As of tonight, I am on the other side of the world. Actually, most people would say I blog like someone on from a completely different world. But in this case, it’s literally true: I’m back in Australia. As a result of preparations and travel, I’ve missed the biggest news stories of the week. So I’ll go through them quickly in a weekend roundup form to hopefully start a few (well-reasoned) fights.
First, Indiana became the latest right-to-work state over fierce labor union opposition. Ever so slowly, the unions are losing their grip on power. Watch out for Mitch Daniels come 2016. That guy has President written all over him.
Eric Holder continues to lower the bar for attorneys general. His latest statement is that he will crack down on Operation Fast and Furious. Actually, he will crack down on OFF whistleblowers. This man’s allegiance to government power should be a much bigger story.
The latest jobs report is out. Not only did job creation numbers blow by expectations, but December and November numbers were revised upward. All told, 300k jobs were added in multiple sectors, including manufacturing, and the unemployment rate is down to 8.3%. It’s been many years since we had a jobs report that solid.
Now, the total unemployment number — which accounts for people who have given up looking for work — has only fallen a little. But it has fallen … a little. This is ceasing to be a blip and starting to look like a resurgence. It’s not near strong enough. But it’s hopeful. We’ll know things are really getting better when job creation numbers rise and the unemployment rate also rises. That will tell us when people are rejoining the labor force.
I don’t have a lot of interest in the spat between the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood over the former pulling funding from the latter because of abortion, then reversing that decision. I do however, think Josh Barro has a legitimate point: Planned Parenthood supporters need to quit pretending that abortion is only incidental to PP’s mission and function. They are one of the largest abortion providers in the nation, it is a huge part of their budget and anyone who has been to a clinic can not but notice how big a part abortion is of what they do.
The Planned Parenthood defenders are throwing out a statistic that abortions are only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. That may be literally true, but it’s comparing apples to watermelons. An abortion is a far more involved and expensive procedure than a breast cancer screening or a birth control consultation. By way of illustration, a surgeon may do see a patient ten times for follow-up of a single surgical procedure. But only an idiot would claim that surgery is only 10% of what a surgeon does.
People who support Planned Parenthood do so, in part, because of their abortion services. If Planned Parenthood ended abortions tomorrow, their support would shrink, at least a little. You can not both support Planned Parenthood because someone needs to provide abortions and then turn around and claim abortion is only a small part of what they do. Agreeing with this doesn’t make you pro-life or anti-woman or anti-choice or even anti-Planned-Parenthood. It makes you connected with reality.
Finally, the CBO released their latest projection, which is for a $1.1 trillion deficit this year (believe it or not, that’s down by several hundred billion from the peak) and more trillions over the next decade. They also project that the economy will weaken as tax hikes and spending cuts kick in. Color me very skeptical on that last part. The CBOs models are rigged a certain way. And that way is of dubious accuracy.