What is most remarkable about the controversy is how low the bar has been set to mark economic “progress.” Democrats rejoice and Republicans cry foul over an unemployment report that would in any other presidential year have been regarded as catastrophic. No president since Franklin Roosevelt in the Great Depression has been reelected with an unemployment rate as high as 7.3 percent.
The two big business parties view the unemployment figures purely from the standpoint of gaining an edge in the mutual mudslinging of the final month of a presidential election campaign. Neither party has the slightest concern for the actual conditions of life of the 12.1 million officially out of work, the 23 million who are either unemployed or working only part-time when they need full-time jobs, or the tens of millions more living in poverty and increasing desperation.
Obama and the Democrats have proposed nothing to put the unemployed back to work, let alone create jobs that pay anything above poverty-level wages. The “stimulus” package adopted in 2009, when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, was deliberately crafted to attract Republican support, focusing on tax cuts for business and excluding any direct job creation by the federal government.
From the time Obama entered the White House, his major concern was to bail out the Wall Street banks and the auto companies at the expense of the working class.
They won't talk about America's poor and they have no plans for improving employment. Who is taking these two seriously?
We need real candidates. Clearly, too many are vested in ensuring that we don't get them.
They keep us uniformed by lying to us, by pretending. The presidential debates are a rigged beauty pageant controlled by the Democratic and Republican Party. That is what keeps third parties out. No one wants to address that reality. They need to, they really need to. Ava and C.I. did Sunday.
"TV: Jim Lehrer, notch below child molester" (Ava and C.I., The Third Estate Sunday Review):
But it's such garbage that even the liars get bored with the lies. Chuck Todd did last week on the panel. (We were bored too. Aaron Sorkin never knows when to stop talking.)
Aaron Sorkin: I agree with you there but we do have a campaign commission. And they can compel candidates to -- that you have to
Chuck Todd: Campaigns control the debate commission but we can have -- that's a whole separate issue. We can have that discus --
Aaron Sorkin: That's probably that -- That's probably the problem. Here's all I'm saying. In Utopia, you wouldn't be able to run a false or misleading [. . .]
He continues to babble on about campaign commercials. What an idiot.
Even when the truth came up, please note, even when Chuck Todd had reached his limit on Sorkin's uninformed never-ending babble, Aaron just steamrolls over him and does so because Sorkin is submerged in ignorance -- willfully and wantonly.
And the fact check. Always to the fact check. As if that's all that matters. Here's a little clue, it's a debate. If you are not able to hold your opponent accountable, you shouldn't get help from the moderator. If you can't convincingly take on a lie, that says a great deal about what you lack as a candidate.
The Harvard panel was a joke. Aaron Sorkin proved his DLC status yet again (Democratic Leadership Council which morphed into New Democrats in an attempt to escape their bad image). There he was agreeing that the Simpson-Bowles Commission recommendations should be implemented. Fawning over "awesome" Simpson, swearing that there needed to be multiple Simpsons so that he could be in the House and in the Senate and in the White House. Maybe the two men bonded over the fact that they're both sexist pigs? (Here for NOW on Simpson.)
It was so comical to watch the panel as, moments after Kathleen Hall Jamieson was blathering away about things that were "blatantly deceptive," Alan Simpson 'explained' that the Presidential Debate Commission -- which he sits on, "It's been there 25 years because the League of Women Voters decided to step out of the group. So in came a bipartisan group. A very fine group. Democrats and Republicans."
Not one person corrected Simpson, not one person questioned him. Kathleen Hall Jamieson pretended to be studying her hands as if she'd discovered a new liver spot.
Which brings us back to TV personality Jim Lehrer.
Jim Lehrer wants desperately to be a novelist. So desperately that he publishes one bad book after another. If we were a TV personality with so few accomplishments, we'd wish we had another career too.
But Jim's worse than a TV personality famous solely for being on TV.
Jim's as damaging as pedophile. He does that sort of damage on a national level every time he moderates a presidential 'debate.' Please note, Lehrer is infamous for being the 'dean of moderators.' He is hailed as that. And when did Lehrer start that career?
In 1988. When the League of Women Voters controlled the debates and chose moderators, they had no interest in the likes of Jim Lehrer. They wanted feisty, informed journalists who would ask tough questions -- not pre-screened ones, not ones given in advance -- and who could fact check during the debate. In 1980, they had five moderators for the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan debate. (The candidates had a hissy fit and only debated once.) Repeating, they had no interest in the likes of Jim Lehrer.
Now that the two major political parties control the debates, there's no journalism being done. Candidates are asked what they know they'll be asked. (In fact, Simpson was revealing, on the panel, the topics and how many questions on each topic -- such as the economy, before even the first debate had taken place. Simpson could do that because, as a member of the commission, he's familiar with the contract the two parties iron out and insist the 'moderator' follow.)
It's a lie and it's a deception.
And when a Jim Lehrer (or Bob Schieffer or Martha Raddatz or Candy Crowley) provides cover to these shams by posing as a journalist, they're doing incredible damage to democracy and, again, they're as damaging as child molesters. If they don't have any self-respect, their peers should at least hold them accountable. Until that happens, nothing is going to change.
That is probably the most important piece you can read all week. Please note that I believe only Ava and C.I. have reported on that Harvard panel discussion but, if you ask them, they will tell you plenty of media types attended.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):