I’m writing for tomorrow, and I still feel horrible. Tomorrow my Broncos will be worshiping, and I shall be meditating.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:50 (average 5:29). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From NY Times: There is nothing good to say about the December employment report, which showed that only 74,000 jobs were added last month. But dismal as it was, the report came at an opportune political moment. The new numbers rebut the Republican arguments that jobless benefits need not be renewed, and that the current minimum wage is adequate. At the same time, they underscore the need, only recently raised to the top of the political agenda, to combat poverty and inequality.
The report showed that average monthly job growth in 2013 was 182,000, basically unchanged from 2012. Even the decline in the jobless rate last month, from 7 percent in November to 6.7 percent, was a sign of weakness: It mainly reflects a shrinking labor force — not new hiring — as the share of workers employed or looking for work fell to the lowest level since 1978. That’s a tragic waste of human capital. It would be comforting to ascribe the dwindling labor force mainly to retirements or other long-term changes, but most of the decline is due to weak job opportunities and weak labor demand since the Great Recession.
One result is that the share of jobless workers who have been unemployed for six months or longer has remained stubbornly high. In December, it was nearly 38 percent, still higher by far than at any time before the Great Recession, in records going back to 1948.
This is the fruit of Republican sabotage, preventing the passage of needed jobs programs. The private sector did improve, but the Republican-forced loss of public sector jobs, continues to hurt the economy. The Republican plan is still to destroy the economy and project the blame they have earned onto Democrats.
From Alternet: The White House is poised to sign a year-long contract with global consulting firm Accenture, worth roughly $90 million, to maintain the government’s trouble-plagued health insurance website, a report said.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, said the administration of US President Barack Obama has decided to part ways with CGI Federal, the main contractor that built HealthCare.gov and worked to solve the litany of problems since its October 1 rollout.
The Post said the contract with Accenture could be signed early next week. It also said the government believed CGI had not repaired the problems with the website as well as it could have.
While I can’t say anything about Accenture, one way or the other, firing CGI is way past due!
From Crooks and Liars: The hosts and guests of MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday offered their usual spin on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s marathon press conference regarding the apparently vindictive lane closures on the George Washington Bridge which emails have revealed were aimed at causing headaches for the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee. Host Joe Scarborough said it was hypocritical to attack Christie for fostering a "culture" that permitted this behavior from his subordinates and not attack President Barack Obama for the same thing.
I often hear Republicans claim that MSNBC is biased to the left, but it is not. While MSNBC has some excellent progressive commentators like Ed, Chris, Rachel and Lawrence, they also have three solid hours of dishonest Republican propaganda like this every morning. Note how they elevated the IRS Scandal, long since proven false, to a higher level of culpability than Bridgeghazi.
Fortunately for Julius, Chris Christie had no bridge there.