The Morning Jolt

How Many Consecutive Good Months Do You Need to Make an Economic Boom?

How Many Consecutive Good Months Do You Need to Make an Economic Boom?

Nice start to the Trump economy, huh?

Companies added jobs at a blistering pace in February, with a notable shift away from the service-sector positions that have dominated hiring for years, according to a report Wednesday.

Employment in the private sector surged by 298,000 for the month, with goods producers adding 106,000, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said. Construction jobs swelled by 66,000 and manufacturing added 32,000.

The total shattered market expectations of 190,000, according to economists surveyed by ADP.

“February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement.

In addition to the construction and manufacturing positions, mining and natural resources also contributed 8,000 to the total. Trump has promised to restore mining jobs as well.

The year is off to a sizzling start for job creation, according to the ADP counts. January added 261,000 positions, a number that was revised upward from the originally reported 246,000.

“Confidence is playing a large role,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, told CNBC. “Businesses are anticipating a lot of good stuff — tax cuts, less regulation. They are hiring more aggressively.”

Boom, baby, boom.

Forecast for ‘A Day Without a Woman’: Closed Schools, Less Traffic

Prince George’s County Schools decided to close today for “A Day Without a Woman,” giving parents less than 24 hours notice.

Prince George’s County Public Schools have announced they will close schools on Wednesday after 1,700 teachers and nearly a third of their transportation staff requested for the day off in observance of International Women’s Day and “A Day Without a Woman” protest.

Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell said in a statement:

“Throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools, a high number of school-based and support staff have requested leave for Wednesday, March 8. As of 5:30 p.m., approximately 1,700 teachers and 30 percent of transportation staff have requested leave. We cannot transport students and provide safe, productive learning environments without adequate staff. As a result, schools will be closed tomorrow for students. We apologize for the inconvenience this will surely cause to many families.

Yeah, I’m starting to doubt the school district’s slogan. I can remember when only meteorological snowflakes could shut down D.C.-area schools.

Over on the home page, I have a piece that most readers can guess is fueled by personal experience. I used to live in “Yuppie Acres” – I guess I can reveal now that it was the Cameron Station neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. My older son had a wonderful experience with the local public elementary school, Samuel Tucker Elementary. But my wife and I figured out quickly that the public schools in Alexandria weren’t that great at the middle school level and the city’s lone public high school, T.C. Williams, ranked 79th out of 190 high schools in the region – not bad, but nowhere near the level you would expect considering the hefty property taxes.

If you’re wealthy enough in Alexandria, you eventually send your kids to one of the city’s many excellent, but extremely expensive, private schools. (Episcopal High School, which was John McCain’s high school, looks like a college campus. The annual fee is $54,250.)

Or you do what we did, and you move across the border to Arlington or Fairfax County, districts that offer some of the best public schools in the country. Here in “Authenticity Woods,” we’re thrilled with our sons’ local elementary school, and we notice many of our neighbors from Yuppie Acres have made the same trek.

As laid out in my piece, Alexandria public schools have real problems: test scores below the state average, discipline and crime issues, a school that lost accreditation, and a considerable number of parents voting with their feet and taking their kids out of the school system. It is hard to argue that this is a funding issue; the district spends $16,999 per student, according to the latest statistics. (As of 2014, the Virginia statewide average was $10,973 per student.) Class sizes in Alexandria are small, averaging 18 students in elementary school, 20 in middle school, and 22 in high school. 

Local taxes are fairly high. The Alexandria property tax on real estate is $1.043 per $100 of assessed value; the Virginia average tax rate is $0.74 per $100. The personal property tax rate on vehicles in Alexandria is fairly high at $5 per $100 of assessed value, and there is a one percent sales tax on retail purchases and meals.

When you think about the resources available to Alexandria as a city, the performance of the schools looks less disappointing than disgraceful.

In light of all this, “sexism” seems like an amorphous problem for the city’s teachers and educational staff to spend a day addressing considering the tangible, real-life problems in front of them every weekday.

They have already succeeded in blowing up the plans of working parents in Alexandria, who now have two days notice to find all-day child care or take an involuntary day off from work. The school staffers have really managed to send a signal to the oppressive patriarchy of Alexandria, where Hillary Clinton won 76 percent of the vote.

The Hyping of Chelsea Clinton Continues

There really is an effort going on to persuade us that Chelsea Clinton is an important voice on the national political scene, isn’t there? Neontaster notices that The Hill newspaper has tweeted about Chelsea Clinton 70 times since the beginning of the year.

Politico declares that she “lets loose on Twitter” showcasing “a spicy, sarcastic online personality.” CNN concurs, “Chelsea Clinton embraces her Twitter sass.”

Why is this news? Why should we care? She’s the daughter of a president and former presidential candidate. Despite the insistence of the Clinton circle that she’s earned all of her jobs on her own merits, we have no evidence that she’s done anything in life that wasn’t driven by her famous name and parents. She made $600,000 per year to interview the Geico Gecko for NBC News. She is the embodiment of inherited privilege, making insanely high speaking fees simply for being who she is. When are we allowed to stop going along with this media assertion that she’s an enthralling leader who just happens to have famous parents?

She writes for the BBC that “America is suffering from an opioid epidemic.” Aren’t we glad she’s here to inform us about these things? She’s not a doctor. She’s not an addiction expert. Her claim to expertise on the subject is the “Clinton Foundation’s work with researchers at Johns Hopkins University to study the opioid epidemic.” Yet instead of getting someone who actually studies the issue for the university, BBC invites Chelsea Clinton to weigh in on the subject. Why?

The New York Times interviews her about her favorite books. Why? It’s as if a vast swath of the media has decided she must be considered fascinating and thought-provoking, regardless of whether she actually fascinates or provokes thoughts.

Michael Sainato argues this relentless, hard-to-justify coverage represents the Clintons reestablishing themselves as the true power brokers in the Democratic party, even after Hillary’s stunning defeat in the presidential election.

This appearance and the constant coverage of her tweets provide Chelsea Clinton with the cult-like coverage necessary to gain political power while avoiding political risk. This coverage also inadvertently benefits Hillary Clinton, who cannot make such appearances without garnering negative coverage for exercising the same expediency. With Chelsea Clinton, the Clinton brand is still able to receive praise and admiration from the elite mainstream media.

Any resistance to Trump offered from the Clintons—whether it’s from Bill, Hillary, or Chelsea—is not resistance at all. Rather, it’s the Democratic establishment’s attempt to oppose Trump while they reaffirm their power and subvert reform within the party. As long as a Clinton “resists” on behalf of the Democratic Party, there is little to no opportunity for newcomers on the left to emerge. Chelsea Clinton’s manufactured role as a resistance spokesperson allows the “resistance” to Trump to remain in the control of the Democratic establishment and prevents progressives from reforming the Democratic Party to fight on behalf of working and middle class Americans.

The family dynasty must live on.

ADDENDA: Andy McCarthy sorts through the statements of former Director of James Clapper:

Bear in mind that while the media and Democrats are now using Clapper’s statements to try to downplay Obama-administration investigation efforts against Trump associates, they were very content for the last four months to have Americans believe an aggressive investigation was underway. As I explained in yesterday’s column, fueling the public perception that Trump and his campaign were under investigation has been essential to propping up the false narrative of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Putin regime to “hack the election.”

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