July 1, 2014

Mark Levin: Hobby Lobby Decision Still Damaged First Amendment

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:35 pm

Go here for great and unfortunately sobering points.

If anyone can figure out how to post the video here, please let me know.

At AP, When EWTN Lost a Round in Contraception Case, It Was National News; But Not Its Yesterday Win

On June 18, Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network suffered a serious religious freedom setback when “A federal judge in Alabama … dismissed a Catholic broadcaster’s legal claim that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional.” The Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, felt that story was important enough to merit coverage at its national site — and in fact, two weeks later, the story is still present there (also saved here for future reference and fair use and discussion purposes).

After that June ruling, EWTN promised that it would appeal. A July 1 compliance deadline and daily fines which would have almost certainly put the network out of business loomed. Yesterday, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, EWTN scored what Life News’s Steven Ertelt called “a resounding victory,” when it “was granted last minute relief from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals,” thus enabling it to “freely practice what it preaches while it pursues its claims in court.” A search on “EWTN” at the AP’s national site indicates that it has no story there on this development. The wire service does have a Monday afternoon local/regional story on the news:

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June ISM Manufacturing: 55.3%, Barely Down From May’s 55.4% (Order Backlog Moves Into Contraction)

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 10:17 am

From the Institute for Supply Management:

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June for the 13th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 61st consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

… “The June PMI® registered 55.3 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from May’s reading of 55.4 percent, indicating expansion in manufacturing for the 13th consecutive month. The New Orders Index registered 58.9 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from the 56.9 percent reading in May, indicating growth in new orders for the 13th consecutive month. The Production Index registered 60 percent, 1 percentage point below the May reading of 61 percent. Employment grew for the 12th consecutive month, registering 52.8 percent, the same level of growth as reported in May. Inventories of raw materials remained at 53 percent, the same reading as reported in both May and April. The price of raw materials grew at a slower rate in June, registering 58 percent, down 2 percentage points from May.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 are reporting growth …

The two GDP drivers in the narrative, New Orders and Production, were very strong. But the third, Order Backlog, went into contraction, falling from 52.5% to 48.0%. This may not bode well for the third quarter’s GDP.

This is good news, as in it certainly beats the alternative. But the disconnect between ISM’s Manufacturing Index — which we must remind everyone is survey, not a hard statistical indicator — and what from all appearances is going on in the economy as actually measured has never seemed so great.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (070114)

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: St. Paul YMCA workers, member recognized for saving a life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From St. Paul Minnesota:

POSTED: 06/26/2014 12:01:00 AM CDT

Workers at the downtown St. Paul YMCA along with a member saved the life of a 60-year-old man on his birthday last year, and the city’s fire chief honored them Thursday.

The four people teamed up to help Steve Schmitz when he went into cardiac arrest while playing racquetball at the Y on his 60th birthday in October, the fire department said. They revived Schmitz by doing CPR and using an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), training they’d received as YMCA employees, and called 911.

“Rapid, proficient patient care is only possible when courageous citizens take prompt action to assist someone else in trouble,” Fire Chief Tim Butler wrote in letters of commendation.

Butler honored YMCA custodial employees Laura Knoll, Kendrick Livers and Charles Woolery, along with Scott St. Martin, who was working out at the Y when Schmitz was found unconscious. St. Martin, who is trained as an Emergency Medical Technician, is a former St. Paul fire captain and now the Hudson fire chief. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Nationally Promoted Hobby Lobby Protest at Flagship Store Draws (at Most) ‘Several Dozen’

Shortly after 3 PM Eastern Time this afternoon, an outfit called “Faithful America” issued a “Media Advisory” for an event which would take place at 7:30 PM Central Time.

In the email, Faithful America claimed to be “the largest and fastest growing online community of Christians taking action for social justice,” and to have 300,000 members. They may have that many members, but only about 0.01% of them showed up for the event involved: a “vigil” opposing today’s Supreme Court decision at Hobby Lobby’s flagship store in Edmond, Oklahoma. In covering the titantic event, Edmond Sun reporter Mark Schlachtenhaufen appears to have exaggerated the puny turnout, and made the same misstatement concerning the circumstances of the case we’ve seen constantly in the national press (bolds are mine):

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