Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
- The Feds have announced no increase in Social Security benefits this year, just like last year! Social Security benefits are by law tied to the Consumer Price Index, and so when inflation goes up (say 4%, which is healthy) recipients get their COLA fix (cost of living adjustment.) This year and last year there was no inflation (may have been deflation) and so they get no increase. This is something that occurs independently of Congress, but I suspect many elderly voters won't get that. I suspect that because I interned at a Senator's office last year and we had old people calling us constantly demanding their COLA increase, and not being satisfied with the explanation I just provided. With typical irony, they will probably exercise that anger by voting in a party (Republicans) who have been against Social Security its entire life and will likely seek to begin dismantling it under the guise of deficit reduction (which as Dean Baker or Paul Krugman routinely point out, is bullshit. Medicare might swallow the federal budget, Social Security is completely fine and with minor adjustments will be fine for a long time.)
- McDonald's hamburgers can last at least 12 years without decay, a woman's experiment shows. Not even the bread gets moldy, which is pretty fucking disturbing. If I said it once I'll say it again, never eat fast food, ever.
-The Afghan "Peace Council" is opening talks with the Taliban. Seems like the me like a smart idea; the war is not going to be won militarily and these types of conflicts are never hurt by negotiation.
-The trade deficit widens, and yet Obama seems set against penalizing China (ala tariffs) for their illegal currency manipulation, which is tantamount to subsidies on their exports, which leads to things like our big trade deficit. I wonder if post-health care he is going to fight for anything? I wonder if he really cares (though he did say he wanted to double US exports in five years. How is that going?)
- Hillary wont be VP in 2012 because Biden says Obama asked him first. Is Obama running in 2012?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
After the disclosures in mass amounts of fraudulent foreclosures by banks across the country; after Attorneys General from both parties from nearly every state in the country called for a foreclosure moratorium in their states; after 2.5 million homes foreclosed upon and 6.5 million currently in foreclosure; President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have come out again a foreclosure moratorium. While they may make some good technical arguments, the timing and dare I say audacity of the President is still quite shocking.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Cuts in Government Led U.S. Economy to Lose 95,000 Jobs
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Two good articles that I've read recently. One was Matt Taibbi's excellent (per usual) writing in Rolling Stone, this time on the Tea Party. Taibbi does a good job in not simply denigrating tea partiers to racist hicks, but trying to understand the underlying forces behind them (aside from the Koch Brothers.)
You look into the eyes of these people when you talk to them and they genuinely don't see what the problem is. It's no use explaining that while nobody likes the idea of having to get the government to tell restaurant owners how to act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the tool Americans were forced to use to end a monstrous system of apartheid that for 100 years was the shame of the entire Western world. But all that history is not real to Tea Partiers; what's real to them is the implication in your question that they're racists, and to them that is the outrage, and it's an outrage that binds them together. They want desperately to believe in the one-size-fits-all, no-government theology of Rand Paul because it's so easy to understand. At times, their desire to withdraw from the brutally complex global economic system that is an irrevocable fact of our modern life and get back to a simpler world that no longer exists is so intense, it breaks your heart.
I will post a full review tomorrow, along with a review on Ryan Lizza's article in the New Yorker on the Senate Climate Change bill (and how it all went wrong.)