, Creative Commons, Flickr
It has been interesting to see crude oil climbing to record highs despite the resurgent greenback.

The common belief is that there is a negative correlation between the U.S. dollar and oil, a result of oil being priced in dollars. "As the dollar declines in value, so does the price of oil in non-dollar terms," explains Michael Woolfolk at the Bank of New York Mellon. "Consequently, foreigners bid up the price of oil and other dollar-denominated commodities. The result is that the price of crude oil and other commodities rise in dollar terms as the dollar falls in value against other currencies."

If, on the other hand, the dollar gains in value, so does the price of oil in non-dollar terms. The traditional argument is that a higher non-dollar price of oil reduces the demand from foreigners, sending oil prices lower.
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Should You Buy America's Message in a Bottle?
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
"Coca-Cola is little more than sugar, flavoring and lots of (carbonated) water," said Geroge Ritzer in The Globalization of Nothing. "It is largely indistinguishable from innumerable other brands of cola, yet people around the world seem to think that Coca-Cola is something and they are eager to ask for it by name and even to pay a premium for it."
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Sleeping Pills That Don’t Let You Sleep
Written by Deborah Evans   

The Health Journal column in Monday’s Wall Street Journal discusses the dangers of taking sleeping pills and the rise in somnambulism that is more likely to occur taking nonbenzodiazepines (NBZs). Ambien is the leading brand-name NBZ; others are Lunesta and Sonata.

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Who's Responsible for Making Our Economy Green? We All Are
Written by Gregory Wendt   
Green Blogger Joel Makower wrote an entry awhile back that is a reality check for us "greenies."

In order to turn the economy green, corporations that are still waiting for their "marketplace" to go green must step up and lead. And individuals must play a more proactive role in holding corporations accountable.

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Barack Obama: A Communist Ideologue in the White House?
Written by Arnaud C. Enée   

Karl Marx
Photo:23 de Abril, Día Nacional de Castilla's, Creative Commons, Flickr

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

-Winston Churchill

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

-William J. H. Boetcker


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Why You Should Buy Disney When Miley Cyrus Shows Some Skin
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   

Miley Cyrus Shows Some Skin
Photo:Mike Schmid, Creative Commons, Flickr
It really cracks me up to hear talking heads on TV proclaiming that Miley Cyrus threatens Disney's "wholesome image."

On the surface Disney (DIS - Last trade $32.43) might seem wholesome, but don't be fooled. Everyone knows that ol' Uncle Walt was a probably a right-wing bigot, and don't forget about the Vanessa Hudgens scandal, and what about Jessica Rabbit? Is she "wholesome" enough for you?
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Fed Lowers Interest Rates; Indifferent to Inflation
Written by Deborah Evans   
“I want to know who fills up their gas tank.” – Rick Santelli, CNBC’s Bond Market Commentator
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NetSquared: Remixing the Web for Social Change
Written by Michelle Haimoff   
By now you’ve surely heard of “Web 2.0.”
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Will the Food Crisis End When Credit Markets Recover?
Written by Eben Esterhuizen   
The G7 economic ministers recently said that shortages and skyrocketing food prices posed a potentially greater threat to economic and political stability than the turmoil in capital markets. But are they making a mistake by assuming that the credit crunch and food crisis are unrelated? What if there is a connection between soaring agricultural commodities and the credit crunch? If so, will an improvement in credit markets help to slow the meteoric rise of food prices?
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What is Proxy Voting?
Written by Miranda Marquit   
One of the items that is getting increasing play right now is proxy voting. Indeed, spring is considered a proxy voting "season" of sorts, since this is when shareholder meetings are held and decisions regarding corporate governance and social responsibility are made.

But what is proxy voting and why does it matter?

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The Energies of Earth Day
Written by Deborah Evans   
While much has changed since Earth Day was founded, unfortunately much has remained the same. The US is once again engaged in war, people still drive gas guzzling vehicles, and we all waste far too much of the Earth’s resources.
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