Witch’s Will For A Saturday Mourning
I will remain in “mourning” so long as Obama’s unworthy ass sits in the Oval Office.
My Pick of the Litter Today
The ‘Vigilance’ Vigilantes
The tolerance enforcers will not tolerate dissent.
By Mark Steyn
He who controls the language shapes the debate: In the same week the Associated Press announced that it would no longer describe illegal immigrants as “illegal immigrants,” the star columnist of the New York Times fretted that the Supreme Court seemed to have misplaced the style book on another fashionable minority. “I am worried,” wrote Maureen Dowd, “about how the justices can properly debate same-sex marriage when some don’t even seem to realize that most Americans use the word ‘gay’ now instead of ‘homosexual.’” She quoted her friend Max Mutchnick, creator of Will & Grace:
“Scalia uses the word ‘homosexual’ the way George Wallace used the word ‘Negro.’ There’s a tone to it. It’s humiliating and hurtful. I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive, merely vigilant.”
For younger readers, George Wallace was a powerful segregationist Democrat. Whoa, don’t be overly sensitive. There’s no “tone” to my use of the word “Democrat”; I don’t mean to be humiliating and hurtful: It’s just what, in pre-sensitive times, we used to call a “fact.”
Likewise, I didn’t detect any “tone” in the way Justice Scalia used the word “homosexual.” He may have thought this was an appropriately neutral term, judiciously poised midway between “gay” and “Godless sodomite.” Who knows? He’s supposed to be a judge, and a certain inscrutability used to be part of what we regarded as a judicial temperament. By comparison, back in 1986, the year Scalia joined the Supreme Court, the chief justice, Warren Burger, declared “there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy.” I don’t want to be overly sensitive, but I think even I, if I rewound the cassette often enough, might be able to detect a certain tone to that.a href=”http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/nro.com/;pos=middle;tile=4;sz=300×250;ord=123456789?” target=”_blank” >
Nonetheless, Max Mutchnick’s “vigilance” is a revealing glimpse of where we’re headed. Canada, being far more enlightened than the hotbed of homophobes to its south, has had gay marriage coast to coast for a decade. Statistically speaking, one-third of 1 percent of all Canadian nuptials are same-sex, and, of that nought-point-three-three, many this last decade have been American gays heading north for a marriage license they’re denied in their own country. So gay marriage will provide an important legal recognition for an extremely small number of persons who do not currently enjoy it. But, putting aside arguments over the nature of marital union, the legalization of gay marriage will empower a lot more “vigilance” from all the right-thinking people over everybody else.
Mr. Mutchnick’s comparison of the word “homosexual” with “Negro” gives the game away: Just as everything any conservative says about anything is racist, so now it will also be homophobic. It will not be enough to be clinically neutral (“homosexual”) on the subject — or tolerant, bored, mildly amused, utterly indifferent. The other day, Jeremy Irons found himself musing to a reporter on whether (if the issue is unequal legal treatment) a father should be allowed to marry his son for the purpose of avoiding inheritance taxes. The vigilance vigilantes swung into action:
“Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons has sparked outrage,” reported the Independent in London, “by suggesting that same sex marriage could lead to incest between fathers and sons.”
Outrageous! That isn’t exactly what he said, but, once sparked, the outrage inferno was soon blazing merrily:
“Jeremy Irons’ strange anti-gay rant,” read the headline in Salon.
I wouldn’t say he was ranting. He was languidly drawling, as is his snooty Brit wont, and fighting vainly the old ennui, as if he would rather be doing anything than another tedious media interview. Indeed, he even took the precaution of averring that he didn’t “have a strong feeling either way.”
Creative Use of Jobs as Prop in Obama Comedy Hour
The number of people employed in the United States dropped by 496,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, yet somehow, miraculously, the unemployment rate dropped a full basis point from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent.
That’s because while the White House, the media and assorted economists kept saying “Hooray! Things are FINALLY getting better- and this time we MEAN it,” another 663,000 people dropped out of the workforce.
It’s amazing how discouraged people are during the Greatest Recovery Ever, led by the Greatest Chief Executive since Jon Corzine took over MF Global.
“Consumer confidence tumbled in March,” reports Reuters, “as Americans turned more pessimistic about economic prospects in the short term, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday. The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes fell to 59.7 from a downwardly revised 68 in February. The figure fell short of economists’ expectations of 68.”
Economists want us to believe Americans are upset because Washington, DC cut spending.
“The recent sequester has created uncertainty regarding the economic outlook and, as a result, consumers are less confident,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.
Snort! Ha, ha!
While the financial markets are getting $85 billion a month courtesy the Federal Reserve Bank – chasing up stock prices, oil prices, and gold prices – and Americans are paying for Obama & Company’s economic comedy show, employers added an anemic 88,000 jobs, more than 100,000 jobs worse than consensus forecasts.
95,000 private jobs were added while government shed 7,000.
“We’ve hit a wall when it comes to the job situation,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts according to Bloomberg. “The U.S. labor market had been doing very well, but it’s going back into a soft patch. One worry is that this is an early warning of the impact of the sequester, and businesses may be anticipating its full impact. It’s not going to last forever, but we could see a few months of weak job numbers.”
Ha! See what I mean? Comedy.
I hear “soft patch” and immediately whatever I’m drinking comes spewing out of my nose.
Only Off By 102,000; ABC Jumps the Gun and Announces ‘Expected’ Job Gains of 190,000
Oops. Good Morning America on Friday preemptively announced “expected” job creation for the month of March totaling 190,000. In reality, 88,000 jobs were created. The ABC morning show was only off by 102,000 jobs. At 7:10am, about 75 minutes before the release of the actual numbers, reporter Linzie Janis insited, “The government’s jobs report is out this morning. It’s expected to show that 190,000 jobs were created last month.” The accompanying graphic included the number and a tiny asterisk, presumably representing the tentative nature of the numbers.
This is a monthly practice on the ABC morning show. The anchors will announce the hypothetical, possible results and then cover the real result later in the day on the network. Janis allowed that the new report might not be great. She added, “Why the slowdown? Well, those $85 billion in government spending cuts.” Just a month ago, however, GMA’s Bianna Golodryga lamented the fact that investors were shrugging off the sequester.
On March 5, responding to a lack of investor panic, Golodryga complained, “Yeah, isn’t that kind of sad? It was basically anticipated that we were going to have these spending cuts.” She added, “You’re not seeing a huge effect on the economy.”
On March 11, George Stephanopoulos admitted that the President’s spin on the economy wasn’t working: “The outside game at least in the short term wasn’t working for the President. It was trying to raise all these alarms about the sequester but it didn’t seem to be taking hold because people haven’t felt it yet.”
Good Morning America has eliminated the 8:30 news brief in order to make more time for frivolous segments about Dancing With the Stars and other celebrity-related topics. Clearly, there was no time to offer an update on the actual unemployment rate.
The Grand Illusion
The Obama administration is more inclined to public relations than hard-headed pragmatism in dealing with unemployment
by Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Which way are we going? The stock market has revived, though it still is off a high in real terms. There’s suddenly good news about housing demand, which is showing signs of life after six years of stagnation. Yet Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warns that the package of fiscal cutbacks – the fiscal cliff, sequester, and other cuts – is set to reduce growth by 1.5 percentage points. He calls that “very significant” and adds that “job creation is slower than it would be otherwise.” This is the key to where we are. New research from the Brookings Institution concludes that rising inequality in the United States is not something that will vanish with a real recovery. It is here to stay, a reflection of an increasingly calcified society and a whole crisis in itself.
The present phase of our Great Recession might be called the Grand Illusion, because all the happy talk and statistics that go with it, especially on the key indicator of jobs, give a rosier picture than the facts justify. We are not really advancing. We are, by comparison with earlier recessions, going backward. We have a $1.3 trillion budget deficit. And despite the most stimulative fiscal policy in our history and the most stimulative monetary policy, with a trillion-dollar expansion to our money supply, our economy over the last three years has been declining or stagnant. From growth in annual GDP of 2.4 percent 2010, we bumped down to only 1.8 percent in 2011 and were still down at 2.2 percent in 2012. The cumulative growth for the last 12 quarters was just 6.2 percent, less than half the 15.2 percent average after previous recessions over a similar period of time. It is the slowest growth rate of all the 11 post-World War II recessions.
What has gone wrong? There seems to be a weakness in the investment of private capital. Today, corporate spending on investments is the weakest it has been in six decades. The billions invested in the Internet, spreading its application and comingling the technology with labor, boosted multifactor productivity but, as David Rosenberg of wealth-management firm Gluskin Sheff points out, most of that occurred several years ago. As he has written, a capex-led business recovery that breeds sustained productivity growth and decent job creation is what underscores the best and longest economic expansions since the end of WWII.
Anemic growth looks likely to continue because of various downers implicit in Bernanke’s caution. Sequestration will take $600 billion of government expenditures out of the economy over the next 10 years. Payroll taxes up 2 percent hit about 160 million workers and will drain $110 billion in aggregate demand. The Obama health care tax will be a $30 billion-plus drag. The surge in gasoline prices by some 50 cents recently may be temporary, as Bernanke suggests, but meanwhile represents another $65 billion of consumer cash flow. Conservatively, these nasties add up to roughly a 2 percent hit to baseline GDP growth when we are barely able to muster 2 percent growth.
Then there’s housing. Yes, it is nice to see a surge in some areas. But millions of homes are owned by banks or are in the foreclosure process. The New York Times noted last week that the home where Bernanke was raised, in a small town in South Carolina whose unemployment rate was recently 15 percent, had just been foreclosed upon the last time he visited, and one of his relatives was unemployed. Talk about symbolism. Single-family home sales and starts are barely off their depressed levels, and have only recouped 17 percent of recession losses. The housing market is mostly driven by investor-based, rental-related, multifamily buying activity, reflected in the fact that multiple housing units have reversed more than 70 percent of the damage they sustained from the recession.
Our economy’s most important player, the consumer, offers no relief from this cascade of downers. About 70 percent of national expenditures come from consumers, but their confidence level has dropped to only 58.6 percent. Restaurant traffic, one of the most reliable trend indicators, has slipped to a three-year low. In fact, the only reason that real consumer spending is not shown as contracting is because personal savings rates since November 2007 have declined from 6.4 percent to around 2.5 percent of incomes.
Tapper Blasts Obama, Bloomberg For Telling Falsehoods About Guns
What Up With Republicans?
Boehner pans Obama’s offer to trade Social Security change for tax hikes
House Speaker John Boehner preemptively rejected President Obama’s call for more tax hikes Friday, after administration officials revealed the president’s upcoming budget would tie tax hikes to modest changes in Social Security and other benefit programs.
The president plans to unveil his budget Wednesday. According to a senior administration official, the plan includes a provision to lower cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security, the benefit program for retirees. This would curb the growth in benefits.
The administration made clear that it is offering changes to Social Security and Medicare — the two benefit programs most important to seniors — in order to convince Republicans to accept increased revenues. The official said the plan to be unveiled next week “isn’t a menu of options for them to choose from – it’s a cohesive package.”
But Boehner bristled at the demand, noting that the president and his party already extracted tax increases on top earners as part of the deal to avert the fiscal crisis at the end of 2012.
“In the end, the president got his tax hikes on the wealthy with no corresponding spending cuts. At some point we need to solve our spending problem, and what the president has offered would leave us with a budget that never balances. In reality, he’s moved in the wrong direction, routinely taking off the table entitlement reforms he’s previously told me he could support,” Boehner said.
Let us all hope that Boehner and the Republicans have the spine to stick to this. Naturally Obama will use it against them to paint them as the problem. And media, of course, will parrot Administration talking points. In other words, same old – same old. Obama is pretty much a one-trick pony. And his trick and schtick only work because of his MSM press agents.
SATURDAY’S SAINTS AND SINNERS:
Speaking to the Denver Police Academy on April 3, President Obama made some controversial remarks as part of his post-Newtown push for more gun control.
Most of the speech was ho-hum. It was the following that caught the right’s attention:
You hear some of these quotes: “I need a gun to protect myself from the government.” “We can’t do background checks because the government is going to come take my guns away.” Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you. They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place. It’s a government of and by and for the people.
At first glance these remarks may not seem so very terrible. After all, the Founders did try to put in place a government structure that would constrain elected officials from exercising untrammeled power. And those elected officials are indeed answerable not only to the Bill of Rights (including the Second Amendment) and the Constitution, but also to the will of the people as expressed through elections. And certainly, the idea that the Constitution acts as a constraint on the power of government officials did not originate with Obama; there are law review articles devoted to exploring the concept.
So what’s the problem? Just this: shouldn’t Obama have added something about what a wonderful thing those constraints are, how necessary and appropriate and important and even crucial, and how he himself is appreciative of them? Wouldn’t many previous presidents (with the probable exceptions of Wilson and FDR) have done something like that? And wouldn’t many of those presidents (Reagan in particular) have almost certainly included something to the effect that, although it was the Founders who put those structures in place, and it is the people whose votes preserve them, the entire edifice rests on the solid bedrock known as “natural rights”?
“Natural” vs. “legal” rights are concepts explored here:
Natural and legal rights are two types of rights theoretically distinct according to philosophers and political scientists. Natural rights are rights not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable. In contrast, legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by a given legal system.
In its familiar and oft-quoted second paragraph, the Declaration of Independence makes a stirring statement of natural rights:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Although the Constitution is a legal document and therefore codifies and enumerates rights in a legal way, it attempts to ensure that those natural (rather than merely legal) rights will be protected–that is, to secure those already-existent natural rights that are inalienable and God-given. And note the definition of that all-important word “inalienable,” which means “incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred.” In other words, inherent and permanent.
In his Denver speech, Obama’s words about the Founders and elections and constraint and the people are an almost perfect statement of how legal rights rather than natural rights operate. His statement seems to imply that it was the Founders who giveth (by means of the Constitution) and the people who might some day taketh away, if the people so desire.
These sentiments in Obama’s Denver speech do not stand alone. You may remember the curious radio interview Obama gave to WBEZ in 2001, the one in which he discussed what he called “redistributive change.” In that interview he observed that the Warren Court was not really all that radical because it did not “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution…that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties.”
In that interview Obama went on to say that redistributive change would have to be approached in other ways, such as, for example, through community organizing. The interview is notable for its use of the same phrase as the Denver speech—constraints—and for giving the distinct impression that Obama regrets the fact that the Constitution functions as a drag on some of the goals he considers highly desirable.
And then there’s that strange quirk of Obama’s, his repeated tendency to quote the aforementioned second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and yet leave out the word “Creator.” He has done this way too many times for it to be anything but intentional, and his removal of the religious element from the document and from the Founders’ message has been pointed out by many pundits.
But what is Obama’s intention in doing so? Seen in the light of his Denver speech, a case could be made that Obama’s primary aim is not really anti-religious per se. That may be secondary to his larger goal of letting the whole concept of natural rights fall by the wayside, because if our rights are not endowed by our Creator—if they are merely “endowed,” as Obama seems so fond of stating—then are they actually “inalienable”? On what firm ground might they rest?
What the Constitution does is protect the “people” from the “government”. That’s a fundamental truth that many either don’t “know” or choose to ignore. Your typical “low-information” voter, who parrots talking points and news bites hasn’t a clue. And thanks to the really poor education they receive in public schools, most never will.
The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Gay or Liberal? Don’t Even Ask
The gay-advocacy group GLAAD portrays itself as a voice in the LGBT community that ”promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality.” In the March issue of our magazine James Kirchick discussed the LGBT community’s inability to see past politics in order to do what is best for those who they claim to represent: LGBT individuals. As if on cue, GLAAD were all too willing to prove his point with two recent stunts that show the group to be nothing more than a front for liberals’ favorite pastimes: hating Fox News and promoting flawed heroes like Bill Clinton.
Last week GLAAD made news and garnered applause from liberal groups like Media Matters when it loudly uninvited future guests with the Fox News network from its events. It soon came out, however, that the group banned Fox News attendees after two of the network’s anchors were invited to and attended their most recent media awards dinner.
Hilariously, TVNewser obtained a copy of an email from the director of creative development at GLAAD buttering up a Fox News employee, asking for financial sponsorship of the awards event beforehand. It seems that GLAAD was more than happy to take a principled stand against Fox–but only after they had invited their anchors and quietly asked the network for cash.
If GLAAD were really interested in garnering better coverage for LGBT issues and individuals from Fox, publicly humiliating two supporters, one of whom was on the “NY Host Committee” for the event, this was not how to do it. GLAAD’s objective was merely intended to cause a splash among liberals who care more about taking down Fox News, rather than their stated mission of growing their movement’s ranks.
I don’t care if “Gays” are allowed to get married or not. Personally I favor civil unions and letting churches decide if they want to allow same-sex marriage or not. I really don’t care. I am sick and tired of the topic. I am sick and tired of people’s sexual preferences being the prime topic of conversation and having it shoved in my face by the media.
Tired also of being portrayed as a bigot if my belief is still that a marriage consists of one man and one woman signing a contract to protect and produce children. Not a surprise since the liberal media has decided that its okay to label anyone that doesn’t agree with them on any number of social issues as a bigot. No more “agreeing to disagree”, right to the name-calling. Which tends to make people less apt to support your side of things.
I have lived with the same man for 22 years after a failed marriage of 24 years. Getting married wouldn’t make us more committed to each other but it would cut my Social Security check in half. I would like to have the same protections under the law, as in civil unions, as a wife has when it comes time to “see” my partner when he is in the hospital. I don’t. Thus I am, as a heterosexual no better off than a gay partner. I believe that needs to change for all of us. Marriage? No.
A Gun-Control Proposal that Is Doomed from the Start
The New York Times carries an op-ed today on gun control that will disappoint readers of every political stripe. The headline, “Rewrite the Second Amendment,” is tantalizingly provocative; unfortunately, the rest of the column fails to cash the check.
For anyone following the gun control debate with a strong opinion on the issue, at first glance it appears to finally be the op-ed we’ve all been waiting for. Democrats who don’t much care for the right to bear arms or the general fealty to constitutional doctrine–and they are legion–but don’t have the guts to say so will be expecting the author, University of Texas professor Zachary Elkins, to speak for them. Republicans who wish to paint their antagonists as radical gun-grabbers–and they are legion–will be expecting Elkins to finally put flesh on the straw man. The common ground they are most likely to find, however, is in jointly panning the op-ed for overpromising.
Elkins begins by describing the current political impasse over gun control in the wake of the Newtown massacre. He then seems to set us up for the punchline when he writes: “It is actually quite unusual for gun rights to be included in a constitution.”
The obvious response is: so what? But the reader senses that he will follow that by suggesting gun rights be removed from our Constitution. Here comes the set-up:
“What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand?” the gun-rights advocate asks. “What part of ‘a well regulated Militia’ do you not understand?” goes the retort.
Partly because of this ambiguity, the Second Amendment seemed almost irrelevant for most of our history. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many American towns and states regulated guns. In the deadly confrontation at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., in 1881, Wyatt Earp was enforcing a ban on carrying guns in public.
But in the 1980s, a movement to interpret the amendment as promoting the right to bear arms for self-defense emerged. It reached an apotheosis of sorts in the 2008 case, which struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns. It was the first time the court had ever restricted gun regulation, but the 5-to-4 vote also suggests that the decision is not fixed doctrine.
This constitutional uncertainty should suggest to both sides the possibility of agreeing on a formal clarification of the constitutional text.
And that clarified constitutional text would say… what exactly? He never says. Offering no guidance, that would be left up to Congress. Which is where we are now. Which is why there’s an impasse, and why Elkins wrote the op-ed. Come to think of it, why did Elkins write the op-ed?
The most recent attempted gun ban failed because it could not garner 50 votes in the Senate, and less restrictive legislation is starting to look like it can’t get to 60 votes in the Senate, let alone the GOP-majority House. So Elkins, to break the stalemate, wants Congress to find a way to enact gun regulation that would need two-thirds of each house of Congress and three-fourths of the country’s state legislatures? I would be curious to know–as would, presumably, everyone else who read that op-ed–what specific regulation language Elkins thinks cannot garner half of Congress but can garner two-thirds.
But one begins to suspect that that was the point all along. Gun regulation of the type liberals want can’t pass Congress, so they want this to be taken out of the hands of politicians altogether and enshrined in a document they have suddenly found useful again. But that won’t solve the problem either in the end, because to amend the Constitution you have to go through the politicians that Elkins would prefer to avoid.
And that, I would guess, is why Elkins’s op-ed ended up saying nothing at all. He obviously thinks it’s silly to have gun rights in the Constitution, but Americans think it would be silly not to. As did the Founders. Elkins’s op-ed seems to be happening in real-time, as we can sense him start to slowly back out of the commitment he was sure to make only minutes ago. And the conclusion we get, instead, is: Never mind.
Keith Olbermann: Iraq vet, amputee an embarrassment to the military
The slam came about in response to Salzman’s tweet about comments made by NBC’s Bob Costas on Sunday regarding the right to keep and bear arms.
“You could benefit from my career advice, Son. I’ve lasted 33 years and made millions. You?You have a bad avatar and Grade D humor (sic),” Olbermann tweeted in response.
Salzman, however, wasn’t intimidated.
“I too hope to one day be so successful I’m sacked from my multimillion dollar job(s) for acting like a petulant child,” he responded.
That’s when Olbermann slammed the veteran who lost an arm while serving in Iraq in 2006.
“I’m sure you’ll accomplish the second half of that if you haven’t already. Your conduct on twitter embarrasses the military,” Olbermann said.
Twitchy reported that a number of people stood up for Salzman.
“[L]et us veterans decide what does and does not embarrass the military. Effete liberals like you don’t have a say,” said “pigswithwings.”
Salzman weighed in, saying that Olbermann defended calling conservative columnist Michelle Malkin a “punched up bag of meat with lipstick” in his first tweet.
“Olbermann is nothing if not a misogynist pig. And now he is insulting wounded warriors while defending the anti-gun zealot Bob Costas,” Twitchy added.
“Remember this, Keith Olbermann. You may have millions, and I may only have one arm. But I’m twice the man you will ever be,” Salzman finally said.
Illegal Alien Arrested for Killing Woman Who Blocked His Pursuit of Her 13 Year-Old Daughter
On April 1, an illegal immigrant was arrested for shooting and killing a mother after she denied the man a romantic relationship with her teenage daughter. The slaying took place in Aguila, Arizona.
According to police, after showing up at the house of 31-year-old Maria Saucedo in pursuit of her 13-year-old daughter, 25-year-old Jose Zarate pulled out a rifle and shot Saucedo in the chest in front of her daughter. Deputies attempted to perform CPR on the victim who died at the scene.
According to the sheriff’s office, “Sometime around 9:30pm on April 1, 2013, Zarate went to the home of Saucedo and her 13-year-old daughter to allegedly express an interest in pursuing a romantic relationship with the underage teen.
During the confrontation, the mother denied his request, and that’s when investigators say Zarate took out a rifle and shot the victim in the chest at close range in the presence of the 13 year old.” Zarate was disarmed by a witness and fled on foot.
“How awful this is that a mother loses her life in the process of defending her daughter’s honor,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio stated.
Friday’s Job Report: Ugly and Uglier
By Brandon Ott
The initial report, which shows an economy that only added 88,000 jobs in March, is nearly a drop of 200,000 jobs from February. Retail got hammered. Was it because of the sequester? Probably not, says Annie Lowery. Definitely not, says Sudeep Reddy. The cuts, though, might dampen job growth in the coming months as they are phased in by various government agencies. The most likely culprit is the expiration of the payroll tax cut, says Joe Weisenthal. Advocating for its reinstallment, Joe points out that retail has been slammed since the beginning of the year. Less money in my pocket is less money in a store owner’s. And, of course, Joe is Joe so he posits the report was actually good!
Austan Goolsbee says the report is a ‘punch to the gut.’
Economists say: Unambiguously weak
The report, according to Neil Irwin, proves that the economy just isn’t as strong as we thought it was.
Todd Sullivan says some ‘funky stuff’ is going on with this jobs report.
@Mctaguej says, “Some weird #s in BLS jobs report indicate sampling problems and probable restatements.’
7 great charts from the guys and girls over at Wonkblog
The most colorful chart you’ll see today on jobs, from BusinessWeek:
Matt Philips (one L) reminds us to be wary of all the euphoria going around about a >3% GDP number for Q1. A jobs # like the one we saw today might just be the cold shower we very much needed.
US Job Creation Plunges, but Rate Drops to 7.6%
Job creation slowed to a crawl during March, with the U.S. economy creating just 88,000 positions though the unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent.
The number was a sharp slide from February’s upwardly revised 268,000.
The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payroll growth eased amid hopes that the economy had begun to achieve the escape velocity needed for sustained growth.
Friday’s report fell short of economist expectations of 200,000 new jobs, confirming some of the weakness in recent reports.
Moreover, the drop in the jobless rate was little more than a statistical anomaly, with the labor-force participation rate tumbling to a 34-year low of 63.3 percent. However, a broader measure of unemployment that counts the discouraged and underemployed also fell, declining to 13.8 percent from February’s 14.3 percent.
Jake Tapper politely calls Barack Obama, Mike Bloomberg pig-ignorant about guns.
But it might help the advocates of gun control if – in their advocacy for stricter measures – they seemed more familiar with what, exactly, they’re trying to ban. – Jake Tapper, CNN.
The funny part is? Jake’s not even a conservative. For all I know, he’s an advocate for more gun control. It’s just that he’s just not an idiot
Kumbaya: ACLU Spokesman, NRA Agree On Background Checks
It’s not often two groups like the ACLU and the NRA have a “Kumbaya” moment like this. Perhaps, in a way, President Obama truly is uniting the nation… just not in the way he intended.
Worth a Read:
Dangerous Times: When Paranoids Do Politics
Obligatory — Krystal Ball uses daughter as prop
Jay-Z and Beyonce Blasted for ‘Ignorant and Insulting’ Cuban Vacation
QUOTE OF THE DAY: