August 18, 2011 archive

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

The Stars Hollow Gazettte

This is an Open Thread

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The old saying is No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished.

The worlds largest credit rating agency probably thought it was doing a good deed, doing its job for investors, in the wake of the tumultuous spending debate, by downgrading US Treasury debt for the first time ever from AAA to AA+.

[..]The U.S. lost its esteemed AAA credit rating after being downgraded by Standard & Poor’s Friday, eroding the elite standing it has held in global markets for more than 70 years.


Well we’re not just frustrated with the president — our communities are hurting.  You said it.  16% unemployment but this has been going on for a long time.  We have people who are not even being counted in the African American community anymore.  They’ve been unemployed for years now and so we think in some areas it’s 35 to 40%.  We’ve got to get in this discussion.

Take a look at this headline in the Wall Street Journal: ‘Obama aims to keep white voters on board’.  Well, we want to be on board too.

(h/t L.A. Times)


Ducking the Devil

Dow(n), down, down, down

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think–‘ (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `–yes, that’s about the right distance–but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?’ (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)

At the time of writing the Dow is down over 450, substantially off it’s lows of 520+.  Could it be because our policy makers in Washington have no idea what Latitude is, or Longitude either, but think they are nice grand words to say?

How Austerity Is Ushering in a Global Recession

Robert Reich

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not only is the United States slouching toward a double dip, but so is Europe. New data out today show even Europe’s strongest core economies – Germany, France, and the Netherlands – slowing to a crawl.

We’re on the cusp of a global recession.

Policy makers be warned: Austerity is the wrong medicine.

(C)halk up a big part of Europe’s slowdown to the politics and economics of austerity. Europe – including Britain – have turned John Maynard Keynes on his head. They’ve been cutting public spending just when they should be spending more to counteract slowing private spending.

The United States has been moving in the same bizarre direction. Cutbacks by state and local governments have all but negated the federal government’s original stimulus, and no one in Washington is talking seriously about a second. The pitiful showdown over increasing the debt limit has produced the opposite: a Rube-Goldberg-like process for capping spending rather than increasing it, and a public that’s being sold the Republican lie that less government spending means more jobs.

With anemic growth in America and Europe, the Japanese economy comatose, and emerging markets (including China) pulling in their reins, the vicious cycle could become worldwide. If global demand for goods and services continues to fall behind the potential supply we’ll see unemployment rise further and growth slow even more – especially in Europe and the U.S.

Without an expansionary fiscal policy, low interest rates have little effect. Companies won’t borrow in order to expand and hire more workers unless they have reasonable certainty they’ll have customers for what they produce. And consumers won’t borrow money to spend on goods and services unless they’re reasonably confident they’ll have jobs.

Fiscal austerity is the wrong medicine at the wrong time.


Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

By now of course you have heard the story of Obama for America’s New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sending an official email-

Please take 5 minutes to read this, Please.

I know many of you have raised frustrations, but please, I implore you, please take 5 minutes and read the article below. It does a great job of explaining the Debt Ceiling deal.

Mr. Sandoval then links to a blog post on an obscure blog called The People’s View by a blogger named Spandan Chakrabarti who’s chief claim to fame seems to be he has “been participating in online and offline liberal activism since 2003, when Gov. Howard Dean ran for president.”

In his post Mr. Chakrabarti calls Paul Krugman “a political rookie” and says, “The more than half-a-trillion in defense and security spending cut “trigger” for the Republicans will hardly earn a mention on the Firebagger Lefty blogosphere.”

I’m not exactly sure whom this is supposed to impress.

To say that Mr. Chakrabarti’s resume doesn’t compare to a Nobel Prize in Economics is a trifle harsh because after all, who’s does?  I’ll say instead his online impact doesn’t begin to compare to mine let alone Jane Hamsher’s outside of this “happy” accident of getting singled out for attention as a particularly groveling toady by a low level apparatchik.

That low level apparatchik, Mr. Sandoval, is even more puzzling.  I can sort of sympathize with a pallid, Cheeto stained wretch desperate for sunlight and some sort of human attention outside of his mom yelling at him down the basement stairs, but an oh so savvy political operative?

As Jane points out in her response

(I)f this is a brilliant political strategy on the part of OFA, someone is going to have to explain it to me.  I know the goal is to attract the much-prized Independent for 2012.  But who do they think is keeping Obama’s poll numbers afloat?

As I’ve often pointed out (most recently here), Obama is hemorrhaging Independent and, more recently, solidly Democratic votes.  At 52% disapproval, Obama is below Harry Truman levels-

Ten incumbent presidents have sought re-election since World War II, and none has won a second term with final pre-election job approval ratings below 48%.

My final point is this- sticks and stones can break my bones, but whips and chains excite me.  If you think you can insult me by calling me a “Firebagger” or any other name you are sadly mistaken.  I just don’t care about your opinion of me that much.

I freely admit to every vice unless you have something novel you’d care to share.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.

–David Carradine

Art Glass 32

Late Night Karaoke

On This Day In History August 18

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 135 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified when the Tennessee General Assembly, by a one-vote margin became the thirty-sixth state legislature to ratify the proposed amendment. On August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the amendment’s adoption.

It took 70 years of struggle by women of the Suffrage Movement headed by Susan B. Anthony to get this amendment passed. Gail Collins’ NYT Op-Ed recount of the story puts it in great perspective:

That great suffragist and excellent counter, Carrie Chapman Catt, estimated that the struggle had involved 56 referendum campaigns directed at male voters, plus “480 campaigns to get Legislatures to submit suffrage amendments to voters, 47 campaigns to get constitutional conventions to write woman suffrage into state constitutions; 277 campaigns to get State party conventions to include woman suffrage planks, 30 campaigns to get presidential party campaigns to include woman suffrage planks in party platforms and 19 campaigns with 19 successive Congresses.”

As Ms. Catt tells it and to no one’s surprise the Senate was the biggest obstacle, so the Suffragettes decided to take it to the states and amend all the state constitutions, one by one.

The constitutional amendment that finally did pass Congress bore Anthony’s name. It came up before the House of Representatives in 1918 with the two-thirds votes needed for passage barely within reach. One congressman who had been in the hospital for six months had himself carted to the floor so he could support suffrage. Another, who had just broken his shoulder, refused to have it set for fear he’d be too late to be counted. Representative Frederick Hicks of New York had been at the bedside of his dying wife but left at her urging to support the cause. He provided the final, crucial vote, and then returned home for her funeral.

The ratification stalled short of one state when it came to a vote in the Tennessee Legislature on August 18, 1920 and was short one vote to ratify when a young state legislator got a note from his mother:

Ninety years ago this month, all eyes turned to Tennessee, the only state yet to ratify with its Legislature still in session. The resolution sailed through the Tennessee Senate. As it moved on to the House, the most vigorous opposition came from the liquor industry, which was pretty sure that if women got the vote, they’d use it to pass Prohibition. Distillery lobbyists came to fight, bearing samples.

“Both suffrage and anti-suffrage men were reeling through the hall in an advanced state of intoxication,” Carrie Catt reported.

The women and their allies knew they had a one-vote margin of support in the House. Then the speaker, whom they had counted on as a “yes,” changed his mind.

(I love this moment. Women’s suffrage is tied to the railroad track and the train is bearing down fast when suddenly. …)

Suddenly, Harry Burn, the youngest member of the House, a 24-year-old “no” vote from East Tennessee, got up and announced that he had received a letter from his mother telling him to “be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt.”

“I know that a mother’s advice is always the safest for a boy to follow,” Burn said, switching sides.

We celebrate Women’s Suffrage Day on Aug. 26, which is when the amendment officially became part of the Constitution. But I like Aug. 18, which is the day that Harry Burn jumped up in the Tennessee Legislature, waving his mom’s note from home. I told the story once in Atlanta, and a woman in the audience said that when she was visiting her relatives in East Tennessee, she had gone to put a yellow rose on Harry Burn’s grave.

I got a little teary.

“Well, actually,” she added, “it was because I couldn’t find his mother.”

My Little Town 20010617. Granddad and the Ivory Soap

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile of so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a redneck sort of place, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

This is another installment about my grandfather, and he was quite the interesting guy.  I am trying to get some pictures of him, all in the custody of my former spouse, but I am sure that she will send them when she gets time.  We have no animosity, but she is just short on time.  He looked like Mr. Spock, after the surgery for the skin cancer on his ears.

But this is a very different piece.  I advise that you with young ones to read this piece first, because it is rather explicit.  But it is all factual.