April 3, 2014

In ‘Honor’ of Ann Coulter …

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:55 pm

… who has opined that Mitt Romney would be a pretty good presidential candidate in 2016, I give you the Guess Who performing the 1969 classic describing Coulter’s state of mind — “(She’s Come) Undun” (that’s how the band spelled it):

Seriously, Ann: “Don’t Feed Us This Mitt Again”

Update, April 5: More here, if you can stand it. Main delusion: “I think [Romney] was a fantastic candidate.” Lord have mercy.

Politico’s Nather Thinks Obamacare’s Enrollment ‘Achievement’ Hurts ‘Government Doesn’t Work’ Argument

Though he didn’t quite get to the “Shut up, he said” threshold, Politico’s David Nather, in a Tuesday tome, argued that HealthCare.gov allegedly crossing the 7 million enrollment threshold leaves opponents blubbering, and supports the argument “that government can still solve big social problems” and is “a wake-up call for Republicans and conservatives.”

It’s as if Nather believes — and maybe he does, in which case he’s woefully ignorant — that not achieving the enrollment target is about the only potential problem with HealthCare.gov. Uh, not exactly. Just off the top of my head, there’s the lack of site security, the absence of back-office interaction with insurance carriers, miscalculations of subsidies, the system’s outrageous cost, and the complete inability of enrollees to add, change or delete elements of what they submitted to correct inadvertent errors or reflect changes in their life circumstances. I’m sure that only scratches the surface. Excerpts from Nather’s nattering follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

(more…)

Latest PJ Media Column (‘John Kasich’s Calamity’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:21 am

It went up here late Wednesday Pacific Time.

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

_______________________________________

Left on the cutting room floor: John Kasich is trying to appease the growing anti-Common Core wave (links added by me) —

In Ohio, a public hearing on a state bill to repeal Common Core lasted six hours, until 1 a.m., because angry tea partiers were lining up to give House Education Committee Chairman Gerald Stebelton a piece of their minds. The Republican was dubbed “Stompyfeet Stebelton” by the tea-party-affiliated group Education Freedom Ohio for his lack of enthusiasm for repealing Common Core.

Stebelton is term-limited after this year, so tea-party groups are focusing on John Kasich, Ohio’s GOP governor, who is up for reelection and has backtracked on his initial support for Common Core. They are pushing him to say he supports legislation to repeal it.

Complicating matters, Kasich appears to be good friends with Common Core champion Jeb Bush, and would probably be burning a bridge if he came out for repeal. The guess here is that he and his peeps have figured out that it’s a disaster, and are biding their time to see how consequential the Common Core opposition is before doing anything.

My response: Stand for something, John.

Initial Unemployment Claims (040314): 326K SA; Raw Claims Jump 5.6% From Previous Week

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:52 am

Predictions:

Seasonal adjustment factors:

  • Week ended March 29, 2014 — 86.2 (revised upon release to 88.8)
  • Week ended March 30, 2013 — 81.6 (revised upon release to 84.6)

The difference in seasonal factors is there because Easter was on March 31 last year.

Raw claims:

  • Week ended March 22, 2014 — 273,411
  • Week ended March 30, 2013 — 316,948

To make Bloomberg’s prediction, raw claims will have to be 275,000 or lower (275K divided by .862 is 319K, rounded).

That seems achievable, but there is a wild card, as noted in last week’s release:

Note: Calendar Year (CY) 2014 Seasonal Factors and revised seasonal factors and historical series for CY 2009-2013 for both initial claims and continued claims will be made available April 3, 2014, with the release of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Weekly Claims News Release.

In addition, beginning April 10, 2014, the UI Weekly Claims News Release will be issued under a revised (.pdf) format. The new version of the release will include graphics and tables for additional information and ease of use.

We’ll see what the impact of all this is here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending March 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 326,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 310,000. The 4-week moving average was 319,500, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s revised average of 319,250.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 289,535 in the week ending March 29, an increase of 15,463 from the previous week. There were 317,494 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

The change in the seasonal adjustment factor masks a lot of the somewhat substantial 5.6 percent week-to-week increase in raw claims 289,535 divided by a revised 274,072).

If the pre-adjustment seasonal factor had been used, seasonally adjusted claims would have come in at 336,000 (289,535 divided by .862 is 336K, rounded).

The bottom line is that this week’s report went the wrong way. Whether it’s the beginning of a trend in the wrong direction remains to be seen.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (040314)

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: Knights of Columbus wins prize for ethical business practices

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From New Haven, Connecticut:

Mar 24, 2014 / 05:04 pm

The fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus has been recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies by a research center on best practices in corporate ethics and governance.

“This really speaks to the fact that a company can be committed to Church teaching, committed to Catholic values, and still provide a top quality service and be very successful at what they do,” Andrew Walther, vice president for communications and media with the Knights, told CNA March 21.

Timothy Erblich, CEO of the Ethisphere Institute, announced the award March 20, saying, “the Knights of Columbus join an exclusive community committed to driving performance through leading business practices. We congratulate everyone at Knights of Columbus for this extraordinary achievement.”

The institute named the New Haven, Conn.-based Catholic fraternal organization and life insurance company to its 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company list. The Knights is only one of two companies in the life insurance category to be recognized.

The assessment is based on consideration of an organization’s ethics and compliance programs; its reputation, leadership and innovation; governance; corporate citizenship and responsibility; and culture of ethics.

Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the fraternal organization, noted that it began more than 130 years ago to protect Catholic families who lose their breadwinner and to provide charity for those “on the margins of society.”

“Today, those same founding principles are at work in every aspect of our business, guiding our corporate governance, our professional agency force, our investments, and our day-to-day business operations,” Anderson said in a statement. “It is this continued commitment to our foundational, Catholic principles that is the key to our ethical, sustainable and successful business model.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.