G10 Advancers and Decliners vs USDJPY0.60CHF-0.05 EUR-0.18 GBP-1.71 It?s been a refreshing change to see UK headlines dominating the currency markets today; however the effect has been just as devastating on GBPUSD as the usual Eurozone crisis has been on EURUSD in the rest of the week. European markets woke up to a hung parliament in the UK election (with a conservative advantage, but no clear majority), and even more damaging to GBP sentiment was the…Read More …
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Right-wing media have highlighted April's increase in unemployment to attack President Obama's economic policies. But the monthly increase in payrolls was the largest in four years, and the unemployment uptick reportedly occurred "mainly because 805,000 jobseekers -- perhaps feeling better about their prospects -- resumed their searches for work."
Jim Hoft: "Unemployment jumps to 9.9%. ...How's that hopey-changey stuff treating you?" In a May 7Gateway Pundit post, headlined "Unemployment jumps to 9.9%," blogger Jim Hoftwrote "how's that hopey-changey stuff treating you" and thenquoted from an Associated Pressarticle noting the increase in unemployment -- including their reporting that unemployment rosemainly because discouraged workers resumed their job searches.
Drudge: "Unemployment up to 9.9%" On May 7,the top post on the Drudge Report read "Unemployment up to9.9%." The post linked to theAP article on the jobs numbers.
Doocy: Unemployment rate is "key number" and "not goodnews." On the May 7 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy called theunemployment rate the "key number" and stated that it is "notgood news":
DOOCY: Meanwhile, we're looking at the wires right now. The April unemployment rate just came out. It is at 9.9. That is up two-tenths from March. That is not good news. But 290,000 jobs were created last month. That's 90,000 more than the experts thought. Many more people are coming back into the job market than it can handle, just at the moment, some have felt. But the key number there, 9.9 unemployment.
Economist: "This is unambiguously a strong report." The New York Times reported MF Global chief economist JamesO'Sullivan's statement that "This is unambiguously a strongreport for growth implications. ... Itadds to the evidence that the pickup in growth is leading to a clear-cut pickupin employment. It is very clear there has been a bounce here, and momentum hasbeen up.' "
Reuters: Increase in jobs "far more than analysts hadexpected." A May 7 Reuters article reportedthat the "[a]nalysts polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls torise 200,000," 90,000 less than reported:
Employers added 290,000 jobs in April, the Labor Departmentsaid on Friday, far more than analysts had expected. The department alsorevised figures for February and March to show 121,000 more jobs were addedthan previously thought.
The unemployment rate, however, rose to 9.9 percent asdiscouraged workers re-entered the labor force to look for work.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected nonfarm payrolls torise 200,000 last month and the jobless rate to remain unchanged at 9.7percent.
The median forecast from the 20 most accurate forecasterswas for a payrolls increase of 188,000.
AP: Unemployment increased "mainly because 805,000 jobseekers -- perhaps feeling betterabout their prospects --resumed their searches for work." The May 7Associated Press articlelinked to by Drudge and Hoft reported:"The unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in March to 9.9 percent inApril, mainly because 805,000 jobseekers -- perhaps feeling better about theirprospects -- resumedtheir searches for work."
Economist O'Sullivan: Unimployment increase"more than accounted for" by labor force surge." The Times reported O'Sullivan's statement, "Ofcourse one of the headlines is that the unemployment rate rose, but the risewas more than accounted for by a surge in the labor force."
WSJ's Moore: "It'smostly good news." On the May 7 edition of FoxNews' America's Newsroom,The Wall Street Journal'sSteve Moore called the report "mostly good news," and "thelargest gain we've seen in a month since 2006":
MOORE: It's mostlygood news, Bill. I mean, thisbig jobs number, 300,000 or so jobs nearly, that's really good news, given howbad the numbers have been for the last couple of years. I think I saw thismorning that this was the largest job gain we've seen in a month since 2006. Soit does look like employers are finally starting to hire people. But let's notset aside the big number here, Bill. We still have one out of 10 Americans in the labor force who are notfind a job.
Joe Scarborough: "[T]here is good economic news here." On the May7 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe,host Joe Scarborough said that"there is good economic news" in the jobs report:
SCARBOROUGH: Mika, there is good economic news here, the fact that we've added more jobs than anytime in over four years. Sixty-six thousand of those jobs Census jobs, but 230,000 jobs -- new jobs in the private sector. But Pat Buchanan, as you and Sam Stein had predicted earlier before we got the news, the big problem here, the reason why -- the 9.9 percent number -- that's the headline, that's the political number, that has the impact. But that's because more Americans, 800,000 Americans, feel better about their job prospects and are actually looking for jobs for the first time in a long time.
Buchanan: "[T]his is almost unvarnished good news." Pat Buchananresponded to Scarborough by saying: "Sure, all those folkswho are not only unemployed but quit looking for work, Joe, they'recoming back in because they say 'Hey, folks are hiring.' I thinkthis is almost unvarnished good news, the top number looks a little bad, 9.9, but you have 200 -- almost 300,000 morepeople at work. That's good news."
On Glenn Beck's radio show, co-host Pat Gray falsely claimed that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "sat on" a report on health care reform until after Congress approved the legislation. In fact, the claim -- based on an anonymously sourced American Spectator report -- has been debunked.
From the May 7 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: Who would have -- I mean, besides you and me and almost everybody else that's within the sound of my voice -- who would have seen that coming?
GRAY: Besides that?
GRAY: The U.S. government -- the Health and Human Services Department.
BECK: Wait a minute. Hmm?
GRAY: Yeah, they had a report that Kathleen Sebelius sat on for I think it was three weeks or a month, until after the vote, that came out and said all of these things.
GRAY: Oh, yeah. Costs are probably going to go up. They're going to skyrocket. Many, many hospitals will probably close. A lot of people will lose their insurance because their health care provider will drop the coverage. The big companies will probably get rid of their health insurance.
BECK: Hold it, just a second. You're saying that the government did something underhanded?
GRAY: No. No, I -- what I think happened was they came up with the report, and then, you know how paperwork is. I mean, it just --
BECK: Just piles up.
GRAY: -- just piles up --
BECK: Just piles up.
GRAY: -- and I'm sure that they didn't find it until two or three days after the vote.
BECK: That's an outrage. Where's the press on this one?
Spectator publishes anonymously sourced report claiming HHS withheld report on health care reform legislation. On April 26, the American Spectator's Washington Prowler blog forwarded the claim that a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicating that the recently passed health care bill "would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers" was "submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill" and that "Sebelius's staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken." The Spectator attributed the claim to unnamed "career HHS sources."
CMS chief actuary was already on record as saying his office "will not be able to prepare our analysis within this very tight time frame." In a March 20 letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, days before the final vote on health care reform, CMS chief actuary Richard S. Foster wrote that he was unable to comply with the Republican leadership's request for an updated analysis due to the "very tight time frame" and "complexity of the legislation." Foster referred McConnell to a January 8 memorandum that provided an analysis of the Senate health care reform the House would be voting on, adding that while it didn't take into consideration changes made in the reconciliation legislation that accompanied the House vote on the Senate bill, the January 8 memo would be "generally similar" to an updated analysis.
Time: Recently released CMS report is "nearly identical" to January 8 report. In an April 23 post on Time's Swampland blog, staff writer Kate Pickert reported that the newer CMS report is "nearly identical" to the CMS "report released January 8, 2010," adding: "Some of his figures changed in the interim -- he wrote about the Senate bill in January and this week's report includes changes made by the reconciliation package that altered the Senate bill -- but overall, Foster's assessment is the same."
Foster: Spectator report "completely inaccurate." The Washington Post's David Weigel reported on April 27:
"If this issue hadn't consumed my entire day so far," said Richard S. Foster, chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, "I would have found it fairly amusing." The article, he said, was "completely inaccurate."
"We began working on the reconciliation bill for the health reform legislation once it was publicly issued on March 18 -- three days before the House vote took place on March 21," said Foster. "Because of the details and complexity of the legislation, it wasn't possible to estimate the package before the Senate vote.
"We began work on the estimates right away, but we didn't finalize them until the afternoon of April 22. We finished our memorandum on the health reform act later that same day and immediately sent it to those individuals and organizations that had requested it, including Congressional staff, HHS staff, and media representatives. Consistent with the Office of the Actuary's longstanding independent role on behalf of Congress, we did not seek approval or clearance from HHS (or anyone else) before issuing our analysis."
HHS is looking for corrections from Big Government and other sites.
In emails to Spectator editor, Foster decisively debunked claims, demanded corrections. In emails to Spectator editor-in-chief R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. that were obtained by Media Matters, Foster called Prowler's April 26 report "completely inaccurate" and wrote that their April 28 follow-up report "continues to misrepresent the facts of the situation. Foster made clear that:
We didn't have access to the health care reconciliation bill until it was publicly issued on March 18, which was 3 days before the House vote took place on March 21. Because of the complexity of the reconciliation changes, it wasn't possible to estimate the package prior to the House or Senate votes. We began work on the estimates right away, but we didn't finalize them until the afternoon of April 22.
In both emails, Foster requested corrections, which he wrote would demonstrate that the Spectator is "interested in accurate reporting" and is not "a tabloid-like publication, specializing in false accusations."
Even Spectator no longer claiming HHS "sat on" a completed "report." While Gray stated that Sebelius "sat on" a completed "report," even the Spectator is no longer making that claim. An April 28 Prowler post stated: "The Prowler reported via sources inside Health and Human Services that data from the study that indicated that costs would hit consumers in the pocketbook was made available to the senior officials in HHS, prior to final passage of the legislation in the House. The report never stated that it was submitted for approval." That contradicts its April 26 claim that the report "had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius."
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that an Associated Press story reported that the "real number" of private sector jobs created in April "is 66,000." In fact, the story noted that private employers added 231,000 positions in April, while the government hired 66,000 temporary census workers.
Limbaugh: AP says "real number" of private-sector jobs created in April "is 66,000." On his May 7 program, Limbaugh claimed: "How do we know more people are looking for work? In the AP story, 'jobs up 290,000.' In the private sector, the real number is 66,000, not 290. Jobs up 290,000, jobless rate rises to 9.9 percent. State-controlled AP tries really hard to start off here with great news."
Employers stepped up job creation in April, expanding payrolls by 290,000, the most in four years. The jobless rate rose to 9.9 percent as people streamed back into the market looking for work.
The government says the hiring of 66,000 temporary government workers to conduct the census helped overall payroll growth last month. However, private employers added a surprisingly strong 231,000 positions last month, also the most since March 2006.
The alleged Times Square Bomber, Faisal Shahzad, has apparently claimed that the US drone strikes in Pakistan were part of his motivation to carry out the failed car bomb attack. This has brought on a serious, thought-provoking discussion by many in the[...]
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In the wake of the massive BP oil spill, Republicans are quietly attempting to distance themselves from the “Republican battle cry” of the 2008 campaign, “Drill, baby, drill.” Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) disowned the slogan on behalf of their colleagues Tuesday, saying, “That was not a Senate Republican phrase.”
ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang spoke to a number of House Republicans yesterday to see if they were willing to standby the controversial slogan. Despite the horrific spill, some were still comfortable with the term, while others went to lengths to avoid it. Reps. Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) expressed confidence in continuing the use of Palin’s slogan. However, Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL), Mary Fallin (R-OK), and Joe Wilson (R-SC) demurred, saying they would avoid “Drill, baby, drill.” Several GOP members of Congress, like Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), refused to take a position. Watch a compilation produced by Victor Zapanta:
Of course, no matter which slogan they use, it doesn’t change the fact they are continuing to support expanded offshore drilling, despite the obvious dangers underscored by the recent disaster. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R), Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) and a number of other formerly pro-drilling advocates have reconsidered their support following the disaster.
We brought you the story of those homespun constitutionalists who tried to effect a citizens' arrest of a Grand Jury Foreman down in Tennessee because he wouldn't convene a grand jury to indict President Obama for treason. Now it turns out that the[...]
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Last night on Countdown, Markos and Keith O. discussed
Kenneth the Page'sBobby Jindal's newfound appreciation for Federal spending. Yep, the same Bobby Jindal who objects to funding projects to develop alternative energy sources, the same Bobby Jindal who objected to the stimulus...that very same Bobby Jindal now is asking the Federal government for financial assistance to recover from the BP oil spill.
Partial transcript (full transcript here):
OLBERMANN: The great recession destroyed the economy essentially, every state in the Union. Governor Jindal fretted about government aid especially for, you know, the monitoring of the — would warn of things, of disasters like volcanoes. The big spill threatens to wreck the economy in his state and all of a sudden, he is all over every way he can find to ask for government aid. Do I have it about right?
MOULITSAS: It sounds about right. Yes. No — I mean, it’s not even about Louisiana. I mean, there are a lot of people in Louisiana that could obviously benefit from that stimulus funding. But Bobby Jindal thought that it would be a good, easy way to score points against Obama and position himself for his 2012 presidential run. Suddenly, though, I think that people that sort of — that he know that are directly related to him, and he himself are being directly impacted by this disaster, not just politically but I think personally.
And while they may think, well, people who get stimulus funding, they’re not going to vote Republican, I don’t care about those people, I’d rather score political points of them, in this case, it’s about him. And suddenly since it’s about him, he cares. I just wish that he would have had that kind of empathy for the rest of not just Louisiana but the rest of America that has also suffered because of cataclysmic economic collapse.
Of course, Jindal is right to request assistance, and the entire Gulf Coast region does need Federal support (though it remains crucial to hold BP accountable). But, as Markos says, Jindal is a hypocrite. When there's a disaster in his back yard, he's all for Federal aide. But when the economic disaster hit America, he fought the recovery plan tooth and nail. Hopefully he'll show more empathy in the future, but I wouldn't count on it.
Who's is doing better in the court of public opinion? Toyota or BP? See the chart. [...]
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Starting immediately and throughout the coming year, families, small businesses, seniors, and young Americans will begin to feel the real and positive impact of health insurance reform. The following interactive graphic will show you the benefits of the new law that begin within the first year.