Reality Check

The real unemployment rate ismore than 8%. An unemployment rate at 5% used to be called full employment. Today it’s considered the sign of a recession. When the Labor Department gives its March employment report this Friday, it’s important to keep in mind that the relatively low unemployment rate isn’t telling the whole story about the weakness of the U.S. labor market. Economists surveyed by are forecasting a loss of 50,000 jobs from the nation’s payrolls in the month. That would mark the third straight month of job declines. The unemployment rate is expected to jump to 5.0% from … Continue reading Reality Check

Look for the Union Label

The Missus ganked the iTrip out of the truck and as such I was stuck listening to regular radio the other day. Rather than run the risk of hitting the CD button and accidentally turning on The Midget’sLaurie Berkner CD, I let the radio play. Charlie Sykes, resident conservative curmudgeon, was blathering on about something before he shifted to the hot-button topic of the Mercury Marine company’s demand for union concessions and the union’s most recent vote to reject the proposal. The union has said it will not vote on the package again without drastic changes and the company has … Continue reading Look for the Union Label

Something Much More Fun

Have you bought your ticket yet? Seriously. And, since we’re talking about sports today, remember: The WFTDA Eastern Regional Tournament is next weekend! If you live in or near Madison, WI, come out and support the ass-kicking women on wheels of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls. You can buy tickets throughthis link. It’s a blast, people. And the Dolls aren’t just good at skating in circles and knocking people down. Oh, no. They do lots of good stuff for the community, too. From charitable donations to highway cleanup, they got it going on. So come on down to the tourney next … Continue reading Something Much More Fun

Questions Not Asked

I get the feeling that if I stared too long at this photo, I would be turned to stone. That dead-eyed motherfucker up there is US Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI). He’s often talked about as one of the rising stars in the Republican Party, which most likely means that it’s only a matter of time until he gets caught with his dick in a hummingbird, or whatever peculiar fetish he has that he’s not telling anyone about. Anyway, he was on the local TV news a couple of days ago, and I wanted to write something about it. I held … Continue reading Questions Not Asked

Friday Ferretblogging

The boys weren’t cooperating this morning. Every time I got close with the camera they made a jump for lens. Riot continues to improve. He’s off the meds now (thank GOD, I ended up wearing most of them) and done with the gushy foods, and he spends his mornings kicking Bucky’s ass in the tried-and-true way Puck used to kick his. Bucky has only gotten fatter since he’s been home, which is strange. Usually they slim down upon leaving the shelter based on having more time and space to run around, but Bucky’s like a furry food vaccum so I … Continue reading Friday Ferretblogging

I Are A Sophisticate

My dear scout forwarded thisPowerline Post to me. Your president speaks! The folks at First Draft takean unfriendly look at President Bush’s extemporaneous comments in theRamallah press conference yesterday. With equal parts humor and malice, they slice the comments into bite-sized morsels and provide appropriate headings for them. I think I understand the comments all too well and hope to take another look at his statement when I have a little more time. UPDATE: I mistook First Draft for Professor Richard Landes’sThe Second Draft. The folks at First Draft are among the sophisticates who refer to President Bush as “Chimpy.” … Continue reading I Are A Sophisticate

Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Well, looks like we’re stuck with Tony Farto again today (hat-tip to montag for the nick), I guess no one else wanted to go to Crawford. Tony Farto Lectures A Former President Q President Carter amended his comments over the weekend, this morning, saying essentially he didn’t mean to say that the Bush administration’s foreign policy was the worst in history, he was talking about it more in comparison with Nixon’s foreign policy. Do you have any response to that? MR. FRATTO: I don’t think I have response — a specific response to that. I think it just highlights the … Continue reading Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Quitting Time Booster Shot

Welcome to the QTBS, where despite evidence to the contrary, we acknowledge the difference between jobs and careers and are supportive of both. – We bought a VCR from a rummage sale for $2 to give The Midget a chance to watch some of her library-borrowed Disney movies upstairs on the TV in our bedroom. (Part of this was self-interest, as the TV downstairs has TiVO and a bigger picture when I watch baseball.) In any case, I finally hooked it up, got it ready to go and I was going to test it with a tape she had. I … Continue reading Quitting Time Booster Shot

Body armour was promised for April–Contract has not even been awarded yet

Stars and Stripes has been trying to find out why but can’t get an explanation… ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army is late in delivering newer, lighter body armor to soldiers downrange. In April, an official with Program Executive Officer Soldier (PEO Soldier) said that soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan would begin to receive the Improved Outer Tactical Vests that month. “The Army will begin fielding the IOTV April 07 as directed by [Headquarters, Department of the Army/ Army Central Command],” said Steven Pinter in an e-mailed response to questions to Stars and Stripes last month. But the Army has not … Continue reading Body armour was promised for April–Contract has not even been awarded yet

What Did The President Know And When Did He Know It?

It’s past time for Senator Carl Levin to call General Anthony Teguba and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify about Abu Ghraib. The White House on Sunday insisted that President George W. Bush first learned about abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison from media reports, contrary to assertions by a former top general that Bush likely knew about the scandal before it broke. “The President said over three years ago that he first saw the pictures of the abuse on television,” said White House spokesperson Scott Stanzel in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is … Continue reading What Did The President Know And When Did He Know It?

HUD Sec’y Alphonso Jackson: Blacks and Hispanics Fear of Banks led to mortgage crisis

Yesterday HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson claimed that minorities fear of banks is what led to the subprime crisis. From yesterday’sChicago Sun Times titled“HUD Sec’y: Fear of banks led to mortgage crisis” One-third of the nation’s mortgage foreclosures probably could have been avoided if black and Hispanic home buyers hadn’t been so afraid to borrow from banks, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said today. With painful memories of the redlining that went on during the 1950’s and `60’s, minorities fearful that they would be denied home loans steered clear of banks, Jackson said. SNIP Instead, they took their … Continue reading HUD Sec’y Alphonso Jackson: Blacks and Hispanics Fear of Banks led to mortgage crisis

Your President Speaks! Again!

Today, inKansas City, Missouri. What We Got We got some of our citizens purchased mortgages that they can’t afford now. The Reset Inherent Hopefully the reason — hopefully they didn’t get deceived, and if they did, the government has a responsibility to take care of that. In other words, we don’t want people buying a mortgage and the person who sold them the mortgage didn’t fully disclose the reset inherent in a subprime note. Security Paulson Security Paulson and Secretary Jackson are bringing people together from the private sector, and they couple that with an information campaign, so that people … Continue reading Your President Speaks! Again!

Teddy K

In the spirit of the previous post, let’s talk about the man’s work. From his FISA speech, one of my personal favorites: If Congress immunizes the telecoms for past violations of the law, it will send the message Congress approves what the administration did. We would be aiding and abetting the President in his illegal actions, his contempt for the rule of law, and his attempt to hide his lawbreaking from the American people. Voting for amnesty would be a vote for silence, secrecy, and illegality. There wouldbe no accountability, no justice, no lessons learned. The damage will not stop … Continue reading Teddy K

Speaking of Parasites

From2Millionth Web Log Human hookworm Neal Boortz, who owes his livelihood in no small part to government policy/programs that guarantee his exclusive access to parts of the airwaves, marks the fourth anniversary of the flood of New Orleans in his usual way. Creep. Meanwhile, if you want to read something that underscores the reality of the flood, in all its tragedy, complications, and nuanced shades of gray, that is to say, the way an adult understands and interprets, this article is lengthy but worth reading. Real life is far more complex than Neal Boortz will ever comprehend with his own … Continue reading Speaking of Parasites

There Is Something Sick About Us

That we tolerate this kind of filth on our televisions. For all the wankery about TV ratings, about strong language and sex and violence and nudity (or as it’s known in the A household, Tuesday nights with Denis Leary) I would submit Neal Boortz’s kind of thing does far more damage to impressionable minds than all of the above. Time for the next advertiser boycott. A. Continue reading There Is Something Sick About Us

An Adequate Mask

Mr. A is quite clear on the instructions for my funeral. No church, no hymns, no speeches about eternal life. It’s what I did in this one that mattered, so have a big party, make me sound nicer than I was, and keep doing the stuff that I cared about doing because that’s how you honor someone’s memory. I get that funerals are for the living, but all the ones I’ve been to lately, wasn’t a single person there comforted more by the droning sermons than by the party afterward, so throw the party and forget the sermons. Play the … Continue reading An Adequate Mask

Scout’s Farewell

Back in August of 2005 I was blogging at my little blog and had decided I was going to quit blogging. Then Katrina hit. I was compelled to continue blogging. After more than 3 years of blogging primarily about the recovery in New Orleans, I have come around full circle to that decision to quit political blogging. I find I don’t have much to say anymore…at least I wouldn’t say it any better than many others do. I am not a writer, or pundit, or journalist (citizen or otherwise). I am just an American who felt strongly about the necessity … Continue reading Scout’s Farewell

They Called Us Traitors

All us filthy hippies: Among the headlines promoted by publisher Thomas Dunne Books: Ridge was never invited to sit in on National Security Council meetings; was “blindsided” by the FBI in morning Oval Office meetings because the agency withheld critical information from him; found his urgings to block Michael Brown from being named head of the emergency agency blamed for the Hurricane Katrina disaster ignored; andwas pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush’s re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over. Because that’s what we were, back in 2004, we Kerry-voting Bush-doubting … Continue reading They Called Us Traitors

Politics…same shit, different party

At HuffPo, Harry Shearer relates: Near the end of the conference, I relate this tale to an acquaintance wise — or at least schooled — in the ways of media and politics. I say I might try one more time to reach out to Axelrod himself. “Don’t bother with Rahm Emanuel or Axelrod,” he advised. Why? “Their only interest in all of this is destroying Bobby” — a reference to the state’s fast-talking Republican governor and possible 2012 Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal. “You mean, the same way that the Bush crowd only cared about destroying Kathleen Blanco?” I asked. His … Continue reading Politics…same shit, different party

Game, Set, PWNED

Seattle Times editorial page editor Ryan Blethen thinks it’s cute to remind all us kids out here how it works in the NBA: Journalists have the right to write pointed critiques or damaging stories. This is never done lightly and must be backed up with fact. What we do can alter somebody’s life for better or worse. Almost every professional journalist is careful not to abuse this right of free speech. There is nothing wrong with pushing the limits of the First Amendment, but there is a line where free speech can go too far and real damage is done. … Continue reading Game, Set, PWNED

They Talk on the Radio, Therefore They’re Journalists

Jesus Tikka Masala Christ. One of the most dishonest things about our dishonest media conversation is the near-total lack of focus on broadcasters during the come-lately accuracy jihad. I still remember sitting in an airport listening to Glenn Beck talking to some blow-dried news twink on CNN about how Obama “wants to talk to people who hate us and want to destroy us.” Totally unchallenged, no opposing viewpoint cited, just Glenn Beck, commenting away and being, unlike many bloggers, a total hyperbolic lying asshole. A. Continue reading They Talk on the Radio, Therefore They’re Journalists