Our founding values, genocide and slavery. The tradition continues.
Requiescat in Pace: President Obama's budget proposal to be unveiled next week will include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, according to several dozen trial balloons seen floating out of the Rose Garden. The Big Deal is to do away with all of the social advances made under the New Deal, as Obama plans a bigger hit for the elderly than for the rich. John Boehner may save the day - because Obama reportedly wants to raise taxes a bit, too.
Win Some, Lose Some: The BLS reports The RecoveryTM stumbled in March, producing only 88,000 new jobs. Even so the unemployment rate dropped because 660,000 people left the jobs market and the labor force participation rate fell to 63.3%. Retailers cut 24,100 jobs last month because those no longer in the labor force are also no longer buying much.
Progress Report: Ireland has received helping after helping of austerity, leading to a country where 25% of its mortgages are distressed, 12% are 90 or more days in default, with 35% of those being “strategic” non-payments. Unemployment is now above 14%, which explains a lot. But not austerity, there's no explanation for austerity.
Do Not Hold Your Breath: A US District Judge has ruled that the FDA must make the emergency contraception pills known as "morning-after pills" available over the counter, with no age restrictions - "within 30 days." What Republican-dominated Supreme Court-free planet does Judge Korman come from?
Help Wanted: Be a target for a US drone strike, make big bucks!
The Other Guy: Over 80% of Americans want something done now to prepare for the rising seas and stronger storms that global warming is bringing. Nearly 100% of them do not want to pay for these safeguards. So, the science is getting through to them, economics not so much.
Nomination: Let's give Bradley Manning a Nobel Peace Prize – the one mistakenly given to Obama.
Crazy Like Fox: Fox on Friday explained to striking fast-food workers that “because you are a single mom or a single dad, you’ve got to get another job. You’ve got to get another job on top of that so you have two incomes.” Which, I believe, was the whole point of the strike.
Hypochondria: Republicans go on and on about the US having the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Which is true. It is also true that as a percent of the total economy, the US collects less from corporate taxes than any industrialized country except Iceland, because most of our largest corporations do not pay many taxes, and by the way, April 15th is gaining on you.
Sick? Leave! Koch-sponsored ALEC is trying to kill the whole idea of paid sick leave. So far they've passed such laws in Louisiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin and have infected Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and Washington. Chain 'em to their oars..
Crooked, Not Stupid: The continuing exemption of private gun sales (for which read gun shows) from background checks is why the bad guys are not inconvenienced by existing background check requirements.
Quoted: “I wonder if we’ll see the day when George Bush and Dick Cheney will be prosecuted for their war crimes? I wonder if the lies and the fraud that were used to send our nation’s men and women into a pillaging war of conquest will ever be accounted for? I wonder if this generation of Americans will wake up and hold the war profiteers accountable for ransacking our nation’s treasury and wasting away all that our nation had saved?” It's a paraphrase of Ferlinghetti.
Special, Really Special: Tennessee is setting up special districts for 'failing' schools (for which read those that are nearly entirely black) which will be run by
Corrections Corporation of America charter operators.
Sticks and Stones: The UN High Commission for Human Rights had declared the failure of the US to close the
torture facility at Guantánamo Bay prison is a "clear breach of international law." So?
Porn O'Graph: Women's health – the red states.
The Parting Shot: