August 14, 2014

Politico Pity Party: Obama Is on a ‘Vacation From Hell’

Does anyone remember a media report expressing sympathy for former President George W. Bush when adverse events happened during his Crawford, Texas “vacations”? (Given that he and Laura lived there, calling a visit to your place back home hardly seems to qualify as some kind of “vacation”)

Well, this evening, Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown took pity on President Obama for his “vacation from hell.” Excerpts follow the jump.


Barely News: Teachers Union Head’s Promise to ‘Punch’ Common Core Opponents ‘in the Face’

Give the New York Daily News credit for surfacing a video which originally appeared at Ed Notes Online, a publication whose “about” page says it opposes “the education corporate-based reforms … undermining the public school system” and exposes “the motives behind the education deformers.”

The video shows Michael Mulgrew, the president of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers, threatening to “punch you in the face and push you in the dirt” if you oppose the nationally imposed and controlled Common Core standards, and from all appearances laying claim to America’s children as the property of its teachers. Give the rest of the establishment press — which routinely pounces on inflammatory statements coming from the right and distorts others into making them appear to be — demerits for almost completely failing to expose an education tyrant. Video and excerpts from the Daily News’s coverage follow the jump.


Initial Unemployment Claims (081414): 311K SA; Raw Claims Only 5% Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:26 am


Seasonal Adjustment Factors:

  • Week ended August 9, 2014 — 86.4
  • Week ended August 10, 2013 — 85.9

Raw Claims:

  • Week ended August 2, 2014 — 247,133
  • Week ended August 10, 2013 — 282,756

To achieve or beat the predictions, raw claims will need to be 255,000 or lower (255K divided by .864 is 295K, rounded).

If things are moving along swimmingly, that’s what we’ll get.

We’ll see here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link): Well, well, a little trouble in paradise —


In the week ending August 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 311,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 289,000 to 290,000. The 4-week moving average was 295,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 293,500 to 293,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 268,837 in the week ending August 9, an increase of 20,960 (or 8.5 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 2,317 (or 0.9 percent) from the previous week. There were 282,756 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

That’s a bit of a surprise, but last week seemed artificially low, so maybe this week averaged out last week.

A lot was made of how supposedly wonderful the JOLTS report a day or two ago was in showing so many open jobs, which are at a 13-year high. The logical question would be, “Why aren’t they being filled?”

Today’s news puts a bit of a damper on that.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (081414)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


“Europe is a big zero,” as in no econommic growth during the most recent quarter. According to a video report at the Wall Street Journal, the Eurozone economy is still 2.4 percent smaller than it was before the financial mess-driven recession began near the end of last decade.

Positivity: Be guardians of hope, Pope Francis tells Korea’s bishops

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Seoul, South Korea:

Aug 14, 2014 / 03:35 am

On the first day of his historic papal visit to South Korea, Pope Francis urged local bishops to not only remember their rich history of martyrdom but look to the future with hope and missionary zeal.

“As pastors, you are responsible for guarding the Lord’s flock. You are guardians of the wondrous works which he accomplishes in his people,” the Pope said in his Aug. 14 address to the country’s Catholic Church leaders.

“Guarding is one of the tasks specifically entrusted to the bishop: looking after God’s people,” he noted in his prepared remarks, adding that Korea’s bishops are charged in particular with being “guardians of memory and guardians of hope.”

Announced by the Vatican in March, the Pope’s Aug. 13-18 trip follows an invitation from the president of the Korean Republic, Park Geun-hye, and the bishops of Korea.

During his time, the Pope will travel from the capital city of Seoul to Daejon, where he will celebrate the Sixth Asian Youth Day with thousands of young people expected to attend. He will also visit the rehabilitation center for disabled persons in Kkottongnae, as well as a shrine in Haemi for a closing Mass with Asian youth.

Speaking to the Korean bishops’ conference on Thursday, the Pope encouraged them to live their guardianship of memory by recognizing how the “seeds sown by the martyrs” have “brought forth an abundant harvest of grace in this land.”

“You are the children of the martyrs, heirs to their heroic witness of faith in Christ,” he emphasized. “You are also heirs to an impressive tradition which began, and largely grew, through the fidelity, perseverance and work of generations of lay persons.”

In this vein, the “great legacy handed down from your forefathers” can be seen today in active parishes and ecclesial movements, effective catechesis and outreach to youth, as well as Catholic schools and seminaries, he said.

The Pope strayed from his prepared comments on several occasions, stressing that bishops should not be distant from priests, but should be available and attentive to their needs. He also warned them to beware of the temptations that accompany prosperity. …

Go here for the rest of the story.