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
Monday, January 31, 2011
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.
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
-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
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 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!
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
Sunday, January 16, 2011
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...
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
All a liberal conspiracy
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Something to think about
Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Your old second amendment solutions
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.
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.