July 28, 2014

Heartbreaking

The Boston Globe compiled a heartbreaking collection of images from around the world as everyone is impacted by the Great Recession. The pictures tell a painful narrative of workers in China lining up for a jobs fair and workers in the US lining up for a jobs fair. Abandoned homes and buildings around the world, and in California, where unemployment is hitting 12%. Families being evacuated, and people living in tent cities.

This is why the economic recovery must happen, and why the GOP’s obstructionist ways need to stop. We are foreclosing on our American Dreams.

breaking down the door

–Caroline

AIG's borrowed time

Jake DeSantis, a former Executive Vice President of AIG, sent in his resignation letter to the NYTimes, which published it. In it, he writes that he feels entitled to receiving and spending his bonus pay of three quarters of a million dollars, despite an effort by both the company and the Attorneys General of NY and Connecticut to recover those bonuses, which have fallen on the backs of American taxpayers. It provides valuable insight into the minds of financial services execs:

You’ve now asked the current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. to repay these earnings. As you can imagine, there has been a tremendous amount of serious thought and heated discussion about how we should respond to this breach of trust.

On one hand, I can understand that he’s doing a job for not much money ($1/ year under the current system to repair and salvage AIG) or compensation and that he might feel betrayed that his stocks in AIG also took a dive. But let’s think about the larger breach of trust — the one between AIG consumers and American taxpayers, and the company itself. There would be no company or bonuses to rescind if the company had failed. While he might be part of a functioning unit within AIG, his anger should go toward not the American people but the credit default swaps folks who made the faulty decisions and the AIG leadership who signed off on increasingly risky investments.

Why isn’t he giving the money back to the taxpayers, and instead directing all of it to a nonprofit which helps those impacted by the global economic crisis?

This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.

Well, that’s noble and all, but like I said before, the federal government is the one who bailed AIG out, and it’s simply reclaiming the money that we’re all paying for to prop AIG up long enough to figure out which organs are actually transferable and functioning. I think of it like surgical triage after a car accident. AIG was the responsible party, they arrived at the hospital pretty much DOA and they’re donating their organs in the better interests of science so that some other person might live. The Feds are the doctor who is trying to determine if any of the organs are worth saving, so the patient is just barely living on borrowed time.

Of course, this is probably not a perfect analogy, but in my layperson’s mind it works.

AIG is living on borrowed time, and while it’s unfortunate that employees who did nothing wrong are suffering, so are the rest of the American people. We didn’t sign up to be shareholders in your company, and we’re just trying to make the most of a bad situation. We recognize that you probably don’t enjoy your current perch either, but all we’re asking for is some common sense.

– Caroline

Science For Dummies

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal months ago mockingly derided “something called ‘volcano monitoring’” as wasteful and unnecessary in the stimulus bill. His line is great politics, but reality is a harsher judge. Alaska’s volcano monitors are no joke wasting time on fluffy, fruity-tooty science after Mount Redoubt had 5 eruptions yesterday.

For the uninitiated, volcano monitoring saves not only lives on the ground but also prevents abrasive volcanic ash from choking the engines of flights routed over central Alaska which include US-Asia air traffic on the Great Circle route. Jindal could care less about such things irrelevant to his red state. Did I mention Anchorage is the largest port of entry by both volume of cargo and flights landed for air cargo in and out of our nation? Or that volcano monitoring by the USGS and its global counterparts have saved countless thousands of lives? Let’s not also mock Jindal’s getting his numbers wrong (the USGS does more than monitor volcanoes, Mr. Rhodes Scholar).

The hardline conservative, anti-progress(ive) response to all economic actions is to cut taxes, apparently until nil. As much as such hardline politics say about the lack of thought (how else could we fund the conservatives’ beloved military without taxes?), could Louisiana better spend money not spent on science? Louisiana’s a state denying monies meant for natural disaster detection and recovery, apparently not having learned much from its own natural disaster a few years ago. Perhaps Louisiana Republicans thought their natural disaster response was ok? I spare myself from mocking how their conservative ways have gotten them handily into 49th place in American economic competitiveness. I’m not sure whether Jindal’s words or actions are more dangerous, but his intolerance of thought and reason are just the kind of mind-narrowing politick which not only us progressives but all Americans of intellect and competence should oppose.

- Richard Chen

GOP lacks ideas

And other breaking news at 6 P.M….

Just kidding. But apparently Republican leaders are complaining that the Obama administration has too many ideas about what to do with the economy.

New DNC Press Secretary Hari Sevugan fires back: “I guess when you have no new ideas, anything more than zero must seem overwhelming.”

More of this, please.

It’s completely true that the GOP has few new ideas, so it’s refreshing to see them being called out on it. If you’re just the party of no, and you can’t offer any concrete solutions, then get out of the way!

–Caroline

I Don't Know Why You Say Goodbye I Say Hello

Chuck “My Third Fist Is Under My Beard” Norris appeared on Glenn “Cry Me A River” Beck’s radio show early this month and declared

I may run for president of Texas.

Apparently Norris’s concerns grow out of a combination of Mexico’s impending collapse and the coming American totalitarian state. How being in a separate country between a totalitarian state and a failed state, I have no idea.

Norris also noted that various supporters would gather in “cell groups to stand up to Congress. It’s almost enough to make one wish Apple would reconsider the Chuck Norris joke generator it rejected from the iPhone App Store.

Do you think Texas should leave the US? Tell us in the comments.

- Justin Gillenwater

AAA-Fund Interviews Judy Chu

Tonight we have a treat for you:  AAA-Fund’s exclusive interview with Congressional candidate Dr. Judy ChuClick here to hear her thoughts on three questions:

1. What question wasn’t asked of the candidates during last week’s issues forum?

2. More Latinos than Asian Americans live in California’s 32nd Congressional district.  Will Latino, Asian American, and Anglo voters look beyond ethnicity, and ask who can best represent them in Washington DC?

3. How can we help Dr. Chu’s campaign?

What questions do you have for Dr. Chu?  Feel free to comment below.

– Gautam Dutta

Powerless

For eight hours yesterday we had no power.  At about 1:15 pm we saw a couple white flashes, heard an explosion, and lost electricity.  As it turned out, a transformer on top of an electric pole had literally blown up (fortunately, no one was hurt).

How did we cope?  My wife and I were in the South Pasadena library until it closed, then moved over to Kaldi’s cafe a few hundred yards away.  At 10 pm were prepared to return home armed with a flashlight and go to bed in darkness.  Luckily, by then our power had been restored.

Ironically, not having power probably made me more productive that day.  Removed from the comfort of home, I finally finished a writing project I’d been meaning to get to.

So much for the “power” of procrastination.

– Gautam Dutta

Why Do We Miss Paul Harvey?

First, my condolences to the Harvey family.

I don’t understand why he was popular. According to the New York Times:

He railed against welfare cheats and defended the death penalty. He worried about the national debt, big government, bureaucrats who lacked common sense, permissive parents, leftist radicals and America succumbing to moral decay. He championed rugged individualism, love of God and country, and the fundamental decency of ordinary people.

Granted, there are some positions with which to agree there, but they’re vastly outweighed by some downright frightening others. Even if one shares his stances, how can one agree with his blending of advertisement into his news reading?

He wrote and delivered his own commercials, introducing them as “Page 2” and lacing promotions for pills or nostrums into his news with the same down-home ardor he used to extol the flag.

How do you feel about Paul Harvey? Tell us in the comments.

This is Justin Gillenwater. Good day.

Steve King Still A Terrible Person

Rabidly anti-immigrant Congresscritter Steve King has found another way to be horrible. He’s taking credit for stimulus spending in his district when voting against the spending. The largest newspaper in his district won’t even call him out on this.

I’ve said it before; I’m sure I’ll say it again. Steve King is a terrible person.

- Justin Gillenwater

Hang with Our Beltway YPs!

Welcome to Washington DC!!

The Asian American Action Fund for Young Professionals

is hosting their 2009 Welcome to DC Spring Fling… 


AAA Fund YP welcomes all young Asian American professionals in Washington D.C. to an evening of drinks and complimentary Japanese food on Thursday, March 26th, at Muse, between 7:30 and 10:30 pm.  Muse is the newest spot in Chinatown, located at 717 6th Street, NW, behind the Verizon Center.

Raffling Gifts and a phenomenal Guest Speaker, begins at 8:30 pm.  All proceeds for this event, go to the 2009 Local and State Democrat APA YP Campaign Volunteer Program!  $10 at the door!

 

Feel free to share this message and invitation attachment with your friends!   To learn more about the AAA Fund and its mission and purpose, please visit the organization’s website at http://www.aaafund.org/.  If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, please feel free to email Mat at aaafundyp AT gmail.com .  

 

Enjoy the rest of your week!  We hope to see you at our “Welcome to DC” Event!

 

AAA Fund YP are young Asian American Democrats…

·          Encouraging other young APA Democrats to participate in the political process;

·          Organizing APA volunteers to support political candidates concentrating on APA concerns;

·          Raising funds for young APA Democrats to participate in local, state and national campaigns; and,

·          Collaborating with other organizations to collectively strengthen the APA Bridge.