Igor Bobic

Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Igor

The California Republican Party, dubbed the "Party of No" for years by Democratic lawmakers, sought to rebrand its image at a Thursday press conference in Sacramento by calling themselves the "Party of Yes."

"So often, we have to rely on others to say what we believe and who we are and what we think," Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway said, reports Southern California Public Radio. "And I always prefer to do that for myself."

The press conference kicked off a statewide tour ahead of next month's GOP primary as well as a push to counter a new $9 billion tax initiative, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), which is intended to help close California's notorious budget deficit. Republican lawmakers appeared before a "Party of Yes" banner (image here) and touted their affirmative support for jobs, fiscal responsibility and tax relief, but then called for a "no" vote on the new tax measure.

"Jerry Brown is turning in his signatures as we speak to make that (top tax rate) the highest rate in the country," said California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro of the initiative, the Sacramento Bee reports. "We think that's the wrong way to go."

To their credit, however, California's Republicans haven't always said "no" to everything. Back in February, they turned the tables on Democrats and supported Brown's 12-point plan to overhaul public pensions -- a key Democratic interest.

The number of people registered to vote among Hispanics and blacks has dropped significantly, reports the Washington Post:

That figure fell 5 percent across the country, to about 11 million, according to the Census Bureau. But in some politically important swing states, the decline among Hispanics, who are considered critical in the 2012 presidential contest, is much higher: just over 28 percent in New Mexico, for example, and about 10 percent in Florida.

Adam Yauch of the hip hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 48, reports Rolling Stone:

Adam Yauch, one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 48, Rolling Stone has learned. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009. The rapper was diagnosed in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland.

Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for the White House, issued the following statement today on the April jobs numbers, showing the economy added a less-than-expected 115,000 jobs:

Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but much more remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and the deep recession.  It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007.  President Obama has said that prosperity in America has always come from a strong and growing middle class.  He has made clear that getting back to where we were is not enough. We need to do more, which is why the President has laid out his blueprint for an American economy that is built to last and will continue to urge Congress to act to do more to grow the economy and create jobs.

House Speaker John Boehner released the following statement in response to April's less-than-expected jobs report of 115,000 added jobs:

“Today’s report is more evidence President Obama’s policies aren’t working for families and small businesses, and aren’t creating enough jobs to get our economy back on track. Where are the jobs? Families are stuck: the wages of those fortunate enough to have a job are stagnant, but they’re paying more for everything from gasoline to groceries. And those looking for work can’t find it because ObamaCare, our spending-driven debt, and the threat of tax hikes are making it harder for small businesses to hire. Nearly half of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed in President Obama’s economy.

“But rather than address these challenges, President Obama has wasted time trying to distract the American people with gimmicks like the Buffett tax hike and fake fights over noncontroversial issues. Election-year gimmicks might win the president some votes but they won’t create American jobs.

“The House has passed a series of bills to address high energy prices through projects like Keystone XL, remove government barriers to job growth, and stop Washington from spending money we don’t have. President Obama has shown what doesn’t work; now it’s time to try something we know will: getting the government out of the way of families and small businesses.”

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Appearing on Fox and Friends early Friday morning, Mitt Romney offered his first reaction to April's jobs reporting, showing the economy added a less-than expected 115K jobs:

"This is way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery," Romney said. "It's a terrible and very disappointing report this morning. clearly the american peele are wondering why this recovery isn't happening faster. We seem to be slowing down not speeding up. This is not good news this morning."


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The U.S. economy added 115,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1%, per the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The change in total nonfarm employment was revised in February from +240,000 to +259,000 (+19,000), and revised in March from +120,000 to +154,000 (+34,000).

Meanwhile, the number of long-term unemployed was little changed at 5.1 million in April, and labor force participation rate fell to 63.6 percent, the lowest level since 1981.

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TPM2012 reporters Evan McMorris-Santoro, Benjy Sarlin, and Pema Levy held a Google+ Hangout on Thursday previewing the major Obama v. Romney flash points and looking to the 2012 general election.

Watch the video of that Hangout here:


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