Quick Takes

* It’s jobs day, so let’s start with a trip to Jared Bernstein’s Blog to hear the news.

In yet another in a series of solid monthly reports on the status of the US labor market, payrolls rose 215,000 last month and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly, but for a good reason: more people entered the labor force looking for work. Wage growth remains subdued, up 2.3% over the past year. That’s a bit faster than earlier in the recovery, but still reflecting the fact that while the job market is clearly on a reliable, tightening path, some slack remains and many workers still lack the bargaining power they’d have at full employment.

* Lots going on in Mississippi today. First of all, Gov. Phil Bryant is about to join his colleagues from Indiana, Georgia and North Carolina.

The Mississippi House on Friday passed a religious freedom bill that would allow businesses and public employees to deny services to people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, sending the legislation to Gov. Phil Bryant (R).

The bill, passed by the state Senate earlier this week, also allows businesses to deny services based on the belief that “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage” and that the belief that gender is determined at birth.

Additionally, the bill would allow religious groups to fire someone whose “conduct or religious beliefs are inconsistent with those of the religious organization,” and let those organizations block adoptions due to religious beliefs.

The legislation allows clerks to refuse to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples, too.

Yowza! Leave it up to Mississippi to fly in the face of decency, the Constitution and science all in one fell swoop.

* On the item about blocking adoptions, a U.S. District Court Judge had a thing or two to say about that today.

Mississippi must end its ban on adoptions by same-sex married couples, a federal judge ruled.

The ruling Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III explicitly states the state law against the adoptions, the last of its kind in the United States, violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

* While it’s probably never a good thing when a presidential candidate gets testy with a Greenpeace activist, at least Clinton’s dust-up resulted in the media spreading some truth about financial contributions to campaigns.

Both Democrats have received money from “the oil and gas industry.” The total for Clinton’s campaign is about $308,000; for Sanders’s, it’s about $54,000. As Clinton noted in the moment, the Center for Responsive Politics mostly aggregates contributions by employer. If a guy who runs the commissary at Chevron in California gives $27 to Bernie Sanders, that’s counted as “oil and gas industry” money.

* I suspect you might enjoy the latest from James Wolcott as much as I did.

Anger stokes Republicans to lash out, their grievances, real and imaginary, kept at a raging boil by Fox News, Matt Drudge, radio talk-show hosts, and similar mayhem artists. Anxiety pincushions Democrats into a defensive crouch waiting for the ceiling to cave, their blood pressure spiking with every alarming headline in The New York Times, of which there is never a shortage.

* Finally, here is some recent data from Pew Research that might come as a surprise to a lot of folks (unless you are a regular reader here).

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.