Monday, October 27, 2003

Is the Onion psychic? Those Madison Wisconsin Expats are sheer geniuses. Saw a headline on today's MSN homepage about job creation and the economy in this country:

The threat of the job-is-worth-less recovery

Yes, jobs are finally being created, but U.S. workers will find their incomes increasingly pressured by lower wages, higher benefit fees and global competition. That’s good for your boss but could hurt the markets.


In September, 57,000 more people received paychecks than the month before. The biggest job loss that month came in manufacturing, where 29,000 people lost their spots on the payroll. Yep, the manufacturing sector continued to lose jobs even as the economy as a whole added jobs.

And the biggest gains in jobs came in business and professional services (66,000 workers added to payrolls in this kind of work), health care and social assistance (15,000), and retail (15,000).

Manufacturing jobs in the United States pay an average of $650 a week or about $34,000 a year, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Retail jobs, in contrast, pay an average of $373 a week, or about $19,000 a year. Even as the recovery starts to pick up speed, the U.S. economy is shedding $34,000-a-year jobs and replacing them with $19,000-a-year jobs.

Could not help but remember this headline just a few months ago in the Onion;

Bush Calls on Business Leaders To Create 500,000 New Shitty Jobs by 2003

WASHINGTON, DC—In a keynote address at the National Economic Summit, President Bush issued a bold challenge to the nation's business leaders Monday, calling on them to create 500,000 shitty jobs by next year.

Above: Bush challenges the nation's top CEOs to create thousands of new shit jobs.

"So long as unemployment continues to rise, this recession will continue, as well," said Bush, speaking before nearly 400 of the nation's top CEOs. "That is why I am turning to you to create thousands of new shit jobs. Whether it is a night-shift toilet-cleaning position at an airport or a fry-cook post at a KFC, it's up to you to help provide every hard-working American with a demeaning, go-nowhere job."During his 25-minute speech, Bush cited a number of industries with the potential to provide gainful, godawful employment for thousands of laid-off Americans.

"I challenge those of you who have made your fortunes in the fields of sheet-metal fabrication, poultry processing, and highway-toll collecting to expand your roster of menial, low-paying positions with no hope of advancement," Bush said. "That is your strength, as it should be the strength of us all."

"I can make it possible for up to 50 people in the American Southwest to be mucking out grease traps by this time next week," said Rudy Maleska, president of SouthwasteCo, a Tucson, AZ, industrial-waste-removal service. "Whatever I can do to help my country, count me in."

Bush outlined a plan to offer $10 billion in incentives and tax breaks to companies that demonstrate a commitment to providing soul-suckingly miserable wage-slave employment for Americans.

"We have too many talented people wasting away on our unemployment rolls," Bush said. "And I say, if a broom-factory owner can give a man the opportunity to dunk handfuls of brittle, flammable straw into rank, filthy vats of molten tar for $6.15 an hour, then that broom-factory owner deserves a major tax break."


Critics of Bush's plan were quick to point to its weaknesses, such as a lack of health coverage.

"Under this plan, we cannot guarantee people that their crap jobs will always provide them with healthcare from some shitty HMO," U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) said. "What's the point in earning $17,000 a year wiping the asses of the elderly as an attendant in a nursing home if you can't be sure you'll have at least some inadequate health plan if something happens to you?"

Bush's supporters, for their part, point to the president's recent domestic successes.

"In the past 12 months, we've seen a 7 percent rise in the availability of horrendous housing," U.S. Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK) said. "The current administration has also been working to make absolutely sure that economically disadvantaged children in this country get a substandard education and three vomit-inducing meals a day. Overall, the standard of shitty living has never been higher."

Concluding his speech, Bush reiterated his commitment to creating lousy fucking jobs for all.

"The average unemployed person has given so much to American business," Bush said. "Now it's time for American business to give something really shitty back."

I'm still trying desperately to control my laughter after rereading the article. It's still funny, even if the future of this country is not. Hey, at least when the next economic catastrophe arrives you can always read the Onion for FREE!

Friday, October 03, 2003

Well, I finally got my first article up, about Ephedra, DSHE Act, Canadian drug importation and my favorite GOP sin Hypocrisy, posted on OSP. It has been very rewarding, and you should go read it right now (This means you Bent Wookie and Public Citizen!) I only got one comment, but maybe after some time it'll get more attention maybe? Spent a lot of time researching, and I wound up learning quite a bit like all the info on that's available thru the US Gov, like and There's a quite a bit of it.

I hate kicking a man when he's down, even someone I hate as much as El Rushbo, BUT it's hard not to appreciate the little tidbit I came across on, via Joe Conason's page about Vicodin and hearing loss;

"In April 1999, a team of medical researchers published a study in which they associated significant and progressive hearing loss with the abuse of Vicodin, a powerful painkiller, which combines the drugs hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Could this be more evidence of Mr. Limbaugh's illegal use of narcotics? ... In addition, is it not conceivable that many of Mr. Limbaugh's more outrageous and offensive comments over the past fifteen years can be attributed to his recreational drug abuse? As a public figure and self-proclaimed purveyor of morality, Mr. Limbaugh should be held accountable for both his words and his actions." (Another reader wonders why, if Limbaugh actually bought tens of thousands of pills illegally, the police haven't executed a search warrant in his mansion to find the alleged stash.)

I thought I had heard Limbaugh was taking Oxycontin, not Vicodin. I guess we'll all find out soon enough. I'd rather not jump to conclusions, but still it's hard for me anyway to not be taken back by this little factoid. I don't get surprised easily, and this one genuinely blindsided me.