By outward appearances, Stockton, a city of nearly 300,000 on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, seemed in the mid-2000s to be emerging from decades of struggle.
Next to its gleaming downtown waterfront — a window to the West’s largest fresh-water estuary — a beautiful new $46 million glass hockey arena rose in 2005. That same year, the Oakland A’s single-A affiliate Ports began play in a new taxpayer-financed stadium, amenities sought by elected officials catering to a wave of new residents fleeing Bay Area congestion and home prices.
High salaries and lucrative benefits were supposed to attract and retain the brightest city workforce to improve the quality of life for its residents. “We spent like the good times would go on forever,” said Stockton spokeswoman Connie Cochrane.
But then the recession hit, and the good times went bust. On Monday, the state’s 13th-largest city begins federal court proceedings that could end with it becoming the most populous in the nation to successfully enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy, a move opposed by those who lent the money to keep it flush.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow is closing at a record, beating the previous high it set in October 2007, before the financial crisis and the Great Recession.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 125.95 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 14,253.77 Tuesday, beating its previous record by 89 points.
The index is up 8.8 percent this year, capping a remarkable comeback. The Dow has more than doubled since hitting a 12-year low in March 2009.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 14.59 points, or 1 percent, to 1,539.79. The S&P is also within striking distance of its record close of 1,565.
The Nasdaq gained 42.10 points, or 1.3 percent, to 3,224.13.
Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was light, 3.3 billion shares.
THAT HORRIBLE OBAMA CAUSED THIS!!!1111!!
Ecuador’s President Correa again won the presidency in the country’s recent election. In addition, his party won more than a 2/3 majority in the national congress. This means that he now has the power to change the constitution without a national vote. Essentially, he has no opposition that matters.
People are beginning to wonder about the implications of this unlimited power. Two serious conflicts already loom on the horizon as a result of Correa’s desire to again alter the path Ecuador will follow. One is a possible war in the Amazon. Another could mean the wholesale introduction of GMO’s into the country.
As was expected, Correa won the election handily, with more than 57% of the vote. His closest rival gained only 24%. It makes me wonder if some of the multitude of other candidates got any votes at all other than from family and friends.
“This victory is yours. It belongs to our families, to our wives, to our friends, our neighbors, the entire nation,” Correa said. “We are only here to serve you. Nothing for us. Everything for you, a people who have become dignified in being free.”
Guess what, Republicans? Most Americans aren’t getting raises right now, and it’s not because they suck at their jobs. Also, thanks for making the exact same argument that public sector unions have been making regarding cuts to teachers’ pay, etc.
A source told The Hill that no one is giving them any input about what they’re supposed to do. They have leases! They have people who were being paid x amount for years! You can’t cut their pay!
Good God, people, it’s almost like there’s a recession. A few concerned Republicans are consolidating two positions into one and offering to pay for their own postage when they write constituents. They love the idea of making due with a wee bit less. It’s like a dress up game. Look, I sacrificed something! SO CUTE!
Can you still eat? I’m not sure we’re on the same playing field yet. See, these cuts are going to take food from babies and seniors. Forgive me if I find that a little more troubling than Republican retention.
U.S. President Barack Obama is holding White House talks Friday with the top four congressional leaders as the deadline for avoiding the “fiscal cliff” fast approaches.
Obama will meet with Democratic and Republican Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
If there is no deal by January 1, nearly every American will see his or her taxes go up, along with automatic government spending cuts. Economists fear this could plunge the fragile economy back into recession.
Congressional Republican leaders have also called the House back into session this Sunday evening. The House adjourned last week after failing to agree on a fiscal cliff deal with the White House.
Duane Taylor was studying the humanities in community college and living in his own place when he lost his job in a round of layoffs. Then he found, and lost, a second job. And a third.
Now, with what he calls “lowered standards” and a tenuous new position at a Jack in the Box restaurant, Mr. Taylor, 24, does not make enough to rent an apartment or share one. He sleeps on a mat in a homeless shelter, except when his sister lets him crash on her couch.
“At any time I could lose my job, my security,” said Mr. Taylor, explaining how he was always the last hired and the first fired. “I’d like to be able to support myself. That’s my only goal.”
Across the country, tens of thousands of underemployed and jobless young people, many with college credits or work histories, are struggling to house themselves in the wake of the recession, which has left workers between the ages of 18 and 24 with the highest unemployment rate of all adults.
Those who can move back home with their parents — the so-called boomerang set — are the lucky ones. But that is not an option for those whose families have been hit hard by the economy, including Mr. Taylor, whose mother is barely scraping by while working in a laundromat. Without a stable home address, they are an elusive group that mostly couch surfs or sleeps hidden away in cars or other private places, hoping to avoid the lasting stigma of public homelessness during what they hope will be a temporary predicament.
These young adults are the new face of a national homeless population, one that poverty experts and case workers say is growing. Yet the problem is mostly invisible. Most cities and states, focusing on homeless families, have not made special efforts to identify young adults, who tend to shy away from ordinary shelters out of fear of being victimized by an older, chronically homeless population. The unemployment rate and the number of young adults who cannot afford college “point to the fact there is a dramatic increase in homelessness” in that age group, said Barbara Poppe, the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
I’m about to share a statistic that you should remember every time you think about the Great Recession, and why the recovery has been so painstaking. It’s going to illustrate precisely how devastating the downturn was for your typical American family, and the size of the hole we’ve been trying to dig ourselves out of.
Ready? Here goes: Between 2007 and 2010, the median net worth of U.S. households fell by 47 percent, reaching its lowest level in more than forty years, adjusted for inflation. In other words, middle class wealth virtually evaporated in this country. A good chunk of the population got sucked through a financial wormhole back to the sixties.
Such are the findings of Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University who has produced a paper documenting the Chernobyl-like meltdown of asset values during the recession, and its impact on wealth inequality. To some degree, his work confirms what we’ve already more or less known; home prices, 401Ks, and the like were demolished during in the recession, and we’ve been reckoning with the consequences since. In June, the Federal Reserve released its own analysis of household finances, which found that median net worth (which just means a family’s assets minus its debts) fell closer to 39 percent from 2007 to 2010. Wolff also uses Federal Reserve data, and approaches the net worth calculation in a slightly different way. But his study is valuable in that it gives us a clear sense of which families were set back, and how far.
In the United States, wealth (again, what people own, minus their debts) tends to be much, much more concentrated than income (what people make). That’s not particularly surprising, since the rich have extra cash to stow away in bonds, stocks, and other investments, while the rest of us spend much of our money fulfilling basic needs such as housing and transportation. The rich are frequently well off to start with because they also own pieces their own businesses, which adds to their net worth tally.
Please See Part I Here: littlegreenfootballs.com
Well in the first part of this post Focus on the Family was not doing all that well at predicting the future. Maybe they get better at it in the remaining 15 predictions made back in 2008? Lets jump right in and see how they did…
(20) Home schooling: ‘The land of the free’?
Parents’ freedom to teach their children at home has been severely restricted. The Supreme Court, to the delight of the National Education
Association, followed the legal reasoning of a February 28, 2008, ruling in Re: Rachel L by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in California (although that ruling was later reversed). In the later case, the Supreme Court declared that home schooling was a violation of state educational requirements except in cases where the parents (a) had an education certificate from an
accredited state program., (b) agreed to use state-approved textbooks in all courses, and (c) agreed not to teach their children that homosexual conduct is wrong, or that Jesus is the only way to God, since these ideas have been found to hinder students’ social adjustment and acceptance
of other lifestyles and beliefs, and to run counter to the state’s interest in educating its children to be good citizens…
Not only has such a ruling not been made by the Supreme Court but as far as anything following (c) above, such a ruling could not be made. It would be a fundamental violation of freedom of religion under the first amendment. This is nothing but a persecution fantasy with no basis in reality at all.
President Obama’s response to the Supreme Court
After many of these decisions, especially those that restricted religious speech in public places, President Obama publicly expressed strong personal disapproval of the decision and said that the Supreme Court had gone far beyond what he ever expected. But he has also stated repeatedly that he had sworn to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,’ and, now that the Supreme Court had ruled, he had no choice but to uphold the law, for these decisions were the law of the land.
Now that is quite a backhanded compliment, and quite obviously meant as one. So poor Obama had no choice except to take away religious freedom because of the rogue Supreme Court that he had appointed? Right…
(21) Iraq: ‘The home of the brave’?
President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise and began regular withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, completing it in the promised 16 months, by April 2010. All was peaceful during those months, but then in May 2010, Al-Qaida operatives from Syria and Iran poured into Iraq and completely overwhelmed the Iraqi security forces. A Taliban-like oppression has taken over in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of ‘American sympathizers’ have been labeled as traitors, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The number put to death may soon reach the millions…
The American withdrawal from Iraq was not completed until December 18th 2011 and “Syrian and Iranian” Al-Qaida operatives did not flood or take over the country after we left.
(22) Terrorist attacks: ‘The home of the brave’?
President Obama directed U.S. intelligence services to cease all wiretapping of alleged terrorist phone calls unless they first obtained a warrant for each case. Terrorists captured overseas, instead of being tried in military
tribunals, are given full trials in the U.S. court system, and they have to be allowed access to a number of government secrets to prepare their defense.
Since 2009, terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing hundreds, and the entire country is fearful, for no place seems safe. President Obama in each case has vowed ‘to pursue and arrest and prosecute those responsible,’ but no arrests have been made…
Obama has not decreased security agency wiretapping authorization.
Terrorists captured overseas are not tried in civilian court.
Terrorists do not have access to “sources and methods” to prepare their defense.
No foreign based terror attacks have occurred within the United States.
No arrests? Really? Obama made sure his buddies got away huh? How puerile are you?
(23) Russia: ‘The home of the brave’?
…hostile foreign countries ‘tested’ President Obama in his first few months in office. The first test came from Russia. In early 2009, they followed the pattern they had begun in Georgia in 2008 and sent troops to occupy and re-take several Eastern European countries, starting with the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania…
…in the next three years, Russia occupied additional countries that had been previous Soviet satellite nations, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, with no military response from the U.S. or the U.N.. NATO heads of state have severely condemned Russia’s actions each time but they could never reach consensus on military action…
Didn’t happen. No other response needed. (BTW the cold war has been over for more than two decades.)
(24) Latin America: [‘The home of the brave’?]
President Obama has also moved to deepen U.S. ties and U.S. trade with communist regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, regimes that had long enjoyed the favor of far-Left factions in the Democratic Party. Several other Latin American countries seem ready to succumb to insurgent communist revolutionary factions funded and armed by millions of petrodollars from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
Didn’t happen. No other response needed. (Again, BTW the cold war has been over for more than two decades.)
(25) Israel: ‘The home of the brave’?
In mid-2010, Iran launched a nuclear bomb that exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night Cabinet meeting, Israel’s prime minister agreed. Israel is reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain…
Didn’t happen. But if it had our treaty obligations to Israel are quite clear, Iran would face immediate and overwhelming military retaliation by the United States for any such attack.
(26) Health care systems: [‘The land of the free’?]
The new Congress under President Obama passed a nationalized ‘single provider’ health care system, in which the U.S. government is the provider of all health care in the United States, following the pattern of nationalized medicine in the United Kingdom and Canada. The great benefit is that medical care is now free for everyone — if you can get it…
Although I really wish they had been right about this one, alas, it did not happen.
(27) Limited care for older Americans: ‘The land of the free’?
Because medical resources must be rationed carefully by the government, people older than 80 have essentially no access to hospitals or surgical procedures. Their ‘duty’ is increasingly thought to be to go home to die, so they don’t drain scarce resources from the medical system. Euthanasia is becoming more and more common.
Death Panels!11!! Once again, this didn’t happen either.
Taxes, the economy and the poor:
Many Christians who voted for Obama did so because they thought his tax policies were fairer and his ‘middle-class tax cuts’ would bring the economy out of its 2008 crisis. But once he took office, he followed the consistent pattern of the Democratic Party and his own record and asked Congress for a large tax increase.
Obama cut taxes for 95% of citizens and small businesses multiple times over the last four years. He has not increased taxes. Raising taxes in the middle of a recession only guarantees continued reduction in the countries GDP and further recession.
(28) Taxes: [‘The land of the free’?]
Tax rates have gone up on personal income, dividends, capital gains,
corporations, and inheritance transfers. The amount of income subject to Social Security tax has nearly doubled. The effect on the economy has been devastating. We have experienced a prolonged recession. Everyone has been hurt by this, but the poor have been hurt most. In dozens
of cities, there are no jobs to be found…
…When critics objected that Obama’s tax policies were leading to inflation and unemployment, he responded that our goal should not be merely to increase America’s materialism and wealth and prosperity, but to obtain a more just distribution of wealth, even if it costs everybody a little to achieve that important goal.
Remember what I just said above this paragraph? “Obama cut taxes for 95% of citizens and small businesses multiple times over the last four years. He has not increased taxes.” It is still true.
“Raising taxes in the middle of a recession only guarantees continued reduction in the countries GDP and further recession.” That is still true too, Obama knows it is true, and has fought to avoid raising taxes on the working class.
(29) Budget deficit: [‘The land of the free’?]
The federal budget deficit has increased dramatically under President
Obama, in spite of higher tax rates. Increasing tax rates on ‘the rich’ did nothing to reduce the deficit because the economy shrank so much with reduced investment that the total dollars collected in taxes actually decreased — even though most people’s tax rate is now higher…
While on paper it appears that deficit spending has gone up considerably under Obama in actuality Federal spending has barely increased at all. The Bush government used supplementary spending bills to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that money did not appear in the annual Federal Budget. Obama has instead included the costs of the wars in the budget and that along with the money loaned in the TARP bailouts has made the annual deficit (especially 2009) seem dramatically higher than it was previously.
(30) Union organizing: ‘The land of the free’?
In 2009, Congress passed and President Obama quickly signed a ‘card check’ program that nullified the requirement for secret ballots when voting on whether workers wanted a union shop.36 Now the union has to get signatures from a majority of workers in any business, and unions around the country are using strong-arm tactics to intimidate anyone who stands in their way. Several industries are completely unionized, and prices of goods produced by those industries have shot up as a result.
“Card Check” as in bypassing a secret ballot vote by employees on union representation in favor of simply automatically granting union status at any shop where more than 50% have submitted cards in favor of the union to the NLRB has not passed.
(31) Energy: [‘The land of the free’?]
World demand for oil continues to climb, and prices keep going up, but
President Obama for four years has refused to allow additional drilling for oil in the United States or offshore. Gas costs more than $7 per gallon, and many Democrats openly applaud this, since high prices reduce oil consumption and thus reduce carbon dioxide output. But working Americans are hit hard by these costs…
Oil and gas production within the United States has increased under Obama. While Romney likes to only cite that production on Federal lands has decreased by 14% which is true mainly due to the exhaustion of the existing wells, that isn’t the whole picture. Production on private lands has increased by over 200 million barrels, more than offsetting that decline. Also Obama has opened additional areas to offshore drilling, yes, he really has.
(32) Fairness Doctrine: ‘The land of the free’?
By the summer of 2009, the five-member FCC was controlled by Democratic appointees – including a chairman appointed by President Obama. The ‘Fairness Doctrine’ became a topic of FCC consideration following pressure from Democratic congressional leaders who initially did not have sufficient votes to pass the measure. The FCC quickly implemented the ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ which requires that radio stations provide ‘equal time’ for alternative views on political or policy issues…
…Conservative talk radio, for all intents and purposes, was shut down by the end of 2010.
While I have to admit that it makes a wonderful story of nasty government persecution to scare the “dittoheads” it simply isn’t true. No efforts have been made to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine beyond statements supporting its return made by a handful of Congressmen/women. It has been shown that there is very little support for bringing it back within the Democratic Caucus.
(33) Christian books: [‘The land of the free’?]
After the Supreme Court legalized same ‘sex marriage,’ homosexual-activist groups targeted three large Christian book publishers that had publications arguing that homosexual conduct was wrong based on the teachings of the Bible. The activists staged marches and protests at Barnes & Noble stores around the country, demanding the stores remove all books published by these ‘hate-mongering’ publishers. Barnes & Noble resisted for a time, but the protests continued, there was vandalism and secret defacing of books, and eventually the cost was too great and Barnes & Noble gave in. The same thing happened at Borders and other chains. Then they staged a massive nationwide computer attack on
Amazon.com, with the same demands, and the same result. As a result, those evangelical publishers could no longer distribute any of their books through any of these bookstore chains. Any Christian publisher that dares to print works critical of homosexual behavior faces the same fate. As a result, several Christian publishers have gone out of business.
While this has not happened, if it did, what does it have to do with either President Obama or the Supreme Court? These would be private citizens demonstrating against what they perceived as bigotry, I don’t see how the government is involved here.
Christians, who vastly outnumber non-Christians, could organize counter protests to nullify the protest’s effects anyway. That is how things work in America where we have the freedom to organize and demonstrate for what we believe in.
Prosecution of Bush administration officials
(34) Criminal charges against Republican officials: [‘The land of the free’?]
In his first week in office, Obama followed President Clinton’s precedent and fired all 93 U.S. attorneys, replacing them with his own appointments, including the most active members of the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU). President Obama argued this was not a selective political action like what President Bush had done, because Obama had fired all of them, conservatives and liberals alike. The Justice Department soon began to file criminal and civil charges against nearly every Bush administration official who had any involvement with the Iraq war…
No such firings or prosecutions ever took place. While war crimes (as recognized by international agreement standards) were committed by the United States in Iraq during the Bush administration no prosecutions were ever sought against anyone outside of the military.
Where is the opposition?
Has America completely lost God’s favor and protection as a nation? If it has, is this surprising?…
…The same question written in ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ by Francis Scott Key in 1814 rings in the air:
O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Now in October 2012, after seeing what has happened in the last four years, the answer to that question is ‘No.’ Our freedoms have been systematically taken away. Many of ‘the brave’ are in jail. We are no longer ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’
How did this happen?
When did this all start? Christians share a lot of the blame. In 2008, many evangelicals thought Senator Obama was an opportunity for a ‘change,’ and they voted for him. They did not realize Obama’s far-Left agenda would take away many of our freedoms, perhaps permanently (it is unlikely the Supreme Court can be changed for perhaps 30 years)…
…Christians didn’t take time to find out who Barack Obama was when they voted for him.
Why did they risk our nation’s future on him? It was a mistake that changed the course of history.
What about our faith?
Personally, I don’t know how we are going to get through tomorrow, for these are difficult times…
A Christian from 2012
And there you have it, we have finally reached the end of this terrible attempt at foreseeing the future. By my count that is 33 predictions that were completely wrong and only one that was partially correct. A very bad showing indeed by the Focus on the Family prognostication department.
Yet we still hear daily how Obama is ruining the country, leading us into socialism, and taking away our rights. Why is that? Is it because it really doesn’t matter whether any of this is true or not, that simply hearing negative prediction after negative prediction has lead many to conclude that where there is smoke there must also be fire? I for one believe this to be the case.
Particularly on the internet one constantly sees statements that Obama is destroying the country, they simple state it as if it were a self-evident fact. You rarely if ever see these statement followed by any examples or anecdotes explaining how he is doing this or why they believe it to be true. It is as if we are simply expected to know, I believe that many times it is articles just like the one above that have formed their certainty of Obama’s threat to America.
So next time someone starts talking about all the horrible, horrible, things that Obama has done, is doing, or will do in his next term? Give them a link to Part I of this post, who knows, maybe they will actually read it and get some factual information for a change.