NEWS STAND: Why Does Obama Apologize, Mortgage Rates Dip, LA's Killing Fields, and more..

Our unique spin on today's headlines


Self-Sabotage: Obama claims responsibility for oil crisis

We’ll have two eggs, coffee and a side of self-sabotage please. Clearly President Barack Obama is not reading the We’re not sure why he’s coming out now to claim responsibility for the BP Oil disaster – you know the one that dwarfs the amount of damage done by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  So what if Palin said that he was slow to respond because of his ties to big oil? Coming from someone whose party receives 76% of all political contributions from oil companies, who cares?  Why let BP off of the hook and accept responsibility for the most devastating U.S. oil spill in history? You work for the United States of America, not BP. Your “strong” words would be more believable had the response to the spill by the government been stronger and faster, sooner. It wasn’t. Deal with it, but not at the expense of your international reputation. In the words of James Carville, who was actually responding to President Obama’s hands-off approach to the oil spill, it’s political stupidity.


A Silver Lining: Mortgage rates hit lowest point this year

Pump your breaks. This doesn’t mean that we can all go out and get mortgages all willy-nilly like last time and drive the economy into the ground.  It simply means that mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level of the year because investors have pumped money into U.S. government securities. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 4.78 percent this week from 4.84 percent a week earlier. What this actually means is that the time to try and refinance those mortgages with obscene interest rates is now. Applications to refinance are at its highest level since October 2009.  Perhaps there is a silver lining to this dark cloud called the mortgage crisis. 


At face value this seems like a wonderful thing. However, unless it correlates to number of jobs or people newly employed, it doesn’t make that much of a difference.  The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week but the level still remained higher than expected, indicating only modest improvements in the job market. Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 14,000 to 460,000, but analysts were expecting them to fall further. Below 425,000 is what is needed for sustainable job creation. Jobless rates are holding steady, which threatens economic recovery because folks are still not spending money. We took economics in college, but we still don’t understand how you’re supposed to spend money when you don’t have a job or unemployment benefits?

Toxic Environments: Madagascar bird declared extinct

A moment of silence please. Alien fish species and nylon nets have forced the extinction of a water bird in Madagascar. The fragile bird, known as the Alaotra Grebe, was finally declared extinct 25 years after the last confirmed sighting, according to Bird Life International. Many folks thought that Madagascar was only a movie. It’s an African island nation with beautiful, living, breathing people and animals. The Alaotra Grebe is officially extinct because of man’s continuous abuse of the environment.  Just wondering when protecting the environment and all of its inhabitants will become a priority? Wishing that Van Jones was still a part of the government right about now.