Friday, November 04, 2011

We Can't Wait

While the political media obsessed over GOPer entertainments that will soon be forgotten, President Obama has continued his relentless Pass This Bill campaign to build public support for action to create jobs and help the country come out of this recession stronger than when it went in.  Three sections of his original jobs bill have been reintroduced separately, and all three stopped in the Senate by unanimous GOPer opposition to even discussing them.  The latest was Thursday, when the Senate by a 51-49 vote, stopped consideration of a bill that would immediately hire workers to rebuild American infrastructure, basically because it would be paid for by a .07 tax increase on the very few Americans who make more than one million dollars a year.  Supporters by the way were the 51--they had a majority to pass the bill, but not the 60 required to override the GOPer filibuster.

Why Congress is so intent on protecting the 1% became clearer with this chart introduced Thursday: it's because an awful lot of Congress is among the 1%.

At the same time, President Obama began his We Can't Wait initiatives, attacking some of the most pressing problems with executive orders, wherever possible.  The President took some administrative steps to make it easier for hard-pressed Americans to re-finance their home mortgages.  He announced steps to help returning veterans to get jobs in community health.  He announced several changes to help students deal with crushing school loan debts.  Although none of these are large-scale solutions, each one of them will make a big positive difference for at least some thousands of people.  (We Can't Wait, by the way, was also the title of a book by Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Polls continue to show that on his job proposals, the American public is strongly on his side.  These efforts tend to get lost in the media frenzy and the political spin on everything (the irony being that MSNBC spends more time talking about GOPers than Obama by a factor of ten, and despite their oppositional slant on everything Obama, FOX actually spends more time reporting what he actually says and does.)  

But GOPer congressional intransigence is not going by unnoticed.  How about this for a poll in Florida?  Very close to a majority believe that the GOP is deliberately sabotaging the American economy for political gain. Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly writes: "Here’s a suggestion for other pollsters: given these results in one of the nation’s largest states, and the fact that the charge has been made by so many prominent political voices, perhaps it’s time to start putting the question to a national audience?"

This is the Washington element shaping the future.  But in these volatile and chaotic days, much is happening outside Washington with just as much power to shape that future: in Oakland (where the Occupy actions get larger, wider and more significant), in Ohio (going to the polls to vote on a union-busting law) and right now in Europe, where President Obama meets with leaders who must steady European finances or else plunge themselves into another recession, taking the U.S. down with them.

Then there's what's happening to the planet: subject of the post above.

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