Archive for September, 2011

“For-Profit Colleges, Vulnerable G.I.’s” by Hollister K. Petraeus (TIMES, 9/22/11)

September 27, 2011

     Kudos to Hollister K. Petraeus, wife of CIA Director David H. Petraeus, for her exposure of the shady practices of for-profit colleges who “see service members as nothing more than dollar signs in uniform.”

     Such schools “have a strong incentive to enroll service members and veterans,” no matter what their qualifications or state of health in order to take advantage of the “90-10 rule” of the Higher Education Act.  “As long as military education funds are on the 10 percent side of the 90-10 rule, service members will be  a lucrative target for exploitation.”

     As the “assistant director for service member affairs” at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mrs. Petraeus is in position to call attention to this blatant exploitation of U.S. service people and veterans.  She is also serving as a good standin for her husband, the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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“Obama Rejects Obamaism” by David Brooks (TIMES, 9/20/11)

September 27, 2011

     David Brooks claims that he is “an Obama sap,” then proceeds to build a strawman president in an attempt to support his assertion.  It is journalism at its worst, completely  misrepresenting  Obama’s position as it does.

     When Brooks claims that “Republicans respect Americans enough to tell us what they really think,” he is being adroit.  Even a “moderate conservative sap” like Brooks knows that the GOP’s servitude to the richest of the rich is not something they tell to the rest of us.  If the Republicans ever told the people what they really think, there would be demands for a full-scale investigation.

     At least as demonstrated in his columns in this newspaper, Brooks has never been an “Obama sap” but rather another variety of rulingclass lackey, one who tries to hide his reactionary viewpoint behind his favorite label of “moderate conservative.”  By repeating this false identification enough, he thinks that people will believe him.

RE: OP-ED Page (TIMES, 9/19/11)

September 27, 2011

     No, we should not heed the reassurances of Bill Keller about accepting the cautious governing style of President Obama, even realizing that somebody else (any Republican) would be a lot worse.

     No, we should not heed the warnings of Paul Volcker that a little inflation can be dangerous, not when austerity is choking the economy.

     We  should be listening to Paul Krugman who is calling for much more growth-oriented policies.

     The implementation of a massive federal jobs program is needed “right now.”  Millions of people can be put to work repairing our  crumbling infrastructure.  It would be the best solution to getting the economy back on track.

     AND IT HAS TO BE DONE NOW!

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! (TIMES, 9/17/11)

September 18, 2011

     To accelerate the effort to end this economic downturn the United States is experiencing, we need a massivefederal jobs program.  The people who would be put to work could set about repairing our crumbling infrastructure.

     At this time, everything else should take a back seat to this urgent need to put people to work, in great part because it will stimulate the economy by producing the customers business people are claiming have disappeared.

     A government program to prime the pump should create the customers to revive the overall economy.  And President Obama should not worry that such an effort will upset conservative Democrats or weaken the center.  If he doesn’t stay strong on this, he is not going to be re-elected.

     Creating jobs will, among its other benefits, save his job.

“The Planning Fallacy” by David Brooks (TIMES, 9/16/11)

September 18, 2011

     “The economy is not a patient.  It is a zillion, zillion interactions,” laments specialist of brain studies David Brooks.  Now that we know this, should we all commit suicide?

   The government of the United States, especially most recently, resembles the bourgeois dictatorship that Marx and Engels identified in the 19th century.  The bourgeoisie (i.e., the owners of the means of production, the big banks and insurance agencies) is able to recruit politicians to do its bidding, which is to guarantee its profits.  Attempts by honest lawmakers to create a government that is truly representative of the interests of the people are opposed by these minions of the American bourgeoisie.

     Every progressive I know is aware of the fact that the New Deal did not end the Great Depression.  The Republican opposition at the time was able to prevent that from happening.  But the New Deal did go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the poor and in reviving the economy.  Then, the outbreak of World War II made government aid to big business acceptable to the reactionaries who had been intent on sabotaging the New Deal.  Those hypocritical lackeys always gave the defense industry all the money it wanted.

     If anybody is besotted, it is this “brain scientist” who calls himself a “moderate conservative.”  When is the last time he has had his own brain scanned?

“Islamists’ Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya” (TIMES, 9/15/11)

September 15, 2011

     Here we go again: the “freedom fighters” who couldn’t shoot straight in their struggle with Qaddafi are being shunted aside by conservative Muslims.  Those anti-Qaddafi rebels who recklessly fired their guns in the air, only to bring down upon themselves bombing strikes from NATO airplanes, will be competing with better organized Islamists to create a new Libya.

     Let all thinking Americans warn our leaders in advance: proceed with due caution.  After decades of opposing the development of democracy in the Middle East, while supporting all kinds of reactionaries in the crusade to stop Communism, the United States left the door open for conservative  theocrats to pass through.

     Will the Libyan military dictatorship be replaced by a theocratic one?

“Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight On ‘Lost Decade'” (TIMES, 9/14/11)

September 15, 2011

     The latest Census Bureau report that 46.2 million Americans (15.1 percent of the population) are living below the official poverty line is further proof that the United States is experiencing a depression which began in 2007.  The failure to acknowledge this fact is a good part of the reason a genuine plan for a recovery has not been found.

     If a physician makes the wrong diagnosis of an ailment, it is unlikely that the patient will be cured.  A compound fracture of the leg would require different treatment than a sprained ankle, or the injured person could be crippled for life.

     It is time that All the News That’s Fit to Print enlightens its readers  concerning the seriousness of the current economic situation.  It is not a “recession,” a “Great Recession” or a “double-dip recession.”  The “anemic recovery” shamefully reported in this newspaper was doubletalk at its worst.

     This very serious economic downturn, this DEPRESSION, requires the implementation of a massive federal jobs program ASAP to get the economy back on track.

“Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur” by Motoko Rich (TIMES, 9/10/11)

September 15, 2011

     The portion of the American Jobs Act that should quickly address the economic downturn we are suffering are the “employment and infrastructure projects,” which will have access to $194 billion.  That money can immediately put people back to work.

     The “tax cuts and credits” (amounting to $253 billion) offered to businesses won’t necessarily make them act.  Apparently, the more cautious “captains of industry” (often portrayed in fiction as risk-taking visionaries) want firmer assurances that they will make money if they release some of the cash they have been sitting on.  They want the federal government to guarantee that they will profit from the investments they are being encouraged to make.

     Those of us who deny that the business world is full of visionaries being held back by “big gummint” are not surprised at this reaction to President Obama’s economic strategy.  Hopefully, when the “employment and infrastructure projects” are fully implemented, these private sector wimps will finally invest in their beloved country.

     Give a rub to your flag pin, Mr. Babbit, and hum a few bars of “God Bless America,” then put your money where your mouth is. 

“Stimulus For Skeptics” by David Brooks (TIMES, 9/9/11)

September 13, 2011

     It has to be asked: What is the actual motivation for the skepticism (some would say defeatism) of David Brooks?

     His latest lament is that the United States is suffering a “banking-crisis recession,” which last longer than “normal recessions,”  and that means we are “stuck with a lousy economy.”

     But Brooks is only engaging in his usual specious reasoning.  A massive federal jobs program could halt this downturn we are suffering.  We are not stuck with a lousy economy but with a lousy economist, alleged “moderate conservative” David Brooks.

“Rising Fears Of Recession” by David Leonhardt (TIMES, 9/8/11)

September 13, 2011

     “From early 2010 through this spring…employment was growing fast enough to make the economy  look as if it were in a recovery, albeit a modest one,” claims David Leonhardt.  The juxtaposition of “fast” and “modest” in the same sentence makes the message contradictory.  In any case, I don’t remember such growth and heard the “recovery” described as “anemic,” which is an oxymoron.

     “All the News That’s Fit to Print” includes presenting information clearly and in this article Leonhardt failed to do so.  Moreover, if the economy at present is “stalled” and the data is “ominous” how could there have been a recent “recovery” for over a year?

     Isn’t such reporting dissimulation?