Obama Jobs Boom Continues: Businesses Create 321,000 Jobs in November

Democrats create jobs and economic prosperity. Republicans destroy both. - promoted by Bob_Neer

The private sector created 321,000 private sector jobs in November, making 2014 the best year for job creation since 1999. Businesses have now added 10.9 million jobs during the six-year Obama administration (though that number is partially offset by the elimination of 1 million public sector jobs via misguided austerity policies). Compare that to just 1.1 million net jobs created during President George W. Bush’s entire eight years in office.

“November was the 50th consecutive month of positive job growth – the best stretch since 1939 – and the 56th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth – the longest on record,” says MSNBC’s Steve Benen, who created the chart below. “It remains very difficult for President Obama’s critics to explain these numbers: the hiring boom is underway after tax increases and full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

Scenes from tonight's rally in downtown Boston

Like several thousand other Bostonians, I headed down to Boston Common this evening.  Here’s some of what I saw.

In front of Boylston St. station as the rally began

In front of Boylston St. station as the rally began

Tremont Street was shut down as protesters walked from Boylston St. station back toward the State House.

Tremont Street was shut down as protesters walked from Boylston St. station back toward the State House.

Some motorists showed their support with their car horns, even as they were stuck in the protest.

How Baker's Fish Tale Exposed Democrats' "Us Too" Fishing Failure

Thoughtful post on a difficult topic. - promoted by david

Challenge forwardCharlie Baker deserved every bit of mockery he got in the final days of the governor’s race for making up his fish tale either in part or in whole. But whether it’s true or not, Baker’s attempt to position himself as one of the harvesters of the sea shows how Democrats have blown an opportunity to connect with fishing communities using their core message.

Martha Coakley’s campaign pounced on Baker’s fishy story, but all she could do was point out this one apparent untruth – using the story to show Baker didn’t care about fishing communities would be nearly impossible, because there’s virtually no daylight between Massachusetts Democrats and Republicans on fishing policy.

From pro-business centrists like Coakley to pro-worker progressives like Elizabeth Warren, Democrats have gone along with the “fishermen getting squeezed by big gubmint” story. Both Democrats and Republicans blast federal regulators and attack catch limits, perpetuating the myth that the fish are out there but those JACKBOOTED GOVERNMENT THUGS would let us catch them. If you believe government is the fishing community’s biggest problem, are you really going to vote for the Democrat?

Last month, Baker was out claiming to have stumped fishery scientists, only to have Globe reporter Laura Crimaldi immediately give the easy scientific rebuttal:

What does it take to get an indictment when the police kill someone?

All of the contradictory testimony in the Ferguson case, all of the doubt about what actually happened ... there was none of that in the Eric Garner case. There's just video of a bunch of cops choking a big black guy to death for no evident reason. It's sickening. The NY Times editorial says it pretty well:
What is clear is this was vicious policing and an innocent man is dead. Another conclusion is also obvious. Officer Pantaleo was stripped of his gun and badge; he needs to be stripped of his job. He used forbidden tactics to brutalize a citizen who was not acting belligerently, posed no risk of flight, brandished no weapon and was heavily outnumbered.

Any police department that tolerates such conduct, and whose officers are unable or unwilling to defuse such confrontations without killing people, needs to be reformed.
I'd just add that the NYPD doesn't appear to be the only institution in need of reform.

There is a rally tonight at 7 on Boston Common. Almost 5,000 people have responded to the Facebook event that they are going. - promoted by david

For the second time in two weeks, a grand jury has declined to indict a police officer who killed an unarmed black man.

A failure to indict in a case involving a potential homicide is supposed to be a rare occurrence. Yet, that’s what happened last week in Ferguson, MO, and again today in New York, where a police officer had been videotaped choking Eric Garner to death, after jumping him from behind.

Garner’s crime?  He was suspected of selling cigarettes illegally.

CNN reported that the cause of Garner’s death was “compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”  The New York City Police Department prohibits chokeholds. The death was ruled a homicide.

No wonder people think our justice system no longer works.  It’s not as if we’re talking about convicting these police officers.  An indictment simply brings the case to trial to see that justice is done.

Warren splits Democratic Party into Republican and Democratic wings

The Boston Globe lays it out about as clearly as reading between the lines will allow in Jessica Meyers’ piece “Critics assail Warren’s bid to block nominee for Treasury: Backlash tests ability to influence party policies,” a review of Warren’s struggle for the proposition that Wall Street millionaires should not have responsibility for regulating their fellow Wall Street millionaires, as evidenced by her opposition to Treasury Department nominee Antonio Weiss.

On the one hand, Senator Warren: “‘All of my objections to Weiss’s nomination are substantive, including the concern about his Wall Street background,’ Warren said in an interview, offering one of her strongest defenses yet. ‘The administration already has plenty of Wall Street executives to make sure that their views are represented in economic policy discussions . . . that is what this is all about. It’s trying to get some balance.’”

On the other hand, “Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who will lead the Senate Finance Committee when Republicans gain power next month, said he leans heavily toward him.” Allied with Senator Hatch on this issue: the Obama administration, the Washington Post editorial board (owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos), and NYT reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, who makes his living covering Wall Street millionaires.

A key point: no candidate is likely to win the Democratic nomination for president without the support of the Democratic wing of the party. Barack Obama schooled Hillary Clinton on that principle in 2008 (and, impressively, reiterated it for an audience of one — himself — in his uncontested 2012 renomination). Jim Webb, Joe Biden, and any other possible Democrat contender is well aware of that history. If Warren sticks to her guns, which she almost always does, Weiss will likely join Larry “$135,000 from Goldman Sachs for a speech” Summers in the pile of former bankers given a polite, but firm, reality check by the popular senator.

The only olympic plan so far would require displacing 700 working class jobs, food for the region

Hmm. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Other than some vague talk about how it’ll be one of the least expensive Olympics evah (suuuure) and the city of Boston won’t be on the hook for anything (when pigs fly), there’s been very little talk about specifics coming out of the Boston Olympic Planning Committee so far.

There is an exception, though, and that’s the idea of where that 60,000 seat stadium could go.

And it’s at the New Boston Food Market, home to 700 working class jobs – workers who put food on our tables and keep restaurants across the region, small and large, stocked.

It’s a billion dollar a year economic cooperative, centrally located so you can have your fish and meat fresh as can be.

So of course it’s on the chopping block.

Bear in mind that it’s a cooperative with many different partners who would all have to unanimously agree to sell. They haven’t in the past, despite many offers.

The Olympic Planning Committee’s PR team were quick to say that they don’t have definitive locations set yet, so nothing to see here, folks… move along.

But where else would the big stadium go?

Given Boston’s lack of square footage and high density, there aren’t a whole lot of areas that could fit a 60,000 seat stadium — doubly so when Boston’s bid is being built as a “walkable” Olympics.

Is there even a single, solitary other location that would hit all the bullet points of being near hotels, public transportation and walkable to other key Boston destinations? Short of Boston knocking down another whole End, my guess is not.

I think we can all see where this is going here. Two words, first begins with an E and second with a D.

The planning committee is salivating over this land right now, like a juicy steak one of these 700 workers may have prepared for them. Scooping up this land would be all too easy using eminent domain — and they could probably do it for cents on the dollar.

So, fellow Massachusetts residents, what’s more important to our region? The livelihood of 700 people and our food infrastructure — or a 60,000 seat white elephant no one will use before or after the Olympics?

Is anyone on the Boston planning committee asking themselves that?

What other thriving businesses and areas will the planning committee consider seizing by eminent domain for a two week party?



My words are mine and mine alone, and are not representative of any other group or organization that I’m associated with.



State Police Need Video Cams on Cruisers! Calling Governor Baker

Today's Globe has another story on the question of police wearing cameras all the time. Personally, I have a hard time seeing the case against it. -- David UPDATE: Commonwealth Magazine notes: "In Rialto, California, (where at least one officer has a camera on his sunglasses), police began studying the technology in 2012. In the first year of the program, the use of force by Rialto police dropped 60 percent and complaints against police declined a whopping 88 percent." Why should police officers object, since they have nothing to hide? - promoted by Bob_Neer

A while back the Globe Spotlight did a ridiculous Pravda like series on the fact that not all drunk driving defendants are convicted. All those freakin technicalities and such. The numbers were not bad at all but the Globe saw blood and money. They even controlled the SJC who sheepishly had an independent investigator try and hook someone. Unfortunately the investigator, unlike Paul Ware, was a lawyer without an agenda who reported back that this is America and wtf is your problem. Or something like that.

Deep within the series is the reason why troopers don’t record motor vehicle stops and booking procedures.

David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said that videotapes of motorists stopped on the road or being booked at the barracks would miss many of the subtle signs of impairment that troopers routinely observe.

So according to the state police their troopers are too dumb to point out and explain to a jury the subtle signs they observe. What a crock of shit.

I could have sworn that when I originally read this Procopio said videos resulted in too many not guilties. He probably did and they edited the on-line version because it was such an embarrassment.

Anyway folks, do you know how many state troopers have been canned for sexual harassment of female motorists? And that’s the minor stuff.

Here we are talking about body cameras on police when we can’t get the staties to accept 30-year-old technology.

No quid pro quo here with the union. Governor Baker should order the Department of Public Safety to equip state police cruisers and barracks with video and audio devices with requirements that they be used for every stop, booking, and interrogation.


Report on tonight's Democratic State Committee meeting.

A useful update, and additional interesting issues are raised in the comments. - promoted by david

I figured BMGers might be interested in some of the highlights:

  • Two special elections are pending in the House due to appointments to the Baker administration – namely Carlo Basile of 1st Suffolk (Charlestown, East Boston) and Matthew Beaton of 11th Worcester (Shrewsbury, Westborough).  News of the former broke during the meeting and the latter already has a Dem candidate.
  • There are two openings on the DSC – a male for 1st Plymouth & Bristol and a female for 2nd Worcester.  If you qualify and are interested you must inform the state party by 5PM on 1/19.  District conferences in the events of a contest will be 1/24.
  • Arthur Antonio Fernandes of Winthrop was elected to a gay male add-on vacancy without opposition.
  • The next convention is 9/19 in Springfield, which means caucuses will likely be in April rather than February.  Chairman McGee expressed hope that presidential candidates might detour out of New Hampshire long enough to make an appearance.
  • Mike Murray has been hired as Field Director/Voter File Manager.
  • There will be a “candidate college” offered late winter for Dems interested in running for local office.  Details to follow.
  • There was a presentation of Democracy.com, a website that candidates and committees can use to set up profiles, etc.
  • Next meeting will be Wednesday 2/4 at a location TBD, possibly in Taunton.

Others who were present may clarify, expand, etc. in the comments.

Two Tragic Deaths - Liz Warren is Not a Progressive - Jay Ash

Personally, I like "realist" rather than "progressive" (BMG is a "reality-based blog," for example) even though the two are, in fact, synonyms. - promoted by Bob_Neer

A couple of months ago a kid from one of the nicer suburbs was tragically killed in a car accident. It got a lot of press. The kid played football so there were a few reminders of it this past week in the ubiquitous coverage of the Thanksgiving high school games.

Gut wrenching. The press covered everything. The candle light vigils, the long lines at the wake, the funeral with weeping family and friends exiting the church.

A few weeks ago some Spanish drug dealer shot a white kid from Charlestown dead outside a convenience store on Main St.. His friend was shot too and has a tough recovery ahead. The drug dealer thought he was shooting some other white dudes who pissed him off. Mistaken identity.

Anyone read about this? It got some press but anyone hear about this kid? He went to St. Clements High School in Somerville. He was well liked. He played sports. It’s an unbearable loss to his family? Did you see any of the coverage of the wake and crowded funeral? Did you see his fellow students in tears?

Quick tutorial: Charlestown is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. Gentrification has been on steroids there for the past 35 years. As a result there are two kinds of Charlestown residents; the locals are “Townies” and “the yuppies that weren’t born there are “Toonies”.

(In Southie they call the newbies and yuppies “liberals”. If Rush Limbaugh bought a condo somewhere off East Broadway they would call him a “fucking liberal”. Swear to God.)

Now back to being preachy.

Anyway my point is it is just as much about class as it is race. This kid was a Townie. He has a family. Can you imagine if the kid’s parents were Toonies? How about instead of St. Clements he went to Buckingham Browne and Nichols and his mother was a doctor at Mass General and his other mother was judge? Would the media cover it the same way?

Now that I think about it this is another reason we need Liz Warren to run for president. She sees how the powers that be divide the people to keep them from joining together and forcing the status quo back to an economy that distributes more to working people while taken care of the elderly and disabled.


Speaking of LIz, It is crazy to market her as a progressive. That’s just today’s nomenclature for “fucking lefty”. The country ain’t up for voting for this season’s Jerry Brown.

Liz asks the questions that right wing nuts, left wing nuts, and everyone in bewteen who isn’t worth more than ten million dollars want asked. Where’s the money going? Why are all regulators chosen from a revolving door of the regulated? Common sense questions. Not pie-in-the-sky abstract bullshit that we’ve been hearing for far too long without results.

She’s the candidate for everyone. That’s the ticket. Don’t let Hillary paint her as too far left. She’s not.

Jay Ash, the outgoing Chelsea City Manager and incoming Baker cabinet bigwig, deserves a statue in the middle of Bellingham Square.

I don’t know much about tax rates and budgets and buildings and new hotels and all the other crap he’s being praised for.

But I do know that when he took over the place could have gone one of two ways. The easy way was back to the old days but only worse. There was always someone who could be bought off so the deal, any deal, could be made.

Or the city could continue on the then recently court mandated righteous path.

Easier said than done in the city where bookies and other types were highly respected members of the community, Anheuser Busch refused to build its distribution plant because there were too many hands out (ended up in Meford)  and a pompous Brahmin liereary figure described it as the “unmitigated nastiness” beneath the Tobin Bridge.

Elizabeth Warren's Criticism of Obama's Bankers is Making the WaPo Editorial Board Very Nervous

In which the ruling elites of the country are stunned to discover that something might be seriously amiss in an America where most people's income flatlined after the election of Ronald Reagan. - promoted by Bob_Neer

(Cross-posted from the Daily Kos)

On Friday, the New York Times did some editorializing in the Business section to defend Obama’s nominee for deputy undersecretary to the Treasury for domestic finance, Democratic bundler and investment banker Antonio Weiss, from his liberal critics.

The debate about Weiss began with an op-ed by Elizabeth Warren in the Huffington Post a week and a half ago, entitled “Enough Is Enough: The President’s Latest Wall Street Nominee.” Warren criticized Weiss both for his lack of qualifications for the position itself and for the regulatory and cognitive capture reflected by the administration’s nominees.

Since Warren stated her opposition to Weiss, Bernie Sanders and Dick Durbin have also gone on record opposing his nomination.

However, the opposition has taken a lot of elites by surprise, since they are used to seeing their friends on Wall Street get confirmed easily for job after job.

The Washington Post editorial board, in particular, is getting both nervous and angry, as shown in an editorial today: “An Obama nominee falls prey to a populist witch hunt.”

Let’s dissect the editorial.

Joke Revue: Sexism a thing of the past

If watching the New York Times react with astonishment day after day at Senator Warren’s splendid campaign against Antonio Weiss — the latest Wall Street multi-millionaire nominated by the administration to restrain his fellow Wall Street multi-millionaires — hasn’t been amusing enough, enjoy:

Jessica’s Feminized Atmosphere, in which the Daily Show correspondent offers a reality check:

(And BTW, don’t miss the documentary version.)

Plus, one-minute recaps of The Daily Show (“tailored for the Internet’s attention span”), an innovation the Founders could only have dreamed of, is yet another example, if any really were needed, of how life gets better every day in every way in our best of all possible worlds. Here is a recent episode:

Senate Dems Add Mark Warner to Leadership Team to "Counterbalance" Elizabeth Warren

Kind of funny, and kind of ... not. - promoted by david

A week ago, we learned that Chuck Schumer (D-Wall Street) had pushed for including Mark Warner in the Senate Democratic leadership team in order to counterbalance Elizabeth Warren.

The bankers whom Schumer views as his #1 constituency are not fond of Warren. You can see that in the current fight over Obama Treasury nominee Antonio Weiss. But the bankers love Mark Warner.

Mark Warner was named a “fiscal hero” by Fix the Debt because of how obsessed he is with pushing an austerity agenda:

“We must be willing to put everything on the table, move past partisan gridlock and come together with meaningful solutions that will help put our economy on a more fiscally responsible path,“ Sen. Warner said. “I’m honored to be recognized by the nonpartisan Campaign to Fix the Debt. I remain committed to working to responsibly reduce spending, reform our tax code to generate new revenue and strengthen entitlement programs so they will still exist for the next generation of Virginians and Americans.”“Mark Warner stands out as a true leader on fiscal responsibility,” said Maya MacGuineas, head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. “He has been tireless in his efforts to educate the country about the need to pass a comprehensive debt deal, both with the Gang of Six and other bipartisan groups in the Senate and House. Sen. Warner has helped keep a spotlight on this critical issue even when others have backed away from the hard choices involved in fixing the debt. There is much more to be done to confront our nation’s debt challenges, and it is important to recognize leaders such as Sen. Warner who remain focused on these issues.”

In late 2010, Sen. Warner cofounded the Senate’s so-called “Gang of Six,” a bipartisan group of Senators which worked for nearly two years on a framework that would reduce deficits and debt by almost $4 trillion over 10 years. However, events related to the debt ceiling and the appointment of the “supercommittee” in the Fall of 2011 prevented the Gang of Six framework from receiving a vote by Congress.

Mark Warner even touted his desire to cut Social Security and Medicare on his campaign site:

As a freshman senator, Mr. Warner showed guts by defying large chunks of his Democratic base to support trimming entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare in order to forge a deal. By contrast, his Republican challenger, Ed Gillespie, a smart and savvy Washington insider, has promised never to compromise by backing new revenue in order to tackle the nation’s fiscal problems in a balanced way.

Because of a platform that combined bromides about “bipartisanship” and calls for austerity–and a lack of campaigning–Mark Warner managed to turn a 12 point polling lead to a near loss on Election Day.Mark Warner took his near loss–and the loss of a number of his colleagues–as an opportunity to double-down on the austerity agenda:

“This election reenergized me,” Warner told the Post. “There’s going to be a different framework now, and in many ways, for somebody kind of in the middle who’s about building bipartisan coalitions, there may even be more opportunities for me … I’m looking forward to that.”

And he voted against Harry Reid for Majority Leader because Reid’s not being bipartisan enough for him.What do the Dems do with this lackluster candidate, Wall Street shill, and right-wing defector?

They promote him!

Senate Democratic leaders are promoting business friendly moderate Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia to their leadership team, where he will counterbalance rising liberal star Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, announced Friday that Warner will serve as a policy development adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to make the U.S. Senate a place where real work gets done to solve the challenges facing the American people,” he said. “Offering a constructive critic a seat at the leadership table is a positive step.”

Warner, who has strong pro-business credentials, will serve as a counterweight to Warren, who has built an enthusiastic following among the party’s liberal base as a sharp critic of Wall Street.

“Mark is a natural leader in our caucus who will bring a diverse experience of both private sector and public service work to this new role,” he said. “In the next Congress, Mark will work closely with the entire DPCC team to put forward policies and a message that resonate strongly with America’s middle class.”

Aren’t you excited that a Fix the Debt hero is going to be in the leadership team crafting the Democrats’ policy agenda and messaging strategy? Because the route to 2016 clearly lies in an agenda of Social Security cuts, cliched calls for bipartisanship, and deference to Wall Street and large corporations.