September 18, 2014

Initial Unemployment Claims (091814): 280K SA; Raw Claims Down 12 Percent from Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:30 am

Predictions: I only found this one for a drop to 305,000 from 315,000 last week. Ah, here’s Business Insider with the same prediction.

The report will be here shortly.

HERE IT IS (permanent link): We have a major drop —


In the week ending September 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 280,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 315,000 to 316,000. The 4-week moving average was 299,500, a decrease of 4,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 304,000 to 304,250.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 241,074 in the week ending September 13, an increase of 6,358 (or 2.7 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 37,277 (or 15.9 percent) from the previous week. There were 272,946 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

The seasonal factors hardly changed from year to year (from 85.8 last year to 86.1 this year), so assuming all the raw claims rolled in, the seasonally adjusted drop appears to be legit. Given that August’s job additions were so disappointing, whether today’s news represents improvement or is evidence that employers are just hanging on to the people they have while not hiring additinal help is something that will have to wait two weeks for the jobs data.


Positivity: Cuban Church to focus on evangelization in new pastoral plan

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

From Havana:

Sep 16, 2014 / 03:40 pm

The Church in Cuba recently unveiled its pastoral plan for 2014-2020, which will encourage the faithful to engage in evangelization and respond to the call of Pope Francis.

Entitled “On the Road to Emmaus,” the plan offers a three-part reflection on the social and political reality and on the Church in the country.

The first part invites the faithful “to look beyond sociological aspects and at the life of our society and of our Church, in order to discover in both realities the calls God is making today to our work of evangelization in Cuba.”

In the second part, the Gospel passage about the disciples on the road to Emmaus is highlighted as a source of inspiration and orientation in putting the pastoral plan into practice.

The third part lays out four priorities of the bishops’ pastoral plan, and concludes, “We proclaim our faith that the ‘conversion to Jesus Christ is our hope’.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091814)

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.


The We the People Convention Is Saturday, Sept. 20!

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:02 am

WTP2014LogoSaturday’s We the People Convention promises to be as strong as, if not stronger than, its previous annual events.

It will take place Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM at:
Hyatt Regency
350 North High Street
Columbus, Oho 43215
Phone:(614) 463-1234

The event’s speakers are strong, experienced passionate leaders with successful track records. Chief among them are Richard Viguerie, Congressman Jim Jordan, Charlie Kirk (founder of Turning Point), Dr. Tim Johnson (founder of the Frederick Douglas Foundation) and Bill Norton of Tea Party Patriots.

For those running for political office, the Candidate Training track will be indispensable.

Yours truly has immovable conflicting commitments, including work on a exciting election-related project I plan to introduce in a couple of weeks. If you don’t have such commitments and want to get involved in achieving the most desirable electoral results this fall, you owe it to yourself to be there.

Tickets can be purchased here.

September 17, 2014

AP Falsely Claims This Year’s Reported Poverty Drop is ‘First Since 2006′

As been its habit since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the Associated Press has, whenever possible, considered the impact of news developments on the President and his party as far more important than what’s actually happening in the lives of real people.

The latest example is the wire service’s coverage of Tuesday’s Census Bureau report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the U.S. Nothing — not even fundamental accuracy, as will be seen shortly — was more important to reporter Jesse J. Holland, the AP’s “Race and Ethnicity writer,” than telling readers that a half-point fall in the poverty rate from 15.0 percent to 14.5 percent, constituted “a bit of encouraging news about the nation’s economy as President Barack Obama and Congress gear up for midterm elections.” The fact that the Obama Era has brought us levels of poverty not seen in 20 years — this year’s figure matches 1994′s — apparently doesn’t matter.



Will Media Report How Obama Now Sees America As Exceptional — Er, ‘Unique’?

President Obama cited American exceptionalism at least ten times in his speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa today.

Early in his administration, Obama went out of his way to downplay the nature of U.S. exceptionalism, claiming that it was really no different than how any other nation’s citizens saw their own country’s uniqueness. So his speechwriters knew better than to use that word. But Obama cited how America is “unique” (read: superior) six separate times, and told his audience — and the rest of the world — that “when the world needs help, it calls on America.” Time’s Zeke J. Miller is one of the first among many who are choosing to ignore this change in posture, choosing primarily to obsess over whether U.S. ground troops will be called upon to quash the ISIS/ISIL threat.



Largely Ignored Yesterday, Code Pink Disrupters Got Front-Page Photo Coverage in 2002

Both Old Media and Old Medea were at it again yesterday.

Old Medea is Medea Benjamin, the head of Code Pink, who led the disruption of a Senate hearing on ISIS and was eventually hauled away. Old Media demonstrated its double standards by giving Ms. Benjamin’s temper tantrum little attention. That treatment sharply contrasts with that seen in September 2002, when, with a Republican in the White House, a similar petulant Code Pink display received front-page photo coverage in three major U.S. newspapers.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091714)

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: First parish dedicated to John Paul II in Chinese-speaking world

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Kaohsiung, Taiwan:

Sep 16, 2014 / 09:49 am

The Diocese of Kaohsiung in Taiwan has become the first in the Chinese-speaking world to have a parish dedicated to St. John Paul II, where a first-class relic of the Polish saint’s blood is kept.

Archbishop Peter Chen-Chung Liu of Kaohsiung presided at the Mass of Inauguration and Consecration on Sept. 6, with 20 priests concelebrating and more than 1,200 faithful in attendance.

According to Fides, the pastor of the parish, Father Calogero Orifiamma, an Italian missionary and architect of the new church, traveled to Italy to obtain the relic of St. John Paul II.

“The biggest and most beautiful news was the celebration of four baptisms during the Mass,” Father Orifiamma said. Two of the baptized were babies who took the name of John Paul, he added.

The parish is located in the middle of the island in a town of 7,000 Paiwan aborigines. The Catholic population is about 2,000. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 16, 2014

MSNBC’s Trymaine Lee Laments Missouri’s ‘Rapid Rightward Shift’

On Saturday, Trymaine Lee at, who fancies himself as an “expert” on “race, poverty, and guns,” was aghast at the current “current social and political mess” in Missouri.

He wasn’t talking about glass-strewn streets of Ferguson or Show-Me State Governor Jay Nixon’s feckless, irresponsible handling of that situation. No, the real problem is the state’s “rapid rightward shift.” A cursory review of Lee’s “logic” reveals that what has really happened is that Democrats have long since left the center.



Passages of the Day: On ‘Climate Change’

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:47 am

From the New York Post:

Oregon-based physicist Gordon Fulks sums it up well: “CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”

Al Gore was right in one respect: Climate change is a moral issue — but that’s because there is nothing quite so immoral as well-fed, well-housed Westerners assuaging their consciences by wasting huge amounts of money on futile anti-global-warming policies, using money that could instead go to improve living standards in developing countries.

It’s all a bunch of globaloney.


Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091614)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:40 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: Pope Francis to couples: Cross illuminates purpose of marriage

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Sep 14, 2014 / 07:59 am

“Marriage is a symbol of life… the Sacrament of love of Christ and the Church, a love which finds its proof and guarantee in the Cross.”

This was the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily for the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, delivered moments before presiding over the marriages of 20 couples from the Diocese of Rome.

The weddings, which took place in Saint Peter’s Basilica on Sunday morning in the presence of family and loved ones, come just weeks before the Synod on the Family is set to begin in the Vatican.

“The love of Christ, which has blessed and sanctified the union of husband and wife,” the Pope said in his homily, “is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out. The love of Christ can restore to spouses the joy of journeying together.”

Marriage, he continued, is about “man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man.

“Here we see the reciprocity of differences,” he said.

The path is not always smooth for married couples, the Pope continued, nor is it “free of disagreements.” If it were, “it would not be human.” Rather, “it is a demanding journey, at times difficult, and at times turbulent, but such is life!”

Turning to the first reading taken from the book of Genesis, the Holy Father reflected on those who followed Moses through the desert, in the same way the Church “makes her way across the desert of the contemporary world, the People of God composed, for the most part, of families.”

“It is impossible to quantify the strength and depth of humanity contained in a family,” he said, as demonstrated through the “mutual help, educational support, relationships developing as family members mature, the sharing of joys and difficulties.”

“Families are the first place in which we are formed as persons and, at the same time, the ‘bricks’ for the building up of society.”

The Holy Father recalled how the people in the desert were tempted to turn back, having become impatient amid the hardships of the journey.

Like those depicted in the reading, the Pope said that married couples may also “become impatient on the way,” as the “hardship of the journey causes them to experience interior weariness; they lose the flavor of matrimony and they cease to draw water from the well of the Sacrament. Daily life becomes burdensome, even ‘nauseating’.”

Pope Francis recalled how many of those in the desert, “during such moments of disorientation,” died after being bitten by poisonous serpents, leading the people to repent.

Rather than destroying the serpents, however, God provided an “antidote”: “by means of the bronze serpent fashioned by Moses,” he said, “God transmits his healing strength, his mercy, which is more potent than the Tempter’s poison.”

In the Gospel reading, the Pope said, “Jesus identifies himself with this symbol” of the bronze serpent. It was through the Father’s “immense love,” he said, that the Son became man, “to become a servant and to die for us upon a cross. Out of such love, the Father raises up his son, giving him dominion over the entire universe.”

“Whoever entrusts himself to Jesus crucified receives the mercy of God and finds healing from the deadly poison of sin,” he said. …

Go here for the the rest of the story.

September 15, 2014

What Coalition? (Robert Roll Commentary)

Longtime readers might remember Rob Roll, yours truly’s nephew, who submitted quite a few fine guest commentaries in 2011.

Rob has since graduated and obtained his Masters of Professional Practice in Accounting from Ohio Northern University, gotten married, has a full-time job with a CPA firm, and has passed the dreaded CPA exam. (Congrats on all those accomplishments!)

Published with his permission, here is Rob’s take on Barack Obama’s “broad coalition” to fight ISIS.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What Coalition?

During his speech on Wednesday night, President Obama said that “America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.” Who exactly will be in this coalition? According to a Wall Street Journal editorial, both Britain and Germany have come out and said that their militaries will not use force on ISIS targets. Another ally, at least on paper because of its membership in NATO, Turkey, has said that they will not allow us to use OUR OWN Air Force base located in Turkey for strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Once again, who will be involved in the “coalition” the president talked about? The Saudis and other Middle East “allies”? Give me a break.

Do not get me wrong, I think that killing ISIS terrorists is a good idea, even if the US has to do it alone. But, I think that a bigger question needs to be asked here; How inept is President Obama in diplomacy when he cannot get our two closest allies (Britain and Germany) to help us with an operation whose goal (destroying ISIS) everyone seems to support? The fact that the UK will not be sending lethal force is especially odd considering that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has called ISIS a “clear danger to Europe” and said that the fight against Islamic extremists is a “generational struggle.” Prime Minister Cameron’s language when talking about ISIS has been more harsh than that of President Obama’s, even after Wednesday’s speech. Is it possible that Britain does not want to commit its troops because it thinks that the United States, with President Obama as Commander-in-chief, will not follow through?

Once again I ask, how inept at diplomacy is  President Obama? How far in over his head is John Kerry? How much damage did Hilary Clinton do to our relationships with our friends when she was Secretary of State? George W. Bush was at least able to build a small coalition to invade Iraq in 2003. That mission’s goal was a lot more controversial than the goal of destroying ISIS. It is incredibly ironic that all of this is happening under a president who was going to “restore America’s standing on the world stage.”


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (091514)

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.