June 21, 2012

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 4:33 pm

Sorry this got up late. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: World’s First Of Its Kind Surgery Saved Girl’s Life Two Years Ago (Results Just Published)

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 4:25 pm

From Miami:

June 21, 2012 12:14 PM

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – To see 20-month old Lyna Gonzalez, you would think she’s just like every other toddler at that age – vibrant and energetic.

“She’s perfectly normal, thank God,” said mother Tammy.

But it wasn’t always that way. During her pregnancy, Gonzalez’s doctors discovered a benign tumor the size of a tennis ball growing on her unborn baby’s mouth. Doctors told Tammy there was little chance her daughter would survive birth – and if she did, she would require an immediate tracheotomy in order to breath and have multiple surgeries thereafter.

“It’s the most horrible feeling you could ever image; physically, emotionally, mentally,” said Gonzalez.

Quintero, a pioneer in fetal medicine, has treated many birth defects and high risk conditions while the baby is still in the womb.

“The concern with these tumors is they grow very rapidly, the cause bleeding which leads to the death of the baby,” said Quintero.

In May 2010, Quintero and Dr. Eftichia Kontopoulos operated on Tammy’s baby in utero. Using an endoscope guided by ultrasound they performed a first of its kind surgery and removed the tumor from the fetus’ mouth. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

‘Solicitweetion’: AP Reporter Tweets For Negative Comments on Mitch Daniels Selection as Purdue President, Co-Authors Sloppy Copy

The Tweet watchers at Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy.com caught an Associated Press reporter seeking out (perhaps the term should be “solicitweeting,” with “solicitweetion” as the related noun) negative comments about Mitch Daniels on Twitter earlier today from Purdue alumni and students about the appointment announced today of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to become that school’s next president.

After the jump, readers will see AP reporter Tom LoBianco’s birdbrained tweets, followed by what should be considered an embarrassing mistake in the copy of his co-authored story (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes):


Ohio among other ‘newly red’ states that saw jobless rates fall

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:55 pm

Better than average improvement.


Note: This item went up at Watchdog.org earlier today.


By Tom Blumer | Special to Ohio Watchdog

As the nation’s unemployment rate rose from 8.1% to 8.2% in May, Ohio’s rate fell from 7.4% to 7.3%, Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. Ohio was one of 14 states where the unemployment rate fell. 18 others saw their rate rise, while it stayed the same in 18 others.

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 0.9% below the national average in May. It has only been that far below the national rate four times since 1976, the earliest year state data is available at the BLS’s web site. Those months were way back in 1995, when Ohio’s rate differential was greater (January and April, at 1.0% and 1.1%, respectively), and in 1977 (June and November), when the differentials were the same.

In December 2010, the month before Republican Governor John Kasich took office, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 9.2%. It’s 1.9 points lower now, or 21% using straight division, an accomplishment exceeded by very few states. The nation’s unemployment rate has dropped during that time by 1.2 points (13%), and may be headed for a few months of sustained increases.

Ohio’s improvement is part of a pattern of falling rates during that same time period in other “newly-red” states which, like Ohio, went from having a Democrat to a Republican governing the state after the 2010 election (or, in the case of Florida, a Republican replacing someone who might as well have been a Democrat):

  • Oklahoma — 1.6 points (from 6.4% to 4.8%, a 25% drop)
  • Michigan — 2.7 points (from 11.2% to 8.5%, a 24% drop)
  • Florida — 2.5 points (from 11.1% to 8.6%, a 23% drop)
  • Iowa — 1.1 points (from 6.2% to 5.1%, an 18% drop)
  • Tennessee — 1.7 points (from 9.6% to 7.9%, an 18% drop)
  • New Mexico — 1.1 points (from 7.8% to 6.7%, a 14% drop)
  • Wisconsin — 1 point (from 7.8% to 6.8%), a 13% drop)
  • Kansas — 0.9 points (from 7.0% to 6.1%, a 13% drop)

There are exceptions. In Pennsylvania, where a Republican governor took over from Democrat Ed Rendell in 2011, the rate has only fallen from 8.0% to 7.4%. In New Jersey, where Chris Christie succeeded a Democratic governor in early 2010, the rate has barely fallen, and is still above 9%.

And while there are several states with Democratic Party governors, notably Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Vermont, and West Virginia, which have seen their unemployment rates go down by 1.5 or more points to values at or below the national average during that same December 2010 through May 2012 time period, it’s the Democratic Party-governed laggards which stick out the most:

  • California’s rate has fallen 1.4 points, but is still a ridiculously high 10.8%.
  • The unemployment rate in President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois has dropped by less than a point, and stands at 8.6%, higher than any of its midwestern neighbors and even higher than Michigan, where the rate was 14% or higher from July through November, 2009. Illinois steeply raised taxes last year; residents looking for work are paying the price.
  • Though New York has added a fair number of jobs, its unemployment rate has actually gone up from 8.3% to 8.6%.
  • Though it has finally dropped to a still unacceptable 9.2%, the unemployment rate in North Carolina was over 10% just four months ago.
  • Rhode Island, where Governor Lincoln Chafee is an independent but governs like a Democrat, the rate has dropped by only a half-point and is stuck at 11.0%, the highest in the nation.

Ohio under Kasich and the other “newly-red” states above have balanced their budgets and erased large projected budget deficits without tax increases. If it weren’t for those “newly-reds,” what little we’ve seen of a nationwide recovery in the past almost year and a half might not even exist.

First-Time Unemployment Claims: 387K SA

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:51 am

I’ll look more closely at the announcement and news coverage later.

UPDATE: Steve’s comment did the dirty work for me, which given the circumstances, is intensely appreciated. So go see it.