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The next time Romney says Obama did nothing to create jobs, introduce him to Mitch McConnell…


Thanks To Connecticut Against Linda McMahon

The President’s Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 would have spent $1 billion over five years to put veterans to work tending to federal lands, and in the nation’s police and fire departments. Created by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), it was based on FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Republicans say they opposed the bill because there is no proof that it would work. Forty Republican members of the United States Senate betrayed veterans when they decided that denying President Obama a victory was more important than spending $1 billion to create jobs for vets.

It doesn’t matter to most Senate Republicans that the CCC put 2.5 million people to work. When confronted with an actual jobs program for America’s vets, including the 220,000 who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of Republicans claimed the plan, which was already offset, was too expensive.

This is all part of Mitch McConnell’s stated goal to let Obama accomplish nothing. In so doing, he has made America worse. Here’s hoping vets in Kentucky make sure he loses the election.


Getting ready for the Democratic Convention…


Tomorrow will be the start of three days of Democrats firing up their base and showing support for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They are in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we’ll be hearing some great speeches.

There’s been a lot of criticism of C lint Eastwood at the Republican Convention with his empty chair routine. A lot of people are suggesting that the Democrats come up with a parody attack. The leading suggestion is to have Betty White talking to Romney in an empty chair. It’s a very funny idea, but it is not going to happen.

Democrats are going to make the point that we are actually better off today than we were when George W. Bush left us in an economic mess.

Just look at how much job growth there has been in the private sector sing the Republicans (red bars) were replaced by Obama and the Democrats (blue bars.) Of course this is what the Republicans lied about last week when they said Obama had done nothing in the last 3 1/2 years.

So I hope everyone enjoys watching the convention and that independents and undecideds go for Obama/Biden and the Democratic congressional candidates.


Quote of the Day – Fox news Poll: Do Republicans have a jobs plan?


Even Fox News in a recent poll doesn’t think Romney can create jobs. The totals? 27 percent of Americans think Romney has a plan to revive the American economy… 41 percent of registered voters think Obama the better plan. That is a 14-point gap.

A revealing question in this poll was “Who do you think will do a better job looking out for you and your family during tough economic times?” 47 percent said Obama and 36 percent Mitt Romney.

As a Fox News commentator said:

“What is true in poker is true in politics. You can’t beat something with nothing. 

And right now, voters are coming to the conclusion that when it comes to credible plans to fix the economy, Republicans have nothing.”

Juan Williams, Fox News analyst

Are you surprised?


Now that they’ve wasted our time over Health Care Repeal, will the Congress get down to Jobs?

There are only about 40 days left in  the Congressional season before these champions of non-accomplishment go out to lie and buy their votes. Yet what they should be doing is getting the Middle Class jobs, not waiting to see if Romney is elected.

In Las Vegas, today marks a protest of appointed U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) to get him to support H.R 5542, the “Bring Jobs Home Act.” Heller has been focused on by the AFL-CIO. Heller, along with the Republican Party, have never voted for any  Job Bills proposed by President Obama or the Democrats in congress, and it’s not likely that he or his Party will start now.

The Bring Home The Jobs Act would end a tax benefit for companies that move jobs overseas and, instead, would add a tax credit for companies that move jobs back to the United States. The bill would also prohibit the first group of companies from receiving federal grants or guaranteed loans.

The AFL-CIO is also promoting the “United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act” that would make public the names of companies that move call centers overseas (H.R. 3596.)

The Democratic Party in both the House and the Senate have backed Bills in the past that would end corporations from receiving a tax break for creating jobs overseas, while giving a tax credit if they create jobs in the United States, but the Republican Party stopped them with a no vote in the House and a filibuster in the Senate.

Of course, wasting time on repealing an unrepealable Health Care bill was worth the effort for Boehner and his Bozos.

And what is their job strategy based on? This:

Today’s the Day

OK, Health Care Legislation Fans, today is the day that the House of Representatives should pass the Health Care bill and then send it to the Senate for reconciliation.

I know the Republicans won’t just throw their hands up, so watch out for unexpected feet in the door. My guess is that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner sat up really late last night planning whatever they could to keep this from coming off… and neither of them are going to concede the issue and get on board. Some Republicans might, however… Some may realize that their leadership has bought them the real election problem in November.

Once Health Card is in place, with the Jobs bill that was passed the other day and the things that come in over the Spring and Summer, the Democrats should regain everything they need to hold onto the Congress. The only folks they have no chance with are the Tea Party types who, as we have seen lately seen (Joan Walsh’s current article in Salon is a good summation) are really more racist and ultra-conservative in the Bachmann-Palin mode. They aren’t going to change and maybe they can just be voted away.

Anyway, once again politics will take precedence over basketball with me. Perhaps with you, too?

What I can do is…

Now that Snark is produced and over, I’m back, after three days of an awful cold and no voice, looking for work, which is becoming more and more a losing proposition. It’s been a long time since I had a real full-time job… and months since my last part-time gig. When I think that 5 years ago I was making $90,000.00 a year and riding high, my current situation is not only gloomy, but it is pitiful.

I’m applying to jobs in the $15.00 per hour range… a big comedown… but even these are not jumping at the soon to be 64-year-old guy from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia… especially now that I am 40-plus years removed from my college degrees.

And then, sitting in Mellow Moods having a cup of coffee in Shepherdstown’s 2-block downtown, it more or less came to me that I should start looking at what I do every day, rain or shine.

I write.

I write pieces for this blog and comments for others. I write notes on creative ideas for the future. I write e-mail to people I know all over the place. Writing is something I don’t even think about when I think of skills and abilities. I just do it.

So I trotted across the street to Ruth and Mike’s bookstore and bought a copy of the current issue of Poets and Writers to look into marketing ideas for my writing. And I think I’ll also look into getting Eddy and my Hunting Of The Snark published by a royalties distributor, something we should have done 35 years ago, and give schools and small theatres the opportunity to present it (and collect a few dollars at the same time.)

Anyway, you who are my regular readers, feel free to comment or e-mail me and let me know what you think. Especially let me know if anything I’ve written on this blog over the years proved interesting to you and could be expanded on.

You know, all of a sudden I feel much better.

Told ya so!

We’re moving into the end run here with the Health Care Bill… And the Jobs bill was passed today and is off to Obama for signing.

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are blubbering about something somewhere, but who cares?

clipped from

After an intense White House lobbying effort, Dennis Kucinich announced on Wednesday morning that he has decided to vote for health care reform when it comes before the House in the next few days, reversing his previous position and giving a boost to President Obama, congressional leaders and the reform effort.


“In the past week it’s become clear that the vote on the final health bill will be very close,” Kucinich said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “I take this vote with the utmost seriousness. I’m quite aware of the historic fight, which has lasted the last century.

“I have doubts about the bill. This is not the bill I wanted to support,” Kucinich said even as he promised that he would vote “yes” on the proposal.

“If my vote is to be counted, let it count now for passage of the bill, hopefully in the direction of comprehensive health care reform,” the Ohio Democrat said.

  blog it

Health Care Reform Can’t Wait—Outside Washington

This is a clip from a MUCH longer and very important column by Bill Boyarsky that I found on

Bill Boyarsky is a lecturer in journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and is vice president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. He was city editor of the Los Angeles Times when he retired in 2001.

If you click on the Truthdig link it will bring you to the whole article.

clipped from

Those telling President Barack Obama to ditch health reform and concentrate on employment are wrong. What’s missing in such advice is a basic understanding of the grim intersection of a failing health system and rising joblessness, especially in blue-collar America.

Obama and Congress members

As the recession forces people out of work or into low-paid, no-benefit jobs, the connection is clear. No work equals no health insurance, increasing the chance of death for Americans in poor health.

This should be dominating policy and political debate. When the human toll of the Great Recession is added up and analyzed by future scholars, the long and lasting impact on working people will be a powerful part of their narrative. But it is not a key part of contemporary journalism, or central to the current debate about the situation. 

The Republicans are oblivious to anything but their plan to oppose and unseat Obama. The frightened and splintered Democrats have become a perfect foil for the Republicans.
  blog it

Let’s deal with the jobs problem…

I’m taking a personal look at this, since I’ve been out of work for some time and this past week I was turned down for employment at a job I thought I was uniquely suited for… after an interview that I thought went well on the phone and another one in person.

By my best guess, I’ve applied for over 350 jobs in the past eighteen months and, as the economy dropped into the toilet, I have been turned down without interview by most of these… many that have just ignored the on-line application. Of these, at least half of them I was more than qualified for and of the rest I could have done them with little or no retraining.

None of these jobs said “don’t apply if you are over 60”, but I think that my being 63 (and even if I don’t tell my age, they want to know my college degrees and graduation dates and it’s not hard to figure out how old someone is who got a Bachelor’s degree in 1968 and a Masters in 1969) has a lot to do with it. People look at you when you’re 63 and think about how much their benefit expenses are going to increase… or how soon you will drop dead after they pour expense into your training.

I’ve revised resumes, stressing different strengths depending on the jobs. I’ve listed the support letters I got from previous managers. Hell, on at least 2 occasions I;ve offered to volunteer for free for a few months so they could find out if I was worth hiring.

So I’m trying to deal with the job problem. I can’t afford early retirement and I’m eating up retirement funds I started backing up forty years ago. They could all be gone in another two years. That would leave me with the possibility of retirement, which I am totally uninterested in, and meager Social Security funds.

So I’m counting on the government, this ongoing war zone between two extreme parties, to come up with some way to stop losing thousands of jobs a month (although I am supposed to be relieved that it’s gone from hundreds of thousands a month to merely tens of thousands.) And I’m counting on my own ability to keep looking and not to take being turned down too seriously. But it is getting very hard.

Occasionally I get a freelance job… but given the economy, many of these no longer show up, and those that do are trying to spend very little money. Not a bright sign.

And, of course, I am living in a region that is not overly populated with jobs in the first place… but the life turns that got me here are not easily changed: moving is not possible right now. I look for jobs in one hour driving distances… but that only makes a small increase in possibilities.

Now, am I in a different position from hundreds of thousands of other people? No. I ran an article last week that showed 1 out of 5 men in the working age bracket are unemployed (the figure for women is half that). That’s 20%. So when I here there is a 10% unemployment rate but know that 20% of men can’t get hired, then it is clear that statistics don’t mean a thing in the real world.

In my life I have made money for employers, never looked for other jobs when I thought I had a position with a company, and never put money ahead of the job. I suppose that makes me stupid… I’ve seen many around me who play their game on employers and actually get ahead. I can’t seem to do that… I have to be an “honorable employee”. But I could be changing out of necessity.

Today I will apply for another half-dozen positions. I’ll follow up on a bunch of applications I did last week. I’ll look into pushing for more freelance work as I search the web.

And I won’t give up what has become a very slim hope.

Looking for work, moving Snark forward, and getting over the fall and bruising I had the other night…

It is hard in general to get anything of substance accomplished in the dead period between Christmas and New Years. There are few people around who are working at their jobs, schools are on break and stores that didn’t make their holiday scores are not in the economic shape to hire.

It’s the third day since I fell and I’m walking around pretty easily now, although using the old cane that I had to use when this happened a couple of years ago in Laurel. I feel like I’ve lost a significant chunk of time to be working on my future and now a new month… new year… is coming and I’m still an aging guy without a regular job. Imagine, two degrees, 40 years of mixed and accomplished experiences and a clear intent and I still can’t get work!

As to Snark, I’m 52 days away from opening at Full Circle Theater and I’m still short 1 baritone… small part and, if all goes badly, I can cover it myself, but I really don’t want to. Today I’m sending packages out to the whole cast so far… rehearsals start next Monday night.

So I hope everyone has a nice day… I hear bad weather is coming for New Year’s Eve and I don’t look forward to it.