Monday, November 2, 2009
Well congratulations, you were a big part of a magic formula for Obama's much touted jobs creation program. Forgive me kids, but this is a lot like Obama building an outhouse and claiming he has supplied the homeless with a new residence. Throwing together a bunch of $8.00 an hour summer job kids and calling it "full time equivalent" is over the top.
Reports just released by the Obama administration claim New York state has "created/saved" 40,625 jobs -- including 25,526 in New York City, according to NyPo.
BUT, the city used a formula required by the feds to count 2,882 "full-time-equivalent" as created jobs.
That number was based on 19,518 kids who took part in a SEVEN WEEK summer employment program, NyPo reports a city official as stating.
The program paid minimum wage -- less than $8 per hour -- for residents age 14 to 24 to work in local businesses, public facilities and nonprofit groups [ACORN?].
A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg told NyPo that another chunk represented already employed teachers and other city employees who faced "possible" layoffs without the federal support.
NYC Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler said the number of stable new jobs actually created was under 300.
Aside from the fact that if this money wasn't taxed away from the people, it would have been used in other sectors of the economy, I wonder where the money Obama is claiming is being spent on jobs is really going?
- Alexi Giannoulias (Illinois Treasurer): 1.0%
- Richard Daley (Chicago Mayor): 3.5%
- Rahm Emanuel (President Obama's Chief of Staff): 3.7%
- Lisa Madigan (Illinois Attorney General): 4.4%
- Dan Hynes (Illinois Comptroller): 4.9%
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Chinese weather scientists were embarrassingly caught out by a sudden cold snap yesterday.
They had decided to 'seed' clouds with chemicals to produce rain and ease a drought in Beijing.
The operation went exactly as they had hoped - except that temperatures dropped sharply and the precipitation fell as snow.
It kept going for half the day, blanketing the capital's streets and hitting air and road travel. It was the earliest snow in Beijing for ten years.
Winter wonderland: Holding an ambrella, a biker protects himself as he rides by after a snow storm hit Beijing
Timber! A scooter rider maneuvres to avoid snow-capped trees fallen on the road
It was helped by temperatures as low as -2C (29 Fahrenheit) and strong winds from the north, Xinhua news agency reported.
'We won't miss any opportunity of artificial precipitation since Beijing is suffering from the lingering drought,' the report quoted Zhang Qiang, head of the Beijing Weather Modification Office, as saying at the end of last week.
Christmas scene... in China: A snow-capped pavilion
Playtime: Children make the most of the snow
Chinese meteorologists have for years been honing the technique of making rain by injecting special chemicals into clouds.
Although the technique often gets results, a drought in the north of the country has continued for over a decade.
Besides the snow, which the Beijing Evening News said was the earliest to hit the capital in 10 years, the cold weather and strong winds also delayed air travel from Beijing's Capital Airport.
The American government -- which we once called our government -- has been taken over by Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich. They are the ones who decide our fate. It is this group of powerful elites, the people President Franklin D. Roosevelt called "economic royalists," who choose our elected officials -- indeed, our very form of government. Both Democrats and Republicans dance to the tune of their corporate masters. In America, corporations do not control the government. In America, corporations are the government.
This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment's hesitation, they took our money -- yours and mine -- to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don't care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as "useless eaters."
But, you say, we have elected a candidate of change. To which I respond: Do these words of President Obama sound like change?
"A culture of irresponsibility took root, from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street."
There it is. Right there. We are Main Street. We must, according to our president, share the blame. He went on to say: "And a regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th-century economic crisis -- the Great Depression -- was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st-century global economy."
This is nonsense.
The reason Wall Street was able to game the system the way it did -- knowing that they would become rich at the expense of the American people (oh, yes, they most certainly knew that) -- was because the financial elite had bribed our legislators to roll back the protections enacted after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
Congress gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial lending banks from investment banks, and passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed for self-regulation with no oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently revised its rules to allow for even less oversight -- and we've all seen how well that worked out. To date, no serious legislation has been offered by the Obama administration to correct these problems.
Instead, Obama wants to increase the oversight power of the Federal Reserve. Never mind that it already had significant oversight power before our most recent economic meltdown, yet failed to take action. Never mind that the Fed is not a government agency but a cartel of private bankers that cannot be held accountable by Washington. Whatever the Fed does with these supposed new oversight powers will be behind closed doors.
Obama's failure to act sends one message loud and clear: He cannot stand up to the powerful Wall Street interests that supplied the bulk of his campaign money for the 2008 election. Nor, for that matter, can Congress, for much the same reason.
Consider what multibillionaire banker David Rockefeller wrote in his 2002 memoirs:
"Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."
Read Rockefeller's words again. He actually admits to working against the "best interests of the United States."
Need more? Here's what Rockefeller said in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: "We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order." They're gaming us. Our country has been stolen from us.
Journalist Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone, notes that esteemed economist John Kenneth Galbraith laid the 1929 crash at the feet of banking giant Goldman Sachs. Taibbi goes on to say that Goldman Sachs has been behind every other economic downturn as well, including the most recent one. As if that wasn't enough, Goldman Sachs even had a hand in pushing gas prices up to $4 a gallon.
The problem with bankers is longstanding. Here's what one of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had to say about them:
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their father's conquered."
We all know that the first American Revolution officially began in 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. Less well known is that the single strongest motivating factor for revolution was the colonists' attempt to free themselves from the Bank of England. But how many of you know about the second revolution, referred to by historians as Shays' Rebellion? It took place in 1786-87, and once again the banks were the cause. This time they were putting the screws to America's farmers.
Daniel Shays was a farmer in western Massachusetts. Like many other farmers of the day, he was being driven into bankruptcy by the banks' predatory lending practices. (Sound familiar?) Rallying other farmers to his side, Shays led his rebels in an attack on the courts and the local armory. The rebellion itself failed, but a message had been sent: The bankers (and the politicians who supported them) ultimately backed off. As Thomas Jefferson famously quipped in regard to the insurrection: "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Perhaps it's time to consider that option once again.
I'm calling for a national strike, one designed to close the country down for a day. The intent? Real campaign-finance reform and strong restrictions on lobbying. Because nothing will change until we take corporate money out of politics. Nothing will improve until our politicians are once again answerable to their constituents, not the rich and powerful.
Let's set a date. No one goes to work. No one buys anything. And if that isn't effective -- if the politicians ignore us -- we do it again. And again. And again.
The real war is not between the left and the right. It is between the average American and the ruling class. If we come together on this single issue, everything else will resolve itself. It's time we took back our government from those who would make us their slaves.