Charles Krauthammer said Thursday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that June's favorable jobs report proves that conservatives were right in the debate over extending unemployment benefits and that "you can't keep the American economy down forever."The Labor Department reported Thursday that the unemployment rate has fallen to to 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent in May. This was due in part to the addition of 288,000 jobs in June. President Obama touted the news at an event in Washington noting “we've now seen the fastest job growth in the United States in the first half of the year since 1999.”However, Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, said that the good news was actually in spite of the administration’s actions, particularly with respect to the effort to extend emergency unemployment benefits. “These six months which Obama heralds as the largest, fastest growth in jobs in the U.S. since 1999, have coincided with the six months of which we have no longer extended emergency unemployment, long term unemployment," he said. Krauthammer said the numbers show conservatives were right to argue against the extension of unemployment benefits last year. "Remember at the end of last year the furious debate, the president, the Democrats saying, if you end this the sky is going to fall, people are going to go starving, there’s going to be an increase in unemployment," he said. "It's had precisely the opposite effect."
HERE IS A MUST READ EXPLANATION OF WHAT IS HAPPENING
IF THIS IS A VICTORY AS PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS, I'D HATE TO SEE WHAT A DEFEAT LOOKS LIKE
The Full-Time Scandal of Part-Time America
Fewer than half of U.S. adults are working full time. Why? Slow growth and the perverse incentives of ObamaCare.By MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN July 13, 2014 6:47 p.m. ETThere has been a distinctive odor of hype lately about the national jobs report for June. Most people will have the impression that the 288,000 jobs created last month were full-time. Not so.
The Obama administration and much of the media trumpeting the figure overlooked that the government numbers didn't distinguish between new part-time and full-time jobs. Full-time jobs last month plunged by 523,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What has increased are part-time jobs. They soared by about 800,000 to more than 28 million. Just think of all those Americans working part time, no doubt glad to have the work but also contending with lower pay, diminished benefits and little job security.
On July 2 President Obama boasted that the jobs report "showed the sixth straight month of job growth" in the private economy. "Make no mistake," he said. "We are headed in the right direction." What he failed to mention is that only 47.7% of adults in the U.S. are working full time. Yes, the percentage of unemployed has fallen, but that's worth barely a Bronx cheer. It reflects the bleak fact that 2.4 million Americans have become discouraged and dropped out of the workforce. You might as well say that the unemployment rate would be zero if everyone quit looking for work.
There are a number of reasons for our predicament, most importantly a historically low growth rate for an economic "recovery." Gross domestic product growth in 2013 was a feeble 1.9%, and it fell at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.9% in the first quarter of 2014.Last month involuntary part-timers swelled to 7.5 million, compared with 4.4 million in 2007. Way too many adults now depend on the low-wage, part-time jobs that teenagers would normally fill. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen had it right in March when she said: "The existence of such a large pool of partly unemployed workers is a sign that labor conditions are worse than indicated by the unemployment rate."
But there is one clear political contribution to the dismal jobs trend. Many employers cut workers' hours to avoid the Affordable Care Act's mandate to provide health insurance to anyone working 30 hours a week or more. The unintended consequence of President Obama's "signature legislation"? Fewer full-time workers. In many cases two people are working the same number of hours that one had previously worked.
Since mid-2007 the U.S. population has grown by 17.2 million, according to the Census Bureau, but we have 374,000 fewer jobs since a November 2007 peak and are 10 million jobs shy of where we should be. It is particularly upsetting that our current high unemployment is concentrated in the oldest and youngest workers. Older workers have been phased out as new technologies improve productivity, and young adults who lack skills are struggling to find entry-level jobs with advancement opportunities. In the process, they are losing critical time to develop workplace habits, contacts and new skills.
Most Americans wouldn't call this an economic recovery. Yes, we're not technically in a recession as the recovery began in mid-2009, but high-wage industries have lost a million positions since 2007. Low-paying jobs are gaining and now account for 44% of all employment growth since employment hit bottom in February 2010, with by far the most growth—3.8 million jobs—in low-wage industries. The number of long-term unemployed remains at historically high levels, standing at more than three million in June. The proportion of Americans in the labor force is at a 36-year low, 62.8%, down from 66% in 2008.
Part-time jobs are no longer the domain of the young. Many are taken by adults in their prime working years—25 to 54 years of age—and many are single men and women without high-school diplomas. Why is this happening? It can't all be attributed to the unforeseen consequences of the Affordable Care Act. The longer workers have been out of a job, the more likely they are to take a part-time job to make ends meet.
The result: Faith in the American dream is eroding fast. The feeling is that the rules aren't fair and the system has been rigged in favor of business and against the average person. The share of financial compensation and outputs going to labor has dropped to less than 60% today from about 65% before 1980.
Why haven't increases in labor productivity translated into higher household income in private employment? In part because of very low rates of capital spending on new plant and equipment over the past five years. In the 1960s, only one in 20 American men between the ages of 25 and 54 was not working. According to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, in 10 years that number will be one in seven.
The lack of breadwinners working full time is a burgeoning disaster. There are 48 million people in the U.S. in low-wage jobs. Those workers won't be able to spend what is necessary in an economy that is mostly based on consumer spending, and this will put further pressure on growth. What we have is a very high unemployment rate, a slow recovery and across-the-board wage stagnation (except for the top few percent). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 91 million people over age 16 aren't working, a record high. When Barack Obama became president, that figure was nearly 10 million lower.
The great American job machine is spluttering. We are going through the weakest post-recession recovery the U.S. has ever experienced, with growth half of what it was after four previous recessions. And that's despite the most expansive monetary policy in history and the largest fiscal stimulus since World War II.
That is why the June numbers are so distressing. Five years after the Great Recession, more than 24 million working-age Americans remain jobless, working part-time involuntarily or having left the workforce. We are not in the middle of a recovery. We are in the middle of a muddle-through, and there's no point in pretending that the sky is blue when so many millions can attest to dark clouds.
Mr. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report.
Obama to Visit Mosque, Host Muslim Leaders on July 4th
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced today that President Obama will be visiting a Washington D.C. area Mosque on the morning of July 4th as a goodwill gesture to Muslim Americans. The name and location of the Mosque are currently being withheld for security reasons. The President has long been criticised for being sympathetic towards Muslims and has even been accused of secretly being Muslim himself. His announcement to visit a Mosque on the morning of America’s most patriotic holiday will likely add to this criticism.According to Earnest, following his visit to the Mosque, the President will host the traditional White House July 4th cookout. Several influential Muslim leaders have been invited to attend the cookout, as a further gesture of goodwill. American Muslim Ahmed Mohamed Usman, who will be attending the cookout, had nothing but praise for President Obama’s decision.In an interview this afternoon on NPR, Usman had the following to say: “America is supposed to be the land of freedom and of tolerance. Finally we are starting to see this. If America has Christian prayer breakfasts, so must it have breakfasts praying to Mecca. If America is to put the 10 Commandments on display, so must she display the Quran. To be welcomed into the highest office of America to celebrate her birth and independence is an honor and is a step for Muslims in America to begin to establish our rights. President Obama is truly opening the door for Muslims in America.”
The Daydream and the Nightmare
Obama isn't doing his job. He's waiting for history to recognize his greatness.
July 4, 2014
I don't know if we sufficiently understand how weird and strange, how historically unparalleled, this presidency has become. We've got a sitting president who was just judged in a major poll to be the worst since World War II. The worst president in 70 years! Quinnipiac University's respondents also said, by 54% to 44%, that the Obama administration is not competent to run the government. A Zogby Analytics survey asked if respondents are proud or ashamed of the president. Those under 50 were proud, while those over 50, who have of course the longest experienced sense of American history, were ashamed.
We all know the reasons behind the numbers. The scandals that suggest poor stewardship and, in the case of the IRS, destructive political mischief. The president's signature legislation, which popularly bears his name and contains within it the heart of his political meaning, continues to wreak havoc in marketplaces and to be unpopular with the public. He is incapable of working with Congress, the worst at this crucial aspect of the job sinceJimmy Carter, though Mr. Carter at least could work with the Mideast and produced the Camp David Accords.
Mr. Obama has no regard for Republicans and doesn't like to be with Democrats. Internationally, small states that have traditionally been the locus of trouble (the Mideast) are producing more of it, while large states that have been more stable in their actions (Russia, China) are newly, starkly aggressive.That's a long way of saying nothing's working. Which I'm sure you've noticed.
But I'm not sure people are noticing the sheer strangeness of how the president is responding to the lack of success around him. He once seemed a serious man. He wrote books, lectured on the Constitution. Now he seems unserious, frivolous, shallow. He hangs with celebrities, plays golf. His references to Congress are merely sarcastic: "So sue me." "They don't do anything except block me. And call me names. It can't be that much fun."
In a truly stunning piece in early June, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein interviewed many around the president and reported a general feeling that events have left him—well, changed. He is "taking fuller advantage of the perquisites of office," such as hosting "star-studded dinners that sometimes go on well past midnight." He travels, leaving the White House more in the first half of 2014 than any other time of his presidency except his re-election year. He enjoys talking to athletes and celebrities, not grubby politicians, even members of his own party. He is above it all.
On his state trip to Italy in the spring, he asked to spend time with "interesting Italians." They were wealthy, famous. The dinner went for four hours. The next morning his staff were briefing him for a "60 Minutes" interview about Ukraine and health care. "One aide paraphrased Obama's response: 'Just last night I was talking about life and art, big interesting things, and now we're back to the minuscule things on politics.' '' Minuscule? Politics is his job.
When the crisis in Ukraine escalated in March, White House aides wondered if Mr. Obama should cancel a planned weekend golf getaway in Florida. He went. At the "lush Ocean Reef Club," he reportedly told his dinner companions: "I needed this. I needed the golf. I needed to laugh. I needed to spend time with friends." You get the impression his needs are pretty important in his hierarchy of concerns. This is a president with 2½ years to go who shows every sign of running out the clock. Normally in a game you run out the clock when you're winning. He's running it out when he's losing.
All this is weird, unprecedented. The president shows no sign—none—of being overwhelmingly concerned and anxious at his predicaments or challenges. Every president before him would have been. They'd be questioning what they're doing wrong, changing tack. They'd be ordering frantic aides to meet and come up with what to change, how to change it, how to find common ground not only with Congress but with the electorate.
Instead he seems disinterested, disengaged almost to the point of disembodied. He is fatalistic, passive, minimalist. He talks about hitting "singles" and "doubles" in foreign policy. "The world seems to disappoint him," says the New Yorker's liberal and sympathetic editor, David Remnick.
What kind of illusions do you have to have about the world to be disappointed when it, and its players, act aggressively or foolishly? Presidents aren't supposed to have those illusions, and they're not supposed to check out psychologically when their illusions are shattered.
Barack Obama doesn't seem to care about his unpopularity, or the decisions he's made that have not turned out well. He doesn't seem concerned. A guess at the reason: He thinks he is right about his essential policies. He is steering the world toward not relying on America. He is steering America toward greater dependence on and allegiance to government. He is creating a more federally controlled, Washington-centric nation that is run and organized by progressives. He thinks he's done his work, set America on a leftward course, and though his poll numbers are down now, history will look back on him and see him as heroic, realistic, using his phone and pen each day in spite of unprecedented resistance. He is Lincoln, scorned in his time but loved by history.
He thinks he is in line with the arc of history, that America, for all its stops and starts, for all the recent Supreme Court rulings, has embarked in the long term on governmental and cultural progressivism. Thus in time history will have the wisdom to look back and see him for what he really was: the great one who took every sling and arrow, who endured rising unpopularity, the first black president and the only one made to suffer like this. That's what he's doing by running out the clock: He's waiting for history to get its act together and see his true size.
He's like someone who's constantly running the movie "Lincoln" in his head. It made a great impression on him, that movie. He told Time magazine, and Mr. Remnick, how much it struck him. President Lincoln of course had been badly abused in his time. Now his greatness is universally acknowledged. But if Mr. Obama read more of Lincoln, he might notice Lincoln's modesty, his plain ways, his willingness every day to work and negotiate with all who opposed him, from radical abolitionists who thought him too slow to supporters of a negotiated peace who thought him too martial. Lincoln showed respect for others. Those who loved him and worked for him thought he showed too much. He was witty and comical but not frivolous and never shallow. He didn't say, "So sue me." He never gave up trying to reach agreement and resolution.
It is weird to have a president who has given up. So many young journalists diligently covering this White House, especially those for whom it is their first, think what they're seeing is normal. It is not. It is unprecedented and deeply strange. And, because the world is watching and calculating, unbelievably dangerous.==========================
Will Chinese copying backfire?
July 14, 2014 By John Mariotti
China has been notorious for either ignoring–or stealing–intellectual property rights: patents, trademarks, and copyrights. This kind of theft helps China accelerate its growth by building on the work of others, especially of the United States. The big question is: “will Chinese copying backfire” and reproduce flaws and failures that they don’t understand and have trouble fixing?
The phrase “Chinese copy” has been around since 1920. It’s used to describe an outright copy of an originator’s design or technology. Chinese culprits have been widely accused of cyber-invasions, in which all sorts of information has been stolen. Over a decade ago, a Chinese employee at the Dept. of Energy’s Los Alamos (NM) Laboratory allegedly made off with an entire computer hard drive full of classified information, including nuclear device secrets.
There have been instances where the copy even includes a rather obvious mistake, since the copier wasn’t knowledgeable enough to realize the error. But “that was then and this is now.”
China’s technological prowess has improved dramatically over the past few decades. Part of this was simply China’s investment in people and technology. Part of it was the infusion of knowhow from American companies developing Chinese sources as suppliers. The Wall Street Journal recently investigated China’s many spying activities:
“As Beijing modernizes its high-tech defensive arsenal, the Journal backed up on-the-ground views of 3PLA facilities with an examination of the organizational structure of the NSA-like military department, which increasingly rattles governments and corporations around the world while remaining obscure outside security circles.”
“Its operational units are spread out widely throughout China. Recruited from elite specialist universities, 3PLA’s estimated 100,000-plus hackers, linguists, analysts and officers populate a dozen military intelligence bureaus, according to the foreign experts. Its multiple sub-operations divvy up responsibility according to geography and task, they say.”
The WSJ’s investigation also exposed massive Chinese efforts to study, learn and use advance spying techniques.
“The Journal located more than 100 technical papers—including one on predictive models for the evolution of computer viruses—written by officers who often identify themselves with addresses of 3PLA units. Other articles detail techniques for encrypting networks, defending and attacking computer systems, automated foreign language data translation, and calculating satellite orbits.”…
“The U.S. indictments in May gave one part of 3PLA an especially high profile: Unit 61398, also known as the Second Bureau. Its operations were analyzed in a report early last year by U.S. cyber-security firm Mandiant, now a unit of FireEye Co.”
Another part of China’s spying leads to the theft of information and intellectual property. One of the most widely publicized cyber-thefts in recent years was the reports that hackers (again, allegedly Chinese) stole the plans for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin before it ever made its first flight. Not only is this report believable, but probably true.
Here is where the ironic twist of fate comes into play. The F-35 is so complex, and uses so much new or advanced technology that it has been plagued by problems. Among the problems were oil leaks, tire problems, issues with pilot helmets, and most recently an engine fire. This was serious enough to ground the F-35s built thus far. Prior problems delayed plans to use the planes from the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program ($400 billion!!). It is still not cleared for use, much to the chagrin of the first user–the U. S. Marine Corps.
Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony of a Chinese copy, if the Chinese planes built based on stolen U.S. technology also contained the same troublesome flaws?
In related situations, this kind of problem could easily exist if China copied/used GM’s problematic ignitionswitch design for its cars. After all, GM has pointed its finger at a Chinese vendor as being part of the problem. Boeing has struggled with problems on its Dreamliner airplane, notably battery fires. Might China have also copied those designs from Japan?
The old saying, “what goes around, comes around” might be more true than ever. Copying a technology or design is not the same as understanding how and why the design is configured the way it is. Nor does the copier have the depth of understanding to anticipate and fix nagging problems or design flaws—especially if they are buried several layers back in development and in different countries.
It would be incredibly ironic if the answer to the question “will Chinese copying backfire?” is a resounding “Yes!”
The world’s leader in spying and thefts might be destined to incur its own payback–failure and humiliation.The following two tabs change content belo