Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Conservatives Support Taxpayer Funding of Political Events, Immigrant Group Accuses John McCain of Starting Wildfires in Arizona

And Other News Worth Commenting On

A political rally in 2009 for the Tea Party in opposition to health care reform was in part funded by taxpayer money.  Roll Call reports that four Republican members of Congress used government money to support their political rally.

According to House expense reports, Bachmann and three conservative GOP colleagues — Reps. Tom Price (Ga.), Steve King (Iowa) and Todd Akin (Mo.) — each paid $3,407.50 that day, a total of $13,630, to a sound and stage company called National Events, apparently for the sound system used at the rally.

Now to be fair the House members said the event was a “press conference”, although to be even fairer, it was a fairly unusual press conference

But no questions were taken from the press and, unlike most press conferences, it opened with a prayer, the national anthem and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Given Conservative positions on most issues, one can easily see why their Press Conferences do not allow questions from the Press.

Senator John McCain (R, Az) has stated that he believes that illegal immigrants have started the wildfires that are currently plaguing Arizona.  Senator McCain did not offer any proof or evidence of his claim, and no other proof or evidence has been forthcoming.

A group supporting immigration has claimed that the fires were started by Senator McCain.  When asked for proof or evidence they said that they had as much evidence that Senator McCain started the fires as McCain had that illegal immigrants started the fires.

Arizona is expected to soon enact a law requiring anyone who starts uncontrolled wildfires to provide proof that they are in the country legally.

Keith Olbermann returned to Monday night [Disclosure Alert:  The Dismal Political Economist is one of several hundred million that does not receive his new cable channel, Current TV.  When he asked his cable provider about Current TV the providers said that almost all of its content was current, and that reruns were something you had to put up with during the summer months.]  Mr. Olbermann is known to be difficult to work with, and the best line The Dismal Political Economist has heard this year is that when he left ESPN “Mr. Olbermann didn’t just burn his bridges, he napalmed them”. 

The ratio of employment to population has received a lot of attention recently, namely because it is down.  This is a chart of recent events.


This is a problem because it means less people working, less goods and services being produced, less income earned and a lower level of economic activity.  And this is before the big retirement bulge of the baby boomer population.

More and more it looks like the U. S. is facing what has been termed a "lost decade"  The term comes from the Japanese economy, which went into recession and stayed there for more than a decade, resulting a lost decade of growth and income.  The U. S. is now entering its fourth year of an economy performing way below potential.  Graphs like the one above suggest that will not end any time soon.

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