How to survive a job loss

How to Survive a Job Loss

One of the most common challenges for many adults is suffering from a job loss, which can make it easy to live in fear. Many people often wonder how they’ll continue paying their bills until they’re able to secure their employment. When you want to survive a job loss, there are a few important steps to take.

Save an Emergency Fund

It’s important to plan for a job loss by saving at least six months of income that you can live off of until another employer hires you. Avoid using the money for other types of expenses, which will allow you to keep your home and vehicles.

Apply for a Loan

Living off of unemployment money is often challenging for those who are supporting other dependents or have a significant amount of bills. To ensure that you can survive, consider taking out a loan from private money lenders California. The loan can be arranged quickly with attractive terms that are fair. You can obtain a loan with poor credit due to lenders who focus on your equity with flexible terms that fit your needs. You can repay the loan once you find another job and can make ends meet.

Reduce Your Expenses

It’s important to spend less while you’re unemployment, which will require you to eliminate unnecessary bills that are considered to be a luxury. Cut the cord on your cable or other types of subscriptions that are for entertainment purposes. Consider cutting coupons to spend less on groceries and household goods. You can also sell one of your vehicles or a boat that is in your possession to avoid having an extra bill each month.

Host a Yard Sale

Purge your home of unused items that haven’t been in use for at least a year. You can go through your bedroom closets and look for clothing that is worn or no longer fits. You can also sell children’s toys, furniture, and linens that are no longer needed. Consider selling jewelry pieces or electronics to pawn shops to get more money for items that have a higher value.

Reducing your expenses and obtaining a loan can allow you to have the necessary funds to pay your bills until you begin working in the future. Although it can be challenging to live paycheck to paycheck while unemployed, you can avoid stress and anxiety by following the right tips.

The left’s new lie about Obaminablecare

Propaganda from The New York Times:

No ‘Death Spiral’: Insurers May Soon Profit From Obamacare Plans, Analysis Finds

By Reed Abelson | April 7, 2017

In contrast to the dire pronouncements from President Trump and other Republicans, the demise of the individual insurance market seems greatly exaggerated, according to a new financial analysis released Friday.

The analysis, by Standard & Poor’s, looked at the performance of many Blue Cross plans in nearly three dozen states since President Barack Obama’s health care law took effect three years ago. It shows the insurers significantly reduced their losses last year, are likely to break even this year and that most could profit — albeit some in the single-digits — in 2018. The insurers cover more than five million people in the individual market.

After years in which many insurers lost money, then lost even more in 2015, “we are seeing the first signs in 2016 that this market could be manageable for most health insurers,” the Standard & Poor’s analysts said. The “market is not in a ‘death spiral,’ ” they said.

It is the latest evidence that the existing law has not crippled the market where individuals can buy health coverage, although several insurers have pulled out of some markets, including two in Iowa just this week. They and other industry specialists have cited the uncertainty surrounding the Congressional debate over the law, and the failed effort two weeks ago by House Republicans to bring a bill to the floor for a vote.

There’s a lot more at the original, but the important point is this: this is an analysis, which claims that insurers may become profitable in the exchanges, sometime in the future, but insurers are losing money now, which is why so many have pulled out. Do you think that companies would be leaving the Knoxville, Tennessee market with zero exchange insurers if they were making money?

Although it took longer than expected, the insurers appear to be starting to understand how the new individual market works, said Deep Banerjee, an S.&P. credit analyst who helped write the report. The companies have aggressively increased their prices, so they are now largely covering their medical costs, Mr. Banerjee said. They have also significantly narrowed their networks to include fewer doctors and hospitals as a way to lower those costs.

What does that mean? Well, the “Although it took longer than expected” part tells you that previous analyses, also made by experts, were wrong. That “companies have aggressively increased their prices” tells you what we already knew: that ACA exchange insurance rates have skyrocketed, something which past analyses also failed to predict. And the cost cutting measures listed tell you that no, not only do you not get to keep your doctor if you like him, but that the quality of medical care is being lowered, in the name of saving money.

And, let’s be honest here: the better physicians, the ones people really want to see, are the ones who are no longer part of the scheme. They are the ones with the highest rates, just as you’d expect.

Conservatives told you that this would happen!

When insurers start re-entering the laughably-named Affordable Care Act exchanges, then we will have real evidence that they have become profitable; as they keep pulling out, we know that they are seeing situations in which they cannot make money. Perhaps The New York Times will tell us when that happens.

Democrisy: The New York Times and the filibuster

From The New York Times:

Democracy Returns to the Senate

By The Editorial Board | November 21, 2013

For five years, Senate Republicans have refused to allow confirmation votes on dozens of perfectly qualified candidates nominated by President Obama for government positions. They tried to nullify entire federal agencies by denying them leaders. They abused Senate rules past the point of tolerance or responsibility. And so they were left enraged and threatening revenge on Thursday when a majority did the only logical thing and stripped away their power to block the president’s nominees.

In a 52-to-48 vote that substantially altered the balance of power in Washington, the Senate changed its most infuriating rule and effectively ended the filibuster on executive and judicial appointments. From now on, if any senator tries to filibuster a presidential nominee, that filibuster can be stopped with a simple majority, not the 60-vote requirement of the past. That means a return to the democratic process of giving nominees an up-or-down vote, allowing them to be either confirmed or rejected by a simple majority.

The only exceptions are nominations to the Supreme Court, for which a filibuster would still be allowed. But now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures, the precedent set on Thursday will increase the pressure to end those filibusters, too.

This vote was long overdue. “I have waited 18 years for this moment,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa.

So, at least one Democratic senator had wanted to end the filibuster for a very long time.

It would have been unthinkable just a few months ago, when the majority leader, Harry Reid, was still holding out hope for a long-lasting deal with Republicans and insisting that federal judges, because of their lifetime appointments, should still be subject to supermajority thresholds. But Mr. Reid, along with all but three Senate Democrats, was pushed to act by the Republicans’ refusal to allow any appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, just because they wanted to keep a conservative majority on that important court.

Oh, so the Editors approved of ending filibusters of judicial nominees for political reasons, at least in 2013. It seems that they supported the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees, at least when that nominee was Samuel Alito:

Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster — particularly since there is very little chance it would work. Judge Alito’s supporters would almost certainly be able to muster the 60 senators necessary to put the nomination to a final vote.

A filibuster is a radical tool. It’s easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

Neil Gorsuch was a perfect nominee: extremely well qualified, and opposed by the Democrats solely for political reasons. And you can count on it: had Hillary Clinton won the election, the Democrats regained control of the Senate — something they believed they would do in the 2016 elections — and a Republican minority filibustered whomever Mrs Clinton appointed to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat (hint: it would not have been Merrick Garland), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Democrats would have extended the ‘Reid option’ to cover Supreme Court nominees.

The Republicans are not above a bit of hypocrisy themselves, having refused to consider Judge Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the way that then-Majority Leader refused to schedule votes for many of President Bush’s nominees. But, in the end, the best thing for our country is going to happen: Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

I told you so: Obaminablecare is starting to fail

I have said it before: The left never really cared if the Affordable Care Act would work; they just wanted something that could pass, to establish the principle that government was ultimately responsible for providing health care coverage. And now, with the American Health Care Act — Obamacare Lite, as many have called it — having failed, the Affordable Care Act remains in force, almost unchanged since President Trump took office,1 and it is failing:

The first place Obamacare could die

by Tami Luhby | April 4, 2017: 7:21 AM ET

Whether or not Obamacare will explode in the near future is a matter of debate.

But if it does, it likely wouldn’t be a massive death spiral across all 50 states. It would die in specific regions because all the insurers there pull out.

Knoxville, Tennessee, may be the first place where Obamacare fails. Humana (HUM), the only insurer on the exchange there, is exiting the market in 2018. Unless another carrier steps in, roughly 40,000 people in the 16 counties in and around Knoxville could be left without the option to buy a subsidized insurance policy.

The lack of competition on many of the exchanges is one of Obamacare’s biggest problems. One in five consumers have only one choice this year, up from 2% in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Pinal County in Arizona almost became the first Obamacare casualty last year after Aetna (AET) scaled back its participation. But the Obama administration and state regulators worked to bring Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona back to that area, said Cynthia Cox, associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation. It had pulled out earlier.

There’s a good deal more at the original.

The problem really is simple: the private health insurance system, on which the Affordable Care Act is based — and on which the AHCA would also have been based — is a competitive system of companies which exist for the sole purpose of making a profit.[2 Selling health insurance isn’t their purpose, but simply their method of making a profit.] The Obama Administration, never truly concerned with the profitability of American businesses, festooned the ACA with all sorts of regulations designed to provide more and more goodies to the insured, without any (serious) concern as to whether insurance companies could provide those goodies and still make a profit. Yet now, even with a much more business-friendly regulatory environment in Washington, Humana’s corporate leadership apparently do not believe that they can continue to make a profit in and around Knoxville.

Consider the health insurance business environment that Humana might abandon: it had a complete monopoly in the ACA exchanges, meaning that it faced no competition. The quoted CNNMoney article noted that premiums had increased between 44% and 62% in Tennessee this year, and the company still believed that this was not a sufficiently profitable situation. Roy Vaughn, a senior vice president for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee, whose company state Insurance Commissioner Julie McPeak is trying to lure back to the Knoxville area exchange, noted it was difficult to see a way to profitability, and that his company had lost $400 million on the exchange over the past three years. How, exactly, will the state entice the company to lose even more money?

The laughably-named Affordable Care Act is failing, just as conservatives have said all along would be the case. It was always doomed to failure, because, in the end, you cannot expect a capitalist private corporation to provide a socialist benefit; economics simply does not work that way.

Eventually we will have single-payer. Oh, it won’t be good health care under single-payer, but it will be health care . . . sort of.
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  1. The law itself remains unchanged, but the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, can change the regulations imposed through the law, and is expected to do so.

This is how Republicans should act!

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

House GOP offers leaner Pa. budget; Dem leader says it ‘cuts into bone’

By Karen Langley | Harrisburg Bureau | Updated: April 3, 2017 — 7:29 PM EDT

HARRISBURG –Recommending government-wide cuts, House GOP leaders Monday unveiled a budget that a top Democrat said “cuts into the bone” of what he described as Gov. Wolf’s already austere spending plan.

The Republicans called for spending $31.5 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1, compared to the Democratic governor’s $32.3 billion.

The Republican plan would include trims to prison and human-service agencies.

The legislation leaves intact the governor’s proposed increases to the main K-12 education line and for special education, while calling for a smaller increase to early childhood education than Wolf had suggested.

House GOP leaders said they plan to vote the bill out of the House on Tuesday, sending it to the Senate.

“Ideally we would love for this bill to go directly to the Senate, over to the governor’s desk, get signed and we could move on with our lives,” said House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana.

There’s more at the link.

As you’d guess, the Democrats are just horribly upset, saying that the Republicans are past cutting fat and meat, and are slicing into the bone. To that, I say: good!

Republicans control both Houses of the state legislature, and can, therefore, pass whatever they wish. Unfortunately, Governor Tom Wolf is a Democrat, and he always wants to spend more money; he’ll throw up roadblocks, and veto the budget, but he cannot force the Republicans to spend more money. Since Pennsylvania state government doesn’t shut down due to lack of appropriations, the worst thing we’d get is continuing spending at current levels.

Your Editor will be moving from Pennsylvania this July, so, in one way, it shouldn’t matter to me, as long as my taxes don’t increase, but this should be a lesson for Republicans everywhere: they should cut spending as much as possible.

Utter insanity in the stock market

Today’s big headline:

Tesla is worth more than Ford — and GM is in sight

by Paul R. La Monica | April 3, 2017: 3:32 PM ET

Move over, Ford. Tesla is now the second most valuable car company in America.

Tesla’s stock surged nearly 6% on Monday to an all-time high after the maker of electric cars reported strong sales of its Model S and Model X vehicles. Ford’s shares sank 3% following a weak sales report for March.

As a result, Ford’s (F) market value is about $45 billion, while Tesla’s (TSLA) has climbed to almost $48 billion.

Tesla also inched closer to GM (GM), whose stock fell 4% after it reported both a sales increase that was well below forecasts and higher inventories. GM’s market value is $50.8 billion. And Tesla is inching closer to Japan’s Honda (HMC). It’s worth about $54 billion.

Why is this insane?

Tesla doesn’t sell nearly as many cars as Ford, GM or Honda — or other auto giants like Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Toyota (TM) and Volkswagen (VLKAF).

Tesla said Sunday that it sold about 25,0001 of its Model S and Model X vehicles worldwide in the first quarter. Ford sold more than 617,0002 just in the United States. GM sold nearly 690,000 cars and trucks in the first three months.

And Tesla, unlike GM and Ford, is still losing money. It’s expected to report a loss for the next few quarters and all of 2017.

Auto profitsThere’s more at the original, but this is a clear indication of impulse buying. Tesla, from a small base, showed a large increase, but it is still losing money, and is expected to continue losing money. Ford’s sales are down, but the company is making money, and increased its dividend; Tesla does not pay dividends.

Think about this: Ford’s 2016 revenues were 3.37 times its current market capitalization, while General Motors’ revenues were  3.28 times its current value, but Tesla’s revenues were only 14.58 percent of its market valuation.

There is no way on God’s earth that Tesla’s stock price even remotely reflects the real value of the company today, or in the near future.  Perhaps, just perhaps, Tesla will pay off handsomely for the people who have bought the sock and hold it, but, other than that, the only way to make money off Tesla is to find some poor fool who will pay more for it tomorrow than you paid for it today.

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  1. 25,418 vehicles, to be precise.
  2. 617,302 to be precise.

This is why Donald Trump is President: the economic isolation of the Federal Reserve

From CNNMoney:

Fed official: U.S. economy finally back to normal

by Heather Long | @byHeatherLong | March 29, 2017: 2:42 PM ET

John C Williams, President, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Congratulations, America. The economy is finally back to normal.That’s what John Williams, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, declared Wednesday.

“The data have spoken, and the message is clear: We’ve largely attained the hard-sought recovery we’ve been after for the past nine years,” Williams told the Forecasters Club, a gathering of economists, in New York. He dubbed it a “Goldilocks economy.”

Unemployment peaked at 10% after the Great Recession. Today it’s just 4.7%, a level Williams said constitutes “full employment” because there will always be some job seekers, even in a healthy economy. Inflation is also “nearing” the Fed’s goal of 2%, he said.

The Fed raised interest rates this month for only the third time since the financial crisis. The central bank is expected to raise rates two more times this year, but Williams hinted again that three more hikes might be appropriate in 2017.

He said Wednesday that the Fed is as close “as we’ve ever been” to achieving its goals of full employment and stable inflation.

There’s a little more at the link, and at least Dr Williams noted that our economic growth is too low. The New York Post is given to sensational headlines, but this one seems appropriate:

GDP growth under Obama was worst in decades

By Post Staff Report | March 30, 2017

It’s official.

With Thursday’s final revision of fourth-quarter GDP growth to 2.1 percent from its previous 1.9 percent level, President Obama is the only president since Herbert Hoover to not have guided the US economy to 3 percent growth in any year he was in office.

The US economy grew 1.6 percent in 2016 from the previous years, according to the Commerce Department, which tracks GDP.

Obama’s best year, as far as growing the economy, was 2015 when it grew 2.6 percent from 2014 — after growing 2.4 percent that year from 2013.

The recovering economy — and steady job growth — gave Obama lots of momentum, but the economy sputtered again last year, Commerce reported Thursday.

The Commerce Department news release can be found here.
The slight upward revision of the fourth quarter GDP growth from 1.9 to 2.1% did not change the overall 2016 GDP growth rate of 1.6%.

We have noted, many times, Heather Long’s CNNMoney article stating that the public perception of the unemployment rate was far more consistent with U-6 rather than the ‘official’ U-3 rate.

Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in economics, regular columnist for The New York Times and $225,000 per year professor at City University of New York, wrote:

For while the U.S. has done reasonably well at recovering from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, longer-term economic growth is looking very disappointing. Some of this is just demography, as baby boomers retire and growth in the working-age population slows down. But there has also been a somewhat mysterious decline in labor force participation among prime-age adults and a sharp drop in productivity growth.

Really? A Nobel Prize-winning economist, and all he can say about the persistent decline in the participation rate is that it’s “somewhat mysterious”? Unlike the esteemed Dr Krugman, I don’t have a PhD in economics,1 nor am I a “distinguished scholar” at CUNY Graduate Center’s Luxembourg Income Study Center, but the persistent decline in the participation rate isn’t “somewhat mysterious” to me; I just told you what has caused it!

More, the “regular people” mentioned in the CNNMoney article have told us what the problem is: they recognize what the real unemployment rate is, and understand the futility some people feel in looking for jobs that simply are not there. The CNNMoney article said, “The general public has ‘extremely little factual knowledge’ about the job market and labor force, Rutgers found,” but, looking at how the “general public” estimated that the real unemployment rate is “9%, or higher,” and got it right, I’d say that the “general public” actually have more factual knowledge about the job market and the labor force, and the economy, than do the highly educated talking heads.

Dr Krugman is paid $225,000 a year by CUNY, to teach one seminar a year.2 Robert Stacey Stacy McCain guessed that Dr Krugman’s salary from The New York Times ought to be at least the equal of Tom Friedman’s reported $300,000 a year. I suppose that, to him, it’s easy to advocate policies which would drive up energy costs, because he is wealthy enough to afford them, having conveniently forgotten that there are other people who cannot.3 It’s easy for him to say that “the U.S. has done reasonably well at recovering from the 2007-2009 financial crisis,” because he only hobnobs with people who do have jobs, good jobs: Times colleagues, university professors, government officials and, occasionally, graduate students in economics. It’s easy for him to say, look, unemployment is down to 4.9%, because the people with whom he associates are not worried about their careers, are not worried about losing their jobs, and are not worried about whether they’ll have enough money to make it until next payday. Thing is, it was the people who do have to worry about paying their electric bill, who are worried about making last Friday’s paycheck stretch until next Friday’s paycheck, who got it right about the economy.

And this we have Dr Williams, “an alternate voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee,” and thus someone who just might have a vote in the Fed raising interest rates,4 saying that the Fed ought to consider four interest rate increases this year, not just the three they have indicated will happen:

San Francisco Fed President John Williams said his central bank colleagues should not “rule out more than three increases total for this year.” The Fed already approved one hike earlier this month, with forecasts anticipating two more before the year ends.

Williams’ remarks were somewhat less hawkish than those from Boston’s Eric Rosengren earlier in the day, but they carried the same basic theme: the recovery is in full bloom, and the Fed needs to keep a handle on growth.

“What a difference four years makes. We’re now very close to reaching the Fed’s dual mandate goals of maximum employment and price stability,” Williams said, according to prepared remarks he was delivering to the Forecasters Club in New York. “In fact, if you do the math, we are about as close to these goals as we’ve ever been.”

I’ll remind you again: the Fed projected 1.9% total GDP growth for 2016 at their meeting in December of 2016; after 11½ months of the year had already elapsed, they still got the GDP growth projections significantly wrong, and they are the ones who attempt to tinker with the economy by ‘controlling’ interest rates.5 These people all have advanced degrees, and have served in important and prestigious positions in both government and private industry, but they are wholly divorced from the real shape that the economy is in across the country.

Housing on Girard Avenue, near the Philadelphia Zoo. Photo by Editor; click to enlarge.

Housing on Girard Avenue, near the Philadelphia Zoo. These are some of the better row houses in the area; some are dilapidated beyond human habitation. Photo by Editor; click to enlarge.

Patrick T. Harker, for example, is the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and though Philadelphia has many depressed areas, and his hometown of Camden, New Jersey is even worse, Dr Harker has spent his entire adult life insulated from poverty, earning all of his degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, and then holding academic positions at the Wharton School and the University of Delaware, a White House Fellowship, yada yada yada, throughout his career. Did Dr Harker ever pay any attention to the dilapidated housing along Girard Avenue, adjacent to the Philadelphia Zoo?

The economic decisions being taken in government for our country are being taken not by ordinary Americans, but highly successful people, the vast majority of whom have been completely insulated from poverty. They are taking decisions based on their own perceptions, perceptions from a life of wood-paneled executive offices and high-brow cocktail parties and servants to clean up behind them. It’s easy, for example, to support the global warming climate change regulations which would increase your electricity and fuel prices, and the prices for everything you buy, when you have been making six-and-seven figure incomes for much of your life; it’s not quite as easy when you are a working-class American living from paycheck-to-paycheck.

Donald Trump remembered those people, even if he was really never one of them, while the Democrats, despite their vociferous claims that they are the party of the working man, forgot them entirely, proposing policy after policy which would increase the burdens on working-class Americans. That’s why Hillary Clinton is talking to groups and saying that “There’s no place I’d rather be . . . other than the White House.” When Dr Williams tells a group of economists that “largely attained the hard-sought recovery we’ve been after for the past nine years,” he’s seeing only the economy of his circle of friends, he’s seeing only the economy of the successful people with whom he associates.

The professionals have completely missed the truth about the economy, because their views are wholly ego-centric. I’d rather see someone like Donna Coomer or Amber Hays taking those economic decisions, people who really understand the economy, because they are fighting it, every day.

“Come to our world,” Patricia Cole of Beattyville said.6 She was talking about President Trump, who has had everything handed to him, lives a gold-plated life, but it really ought to apply to the Federal Open Market Committee, ought to apply to Paul Krugman and Lawrence Summers, to all of Washington, DC, really.
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  1. My highest degree is a Bachelor of Arts, and while I took a lot of economics courses, economics was not my major.
  2. Dr Marcie Bianco, a part-time adjunct professor at CUNY, complained that Dr Krugman would earn more in one year at CUNY, teaching one seminar, than she would over her entire career.
  3. Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, an advisor to the Hillary Clinton campaign, advocates taxing fossil fuels, even though such a move would immediately lead to higher prices for oil, gas and coal. It would also hike the cost of anything that uses those fuels such as electricity and transportation. The goal is to force Americans to find alternatives that are cheaper and better for the planet. I’d suggest that the people who voted against Mrs Clinton understood that her policies would have taken even more money out of their wallets.
  4. Dr Williams participates in the deliberations, but will not have a vote if all of the normal voting members are present.
  5. 2017 Federal Open Market Committee Members:

    Alternate Members

  6. Mrs Cole voted for Hillary Clinton.

Holding them accountable: another criminal released early kills someone

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

He got out of prison early. Now he’s going back for 20 years after Lexington killing.

By Greg Kocher | gkocher1@herald-leader.com | March 24, 2017 | 11:39 AM EDT

A man was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison for the 2014 shooting death of Joseph Ramone Parker.

Jevon Donnell Magee, 23, who had gotten out of prison early on shock probation, shot Parker on Dec. 18, 2014, at Lexington’s Augusta Arms Apartments, according to court records. Parker, 30, died later that day.

Magee had been charged with murder, but the charge was amended to first-degree manslaughter.1 He also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a persistent felony offender.

Public defender Bonnie Potter said the shooting happened after a “drug deal gone bad” in which Magee and Parker got into a fight.

Magee had been sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty in April 2012 to charges of possessing a handgun while being a convicted felon and filing a false police report.

Magee was a felon because at age 15 in 2009, he was convicted as an adult of second-degree robbery, according to circuit court records. Magee was tried as an adult in that case in part because it was a felony involving a gun, documents show.

Read more here.

Let’s do the math, shall we? Mr Magee pleaded guilty to felonies in April of 2012, one of which was possession of a handgun as a convicted felon. His prior felony conviction included the use of a firearm in a robbery. So, he was sentenced to five years in the state penitentiary, for his second firearm offense. Had he actually served his five years, he’d be getting out of prison next month. His attorney petitioned for shock probation, which was granted in July of 2014, and he was released from the Little Sandy Correctional Complex on August 20, 2014. For his second felony offense, considered a Class C felony under state law, he had already been sentenced to the legal minimum of five years;2 Class C felonies call for sentences of “not less than five (5) years nor more than ten (10) years.” He served only sixteen months out of a sixty month sentence (26.6%), and his original sentence was only half of what it could have been.

Even with his low-end sentence, Mr Magee should still have been in prison when he shot and killed Mr Parker.

The obvious questions are: why was Mr Magee granted shock probation, and who took the decision to allow it?  Whoever took the decision to release Mr Magee early is just as responsible for the death of Mr Parker as was Mr Magee!  The Commonwealth had a two-time loser, one with a history of firearms violations, safely incarcerated in prison, and some idiot decided to release him from prison early.

So, what penalty will accrue to whomever released Mr Magee early?3 My guess is that nothing will happen to him, nothing at all. The concept of judicial immunity for decisions appropriate to their public function has long been established, and whatever judge or other public official authorized the release of Mr Magee cannot be punished, legally, for his decision.

But such a negligent public official can be publicized and shamed for his decisions! These people must be held accountable for the damages they cause. Once that starts to happen, we’ll see more responsible decisions coming from public officials.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. Manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B Felony in Kentucky, with a sentence range of not less than ten and not more than twenty years in the state penitentiary.
  2. Mr Magee pleaded guilty, so I assume that the minimum sentence was part of the plea bargain.
  3. Regrettably, I have not been able to find that person’s name or title in an extensive search. I do have a call in to try and get that information.

A wholly misleading article from CNNMoney on the Keystone XL pipeline

Sigh! From CNNMoney:

Keystone XL pipeline would only create 35 permanent jobs

by Matt Egan | March 24, 2017: 11:43 AM ET

President Trump hailed the State Department’s approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as a big win for American workers.

“It’s a great day for American jobs,” Trump said from the Oval Office on Friday after the State Department issued a permit allowing the pipeline proposed by TransCanada to go forward.

“Today, we take one more step towards putting the jobs, wages and economic security of American citizens first,” the president said.

TransCanada(TRP) CEO Russell Girling, standing next to Trump, said Keystone XL will “create thousands of jobs.”

The construction of the pipeline would indeed create thousands of jobs. But they will be temporary. The Alberta-to-Nebraska pipeline would create about 3,900 jobs if it was built in one year, according to a State Department report. That number would drop to 1,950 jobs if Keystone takes two years to build.

The report also estimated that only 35 permanent employees would be needed in addition to 15 temporary contractors to operate Keystone.

So, the Keystone XL isn’t expected to be a boom for the job market by any stretch.

There’s more at the original, much of it about the objections of environmentalists. However, going apparently unnoticed is the fact that the Canadian oil sands will be used, are already being used, and it’s only a question of whether it they will be refined in the United States, or elsewhere.

The bigger problem with Mr Egan’s article is that he avoids the nature of construction jobs. Yes, the construction jobs in building the pipeline will be temporary, but unless you are building a medieval cathedral,1 all construction jobs are temporary. That’s the nature of the industry: you start a project, but once you complete it, it’s on to the next job. Those 3,900 or 1,950 or however many construction jobs on the pipeline mean work for those workers, until it’s on to the next job.

This, to me, is a very significant problem with the media stories about Keystone XL.2 The media are attempting to persuade the public that the construction jobs are really nothing, by ignoring the nature of construction work.

From Forbes:

Analysts also look at “spin-off” jobs, which are jobs that are created in related industries as a result of the new pipeline. These include sectors like refining, manufacturing, petroleum transportation and petroleum-dependent manufacturing. These jobs rely on too many variables to accurately predict and even measure after the fact. In 2010, TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, commissioned the Perryman Group to examine the long-term economic impact of the pipeline. Their study predicted that anywhere from 250,348 to 553,235 spin-off jobs would be created. The study was largely predicated on the assertion that the pipeline would stabilize oil prices. However, there is no evidence, historical or otherwise, that pipelines serve to stabilize the price of oil, a global commodity.

A quarter-to-half million spin-off jobs? That seems high to me, and even TransCanada projected only 118,000 spin-off jobs, but nevertheless, there will be other jobs created, in refining, in construction or additions to refineries, in maintenance, in food service for the workers, in everything that is part of economic development. Ellen Wald, in another Forbes article, comparing the proposed Keystone XL jobs to what actually happened in the building of the Alaska pipeline, noted that “the state of Alaska now claims that the oil industry as a whole has created approximately 60,000 spin-off jobs within Alaska.”

Dr Wald noted that employment projections are difficult, and have frequently been inaccurate, but one thing has been clear: past pipeline projects have led to job creation, and more than just on the pipelines themselves. If the Keystone XL pipeline wound up with creating only the 60,000 spin-off jobs that Alaska claims have resulted from the oil industry there, I wouldn’t consider the fact that TransCanada’s 118,000 wasn’t met a failure; I’d be pleased that there were 60,000 new jobs!

These are the kinds of things the CNNMoney article neglected to consider, and in that failing, created an erroneous impression for their readers.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. The Duomo il Milano took from 1386 to 1965 to its official completion, but work continues on it today.
  2. I’ve seen these arguments made by the pipeline opponents for years. That’s why I knew the argument was bogus.