Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri has an idea that deserves to pass Congress 535-0. Cleaver, a Democrat, is looking for co-sponsors of his resolution designating next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, as “Complaint Free Wednesday.” In a letter to colleagues, Cleaver writes that everyone experiences occasional “anxiety, frustration, stress and regret,” which can give rise to bellyaching. “Complaining keeps people stuck on current problems, inhibiting them from thinking constructively to find solutions,” he writes. “Research has also shown that complaining can be harmful to one’s emotional and physical health; relationships; and can limit professional career success.” His resolution recognizes the group Complaint Free World, whose goal is to get 1 percent of the world’s population (about 60 million people) to be complaint free. A gimmick? Publicity stunt? Maybe — but you won’t hear us complaining about it.
Conservatives have been howling for months about the Obama administration’s “jobs created/jobs saved” statistics. Every official measure of the country’s employment situation has shown the economy shedding jobs throughout the year. Yet the White House has insisted that its policies have saved a number of jobs and has issued figures to prove it.
Unchallengeable, of course. The number of jobs saved is in the eye of the beholder — or the counter. Now ABC News reports the counting has been off, calculating a number of jobs saved to congressional districts that don’t exist. For example, ABC reports, the administration’s stimulus Web site claims 30 jobs were saved in Arizona’s 15th District — but Arizona only has eight districts.
An administration official said human error was to blame. “Some recipients clearly don’t know what congressional district they live in,” a spokesman said, “so they appear to be just throwing in any number. We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on jobs numbers, on award amounts, and so on. Human beings make mistakes.”
Gen. George Casey, the Army’s chief of staff, has a perspective problem. At least it seems so after an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday in which Casey talked about the Fort Hood massacre that claimed 13 lives. The general got to talking about the effect of the shootings on the Army’s efforts to maintain a diverse fighting force, and clearly years and years of military indoctrination on diversity as a societal virtue have affected Casey’s thinking. “Our diversity, not only in our Army but in our country is a strength,” Casey said. No problem, general. But he went on: “And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” Americans get the diversity message, but you can’t compare that with the loss of soldiers’ lives at Fort Hood. You just can’t.