April 21, 2014

NBC’s Martha White: 39 Paragraphs on All-Time Record Number of Temps, Not a Word on Obamacare

If there’s a prize for most words spent in Obamacare avoidance, NBC News’s Martha C. White is definitely in the running.

White managed to burn through almost 40 paragraphs and nearly 1,600 words in a report carried at CNBC on the all-time record number of workers employed by temporary help services. But she somehow managed to completely avoid mentioning Obamacare, which used to be known as the Affordable Care Act until President Obama and his Health and Human Services regulators made 40 changes to the law originally passed by Congress, some of which directly contradict the original law’s language. The closest she came was noting that using temps “lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance” — which has always been the case, except that health insurance is and will continue to be a lot more expensive, giving companies even more incentive to avoid adding to their own payrolls. Excerpts follow the jump.

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UAW Gives Up on VW-Chattanooga Appeal; AP Pretends Dem Congressmen Can ‘Investigate’ Election

Earlier today, just an hour before a hearing was to begin at the National Labor Relations Board, the United Auto Workers union dropped an appeal of the election it lost in February as it attempted to become the bargaining representative for workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.

In a writeup which appears at the Associated Press’s “Big Story” but which somehow failed to appear in a 6 p.m. search on “UAW” at the Big Story site (sorted by date), reporter Erik Schelzig pretended that two Democratic Congressmen who last week started an “inquiry” into the circumstances surrounding the union’s loss will be conducting a “congressional investigation.” No they won’t, because they can’t, because their party is in the minority. What they can do is conduct a theatrical exercise which looks like a “hearing” which has no power and which a responsible AP reporter wouldn’t call a “congressional investigation.” Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Comment of the Day: On NBC’s David Gregory

News Item: “As ‘Meet the Press’ struggles in the ratings, plenty of questions for host David Gregory”

Last year, the network undertook an unusual assessment of the 43-year-old journalist, commissioning a psychological consultant to interview his friends and even his wife. The idea, according to a network spokeswoman, Meghan Pianta, was “to get perspective and insight from people who know him best.” But the research project struck some at NBC as odd, given that Gregory has been employed there for nearly 20 years.

From a commenter at Ann Althhouse’s place:

… that’s a sound procedure whenever someone brings an illegal assault weapon magazine into the workplace.

Politico’s Nather Imagines Non-Existent Rift Between Cliven Bundy and Tea Party

Last Tuesday, in an incredibly childish piece, even by his non-standards, Politico’s David Nather acted as if the resistance at Clive Bundy’s ranch was endorsed and supported entirely by the tea party movement and/or Republicans and/or conservatives, so he could then characterize their post stand-off behavior — i.e., pursuit of their longer-term political goals — as some form of abandonment.

I was tempted to ignore Nather’s nattering, but a couple of subsequent events are making Nather look even more foolish than usual. The first is the fact that Bundy still has significant armed assistance, something the Politico reporter appears not to have anticipated. The second relates to allegations of misbehavior, including illegal property destruction, by Bureau of Land Management agents. First, let’s get to some of Nather’s blather (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Common Core: ‘This Is Dumbing Our Children Down’

Filed under: Activism,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:12 am

The audio quality if far less than perfect, but the message is crystal clear:

Arkansas Mother Obliterates Common Core in 4 Minutes!

If you’re pressed for time, go to the 1:50 mark, where the parent goes through a Common Core problem, gets the two-step answer to the “What did they count by?” problem from Board of Education members (90 divided by 18 = 5), and then shows them how Common Core demands that fourth-graders solve it:

If they solve it in those two steps, they get it marked wrong.

They are expected to draw 18 circles with 90 hash marks solving this problem in exactly 108 steps.

The mother claims that Common Core’s “rigorous standards” include “skipping rote memorization of multiplication tables,” which is “hindering their ability to master long division and fractions later on in the semester.”

I’d like a confirmation of that deliberate avoidance of multiplication tables from someone who knows. (Update: Confirmed in a conversation this morning.)

This is indisputably a recipe, as the parent stated, for “dumbing our children down.”

I’ll leave it to readers to determine developers’ motivations.

Suggestion: Find out where politicians on the ballot stand on Common Core. If they’re for it, it’s hard to imagine why you would choose to support them in upcoming primaries and general elections.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (042114)

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.

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9:45 a.m.: Housing and mortgage lending update, local bank edition

Quarterly mortgage originations geared down at Fifth Third Bancorp, while the servicing portfolio was reduced and home loan assets were cut.

As has been the case with all lenders to so far report first quarter activity, business slowed from the fourth-quarter 2013.

At the Cincinnati-based company, mortgage production was down 35 percent on a quarter-over-quarter basis, Fifth Third said in its first-quarter earnings report.

Positivity: Best Shift Ever – Waitress Receives Life-Changing Tip

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From “Prank It Forward” on March 31 (Ht Daryn Kagan):