Thursday, June 16, 2011

On Distractions, Destitution, Weiner-gate, & Mittens

(Also at Daily Kos)

Look! A poll, a poll! What could it say?

Only 29% of voters think the economy will get better in the next year, while 30% say it will get worse and 39% say it will stay about the same. The number who feel the economy will get worse is the highest since April 2009, two months after Obama signed stimulus legislation.

Today, 45% of respondents say the stimulus will not help the economy. Sixty-two percent say Obama inherited the economic situation versus 25% who say Obama's policies are responsible.

Congress gets very low marks, with only 18% approval. That's the lowest rating since March 2010, at the climax of the health care debate.

WHAT??!! You mean the economy is what voters care about? If one were to pay attention to the corporate media, one would get the idea we spend all our time worrying about Weiner's weiner and Kate Gosselin's TV career and which "Real Housewife" Slade will shack up with next (while he continues to evade paying child support).

But yes, believe it or not, many Americans may not have the time to worry about stuff like that. But all too often, the distraction of bread and circus allows certain politicians to skate by as they offer a glimpse as to what they really think about us.

Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop here on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.
“I should tell my story,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m also unemployed.”

He chuckled. The eight people gathered around him, who had just finished talking about strategies of finding employment in a slow-to-recover economy, joined him in laughter.

“Are you on LinkedIn?” one of the men asked.

“I’m networking,” Mr. Romney replied. “I have my sight on a particular job.”

I mean, what can be more out of touch than that? A multimillionaire calls himself "unemployed" as real people suffer the consequences of the very "disaster capitalism" that he participated in as it brought America to the crisis we now face.

"From 1984 until 1999, Romney led Bain Capital, a Boston-based private equity group that earned jaw-dropping profits through leveraged buyouts, debt hedge funds, offshore tax havens and other financial strategies. In some cases, Romney’s team closed U.S. factories, causing hundreds of layoffs, or pocketed huge fees shortly before companies collapsed."

Maybe this is why we hear no substantive proposals from the Republican Congressional leaders and Presidential candidates on job creation. Just saying.

Now yes, there may be some "gotcha" with this story. However, I think it offers some real insight as to the problems we face right now. It really seems like the chatter we hear on Capitol Hill has nothing to do with the problems "Middle America" faces. People ask about jobs, and the corporate media keep salivating over "WEINER"!

Back here in Nevada, most of my neighbors and friends don't really have the luxury of spending their nights pondering the importance of Weiner-gate. They're looking for action on job creation.

They're looking for real educational opportunities that will lead to a more stabile economy in the future.

And of course, they're wondering why one of our Congresscritters keeps hating on seniors and the disabled...

And why this is actually being debated in Congress.

Suffice to say, Nevada and America face real, serious problems. We need more jobs, and we have the opportunity to create more jobs here in America simply by taking the climate crisis seriously and investing in renewable energy & energy efficiency programs. We need to give kids more opportunities for better careers in the future, and we can do so by investing in our public schools now. We do face problems ahead with our health care system, but we can solve them by strengthening institutions like Medicare rather than weakening and dismantling them.

Really, this all boils down to the economic anxiety of the American people, and the need to protect and strengthen our working middle class. This is why most people here and throughout the country think America is heading in the wrong direction. But when we hear about the state of the economy in the national corporate media, we mostly just hear about how Republicans want to use it to attack Obama. And when these wannabe Presidents and their cohorts in Congress talk about the economy, they never seem to offer any realistic solutions.

Instead, it's all about the fiasco of sex, lies, and Twitter. How do we change this? How do we demand more from our representatives? How do we demand more from our media? And how do we demand more from ourselves?

If we are more interested in titillating trivia about the personal lives of celebrities than we are in the ramifications of Basel III, then we will get Paris, Kim, and Lindsay. If we are more intrigued by the sexually charged adventures of Foley, Craig, Vitter, Ensign, Lee, and Weiner than we are about what is necessary to prevent some of the major effects of global climate change, then we will get what we asked for. Media is, after all is said and done, a commercial enterprise.

If we are content to sit about grousing about the lack of content in media broadcasts and publications, then there is no reason to expect those outlets to provide us with more information and less entertainment. [...]

If all we want is Politics then the generalized questions will suffice. If what we want is more information about policy development then we need to respectfully request that anchors and editors ask better questions.

If we allow ourselves to be entertained, or merely reinforced, then the Simon & Garfunkle lyrics may take the day: “I get all the news I need on the weather report.”

On one hand, I can tell that "We the People" seem to understand the real problems of the day. And the more I talk with my neighbors in the community, the more hopeful I am that they "get it". However if we really do "get it", why do we keep obsessing over Weiner-gate instead of asking how Mitt Romney can get away with calling himself "unemployed" and why Congress is debating budgets to slash public investment that will create jobs instead of supporting more investment in job creation? Will someone please explain this to me?

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