Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Barney and Barack: Both will be unemployed in January 2013

What’s new today
Stories #1 and #2 talk about Barney Frank.  It first looks at if his decision to retire bodes ill for the Democrats and the second story looks at how Barney chose to bow out—it wasn’t pretty.  Articles 3 through 5 are all about BHO.  #3 discusses how Obama may wake up thinking about jobs but he seems to kill them when a real one comes into sight.  #4 looks at all the illusions Obama has dashed in his three years in office.  #5 talks about the demographics vs the economics of the 2012 election.  #6 tells the story of a man who kidnapped a family and is now suing them for breach of contract.  It appears the Occupy Movement is alive in the state pen as well as Wall Street.  Want to learn the three inconvenient truths plaguing the OWS movement?  Read #7.  Back in 2008, the Republicans had their Joe the Plumber.  It appears the Occupy Movement has their Joe the Puppeteer.  READ all about it in #8.

1.  Reading the Barney Frank tea leaves

Less than a year ago, Nancy Pelosi was forced to move across the second floor hall of the Capitol, leaving behind the magnificent speaker’s balcony that overlooks the National Mall.

WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF RETAKING CONTROL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. GROWING MORE REMOTE BY THE DAY, the California Democrat will have to get used to the east-front view of parked cars and the visitors’ center entrance as her Democratic colleagues abandon ship.

Barney Frank announced Monday that he’s giving up a 30-year hold on his congressional seat, citing a new district and being more effective outside of politics as his motivation. The Massachusetts Democrat is walking away from his position as the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, which he had chaired when the Democrats were in the majority.

Rep. Peter Roskam, the chief deputy whip, thinks there’s more to the story. “IF THE SENIOR DEMOCRAT THINKS THAT HE’S ON THE CUSP OF RETURNING TO THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF ONE OF THE PREMIERE COMMITTEES IN THE HOUSE, HE’S GOING TO STAY,” the Illinois Republican told The Washington Times in an interview. And Mr. Frank is not alone leaving Mrs. Pelosi’s charge.

So far, 16 MORE DEMOCRATS HAVE ANNOUNCED THEY ARE GIVING UP THEIR SEATS IN 2012. Half are running for higher office, and the rest are just bidding adieu to politics. “Senior Democrats are voting with their feet,” said Mr. Roskam. “They see that President Obama’s promise of 2008 has just faded incredibly quickly. They figured out that the 2012 cycle is likely to be another wave election similar to what we saw in 2010.” So far this cycle, no House Republican is retiring from politics….

While you hear some democrats talk about retaking the House, it ain’t going to happen in 2012.

2.  Barney the Bully

The morning after his retirement announcement, Rep. Barney Frank scored an interview on NBC’s Today Show, gaining the opportunity to act as an elder statesman in front of a TV audience of millions. INSTEAD, THE MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRAT CHOSE TO QUARREL WITH THE INTERVIEWER….

Guthrie asked for his response to those who take his retirement as a sign that the Democrats won’t win control of the House in 2012.

“I WISH WE COULD TALK SUBSTANCE SOMETIMES IN THE MEDIA,” FRANK COMPLAINED. “I know that’s against, kind of, apparently, the rules.” He went on to say that “I have decided not to serve until three months before my 75th birthday. I guess I don’t understand why that is so hard for people to grasp.”

The amiable Guthrie tried again. How does he feel about the worsening tone in Washington?

WELL, YOU EXEMPLIFY WHAT I THINK IS A CHANGE IN THE TONE,” FRANK SAID. “YOU’VE MANAGED TO ASK ALL SORT OF NEGATIVE QUESTIONS. . . . IT’S ‘GOTCHA’ JOURNALISM. It’s ‘gotcha’ politics. And it does lessen our chances to get things done.” …

Barney Frank exemplifies what is wrong in politics today.

3.   Does President Obama wake up thinking of Jobs?

one oil company, Conoco Phillips, has said it will go after the oil and gas in the NPRA, estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey to hold 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.



The oil firm argues that since the pipeline will carry a mix of oil, gas and water, it would be at greater risk of corrosion and leaks under the water. An above-ground pipeline would be easier to monitor and maintain.

But Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has impeded domestic energy production anywhere he can on environmental grounds, supports the Corps' decision.

The Environmental Protection Agency has designated the Colville River as an aquatic resource of national importance. The Army Corps of Engineers used that as an excuse when deciding on the bridge proposal. "We should minimize the harm to the environment," says Col. Reinhard Koenig.

It appears when Obama wakes up thinking of jobs, he’s thinking of how he can stop them. 

4.  Obama 101:  Few presidents have dashed so many illusions as Obama.

In the last three years, the president has taught us a great deal about America, the world, and himself.

Before Obama, many Americans still believed in massive deficit spending, whether as an article of fairness, a means to economic growth, or just a lazy fallback position to justify an out-of-control federal government. BUT AFTER THE FAILURE OF A NEARLY $800 BILLION “STIMULUS” PROGRAM — INTENDED TO KEEP UNEMPLOYMENT UNDER 8 PERCENT — NO ONE BELIEVES ANY MORE THAT AN ALREADY INDEBTED GOVERNMENT WILL FOSTER ECONOMIC GROWTH BY TAKING ON ANOTHER $4 TRILLION IN DEBT. In other words, “stimulus” is mostly a dead concept. The president — much as he advised a barnstorming President Bush in 2005 to cease pushing Social Security reform on a reluctant population — should give it up and junk the new $500 billion program euphemistically designated as a “jobs bill.” The U.S. government is already borrowing every three days what all of America spent on Black Friday.

OBAMA HAS ALSO TAUGHT US THAT PROMINENT GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR OFTEN MAKES THINGS WORSE, AND INVITES CRONY-CAPITALIST CORRUPTION. Nearly three years into this administration, it is striking how seldom Barack Obama brags about Cash for Clunkers, the Chrysler and GM bailouts, or Solyndra. He either is quiet about them or sort of shrugs, as if to say, “Stuff happens.” EVEN CREATIVE BOOKKEEPING CANNOT MASK THE FACT THAT THE AUTO-COMPANY BAILOUTS (BEGUN, TO BE SURE, BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, BUT MADE WORSE UNDER OBAMA) WILL PROVE A HUGE DRAIN ON THE TREASURY. No one even attempts any more to convince us that we will like Obamacare once we read the legislation, or that it will save us costs in the long run, or that it will cheer up businesses so that they will invest and hire. All that was dreamland, 2009, and this is reality, 2011, when WE HEAR ONLY “IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE.”…

In fact, the motto for 2012 should be, “It Could Have Been Worse:  And It Will Be If You Reelect Obama.”

5.  Is Obama Toast in 2012?

The latest report  from Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin of the progressive Center for American Progress contains a thoughtful examination of President Obama's re-election chances. There's an awful lot packed into the 60 pages of text, but the basic thrust is as follows: WE SHOULD EXPECT THE NON-WHITE SHARE OF THE ELECTORATE TO GROW AT LEAST 2 PERCENT FROM THE 2008 ELECTION, PADDING OBAMA'S BASE LINE. IF HE CAN HOLD SERVE AMONG EITHER THE WHITE WORKING CLASS OR COLLEGE-EDUCATED WHITES, HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO PULL OUT A VICTORY, EVEN AMID TROUBLED ECONOMIC TIMES.

In truth, the report is substantially less bullish on Obama's re-election chances than some of the articles analyzing it have suggested.  IT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS A “TIGHT NEEDLE TO THREAD” AND THAT “AMERICANS WILL BE OPEN TO REPLACING PRESIDENT OBAMA WITH AN EVEN-TEMPERED, NONTHREATENING GOP LEADER FOCUSED ON THE ECONOMY.” In other words, the triumphalism of Teixeira’s “Emerging Democratic Majority” argument of the early 2000s is decidedly tempered throughout the report, and with good reason. After all, the GOP just won its second-largest share of seats in the House of Representatives since 1928, with an electorate that had the second-smallest share of non-Hispanic white voters in history. In retrospect, those repeated “last gasps” of the GOP coalition (1994, 2002, 2004, 2010) look a lot more like “steady breathing.”

But the optimistic tones in Teixeira and Halpin’s piece need to be tempered even further. The “demographics versus economics” debate that Teixeira and Halpin suggest will determine the outcome of the next election isn’t a 50-50 proposition. IT IS WEIGHTED HEAVILY TOWARD THE ECONOMICS SIDE, AND I THINK IT’S UNLIKELY THAT DEMOGRAPHICS WILL SAVE THE PRESIDENT. There are three critical observations here:

1.      The minority population may not grow substantially from 2008 through 2012….

2.      Obama will have a difficult time winning either white working-class voters or upscale whites.

3.      Winning minority voters and white voters is something of a zero-sum game.

This is an interesting article that describes why the “permanent majority coalition” envisioned by Teixeira and Halpin is most likely a childish dream. 

6.  Another One of the 99 Percenters


In his lawsuit, 25-year-old Jessie Dimmick of Aurora, contends that after breaking into Jared and Lindsay Rowley's Topeka-area home while fleeing police, HE AND THE COUPLE REACHED A LEGALLY BINDING, ORAL CONTRACT THAT THEY WOULD HIDE HIM FOR AN UNSPECIFIED AMOUNT OF MONEY. Dimmick, who is representing himself, is seeking $235,000.

"As a result of the plaintiffs breech (sic) of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me. The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay," Dimmick wrote in his civil suit filed last month in Shawnee County District Court.

In Sept. 2009, Dimmick was leading authorities in a chase that ended with Dimmick crashing a stolen vehicle in the Rowleys' yard.

He was wanted for questioning about the murder of Colorado man Michael Curtis, who had been found beaten to death in a motel earlier that month.

Sounds like a story the OWS could get behind. 

7.  Three Inconvenient Truths for OWS

Occupy Wall Street supporters are claiming credit for at least one political accomplishment: ELEVATING THE ISSUE OF INCOME INEQUALITY TO THE TOP OF THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION.

The Occupiers are right about American incomes: They've definitely grown more unequal. But THIS FACT PRESENTS THREE INCONVENIENT TRUTHS FOR THE OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT

… What makes this truth inconvenient is that the proposed remedy — tax these haves and redistribute that income to the have-nots — has an upper boundary. Indeed, blue states such as CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK, WHERE THESE SUPERSTAR EFFECTS ARE MOST PRONOUNCED, ARE ALREADY TRYING TO REMEDY INEQUALITY WITH SOME OF THE HIGHEST STATE INCOME TAXES IN THE COUNTRY, AND THEY HAVE BUMPED UP AGAINST THE LIMITS OF ECONOMIC REALITY.

It's telling that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a staunch critic of new tax increases, including on the wealthy, saying recently that "YOU ARE KIDDING YOURSELF IF YOU THINK YOU CAN BE ONE OF THE HIGHEST-TAXED STATES IN THE NATION, HAVE A REPUTATION FOR BEING ANTI-BUSINESS — AND HAVE A ROSY ECONOMIC FUTURE."…

Read on if you want to see what the other two inconvenient truths are.  The Occupy movement seems to be fading rapidly. 

8.  OWS has their Joe the Puppeteer

Earlier this month, the left-wing magazine the Nation highlighted Joe Therrien as a symbol of the Occupy Wall Street movement. A New York City public school drama teacher, Therrien was frustrated with the shortcomings of the school system. So he quit his job and "set off to the University of Connecticut to get an MFA in his passion — puppetry." Three years and $35,000 in student loan debt later, Therrien returned home, only to find he couldn't land a full-time job. Apparently, a master's in puppetry doesn't provide the competitive edge in the marketplace he'd hoped for.

Therrien joined Occupy Wall Street, constructing giant puppets and "figuring out how to make theater that's going to help open people up to this new cultural consciousness. It's what I'm driven to do right now."…

This is a good example of the divide between the OWS and Middle America.  Joe Therrien left a good job, took on $35,000 in debt and got a degree which allows him to entertain people and earn a meager living and he doesn’t think that’s fair.  He should have a good living from his puppetry.  I’m sure his parents wanted him to get a degree that would have insured his future but Joe didn’t listen to them then and I have no idea what he was thinking when he got his MA degree. 

What we have today is a great number of college graduates who got degrees where there are simply too many people vying for the jobs the degrees prepared them for.  In the meantime “skilled” trade jobs go unfilled. (Hint) This isn’t the fault of the 1%.   

No comments:

Post a Comment