Editor’s Note: The Darsch Report is a weekly news summary from Nathan Darsch, news editor. It will now begin to focus more on Texas-related news, but will still update on the economy and foreign headlines when appropriate.
Hello and welcome to the first installment of the weekly Darsch Report for The Tower, this article will be providing some of the news for the week of Dec. 31st – Jan. 6th.
The US Economy
It was a standard week for US stocks this week with multiple gains in the stock market. The Dow Jones increased to 23,433.16 on Friday, increasing by +370.76 points over its Dec. 28th close of 23,062.40. The S&P 500 increased by +46.20 points, or +1.86 percent on Friday. In addition, the Nasdaq had an increase on Friday by +2.34 percent.
These figures are indicative of a great turn in the economy as a whole, and this change is also reflective in the latest jobs report. In December, the US economy added 312,000 non-farm payrollscompared to the expected number of 176,000. Wages have also increased by 3.2 percent compared to last year and the unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent, with over 400,000 new workers entering the labor force and pushing the participation rate to 63.1 percent. This news comes just after the Atlanta FED GDPNow estimate dropped to 2.6 percent for the last quarter of 2018.
If December is anything to go off of, the US economy as a whole is and will continue to be great in 2019. However, I would advise everyone to be careful with stock investments as the market is very volatile at the moment.
On Sunday, Jan. 6th, police made an arrest related to the murder of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes. Eric Black Jr., 20, admitted to being involved in the shooting that took place on Dec. 30th and says that the initial reports of the shooter were mistaken identity.
The death of Jazmine has been riled up by activists as a racially motivated incident with writer Shaun King even offering a $60,000 reward “for the person who turns in the murderer”. In court on Sunday, Black, who is African-American, admitted he was driving a Kia SUV when a passenger identified as “Larry” fired on a car driven by Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez declined to confirm whether the alleged shooter was in custody, but he said it was likely charges would be filed against a second suspect.
My prayers go out to the Barnes family and anyone else affected by the shooting. Jazmine cannot be brought back but hopefully, the family can find justice for the murder of their child.
San Antonio Kidnapping
In San Antonio, 8-month-old King Jay Davila was abducted Friday night from a corner store parking lot near 351 Enrique Barrera Parkway. The father had left the car running and the doors unlocked as he went into a Friends Food Mart when the incident occurred. A large-scale investigation is currently underway by the San Antonio Police Department and San Antonio Fire Department in the area surrounding Rodriguez Park for any clues as to the whereabouts of the child after a baby bottle was found near the Leon Creek Trail.
The family has also began lambasting the San Antonio police for their claims that the family is being uncooperative and accusing the father of knowing the woman who took the baby. Jasmine Gonzalez, the mother, stated that “The police is saying a whole bunch of bull**** … They need to stop (expletive) putting some blame on someone that’s innocent and worry about finding my baby, that’s what they need to do”. As of Sunday night, the case still remains under heavy investigation.
My prayers go out to the family of this child and I pray for her safe return to her mother. If anyone has any information that may prove useful to the San Antonio Police Department then please send in a tip.
Yellow Vest Protests
This week marks the eighth week of the Gilets Jaunes, “Yellow Vests”, protest in France against the actions of the Macron administration and the rising cost of living. During this week, French authorities arrested and later released a key activist in the movement, Eric Drouet, for organizing a protest without declaring it prior. A protest the group says was a candlelight ceremony for those injured in the previous six weeks of protest across France. This prompted both the left and right in the movement to condemn the action as an “abuse of power”.
On Saturday, a march of 50,000 people took place through across France. There was abundant protesting in the streets, as well as burned trash bins and motorcycles, clashes between riot police and protestors, and a forklift which broke open the doors of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, which forced government officials to vacate the building.
I applaud the Gilets Jaunes for not only organizing one of the largest protests in recent French history but also being able to put up these protests for so long. If I had one recommendation for them it would be to try to keep rioting, looting, violence, etc. to a minimum as these actions can backfire on them and turn support against them and destroy the property that they use on a regular basis.
A Senator Goes Stumping
As New Years rolled around and people celebrated the beginning of 2019, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts announced that she was forming an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020. To many, this came as little to no surprise as the senator has been teasing a run for president to oust President Trump since the beginning of 2018.
Change Research’s most recent polling, Dec. 13-17, shows that Warren has around 7 percent of the vote both nationally and about 7 percent of the vote in the state of Iowa. However, their New Hampshire polling from Jan 2-3 shows that Warren is polling around 11 percent. Compare that to newcomer Beto O’Rouke, who is tied with Joe Biden nationally at 21 percent and polled 19 percent and 9 percent in Iowa and New Hampshire respectively. In all three polls, she is beaten by at least two other potential nominees.
She made her debut on Sunday in Iowa with five campaign stops across the state, including two locations in Des Moines. In her various stumps, the issues of getting Trump out of office, working families and the American middle class were brought up multiple times.
Personally, I do not believe that Elizabeth Warren will be the eventual Democratic nominee and, even if she is, I do not believe that she will be able to beat Trump in the general election seeing as how she may have trouble winning back Rust Belt voters that went to Trump in 2016.