Friday, October 15, 2010

Did The Stimulus Create Any Employment?

   Well, of course it did but you would not know it when listening to the Republicans talking. the GOP had made it plain after Barack Obama and the Democrats took over that they would do anything possible to make sure that Obama got nothing done while in the White House, and they have kept their word. So now,with the mid-terms only a few short weeks away the Democrats are looking at some pretty good losses in both the House and the Senate because no one paid attention to the “dead” Republican party which would not see a return to any sort of power in the near future. The Democratic party has been sleeping at the wheel and so have the American people. This is what the Republicans can count on year after year.

    Here are the Republicans at work spreading their falsehoods.


The economic stimulus package is a favorite target of Republican candidates and groups, but more than a few ads falsely claim it did not create or save any jobs. Some recent examples:

  • Republican House candidate Dan Debicella charges that Democratic Rep. Jim Himes failed Connecticut’s families because he voted for a "stimulus package that has done nothing to reduce unemployment."
  • Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for governor in Florida, says Democrat Alex Sink "backed the failed stimulus bill, which created debt, not jobs."
  • Similarly, Sink — who never served in Congress and didn’t vote on the bill — is attacked by the Republican Party of Florida in an ad that says the stimulus "gave us big debt and no jobs."
  • Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that does not have to disclose its donors, aired an ad against Democratic congressional candidate Denny Heck of Washington that claimed the "$787 billion stimulus … failed to save and create jobs." The group has launched similar ads against other Democrats.
  • Kristi Noem, a Republican House candidate from South Dakota, calls the measure a "jobless stimulus."

The truth is that the stimulus increased employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million people, compared with what employment would have been otherwise. That’s according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.



The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the stimulus bill, has been featured in more than 130 TV ads this year, according to a database maintained by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. In many of those ads, Republicans claim the bill has "failed" (a matter of opinion) or state (correctly) that unemployment has gone up since President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Feb. 17, 2009. The national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in February 2009, and it now stands at 9.6 percent, having peaked at 10.1 percent in October 2009.

But it’s just false to say that the stimulus created "no jobs" or "failed to save and create jobs" or "has done nothing to reduce unemployment" – or similar claims that the stimulus did not produce any jobs.

As we have written before, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report in August that said the stimulus bill has "[l]owered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points" and "[i]ncreased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million."

Simply put, more people would be unemployed if not for the stimulus bill. The exact number of jobs created and saved is difficult to estimate, but nonpartisan economists say there’s no doubt that the number is positive.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is America A Scared Country?

   Posted at Watching America

A Frightened Superpower

By Ansgar Graw
Translated By Ron Argentati

Edited by Sam Carter

9/11, the economic crisis, China: Americans are afraid. For the first time, their pioneer spirit seems to have reached its limits.
Jokes about German Anxiety were popular for many years in the English-speaking world. In past decades, Germans in the old Federal Republic worried about Soviet nuclear weaponry and worried even more about their ally America and the upgrades to their own nuclear arsenal. After that, Germans feared a new ice age, acid rain, dying forests, nuclear energy and the greenhouse effect. “German Angst” was defined in American dictionaries as the German propensity for brooding and insecurity.
But almost unnoticed, the term “Angst” got separated from the modifier “German” some years ago. How the Germans managed the east-west reunification of their nation, their approach to reforming social systems and the deployment of German troops to Afghanistan all contributed to the decline of the German stereotype that, according to the lyric poet Hölderlin, was “all thought but little action.”

  The Chinese want to take over the world:
Meanwhile, insecurity has spread throughout the United States; it’s an insecurity that just doesn’t befit a 20th century world superpower. Americans are anxious. Not only do they fear terrorists; they’re afraid of Islam and even mosques, whether they’re near ground zero or in the backwoods of Tennessee. They’re afraid of Sharia law, something that a whole two percent of American Muslims would like to see included in the U.S. Constitution. They fear India, free trade and, above all, they’re afraid of China. A salesman at Sears sighs, “This vacuum cleaner is made in China and so is this microwave and even this coffee pot. The Chinese want to take over the world. I hope I’m not around to see that.”
Americans are afraid that the United Nations is interfering in their affairs. They’re afraid that Europe, and especially Germany, exports too much. Americans are afraid of illegal immigrants as well as Wall Street; afraid of big government at the same time they fear the government is too weak to protect them. They fear progress and they fear stagnation. They fear more of Obama and they fear a return of George W. Bush.

America Has Always Suffered Setbacks:
With all the despondency apparent in the debate, the United States no longer reminds us of the nation that was victorious in two world wars; a nation that eradicated the Soviet Union with a Cold War; a country that landed men on the moon and paved the way for the Internet and the digital revolution.
The fact that the U.S.’s attempts to export democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan have failed so far were setbacks. But setbacks have been common throughout American history. The Sputnik shock and Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight seemed to signal the final triumph of communism over capitalism in the ‘50s and ‘60s. But instead of becoming paralyzed, the United States came back with the Apollo space program. Neither the defeat in Vietnam nor the humiliating Iranian takeover of their embassy in Tehran was enough to send the American people into post-traumatic soul-searching.

Callers Were Asked Whether They Spoke English or Spanish

So what’s different now? Why do Americans, whom Robert Kagan described as being from Mars, now come off whinier than the Europeans, whom he decreed came from Venus? Is it because of the global financial crisis that put an end to the belief in limitless growth? Or is it because of the ongoing diversification of society? People calling government offices or large firms in America get an answering machine that inquires whether they speak English or Spanish.
Many Americans worry, “Where has the real America gone?” And the tea party, which came about as an outgrowth of the conservative longing for easily understood differences, frightens those progressives who feel reforms aren’t coming quickly enough.

“Real Americans” Are a Disappearing Breed

In this patchwork nation, “real Americans” are hard to find. But there is something called an average American whose principal trait is eternal optimism. Even American traditionalists have always been forward rather than backward looking. But these days, many Americans are losing faith in tomorrow due to their country’s economic weakness and the rise of new powerhouses, mainly in Asia. For the first time in history, the American pioneer spirit seems to have hit a brick wall geographically, globally, economically and ideologically.
The United States needs new goals. Americans need to go from being large-scale consumers to being exporters again; they need to create new jobs — in the renewable energy sector, for instance. They need to use their super powers to integrate Hispanics and Muslims into their society. It won’t be an easy task, but mastering “American Angst” is an absolute necessity, not only for the U.S. but for Europe as well.




Monday, October 11, 2010

Angry voters? Less Government Programs?

  Then of course, there’s the media trying to get you all to believe that there are many voters who buy into the Tea Party line of bullshit. That’s where this comes in.

Cracks in the Media Frame Propping Up the Tea Party?

by Project Vote
Mon Oct 11, 2010 a

Cross-posted to Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters.

Three weeks after reviewing (and deciding not to cover) Project Vote’s major new survey documenting how out of step the Tea Party’s anti-government agenda is with mainstream voters, the Washington Post has released their own poll confirming many of our findings.

Yesterday the Post reported that their own new survey finds—as Project Vote’s poll did—that there is strong support for government programs that provide a social safety net and protect ordinary people from the predations of the market. "Although Republicans, and many Democrats, have tried to demonize Washington," write Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, "they must contend with the fact that most major government programs remain enormously popular..."

According to the Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University poll, large majorities among the public say that Medicare (96 percent), Social Security (95 percent), food stamps (82 percent), federal aid to public schools (91 percent), unemployment benefits (91 percent) and environmental protection (89 percent) are important government programs. For the functions served by these government programs, large majorities also say they want to see more federal government involvement, not less. For example, 64 percent of respondents said they want to see more federal government involvement in reducing poverty; 61 percent want more government involvement in protecting the environment; and 52 percent want more government involvement in ensuring access to health care. And as our own survey found, presented with a choice, more people want government to spend more now to create jobs and improve the economy (50 percent) than do those who want government to avoid increasing the federal deficit (46 percent).

We undertook our survey of attitudes toward government not knowing what we would find. All we were sure of was that, given our long-standing work in minority and low income communities to encourage voter participation, we were skeptical of the idea promoted by the myopic press coverage of the rise of the Tea Party movement that the majority of Americans share the Tea Party’s strong and angry anti-government views.

Our survey findings were startling, even to us (see, What Happened to Hope and Change? A Poll of 2008 Voters). When we released our poll, we hoped for wide interest among the mainstream media because we thought the story about the silent majority who do not appear to agree with the Tea Party was a blockbuster. This story is urgent because it adds significant new information to the important public debate over the role of government, a story that affects us all.

But it has been a difficult story to convince the media to tell. For more than a year now, the media’s fascination with an apparently "angry" public rising up against alleged government tyranny has seemingly taken priority over the first principles of responsible (objective) journalism. The spectacle of older white people dressing up in Revolutionary War garb and railing against "Obamacare," has held many in the mainstream media hostage to their own prejudices. And the herd mentality of our modern, 24-hour news cycle has only made things worse. By locking in the distorted-but-dominant media frame on the Tea Party as representative of the electorate, the skepticism we expect from good journalism has been locked out. As a result, the mainstream media has not just reported or investigated the news: in beating the drum, it has unwittingly emerged as a vital supporting player, playing in the rise of the Tea Party movement itself.

That said, we are encouraged by the Washington Post’s initiative in digging beneath the surface of apparent voter anger to independently confirm our findings about attitudes toward government. The complexities and contradictions of public opinion that they find should spur on further good journalism. Though our two surveys were designed to be representative of different populations—ours is representative of the 2008 electorate, while theirs is representative of the public at-large—our findings converge in the evidence of a counter-narrative to the Tea Party’s rant. Both surveys reveal significant support for more, not less, government action to address the big problems facing ordinary Americans today.


Test Post

   Once again, Live Writer is having a seizure!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Alcoholic Friend:Final Chapter

Just how much crap is one supposed to take from a sorry-assed person before one says “enough?”

As many of you know from a few past postings of mine, I've been involved with a female who happens to be a hardcore alcoholic with a few mental problems. By involved I do not mean in any type of sexual involvement. That would be the farthest thing from my mind as I have a very low tolerance for drinkers in general.

No, I have wasted my time in trying to help this woman get her act together, and i have just recently realized that I’ve been getting the worst side of the deal. I found this woman living out in the streets and she happened to be doing a little food-stamps sales and a little bit of whoring around with the old men at a county complex in order to pay for her beer habit. All of her so-called friends are nothing but low-life crack heads and pill poppers and alcoholics to top it off. She’d rather listen to those bums than to hear anything that someone who cares about her has to say.

Enough is enough! I’ve had all that i am going to put up with. We’ve been sharing a place for the past 3 months and for the most part it has been a horror story. I leave for work at 6 in the morning and all that she did was lay around drinking that nasty Natural Ice crap which no one in their right mind would consider as a beer. It had got to the point that she’d be drinking when I went to bed at night and she would still be drinking,or drunk, when I got up in the morning. there were burn holes on the couch and beer cans knocked over on the floor with beer still in them. She wouldn’t remember what was said to her only a few hours earlier,much less days before.

She finally did do something that I’d been trying to get her to do for at least the past 10 months. She was getting tired of waking up with the shakes every morning from alcohol withdrawals so she decided to go into a county detox program. I thought that was a good thing and her tri[up to detox lasted for a week before she was released. Sunday,October 9 would have been three weeks for her having been sober. Like I said,would have been. She got a little angry at me earlier in the evening because I got on her a little bit for not restocking the refrigerator with some soda.

That is no big deal but I am a diabetic and I keep cases of diet drinks around the house,which are normally drank by only myself. I keep at least 10 cans in the fridge because I do not like having to drink a warm can of soda when I want one. Ice? That would be great if not for the fact that when I go for ice, the trays are in the freezer and usually empty.

I told her to put some cans in the fridge after she removed the last one, and she got an attitude over it. I usually do it 99% of the time, so if one time killed her to do it, then I have no use for her. So she left about 6 hours ago and just recently sent me a text saying that she was staying at a friends for the night. It don’t work that way in my place. We had an agreement that we do not stay out overnight for any reason. This is an infraction that I will not except since her friend are pretty much worthless when it comes to doing anything of value for anyone.

She called me up a little after the text, and it was very obvious that she was drinking. said she wasn’t coming home and then spat out a lot of obscenities before I hung up.

I AM FINISHED with this creature. She knows now that when she shows up on Sunday that her belongings will be outside on the porch. I’ve had my fill and I've much better things to do with my time.

Readers, you do not know the half of what I’ve gone through with this creature, so many of you will call me an asshole or even worse. I do not really care as it is my sanity that is on the line here.