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My daughter, Cassandra, has come down from Connecticut and is helping my wife coordinate all the brain surgery problems…

I don’t know what I would do if I were on my own, here, dealing with doctors changing schedules without giving us warning, accidentally taking medications that should have been discontinued before certain tests, getting up at 5:00 every morning to get into three or four appointments which don’t seem to get us anywhere.

The newest big problem is reports we have gotten from friends, employees of the hospital and others, where we have been told that the particular hospital we were going to have the surgery in is not one ANY of them would use. Isn’t that thrilling?

Now we are in a holding position. We haven’t cancelled the now set Monday surgery or anything, but tomorrow we are interviewing another practice at a much better hospital with a much better reputation and this may stop everything and set up a new schedule.

Cassandra

Fortunately for me, my daughter Cassandra Corrigan who is a private school Senior Database Administrator in Connecticut (Loomis, Chaffee School), took off from work, drove down here to West Virginia, and has been coordinating with my wife on getting all the papers ready, information on MRIs and other tests that have been collected in the last couple of weeks to bring to Ge0rgetown, down near DC, for the new practice interviews. We will be making a new decision after that, so surgery will most likely be postponed some more.

I am so impressed with Cassandra… my first-born, a fine wife and mother and a brilliant woman. I taught her to use her first computer and now she outshines and outperforms me in all things technical. Wow! And she and my two other kids (can you still call them kids after they are older, married and out of the house?), my Mother, My sister and so many friends have been so concerned that the phone doesn’t seem to stop ringing with folks wanting to know what’s happening.

Cassandra is just doing a spectacular job of getting me organized with all of this. I don’t know what I’ll do when she goes back up to the snow.

We’ve spent this morning and into the afternoon tracking down test reports from four doctors’ offices and we had a new blood test at a lab… and Elly got to go to work and teach her classes while my daughter brought me from office to office. I’m so glad Elly got to go to work today… she’s been giving up so much of her time for me, and when you are in a one-income household, the thought of impacting that one income is awesome.

Our first view of what’s coming with the storm…

Elly’s job at Hagerstown Community College is off for two days as HCC has announced closing due to the approach of Sandy.

The rain has already started here this morning and we are soon expecting the wind.

Hope you are all keeping an eye out if you are in the storm track and please take care of yourselves. here’s a chance that we’ll lose power and the blog will be down, but as long as I can I’ll keep it up.

 

Some National Poll results for this morning:

Here are the latest national polls of the presidential race:

Hartford Courant/UConn: Obama 48%, Romney 45%

Public Policy Polling: Obama 48%, Romney 47%

Rasmussen: Obama 48%, Romney 48%

OK… very close on the National front. First time I’ve seen a polling result from my long lost home state, Connecticut (I say “long lost”, but I mean “very much missed.”)

 

Thinking about flying!

Sitting around the house now that I’m not allowed to drive due to my seizures, I’ve been thinking about my life and trying to figure out what I’ll do now. I don’t know why, but I started thinking about my father and the airplanes he had when I was a kid. The first plane he owned and the second, too, as a matter of fact, werea 1946 Stinson 180′s.

1946 Stinson Voyager 180

My mother was scared to death of airplanes and eventually my dad got rid of the first one. I was really sad, since I loved to go flying with him.

Eventually he bought the second Stinson and it was not one he kept for a long time…primarily because he had to make a forced landing on a farm in northeast Connecticut while flying back from Cape Cod. My mother, my sister and I drove back… and when we got home we got the phone call. When he made the forced landing it was downhill and the propeller ended up twisting barbed wire around itself from the fence it rolled into.

Needless to say, this was enough to make my Mother totally certain that she’d make him sell the plane… and she did.

I was 12 or 13 during our couple of flying years and I remember buzzing over Connecticut small towns, flying near the shoreline and then bringing it to the little airport in Plainville. Every kid should have a flying experience!

Defining the Enemy…

 

While campaigning in Connecticut, President Obama dubbed the tax proposals of his Republican rival an example of “Robin Hood in reverse.” He then gave a crucial name to Mitt‘s pan to take from the poor and give to the rich:

“It’s Romney-hood.”

 

Cheers and laughter followed.

 

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…

 

WATERFORD, Conn. —Say you are a 17 pound lobster named Larry living in a tank in a Connecticut restaurant, just waiting to be bought, boiled, buttered and eaten. Not a pleasant thought, is it.

A lobster that big could be anywhere between 70 to 100 years old… he’s lived through the great social and political events of the last couple of generations. Should he be in this situation?

Carrying Larry out to sea…

Fortunately for Larry, a Connecticut man, Don MacKenzie, purchased him at the restaurant, then released him back into Long Island Sound. MacKenzie says the local kids were calling the huge crustacean “Lucky Larry”.

“It takes seven years for him to even become a lobster big enough to keep,” saidMacKenzie. “For a lobster to live this long and avoid lobster traps, nets, lobster pots … he doesn’t deserve a bib and butter.”

MacKenzie won’t say how much he paid The Dock restaurant to take Larry off the menu Tuesday.

“Let’s just say that it’s the most expensive lobster I never ate.”

Turning Larry Loose…

Here at Under The LobsterScope we have great admiration for McKenzie who saw a creature in a deadly situation and saved his life. Larry thanks him and we do, too. It makes me feel proud to come from Connecticut.

 

We must out-fund Monsanto’s Lobbyists (or die eating our unlabeled veggies!)

Volunteers across California are making history. On May 2nd, the California Right to Know campaign turned in nearly 1 million signatures to place a ballot initiative to label GMOs on the November 2012 ballot.

But this is only the beginning. We know that Monsanto and their minions will do everything in their power to spread lies and confuse voters. They have proven this time and again and most recently in Vermont and Connecticut where citizens in those states overwhelmingly supported bills to require labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Only a few days after voters in California qualified the historic initiative to label GMOs, Monsanto and biotech lobbyists were working behind closed doors in Connecticut to kill the bill that would have made it possible for the residents in that state to know what’s in their food.1 In the final hours of the 2012 legislative session, the biotech industry succeeded in getting Connecticut’s governor and House leaders to strip the bill of its labeling requirement as it was on the verge of passing with bipartisan support. Now, this year alone, governors in Vermont and Connecticut have both caved under the biotech industry’s threats to sue them if they pass a bill to label GMOs. This is an outrage!

While these backroom shenanigans can’t happen in California, since the ballot initiative will be put to a vote of the people, we know that Monsanto’s minions will be up to their usual dirty tricks. Already, a powerful biotech front group is starting to spread misleading stories in the media and distorting the real facts about the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act of 2012.

This has been called “the Food Fight of Our Life” and we need your help in making sure that we succeed in November.

Will you chip in to make GMO labeling a reality? Only with your help can we win in November!

We can win in California, but we need your help today! Here’s how. Between May 1 and May 26, a broad coalition of food, farm, health, public interest, and environmental groups all over the country, joined by leading organic food companies, will attempt to raise one million dollars to support the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, a citizens’ ballot initiative, and other state GMO-labeling campaigns.

In an extraordinary gesture of support and solidarity in the fight for GMO labeling in California, Mercola.com, the largest alternative health website in the world, along with a group of leading organic companies including Nature’s Path, Lundberg Family Farms, and Eden Foods, and other nonprofit organizations, have pledged another one million dollars to the “Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto” campaign – but only if we reach our goal of $1 million by May 26.

Please help us raise $1 million by May 26 for the California Right to Know GMO Labeling Campaign so we don’t miss out on this $1 million matching gift!

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/591?akid=549.271844.mqPu-i&t=10

Thank you for contributing what you can today – Together we can win!

Now’s the time. Let’s drop the money bomb on Monsanto and take back our food supply!

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

David Murphy

President, Food Democracy Action!

P.S. All money raised for this campaign will go through Food Democracy Action!, a 501(c)4 allied organization of Food Democracy Now!, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!

Source:

1. “GMO ‘Right to Know’ campaign in CT fails — Lawsuit threatened”, Digital Journal, May 5, 2012

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/590?akid=549.271844.mqPu-i&t=12

A Death in the Family

I started to work on the blog a couple of hours earlier than the first post went up… that’s because my daughter Cassandra called me from Connecticut to tell me that Penny, my daughter in nearby Williamsport, Maryland, was hysterical.

Her family’s dog, Moose, had been found dead in his little fenced yard this morning.

This had not been expected… Moose was a seemingly healthy, 6-year-old golden retriever that the whole family was fond of. I had just been playing with him on Easter Sunday, playing catch with a tennis ball. He was full of energy and loved playing.

Penny told me her two older sons (John – who had found Moose this morning – and Jason) went off to school crying this morning. Jacob, the youngest, made sure to tell me that “Moosie is dead” as soon as I got to Penny’s house.

Elly drove over from her shopping trip this morning and we all expressed our feelings for Moose, who would be sent to the Vet this afternoon for cremation.

It’s amazing how close you get to a dog. When I came home I spent some time petting Byron and Nestle – someday this will happen to them, too.

My beloved home state is about to ban capital punishment…

This from the Hartford Courant:

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut was poised to become the 17th state to abolish the death penalty after the Senate passed a bill early Thursday repealing capital punishment.

Gov. Daniel Malloy

The 20-16 vote came at 2:05 a.m., after more than 10 hours of debate. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where it has broad support. Democratic Gov. Daniel P. Malloy has pledged to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

—–

This brings into question what will happen to the two men convicted in the Petit murders (which I talked about a few years ago, since Dr. Petit, who was my Endocrinologist when I lived in CT and he lost his wife and daughters to these guys).

This raises the question of whether Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, sentenced to death for the Petit murders, will be executed. Some experts believe the courts will overturn the death sentences of all those convicted of capital crimes to make the law consistent. Will that happen?

Maybe not.

The bill stipulates that the 11 men currently on Connecticut’s death row would still face execution; capital punishment would only be abolished for those convicted of capital offenses in the future.

Finding the things that make you feel old…

I had one of these:


It was made of thin plastic (which meant it would last about a week) and when you put it on it was totally transparent (in the manner of dark sunglasses.)

I wore mine while watching Tom Corbett on television in Bristol, Connecticut in the early 50s.

A sensational discovery “as new as the hydrogen bomb.” Can you believe it? And it made me a “super space cadet” with Tom and Astro and the rest. Whether or not it made me the “hero of (my) town” I don’t know… but I was the big cheese of Brookside Drive.

Here’s to everyone’s families on Thanksgiving Eve…

Tomorrow, families everywhere will be getting together to enjoy Thanksgiving, and I think it is Families we should be most thankful for.

Locally, Elly and I are going over to my daughter Penny’s to have delicious locally raised heirloom turkey with her and her three boys. Not all of our family will be there… but we all got together last Saturday (from as far away as Wisconsin and Connecticut and Virginia) for Elly’s surprise birthday party over at the Entler Hotel (one of our historic sites) in Shepherdstown. So many came in that they couldn’t all afford to get here tomorrow… but we did get to see everyone during the week.

So enjoy your family tomorrow and be good to each other.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Leonard Harris dies at 81…

When I told my wife that Leonard Harris had died last Sunday, she said “Who?”. I guess if you weren’t from Connecticut where you watched CBS, Channel 3, you might not have recognized Harris by name, but from 1966 to 1974 he was our television film critic, eventually reporting nationwide. Prior to that he spent eleven years writing book reviews for The Hartford Courant.

What you might recall Harris for, however, is his role as Senator Charles Palantine, the Presidential Candidate in Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver” (1976). He also appeared in a couple of other movies.

Later he wrote three novels… wrote three novels. His first, “The Masada Plan,” was called “gripping, fast-moving, expertly engineered” by the novelist Meyer Levin in The New York Times Book Review.

Although he lived in Manhattan, he died of pneumonia in his old stomping grounds in Hartford.

Taking our grandson, Milo, to the Baltimore Airport…

We have to pick up Milo and leave from my daughter’s house by 7:30, so we’re up early taking care of the dogs and getting ready to go.

Flying on a National Holiday (Happy 4th, by the way) seems strange to me, but that is what his mother arranged and he’ll be back in Connecticut before lunch.

Meanwhile, the blog will be down most of the day.

Have a nice one.

Getting a late start on the blog today…

Bill & Elly Wide Awake

Elly and I had to get up at 6AM today, eat, walk the dogs and head for Baltimore to BWI to pick up our grandson Milo who flew in from Connecticut to visit his Aunt Penny and our other three grandchildren. We had to get to the airport, which is an hour and a half away from us at least, 45 minutes before his plane lands so that one of us (me) can get the consent papers to pick him up, go through the x-ray and search procedures to get down to the gate and then wait for his arrival.

Then we had to reverse direction and get him to Penny’s house for lunch. In all it took about 6 1/2 hours out of our day and now I’m back and can start posting and reading everyone else’s posts.

So give me some time to see what’s going on and I’ll get right back to you.

Remembering My Father…

My father didn’t make it into his sixties as I have, so I don’t know how he would have approached the requirements of age. I know he tried for an early retirement a number of years before he died… selling the Bristol Pharmacy which he had developed and built into a thriving business that put my sister and me through prep school and college. He moved down to Saint Pete with my mother and tried to enjoy the good life. One day he left the house and didn’t come home all day. My worried mother asked him where he had been all day and found out he had taken a pharmacist job in a drugstore. My Dad just couldn’t stop working… he was bored if he couldn’t work.

When the guy he had sold the Bristol Pharmacy let the business almost go bust, my Dad went back to Connecticut, called in his notes on the detail, and took over the store. It took a couple of years, but he built it back to where it had been.

It was hard to do “spare time” things with my father. The one thing he really liked was flying small planes (at different times he owned two classic Stinsons), something my mother found hard to deal with. When he was flying back from our summer house that we had on Cape Cod for three years, he had to make a forced landing due to weather near Willimantic, CT, and rolled down a hill on a small farm ending up crashing into a barbed wire fence that got the propeller all wrapped in sharp-pointed wire. He had to have the plane towed out and repaired and soon thereafter he sold it and never flew planes again.

When I was somewhat younger and, for a few months, took up golf, I went out golfing with my Dad late in the afternoon (don’t gt we wrong… he hardly ever played, but this was something we were attempting to do together.) There was a water hazard on the approach to the first hole and his ball plopped into it. Instead of pulling out another ball, he waded into the small pond and found the ball… and discovered there were lots of others there.  So he decided to recover as may as he could… after all, golf balls cost money. He picked balls until it got dark, and that was the end of our first…and last… golf outing.

There is no one I have missed more than my father over the past 35 or so years, and I am fortunate to have many fond memories.

We all knew someone…

The World Trade Center, one of three sites on ...

The final destruction of Osama Bin Laden has brought to my mind, of course, the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center and what… and who… was lost in that event of evil.

Many years ago I wrote, while living in Marlborough, CT, of the loss of Jim Hobin, my son Buddy’s basketball coach. Jim usually worked out of our little central Connecticut town, but on that day he had left early in the morning to get to the main office of the company he worked for in New York. In the World Trade Center.

It was a loss that everyone in Marlborough felt… this was a town united by the sporting programs for its children, by congregation for morning coffee in the bakery, by well attended selectmen’s meetings. 9/11 would always mean Jim Hobin’s death to us.

Easter… I’m over at my daughter’s house…

Both my daughters, Cassandra and Penny, are at Penny’s house for Easter with all my grandsons. So that’s where I am this morning.

Image representing Adobe Flash as depicted in ...

I’m on Penny’s Mac and she uses Safari which I can never really get used to (I’m a Firefox guy)… I started on her iPad, but since I use a lot of  Adobe’s Flash on my blog, the Home

Page won’t even come up.  Anyway, here I am stumbling my way through.

We’re all going over to Blue Moon for lunch, then Cassandra, Matthew, and my grandson, Milo, are heading back on the 4-hour drive to Connecticut. Milo has school tomorrow and they need to get back early enough so he gets some sleep tonite.

Elly and I, of course, don’t really celebrate Easter, being certified non-believers, but seeing the kids ransack their Easter baskets is a treat. I grew up in the Easter season when mu father sold Easter baskets in his drugstore and we set up at home for about a month making them… filling them with candy and a big chocolate rabbit in the middle, then putting colored cellophane and a bow on them. What I remember most, heh heh, was sneaking into the dining room where we made the baskets, and taking candies from the stacks and stacks of boxes we got from the distributor. And there was a HUGE box of loose jellybeans… my favorite… to grab a handful from.

I look at that now from my position as an aging diabetic and realize that I’ve gotten my just reward.

I’ll be back later to update the blog.

The magic number is 32… tell you why…

It was thirty-two years ago today that Three Mile Island had it’s partial meltdown and caused our atomic energy industry to freeze in its place. I remember when it happened as I watched the news on television… I was 32 years old at the time… 32 is the number again!

At the time I was living in Connecticut and was near the Connecticut Yankee plant, which had been commissioned in 1968 and then closed in 1996 (after much protest from residents of Hartford and Middlesex Counties… Me included… after the 1979 Three Mile Island incident.) It was decommissioned  in 2004 and demolition of the containment dome was completed the week of July 17, 2006 (which gives you an idea of how long it takes to remove one of these plants… I don’t know where the spent fuel rods are, but they are probably still at the Haddam Neck, CT, site.)

And now, 32 years after Three Mile Island the news is reporting that the radiation from Fukushima‘s ravaged plants is now higher than they thought it would go… and there was a report of some very minor radiation detected in rain… in Massachusetts!

I hope that 32 years from now, when I am long gone, my grandsons will be able to look at their world and find that all this nuclear power is no longer necessary and science and politicians and, dare I say it, Corporations have found a way to clean everything up. Judging by the disorganized opinions circulating now and the inferior technologies dealing with the problem, I doubt that it will happen.

Watching the House go at it on Health Care…

This is a moment of extreme entertainment as the House of Representatives battle over amendments coming from the Republican Congressman King of Iowa trying to stop funding for the Affordable Care Act (which he insists on calling “Obamacare” even though that name has been protested by Democrats). Rosa De Lauro of Connecticut is organizing the Democratic opposition and seems to be doing a pretty good job at it.

Republicans seem to refuse to address the cost of ending the Affordable Health Care Act in lost jobs and extreme cost increases put on Americans by Insurance companies. They are carrying out an assault on the working poor, the elderly and the ill Americans. It is a travesty that we have to go through this.

King is putting out amendment after amendment, all going after the same end: ending what he calls “Obamacare”. Since there is no act with that name, why don’t they just tell him to shut up and sit down?

Looks like we got about 6″ of snow overnight…

Looking out the window, I’m dreading walking the dogs. Yesterday, I slipped and fell on an icy patch in the road in front of our townhouse and, remarkably, I didn’t let go of the dogs’ leashes, but I also couldn’t get up given my useless knees… my first devastating sign of old age.

Fortunately, someone was out shoveling their walk and came to my assistance with a large football player (a Shepherd student of course) who helped me tom my feet… but it left me worried about getting around all day. Now Elly is taking my car (I have All Wheel Drive) and heading off to work (HCC is starting 2 hours late this morning) and I am contemplating the terror of walking the dogs in this mess.

We have a rehearsal for “Claudie Hukill” tonite at Full Circle Theater, and I hope the streets in town get plowed out so there is parking. As I recall this time last year when I was directing “The Hunting of the Snark“, the opera for kids that I wrote in the seventies with composer Edwin Roberts, we had this kind of a snowfall which was followed by even more snow and we had to delay the production by two weeks. This could easily happen again.

We don’t get a lot of snow around here (the weather bureau says we get 20.9″ annually, but that is just a tiny percentage of what we got when we lived in Connecticut… they’ve had over seven feet already this year… and most of it comes in February. Just have to grit my teeth and get through this.

So it looks like Joe Lieberman is not going to run in 2012… How nice.

“It’s the first thing he’s done in 10 years to make Connecticut Democrats completely happy.” said Connecticut Democratic leader and former State Senator Bill Curry.

 

And I must agree. Although I said back when Lieberman betrayed Democrats everywhere (first by running as an independent against his party after losing the State Primary, and second by campaigning for McCain against the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, in the 2008 election) that I would ignore him in this blog, his announcement that he will not seek reelection is worth noting…if only to elicit public sentiment in favor of the decision. As you can see, I don’t really trust him to keep his word.

Saturday morning and it’s snowing…

I’m on a borrowed machine this morning and it’s going really slow… I can’t wait until my computer comes back from the repair shop (Monday, I hope. Wednesday at the latest)… but this gives me a few minutes to post.

The snow is falling lightly outside. I don’t know how much we’re going to get, but it won’t be any where near the amount my daughter Cassandra and her family are getting in Connecticut. They’re having a pretty bad winter up there… West Virginia seems to be getting away with a mild slap on the butt.

______

Monday the Republicans in the House won’t be in session, but Tuesday they are coming back strong with their Health Care Repeal plan. They seem to be ignoring completely what this will add to the deficit, or the millions of Americans who will automatically lose health insurance if it becomes law. Since the bill was passed the number of people who work for small businesses who have received health care through their employers has increased over 50% (due to the discounts these employers get because of the Health Care Bill), yet these insurees could immediately lose their insurance if a repeal is passed.

What are Crybaby Boehner and his idiots thinking? Is making a political act to show that they are anti-Democrat and pro-TeaParty really this important to them? If it is, then their policy is truly America be damned.

It’s time to start a massive letter writing Campaign to our Representatives making sure they realize what the facts are here. I know I’m going to start going after my Rep, Shelly Moore Capito (R – WV) who tends to vote for most things not in our best interests. I am ready to campaign heavily on getting her out of office in 2012 if she doesn’t change her ways.

I’ve got to give this computer back to my wife now, so I hope you all have a nice day.

We missed the blizzard here on the WV Eastern Panhandle…

The storm stayed to our east and effected the coastline all the way up to New England. New York City was snowed in this morning, with closed airports and really slow moving traffic through semi-plowed streets.

My daughter Cassandra and my grandson Milo left Connecticut before the storm to get down here to stay with her sister (where we are all going for dinner tonite), and my son and his fiancee got out of Connecticut early, too, heading for DC last night.

We had a few snowflakes that didn’t leave a trace of anything… but it has been cold and quite windy here in Shepherdstown. Hope your weather is bearable today.

Christmas Eve and we are anticipating snow this weekend.

Elly and I will be going over to my daughter’s house this evening to have dinner with her and the boys (and drop of Xmas presents)… then will come home and wait for Santa to fill stockings.

I’m starting to get worried about the weather report (which I pulled down from the weather bureau this morning while broadcasting “Winners and Losers” on WSHC). It seems that snow will start tomorrow in the late afternoon and then it will continue snowing on Sunday and Monday. I have to head for Virginia Monday morning to pick up my Mother and bring her to a family get together at Penny’s house that evening and I worry that the driving will be horrible (although my new old car is an “All Wheel Drive” vehicle which should cope with whatever I encounter.)

My other daughter, Cassandra, and her family are supposed to be coming down from Connecticut, as is Buddy and his intended, Rachel, who are spending Xmas with Cassandra, Matthew and Milo this year… but bad weather could keep Cassandra from traveling (Buddy has no choice as he has to get back to work and school in DC and Rachel has to catch a plane for Wisconsin.)

I hope everyone out there has a nice holiday. I’ll be online from time to time and will check in, but the blog will probably be operating at a minimal effort. Next week we’ll be operating in full regalia!

Here’s an Article by Art Perlo…

…picked up from John Case’s socialist-economics mailing group:

People before Profits: Sound bites about jobs

In my home state of Connecticut, I am bombarded with ads from businesswoman Linda McMahon. She has already spent over $24 million of her huge fortune in an effort to capture Connecticut’s open Senate seat. McMahon’s rhetoric echoes fellow Republicans around the country who say: “Government doesn’t create jobs. Small business creates jobs. Cut job-killing government spending. And Cancel the stimulus.”

This article will examine some of these sound bytes.

When does small business creates jobs?

The Republicans are fond of saying that small business creates 70 percent of all jobs. They don’t tell you that small business is also responsible for 70 percent of all layoffs. That’s the nature of small
business. They start up and go out of business all the time.

When businesses, small or large, hire more workers they have more customers. If customers are cutting back, business cuts back. It’s that simple.

Don’t take my word for it. The National Federation of Independent Business asked its members, “What is your single most important problem?” The answer was not taxes, not unions, not labor, not government red tape. The biggest problem for small business is poor sales — not enough customers! And there are no customers because we are all broke, unemployed, drowning in mortgage and credit card debt.

When union’s workers are able to win higher wages, their income flows back into the local economy. Yes, unions are good for small, local business!

But the fastest way to create jobs in the private sector is to increase government spending.

Unemployment compensation, food stamps and other safety net programs are immediately spent at the local supermarket, gas station, and other businesses. A study by the Congressional Budget Office found this kind of government spending among the most effective in creating jobs!

Government spending on infrastructure, education, and medical care helps the businesses that supply these industries. And government workers’ paychecks are also spent supporting businesses in the local and national economy.

McMahon and Republicans are against government spending and against unions. So they are really against small business and small business job creation.

Is government spending evil?

McMahon’s TV ads say, “Cut job-killing government spending.” This makes no sense at all. Almost every dollar spent by the government creates jobs.

The federal, state or local governments directly employ more than one of every six workers at 17 percent. And for every worker with a government paycheck, another worker is employed by a private business selling supplies or services to the government, or providing the things the workers buy with their paychecks.

Since January 2009, the economic crisis has caused state and local governments to cut employment by 397,000. Without the federal funds provided by the stimulus, those job losses would have been more than double. McMahon and the Republicans want to cut the stimulus, throwing hundreds of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters out of work, and forcing states and cities to raise taxes or cut services.

Job-killing deficits?

The final piece of economic nonsense is the claim that eliminating the federal deficit is the biggest priority, and that deep spending cuts will somehow help the economy. Most of the media accept this as self-evident. But it is wrong.

Linda McMahon, like most Republican candidates, refuses to say what programs she would cut to eliminate the deficit. But The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that the Republican plan to cut the Federal budget to 2008 levels would force a 20 percent reduction in
non-defense discretionary spending. Biomedical research would be crippled. Local schools, already hard hit, would see federal funds disappear. Local taxes would rise. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would disappear. The Republican plan could easily throw the economy back into the free fall that President Obama inherited in January 2009.

Deficits don’t kill jobs. Spending cuts kill jobs.

Creating Jobs

McMahon actually supports two big budget-busters: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Bush tax cuts for the rich. But the biggest cause of the deficit is the recession itself — unemployed workers and closed businesses don’t pay taxes. Spending for necessary, productive purposes today will help revive the economy and make it possible to cut deficits in the future.

Between two and five million people have jobs or increased hours today because of the stimulus bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But stimulus funds are running out, and those jobs will start to disappear in the next months. The best hope for jobs, both public and private sector, is extending and increasing stimulus measures. Enacting President Obama’s $50 billion infrastructure proposal, and the Local Jobs for America Act which funds state and local governments, would be important first steps. That won’t be possible if Republicans like Linda McMahon, with their job-killing priorities, win in November.

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