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The U.S. economy has been performing well, setting the stage for future growth. Much of the slack in the labor market has been eliminated. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 in October, and the unemployment rate is down to 4.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of unemployed persons was 6.5 million, down 1.1 million since January. About 1.6 million of the unemployed had been jobless for 27 weeks or more. more
At this time every year it seems a Christmas poem is the right thing to help celebrate the season. So, here it is. more
As you know, I hate shoppin’. I’d rather jump off a cliff with a firecracker up my nose than go shoppin’, but if I don’t buy “you know who” somethin’ for Christmas, it makes for a really bad New Year. Anywho, a few weeks ago, I was out of town and drove by a huge mall. I had a little time on my hands so I figured I could run in, grab somethin’ for Janet for Christmas, and be done with it. Man, I had to park about 14 miles from the place, and by the time I’d walked to the mall entrance, I was worn out. more
The clock is ticking on a two-million-job issue: finding a permanent solution to replace Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program which allows individuals who entered the United States as children to remain here for school or work. Nearly 800,000 persons across the country are enrolled in the program, and approximately 124,300 of these individuals (often called “Dreamers”) live in Texas. DACA was never intended to be a permanent solution, and it is time for Congress to step up and deal with the situation in a sustainable manner. The Trump Administration’s decision to end the current version of DACA allowed six months for Congressional action to provide a replacement. more
OK, I’m gonna get on my soapbox today. If you don’t know what that means, then ask your momma or daddy. If they don’t know what it means, ask your grandma or grandpa. The reason I’m gettin’ on my soapbox is because of what I’ve been observin’ here lately. And what I’ve been observin’ is all the sick kids now-a-days. Now, I’m not talkin’ about kids with serious problems. I’m talkin’ about kids with sniffles, allergies, and stuff like that. more
I was recently asked by the House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness to offer a perspective on some of the issues affecting Texas’ future performance. The Committee’s purpose in the hearing was to address “principles that… should guide the state’s pursuit of long-term economic growth.” I am pleased that members of the legislature are thinking in these terms, as it is essential to long-term prosperity. I focused primarily on three issues of concern which could, if not handled appropriately, result in notable and lasting damage. While one issue relates to ongoing changes in the Texas population and how we handle them, the other two are choices that, if made, would be self-inflicted wounds. more
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m ready for some turkey. Man oh man, turkey, dressin’, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and chocolate pie, yummm, yum. I can’t wait. It really brings back the memories, too. I guess the memory I remember the most, is when my cousin Coy and I were gonna supply the turkey for Thanksgivin’ back when we were little bitty kids. My momma and Coy’s daddy were brother and sister, and their parents, my grandparents, had a farm down in Buncum, Texas, south of Whitehouse and west of Troup. Since their farm wasn’t but 15 miles from where we lived, Coy and I would spend nearly every weekend there. My granddad, Daddy Dodd, and his wife, Momma Dodd, had every kind of farm animal you could think of. more
More than 40 million people in the United States identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino, up from fewer than 28 million in 2003 according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hispanics may be of any race, and include Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Central and South Americans, and others. more
Have you ever been somewhere and you get the feelin’ somebody’s watchin’ you? That happened to me the other day. I was in a store lookin’ at some stuff on an aisle when I got that very feelin’. I slowly looked down the aisle, and there was a man standin’ at the end and he looked like he was lookin’ at me. I slowly turned the other way to see if maybe he was lookin’ at something or somebody past me, but there was no one there. more
President Trump has nominated Jerome H. Powell to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, succeeding Janet Yellen when her term expires in February. The Federal Reserve Chairmanship is among the most powerful positions in the public sector (or, in fact, anywhere), due to its substantial influence over the U.S. economy and, indeed, the fortunes of nations throughout the world. The Fed chairman serves a four-year term and can then be reappointed. Contrary to the usual pattern, President Trump decided against nominating Janet Yellen for a second term, though he praised her efforts and results. more
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