THE RAPE OF POCAHONTAS: DID WE EVISCERATE THE NATIVE AMERICANS?
Hidden in a New York Times about welfare is a story of success in Maine having to do with a Republican policy, surprise surprise:
As the economy improves, should states continue waivers that were enacted during the recession to allow healthy adults who are not working to get food stamps longer than the law’s time limit? Maine is one of the states that say no.
Last year, the administration of Gov. Paul R. LePage, a Republican, decided to reimpose a three-month limit (out of every three-year period) on food stamps for a group often known as Abawds – able-bodied adults without minor dependents – unless they work 20 hours per week, take state job-training courses or volunteer for about six hours per week. Maine, like other states, makes some exceptions.
“You’ve got to incentivize employment, create goals and create time limits on these welfare programs,” said Mary Mayhew, the commissioner of health and human services in Maine. She said the measure was in line with Mr. LePage’s efforts to reform welfare.
The number of Abawds receiving food stamps in Maine has dropped nearly 80 percent since the rule kicked in, to 2,530 from about 12,000. This time limit is an old one, written into the 1996 federal welfare law. But, during the recession, most states took advantage of a provision that allows them to waive it when unemployment is persistently high, which meant poor adults could stay on the program regardless of their work status.
No doubt some of the “ABAWDs” are facing tougher times without those benefits, but I think most Americans would expect people under those conditions to seek employment if they can. The Democrats keep telling us that Obama has vastly improved the economy (he hasn’t), but if they think that, then shouldn’t we be paying fewer people to be on welfare?
Apple Inc quarterly results smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of big-screen iPhones in the holiday shopping season and a 70 per cent rise in China sales, powering the company to the largest profit in corporate history.
The company sold 74.5 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended December 27, while many analysts had expected fewer than 70 million. Revenue rose to $74.6 billion from $57.6 billion a year earlier.
Profit of $18 billion was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt. Apple’s cash pile is now $178 billion, enough to buy IBM or the equivalent to $556 for every American.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the Cupertino, California-based company would release its next product, the Apple Watch, in April.
Shares rose about 5 per cent to $114.90 in after-hours trade.
Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Apple-shareholder Synovus Trust Company in Atlanta, Georgia, said that the report was a good sign in a quarter where big tech companies such as IBM and Microsoft Corp have disappointed.
Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview that the company did not sell more iPhones in China than the United States, despite some earlier predictions by research analysts.
But the big-screen iPhone 6 and 6 plus drove revenues in China were up 70 per cent in the quarter from a year earlier. The company’s success in the competitive Chinese market can be attributed to its partnership with China Mobile Ltd, the largest global mobile carrier, and the appeal of the larger screen size of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Maestri said he does not expect Apple to struggle because of China’s slipping economic growth. “We haven’t seen a slowdown,” he added.
Maestri also said the company doubled iPhone sales in Singapore and Brazil.
Apple will reach 40 company stores in greater China by mid-2016, Maestri told analysts on a conference call.
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, also lauded a 14 per cent rise in unit sales of Apple Macintosh computers and sales of older iPhone models.
Apple was well positioned for the current quarter in China, she added, which will include the Chinese New Year holiday and reflect Apple’s attempts to sell through new channels.
Apple reported net profit of $18.02 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share, compared with $13.07 billion, or $2.07 per share, a year earlier. That topped expectations of $2.60 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts had expected revenue of $67.69 billion.
Maestri said that Apple faced “a clear headwind” from the strong dollar but that it had included the challenge in its forecasts. Apple predicted revenue of $52 billion to $55 billion in its fiscal second quarter, compared with Wall Street’s average target of $53.79 billion.
Cook said that the company’s new mobile payment service, Apple Pay, which lets customer buy products from select merchants with their phones, was in its “first inning” and the company would consider adding new features as it looked at expanding outside the United States.
Looks like Mother Nature isn’t going to let Chicago forget that winter is coming.
The city saw light snow Saturday morning, marking one of the earliest snow sightings on record.
The earliest snow spotting in Chicago is Sept. 25, which occurred in 1928 and again in 1944, according to the National Weather Service.
Saturday’s snowflakes mark the third earliest snow sighting since the city began recording.
The Rockford area also spotted snow Saturday morning, marking their second earliest sighting. The record was set in 1951 when the area saw snow on Oct. 3.
But the snow wasn’t the only weather element the Chicago area made the record books with this weekend.
The city set a temperature record with O’Hare Airport recording a high of 47 degrees, marking the lowest maximum high temperature in 79 years, the NWS reported. The previous record, set on October 4, 1935, was 48 degrees.
The average high temperature in Chicago for the month of October is 62 degrees. The average low temperature is about 43 degrees.
Blame Saturday’s cold snap on winds from the west-north-west brought in by a system that dropped significant rain on the Chicago area early Friday morning.
We’re in the range of calendar days when we could see our first fall freeze.
Winds Saturday morning kept frost away from the area despite the snow, but with temps dipping into the 30s overnight and very little wind forecast, the area could see pieces of patchy frost. Temperatures could dip below 32 degrees in some areas.
A Frost Advisory was issued Saturday night for several Illinois counties and parts of Northwest Indiana.
The earliest a fall freeze ever happened in Chicago was on Sept. 22, 1995. The latest that’s ever happened was the 30 degrees reached on Nov. 24, 1931, according to records provided by the National Weather Service.
Sunday looks to recover slightly with partly sunny skies and a high of 56 degrees.
The city will return to near-normal temperatures at the start of the work week with highs forecast in the low- to mid-60s for much of the week.
While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!
And that’s how you get a fresh cycle low in the unemployment rate.
So the next time Obama asks you if you are “better off now than 6 years ago” show him this chart of employment to the overall population: it speaks louder than the president ever could.
Curious why despite the huge miss in payrolls the unemployment rate tumbled from 7.0% to 6.7%? The reason is because in December the civilian labor force did what it usually does in the New Normal: it dropped from 155.3 million to 154.9 million, which means the labor participation rate just dropped to a fresh 35 year low, hitting levels not seen since 1978, at 62.8% down from 63.0%.
And the piece de resistance: Americans not in the labor force exploded higher by 535,000 to a new all time high 91.8 million.
The jobless, laborless recovery continues to steam on.
In 2004, Peyton Manning set the record for the most touchdown passes in a single season, throwing 49 of them that year with the Colts when he was 28 years old. Tom Brady would break that record in 2007, completing 50 touchdown passes.
Now 37 years old and in his second season with the Broncos, Manning has reclaimed the record. His fourth touchdown Sunday in an AFC West-clinching win against the Texans, a 25-yard completion to tight end Julius Thomas with 4:28 left in the game, gave Manning 51 touchdowns for the season.
Manning still has one more game to add to that total at Oakland in Week 17. The Broncos also clinched a first-round bye with the victory.
Never one to call too much attention to himself, Manning said it was a “team record” and expects it to be broken, but he will savor it for now.
“I’m sure it’s just a temporary record, but I will enjoy it,” he said
Manning received a standing ovation at Reliant Stadium after breaking the record and got plenty of love from his teammates and coaches on the sideline.
“It was very special,” Manning said of the reaction, according to the team’s website. “Very rarely during an NFL game do you get to have a moment like that. Having some of my teammates come onto the field, having some defensive players coming out and high-fiving me – and I was telling them thanks back, thanks for all of their help. That is certainly a moment I’ll remember. Lots of Broncos fans in the stands today. That was pretty unique as well. Certainly a moment I’ll remember because of just the team bonding that went on during that time.”
Entering Sunday, Manning had already set a career-high for passing yards in a season, and for the first time he eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark. He entered the game with 4,811 and went 32 of 51 for 400 yards, his fourth game of at least 400 yards passing this season. Drew Brees holds the single-season passing record with 5,476 yards set in 2011. With 266 yards against the Raiders, Manning would break the record.
In a video posted on the team’s website, Broncos coach John Fox is shown presenting Manning with the game ball in the locker room and Manning was ready to walk away before his teammates implored him to make a speech.
“Like coach Fox said, the best news I heard all day, we won our division today,” Manning told his teammates. “That’s a heck of an accomplishment. Let’s keep it going next week. I just can’t thank you guys enough. A lot of people contributed to this (record.) I really think this is a team accomplishment – defense getting us the ball back, receivers catching a lot of passes.”
Manning tied the record with 6:57 left in the game on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker.