A Few are Awakening

From:

 

A funny thing happened upon release of the monthly unemployment statistics yesterday.

A few journalists in the mainstream media began to wake up.

While there are still plenty of headlines floating around today that are some variation on “Unemployment Down Despite Lack of Jobs, Obama Yay,” a few journalists appear to have noticed the oxymoron inherent in the story pushed by the Obama Labor Department.

You’d be excused if your initial reaction is “it’s about time.”

Reuters and a few news outlets got it right this time. Instead of following the lead of the Associated Press, which published a story earlier this week predicting unemployment below 8 percent by election time, Reuters’ headline reported “US hiring slows, spells trouble for economy, Obama.”

While the unemployment rate technically fell from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, only about 115,000 jobs were added, not enough to account for the statistical improvement of jobless figures.

The secret number that’s being buried this month is the increasing number of people who are just giving up and leaving the labor force altogether. About half a million unemployed people who were counted as being in the labor force in March were removed from the April figures, drastically shrinking the number of people considered unemployed, without increasing jobs.

The Associated Press report predicting sub-8 percent unemployment ran this week before the release of the new labor figures. The prediction titled “Steady Job Gains To Sustain US Recovery” was based on interviews with obviously pro-Obama economists, included some outright boosterism:

“Falling unemployment would boost President Barack Obama’s prospects in November. Going back to 1956, no president has lost re-election when the unemployment rate dropped in the two years before the election.”

The AP’s spin on today’s unemployment figures was “Jobs Lost to Recession Trickle Back.”

The Associated Press’ chairman is William Dean Singleton, who last month slobbered all over himself while introducing President Obama at a luncheon. Singleton also owns hundreds of newspapers across the country and is probably singlehandedly responsible for running more newspapers into the ground than any human being in the last century.

Under Singleton’s leadership, those newspapers that haven’t closed outright have whittled their staffs down to near nothing, virtually eliminated local and original reporting, and ultimately just become print versions of the Associated Press and New York Time wire service, with local banners and ads.

As the Associated Press has swung Left under Singleton, a substantial portion of America’s newspapers have blindly followed.

Reuters, owned by the Thomson Corporation of Canada, operates in somewhat different circles than the AP leadership. One story doesn’t mean any media outlet is changing its tune, but it would be nice if professional reporters started leaving the rose-colored glasses at home when covering the Obama Administration.

Editors notes:

1) The margin of error for that 115,000 jobs number is 100,000. My prediction; the paultry 115,000 will quitely be revised down. Watch for it next week. It always happens.

2) 125,000 to 150,000 jobs must be added each month just to keep pace with work force population growth.

3) The Workforce or Labor Participation Rate is at 63.6%, the lowest in 30 years (1981). The labor force dropped 522,000 off the books to total over 88,000,000 discouraged Americans no longer looking for work.

Simply put, by dropping people off the books, the government can claim any unemployment rate it wishes without adding a single new job.

Santorum, Rubio, Tops for VP Slot

Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio are the top two choices among U.S. Republican voters as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday.

Eighteen percent of Republican registered voters picked former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum out of a list of 19 potential running mates for Romney, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee in the Nov. 6 general election.

Seventeen percent chose Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida. Rubio was also the most popular pick among members of the Tea Party movement, a group that Romney wants to win over as he works to solidify his support among the party’s conservatives after a divisive primary fight.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush were tied for third among Republicans, with 13-percent support, and 12 percent picked former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

None of the other potential vice presidential picks was higher than 6 percent, largely because they are unfamiliar to most voters, Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson said.

Congressman Paul Ryan, well known in Washington for his cost-cutting budget plan, was one big name with scant support at just 4 percent. Despite campaigning with Romney in Wisconsin recently in what was seen as a try out for a possible vice presidential nomination, Ryan was familiar to only a third of the registered voters polled.

Almost a quarter of Tea Party members picked Rubio in the online poll, compared with 16-percent support among the group for Santorum, who ended his own presidential run last month.

But Rubio might not be the best choice of running mate if Romney wants to appeal to independent voters in the general election against President Barack Obama.

The 40-year-old Cuban-American senator was backed by only 4 percent of independents, behind other top Republican names mentioned in the vice presidential stakes.

There has been speculation he might help Romney win over Hispanics, with whom he trails Obama by a whopping 40 percentage points, but early polling has not borne that out.

Attribution: Newsmax

Pro-Choice

By Thomas Sowell:

Labor unions, like the United Nations, are all too often judged by what they are envisioned as being — not by what they actually are or what they actually do.

Many people, who do not look beyond the vision or the rhetoric to the reality, still think of labor unions as protectors of working people from their employers. And union bosses still employ that kind of rhetoric. However, someone once said, “When I speak I put on a mask, but when I act I must take it off.”

That mask has been coming off, more and more, especially during the Obama administration, and what is revealed underneath is very ugly, very cynical and very dangerous.

First there was the grossly misnamed “Employee Free Choice Act” that the administration tried to push through Congress. What it would have destroyed was precisely what it claimed to be promoting — a free choice by workers as to whether or not they wanted to join a labor union.

Ever since the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, workers have been able to express their free choice of joining or not joining a labor union in a federally conducted election with a secret ballot.

As workers in the private sector have, over the years, increasingly voted to reject joining labor unions, union bosses have sought to replace secret ballots with signed documents — signed in the presence of union organizers and under the pressures, harassments or implicit threats of those organizers.

Now that the Obama administration has appointed a majority of the members of the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB leadership has imposed new requirements that employers supply union organizers with the names and home addresses of every employee. Nor do employees have a right to decline to have this personal information given out to union organizers, under NLRB rules.

In other words, union organizers will now have the legal right to pressure, harass or intimidate workers on the job or in their own homes, in order to get them to sign up with the union. Among the consequences of not signing up is union reprisal on the job if the union wins the election. But physical threats and actions are by no means off the table, as many people who get in the way of unions have learned.

Workers who do not want to join a union will now have to decide how much harassment of themselves and their family they are going to have to put up with, if they don’t knuckle under.

In the past, unions had to make the case to workers that it was in their best interests to join. Meanwhile, employers would make their case to the same workers that it was in their best interest to vote against joining.

When the unions began losing those elections, they decided to change the rules. And after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, with large financial support from labor unions, the rules were in fact changed by Obama’s NLRB.

As if to make the outcome of workers’ “choices” more of a foregone conclusion, the time period between the announcement of an election and the election itself has been shortened by the NLRB.

In other words, the union can spend months, or whatever amount of time it takes, for them to prepare and implement an organizing campaign beforehand — and then suddenly announce a deadline date for the decision on having or not having a union. The union organizers can launch their full-court press before the employers have time to organize a comparable counter-argument or the workers have time to weigh their decision, while being pressured.

The last thing this process is concerned about is a free choice for workers. The first thing it is concerned about is getting a captive group of union members, whose compulsory dues provide a large sum of money to be spent at the discretion of union bosses, to provide those bosses with both personal perks and political power to wield, on the basis of their ability to pick and choose where to make campaign contributions from the union members’ dues.

Union elections do not recur like other elections. They are like some Third World elections: “One man, one vote — one time.” And getting a recognized union unrecognized is an uphill struggle.

But, so long as many people refuse to see the union for what it is, or the Obama administration for what it is, this cynical and corrupt process can continue.

To Boldly Go

 More than three decades after launching, NASA’s workhorse spacecraft is now close to the edge of our solar system.

According to recent research published in Geophysical Letters, the probe is now 111 astronomical units from the sun – meaning it is 111 times further from the sun than it is from the Earth.

Voyager 1 has been exploring the fringes of the solar system since 2004 – and it is now close to the very edge of our solar system, affording the first-ever ‘alien’s eye’ view of our planet.

The probe is still detecting ‘spikes’ in the intensity of cosmic ray electrons – which lead scientists to think it’s still within the ‘heliosheath’, the very outer edge of our solar system.

Voyager 1 still has a little way

V’GER

  to go before it completely exits the solar system and becomes the first manmade probe to cross into interstellar space, or the vast space between stars.

 The spacecraft has enough battery power to last until 2020, but scientists think it will reach interstellar space before that – in a matter of several months to years.

Chief scientist Ed Stone of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the timing is unclear because no spacecraft has ever ventured this far.

‘The journey continues,’ Stone told a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. For the past year, Voyager 1 used its instruments to explore the new region.

It appeared to be the cosmic doldrums where solar winds streaming out from the sun at 1 million mph have dramatically eased and high-energy particles from outside are seeping in  a sign that Voyager 1 is at the doorstep of interstellar space.

Scientists expect to see several telltale signs when Voyager 1 finally crosses the boundary including a change in the magnetic field direction and the type of wind. Interstellar wind is slower, colder and denser than solar wind.

Even with certain expectations, Stone warned that the milestone won’t be cut-and-dried.

‘We will be confused when it first happens,’ Stone said.

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977 to tour the outer planets including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. After their main mission ended, both headed toward interstellar space in opposite directions. Voyager 2 is traveling slower than Voyager 1 and is currently 9 billion away miles from the sun.

“Sacaja-Whiner”

Elizabeth Warren and the Oppression Olympics

By: Michelle Malkin

Elizabeth Warren is the Harvard law professor running for Senate in Massachusetts as a Democratic populist-progressive champion. But don’t call her “Elizabeth Warren.” Call her “Pinocchio-hontas,” “Chief Full-of-Lies,” “Running Joke” or “Sacaja-whiner.”

Warren has claimed questionable Native American minority status for years to reap career “diversity” benefits. Now, Cherokee leaders, campaign rival GOP Sen. Scott Brown and an army of Twitter detractors have called her out for gaming the racial-preference system. Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.

The Boston Herald reported last Friday that Harvard administrators “prominently touted Warren’s Native American background … in an effort to bolster their diversity hiring record in the ’90s as the school came under heavy fire for a faculty that was then predominantly white and male.” When asked for proof of her tribal heritage, Warren’s campaign first denied that she had ever bragged about it. But from 1986 to 1995, Warren listed herself as a minority professor in a professional law school directory.

While the Democrat’s team scrounged for evidence over the weekend, Warren stalled for time by asserting that she didn’t need to provide documentation because family “lore” backed her up. Someone told her a story, you see, and magically conferred native status upon her. Through narrative, all things are possible! (Notorious “fake Indian” Ward Churchill is wondering why he didn’t think of this alibi first before the University of Colorado at Boulder fired him for academic fraud.)

On Tuesday, Warren finally discovered a great-great-great-grandmother supposedly “certified as Cherokee” and a random cousin somehow involved with a museum that preserves Native American art. There’s also a great-great-grandfather somewhere in Warren’s dusty genealogical records who spent time on a Cherokee reservation. Because walking a mile in someone else’s moccasins is now just as good as being born in them.

Native American officials aren’t buying Warren’s 1/10,000th Cherokee claim. Suzan Shown Harjo, a former executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, told the Herald: “If you believe you are these things then that’s fine and dandy, but that doesn’t give you the right to claim yourself as Native American.”

When Brown raised the issue, Warren and her progressive strategists traded in the candidate’s Native American blanket for a War on Women victim’s mask — because asking a privileged Harvard prof to verify her minority claims is sexist, of course.

“If Scott Brown has questions about Elizabeth Warren’s well-known qualifications,” her campaign manager railed, “he ought to ask them directly instead of hiding behind the nasty insinuations of his campaign and trying to score political points. Once again, the qualifications and ability of a woman are being called into question by Scott Brown, who did the same thing with the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan. It’s outrageous.”

Once again, the left’s incurable love affair with oppression chic is on naked display. It’s an Olympic competition of the haves to show their have-not cred. Just a few weeks ago, it was the White House tokenizing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor — the “wise Latina” — as “disabled” in an official graph promoting the administration’s minority hiring practices. What’s her disability? She has diabetes. No, it’s not debilitating, nor does it fall anywhere near the definition of disability under federal law.

But like their friend Elizabeth Warren, the Ivy League social engineers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. just couldn’t help embellishing their “diversity” record to score political correctness points. Birds of a manufactured feather flock together.