Tag Archives: jobs

Good Jobs Report – Republicans Upset

Last month’s jobs report was abysmal, much lower than analysts expected.  After many months of improving numbers, it certainly was a downer, and prompted some to speculate that either the recovery had stalled, or even that we were headed back into recession.  Yesterday, the latest job’s report came out, and the numbers were not only solid, but revisions to the past 2 months numbers pushed those jobs numbers markedly higher.

All in all…very good news!  Wall Street certainly reacted to the jobs report as a great sign the economy is recovering.  The Dow temporarily topped 15,000 for the first time, and finished at an all-time high.  The pundits wrote about the jobs report as good news, a sign that the “spring stall” we’ve had in recent years wasn’t nearly as much of a threat this year.

So how did Republicans react?  As they ALWAYS do when ANYTHING good happens under the Obama presidency…by loudly pronouncing the darkest, most pessimistic interpretation of the news, and then squarely placing “blame” on the Obama administration. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said that thanks to ObamaCare, future jobs numbers are “more likely to slow down than speed up”.  Cheery. John Boehner’s quote?  “We need to seize opportunities the president has been ignoring, and focus on growing our economy rather than growing more government”.    Fox News?  While every other major news website had a story about the good jobs report yesterday morning, on Fox News’ website, the jobs report was curiously absent from the front page.  Shocking!  A “news” organization (ha-ha) ignoring good news for Americans?

It must be awfully damn depressing to be a Republican right now.  Republicans are SO full of hate for this president that even GOOD news must be interpreted in a negative light.  Republicans, is there ANYTHING you enjoy in life?  Is there ANY good news that you don’t somehow turn around into an Obama negative?  Is this how Americans are supposed to live their lives, focused on hatred, negativity, and pessimism about the future?

Pat Toomy, Republican Senator and co-sponsor of the Manchin-Toomy gun-control bill that recently failed, said the bill failed because “There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.” That’s a shockingly honest, but shockingly depressing statement.  Republicans have become SO incredibly ideological that they don’t even CARE about the direction of the country.  The don’t CARE about a good jobs report.  They don’t CARE that the economy is improving.  Even with 90% of Americans supporting background checks, Republicans ADMITTEDLY voted against it, just because they don’t want to do something Obama supports.

Republicans would rather see the entire country collapse, so they can point their fingers and blame Obama.  What a pathetic party platform. What an incredibly sad way to live your life…

The “Real” Obama – Repubs, you have nothing to fear

Barack Obama

Barack Obama - Moderate Republican. At least that's a label that's been placed on him by multiple pundits. Republicans, you have nothing to fear. Obama isn't driving America over some "liberal cliff". As his comments on climate change today have shown, the man is a moderate in every sense of the word.

Over the last four years, there has been a lot of Republican speculation about the “real” Obama, this monster of a man who would soon emerge and lead the U.S. down the path of socialism.

Uh…no.  You have absolutely nothing to fear, Republicans.  Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast said as much when he went on the Colbert Report on the night of the election.  The Daily Beast runs towards the liberal side, but Sullivan is a self-professed conservative, albeit a conservative who was extremely unhappy where Republicans have taken the party.  As Sullivan stated, Republicans should be happy about the election…a “Moderate Republican” won.  He’s not the only one to say so.  William Saletan at Slate.com also ran a story the day after the election, saying Republicans should cheer up because they have a moderate Republican in office for the next four years…Barack Obama.

Democrats have certainly been disappointed in Obama on a number of issues.  Yes, he kept his first campaign promises on health care and on ending the wars.  But Obama also has failed to close Guantanamo, hasn’t addressed immigration reform, and has caved on a number of environmental issues.  During the campaign, the issue of climate change was notable…notably absent, that is, from any discussion during the campaign or during the debates.  During Obama’s victory speech on the night of the election, he gave a passing nod to the issue of climate change, noting the dangers of a warming planet.  That line got him a very loud ovation…but…climate change simply wasn’t much of an issue this election, even for Obama.

Yesterday during his press conference, Obama came out and said that climate change is NOT a priority for him, that it will take a back seat to the economy.   In the press conference, he stated that it’s important, that it’s a tough issue, but that it would take “tough political choices” for it to be addressed.

In other words…Obama is punting on climate change.  At this stage, I honestly don’t think it matters.  There’s no going back.  We’ve already set the wheels in motion for severe climate change.  Even if by some miracle there was a global epiphany and humanity decided to immediately cut back carbon emissions, climate change is going to march merrily ahead for the nest few centuries.

However, once again, Obama has disappointed liberals.  Once again, Obama is showing that Republican pundits’ comments that Obama is “the most liberal president in America’s history” are complete BS.   You have nothing to fear, Republicans.  Obama isn’t going to take the country down some radical liberal path.  He’s an obvious moderate…and even for a hard-core liberal like myself, I think that’s just what we need right now, someone who can straddle the fence and try to bridge the gap between the two “sides” the nation has seemingly split into.

Now…Republicans just have to join the real world, and see Obama for the true moderate that he is.

Perusin’ and Musin’

Some random thoughts from perusin’ the web…

Jobs Report Doesn’t Bode Well for Obama – Not a good jobs report today.  Unemployment inched down, but only because so many people have left the work force.  It’s a damned tough environment for a sitting president to win re-election.  Frankly though, there’s just not much Obama can do to get things going on the economic front.  This is a global downturn, and U.S. government economic policy isn’t the key to our economy.   Romney says he’ll create 500,000 jobs a months and drop unemployment to 4%.  That’s about as likely as Gingrich’s promises to lower gas prices to below $2.00 a gallon.   However, it’s pretty obvious Republicans SHOULD have the edge given 1) the down economy, and 2) an American public who is stupid enough to actually BELIEVE some of the crap Republicans shovel down their throats.   The only thing working against them is 1) their OWN ineptitude and 2) a complete lack of any strong candidates.

Redneck Massachusetts Man Attacks Hawk - No South Dakota, we do NOT have a monopoly on redneck losers.  In Massachusetts, a man was arrested when he attacked a Red-tailed Hawk who had captured a pigeon…presumably to “protect” the pigeons in the park?  The story also notes other memorable Massachusetts losers, such as a fish hatchery operator who shot herons, Osprey, and even Eagles that hung around his hatchery. Never underestimate just how incredibly cruel, selfish, and evil people can be.

Sioux Falls Man found Guilty of Raping 7-year Old – See the story above, multiply the horror and disgust by a factor of, oh, around 1,000, and you have this story of a Sioux Falls man raping a 7-year old.  About 99% of the time, I’m against capital punishment….but BOY do stories like this make me at least pause and consider it for a second. 

First Hummingbird of the Year - Like clockwork since we’ve moved into our current house, the first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the year arrives sometime during the first week of May.  Today was the day for 2012, when I saw a beautiful male hummingbird flitting around the yard much of the day.  The link at the top of the paragraph shows the migratory progress of the Hummingbirds for this spring.  I will GREATLY enjoy having them around my yard for the next 4 1/2 months, until they depart by mid- to late-September.

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Perusin’ & Musin’

Thinking AnimationSome random thoughts from perusing the web…

2010 a Record Year for Greenhouse Gas EmissionsDespite a slow global economy, global greenhouse gas emissions set an all-time high in 2010, with greenhouse gas quantities in the atmosphere now even worse than the WORST-case scenario projected by experts several years ago.  Just another day in climate change news, a day that also noted a giant crack found in an Antarctic glacier

Perry Drunk?  On Drugs?  Or just being himself? – Rick Perry today was forced to respond to allegations that he was either drunk or on pain medications during a recent New Hampshire speech.  Perry said no, he wasn’t drunk or on drugs.   You know, there just MIGHT be a problem with your qualifications for president if people can’t tell if you’re acting normally, or if you are drunk or on drugs. 

Senate GOP Blocks Infrastructure/Jobs Bill - Republicans again today showed that they will not allow any legislation to pass which might help the economy before next year’s elections.  They know their best chance to oust Obama is for the weak economic conditions to continue until the election.  Democrats have been trying to pass pieces of Obama’s jobs bill, without any success, thanks to GOP obstruction.  Today, GOP senators blocked a $50 billion infrastructure bill designed to get Americans working again by funding work to repair road and rail networks.  The bill would have been paid for by a 0.7% tax increase on people making more than $1,000,000 a year.   The debate today is also yet another example of what a joke Republicans are when they call for “shared sacrifice”, when they continue to shield millionaires from even the tiniest of tax increases. 

National Zoo Scientist Convicted of Poisoning Cats – A researcher at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. was convicted of poisoning stray cats in her neighborhood.   My first thought is that there’s no end to the sickening things people will do.  My second thought…I wonder if she’d be willing to help me with the neighbor’s cat that keeps EATING THE BIRDS AT MY FEEDERS!!!  Ok, no, I would never do such a thing.  But my GOD, what do you do with neighbors that refuse to restrain their cats?  What do you do with neighbors who deny that their precious cat could ever catch, much less eat, a bird?   It IS a very sweet cat, other than when it’s killing every living thing it comes across.  But I have about had it with that cat, and with my neighbors behind me.  We HAVE talked to them about it.  They MUST see me when I’m chasing their cat out of my yard about 10 times a day on the weekend.  If people want a pet, then for god’s sake, be prepared to act responsibly.

Nebraska 45, Northwestern 27 – I’m taking my 8-year old son to his first Nebraska football game this weekend!  He’s not a sports fan at all, but I think he’ll get a kick out of it.  He’s never been in an atmosphere like this.  Northwestern has a bad record, but they led in each of the 5 games they lost, including leads over 3 ranked teams in the 2nd half.   Northwestern has a great mobile QB in Dan Persa, and they can score on anyone.  They can’t stop anyone though.  I think Northwestern will give Nebraska all they can handle for the first half, before Nebraska pulls away in the second half.

Senate Priority – College Football Realignment

Mitch McConnell?  College Football?

Mitch McConnell? Should college football conference realignment be a high priority for the Republican minority leader?

The nation is trying to recover from the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression. Unemployment stubbornly continues to hover around 9%….ironically, the same percentage as the current approval rating for Congress. The debt-reduction committee has one month to come up with a plan to cut the federal deficit. You would think improving the economy would be the highest priority for the Senate.

Silly you. This is the U.S. Senate we’re talking about!! While Obama has tried in vain to try to push through jobs legislation to get America working again, legislation the GOP has completed refused to even consider, several key members of the Senate, including minority leader Mitch McConnell have been spending their time on the MUCH more important issue of college football realignment.

OK, I’m as big of a college football fan as anyone, and will support my Nebraska Cornhuskers until the day I die. However “important” college football may be, I shudder to think of members of the U.S. Senate spending their time actively lobbying for their schools to get favorable treatment in conference realignment talks. Aren’t there more important issues for them to be worrying about right now? Even MORE importantly…the LAST thing I want is for Congress to interfere in college football!! CONGRESS SCREWS UP EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH!! THEY HAVE THE ANTI-MIDAS TOUCH!!! If McConnell and other members of Congress start interfering in college football, it won’t take long before college football is about as popular as watching bowling on TV.

What is always laughable to me is the self-perception these guys seem to have of themselves, versus how the general public views them. Given all the money and influence these bozos seem to have, I’m not exactly surprised someone with as bloated of an ego as McConnell would think he has a role to play in college football realignment. Senators McConnell, Rockefeller, and Manchin…get over yourselves. College sports will somehow survive without you throwing your weight around. Instead of worrying about whether Louisville or West Virginia will get into the Big 12 conference, how about actually engaging with Obama on his jobs creation bill? How about getting people working again before worrying about your alma mater?

Perusin’ and Musin’

Perusing and MusingSome random thoughts from perusin’ the web…

Obama’s accomplishments – I saw an article today comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter, with the point being that both are supposedly incredibly ineffective presidents.  Pardon my language, but bullshit.  And pardon the language here, but check out whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com.   As a card-carryin’, tree-huggin’, liberal wacko, I recognize some disappointments in the Obama administration, but I also recognize 1) the cards he’s been dealt, including an impossible to work with Congress, and 2) the remarkable accomplishments he HAS achieved that seem to get little press.  Even Bin Laden’s capture is hardly ever mentioned (and is also why Republicans seem scared to touch Obama much on foreign policy any more, except in a really shallow and meaningless way). 

Slovakia’s Parliament Rejects Euro Bailout – GOD DAMN IT OBAMA!!  Yet another indication of the bumbling Obama administration’s poor handling of the economy!!  Well, OK, Obama can’t control the Slovakian parliament, but that’s my point.  Obama, and government in general, get WAY too much credit or blame for economic issues.  Look at U.S. markets over the past several months.  They react almost daily to the latest news regarding a Greek bailout, austerity measures in Spain or Italy, etc.   In a globally integrated economy, there’s only so much one government can do to try and improve economic conditions.  And that’s in a BEST case scenario, where the government isn’t so hopelessly partisan and unproductive as ours.

Rick Perry Refuses to Condemn Anti-Morman Rant – Rick Perry said he will not repudiate a Texas pastor who last week called Mormonism “a cult”, something which voters should take into account when considering Mitt Romney.   Perry says he won’t repudiate it because it’s just “a distraction” that Romney is trying to capitalize on.  My thought…Perry will make up every excuse he can not to repudiate it, because he knows that the “Christian Right” (aka, bible-thumpin’, hate-mongerin’ wackos) agree with the Texas pastor, and he can score political points with them if Romney’s faith stays in the headlines.

Kim Kardashian Wedding draws 10.5 million on E! – Over 10 million viewers watched part one of the Kim Kardashian wedding on E!.  I honestly don’t know a single thing that Kim Kardashian has ever done in her life.  But yet, I wonder how many people in America know more about her than they do about the Republicans debating tonight?  As I noted in a post a few days ago, 46% of Americans can’t even name ONE of the Republican candidates.  I wonder if a higher percentage of Americans know about this “star’s” wedding, even though there’s not a single real accomplisment of any importance that I think you could attribute to Kardashian.

Ice Loss in Greenland Continues to Accelerate – The Greenland ice sheet is rapidly losing mass, and the rate of decline has been accelerating.  If you are a climate change idiot skeptic, PLEASE take the time to check out SkepticalScience.com and educate yourself.  Be it there or elsewhere, I could literally post a story like this just about every day.  But of course, climate change is all one very well-executed conspiracy by we scientists, right?

Senate Republicans Block Jobs Bill – Thanks to the mechanics of the Senate and the wonderful filibuster, 46 Republicans voted against continuing debate on Obama’s jobs bill, effectively tabling it.  I LOVE this last line of the article…”Republicans opposed the measure over its spending to stimulate the economy and its tax surcharge on millionaires“.  That pretty much sums up the Republican stance right now…keep the economy as weak as possible before next year’s election, and protect their sugar-daddies deep financial pockets.

Perusin' & Musin'

Perusin' & Musin'Some random thoughts from perusin’ the web…

Warming related to clouds?  Think again…In case you haven’t followed it, climate change idiots skeptics crowed when the peer-reviewed journal “Remote Sensing” recently published a paper by Roy Spencer that Fox News (of course), Forbes (of course), and other conservative “media” outlets touted as proof that climate change was a scam.   Uh-oh, idiots skeptics.  The paper was widely panned by REAL climate change scientists, and the journal’s editor has now resigned, admitting his journal shouldn’t have published it.   I wonder if Fox or Forbes will report on THIS side of the story with the same fervor that they reported on the paper’s publication?

Photographer Fakes Nature Photos — Not a surprise that an award-winning nature photographer was caught digitally faking photos.  It’s hard not to be cynical about “nature” photography after you’ve been involved in it for a while.  It’s gotten to the point where more often than not when posting my photos for critique on nature photography websites, I’ll get comments saying I should “clone out” distracting branches or other photo elements.   You know, “distracting” things like actual habitat.   The saying “if it sounds to good to be true” can be altered to “if it looks to good to be true”, when it comes to nature photography.  There are some truly amazing “nature” photos out there.   There are also a heck of a lot of them that are either staged shots, or are digitally altered.

Divorce Rates High in Bible BeltWhat?!?!  How can this BE?!?!?  How can divorce rates be so low in the godless, liberal Northeast, and so high in the morally superior Bible belt?!!?  I like how the religious spokesmen in the article somehow take the facts and totally turn them around to come up with the conclusion that the “key to a divorce-proof marriage is strong faith”.   If there’s one thing you QUICKLY learn from “perusin” the headlines, it’s that there’s no correlation between supposed religious belief and morality.

Republicans Skipping Obama’s Speech to Congress – How nice.  Let’s not even PRETEND to have any respect for what a non-Republican has to say now.  Let’s not even PRETEND to have any respect for the office of the presidency.  The “my way or the highway” approach of the GOP, putting politics before the good of the country, is a hell of a good way to run us further into the ground.

Photo from iPhone 5 May have Surfaced! – WHO FLIPPIN’ CARES!?!?!  I wonder what percentage of television or web ads are for cell phones/electronic devices?   Am I the ONLY one who is perfectly happy with a cell phone that just makes calls?  Am I the ONLY one who couldn’t care less that a photo of the next iPhone “may have surfaced”?   Does this “story” REALLY deserve front page coverage on the Washington Post website?

Huskers Win!  Fans in a Panic!! – Such is the nature of being a Nebraska Cornhusker fan!  Nebraska beat a hopelessly outmanned UT-Chattanooga team last Saturday, 40-7, but the win has had many fans worried about how “bad” our offense looked.  I’m a scientist!  I’m a logical man!! But as a born and bred Husker, EVEN I am not immune to the dangers of Husker paranoia!  It’s not enough that we win by 33 points!  We must win every game!  We must win impressively, or we Husker fans will worry!  It’s in our blood!!!

Romney's Economic Plan – Hire Bush Cast-offs

George Bush and Mitt Romney

George W. Bush giving Mitt Romney advice on how to destroy the economy of the world's only remaining superpower.

In a blatant attempt to beat Obama to the punch, Mitt Romney today provided a 59-point jobs plan for America.  Bully for him!!  The man who led Massachusetts to the wonderful ranking of 47th of all states in job creation during his time in office has a plan to pull America out of our unemployment rut!

Even better are the masterminds helping him with the plan.  Two of the four geniuses are former chairmen of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors…Glenn Hubbard from Columbia University and Greg Mankiw from Harvard.   Brilliant!  Just what we need…a return to the Bush economic policies that worked SO well in turning around a budget surplus, and dragging the country into economic ruin. Another member of the four, Vin Weber, is a former lobbyist for Freddie Mac, the WILDLY successful housing giant that also has, well, helped plunge us into economic ruin.  The fourth is former Senator from Missouri, Jim Talent.  Talent has been working with a lobbying firm in Missouri…but he himself hasn’t registered himself as a lobbyist, which conveniently allows him to avoid divulging his clients or his economic interests.  Sounds above-board to me!!

THIS is the group Romney plans on using to turn our economic problems around?  The sad thing is…by most accounts, Romney’s economic plans are the LEAST right-wing of all the GOP candidates.

God help us all.  Especially since it appears increasingly likely that Obama, or as I now like to refer to him, Obama-the-wimp or Obama-the-turncoat, now seems to be an underdog to win a 2nd term.

Obama is losing me…

Obama - Progress?

Progress? It's been more backpedaling than progress lately.

Don’t get me wrong, the alternative possibility in 2012 is just too disgusting to even be considered.  I will vote for Obama.  There have been few politicians I have supported as much as Obama.  But with every passing day, I find it harder and harder to support him.

Today Obama wanted to schedule a speech for next week before Congress to announce his jobs creation plan.  John Boehner, being the  complete jackass that he is, defied all historical precedent and asked Obama to move the date, making up some complete BS excuse about scheduled votes and security issues.  Other Republicans have also defied Obama and told him to move the date.  The Republicans have almost single-handedly brought our government to its knees, making bipartisanship a dirty word, utterly dismissing ANYTHING the Democrats support, even if it was a position the Republicans had previously supported (e.g., the payroll tax issue from last week), and stoking pure HATRED towards political opponents.  God help us all if the economy continues to tank, and as a result, whoever runs against Obama next fall is elected.

With that said…Obama has somehow transformed in the last 2 1/2 years from a vibrant and inspiring politicians to a completely gutless and ineffective leader of the Democratic party.  Obama and his team stupidly wanted to schedule this speech on the same night as a GOP debate, and I’m sure they were just daring the Republicans to call their bluff.  After all, no one ever HAD turned a president’s request down to address Congress.  But look at the last year and a half.  First Obama complete caves in and extends the Bush tax cuts, without a HINT of negotiating for Democratic priorities.  Then came the debt ceiling “debate”, only turned INTO a debate because the Obama administration so cluelessly mis-handled things and LET Republicans turn it into a debate. 

Obama’s team made a VERY stupid decision to try and draw some attention from the GOP debate that night…and again they’re going to be embarrassed by the Republicans.  The Republicans weren’t ever going to get along with Obama.  Obama has been as much of a Republican as any Democrat EVER should be, caving to Republican demands at every turn and looking more like Ronald Reagan than Bill Clinton, and STILL the Republicans keep pushing.  It’s simple…they know they CAN keep pushing.  

I keep waiting for that brilliant, engaging politician from 2008 to show up.  And instead, I keep finding myself wishing I would have supported Hillary Clinton instead of Obama.  What a bush-league move from the Obama team today…