Zamarripa joins with Young in Wal-Mart lovefest.

AJC: Regional panel to fight for Wal-Mart

To some it seemed an odd choice when Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta and a civil rights icon, recently decided to champion Wal-Mart and lead a company-backed group designed to counter bad publicity and the massive retailer’s image as bully and oppressor.

On Thursday, the situation got a little more strange. At an Atlanta press conference, Young unveiled the regional steering committee for Working Families for Wal-Mart, and it included yet another somewhat odd choice: Sam Zamarripa. The Democratic state senator, while pro-business, tends to more often speak out for the little guy — the sort of guy who believes Wal-Mart underpays and under-insures workers and crushes community businesses.

At the event, attended by a handful of journalists, Zamarripa said he was interested in participating in the debate about Wal-Mart and joined the pro-company group merely to gain “a seat at the table.”

“I have high expectations of both [sides],” he said.

17 comments

  1. Demonbeck says:

    SamZam is big on trade to China. As is Wal-Mart. Where’s the surprise?

    Wal-Mart employs a lot of folks in Georgia and helps even more afford to live with their cheap prices and merchandise selection. Frankly I love Wal-mart.

    I do love Target more though.

  2. John Konop says:

    Demonbeck,

    IMF a pro trade organization just ran a study and found out the opposite is happening. Wages are falling faster than the gains consumers get by having cheap prices. This is a race to the bottom.
    Inflation and Globalization
    Do you believe that globalization is putting downward pressure on wages? If so, the IMF says you are right. New Economist finds new IMF research supporting the idea that globalization reduces inflation:

    New Economist: IMF: How has globalisation affected inflation?: A fascinating new IMF analysis of the impact of globalisation on inflation has just been published as Chapter 3 of the latest World Economic Outlook. This chapter, How Has Globalization Affected Inflation? (PDF), provides “robust support for the global competition hypothesis”, with greater trade integration and foreign competition seeing falling import prices. There have also been greater restraints on domestic price and wage growth in sectors more exposed to international competition, such as textiles and electronics. However “the direct effect of globalization on inflation through import prices has in general been small in the industrial economies”…

    » Continue reading “Inflation and Globalization

  3. Demonbeck says:

    Yeah and Wal-mart puts the local mom and pop out of business…blah blah blah. Of course, you don’t mention that these Mom and Pop stores are buying their goods wholesale at Sam’s which saves them money over purchasing them elsewhere – but that discussion’s for another day.

    Read Thomas Friedman – The World is Flat – if America refuses to adjust to the new world economy, we are going to get left behind. The fact of the matter is that there are people in India and China and places in between who are willing to work harder, faster, better and more efficiently than we are here. If you don’t believe me, go sit in a class at the North Avenue Trade School and look at the students there. The cat is out of the bag and we can either sit here and lament, close ourselves off to the outside world or adapt. The first two choices leave us even further behind the eight ball.

    So you go lament or advocate isolationism. I’ll go work on adapting. Who do you think’s gonna end up in a better place down the road?

  4. Demonbeck says:

    John,

    Why aren’t you all over the Home Depot thread about this as well? Why isn’t the world’s second largest shipper Target getting any flak? I’ll tell you why. The Waltons are known as big Republican donors.

  5. John Konop says:

    Demonbeck,

    Thomas Friedman is not a businessman or economist. I read his book, it is all theory with no numbers to back up anything. The study I gave you are from economist, who are pro trade , with numbers. As far as the Walton’s they have been giving money to buy off both parties. I will give you another study with numbers from an economist , not an editorial writer with no experience. I am old school, I like to see the numbers.

    Nuking the Economy
    By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

    Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics re-benchmarked the payroll jobs data back to 2000. Thanks to Charles McMillion of MBG Information Services, I have the adjusted data from January 2001 through January 2006. If you are worried about terrorists, you don’t know what worry is.

    Job growth over the last five years is the weakest on record. The US economy came up more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth. That’s one good reason for controlling immigration. An economy that cannot keep up with population growth should not be boosting population with heavy rates of legal and illegal immigration.

    Over the past five years the US economy experienced a net job loss in goods producing activities. The entire job growth was in service-providing activities–primarily credit intermediation, health care and social assistance, waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and state and local government.

    US manufacturing lost 2.9 million jobs, almost 17% of the manufacturing work force. The wipeout is across the board. Not a single manufacturing payroll classification created a single new job.

    The declines in some manufacturing sectors have more in common with a country undergoing saturation bombing during war than with a super-economy that is “the envy of the world.” Communications equipment lost 43% of its workforce. Semiconductors and electronic components lost 37% of its workforce. The workforce in computers and electronic products declined 30%. Electrical equipment and appliances lost 25% of its employees. The workforce in motor vehicles and parts declined 12%. Furniture and related products lost 17% of its jobs. Apparel manufacturers lost almost half of the work force. Employment in textile mills declined 43%. Paper and paper products lost one-fifth of its jobs. The work force in plastics and rubber products declined by 15%. Even manufacturers of beverages and tobacco products experienced a 7% shrinkage in jobs.

    The knowledge jobs that were supposed to take the place of lost manufacturing jobs in the globalized “new economy” never appeared. The information sector lost 17% of its jobs, with the telecommunications work force declining by 25%. Even wholesale and retail trade lost jobs. Despite massive new accounting burdens imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, accounting and bookkeeping employment shrank by 4%. Computer systems design and related lost 9% of its jobs. Today there are 209,000 fewer managerial and supervisory jobs than 5 years ago.

    In five years the US economy only created 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, many of which are clerical. Little wonder engineering enrollments are shrinking. There are no jobs for graduates. The talk about engineering shortages is absolute ignorance. There are several hundred thousand American engineers who are unemployed and have been for years. No student wants a degree that is nothing but a ticket to a soup line. Many engineers have written to me that they cannot even get Wal-Mart jobs because their education makes them over-qualified.

    Offshore outsourcing and offshore production have left the US awash with unemployment among the highly educated. The low measured rate of unemployment does not include discouraged workers. Labor arbitrage has made the unemployment rate less and less a meaningful indicator. In the past unemployment resulted mainly from turnover in the labor force and recession. Recoveries pulled people back into jobs.

    Unemployment benefits were intended to help people over the down time in the cycle when workers were laid off. Today the unemployment is permanent as entire occupations and industries are wiped out by labor arbitrage as corporations replace their American employees with foreign ones.

    Economists who look beyond political press releases estimate the US unemployment rate to be between 7% and 8.5%. There are now hundreds of thousands of Americans who will never recover their investment in their university education.

    Unless the BLS is falsifying the data or businesses are reporting the opposite of the facts, the US is experiencing a job depression. Most economists refuse to acknowledge the facts, because they endorsed globalization. It was a win-win situation, they said.

    They were wrong.

    At a time when America desperately needs the voices of educated people as a counterweight to the disinformation that emanates from the Bush administration and its supporters, economists have discredited themselves. This is especially true for “free market economists” who foolishly assumed that international labor arbitrage was an example of free trade that was benefitting Americans. Where is the benefit when employment in US export industries and import-competitive industries is shrinking? After decades of struggle to regain credibility, free market economics is on the verge of another wipeout.

    No sane economist can possibly maintain that a deplorable record of merely 1,054,000 net new private sector jobs over five years is an indication of a healthy economy. The total number of private sector jobs created over the five year period is 500,000 jobs less than one year’s legal and illegal immigration! (In a December 2005 Center for Immigration Studies report based on the Census Bureau’s March 2005 Current Population Survey, Steven Camarota writes that there were 7,9 million new immigrants between January 2000 and March 2005.)

    The economics profession has failed America. It touts a meaningless number while joblessness soars. Lazy journalists at the New York Times simply rewrite the Bush administration’s press releases.

    On February 10 the Commerce Department released a record US trade deficit in goods and services for 2005–$726 billion. The US deficit in Advanced Technology Products reached a new high. Offshore production for home markets and jobs outsourcing has made the US highly dependent on foreign provided goods and services, while simultaneously reducing the export capability of the US economy. It is possible that there might be no exchange rate at which the US can balance its trade.

    Polls indicate that the Bush administration is succeeding in whipping up fear and hysteria about Iran. The secretary of defense is promising Americans decades-long war. Is death in battle Bush’s solution to the job depression? Will Asians finance a decades-long war for a bankrupt country?

    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: [email protected]

  6. Demonbeck says:

    I can cut and paste articles too.

    Why a strong economy is no GOP asset
    Republicans have struggled to get credit for low unemployment and steady growth.
    By Linda Feldmann | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

    WASHINGTON – Of all the problems Republicans face heading into the fall political season, one of the most exasperating is the economy.

    In many ways, they say, these are the best of times: Unemployment is at 4.7 percent, lower than the averages of the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The economy is showing strong, consistent growth, without significant inflation. And the stock market is roaring along.

    Yet many Americans just aren’t impressed. A majority tell pollsters they trust the Demo- crats more than the GOP to handle the economy. When asked in an open-ended question which is the most important problem facing the country today, respondents to a recent CBS News poll named “economy/jobs” second after the Iraq war – and ahead of immigration, terrorism, and healthcare.

    “First, there’s general concern about globalization and its effect on American manufacturing jobs,” says GOP pollster Whit Ayres. “We see low unemployment, but the headlines are dominated by the thousands being laid off by General Motors and Ford.”

    Underlying that, he adds, is concern about healthcare and being able to afford and keep health insurance if something happens to one’s job. The latest run-up in gasoline prices also doesn’t help the Republican-led government in Washington, even if there’s little it can do in the short term about that.

    Independent pollster John Zogby sees the public’s skepticism over the economy as part of a larger picture of overall concern over the direction of the nation and a president struggling to recapture Americans’ confidence. “It’s not just the economy,” he says. “If we were at peace or the war was going well or there was confidence in other areas, then the economic news could be bolstered and people could begin to feel better.”

    In order to understand the full picture on public concerns about the economy, he says, a raft of “secondary indicators” must be factored in: health benefits, pensions, gasoline prices, as well as 401(k)s and stock portfolios.

    Even though stocks are strong again, memories of a market dive in the not-too-distant past remain fresh. Mr. Zogby sees a 9/11 effect in people’s thinking, not just about the stock market but about other factors close to home, such as safety and security – a concern that something terrible could happen again.

    Iraq is also dragging down overall confidence, says Daniel Mitchell, an economist at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. And he blames Republican politicians for “being so fiscally irresponsible” on the spending side of the budget. “Even if the tax cuts have helped, between the bridge to nowhere and now the railroad to nowhere people are probably figuring it’s only a matter of time before the bills come due and this all falls apart,” he says.

    For months, the Republicans have held a losing hand on the array of issues facing the nation, and even on their strongest issue, terrorism, often the best they can do is muster a tie with the Democrats in polls. But on the economy, at least, the White House is hopeful that better use of the bully pulpit can boost public confidence.

    “The advantage the White House has on this issue, which they don’t on other issues, is the reality really is good,” says Mr. Ayres. “The truth may not set them free, but it might improve public perception. So someone with an ability to articulate the good economic news in a compelling and memorable way day after day after day could have an effect on public perception.”

    In a roundtable discussion with a group of mostly small-business people Monday in Sterling, Va., President Bush acknowledged that “Americans need to keep hearing” his message on the economy. On that day, Tax Day, he stressed his push in Congress to make tax cuts permanent, and asked some at the table to reveal how much they had already saved from tax cuts.

    Sitting nearby was Treasury Secretary John Snow, who reinforced the message. What remained unstated was the open secret that the White House is shopping around for a new Treasury secretary, someone who can bring a new voice to the economy-is-strong message – probably someone from the world of economics or finance.

    Meanwhile, debate rages among Democrats over how best to take advantage of public disillusionment with Republican government, including the economy. Are bumper stickers saying “Had Enough?” enough, or does the party really need a multipart plan to persuade voters to toss out their incumbent Republican members of Congress? Various Democrats – from Sen. Hillary Rodman Clinton of New York to Clinton-era Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin – are launching strategies to spark debate.

    In a recent speech in Chicago, Senator Clinton focused on the middle class, arguing that “tax cuts are not the cure-all for everything that ails the American economy.” Secretary Rubin, in his newly launched initiative called the Hamilton Project, has centered concerns on growing income inequality in the US.

    At a Monitor breakfast on Wednesday, Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean said “the problem with the president’s, with the Republicans’ economy is that it’s good for their base – 20 percent of the public – but it’s not so good for 80 percent of the public.”

    Full HTML version of this story which may include photos, graphics, and related links

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  7. John Konop says:

    Demonbeck,

    I am not trying to be mean,but you gave a staff writer at a newspaper vs. the the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. Any objective person would see that the difference between the quality of the two article as well as understanding of the topic and pick Paul Craig Roberts. Why not try Paul O Neal, Bruce Bartlett, Warren Buffett,Pete Peterson, Paul Krugman……. All qualified businessman and or economist. Thomas Freidman would admit , he is an expert on the Middle East not economics.

  8. Demonbeck says:

    The former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. I gave you an article written today that was on DrudgeReport – without performing a search.

  9. Demonbeck says:

    Here is a list of the titles of your “objective” source who seems a little too biased against our current administration.

    04/17/06 – Another Grim Report on the Jobs Front

    04/03/06 – Can America Afford Its Belligerent Foreign Policy?

    03/29/06 – Israeli Electorate Rebukes Bush and Votes for Peace

    03/28/06 – Bush is No Conservative

    03/21/06 – What’s Become of Americans?

    03/21/06 – Deranged, Disconnected, and Dangerous

    03/19/06 – A Collapsing Presidency

    03/15/06 – Is Another 9/11 in the Works?

    03/12/06 – Was Serbia a Practice Run for Iraq

    03/10/06 – Why Did We Destroy Iraq?

    03/10/06 – Jobs Update: More Jobs For Bartenders, As Factory Workers Lose Jobs

    03/03/06 – Data Shows America’s Job Growth Benefits Immigrants, Outsourcers

    02/28/06 – How The Economic News Is Spun—And Why

    02/27/06 – What Is Supply-Side Economics?

    02/25/06 – From Superpower to Tinhorn Dictatorship?

    02/24/06 – Fifty Years Later: Krushchev’s Secret Speech On Stalin…And What It Means Today

    02/20/06 – Could Some Country Please Interfere in Our Elections?

    02/16/06 – Conservatives Ignore Bob Barr At Their Peril

    02/15/06 – Their Own Economic Reality

    02/11/06 – Jobs News Even Worse Than We Thought

    02/10/06 – A Note On The Iranian Oil Bourse

    02/09/06 – The Adulation of Ignorance

    02/08/06 – How Conservatives Went Crazy

    02/06/06 – Iraq, Iran: Following Orders Is No Excuse

    02/03/06 – Job Disinformation From The New York Times

    01/31/06 – Bush’s Untrue State of the Union

    01/29/06 – Rank Ignorance Reigns

    01/27/06 – Catastrophe Looms

    01/24/06 – US Orders Syria to do the Impossible

    01/23/06 – Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization

    01/22/06 – More War in the Works?

    01/18/06 – Evidence Of A Stolen Election

    01/17/05 – A Challenge That Cannot Be Ignored

    01/15/06 – Bush Has Crossed The Rubicon

    01/09/06 – America’s Superpower Days Are Over

    01/01/06 – “SpyGate

  10. John Konop says:

    Demonbeck,

    What does any of that have to do with the topic ? If you read the list of economist I gave you they are from the right,left and independent. The key is all are qualified economist. As I said I am old school,numbers ,data,facts…
    do you have any about this topic ?

  11. Demonbeck says:

    You are claiming that the one opinion you offered was objective, which it most certainly is not. Numbers don’t mean squat, you can manipulate stats to say whatever you want to say. The fact of the matter is, Unemployment is lower than it was in the 90s, the DOW is higher than it has been in years and tax revenue is higher than ever. If those are indications that the economy is doing well then change my hairdo and ask me for ID.

  12. John Konop says:

    I can give you Warren Buffett, Pete Peterson,John Williams……… real economist and businessman,when your done reading this. Just the facts with numbers from experts.

    Additional Slack in the Economy:
    The Poor Recovery in Labor Force Participation During This Business Cycle
    Public Policy Brief No. 05-2
    by Katharine Bradbury

    This public policy brief examines labor force participation rates in this recession and recovery and compares them with the cyclical patterns in earlier business cycles. Measured relative to the business cycle peak in March 2001, labor force participation rates almost four years later have not recovered as much as usual, and the discrepancies are large.

    Among age-by-sex groups, the participation shortfall is especially pronounced at young and prime ages: Only for men and women age 55 and older has participation risen more than is usual four years after the business cycle peak.

    The brief examines explanations and different recovery scenarios for various groups—older workers, women, teens. Depending on the scenario, the current labor force shortfall ranges from 1.6 million to 5.1 million men and women. With 7.9 million people currently unemployed, the addition of these hypothetical participants would raise the unemployment rate by 1 to 3-plus percentage points. Current low rates of labor market participation thus potentially represent considerable slack in the U.S. labor market.

    This brief is based on materials presented in briefings to the President and Academic Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in March and April 2005.

    Full-text brief

    March 27, 2006

    By Paul Krugman, New York Times

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” wrote Emma Lazarus, in a poem that still puts a lump in my throat. I’m proud of America’s immigrant history, and grateful that the door was open when my grandparents fled Russia.

    In other words, I’m instinctively, emotionally pro-immigration. But a review of serious, nonpartisan research reveals some uncomfortable facts about the economics of modern immigration, and immigration from Mexico in particular. If people like me are going to respond effectively to anti-immigrant demagogues, we have to acknowledge those facts.

    First, the net benefits to the U.S. economy from immigration, aside from the large gains to the immigrants themselves, are small. Realistic estimates suggest that immigration since 1980 has raised the total income of native-born Americans by no more than a fraction of 1 percent.

    Second, while immigration may have raised overall income slightly, many of the worst-off native-born Americans are hurt by immigration — especially immigration from Mexico. Because Mexican immigrants have much less education … they increase the supply of less-skilled labor, driving down the wages of the worst-paid Americans. The most authoritative recent study … by George Borjas and Lawrence Katz of Harvard, estimates that U.S. high school dropouts would earn as much as 8 percent more if it weren’t for Mexican immigration.

    That’s why it’s intellectually dishonest to say, as President Bush does, that immigrants do “jobs that Americans will not do.” The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays — and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants. Finally, … our social safety net has more holes in it than it should — and low-skill immigrants threaten to unravel that safety net. … Unfortunately, low-skill immigrants don’t pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the benefits they receive. …

    We shouldn’t exaggerate these problems. Mexican immigration, says the Borjas-Katz study, has played only a “modest role” in growing U.S. inequality. And … the disastrous Medicare drug bill alone does far more to undermine … our social insurance system than the whole burden of …illegal immigrants. But modest problems are still real problems, and immigration is becoming a major political issue. What are we going to do bout it?

    Realistically, we’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants. …But the harsh anti-immigration legislation passed by the House…legislation that would, among other things, make it a criminal act to provide an illegal immigrant with medical care — is simply immoral.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Bush’s plan for a “guest worker” program is clearly designed by and for corporate interests, who’d love to have a low-wage work force that couldn’t vote. Not only is it deeply un-American; it does nothing to reduce the adverse effect of immigration on wages. And because guest workers would face the prospect of deportation after a few years, they would have no incentive to become integrated into our society.

    What about a guest-worker program that includes a clearer route to citizenship? I’d still be careful. … it could all too easily … create a permanent underclass of disenfranchised workers. We need to do something about immigration, and soon. But I’d rather see Congress fail to agree on anything this year than have it rush into ill-considered legislation that betrays our moral and democratic principles.

    http://www.cis.org/articles/2000/back1200.html

    http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7BC4257910%2D8351%2D437A%2D8C00%2DE4CF3B782091%7D&siteid=mktw&dist=

    By Paul A. Volcker
    Sunday, April 10, 2005; Page B07

    The U.S. expansion appears on track. Europe and Japan may lack exuberance, but their economies are at least on the plus side. China and India — with close to 40 percent of the world’s population — have sustained growth at rates that not so long ago would have seemed, if not impossible, highly improbable.

    Yet, under the placid surface, there are disturbing trends: huge imbalances, disequilibria, risks — call them what you will. Altogether the circumstances seem to me as dangerous and intractable as any I can remember, and I can remember quite a lot. What really concerns me is that there seems to be so little willingness or capacity to do much about it.

    We sit here absorbed in a debate about how to maintain Social Security — and, more important, Medicare — when the baby boomers retire. But right now, those same boomers are spending like there’s no tomorrow. If we can believe the numbers, personal savings in the United States have practically disappeared.

    To be sure, businesses have begun to rebuild their financial reserves. But in the space of a few years, the federal deficit has come to offset that source of national savings.

  13. Bill Simon says:

    Heyyyyyy, Demon? Flash news for you: Bush ISN’T a “conservative.”

    But, he is a “decider.” He makes the wrong decisions, but he is a “decider.”

  14. John Konop says:

    This is the best summary of the issue.

    According to press reports, the first job for Josh Bolten, the new White House chief of staff, will be to find a new treasury secretary. President Bush believes that he has not gotten enough credit for the good economy and that Treasury Secretary John Snow has not done enough to make sure he gets that credit.

    All I can say is that if Snow is not enough of a cheerleader on the economy, then no one is. In my view, he has allowed the federal government’s second-ranking department to be downgraded into little more than a PR shop. Half the Treasury’s press statements seem to be nothing but raves about some obscure economic statistic or another.

    It has always been my belief that what really determines peoples’ perceptions about the state of the economy is what they see in their lives, neighborhoods and workplaces. They don’t pay any attention to the gross domestic product numbers or any of the lesser figures released on almost a daily basis.

    If people have jobs, if their wages are rising, if they can pay for the things they need and have a little left over to invest, then they are happy about the economy. If they are unemployed or fear layoffs, if their wages are stagnating and they are wary of losing benefits, and they are having to go into debt rather than save for the future, then they are going to be unhappy about the economy no matter how great the data are or how hard the White House and Treasury hype the numbers.

    Of course, the president is entitled to have the Cabinet secretaries he is most comfortable with, and if he wants someone new at Treasury, then he and his new chief of staff should move with dispatch. Snow has already been hung out to dry long enough.

    It’s worth remembering that there have been rumors about Snow’s imminent sacking almost since he came on board in 2003, after his predecessor, Paul O’Neill, was fired. Just a year later, The Washington Post reported that the White House was already looking for Snow’s replacement. The White House denied it — he could stay as long as he liked, “provided it is not very long.”

    With a vote of confidence like that, it is a wonder that Snow is still around. Apparently, it was only the White House’s inability to find anyone of sufficient stature to take the job that saved him. Why it thinks it will have a better chance of finding that person today is a mystery. There is really no time left to do much of anything in terms of economic policy, and Bush’s two previous secretaries were forced out. Anyone coming in now will have to know that they are just going to be marking time and will have no meaningful influence.

    It has been obvious for some time that President Bush relies totally on a trusted few advisers, and everyone else is pretty much occupying space. And he doesn’t even treat the few trusted ones with much respect. In his book “The Price of Loyalty,” journalist Ron Suskind recounts how Bush once ordered White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, a former Cabinet secretary, to run out and get him a couple of cheeseburgers. “He all but raced out of the room,” Suskind reports.

    Now, Bush is paying the price. As people leave his administration, some are starting to open up about its utter dysfunction and the problems it created. For example, Andrew Natsios, former director of the Agency for International Development, recently told Newsweek magazine that his agency’s efforts to help rebuild Iraq were totally undermined by a lack of planning and competence at the Coalition Provisional Authority, which handled the occupation of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government.

    Michael Brown, the ousted head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was blamed by the White House for all the mistakes following Hurricane Katrina. But he is starting to make a persuasive case that those well above his pay grade — including Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff and even President Bush — share a lot of that blame.

    Not surprisingly, The New York Times reports that the White House is having great difficulty finding a new FEMA chief. It seems that everyone qualified to do the job has turned it down. Oddly, the prospect of a job where one would have to take full responsibility for everything that goes wrong but have little power to actually run the agency seems unattractive to them.

    Unlike FEMA, the Treasury still has some cachet — it’s cool to know that you are sitting in Alexander Hamilton’s chair. So the White House will eventually find someone with a name to do that job. But I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    Bruce Bartlett is the author of Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

  15. GaMongrel says:

    and here I thought the comments would be about the original post. “Zamarripa joins with Young in Wal-Mart lovefest.”

    I’m so naive.

  16. John Konop says:

    GaMongrel,

    The point is both parties are selling out their constituents for campaign donation or future jobs , at the expense of American families. That is why Charlie Norwood makes the point this is not a party issue it is about ethics and being an American. That is why Charlie Norwood calls for the removal of office holders who support policies that trading away American families, for money from the lobbyist MONEY CHANGERS !

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