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News Roundup: Severe Flooding, Snowden, Jobs, IRS

For the last four or five days we’ve had torrential rains with severe flooding which has been unrelenting. We are in a flash flood watch through Sunday evening.

It appears that both Venezuela and Nicaragua are interested in granting Edward Snowden asylum. I know that there have been some Americans who believe that Edward Snowden has done a great thing. They believe that Snowden has become the conversation over safety versus personal liberties. I would suggest, though, that there has been no conversation. Instead, we’ve had pundits yelling at each other without any real discussion over this topic.

The new jobs report is out. The economy picked up 195,000 jobs.  We desperately need more. The economy has gained over a fifth of the jobs lost in the great recession. We’ve got a long way to go. (more…)

Sunday Morning News Roundup

Sunday Morning News Roundup

I really haven’t said anything for the last couple of days because… I really haven’t had anything to say.

A large earthquake in Canada caused a tsunami warning in Hawaii. Tsunami warning was just lifted. Thankfully, it was a false alarm.

Once again, I’ve become disillusioned with North Carolina. No, I think “disappointed” is better. It is now clear that the progressive wave that swept the state back in 2008 was overtaken by the tea party in 2009 and 2010. We are still recovering from our tea party hangover. I was hopeful that we may had flipped back into the progressive column, but we haven’t. Latest polling still shows North Carolina leaning towards Romney.

This probably reflects my bias, but I think it is critically important that the Salt Lake Tribune has endorsed Barack Obama for a second term. The language of the endorsement is pretty stark – More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of Obamacare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs. To claim, as Romney does, that he would offset his tax and spending cuts (except for billions more for the military) by doing away with tax deductions and exemptions is utterly meaningless without identifying which and how many would get the ax.

Nate Silver, from the New York Times, has put out a comprehensive assessment of where everything stands in the polls. It is clear that Barack Obama has halted the momentum that Mitt Romney achieved after the first debate. Ohio continues to be the pivotal state. All signs continue to point to President Barack Obama winning four more years.

For years, everyone has said that in order to win elections you really need to win the ground game. You have to organize. You have to get people out to the polls. You have to get volunteers on the phone banks. You have to do the groundwork. Once again, this election, just like the last one, has come down to who has the best organization. Once again, it’s not the best organization in states that don’t matter like Texas, New York and California. Instead, it is who has the best organization in the swing states like Nevada, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina that really matters.

Please don’t assume that anything that I’ve written today or in the past suggests that this race is over. It is not. This race is very close. A major gaffe, a major event, something unforeseen can still swing this election for Obama or for Romney. There is still plenty of work to be done on both sides.

Make your voice heard. Vote!

By |2013-11-03T18:15:48-04:00October 28th, 2012|Elections|Comments Off on Sunday Morning News Roundup

The Unemployment Rate is a Problem

The unemployment rate has been firmly stuck at 8.2% and neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is going to be able to fix the unemployment rate anytime soon. Let’s take off our partisan hats just for second. Let’s think about the things that we do on a daily basis. Let’s take, for example, going to the grocery store. Fewer than one out of four times that I go to the grocery store do I actually check out with the clerk. For the most part, I get in those lines in which I can scan the stuff myself, bag it myself and be on my way. The scanning devices have replaced the checkout clerks in many grocery stores. I know the conservatives like to point at the Postal Service as the example of government waste and fraud, but let’s think about the mail just for second. For birthdays, I send birthday cards. Now, to at least half of my friends, I’ll send an E-card. 20 or 30 years ago, I sent 10 to 15 bills in the mail every month. Now, I send fewer than one or two. I pay my bills online. Multiply my experience by tens of thousands of Americans and suddenly the post office, no matter how good their services, needs less personnel.

Americans have been laid off because of advances in technology and manufacturing. Where are all of these Americans going to go? There’s not a bucket full of new jobs where these workers who have been laid off can go apply. This is a serious problem for our economy.

I’m not saying that we should throw up our hands and give up. I’m not saying that we need to accept an unemployment rate of 7-8%. What I’m saying is that we have other forces in our economy besides political ones that are at work keeping our unemployment rate high.

By |2012-07-30T00:47:33-04:00July 28th, 2012|Economy|Comments Off on The Unemployment Rate is a Problem
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