The main economic data this morning is the Challenger Gray and Christmas job cuts report – so let’s get that out of the way:

VCHICAGO, May 5, 2016 – The pace of downsizing increased in April, as US-based employers announced workforce reductions totaling 65,141 during the month, according to the latest report released Thursday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. 

The April figure represents a 35 percent increase over March, when employers announced 48,207 planned layoffs.  Last month’s job cuts were 5.8 percent higher than the 61,582 recorded in April 2015.

Employers have announced a total of 250,061 planned job cuts through the first four months of 2016.  That is up 24 percent from the 201,796 job cuts tracked during the same period a year ago.  It is the highest January-April total since 2009, when the opening four months of the year saw 695,100 job cuts.

The official number comes tomorrow from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it’s a slippery little devil, at best.

Sure, we get the headline number – likely to be about unchanged.

But then there’s all the qualifiers: How many people are making how much money per hour – always a revealing calculation.

Then there’s the long-term unemployed (some 94 million adults aren’t working). Toss into that the labor participation rate, and you can expect everything from doom-porn cries of “The World is ending!” to the more moderate “Not until 2017 to 2018” from sites like this one.

Still, facts are facts: more people want to come to America and “build a piece of the rock” to steal an old advertising slogan, than want to check out.

Not that leaving is a bad idea, mind you. But until the SHTF it won’t really hit home: The value of being an early-adopter of any major social change.

Here Comes E-Mail-gate II

Sick of the Hillary email story? Surely, you can’t be surprised that the
Feds have been run around the roses and can’t seem to indict or clear… (my money is on the fix being in, though).

Today with have a Romanian hacker (*Guccifer) saying how easy it was to hack the Clinton’s email server,

Still, I have great faith that this will be swept under the rug by the PowersThatBe.

There is simply too much money to be made by insurance companies on Obamacare and the defense industry on low level conflicts like Syria to have anything else happen.

So On with (Sham) Politics

It almost pains me to write this, because is really reveals a lot about the former Republican Party and how they became the untrusted political brand, but let me give is a go.

You take the headline: Former Presidents George Bush Sr. and Son Bush Jr. Will Not Endorse Donald Trump as a Presidential Candidate.

What does this tell us?

Well, either the family is seriously angry that they won’t have a chance for a continuation of the Bush brand of political aristocracy (highly likely) 0R they are still mad at Trump’s characterization of Jeb and a kind of Harvey Milquetoast Lite figure.

OR this is the same egomania that keeps the once-republican party divided even now.

The likely facts driving events are pretty simple: The GOP controls both the House and the Senate and even with all that raw power they have not halted the Obama catch and release immigration scam, nor have they moved toward an improved version of Obamacare, and yada, yada, yada…

What you have is a huge gulf between PROMISE versus PERFORMANCE.

Whether the GOP has the brain cells left to realize this, or not, remains to be seen. Trump seems to get it, though.

Whether the Bush family can see the errors of their ways is doubtful.

They had their turns at bat and the promises versus performances have turned them out onto the scrap heap of history. Particularly when comes to being used by the half-wit neocon nest – a nasty nest that continues to attempt to suck the US into more and larger wars – that has continued in key policy (and cookie making) capacities with the Obamanation.

Say what you mean – and mean what you say…” is what Americans expect.

And it sure as hell isn’t working out that way in Washington.

(Expand the list of broken promises as you will – I’ll go back to “Social Security numbers will never be used as a National I.D. system…” and work forward from there.)

Making Up Wars Dept.

Speaking of the nasty nest of neos (NNN)…My consigliere called this week, all excited that there was supposedly a new Seymour Hirsch piece about to hit – likely in the foreign press because the US press if corporate owned and NNN influenced) and supposedly it will tie the Saudi government and the governments of Turkey and the US in with the sarin gas attacks in Syria as an attempt to “false flag the West” into another big conflict. Remember who the SecState was then?

Meantime, if you read headlines (like Syria’s Civil War: Go Inside Russia’s Base in Latakia) you might a actually think there is a civil war going on in Syria.

A grain of salt, please.

This is the aforementioned nest of neocons (NNN) fomenting “regime change” if you review the facts of history.

No, president Assad of Syria is not someone I’d pick to drink beer or shoot pool with.

But the real deal – and the Hirsch article rumored to be in the works seems to get into this if reports on the net are accurate: The Saudis and the Turks have been trying to get a Sunni government (not Shiite) installed in Syria in order to put in a Saudi to Europe pipeline. With Syria, inconveniently in the way, well…here come the war-makers.

What about all those Toyota pickups with machine guns? Well, blend on high for a couple of years and what happens?

You get something that the press – without much introspection calls a civil war on command. When it’s obvious to any student of history that war is always about something other than advertised.

In this case it’s about oil. And if it’s about oil, that’s really about money.

And we hold as our First Truth of UrbanSurvival that Everything is a business model.

Assad just happens to be in the way of one, so by hook or by crook…and likely portions of each, the deal-makers want him gone.

He might have taken the money long ago – in which case he’d have a yacht in Monaco or the Caribbean. But he seems to be one of those people who understands, at least to his home audience, that promise versus performance still means something.

Inside Turkey, there is disappointment, so the headline that Turkey’s prime minister is expected to resign amid rifts with Erdogan: reports – should come as no surprise.

Look up the word scapegoat.

News is Marketing Material

As long as I’m venting the spleen, here’s another take on news as advertising.

Bob Hope Burbank Airport is reportedly about to lose the Bob Hope part of it’s name.

Long-time readers will remember Elaine and I lived in Burbank on business for a year and a half in 2004-2005 so I have to pipe up:

What the hell?

Bob Hope was a great guy…and near as I can figure, this is part of our national neutering of heritage.

America is a great country – and with a ton of great leaders and civic figures.

So why the move to remove names?

The answer, I’m afraid, is simple: So you won’t be remembering our forefathers (and mothers) who made this country great.

It’s all about the State, citizen. So next time you want to honor someone for being a great contributor to “getting us here” forget naming a public facility, after them.

The trend is clear where the corporate-government alliance is going, though.

I remember when Candlestick Park was just that. Then it became (Corporate something-or-other) Park.

Two points: Those who forget their history are about to repeat it… And this morning’s add-on: Beware those who rewrite our history because they are up to no good..

Reader Note

Tomorrow morning I head to the eye doc again.  We will find out then how long before I can leave the world of 20-200 and get back on track.  In the meantime, the occasional misspelling is due to being legally blind for a while, so please forgive the errors!