Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Catnip 5/2/12


14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland, a little before 8pm last night. Truck with a loudspeaker rallying the crowd. I was starting to lose the light, so I snapped a few from the steps at Ogawa, hung out a bit, and then headed home. Haven't had a lot of time to look through the pics yet (the line at my burrito place to get some dinner was huge), but above shows the intersection blocked off by a crowd that numbered in the thousands, which led to this....

Occupy message lost, at least here on the Left Coast. As the local media showed all sorts of shots of vandalism and masked protesters and tear gas, the words "income inequality" and "99%" never entered their lexicon. Sorry folks, you are losing the masses with this shit, and now they will never listen to the reason it began in the first place.

Tea Party hostages. On a possible loss by Dick Lugar, Ezra hits on an important point: "Of course, we can come up with endless hypotheticals. But the underlying point here is that what gets done in Washington next year won't just be decided by the presidential election. It will be decided by the congressional elections, and the parties' reactions to what happens in the congressional elections. And the degree to which Republican lawmakers think of themselves as constantly vulnerable to a primary challenge could matter quite a lot in terms of how much they can actually partner with Obama to do. And that's all it boils down to, isn't it? Compromise, and Gridlock Grover calls the dogs.

Paul Ryan introduces official legislation to stop the cuts to defense spending. What a shock. "The defense cuts were supposed to pressure a 'supercommittee' of lawmakers to find alternative cuts in the budget, but that panel failed to come up with a plan. Ryan's Sequester Replacement Act, H.R. 4966, would eliminate language in last year's Budget Control Act that requires the cut to 2013 spending, known as the 'sequester.' "

And while we are on the subject of the House Republicans... deficit? What deficit? The House will extend the Bush tax cuts with no offsets. "But moving to extend the Bush tax rates without offsetting spending cuts or revenue increases could leave the GOP vulnerable to attacks on the deficit, particularly for a party that has spent years accusing Democrats of bankrupting federal coffers and used their House majority to insist on controlling the exploding debt." Another shocking development.

House Republicans did find one target for cuts though: Sick children. "House Republicans want to stop rewarding states for finding and enrolling low-income children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and public health advocates are livid. The Republicans say it’s a smart fiscal move that will better protect the program against fraud; their critics say it’s undermining years of progress states have made in identifying and enrolling a hard to serve population."

How is that durable goods were so down, and manufacturing is so up? Check out this number: " U.S. manufacturing grew last month at the fastest pace in 10 months, suggesting the economy is healthier than recent data had indicated. New orders, production and a measure of hiring all rose. The April survey from the Institute for Supply Management was a hopeful sign ahead of Friday's monthly jobs report and helped the Dow Jones industrial average end the day at its highest level in more than four years." Huh. OK, then.

Dueling jobs numbers, too. "U.S. Job Creation Nears Four-Year High," says Gallup this morning. "Gallup's Job Creation Index increased to +20 in April from +18 in March. Net new hiring is now at its best level since July 2008 and is near +26 -- the highest score Gallup has recorded since tracking began in January 2008." On the flip, ADP reports "U.S. employers dropped in April with the fewest jobs added in seven months, sending a foreboding signal ahead of the Labor Department’s jobs report on Friday," with losses in construction and the booming (?) manufacturing sector above. Head scratcher. (Update: Ben White at Politico takes a look at the numbers game today as well - good story on the conflicting data that comes out almost daily at this point.)

Bye Newt! Be seeing ya on the talking heads circuit, I'm sure. Relive the Gingrich campaign memories here. Or, not. But there's a few goodies in there.

Oakland's finest (or maybe these were Alameda County) guard Oakland's City Hall below.