…no real connection has been directly made between these scandals and the president. And, I’d say, he’s buoyed somewhat because the economy here is better than any in Europe—and less vulnerable than Japan’s current Keynesian jolt—and because he’s still a broadly liked president…the press corps needed a storyline, rather than just three stories. But sometimes the line falls apart for lack of evidence (at least among the non-GOP base).
Andrew Sullivan, at TDD, in regard to the fact that
CNN finds what Gallup does: no impact on the president’s approval ratings, even as Americans do take the current scandals seriously
To the Editor:
“Stories of Struggle and Creativity as Sequestration Cuts Hit Home” (front page, May 6) brought to mind the famous 1970s headline: “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” Now the same message is being sent to many Americans throughout the country.
Lexington, Mass., May 7, 2013
The writer is emeritus professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a 2010 Nobel laureate in economics.
“It’s tough to be young these days—the economic concerns are very great, and a lot of what you hear out of Washington is not addressing those concerns. There are a lot of questions: Does either party really have my best interest at heart? And I think the answer to that is, ‘No.’”
‘The nonsense about what it takes for a president to win a victory in Congress has reached ridiculous dimensions.’
…The fact that Barack Obama failed to win legislation to place further curbs on the purchase of guns—even after the horror of Newtown, Connecticut—has made people who ought to know better decide that he’s not an “arm-twister.” Ever since Obama took office, others have been certain about how he should handle the job and that he wasn’t doing it right. Yet if the health care law is allowed to work, despite continuing Republican efforts to try to make sure that it doesn’t, and if we take into account some other victories—the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the stimulus that was as large as the political market would bear, the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, the largest since the New Deal if Congress will let it be implemented—his presidency could go down as a time of historic achievement. Nevertheless, when an insufficient number of senators was available to kill a hypothetical filibuster of the gun bill—a watered-down measure to expand background checks for gun sales (while opening gaping loopholes)—suddenly the word went out that the president is hopeless as an arm-twister; the assumption of course was that being a good arm-twister was critical for a successful presidency. Wait a minute.
…San Francisco is experiencing yet another tech boom and…this means a new era of prosperity for the city. As an observer from the other side of the bay, I can say that it…seems like money is just raining from the sky and that those of you who happen to be in the right place at the right time are cashing in. That’s all great, but it’s easy to forget that this boom isn’t a universal Bay Area phenomenon. For the rest of us, the economic crash of ’08 is still palpable and while the current job market has insulated some people from bumps in the road, people in Oakland, which has always been poorer than San Francisco, remain just that: poorer than San Franciscans and prospering less directly…
Hundreds of Chicago fast food workers walked off the job early this morning at restaurants like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, with workers at…chains like Macy’s and Sears joining them…more than 500 workers are expected to participate in the strike, calling for higher wages and the right to organize unions in low-wage jobs that are increasingly dominating the American economy.
‘…we are indeed creating a permanent class of jobless Americans. And let’s be clear: this is a policy decision…’
The main reason our economic recovery has been so weak is that, spooked by fear-mongering over debt, we’ve been doing exactly what basic macroeconomics says you shouldn’t do—cutting government spending in the face of a depressed economy…It’s hard to overstate how self-destructive this policy is…Our exaggerated fear of debt is, in short, creating a slow-motion catastrophe. It’s ruining many lives, and at the same time making us poorer and weaker in every way. And the longer we persist in this folly, the greater the damage will be.
‘…American children are on average worse off than children in Western Europe and barely better off than their counterparts in the Baltic states and the former Yugoslavia…one of the report’s more alarming findings for the U.S. is the degree to which income inequality has increased the population of children who grow up in relative poverty…’
…meaning that the U.S.’s famously abundant wealth does not equally benefit all children.