October 8, 2015

Will Press Cover State Dept. Envoy Declaring Putin’s Involvement Shows Obama’s Syria Policy Is a Success?

It seems more than fair to say that establishment press coverage of the deteriorating situation in Syria has been much lighter than what we’d see if a Republican or conservatives was in the Oval Office. Additionally, what has been reported in the admittedly complicated situation has been confusing at best and misleading at worst.

There was a moment of disconcerting clarity today which, if reported, should disturb even those Americans who only have a vague understanding of what’s going on in that country. As reported by Tim Mak and Nancy A. Youssef at The Daily Beast:


Cass Sunstein’s ‘Just Embarrassing’ Revisionist Second Amendment History

Did you know that the “The Gun Lobby Rewrote the Second Amendment”?

No, really. Even though not a single word contained in that amendment has changed in over 220 years, you should believe it because former Obama administration official Cass Sunstein said so at Bloomberg View on Wednesday.


Initial Unemployment Claims (100815); 263K SA; Raw Claims (228K) 12 Pct. Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:38 am

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending October 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 263,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 277,000 to 276,000. The 4-week moving average was 267,500, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 270,750 to 270,500.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 227,659 in the week ending October 3, an increase of 12,543 (or 5.8 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 24,608 (or 11.4 percent) from the previous week. There were 257,545 initial claims in the comparable week in 2014.

So far, initial claims aren’t showing any evidence of picking up. This situation combined with the clear slowdown in net hiring seen in the past two months’ employment reports (especially in the raw data) tells us that employers are in wait-and-see mode — largely sticking with the people they have and not taking on as many new employees as they were previously.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100815)

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.

Positivity: Here’s what it was like when Pope Francis visited the homeless in DC

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Oct 6, 2015 / 12:16 am

Pope Francis’ visit to homeless men and women in Washington, D.C., was “life-changing,” said the head of Catholic Charities in the nation’s capital.

He added that many of those who met the Pope described the event as validating their dignity and showing them the presence of God.

Along with every major speech to a political body during his U.S. visit, Pope Francis also paid a visit to the poor or vulnerable, noted Monsignor John Enzler, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., who hosted Pope Francis.

This was “a juxtaposition of, if you will, power and richness and big voice and money and prestige versus no voice, no money, no prestige, powerless,” he told CNA.

Yet the Pope treated both audiences “exactly the same,” and he even “seemed to be more engaged with those who did not have than with those who did.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.