Archive for June 8, 2011
From a caller on Thom Hartmann‘s show today:
“Small businesses don’t want tax cuts. They want customers!”
Ah, yeah. Give people jobs and thus money and they’ll frequent small businesses.
Why is this so hard?
I don’t know why this pix popped up on my desktop. Maybe it’s an omen. Maybe it has something to do with the Anthony Weiner thing and about how lying about sex is SO terrible but starting a war based on a lie isn’t.
“Geithner Finds His Footing.” That would be the title of a profile of Tim Giethner published by the Washington Post today.
This short, opening paragraph alone explains why Geithner is the wrong man for these times and why Obama is a fool for keeping him on:
Geithner has not only survived but quietly gained influence, which he has used to press President Obama to curb the nation’s soaring debt even at the expense of spending that might more directly spur employment.
Geithner should be flipping burgers somewhere. After all, he was implicit in the Wall Street collapse but for all intents and purposes, he’s Obama’s best bud right now.
I don’t blame Geithner for what’s happening now. I blame Obama.
Psychologists will have a field day analyzing Obama’s tenure: Intelligent yet extraordinarily weak and immature and, apparently, enthralled by power.
This is the video version of an op-ed by Bill McKibben, author and founder of 350.org, published in the Washington Post on May 23. It was narrated and illustrated by Plomomedia. It’s about the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing lately.
Here is a kick-ass article from Bob Herbert about the utter emergency — crisis — that is the state of employment, or rather, unemployment, in the United States:
It was eerie. My wife went into a CVS Pharmacy on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Memorial Day and there was no one behind the bank of registers near the front of the store. When it came time to pay for her purchases, a woman directed her to a self-service register near the front door. My wife scanned and bagged the purchases herself, each step guided by a computerized, affect-less woman’s voice, similar to the voice in a GPS device. Customers paying cash could insert bills into a slot like the ones on a vending machine. Change (including coins) and a receipt were promptly issued. At the end of the transaction, the computerized voice said, “Thank you for shopping CVS.”
Welcome to the increasingly soulless world of rapidly shrinking employment opportunities in the U.S. We’ve been pretending for too long that something approaching normalcy is just around the corner, another era of good jobs at good wages, ready to embrace us like an old friend. Any day now the middle class will be reconstituted. The American dream will be taken off of life support.
Get over it. It is long past time to recognize that we are in the midst of a howling, long-term employment crisis that needs to be treated, as F.D.R. once said, “as we would treat the emergency of a war.” I went into the CVS store a few days after Memorial Day to see what it was like on a non-holiday morning. There was still no one behind the registers. There were also very few customers. An employee working on the floor said the store planned to staff its regular registers only during the busiest hours. He added, with an embarrassed, somewhat ironic smile, “This is the future.”
We’re in a different era now – an era of declining living standards and a much bleaker future than Americans had become accustomed to. We know what needs to be done: Men and women should be put to work rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. The education system needs to be revamped in ways that produce additional millions of students who are well-trained, creative and capable of critical thinking at a very high level. Green energy industries need to be developed on a massive scale. And so on.
But there is no chance, given the embarrassingly dysfunctional political environment in Washington, that any of the bold steps needed to ease the jobs crisis and brighten the nation’s future will be taken. The politicians have abdicated their responsibility, thus insuring that the long dark night of the American economy will continue.
If you have time, read the whole thing. It’s not that long.
Every politician in D.C. should be required to read it three times a day.
President Obama has disappointed so many people:
President Obama has failed to answer Republican attacks on environmental safeguards “forcefully and persuasively” and to articulate his own vision for conserving American wilderness and water, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt charged Tuesday.
Babbitt, who served under President Clinton, said in an interview that he would lay out his concerns about the Republican environmental agenda and the Obama administration’s response in a speech in Washington on Wednesday.
It’s rare for a political figure of Babbitt’s stature to reproach publicly a sitting president of his own party. But Obama has faced blunt criticism from old allies on a range of issues after compromising with Republicans who control the House.”
I tell you, I had no idea I was voting Republican when I cast my ballot for Obama in November of ’08.