Wednesday, October 01, 2003

New analysis 10/1/03

Some crazy news abounds today.



First of all, Rush Limbaugh is somehow an expert on race, the media, and football? I like that Donovan McNabb didn’t dignify Limbaugh’s comments with an aggravated response. That’s classy. Secondly, I am really alarmed by the increasing level of acceptance thinly veiled racist comments receives in the media. I have always maintained that anti-affirmative action rhetoric is really elitist, classist and racist posturing masquerading as new liberalism and cloaked in false language about equality. I’ll refrain from going on an on about it today.

Remember all those good productivity numbers we were so jazzed about? Now here’s the real story: we are doing more with less workers. The economy is STAGNANT, no matter what the media spin of the day is. We aren’t creating jobs. We’re slowly leaking them. And we aren’t at the traditional rate of full employment, which is 6% or so (I have told you before that the reported number is skewed). We readjusted our expectations during the dotcom boom to 4% or so. That was unsustainable, but we should not be content to lose ground. Whatever happened to the war on poverty? We did not win, as evidenced by a new report that details the increase in poverty levels and the increases in uninsured Americans also recently released. Poverty increases were concentrated in the industrial Midwest. That’s manufacturing jobs folks. Gone. Structural changes in our economy, due to technological advances and globalization, are leaving people behind. I still don’t really understand how we can be a completely service-based economy. Someone explain that to me?

More bad news for the Bushies. Two months ago, someone in the government compromised the identity of the CIA-agent wife of the guy who repudiated the “Iraq-is-buying-yellowcake-uranium-from-Niger” claim. Retribution to be sure, and no big deal apparently, since we somehow cannot focus on more than one issue with this administration at a time. So the story simmered for a while (I knew about it, did you?) and finally got picked up this week. If we were really interested in maintaing national security, and creating an atmosphere of trust in that initiative, there would have been a lot faster response from within the administration. Sometimes I think they don’t say things and hope they will just go away, instead of being proactive about the whole thing.

I just want to know. How long before the military gets some heat for all the spies in Guantanamo?

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