Macy Gray’s heartbreaking I Try.
Ben Folds’ damned catchy Song for the Dumped probably pops into my head once a day. “Give me my money back/ Give me my money back you bitch/ And don’t forget/To give me back my black tee shirt.”
The much underrated Sam Phillips is the closest thing we have to a female Beatle — and Reflecting Light would have been one of the ballads on the White Album.
Dr. S. will make fun of me for this, but I do love Don Henley’s The Heart of the Matter. There, I’ve said it.
This was one of the first albums I ever bought, and I still love Poco’s Pickin’ Up The Pieces.
Who knew Vince Gill would go on to become a country music legend? I just loved the harmonies on Pure Prairie League’s Amie (Falling In And Out Of Love).
Son Volt’s Windfall is one of the most beautifully yearning road songs ever.
And of course, if we didn’t have Neil Young, we wouldn’t have Son Volt: Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Macy Gray’s heartbreaking I Try.
Robert Gibbs should be fired. But please don’t confuse that goal with the larger problem, which is that the White House agrees with him. Punish Gibbs, by all means, but don’t stop there.
Gibbs is a weasel and always was, even back when he worked for John Kerry and was leaking attacks on Howard Dean. Don’t get distracted, it’s the guy at the top we need to watch. Personally, I think the poll numbers are so low, they’re going to have to appoint Elizabeth Warren in a frantic attempt to excite the base — but only after they fill up all the agency slots with Geithner minions, who will actively work to undermine her.
I said so a year ago…
I don’t know how many readers I have from Connecticut, but I hope they all get out and volunteer to defeat this woman in the general election.
Why? Because the WWE (formerly the WWF) is an exploitive and abusive organization. Wrestlers are contract workers with no health benefits (despite the frequent and extensive brain damage that results, worse than the NFL).
In fact, Jesse Ventura was pushed out because he tried to organize a union.
If Linda McMahon gets elected, expect no boundaries, no rules and a vote for sale to the highest bidder.
No matter where I am, AARP finds me. (I’ve often joked that they should have sent them to find Osama bin Laden.) Now that it’s six weeks before my birthday, the latest application has shown up.
One friend told me, “It’s great, you get all these discounts!” But really, I don’t – because I don’t buy most of that stuff. When I travel (which is rarely), it’s on the cheap and I crash on a friend’s couch.
I just don’t like spending money on anything unrelated to art, books, movies, music or food. I certainly don’t purchase financial services (hell, no!), I don’t use credit cards and by the time you apply the discount to items like eyeglasses, it’s still more expensive than the discount chain.
But this year, I’m going to join anyway. Why is this year different from all others? Since the Catfood Commission will attempt to raise the retirement age to please some mythical demand in the bond market (put it this way: Social Security funds are in T-bills, and if they’re in trouble, we’re ALL in trouble), I’m looking to groups like AARP to protect us.
So this is the year. Hear me roar!
Is Russ Feingold turning Republican-lite for this year’s election?
It’s just another piece of the class-war puzzle:
Virtually every single member of congress, every senator, every Capitol Hill staffer, every White House advisor, every Fed governor, and every major political reporter is a college graduate. What’s more, we have a large amount of social segregation in the United States—college graduates tend to socialize with each other.
And among college graduates, there simply isn’t an economic crisis in the United States. This is not the best of times, but it’s perfectly rational in gradland to be balancing concern about the labor market situation with dozens of other concerns. If you did anything, you’d probably step in to prevent teacher layoffs, which is a clear and present danger to a large bloc of college graduates. But beyond that, no need to panic.
Sure, lots of people say that. But not all of them were Ronald Reagan’s budget director:
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.” Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.”
Get it? Not “destroying.” The GOP has already “destroyed” the U.S. economy, setting up an “American Apocalypse.”
Stockman rushes into the ring swinging like a boxer: “If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt … will soon reach $18 trillion.” It screams “out for austerity and sacrifice.” But instead, the GOP insists “that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.”
Stockman says “the second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40% of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970.” Who’s to blame? Not big-spending Dems, says Stockman, but “from the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.”
Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us “live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore,” while at home “high-value jobs in goods production … trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million.”
As the apocalypse draws near, Stockman sees a class-rebellion, a new revolution, a war against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes: No wonder “that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans — paid mainly from the Wall Street casino — received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% — mainly dependent on Main Street’s shrinking economy — got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market’s fault. It’s the decaying fruit of bad economic policy.”
Get it? The decaying fruit of the GOP’s bad economic policies is destroying our economy.
Go read David Leonhardt’s economic column in the Times. Basically, the people who still have jobs are getting bigger raises because their companies are making so much money.
One of the distinctive features of the Great Recession has been the enormous number of people who have been out of work for months on end. Almost 45 percent of today’s unemployed workers have been without a job for at least 27 weeks. In no other downturn since World War II did the share exceed 26 percent.
For many of these long-term unemployed, the financial and psychological damage will last for years. For most other workers, however, the situation has had a perverse, and mostly overlooked, silver lining.
Unemployment has been concentrated among a surprisingly small number of people, given how deep the recession has been. The nation’s pool of jobless workers has not been constantly changing. Instead, it’s been relatively stable — mostly because the hiring rate of new workers plunged in 2008 and still has not recovered. The drop in hiring has actually been steeper than the rise in layoffs.
Compare the current slump with that of the early 1980s, which was similar in severity. Over the course of 1980, 18.1 percent of the labor force was unemployed at some point. In 2008, the first year of this slump, only 13.2 percent was, according to the Labor Department’s most up-to-date data. That number surely rose in 2009, but it is unlikely to have come close to the 1982 peak of 22 percent.
If anything, the slowdown of the recovery in the last few months has made the recession even more concentrated. It has put off the day when the job market will be strong enough to re-employ many of the long-term jobless. But inflation has fallen to zero, which helps the purchasing power of everyone fortunate enough to have a job.
Here’s the really interesting part:
The least affected area is a band running from the Dakotas and Minnesota down to Texas and Louisiana. Continuing the concentration theme, this band includes some of the manufacturers and other businesses that have emerged from the recession the quickest.
This pattern probably helps explain why the Senate has taken such a leisurely approach to helping the economy in recent months. Many of the states in the best shape also have small populations and, as a result, outsize political power. In Nebraska, where the unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, there is one United States senator for every 900,000 people. In Florida, where the unemployment rate is 11.4 percent, there is one senator for every nine million people.
Maybe if we lived in those states that keep getting flooded, we’d get more sympathy. Economic tsunami? Ho hum.