Archive for good news

GOP wrong again: Weekly jobless claims fall, budget deficit shrinks #BlameObama

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what you know, wrong

This is getting tedious, but a blog's gotta do what a blogs's gotta do. Republicans, you're wrong again. Wrongier than wrong. Wrong wrong wrong:

Via the Los Angeles Times:

The federal deficit continues to decline thanks to budget cuts and slower growth in Medicare costs, but lower than expected corporate tax revenues dimmed some of the improved outlook, according to a report Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office.

And Benen piles on. More at the link:

This remains a basic budgetary truism that Republicans continue to resist. Indeed, last year, when top marginal rates increased on households making more than $400,000 a year, a variety of GOP lawmakers argued that this would likely cause the deficit to go up – as they saw it, higher taxes on the wealthy would slow growth, which would mean fewer jobs, which would mean fewer people paying income taxes, which would mean a larger deficit.

And we now know they were wrong – again – though this will probably do nothing to shake the Beltway perception of the GOP as the “fiscally responsible” party.

Let’s also note that the shrinking deficit – we’re seeing the fastest reduction since the end of World War II – is also one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. [...] [T]he reality is, we’re witnessing deficit reduction at a truly remarkable clip. Every conservative complaint about fiscal recklessness and irresponsibility in the Obama era is completely divorced from reality.

but wait there's more smaller

Per the most reliable news source in the whole wide world, Fox Biz, comes this upbeat news via a couple of email alerts:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 298,000 from an upwardly revised 299,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 300,000 from an initially reported 298,000.

The Commerce Department reports the economy expanded at an annualized pace of 4.2% in the second quarter, higher than an original estimate of 4%, also beating expectations of 3.9%.

the more you know msnbc bergdahl

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Dep't. of What? Again? Weekly Jobless Claims Fall More than Expected #BlameObama

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quickie23 jobless claims

Today's jobless claims Quickie:

I know what you're saying: What? Again? Yes, again. There is more good news about jobless claims. Yes, despite Republican Congress members blocking everything blockable, we are seeing jobless claims continue to drop under President Obama's watch.

Bummer, huh?

Here it is, directly from everyone's favorite source for all things informative, the most accurate, trusted name in news, Fox! Take it away, Fox Biz! Via an email alert:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 298,000, from an upwardly revised 312,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to fall to 300,000 from an initially reported 311,000.

More:

(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly more than expected last week, pointing to a sustained improvement in labor market conditions.

Me oh my. What's a GOP obstructionist to do?

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

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Vindicated: Tons of banned chemical weapons destroyed. Chickenhawks won't care.

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KidVindicatedw208h271

There's an editorial in today's Los Angeles Times titled, "Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons shows the U.S. may know what it's doing after all." Wait. So President Obama did something-- dun dun dun-n!-- right? Vindicated, at last!

[I]t was a rare bit of good news to hear from the administration on Monday that the United States had "finished neutralizing" hundreds of tons of the most deadly chemical weapons belonging to the regime of President Bashar Assad of Syria. This was a milestone in the diplomatic process that began a year ago this week when the Assad government was accused of using sarin gas to kill more than 1,000 people in a rebel-held suburb near Damascus. [...]

Conservatives assailed the plan as naive and feckless, as a projection of American weakness; Obama's supporters called ita fulfillment of his campaign promise to negotiate with those who were willing to talk in good faith.[...]

[N]egotiation and diplomacy are a better alternative to what would otherwise have been airstrikes followed by likely civilian deaths and a worrisome creep toward war.

"How dare Obama stop and think before he bombs?" Of course, now that the president has succeeded in accomplishing a goal sans war, he had to ruin it all (yes, that was sarcasm) by being all presidential and making a statement about the ghastly beheading of journalist James Foley by those despicable, brutal ISIL animals (sincere apologies to animals) responsible for his execution.

That will mean only one thing: John McCain and his trusty sidekick Li'l Lindsey Graham will appear on every Sunday talk show and be given a platform to call out President Obama's feck and demand that we go to war.

Again. I don't claim to know what the answer is, but our endless wars in the Middle East sure didn't succeed in eradicating terrorism or spreading Exceptional American Democracy across the region. However, BushCo and their pride-and-joy illegal invasion of Iraq did succeed at one thing: Failure. Sending more young Americans into battle is not always the answer, Johnsey (McGraham?).

Here is a partial transcript of the president's remarks via WaPo. Way to rev up the chickenhawks, Pres. O (yes, that was also sarcasm):

Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL....

He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there. Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world....

Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declare their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.

So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim, out of expediency, that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is, they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior...

The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done....

From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies.

One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.

drum beat smaller

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Social Security and Medicare: "Distinctly good news"

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keep government out of medicare, social security

My favorite columnist at the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik (scroll), has written another excellent piece, this time covering the "no-bad-news day" for Social Security and the "distinctly good news" about Medicare. Sorry, GOP. I know I'm rubbing it in after my post about all those upbeat economic news reports that broke today, but hey, a blogger's gotta do what a blogger's gotta do.

Republicans *coughPAULRYANcough* are just dying to privatize us all into oblivion, which would mean cutting earned benefits for those who rely on them. Way to appeal to voters, GOP. It's a good thing we have Michael Hiltzik around to deliver a more even-handed (read: accurate) approach to informing us about the current state of both Social Security and Medicare.

Take it away, Michael:

"[T]he news is essentially that there is no news" in the reports, as Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a leading expert on Social Security, said during a conference call Monday on the Social Security report.

The trustees still estimate that the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2033 -- same as its estimate last year. The range of estimates -- for these things can never be exact -- places the date at some time between 2029 and 2041. Even then, the trustees say, there will still be enough money coming in to the program each year to pay 77% of currently scheduled benefits. And the trustees do, however, suggest that their best-case scenario for economic growth and other demographic and economic factors is brighter this year than it looked in 2013.

As of now, Social Security is in surplus (by $32 billion last year), and is expected to remain so on an annual basis at least through 2019.

Hiltzik goes on to say that the B Word (bankrupt) is more like the BS Word. His exact phrasing was, anyone who challenges the facts has "given up his or her right to be taken seriously as a policy expert." Are you listening, Wannabe President Ryan?

Now how about Medicare? Is there good news there, too? And if so, would it possibly have anything to do with the O Word (Obamacare)? Don't be silly! Oh wait:

As for Medicare, there's distinctly good news. The continuing drop in healthcare expenses has made Medicare healthier -- the estimated date of its trust fund's depletion has been moved out by four years, to 2030. If you're keeping track, that date has been moved off by a total of 13 years since enactment of the Affordable Care Act.

neener nanner tv

Hiltzik also includes a few warnings, so please link over to read the entire column.

He concludes by rightfully calling out Congress for taking a five-week break just when we need them to "pay attention." He's clearly as miffed at them as we are. One can almost hear him throwing his head back and screaming, "Enough!"

Or as I like to call it, the F G Word (Gaaa!).

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

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