Bern - Switzerland (by Dan//Fi)
Bern - Switzerland (by Dan//Fi)
Venezia (by elaineflynn)
THE FRENCH ELECTION offers good and bad news for Obama. “For President Obama, the sight of Nicolas Sarkozy, a fellow member of the Presidential class of 2007-2008, being sent packing by French voters will bring mixed feelings…When the campaign turns to questions of economics, what is happening in Europe should provide Obama with plenty of arguments with which to flay his opponents. Republicans say they want to slash government spending and focus on the deficit regardless of the immediate economic situation. The Europeans have carried out that experiment, and, to say the least, it hasn’t turned out very well. From this side of the Atlantic, the American economic recovery seems pretty impressive. After more than three years of economic stagnation, most Europeans would gladly take G.D.P. growth of two-to-three per cent and an unemployment rate of eight per cent.” — John Cassidy in The New Yorker.
romania by Indig
NOW HERE’S a place to work from home.
Fruit shop in Rome, Italy (by Atilla2008)
Big spending cuts to social programs +
Tax increases on lower-income people +
A reduction in the size of the federal workforce
= Immediate job growth and a more robust recovery?
Jamelle Bouie outlines what’s wrong with the current Republican economic policy (emphasis mine):
The problem, of course, is that all available evidence points to the opposite. In Europe, austerity has renewed the economic crisis—the United Kingdom, for example, is growing at a rateslower than it saw during the Great Depression. At home, austerity at the state and local level—by way of balanced budget requirements—has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and a significantly weaker economy.
[…] The least you can say is that this was disasterous; if states and localities had the funds to keep all, or most, of the jobs they’ve shed over the last three years, the economy would be in much better shape, and the recovery would be on a stronger path. But this is one of those areas where the administration didn’t have much control; given the extent to which Republicans have rejected friendly compromises over the last year, there was no chance that they would accept tens of billions in new relief for states.
Mass layoffs for teachers, police officers, and other public servants—this is the inevitable consequence of GOP budget cutting, should Mitt Romney win the election. Someone should ask the former Massachusetts governor how he intends to “fix the economy” with his coked-out version of European austerity.
What Ryan, Romney and the Republicans won’t do is entertain a tax increase on the wealthy, or a reduction of subsidies / loopholes for profitable corporations (corporate welfare), or go through with a formerly agreed upon reduction in defense spending. Isn’t that what ending wars should automatically do — put money back into our own country?
Villa Palagonia, Palermo | Sicily (by JJKDC)
Gardone Riviera, Brescia, Italy (by Robert Schüller)
IS THIS A PHOTO OF:
OR A PHOTO OF ANOTHER ROMNEY HOME?
NHM Arch, London | England (by martinturner)
Red Square, Moscow | Russia (by b80399)
Gamla stan, Stockholm, Sweden (by noirouverture)
who wants to go to Sweden for lunch?
You don’t hold the debt ceiling hostage, threaten to shut down the government, or talk about new tax cuts for the richest one percent while deciding which services and benefits to cut for everyone else. You cut spending where spending needs to be cut:
WASHINGTON — The United States plans to withdraw about 7,000 US troops of the 81,000 troops based in Europe, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.
In an interview with the Armed Forces Press Service, Panetta said two brigade combat teams, or roughly 7,000 US troops, would be withdrawn from Europe, but rotational units would still maintain strong military presence in the region.
DURHAM, North Carolina (Reuters) – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Thursday that military leaders supported the reshaping of America’s military with a smaller force and did not feel victimized by it.
“We the military are not being victimized by this budget issue,” Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin E. Dempsey said in an hour-long lecture at Duke University. “This is something we the Joint Chiefs have endorsed as best for America.”
[…] The United States is expected to draw down about 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2012, leaving about 65,000 American forces in Afghanistan.
Iodine-131 is a dangerous radioactive isotope. It can clog up your thyroid gland and contaminate food. It’s been a big problem in Japan (for obvious reasons), but now it’s been scarily detected throughout Europe. And nobody knows the source.
Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Sweden, and the Czech Republic have all detected clouds of iodine-131 within their borders—that’s a very large swath of Europe. Nobody is sure of where it’s coming from, Reuters reports, though speculation includes pharmaceutical companies, nuclear submarines, and the transportation of radioactive materials—but scientists are sure it’s not from Fukushima. So how would that explain contamination that spans hundreds and hundreds of miles?
The International Atomic Energy Agency says “the current trace levels of iodine-131 that have been measured do not pose a public health risk,” but we’ve heard that so many times before. It’s not a cause for panic, but an unexplained cloud of dangerous radioactivity is absolutely cause for concern. It certainly deserves more than 129 words on the IAEA’s website. [Reuters]
Rest easy, Europe. No public health risk!