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
January 31, 2013, 10:17 AM EST

This is so pathetic and predictable, you could almost set your watch to it.

Just ten hours after a government report showed that the economy went into contraction for the first time in three years during 2012's fourth quarter, an item penned "by the editors" at Bloomberg News appeared which scolded us that the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) is an "imperfect measure of progress," and that we really should be looking at indicators of "social progress or human happiness." As usual, when things go bad in Leftyland, the problem is the yardstick, not what's being measured. The first four paragraphs from the editorial, which reads like -- no, make that "really is" -- the text of a leftist political stump speech, follow the jump:

January 30, 2013, 10:20 PM EST

Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), reacting to a disgracefully biased January 27 report by Andrew Taylor at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, on the "no budget, no pay" provision in debt-ceiling legislation passed by the House, I wrote that "Taylor’s report is historically bad ... Sadly, I believe AP can do much worse during the next several years — and probably will."

An unbylined AP item released shortly after the government announced that the economy contracted by an annualized 0.1 percent during the fourth quarter of last year made that fear come true under ten hours (I may have more on the very odd time stamp of this report -- 8:11 a.m. -- in a future post). On his program today, Rush Limbaugh had a field day with the nonsense presented (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 29, 2013, 11:53 PM EST

An emailer who is a retired journalist wrote to me today about a January 27 Associated Press item by Andrew Taylor presented as an objective news report, calling it "Appalling ... the worst ever." If it's not, it's pretty close, though I'm not sure how any report on a single congressional action can top the comprehensive slop seen in the June 2008 classic titled, "Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control." Readers visit that linked article at their peril.

The AP report concerns the "no budget, no pay" provision added to the bill the House recently passed to increase the government's borrowing cap. Taylor's travesty reeks of contempt and imbalance. Several paragraphs follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

January 29, 2013, 2:00 PM EST

In his coverage of the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence report released earlier today, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger conveniently avoided using quote marks when he wrote that "Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said the tax increase was the key reason confidence tumbled in January, making Americans less optimistic about the next six months." That isn't what Franco said.

Crutsinger also -- finally -- told AP readers and subscribers what other reporters and commentators have been saying for about two weeks, namely that analysts' estimates of economic growth in tomorrow's government report on gross domestic product are a for a very weak annualized 1%.

January 29, 2013, 11:32 AM EST

In a column which went up this morning, Fox News Political Analyst Kirsten Powers, whose political positions certainly lean left and is a self-described liberal, ripped into President Obama and his administration for what she correctly characterizes as their "strategy to delegitimize a news organization" -- hers.

Her column is about far more than Obama's recent complaint to the New Republic's Chris Hughes (covered by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters) that "If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it." What Powers recounts is a strategy first employed in 2009 and apparently being revived, now that Obama no longer has to answer to America's voters, to marginalize the only U.S. network which still tries to be fair and balanced (bolds are mine):

January 29, 2013, 12:23 AM EST

The front-page title at the Politico for David Nather's lengthy write-up on Democrats' alleged ideas for doing something about runaway entitlement programs is "The quiet liberal plan for entitlements; There are some ideas for reining in spending that have been blessed by the left." That gives readers the impression that the left might actually have something specific and potentially palatable in mind.

No such luck. The actual title at Nather's write-up, however, pluralizes "plan" -- "The quiet liberal plans for entitlements." Its itemization of the supposedly brilliant ideas for reform liberals have in mind are dominated by tax increases and income redistribution measures which fail to structurally reform anything.

January 28, 2013, 7:13 PM EST

Steve Kroft at CBS News is apparently feeling the heat over his powder-puff interview of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It has fallen to television writer David Bauder at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press (HT Dylan Byers at the Politico) to try and help put out the fire.

You see, according to Kroft (my paraphrase), "This whole interview thing was a surprise, and we were only allowed 30 minutes, and besides, there are so many other opportunities to ask tough questions in other venues. So why should I waste precious fawning time asking tough questions mere journalists ask when I can let the lovely pair go all gooey?" Exceprts from Bauder's butt-covering effort follow the jump (bolds are mine):

January 28, 2013, 1:52 PM EST

Californians will be surprised to learn that the income-tax increase voters approved in November was, according to Doug Ferguson at the Associated Press (HT Steven Greenhut at Reason.com), "the first tax increase in the state since 2004." I had no idea that residents of the once-Golden state have been so lucky in avoiding any tax increases of any kind for so long. (/sarc)

It would appear that Ferguson, in his coverage of golfer Phil Mickelson's mea culpa for having the nerve to observe that California's onerous taxes might lead him to make difficult decisions which might even include retirement, meant to write that California has seen no statewide income tax increase in nearly a decade. But that isn't what he wrote. Maybe I should cut the AP reporter some slack because he's on the sports beat, and in context, one could see that he was probably only referring to income taxes. But I won't, because of the final excerpted sentence seen after the jump (bolds are mine):

January 27, 2013, 7:58 PM EST

Here's something I discovered in the course of preparing a column which will appear elsewhere. It appears to speak to the lengths to which Barack Obama's administration and his campaign went to avoid having any kind of bad economic news appear before the fall elections.

By July of last year, the increase in food stamp program participation in the 42 months since Obama took office exceeded the increase seen during George W. Bush's entire eight years. But "somehow," the last monthly report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture before Election Day didn't reflect that reality. It turns out that USDA made an almost unheard-of substantial upward revision to reported July participation on December 7 in its second -- not its first -- post-election report. It is not at all unreasonable to believe that the original understatement was designed to ensure that Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates would not be able to capitalize on that grim comparative milestone, and that the revision delay until the second post-election report was designed to minimize the deception's visibility. The establishment press should have caught this, and didn't -- or worse, someone caught it and didn't care to report it.

January 27, 2013, 10:54 AM EST

It's not very often that a federal judge begins a ruling by saying that "Sometimes even a person with excellent vision does not see the forest for the trees." That happened yesterday in a case involving former First District Democratic Congressman and sore loser Steve Driehaus, whose district mostly comprised the western two-thirds of Cincinnati's Hamilton County. Yet it's not news at Gannett's Cincinnati Enquirer -- or anywhere else, for that matter.

After his 2010 defeat at the hands of Republican Steve Chabot, Driehaus sued the Susan B. Anthony List in federal court  for defamation and -- get this -- "loss of livelihood." Why? Because, during that campaign, SBAL told Driehaus's constituents -- correctly, it has since been proven -- that his vote for ObamaCare was a betrayal of his pro-life principles. Yesterday, despite his obvious conflict of interest as former president and director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati, Judge Timothy Black, a Barack Obama appointee, found a way to do what he should have done in the first place, and rejected Driehaus's nonsense

January 27, 2013, 12:29 AM EST

In a Wednesday Salon column which should be saved onto the hard drives of everyone in the pro-life movement as a reminder of the fundamental evil of their opposition, Mary Elizabeth Williams stated why, to her, it doesn't matter that abortion involves the taking of a human life: "I believe that life starts at conception. And it's never stopped me from being pro-choice."

The establishment press has consistently refused to apply the "pro-life" label to a movement which has always been not only about ending abortion, but about respecting and protecting human life from conception to natural death. I believe that refusal has occurred because many reporters share Ms. Williams's brutal, strongly held but rarely expressed beliefs articulated after the jump. The Salon staff writer proves that her side richly deserves to be called "anti-life" -- because that's what they are (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 25, 2013, 9:26 AM EST

File this under "careful what you wish for."

In 2012, with a Democrat in the White House, union membership declined, not only as a percentage of the workforce, but in absolute numbers. Even though the related report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of employed wage and salaried workers increased by almost 2.4 million, union membership fell by just under 400,000. Union membership is down by over 1.7 million since 2008, and fell by 961,000 during the past three years of supposed economic recovery. These results aren't sitting well with Sam Hananel at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, whose reporters are represented by the Occupy movement-supporting News Media Guild. Excerpts from the AP reporter's Wednesday report follow the jump.

January 24, 2013, 11:27 PM EST

For the second week in a row, actual (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) unemployment claims as reported by the Department of Labor came in greater than the analogous week in 2012. 

At the same time, and also for the second week in a row, the department's seasonally adjusted claims number -- the only one the business wire services ever specifically identify in their reports -- came in lower. In today's instance, raw year-over-year claims were almost 5 percent higher than the same week a year ago, but the year-over-year seasonally adjusted figure came in 11 percent lower. That's bad enough, but then the wires compounded the problem by running with indefensible conclusions based on DOL's contradictory data.

January 23, 2013, 10:30 AM EST

An unbylined Agence France-Presse report Wednesday opens by telling readers that Japanese researchers "have succeeded in growing human kidney tissue from stem cells for the first time, in a potential first step towards helping millions who depend on dialysis." Another version of the report at another website identifies the reporter as Harumi Ozawa; an accompanying picture caption describes the achievement as a "potential breakthrough."

I perused Ozawa's dispatch to see what kind of stem cells were involved, and in the process came across a confirmation of what those of us who have been following these matters for several years have suspected for some time, namely that the supposed scientific justification for harvesting stem cells from human embryos -- supposedly because there is no other path towards combating many diseases and maladies -- no longer exists. The paragraph containing that confirmation, as well as an odd and likely nonscientific term Ozawa used in the previous paragraph, are in bold in the excerpt following the jump:

January 22, 2013, 1:16 PM EST

For four years (and really going back further when you consider former President George W. Bush's halting attempt to reform Social Security in the middle of last decade), Barack Obama and his party have paid lip service at best to the idea of entitlement reform while refusing to provide any specifics about what they would do to fix Social Security and Medicare, both of which are unsustainable in their current forms. Obama rejected his own Simpson Bowles commission's recommendations. Democrats have treated serious proposals coming from Republicans as grannycide.

Yet the Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown, who must be gaining strength in her arms and shoulders from all of her water-carrying for Obama and his party, wants us to believe that Obama has a "deeply conflicted relationship with entitlement reform." And in case you missed it (I certainly did), Obama has tried "harder than any other Democratic president to tackle the issue" (no Democratic Party president has "tried hard" to tackle the issue). Several paragraphs from her Tuesday dispatch follow the jump (bolds are mine):

January 22, 2013, 10:08 AM EST

At his January 14 press conference, in response to a question from Major Garrett of CBS News and the National Journal about raising the federal government's debt limit, currently at $16.394 trillion, President Barack Obama said: "I’m not going to have a monthly or every-three-months conversation about whether or not we pay our bills."

On Wednesday, a Fox News dispatch to which the Associated Press contributed reported that House Republicans hope to pass a bill on Wednesday which would "allow the government to keep borrowing through May 18," but that "Democrats have generally reacted coolly to the three-month extension" beyond February 18, when the government is currently expected to hit the ceiling. Despite all of this, Jim Kuhnhenn, AP's White House and politics reporter at its Washington bureau, called the House's move a "retreat," with his Tuesday morning story's headline claiming: "Obama stands his ground." Really (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 21, 2013, 12:06 PM EST

Decades ago, to demonstrate the leftist biases of most establishment press reporters, one needed to study their body of work over time. Many of them didn't make their political beliefs totally obvious until they retired or went elsewhere (e.g., Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw).

These days, we usually don't have to wait too long for reporters' biases to show. Over the weekend at Slate, CBS Political Director John Dickerson, whose leftist advocacy disguised as journalism has been evident for at least nine years, mapped out a strategy for his beloved President Obama, writing a 2,000-word battle plan disguised as a column begging the president to "declare war on the Republican Party'" (Slate's current headline tease on its "Most Popular" list is "Why Obama Should Seek To Destroy the Republican Party"; bolds are mine):

January 21, 2013, 1:13 AM EST

At the Associated Press today, Darlene "Supine" Superville filed a report on Barack and Michelle Obama's church attendance "at the historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church."

Ms. Superville told readers that "The Old Testament reading during the service came from the book of Exodus, Chapter 14, in which the Israelites cross the Red Sea as Moses leads them out of Egypt." That's nice, but she failed to report how church pastor Ronald E. Braxton used that passage in his sermon. Ben Shapiro at Big Government did (HT Gateway Pundit via Instapundit; links are in original; bolds are mine):

January 20, 2013, 11:59 PM EST

It should surprise no one that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, often first learns of stories when other outlets break them. When this occurs with a story about a Democratic Party politician in trouble, we get to see how the self-described "essential global news network" revises (i.e., cleans up) the outlet's original content to make it render as little damage as possible.

Today out of Nevada, there's the story of Steven Brooks, a State Assembly member from North Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Sun's coverage (HT Instapundit) opens with the following sentence: "A Democratic assemblyman is in jail, arrested for threatening Democratic Speaker-elect Marilyn Kirkpatrick, according to North Las Vegas Police and Democratic sources familiar with the situation." Since it concerns an intra-party squabble, tagging those involved as Democrats three times is not at all out of line -- in fact, it's necessary if one wishes to accurately communicate the situation.

January 20, 2013, 3:50 PM EST

It's hardly news to those who have followed Bill Clinton for the past two decades, and it's probably even more of the same-old, same-old for those who had to endure having him as governor during the 1980s in Arkansas.

Nonetheless, something Mr. Clinton said in a speech at "a joint meeting of the Obama National Finance Committee and a group of business leaders," which was captured without even being deemed possibly offensive by Byron Tau at the Politico, should be noted as exemplifying the deep contempt this man -- and, it would appear, his audience, which had no reported negative reaction -- has for everday Americans (seen in bold after the jump; HT Instapundit):