ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Thursday, October 28, 2010

America By The Numbers

Scary New Wage Data
by David Cay Johnston,
Posted by admin2 • October 28, 2010

Now for some really scary breaking news, from the latest payroll
tax data.

Every 34th wage earner in America in 2008 went all of 2009
without earning a single dollar, new data from the Social
Security Administration show.

Total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined,
but at the very top, salaries grew more than fivefold.

Not a single news organization reported this data when it was released October 15, searches of Google and the Nexis databases show.

Nor did any blog, so the citizen journalists and professional economists did no better than the newsroom pros in reporting
this basic information about our economy.

The new data hold important lessons for economic growth and tax policy and take on added meaning when examined in light of tax
return data back to 1950.

The story the numbers tell is one of a strengthening economic base with income growing fastest at the bottom until, in 1981, we made an abrupt change in tax and economic policy.

Since then the base has fared poorly while huge economic gains
piled up at the very top, along with much lower tax burdens.

A weak foundation cannot properly support a massive superstructure, as the leaning Tower of Pisa shows.

The latest wage data show the disastrous results some of us warned about, although like the famous tower, the economy only lists badly and has not collapsed.

Measured in 2009 dollars, total wages fell to just above $5.9 trillion, down $215 billion from the previous year. Compared with 2007, when the economy peaked, total wages were down $313 billion or 5 percent in real terms.

The number of Americans with any wages in 2009 fell by more than 4.5 million compared with the previous year. Because the population grew by about 1 percent, the number of idle hands and minds grew by 6 million.

These figures show, far more powerfully than the official unemployment measure known as U3, how both widespread
and deep the loss of jobs was in 2009.

While the official unemployment rate is just under 10 percent, deeper analysis of the data by economist John Williams shows
a real under- and unemployment rate of more than 22 percent.

Only 150.9 million Americans reported any wage income in 2009.

That put us below 2005, when 151.6 million Americans reported wages, and only slightly ahead of 2004, when 149.4 million Americans held at least one paying job.

For those who did find work in 2009, the average wage slipped to $39,269, down $243 or 0.6 percent, compared with the previous
year in 2009 dollars.

The median wage declined by the same ratio, down $159 to $26,261, meaning half of all workers made $505 a week or less. Significantly, the 2009 median wage was $37 less than in 2000.

To give this some perspective, from 1992 to 2000 the number of people earning any wages grew by 21 million, but nine years later
just 2.8 million more people had any work.

These wage data, based on the Medicare flat tax on all compensation, tell us only about the number of people
who earned wages and how much.

They tell us nothing about whether these individuals were underemployed, had to work more than one job, earned
fringe benefits, or were employed at a level commensurate
with their abilities.

But they do give us a stunning picture of what’s happening
at the very top of the compensation ladder in America.

The number of Americans making $50 million or more, the top income category in the data, fell from 131 in 2008 to 74 last
year. But that’s only part of the story.

The average wage in this top category increased from $91.2 million in 2008 to an astonishing $518.8 million in 2009. That’s nearly $10 million in weekly pay!

You read that right. In the Great Recession year of 2009 (officially just the first half of the year), the average pay of the very highest-income Americans was more than five times their average wages
and bonuses in 2008.

And even though their numbers shrank by 43 percent, this group’s total compensation was 3.2 times larger in 2009 than in 2008, accounting for 0.6 percent of all pay.

These 74 people made as much as the 19 million lowest-paid
people in America, who constitute one in every eight workers.

Back in 1994, when the top category the government reported on
was $20 million or more of compensation, only 25 people were in
that rarefied atmosphere, and their average earnings came to just
under $45 million in 2009 dollars.

What does this all mean?

It is the latest, and in this case quite dramatic, evidence that our economic policies in Washington are undermining the nation as a whole. We have created a tax system that changes continually as politicians manipulate it to extract campaign donations.

We have enabled ‘‘free trade’’ that is nothing of the sort, but rather tax-subsidized mechanisms that encourage American manufacturers to close their domestic factories, fire workers, and then use cheap labor in China for products they send right back to the United States.

This has created enormous downward pressure on wages, and not
just for factory workers.

Combined with government policies that have reduced the share of private-sector workers in unions by more than two-thirds — while our competitors in Canada, Europe, and Japan continue to have highly unionized workforces — the net effect has been disastrous for the vast majority of American workers.

And of course, less money earned from labor translates into less money to finance the United States of America.

This systematic destruction of the working class and middle class
has come during an era notable for celebrating the super-rich just
for being super-rich.

From the Forbes 400 launch in 1982 and Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in 1984 to the faux reality of the multiplying Real Housewives shows, money voyeurism has grown in tandem with stagnant to falling incomes for the vast majority.

There has also been huge income growth at the top and the economic children of income inequality: budget deficits and malign neglect of our commonwealth.

This orgy of money exhibitionism has created a society in which commas — it takes three to be a billionaire — count more than character.

We have gone so far down this path that we bailed out bankers, allowing them to keep the untaxed wealth in their deferral accounts and, with a few exceptions, retaining shareholder value, while wiping out investors in General Motors and Chrysler as a condition of their bailouts.

And while autoworkers had to take severe pay cuts, bonus time on Wall Street is at new record levels.

The American economy in the three decades before Ronald Reagan’s election did not produce a mass audience for celebrating wealth. In that era, books that emphasized character sold better than today.

During the years from 1950 to 1980, the share of total income going to those at the top declined, and the real incomes of the vast majority grew much more quickly than did nearly all incomes at the very top.

In those years, America had the money, and vision, to invest in the future through education, research, and infrastructure. In nearly three decades of Reaganism, however, we have become a society
of mine-here-and-now.

Now what we hear from Washington is about today, not tomorrow. War without sacrifice (or a congressional declaration). Savings without interest. More government services while lowering taxes.

In this era, the incomes of the vast majority have barely grown while incomes at the top have soared. Reaganism has trimmed the base of the income ladder while placing a much heavier weight on the top.

Narrowing the base while adding weight to the apex does not make
a stable structure.

Here are some numbers that may surprise those ages 50 and under, taken from the latest analysis of tax return data by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, who have won worldwide praise for their groundbreaking work examining changes in income distribution:

Bottom 90 Percent Income Share Changes

1950 64.44 percent
1980 65.37 percent
Change +0.93 percentage points increase
2008 Change 51.77 percent
Since 1980 -13.59 percentage points decrease

So a three-decade era in which the bottom 90 percent increased their share of all income slightly was followed by a 28-year period at whose end income had fallen sharply. The 2009 data show that it has only gotten worse since then.

While the vast majority must get by on a much smaller share of the national income pie, the re-slicing resulted in concentrated benefits at the top.

The top 10 percent enjoyed a nearly 40 percent increase in their share of the income pie. But within the top 10 percent, the re-slicing of the income pie between 1980 and 2008 was also heavily weighted to the top.

Those in the 90th to 95th percentile income category saw their income share rise by just 0.24 percentage points. The 95th to
99th income category got 2.43 percentage points more slice of
the national income pie.

That means that of the 13.59 percentage points of increased pie going to the top 10 percent of Americans, the top 1 percent earned almost 11 percentage points of it. Now look at how the pie was sliced within the top 1 percent:

Income Share Gains, in Percentage Points, in 2008 Over 1980 for Top 1% of Earners

99 to 99.5 - 1.21
99.5 to 99.9 - 2.73
99.9 to 99.99 - 3.23
99.99 to 100 - 3.76

Notice that as you move to the right, the numbers of taxpayers shrink, but the percentage points grow. The theme: more and
more for fewer and fewer.

Income shares tell us about how groups are doing relative to one another. But you can’t spend income shares, so let’s look at incomes.

From 1950 to 1980, the average income of the bottom 90 percent grew tremendously. Not so since then:

1950 $17,719
1980 $30,941
Increase $13,222
% Increase 74.6%

1980 $30,941
2008 $31,244
Increase $303
% Increase 1%

Had income growth from 1950 to 1980 continued at the same rate for the next 28 years, the average income of the bottom 90 percent in 2008 would have been 68 percent higher, instead of just 1 percent more. That would have meant an average income for the vast majority of $52,051, or $21,110 more than actual 2008 incomes.

How different America would be today if the typical family had $406 more each week — less debt, more savings, and more consumption. So how about the top? This is where the changes in incomes in these two eras become interesting, very interesting.

What the figures below show is that the closer you got to the top of the ladder in the era from 1950 to 1980, the smaller your relative increase in income, except for the very top, whose gains were slightly more than those of the bottom 90 percent.

Since 1980, however, the bottom 90 percent of Americans have seen their incomes go nowhere, while on the highest steps of the income ladder, the further up you are, the greater your gains.

Add in today’s decreased number of jobs, and all these data add up to policies that can be described with one word: failed.

This article was first published on, a web site sponsored
by Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization.

It is re-published with permission.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Obama By The Numbers

The Obama Administration's Record
From The Outrageous To The Absurd

October 20, 2010
Posted by: Issues Research

$26.2 Trillion: Projected Federal Debt In 2020 Due To Obama’s Binge Spending. (OMB, 7/23/10)

$13.6 Trillion: Current National Debt. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)

$8.5 Trillion: Cumulative Deficits Caused By President Obama’s Proposed Budget, FY2011-2020. (OMB, 7/23/10)

$3.9 Trillion: Total Cost Of The Democrats’ Tax Hike To Taxpayers. (Joint Committee On Taxation, 8/6/10)

$3.0 Trillion: Amount Added To The National Debt Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)

$2.5 Trillion: True Cost Of ObamaCare Once Fully Implemented. (Sen. Max Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/2/09)

$1.42 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2009 – Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)

$1.29 Trillion: Federal Budget Deficit For FY2010 – Second Highest In U.S. History. (Congressional Budget Office, 10/7/10)

$868.4 Billion: American Debt Held By China. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/19/10)

$831 Billion: Net Interest Payment On Our National Debt In 2020 Due To Obama’s Budget. (OMB, 7/23/10)

$814 Billion: Price Tag Of Obama’s Failed Stimulus. (Bloomberg, 8/20/10)

$575 Billion: Amount Of Medicare Cuts In ObamaCare. (CMS Chief Actuary Richard S. Foster, Memo, 4/22/10)

$569.2 Billion: Amount Of Taxes In ObamaCare. (Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10)

$10 Billion: The Cost Of The Teacher Union Bailout. (The Washington Post, 10/8/10)

$54 Million: Amount Of Stimulus Funds Spent On A Napa Valley Wine Train. (ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” 2/2/10)

41.8 Million: Number Of Americans Receiving Food Stamps. (Bloomberg, 10/5/10)

40 Million: Number Of Businesses That Will Be Burdened By The Onerous IRS 1099 Requirement. (The Washington Post, 8/29/10)

$18 Million: Cost Of The Stimulus Website (ABC News’ “The Note“ Blog, 7/8/09)

14.8 Million: Unemployed Americans. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

9.5 Million: Americans Working Part-Time For Economic Reasons. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

6.1 Million: Americans Unemployed For Longer Than 27 Weeks. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

5.4 Million: Number Of Properties Receiving Foreclosure Filings Since Obama Took Office. (RealtyTrac, Accessed 10/19/10)

3.8 Million: Increase In the Number Of People Who Were In Poverty In 2009 Over 2008. (NPR, 9/16/10)

2.6 Million: Jobs Lost Since Stimulus Was Passed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

2.3 Million: Private Sector Jobs Lost Since Stimulus Was Passed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

1.2 Million: Americans That Have Given Up Looking For Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

964,900: Number Of Jobs That Could Be Lost Per Year Under Cap
And Trade. (Tax Foundation, 3/09)

89,000: The Number Of Stimulus Checks Sent to Dead Or Incarcerated People. (The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire" Blog, 10/7/10)

$43,000: Your Share Of The National Debt. (“The Daily History Of The Debt Results,” TreasuryDirect, Accessed 10/19/10; U.S. Census Bureau,, Accessed 10/19/10)

23,000: The Number Of Jobs Obama Knew His Drilling Moratorium Could Kill. (The Wall Street Journal, 8/21/10)

22,000: Number Of Seniors In MA, NH And ME That Will Lose Their Medicare Advantage Plans As A Result Of ObamaCare. (The Boston Globe, 9/28/10)

$1,761: Cost To American Families Per Year As A Result Of Cap
And Trade. (CBS News' "Taking Liberties" Blog, 9/16/09)

$1,540: The Amount Of The Tax Hike The Average Middle Class Family Will See As A Result Of The Dems’ Tax Hike. (Tax Foundation, 8/1/10)

1099: The IRS Form Every Business Will Have To File After Doing $600 Worth Of Business With A Vendor. (, 5/5/10)

100: Percent Of GDP That Our National Debt Will Rise To In 2012. (Office Of Management And Budget, 7/23/10)

83: Number Of Fundraisers Obama Has Attended As Of 10/12/10. (CBS News' Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10; CBS News, 8/16/10)

80: Percent Of Small Businesses That Could Be Forced To Change Health Care Plans As A Result Of ObamaCare. (The Washington Post, 6/15/10)

79: Percent Of Stimulus Funds For Wind, Solar And Geothermal Energy Projects That Went To Foreign Firms. (Investigating Reporting Workshop/ABC’s World News Tonight/Watchdog Institute, 2/8/10)

68: Percent Of Americans Who Think The Stimulus Was A Waste. (The Hill's “Briefing Room” Blog, 10/5/10)

60: The Percent Of Young Voters Who Are “More Cynical About Politics” Now Than When Obama Was Elected. (The Huffington Post, 9/15/10)

58: Percent Of Ohioans Who Say Obama’s Frequent Visits To The State Make No Difference In How They’ll Vote. (The Hill, 10/19/10)

53: Rounds Of Golf Played By President Obama Since Taking Office. (CBS News' Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10; CBS News' Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10 )

49: Visits To The White House By Andy Stern, Former President Of SEIU. (, Accessed 10/19/10)

37: Number Of Town Halls Obama Has Done Since Taking Office. (CBS News’ Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10)

33.3: Average Number Of Weeks It Takes An Unemployed Worker
To Find A Job. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

30: Number Of Waivers Granted To Businesses So That The White House Could Avoid Admitting ObamaCare Was Making People Lose Their Health Care Plans. (USA Today, 10/7/10)

27: Percent Increase In Premiums By Some Insurers In Colorado As
A Result Of ObamaCare. (The Denver Post, 9/20/10)

25: DVDs Given To The UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown On His First Visit. (The Daily Mail (UK), 3/9/10)

20: Straight Months That Food Stamp Participation Has Hit A Record. (Bloomberg, 10/5/10)

17.1: Percent Of Americans Either Unemployed Or Working Part-Time For Economic Reasons. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

14: Straight Months With Unemployment Above 9.5%. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 10/8/10)

9: Number Of Vacations Taken By President Obama. (CBS News, 8/19/10)

4: Out Of 10 Likely Voters Who Once Backed Obama But Are Less Supportive Or No Longer Support Obama. (Bloomberg, 10/12/10)

2: Place In The Line Of Succession That Joe Biden Believes He Is In (Hint: He’s #1). (CBS News’ Mark Knoller’s Twitter Feed, Accessed 10/19/10)

2: Visits To The White House By Actor George Clooney. (E! Online, 10/12/10)

1: Number Of White House Investigations. (CBS News, 10/6/10)

1: Teacher Union Bailout To Motivate Teacher Unions For Midterm Elections. (The Washington Post, 10/8/10)

0: Other People Obama Will Have Left To Blame For His Failures
In 2012. (The American People, 11/6/12)

Thursday, October 14, 2010



A person who informs on another or makes public disclosure of corruption or wrongdoing.

A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about wrongdoing occurring in an organization or body of people. Usually this person would be from that same organization.

The revealed misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct
threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations,
and corruption.

Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example,
to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

Whistleblowers frequently face reprisal, sometimes at the hands of the organization or group which they have accused, sometimes from related organizations, and sometimes under law.

Origins of term

The term whistleblower derives from the practice of English police officers, who would blow their whistles when they noticed the commission of a crime. The whistle would alert other law enforcement officers and the general public of danger.[1]

Most whistleblowers are internal whistleblowers, who report misconduct on a fellow employee or superior within their company.

One of the most interesting questions with respect to internal whistleblowers is why and under what circumstances people will
either act on the spot to stop illegal and otherwise unacceptable behavior or report it.[2]

There is some reason to believe that people are more likely to take action with respect to unacceptable behavior, within an organization, if there are complaint systems that offer not just options dictated by the planning and control organization, but a choice of options for individuals, including an option that offers near absolute confidentiality.[3]

External whistleblowers, however, report misconduct on outside persons or entities.

In these cases, depending on the information's severity and nature, whistleblowers may report the misconduct to lawyers, the media, law enforcement or watchdog agencies, or other local, state, or federal agencies. In some cases, external whistleblowing is encouraged by offering monetary reward.[4]

Under most U.S. federal whistleblower statutes, in order to be considered a whistleblower, the federal employee must have
reason to believe his or her employer has violated some law,
rule or regulation; testify or commence a legal proceeding on
the legally protected matter; or refuse to violate the law.

In cases where whistleblowing on a specified topic is protected by statute, U.S. courts have generally held that such whistleblowers
are protected from retaliation.[5]

However, a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court decision, Garcetti
v. Ceballos (2006) held that the First Amendment free speech guarantees for government employees do not protect disclosures made within the scope of the employees' duties.

Common reactions

Ideas about whistleblowing vary widely. Whistleblowers are commonly seen as selfless martyrs for public interest and organizational accountability; others view them as 'tattle tales' or 'snitches', solely pursuing personal glory and fame.

Some academics (such as Thomas Alured Faunce) feel that whistleblowers should at least be entitled to a rebuttable
presumption that they are attempting to apply ethical principles
in the face of obstacles and that whistleblowing would be more respected in governance systems if it had a firmer academic basis invirtue ethics.[6][7]

It is probable that many people do not even consider blowing the whistle, not only because of fear of retaliation, but also because
of fear of losing their relationships at work and outside work.[8]

Because the majority of cases are very low-profile and receive little or no media attention and because whistleblowers who do report significant misconduct are usually put in some form of danger or persecution, the idea of seeking fame and glory may be less commonly believed.

Persecution of whistleblowers has become a serious issue in many parts of the world.

Although whistleblowers are often protected under law from employer retaliation, there have been many cases where punishment for whistleblowing has occurred, such as termination, suspension, demotion, wage garnishment, and/or harsh mistreatment by other employees.

For example, in the United States, most whistleblower protection laws provide for limited "make whole" remedies or damages for employment losses if whistleblower retaliation is proven.

However, many whistleblowers report there exists a widespread "shoot the messenger" mentality by corporations or government agencies accused of misconduct and in some cases whistleblowers have been subjected to criminal prosecution in reprisal for reporting wrongdoing.

As a reaction to this many private organizations have formed whistleblower legal defense funds or support groups to assist whistleblowers; one such example in the UK is Public Concern
at Work.

Depending on the circumstances, it is not uncommon for whistleblowers to be ostracized by their co-workers, discriminated against by future potential employers, or even fired from their organization.

This campaign directed at whistleblowers with the goal of eliminating them from the organization is referred to as mobbing. It is an extreme form of workplace bullying wherein the group is set against the targeted individual.

A whistleblower can be defined as a person who reveals any wrongdoings or malpractices that are taking place within an organization.

These revelations could be made either to the general public or to those who are in a position of authority. A whistleblower can make a disclosure of corruption, mismanagement, illegal activities or any other wrongdoing.

For a while now the public recognition and value for whistle blowing has been on a marked rise. This is giving more and more people the strength and courage to come forward and blow the whistle exposing illegal activities that could otherwise have gone unnoticed.

There are Federal as well as State regulations and statutes that have been put in place in order to protect whistleblowers from any kind of retaliation that they might have to face.

It is an unavoidable fact that persons who step up as whistleblowers are often the faced with retaliation from their employers.

In a typical case the employer will fire the whistleblower, who is quite often an employee who is termed as an at-will employee. Such an employee is a person who does not have a specific term of employment.

The at-will employee has the liberty to quit at any given time but at the same time a flip side is that the employer also has the right to fire him without having to give any reason.

Now however, there is no need to worry as the legislatures and courts have created exceptions for those whistleblowers who are in fact at-will employees.

Whistleblowers are now protected by statutes and can thus combat any discrimination that an employee might show him in the face of the accusations.

Today if you are faced with any irregularities or illegal activities in your organization know that you have the power to do the right thing and be the whistleblower.

I want to meet Tony

from Barack Obama
to Tony Whitcomb
date Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 2:26 PM
subject I want to meet Tony

Tony --

There are 20 days until the election. I need you to go all in.

People like Senator Barbara Boxer in California, Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy in Ohio, and Congressman Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania -- who courageously fought alongside us for change -- are facing millions in retaliatory attacks ads from special interests, made possible by a recent Supreme Court decision.

All around the country, members of Congress who stand up for the middle class are being targeted. Special interests hope to replace
our allies with candidates who will give tax breaks to the wealthy, exploding our deficits at the expense of the middle class; privatize social security; even eliminate the minimum wage.

That's why I'm doing all I can, traveling the country over the last critical days of this campaign to support our allies and remind voters of the choice they have in this election. These are the people who stood with us when health reform seemed unlikely, when the banks tried to bully us out of Wall Street reform.

I need you to do all you can as well. Keep organizing, keep talking
to your neighbors, and keep donating whatever you can afford.

Will you chip in $3 right now to help win this fight?

Your donation today will not just help put organizers on the ground, resources in the hands of volunteers, or ads online in these final days of the election. Your donation is a statement -- that you and I will not sit back and allow interest groups to buy their way back into power.

And, as Mitch told you earlier this week, your donation will automatically enter you win a trip to Las Vegas to meet me backstage. I'll be there on October 22nd to stand alongside Nevada Democrats and Harry Reid, one of the best majority leaders the Senate has ever had, who has played a critical role in each of the historic victories you and I have achieved. He's one of the people
we need to fight for.

There are Democrats like Harry all around the country -- folks who are under siege because they stood up to the status quo. It's up to you to give them a chance to keep fighting. And if you don't do it, nobody will.

I will be out there, making the case with you. And I hope to see you backstage at one of the final, most important, campaign stops I will make this fall.

Please donate $3 to be automatically entered to win a trip to Las Vegas to meet me backstage:

Thank you for all you do,

President Barack Obama

P.S. -- Making a donation automatically registers you for the sweepstakes. You may also enter the sweepstakes without making a contribution either online or via text message -- click here to enter online or here for instructions on how to enter via text message. No minimum contribution is necessary to be registered.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Barack, is the game already over?

Obama Is in the Jaws of Political Death: Can He Survive?
By MARK HALPERIN – Tue Oct 12, 9:55 am ET

Barack Obama is being politically crushed in a vise.

From above, by elite opinion about his competence. From below, by mass anger and anxiety over unemployment. And it is too late for him to do anything about this predicament until after November's elections.

With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters.

This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at
the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle.

On Friday, after the release of the latest bleak unemployment data - the last major jobs figures before the midterms - Obama said,
"Putting the American people back to work, expanding opportunity, rebuilding the economic security of the middle class is the moral and national challenge of our time."

But elites feel the President has failed to meet that challenge and are convinced he will be unable to do so in the remainder of his term.

Moreover, there is a growing perception that Obama's decisions are causing harm that businesses are being hurt by the Administration's legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.

And that sentiment is spreading.

Many members of the general public appear deeply skeptical of Obama's capacity to turn things around, especially, but not exclusively, those inclined to dislike him - Tea Partyers and John McCain voters, but also tens of millions of middle-class Americans, including quite a few who turned out for Obama in 2008.

The misery afflicting the country has no political affiliation. Listen to the voices from this striking TV ad for Rob Portman, the Republican former Congressman and Bush budget director who is running for Senate from Ohio. One woman at a Dayton career fair says starkly, "There are no jobs."

A man announces plaintively and with obvious frustration, "I've been looking for a job now for 13 months." Events like this job fair are becoming the grim iconic gatherings of our time, the breadlines for the Obama years.

Most of Obama's private (and sometimes public) rebuttals to the voices slamming him on all sides are justified or spot on.

He did inherit a lot of problems from the Bush Administration. He
did act quickly in the initial weeks of his Administration to stave
off a worldwide depression. His efforts at job creation have been obstructed by Republicans (even the proposals based on policies supported by the GOP in the past).

His opponents haven't put forth specifics of their own, nor offered genuine compromise, while the media have allowed the right's activists and gabbers to run wild with criticism without furnishing legitimate alternative solutions.

But Obama has exacerbated his political problems not just by failing to enact policies that would have actually turned the economy around, but also by authorizing a series of tactical moves intended to demonize Republicans and distract from the problems at hand.

He has wasted time lambasting his foes when he should have been putting forth his agenda in a clear, optimistic fashion, defending the benefits of his key decisions during the past two years (health care and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, for example) and explaining what he would do with a re-elected Democratic majority to spur growth.

Throughout the year, we have been treated to Obama-led attacks on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Congressman Joe Barton (for his odd apology to BP), John Boehner (for seeking the speakership - or was it something about an ant?) and Fox News (for everything).

Suitable Democratic targets in some cases, perhaps, but not worth the time of a busy Commander in Chief.

In the past few days, we have witnessed the spectacle of the President himself and his top advisers wading into allegations that Republicans are attempting to buy the election using foreign money laundered through the Chamber of Commerce, combining with Karl Rove and his wealthy backers to fund a flood of negative television commercials.

Not only is this issue convoluted and far-fetched, but it also distracts from the issues voters care about, frustrating political insiders and alienating struggling citizens (not that many are following such an offbeat story line). Feinting and gibing can't obscure those job numbers.

The President and Democrats have passed many significant measures (the stimulus spending, the auto-company rescue, the health care law and the financial regulation effort) that someday may be seen as brave and bold, the foundation for a better economy.

Obama and his closest aides certainly think that will happen.

But the President was correct when he said Friday, "the only piece
of economic news that folks still looking for work want to hear is,
'You're hired,'" and that's still not occurring for too many Americans.

The politically good news for Obama is that no matter what the outcome of the midterm elections, everything changes in January.

Republicans will have a greater obligation, politically and morally, to help govern, rather than thwart and badger. The President will get a chance, in his State of the Union address and in his budget proposal, to show he is turning the page on the political horrors of 2010 for his party and the nation.

But before then, Republicans are almost certainly going to demonstrate that you can beat something with nothing, especially when Americans seem to think that the Obama Administration hasn't much to offer either, except more of the same that isn't working.

One Nation, Halperin's politics column for, appears every Monday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments, or Decalogue (from Greek δεκάλογος),
is a list of religious and moral imperatives that, according to the Hebrew Bible, were spoken by God to the people of Israel from
the mountain referred to as Mount Sinai [2] or Horeb,[3] and later authored by God and given to or written by Moses in the form of two stone tablets. They are recognized as a moral foundation in Judaism and Christianity, and their substance also figures in Islam.

Exodus 20:1-26 (King James Version)

20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,

20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of
the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the
earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:
for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation
of them that hate me;

20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me,
and keep my commandments.

20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

20:9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

20:15 Thou shalt not steal.

20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not
covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.

20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings,
and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and
when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

20:21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

20:22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

20:23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

20:24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

20:25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Food-Stamp Nation

Investors Business Daily Editorials
Food-Stamp Nation
Posted 10/07/2010 06:55 PM ET

Welfare: A record 42 million on food stamps is bad enough. But
those now running Washington want dependence on government extended indefinitely.

Newly released July figures show 41.8 million Americans on food stamps (or SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,
to use the new de-stigmatized terminology). That's an 18% jump
from one year earlier and 1.4% from June.

The light we are told to see at the end of this tunnel of recession,
in fact, amounts to expanding the food stamp concept to lots of other aspects of our lives.

In proposing his massive expansion of government in 1964, Lyndon Johnson warned that "the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work."

Claremont McKenna College political scientist William Voegeli's
new book, "Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State"
notes, "Liberals don't want the government to grow indefinitely.
They just want it to be bigger than it is right now."

That, of course, means big problems — like trillion-dollar stimulus programs that don't produce jobs.

The Democrats' stimulus includes "$145 billion in state and local aid to forestall austerity measures in the public sector," notes Manhattan Institute senior fellow E.J. McMahon.

As private sector workers suffer layoffs, salary cuts and pay freezes, the stimulus gives raises to government employees — who increasingly dominate Big Labor, which returns the favor with cash for Democrats.

"I have no better friend in labor than AFSCME," House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi once said of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the U.S.' largest political campaign donor, giving over $38 million since 1990, almost all to Democrats.

"Total state and local wages rose by $15 billion in 2009 alone, despite the recession," McMahon points out. A $15 billion return, in just one year, for a $38 million investment — not a bad deal.

Lower cost was the central campaign promise of ObamaCare, but as the Medicare actuary has attested, it will increase health costs. The president's government takeover has already begun to boost private health insurance premiums.

You're even supposed to place your car in mothballs and rely on government for transportation.

"Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour, walking only a few steps to public transportation, and ending up just blocks from your destination," the president promised last year.

But as Heritage Foundation fellow Ronald Utt warns, the billions in transport "stimulus" is less likely to build whiz-bang, Japanese-style bullet trains than to go to "freight railroads to achieve modestly higher speeds for existing, half-full Amtrak trains running on their tracks."

Somehow, big government promises of "Hope" always end up being
"Hope a Dope."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tony, I need you in the game

from Barack Obama
to Tony Whitcomb
date Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM
subject Tony, I need you in the game

Tony --

I come into this election with clear eyes.

I am proud of all we have achieved together, but I am mindful of
all that remains to be done.

I know some out there are frustrated by the pace of our progress.
I want you to know I'm frustrated, too.

But with so much riding on the outcome of this election, I need everyone to get in this game.

Neither one of us is here because we thought it would be easy. Making change is hard. It's what we've said from the beginning.
And we've got the lumps to show for it.

The fight this fall is as critical as any this movement has taken on together. And if we are serious about change, we need to fight as hard as we ever have.

The very special interests who have stood in the way of change
at every turn want to put their conservative allies in control of Congress. And they're doing it with the help of billionaires and corporate special interests underwriting shadowy campaign ads.

If they succeed, they will not stop at making our work more difficult -- they will do their best to undo what you and I fought so hard to achieve.

There is no better time for you to start fighting back -- a fellow grassroots supporter has promised to match, dollar for dollar, whatever you can chip in today.

Please donate $3 -- and see who wants you to re-commit to this movement.

I know that sometimes it feels like we've come a long way from the hope and excitement of the inauguration, with its "Hope" posters
and historic crowds on the National Mall.

I will never forget it. But it was never why we picked up this fight.

I didn't run for president because I wanted to do what would make
me popular. And you didn't help elect me so I could read the polls
and calculate how to keep myself in office.

You and I are in this because we believe in a simple idea -- that each and every one of us, working together, has the power to move this country forward. We believed that this was the moment to solve the challenges that the country had ignored for far too long.

That change happens only from the bottom up. That change happens only because of you.

So I need you to fight for it over the next 26 days. I need your time. I need your commitment. And I need your help to get your friends and neighbors involved.

If you bring in a new donor today, your $3 donation will become $6. And our Vote 2010 campaign will have twice the resources to make important investments like putting staff on the ground, providing materials for volunteers, and turning out millions of voters come Election Day.

Please donate $3 -- and renew your commitment today:

If we meet this test -- if you, like me, believe that change is not a spectator sport -- we will not just win this election. In the years that come, we can realize the change we are seeking -- and reclaim the American dream for this generation.

Thank you for being a part of it,

President Barack Obama

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear First Lady: I want, "Change" does, "This Movement" accept, "Food Stamps?"

from tony whitcomb
cc "Barnett, Robert",,,,,,,,,
date Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 6:10 PM
subject Dear First Lady: I want, "Change" does, "This Movement" accept, "Food Stamps?"


Food Stamp Recipients at Record 41.8 Million Americans in July,
U.S. Says

By Alan Bjerga - Oct 5, 2010 3:46 PM CT

The number of Americans receiving food stamps rose to a record 41.8 million in July as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government said.

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases jumped 18 percent from a year earlier and increased 1.4 percent from June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a statement on its website.

Participation has set records for 20 straight months.

Unemployment in September may have reached 9.7 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts in advance
of the release of last month’s rate on Oct. 8.

Unemployment was 9.6 percent in July, near levels last seen
in 1983.

An average of 43.3 million people, more than an eighth of the population, will get food stamps each month in the year that
began Oct. 1, according to White House estimates.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I need your help and your last three dollars

from Michelle Obama
to Tony Whitcomb
date Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 12:33 PM
subject I need your help

Tony --

I've always said that 2008 was an amazing journey. But nothing
from that election struck me more than seeing so many giving their time and lending their voices because they were ready for change.

Two years ago, in state after state -- no matter where I went -- I
saw grandmothers out canvassing, college kids traveling to swing states and sleeping on gymnasium floors, and people using their lunch breaks to make a few more calls. So many got involved for
the very first time, each one bringing others along with them.

It was inspiring to witness.

Now, Barack and I need you to help show that energy again. Because this is such a critical moment, a group of grassroots donors are ready to match any contribution you can give.

Across the country, teachers and firefighters, truckers and nurses have made pledges of support hoping to inspire you to take the
next step. Because of them, a $3 contribution will become $6.

Donate today and answer your fellow supporter's pledge to match whatever you can give.

Here's how it works:

-- You choose the amount you are able to give and another supporter willing to match that amount doubles it.

-- You can choose to write a note to the individual who matched your donation and tell them why you decided to own a piece of this movement.

Since the day Barack announced his plan to run for office, supporters like you have made everything we've achieved possible.

That's as true now as it was on Election Day in 2008.

You're the reason we reformed a health care system that was broken, progress that means so much to so many. You're the reason we reined in Wall Street banks that were out of control.

But Barack can't keep making progress without strong allies in Congress. And now the same people who've opposed us at every
turn are targeting the folks who voted to make change real. They think we can't do it again.

But they're wrong.

If the folks who I saw in 2008 -- those of you who packed up your bags and slept on floors and made calls and talked to voters day
after day -- are ready to stand with us again, then I'm ready for
any challenge that lies ahead.

That's why we're asking you to help grow this movement once again.

The plan for this election is based on the lessons we learned two years ago. Our organizers and volunteers are knocking on doors
every weekend, making calls every night. Your support will help to fund this work.

Another supporter is asking you to join them today -- and has pledged to match whatever you can give.

Please donate $3 or more to help grow this movement before November 2nd:

Thank you,

Michelle Obama

Saturday, October 2, 2010

America on the brink of a Second Revolution

Commentary: 2010 elections guarantee gridlock, anti-capitalist
class war

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Sept. 28, 2010, 12:01 a.m. EDT

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- “What’s distinctive
about the Tea Party is its anarchist streak -- its antagonism
toward any authority, its belligerent self-expression, and its
lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns,” warns Jacob Weisberg in Newsweek.

But why not three cheers for the Tea Party Express?

Admit it, something historic is brewing. And yes, it’s good for America, even the anarchy. Revolution is renewal. Tea-baggers
want to take on both parties, “restore honor” and “take back the country.” Bring it on, the feeling’s mutual.

OK, maybe most Americans just silently mimic the words, “we’re mad as hell, won’t take it any more.” But watch out: After November the campaign’s shrill rhetoric explodes into action.

Tea-baggers are kicking the revolution into high gear. Debt is sinking America. Both parties are to blame. So vote out incumbents. Spare no one. We need new leadership, another Reagan or Truman.

Congress better get the message: Cut that budget, or they’ll dump the rest of you in the coming Great Purge of 2012. Unfortunately they’re tone deaf. Congress cannot see past the election. All that changes in November.

So thanks Tea Party, Vegas odds must favor a Second American Revolution. Actually, the revolution is already roaring, hot, it’s
about time.

The GOP and the Dems had more than a decade. But America’s
worse off. We need a real revolution to restore sanity … or we
can kiss democracy and capitalism good-bye, permanently.

Warning: Another revolution will cost investors 20% more losses

Yes, big warning, the Second American Revolution will extract
painful austerity, not the “happy days are here again” future
touted by tea-baggers. For years it’ll be impossible for most of America’s 95 million investors to develop a successful investment
or logical retirement strategy.

Why? Political chaos will translate into extreme volatility and a highly unpredictable stock market. Result: Wall Street will lose another 20% of the value of your retirement portfolio in the next decade, just as Wall Street did the last decade. So if you think you’re “mad as hell” now, “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!”

Here’s the timeline:

Stage 1: The Dems just put the nail in their coffin by confirming they are wimps, refusing to force the GOP to filibuster the Bush tax cuts for America’s richest.

Stage 2: The GOP takes over the House, expanding its war to destroy Obama with its new policy of “complete gridlock,” even “shutting down government.”

Stage 3: Obama goes lame-duck.

Stage 4: The GOP wins back the White House and Senate in 2012. Health care returns to insurers. Free market financial deregulation returns.

Stage 5: Under the new president, Wall Street’s insatiable greed triggers the catastrophic third meltdown of the 21st century Shiller predicted, with defaults on dollar-denominated debt.

Stage 6: The Second American Revolution explodes into a brutal full-scale class war rebelling against the out-of-touch, out-of-control greedy conspiracy-of-the-rich now running America.

Stage 7: Domestic class warfare is compounded by Pentagon’s prediction that by 2020 “an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out
wars over food, water, and energy supplies would emerge” worldwide and “warfare is defining human life.”

What’s behind our 2010-2020 countdown?

It became obvious after reading the brilliant but bleak “Decadence of Election 2010” report by Prof. Peter Morici, former chief economist at the International Trade Commission. He sees no hope from America’s political parties, just a dark scenario ahead.

Here are the 10 points we see in his message:

1. Expect nothing positive from Dems, the GOP or Tea Party

Yes, we’re all “justifiably ticked off.” But “Democrats, Republicans, and yes the Tea Party offer little that is encouraging.” Earlier Morici warned: “Democratic capitalism is in eclipse. … Politicians have deceived voters,” and are “suffering from delusions of grandeur,
self deception and good old-fashioned abuse.”

2. Democracy has become too-big-to-govern … by anyone

“The current economic quagmire is a bipartisan creation.” Bush failures led to a “Great Recession … reckless Wall Street pay and fraud, a breakdown in sound lending standards by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac … Countrywide, and a huge trade deficit with China
and on oil” leaving “Beijing and Middle East royals with trillions of U.S. dollars that they invested foolishly” in bonds “financing the housing and commercial real estate bubbles.”

3. Clinton, Bush, Obama policies all feeding revolutionary flames

Even before Bush, “all was set in motion by bank deregulation engineered by Clinton … Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers … Clinton’s deal to admit China into the World Trade Organization” handed “China free access to U.S. markets” while blocking exports. Earlier Dems blocked “domestic oil and gas development” and froze “auto mileage standards.” Obama “finally imposed higher mileage requirements,” but after pushing offshore drilling, he “punished the entire petroleum industry” for the BP disaster.

4. Bush’s biggest mistake: Goldman CEO Hank Paulson

Morici admits: If Bush is “culpable for anything, it was to not see
the gathering storm on Wall Street.” Worse, his Treasury picks
were disasters: [John] Snow was clueless, Paulson devious. He conned a clueless Congress into bailout trillions, “believing banks could borrow at 3% and lend at 5 and pay MBAs three years out of school five-million-dollar bonuses to create mortgage backed securities.” Greed drove the Bush Treasury.

5. All partisan political leaders are destined to sabotage America

One thing is clear to Morici: Not only were America’s leaders a
“bunch of second-rate incompetents” on both the Clinton and Bush teams, “Obama’s ratcheting up government spending and taxes won’t fix what’s broke, and neither will the GOP prescription of tax cuts and deregulation.” Get it? Democracy is in a classic double-bind, no-win scenario.

6. America’s democratic capitalism trapped in systemic failure

Morici simply dismisses “Obama’s two signature initiatives --
health-care reform and financial services reregulation.” They
“simply don’t work.” Why? Politicians “failed to address the
root problem, Americans pay 50% more for doctors, hospitals
and drugs, than subscribers to national health plans in Germany,
France and other decadent socialist European countries.” Yet, insurers hate reform, will self-destruct America first.

7. Wall Street’s insatiable greed is a virus that never sleeps

Wall Street banks are “back to their old tricks,” warns Morici,
“hustling municipal governments into the kind of quick-fix
budget schemes, like selling parking meters and airport fees.”
Why? Wall Street’s “hustling shoddy corporate bonds that lack adequate collateral and may never be repaid” to justify their
absurd mega-bonuses. And they’ll keep doing it till the revolution creates a new non-capitalist banking system.

8. New political leaders offer no hope -- Wall Street rules America

GOP’s next leaders will fail: “Cutting taxes and mindless deregulation are not the answer.” We need the revenue. They have no real plan to trim “$1 trillion from federal spending … few believe deregulation will fix health care or Wall Street.” The GOP has no “effective government solutions to health care, Wall Street, fixing trade with China, and dependence on foreign oil.” And the Tea Party “only offers a purer form of failed Republicanism. Tax and spend less, and turn the country over to the robber barons.”

9. Praying for a messiah, we’re sleepwalking till the revolution

Morici’s solution: America “needs a prophet, another Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan.” But we’ll never get one, until a catastrophe hits. Wall Street’s so greedy, so corrupt, so untouchable, so much in control, they will bankroll and control all future “prophets.”

10. The Second American Revolution coming

Yes, extreme austerity: “Americans must accept fewer government-paid benefits -- for the rich, the poor and those in between -- and must acknowledge the market works best most of the time, but it is not working in health care, banking, China, and oil.”

Huh? Sounds like classic economist’s double-speak: “The market works most of the time” … except the market doesn’t work at all
in the four biggest economic sectors? Fuzzy thinking?

Morici warns, we need “new approaches to regulating, yes regulating, what the medical industry charges, bankers pay themselves, what Americans tolerate and buy” and “guiding big oil and car companies to sustainable solutions.”

Holy cow, he suddenly sounds more like a liberal politician than conservative economist. Yes, he’s reflecting the total chaos
coming on the short road to the Second American Revolution.

In the end, however, you have to admit the good professor does make a lot of sense: “Sounds radical but running the world has
never been a choice between statism and anarchy,” says Morici.

Choice? Unfortunately, he offers a false choice: Running America effectively means accepting “that the private sector is not the enemy and government is not evil, but neither can serve the other, and us, if value is not seen in each.”

Laudable, but impossible because once the GOP Tea Party of No-No
is back in power, compromising is not on their agenda, “gridlock” is.

So anarchy is the only choice -- they will never, never work with Democrats … until forced by the Second America Revolution when
the middle class finally rises up and overthrows the greedy wealth conspiracy of Wall Street, Washington, CEOs and the Forbes 400.

Till then, anarchy rules as the conspiracy keeps looting Treasury, stealing from taxpayers, conning us all.