- Immigration—Immigration reform got a big push, first on Monday as a group of 8 bipartisan (4 Dem, 4 GOP) announced efforts at a bill that they hoped would get passed by summer. They’re still working on it so details and specifics are sketchy, but they hope for a completed bill by late spring. This was followed the next day by Pres. Obama making a speech on immigration in Las Vegas. Most of the bill’s components and Obama’s ideas should line up, save for a couple parts and the time frame for illegal immigrants to become citizens.
- Clinton Out, Kerry In—After 30 straight years as a public servant, Hillary Clinton steps into life as a private citizen after she left her post as Secretary of State, which was filled by John Kerry, former Senator from Massachusetts and Democratic Presidential nominee in 2004. Many in the media/political spheres are already speculating about Clinton 2016, which, stop it. Just, stop it now.
- 14,000 for the first time in 5—The DOW Jones stock market index hit 14,000 on Friday for the first time since October 2007. Early trading on Monday has pulled it below 14,000, though, due to unsureness over European markets, according to the article.
- Early Spring says Phil—Rodent-meteorologist Punxutawney Phil didn’t see this shadow, signalling an early spring to come!
- Mixed Messages from Economic Reports—Two economic reports came out with seemingly pessimistic messages. One report states that the economy shrank by 0.1% in the last quarter of 2012, the first time the U.S. economy has shrunk since mid-2009. However, the private sector grew at a faster rate than it had been and the shrink was due to one-time government cuts (I go more into the report here). The jobs reports for January had the unemployment rate going up a tenth of a percent to 7.9%, though the US economy did add jobs for the month (157,000 of them) and the corresponding numbers for November and December were each adjusted up quite a bit. Though it’s still not growing as fast as it needs to be to quickly grow out of the “after-recession.” The article notes that the unemployment rate increase may be due to 1) The typical rise in Dec-Jan as holiday workers leave and 2) People restarting efforts at looking for a job which will be begin to count them as unemployed whereas they weren’t before (people need to be able to work and actively looking for a job to be counted as unemployed).
- Light Out at the Superdome—Not too long after Beyoncé’s halftime show, half the power went out at the Superdome. Apparently the Superdome was in agreement when Beyoncé sang ‘I don’t think you’re ready, for this jelly.’ Please handle your jelly more cautiously next time Beyoncé et al.