Tuesday Reads

The reaction Obama should have to the unemployment numbers

Good Morning!! I wrote about Obama’s three-state bus tour last night, so I won’t go on and on about it; but I watched the speech at the Decorah town hall late last night. I just had to share this excerpt:

“We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again. But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck. Some things that we could not control.” He mentioned the Arab Spring, which led to higher gas prices, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises.

“All those things have been headwinds for our economy….Now, those are things that we can’t completely control. The question is, how do we manage these challenging times and do the right things when it comes to those things that we can control?”

“The problem is that we’ve got the kind of partisan brinksmanship that is willing to put party ahead of country, that is more interested in seeing their political opponents lose than seeing the country win. Nowhere was that more evident than in this recent debt ceiling debacle.”

So nothing was wrong with the administration’s policies? If it hadn’t been for those uncontrollable events, everything would have been just fine? Excuse me, but wasn’t there a report a last week that showed there basically has never been a real recovery?

Have you been following the Anonymous protests against the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) authority in San Francisco? The protests were in response to the shooting of a homeless man by BART police–the second such shooting in the past couple of years.

After a white BART police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man shortly after New Year’s 2009, the transit agency agreed to 127 policy changes recommended by an independent auditor. They included arming officers with Tasers and providing crisis-intervention training for the BART police force.

Eighteen months after the auditor issued its final report, BART has fulfilled only a fraction of those recommendations. By last month, barely a quarter of all officers possessed Tasers, even though the agency had purchased enough for each one. Just 10 percent had received training in how to defuse potentially violent situations involving the mentally ill.

On July 3, a BART officer shot and killed Charles Hill, a homeless man, at the Civic Center station in San Francisco. Transit police said Mr. Hill, appearing inebriated, was armed with a bottle and two knives and acted aggressively when two officers confronted him. After a minute-long confrontation, one of the officers shot Mr. Hill.

Last week, the hacktivist organization attempted to shut down BART with a ddos attack, which failed. Next,

participants took to raiding databases and leaking the personal information of 2,000 people.

On Thursday, BART switched off access to voice and data services, from all of the major cellular carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The shutdown was in response to plans to use mobile devices to coordinate protests during the evening commute.

“[The protest organizers]…stated they would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police….BART temporarily interrupted service at select BART stations as one of many tactics to ensure the safety of everyone on the platform,” a statement from BART said.

“Cell phone service was not interrupted outside BART stations. In addition, numerous BART Police officers and other BART personnel with radios were present during the planned protest, and train intercoms and white courtesy telephones remained available for customers seeking assistance or reporting suspicious activity.”

When I heard about this yesterday, I wondered if the U.S. was beginning to turn into Egypt, with authorities attempting to keep people from using social networking sites.

The digital interruption caused the protests to be cancelled, but enraged protesters. Thus, the stage was set for a confrontation today. And the confrontation came, with all four downtown SF BART stations forced to shut down.

BART temporarily closed all four downtown San Francisco stations tonight – Civic Center, Powell, Montgomery and Embarcadero – a crowd gathered to protest the transit agency’s decision to cut underground cellular phone service for three hours Thursday evening in an effort to quell a protest.

As of 6:45 p.m., the Civic Center and Montgomery stations were open. At the Powell and Embarcadero stations, passengers could exit trains but not board them.

The closures began at 5:25 p.m., when protesters were kicked out of the Civic Center station, then began marching toward the other stations. That prompted BART to close them, one by one.

The Muni Metro stations at the same locations were closed in tandem with the BART stations. Trains continued to run through the stations, only allowing passengers to exit.

In addition, the FCC has begun an investigation of BART’s actions in shutting down cell phone service. So I guess we’re not Egypt quite yet.

Remember the story about David Prosser, the Wisconsin Supreme Court judge who allegedly choked a female colleague, Anne Walsh Bradley? A special prosecutor has now been named to investigate the incident.

Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett will serve as special prosecutor in the investigation of a physical altercation between two state Supreme Court justices.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley has said Justice David Prosser put her in a “chokehold” during a June argument over a case in her chambers. Others have said Bradley came at Prosser with fists raised and he put up his hands to block her or push her back.

The incident occurred June 13, a day before the deeply divided court issued a 4-3 ruling upholding Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s legislation curtailing collective bargaining for public employees. That case started when Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne brought a lawsuit claiming a legislative committee violated the state’s open meetings law in March in forwarding the legislation to the state Senate. Ozanne sought to invalidate the law, and implementing it was delayed for months while the case was pending.

The high court ultimately ruled key parts of the meetings law do not apply to lawmakers.

We’ll have to keep an eye on this story. Also in Wisconsin, today three Democrats face recall votes.

The Wisconsin recall fight ends Tuesday, and while the state Senate is no longer in play, Republicans could cut into the gains Democrats made last week. One Democratic seat in tomorrow’s election is probably safe; the race for the other one is very close.

“Here we’re fighting on our turf,” said Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski. “We’re cautiously optimistic.”

State Sen. Jim Holperin appears to have the slight edge in the hotly-contested 12th district as a well-liked incumbent, but increased Republican enthusiasm in this GOP-leaning territory makes it basically a toss-up.

Right now, Republicans have a 17-to-16 majority in the state Senate, thanks to the Democratic victories in last Tuesday’s recalls, when six Republicans faced challenges and two lost.

If you haven’t read it yet, please try to get through the Texas Monthly cover story on Rick Perry’s very bizarre religious beliefs. I can’t really do the story justice in a short excerpt, but just the same, I’ll give you a sample to get you started. Two pastors, Tom Schlueter of Arlington, TX and Bob Long of San Marcos, TX had come to see Perry at the Governor’s office in order to inform him of some prophecies that involved him (Perry). They explained that Texas is the “prophet state,” and will lead the U.S. toward “Godly rule.”

At the end of their meeting, Perry asked the two pastors to pray over him. As the pastors would later recount, the Lord spoke prophetically as Schlueter laid his hands on Perry, their heads bowed before a painting of the Battle of the Alamo. Schlueter “declared over [Perry] that there was a leadership role beyond Texas and that Texas had a role beyond what people understand,” Long later told his congregation.

[….]

At the end of their meeting, Perry asked the two pastors to pray over him. As the pastors would later recount, the Lord spoke prophetically as Schlueter laid his hands on Perry, their heads bowed before a painting of the Battle of the Alamo. Schlueter “declared over [Perry] that there was a leadership role beyond Texas and that Texas had a role beyond what people understand,” Long later told his congregation.

So you have to wonder: Is Rick Perry God’s man for president?

Schlueter, Long and other prayer warriors in a little-known but increasingly influential movement at the periphery of American Christianity seem to think so. The movement is called the New Apostolic Reformation. Believers fashion themselves modern-day prophets and apostles. They have taken Pentecostalism, with its emphasis on ecstatic worship and the supernatural, and given it an adrenaline shot.

The movement’s top prophets and apostles believe they have a direct line to God. Through them, they say, He communicates specific instructions and warnings. When mankind fails to heed the prophecies, the results can be catastrophic: earthquakes in Japan, terrorist attacks in New York, and economic collapse. On the other hand, they believe their God-given decrees have ended mad cow disease in Germany and produced rain in drought-stricken Texas.

Their beliefs can tend toward the bizarre. Some consider Freemasonry a “demonic stronghold” tantamount to witchcraft. The Democratic Party, one prominent member believes, is controlled by Jezebel and three lesser demons. Some prophets even claim to have seen demons at public meetings. They’ve taken biblical literalism to an extreme. In Texas, they engage in elaborate ceremonies involving branding irons, plumb lines and stakes inscribed with biblical passages driven into the earth of every Texas county.

Yikes!

Here’s another disturbing article, posted at The Institute for Southern Studies. Next low-wage haven: USA. This one is long too, but here’s just a bit of it.

For years advisers like the Boston Consulting Group got paid big bucks to tell their clients to produce in China. Now, they say, rising wages there, fueled by worker unrest, and low wages in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina mean that soon it won’t be worth the hassle of locating overseas.

Wages for China’s factory workers certainly aren’t going to rise to U.S. levels soon. BCG estimates they will be 17 percent of the projected U.S. manufacturing average — $26 an hour for wages and benefits — by 2015.

But because American workers have higher productivity, and since rising fuel prices are making it even more expensive to ship goods half way around the world, costs in the two countries are converging fast.

Dan Luria, research director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, says many of the big-name consultancies, which until a year ago were advising their clients to “Asiafy their footprints,” are now telling companies to think twice.

BCG bluntly praises Mississippi’s “flexible unions/workers, minimal wage growth, and high worker productivity,” estimating that in four years, workers in China’s fast-growing Yangtze River Delta will cost only 31 percent less than Mississippi workers.

That’s before you figure in shipping, duties, and possible quality issues. Add it all up, says BCG, and “China will no longer be the default low-cost manufacturing location.”

Serfdom, here we come!

Last night I wrote about the suspicious suitcase that were left outside John Boehner’s Ohio office. A similar event happened in Beverly Hills today.

Beverly Hills police blew up an aspiring screenwriter’s laptop and script when investigating a suspicious package Thursday morning on Rodeo Drive.

The screenwriter, who was not identified, apparently left his briefcase — with the computer and script inside — unattended at a talent agency office.

Beverly Hills Police Lt. Tony Lee said police, not knowing what was inside the briefcase, detonated it as safety precaution.

Lee said the owner was distraught when he learned what happened to briefcase.

I hope his laptop wasn’t in the briefcase too.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. What are you reading and blogging about?


30 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. northwestrain says:

    Military service runs deep in my family tree. My dad retired with 26 years of service and the pension he was promised when he kept re-enlisting. It is expensive to train individuals for military service and it makes sense to keep the trained and skilled personnel to train the “new hires”. I also live in an area where a lot of military families retire. They aren’t rich even with their military pension — they get by.

    Only really stupid politicians screw the military.

    But guess what the DOD wants to mess with military retirement benefits. It isn’t enough that we have three forever wars going on — and military posting are getting longer and longer. Nope now the DOD wants to increase the age for military pension until 65.

    http://my.firedoglake.com/ohiogringo/2011/08/15/begging-for-a-revolution-the-department-of-defense-proposes-slashing-military-pensions/

    The FDL link has the link to the CBS program.

    • northwestrain says:

      Why is the font bold?

    • Woman Voter says:

      Both the Pentagon, US Postal Service (100,000 plus layoffs) and the private sector are citing the high costs of Health Care! The plan is to go after Social Security and Medicare, but the Democrats, Republicans and Obama aren’t taking responsibility for the Health Care Reform fiasco they created which ushered in the highest ever premium increases and it is basically a giveaway to the insurance companies.

      The Republicans are pushing for a 401K type accounts for the military and Obama will help in making that a reality and they won’t collect anything until age 65 or 70 (GOP push for Social Security and Medicare) and medicare won’t be accessible.

      In the mean time we are told NO ONE CAN PRIMARY DINO OBAMA? I am writing in Hillary, as I think we were robbed of our votes in 2008. Essentially we have a FAR RIGHT Republican in the Oval Office that is there to do the bidding of the Extreme GOP while protecting the RICH of Wall Street.

      • Woman Voter says:

        OH, don’t forget how many of US have lost half or more in those 401Ks, IRAs and SEPs, yet the RICH never do!?!

      • paper doll says:

        These bastards are handing military the over to Wall St

        The Republicans are pushing for a 401K type accounts for the military

        Which is like those wooden nickles : vouchers . Which the GOP love to throw
        in the air as they make their escape from a commitment

        EVERY pocket of any funds will be stolen

      • WomanVoter says:

        It is legal robbery, and they say, put more money in, it will come…and you do and it happens again. So, those claiming they are for the military, who drape themselves in the American flag, while saying they want to succeed are handing over the military’s retirement to the Wall Street Greedos. Think of where Social Security and Medicare would be right now if it were out in the market free to be looted. Gives one a head Ache.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Check out this from Spiegel, Chinese Rating Agency Chief: ‘The Whole World Will Be in Danger’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

    There are some nifty graphs…

    SPIEGEL: You recently said that it would be a “catastrophe” if an American rating agency downgraded the United States’ credit rating. Now that Standard and Poor’s has taken that step, is the situation as bad as you imagined?

    Guan: This rating on the US credit crisis has a significant influence on the world. China is the largest debt holder of the United States, and the downgrade will primarily damage the value of the US dollar assets and bonds held by China. Second, it will influence China’s export of commodities to the United States in the future. More importantly, it will lead to the deterioration of global macroeconomics for both developed debtor economies and emerging creditors.

    SPIEGEL: Will China invest less in US bonds from now on?

    Guan: I personally think it’s unsafe to invest in US bonds. It is too risky. But the Chinese government might have considerations other than just economic risk. In terms of pure investment, however, it is not a wise decision any longer.

    Gee, this can’t be good…right?

    • bostonboomer says:

      So far that isn’t happening. Treasury bonds are selling like hotcakes. There really isn’t any danger of a U.S. default since the U.S. controls its own currency. I guess we’ll find out eventually.

      • dakinikat says:

        The only way we will default is if some idiot like Michelle Bachmann gets elected and does it purposefully.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I thought it was a bit more like propaganda myself. You got the big wig from China, talking it up with a German news organization, and he is saying don’t invest in US T-bonds…it just seems odd. Like it is some sort of plan for China to start pushing this meme, that China is the top country for all global finance to follow, not the US. I know I am not explaining myself very well, but to me it looks like China is starting to spread this attitude they have had for a while now by using other countries media, and not just their own.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Great post BB, love the Obama scream picture. Although, lately I have been finding myself in that same position…just can’t believe the things going on these days.

    I found a couple links that were interesting:

    Opinion: Let Obama be Obama – Sean Smith – POLITICO.com

    In an Obama love fest, Smith seems to think that Obama is a trail blazer when it comes to…”Governing.” I guess this is Smith’s own “Leave Britney Alone!” moment…just substitute “Barry” for Britney.

    And this one: Obama Sounds Like Bush on Bus Tour When Blaming Congress — VIDEO – Theresa Poulson – NationalJournal.com

    As President Obama tries to claw his way to a second term during dismal economic times, some observers are comparing him to President Truman, who faced, and overcame, a similar challenge. Obama’s recent finger-pointing toward Congress also brings to mind another man-in-trouble from our political history: President George W. Bush.

    Obama’s speeches on Monday at town-halls in Minnesota and Iowa sounded a lot like Rose-Garden remarks that Bush made during a press conference in April 2008. Like Obama, Bush’s job approval had just hit an all-time low. And like Obama, he was having trouble getting economic initiatives passed by a divided government — both the House and the Senate were controlled by Democrats. So how did Bush and Obama deal with these obstacles? By blaming Congress.

    Man…why can’t these people just let Obama be Obama! /snark

    • northwestrain says:

      You got it — you are a genius!! Like 0bama be 0bama — the real 0bama not illusion packaged by the PR firm but the real 0bama. That’s what we see — let everyone see what we see.

      .

  4. paper doll says:

    great rounp up ! I love follows ups to earlier stories. So often we heard of something in the media, bur never what happned later . Thanks!

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Just saw this on twitter.

    • Woman Voter says:

      The out of touch congress, protecting the RICH and going after the poor while working on a Second BAIL OUT, they are calling a ‘STIMULUS’…will Obama read any of the bills he signs in the next FOUR YEARS.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    Extreme fundamentalism is finding a seat at the table. During the Bush years when that administration was hiring people for the purpose of rebuilding Iraq they quietly went about hiring only those who fit the profile of Christian.

    We found out that the military was also seeking Christians to serve and promoting those who held the same Christian views.

    The SC has 4 men who consider themselves Christian: Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito who are active in societies that push radical Christian values, both right wing Catholic and Evangelical thought.

    The last thing this nation needs is to become a theocratical artifice populated in all areas of government by those pushing religion as the foundation of leadership.

    Is this really any different from fundamental Islam that has created chaos throughout the world by dominating their followers to follow Sharia law that is woven into the texture of governance?

    • JeanLouise says:

      How is it that forty to fifty years after the Feminist Revolution began, there is not a single presidential candidate on either side who will actually fight for a woman’s right to control her own body?

    • bostonboomer says:

      If nothing else, Perry is going to provide a lot of nutty quotes for the media to print.

    • janicen says:

      If Hillary Clinton had said something like this in 08, the hand wringing, pearl clutching, and serious concern would have been all over the media. My guess is that this will earn Perry all kinds of approval points with his lunatic followers and most of the MSM.

  7. joanelle says:

    And our favorite Princeton Prof’s alien analogy:

    • dakinikat says:

      Reagan used to say that all the time. He used it in a speech to the UN even.

    • paper doll says:

      I couldn’t even get to Kurgman’s part…seeing that guy, WHO I KNOW I saw on an Onion news show panel, saying that infrastructure maintenance is too expensive, and then the host equating that with a pointless digging a hole and fulling it…. was all I could take….

      I believe Paul is joking to make a point? But I think it was mistake…it doesn’t get over the idea we need jobs and we need bridges from falling down,it actually obscures it …allows others to laugh tease him about Aliens…and get off the topic of JOBS. And in a sense he’s agreeing the cause doesn’t have to be real. But Paul there is a real cause….It’s not just we need jobs, our roads and public buildings need repair!