Tag Archives: U.S. economy

Worst Quotes of the Week – May 1, 2021

“You know who else liked universal day care.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), responding to President Biden’s child-care proposal and referencing a 1974 New York Times story about the prevalence of affordable child care in the former Soviet Union

“[The new administration] wants to jack up taxes in order to nudge families toward the kinds of jobs Democrats want them to have, in the kinds of industries Democrats want to exist, with the kinds of cars Democrats want them to drive, using the kinds of child-care arrangements that Democrats want them to pursue.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), regarding President Biden’s USD 1.8 trillion proposal that includes expansion of investments into childcare and education

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Notes on Normal

A sign of hope for America.

Things are beginning to return to the way they were.  At least for me.  I found Lysol® at the store last week!  It’s a small – yet strangely ridiculous – sign of hope.  Maybe not so much strange as pathetic.  I mean, are things really so out of whack that we get excited about Lysol and toilet paper?

Last year started off rough for me, when my mother suffered a debilitating stroke.  I reluctantly had to place her in a rehabilitation facility to help her heal.  Her dementia only intensified matters.  Then the pandemic hit.  And then the facility practically evicted her in May of 2020 because her Medicare benefits expired.  She finally passed at the end of June.

The stress of caring for both of my elderly parents for so long seemed to hit afterwards as my body and mind almost completely collapsed.  In the midst of a global plague, I naturally thought I had “The Virus”.  But it was just that relentless stress.  I already knew its effects from life in the working world.  Yet I’d never felt it so personally.

Alas, the U.S. economy is regaining strength, for which conservatives are crediting Donald Trump.  But those of us with more than a few brain cells know Trump’s actions and behavior throughout his thankfully single term in office traumatized the American psyche and steered our financial situation into greater distress.

We finally have a president, though, who know how to act…well, presidential!  Joe Biden may be an old codger, but as someone rapidly headed towards 60, I’d rather have an old man who knows how to govern than a failed businessman / tax cheat / cretin of a human being who brags about fondling women and holds up a bible like it’s a copy of Mein Kompf for a cheap photo op.

Earlier this week I started working on a temporary job – one that requires me to actually get into my truck and drive to an office building in a neighboring suburb.  Aside from having to wear a face mask whenever I leave my desk, it’s a rather normal and ordinary corporate environment.  Oddly, it feels good to go somewhere other than a store or a restaurant during the week.

Some other things, however, remain troublesome.  Like its owner, my 15-year-old vehicle is showing its age.  I really think it just wants to lead a life of its own – much like my body.  Unfortunately, I’ve gained too much weight over the past several months.  I believe that’s a recurring problem.  But rotund physiques have become a common sight here in the U.S.  If I’d known better, I would have invested in sweat pants years ago!

Regardless, I still see hope on the horizon of mediocre.  Now, I must do some sit-ups and enjoy spraying that Lysol.

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Best Quotes of the Week – March 13, 2021

“I believe this… historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people of this nation – working people, middle class folks, people that built the country – a fighting chance.  I’m going to have a lot more to say about that tonight and the next couple days.”

President Joe Biden, upon signing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

“ … Conspiracy theories should have no place in the Christian life. As people who claim to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, we should not risk our public witness for political fantasies. We should denounce any movement that spreads false information.”

Seth Brown, in response to social media posts by Luke Coffee, former actor and conspiracy proponent, who took part in the January 6 Capitol Hill riots

Brown works with North Carolina-based Biblical Recorder and has written extensively for Southern Baptists about QAnon.

“In societies with bigger differences between rich and poor, women are less enfranchised and have less power, resources, and prestige than women in societies where those differences are smaller.”

Kate Pickett, British epidemiologist and Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of New York, in “Fissures That Tear Us Apart and Pressures That Weigh Us All Down”, Social Europe, 03/08/21

“In Austin, we’re committed to saving lives, period.  If state officials don’t want to do their jobs protecting people from the virus, then we will.”

Greg Casar, Austin, Texas City Councilman, responding to Gov. Abbott’s order rescinding mandatory mask-wearing in public

The Governor’s new order went into effect March 10, but the City of Austin plans to retain a mask mandate for the immediate future.

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Photos of the Week – November 28, 2020

These are images of people waiting at various food banks across the United States in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  I’m sure these people are thrilled to know the Dow Jones Industrial reached 30,000 this week.  This happened in the richest goddamn country in the world.

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Most Ominous Quotes of the Week – November 28, 2020

“The economy is going to be very uncomfortable between now and when we get the next fiscal rescue package.  If lawmakers can’t get it together, it will be very difficult for the economy to avoid going back into a recession.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, on rising unemployment claims

“This winter will be grim.”

Economists at JPMorgan Chase, in a report slashing their forecast for the 2021 first quarter to a negative 1% annual GDP rate

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Worst Quote(s) of the Week – August 29, 2020

While there were some patriotic highlights of President Donald Trump’s speech this week at the Republican National Convention, I found more hypocrisy, factual errors and blatantly hostile rhetoric.  Below is his entire speech, followed by what I feel were some of the most egregious comments amidst the verbiage.

“In recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy.  Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge.  We are delivering life-saving therapies and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”

“Joe Biden is not a savior of America’s soul; he is the destroyer of America’s jobs, and if given the chance he will be the destroyer of American greatness.  For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses and told them he felt their pain.  And then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship our jobs to China and many other distant lands.  Joe Biden spent his entire career outsourcing their dreams and the dreams of American workers, offshoring their jobs, opening their borders and sending their sons and daughters to fight in endless foreign wars, wars that never ended.”

“We have already built 300 miles of border wall, and we are adding 10 new miles every single week.  The wall will soon be complete.  And it is working beyond our wildest expectations.”

(It must be noted, while Congress has authorized some spending for the project, most of the money for wall construction has been redirected from the military at the president’s insistence.  Also Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon participated in a private effort to raise money for a border wall.  Last week, Bannon and three others were indicted on charges that they siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars each from the wall fund for their own personal use. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.)

“And I say very modestly that I have done more for the African-American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president.”

President Donald Trump, during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention

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Best Quote of the Week – August 29, 2020

Scott Horsley 2010

“Before the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. unemployment rate was just 3.5% – as low as it had been in half a century.  But economic growth fell short of what President Trump and his advisers promised.  The economy grew 2.2% last year, roughly on par with the pace over the past decade.  Growth briefly hit Trump’s 3% target in 2018, following passage of the Republican tax cut.  But that now appears to have been a short-lived “sugar high.”  While supporters of the tax cut said it would encourage more business investment and spark a decade of sustained 3% annual growth, business investment actually slumped for most of last year.  That was partly a result of sagging global demand as well as uncertainty stemming from the president’s trade war.”

Scott Horsley, NPR Chief Economics Correspondent, in response to Donald Trump’s claims about an improving economy during the President’s speech at the Republican National Convention

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Photo of the Week – August 22, 2020

During a virtual roll-call at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, the 18th, the Rhode Island delegation was represented by John Bordieri, the executive chef at Iggy’s Boardwalk, a seafood restaurant on Narragansett Bay.  Bordieri initially bemoaned how badly both the seafood and restaurant industries have been hit by the current COVID-19 pandemic – while a masked man stood next to him holding a plate of fried calamari.

As many discussed the beautiful beachfront setting and / or the idea of dining on fried calamari, many wondered who the beefy man perched beside Bordieri is – and if he does private parties!  I don’t know what calamari or beachfronts have to do with politics, but this setup added a colorful diversion to an otherwise lackluster convention.

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Tweet of the Week – March 20, 2020

“This might be easy for you, Senator, but you’re not a server losing wages, a single mom losing her job to stay home with her kids, or one of 5 million Texans without insurance.  I’m glad you’re ending your long weekend and hope you’ll pass the legislation they need QUICKLY.”

M.J. Hegar, former U.S. Air Force pilot, Afghanistan War veteran, and Texas Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, in response to a tweet by Sen. John Cornyn.

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Photo of the Week – March 13, 2020

On Thursday, March 12, the U.S. stock market experienced its worst day since October 19, 1987 (“Black Monday”).  They recovered somewhat today, March 13, but economists fear a recession looms on the financial horizon.

The above expression is what many people had on November 9, 2016.  It’s also the same expression I had when I found out Madonna really wasn’t a virgin.  Then, I remembered – the song said “LIKE a Virgin”.

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