The U.S. Treasury’s top international affairs official, Tim Adams, made some very revealing comments about the fragility of the world economy in a speech he gave at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His remarks were the subject of an article in the Financial Times but were little noted otherwise in the U.S. mainstream press. What was particularly noteworthy was Adam’s comment (as reported in the Financial Times) that the U.S. could solve its massive account deficit problems rather quickly by reining in consumer spending. If it did that, what would be the consequences? According to the Financial Times, Adams stated that if the U.S. "instigated policies to rein in the consumer, gross domestic product would fall by 6 percent, plunging it (the U.S.) into a deep depression. No other country would be immune, he (Adams) warned."
In effect, what the Treasury official seemed to be saying to the Asian countries like China and Japan (who export so much of their products to the U.S. market and buy a disproportionate share of U.S. dollars) that they had better keep buying our currencies. Otherwise, this economic house of cards could collapse. Does that make you nervous? It sure does me.
Microsoft has a new Web browser out in beta. Doug says it isn't perfect. Nothing from Microsoft is. But the latest version of the updated Internet Explorer is worth a switch right now for the adventuresome Web denizen.
Judge Samuel Alito was confirmed to the Supreme Court Tuesday by a 58 to 42 vote in the US Senate. Efforts to mount a filibuster against Alito by liberals failed to generate much support from Senate Democrats although most of the Democrats did vote against Alito in the end. Alito is the second Bush nominee to be confirmed to the Court in less than a year. Justice Alito replaces Sandra Day O'Connor who has retired.
A proposed $250 million themed entertainment complex near the downtown Dallas Convention Center won't be getting Mayor Laura Miller's support at today's council briefing meeting.
The 400,000-square-foot center, dubbed Dallas City Limits, is a proposed venture by partners Bill Beuck (the developer of the 900-acre Pinnacle Park), Billy Bob Barnett (of Billy Bob's Texas fame) and Spencer Taylor (who was instrumental in bringing Gilley’s to Dallas). The quarter billion dollar project is designed to include luxury suites, a health spa, outdoor entertainment areas and retail shops, and phase one will include Festival Plaza, on an 8-acre grassy field, and Trinity, designed to seat 1,500 in its outdoor arena for a variety of sports and events including rodeos, boxing, beach volleyball and extreme sports.
While specifics on financing are still pending, the three investors are asking Dallas city leaders to invest in public improvements and infrastructure.
While city council members appear to support the project, Mayor Miller was dubious.
"The problems with the deal will be laid out in great detail by the City Attorney and City Manager tomorrow at a City Council briefing, and the Council will be asked at that time if they want to move forward regardless. All the problems stem from one fundamental flaw: the developer is asking for $20 million in tax money, but he has no money of his own and no track record on a project this size. That's pretty much a non-starter for me," she said in a written statement.
Scott Bennett thinks George Bush has given some grand speeches in his tenure. His 2002 State of the Union was one. But last night was pedestrian not grand. It wasn't at all bad but it was, well, gubernatorial in its small ball initiatives and general lack of passion. In fact, this President was reminiscent of another President.
The public is invited to attend candle-light vigils to honor the memory of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., 7-7:30 p.m., every evening beginning Tuesday, January 31, 2006, including the day of funeral services.
A wreath will be placed at the base of the statue of Dr. King located between the Core Building - A and the MLK Branch Library – Building C. Remarks will be made by local ministers and citizens.
For additional information about the candle-light vigils, call (214) 670-8418.
Today’s endorsement by the ayem paper of Vic Cunningham for the Republican nomination for district attorney came as a surprise. First, it seems early. I know -- the election is March 7, a scant five weeks away. However, the campaign really has yet to develop. Some more reporting on the race from the DMN news staff would be nice.
The editorial page picked Cunningham over Toby Shook because Cunningham, a judge, is an “outsider,” whereas Shook has been top deputy to D.A. Bill Hill. The idea is that the D.A.’s office needs a clean break with the past. The News does say it was a “close choice,” throwing a bone to Shook as a “highly respected career prosecutor.” Cunningham, meanwhile, was a felony prosecutor before he went on the bench 10 years ago.
I, for one, thought Shook might be the favored candidate in this race -- on the strength of his experience as top deputy in the D.A.'s office and for some high profile prosecutions -- not to mention he's winning the yard sign war in the Park Cities and North Dallas.
There’s more shootout to come – not just between the candidates but the battle between the city’s most prominent political consultants. Rob Allyn represents Cunningham and Shook’s campaign is being managed by Carol Reed, who calls him her candidate right out of “central casting.” Expect dueling direct mail pieces.
In contrast, the DMN did use experience as a prosecutor as its reason for endorsing Larry Jarrett for the Democratic nomination over Craig Watkins, who came within 10,000 votes of defeating District Attorney Bill Hill two years ago. Jarrett is a former Marine and a former prosecutor in both the D.A.’s office and the U.S. attorney’s office. Meanwhile, Watkins and the third candidate in the race, B.D. Howard, are defense attorneys with no experience in putting criminals in jail. The endorsement could help Jarrett among Democratic voters who don’t know any of them.
Now that we've seen where the ed board is coming down, let's hope we see some news coverage of candidate forums, joint appearances and some in-depth profiles in this important race for D.A. What would really be interesting is what folks at the courthouse think about the two Republicans, since both are coming out of that environment.
The Department of Commerce reported yesterday that the savings rate for Americans in 2005 was minus .5 percent. The savings rate has been in negative territory for a full year only twice before--in 1932 and 1933 during the Great Depression.