Politics and Media Headlines 2/9/09
by Caro, Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 11:25:48 AM EST
598,000 jobs lost last month, 3.6 million since recession began. (Think Progress)
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 598,000 jobs were lost last month, "far worse than the 525,000 economists expected." The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent. The Wall Street Journal notes that the U.S. economy has lost 3.6 million jobs since the recession officially began in Dec. 2007... January was a brutal month for layoffs, "as major companies ranging from Microsoft, Boeing and Caterpillar to Home Depot and Starbucks all announced substantial job cuts."
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Senate centrists' plan = 600,000 fewer jobs. (Think Progress)
The Senate "centrists," led by Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME), are cheering the fact that they've cut $86 billion in spending from the economy recovery package. "Spending for the states and education took the biggest hit, compared with the House bill. State fiscal stabilization funding was cut back $40 billion, school construction dropped $16 billion, and a proposed $3.5 billion line for higher education construction was zeroed out." Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman puts those cuts in perspective: "...My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years."
`Centrist' Economic Recovery Package Disproportionately Cuts Programs For Women And Children (Think Progress)
Conservatives opposed to the Democratic economic recovery package have been voicing their complaints by calling out individual programs they believe to be wasteful... Many of these cuts, however, would disproportionately affect women and children -- similar to the cuts to the House bill.
Click through for some highlights.--Caro
Clusterf#@k to the Poor House - Economic Recovery Plan (video, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
Appeasing the centrists (by Paul Krugman)
[S]houldn't Obama have made a much bigger plan, say $1.3 trillion, his opening gambit? If he had, he could have conceded to the centrists by cutting it to $1.2 trillion, and still have had a plan with a good chance of really controlling this slump. Instead he made preemptive concessions, only to find the centrists demanding another pound of flesh as proof of their centrist power.
Obama's lack of negotiating skills, apparent when he was my senator, was one of the reasons I didn't support his candidacy.--Caro
Where's that silhouette I'm trying to trace? (by Avedon Carol at the Sideshow)
John Perr notes that the Senate has confirmed what he calls Krugman's Law and agreed on a "compromise" stimpack that "balances" anything useful with tax cuts that will seriously undercut its effectiveness. "And as I've previously suggested, there is also Krugman's Corollary. Fearful of a Democratic majority for years to come, Republicans are afraid not that Barack Obama's economic recovery package will fail, but that it might succeed." And conservative Democrats are helping them... We spent eight years watching the Democrats help the Republicans pass crappy bills, and now, apparently, we're all prepared to spend more time watching them do much the same. [Emphasis added.]
Peter Schiff: Stimulus Bill Will Lead to "Unmitigated Disaster" (by J -SOM at Liberal Rapture)
Listen to Peter Schiff on the stimulus bill here. Remember that Schiff is one of the few voices that called the housing and financial collapse correctly. He was mocked to his face on national television along the way. His take is important because his track record is so good. The problem, he says, is the government is trying to perpetuate a "phony economy" based on borrowing and spending.
They Blew It (by Steve at The Left Coaster)
[Obama] is now supporting a stimulus bill that economists from all sides say will not be enough... Team Obama had a flawed strategy coming in, still has one, and is soon to be saddled with a "recovery package" that is inadequate and represents a grand failure in terms of effective stimulus spending. And they have no one but themselves to blame.
And they will get blamed, along with all other Democrats, when the stimulus package fails to stimulate. Blaming others is what Republicans do best. How could people as experienced as Obama's advisors not realize that? They just cannot bring themselves to believe, no matter how much evidence is right in their faces, that some Republicans will destroy the nation if they believe doing so will increase their power.--Caro
More Post-Partisan Depression (by Susie at Suburban Guerrilla)
The article header sums up David Sirota's latest: "Even under the new president, Washington is the same one-party town it always has been -- controlled not by Democrats or Republicans, but by thieves."
"Bipartisan" (by emptywheel at Firedoglake)
[T]he new definition of "bipartisan": three Republicans screw with a bill, and in the end, only one of them even votes for it.
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