Patterico's Pontifications


Education Quote of the Day

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 8:50 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The President of the Detroit Public School Board is a self-described “horrible writer” but he considers that a plus rather than a minus:

“[Otis] Mathis has also worked as a substitute teacher in Detroit schools, which are ranked among the lowest-achieving metropolitan public school districts in the country. But he told the paper his story is about someone who has managed his limitations.

“Instead of telling them that they can’t write and won’t be anything, I show that cannot stop you,” Mathis told the paper. “If Detroit Public Schools can allow kids to dream, with whatever weakness they have, that’s something. … It’s not about what you don’t have. It’s what you can do.”

I applaud his willingness to overcome a failed education but that’s no excuse for poor writing. Wouldn’t it be great if he could set an example by continuing to learn, even as an adult?


Obama: Job Numbers “Better Than Expected”

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 8:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama enjoyed today’s “better than expected” unemployment news:

“President Barack Obama boasted Friday that his economic recovery efforts were showing results after the national unemployment rate stayed at a steady 9.7 percent for February.

Obama, touring a small business in Arlington, Va., said that the 36,000 jobs lost last month was “actually better than expected” considering the massive snowstorms that devastated the East Coast.”

Obama economic adviser Larry Summers recently warned February’s snowstorms could distort unemployment statistics. His statement helped spotlight today’s jobs numbers and was a convenient prelude to President Obama’s “better than expected” soundbite.

The Obama Administration is talented at creating messages. Too bad it won’t use that talent to create jobs.


Obama’s Turkey Trot

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 7:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

As a Presidential candidate, Barack Obama vowed to recognize the murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide. This week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee did just that:

“The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the resolution in an extremely close 23-22 vote, which could send the measure to the House floor.

The resolution would recognize the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide.”

Now that he’s President, however, Obama isn’t as willing to speak truth to power:

“The White House came out against the resolution, warning it could upend the delicate process of normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia.

President Barack Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign that he would recognize the killiings as genocide, but has avoided the term since his election and did not use it during a trip to Turkey.

Despite the White House opposition, Democrats on the committee moved forward. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) cast the deciding vote after returning from a White House meeting on healthcare.

Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) pledged to press ahead for a floor vote.

“At some point, all nations must come to grips with their own history and that’s all we ask of Turkey,” Berman said.”

The Democratic sponsor of the resolution said the next step depends on whether they can find the votes.


Democrats’ Newest Strategy: “Chicken!”

Filed under: Government,Health Care,Politics — DRJ @ 4:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Jim Treacher reads Byron York’s interview with a Democratic strategist — the strategist’s advice to Congressional Democrats is to vote for health care and don’t be such crybabies — and provides this pithy summary of the Democrats’ newest health care strategy:

“That’s right: If you’re not willing to destroy the most amazing health care system in the history of the world, you’re a pussy.

Maybe Barry and Harry and Nancy should just go around with their hands tucked into their armpits, flapping their elbows and making bawk-bawk noises. “What are ya, chicken? Gonna vote no, chicken? Chicken! Chicken chicken chicken!” It’s not like they’ve got any dignity left anyway.”

Why not? It worked in junior high school.


Service With a Smile

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 4:01 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

When a citizen makes a valid legal demand in Vail, Colorado, the Sheriff’s Department complies:

“The doormat wasn’t particularly welcoming to detectives who paid a visit to Charles Guadalupe’s Vail home.


“So we did,” Lt. Mike William of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.”

Mr. Guadalupe was arrested on “two counts of distribution of cocaine and two counts of possession of cocaine” and there’s a photo of his doormat at the link.


The Trillion Dollar (a Year) President

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 3:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Congressional Budget Office reports President Obama’s proposed budget will result in almost $1 trillion a year in deficits for the next 10 years:

“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said President Barack Obama’s budget would lead to annual deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion for the next decade.

The estimates are for larger deficits than the budget shortfalls expected by the White House.

Annual deficits under Obama’s budget plan would be about $976 billion from 2011 through 2020, according to a CBO analysis of Obama’s plan released Friday.”

The difference in the White House’s projections and the CBO is on the revenue side:

“The independent CBO and Obama expect a similar amount of government spending over the next 10 years — about $45 trillion. But the CBO expects Obama’s policies to bring in $35.5 trillion in tax receipts, less than the $37.3 trillion expected by the White House.

CBO expects fewer tax revenues largely because it expects less economic growth than the White House over the next decade.”

Uncertain times don’t produce job growth or more revenue.


Jobless Rate Unchanged

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 1:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The February 2010 employment report showed 36,000 people lost their jobs and unemployment remained at 9.7%:

Nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (-36,000) in February, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction and information, while temporary help services added jobs. Severe winter weather in parts of the country may have affected payroll employment and hours; however, it is not possible to quantify precisely the net impact of the winter storms on these measures. For more information on the effects of the severe weather on employment estimates, see the box note at the end of the release.”

However, there was an increase in discouraged workers:

“Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in February, up by 473,000 from a year earlier.”

Remember Larry Summers’ claim that the snow might affect the February unemployment report? Here’s what the BLS note said about that:

“Effect of Severe Winter Storms on Employment Estimates

Major winter storms affected parts of the country during the February reference periods for the establishment and household surveys.

In the establishment survey, the reference period was the pay period including February 12th. In order for severe weather conditions to reduce the estimate of payroll employment, employees have to be off work for an entire pay period and not be paid for the time missed. About half of all workers in the payroll survey have a 2-week, semi-monthly, or monthly pay period. Workers who received pay for any part of the reference pay period, even one hour, are counted in the February payroll employment figures. While some persons may have been off payrolls during the survey reference period, some industries, such as those dealing with cleanup and repair activities, may have added workers.

In the household survey, the reference period was the calendar week of February 7-13. People who miss work for weather-related events are counted as employed whether or not they are paid for the time off.”

So people who missed work because of weather were counted as employed anyway, and people who got cleanup and repair jobs were also counted as employed. I’m not an economist but it sounds like the recent snows may have artificially inflated — not depressed — employment.


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