Clock Tower Boston Skyline wallpaper. I took a little license with the name. The tower is the Custom House Tower in McKinley Square. The original construction was authorized by President Andrew Jackson in 1837.
State and local government is facing the worst fiscal crisis in a generation. The recession slashed revenue, yet the same recession increased the demand for many critical services. As a result there is a very real chance that in the next few months state and local government will lay off between 600,000 and 800,000 people. That result would be catastrophic for the already-weak economic recovery — as well as the political environment for Democrats.
Let’s say that the economy generates a fairly robust 150,000 new private sector jobs each month. That’s a total of 600,000 new jobs between now and November. But that job growth could be entirely wiped out by layoffs from state and local government. If private sector job growth is slower, then these layoffs could move the job figures into negative territory. That could very well pull economic growth into the red as well triggering a double dip recession.
And extending unemployment benefits is equally critical. The Labor Department says more than 1.7 million people have run out of unemployment benefits, and that figure could rise to more than 2.1 million people by the end of this week.
Americans who are out of work are not laggards who want something for nothing. They are — by definition — seeking jobs that the economy does not provide. Does it make any sense that Congress could find the money to bail out Wall Street bankers and their $10 million bonuses and can’t afford to make sure that the victims of Wall Street recklessness have something to keep their families from falling into poverty until they can find work?
This is typical of those darn liberal writers. Combining statistics, facts, appeals to reason and compassion for their fellow citizens. When will they ever learn, Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains
It’s one of the great assumptions underlying modern democracy that an informed citizenry is preferable to an uninformed one. “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1789. This notion, carried down through the years, underlies everything from humble political pamphlets to presidential debates to the very notion of a free press. Mankind may be crooked timber, as Kant put it, uniquely susceptible to ignorance and misinformation, but it’s an article of faith that knowledge is the best remedy.
[ ]…In the end, truth will out. Won’t it?
Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.
This bodes ill for a democracy, because most voters — the people making decisions about how the country runs — aren’t blank slates. They already have beliefs, and a set of facts lodged in their minds. The problem is that sometimes the things they think they know are objectively, provably false. And in the presence of the correct information, such people react very, very differently than the merely uninformed. Instead of changing their minds to reflect the correct information, they can entrench themselves even deeper.
When conservatives walk around outraged that President Obama cannot fix in two years, the problems they took eight years to create, that outrage is partly due to their brains rejecting the notion they are largely responsible for our current meltdown. As early as 2009 with the very recent Bush – Bernanke TARP recently passed by Republicans and the housing meltdown that was in full swing by 2007, Republicans and their far Right supporters were already in full mental armor denial mode.
How’s that state sponsored fundamentalist family values conservative religion going, 26 Year Old Woman Raped and Murdered by Basij Members for “Bad Hijab”
According to HRANA, Elnaz Babazadeh, a 26 year old woman was raped and murdered by Basij forces in the city of Tabriz (northwestern Iran) last week. According to the reports, Basij forces stopped Babazadeh in her car for not following the Iranian regime’s dress code. Elnaz resisted the forces and ignored orders given by the Basij forces.
I’d like to think that should conservatives realize their dream of breaking down the wall separating church and state they would not be so draconian. While murdering and raping over dress codes are not on the menu, their dreams of mugging the Founders’ intentions are, IF ONLY THE RIGHT WOULD LEAVE THE CONSTITUTION ALONE….
Indeed, by the mid-point of his presidency, George W. Bush was on record supporting at least six different proposed amendments to the Constitution: (1) prohibiting flag burning; (2) victims’ rights; (3) banning abortion; (4) requiring a balanced budget; (5) prohibiting same-sex marriage; and (6) allowing state-endorsed prayer in public schools. As a wise blogger noted at the time, Bush “really seems to think the Constitution is just a rough draft.”
But that was several years ago, and the right’s approach has shifted. Conservatives no longer prioritize adding new amendments to the Constitution; they now believe it’s time to start repealing some of the old ones.
We talked last month about the growing demands among Tea Partiers to repeal the 17th amendment — the constitutional provision that empowers the electorate to choose their own senators, rather than state legislatures doing it, as the Constitution originally mandated.
The Right is also put the 16th Amendment on its most wanted list. usually I can fellow the Right’s twisted logic, but cannot figure out how they arrive at the idea that state legislator appointments of U.S. senators is somehow more democratic than election by the people. There is the laughable assumption repealing the 17th would lesson the influence of special interests. This of course by conservatives who stop any steps toward campaign finance reform dead in its tracks. The system might be broken by huge sums of campaign money, but repealing the 17th would just mean fewer people to lobby, bribe, and intimidate.
Josh Marshall thinks Louisiana politics are getting a little wilder with a new conservative challenger to the state’s official prostitute inspector Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). I’ don’t know, they’re getting pretty strange down in Florida too, HELL YEAH, HE’S BOMBASTIC
I see that one of the Power Line guys has had to avail himself of the fainting couch:
NAME-CALLING AS JOURNALISM
“Bombastic West rakes In cash” — that’s the title Politico gives to its story about how Republican Allen West, a former Army colonel who is challenging for a congressional seat in Florida, raised a remarkable $1.4 million in the second quarter of 2010.
Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt fails to explain why he considers West bombastic. Instead, he notes that West has been endorsed by Sarah Palin and that a speech he gave at Tea Party event has received two million views on YouTube. Enough said, if you’re a leftist writing for leftists.
No More Mister Nice Blog goes on to print what has become something of the typical Republican speech about President Obama: he’s a radical, the Soviet Union and it’s satellite states would still be with us if Obama was president in the 80s, a danger to the free world, a socialist, an intellectual elite ( the Right really hates smart people) and anyone who disagrees with the cowardly West is a coward. A recounting of why West is a coward here. Much like their cognitive problems with facts conservatives such as West love these speeches which rely on a long list of deranged accusations devoid of substance. The theory behind this is the listener would be carried along, not on the facts, not on reason, not on the ideas, not the democratic ideals enshrined in documents like the Bill of Rights, but rather on pure emotional power. Appeals to base emotions and conspiracy theories. They’re bad stage plays of one person soap opera. You’re supposed to break down, shun all reason and toss aside over 200 years of American ideals and progress to jump on the way-back machine so we can shove American back to the days before the Enlightenment.