Sunday, October 30, 2011

French President Thinks Maybe Greece Was Not Ready to Join the EU, Perry Campaign Contemplates Shooting Itself in the Foot, Not Bad News on GDP Growth . . .

And Other News That Begs for Comments

In the middle of the European Union meetings French President Nicolas Sarkozy thought about whether or not Greece should have joined that group and came to this conclusion

the French president appealed for the public to back reforms intended to maintain Greece's membership of the single currency, but acknowledged: "It was an error because Greece entered with false [economic] figures … it was not ready."

Gosh, you think so?

The Rick Perry campaign is floating a trial balloon about whether or not Mr. Perry should skip some debates.  The Washington Post’s great political pundit Chris Cillizza weighs in with this

But, the dominant narrative in the race to date — pushed by his weak debate performances — has been that Perry may not be ready for primetime and that by nominating him the party would be risking what looks to be a very real chance to beat President Obama in 2012.

If Perry doesn’t participate in a series of debates, voters just starting to tune into the race will be greeted with scads of media coverage about whether he is running away from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Not exactly a good introduction to Perry.

Mr. Perry came into the race with the reputation of being a very astute politician.  Skipping debates would hasten his leaving the race, but not taking that reputation with him.

That Republicans view Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren a huge threat is becoming evident in the viciousness of their attack ads.  They are blaming her for the violence in the OWS movement,

Just as Democrats tried to tie Republicans to the most extreme tea party activists, the Massachusetts Republican Party is already attacking Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren as the “Matriarch of Mayhem” for saying she helped create an intellectual foundation for the protests.

To win the Senate race Ms. Warren need to unite and motivate Democratic voters.  Attack ads by Republicans are far more likely to help her than to harm her.  She comes across as a nice person, charging her with fomenting violence makes Republicans look desperate.

The preliminary report on U. S. economic growth in the third quarter 2011 is that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5%.  The good news is that this was not bad news.

Ever wonder just how much money the airlines are taking in on baggage charges and other fees.  It is quite a lot.

The country's largest airlines collected $1.5 billion from checked luggage and reservation change fees in April, May and June, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Southwest Airlines remains the largest carrier that does not charge baggage fees.  The fact that they have made this a major part of their marketing campaign means it will be difficult to change that policy, but as Southwest gets a larger market share in the airports it serves, watch for a change in policy.  It may be late arriving, but it’s gotta land sometime.

In a related development several airlines are said to be purchasing the old coin operated toilets for installation on new jets coming into service.  A survey of frequent travelers said that if the airlines followed through on those plans the white airsick bags would find a new use.

The austerity program in Britain that is designed to bring the nation’s deficit down and restore fiscal stability to the country is harming a lot of people.  A whole lot of people.  But not everyone.  Can anybody guess who is not being harmed, whose compensation is increasing tremendously? 

The directors of Britain's largest companies were last night condemned as "elite greedy pigs" for pocketing a 49 per cent pay rise in the past year, while average workers failed even to keep up with inflation.

Unions exploded with fury after the publication of figures that showed how boardroom pay soared in the last financial year, thanks to rising salaries, bonuses and in particular the swelling value of directors' long-term share plans. The statistics, compiled by Incomes Data Services, provide an annual snapshot of executive remuneration, as reported in companies' most recent reports to shareholders, and show that the chief executives of the FTSE 100 largest companies earned an average of £3,855,172 last year. That is an average 43 per cent rise and, adding in other directors, total earnings rose by an average 49 per cent.

It is not clear if Britain is taking its lead from the U. S. or if the U. S. is taking its lead from Britain.  What is clear is that executive compensation trends do not know national borders, and that executives in Britain can be just as greedy as executive in the U. S.

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