November 5, 2015

AP Credited Obamacare When Ariz. Co-op’s News Was Good, Buried It When It Failed

Add Arizona’s Meritus Health Partners to the growing list of Affordable Care Act co-op failures. The Daily Signal reports that this makes 11 of 23 such state Obamacare co-ops which will have closed their doors by the end of 2015 after three or fewer years in operation.

The Associated Press, which, along with most of the rest of the establishment press, has been playing aggressive defense on behalf of Obamacare since its passage and especially since Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012, has no coverage of Meritus’s crackup at its main national or “Big Story” site. Beyond that, readers will see after the jump that the AP’s local stories about Meritus highlighted its association with ACA/Obamacare when things appeared to be going well, and buried it when they went south.

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This Year’s Pre-election Polling: As Bad As or Worse Than 2014

After the November 2014 midterm elections, I wrote that “Despite all of their supposed science, improved methodologies, and sophisticated turnout models, nation’s pollsters have just suffered through their worst midterm elections drubbing in 20 years. The last time they were off this badly was when they woefully underestimated Republican gains in the Newt Gingrich ‘Contract with America’ midterms of 1994.” I also predicted that “If they’re right from now on, it will it only be by accident.”

Very few, if any, such “accidents” occurred this year. In key contests, double-digit and worse variances from polled predictions were the norm.

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Initial Unemployment Claims: 276K SA, Up 16K From Previous Week; Raw Claims (259K) Down Only 3 Percent From Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:02 am

I focused on GDP last week, and didn’t post on initial unemployment claims.

Last week’s week’s figures was a seasonally adjusted 260,000, bascially unchanged from 259,000 the previous week.

This week’s predictions are for a very small increase to between 262K and 264K.

Here is text from today’s actual report, where there’s been a seasonally adjusted upward spike:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending October 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 276,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 260,000. The 4-week moving average was 262,750, an increase of 3,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 259,250.

There were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 258,663 in the week ending October 31, an increase of 13,303 (or 5.4 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 2,079 (or -0.8 percent) from the previous week. There were 266,921 initial claims in the comparable week in 2014.

The DOL statement says that raw claims came in 15,400 greater than expected. The seasonal factors changed little from the same week last year (94.4) to this year (93.6).

Several weeks ago, I wrote that there’s no reason to be concerned unless raw claims start coming in above 250K. That just happened. It’s only one week, so this report bears closer scrutiny during the next few weeks.

Today’s news isn’t going to affect tomorrow’s jobs report directly, because tomorrow’s report is really about the payrolls situation as of roughly mid-October. What it may mean is that November’s jobs report a month from now is showing signs of coming in weaker than October.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110515)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:25 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: Forgiveness in family has power to rebuild society, Pope says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:20 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 4, 2015 / 09:20 am

Delivering his Wednesday general audience address a little more than a week after the close of the Synod on the Family, Pope Francis spoke on the role of forgiveness in helping families become a force for the betterment of society.

“The practice of forgiveness not only preserves families from division,” but allows them to aid society in becoming “less evil and cruel,” the Pope said during his Nov. 4 weekly audience address in St. Peter’s Square.

“Christian families can do a great deal for today’s society, as well as for the Church,” he said.

The pontiff also spoke on the role of the recent Synod on the Family in “reviving our hope” in the family’s vocation and mission in the context of forgiveness.

Pope Francis reflected on the recently concluded Synod on the Family, describing it as an “event of grace.”

This year’s Synod, which ran from Oct. 4-25, was the second and larger of two such gatherings to take place in the course of a year. Like its 2014 precursor, the focus of the 2015 Synod of Bishops was the family, this time with the theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.”

At the conclusion of the three-week Synod, the Vatican released a final document based on the gathering’s theme compiled and voted upon by its participants. Pope Francis is expected to write an Apostolic Exhortation on the theme of the family based on this document.

While the Pope is still reviewing the final document, he explained that he wanted it to be publicized so that the public could have a part in the fruit of the past two year’s work.

“I wanted the text to be published in order that everyone might participate in the work which he have seen undertaken together for two years,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.