by Benjamin J. Kirby
The U.S. economy added more jobs in July, but the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent, the Labor Department reported.
The monthly jobs figures released on Friday offered both good and bad news.
On the one hand, payrolls expanded by 163,000 people, a promising rise after three straight months of disappointing job gains. Jobs in manufacturing rose by 25,000; there were 9,000 fewer jobs in government.
“It would appear that the slow patch we’ve had since April is over,” Gus Faucher, senior macro economist at PNC Financial Services Group, said before the release of the numbers.
But the rate of unemployment nevertheless rose from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent. It was a small enough difference in the rate that the Labor Department called it “essentially unchanged,” but more Americans are looking for work. The jobless rate has been above 8 percent since February 2009.
It is a sort of good news/bad news scenario.
Still, you have to balance that with a slight rising unemployment rate (counterintuitive, I know; it just means more people are looking for work). The real bottom line there is, the unemployment rate is above 8%, not good for a president looking to get re-elected.
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Mustang Bobby has a piece on the mini-firestorm caused by Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who said he heared from a Bain Capital source he would not name that Mitt Romney hadn't paid any taxes in years and years. That, of course, would be the reason Mitt's so reluctant to release them.
It reminds me of the probably-apocryphal story about Lyndon Johnson. He was running for Congress in Texas and decided to spread the rumor that his opponent had committed indecent conduct with certain barnyard creatures. His campaign manager said, "Lyndon, you know he doesn't do that!" Johnson replied, "I know. I just want to make him deny it."
A fantastic historical reference, and perfectly appropriate.
And yeah, I saw the Jon Stewart segement where he calls Harry Reid a terrible person.
Okay, so it's a bad idea to proffer theories when you don't have a source, most especially in the political world, but that's probably a good rule of thumb just generally.
It misses the larger point, though, which is that the American public knows virtually nothing about the personal finances of the wealthy Romney family. Why? Because the Romney's won't disclose it.
Which, under normal circumtances would itself beg the question why. I guess my caution to you would be ask carefully -- Jon Stewart might poke fun.
Elected folks, and those seeking higher office, are held to a higher standard. They ought to disclose their finances -- a great proposal on that from Keith Fitzgerald, here -- and when they don't, folks ought to be able to ask why.
And if we don't get an answer to that, then I'm not so sure I have a problem with offering theories. Clearly something is worth hiding from "you people."
If it is not, as Mitt has said today, a case of not paying taxes at all, then what is it?
My personal guess for the record -- Daily Show be damned -- is that it has to do with A.) an overdeveloped sense of rich-boy entitlement ("You people"? Really?), and B.) that Mitt has spent years tithing to the Mormon Church.
The Mormon faith of the Romney Family has been oddly under-reported thus far in this election season. I suspect it's a combination of the Mormon Church not wanting to face the scrutiny they will inevitably face having a member running for the highest office in the land, which is abetted by a broken media apparatus, one complicit in mainstreaming the Obama-born-in-Kenya/Muslim nonsense that has plagued us for years, now. You can't put the birth certificate genie back, so you don't want to be the first to uncork the Mormonism bottle.
I want to be clear: I don't have a problem with Mormonism. I don't care if Romney is Mormon (or, heh, Muslim. "So what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be President?"). I don't have a problem with his tithing to the church, for that matter.
What he owes us, though, is disclosure -- and an explanation. If any of that is even close to true, Governor Romney ought to explain his reluctance to show the world where his money went, and why -- and if much of it went to his church, why he doesn't want to explain that.
The American people deserve better than they're getting with this guy.
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Romney's press guy who caused a flap in Poland by telling the press to "kiss my ass," is taking a break from the campaign and headed home.
I'd feel worse for him if it wasn't his job to manage the press. The idea is to endear the press to you -- your candidate, really. Do I need to tell you that cursing them doesn't get the job done?
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Cass Sunstein, the "regulatory czar" in the Obama White House, is headed home, too, back to Harvard.
Mr. Sunstein, a controversial figure in the perennial battles between left and right over the role of government in American society, led an administration review intended to get rid of antiquated or counterproductive rules as part of a cost-benefit analysis.
Mr. Obama credited Mr. Sunstein with putting in place a regulatory system that still protected Americans while eliminating “tens of millions of hours of paperwork burdens” for businesses and citizens.
Because of this guy, Obama -- an ostensible "big government" Democrat -- has been out front on reducing government regulations and streamlining oversights. Wonder how that fight will go, now.
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It's finally Friday.