April 16, 2008

Couldn’t Help But Comment (041608)

Here’s yesterday’s headline, from the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger, in a report about the Producer Price Index:

Wholesale prices soared in March

Translation of AP/Crutsingerese: Everything but food and energy “soared” (oops, went up a bit) by a whopping 0.2%. On the whole, the result was a less-than-pleasing 1.1%, mostly due to energy.

Crutsinger also hilariously raised the specter of a long-ago ogre:

The inflation pressures are occurring at a time when the overall economy is slowing and many analysts believe may have toppled into a recession. That raises concerns that the country could be facing another bout of stagflation, the malady that last occurred in the 1970s when economic growth stagnated but inflation kept rising.

Stagflation? Based on the latest data, the sum of inflation (about 4.0%, with food and energy, as of February) and unemployment (5.1% as of March) is currently 9.1%.

In December 1980, thanks to our worst president ever, who now dabbles in terrorist coddling, it was over double that, at 19.7% (12.5% inflation and 7.2% unemployment).

Heck, the current “stagflation” number is barely higher than April 1995′s 8.8% (3.0% inflation and 5.8% unemployment), during a period the AP seems to regard as the Golden Age of Pericles because a Democrat was in charge at the White House. I don’t recall the business press worrying about stagflation then.

Chill, Martin.

Update: Granite Grok (HT Maggie Thurber) did a more comprehensive chart comparing the US labor market in March 2008 vs. March 1996. Guess which came out better (and it’s not even close, even without adjusting for population growth)?

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An example of why Pat Dollard is a national treasure (3:17 p.m. entry at link), as he reports from Iraq on what he sees happening with al-Sadr compared to what Time Magazine is telling its readers:

The guy’s unraveling and under siege from all sides, and the U.S. is doing all it can to keep Maliki from going nuclear on him, and he issued a laughable and meaningless demand to have his supporters returned to the Army, which everyone knows isn’t going to happen However, that’s a good news narrative that Time magazine isn’t interested in. Instead, they unabashedly lick his ass in a fantasy piece. The unabashed gall of these people is breathtaking.

Update: Oh, and it looks like Dollard, irritating liberally, always refers to Barack Obama using ONLY his middle name. You go, guy.

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Greg Ransom at PrestoPundit scooped the world (HT Michelle Malkin) by locating and reviewing “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” by Barak Obama, father of the presidential candidate I refer to as Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters).

It is, as Ransom describes it, “a paper which lays out the father’s socialist and anti-Western convictions.”

It is also something he provided to Politico.com, which proceeded to pretend that what the father wrote doesn’t mean what it clearly communicates. Ransom added this in a later post, which explains why I won’t link to the Politico piece:

The article attacks my headline unfairly, completely misrepresents what I said, and deals with none of the rest of the content of my article. Mugged by the bastards in the MSM, I guess. ….. None of what I said to (Politico reporter) Ressner is quoted in the article. Smith and Ressner go to a professor for pull quotes to attack me. It’s very clear that the good professor did not read my article.

It turns out that the pull-quoted prof is a major-league lightweight. Ransom: “When ….. (the reporters) went trolling for a friendly authority, they ended up scraping from the bottom of the academic barrel.”

Read Ransom’s critique and his reprint of the father’s essay. On the substance, it’s clear that if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and Barack Obama wins in November, our economic freedoms are at significant risk.

Positivity: Man Credits Dog With Saving Life In Fire

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Middletown, Indiana (video at link):

Dog Barks, Squeals, Paws Owner During Blaze
POSTED: 6:16 am EDT April 12, 2008

A man says his “best friend” Nova saved his life when his home caught fire while he was asleep earlier this week.

Jesse Jackson works overnight and sleeps during the day, 6News Cheryl Jackson reported.
He and Nova went to bed at about 8 a.m. Wednesday. About 45 minutes later, the dog began squealing, barking and hitting Jackson with her paws.

“She kept whining. She’s a real good dog. I told her to be quiet once. She kept on, so I woke up,” Jackson said. “As I peered through, there were flames coming across the ceiling.”

At first, Jackson said he thought he was having a dark, smoky nightmare.

“I was scared to death when I realized it was real and the heat was coming at me,” Jackson said.

When Jackson opened the door from his bedroom to the kitchen, he said the room was pitch black, except for rolling flames.

“From here up, you couldn’t see anything, but I crawled through,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he grabbed Nova and headed for the garage door, a path through the fire, but a way out.

“I noticed the flames were high and were starting to roll, so I figured if we could get to the door low, we could get out that way,” Jackson said. “There was so much pressure pushing out. I braced myself and I fell back twice and then I got it opened up.”

As Nova and Jackson survey the damage to their home, Jackson considers himself lucky. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.