January 10, 2013

CNN’s Costello: ‘No One Is Talking About Overturning the Second Amendment or Confiscating Guns’; Oh Yes They Are

On CNN this morning, in a quote captured by Rush Limbaugh on his program today (but predictably ignored by David Edwards covering the broadcast at Raw Story), Carol Costello told viewers that “no one is talking about overturning the Second Amendment or confiscating guns in America.”

Wow. What hermetically sealed cave have you been living in during the past few weeks, Carol — or for that matter, as Limbaugh effectively asked, where have you been during the past 4-1/2 decades? Here’s some of what Rush had to say in response (bolds are mine):

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Not News: Chemical Spill in China Poisons Water Supply for Millions

In 2008, as reported by Tim Graham at NewsBusters at the time, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times wrote that America ought to become “China for a day,” so that Friedman’s dream, in Graham’s words “of a green revolution — all those allegedly planet-saving taxes and regulations and product bans — can be permanently enacted.”

The mainland’s totalitarian regime isn’t merely not “green” in any meaningful sense. It also is often remarkably unconcerned about the health and well-being of its subjects. For example, a recent chemical spillp poisoned the water of millions (that’s right, millions), and the government didn’t bother telling anyone about it for almost a week. The story has received almost zero attention in the U.S. press. Excerpts from a January 7 story at the UK’s Financial Times follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Initial Unemployment Claims (011013): 371K SA, 552K NSA

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:47 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending January 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 371,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 367,000. The 4-week moving average was 365,750, an increase of 6,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 359,000.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 552,043 in the week ending January 5, an increase of 61,944 from the previous week. There were 646,219 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

Imagine this: In the first such instance I have seen in almost two years of tracking this, last week’s 372K original estimate was revised DOWN by 5,000. DOL estimated nine states which hadn’t submitted their data last week because of the timing of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and I (along with almost everyone else) thought that this situation prespaged a possibly significant upward adjustment. Well, no.

The seasonal conversion factors for the 2013 and 2012 aren’t comparable in any way, since New Year’s Day in 2012 was a Sunday. This year’s raw claims are about 14.5% below last year, but it’s hard to read too much into that either.

Next week’s report will cover the first full business week of 2013, and will be directly comparable to the first full business week of 2012. Comparing those two weeks will be meaningful. Until then, the ruling meme should be that claims seem stuck in a range of 360-375K.

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UPDATE, 2 p.m.: Oh so quietly, the week ended December 22 was revised up from 362,000 to 363,000, meaning that in the past 94 weeks reviewed, there has been one week where the initially reported number stayed the same after revisions and one week (today’s) where it declined. The rest have had subsequent revisions in the upward direction.

Jack Lew: Architect of Obama’s Trillion-Dollar-Deficit Budgets

This column went up at FrontpageMag.com in slightly revised form early this morning.

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On Wednesday, Julie Pace and Martin Crutsinger, two of the usual suspects at the Associated Press, began paving the way for what they clearly hope will be a worry-free Senate confirmation of current Obama administration Chief of Staff Jack Lew to become the nation’s next Treasury Secretary.

Towards that end, the AP pair larded on the compliments and historical revisionism with reckless abandon:

  • “one of Washington’s most knowledgeable budget experts to manage prickly fiscal negotiations with Congress and steer the still-shaky national economy.”
  • “Lew, 57, would bring to Treasury a mastery of federal budget mechanics …”
  • “Lew helped negotiate a balanced budget agreement with Congress, something that has eluded Washington ever since.”
  • “Lew, a pragmatic liberal … is well-liked in Washington by both Democrats and Republicans …”

Along the way, Pace and Crutsinger couldn’t make up their minds about the current condition of the economy. After the “still-shaky” characterization just noted in their first paragraph, they later evaluated it as “now stabilized, if still sluggish.”  Those two conditions can’t exist at the same time, given that “shaky” is an antonym of “stable.” Although it would have required more verbiage, the AP pair should have characterized the current economy, as a result of the derelict stewardship of Obama, the soon-departing Tim Geithner, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as “the worst since Franklin Delano Roosevelt needlessly extended the Great Depression by over eight years during the 1930s.” Because it is.

The AP also decided to have a little fun with Lew’s signature, which will appear on the nation’s currency if he is confirmed, commenting in a separate item that his sign-off, a ”J” followed by “seven loopy scribbles,” is “illegible.”

What’s really loopy is AP’s collection of contentions about Lew.
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Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011013)

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

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

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Positivity: Time magazine says pro-life advocates are winning

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

I’m not on board with the “winning” characterization, but here goes.

From New York City:

New York City, N.Y., Jan 5, 2013 / 05:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A new Time magazine cover story contends that pro-life advocates have been “winning the abortion war” through legislative successes, changes in public opinion and new ultrasound technology that shows the unborn baby.

“Pro-choice activists have been outflanked by their prolife counterparts, who have successfully lobbied for state-based regulations that limit access,” writer Katie Pickert said on the Time website Jan. 3. “The pro-life cause has been winning the abortion war, in part, because it has pursued an organized and well-executed strategy. But public opinion is also increasingly on their side.”

Pickert made her case in the Jan. 14 Time cover story “What Choice?” The magazine cover says: “40 years ago, abortion rights activists won an epic victory with Roe v. Wade. They’ve been losing ever since.”

“In many parts of the country today, obtaining an abortion is more difficult than at any point since the 1970s,” Pickert said.

Fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions and the number of abortion clinics has declined from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,793 in 2008. The venue for abortions has shifted from hospitals to specialized clinics, which are easier targets for pro-life advocates and legislators.

In Pickert’s reckoning, pro-life legislative successes include various requirements including mandatory counseling, ultrasounds and waiting periods for women considering abortion; parental notification requirements for minors; and new regulations on what clinics and abortionists may perform abortions.

In 2011, a record 92 bills that regulate abortions passed in 24 state legislatures. …

Go here for the rest of the story.