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Austan Goolsbee Is Almost Correct, Just Not in the Fashion He Thinks

11:03 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

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Austan Goolsbee, head of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers was making the rounds of various political shows this past weekend. HuffPo quotes him telling Christianne Amanpour of ABC:

“It’s not a jobless recovery. That is an incorrect phrase,” he told Amanpour.

Goolsbee is correct in one fashion. It can’t be a recovery if it is jobless. But he is way wrong on a couple of points (also from the HuffPo link):

Austan Goolsbee, who heads the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, says the addition of a million new jobs over the past six months shows “we have improved a long way from when the economy was in rescue mode.”

My bold. Now a million new jobs over the last six months sounds good, right? Not so fast there Bucky. In an economy that needs to add roughly 125K jobs every month just to maintain status quo (that would be 750K jobs for a six month period), then a million jobs in six months doesn’t begin to put a dent in the 14 or so millions of unemployed, much less the un and underemployed numbers sitting somewhere between 25M and 30M.

But wait, it gets worse for Mr Goolsbee and his figures. Being the somewhat anal retentive person that I am, I went back and looked at the blog posts I had done starting in December 2010 based on the BLS report on the first Friday of each month for the month just past. Other than the report for February 2011, I have a post that covers the jobs number for each month going back to November 2010′s figures and for February 2011, I found a link to a site that includes a PDF with the appropriate numbers:

1. November 2010 39K
2. December 2010 103K
3. January 2011 36K
4. February 2011 192K
5. March 2011 216K
6. April 2011 244K
7. May 2011 54K

Now I actually went back seven months rather than six months and using information gleaned from the monthly BLS press release for jobs created, I still only come up with 784K jobs. And I haven’t accounted for the little nugget in this past Friday’s report that the March and April numbers were revised down 39K, placing the seven month total at 745K jobs created. 745K jobs created instead of the 875K jobs needed just to maintain the status quo, still leaving the 14M unemployed and the 25M to 30M un and underemployed. No wonder McDonald’s had over a million applicants for their summer hiring binge. And made up the bulk of the “new jobs” for May.
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Will the Gang of Six Receive the Gang of Four Treatment?

9:55 am in Economy, Government, Media by dakine01

I won’t say that great minds think alike but I had to laugh when I saw a link to this from HuffPo’s Ann Stark. Beyond Teddy Partridge’s Firedoglake post from Sunday night “Anti-gang Enforcement Needed On Capital Hill,” Ms Stark’s tweet about the Gang of Four rather crystalized for me some thoughts about how easily the Beltway Village Idiots Pundits fall into their usage of short hand terms without really any apparent understanding of the genesis of those terms. Whether it is the “Gang of Fourteen” or either of the two “Gang of Six” in the US Senate, I wonder if they want to remind people of the fate of the “Gang of Four.”

From Time Magazine Gang of Four On Trial:

After many delays, the “evildoers “finally enter the dock

The long parade of limousines and buses knifed through Peking’s wintry smog just before 3 p.m. As police and soldiers kept away curious bystanders, sober-faced men and women emerged from the cars, strode through the gates of the public security compound at No. 1 Zhengyi (Justice) Road near Tian’anmen Square and entered a large, brightly lighted courtroom. After taking their seats, the 35 judges and 880 “representatives of the masses” looked on impassively as the ten defendants were led into the court by bailiffs to hear the charges against them.

Thus began the long-awaited trial of China’s notorious Gang of Four and six other high-ranking “evildoers.” The carefully orchestrated courtroom drama, which is expected to last for several weeks, is the most important show trial to take place in the 31 years that the Communist Party has ruled China. The most celebrated defendant is Jiang Qing, 67, the widow of Mao Tse-tung, who, along with her allies in the Gang of Four,* led Mao’s reckless and violent Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. They were arrested four years ago, shortly after Mao’s death in 1976. Also on trial are a group of senior military officials who allegedly plotted with the late Defense Minister Lin Biao to assassinate Mao in 1971 and seize supreme power for themselves.

Now I am not advocating that the current “Gang of Six” from the US Senate be subjected to a “show trial” for their zeal in dismantling the social safety net under the guise of “saving” it. But when these men have to next face the voters, they probably will not want to highlight their participation in cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, all while preserving tax cuts for the top of the income chain.
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Family, Friends, and Facebook

10:45 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

I’ve been coming around to Firedoglake and hanging out for about five years now. I think I actually first discovered FDL a bit before the Libby trial (via Huffington Post) but it was definitely the Libby trial that got me paying close attention. It did take me a bit of time to really figure out the commenting system at the time. Not that it was difficult to post a comment but I’m arrogant enough to want my comments read rather than have them just be "EPU’d."

I forget the exact date but I guess it was about three and a half years ago that Jane did a post suggesting that FDL commenters and readers join Facebook and "friend" each other and try to build off the larger community. As a help, she’d had the programmers set things up that we could link to our Facebook profiles through FDL (that’s the little Facebook "F" that appears next to some folks FDL nom de blog)

I am so very thankful to Jane for that suggestion.

Because of Jane’s suggestion, I was able to get to know a few folks out in the South Central Texas (Austin to San Antonio) area when I was living in San Antonio. We got together for a couple of picnics where I was able to meet "TexBetsy," "Gnome de Plume," "YellowdogJim," and "greenwarrior" among others. I missed out on a couple of the picnics or that little list might have been a bit larger.

But as much as Facebook helped me to contact and become "friends" with fellow commenters across the country (and over half of my Facebook Friends list is comprised of people I "know" through FDL), it has allowed me to connect and re-connect with family and friends and former co-workers from almost every time of my life.

Not long after I had joined Facebook, I realized that my younger cousins just might already be on there so I went looking and lo and behold, there they were. I started with Katie and through her, found her sisters and her first cousins (granddaughters of one of my fist cousins). Now the family members include cousins that I don’t think I’ve actually met face to face, or at least, I have not met them as adults. And their spouses or significant others.

It was also through Katie that I started re-connecting with people I’d grown up with and gone to grade school and junior high with in our small home town. Now, I have many of my former classmates (who just celebrated their 40th high school reunion a couple of weeks ago) as Facebook friends.

I have friends who attended the same small military high school as I did. There are a couple of college drinking buddies on the list, a couple of folks with whom I worked when I was in the USAF, and other people with whom I’ve worked over the years.

There are friends and connections with my sister and brother who are also on my Facebook friends list. There are children and grandchildren of friends and family who have accepted my Friend requests or whose requests I have accepted.

All of this is just by way of saying a big thank you to Jane Hamsher for having made the suggestion to join Facebook. It’s possible to ignore all the Facebook games and such yet still use Facebook to re-connect with formerly lost aspects of a lifetime.

Thank you Jane!

And because I can:

Richie Hayward RIP