News reports say that in 2009 the poverty rate in the U.S. “skyrocketed” to 43.6 million -- up from 39.8 million in 2008, which is the largest year-to-year increase, and the highest number since statistics have been recorded -- putting the poverty rate for 2009 at 14.3 percent. One out of every seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009. In truth this was a product of what should be called lazy reporting. Apparently the American Census Bureau was using a long outdated method to calculate the poverty rate measuring poverty based on costs of living metrics established back in 1955. The poverty rates are calculated as being $22,050 for a family of four. That breaks down to $5,513 per person, per year. It's hard can’t imagine living in the United States on $459 per month. That amount will barely get you a good health insurance policy, never mind food, clothes and a roof over your head. Go read the entire piece over at Alternet.
What's really galling in all this is that the rich are getting richer -- much richer. Only twice before in American history has so much been held by so few, and the gap between them and the great majority been a chasm — the late 1920s, and the era of the robber barons in the 1880s. None of this happens in a vacuum and this will be felt on our side of the border be it in diminished exports or simply following our American cousins down the same self-destructive path.
In my absence the Gulf oil spill was confirmed as the largest marine oil accident ever -- my only caveat here would be to ask, is it an accident when the cause is negligence, or an inevitability? Why the Obama administration chronically lowballed estimates of how much BP oil was spewing into the Gulf of Mexico remains a mystery, however, after a top NOAA official easily sidestepped the commissioners' tepid questioning. The fact remains that we here at NM&P and over at my blog we were reporting far more accurate estimates as of May the 1st! How can that be you ask? Damned if I know, but I got the information by hunting around the web and quoting sources that have proven to be reliable over the past ten years. Of course if I can do it so could they.
Following American politics becomes increasingly difficult for me as the Democrats do not consistently stand up for what are call democratic values. A great example is the fight against DADT for gay rights. Rachel Maddow has this exactly right as she calls it a fight for civil rights. Why is that hard to stand up for. Americans are overwhelmingly in favour of abolishing Don't Ask Don't Tell.
There Must Be A Law: "The probability that a religious leader is a sex offender is directly proportional to the the virulence of his homophobia."
I've been feeling a bit burnt out doing research and writing for the radio show and various blogs so I took a couple of days off. I'm here all day until I catch up but next week I will probably not be around. Feel free to listen on-line at CJLO.com and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.