Sunday Morning Coffee is my regular commentary on the stuff your Mother said you shouldn't discuss, politics and religion with a little gossip thrown in for flavor. You can comment here if you wish and/or my personal Facebook Page is here and my personal Twitter Stream is @MichaelLibbie. But, enough about me...let's see what's been going on.
Finally Grew Some
Since 2009, Republicans had filibustered 82 of President Obama's executive and judicial nominees. That's nearly half of the 168 filibusters in the entire history of the U.S. Senate. That ended when Senator Reid invoked the, what some have called the "nuclear option" which really doesn't destroy anything unless you love it when democracy is destroyed. Republicans have used every tactic imaginable to block the initiatives and policies proposed by President Obama...since he took office...if you recall. Things had gotten so bad that we were at a point where the nomination of a new Federal Reserve Chair could not get a vote until Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wanted more discussion about Benghazi. Want to know why Sen. Reid (D-NV) invoked the option. Here you go.
The McDonald Option
I don't know why people love to hate McDonald's. For generations now the "golden arches" have offered a safe haven for individuals seeking a meaningful career... But, wait. Did you see this?
You are welcome.
Say It Ain't So!
Enrollment for health care under the Affordable Care Act has doubled over the past two weeks in enlightened states (unlike Iowa) that have exchanges. "The latest enrollment figures from the 14 states that are running their own marketplaces show that enrollment has climbed to at least 200,000 people nationwide," Sara Collins and Tracy Gruber write today for the Commonwealth Fund. "This latest figure does not account for any new enrollment in the federal marketplaces in 36 states, which is also likely to have increased since early November."
State officials say they are seeing an uptick in sign-ups this month. California, which has had about 80,000 sign-ups, is now reporting about 2,000 enrollments per day. "It's not all doom and gloom," Kaiser Family Foundation President Drew Altman says. "What this says is that the problems are system problems, not problems with demand or interest. Reason would suggest that other states can do as well over time, if we're able to do this in Kentucky or Washington." (Or Iowa) Damn!
Jobs! Where Are The Jobs?
Speaking of Iowa. Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) last week "revised" the "jobs created number". You may remember that the governor was running around the state, with Kim Reynolds stuck to his side, telling us that he would create 200,000 jobs if he were elected. Iowan's, who from time to time are eager to buy snake-oil, purchased the product hook, line and sinker. After all Governor Culver was just a "Big-Lug" and the "end of days" was upon us with that nasty recession and stuff. (I'm sorry...just feeling extra snarky this morning.) Anyway, on Friday the governor "downsized" his claim that he had created 160,000 new jobs to a new number of 128,000 new jobs. Except he has not. On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their report saying that in Iowa we have added 48,000 net jobs since Mr. Branstad was elected. Damn! But, he's done so much for health care...
Thanksgiving...that day we set aside to thank the Almighty for the bounty of our nation and buy sheets at JC Penny. Kind of like Veterans Day but with turkey. (I told you I was snarky today.) Some stores like Costco, Von Maur, Menards, Apple, Hobby Lobby and others are closed. However not our friends at WalMart, JC Penny, K-Mart, Kohl's, Office Max, Staples (are you REALLY going to stand in line on Thanksgiving for a ream of paper?) Best Buy and the list goes on and on. I don't know if the "closed stores" are giving their low-wage employees the day off with pay but that would be nice(er).
Thank You Social Media
Last week I asked if anybody knew anybody over at the Tyler Olson campaign because I wanted to invite him to Insight on Business the News Hour broadcast. Somebody must have because on Tuesday I got a call from Allison Claire the scheduler for Tyler. Thanks!
Last week I went to Mason City to do a funeral for my friend Morrie Mahler. He died quite unexpectedly. Morrie was plagued by the fear he would "burn in Hell". You see, Morrie was Jewish and some thoughtful Christian told him that it..."says in the Bible if you don't accept Jesus you are going to burn in Hell." It haunted Morrie for years and that, my friends, is sad.
Have a great week and a really nice Thanksgiving. Me? I'll NOT be shopping.