George W. Bush
In May 2009, former International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson wrote an important essay in The Atlantic on the origins and implications of the 2008 financial collapse, called "The Quiet Coup."
The financial gloom that swept over the US economy at the twilight of the George W. Bush administration was "shockingly reminiscent" of other Third World, emerging economy crises Johnson had witnessed during his days at the IMF.
In each case, he said, concerns that the financial sector could not pay off the debts it had accumulated caused capital markets to seize up, forcing firms like Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy as fear of insolvency became a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Weaknesses in the banking system "quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy," said Johnson, "causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people." Read more
It seems puzzling that Harvard University would grant tenure, let alone appoint someone to be the chairman of its economics department, who fundamentally doesn't believe in economics. But there it is, all spelled out in a much talked about new paper, "Defending the One Percent," by Harvard economics professor and former Mitt Romney advisor, N. Gregory Mankiw, in the June issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.
After summarily dispensing with the arguments offered by those on "the left" for greater income equality, specifically those of Joseph Stiglitz who condemns today's yawning wage gap as not only unjust and obscene but economically inefficient as well, Mankiw concludes his 25-page apologia for the bulging portfolios of today's plutocrats by asserting that taxing the wealthy to support socially useful purposes is just plain "wrong." Read more
As required class reading, I am tempted to assign to George F. Will an essay in December's American Conservative written by former Reagan economic adviser and Republican apostate Bruce Bartlett, called "Revenge of the Reality-based Community." In it, Bartlett chronicles his excommunication from the conservative movement for the unpardonable offense of thinking for himself.
Will might benefit from the outside reading considering that in the Washington Post he once again delivers a broadside against one of his favorite bugaboos - rampant "political correctness" in American academia.
Will has two obsessions in life: Campaign finance laws that restrict the ability of corporations and billionaires to buy America's democracy; and "PC" speech codes that promote multi-culturalism on American college campuses and so constrict the freedom of conservative white guys to say offensive things about racial, ethnic, religious and other "protected" minorities. Read more
Patience; this is what I have been recommending all along. The economy has been improving for a while now, the stock market has recovered and making money, and now Americans are going back to work.
It was just reported, unemployment fell for September to its lowest number since January 2009. There were 114,000 jobs added in September, and 86,000 more jobs were added in July and August than originally reported.
This is of course, good news for the Obama Campaign and it should turn the election even more in his favor. Mitt Romney’s job to convince Americans that Obama does not know what he’s doing when it comes to the economy, just got a lot more difficult. Read more
From all I can tell, there is going to be a massive effort by Republican state legislators to change the results of this upcoming election. They are going to do this by Voter ID laws; ending early voting in some states; and other laws meant to suppress the vote. It could even affect the general election for president. Yet even if it does not overturn the general election for president, it very well could change the results in many local and state races, thereby changing the makeup in our congress and in state offices. Read more
I file my taxes every year, just like millions of other Americans, online — electronically that is. It seems to work just fine; the system has its safeguards so as a filer I have confidence in the system. It always works for me, year after year, and I always get my refund quicker than if I simply mailed it in.
The question is, if our government can make it so easy for Americans to file their taxes electronically, online, safely and securely, then why can it not set up our voting system to do the same, and make it uniform across all states in all districts? Read more
The Trickle-Down effect (Reaganomics)
Many Americans bought into the idea presented to them back in the 80′s that cutting taxes for businesses, corporations and those who invest in those corporations would somehow stimulate the economy and create jobs. We were told our economy would be better because the better off business was, the better off all of us would be. That really just did not happen.
What really transpired from that moment on and even until today was that, a small percentage of Americans grew much wealthier at a faster rate but many Americans began to lose out, even before they knew they were losing out. Read more
I listened to an interview of Dick Cheney this morning given by Jonathan Karl of ABC News in which he criticized President Obama’s foreign policy. I couldn’t help feel a bit angry at this failure of a man criticizing anyone, let alone our current president.
I for one well remember the condition that the Bush Administration left this country economically and with our foreign policy. He especially has no business criticizing Obama on foreign policy since he as the vice president for the Bush Administration, was behind much of what went wrong with Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more
Ave Maria University campus
"White House Leading Attack on Religious Liberty" was the title of an article by Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria University, a Catholic liberal arts college located just south of Immokalee, Florida. The article appeared in the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times) last Saturday.
A bit of information is in order. Read more
I believe I speak for many of my fellow liberals when I say this; please leave our president alone. We are tired of the made-up garbage from conservative corners that constantly berates our president. You would think President Obama just came straight out of the bowels of Hell and placed himself miraculously into the Oval Office. Read more
Mitt Romney, as any presidential candidate – regardless of party – got invited to speak to the NAACP. At least Mitt accepted the invitation as his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, turned down the invite of this very influential African-American civil rights organization. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney showed by his speech that he is completely out of touch, not only with the African-American community but with average Americans in general. Read more
Even President Barack Obama’s most ardent detractors would have to admit; the Obama administration’s record of military success is a tough record to detract from; not that they haven’t tried.
President Obama’s most successful and most popular success; the killing of Osama bin Laden tops the list of military accomplishments, bar none. Along with that unforgettable feat performed by such a courageous and skilled military team, under Obama’s presidency, many other members of Al Qaeda have been routed out and many of their top lieutenants eradicated. Read more
Politics is a dirty game. Candidates sling mud at each other and outside well-funded sources fill our airwaves with ads that are anything but honest. We can look back to the 2000 presidential race for a good example of what lies and deception can do to affect an election.
Senator John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran got slammed with deception and lies when the Swift Boat Veterans placed an ad that questioned Kerry’s Vietnam record and even the Purple Heart that was awarded to him. Read more
The accusation of “liar” goes around a lot in politics these days. Barack Obama has been called a liar many times, along with several other names, such as communist, Nazi and socialist.
Rep Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelled “You liar” during President Obama’s speech to Congress about the health care law, in response from Obama saying that the Affordable Care Act would not provide free coverage to illegal immigrants. The health care law doesn’t cover illegal immigrants but Rep Joe Wilson obviously didn’t bother reading it to find that out, better just to embarrass the president instead. Read more
Mitt Romney recently was asked to grade our current president; Barack Obama by CBS News correspondent, Jan Crawford.
Romney replied to the question by saying “Oh, an ‘F,’ no question about that.”
Jan Crawford quizzed the Republican nominee further and he went on to criticize the president’s foreign policy:
“I’d look at the fact that he was looking to have a force of American troops staying in Iraq, securing what had been so hard-won there, and with the Status of Forces agreement. He failed to achieve it,”
He gives the president an “F” even in spite of Obama’s successful killing of Osama bin Laden. Read more