June 2, 2008

Under the Weather Update

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:04 pm

Have been fighting a sore throat and until now, the sore throat has been winning.

Here are some quick thoughts in what I think will be the only post of the day, unless I pull it together later this evening.

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Hillary’s outperformance at the polls in Puerto Rico, while irrelevant to the general election, is stunning nonetheless. How does a candidate “of color” only get 32% of the vote?

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Apparently the presidential candidate I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters) wants us to believe that he hasn’t had much to do with Fr. Michael Pfleger, famous lately because of his Hillary-bashing at the Trinity United Church of Christ. No way Jose (HT No Quarter) —

Obama and Pfleger are no strangers. Indeed, when Obama was in the state senate in Illinois, he conveniently arranged for Father Pfleger’s St. Sabina’s Church to receive state monies for its social programs. Of course, the guardians of church and state separation said nothing then and they are saying nothing now.

Update: O …. M …. G.

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Despite the recession (/sarc), the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index, covering about 15% of the economy, rose from 48.6% to 49.6%, beating expectations that it would come in at 48.5%. In other words, it went up decently when it was “expected” to go down.

This is still contraction, but by the barest amount (any reading over 50% would indicate expansion). For the recession-obsessed keeping score, ISM also noted that “the overall economy grew for the 79th consecutive month.”

Although I think this characterization is incorrect, I’ll let it out, since Thomson Financial did — “Any reading less than 50 indicates contraction, although ISM has said a reading above 41.1 percent indicates a growing economy.” I think the correct statement would be that any reading below 41.1 would be a definite recession.

Regardless, showing this graph from the WSJ (link probably requires subscription) would seem useful at this point:

The dark line is the Orders element of the index, which came in at 49.7%, while the red is the overall reading.

ISM’s Manufacturing Index and the Orders element fell all the way into the high-30s/low 40s in the last two recessions, including the one in 2000 or 2001 that didn’t meet the traditional definition of two quarters of negative growth in a row. We’re nowhere near that low, and, at least in the past two months (maybe three, I don’t remember), we’ve been heading away from it. That would be bad news for the recession-obsessed.

The ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index, which covers the rest of the economy, and which went nicely into expansion mode last month, is coming out on Wednesday.

Maybe the idea that so many are insisting on claiming that we’re in a recession — not in danger of one, but IN one, right NOW — in the face of the ongoing rush of decent data is what’s really making me sick.

Update: The ISM’s release also shows that Production went into expansion mode in May, after two months of contraction.

Positivity: Seven-Year-Old Who Took Six Bullets and Saved Mom Recovering Remarkably

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Detroit, via ABC’s Good Morning America:

Daughter’s True Love
Seven-Year-Old Alexis Goggins Takes Six Bullets to Protect Her Mother

By ANNA WILD and IMAEYEN IBANGA
April 14, 2008 —

Seliethia Parker always saw her role as protector for her 7-year-old daughter, Alexis Goggins. But it was Alexis who ended up saving her mother’s life by using her little body to shield her mom from a fusillade of bullets.

Doctors told Parker that her heroic little daughter, who was shot six times, would never walk or talk again.

But Alexis has surprised people with her gritty toughness. She’s not only walking and talking, she’s expected to have a full recovery.

“Everybody’s still kind of shocked. This is progressing a little bit more than everybody expected,” Parker said on “Good Morning America” today. “They said she should fully recover.”

Alexis was shot last December when she and her mother were about to get into a car driven by Parker’s female friend. Parker’s former boyfriend, 29-year-old Calvin Tillie, jumped out of nearby bushes and forced his way into the car.

They drove for several minutes before Parker’s friend was able to pull over to a gas station, under the pretense of needing fuel. There she called Detroit police while Parker and Alexis remained in the car.

Parker pleaded desperately with Tillie not to harm her or her daughter, but to no avail.

“Me and Alexis was left in the car with him at gunpoint and he starting shooting,” Parker told GMA.

Fearing for her mother’s life, Alexis bolted into the car’s front seat, crying out, “Don’t hurt my mother.”

“Alexis jumped over the seat to try and save my life,” Parker said.

Using her tiny body as a shield, Alexis blocked six gunshots from hitting her mother. The bullets pierced her right eye, chin, cheek, chest and jaw. When police arrived to the scene, they found Alexis in a pool of blood, curled beneath the steering wheel.

Parker also had been shot in the side of the head and the arm.

Both Parker and her daughter survived, though Alexis endured two painful months in the hospital and underwent six surgeries. Despite doctors’ prediction that Alexis may never walk or talk again, Alexis is thriving.

Alexis said she doesn’t consider herself a hero and said she wasn’t scared during the event.

“I saved my mom,” she said and added she loved her mother a lot and didn’t want to see her get hurt. …..

Go here for the rest of the story, and a video that won’t leave a dry eye anywhere.