Without the payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance negotiated by the president and Congress last fall we might well be looking today at the possibility of a double dip. Substantial withdrawal of fiscal support for demand at the end of 2011 would be premature. Fiscal support should be continued and indeed expanded by providing the payroll tax cut to employers as well as employees. Raising the share of the payroll tax cut from 2 percent to 3 percent would be desirable as well.
IOW, “we must use any opportunity we can create and maintain to KILL SS!”
when i was a mere teenager men like geronimo & fred hampton were like older brothers to me – they were not icons or something exotic, their humanity(& in the two instances it was an extraordinary humanity)resonated then & now. when i think of them i wonder at the possibilities that flower in the most terrible circumstance, under the most difficult conditions & in their way these two men brought beauty in my life very early by revealing the utter naturalness of politics. my commitment to working in the community came from them. you have to remember fred hampton was just a young young man when he was assassinated by the fbi in chicago & the geronimo was also a very young man when he was falsely accused by the fbi & sent to prison for 27 years, 8 of those in solitary. when he was released he was not bitter because he said i understood they were attacking my community & i never confused that in my mind. an extraordinary fighter, a wise, wise warrior. be in peace
i was never seduced by the liberal lies from thatcher reagan onwards because in all the cultures i worked in as a writer i witnessed the unrelenting attack on community, the decimation of the organizations that had hitherto assisted them & year after year fought the destruction that capital laid waste until the present where it is in collapse & all its attacks on the poor have been extended to the middle class. they are now tasting the whip. in all that time i have never forgotten either fred hampton or geronimo. ever. today, their human example, is even more resonant
i think the worst moments in a life are when you don’t think you are able to live up to that exemplarity & you explode. the self destructive key is always there which the culture allows & is glad that you have taken it. perhaps i took that route sometimes in my life but was always drawn to what was true in me & men like hampton & jijaga -were implacable in their lessons & i know what i have done in the last 30 years as a man & as a writer in whatever country i lived & worked in was to – serve the people. there are those who would mock that but i know it is my highest dignity
ABC News’ Huma Khan reports: Congress is under pressure to cut the rapidly rising costs of the federal government’s food stamps program at a time when a record number of Americans are relying on it.
The House Appropriations Committee today will review the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture that includes $71 billion for the agency’s “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” That’s $2 billion less than what President Obama requested but a 9 percent increase from 2011, which, critics say, is too large given the sizeable budget deficit.
A record number of Americans — about 14 percent — now rely on the federal government’s food stamps program and its rapid expansion in recent years has become a politically explosive topic.
More than 44.5 million Americans received SNAP benefits in March, an 11 percent increase from one year ago and nearly 61 percent higher than the same time four years ago.
Nearly 21 million households are reliant on food stamps.
Oh, and there are no jobs, and we gotta give more bail out to the banks soon, so quit you’re bitchin..
Celebrated poet, musician and author Gil Scott-Heron passed away today at the age of 62 as a result of yet unknown causes. Scott-Heron’s death was reportedly confirmed by the legendary spoken word artist’s publisher Jamie Byng via Twitter with the tweet reading, “Just heard the very sad news that my dear friend and one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, the great Gil Scott-Heron, died today.”
Often regarded as one of the leaders and chief influences in the precursory stages of hip hop, Gil Scott-Heron helped to define a turbulent time for African-Americans and black militarism in the 1970s via his well-known works such as Pieces Of A Man and Winter In America. His politically charged poem and song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is perhaps Scott-Heron’s most notable work as the 1971 single from Pieces Of A Man has been sampled by hip hop artists and often quoted by many.
As news of Scott-Heron’s passing rippled through cyberspace, rap artists who no doubt saw the poet as a hero offered touching words in his memory. Talib Kweli mentioned several references to his connection to Scott-Heron and offered a loving tribute in a series of tweets from his Twitter account. “Wow. The rest of my night I’m gonna listen to Gil Scot Heron. We love you brother. We will miss you. RIP.” Talib went on to add, “I met Gil Scot Heron at SOBs in 1993, I went to see him perform. He completely influenced me as an artist.” A quick glance at Kweli’s account will reveal other loving anecdotes from the rapper.
Slaughterhouse rapper Joell Ortiz also tweeted his memories of Gil Scott-Heron. “Seen Gil Scott Heron at Joe’s Pub when I was a kid. Prince was there,” remarked Ortiz. Producer Just Blaze could barely address the news via his Twitter account. “Terrible news to get while on stage. No one in my family died but gil scot was … ah forget it. Gonna finish this show,” said the beat maker. Public Enemy front man Chuck D added, “RIP GSH..and we do what we do and how we do because of you.And to those that don’t know tip your hat with a hand over your heart & recognize.” Chuck D also revealed via his Twitter account that he was to be featured on an upcoming project with Scott-Heron.
Gil Scott Heron’s 2010 album I’m New Here was released to critical acclaim and signaled a resurgence of art from the poet as his much publicized struggles with drug addiction and legal problems almost overshadowed his legacy. Scott-Heron leaves behind 15 studio albums, 11 compilation albums and 9 live recordings.
R.I.P. to the great Gil Scott-Heron. Your words will live on forever.
It’s still winter, brother… awww, goddamn that’s hard to hear, god bless, you soldier…
As the sadness of this news sets in, and as I listen, it occurs to me, all my hero’s are dying, having long since paid their dues; hope & change? talk about ‘keeping it real’, this one cat gave more hope than our black leader ever has or ever will..
mainstream media portrayals have worked to create a group that others and excludes Arabs and Muslims as menacing threats, intransigently foreign and disloyal—this process has not accounted for Israel’s centrality in the construction of an insider American identity. The US’s long-standing relationship to Israel may have begun as a strategic choice at the height of the Cold War and the ascent of Pan-Arab nationalism, but it has come to constitute a pillar of US identity. The US political establishment- its legislature, executive branch, and judiciary- works in concert to construct the national boundaries that include Israel and exclude those critical of the State and its policies. In light of this, the prototypical terrorist is not only Arab and Muslim, as would be the case in an examination of US-domestic policy only, but also Palestinian. Palestinian in this context meaning all actors posing a threat to Israel regardless of ethnic and national distinctions.
The lawmakers’ choice of language and tone both reflects Israel’s insider status and works to construct its critics as threats to US national security. While the description of Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East, works to distinguish Israel from its authoritarian counterparts, it also acts as a marker that others Israel’s Arab and Muslim neighbors. Their written and oral statements condemn the US President in defense of a foreign state; describe their relationship to Israel as moral; describe the US as Israel’s guardian; and affirm the immutability of the US’s relationship to Israel irrespective of circumstances. This behavior is more reflective of a family dispute than a diplomatic affair and works to reify the boundaries circumscribing American national identity wherein Israel enjoys the privileges of inclusion.
The Obama administration has created and staffed a new position tucked inside their communications shop for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.
The film tells the story of two perfect worlds. One is the small group of disciples around the novelist Ayn Rand in the 1950s. They saw themselves as a prototype for a future society where everyone could follow their own selfish desires. The other is the global utopia that digital entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley set out to create in the 1990s. Many of them were also disciples of Ayn Rand. They believed that the new computer networks would allow the creation of a society where everyone could follow their own desires, yet there would not be anarchy. They were joined by Alan Greenspan who had also been a disciple of Ayn Rand. He became convinced that the computers were creating a new kind of stable capitalism – “Like a New Planet”, he said. But the dream of stability in both worlds would be torn apart by the two dynamic human forces – love and power.
You may remember the film The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis. It described how the neocons and al-Qaeda developed out similar strands of thought.
Distinguished law scholar Elizabeth Warren teaches contract law, bankruptcy, and commercial law at Harvard Law School. She is an outspoken critic of America’s credit economy, which she has linked to the continuing rise in bankruptcy among the middle-class. Series: “UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures”
“The Two Income Trap” and “Collapse of the Middle Class” are brilliant books. Warren is one of the best public policy leaders we’ve had in a long time. Of course, that’s why the elite will fight by all means necessary, to keep her from being appointed. Even if they have to kill her. Think I’m being an alarmist? Wait and see…
Thomas Drake is a former NSA whistleblower who is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for retaining, not leaking, classified information in conjunction with a Department of Defense investigation into massive NSA fraud, waste, abuse and illegality.