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Romney wins Maryland, Wisconsin and DC

Woohoo. Pop! Open the champagne! Mitt Romney has won. Oh, wait a minute, nothing has really changed. Rick Santorum is still in the race. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are still in the race. Nothing has changed. I’m not sure what Rick Santorum is doing or wants to do. For some reason, he has drawn a line in the sand and it is Pennsylvania. I don’t get it. So, what happens if he wins Pennsylvania? Nothing. There’s not going to be a seismic shift of support towards Rick Santorum. I would not be surprised if Sen. Santorum doesn’t win a few more states. That doesn’t change the overall calculus. It is nearly impossible for him to win the Republican nomination without some huge floor fight, which I think is unlikely.

From WaPo:

Mitt Romney captured presidential primaries in Maryland, the District and battleground Wisconsin, the biggest prize of the day, to complete a momentum-building, three-contest sweep Tuesday that cemented his status as the almost certain Republican nominee and put new pressure on rival Rick Santorum to reassess his candidacy.

With his campaign increasingly focused on President Obama and the general election, the former Massachusetts governor’s victories in Maryland and the District were never in doubt. He won both by crushing margins. In Wisconsin, where Romney and Santorum devoted most of their energies, the margin was narrower but nonetheless decisive.

With Tuesday’s primaries behind them, the candidates now look ahead to April 24, when Pennsylvania and four other states hold their primaries. Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, can ill-afford to lose his home state and has keyed the future of his campaign to success there, a reality openly acknowledged by his advisers.

By |2012-04-04T04:50:53-04:00April 4th, 2012|Elections|2 Comments

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.

By |2012-01-07T15:01:08-04:00January 7th, 2012|Economy|Comments Off on A Little Perspective on the Job Numbers

Sotomayor is sworn in

Pop the champagne! The Supreme Court has a new Justice. I believe she will be great.

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From WaPo:

Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in Saturday morning as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court in a brief ceremony that completed a remarkable ascent for a Puerto Rican girl from the South Bronx.

Sotomayor, 55, rested her left hand on a Bible held by her mother and raised her right hand as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered a pair of oaths that made her the 111th justice to serve on the nation’s highest court. She pledged to “administer justice without respect to persons and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.”

The chief justice had slightly flubbed the wording of the oath of office when he swore in President Obama in January; this time he held a piece of paper containing the oath for Sotomayor. Occasionally Roberts looked down as he recited the words. (more…)

By |2009-08-08T21:28:33-04:00August 8th, 2009|Supreme court|Comments Off on Sotomayor is sworn in
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