Rep. Maxine Waters: “We’re gettin’ tired, y’all.”

While President Obama was visiting small lily-white Midwestern towns that have managed to do pretty well during the economic crisis of the past three years, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have traveled around the country hosting job fairs. Yesterday they were in Detroit.

Fox News:

U.S. House Rep. Maxine Waters is asking black voters who are struggling with an unemployment rate nearly twice the national average to “unleash” her and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus on President Obama.

The California Democrat, speaking at a raucous town hall in Detroit hosted by the CBC on Tuesday, said she doesn’t want to attack the president from his base unless the base gives her the go-ahead.

“If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us,” Waters said. “When you tell us it’s all right and you unleash us and you’re ready to have this conversation, we’re ready to have the conversation.”

Judging by the reaction of the audience, including someone yelling to Waters, “It’s all right,” the president will be hearing very soon from the congresswoman and her fellow caucus members.

Since Obama took office, he has resisted pressure from the CBC to create jobs programs specifically targeting blacks, saying that improving the entire economy will help all groups.

I’m not sure I understand why the CBC can’t lead on this issue rather than waiting to be “unleashed” by African American voters. Still, at least she’s talking about the dismal employment situation African Americans face.

On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell asked Emanuel Cleaver (of “sugar coated Satan sandwich” fame) about President Obama’s promised jobs plan.

I guess Obama’s “jobs plan” isn’t an emergency, since Congress is so unlikely to pass it. I guess that’s why the President is going on vacation first and won’t give his latest “major speech” until after Labor Day.

Looking at that video of the CBC jobs fair reminds me of photos of lines during the Great Depression, but President Obama announced today that

“I don’t think we’re in danger of another recession, but we are in danger of not having a recovery that is fast enough to deal with a genuine unemployment crisis for a whole lot of folks out there.

And you know what an expert our fearless leader is on economic matters (snark). And to show that he’s not that worried, President Obama will soon be heading for Martha’s Vineyard for a 10-day vacation.

But wait, check this out from Gallup:

Oddly enough, it seems that Americans outside the beltway don’t agree with Mr. Obama’s assessment of the economy. And neither do quite a few real economists.

But the President is tired too, I guess. All those golf games, the weekends at Camp David, the fancy White House dinners and parties, the fundraisers, the campaign swing bus tour of the Midwest–it’s so exhausting. He needs a break. So unemployed people need to stop being so selfish and understand President Obama’s needs. He’ll get around to their problems someday.

Funny though, I don’t recall it taking him this long to bail out the banks, do you?

Here’s a longer version of Maxine Waters’ talk.

Monday Reads

Good Morning!

All eyes are on global markets for bonds, commodities, currencies, and equities.  Gold futures were hanging around $1700 a troy ounce last night when the Asian markets opened.  Silver is also moving upThe US dollar set a record low against the Swiss Franc. There’s the down grade to US Treasuries and the negative outlook given to the US to reprice and there’s still consideration for a second recession which could be much worse than the last one.

“It would be disastrous if we entered into a recession at this stage, given that we haven’t yet made up for the last recession,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist at RDQ Economics.

When the last downturn hit, the credit bubble left Americans with lots of fat to cut, but a new one would force families to cut from the bone. Making things worse, policy makers used most of the economic tools at their disposal to combat the last recession, and have few options available.

Anxiety and uncertainty have increased in the last few days after the decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s credit rating and as Europe continues its desperate attempt to stem its debt crisis.

Good news for investment banks.  Timothy Geithner has agreed to stay on as Treasury Secretary.

Geithner told the president Friday morning that he would remain in his post. Hours later, he had to go to the White House to meet with Obama again and tell him the nation would likely lose its AAA credit rating.

On Sunday afternoon, Geithner joined an emergency conference call involving the seven major economic powers to discuss the impact of the downgrade.

“Secretary Geithner has let the president know that he plans to stay on in his position at Treasury,” Treasury spokeswoman Jenni LeCompte said in a statement. “He looks forward to the important work ahead on the challenges facing our great country.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “The president asked Secretary Geithner to stay on at Treasury and welcomes his decision.”

So, let me change the topic to real Camelot Days and The Daily Mail who claims that there’s some Jackie O tapes with some interesting gossip from back in the day.

Jackie Onassis believed that Lyndon B Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons were involved in the assassination of her husband John F Kennedy, ‘explosive’ recordings are set to reveal.

The secret tapes will show that the former first lady felt that her husband’s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.

She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald – long claimed to have been a lone assassin – merely part of a much larger conspiracy.

Texas-born Mr Johnson, who served as the state’s governor and senator, completed Mr Kennedy’s term and went on to be elected president in his own right.

The tapes were recorded with leading historian Arthur Schlesinger Jnr within months of the assassination on November 22, 1963, and had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston.

The President and Republicans in Congress may want full speed ahead on trade agreements but labor organizations are trying to put on the brakes.  There are agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea in the pipe.

“We’ll be talking to every legislator out there about the trade deals,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Friday.

The AFL-CIO will hold more than 450 events across the country this month where the deals will be discussed, and it has started a petition “urging politicians to bring the same urgency to the jobs crisis that they brought to the politically manufactured crisis over the deficit,” Trumka said.

The fight over the agreements is splitting President Obama from unions and other liberal groups at a time when there is already tension between the White House and the left over the debt-ceiling deal.

Supporters of the trade deals in the administration, Congress and the business community argue they will create jobs and help the economy recover.

Juno began its journey to Jupiter on the 5th of this month.  Juno is a solar-powered probe with a mission to study the origins of our solar system.

Juno is set to unite with Jupiter on July 4, 2016, when the spacecraft will enter orbit around the largest planet in our solar system. As the spacecraft circles Jupiter 33 times over the course of one year, passing over the planet’s poles, Juno will gather information about its atmosphere, magnetic field and structure.

Of all the planets in the solar system, astronomers think that Jupiter formed first, and its strong, clingy gravitational field means that any scraps of primordial material it snatched up then may still be present today—and in 2016, when Juno arrives at the gas giant. By measuring Jupiter’s chemical content, Juno could aid in scientists’ understanding of what this solar system looked like when it first formed.

Two years ago, my brother-in-law’s uncle died, but his dance troupe and legacy live on.  There’s a wonderful article on the legacy of Merce Cunningham at NPR that includes a beautiful photo of the troupe performing Antic Meet. It’s a wonderful narrative of dancers committed to keeping the spirit and vision of the famed choreographer alive.

Passing on Cunningham’s legacy is crucial to more than just the world of dance. In the 1950s, Cunningham broke with the basic notion of dance being inspired by drama and emotion, as he and his partner, the composer John Cage, moved dance into a new era of abstraction. Their work was a key part of the art world’s seismic shift to post-modernism; Cunningham is now seen as one of the 20th century’s most influential artists, on a par with Picasso and Stravinsky.

By the end of his 90 years, Cunningham was in a wheelchair, and instead of creating new dances, he finally began to think about saving the ones he had already made. His longtime friend Laura Kuhn says she urged him to plan for his legacy before it was too late.

“He was making new work up until the end of his life,” Kuhn says. “But the making of new work was less possible — it became less and less possible for him. So I think it became clear to him that in order for his work to survive, someone was going to have to step in.”

So Kuhn and others close to Cunningham helped him set up the Merce Cunningham Trust, which will maintain an archive of his work and license his pieces, and employ former dancers, like longtime Cunningham dancer Rob Swinston, to teach them to other troupes.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?