January 21, 2013

Tonight’s Econ Tidbits

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:24 pm

From updates done today at previous posts:

  • Latest PJ Media column tease, posted yesterday — Excluding just four states (TX, UT, OK, and ND), the nation’s unemployment rate in October 2012 leading up to Election Day was 8.2%.
  • Unemployment Claims Post, Jan. 17 – Readers may recall that raw (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) claims were greater than the same week a year ago for the first time in what I said was a long but undefined time for a truly comparable full business week. I have now found that “the last truly comparable week when current year claims exceeded the comparable full business week in the prior year” was the week of October 31, 2009, or 167 weeks ago. That is ominous. (Data can be found by going to this interactive link at the Department of Labor)

Along the way (at the same DOL link), I noticed that “covered employment,” meaning those who would be eligible for unemployment benefits if they were to be laid off, is STILL almost six million below what it was during the recession. Specifics: Covered employment is currently 128.066 million. That’s 5.836 million lower than it was during the final weeks of 2008, when it was 133.902 million. When the recession officially ended six months later, covered employment was still 133.683 million. Employment is increasing — not fast enough, but it is increasing. The decline in covered employment (its absolute low was 125.572 million in early 2011, so it’s only 30% of the way back to its peak over four years ago) must mean that an awful lot of the jobs workers are taking involve part-time and contract work.

In his second inauguratal speech today, President Obama said that after four years at the helm, “An economic recovery has begun.” I wouldn’t be so sure about that. It looks to me like it might — once again — be stalling.


UPDATE, Jan. 22: The fact that Obama could only say that “An economic recovery has begun” is a startling admission of abject first-term failure.

CBS Political Director John Dickerson Calls on Obama to ‘Declare War on the Republican Party’

Decades ago, to demonstrate the leftist biases of most establishment press reporters, one needed to study their body of work over time. Many of them didn’t make their political beliefs totally obvious until they retired or went elsewhere (e.g., Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw).

These days, we usually don’t have to wait too long for reporters’ biases to show. Over the weekend at Slate, CBS Political Director John Dickerson, whose leftist advocacy disguised as journalism has been evident for at least nine years, mapped out a strategy for his beloved President Obama, writing a 2,000-word battle plan disguised as a column begging the president to “declare war on the Republican Party’” (Slate’s current headline tease on its “Most Popular” list is “Why Obama Should Seek To Destroy the Republican Party”; bolds are mine):


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012113)

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

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


Positivity: Martin Luther King

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From the Nobel Peace Prize’s biography:

Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.

Not News: Pastor Goes Off on ‘Enemies,’ Leads Chants of ‘Forward’ With Obamas in Attendance

At the Associated Press today, Darlene “Supine” Superville filed a report on Barack and Michelle Obama’s church attendance “at the historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.”

Ms. Superville told readers that “The Old Testament reading during the service came from the book of Exodus, Chapter 14, in which the Israelites cross the Red Sea as Moses leads them out of Egypt.” That’s nice, but she failed to report how church pastor Ronald E. Braxton used that passage in his sermon. Ben Shapiro at Big Government did (HT Gateway Pundit via Instapundit; links are in original; bolds are mine):