Monday ReadsPosted: May 2, 2011
Well, the biggest news is the killing of Osama Bin Laden in a US operation. The President announced the news on TV last night. There were few details other than Bin Laden was killed in a US operation and was in Pakistan. Spontaneous celebrations erupted across the U.S. The entire statement can be read at NPR. The State Department has warned that there may be increased potential for violence against US citizens and a security alert has been announced for travelers. WAPO is reporting that this was a Navy Seals operation that involved the CIA and Pakistani intelligence.
Obama said the operation took place in Abbottabad, a city of about 100,000 in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, about 100 miles north of Islamabad. Named for a British military officer who founded it as a military cantonment and summer retreat, it is the headquarters of a brigade of the Pakistan Army’s 2nd Division.
Bin Laden had long eluded U.S. forces throughout George W. Bush’s presidency, and the former president said Sunday that he congratulated Obama and the military and intelligence personnel who “devoted their lives to this mission.”
After weeks of chasing conspiracy stories about the President and dropping the F-bomb numerous times in a speech, Donald Trump becomes the arbiter of good taste calling the White House correspondent’s dinner “inappropriate”. I guess he really does like jokes about his nasty hairdo after all.
At the event, Obama made light of Trump’s repeated calls for him to release his birth certificate, something he did Wednesday, and Meyers made fun of everything from his hair to his presidential ambition. Although Trump appeared unamused during Saturday’s dinner, he said he was honored “in a certain way” to be a focal point.
“I really knew what I was getting into last night. I had no idea it would be to that extent where, you know just joke after joke after joke,” the mogul said. “It was almost like, is there anyone else they can talk about?”
He also found the event “inappropriate in certain respects” and spent the evening thinking about how “the American people are really suffering and we’re all having a good time.”
And what was his assessment of Meyers’ comedic timing?
“His (Meyers) delivery was not good. He’s a stutterer and he really was having a hard time,” Trump said of the “Saturday Night Live” star.
Is any one else but me still offended by Trump calling Rosie O’Donnell a pig? So, first misogyny and now attacks on disabilities. So, now Seth Meyer is a ‘stutterer’. Stay classy, The Donald! Guess he can dish it out but he can’t take it!
Reagan Budget Director David Stockman once more calls for raising taxes to take care of Federal budget problems. It’s been interesting to watch all these Republican officials come out and tell other Republicans to do the responsible thing.
Asked by Reuter’s Chrystia Freeland if the economy could “sustain” a tax increase, Stockman said “absolutely,” noting that the economy only recovered under Reagan once he raisedtaxes in 1982 after “cut[ting] taxes too much” the year before:
FREELAND: You worked for Ronald Reagan. Do you think the American economy — so you’re, like, a red-blooded capitalist — could it sustain higher taxes than it has now?
STOCKMAN: Absolutely. In 1982, we were looking at the jaws of the worst recession since the 1930s. We overdid it in 1981, cut taxes too much. We came back with a big deficit reduction plan in 1982. Unemployment’s at 10 percent, the economy is in dire shape, and we raise taxes by 1.2 percent of GDP, which would be $150 billion a year right now — not 10 years down the road — but right now
Here’s one of those ‘Only in Washington, D.C” stories from The Hill. Here’s another example of no funding for a delegated task.
President Obama launched a task force last week to look into oil and gas price manipulation, but a spending bill he signed into law earlier this month would prevent the government’s top statistical agency from analyzing that very issue.
The fiscal year 2011 spending legislation – a product of tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats – cuts the Energy Information Administration’s budget by 14 percent.
Michelle Bachmann Godwins. She compared the federal debt levels to the holocaust. Ever wonder if there’s any actual history classes in her past? How on earth can you compare anything that trivial to the mass slaughter of innoncent people in such a systemic and horrific way?
Bachmann, careful to note that there was no direct analogy in today’s times to the Holocaust, still tied the loss of “economic liberty” that Americans face today to the systematic killing of six million European Jews.
“We are seeing eclipsed in front of our eyes a similar death and a similar taking away,” Bachmann said. “It is this disenfranchisement that I think we have to answer to.”
In a reference to the Obama administration’s new health care law, the likely presidential candidate and tea party favorite said creating new entitlement programs that “there was never any hope or chance of being able” to pay for was an exercise in “fantasy economics.”
“All of the problems we’re facing with debt are manmade problems. We created them. It’s called fantasy economics,” she told Republicans gathered at Southern New Hampshire University. “Fantasy economics only works in a fantasy world. It doesn’t work in reality.”
If any one would know about fantasy worlds, I suggest it would be Michele Bachmann.
Project Syndicate is one of my favorite sites these days and this is a very descriptive headline by Pimco’s CEO Mohamed El-Erian: Sleepwalking through America’s Unemployment Crisis.
Let us start with the facts:
· At 8.8% almost three years after the onset of the global financial crisis, America’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly (and unusually) high;
· Rather than reflecting job creation, much of the improvement in recent months (from 9.8% in November last year) is due to workers exiting the labor force, thus driving workforce participation to a multi-year low of 64.2%;
· If part-time workers eager to work full time are included, almost one in six workers in America are either under- or unemployed;
· More than six million workers have been unemployed for more than six months, and four million for over a year;
· Unemployment among 16-19 year olds is at a staggering 24%;
· With virtually no earned income and dwindling savings, the unemployed are least able to manage the current surge in gasoline and food prices, they are effectively shut off from credit, and many have mortgage debt that exceed the value of their homes.
These and many other facts speak to an unpleasant and unusual reality for the United States. The country now has an unemployment problem that is large in magnitude and increasingly structural in nature. The consequences are multifaceted, involving immediate personal anguish, rising social and political tensions, economic losses, and budgetary pressures.
This is much more than a problem for the here and now. High and intractable unemployment has serious negative long-term consequences that threaten to become exponentially worse. This is a crisis.
So, there’s some headlines to think about! What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
updated for this thread: NationalJournal.com has some information on “The Secret Team that Killed Obama” that you may want to check out. There’s also a timeline or tick tock for Bin Laden’s life.
From Ghazi Air Base in Pakistan, the modified MH-60 helicopters made their way to the garrison suburb of Abbottabad, about 30 miles from the center of Islamabad. Aboard were Navy SEALs, flown across the border from Afghanistan, along with tactical signals, intelligence collectors, and navigators using highly classified hyperspectral imagers.
After bursts of fire over 40 minutes, 22 people were killed or captured. One of the dead was Osama bin Laden, done in by a double tap — boom, boom — to the left side of his face. His body was aboard the choppers that made the trip back. One had experienced mechanical failure and was destroyed by U.S. forces, military and White House officials tell National Journal.
Were it not for this high-value target, it might have been a routine mission for the specially trained and highly mythologized SEAL Team Six, officially called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, but known even to the locals at their home base Dam Neck in Virginia as just DevGru.