08 February 2009
Weekend News Roundup
Unfortunately I've been buried under school work this past week, but I wanted to give a quick news round-up as to the most fascinating, depressing and ironically humorous stories filling the air waves.
1. Lets start with funny. Mitt Romney wrote a commentary piece for CNN this week in which he suggests that we should "stimulate the economy, not the government" by re-focusing the economic stimulus plan on boosting business and consumption. Okay, I don't think you need to be a political mastermind to realize Mitt's living in a fairy-tale (in fact, even basic math, like addition and subtraction are working against him). If I remember correctly, it was greedy business practices and over-consumption by consumers that led to the current meltdown and now - wait for it - Mitt wants to give more money to businesses and consumers? One, fixing infrastructure, modernizing schools and investing in green energy IS good for the economy and two, even if the government were to give more money to consumers, they wouldn't be spending it! All the research done on Bush's last "stimulus" checks show that Americans were saving, not buying (which, ironically, is the correct thing to do, though works against Romney's "plan"). Sorry Mitt, as story number two will shown, this whole "invisible hand" garbage isn't working because people are cheating. You know, the same people you want to give more money to.
2. Now for depressing. One in ten Americans is on food stamps. That's right, 10% of the United States - roughly 31 million people - are on a federal food assistance program because they can't afford to eat. Is this the American dream? Is this where unrestricted, "free market capitalism" gets us? We've got more wealth than anywhere on the planet and we can't pay people enough to afford food? Is this really the America we want? I'm all about capitalism to fuel innovation, ideas and growth, but not if everyone doesn't get a fair shot and playing the game. So Mitt, sit down and cork it. Congressional Republicans and Rush Limbaugh, you might want to do the same. Unfortunately, the numbers are against you, and numbers don't lie (unless you're a banker, apparently)
3. Now for ironic. The artist who drew the now infamous "Hope" image of Barack Obama has been ARRESTED and charged with copyright infringement by the Associated Press for "stealing the image." So what do we have here? The Associated Press wants to make a ton of money on the image that is supposed to symbolize a new, different America and they're going to bring down a graffiti artist who - through his art - energized a generation. Tidbit to the Associate Press - drop it, you look like a bunch of greedy, money-grubbing schmucks, regardless of whether you're right or wrong.
So that's the weekend round-up! More soon on discrimination, paying your taxes (or not paying them, if you're a Democrat nominated for a cabinet position) and the Oscars.