Friday, May 21, 2010

Power on the Left?

Anti-government stalwart/candidate to be part of the government, "ayn" rand paul said in his speech after winning his republican Senate primary that "The mandate of our victory tonight is huge.", but whose mandate was he talking about? The (pinkies up) tea party did get randy paul his victory over red establishment favored what's his name... In KENTUCKY.

The Democrats managed to hold a seat, that many thought was up for grabs in Pennsylvania.
Though John Murtha was a Democratic Congressman for 36 years, his district is quite "conservative", as was he. May he rest in peace. We've been told a red "storm" is coming in Our politics. This was a seat that was to be swallowed up by it, a Congressional district that went for the old man and miss honky dory in 2008. That's right the Democrats held a seat in a district that went mccain. Now,
Mark Critz is not my style Dem. To me, he is barely a Dem. This seat, however, must have been on the red list of pick ups, as were the two they have lost so far in upstate New York. That is, if they want to get anywhere near taking control of the House.

Then there was the 30 years winning as a republican then switching parties to be politically viable arlen specter's loss to Joe Sestak in the Democratic Primary. Howard Dean compared Sestak to Jim Webb. We'll have to see how he fares in the general election. It is going to be tight, but picking up this Senate seat through election, and not just the whim of an aging politician, would be sweet. It is nice to see that being a Democrat means more than just playing ball on a couple of votes after 30 years of opposition.

And last but not least the Democratic Senator who loves to fight the Democratic Majority Lead Senate on everything that concerns big business, blanch lincoln, was forced into a run off by liberal net roots backed Bill Halter? In Arkansas? We'll have to wait and see who wins the run-off, but the fact that a Progressive movement backed candidate has forced one against an 12 year, establishment, "centrist" shows a muscle I hadn't counted on. There is Power on the Left. We hear a lot about the tea drinker "movement", but could it be the Country still leans to the Democratic anti-establishment, as it did for the election of President Barack Obama a year and a half ago.

None of these victories are jump and down great. They all have caveats. Some may be temporary. This week's voting shows that you are not going to lose in this "political climate" just because you have a "D" next to your name. It shows that Progressives have power. And it shows that the red tidal wave everyone's been talking about for this November may be over-hyped, and may not be only red.

To Progress,
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's the economy.... (with pictures)

The tax bills for 2009 were the lowest since 1950. That's right. Now I was a big opponent of failure 43's tax cut and spend agenda, but President Obama's policy has been a bit different. First, his tax cuts weren't for the top 1% of American earners, they were for the bottom 95-98%. Secondly, Obama wasn't spending on getting us into an unnecessary war,or a prescription drug bill that actually increased their cost. The spending was to put a floor on a rapidly falling economy. Remember when "the DOW was going to crash" and the "Second Great Depression was coming"? How is that economy doing? Well let's see, the DOW has been hovering around 11,000 for months now. Wholesale inventories and sales, consumer spending as well as the GDP continue to rise. April even saw encouraging employment news. 290,000 jobs (44,000 in Manufacturing!!) were added, though unemployment did rise .2%. 66,000 of the new jobs were temporary Census workers. 47% of those unemployed have been for more than 6 months. If you are on unemployment, I hope you added something to your resume (computer training, etc.) while you were working. I have a feeling the extensions Congress keeps approving are going to end soon. The amount of jobs we are in the hole from the past 2-3 years' loses is staggering, but at least we seem to be adding jobs now instead of steadily losing them.

The economy seems to be stabilizing, with the pendulum actually starting to, ever so slightly, swing up, but what about that expensive "bailout" floor We laid down through the transition from failure 43 to First Year President Barack Obama? Well it turns out that the $700 BILLION dollar cost of TARP was way too high of an estimate. According to Pro Publica, of the $536.3 BILLION given out so far through TARP and to save freddie and fannie, et al, $216.8 BILLION has already been returned, and if the economy continues on its present track, the Treasury estimates that it will cost Us about $117 Billion for TARP and $85 Billion for freddie and fannie. That's a bit better than $700 billion plus freddie and fannie, et al. But wait, there may be more.... Those costs are expected to be offset by the $115 Billion that is expected to be gained from the programs. Recently, The Treasury Department announced plans to sell Our Citigroup stock AT A PROFIT. We bought shares to save the bank at $3.25. Those same shares are now worth $4.60. Maybe we bought shares, not so the government could take over the business, but to make money on after the business is saved and begins to recover.

Now if, in fact, the economy has begun to recover, it is time to hold the people/corporations that almost sunk Us accountable, as well as regulate them for the future. A revived Glass-Steagall Act might be a good start. I don't have the idealist, naive, idea that somehow legislation is going to change the fact that the United States of America is run by the rich. There will not be a maximum wage or profit for ceo's or corporations. I doubt We will break up the "big banks". Whatever financial reform law does pass in Congress and is signed by the President, it better give the Government of the People the power to at least keep a handle on these greed mongers. It looks like at least the Federal reserve will get audited. That's a good sign.

To Progress (One Step at a Time.)
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA