Wednesday Reads: No Nothing NadaPosted: September 14, 2011
Man, trying to find articles for today’s morning reads was excruciating. When a trending topic is Fox News ridiculous paper clip bash on Obama’s use of a large black plastic clip to hold together his American Jobs Act, you know the pickings are going to be slim.
Since I’ve mentioned the damn thing, might as well post some links on that:
President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which he presented to Congress on Monday, would make it illegal for employers to run advertisements saying that they will not consider unemployed workers, or to refuse to consider or hire people because they are unemployed.
The proposed language is found in a section of the bill titled “Prohibition of Discrimination in Employment on the Basis of an Individual’s Status as Unemployed.” That section would also make it illegal for employers to request that employment agencies take into account a person’s unemployed status.
It would allow for people to sue companies if they were discriminated against because of long-term unemployment. Of course, the rich and employed GOP Reps are not going for it. One in particular, and surprise he is from Texas, Rep.Louie Gohmert has said it will create a new class of sue happy people, and the trial lawyers will be the ones who get new jobs…
“So if you’re unemployed, and you go to apply for a job and you’re not hired for that job, see a lawyer,” Gohmert said on the House floor. “You might be able to file a claim because you got discriminated against because you’re unemployed.”
He said this provision would only discourage companies from interviewing unemployed candidates, and would “help trial lawyers who are not having enough work,” since there are about 14 million unemployed Americans.
“That’s 14 million potential new clients that could go hire a lawyer and file a claim because they didn’t get hired even though they were unemployed,” he said.
Take a minute to read some of the comments on that link…there are some who realize the problem, and think it is a good addition to the AJA bill. But then read some of the vile comments that readers make, reminiscent of the debate crowd cheering for allowing uninsured people to drop dead, it is downright frightening.
There has really been a growing disgust for the long-term unemployed, have you noticed it? The “Us and Them” viewpoint is getting louder and more abrasive. The language that some people are using when discussing the unemployed has become as nasty as the language they use when talking about welfare mothers. Maybe these hateful people would like to see a big scarlet U mandate on the unemployed, make it a condition to get your unemployment check…you must have a U sewn onto your clothing, which they will inspect when you go to pee in a cup for that pre-funding drug test you’ll have to pay for.
Just a side note, my mind has wandered. Yesterday my son asked if anything as horrible as the Holocaust could ever happen again. His actual question was could there be another Hitler, would Hitler be able to get away with killing all those people today. And the answer I gave him was yes. I don’t mean that ovens for the unemployed will pop up across the US, but damn…the tension is rising all over the world. Austerity is giving hate a fertile breeding ground, this bad economy is bringing out the worst in people who are not being affected negatively by this Age of Austerity. </sidenote>
A new plan has been suggested by some Democrats in office. Liberal Democrats announce jobs platform to the left of Obama’s – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room
At a news conference, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said Obama’s proposal was a good start, but that their own agenda would do even more to put people to work.
The CPC platform focuses on six areas for job creation and calls for a national infrastructure bank, green technology investment, new public-sector spending for job creation and closing tax loopholes and subsidies for big American businesses as well as discouraging large bonuses for CEOs of big corporations.
The framework includes a $227 billion jobs bill sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) that aims to create 2.2 million jobs through funding for school improvement, police and firefighter services, local healthcare providers, the Early Head Start program and park-improvement services.
Schakowsky’s proposal would be funded by separate legislation, also sponsored by her, that raises taxes on millionaires and billionaires. Her legislation would also cut subsidies for major oil companies and close tax loopholes for corporations that hire employees outside the United States.
While the progressive Democrats’ proposals focus on new spending, Obama’s jobs package includes mostly tax cuts, including an extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut introduced this year.
I’m glad there are some Dems actually doing something productive, but come on…get real! You think any spending bill that is funded by raising taxes on those very people who would rather see a poor man die is gonna get passed.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) stressed that it was important for Democrats to not cave in on pieces of either Obama’s jobs plan or the CPC’s job-creation agenda.
“Half a loaf is not enough in the United States of America,” Woolsey said. “The whole proposal is what we must have now.”
Yeah, no kidding…but even going out and taking this CPC plan out to the people seems like a stretch to me. Maybe it will be well accepted, but when I hear the folks around my part of Banjoland, they are all speaking the Fox News language of no more debt, don’t have money to pay for new projects that would create jobs. And these are people who are suffering from underemployment and unemployment. It is like they repeat the same phrases they hear fron Neal Boortz and Rush and the other right wing loud mouths, and it is just not repeating, it is parroting the tone and expression of the talking heads that really make me cringe.
Oh, and I want you to look at the comments on this post as well. I don’t know, but I have found myself looking at what people are saying on the articles I read. It usually makes me feel even more discouraged but maybe I am just over all the crap plans these politicians are proposing.
Speaking of crap, Austerity crap that is: IMF: Austerity boosts unemployment, lowers paychecks – The Washington Post
These past few years, the Republican line on job creation has been simple: Cut government spending, tame the deficit, and unemployment will fall. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the day after, but soon. “To put it simply,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R- Va.) said last spring, “less government spending means more private-sector jobs.” But that’s not exactly a rigorous study. So here’s a rigorous study.
In a new paper for the International Monetary Fund, Laurence Ball, Daniel Leigh and Prakash Loungani look at 173 episodes of fiscal austerity over the past 30 years—with the average deficit cut amounting to 1 percent of GDP. Their verdict? Austerity “lowers incomes in the short term, with wage-earners taking more of a hit than others; it also raises unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment.”
More specifically, an austerity program that curbs the deficit by 1 percent of GDP reduces real incomes by about 0.6 percent and raises unemployment by almost 0.5 percentage points. What’s more, the IMF notes, the losses are twice as big when the central bank can’t cut rates (a good description of the present.) Typically, income and employment don’t fully recover even five years after the austerity program is put in place.
How many studies and reports is it going to take to make these people realize Austerity isn’t the answer. It only brings on more income inequality, lower incomes get lower, higher incomes get higher.
Some austerity programs can be harsher than others. The IMF study notes that plans to reduce the deficit can be particularly brutal if central banks “do not or cannot blunt some of the pain through a monetary policy stimulus.” (In 1992, Italy and Finland took steps to rein in their deficits but mitigated the discomfort by depreciating their currencies and boosting exports.) Meanwhile, if multiple countries are all carrying out austerity at the same time, the overall pain is likely to be greater. This sums up the current debt crisis in the euro zone: Individual euro member states can’t depreciate their own currencies because they’re all on the euro; the European Central Bank isn’t providing much monetary stimulus; and the economically ailing countries are all dragging one another other down.
But this IMF paper isn’t new proof that austerity doesn’t work in a bad economy, we have read Dakinikat’s posts about this…her little fingers must be so bruised and callused from typing the same words repeatedly.
This looks like a good time to post this link, h/t Maddow Blog:
A visual map of US bridges that need improvements. It’s from information gathered a few years ago, so there are probably more little green dots on that map now…but it illustrates a point. A painful one at that.
Hmmm, that word green reminds me, there is more news about the Solyndra mess: Emails: Obama White House Monitored Huge Loan to ‘Connected’ Firm – ABC News
Newly uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored the Energy Department’s deliberations over a $535 million government loan to Solyndra, the politically-connected solar energy firm that recently went bankrupt and is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
The emails were “shared” with ABC…I get an image of the parking garage scene in All The President’s Men…
…internal emails uncovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were shared exclusively with ABC News show the Obama administration was keenly monitoring the progress of the loan, even as analysts were voicing serious concerns about the risk involved. “This deal is NOT ready for prime time,” one White House budget analyst wrote in a March 10, 2009 email, nine days before the administration formally announced the loan.
“If you guys think this is a bad idea, I need to unwind the W[est] W[ing] QUICKLY,” wrote Ronald A. Klain, who was chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, in another email sent March 7, 2009.
Whoa…the plot appears to be getting thicker doesn’t it.
Ah, the word “thick” brings me to the topic of my last links for the day. Michele Bachmann, and believe me this GOP candidate is about as “thickheaded” as they come. By thickheaded I mean she is clueless…a moron.
In 1924, Congress passed a package of immigration laws — including the National Origins Act and the Asian Exclusion Act — establishing a quota system giving preferential treatment to European immigrants. Under these laws, the number of immigrants who could be admitted from a given country was capped at a percentage of the number of people from that nation who were living in the United States in 1890. Because Americans were overwhelmingly of European descent in 1890, the practical effect of these laws was an enormous thumb on the scale encouraging white immigration.
These quotas were eliminated by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, an act which is widely credited for opening up our nation to new Americans of Asian and Central and South American descent. At last night’s CNN/Tea Party Republican presidential candidates’ debate, however, Bachmann claimed this decision to eliminate our past, misguided immigration policy was a big mistake.
The immigration system in the United States worked very, very well up until the mid-1960s when liberal members of Congress changed the immigration laws. What works is to have people come into the United States with a little bit of money in their pocket, legally, with sponsors so that if anything happens to them they don’t fall back on the taxpayers to take care of them.
It not only barred Asians from immigrating to this country, it also made the Asians that were already here ineligible for citizenship.
See, she’s a moron!
But as this last link points out, Bachmann isn’t the only thickheaded one these days. Tommy Christopher discusses how the Media Fails The Public By Allowing Michele Bachmann To Spread HPV Vaccine Misinformation CNN NBC | Michele Bachmann | HPV vaccine fail | Mediaite
Within the past 24 hours, I have watched at least three different mainstream journalists allow Rep. Michele Bachmann to claim that the HPV vaccine is “dangerous,” and that it might cause “mental retardation,” without challenging her, or notifying their audiences (of millions) that the vaccine is safe. First, Wolf Blitzer let it sail by during last night’s CNN/Tea Party debate, then CNN’s John King followed suit during a post-debate interview, and The Today Show‘s Matt Lauer skated by it Tuesday morning. These journalists are failing their most important function, to act in the public’s interest.
…someone at CNN should have checked it out during the time between Blitzer’s question and John King’s post-debate interview.
But there’s simply no excuse for Lauer’s failure to challenge Bachmann the following morning. She didn’t bring up the HPV vaccine, Lauer did, and he already knew she was going around claiming that it’s harmful. Hell, without knowing anything about HPV, any reporter would challenge the “evidence” as Bachmann presented it.
This isn’t about making Michele Bachmann look stupid. While Blitzer, King, and Lauer could have asked her to respond to the science that refutes her claims, they could also have simply paused to mention that the CDC, the FDA, and every non-quack in the known world says the vaccine is safe. Ten seconds. In each case, though, these journalists were more concerned about refereeing a food fight between Bachmann and Rick Perry, so their massive audiences got a dose of real poison: misinformation about a life-saving drug.
CNN is running a segment with Dr. Cohen that tries to put the right information about the vaccine out there, but will it reach the same volume of people as the high-profile debate? I doubt it. Tommy Christopher goes on to write,
Let’s set aside the politics of this for a moment (and I’m biting through my lip to do that). Whether you think the vaccine ought to be mandatory or not, it is imperative that people making the choice whether to vaccinate their kids (or themselves) have accurate information. The HPV vaccine prevents a virus that causes cervical cancer, so this is a life-and-death issue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the HPV vaccine is as safe, if not safer than, any other vaccine. Only .05% of patients who took the vaccine reported any adverse effects at all, and of those, 8% were considered serious, and none (zero) of them could be linked to the vaccine itself. You’d get more reports than that from people who ate a Tic Tac.
The window in which the vaccine is not unlimited, either. It’s only proven effective for ages 12-26. Whatever your beliefs about the government’s ability to mandate the vaccine, I would hope that everyone would bear in mind that not every sex act is a sin (or even consensual), and that not every sin deserves to be punished with cancer.
A point many have made about this HPV vaccine. Sex isn’t always consensual.
Now, people have every right in the world to be skeptical of science, but they need to be told about the science. If even one person dies because Michele Bachmann scared them out of taking the HPV vaccine (well-meaning though she may be), that will be a tragedy, one that could have been avoided if the media did its job.
The media has neglected its job enough lately. They need to step up and ask the questions that need to be asked. Otherwise, the term “free press” will be just a worthless phrase…how can anything be “free” if it is getting its advertising and sponsor revenue from people who have a specific agenda. Hey, and remember, “people” includes corporations, cause corporations are people too.
That’s is it for me, the cool side of the pillow is calling me. Share some thoughts and I’ll catch y’all later in the comments.