February 6, 2014

AP’s Initial Report and Subsequent ‘Fact Check’ on Obamacare Employment Impact Have Predictable Errors and Distortions

Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters made reference Tuesday to an Associated Press story headline (“Modest drop in full-time work seen from health law”) indicating that the outfit I prefer to call the Administration’s Press is furiously spinning in reaction to Tuesday’s report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting that Obamacare will reduce full-time-equivalent employment from what it would have been without the law by 2.5 million over the next 10 years.

The underlying content of the story Ken referenced is weak, as is Calvin Woodward’s longer “fact check(“ANTI-OBAMACARE CHORUS IS OFF KEY”) currently carrying an early Thursday time stamp. Woodward’s piece is especially troubling in how it seems to treat work as a curse instead of a necessary component of societal progress. But let’s first look at the full “modest drop” dispatch.


Gabriela Resto-Montero Update

Ms. Resto-Montero is the author of the execrable MSNBC.com item which claimed that there was a “conservative” backlash against a Cheerios ad with a biracial family last year.

To the extent there was a “backlash,” it could not fairly be tagged “conservative.”

Although an MSNBC staffer who erroneously relied on the accuracy of Ms. Resto-Montero’s inaccurate article was fired for tweeting about how conservatives would be upset with the Cheerios Super Bowl ad was fired, Ms. Resto-Montero, the perpetrator of the original, apparently was not.

This gentlemen attempted to contact Ms. Montero through Facebook to learn why she wrote what she did about “conservative” objections to Cheerios’ biracial ads. A short time later, he writes that she changed her name at her Facebook page.

Assuming that’s true, I guess we’re supposed to think that she did this because she’s skeeeered of those who object to her conduct and are outraged that there have been no consequences.

I’m not buying it. If that really is why you changed your Facebook page, ma’am, prove it. All anyone wants you to do, ma’am, is your job.

Initial Unemployment Claims (020614); 331K SA, Raw Claims Down Over 8% From Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:56 am


Seasonal adjustment factors:

  • Week ended Feb. 1, 2014 — 107.2
  • Week ended Feb. 2, 2013 — 107.6

Raw claims:

  • Week ended Jan. 25, 2014 — 357,656, up a few thousand from last week’s initial reading, changing the seasonally adjusted figure from 348K to 351K
  • Week ended Feb. 2, 2013 — 388,442

For the prediction to come true, raw claims will need to be 359,000 or less (359K divided by 1.072 is 335K, rounded). That would be about 7.5% lower than last year. That should be doable. Raw claims coming in above 359K would not be a favorable omen heading into tomorrow.

The report will be here at 8:30.



In the week ending February 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 331,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 351,000. The 4-week moving average was 334,000, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s revised average of 333,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 355,224 in the week ending February 1, a decrease of 2,432 from the previous week. There were 388,442 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

After next week’s revision, the seasonally adjusted number will likely be very close to the prediction.

There’s not a lot to say here, except that stabilization in the 330s, if that’s what is really happening, really isn’t that impressive as a harbinger of the kind of higher job growth Mark Zandi of Moody’s said he expects this year (225K per month average for the whole year) — and even that average job-growth number isn’t acceptable in the circumstances.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (020614)

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.


At the Wall Street Journal“The Price of Unilateral Rule; Obama’s Disdain for the Law May Kill Immigration Reform.” We should be so lucky. I don’t think we are.


Wes “Take No Prisoners” Pruden at the Washington Times:

What kind of idiot country are we becoming in this second decade of the 21st century? An official spokesman for the State Department, which imagines it’s the keeper of the nation’s conscience, suggested that when the going gets tough, the tough run home. Maybe the world is just too dangerous for Americans to get out and about. “Hard decisions must be made when it comes to whether the United States should operate in dangerous overseas locations.” Quote, unquote.

There is no understanding of history in the nooks and crannies of this administration, that the United States has never retreated from “operating in dangerous overseas locations,” and the day it does the nation is finished.

Well sir, with Obama in charge, we may already be.

Positivity: How Andrea Loubier became Mailbird’s CEO within one year of moving to Bali

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

This story deserves wide notice for a number of reasons:

- It shows that you should never underestimate anyone’s success-achieving capabilities.
- It shows that there’s still plenty of opportunity out there.
- It should encourage people to follow their dreams.

Here’s the September 21, 2013 audio of the success story found here:

Andrea Loubier, CEO of Mailbird

How Andrea Loubier became Mailbird’s CEO within one year of breaking free

This is the story of how Andrea broke free and became a CEO living on a tropical Indonesian island within just one year.

Half American, half Filipino and nomadic since birth, Andrea went the traditional route after college, working her way up to Project Director for a market research firm in the States. She collaborated with companies like Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Johnson & Johnson and then moved over to a job with a software company. Not long after, she broke free, relying on her experience, charm and love of marketing and communications to land a gig as CEO of a brand new email company based in Bali.

Andrea and I talk about her journey, how she was able to break free and become a CEO within a year, what it’s like to run a team split across continents plus why Bali is such a haven for entrepreneurs and the (not-so) surprising spot Andrea recommends for the ultimate vacation escape.

More here.

The company’s web site is here (also Facebook; Twitter).