Mike: I hope you all had a fine weekend. First off is the issue of some Republican governors refusing some stimulus funds: 

GOV. JINDAL: Well, it, it’s–no. The $100 million we turned down was temporary federal dollars that would require us to change our unemployment laws. That would’ve actually raised taxes on Louisiana businesses. We as a state would’ve been responsible for paying for those benefits after the federal money disappeared.

MR. GREGORY: All right, but the Democratic senator from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, says you’re wrong. This is how it was reported in The Times-Picayune Saturday: “Senator Landrieu disputed the governor’s interpretation and said the new unemployment benefits are designed to be temporary. `The bill is an emergency measure designed to provide extra help during these extraordinarily tough times,’ Landrieu said. `To characterize this provision as a “tax increase on Louisiana businesses” is inaccurate.'” Her point being, you could insert a sunset clause when this has to go away, but it would certainly be beneficial at a time when you’re in economic stress.

via Newsmax.com – Jindal to Turn Down $100 Million in Stimulus Funds. And:

Riley may turn down part of stimulus meant to expand unemployment benefits – Breaking News from The Birmingham News – al.com.


The fact that some Republican governors want to refuse stimulus funds makes me shake my head. Jindal is turning down funding for unemployment benefits at a time when unemployment is spiking to levels not seen since 1982, yet he wants to cut taxes on capital gains, which doesn’t benefit the immediate needs of the unemployed.
The taxpayer has provided an $800 billion stimulus with about 1/3 of that being Republican demanded tax cuts. Now you have these delusional Republican governors saying they may not take SOME of the stimulus money. I guess they are trying to show that they think government is spending excessively, but is denying their citizens the benefits of reduced joblessness, improved infrastructure, increased unemployment benefits the best course of action? Why would these governors want to refuse direct state aid so state layoffs are minimized when jobs are needed most? Should states spend the stimulus funds indiscriminately and unwisely? No, they should be held accountable for spending and each dime should be tracked to make sure it is spent prudently. The Republicans have some useful ideas about taxes that can be reviewed and implemented as needed, but to say more tax cuts are the only way to stimulate the economy is foolish at best.
It’s disappointing that these same Republicans didn’t try to be fiscally responsible during the Republican reign of Bush and the ever increased federal and trade deficits. Even the usually lame MSM reported the disturbing increase of the federal debt under Republican rule:

With no fanfare and little notice, the national debt has grown by more than $4 trillion during George W. Bush’s presidency.

It’s the biggest increase under any president in U.S history.

On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.

via Bush Administration Adds $4 Trillion To National Debt – Couric & Co..

Mike again: During the Republican controlled congress Bush years, the federal deficit increased from $5 trillion to $10 trillion! Talk about being irresponsible. Now these same fools don’t want to give some help to their citizenry. I didn’t vote for Obama, so this isn’t a Democrat rant, it’s more shock that these clueless Republican governors think that refusing taxpayer money is a badge of honor. No, it’s more a badge of stupidity and it puts their citizenry at further risk of job loss. It’s more a stage show than a show of financial responsibility and they should be admonished for their irresponsible and foolish grandstanding.  
* The debate over that federal stimulus money being offered to cash-strapped states like Texas continued Saturday.

Friday President Obama said Texans might lose out if Governor Rick Perry does not accept that money.

But as the nation’s Governors meet in Washington this weekend — some — including Perry – said they might turn some of it down

While he has not outright rejected the stimulus money, Governor Rick Perry questioned whether the nearly $800 billion bill signed into law this week will even help the economy. 

It is the same concern Austin resident Vince Hazen has.

I’m on the principle side that we shouldn’t take the money. I don’t think we need it, and I don’t think that’s the job of the federal government,” said Hazen

via Governors and Austinites debate stimulus | News for Austin, Texas | KVUE.com | State News.


John Stewart explains this Republican head fake better than most:


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more about “John Sununu | The Daily Show | Comedy…“, posted with vodpod

Mike: At least this is a sign that the stimulus funds will have some level of oversight:

* WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to announce Monday a former Secret Service agent who helped expose lobbyists’ corruption at the Interior Department as his pick to oversee the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

Obama is set to name Earl Devaney as chairman of the new Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board, an administration official said Sunday. Vice President Joe Biden also will be given a role coordinating oversight of stimulus spending.

via Official: Investigator to lead stimulus oversight – Yahoo! Finance.


Robert Ariail - Feb 22

Robert Ariail - Feb 22


Mike: There are some who understand the importance of the stimulus funds:

* Gov. Martin O’Malley announced yesterday that he has canceled plans to lay off 700 state workers and slash millions from local school budgets, saying federal stimulus funds have saved Maryland from some of the most painful belt-tightening decisions proposed in recent weeks.

Mike: Onto the news of the day……………..
Larger layoff announcements and news you can use:




Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


* SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp has dropped an attempt to recoup some severance money from 25 recently fired workers it mistakenly overpaid.

The Redmond, Washington-based company, which announced a plan to cut up to 5,000 jobs in January, acknowledged on Sunday that it had tried to get the overpaid workers to return the extra money. But late on Monday, it reversed course.

via Microsoft drops payback demand on ex-workers | U.S. | Reuters .


* Microsoft is announcing on Sunday a job training effort aimed at giving technical skills to as many as 2 million Americans over the next three years.

The most significant part of the program, in which Microsoft is offering free certification and other technical training, is being done in a phased approach, starting with Washington state. The second component of “Elevate America,” available online immediately, is a Web site designed to help people with the basics such as creating a resume and send e-mail.

via Microsoft aims to ‘Elevate America’ | Microsoft – CNET News.


* An accounting error by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) has reportedly led the world’s largest software maker to notify some laid off employees last week that they would need to give back part of their severance pay.

The company laid off 1,400 workers last month, the first of 5,000 jobs Microsoft has said it plans to cut over the next 18 months.

The error is believed to have overpaid some former employees and underpaid others. Those that were overpaid were sent letters requesting them to refund the company by sending a check or money order.

via Microsoft seeks refund from some laid off workers | Industries | Technology, Media & Telecommunications | Reuters .


General Economic News


* How do we get the subsidies for health-care coverage promised to unemployed workers in the economic stimulus package?

People across the country have been asking that question now that the package has been signed, sealed and delivered.

Although final details still are being hashed out, here’s what I learned from Kelly Traw, an executive at Mercer, a firm that advises companies on employee benefits:

Your former employer is responsible for notifying you of your eligibility for the COBRA subsidy included in the stimulus legislation.

via Companies to notify former workers of COBRA subsidy eligibility — chicagotribune.com.


* Wichita’s health care providers say the usual end-of-the-year rush for appointments hasn’t let up.

They’re attributing the continued demand to people who’ve gotten layoff notices and are trying to get medical, vision and dental needs taken care of before they lose their benefits.

Physician Ed Hett, president of Preferred Medical Associates, said the increase in the request for appointments is similar to “the kind of thing we see toward the end of every year, when people have met their deductible and see a new one coming — they try to squeeze in more what I call elective visits” before a new deductible requirement begins.

via Layoffs spur doctor visits before benefits run out | Wichita Business – Kansas Business | Kansas.com.



Jeff Stahler - Feb 22

Jeff Stahler - Feb 22


* Our primer can help you avoid pointless hours on hold and delays in getting the benefits you’re entitled to.

via Unemployment insurance: A guide – Los Angeles Times.


* “We’ve never had waiting lists like this, ever,” said Deborah Weaver, director of community education for Elkhart Community Schools.

David C. Harvey, president of ProLiteracy, a nonprofit literacy organization with 1,200 affiliates, said agencies that help people study for GEDs and other adult education classes are being deluged at a time when many are facing cuts in state funding and dwindling donations.

“This is quickly becoming a national crisis,” he said. “Our programs have gotten hit with less resources, but in turn they have a huge increase in demand for services that they can’t meet.”

via Demand for GED classes increase with job losses.


Municipal News


*Seven employees in the Canyon County Development Services department were laid off as a result of a dramatic decline in construction and development-related growth.

via Seven development employees laid off in Canyon County | Nampa, Caldwell | Idaho Statesman .


* BLACKSTONE — The town made an unexpected move to reduce operating costs last week by eliminating two top positions: director of public works and director of parks and recreation.

via Woonsocket Call – Two Blackstone department heads laid off.


* NORTH PROVIDENCE –– Mayor Charles A. Lombardi dismissed 20 town workers last night after their unions failed to meet a 7 p.m. deadline for accepting deep cuts in wages and benefits.

In all, 10 municipal workers and 10 public works employees lost their jobs. Lombardi also plans to lay off 30 firefighters following a Superior Court hearing tomorrow.

via N. Providence mayor lays off 20 unionized town workers | North Providence | projo.com | The Providence Journal .


* Goshen — Bracing for tough economic times, Orange-Ulster BOCES has decided to cut 40 jobs, 20 of them through layoffs as part of efforts to deliver the lowest cost increase in recent memory, officials of the educational service said.


US and some Canada News


micron* Micron Technology will lay off as many as 2,000 additional people as demand for DRAM products continues to decline.

Micron plans to phase out 200-millimeter wafer manufacturing operations at its Boise, Idaho, facility. That will initially result in layoffs of 500 employees, but as many as 2,000 people could lose their jobs by the end of Micron’s fiscal year, the company said.

via Micron to Lay off as Many as 2,000 in Boise – PC World.


micron1* Micron Technology Inc. (MU) will cut 2,000 jobs as it phases out 200- millimeter DRAM chip manufacturing operations in Boise, Idaho, by the end of its fiscal year in August.

These layoffs are in addition to a 15% reduction, affecting about 2,850 employees, announced last fall as the company stopped production of some NAND flash-memory chips, which are used to store data in iPods, digital cameras and other devices.

via Micron Tech To Cut 2,000 Jobs, Close Some Boise Operations.


spansion* Spansion Inc. said late Monday that it plans to cut its global workforce by roughly 3,000, making it the latest technology company to resort to job cuts in an attempt to grapple with the recession.


spansion1* SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Troubled flash memory maker Spansion Inc. said late Monday it will slash its global work force by 35 percent, affecting about 3,000 employees, mostly at manufacturing sites.

The move comes as Spansion, one of the world’s largest makers of flash memory chips used in digital cameras and other gadgets, is cutting costs amid a company-wide restructuring effort and exploring a possible sale.

via The Associated Press: Spansion cuts 3,000 employees, 35 pct of workforce.


window* CLARKSBURG — Eagle Glass in Clarksburg laid-off workers on Friday.

Company employees said they were not warned about the lay-offs. They were given pink slips after their work day ended on Friday. Representatives at Eagle said the lay-offs may be temporary. They were unable to confirm details or how many people lost their jobs. The company was just bought by the Switzerland based company EuropTec Group at the end of January.

via Eagle Glass Workers Laid-off – WBOY-TV – WBOY.com.


* Murray’s Webasto Roof Systems Inc. plant will close permanently July 15; a victim of sagging national automobile industry.

Andreas Weller, the company’s vice president for business development, said Friday afternoon that the closure was unfortunate, but necessary given economic conditions that have hit the automotive industry hard.

via Murray Ledger & Times Your Home Town News Source.


* Also facing a $1.7 million reduction, the College of Education hasn’t been as lucky when it comes to layoffs, according to Dean Andy Horne.

“We’ve had a number of part-time faculty that we’ve had to let go because we can’t afford them,” Horne said in a phone interview Thursday. “The people currently employed full time are staying employed.”

via University implements large cutbacks – News.


* TORONTO: Nine employees were laid off at Fleishman-Hillard Canada, as part of staff cuts across North America.

via Fleishman-Hillard Canada cuts staff – PRWeek US.


* WILLIAMSBURG – Ninety-two full-time employees will be temporarily laid off at Williamsburg Manufacturing, a division of Magna International Inc.’s Cosma operating unit. Those layoffs will take effect March 2, 2009.

via Williamsburg Manufacturing Announces 92 Layoffs | KCRG-TV9 Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Business News .


* Ninety-five people will lose their jobs as Macy’s closes its location at the Bellevue Center — 19 more than had been expected.

via Macy’s to cut 95 jobs in Bellevue – Nashville Business Journal: .


The Zenith National Insurance Corp. is shedding about 100 jobs, or 6 percent of its work force, but Chairman/CEO Stanley Zax said it should have little impact on the Sarasota operation.

via Business buzz: Zenith doubts layoffs will hurt Sarasota | HeraldTribune.com | Sarasota Florida | Southwest Florida’s Information Leader.


christopher-banks* Christopher & Banks said it would axe 24 positions from its corporate headquarters as part of a broader cost-cutting initiative for 2010.

via Christopher & Banks cuts 24 jobs at HQ – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal: .


* A Red Oak, Iowa, window manufacturing company is closing today.

In a press release sent Sunday, the Chicago family that bought the former Traco plant last year cited the economy and labor strife in Chicago as reasons for shuttering the facility and eliminating 100 jobs.

via Omaha.com Metro/Region Section.


pacira* San Diego-based Pacira Pharmaceuticals, which raised $85 million in venture capital just three months ago, laid off about 40 employees last week.

via Pacira Cuts 40 Jobs After Setback in Clinical Trial of Painkilling Drug-Delivery Product | Xconomy.


z-gallerie* Z Gallerie Inc., a home decor retailer based in Gardena, Calif., is pulling out of Ohio and closing its store at Rookwood Commons in Norwood as it cuts its outlets by a third.

A company spokesman told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Z Gallerie, founded in 1979 as a poster shop by three siblings, is closing 25 underperforming stores, consolidating its distribution network and laying off about 350 employees nationwide because of “deteriorating economic conditions.”

via Norwood among 25 Z Gallerie stores to close | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com.


* In another sign of the deepening economic chill in Michigan, the Detroit Institute of Arts announced Monday that it will lay off 20 percent of its staff, or about 56 full-time and seven part-time positions.

via DIA announces 20-percent cut in staffing | detnews.com | The Detroit News.


russel-metals1Russel Metals (RUS.TO) said on Monday that it plans to cut 500 jobs and reduce the salaries of its top staff by 10 percent as it braces for a steep decline in demand for steel products.

via UPDATE 1-Russel Metals to chop staff, cut executive pay | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


First Tennessee Bank will cut 250 jobs in the next year, but it’s uncertain how many jobs in the Knoxville region will be eliminated.

via First Tennessee cutting 250 jobs : Business : Knoxville News Sentinel.


T3 is shrinking its staff once again because of the ailing economy.

This is the advertising agency’s third round of layoffs in the last six months. The agency, which is one of the largest independent agencies in the country, let staff go in October after losing longtime client Marriott. Last month, the agency made small staff cuts when clients scaled back their advertising spending.

via Ad agency T3 slims down again – Austin Business Journal: .


* Neiman Marcus Inc. said Monday that it will cut another 450 jobs this week and that salaried employees are taking a pay cut.

The layoffs are companywide “across all divisions and across all levels,” said Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications.

via Neiman Marcus lays off 450 more employees | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Dallas Business News .



International News


rbs1* Royal Bank of Scotland will embark this week on a radical plan to split itself in two as it cuts tens of thousands of staff across the globe and confirms the biggest annual loss in British corporate history.

The split, into elements to be retained and those to be sold, comes as Stephen Hester, the chief executive of RBS, and Eric Daniels, his counterpart at Lloyds Banking Group, go to the Treasury today to agree terms for their banks’ entry into the Government’s insurance scheme for toxic assets.

via Up to 20,000 jobs will go as RBS chief prepares to sell off unwanted assets – Times Online .


rbs2* The move is expected to result in the loss of about 20,000 jobs, more than half of which will be in the United Kingdom. Large parts of its investment banking business will be designated for sale or close down. Its Asian operations and retail operations across central and eastern Europe will be sold off, the Times reported.


* Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) — Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile-phone company, plans to cut hundreds of jobs in the U.K. to reduce costs and protect earnings amid the economic slowdown, two people with direct knowledge of the plan said.

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.


* Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile-phone company, plans to cut hundreds of jobs in the U.K. to reduce costs amid the economic slowdown, Bloomberg reports, citing people with direct knowledge of the plan.

The company could announce the measures Tuesday. The jobs will be eliminated at Vodafone’s U.K. operations, said the people, without giving a precise number.

via Vodafone to Cut Hundreds of U.K. Jobs: Report | Telecom | Financial Articles & Investing News | TheStreet.com.


* CLOSE to 250 workers at a gearbox factory in southern NSW are likely to be made redundant following the company going into receivership.

via Gearbox company to cut jobs .


* Lagardere Active is to cut 250 jobs in Spain, Italy and the United States as part of “exceptional measures” to combat the economic crisis, chief executive Didier Quillot told Le Figaro newspaper.

via Lagardere Active to cut 250 jobs | theBookseller.com.


* Rio Tinto has sacked a further 18 workers at its northern Tasmanian smelter.

via Bell Bay jobs cut – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).


* BHP Billiton said today it would reduce the number of employees at its Melbourne head office to about 350 from 600 previously.

via BHP to cut staff from Melbourne head office | The Australian.


* Trinity Mirror is cutting up to 70 journalists, almost a third of editorial staff, from its Glasgow-based Scottish newspapers, including the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, as part of a radical shakeup.

via Trinity Mirror to cut 70 jobs at Glasgow newspapers | Media | guardian.co.uk .


* Merging Brazilian banks Itaú (NYSE: ITU) and Unibanco (NYSE: UBB) plan 100 lay-offs in their investment banking and brokerage operations, they said in a statement.


Hiring News


* SEATTLE – How would you like to work just a few hundred feet from future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr?

The Seattle Mariners are hosting a job fair to fill about 150 positions at Safeco Field for the 2009 season.

via Safeco Field hiring for 2009 Mariners season | Sports | NWCN.com | Northwest News and Weather.


* Social-networking player Facebook has begun recruiting for 40 positions in its new operation, which opened its doors in central Dublin. The company has appointed ex-Google sales director Colm Long as head of the Dublin operation.

via SiliconRepublic.com: Facebook’s European HQ is recruiting – Business.


Mike: More news as the day develops…………….



 Ed Stein - Feb 22

Ed Stein - Feb 22




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2 Comments to “February 23 – UK’s RBS to slice 20,000 – Some Republican governors don’t want stimulus funds – Employer must notify you about COBRA – Do you owe Microsoft money? No, they changes their minds – Russel Metals cuts 500 – Neiman Marcus dumps 450 – Z Gallerie sheds 350 – Micron deletes 2,000 more – Spansion zaps 3,000”

  1. A Conservative listener calls a Progressive TV show to discuss the stimulus package, hilarity ensues:


  2. mike@layofflist says:

    Thanks for the humorous look at politics……….

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