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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 09 December 2016 at 3:03pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The unemployment rate means bupkis when the Labor Participation Rate is in the shitter. We need someone... anyone... who can either save jobs or encourage job growth. Fingers crossed that a fresh set of eyes actually do this.
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 09 December 2016 at 7:01pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Just some context for the above statement.  It's very common to see detractors use a Labor Force Participation graph that has the bottom of the low part of the graph be at the bottom of a square picture (vertically exaggerated with zero nowhere in sight), which makes it seem far worse than it is.  Even the graph below needs 3 more tick marks below the bottom to find zero.  Detractors tend to use the black line in the graph below, which is less revealing due to it's aggregate nature.  They also like to start the graph during the Carter "Malaise" when you can see that even the aggregate line grew straight through there.  You'll note LFP was far worse during the period massive post-war growth, in no small part because it was physically possible to have single-income homes.  Note the "knee" during the Reagan Era for 55+ workers where it started getting harder to retire.
It's a complicated issue.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 09 December 2016 at 7:32pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Say, didn't Bill Clinton leave office with the economy in great shape?"

---

I seem to recall the economy tanking in March of 2000.
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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 3:19am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

We're "due" for a recession no matter who would be president, so one happening would not surprise me.

Of course, since our president is going to be Donald Trump, who if nothing else is going to balloon the deficits with tax cuts, how bad of a recession would not surprise me either.

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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

My 'context' was to correct the often mistaken notion that the unemployment rate itself is an indicator of success or failure on the job market. Just because the unemployment rate is below 5%, it doesn't mean it's a rosey economy. Those who aren't familiar with the other BLS stats obsess on the number who are currently collecting benefits, ignoring those whose benefits have ended but aren't back to work yet.

A few years back, there was a huge Catch-22 when it came to unemployment benefits. Many states extended benefits to 90+ weeks (as opposed to 26 weeks or so) to help those who had been laid off during the '08-'09 recession. When some people in the general population took that as 'paid time off', it created huge holes in people's chronological resumes, it discouraged others from seeking part-time employment (because they might make more on unemployment), and I saw plenty of others simply give up and decide it was to their benefit to work the system and take those 90+ weeks as a 'vacation'. Talking with my counterparts in labor services across the nation, we're seeing a very long, difficult correction from those mindsets in the jobseekers we see and from employers who can't fill necessary positions with skilled applicants.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

CIA confirms Russian involvement in Trump winning election. 
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

And Republicans are actually DEFENDING it. What the fuck is going on in our country?
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

That the CIA has facts that makes it believe a foreign power meddled with the US democratic process is scary.

That Trump is willing to just dismiss the findings without any further investigation is even more scary.


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Brian Miller
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 4:32pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Yeah. Now he's against the CIA. 
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Thom Price
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 4:54pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

That we have a President-elect who is openly contemptuous of our own Intelligence agencies while defending Russia and continuously praising Putin is nearly beyond belief.

Are we officially Earth-3 now?
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James Johnson
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Nope. Bizarro World!

If Obama had said such words, a certain segment of the US population would have screamed, "Hang that <fill in the blank>!"
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 7:06pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Now he's chosen Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. ExxonMobil, the company that has a $300 billion deal with Russia that has been on hold due to sanctions against Russia. 

Jesus Christ, guys. 
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 9:07pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Is any of this really a surprise to anyone? Trump might be a Washington "outsider" but he's still one of the corrupt 1%ers that everyone supposedly hated a few years ago. His behaviour and cabinet choices are indicative of his true nature.
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 9:22pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Michael, fair enough.  I certainly agree that no single stat can tell the story.  I suppose since we can expect the incoming administration to just make up whatever number they like as they have been doing so far, single stats will matter even less.

On that note:

From Fortune.com: 
Donald Trump’s team issued a brief, stunning statement Friday—attacking the CIA’s credibility. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the transition team said in an unsigned statement. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.' 

They seem to be just making up their own version of reality, regardless of any grounding in reality.  Arguing by logical fallacy (including obviously false barefaced-assertions) seems to be their weapon of choice.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 9:26pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Supposedly McConnell was trying to cover up that Russia was messing with our election:  LINK.
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 9:29pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

 Brian Miller wrote:
And Republicans are actually DEFENDING it. What the fuck is going on in our country?

It's become depressingly clear that most of the current Republican leadership in this country is willing to defend virtually anything if it helps them pursue their radical agenda of bankrupting the US Government and dismantling the social safety net.  These are depressing times we live in.  It's not hyperbole to say the country is on a downward trajectory in terms of the quality of life of 99% of its citizens.  And given that a substantial amount of these citizens persist in voting against their own political interests, it's hard to conceive of how this is going to get better.      
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Kevin Hagerman
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 9:45pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I'll be a little generous and say McConnell wasn't so much trying to cover it up as he was trying to delay it until most obviously November 8th, but likely even December 19th (the day the election will be certified).

Frankly, I think the EC should vote DT in.  We don't deserve any better.  I'm teaching a parrot to say "I told you so" so I don't have fucking laryngitis for the next few years.

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 10 December 2016 at 10:48pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

it is becoming clear at this point that the dependable assumption of this administration's 'ideology' is simply that it will seek to enrich itself any way it can without regard for the well-being of the American people or humanity at large

president - in my first act as president-elect i will ensure that the interests of my argentinian real estate development project and scottish golf course are well-represented
education secretary - voucherize public schools and watch them die
health secretary - let's voucherize medicare and fuck the affordable care act
DOL secretary - i hate american workers and overtime pay to minimum wage slaves
Sec of State - let's go make money drilling for oil in russia on this $300B deal
EPA - we need to roll back regulation so we can dump more toxic shit real cheap and companies can retain more profits
treasury secretary - we must repeal financial regulations so that banks can make more money (off of their customers)
defense / homeland security / Nat'l sec Advisor - if you thought dick cheney's procurement track record was wasteful, just you wait and see what the three of us have in mind
Small Biz Admin - i hate small businesses and plan to dissolve them all in my beak-bearing vaginal cavity
CIA Director - i am committed to the marginal profit maximization of the Koch brothers personally and of all of their affiliates and subsidiaries
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Thom Price
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Posted: 11 December 2016 at 8:18am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Trump Picks El Chapo to Run D.E.A.
 
This is so close to what's actually happening, it barely qualifies as satire.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 11 December 2016 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

It's a science fiction story. We're in an alternate reality, a god damned What If story. We need someone to go back in time and change history.

EXCEPT IT ISN'T AND WE'RE ALL SCREWED.

I hope the Trump voters get crap-slammed hardest, that's all. Minimal comfort at best, but there's bound to be little comfort in the next two years anyhow.
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Brian Miller
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Posted: 11 December 2016 at 11:59am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

How can they not be, Eric? Everything he's done so far is appoint the people that are the most against those very voters. 
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Tim O'Neill
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Posted: 11 December 2016 at 12:00pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply



The Fox News network's casual relationship with the truth will soon be entering the White House.  Every day is a new horror.



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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 11 December 2016 at 12:45pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Imagine nearly half the voting populace sitting down in the middle of the street, pouring gasoline over their heads and patiently waiting for Trump to come by with a lit match.  

This is how I see his supporters. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 December 2016 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Let's not forget that a large percentage of Trump's support comes from people who want exactly what his cabinet promises to give them; the dismantling of the U.S. Government. Government in many parts of this country is a bad, bad, bad thing, remember. We don't want Government in our classrooms, telling our children that there is no Jesus and that we cannot pray to him at the start of every day. We don't want Government in our supermarket checkout lines, helping people hang on in a country when they should all just go back home. 

We want the schools to magically run themselves. God will provide. We don't want educational standards. We want good old American values. We want schools that will provide those and f*ck the rest of it. Do we know for a fact America can't survive without mathematics and science? Let's try out and find out! We don't know.

Huge swathes of Trump fans are loving every minute of this, cackling madly inside with every new wave of outrage Trump elicits from his critics. This is what they voted for. A man with a plan to take it all apart. Putting it back together? Who wants it back together? Jesus saves. The Lord will provide. God is with us in these hallowed and sacred times. 

Look at the man go! He's succeeding in spite of his opponents, his nasty, venal, mass-murderer Hillary supporting Libtarb opponents, who got their black, Muslim President destroying this nation for eight solid years, little good may it do them. Trump is kicking over all the applecarts! Hooray! Yay! Yippee! 

Wait, what do you mean the check didn't come in this month...? The bank did what with our interest rates? Sigh... The Lord is testing us. We must not weaken. Yay, Trump. Yay, Trump. Yay, Trump. 

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David Miller
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Posted: 11 December 2016 at 1:43pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply


 QUOTE:
It's a science fiction story. We're in an alternate reality, a god damned What If story. We need someone to go back in time and change history.

EXCEPT IT ISN'T AND WE'RE ALL SCREWED.


A fascist game show host holding ultimate power is a Phillip K. Dick character, but not a Phillip K. Dick plot. The actual plot we're trapped in is far weirder and more terrifying. We're gonna have to get used to taking seven tabs of LSD and playing with barbie dolls on Mars.
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