July 14, 2016

CNN Exposes Disastrous Pediatric Hospital Care in Venezuela, But Doesn’t Mention Socialism

It would be far too kind to give three cheers to CNN for exposing the disastrous conditions in a children’s hospital in Caracas, Venezuela caused by over 15 years of Bolivarian socialism in a July 13 broadcast report.

The network gets one hearty cheer for the detailed report’s existence. It lost a chance for a second cheer when it failed to mention the country’s socialist form of government which is directly responsible for these conditions. The third cheer went down the drain when one woman who was interviewed seemed to think that the healthcare system’s desperate situation may just as likely be caused by the nation’s utterly powerless opposition instead of the Chavista government of Nicolas Maduro, where the blame totally and obviously lies.


Ebony Editor Not ‘Comfortable’ With Calling Dallas Cop Murders a Hate Crime

At her personal web site’s home page, Ebony Magazine Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux says she is “One of those pesky Black feminists who challenges the status quo, while remaining fresh and fab at all times.”

“Fresh and fab” would hardly describe Ms. Lemieux’s Wednesday appearance on CNN Newsroom, where she took issue with, per the White House, President Barack Obama’s characterization of the murders of five Dallas law enforcement officers as “hate crimes.” You see, that’s not her “most comfortable word choice,” because it involved white cops.


Initial Unemployment Claims (071416); 254K SA; Raw Claims (299K) 13 Pct. Below Same Week Last Year; Covered Employment Is Dragging

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:29 am

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending July 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 254,000, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised level of 254,000. The 4-week moving average was 259,000, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 264,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 298,862 in the week ending July 9, an increase of 31,425 (or 11.8 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 31,747 (or 11.9 percent) from the previous week. There were 344,471 initial claims in the comparable week in 2015.

There’s no bad news in this particular report, but there is bad news in the “fundamental transformation” department.

In late 2008, “covered employment,” representing the number of people eligible for benefits if laid off, based on earlier data submitted by the states, was 133.902 million. Peak employment in January 2008 was 138.432 million. In other words, 96.7 percent of the payroll-employed workforce was covered.

In mid-2016, covered employment is 136.969 million. Total payroll employment in June was 144.175 million. We’ll have to wait until the end of the year for the time lag to catch up with itself, but even now, covered employment is just 95.0 percent of the current workforce. If the percentage had stayed the same, about 2.5 million more Americans would be covered by the unemployment benefits system. But now they aren’t. (And remember, the covered percentage is going to come down by the end of the year by a least a half-point if payroll employment continues to increase at roughly the rate seen during the first half of this year for a true apples-to-apples comparison.)

The decline in the percentage of Americans covered by the unemployment system is due to the increase in part-time, uncovered work caused by several Obama administration policies. Remember that the next time the administration crows about lower claims. One reason why they’re lower is because many people who would have been eligible for unemployment benefits in the economy as it was structured a decade ago no longer are.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071416)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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: Are these quite possibly the world’s happiest nuns?

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Cali, Colombia (video at link):

Jul 13, 2016 / 06:17 am

Watch them sing, and you might be convinced of it.

The Eucharistic Communicators of the Heavenly Father are a community of nuns from Colombia who have a great passion for music and an intense desire to announce God through the gifts he has given them.

Sister María Victoria de Jesús told CNA the mission of their apostolate “is to evangelize through as many means of communication as possible,” and added that the charism of the sisters “is to communicate the love of God the Father.”

They have released a Spanish-language album Yo le Canto, or “I Sing”, as well as numerous music videos online.

They are currently producing new songs for a 2017 release, and have been featured regularly on Catholic stations in Colombia, Peru, and Los Angeles.

The Eucharistic Communicators of the Heavenly Father were formed in 2004 by Mother Gabriela del Amor Crucificado and Father Antonio Lootens, from two communities of hermits. They are based in the Archdiocese of Cali, in southwestern Colombia, and the community includes 65 religious women dedicated to evangelization through social media.

Sister Maria of Nazareth, who founded the musical group within the community, recalled “the words of Paul VI that the Church would be culpable if it did not use the powerful medium of television, and that John Paul II said there should be a group of consecrated persons dedicated to communications media: and thus our community was born.”

Sister María Victoria de Jesús noted that their music ministry “began three years ago, when we produced our first CD with the help of some lay persons.”

“In the past year, we began producing music videos so as to reach many more people. We work in all that is artistic and audiovisual: radio, film, music, television, and social media.”

While the community was principally founded to work in communications media in 2004, “the musical power emerged spontaneously with the sisters who were given musical talents.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.