Don’t you just love it? The “official” unemployment rate has pretty much remained constant over the past year at about 9 percent to 9.5 percent.

But, during that time, we’ve also been told that the policies of the Obama administration have created between about 250,000 and 350,000 jobs each month, or about 3.5 million or so in total.

Then a few days ago, the administration announced the creation of only 36,000 jobs last month, and that the unemployment rate had dropped to 9.2 percent.

Huh? We created more than 3 million jobs without budging the unemployment rate, but lowered it last month by adding only 36,000 jobs?

It all sounds like “lies, damn lies, and statistics,” and nobody with a lick of common sense would believe any of it.

But to be fair, let’s consider that they may be on to something here. If they can only speed up the reduction in the number of jobs created, we should be back to full employment in no time.

As the optimist said when he fell off the skyscraper, “So far, so good.”

Paul S. Bachorik



I subscribe to both The Portland Press Herald and The Wall Street Journal. When reading Business Saturday recently in The Press Herald, I came upon the headline: “Jobless rate takes sharp dive.”

The first paragraph of this Associated Press article stated:

“The employment rate is suddenly sinking at the fastest pace in a half-century, falling to 9 percent from 9.8 in just two months – the most encouraging sign for the job market since the recession ended.” The remainder of the article went on to sing the praises of this great economic recovery.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at the front page of The Wall Street Journal. The above-the-fold, front-page article had this headline: “Job Report Muddies Outlook.” The first paragraph of this article stated:

“Meager January job growth and uncertainty about winter weather’s effect on the numbers stirred concerns about the economic recovery, even as the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in two years.”

The remainder of the article went on to address the tepid pace of job creation, and the effect stormy winter weather had on job creation.

The difference in the tone and substance of the reporting is striking. While The Associated Press article tries to put the best face possible on a drop in joblessness, the WSJ article is much more measured and factual.

Of course The WSJ is the paper the “Wall Street fat cats” (aka employers) read, while The Associated Press writes for the “Main Street” masses. Is it any wonder why American voters are so misinformed about important issues? The Associated Press functions as a cheerleading organization for anything that occurs during the Obama administration.

When unemployment figures hit 6 percent during the Bush administration, AP stories revisited the Great Depression. Press Herald editors, do you care about the blatant bias of The Associated Press appearing in your newspaper?

Gerald Caruso



Wall Street, Washington combine to exploit us


Now that Wall Street, the mortgage bankers and the spineless politicians in Washington have succeeded in dumping the withered carcass of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on our doorstep, they need another favor.

So, would we please pick up the legal tab for the wretched clutch of hacks who sold us out? Goldman Sachs can’t spare any of the $20 billion in their bonus pool. And Citibank oops, you already own most of that stink bomb.

And rather than make those responsible pay for their greed and stupidity, the slippery pimps in Washington are ready to punt once again. This is the sad part. Back in 2003, OFHEO (Office of Federal Housing Oversight) issued a report entitled Systemic Risk: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Role of OFHEO.

The report accurately predicts that Fannie and Freddie are headed for financial disaster unless major changes are made in the way they are doing business. Washington politicans didn’t like hearing this because they were in the process of giving everyone in America a house those people couldn’t afford.

The greed masters on Wall Street didn’t like it either, because they were making a fortune bundling all the bogus paper into “investment grade” securities. This meddlesome pest must go away, they all agreed.

Two days after the report was presented to Congress, Armando Falcon (the director of OFHEO and author of the critical report) was fired. Washington and Wall Street laughed him out of town.

The party went on for another few years before they had sucked every last dime out of Alan Greenspan’s “Zero Interest Open Spigot Free Money Love Fest.” And then everything crashed and the party was over.

Time to send in the clean-up crew (aka the U.S. taxpayer). Politicians keep their power and perks and Wall Street keeps their (your) cash. The taxpayer gets another invoice.

Please help your country out of yet another costly and morally reprehensible escapade.

Barney Hildreth



Disrespect for views seen in president’s treatment


Throughout the presidencies that I have lived through, I remember the president as having been referred to by his title and name as a respect to the office if not the man: President Kennedy, President Johnson, President Nixon, etc.

Anybody want to venture a guess as to why our present president is only referred to in the media either by his last name only by those critical of the man and his policies or by Mr. Obama instead of President Obama by those in the media considered to be liberal?

One of the healthiest aspects of the separate branches/adversarial form of government we practice is that it keeps any one branch from dominating our government.

In order for this to work, however, certain forms must be respected to prevent the whole thing from degenerating into open warfare; as came close to happening in Washington in the immediate post-Civil War era.

The attack modes and lack of mutual respect approaches that have come to the forefront of our public discourse can only serve the causes of anarchy. It is important – even vital – that all participants speak their piece, and it is equally important that everyone else consider thoughtfully what is said.

Do not think that the events now occurring in countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt cannot occur here; they have before and can again. So play nice, people; our lives and way of life depend upon it.

Craig M. Hebert