Here are a few economy-related items. First of all:
Profits of American corporations have become decoupled from the other indices of American economic well-being with which they’ve historically been linked. They currently comprise the largest share of the nation’s economy that they have since World War II. Yet the increase in consumer spending in the 15 quarters since the recession’s official end is lower than its increase 15 quarters after the recessions of 1982, 1991, and 2001 ended. Similarly, 15 quarters after the recession ended, the increase in GDP is lower than it was in those three preceding recessions. So spending and growth are lagging while profits soar. What gives?
…The answer is that profits are increasing because corporations are getting by with fewer workers than they employed before the crash of 2008, and they’re paying those workers less. Wages and compensation (that is, wages plus benefits) now make up the smallest shares of GDP that they have in 50 years, and their decline has proceeded without interruption since 2001. According to a report from JP Morgan Chase’s Chief Investment Office, two-thirds of the increase in corporate profits between the end of the dot-com bust and the collapse of 2008 is directly attributable to the decline in the wages they paid their employees. As the share going to profits has continued to increase since that report appeared, and the share going to wages has kept on decreasing, the centrality of wage suppression to profit maximization has continued to grow.
You might think that a lot more people would be upset about this, and change their voting preferences accordingly. Being uninformed is part of the problem, and another is that old habits, especially bad ones, are hard to break. And then there’s system justification. Few people want to face up to how they’ve been played, with their more or less unwitting aquiescence, for much of their lives.
You may recall that last year, a big new Farm Bill didn’t happen. They’re trying again. And some of the world’s biggest idiots, and hypocrites – that is, hard-core conservatives – are again demanding relentless attacks on the poor as a price of passage.
On Tuesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed a Farm Bill that cuts food and nutrition programs by $4.1 billion over the next decade, $400 million annually. That’s bad, and unnecessary, particularly in light of the CBO’s new report of shrinking deficits. But the Senate cuts are peanuts compared to what the House is prepared to do: $2.5 billion in cuts annually for the next decade, for a total of $21 billion…
With the Senate proposing cuts of $4.1 billion, and the House $21 billion, you can expect the cuts to end up being in the double digits of billions range. Because we all have to have skin in the misguided austerity game, don’t you know.
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum today introduced legislation to establish a special U.S. House committee to conduct oversight, ensure accountability, and report on sexual assault and abuse in the U.S. military. Responding to the on-going and ever growing problem of sexual violence and abuse committed by members of the military, the “Special Committee on Sexual Assault and Abuse in the Armed Forces” would focus congressional attention on necessary reforms to the Department of Defense’s prevention, prosecution, and victims’ services efforts.
And it just so happens that Minnesota’s Congressman most identified with the military is avoiding this issue as determinedly as if it’s an opponent that wants to debate him in public.
And from Minnesota’s Member that is assigned to the Armed Services Committee …. John Kline (R-MN-02) … silence.
No press release.
No Facebook post.
No membership in the bi-partisan Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus
And No Legislation … heck, John Kline has failed to co-sponsor the BE-SAFE Act (H.R. 1867), the Military Judicial Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 1079) or Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (H.R. 1593) — all legislation that has bi-partisan support and addresses sexual assaults in the military.
Simply stated, John Kline continues to disappoint Minnesotans.
(MN Political Roundtable)
I’m not qualified to provide informed, comprehensive discussion on sexual assault in the military, which is being described with terms like “epidemic.” For example, as to whether it‘s more about a redneck conservative military culture, or the proverbial “few bad apples.” (Though I have my opinions, and they lean strongly toward the former.) The bottom line is that it has to end, and legislators that don’t help to seriously work toward that, via their votes, don’t belong in office.
That’s how Republicans want it, and therefore that’s how corporate media will do their sorry “best” to work it. (Especially, here in Minnesota, both of the big metro daily newspapers, and GOP financier Stan Hubbard’s “Eyewitness News,“ not that many people choose the latter.) I wish that I could bring myself to ignore their farcical efforts, and I will try, but it will be hard to succeed entirely. Anyway, reality checks:
On Monday, President Obama weighed in on the alleged targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service, calling for a full investigation into what he said would constitute “outrageous” conduct. That’s one way to put it. Here’s another: depressingly normal. For much of the last century, abuse of the IRS for political ends has been the rule, not the exception. Under Republican and Democratic presidents alike, the IRS has gone after communists, students, black activists, young conservatives, and mainstream political rivals.
The article goes on to note examples under almost every presidency from FDR on.
In Ward 9:
After six hours and six ballots, Alondra Cano won the DFL’s endorsement Saturday for Minneapolis’ Ninth Ward council race, taking a step closer to becoming the first Mexican-American on the City Council.
“This has been a beautiful day in the history of the Ninth Ward,” Cano told about 200 people at South High School after her main opponent, Tim Springer, dropped his bid for the nomination.
Five candidates sought the party’s nomination to fill the seat left open by longtime Council Member Gary Schiff, who is running for mayor.
I believe that all of the other DFLers have ended their campaigns. Those that I know of, that plan to run against Cano in the general, are Ty Moore (Green) and Dave Bicking (Independent).
And in Ward 13:
Ward 13 delegates gave Linea Palmisano the DFL Party endorsement for Minneapolis city council Saturday afternoon…Palmisano needed three ballots at Washburn High School to achieve the required 60 percent support.
(Southwest Minneapolis Patch)
I know of no declared opposition for Palmisano in November.
In Ward 8, incumbent Elizabeth Glidden was endorsed with the same amount of opposition that she looks likely to have in the general election, namely, none.