The Bush/Obama Conundrum: Blame Obama!


Jon Stewart examines what is known about Elena Kagan. He then moves on to look at the conundrum that Republicans have found themselves creating. It seems that what Bush did while in office now belongs to Obama which takes them back to the point of having to admit there was some bad policy. Like all conundrums, it is hard to spit out, so you will just have to let Jon Stewart say it best.

We are moving from let’s blame Bush to let’s blame Obama.  Seamlessly. 


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Brewer: ‘Illegals’ on a Decaptiation Spree

If Governor Brewer is to have any credibility left, she is going to have to start sorting out illegal immigration from drug cartel crime.

From TPM:

The Arizona Guardian followed up, asking the state’s county coroners — who would examine any body connected with a crime — if they’d seen the headless bodies from the desert.

They hadn’t.

(Although one coroner, gruesomely, told the paper they did sometimes get human skulls– but not as a result of a fatal beheading. Such skulls are found after people die in the desert and “the animals … get a hold of them and start moving their body parts around,” the coroner said.)

Asked for comment, a spokesman for Brewer told the Guardian said the governor had never said anyone was beheaded inside Arizona. “I’m not aware of any statements where the governor specifies where any crimes were committed,” he said, despite his boss having made exactly that specific claim on two different news programs. On the contrary, he claimed that Brewer was talking about the fear that crimes that occur in Mexico could spread to Arizona.

“That report, which is based on other news reports, suggests that the drug cartels who operate on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, have not beheaded their victims,” the spokesman, Paul Senseman, told Politico. “Even a cursory check of news stories on the internet suggests otherwise.” Perhaps his boss should have done one before appearing on news programs to make such a claim.

The great divide just seems to drift further apart when we have to deal with this type of ‘exaggeration’ on the part of a public official, time and time again.

Factory Jobs Return, but Employers Find Skills Shortage

According to the New York Times, factory jobs are returning but the skill level of those in the jobs pool do not match the skill level needed by those seeking employees for factories.  Often pools of workers simply do not produce a match because American workers are unable to perform the skills needed to do the job.

BEDFORD, Ohio — Factory owners have been adding jobs slowly but steadily since the beginning of the year, giving a lift to the fragile economic recovery. And because they laid off so many workers — more than two million since the end of 2007 — manufacturers now have a vast pool of people to choose from.

Yet some of these employers complain that they cannot fill their openings.

Plenty of people are applying for the jobs. The problem, the companies say, is a mismatch between the kind of skilled workers needed and the ranks of the unemployed.

Economists expect that Friday’s government employment report will show that manufacturers continued adding jobs last month, although the overall picture is likely to be bleak. With the government dismissing Census workers, more jobs might have been cut than added in June.

And concerns are growing that the recovery could be teetering, with some fresh signs of softer demand this week. A central index of consumer confidence dropped sharply in June, while auto sales declined from the previous month.

Pending home sales plunged by 30 percent in May from April as tax credits for home buyers expired. Fretting that global growth is slowing, investors have driven stock indexes in the United States down to their levels of last October, for losses as great as 8 percent for 2010.

As unlikely as it would seem against this backdrop, manufacturers who want to expand find that hiring is not always easy. During the recession, domestic manufacturers appear to have accelerated the long-term move toward greater automation, laying off more of their lowest-skilled workers and replacing them with cheaper labor abroad.

Now they are looking to hire people who can operate sophisticated computerized machinery, follow complex blueprints and demonstrate higher math proficiency than was previously required of the typical assembly line worker.

Makers of innovative products like advanced medical devices and wind turbines are among those growing quickly and looking to hire, and they too need higher skills.

“That’s where you’re seeing the pain point,” said Baiju R. Shah, chief executive of BioEnterprise, a nonprofit group in Cleveland trying to turn the region into a center for medical innovation. “The people that are out of work just don’t match the types of jobs that are here, open and growing.”

The increasing emphasis on more advanced skills raises policy questions about how to help low-skilled job seekers who are being turned away at the factory door and increasingly becoming the long-term unemployed. This week, the Senate reconsidered but declined to extend unemployment benefits, after earlier extensions raised the maximum to 99 weeks.

So, who do we blame?  Bush?  Obama?  the schools?  the employers?    Seriously, what can be done to retrain?  Can factories get tax credits for training these new employees to fit their needs?  Corporate giants like IBM have always done a great deal towards training their own people.  Do we just pull in workers from overseas while Americans, millions of them, go unemployed?  How about partnerships with local schools to re-educate workers for current  jobs.  Obviously what was needed 20 years ago is not needed today. 

Reading this article reminded me of warning that were issued some 20 years ago.  We were told that workers needed to be retrofitted to do different math, different computer skills and those not making the transition would lose their jobs to overseas.  Have the chickens perhaps come hope to roost at the wrong time?  Perhaps our stimulus packages should contain much more directed at retrofitting and retraining the American worker.  The wages in discussed in this article were fairly low level wages.  No one is getting rich here.  What do we do?

Guns ‘n’ Bars: 7/1/10 Let the Wild West Begin

So what’s all the hoopla about?  Parties were being planned at people’s favorite bars that began at midnight, just so gun enthusiasts could swagger in packing heat.  Hopefully, the proprietors didn’t count on anyone spending that much money on booze.  Toting and drinking are verboten. 

Jeff Shapiro of the Richmond Times Dispatch attempts to make sense of the new laws:

Regardless of new laws, the owner of the establishment still rules supreme about whether he or she wants fire arms in their restaurant. Of course, banning guns would require posting a sign, since the gun would now be concealed and no longer visible to the owner.

I have never liked guns around booze. Every year boozing good old boys get to drinking and shooting and someone gets hurt. A few years in the Northern Neck taught me that but I seriously doubt if you have to go that far to see an example.

Everyone thinks they are a responsible gun owner.  Just ask them. Meanwhile, I am the mother of a professional bartender. And yes, I am worried. Especially tonight.

Pentagon wants to present Medal of Honor to living recipient

From the Washington Post:

The Pentagon has recommended that the White House consider awarding the the Medal of Honor to a living soldier for the first time since the Vietnam War, according to U.S. officials.

The soldier, whose nomination must be reviewed by the White House, ran through a wall of enemy fire in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley in fall 2007 in an attempt to push back Taliban fighters who were close to overrunning his squad. U.S. military officials said his actions saved the lives of about half a dozen men.

It is possible that the White House could honor the soldier’s heroism with a decoration other than the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor. Nominations for the Medal of Honor typically include detailed accounts from witnesses and can run hundreds, if not thousands, of pages. The review has been conducted so discreetly that the soldier’s family does not know that it has reached the White House, according to U.S. officials who discussed the nomination on condition of anonymity because a final decision is pending.

Pentagon officials requested that The Washington Post not name the soldier to avoid influencing the White House review. Administration officials declined to comment on the nomination.

This is a great mystery. There is something about having to die to be given the Medal of Honor that just isn’t right. If the White House agrees to the Pentagon request, would that make the tradition permanent? Who sets up the guidelines?

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