Tag Archives: happy dance

Wednesday Morning News Roundup (update)

An earlier version of this post said Tuesday. It was Wednesday. Need more sleep!!

Happy New Year to Everyone. Here’s today’s News Roundup

Congratulations to Stanford University. I guess it is time for us to consider Stafford a legitimate football powerhouse. Really? Stanford? 🙂

There was lots of consternation and handwringing in the House last night. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a lukewarm bill and for some reason this bill drew instant scorn from Eric Cantor and other conservative Republicans. In the end, 85 Republicans joined almost all of the Democrats to lock in the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. I think that this, as a whole, is a good thing. I do not, however, think that this is cause for the happy dance. I think we have many challenges ahead and the House GOP has basically told us that they want, that they lust after, spending cuts. This is not going to get any easier.

The House decided that the East Coast did not need any relief from Hurricane Sandy. They adjourned without taking any action. I just don’t understand how that is acceptable.

Finally, I saw this from the South Carolina – Michigan game. It was tweeted out by Rich Eisen. This is an incredible hit. When you’re talking about an explosive hit, this is what you’re talking about. Wow!

George Zimmerman charged with second degree murder

This is not a time to do the happy dance. This is the time where we need to stay focused. We need to continue to follow this case. Who cares if George Zimmerman is arrested today and released tomorrow? What we want is for the facts of this case to come out. We want justice to be done. If George Zimmerman truly acted in self-defense and the facts support that, then I’m okay with the results. If, on the other hand, the facts point to something different, then we need to head in that direction. Let justice be done.

From TPM:

A special prosecutor in Florida on Wednesday charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder for the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in a case that has stoked racial tensions and drawn calls for justice from seemingly every corner of the nation.

At a news conference in Florida, prosecutor Angela Corey said Zimmerman was in custody, though she declined to say where. She said the decisions to charge Zimmerman and which specific charge to bring were not easy.

“It is the search for justice for Trayvon that brought us here to this moment,” Corey said. “I can tell you that we did not come to this decision lightly.”

A Little Perspective on the Job Numbers

The job numbers were pretty good. They were a lot better than I expected. Even with the jump in temporary hiring, the underlying numbers continued to show improvement. I do not, however, think it’s time to break open the champagne, not time to do the happy dance. The economy still has a lot of problems. There are still millions of Americans who have stopped looking for jobs. There are millions of Americans who are underemployed.

Here’s what I know – when Barack Obama took office our economy was losing over 500,000 jobs per month. The economy had fallen off a cliff. We needed someone like Superman to rescue the economy before it crashed into the rocks below. Now we are adding jobs every month. This is good. I wonder whether we can figure out a way to get Republicans to stop hindering job growth.

From EPI:

This morning’s release of the December 2011 employment situation report, which marked four years since the official start of the recession in December 2007, capped off 2011 on a positive note.  Both the establishment survey and the household survey showed improvement – the labor market added 200,000 jobs, hours and wages were up, unemployment ticked down, underemployment dropped, and the duration of unemployment spells declined.  This is a step in the right direction.

The length of the average workweek increased in December to 34.4 hours, restoring hours to where they were last spring.  Average hours have thus far made up just three-fourths of what they lost in the first 18 months of the downturn (average hours were 34.6 in December 2007 and 33.7 at the low point in June 2009).

Average hourly wages increased by 4 cents in December and have risen at a 1.9% annualized rate over the last three months.  This remains far below the pre-recession growth rate (3.4 percent from December 2006 to December 2007), as persistent high unemployment has exerted strong downward pressure on wage growth. With hours and hourly wages up, average weekly wages grew more strongly at $3.70, and they have risen at a 3.1% annualized rate over the last three months.

Unemployment in December was 8.7 percent for those age 25 or older with only a high school education, and 4.1 percent for those age 25 or older with a college degree or more. While workers with higher levels of education have lower unemployment rates, all education categories have seen their unemployment rates roughly double over the downturn, a trend running counter to the notion that there is high unemployment because employers are unable to fill their demand for workers with higher education credentials.

Considering additional breakdowns by age, race/ethnicity, and gender, we find that all major groups of workers have experienced substantial increases in unemployment over the Great Recession and its aftermath. However, young workers and racial and ethnic minorities have been and continue to be hit particularly hard.