February 21, 2013

Former New Orleans Mayor Nagin, Arraigned on Bribery Charges, Not ID’d as a Democrat in 500-Word AP Story

At the Associated Press yesterday, Michael Kunzelman managed to write a 500-word story about the arraignment of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on bribery charges without once mentioning that Nagin is a Democrat.

That’s probably not a “Name That Party” record for “Most Words Used in an AP Story about a Democratic Politician Tainted by Scandal and/or Corruption,” but it’s especially galling, given the mayor’s culpability (along with then-Governor Kathleen Blanco) for failing to ensure that New Orleans was evacuated on a timely basis in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina, and given the national press’s non-stop blaming of President George W. Bush for the death, destruction and mayhem which followed. Excerpts from Kunzelman’s report follow the jump (bolds are mine):


Former Striking Hostess Workers’ Eligibility For ‘Trade Adjustment Assistance’ Not a National Story

Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that it had certified “more than 18,000 former Hostess workers around the country as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance.” I’ll save excerpts from DOL’s inane announcement for after the jump.

The story has garnered som local coverage in some of the areas affected by Hostess plant closures late last year, including a couple of regional Associated Press stories. But the AP, based on a search on “hostess,” did not have a story at its national site as of 9 a.m. today, even though former Hostess workers in 48 states are affected. Additionally, virtually every story found in a Google News search on “Hostess trade adjustment” (not in quotes) is local in nature. Could this possibly be because doling out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to workers whose unions thought the company was bluffing when it said it would throw in the towel without acceptable labor contracts is more than a little embarrassing, especially when President Barack Obama is simultaneously claiming that the federal government will have no choice but to lay off and furlough employees if sequestration takes place?


Initial Unemployment Claims (022113): 362K SA and 346K NSA, Both Same as Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:20 am


The seasonal factors:

  • This week (week ended Feb. 16) — 95.8
  • Same week last year (week ended Feb. 18, 2012) — 95.7

Raw claims, same week last year: 346,659

Raw claims, last week (before any revisions this week): 359,428

Last year’s raw result led to a seasonally adjusted reading of 362,000. A repeat of last week’s raw claims will also lead to a seasonally adjusted reading this year of 362,000. A major uptick of 24,000 or more from last week’s raw claims will push the seasonally adjusted number to 400,000.

The report will be here at 8:30.

Here it is (direct link):


In the week ending February 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 362,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 342,000. The 4-week moving average was 360,750, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 352,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 346,428 in the week ending February 16, a decrease of -14,758 from the previous week. There were 346,659 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

Well, things are exactly where they were a year ago. If there’s any kind of upward revision of this week’s raw number next week, we’ll be slightly worse off than a year ago.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022113)

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

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

Positivity: Spanish laywoman could be made saint

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Feb 16, 2013 / 04:04 pm

A Spanish laywoman born over a hundred years ago could be made saint after the results of an investigation to have her beatified were submitted Feb. 15 at the Vatican.

“She was important because she was a woman, a lay woman and a pioneer of consecrated laity,” who anticipated “the Second Vatican Council’s universal call for sainthood,” said Pina Milana, director of Instituto Secular Operarias Parroquiales Magdalena Aulina.

Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach of Barcelona closed the diocesan process for the canonization of Magdalena Aulina on Feb. 9.

On Feb. 15, the documents from the diocesan phase were submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican.

Milana explained to CNA that this means her canonization process is now entering a second phase, known as “the Roman phase,” which will involve her life and heroic virtues being studied in greater depth.