October 26, 2015

AP Writeup on Steep September New Home Sales Drop Omits Key Facts

Today saw yet another “unexpected” disappointing development in the U.S. economy. The Census Bureau reported that seasonally adjusted sales of new homes, an area thought to be a bright spot, declined sharply in September to an annual rate 468,000 from 529,000 in August. The bureau also revised July and August significantly downward.

As bad as the as the adjusted numbers were, the raw data was even worse. Despite all of this, and despite the fact that the pace of new-home sales is still only about two-thirds of what it used to tell readers would be a “normal” or “healthy” level, the Associated Press’s Josh Boak, apparently taking a double shot from today’s good-news koolaid delivery, tried to pawn off today’s result as an interruption in what has otherwise been a year where “zeal for newly built homes took off.”

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Coverage of UAW-GM Tentative Agreement Perpetuates ‘Concessions’ Myth

Late Sunday evening, the United Auto Workers and General Motors reached a tentative four-year agreement shortly before the union’s 11:59 p.m. strike deadline.

The agreement was expected, simply because the financial and political blowback of a strike at a company bailed out by taxpayers at a cost running into tens of billion of dollars back in 2009 would have been severe. Also expected: the press buying into and perpetuating the myth that the union made significant concessions to GM and Chrysler during the course of those two companies’ respective corrupt bankruptcies.

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102615)

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: The Challenge of Identical Triplets — Telling Them Apart

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Pontypool, South Wales in the UK last year (HT to an emailer):

7:33, 4 AUG 2014 UPDATED 18:37, 4 AUG 2014

Parents colour code their identical triplets’ toenails so they can tell them apart
Each has her toes painted a different colour with the first letter of each polish matching the triplet’s name

A couple have started colour coding their identical triplets because they can’t tell them apart.

Sisters Ffion, Maddison and Paige Gilbert have already appeared on TV drama series Casualty and Stella – sharing the role of a single baby – because they look so alike.

And proud parents Karen and Ian paint their toes with a different colour nail varnish in order to tell who is who.

Baby Ffion has fuschia polish on her toenails, Maddison wears mint green and Paige’s toe nails are painted purple.

Each colour matches the first letter of the triplet’s name.

Mum Karen, 33, said: “It’s not a fashion statement. We really struggle to tell them apart.

“We came up with the nail varnish idea and it works a treat.

“It makes life a lot easier when it comes to our daily routine of feeding, bathing and nappy changing.

“The colour coding helps us to know who has had what!”

The triplets were conceived naturally from one egg – defying odds of 160,000-1, according to the Multiple Births Foundation.

Ffion weighed 3lbs 8oz, , Maddison scaled 3lbs 5oz and and Paige was just 3lb 4oz when they were born two months early after an emergency caesarean section.

The triplets celebrated their first birthday at the weekend and get through 120 nappies and 84 bottles of formula milk each week.

Karen and company director dad Ian are hoping their daughters will develop individual looks and character-traits as they get older – making it easier to tell them apart.

TV producers have used the triplets to play the same baby on screen because their identical looks means they can be rotated during filming – to prevent a single baby getting too tired.

Full-time mum Karen, from Pontypool, South Wales, said: “They are all TV stars before they reached the age of one.

Go here for a photo gallery and the rest of the story.