July 2011, Week 5


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Sat, 30 Jul 2011 15:35:09 -0400
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REWIND - A Week of Quotes & Cartoons


Quote of the Day
July 24, 2011

'The very idea that Social Security might be on the
chopping block in order to pay the ransom Republicans
are demanding reveals both the cravenness of their
demands and the callowness of the opposition to those

Economist Robert Reich
July 22, 2011

Toon of the Day
More Loopholes Please
David Horsey - Seattle PI


Quote of the Day
July 25, 2011

'As news of the horrifying massacre on the Norwegian
island of Utoya began spreading, it wasn't long before
it became clear that the perpetrator came out of the
anti-Muslim, extreme nationalist camp. For years, he
had been leaving his traces in several right-wing blogs
and in other online writings.

'It also didn't take long for those behind many of the
sites carrying those blogs and writings to go on the
defensive. They immediately tried to distance
themselves -- not, of course, from the nationalist,
anti-Islam tone, but from the methods used.

'Anders Behring Breivik , the message seemed to be, may
have been a follower of right-wing convictions, but he
had misunderstood core elements of the ideology. Bombs
and mass murder , according to the argument, are not
among the tools one should use in the effort to free
the Western world from Muslims, multi-culturalists and
Marxists. Nationalists and Christians, according to one
right-wing blogger, do not murder children -- and
"certainly not children of their own race."'

Spiegel (Germany)
July 25, 2011

Toon of the Day
Oil, Inc.
Joel Pitt


Quote of the Day
July 26, 2011

'For many middle-class households, and especially for
minorities, their main asset is not their stock or bond
portfolios, it's their home.  And when its value
plummets-or when they lose it-well, the result is in
the chart below.

'Between the mid-2000s and 2009, median white net worth
fell about 16%, from around $135K to $113K (in 2009 $).
But black and Hispanic wealth was decimated, falling by
over half for blacks and two-thirds for Hispanics.

'Surely, some of that wealth, I'd guess a non-trivial
share, was a result of the bubble itself, along with
the financial practices, like bad underwriting, that
inflated it.  But there's no getting around that this
is a major backslide for minority households, and it
will take years, if not decades, for them to climb

Economist Jared Bernstein
On the Economy
July 26, 2011

Toon of the Day
Making Stuff
Stuart Carlson


Quote of the Day
July 27, 2011

'The bad news for progressives lies in those numbers
about spending cuts and jobs. Because the president and
many Democrats have been complicit in making the
deficit the centerpiece of the Washington conversation,
they have left unanswered the Republican claim that
cutting spending would help create jobs. That's a view
rejected even by economists who favor long-term deficit
reduction. Yet Republicans and conservatives have
clearly moved opinion toward the idea that spending
cuts equal more jobs. It's a case of political
malpractice by progressive politicians, and another
cost of that Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop.'

E.J. Dionne Jr.
Washington Post
July 27, 2011

Toon of the Day
Idea Source
Tony Auth - Philadelphia Inquirer


Quote of the Day
July 28, 2011

'In this respect, the crisis over the debt ceiling is
the answer to the prayers of many people in the
business community. They desperately want to roll back
the size of the country's welfare state, but they know
that there is almost no political support for this
position. The crisis over the debt ceiling gives them
an opportunity to impose cutbacks in the welfare state
by getting the leadership of both political parties to
sign on to the deal, leaving the opponents of cuts with
no plausible political options.

'To advance this agenda they will do everything in
their power to advance the perception of crisis. This
includes having the bond-rating agencies threaten to
downgrade US debt if there is not an agreement on major
cuts to the welfare state.

'In principle, the bond rating agencies are only
supposed to assess the likelihood that debt will be
repaid. However, they showed an extraordinary
willingness to allow profit to affect their ratings
when they gave investment-grade ratings to hundreds of
billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities
during the housing bubble. Given their track record,
there is every reason in the world to assume that the
bond rating agencies would use downgrades or the threat
of downgrades for political purposes.

'This means that the battle over the debt ceiling is an
elaborate charade that is threatening the country's
most important social welfare programs. There is no
real issue of the country's creditworthiness of its
ability to finance its debt and deficits any time in
the foreseeable future. Rather, this is about the
business community in general, and the finance sector
in particular, taking advantage of a crisis that they
themselves created to scale back the country's social
welfare system. They may well succeed.'

Dean Baker, co-director of the
Center for Economic and
Policy Research in Washington, DC.
July 27, 2011

Toon of the Day
Tony Auth - Philadelphia Inquirer


Quote of the Day
July 29, 2011

'All we know for sure is that John Boehner and a
cardboard cutout of John Boehner don't have a dime's
worth of difference between them. This clown is going
to go down as one of the most useless Speakers in
modern American history, and it will be a perfect
miracle if he manages to hold his seat at the head of
the class.

'We are surrounded by idiots, showboats, bastards and
fools. They ginned up this "crisis," and now the cart
is charging toward a cliff. Only one thing is certain:
the answer will be upon us in four days, one way or

William Rivers Pitt
July 29, 2011

Toon of the Day


Quote of the Day
July 30, 2011

'Two trends are evident. The fate of the French-and-
British-led intervention is umbilically linked to that
of the rebel army itself. And the prospects of a
negotiated settlement are farther away than ever. The
problem with this strategy is not just that it has
strayed far from the terms of the original UN
resolution. It is worse than that: the backers of the
rebels know whom they are fighting against, but have
yet to work out whom they are fighting for.'

'Libya: Divided they fall"

'Death of rebels' top general Abdel Fatah Younis
shows the prospects of a negotiated settlement
are farther away than ever'

Guardian (UK)
July 30, 2011

Toon of the Day
Ted Rall


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