The jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- SEPTEMBER 2015
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September, and the
unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and information,
while mining employment fell.
Household Survey Data
In September, the unemployment rate held at 5.1 percent, and the number of
unemployed persons (7.9 million) changed little. Over the year, the unemployment
rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.8 percentage point and
1.3 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.7 percent),
adult women (4.6 percent), teenagers (16.3 percent), whites (4.4 percent), blacks
(9.2 percent), Asians (3.6 percent), and Hispanics (6.4 percent) showed little
or no change in September. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 268,000 to
2.4 million in September, partially offsetting a decline in August. The number
of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed
at 2.1 million in September and accounted for 26.6 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate declined to 62.4 percent in September;
the rate had been 62.6 percent for the prior 3 months. The employment-population
ratio edged down to 59.2 percent in September, after showing little movement for
the first 8 months of the year. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) declined by 447,000 to 6.0 million in September.
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a
full-time job. Over the past 12 months, the number of persons employed part time
for economic reasons declined by 1.0 million. (See table A-8.)
In September, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
by 305,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and
had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the
survey. (See table A-16.)
Some new findings on how conservative voters think about energy issues from a bevvy of top-tier GOP pollsters ought to be required reading for the eventual Republican presidential nominee. While the new polls, commissioned by the ClearPath Foundation, offer some intuitive political messaging advice (e.g., GOP candidates would do well with an energy agenda that emphasizes energy security, rather than a changing climate) some less intuitive results offer advice to GOP candidates about what not to do. Namely, while Republicans probably shouldn’t try to run on clean- energy issues, running against them probably won’t help either.
The data show that clean energy issues are actually pretty popular even amongst the conservative base. An overwhelming 87 percent of self-described conservative Republicans polled said they support policies that allow them to sell rooftop-generated solar power back to utilities. This practice, known as net metering, has mostly faced criticism from the political right, in part because it clearly hurts utility company profits while promoting the interests of alternative energy consumers that receive direct subsidies. (The utilities, it’s worth noting, get some subsidies of their own.)
That isn’t the only surprise. Conservatives actually were slightly more likely than the population as a whole (58 vs. 57 percent) to support allowing people to put solar panels on their own homes without penalty. What's more, about two-thirds of self-described conservatives supported mandating that monopoly utilities invest in solar and wind power (not a particularly free-market idea), while nearly 60 percent also supported vastly increased R&D spending on energy technology. Most also agree that climate change is human-caused.
Among all Republican voters, majorities also voiced support for carbon taxes (worth considering provided they are used to replace big-government regulation and to cut other taxes) as well as for wind and solar power subsidies (which are simply bad ideas). Ultimately, there simply weren't many significant differences on energy issues between self-identified conservatives and the public as a whole. Conservatives are fonder of nuclear power and are more cautious of most subsidies and mandates but even these differences are smaller than one might expect.
None of which is to say that energy and environmental issues will get many Republicans to the polls by themselves or steal voters from the Democrats. Only about 2 to 3 percent of voters, nearly all Democrats, identify the environment the most important issue facing the country. Even among environmental issues, matters like water and air quality rate more important than climate change or energy in poll after poll.
Rubio's campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Bush's remarks, but the Washington Examiner's Byron York reports that "Bush has apparently not always felt that way."
Three years ago, during the 2012 presidential campaign, Bush sang Rubio's praises while suggesting Mitt Romney pick Rubio to run for vice president.
"Marco Rubio is my favorite, because we have a close relationship and I admire him greatly," Bush said. "He's probably the most articulate conservative elected official on the scene today. He speaks with great passion about American exceptionalism."
Rubio would "lift the spirits" and "provide some energy" to the Romney campaign, Bush said. But Rose wanted to know if Rubio "has enough preparation to be one heartbeat away from the presidency?"
"I believe so," Bush said. "Look, he has more experience than Barack Obama had when he ran, and more practical experience, certainly has the intellectual acumen and the fortitude to be a good president."
That was three years ago, when Rubio was younger and less experienced than he is today. What a difference a campaign makes.
CBS's "60 Minutes" used questions "planted" by the State Department in a 2011 interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a State Department aide told Hillary Clinton in a newly released email.
"I just received confirmation from 60 Minutes that a piece on Julian Assange will air Sunday night," Philip Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs, wrote to Clinton in 2011. "He will be the only person featured. We had made a number of suggestions for outside experts and former diplomats to interview to 'balance' the piece. 60 Minutes assures me that they raised a number of questions and concerns we planted with them during the course of the interview. We will be prepared to respond to the narrative Assange presents during the program."
"60 Minutes" spokesman Kevin Tedesco took issue with Crowley's portrayal of the situation and accused him of trying to curry favor with Clinton.
This is not the first time pointed questions have been raised about CBS News and 60 Minutes's cozy relationship with the Clinton State Department. A Gawker/Pro Publica investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails earlier this year revealed that former CIA official Tyler Drumheller was working with Sidney Blumenthal as part of a 'secret spy network' to provide Hillary Clinton with intelligence and it appears that this was not officially sanctioned by the State. And two days ago, I reported that while Drumheller was working for Hillary Clinton, he was simultaneously working as a consultant to CBS News and 60 Minutes:
According to WEEKLY STANDARD sources, Drumheller was active in shaping the network’s Benghazi coverage. His role at the network raises questions about what went wrong with the retracted 60 Minutes report on Benghazi that aired in October 2013. Despite his former life as a high ranking CIA official, Drumheller was laden with political baggage, making him a curious choice to be consulting with a major news operation—especially so given that he was working directly with Sidney Blumenthal, whose primary occupation appears to be manipulating media coverage on behalf of the Clintons.
Only a few months ago, Hillary Clinton's campaign was highlighting how frugal their operation is. That's already changed.
FEC reports show that Clinton raised over $47 million in Q2, and a campaign spokesman says she raised over $28 million in Q3. Her campaign also spent over $18 million in Q2 and over $24 million in Q3.
That means her campaign has spent around 56 percent of the $75 million her campaign brought in from the start of the campaign. In Q3, her burn rate was about 85 percent of the $28 million she brought in.
But that's not the only burn she's feeling.
Bernie Sanders (whose supporters have shown their support with the hashtag #FeelTheBern) raised $15 million in Q2 and $26 million—almost as much as Clinton—in Q3. It's clear he's not just catching up to her in the polls and on social media, but in fundraising too.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is leading a charge against against the thinkers on the left, apparently. As Politico reports:
News broke at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday that the liberal Massachusetts firebrand was blasting Brookings Institution scholar Robert Litan because a mutual-fund company paid for his research criticizing an Obama administration proposal to regulate the industry. By 9:30 a.m., Litan — an economist and former adviser to President Bill Clinton — was out.
Litan resigned. Now, scholars are concerned about the effect such "McCarthyism" could have on research.
“This is McCarthyism of the left," said Hal Singer, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and co-author of the research Warren criticized. “What Warren is doing is suppressing scholars [who] speak independently through her threats.”
George Will has previously addressed the kind of pounding on the table Warren has been engaging in:
"If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have neither, pound the table. This is pounding the table," Will said. "There’s a kind of intellectual poverty now. Liberalism hasn't had a new idea since the 1960s except Obamacare and the country doesn't like it… So what do you do? You say anyone criticizes us is a racist."
This is a problem that's taking over the left. In place of new policy, the left uses empty rhetoric and feel-good populism, defending it by accusing opponents of being one of many 'ists or engaging in one of many 'isms.
Free college sounds great! Except it costs hundreds of billions of dollars, and taxpayers pay for it. So it really isn't free.
If you oppose funding Planned Parenthood, it's because you're sexist and Christian—never mind the abortions and the most recent graphic videos that raise ethical concerns.
No good can be had by decreasing the number of thinking people who come up with policy ideas to solve problems. New, opposing ideas create an opportunity to refine and strengthen policy ideas, in the same way that devil's advocates strengthen one's arguments while yes men don't.
The Republican congressional leadership has been nominally--but sometimes it seems only nominally--committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a conservative alternative. Now one of the two leading candidates for House majority leader—the number-two position in leadership—is Dr. Tom Price, who has probably done more to advance the cause of repeal than any other single member of the 114th Congress.
This spring, Price released an Obamacare alternative that Bill Kristol called “the strongest Obamacare alternative offered in Congress to date.” Price’s legislation was based on the “Winning Alternative to Obamacare,” a proposal from the 2017 Project (which Kristol and I co-founded). It currently has 79 co-signers—including Jeb Hensarling, Marsha Blackburn, and Republican Study Committee (RSC) chairman Bill Flores—and has gained the attention of numerous Republican presidential candidates. Moreover, this is hardly new terrain for Price, who put out his first Obamacare alternative even before Obamacare was passed.
Price’s chief competition for majority leader, current House majority whip Steven Scalise, was chairman of the RSC when that group put out an Obamacare alternative under his leadership two years ago. But that proposal, which deserves credit for helping to get the ball rolling, is not a politically viable alternative to Obamacare—for reasons discussed here—and would never lead to full repeal.
In terms of beating back President Obama’s signature legislation, Price’s bill is another matter. Kristol writes,
“The Price legislation has the best chance of any proposal to date to unite Republicans around an Obamacare alternative. That’s because the legislation is well-conceived both politically and as policy. It is simple and understandable. It wouldn’t disrupt the tax treatment of the typical American’s employer-based insurance, thereby denying liberals their easiest potential line of attack. And it splits the difference between the two other leading Congressional efforts—the Republican Study Committee and Burr-Hatch-Upton proposals—in that it doesn’t benefit only one portion of the population (Burr-Hatch-Upton would help almost exclusively the poor and near-poor, while the RSC proposal with tax deductions rather than credits would mostly help the middle class and up). Instead it provides real reform that would be good for a wide cross-section of American society.”
Impossible to imagine anyone predicting this six months ago, but as Matea Gold and John Wagner of the Washington Post report
The more than $28 million that Clinton’s campaign announced Wednesday it had raised in the third quarter was nearly matched by the $26 million that Sen. Bernie Sanders brought in, thanks to small contributions that came in for him at a faster clip than even in President Obama’s campaigns.
The foundation of Ms. Clinton’s invulnerability was her ability to raise money – something she and her husband have become quite good at doing – and, thus, burying the opposition in cash. Sanders, it was assumed, would always be standing on the side of the road with his thumb out when the great Clinton motorcade went speeding by. One can imagine the near indignation at Clinton HQ: “We’re being matched by Bernie Sanders? Bernie Sanders!"
Well, things do change. And Sanders is not the only unlikely candidate succeeding in the fund raising scrum. As Jonathan Swan of The Hill reports,
Outsider candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ben Carson have reported stunning third-quarter fundraising totals, each claiming more than $20 million in the past three months, largely from small-dollar donors.
Voters, it seems, desire something new and are willing to pay for it.
The latest epside of Converstions With Bill Kristol, featuring Newt Gingrich:
"In this conversation, Gingrich reflects on the serious domestic and foreign policy challenges confronting the United States. Looking at the world, he offers his take on the threats posed by Islamism, Russia, and China. Here at home, he explains how feckless bureaucracy is undermining political, economic, and technological initiative, and sketches some ideas for reforming or eliminating bureaucracy. Finally, Gingrich and Kristol discuss President Obama and his legacy, as well as how a new president could reverse course," writes the Foundation for Constitutional Government, the sponsor of the series.
There is plenty of brown-nosing in the latest batch of Hillary Clinton's emails released by the State Department.
In a December 2010 email, President Obama's national security advisor, Thomas Donilon, told Clinton, "Your grace, kindness, and leadership through these sad events has been amazing to watch." Presumably, he was referring to her damage control on Wikileaks.
Anne-Marie Slaughter, current president and CEO of the New America Foundation and former director of policy planning in Clinton's State Department, emailed Clinton with the subject line, "gorgeous pic on the front page of the NYT!" A picture of Hillary Clinton was on the front page of the New York Times on the date the email was sent.
Some fanmail was forwarded to Clinton from Huma Abedin, with the subject line, "A Love Letter to HRC."
Ambassador Melanne Verveer emailed Clinton, showering praise on Bill Clinton.
"Your husband's remarks in answer to questions from Schwab here in Davos today were exceptional in every way. He was reflective, expansive, knowledgeable, funny --and he looked terrific. He just gets better and better. Everyone seemed to be talking about him at once tonight."
And in another email, Undersecretary Maria Otero tells Hillary Clinton she looks gorgeous.
In another, Ambassador Pamela White calls Clinton "so darn impressive."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest compared Vladimir Putin's bombing in Syria to George W. Bush's "military solution in Iraq in the last decade." Earnest made the comparison at the daily White House press briefing.
"Russia is not going to be successful in imposing a military solution inside of Syria, and they’ll be no more successful in that regard than the United States was in imposing a military solution in Iraq in the last decade, and certainly no more successful than Russian efforts to impose a military solution on Afghanistan three decades ago," Earnest said.
A Jeb Bush adviser responded by blasting the White House. "Dictators and tyrants around the world don't just have a friend in the White House, they have a defense attorney," he wrote on Twitter.
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is at it again. In one of their man on the street videos, a staple of the show, a staffer asked random self-identified Clinton supporters about Trump's tax plans.
One was asked, "Would you be able to support anything about Donald Trump?" The reply was succinct: "Um, in short? No."
Later, she's asked, "Do you support her plan to eliminate taxes for those who make less than $25,000 a year?" She replies, "I would support that, yes."
A few others are asked about Trump's recently proposed tax plan, which proposes lowering the corporate tax rate, eliminating the estate tax and alternative minimum tax, and eliminating tax liability for low-income earners.
The segment concludes with the questioner asking, "And what you would say if I told you those are all Donald Trump's proposals?"
The responses vary from embarrassment, confusion, doubt, and praise of Trump.
In a newly released Hillary Clinton email, Clinton jokes that the Chinese must have hacked her email. "Even weirder--I just checked and I do have your state but not your gmail--so how did that happen. Must be the Chinese!"
To make matters even more hilarious, over the past few months, numerous questions have been raised about the security of her email system. As RB Pundit notes on Twitter, "Hillary Clinton joking about Chinese possibly hacking into email. Which they probably did."