|Enthusiastic Ed Martin Supporters with Video Cameras|
Previous debate coverage:
|Enthusiastic Ed Martin Supporters with Video Cameras|
To get a rough quantitative estimate of the implications for the unemployment rate, suppose that the expansion of unemployment-insurance coverage to 99 weeks had not occurred and—I assume—the share of long-term unemployment had equaled the peak value of 24.5% observed in July 1983. Then, if the number of unemployed 26 weeks or less in June 2010 had still equaled the observed value of 7.9 million, the total number of unemployed would have been 10.4 million rather than 14.6 million. If the labor force still equaled the observed value (153.7 million), the unemployment rate would have been 6.8% rather than 9.5%.The first thing I look at in the monthly BLS Employment Situation report is the number of discouraged workers. Most news organizations ignore that number, so the general public doesn't understand its importance. In Barro's hypothetical the discouraged worker number would be much higher—perhaps we would even see a month-to-month million plus bump in that number. That's not the sort of thing that would go unreported in the New York Times. Then the issue would be how a public suddenly familiarized with the concept of discouraged workers would react. I'd say it might not be any worse that the 9.5% unemployment rate we now have.
Consider how the prospects for Democrats in the November elections would look if the unemployment rate were now only 6.8%. Obviously, this change would make all the difference, and President Obama can reasonably blame his economic advisers. They should have protected their boss by standing firm and arguing that a reckless expansion of unemployment-insurance coverage to 99 weeks was unwise economically and politically. Congressman Boehner's advice to Mr. Obama seems correct, though possibly too late to matter.
The tea party movement will revolutionize the GOP – and the nation’s political landscape in the process, says former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
Armey, now the chairman of FreedomWorks, and FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe predicted in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview that America's 1 million-plus tea partyers will reform the GOP and remake it into a force serving the cause of liberty rather than breaking away and forming a third party.
Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP's largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup's history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.As the Instapundit would say: "don't get cocky." This is a strong lead, but a lot can happen between now and November. On the other hand, don't get complacent. Republican's like Ed Martin need canvasing and phone call support. Martin is running against Russ Carnahan (D-MO) in a D+7 district.
Texas rejected huge portions of the federal stimulus-- the hundreds of millions of unemployment insurance dollars with strings attached. Texas has received the second lowest number of stimulus dollars per capita. Texas has one of the freest economies in the country, with one of the lowest debt loads per capita in the entire nation. Texas necessarily limits government by virtue of the legislature meeting for only 140 days every two years. Texas has relatively low taxes, keeps state government spending growth basically in line with population and inflation growth, and Texas has enacted among the most sweeping tort reform packages in the nation.
The result is that Texas' foreclosure rate is far below the national average and its bankruptcy rate is near the bottom. Texas has added far more jobs than all other states combined over the past few years, and income growth in Texas is far ahead of all other states.
Treasury yields rose after Mr Bernanke spoke, as the market had expected an indication of more bond buying or quantitative easing by the central bank.While Wall Street is comforted by this news, others are worrying about hyperinflation.
Richard Volpe, co-head of interest rates at RBS Securities, said: “The chairman has raised the bar for the market, as we can expect more QE only if the economy deteriorates significantly.”"
Today, the Washington-based Politico said Democrats now believe Congressman Ike Skelton’s job could be in jeopardy.There's more at the Heritage website. If Democrat Ike Skelton is unwilling to sign the discharge petition voters in MO-4 should vote for his opponent, Vicky Hartzler. They may want to do that anyway.
Yet Democratic concern continues to manifest itself in a variety of ways, including the purchasing of ads in districts — like that of veteran Ike Skelton of Missouri — that historically are only in play in miserable political years and were not considered at risk several months ago. And then there are more subtle hints that professional Democrats are worried — lobbyists are reporting a noticeable uptick in House committee staffers looking for jobs.I just wanted to reiterate that Heritage Action for America is engaged in an television ad campaign in MO-4, asking why Ike Skelton has not signed the discharge petition that would repealing the new health care law, which he opposed in March. The ad ties him to Nancy Pelosi. It also directs people to our webpage so they can email and call the Congressman, asking why he is siding with Pelosi, instead of the American people.
This is building into a major narrative this fall – whether or not Democrats from conservative districts can distance themselves enough from their Speaker and the policies of the party.
This correction is a good thing. Consumers have too much debt. They’ll be better off when they get rid of half of it. But the feds want to fight this correction in the worst possible way. What’s the worst possible way? Adding more debt!
While the private sector de-leverages, the public sector leverages up. Eventually, this will have the result that everyone expects…bonds will crash, and the dollar will collapse…BUT PROBABLY ONLY AFTER PEOPLE STOP EXPECTING IT.
National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted August 19-20 & 23-24, 2010
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, /- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence
Yet Democratic concern continues to manifest itself in a variety of ways, including the purchasing of ads in districts – like that of veteran Ike Skelton of Missouri -- that historically are only in play in miserable political years and were not considered at risk several months ago. And then there are more subtle hints that professional Democrats are worried -- lobbyists are reporting a noticeable uptick in House committee staffers looking for jobs.If you'd like to bring change to Washington by supporting the opponent of Ike Skelton (D-MO), checkout Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). She's running a strong campaign in America's heartland. The Politico article continues:
What Democrats are watching most closely right now is to see if the field of at-risk seats does indeed keep expanding. There are fresh concerns about Reps. Allen Boyd of Florida, Jim Marshall of Georgia and Leonard Boswell of Iowa – all of whom were recently moved into the toss-up category by respected handicapper Charlie Cook.That field of at-risk seats will soon include Russ Carnahan (D-MO). His opponent, Ed Martin (R-MO), is running a strong campaign. Of course, Carnahan makes Ed's job is easier when he ignores a constituent's question and runs away, claims to be fiscally conservative despite his Porker of the Month award, and confirms that a disgruntled employee "firebombed" his office. The scary thing is all three of those stories broke in the past twenty-four hours.
In addition, Reps. Ben Chandler of Kentucky and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota were both outraised by their opponents this past quarter, increasing concern about their races.
Oh brother…The flyer says in part:
These people have no shame.
Big spending liberal democrats are coming back home to their districts and trying to persuade constituents that they are fiscal conservatives.
Here is a Russ Carnahan flyer that a friend picked up this week.
Fiscal ResponsibilityThe irony is that Citizens Against Government Waste named Russ Carnahan the July 2009 Porker of the Month! As a commenter at Gateway Pundit pointed out, Carnahan's lifetime rating with Citizens Against Government Waste is 4%. For 2009 his rating isn't even that high. In the year in which he co-sponsored PAYGO, his rating is 0%.
As an original sponsor of Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), Russ fought to restore the fiscal restraint that helped build record surpluses in the mid-1990s.
It is the second-lightest element in the Universe, has the lowest boiling-point of any gas and is commonly used through the world to inflate party balloons.We're all familiar with helium balloons; however, this noble gas has less frivolous applications in medicine and science. For instance, it's used to cool MRI machines. The reason that helium has become scarce is government regulation:
But helium is also a non-renewable resource and the world's reserves of the precious gas are about to run out, a shortage that is likely to have far-reaching repercussions.
Scientists have warned that the world's most commonly used inert gas is being depleted at an astonishing rate because of a law passed in the United States in 1996 which has effectively made helium too cheap to recycle.
"In 1996, the US Congress decided to sell off the strategic reserve and the consequence was that the market was swelled with cheap helium because its price was not determined by the market. The motivation was to sell it all by 2015," Professor Richardson said.But this is not the only regulation induced market failure in the news today. The Wall Street Journal's Dennis Berman examines the regulatory underpinnings of the recent stock market:
The May 6 "flash crash" was the culmination of 35 years of relentless stock-market reform, much of it rightly making the markets cheaper and faster, largely free from the 20th-century market makers who feasted on huge trading spreads and occasional chicanery.
Yet somehow we have wound up right where we began: with a market that many perceive as tainted and prone to gaming by a cadre of insiders. Only this time, instead of wielding the biggest, baddest berth on the New York Stock Exchange floor, they are wielding the biggest, baddest computers.
When BlackRock Inc. surveyed 380 financial advisers earlier this summer about the flash crash, their perceptions said it all: The mayhem had been primarily caused by an "overreliance on computer systems and some types of high frequency trading" strategies that roam the market en masse, looking to pick off pennies of profit.
Behind these changes, beginning in 1975, was a zeal to liberate the individual investor from the clutches of the archaic market makers who made a good living taking "eighths"—12.5 cents—for every share bought and sold.
The government later found Nasdaq dealers were even more gluttonous than first imagined. And by the time the last big market reforms were issued in 2005, the intent was to "give investors, particularly retail investors, greater confidence that they will be treated fairly," the SEC said at the time.
As spreads squeezed from eighths to pennies, a new batch of electronic-trading networks blinked into action. Volume trading was the only way to make money.
But with so many promising Republican challengers this year, a bunch of potential upsets are flying well under the radar. And with the political environment going from bad to worse for Democrats, it is increasingly likely the night of November 2 will include some winners that almost no one saw coming. If you’re searching for some of these long shots who are looking shorter these days, here is a dirty baker’s dozen of GOP challengers to keep an eye on. They’re underfunded, unrecognized, rarely mentioned, and given no chance and they may just win anyway.There are a lot more reasons for Ed Martin to pickup this seat. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) just isn't a very good candidate. To put it charitably, he neglects his constituents. For example, Carnahan refused to take my question at the end of a healthcare forum last summer; his staff denied me my first amendment press freedom; and they did the same to Sharp, too.
1. Ed Martin vs. Russ Carnahan, Missouri’s 3rd District.
Reasons the challenger should have no chance: It’s a D+7 district on the Cook Partisan Voting Index. Russ Carnahan won with 66 percent of the vote in 2004. The Carnahan name is supposed to be magic in Missouri politics, and his sister Robin is running for Senate.
Reasons the challenger has a chance: Robin Carnahan’s lousy polling indicates that the family name doesn’t carry the weight it once did. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has already declared that Martin is “giving Carnahan the toughest general election campaign of his congressional career.” A recent poll puts Martin within striking distance, 39 percent to 48 percent.
Regardless, probably the most troubling aspect of the current economic confidence data is that they show no improvement from a year ago. In fact, Americans are slightly less optimistic about the future direction of the economy today than they were at this time in 2009. This is not good news for retailers or for incumbents facing re-election this November.
Ah, but then came the deadly disclaimers. “VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE NO GMOs NO TRANS FAT.” and “We support local and fair-trade sources growing certified organic, transitional, and pesticide-free products.” Aaaarrrgggh! Suddenly my lovely potential snack was covered with an evil-smelling miasma of diet-faddery, sanctimony, political correctness, and just plain nonsense. This, I find, is a chronic problem with buying “organic”.
State and local government spending has grown at a remarkable clip over the last half-century. Since the close of World War II, aggregate state and local spending grew 34 percent faster than the private sector and 37 percent faster than federal government spending. In recent years, the difference in growth rates has widened. From 2000 to 2009, state and local government spending grew nearly twice as fast as the private sector (while over the same period, the federal government grew even faster). Spending growth has not been uniform across spending categories, and Medicaid spending is by far the fastest-growing component of state expenditures.One of the dirty secrets fueling the growth in state spending is the relationship between the states and the Federal Government. Every state (except Vermont) has a balanced budget requirement. The Federal Government does not. Nearly a third of Missouri's budget is funded by the Federal Government. I suspect that the Federal Government, unconstrained by a balanced budget requirement, is abetting the growth of state and, probably, local governments.
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.There's that word again: unexpectedly. The economic train wreck that began in 2008 continues to surprise.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 476,000 from the previously reported 484,000 the prior week, which was revised up to 488,000 in Thursday's report.
When I went by the building this morning I got a weird vibe. I saw a campaign worker coming out of the back of the office with big Bread Company to-go bags. I jokingly said, "Are you with Bread Company or the Carnahan campaign?" He said, "Bread Company," then tossed the bags in the dumpster and went to the front of the building, presumably back in the office. Weird.
(I talked to a reporter at another station who worked on this story who told me when she was there, she met a campaign worker outside the building who also denied being associated with the campaign. When she went inside to talk to a spokesperson, she saw that person who denied being with the campaign IN Carnahan's office.)
Then when I talked to a campaign spokesperson she refused to comment on anything beyond what police already told us. I tried to ask "What do you make of this?"... "How are workers and volunteers inside dealing with the fact their office was attacked?"... but Angela Guyadeen would have none of it. She wouldn't even tell me why she wouldn't answer these simple questions.
Here's something new for the birthers to chew over: President Barack Obama's passport. Says he was born in Hawaii! But the White House has strategically fuzzed out certain data, so the mystery continues.This took me back to the good ol' days of Numerical Analysis during my junior year of college. You see, it turns out that you can un-blur a picture if you know how blurred it is. Typically you wouldn't have to do this, but if your government had deployed a cutting edge satellite for imaging the remotest parts of space, it might be cheaper to do a lot of hard math than go fix it (at least for a little while). Or, if you had a blurred picture of a known pedophile, you might be glad to learn that Interpol had un-blurred it.
But let us be clear about one thing: The tea party movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party, but a hostile takeover of it.
The American values of individual freedom, fiscal responsibility and limited government bind the ranks of our movement. That makes the tea party better than a political party. It is a growing community that can sustain itself after November, ensuring a better means of holding a new generation of elected officials accountable.
Obama simply lacked the broad appeal to guide the House's liberal proposal through the Senate. So, the result of 'going big' was an initially liberal House product that then had to be watered down to win over red state Senators like Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson, and Pryor. The end result was a compromise bill that, frankly, nobody really liked. Liberals were disappointed, tantalized as they were by the initial House product. Conservatives were wholly turned off, recognizing as they did that the guts of the bill were still liberal. And Independents and soft partisans were disgusted by congressional sausage-making and wary of the bill's provisions.