Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Blend

With a RealClear Politics poll revealing that Obama's approval rating is at 47.1%,and Congress' approval rating at a paltry 20.4%, still we slog on through the healthcare "crisis" that is stalling progress in other areas and testing the patience of Americans who thought that they had already been loud and clear on this.  As most Amercans continue to worry about losing their job or have already lost their job, the economy continues to suffer.  Every day.  Vacations are put on hold (sorry, tourism), homes remain on the market and renovations put on hold (sorry, real estate market), goods and services are scaled back (sorry, retailers and all sorts of service-oriented entities). Unemployment did see a modest improvement statistically speaking, from 10.0% to 9.7% in January.  But there's this from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for January:

"The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over)
continued to trend up in January, reaching 6.3 million. Since the start of
the recession in December 2007, the number of long-term unemployed has risen
by 5.0 million. (See table A-12.)

In January, the civilian labor force participation rate was little changed at
64.7 percent. The employment-population ratio rose from 58.2 to 58.4 percent.
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons (sometimes
referred to as involuntary part-time workers) fell from 9.2 to 8.3 million
in January. These individuals were working part time because their hours had
been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job."
 
And we have idiotic, potentially illegal shenanigans going on like the Nebraska deal?  Why is the President pushing forward on this, and why wouldn't Harry Reid move forward the more modest-gains healthcare proposal that some Republicans were actually on board with?  Think of it this way: if we passed one bill that established that it is illegal to deny coverage to persons with an existing health problem, that would be HUGE for healthcare in 2010.  Can't we look at this one piece at a time, and turn our public focus (what leaders talk about on TV, C-SPAN) to jobs?  That would sure make people sitting around unemployed feel better, to see that on tv.  (That and the Americans beating the Canadians again at hockey in the Olympics.) Please drop the hubris and concentrate on jobs, Mr. President.

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