Saturday, May 15, 2010

Will Debbie Wasserman Schultz Blow A Chance To Take Advantage Of An Improving Economy By Fighting A Losing Incumbent Protection Game?


I snapped that picture of Erik yesterday. His dad's company sold me the equipment when I built a pool a few years ago and he recommended Erik help me with the maintenance. He was a great recommendation since Erik is very responsible, very skilled and very thorough. Most of Erik's income comes from building pools and from installing equipment to turn chlorine pools into saltwater pools and things like that. But when Bush's conservative economic vision for America tanked the economy, it tanked Erik's business too.

L.A.'s pool building industry just dried up. Worse yet for him, people shelved plans for upgrades and started stretching out servicing times. On top of that between a quarter and a third of his regular maintenance clients told him they had to stop using their pools or had to start learning how to do the maintenance work themselves.

Most of his work is in the northern end of the San Fernando Valley, in places like Valencia. Yesterday he painted an eerie picture for me of million dollar McMansions with emptied pools, or pools with algae growing in them, and with lawns that haven't seen a gardener in months. And these aren't the foreclosed on and abandoned homes!

OK, and now the good news: Erik's business has been creeping back up again. People who had postponed repairing and upgrading equipment feel either flush enough or secure enough to go for it. Old clients are calling back and new polls are being built again. I sure hope this doesn't mean he's going to be going on long vacations again!

Hearing this from Erik was more interesting-- and somehow more real-- than the report I read yesterday from Bloomberg about how both retail sales and industrial production are not just up, but up over forecasts, "indicating the economic recovery gained momentum at the start of the second quarter."
Sales increased 0.4 percent last month after a 2.1 percent gain in March that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Production rose 0.8 percent, the most in three months, the Federal Reserve said.

Another report showed consumer sentiment improved in May following four straight months of payroll gains, suggesting Americans will keep shopping at retailers including Home Depot Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Factories are cranking up assembly lines and hiring to meet rising demand at home and abroad, helping to sustain the expansion of the world’s largest economy.

“We’re seeing a broadening of the recovery,” said Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, who correctly forecast the gain in industrial production. “Consumers are still engaged. There is some pent-up demand out there.”

Earlier in the week Obama was pretty upbeat on the direction the economy was taking-- and he doesn't get his info from Bloomberg-- or Erik.
“We can say beyond a shadow of a doubt today we are headed in the right direction,” Mr. Obama told an audience of about 230 workers and local business leaders. “All those tough steps we took, they’re working, despite all the naysayers who were predicting failure a year ago.”

Mr. Obama has typically been fairly cautious about heralding economic good times. With the national unemployment rate nearing 10 percent, the president typically says that while the nation is emerging from the recession, he knows that many Americans are still hurting and that there is still a long way to go.

He repeated that message here-- “I won’t stand here and say we’ve climbed all the way out of the hole,” Mr. Obama said-- but his tone was decidedly optimistic.

With Congressional elections just six months away and Democrats expecting to lose seats, the president has political reasons for striking an upbeat note. He needs to convince voters that he and his fellow Democrats have gotten the nation back on track.

“Last month we had the strongest job growth we had seen in year, and by the way, almost all of it was in the private sector, and a bunch of it was manufacturing,” the president said, referring to last week’s report that found that the economy added 290,000 jobs in April. “So this month was better than last month. Next month is going to be stronger than this month. And next year is going to be better than this year.”

Ah, yes... those congressional elections and the meme being pushed by corporate media that the Democrats will lose seats. That new A.P. poll out today doesn't back up those dire predictions. In fact it indicates that an anti-incumbent wave-- not an anti-Democratic wave-- is building and that, in fact "Americans want Democrats to control Congress after this fall's elections."
The tenuous 45 percent to 40 percent preference for a Democratic Congress reverses the finding a month ago on the same question: 44 percent for Republicans and 41 percent for Democrats. The new readout came as the economy continued showing signs of improvement and the tumultuous battle over the health care law that President Barack Obama finally signed in March faded into the background.

"To the extent that Democrats can focus on job creation rather than health care, they tend to do better," said Jack Pitney, a political scientist at California's Claremont McKenna College.

And while the economy under Obama has created more jobs in one year than Bush did in eight, and while House Republican Leader John Boehner continues being viewed favorably by just 23% of voters-- while congressional Dems have a 40% favorability rating and Boehner's caucus has a 24% favorability rating-- Obama's favorability rating is now 52 percent, "which ranks him ahead of both Reagan and Clinton at similar points in their first terms."
The generic congressional ballot is now even, with 46 percent saying they will vote for a Democrat and 46 a Republican. Incumbents are falling from power in states ranging from Utah to West Virginia, but the common denominator is their incumbency, not their party. Despite worries about the Greek crisis and the wildly fluctuating Dow Jones industrial average, Gallup finds that "economic confidence remains at its best level of the year in early May, matching April. Americans' expectations about the economy going forward also remain at their highest since the recession began, with 41 percent of Americans saying U.S. economic conditions are getting better."

Under the influence of dull and visionless in-the-box thinker Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DCCC is strictly playing defense-- trying to save seats of worthless and hated Blue Dogs who vote against the Democratic agenda almost as consistently as Republicans do-- while ignoring vital signs of strong challengers who have the opportunity to beat Republican incumbents. Because of Wasserman Schultz's personal ambitions and utter mismanagement, the DCCC is pouring all its resources into trying to protect conservative losers like John Barrow, Walt Minnick, Suzanne Kosmas, Michael McMahon, Mike Arcuri, Ann Kirkpatrick, John Adler, Larry Kissell, Harry Mitchell, Zach Space, Bobby Bright, and Travis Childers, while sitting on their hands in races that could displace John Boehner with Justin Coussoule, Paul Ryan with Paulette Garin, Virginia Foxx with Billy Kennedy, John Campbell with Beth Krom, Thaddeus McCotter with Natalie Mosher, and Ken Calvert with Bill Hedrick-- just a few examples of solid progressive Democrats who could replace some of the most destructive Republicans in the House but who are being ignored by the DCCC. (You can help do the DCCC's job for them here if you're so inclined.)

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At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like trickle-down is working again, the rich can upgrade their pools and pool boys are back in business. Ain't America great? After all, Obama has only cut taxes, not raised any on the rich yet.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Bula said...

De record bidness has been berry berry good to me...



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