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Flap’s Blog.Com Links and Comments for November 6th through November 7th

These are my links for November 6th through November 7th:


  • Early Jobs Projections Could Haunt Obama in 2012 – A year out from Election Day: an eon in political time, sufficient to alter circumstances substantially for or against either party. But Friday’s tepid jobs report brings a fresh reminder of the stubborn difficulty President Obama and his team face in overcoming one of their most enduring mistakes, one made before he even took office.

    Ten days prior to Mr. Obama’s taking the oath of office in January 2009, his economic team released a report outlining the estimated benefits of the $775 billion stimulus plan he was seeking. The projections were quite specific. The stimulus legislation passed just a few weeks later at about the size the White House had sought. Had all gone as promised by the report, the unemployment rate right now would have been around 6.5 percent, heading down to around 6 percent by the end of this year and a little over 5 percent at the end of next year.

    The Labor Department announced Friday that the unemployment rate for October was 9 percent, down from 9.1 percent a month earlier, and that job growth for the month was just 80,000, nowhere near the rate necessary to drive joblessness toward anything like 6 percent. The Federal Reserve has already projected that the unemployment rate will be at least 8.5 percent at the end of next year, meaning the next presidential term would start with a higher rate than the 7.3 percent Mr. Obama inherited when he took office.

  • White House gets an earful from Latinos in Inland Empire – Obama administration officials ventured to the Inland Empire on Saturday for a policy summit with Latinos, getting an earful from residents stung by the region’s flattened economy and critical of Washington’s failure to reform the nation’s immigration system.

    The daylong meeting at UC Riverside, one of a series that have been held across the country, included free-flowing policy bull sessions and presentations by White House representatives touting President Obama’s proposed jobs bills and record on healthcare, education funding and immigration.

    The crowd filled a cavernous auditorium and included Latino activists, business owners, teachers and other residents — most of whom said they came to be heard rather than listen to speeches.

    The economic wounds from the recession remain raw in a region where fortunes plummeted with the crash of the housing market and construction industry. Once a haven for Latino immigrants looking for housing construction jobs, unemployment now hovers around 14% in San Bernardino County and 13% in Riverside County.

    “This just can’t be an exercise in politics. It can’t be, a region gets checked off and we move on,” said Paul Granillo, president of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, a coalition of the region’s businesses, government and nonprofit groups. “The challenges that face us are severe.”

    Nationwide, the Latino unemployment rate is just over 13%, compared with the national average of about 9%. Nearly a quarter of the 51 million Latinos in the U.S. live in poverty, compared with 15% for the nation as a whole.

    San Bernardino, a city where Latinos account for 6 of every 10 residents, has the second-highest poverty rate among the nation’s major cities. A U.S. Census report released in September showed that 34.7% of city residents live below the poverty line.

  • The Municipal Bond Market Is Imploding – Moody’s Credit Rating Service just announced the ominous trend that credit quality in the municipal bond market is falling at the fastest rate since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Data released showed that 5.3 times as many municipal bonds were credit downgraded over the three last months than were upgraded. Moody’s emphasized that: “Downgrades dominated rating revisions across all public finance sectors except for healthcare,” said Assistant Vice President-Analyst Dan Steed, author of the report. “A rapid deterioration in credit metrics led to a higher-than-average 14 multi-notch downgrades.” Often sold to individuals as “conservative investments with tax free income”, munis in states like California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are increasingly looking like high risk rolls of the dice.
  • Romney just dramatically raised the stakes vs. Obama – But no more. Romney has made several moves of late ensuring that if he’s the nation’s 45th president, Americans will have cast an affirmative vote for something.

    First, Romney said his policies would help U.S. growth accelerate to 4 percent annually. Gutsy. Recall how Tim Pawlenty was mocked mercilessly for setting a 5 percent growth target. Overall, U.S. GDP growth has averaged 3.3 percent the past 50 years. But many economists think aging America will need to settle for growth closer to 2 percent long term. Romney, however, seems to agree with consultant McKinsey that a higher retirement age and smarter immigration policy, along with smarter regulation and pro-investment tax policy, could allow the U.S. to maintain its historic growth rate, if not higher. More importantly, the target represents a rejection of the declinist mentality.

    Second, Romney has basically adopted Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan — helping seniors pay for private insurance — with the twist of giving seniors the option of sticking with a government program. By embracing a pro-market, patient-centered approach, Romney has invited Team Obama to attack him for trying to “privatize” Medicare as surely as if he advocated phasing out the system entirely. Another bold call.

    Third, Romney proposed capping government spending at 20 percent of GDP and cutting $500 billion from government spending during his first term. Not only does this directly strike at the liberal consensus that spending as a share of output must rise as America ages, it invites another Obama attack: the GOP nominee is proposing economy-killing austerity.

    So now Romney will have to advocate and defend — if he is the nominee — not just attack and deride. And America will have a choice, not just an echo.

  • NY-Sen: Sen. Gillibrand to Get a Strong GOP Challenger Next Year? – Wouldn’t this be a delicious match-up? “Republican Harry Wilson, the wealthy investor and former member of President Obama’s Auto Industry Task Force, is being talked up by GOP insiders as a possible candidate against US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012, The Post has learned. He ran a strong but unsuccessful race for state comptroller last year against Thomas DiNapoli. Wilson, a native of upstate Johnstown who holds an MBA from Harvard, has been making the rounds of cable business shows lately, keeping his name before the public. GOP insiders said he has not yet decided to enter the Senate race.”

    He and Jon Huntsman could form “Disillusioned Obama Appointees United.”

  • (404) – In your dreams, Chris. Go here : @TheFix: Why the electoral college map STILL favors Obama
  • On electoral map, Obama still has routes to victory in 2012, despite low ratings – The Washington Post – In your dreams, Chris. Go here : @TheFix: Why the electoral college map STILL favors Obama
  • RealClearPolitics – Cain Holds Big Lead Over GOP Rivals in Iowa – Cain Holds Big Lead Over GOP Rivals in Iowa #tcot
  • Cain’s support dips after sex accusations: poll
    | Reuters
    – President 2012 Poll Watch: Herman Cain’s support dips after sex accusations
  • Romney, at tea party event, proposes broad changes to Medicare, other cuts at tea party rally – The Washington Post – Romney, at tea party event, proposes broad changes to Medicare, other cuts at tea party rally
  • Dilbert November 6, 2011 – Faking it? » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 6, 2011 – Faking it?
  • The Sunday Flap: November 6, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Sunday Flap: November 6, 2011 #tcot #catcot