The far Right is trying to panic their base over President Obama’s plan to dramatically increase the size of Americorps and four other similar groups. Legislation passed the Senate that will triple the number of people involved and allow older Americans to serve. Despite approval in the Senate by 79 votes the Right is portraying this as a Socialist power grab. Rush is scaring the be-jezus out of his Lim-bots with visions of a 7 million man army rounding up God fearing conservatives. He says the Bill specifies that "they be given uniforms"; yeah those orange vests and plastic hard hats the CCC youth wear while fixing up parks and trails are real scary.
Republicans attempted to amend the Bill to add a labyrinth of restrictions on what nonprofit groups could use the Americorps workers for projects out of fear that ACORN or (GASP!) labor unions might benefit by siphoning off government funds. The Commies are coming, the Commies are coming. OH wait! those are our Chinese business partners. The Socialist Swedes are coming, the Socialist Swedes are coming, don’t eat the Lutefisk! By the way, the real number that will be employed by these programs is only 250,000.
Back to reality: new unemployment claims increased again for the 10th week in a row and set a new record for people continuing on benefits. A new report says that 4th quarter GDP was down even more than previously thought. This is largely from a reduction of inventories as factories and wholesalers wind down operations. The jobless numbers as a percentage of the work force is the worst since the first Reagan Recession but that really doesn’t paint the picture. In 1983 we had many millions more of good paying Union factory jobs that provided a basis for recovery. Our current "fries with that" and "blue light special on Chinese goods in aisle 3" economy doesn’t have any footing for recovery. Obama has to start addressing the real problem soon or his Presidency will be the failure that the Rush-bots are praying for. God help us all.
Mike Malloy sent me this http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/Expanded-Americorps-has-stench-of-authoritarianism-41869152.html
Reponse from prairie2: After reading the SF Examiner editorial; I'll admit it sounds pretty scary except if you leave out the paranoid superlatives and replace Americorps with "Boy Scouts" and that is exactly how they are organized. The rhetoric is all the same and they have the very same infrastructure. Even their uniforms were military in the day.
I don't see the underlying framework for a socialist "Brown Shirt" operation. You have to have a certain type of mental deficiency to be a good candidate for indoctrination. In this country those people are all on the right.
I'll admit I do think the idea of everybody being drafted into the Boy Scouts is creepy and I'm not sure I like this idea even on a small scale. I hope Obama doesn't have this in mind as a substitute for actually fixing the economy.