Whatever the specifics, however, falling wages are a symptom of a sick economy. And they’re a symptom that can make the economy even sicker.
First things first: anecdotes about falling wages are proliferating, but how broad is the phenomenon? The answer is, very.
Amazing what happens when you cast aside the testosterone.
I know bristling Dick Cheney believes America’s enemies now perceive "a weak president," as do sundry Republican senators, but the truth is that foes of the United States have been disarmed by Barack Obama’s no-drama diplomacy.
Noted virologist Peter Palese, in the WSJ:
The preparedness plans developed against the H5N1 influenza threat dramatically improved overall surveillance (we would probably not have learned so fast about the swine virus were it not for these improved capabilities). Major advances have been initiated by our government to develop new and improved manufacturing processes and exciting new vaccine and antiviral approaches are also in the pipeline, and they show promise of tipping the balance in favor of humans against a devious virus. For example, universal influenza vaccines (one long-lasting vaccine against all strains) and broadband antivirals are being developed in our academic laboratories and in innovative small biotech companies. This work has been primarily funded by the NIH and the CDC and it will pay off by diminishing the future impact of influenza on the health of our citizens and on the economy of our country. It is prudent to prepare against swine influenza, but equally important to keep a balanced outlook and an awareness of our current capabilities.
Good that H5N1 preparation helped out here. Palese says this particular H1N1's not so bad, and not The Big One.
Steve Benen: Specter: from RINO to DINO.
pollster.com: Who wants to be a Republican, raise your hand?
Nate Silver: Let's talk about party ID and Republican decline
This party's over: Specter's departure is one more sign of the GOP's slide into immoderation and irrelevance.
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From John King's State of the Union on CNN, Mittens wonderful analysis of why the GOP lost the last election. The economy fell apart while they were holding the hot potato. Heaven forbid the GOP's policies might have been a failure and the electorate punished them for it. It was just bad timing.
KING: And as you try to learn about how to have a better platform and better communications in the next election, give me each of your assessment of the last one. Barack Obama won big in the suburbs. It used to be Republican territory. Won big in the suburbs. Took two-thirds of the Latino vote. Was that because voters were mad at George W. Bush and maybe didn't see enough in John McCain or was it because they turned the page and looked at the competing proposals and said, I want this guy and not those guys?
ROMNEY: I frankly believe that much of what happened in the last election revolved around the fact that the economy fell apart at the time we were, if you will, holding the hot potato. Republicans and Democrats have been playing this game, passing the hot the potato, spending money like there was no tomorrow.
And the economy came crashing down while our party was holding the hot potato. And people said, hey, it's time for something else but I think if they took a good, hard look at what the -- something else is planning on doing with regards to the massive borrowing, they are going to say, that is probably not the right thing for America's future.
I'm concerned that what the president is doing to our overall economy is what the government did to housing, which is spend too much and borrow too much, create a bubble, and that bubble ultimately collapses.
KING: Was it bad timing or was it bad choices?
CANTOR: Listen, I don't think there is any single reason why you can explain the election in November. First of all, could we have done better in Washington? Absolutely. I mean, could we have been more centered on our thoughts of fiscal sanity in Washington? Absolutely.
Did the American public tire of the Iraq War? You had better believe it. Even though we had our men area women were fighting every day for our freedom, the public's patience was wearing thin because no one likes to be at war.
And as the governor says, we had a collapse in our financial markets 30 days before the election. So there was a lot of fear, and a lot of desire to say, hey, we want to put these bad times behind us.
But, ultimately, the future is about trying to be relevant in terms of what we're talking about, the policy prescriptions that we are going to propose to make sure that they make a difference.
And it's not that the Republicans need to change, to become like Democrats. We know the principles upon which our party is founded. They are the principles of free markets, of the rights of the individuals, of the faith in individuals, the faith in God, the ability for people to stand up on their own and reach for that opportunity.
Philip Gourevitch on torture in the new New Yorker. [...]
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The Obamas' live-in babysitter gets her first-100-days report in the White House and, fittingly enough, Sally Quinn, the sharpest-tongued reporter of Mrs. Robinson's generation, delivers the verdict: ?the perfect grandmother you?d kill for: cozy, nice, sweet, friendly, dear.?
?It seemed to me," Quinn says after meeting her at a lunch hosted by Teresa Heinz Kerry, "that she?s perfectly comfortable in her new life."
The Obamas may have been hoping for a full-time sitter, but it hasn't quite worked out that way.
"We're shuttling kids back and forth to play dates, just like usual," the First Lady says, "although now my mom does a little more of the shuttling than I do. I'm glad to have her here." But there's a but: "She has a very full social life, so much so that sometimes we have to plan our schedule around her schedule."
Mrs. Robinson, who at first resisted the move ("kicking and screaming," according to her son), has traded in her Chicago routine of friends, family and weekly yoga class for a taste of the Washington social whirl and seems to be savoring it.
Way to go, grandma.
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Republicans looking to recover from Bush-era defeats are turning to an unlikely source for advice: top aides to former President George W. Bush.Yes, the Bush White House. The gold standard for Republican communications. So good at messaging, they handed the House, Senate and White House to the Democrats and brought the Republican party down to a shocking 20% self-identification.
Former White House press secretary Dana Perino, former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie and former White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto are among those set to provide words of wisdom to House Republican press secretaries at their annual workshop this Friday.
GOP House Conference Communications Director Matt Lloyd said Perino, Gillespie and Fratto represented ?the gold standard for Republican communications professionals? and were obvious choices to advise the party?s messengers.
Dear S. C. Education Supporter:
Yes, I know you signed our petition to the legislature supporting a constitutional amendment to replace "a minimally adequate education" with a "high quality education", allowing every student to reach their highest potential.
Thanks, again, for signing.
But right now, please add one - just one - name to the petition so we can begin to build our signature base. Just one more name of a family will do!
If this one person does not have an email address, type in firstname.lastname@example.org and that will allow the name to be added. Anyone of school age and older can be on the petition.
Just one more name today.
Please do this right now!
A second wave?Good news.More good news. If only the press were as tough as a 4th grader. Specter: the GOP base is crazy. Palin and parental consent.Updated Senate rankings from Nate.We can hope, anyway.[...]
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"The media seem to be pretty much sticking with swine flu," Al writes in today's "In the Loop" column, "and that's bad news for the country's 67,000 pork producers." But maybe we just need some swine-friendlier imagery. Like, who would want to bust Porky Pig's chops?
It was our Washington Post "In the Loop" pal Al Kamen who clued us in to the e-mail sent out to all Democratic press secretaries by House Ag Committee communications director April Slayton with the "request" to "avoid using a pig in any graphics for the current flu outbreak that you are creating for your website and other media," and in general to avoid use of the pork-unfriendly moniker "swine flu."
The press secretaries may have gotten the message, but the press hasn't, and the public sure hasn't. Quick, what's the appropriate CDC-sanctioned name for the new flu? "N1H1," you say? Oh, that's so close! But I'm afraid you're eliminated. Thanks for playing our game.
"The letter-number thing won't stick," Al insists. "H1N1 is just too cumbersome and wholly lacking in imagery. You can't get the public to focus on, and take measures to prevent, something they can't even remember, let alone visualize."
Loop fans to the rescue, says Al.
It's time for the Loop Name the Flu contest. Yes, simply come up with a better name -- more accurate than swine flu, less wonky than H1N1 -- for the virus. Something that people can remember, that might help remind them to wash their hands regularly, stay home if they have symptoms and so on.
The 10 winners will receive one of those coveted, fine-quality, In the Loop T-shirts.
Misha Lerner has a questionfor Condoleezza Rice What did Rice think about the things President Obama's administration was saying about the methods the Bush administration had used to get information from detainees? Monday's Headlines: [...]
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