This is the nightmare world we live in right now, folks. [via.]
We’re Fucked, Part 1. An economist at Merrill Lynch says that the real unemployment rate is close to 14 percent.
We’re Fucked, Part 2. Still not believing? Peep this graph, then holla at us.
(…And By ‘We’, We Mean Dudes.) The Times reports that 82 percent of the people who’ve been laid off have been men. Why? “Women tend to be employed in areas like education and health care, which are less sensitive to economic ups and downs, and in jobs that allow more time for child care and other domestic work.” The piece also speculates that this recession could mark the first time the majority of the American work force would be female.
This, Too, is Worrying. Measles is on the rise in the U.K. over fears — that have been roundly discredited — that the MMR vaccine causes autism in kids. (So, yeah: Jamelle was right.)
Just Make Sure All Your Tax Shit Is Straight, Lady. With his first choice ungracefully bowing out, is Obama going to tap Kathleen Sebelius, a high-profile supporter who was shortlisted for the VP gig, to run HHS ?
“All This Talk is Fucking With My Money!” Obama will likely have three primetime addresses to push the stimulus packages, which is making TV types unhappy: his interruptions will cut into the network’s ad revenue for prime time commercials. “”His economic stimulus package apparently does not extend to the TV networks,” one TV exec quipped.
Handicapping the High Court. She hasn’t said she’s stepping down, but speculation on who would possibly take over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat is already roiling. The pick would almost certainly have to be a woman, and the two names that keep popping up are Elena Kagan , the 48-year-old dean of Harvard Law, and Sonia Sotomayor , a 54-year-old district judge in New York. Obama might have a good chance of appointing more justices, but those would likely be to replace the liberals John Paul Stevens (who is 88 years old) and David Souter (who just wants to go back to New Hampshire), which would mean the court would keep its current ideological composition. (One of those seats will probably go to Harold Koh of Yale, who would be the court’s first Asian-American justice.)
Irony Really is Dead. After Claire McCaskill introduced a bill that would cap the pay of CEOs receiving federal bailout money at $500K, some Wall Street types started grumbling that it wasn’t fair that Obama got his $400,000 salary and enjoyed perks like a car and an airplane, tax-free. (Yes, really.) Also, Andy Card thinks Obama should wear a suit. “I do expect him to send the message that people who are going to be in the Oval Office should treat the office with the respect that it has earned over history.” This is the part where we make some funny joke about how Bush pissed on habeus corpus, illegal wiretapped American citizens, justified the bloody invasion of a sovereign nation with half-truths and forged documents, and made torture official U.S. policy — but that’s all okay, but he respected the office of the presidency because he didn’t violate the dress code. Har Har. (Sorta related: Dick Lugar snubs Obama’s Air Force One invite.)
Head of the Heart of Dixie? Artur Davis was law school buddies with Obama back at Harvard, and was a co-chair on his presidential campaign. Ben Smith said that he’s heard people refer to him quite seriously as the “second black president.” Ambitious, sure. But black-man-running-for-governor-of-Alabama ambitious? Apparently. (But if a black man can be president…)
Something Mean Here. Ann Coulter is being investigated for voter fraud for casting her ballot in Connecticut while living in New York City.
And Yet Rob Liefeld Remains Free. Shepard Fairey, the cat behind the iconic Obama “Hope” poster, was arrested in Boston for some outstanding graffiti charges. He’s having a pretty shitty month: The AP is suing him for infringement because they say the image in the aforementioned piece is from one of their pictures. (Fairey says he didn’t profit off the image, and gave all the proceeds to the Obama campaign.)
And Will His Cellmate Miss Him, Sexually? Kwame Kilpatrick is out of jail, rocking a beard like some North Philly cat, and headed to Texas.