October 30, 2013

These Are What Obama’s Defenders Say Aren’t Lies

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:19 pm

Roll tape:

The video shows 22 instances from 2008 until September 2010, six months after March 2010, when Obamacare became law, where Obama made the “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” promise. Two of those instances are from after March 2010. Others in March 2010 may have been after the law was signed.

In two of the video’s instances, he even referred to “private insurance.”

Sebelius: ‘Don’t Do This to Me’ (i.e., Ask Me a Legitimate Question)

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:04 pm

Kathleen Sebeluis (HT Twitchy), begging not to be asked a question she thought she had escaped before she found out that the “follow-up” was just a political ploy by Henry Waxman to get her out of the jam into which a Republican Congressperson had put her:

(at the 0:30 mark: “Don’t do this to me.”)

She thought Waxman was going to force her to answer the question of whether she would join the exchanges like everyone else if she didn’t already have gold-plated federal employee coverage. Waxman, prog dissembler that he is, ended up “asking” a non-question about insurance against “cheap shots.”

Millions of Americans are saying the same thing about being forced to deal with the pile of crap known as Obamacare.

WaPo’s Kessler Gives Obama’s ‘You Can Keep Your Plan’ Promise ‘Four Pinocchios,’ Still Blows Key Points

43 months after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, another national establishment press outlet has called President Barack Obama’s serially made promise that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health plan” a lie. Specifically, Washington Post designated fact-checker Glenn Kessler has given it “four Pinocchios,” the lowest possible rating on his scale reserved for “whoppers.”

Kessler joins other press organizations admitting to the obvious way too late to matter. The Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, with rare exceptions (and note that the linked analysis did not directly address the individual market), studiously avoided looking at the truthfulness of Obama’s core Affordable Care Act promise for 3-1/2 years. Finally, on September 30, Calvin Woodward in Paragraph 15 of a multi-item “fact check,” called Obama’s pledge  ”an empty promise, made repeatedly.” Kessler’s work has one remaining hole that I will identify after presenting excerpts (HT Twitchy; bolds are mine):


October ADP Employment Report (103013); 130K Private-Sector Jobs Added; Aug. and Sept. Revised Down; See Conference Call Notes

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 7:30 am

ADP’s national report will be released today as originally planned.

The government’s jobs report has been pushed back to November 8 from November 1 ostensibly as a result of the 17% government shutdown.

Business Insider predicts 150,000 private-sector jobs added in the ADP report, down from 166,000 in September.

The report will be here at 8:15 a.m. I will be on the conference call and take notes at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link): Ruh-roh —

Private-sector employment increased by 130,000 from September to October, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

- Small businesses (1-49 employees) +37,000
- Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +13,000
- Large businesses (500 or more employees) +81,000

August has been revised down to 151,000 from an original 176,000, and September down to 145,000 from last month’s 166,000.

From the predictable press release:

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship hurt the already softening job market in October. Average monthly growth has fallen below 150,000. Any further weakening would signal rising unemployment. The weaker job growth is evident across most industries and company sizes.”

I should also note that June and July, which started out in their original releases at 188K and 200K, respectively, are now at 190K and 161K. In general, since July subsequent revisions have been knocking down the original numbers by roughly 15 percent.

Conference Call Notes (mildly revised after listening to an audio replay at 11:15 a.m.):

MARK ZANDI’S comments:
- on the soft side. Below the roughly 150K average we’ve been getting.
- Oct. was a weak month, but job market was weakening going into Oct.
- “due to very significant fiscal austerity the economy is trying to digest (taxes and spending).
- affected by shutdown and brinksmanship over debt limit; there’s no proof positive here.
- Some direct impact from furloughs, but hard to disentanble from unemployment claims measurement issues.
- All of the slowdown was among smaller companies, particularly very small companies, but big cos. had no ill effects; consistent with impact of govt. shutdown. Big cos less likely to respond to shutdown (really? — Ed.).
- Obamacare not having much of an impact thus far.
- Softness was on the service side and not on the goods-producing side.
- Clear that job market has slowed; growth is weak.
- But I don’t think the recovery has been undermined, and we’ll see a revival of growth next year.

My Q: revisions (Why?) –
- ADP report is constructed in a similar way.
- ADP is benchmarked to BLS and is adjusted in response to BLS after revisions
- Annual benchmark rev also gets thrown in.

CNN Q: What’s going on in small biz, esp 20-50 group?
-3 potential factors: month-to-month volatility (i.e., don’t draw too much), govt. shutdown fallout causes less hiring due to increased uncertainty and nervousness, and possibly health care reform (lowest on list).
-The 20-50 impact is across all industries. He thinks of the three that the shutdown is the most important factor, but can’t prove any of it.

CNN follow-up re Fed meeting and taper:
- Expects no action or beginning of tapering; in fact, we’re moving in the wrong direction.
- Inflation is low, well below target. Core is 1%-1.5% (target is 2%), and Washington is still an issue.
- Going to be hard to assess shudown’s impact on data collection at the federal agencies.
- Conceivably might start tapering in March 2014 or even May 2014.

LA Times Q: What is projecting for jobs report —
- Zandi thinks it will be close to 100K, with govt. being weak. (Furloughed with back pays will STILL be counted as employed). Thinks timing of teacher hires dropping off (even w/ seasonal adjustment? — Ed.)
- Unemployment rate will probably rise, partially b/c of shutdown but also because furloughed employees WILL influence the Household Survey.
- Conference Board survey “are jobs available?” question deteriorated, another indicator of an unemployment rate rise.

My 2nd question on HC reform and small group plan terminations: Doesn’t know impact.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (103013)

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

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: 86-year-old nun called ‘the prison angel’ dies in Mexico

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Tijuana, Mexico and Los Angeles, California:

Oct 29, 2013 / 04:01 pm

Mother Antonia Brenner, who married and divorced twice before converting to the Catholic faith and devoting herself to prison ministry for nearly 39 years in Tijuana, died Oct. 17 at the age of 86.

“Humanly speaking, this is an irreparable loss, but from the point of view of the mission that she had, I think we have won something,” Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz of Tijuana said after receiving news of her death.

“She is a woman with the characteristics of a saint. I say that because I knew her and loved her a lot. I also received much affection from her. She has the traits of a saint, and that is why the Church has come out winning.”

Mother Brenner was born Mary Clarke and was the mother of eight and lived in Beverly Hills prior to her conversion, which was effected by a dream. Even before this, she had done volunteer work for the poor in both Mexico and California.

In 1969 she dreamt she was a prisoner at Calvary preparing to be executed. Suddenly, Jesus appeared and offered to die in her place, which she refused, saying she would never leave him no matter what happened to her.

After this dream, Mother Brenner decided to devote her life to the Church.

Despite initial difficulties due to her status as a divorcee, in 2003 she founded the order of the Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour, which was founded for older women who feel called to serve the poor.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1982 about her prison ministry, Mother Antonia said, “Something happened to me when I saw men behind bars. … when I left, I thought a lot about the men. When it was cold, I wondered if the men were warm; when it was raining, if they had shelter.”

“I wondered if they had medicine and how their families were doing. …when I returned to the prison to live, I felt as if I’d come home.”

Both for the guards and the inmates at La Mesa penitentiary, Mother Brenner was the prison angel. But behind bars she was known as “Mama.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.