February 22, 2013

AP’s Rugaber Paints Somewhat Sunny Jobless Claims Picture, ‘Somehow’ Misses That They’re Virtually the Same as Last Year

For the past six weeks combined, actual jobless claims filed nationwide have been virtually the same as the were during the six comparable weeks in early 2012.

You wouldn’t know that from Christopher Rugaber’s coverage at the Associated Press of the Department of Labor’s unemployment claims report released yesterday. Rugaber, who described last month’s jobs report showing the unemployment rate rising to 7.9 percent with a mediocre 157,000 jobs added (both figures are seasonally adjusted) as “mostly encouraging,” wrote Thursday that the movement in jobless claims “suggests slow but steady improvement in the job market.” If so, that “suggestion” is at best a whisper.


Latest PJ Media Column (‘Let Sequestration Happen’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:08 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Obama’s Universal Preschool Push

Filed under: Economy,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:59 am

The president seeks to add another statist layer to society.


This column went up at FrontPageMag.com earlier this morning.


The first and most obvious question about the “universal preschool” idea President Barack Obama proposed in his State of the Union address has to be: “How in the world did we ever survive without it?”

The answer, until the nation and its culture began losing its way during the 1960s and 1970s, is that we mostly did just fine. Rich or poor, most families contained a married couple that stayed together. Their children generally grew up to competent with the help of strong reinforcing support structures in our neighborhoods, churches and communities.

Now we largely don’t have intact families. We’re paying for this devolution dearly in more ways than I can hope to enumerate in a single column. But I will note the primary result: Too many of our children are not being raised in home environments conducive to healthy early (or later) development. I will also note why this has happened: For decades, government policies have discouraged marriage while encouraging family break-ups.

Now the same people who brought us 30 years of a welfare system which did those very things (until 1996, when welfare reform began to improve that situation, but only marginally, because the culture by then had changed so markedly for the worse), an urban education system which has been failing children for decades (with the rot spreading to the suburbs and exurbs faster than more people recognize), and urban neighborhoods which have become virtual battle zones, are offering yet another “solution” which won’t solve anything, and could possibly do significant harm. But it will expand the government’s power and influence, which is what all of this is really about.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022213)

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

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

Positivity: George Washington and a Little-Known Turning Point in American History

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

georgewashingtonThis post is a Washington’s Birthday BizzyBlog tradition.


Few know that George Washington singlehandedly prevented a soldiers’ revolt in 1783.


(from historyplace.com)

At the close of the Revolutionary War in America, a perilous moment in the life of the fledgling American democracy occurred as officers of the Continental Army met in Newburgh, New York, to discuss grievances and consider a possible insurrection against the rule of Congress.

They were angry over the failure of Congress to honor its promises to the army regarding salary, bounties and life pensions. The officers had heard from Philadelphia that the American government was going broke and that they might not be compensated at all.

On March 10, 1783, an anonymous letter was circulated among the officers of General Washington’s main camp at Newburgh. It addressed those complaints and called for an unauthorized meeting of officers to be held the next day to consider possible military solutions to the problems of the civilian government and its financial woes.

General Washington stopped that meeting from happening by forbidding the officers to meet at the unauthorized meeting. Instead, he suggested they meet a few days later, on March 15th, at the regular meeting of his officers.

Meanwhile, another anonymous letter was circulated, this time suggesting Washington himself was sympathetic to the claims of the malcontent officers.

And so on March 15, 1783, Washington’s officers gathered in a church building in Newburgh, effectively holding the fate of democracy in America in their hands.

Unexpectedly, General Washington himself showed up. He was not entirely welcomed by his men, but nevertheless, personally addressed them…