November 3, 2012

Thursday Report: Bloomberg Wouldn’t Let Guard Into Brooklyn Over Their Possession of Guns

A report tells us that “National Guard plays key role in N.J. relief efforts.” The LA Times has reported that “More than 10,000 National Guard troops in 13 states have been mobilized to assist in the response to Hurricane Sandy, including more than 2,200 who are assisting with recovery efforts in New York.” Guard troops are also in New York City to some degree (Mayor Michael Bloomberg says “We have 13 distribution sites opened, staffed by National Guard members”), including hard-hit Staten Island.

But at least as of Thursday, according to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, as reported by Eli Rosenburg at the the Brooklyn Paper, which calls itself the borough’s “leading news media,” the mayor has refused a request to allow the Guard into the borough. Based on resource deployment priorities, the Mayor’s refusal could be justified. But wait until you see the actual reason Bloomberg gave for his refusal, one which you might think would have received more media attention by now (bolds are mine):

Obama Administration Unemployment Report Card: Epic Fail

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:43 am

From James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute:


Key points among ten Pethokoukis makes:

Is this as good as it gets? October’s dismal ‘New Normal’ jobs report

The U.S. economy added 171,000 people to nonfarm payrolls in October — including 184,000 in the private sector — the Labor Department said on Friday. The government also said 84,000 more jobs were created in August and September than initially estimated.The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9%.

Now let’s put those numbers in context:

1. If we suddenly had a string of months where job growth was the same as in October, it would take 7 more years — until 2019! — to get back to the Bush unemployment low of 4.4%. Even if we averaged 210,000 jobs a month, we wouldn’t close jobs gap until 2021.

2. We are now 41 months into the recovery, and we have recovered just 55% of the 8.9 million lost private sector jobs from the Great Recession. During the Reagan recovery, it took just 10 months.

3. Back in early 2009, White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein predicted the unemployment rate would be 5.2% in October 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus. As the above chart shows, they weren’t even close.

6. … if the labor force participation rate was the same as when President Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.6%.

8. The broader U-6 gauge, which also measures underemployment, dropped just a smidgen to 14.6%.

9. Employment growth has averaged 157,000 per month thus far in 2012, about the same as the average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. Excruciatingly slow progress.

Bottom line: Anemic economic growth of around 2% not only puts the U.S. economy at heightened risk of recession, but is also too slow to a) generate enough jobs to quickly close the jobs gap, and b) boost take-home pay. Anyone satisfied with or hyping this report does a great disservice to the America worker.

Anyone supporting an administration with this record is voting to condemn the nation to four more years of slow-motion misery at best, and economic and fiscal calamity at worst.

IBD’s Endorsement of Romney: He Has ‘Sealed the Deal’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:29 am

Longtime readers here know that I don’t share the enthusiasm of the editorial board at Investor’s Business Daily about the Republican Party’s nominee to oust Barack Obama, but their views about Mitt Romney’s performance since August deserve a wide airing.

So here goes:

What have we learned about Romney since August?

First, he has his priorities right. He focuses on what needs to be done to get the country moving again. He has a serious plan to rein in the deficit, reform taxes and spur economic growth. The president, who has no such plan, tries to make big issues out of small things like free contraception. Romney doesn’t take the bait. He stays on course.

Second, he knows how to make the case for conservative policy to the political center. This skill infuriates the Obama campaign, which claims Romney has abandoned positions that won him the Republican nomination. But he hasn’t. He’s out there stumping for lower marginal tax rates, a private-insurance option for Medicare and peace through strength. Polls consistently show him beating Obama soundly among independents.

Third, he’s a man of character. We mean this not just in the negative sense — that he’s untainted by scandal — but in reference to the sum of his personal qualities. Obama’s legions did all they could to paint Romney as greedy and heartless, but the public’s not buying that picture, especially after the debates.

What people see is a man of warmth and generosity who loves his country and genuinely wants to serve it. They also see a serious man. He knows the difference between politics and entertainment. He passes on late-night talk shows.

Some might call him retro. We see him as mature. We welcome a grown-up in the Oval Office for a change, someone who will apply his years of real-world experience and wisdom to solving the nation’s looming problems instead of miniaturizing the office by dwelling on division and petty politics.

Going into this campaign, it was easy to see the relevance of Romney’s track record. In fact, it was almost uncanny how well his business and political experience jibed with the challenges he would face as president:

The nation needs a president who understands how business works; enter Romney of Bain Capital. It needs someone who knows how to turn around a failing enterprise; enter Romney of the Olympics. It needs someone who can work across party lines to get things done; enter Romney the Republican governor of Massachusetts.

Of course, it’s a big jump from Boston and Salt Lake to gridlocked Washington, or from private equity to the broken global economy. There’s never anything quite as big as the presidency. But Romney is as ready as anyone could be. And if we’ve learned anything about him by now, it’s that he has a way of rising to the occasion.

He’ll need to.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110312)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Film on boy’s redemptive struggle with cancer shown at Vatican

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Mexico City:

Oct 30, 2012 / 03:09 pm (CNA).- A new movie based on the real-life story of a 15-year-old boy who became a source of joy to those around him – despite dying from cancer – recently debuted at the Vatican.

The film “Cambio de Planes,” directed by Mexico native Paco Arango, was released in the country on Oct. 26 and, following its success, premiered Monday at the Vatican.

“It has received acclaim for conveying a very positive, hopeful and conscience-raising message, appropriate for all audiences and for those who believe in God,” reported the Archdiocese of Mexico City’s News Service.