The Mad Crapper
01-19-2010, 05:01 PM
If the Massholes in Assachussetts do the wrong thing and elect Martha Moxley, they can be proud of themselves knowing that unemployment rate and duration in this country will continue to set non-depression era records:
Nothing says recovery less than a steadily increasing pool of unemployed workers facing the specter of a quickly increasing average (and median) length stint on unemployment.
In fact, as has been widely reported, the median and average stay on unemployment has simply exploded far surpassing the highest levels seen since records have been regularly kept.
Looking at the charts below (click for super interactive versions) you can see that todayís sorry situation far exceeds even the conditions seen during the double-dip recessionary period of the early 1980s, long considered by economists to be the worst period of unemployment since the Great Depression.
Currently, there are some 6.13 million civilian workers that have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more with the average stay on unemployment standing at a whopping 29.1 weeks and the median stay reaching 20.5 weeks.
The Mad Crapper
01-20-2010, 06:50 PM
Obama punted on the economy and reversed the fortunes of the Democrats in 365 days.
Heís misjudged the character of the country in his whole approach. Thereís the saying, ďItís the economy, stupid.Ē He didnít get it. He was determined somehow or other to adopt a whole new agenda. He didnít address the main issue.
This health-care plan is going to be a fiscal disaster for the country. Most of the country wanted to deal with costs, not expansion of coverage. This is going to raise costs dramatically.
In the campaign, he said he would change politics as usual. He did change them. Itís now worse than it was. Iíve now seen the kind of buying off of politicians that Iíve never seen before. Itís politically corrupt and itís starting at the top. Itís revolting.
Five states got deals on health careóone of them was Harry Reidís. It is disgusting, just disgusting. Iíve never seen anything like it. The unions just got them to drop the tax on Cadillac plans in the health-care bill. It was pure union politics. They just went along with it. Itís a bizarre form of political corruption. Itís bribery. I suppose they could say, thatís the system. He was supposed to change it or try to change it.
Even that is not the worst part. He could have said, ďI know. I promised these things, but let me try to do them one at a time.Ē You want to deal with health care? Fine. Issue No. 1 with health care was the cost. You know I think it was 37 percent or 33 who were worried about coverage. Fine, I wrote an editorial to this effect. Focus on cost-containment first. But heís trying to boil the ocean, trying to do too much. This is not leadership.
ē More Daily Beast opinion on Obamaís first year Obamaís ability to connect with voters is what launched him. But what has surprised me is how he has failed to connect with the voters since heís been in office. Heís had so much overexposure. You have to be selective. He was doing five Sunday shows. How many press conferences? And now people stop listening to him. The fact is he had 49.5 million listeners to first speech on the economy. On Medicare, he had 24 million. Heís lost his audience. He has not rallied public opinion. He has plunged in the polls more than any other political figure since weíve been using polls. Heís done everything wrong. Well, not everything, but the major things.
I donít consider it a triumph. I consider it a disaster.
One business leader said to me, ďIn the Clinton administration, the policy people were at the center, and the political people were on the sideline. In the Obama administration, the political people are at the center, and the policy people are on the sidelines.Ē
Iím very disappointed. We endorsed him. I voted for him. I supported him publicly and privately.
I hope there are changes. I think heís already laid in huge problems for the country. The fiscal program was a disaster. You have to get the money as quickly as possible into the economy. They didnít do that. By end of the first year, only one-third of the money was spent. Why is that?
He should have jammed a stimulus plan into Congress and said, ďThis is it. No changes. Donít give me that bullshit. We have a national emergency.Ē Instead they turned it over to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who can run circles around him.
Itís very sad. Itís really sad.
Heís improved Americaís image in the world. He absolutely did. But you have to translate that into something. Let me tell you what a major leader said to me recently. ďWe are convinced,Ē he said, ďthat he is not strong enough to confront his enemy. We are concerned,Ē he said ďthat he is not strong to support his friends.Ē
The political leadership of the world is very, very dismayed. He better turn it around. The Democrats are going to get killed in this election. Jesus, looks whatís happening in Massachusetts.
Itís really interesting because he had brilliant, brilliant political instincts during the campaign. I donít know what has happened to them. His appointments present somebody who has a lot to learn about how government works. He better get some very talented businesspeople who know how to implement things. Itís unbelievable. Everybody says so. You canít believe how dismayed people are. Thatís why heís plunging in the polls.
I canít predict things two years from now, but if he continues on the downward spiral he is on, he wonít be reelected. In the meantime, the Democrats have recreated the Republican Party. And when I say Democrats, I mean the Obama administration. In the generic vote, the Democrats were ahead something like 52 to 30. They are now behind the Republicans 48 to 44 in the last poll. Nobody has ever seen anything that dramatic.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News. He is also the co-founder and chairman of Boston Properties Inc. He is a trustee of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Washington Institute for Near East Studies, and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
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