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Showing posts from August, 2012

It's Like He Thinks We're Not Paying Attention

This post has been updated - see belowFour days before Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, Rush Limbaugh said:"I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance.'…"I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed.…"Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails."On the night of Inauguration Day, Congressional Republicans from the House and Senate met over dinner. Robert Draper, in his book "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives," described the dinner meeting:During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he would not …

Chris Christie: More Rhetoric Than Truth

"All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Romans done for us?" - Monty Python's Life of BrianAt the beginning of his speech, when recounting his family's background, Governor Christie may have slipped up a bit: on "We Built That" night at the Republican National Convention, he allowed as to how his father benefited from the GI Bill, and how his grandmother relied heavily on public transportation:They both lived hard lives. Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.Mom also came from nothing.…

Robert Reich: The Romney-Ryan Economic Plan

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Why It's Hard To Take The Right Wing Seriously

Part 1:#InObamasAmerica The unemployed are rewarded more than those who work everyday.— RightWingGirls (@RightWingGirls) August 21, 2012Part 2:#IAmNotADemocratBecause I am an informed citizen.— RightWingGirls (@RightWingGirls) August 26, 2012

Up With Chris Hayes: Paul Ryan Defended Stimulus in 2002, When George W. Bush Wanted It

This morning's Up With Chris Hayes has an amazing segment featuring Rep. Paul Ryan defending the stimulus... in 2002, when George W. Bush was advocating for it:Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy The full writeup is a must-read piece.

MoveOn: Revealed: The GOP Strategy

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World War II Veteran Ralph Maxwell says 4 More Years!

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Voting is a right, not a privilege

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

How Caterpillar Is Helping to Destroy the Middle Class

"The strikers often insisted that it was wrong for Caterpillar to call for a six-year wage freeze when the company, the world’s leading producer of earth-moving equipment, had record profits of $4.9 billion last year and forecasts stronger earnings this year. Moreover, many strikers bristle at a pay freeze because compensation for Caterpillar’s chief executive, Douglas R. Oberhelman, jumped by 60 percent in 2011, to $16.9 million." (source)On one hand, a six-year wage freeze for its employees. On the other hand, record profits for the company, and a 60 percent raise for its chief executive.Greed is not an American value, but it does seem to be a Caterpillar corporate policy.Update: Caterpillar and the striking workers have agreed to a deal, and it's a horrible one. Under the new deal:Caterpillar breaks the link between profits and pay;Health care premiums will be doubled;Pensions are eliminated.Why did Caterpillar do this? Because they could. Remember that, the next time…

Nan Hayworth - The Millionaires

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Timothy Noah: Paul Ryan Hearts Unemployment

Timothy Noah, writing in The New Republic:"Ryan's opposition to Fed stimulus is so pronounced that he's been accused of trying to sabotage the economy to help the GOP win back the presidency. That's a hard case to make, considering that he was pushing to repeal Humphrey-Hawkins before Obama was even elected. The more mundane truth is that he's an ideologue who thinks the government shouldn't lift a finger to reduce unemployment."He's not alone - we've chronicled the numerous examples of callousRepublicanindifferencetowardsthe unemployed.

Romney-Ryan 2012: Grifting on Jobs

From Greg Sargent's Plum Line:"The current Moody's Analytics baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016 (134 million to 146)."However, the economic assumptions embedded in our forecast include only an extension of Bush-era tax rates for those under 250K, which is more closely aligned with the Obama administration's position. We also assume a bipartisan deal to scale back sequestration and achieve a long-run fiscally sustainable path, with Democrats accepting reforms to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for the increase in top tax rates."In effect, therefore, Romney is essentially promising no more jobs than we currently expect to gain under proposals similar to those advanced by the Obama administration. There's not enough in Romney's plan to estimate how many jobs it would create. If he's saying the net change will be 12 million jobs, that's exactly what we'…

David Frum: The Coming Democratic Attack Barrage

David Frum, writing in The Daily Beast:"The likely script of the next attack ad. A woman in her later 40s, looking worried at a kitchen table. She's probably vaguely Latino; the photos on her refrigerator (kids, no dad) suggest a single mom."A woman's voice over. 'You've worked hard all your life. You've paid Medicare taxes for almost 30 years. But under the Republican plan, Medicare won't be there for you. Instead of Medicare as it exists now, under the Republican plan you'll get a voucher that will pay as little as half your Medicare costs when you turn 65—and as little as a quarter in your 80s. And all so that millionaires and billionaires can have a huge tax cut.'"That ad will draw blood and will — as Henry Kissinger used to say — have the additional merit of being true."

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Back to the Failed Top-Down Policies

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Quote of the Day, Ayn Ryan Edition

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
John Rogers

Daily Intel: Why Washington Accepts Mass Unemployment

Jonathan Chait, writing in New York magazine:"In the years since the collapse of 2008, the existence of mass unemployment has stopped being something the economic powers that be even pretend to regard as a crisis. To those directly impacted, the economic crisis is an emergency, a life-altering disaster the damage from which will endure for years. But most of those in a position to address it simply have not seen it in such terms. History will record that the economic elite has viewed the economic crisis from a perspective of detached complacency."…"For millions and millions of Americans, the economic crisis is the worst event of their lives. They have lost jobs, homes, health insurance, opportunities for their children, seen their skills deteriorate, and lost their sense of self-worth. But from the perspective of those in a position to alleviate their suffering, the crisis is merely a sad and distant tragedy."

Your Daily Mr. Pierce

From Charlie Pierce, on today's jobs report:"...the numbers are moving, and the president is committed, for good or ill, to creating measured progress back from a precipitous crisis. His is the slow and steady pace."It's Willard Romney who is the get-rich-quick huckster now. He is making the fundamentally radical proposal — a radicalism limned precisely by the analysis of his tax plan — that we return to the policies that created the debacle in the first place, that we abandon patience for the quick-fix nostrums of supply-side theory and for the even more profound poisons being peddled by Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin, that we abandon the ant for the grasshopper. Rommey is the candidate of the unlimited credit card, of the magic asterisk, of the underpants gnome. He's the candidate of crazy risk and unlikely reward. You want to look at a radical, don’t look at the Tax Policy Center. Look at the guy with the dancing horse.&q…

BLS Measures of Labor Underutilization since the start of the Great Recession

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This chart illustrates the six measures of labor underutilization that the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes every month in their Employment Situation report.Everyone is familiar with the highlighted row: UNRATE is the official unemployment rate. The other five are defined as follows:MeasureDefinitionU-1Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor forceU-2Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor forceU-4Total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workersU-5Total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor forceU-6Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally …

Obama for America: Stretch

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Elizabeth Warren for MA: Rebuild

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