Morning Report – Decent jobs report 3/7/14

Vital Statistics:

Last Change Percent
S&P Futures 1886.3 10.0 0.53%
Eurostoxx Index 3146.7 2.2 0.07%
Oil (WTI) 102.1 0.5 0.49%
LIBOR 0.236 0.001 0.23%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 79.75 0.090 0.11%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.80% 0.06%
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 105.7 0.0
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 104.1 -0.3
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 200.7 -0.2
BankRate 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4.39
Markets are higher after a stronger-than-expected jobs report. Bonds and MBS are getting slammed.
Data Dump from the jobs report
  • Feb payrolls up 175k (149k exp)
  • Two month revision 25k
  • Unemployment rate ticks up to 6.7%
  • Average Hourly earnings up .4% (.2% expected)
  • Average weekly hours dropped to 34.2
  • Labor force participation rate steady at 63%
The tick up in the unemployment rate means that discouraged workers are beginning to start looking for jobs again. Overall, it was a decent report. It won’t change the Fed’s posture by any means, but it shows the labor market is gradually becoming more balanced.
Yesterday, we got the household net worth numbers out of the Fed. In the fourth quarter, the average household net worth increased from $77,710 to $80,664. This shows a lot of the Great American Deleveraging is behind us.

One thing to keep in mind however, is that this increase in net worth has been driven primarily by asset price inflation. If you look at aggregate household debt over the same period, it has fallen, but not dramatically.

What this shows is that it is imperative that the Fed stick the landing with respect to exiting QE and normalizing interest rates. If asset prices (houses, stocks) fall as rates increase, it will undo a lot of the progress that has been made, and will probably be recessionary.

105 Responses

  1. Frist!

    Now that’s how it’s done.

    Like

  2. Drat!!!

    Like

  3. We’ve turned into a couple of lurkers, McWing.

    Like

  4. Sheesh, you guys. So competitive.

    Like

  5. For my Libertarian friends:

    All the pundits are calling Pinellas County’s big-money, nationally watched congressional election a razor-thin contest that could go to the Democrats or Republicans.

    But this analysis leaves out a key factor named Lucas Overby.

    He’s a Libertarian who has been in the race longer than either Democrat Alex Sink or Republican David Jolly, and who participated in all three candidate debates alongside the other two.

    Most polls give Overby 4 to 7 percent of the vote, with one setting his support at 12 percent. With a neck-and-neck race between Jolly and Sink, could Overby’s campaign impact Tuesday’s results?

    “Absolutely,” said Darryl Paulson, professor emeritus of government at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

    [snip]

    Overby said the conventional way to view third-party candidates is how much they take away from the Republican or Democratic voting bases, but his campaign — which began before longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young died in October — has always had a different strategy.

    Instead of targeting “super voters” who go to the polls every time, his campaign has been seeking those who stopped voting, either because they never got interested or because they became disenfranchised.

    Overby, a 27-year-old commercial diver, says he offers an alternative, someone who’s not part of the big-party machinery, who doesn’t owe anything to corporate interests or lobbyists.

    Like

  6. So competitive.

    He started it!

    Like

  7. @Troll: “Kevin’s jealous!”

    I haven’t been Frist here in FOREVER. You two are hogging all the Frist. In fact, I think you’ve both got to be in the top 1% of Fristers, and yet you still get all the Frist. This Frist inequality is bad for the nation.

    Like

  8. In fact, I think you’ve both got to be in the top 1% of Fristers

    Scooch that decimal point one spot over to the left. . . there! Now you’ve got it.

    We’re the Romneys of Fristing.

    Like

  9. This was the story in WaPo on 2/17, and this is the story today. Could one of you more level-headed gun owners’ rights folks explain to me why the backlash?

    First (2/17):

    One of California’s largest firearm stores recently added a peculiar new gun to its shelves. It requires an accessory: a black waterproof watch.

    The watch’s primary purpose is not to provide accurate time, though it does. The watch makes the gun think. Electronic chips inside the gun and the watch communicate with each other. If the watch is within close reach of the gun, a light on the grip turns green. Fire away. No watch means no green light. The gun becomes a paperweight.

    Second (3/7):

    The California gun store that put the nation’s first smart gun on sale is facing a furious backlash from customers and gun rights advocates who fear the new technology will encroach on their Second Amendment rights if it becomes mandated.

    Attacks in online forums and social networks against the Oak Tree Gun Club have prompted the store to back away from any association with the Armatix iP1 smart gun. The protests threaten the nascent smart gun industry, which received a jolt of support recently when a group of Silicon Valley investors offered a $1 million prize for promising new technology.

    The vitriol began almost immediately after The Washington Post reported last month that the Armatix iP1 smart gun was for sale at the pro shop. Electronic chips inside the gun communicate with a watch that can be purchased with the gun, making it impossible to fire without the watch. Gun control advocates, who believe smart guns could reduce gun violence, suicides and accidental shootings, marked the moment as a milestone.

    “These people are anti-gunners,” someone said of Oak Tree on the store’s Facebook page, adding, “I will never step foot in this dump.” On Yelp, a user wrote, “If you care about the ability to exercise your [Second Amendment] rights, I would suggest that you do not continue to frequent this place.”

    And, yes, I read both pieces all the way through and I’m not getting the second amendment issue or why–since these guns will be a small part of the market (well, except in New Jersey)–they are such a threat to gun ownership in general.

    Like

  10. I get it though I struggle to explain it. I would assume that moronic government agencies will attempt to curtail 2nd Amendment rights by mandating the so-called smart gun. I don’t want those rights curtailed, I want them expanded. I want more guns in more peoples hands. I think conceal/carry should not require a permit (or permission) for example. The point is that the Smart Gun will initiate incrementalism. I have no fear of citizens owning weapons.

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  11. Michi, I think that one of the assumptions is that law enforcement, et al, will be able to override the control of the gun and effectively disable it and that eventually smart guns would be mandated and all standard guns would be banned.

    It’s viewed as a technological end run around the 2nd Amendment.

    Like

  12. what JNC said and The Motherfucker said.

    If it relies on a signal between the watch and the gun, that signal can be tampered with and/or disabled. which is the point of the gun control movement. wholesale disarmament.

    Like

  13. Thanks, jnc and McWing.

    I’ll disagree, but I appreciate the explanations. I guess it’s mainly that I don’t see a movement to disarm anyone, nor ban standard guns. But then, I don’t mind people owning guns (although I’d rather that we got rid of concealed carry–I want to know which wingnuts around me are carrying so that I know where to dive if necessary).

    Like

  14. And thanks, NoVA.

    Like

  15. The Motherfucker

    I like that!

    Michi, I assume everybody around me is packing.

    Like

  16. @Michgoose: “The California gun store that put the nation’s first smart gun on sale is facing a furious backlash from customers and gun rights advocates who fear the new technology will encroach on their Second Amendment rights if it becomes mandated.”

    There’s a “They’re Coming For Your Guns” industry out there, and I think there’s some money to be made by exploiting the notion that the government wants your guns (which of course some do, but not enough to keep the “they’re-coming-for-your-guns” industry flush with cash). Yet it’s a very different thing to require a goofy piece of technology and just to make it available to folks who want to buy it.

    I think this technology is moving in the right direction. There’s nothing wrong with modern weapons being designed to be a little more difficult to shoot. There’s nothing wrong to having your weapons keyed to you, so only you can shoot them. Frankly, there’s nothing wrong with them being chipped so you can find them if stolen or lost.

    Although, naturally, that would mean the government could find them when it came for them!

    Like

  17. Caveat: I say all this as a non-gun owner. Which is a lot like a man speaking on women’s issues. Fraught with peril!

    Like

  18. This piece that Nova linked a while back on Democrats and gun control is worth a reread.

    “I wish I had a dollar for every Democratic politician and commentator that has looked into a television camera over the past few months and said, “No one is trying to take your guns away!”

    Allow me this humble suggestion: The best way to convince the American public that you’re not interested in taking guns away is to stop talking about taking guns away.”

    http://kontradictions.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/dear-democratic-gun-control-lobby-how-to-get-better/

    Like

  19. There’s also a “Coming for Your Guns” industry out there as well.

    Must. Keep. Mouth. Shut.

    Like

  20. ” If they can’t afford gritty, unglamorous Industry City, then where?”

    Cleveland. Pittsburgh. Baltimore. Any number of other cities that, I can assure you, do exist outside of NYC.

    [Edit: Apparently the AFC North is my go to.]

    Like

  21. “And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday told POLITICO that if there is no movement in the House on immigration by September, Obama should stop deporting people in October – just before the midterm elections.”

    Please do this. I can’t think of a better way to energize the Republican base.

    Like

  22. Always good to concede defeat early.

    “The Republicans are going to make gains in the Senate this cycle almost no matter what. If you’re a Republican and you know that in advance, the smart thing to do is treat a single issue as if it’s the decisive one of the campaign, everywhere, in every race. That way when it’s over you can argue that the voters vindicated your position, even if they didn’t. You can claim a mandate, even if one doesn’t exist. And you can safely bet that the political media will swallow it whole.”

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/07/republicans_have_a_secret_obamacare_strategy_and_its_based_on_deception/

    Or, if you do in fact run on a single issue relentlessly and win, then you do have a mandate.

    Like

  23. [Edit: Apparently the AFC North is my go to.]

    I was wondering what that list seemed to have in common. . .

    Like

  24. Flying my XX flag high, today’s Google Doodle is awesome!

    Like

  25. “then you do have a mandate’

    only Ds have mandates. if an R wins, the country is ungovernable

    Like

  26. only Ds have mandates. if an R wins, the country is ungovernable

    And here I thought it was the other way around!

    Like

  27. @Michigoose: “And here I thought it was the other way around!”

    There tends to be a lot of “the country is broken” or “democracy is broken” when the other side wins. A lot of discussion about the election being stolen. And lot of talk about stupid technicalities that should disqualify whoever won the election (the birthers took the cake, in my memory, but there were folks insisting Cheney’s Texas residency disqualified him from being VP and perhaps meant the entire Bush/Cheney ticket was “ineligible”, and there were, of course, McCain “birthers” as well.

    There are certainly differences, as ScottC notes: when Republicans win, the voters are angry. Their throwing a tantrum. They are letting hate consume them. They are scared (presumably of powerful women and black people).

    When Democrats win, the voters have been duped, are they want something for nothing, or they’ve bought into the politics of class envy, or they are tired of war and don’t have the will to see through a hawkish military policy, etc. Rarely does one side (in general) say of the other: well, they ran a good race, and they won. I guess that’s that until next time.

    ThinkProgress had long, ponderous articles about how Democracy was broken and how we needed to consider what we could do to replace a system that mistakenly elected conservatives and Republicans so often . . . and then I’ve also read article celebrating the proof that “Democracy still works!” when Democrats win.

    I think there tends to be a larger reality that the electorate is always going to be dissatisfied with the ruling class over time, and will show their displeasure by switching parties or voting against party, or opting out. It’s not so much a tantrum as disillusionment and ennui. And it happens on both sides. If you don’t have a Republican president 3 years from now than you’ll most likely have a Republican president 7 years from now. Not because the voters are throwing tantrums, but because Democracy does work (pretty much) and that’s what happens. We’re basically referees deciding which team gets to go to bat, this time out, and maybe it’s a coin toss, but we aren’t going to send the same party to the Whitehouse 5 times in a row unless a miracle occurs. And then, surely not 6. 4 is very unusual, and even 3 times is uncommon

    I could get into the “Republicans face 40 years in the wilderness” type arguments that happen after elections where Democrats win, or arguments that leftism or conservatism is at it’s end, and soon will be all over and finally conservatism or liberalism will own the day, and we will all, for all practical purposes, be a single ideology.

    The ideological battle will be ongoing. We are wired to be tribal and dichotomous. That’s not going to change. No matter how thoroughly it is “proved” that the policies of the other side stink.

    Like

    • Kevin:

      There tends to be a lot of “the country is broken” or “democracy is broken” when the other side wins.

      I’d be interested in seeing examples of the right saying that following D victories. In my experience, D’s tend to think the electoral system has somehow failed when they don’t get elected (too much money allowed, outdated electoral college, restrictive voting rules, etc.) but I think R’s tend to lament the downfall of a culture that compels voters to vote for D’s a lot more than they blame the electoral system for its failures.

      Like

  28. BTW, the tank farms being built in Houston are amazing. Fracking and Keystone paying large dividends in the bayou city.

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  29. @Michigoose: Today’s Google Doodle is celebrating women who don’t speak English?

    Ah! International Women’s day! I celebrate that, too, but I observe in my own way.

    Like

    • Kevin:

      Ah! International Women’s day!

      Thanks. I had no idea there was such a thing. I think they should have an International Persons Who Identify as Women’s Day, too, don’t you think?

      Like

  30. I retract any opposition to the space program

    Like

  31. Full confession: I am secretly a leftist trying to discourage Republicans from voting. It’s my secret strategy.

    I’m in a debate on AICN with a feller, and have learned this about myself. He wrote:

    You’re a Democrat who wants to encourage Republicans not to vote because it just doesn’t matter, and they’re all crooks. I’ve run into your ilk a thousand times.

    I’m not particularly annoyed that you lie to me – you’re a Leftist, and lying is a defining characteristic – I don’t like the clumsiness of your lies.

    Your worst fears have been confirmed.

    Like

  32. novahockey: Yeah? That’s what I’m saying. Being a sexist pig advances technology and makes progress.

    Agriculture. The iron age. The techno-revolution. All done so dudes could impress chicks. Because we like boobs.

    Like

  33. Its fascinating how somethings are just that simple.

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  34. What’s the occasion?

    Corked by Kevin, but it’s International Women’s Day.

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  35. @ScottC: “but I think R’s tend to lament the downfall of a culture that compels voters to vote for D’s a lot more than they blame the electoral system for its failures.”

    I don’t disagree that it’s more frequently a lament of a corrupt culture (although, on the ground, GOTV efforts come in for a lot of blame), but I think it stems from the same sort of “it’s not just that the public doesn’t like our guy this time, but might next time”. It’s “there is some external failure or flaw, either in the culture as a whole or the electoral system”. Or the election was stolen. Interestingly, Democrats steal elections by buy votes and faking votes (the voting dead) by the millions, while Republicans steal votes by controlling the voting machines. Which is odd, when you think about it, as that makes the way Republican’s steal votes way more technology and pro-science.

    And I have encountered “it’s all a conspiracy” stuff from the far-far-right, though that is a small population.

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  36. @ScottC: “International Persons Who Identify as Women’s Day”

    I dunno, isn’t that singling them out as not truly being women? I think they should get to celebrate like any other woman!

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    • Kevin:

      I dunno, isn’t that singling them out as not truly being women?

      Well, yeah, obviously. Because they aren’t.

      I think they should get to celebrate like any other woman!

      Get to or have to? Why shouldn’t they get their own day? Why are you trying to pigeonhole them into being a woman instead of just identifying as a woman? You genderist.

      Like

  37. I observe in my own way.

    Sexist pig!

    (One of those inexplicable things about men: you love boobs. Kind of endearing, actually, but still a little baffling.)

    Like

  38. @Kevin:

    I pretty much knew what that was going to be just looking at the URL, but this was pretty funny:

    It was founded because Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday for women and vegetarians; so it is only fair that there is an equivalent holiday for normal people.

    I had no idea that vegetarians had anything to do with Valentine’s Day! And, FWIW, I had a lovely pot roast on Valentine’s Day.

    Like

  39. steak-and-bj-day/12262-world.html

    talk about your turf-and-turf

    Like

  40. Best quip I heard about Valentine’s Day was calling it “Single Awareness Day”.

    Like

  41. @ScottC: “Get to or have to? Why shouldn’t they get their own day? Why are you trying to pigeonhole them into being a woman instead of just identifying as a woman? You genderist.”

    Because there should be no difference between identifying as a woman and being a woman. Being a woman is not a real thing, it is an artificial construct forced on us by the patriarchy. Thus, it is entirely a matter of the mind. So anybody who says “I am a woman” is, in fact, a woman. Don’t be such a neanderthal.

    Like

    • Kevin:

      Being a woman is not a real thing, it is an artificial construct forced on us by the patriarchy. Thus, it is entirely a matter of the mind. So anybody who says “I am a woman” is, in fact, a woman.

      Strangely, that makes perfect sense to me now. So really we should only have International Persons Who Identify as Women’s Day. Cancel today’s celebration.

      Like

  42. @Michigoose: ‘I had no idea that vegetarians had anything to do with Valentine’s Day! And, FWIW, I had a lovely pot roast on Valentine’s Day.”

    It’s a gag. Everybody knows Valentine’s Day was made up by Hallmark and 1-800-FLOWERS.

    *Edit: Mmmmmm. Pot roast.

    Like

  43. Everybody knows Valentine’s Day was made up by Hallmark and 1-800-FLOWERS

    And Kay Jewelers: “Every Kiss Begins With Kay!”

    Like

    • Every Kiss Begins with Kay

      Reminds me of a old Ron White routine:

      The DeBeers people are almost saying what they really mean. You remember the old DeBeers slogan, “Diamonds are forever.” Then they changed it to “This year, take her breath away.” The new slogan is “Diamonds. Render her speechless.” Why don’t they just come out and say it: “Diamonds. That’ll shut her up.”

      Like

  44. Cancel today’s celebration.

    Don’t make me stop this blog!

    Like

  45. @Michigoose: “Kind of endearing, actually, but still a little baffling.”

    A sign of sexual fertility. One of several, but for whatever reason guys tend to focus (all other things being equal) on certain signs of fertility over others. Youth, beauty, boobs, healthy skin, good hip-to-waist ratio. An impressive bosom flips the right switches (in most guys). Just how we’re built. But some men prefer the buttocks.

    However, long term, physical beauty is fleeting. Nice boobs can make a guy do a double-take, but personality wins the long game. I’ve physically experienced crazy attractive chicks who at first blush were just gorgeous getting *physically* uglier as it becomes clear they are batshit crazy. Something catches a whiff of those other red flags at a deep level, and literally revises my initial impression of their beauty. It’s not like: oh, she’s hot, but she’s also crazy, which is bad. It’s like: oh, she looked hot, but now I see all these physical flaws.

    Nothing spoils a nice set of boobs like having them attached to a crazy lady.

    Like

  46. Nothing spoils a nice set of boobs like having them attached to a crazy lady.

    While NoVA’s turf-and-turf line wasn’t bad, this really did make me laugh out loud!

    Like

  47. more ron

    Like

  48. I’d like to know when colored stones went out of style. Emeralds are really what it takes to make me shut up. 🙂

    Like

  49. Worth a read on the whole demographics is political destiny argument.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/03/study-millennials-deeply-confused-about-their-politics-finances-and-culture/284277/

    & The Atlantic takes up the cause of white women being allowed to belly dance.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/03/in-praise-of-polyglot-culture-and-multicultural-belly-dancing/284290/

    & Volkh piles on:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/06/what-would-salon-think-of-an-article-called-why-i-cant-stand-asian-musicians-who-play-beethoven/

    Edit: & Salon goes for broke on the cultural stupidity:

    “Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness
    As big corporations embrace meditation, some Buddhists fear their religion’s being co-opted by elites

    Joshua Eaton
    Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 10:29 AM EST”

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/05/gentrifying_the_dharma_how_the_1_is_hijacking_mindfulness/

    Like

    • jnc (from the Atlantic):

      The most heartening article on belly dancing I read this week… the most disheartening article on belly dancing I read this week…

      Jeez, I must live in a cocoon. I’ve only read one article on belly dancing in my entire life.

      Like

    • jnc:

      Salon goes for broke on the cultural stupidity

      I don’t think the adjective was necessary.

      Like

  50. That Volokh piece is classic. I’m thinking of branching out from BioScribe and creating a belly-ballet-mande dancing studio (BeBaMan).

    Like

  51. “Buddhists fear their religion’s being co-opted by elites”

    so, people are buying what they’re trying to give away for free?

    Apu: I have come to make amends, sir. At first, I blamed you for squealing, but then I realized, it was I who wronged you. So I have come to work off my debt. I am at your service.
    Homer: You’re… selling what, now?
    Apu: I am selling only the concept of karmic realignment.
    Homer: You can’t sell that! Karma can only be portioned out by the cosmos.
    [Slams the door]
    Apu: He’s got me there.

    Like

  52. Re Volokh, I’m disappointed in myself that I did not think of all the Asian friends I have who are shamelessly appropriating Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, et al., and making a living at it no less! Wearing white/European evening gowns and the like all the while. It’s outrageous.

    I’m really mad at Volokh for joining WaPo, though. Won’t go there any longer.

    Like

  53. Nova, your mastery of the Simpsons never ceases to amaze me.

    Like

  54. Best comment on Volkh:

    “I finally have a reason for refusing to learn Algebra. White privilege indeed.”

    Looking forward to seeing the first student who tries to get out a test with this argument.

    Like

  55. Aha, I was right:

    “Randa Jarrar (born 1978 in Chicago)

    She grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, and moved to New York at the age of 13.She attended Sarah Lawrence College, and studied creative writing, then went on to receive a MA in Middle Eastern Studies from UT Austin and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randa_Jarrar

    Clearly an oppressed minority not a part of the mainstream culture at all.

    Like

  56. JNC .. if you’re on twitter, this is worth following:

    https://twitter.com/SimpsonsQOTD

    Like

  57. She attended Sarah Lawrence College, and studied creative writing, then went on to receive a MA in Middle Eastern Studies from UT Austin and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.

    Talk about appropriating WASP culture!!

    Like

  58. Jarrar’s academic pedigree makes it all the more depressing, because she is exactly the kind of dimwitted professional victim colleges and universities are churning out, along with their dimwitted professional apologizer counterparts.

    Like

  59. linked at reasons regarding the culture stealing. apparently, “american parties” is a thing and they all involve red solo cups

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/this-is-what-american-parties-look-like-around-the-world?bffb

    Like

  60. Someone needs to clue them into the genius that is the solo cup:

    http://gizmodo.com/5918077/what-the-lines-of-a-red-solo-cup-actually-mean

    Like

  61. A link from NoVA’s red Solo cup site: did you pick the right college major?

    God help me, I got political science!

    EDIT: And even more unbelievably, I got Saint Ronald when I took the “which president are you?” quiz. I think I need to lie down in a quiet place for a while. . .

    Like

  62. This is a fight that needs to happen. The legislature should ignore the ruling.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/us/kansas-school-spending-ruling.html?pagewanted=all

    Like

    • The legislature should ignore the ruling.

      Why? Because you don’t agree with it? Have you read the Kansas Constitution?

      Like

      • Mark:

        Have you read the Kansas Constitution?

        I haven’t but the linked article says that the constitution says “the Legislature shall make suitable provision for finance” of public education. What makes the judiciary’s opinion of what is “suitable” better or more authoritative than the opinion of a majority of the people, as established by their elected representatives?

        Like

        • I had never heard about this before, where disabled people get a special fast pass at Disney to cut the lines, and then offer themselves out as Disney “tour guides”, allowing anyone who buys their service to cut the lines along with them. I can understand Disney’s outrage that this is happening, but this from the American Association of People with Disabilities was just absurd.

          “No one likes waiting in long lines, but exploiting people with disabilities in order to skip to the front is disgraceful.

          “While Disney must move swiftly to train their employees to recognize and stop this abuse, it’s important to note that Disney has a great track record on accommodating people with disabilities. It’s disturbing that nondisabled visitors would take advantage of these accommodations. This situation goes to show that money may buy a lot, but apparently civility and respect are not among those things.”

          Exploiting people with disabilities? That’s completely ass-backwards. The villains here are the disabled people. It is they who are exploiting Disney’s sympathy and generosity towards them in order to make a buck. Non-disabled people aren’t “taking advantage of these accommodations”. They are paying good money for them. It’s the disabled people who are “taking advantage” of the accommodations by selling the advantages that their disability affords them.

          Like

  63. Ignore the pedigree of this article (AlterNet by way of Salon). This science is what you’re going to start seeing reported on; while I buy only about 1/3 of what the author discusses here, I started seeing Research In Progress discussions about effects of gut bacteria about six years ago. I’ve seen good evidence of genetic/epigenetic influence of gut bacteria presented in allergies and obesity. I’m actually pretty skeptical of probiotics administered by most consumer products (yogurt being one of the exceptions), and that’s mainly what the author is citing in the way of studies supporting her reporting, but it’s an interesting idea and it won’t surprise me at all, based on the hard science studies I’ve seen discussed, to find out that all of the bugs living inside us have more influence on our overall health than we’ve previously suspected.

    Like

  64. Good point re: bacteria. I read a whole ago that societies w/poorer sanitation, where people tend to have worms, do not suffer from various intestinal diseases like IBD and Lupus.

    Like

  65. Lupus? I think you’re thinking of something else–Lupus is an autoimmune disease.

    Like

  66. Crohn’s we’re pretty sure is autoimmune or otherwise genetically linked, but you’re right–IBD?? I don’t know what they call it in your world, but in patient care world IBD is a “garbage can diagnosis”–they’ve thought of everything else and thrown all of the other diagnoses out. . . so there are probably a dozen or more different diseases that get classified as IBD. And intestinal parasites probably do play a good as well as evil role in intestinal maladies. I just get really horrible flashbacks to my undergraduate days (my undergrad degree is Microbiology and Public Health–which required labs in parisitology that have left me with nightmares to this day. Five-foot-long tapeworms. . . erggghhhhhh). And even Crohn’s is more than likely affected by gut fauna.

    Like

  67. Had a buddy who worked in a lab that studied cryptosporidium. Everybody I the lab had a chronic case. There was just no way to work with it and not get infected.

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  68. Everybody [in] the lab had a chronic case.

    You can see why I didn’t pursue an advanced degree in that field. . .

    My tissue slices stay on their microscope slides where I put them, thank you very much!

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  69. Niagara Falls: Not really frozen.

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  70. it is only fair that there is an equivalent holiday for normal people.

    There’s that word again.

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  71. Hmmm. My future daughter in law is also a future microbio PhD. Little scary.

    I have little doubt that the effects of diet, food processing, chemical overload, antibiotics, etc., on healthy bacteria are a contributor to our health problems. For a few months, I’ve used an expensive nutrition product including protbiotics among other intensive nutrients, and that plus overall changed diet has completely, even radically, changed my health, including most importantly digestive health. Anecdotal evidence but it’s me so it has to be true.

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  72. In celebration of The Day:

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  73. Niagara Falls never completely freezes, nor did it in the good old ice-age days before 1980. Huge amounts of ice form, but water still flows. Always did.

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    • Harry Reid is a jerk. Specifically, he personally attacked the Koch brothers as “unamerican”.

      Public attempted intimidation of private citizens,by ranking members of Congress, for exercising their rights as private citizens, is bullshit, and ought to be called down by Ds, who have apparently forgotten the lessons of the McCarthy era.

      Changing campaign finance laws, mainly by making all contributors public, if for no other reason than to expose foreign influences, is a legitimate cause. Attacking citizens personally for making permissible contributions reeks of Putinism.

      Like

  74. It’s actually kind of funny.

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  75. Scott –

    http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2014/20140307/109335.pdf

    The Kansas Supremes reversed the trial court’s finding of inadequacy and remanded for the trial court to take further evidence on that subject. It also refused to rule on adequacy of funding, which is distinguished from inadequacy in terms of meeting state education code standards [the second does not by itself prove the first]. It limited its ruling to the equity arguments among school districts.

    It is a seriously detailed opinion which denied most of the relief the poor school districts and individual plaintiffs sought. It turns out that in decades of school funding litigation the state had never raised a standing argument before so the state was able obtain a very narrow opinion as the Kansas Supremes plodded through standing for the first time and generally ruled with the state.

    Because every state constitution AFAIK makes public ed a state and not a local obligation these equity issues arise again and again. In TX, we have litigated this for forty years. The Kansas Supremes quote the Texas Supremes approvingly at one point:

    If the framers had intended the Legislature’s discretion to be absolute, they need not have mandated that the public education system be efficient and suitable; they could instead have provided only that the Legislature provide whatever public education it deemed appropriate.

    One effect in TX has been the “Robin Hood” system. Because the Lege didn’t authorize enough money, combined with property poor district’s money, to meet state mandated teacher/pupil ratios or to offer mandated courses in poor districts, the Lege responded to the TX Supremes and simply ordered property rich districts to pay money to the state to redistribute to poor districts. In 2015, Austin ISD must pay the state $475 million dollars, so that it can be paid out to poor districts.

    This Court’s holdings begin on page 107 of the opinion.

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    • Mark:

      I haven’t been able to read the entire opinion, but I did read the holdings as you recommended. One holding says:

      We further affirm the panel’s rulings that the State failed to meet its duty to provide equity in public education as required under Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution.

      I have read Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution, and I cannot find in it any reference to “equity in public education”. Any idea which clause of Article 6 the justices think requires it? (I assume if I read the whole opinion there will be an explanation somewhere, but I was hoping you could provide a shortcut.)

      EDIT: Forget it…I skimmed the full opinion and found out where the “equity” provision came from. It was invented by the court in an opinion from a previous case.

      BTW, I think the Texas opinion makes sense when it says that “If the framers had intended the Legislature’s discretion to be absolute, they need not have mandated that the public education system be efficient and suitable; they could instead have provided only that the Legislature provide whatever public education it deemed appropriate.” But that argument is a double edged sword. If the framers had intended efficiency and suitability to be non-political questions, they could have provided that public education be provided to a standard judged appropriate by the Supreme Court.

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      • “Suitable” includes the notion that what is suitable as a minimum statutory standard is suitable for all Kansans. Thus when the state imposes minimum standards, localities do not have to be treated equally by the state, but equity demands that all localities shall have the resources to meet the state required minimums. That is inherent in the notion of equity. It is why states bristle at unfunded mandates, at another level.

        I don’t think any lawyer for Kansas would have argued that Kansas has the right to inequitably fund because the Constitution uses the word “suitable”, so that what is a suitable minimum statewide is not required in poor districts.

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  76. Legislatures, the people, the basic idea of separate and distributed powers itself, lost out to judicil imperialism years ago. The first judges who decided they should supervise schools and order tax increases and redistrbution struck one of the major blows. You can search in vain for principles of jurisprudence there, but you won’t find any. Judges are making policy in areas no one ever imagined they could or would.

    Like

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