When Diane's on vacation, the children come out to play. Such as human fur ball George Stephanopolous. Among the most jaw-dropping moments last week would have to be George on the economy Thursday. To watch that broadcast, was to be told the economy had recovered and things were wonderful and amazing. Yet, same night, on CBS, you were being told that middle class families were now depending on food banks in record numbers. Which was it?
As usual, with George, reality gets put on hold so he can advance the White House line now that a Democrat is president. And that bias is not an obsevation we're the first to make. It's long been known. But to see him acting as economic cheerleader when he was supposed to be anchoring a news broadcast Thursday was to see the debate on his bias settled once and for all. On Friday, a trained journalist (Josh Elliott) would replace George as anchor of World News, note the slashed prices many stores were offering and wonder,"Is it enough to lift the fragile economy?"
George, like too many in TV news, has no background in news. He wasn't educated in it and he didn't come up in the trenches of journalism. He was a flack for the Clinton White House and, though he would later fret about the toll that took on his skin, he still firmly believes that 'news' is what officials say. (Whether it's true or not is of no concern to George.)
The economy has not recovered, not one bit. David Walsh (WSWS) reports:
Sears Holding, the fourth largest broadline retailer in North America, with over 4,000 full-time and specialty stores in the US and Canada, announced Tuesday it was closing 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores. Shares of Sears Holding fell 27.7 percent Tuesday and are down more than 50 percent from earlier in 2011.
The company did not disclose the number of jobs that would be destroyed, but warned that the closures would probably not be the last. “We will carefully evaluate store performance going forward,” said a Sears Holding statement, “and act opportunistically to recognize value from poor performing stores as circumstances allow. While our past practice has been to keep marginally performing stores open while we worked to improve their performance, we no longer believe that to be the appropriate action in this environment.”
Burt Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, suggested that another 5 to 10 percent of Sears and Kmart stores—200 to 400—might close, and blamed economic conditions, including lowered wages, and increased competition from online competitors. Sears has closed 171 of its large US stores since merging with Kmart in 2005.
Think of all the jobs lost, all the people who will be out of work. I had to run into the drug store today (picking up some prescriptions for my father) and I know the lady behind the counter from going in to the store (it's my local drug store). Her son served in the Iraq War and, fortunately, he got out -- after three deployments -- back in the fall. Now he's going to college. So we always talk about that and about her daughter. She's ringing me up today and tells me that her daughter got fired on Christmas Eve. She was hired back in September for retail at a store and they waited until the end of the shift (which was after 11:00 p.m.) to inform her and three others that this was their last shift and they were fired.
This is happening over and over. The economy has not improved.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday: