Radio commentary, August 27, 2009

Not all that much to say. The economy continues to stumble along, not really declining, but not really improving either. First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 10,000 last week, but remain quite elevated. On a graph, the picture is of a distinct improvement during spring and early summer, followed by a stall. The number of people continuing to draw benefits fell by 119,000 the week before (the continuing claims numbers are always a week behind the initial claims figures), but they too remain quite elevated, and are only in the mildest of… Read More

Fresh audio

Just posted: my August 27 radio show. Ned Sublette, author of The Year Before the Flood and The World That Made New Orleans, on that city, its culture and music, and the aftermath of Katrina (plus the radio premiere of his song, “Between Piety and Desire”) • Adolph Reed on the dismal state of the left and the waning usefulness of “race” as a category

Get your LBO sample here

Article from LBO #119 freshly posted to the web: Americans: sick, poor, undereducated, overworked, smug. Or, “How American awfulness stacks up.” A review of the OECD’s latest Social Indicators, showing just how bad off the USA is compared with most other rich countries in a host of important ways. We post samples from LBO to the web for free consumption—but only a few, and with a delay. If you like what you see, subscribe.

De mortuis: Teddy Kennedy & dereg

According to just about everybody, Teddy Kennedy represented the “soul” of the Democratic party, which presumably refers to his long-professed concern the poor and the weak. Now that that soul is safely buried, the Dems can move on to the important stuff, like preserving Wall Street power and escalating the war in Afghanistan. Let’s inspect that soul a little more closely though. I’ve never been inclined to hold my tongue about the recently departed. Well, yes, in personal life, but certainly not public life—especially in the midst of one of these orchestrated… Read More

LBO #120 out!

Already emailed to subscribers, and at the printer for the dead-tree crowd: LBO #120. Contents: Bad medicine, bad politics • That bad case of consumption • Why doesn’t USA Inc. support single-payer? • Deleveraging: how much? • Worst over—now what? • How much richer the rich have gotten Click here for a taste. Click here to subscribe. The reason for the prompt appearance of #120, reversing a 20-year history of missed schedules? The appointment of Liza Featherstone as counseling editrix. Many more to come…on time!

A relic from the museum of bad ideas

A surviving memento of a bygone era, photographed in Brooklyn, on Lafayette Ave. between Grand and Classon (40°41’19.8″ N, 73°57’39.6″ W, sez the iPhone’s GPS). Next to it appears to be one of those spontaneous memorials that arise when someone is killed on the street.

The Whole Foods brouhaha

So apparently a lot of high-minded liberals are annoyed by the reactionary WSJ op-ed written by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. Mackey is afraid that Obamacare will take us further down the Road to Serfdom. The money quote: “The last thing our country needs is a massive new health care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health care system.” HuffPo and Daily Kos types are doing what they do best: furiously venting in comments sections and… Read More

Radio commentary, August 15, 2009

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve completed its regular policy-setting meeting, an event that happens every six weeks or so. The communiqué they issued after this one contained few surprises. They see the economy as leveling out, and the financial markets in an improving trend, but prosperity as anything but around the corner. More precisely, they expect economic activity “to remain weak for a time,” and anticipate that they will continue to engineer a regime of “exceptionally low,” in their phrase, interest rates. They see the risks of inflation as very low too—unlike a… Read More

Liza Featherstone, counseling editrix

In LBO news—actual news related to Left Business Observer, a newsletter—Liza Featherstone has been appointed counseling editrix of the publication. Her responsibilities will include tightening and buffing the prose and disciplining the recalcitrant and tardy publication into a schedule. The masthead of #120, now in production, will reflect this change. The staff of LBO is very excited about this development.

Radio commentary, August 8, 2009

[WBAI is fundraising this week and next. My fundraiser is next week—be sure to pledge during my slot, details to follow!—and I was pre-empted on August 6. My KPFA show for August 8 is mostly a rerun, but it did contain this fresh commentary.] If you’re an American taxpayer, you’re an owner of AIG, the failed insurance company. According to a piece in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal (which did the research itself—God, I’m going to miss newspapers), AIG and the Federal Reserve, a branch of the U.S. government, will be paying Wall Street… Read More