Still well over 600,000 new unemployed workers:
For the week ended April 25, initial claims fell 14,000 to 631,000.
It marked the lowest level for first time claims in two weeks.
MarketWatch theorizes that this is good news, because it’s not as bad as the numbers from the last two weeks.
Like losing a foot is not as bad as losing a leg, I guess.
Republican Economic Theory reductio ad absurdum: Victimize the Victim Dept. Darryl Pease on the proposal in Florida that applicants for unemployment pee in a cup and pay for the bathroom privileges:
A. Wise is such a relative term. Remember, many states – like Florida – are running low on unemployment funds. That’s why the bill’s sponsor proposed that jobless folks pay the $30 cost of the mandatory drug tests. That way, it’s not an unfunded mandate.
Q. You’re making this up, right? Are these lawmakers smoking crack?
A. Oh, no. As counterintuitive as their plans sound, these legislators are really the only ones who are facing up to the fact that we have a serious unemployment problem.
Q. C’mon. Who doesn’t know that?
A. I don’t mean the jobless rate. I’m referring to the unemployed themselves. They’re always caterwauling for unemployment checks, job training and – well – jobs. It’s time we take a stand.
The Virginia State Police attempt to justify their existence by painting the Hampton Roads area (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake–historically centers of slightly to the right of center moderation, making them “liberal” by Virginia standards) as a hotbed for potential terrorist recruitment because (gasp!) it has colleges and military. (Including two “historically black” colleges and Regents University, which hasn’t been around long enough to be historically anything, but was created by Pat Robertson.)
Yeah. Right. Paranoia based on prejudice does not make for security.
In a small Swiss village, there was a conceited and overbearing banker. The villagers loathed and detested him for his dogmatic egotism, but they kowtowed to him because, well, he ran the only bank in the village and they all depended on his good will.
One day, a farmer came to the banker accompanied by his son, a bespectacled, furtive-looking little boy of about twelve.
“How may I help you,” boomed the banker.
“Well, sir, it’s my son. I don’t know what direction he will take in his life.”
“Easy,” said the banker. “Have him wait in the outer room.”
The farmer complied.
“Now,” said the banker, “here’s what we’ll do. We’ll put this loaf of bread, this Bible, and this bottle of wine on the desk. Then we shall hide in the closet. No doubt your son will get impatient and come into the office. We’ll observe what he does: if he picks up the loaf of bread, he will enter the trades; if he picks up the Bible, he will become a man of the cloth. If he picks up the wine–well, there’s trouble ahead . . . .”
The farmer nodded and the two of them hid in the closet and peered through the crack of the slightly-opened door.
After a short time, the office door opened slowly. The child looked stealthily around the room, then darted to the desk, where he stuck the loaf of bread under one arm, the Bible under the other one, then grabbed the bottle of wine and fled.
Before the banker could speak, these words escaped the farmer’s mouth:
Pass the mayonnaise jar:
Citiing a U.S. Supreme Court decision, U.S. District Judge James Turk ruled Monday that revenue from an illegal operation that’s used to support the activity can’t be considered proceeds for the purpose of money laundering.
Information and advice from the Mayo Clnic in the April 28, 2009, issue.
H/T Susan for the link.
The Republican Party used to have room for moderates. They were right-of-center, sure, but, they could reason, be reasoned with, and, when appropriate, compromise for the good of the nation.
Not any more.
The Wayward Episcopalian on the Specter party switch. The whole post is worth reading, but this is the clincher:
When I say I’m a fan of balanced government, I assume that both the parties in question are rational, respectable entities. That’s just not the case right now, given the state of the current Republican Party. Go ahead, smash them. Hopefully the phoenix that arises from the ashes would be something with moderates like David Brooks and the moderate Maine duo on its left and respectful conservatives like Chuck Hagel, Lindsay Graham, and Mike Huckabee on its right, with the authoritarian fundamentalist right-wing stuck in a third-party lurch. This is unlikely, but there’s no way I’m going to settle for giving Eric Cantor and Sarah Palin a dominant voice. Until the GOP gets its act together, bring on the Arlen Specters.