Thursday, September 15, 2011

Steven Pearlstein Gets It Right on Republicans, The Results Are In on Class Warfare Battles, Truth Again Eludes Michelle Bachmann . . .

 And Other News That Cries Out for Comments

There are at least two (well maybe only two) reasons for reading the Washington Post these days.  One of course is the great political analyst Chris Cilizza.  The other is the wonderful commentary columns of Steven Pearlstein.  Recently Mr. Pearlstein wrote

If you came up with a bumper sticker that pulls together the platform of this year’s crop of Republican presidential candidates, it would have to be:

Repeal the 20th century. Vote GOP.

There are many great quotes in his commentary, but this may be the best


4th Grade Public School Teacher in a
job Government Created


I found it rather comical to watch the governors at last week’s debate duke it out over who “created” the most jobs while in office. I know it must have just been an oversight, but I couldn’t help noticing that neither Mitt Romney nor Perry thought to exclude the thousands of government jobs included in their calculations — the kinds of jobs they and their fellow Republicans now view as economically illegitimate

Of course, Republicans continue to insist that government has never, every created a single job.  Do they even count the ones they have held?

From the Census Report on Income and Poverty we have the following


Since 2007, the year before the most recent recession, real median household income has declined 6.4 percent and is 7.1 percent below the median house­hold income peak that occurred in 1999

So if there is class warfare, well we know who is losing.

The truth continues to be lacking as a constraint on the pronouncements of Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R, Mn) who is running for the Republican nomination.

Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show, she recounted that after the debate in Tampa, Fla., a tearful mother approached and said her daughter had suffered “mental retardation” after being vaccinated against HPV. “It can have very dangerous side effects,” Mrs. Bachmann said.

 The report in the New York Times went on to say

a report last month from the Institute of Medicine, which advises the government, found that it was generally safe. There is no evidence linking it to mental retardation.
The vaccine is strongly recommended by medical groups, including the Academy of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society, to prevent cervical cancer, which kills about 4,000 women in the United States annually.

Ms. Bachmann evidently does not care that her remarks may cause women not to get the vaccine, and that they could doom thousands to an awful death or long painful treatment  from cervical cancer.  What an ugly moment in American politics.

The head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office told the Deficit Reduction Commission

“cuts in federal spending and increases in taxes will tend to slow the economic recovery.”

And then told the Commission

that the government’s growing debt would “lead to lower output and incomes” and could “increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis.”

leaving Commission members to formally call for a vote on requesting a new set of choices.

A Few Days Ago The Dismal Political Economist posted on how J. P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon thought the banking system didn’t need more regulation, that such regulation on an international basis was “anti-American”.  Well Mr. Dimon, here’s what is anti-American.  Your customer, Mimi Pierre Johnson was having trouble meeting her mortgage

She dialed her bank, JPMorgan Chase, seeking a lifeline. The bank gave her a temporary modification, but then canceled it. It lost her documents. It did not return her calls. Late fees and lawyer bills piled up.

Ms. Johnson complaint though was this

“But I want to say to Chase, ‘Hello!? The government gave you a bailout to help people like me.’ ”

Yes Ms. Johnson, bailing out J. P. Morgan Chase is pro-American, requiring them to help out people like you is anti-American.  At least, that’s the position of its CEO.

As for Ms. Johnson and her modification

Not long ago, she flew to Florida to tend to her critically ill mother. She missed her final modification payment by a few days, and the bank canceled it. She begged. “They told me, ‘Mrs. Johnson, if we did it for you, we’d have to do it for thousands of people.’ ”

Here's how Mr. Dimon and Chase would be portrayed in the movies, with the great actor Lionel Barrymore cast in the role of Mr. Dimon.



EVERETT COLLECTION
Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
“Have you put any real pressure on these people of yours to pay those mortgages?”

“Times are bad, Mr. Potter. A lot of these people are out of work.”

“Then foreclose!”

“I can’t do that. These families have children.”

“They’re not my children.”



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