That guy who shot the Travon Martin, then after he was found not guilty threatened his wife, seems to be in trouble again.
Former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was arrested following a domestic violence incident on Monday, according to multiple reports.
Authorities confirmed to The Orlando Sentinel that Zimmerman had been taken into custody.
TMZ also confirmed that Zimmerman was involved in the domestic violence incident in Orlando.
WESH-TV’s Bob Kealing reported that Zimmerman had been arrested for domestic violence against his current girlfriend.
After being acquitted for the murder of slain teen Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman faced accusations over the summer when authorities were called to the house of his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, to respond to a domestic dispute.
Shellie Zimmerman accused him of threatening both her and her father’s life, but no charges were filed in that case. Zimmerman has also been pulled over twice for speeding in recent months.
Update, 3:30 p.m. EST: Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Zimmerman’s girlfriend claimed that she was pregnant, making the domestic violence charge an automatic felony. Zimmerman reportedly was not eligible for bail.
Update, 5:14 p.m. EST: ABC News reported that Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief in connection with the incident.
It's really not that surprising. Follow the link for pictures and a video.
The white supremacist attempting to turn a small North Dakotan town into a ‘white enclave’ has undergone a DNA test which proves he is of Sub-Saharan African heritage, MailOnline can reveal.
Craig Cobb, 62, submitted to the test as part of The Trisha Show’s ongoing Race in America series and was given the results of the DNA Diagnostics test by the host, Trisha Goddard, to the whoops of her studio audience.
On hearing the results Cobb, who insists he is not a white supremacist but a Creator, a religion which favours ‘racial awareness’, immediately dismissed the news that genetically he is 14 per cent Sub Saharan African, 86 per cent European, as ‘statistical noise.’
War, or the threat of it, is what the residents of Leith fear, Cobb has brought to their doors.
His plans for the tiny North Dakotan town of Leith came to light earlier this summer. Then, amid a fury of local and national reaction, it emerged that the wild-haired eccentric who had been living in the town for more than a year, was a hate crimes fugitive who had quietly bought up lots of land with the intention of turning the community into a haven for white supremacists.
But now, after an immediate flurry of rallies and town meetings, residents fear they are powerless to halt the man whose plans they regard as ‘pure evil,' and who has put up a sign condemning their town as 'The Village of the Damned.'
Since his plans were exposed, they say, he has goaded and harassed them in an attempt to provoke them into violence and open the way for him to bring charges or a civil suit.
The town’s only bi-racial couple Sherrill and Bobby Harper have come under particular pressure. Bobby is the only black man in town. A note pinned to the couple’s door recently read: ‘What are you doing “married” to a Negro?’ and demanded Sherill leave her husband and ‘join Mr Cobb’s movement.’
Two weeks ago Mr Cobb confronted the Harpers on The Trisha Show, demeaning their relationship with the words: ‘She has her pet you see.’
Speaking to MailOnline Mr Harper was philosophical and dignified. He said he was 'better' than Cobb but expressed his belief that the situation was 'going to get worse.'
In an interview with MailOnline Mr Cobb referred to African Americans as ‘jungle bunnies’ and ‘Orks’ and said that black people were: ‘Strolling biological early warning devices. They look bad, they sound bad and often times they smell bad.’
In what he referred to as a ‘better world where we are in charge,’ he said that all black immigrants to America would be instructed on arrival: ‘If you try to have sex with our white handmaidens we will hang you.’
He used profoundly offensive racist and mysogynistic language saying he was 'very proud' to do so as he regarded the terms as 'holy words' enshrined in the 'White Man's Bible,' in which, as a Creator, he believes.
In a recent town meeting Cobb singled out Leith town councilman Lee Cook, 49, the founder of the town’s Legal Defense Fund established to pay for their fight against Cobb.
Thirteen years ago Mr Cook’s 17 year old daughter, Crystal was murdered by the then boyfriend of his ex-wife. Now remarried and with three children by second wife Heather, his move to Leith was, in part, a bid to escape the painful associations of the Washington town in which the murder took place.
Cobb suggested that Mr Cook was in some way responsible for his daughter’s death. According to Mr Cook: ‘He hoped to get me to beat him up so that he could sue me. He wants to look like the victim but this is all his doing.
‘It was an evil attempt by a demented individual to aggravate me.’
Today Mr Cook sleeps with a loaded by his side and has bought his wife a firearm.
In a desperate bit to prevent Cobb from fulfilling his dream in Leith, the town council have voted through a string or ordinances putting a moratorium on building, instituting standards of potable water and sewerage and prohibiting anyone living in a trailer on Leith land for more than 10 days straight.
But ultimately, Mayor Ryan Schock, 38, admitted: ‘We don’t know what comes next.’
One family of White supremacists have already responded to Cobb’s call for followers and have moved into his ramshackle home on what passes for the town’s main street.
Kynan and Deborah Dutton, both 28, moved to Leith from Oregon on 23 September. Their five children aged between 11 and four are home-schooled by former teacher, Deborah.
Dutton, a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Iraq war in 2004 and 2005 is proud to call himself Cobb’s Sergeant in Arms. He puts flags, including that of the Third Reich, The National Socialist Movement, and one symbolising the right to bear arms, in front of Cobb’s home each day.
He takes them in at night because, he said: ‘The native Americans are notorious for coming and stealing them.’
With just 16 residents in the town Cobb is confident that his bid to outnumber the locals with his followers and take over the council will succeed.
He claims another family is on their way and has threatened to bring member of the ‘hard core Aryan Nations’ group to the town and ex-convicts who have ‘been in Federal prison for 20 years.’
He said: ‘We will become the majority there is no doubt. Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Leith.’
If you follow the NFL closely, you've heard the story about Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Martin left the team, claiming that Incognito was bullying him. In the last couple of days stories have been surfacing from the Miami players that, no, Richie isn't a bully.
This is what we know: Martin was a two-time All-American lineman in college. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins last year to play left tackle. We also know that ever since high school Incognito, for whatever reasons, has been kicked off a number of teams he's played on. Incognito is now indefinitely suspended pending (apparently) a team investigation.
One figures that it men who are six and a half feet tall and weigh over 300 pounds just can't be bullied. Maybe "bully" is the wrong term.
We have phone calls where Incognito left phone messages for Martin, calling him an n[word], telling him he was going to [defecate] in Martin's mouth, and threatening to kill Martin's mother. The counter story is that Incognito was merely trying to motivate his teammate.
In most of the world this kind of motivation doesn't work. Martin, whose parents are lawyers and who graduated from Stanford, apparently didn't get motivated by this. When Bill Walsh was a coach he didn't abide hazing or bullying. Jim Harbaugh, the current Niners coach and Martin's coach in Stanford, doesn't allow for it. This is his second year with the team. At some point, if as some rumors have it, coaches on the team wanted to "toughen up" Martin perhaps they might have noticed that their strategy wasn't working. If they were completely unaware of Incognito's motivational speeches over the course of two seasons, then maybe there is a problem with communications skills of the coaching staff.
Some defenders of Incognito say, "Hey, everyone uses the n[word] in locker rooms. Richie was an honorary brother." He apparently wasn't Jonathan Martin's honorary brother. I've never had an honorary brother threaten to kill my mother and s[word] in my mouth. If I did I don't think I'd get all warm and cuddly and brotherly.
Granted, I got cut from my high school freshman football team because I wasn't aggressive enough, so I haven't had lots of experience in towel-slapping locker room antics.
But I think that the big point here is the simple "different strokes for different folks" and when you find that something isn't working then you try something else.
Now it sounds like a lawsuit of some sort may be coming. Incognito, who's bounced from team to team because of his effervescent personality quirks, may be nearing the end of career. Maybe, despite his bona fides in college, Martin isn't cut out to be a pro football player. Or maybe he'll end up playing on a team where the coaches have better human relations skills.
I wouldn't bet on the health of Miami quarterbacks with two starting linemen off the team.
German chancellor Angela Merkel may regret having made a stink about the US spying on Germany. Why? Because they spy on us.
For two decades, a quiet office park outside Frankfurt has served as home to Project Rahab, a cyber-espionage operation named after the prostitute in the Book of Joshua who helps spies infiltrate Jericho. According to the National Security Council's Operations SecurityIntelligence Threat Handbook, Project Rahab is an arm of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Of note, the BND is directly subordinate to German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Project Rahab uses SIGINT -- intelligence based on interception of signals, conversations and electronic communications -- to gather information on foreign business competition that can benefit German companies. BND officers have penetrated computer networks and databases in countries including Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy, and the United States.
In his book Spies Among Us, former NSA intelligence and computer systems analyst Ira Winkler details Project Rahab hackers' successful infiltration of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which provides the network for financial institutions worldwide to send and receive trillions of dollars in a secure and reliable environment. The ability to monitor SWIFT transactions would provide German businesses a leg up -- at least. (As it happens, last month, the German magazine Der Spiegel used documents acquired by Edward Snowden to break the news that the NSA monitors SWIFT.)
Project Rahab poses a far greater threat to U.S. national security. Of particular concern, according to Winkler, is "the apparent willingness of German businesses to funnel sensitive information and technology to nations that are hostile to the United States." For example, Iran. Much of what Iran has acquired is nuclear technology.
Yesterday, BND head Gerhard Schindler issued the following denial to the Zeit online news site: "No telecommunication-intelligence is conducted from the German embassy in Washington." Not exactly a denial of spying on us, is it?
This is all old news to the intelligence community. As British Prime Minister Palmerston told the House of Commons in 1848, "We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." Adds longtime CIA operations officer Fred Rustmann, whose book CIA, Inc. covers Volkswagen's mid-'90s theft of secrets from General Motors, "All countries spy on one another if they have the capability. The only possible exception is the U.S. and U.K., who have a special relationship. [Today's] scandal isn't that we were intercepting Merkel's phone calls, it's that we couldn't keep it secret."
And apparently some folks in Great Britain think that our globetrotting former-NSA employee Edward Snowden is actually working for the German spy agency, BND.In a clear attempt to remove prying eyes from Germany's continuing efforts to create World Germanica 3, German asset Snowden (who undoubtedly will eventually end up in Germany protected by the BND) has provided the information required for Germany to play victim of the big bad USA again.
Looks like Pepe Escobar has nailed it again.
Don't count on a female Saudi playwright writing a 21st century remix of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger starring a bunch of non-working class Saudi royals. But anger it is - from King Abdullah downwards; not only at the UN's "double standards" but especially - hush hush - at the infidel Obama administration.
This is the official Saudi explanation for spurning a much-coveted two-year term at the UN Security Council, only hours after its nomination.
No wonder the House of Saud's unprecedented self-beheading move was praised only by the usual minion suspects; petro-monarchies of the Gulf Counter-revolution Club, aka Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well as Egypt, who now depends on Saudi money to pay its bills and barely survive.
Kuwait shared Riyadh's pain, enough to send "a message to the world". The UAE said the UN now had the "historical responsibility" to review its role. Bahrain - invaded by the Saudis in 2001 - stressed the "clear and courageous stand". Cairo said the whole thing was "brave".
How brave, indeed, to lobby Arab and Pacific nations for two years, and to spend a fortune training a dozen diplomats in New York for months just to say "no" when you get the prize. The House of Saud would have replaced Pakistan with a Pacific seat; Morocco stays until 2015, in an African seat. As early as five months ago the Saudi seat was considered a done deal at the UN.
NSA-worthy torrents of bits have flowed speculating over the Saudi's alleged "reformist agenda" or "principled position" on R2P (the Responsibility to Protect doctrine), Palestine and turning the Middle East into a weapons-free zone.
To his credit, King Abdullah had advanced a plan for Palestine since 2002 based on a two-state solution and a return to the pre-1967 borders.
But there has been no follow-up pressure on Israel; on the contrary, Riyadh is allied with Tel Aviv on setting Syria on fire. That implies no effort to include nuclear power Israel in a weapons-free Middle East. As for the Saudi version of R2P, it only applies to a sectarian "protection" of Sunnis in Syria.
Apart from a few Middle Eastern spots, no one is seriously losing sleep over the adolescent Saudi move - which displays a curious notion of leverage, as in choosing a PR spin reinventing the corrupt petro-monarchy as the "principled" champions of a cause (UN reform) just as they might have a crack at trying to influence it from within.
That would have implied more scrutiny. For instance, this Monday the Human Rights Council, another UN institution, duly blasted Saudi Arabia on its sterling record of discrimination against women and sectarianism, following reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. As a member of the UN Security Council, the discrepancy between the medievalist reality inside Saudi Arabia and its lofty "reformist" agenda would be even more glaring.
I want my kafir fluid
A bottle of that precious kafir fluid, Chateau Petrus - much prized by itinerant Saudi princes in London - may be bet that the "dump the UN" decision came straight from the leading camel's mouth. And now that the House of Saud has decided to keep displaying its "influence" from the outside, nothing makes more sense than the resurfacing of Bandar Bush - who this summer was christened by King Abdullah as the man in charge of the Syrian jihad.
The perennial Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal had lunch with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Prince's very private luxury digs in Paris this Monday. The mystery is which kafir fluid was consumed; no doubts though in the official, harmless spin; they agreed on a nuclear-free Iran, an end to the war in Syria and a "stable" Egypt. Before the Paris bash, during the weekend, Bandar Bush was already in his trademark full gear, openly announcing to European diplomats in Riyadh that he will buy his Syria-bound weapons somewhere else, will dissociate his scheme from the CIA, and will train "his" rebels with other players, mostly France and Jordan.
The Wall Street Journal has the story, which predictably has not surfaced in Arab media (90% of it controlled by different branches of the House of Saud).
Even more interesting is two other pieces of information leaked by diplomats. The House of Saud wanted the US to provide them with targets to be hit inside Syria when Obama's kinetic whatever would start. Washington adamantly refused.
Better yet; Washington allegedly told Riyadh the US would not be able to defend the Shi'ite majority, oil-rich Eastern Province if the Tomahawks started flying over Syria. Imagine the horror show in Riyadh; after all, mob protection against petrodollars recycled/invested in the US economy is the basis of this dysfunctional marriage for nearly seven decades.
So that should lead us to the now much hyped "independent Saudi foreign policy posture" to be implemented in relation to Washington. Don't hold your breath.
As much as the House of Saud is completely paranoid regarding the Obama administration's latest moves, throwing a fit will not change the way the geopolitical winds are blowing. Iran's geopolitical ascent is inevitable. A Syrian solution is on the horizon. No one wants batshit crazy jihadis roaming free from Syria to Iraq to the wider Middle East.
The Saudi spin about creating "a new security arrangement for the Arab world" is a joke - as depicted by Saudi-financed shills such as this.
The bottom line is that an angry, fearful House of Saud does not have what it takes to confront benign protector Washington. Throwing a fit - as in crying to attract attention - is for geopolitical babies. Without the US - or "the West" - who's gonna run the Saudi energy industry? PhD-deprived camels? And who's gonna sell (and maintain) those savory weapons? Who's going to defend them for smashing the true spirit of the Arab Spring, across the GCC and beyond?
Perennial Foreign Minister Prince Saud is gravely ill. He will be replaced by a recently appointed deputy prime minister.
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the king's son. Instead of a "principled" stance against "double standards", the House of Saud move at the UN feels more like nepotism.
In prepared remarks given in advance to the Huffington Post, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka warns Democrats against accepting any budget deal that includes cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and even goes so far as to threaten to end the career of any politician who fails to heed his call.
“No politician … I don’t care the political party … will get away with cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Don’t try it,” Trumka says, according to the Huffington Post. “This warning goes double for Democrats,” he continues. “We will never forget. We will never forgive. And we will never stop working to end your career.”
While Trumka has previously made a point of distancing the AFL-CIO from Democrats, his speech nevertheless is one of the more high profile signs of potential schisms in the Democratic Party’s coalition. The AFL-CIO opposes two significant provisions in President Obama’s 2014 budget: “chained CPI” — and adjustment in how Social Security measures inflation that would amount to a benefit cut — and means testing for some Medicare recipients.
It isn’t clear yet how entitlement cuts will figure in the post-shutdown budget talks, but it’s possible they’ll become part a new “grand bargain” discussion on Capitol Hill.
Saying he had a “sinking feeling that too many politicians are ready to put the hurt on regular working people,” Trumka argued that lawmakers should be increasingSocial Security payments rather than cutting them. He said we live in a time of “self-imposed scarcity” that’s driven by “fear” rather than logic.
“Millions of Americans are afraid Social Security might not be there for them,” Trumka said. “We cannot listen to that fear and believe Social Security is the problem. It isn’t. The fear is. Instead of cutting Social Security, which will make the fear come true, we should, as a nation, invest in Social Security. Increase benefits.”
Texas, beneath the radar of higher-profile national races, will hold elections this fall to address a number of proposed constitutional amendments. Though none of the nine proposed amendments are exactly headline-grabbing (one officially eliminates a state agency that shut down more than 25 years ago, for example) the election will be the first in which the state’s infamous new voter ID laws will be in effect.
The anticipated impact of these new laws on suppressing minority votes has been well documented, but the effect of new laws on women has received markedly less attention.
The new Texas law requires all voters to provide a photo ID that reflects their current name. If they cannot, voters must provide any of a series of other acceptable forms of identification all of which must match exactly and match the name on their birth certificate.
Supporters of these new laws insist that requiring voters to have an ID that matches their birth certificate is a reasonable requirement. As Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has repeatedly said, "Almost every single person either has a valid photo ID … or it is very easy to get one." What they don’t say, however, is that the people who don’t are largely married women who have taken their husband’s name.
In fact, only 66% of women have an ID that reflects their current name. If any voter is using name different than what appears on their birth certificate, the voter is required to show proof of name change by providing an original or certified copy of their marriage license, divorce decree, or court ordered name change. Photocopies aren’t accepted.
Now ask a woman who’s been married for years where her original marriage certificate is. Ask a woman who’s been divorced — maybe more than once — where all the divorce decrees are. Ask elderly women where their original birth certificate is.
As Elisabeth Genn, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, has noted, "While some women do have access to the entire chain of documents that connects their current name with birth name — including birth certificates and marriage licenses — that’s not always the case."
Ordering a new copy of your birth certificate or marriage verification means travelling in person to the state capital, something largely impossible for senior citizens or people with day jobs, and paying the $22 to have a certified copy printed. You can also wait 6-8 weeks to have it mailed to you and pay $22 plus up to $19.95 in mailing costs.
That is assuming, of course, that you already have several forms of identification. If you don’t, a U.S. District Court has estimated that many Texans would have to travel up to 250 miles to receive a "free" election ID card and pay all the additional fees associated with providing documentation to explain their name change.
More importantly, women who have been voting the same way for years will likely go to the polls in the same way they always have, unaware the changes mean they can no longer vote and that they, in all likelihood, would have needed to begin the process to acquire copies of their legal documents months beforehand.
Meanwhile, men who are married or divorced don’t typically change their name and are therefore not required to submit any additional supporting documents. The extra forms of identification, extra fees, extra travel and, in many cases, exorbitant waiting times mean that the acquiring the documents necessary to legally vote amounts to a poll tax that applies only to women. While lawmakers may say that those are small barriers, necessary to ensure the integrity of the voting process, they’re barriers that only apply to certain segments of the population.
It’s no coincidence that Republican-controlled state governments are making it harder for women to vote following a presidential election with the largest gender gap in recorded history. It’s certainly no coincidence that the same states legislators who are passing alarming new restrictions on abortion and birth control are the same ones making it harder for women to vote them out of office.
While some Republican lawmakers insist these new rules are designed only to combat voter fraud, (note: in Texas there have only 37 individual cases voter fraud since 2000), others are more honest and admit that these laws will make it easier for Republicans to win elections, since the groups predominantly affected by the new rules tend to vote Democrat.
Despite a ruling from a U.S. District Court that declared the law unconstitutional, recent Supreme Court rulings that invalidated sections of the Voting Rights Act meant Texas could move forward to enforce the law anyway. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Department of Justice will sue Texas over the law, saying that it "will take action against jurisdictions that attempt to hinder access to the ballot box, no matter where it occurs" and that he will "keep fighting aggressively to prevent voter disenfranchisement."
But as November 5th approaches, we’re reminded that elections are taking place whether or not the law is successfully blocked in court. In 2014, midterm Congressional and gubernatorial elections will be in full swing at the same time that similar voter ID restrictions go into effect in states across the country.
That means this time next year, it won’t just be Texas and it won’t just be nine obscure amendments to a state constitution. Millions of women, young and old, could go to the polls just like they always have and realize that, this time, the only thing they’ll be allowed to do is watch their husbands vote.
24 Billion. It wasn't just fun and games.
The budget agreement Congress reached Wednesday cheered investors and removed the threat of a catastrophic debt default that could have triggered another recession.
Yet the temporary nature of the deal means a cloud will remain over a sluggish U.S. economy that was further slowed by the government's partial shutdown.
Political fights over taxing and spending will persist over the next few months. The risk of another government shutdown and doubts about the government's borrowing authority remain. Businesses and consumers may still spend and invest at the same cautious pace they have since the Great Recession officially ended more than four years ago.
The agreement, expected to be approved by the House and Senate late Wednesday, will reopen the government but only until Jan. 15. The deal would enable the United States to keep borrowing to pay its bills, but not past Feb. 7.
The deal followed a two-week shutdown and came a day before a Treasury Department deadline to raise the nation's $16.7 trillion debt limit.
"The good news is that we avoid hitting the debt ceiling and all the risks that entails," said Joel Prakken, co-founder of Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm. "The bad news is ... this hasn't produced any clarity. We're going to be right back at this again after the turn of the year."
The stock market soared on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 206 points. Bond investors celebrated, too. They sharply drove down the yield on the one-month Treasury bill, which would have come due around the time a default could have occurred. And the yield on the 10-year Treasury, a benchmark for rates on mortgages and other loans, fell.
Investors may now turn to what typically moves stock prices: corporate earnings and economic data. Wall Street is in the midst of earnings season.
"We can go back to focusing on the true reason why stocks are higher: the rebound in housing, rising corporate profits, the resurgence in manufacturing," said Doug Cote, chief investment strategist for ING U.S. Investment Management.
By itself, the partial government shutdown will have only a limited effect on economic growth, analysts said. Most forecast that the shutdown will dent growth by about 0.15 percentage point per week. But federal employees will receive back pay, suggesting that much of the lost spending could be made up.
Standard & Poor's estimated that the shutdown has shaved at least 0.6 percentage point from the economy's annual growth rate in the October-December quarter. It calculated that that means the shutdown took $24 billion out of the economy.
S&P now expects the economy to grow at a tepid annual rate of roughly 2 percent this quarter. In September, it had predicted a 3 percent growth rate.
"The U.S. economy dodged a bullet today," said Paul Edelstein, an economist at IHS Global Insight. "But the reprieve will be short. ... The stage is set for another showdown in January."
IHS lowered its forecast for growth in the October-December quarter to a 1.6 percent annual rate from a 2.2 percent rate.
The new deadlines to fund the government and raise the borrowing limit that are now a few months away could also weigh on growth in the first quarter of 2014.
A study by Prakken's firm found that uncertainty over future government policies tends to raise borrowing costs for businesses and consumers, depress stock markets and lower business and consumer confidence. Uncertainty surrounding government tax and budget policies has remained far above historical norms since 2009, Prakken said.
Higher borrowing costs typically make companies less likely to invest and hire. Lower stock markets reduce household wealth and can cut into consumer spending. Macroeconomic Advisers estimates that these factors have slowed growth by 0.3 percentage point each year since 2010.
A report from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered fresh evidence of the economic impact of the shutdown and debt limit fight. The Fed's report on economic conditions in its 12 banking districts found that employers in several districts were reluctant to hire because of uncertainty surrounding budget policies and the new health care law.
Manufacturing growth slowed in the New York region in October, builders were less confident in the housing recovery and growth slowed in four Fed districts. All the reports cited the federal shutdown and impasse over the debt limit as reasons for the declines.
Several companies have also cited the shutdown as a likely drag on sales and earnings. Stanley Black & Decker, the tool maker, on Wednesday lowered its profit forecast for this year. It blamed, in part, "uncertainty created by the U.S. government's (budget cuts) and shutdown and its impact on business, consumer confidence and spending levels."
Linear Technology, a semiconductor company, on Tuesday lowered its revenue outlook for the final three months of the year because of the shutdown.
Some analysts think the Fed is now unlikely to slow its monthly bond purchases until well into next year. The Fed has been buying $85 billion a month in Treasury and mortgage bonds to try to keep long-term interest rates low.
The full economic effect of the budget standoff could take a month or more to assess because the release of so much economic data has been delayed. And Drew Matus, an economist at UBS, says that much of the economic data will be distorted by the effect of the shutdown, making it harder to discern underlying trends.
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits, for example, spiked last week, partly because of workers who were temporarily laid off by government contractors and other affected companies. Those figures are collected by the states.
"We're in the dark," says Robert DiClemente, chief U.S. economist at Citigroup. "It's going to be a while until we have good answers to all these questions."