March 28, 2014

RIP, Jeremiah Denton

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 11:57 pm

In 1966, as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, he told the world what was really happening in the Hanoi Hilton — with his eyelids:

Denton blinked the word “TORTURE” in Morse code.

He would not be released by Hanoi until 1973.

He became the first Republican Senator representing Alabama since Reconstruction in 1980.

He was a tireless champion of the unborn — which probably explain why the Associated Press’s obituary tonight says he was too “rigid” “But critics said his rigid stands left him no room for political compromise.”

I had the privilege of seeing him speak in the mid-1990s. I have never before or since seen a man so completely hold an audience’s undivided attention.

We need so many more like him now.

Once Again, Press Ignores the State’s Billions in Unpaid Bills in Covering ‘Soak the Rich’ Proposals

As I noted on Saturday, the idea that a state with about $6 billion in overdue unpaid bills would choose to raise taxes and apply the money to new spending is appalling. But when it comes to describing a state’s finances, ”appalling” and “Illinois” have belonged in the same sentence for so long, it’s hard to remember when that wasn’t the case.

Part of the reason that such proposals gain traction is that the press only occasionally reminds its readers, listeners and viewers of the past-due balance situation. As Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposal to increase the income tax on incomes above $1 million by 60 percent (from 5 percent to 8 percent made legislative headway and Govenor Pat Quinn surprised absolutely no one by backing the idea of making supposedly “temporary” income tax increases imposed three years ago permanent, both the local Chicago Daily Herald and the Associated Press predictably failed in this regard.

(more…)

February Regional and State Jobs Report: Ohio Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.5% But State Loses 4,600 Jobs

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:10 pm

The government’s Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report for February came out this morning.

The good news for Ohio is that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent from 6.9 percent in January.

The bad news (but not quite as bad as it appears) is that the state lost 4,600 seasonally adjusted payroll jobs.

As I’ve often noted, February is a very important month in the job market. That’s because it’s the first of five months where employers actually (i.e., in raw numbers, before seasonal adjustments) add lots of jobs.

So if Ohio lost seasonally adjusted jobs in February, it would ordinarily mean that employers held back on their normal level of net February. Well, thanks to seasonal adjustment quirks (which, as is so often the case, demonstrates why one must look deeper), that’s only partially true:

OhioNSAjobAdds1008to0214

Overall hiring wasn’t what you’d like to see, but the seasonally adjusted calc of -4,600 made things look far worse than justified. By contrast, the private sector number was basically as bad in comparison to the three post-jobs recession years of 2011, 2012, and 2013, but somehow converted to a job loss of only 600.

Bright-siders might point out that the Buckeye State’s job losses in January were very low. True, but continued slow net hiring during the next four months could very well offset that theoretically favorable result. We’ll just have to see.

Also, at the risk of nagging, I must remind readers that Ohio’s Household Survey employment growth since January 2011 has only been 109,000:

OhioHouseholdEmpTo0214

That leaves the Buckeye State 248,000 jobs short of its peak Household Survey employment level in January 2007.

And one more nag: Though I had to do the comparison on not seasonally adjusted data for Jan. 2011 through Jan. 2014 (February metro data isn’t yet available), almost 45 percent of the Household Survey jobs added during that period (50,500 out of 112,800) were in Metro Columbus. That represents a 5.8 percent employment increase, four times the 1.45 percent increase in the rest of the state.

While Ohio outside of Columbus continues to stagnate, Columbus thrives.

Columbus just so happens to be the seat of Ohio’s government. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence. (/sarcasm)

Common Core Bullies: Don’t You Dare Speak Out Against It

Filed under: Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:08 am

Watch, and stay with it to the end:

From Eagle Rising:

Teacher Bullied and Intimidated for Opposing Common Core

Susan Kimball, a kindergarten teacher of 20 years in the Sikeston Missouri Public School District, gave emotional testimony before the Missouri Senate Education Committee this week that she had been bullied and intimidated once her colleagues learned that she believed Common Core would be bad for her students.

Persecution for political beliefs is becoming commonplace among those of us who oppose the massive expansion of federal government control of healthcare, education, and our personal lives.

The Education Committee is considering a bill that would prohibit Missouri from implementing Common Core in their schools.

That bill should pass.

It’s clear that this teacher cares.

It’s equally clear that the Common Core bullies don’t.

CNN Email Touts 6 Million Obamacare Sign-ups As ‘Symbolic Victory’

Call it low-information voter outreach.

An email yesterday from CNNMoney touted how fantastic it was that Obamacare enrollment has reached the six million threshold, even describing it as a “symbolic victory.” Though the underlying article by Tami Luhby at least noted the problems with that 6 million figure, those problems should have been enough to negate that characterization. Instead, Luhby repeated it in her coverage (bolds are mine):

Obamacare tops 6 million signups

CNNocareEmail032714

(more…)

Michelle Malkin Sees Through the Charade

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:47 am

As an unusually heavy wave of reports about corrupt Democrats has appeared, I can only say that I’ve been thinking what Michelle Malkin tweeted yesterday (here and here):

MalkinQuotesOnFBIandDemPols032714

Let’s see if the trials happen before or after the November elections.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (032814)

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: Women rally outside Supreme Court for religious liberty

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

From Washington:

Mar 26, 2014 / 04:01 am

Women supporting employers challenging the government’s contraception spoke out in support of a vision of women’s equality that supports fertility and women’s role as employers, as the case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.

“All issues are women’s issues” said Ashley McGuire of The Catholic Association, quoting an earlier statement by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R- N.H.).

“Women are just as entitled to religious liberty as any man, and women have as much of a stake in the outcome of this case as any man.”

McGuire was speaking at a March 25 demonstration in front of the Supreme Court building, as the high court heard oral arguments for two appeals challenging a mandate issued by the department of Health and Human Services department under the Affordable Care Act.

The mandate requires that employers provide and pay for drugs and devices including contraception, sterilization, and some products and procedures that cause early embryo death.

Both the Hahn family, the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties, and the Greens, an evangelical Christian family who own and operate the Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, object to the mandate’s requirements that it provide and pay for certain drugs that can kill human persons in their earliest stages of development. …

Go here for the rest of the story.