US Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.9% -- The Nonfarm Payroll Report came out this morning giving the markets a snapshot of the employment picture in January. The American economy added 151,000 jobs, which was down markedly from 292,000 jobs created in December. However, it was sufficient to reduce the unemployment rate to 4.9%. Coupled with last month's GDP figures, showing a growth rate of just 0.7% for the fourth quarter of last year, the drop in the jobless rate is misleading. The US economy is not really booming these days. [5 February]
Gingrich, Daschle Offer Bipartisan Healthcare Improvements -- Without a doubt, the inability of the Democrats and Republicans to work together has the electorate in a snit. That the electorate is responsible for the heels being dug in is beside the point. A way to break this logjam comes from a rather unlikely pairing over an unlikely source of harmony. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) concerning the Affordable Care Act. It could serve as a model for future cooperation. [4 February]
Cameron's EU Deal Not Much to Brag About -- EU President Donald Tusk has written up a 16-page letter detailing the agreement Prime Minister David Cameron can take to the British people in the upcoming referendum. In the words of Aesop, the mountain has labored and brought forth a mouse. The Tory PM promised a major reform of the EU, its institutions and Britain's place in the EU. By any measure, the contents of Mr. Tusk's letter come up short. Those who want to leave the EU have a strong argument that the UK got nothing much out of the recent negotiations. However, the debate ought not to be whether the small changes in the Tusk letter are worthwhile but rather whether Britain in the EU is better off than Britain outside it. [3 February]
Cruz Beats Trump, Clinton Squeaks by in Iowa -- The Iowa caucuses were last night, and the outcome was largely as one expected. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) defeated failed casino owner Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP field of wannabes. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won in a photo-finish, defeating Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is not even a registered Democrat, is 74, and a socialist Jew with a Brooklyn accent. The lessons here are that organization wins and that the Clinton campaign may actually be as dysfunctional as it was in 2008. [2 February]
Uncommitted Ought to Win in Iowa -- Today, the US presidential race enters a new phase with the Iowa Caucuses. While this journal is committed to government that works for the governed everywhere, it is difficult to back any candidate in this particular race. Never mind supporting any of them enthusiastically, one doesn't want to be associated with any of them either for ideological or personal reasons. If one were a voter in Iowa of a mind to caucus tonight, the only proper choice is to back uncommitted delegates in the hope that the shortcomings of at least one candidate vanish. It is likely a forlorn hope. [1 February]
Copyright 2015 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.