Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications  primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog, BizzyBlog.com, since 2005, and has been with NewsBusters since December 2005. Along the way, he's had a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development.

Latest from Tom Blumer
April 14, 2016, 1:45 PM EDT

Just three months after Arch, the nation's Number 2 coal mining company, filed for bankruptcy, Number 1, Peabody Energy, has followed suit. Five of the industry's largest firms have now gone bankrupt in the past 12 months.

Two Associated Press stories on Peabody this week managed to avoid mentioning the name of President Barack Obama, whose hostility toward the industry has been obvious since his first presidential campaign, or to directly cite his administration's Environmental Protection Agency as a factor in the firm's trip to bankruptcy court.

April 13, 2016, 10:45 PM EDT

Two writers at the Five Thirty-Eight blog, purchased by ABC's ESPN network two years ago, have done something the crime increase causation deniers will surely detest: demonstrate, based on statistical evidence, and despite their tentative language, that "real changes in the process of policing in Chicago" have led to "spike in gun violence in Chicago since the end of November."

Translating the work of writers Rob Arthur and Jeff Asher into plain English: There has been a clear "Ferguson effect" crime wave in the Second City since the release of the Laquan McDonald video in late November; now the criminals are literally getting away with murder with horrifying frequency (HT Powerline; links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

April 13, 2016, 11:45 AM EDT

Today's report from the government on retail sales was awful — "unexpectedly" so, according to both Bloomberg and Reuters. Following on the heels of a 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted decline in January and a flat February, March sales fell by 0.3 percent.

Two of the three main U.S. business wire services blamed the American people, not the worst post-recession economy since World War II during the Obama administration — an economy which is clearly weakening even further — for these results.

April 12, 2016, 3:17 PM EDT

Add this to the seemingly endless list of "Imagine what would happen if Republicans or conservatives did the same thing" items.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary "I don't feel no ways tired" Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio rolled out a very tired, old and insulting racist stereotype this weekend. The headline at Stephanie Condon's report on the related event at CBS News only described it as a "race-based joke." Meanwhile, the Associated Press kept the nature of the "joke" out of its headline, and the wire service's Jonathan Lemire would only concede that "some people feel" that the "comedy skit" in which the pair engaged "was racially insensitive." Here's what happened, from the first four paragraphs of Condon's report (bolds are mine throughout this post):

April 12, 2016, 1:33 AM EDT

Despite the decay of the left-dominated blue-city model during the past several decades, liberals and the press are not fans of many urban neighborhood improvement efforts.

One recent example found at a national media outlet is at Newsweek, where on April 2, Alexander Nazaryan, in an item headlined "WHITE CITY: THE NEW URBAN BLIGHT IS RICH PEOPLE," wrote that "gentrification ... turns cities into playgrounds for moneyed, childless whites while pushing out the poor, the working-class, immigrants, seniors and anyone else not plugged into 'the knowledge economy.'" In Cincinnati, the same tone was unfortunately present in the Cincinnati Enquirer's Sunday coverage of the situation in the city's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood 15 years after that area's race riots made national news.

April 10, 2016, 11:55 PM EDT

On Tuesday, shortly after Governor Jerry Brown signed California's $15-an-hour minimum wage legislation, the Associated Press's Michael R. Blood and Don Thompson called the move "a victory for those struggling on the margins of the economy and the politically powerful unions that pushed it."

As seen in a NewsBusters post on March 31, it's definitely a win for union members whose wages are set at a multiple of the state's minimum wage. But it's not a "victory" for "struggling" workers who will lose their jobs or not be able to become employed at the higher rate. The AP pair would only concede that "the overall goal of helping the working poor might be lessened if some employers cut jobs or, worse, leave the state." Forget the "if" on employers cutting jobs, guys. That's because, as Jeb Graham at Investor's Business Daily reported on Friday (HT Hot Air), two states which have only raised their minimums to just over $10 have already seen seasonally adjusted job losses (bolds are mine):

April 9, 2016, 5:08 PM EDT

Two weeks ago, yours truly posted on a very inadequate March 26 U.S.-distributed Associated Press story out of Glasgow the previous day (since expired) about the murder of Asad Shah. Despite the fact that far more information was known at the time, the wire service would only acknowledge that "the killing of a Muslim shopkeeper who wished Christians a happy Easter is being investigated as 'religiously prejudiced,'" and (four paragrahs in) that "The suspect, who police say is Muslim, has not been identified or charged." AP has not done a follow-up story, even though far more beyond what it failed to originally report is now known.

In a Washington Post "WorldViews" blog post on Friday, Max Bearak attempted to bring readers up to date, in the process exposing — but from all appearances acquiescing to — Orwellian attempts by the dominant Muslim community to disavow their religion's association with Shah's murder and to distance themselves from their hostility towards other faiths.

April 7, 2016, 12:33 AM EDT

In a properly functioning news environment, where genuine journalists recognize important news and report it without first screening its relevance through a PC filter, the deaths of volunteer firefighter Peter Hacking and his two young daughters in a car crash near Wylie, Texas last week would have become a widely covered national story by now. Sadly, virtually the only reason it's known at all outside of Texas is because a center-right media outlet learned of it, and Matt Drudge has headlined it.

Given the prominence of illegal immigration in the two major parties' presidential contests this year, and the death of Kate Steinle at the hands of an illegal immigrant who had previously been deported several times in the sanctuary city of San Francisco last year, the Hackings' deaths should be national news.

April 6, 2016, 9:24 PM EDT

Perhaps this is why the press has been reluctant to cite economists who are predicting that sharp increases in state minimum wages like the $15-per-hour minimums just passed in California and New York will reduce employment: They're with many of their lefty brethren who don't care whether jobs are lost. So they must believe that no one else should care either.

At the Washington Post's WonkBlog on Friday, in what was not an April Fool's-related column, Lydia DePillis ridiculed "warnings of a job apocalypse." And besides, she wrote, "the economic architecture that supports the Fight for $15 is built entirely different logic" — logic which the establishment press has refused to report as the hikers' real agenda.

April 6, 2016, 6:40 PM EDT

On Sunday, I noted how USA Today, the Associated Press, and the establishment press in general have swallowed the Obama administration's line that the 61 convicted and incarcerated criminals whose sentences the President commuted last Thursday were "low-level inmates" guilty of "low-level drug offenses." A spreadsheet working only from the information the White House provided demonstrates that this characterization was largely bogus.

Over at the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal on Monday, Leah Jessen provided more damning detail about the certain of these criminals' "low-level" offenses — details which almost certainly won't be reported at national establishment press outlets (bolds are mine throughout this post):

April 5, 2016, 11:18 PM EDT

At Politico tonight, the headline is: "Sanders crushes Clinton in Wisconsin." Given Mrs. Clinton's frontrunner status and the fact that, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted on Saturday (HT Ann Althouse), "Wisconsin has a nearly unbroken modern-day record of voting for party front-runners in its presidential primary," that's an accurate characterization of Sanders' 12-point lead over Mrs. Clinton with over two-thirds of the votes counted at the time of this post.

Politico's subheadline: "He’s won seven of the past eight contests, but will it matter?" That's a fair question, given the anti-democratic situation with superdelegates in the Democratic Party. It's also an assessment based on the fact that much of the rest of the establishment press has been determined to write off Sanders' recent resurgence, including tonight's win, as likely irrelevant.

April 4, 2016, 5:02 PM EDT

The Associated Press, the nation's de facto business news gatekeeper for those who don't follow the economy or the markets closely, is telling America that the U.S. job market is fine, and ignoring the dismal results seen in weekly pay during the past several months.

Christopher Rugaber's Friday evening coverage of the government's jobs report earlier in the day described the reported 215,000 in seasonally adjusted payroll job additions as "last month's healthy hiring." Paul Wiseman, in a separate dispatch dealing with downbeat news in the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey, which had the worst reading in five months, insisted that "the job market is healthy." Well, more people are working, but even with their slightly larger numbers, they're collectively working fewer hours and earning less total pay than they were two months ago.

April 3, 2016, 10:21 PM EDT

Earlier this evening, Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted how Hillary Clinton committed an obvious gaffe for someone who is supposedly radically pro-abortion. On NBC's Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked, "When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?" Mrs. Clinton responded that "the unborn person doesn't have constitutional rights."

The best way to tell when a leftist's gaffe is serious is to see if the Associated Press or the New York Times have recognized its existence. As of 9 p.m. ET this evening, neither has. So it's serious. Pile-ons are coming from the left and the right.

April 3, 2016, 5:56 PM EDT

The antennae went up when I saw the following tease on the front page of Thursday's USA Today print edition: "Obama commutes sentences for 61 low-level inmates." The brief description which immediately followed told readers that "He has cut sentences for 248 so far, more than (the) previous 6 presidents combined, official says."

Hmm. What's a "low-level inmate"? The underlying Page 3A article by David Jackson (posted in slightly revised form Wednesday evening at the paper's web site) tells us that it's someone who has committed "low-level drug offenses." The list of commutations published by the White House identifies the supposedly puny "low-level offenses" the recipients of the President's commutations committed. Here's a hint: The average person won't agree with the "low-level" characterization.

April 2, 2016, 8:47 PM EDT

The Associated Press sent its cameramen and reporters out to get the reaction of small business owners to California's just-passed six-year plan to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Anyone expecting the AP to find representative responses clearly doesn't understand how the far-left propaganda machine disguised as an objective news service operates. All three business owners interviewed operate in ultra-high-cost San Francisco. The first told AP that $15 an hour "is still probably not enough." The second complained bitterly that the increase should have targeted "multinational corporations" and spared little guys like him. The third demonstrated the likelihood of an upward ripple effect above the minimum-wage level when he signaled his intention to continue to pay more than the minimum even after its 50 percent impact fully hits.

March 31, 2016, 11:09 PM EDT

In covering Thursday morning's report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims, one of a relatively few economic reports showing strength these days, Associated Press reporter Scott Boak spread his enthusiasm over the result to the entire economy. It wasn't justified.

It's as if the poor guy has missed most of the pertinent other economic news during the past week, most of which — other than the stock market's recovery from earlier losses this year, which is more dependent on Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen's moods than it is on economic fundamentals — have been anything but strong.

March 31, 2016, 9:01 PM EDT

A Los Angeles Times story by Liam Dillon and Patrick McGreevy hailed the "historic" increase in the state-mandated minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Apparently giddy with excitement, the pair also unwisely told readers that many public-sector employees who earn far more will be receiving big raises as a result of the legislation with having to bother negotiating with the government entities involved to get them.

March 31, 2016, 2:09 PM EDT

Wednesday morning, Tim Graham at NewsBusters observed how pseudo-conservative David Brooks, who is no fan of Donald Trump, gave the current GOP frontrunner credit for having "destroyed a dying husk" of "obsolete Reagan ideology" in the Republican Party.

That's fascinating stuff, given the catch of the day by Instapundit's Ed Driscoll. You see, 12 years ago, Brooks gave Reagan credit for having transformed the party and conservatism "from a past- and loss-oriented movement to a future- and possibility-oriented one." In other words, even Dense David recognized at the time that Reagan's positive tone and belief in American exceptionalism — a term which the left, up to and including President Obama, has tried to ridicule out of existence — were the foundation for how Reagan, in Brooks's words, "embraced America as a revolutionary force."

March 30, 2016, 11:45 PM EDT

Nobody could have seen this coming.

That's sarcasm, folks. Everyone but those who somehow thought that hope would somehow triumph over experience in the kinds of patients who would utilize Obamacare saw this coming. CNN Money Senior Writer Tami Luhby is reporting, with some apparent surprise, that "Obamacare patients are sicker and pricier than expected" (bolds are mine; HT Twitchy):

March 30, 2016, 10:35 PM EDT

Mark Zandi, Moody's chief economist, comments monthly on the ADP private-sector employment report his firm compiles. He is "often quoted in national and global publications and interviewed by major news media outlets, and is a frequent guest on CNBC, NPR, Meet the Press, CNN, and various other national networks and news programs."

Zandi has also been the economy's head cheerleader during much of the era of the historically weak Obama "recovery." During the past few months, Zandi has openly questioned the validity of the government's estimates of economic growth, believing that they are materially understated. Though I have argued that the official unemployment rate is not credible, Zandi does not have a problem with Uncle Sam's usually decent jobs reports. In fact, they are his main form of "proof," despite badly lagging productivity, that the government is understating gross domestic product (GDP) growth. His persistence on this issue led me to do some research.