Between Haredi subsidies and negative PR from crap like this, Israel is digging its own grave - and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to care.
So, it’s all about jobs. There’s a lot of validity to that. Without a job, households and lives can fall apart pretty quickly. Let’s look at some of the numbers as provided by the ThinkProgress War Room (as shown to me by my friend Marc Liu)2…the number of years of consecutive employment growth inmanufacturing, after not one single year of growth between 1997 and2010.8.5 percent…the unemployment rate, the lowest since February 2009 justafter President Obama took office.22…the number of consecutive months of private sector job growth.12,000…the number of public sector jobs lost in December of 2011 alone.212,000…the number of private sector jobs created in December of 2011alone.280,000…the number of public sector jobs lost in 2011.315,000…the number of health care jobs created in 2011.673,000…the number of private sector jobs lost during the entirety ofthe eight-year Bush presidency.1,080,000…the number of net jobs created during the entirety of theeight-year Bush presidency.1,600,000…the net number of jobs created during 2011, after accountingfor job losses in the public sector.1,900,000…the number of private sector jobs created during 2011.
About time - although, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem actually to “exclude” them, merely to place them farther down on the list (although, given the frequency with which organs become available, I suppose one could say it’s a form of exclusion).
Of course, the Haredim will attempt to spin this as a bias against their religious beliefs.
The right wing Republican politicians who have been denouncing the requirement that female employees have access to birth control as part of their health benefits as an attack on religious freedom completely ignore the church teachings they don’t agree with. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are both Catholics, and wear their faith on their sleeves, but they are hypocritical in picking and choosing when they wish to listen to the bishops.
1. So for instance, Pope John Paul II was against anyone going to war against Iraq I think you’ll find that Rick Santorum managed to ignore that Catholic teaching.
2.The Conference of Catholic Bishops requires that health care be provided to all Americans. I.e., Rick Santorum’s opposition to universal health care is a betrayal of the Catholic faith he is always trumpeting.
4. The US Conference of Bishops has urged that the federal minimum wage be increased, for the working poor. Santorum in the Senate repeatedly voted against the minimum wage.
5. The bishops want welfare for all needy families, saying “We reiterate our call for a minimum national welfare benefit that will permit children and their parents to live in dignity. A decent society will not balance its budget on the backs of poor children.” Santorum is a critic of welfare.
6. The US bishops say that “the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions…”. Santorum, who used to be supportive of unions in the 1990s, has now, predictably, turned against them.
7. Catholic bishops demand the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. Rick Santorum denies that there are any Palestinians, so I guess he doesn’t agree with the bishops on that one.
8. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops ripped into Arizona’s law on treatment of immigrants, Cardinal Roger Mahony characterized Arizona’s S.B. 1070 as “the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law,” saying it is based on “totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources.” He even suggested that the law is a harbinger of an American Nazism! Santorum attacks ‘anchor babies’ or the provision of any services to children of illegal immigrants born and brought up in the US.
9. The Bishops have urged that illegal immigrants not be treated as criminals and that their contribution to this country be recognized.
10. The US Conference of Bishops has denounced, as has the Pope, the Bush idea of ‘preventive war’, and has come out against an attack on Iran in the absence of a real and present threat of an Iranian assault on the US. In contrast, Santorum wants to play Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove and ride the rocket down on Isfahan himself.
In this Moyers & Company segment, Bill Moyers talks with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote “the bible” for the Reagan Revolution, worked on domestic policy for the Reagan White House, and served as a top treasury official under the first President Bush. Now he’s a heretic in the conservative circles where he once was a star.
Bartlett argues that right-wing tax policies — pushed in part by Grover Norquist and Tea Party activists — are destroying the country’s economic foundation. When he called George W. Bush out as “a pretend conservative” in his book Impostor: Why George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, Bartlett was fired from his position as a senior fellow at a conservative think tank. His new book is The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform — Why We Need It and What It Will Take.
The PBS headliner rises to the defense of Saul Alinsky, “a patriot, in a long line of patriots, who scorned the malignant narcissism of duplicitous politicians and taught everyday Americans to think for themselves and to fight together for a better life.”
I’d like to say this surprises me, but it doesn’t. The Jewish community here in Boston, where the Adelsons live, is a shander. Its character mirrors that of Bostonians in general - cold, callous, selfish, shallow - and is reflected in the quality of our philanthropies, which are very poorly administered relative to their sister organizations in other cities.
My family was in the jewelry business, and I grew up and spent my youth on the periphery of an affluent segment of Jewish society. When I was a child, there was almost no such thing as a Jewish Republican - then Reagan got in, and everything changed. The economy was artificially inflated for several years, and people began making money hand over fist. Almost overnight, people of modest means became wealthy; those who were wealthy already became obscenely so. Suddenly, nearly everyone I knew became a Republican; they felt they had something to protect.
I’m sure if you were to approach the Adelsons and tell them the Republican abandonment of the poor and disenfranchised violates Jewish precepts, they’d tell you they believe in charity but think it should be privately funded and administered - and indeed, they give millions of dollars per year to philanthropies, Jewish and otherwise. The problem is that there is no accountability; like most rich people, they write the checks and walk away. They have absolutely no idea of how their money is being squandered, that indolent, apathetic, poorly qualified administrators are making six-figure salaries while people approach these charities for help and walk away empty-handed on an almost daily basis.
I realize this is a ubiquitous problem among Federations nationwide, but I’m given to understand it’s worse here. As I say, it’s a reflection of our collective character.
I have no hope left for the future, either of the Jewish people or of humanity in general.
The Saving American Democracy Amendment (by SenatorSanders)
“Warning that ‘American democracy in endangered,’ Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S. elections. The first constitutional amendment ever proposed by Sanders during his two decades in Congress would reverse the narrow 5-to-4 ruling in Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission.”
God bless him. I don’t know how he does it day after day.