The Lookout
  • Jobless largely absent from Obama jobs tour?

    Has President Obama's jobs tour been avoiding the jobless?

    "White House officials were unable to give a single example of him interacting, even in private, with a person who had recently lost a job, although they emphasized they don't know every person with whom Obama might have met," reports the Washington Post.

    (Photo: Seth Wenig/AP)

  • Report: America’s pets are fat, fat, fat

    Well, it looks as though its not just Americans becoming increasingly plump in modern times--our pets are getting fatter as well.

    According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight and 20 percent of them are obese--a classification defined by the group as being 30 percent or more above normal weight.

    Reports the Wall Street Journal:

    The main culprit: owners who routinely overfeed pets, don't exercise them enough and are unaware of the severe, and costly, health problems caused by excess weight. Common woes include diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, high blood pressure and cancer. Research also suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer.

    Indeed, Steven Budsberg, director of clinical research at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, told the paper that it's the human owners who are to blame for the epidemic: "I never met a German shepherd who could open

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  • Consumers bullish again

    consumer spendingAmerican consumers are starting to feel better about the economy--but unemployment and housing are still lagging.

    Consumer confidence spiked in February to 70.4, up from 64.8 last month, according to a survey by the Conference Board, a private research group. The figure was significantly better than the 66.0 score that economists had predicted.

    Consumers are also getting a bit less anxious about the labor market: 45.7 percent think jobs are "hard to get"--down from 47 percent in January. An increased number of consumers--4.9 percent--think jobs are "plentiful," up from 4.6 percent. Layoffs have indeed become rarer over the last year, but there are still about 4.5 unemployed workers for every job opening--a very high number by historical standards.

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