February 14, 2013

Sheila Jackson Lee, in Congress: ‘I Stand Here as a Freed Slave’

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) looks mighty good for a woman who has to be at least 148 years old.

My take on her age is based on a statement the Congresswoman made today while objecting to impending spending reductions relating to sequestration in which she characterized herself as “a freed slave.” Slavery as a legal institution ended in the U.S. in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Here is what Ms. Jackson Lee said, in context (HT Rush Limbaugh):

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Flashback: In 2011, Lautenberg Said Pro-Life Protesters ‘Don’t Deserve the Freedoms in the Constitution — But We’ll Give It to Them Anyway’

New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, 89, announced today that he will retire in two years at the end of his term. President Obama predictably praised him as a “steadfast champion of the people of New Jersey.”

Well, not all of the people of New Jersey. In March 2011, Lautenberg spoke at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood. In a statement the establishment press steadfastly ignored, Lautenberg, responding to vocal pro-life protesters, said the following (video still present at LifeNews.com; bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Heritage: ‘From Arab Spring to Islamist Winter’

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:31 am

Gosh, no one could have predicted this. (/sarc)

Morgan Lorraine Roach at Heritage has an excellent rundown of the Middle East’s deterioriation while Barack Obama has been president, especially since the beginning of 2011.

Read the whole thing.

Initial Unemployment Claims (021413); 341K SA: 359K NSA, down 2% from Same Week in 2013

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:39 am

The number is 341,000 according to a CNN email, but I don’t see it yet at DOL.

Here it is … scratch that, they linked to an older report … waiting …

OK, working with the 341K … last year’s seasonal adjustment factor was 101.2. This year’s is 105.5, so I can say that if last year’s factor had been used on this year’s raw number which had to be about 360K, today’s seasonally adjusted number would have been about 355K.

Okay, here we go:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending February 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 341,000, a decrease of 27,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 368,000. The 4-week moving average was 352,500, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 351,000.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 359,428 in the week ending February 9, a decrease of 29,014 from the previous week. There were 365,014 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

This is not an awful result in context. It’s certainly not as glorious as the 341K “official” reading would lead one to believe. Raw claims only went down about 2% from the same week last year, while the seasonally adjusted comparison makes you think they went down by about 6%. That’s the difference between “getting somewhat better” (the exaggeration) and “barely better” (the reality).

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UPDATE: Zero Hedge says IL and CT claims were estimated.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (021413)

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

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

Positivity: Youth gather to pray for Pope, recall his loving guidance

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

From Vatican City:

Feb 11, 2013 / 04:00 pm

A group of young adults at the Vatican called Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign “humble” and “brave,” adding that they are “impressed by the strength of his choice.”

“I have a lot of respect for his choice,” said one member of the Vatican’s youth group “San Lorenzo,” which gathered to pray the rosary in St. Peter’s Square for the Holy Father.

“We actually do this every day,” said Cecile Delattre, a native of Paris. She explained that the group has responded to the pontiff’s call for Catholics to pray a daily rosary during the Year of Faith.

“But today we prayed it more specifically for the Pope,” she explained.

On Feb. 11, Pope Benedict announced that he would retire from his position on Feb. 28, due to his advanced age and declining strength.

Pointing to Blessed John Paul II’s description of the cross as a “symbol of hope,” Delattre emphasized that “we have nothing to fear because the Holy Spirit is guiding the whole thing.”

At first, she said that she could not believe the news of the resignation, which came as a total surprise. But at the same time, she knew the decision was made “in truth with the Lord and in peace.”

Throughout his pontificate, Delattre said, the Holy Father has addressed “subjects that spoke directly to young people” in a way that was “very brave and bold.”

She speculated that the Pope “must have suffered” from those that did not understand him, but she added that many young people gave the pontiff their full support.

“I saw it during this last World Youth Day when thousands knelt with him before the Blessed Sacrament,” she explained. “I felt they acknowledged that he was guiding us closer to Christ.”

“We will remember him as someone really humble and really attached to everyone,” she said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.