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Manufacturing Jobs Refuse to Cooperate With President July 3, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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President Obama’s promise to create “1 million manufacturing jobs” within 4 years continues to look like it’ll never be fulfilled:

ManufJobsJuly2015

Just like the promises to double exports and add 1 million electric cars to American roads.

Salvaging Your Holidays from the Obama Administration July 2, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ace was pointing out that the ever-intrusive White House wants to add to the holiday revelry by arming Liberal Believers with Obamacare facts:

Situation: Uncle Ted claims Obamacare is a train wreck and has cost jobs.

You say: …Since the main components of the law went into effect, we’ve reduced the number of uninsured by 16.4 million, the largest increase in the insured in decades. … Today, we’ve seen the slowest growth in health costs in half a century, improved patient safety has saved an estimated 50,000 lives and $12 billion, and employer premiums for family coverage grew just 3 percent in 2014, tied with 2010 for the lowest on record back to 1999.

Meanwhile, since the ACA was signed, the private sector has added 12.8 million jobs over 64 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. The increase in employment over that period is due almost entirely to higher full-time employment. The number of people working part-time who would prefer to be full-time has fallen by 2.6 million from March 2010 through May 2015, including a decline of 1.1 million since December 2013.

[I’ve cut some of the blither out of the response to try to preserve reader attention]

So lets look at the point concerning cost growth.

We’ve seen the slowest growth in health costs in half a century.” That’s strictly true (though meaningless) unless you adjust for inflation, in which the lowest growth happened just before Obamacare was enacted:

RealNHEGrowthThe lowest points were in 2009 – 2011, which spans the period just before to just after Obamacare was passed (March 2011). Also if you look at the downward trend for the years preceding 2009, it turns out that we were reducing cost growth just fine before the recession [the real cost numbers on the CMS spreadsheet don’t go back before 2004]. And the cost growth picks up just as Obamacare gets rolling.

Finally, it’s generally accepted that the drop in cost growth was due mainly to the recession:

For the past several months, analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Altarum Institute have been analyzing the recent slowdown in health spending. On average, health spending grew by 4.2 percent per year from 2008 to 2012, down from the recent peak of 8.8 percent from 2001 to 2003 and the lowest rate of growth in five decades. Our main conclusion is that most of this slowdown, 77 percent, has been due to years of a weak economy, which causes people to put off health services when they can and prompts employers and states to reduce health spending. The other 23 percent is explained by changes in the health system, including increased consumer cost-sharing, tighter managed care and modifications in payment and delivery…

So if the Obama administration wants to take credit for the recession that caused the drop in health care spending, that’s fine, but something tells me they still want to blame that on Bush.

Your Unfortunate July 2015 BLS Employment Situation Report July 2, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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By my analysis, all the supposed employment gains were due to part-timers. Kind of a sad little Employment Situation report:

FullTimeEmpvsCivPopJul2015

35%? I’m Surprised It’s That Low July 1, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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It’s an online poll conducted by a trendy online service, so the results are likely to be seriously skewed, but:

A recent online poll of more than 2,000 adults by TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service based in the United Kingdom, revealed that 35 percent of American-born residents and emigrants would consider leaving the United States to live in another country.

They never ask the right questions in these polls, because while many of us are seriously unhappy the direction of the United States, there aren’t really any places to go that offer more conservative values. A better question would be, “Assuming technology, medicine, and science were equal, which decade of the United States would you most like to live in?”

That is, culturally, legally, and economically, where’s your sweet spot in US history?

Hummingbird June 28, 2015

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Vulture

Vulture

I while back, Laura posted a recipe for barbecued hummingbirds.  It looked like it would be a pretty good meal.

Nerdery June 27, 2015

Posted by Sobek in News.
3 comments

The book in working on now includes the following footnote, which I swear I’m not making up:

“There is a joke about a deranged mathematician who frightened other inmates at an insane asylum by screaming at them, ‘I’m going to differentiate you!’ But one inmate remained calm and simply responded, ‘I don’t care. I’m e^x.”

You see, mathematicians, this is why no one invites you to parties.

Also, totally unrelated, the WordPress toolbar has a rainbow flag at the top. What a load of horse crap.

Brook Trout June 25, 2015

Posted by Sobek in News.
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Halibut

Halibut

About that Obamacare Case June 25, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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I didn’t really expect the Supreme Court to reject federal subsidies of people not participating in state exchanges, but I certainly didn’t expect them to uphold the subsidies the way they did. Redefining the word “state” to mean “whatever will make the law work regardless of the definitions that were put into the law” has completely undermined my confidence in the ability of the Supreme Court to adhere to the balance of powers and letter of the law.

Not only did we lose the case, we lost the American justice system.

From the Eeeeeeewwwww File June 25, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
7 comments

Lots of gross stuff in the news lately:

Swimming pool red-eye isn’t from chlorine (It’s from urine)

Technically Incorrect: The US Healthy Swimming Program says that when your eyes go red and stingy in the pool it’s caused by a chemical reaction between chlorine and urine.

Setting a High Bar for the Next Meetup June 24, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
4 comments

Mama Bunny Earns Some Respect June 23, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
2 comments

Did not know they could do that.

Here’s some bears June 19, 2015

Posted by Sobek in News.
2 comments

20150619_203143

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