Perfect Meeting

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Stuart Carlson)

In other news, House Democrats have passed a bill along party lines to restore the Voting Rights Act by requiring southern states to seek pre-clearance from the Justice Department before making changes to election law. The bill is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate, of course.

Meanwhile, Trump's son-in-law is reportedly bringing his reverse Midas touch to trade talks with China, because his Middle East peace proposal to build a Starbucks in the West Bank worked out so well.

Finally, the Labor Department says private sector employers added 254,000 jobs in November.

The unemployment rate of 3.5%, down from 3.6% in October, is back to the 2019 low and matches the lowest jobless rate since 1969. The U.S. economy needs to create about 107,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate steady, according to calculations from the Atlanta Federal Reserve.

There was some thought that the November count might disappoint after ADP reported Wednesday that private payrolls rose just 67,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, though, put that number at 254,000, with the remaining 12,000 jobs created at the government level.

I have no idea how there could be such a wide disparity -- a difference of 187,000 -- between the ADP and Labor Department numbers. It's possible ADP underestimated and Labor simultaneously overestimated and the truth is somewhere in between, but I'm sure we'll find out soon. The Labor Department figure includes auto workers who returned to work after their strike ended, but that only accounts for about 41,000 jobs. That still leaves a disparity of 146,000.

In any case, have a good weekend!

  • muselet

    • To be fair, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 also requires California and New York along with nine Southern states to seek federal approval for election changes. The two non-Southern states have a history of discrimination against Latinos and Asian Americans.

    • Of course Donald Trump would give Jared Kushner for yet another assignment, since he’s done so well to date. (A friend told a joke a few days ago: A man rubs an oil lamp and a genie appears. The genie says, “You have one wish. Use it wisely.” The man thinks for a moment and says, “I want the Midas touch.” From that day forward, everything the man touched turned to mufflers.)

    • A discrepancy like that looks an awful lot like someone at the Department of Labor has been cooking the books.

    • And for the usual no particular reason, one of the most gorgeously melancholy pieces of music ever written:

    Have a good weekend, all.


    • Dick B

      Thank you!

    • Aynwrong

      One of the rare pieces of music that can bring me to tears.

      • muselet

        As lovely as it is, I can’t listen to it very often for just that reason.


  • Aynwrong

    I don’t even know what to say about GOP refusal to vote for the VRA. It’s a racist party in every way. They turn the ACA into a “scandal” that never goes away, campaign on the fear mongering and win while a landmark/iconic piece of civil rights legislation was gutted for the singular purpose of Republican electability and it only gets brought up on occasion like it’s an afterthought.

    Remember that the Bush administration tried to redefine fast food jobs as being part of the manufacturing sector in order to pump up jobs numbers. Don’t rule out that kind of cooking the books here.

    This week’s music selection is inspired by America’s very own fop head prince Jared.

    Take care everyone.