Economy - The unemployment rate for government wage and salaries workers dropped from 5.7 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August. At the same time, the number of government wage and salary workers counted as unemployed dropped by 123,000 people from 1,182,000 in July to 1,059,000 in August. The overall national unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August.
Farm Bill - 80% of farm subsidies go to only 15% of farmers, most of whom are wealthier and more secure than the average American. (2010 farm household net worth: $576,745—up from $534,727 in 2007; 2010 media household net worth: $77,000—down from $126,400 in 2007). The average crop insurance policy is subsidized $3,591 by taxpayers. Americans do not expect their neighbors to pay for the auto insurance, why should taxpayers pay for their neighbor’s crop insurance? Americans pay $147 million per year to Brazilian cotton producers, so we can continue to subsidize American cotton producers. To avoid trade sanctions for subsidizing US cotton farmers in violation of WTO commitments, the US government also subsidizes Brazilian cotton producers.
Budget - President Obama said it was a "mistake" to criticize Paul Ryan and his budget proposal as strongly as he did during a speech in April 2011. After all, Ryan’s budget proposal passed the House while the President’s budget proposal got no votes in the House or Senate.
9/11 – Obama campaigns on Twitter looking for more volunteers and money, Romney prays on the somber day. Obama broke the 24 hour truce agreement for campaigns by releasing new attack TV ads and a radio broadcast.
Chicago Teachers Strike - Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.
Israel - The public feuding between Israel and Washington ratcheted up sharply this past week amid claims that Barack Obama has declined to meet Binyamin Netanyahu during the Israeli prime minister's visit to the US later this month.
Egypt / Libya / Yemen - A mob of Cairo demonstrators scaled the U.S. Embassy walls last week to tear down the American flag in a show of protest against the release of an American movie Egyptians believe insults the prophet Mohammad. The State Department apologized to Egypt and showed more sympathy for the attackers than the victims. Another mob attacked the US Embassy in Libya killing 4 including Chris Stevens our ambassador to Libya. As protestors paraded Stevens’ dead body through the streets Obama continued on his campaign schedule. What’s worse, the consulate where the American ambassador to Libya was killed is an “interim facility” not protected by the contingent of Marines that safeguards embassies. Conditions in the Middle East continued to deteriorate last week as the U.S. Embassy in Yemen was also attacked. In fact, a new poll shows that U.S. / Middle East relations have hit a new all-time low under Obama. And what’s Obama’s response to Romney criticisms of the incidents “He likes to shoot first and aim later”. Where is the left condemning this statement as uncivil – if Romney used the word “shoot” they would claim he is riling up the far right extremists. Finally, let’s not forget how Obama politicized the Iraq War for his gain.
Taliban - A U.N. report released last week said the Taliban raised $400 million last year.
IRS - The IRS has awarded a former UBS banker $104 million for exposing a $20 billion offshore banking scheme.
Voter Fraud - Wendy Rosen, the Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. Andy Harris in the 1st Congressional District, withdrew from the race Monday amid allegations that she voted in elections in both Maryland and Florida in 2006 and 2008.
New York City – A measure passes that will not allow store owners to have cups larger than 16 ounces for soft drinks.
Census Bureau – A new census report shows that the average median income fell 1.5% and poverty rates remained unchanged for 2011.