This morning, the Census Bureau, in its advance report on retail sales, revealed that seasonally adjusted July sales were "virtually unchanged" from June. Expectations were for a 0.2 percent gain, supposedly with "solid upside" potential. Oops. June's result stayed at its previously reported 0.2 percent increase.
Reuters did the "U-word" honors this time out: "U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter." Someone needs to tell the wire service's Lucia Mutikani that no increase means no momentum. Over at the Associated Press, Josh Boak tried the deadpan approach.
Friday’s Morning Joe panel made sure to express how it was “disappointed” that a Minnesota restaurant had the audacity to put a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts after the state hiked the wage requirement. While Joe Scarborough acknowledged that “it's hard” for “small business owners running restaurants” he had no sympathy for the restaurant, which had received shocking blowback from its customers for simply specifying why it increased the bill by 35 cents.
The former congressman and MSNBC host, who reportedly earns $99,038 a week for his morning show, stated that he “understand(s) the difficulty of any extra burden” an increase in minimum wage exerts on small businesses. However, he concluded that “with the minimum wage as low as it historically is, you may not want to advertise your contempt for raising it a little bit on the bill.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted a restaurant in Minnesota that found "a unique way to offset the added expense" of the state hiking its minimum wage: "The Oasis Café is now including a 'minimum wage fee' on bills. You see it right there on the bill. Totals 35 cents....the cafe's owners say this wage hike is going to cost them $10,000 a year, this is their way of protesting it..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie touted: "Now complaints are piling up on the cafe's Facebook page. One man says, 'Look, if you can't afford to pay your employees, then you shouldn't be in business.'" Fill-in co-host Carson Daly chimed in: "I'd rather not know. Hike a cost here or there, get your 35 cents and don't tell me."
In a Thursday report on why many Americans are still unimpressed with the U.S. job market, Associated Press reporters Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak made a rare admission that "Finding a steady full-time job has become harder" than it was before the recession.
The AP pair then contended that "the trend might also reflect a lasting shift among restaurants and coffee shops," but found an "expert" who only acknowledged that such employers are trying to be more careful in their spending. Although they mentioned Obamacare as a reason why pollied Republicans are dissatisfied with the economy, Rugaber and Boak never cited the healthcare law as a possible factor in the significant move to employ part-timers, even though Investor's Business Daily has compiled a list of 429 employers "with strong proof that ObamaCare's employer mandate is behind cuts to work hours or staffing levels." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert did Nancy Pelosi a solid by giving her a platform to promote her effort to energize Democrats to come out in force this November to return the Speaker’s gavel to her grasp.
In the process he also sparked a nationwide run on mind-bleach with a crude joke involving a nude John Boehner. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Paul Krugman at the New York Times and other fever-swamp leftists who, incredibly, are operating under the assumption that the economy has experienced an acceptable if uneven "recovery" during the five years since the recession ended are celebrating what they believe was an epic live "embarrassment" of Rick Santelli at the hands of Steve Liesman at CNBC on Monday.
A Google search shows that Mediaite ("CNBC Reporter Torches Rick Santelli"), New Republic ("CNBC's Rick Santelli Was Embarrassed on Live TV"), Talking Points Memo ("Watch CNBC's Tea Partier Get Told How Wrong He's Been"), Business Insider ("Steve Liesman Issued A Devastating Line To Rick Santelli"), and of course Vox ("Watch Steve Liesman demolish Rick Santelli's inflation fearmongering") are all piling on. Following the jump, I will show that Santelli only claimed to have been right about the direction of the economy for the past five years, after which Liesman changed the subject and hogged the microphone:
MSNBC is not limited to televised displays of liberal bias. On the economics page of MSNBC.com, reporter Ned Resnikoff published an article earlier today entitled “Gap between minimum wage and tipped wage hits record high.” The All Inwith Chris Hayes contributor cited a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) claiming that tipped workers make a “significantly lower than the overall median wage” and “experience poverty at much higher rates than the overall workforce.”
Of course, Resnikoff forgot to mention that the EPI “receives much of its funding from organized labor.” That fact was added later in a “clarification” note under the original article.
July 2 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and on Wednesday CBS This Morning used the event to highlight liberal labor activist Dolores Huerta.
CBS correspondent Michelle Miller began her 5 minute report by gushing over Ms. Huerta and described her as someone who “co-founded the United Farm Workers union with Cesar Chavez, fought for feminism with Gloria Steinem and battled for social change.” [See video below.]
Promoting an upcoming White House summit on working families during an interview with President Obama aired on Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell lobbed a series of softballs on the issue, starting with: "I know you said in your State of the Union, 'When women succeed, America succeeds.' What's the single most important thing you think you can do to help working women?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Obama seized the opportunity to spew talking points: "Well, the question is not just what can I do, but I think what we as a society need to do. And this is an issue that's near and dear to my heart. I was raised by a single mom....And now I've got two daughters. So I want to make sure that their able to balance family life and the workplace much better..."
Timothy Egan, the liberal New York Times reporter turned ultra-liberal columnist, flashed hostility to Wal-Mart (and capitalism in general), as well as a broad ignorance of economics in his latest Sunday Review column, "Corporate Daddy."
For some time now, Republicans in Congress have given up the pretense of doing anything to improve the lot of most Americans. Raising the minimum wage? They won’t even allow a vote to happen. Cleaner air for all? They may partially shut down the government in a coming fight on behalf of major polluters. Add to that the continuing obstruction of student loan relief efforts, and numerous attempts to defund health care, and you have a party actively working to make life miserable for millions.
Liberals have long been used to dominating the narrative in news coverage of wage and poverty-related issues. The liberal perspective, in terms of what policies best represent the interests of workers and the economy as a whole, sometimes goes entirely unchallenged.
A welcome exception to the rule occurred during the June 2 edition of Noticiero Univisión, however, when correspondent Liliana Escalante included the perspectives of a reputable economist and a Latino small business owner, both of whom clearly pointed out the negative, job-killing consequences of legislation in California that would raise that state’s minimum wage from its current $8 to $11 an hour beginning January, 2015.
In a brief on Tuesday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales portrayed a minimum wage hike in Seattle as the first step toward a nationwide increase: "Well, with talks across the country ongoing about boosting the minimum wage, workers in Seattle are soon going to be seeing a big boost....The Seattle city council passed an ordinance Monday that bumps the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. That's the highest in the nation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline on screen declared: "Landmark Minimum Wage Hike; Seattle's $15 an Hour Could Set New Standard." In a later news brief, Morales proclaimed the policy to be "A historic victory for workers in Seattle that could have a big impact nationwide."
BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- In the 1970s, while working as a low-paid cub reporter in Houston, Texas, I always looked forward to the annual Christmas catalogs from Neiman-Marcus and Sakowitz, a local luxury department store. Both contained outrageously expensive things that only the super-rich could afford -- his and hers Thunderbirds stick in my memory. My wife and I couldn't wait to thumb through them and we frequently laughed at how much some of the items cost, wondering if even rich Texans would spend so extravagantly.
Another tribute to conspicuous wealth comes in the annual "Rich List," a guide to the 1,000 richest men and women in Britain, published in a special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine. A fat feline sits proudly on the cover with the symbol of a British pound (in gold) around its neck.
In July 2013, the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber finally noticed the meteoric rise in the number of temporary help service and other non-payroll personnel working at U.S. employers — a trend which at the time was about 2-1/2 years old. Rugaber noted that "temps and to a much larger universe of freelancers, contract workers and consultants ... number nearly 17 million people who have only tenuous ties to the companies that pay them – about 12 percent of everyone with a job." He also cited two likely contributors to that growth. First, "Some employers have also sought to sidestep the new health care law’s rule that they provide medical coverage for permanent workers. Second, "companies want to avoid having too many employees during a downturn."
This morning, the AP's Tom Raum did another report on the situation, and proceeded to blow the numbers, ignore Obamacare, and downplay the influence of the mediocre economy.
Is “The Gray Lady” that way because the sexist owners of The New York Times won’t pay her enough for a proper dye job? This and other delightfully schadenfreude-alicious questions are worth pondering now that the paper has “unexpectedly” fired executive editor Jill Abramson on May 14.
Abramson stepped into that role on September 2011, becoming the first female executive edtior at the Times, according to AdWeek. And according to several reports at least part of the reason was because she made a fuss about being paid less than her predecessor.
In stark contrast to the celebratory "AMERICAN ECONOMY BOUNCES BACK FROM BRUTAL WINTER" headline Friday afternoon at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Ben White's "Morning Money" report at the Politico is notably concerned about whether Friday's "vexing jobs report" justifies the kind of optimism the AP conveyed with seeming finality in its headline.
To be fair, the underlying AP report by Chris Rugaber and Josh Boak pointed to several weaknesses in the jobs report. But to be appropriately critical, as I noted yesterday, they took it as a virtual given that the economy will turn in full-year growth of "nearly 3 percent." Achieving that result will require second-half annualized growth of nearly 4 percent — a level would likely cause the Federal Reserve to put on the brakes by raising interest rates to stave off inflation. In a separate post, I also criticized the AP pair for presenting economists's estimates of 3.5 percent annualized growth in the second quarter without telling readers that their prediction is premised on the first quarter's current 0.1 percent result getting revised downward into contraction.
In a Friday afternoon dispatch issued in the wake of the government's jobs report earlier that day, Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak at the Associated Press wrote that "most economists ... forecast a strong rebound in economic growth - to a 3.5 percent annual rate in the current April-June quarter. And growth should reach nearly 3 percent for the full year, up from 1.9 percent in 2013, they expect."
There are two problems with that prediction. The first lies in how strong the third and fourth quarters will have to be for the economy to get "nearly 3 percent" for the full year, given the tiny first-quarter annualized growth of 0.1 percent reported on Wednesday. The second and perhaps more crucial issue is that the full-year estimate significantly exceeds the "altered assessment" at the Fed concerning how fast it thinks the economy can grow without running the risk of igniting inflation.
On the Wednesday, April 30, PoliticsNation, Al Sharpton charged that the Republican Party "demonizes the working class" and that GOPers "attack the working poor" as the MSNBC host trashed Republicans for opposing a minimum wage increase. [See video below.]
The National Employment Law Project claims that it is dedicated to "working to restore the promise of economic opportunity in the 21st century economy." That sounds promising, but one look at NELP's directors and the supposed "solutions" the group and its friends advocate — e.g., higher minimum wage, "uphold the freedom to join a union." etc. It's clear that NELP is just another lefty advocacy group pushing the kinds of policies which have led to six years of economic weakness.
That said, NELP recently released research showing that jobs gained since the recession ended have skewed far more heavily towards low-wage industries than the jobs which were lost during the recession. Press coverage has been skimpy. The one major writeup at the New York Times on Sunday for Monday's print edition appeared on Page B4. The nature of Annie Lowrey's coverage at the Times led Fox News to accuratey tease it as a story about the "Fast-Food Recovery." Excerpts from the Times story follow the jump (bolds are mine):
If there's a prize for most words spent in Obamacare avoidance, NBC News's Martha C. White is definitely in the running.
White managed to burn through almost 40 paragraphs and nearly 1,600 words in a report carried at CNBC on the all-time record number of workers employed by temporary help services. But she somehow managed to completely avoid mentioning Obamacare, which used to be known as the Affordable Care Act until President Obama and his Health and Human Services regulators made 40 changes to the law originally passed by Congress, some of which directly contradict the original law's language. The closest she came was noting that using temps "lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance" — which has always been the case, except that health insurance is and will continue to be a lot more expensive, giving companies even more incentive to avoid adding to their own payrolls. Excerpts follow the jump.
CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer seems to have fallen for the liberal lie that women get paid 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn as was evident during an interview with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Blackburn appeared with Schieffer on Sunday April 13 and was accused of being against equal pay: “Are Republicans against equal pay for women and is that going to be a good political issue in these coming midterm elections?” [See video below.]
Democrats have clung to the claim that women earn 77% of what men do with religious fervor, as evidenced by the "religious revival, Praise Jesus" atmosphere at President Obama's equal pay event at the White House earlier this week.
But although the 77% figure has been thoroughly debunked, on today's Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski alleged that the real gap is actually "far worse." Mika made her claim without benefit of any actual statistics. View the video after the jump.
After CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett thoroughly dismantled White House rhetoric on the supposed "pay gap" between men and women on Tuesday, only twenty-four hours later, CBS This Morning brought on a guest to push the same false talking points unchallenged. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday, with footage rolling of President Obama signing executive orders designed to promote the liberal agenda item, co-host Gayle King introduced Catalyst CEO Deborah Gillis, who was "in the room yesterday when the signing took place." Gillis lamented: "I first looked at this issue as a high school senior, and at that time, the gender pay gap was 67 cents on the dollar. Today it's 77 cents. 31 years later, we've not made a lot of progress..." Neither King nor her fellow co-hosts cited Garrett's reporting from the day before to refute those numbers.
Looks like the left might be getting some of that old-time religion. Old-time, as in circa 2007-8, when Barack Obama was being hailed as The One and some sort of messiah.
On today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski described yesterday's White House equal-pay-for-women event which she attended, sitting next to Valerie Jarrett. Brzezinski said "it was sort of like a church revival. I'm telling you, every time the president made a comment about why women should be paid equally to men. Equal pay for equal work, talking about the same jobs. You'd hear like "okay." Clapping, and almost like "praise Jesus." It was fun." View the video after the jump.
On Tuesday evening, the networks all dutifully touted President Obama's call for equal pay for women in the workplace. NBC and CBS ignored Obama's hypocrisy – the pay gap that exists among his own White House staff.
ABC's Diane Sawyer put a dramatic spin on the news, saying Obama called for "action" on the "explosive issue of equal pay for equal work." The World News did note the GOP response that women in the White House earn 88 percent of the men's salaries, but relegated that important fact to the very end of the report. Neither NBC nor CBS reported it.
Team Obama's spokesman were testy on Tuesday after being challenged by the press in their daily messaging about the allegedly awful pay gap between men and women. In the briefing today, Andrew Johnson at The Corner noted Carney lashed out at Jeff Mason of Reuters when the reporter suggested "outside economists say that the data the president is using, the 77-cent phrase, is wrong."
"To say, 'economists.' I mean, from Reuters, I would expect something a little more precise,” Carney snapped. Communications director Jennifer Palmieri also attacked the White House press on Tuesday. (Video below)
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King targeted President Obama and his administration for their "textbook case...of do as I say, not as I do" on the issue of equal pay for women. After playing a clip of Press Secretary Jay Carney playing up how the 88 cents on the dollar women in the White House apparently make compared to men is "better than the national average," King quipped, "I guess the coach would say, is that the best you got?"
The journalist also spotlighted two past studies involving the White House and congressional payroll at the time Mr. Obama was serving as a senator from Illinois, and pointed out the bad optics of the situation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
During live coverage of President Obama signing two executive orders on "equal pay" on Tuesday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell announced: "He is basically signing an executive order which will be a big deal for federal contractors – think about all the federal contracts in the defense and intelligence communities alone – but it's also a big political issue." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus proclaimed: "It's a very big political issue and it is a winning political issue for President Obama and Democrats, and they know it....There is a gender gap that hugely favors Democrats....and single women are particularly responsive to Lilly-Ledbetter-type of arguments about unequal treatment....So it's a triple win for the President and Democrats."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, White House correspondent Major Garrett completely dismantled President Obama's left-wing talking points on the supposed gender pay gap of women making 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, reporting: "The White House is getting...roughed up by hits own pay equity rhetoric." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Garrett used the administration's hypocrisy on the issue to fact check the false claims: "An analysis of White House salaries, which nobody here disputes, shows that the median income of female staffers is 88% of that of male staffers....Now, the White House said it's gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked, among other factors. This matters because those explanations, according to the Labor Department, explain a good deal of the gender pay gap nationally."
MSNBC seems to be doing everything it can to let its viewers know that it is the Obama propaganda network. With Tuesday April 8 being Equal Pay Day, the “Lean Forward” network has been doing its best to misinform its viewers about the supposed pay gap between men and women.
Appearing on her daily “Jansing & Co.” program, host Chris Jansing openly cited the White House during an interview with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to push the false statistic that “a woman earns about 77 cents for every dollara man makes.”