Friday, the Labor Department reported that 145,000 jobs were created in December. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5%, the lowest in 50 years. It’s also the lowest in 70 years for women, and the lowest ever for African-Americans.
This is actually creating a problem for businesses that’s a boon for workers. In this market, to attract or hang on to good workers, employers are having to raise wages and increase benefits. So when you hear Democratic Presidential candidates tell you that this economy “isn’t working” for the lower and middle classes, know that that’s outdated political palaver that hasn’t been true since they were last in charge. The only people having trouble landing a job because of this economy are Democratic Presidential candidates.
According to new data from the Counsel of Economic Advisers, since Trump took office, the rising tide has lifted all boats, but it’s lifted the fishing boats more than the yachts. It’s true that the net wealth of the top 1% of earners has increased by 13%, but the net wealth of the bottom half of all earners has increased by 47%. Worker’s pay is rising faster than managers’, and pay for workers without a bachelor's degree is rising faster than for those with a bachelor's or higher. Most terrifying for Democratic politicians, the average wage growth of African-Americans is outpacing that of whites.
And here’s a bit of news that I especially like to hear: Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia told Fox Business that the high demand for skilled workers has sparked a 56% increase in apprenticeships. More employers are focusing on finding good workers who can be trained to do needed jobs than on people with four-year college degrees.
Nothing against a college degree (I have one myself, believe it or not), but if young people can learn lucrative, in-demand job skills without having to endure four years of socialist bullying and brainwashing followed by a crushing debt load, I think that’s a positive sign for their futures, and for America’s.
If we’re going to start taking directions from a teenager, far better that it be Nick Sandmann than Greta Thunberg. No sooner had word broken that CNN had paid an undisclosed settlement to Sandmann to settle his defamation lawsuit for them falsely branding him as a racist than this story arrives:
Immigration opponent Peter Brimelow of the website VDARE is suing the New York Times for $5 million for describing him as an “open white nationalist,” a claim they backed up by citing an article from the notoriously fair and reliable Southern Poverty Law Center, which accused him of “hate” and “extremism.” When Brimelow’s attorneys complained to the Times, the editors reportedly removed the word “open” from the online version of the story.
As a big fan of free speech and the First Amendment, I’m not thrilled about media outlets facing a blizzard of lawsuits for what they print. I don’t want to see journalists being afraid to print the truth, no matter how ugly, so I think the bar for suing for defamation does have to be high. But the recent spate of lawsuits has come only because the media outlets have set their own standards of journalism so very, very low.
I’m not familiar with Brimelow so I can’t comment on his character either way. But if your only corroboration for calling anyone an “open white nationalist” in the alleged “newspaper of record” is that the SPLC said so, then you’d better go back to journalism school and learn what a “reputable source” is before you find yourself in a courtroom.
Farewell to Neil Peart and Edd “Kookie” Byrnes
By Pat Reeder, “Huckabee” writer/resident pop culture historian (http://www.facebook.com/hollywoodhifibook )
Condolences today to the family of Neil Peart of the progressive rock band Rush and his many fans. It was just revealed that Peart died Tuesday at 67 after a long battle with brain cancer.
Peart was known as an innovative and influential drummer, mixing rock and jazz, and like all three members of Rush, was famous for virtuosic musicianship and complicated, shifting time signatures. He also wrote many of the band’s lyrics, including the fan favorite, “The Trees.” The lyrics tell a parable about a conflict between the oak trees and the maple trees, who think the oaks are too tall and taking more than their share of the sunlight. Eventually, equality is imposed “by hatchet, axe and saw.”
A lot of political and social messages have been read into the lyrics, particularly by Libertarian and limited government types, but Peart himself dismissed it as “a very simple statement,” saying, “I thought, 'What if trees acted like people?' So I saw it as a cartoon really, and wrote it that way.”
We’re also sad to report that actor Edd "Kookie" Byrnes has died at 87. He played Kookie, the cool parking lot attendant on "77 Sunset Strip," who was forever combing his pompadour and, like, spouting ‘50s hipster slang, Daddy-o. His Fonzi-like popularity with young viewers made him a teen idol and led to his character being promoted to detective on the show. Some of you might remember him from later roles, such as the movie “Grease.”
His “Kookie” popularity led to a brief recording career, but not really as a singer. In his #4 Billboard novelty hit of 1959, “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb,” Connie Stevens pleads with Kookie to borrow his precious comb, but he fends her off with a barrage of baffling beatnik blather. This led to an album and couple of follow-up singles, which you can read more about at my Hollywood Hifi Facebook page (link below the headline) if you’re, like, into cool platters, can ya dig it?
To remind you that dumb hit singles are not a recent invention, here’s a kinescope of Kookie and Connie performing their hit live on the "Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show" in April of 1959
As a demonstration of how serious he is about getting on with flushing impeachment down the sewer of history, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signed on as a co-sponsor of a resolution giving the Senate the right to dismiss the articles before the House even sends them over.
The resolution imposes a deadline of 25 days (from the day the House passed it, so the clock’s a-ticking) for Nancy Pelosi to hand it over. After that, the Senate could vote by simple majority to dismiss it with prejudice (meaning it’s dead, and the House can’t vote to bring it back again on the same charges.)
McConnell previously blasted Pelosi for doing something that she’d already said would be incredibly divisive if it weren’t bipartisan, and then dragging it out and not allowing a resolution. He also emphasized that she had no leverage to reach into the Senate and dictate to them, and never will.
Incidentally, where did Speaker Pelosi get the cockamamie idea of sitting on the articles of impeachment like a hen guarding a rotten egg? It’s possible she got it from the ever-flowing fount of so many stupid ideas: a commentator on CNN.
Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne introduced a resolution Thursday to censure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate.
Byrne explained that by doing this, Pelosi is, ironically, trying to force the Senate into a “quid pro quo,” to give her power over the Senate trial rules in exchange for handing over the articles already passed by the House. He said, “House Democrats made the misguided decision to rush through the most legally unsound and factually unsupported articles of impeachment in the history of this country, and they can’t now insist that the Senate fix their shoddy, incomplete work.” He calls Pelosi’s gambit a “pathetic and unconstitutional attempt to extract concessions from the Senate” and “an unprecedented abuse of power.”
I’m sure many in the media will mock Byrne for introducing this resolution. They’ll ask why anyone would waste Congress’ time on a bill targeting the opposition party leader when it has no hope of ever passing? I will answer that in four words: “Trump’s articles of impeachment.”