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
February 11, 2012, 10:48 AM EST

The press was eager to jump on initial remarks by U.S. bishops that President Obama's announcement yesterday of what the Wall Street Journal aptly described in an editorial this morning as the "Immaculate Contraception" -- namely, the idea that insurance companies would somehow pay out of their own pockets for costs relating to "contraceptive services" to which the bishops objected to having Catholic institutions pay for directly was "a good first step." I heard this description several times in brief radio news summaries yesterday. Later yesterday afternoon, the bishops' position was reported as "reserving judgment."

In an official statement carried at Vatican Radio's web site ("The Voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the world") this morning, the bishops have rejected Obama's self-described "sensible approach." Especially pertinent, in light of my post earlier this morning, is the fact that the mandate and its revision appear to apply to employers who self-insure -- an option religious institutions have been forced to use to avoid attempts by several U.S. states to mandate what ObamaCare wants to impose on the entire nation (in full; bolds are mine):

February 11, 2012, 9:54 AM EST

Yesterday's announcement by President Obama (headlined at the White House's website as "Remarks by the President on Preventive Care") of planned revisions to an ObamaCare-driven rule which, in the President's words, "if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company -– not the hospital, not the charity -– will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles."

Showing just how out of touch the establishment press is with reality, an editorial this morning in the Wall Street Journal cutely titled "Immaculate Contraception" points out something most, including the Associated Press, have missed -- that in a large number of cases involving many thousands of employees, there is no "insurance company" there to directly pay for these services:

February 10, 2012, 9:42 AM EST

A "breaking" email I received from USA Today this morning is a definite sign of establishment press scrambling to give deceptive cover to an Obama administration mandate whose unpopularity continues to grow as more people become aware of it. It also shows the lengths to which the press will go to keep the relatively disengaged, which would include those who only primarily informed via email and other brief alerts without digging further, from encountering basic facts.

The email pretends that the president is about to announce a "decision" (as opposed to changing one), and refers to a "rule" without saying where the rule came from, or why:

February 9, 2012, 11:37 PM EST

Sometimes you read the most interesting things in those supposedly boring trade publications.

One such item of interest comes from an article in Manufacturing News (HT to an emailer) written by Richard A. McCormack which is primarily about the Mainland China's designs on the worldwide auto parts industry, including the U.S. Some of the larger American unions are demanding that the administration and Congress take action on what they see as unfair trade practices. One sentence is indicative of a more pervasive problem, and it directly contradicts what the establishment press has been telling Americans for months. It's of particular concern to all Americans because the U.S. government still owns over 25% of General Motors, and reads as follows: "China has told GM that it will not be able to sell its Volt electric vehicle in China unless GM transfers technology to China and produces the vehicle there."

February 8, 2012, 6:11 PM EST

On Monday (appearing in the print edition on Tuesday, New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera gave President Barack Obama a pass for rejecting the Keystone Pipeline. In the process, he also complained about "the way our poisoned politics damages the country," and, in a revelation which shouldn't but did surprise him, learned that far-left environmentalists want to stop all tar sands development and not just the pipeline. Imagine that.

Here are several paragraphs from Nocera's column (my comments are in italics):

February 7, 2012, 9:26 PM EST

In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on Sunday, President Obama was asked the following question about Iran in light of the heightening tensions over its nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli air strike: "(In repsonse) Do you fear that they will wage attacks within the United States on American soil?" Obama responded as follows: "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."

Really? The President's statement directly goes against statements made recently by other government officials, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder. Lauer, who is paid to look good while delivering the news and conducting interviews but not necessarily to deliver on substance, especially if it might disturb the American people before the Big Game, totally missed the contradiction. Fortunately, Ed Lasky at American Thinker didn't (internal links added by me):

February 4, 2012, 9:39 PM EST

On Wednesday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted how NBC news anchor Brian Williams, chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson, and old reliable global warming proponent Dr. Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research took advantage of this year's mild winter in the lower 48 U.S. states as an excuse to argue that "our warming world is shifting the odds against a traditional winter, winters as we have known them."

Well folks, winterize this report about Eastern Europe's deadly serious cold spell carried at a German web site (HT Expatica; bolds are mine):

February 4, 2012, 10:35 AM EST

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on a trip underwritten by the U.S. State Department (aren't justices expected to keep their distances from the government to protect their perceived impartiality?), was in Egypt on Wednesday at a Cairo University law school seminar. While there, according to the Associated Press's Mark Sherman, she told students that (in Sherman's words) "she was inspired by last year's protests that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime" and to speak to them (in her words) "during this exceptional transitional period to a real democratic state." The news that Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties now control about 75% of the seats in the country's parliament seems not to have registered with Ginsburg or Sherman -- or, for that matter, the State Department.

Sherman's AP story failed to note what Ms. Ginsburg said about the U.S. Constitution in an Egyptian TV interview, as did virtually all of the rest of the establishment press. ABC's Ariane de Vogue is currently the most notable exception, but as readers will see, she clearly buried the lede. Here are key paragraphs from her report (the related video is at Hot Air; the relevant portion begins at the 9:28 mark; bolds are mine):

February 3, 2012, 11:44 PM EST

In what is apparently completely unimportant news to just about everyone except NBC2 in Southwest Florida and Andrew Breitbart, numerous instances of illegal voting by non-citizens have been uncovered. Projecting the problems across the state and into the rest of the nation would seem to indicate that many thousands of people who are registered to vote should never have been allowed to register and are routinely casting ballots illegally.

A Google News search on "Florida vote fraud" (not in quotes) at Google News at 11:00 PM ET indicated that there was a grand total of six stories on this disturbing development. Immediately below the reference to the non-citizen voting news is a link to a Tampa Bay Times editorial posted two days ago which claimed that voter fraud is "a nonexistent problem in this state." Uh huh. What follows are excerpts from each segment (Part 1; Part 2) of Andy Pierrotti's NBC2 report (also look at the TV reports at the links, which differ from the text below):

February 2, 2012, 10:09 PM EST

On Tuesday, Ken Thomas of the Associated Press covered President Barack Obama's appearance at the Washington Auto Show and allowed Obama's criticism of Mitt Romney as being among those "willing to let this industry die" to stand, ignoring known history in the process.

Obama's statement marks him as a true ingrate, because for better or worse (my opinion: worse; your mileage, so to speak, may vary) Mitt Romney, after warning of the dangers of bailing out General Motors and Chrysler, shifted gears four months later and vigorously defended the President when the administration orchestrated a boardroom coup at GM which included the forced resignation of CEO Rick Wagoner. This was the point at which it became clear that Obama wanted the government to control what happened at GM until it either recovered or was forced into what most were already seeing as an inevitable bankruptcy filing. In a CNN interview the day the news broke, Romney complimented Obama for demonstrating "backbone." What follows are five paragraphs from Thomas's piece, a screen shot of the article CNN posted that day, and a transcript of the relevant portion of Romney's March 31, 2009 interview:

January 31, 2012, 10:59 PM EST

Even when someone who helped prepare a new guide for gardeners on the coldest temperatures seen annually in different parts of the country says that their output doesn't fit the global warming template, an AP reporter decides that it really does.

In preparing his write-up last week on the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's revised the official guide for gardeners, the Associated Press's Seth Borenstein, the infamous writer of reports claiming that the Climategate scandals were no big deal, buried the following quote from a USDA official at Paragraph 17 of 24:

January 31, 2012, 10:03 PM EST

Oh joy.

Today at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, in response to the Congressional Budget Office's release today of an awful 10-year baseline outlook, Andrew Taylor made sure that his first paragraph was only about the projected "dip" in the fiscal 2012 deficit, and dedicated his second paragraph to the bad things that will happen if "the Bush tax cuts" are extended and Congress fails to live within "tight" spending "caps" (when did those happen?). Towards the end he spoke of the deficit-cutting wonders ending "the Bush tax cuts" might bring about. What follows are the first two paragraphs of Taylor's report, followed by the "Bush tax cut" passage:

January 30, 2012, 5:56 PM EST

So a guy whose contract was terminated by NPR on a phony pretext for not toeing the liberal line enough, including writing a book ("Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It") which indicted the modern civil-rights movement for, well, undermining Black America, now appears to want eliminate "Constitution" and "Founding Fathers" from the lexicon of Republican candidates -- and possibly, it would appear, from political discussion in general -- because, well, they're racial code words. How ironic.

That is what Juan Williams outrageously claims in his latest column at the Hill today (bold is mine):

January 29, 2012, 11:25 PM EST

Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web caught the Washington Post either misrepresenting the motives of an anonymous informer in connection with Ron Paul's long-ago newsletters, getting duped by said informer, or trying to dupe its readers. Perhaps it was a bit of all of the above, all of which worked out to conveniently smear Paul without giving him -- or readers -- a chance to know who was going after him.

The 1700-word story by Jerry Markon and Alice Crites ("Paul pursued strategy of publishing controversial newsletters, associates say") concerned the degree of knowledge the presidential candidate had of allegedly racially charged material in his newsletters published during the 1990s. The contradiction follows the jump:

January 29, 2012, 10:47 PM EST

Well, let's see. During the early days of the Clinton administration, we had the sad spectacle of Treasury aide Josh Steiner telling Senators investigating the Whitewater real estate deals and the Resolution Trust Corporation that that he written untrue things in his diary, i.e., that "essentially .... he had lied to his diary." During the Paula Jones trial, the jury was entertained (members are said to have laughed) when Bill Clinton tried to answer a question by saying that "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

Soon, another insufferable howler may eventually enter the lexicon, courtesy of Monty Wilkinson, former deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder, namely, "I lied in an email when I wrote that 'I've alerted the AG.'" 

January 29, 2012, 9:45 AM EST

A report carried at CBS News in St. Louis from Jim Anderson of the Illinois Radio Network (IRN), which appears to be a private entity, tells readers that a research study (summary; PDF of relevant chapter) published by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) at the University of Illinois has identified "a combination of tough policies (which) could bring the state into fiscal balance by the end of the decade." To be clear, the end of the decade is seven years and eleven months from now.

Predictably, the "tough policies" include "maintaining increased income tax rates after they are scheduled to expire." On the spending side, what IGPA describes as "extreme austerity" means "keeping the growth rate of all spending down to 2.1 percent per year." Those who would rather not look at IGPA's detail can be forgiven, because the opening paragraph of the linked chapter above, which IRN did not cite, gives away the researchers' detachment from reality:

January 27, 2012, 11:56 PM EST

In two items about today's report on economic growth from the federal government's Bureau of Economic Analysis today, Martin Crutsinger claimed that today's lower-than-expected annualized growth of 2.8% during the fourth quarter of 2011 (vs. expectations of 3% or higher) was hurt because of big "cuts" in government spending, especially federal spending -- supposedly the biggest cuts in 40 years. I guess the underlying message is supposed to be that Congress shouldn't try to reduce federal programs any more, because already they're allegedly being cut at historic rates.

Baloney. Crutsinger was either being incredibly ignorant by assuming that all government spending is part of GDP (it's not; only government purchases of goods and services are components of GDP), or he deliberately deceived his readers. At the federal level, purchases of goods and services and "investment" are only about 30% of all government spending. Total spending has hardly gone down at all. Here are the relevant paragraphs from his two reports:

January 27, 2012, 1:23 AM EST

Would someone please buy the Washington Post's Josh White a clue? He can't seem to get a handle on the "motive" for the actions of Yonathan Melaku (actually, I think White is pretending).

Melaku has just pleaded guilty and will be sentenced to 25 years in jail. Authorities say he vandalized military grave markers, shot at the Pentagon and military museums, and was working on an improvised explosive device. But the headline to White's story (HT Atlas Shrugs) and the reporter's content act as if no one has the foggiest idea what drop Melaku to do what he did (words which betray motivation are bolded):

January 26, 2012, 11:57 PM EST

Today's report by Derek Kravitz at the Associated Press (also known to yours truly as the Administration's Press) covering the Census Bureau's December and full-year 2011 new-home sales release put a smiley-face on the "worst ever" year (the AP headline's term) in the category.

I like the adjective used at Sweetness & Light's related blog post to describe Kravitz's crud: "unfazed." The AP reporter follows four paragraphs of facts with three more paragraphs of sunshiny "analysis" which are so wholly unsupported by reality that you would fall off of your chair laughing if you didn't also realize that most readers, listeners and viewers who saw and heard this garbage today didn't know any better than to believe it:

January 25, 2012, 12:15 AM EST

I guess what follows shouldn't be a total surprise, given that the Obama administration was perfectly comfortable ruining hundreds of thousands of perfectly good cars during the Cash For Clunkers program in 2009.

The video which follows from CBS News in San Francisco last Thursday (full transcript here) tells viewers what is happening to valuable parts at the main manufacturing plant of the now-bankrupt Solyndra. At the risk of belaboring what longtime readers here already instinctively know, it's not news based on searches on the company's name at at the Associated Press and the New York Times.