Question on Reading 29: The Lessons We Learn

Page 246, there is an entry in calculating the operational earnings, which is added to the non-recurring incomes, that is the “Add: Special items.” What is this “Special items”, and doesn’t “special” imply that this is non-recurring/unsustainable earnings? If this is unsustainable , since we don’t expect to see this in the future and it should be reasonable to back out of this income credit, why is it *ADDED* to determine the operational earnings? Here are the line item entries: net loss to common -386 less: income from disc. operations 378 less: extraordinary gains 16 less: cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles 10 add: premium on exchange preferred membership interests 849 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- income from continuing operations 59 add: special item 828 operational earnings 887 How does one calculate “special item”?