September 2, 2008

Meanwhile, Back in the Economy …..

The ISM Manufacturing Report comes out at 10 AM, but I won’t be able to react to that or other economic news online until this evening.

In the meantime, here are a couple of nuggets worth noting.

James Pethokoukis at US News, written at the Democratic National Convention BEFORE the surprise upside GDP revision to 3.3% last week:

I keep hearing a lot of this sort of pessimism, both in the speeches and among the delegates: “America is facing its greatest economic challenges since the Great Depression.” Really. That’s a pretty big stretch given that we’ve only had one quarter of negative economic growth in the past year, unemployment is still below 6 percent, incomes were growing briskly from 2003-2007, and productivity has averaged more than 2.5 percent a quarter during the past year and a half. Some perspective, people!

Bloomberg’s first two paragraphs last Thursday relating to the GDP announcement:

The U.S. economy expanded faster than previously estimated in the second quarter, helped by a surge in exports that will probably wane as Europe and Japan head toward recessions.

Gross domestic product increased at a 3.3 percent annual pace, compared with the initial estimate of 1.9 percent, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Trade contributed the most to U.S. growth in almost three decades.

What? Our economy is still doing better than other major countries? How can that be? Paul Krugman at the New York Times told me just a couple of months ago that Europe was doing sooooooooo much better (sorry, don’t have time to find a link).

NYT and HuffPo Reporters Get Sloppy with ‘McCain Didn’t Vet’ Meme (See Update)

It’s here at Pajamas Media, whose peeps did marvelous work getting this to the front page so quickly:

McCain Didn’t Vet Palin’ Meme Has Serious Holes
Slippery prose and outright errors in the NY Times and HuffPost.

Too good to check, I guess.

HuffPo reporter Sam Stein especially has some additional reporting, and almost definitely some explaining, to do.


UPDATE, Sept. 3: I have just confirmed with Greg Johnson, Managing Editor of the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, that the paper’s archives have been online “for years,” and that they have been easily accessible.

Since the PJM piece was written in the wee hours of the morning on Sept. 2, that could not be confirmed, and the article was written with qualifiers that archive accesibility may have somehow begun between the time of Sam Stein HuffPo column and mine. As expected, that’s not the case.

Sam Stein’s column therefore contains clear falsehoods that an organization with integrity would retract.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (090208, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 6:02 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • From Bruce Reed at Slate (HT Hot Air Headlines) — “….. the McCain campaign may be hoping that Democrats – or the press – will come down too hard on Palin, and spark a backlash that turns her into a working mom’s hero.” I’d say that took all of one holiday weekend. Really weak article quote: “Back in 1988, the Dukakis campaign actually ran an ad against Dan Quayle. It didn’t work, and wasn’t necessary.” Uh, Dukakis lost by 7.8%.
  • LGF has an interesting deconstruction of the origins on an anti-Sarah Palin smear site. Its only purpose is to deliver a hit from the right, but its origins are clearly from the left.
  • “Interesting” Associated Press headline choice — “Indicted Louisiana House member bids for 10th term.” You figure that whoever it is must be a state rep. Turns out that it’s congressman William “Cold Cash” Jefferson (D-LA). “Congressman” takes up less space in a headline than “House member.” So why so non-specific? It might be excused as mere sloppiness but for the fact that AP has been very protective of of Jefferson’s party affiliation in the past.
  • This quote is so good (HT NixGuy), you just know you won’t see it in a US paper (it’s from the UK Times Online) — “We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling. That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.” That’s from Camille Paglia. This is going to be fun.
  • Item: “Schwarzenegger could be no-show at GOP convention.” Arnold’s absence would be a good idea, at least until he changes his mind on offshore drilling and reverses his Romneyesque passive-aggressive capitulation on same-sex marriage in California.
  • Dead heat: It seems that the long Labor Day weekend in any given presidential election year, including the preceding Thursday and Friday getaway days, is when Gallup, which polls registered and not likely voters and generally seems to find only Democrats and RINOs who will pick up the phone on weekends, really seems to lose it. This weekend was consistent with that. Gallup had Obama up by 8 on August 30, and by 6 on August 31. Zogby (McCain up by 2 on Aug. 30), Rasmussen (Obama by 3 through Aug. 31), and CNN/Hillary (Obama up by 1 through Aug. 31) begged to differ.

Positivity: Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman Dies

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:57 am

From (original found item at Jessie Bellflowers; Freeman was honored in a 2001 White House ceremony):

August 21, 2008

As Ed “Too Tall” Freeman lay ill in a Boise hospital over the past few weeks, many came to pay their respects to the 80-year-old national war hero and former helicopter pilot.

One unexpected visitor offered a very personal thank you to Freeman, a veteran of three wars and recipient of the highest military award — the Congressional Medal of Honor — for his actions on Nov. 14, 1965, at Landing Zone X-Ray, Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam.

“A guy came into the hospital and said, ‘You don’t know me, but I was one of those people you hauled out of the X-Ray,’” said Mike Freeman, 54, one of Ed’s two sons. “He said, ‘Thanks for my life.’ ”

Freeman died Wednesday.

His Medal of Honor citation credits him with helping save 30 seriously wounded soldiers in 14 separate rescue missions in an unarmed helicopter.

Since the Medal of Honor was created during the Civil War, 3,467 have been awarded, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

The heroics of Freeman and the others involved in the Ia Drang campaign are immortalized in the Mel Gibson movie “We Were Soldiers,” which is based on the book “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young.” A sequel, “We Are Soldiers Still,” was released this month.

Freeman, a Mississippi native who married an Idahoan, began his military career at 17 with a two-year stint in the Navy during World War II.

“He joined the Navy and hated it. The ocean thing was not his bag,” Mike Freeman said.

So he joined the Army, serving four years in Germany before getting deployed to the Korean conflict.

The 6-foot-4 tell-it-like-it-is Southerner got the name “Too Tall” because he was told he was too tall to be a pilot. That didn’t stop him from pushing to fly.

“He was tenacious about getting into flight school. He drove them insane until they let him in,” Mike Freeman said.

He proved his mettle by becoming one the Army’s most heralded helicopter pilots. Two streets at Fort Rucker, Ala., where Freeman trained to be a helicopter pilot, were recently named in honor of Freeman and Maj. Bruce P. Crandall, his commanding officer in the Ia Drang campaign.

In the early 1960s, Freeman served as aviation adviser to the Idaho Army National Guard.

“He was a super instructor. He was not one of these guys who get excited very easily,” said retired Maj. Gen. Jack Kane, former commanding general of the Idaho National Guard.

Kane, a second lieutenant in 1963-64, got his first helicopter lessons from Freeman. Decades later, Kane attended the 2001 Medal of Honor ceremony for Freeman at the White House.

“It was, really, a super-moving moment,” said Kane, who was in a meeting at the Pentagon when Freeman called to invite him to the ceremony. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.