February 8, 2014

WaPo’s Reid Wilson Throws a Pity Party: Dems ‘Have No Real Equivalent’ of the Koch Brothers

Leftist delusions are amazing things. One of them is that the financial deck is stacked against their candidates and causes.

Reid Wilson at the Washington Post attempted to explain it all on Friday. On the plus side, at least he didn’t try to pretend, as Evan Halper at the Los Angeles Times did in late December, that there’s no one donating to Democrats and progressive causes with the financial clout of the Koch brothers except billionaire and relative newbie activist Tom Steyer. But while Wilson recognized the existence of large Dem donors, he bemoaned the fact that they are supposedly not as well organized, and that their motives, unlike the Kochs, are pure. Really (bolds are mine):

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As Press Pretends Seasonally Adjusted Figures Are What Happened, Economy Really Lost 2.87 Million Jobs in January

One of the more annoying aspects of business press reporting is its participants’ singular focus on seasonally adjusted data to the exclusion of the underlying figures.

Many reports on the economy at least tag the figures reported as seasonally adjusted; but there seems to be a trend away from doing even that. For example, the Associated Press has routinely labeled weekly initial jobless claims as seasonally adjusted (examples from about a year ago are here, here, and here), but Thursday’s adjusted claims figure of 331,000 and the 348,000 from a week earlier went unlabeled (as seen here and here, respectively). Additionally, none of the three main wire services (AP, Bloomberg, Reuters) described yesterday’s reported increase in employment as “seasonally adjusted” (though the AP’s Christopher Rugaber did report that the unemployment rate of 6.6 percent was seasonally adjusted). In failing to do so, they all were in essence telling readers that the economy really added 113,000 jobs in January. The truth is that it lost over 2.8 million of them:

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Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (020814)

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: Stunning adult stem cell developments evoke hope, caution

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Feb 7, 2014 / 04:02 am

Remarkable advancements in stem cell biology are enabling scientists to reprogram mature cells into a variety of different tissues – but experts say these methods should be used carefully to avoid ethical questions and inadvertent cloning.

While the new technology is an “exciting and surprising development,” said Brendan Foht, assistant editor of “The New Atlantis” bioethics journal, “some important scientific and ethical questions need to be addressed” before the technique is applied to human cell therapy.

“The scientists found that the cells made through this technique seemed to have even more developmental potential than embryonic stem cells,” and are able to turn into a variety of embryonic and placental tissue in addition to a range of adult tissues.

“This means that this technique may not just be a way of creating stem cells, but a way of creating embryos,” opening the door to human cloning, Foht told CNA on Jan. 5.

The new mechanism produces “stimulus triggered acquisition of pluripotency” or STAP cells, which uses stressful situations, such as acid baths, to trigger adult animal cells into a re-programed state where they can develop into a wide range of tissues.

Findings were detailed in two papers published in the scientific journal “Nature” on Jan. 29, involving research from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan as well as the Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the United States. …Feb 7, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Remarkable advancements in stem cell biology are enabling scientists to reprogram mature cells into a variety of different tissues – but experts say these methods should be used carefully to avoid ethical questions and inadvertent cloning.

While the new technology is an “exciting and surprising development,” said Brendan Foht, assistant editor of “The New Atlantis” bioethics journal, “some important scientific and ethical questions need to be addressed” before the technique is applied to human cell therapy.

“The scientists found that the cells made through this technique seemed to have even more developmental potential than embryonic stem cells,” and are able to turn into a variety of embryonic and placental tissue in addition to a range of adult tissues.

“This means that this technique may not just be a way of creating stem cells, but a way of creating embryos,” opening the door to human cloning, Foht told CNA on Jan. 5.

The new mechanism produces “stimulus triggered acquisition of pluripotency” or STAP cells, which uses stressful situations, such as acid baths, to trigger adult animal cells into a re-programed state where they can develop into a wide range of tissues.

Findings were detailed in two papers published in the scientific journal “Nature” on Jan. 29, involving research from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan as well as the Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the United States. …

Go here for the rest of the story.