The Aeration Zone: A liberal breath of fresh air

Contributors (otherwise known as "The Aerheads"):

Walldon in New Jersey ---- Marketingace in Pennsylvania ---- Simoneyezd in Ontario
ChiTom in Illinois -- KISSweb in Illinois -- HoundDog in Kansas City -- The Binger in Ohio

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Monday, January 31, 2011

So long, good bye, auf wiedersehen, good night

Now that the entire health care law has been voided by a U.S. District Court Judge in Florida, it seems likely to me that the Republicans have succeeded in undoing the Democrats' biggest achievement. I know that most people think the Supreme Court will overturn this decision and reinstate the law. Personally, I doubt that. Given such a marvelous opportunity to f#@k Obama and the Democrats, I'm reasonably sure the Tea Party Court will jump at the chance to do so gleefully, just as it jumped at the chance to un-elect Gore and instate Bush as dictator. So, bye bye health care reform. Hello preexisting conditions.


If Mubarak's regime wasn't doomed before, it certainly is now:

Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.

Can you imagine how news of this will play in Cairo?

Obama State of the Union (SOU): Another Take

Osama's SOU speech was Clintonesq. He had to move to center and to be fair, he was farther to the left than Clinton when he had to make his move. Obama is stuck with a GOP majority in the house with it approaching it in the Senate. He needs to incite his base like the Tea party for the GOP, but not on ignorance the way they did. I am not sure the SOU is the place to do it, but it is a huge photo op. The speech was boiler plate and cynics, with some credibility, will argue the GOP will not fund Innovation, Energy or Education. I like placing these 3 major initiatives in the context of competitiveness and being candid about how world economics reduced the U.S. leverage. This context is an opportunity for Obama to use GOPesq scare tactics on the GOP by laying the declining America on GOP blockage of Obama's 3 major initiatives. It will be on the GOP's head when inaction plus clandestine moves on social security backfires if the Dems can communicate with the voters. The Democrats must make clear the consequences of the bogus GOP obsession with the debt and that most of it is a ruse to scare voters into voting against Democrats when they are, in fact, voting against themselves. 99% of what GOP does is to feather their nest (increase their income and their market power) using their ownership of the media to pound the public with their myths with little relation to the good of the country, i.e.:

-Keep tax cuts for the rich (TCFR) to spur the economy, when no correlation exists. No growth in GDP will occur but $800 bil will be added to the debt which GOP claims they oppose.

-Raise military spending since military contractors are big in the GOP base, increasing the debt and claiming a cut is against the troops, is bogus since a cut makes the military more efficient which is good for the troops

Kudos to Obama for pleading not to continue TCFR, but it is like saying: we lost that game to the GOP but it would be bad to lose that game again when their team is likely to be better and Obama's is likely to be no better when they play again. There was a better chance of stopping TCFR in the last lame duck Congress than in the present Congress.

Disappointment to Obama for validating the bogus GOP deficit scare and failure to focus more on employment/jobs as the appropriate key objective for the remainder of his term and the next one as unemployment will still be above 7% in 2012.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mark Twain on Congress

In his recently published autobiography, Mark Twain writes about an organization he assisted to help adult blind persons find employment:

It will do for the adult blind what Congress and the several legislatures do so faithfully and with such enthusiasm for our lawless railway corporations, our rotten beef trusts, our vast robber dens of insurance magnates; in a word, for each and all of our multimillionaires and their industries - protect them, take watchful care of them, preserve them from harm like a Providence, and secure their prosperity, and increase it.

Change the names of the industries a bit (e.g., "banks" for "railroads" and "oil companies" for "beef trusts") and nothing much has changed, I suppose. It's a rather depressing thought.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union: good job, not great

I think this comment in the Huffington Post captures my thoughts on of the State of the Union speech very well. Everything must be about jobs. Even the deficit should be discussed only in the context of a strong economy: only with people working again, earning good incomes and paying taxes will we make any real progress on bringing down the deficit. I still think the President makes a mistake in talking about the deficit as something that gets equal billing with reducing unemployment. You cannot do both at once, and the efforts to create jobs -- to jump-start a boost in confidence in the future among the unemployed and fearful employed -- must take priority right now.

I think Americans who vote are capable of seeing that sequence as the right one right now, and it's just not that hard to say it in clear, simple language. That's the only way to start grabbing the narrative away from the Republicans (and Blue Dogs), and their deficit-obsessed DC pundit operatives, and putting them on the defensive for a change. How the hell are you going to make a dent in that super-scary deficit if you don't get people back to work and paying taxes? The President panders to that narrative too much, which, because it is wrong and inconsistent with maximizing the national investment that actually will create jobs, takes away from having a clear and simple message that sticks after the speech itself has been forgotten.

It's a very good thing that over 90% liked the speech (CBS), which shows that independents liked its tone and content. I thought the moderate and adult tone was just right, too, but I don't think that would be compromised at all with a more coherent economic message that expressly puts jobs first.

The author of the comment, political consultant Mike Lux, references the belief of some -- specifically, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner -- that job growth is a "lagging indicator." That allows the administration to crow about the rising stock market and exploding corporate profits. That concept really bugs me. Jobs should be the single most important objective, not an "indicator" of some other economic end product. In fact, I wish the President would give full-throated endorsement of the objective of "Full Employment." Sure, investors are part of the picture, and investors by definition want profits, too, but I would contend that over the long haul at least, profits are maximized when employment is maximized, too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Greedy workers and unions keep us out of global competition? Or Not!

Someone please explain this to me:

With about one-fourth of the population (82 million vs. 310 million), and a labor cost -- according to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data as reported by our own Bureau of Labor Statistics -- that is 50% higher than the cost of labor in the U.S., Germany nevertheless manages to export approximately 20% more than the U.S. On a per capita basis, German exports are more than four times greater than U.S. exports.

Wait a second: German labor cost is 50% higher than in the U.S.? That must be a typo. But no, that’s what the world comparison data actually says. In dollars the difference rounded is $48 per hour for manufacturing industry employees in Germany compared to $32 in the U.S. But I thought our labor costs are just so high. Nope, in most of northern Europe they are higher than ours. You can look it up. The EU as a whole, with a population of 500 million that is 60% larger than the U.S. population, manages to out-export the U.S. by 5 to 1. How can the Germans do it? How can the EU as a whole do it? In the last 10 years, German employment in manufacturing has dropped a couple of percentage points. Here it has dropped about 30%.

Oh, and by the way, that 50% figure is 2008 data. With manufacturing employment continuing to plummet, and with employees thrilled to have a job period, bet it's even a bigger difference in 2010.

Hey, I thought the real reason we can’t compete with the rest of the world is because our labor costs are just too high. We’ll put that one in the category of myth -- and another right-wing myth bites the dust. Actually there are two myths built in there: our costs aren’t all that high in the first place, and it apparently is possible to compete in the world economy without squeezing employee’s income.

Well, that’s Europe. It must be some Socialism thing -- not something we would consider in our superior country where freedom reigns supreme -- especially freedom for the corporate governance class.

P.S. Is there a Big Media organization that is telling you stuff like this?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ohio Voters like Boehner's tears

Or maybe they do:

36+27 = 63%

What about the 37% that are left? Maybe they're like me and think the guy is an asshole whether he cries or not.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Tunisia is one of my favorite countries, and a place where I have several good friends, so I've been quite concerned about the revolution that's been going on there for the past few days. One friend writes in reply to my e-mail expressing my concern for his well-being:

One thing is good: we got rid of a bloody dictator and his mafia-family. The former presidential guard (which was under the direct control of the former president) is now terrorising the population with sharp shooters and looters; but the army is doing a good job pursuing them. In a few days, the security will be re-established (hopefully). In any case, politically we are much better than with Ben Ali...

Equal Justice

Question: If the head of the tea party had said, "You're a dead man" to the victim, would he have been arrested?

Don't bet on it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

All a liberal conspiracy

This obviously proves that all this shooting and all the hyped up talk about violence is a liberal conspiracy to destroy the Republican Party.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Something to think about

A thought for the day:

Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot

Oscar Wilde

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Your old second amendment solutions

It appears that the old second amendment solutions are at work again:

We now have apparently confirmed reports that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot and killed this morning by an as-yet-unidentified assassin at a "Congress on Your Corner" event outside a grocery store in her district in Tucson, Arizona. She was reportedly shot in the head at point blank range. There were at least three other and possibly as many as six other killed in the shooting.

Giffords, 40, had just been elected to her third term representing Arizona's 3rd Congressional district.

Update: As of 3 pm ET, the hospital is confirming that Giffords is alive and in surgery. Five are confirmed dead.

Rethuglicans Storm the Asylum

My head is in the sand until I assess the specter of the inmates running the asylum. Expect them to dump the 16th amendment, move the Capital back to Phila., and put the Mayflower in reverse and head back to England, the latter being beneficial if the passengers were 100% Rethuglicans. Dems should be saying such things 24/7. Send in the clowns.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Flat Earth

By the way, didn't you know the earth is flat? All that malarky about a round earth is a huge libral conspiracy to screw the world.