Posts Tagged Columbus Dispatch

Showdown, Shutdown, Shakedown by Will Durst


Showdown, Shutdown, Shakedown

Raging Moderate, by Will Durst

Government’s closed, everybody! Go home. Except Congress, that is, whose members are still getting paid, classified as “essential workers.” Although right now, neither one of those words seems very apt or ept. Unapt and inept is more like it. Inapt? Unept?

138298 600 Showdown, Shutdown, Shakedown cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

A minority of the majority of one house of Congress continues to hold the country hostage. “Down on the floor, America, and hands behind your back. Anybody moves, shoot ‘em.” And if we don’t agree to their demented demands, we’ll never see our families or Panda Cam again.

To say that the Tea Party really, really doesn’t like the Affordable Care Act is like intimating spotted brown bananas make for substandard grouting material. That Mel Gibson is unlikely to receive a plethora of invitations to speak at JDL benefits. That the prognosis for a patient whose spleen transplant was performed with rusty garden tools… is not good.

The fraying tassels on the GOP fringe appear to be willing to sacrifice everything to deny their constituents access to health care coverage. Two lambs. The recovery. Their reputation. The harvest. Nation’s credit rating. A virgin. John Boehner’s tan.

What they should be looking for is a time machine, because this issue has already been settled. By the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government. Which, according to all those Schoolhouse Rock videos, is pretty much all of them. Three out of three. Slam dunk. Total sweep. Full boat. Get a hammer and some planks to build a shelf for the freaking trophy, dude.

And if memory serves correctly, wasn’t last year’s presidential election a referendum on Obamacare? Every single Republican offered up as an alternative commander in chief railed against it with vein – popping intensity. And none won. Not to mention this same crew of Cruz’s crazies having made over 40 attempts to sink health care reform. All for naught. How many bites at the apple do you get before there is no apple?

So the government has totally ground to a halt, paralyzed by petty partisan squabbling. Or as they say inside the Beltway these days: a typical Thursday. Republicans complain Obama is not negotiating. Garnering their begrudging respect for following Reagan’s unbreakable dictum to refuse to negotiate with terrorists.

Besides, bills are negotiated, not settled law. If the Kamikaze Caucus gets their way on this, what’s next? Another showdown, shutdown, shakedown demanding Democrats dismantle NPR? A single representative from Oklahoma threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue if an oil derrick doesn’t replace George Washington on the $1 bill? Preschool intimidation to spur the repeal of the laws of gravity?

The extreme right wing of the party of the right is obviously convinced the public will regard this as one of those “a pox on both of their houses” deals. And they may be right. If Congress’ approval rating goes any lower, they’ll be able to look up to snake bellies. Losing ground on poisonous ticks. Pillow thorns.

And for a group ostensibly consumed with the deficit, these cry-cry-crybabies don’t seem too upset by the 300 million dollars the shutdown is costing every day. Because, hey! 300 million here. 300 million there. As Everett Dirksen is said to have pointed out, pretty soon you’re talking real money.

 Showdown, Shutdown, Shakedown by Will Durst.


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Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Deception Deepens


Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Deception Deepens


Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics continued its monthly deceit and deception exercise. The December unemployment rate, according to the BLS, is 7.8 percent. In the same report, BLS announced that 155,000 new jobs have been created.

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

Immediately after the BLS released its statistics, major media outlets spun the falsely calculated data into an optimistic analysis which concluded that the economy is rebounding strongly, a vindication of President Obama’s policies. One headline read that the latest BLS figures, broadly referred to as the U-3 unemployment rate, prove Obama’s “naysayers” have been wrong all along. However keep in mind that under the U-3 definition some counted as employed could work as little as an hour a week.

If the naysayers include African-Americans, women and young adults, then their skepticism is justified. Unemployment for women rose to 7.3 percent in December from 7.0 percent while the rate for African-Americans increased sharply to 14.0 percent from 13.2 percent in November.

Even though December normally experiences a job creation spike in temporary positions because of seasonal retail shopping patterns, black employment fell in December from nearly 16 million to 15.8 million.

As for young Americans age 18-29, their plight is equally grim. Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan organization which advocates for what it calls millennials, announced that the overall non-seasonally adjusted December youth unemployment rate is 11.5 percent including Hispanics,12.2 percent and women, 10.4 percent.

A more comprehensive unemployment rate is the U-6 which counts all unemployed individuals 16 years and older seeking full-time employment (the aforementioned U-3 rate), marginally attached workers and those working part-time despite wanting full employment. Marginally attached workers include the discouraged who have given up the employment search. The December U-6 unemployment rate is 14.4; the 2012 average nearly 14.8 percent.

Analysts rarely address the question of which types of jobs have been created and, by extension, what wage they pay. The so called FIRE economy—finance, insurance and real estate—continued its twenty-year soft trend. Many of those jobs have commission based salaries. Manufacturing, once the backbone of the American middle class, continued its two decade decline.

On the other hand, low paying leisure and hospitality jobs remain strong. In the hospitality sector, the average wage is $13.41 per hour with 26 hours representing an average work week. Few leisure positions offer health care, paid vacation or pension programs.

Even the liberal Economic Policy Institute unequivocally stated that the job market is stuck in a depressingly deep hole—4 million jobs away from returning to pre-recession employment levels. Add the jobs that should be created in a normal economy and the United States is short nine million jobs. Assuming December’s growth rate, the EPI estimates that the labor market won’t catch up until the end of 2021.

As if all this discouraging news isn’t bad enough for beleaguered American workers, legal and illegal immigrants have taken two-thirds of the net employment increase since 2009 when President Obama took office. A Center for Immigration Studies found that 1.94 million more immigrants were working in the third quarter of 2012 than at the start of 2009 when the president was inaugurated compared to a 938,000 increase for natives during the same time period.

Despite overwhelming, irrefutable evidence that 20 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed and equally compelling proof that authorizing more foreign-born workers adds to U.S. worker displacement, immigration remains on autopilot. An average 1 million new legal immigrants annually with work authorizations compete with Americans, often successfully, for scarce jobs.

The federal government’s craven immigration policy that hurts suffering, unemployed Americans is inexplicably set to continue in perpetuity.

 Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Deception Deepens.


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Romney: ‘We Don’t Have People Who Die Because They Don’t Have Insurance’ | ThinkProgress

Romney: ‘We Don’t Have People Who Die Because They Don’t Have Insurance’


By Rebecca Leber on Oct 11, 2012



Mitt Romney doubled down on his suggestion that uninsured Americans can find the care they need in emergency rooms, telling The Dispatch that people will always receive the treatment they need, and do not die or suffer because they can not pay for care. He pointed to federal law that requires hospitals to admit emergency patients, repeating his advice that patients rely on the most expensive form of care reserved strictly for emergencies. Romney told the Columbus Dispatch:

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’  ” he said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

He pointed out that federal law requires hospitals to treat those without health insurance — although hospital officials frequently say that drives up health-care costs.

Emergency rooms serve as a place of last resort, but 45,000 Americans still die every year because they lack health insurance, or one every 12 minutes. Uninsured adults under age 65 are also at a 40 percent higher death risk. Hospitals may treat patients for emergency medical conditions regardless of legal status or ability to pay, but patients with chronic conditions that don’t require emergency interference are often unable to access needed care.

Romney’s health care proposal would leave 72 million Americans without health insurance and wouldn’t provide all uninsured Americans with a stable source of insurance.

 Romney: ‘We Don’t Have People Who Die Because They Don’t Have Insurance’ | ThinkProgress.


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Cagle Post » Cartoonists Dig In on Obama Dog Meat Story

Yesterday, The Daily Caller broke” the story that while living in Indonesia with his stepfather, a young President Obama ate many adventurous meals, including dog meat.

From a passage of his book “Dreams From My Father,” Obama recounts that he “learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy).”

Romney supporters leaped on the news, as the former Massachusetts governor has been dogged by the story of  the family’s Irish setter Seamus, who traveled in a crate strapped to the top of the family’s station wagon on a 1983 trip from Boston to Canada.

Leave it to our terrific conservative cartoonist Eric Allie to nail the president with his latest cartoon:

Nate Beeler, the new staff cartoonist for the Columbus Dispatch, also weighed in on “Dogmeatgate”:

I asked Nate about his dog meat cartoon, and if he thought either dog story were fair game for reporters. Here are his thoughts:

The “Obama ate a dog” story was too juicy (apologies) to ignore. It’s just plain funny. Adding to the comedy is the fact that people are talking about the candidates’ decades-ago treatment of dogs in the first place. Obama’s campaign is “obsessed with the dog thing,” as even liberal commentators like Chris Hayes acknowledge. And now Romney supporters will obsess over the ate-a-dog thing. There are much bigger fish to fry — and like most people, I prefer seafood over canine. When it comes to election politics, fairness goes out the window. I hope my cartoon helps highlight how silly it is.

So what do you think – is it fair to attack Obama on something he did as a child? Comment below and let us know, or leave a note on our Facebook page.

 Cagle Post » Cartoonists Dig In on Obama Dog Meat Story.

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Cagle Post » The Future of Manned Spaceflight: Five Cartoons

The Future of Manned Spaceflight: Five Cartoons

Yesterday, the nation seemed fixated by images of the space shuttle Discovery flying over Washington on the back of a 747. The shuttle program has long been an symbol of American innovation and captured the imagination of millions across the globe, but with nothing in the pipeline to take its place, seeing the old workhorse circle around the Capital seems just like a sad reminder of an America in decline.

Here are five terrific cartoons that comment on our suddenly listless future of manned space flight.


Jeff Parker / Florida Today (click to view more cartoons by Parker)

Kirk Walters / Toledo Blade (Click to view more cartoons by Walters)

John Cole / Scranton Times-Tribune (click to view more cartoons by Cole)

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch (click to view more cartoons by Beeler)

Bob Englehart / Hartford Courant (click to view more cartoons by Englehart)

 Cagle Post » The Future of Manned Spaceflight: Five Cartoons.

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