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FTMDaily News Update – Showdown in Wisconsin and Libya

February 22, 2011

by Jerry Robinson

Good morning friends! In the news today: The showdown between the unions vs. taxpayers continues in Wisconsin, tensions continue to flare in the Middle East, and more…

In Wisconsin: Unions vs. The Taxpayer… The “cut government spending, just not my government benefits” protests continue in Wisconsin…

At stake: 1) Government benefits for state government workers and 2) the ability to keep increasing benefits through collective bargaining… Unions fight for govt. workers while most of the state’s taxpayers say ‘enough’…

Governor refuses to budge despite growing protests…

FoxNews becomes target on the ground… (see video here)

DNC caught organizing the protests…

And now… Union leaders are threatening to take their “protect my government benefits” protests to other bankrupt states.

What about the kids? According to the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently…

Meanwhile, Detroit announced that it will be closing half of that city’s public schools due to a lack of funds…

Violence Rocks Libya… Protests against Libya’s long-running dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, and his thuggish regime turned violent last week and into the weekend. Gaddafi chose to turn the country’s military forces against the protesters, sending tanks, helicopters, warplanes in to quell the revolt. Reports of armed military men hiding in trees shooting unarmed protesters as they march in the streets… dead bodies ‘lying in the streets.’

Despite previous reports that he had fled to Venezuela, the “Butcher” claims to be in Tripoli and remains as defiant as ever… Some Muslim leaders now calling for Gaddafi’s death…

Russia blames Google for creating Mideast unrest… ‘fires for decades‘ in the Middle East.

OIL CONCERNS… Investor, and even industry, concerns over the violence in Libya drove global oil prices up 9% to $94.08 per barrel, from Friday’s close of $86.20. Libya is the world’s 18th biggest oil producer and sits atop 44 billion barrels of oil reserves — the largest in Africa. Libya supplies 1.65 million barrels of the total 87.5 million barrels of oil that the world consumes each day.

And now… Iranian ships have entered the Med Sea traveling along Israel’s coastline en route to Syria… the first time since 1979.

U.S. Homes Prices Keep Dropping… The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index reports that home prices across the nation continue to fall with many cities now reaching their lowest levels since the housing bubble crashed.

And now… a new report that the National Association of Realtors may have overstated U.S. home sales, going back to 2007.

Meanwhile, the consumer confidence index for February hits a three-year high…

Also in the news…

1) A massive earthquake rocks New Zealand, killing at least 65 people… Christchurch in ruins; currency falls.

2) Is Wal-Mart losing its mojo? The company posts its seventh consecutive quarterly drop in sales…

3) A starving North Korea begs for food… edge of revolution?

4) Believe it or not: China uses its massive U.S. debt holdings to shape U.S. policy…

5) BUSTED: Fox News fraudulently attacks Ron Paul?

Finally… A few of the worst places to die… “estate-tax-wise”

Why So Serious?… It’s time to laugh a little.

“President Obama had dinner with some of the top tech executives: the CEO of Facebook, the CEO of Apple, the CEO of Oracle, and their waiter, the CEO of MySpace.” –Jay Leno

“Happy Presidents Day. Or, as it’s being called in the Middle East, Happy Overthrow Your Presidents Day.” –Conan O’Brien

“People in Libya want Moammar Gadhafi to leave. The problem is, he’ll be replaced by his idiot son, Moammar W. Gadhafi.” –David Letterman

“Texas is reportedly going to give college students the right to carry guns on campus. So I guess that next semester, every college student in Texas is getting straight A’s.” –Conan O’Brien

Until tomorrow,

Jerry Robinson –


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Jerry Robinson is an economist, published author, columnist, international conference speaker, and the editor of the financial website, In addition, Robinson hosts a weekly radio program entitled Follow the Money Weekly, an hour long radio show dedicated to deciphering the week’s economic news.

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