August 2017 Unemployment Update

The labor market shows continued signs of stability Continuing our ongoing coverage of the labor market, the August Employment Situation release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides even more evidence that the employment growth of the first half of the year has tapered off.  The headline U-3 unemployment rate rose by 0.1% back to

Virginia State Police: No “Weapons Caches” Found in Charlottesville

Social media has recently picked up the claim that “weapons caches” had been found in Charlottesville around the time of last weekend’s Unite the Right rally. Torchlight’s attempts to track down details lead directly to an August 14th story in The Guardian about the rally’s aftermath. The story reported on statements made by Virginia governor

July 2017 Unemployment Update

The labor market continues to rest on last month’s plateau. Continuing our ongoing coverage of the labor market, the July Employment Situation release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to suggests that the labor market has stabilized, with the tightening of the first half of the year tapering off.  The headline U-3 unemployment rate

A Contrast Of Visions: Obama’s 2017 Budget v. Trump’s 2018 Budget

“I mean, this budget isn’t going anywhere, no budget does. It’s a dream, and as such ripe for interpretation and analysis. Comparing Obama’s dream to Trump’s may be very illuminating” – Torchlight Senior Editor Josh Kyu Saiewitz It’s easy to discuss the FY 2018 budget proposed by the Trump administration as if it existed in

June 2017 Unemployment Update

At best unemployment is plateauing, and it may be rising again. Continuing our ongoing coverage of the labor market, the June Employment Situation release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may signal the end of the tightening of the labor market.  The U-3 unemployment rate rose by 0.1% and the U-6 “underemployment” rate rose 0.2%,

Everybody to the Limit: How Things Look Three Months Away From The Debt Ceiling

As the media and the public awaited the next steps in the Republican party’s efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, we got the political equivalent of a “Coming Attractions” trailer for the next big thing in Congress:  the debt ceiling.  At a June 9 press conference, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke about resorting to

May 2017 Unemployment Update

Unemployment’s downward trend continued, but the news wasn’t as uniformly good as it was the first four months of the year. Following up on our coverage of April’s employment data, the May Employment Situation release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics continues the same trends we’ve seen all year.  The U-3 unemployment rate dropped by

How Special Is The Special Counsel, Anyway?

On May 18, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel to investigate possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. What precisely does that entail? What powers and authority will Mueller have? Where do they come from? And how much trouble could it mean for the Trump administration? Let’s take a look.