The state of the economy remains one of the top issues in the media and in people’s minds. And rightly so. Last week, the Labor Department released a report stating that no new jobs were created in the month of August. Official unemployment remains at 9.1% at the end of August, which is up from 8.8% at the end of July, according to Gallup. This dismal jobs situation put pressure on Obama to create a jobs bill, which he outlined in a speech to a joint-session of Congress yesterday evening (which I’ll come back to later on). Given the coverage and obvious importance of the current economic situation, I decided to show some useful statistics that portray the depth of this crisis and show, in my opinion, that things are actually worse than the media says it is. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Barack Obama
Obama’s Middle East speech…nothing new here
President Barack Obama’s speech about recent developments in the Middle East was unimpressive. He proclaimed the U.S. supports democracy and “universal rights” but given the U.S.’s practice of torture and occupation of two countries, that proclamation is hypocritical. Obama said that the United States supports the current Arab uprisings. Yet, the U.S. was late in supporting the Egyptian uprising since the tyrant being overthrown — Hosni Mubarak — was a key U.S. ally. The U.S. supported the revolution when it was clear that Mubarak was going to leave. Obama talked about Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi’s violence against his own people, which justified U.S./NATO intervention. Qaddafi has a long history of repression but that did not stop the U.S. government from using Libya as a rendition destination for detainees to be tortured, which is illegal. Obama was also reluctant to support the Bahraini uprising and accused Iran of meddling in the country. However, Iran is not militarily occupying Bahrain — Saudi Arabia is, a U.S. ally. Bahrain is another key U.S. ally, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, securing American influence in the oil-rich Gulf. Hence, the reluctance. As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Obama said nothing new. He lectured the Palestinians to not use terrorism, stop delegitimizing Israel and called for a de-militarized (i.e., defenseless) Palestinian state along the 1967 borders — just like Bush. Israel, on the other hand, gets continued U.S. support for its security interests but “must act boldly” to advance peace — whatever that means. The core issues of settlement expansion, right of return for Palestinian refugees and the future of Jerusalem were left unaddressed. Overall, Obama’s speech was unimpressive, hypocritical and a regurgitation of tired political platitudes.