Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: March 3, 2017

Daily Clips: March 3, 2017

Retailers had a dismal Christmas:  Interestingly, in an article which bemoans lack of consumer expenditure, these authors somehow find a way demean the very policy…that would put more money in people’s pockets. Retailers are getting hammered on multiple fronts. States have been passing minimum-wage increases that are putting pressure on labor costs. Huh. Maybe increasing a minimum wage isn’t always a net loss to retailers. Just a thought. Sessions steps back from campaign probes: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Thursday he would stay out of any probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election but maintained he did nothing wrong by failing to disclose he met last year with Russia’s ambassador. David Brooks reckons secularism made America worse: There used to be social conservatives, who believed that the moral fabric of the country had been weakened by secularism and the breakdown of the family. Rethinking mass incarceration in America: The fact is that whether crime is high or low, prison is not the most efficient way to respond to it, and I think we need to start telling a story that there are better ways—even if violent crime is rising, say, “Look, even if this is a real upward trend, prison is not what is going to rein it in. We can do this much better, much more smartly, in a much less costly way by focusing on well-established interventions that are good at disrupting violence.” Tweet of the day: At 4.8% unemp, what feels like a "jobs" crisis is actually a low wage share and wildly skewed income distribution. https://t.co/BrwtAUZBjf — John P. Hussman (@hussmanjp) March 1, 2017        

Daily Clips: March 2, 2017

Daily Clips: March 2, 2017

Jeff Sessions said that people who commit perjury must be removed from office:  Because American politics was getting too boring. U.S. initial jobless claims drop to lowest in almost 44 years: The latest tally marked 104 straight weeks of claims below 300,000, the level economists consider consistent with a healthy labor market. The 161-week period that ended in April 1970 was the longest such streak in records back to 1967. No soda tax for diet sodas? Many researchers now say that drinking diet soda does not help with weight loss , and could in fact contribute to obesity and type 2 diabetes , just like regular sodas. There are more questions than answers regarding the long-term effects of consuming these artificial sweeteners, but there is enough concern for the Harvard School of Public Health to conclude : “Diet soda may not be a healthy substitute for sugary soda.” Wells Fargo v Seattle: If the city really wants out, the bank will sever its contract with the city immediately, with no penalty, and will help the city find a replacement, Phillip Smith, head of government and institutional banking for Wells Fargo, stated in a letter delivered to Murray and council members Tuesday. Tweet of the day: Imagine an economy where middle-class wages grew at the same rate as the top 1%. Do you think that would lead to a better America? — Civic Action (@civicaction) March 1, 2017  

Daily Clips: March 1, 2017

Daily Clips: March 1, 2017

The three failures of Trump’s speech:  David Frum, a speechwriter for George W. Bush, provides an in-depth analysis of Trump’s completely vague and ridiculous speech. I cannot believe that the media is eating his bullsh** up. Pathetic. Only 6.6 percent of the cost of Trump’s campaign tax plan goes to cuts for the middle fifth of taxpayers , 47.3 percent goes to the top 1 percent. The fictitious economy that’s hiding how the economy really works: If you can make people use a vocabulary and concepts that make it appear that when the 1% gets richer, the whole economy is getting richer – or when GDP goes up, everybody is improving – then the people, the 95% who did not improve their position from 2008 to 2016 somehow can be made to suffer from the Stockholm syndrome. They’ll think, “Gee, it must be my fault. If the whole economy is growing, why am I so worse off? If only we can give more money to the top 5% or the 1%, it’ll all trickle down. We’ve got to cut taxes and help them so they can give me a job because as Trump and other people said, Well, I never met a poor person who gave me a job.” Graphic of the day:

Daily Clips: February 28, 2017

Daily Clips: February 28, 2017

US News ranks WA state as #5 in country:  They ranked states in terms of infrastructure, economy, crime, opportunity, health care etc…MA came in first, while NH came in second. Diversity rankings of US cities! I’m in a ranking sort of mood. Where do you think Seattle comes? Solar now employs twice as many people as the coal industry:  Hurray! What a fed rate hike in March would mean: On Monday, a combination of domestic and international factors contributed to a significant reassessment by market participants of the probability of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in March. Now the markets are pricing in a more realistic probability of 52 percent, up from less than 40 percent last week .   Paul Constant describes what patriotism means to him:  Progressives around the country are marking President Donald Trump’s first state of the union address with videos, tweets, and Facebook posts marked with the “#ProudPatriot” hashtag. Here, Mr. Constant wrote a moving Medium piece where puts forward a very admirable vision of patriotism. It is our duty as Americans to make America better than it was yesterday.This can seem like an impossible task in a time when immigrants and trans Americans face life-threatening consequences from discriminatory, shoddily written executive orders. But I also see people every day who are working to improve the nation, from government employees doing their jobs in uncertain circumstances to protesters fighting for LGBTQ rights to politicians who are trying to do the best they can by their constituents. Tweet of the day: Tax-raising liberal Jerry Brown and tax-slashing true believer Sam Brownback took office at the same time. How's it going? pic.twitter.com/hX8qflHSRO — Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) February 28, 2017

Daily Clips: February 27, 2017

Daily Clips: February 27, 2017

George W. Bush: Media essential to democracy:  We live in odd times. The Treasury is considering 50-year bonds:   Having a liquid market is valuable, but the market is telling other bond issuers that it wants lots more long-term debt. The Treasury should sell more 30-year bonds, and even 50-year or 100-year bonds to meet that demand. Ireland, Belgium and Mexico have recently sold 100-year bonds. Ford, Disney and Coca-Cola have sold 100-year bonds as well. The Canadian Pacific Corp. sold a 1,000-year bond. And many governments, such as the U.K., have issued bonds that have no maturity date at all: Called perpetuals or consols, these bonds continue paying a coupon year-after-year until the principal is redeemed. The U.K. recently redeemed the consols that had financed its earlier wars against Napoleon and the kaiser. The subtle force of Tom Perez:  I, for one, I am quite pleased with the Perez selection and I’m on the far-left flanks of the Democratic Party. Justin Miller at American Prospect has a very good piece on the DNC’s new chair: Perez has proven himself an able handyman, steering a dizzying array of labor rules and regulations through Washington’s often-stymied bureaucracy despite constant political threats and general hostility coming from Republicans and the business lobby. Those include not only the overtime rule, but an expansion of federal labor protections to cover home-care workers; a long-shot crusade to establish new standards in the retirement-advising industry; an executive order to use the federal government’s contracting process to create good jobs; and a stern guidance aimed at stopping rampant worker misclassification. These Iowans voted for Trump. Many of them are already disappointed:  Morons. I’m not apart of the liberal crew that think we need to “level with” Trump supporters. I know this is a contentious position to hold. Charles Blow had a fantastic column the other day which summarized my feelings better than I could ever hope to articulate: This is why I have no patience for liberal talk of reaching
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Daily Clips: February 24, 2017

Daily Clips: February 24, 2017

CPAC attendees waved Russian flags:  What is happening to the Republican Party? How the Democrats can hijack the tax-reform debate:  Harold Meyerson over at American Prospect puts together a deep analysis of the economy and how Democrats (particularly in ’18) can win the economic debate. America’€™s monopolies are holding back the economy: Monopoly is a main driver of inequality , as profits concentrate more wealth in the hands of the few. The effects of monopoly enrage voters in their day-to-day lives, as they face the sky-high prices set by drug-company cartels and the abuses of cable providers , health insurers , and airlines . Monopoly provides much of the funds the wealthy use to distort American politics . Obamacare popularity highest in nearly seven years as repeal talk mounts:  I cannot describe how frustrated this makes me. Tweet of the day: He yelled "Get out of my country," witnesses say, and then shot 2 men from India, killing one https://t.co/92wUll37jQ — Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 24, 2017

Daily Clips: February 23, 2017

Daily Clips: February 23, 2017

Kevin Brady is this week’s Trickle Downer:  I’m sure it’s very difficult to choose just ONE trickle downer per week, but somehow Justin Miller manages. This week he highlights House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. Brady and Paul Ryan are “hawking a “border adjustment” tax (BAT) that would levy what is essentially a tariff on imports and a rebate on exports.” Trump again vows to bring back U.S. jobs, but offers few details:  Has he ever offered any details? Boehner: Republicans won’t repeal and replace Obamacare Philly, PA: Soda companies, supermarkets report 30-50 pct. sales drop from 1.5 cent per ounce soda tax While transit use declines elsewhere, it’s booming in Seattle Tweet of the day: Betsy DeVos introduces herself as "the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there's no such thing as a free lunch." — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 23, 2017

Daily Clips: February 22, 2017

Daily Clips: February 22, 2017

Trump may revoke transgender bathroom rules:  Back to the closet you go! What is it with old white men and not being ok with different people? Americans Are Drowning in Student Debt—Can Trump Save Them?  Trump’s student loan “plan” actually is quite liberal. During the campaign, he suggested that loan  payments should be capped at 12.5 of a borrower’s income, with the ability to earn loan forgiveness after 15 years. Top put this plan in perspective, Obama’s REPAYE plan “has borrowers pay 10 percent of their income over 20 to 25 years before qualifying for forgiveness.” Ryan’s tax plan is headed for failure:  Jennifer Rubin (who once was considered a Republican) criticizes Paul Ryan’s quite silly tax plan. Worth a read, if only to see Rubin lambasting the GOP’s rising star. Mitch Mcconnell says, “Winners make policy, losers go home” : Could he be any more of a dick? Tweet of the day: I wonder how many members of Congress would vote to raise the minimum wage if they were forced to live on $7.25 an hour for a year. — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 22, 2017

Daily Clips: February 21, 2017

Daily Clips: February 21, 2017

Resistance isn’t enough, says David Brooks: The central task for many of us now is not to resist Donald Trump. He’ll seal his own fate. It’s to figure out how to replace him — how to respond to the slow growth and social disaffection that gave rise to him with some radically different policy mix. Unions in the precarious economy:  Wow. If you want to really understand unions and their place in the US economy, you should read this piece. Extremely detailed. Washington drivers facing sticker shock in latest car-tab renewal bills: ST-3 was passed this November and to pay for the expansion, the car-tab tax will be raised by 0.8% based on a vehicle’s value. Mark Cuban: Robots will ‘cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it’ Jay Inslee for president? Governor’s profile is on the rise:  In my mind, there’s no way Jay is considering this opportunity. But it’s only 3 years until the election, so of course, let’s hype this story up. How to watch Mayor Ed Murray’s State of the City address from the Idris Mosque Tweet of the day: Trickle down economics is a fraudulent theory designed by the rich and their think tanks to protect billionaires and large corporations. — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 21, 2017

Daily Clips: February 17, 2017

Daily Clips: February 17, 2017

Inslee takes on Trump: State Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison is trying to play to those questions, suggesting that Inslee might be interested in running for president himself. It’s one of the oldest political tactics used against a governor who deals with national politics: Get people to wonder whether their governor is working for them or just raising his own political profile. Hutchison claims to have “sources.” The West Coast is leading the way: Excellent podcast on Oregon, California, and Washington’s resistance. Puzder out, Acosta in: At the outset, Acosta appears to be a mild choice compared with Puzder. As a member of the Federalist Society and a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Acosta is unquestionably a staunch conservative, but he also is well regarded in government circles as a thoughtful colleague with a sharp legal mind. Democrats finally have a chance to take back the Washington Senate—and turn the state blue: What’s more, Democrats just recruited a very strong candidate , prosecutor Manka Dhingra, while Republicans still haven’t figured out who they’re running. Rossi hasn’t made up his mind, though it sounds like he’s viewing the position as a placeholder job . But no matter who picks up the baton for the GOP, they’re going to have a hell of a time hanging on to a seat where Trump got just 28 percent of the vote. Tweet of the day: Trump just dipped below 40% approval in Gallup; disapproval now higher than 55%. He's at 38-56. https://t.co/CmxBuQhvtb pic.twitter.com/XjVOXRei4U — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 17, 2017