Friday Reads: Welcome to the man cave…Posted: October 21, 2011
Good morning, Minx here…yeah…y’all are stuck with me today! I am covering for Dakinikat who is enjoying room service in the mile high city. So let’s get the TGIFriday post off with a bang…well let’s make that a whimper.
First thing, the CDC came out with some new statistics on Antidepressant use…and I just can’t imagine how the results seem so shocking. It isn’t like we are all experiencing a 1% life. CDC: Antidepressant use skyrockets 400% in past 20 years
Use of antidepressant drugs has soared nearly 400% since 1988, making the medication the most frequently used by people ages 18-44, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
No shit? As someone who has been on Zoloft aka “happy pill” for the last 12 years…I can honestly say there is no way I could handle the misery index…which seems to have hit epic proportions. U.S. misery index rises to highest since 1983
An unofficial gauge of human misery in the United States rose last month to a 28-year high as Americans struggled with rising inflation and high unemployment.
The misery index — which is simply the sum of the country’s inflation and unemployment rates — rose to 13.0, pushed up by higher price data the government reported on Wednesday.
Is it a joke that these two reports were released within hours of each other? What timing!
Ya, want misery? I’ll give you misery…think of what the occupy folks will be dealing with in the coming months. Freezing temps.
Down here in Banjoland we have our first frost warning. A friend of mine headed up to Franklin, NC Thursday morning and said she saw a big dusting of snow on the mountains. The cold is coming…What does that mean for the Occupy Protesters? At some point, it is going to get so cold in some Occupy cities that safety issues become a factor.
I found this photo on the OccupyBoston Facebook page…and I had to share it with you. Isn’t it great? BTW, it looks like that picture was taking in Time Square, NYC…
The rest of my post is going to focus on jobs…I don’t know where to begin. You may have heard that Obama got another no answer today from Congress on his jobs bill. New Senate Battle Over Obama’s Jobs Bill, Now Piecemeal – NYTimes.com
For the second time in 10 days, the Senate on Thursday rejected Democratic efforts to take up a jobs bill championed by President Obama.
The vote to advance the bill was 50 to 50. Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster.
This time, the bill was narrowed to provide $35 billion to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters. To offset the cost, the bill would impose a surtax of 0.5 percent, starting in 2013, on income in excess of $1 million.
Yet while this is going on, ABC News is reporting on a big US Dept. of Energy loan given to a company that builds electric cars. Sounds good huh? But get this: Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland – ABC News
With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.
Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.
Sad, isn’t it…
“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”
The article goes on to say the company has spent some of the money here in the US on design…but the new 500 jobs are going to be outsourced out of the US.
I know that I have been very redundant on the recent Alabama immigration law, but this next article makes a huge point. Few Americans Take Immigrants’ Jobs in Alabama – ABC News
Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama’s tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans. It hasn’t worked out: Most show up late, work slower than seasoned farm hands and are ready to call it a day after lunch or by midafternoon. Some quit after a single day.
In Alabama and other parts of the country, farmers must look beyond the nation’s borders for labor because many Americans simply don’t want the backbreaking, low-paying jobs immigrants are willing to take. Politicians who support the law say over time more unemployed Americans will fill these jobs. They insist it’s too early to consider the law a failure, yet numbers from the governor’s office show only nominal interest.
“I’ve had people calling me wanting to work,” Smith said. “I haven’t turned any of them down, but they’re not any good. It’s hard work, they just don’t work like the Hispanics with experience.”
The law makers who pass things like this immigration law in Alabama and Georgia say it is to save the American jobs the “illegals” are taking from Americans. That is quite a statement. Your average American is not going to do the work because it is just above slave labor wages…and it is too damn hard…they can’t do it.
Sen. Scott Beason, a Republican, said he has received several emails and phone calls from people thanking him for helping them get jobs. He described one getting promoted from a part-time job with no benefits to a full-time job with benefits because some other immigrant workers left. He said none of the workers who thanked him have wanted to talk to the media.
Sounds like a bunch of B.S. to me….my guess is the Republican is stretching the spin just a bit…Especially when you see things like this: Wal-Mart Cuts Some Health Care Benefits – NYTimes.com
After trying to mollify its critics in recent years by offering better health care benefits to its employees, Wal-Mart is substantially rolling back coverage for part-time workers and significantly raising premiums for many full-time staff.
How can small businesses and farms hire someone to replace an immigrant worker, give the person a promotion and benefits when profitable companies are cutting healthcare benefits and raising the cost of insurance premiums for the employees who get to keep their benefits?
In Georgia, you know the state that Obama has so much praise for its Georgia Works Slavery program: Georgia may cut jobless benefits to pay off federal loan | ajc.com
Georgia will consider cutting back weekly unemployment checks by $30 next year to help pay off a federal loan the state assumed to maintain benefits for hundreds of thousands of jobless workers.
That is 10 percent of the average unemployment check Georgians get…if it was hard to survive at 300 a month, what the hell can someone do with 270 a month? (The article states top unemployment checks are 330 a week…but everyone I know on unemployment gets just 300 bucks. So I believe those numbers are just an estimate.)
Georgia owes the federal government $721 million in loans it took out to maintain its unemployment benefit fund. There are 487,471 Georgians drawing unemployment checks, according to a state report released Thursday. The Great Recession has created a pool of long-term jobless — about 256,900 in Georgia — who have been out of work at least 27 weeks.
There are many other states struggling to pay back loans to the federal government. It would not surprise me if other states are looking to cut unemployment benefits too. And today Georgia’s unemployment numbers were released.
The number of jobless rose to 10.3, the highest in Georgia since January.
What a coincidence…See what I mean about the perfect timing?
And if all that isn’t depressing enough, this will be the icing on the misery cake: First look at US pay data, it’s awful | David Cay Johnston
Anyone who wants to understand the enduring nature of Occupy Wall Street and similar protests across the country need only look at the first official data on 2010 paychecks, which the U.S. government posted on the Internet on Wednesday.
The figures from payroll taxes reported to the Social Security Administration on jobs and pay are, in a word, awful.
These are important and powerful figures. Maybe the reason the government does not announce their release — and so far I am the only journalist who writes about them each year — is the data show how the United States smolders while Washington fiddles.
With an opener like that, you know its bad numbers…
There were fewer jobs and they paid less last year, except at the very top where, the number of people making more than $1 million increased by 20 percent over 2009.
The median paycheck — half made more, half less — fell again in 2010, down 1.2 percent to $26,364. That works out to $507 a week, the lowest level, after adjusting for inflation, since 1999.
The number of Americans with any work fell again last year, down by more than a half million from 2009 to less than 150.4 million.
Check out the nifty graph on that link.
More significantly, the number of people with any work has fallen by 5.2 million since 2007, when the worst recession since the Great Depression began, with a massive taxpayer bailout of Wall Street following in late 2008.
This means 3.3 percent of people who had a job in 2007, or one in every
3330, went all of 2010 without earning a dollar. (Update: the original version of this column used the wrong ratio.)
In addition to the 5.2 million people who no longer have any work add roughly 4.5 million people who, due to population growth, would normally join the workforce in three years and you have close to 10 million workers who did not find even an hour of paid work in 2010.
Quick, somebody get me my happy pill!
I don’t want to leave y’all with a downer story, so here is a link to lighten the mood.
Granted, the subject is not funny…that being the personhood bills and life begins at conception/fertilization bills floating about, but the way Maddow approaches the subject is funny. Damn funny.
This evening on her show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow focused on a question recently posed to Mitt Romney during a town hall gathering. This question, as Maddow put it, seemed to “stump” the GOP candidate, which she found to be curious given that many shows — including her own — have been emailing Romney’s campaign people for an answer to this very same question, so Romney must have at least some awareness that this issue is out there and on people’s minds. What question, you ask?
“You were on Governor Huckabee’s show a few weeks ago, and one of the things that you folks talked about was that you would support a ‘life begins at conception’ amendment. Now, that would essentially mean banning most forms of birth control. Ninety-eight percent of American women — including me — use birth control. So could you help me understand why you oppose the use of birth control?”
Romney’s answer? “I don’t.” [Laughter] “I’m sorry. Life begins at conception; birth control prevents conception.”
What an answer right? Typical of an uneducated GOP Presidential candidate. So Maddow took the time to “school” Romney on the uterus and its eccentricities.
But, Maddow said, the “Life Begins at Conception” / “Mississippi Personhood” amendment that Romney supports does not only aim to ban abortion. Since any fertilized egg would be considered a person, “a miscarriage would be cause for a criminal investigation.” In addition, it would indeed potentially outlaw certain forms of birth control. So it would seem, Maddow continued, that Romney doesn’t seem to fully understand the amendment he professes to support.
Going back to that town hall meeting in Sioux City, then, Maddow showed footage of that same young woman informing Romney that some forms of hormonal birth control actually prevent implantation (when an already fertilized egg, or blastocyst, becomes attached to the uterine wall) rather than conception (which is when sperm fertilizes an egg). “The pill” is an example of hormonal birth control, by the way, and is quite popular and widely-used.
Maddow then shared the sort of “light bulb moment” she had while watching and re-watching Romney’s interaction with that young woman: Politics? “Mostly guys.” And the media? “REALLY mostly guys.”
So why not try and drop a lil’ uterus knowledge, if you will, on dudes who might not really know how lady parts work? Time for…. The man cave! Beer included. (If the term “lady cave” didn’t sound so… completely vaginal…
So check out the link and watch the segment entitled, “Dude! Where’s my uterus!”
That will do it for today’s reads, what are you up to this October Friday morning?