The latest jobs report is out, and Mitt Romney couldn’t be happier. As you know, unemployment remains stagnant and terribly high at 8.2 percent.

This spells trouble for Obama in November.

Romney said the report is a “kick in the gut” for the American people, but it’s actually a shot in the arm for him.

And he knows it.

The Republican strategy all along has been to make the economy just as awful as possible by Election Day, and it seems to be working.

It was the Republicans who sliced down Obama’s original jobs program, which was only half a loaf to start with. And they carved up the funds that were going to go to help states out, which is one big reason why public sector jobs have fallen so fast.

And it was Republicans who’ve resisted, rejected, or chipped away at every jobs program that Obama has proposed ever since.

At this point, they won’t give Obama a dime to jumpstart the economy. They’d rather see it continue to sputter, regardless of the pain this inflicts on the 12,700,000 people unemployed right now.

All Romney proposes is lowering tax rates and regulations on corporations.

But that won’t create jobs, since many corporations wiggle out of their taxes anyway, and it was the lack of financial regulation that started the recession in the first place.

What would create jobs is increased government spending on infrastructure and green energy, and increased federal funding to the states, whose tight budgets are forcing mass layoffs.

But Romney opposes all these ideas. He doesn’t care about the unemployed. He’s the guy who said he likes to fire people.

He can prattle on about how he’s “met with families in their homes, in cafes and restaurants and in break rooms,” and how he understands that “American families are struggling” and that “there’s a lot of misery in America today.”

American families are struggling. And there is a lot of misery.

But he has nothing to offer them but synthetic sympathy—and a kick not in their gut but in their teeth.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Scott Walker Flouts Supreme Court, Imitates Orval Faubus and George Wallace."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

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White supremacist posters on campuses play on ignorance and fear within the very institutions that should be our...

Trump's politics are not the problem.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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