Sanders, Trump Landslides in New Hampshire -- The voters of New Hampshire produced a result in their primaries yesterday that offered the establishments of the Democratic and Republican parties the worst possible outcomes. Failed casino owner and inheritor of millions Donald Trump won by almost 20% on the Republican side. Geriatric socialist and non-member of the party Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by more than 20% on the Democratic side. If some things don't change, two outsiders might wind up with the nominations. [10 February]
Democrats Should Fear Kasich in New Hampshire -- Today's New Hampshire primary doesn't mean a great deal in terms of delegates to be elected to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. It's one of the least populated states. Where it will count is in who finishes top of the "sensible" candidates. Mr. Trump is a buffoon whom the majority of Americans dislike. Mr. Cruz is a hard-right yahoo who may not win all the GOP votes to be had in a general election. Among the others is a group of conservative pragmatists: Messrs. Rubio, Bush (Jeb!), Christie, and Kasich. That is the finishing order the Democrats should desire because Mr. Kasich is a real threat to them. [9 February]
Obama's $10 a Barrel Oil Tax is Wise, Dead on Arrival -- President Obama has proposed a $10 per barrel tax on oil, the funds from which would pay for investment in mass transit, self-driving and electric cars, high-speed rail and other relatively clean transportation. At a time when oil prices have dropped 70%, the tax is well-timed, and the purpose for which it is being raised is laudable. The only flaw with the idea is that Congress won't pass it. It's dead on arrival. [8 February]
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]
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