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"Dog Days' for US Economy

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Headlined to H2 8/6/11

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Now that the debt drama is over for the moment, we can all safely retreat in what was once called the "Dog Days Of Summer" and chill out if the volatile weather allows us to.

We can think back to that old song, "Summer time and the living is easy" even as we all know that for millions "the living" is anything but.

The House and Senate have become ghost-like chambers because all their members, so filled with strident indignation and inflexible talking points just a week ago, are now off on their paid vacations hyping their political war stories to grandchildren.

Imbued with a sense of triumph, the Tea Party is huddling to come up with ongoing tactics to hold the system hostage while the party leaders plan the new "Super committee" with 12 chosen acolytes (how Biblical, that number 12!) to map the next round of fiscal blood-lettering.

All the superhero buzz in the movies and cartoons has no doubt influenced their choice of words and the pretense of the super wisdom of a few as a "Joint Select Committee On Deficit Reduction" is empaneled to become the next arena of combat with a chosen elite now dominating a factious process where an organized minority can outflank a slow-moving majority.

So much for the appearance of democracy!

The lobbyists are already gearing up for the next battles, as the New York Times reported, "to figure out how to influence the panel to protect the programs and tax breaks from which they benefit."

The military contractors and health-care industry operatives are digging in to defend their turf.

Meanwhile, the deal did not settle any problems and may have made them worse. The Hill newspaper reports, "The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost more points in the last two weeks than it did after the House initially failed to approve a bailout of U.S. banks at the height of the financial crisis in 2008."

At the White House, the campaigning is set to go into overdrive with a bus tour of the devastated Midwest. Obama is saddling up to talk up the one need he has been downplaying for years -- the need for jobs.

He is retooling as a born-again populist to champion the unemployed who may never find jobs again.

He is doing so in the face of new statistics that report the economy in worse shape than it was before the recession.

Some 47 million Americans now qualify for food stamps, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Unemployment is not budging and more and more job seekers are giving up after finding that if they have been out of work for more than six months, they can't even get interviews for what jobs there are.

Youth and minority unemployment are at depression levels. The ranks of the poor rise as those still working are squeezed as never before.

And housing? Eftnews.com reports, "Dragged down by such anchors as a bulging pipeline of foreclosures and a dearth of buyers, it will be many more months -- if not years -- before a housing market rebound takes hold."

Yet the Commander-in-Chief, unlike the people who live in the region, won't have problems with the cost of gassing up the bus. His "bundlers" are already at work shaking the money tree.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
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