Jobs Jobs Jobs

Obama and company just really do not get it, it appears. Jobs are what people want and need:

It was a finely honed machine, this United States Census team, and it had a good run. But in the coming days and weeks, many of its members will experience the pain of unemployment — once again.

Christine Egan, a 31-year-old massage therapist, says her census job offered shelter from the economic storm last year. “The economy was terrible; there was nothing,” she says. “I’ve already gone through ‘horrific,’ so I’m immunized.” She smiles, optimism almost extending to her eyes. “It must be better now, right?”

For some, it is:

While much of the country remains fixated on the bleak employment picture, hiring is beginning to pick up in the place that led the economy into recession — Wall Street.

The shift underscores the remarkable recovery of the biggest banks and brokerage firms since Washington rescued them in the fall of 2008, and follows the huge rebound in profits for members of the New York Stock Exchange, which totaled $61.4 billion in 2009, the most ever, The New York Times’s Nelson D. Schwartz writes. Since employment bottomed out in February, New York securities firms have added nearly 2,000 jobs, a trend that is also playing out nationwide at financial companies, commodity contract traders and investment firms.

It is almost like these things are related:

While the $700 billion bailout of banks has been credited with containing the financial meltdown of 2008, many lawmakers who voted for it — Republicans as well as Democrats — have found it to be a political albatross in this year’s elections, the New York Times reports.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was proposed by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, with the backing of then President Bush and the Democratic congressional leadership. But in this election year with its strong anti-Washington overtones, members of Congress who voted for it are finding themselves under attack for promoting big government and fiscal irresponsibility, the Times says.

While Democrats have been coming under fire from Republican challengers for support of the bailout, one of the twists in the current midterm contests is that Republican incumbents who voted for the program are being pummeled by both Republican and Democratic candidates, as well as drawing the wrath of Tea Party activists.

Everyone is broke, the rich get richer, the banks, which we bailed out, post enormous profits while the Senate dithers on unemployment benefits for the people hurt by reckless bank behavior suffer, the blue dogs join with Republicans to block jobs bills, the WH seems to sort of just throw up their hands and sigh, and then, to top it all off, the only people getting hired are more Wall Street leeches. Even more depressing, they can’t even muster the votes for financial regulation in this climate.

What shocks me the most are the conservative Democrats, who are going to be the ones wiped out this fall. Liberals in safe seats will be fine. But the blue dogs, running around with their masturbatory deficit language while concern trolling unemployment benefits extensions, will be thrown out of power and replaced by Republicans, who will then just do the bidding of their corporate masters. The inability to defend the stimulus, which worked, is even more flabbergasting- all around me there are roads that had not been paved in a decade which are now new and safe and provided much needed jobs, and the people driving on them, local teachers, police, firefighters, etc., all have been helped by the stimulus. Yet the WH and Democrats can’t make the case.

The future does not look good for the little guy.

129 replies
  1. 1
    El Cid says:

    And the AP finds that it’s the fault of Senate Democrats that Republicans filibustered unemployment extensions, because, you know, it just is.

    WASHINGTON – Keeping unemployment benefits flowing for millions of workers whose jobs were eaten by the recession should have been a slam dunk in an election year.
    __
    But until this month, Senate Democrats have been unable to bring themselves to pass a simple bill that just does it. Instead they’ve demanded a series of unrelated and often controversial tax and spending add-ons that have enabled Republicans to mount successful filibusters.
    __
    Now that the legislation has been shorn of all the extras, the bill could win final passage soon.

    See? If only the mean greedy Dems had constructed a bill without other stuff, the Republicans would have just jumped up and help pass it because they have great concern for our unemployed.

    Also, if you had just rewritten the health care bill and the stimulus to meet their concerns, they would have voted for it too.

  2. 2
    burnspbesq says:

    The future hasn’t looked good for the little guy sine the mid-1960s. And the little guy has consistently voted against his own economic interest since 1968. Go figure.

  3. 3
    Comrade Jake says:

    I will state that there will be a polarization of society here in the United States. People who are using their brains are moving up. Then you have another part of society that is doing services. These services will not be paid well. But you would need services. You would need restaurants, you would need cooks, you would need drivers et cetera. You will be losing your middle class.

    A quote from Aspen, courtesy of Fallows.

  4. 4
    BR says:

    Here’s a good summary of how really bad the banking swindle has been:

    1. Enable trillions of dollars in mortgages guaranteed to default by packaging unlimited quantities of them into mortgage-backed securities (MBS), creating umlimited demand for fraudulently originated loans.
    2. Sell these MBS as “safe” to credulous investors, institutions, town councils in Norway, etc., i.e. “the bezzle” on a global scale.
    3. Make huge “side bets” against these doomed mortgages so when they default then the short-side bets generate billions in profits.
    4. Leverage each $1 of actual capital into $100 of high-risk bets.
    5. Hide the utterly fraudulent bets offshore and/or off-balance sheet (not that the regulators you had muzzled would have noticed anyway).
    6. When the longside bets go bad, transfer hundreds of billions of dollars in Federal guarantees, bailouts and backstops into the private hands which made the risky bets, either via direct payments or via proxies like AIG. Enable these private Power Elites to borrow hundreds of billions more from the Treasury/Fed at zero interest.
    7. Deposit these funds at the Federal Reserve, where they earn 3-4%. Reap billions in guaranteed income by borrowing Federal money for free and getting paid interest by the Fed.
    8. As profits pile up, start buying boatloads of short-term U.S. Treasuries. Now the taxpayers who absorbed the trillions in private losses and who transferred trillions in subsidies, backstops, guarantees, bailouts and loans to private banks and corporations, are now paying interest on the Treasuries their own money purchased for the banks/corporations.
    9. Slowly acquire trillions of dollars in Treasuries–not difficult to do as the Federal government is borrowing $1.5 trillion a year.
    10. Stop buying Treasuries and dump a boatload onto the market, forcing interest rates to rise as supply of new T-Bills exceeds demand (at least temporarily). Repeat as necessary to double and then triple interest rates paid on Treasuries.
    11. Buy hundreds of billions in long-term Treasuries at high rates of interest. As interest rates rise, interest payments dwarf all other Federal spending, forcing extreme cuts in all other government spending.
    12. Enjoy the hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments being paid by taxpayers on Treasuries that were purchased with their money but which are safely in private hands.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/artic.....ill-get-it

  5. 5
    Nick says:

    Obama “gets it,” that’s why 55% of people think he’s a socialist.

    I find it funny, cause Atrios says this;

    They have two basic options. First, they could get on the teevee every day and say, “This is my plan to help. Republicans in Congress won’t pass it.” They could hold rallies in Maine. Allies could run ads. At least people would know who is for and who is against…and just what it was that people are for or against.

    They did all this. Obama has, quite a few times, most recently in Ohio, called out Republicans…no one reported it. Obama was in Maine in April raking the GOP on healthcare, no one paid attention. I’ve seen SEIU and other allies run aids on energy and jobs, but, you know, only when no one is watching.

    Would people know what is what that people are for or against. Would it matter?

    Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.

    http://www.boston.com/bostongl....._backfire/

    Krugman and Atrios said the administration isn’t even trying. I say they’ve tried and found it futile. I know I have.

  6. 6
    jurassicpork says:

    But to hear the Blue Dogs talk about it, UI benefits and COBRA is some sort of welfare for lazy ne’er do wells like me. We just want a free handout, UI extensions only make us lazy, blah blah, woof woof.

    First off, a clarification: UI benefits come from where? Partly from workers. That’s part of our weekly taxes. Secondly, no one is happy making less than half what they made at their jobs. Which is of course what we want: Jobs.

    And to say that we should be out looking for jobs instead of getting some of our own money back is fallacious at best because…

  7. 7
    jurassicpork says:

    But to hear the Blue Dogs talk about it, UI benefits and COBRA is some sort of welfare for lazy ne’er do wells like me. We just want a free handout, UI extensions only make us lazy, blah blah, woof woof.

    First off, a clarification: UI benefits come from where? Partly from workers. That’s part of our weekly taxes. Secondly, no one is happy making less than half what they made at their jobs. Which is of course what we want: Jobs.

    And to say that we should be out looking for jobs instead of getting some of our own money back is fallacious at best because… THE JOBS SIMPLY AREN’T OUT THERE.

    The unemployment and underemployment rate in this country combined is about 15-16%. We have 15,000,000 people vying for less than 3,000,000 jobs. But you’ll never hear the GOP or the Blue Dog mention those inconvenient facts.

    I repeat: UI and COBRA is NOT welfare. We have it coming to us. We kicked into the fund and we deserve it if we need it because of this gov’t’s anti-regulatory orgy that got us into this IRONWEED mess in the first place.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

    Did you guys know that we invaded Costa Rica, a nation with no army, with 46 naval warships and 7000 Marines, nearly a week and a half ago… and no one in the MSM has mentioned it?

  8. 8
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I’m sure we don’t need yet another go-round of the following point, but… even if Obama and company really _did_ get it, how are they supposed to overcome “the blue dogs, running around with their masturbatory deficit language”? They are truly, honestly, deeply, a pack of morons who care more about “fiscal responsibility,” i.e., cutting taxes and cutting spending, and who feel like HCR was a bad idea and don’t want any more fights like that one. How _should_ Obama and company get them on board? Keeping in mind that they’re stupid and gun-shy pretty much reflexively.

  9. 9
    Joe Bauers says:

    “The future does not look good for the little guy.”

    Truer words were never spoken. (Or blogged.) I think that we’re not going to get better until we’ve hit absolute bottom: When the top 1% have appropriated 99.9999% of all the wealth for themselves, and when the rabble figure out through process of elimination (literally) that the blacks, Hispanics, gays, abortionists, etc. weren’t really to blame for their sorry lot, and that maybe the reason they’re dirt poor is the handful of people crapping into solid gold toilets in their gated estates, and that no matter how hard they work they’re just never going to be anything other than poor – finally, at the end of everything, there will be popular will to change the rigged system.

    This will occur roughly 20 minutes before climate change renders the planet uninhabitable by humans.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    @jurassicpork: Well, if more people would just get up and go get jobs, or maybe create them telekinetically by willpower alone, we wouldn’t need all this government help we’re being denied.

  11. 11
    El Cid says:

    I think we’re looking at the glass half-empty, when we should be noticing that the glass is half full with urine.

  12. 12
    robertdsc says:

    They could hold rallies in Maine. Allies could run ads.

    And what happens when the targeted Senators are unmoved?

  13. 13
    Kryptik says:

    I think El Cid and Nick have their finger on the pulse of the problem. It’s the exact problem that haunts the anti-war crowd to this very day:

    It’s not that there’s no outrage or action. It’s that there might as well be none because the media ignores it over the poutrage of the right. Measured explanations and assurances from Obama will never win over the screeching ‘GUBMENT ABOLISHING FREE BUSINESS!’ that the media promotes time and time again, and even when token sanity comes on, it’s too late. The fix is in, the die is cast, and the impressions are made. Look at ‘Climategate’. Despite being cleared by 5 inquiries, all that’s happened is the denialist sects have doubled down and taken the inquiries as proof of a conspiracy by calling them ‘whitewashes’.

    You don’t have anyone willing to give a big enough megaphone to explain that yes, we need unemployment benefits, yes, we need the rich to actually pay their share and make jobs for the middle class rather than themselves. But you don’t have that. Instead we have bleatings from the blue dogs, the Republicans, the Chamber of Commerce, etc. that we can’t raise taxes on the rich, that tax cuts are sancrosanct and never to be paid for but unemployment benefits must necessarily be paid for or scrapped. Why?

    Because the media fix is in and only wants to properly promote the Tea Party as the next big savior of politics. And even if many people see through it, it doesn’t matter. Because the media has two real audiences: themselves and Washington, because they know by inundating those two audiences with swill, they can keep the country on the full on rightward tilt that makes being a Democrat a liability everywhere.

  14. 14
    Nick says:

    @robertdsc:

    And what happens when the targeted Senators are unmoved? </blockquote

    It's odd because Snowe and Collins aren't the problem, Brown (the most popular politican in Taxachusetts) and Ben Nelson (in Nebraska where Obama's approval rating is like 30%) are the problem.

    This really pisses me off. It’s like some liberals know their strategies are ineffective and rather than admit they are, or try to figure out how to make them effective, they pretend as if their strategies aren’t happening. This is why hippies get punched.

  15. 15
    LeaveBarakAlone says:

    What is with you people? Obama is not some sort of magical wizard. He is only the motherfucking President of the United States. How can you expect him to actually do stuff given his complete lack of power and authority? Stop whining, you whiny ass titty baby firebagger fuckers. Do you want the repubs to get back in? Huh? DO YOU?

  16. 16
    Steve L. says:

    Way to start off my Monday morning. Jeebus.

  17. 17
    Keith G says:

    1.

    The future does not look good for the little guy.

    And its getting so much worse.

    My question is: Did the baby boomers cause this, actively enable this, or be just too god damned self absorbed to see this happening?

    And I am a boomer (1958), btw.

    My parents were low level blue collar workers in the Midwest, yet I grew up in a 1930s farm house on 10 acres of land. My generation of siblings and cousins were the first in any of our very extended family to get college degrees, which were very affordable.

    The door on that type of opportunity is shutting and *nothing* is being done about it.

    Seemingly, we have grown to hate our own society.

    2. Pet pics!!

  18. 18
    Nick says:

    @Kryptik: When I was unemployed, I thought that maybe I’d be able to convince my conservative friends and family that being unemployed does not mean you’re lazy and don’t want to work. I showed that spending all day looking for a job in early 2009 was a fruitless effort.

    Yet instead, my own family labelled me lazy rather than admit they’re wrong. I was told to “just go out and do it”

    And then when I finally found a (lower paying) job after 10 months, I was told “see, I told you so. All you need to do is show gumption”

    Gumption, that’s all these people think it takes to solve the job crisis. Nothing will ever convince them, they’d trash and abandon their sons, nephews and best friends before they’d admit they were wrong.

    BTW, did I mention most of them are registered Democrats?

  19. 19
    PaulW says:

    Then we have no choice.

    Get the word out to all unemployed people. All their families.

    Get unemployed people to run as write-in candidates in every general election spot.

    Campaign slogan is simple: “Hire (name here). I Need the Job.”

    I’m checking the rules for Florida now. Thinking of putting myself up for the 9th District (oddly enough, Bilirakis *has* voted yes for a few jobs bills… but FUCK THE GOP). Make our unemployed status a campaign issue they dare not ignore.

  20. 20
    lol says:

    That’s one of the reasons the Obama campaign generally worked with local media instead of national. Impossible to break through the Village circle-jerk but KWTF is desperate enough to give you that platform locally.

  21. 21
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The fix is in.

    The media has done the job it’s corporate masters wanted, which is convince the nation that the stimulus failed. It’s gospel now. No amount of podium pounding, speechifying or pleading is going to change that. To the Blue Dogs and the ‘centrists’ in the Senate, the stim is like the Civil Rights legislation passed in the mid 60’s, something to ignore and blame for the current state of things. The GOPers smell blood in the water, and with a generous assist from their media lapdogs, will tear the censervadems to pieces in November. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    I know that the likes of Atrios, Digby and the rest of the progressive blogospere will plead night and day for Obama to do something (podium pounding, speechifying, etc.) but there’s not a damn thing he can do to get the needed votes. Will a speech cause Senator Cosmo Von Truck Nutz (R-Mass) to stop being an airhead when it comes to policy? Will Obama holding rallies in Maine cause Snowe and Collins to forget Mitch McConnell’s threat to take away committee chairs if they give him a victory? Will personal pleading from Obama get Ben Nelson to stop acting like an asshole? The answer to those questions is a resounding no. There’s nothing he can do.

    The only thing Obama can do is get the unemployment extensions passed, pray the new START treaty doesn’t die, pray the financial reform bill doesn’t die, and generally just hold on for dear life as the GOPers, the media, and white America goes for his throat.

    There’s more than a decent chance that Obama will be a one term POTUS. People may laugh at the thought of a President Sarah Palin, and I did until recently, but it’s no joke now. Remember, we re-elected Dubya. Sure, she may be dumber than a bag of hammers, venial, and a collector of resentments, but at least she’s white, which just might be good enough if the media sets her bar low enough.

    It would also be helpful if the little guy stopped falling for right-wing bullshit, but most of us seem to be hard-wired for it.

  22. 22
    PeakVT says:

    Long-term unemployment is at a record high, which means the predictions in this excellent article are likely to come true.

    We are living through a slow-motion social catastrophe, one that could stain our culture and weaken our nation for many, many years to come. We have a civic—and indeed a moral—responsibility to do everything in our power to stop it now, before it gets even worse.

  23. 23
    FoxinSocks says:

    It’s utterly depressing.

    My mother’s about to lose her job. Why? Because she has benefits and the luxury department store she’s been loyally working at for decades has gotten ridden of everyone with benefits and have slashed wages. The fact that she’s one of their best salespeople is irrelevant, they already fired all the other salespeople in the top ten.

    Now the company is panicking because sales and employee morale are way down, so what do they do to turn things around? Slash wages further and fire more people, because that’ll keep costs down. And these idiots make millions of dollars while my mother will be searching for a new job and Rand Paul criticizes her for daring to take unemployment.

  24. 24
    El Cid says:

    @Keith G: I don’t think this is in the category of things to blame on demographic groups per se. There has been an absolute counter-attack against early 20th century labor and middle class gains since at least the late 1960s — I mean, a conscious one by organized business groups. You can always blame voters for not having voted the way they should, but it’s pretty hard to lump a certain age group together as a uniform group when discussing white versus non-white voters, Southern versus others, etc.

  25. 25
    furioso ateo says:

    John Cole makes me sad.

  26. 26

    I love the smell of panic first thing Monday morn.

  27. 27
    cat48 says:

    Obama has been explaining & defending the Recovery Act since it passed. I think he does a good job at townhalls & speeches. I don’t know whats wrong w/the Congress why only a couple of them has done this on TV during the day, nite or on Sundays. They are MIA.

    I have the basic facts memorized so the Congress should be able to at least do that. Jeez. He always says: First part: Tax cuts for 95% of wage earners and small businesses…………
    Second Part: To help those hit worse by the Recession w/extended unemployment, Cobra….and help out state govts that were in bad shape….keep policemen, teachers, firemen on the job…….etc. Then third part: Infrastructure jobs, construction, transportation an energy investment……

    The House extended UI, found some money to send to states for teachers, and put some money for jobs in the supplemental War bill so when it gets to the Senate, all Hell will break loose……they’ll get UI extended if Manchin appoints someone soon & the rest is in the air….in the Sen. The Maine girls voted for UI last time so we will see…….

  28. 28
    Alex S. says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    America’s reaction to the competition from the former third world is to become a third world country, it seems.

    @Nick:

    Very interesting. Maybe we’ve already passed the point of no return and it would take a true catastrophe to change people’s preconceptions.

  29. 29
    Keith G says:

    @El Cid: I hear ya.

    My view is based on how some boomers (and others born a bit later) grew up in a world made possible by those early 20th century labor and middle class gains and now bitch about how the payments for ongoing safety nets limit their accumulation of wealth.

    Edit: I meant to add – they also do more than bitch, but also act to defeat policy that are what I would call mildly progressive.

  30. 30
    El Cid says:

    The goal of the conservative establishment is to impose as much as they can of the “austerity” and “structural adjustment” economics programs that Latin America and Africa had to survive, barely, throughout the late 1980s and 1990s by the wise advisers at the IMF and World Bank whose insights told these 3rd world nations — who had already paid back to Western investors more in interest than the original principle — to slash social spending, dismantle national industry development schemes, to force the poorest to pay for their kids’ primary education, make health care dependent upon foreign aid volition, and so forth.

    The difference is our conservative establishment is powerful enough to let anyone stop them from imposing such measures upon our own nation, and there has been no organized force representing the middle class, labor, and the poor since the unrest of the 1930s and the contract negotiation-oriented labor unions of the 1940s-1960s.

    It’s not an accident that it’s been such a longstanding goal to take down ACORN, the only national organization advocating for the needs of the most poor and downtrodden, and why the billion dollar media went so gleefully along.

    We lost the class war in the 1980s, and somehow now we’re losing even more. And yet even Krugman is still assuming that the conservative economist establishment is ‘mistaken’ in pushing policies that even further bring pain to the vast majority at the benefit of the most rich and anti-middle class portions of the elites.

    Yay.

  31. 31
    El Cid says:

    @Keith G: I understand the ‘boomer’ fixation, given how it was artificially fetishized earlier. But I don’t find these views limited to a particular temporal cohort, rather they are views shared by such cohorts throughout time, and will likely continue to do so.

  32. 32
    Jayackroyd says:

    You have to consider the possibility that the Blue Dogs see the seat as a ticket to K Street, where the real money is. Losing actually enhances your income prospects. No more paltry Congressional salary….

  33. 33

    Damn it John! I get one day off a week [Monday] and then you go and pour reality all over the morning. Cheez!

  34. 34
    cat48 says:

    I forgot. They have the normal Hiway Bill funding the Senate has not passed yet so that would also help w/jobs.

    Also, too, Obama’s folks have been meeting with the Business Roundtable who in total have about $1.8T in cash sitting around to see what they can work out to get them to hire & start investing again. That’s all I really know about that besides O is trying to get some of his tax incentives for new hires extended, etc.

  35. 35
    El Cid says:

    @cat48: I don’t quite understand how businesses will invest and expand production when market demand for their output is so week.

  36. 36
    El Cid says:

    @Jayackroyd: This is a much, much greater personal incentive for a political outlook and agenda than anyone seems to realize.

  37. 37
    TJ says:

    I know that the likes of Atrios, Digby and the rest of the progressive blogospere will plead night and day for Obama to do something (podium pounding, speechifying, etc.) but there’s not a damn thing he can do to get the needed votes. Will a speech cause Senator Cosmo Von Truck Nutz (R-Mass) to stop being an airhead when it comes to policy? Will Obama holding rallies in Maine cause Snowe and Collins to forget Mitch McConnell’s threat to take away committee chairs if they give him a victory? Will personal pleading from Obama get Ben Nelson to stop acting like an asshole? The answer to those questions is a resounding no. There’s nothing he can do.

    True dat. OTOH, it’s political malpractice on the part of the Dems to not make an ostentatious effort to do it. Especially in an election year. Unless the oligarchy is now official and Washington just forgot to tell us.

  38. 38
    TJ says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    Ah, taking a dive for the mobster payoff. A metaphor I can get behind.

  39. 39
    cleek says:

    @cat48:

    I don’t know whats wrong w/the Congress why only a couple of them has done this on TV during the day, nite or on Sundays. They are MIA.

    they’re probably convinced that it’s best if they don’t talk about it, because people don’t like their imaginary nightmare version of it. so Dems just avoid it, instead of trying to explain.

    the Dems are absolutely abysmal as salesmen for their own policies.

  40. 40
    cat48 says:

    @Nick:

    O will be in Maine this weekend w/family. Maybe all 4 of them could go on TV & beg./snark He could do a townhall before he leaves Sunday though.

  41. 41
    Keith G says:

    @El Cid: I hope your view turn out more correct than my experience. I have been increasingly saddened by seeing an increasing diminution of empathy in my peers.

    Maybe its just a raw age-related forgetfulness of how most of us and our neighbors were helped by the public spending of the 1940s-1970s.

  42. 42
    Scott says:

    Thanks for starting my week off with a giant wad of depression and despair. :/

    I’ve got a job now, but it’s a state job, and I’m really expecting it to go away by the end of next year, at the very latest. And then I’m expecting Rick Perry to use it as a campaign slogan, and that I’m expecting most of my family to vote for him anyway, because god forbid they vote against a Holy Republican.

  43. 43

    @jurassicpork:

    You are quite correct. THE JOBS ARE NOT THERE. And a lot of families are trying to carry on bravely, like your family and mine.

    I think the Administration is trying to help but the overall economic contraction is too big for them to successfully manipulate the labor market.

    I think the GOP actually believes that if we leave the economy alone, it will fix itself. But they still have some folks who don’t think that Hawaii is a state, so I probably can’t help them.

    It’s hard to tell what the Dems actually think. They are so disorganized and their message turns into a cacophony so much of the time. Some seem to be quite aware of the reality around them but others seem confused and confusing.

    The question might be: If our elected representatives could actually get together and use their brains, could they make things better? They could extend unemployment benefits but could they reverse the contraction? Or does the contraction have a life of its own and we [humans] are just collateral damage?

  44. 44
    Kryptik says:

    @Nick:

    Yeah, 10 months of searching isn’t that long at all!

    Good christ…it’s always the most painful when Democrats internalize the idiocy the rightwing has peddled us for the last few decades.

    @Linda Featheringill:

    It’s hard to tell what the Dems actually think. They are so disorganized and their message turns into a cacophony so much of the time. Some seem to be quite aware of the reality around them but others seem confused and confusing.

    Or they’ve just internalized the right wing talking points and convinced themselves that the only right way to win is act like a Republican and throw anyone remotely left of Lieberman to the wolves for being unserious hippies.

  45. 45
    harlana says:

    @Nick: Their attitudes would do a 180 once they become unemployed and experienced what you went through.

    I think some righteous indignation (Alan Grayson-style) on the part of Democrats, pumping through the airwaves 24/7, would not hurt a bit. I don’t believe the media would necessarily ignore that.

    If talking heads whine about class warfare or that we are too scary/angry (boogah boogah!), point to the homicidal teabaggers, ask Teabaggers if they have jobs, ask them why they threaten Congress-people with death and destruction, ask Republicans and blue dogs why they hate the American people who are suffering, want them to starve and live on the streets, point to hundreds of billions poured into the Iraq war, when no WMD were found and no connection between Bin Laden and Saddam, that could have been usedthat money to create jobs.

    My god, I could go on and on and on. Pound these home as talking points every minute, every second of air time that they get, with a vengeance, as Republicans have done for years. Why is this so hard? Don’t tell me they don’t get as much air time and repubes, this I know, but what air time they do get, they need to repeat, repeat, repeat some fucking DEM talking points that show they care about the suffering of the people and that repubes have absolutely NO leg to stand on when it comes to deficit issues, and explain just why that is – it’s not complicated — war profiteering. Apparently, the best Dems can do is issue a stupid statement about dumbass Michael Steele, that’s their ammo, because are so fucking unorganized enough to do this. Pretend to have an ideology, just like Republicans, and stick to it. WTF is wrong with them? They absolutely make me want to vomit.

  46. 46
    cat48 says:

    @cleek:

    But Obama does it so easily……..like I said; I know the damn thing by heart and the Asshat repugs have put out a Misinformation Sheet on the Recovery Act that they are all using! If the foolish Dems lose their seats, well….

    There is a rebuttal of the Repugs sheet on the WH Blog the Dems could use.

  47. 47
    El Cid says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I think the GOP actually believes that if we leave the economy alone, it will fix itself.

    “Fix” means letting a lot of consequences happen which we and most ordinary people would consider horrible but which they think is great for the authoritarian elite focused economy which they want.

  48. 48

    @Scott:
    I’m glad you have a job now.

    Since it really is easier to get a job if you already have one, perhaps you can parlay this “temporary” job for a real one.

    Good luck.

  49. 49
    snowbird42 says:

    @Linda Featheringill: So when they take over , how will they bring jobs?

  50. 50
    Kryptik says:

    @snowbird42:

    They won’t. The Free Market Faries will after they abolish the minimum wage, magically creating higher paying jobs than the authoritarian minimum wage requirements kept them from creating.

  51. 51

    @snowbird42:

    I don’t know. I wonder if any group of people can bring jobs.

    Of course, my economic education came from the very left and I tend to think of huge trends that go where they want to go, no matter what we do [sort of like the famous “freight train of history”].

  52. 52
    cat48 says:

    @El Cid:

    Well, I know, but they had personal issues w/the prez too they are working on…….since he’s antibusiness & all.

    Maybe the losers in Congress can at least get the Highway bill passed before break. If they by some miracle maintain the Senate after elections, they better change those damn filibuster rules at the opening Congressional period or DIE. I don’t want to hear about it anymore!

  53. 53
    Cris says:

    But remember, folks, government has never created a single job.

  54. 54
    kay says:

    @Nick:

    Ben Nelson (in Nebraska where Obama’s approval rating is like 30%) are the problem.

    Nebraska’s unemployment rate improved to 4.9 percent in May even though more people are looking for jobs now than there were a year ago, according to estimates released Friday.The state unemployment rate was 5 percent in March and April.Nebraska continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, well below the national rate of 9.7 percent in May. The national rate is down slightly from April’s 9.9 percent. At 4.9 percent, Nebraska again had the third-lowest rate in the nation, trailing North Dakota’s 3.6 percent and South Dakota’s 4.6 percent.

    Nebraska is at full employment.

    I think it’s really important to stop looking at unemployment nationally, and start looking state by state. There are vast differences, and that drives Senator behavior. I suspect national media are too lazy, and Senators don’t want to mention it, because it appears self-serving.

  55. 55
    harlana says:

    And tell the deficit-hawks to jump up the tube, ask them why they are so fucking worried about the deficit now, of all times, when so many are without jobs, without homes, without hope.

  56. 56
    Kryptik says:

    @harlana:

    Not to mention how the deficit never mattered as long as we were using that debt to bomb some swarthy brown folk.

  57. 57
    cleek says:

    Reid demonstrates how bad Dems suck at salesmanship:

    At the glittery Aria Casino in Las Vegas on Thursday night, Mr. Reid proudly told thousands of supporters waiting to see President Obama, “We’re going to finish that conference report!”

    Despite the enthusiasm behind the words, Mr. Reid’s use of cryptic Washingtonese to describe the most far-reaching restructuring of the financial regulatory systems since the Great Depression drew no applause.

    they’re in love with the process.

    worthless passel of dunderheads.

  58. 58

    @FoxinSocks:
    How old is your mother?

    I was kicked out to the curb when I was 59 years old. Eventually, I got a job. The work is difficult and the pay is crappy. And the people I work for are neurotic. [Some of my coworkers are nice, though.]

    Good luck to your mother.

  59. 59
    Cris says:

    @El Cid: I think we’re looking at the glass half-empty, when we should be noticing that the glass is half full with urine.

    * applause *

  60. 60
    harlana says:

    @Kryptik: Zackly my point, a f**kin fifth grader could figure this out and verbalize it. I guess you can’t go there, however, since Dems voted for that sinful war as well. I’m getting too riled up with my morning coffee to think straight, apparently. Still, there is a lot of shit they could say, they need to coalesce and come up with a few simple talking points that any idiot can understand and if they argue with you, ask them why they hate America.

  61. 61
    Jayackroyd says:

    @TJ

    It is really hard to make sense of what they are doing. I can understand not implementing good policy because it is unpopular, like gas taxes. I can understand a situation where they believe the policy is itself, as at least some Republicans may actually believe–that downward wage pressure is good for the economy. I can even understand taking a position to pander to your district on a good policy that is popular nationally.

    But I cannot understand why you would oppose good policy that is popular among your base voters and in your district.

    The alternative hypothesis is that they believe the hooraw about deficits that nobody outside the Beltway cares about. At least when compared to jobs and health care access.

  62. 62
    cleek says:

    Reid demonstrates just how bad Dems are at getting their message out:

    At the glittery Aria Casino in Las Vegas on Thursday night, Mr. Reid proudly told thousands of supporters waiting to see President Obama, “We’re going to finish that conference report!”

    sweet.

  63. 63
    Comrade Mary says:

    Via Steve Benen, this head-exploder from Pennsylvania:

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett on Friday accused some jobless Pennsylvanians of choosing to collect unemployment checks rather than going back to work, prompting swift criticism from his Democratic opponent and one of the state’s top labor leaders.
    __
    “The jobs are there. But if we keep extending unemployment, people are just going to sit there,” Corbett told Harrisburg radio station WITF at a campaign stop in Elizabethtown. “I’ve literally had construction companies tell me, ‘I can’t get people to come back to work until . . . they say, “I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.” ‘ “…
    __
    Corbett’s spokesman, Kevin Harley, said later the owner of a plumbing company, whose name he did not know, told Corbett he had workers who did not want to return until their unemployment ran out. He said other employers had told Corbett they have jobs available and cannot find people to fill them.

    Can a journalist PLEASE push back on these cowardly non-answers? Are these companies still desperate for workers? We’ll publicize the openings on radio, tv and newspapers until they get filled. But if Corbett can’t back this up, then headlines and ledes will be written not to just “report” on the words falling out of his lying mouth, but to showcase the fact that he made claims that can’t be backed up.

    Or, in what would be an AWESOME bit of campaigning, the candidate could publicize the jobs on his own web site. If people get jobs from this, he’s a good guy. If they don’t, he’s definitely proven the Republicans’ case.

    Follow-up questions. Analysis of claims right up front in a story. Eschewing lame X says/Y opposes ledes. It’s not just good journalism, it’s good citizenship.

  64. 64
    FoxinSocks says:

    Thanks, @Linda Featheringill.

    My mother is 60, so yes, I’m worried about her being able to find a job. But she has lots of connections and she’s a top saleswoman, so hopefully someone out there still values talent, hard work and the ability to bring money into a company.

  65. 65
    cleek says:

    you know, it’s hard to write a comment about the senate majority leader if words relating to the number one industry in his state trip the moderation system.

    grrr.

    anyway: Reid demonstrates how bad Dems suck at messaging.

  66. 66
    Kryptik says:

    If you want more issues about Democrats internalizing the Republican talking points and doing the GOP’s work for them in dooming Dems:

    Governors Voice Grave Concerns on Immigration

    They’re ‘concerned’ about how the lawsuit will cost the Democrats in the election. Because everyone wants to just simply deport them damned illegals, so why is Obama giving them safe haven?! Oh…and…

    Little ‘appetite’ for new stimulus, Obama adviser says

    Can you spelled ‘Doomed’? I knew you could.

  67. 67
    Jayackroyd says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I got into a twitspat with Tapper over this. The fucking media is making this an issue that is open to debate, just because Republicans concoct this ridiculous, unsupportable lie.

  68. 68
    Kryptik says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    Not to mention they refuse to recognize in their work that sometimes, a side in the ‘debate’ is simply more wrong than the other.

  69. 69
    Brian J says:

    @FoxinSocks:

    I believe that is pretty much what turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for Circuit City. A few years before they went under, they tried to remove all of the highest paid salespeople in order to save on labor costs, but while doing that, they also lost the best and probably best able to sell employees.

  70. 70
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    But I cannot understand why you would oppose good policy that is popular among your base voters and in your district.

    In Blue Dog districts, the deficit is what they hear the most about, day in, day out. The stim is seen as either having failed, or only helped the ‘other’ to the white majority in these districts. And sticking your finger in the eye of the black POTUS is a good way to pick a up few extra votes with the crackers that populate these districts.

    We are in full-on White backlash mode. White America has decided that Obama has failed to clean up Bush’s mess in a year and a half, and want him gone. Sure, the GOP isn’t offering any solutions, but at least they’re white.

    Obama has to tread very lightly right now. He needs to get the unemployment extension passed, the financial reform bill passed, and pray that the new START treaty doesn’t fail in the Senate. If it does, his foreign policy agenda collapses, and he becomes LBJ in the beginning of 1968, a loser in domestic and foreign affairs.

    The one thing that is kind of under the radar at the moment that is absolutely killing him right now is the DOJ filing suit against that odious Arizona law. White America loves that law. We love to kick minorities when given the chance, and kicking hispanics in an economic downturn makes us feel good. That could be the issue that sinks him, driving a permanent wedge between him and the white majority.

  71. 71
    Jayackroyd says:

    @Kryptik:

    it is just like Social Security.

    Complete nonsense.

  72. 72
    Jayackroyd says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    But the Republican is gonna win that argument every time. If the voter walks into the booth thinking “Deficit” he is not gonna pull the D lever.

    Moreover, polls show that people DON”T care about the deficit, especially when compared to jobs. If they did, Republicans would not be able to claim they are more fiscally prudent, anti-deficit etc.

  73. 73
    bemused says:

    The deficit/debit talking point push is really on. Morning Joe was full of it.
    People need to call, call, call Dem legislators and organizations such as DSCC, etc, every one you can think of, and keep calling. Encourage everyone you know to call, esp senior citizens. Seniors need to know that Dems they may have voted for are eyeing SS/Medicare cuts. Seniors often don’t know where to start to call in with their opinions but they would be much more likely to call if they had 800 numbers to use. They don’t want to run up their phone bills.
    I am going to compile a list of Dems and numbers for my senior citizen relatives and encouraging them to call and tell their friends to call. The 800 numbers change so if anyone has some current ones and suggestions of groups/organizations beside legislators to call on these issues, I’d pass them along.

  74. 74
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Anyone besides me notice a subtle problem out there? There are jobs, but they pay very low wages.

    I’ve talked to a number of fellow unemployed, and like me they’ve found jobs in areas related to if not in our fields. However, the wages aren’t just lower than they used to have, they’re lower than UNEMPLOYMENT income.

    So of course what you’re hearing from the right wing is (drumroll) unemployment insurance is too good.

    /spit

    In Georgia (to give an example) unemployment income puts you below the poverty line for an individual, much less a family. But that’s obviously too much, or I’d have a job by now.

  75. 75
    Nick says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    Moreover, polls show that people DON”T care about the deficit, especially when compared to jobs. If they did, Republicans would not be able to claim they are more fiscally prudent, anti-deficit etc.

    Except a lot of people think the deficit is why they don’t have jobs. Linda McMahon goes on TV here in the NY area and complains that “we’re losing jobs because Washington is spending money they don’t have” and when you try to explain to people that she’s lying and actually we’re losing jobs because the government isn’t spending enough money, they look at you like you’re insane.

    Republicans get away with it because their crap sounds plausible and ours sounds too complicated.

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jayackroyd: So what do you do when your voters believe nonsense? What do you do when they say they want someone to do something about “jobs” and yet they don’t believe in the idea of the government hiring people directly? Or when they say they want someone to do something about “the deficit” and what they really mean is “stop spending money on lazy black/brown/poor people”?

    @harlana:

    My god, I could go on and on and on. Pound these home as talking points every minute, every second of air time that they get, with a vengeance, as Republicans have done for years. Why is this so hard?

    Because at least one-third of Democratic office-holders don’t believe a thing you just said. They’re not going to say those things because they don’t think they’re true. They want to be tough on terrorists, cut taxes on businesses, and rein in those big-spending liberals. That’s why they won’t say what liberals like you and I would say. They’re not liberals. They’re barely Democrats, but they are close to the leftmost position their districts will bear.

  77. 77
    Nick says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Then Obama needs to go and we need to run a White Southern Democratic Governor in 2012. It was a nice try, but America just isn’t ready for this.

  78. 78
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And I think what we often forget is at last one-third of DEMOCRATIC VOTERS don’t believe a thing in the agenda.

  79. 79
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Jayackroyd:

    Moreover, polls show that people DON”T care about the deficit, especially when compared to jobs.

    That doesn’t matter. If Obama were to try to push through, say a modest relief package for the holes in state budgets, the Puke Funnel would point out how much it adds to the deficit, the rest of the MSM would take it and run wild, and the congressmen and women (who are the intended audience for the cable networks) in swing districts will get cold feet, and kill the measure because CNN, FOX, and MSNBC would devote their entire afternoon block of programming to deficit fearmongering. They are so good at it the stim was almost filibustered when Obama’s rating were in the 70’s. Sherrod Brown has to fly back from his mother’s funeral to cast the final vote for cloture. The fix has been in since January of last year. If the Village says that deficits matter, they do, and they will crank up the noise to make it so. Fearmonger, rinse, repeat.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nick:

    Linda McMahon goes on TV here in the NY area and complains that “we’re losing jobs because Washington is spending money they don’t have”

    That’s a weird thing to say. What’s the causality supposed to be? It would make more sense (although it wouldn’t be, ya know, _true_) to say “we’re losing jobs because Washington is taxing our businesses too much” or something. Obama policies raised costs, business had to cut back, people lost jobs. Again, not true, but has an internal logic. But why would Washington spending money have the effect of taking away jobs? There’s no logic to it. It’s just saying “the country is like X because the government did Y.”

  81. 81
    El Cid says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And yet it’s what you hear constantly on right wing talk radio, it’s what you hear from my colleagues and bosses, it’s what you hear from neighbors.

    It’s utterly, utterly, fantastically, astoundingly idiotic, but, there you go, and it may aid a GOP House takeover, restoring us to the legislative politics of 1995 – 2007.

  82. 82
    Kryptik says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You’re asking for consistency and logic from a party who’s prime success has been the appeal to the gut, damn the logic, because when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

    They win because they can appeal with simple, emotionally manipulative points that get seeded before anyone else can say the contrary, and force us into a defensive huddle because anything we say to try and explain ends up only reinforcing the already seeded beliefs that ‘Gov’t is always wrong, LIberals want to take your money, and Obama just loves him some terrists’.

  83. 83
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It just a simple attack on the deficit and spending.

    “SPENDING BAD! YOUR UNEMPLOYED BECAUSE OF SPENDING!”

    It’s like when Republicans say “Government needs to live within its means like families do” ignoring the fact that government can’t because it’s the last line of defense.

    It’s just a way of scaring people with spending fears, it doesn’t have to be logical. Nothing the Republicans have said in the last 35 years has been logical, but they win more often than not.

  84. 84
    Nick says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    The one thing that is kind of under the radar at the moment that is absolutely killing him right now is the DOJ filing suit against that odious Arizona law. White America loves that law. We love to kick minorities when given the chance, and kicking hispanics in an economic downturn makes us feel good. That could be the issue that sinks him, driving a permanent wedge between him and the white majority

    This is a prime example as to why the President shouldn’t bother “pleasing the base.” Because when he does, they don’t back him up.

    Obama pushing this immigration lawsuit is politically very dangerous. He needs all the backup he can get from his base. They’re not giving it to him, because they’re focused on whatever obscure thing he’s doing wrong in their eyes.

    And this is another place where we can’t count on the media to effectively let us deliver our message. Despite the fact that Luis Guiterrez completely owned Brian Bilbray this weekend on ABC, the message ABC was pushing afterward was “this just shows how divisive it is”

    Guarantee you if Bilbray had kicked Guiterrez’s ass, the response would be “Democrats in defense,” but when Republicans are in defense, it’s spun as “divisive issue”

  85. 85
    kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    The one thing that is kind of under the radar at the moment that is absolutely killing him right now is the DOJ filing suit against that odious Arizona law. White America loves that law. We love to kick minorities when given the chance, and kicking hispanics in an economic downturn makes us feel good. That could be the issue that sinks him, driving a permanent wedge between him and the white majority.

    I agree with you on the blatant race-based strategy, but the Obama DOJ really didn’t have any choice here.
    They have to challenge the law.
    Every once in a while you really do have to follow words with action.
    We can’t have 50 different state laws on immigration, and Democrats can’t join Republicans on advancing a law where every one of the stated reasons the law was drafted has fallen apart.
    There isn’t any increase in crime in the border counties. They made it up.
    It’s pure divisive race-baiting. While it’s politically problematic for Democratic governors to have deal with the pesky problems that civil rights raise, it’s political suicide for Democrats to join Republicans in Southern Strategy II, not to mention it’s just horrible governing.
    We can’t have a country where brown people cannot travel from state to state with fear of not understanding the rules, and ending up detained.
    We’ve been here before. Obama couldn’t choke on that one.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @harlana:

    Their attitudes would do a 180 once they become unemployed and experienced what you went through.

    Only for themselves. Also known as “my abortion is a good abortion, but anyone else who gets an abortion is an irresponsible whore.”

    Their complaint would immediately switch to all of those undeserving people who are taking unemployment benefits away from people who really need them, like themselves.

  87. 87
    kay says:

    @Nick:

    Obama pushing this immigration lawsuit is politically very dangerous.

    It’s bold. They don’t have a choice, though. They can’t run the federal government and cede control of immigration to each of the fifty states, and they can’t remain Democrats and back a law that increasingly appears to be a purely political exercise.
    There’s no factual justification for that law, other than a short-term strategy for the GOP to divide and conquer. Obama is more robust on both border enforcement and sanctions on employers that hire illegals than Bush was. It’s indefensible. It’s based on a series of easily disprovable lies.
    That would be an epic betrayal.

  88. 88
    BlizzardOfOz says:

    @Nick:

    Seriously? “I tried and it didn’t work” is something no kindergarten teacher would accept from their students, but for you that’s good enough from Obama. Hey, do you think maybe he could have used one of those “special address” wankfests for this purpose? You know, the ones where he spouts platitudes and bullshit for an hour?

  89. 89
    Nick says:

    @harlana:

    Their attitudes would do a 180 once they become unemployed and experienced what you went through.

    They never will, and in the unlikely event they do, it’s all the fault of black people and immigration and lazy slobs who don’t want jobs.

  90. 90
    BlizzardOfOz says:

    @Nick:

    They’re not giving it to him, because they’re focused on whatever obscure thing he’s doing wrong in their eyes.

    Obscure things like a collapsed economy, 10% unemployment, insurance company bailout masquerading as healthcare reform, unilateral assassinations of US citizens, backing out on closing our death chamber in Guantanamo, 2 endless wars … minor details like that. But yeah, we should all be grateful for an action that will in all likelihood prove to be more kabuki.

  91. 91
    Nick says:

    @kay: Just another example of how Democrats will always lose for doing the right thing…which is my point all along. You want him to do the right thing, prepare to lose.

  92. 92

    @kay: “Bold” I agree, and there are two sides to the risk. Risk pissing off the xenophobes more, so they will come out to vote, which they already seem to be pissed and ready to vote. But it also has the effect of rallying notoriously lax voting hispanics in the SW. Especially with mid terms. They are paying attention currently however. Plus, as you say, the precedent setting contrary to a clear constitutional mandate for the feds to mind our borders and immigration policy. I approve of the suits, and hope Holder tacks on racial profiling charges to give it a degree of malevolence that most Americans disapprove of, even though they may be sympathetic to the AZ law. This shit has to be nipped in the bud and the politics are double edged.

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nick:
    @Kryptik:
    @El Cid:

    I guess I expect a little internal coherence even in my lying Republican politicians. I think it must be something like this: “We’re losing jobs because Washington is spending money they don’t have… which makes business owners worried that their taxes will have to go up to pay for all that spending, so it’s too risky to bring on new employees.” Otherwise McMahon may as well be saying “We’re losing jobs because Washington isn’t serious enough about standing up to Iran” or something. “Because” should mean, like, “by cause of.” It’s the nature of the word itself.

  94. 94
    SIA says:

    @Steve L.: No kidding. I have a panicky feeling in my solar plexus.

  95. 95
    El Cid says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You’re right — there are those who get to that point. Deficits cause all sorts of negative effects, it goes — fear of future tax hikes; knowing that inflation, if not hyper-inflation, is on the way; China ‘owns us’ and will somehow take even more jobs; it deters investors who therefore won’t be able to help companies grow and hire people.

    And it’s all complete, utter, fact-free shit.

  96. 96

    @FlipYrWhig: This, plus banks still aren’t lending for similar reasons, and the fact all the poison from the mortgage bullshit hasn’t been wrung from the system yet. Along with other structural problems still at play.

  97. 97
    El Cid says:

    Meanwhile, our principled Republican deficit hawks say, ‘Fuck the god-damned deficit! We got rich people to think of!’

    Top Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) insisted on Sunday that Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans regardless of their impact on the deficit, even as he and other Republicans are blocking unemployment insurance extensions over deficit concerns.
    __
    “[Y]ou should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes,” said the Arizona Senator during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “Surely Congress has the authority, and it would be right to — if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending, and that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.”

    You know, because taxes are oppression, with lower taxes there’s growth, see all the jobs Reagan and Bush Jr. created (until Barney Frank and Fannie/Freddie gave all our houses to the shiftless negroes), and if there’s more freedom people embiggen the economy.

    Of course, this will happen anyway, so his exhortations are hardly needed.

  98. 98
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    Risk pissing off the xenophobes more, so they will come out to vote, which they already seem to be pissed and ready to vote. But it also has the effect of rallying notoriously lax voting hispanics in the SW. Especially with mid terms.

    I have no idea how it plays politically, but it’s bedrock, and they can’t dodge it.
    We can’t have 50 different state laws targeted to a certain ethnic minority. We know what happens with that.
    We can’t have 50 different states meddling in foreign policy (because that’s in there: it was not a mistake that Secretary Clinton addressed it) and we can’t have 50 different states encroaching on an enumerated power in the federal constitution.
    If I were a Hispanic voter, I would vote. There are 16 states that are considering laws like Arizona.
    Hispanics are looking at an real and present danger to their freedom to move from state to state within their own country.
    Unless we want to start calling this country a “loose confederation of states” that law has to be challenged.

  99. 99
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Nick: @kay:

    The DOJ had to file suit. The law is clearly unconstitutional, and Holder had no choice but to step into the bigots’ trap. You would think that a majority would see Brewer’s antics for what they are (kick the darkies!), but we no longer give a shit. I would rather have Obama get taken down for this, than for him to back off under political pressure. It’s a racist law, the people who support it are racist, and I’m not afraid to say so. Which makes the majority of people polled on this racist. Which isn’t news.

    I take Obama at his word when he said he was willing to be a one term POTUS. We don’t deserve him as POTUS. We deserve a Palin presidency, the same way we deserved a Bush presidency. We are an ignorant, hateful, spiteful, shit-headed country. We need to be taught a lesson that we will remember deep in our bones. And a President Palin will be that lesson.

  100. 100
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Cid: I’m telling you, and everyone else I can find, that when Republicans talk about “the deficit” they don’t mean its actual definition. They mean “goodies for undeserving people,” or “welfare.” That’s why wars and tax cuts, which certainly do increase the deficit, don’t increase “the deficit.”

    On the other hand, I’m pretty sure from this passage that Kyl thinks that tax cuts pay for themselves because they stimulate growth and hence bring in more revenue. So along with my first point about how they don’t increase “the deficit,” i.e. the welfare state, he probably also thinks they don’t increase the deficit, i.e. the nation’s shortfall in revenue. Because he’s a dumbass.

  101. 101
    Allison W. says:

    I know Obama gets it and I know most Democrats get it. but just look at all the obstacles that so many here have listed.

    I know we like to crap on politicians and I am not excusing any of their sorry behavior, lies, etc. but they wouldn’t do these things if it didn’t work. WE the people have to go to the polls and punish bad behavior by voting these guys out of office. Even if its the lesser of two evils. We have to keep flushing until the last bit of poop is gone. No matter how long it takes.

  102. 102

    @Hunter Gathers:

    We are an ignorant, hateful, spiteful, shit-headed country. We need to be taught a lesson that we will remember deep in our bones. And a President Palin will be that lesson.

    LOL, I agree this country is thick and apathetic, mostly. And I am at the point that more doses of wingnuttery are in order for it’s educational value. So bring on the winger House Majority and grab some popcorn for the “Chamber of Whores” as someone upthread coined.

    But a Palin presidency would be a cure for that complacency that would likely kill the patient. I don’t believe the majority of this country are rabid racists. A significant minority, yes. And a majority that is gullible to accepting Trojan Horses dressed in common sense, but filled with knuckledrapping racists and nihilistic fools.

  103. 103
    El Cid says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Sure. Republican reality, transmitted via the faithful FOX and AM radio and newspaper pundit media, and absorbed into the minds of those around me.

    The Bush Jr. tax cuts didn’t lose the federal budget a trillion dollars in revenue over the decade. The collapsed economy didn’t bring with it a collapse in expected revenue, losing the vast majority of money lost in creating the current deficits and debts. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars didn’t cost all that much and anyway the Democrats have been running those and they’re losing even more money now.

    The reason we have deficits is that it’s all been given away to the negroes and illigal immigrants so Nancy Pelosi can tax the productive people more and steal our Social Security so that they can run our lives even more. The End.

  104. 104
    El Cid says:

    Without strong organizations to channel the despairing in the helpful direction of reforms aiding the working middle classes, you’re much more likely to get a populist fascist type movement like Tea Partiers writ large than some sort of tossing out of all the reactionaries out of power. My view.

  105. 105
    kay says:

    @Nick:

    Just another example of how Democrats will always lose for doing the right thing…which is my point all along. You want him to do the right thing, prepare to lose.

    I lose all the time, Nick. There are worse things than losing.

    If conservatives want to fight the civil war again, to drum up a wedge issue for a midterm election, so be it.

    They can lose that war, twice.

    I’m sick of these games. Last time it was gay people, with those stupid fucking mean-spirited gay marriage intiatives, this time it’s Hispanics. It’s not like I’m falling out of my chair with shock and horror. How many times have they done this in your lifetime? Ten?

  106. 106
    kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I take Obama at his word when he said he was willing to be a one term POTUS. We don’t deserve him as POTUS. We deserve a Palin presidency, the same way we deserved a Bush presidency. We are an ignorant, hateful, spiteful, shit-headed country. We need to be taught a lesson that we will remember deep in our bones. And a President Palin will be that lesson.

    I’m not quite ready for an unconditional surrender :)

    Come on. It will be entertaining, if nothing else.

    You have to stay in until you actually lose. I don’t want The Half-Ass Grifter getting in there without a LOT of work. She has a poor enough work ethic as it is. We can’t reward that.

  107. 107
    Allison W. says:

    I’d like to make a plea to my fellow Dems. We are all complaining about messaging and that Dems aren’t doing enough, but I have to ask if any of you are doing enough to spread the message to those OUTSIDE of the bubble? Are you paying attention to what the DNC is doing? Are you participating in their campaigns? I’m not talking about volunteering or giving money. I’m talking about participating or providing feedback for what THEY ARE doing. I’m talking positive and professional (if negative) feedback – not insults telling them they need to grow a spine.

    Have any of you seen these:

    http://accountabilityproject.c.....source=HQB

    Or this?

    http://my.democrats.org/page/content/bprepublicans

    Or the commercials they have put out?

    I think these are great ideas, but I have yet to see any major support for these ideas from the “base”. Again I am not talking about money or volunteering, but dang why don’t I see more people talking about this on all the liberal blogs that I visit?

  108. 108
    PaulW says:

    @PaulW:

    Just got back from the Elections office.

    It turns out that – at least in the GREAT STATE OF FLORIDA – they don’t automatically allow for write-in choices on the ballot. You have to submit paperwork to get a write-in slot added to an election. And I missed the deadline.

    This is great. So if you get stuck with an two-party election for say Governor and both choices suck rhino, you’re screwed.

    Well. This really only means one other thing.

    VOTE THE GOP BASTARDS OUT.

    If they don’t like the unemployed, TRY BEING UNEMPLOYED YOURSELVES. Grrrrrrrr.

  109. 109
    kay says:

    @Allison W.:

    I’m having an OFA house party. It’s my second this summer. My response to most everything political seems to be “have a party”.

    I’m not that creative, I admit. I have to say though, a LOT of liberals are quite creative, and their inability to beat Republicans at marketing has been a constant source of disappointment to me. What gives with that? Jeez. Frank Luntz beats them?

  110. 110
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @kay: Oh, I’m not going down without a fight, mind you, I’m just preparing myself mentally for a loss in 2012. It’s always good to have a (mental) contingency plan in place, should the shit hit the fan.

    If she wins, it’ll be a razor thin, Nixon circa 1968 win. But it won’t be for lack of trying on my part. Shit, I’m going to go canvass for Brad Ellsworth across the border in Indiana, and I truly hate his guts. But an Ellsworth victory will make it harder for Jim DeMint (McConnell will never be Majority Leader) to assume the position of Majority Leader. I’d rather work my ass off for an asshole than to sit idle as an un-reconstructed bigot assumes a leadership position in our government.

  111. 111
    kay says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    It’s a fine plan. I do the opposite. I stay ridiculously optimistic right up until the crushing defeat.

    I figure you can lose for 2 years, inch by agonizing inch, or one day, and I choose “one day”.

  112. 112
    Tonal Crow says:

    @El Cid: The AP debases our discourse perhaps more than even Fox “News”, because fewer people recognize that it’s spreading GOPaganda.

  113. 113
    Elie says:

    @Joe Bauers:

    “The future does not look good for the little guy.”

    Well the “little guys” had better wise up, get off their asses ala what the folks in Iran and Thailand have done, and become politically active actors versus victims.

    That’s all. I aint complex, but it is hard to get people to self activate.

  114. 114
    New Yorker says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I take Obama at his word when he said he was willing to be a one term POTUS. We don’t deserve him as POTUS. We deserve a Palin presidency, the same way we deserved a Bush presidency. We are an ignorant, hateful, spiteful, shit-headed country. We need to be taught a lesson that we will remember deep in our bones. And a President Palin will be that lesson.

    I just wish I knew which country to emigrate to. I don’t want to go to China, and Germany’s economy isn’t doing much better than ours. Maybe Chile?

  115. 115
    Nick says:

    @New Yorker: Australia, France and Italy are topping my list. I’d go back to England, but I don’t have much hope for the Cameron government.

  116. 116
    Judas Escargot says:

    But a Palin presidency would be a cure for that complacency that would likely kill the patient. I don’t believe the majority of this country are rabid racists.

    There’s first-order racism, and second-order racism (for want of terms, I coin some).

    I agree that first-order racism (the old-school ‘rabid racists’ (George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, etc.) has been on the decline in the US for decades. But there’s a certain type of white suburban narcissism that leads to a less virulent (but even more insidious) second-order racism that seems to be at work here.

    I don’t believe that Sarah Palin is explicitly racist, or even has any active hatred of black or brown people: But she does clearly think she’s the most awesome being alive today. Seated atop her personal pyramid of awesomeness with her are folks who are just like her, the Mama-Grizzlies.

    As you venture downwards along this conceptual pyramid, you find folks who are less and less like her, and more and more of them. Liberals. Foreigners. Atheists. Brown people. And the lower you go, the less empathy she (or those psychologically like her) feels. So it’s not explicit racism, but an almost clinical inability to relate to those who are not like her that lies at the root of these policies.

    Of course, this subtle difference won’t mean much to those who will suffer dearly after 2012.

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    she does clearly think she’s the most awesome being alive today.

    I’ve always gotten that from Palin too, and for that reason I’m befuddled that anyone out there likes her at all. But then again there are millions of people out there who apparently like Kate Gosselin, who reads to me as exactly the same type. I found that couple and their show instantly, strongly repellent — and yet it had passionate fans. Same goes for Palin, apparently. I will never understand the humans.

  118. 118
    Nick says:

    @FlipYrWhig: People who like her tend to tell me its because she “tells it like it is” and “she can relate to me”

    whatever that means.

  119. 119
    Indie Tarheel says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    As you venture downwards along this conceptual pyramid, you find folks who are less and less like her, and more and more of them. Liberals. Foreigners. Atheists. Brown people. And the lower you go, the less empathy she (or those psychologically like her) feels.

    Just got a link to this, appears to fit here.

  120. 120

    @Judas Escargot: I don’t disagree with your parsing degrees of racial anxiety. You could call it white supremacy, or shreds of it in average moderate whites, at least when it comes to who should govern the country. But Obama, through all of the shit, is still right about 50 / 50 in his approval/disapproval polling. Or, not that much different than the final 2008 vote. The racial difference for our forthcoming elections and it’s importance, has more to do with enthusiasm for voting and activism. And hate and fear have a lot of energy. That clearly puts the wingers in a better position for the 2010 mid terms. It is too early to gauge for 2012. Too many unknown or unripe variables to consider. Dems can salvage a medium loss this fall with more effort on the GOTV program. Obama’s voters still are with him, mostly, but not fired up enough for a variety of reasons, the least of which is normal complacency of the party in power voters taking that power for granted.

  121. 121
    ruemara says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Unfortunately, most everywhere that has posted screeds on the positive aspects of Obama’s DOJ with respect to enforcing immigration law, all throughout the comments that Hispanics will not support him, he’s all talk no action and he’s as bad as Bush. Why? Because even though the enforcement is now on firing instead of detaining illegals and fining businesses who hire illegals. Obviously, Black Jimmy Carter should have just allowed the illegal workers to keep working somewhere with immediate blanket amnesty and ponies. The whole enforcing the law concept is now toxic to some progressive supporters and immediate detention and deportation is somehow the same as removing the incentive. I am utterly disenchanted with progressives, in fact, almost as repulsed as I am be regressive ultra-conservatives.

    ALL I WANT IS FOR PEOPLE TO WORK ON WHAT WE WANT! No, I don’t mean the congressmorons. I mean for the whining to end and the grunt work of harassing our reps until they do as WE want, not the fricking corporations. And if you’re serious about primarying them, then for fucks sake, show up and vote for your candidate in the primary.

    @Allison W.:
    Liberals are all on the whining. Not so much the cheering.

  122. 122
    Tecumseh says:

    @Kirk Spencer: I friggin’ hate this talking point. California has decent unemployment insurance and with a little help from my girlfriend, I can get by without doing too much damage to whatever is left of my savings account. Now, if I can barely (barely) squeek by with unemployment, why would I, take like a temp job or a job at Safeway for less money? That would mean blowing through my savings faster, probably having to borrow money from parents, adding to my already bloated credit card bills, and having my girlfriend pay for even more things. From a practical standpoint, what sense does that make?

    Plus….it’s not nearly as easy to look for work when temping or working at Safeway or what have you when you have all day to look for a job. During the dot.com crash, I actually lost a really good, decently paying temp job because I had to take off too much time to do interviews.

    I should also mention that whenever I do get hired in my profession, I will be taking at least anywhere between a 50% to a 30% cut in salary from my last couple of jobs, maybe more depending on the opportunity. So it’s not like I’m hanging out waiting for some high-level senior type with accompanying salary, I just want some sort of job in my related field and that’s all.

    PS- if people are saying their employees are not coming back to work because unemployment pays more, well, could that also mean you’re paying them shit wages and you deserve it?

  123. 123
    slippy says:

    @FoxinSocks:

    Now the company is panicking because sales and employee morale are way down,

    Wow, imagine that. You fire the most accomplished folks at your organization and everyone else starts thinking you’re doing a scorched-earth reduction.

    The trouble is that company probably now deserves their own destruction because that is exactly what happened to Circuit City. They canned all of the commissioned salesfolk and tried to get the stockboys to do sales for them, and surprisingly people with no sales skills were utterly incapable of moving high-priced electronics. And now, there is no such store chain in existence, due to their OWN self-imposed stupidity.

    This is a race to the bottom and the only thing that can fix it for the rest of us is giving incentives to companies who AREN’T head-crushingly retarded about these things.

  124. 124
    slippy says:

    @PaulW:

    It turns out that – at least in the GREAT STATE OF FLORIDA – they don’t automatically allow for write-in choices on the ballot.

    Someone doesn’t understand what write-in means, do they?

    Deliberately so.

  125. 125
    mnpundit says:

    All I can say is that the roads in Minnesota and Iowa, which were normally paved every few years, in 2009 were ALL BEING PAVED AT ONCE which as a result added over an HOUR of travel time to my 500 mile drive. And each one was a result of the god damn stimulus. These roads would have been paved in a normal consecutive manner but instead an orgy of road construction took place.

  126. 126
    JoJo says:

    The trouble is that company probably now deserves their own destruction because that is exactly what happened to Circuit City. They canned all of the commissioned salesfolk and tried to get the stockboys to do sales for them, and surprisingly people with no sales skills were utterly incapable of moving high-priced electronics. And now, there is no such store chain in existence, due to their OWN self-imposed stupidity.

    I stopped shopping at Circuit City for that exact reason. I got tired of being treated rudely by 20 year old kids who made their disgust at having to talk to a chubby, middle-aged woman loud and clear.

    I’m talking about literally having to chase down a ‘salesman’ just to find out where the toner was hidden. I’m not kidding, I’d make eye contact, they’d look me up and down, look disgusted and trot in the other direction.

    Good riddance!

  127. 127
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @El Cid:

    The goal of the conservative establishment is to impose as much as they can of the “austerity” and “structural adjustment” economics programs that Latin America and Africa had to survive, barely, throughout the late 1980s and 1990s by the wise advisers at the IMF and World Bank whose insights told these 3rd world nations—who had already paid back to Western investors more in interest than the original principle—to slash social spending, dismantle national industry development schemes, to force the poorest to pay for their kids’ primary education, make health care dependent upon foreign aid volition, and so forth.

    As someone who grew up in an African country with a structural adjustment program that decimated the middle class and swelled the ranks of the poor while leaving the rich with their private jets and Swiss bank accounts, this pretty much sums it up. It’s weird watching it happen in slow-motion in a country that should know better and feeling powerless to stop it.

  128. 128
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @FoxinSocks:

    Now the company is panicking because sales and employee morale are way down, so what do they do to turn things around? Slash wages further and fire more people, because that’ll keep costs down. And these idiots make millions of dollars while my mother will be searching for a new job and Rand Paul criticizes her for daring to take unemployment.

    This is why anyone who claims “the market” will take care of unemployment is a lying sack of pig shit. “The market” encourages unemployment; no CEO will ever lose his or her job for cutting labor costs, and more often than not they will be lavishly rewarded for it.

    The Rand Pauls of this world see labor as a necessary evil at best. Their idea of utopia is selling each other paper at increasingly inflated prices without actually having to, you know, make shit.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    PS- if people are saying their employees are not coming back to work because unemployment pays more, well, could that also mean you’re paying them shit wages and you deserve it?

    This, a thousand times this.

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