The Rise of the Wrecking-Ball Right

From Robert Reich:

By Robert Reich
Friday, July 15, 2011

Recently I debated a conservative Republican who insisted the best way to revive the American economy was to shrink the size of government. When I asked him to explain his logic he said, simply, “government is the source of all our problems.” When I noted government spending had brought the economy out of the previous eight economic downturns, including the Great Depression, he disagreed. “The Depression ended because of World War Two,” he pronounced, as if government had played no part in it.

A few days later I was confronted by another conservative Republican who blamed the nation’s high unemployment rate on the availability of unemployment benefits. “If you pay someone not to work, they won’t,” he said. When I pointed out unemployment benefits couldn’t possibly be the cause of joblessness because there are now about five job seekers for every job opening, he scoffed. “Government always makes things worse.”

Government-haters seem to be everywhere.

Congressional Republicans, now led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, hate government so much they’re ready to sacrifice the full faith and credit of the United States in order to shrink it.

Taming the deficit isn’t their aim. They rejected Obama’s offer to cut $3 trillion of spending over the decade – including major reductions in entitlement programs – because his plan would also entail $1 trillion of tax increases. Their ultimate goal, in the words of their guru Grover Norquist, is to take government down to “the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

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This Land Is Your Land- Arlo Guthrie joins the Solidarity Sing Along 7-15-11

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‘Massive heat wave’ on way; Oklahomans urged to pray

Have these putzes ever considered that perhaps Gaia, aka Mother Nature hates their phony piety and bigotry not to mention their nature destroying way of death?

Perhaps if they were to adhere to some basic Earth First principles such as:  1. Stand for what you stand on! 2. No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth!

Then we might not be in the mess we are in with over population and the end of peak oil.

Entropy is better than growth.  Sustainability tops globalization every second of every day.

You can’t pray away climate change by begging an imaginary invisible sky daddy while abusing Mother Nature.


NBC, and news services
updated 7/14/2011 6:52:45 PM ET

While much of the U.S. was cooler Thursday ahead of another heat wave, temperatures were still around triple digits in Oklahoma and Texas — where ways to beat the heat included dumping 2,400 pounds of ice into a pool with hundreds of people.

“The stage is being set for a massive heat wave to develop into next week as a large area of high pressure is anticipated to circulate hot and humid air over much of the central and eastern U.S.,” the National Weather Service warned. “Maximum heat index values of at least 100°F are likely across much of this area by the middle of next week, with heat index values in excess of 110°F possible over portions of these areas.”

“The big story for the coming weekend will be the building heat,” added Jim Keeney, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “It looks like it’s going to be a long-term heat wave.”

In the thick of the heat wave is Oklahoma where Gov. Mary Fallin asked Oklahomans to pray for rain this Sunday.

“The power of prayer is a wonderful thing, and I would ask every Oklahoman to look to a greater power this weekend and ask for rain,” Fallin said in a news release on Thursday.

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OccupyWallStreet: A Shift in Revolutionary Tactics

From Common Dreams:

by Adbusters
Published on Saturday, July 16, 2011 by Adbusters

Alright you 90,000 redeemers, rebels and radicals out there, a worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future. The spirit of this fresh tactic, a fusion of Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain, is captured in this quote:

“The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people.”— Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona, Spain

The beauty of this new formula, and what makes this novel tactic exciting, is its pragmatic simplicity: we talk to each other in various physical gatherings and virtual people’s assemblies … we zero in on what our one demand will be, a demand that awakens the imagination and, if achieved, would propel us toward the radical democracy of the future … and then we go out and seize a square of singular symbolic significance and put our asses on the line to make it happen.

The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America.

On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

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The jobs meltdown

From The Socialist Worker:

Gary Lapon explains what’s behind the latest disastrous employment statistics.
July 11, 2011

TWO YEARS after the economic “recovery” is supposed to have begun by the official calculations, the latest report on jobs from the U.S. government shows the Great Recession is alive and well for anyone who has the misfortune of looking for work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. economy added just 18,000 jobs in June, and employment figures for May were revised down to just 25,000 new jobs. That’s a huge drop from February through April, when politicians and commentators celebrated announcements of more than 200,000 new jobs each month.

In addition, approximately a quarter of a million people gave up looking for work in June, joining the ranks of the millions of “discouraged workers” who are no longer even counted among the unemployed.

A significant portion of the decline in the overall unemployment rate in the past 18 months is the result not of new jobs being created, but of unemployed workers giving up on finding work. But job creation in June was so bad that even with so many “discouraged workers” dropping out of the statistics, the unemployment rate still jumped to 9.2 percent.

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The Predicted Job Collapse Now in Progress

From Truth Out:

by: Jack Rasmus, Truthout | Op-Ed
Friday 15 July 2011

While politicians and business press pundits last March-April were proclaiming the jobs crisis was over, the prediction came that “March-April’s Job Gains Will Collapse This Summer.” That prediction is now underway with the latest June jobs numbers from the US Department of Labor reported July 8 showing only 18,000 new hires occurring in June. The preceding May jobs report showed an almost as dismal 54,000 jobs created.

The predicted summer 2011 jobs collapse was based upon an analysis showing that, for the last four years, every spring quarter, April-June, job numbers are distorted and inflated as a result of certain statistical methods employed by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that artificially boost second-quarter job numbers. The cause of the distortion and artificial boost in jobs involves what is called the New Business Birth-Death model. The updated Table 1 from May that follows shows how second quarter numbers are, once again, typically inflated this year, as in previous years. The May and June jobs reports showing a dramatic decline in job creation, in turn, strongly suggests a coming jobs relapse this summer and third quarter

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Romney: Jobless Americans Have To Bear Burden Of Budget Cuts Because Corporations Need A Tax Cut

From Think Progress:

By Travis Waldron
Jul 15, 2011

ThinkProgress filed this report from a campaign event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

A member of the local Rotary Club stood yesterday to ask former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) a question weighing on the minds of millions of jobless Americans: At a time when corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash, why are the Americans who can least afford it being asked to shoulder the burden of trillions of dollars in potential budget cuts?

But Romney dodged the question, ignoring the plight of the poor and unemployed, and instead launched into a speech about how American jobs were being outsourced to developing countries with cheap labor and miniscule tax rates because the U.S. has made itself unattractive to major corporations. Instead of sticking up for Americans who are facing cuts to the safety net programs they desperately need, Romney took the opportunity to proclaim that America’s problems could be fixed if it gave corporations yet another tax cut:

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Soylent Greenbacks: David Brooks Wants People to Die for Debt Reduction

From Mother Jones:

By James Ridgeway
Fri Jul. 15, 2011

To help solve the debt crisis, the best thing I can do is die. Maybe not right now, but certainly before I put too much strain on the public purse—and since I’m 74, that means pretty soon. If I should be lucky enough to contract a fatal disease, I can do the right thing by eschewing expensive medical care that might extend my life. If that doesn’t happen, and I enter a slow and costly decline, then in the interests of the greater good I should take the Hemingway solution.

That’s pretty much the message of David Brooks’ column in today’s New York Times. “This fiscal crisis is about many things,” he writes, “but one of them is our  inability to face death—our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months.”

Here’s how Brooks comes by his position: To begin with, he says: “The fiscal crisis is driven largely by health care costs.” Never mind two futile wars and 10 years of tax relief for millionaires.

Furthermore, he argues, the reason for these soaring costs is that very old and very sick people insist on clinging on to their miserable lives, when they ought to be civic-minded enough to kick off. It’s not the insurance companies, which reap huge profits by serving as useless, greed-driven middlemen. It’s not the drug companies, which are making out like bandits with virtually no government regulation. It’s not the whole corrupt, overpriced system of medicine for profit, which delivers the 37th best health care in the world, according to the WHO, at more than twice the cost of the best (France). No. It’s all about us greedy geezers. We’re the ones who are placing an untenable burden on the younger, heartier citizenry, with our selfish desire to live a little longer.

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