Media Matters: Fox Business host Gerri Willis made sure her viewers could not fault President Bush for state of the economy … according to the results of a June NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans are more likely to hold Bush accountable than President Obama “for the country’s current economic conditions.” … But Fox viewers can’t hold Bush accountable if they don’t have the option.
Jack and Jill: In Iowa, there’s a social conservative pledge called “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family” that is anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage, anti-divorce etc etc that GOP candidates are being urged to sign. (It includes:)
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.
Given that families were broken up regularly for sales during slavery and that rape by masters was pretty common, this could not be more offensive … When will Republicans inquire with actual Black people whether or not we’re ok with invoking slavery to score cheap political points? It has to stop….
TPM: Rep. Paul Ryan, a leading advocate of shrinking entitlement spending and the architect of the plan to privatize Medicare, spent Wednesday evening sipping $350 wine with two like-minded conservative economists at the swanky Capitol Hill eatery Bistro Bis.
…Susan Feinberg, an associate business professor at Rutgers, was at Bistro Bis celebrating her birthday when she saw the label on the bottle Ryan’s table had ordered … it sold for an eye-popping $350, the most expensive wine in the house…
Feinberg, an economist by training, was even more appalled when the table ordered a second bottle. She quickly did the math and figured out that the $700 in wine the trio consumed over the course of 90 minutes amounted to more than the entire weekly income of a couple making minimum wage.
“We were just stunned,” said Feinberg, who e-mailed TPM about her encounter …After ending their meal and paying the check, Feinberg decided to give Ryan a piece of her mind. She approached the table and asked Ryan “how he could live with himself” sipping expensive wine while advocating for cuts to programs for seniors and the poor…..
The clash became especially heated when Feinberg asked the men if they were lobbyists. “F—- her,” one of them replied and stood up in a menacing way, according to Feinberg’s account…
… The one major aspect of the story in dispute was the topic of conversation at Ryan’s dinner table. Feinberg said all three men were “droning on loudly during the evening that liberals think that if you’re a millionaire, you have done something wrong.”
Army Times: The Pentagon has ordered a halt to all separations of gay troops under “don’t ask, don’t tell” and will begin accepting applications from prospective recruits who identify themselves as homosexuals.
The moratorium issued Friday came after a ruling Wednesday by a federal appeals court in California ordering the Defense Department to immediately stop enforcing the law. The court said the law is unconstitutional because it treats gay Americans differently under the law.
Steve Benen: …. let’s consider the recent developments the way a Republican would. Here’s a chart showing private-sector job creation in the latter half of 2010, when stimulus money was still being spent, and when Democrats enjoyed the congressional majority:
And here’s a chart showing private-sector job creation so far in 2011, after stimulus spending largely ended, Republicans took control of the U.S. House and most of the nation’s gubernatorial offices, and the national discourse pivoted from jobs to the deficit and debt:
…..Mitt Romney likes to talk all about who “made things worse.” So, you tell me. Were we on track before Republicans gains or after?
No hiding it, this is one seriously,seriously crappy day.
But we all know it’s a joyful day for some (and not just on the right), the higher the unemployment figure the greater the chance they’ll succeed in putting a Koch-funded Republican in the White House in 2012. They’re certainly not concerned about the people who are struggling to find work. The more the merrier.
So, by all means, express your anger and disappointment about today’s news, let it rip! But try to dig deep too, we know these people’s strategy has always been to ‘divide and conquer’, they will pile it on today and in the days ahead in an attempt to demoralize those who support the President in the face of this relentless opposition and obstruction.
So, fight back with the truth:
Nancy Pelsoi today: “In the six months since Republicans have been in charge of the House, they have failed to bring a single jobs bill to the floor or offer a clear jobs plan. Democrats have forced ten votes on job-creation measures in this Congress – and Republicans have voted ‘no’ each time.”
President Obama today: “Right now, there are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding. We connect the two by investing in rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our railways and our infrastructure. And we could put back to work right now some of those construction workers that lost their jobs when the housing market went bust. Right now, we can give our entrepreneurs the chance to let their job-creating ideas move to market faster by streamlining our patent process. That’s pending before Congress right now. That should pass.
Today, Congress can advance trade agreements that will help businesses sell more American-made goods and services to Asia and South America, supporting thousands of jobs here at home. That could be done right now.
Right now, there are a lot of middle-class families who sure could use the security of knowing that the tax cut that I signed in December to help boost the economy and put a thousand dollars in the pockets of American families, that that’s still going to be around next year. That’s a change that we could make right now.
There are bills and trade agreements before Congress right now that could get all these ideas moving. All of them have bipartisan support. All of them could pass immediately. And I urge Congress not to wait. The American people need us to do everything we can to help strengthen this economy and make sure that we are producing more jobs.”
November 6, 2012 is a long, long way away … there’s lots of work and truth-telling to be done.
PS The media love quoting Gallup’s latest unemployment rate when it’s worse than the official figure – I’m guessing we won’t hear much about this:
Simply, everyone of us, and every Democratic Party Leader and Candidate must be certain that “the official Republican plan is to destroy Medicare” are 8 words every American hears 1000s of times between now and Nov 2012.
Beyond that the simple mantra is a gift given to every Democratic candidate, to wit:
The Republicans promised jobs in 2010:
– instead they insisted on tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations
– instead they attacked collective bargaining
– instead they attacked education
– instead they attacked unemployment insurance
– instead they attacked women and girls
– instead they brought the Nation to the brink of default on its debt
– instead they tried to KILL DADT
NET RESULT TO DATE:
Republican jobs created – ZERO
Republican destruction of jobs – Large and accelerating
Republican pursuit of the destruction of America if that’s what it takes to defeat President Obama in 2012 – so obvious even some pundits and politicians have noticed what we have all known since Jan 2009.
Don’t muddle; don’t confuse – take full advantage of the blatantly obvious Republican attacks on the middle class, on Medicare, on Medicaid, on Social Security and the very solvency of the United States of America and make change happen, Americans.
Steve Benen: The first several months of 2011 showed steady and strong improvements to the nation’s employment picture, and there were reasons for optimism for the near future. That optimism is now long gone. If May’s job numbers were a punch to the gut, June’s job numbers felt like getting kicked while already on the ground.
….in June, the economy created even fewer jobs, totaling just 18,000 for the month. The unemployment rate also went up, reaching 9.2%. All told, the private sector gained 57,000 jobs, while the public sector lost 39,000 jobs, due entirely to budget cuts at the state and local level.
… If our political system were sane in the slightest, elected leaders would look at these numbers and conclude that the economy desperately needs a boost. Job creation should be the first, and arguably one, priority on the minds of policymakers. Instead, the only topic of discussion allowed in Washington is about debt reduction – which takes money out of the economy and makes unemployment worse.
This jobs report is a flashing red light …. we have a jobs crisis, not a debt crisis. The longer we’re stuck in the wrong conversation, the longer it will be until conditions improve.
President Obama walks out of the Oval Office to the Rose Garden to make a statement about the unemployment numbers
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: “Today’s jobs report makes it clear: more must be done to create jobs and strengthen our middle class. Republicans must join Democrats to focus squarely on Americans’ top priority – putting people back to work.
“In the six months since Republicans have been in charge of the House, they have failed to bring a single jobs bill to the floor or offer a clear jobs plan. Democrats have forced ten votes on job-creation measures in this Congress – and Republicans have voted ‘no’ each time.
“Democrats know that creating jobs must be job number one for this Congress, yet Republicans continue to push their plan to end Medicare in order to give billions in tax breaks to Big Oil and corporations that ship American jobs overseas. And now, they are putting our entire economy at risk – by threatening to let our nation default for the first time, injecting uncertainty into the economy, and demanding we balance our budget on the backs of seniors and the middle class.
“We are ready to work together on a balanced, bipartisan approach to bring down our debt, while creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing our economy.”
ThinkProgress: Appearing on CNBC this morning, presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann was asked about this morning’s dismal jobs report and whether higher unemployment rates might help her chances of winning in 2012. “Does it strike you that as the unemployment rate goes up, your chances of winning office also go up?” host Carl Quintanilla asked. “Well, that could be. Again, I hope so,” Bachmann replied. More here
Thank you Desert Flower
Steve Benen: In a statement this morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus blamed rising unemployment on “out-of-control spending.” Perhaps now would be a good time for reasonable political observers to call this what it is: dangerously stupid.
… When the jobs reports were looking quite good in the early spring, Republican leaders were eager to take credit for the positive numbers they had nothing to do with. Needless to say, GOP officials are no longer claiming responsibility … It’s a nice little scam Republicans have put together: when more jobs are being created, it’s proof they’re right; when fewer jobs are being created, it’s proof Obama’s wrong…
…the great irony of the 2010 midterms is that voters were angry and frustrated by the weak economy, so they elected a lot of Republicans who are almost desperate to make matters worse.
…It’s not too late. We can boost public investments. The Federal Reserve can stop worrying about inflation that doesn’t exist. We can stop pretending spending cuts can create jobs.
If the politics won’t allow for measures to make things better – if, in other words, Republicans refuse to consider steps to create jobs – then it’s probably time for the public to change the politics.
MSNBC: Whether it’s due to the current Medicare debate, the end of the health-care fight (in which the GOP clubbed Democrats on Medicare), or something else, Republicans are losing ground with seniors.
In our combined NBC/WSJ polls for the first half of this year, 44% of seniors identify themselves as Democrats, versus 35% who identify themselves as Republicans. So a nine-point spread.
But in our merged NBC/WSJ polls from 2010, Democrats held just a two-point edge among seniors, 42%-40%.
Why is this important? Because last year – when they won control of the House and made gains in the Senate – … the GOP won the senior vote by more than 20 percentage points, 59%-38%. But in 2008, McCain beat Obama among seniors by eight points, 53%-45%. And in 2006, Democrats split the senior vote, 49%-49%.
…. Something similar is happening in the Midwest, too. Per the merged 2011 NBC/WSJ polls, 42% of respondents in that region identify with Democrats, versus 31% who identify with Republicans. So an 11-point spread. Yet back in our 2010 merged data, the Dem edge was just four points, 41%-37%….
Karen Greenberg (Daily Beast): … The Obama administration’s decision to try Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a Somali national accused of terrorism, in federal court is the beginning of a new conversation…..
With the Warsame decision, the Obama administration has taken its first steps to create a post-Guantanamo world. Warsame was not brought to Gitmo; he was not hidden in a prison in Afghanistan. Since the prison at Guantanamo opened in January 2002, Warsame is essentially the first high-value foreign terror suspect to be rounded up abroad and brought into U.S. custody.
This is a welcome and long-overdue step. And, in many ways, it is the first realization of the president’s promise at the outset of his presidency to close Guantanamo….
With the transfer of Warsame nearly 10 years after 9/11, the Obama administration has done what the Bush administration should have done when it opened Guantanamo in January 2002. Instead of side-stepping the law and its procedures and standards, it has firmly embraced the American legal system and its courts as a viable tool in its arsenal against captured terrorism suspects.
… It is good news that Guantanamo may no longer be open for business. But this is only a first step in creating a sustainable system to replace the U.S. detention policy that has defined the war on terror.