Some interesting snippets on matters of the economy at the end of the week.
Reuters lets us know that the economy in the fourth quarter of last year grew a tad stronger than was initially thought.
(Reuters) – The U.S. economy grew more quickly than previously thought in the fourth quarter…
Gross domestic product rose at an annualized rate of 3.1 percent, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate, revised up from 2.8 percent.
Several thoughts on this, first of all, even though 3.1% growth isn’t particularly anything to write home about, it’s better than 2.8% so you’d think that the Administration would be crowing about it. After all, it’s moving in the right direction. So why’d they release the news on Friday? Maybe it could be the rest of the information in the article, ya think? What could be wrong? Well…
The Wall Street Journal reports that Harry & David Holdings Inc, the venerable retailer of holiday gift baskets through their famous catalogs, is poised to file Chapter 11. Burdened with $200 million of debt and in trouble with the lenders in its revolving credit facility, the firm is expected to opt for a pre-packaged bankruptcy. The firm is reeling from weak sales over the 2010 Christmas shopping season. The company’s home town of Medford Oregon is braced for the fallout from the filing, having already been through several rounds of downsizing.
The expected bankruptcy filing by this iconic compamy is another indicator of the strength and breadth of the recession which began in 2008, and the tenuous nature of the recovery.
The full WSJ article may be accessed here (subscription required).
Tennessee Democrat Jimmy Naifeh, and some GOP House members who haven’t yet read the memo reporting their party holds the majority, attached a poison pill amendment to a House bill last week that would have amended the Tennessee Constitution to forever do away with the possibility of a state income tax.
The TEA, supported by their Labor brothers from a variety of different unions, gathered at Nashville’s Legislative Plaza three weeks ago to tell anyone who would listen that ending Collective Bargaining rights for teachers and public sector unions wasn’t just bad for teachers, it was bad for Tennessee.
In the last month, Tennessee skirmishes have begun in the larger battle for the interests of workers involving a person’s Right to Work as opposed to forcing them to participate in and fund unions which they do not support or wish to finance.
If you listen to Democrats and Unions, what is best for the people and workers of the United States of America is Income Taxes; increased public sector union growth fueled by Collective Bargaining, and; forcing participation in both public and private sector unions by requiring union membership and forced collection of union dues. These things aren’t just good for the people. By inference, they are what the people themselves would choose if they had the ability to do so.
However, to quote Ronald Reagan, “…the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Before anyone who reads this comes to the conclusion that I am criticizing the decision to go after Qaddafi and quell the attacks on innocent civilians he has undertaken to try and hold onto power, then draw another conclusion. Qaddafi is a thug who should be taken out and taken out quickly for the betterment of the Libyan people and the world. Since the late seventies Qaddafi has been a thorn in the side of the world and his latest actions are adding to a multitude of crimes against The United States and humanity as a whole that deserve the end of a rope and a quick drop.
The problem with what is happening in the effort to quell this terrorist thug is not THAT it is being done but it has come too late to actually fulfill a real possibility that Qaddafi will absolutely be taken out. Although Rebels are gaining a little ground in the last couple of days, Qaddafi has defied the wishy washy calls especially from Obama for him to step down and knowing that there is not a specific goal of taking him out of power, Qaddafi even if he loses some of the country to rebels will hang on with enough military and yes civilian support to remain in power laughing at an ill defined and leaderless coalition and thus emboldening other such thugs to see that especially a US under Barack Obama no longer has the stomach to stand for what is right.
In the now infamous, “Black Hawk Down,” incident in Somalia where US soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu before the cameras of the world with US troops under foreign command and not allowed to go in, in force nor mount a strong rescue mission because the political misgiving of that foreign command, then shortly after the incident US troops were pulled out of Somalia because of an ill defined mission, a little known terrorist and his equally unknown organization became emboldened to later mount the worst terrorist attack in our history. Usama bin Ladin attributes our actions in Somalia to his realization that the US did not have the stomach to fight and he began planning 9/11.
Because of an extremely weak and indecisive Commander in Chief we may very well be approaching a similar situation in Libya. Beginning this week US troops will be under the command of a NATO committee which must come to a consensus to decide how to move, plan or attack in any situation that may rise concerning the effort in Libya. there is only one power in the world who has the ability to lead any such operation and the technology to make it happen and that is The United States.
Earlier this week I was a guest on the Joy Cardin show, which is broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio. The topic: Libya. My sparring partner: Alan Kuperman, an associate professor of public affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in Austin.
Kuperman used to work for left-wing Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and is against U.S. military action in Libya. I, of course, am a card-carrying member of the vast right-wing conspiracy and support American involvement there.
You can listen to the our exchange for yourself; but here are a few quick thoughts and reactions.
- The show’s producers, it seems, had a difficult time finding anyone who would support Obama administration policy in Libya.
They called me almost at the last minute, and sounded relieved to have found someone finally who, publicly and on record, would side with Obama. This reveals, I think, that the president and his administration have not done a good job of explaining and articulating U.S. foreign policy.
- Although I support Obama’s decision to aid the Libyan rebels, I am hardly an uncritical cheerleader, as readers here know.
In fact, one of my biggest concerns is that American military involvement is