On North Korea, Obama Leads From Behind

On November 24, the news broke that Sony Pictures’ computer system had been hacked. Today, 25 days later, President Obama finally addressed the issue in one of his rare press conferences. In the meantime, Sony had already announced that it is killing the movie that was the apparent cause of the intrusion, “The Interview;” showings of another film, “Team America,” had been canceled, and production of a third film that referenced North Korea was canceled. This is what Obama had to say:

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Where Did the Jobs Go?

Somewhat remarkably, given that it has presided over the worst recovery–by far–of the post-war era, the Obama administration tries to slice and dice employment numbers to portray itself as a champion of job creation. There are, indeed, a few more jobs today than there were six years ago. Yet for most Americans, the employment scene has gotten worse, not better. Why is that?

Senate Budget Committee staff offer data in explanation:

According to BLS data, in November of 2007 there were 23.1 million foreign workers in the United States with jobs. Today, the BLS reports, there are 25.1 million foreign workers in the United States with jobs – meaning 2 million jobs, on net, have gone to foreign workers since the recession. By contrast, BLS reports there were 124 million American-born workers with jobs in November of 2007 but only 122.5 million American-born workers with jobs today – a decline of 1.5 million for American workers.

Think about this: despite American workers accounting for 70 percent of all population growth among adults, they received, on net, none of the post-recession jobs gains. As a result, there are 11 million more American workers outside the labor force today than 7 years ago. So, despite the trillions spent, the enormous interventions, the years spent trying to climb out of the economic doldrums, the total number of American workers who are employed today is 1.5 million less than at this time in 2007. All employment growth during this time went to foreign labor imported from abroad at less cost.

This is not an inexplicable phenomenon but the plain result of Washington policy: each year the U.S. admits 1 million permanent immigrants (overwhelmingly low-wage) in addition to 700,000 foreign guest workers, 500,000 foreign students, and 70,000 refugees and asylees. The number of foreign-born has quadrupled since 1970. During that same time, the NYT reports: “More than 16 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 are not working, up from 5 percent in the late 1960s; 30 percent of women in this age group are not working, up from 25 percent in the late 1990s. For those who are working, wage growth has been weak, while corporate profits have surged.”

Here are the BLS data. You can check the numbers for yourself; click to enlarge:

BLS data

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CBS poll showing health-care cost pressures increasing on Americans

It’s been almost five years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its promise to “bend the cost curve downward” for Americans and their health care. More than five years have passed since the technical start of the recovery and the Obama administration’s bragging about jobs and economic expansion. The two combined should produce noticeable improvement in the lives of Americans, yes? According to the latest CBS News pollno (via Jeff Dunetz):

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Why the Sony Hack Matters

On today's Fightin Words podcast, hosted on the Twin Cities News Talk Podcast Network:

While Sony's cancellation of a film release in the face of terror threats may seem unimportant, it stands as a sad testament to our corrupt legal environment, our deteriorating culture, and the negligence of our government.

Subscribe to Fightin Wordsnow available on iTunes, or through the RSS feed. Follow → Blog, Twitter, Facebook.

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GOP at the crossroads: Look to the past, or to the future

So Jeb Bush has begun gearing up for a political campaign. That’s news on several levels, many of which we’ve already explored at length here at Hot Air. In regard to length, though, Byron York asks a pretty good question — just how well will Jeb do as a campaigner after a fourteen-year layoff? The last time he ran a campaign was in 2002, when Bush won re-election as governor in Florida. Byron wonders whether Bush can shake off the rust:

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NBC/WSJ poll shows 55% think Obama isn’t getting the message from midterms

The midterm elections sent Barack Obama a clear message, say three-quarters of respondents to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, but 55% think Obama either missed the message or is ignoring it. Another majority back the use of enhanced interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists (51/28). The WSJ leads with race relations, though, so let’s start with their graph on the subject:

nbc-wsj-racerelations-graphAfter two widely publicized cases of grand juries’ choosing not to pursue criminal charges against white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men, the poll found that just 40% of Americans believe race relations in the U.S. are good—the lowest share registered by the poll since 1995.

The more negative view of race relations marked a substantial change from the period shortly after Mr. Obama’s election, when 77% said race relations were good and 21% said they were bad.

The change is largely a reflection of a change in attitudes among whites, who made up 74% of the survey. In mid-2013, whites viewed race relations favorably rather than negatively, with 52% calling them “very good” or “fairly good,” while 45% called relations “fairly bad” or “very bad.” Now the assessment has flipped to a more unfavorable view of 40% to 58%.

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