1. In the news here on Friday : unemployment down to 6.7% in the USA in December, but the labor participation rate of the population is the lowest in 35 years. Is there really that many baby boomers retiring? And why was only 74,000 jobs added in December when most economists thought it would be 200,000 or more?
2. Then there’s the George Washington Bridge scandal, the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge : from Sept 9 to 13, 2013, dedicated toll lanes for one of the Fort Lee entrances to the bridge’s upper level were reduced from three to one without notification of local government officials and emergency responders. The orders were issued by aides and associates of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The closures caused massive traffic congestion, with major delays for school transportation and police and emergency response within Fort Lee. Was the Governor involved, and was it political retribution for the major of Ft Lee’s refusal to endorse Christie for governor in the Oct 2013 election? Time will tell.
3. Finally, it’s the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints in an NFL post-season playoff on Saturday here in Seattle, on the road to the Superbowl. The Seahawks are favored (they beat the Saints 34-7 just in December), but they have to do it again.