As if June's dismal weather wasn't bad* enough, the Labor Department today released unemployment data for the month.
Is there such a thing as an umbrella that can shield us from sadness?
The American economy shed 467,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent, its highest level in 26 years, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
And the kicker, the four-foot gutter puddle, if you will:
The median time people go without a job has increased to more than four months, from slightly more than two months at the outset of the recession in December 2007.
“We have never seen a duration of that magnitude,” Lynn Reaser, vice president for the National Association for Business Economics, said. “There are a lot of ramifications. A lot of these people become discouraged, and they drop out of the work force. It affects their spending, their whole psychological frame of mind.”
And you know what we call that phenomenon, don't you?
That's right. A mental recession.
*At least it was bad on the East Coast. If you live someplace that's been dry and sunny, do me a favor and don't talk about it.
Tags: Economy, Phil Gramm, Unemployment
John McCain's campaign has gone through many identities, slogans, advisors and theme songs penned by liberals, but one thing has always remained constant: A campaign surrogate making headlines with his/her idiotic remarks.
There's been quite a list of McCain "gaffers" over the last 18 months, including but not limited to…
* Phil Gramm (called America "a nation of whiners" trapped in a "mental recession")
* Douglas Holtz-Eakin (claimed McCain invented the Blackberry, despite his being computer illiterate)
* Carly Fiorina (said that McCain was unqualified to manage a computer company)
* Sarah Palin (caught misstating the GDP of Namibia by 0.75% during an impromptu trade lecture to an Ohio waitress)
And now there's a new person ready to assume the duty of embarrassing McCain with his totally uninformed commentary: Joe the Plumber/Country Singer. (Who, at this point, outranks both Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis within the campaign.)
Here's Joe regarding a problem that plumbers are confronted with on nearly every house call they make: The security of Israel…
When the McCain supporter asked him if he believed "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel," Mr. Wurzelbacher replied, "I'll go ahead and agree with you on that." He didn't elaborate on how Mr. Obama, who has said his commitment to Israeli security is "nonnegotiable," would be bad for the Jewish state.
Later, during a Fox News interview with Shepard Smith, Joe reiterated his claim, putting Smith in the very un-Fox position of defending Obama.
With surrogates like Joe following in the grand tradition of Gramm and Fiorina, Barack Obama should get enough donations to stay on TV through next year's World Series as well.
Of course embarrassments run both ways. Who's to say that McCain can't return the favor by endorsing Joe's forthcoming bid for Congress with a trademark tasteless joke and a declaration that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong"?
Tags: Carly Fiorina, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Economy, House of Representatives, Israel, Joe the Plumber, John McCain, Phil Gramm, Sarah Palin, Science & Technology
John McCain is going through economic advisors like Sarah Palin goes through colleges.
This week's victim is Carly Fiorina, who told MSNBC that John McCain and Sarah Palin were too inept to run a computer company and would instead have to work their way up through the United States government. (Too be fair, she said the same thing about Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but that's only because they're so sexist.)
According to an unnamed McCain staffer, Fiorina is about to be handled like a 1940's Soviet dissident…
"Carly will now disappear," this source said. "Senator McCain was furious."…
Fiorina was booked for several TV interviews over the next few days, including one on CNN. Those interviews have been canceled.
Fiorina will have company in the John McCain doghouse. It's been occupied for months now by fellow McCain economic advisor Phil "Nation of Whiners" Gramm, who was banished in July for saying the U.S. was in a "mental recession."
Gramm was recently believed to have redeemed himself, since he spent last week unsuccessfully lobbying Ron Paul to endorse McCain. (Note to Ron Paul fans with a Google Alert on his name: That is the only mention of him in this post. You may now return to your regularly scheduled revolution.)
But Gramm is now more reviled than ever with the news that his 2000 Senate banking deregulation bill directly enabled the current fiasco on Wall Street. (When both Drudge and Mother Jones report the same news, you'd better believe it's true.)
So it's off to Siberia for both Gramm and Fiorina — neither one to be heard from again. But even with the TV cameras gone, they had still better watch what they say about their old boss, John McCain.
Remember this is a man who can hear through a cone of silence.
Tags: Carly Fiorina, Economy, John McCain, MSNBC, Phil Gramm, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin