Blah Jobs Report

April’s growth 115K, March and February revised up, April below expectations, unemployment down to 8.1% but participation is down, too. Tax cuts for everyone! More here.

207 replies
  1. 1
    Mino says:

    Prediction: Dems are gonna cave on repatriation of profits for multinationals. And since Dems want it more than Republicans, expect concessions on just about everything to the point where they might as well not have bothered as far as stimulus is concerned.

  2. 2

    Public sector job losses are somehow Obama’s fault too, even though Republicans have been talking about drowning government in the bathtub since forever.

  3. 3
    Culture of Truth says:

    Jobs are up, gas prices are down.

    Um something something china freedom blah day of shame something blah whatever

  4. 4
    lacp says:

    That 8.1% isn’t just for blahs; it includes the whu?s also.

  5. 5
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I predict that a lot of over-paid white people are going to complain about this.

  6. 6
    lamh35 says:

    Putting aside the underlying slow numbers a moment, wasn’t the consensus in the village that if unemployment rate dropped below 8%, that Obama would be on sturdier ground vis a vis reelection. The other part of the story us that the previous job numbers have been revised up substantisly. So it stands to reason if the trend follows (which i believe most forcasters say the trend will peob cintinue) that next month the April numbers will also be upgraded. So even though the reporting numbers are slow unemployment rate will still go down slowly but surely. Currently it ticked down to 8.1%. At what point will the MSM begin to scoff at all the outrage from GOP about the job numbers? Are is that just. A stupid question…thy just move the goal post right?

    Oh and won’t the jobs report go up in the summer with all the youths getting summer jobs and such and graduates applying for work and such or is that not really true of summer months?

  7. 7
    butler says:

    Productivity: higher than pre-crash levels.

    Labor force participation: lowest since Reagan’s Recession back in 81.

    The stone has to run out of blood at some point, right?

  8. 8
    rdldot says:

    The only good thing is that most people only look at the unemployment number and that is slowly going down.

  9. 9
    rdldot says:

    The only good thing is that most people only look at the unemployment number and that is slowly going down.

  10. 10
    Mino says:

    @Southern Beale: Gotta get those employee wages and bennies knocked down while they can.

    Expect the same if Republicans get control of federal government. My sister is retiring ahead of the crash.

  11. 11
    butler says:

    Oh and won’t the jobs report go up in the summer with all the youths getting summer jobs and such and graduates applying for work and such or is that not really true of summer months?

    There will be a bigger seasonal adjustment because of that factor, probably (but not certainly) meaning that it will take fewer new jobs to reduce the unemployment rate than it would today. The downside to that is that the adjustment goes back in the fall when school is back in session.

  12. 12
    lamh35 says:

    Oh and AfricanAmericans unemployment down 1%.suck on that white people! (snark/ still obviously way to high,but down 1% is better then up)

    GOP response: Obama taking jobs from the white man and giving it to the blahs!

    Also unemployment rate for college grads way less than high school only,but hey people who want tosend their kids to college such snobs, right Ricky (Santorum)

  13. 13
    butler says:

    Oh and AfricanAmericans unemployment down 1%

    Just more proof of Obama’s pro-black, anti-white agenda in action!

    Also unemployment rate for college grads way less than high school only

    Just more proof of Obama’s pro-snob, anti-slob agenda in action!

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    Jobs up, unemployment down.

    Terrible news.

  15. 15
    lamh35 says:

    Oh and according to Romney on fix news today we should be adding 500,000 jibs a month! Really. Mittens really! When has that EVER happened!! And he’s supposed to be some sort of economics guru. Ugh, this dude is a joke

  16. 16

    @rdldot:

    The only good thing is that most people only look at the unemployment number and that is slowly going down.

    This is true with the Village idiots, because the wingnuts yammer about it being the most important, especially when the number is higher for new hires from these reports. Of course, when the new hires number is below expectations, the wingnut switch hands in mid stroke, but the press is retarded and slow, so the 8.1 number will be what they equally fixate on.

    The economy still sucks with hiring, and that is bad news for folks out of work, but politically for Obama, the drop of just a tenth of a percentage point, gives them a campaign counter talking point just as powerful as the low number of new hires. Perceptions are often more important than reality in the bizarro world of politics.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    @lamh35:

    they must always move the goalposts.

    ALWAYS.

  18. 18
    Yevgraf says:

    Prediction – the folks who win 2012 will get 100 percent of the credit for the 2013-2015 boom that results from the release of all the pent up demand. That credit will last for generations, in Roosevelt numbers.

    Hence, the current desperation and deliberate sabotage.

    In one direction lies shared prosperity, shared goals, tolerance and diversity. In the other direction, there is social division, inequality, class hatred and gender conflict; vote suppression will become increasingly common as demographic realities impose themselves on the social order.

    My real fears come to roost somewhere around 2025.

  19. 19
    SenyorDave says:

    Off topic, but this almost beyond belief (warning that this is a link to the Heartland Institute, supposed think tank that attacks the idea of climate change).

    http://climateconference.heart.....illboards/

  20. 20
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @lamh35:

    Oh and according to Romney on fix news today we should be adding 500,000 jibs a month!

    When he gets into office, he’ll keep cutting jobs until they grow at 500K per month. Then he’ll sell the country off for a profit.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    @lamh35:

    according to Romney on fix news today we should be adding 500,000 jibs a month

    jesus, i know the guy is obsessed with yachting but this is ridiculous…

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    Poll: Mourdock Leads Lugar by 10 Points For Indiana Primary
    Eric Kleefeld- May 4, 2012, 10:02 AM

    The new Howey Politics/DePauw University poll of Indiana has some big news: In the Republican primary for Senate next week, longtime incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar now trails his right-wing challenger, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, by ten points.

    The numbers: Mourdock 48%, Lugar 38%. The survey of likely primary voters was conducted April 30-May 1, and has a ±3.7% margin of error.

    In the previous Howey/DePauw poll from late March, Lugar was ahead by 42%-35%.

    The presumptive Democratic nominee is Rep. Joe Donnelly — with some Dems hopeful that a Mourdock win in the primary would open up this seat for a pickup.

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo......rimary.php

  23. 23
    liberal says:

    @Yevgraf:

    Prediction – the folks who win 2012 will get 100 percent of the credit for the 2013-2015 boom that results from the release of all the pent up demand. That credit will last for generations, in Roosevelt numbers.

    Huh?

    There’s still a massive overhand of private-sector debt.

    Furthermore, superimposed on the economic cycle are some long-term secular trends that aren’t all that great: increases in net imports, job outsourcing, increasing inequality, lack of growth in truly “middle class” job sectors, failure to stem absurd levels of rent-collection by the FIRE sector,and so on.

  24. 24
    Daulnay says:

    @Cacti:
    The problem shows up if you look at the chart showing Employment-Population Ratio, Participation, and Unemployment Rates. The Employment-Population ratio line has been flat, which shows that unemployment has improved because people have dropped out of the job market, not because conditions have gotten better.

    We come out of a slump as people become employed and spend more. That isn’t happening this time, thanks to Republican sabotage. Instead, people are despairing and dropping out of the labor market, making the unemployment numbers look better on their face.

    This is not really good news for Obama (and democracy in America). Going to be a long road.

  25. 25
    BenA says:

    I think a lot of the lag in jobs is at the level of state government. Currently our state governments are engaging in austerity measures that rival any Euro government.

  26. 26
    liberal says:

    @Daulnay:
    I’m not sure fact-based analysis will be welcomed.

  27. 27
    Cacti says:

    So the 6-month jobs average for 11/11-04/12 is 197,000, and unemployment has dropped from 8.7% to 8.1%.

    Terrible news.

  28. 28
    liberal says:

    @lamh35:

    Oh and according to Romney on fix news today we should be adding 500,000 jibs a month!

    It’s true that, given how deep the recession was, we would be adding that many jobs/mo in a healthy recovery.

    Problem is that (a) history shows that recovery after “credit-based” crashes tend to be a lot slower, and (b) the austerity policies favored by the Republicans and others are making it worse.

  29. 29
    rlrr says:

    @Cacti:

    That’s good news for McCain.

  30. 30
    BenA says:

    @Daulnay:

    We come out of a slump as people become employed and spend more. That isn’t happening this time, thanks to Republican sabotage. Instead, people are despairing and dropping out of the labor market, making the unemployment numbers look better on their face.
    This is not really good news for Obama (and democracy in America). Going to be a long road.

    I don’t disagree that long term this is a really really bad thing, but I disagree in that it might not be the worst thing for Obama in the short term. A lower unemployment number is probably a benefit to Obama because your average low information voter isn’t going to look at the internals.

    I’m just holding out hope that the Dems eek out a majority in the house and maintain one in the Senate… and we get another stimulus package.

  31. 31
    liberal says:

    @Cacti:
    Yawn. If you look at the Calculated Risk graph, you’ll see the employment/pop ratio has basically been flat since the crash ended.

  32. 32
    liberal says:

    @BenA:

    I don’t disagree that long term this is a really really bad thing, but I disagree in that it might not be the worst thing for Obama in the short term. A lower unemployment number is probably a benefit to Obama because your average low information voter isn’t going to look at the internals.

    That’s reasonable. I do think a lot of people out there, though, pay attention to their “gut” when it comes to the economy. That said, it’s possible that even if we continue with these lackluster job numbers, things will be good enough that come November Romney’s personal awfulness will trump any desire to view the election as a referendum on the economy.

    But this idea I’ve seen in threads here that the presidential race is a probable lock for Obama seems deluded.

  33. 33
    Cacti says:

    February and March revised upward by 53,000 jobs.

    Terrible news.

  34. 34
    liberal says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    You never know with the Republicans. While I certainly don’t see fiscal expansion as we’d like it, maybe they’ll go the Reagan route of massive increases in military spending, combined with a tax cut binge that even gives some money to the 99.9%. I.e., they’ll full of sh*t re deficit reduction, always have been and always will be.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @liberal:

    That said, it’s possible that even if we continue with these lackluster job numbers, things will be good enough that come November Romney’s personal awfulness will trump any desire to view the election as a referendum on the economy. But this idea I’ve seen in threads here that the presidential race is a probable lock for Obama seems deluded.

    Terrible news.

    Everybody wet your pants and hide under the bed.

  36. 36
    lamh35 says:

    @BenA: agreed. I love that so many people on the blogosphere are so well informed, but the avg voter sees the headline “jobs added, slow economy and but unemoloyment down ” and the vast majority of their eyes become glazed over when u begin to get into the complicated weeds of it all.

    Not everyone are wonks like Ezra Klein, or Rachel Maddow.

  37. 37
    liberal says:

    @Cacti:
    Why don’t you do a calculation as to how long it will take the country to get back to full employment at this rate, and then get back to us.

  38. 38
    flukebucket says:

    There is nobody on this earth that can argue that a Republican administration would be better at creating jobs. Just look at the 2000-2008 job creation numbers and ask all of the true believers in wealthy low taxed job creators what the hell happened. They got nothing. Hell, their philosophy requires them to figure out how to get more out of less. They have no interest in putting people to work. Unless it is people who work for a dollar a day and all of the shit they can eat.

  39. 39
    liberal says:

    @BenA:
    IIRC it’s worse in the red states, which isn’t a surprise.

  40. 40
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @liberal: Actually, I think it’s been flat since the stimulus package. It was dropping like a stone before January 2009.

    Of course, that is just more evidence of the failure of Keynesian economics because gun rights and also gay marriage.

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    @liberal:

    Why don’t you do a calculation as to how long it will take the country to get back to full employment at this rate, and then get back to us

    I’m just too enraptured by your analysis of why Romney will win and that we’re all doomed.

  42. 42
    Jeff Spender says:

    The problem with the Republican attacks so far is that they accept Obama’s framework for the debate.

    “Yes, the economy is adding jobs…BUT IT SHOULD BE ADDING MORE.”

    “Yes, Osama Bin Laden is dead…BUT POTUS SHOULDN’T GLOAT.”

    “Yes, GM is still alive…BUT ROMNEY SAID HE’D SAVE THEM, ALSO, TOO.”

    And on and on. Obama isn’t working. Hype and Whatever. It’s all from Obama’s framework.

    It’s absolutely amazing. It’s like the Republicans don’t even have a real candidate and are just running to vacate the office completely.

  43. 43
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    It’s like the Republicans don’t even have a real candidate and are just running to vacate the office completely.

    According to Duke Grover of Norquist, that is what they want to do.

  44. 44

    Not sure if any of you guys are following it, but it is election day in the UK, London Mayor and local councils. Seems like the Tories and Lib Dems are getting their asses kicked by the Labour Party.

    Guardian liveblog here

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/poli.....government

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    It’s absolutely amazing. It’s like the Republicans don’t even have a real candidate and are just running to vacate the office completely.

    It actually reminds me of Kerry’s campaign in 2004. He allowed Rove to frame every issue, so that the terms of every debate were on Bush’s home court.

  46. 46
    Daulnay says:

    @BenA:
    Let me throw another thing out there: the EU has royally screwed up, their austerity programs are pushing the region into a ‘double dip’. Hoovernomics strikes again, and in order to maintain power the right (look at Sarkozy!) is going down the fascist (scapegoating aliens/Jews/whoever is different) path.

    With the Europeans providing extra economic drag, the U.S. economy is going to have more trouble. Japan is still mired in its problems, so they’re not going to provide much economic fuel. That leaves China, and that relationship just got problematic.

  47. 47
    Culture of Truth says:

    I like the cut of that man’s jib

  48. 48
    KXB says:

    The job market does seem to be out of sync with job seekers. Our small engineering business recently posted an ad for a part-time marketing position – someone who would handle our social network presence. The young woman who did it took another job. We received a lot of resumes, but they were all over the place. Many were automatically submitted, without looking at what we were seeking in terms of qualifications and experience.

    Here is where I think there is a mismatch – we have a need for a marketing person, but someone with that experience is looking for growth. Our company is small – 5 people in total. For engineers, we offer plenty of responsibility, but I have to admit we may not be as attractive to someone who is not an engineer. The non-engineers we have hired in the past (all part-timers) looked at the job as a secondary matter – one was a student, and the second was a married woman with 2 kids, who just wanted something during the day. They both were good at their job, but the job was not a job in their field.

    In 2011, we actually hired one woman, and she simply never showed up on her first day, and we never heard from her again. I know it is not a popular idea – but sometimes (and I stress sometimes), if a job-seeker is looking for their preferred job, they will take interviews with jobs that have no intention of taking – so they can demonstrate that they are actively seeking employment.

  49. 49
    Culture of Truth says:

    That leaves China, and that relationship just got problematic.

    maybe, but I don’t see anything side anxious to let one guy disrupt two multitrillion dollar economies

  50. 50
    lamh35 says:

    @liberal: Has thre ever been a time even in a healthy economy that we were averaging 500,000 jobs a month?

  51. 51
    lamh35 says:

    Duplicate

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    maybe, but I don’t see anything side anxious to let one guy disrupt two multitrillion dollar economies

    Minor diplomatic incident that was handled with all possible discretion. Will be stuffed down the memory hole in the next month or so.

  53. 53
    Jeff Spender says:

    @Cacti:

    What floored me was the DKos article on that new RNC bumper sticker. When I’m driving, I don’t really pay attention to the finer points of what a bumper sticker says. That’s why KISS works best with them (Keep it simple, stupid).

    Republicans forgot that cardinal rule. I would see the Obama logo and be like, “Party on, brothah!” to the person driving the vehicle because I wouldn’t realize they were being assholes.

  54. 54
    Culture of Truth says:

    “Yes, the Chinese dissident is safe… but Obama SHOULD HAVE MADE THE CHINESE BEG HIM TO TAKE HIM”

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    @liberal:

    Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?

  56. 56
    Hawes says:

    The guys over at Bonddad’s place have a more positive take:

    http://bonddad.blogspot.com/20.....-than.html

    The internals show more improvement than the headline numbers.

  57. 57
    Xenos says:

    @Daulnay: Sarkozy is definitely going down. He has been quite pissy over the last couple days since he failed to get LePen’s support and the last debate was, at best, a draw. Nobody rallies around a bitchy loser, so he could seriously fail to meet expectations.

    With the Merkel newly isolated it will put European politics in pretty sharp relief.

  58. 58
    gaz says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    The problem with the Republican attacks so far is that they accept Obama’s framework for the debate.

    This.

    Romney is the worst campaigner since maybe Mondale or Agnew.

    ETA: Last I checked (and as Kay has pointed out previously), Romney doesn’t have a ground game. And if anyone could use some GOTV drives it’s Romney. I expect a plurality of the old white men he is counting on to win the election will simply stay home.

  59. 59
    Culture of Truth says:

    He has been quite pissy over the last couple days

    and the French still will vote him out!

    ha ha, i kid… I love the French people….

  60. 60
    Jeff Spender says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    “Yes, American soft power in Asia has been on the rise and the Chinese have become the hard-power actors in the region…BUT OBAMA SHOULD SCOLD CHINA AND TELL THEM “AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!”

  61. 61
    lamh35 says:

    @Xenos: So with sarkozy gone will that make French guvmt less conservative? And would anyone dare to speculate what a Sarkozyloss would mean for the 2012 race?

  62. 62
    Cacti says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    What floored me was the DKos article on that new RNC bumper sticker. When I’m driving, I don’t really pay attention to the finer points of what a bumper sticker says. That’s why KISS works best with them (Keep it simple, stupid).

    I’m sure Team O appreciates the free advertising.

    Romney may be a businessman, but none of his experience consists of designing a product and bringing it to market.

    If a bumper sticker is something you have to think about to get the humor, you’ve failed out of the gate.

  63. 63
    Mino says:

    If the ratio of employed to population available to be employed hasn’t changed since 2009, which element is changing more?

  64. 64
    Culture of Truth says:

    yeah that’s what I’ve been saying… it’s all defense. A bit of Mondale, some Kerry, Dukakis, except Romney is also plainly a jerk

  65. 65
    Jeff Spender says:

    @Cacti:

    The best bumper sticker I ever saw said this, “Geologists make the bed rock.”

    If the Democrats could make a bumper sticker that pithy, they’d win every election.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    May 04, 2012 10:39 AM

    Mitt’s Map

    By Ed Kilgore

    At WaPo today, Dan Balz and Philip Rucker offer a baseline general election story on Romney’s electoral college strategy. From beginning to end, they emphasize that Mitt has a “narrow path to victory,” without a lot of room for maneuvering or feints. That path is basically what Karl Rove, with his knack for making every straight line look crooked, calls a “3-2-1” plan, based on winning three traditionally Republican states Obama grabbed in 2008 (IN, NC and VA), then the two classic “tossup” states (FL and OH), and then one out of a grab-bag of other battleground states, including IA, NH, NV and CO (with many GOPers adding MI and PA based on their party’s recent down-ballot performance, though neither state has gone Republican in a presidential election since 1988).

    The bottom line is that Romney has little margin for error, and even if he wins back Obama’s “breakthrough” states along with the two big tossups, he’s going to have to win somewhere in the northeast, in Rust Belt Land or in the Western states where his weak standing with Latinos is a really big problem (offset partially, at least in NV and AZ, by his exceptional strength among LDS voters).

    Interestingly, the Balz/Rucker piece appears the same day WaPo has released a new poll of VA, one of those must-win Romney states, showing Obama up there among RVs by a 51-44 margin.

    If this sort of battleground maneuvering fascinates you, check out one of the many interactive Electoral Vote mapping sites available on the web, where you can play at being Grand Strategist. It becomes pretty apparent very quickly that whatever strategery Team Mitt deploys, it’s going to need a significant national shift from where we are now to get safely to 270.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....037106.php

  67. 67
    Xenos says:

    @lamh35: They key issue, at least as far as will resonate with American politics, is a repudiation of extreme austerity policies. The French hold even more bad sovereign debt than the Germans, but are much more willing to be pragmatic about collecting on it than the Germans, who see this sort of thing in a distinctively moralistic fashion. Without French support the Germans may be obliged to relent a bit.

    The effect on American politics is indirect, but real. To the degree that there is a international wind blowing to the left, that reinforces the sense that people throughout the world realize conservative policies are out of fashion, ineffective, what have you.

  68. 68
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Daulnay:

    The Employment-Population ratio line has been flat, which shows that unemployment has improved because people have dropped out of the job market, not because conditions have gotten better.

    __
    CalcRisk covers this issue periodically. The short version is that the participation rate is down due to some combination of a bad labor market and long term demographic shifts which are driving down the rate as the Boomers age out of the labor force and it shifts towards younger folks who stay in school longer and postpone their full participation longer than their parents did. How much of the decline in the partipation rate is temporary due to a bad economy, that is a hard question to answer but it probably isn’t 100% of the decline that we are seeing now, some of that decline is demographic rather than macroeconomic.

  69. 69
    gaz says:

    @rikyrah: He’d needs the GOTV ground game. Without that, I expect he’ll lose states that should be relatively easy, like maybe AZ. I think Rove isn’t really calculating Romney’s lack of a ground game into anything.

  70. 70
    gaz says:

    We’re done with the Republican Speed Dating (e-Rmoney edition).

    And now that the goopers have sobered up they realize that Romney doesn’t look so hot, actually. And he gave them the clap.

    Now he’s got to win the general affections of the populace. In what world could we expect him to do better than he has done so far?

  71. 71
    Jeff Spender says:

    @gaz:

    You know, I think the lack of ground game is the elephant in the room.

    They’re not acknowledging it, and the resident troll Taco thinks Citizen’s United and ads playing ad nauseum on the radio are going to get people out to vote.

  72. 72
    Chyron HR says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    Are you suggesting that “Unemployment is almost down to 8% but we should really look at the fundamental numbers to see that the derivative of the jobs rate is inadequate” isn’t THE BEST SLOGAN EVAR?

  73. 73
    gaz says:

    @Jeff Spender: I almost feel dirty saying this, but I suspect that CU is a mega-FAIL for the republicans

  74. 74
    Cacti says:

    @rikyrah:

    The bottom line is that Romney has little margin for error, and even if he wins back Obama’s “breakthrough” states along with the two big tossups, he’s going to have to win somewhere in the northeast, in Rust Belt Land or in the Western states.

    In other words, there is no winning math for Romney without taking both Ohio and Florida, plus flipping several more states.

    To put actual numbers on it: Even if Romney carried the McCain states and flipped Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana…

    He still loses 272 to 266.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mino:

    Prediction: Dems are gonna cave on repatriation of profits for multinationals

    Prediction based on what evidence?

  76. 76
    BenA says:

    @liberal:

    IIRC it’s worse in the red states, which isn’t a surprise.

    I don’t disagree, but when PA and NJ have GOP Govs and are doing everything in their power to make things worse (dismantling higher education and cancelling major infrastructure projects) and even Milloy in CT going after teachers unions it doesn’t help.

  77. 77
    Rabble Arouser says:

    @chopper: Yes I would, Kent.

  78. 78
    gaz says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    resident troll Taco thinks Citizen’s United and ads playing ad nauseum on the radio are going to get people out to vote.

    This is why I have a modicum of appreciation for Taco.

    He spews Rovian talking points, and serves as a bellwether for the knuckledragging voting bloc. And we don’t have to visit the fever swamp of RedState to keep our finger on the pulse of the wingers.

  79. 79
    Jeff Spender says:

    @Chyron HR:

    They’d be better off with this, “I TAKE POOPY.” This probably plays well with the bottom 10% of their voting bloc.

    “Yeah, poop. I can really relate.”

    @gaz:

    I’ve been broaching the topic of the CU decision being a major distraction for Republicans. They have all of this money that, legally, can’t be spent in conjunction with the campaign (but in reality all of that money is tied up to Romney like a cheap Italian shoe).

    The focus is always on an ad blitz. I honestly don’t know anyone who doesn’t zone out during commercials. Of any nature.

  80. 80
    burnspbesq says:

    In which David Frum identifies the real risk-takers and job-creators in the American economy.

    Hint: it’s not who the Romney campaign would like you to believe it is.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....akers.html

  81. 81
    Daulnay says:

    @lamh35: Sure, I will speculate. A Sarkozy loss will mean turning Europe around (somewhat) towards expansion. Only good news.

  82. 82
    TooManyJens says:

    @Cacti: Could you engage what people are actually saying or STFU? Jesus, you’re pointlessly annoying.

  83. 83
    Ash Can says:

    @lamh35:

    Has thre ever been a time even in a healthy economy that we were averaging 500,000 jobs a month?

    Funny you should ask; I just spotted this on ThinkProgress. Short answer is yes, there has been 500k/month job growth — a whopping four times in the last 50 years. (Read the whole article; it does a great job of debunking Romney’s entire crack-pipe economic vision.)

  84. 84
    Cacti says:

    I’m actually pessimistic by nature, but I’ve seen nothing to date from the Romney campaign that makes me think he isn’t headed for a walloping in November.

    The likability factor has been mentioned, but I think it’s actually been underestimated. Low information voters will often vote on personalities, and no amount of coaching has made Romney not seem like a dick.

  85. 85
    Cacti says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Could you engage what people are actually saying or STFU? Jesus, you’re pointlessly annoying.

    Someone die and make you hall monitor?

  86. 86
    redshirt says:

    So this was a black jobs report? What about the white jobs man?!

  87. 87
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Perhaps Rmoney will tell us about how jarb creaytrs will start breeding at a rapid rate to supply tony private schools with more students, which in turn will mean those fired teachers can get back to work. Convert them all to Mormonism?

  88. 88
    Culture of Truth says:

    I was just perusing new article about Gov Christie and it ocurred to me – it is so much in his interest that Mitt not succeed. I wonder how many other GOP officials feel the same.

  89. 89
    GregB says:

    Do any of the bobble heads ever link the high gas prices to economic weakness?

    When gas goes beyond $3.50 or so it scoops out almost all discretionary spending.

  90. 90
    gaz says:

    @Cacti: If it just came down to likability I wouldn’t be so sure he’d lose.

    But the likability factor seems to be a symptom of a much bigger problem, to wit: Romney does NOT know how to campaign.

    Not likable for sure. Says dumb stuff whenever stumping. Looks like the guy that fired your dad.

    But furthermore:
    No ground game.
    Running adverts that are about Obama, not him.
    He’s not put forward ANYTHING CLOSE to a list of reasons to vote for him, other than “I’m not a Ni-CLANG” – and that only plays with the people WHO ALREADY HATE HIS LIBRUL GUTS.

    There’s probably a whole lot more FAIL that I’ve glossed over. But seriously. His candidacy is a joke.

    ETA: and the killer – he works this like a CEO – surrounding himself with yes men who won’t tell him when he’s fucking up

  91. 91
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Culture of Truth: Santorum (in his own fantasy), Jebbie, Daniels, Huckabee (see Santorum). Maybe Paul Ryan, Thune and a few other B-listers who keep a scrapbook of every Politico article that lists them as a Presidential prospect.

  92. 92
    Mino says:

    @burnspbesq: Relax, no evidence. But increasing talk of using said tax monies for an infrastructure bank. Rendell has been championing it. And Obama has spoken of it. And I realize Rendell is a DNCer.

    It actually could be a good thing if Dems don’t get rolled on regulations for it. That’s the trick.

    I jsut feel depressed with it all today.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    It’s absolutely amazing. It’s like the Republicans don’t even have a real candidate and are just running to vacate the office completely.

    Like I said a bunch of times in the past – I’m wondering if the powers-that-be in the Republican Party aren’t simply throwing this election.

    If they win, they’ll be faced with intense pressure from their voter base to implement the policies they want (and thus piss off the general public, because those policies don’t work, and I think at least some of them know that); and intense pressure from the public to implement policies that’ll help them (and thus piss off their voter base, for whom such policies are anathema). I suspect at least some of them are praying that the Democrats will fix the economy so that the next time they’re in power, things will have calmed down a bit and there won’t be nearly as much pressure on them.

    (Of course, that’s probably too conspiratorial to be true, but it’s an impression I’ve had since before their presidential campaigns even got off the ground).

  94. 94
    Cacti says:

    @gaz:

    But furthermore:
    No ground game.
    Running adverts that are about Obama, not him.
    He’s not put forward ANYTHING CLOSE to a list of reasons to vote for him, other than “I’m not a Ni-CLANG” – and that only plays with the people WHO ALREADY HATE HIS LIBRUL GUTS.

    I’d also say those are symptoms of a larger problem. He’s untrustworthy, even to members of his own team. To lock up support of people he should already have in the bag, he’s wasting time dishing out red meat about how much he dislikes the Ni-CLANG!

    And in dishing out the red meat, he risks turning off the middle-of-the-roaders.

    Yeah, he has no political chops.

  95. 95
    gaz says:

    @Chris: That’s an interesting thought. It would absolutely fly in the face of their strategy for the past 30 years, but then again, now they’ve got the Tea Party tiger to contend with, maybe they are switching up their game.

    I kind of doubt it, but OTOH if you were right I wouldn’t be that surprised.

  96. 96
    Mino says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: …those fired teachers can get back to work… ?

    Yep, at reduced salary and no bennies. Saving the taxpayer money. Oh wait, forgot profits to the contractors. Forget that bit about taxpayer savings.

  97. 97
    Mickey says:

    lol…there are 2 ways to interpret the jobs report. Of course mistermix picked the cup half empty way. Shocking.

    This despite the fact the unemployment rate went down and the final figures for last month were revised significantly upward.

    But why focus on that when you can pretend the only reason it went down is because people retired or didn’t claim unemployment….lol.

    Maybe mistermix should take up gardening and cooking like wrong again Cole. Hard to screw that up.

  98. 98
    Mino says:

    @Cacti: The Republicans are using call centers in India to robo-call voters. Hope they speak better English than those on computer help lines.

  99. 99
    gaz says:

    @Cacti: Heh. There’s only so much white racial resentment to go around.

    Shame about that. =)

    Demographics are a bitch!

    ETA: my mom (blood, not adoptive, my other mom is a reliable boomer lib) thinks we’re turning into a communist country (she always cites the same BS about some law that’s supposed to ban smoking while driving)… She wanted to vote for romney she says, but (her words) “He just doesn’t care about anybody that isn’t rich”. She’s a casual winger. Not politically involved, but sponges the RW talking points. She’s an Obama voter this year. heh.

  100. 100
    Cacti says:

    @gaz:

    I kind of doubt it, but OTOH if you were right I wouldn’t be that surprised

    Well, the GOP bosses have to be smart enough to know that demographics are not on their side, and at some point over the next 20 years, they’re going to have to reinvent their coalition.

    For that to happen, they have to figure out a way to neuter the right wing, which is steaming the good ship Titanic straight at the iceberg.

  101. 101
    Mino says:

    @Mickey: Well, what you say is true. But it didn’t help that Dem spokespeople were blaming it on the weather. Even if true, it’s risible.

  102. 102
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Chris:

    Like I said a bunch of times in the past – I’m wondering if the powers-that-be in the Republican Party aren’t simply throwing this election.

    __
    That seems a bit strong. My guess is that they don’t want to lose, but nobody wants to put their own dick on the chopping block for R-Money. Their attitude is: if Romney wins, great, he’s an empty suit and we get to rule and loot under the cover of his administration. But if he loses, it’s his neck and the Koch brothers money, so its not my problem, besides which they get to enjoy another 4 year of blaming the blackity-black guy in the WH for everything which goes wrong on their watch, something they can basically do on autopilot while daydreaming about jumping into giant swimming pools filled with cash, attended to by rent-boys who brink them drinks with little umbrellas stuck in the top. Not bad work if you can get it.

  103. 103
    slag says:

    @burnspbesq: Nick Hanauer has become one of my favorite leftish influencers. I haven’t yet heard anything from him that I didn’t think nicely stated and agree with one hundred percent. The guy’s got game.

  104. 104
    Mino says:

    @Chris: Yes, even Americans might get a clue if their economic policies tank the economy twice in twenty years.

    Not to mention the sudden inability to remember the deficit. Oh, wait, what thing can they put off-budget this time? All defense spending?

  105. 105
    gaz says:

    @Cacti:

    Well, the GOP bosses have to be smart enough to know that demographics are not on their side, and at some point over the next 20 years, they’re going to have to reinvent their coalition.

    History seems to suggest they will render themselves unelectable and in the weeds for a cycle or two before that happens. I think we may be close to that phase, if not there yet.

  106. 106
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Okay, that’s much more likely, actually. Well reasoned.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    handsmile says:

    This thread has become chock-a-block with topics, so let me continue in response to some of the European elections comments above.

    It appears that in local council elections yesterday in England,Wales, and Scotland, Cameron’s Conservative Party is likely to lose more than 350 seats, and Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats about 200. The LibDems’s share of council seats will be at its lowest since the party was formed in 1988. The Labor Party, fecklessly headed by Ed Miliband, has nevertheless registered significant gains across the country. The nationalist UK Independence Party looks set to realize its best ever local elections results, however.

    The cherry topping my trifle would be the deposing of the execrable Boris Johnson as Mayor of London by “Red” Ken Livingstone.

    For more great news: http://www.guardian.co.uk/poli.....l-election

    Across the Channel, it still appears that Carla Bruni will have to find new digs starting next week. Polls are tightening between Sarkozy and Hollande, but the Socialist Party candidate should have sufficient momentum to maintain his first round victory. Sarko’s petulance during their midweek televised debate may well have sealed that result.

  109. 109
    Chris says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Addendum to above:

    That also helps to explain why their current candidate field is such a shit show. The teabagger vs general public dynamic would make it hard for anyone to navigate, of course, but they really haven’t been gifted in terms of candidates.

  110. 110
    BenA says:

    @gaz:

    History seems to suggest they will render themselves unelectable and in the weeds for a cycle or two before that happens. I think we may be close to that phase, if not there yet.

    If you’re talking about the electoral college then we are probably there right now. I mean look at the recent Virginia polls and think about what that means for Willard… I think we’ve got a little ways to go when you’re talking about the house of representatives.. it’ll take a lot of time for the demographics to overwhelm the gerrymandering.

  111. 111
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mino:

    The Republicans are using call centers in India to robo-call voters.

    __
    Link please? I’d be interested in reading that story. Thanks!

  112. 112
    Chris says:

    @handsmile:

    It appears that in local council elections in England,Wales, and Scotland, Cameron’s Conservative Party is likely to lose more than 350 seats, and Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats about 200. The LibDems’s share of council seats will be at its lowest since the party was formed in 1988. The Labor Party, fecklessly headed by Ed Miliband, has nevertheless registered significant gains across the country. The nationalist UK Independence Party looks set to realize its best ever local elections results, however.

    Yep, sounds like France. Center right getting pummeled – center left and far right are the big beneficiaries.

    In other words the government will become less conservative, but the conservatives will become more conservative, a pattern that should be familiar to any American voters who’ve lived through the last fifty years. It’s up to Labour, the Socialists and all the other center-lefties to create a viable alternative and convince their voters that it works.

  113. 113
    gaz says:

    @BenA: Yeah I was talking about the electoral college. The house is a safe haven for extremists from any party. =)

  114. 114
    Yutsano says:

    @BenA:

    it’ll take a lot of time for the demographics to overwhelm the gerrymandering.

    Not to mention losing so many state houses in a redistricting year is gonna hurt the Democrats for a very long time. When you make the rules, it’s much easier to win the game.

  115. 115
    gaz says:

    @Mino: That’s hilarious. How many goopers want to hear “Steve” convince them to vote for Romney in a thick Indian accent – particularly when these same people LOATHE this kind of thing in tech support.

    Rmoney hard at work making America a better place – by campaigning for Obama.

    ETA: Leave it to Rmoney to outsource his ground game to India. The lulz, they are lulzy

  116. 116

    @gaz:

    Romney doesn’t have a ground game.

    I don’t know. I saw a couple young Mormons doing the rounds in my neghborhood the other day. That was a first.

  117. 117
    catclub says:

    @gaz: I think the most interesting part of the CU consequences is that corporations seem to only be in the chamber of Commerce – as before – but the big money is coming from individuals – who, if I am not completely mistaken, could have done essentially the same thing before as individuals – take out ads that were not completely coordinated with campaigns.

  118. 118
    gaz says:

    @The Other Bob: And they are SOoo effective at getting people to join the LDS church. Hah. Phear teh guyz in teh ties. Lulz

  119. 119
    Cato says:

    I told you so.

    Just more bad news for Democrats. With Recovery Summer 3 going the way of Recovery Summers 1 and 2, Obambi is looking at an uphill climb in November.

    Mr. President, where are the jobs?

  120. 120
    gaz says:

    @catclub: VICTORY? =)

  121. 121
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Yutsano:

    Not to mention losing so many state houses in a redistricting year is gonna hurt the Democrats for a very long time. When you make the rules, it’s much easier to win the game.

    The ’10 elections are and will continue to be devastating for the country. I’ll never understand what people were thinking when they put Republicans back in office, especially after they nearly destroyed the global economy.

    Even now, austerity at the state/local level(largely in republican controlled states) and Republican obstructionism at the federal level is preventing a robust recovery. But that won’t stop way too many people from voting for them.

  122. 122
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mino:

    Interestingly enough, there was an article earlier this week in Tax Notes Today (sorry, can’t link) in which the former JCT economist who did the revenue estimate for the first repatriation holiday admitted to having badly fucked up the estimate, and his explanation was “we’d never had to do an estimate on anything like that before.

    My WAG. Is even higher than the current JCT estimate. I think if we do 965 again, it loses at least $100 billion. Which makes it pretty much a non-starter.

    As an international corporate tax planner, I would gladly settle for getting 954(c)(6) back. It’s sound tax policy and it doesn’t cost much.

  123. 123
    R-Jud says:

    @handsmile:

    The cherry topping my trifle would be the deposing of the execrable Boris Johnson as Mayor of London by “Red” Ken Livingstone.

    Would love to see that, too, although Ken has really, really been squeezing the sour grapes since his last loss. Looks like there will be a runoff between the two of them as Boris is only scraping 45% of the first-preference vote so far in the returns, and needs 50% to win outright.

  124. 124
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Chris:

    That also helps to explain why their current candidate field is such a shit show.

    __
    I have another theory about why Mitt is such a bad candidate, which is that he is the worst example we’ve seen since Nixon of a candidate who only cares about one thing policy wise, and the rest is to him just a bunch of noise, a bunch of lies that are whatever you have to tell the rubes this week in order to get closer to power. Which is why he is such a devious lying weasel, just like Nixon.
    __
    In Nixon’s case what he really wanted was to manage our Cold War foreign policy. In Romney’s case it is his lust for implementing 1%er domestic economic policy that gets him out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately for Romney (but fortunately for us) he doesn’t have even one-tenth of Nixon’s political intelligence and native cunning.

  125. 125
    gaz says:

    VICTORY?
    /pats Taco on head.

  126. 126
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Cato: What is your plan to increase consumer demand? While you’re at it, can you explain how austerity solves slow economic growth?

  127. 127
    Yutsano says:

    @Cato: Victory. Or something.

    @Hill Dweller: Now now now you’re not playing fair. There is no Rush talking point covering that subject, so the answer will be deflection and ur a durty librul so suck it hippie! Cato has nothin’ and he knows it.

  128. 128
    chopper says:

    @Cato:

    yes, what epically terrible numbers! romney is a shoo-in!

  129. 129
    gene108 says:

    @BenA:

    I’m just holding out hope that the Dems eek out a majority in the house and maintain one in the Senate… and we get another stimulus package.

    Dems need 65 seats in the Senate to pass anything big. Figure it’ll 60 votes to break a filibuster, plus you’ll have some conservative Dems deciding to go all “mavericky” and vote against cloture.

    I don’t see anything getting done again, by the government, in my lifetime, unless one Party suffers such terrible defeats that we end up basically having defacto one Party rule.

    Republicans want to rule and have no interest in governing, unless they have power. If Democrats were obliterated, like they are in some of the deep red states, you can have government do things because it’ll just be Republicans passing laws, with an impotent Democratic minority.

    If Democrats obtain a dominant position, they’ll be able to pass whatever bills they want, because Republicans will be in the position of impotent minority Party.

    We’re really in the sort of situation, where we’re just a bit shy of having blood in the streets; I don’t see any other way around the gridlock then one Party or the other needs to be destroyed.*

    *Personally, I’m hoping it’s the Republicans.

  130. 130
    handsmile says:

    @Chris: (#112)

    In other words the government will become less conservative, but the conservatives will become more conservative, a pattern that should be familiar to any American voters who’ve lived through the last fifty years.

    While I emphatically agree (what sentient being could not?) that American conservatives have became more reactionary in that time period, I would maintain that the “government”, under both Democrats and Republicans, has become more conservative as well. (Of course, more starkly and aggressively under the GOP). In matters economic or judicial, and in many areas of social policy, I am hard pressed to consider the last fifty years to be a liberal era. Admittedly, this painted with the broadest of brushes.

    In France, next month’s national legislative elections will reveal the extent and depth of support for the far-right Front National. In refusing to support Sarkozy, Marine LePen declared that his policies were little different from Hollande’s and exhorted party supporters to turn their efforts towards a massive showing in June.

  131. 131

    @handsmile:

    I have been following the Guardian liveblog all day. It is very exciting. People have woken up and sent the Tories a very strong message that they will not put up with this austerity bullshit. If there were a general election today Labour would win in a landslide. I has a happee!

  132. 132
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    What is your plan to increase consumer demand?

    __
    UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH!
    __
    That taking money currently being hoarded by rich fucks like the Koch brothers and putting it back into circulation in the general economy via a massive advertising blitz (which will be ignored by most folks, especially the swing voters who loathe political advertising) will serve to boost the GDP, which in turn will help Obama, that little glitch in their masterplan does not seem to have occurred to our friends on the Right who are giddy about Citizens United.

  133. 133
    Steve says:

    @gaz:

    How many goopers want to hear “Steve” convince them to vote for Romney in a thick Indian accent – particularly when these same people LOATHE this kind of thing in tech support.

    You’re probably right. My Indian accent is terrible.

  134. 134

    @chopper:

    Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?

    This is beautiful. :)

  135. 135
    pragmatism says:

    i demand that obama use the bully pulpit to create private sector jobs. that’ll fix it.

  136. 136
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    O/T: Am I the only person who didn’t know Jonah the Doughy Pantload himself has a new book out? The title is amazing: The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. So El DoPa thinks having ideas is cheating?

  137. 137
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The short version is that the participation rate is down due to some combination of a bad labor market and long term demographic shifts which are driving down the rate as the Boomers age out of the labor force and it shifts towards younger folks who stay in school longer and postpone their full participation longer than their parents did.

    Just wanted to highlight this, because it’s something the doom-and-gloomers tend to overlook — workforce participation will be going down naturally as the Baby Boomers retire and that giant demographic bump works its way through the last part of the system.

    I suspect that, given how crappy the job market is, quite a few people who would have waited a few more years to retire are instead retiring now (or taking disability) and will not be returning even if the market improves.

  138. 138
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @BenA:

    …it’ll take a lot of time for the demographics to overwhelm the gerrymandering.

    And the voter suppression laws. Everybody needs to remember that the Repups control vast swaths of this country at the local level and are hell bent on keeping the demographic tidal wave at bay both thru gerrymandering and making sure all those tinged-skinned folk can’t vote in the first place.

    Dean’s 50 State Strategy was our best hope at starting to compete at the local level. Alas, that seems to have gone by the wayside. So while we might compete at the federal level in one form or another, we’re still conceding power at the state level.

  139. 139
    gaz says:

    @Steve: heh

  140. 140
    chopper says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    he should have called it ‘the tyranny of ironic book titles’

  141. 141
    JoyfulA says:

    @Xenos: My Franco-American dual-citizenship friend is delighted to be able to cast a ballot against Sarkozy again. Our primaries were April 24, and my friend’s been doing a lot of voting lately.

  142. 142
    gaz says:

    I think in the next few cycles we’re going to have to run MOAR and better democrats for congress. 2014 will be critical to turn out for. Without rolling back the losses in 2010, no matter who we have in the WH, things are going to be quite shitty.

  143. 143
    pragmatism says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: soshulist NPR’s Steve Inskeep did a good job interviewing LoadPants:
    http://crooksandliars.com/blue.....-book-tota

  144. 144
    chopper says:

    WTI is back below $100.

  145. 145

    Medical reports show Adolf Hitler used cocaine, suffered extreme flatulence

    You know who else used cocaine and had extreme flatulence?

  146. 146
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    The Tyranny of Cliches

    __
    Ah yes, the jackboot of stale, trite verbiage, stepping on a human face forever. Who can forget that it was Joseph Stalin who asked: “How many mixed metaphors does the Pope have?”

  147. 147
    gaz says:

    @General Stuck: win for godwin’ing hitler. lulz

  148. 148
    Redshift says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I’m cautiously optimistic that the French presidential election will break the logjam of pro-austerity conventional wisdom.

  149. 149
    Lawnguylander says:

    Be the wet blanket you want to see in the world.

  150. 150
    handsmile says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: (#131)

    With today’s election results and the Commons select committee report on the “not fit” Murdochs, it’s been a Very Happee Week indeed! Cheers!

    (Sadly, I’m not sanguine that Miliband and his Labor chieftains know how to capitalize on public fury over austerity measures and other Tory/LibDem policies.)

  151. 151
    Mino says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: And right now it’s state level policies that are hurting people the worst.

    Demographically, Texas should be at least swing.

  152. 152
    Schlemizel says:

    @SenyorDave:
    Why link to that dreadful site without any suggestion of what is on it that might interest us? I’m not clicking it & can’t imagine why anyone would.

  153. 153
    PaulW says:

    My unemployment benefits were exhausted just now. This is what three years of unemployment has led to: still a sh-tty job market for librarians.

  154. 154
    Catsy says:

    @rikyrah: This is something I’ve been hammering on for a while now, and it’s one of the main things that puts a smile on my face when I think about the election. Romney would have to flip a considerable number of the states Obama took in 2008 and hold the McCain states, to even have a prayer of coming close to 270.

    While I’m sure that will happen with some of them, every McCain state that flips to Obama (and it’s entirely possible that some of them will–I’m thinking of AZ in particular, with the shifts that have occurred in the last four years to make it competitive) make it that much more of an uphill climb for Romney.

    Romney is not going to win Ohio. Period, end of sentence, guaran-fucking-teed. His tone-deaf idiocy on the auto industry, among other things, makes that a near-certainty. Nor is he going to take Pennsylvania, contrary to the hilarious delusions of some of our resident trolls. So let’s be pessimistic and assume that Romney holds all of the McCain states and flips Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado. Nothing else really comes close to being competitive at this time, nor appears likely to.

    Obama still wins 275-263. Narrow, but a win is a win is a win–and that’s the pessimistic view for our side.

    The trolls–concern and otherwise–who are predicting a Romney win really need to show their work and start talking numbers, or sit down and let the grownups talk.

  155. 155
    Mino says:

    Word Press doesn’t want me to correct my mis-statement of the country of interest: Philippines, not India. But the original story on the calling is in Lynn Sweets’s Chicago-Suntimes blog. Scroll down a bit.

  156. 156
    Chris says:

    @handsmile:

    While I emphatically agree (what sentient being could not?) that American conservatives have became more reactionary in that time period, I would maintain that the “government”, under both Democrats and Republicans, has become more conservative as well. (Of course, more starkly and aggressively under the GOP). In matters economic or judicial, and in many areas of social policy, I am hard pressed to consider the last fifty years to be a liberal era. Admittedly, this painted with the broadest of brushes.

    Apologies, I should’ve said that better. What I meant should look familiar to Americans is the sight of conservatives losing, concluding that they lost because they weren’t conservative enough, and becoming more conservative.

    I agree that we’ve definitely become more conservative in the last fifty years in terms of economics. MUCH more conservative. In terms of civil rights and social issues, I still think we’re better off, though. Yes, we have the war on women trying to restrict abortion, but fifty years ago women didn’t even have a right to abortion. Fifty years ago, we didn’t have a Civil Rights Act or a Voting Rights Act. Fifty years ago, gay rights were a fringe issue even among liberals. I’d say we’ve come a ways there even if the progress remains fragile and there’s still work to do.

    In France, next month’s national legislative elections will reveal the extent and depth of support for the far-right Front National. In refusing to support Sarkozy, Marine LePen declared that his policies were little different from Hollande’s and exhorted party supporters to turn their efforts towards a massive showing in June.

    I agree, that’s what we need to look at.

    As Xeno put it, tons and tons of people are now realizing that Thatcher/Reagan neoliberalism is a failure – but the backlash against it has come from the right as well as the left. After the June elections, we’ll know how much it’s worth.

    I also wonder what’s going to happen to the UMP after Sarkozy’s gone. As a party, it’s only about ten years old – wonder if there’ll be a new one representing the right wing in a few years.

  157. 157
    handsmile says:

    @PaulW:

    I realize my sympathy is but thin soup, but I’d like you to know that I have the utmost regard for librarians. How can one not admire and respect those whose profession is devoted to the love and care of books, and the encouragement of reading.

    Good luck and best wishes, and my hopes that your life is graced with other comforts.

  158. 158
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: UK results – with a necessary Monty Python Election Night skit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31FFTx6AKmU

  159. 159
    Gypsy howell says:

    @Mino:

    Ed Rendell was pimping that shit on Morning Joe this morning.

  160. 160
    pragmatism says:

    OT but MCA from the Beastie Boys succumbed to cancer. RIP. :(

  161. 161
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Chris:

    I agree that we’ve definitely become more conservative in the last fifty years in terms of economics. MUCH more conservative. In terms of civil rights and social issues, I still think we’re better off, though.

    __
    Co-signed. That was very well put.
    __
    It seems like we are going thru an unraveling of the dominant center-right consensus, with increasing polarization as a result. In some ways this parallels the unraveling of the 1950s-early 1960s center-left consensus here in the US that Rick Perlstein has written about in Before the Storm and Nixonland. And in both cases the pundits were/are beyond clueless about what’s going on at the grassroots level.

  162. 162
    Ben Cisco says:

    @lamh35:

    Oh and according to Romney on fix news today we should be adding 500,000 jibs a month! Really. Mittens really! When has that EVER happened!!

    He borrowed McArdle’s calculator to come up with those numbers.

  163. 163
    Mino says:

    @Gypsy howell: Yep. Good little DNCer he is.

  164. 164
    RalfW says:

    Just thought VICTORY! might want to know:

    WaPo has released a new poll of VA, one of those must-win Romney states, showing Obama up there among registered voters by a 51-44 margin.

    Good news for McCain!

  165. 165
    handsmile says:

    @Chris: (#156)

    Thank you for your thoughtful responses to my comments. My off-line life beckons, so a brief, inadequate reply.

    My comment on the decline of American political liberalism dates to post-1968, so my math is a little short of fifty years. On the campaign for gay rights, indisputably, perhaps unforeseeably, a triumph! And I’m okay with “fragile” if and when there is determination to recognize “there is more work to do.”

    Should the Front National’s unexpected strength in the presidential first round contest translate into robust results in June’s legislative elections, it is likely that the UMP will fracture, with its center-right factions seeking alliance with neo-Gaullists. My understanding is that the UMP has largely been a Sarkozy vehicle, with no heirs apparent.

    Hope you’ll enjoy a good weekend!

  166. 166
    Catsy says:

    OT, but in absence of fresh thread I had to mention that this is completely fucking retarded:

    A Delta Air Lines passenger who admitted using an electronic device last month to videotape a bird strike minutes after takeoff has been warned by the Federal Aviation Administration to follow the rules or face a penalty the next time.
    __
    The FAA points out that Delta follows regulations when flight attendants say, “for safety reasons, mobile phones and other electronic devices must be turned off and stowed until you are notified by your crew.” The FAA told Cardone, “Your failure to comply during a critical phase of flight and an aircraft emergency could have affected the safe outcome of the flight.”

    No, it couldn’t have. This rule is moronic, unscientific and is long overdue for being eliminated. There is no credible evidence that electromagnetic interference from any passenger’s personal electronic device–mobile phone or otherwise–has ever interfered with the functioning of an aircraft’s systems. Ever.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people should be talking on cell phones during a flight because it’s incredibly rude and aggravating to the other passengers who are stuck with them in close quarters.

    But the notion that someone’s iPod or laptop–which like most consumer electronics have FCC-mandated limits on what they can emit–can interfere with the hardened systems on a modern aircraft is an absurd fantasy with no basis in fact.

  167. 167
    jl says:

    via Wonkette, of all places, you can find a good analysis the latest job reports in the context of longer run trends and history of subsequent revisions to initial estimates.

    From, of all places, a National Review piece by an ex Treasury economist, Bob Stein.

    The bottom line is that if the pattern of recent revisions continue, the final job numbers will be 30 to 40 percent higher than 115K, in other words, the final estimates will be 150 to 160K, close to expected.

    Stein also shows that trend is dropping unemployment rate AND increasing labor force.

    So, interesting, and I think correct, lesson on importance of accounting for revisions and placing in context of longer trends, and not relying completely on initial estimates in the monthly reports.

    So, Wonkette link:

    Wingnuts Furious … With National Review Writer Noting Positive Jobs Report
    http://wonkette.com/471791/win.....obs-report

    Wonkette’s laffs and hilarity angle is that NRO readers are hating on Stein and calling him a NObama tool. Of course.

  168. 168
    TruthorScare says:

    @BenA:

    It’ll take a lot of time for the demographics to overwhelm the gerrymandering.

    And the disenfranchisement. They may know they’ll be hosed at the national level, but controlling more and more at the local level, where elections are managed, gives them a lot of ability to delay any impact of demograhic changes. The assaults on voting rights aimed at the poor and minorities continues unabated; put enough people in prisons, scrub enough voter rolls, minimize polling stations in the ‘wrong’ areas, attack vote by mail systems (their latest target), and put enough tools in election official positions…

  169. 169
    liberal says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    How much of the decline in the partipation rate is temporary due to a bad economy, that is a hard question to answer but it probably isn’t 100% of the decline that we are seeing now, some of that decline is demographic rather than macroeconomic.

    I do think it’s a very hard question to get a complete handle on.

    One example would be that a higher participation rate for older workers is in some ways a bad thing, if they’re working because they don’t have enough to retire on.

  170. 170
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Catsy:

    I always assumed that the issue was less electronics interference and more that, since something is more likely to go horribly wrong on either takeoff or landing, they wanted everyone to be able to see and hear the crew instructions and not have to work to get people’s attention.

    You don’t want the crew to be having to go up and down the aisles yanking headphones from people’s ears so they know to put their lifejackets on. YMMV, of course.

  171. 171
    liberal says:

    @Ash Can:
    Note that (a) the labor force trends larger over time, (b) we had a very deep recession. Both those factors argue in favor of really high numbers if we were having a healthy recovery.

    None of which is to say “it’s Obama’s fault.” And there’s always (c), recoveries from credit-caused crashes tend to be anemic, IIRC.

  172. 172
    liberal says:

    @Cacti:
    You’re a jerkoff.

    I never said Romney will win.

    As for us being doomed, yes, the economy sucks, the recovery is tepid, and I don’t see anything on the horizon that’s going to change that.

  173. 173
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Whatever happened to Obama’s green jobs initiative, is he giving it up?

  174. 174
    liberal says:

    @Chris:

    As Xeno put it, tons and tons of people are now realizing that Thatcher/Reagan neoliberalism is a failure – but the backlash against it has come from the right as well as the left.

    OK, that’s fine and all. But in the Democratic Party TPTB are also neoliberal.

  175. 175
    liberal says:

    @jl:
    It doesn’t change the fact that, given the depth of the recession, the recovery is very anemic.

  176. 176
    liberal says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:
    The idiots at the Wash Post featured an excerpt or something in the most recent “Outlook” section.

  177. 177
    jl says:

    @liberal: No it does not, you are correct. The points I would make are: first, the private and public statistics we see are very imperfect pictures of what most people are experiencing. Second, what most people are experiencing, not the statistics determines how they feel about economy and how that determines their votes. Third, to extent that revised statistics in context of quarterly to annual trends give a better picture what is happening to most people, the picture of a continued upward trend is good news for Obama in the election.

    I do think the Obama basically risked his presidency by not following better macro policy and if he had done that, it would not be such a close thing, though.

  178. 178
    jl says:

    Interesting article on labor force at TPM

    Labor Force Participation Is Lower Than It Has Been In 30 Years — Why It Matters And Why It Doesn’t

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....doesnt.php

  179. 179
    Matt McIrvin says:

    The Republicans are trying to hold off the long-term demographic effects by simply disenfranchising minority voters, through strict ID laws, draconian restrictions on registration drives, ex-felon bans combined with lopsided definitions of felonies, attempts to repeal birthright citizenship, etc. There’s no need to tamper with voting results if you can keep people who don’t like you away from the ballot box in the first place.

    It probably only works up to a point, but it can buy them some time.

    Economically, I’m feeling a little survivor guilt right now because I seem to be in an industry and part of the country that are actually doing all right (though Silicon Valley’s doing better).
    My wife just got an IT job after several years out of the workforce. In software, everyone’s getting pestered by recruiters again. Are we better off than we were four years ago? For the first time in almost a decade, really, I can say enthusiastically: Damn right we are. But I don’t think it’s so common a sentiment.

  180. 180
    jl says:

    WP is eating my comments on the TPM article, for some reason. Bottom line is I think the article and quoted and linked experts may be misleading in how they use longer run trends to analyze effects of short run counter cyclical policy in this type of recession.

    Edit: the guys who did the linked paper have made some bad forecasts from their analysis of historical data in the past, though I think they are overall very reliable people.

  181. 181
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @liberal:

    One example would be that a higher participation rate for older workers is in some ways a bad thing, if they’re working because they don’t have enough to retire on.

    __
    Yes, it really isn’t easy to sort out what these macro-level stats mean in terms of quality of life. If, after being laid off by the aerospace DOD consulting firm he worked at for 30 years, grandpa then has to get a job as a Walmart greeter in order to be able to afford a better brand of cat food (employee discounts!) for his evening repast, that is obviously Not A Good Thing. But is it better or is it worse if there is no opening for greeters at the local Walmart, so grandpa has nothing to do but sit at home watching Fox News, at least until he can’t pay the cable bill any more?
    __
    In an ideal world, we’d like people to have plenty of good paying jobs, and also sufficient in the way of retirement savings that they can exit the labor force at a reasonably early age and enjoy their leisure time (aka retired spouses both stuck in the same house driving each other nuts) long before they have one foot in the grave. Sadly, there are numerous reasons why we can’t have these nice things, and the last time we came even mildly close to them a half-century ago we collectively decided to blow up the middle class rather than share that middling bounty with The Wrong Sort of People.

  182. 182
    Mino says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I would guess he’s not drawing attention to it as that is a sure way to get the House idiots churning.

    A number of tax incentives for renewables are expiring. To have a hope of getting them extended, Dems can’t make an issue of it.

    It’s just the way things are at the moment. Best take account.

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    The article that jl links to has some interesting points, like the fact that other economies are often set up so people can retire in their late 50s rather than their mid-60s (if that) like in the US. I don’t think our ideal should be that people stay in the workforce longer, though quite a few of the Social Security “reform” plans seem to revolve around raising the retirement age as high as 70.

  184. 184
    gaz says:

    Being somewhat pessimistic (even going so far as to declare CO and OR for romney), it appears that Taco the troll found a nut when he said it hinges on PA

    Although even in that unlikely scenario it barely puts romney north of 270. He’d have to do surprisingly well on the rest of the map as well.

    OTOH If Obama takes PA Rmoney may as well go home.

    And if Obama takes 1 to 3 of the other toss up states, he doesn’t need PA. Not to mention, OR is almost certainly safely blue in 2012, i marked it as red, so I’m being REALLY kind to romney in that regard.

    ETA: I used this

  185. 185
    Mino says:

    What Republican have to look forward to:


    Mark Hugo Lopez, the Pew Hispanic Center’s associate director, says that from 50,000 to 60,000 young Hispanics born in the U.S. now turn [18] “every month. And we will continue to see that pattern for the next 20 or 30 years.” Leaving aside any additional numbers provided by naturalization, that growth alone would increase the number of Hispanics eligible to vote by at least 600,000 annually for decades.

  186. 186
    Heliopause says:

    The original post doesn’t mention the political implications of the jobs report and I’d like to simply ask for a moment, forget about what this means for Obama, what does it mean for the country?

    Let’s see. What can our federal government do about this lousy situation? The most likely scenario is that the Dems make gains in the House but fail to retake it, the Senate ends up close to 50-50, and Obama is re-elected. So the federal government is going to do absolutely nothing useful for at least two more years, and with big tax and spending policy debates on the horizon could very well make things worse.

    Our state and local governments have even less money and will to use it than the federal government, so they will do nothing useful.

    Our private sector might miraculously turn around on its own if we pray hard enough to Saint Ayn. So start praying.

  187. 187
    gaz says:

    Anyone want to venture a guess as to the likelihood of Indiana going for Obama? Despite current polling I’m wondering if Romney’s unpopularity with the upper-midwestern working class will carry the state for Obama. I’m not sure, but I’m curious what others think on the subject.

  188. 188
    gaz says:

    @Heliopause:

    So the federal government is going to do absolutely nothing useful for at least two more years

    I’d take a lame duck democrat over an R, even with a useless congress.

    If there’s no other reason that we’d be better off, there’s the chance that a SCOTUS judge will retire or die in the next four years or so.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Heliopause:

    Our private sector might miraculously turn around on its own if we pray hard enough to Saint Ayn. So start praying.

    Take a look at the numbers — the private sector is what’s keeping our head above water. Otherwise, we’d be in even deeper shit than we already are since states and municipalities are still laying people off in huge numbers.

    We would actually be doing pretty well employment-wise if it weren’t for the public sector dragging us down. And Republicans are in charge of a whole lot of the states. Hmmm ….

  190. 190
    Mino says:

    @Heliopause: If the Dems end up 50/50ish, we’re sunk by the DNCers. Manchin will probably jump too. The only finger in the dike will be Obama’s veto.

    If Dems do that poorly, even more states will become Hooverized by their leges.

    I really hope Dems begin to nationalize this election before it’s too late.

  191. 191
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gaz:

    It’s hard to say because in many ways Indiana is culturally a Southern state, not a Midwestern one, so they’re more like to vote the way Oklahoma does than the way Wisconsin does.

  192. 192
    Mino says:

    @Mnemosyne: Even worse is the downward drag on salaries and benefits when public employees are no longer the standard.

  193. 193
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I don’t think our ideal should be that people stay in the workforce longer

    __
    Our cultural attitudes towards work are very strange, here in the US. We deny the dignity of labor that other places with stronger organized labor movements enjoy, while insisting that people need to work for all of their adult lives, and if thru no fault of their own they become unemployed then that makes them shiftless, lazy and worthless as human beings.
    __
    WTF?
    __
    Either labor is important, or it isn’t. If is it important, then honor and dignify it and reward it economically. If it isn’t so damm important, then don’t force people to do it until they drop dead and shit all over them when it doesn’t work out that way.
    __
    Americans are more than a little bit schizo sometimes.

  194. 194
    gaz says:

    I noticed Obama took FL and IN in 08.

    Rick Scott must be is horribly unpopular.

    I wonder if maybe this state goes blue this cycle.

    In fact, in general, I wonder what all this unpopular state level ALEC inspired legislation and crazy-assed governors are going to do to the electoral map. GOP seems a decidedly unpopular brand right now in several states, I’d think.

  195. 195
    Mino says:

    Conservatives are having a party on Twitter’s #Julia, a reaction to the Life of Julia appearing on Obama’s site.

    http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23Julia

    Come on Republicans, show us how you care.

  196. 196
    Origuy says:

    Turnout might be key in Indiana. If Lugar loses to Mourdock, Indiana Democrats may smell blood in the water and go to the polls hoping to get a Democratic Senator. Of course, Mourdock may draw some Tea Partiers who wouldn’t get excited over a RINO like Lugar.

    For those following the London mayor elections, 15 Orangutans that look like Boris Johnson.

  197. 197
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Public sector jobs are dropping in all states, though it is worse in red states. Absent a massive wave of New Deal Dems being elected at the state level and a Rooseveltian infusion of federal funds the prospects in this arena remain dismal.

  198. 198
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    I forgot this line from way back upthread.

    I don’t see anything getting done again, by the government, in my lifetime, unless one Party suffers such terrible defeats that we end up basically having defacto one Party rule.

    And frankly, I wouldn’t shed a tear if the Dems ended up being that party.

    Really, what do we need the GOP for? There’s plenty of diversity of opinion among Democrats (heck, the Blue Dogs would ensure that the GOP point of view is represented even if they were completely out of the picture). Take the Repubs out of the picture, and you’d have a government that could actually go back to talking about how to fix the country’s problems – rather than tackling imaginary problems (inflation), pretending our real ones don’t exist (global warming), pretending we can solve them with the same policies that created them in the first place (take your pick) or just refusing point-blank to fix them at all.

    Look at how much work got done between 1932 and 1937, and in the two year period after 1964. Compare that with how little has gotten done since no matter how much worse our problems get.

    Yeah, I know, I’m dreaming. Nice dream, though.

  199. 199
    gaz says:

    @Chris: cosigned. I’ve thought nearly the same thing myself about GOP being marginalized and essentially having actual conservatives being represented by the blue dogs. It’s more a long term speculation on my part, rather than a dream. That said, I do think the GOP is eating itself and some sort of realignment is bound to happen – at least in my lifetime, maybe even sooner rather than later.

  200. 200

    @liberal:

    You’re a jerkoff. I never said Romney will win

    Is that your standard for concern trolling. You show up whenever it’s feasible to remind of us republican talking points we are already aware of, and then repeat them in so many words for effect. And somehow think you are fooling someone for giving us news we already know.

    I’m now sure what you are, but it’s not any kind of liberal I can define.

  201. 201
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Heliopause:

    I was more pointing out that the whole “Ayn Rand will save us all!” thing has it backwards, because private sector jobs are actually doing very well. The problem is that, despite what conservatives and Republicans try to claim, public sector jobs are vital to the economy, so if those continue to be lost, they drag the whole ship down, and there is NO number of private sector jobs on Earth that can make up for those losses.

  202. 202
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I was more pointing out that the whole “Ayn Rand will save us all!” thing has it backwards,

    Yeah, that was snark. I was pointing out that the prospects for public hiring to meaningfully increase in the near future, absent a World War against Russia and Iran, are pretty poor. Goddess Ayn hasn’t even let housing bottom out yet, so it’s not like she’s doing shit-all, other than create a few jobs in the caviar-and-martini service industry.

    But maybe if we toss a few virgins and goats her way…

  203. 203
    Jebediah says:

    @gaz:

    ETA: Leave it to Rmoney to outsource his ground game to India. The lulz, they are lulzy

    Outsourcing campaign calls has me thoroughly gobsmacked. Perhaps Peak Tonedeaf will prove as elusive as Peak Wingnut.

  204. 204
    TenguPhule says:

    But maybe if we toss a few virgins and goats her way…

    Or just use virgin goats, its not like they’ll care about the difference.

  205. 205
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @rikyrah:

    The more religious and socially conservative a crazy right person is, the thinner their lips are. Lugar’s competition doesn’t have any lips, none. He isn’t even trying to hide his inner lizard.

    The crazies are going to love him.

  206. 206
    TenguPhule says:

    If there’s no other reason that we’d be better off, there’s the chance that a SCOTUS judge will retire or die in the next four years or so.

    Four of them definitely need to go and a fifth could use a good kick to the nuts.

  207. 207
    gaz says:

    @TenguPhule: I agree, but I don’t want Rmoney sitting in the Oval Office when that happens.

Comments are closed.