Government Agencies

By Tom Blumer | March 31, 2015 | 8:53 PM EDT

The press won't roast New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for this, but it should — at a very high temperature.

Today, Mr. Self-Righteous, who in the past has suggested that anyone who is pro-life, against same-sex marriage, or for the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment as written and adjudicated should leave his state, banned all "non-essential" state travel to Indiana, home of a recently enacted religious freedom law similar to that found in roughly 19 states — make that soon to be 20, with Arkansas imminently getting on board:

By Tom Blumer | March 31, 2015 | 10:40 AM EDT

Bush Derangement Syndrome is alive, well, and living in the head of Nancy A. Youssef at the Daily Beast.

In a March 26 item tagged "Fallen Hero" (?!) about the Army charging Bowe Bergdahl with "desertion and misbehaving before the enemy," the web site's Senior National Security Correspondent wrote that "the administration celebrated negotiating his release after years of failed bids by both the current and former administration." But Bergdahl walked away from his post in June 2009, five months after Barack Obama's inauguration. Youssef's report actually had worse components than that.

By Tom Blumer | March 30, 2015 | 11:14 PM EDT

On Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, Dana Bash, while interviewing Texas Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, attempted to compare his alleged lack of experience to that of Barack Obama when he declared his candidacy in 2007.

It did not go well for her. It's a mystery why Bash might have thought that Cruz wouldn't have an answer for her faux concerns, but he did, and he hit her pitches out of the park. Video and a transcript follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | March 30, 2015 | 10:27 AM EDT

The government's report on consumer spending released this morning was another disappointment. Seasonally adjusted spending increased by just 0.1 percent, falling short of modest expectations of a 0.2 percent jump, following 0.2 percent declines in both December and January.

The opening paragraphs of coverage at Bloomberg News and the Associated Press contrasted sharply. Longtime readers can probably guess which wire tried to portray the news more positively. Predictably, both outlets broke out the bad weather excuse.

By Tom Blumer | March 27, 2015 | 11:27 PM EDT

The latest wet kiss from the business press thrown the Obama administration's way came from Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, late this afternoon.

Crutsinger, continuing to richly earn the "Worst Economics Writer" tag he received from National Review's Kevin Williamson two years ago, absurdly characterized the mediocre, pathetic economic peformance of the past 5-1/2 years — the worst post-World War II "recovery" on record, by miles — as "sluggish," but "one of the most durable." As traditionally and objectively measured, that statement is absolutely false, and he should know it.

By Tom Blumer | March 26, 2015 | 2:19 PM EDT

Employing a variant of the old surgeon's joke — "The operation was a success, but the patient died" — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, on friendly ground on MSNBC this morning, essentially told viewers that the administration still considers Yemen a success, even as its government is on the fast track to being forced into indefinite exile.

Earnest told the "Morning Joe" show's Mika Brzezinski and the assembled panel that "U.S. policy should not be graded against the success or the stability of the Yemeni government" — although, just for starters, Yemen's President has fled, while the Los Angeles Times is reporting that, because of the Yemeni government's instability, Iran has obtained a treasure trove of U.S. intelligence. Video and a transcript follow the jump (HT Real Clear Politics):

By Tom Blumer | March 25, 2015 | 7:31 PM EDT

The Census Burau's February Durable Goods report, released at 8:30 a.m. today, "unexpectedly" (Bloomberg did the U-word honors) came in with a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent decline compared to the 0.2 increase analysts expected. Additionally, January's increase was revised down to 2.0 percent from 2.8 percent. Not adjusting for inflation, unadjusted (i.e., actual) February orders came in 2.3 percent below February 2014. Pending adjustments to February's figures, durable goods orders have declined by 5.3 percent in the past four months.

Despite all of this, the Associated Press's primary story on durable goods by Martin Crutsinger was gone from its Top Business Stories page by 2 p.m.

By Tom Blumer | March 24, 2015 | 11:13 AM EDT

On CNN yesterday, after the network cut away from the press conference where Charlottesville, Virginia Police Department announced that it "found no evidence to support claims in a Rolling Stone article that a University of Virginia student was gang raped at a campus fraternity in September 2012," network panelist and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin bizarrely resorted to "statistics" to defend "Jackie," the student-fabulist involved.

The panel discussion which followed the press conference seemed to be all about telling viewers that "Despite what everyone says, it's really not over." Hostin's major contribution to that meme was to essentially contend that because "only about 2 percent of rapes that are reported are false," any allegation that "Jackie" was making things up is unfair and likely incorrect because it "flies in the face of statistics." Video and a transcript follow the jump:

By Tom Blumer | March 23, 2015 | 3:57 PM EDT

The press's reluctance to let go of a popular but debunked meme — in this case, the nonexistent "epidemic" of college campus sexual assaults — is sometimes inadvertently humorous, though still intensely annoying.

Take how John Bacon and Marisol Bello at USA Today characterized the news that "Police in Charlottesville were unable to verify that an alleged sexual assault detailed in a controversial Rolling Stone magazine article ever took place at the University of Virginia":

By Tom Blumer | March 23, 2015 | 12:57 PM EDT

Today the U.S. Supreme Court, as the Associated Press's Scott Bauer reported, "turned away a challenge to Wisconsin's voter identification law," meaning that "the state is free to impose the voter ID requirement in future elections." Bauer then focused on the impact of the state's off-year primary elections on April 7.

Bauer's relatively tolerable (for him) report tagged the law as "a political flashpoint since Republican legislators passed it in 2011 and Gov. Scott Walker signed it into law." Meanwhile, demonstrating that he will accept leftists' claims at face value even when they can't possibly make any sense, Richard Wolf at USA Today relayed a ridiculous claim made by the law's opponents (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | March 22, 2015 | 10:37 AM EDT

From all appearances, only Fox News, CNS News, and a few Israel-based outlets and U.S.-based center-right blogs care about the fact, acknowledged by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, that Iran and Hezbollah, in the words of Fox's Greta Van Susteren, "are suddenly MIA from the U.S. terror threat list."

DNI apparently has no plans to change its report, having told CNS News that “This year’s Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. intelligence community report was simply a format change,” while contending that "There is no ‘softening’ of our position." DNI's excuse-making tacitly acknowledges the absence of Iran and Hezbollah from this year's terror threat list.

By Tom Blumer | March 20, 2015 | 3:24 PM EDT

Over at Hot Air, I saw that Seth Meyers, as he was figuratively grilling Texas Senator Ted Cruz on his "Late Night" program — the first rule of these shows is that conservatives get attacked, while liberals get coddled — made his case for global warming by saying, “I think the world’s on fire literally.” I checked outside just a moment ago and "literally" saw no burning bushes or other burning objects, so I can say that Meyers, at least in regards to this small corner of the world, is "literally" wrong. In the language of Politifact, the leftist pretend-fact check site, he has his "pants (figuratively) on fire."

One would think that a fact-checking web site would have gone after Meyers for his out-of-control hyperbole. Not a chance.