Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Cruising the Web

David Axelrod opines on why Obama's poll ratings have fallen. It's just that he's too complex and Americans are yearning for "a simpler time." Dang it! I knew it must be our fault that we just aren't worthy of The One.

The real truth behind that supposedly robust jobs report in June is that the economy lost full-time jobs and saw a big increase in part-time jobs. But, in the bizarro world of government statistics, those part-time jobs are counted simply as jobs created.
The U.S. economy lost 523,000 full-time jobs in June. This was offset by an enormous surge of 799,000 part-time jobs. That gives us what the media is bizarrely reporting as “300,000 jobs created.”
There was time when such a situation would be accompanied by media bemoaning that we were becoming a McJobs economy. But now we have a Democratic president so such a dismal report becomes cause for celebration.
But at any rate, the more accurate U-6 metric of unemployment, which includes the long-term unemployed and under-employed, is still stuck at 12.1 percent. That’s because hundreds of thousands of people who want full-time jobs have to settle for part-time work. Another disturbing detail: not enough of those new part-time jobs are going to young people as entry-level positions.

And looking beyond even the U-6 number, the workforce declined by another 100,000 people who just gave up looking for work altogether. In fact, the number of people who gave up is larger than the number of previously unemployed people who found jobs in June. The overall labor-force participation rate didn’t change at all from May to June, leaving it stuck at the lowest level in four decades.

We’re still trapped in a stagnant economy; the best news is that it’s not slipping any further, and a few mildly encouraging future trends can be picked from today’s data. Today’s hot political spin is that we’ve had the best six-months stretch of job growth in years. That’s nice, but it matters a great deal what kind of jobs they are, and who is getting them. Moving in the “right direction” is good, but it matters how fast you’re moving, especially when all sorts of unpleasant events may soon put the fragile “recovery” to the test.

Well, Hugh Hewitt will be ecstatic. The GOP have picked Cleveland for their 2016 convention. And the convention will be much earlier than previously, possibly still in June.

It tells you all we need to know about President Obama's standing in the country when vulnerable Democrats up for election don't want to be seen with him.

Just another gaffe by Bruce Braley, the Democrat running for the Senate. First he disparaged Chuck Grassley for being a farmer and now, he's caught on tape claiming to be a farmer.

Ed Morrissey reports on a case in Louisiana in which the state is trying to force a priest to testify about what he heard in confessional despite canonical law forbidding ever making public that which is heard in the confessional. It's a tough question. Ultimately, a journalist can face prison for not revealing what he or she learned from a source. Priests should have Free Exercise protection and that has traditionally been the case. Read Morrissey's entire post.

Politico covers Harry Reid's campaign against the Koch brothers. It's a whole lot bigger than just Reid making monomaniacal attacks on the Kochs as the source of all evil in today's politics. There are a lot of people and several liberal organizations that are involved. This is just the sort of attack the Democrats enjoy making.
Coincidentally, in the midst of that early strategizing, Senate Democrats huddled for their annual retreat at Nationals Park, where they heard a presentation from business-messaging gurus Chip and Dan Heath, who touched on the effectiveness of identifying foils.

Their breakout book, “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” asserts that in order to gain traction for ideas, it’s helpful to replicate some facets of urban legends and conspiracy theories. They encourage readers to make their ideas about people, rather than abstractions and to tap into emotions such as “fear, disgust, suspicion.”
As Politico reminds us, Reid has a "knack for vilification-as-political-strategy." I'm sure that these sorts of attacks make the Democrats proud as can be. And they're planning to increase their attacks leading up to the elections. Because that's all they have.

Megan McArdle ponders who the real bully is in the Hobby Lobby case.

Ann Althouse wonders what the public reaction would be to the story about the health condition of the immigrant children being housed by the federal government in camps if we were seeing the sorts of video reporting on them that so rend the heart when we see those sorts of pictures of sick children in Africa.

Hillary Clinton is still trying to explain how poor she and Bill were when they left the White House. Now she's complaining about how they needed help getting a mortgage on their two new houses. Of course, when you can call on a multi-millionaire pal like Terry McAuliffe to guarantee your mortgage, how downtrodden are you?

She really is clumsy when she responds off the cuff in interviews. When asked by Der Spiegel about having two Bushes and two Clintons being president might make it seem like the American presidency resembles a monarchy, she responded that "certain families just have a sense of commitment or even a predisposition to want to be in politics." Ugh. Is that part of the "my family is more dedicated than your family" argument? I don't think that will play well.

Oh, and Hillary also keeps changing her story on her defense of a child rapist. And the media don't seem to care.