With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike

With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike

Sitthixay Ditthavong/Associated Press

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union distributed strike signs as the deadline approached.

By Published: September 9, 2012

CHICAGO — Union leaders for this city’s public schoolteachers said that they would strike on Monday morning after negotiations ended late Sunday with no contract agreement between the union and the nation’s third largest school system, which have been locked for months in a dispute over wages, job security and teacher evaluations.

Coming as the school year had barely begun for many, the impasse and looming strike were expected to affect hundreds of thousands of families here, some of whom had spent the weekend scrambling to rearrange work schedules, find alternative programs and hire baby sitters if school was out for some time.

Chicago Public Schools officials, visibly frustrated after talks broke off late Sunday night, expressed concern for the estimated 350,000 students the strike could affect. Continue reading “With No Contract Deal by Deadline in Chicago, Teachers Will Strike”

Obstruct and Exploit

New York Times

Obstruct and Exploit

By PAUL KRUGMAN; Published: September 9, 2012
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Does anyone remember the American Jobs Act? A year ago President Obama proposed boosting the economy with a combination of tax cuts and spending increases, aimed in particular at sustaining state and local government employment. Independent analysts reacted favorably. For example, the consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers estimated that the act would add 1.3 million jobs by the end of 2012.

There were good reasons for these positive assessments. Although you’d never know it from political debate, worldwide experience since the financial crisis struck in 2008 has overwhelmingly confirmed the proposition that fiscal policy “works,” that temporary increases in spending boost employment in a depressed economy (and that spending cuts increase unemployment). The Jobs Act would have been just what the doctor ordered.

But the bill went nowhere, of course, blocked by Republicans in Congress. And now, having prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies, those same Republicans are pointing to disappointing job numbers and declaring that the president’s policies have failed. Continue reading “Obstruct and Exploit”

Ryan Adds Some Loaded Examples to Question of ‘Better Off?’

New York Times

Ryan Adds Some Loaded Examples to Question of ‘Better Off?’

Representative Paul D. Ryan spoke to an overflow crowd at a campaign event on Monday at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.
Max Whittaker for The New York TimesRepresentative Paul D. Ryan spoke to an overflow crowd at a campaign event on Monday at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

9:02 p.m. | Updated A revised version of this post is available here.

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Representative Paul D. Ryan compared the struggling economy to Jimmy Carter-era malaise, when a candidate named Ronald Reagan denied a president re-election by asking an unsettling question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

“There’s a little gathering going on over in Charlotte,” Mr. Ryan said here in eastern North Carolina, about a four-hour drive from the site of the Democratic National Convention. “The president can say a lot of things, and he will, but he can’t tell you that you’re better off. Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are right now.”

The Republican National Committee and the Romney-Ryan campaign sounded the charge on Monday morning with a new video, a Web site and a statistics dump attacking President Obama on what they consider his biggest vulnerability, all asking the question: “Are you better off?” Continue reading “Ryan Adds Some Loaded Examples to Question of ‘Better Off?’”

Rosie Ruiz Republicans

Rosie Ruiz Republicans

Published: September 2, 2012 637 Comments

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Remember Rosie Ruiz? In 1980 she was the first woman to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon — except it turned out that she hadn’t actually run most of the race, that she sneaked onto the course around a mile from the end. Ever since, she has symbolized a particular kind of fraud, in which people claim credit for achieving things they have not, in fact, achieved.

 And these days Paul Ryan is the Rosie Ruiz of American politics.

This would have been an apt comparison even before the curious story of Mr. Ryan’s own marathon came to light. Still, that’s quite a story, so let’s talk about it first.

It started when Hugh Hewitt, a right-wing talk-radio host, interviewed Mr. Ryan. In that interview, the vice-presidential candidate boasted about his fitness, declaring that he had once run a marathon in less than three hours.

This claim piqued the interest of Runner’s World magazine, which noted that marathon times are recorded — and that it was unable to find any evidence of Mr. Ryan’s accomplishment. It eventually transpired that Mr. Ryan had indeed once run a marathon, but that his time was actually more than four hours. Continue reading “Rosie Ruiz Republicans”

Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails

 New York Times

August 30, 2012

Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails


TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday by making a direct appeal to Americans who were captivated by President Obama’s hopeful promises of change, pledging that he could deliver what the president did not and move the country from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The speech by Mr. Romney, delivered on the closing night of the Republican convention, signaled an attempt to redefine the race around his business background, which Democrats have spent the summer attacking. He urged voters not to feel guilty about giving up on Mr. Obama, even if they were proud to support him as the nation’s first black president. Continue reading “Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails”

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