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Friday: “You MUST pay the rent!” “But I CAN’T pay the rent.”

Suburban Guerrilla has this visual depiction of the consequences of Simon LeGree’s wage policies over the past 4 decades.  As you can see, wages have been pretty much flat in terms of real dollars since the 70’s.

As Susie points out, it’s women, particularly single moms, who discover this first.  The moment you get divorced, your taxes immediately go up, (now that you’re a hip, swingin’ single with money to burn) just as your expenses nearly double.  Then it hits you: you really need two salaries to keep up the appearance of a middle class life style.  Then comes the endless debt cycle.  I made a decision to burn through some liquid assets in order to get back on my feet before I saddled myself with credit card debt and I still think this was the right decision.  I only charge hotels and flights on my credit cards and pay them off as soon as I can.  If I can’t afford it, I don’t buy it.  But it bothers me quite a bit that as the first college educated person in my family, working in a well paying, creative class job, I don’t live as well as my gray collar parents did on one salary when they were younger than me.  Instead of a single family dwelling and two cars, I have a modest second hand townhouse in the burbs, with second hand furniture and I drive a second hand car.

Susie speculates that the Republicans actually liked the fact that there were so many women entering the work force.  It allowed them to slow down the pace of wage increases on men in order to appear as if the wage gap was decreasing.  Would the Lilly Ledbetter Act help or hurt this situation?  Hard to tell but women really need the extra bucks.

The Wall Street Journal reports that other middle class families are starting to tighten their belts and this is bad news for the economy.  The Journal puts the blame where it belongs in Hard-hit families finally start saving, aggravating nation’s economic woes.  Damn those American families! No one is spending.  Well, jeez, something’s got to give.  I suggest giving everyone the raises they’ve been deserving all these years.  How long has it been since we have heard that we are the most productive nation in the world?  We certainly work hard enough.  American employers are the stingiest around when it comes to vacation time.  And they’ve given lousy raises for decades now.  Yes, some families don’t know how to manage money but if you are borrowing just to keep up the same lifestyle you lived as a child, then there’s something drastically wrong with the system.  It’s time the Simon LeGree’s start forking over the rent money.

.

And here’s your daily reminder to vote at the 2008 Weblog Awards:

For Best Liberal Blog, vote for The Confluence here

For Best New Blog, vote for Uppity Woman here

For Best Small Blog, vote for Nice Deb here

For Best Hidden Gem, vote for Deadenders here

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For Best Podcast, vote for This American Life or NPR’s Planet Money here.

We’ve figured out how “the site who must not be named” has been cheating.  It’s not through a proxy server.  (Hint: unplugging your modem and waiting 7 minutes is an unnecessary waste of time if you want high speed cheating. )  It should be easy to demonstrate how it is done with a script of the procedure.  Our resident perl hacker is pulling it together.  Of course, we would only be doing this for documentation and informational purposes, not cheating, and we’ll send the information to the proper people when we’re finished gathering our information.  We hope the Weblog Award admins will keep a close eye on this problem.  Hey, if it were me, I’d disqualify “the site that must not be named”, but it’s not my decision.  Cheaters ruin the fun for everyone by gaming the system and harrassing the blogs we like.  It’s not a good way to be popular.

245 Responses

  1. O/T: But I was up until 1:30 finishing the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! Great book. Loved Salender and how she handled the lawyer and got to work with the golf club. Terriffic read although I am facing the day rather slowly since as a result of staying up reading.

    Great post as well! I found myself in that economic condition after my divorce and was forced to work a part time job just to keep heat on during the winter. Women never get off easy when, especially where there are kids involved.

  2. Pat: Wasn’t that revenge scene perfect? I loved her artistic touches. She really nailed the bastard.
    Book two of the Millenium series is about to be released in English.
    In England. ;-(
    Those Americans who want to continue reading Larsson have to wait until September.

  3. Or get them through Amazon UK — that’s how I get my British novels.

    Riverdaughter, I really love your recent posts. The one last night about “Beir Under Fire” stuck with me all night. And I know I’ll be thinking about this one all day.

    I really love documenting the ways Obama plans to continue the Regan/Bush legacy.

  4. But “virtual popularity” is all they have in their “virtual lives!” LOL Another little tidbit — divorce is the #1 reason women file bankruptcy (it is usually within 2 years after the divorce). Ok, off to work — great post RD.

  5. RD: I was sorry to see that the author has since died so there will not be new books forthcoming. Loved the way they did the detecting in this book even thought the Swedish names were a little difficult to pronounce. I could see Audrey Tatou as Salender and Clive Owen as Mikael. Loved it! Thanks for the h/t.

    The One will be making another “greatest speech evah” at 10:30. But I do love how he has distanced himself from Dean. Take that, Howard, you quivering mass of suck up! How is that working out for you?

    And Amazon has a great dept of used books as well. I have been spending some time over there getting some real bargains.

  6. Great post, RD – although I’m unable to watch the videos at work. Sigh. I MUST pay the rent, after all!

    Guess what – my post made it onto Memeorandum! They are loving us these days. It’s linked under the item “Pelosi Urges Obama to Raise Taxes On Wealthy This Year.”

    🙂

  7. Congratulations, MadamaB but, can you tell — do they still have us coded as a conservative blog?

  8. Hmm. I just noticed the email comments check off!

  9. Ooooh…and RD, your post is under “Featured Posts!”

    Awesome!

  10. good morning, all.
    madamab? Still here? Excellent post (forwarding to more sibs…)

    RD, I lived that scenario too. If it weren’t for assistance from family, I would have lost my home and been bankrupt too.

  11. KB – How can you tell?

  12. Great graph. You can see where the compensation begins to level off, right at the time the corporations began their efforts to weaken unions. They began by breaking up large factories in the northeast and moving smaller, separate divisions to the non-union south, then eventually were able to move jobs right out of the country.

    If only these fools would realize that by weakening labor, they are weaking the economy. If anything good comes out of this regime change, I hope it’s a return the the “trickle-up” theory.

  13. Just catching up with earlier posts. Another bullseye, madamab!

    HuffPo has a headline: The Honeymoon is Over! No kidding. Even before it started? Looks like he is already at odds with Nasty Nancy. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of cutthroats!

    It is going to get pretty boring going forward saying “I told you so”. But they wanted this guy; they got him.

  14. Yes, I’ve seen the post-war “good times” of a growing economy and the generation (mine) that could look down their nose at hard work and boring jobs. Now I’m seeing the results of the global economy reducing wages for most of us. What I never believed were the proponents of borrowing and deficit spending that purportedly would never catch up to us. Couple that with the demand for higher and higher profits that would have no consequences on the wage earner. Cooking the books to achieve that has toppled a few institutions and bankrupted us further.

    We’re here. Tightening our belts is the diet we never expected. There will be some benefits to it. And a lot of pain. Jr’s “keep shopping” after 9/11 comes to mind as the anti-canary in the mine shaft.

  15. I’m here, JB! Thank you. 🙂

    Honestly, I think most people with families on a single income need some sort of assistance. Heck, my SIL needed it even though she had a husband and both of them worked. She has four kids.

    My hubby’s father raised three kids, bought two houses and two cars, and saved money for the future. He and hubby’s mom made about $12,000 a year together.

    Ah, the 50’s and 60’s. The standard of living has never been as good, since Nixon took us off the gold standard. That started the ball rolling down a very slippery slope.

  16. I had to work 7 days a week for a period of 10 months just to maintain a home and feed 4 kids when I got divorced. The onl consolation was that I did not have to look at the sourpuss of my ex any longer when he made the decision to “find himself”. (With the assistance of a “snow bunny” at the time.)

    Women always end up with the short end of the stick.

  17. Funny…there was a Clinton in there on those graphs, wasn’t there?

    Madamab can, I’m sure, vouch for my Hillary cred, so don’t even think about calling me an Obombot. I’m not. And for the record, I believe Bill Clinton will go down in history as the greatest President since FDR, and possibly the greatest ever for turning a deficit into a surplus and solving a recession without going to war.

    But it seems to me, on that graph, that the gap between productivity and wages really took, productivity began an asymptotic climb off in the Nineties, when technology and the Internet began to flourish.

    Under Clinton.

    So if Obama is going to continue the failed “Reagan/Bush policies” (and I agree, those three men had no clue about working people), then you have to add Clinton into the mix, too.

    And that means Hillary has to be painted with that brush, unless your claims that she was experienced because she was intimately involved with the Clinton Presidency is invalid.

  18. Pat, actually, after all-

    Don’t we feel lucky at (whatever huge cost) to have gotten away from those creeps?

  19. Hi actor212!

    You were doing fine up until your last sentence.

    Hillary’s experience with legislation has nothing to do with her being first lady; it has everything to do with her experience as Senator of NY. Six years of furious activity on behalf of women, children and the little guy. As First Lady, she gained foreign policy experience and worked on health care. This hardly had an effect on the economy.

    I have no problems saying Bill Clinton was to the right of FDR. But Hillary Clinton is not.

  20. Well said madamab. But Hillary did have her eye on the economy as First Lady – she disagreed with Bill about NAFTA.

  21. joaniebone: Absolutely! Hard as it was, it worked out for the best. I wish we lived closer to one another. We would have been friends.

  22. Some “in moderation ” help please.

  23. actor212: Must those so inclined to build Obama into something he is not forever pummel Hillary in the process? She was twice elected from the state of NY and has worked long and hard to prove her place. Obama has done squat in return.

    Best keep your eyes on his words and actions. But best beware: it is going to be hard to keep up as he continually manages to back away from every position he flaunted as part of this idiotic “hope and change” mantra that propelled him into the WH.

    He just is not ready. She, on the other hand, always was.

  24. Technology and the internet were big factors in the big increase in productivity.

    But it looks to me like wages started up in the 90s, when they’d been going down before that.

  25. Front page headline in today’s Financial Times:

    “Obama Warns of Shattered Dreams”

    What happened to hopey changey? I miss it.

  26. Amen Pat! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Be vigilent and notice the Words and ACTIONS – not just the words! And be particularly vigilent when That One says he is going to give a speech. It means something is terribly wrong for HIM not us.

  27. Hey Obamacans, don’t let That One steal your hope, change, and DREAMS. Geesh, at least hold him accountable for making your dreams come true:-)

  28. actor212,

    If you look closely, wages began to increase again under Clinton. Productivity soared, but that can be attributed to the technology boom.

    Aside from the technology boom, I’ve always maintained that there was a non-quantifiable increase in productivity when Clinton took office because workers (I was a white-collar worker at the time) felt as if we had an advocate in the White House. I realize it’s anectdotal, but anyone who worked through the Reagan-Bush years and remembers the times we were told there would be no raises for various BS reasons, can tell you that the feeling among workers was palpable when Clinton was elected. People went from doing the minimum required to keep their jobs to feeling as if they would actually be compensated and appreciated for doing more. Again, I know there is no measurable evidence of this, but I can tell you that I saw attitudes change in all workers and especially in minority workers who felt they had an advocate in Washington.

  29. When either Clinton, or even Al Gore, would speak extemporaneously they always knew what they were talking about. They had the issues down pat and were always able to make the argument, whether you agreed or not. Something to be said there for people who “did their homework”.

    As yet, unless he is reading from prepared text that I am sure others have crafted and put the words into his mouth, Obama does not have that ability. Almost as soon as he makes those divine speeches he is whisked offstage. This is who we are trusting to lead us out of these dire times. Don’t think so.

    I am as full of trepidation at his leadership as I was back in 2000 when Bush was “selected” to the title of Leader of the Free World. At that time I kept repeating, “what were we thinking”. Unfortunately I hear those words once again as I try to wrap my head around the same issue.

    He is going to have to do more than just speechify to get my attention. So far, not so much.

  30. England’s interest rates are at 1.5%; they have not been lower since the Bank of England was founded in 1694.

    There’s something about reading the year 1694 that’s jarring.

  31. But-but-but Pat…he has another speech scheduled for today. Don’t you want to belieeeeeeeve?

    I realize now that speeches and Republican policies are all that Obama’s got. No wonder he won’t fire that idiot speechwriter who pretended to date rape Hillary; without the speeches providing the thin “democratic” veneer which hides Obama’s Reagan-ness, the backlash would be more vicious and more rapid.

    As it is, the scales are falling from the eyes of our friends in the Obamasphere rather quickly. I just wish it had happened BEFORE they decided to worship at His Feet.

    Sigh. As Pat said, “What were (they) thinking?”

  32. So, Clinton is a hero? The situation continued to get worse, not better during that period. Obama is like Bush and Reagan – incapable of understanding the interests and concerns of the econimcally pressed. Yet he was raised by a single mom and grandparents and his spouse also grew up in a fairly pressed economic class. Is it blind adherence to some kind of “group think” at play here? The whole effort and conversation makes me disappointed and pessimistic.

    O

  33. The man still wants to be all things to all people. His stimulus plan includes a tax cut. Today in the NY Times, Krugman says:

    “But Mr. Obama’s prescription doesn’t live up to his diagnosis. The economic plan he’s offering isn’t as strong as his language about the economic threat. In fact, it falls well short of what’s needed.”

  34. jmac
    interesting! The NY Daily News headline screams: OWE-BAMA
    Excellent entry – and I went through the experience myself. Now I am gone voting.

  35. No Tommie, Clinton is not a hero, but the situation actually began to get better during the Clinton years if you look at the graph and if you were a working during Reagan-Bush and then the Clinton administration.

    I’m not sure I understand your point about Obama. Are you saying he’s going to improve things because he was raised by a single mom and upper-middle class grandparents? I realize he has no record of accomplishing anything legislatively, so I guess the only thing we have to go on is his childhood, but it’s very difficult to see how that is relevant. Plenty of people had difficulties during childhood, that doesn’t mean they’d be great presidents.

  36. Had the MSM been paying stricter attention, fast forwarding a guy whose background in domestic and foreign affairs was “iffy” at best to step into the role of a lifetime after 8 years of Bush and what awaits this current debacle, they would have been less supportive of someone who was merely an understudy as a start.

    Because of these “passes” we are stuck with a leader in so far over his head as to be breathtaking in his lack of knowledge and experience. The travesty is that now some are coming to the same conclusions, albeit late in the game.

    My personal belief is that he is seeing opposition from Pelosi and his agenda not based so much on his own hubris, but on the fact that the man does not possess a clue. He did what he had to to get where he is. And now what? We are left with the understudy while the “star” was relegated to the wings.

    Wake up America! He is not who or what you want to believe he portrayed. He needed a little more seasoning in the boondock productions before he stepped into the leading role!

  37. “if you were a worker…” not “working” .

    Sorry for the typo.

  38. The Financial Times (conservative) likes O’s plan; Krugman doesn’t. That tells you which side of the line he’s on. They (FT) are worried about DOHA (some kind of international trade agreement) though because Clinton was against it and O has Robert Reich on his side. I don’t think they have to worry on trade – Obama had too many advisors (at least 3) saying not to listen to what he said on trade as he was running, and Clinton’s voice won’t be heard on economic issues.

  39. Bad as he is, when Bush was sworn in, we were in the throes of a semblance of stability following the Clinton years. No one foresaw 9/11 at the time and the most we could hope for was that Bush served his 4 years as the laziest and least engaged leader we had encountered but who we were only too happy to see just clear the brush in Crawford and leave us alone.

    9/11 changed all that and look what we got in return? Obama steps in to a worse economic and foreign mess than did Bush and he is not ready to take up that gigantic mantle. The man has no principles and little vision for us to feel secure in his leadership abilities up to now. The only thing he knows is how to campaign. Other than that we are left adrift and uncertain as to just where he will either lead or drag us into the pit.

    Bush himself should have served as a warning. Unless you have something to offer beyond “words” then step aside and wait your turn. The world is much too scary a place right now for someone who has yet to earn his stripes.

  40. Hillary faces the Senate Foreign Relations committee on Tuesday to see if she’s worthy of Secretary of State. John Kerry will be presiding.

  41. It seems like the big outsourcing fad hit the white collar sector around 2000 and put some pressure on wages.

    There was also a sharp downturn right after 9/11 – but I think the slowdown had already happened and that 9/11 gave some big companies cover to layoff a bunch of workers.

  42. Riverdaughter, your graph needs CEO compensation in there. If it did then you would see that productivity has been rewarded- just not to the masses responsible for it.

    Anytime I want to make light of market principles to someone arguing economics and it’s theories I have pointed out that higher productivity from the workforce is supposed to be rewarded but it has not been. The sky is also supposed to fall when wages are raised too and yet in 2007 the wage increase actually increased demand after a slight bump downward. It isn’t rocket science to figure out why. Barring technilogical advances, businesses are not going to decrease market resources without a marked decrease in demand. They don’t keep people on payroll out of the goodness of their hearts, they do so because they NEED them to create a profit. As long as you keep the increases to a point where they still create a profit they will pay the increase because the alternative is to shut the doors(or move your jobs overseas).

  43. Tommie – You realllly think things got worse under Clinton? This refrain is the mantra of all Obamabots – and it’s 100% wrong, of course. They just want an excuse to hate Bill – gawd only knows why.

    Let me give you a clue. I was looking for a job in 1991, during the first Reagan-Bush recession. There was literally nothing out there. When I finally got a little something, from a friend, it was a stepping stone to other opportunities, and things got a little better. By the time Clinton left office, 20 MILLION jobs had been created, and I was never, EVER without work.

    Those were the best times I can remember. Everyone was doing well. It wasn’t as good as the 50’s and 60’s, but again, a lot of things have eroded the New Deal since then. (And yes, I agree that NAFTA was one of them, but a lot of the damage had already been done by that time.)

    You simply cannot lump Reagan, Bush, Bush and Bill C. together. The second Clinton came into office, he immediately raised taxes on the wealthy and instituted pay-go policies. He left office with a surplus.

    Simple question: how many jobs did Reagan-Bush-Bush create? How big was the surplus they left office with? Did they raise taxes on the wealthy or cut them?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  44. I’m in moderation and Tommie is throwing Cheetos at me!

  45. Obama has never been economically pressed. He went to the finest prep schools and ivy league universities. He made lengthy trips to places like Pakistan. You don’t do that kind of stuff without $$$.

    I don’t know much about MO’s childhood, but even if she was poor then, she’s been rich for some time now. And you know that “new money” forgets very quickly what it was like to be poor and flaunts their new-found wealth obscenely. I’ve seen someone refer to her as Michelle Antoinette. It’s the perfect description.

    Now, let’s talk about raises! Some years back I worked at Tower Records at Lincoln Center in NY. This was the flagship store of the franchise. It made shitloads of money, which the company squandered heaven knows where. You know what kind of raises we were getting, if we were getting raises at all, working at this hugely profitable store? 25 cents – tops. One guy was given a nickel.

  46. I had my first apartment and first job in 1979. I had one more year of college and worked at the Social Security office part time, maybe 30 hours a week. If I remember correctly, I had enough money to pay the bills, do some occasional shopping and go out every night.

    Now, I think I might earn twice as much, but I pay out three times more in rent, car payments, etc.

    And Pat, no matter how tough it is, I have never regretted tossing that philandering, middle-agged, insecure ex out on his arse.

  47. CWatlz said:

    “Anytime I want to make light of market principles to someone arguing economics and it’s theories I have pointed out that higher productivity from he workforce is supposed to be rewarded but it has not been.”

    I don’t understand the economy at all, but I do know Bush thought Wall Street was the economy – as long as the stock market was rising, the economy was good in his opinion. He never felt the working man was part of the economy. (the guy working 24/7 who has no money in the stock market.) Well, the working man can barely afford to shop at Wal Mart now.

  48. I think we also need to mention that our parents not only paid for houses and cars during the 50s and 60s and put kids through college but managed to “save a little for retirement” and that most did it with a high school education. Now we have highly educated people on the unemployment line with less real income dollars than their parents received during their working lifetime. I just read an article that gave predictions of 9-10% unemployment by the end of the year.

    http://apnews.excite.com/article/20090109/D95JK7Q80.html

    And I have no faith in a profligate spender like Soertoro/Obama who begs for donations from We the People and then spends millions to celebrate himself but now plans to tell us to tighten our belts again to bail out the same people that contributed $750 million dollars to his campaign!

    (and recently released figures say that only 1/4 of that $750 million was from donors who contributed less than $200 to the Obama campaign.)

  49. Here’s more from Elizabeth Warren … she’s asking the right questions about where that $700 billion bailout went:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090109/ap_on_bi_ge/bailout_oversight_7

  50. Jmac – You understand pretty well from where I’m sitting.

    When you base 70% of your GDP on customer spending (as we do), you are screwed when the spending goes down. When real wages do not keep pace with the cost of living, the spending goes down. When people are laid off, the spending goes down. When the Dow Jones goes from 13,000 to below 8,000 (as it was at one point), people panic, and the spending goes down.

    We are very out of balance in this country. We need to build up manufacturing, create jobs and regulate big business; for example, limit executive compensation to a percentage of whatever the least-paid worker is paid (10x should work – I’ll bet wages would rise pretty quickly!).

    But noooooo, we have to concentrate on tax cuts instead. Thanks, OBush!

  51. Another headline:

    O bummer

  52. OBush!

  53. We are very out of balance in this country. We need to build up manufacturing, create jobs and regulate big business; for example, limit executive compensation to a percentage of whatever the least-paid worker is paid (10x should work – I’ll bet wages would rise pretty quickly!).

    Why is that so difficult to them to understand? Oh wait, greed! How stupid of me.

  54. Echoing most of the above thoughts, then we have people like Tommy who waltz in and even though Obama has thrown virtually everyone under the bus and is behaving like a spoiled republican, we are suppposed to feel sorry for him because he had a rough childhood?

    When is this crap going to end? He hooo-dooo’ed you with his BS. Wake up and smell the scent of another great depression looming and a President that only knows how to give speeches written by a date rapist fraternity brat.

    That has always been my problem with Obama. He pretends to be one with the common man, and he hasn’t a freaking clue. NOT ONE! The man has never held down a full-time job, yet he can afford a million dollar home? How many of us here can even begin to relate to that lifestyle? And Michelle with $400 lunches and designer shoes.

    I have always said that when these masses of bots wake up, they are really going to be angry and it is going to be worse than ugly.

  55. Someone wrote about an Ogasm on the web. I hope those are few and far between. And Pepsi has copied the O symbol and stripes. I hope it’s sales go down.

  56. TRK

    but but but inflation has been low.

    I always laugh when I hear that one too. Housing has gone through the roof. Health care costs skyrocketed. Education costs have gone up exponentially.(oh and food and fuel aren’t counted because they are volatile)

    It sure is nice to know that the prices of large screen TVs and DVD players are relatively stable though. D’oh.
    Put the same stuff in your “basket” that average Americans are please.

  57. Michelle doesn’t want that tax increase to the wealthy – she has to pay for ballet lessons and private schools.

  58. Kim: We sure had the capacity to pick “losers” didn’t we? Yikes! But, like you, I would rather spend my time with friends and family who appreciate me than to spend time with someone who was such a @sshole just to say I had a man.

    We are much better off in end even though the road has been pretty uncertain at times. At least we have some dignity left.

  59. Yahoo Headline: Jobless rate at 7.9%.
    Another 500,000 Americans lost their jobs in December.

  60. Karol

    Most of them didn’t need to save much for retirement. Their contribution to a job for 20 years was rewarded with a pension. Not at all like today where your pension plan is based on the rich folks lottery system. Retiring during an economic downturn where the market is unstable? Too bad, you rolled snake eyes.

    Now Obama wants to review a program that is proven to keep seniors out of poverty. Peachy.

  61. I feel the pain. However, as a single person with no children, I pay higher taxes AND extra taxes because I have no children. And I work later because the folks with kids have to go home.

    I am honestly not sure who has it worse.

  62. Isn’t Obama going to pay our rent for us?

  63. Heh

    More’n likely he’ll get himself a nice pay bump(Why is it again that Congresspeople and the Pres. are always complaining they can’t make it on over $100,000 when the median income is well under that?) and we’ll pay his rent. it’s what taxpayers do.

  64. Teresaa> You definitely have a point. I’ve been passed over for a promotion twice because somebody with kids needed it more. I worked through the holidays, while sick with the flu, because somebody with kids had to spend time with her family. I’m still sick, weeks later (haven’t been to the doctor because I have no health insurance) – and she finally came back to work yesterday. Lucky me!

  65. When I was 10 years old, my parents bought a 3 BR, 2BA home with a full basment on an acre lot for $13,000.00. Their payment was $97 a month. Later that year my dad bought my mom a Firebird convertable that he paid $1,400 for, most of us pay that in one month in rent or mortgages.

    Pat, my ex told my kids last year, that he always thought I would wake up one morning and realize I was better off without him. I did and it was liberating. All the hard times have shown me that I am resourceful, intelligent and I have from an insecure wife, to a very confident and secure single woman.

  66. I’m in moderation at 10:46!

  67. Teresaa,

    My little expenditures are very expensive. I need every bit of help my uncle gives me.

    and

    if it makes you feel any better people with kids that have to go home on time usually get told those kids are the very reason they don’t make more money in the workforce.
    Personally, I’m all for everyone going home at the same time kids or not. We all need downtime and balance.

  68. One of the missing pieces in this equation is the generally and artificially depressed world wide economy after WW2 which allowed the US to enjoy disproportionate growth and benefit. By the seventies, the best days of US manufacturing economy were behind it and new competition from low cost producers was coming on line in full force. There was a time when Japan was not the 2nd largest economy in the world and Made in Japan was synonymous with junk.

    This increased competition exerted downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on increasing productivity in order to maximize or just maintain profitability. At the same time the European states were able to maintain a much higher lever of social welfare because they had shed a lot of costs associated with maintaining their empires and military security (costs that were now borne largely by the US and the USSR respectively).

    The large scale entry of women (white middle class women – poor women and Black women were always in the work force) was not so much a function of the women’s rights movement but of economic necessity as the costs of maintaining lifestyles grew and the salary’s of husbands shrank relative to inflation. Of course greater supply of labor exerted even greater downward pressure on wages.

    From the eighties onward the inability to maintain middle class lifestyles through traditional means (income + savings) meant that debt loads increased both individually and nationally. Consumers unwilling to pay higher prices for goods and services shopped for bargains giving birth to the Walmartization of the economy which pushed the pressure on supplies even further afield – to China – for lower cost manufacture.

    B ush may have been a poor president and Clinton a good one (maybe even great) but this economic thing is bigger than either of them and has been a long time in the making.

  69. DYB

    People shouldn’t get promotions because of their personal lives, they should get them because of their contributions to a business. Your boss is playing you if he used someones personal life as an excuse to promote some IMO.

  70. Cwaltz: Too bad that is not the way it works. I have been told several times over the last year that I won’t be getting a raise, because my boss has two families to support, his wife and two kids and his girlfriend and two kids.

    I can’t quit in this economy, so I just suck it up and pray for kharma

  71. OMG TRK! ANOTHER 500,000 jobs lost in December?

    Jeezus. I am so freaking lucky I got a job.

    Frenly – I agree.

    My mom always said that women who worked and had children were only getting paid for one of their full-time jobs. She was a proponent of the idea of getting paid for housework and child care, which Gloria Steinem advocated on the cover of Ms. Magazine in 1972.

    She had no desire to enter the corporate world and thought that women had been hornswoggled into thinking they could “have it all” by men who wanted women to work twice as hard for half the pay.

    I miss her.

  72. CWaltz> That was never the official reason from the boss. This info trickled down to me via other sources. The boss is a decent person and wants to keep everyone happy. But there’s only so many opportunities to go around. I’m on the lookout for another gig…

  73. As someone who has admittedly no clue about economics(but trying to learn, thanks TC) all I can say is the Clinton years were the best in my house.
    We were saving and spending, my husband had all the overtime he could work and we could afford to do extra things with the kids.

    Now there has been no overtime in at least the last 7 years, savings are gone and husband’s job hanging on by the thinnest of threads. There is dread evertime he walks in the door after work, one of these days he’s gonna tell me that his job is gone, I know it.

    I work part-time and even if I went to full time it wouldn’t make up what we will lose if he is unemployed, not to mention the health insurance that will go too.

    And that, my friends, makes me “disappointed and pessimistic”.

    Back to lurking…

  74. The political parties were partially responsible though frenly because they created trade policy without a mechanism to ensure that policy was fair. You’ll note I said parties….plural form.

  75. B ush may have been a poor president and Clinton a good one (maybe even great) but this economic thing is bigger than either of them and has been a long time in the making.
    ____________
    This economy thing may have well been a long time in the making. But Bush following EXACTLY the 1920’s and tax breaks to the wealthy and business and stopping regulation (HOW many foxes did he put in the hen house?) The stock market boomed under Coolidge in the 20’s and it boomed under Bush doing EXACTLY the same thing for eight long years.

    Why in the heck wouldn’t it lead to the same results?????? It did. This time the market didn’t exactly crash as it did in 1929 but it still lead to the same economic depression. IMHO

    And it’s probably not going to have a quick fix.

  76. Japan’s economy grew, in large part, because of favorable trade conditions with the U.S. including being allowed to “dump” their steel at artificially low prices into the U.S. economy in the seventies which brought the steel companies in the U.S. to their knees. This was preventable, it was not just market forces at work. Had their steel been priced according to the market, U.S. companies would have been able to compete.

    As far as the “greater supply of labor…” exerting downward pressure on wages, there was no decrease in the labor supply in 1995, yet wages began to increase proportionally.

    The “Walmartization” of the economy was a result of enormous tax breaks to Walmart allowing them to build stores anywhere and everywhere and underprice any competition. We don’t save any money by shopping at Walmart. We might pay lower prices there, but we’re paying higher taxes to support the stores and the corporation.

    Supply and demand is an economic staple, but pure supply and demand never happens. The people who are running the government can and do have an impact. Whether or not it is favorable to workers depends on who is running things.

  77. DYB

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. If the boss is a decent person I’d let him know that I was “disappointed” that I was overlooked for a promotion and point out that you put in alot more hours with the hopes it would be rewarded. Sometimes bosses don’t notice or need to be reminded of the utility of their work force. I ended up with a promo after I ended up confronting a boss- his rationale? he didn’t realize I’d be interested in the position and thought I was happy where I was.

    TRK

    Children are often used as the excuse why women make 75 cents for every dollar a man makes. Evidently someone started the nasty rumor that being a stay at home parent means we sit at home watching soaps and eating bonbons which doesn’t translate into marketable skills.

  78. Obama is doing a press conference, just announced Panetta
    He straightens up and preens whenever a reporter addresses him as “President Elect Obama”
    what a horse’s ass
    how can people support this arrogant fool?
    such an egomaniac

  79. Obama is now talking about ‘what we’ve achieved so far”
    bwahahaaa!!!

  80. What is it that we have achieved so far? Pleeeeeeeassssse tell me.

  81. I wish he would stop smirking.

  82. he says if Paul Krugman has ideas he wants to hear them
    why am i watchng this nonsense

  83. I know this isn’t much help but

    ((((((soupcity))))))

    The best thing you can do is try to pay down as much debt and live as simple as you can.

    We’re gonna have to fight like Hades to get you and people like you healthcare. It’s a darn shame.

  84. Omaniac

    Ohorse’s ass

  85. Hasn’t he been listening. Krugman wants him to overhaul healthcare. He wants Social Security left alone except to eliminate the cap. I mean geeez……does the guy not pick up newspapers? Krugaman may as well have been talking to a wall.

  86. Even though unions have been declining in density since the late 70s/early 80s it is the unionized workforces that keep wages from falling even further. Companies wishing to avoid unionization know that they have to remain competitve with the organized workplaces and therefore keep wages close.

    Without unions in the US the working class would be little more than the wage slaves they were before they began to organize. Can you say “company store?”
    __________________________________________________
    sod
    you’re so right
    But I wish *all* workers had the same kinds of protection that union workers have. Does that make me a commie?

  87. janicen – I agree that trade policy has been a huge piece of this and by and large our trade policies have been bent to serve our foreign policy objectives AND the corporate interests that buy influence in washington with campaign contributions.

    When I refer to “walmartization” I mean more than just that particular manifestation of the evil empire. I mean the wholesale decline of good quality goods and services in the American market in exchange for a completely throwaway society where goods are cheap and cheaply made and service quality is worse.

  88. SOD

    The unions are really struggling though and they have had to put up with alot of bad press. There is alot of resentment out there because they do make more than average. Some people don’t seem to be able to connect the dots on collective bargaining.

  89. I’m in the dungeon too SOD
    hold up the pic from your post last night it keeps them away like garlic

  90. I’m going to post some goodies I found while out strolling the www. Check out Pelosi’s use of the word “BRAND.” Orwell would be proud.

    Obama Uses Poll, Focus Groups to Sell Stimulus Plan to Congress

    Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — President-elect Barack Obama’s top political aides are transplanting their campaign tactics to the policy arena, using data from polls and focus groups to shape the debate over a stimulus plan that may cost at least $775 billion.

    Obama officials are polling on how to frame the economic proposals for voters and what language should be used, Gibbs said. They want to know “how America reacts” to the president- elect’s stimulus proposals and the public’s “attitudes toward the economy,” he said.

    Axelrod and Margolis encouraged the senators to change the way they were discussing the stimulus plan and adopt language that the aides had tested in focus groups, said a Democratic official briefed on the meeting.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said she was satisfied with the conclusions of Axelrod’s polls, which she called “very, very positive.”

    “People don’t know the details but they like the brand,” she said.

    Obama, who takes office Jan. 20, has said his economic package won’t be influenced by political calculations. He has instructed his advisers “to make sure that we are proceeding on projects and investments based on national priorities and not based on politics,” he told a news conference on Nov. 26.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aHNaiptix3lk&refer=home#

  91. Can’t wait to see the mania deflate and fizzle…

    O-bummer

    Congressional Democrats are firing a surprising number of unexpectedly sharp brush-back pitches at President-elect Obama and his staff over policy plans and personnel picks, making him look embattled during what was to be a triumphant debut week in Washington.

    The honeymoon isn’t over – the president-elect remains widely popular, even among some Republicans – and his inauguration on Jan. 20 will be a signature event in the lifetime of most Americans, giving his opening days a greater lift and pop than any president since at least Ronald Reagan.

    But as Obama buckled down his week as a shadow government across Lafayette Park from the waning one in the White House, Democrats hit him with daily fast balls reflecting two realities: His team is smart but not perfect, and Democrats are supportive but not supine.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17268.html

  92. Wonder how all that bail-out money is being recycled? Why to celebrate and praise the ONE of course!

    Wall Street Is Big Donor to Inauguration

    WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama has banned corporations and big donors from funding his Jan. 20 inauguration. But 90% of donations received so far have been raised by well-heeled fund-raisers, including Wall Street executives whose companies have received billions of dollars in federal bailout money.

    Wall Street employees, as a group, have been the biggest single source of these private donations, according to the analysis. Much of their donations — $5.7 million total — has been channeled through financial-services executives who each have bundled together donations worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146096981566339.html

  93. we already have company stores: when people buy their houses with a mortgage from citibank, furnish it on credit with a card from citibank and work for a subsidiary of citibank… what else do you call it?

  94. And now the best for last…Dean is officially under the bus–though I don’t want to be anywhere near him. Put him down by the exhaust pipe please…

    Lei-off: Obama snubs Dean
    The conspicuous absence of Howard Dean from Thursday’s press conference announcing Tim Kaine’s appointment as Democratic National Committee chair was no accident, according to Dean loyalists.

    Rather, they say, it was a reflection of the lack of respect accorded to the outgoing party chairman by the Obama team.

    Despite leading the party in consecutive triumphant election cycles – as well as through off-year races like when Kaine was elected Virginia governor in 2005 – Dean has become all but invisible since Election Day, passed over for the Cabinet position he coveted and apparently not in line for another administration post.
    … A physician by training who devoted much of his time as Vermont governor to health care, Dean had his eye on becoming Secretary of Health and Human Services. But the post went to Obama ally and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

    His allies aren’t happy about it.

    “If he had been asked to go to that event, he would have been there,” Jim Dean, the chairman’s brother, noted twice in an interview.

    “The snub today was no accident,” said one Dean ally. “I guarantee you he would have rescheduled his trip if asked to attend. It’s easy to [screw] over people when you are riding high in the polls, let’s see how many people are singing his praises in six months.”

    [Isn’t this the same Jim Dean, head of Democracy for America, who was responsible for the caucus invasions? How’s it feel now buddy boy? You picked the wrong horse in terms of loyalty. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya…]

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17254.html

  95. dont buy all the pretend dem dissent.
    watch them all roll over and put together whatever he wants for the stim package.
    its theatre
    (except for maybe john kerry-he’s pissy and acting out b/c Obama left him in the dirt)

  96. Krugman was an HRC supporter. I don’t think O has been listening to him at all.

  97. fif

    I’ll take kabuki theater for $500. They played pretend outrage over FISA too right before rolling. This lot has the crescendoed outrage- capitulation scene down to a science. I do not trust the lot of them- at all.

  98. Obama wants Krugman to tell him what he thinks? I think we need Katie Couric to go over to Obama and ask him what newspapers he reads.

  99. The dissing of Dean is really kind of a shock, even when you’ve gotten used to Obama’s cavalier treatment of people.

  100. cat jinx- we seem to think alike. 😉

  101. Thanks cwaltz we will be ok, we always figure something out. But it gets a little heavy sometimes.
    Waxing nostalgic for the Clinton years…

  102. Oh…but it’s a promising sign catarina. They are all self-serving egomaniacs. Once the thrill is gone, they will all be elbowing and calculating for their own selfish concerns. Welcome to the real world Mr. Hopey Changey.

  103. Perhaps someone should point out to Obama that Krugman wrote a book recently titled Depression Economics.

  104. CWaltz: how’s your mom?

  105. plural: apparently Emanuel and Dean can’t stand each other and have clashed over the 50 state strategy in the past. Emanuel, being an IL insider, obviously won out in the end.

  106. Good point frenly. And now these same companies, who offered 0% transfer balance rates, are arbitrarily rescinding the offers once people have hefty balances, and jacking up their APR’s so that people will never get out from under. Sounds just like the Company Store to me too.

  107. lol RD- I’d have thought you were too young to know source of that title!

  108. catarina, no he DIDN’T pretend he couldn’t hear Krugman’s screams for the past couple of months. “If” the Nobel prize winner in economics has ideas? Could he be a little MORE condescending? If I were PK I’d be boiling mad.

    Fif – oh dear, oh dear.

    The honeymoon isn’t over – the president-elect remains widely popular, even among some Republicans – and his inauguration on Jan. 20 will be a signature event in the lifetime of most Americans, giving his opening days a greater lift and pop than any president since at least Ronald Reagan.

    Yup, Obama is Reagan and Bush put together. Hooray! Now, can we wake up from this nightmare and have a real Democratic President?

  109. Someone should tell Obie that the Krug just got a Nobel so he should probably shut the smart ass up for a sec and listen to the man.

  110. BO is purging the party by installing people who are loyal only to him and who do not have an independent power base. S.talin did it through show trials, executions and exile. BO is doing it through appointments. The only reason (I believe) that HRC is at State is that she probably negotiated that position in advance of the convention in exchange for not interrupting his coronation. She’s going to have plenty of freedom there to do her own thing and can’t easily be sidelined because she has her loyalists

  111. Oh the stimulus package, what oh what will I do with an extra $50 bucks every two weeks. I just can’t wait, maybe I will save it for 4 months and have a lobster lunch.

  112. frenly

    Part of the problem there is we have always been a throw away society. The reason the cheaper goods and services sell is because there is a portion of the workforce that is considered throwaway(and it gets larger all the time). There is a portion of the public that believes a job, even if it has functionality, should not necessarily make a wage that is enough to live on. If I had a nickel for each person that told me service sector jobs should only make so much because they are largely filled by teens or people just entering the workforce. I don’t care how menial a job is- if a person works 40 hours at it he should make “enough to live with a little left over” as the Minimum Wage Act said when it was created.

  113. i think Obama was serious about Krug

    sounded more like “ok i have skidmarks please Krug wtf should i do now?”

    it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad

  114. Have I mentioned I’d also like the poverty level configuartion overhauled?

    Housing, economist folks, not food, is the largest expenditure.

  115. IL just voted to impeach Blojo

  116. RealKim: that will have to be a small lobster…

    off to work so I can collect my too low wage and dream about being able to afford a pony someday.

  117. TRK,

    Snort, hopefully we won’t all end up putting it in our gas tanks.

  118. fif

    We may need that pony for food.

  119. Cwaltz – I agree; people should be paid a decent wage. Its hard to believe there was a time when an unskilled worker made enough to support a wife and kids AND she had enough to hire a “girl” to come in and do cleaning twice a week.

  120. Fif,

    She had a stroke. Luckily it was a small one. She needs to have surgery because her carotid is filled with plaque(Did I mention they said she was lucky?) Additionally she needs her airway scraped because it has scarring which may have contributed to the problem. She’s being compliant in the hospital and my sister has encouraged them to run as many tests as they need because she is not nearly as cooperative once we get her home as far as following up(and she admitted as much).

  121. My son actually re-enlisted the other day because he figured he would come home and have no job.

  122. I love this post, RD.

    When I dropped out of the workforce in 1986, I had a reasonably good salary for those days. People in jobs like the one I had (administrative assistant to academic department head) haven’t made that much progress in terms of real income. Today I see ads for administrative assistants jobs in which the starting salary isn’t much more than I was making in the mid-’80s. It’s amazing how the powers that be have managed to slow the growth of wages.

    In the Boston area, back in the ’70s, the large employers had a kind of cartel (they called it a “working group”) to determine what wage rates would be at the big universities and other large employers in the area–not really legal, but they got away with it. I don’t know if it still exists, but it probably does.

    I worked at MIT for years, and we tried to form a clerical workers’ union there in the ’70s. The large universities, like Harvard and BU paid millions to union busting corporations to keep the unions out. Only BU succeed in unionizing. It would be interesting to see if BU salaries for clerical workers are any better than at Harvard and MIT.

  123. Cat: What took them so long? If they’d done this earlier then Burris never would have become an issue.

  124. reg
    come on cut them some slack
    holidays and stuff, you know
    all that shopping, decorating, parties..

  125. if you haven’t read this, you should … it had me spitting my coffee on the screen …

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kass-08-jan08,0,6293839.column

  126. and if you want a better way to understand that graph up there read:

    A Guide to Common Sense Macroeconmoics

    by Ravi Batra

    it basically comes from chapters 9 and 10 of some of his work on bubble creations

  127. TheRealKim> It’s very sad that a soldier returning home can’t find work and has to go back to the army! But then we haven’t been taking care of our vets for a very long time now…

  128. I can’t pay the rent and I am starting to wonder when the need for families to move in together to share expenses is going to hit en mass so that my situation is not so unusual. I am still waiting for recently burned and scared B-friend to ask me to move in with him. If not I am going to be sleeping on my son’s couch in Florida whether he likes it or not. Those to whom the economy has not been that big an issue yet have no idea what the rest of us are suffering…. but they will.

  129. I have to support myself and my mother who is in her eighties – but I pay higher taxes because I am single with no children. I got my debt payed down including those pesky student loans and then had a new round of unexpected expenses – mom – the car with 100,000 miles – and so on – and it never seems to end.

    I have one brother who just found a new job after being out of work for several months. Another found out, while visiting for the holidays, that he was to clean out his desk upon return since the last 25% of hires were let go as of the 31st so the new owner of his firm could get the tax write-off for the year. My eldest brother is retired and hoping his 401 does not disappear completely. I recall really bad times in the 70s and 80’s and since Western PA was hard hit by the steel decline. When I got out of school I ended up moving to VA for a job – but I would rather not go back down that road – but it looks as if that is where we are headed and O has no idea what it feels like to be uncertain about having a roof over your head and food on the table. The whining about the cost of ballet lessons and private school are evidence of that.

    I will say at least when my fiance died – it did not change my financial status on way or the other but I have watched both men and women dealing with the expenses o f divorce and bankruptcy is often the result for whichever party got the shot end of the stick. And yes – its not always the mom who gets the kids and the expenses – smaller in number but some dads get dumped on as well and our system and employers are not any more supportive of men taking time off for sick kids and other emergencies.

    I would also add a group that is often overlooked – widows/widowers – who in dealing with their loss find themselves classified as single for taxes. This comes as quite a shock – becuase they do no see themselves as “single”.

    By the way. Michelle did not grow up poor but in a very firm middle to upper middle class. Her father made more than mine and my dad was an engineer with a decent salary.

    I believe her father worked for the original Mayor Daley – which is how she eventually found herself in the same circle people formally known as friends (you know Blago, Ayers, Jackson,….) as the one and only O. Nothing fancy – but certainly not poor. I think they try and make it seem as though she came up through adversity when in reality she has never really had any major hardships.

  130. gosh,dak
    can you read it to me? sounds like torture 😉

  131. fif, on January 9th, 2009 at 11:23 am Said:
    …..
    Wall Street employees, as a group, have been the biggest single source of these private donations, according to the analysis. Much of their donations — $5.7 million total — has been channeled through financial-services executives who each have bundled together donations worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146096981566339.html

    —————-
    That may be true, but I know MSM is having to pay for their seats and I just got a request to donate under the guise of getting a ticket.

  132. ((((((TRK)))))))

    Hopefully we can at least get him home so that he’s safe. The great part of the miltary is that he’ll find himself extremely competitive in the job market after he gets out. Employers love them some ex military. We have practical skills and discipline. We are used to long hours and less than tolerable conditions. We understand dealing with a rank structure and heirarchy and have had to demonstrate that over generally speaking at least 4 years. It is very translatable.

  133. actor212: you can read the Batra book and he explains the reasons for the wage gap. most of them are solidly rooted in the reagan years like making the tax system more regressive (increasing use of sales taxes by states and the big bump in the FICA taxes during the reagan years — Reagan was responsible for the biggest tax increase in US history), the rise of monopolistic competition ( in other words creating these too big to fail monsters), the declining strength of the union movement, declining minimum wage, and the ‘free’ trade pacts which have sent the high paying blue collar jobs overseas. Clinton bought in on the latter but not so much on any of the former items.

  134. (((((Teresa)))))

    I’ve been where you are, so even though I am financially stable now, I do understand and empathize with your situation.

    One of the reason we chose to live in a mobile home was I was incredibly concerned with the price of housing being what it was that we’d end up in a bad situation again.

  135. breaking news: Gov. Blagojevich impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives.

  136. Clinton had help with a Republican Congress just as Reagan had help with a Democratic one if I remeber correctly. Both parties have made a mess with their – change things now, ask questios later policy.

  137. O/T
    Blago impeached and there was one present vote. Oh the lovely present vote.

  138. December unemployment rate is 7.2%

  139. Patterson questions Kennedy’s qualifications:

    http://www.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Paterson+notes+Kennedy%2 7s+%27lack+of+elected+experience%27&expire=&urlID=33527433&fb=Y&url=http%3 A%2F%2Fwww.buffalonews.com%2Fhome%2Fstory%2F543453.html&partnerID=173606

  140. SOD

    You can join cat and me- we’re the ones with the tinfoil hats over in the corner. 😉

  141. CWaltz
    she knows-she made my hat o-:

  142. Will the conviction of Blagojevich be automatic?

  143. cwaltz,

    Not a bad choice to live where you do and save money.

    Mt Laurel, if your brother is retired and losing money in the stock market, whether it is 401k or other investment vehical, he should get it out. The market will come back in 10 years but he can actually gain more in a Equity based Annuity than he can in a fluctuating market.
    Tell him to send me an email and I will explain it to him. The numbers just do not add up for anyone of retirement age staying in the market now.

  144. “Whether the knife falleth on the melon or the melon on the knife, it is always the melon which gets cut.”
    Old Persian proverb, also in the Bible, I’ve heard. Can’t tell you where.

  145. Reflections on Obama’s “Non-Ideological Pragmatism”

    Check this out from the Black Agenda Report:

    http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=968&Itemid=1

  146. Yahoo had it at 7.9%

  147. DYB

    It has less to do with his vet status then it does with the fact that there aren’t many jobs to be found i’d bet. The military gives you a pretty good hand at transitioning when there are jobs to transition to. In my day you even attended a three day course to help create a resume, start you toward getting your VA rating etc, etc. Military folks are usually snatched up pretty quick from my experience for the reasons I noted above.

  148. one section of the BAR article is entitled:

    “Bringing People Together To Get Things Done” By Helping Kill Universal Health Care ”

    outling the one’s connection to insurance companies.

  149. No

    It should be interesting to see if an impeachment can be challenged when there hasn’t been a conviction. I’m betting Blago won’t go quietly into the night.

  150. From CNBC:

    The latest overall job loss numbers showed a loss of 524,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate climbed to 7.2%. This is the highest unemployment rate since January 1993. The November payroll numbers were revised to a loss of 584,000 and the October numbers were revised down to a loss of 423,000. This is the twelfth straight month of losses and a total of 2.6 million jobs for 2008.

  151. Wednesday, 07 January 2009
    by Paul Street

    The corporate media work hard to frame pro-business policies as the “practical” and “pragmatic” work of “centrist” and “non-partisan” politicians who can “get the job done.” The clear implication is that progressives have their heads in the clouds, and are incapable of “getting things done.” Of course, “Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin certainly ‘got things done.’ So did Richard Nixon and George W. Bush and so on.” That doesn’t make them the good guys. Barack Obama and his handlers stress that he is “non-ideological” – which really translates to non-threatening to entrenched interests.

    Reflections on Obama’s “Non-Ideological Pragmatism”

    by Paul Street

    This article originally appeared on Znet.

    “Obama’s policy agenda reflects the incrementalist spirit of pseudo-progressive ‘third way’ corporate centrism in the well-trod footsteps of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.”

    Recently I was speaking to a liberal friend about a writer I thought might be a good reviewer for a book I recently published on the Barack Obama phenomenon.

    “He seems to be a lot less left than he used to be,” I said about this writer.

    “I think,” my friend responded, “he decided he wants to get things done.”

    It’s an old American trope: leftists don’t live in the real world; they don’t want or know how to “get things done.” They don’t have concrete and practical alternatives. They just want to complain. They are dysfunctional.

    In an article on Obama’s political origins in Chicago one of his early campaign staffers approvingly recalls how the young Obama ruffled the feathers of “black activists” and “community folks” with seeming indifference to “the struggle” and “the movement” in his practical quest to “get the job done.” (Ryan Lizza, “Making It: How Chicago Shaped Obama,” The New Yorker, July 21, 2008).

    The dichotomy between inherently counter-productive “ideology” and “getting things done” is a major theme in Obama’s campaign and career. Again and again, he introduces his cabinet picks and policy ideas with stern admonitions about the need to steer a practical “get things done” course between the “ideologies” of the right and left, as if any key U.S. government agencies or policies have recently fallen under the direction of Marxists.

    The “get things done” narrative is a big part of what “mainstream” (dominant corporate) media commentators say in support of the President Elect. Obama, the line goes, isn’t an “ideologue,” he’s a “pragmatist.” He soars above the unproductive realm of “ideology” to embody the practical, can-do spirit inhabited by “most Americans.” He wants to “get things done.”

    Obama and his team of “the best and brightest” apparently have no ideology of their own. They’re just “can-do” folks interested in using technical expertise to make policy in accord with the no-nonsense American people, who reject “ideology.”

    Skirting “The Real Issue to be Faced”

    But who doesn’t want to “get things done,” really? And how much of a virtue is it to want to “get things done”? The highly ideological fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was hailed by Western businessmen for his practical success in making the trains run on time. Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin certainly “got things done.” So did Richard Nixon and George W. Bush and so on.

    A President Obama may not seem likely to transgress on the level of these criminals, of course. That’s good but progressives have sound reasons to be concerned about his definition of “getting things done.” According to Larissa MacFarquhar in a carefully researched piece on the President Elect last year, the solutions offered in Obama’s writings, speeches, and town-hall meetings are “small and local rather than deep-reaching and systemic.” Such refusal to advance large reforms – e.g. single-payer health insurance on the Canadian model – reflects what MacFarquhar found to be Obama’s “deeply conservative” take on history, society and politics: “In his view of history, in his respect for tradition, in his skepticism that the world can be changed any way but very, very slowly, Obama is deeply conservative. There are moments when he sounds almost Burkean. He distrusts abstractions, generalizations, extrapolations, projections. It’s not just that he thinks revolutions are unlikely: he values continuity and stability for their own sake, sometimes even more than he values change for the good.”

    MacFarquhar found that Obama’s “deep conservatism” was why “Republicans continue to find him congenial, especially those who opposed the war on much the same conservative grounds that he did.” (Larissa MacFarquhar, “The Conciliator: Where is Barack Obama Coming From?,” The New Yorker, (May 7, 2007)

    “Perhaps the greatest misconception about Barack Obama,” Ryan Lizza noted in the New Yorker last July. “is that he is some sort of anti-establishment revolutionary. Rather, every stage of his political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions rather than tear them down or replace them” (Lizza, “Making It”)

    “Every stage of Obama’s political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions.”

    The problem here is that American and world citizens are facing problems that go beyond small-scale solutions and beyond existing dominant institutions. As John Bellamy Foster has recently noted, we currently inhabit a period where “life on the planet as we know it can be destroyed either instantaneously through global nuclear holocaust, or in a matter of a few generations by climate change and other manifestations of environmental destruction.” As Foster, Hannah Holleman, and Robert W. McChesney recently argued in Monthly Review, “A society that supports its global position and social order though $1 trillion a year in military spending, most likely far exceeding that of all the other countries in the world put together – unleashing untold destruction on the world, while faced with intractable problems of inequality, economic stagnation, financial crisis, poverty, waste, and environmental decline at home – is a society that is ripe for change.” (John Bellamy Foster, Hannah Holleman, and Robert W. McChesney, “The U.S. Imperial Triangle and Military Spending,” Monthly Review, October 2008).

    Put less delicately, it is a society overdue for revolution – for what the democratic socialist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King called “real issue to be faced” beyond “superficial” problems: “radical reconstruction of society itself.” (Martin Luther King Jr, “A Testament of Hope” [1968], reproduced in Martin Luther King, Jr.., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. by James M. Washington [San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins, 1991]).

    King rejected efforts to get him to run for the U.S. presidency in part because he wasn’t interested in cutting moral and ideological corners in accord with the wildly disproportionate influence that concentrated economic and military power exercise over U.S. electoral politics and policy. I’d like to see Obama dismiss Dr. King as an impractical “ideologue.”

    Coming Up Short on Health Care and Economics

    More than a generation after King was killed for including radical change in his can- and must-do list for America, Obama’s “Guaranteed Choice” health care plan amounts to a probably unworkable “half way solution” that falls well short of the public’s longstanding desire for universal national health insurance. It preserves the power and profits of the institutions most responsible for the health care crisis – private insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. “Despite Barack Obama’s avowed hopes for change,” Roger Bybee notes, the President Elect’s health reform, “manacled to private insurers, may ultimately deepen public cynicism of the possibility of meaningful reform.” (Z Magazine, December 2008).

  152. He is just happy he has a job and he has returned to college during this time also. YAY!!!! He is a good kid and I am DAMN proud of him.

  153. BB,

    Blago’s impeachment now goes to the Senate where it will be a hair-raising trial. Tsunami warnings are being issued on Lake Michigan.

  154. A mom swelling with pride.

  155. Kim: I’m on Market Watch and it says 7.2

  156. Kim: I’m on Market Watch and it says 7.2

  157. Dak

    Banging my head against the desk- Where were these folks during the primaries?

  158. Here’s Roubini’s forecasts.

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. recession will last two full years, with gross domestic product falling a cumulative 5%, said Nouriel Roubini, chairman of RGE Monitor. Roubini was one of the first economists to predict the recession and the credit crunch stemming from the housing bubble. For 2009, Roubini predicts GDP will fall 3.4%, with declines in every quarter of the year. The unemployment rate should peak at about 9% in early 2010, he said. Consumer prices will fall about 2% in 2009. Housing prices will probably overshoot, dropping 44% from the peak through mid-2010. “The U.S. economy cannot avoid a severe contraction that has already started and the policy response will have only a limited and delayed effect that will be felt more in 2010 than 2009,” he said

  159. Well thats a little better. Not much though.

  160. WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. recession will last two full years, with gross domestic product falling a cumulative 5%, said Nouriel Roubini, chairman of RGE Monitor. Roubini was one of the first economists to predict the recession and the credit crunch stemming from the housing bubble. For 2009, Roubini predicts GDP will fall 3.4%, with declines in every quarter of the year. The unemployment rate should peak at about 9% in early 2010, he said. Consumer prices will fall about 2% in 2009. Housing prices will probably overshoot, dropping 44% from the peak through mid-2010. “The U.S. economy cannot avoid a severe contraction that has already started and the policy response will have only a limited and delayed effect that will be felt more in 2010 than 2009,” he said

  161. Dak, the really bad news is that 7.2% is good news because most everyone thought it would be much worse. Sorta like saying, “Mrs. Lincoln, otherwise how did you like the play?”

  162. Plainjane – Loving it! Paterson sounds a little less than thrilled about CK, doesn’t he?

    🙂

  163. Predictions from Roubini:

    The U.S. recession will last two full years, with gross domestic product falling a cumulative 5%, said Nouriel Roubini, chairman of RGE Monitor. Roubini was one of the first economists to predict the recession and the credit crunch stemming from the housing bubble. For 2009, Roubini predicts GDP will fall 3.4%, with declines in every quarter of the year. The unemployment rate should peak at about 9% in early 2010, he said. Consumer prices will fall about 2% in 2009. Housing prices will probably overshoot, dropping 44% from the peak through mid-2010. “The U.S. economy cannot avoid a severe contraction that has already started and the policy response will have only a limited and delayed effect that will be felt more in 2010 than 2009,” he said

  164. Going to lunch, will be eating the dollar menu. Haven’t gotten stimulated through the stimulus package yet. TTYL

  165. Yahoo says 7.2 now so I’m betting 7.9 was a typo.

  166. And, as always, the unemployment numbers do not represent those who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits (many freelancers) and those who have run out of employment benefits.

  167. Prolly just happy to know that .7 still have a job at least through January anyway.

    TTFN

  168. CWaltz: Black Agenda Report was always against Obama. they were a pro-Mckinney site. the real black activists saw thru him early on

  169. Kim

    You should be proud. He sounds like a smart young man.

  170. They haven’t seasonally adjusted yet have they dak?

    When do they do that?

  171. CWaltz – The Black Agenda Report was always anti-Obama because he is not a liberal. They were excellent during the primaries. Not enough people listened, unfortunately.

    Dak – Roubini seems optimistic to me. I don’t see us pulling out of this for the next four years at least, unless Obama is willing to be a lot more FDR-ish than he wants to be.

  172. kim: stock market futures are up because the news was slightly better than expected … lol

  173. madamab: yeah, I think it’s way optimistic too, I’m thinking 4 – 5 years

  174. The Black Agenda Report is staffed by racists- pas it on. ;P

  175. it’s automatically seasonally adjusted these days

  176. Kim: be glad you don’t live in California, their economy is just falling apart

  177. Thanks dak, wasn’t sure, if they were taking into account the holiday season.

  178. DYB:

    Total hours worked in the economy fell 1.1%, with the average workweek falling to the shortest ever, signaling an annualized decline of 6% in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter, wrote John Silvia, chief economist for Wachovia. Hours worked have declined “at an eye-watering” 7.7% annual pace in the quarter, Shepherdson said.
    The number of people working part-time because of the slowing economy rose by 715,000 in December to 8.04 million.
    An alternative measure of unemployment that includes workers too discouraged to look for a job rose to 13.5% from 12.6% in November; it’s the highest in the 13 years since those data have been kept.

    that’s per marketwatch

  179. DYB: this is per market watch

    Total hours worked in the economy fell 1.1%, with the average workweek falling to the shortest ever, signaling an annualized decline of 6% in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter, wrote John Silvia, chief economist for Wachovia. Hours worked have declined “at an eye-watering” 7.7% annual pace in the quarter, Shepherdson said.
    The number of people working part-time because of the slowing economy rose by 715,000 in December to 8.04 million.
    An alternative measure of unemployment that includes workers too discouraged to look for a job rose to 13.5% from 12.6% in November; it’s the highest in the 13 years since those data have been kept.

  180. wow, Krugman’s op-ed piece today is really worth the read … he’s finally shouting the truth about Obamanomics

  181. In the words of Hillary is 44: Obama simply cannot be trusted. Obama cannot be trusted on any issue. Obama cannot be trusted by his friends. Obama cannot be trusted by his enemies. Obama cannot be trusted.

  182. Hi disenfranchised!! glad we caught up on fb

  183. I just read an interesting article on The Drudge Report. It was from ABC’s The Note and it says essentially that Obama has ruffled alot of Democrat’s feathers and they don’t enjoy being pushed to come up with a Stimulus Bill so quickly.

    On Obama’s chit list is Howard Dean, the man who won the White House and Congress for the Democrats. He wanted a Cabinet position and now he is in a cabinet with the door locked.

    Liberal Dems don’t like Obama reaching across the isle and dissing them and warn that Obama could be a great president or a failed president by next year.

    What an inexperienced man like Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that there are 3 branches of Government and the Democratic Congress which has been working alone for 2 years does not wish to be bossed around by the new guy on the block.

  184. Hi dakinkat. Yes, it’s nice to put a face behind the alias.

  185. Dak

    Got a link? I like Krugman. He’s always made alot of sense to me(and that’s a compliment because as I said above some of the theories floated by economists don’t always make sense to me).

  186. I just read an interesting article on The Drudge Report. It was from ABC’s The Note and it says essentially that Obama has ruffled alot of Democrat’s feathers and they don’t enjoy being pushed to come up with a Stimulus Bill so quickly.

    On Obama’s chit list is Howard Dean, the man who won the White House and Congress for the Democrats. He wanted a Cabinet position and now he is in a cabinet with the door locked.

    Liberal Dems don’t like Obama reaching across the isle and dissing them and warn that Obama could be a great president or a failed president by next year.

    What an inexperienced man like Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that there are 3 branches of Government and the Democratic Congress which has been working alone for 2 years does not wish to be bossed around by the new guy on the block.

    Odrama, who needs a headline a day — might have a headache instead.

  187. ““People don’t know the details but they like the brand,” she (Pelosi) said.”

    The devil is in the details, folks.

  188. Here is a post on “O’s” plan for SS and medicare…I am surprised it hasn’t been scrubbed yet: From “The Progressive”
    *********
    “Obama’s pick for OMB puts Social Security in jeopardy”

    http://www.progressive.org/mp/castellblanch121208.html

  189. The Democratic Congress was working over the last two years? At what? Seems to me they were a bunch of rubberstampers- it isn’t surprising that Obama would expect the same kind of treatment.

    I guess Congress wasn’t paying attention during the primaries. The guy lauded Ray-gun. In what demented world is Ray-gun a heralder of liberal or even democratic values?

  190. I guess time will tell about Democrats being mad at Barky – they have a tendency to talk big. I’ll believe that Senate is cleaning Obama’s clock when I see it! And last I heard Obama single-handedly restored order in the Senate by getting Reid to seat Burris.

  191. What mattered about Burris was the media frenzy over him.

    Blago and Burris out-media’ed Obama and the Senate.

  192. here’s krugman’s bottomline:

    Whatever the explanation, the Obama plan just doesn’t look adequate to the economy’s need. To be sure, a third of a loaf is better than none. But right now we seem to be facing two major economic gaps: the gap between the economy’s potential and its likely performance, and the gap between Mr. Obama’s stern economic rhetoric and his somewhat disappointing economic plan.

    Jane’s frontpaged it on FDL and I guess even the huffpoop is all over it…

  193. I’m at loathe to give either of those places my hit.

    I’ll have to see if I can find it. Krugman has a blog but I don’t see it up there.

  194. CWaltz, there’s a link on the front page of nytimes.com today.

  195. well, krugman makes me feel vindicated, this is the analysis I’ve been talking here for about a week or so

  196. “How Big is Obama’s Package?”

    Andy Borowitz

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-01-09/how-big-is-obamas-package/

    ROFLOL

  197. “As someone who has admittedly no clue about economics(but trying to learn, thanks TC) all I can say is the Clinton years were the best in my house.”

    Hear hear. What I most distinctly remember is the large number of jobs available in all fields of work–even in mine, which is hardly a high-demand one (that’s putting it mildly, *snort*). For people in the tech field it was just nuts, jobs were everywhere. Now, although I am making much more money “on paper,” my standard of living is much lower than it was then.

    Everyone has a “cab driver” story but this one, I SWEAR, is real. A few years ago I was in a cab in Denver and started chatting with the driver, who was Iraqi. His mention of his nationality led to him asking me what I thought of Bush and when I said I couldn’t stand him, he let loose! And then he said “Remember Clinton? Those were good days. With Clinton, you put your hand in your pocket and money came out.” Indeed.

  198. thanks plural

    We’ve all been hollering health care- apparently in Obamaspeak that translates to medical records because we are really really worried about those darn paper records.

  199. “Any “brand” can lose it’s luster if it starts putting out nothing but crap. ”

    As evidence: New Coke.

  200. The Clinton years weren’t all that great for my family. We were both military. BAQ VHA was only required to cover 80%. You lost your food allowance when you went on a ship. They’ve fixed those things I hear but they were tough times for us. Fortunately, the times did teach me a thing or two so we were better prepared for this downturn.

  201. bb, TFF!

  202. He’s too enamored of technology as the cure for everything, IMO.

    Quitting that Blackberry would be good for him.

  203. That’s all we need, to wrap our arms around Obama’s package. Then we shall understand what the Big O is all about!

  204. “well, krugman makes me feel vindicated, this is the analysis I’ve been talking here for about a week or so”

    But I post here too (about non-economic stuff) so you’re still wrong.

    😉

  205. DYB — Obama said it all when during his press conference he sadly decried what was happening to private industry while blaming recipients for the problem with Social Security.

  206. “If I tell you the size of my package, some of you will think that it sounds too small, “ he said. “And others will be uncomfortable with how big it is.”

    The president-elect seemed to indicate, however, that the size of his package may vary according to the circumstances.

    “Depending on what is going on, my package could grow significantly larger,” he said. “It all comes down to the amount of stimulus.”

    I’m sure our kreepy lurkers (Hi boys!) will save a screen shot of this to trot out every time they get caught making rape jokes and spewing misogyny.

  207. minor good news on government transparency front

    The court ruled against the visitor logs at the WH being considered “privileged” information that would hinder the President’s ability to do his job.

  208. LOL BB! Andy Borowitz is a genius. Sometimes people don’t even realize he’s kidding, he’s so good!

    😉

  209. CWaltz – will we finally see who Gannon/Guckert was visiting when he stayed overnight at the WH over 100 times?

    I’m betting on Rove.

  210. Please note that that parody of news stories about Obama’s economic package was written by Andy Borowitz, a man as far as I can tell.

  211. madamab,

    It could have been Bush or McClellan. Bush is rumored to be bisexual and McClellan has been sighted in gay bars in DC and Austin. I’m not going to provide links, but the info is out there.

  212. According to Krugman

    Whatever the explanation, the Obama plan just doesn’t look adequate to the economy’s need. To be sure, a third of a loaf is better than none. But right now we seem to be facing two major economic gaps: the gap between the economy’s potential and its likely performance, and the gap between Mr. Obama’s stern economic rhetoric and his somewhat disappointing economic plan.

    Seems Obama isn’t happy with the Dems who put him in office and longs for love from the Republicans therefore there is too much in this plan to appease Republicans while he lets Dems stew.

    Wonder if Howard Dean would have sold his soul for Obama if he had a chance to do it over.

  213. We will also be able to find out if Obama gets visits from friends like Bill Ayers or various nutbag evangelicals.

  214. The thing is, Hillary probably wouldn’t have appointed Dean to anything either. He just stupidly thought Obama could be trusted.

  215. Dean goesn’t get a do-over(nor do the superdelegates who put Obama over the top-I’m looking at you Pelosi and Reid). Sadly, neither do the rest of us.

  216. bb — Bush is rumored to be bi-sexual? Well, knock me over with a feather! Good lord, I would hope gay men had better taste than that!

  217. cwaltz — The Dems in the Senate would rather work alone then have a boss in the White House telling them what to do. Obama has no understanding that there are 3 co-equal branches of Govt. He thinks they all work for him. If you don’t shmooze you lose.

  218. That sounds like it was written by a fraternity nitwit.

  219. Dean had a better chance with Hillary- She embraced folks who intially weren’t her supporters and ideas that intially weren’t necessarily her own. She would have reviewed him on the merits of his arguments rather than rewarded him out of fealty imo. The sad thing is that Dean night have been able to help craft healthcare that worked. Vermont has one of the highest ratings in terms of health care.

  220. I read that Dean was in American Samoa and has pretty much been thrown under the bus.

  221. The Senateand House nutballs appointed that boss because to have a floor fight would have given Pelosi the vapors. I don’t want to hear them whine. They don’t get to revise history after gift wrapping his election to the office.

  222. This should probably be on the No Republican Left Behind thread but have you all seen that John Brennon is back in?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/08/AR2009010804108.html

    Six weeks ago he was “too controversial” but I guess he’s not anymore. This way he won’t have to get Senate approval.

  223. I was just at TGW and it looks like Egalia has had enough of ABG too.

    There are several “Moody guy” posts that say “comment removed”

    Maybe we should try that?

  224. AngieNC – Remember, we are talking about closeted Republican men. They have no taste whatsoever. Look at Larry “I Am Not Gay” Craig. Hardly a looker, yet clearly he was a hot commodity in that bathroom.

    BB – I’ve heard that about Bush too, and frankly, I don’t even think he’s bi. I think he’s 100% gay. Is it Tinfoil Hat Tuesday yet? I got lots of these.

    😉

  225. As the resident gay I refuse to take ownership of Bisexual Bush he is in the same catagory as Tom Cruise and John Travolta…

    so what has pampers screwed with/or up today?

  226. Gagal

    Private security firms? You mean the ones who don’t have to adhere to the Geneva Convention? Hmmmmmmm, I’m sure that Obama is going to tell them not to waterboard people. I mean he is a “liberal” after all.

    Geez, talk about the “fauxgressive” community getting punked. Obama looks like Bush more and more every day.

  227. Madamab-I thought you liked me? please do not put Big Ears Bush on the Gay Bus I just Pushed Pampers out of the emergency exit kicking and screaming…no I gotta do the same to “W”?

    Crap!

  228. Oy vey on Brennan.

    Brennan also has attracted personal criticism from human rights experts for defending the CIA’s long-standing practice of forced renditions, or transfers, of terrorism suspects for interrogations, a position that forced the withdrawal in late November of his candidacy to head the CIA.

    Plus, he’s the head of a Blackwater-type security firm.

    I need a drink. Or perhaps a brick wall to pound my haid against.

  229. CWaltz — is it “punked” when you willingly ignore the evidence or is is “aiding and abetting?”

  230. Fuzzy – Sorry darlin’, I calls ’em like I sees ’em. But don’t worry, they are on a different bus.

    BTW – I’m in moderation and ABG is calling me a r*cist!

  231. Pampers is nothing if diligent

    He’s going to give everyone that can afford healthcare( the ever dwindling number) computerized records and our economy will be fixed.

    Krugman criticized him today and said his stimulus plan is too timid.

  232. Ang

    I think many were punked and a random few aided and abetted. It’s a shame what we have done to critical thinking in this country.

  233. well popped in for lunch its Friday….but got training tomorrow-Meyers Briggs stuff I have been ENFP for so long could we do a meyers briggs thread on maybe Pampers O’biden and Pelosi and Reid or and throw in Hillary and Ms Pampers for fun…

    Please pretty please madamab and RD please lets to a Meyers briggs thread….

    Organizaations with large Org Behavior departments love Meyers Briggs!

  234. oh if you deside to do Meyers briggs thread pls wait till fuzzy gets home at 530 pm EST

  235. oh if you deside to do Meyers briggs thread pls wait till fuzzy gets home at 530 pm EST

    gotta get back to work!

  236. I’m thinking that in honor of Animal House we should have a toga party thread tonight.

  237. Obama must have been taking lessons from Bush, who felt he could dismantle SS from the executive branch. Dems and Repubs alike have no interest in in taking up Social Security in these trying times so Obama will go to the Office of Management and Budget to do the hatchet job for him.

    Right now Social Security functions well because its universal. Almost everyone gets it on an equal basis. If Obama can means test Social Security it would lose the broad support it has now. Watch the Harry and Louise ads condemning seniors who paid into the system as being the culprits–while give a pass to those who stole from Social Security for the last couple of decades.

    No wonder Mr. Obama is having an Inaugural Ball for those under 35. That are the only constituancy he cares about.

  238. Per my comment last night about needing a long long train instead of a bus due to the influx of former backtrack supporters.
    I thought it would take 6 months for the shine to wear off, now my estimate is 3 months tops.
    The train will have to make double stops at each station.

    WARNING to all PUMAS do not go near the rear of the train.
    It is filled with obots and people with loud boom boxes wearing perfume that smells like nanny goat in paradise. and no open windows and broken heaters and air conditioners

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  239. New Thread

  240. helen:

    There’s so many people under the bus already that the wheels of the bus go round and round without ever touching the ground.

  241. Great post, great thread. Love to come here and find sanity.

    Now:

    I have to say I feel good, in spite of the imminent installation of our new Republican administration.

    Why?

    I did not vote for this man.

    I saw most of this coming. And what I didn’t see coming, you all showed me. Months ago.

    I have nothing to regret. I fought the good fight for Hill. I am not responsible for what is about to happen. I am still a liberal. I did not sell my soul. I still want to get things done. The things that I want to get done are still good. I am still pro-woman, pro-choice, pro gay-marriage, pro-universal health care. I did not give up, back down, exchange this for that, or back away or back off from anything. I did not do any of this for a talentless windbag in an expensive suit. I did not trash Sarah Palin. I did not lower myself one iota this political season. I stuck to my principles. I lost a party. But I held onto . . . me.

    I feel bad for our nation. I truly do. But I tried to do, and continue to try to do, what by my liberal lights seems best for it. And I can hold my head up. I was never blinded. I always knew the truth. I knew it with Bush. I knew it with Obama. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Which is more than I can say for many of my liberal friends.

    Thank you for being here, Conflucians. It’s good to be left standing, it’s good to be the-left-that-is-still-standing, it’s good to be left with you.

    Magda

  242. Amen Magdalena!

  243. The shine is not wearing off, it’s getting scraped off with really coarse sand-paper.

  244. Please help me. Just got back from my Giant (grocery store) and they are promoting Inauguration Day party platters.

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