Robert P.'s blog

The Economy Is Strong

The Economy Remains Strong, And The Outlook Is Favorable

That is the heading on the Whitehouse Jobs and Economic Growth page. Here is the headline from today's New York Times.

Real Wages Fail to Match a Rise in Productivity
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE and DAVID LEONHARDT

Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s economy since the U.S. began recording the data in 1947.

Who's telling the truth?

Who are we going to confront with the truth today?

If we had a real progressive machine this is all you would hear about all week, that wages are at their lowest since World War II. That working people have it harder than they have since the Great Depression. More from the story after the break.

Edwards and his UNC duties

Just a notice to those who think Edwards doesn't spend any time at UNC. My wife is in the MPH program and forwarded me this announcement. I've deleted the days and times, and won't be attending, since this is an internal event. Dang it.

NUTR MPH Students

Announcement:

Please join Senator John Edwards, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, for an informal coffee hour on xxxxxxxxxxx. Sen. Edwards and members of the Center staff will be on hand to talk about the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, to hear about your studies and community work, and to listen to your ideas for future projects and for research on poverty. Come with your ideas, questions, and appetites - refreshments will be provided. Drop in as your class schedule allows and learn about issues of poverty, work and opportunity! To learn more about the Center, please visit

UPDATE: Pizza for Progressives - We're Embarrassing Ourselves

UPDATE: Larry seems to be up around 157 donors now, which ties him with Courage and keeps him ahead of Seals, and I believe moves him ahead of Linda Stender. At the netroots page they are currently listing the candidates based on the NUMBER of donations, not the amount. Here we made a big deal of getting Larry on the list and now he is nearly in last place. Only Dan Seals from IL is doing more poorly. Is that the way we represent in North Carolina? The guy WE think should be on the netroots page ends up in last? I don't think so. Look, I'm as tapped as anyone right now, but I'll repeat what Chris Bowers says over at MyDD:

Whatever you can give, even if it is just $5, makes a big difference.

So, that's what I'm going to do. It's time for another edition of Pizza for Progressive, Time to Raise the Dough. I'm giving up all coffee purchases and making a donation instead. How about you?

The True Cost of Healthcare in North Carolina

John Hood recently wrote a piece about...well, I don't know what it was supposed to be about, but this is what he said.

Because we have taxpayer-financed programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, obesity is a major public-policy issue. Unfortunately, what you do with – and to – your own body is no longer just your own business, because your poor choices can impose tremendous costs on others without their consent. Those who profess to care about personal autonomy in such matters are often noticeably silent about this point, but it is inescapable. The welfare state puts freedom at odds with fairness. Your freedom to overeat or get no exercise is unfair to me if I am forced to finance the treatment of the consequences.

The truth about the costs of healthcare after the break.

Why Watt.

I saw this in the Hill and it provided another reason why I think Mel Watt should consider moving to a state-wide race. Name recognition, party power, and hopefully he can excite the base. The mention of Watt is in regard to something I wish he hadn't done maybe.

The Congressional Black Caucus is positioned to dramatically increase its clout next Congress if Democrats win control of the House.

The 43-member group, already one of the most powerful blocs among House Democrats, would control as many as five committee gavels in a Democratic House, including two exclusive panels, Ways and Means and Judiciary. Members of the group also would lead 15 subcommittees, six of them on exclusive panels. And Caucus Chairman Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) would be a contender for majority whip.

Earlier this year, many in the CBC, including Chairman Mel Watt (D-N.C.), vociferously defended Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) when Democratic leaders moved to oust him from the Ways and Means Committee.

Death of the High Risk Pool

Adam Searing is the Director of the North Carolina Health Access Coalition. My one experience with Adam was watching his downtrodden and negative take on healthcare at a Chapel Hill forum. That and he doesn't support the push for UHC at this time, which I disagree with. He's been fighting for healthcare reform longer than any of us, but I think maybe he needs a change of scenery.

That aside, he has put together a good postmortem on why the high risk pool died a lonely death (PDF). It is easy to see why Mr. Searing (his resume says graduate degrees in law and public health, but I don't think they are Ph.D.s, if so, I apologize) is downtrodden on healthcare reform in North Carolina. The high risk pool would have covered somewhere between 9,000 - 20,000 North Carolinians. There are 1.5 million uninsured. This bill would have covered 0.1% of them, and it didn't pass. I'll cut and paste a few things after the break, but the PDF is a good read.

A point about Undocumented Workers

The New York Times has a piece out today saying there are large increases in immigration and that it has spread to more diverse areas, which might be why it is becoming an election year issue. My Dad tells me that in the trucking business, the garbage haulers from PA-NY now travel with one English speaker and the rest are undocumented workers that might not be able to speak the language. It is these stories, true or not, that are driving the debate.

But, I wanted to clear up a point about undocumented workers. Some of the NYT story below the break, then the clarification.

The Liberal Media

Do a Google News search for Heath Shuler and what do you think you will find? Stories about fundraisers? Nope. Stories about the former local football star made good? Nope. Stories about the successful businessman who is a moderate Democrat facing one of the most corrupt Republicans in Congress, yeeeeeeeeeah, that'll be the day.

No, this is what you get....after the break.

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