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The Nation

January 8, 2010
Kai Wright
Kai Wright

Looks like those green shoots of economic recovery remain rooted in hope more than reality. The December jobs report is out and, to the surprise of no one who's actually dealing with the shrinking job market, we lost yet another 85,000 jobs last month. Hopeful forecasters had grasped at the slowed rate of decline in November and predicted we'd lose fewer than 10,000 jobs over the holiday season. But we can toss that one in the trash bin alongside predictions that foreclosures would stop and credit would flow if we just gave big banks enough money.

The White House has rightly noted that 85,000 jobs lost is nothing like the nearly 700,000-a-month we averaged in the first quarter of 2009. "As the President has said for a year, the road to recovery will not be a straight line," White House Council of Economic Advisors Chair Christina Romer stressed in a statement. "Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative."

But Romer also joined the undaunted soothsayers of recovery in pointing out that the unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent in December. "Compared with the unexpectedly good report for November, December's job loss is a slight setback," Romer insisted.

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The Notion
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January 8, 2010
Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman

I've got a new "Think Again" column and this month's Moment column is on Jewish McCarthyism.

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January 8, 2010
Peter Rothberg
Peter Rothberg

Did you know that diapers are not covered by public assistance programs like WIC or food stamps? And did you know that diaper companies do not make significant donations to shelters or outreach programs, as infant formula manufacturers do? That makes diapers one of the scarcest resources for poor families.

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January 8, 2010
Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss

Yesterday, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a rare public appearance to speak about America's challenges in the Middle East.  However, contrary to some news reports and blog accounts of Mullen's comments, the admiral clearly backed away from anything that sounded like a military threat, and it was clear throughout his entire remarks that Mullen, and the US military, is exceedingly averse to an armed confrontation with Tehran.

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Bob Dreyfuss
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January 8, 2010
Robert Dreyfuss
Bob Dreyfuss

This news is really important. I will write something over the weekend about the news from Iraq, which isn't good. Suffice it to say that with Iraq's elections less than two months away, renewed civil war is not out of the question.

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Bob Dreyfuss
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January 8, 2010
John Nichols
John Nichols

If Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner abused his former position with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to encourage the American International Group (AIG) to conceal essential information regarding inappropriate activities from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Geithner should not merely be removed from his Cabinet position. He should be prosecuted.

There are serious suggestions that Geithner may have urged AIG officials to hide controversial and perhaps illegitimate payments that were made using taxpayer dollars. As Congressman Darrell Issa, R-California, says "Inadvertent reporting errors are one thing. Directing a bailed-out company to withhold crucial information from a government agency in order to keep the American public in the dark is another."

There is mounting evidence that Geithner engaged in precisely the sort of behavior he is supposed to be regulating – and preventing.If he has engaged in it, then the treasury secretary is entirely without credibility.

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John Nichols
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January 8, 2010
Laura Flanders
Laura Flanders

The Washington Post ran an impassioned editorial January 7, condemning the anti-homosexuality law being considered in Uganda.

Originally calling for the death penalty, the bill now calls for life imprisonment for "homosexual behavior and related practices. "

The bill is ugly, ignorant and barbaric, writes the Post. "That it is even being considered puts Uganda beyond the pale of civilized nations."

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The Notion
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January 7, 2010
Jon Wiener
Jon Wiener

Student protests against tuition increases at the 10-campus University of California system pushed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to announce on Tuesday an initiative to guarantee that the state spends more on universities than it does on prisons.

The central role of student protests is not just my theory; it's the explanation offered by the governor's own chief of staff. "Those protests on the U.C. campuses were the tipping point" for the governor, Susan Kennedy said in an interview with the New York Times.

She was referring to the coordinated actions at the start of the fall term, when 5,000 students and workers, along with many faculty members, rallied at Berkeley, while 700 gathered at UCLA's Bruin Plaza. Simultaneous protests were held at Riverside, Irvine, and other campuses. (That story HERE).

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The Notion
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January 7, 2010
Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman

If you read this article in the Forward, you'll see that every single leader of every major Jewish organization has chosen to side with the government of Israel over the representative of their own government when it comes to the government of Israel's right to attack American Jewish organizations. 

 

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