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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

July 3, 2008


Another Black Friday

(One Day Early)

I dread looking forward to Friday afternoons nowadays. Friday afternoons, in the era (or is that error?) of the Bush administration - a.k.a. The Administration of Diminished Responsibility - has been hard on any and all of us since the news began turning bad. And, let's face it, the news has been bad for quite some time now, no matter how they spin it.

As each new Friday approaches, I sit and wait. I wait for the upcoming bad news which the Bushies put out each and every Friday, and that bad news has never been as bad as it's been since the beginning of 2008, with the exception of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, of course.

Yes, under the Bush administration, each and every Friday is a brand new Black Friday.

But this week something different happened. Friday came a day early. Today, Thursday - yes, THURSDAY - July 3, 2008, the news came out of the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics that another month has ended with a net loss of US jobs. At the end of June, employers reported that an additional 62,000 jobs have been lost to our economy. At the rate we're losing them, and while under this current administration, they don't look as if they're coming back.

Black Thursday, if you will, came about because our government will be closed tomorrow. After all, us regular middle-class folk - some of us who are working two and three jobs apiece - can't expect our federal government to report bad news on Independence Day, July 4th, even if it is a Friday.

Can we?

And certainly we can't expect President Bush or any of his band of NeoCons to work on our nation's birthday.

Why, that would be downright unpatriotic. wouldn't it?

For six straight months our economy has been bleeding whatever jobs have been left over from the outsource bloodletting described by Bush's economic advisors as "a good thing". For six straight months, as our population grew and more workers attempted to join the once mighty US workforce, we have let their jobs slip away.

No additional tax breaks for millionaires will bring back these jobs. No more wars for oil and or profit will create the "jobs of the future". Solutions cannot be found by this administration because it has no desire to find them. This White house is not only compassion-less, but passion-less in any and all efforts relating to making the lives of the 200-250 million or so of us considered to be in the middle class. Make no mistake about it - when our economy tanks, it comes up to us to make up the difference.

And we always do.

In actuality, all of the economic news is very bad. Even BLS.gov's US Import Price Index - a unit of measure which shows increases in the goods which originated in other countries which we buy here - has skyrocketed by a whopping 2.3 percent. To put that in perspective, imagine purchasing a made-in-China fall jacket that cost you $100 today. Now imagine that you wanted to purchase that same coat a year from now for a friend. Adding the 2.3 percent monthly increase to the import price of the jacket over a twelve month period would increase the price of the gift to $137.31!

You would have to be a very good friend.

Numbers which in another time might look good, stand out in a very bad way from the BLS.gov report. To begin with, the Civilian Labor Force shrunk by some 144,000 workers. In good times that might mean that these people no longer need to work. Today it simply means that their circumstances are left for hopeless by the President Bush. Similarly, an additional 365,000 people joined the "Not in Labor Force" statistic. Does that mean that these people no longer want to work? Not in these times it doesn't. 365,000 people would mean 1,000 people a day for a year lost their jobs - but this number is in just one month! In the month of June, 12,167 people each and every day lost their job or no longer are looking for work.

Maybe driving from minimum-wage job interview to minimum-wage job interview without any hopes of obtaining work cost them too much in gas money.

The number of employed shrunk by nearly three times the number of jobs lost. 155,000 people who were listed as "employed" in May, 2008 are no longer working while the ranks of the unemployed was stretched by more than ten percent (from 8.487 million Americans to 8.499 million Americans).

Somehow, even in spite of all the proof of his failed policies, President Bush and his would-be successor John McCain-McBush think that the only way to cure the economic ills of our nation is to provide more stimulus to their "base of haves and have mores". The idea is that the more money the ultra-rich are awarded, the more they'll spend on us peons.

Call it the Neo-Trickle-Down theory of screwing the middle class.

That stuff trickling down smells kind of funny, doesn't it?

Here's how the White House web site's economic page began (talk about spin!):

"Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new jobs figures for June. Non-Farm payroll employment decreased by 62,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 percent, in line with expectations. Although these numbers are disappointing, the unemployment rate remains below the averages for the past three decades. Despite slow growth, the economy continues to demonstrate resilience."

Their theory? It's always darkest before the dawn.

I wonder how dark it will finally get before there is a spec of light?

-Noah Greenberg

Beating Up Madman

Victoria Brownworth notes," I admire Madman for taking a page from the GOP and just utterly ignoring the disastrous series of giant moves to the right--far right--that Obama has taken in the past two weeks. Not a mention or a murmur. Almost as if you are saying, let's ignore it and it will go away. Alas, between the FISA cave, the back peddling on the war and bringing the troops home, the approval of the BAD decisions of the supreme court and the disapproval of the one GOOD decision they made (not expanding the death penalty), the pledge to out-Bush Bush on "faith=based" crapola, the assaults on Gen, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton's top strategist and MoveOn and his promise to keep Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in place, it's hard to imagine how we keep pretending it's not happening.

Some of us said all along that Obama was Republican-lite, based on his previous voting record and flip-flopping on key issues like the Patriot Act.

McCain will continue to be McCain and Bush and Cheney will continue to be Bush and Cheney. But if Mr." I'm a new kind of politician "Obama continues--daily--to move to the far right, shouldn't we say something about it? You know, just to look like we aren't just like the GOP with our collective heads buried firmly in the sand?

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-Noah Greenberg