Unemployment Rate Among Veterans
Unemployment Rate Among Veterans
US unemployment rate falls to 8.1% in August
U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, from 8.3%, but only because more people gave up looking for work, The Associated Press reports.
Photo: Job seekers fill out applications during the 11th annual Skid Row Career Fair in Los Angeles, California, on May 31, 2012. (David Mcnew / Reuters)
“So, what’s the worst aspect of Romney’s character? What does he know he has to run away from, even though he continually fails to do so? Simple: the perception that he’s a rich asshat who thinks he’s too good for the little people he deigns to rule. That he thinks so little of us that he demands the right to be our leader without giving anything in return.” — Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte, on why a Gawker document dump, showing Mitt Romney as a serial tax dodger, matters • via: quickhits
Maybe some people will finally see that the result of all these perfectly legal financial shenanigans, in all Romney’s / Bain Capital’s various schemes and loopholes and shelters and business practices, that THIS is why the United States is going broke, not because it would be nice to extend Social Security and Medicare for the next generation or provide health care for people.
The GOP has been rigging the system for the wealthy for decades. Mitt Romney is the chicken that’s come home to roost for the non-wealthy, evangelical voting base. These conservative social-issue rubes support the Republican candidate automatically, like zombies or Manchurian candidates, trusting these establishment politicians when they claim to actually care about stopping marriage equality (they can’t stop it!) or overturning Roe v. Wade (they won’t ever overturn it — have they EVER been close?). The Republicans don’t care about those things! They’re patronizing you. They just want more money, more deregulation, more income redistribution from the bottom to the top.
You want a thriving middle class in American again? STOP VOTING REPUBLICAN. Also: Stop watching Fox News. Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.
CBS News: “With about 55,000 inhabitants, the Cayman Islands should not be a well-known name in the rest of the world, but the tiny Caribbean territory has become famous as a tax haven for the world’s super rich. According to a new report, the Caymans – along with the other dozen or so international havens for wealth like Switzerland and Bermuda – are the holders of so much of the world’s capital, entire regional economies could be moved on it. The Tax Justice Network has just released a report estimating that the world’s tax havens house anywhere from $21 trillion to $32 trillion of money that governments cannot tax.”
You don’t get to know how much Mitt Romney is worth — or where he keeps his money. Via Political Wire: “Mitt Romney’s investment portfolio “has included an offshore company that remained invisible to voters as his political star rose,” the AP reports.”
“Based in Bermuda, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. was not listed on any of Romney’s state or federal financial reports. The company is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed, including one that recently posted a $1.9 million earning — suggesting he could be wealthier than the nearly $250 million estimated by his campaign.”
“The omissions were permitted by state and federal authorities overseeing Romney’s ethics filings… But Romney’s limited disclosures deprive the public of an accurate depiction of his wealth and a clear understanding of how his assets are handled and taxed.”
original image via: christopherstreet
This is how the wealthiest become even wealthier: earn money in America, offshore it to other countries to avoid taxes. THAT’S HOW AMERICA WORKS!
Investigation: Mitt Romney’s Offshore Accounts, Tax Loopholes, and Mysterious I.R.A. | Vanity Fair – “For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.”
What are the Democrats working on, with regard to donor transparency and the ridiculous idea that “corporations are people too” Citizens United ruling?
The Raw Story reports that Nancy Pelosi wants to fix the SCOTUS’ Citizens United ruling: “In a conference call, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters, “We must amend the constitutional to fix Citizens United.” Her latest call to action was spurred by Monday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Montana’s 1912 law limiting corporate spending in political campaigns based on its 2010 Citizens United ruling. The court’s decision led Montana’s governor Brian Schweitzer (D) and Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (R) to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision.”
Great! What are the Republicans working on? Read more…
Political Wire: “An excerpt of Where They Stand:The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians by Robert W. Merry in Salon suggests George W. Bush will be ranked near the bottom of all presidents: ”Based on the contemporaneous voter assessments, the objective record, and what we know of history, it’s difficult to see him even in middle-ground territory. History likely will view Bush largely as the voters did after eight years of his stewardship. And so it’s probably just as well that he doesn’t care much about the verdict of history.“
Consider that Mitt Romney, in actions if not in words, is creating a campaign that seems to be an exact duplicate of the Bush Years, from extending tax cuts for the one percent — who’ve already surpassed all other earners in the country with net income advantages, and who’ve hoarded their wealth gains to the detriment of our entire economy — to a neocon foreign policy platform that’s becoming more “Cheneyfied” by the day. What could go wrong?
Ari Berman: “Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran. […] Romney’s malleability is an advantage for his neocon advisers, giving them an opportunity to shape his worldview, as they did with Bush after 9/11. Four years after Bush left office in disgrace, Romney is their best shot to get back in power. If that happens, they’re likely to pursue the same aggressive policies they advocated under Bush. “I don’t think there’s been a deep rethink,” says Clemons. “I don’t think the neoconservatives feel chastened at all. As a movement, the true neoconservatives never, ever give up. They will be back.””
Andrew Sullivan: “When you check reality, rather than the alternate universe constantly created by Fox News and an amnesiac press, you find that Bush had a chance to pay off all our national debt before we hit the financial crisis – giving the US enormous flexibility in intervening to ameliorate the recession. Instead, we had to find money for a stimulus in a cupboard stripped bare – its contents largely given away, by an act of choice. I’m tired of being told we cannot blame Bush for our current predicament. We can and should blame him for most of it – and remind people that Romney’s policies: more tax cuts, more defense spending are identical. With one difference: Bush pledged never “to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.””
“I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford…” —Mitt Romney on Wednesday, advocating for a class-based society of higher education, based on the wealth a person was born into as opposed to an individual’s talent and intelligence.
New America: The math genius who’s poor shouldn’t go to college, but should spend his/her life shining the shoes of people like Romney’s sons (or Mitt and Marie Antoinette themselves) who are born with trust funds and inheritances. Because, let’s be honest, who among us couldn’t “afford college” without financial help from programs or services like student loans, scholarships, and grants? Not all of us can borrow money for college from our parents.
And what a great way to enslave entire generations into a minimum wage existence — to the great advantage of corporations and the one percent.
ThinkProgress: According to an analysis by the pay research group Equilar, compensation for top bank CEOs grew by nearly 12 percent last year. The Financial Times noted that these increases occurred “despite widespread falls in profits and share prices“ […] According to a different estimate by Bloomberg News, Wall Street CEO pay grew by 20 percent last year. At the same time, worker wages grew by only 2.1 percent. And inflation adjusted wages actually declined by 0.6 percent between March 2011 and March 2012. […] Over the last 30 years, CEO pay has increased 127 times faster than worker pay.
That time frame for unequal growth in CEO / worker pay coincides with the time period that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital (and companies like theirs) began their siege on outsourcing (offshoring!) American jobs. That’s quite a coincidence, isn’t it?
What’s sad about these facts is that low-information voters are completely missing the point: according to a Pew poll, Americans currently give Romney an 8-point lead over Obama on who they trust to handle the economy better. Seriously.
Profit for a few at the expense of many — do these people understand they’re saying that’s exactly the kind of economy they approve of with Mitt Romney?
Henry Blodget at Business Insider reports that corporate profits are at an all time high, while wages are now at an all time low:
1) Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (And some people are still saying that companies are suffering from “too much regulation” and “too many taxes.” Maybe little companies are, but big ones certainly aren’t)
2) Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades. One reason corporations are so profitable is that they don’t employ as many Americans as they used to.
3) Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they’re paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those “wages” are other companies’ revenue.
Blodget bottomlines it for us in a series of related charts: “Companies need to start sharing more of their revenue with their employees. Wages as a percent of the economy simply have to go up. Yes, this means corporate profit margins will drop. But they can drop a long, long way and still be “above average.” And this is our country we’re talking about. If corporations really are people, it’s time for them to start acting like people–and sharing their wealth.”
Not to mention all the unions that have been busted up by Republicans for the past 30-40 years. What Blodget says makes sense, of course, yet Tea Street, USA has been conditioned to think sharing downward isn’t fair, it’s Socialism (or one of those -isms), and Rush Limbaugh and Jesus wouldn’t approve. Psychologically it has something to do with supposedly “punishing” the successful (the wealthy will say) plus gay marriage and race wars… it’s all way too murky and complex to get into here.
It is safe to say that the only “sharing” that the GOP and the one percent are interested in is bottom-up sharing: legislating more tax cuts to profitable corporations and the wealthiest citizens and paying for those tax cuts (and decreased government revenue) with austerity — by cutting programs and services that the rest of us use. Just look at the Ryan plan or the Romney budget.
You really don’t think that the Koch Brothers, Foster Friess, Sheldon Adelson and all the other rich guys who were in Park City, Utah with Mitt last weekend are donating hundreds of millions of dollars to Romney Super PACs, just so they can turn around and ‘share’ profits with their workers, do you? Their political donations are a business investmentwhich they hope to recoup, with interest. They want even more, not less.
questionall: Tom Toles on Mitt Romney
Because, as Jim Galloway at the AJC observes, white voter registration is steadily moving downward: “In May of 2008, African-Americans made up 28 percent of active registered voters in Georgia while whites made up 65 percent and “other” race… In May of 2012, African-Americans made up 29.4 percent of active registered voters, whites made up 60.2 percent, and “other” race made up 10.4 percent. So the downward trend in the white share of voters in Georgia has continued.”
So while GOP lawmakers will try to disenfranchise the voters who they assume wouldn’t vote Republican anyway (i.e. non-whites), the rightwing media are working overtime to whip up enough FEAR and ANGER to get the whites who have voted Republican before into the voting booths again — despite how they feel about Mitt Romney. How? By victimizing whites, by insinuating there’s a race-war, by reminding their audience that everyone thinks they’re the “R” word (racist), and by evoking the usual tribal reaction from their base. McKay Coppins at Buzzfeed outlined some of the main players on the far-right last month in his article, “In Conservative Media, A “Race War” Rages“:
But as Coppins fairly reports: “Indeed, the irony of the race war narrative’s latest flare-up is that it comes at a time when national crime rates have reached historic lows — including reported hate crimes against whites… What’s more, hate crimes against blacks have continued to outstrip those against whites by about four-to-one: In 2010 alone, there were 2,201 reported. Violent crimes across the spectrum reached a four-decade low in 2010.”
Jobs? Health care reform? Tax cuts for the one percent? Austerity for the rest of us? None of that really matters to low-information voters. Reality and facts, once again, are not part of the narrative that’s written and produced by the American conservative media and performed for the American conservative voter’s entertainment. What gets these people to the voting booth is fear and anger: do you want to be attacked by mobs of ‘rib-eating’ ‘urban’ youths? No? Then you’d better vote for Mitt Romney.
“I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign.”— email sent by President Obama today
“When challenged about an untruthful statement, Romney’s tactic is to deny he said it – lie trumping lie.”
Michael Cohen summarizes the lies which Romney has been repeatedly called out for, yet he continues to use:
The stimulus / private-sector / public-sector jobs:
Obamacare / Affordable Care Act:
Why does Romney lie? Cohen explains: “The lying from the Romney campaign is so out-of-control that Steve Benen, a blogger and producer for the Rachel Maddow showcompiles a weekly list of “Mitt’s Mendacity” that is chockfull of new untruths. […] Romney has figured out a loophole – one can lie over and over, and those lies quickly become part of the political narrative, practically immune to “fact-checking”. Ironically, the more Romney lies, the harder it then becomes to correct the record. Even if an enterprising reporter can knock down two or three falsehoods, there are still so many more that slip past. […] As… Steve Benen told me: ‘Romney gets away with it because he and his team realize contemporary political journalism isn’t equipped to deal with a candidate who lies this much, about so many topics, so often.’“
“Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.”
Bill Clinton gives a speech at the Cannes Lions international advertising festival in France on Thursday. (Lionel Cironneau / AP Photo)
The Daily Beast: Clinton says that if the Supreme Court decides to invalidate the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act there will be consequences which aren’t being reported:
“Clinton predicted that if the law is declared unconstitutional, Republicans will suffer a backlash when millions of Americans calculate what they have lost. Before the Affordable Care Act passed, two thirds of all the applications for bankruptcy were because of health-care emergencies, a consequence likely to return if health care inflation again rises precipitously.”
Federal Eye reports: ”But the biggest target is Congress, which has not passed legislation to reform the cash-strapped agency. The Senate approved a bill in April that would rebalance postal finances by giving billions of dollars to offer buyouts and early retirement incentives to employees. Several bills are pending in the House.”