Government Agencies

By Julia A. Seymour | July 3, 2014 | 9:46 AM EDT

As people celebrate freedom this Independence Day, the left continues to fight on behalf of an industry monopoly and against consumer freedom.

Historically, liberals championed “trust busting” laws prohibiting monopolies. Since the monopoly in question is made up of union members, often in a government partnership to limit competition -- they cried foul. Just look at the upstart companies disrupting the highly regulated taxi “cartel,” that has the left furious.

By Tom Blumer | July 1, 2014 | 3:04 PM EDT

On June 18, Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network suffered a serious religious freedom setback when "A federal judge in Alabama ... dismissed a Catholic broadcaster's legal claim that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional." The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, felt that story was important enough to merit coverage at its national site — and in fact, two weeks later, the story is still present there (also saved here for future reference and fair use and discussion purposes).

After that June ruling, EWTN promised that it would appeal. A July 1 compliance deadline and daily fines which would have almost certainly put the network out of business loomed. Yesterday, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, EWTN scored what Life News's Steven Ertelt called "a resounding victory," when it "was granted last minute relief from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals," thus enabling it to "freely practice what it preaches while it pursues its claims in court." A search on "EWTN" at the AP's national site indicates that it has no story there on this development. The wire service does have a Monday afternoon local/regional story on the news:

By Tom Blumer | July 1, 2014 | 1:11 AM EDT

Shortly after 3 PM Eastern Time Monday afternoon, an outfit called "Faithful America" issued a "Media Advisory" for an event which would take place at 7:30 PM Central Time.

In the email, Faithful America claimed to be "the largest and fastest growing online community of Christians taking action for social justice," and to have 300,000 members. They may have that many members, but only about 0.01% of them showed up for the event involved: a "vigil" opposing today's Supreme Court decision at Hobby Lobby's flagship store in Edmond, Oklahoma. In covering the titantic event, Edmond Sun reporter Mark Schlachtenhaufen appears to have exaggerated the puny turnout, and made the same misstatement concerning the circumstances of the case we've seen constantly in the national press (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | June 30, 2014 | 1:58 PM EDT

USA Today reporter Richard Wolf's afternoon coverage of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision this afternoon appeared to be completely ignorant of the dire financial consequences which would have been visited on the company had it lost today.

He also allowed unscientific and objectively wrong arguments about conception to be advanced by those who wanted to see Hobby Lobby defeated. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Tom Blumer | June 30, 2014 | 11:12 AM EDT

Hank Paulson, whose claim to fame in the public sector is panicking and browbeating the nation and its Washington politicians into accepting the Troubled Asset Relief Program in late September 2008, and who just two weeks later "put a (figurative) gun to the heads" of large-bank CEOs to "persuade" them to accept federal "investment" in their enterprises, has re-emerged to tell us, according to the Hill, that "Republicans are 'ready for a serious discussion' on climate change."

As a reminder, in 2007, the late Robert Novak wrote that Paulson "contributed to Bill Clinton in 1992, Democrat Bill Bradley's 2000 presidential campaign, the feminist Emily's List and Wall Street's favorite Democrat, Chuck Schumer," before financially supporting George W. Bush in 2004. Paulson was also "regarded in his own administration as less a true Republican secretary than a transition to the next Democratic Treasury." One of Paulson's current assertions parrots global warming alarmists' claims in mid-May that that a serious and supposedly irreversible collapse of Antarctic Sea ice will catastrophically raise worldwide sea levels. Over the weekend, meteorologist Joe Bastardi, Chief Forecaster at WeatherBell Analytics LLC, relayed some very inconvenient data (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | June 30, 2014 | 9:13 AM EDT

An undated but clearly recent page at the National Wildlife Federation breathlessly warns readers, in a section entitled "Threats from Global Warming," that "Lake Erie water levels, already below average, could drop 4-5 feet by the end of this century, significantly altering shoreline habitat." A Thursday Huffington Post Canada Business entry observed that "the (Great Lakes) basin has experienced the longest extended period of lower water levels since the U.S. and Canada began tracking levels in 1918." Of course, it's because of "climate change."

Friday, Julie Bosman at the New York Times reported (HT Powerline) that "The International Joint Commission, a group with members from the United States and Canada that advises on water resources, completed a five-year study in April 2013 concluding that water levels in the lakes were likely to drop even farther, in part because of the lack of precipitation in recent years brought on by climate change." But the reason Bosman was on the story is because — fortunately for area residents, but unfortunately for "startled" global warming adherents claiming to be "scientists" — Great Lakes sea levels are rising again (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | June 28, 2014 | 9:13 AM EDT

In a Thursday evening writeup about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will allow a California wind farm to "become the first in the nation to avoid prosecution if eagles are injured or die when they run into the giant turning blades," reporter Scott Smith at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, took a big gulp of his hi-test White House koolaid, and wrote: "Under President Barack Obama, wind energy has exploded as a pollution-free energy source that can help reduce the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming."

As we approach 18 years of no global warming, poor Scott probably has little idea, after decades of effort and tens of billions of dollars in tax credits and other subsidies, how insignificant wind energy remains in the grand scheme of U.S. energy production. So let's help him.

By Tom Blumer | June 27, 2014 | 11:06 PM EDT

Math is hard over at the Department of Labor these days, pretty much from top to bottom. Last Friday, the DOL listed what it says were the 31 states which showed "statistically significant" job growth in the 12 months ended in May. It turns out that six other states should have been on that list, dropping Ohio, which was the slowest-growing among those originally listed, from number 31 to 37

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and apparently the rest of the country, has a really big problem. He claims that his department has trained 84 million workers during the past six years, yet millions and millions of Americans are somehow still unemployed. The opening portions of a speech Perez made on July 19 at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions Annual Meeting follow the jump (HT to a frequent emailer; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Johnson | June 27, 2014 | 5:58 PM EDT

There’s a saying that “life isn’t one damn thing after another – it’s the same damn thing over and over again.” That’s essentially what Steve Benen, a producer for MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” argued regarding the IRS scandal in a Thursday blog post on the “TRMS” website.

Benen claimed that throughout “the imaginary IRS ‘scandal,’ there’s [been] an interesting pattern of events that serves as a template for every development. It starts with an alarming report, which is followed by scrutiny, which leads to details that make the original report appear meaningless.”

By Tom Blumer | June 27, 2014 | 11:29 AM EDT

A staple of establishment press reporting is to attribute a contention to a limited group of people to either place the truth of a statement into doubt, or to make it appear that only the group involved holds that opinion. Examples taking this to the absolute extreme could include: "Conervatives say the sun rises in the east and sets in the west," and "Republicans believe that abortion takes a human life."

Note that I didn't write that such extreme examples never occur in establishment press reporting. That's because they sometimes do, even to the point where the reporter(s) involved don't recognize how utterly ignorant and contradictory their content is. Take the following two bolded paragraphs from the Associated Press's terse, "Let's make this story look boring, and tell them as little as we possibly can" story about the National Organization for Marriage's court victory over the IRS in the release of its donor list (report produced in full because of its brevity, and for fair use and discussion purposes):

By Tom Blumer | June 26, 2014 | 4:48 PM EDT

My, those "this quarter's really, really going to be great" predictions can disappear so quickly these days.

Yesterday, in the wake of the government's third revision to gross domestic product showing that the economy shrunk by an annualized 2.9 percent during the first quarter instead of the previously reported 1.0 percent, commentators, analysts, and economists fell all over themselves insisting that the second quarter and the rest of the year will be fine. The reaction at Goldman Sachs was — get this — to raise their estimate for second-quarter growth from an annualized 3.8 percent to 4.0 percent. Today, in the wake of a particularly weak consumer spending report for May, the backpedaling — well, partial backpedaling — is under way, particularly at the Associated Press (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | June 26, 2014 | 3:47 PM EDT

The press, even in the wake of yesterday's awful reported 2.9 percent annualized first-quarter contraction, continues to regale us with noise about the economy's "recovery" during the past five years.

As P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters noted yesterday, CNNMoney.com's Annalyn Kurtz, in giving readers "3 reasons not to freak out about -2.9% GDP," concluded her report by telling readers that "This recovery is underway, but it's choppy and still very slow." Actually, it may have resumed this quarter. At the Associated Press yesterday, Martin Crutsinger all too predictably wrote that "the setback is widely thought to be temporary, with growth rebounding solidly since spring." After almost five years of this nonsense, it's long past time that they start telling readers, listeners, and viewers that this economy bears more resemblance to the 1930s economy under Franklin Delano Roosevelt than it does any post-downturn economy we've seen since the end of World War II. Hard proof follows the jump.