What do Dave Johnson and Donald Trump have in common?: Both agree that we have infrastructure that needs to be fixed. But I’m not hearing mainline Democrats or Republicans joining in. It’s not a brave political statement to say “Maybe we could put some people to work fixing some roads.”
Speaking of American Politics: I’m not the only one who noticed it’s crazy out there. Hillary has her share of foot-in-mouth disease. And Bernie is closer to the true center — the one that wants decent jobs and affordable healthcare — than anybody in the establishment wants to admit (which is why Trump is more welcoming to Sanders followers than Hillary; see the speech text above).
The Noose Gets Tighter: The Senate failed by ONE VOTE to pass a law allowing the FBI to look at your browser history for funzies. Remember come November. Meanwhile, US Customs wants to know the social media accounts of people entering the country. Because no terrorist is smart enough to say “no I don’t have Twitter” or give a username more generic than the one they use to keep up with the latest ISIS jihabi memes. Meanwhile, the TSA is still pushing their “get out of the security line free” card as a way to shorten lines at the airport. One user gave the ringing endorsement of “not so hard as signing up for Obamacare.”
Free Electronic Music:Moby wrote himself some yoga and meditation music. He decided to share. Very nice of him.
Not sure what to say about Brexit: So here’s one of the more intelligent things I’ve read on the issue.
Obligatory Economy Item: Wages have been stagnant for over 40 years when adjusted for inflation. Maybe some of these ideas could help. Oh, and don’t let anybody scare you about Social Security. Forbes is hardly a “liberal rag,” and they say that the latest scaremongering is way overblown.
Yesterday there was a report on jobs and employment in the United States. And the news was good. In fact, the news was better than anybody expected! Unemployment is at a 7 year low. The economy is not just showing signs of growth, but robust economic growth.
Now all the Very Smart People are talking about how the Fed will now have an excuse to raise the interest rates banks charge one another when they meet next month. Some are saying that’s a bad thing. However, I think it’s longoverdue.
Apparently, former Fed chief Ben Bernanke has a new book about how he saved Christmas the economy. That means a bunch of econ bloggers and Serious People have to saysomethingabout it. The NYT Sunday Book Review likes it, although they called it “a bit of a slog.” You can buy your own copy here.
In Closing:least of our worries; unfortunately I don’t see a way to solve this problem; I bet we laugh at this fashion trend a decade from now; yeah that’s a problem; breaking the rules; maybe you could have educated the patient up front?; and voting.
Hope everyone had a safe Halloween. Happy All Saints Day.
Dave Johnson Telling the Truth: on the economy; on secret trade deals.
Enough to drive you crazy:Meat is bad for you, unless it isn’t; calories are the only thing that matter, but what the study says depends on who is reporting. The researchers concluded “When compared with dietary interventions of similar intensity, evidence from RCTs does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss.”
Unlikely source:The Economist isn’t where you would expect to find a report on a new canid species.
All Asking For It: On average, police in America killed 3 people every day of October. ThinkProgress has some highlights of police brutality.
Today’s 2016 Election news — and remember, despite the clown car of candidates, the actual election is still over a year away — is perhaps the only time that Jim Webb will be the top story. He’s dropping out of the race. The next part is just bizarre. Reuters put this best:
Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb said on Tuesday he will drop his long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and explore an independent run for the White House.
Maybe he should invest in lottery tickets instead. They’re a better bet.
In Closing: Love this guy’s art; it’s in the stars; Bronies are now apparently a subject of scholarly research; at the very least, taxpayers should not be funding unsafe activities for children; I still think PreCheck is a bad idea if the TSA is really trying to stop terrorists (and a brilliant one if they are really trying to control the masses); on the economy; oops! and pizza alternatives — most can be made vegetarian, a few can probably be done vegan, some can be done gluten free.
So USA Today has helpful hints for people of my generation towards saving for retirement. Unfortunately they forgot Step 0: have a job with a retirement plan and that pays well enough that you can actually save money.
Just maybe that’s why consumer spending and factory orders are down.
Even so, I am NOT among those calling for the Fed to avoid raising interest rates. For one thing, the Fed doesn’t have as much control as many people think. Second, the last several years should have proven that the interest rates banks charge one another really doesn’t have much to do with whether or not your boss gives you a raise. Third, I’ve been saying for a decadenow that super low interest rates don’t actually stimulate the economy. Yeah, we’ve had super low interest rates for a decade now. Maybe if interest rates went up, corporations would spend some of their cash.
So everybody knows now that JEB! Bush has said some, ahem, ill advised things about worker productivity, right? By now pretty much everybody who isn’t huddled up on the far ultraright end of the spectrum with Donald Trump’s hair has weighed in. Here’s an economist, twice, a CNBC commentator (you know, where people talk about business?), a Moderate, and more smartpeople. By morning, there are likely to be more people saying similar things.
In Closing: Pow Pao!; evidence that we mostly need better enforcement of gun laws; rich people habits you can (mostly) do too; the IRS will never ever call you to say you owe money; Sure they did (and I totally thwarted 3 tiger attacks last weekend — hey, you didn’t hear about any tiger attacks in Vegas last weekend, now did you??); trade deficit; “lemme take a selfie“; bad charting; Disney Princes.
“Vintage Antiques? Well, honestly I was hoping you had some brand new antiques!”
In Closing:sick and tired; CISPA is back from the dead; “Lack of exercise responsible for twice as many early deaths as obesity”; ok ok, we’ll tell you what the NSA is doing, but we aren’t planning on stopping; institutionalsexism; a third of Americans think cops are liars; Target pulling out of Canada; on a living wage.
Here’s just a little reminder for you: many Americans are still pretty bad off since the Great Recession. Many of them are pretty mad. And yet, there is still talk about the TransPacificPartnership, a trade agreement that would throw you and I under the bus.