It's the economic hammerlock we're in.
First, we need to get the recovery going because without a stronger recovery this high unemployment is going to go on and on. It's going to go on hurting people – men and women, old and young and in between, people who really want to work, work full-time, but can't find work.
Track the movement of LeBron James last night: He's leaving Cleveland, Ohio, for Miami, Florida.
Power and money head south, to where people have been heading this past century, followed perhaps by basketball power. Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Lebron James – call them the “Three Basketeers” – are all heading to the Miami Heat because of air conditioning, that which makes the “heat” bearable year-round.
It's not just roundball that's headed south.
Let me finish with that wonderful rule codified by columnist Michael Kinsley. "A gaffe is when you tell the truth."
I have a hunch this Kinsley rule will reign for years, you know, a watch-phrase in the political arena like Tip O'Neill's observation that "All politics is local."
Latest example of the rule: Republican leader Michael Steele's observation that "the one thing you don't do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan." He added that "everyone who has tried it over a thousand years of history has failed."
Let me finish tonight with those classic "two kinds of people."
There's "two kinds of people" in this country right now: the ones who want things to get better. They want BP to plug that oil spill at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico; want the American economy to take off and start producing jobs; want Congress and the president to get it done on immigration, stop the illegal entry into the country, "really" stop it, while letting people who've been here work their way to citizenship.
It's the unemployment rate.
Want to know something? When Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford in 1976, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. When Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. When Bill Clinton beat the senior George Bush, the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent.
Does recent history suggest that high unemployment means you get booted from the American presidency? Yes, but…
Let me finish with the dangerous, disgusting, dispiriting thought that we, this self-governing republic, are simply not up to the job.
Let's take immigration, the topic the president addressed today. Let me now talk to people who believe we, as Americans, have a right to say on what terms people get to enter this country.
We all know the basis of any immigration "fix." We need to find some way to stop the flow of illegal immigration. We need to find a way of dealing with the people who made their lives here and became a living part of our country.
"Byrd, who died Monday at age 92, served longer than any other senator in history, and it was his love of the Senate that drove the decision to honor him on the Senate floor, rather than in the Capitol Rotunda where other prominent figures are memorialized."
Click here to read the full article
Video: Chris' tribute to Sen. Byrd
Let me finish tonight with Larry King.
Back in the 1970s when I first got involved in politics, I made a couple of road trips out West to Utah.
Larry King, no matter that he didn't know me from Adam, was my driving buddy – because when you drive into the night it's good to have someone staying awake with you.
This Friday, we'll get the June jobless figures. Today, we learned the consumer confidence number fell nearly ten points since last month. It's not hard to figure out why: The unemployment number for May showed a dismal growth of just 41,000 in American civilian jobs. That's terrible news, and people know it.
Look ahead to the influence that this news and Friday's report will have on the country's morale: We're facing a double-whammy going into the weekend.
I love this country and believe in its historic greatness. I don't know how those Founding Fathers found themselves in Philadelphia in the late 18th century, but they did – and we are incredibly fortunate for it.
And I love the symbol of the Gadsden Flag, the coiled rattlesnake against a field of yellow: “Don’t Tread on Me,” it warned our enemies, including (and especially so) the British government in London.
This morning a man died who treasured this country and that flag.
Let me finish tonight with a big, fat question about this country's war policy.
We are at war in Afghanistan? Okay. Who are we fighting?
Are we fighting the people who don't like the government we're backing there, the one led by Karzai?
But aren't we told that Karzai is corrupt? That he stole the election?
Okay, he's corrupt. He stole the election. We're backing him even though he's corrupt and stole the election because we don't want the Taliban to take over Afghanistan because that would mean they might threaten Pakistan?
Let me finish tonight with our lively interchange with Rush Limbaugh.
As I said earlier in the show, I think this a dazzling question: who are these elected politicians who do not fear this man on the radio?
We came up with this idea. It can't go on forever, can it?
We asked all the Republican officials here in Washington. There are hundreds of them, for just one of them to step forward and say that he or she disagrees with Rush on anything. Anything.
Let me finish tonight with a calm grandeur of our constitution.
What those who love this country love best, above the God-given beauty of this continent, is what we the people have created here: this amazing American constitution that places the elected president of the United States as commander in chief of the military.
It's not about the general – not exactly.
It's not about insubordination – not entirely.
It's about becoming president – not just by election or inauguration, but in fact.
Jack Kennedy did it with the Bay of Pigs, not by agreeing to the operation, but in accepting full personal blame for its failure. That's when the country knew it had a leader. His job approval shot through the roof.