National Journal Online

Job Gains Give Obama a Case, But Not a Great One

Friday’s report that the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December confirms that President Obama has a story to tell about the economy as he runs for re-election. But make no mistake: Unless job creation speeds up even more in the months ahead, and the U.S. recovery avoids the land mines strewn across the global economy, it won’t be a great story.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 11:40am

Santorum Offers to Be the 'Jesus Candidate'

WINDHAM, N.H. – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is campaigning with all guns firing on his "values" message in New Hampshire despite that state's more moderate Republican electorate; on Thursday, he even compared himself to "a Jesus candidate."

The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, who made opposition to abortion and gay rights signature issues in the Iowa caucuses, said in response to a question that he disagrees with assertions that the economy is such an important issue in the election that "we don't need a Jesus candidate," as one prospective voter put it.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 11:40am

Five Breaks the U.S. Economy Needs (And Why We Might Get Them)

Hoping for a brighter 2012, economically, in America? You’ll need several big things to break your way. Great news – and, yes, we’re playing optimist here – it’s quite possible they all could. Here are the five breaks the U.S. economy needs this year.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 11:40am

Gingrich Defends Controversial Food-Stamp Statement

Republican presidential contender and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on Friday defended and expanded on his controversial statement from a day earlier that African-Americans should "not be satisfied with" food stamps.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 11:40am

Economy Added 200,000 Jobs, Unemployment Reaches Three-Year Low in December

The economy added 200,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest level in nearly three years, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of the release expected payrolls to add 155,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to rise to 8.7 percent. It takes about 90,000 new jobs every month just to keep pace with population growth.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 10:40am

Separated at Birth: Richard Cordray and 30 Rock's Kenneth the Page -- VIDEO

Jay Leno on Thursday noted that the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks an awfully lot like a character on NBC's 30 Rock.

"Of course, yes! It's Kenneth the page!" Leno exclaimed.

// Read More

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 10:40am

Economy Added 200,000 Jobs, Unemployment Reaches Three-Year Low in December

The economy added 200,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest level in nearly three years, the Labor Department reported on Friday, offering fresh signs of improvement in the U.S. economy.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 10:40am

Gingrich Defends Controversial Statement on Blacks Being 'Satisfied' With Food Stamps

Republican presidential contender and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on Friday defended and expanded on his controversial statement from a day earlier that African-Americans should "not be satisfied with" food stamps.

“I would welcome a request, an opportunity to go to speak to the NAACP convention because I thought there ought to be a conversation,” Gingrich said on CBS’s Early Show on Friday, and followed that he would speak to Latinos or any other minority group that wanted “paychecks over food stamps.”

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 10:40am

Hotline Sort: Connie Mack's Money

Welcome back to Hotline Sort. The Santorum scrutiny has kicked up a notch, Mack's fundraising isn't all that impressive, Stabenow leads Hoekstra in a Democratic poll, and Bruning pushes back against Democratic criticism of a grant he awarded. Here's today's rundown:

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 10:40am

Gingrich Tries New Persona: 'Bold Newt'

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — First, there was Happy Newt, who played nice with his Republican rivals. Then came Angry Newt, who lashed out at them—especially former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney—for attack ads that knocked him into fourth place in Tuesday's Iowa caucus.

On Thursday, in a a wood-floored senior center decorated with Christmas wreaths and quilts, Newt Gingrich unveiled a new persona: Bold Newt. Bold Newt is unafraid to criticize his opponents—but he does it with a smile instead of a snarl.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 8:40am