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:
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):
Consumer confidence plummeted in January to a 14-month low of 58.6. The Conference Board announced the drop on Jan. 29 and cited a tax hike as the reason for the 8.1 point drop, but the bad news got no mention on the evening network news programs that night. Instead ABC joyfully reported good news on the economy.
“World News with Diane Sawyer” led its broadcast with an upbeat story about the housing market. David Muir actually mentioned consumer confidence in his story on the housing “comeback” of rising home values, but not the drop. As he discussed the housing story with Diane Sawyer he actually said that good home news boosts consumer confidence. Neither he, nor Sawyer seized that opportunity to mention the latest confidence data that had been released that very day.
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):
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%.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams joined Jimmy Fallon Monday in another "Slow Jam the News" segment on NBC's Late Night.
This time the subject was the fight over the debt ceiling with the target of course being Republicans who were repeatedly hit with sexually-charged attacks (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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.
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):
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.
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made a comment on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
"If we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles chief-of-staff at the White House, or President of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now. That's not the kind of presidency we're dealing with right now."
ABC and CNN contributor Donna Brazile - posing as one of Barack Obama's trusted defenders in the media like she always does! - got a much-needed education Sunday about the President's profligate spending.
Countering Brazile's propaganda on ABC's This Week, George Will said, "A dollar spent on A cannot be spent on B...This is our future. We're going to be an assisted living home with an Army. That's going to be the American government" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Bill Maher on Friday actually said something well-reasoned and intelligent that conservatives - including members of the Tea Party - might agree with.
"We have 23.5 percent dirt bags in America," the HBO Real Time host surprisingly said. "It just seems like there’s less people pulling the wagon and more people in the wagon, and at some point the wagon is going to break" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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.
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.
Jay Leno went counter to the rest of the media's gushing over the Obama Inauguration Tuesday by actually taking some shots at the current White House resident.
Early in his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host said, "There were twice as many people at his first inauguration...because four years ago, twice as many people could afford to stay in hotels” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Remember then-obscure Senator Barack Obama's speech to the 2004 DNC? All the no blue state, no red state stuff? Fugedaboutit. Now, he's all about killing—figuratively of course—his political opponents.
Ed Schultz sees Obama for what he is: and applauds him for it, of course. On his MSNBC show tonight, Schultz repeatedly claimed--polls notwithstanding--that America is a center-left, progressive country. On Obama's coming battles over his liberal agenda, Schultz said--with a sly grin--that when it comes to Republicans, the president's plan is to "grab the jugular." View the video after the jump.
Native and long-time Washingtonians see presidential inaugurations every four years, and, for them, they're pretty run-of-the-mill, regardless of one's party affiliation. This is especially true when they're the second go-around for a given president. Washington proper is heavily liberal Democrat, and the outlying suburbs are so too, to a lesser degree, but still, enthusiasm for a presidential inauguration in the nation's capital region is bound to be less intense for natives and long-time residents than visiting out-of-towners.
So in 2005, the Washington Post devoted 1,345 words to this phenomenon in a January 21 page A29 story headlined, "Away From Capitol, It's Just Another Day; Many Locals Choose Routine Over Ritual." Staff writers Paul Schwartzman and Karin Brulliard dutifully worked their way around the capital region talking to area residents who were not too thrilled about all the fuss and bother, some of whom hinting Bush was to blame for their unemployment. No similar article appeared in the paper's pages eight years later with Obama's second inaugural (emphases in article mine):
During PBS’ coverage of the 2013 Inauguration, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, Gwen Ifill, and Yale University’s Beverly Gage seemed to have forgotten what the definition of liberal is within the context of Obama’s second inaugural address. In fact, Gage said that this wasn’t an “endorsement of collective liberalism,” and Shields called it more “humanitarian.”
The non-taxpayer subsidized liberal media has been more honest. Today’s New York Times said Obama offered a “liberal vision.” Slate’s John Dickerson, who infamously called for Obama to destroy the GOP, called the 44th president’s address “a liberal love letter.” ABC finally figured out that Obama is a progressive liberal.
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):
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):
As Barack Obama enters his second term, his inaugural address delivered today, showed an undeniably strong shift to the left. The mentions of climate change and gay rights were much more overt, and was music to the ears of liberal media cheerleaders. One such commenter, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, seized on the occasion to hail the president for noticing that we’re on the “frontier of climate disaster.”
Hayes was adamant that we’re at zero hour on this issue:
Here are two things the major liberal media outlets aren't telling you.
While guns have dominated the national political dialogue, the clock is ticking on Obama’s budget, and he’s already admitted he will yet again be late, missing the Feb. 4 deadline mandated by federal law. What's more, for a president who originally campaigned on continuing to create jobs and economic growth for the American middle class, Mr. Obama has not met with his job council in one year, last meeting with the brain trust on January 17, 2012.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously exposed NPR's Nina Totenberg as one of President Obama's shills in the media.
When Totenberg - appearing on PBS's Inside Washington - tried to make excuses for why Obama is totally in favor of raising the debt ceiling today despite having voted against doing so when he was a senator, Krauthammer scolded, "Don't cover for him" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
In his syndicated column, Jonah Goldberg takes to task many of the people who claim to be “fiscally conservative” but in truth are anything but. While there are people who actually are fiscally conservative and socially moderate or liberal, Goldberg makes the point that many liberals try to describe themselves in this way, even though they really do not have any conservative beliefs at all:
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno took a fiscal poke at President Obama Thursday.
After mentioning that it was Michelle Obama’s birthday, and that she told reporters that she wanted “a nice gift from Barack, but nothing extravagant,” Leno quipped, “Oh, don't worry. Obama is very responsible when he's spending his own money. Don't have worry about that. No problem there” (video follows with commentary):
None of the three major wire services covering today's report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims is reporting the major news: For the first time in a long while, actual claims filed during the most recent week ended January 12 were almost 6 percent higher than the number filed during last year's comparable week, an indication that the current employment market may be worse than it was a year ago. Instead, all three are headlining how today's questionably created seasonally adjusted claims number is the lowest in five years.
Both weeks had five business days. Both weeks represented the first such week in the new year. So how did higher raw claims result in the lowest seasonally adjusted claims number in five years, a number which is 8 percent lower than last year's comparable week? The answer, as will be seen after the jump, is that the seasonal adjustment factor used this year is sharply higher than the one used last year.