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American Bittern July 30, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Nice little wading bird with brown and white feathers, and yellow legs:


And below the fold, some information about bitterns.


Tweet of the Day July 26, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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[via H2]

Zombie See-Dubya Emerges July 17, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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A few of us were graced with an email from the long-absent See-Dubya (former proprietor of JunkyardBlog and regular at Ace’s and here). He apparently surfaced recently to write an article on defending gun rights. You may enjoy it here:

The Siege of Minas Tirith or How to Turn Fudds Into Gun Rights Supporters

Post 7001 July 10, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Yup, that last post was the 7000th for this site.

Immigration Penalizes Teens July 10, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Aaaaannnddd surprising exactly nobody, the Center for Immigration Studies has shown that allowing more immigrants into the labor market tends to suppress employment rates of US teens:

The Center for Immigration Studies found that as the number of U.S. teens with summer jobs has dropped significantly, employment of immigrants has doubled.

“Immigrants — legal and illegal — are crowding out U.S.-born teenagers in the labor market,” according to the report from Steven A. Camarota, director of research at CIS, and demographer Karen Zeigler.

In his analysis, Camarota found that employers are seizing on older immigrants, often over 20 and with some working experience, instead of U.S. teens to fill summer jobs. And another driving factor, he said, may be that immigrants are willing to work for a lower wage.

As I said, no surprise.

This why responsible policy makers tailor immigration to benefit Americans, particularly those at the low end of the wage scale.

But apparently that’s now racist.

I Guess We’re Exportin’ Again July 10, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Y’all remember, I’m sure, that President Obama promised to double exports within 5 years. It was a key part of his economic recovery plan. But that promise was swiftly forgotten, as he never got close. In fact, exports dropped during his last two years in office.

But under President Trump exports have seen a growth rate of 15% in less than 18 months. Compare that to Obama’s record of 30% in 7 years (from January 2010 to December 2016).


We’re not on track to double exports within 5 years, but we are seeing strong growth in exports.

At last.

Hey Senator, You Have One Job July 9, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Headline at Ace’s:

Dick Durbin to Democrats: Sacrifice Your Senate Seats to Vote Against Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee, Whoever It Is

Anybody else think that if you have to sacrifice your senate seat to vote against the nominee, perhaps you’re not representing your constituency very well?

Manufacturing Jobs Continue to Astound July 9, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Obama supporters are fond of claiming that it is his 8 years of groundwork that set the stage for the remarkable improvement in the economy since Trump’s election.

I think the manufacturing jobs story alone puts the lie to their claims:


Yeah, you can see the amazing groundwork laid by President Obama, which resulted in manufacturing jobs declining during his last year in office. Somehow that decline set the stage for the huge gains that occurred as soon as it was clear Trump would be President.

Just wondering which economic theory Obama employed to make that happen.

July 2018 Employment Situation Report July 9, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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The Employment Situation Report came out last Friday, which makes me tardy, but faithful, in updating the IB employment chart:


The slightest of nudges upward, but the highest value we’ve had in nearly 10 years.

Still, we need to get to 0.515 to 0.52 before I’ll be happy.

Wild Horse Island at Sunset July 7, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Why the Racism Cottage Industry Will Never Die July 6, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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If you’ve ever wondered how we went from Martin Luther King’s “… not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” to “all whites are evil”, there’s now a scientific explanation:

Although it’s far from perfect by virtually any measure — whether poverty rates, violence, access to education, racism and prejudice or any number of others — the world continues to improve. Why, then, do polls consistently show that people believe otherwise?

The answer, Daniel Gilbert says, may lie in a phenomenon called “prevalence induced concept change.”

Basically he says that once you’ve solved a problem in which you had to identify instances where it existed (e.g., finding instances of racism) you start moving the goalposts so that there are still plenty of instances of the problem.

So in the racism cottage industry, we find that having outlawed discrimination such that it is no longer overtly practiced, racism addicts look for subtler and subtler forms of racism. This has culminated in today’s focus on microaggressions and the inherent evil of being white.

So what can we do? Is this fixable? Can people ever be convinced that their work is done here?

“Anyone whose job involves reducing the prevalence of something should know that it isn’t always easy to tell when their work is done,” he said. “On the other hand, our studies suggest that simply being aware of this problem is not sufficient to prevent it. What can prevent it? No one yet knows.”


Tom Perez Implicitly Accuses Obama of Being a Terrible President July 6, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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I was amused at Tom Perez’s lame pronouncement on the jobs report:

“With slow wage growth, rising health care premiums, and skyrocketing gas prices across the country, Donald Trump’s reckless policies are hurting millions of hardworking families.

So let’s take a look at wage growth, shall we? This chart is from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta:


Oh my, it looks like wage growth under “Donald Trump’s reckless policies” is pretty much where it was at the end of Barack Obama’s reign. If that’s “slow wage growth,” one wonders how Mr. Perez would characterize wage growth back in 2010 – 2015.

I suspect he’d be a little more charitable.

How about those “skyrocketing gas prices”?


Well, well. They’re certainly climbing, but still much lower than gas prices during half of President Obama’s time in office. Advantage Trump.

As for “rising health care premiums”? Sure, they’re rising. At exactly the same rate they’ve been rising for the last 18 years:


So Trump’s and Obama’s performances regarding rising health care premiums are equal.

In short, among Mr. Perez’s cherry-picked stats, President Obama performed the same or worse than President Trump.

Way to slam our former president, Mr. Perez!