Robert Reich writes for Business Insider: "It’s nonsense to think of the economy heading downward again into a double dip when most Americans never emerged from the first dip. We’re still in one long Big Dipper. More people are out of work today than they were last year, counting everyone too discouraged even to look for work. The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week to highest level since February. Not counting temporary census workers, a total of only 12,000 net new private and public jobs were created in July — when 125,000 are needed each month just to keep up with growth in the population of people who want and need to work."
Are You Ready For How Bad It Will Get?
Graham Summers writes for iStockAnalysis: "For months now I have averred that the US economy was not in recovery and that in point of fact all talk of "recovery" was a load of BS. I realize this view is far from the consensus. Even those who are in the bear camp aver that the Stimulus did in fact bring us out of recession at least temporarily. However, I would strongly contend that the recovery was in fact non-existent for the following reasons..."
Study: Extending Bush Tax Cuts Would Be Boon for Wealthy Individuals
The Bush Tax Plan vs. the Obama Tax Plan in One Chart
Erza Klein illustrates the proposed tax cuts for the Washington Post. A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year -- and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation's millionaires, according to a [nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation] analysis released Wednesday.
The Job Crisis: What Hit Us?
Bob Bennett writes for the Huntington Post: "The US is stuck in an economic quagmire featuring near ten percent unemployment. As politicians argue about the solution -- massive tax cuts or increases in Federal spending -- what's missing is a succinct analysis of the problem. Why has America lost 8 million jobs?"
Mass Delusion – America Style
JimQ writes for The Burning Platform: "The American public thinks they are rugged individualists, who come to conclusions based upon sound reason and a rational thought process. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans act like a herd of cattle or a horde of lemmings. Throughout history there have been many instances of mass delusion. They include the South Sea Company bubble, Mississippi Company bubble, Dutch Tulip bubble, and Salem witch trials. It appears that mass delusion has replaced baseball as the national past-time in America. In the space of the last 15 years the American public have fallen for the three whopper delusions..."
America's Biggest Jobs Program Is the US Military
Photo: Ed Yourdon / Flickr
Recommended Audio - American Soldiers Are Waking Up
What Social Security Can Teach Us About the Future of Health Care
Richard Kirsch writes for New Deal 2.0: "At the heart of the right-wing attack on the new health care law's individual mandate is the fact that law has the potential to become like Social Security, a popular entitlement that is an integral part of the American social fabric. Whether that promise is realized depends on no small measure on whether Congress will make improvements over time in the health care law to assure that health coverage is affordable."
Social Security Keeps 20 Million Americans Out of Poverty: A State-By-State Analysis
In Florida, Slavery Still Haunts the Fields
Mischa Gaus reports for Labor Notes: "The trailer, 24 feet deep by 8 feet wide, is muggy this early August afternoon in Manhattan. Eight of us - church ladies, iPhone-wielding denizens, curious tourists - mop our brows as we clamber inside for a look at one the most shameful secrets of the American system of food production: modern-day slavery among farmworkers."
Noncooperation With Evil in the Streets of Arizona
Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia are (RATS) Protecting the Oligarchy and Rewriting the Constitution
Richard Stitt writes for Buzzflash: "Both Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas describe themselves as "originalists," meaning that they believe they possess the innate knowledge of exactly what the Founding Fathers intended when they penned the U.S. Constitution. Given such an almost reverent standard it is fair to ask a few questions regarding the Judiciary branch of government which, in my opinion, no longer represents the people of our country. It has become so deeply immersed in right-wing ideology that there is little resemblance to the this branch of government today and when the Founding Fathers established it."
Far-Right, Lawless "Sovereign Citizen" Movement Growing
J. J. MacNab reports for The Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report: "Jerry Kane and his young son were active participants in the sprawling subculture of 'sovereign citizens' in America: hundreds of thousands of far-right extremists who believe that they - not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials - get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and who don't think they should have to pay taxes. While law enforcement officers may disagree on how to deal with or even label this extremist subculture, one thing is certain: it's trouble."
The Racists Return
Photo: White House/Pete Souza
Americans Are Losing Their Civility
Leonard Pitts Jr. comments in the Lawrence Journal World: "Can we be candid here? Can we just say this plainly? The public is a bunch of rude, obnoxious jerks. OK, so I overstate. A little. Yes, there are exceptions. I’m not such a bad guy and you, of course, are a paragon of civility. But the rest of them? A cavalcade of boors, boobs, bums, bozos and troglodytes. So it is small wonder the tale of Steven Slater has hit a nerve. The precise sequence of events is still being sorted out at this writing. The initial story was that Slater, a flight attendant for JetBlue, got into it with a woman who cursed him when he asked her not to stand up to retrieve her bags while the plane was still taxiing. At some point, Slater was apparently hit in the head; his attorney says the woman slammed the storage bin on him.
Kansas Voter Initiative Plan Draws Agriculture Groups' Ire
John Hanna writes for The Kansas City Star: "A Kansas politician's plan to allow voters to enact laws without going through the Legislature is drawing criticism from major farm groups, and a fellow Republican leader said Friday that the idea worries agriculture leaders. Kris Kobach, the Republican nominee for secretary of state, said he's not surprised interest groups oppose his voter initiative plan. As residents of other states can, Kansas residents could put proposed laws and state constitutional changes on the ballot for voters' approval."
Americas Social Forum Calls for Agriculture Based on Solidarity
Natalia Ruiz Diaz reports for Inter Press Service: "Small-scale agriculture based on the principles of solidarity and cooperation is the only way to guarantee food sovereignty in Latin America, said peasant and indigenous activists meeting in the Paraguayan capital this week."
Cafeteria Kickbacks: How food-service providers like Sodexo bilk millions from taxpayers
Trader Joe's still refuses to sign. GRITtv's Laura Flanders spoke to Kate Caldwell, Human Right to Work with Dignity Director at the National Economic Social Rights Initiative, and Nancy Romer, General Coordinator with the Brooklyn Food Coalition, about the reasons behind the protest.
The Unique Quality Of "Lifelong Heterosexual Monogamy"
Andrew Sullivan writes the Daily Dish for The Atlantic: "Ross is at his most Catholic today in his column on marriage equality, and I'd like to start a response by saying that he has conceded many secular points: that the life-long, monogamous heterosexual nuclear family is not natural and it is not the default definition of marriage in world history. Abandoning these defunct arguments - defunct because they are transparently untrue - is a helpful throat-clearing for which I'm most grateful."
USPS to Struggling Publications: Take a Hike
Mega Tandy writes for In These Times: "A familiar foe is once again threatening the future of many U.S. magazines and newspapers—and it’s not the Internet. The U.S. Postal Service’s recent proposal to hike postal rates has print publications even more worried about their future."
Google-Verizon Should Prompt FCC to Demand Net Neutrality
A Paper Trail of Betrayal: Google's Net Neutrality Collapse
Matthew Lasar writes for Ars Technica: "Like the rest of the technology world, we're wondering why Google has chosen to ally itself with Verizon, issuing a set of joint net neutrality recommendations that critics charge would significantly weaken the Federal Communications Commission's ability to protect the open Internet. The whole approach just seemed so at odds with Google's past fiery statements on the issue. Maybe we misread the search engine giant's previous statements, we worried. Until this month, wasn't Google one of net neutrality's biggest advocates? So this morning we re-read three Google documents again—filings with the FCC going back to 2007, shortly after Google's Eric Schmidt first asked the public to 'take action to protect Internet freedom.'"
For Better or Worse, Google Is a Nation-State
more than $20 billion in annual revenues, over 21,000 employees, and business operations that reach into hundreds of countries. But Google’s problems go far beyond those that stem just from being a large company. The combination of its size, its far-reaching ambitions and global expansion, and its impact on so many aspects of our lives has given it a whole new class of problems. In many ways, Google might as well be a nation-state, and it continues to struggle with all the issues that come along with that status. Photo: Flickr/ Stu Spivack
The FCC Needs to Do the Right (and the Hard) Thing
Susan Crawford writes for GigaOm: "Back in November 2007, I remember sitting in my office one evening and reading then-Senator Obama’s Technology and Innovation Platform for the first time. I was genuinely excited about this PDF. I was particularly taken by a paragraph that appeared right up front:
. . . Because most Americans only have a choice of only one or two broadband carriers, carriers are tempted to impose a toll charge on content and services, discriminating against websites that are unwilling to pay for equal treatment. This could create a two-tier Internet in which websites with the best relationships with network providers can get the fastest access to consumers, while all competing websites remain in a slower lane. Such a result would threaten innovation, the open tradition and architecture of the Internet, and competition among content and backbone providers. It would also threaten the equality of speech through which the Internet has begun to transform American political and cultural discourse. Barack Obama supports the basic principle that network providers should not be allowed to charge fees to privilege the content or applications of some web sites and Internet applications over others. . . .