Poverty

By Tom Blumer | January 25, 2015 | 11:55 PM EST

As President Barack Obama and Governor Jerry Brown continue to extol the wonders of the alleged economic recovery of nation and the Golden State, respectively, stories of significant growth in homelessness continue to rain on their parades. The latest example comes on the heels of reports on Seattle's burgeoning problem and the city's apparent willingness to allow officially sanctioned outdoor encampments to serve as a "temporary" (yeah, sure) solution.

In a Saturday item in the Los Angeles Times about the expansion of "homeless camps" outside of what had been known as the LA's "skid row," Times reporter Gale Holland apparently learned not to repeat a revealing disclosure she made in a December Times report covering the situation in San Jose. Her coverage was remarkably vague, failing to provide specifics I believe she could have relayed with little effort, especially given that homelessness and poverty is her assigned beat. Excerpts follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | January 22, 2015 | 11:53 PM EST

A week ago, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, called homelessness in his city and the rest of King County a "full-blown crisis."

Based on the numbers presented in coverage of the area's situation, we can certainly add the Emerald City to the list of areas where homelessness has been on the rise. Odds are that many readers here didn't know that, because the national press hardly ever pays attention to homelessness when a Democrat occupies the White House. Now imagine the firestorm which would erupt if a Republican or conservative proposed the "solution," however allegedly temporary, Murray is advancing (bolds are mine):

By Tom Johnson | January 18, 2015 | 1:42 PM EST

Ann Jones has doubts about allegations that America is “crazy,” but adds, “Some people who question me say that the U.S. is ‘paranoid,’ ‘backward,’ ‘behind the times,’ ‘vain,’ ‘greedy,’ ‘self-absorbed,’ or simply ‘dumb.’  Others, more charitably, imply that Americans are merely ‘ill-informed,’ ‘misguided,’ ‘misled,’ or ‘asleep,’ and could still recover sanity.  But wherever I travel, the questions follow.”

By Tom Johnson | January 15, 2015 | 11:01 AM EST

Esquire’s Pierce deems Ryan “the single biggest fake in American public life” and declares that he “should have no more credibility on [fiscal] issues than does Sarah Palin, his predecessor in the second spot on the [Republican] ticket. Any Democratic congresscritter who seeks to make a deal with him should be drummed out of Washington. Any reporter or pundit who takes his plans for the economy seriously should be reassigned to the custodial staff.”

By Tom Blumer | January 15, 2015 | 12:31 AM EST

At the Lafayette, Indiana Courier Journal, reporter Mikel Livingston, that paper's social policiy reporter, set out to try to pass the Food Stamp Challenge.

The idea, in his words, was to "survive for one week on $29.69," because, he says, that is "what the average recipient of SNAP benefits, commonly called food stamps, receives each week in Indiana." By Day 6, he claimed, "faced with the possibility that eating all my remaining food on the final day would net me just 619 calories, I realized I had failed." What he really proved is that he was well on his way to succeeding with room to spare.

By Tom Blumer | January 13, 2015 | 7:30 PM EST

The latest report out of Venezuela by the Associated Press's Hannah Dreier has a time stamp of 1:15 p.m. today. This means that the wire service has had plenty of time to report, and has chosen not to report, a powerful pastoral letter issued yesterday by that country's Catholic bishops (original in Spanish; full Google Translation) denouncing that country's descent into a system they described as "socialist Marxist or communist."

That decision by AP and apparently other international wire services demonstrates once again that one cannot keep up with the news without at least occasionally going to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, the UK tabloids, and Investors Business Daily. In this case, it's IBD's Monica Showalter who commented on the development Monday afternoon in an opinion piece. She also brought Pope Francis into the discussion (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Mark Finkelstein | December 10, 2014 | 6:52 PM EST

Two guests on this evening's Ed Show on MSNBC revealed what lies just below the surface for many in the current protest movement: opposition to capitalism.

First up was Rosa Clemente, a "hip hop activist" and 2008 Green Party VP candidate: "Capitalism, I think that is the institution all over this country. It is really the oppressive force." Next, Georgetown Prof. Marcia Chatelain, who said that the current moment has revealed "an incredible critique of capitalism that it isn't just police brutality but the way people are forced to live." Your $40,000/year tuition at work!

By Tom Blumer | November 26, 2014 | 9:17 AM EST

It's amazing how any reporter can cover the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela without saying a word about how the country got there.

But Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier was up to the task. In a bizarre, sickening November 20 report on how its people are having to get "creative" in the face of chronic shortages of basic goods to get by, she acted as if those shortages — and the over five decades of worse problems in Cuba — somehow just happened.

By Matthew Balan | November 25, 2014 | 7:00 PM EST

Two CNN anchors channeled the supporters of Michael Brown's family on Tuesday's Early Start, as they played up how St. Louis County, Missouri Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch presented the Brown case to a grand jury, instead of pursuing charges himself. Chris Cuomo pointed out that "the prosecutor could still bring charges even after the grand jury." Deborah Feyerick later forwarded her colleague's point: "Could the prosecutor...basically, overrule the grand jury and say, charges should be filed?"

By Matthew Balan | November 25, 2014 | 3:50 PM EST

Rudy Giuliani fired back at Michael Eric Dyson on CNN's New Day on Tuesday for the MSNBC analyst's "white supremacy" attack on the former New York City mayor. When anchor Alisyn Camerota raised Giuliani's supposedly "controversial comments" from Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, the former Republican politician underlined that he had "said the same thing the President of the United States said, and I was accused of being a racist."

By Tom Blumer | November 24, 2014 | 6:16 PM EST

As of 5:30 p.m. ET today, a search on "Koningstein" at the Associated Press's national web site returned no results.

That's an indication that the wire service's globaloney-believing pseudo-science reporters are still trying to figure out how to respond to a November 18 article in the IEEE Spectrum by Ross Koningstein & David Fork, a pair of Google engineers tasked by the company in 2007 to "tackle the world’s climate and energy problems." The pair, whose active work on the project at Google ended in 2011, have concluded, as succinctly stated in the UK Register (HT Instapundit), that renewable energy sources "will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists."

By Tom Blumer | November 11, 2014 | 8:50 PM EST

Far be it from me to talk a leftist columnist out of an ignorant, self-satisfied position which might, if anything, cause his fellow travelers to hit the accelerator a little less aggressively in future political campaigns.

At the Atlantic on Monday afternoon, Richard Reeves, policy director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, claimed that the left shouldn't be so glum after Tuesday's election results, because "progressive policies are working." His very first graph makes a mockery of his claim: