Thursday, July 23, 2015

Last Call For Full Court Depressed

Meanwhile, Republicans are continuing to openly talk about destroying the federal judiciary in response to rulings on Obamacare and marriage equality.  A Senate GOP hearing Wednesday had all kinds of nutjobs espousing a "solution" to the "problem" of having a Supreme Court at all.

Wednesday’s hearing -- titled “With Prejudice: Supreme Court Activism and Possible Solutions” and convened by the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, which Cruz chairs -- presented the latest wave of efforts to attack the Supreme Court for straying from the high hopes conservatives had after Bush nominated Samuel Alito to the seat vacated by the more moderate Sandra Day O'Connor. 
“When I see what’s happened at the Supreme Court level, it strikes me as a foreign, unhistorical approach to law. It’s just breathtaking, some of the things that have happened,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said during the hearing. 
One witness, John Eastman -- a Chapman University law professor who also serves as the chair of the board for National Organization for Marriage -- suggested constitutional amendments allowing states by a majority vote to override “truly egregious” decisions by the court and a supermajority of Congress to do the same.
Another witness, Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, threw out an assortment of ideas, including changes to the constitutional amendment process itself, opportunities to override decisions, more avenues to remove bad judges, and term limits. 
"The Court’s extraordinary abuses also call for consideration of extraordinary
," he said.

So please tell me again how Republicans are no different from Democrats, when Republicans are holding Senate hearings about how to destroy the Supreme Court as revenge.  Please, entertain me.

By the way, these people are insane.  And unless we decide to show up at the polls and stop them, they will control the whole ball of wax in 2017.

Red, White, Black And Blue

Greg Sargent notes that a new Washington Post poll is not exactly good news for the idea that Hillary Clinton (or any other Democrat) will magically do better with working class white voters than President Obama.

The new Washington Post/ABC News poll starkly illustrates the challenge Democrats face in this regard. It turns out that an overwhelming majority of non-college whites believes the U.S. economic system is stacked in favor of the rich — but far more of those voters also think Republicans, not Democrats, have better ideas to address that problem. 
The Post/ABC poll finds that 68 percent of Americans think the U.S. economic system generally favors the wealthy rather than being fair to most Americans (only 27 percent believe the latter). Some 69 percent of white non-college voters believe it favors the wealthy, somewhat higher than the 61 percent of white college-educated voters who believe the same. 
But look how non-college whites break down on the question of which party has the better ideas to make the economic system fairer: 

Non-college whites overwhelmingly believe the economic system is not fair to most Americans, but substantially more of them prefer GOP ideas on what to do about it. By contrast, other groups are much more evenly divided on this question. Among college-educated whites, Republicans lead by a much smaller 46-38. Independents are almost exactly split. And in a bit of good news for Dems, moderates favor their ideas by 45-34. But among non-college whites, GOP ideas enjoy a 21 point advantage.

If only 29% of non-college white voters think the Democrats are better for them economically after seven years of a Democratic president actually putting in policies that help them. then the Democrats need to kiss working class white voters goodbye.

Chasing these folks, especially at the expense of black and Latino voters (I'm talking to you, Jim Webb) is a guaranteed disaster.

The reality is that Republicans have succeeded in framing Obamacare, executive action on immigration, and international trade deals as benefiting those people at the direct expense of "good ol' boys".  White resentment is the driving force behind the Republican party right now (see Donald Trump). Putting Hillary or Bernie in isn't going to change that.  The GOP austerity regime is being sold as "We'll take away health care and jobs and entitlements away from them and never you.  Trust us."  It's working, unfortunately.

As a result, Democrats need to remember who voted them into the White House, and who ran from them in 2010 and 2014 in midterms.

Luckily, President Obama seems to be well aware of that distinction.

Jobapalooza Mini-Update

More good news on the employment front (not that anyone seems to still care about the Obama economy these days).

The fewest Americans in four decades filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, continuing to unwind an early-July surge that was probably tied to mid-year factory shutdowns and school vacations. 
Jobless claims plunged by 26,000 to 255,000 in the week ended July 18, the fewest since November 1973, a report from the Labor Department showed on Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 278,000. Volatility is typical for this time of year as auto plants retool for the new model year and school staff varies with summer holidays, a department spokesman said as the data was released to the press. 
Claims continue to hover near historically low levels as employers are retaining workers to cater to a pickup in demand following a slump in early 2015. Combined with steady hiring across states, the improvement will help sustain household spending, the biggest part of the economy.

“Claims will remain low for the foreseeable future,” Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the report. “Businesses are having a tough time finding the workers they need. They expect sales to grow.”

The lowest weekly jobless claims number in my lifetime, but somehow the problem is Obama is terrible for the economy or something.

Yes, finally, we're seeing the shoe on the other foot after 2008: employers are scrambling to find workers, which means more workers entering the job market, which means more money in the pockets of households and hopefully higher wages across the board, which means more people buying products, creating more demand for workers.

Positive feedback loops can be wonderful things.


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