By the time I was able to get a quickie up last night I was already half asleep from exhaustion and procrastination. I’m sure some day I’ll stop procrastinating about work and actually get it done. I’ve got nothing for an intro so here’s this.

 

Job Growth Remains Tepid

 

The nation’s employers created almost enough jobs to keep up with population growth in June, but not nearly enough to reduce the backlog of nearly 13 million unemployed workers.

The economy added 80,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, after a revised increase of 77,000 in May. The unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent.

Economists are expecting tepid job growth for the rest of the year, too.

“This economy has no forward momentum and little help from monetary or fiscal policy,” Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis for the Conference Board, said. “As if that were not enough, ill winds are blowing in from both a contracting Europe and slowing growth in emerging markets. Also, domestic lawmakers’ inaction on the upcoming ‘fiscal cliff’ creates uncertainty that is not conducive to hiring.”

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, seized on the disappointing jobs report to attack President Obama’s economic track record. Mr. Obama was expected to address the report at a late-morning campaign stop in Ohio.

“This is a time for Americans to choose whether they want more of the same,” Mr. Romney said from Wolfeboro, N.H., where he is vacationing. “It doesn’t have to be this way. America can do better. And this kick in the gut has to end.”

“More of the same” may not be the best description for job growth the last few months though; for a little while, at least, the economy seemed to be picking up steam.

During the winter, private companies took on more and more workers and the unemployment rate dropped steadily. But then job growth slowed suddenly in March, leading some economists to wonder whether the unseasonably warm winter, rather than a fundamentally healthier economy, had been the real source of the short-lived employment surge.

“The net of it is not as if the economy is collapsing, but it wasn’t really as strong as it looked in December, January and February,” said Jim O’Sullivan, United States economist at High Frequency Economics.

By June, the weather payback should have faded, indicating that the slowdown may reflect more serious underlying problems in the economy, he said. Among the few industries with decent job growth was temporary help services, which suggests that employers are not confident enough in the sustainability of the recovery to invest in permanent hires even if their order books are currently growing.

Among the few bright spots in Friday’s report were ticks upward in average hourly earnings (to $23.50, from $23.44 in June) and the length of the typical private sector workweek (34.5 hours, from 34.4). Still, the overall weakness in the report may have nudged Federal Reserve officials toward additional monetary stimulus.

“The odds of QE3 happening before the election are clearly going up,” said Jay Feldman, an economist at Credit-Suisse, referring to the nickname for a third round of stimulus known as quantitative easing.

The Fed has been reluctant to inject more money partly because it has been hard to determine whether additional monetary stimulus was either useful or needed.

Since the recovery officially began in June 2009, there have been several spates of promising job growth, which raised hopes of a strengthening recovery that were ultimately dashed. Each time economists attributed the hiring slowdown to one-time negative shocks, including last year’s tsunami in Japan and the Arab Spring.

A healthier economy might have been able to easily withstand such shocks, but not one weakened by a debt overhang and sea of underwater homes.

“At this point, expectations are pretty low, so anything that is moving the job market in the right direction would be welcome,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, managing director at Moody’s Analytics.

Economists worry that even modest acceleration in job growth could be derailed by additional shocks both abroad and at home.

Corporate profits fell in the first quarter of 2012, the first decline since 2008, the Commerce Department reported last week. The overall drop was entirely because of falling profits abroad. While there are challenges across the developing world, including China, the primary foreign drag on the American economy is still coming from Europe’s protracted sovereign debt crisis.

“When you factor in the effect on U.S. trade, financial markets and credit availability, the Europe crisis is probably taking a percentage point off of U.S. growth,” Andrew Tilton, a senior United States economist at Goldman Sachs, said of Europe’s impact on America’s gross domestic product.

There are plenty of homegrown risks, too.

Struggling local governments have been shedding workers. There was a brief respite in June, but economists generally seem to expect the layoffs to pick up again for the rest of the year.

Under current law, the end of 2012 will also bring a torrent of federal tax increases as the Bush tax cuts and temporary payroll tax reductions expire. The government is also scheduled to lop off a huge chunk of federal spending because of measures set in motion by Congress’s inability last December to come up with plans for longer-term fiscal restructuring.

In addition to those components of the so-called fiscal cliff, the federal extension for unemployment benefits ends this year, meaning that, in most states, newly unemployed workers will receive no more than 26 weeks of jobless benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Without extended jobless benefits, unemployed workers will have less disposable income, reducing their spending and thereby employers’ need to hire more workers.

“A lot of companies are not too clear about how all these policy issues are going to affect their bottom line,” Ms. Koropeckyj said. “Ultimately, demand determines what companies are going to do in the longer run in terms of hiring. But in the short run, companies are going to try to hold off as much hiring as long as possible.”

 

You see this? This is why we can’t have nice things. We are losing jobs everyday, this isn’t just blue collar, we’re talking doctors and nurses and company men. But as you can clearly see, companies can’t afford to pay for their workers, and less people are getting hired so we have less jobs and people go out on the street, etc. etc. It’s a domino effect, once one thing falls down the rest come crumbling like a giant cookie.

 

Boy Refused Ambulance Dies: “Get a Taxi!”

Author: Artefact

 

 

The parents of a critically ill boy who was told “get a taxi” when he called 119 for an ambulance and subsequently died without ever receiving medical attention are suing the city responsible.

The 19-year-old Yamagata prefecture student suddenly fell ill at home one morning at 5AM in late October, suffering severe vomiting and delirium.

He managed to call 119 for emergency services, but instead of being dispatched an ambulance he was told “take a taxi to hospital,” with the dispatchers refusing to send help, a taxi, or to inform the hospital.

Help never came and he was unable to find his way to hospital. His parents became concerned, and had his landlord call on him 10 days after the call, whereupon he discovered the boy’s remains at home.

Recordings of the call which somehow escaped mysterious loss, deletion or misfiling audibly demonstrated him having difficulty breathing, being only barely able to speak, and apparently not in full possession of his faculties.

His parents have filed a lawsuit against the city responsible, asserting that not despatching aid to a dying man is a clear dereliction of their legal obligations and demanding ¥10,000,000 in compensation.

The city has so far declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

The case has understandably sparked outrage amongst Japanese:

“This is horrible. Somebody who doesn’t regularly use taxis wouldn’t even know their number, and for them to tell someone sick enough to have called for an ambulance to find the number of a taxi company and call one himself, go outside and wait for one whilst sick on a winter morning… are they devils?”

“Since they are only asking for 10 million it really sounds like they are more interested in finding out why they let him die than just claiming compensation.”

“That’s a trifling sum for a 19-year-old’s death.”

“The city ought to at least comment on why they didn’t send out an ambulance!”

“At least they didn’t send him an ambulance only for the hospital to refuse him.”

“He could have at least asked them for the right number.”

“Because telling someone who called 119 at 5AM to come to hospital themselves in a taxi is just such basic common sense, right!?”

“Blame this on all the idiots who call 119 for no good reason.”

“Why haven’t they established his cause of death fully? They are getting off lightly if he really did die because of this.”

“They probably don’t have tons of money to start a huge suit against the city. I expect their lawyer plans to start off with this and then use the proceeds for further litigation.”

“What about the poor taxi driver who’d be expected to drive a fatally ill man to hospital…”

 

That is pretty fucked up. But hey look on the bright side, the world is still in the same shambles it was 4 years ago. Nothing new’s happened except the Japan Quake aka 3/11. It’s funny how Japan claimed it was divine retribution to failed government policies. I’m not a stickler for blame but I wish the eastern seaboard would have a quake. I mean they kinda deserve it, maybe kill off a few Republicans and a few Dems in the process and we’ll be pretty much set. Hell I’d be happy as all fuck if a quake hit the North Eastern portion of the US and killed a few congressmen. I’m sick of looking at their ugly mugs every time I turn on the fucking television. Oh and while we’re talking about unemployment and failed policies…

Layoffs To Leave Best Buy’s Geek Squad Short Several Hundred Geeks

 

In the big media push that started with its most recent Super Bowl ads, Best Buy had been trying to position itself as a store that provided the one thing its online competitors couldn’t — knowledgeable, tech-savvy employees that can deal with customers on a face-to-face basis. Well, forget all about that hogwash, because the company has told its employees that it is laying off at least 650 Geek Squad staffers in the coming weeks.

A Consumerist reader tipped us off to the news over the holiday that several thousand Best Buy employees took part in a conference call, during which the company detailed its plans to lay off hundreds of Geek Squad’s techs who handle in-home installation and repairs.

“They were read a two-minute canned script about how they needed to wait for a phone call in the
next eight hours from a supervisor to find out if they still had a job,” wrote the Consumerist tipster.

KARE-TV in Minneapolis confirmed the news and the approximate number of layoffs with Best Buy, which said it was working out severance and work-placement assistance for dismissed employees.

Our tipster says they hear the package has employees working through August 1, though they will not be making deliveries or repairs during that time, followed by six to eight weeks of severance pay.

“At least they did one things smart not sending freshly laid off employees into customer homes to wreak havoc!” writes the tipster.

A second tipster who claims to currently work at Best Buy says that these layoffs — and the decision to keep these employees from visiting customers’ homes during the coming weeks — actually is wreaking havoc:

I don’t know exactly how many people they laid off, but I do know that once they took the people out of the scheduling system, hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs fell off of the schedule nearly instantaneously. And since Best Buy is Best Buy, they had no plan in place to take care of this mess than to have we, the lowly wage slaves, pull up each appointment, one by one, and call the customers to tell them that they had to reschedule their appointments because of “unforeseen circumstances.”

But because they laid off so many people, an appointment that was supposed to happen on, say, July 5, might not be able to be rescheduled until sometime in September. So we’ve had to contact pissed off customer after pissed off customer and apologize profusely for the asinine actions of upper management with nothing to offer as compensation but another appointment that the customer has no reason to believe will be actually take place and a Best Buy gift card worth anywhere from $25 to $50, depending on how much the customer complains.

Best Buy tells KARE that it is not getting rid of home delivery and installation altogether. “We know that clients will always need us to come to their homes, and increasingly their needs are more complex,” reads a statement from Best Buy HQ. “That’s why we’re evolving in-home support for a more specific customer segment.”

The second tipster also forwarded what appears to be a legitimate e-mail from Best Buy HQ detailing how these changes are all about helping the retailer to “accelerate change, improve operating performance, and dramatically improve the customer experience.”

The tipster questions how one intends to improve performance and the customer experience by “cutting down [Best Buy’s] workforce without warning and spreading the people that are left even thinner… allowing customers to wait even longer for poorly done services that may or may not actually happen, I guess.”

Adds the tipster, “I’d advise the customers to that time to come to their senses, get their money back, and pay someone else to do the job right.”

Man busted by his mom during robber

By David Kenney

 

BRANDON, MS (WLBT) –

A Brandon man is in jail after a failed robbery attempt, and he has his mother to thank.

Twenty-two-year-old Roy Mitchell’s mother stopped him during the middle of his crime by taking away the weapon he had aimed at the clerk. It was all caught on video.

It was around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when Mitchell entered D’s 1 Stop convenience store on Highway 80 in Brandon.

Wednesday, store owner Mandeep Singh provided the surveillance video of the incident to WLBT News.

On the video, Mitchell can be seen quickly grabbing some nacho cheese Doritos and throwing them on the counter.

He then handed the clerk $2 to pay for his snack, but then things changed dramatically.

As the clerk went to get change from the cash register, Mitchell pulled a gun out of his waistband.

He then pointed the gun directly at the clerk and demanded all the money in the drawer.

Then, Mitchell’s mother walks up, grabs the gun and orders him out of the store. Mitchell obeyed and left the store with the bag of chips and no cash.

Police say Mitchell’s mother tried to explain to the clerk the gun wasn’t real and begged the clerk not to call the law.

Mitchell and his mother left the scene in a red Oldsmobile. The clerk called the police

A short time later the vehicle was stopped by Pelahatchie police. Officers found a plastic gun in the vehicle that was made to look like the real thing.

Mitchell is facing attempted armed robbery charges.

 

What a moron! Taking your mom with you to an armed robbery. And now for the last story…

 

Grand Theft Auto: College Park

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

FOX 5 has obtained exclusive video of a shootout and chase in College Park that involved police and a stolen cruiser.

The incident began Thursday night when Prince George’s County Police responded to Lakeland Road and Route 1 for reports of a gunman.

When police arrived, they exchanged gunfire with an armed man who has been identified as 21-year-old Andre McKoy.

A witness says officers then tried to McKoy to the ground when somehow he got away and stole a police car.

Police caught up with him a short distance away and rammed the stolen cruiser forcing it into a brick wall at a McDonald’s at Berwyn House Road.

Police say more shots were fired before McKoy was finally taken into custody.

The University of Maryland was kept on lockdown until midnight.

McKoy was shot at least once and is in serious condition on Friday.

 

That’s our show for this week, tune in next week for even more exciting bullshit the world has to offer; this is Grass signing out.