April 12, 2012

Hilary Rosen Is As Sorry As Tiger Woods Was Last Weekend (i.e., Not at All)

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:57 pm

Woods:

“Certainly, I’m frustrated at times and I apologize if I offended anybody by that,” Woods said. “But I’ve hit some bad shots and it’s certainly frustrating at times not hitting the ball where you need to hit it.”

… “I certainly heard that people didn’t like me kicking the club, but I didn’t like it, either,” Woods said. “I hit it right in the bunker and it didn’t feel good on my toe either.”

Rosen:

“As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

Saying that you’re sorry others were offended is NOT an apology. It’s telling the others that they’re the ones with the problem.

That didn’t cut it with Tiger, and it sure as heck doesn’t cut it for Ms. Rosen.

Hilary Rosen has not said she is sorry for what she said. The closest she has come is to say something about “poorly chosen” words — as if she could have made selections from a menu of words which would have the sentiment that “Ann Romney hasn’t worked a day in her life” acceptable. (My understanding is that Rosen’s full fury in the background is being directed at those who she believes threw her under the bus after setting her up to make an on-air criticism which Team Obama thought might be politically opportune. Breitbart.com believes that the President himself laid the groundwork for to all of this in a speech on Friday.)

Nothing short of an unconditional “I was wrong; I am sorry” will do.

This is only hard because so many of us have been led to believe that there is weakness in an unconditional apology, and our egos can’t stand that prospect. So, even at the risk of dissing a mythical character I mostly like — NCIS’s Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Rule #6: “Never say you’re sorry. It’s a sign of weakness”) — sincerely admitting you were wrong acknowledges weakness, but is a sign of strength.

Yes, an unconditional apology puts you in a weak position, as you are become dependent on the other person or persons to forgive you (assuming their forgiveness is important; if it’s not, then don’t waste your time apologizing, because you’re just going through the motions). But you’re the person who put yourself there, and a sincere apology acknowledges that. If the other person doesn’t forgive you, well, there is an obligation on that person to do so if it is seen as sincere (which “I’m sorry if you were offended” never is), but if they don’t come through and do what they should, actions (and statements) have consequences, and you’re the one who started it.

Those who had a legitimate right to a sincere apology — which includes, at a minimum, Ann Romney and every other woman and man who has for a time foregone paid employment to take care of their family’s children, along with every child who along with any siblings have benefited from a parent’s exclusive focus on them — have only one recourse against people like Hilary Rosen. It’s to vote for a presidential candidate other than the one whose reelection Ms. Rosen and her firm have been engaged to support. If that happens — and it should — Hilary Rosen will deserve all of the blame.

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UPDATE: Jim Treacher at the DC Trawler has similare thoughts, but with his inimitable style

Hilary Rosen provides a valuable lesson in how not to apologize

This is just another variation on that old classic: “I called you an idiot and I’m sorry… I’m sorry you’re an idiot!” When making an apology, one does not call one’s critics “faux” and “phony.” One does not wrap oneself in victimhood to deflect their criticism. One does not say, “I’m sorry I told you to shut up. Now shut up.”

We know your pride has been grievously wounded, Hilary, but this is very shoddy work. D-. The only thing keeping you from a failing grade is that you’re so awful at this, I feel guilty for enjoying it so much;

Also this:

Bill Whittle: ‘Generations’

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Education,Marvels — Tom @ 1:27 pm

Ouch:

The truth about what their elders have done to Millennials and younger people hurts, but Whittle’s final message, after encouraging them to learn and liberate themselves, is crucial: While doing all of that, “Hang in there.”

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Obama’s Slow-Motion Social Darwinism’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:01 pm

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Saturday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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There were far more aspects of real social Darwinism as currently practiced by the Obama administration (as opposed to the ones Obama claims are in Paul Ryan’s budget plan, but aren’t) than I could hope to fit into a single column. Here are several other examples of how specific administration policies are having “survival of the fittest” and discarding or causing disadvantage to the weak) effects:

  • The impact of higher gas and food prices falls more disproportionately, relative to their means, on the poor.
  • The Gulf’s “permitorium” is hitting normally well-paid but often relatively low-skilled blue-collar workers with few similarly-paying alternatives hard, as is the delay (and desired kill-off which won’t be ackhowledged until November 7) in allowing the building of the full Keystone Pipeline.
  • Small businesses have lost more jobs than larger ones, the complete opposite of what normally happens in a recovery.
  • Abortion in ObamaCare, which obliterates the Hyde Amendment, would increase the number of preborn babies murdered in poor communities beyond their already horrific level.
  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), aka the “We’re Rationing Care and You Can’t Do a Thing About it” panel, in ObamaCare.

Readers so inclined may be able to come up with others.

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UPDATE: Dead-on example (excuse the pun) in a comment at PJM

Doing away with Second Amendment rights – the gun allowed weaker individuals to defend themselves against stronger individuals (women, disabled, elderly). Without it only brute force wins.

At AP, 13K Jump in Jobless Claims After 10K Added to Previous Week Is a ‘Tick Up’ With ‘Leveling Off’

SpinToday’s Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report from the Department of Labor revealed that, after seasonal adjustment, 380,000 Americans filed initial applications for unemployment benefits the week ending April 7. That figure was 13,000 higher than the week ending March 31. The AP headline at Christopher Rugaber’s report as of 9:18 a.m.: “US applications for unemployment aid tick up.”

Additionally, the March 31 initial claims figure of 357,000 was revised upward to 367,000. So the April 7 figure of 380,000 — even before it almost certainly gets revised up next week (upward revisions have occurred in 53 of the past 54 weeks I have tracked) — is 23,000 higher than what DOL initially reported for March 31. Yet Rugaber didn’t tell his readers about the degree of the revision to March 31. Several paragraphs from the AP report, which contains an excuse which seasonal adjustment if done correctly by DOL should have covered, follow the jump (bolds are mine):

(more…)

Initial Unemployment Claims: 380K SA (Way Up), 382K NSA; Prior Week SA Revised Up by 10K

This will put an end to the “best in four years” rinse-repeat cycle we’ve seen from the press during the past several weeks.

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending April 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 380,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 367,000. The 4-week moving average was 368,500, an increase of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 364,250.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 381,875 in the week ending April 7, an increase of 62,530 from the previous week. There were 448,029 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

Ouch.

Business Insider’s prediction was 359K.

Press spin on this should be entertaining.

The most important concern, of course is the real pain Obamanomics continues to cause. Party of compassion my a**.

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UPDATE: Trying to compare the seasonal adjustment factors used this year and last year to see if the adjustment skewed the numbers isn’t possible, because this past week included Good Friday, while last year had five regular business days. So of course the factors are very different.

UPDATE 2: Almost lost in the shuffle, and almost certain to be ignored in the press, is the fact that last week’s initial “best in four years” number was revised upward by 10,000.

UPDATE 3: Graphing the past 18 weeks —

UnempClaimsWklyThru040712

UPDATE 4: Catch this comment in response to previous comments made by Steve, and thanks to him for providing the relevant comparative seasonal adjustment factors.

Pethokoukis: ‘Obama’s Inequality Argument Just Utterly Collapsed’

Did it ever. It won’t stop them from using it the argument, but the fact is that the myth’s promoters of the myth that income inequality has gone wild came to their conclusions quite sloppily:

They chose to measure something called “tax units” rather than households, a move which ignores the statistical impact — including economies of scale — of couples who cohabitate, kids who move back in with their parents after college, and senior parents who live with their adult children.

They chose to ignore the value of all government transfers — including welfare, Social Security, and other government provided cash assistance — received by the household.

They chose to ignore the role of taxes and tax credits.

They chose to ignore the value of healthcare benefits. In short, Piketty and Saez ignored a lot of stuff.

… So the tax and regulatory polices of the past three decades did not lead to stagnation for the middle class at the hands of the rapacious rich. Claims to the contrary — such as those made by Obama, the Occupy movement, and many liberal economists — never really passed the sniff test of anyone who lived through the past few decades. And now we know why: The inequality and stagnation alarmists were wrong. And so, therefore, is the economic rationale of the president’s class-warfare economic policies. Not that economics ever had much to do with them anyway.

Here’s the post’s key graphic:

041212IncomeQuintiles

So everyone’s a lot better off. If I were an average worker in 1979 and someone told me that policies would be put in place that would make me and my family 37% better off in real terms in the next 28 years while the top 5% become 63% better off, I would have taken that deal — especially if the alternative (remember, this was 1979, the Carter era of 20% interest rates and double-digit inflation) was stagnation and malaise.

By the way, the evidence that we’ve returned to stagnation and malaise since the arrival of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy almost four years ago is stacking up — and it’s getting overwhelming. That’s a topic whose specifics must wait for another time.

This sort of reminds me of the garbage David Cay Johnston, formerly of the New York Times, used to produce every year until about 2008 based only on IRS tax return data to somehow “prove” points about the direction of “median income.” As shown in 2007, his “analyses” also excluded “little” things like most Social Security benefits, and had other “minor” problems like excluding 401(k) contribution from income (because they’re not part of tax-reported Adjusted Gross Income), the excluded portion of capital gains, and other items amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars and obviously having disparate impacts on the returns of high-income vs. low-income earners. Yet until yours truly went after his efforts in 2007, his reports were apparently considered holy writ by a substantial portion of the press, when in my view they were little more than meaningless baloney designed to make an agenda-driven point.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041212)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Postivity: Study finds new religious vocations are younger, more educated

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Apr 11, 2012 / 04:13 am

A recent study of men and women who professed perpetual vows in 2011 shows that new members of religious orders are younger and more educated than those in the past.

“We are encouraged by the report’s findings that men and women are considering a vocation at a younger age,” said Mercy Sister Mary Joanna Ruhland, associate director of the U.S. bishops’ secretariat of vocations and consecrated life.

“As the Catholics recognize their responsibility to build a vocation culture in its parishes, schools and families, children and youth are being introduced to the various vocations in the Church,” she said in an April 5 statement.

“This helps them respond to God’s love and will generously and willingly.”

A recently-released study, conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, surveyed men and women religious who were incorporated into religious communities in 2011.

The survey, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, found that the average age of women professing perpetual vows in 2011 was 39. This is four years younger than those from the previous year.

Men entering religious orders, who were included for the first time on the 2011 study, averaged 42 years in age.

In addition, respondents reported that they first thought about a religious vocation at a younger age than last year’s class. On average, survey participants first considered a vocation to religious life when they were 19 years old, although half did so at age 17 or younger.

Those entering religious orders in 2011 were also highly educated. Almost 60 percent had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and 16 percent had earned a graduate degree as well.

Go here for the rest of the story.