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Night Owls
Every month, Doug Short takes a look at Sentier Research's update of median household income. The numbers for July are up. And they are, as they have been for quite some time, sad.

At first glance, median household incomes look to be improving. They were, in fact, up $15 month-over-month and $1,286 year-over-year. But those are just nominal figures. Adjusting for inflation gives us the "real" median income  And with the adjustment applied, real incomes were fell $68 from June (-0.1 percent) and have risen onl $291 year over year (+0.6 percent). And, as Short reminds us, those numbers do not take into account the expiration of the 2 percent payroll tax cut. Since January 2000, median real income is down 7.3 percent.

In a press release, Sentier spokesman Gordon Green states:

Since December 2011 we have been in a period of income stagnation without any clear trend of direction. Real median annual household income has essentially remained at the same level over this time period, despite significant reductions in the official unemployment rate, the average duration of unemployment, and a broad measure of employment hardship. The failure of an improved labor market to translate into higher levels of household income raises troubling questions about the types of jobs created over the past year and a half, the level of pay that they generate, and the effect on household income levels from people who have dropped out of the labor force altogether.
Here's Short:

The first chart below is an overlay of the nominal values and real monthly values chained in July 2013 dollars. The red line illustrates the history of nominal median household, and the blue line shows the real (inflation-adjusted value).
Chart on household income
[The chart below shows] the a three-month moving average. The MA trend has been zigzagging higher since the trough in 2011, although the trend over the past 12 months has been one of sideways volatility.
moving average of inflation-adjusted median household income July 2013

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004Conservative liberals and the radical restorationists:

Conservatism has a bad rap around these parts. It's a concept generally associated with the right wing of the Republican Party, which is home to the some of the most odious policy ideas currently polluting our discourse and government. But what does it mean, really, to be conservative? Does it mean to be permanently staked out on the right fringe of of the GOP, regardless of what the party represents? Or does it mean that one favors the current order, and that any change should be measured and carefully considered?

I suppose that it means both those things, and a helluva lot more, besides. Words, especially adjectives, are tricky beasts to pin down, especially when they're primarily used in political contexts. But I raise the question because last night, Bush attacked Kerry's claim to have a conservative philosophy. Now, on one level -- the level that reflexively finds all of us labeling Bush, Delay, et al "conservatives" -- Bush's charge is on the mark. Kerry is no right-winger. But if you think about it for a second, and look at these folks in terms of their resistance to radical change, Kerry is clearly on to something when he describes himself as the conservative candidate. And when you consider Bush's presidency and governing philosophy, he doesn't appear very conservative at all. In fact, he's possibly the most radical presidential candidate since FDR.

Tweet of the Day:

It's a laughable commentary that what happened today at the Senate was repeatedly called a "debate."

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounded up local news Newtown, national news from Congress (h/t to Doctor Who), and international news on Syria. Richard Cohen has somehow become the Twitter talk of the morning, for... well, it was too annoying to really talk about. Facepalm-worthy GunFAIL from Lodi, CA. Armando joined in for the Syria discussion. NYC City Council candidate and longtime netroots friend Debra Cooper, updated us on the state of the race, with some surprising background on another Dem candidate's previous support for Rudy Giuliani—in his brief bid for the Senate against Hillary Clinton, no less!

High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

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