July 24, 2014

Initial Unemployment Claims (072414)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:06 am

Prediction: Well, a sort-of prediction — Bloomberg News says that “U.S. economic data today will show new home sales fell in June, while a weekly report on initial claims for unemployment insurance will say applications rose.”

Last week came in with 302,000 seasonally adjusted claims.

Update: Business Insider has a 307K prediction.

Seasonal adjustment factors:

  • Week ended July 19, 2014 — 99.2
  • Week ended July 20, 2013 — 103.0

Raw claims:

  • Week ended July 12, 2014 — (before revision)
  • Week ended July 20, 2013 — 340,457

It looks as if this week’s seasonal factor will make today’s result look better than it should by about 11,000 or 12,000 claims. Both weeks above were full five-day, mid-July business weeks, and there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for the differential between the years’ seasonal factors, and last year’s seasonally adjusted results were consistent with other weeks in July.

For a repeat of or improvement upon last week’s performance, raw claims will need to be 311,000 or lower (311K divided by 1.03 is 302K, rounded).

But, consistent with what was just noted above, raw claims really need to come in at or below 300K.

We’ll see here at 8:30.


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072414)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Your tax dollars at work destroying society from within — “Another Planned Parenthood Caught Promoting X-Rated Advice to Underage Girls.” The “advice” in the undercover video shot at a Planned Parenthood facility in Oregon includes “an undercover investigator, posing as a 15-year-old girl,” told about sexual game activities “including being hit, whipped, or tied to a tree, role-playing ‘the baby thing’ with her partner, (and) using handcuffs …”

It’s the third video in a series showing Planned Parenthood providing “Dangerous Sex Advice for Kids.”

The first video introduced viewers to the fact that Planned Parenthood, which “receives $500 million in taxpayer funding every year,” has produced videos and other materials promoting dehumanizing “BDSM” sexual practices. It shows an undercover person visiting the org’s Indianapolis, Indiana facility and getting “advice” on these and other matters of “kink.”

The second included “advice” on “how to experiment with sexual bondage/sadomasochism, including gagging, whipping, defecation, emulating pornography, and going to sex stores to ‘get educated.’ Footage was obtained by Live Action at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Littleton and Lakewood, Colorado.”

Even more videos may be on the way.

The bigger picture — It might interest people to know that one of the defining characteristics of the disastrous failure known as Weimar Germany (1919-1933) was a deep descent into sexual decadence and depravity. Planned Parenthood’s open promotion of these things is a strong indicator that a far from insignificant portion of our society is already there.

Does anyone remember what followed the Weimar Republic in Germany?


Positivity: Religious liberty ‘fundamental’ to human dignity, bishops affirm

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Baltimore:

Jul 22, 2014 / 04:55 pm

In a recent interview with CNA, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore reaffirmed religious liberty as a priority for the U.S. bishops, emphasizing its relation to personal dignity and evangelization.

“Let me just say that religious liberty is so fundamental to the dignity of the human person,” Archbishop Lori stated, continuing that “anyone who is an impartial observer of the culture would say that in recent times, the challenges to religious liberty have accelerated.

Because of these situation, the archbishop said that the American bishops have dedicated themselves to upholding religious freedom, and will continue to discuss the “multifaceted challenges” faced by the Church.

Archbishop Lori noted that the right to religious liberty “is very much related to truth,” and “does not just depend on (the content of one’s) belief.”

“God gave us the gift of religious liberty so that we could sincerely seek the truth, and embrace it once we have found it.”

He added that “to attenuate religious liberty is to attenuate the search for truth. So that is the fundamental level at which we are committed to religious liberty.”

Archbishop Lori also discussed the “linguistic and philosophical gulfs between the teaching of the Church, and the culture,” because “there are those who think religious liberty is really a guise for some right to discriminate, that the Church or others are seeking. So, we have to break those things down, in our catechesis and our evangelization.”

The vast differences in philosophical outlook and in use of language, between the Church and the mainstream culture, are important for Church leaders to take into account, he said.

“For those who preach and teach, it’s important that we break down the language that we use into terms that are, in fact, preachable and teachable.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 23, 2014

Quote of the Day: On Halbig v. Burwell

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:50 pm

Sean Davis at the Federalist:

In 2010, Nancy Pelosi famously claimed that Congress needed to pass Obamacare in order to find out what’s in it. Well, a federal court just read Obamacare and found out what wasn’t in it: tax credit subsidies for federal exchange health plans.

A full DC circuit court failure to acknowledge this clear, irrefutable fact will mean that the rule of law is on death’s door.

If it gets to that, a Supreme Court failure to uphold Tuesday’s DC circuit court panel ruling will mean that the rule of law really is dead.


Press Ignores General Amos’s Criticism of U.S.’s Poor ‘Leadership’ and Inadequate ‘Courage’

It has been eight days since Marine Corps Commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member General James Amos spoke out against the current lack-of-leadership climate in Washington.

Specifically, in a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on July 15 (PDF transcript here), Amos noted how badly the situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops’ departure in 2010, and questioned whether it would have happened if there had been “the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage” in place. This was a de facto callout of the Obama administration for failing to consolidate and secure the victory achieved in 2008. If this kind of criticism occurred during a Republican or conservative administration, it would be front-page news. Instead, a Google News search on “Amos Iraq” (not in quotes) returns roughly 10 relevant items, and the Associated Press has nothing relevant. The video and a transcript of Megyn Kelly’s related interview of Oliver North Monday evening follow the jump (HT to a longtime emailer):



Yeah, Let’s News Entirely to the ‘Professionals’

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 1:21 pm

A real tweet from the Associated Press:


AP quickly clarified.


Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072314)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Argentine national soccer team sends autographed jersey to Pope

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jul 20, 2014 / 06:01 am

In a gesture of gratitude and affection, the Argentinean national soccer team, which lost Sunday to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, sent Pope Francis an official team jersey autographed by each of its players.

“Here’s the present the team sent to our Pope Francis!” team member Maxi Rodriguez said in a post on his Twitter account, which featured a photo of himself and team captain Lionel Messi holding the jersey.

The Holy See expressed thanks for the gift on Thursday, noting that although Argentina did not win the final, the team “acknowledged it had faith that the Pontiff would keep them in his thoughts throughout the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”

During their stay in Brazil, the Argentine team kept a large photo of the players posing with Pope Francis on display at their training center in Belo Horizonte. The picture was taken last year when the Argentine team visited the pontiff while in Rome for a friendly match with Italy. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 22, 2014

Aww: Politico’s Glenn Thrush Doesn’t Like ‘Abortion Barbie’ Nickname For Wendy Davis

Politico reporters are badly burning themselves on Twitter these days.

Last night (as yours truly noted this afternoon), the web site’s Roger Simon, apparently upset that Rick Perry is doing his job, tweeted that the Texas governor is “sending 1,000 National Guard troops to border to shoot small children.” Yet 12 hours later, Glenn Thrush, another longtime Politico veteran, tweeted a plea for civility, begging people not to use a popular opponents’ nickname for Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (HT RedState):



Politico’s Simon: Perry Sending National Guard to Border ‘To Shoot Small Children’

Roger Simon “joined Politico as its first chief political columnist” in 2006. A couple of items on his resume include being “the only person to win twice the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award for commentary,” and a 2013 National Press Club humor-related award. Judges for that award said that “Simon’s writing is witty, specific and based on sharp observations of politics and the media.”

Perhaps, but at least one of his recent tweets is bitter, loony-tunes leftist rubbish. Proving once again that it only takes a slight scratch beneath the surface of a supposedly mainstream liberal journalist to find a hardened, vitriolic radical who hates (yes, that’s the correct word) those who dare to disagree with him or her just screaming to come out, Simon tweeted the following in response to news that Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling up 1,000 National Guardsman to serve at his state’s border with Mexico (HT RedState):



Here We Go: WaPo’s Chris Cillizza Says ‘It’s Virtually Impossible’ For a U.S. President to Succeed

It never fails. When the regime of center-right political leader with executive authority begins to implode, the focus is on how and why that person is failing — as it should be. When it becomes clear that a leftist mayor, governor, or president is entering the failure zone, it’s because the job is impossible, or the city, state, or nation has become “ungovernable.”

We’re entering the excuses phase with President Obama (with an important qualifier to be explained later). At the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog yesterday, Chris Cillizza, in a post titled “It’s virtually impossible to be a successful modern president,” had a trio of cop-outs at the ready:



Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072214)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.