When you increase demand for something, its price should go up.
In the case of bonds, if the demand for them increases, their price should go up, and their effective interest-rate yield should go down.
That didn't happen on Friday when the Federal Reserve began executing its second round of "money from nothing" quantitative easing. Even though the Fed increased demand, bond prices went down and yields went up.
Why? If you read a late Friday afternoon report by the Associated Press's Matthew Craft you essentially get a bunch of blubbering "I don't know" statements (bolds after headline are mine):
Thursday evening, NB's Ken Shepherd accurately pointed out how little establishment press interest there has been in prominently carrying an Associated Press report about how the Obama administration has been, in the words of the wire service's Dina Cappiello, "downplaying scientific findings, misrepresenting data and most recently misconstruing the opinions of experts it solicited."
This is not to excuse those who have given her report short shrift, but the AP and Cappiello herself did their level best to try to minimize the significance of what was to come in their headline and first paragraph, respectively:
During the Bush administration, the media made much of political appointees supposedly editing and otherwise interfering with the integrity of the work of career federal government scientists, particularly on studies pertaining to global warming/climate change.
Well now the Associated Press is reporting that an inspector general's report from the Interior Department released yesterday found that the Obama White House "edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts backed the administration's six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling." (emphasis mine)
Additionally, "Obama's energy adviser, Carol Browner, mischaracterized on national TV a government analysis about where the oil went, saying it showed most of the oil was 'gone.'"
In fact, "[t]he report said it could still be there," AP's Dina Cappiello noted.
Cappiello's story was buried on page A27 of today's Washington Post, but at least the paper covered the story. A Nexis search for "BP" mentions in the November 11 paper turned two hits from the New York Times, but neither story was about the inspector general's report.
Leftist community organizing group ACORN "should pay back $3.2 million in federal funding, mostly because it hasn't shown that its lead-removal work was performed at a reasonable cost," the Associated Press's Kevin Freking reported today. "The auditors also said that some of the grant money was spent inappropriately."
"Congress has cut off ACORN's federal funding after allegations of voter registration fraud and embezzlement. The group began closing its operations in March," Freking noted.
They're back, they have their media water-carriers in place, and the Obama administration is smack dab in the middle of it.
The United Nations is pushing for countries in the developed world to keep their "promise" to, in the worlds of Charles J. Hanley at the Associated Press, "raise up to $100 billion a year in new money for poorer countries to cope with climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."
It's as if ClimateGate never happened (link is to NB's 120-plus posts on the topic). It's as if the IPCC and others associated with the scandal and the evidence-impaired claims of global warming -- er, climate change -- uh, make that climate disruption -- still have their reputations totally intact.
Apparently that's what the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti (pictured at the top right at this post's home page tease) wants us to believe, as she ended her borderline bitter take on the origins of Congressional Republicans' successful electoral comeback and takeover of the House of Representatives four days ago with this sentence:
Ten months later (after Scott Brown's U.S. Senate race victory in Massachusetts -- Ed.), victorious Republicans met to plan their transition to power in the House - just as it was announced that the economy created 151,000 jobs.
As if one good jobs-added number -- even with the unemployment rate stuck at 9.6% -- proves that the economic recovery is finally in high gear. Zheesh.
It seems that the Associated Press is selective in correcting errors it occasionally makes in calling election results.
In the case of the GA-02 Congressional race between incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop and Republican challenger Mike Keown, the wire service declared Keown the winner at 10:55 p.m. on Election Night, only to reverse its call and declare Bishop the victor three hours later after results from three key counties in the district came in.
In NY-01, the AP, according to multiple source, including this one, has declared incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop the winner over Republican Randy Altschuler. But despite developments since then which have cast doubt on who the winner is, with the evidence now seemingly pointing towards an Altschuler squeaker, AP has not pulled its call. In its compilation of 11 undecided races last night, including nine Congressional contests, NY-01 is not among them.
It's strange how this "mandate" thing works, at least at the Associated Press.
In Ohio, Republican John Kasich defeated incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland on Tuesday with a victory margin of about 2.5%, or almost 100,000 votes. Strickland is the first incumbent Buckeye State governor to lose a reelection bid since Democrat John Gilligan lost to Republican Jim Rhodes in 1974. In that race, everyone went to bed on Election Night believing that Gilligan had held on -- including Rhodes himself, who conceded the race -- only to wake up the next morning learning that late ballots had pushed Rhodes over the top by a razor-thin margin.
In Illinois, incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn defeated Republican challenger Bill Brady by about 20,000 votes, a margin of about 0.5%.
Below the jump, you'll see who has permission to claim a "mandate," at least according to the Associated Press's headline writers:
One of the more egregious results of the Democrat-controlled Congress skipping town without passing a budget, thus failing to address the issue of whether scheduled income tax increases will really go into effect for everyone, the highest income-earners, or no one at all, is that the Internal Revenue Service and employers have been left in the lurch with no idea of how to prepare for next year. As I understand it, at a minimum this is the first time in a very long time that something like this has occurred, and it may be unprecedented.
The issue is getting a half-decent amount of play in the business press, but as a general news item, it's going almost nowhere, even though some employers are already telling employees they will have to withhold more starting on January 1, 2011 if no action is taken in Washington.
At the Associated Press's main web site, the one story about the withholding issue written by Andrew Taylor that went up early this morning plays a shady game of "Y'know, it really won't be all that bad if the increases are only in effect during the early part of next year." See if you can detect what I'm referring to in the following excerpt:
In early September, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) was raked over the coals by her Democratic opponent Terry Goddard and by the mainstream media for a statement she had made about decapitated bodies found in the Arizona desert due to illegal immigration.
"It's a good bill. We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings," Brewer said in a debate. "Which beheadings in Arizona were you referring to?" a reporter asked. "Oh, our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," Brewer replied.
While there had been numerous gruesome discoveries of decapitated bodies in Mexico related to Mexican drug trade, at that point there had been evidence of such gang-related beheadings on Arizonan soil. The media made it up to be a mini-scandal at the time.
Fast forward a littler over a month to October 10, and the discovery of the decapitated body of one Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy in his suburban Phoenix apartment.
The Associated Press's Calvin Woodward has had a few shining analytical moments during the first two years of the Obama administration (examples here and here).
The AP reporter's dispatch on "gaffes and gotchas" Friday morning, which attempted to communicate a sense of bemusement tinged with condescension, both aimed mostly at first-time candidates, is not one of them, and contained its own gaffes:
"Follow the money," the left insisted when News Corporation donated $1 million to the Republican Governor's Association. The implication was that since News Corp. gave lots of money to Republicans (nearly 10 times as much as it did to Democrats), Fox News coverage that casted the GOP in a positive light could fairly be seen as a direct result of that contribution.
By the standard much of the left advanced, National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams can fairly be presented as a direct result of liberal billionaire George Soros's $1.8 million contribution to NPR two days before Williams's firing.
Clearly, Becky Bohrer at the Associated Press is very picky about what she'll report.
In her story datelined early this morning ("Senate race in Alaska is bitter and unpredictable"), she played the "any Tea Partier whose family or extended family has ever taken a government benefit is automatically a hypocrite" card. She made sure readers knew about Republican candidate Joe Miller's incredibly awful (that's sarcasm, in case anyone doesn't get it) violation of a government entity's office policy, wherein he was "disciplined for participating in a private poll during his lunch hour" (oh, the humanity!), and how Miller's presence in the campaign has "frightened" many Democrats into seriously considering their candidate, Scott McAdams.
In a Monday article, Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press played up the efforts of Catholic "theological conservatives" online who "say the church isn't Catholic enough" and are "unsettling the church." Zoll even quoted from a Vatican analyst for a heterodox Catholic publication who dubbed the phenomenon "Taliban Catholicism," with the slight caveat that "liberals can fit the mindset too." The writer, however, focused most of her attention on the conservatives.
Zoll, who berated conservative Southern Baptists as "vicious" zealots embarked on trying to "wipe out" every last liberal or moderate from their church in a January 29, 2008 article, wasted little time in her latest article, "Catholic bloggers aim to purge dissenters," in zeroing-in on her conservative targets: "Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it's not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn't Catholic enough. Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church."
Just for the heck of it, AP also threw in Reid's reference to Angle as being "too extreme," and his parroting of that biennial Democratic falsehood that a GOP candidate is for "privatizing programs for the elderly and veterans."
Meanwhile, the wire service did not tag Reid as an "ultraliberal," or even as a "liberal," even though his 2009 rating with the obviously ultraliberal group Americans for Democratic Action was 95% (large PDF here), one vote short of that organization's definition of "perfection."
When a Democrat or leftist makes an ill-advised remark, it seems that there's a three-stage process at the Associated Press, and perhaps in most other establishment press outlets, for handling it. It goes roughly like this:
Stage 1 - Ignore it as long as you can. If there isn't much outcry, keep ignoring it.
Stage 2 - If there ends up being enough of an outcry from conservatives or Republicans to warrant coverage, make sure that the story is about the criticism at least as much as the remark.
Stage 3 - In the ensuing coverage, leave out what was originally said.
The Associated Press is currently and grudgingly at Stage 2 with Harry Reid's remark that "but for me, we'd be in a worldwide depression," as seen below (reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes):
In a report so riddled with errors, inconsistencies, incompleteness and sloppiness that it's really hard to know where to begin, Associated Press real estate writer Alan Zibel couldn't even keep his housing recovery benchmark remotely consistent with what it was only a month ago.
The Census Bureau's September release of information about August housing starts and building permits informed the country that those items came in at seasonally adjusted annual rates of 598,000 and 569,000, respectively (they were revised slightly upward in yesterday's reports covering September).
On September 21, after disclosing the housing starts number, but not the one for permits, Zibel quoted Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics, who said:
"Homebuilding activity remains at an astoundingly weak level," Dales said, adding that construction has to be more than double current levels for the market to be considered healthy.
My math says that means that annualized starts have to reach more than 1.2 million before health returns.
Here's the headline at the Associated Press's 12:49 p.m. report today on Steven Slater's plea bargain: "Attendant who slid on chute to fame pleads guilty." Earlier headlines had used the word "famous" (example here: "JetBlue attendant in famous meltdown pleads guilty").
For those who still care about what words mean, the primary meaning of "famous" is "having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated." Steven Slater is not "famous"; he is, or at least should be, "infamous" ("having an extremely bad reputation").
So continues "The Essential Global News Network's" strange fascination bordering on approbation of the flight attendant who, back in August, "went on the public-address system, swore at a passenger who he claimed treated him rudely, grabbed a beer and slid onto the tarmac" using an emergency slide.
Most readers are probably unaware that the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School who was also the first female surgical intern at Boston City Hospital passed away this weekend.
I would suggest that the coverage is so quiet because Mildred Jefferson was also an important pro-life pioneer.
Though marred by the fact that she consistently characterized Ms. Jefferson as "antiabortion" instead of as "prolife," the obituary by Kathleen Burge at the Boston Globe captured much of the essence of this marvelous woman (bolds are mine):
To the national establishment press, this appears to be another one of those "It's at the Politico, so we can ignore it" incidents.
Thursday night, before a debate with GOP opponent George Phillips, nine-term New York Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey "had a heated exchange with a local reporter ... that became physical." Quite physical, in fact, to the point where Hinchey "pushed ... (the reporter) backwards into Phillips himself."
Seems like pretty big news, doesn't it? Not based on the results of a Google News search on "Hinchey debate" (not in quotes) done at 8:30 this morning:
This paragraph from an Associated Press report by Christopher Rugaber on today's economic news should at a minimum strike readers as odd:
A third report noted that prices at the wholesale level remained tame outside a sharp rise in food and energy costs. Excluding those two volatile categories, core wholesale prices rose just 0.1 percent, the Labor Department said.
So we're left hanging. Gee Chris, what was the overall change in the Producer Price Index? He never says, at least not in the 11:44 a.m. version of his report.
Michelle Malkin picked up on this vibe yesterday, and it has become more obvious in the intervening day: The establishment press, or at least parts of it, are downplaying the American exceptionalism -- and the exceptional Americans -- involved in the Chilean mine rescue.
Reports early this morning at the Associated Press and New York Times exemplify the point. Times reporters Alexei Barrionuevo and Simon Romero even chose to deliberately cast the rescue in brazenly cynical political terms.
It was one thing when the United Auto Workers agreed many years ago to temporary "two-tiered" wage structures at the plants of Detroit's Big Three automakers. After all, it was argued, they'll be brought up to a level of full pay and benefits in several years, and new employees aren't as productive as the veterans.
UPDATE:A 12:16 p.m. AP report gets to details the initial report (not labeled "breaking") should have contained.
In an unbylined Associated Press story about the wife of incumbent Democratic Massachusetts Congressman John Tierney pleading guilty in a federal tax case, the wire service fails to mention which district Tierney represents. Far worse, it only reports that Tierney "is facing a Republican challenger in next month's election," and doesn't even name him.
Gosh, we wouldn't want actual voters to react to the news that a Democratic Congressman's wife helped her brother evade taxes on millions of dollars of income by possibly identifying Tierney as their congressman, identifying his opponent, and actually voting for that opponent, now would we? No, that just wouldn't be right. It would seem that "AP" stands for "Absolute Protection" -- of Democratic incumbents.
The National Football League is whistling incumbent Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold's campaign team for illegal use of film.
The campaign has been playing a commercial which includes footage of former Minnesota wide receiver Randy Moss's pretend-mooning of Green Bay Packer fans during a 2004 playoff game, and is apparently doing so without the express written consent of the league.
During the course of his coverage of the situation, the Associated Press's Dinesh Ramde demonstrates that he doesn't really know the score of the game that is progress, namely the electoral contest for Feingold's U.S. Senate seat. In that game, the scoreboard at Real Clear Politics has Feingold's Republican opponent currently ahead by an average of nine points over four polls. The latest, from Rasmussen, has Johnson ahead by 12.
To Ramde, these polls indicate that Feingold is "slightly trailing" Johnson.
UPDATE: Did AP read this post and react? An updated AP story time-stamped at 6:35 p.m. reports the following: "He (Shahzad) said the Pakistan Taliban provided him with more than $15,000 and five days of explosives training late last year and early this year, months after he became a U.S. citizen."
(Original post follows)
The Associated Press's Tom Hays did not report who trained Faisal Shahzad in his coverage of the failed Times Square bomber's sentencing in a New York courtroom today.
The best Hays could do in his 11:25 a.m. report was to make references in his second and seventeenth paragraphs to how Shahzad went "to train in Pakistan" and "received explosives training in Pakistan," respectively. Readers not fully aware of story developments since Shahzad's arrest in May should be receiving this information. For all we know from Hays's report, Shazad may attended the Pakistani branch of the Acme School of Bomb-Making, or perhaps experimented in Uncle Abdul's attic.
The fact is that there is no ambiguity about who trained Shahzad (thankfully, not successfully). On May 9, Attorney General Eric Holder said that it was the Pakistani Taliban:
Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was no lone wolf - the Pakistani Taliban "was behind the attack," Attorney General Eric Holder asserted Sunday.
Do the science writers and political reporters at the Associated Press ever compare notes? Based on their divergent coverage of stem cell research, it seems doubtful.
On Sunday, AP science writer Milan Rising reported that a Japanese scientist was under probable consideration to win this year's Nobel Prize in medicine:
A Japanese researcher who discovered how to make stem cells from ordinary skin cells and avoid the ethical quandaries of making them from human eggs could be a candidate for the medicine award when the 2010 Nobel Prize announcements kick off Monday, experts said.
Several prominent Nobel guessers have pointed to Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka as a potential winner of the coveted award.
Though the prize, announced this morning, went to another gentleman, the question remains: How could this be? As a court case over President Obama's executive order permitting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research has been progressing through its various appeals during the past several weeks, AP's political writers have been giving readers the clear impression that it is the research involving the destruction of human embryos that holds the real promise of scientific progress. Uh, not exactly. In fact, not at all.
At about 3 p.m. Saturday, one version of the reportage from the Associated Press's Philip Elliott concerning the "One Nation" rally in Washington opened as follows (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes; bold is mine):
Tapping into the same anger that fuels the tea party movement, a coalition of progressive and civil rights groups marched Saturday on the Lincoln Memorial and pledged to support Democrats struggling to keep power on Capitol Hill.
Elliott must have realized he had gone way over the top with that one, as he watered it down a bit an hour later (also saved at host): "Tapping into anger as the tea party movement has done ..."