Found on the Internets …
Well, of course there are probably some Republicans who are glad that the economy is doing well (perhaps as a sign that the trickling down that started in 1981 is finally reaching ordinary Americans????) … but in general terms Eric Boehlert is right: this is NOT good news for those who are willing to destroy the economy to bring down President Obama.
Here are the cold hard facts.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.0 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2014-the strongest single quarter since 2003-according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. While quarterly growth reports are volatile, and some of the growth in Q3 reflected transitory factors, the recent robust growth data indicate a solid underlying trend of recovery. Indeed, the strong growth recorded in each of the last two quarters suggests that the economy has bounced back strongly from the first-quarter decline in GDP, which largely reflected transitory factors like unusually severe winter weather and a sharp slowdown in inventory investment. Consumer spending, business investment, and net exports all remained positive contributors this quarter. Real gross domestic income (GDI), an alternative measure of the overall size of the economy, was up 4.7 percent in Q3.
More Americans still disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President. But at 48%, Obama’s approval rating is at its highest point in CNN polling since May 2013.
The gains were driven by newfound backing among women, independents and millennials – groups where Obama’s approval numbers jumped 10 percentage points from a month ago. […]
Tuesday’s CNN/ORC poll showed for the first time in seven years, a majority of Americans – 51% – have a positive view of the economy, a sharp increase from the 38% who felt that way in October.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell says health care sign-ups are off to an encouraging start, but a lot of work is still needed to make the second open enrollment season for the federal insurance market a success.
Burwell says 1.9 million new customers have picked a plan through the federal market as of Dec. 19. It serves 37 states.
Another 4.5 million have renewed existing coverage, with most automatically re-enrolled.
The U.S. economy grew at its fastest rate in more than a decade between the months of July through September, according to government data released Tuesday morning, marking the latest sign that a once-sluggish recovery is now running at full speed.
The Commerce Department said gross domestic product growth hit an annualized rate of 5 percent in the third quarter, revised upward from the previous estimate of 3.9 percent. Not since 2003 has the economy expanded so quickly.
The better-than-expected GDP numbers helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 18,000 for the first time, the latest in a series of record highs. The S&P 500 also edged up.[…]
Consumer sentiment is at a post-recession high, and the nation has seen its best year of hiring in 15 years. The latest six months of expansion suggest that a surprisingly poor first quarter performance – when the GDP shrank 2.1 percent – was an anomaly, likely the result of miserable East Coast winter weather that kept consumers indoors.
Some opinion pieces reflecting on the pro-justice protests …
Brinsley’s reported claim to be acting in some warped sense of revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner was delusional and illegitimate. Reasonable people understand this, of course. But we live in unreasonable times.
Not for the first time, one of the loudest and least temperate voices has been that of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “We’ve had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police,” Giuliani said on Fox News. “I don’t care how you want to describe it, that’s what those protests are all about.”
No, no, no. The demonstrations sparked by the exoneration of the officers who killed Brown and Garner were pro-accountability, not anti-police. As I’ve pointed out many times, no one better appreciates the need for an active, engaged police presence than residents of high-crime neighborhoods. But nobody should be expected to welcome policing that treats whole communities as guilty until proved innocent — or a justice system that considers black and brown lives disposable.
The recent brutal murder of two Brooklyn police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, is a national tragedy that should inspire nationwide mourning. Both my grandfather and father were police officers, so I appreciate what a difficult and dangerous profession law enforcement is. We need to value and celebrate the many officers dedicated to protecting the public and nourishing our justice system. It’s a job most of us don’t have the courage to do.[…]
At the same time, however, we need to understand that their deaths are in no way related to the massive protests against systemic abuses of the justice system as symbolized by the recent deaths-also national tragedies-of Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and Michael Brown. Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the suicidal killer, wasn’t an impassioned activist expressing political frustration, he was a troubled man who had shot his girlfriend earlier that same day. He even Instagrammed warnings of his violent intentions. None of this is the behavior of a sane man or rational activist. The protests are no more to blame for his actions than The Catcher in the Rye was for the murder of John Lennon or the movie Taxi Driver for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Crazy has its own twisted logic and it is in no way related to the rational cause-and-effect world the rest of us attempt to create.
The protestors who swelled around the city weren’t some kind of alien army. They’re New Yorkers. And the feeling that something deeply wrong happened in the death of Eric Garner was widespread in the city. As a point of reference, polls showed that 64 percent of New Yorkers supported bringing criminal charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo. The number was substantially lower in Staten Island itself, the most conservative of the five boroughs, where the incident occurred. But even there the number was a substantial 41 percent.
A chart created by 538 acutely captures the latent and now not latent polarization in the city. The folks who support the police and the folks who support Mayor de Blasio do not tend to be the same people. (And to put this chart in perspective, remember: whites, Staten Islanders and Republicans all to varying degrees make up only a minority of New Yorkers.)[…]
As a political reality, no Mayor can ignore that kind of public sentiment. But as a more substantive and integral one, these are the people who employ the NYPD, the people the NYPD is sworn to serve and protect. The idea that police demand reflexive support from the city’s Mayor against large segments of or even the majority of the people they’re sworn to serve and protect simply makes no sense. The people of New York and the NYPD are two groups which by definition must coexist. They can do so well or poorly. But they cannot be rid of each other – even though segments of both groups seem to wish they could.
Editor’s Note: Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.