May 8, 2014

Latest PJ Media Column (‘The GDP [Gosh-Darn Pathetic] Economy’) Is Up

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:02 pm

It’s here.

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

Contemptible: AP Story Again Keeps Lois Lerner’s Name Out of Headline, Opening Grafs

Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn’t reveal Lerner’s name until Paragraph 3.

Before getting to Ohlemacher’s journalistic malpractice, let’s take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure’s anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.

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Initial Unemployment Claims (050814): 319K SA; Raw Claims 4.9% Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:27 am

Predictions:

Seasonal Adjustment Factors:

  • Week ended May 3, 2014 — 90.0
  • Week ended May 4, 2013 — 90.9

Raw Claims:

  • Week ended April 26, 2014 — 317,184 (before revision)
  • Week ended May 4, 2013 — 301,602

To meet or beat the predictions above, raw claims will need to come in at 292.9K or lower (292.9K divided by 90.0 is 325K).

That seems ambitious. I think the number will come in slightly higher.

We’ll see when the report comes out here (PDF) at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending May 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 319,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 344,000 to 345,000. The 4-week moving average was 324,750, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 320,000 to 320,250.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 286,916 in the week ending May 3, a decrease of 31,211 (or -9.8 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 7,591 (or -2.4 percent) from the previous week. There were 301,602 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

Last week was revised up by 1K.

This report was relatively strong.

In a movement which happened in early April which I’m just noticing, “covered employment,” or the number of workers eligible for unemployment benefits if they are let go, increased from 130.94. million to 131.53 million. That’s good, but it’s still almost 2.4 million shy of the December 2008 high of 133.90 million.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (050814)

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: Francis will not be prisoner to public opinion, analyst says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

May 4, 2014 / 06:04 am

Vatican observer Sandro Magister has said that Pope Francis’ “formidable praise” for Paul VI’s “Humanae Vitae” is key to understanding his papacy’s alternating emphases of both clear doctrine and pastoral mercy.

Magister, writing in his May 1 column at L’Espresso, noted that the renewed controversy over communion for divorced and remarried Catholics has created “formidable pressure” in public opinion that is likely to expect a change in Church teaching in 2015 or 2016.

“There was similarly massive pressure for change in the 1960s, when the Pope had to decide on the legitimacy of contraceptives, with many theologians, bishops, and cardinals siding in favor,” Magister continued. “But in 1968 Paul VI decided against, with the encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’.”

This encyclical met with “bitter contestation” from entire groups of bishops and was disobeyed by “countless faithful,” Magister explained.

“But that today Pope Francis — surprising here as in everything — has said he wants to take as his own frame of reference.”

Magister cited Pope Francis’ March 5 interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera, in which the Pope noted that Paul VI urged confessors to be “very merciful and pay attention to concrete situations.” He also said Paul VI had a “prophetic” genius and had “the courage to take a stand against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to exercise a cultural restraint, to oppose present and future neo-Malthusianism.”

“The question is not that of changing doctrine, but of digging deep and making sure that pastoral care takes into account situations and what it is possible for persons to do,” Pope Francis had said.

Magister said that one “can truly expect anything” from Pope Francis, including a decision “against the majority” that reconfirms the indissolubility of marriage but is “tempered by the mercy of pastors of souls in the face of concrete situations.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.