Unemployment Rises To 10.2%, Highest In 26 Years


The United States economy shed 190,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate reached a 26-year high of 10.2 percent, up from 9.8 percent in September, the Department of Labor said Friday in its monthly economic appraisal.

U6 rose to 17.5%. Relatedly, Paul Krugman writes today:

[E]arly this year, President Obama came into office with a strong mandate and proclaimed the need to take bold action on the economy. His actual actions, however, were cautious rather than bold. They were enough to pull the economy back from the brink, but not enough to bring unemployment down. [. . .] Administration officials would presumably argue that they were constrained by political realities, that a bolder policy couldn’t have passed Congress. But they never tested that assumption, and they also never gave any public indication that they were doing less than they wanted. The official line was that policy was just right, making it hard to explain now why more is needed.

They wanted to please Olympia Snowe. How's that working out for them?

Speaking for me only

< Friday Morning Open Thread | The Latest In Obama As Ineffectual: Obama As 1938 Czechoslovakia? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Obama fiddles away his mandate (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:32:15 AM EST
    and if unemployment continues unabated, he will fiddle away Democrat majorities in 2010.

    Then he'll really find out what trying (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:39:34 AM EST
    to be "bipartisan" means - the hard way.

    Democrats are really comfortable (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:51:01 AM EST
    in the minority position. Their mantra of "we are completely helpless to do anything about it" is so ingrained that they have maintained this position even after achieving overwhelming majorities. In fact, they are so comfortable with the Republicans dictating legislation, that they have decided to allow minority rule.

    Just folllowin' the leader, who is (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oldpro on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:58:32 AM EST
    so anxious to share his presidency with Olympia Snowe.  Makes me wonder what Biden and Hillary think of this leadership style...

    President Snowe is a Republican (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:09:37 AM EST
    If Obama is under the impression that the task she has been assigned by her party is anything other than to insure the Dems pass the worse legislation possible, then his common sense is sorely lacking.

    And some people (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by Emma on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 12:15:04 PM EST
    think Obama doesn't like women in leadership positions!  Pshaw, I say.  Why, Obama's even job sharing with Olympia Snowe!  He does the photo ops and the speeches, she makes the policies.

    Obama's Indecision& Leaderless Dem Party (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by norris morris on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    We've been watching a leaderless party. Democrats haven't received clear and honest leadership on healthcare from Obama.

    Actually he's had no clear agenda.   Obama entrusted the same group that got us into this.  Yet all the money thrown at Wall St and banks has produced no rise in employment or real decrease in foreclosures.

    Obama  lets us know he needs these guys to get re-elected.

     Obama has even cut  a deal with Billy Tauzin the loathsome Big pharma lobbyist for ten years. Transparency?

    Remember Billy Tauzin, former congressman, a one time Dem who became a Rep and lobbyist biggie for BigPharma?  He was one of the evil group that created the dounut hole in MedicareRX by forcing  3  separate votes past midnight in congress with his pal and arm wringer, Tom Delay until they shoved the bill through.  

    As a 2million a year lobbyist  Tauzin works exclusively for BigPharma which means taxpayers aren't paying him directly anymore to get shafted.

    So this is the very same lobbyist that Obama made a deal with which insures that we will continue to get rolled over on drug costs. Only it was sneaky. We know none of the details.

    Obama has been taking political cover on healthcare and the WH issuance of contradictory leaks" is the info directly from WH we know of.
    Of course this emphasizes the confusion and misinformation and is no help to moving a decent bill foreward.

    Obama's absurd obsession about Snowe as an example of bi-partisanship borders on naivete, or a cover for his lack of committment regarding a public option. All the talk about bi-partisanship reveals timidity and an inability to understand the harsh political realities of the GOP's goals.

     Snowe is a Republican who MIGHT vote for cloture, but has openly stated that she will only approve Triggers [another word for rollover on the people], and reject any final vote on HCR that contains public option.

    So we have a president who believes that an imaginary vote from Snowe [or maybe 1 other lone Rep] represents bipartisanship?  Really?

     Obama's misson  was to boldly lead congress and clarify what kind of bill he expected.  His talking heads should have fanned out with ONE voice and offered  clarifaction as to Triggers, Co-ops,Options,etc.

     Scaring Seniors with a doomsday interpretation, the Administration failed to respond to GOP &  clarify what exactly the cuts would be, and explain the Death Squad garbage for what it was.

    Since Medicare cuts are coming  can you imagine how frightened and concerned Seniors are?  The GOP controlled the healthcare debate and framed memes that were never effectively responded to.

    But Valerie Jarrett talks about "quick response" must occur about lies from Fox?
    Fox was handled clumsily, and Den Mama Jarrett
     could not credibly respond to follow up questions when she appeared on Fox.

    HRC is currently a mess. 1900 pages that's invited lots of mischief. Obama doesn't seem to understand that the GOP wants him to fail and will work hard to make it happen.

     Not least is the stupidity of awarding 'ole Joe Lieberman as the Chairman of Homeland Security Committee without extracting a committment of loyalty is incomprehensively naive. Joe just doesn't care.    After all, Connecticut based Aetna has given him over a million, and he changed his tune on healthcare long ago. Who   allowed this to happen?

    So far the leadership of the Democrats has come from the Blue Dogs and Snowe, and a new face is Chairman of the Dem Nat'l Committee.
     Howard Dean, a strong advocate of a public option was not used effectively by Obama to sell HCR.
    Who is the guy that is currently spokesman for the Party?


    Look what just happened in Virginia! (none / 0) (#107)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 02:46:33 AM EST
    A republican ran on a jobs platform and won by 17%!  On top of that, we lost 6 democrat seats in the House of Delegates.  People are scared and they want JOBS.  They ignored all the other stuff and bought the jobs message.  If Obama doesn't think that the same thing will happen in the US House next year, he's dead wrong.  

    I am very scared.  I know so many people who need jobs.  If things don't turn around soon, we're in trouble, as a nation, and politically.  


    Suspending the payroll taxes (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:33:20 AM EST

    Suspending the payroll taxes would be bold, pass easily, and actually promote private sector job growth.  

    So far the only "bold" activity this Congress seems to have done is to follow Herbert Hoover's example and increase taxes in a business down turn.  Did not work well then, and we seem to be getting the same result now.

    Limited to persons earning under $50,000 (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:38:07 AM EST
    while extending it to earnings over $500,000 is a good idea imo, as well as shoring up Social Security and Medicare.

    And this isn't even ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:43:53 AM EST
    that progressive an idea.  Gary Hart proposed something like this back in '84.

    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:45:29 AM EST
    I am not sure it is good long term policy, but in the short term, I think it makes sense.

    What's the basis of that? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Samuel on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:49:55 AM EST
    Basis of what? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:51:08 AM EST
    The short term or the long term?

    The transition (none / 0) (#60)
    by Samuel on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:28:54 AM EST
    Cutting payroll tax in the short term is good because x but in the longterm its bad because x eventually transitions to y.  

    Bad in long term (none / 0) (#102)
    by Slado on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 05:00:10 PM EST
    if gov't doesn't reduce spending.

    A tax cut or tax hike is really unimportant by itself.

    The government should have the common sense as any buisness does to adapt to the economic environment.

    Slashing taxes to jump start the economy only works if you also reduce spending.   Raising taxes only works if the taxpayer has money to pay them.

    At some point the tax rate is too low aad it can equally be too high.

    It's all relative in terms of the services the public demands in relation to the overall economy.

    Higher taxes then the economy can afford strangles growth, low taxes reduces the services government can provide and can also hinder the economy.

    Simply put the gov't should be lowering taxes in the short term.  We can fight over which ones but the economy can't afford more taxes today.  The tax rates at every level of government where appropriate in most cases for the level of economic activity that we had for the previous few years.

    Now that activity has ground to a halt and the gov't should be lowering taxes AND SPENDING!!!! (this is bipartisan) to reflect the reality that every business is dealing with.  

    Instead progressives are calling non hikes tax cuts and talking about raising taxes on the rich and secretly raising taxes on the rest of us through fees and regulations.   Meanwhile so called conservatives are complaining about cuts in Medicare and calling for increased military spending.

    We can't have it all and right now the gov't spends too much money relative to it's income.   In the short term it can  cut taxes but in the long term that can hurt us if the economy doesn't turn around and/or it doesn't cut spending.


    If you're going to argue such a point (none / 0) (#115)
    by Samuel on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 12:50:10 PM EST
    would you mind including some analysis involving actual deficit numbers and perhaps indicating at what point specifically the debt gets too big?

    Is it when the annual interest exceeds a certain percentage of GDP (not counting government spending ofcourse, since they could simply choose to make the G portion a trillion dollars and spend it all on a hammer)?  


    Limited to earnings over $500,000 (none / 0) (#21)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:46:28 AM EST
    Thats the sales pitch.  However, unlike the income tax brackets the 5.4% surcharge is not indexed for inflation.   Like the AMT it will dip into the middle class more and more every year.

    Do you really think that is a "good idea?"


    I can live with indexing (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:47:40 AM EST
    Also (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:49:11 AM EST
    since the AMT gets fixed every year, they might as well just index it permanently.

    Like the reimburement rates for Medicare. The Republican nonsense 1997 law on Medicare is another one of the GOP gimmicks that they never have the guts to actually do.


    Do you mean by extending ...making those over (none / 0) (#80)
    by DFLer on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 12:11:20 PM EST
    $500,000.00 actual PAY the SSI tax? or do you mean extending the "break" on taxes to those over that amount?

    If one is in that bracket, one most likely does not paying ANY payroll taxes, as that applies only to wages, not salaries and other compensation...right?


    I like the suspending... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:35:45 AM EST
    the payroll tax idea quite a bit...but it would have to come with significant spending cuts...I nominate the DEA/CIA/DOD for the chopping block.

    Defense budget (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 01:44:26 PM EST
    The last estimate I read had that we spend seventy cents of every tax dollar on defense. If you were to look for a place to cut, the defense budget would be the intelligent choice.

    While we're tied up in two wars at the present, that possiblity is out of the question. Bush and the Congress were totally negligent when they cut taxes at a time of war. By passing the costs down the line, we're going to be dealing with them for years.

    Suddenly we have no money for anything. It's amazing that nobody thought of that over the last eight years of supplimental bills to fund the wars.


    Closer to 20% of all spending (none / 0) (#103)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 06:33:00 PM EST
    not 21% (none / 0) (#105)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 07:33:15 PM EST
    The defense budget is at 21% but.....

    The recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are largely funded through supplementary spending bills outside the Federal Budget, so they are not included in the military budget figures listed below.[4] In addition, the Pentagon has access to black budget military spending for special programs which is not listed as Federal spending and is not included in published military spending figures.

    Also not included is the money used by the CIA or other agencies. It also doesn't include money used by the State Department in foreign aide for military defense.

    So 21% is really very misleading.


    I second the motion! (none / 0) (#41)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:26:18 AM EST
    All in favor, say, "Aye!"

    All who want to continue p!ssing away 40 billion a year in the DrugWar when kids will be hungry and homeless for want of that money because their parent's UI bennies ran out and Congress wouldn't re-allocate funds from known cock-ups like the War on Drugs, signal with "Nay!"


    I wonder... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:32:47 AM EST
    if the best solution to the unemployment/economic crisis is a tax revolt....the tax collectors only care about Goldman Sachs....maybe we should all take our 10% alms and distribute it ourselves, in our communities.  Joe and Jane Blow ain't in the plans of the central planners.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:55:09 AM EST
    that Ralph Nader...what a loon!

    The fact that he's considered a national joke just says it all don't it DA?  We definitely deserve our corporate overlords.


    What tax increase (none / 0) (#6)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:36:29 AM EST
    are you referring to?

    He is referring to, imo, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:38:45 AM EST
    The excise tax proposed in the health care bill.

    The Baucus bill I mean (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:39:30 AM EST
    The house bill of course has a surtax on persons earning more than 500k/year.

    Oh come on (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:40:38 AM EST
    Surely he's not silly enough to suggest the struggling economy is "the results" of a tax that has merely been proposed in some Senate committee.  He must have something else in mind.

    You obviously do not know this poster (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:41:56 AM EST
    He is more than silly enough to state it as an unshakeable truth.

    Is this like the people (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:52:14 AM EST
    who said the stock market was falling last fall in anticipation of Obama getting elected and raising taxes?  Maybe he works for CNBC.

    I guess if enough people closed down the factory and laid off all the employees every time the Democrats announced they were considering a 2% tax increase, that would have an effect on the economy.  I don't know any people like that though.


    Precisely like that (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:55:41 AM EST
    Investors are forward looking. (none / 0) (#104)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 07:04:32 PM EST
    Surely he's not silly enough to suggest the struggling economy is "the results" of a tax that has merely been proposed in some Senate committee.  He must have something else in mind.

    There is a difference in mere proposals by backbenchers and the shared policy priorities of the majority leaders of both chambers and the prez.

    Investment (job creation) decisions are made in part on what taxes will likely be, not just what they happen to be at the moment.  

    Do you think that potential investors are so foolish as to ignore the impact of future tax rates on the wisdom of of a given investment?

    The idea that increasing the dividend tax rate from 15% to 45% will have no effect on investments is just nuts.

    Note that after the capital gains tax increase in 1987, it took 10 years for reported capital gains to get back to the 1986 level, and not counting inflation at that.  Investors in 1986 made decisions on what the tax rate would be in 1987.  

    1986 $328 billion
    1987 $148 billion


    Don't forget (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:41:50 AM EST

    The cigarette tax increase, the cap and trade taxes, and the 2011 increases in income tax rates.  

    See Steve M. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:42:21 AM EST
    Told you so.

    Created or Saved (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kidneystones on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:35:04 AM EST
    Take that to your 10.2% unemployment rate. The jobless don't much care whether the stock market breaks 10,000. They do care that finite resources and political capital appear to have been so poorly spent. There's a whole lot of 'shut-up and clap' going on and guess what? Voters in Virginia and New Jersey offered a solution of their own.

    I'd like to think it isn't too late to turn some of this around simply because another three years like the last one seems unbearable at this stage. I was confident the Dems would get the economy right. Dems have the numbers and had (emphasis) the political capital to do just about anything.

    Instead the economy is losing jobs at the same steady rate that Obama's numbers are dropping. The only folks doing well are the same ones who authored the mess.

    The 'good' news is the Republicans at the national level have even fewer bright ideas than Dems. That's the silver lining; although I doubt very much those looking for jobs or trying to figure out how to keep their homes will take much solace from the fact.

    It doesn't matter (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:38:40 AM EST
    The 'good' news is the Republicans at the national level have even fewer bright ideas than Dems. That's the silver lining; although I doubt very much those looking for jobs or trying to figure out how to keep their homes will take much solace from the fact.

    Good ideas aren't needed to win if the incumbents are seen to be doing a poor job.  All that is necessary is good marketing and a great slogan. Exhibit A......


    Obama took lessons (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Fabian on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:50:40 AM EST
    from Bush and Rove, the GOP will take lessons from those two and Obama as well.

    Look for a surge of shiny new faces in 2010 promising us "Change!".  (Or at least a check on the wild Libruls.)


    Get ready for the shiniest 'new' (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by oldpro on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:10:54 AM EST
    face at the top of the R ticket...wait for it...the General who saved Iraq and won the war!!

    Yep.  That guy.  Loves the limelight.  Ambitious.  Nowhere to go but up and there are very few jobs above his paygrade.


    Here's the problem (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:42:16 AM EST
    even though the ideas being offered up on their face sound bad, there is going to be the position that at the very least they are offering up ideas and desperate people are often willing to try anything rather than remain in a desperate situation.

    Obama is flubbing this. No small surprise considering he hangs with a bunch of free market folk who are more in line with the other side of the aisle then with the liberal position that the government belongs managing the economy.


    For the record (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:44:09 AM EST
    the "free market" is not the issue regarding stimulus.

    I think you meant to attack the coddling of Wall Street - which is sort of a free market attack actually.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#27)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:50:51 AM EST
    I believe that the people he surrounds himself with honestly believe that this is a cycle that will eventually correct itself with minimal involvement. They are the same people who thought giving everyone a $600 check was going to correct the economy back when the economy started going South. They are the same people who derided Clinton for wanting to spend money on infrastructure and on safety net programs. I am not the least bit surprised that he has been timid in every area less the area where his well connected friends used to romp.

    But that has nothing to do with (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:55:01 AM EST
    "free market," which is really an issue of trade and government involvement in trade.

    Indeed, they amount of intervention, in the form of handouts, to the financial industry has been astounding. the opposite of "free market."

    I happen to disagree with you on their motivations - they wanted a "win" on the stimulus - they wanted Olympia Snowe. And to declare victory, they had to say the stimulus bill was "just right."

    This stimulus was more of a Rahm problem than a Geithner problem.


    The crux of it is (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:11:54 AM EST
    that the money they handed out to the financial sector should have had stipulations. Instead they gave the financial industry a blank check( largely because they are free traders who believe in limited government intervention in private industry imo.)

    Frankly they have compounded problems in the financial sector because they made the "too big to fail" banks bigger, not smaller also imo.

    I honestly believe we are presently rolling the dice because the government has been timid and hasn't really provided direction short a few programs like Cash for Clunkers or the incentive to purchase a house(aimed at foreclosure). As I pointed out below it doesn't appear they have created a target program for job creation which as I see it is problematic.

    I guess you can blame it on placating Snowe(which I agree with you was stupid) but I don't think this was solely about placating Snowe, just as I don't think his hesitancy to embrace a public plan has much to do with Snowe. I see him as using her as cover. Either that or he really is much much dumber than any of you anticipated during the primary and doesn't understand what "opposition" party means.


    yup (5.00 / 5) (#92)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:24:59 PM EST
    Snowe is a smoke screen.  Obama and the blue dogs are going to deliver exactly the legislation that their corporate masters tell them to deliver.
    I still can not get over the "elite bloggers" having NOTHING to say when Emanuel was chosen as Chief of Staff... the same guy who knee capped more liberal nominees in favor of the blue dogs who are now standing in the way of real HCR.  He was the most hated guy in democratic politics until he was revealed as Obama's best political friend.  Boy, they really kept him in the closet until it was too late, huh?

    I think it was both a Rahm and Geithner (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:55:14 AM EST
    problem.  I don't think that Geithner was fighting for a larger stimulus package.  He was focused on bailing out banks and made it pretty clear that he believed that that investment would trickle down to the rest of this.  It seems to me that they both shoul be held accountable on this issue.  And, not for nothin', Geithner is the Secretary of the Treasury.  He is responsible for providing counsel on economic policy.

    Except that (none / 0) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:21:02 AM EST
    the economy is not losing jobs at a steady rate.  Or doesn't that matter?  Last quarter of 08, I believe,  was 650,000 per month.  It's gotten steadily less, and this quarter it's something like 250,000 per month.

    Not nice, but hardly a "steady rate."  It's a rather dramatically decelerating rate.

    There are lots of other reasons for legitimate doom and gloom, but pretending nothing has changed with job losses is just factually incorrect.


    Probably (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:23:47 AM EST
    Because there are no more jobs to lose?  

    Of course, the rates have gone down.  The people who lost jobs last year still haven't gotten jobs - the entire pool of jobs out there has shrunk!


    it might as well be at the same rate (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:26:39 PM EST
    because every job loss increases the misery.

    Hmmm ... (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:37:14 AM EST
    Administration officials would presumably argue that they were constrained by political realities, that a bolder policy couldn't have passed Congress. But they never tested that assumption, and they also never gave any public indication that they were doing less than they wanted. The official line was that policy was just right, making it hard to explain now why more is needed.

    But since Obama came in with high approval ratings, and maintained them for months, this would be a very hard argument to make.

    For the first few months of his administration Obama was the political reality!

    He could still do more.  Just by arguing more is needed.  But he missed a golden opportunity for bold action.

    For the life of me... (5.00 / 7) (#52)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:04:52 AM EST
    I will never understand why they didn't use the political capital that they had at the begining.

    It is disturbing in a way because it suggests that they might have really believed that all they had to do was continue to make him loveable in order to avoid any political fallout from failures they might have.

    I remember so many posters over at organge making the claim that the public would never blame him for the Bush economy.  That seemed so completely crazy to me that it was difficult to respond to.  The victim mentality gets really old fast when people are hurting.  It is also counter-intuitive that Obama could both be the "Leader of the Free World" and a victim at the same time and still be able to command respect and adoration indefinitely.

    We didn't hire a new President and his party to whine about how the previous guys screwed up.  We hired them to fix the situation.

    We're back to the achilles heel of this Administration which is an obsession with process to the degree that it impedes their ability to deliver substantive action.


    Because the Obama Team (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by The Maven on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:00:28 AM EST
    was keeping its political capital powder dry for their strong-arm push on, say, fundamental financial reforms . . . quickly winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . undoing Bush's policies re detainees, domestic surveillance, state secrets privilege and claims of unfettered executive authority . . . enacting genuine health care reform . . .

    Oh, wait . . . never mind.


    I think the Obama administration's (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by Spamlet on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:31:03 AM EST
    Achilles' heel has been its obsession with marketing Obama, as if that were a substitute for process--or policy, for that matter. Another gang that knows how to campaign, but not how to govern.

    We're back to the achilles heel of this Administration which is an obsession with process to the degree that it impedes their ability to deliver substantive action.

    While I recognize "tongue in cheek", (none / 0) (#71)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:06:37 AM EST
    I think there is some truth to what you type.  However, as I've indicated before, I'm not really good a 11 Dimension Chess.  
    President Obama, proof is in the pudding!  Fulfill your mandate!

    bold action (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 01:42:28 PM EST
    I would like to think that "bold action" had it taken place would receive accolades from the press.  However, since that is not the way things work, he could have at least had an "I told you so" to sit on.  

    They conceded 10% UE (next year) but they still conceded it.  It makes some difference that it happened several months before they thought it would, but in the bigger picture as it relates to the stress tests Obama's team thought we could live with 10% UE.

    They were more concerned with the stress on banks and their ability to handle high UE than they were about those in the UE pool.  

    As I see it the payroll tax reduction proposed by the left and right is a quick way to get money on the street which may prompt spending but my guess is companies and people will not reinvest that money in hires.  A fraction of that money will be spent or used to pay down debt but the lion's share will be sat on in a cash is king environment.

    We cannot get legislation approved quickly enough and the lead time before the money hits the streets is probably 9 months to a year so infrastructure spend is a good idea but very late.

    I favor the payroll tax idea because it puts money on the street but I have no confidence that will translate into new jobs near term (6 months).  

    If we can make special appropriation bills (i am assuming we have and sorry if we have not) for rebuilding Iraq, we can darned sure do it to prop up an ailing infrastructure and economy on life support....


    Yikes (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:42:04 AM EST
    From CNN Money:

    The reading, reported by the government Friday, is a sign of the continued weakness in the labor market even though the economy grew in the third quarter following the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

    The government reported Friday that unemployment rate spiked to 10.2%, up from 9.8% in September. It is the highest that this rate has been since April 1983. Economists had forecast an increase to 9.9%.

    There was also a net loss of 190,000 jobs in October, according to the Labor Department, an improvement from a revised estimate of 219,000 job losses in September. However, economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a loss of only 175,000 jobs in October. This was the 22nd straight month of job losses.

    Government efforts to end job losses have had limited effects, although the Obama administration estimated last month that 640,000 jobs were created or saved by the federal stimulus package passed earlier this year. But that's modest compared to the 7.3 million jobs that have been lost by the economy since the start of 2008.

    Friday's report comes one day after Congress voted overwhelmingly to extend unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks. There are now a record 5.6 million people who have been unemployed for six months or longer, as the average time an unemployed person has been out of a job hit 26.9 weeks.

    Prior to this report, most economists had believed that the unemployment rate would keep rising and that job losses would continue into next year. But the jump in unemployment in October took it to levels worse than what many previously had expected to be the peak.

    According to a survey of top forecasters by the National Association of Business Economics last month, the consensus estimate among economists was that unemployment would hit a high of 10% in the final three months of this year and the first quarter of 2010.

    This is my favorite line:

    Government efforts to end job losses have had limited effects, although the Obama administration estimated last month that 640,000 jobs were created or saved by the federal stimulus package passed earlier this year.

    And we all know that many of those "saved" jobs were counted as people getting raises, and that the numbers were horribly skewed.

    What I also found interesting is (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:46:39 AM EST
    that government employment is flat. Government spending is accounting for the majority of the 3.5% GDP so why does it sound like the majority of that is going to private contractors who the government might have less control over their hiring and firing practices?

    Private Jobs (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by waldenpond on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 12:34:38 PM EST
    Listen to Obama whenever he discusses jobs... he always states 'private.'  It would be inappropriate in our corporate ruled society to have gov'mint jobs.  According to those in power, it must be filtered through the private sector for profiteering.  There will be no government jobs programs.

    I would like to see government work programs.  Trickle down does has little effect in our economy now.  Give people jobs and demand will follow.


    I don't think there's enough time left (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:53:34 AM EST
    to improve the economy before the midterms.  Even if jobs start coming back soon, the mood of the electorate will be set in 6 months.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:00:24 AM EST
    The Christmas retail season will be very revealing.  I know people complain about stores pushing Christmas earlier, but now I've seen sales like "Early Black Friday" specials. And now with news like this, people are going to be cutting way back this year.  Retail establishments make or break their year with Christmas sales.

    It's going to be a long, cold winter, and you're right, voters minds on the economy will be set by March.


    I think we're rolling dice at this point (none / 0) (#33)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:59:25 AM EST
    Since the money in the stimulus is being spent incrementally maybe he'll manage to push the 10.2 number down some before 2010 and lay claim to victory. It won't be because he did a bang up job managing the economy though. It'll be because he got lucky and business could not sustain shedding jobs for almost 2 years, eventually something has to give.

    Maybe, but I don't see how that works (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:02:35 AM EST
    People have to actually feel the improvement. And this is not a touchy-feely administration.

    Slipping away (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by kidneystones on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:23:21 AM EST
    I think you're right. As I mentioned on another thread, there's some bad ju-ju at work right now. Obama needed to GOTV. He tried and couldn't. Doesn't mean young folks won't come back in 2012 to help him personally, but the Corzine fiasco made Obama mortal in the eyes of Dems and Republicans alike.

    Republicans aren't the ones Obama needs to worry about right about now. He's in enormous danger of seeing large parts of his base split in different directions, especially if the Move.On folks decide to primary the Blue Dogs, who are already feeling really antsy.

    The over-all result will be more triangulation. I still don't understand why Dems didn't give Feingold a free hand to craft HRC. If the Dems had a real reform package to back then Dems might arguably be able to make the case to the Blue Dogs and the nation that there's a cause worth fighting for. Right now, there isn't.

    Blue dogs aren't about to risk backing cap and trade, a bogus health-care bill, or a second 'sort of' stimulus. Not with hard un-employment numbers the way they are.

    I watched, btw, the clip of the President speaking in response to the tragic shooting. I don't normally watch any speeches and perhaps I'm not the best judge. But he looked totally out of touch. I'd like to close this post with something positive.

    Any suggestions?


    It's funny you mention that (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:35:06 AM EST
    Reading on another site that Obama apparently had his own "My Pet Goat" moment as he addressed a group of Native Americans during a pre-scheduled meeting at the Tribal Nations Conference, and didn't mention the tragedy with his first public remarks until halfway through his speech (and this was hours after the shooting happened, apparently, not contemporaneously). And then his remarks were kind of stilted.

    Now, I'm not saying he should have canceled the event, but he really does more and more come off like a cold fish.  Where's that vaunted communications team we heard so much about?


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:13:04 AM EST
    he didn't bring it up until after he had taken like 2 minutes to welcome everyone to the conference.  Kinda gotta stretch to make a pet goat moment out of that one.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:19:39 AM EST
    Like hours after it happened.

    Uh huh (none / 0) (#61)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:30:01 AM EST
    He will probably never live down the shame.  Worse than Katrina.

    There's no need to be sarcastic (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:44:16 AM EST
    All I was doing was pointing out that some people see it way.

    And it WAS stupid to wait more than 3 minutes into a speech (including giving a "shout out" to Dr. Crow, and then making a mistake about which medal said Dr. Crow won), instead of just addressing what was at the forefront of everyone's mind and then proceeding with the program.

    But of course, it's only bad when Bush does it.


    Who is being sarcastic? (none / 0) (#73)
    by standingup on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:23:23 AM EST
    The president (and I am in no way his biggest fan) gave a 6 minute speech at the closing of the Tribal Nations Conference.  His total remarks consisted of 629 words of which 342 were directed toward the events of at Fort Hood.  This was an event that was already scheduled which also means the press was already going to be there covering the event so it would be a little ridiculous to cancel instead of using it to also address the event at Fort Hood.    

    And not to make light of the tragic events that took place yesterday, they hardly rose to the same level of the events that took place on September 11.  On September 11 there were multiple planes hijacked, multiple targets and loss of life in the thousands.  Fort Hood was confined to one location while no less tragic, the casualties and fatalities, were no where near those we saw on September 11.  

    I would also bet it would be difficult to find many Democrats criticizing President Bush on September 12, 2001 for the speech he gave on the prior day.    


    Cmon (none / 0) (#79)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:46:59 AM EST
    You are way better than this Fox News stuff.

    NBC Agreed with you (none / 0) (#97)
    by jedimom on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:24:16 PM EST
    see here
    Updated 2:56 PM CST, Fri, Nov 6, 2009

    Print Email Share Buzz up! TWITTER FACEBOOK

    Getty Images

    President Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.

    After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.

    But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner."  Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

    Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That's the least that should occur.
    Indeed, an argument could be made that Obama should have canceled the Indian event, out of respect for people having been murdered at an Army post a few hours before. That would have prevented any sort of jarring emotional switch at the event.

    Did the president's team not realize what sort of image they were presenting to the country at this moment? The disconnect between what Americans at home knew had been going on -- and the initial words coming out of their president's mouth was jolting, if not disturbing.

    It must have been disappointing for many politically aware Democrats, still reeling from the election two days before. The New Jersey gubernatorial vote had already demonstrated that the president and his political team couldn't produce a winning outcome in a state very friendly to Democrats (and where the president won by 15 points one year ago). And now this? Congressional Democrats must wonder if a White House that has burdened them with a too-heavy policy agenda over the last year has a strong enough political operation to help push that agenda through.

    If the president's communications apparatus can't inform -- and protect -- their boss during tense moments when the country needs to see a focused commander-in-chief and a compassionate head of state, it has disastrous consequences for that president's party and supporters.

    All the president's men (and women) fell down on the job Thursday.  And Democrats across the country have real reason to panic.

    NBC? (none / 0) (#101)
    by Steve M on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:40:44 PM EST
    You linked to a post written by Robert George, a right-wing blogger.  Just because it's posted at an NBC affiliate site doesn't make it anything other than a partisan opinion.  And above we got treated to Redstate.com's thoughts on this nonstory.

    What is going on here?


    see above (none / 0) (#98)
    by jedimom on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:25:05 PM EST
    listen (none / 0) (#99)
    by jedimom on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:28:51 PM EST
    listen here
    it was awful

    You can hear the audio, with Fred Thompson's commentary over it, here. It is profoundly disturbing and disrespectful to the families of the victims and the soldiers at Ft. Hood, Tx.

    Instead of acting to not alarm unsuspecting kids, Obama couldn't be bothered to interrupt his cool-guy image and interest-group pandering.

    President Obama had his press conference about the Ft. Hood incident in conjunction to an address of American Indians. Before the President could be bothered to address the grieving, the wounded, and the dead, he had to thank everyone for a wonderful conference, thank the Department of the Interior for hosting it, attribute to one attendee a Congressional Medal of Honor the attendee never won, and go on ad nauseam about the wonders of the conference. Just listen to him.

    It would have been one thing to give a brief thank you and get to the pressing matter of the day. But the President had to be the cool-guy pandering to favorite interest groups. And the military is decidedly not a favorite interest group.

    Today, the teleprompter should be fired.

    How many hundreds-of-billions (none / 0) (#117)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:29:46 PM EST
    does the military need before it becomes a "favorite interest group"?

    Talk about wingnuts in perfect concert, I heard almost that same spiel from the putrid lips of "Dr Savage" two hours after the shootings took place.

    Not that the Right would ever exploit a tragedy involving our brave fighting men and women.

    Are we OT yet?


    oops (none / 0) (#100)
    by jedimom on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:29:44 PM EST
    linky here

    warning redstate mps of Teh fred


    Campaigning vs governing and leading (none / 0) (#108)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 03:05:33 AM EST
    We all know that Obama was good at campaigning and making people feel good.  Now, I almost feel sorry for him as it becomes more and more apparent that the man is in over his head.  He has no idea how to lead, or even how to address tragedies.  He doesn't have the experience to govern and lead.   He's never had to do anything like that.  He's never lead anything.  

    He can't vote ''present'' as President, and he's finding it very difficult to make decisions and LEAD.


    Slipping into oblivion without Feingold (none / 0) (#91)
    by norris morris on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:20:19 PM EST
    Without Feingold crafting a meaningful HCR bill, and Obama's strong endorsement of same, we are seeing the wreckage before us masquerading as a Health Care bill.

    Obama has not shown vision,guts, or leadership on HC and he's cut deals on the side. The games being played by the WH with Snowe and others is bulls--t.

    Feingold has been passed by, and it's our loss.
    He cannot do it without leadership which is sorely lacking from Obama who straddles and hides his preferences.


    Paul Volcker states (none / 0) (#58)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:23:16 AM EST
    a consumer directed economy, which comprises 70% of our economy, is gonna change.



    Can't get the link to work? (none / 0) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:42:59 AM EST
    Sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:48:00 AM EST
    "No more overreliance on consumer spending: Volcker
    Mon Nov 2, 2009 6:55pm EST

    By Jane Sutton
    NAPLES, Florida (Reuters) - White House economic adviser Paul Volcker said his meeting on Monday with President Barack Obama focused in part on reducing U.S. economic reliance on consumer spending.

    The alternatives to help bolster future economic growth include boosting exports, applying innovative technology to green issues and improving the nation's infrastructure, Volcker said.

    The former Federal Reserve chairman, who now heads the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, said Obama understands that "We cannot have so much consumption."

    Consumer spending accounted for 70 percent of the U.S. economy before last year's economic meltdown, a level that Volcker said was sustained only by "the magic of financial engineering."

    "We cannot rebuild the economy to the tune of 70 percent consumption or housing booms. It will just break down again," Volcker said.

    He spoke at a global financial conference in Florida sponsored by the CME Group derivatives market.

    Volcker said Monday's meeting of the advisory board with Obama looked at ways to boost the economy through specific projects such as reducing energy consumption by retrofitting buildings to be more efficient.

    In addition to increasing exports, the board also discussed finding private money to help rebuild a national infrastructure that is sorely in need of attention.

    Obama has been accused recently of ignoring Volcker's advice to do more to separate commercial banking from risky securities trading.

    Asked who talked and who listened at Monday's White House meeting, Volcker said, "The board members did most of the talking."


    Volker not being heard (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by norris morris on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:01:56 PM EST
    Volker's advice has been ignored and he's been treated as irrelevant by Summers and his group.

    It amazes me that someone with Volker's experience and wisdom has no hand in shaping policy.

    It's been left up to the guys who gave us Derivatives and bundled financial products so arcane and complex they have no idea what's in them.

    Volker, a strong pro regulations finanace guru has been sidestepped.  Tell us something?


    Is Obama listening to anyone? (none / 0) (#109)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 03:08:13 AM EST
    His lack of action tells me that he's not.  He's thinking things over.  

    IMO, Obama is looking at electoral outcomes (none / 0) (#113)
    by ChiTownDenny on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 01:15:34 PM EST
    in 2010 and 2012 moreso than policy.  IMO, that's the problem.

    Wall St's man-on-the-inside (none / 0) (#116)
    by jondee on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 01:20:28 PM EST
    Larry "money jowels" Summers, Geithner et al know what derivatives are, they just dont want us to know.

    And, you really expect the arrogant, omniscient Masters of the Universe, who to tried to get Stiglitz fired from the World Bank, to listen to Volker?


    real ue (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:12:01 AM EST
    Don't forget the 820k adjustment that will come in February of 2010.  

    I think real UE including U6 is north of 20%, closer to 22-23.  Count in those who took severance and could not file UE claims, the forthcoming adjustment, the birth/death model fiction and those who have exhausted their benefits and you have 22-23%.

    The unemployment rate has doubled yr/yr which is essentially unprecedented in our time.  

    It took about 8 months for the stimulus money to hit the streets and gave us a 3% increase in GDP.  Larry Summers has said in meetings about UE and foreclosures "there is nothing we can do about it"..

    That about sums it up.  On the one hand the President is saying people need jobs and the top economic advisor is not open to suggestions because there is nothing we can do.

    The administration conceded 10% UE in their stress tests why is this a surprise to anyone?  The 20% UE either "saved enough" to survive a long period of UE or they are simply collateral damage.

      Of course they will be portrayed in the media as people who overextended themselves and should have known better.  I guess if we all had "known" better about derivatives and risks the banks were taking and how that would eventually collapse the economy, we as a nation might have saved more.  

    How about an Alert System like the terror alert one where the gov't issues warnings on the excesses of wall street (derivatives in this case)?  I would rather know when people are about to put the economy on the brink of disaster......

    I don't think they get it (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:18:50 AM EST
    I read about their financial blogger summit and I honestly believe some of these folks are clueless.

    How else can you explain statements such as "unemployment is not going to be a good indicator of foreclosure levels?" Do they seriously not get that if you start out at a negative savings rate to begin with and have to go a year living at half levels of your normal pay that you are going to run into problems with stuff like housing which takes up a good percentage of monthly income?

    There are some steps they have taken that I agree with but the way they have gone about taking them has been rather hodge podge. They definitely are reactive rather than proactive.


    they are not clueless (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 01:49:43 PM EST
    however they are calluous.  I will not question the credibility of the "jobs saved/created" because it is irrelevant.  What is relevant is we are near 20% real UE which by any interpretation is a crisis and there is no real discussion on more job creation.

    If you weren't good enough to keep your job and aren't marketable enough for another, go back to school, move in with family, eat ramen do what you have to do but don't expect your gov't to help.  You are collateral damage. You shouldn't have bought a house in 2005-7, or a car or taken a vacation.  you should have been saving for this crisis.  

    Of course no one is saying that out loud but that is what I am hearing and seeing.  And it saddens me.


    Once congress approves this 14 week (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:20:03 AM EST
    extension, all those who fell off will be back. That 10.2% could jump dramatically.

    That's a good point (none / 0) (#42)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:28:16 AM EST
    I'm also wondering how seasonal employment is going to play into this. The retailers moved the holiday season up and I have to wonder how that is affecting the "improved" retail sales. It also says that depite the fact that sales have improved that retail has cut jobs which isn't very good news.

    If you are interested here is what your opposition (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:18:06 AM EST
    has to say. I get email from both sides of the aisle and Redstate sent me a "breaking" today.

    Unemployment at 10.2%

    • President's top economic advisor admits this is by government design.

    • White House intends for unemployment to go down in an election year.

    Unemployment this morning topped 10.2%, even though the number seeking employment has declined. Many have just given up. Likewise, and more troublesome, the average hours worked in a week is at its lowest in decades - 33 hours. That suggests employers are going to just expand hours worked in the future, instead of hiring new people. So the unemployment number will stay high for a while.

    On January 18, 2009, Obama's top economics advisor Larry Summers said Barack Obama's stimulus plan would keep unemployment below 10% and could be deemed to have failed if it crossed 10%.

    On July 17, 2009, Larry Summers said

    "Both administration and independent forecasts predicted that only a very small part of the total job creation expected from the Recovery Act would take place within six months," he continued. "Indeed, a Council of Economic Advisers' study predicted that only 10 percent of the total job impact of the Recovery Act would take place during calendar year 2009. Given lags in spending and hiring, the peak impact of the stimulus on jobs was expected not to be achieved until the end of 2010."

    In other words, an ever growing number of Americans have to sit on the unemployment line until next year by government design. Why? So in 2010, Barack Obama and the Democrats can run on falling unemployment numbers. They'd rather you starve now so they can have recovery happen in an election year.

    We're all political pawns to Barack Obama.

    One more thing: remember, outside economists say passing the Democrats' health care plan will slow the recovery further, stagnate wages, and increase unemployment. Do we want to do that?

    Sincerely yours,

    Erick Erickson

    They are anticipating that the numbers are going to drop and are planning on selling the fact that it is at 10.2% presently as political manuevering. Furthermore, unlike the Dems, they are tying the economy to health care.

    Obama better think fast if he doesn't want to be a one term wonder.

    Obama has one great advantage - (none / 0) (#94)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:27:35 PM EST
    - his opponents.

    I mean that is really nuts.  


    to a Democrat it may sound nuts (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by cawaltz on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 07:07:15 AM EST
    It's not gonna sound nuts to Joe Average though. I say this as a non partisan Indy who leans towards the Democratic ideals espoused on paper(but far too often not implemented.)

    Joe Average is going to believe ... (none / 0) (#114)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 01:13:34 PM EST
    ... that unemployment has somehow been engineered to be high now, and lower in twelve months.  If it's higher, that obviously isn't the case, and if it's lower ... that obviously STILL isn't the case, and no one will care anyway.

    I have been accused in the past, and rightly so, of having little faith in my fellow human, but even so that is going too far.  


    Why has government dispersed only (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:24:20 AM EST
    half the stimulus funds at this point?  What happened to "shovel ready"?  What are they waiting for?

    Turned out there weren't that (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by oldpro on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:33:51 AM EST
    many 'shovel-ready' projects set to go.  Seems mostly to have gone to education and job retention in the states...mainly teachers.

    Federal highway projects. Airport here. (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:36:45 AM EST
    Considering I read (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:36:56 AM EST
    that a whole lot of DOT jobs got sidelined because the DOT lacked the funding to complete them I would say that there was confusion on what "shovel ready" meant.

    Have we ever gotten a new "green jobs" adviser? I mean any kind of jobs adviser might be helpful at this point.


    I think (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:04:58 AM EST
    part of the problem was limiting it to shovel-ready in the first place.  There are a whole lot of important infrastructure related projects that are still in the design phase.  Those aren't less important, they still need funding...  Engineers need jobs too! (<- self promotion there)

    Amen to that (none / 0) (#77)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:33:42 AM EST
    A key bridge between VT and upstate NY, slated for major overhaul in I think 2011, was abruptly closed last month when it was discovered that the underwater supports were desperately eroded.  We need a new bridge, or those major repairs done pronto.  But because the project isn't "shovel-ready," it doesn't qualify for stimulus funding.

    you wouldn't believe (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by CST on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 10:43:21 AM EST
    the amount of beurocracy involved in figuring out just what meets the "shovel ready" guidelines.  Frankly, I'm surprised they've gotten half of it out already.

    No strings attached to $$$ to "too big (5.00 / 7) (#75)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:29:32 AM EST
    to fail" entities.  Too many strings apparently attached to stimulus dispersements.

    they are waiting for the next round (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:40:24 PM EST
    of elections so they can show up wit5h checks and jobs and win office again.

    Mission Accomplished (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by pluege on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 02:16:57 PM EST
    They wanted to please Olympia Snowe. How's that working out for them?

    (transformative, baby, transformative.)

    Snowe? (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by norris morris on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:03:57 PM EST
    What Snowe has accomplished?  Obama seems to be looking at one term.

    Any mathmeticians? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 09:09:37 PM EST
    Does 190,000 sound like enough to raise the UE numbers almost a full 1/2 a percent?

    Krugman (4.40 / 5) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 08:34:35 AM EST
    is being way too nice here. The fact of the matter is that Obama couldn't lead the way out of a paper bag and has no core beliefs on top of that.

    Core Beliefs? (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by norris morris on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:09:30 PM EST
    If the core beliefs Obama led us to believe would bring us change, where have they gone?

    Obama has been consistent in abandoning his core beliefs if he ever really had them.  If he did believe in his hopes for our future, where is the committment and focus necessary to implement any programs containing change?  

    I see no evidence of his beliefs.  


    Obama has only one core belief (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:38:45 PM EST
    he believes that he is a uniter not a divider.  Hope for our future and changing the skin color in the white house are not real hope or real change.
    Obama believes in his ability to look like whatever you want him to look like.

    The BEST campaigner (none / 0) (#110)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 03:13:24 AM EST
    Does this ""Obama believes in his ability to look like whatever you want him to look like.""   Voters could project onto Obama whatever they wanted him to be, without any idea who, or what, he really was.   That makes for the perfect candidate for office!  

    scapegoating doesn't help (none / 0) (#112)
    by diogenes on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 07:28:35 AM EST
    The fifty-nine Democratic senators could have passed a FRONT_LOADED stimulus on their own without Olympia, rather than the porkulus bill they did pass.  The failed stimulus is the Democrats fault.  As Obama said, he owns the economy now.