ThinkFast: September 3, 2010


The new labor report released this morning finds that unemployment rose last month to 9.6 percent. Still, the economy added a better-than-expected 67,000 private sector jobs in August. “Since its most recent low in December 2009, private-sector employment has risen by 763,000.”

“Republicans have declared 2010 their ‘Year of the Woman,’ but come January, the Senate GOP will be without a female on its leadership team for the first time in nearly a decade.” With the defeat of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senate Republicans are left with just three female senators, but none of them “appear likely to lobby” for Murkowski’s leadership spot.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said the explosion aboard a Mariner Energy rig in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday “is further proof that offshore drilling is an inherently dangerous practice.” Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) added, “much is left to be done to keep America’s workers and waters safe from those risks.”

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin issued a new attack on the media yesterday in the wake of lengthy and critical profiles published in Vanity Fair and New York magazine. “Impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references,” she said. “It just slays me because it’s so absolutely clear what the state of yellow journalism is today.”

A new poll released by the New York Times finds that two-thirds of New Yorkers oppose the construction of the Park 51 Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero. Opposition is lowest in the Manhattan borough, where 41 percent oppose its construction.

President Obama will hold a press conference in the Rose Garden next week to discuss the steps his administration has taken to fix the economy. The Sept. 10 press conference will come after Obama visits Wisconsin and Ohio for economic events during the week.

Knocking down a report in the Washington Post, Obama administration aides said they are not considering a second stimulus package to jump-start the economy. The administration is considering “more federal spending on infrastructure projects and tax cuts popular with the business community,” and a $55 billion package that would cut small business taxes.

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that there was a 14 percent jump in the cost of the average “employer-sponsored family healthcare coverage” plan from last year. “The average worker is now paying roughly $4,000,” annually to purchase such coverage.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged yesterday “to keep meeting at regular intervals, aiming to nail down a framework for overcoming deep disputes and achieving lasting peace within a year.” “You each have taken an important step toward freeing your peoples from the shackles of a history we cannot change,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

And finally: Walker Texas Ranger star Chuck Norris is raising his political profile, cutting a new web ad for the NRA, to “trigger” the vote. “In the spot Norris visits a local tea party (complete with chalkboard!) and ‘triggers’ them to vote.”

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