Economy

Thanks, Obama! Jobless Claims Drop to 42-Year Low

attribution: None

THE PEOPLE’S VIEW

Oops, he did it again!

“Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 255,000 for the week ended July 18, the lowest level since November 1973,the Labor Department said on Thursday.”

Now keep in mind that the unemployment benefit claims in number of applicants is at the lowest level in 41-and-a-half years, which, given the fact that the labor force has grown considerably in that time, is phenomenally impressive. The 4-week moving average (a key marker since it tends to eliminate the week-to-week spikes and lows) has stayed under 300,000 for 17 straight weeks, indicating more good jobs news is coming when the July jobs report is released.

Here is how jobless claims have dropped since the Bush great recession was handed over to President Obama to manage, end, and pull the country back from.

Bloomberg provides the big picture on Barack Obama’s record on jobs.

And here is how the initial and 8-week moving averages have looked since President Obama was sworn in for a second term.

Chart credit: Pantheon Economics.

Add that feather to President Obama’s cap that the economy has added 200,000+ jobs for 14 of the last 16 months, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.3%, just above the 5.2% considered to be full employment by Fed officials, not to mention the US is on its longest ever expansion of private sector employment.

It looks like that job killing Barack Obama is just intent on taking us from utter disaster to full employment in less than seven years. This is so inconvenient for talking points!

These 4 Things GOP Said Were Supposed To Happen By 2015 Because Obama Was Reelected

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Barack Obama Grant Park Chicago 2008 – Photo by Matthew Ginger via Flickr

GREENVILLE GAZETTE

Obama has been elected for his second term. His detractors were all claiming that so many things would happen during this second term. How close were they to what actually happened?

1. Gas Would Peak at $5.45 per Gallon Mike Lee (R-UT) claimed that if Obama was reelected, gas would go up to $6.60 per gallon. Lee was not the only one claiming these prices. Republican Newt Gingrich claimed prices could go as high as $10 a gallon. Today’s average gas prices are $2.24 per gallon.

2. Unemployment Would Stay Above 8% Mitt Romney predicted that if Obama was reelected, we would continue to see massive unemployment for a long time to come. At the time, the unemployment rate was 8.1%. Romney claimed if he was elected, he could bring unemployment down to 6%. Today the unemployment rate is 5.8%, lower than what Romney himself thought was the best he could do.

3. Huge Stock Market Crash Donald Trump attacked Obama on Twitter after his reelection, claiming the drop in currency and stock prices was due to Obama. Other experts claimed there would be no end in sight for the dropping prices. At this time, the stock market is currently over 35%, much higher than the 20% claimed by experts at the time.

4. U.S. Economy Collapse Many conservative, like Rush Limbaugh, claimed the U.S. economy would completely collapse if Obama was reelected. Since Obama’s reelection, the economy has been steadily climbing.

H/t: DB

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened

President Obama arrives at Bob Hope Airport via helicopter from LAX, en route to ABC Studios for an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

The National Memo

Republicans have consistently said that a president cannot take responsibility for a strong economy — unless of course he’s a Republican.

A weak economy, however, is always a Democratic president’s fault. And if a Republican president presides over the worst financial crisis in a half-century after seven years in office, that is clearly the fault of poor people.

President Obama is in an awkward position when it comes to the economy. It’s only great if you compare it to the last 14 years. But with 50 percent of America now saying in the latest CNN poll that his presidency is a success, he figures that he’s now allowed to “take a well-earned victory lap” by answering the question Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) asked for four years: “Where are the jobs?”

“Well, after 12 million new jobs, a stock market that has more than doubled, deficits that have been cut by two-thirds, health care inflation at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years, manufacturing coming back, auto industry coming back, clean energy doubled — I’ve come not only to answer that question, but I want to return to the debate that is central to this country, and the alternative economic theory that’s presented by the other side,” the president said in Cleveland on Wednesday.

A sensible media would be debating which of Obama’s two great accomplishments — the stimulus or the Affordable Care Act — is a bigger success; which better proves that the government can successfully intervene to prevent suffering while reshaping our economy to be more sustainable; or about which Republicans were more wrong.

But conservatives won’t let that happen. They’ll focus on metrics that languished before Obama came into office — we’re very concerned about labor force participation all of a sudden! — and blast him for not solving all of the failures of conservative economics and foreign policies.

America should be used to Democratic presidents outperforming Republicans by now. While no administration is perfect, President Obama has staked strong claims for liberal values and policies that prove things Republicans have to pretend never happened.

  1. Proved trickle-down economics are wrong, again
    You don’t hear it mentioned often enough, but 2014 was the best year of job creation in this century. This is a key point, because it’s the first full year in which Obama’s economic policies really took hold. Most of the Bush tax breaks on the rich ended in 2013. And in 2014, new taxes on the wealthy and corporations kicked in to help 16 million Americans gain health insurance. The result was a job market like we haven’t seen since the’90s. As they did in 1993, Republicans claimed that asking the rich to pay a bit more would destroy the economy. So, of course, the opposite happened. It’s almost as if some tax hikes on the wealthy are good for the economy! But if Republicans admitted that, they’d have to give up their entire reason for existing, which is to comfort the most comfortable.
  2. Proved we can expand health insurance coverage and shrink the deficit.
    America’s long-term debt problems are largely built on conservatives’ unwillingness to do what every other advanced nation in the world does — insure everyone. As a result, we pay more and get worse results than almost every industrialized country in the world. Obamacare has shown that we can increase coverage dramatically while cutting more than $600 billion from long-term debt projections. Republicans have finally gotten honest in their new budget and admitted that their alternative to Obamacare is… nothing. They’ve got nothing because Obamacare was their alternative, and every prediction they’ve made about it has been wrong. Health spending isat a 50-year low, businesses aren’t dumping employees’ coverage, hospitals are performing better, and policy cancelations were likely lower than they were before the law. Meanwhile, Obama has been even more successful at shrinking the deficit as a percentage of GDP than even Bill Clinton.
  3. Proved that the government can kick-start a clean-energy revolution.
    When it comes to fighting climate change, President Obama has done more than anyone on Earth. Beyond the regulations he set in his first term, which are quickly reducing our dependency on dirty energy, the stimulus launched the clean-energy technological revolution this nation needed. Republicans started calling the stimulus “failed” before it even became law. And that kind of message discipline — plus half a billion dollars in ads that smeared the bill — scared Democrats from bragging about it. But now that we’ve experienced the first year of economic growth where carbon emissions didn’t increase in 40 years, maybe they should.
  4. Proved we can regulate Wall Street without killing the stock market.
    Good news! Bankers are complaining about being regulated too much. Despite this “over-regulation,” we’re seeing constant stock market records. Meanwhile, the memory of the costs of under-regulation — 8 million jobs and trillions in wealth — continues to fade. Democrats have become newly proud of the Dodd-Frank law now that they see how desperate Republicans are to gut it. The success in keeping the economic engine of the rich purring should not dissuade those on the left. Instead, they should continue to fight against the persistent dangers to our economy that come from ridiculous executive compensation schemesstock buybacks, and high-frequency trading.
  5. Proved that we should give diplomacy a chance.
    The Bush administration left America facing a newly nuclear-armed North Korea, an Iran building nuclear centrifuges, and a wrecked Iraq, run by a propped-up sectarian strongman with no interest in reconciliation. Democrats were likely naive in assuming this Tower of Babel of foreign policy disasters could be kept from crumbling. The Obama administration’s effort to re-engage the world may seem foolhardy now — but what was the alternative? More confrontational Republican alternatives would have guaranteed nothing but more American lives lost. Syria is a disaster. Libya proved that regime change is never simple. Putin is emboldened or frantically flailing, depending on your point of view. But as a result of re-engagement with our allies and a Medvedev-led Russia, sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table. We’re closer than ever to a nuclear deal that could prevent another, still more disastrous war. And even if it fails, at least we tried not to repeat the catastrophes of the past.

Despite these successes, Republicans have to see Obama as a floundering, economy-shrinking, deficit-creating failure, or risk questioning their failed worldview.

Essentially, they have to pretend he’s Bobby Jindal.

West Wing Week 03/14/14 or “What’s Up, Captain America?”

The White House

This week, the Vice President and Dr. Biden traveled to Chile to attend the inauguration of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, while President Obama worked on improving access to college for students, raising the minimum wage, and negotiating a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Ukraine. He also got out the word about the March 31 deadline for health insurance applications, congratulated NCAA champs, and designated a new national monument.

 

Friday, March 7th

·       The President and First Lady visited Coral Reef High School in Miami, Florida to speak about the importance of signing up for Federal financial aid.

Monday, March 10th

·       The President participated in a conference call with healthcare enrollment leaders.

·       The President congratulated the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Champions at the White House.

Tuesday, March 11th

·      Funny or Die released an interview with President Obama on the web series Between Two Ferns.

·      The President added the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to existing National Monument land in California

·      Later that day, the President visited a Gap Store in New York City to highlight Gap’s choice to raise the minimum wage for their               employees.

Wednesday, March 12th

·     The President met with a group of advocates who are getting the word out about the Affordable Care Act.

·      Later that day, the President held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine.

·      Then, the President hosted a meeting with women members of Congressto discuss the 2014 women’s economic agenda.

Thursday, March 13th

·       The President spoke on the urgent need to get hardworking Americans the overtime pay they deserve.

·       Later, the President took a photo with the 52nd Annual U.S. Sentae Youth program.

 

Fox’s Hume Details How Right Wing Media Push GOP To Extremes

Media Matters

HUME: I’m not sure they’re calling the shots but make no mistake about it, Bill. These — some of these radio talk show hosts have real influence. They have a huge following, particularly in very conservative areas where they are most popular and where the many members of congress who inhabit those areas are not worried about being reelected if they can get nominated. But they are worried about a primary challenge that could deny them the nomination.

O’REILLY: And that happened —

 

HUME: So they’ll go a long way to avoid it and keeping radio talk show hosts off their back is one way of doing that.

 

O’REILLY: That happened in Indiana to Lugar. He was a very well thought of senator, moderate. And then a more conservative guy got the nomination. He lost in the general race. So you believe that in Congress, if somebody has to run every two years as they do, and they get on the wrong side of a powerful radio voice, that’s beamed into their district, because the guys are national, they can really do them bad damage if they promote the other guy?

 

HUME:  Well, look, it’s not controlling but it’s a factor. I mean, if you’re a pragmatic politician up for reelection, you’re looking at the landscape and you don’t want to a lot of problems. And you don’t — and in many of these districts the Democrats can’t cause you any problems. There are just not enough of them. What there are enough of is conservative Republicans and conservative Republicans around the country today are very disappointed in their party and its leadership. And they think that the control of the House of Representatives should have been able to give them much more leverage than they seem to have been able to demonstrate and they should have been able to do more with it. And so if you’re sitting over in the House of Representatives and some measures of defund Obamacare comes along and you think it’s a suicide mission because it might involve a government shutdown you’re going to be hesitant to oppose it anyway because you don’t want the most conservative — you don’t want the tea party and you don’t want the conservative radio talk show hosts on your back. That doesn’t mean they can defeat you but it means you don’t want it.

See video here…

West Wing Week 3-15-2013: “We Don’t Have a Moment to Waste”

The White House

International Courage Awards: Last Friday, the First Lady joined Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department for the International Women of Courage Awards—where nine different women were honored. The event was a celebration of the strength and sacrifice of individuals who have worked tirelessly for the advancement of women’s rights for all.

Trade Export Council: On Tuesday, President Obama touched base with business and government leaders at a meeting of the President’s Export Council.

“The good news is we are well on our way to meeting a very ambitious goal that we set several years ago to double U.S. exports,” said the President. “And what we know is, is that a lot of the growth, a lot of the new jobs that we’ve seen during the course of this recovery, have been export-driven.”

To maintain and ignite growth, President Obama discussed finishing new trade deals with Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The Administration signed legislation in 2011 supporting free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama which has kept America competitive in foreign trade, while creating jobs for Americans.

Sultan of Brunei: On Tuesday, President Obama welcomed His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei to the Oval Office for a bilateral meeting to share their desire for “a strong, peaceful, prosperous Asia-Pacific region.”

Brunei, a small country in the South China Sea, will be holding the ASEAN East Asia Summit meeting in October. The visit is a symbol of the President’s goal of working towards a peaceful and prosperous presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

#AskFLOTUS : On Monday, in celebration of Let’s Move’s third anniversary the First Ladyparticipated in a question and answer session through Twitter. The First Lady tweeted responses to questions such as how much exercise our kids need a day and her favorite healthy winter recipe. For the record, a minimum of 60 minutes a day is required and the First Lady’s favorite winter dish is turkey and veggie chili. Head over to Pinterest for MyPlate Recipes which haves hundreds of tasty recipes for a healthy diet.

Check out the Q & A on Storify and follow @FLOTUS and @LetsMove for the latest updates.

“Being Biden”: On Thursday, Vice President Biden introduced a new audio series called “Being Biden” to give Americans an opportunity to connect with the White House through the lens of Vice President Biden. In the series, the Vice President will discuss special photos and share why the moments matter to him. Check out the first installment atwhitehouse.gov/beingbiden.

Subscribe and receive an email update when new stories are posted, sign up here.

Ask Him Anything: On Wednesday, Gene Sperling, the Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to President Obama for Economic Policy, fielded questions on the President’s plan to reduce the deficit. Through Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” forum, Sperling answered economic policy questions from users, and even joked about the West Wing, a TV series on which he once worked.

You can read through the Q & A on Reddit here.

Hire Vets: On Wednesday, the First Lady addressed the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, and challenged them to hire our veterans and military spouses. Through Joining Forces, the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden have made it a priority to support them:

“We’ve got to hold ourselves to the same standards of service and patriotism as they’ve held themselves,” said the First Lady. “And we’ve got to join forces so that we can truly serve our veterans and military families as well as they have served us.”

 

West Wing Week: 01/13/12 or “Insourcing: Bringing Jobs Back to America”

The White House

This week, the President visited the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, welcomed this year’s NBA Champs—the Dallas Mavericks—addressed the EPA, announced a new Chief of Staff, and introduced the White House’s Insourcing Initiative.

West Wing Week 12/2/11 or “Bo Meets Bo”

The White House

This week, as the President urged Republicans to join a Democratic effort to prevent a thousand dollar tax increase on the typical American family, the White House got spruced up for the holidays.

The President also hosted the EU Summit, the Dutch Prime Minister, and announced a new commitment to fighting AIDS in America and around the world. He also lit the National Christmas Tree. That’s November 25th to December 1st, or “Bo Meets Bo.”

Dear GOP – F#@K You!

Love it!  This song can apply to so many different political situations….

Veracity Stew

Warning: Contains explicit lyrics because we’re pissed! 
After promising to concentrate on jobs, jobs and jobs, the Republicans instead have concentrated on their culture war bills and further attacks on the working class by siding with their wealthy masters. For their treasonous acts, we send this love letter to all Teapublicans.

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Mitt Romney Explains His Inconsistency as Being ‘Human’

Addicting Info

Macy’s store mannequin and Republican frontrunner (just don’t tell Republicans that), Mitt Romney,  is notorious for taking a position, tergiversating on that position, and then choosing a new position on which to tergiversate to reflect the latest poll or Republican talking point de jour.

As Governor of a liberal blue-state, Mitt Romney was pro-choice (or multiple choice as Ted Kennedy once derided during a debate). He was also one of the lone moderate Republicans to actually heed the advice of celebrated climatologists (instead of the janitor at Exxon) regarding climate change, only to repudiate his belief in man-made activities contributing to climate change. And, most notorious, Romney has devoted most of his time on the stump –and debates– meticulously renouncing his mandate health plan he created in Massachusetts, which served as a template for Obama’sAffordable Care Act.

Regarding his abrupt change in philosophy, Romney said “‘What works in one state may not be the answer for another.”  It looks like the Gordon Gekko candidate is more like Gordon Chameleon, carefully changing and saying anything and everything that teabagger republicans want to hear in order to get elected. The Obama relection campaign has publicly cited plans to devote a portion of its campaign strategy on this very phenomenon.

Realizing his flip-flopping is an Achilles heel, Romney finally addressed this problem earlier today.

When pressed by a New Hampshire editorial board about his  famous vacillations on kep political issues over the last decade, Romney  this to say:

 ”I’ve been as consistent as human beings can be.”

Are you serious, Mittens? That’s the type of verbal gymnastics and philosophical expostulating one would expect from former president Bill Clinton when confronted with the meaning of blow jobs.

Romney has formally said that “corporations are people,” and since humans are prone to err, is he saying that he is about as consistent as a corporation. Or, is he making a commentary on human beings’ inability to be consistent.

I don’t think Lao Zsu himself could wax philosophical on the intrinsic meaning behind Romney’s justification for lying and changing his position on everything under the sun, including the sun. Then again, Romney can pretty  much say anything with the pizza perv receiving so much media scrutiny over his past sexual shenanigans.

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