The April jobs report and the part-time recovery


**Posted by Phineas

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released it’s report for April today, showing numbers that should at least be slightly good news for the administration: unemployment down to 7.5% and 165,000 jobs added. Recovery!!

AEI’s James Pethokoukis says “not so fast:”

US job growth in April beat economist expectations as nonfarm payrolls rose 165,000, and the jobless rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5%. But the report contained worrisome signs that President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment.

While the American economy added 293,000 jobs last month, according to the separate household survey, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons — “involuntary part-time workers” as the Labor Department calls them – increased by almost as much, by 278,000 to 7.9 million. These folks were working part time because a) their hours had been cut back or b) they were unable to find a full-time job. At the same time, the U-6 unemployment rate — a broader measure of joblessness that includes discouraged workers and part-timers who want a full-time gig – rose from 13.8% to 13.9%.

What’s more, there wasa  0.2 hour decline in the length of the average workweek. This led to 0.4 percentage point drop in the index of average weekly hours, “equaling the largest declines since the recovery began,” notes economist Dean Baker of Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Let’s see, more part timers and fewer hours worked. Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin says what we’re all thinking: “This is not good news as it reflects the reliance on part-time work. … the decline in hours and rise of part-time work is troubling in light of anecdotal reports of the impact of the Affordable Care Act.”

Jim adds that, if the Labor Force Participation Rate were the same now as it was when Obama took office, then BLS would be reporting unemployment of between nine and ten percent. (And see this for a graphic chart of how the LFPR has gone down under Obama)

It’s not that unemployment is going down, it’s that the number of people who’ve given up looking for a job is growing, and an increasing number of those who have a job are limited to part-time work, thanks to Obamacare.

Such is the nature of the Obama “recovery,” the worst since the Great Depression.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

State Dept. Inspector General investigating State Dept. Board that investigated #Benghazi


**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

They’d like answers, too.

But, don’t worry. According to a State Department spokesman, this is just part of a standard review of “the process.”

Yeah, sure it is.

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the special internal panel that probed the Benghazi terror attack for the State Department, Fox News has confirmed.

The IG’s office is said by well-placed sources to be seeking to determine whether the Accountability Review Board, or ARB — led by former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen — failed to interview key witnesses who had asked to provide their accounts of the Benghazi attacks to the panel.

The IG’s office notified the department of the “special review” on March 28, according to Doug Welty, the congressional and public affairs officer of the IG’s office.

This disclosure marks a significant turn in the ongoing Benghazi case, as it calls into question the reliability of the blue-ribbon panel that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened to review the entire matter. Until the report was concluded, she and all other senior Obama administration officials regularly refused to answer questions about what happened in Benghazi.

But State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell disputed the characterization of the review, saying it is “simply false” to assert the panel is being investigated.

And that smoke you see is not indicative of a fire.

That’s why whistle-blowers who wanted to testify before the ARB are lawyering up in advance of next Wednesday’s House hearings — just “normal process:”

In an interview for the Fox News program “Geraldo” taped Thursday afternoon and set to air this weekend, Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, told host Geraldo Rivera that he is legally representing a career State Department officer whom the board failed to interview. DiGenova called the ARB a “cover-up.”

DiGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official who represents another State Department whistle-blower in the Benghazi case, said their respective clients will testify next Wednesday at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee being chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

The review board’s report was rightly regarded at the time as a whitewash, making scapegoats of senior officials well-below Hillary Clinton’s level and attempting to appease the public with severe punishments laughable wrist-slaps.

Jim Geraghty is right that this could be deadly to Hillary’s 2016 prospects, but there’s something else to bear in mind: if the question of “cross-border authority” discussed yesterday is is true, then what the whistle-blowers have to say –and perhaps wanted to say to the ARB– may well implicate the President’s actions or non-actions that night. It’s not hard at all to imagine pressure from both the White House and Clinton’s office on the ARB to “find some responsible flunkies, fast” because there were two arses that needed covering — Clinton’s and Obama’s.

Question: IF all this turns out to be true and IF it looks like “Hillary 2016” is about to go down like the Hindenburg, will she rat-out her former boss? It’s not as if there is any love lost between the Clintonistas and the Obama camp.

RELATED: Wait, al Qaeda operatives were at the Benghazi attack? You mean they were working for the video maker, too?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

House Minority Pelosi leader “prays” Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016



Nancy Pelosi is reaching out to a higher power to get Hillary Clinton to run in 2016.

“I pray that Hillary Clinton decides to run for president of the United States,” Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House Minority leader, said during a public appearance in Little Rock, Ark., according to The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“Nobody has been first lady and senator and now secretary of state,” she added. “Putting everything aside that she is a woman, she’d be the best qualified person that we’ve seen [in recent years].”


Think of the message it sends to women in the world — the most powerful figure in the world is a woman, and she also happens to be the most qualified for the job,” Pelosi said, according to The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“Most qualified” in what way? The “most qualfied” Democrat?  Why is it important for the most “powerful figure in the world” to be a  woman? Would she feel the same way if that “most powerful figure in the world” was Sarah Palin? Of course not.

I hate identity politics. o=>

Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi

Neither of these women make my ”A” list of ”most qualified” for President. Not even close. (Photo via CNN)