Monday, April 4, 2011

We Are One!

In memoriam, Martin Luther King. Stand up!

Via Digby.

E.J. Dionne takes on anti-government radical Paul Ryan's "Budget Roadmap"... and challenges the President

A "must-read" column from The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, focusing on the GOP budget being hatched by Paul Ryan of Wisconsin:
Americans are about to learn how much is at stake in our larger budget fight, how radical the new conservatives in Washington are, and the extent to which some politicians would transfer even more resources from the have-nots and have-a-littles to the have-a-lots.
"I won't return to the failed theories..."
And you wonder: Will President Obama welcome the responsibility of engaging the country in this big argument, or will he shrink from it? Will his political advisers remain robotically obsessed with poll results about the 2012 election, or will they embrace Obama’s historic obligation — and opportunity — to win the most important struggle over the role of government since the New Deal.
Ryan: "Who is John Galt?"
This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will announce the House Republicans’ budget plan, which is expected to include cuts in many programs for the neediest Americans.
["Titanic" ed. interjects:  Ryan - a House denizen who has supported every tax-cut measure that drove up deficits during his tenure, except those targeted to middle and lower income folks in the President's stimulus package - is perhaps most notable to date for having his staffers read the hysterically anti-government Ayn Rand pot-boiler, "Atlas Shrugged." This bizarre indulgence in ideological zealotry by an elected official could only be matched on the liberal side by, say, a revelation that Bernie Sanders was passing  out "The Communist Manifesto" to his Senate aides. The extremist Rand and her followers preached that progressive taxation, for instance, is "immoral."]

Dept. of Aghast at Executive Bonuses

 Appropriately, from the Wall Street Journal:
"Heckuva job..."
Transocean Ltd. had its "best year in safety performance" despite the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig (leased by British Petroleum) that left 11 dead and oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the world's largest offshore-rig company said in a securities filing Friday.
Accordingly, Transocean's executives received two-thirds of their target safety bonus. Safety accounts for 25% of the equation that determines the yearly cash bonuses, along with financial factors including new rig contracts...
In a filing on executive pay, Transocean said, "Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record." Based on the total rate of incidents and their severity, "we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company's history."
 No further comment.  Article here.

Jobs, jobs jobs...

Here - "Hidden Bad Signs in a Good Job Report" - the Wall Street Journal digs a bit deeper into the latest relatively optimistic jobs stats:

1/08-3/11 jobs growth - Steve Benen, Political Animal
(An) overarching issue is the number of people who remain unemployed. Though the rate is dropping, there are still 13.5 million people who would like to work, but can’t get a job and that doesn’t include those who dropped out of the labor force. The broader U-6 unemployment rate that includes people marginally attached to the labor force continued to decline but still remains at 15.7%. So much slack in the job market means that employers don’t feel as much pressure to increase wages.

Finally, there are still some lagging sectors. Amid the broader jobs increases, construction continued to shed jobs, a reminder that the housing market continues to struggle. Meanwhile, local governments facing budget crunches are shedding jobs, 15,000 last month, and more cuts are on the table across the country.

Sing it again, Woody: "Some men rob you with a six-gun..."

  "Some rob you with mortgage securitization... 
"I've yet to see an outlaw drive a family from their home..."
a computer database... 
and a fountain pen!" 

 Too Big to Jail? 

The robo-signing crime wave -
    "60 Minutes" is on it!
Watch HERE.   Via Atrios.

Part 5 of "Common Sense" Guide to the Great Deficit Debate at "Winning Progressive"

Winning Progressive has another segment of the "Common Sense" Deficit Primer up at their site this morning - HERE. Today's focus is on the "deficit hype" as cover for the right-wing strategy to shift political power to the economic elite.

Again, thanks to WP for spreading the word!