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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The new jobs numbers show unemployment declining slightly from 9.2 to 9.1 percent, with the economy adding well over 100,000 jobs, the minimum needed to keep pace with population growth and prevent the rate rising. After such a massive stock market collapse this week, the numbers were badly needed to stanch the bleeding.

And yet despite some initial rebounds here and abroad, markets remain stuck in neutral — and S&P, threatening to downgrade the United States’ credit rating for some time, took the plunge Friday, an unprecedented development.

Confidence has been badly shaken, and progressives are looking around and thinking for the first time in a long time that their president may be a one-termer. Political scientists love to point to the correlation between the jobs rate and presidential elections, and it is indeed strong — though real income growth seems to be the greater factor. Will Americans remember all those invisible payroll tax cuts Obama provided over the years? Invisible because they made themselves known only as small increases in take-home pay.

The economy is crying out for more fiscal stimulus, but also a more activist Fed, specifically one that sets a high inflation target and prints more money, rather than hawkishly worrying about a potential inflationary disaster that doesn’t exist. And the administration might do well to appoint some nominees to the Board of Governors and pressure that body to act.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz and Sean Hannity

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Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity is priming his audience to see election fraud in any defeat for Dr. Mehmet Oz, his favored candidate who currently leads the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania with two percent of votes outstanding. If the fast-closing hedge funder Dave McCormick takes the lead and the Oz camp claims the election has been stolen, it could set up a potentially explosive proxy war with Hannity’s colleague Laura Ingraham, whose Fox program favors McCormick and has suggested he is likely to prevail when all the votes are counted.

The GOP primary was a chaotic slugfest that split Fox’s slate of pro-GOP hosts in an unusually public way. Hannity was Oz’s most prominent supporter, reportedly securing the support of former President Donald Trump and using his program to endorse the TV personality, give him a regular platform, and target the challenge from right-wing commentator and Fox & Friends regular Kathy Barnette. Ingraham, meanwhile, used her Fox program (which airs in the hour following Hannity’s) to promote McCormick, criticize Oz, and defend Barnette.

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Overturning Roe v. Wade is very unpopular, yet another poll confirms. Nearly two out of three people, or 64 percent, told the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll that Roe should not be overturned, including 62 percent of independents. The poll also includes some good news for Democrats.

According to the poll, the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down Roe in the most extreme way is motivating Democratic voters more than Republicans: Sixty-six percent of Democrats say it makes them more likely to vote in November compared with 40 percent of Republicans. That echoes a recent NBC poll finding a larger rise in enthusiasm about voting among Democrats than Republicans.

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