Whether it's a Tiffany diamond or a three-year-old lawnmower, more and more Americans from all social classes are pawning their possessions to make ends meet.
Pawn shop owners see strong business across the country, even in unexpected locales like Beverly Hills, the mecca of luxury living and shopping.
"Banks aren't lending so people are coming here for short-term loans against collateral like diamonds, watches and other jewelry," said Jordan Tabach-Bank, CEO of Beverly Loan Co, self-described "pawnbroker to the stars."
Detroit automakers are awaiting a financial lifeline from the White House to provide short-term stability to two companies on the brink of collapse which the Bush administration is currently working on.
"An abrupt bankruptcy for autos could be devastating for the economy," President George W. Bush told reporters Monday aboard Air Force One during an unannounced trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. "We're now in the process of working with the stakeholders on a way forward. We're not quite ready to announce that yet."
Republicans and Democrats alike are calling for Illinois lawmakers to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. Rod Blagojevich, saying the step is necessary to restore public confidence in state government.
"The General Assembly must move to impeach Rod Blagojevich immediately," said DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett, a potential Republican candidate for governor in 2010.
"We should have started yesterday," agreed Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat.
Does the news media need a government bailout?
Consider the news of recent weeks: Tribune -- owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune -- filed for bankruptcy. Scripps announced it would sell or close the Rocky Mountain News. The New York Times said it would borrow $225 million to keep its operations running. The Miami Herald is for sale. And everywhere else, it seemed, layoffs were cutting news staffs to the bone.
When Barack Obama talks about America's deplorable health insurance problems, he speaks with undeniable passion. So what is he proposing?
For starters, he wants a national dialogue. Shades of Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration plans to encourage Americans to have house parties focused on health care, the most expensive in the world but far from adequate. Then Obama wants a national conclave in Washington. At least the meetings will be open and public, unlike Clinton's task force.
The "nasty" U.S. recession will tighten its grip next year as unemployment rises and weak home and stock prices imperil consumers, finance firms and debt-laden businesses, a UCLA Anderson Forecast report released on Thursday said.
Additionally, a sustained retreat in prices for goods and services is a very real possibility that would further drag on the economy, according to the forecasting unit's report.
The Supreme Court has declined to hear an emergency appeal seeking to have Barack Obama declared ineligible to be president because he is half British and thus has dual citizenship and, therefore, is not a "natural born citizen."
Another appeal is pending -- and facing certain denial -- alleging that Obama was born in Kenya and that he might also have taken Indonesian citizenship as a child or that he might even have been born in Indonesia and adopted there.
ACTION MEMO TO: President-elect Barack Obama & Veterans Affairs Secretary-designate General Eric Shinseki.
RE: Why We Need to Re-Name the VA _ to the Department of Veterans Advocacy.
America's military veterans have every reason to be elated at the President-elect's selection of General Shinseki to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs and every reason to be hopeful upon hearing their determination to fix, at last, what is wrong with way our nation treats those who have fought our battles.
Blackwater is bad news, currently quite literally. The sizable corporation, established in 1997, has evolved into one of the most prominent - and profitable - of a growing array that provide military services, including firepower.
Now, five Blackwater representatives have been indicted by the Justice Department for allegedly killing without sufficient provocation seventeen Iraqi civilians at a vehicle intersection last year. A sixth guard has pled guilty to lesser charges and is assisting federal authorities.
President-elect Obama has disclosed a few more details of his plan to rescue the economy, but left out key specifics -- like how much it will cost.
But it will be big. Obama said it would be the largest public-works project since construction of the interstate highway system began in the 1950s. (For the record, the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1991 put the final cost of the system at $128.9 billion, almost all of it federal money.)