May 20, 2009

The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Recession (*) Has Probably Just Been Extended

From the ‘Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide’ Dept. — Here’s a CNN e-mail alert I just received:


There is no George W. Bush to kick around any more.

I blame Obama and his congressional cohort.

(*) – As Normal People Define It.


UPDATE: So how did the Associated Press’s Jeannine Aversa report the above raw news? As you would expect an Obama apparatchik to do it (reproduced in full as it existed at 3:15 p.m.; bold after title is mine):

Fed sees hopeful signs but downgrades ’09 forecast

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve expects the economy to improve in coming months, even as policymakers have downgraded their outlook for all of 2009.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues believe business sales and factory production will begin to gradually recover later this year as President Barack Obama’s stimulus package and the Fed’s aggressive efforts to end the recession take hold. In new Fed documents, they also pointed to signs that the recession’s grip was easing in the current quarter.

The Fed now expects the economy will shrink this year between 1.3 and 2 percent. The old forecast called for a contraction between 0.5 and 1.3 percent. The unemployment rate may hit nearly 10 percent, up from 8.8 percent in the old forecast.

Here’s a “little” math problem, Jeannine: The economy has already shrunk 1.56% (the first quarter’s preliminary annualized -6.1% expressed on a pure quarter-over-quarter basis). That means, according to the Fed, that the economy will shrink or grow by a teeny-tiny amount (a quarter over quarter average of at most +0.08% or -0.14%) during the rest of the year. All this will occur while the nation’s population continues to grow, meaning that the Fed’s prediction is for a slight reduction in per-capita GDP even if its best-case scenario comes true. That is, the average person will be worse off at the end of the year than they were on March 31.

And what’s this nonsense about “President Barack Obama’s stimulus package …. tak(ing) hold”?

I thought the stimulus legislation had to be enacted immediately to prevent the economy from going in the tank. Why, it was soooooo urgent that nobody even had the time to read it before they voted. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown even had to fly in on a government plane from his mother’s funeral to cast the deciding vote.

What happened? Three months later, the economy’s in the tank and the “stimulus” hasn’t taken hold.

The vast majority of “stimulus” payments thus far has been transfer payments, which, whatever their alleged benefits, do not stimulate economic recovery or growth.

Meaningful tax cuts would have “taken hold” and actually stimulated the economy by now, and could have been made retroactive to January 1 — and I’m not talking about the Obama cut that the vast majority of Americans have said is making no noticeable difference in their lives. Only nine percent say it’s made a big difference, “fifty-eight percent say no difference, and the others don’t know.”

But to Jeannine Aversa, the “hopeful signs” are more important that the belief stated by the Fed that the economy will be worse than it originally thought.

Cross-posted in revised form at

Big 3 Nets’ Evening Newscast Audiences Continue Historic Current-Year and Long-Term Slides

NBCABCCBSchartGraphicEach of the Big 3 networks’ evening news broadcasts is pulling an historically low audience, or close to it — and it isn’t even summertime yet.

While they continue to pretend that Obamamania is as alive and well as it allegedly was in January, they have seen 25% of their viewers go elsewhere, including one-third of the 25-54 demographic.

Year over year, they’re down a collective 6% overall, and a stunning 10% in the 25-54 demo, which now consists of less than 6 million pairs of eyes. Test patterns might be able to outperform that.

Here is the latest chart showing the post-Jan. 26 skids:


Almost three years ago, in July 2006, Drudge headlined “TV’s Lowest Week,” which linked to a wire story about how network TV in general, including the evening news shows, had just endured their worst week for total audience since the boob tube became widely used in households. That wire story said that:

“World News Tonight” averaged 7.3 million viewers and “Nightly News” had 7.2 million (both 5.1 rating, 11 share). The “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.5 million viewers (4.6, 10).

As you can see above, the combined audience for the week of May 11, 2009 was over a half-million lower that early July 2006′s 21 million (7.3 + 7.2 +6.5).

And as I said, it isn’t even summertime yet.

ABC, at 7.14 million is already lower than it was during the summer of 2006. I guess that selectively edited Charles Gibson hatchet job on Sarah Palin didn’t have any long-term effect. Sorry, Charlie.

This will never happen, but if the nets continue to lose evening news audience at the same rate as they have since January 26, no one will be watching them by next March or April. Sadly, we won’t be that lucky.

Cross-posted at


UPDATE: A BizzyBlog flashback from July 2005 explains why Brian, Charlie, and Katie will stay in front of their mics until the repo guys take them away (slightly revised from original) –

The business point here is that there is nothing that will put a stop to this nonsense on the horizon:

  • The audience for the Big Three network nightly news shows continues to decline.
  • The decline is steepest among the most desirable demographic groups.
  • All three nightly broadcasts most likely lose money, when isolated from their morning counterparts (Today, Good Morning America, CBS Morning Show) and their documentary shows (Dateline, 60 Minutes, 20/20, etc.). At a minimum, none makes an acceptable level of profit.
  • The news operations of each of the Big 3 networks are very small parts of very large organizations (CBS, NBC-GE, and ABC-Disney), so small that apparently no one at any of the three parent companies cares enough to do anything about the continued hemorrhaging in the nightly new shows, as long as the news operations themselves are profitable.
  • So because those other parts of the news operations make money, the nightly news programs can chug right along, oblivous to normal profitability expectations.
  • The journalists who put together the nightly news programs could care less if the broadcasts are profitable. It’s obvious that their agenda is more important.
  • Because of all of the above, the ever-shrinking audience for these broadcasts can expect to be spoon-fed biased reporting, Bush bashing, and conservative-bashing for the foreseeable future.

Obama Throws African AIDS Sufferers Under the Bus

Really (HT Hot Air).

As noted by yours truly in April 2008 and August 2008, George W. Bush never got the credit he deserved for the very real accomplishments of his AIDS initiative.

The press recoiled at the idea that it used the ABC approach — “Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms” — and continually lied about how much funding was devoted to abstinence (it was about 7%, not a third, as was repeatedly reported).

The press also doesn’t seem to like the fact that the ABC model “is now recognized as the most effective strategy to prevent HIV in generalized epidemics.” This would explain why Bush, in a February 2008 visit to Africa, was given a hero’s welcome.

The April 2008 post shows a total fiscal 2008 budget of $3.1 billion for PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), which would seem to indicate that Obama’s “$3.3 billion shortfall” represents a complete elimination of the program.

My guesses are that:

  • Obama plans, after the passage of a few months, to initiate a program with no legacy relationship to PEPFAR (wouldn’t want any association with the eeeeeevil Bush, y’know; this Hot Air commenter agrees).
  • The plan won’t include abstinence education.
  • The press will rain down hosannas on Benevolent Dear Leader Obama when he comes out with it.

Snark question: Is Jeremiah Wright, who “believes that AIDs was created by the government of the United States,” available for comment?

Exit question: Isn’t it racist to assume, as the condoms uber alles crowd apparently does, that black Africans are incapable of exercising sexual self-restraint?

Positivity: Overcoming overwhelming odds

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Richmond, Indiana:

May 18, 2009

After debilitating blood clot, woman earns nursing degree

Sixteen-year-old Katie Kirk of Richmond laid down to sleep it off. Three hours later, her mother couldn’t wake her.

A CT scan at Reid Hospital showed a large blood clot in her brain. She was taken by helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Within hours, Kirk had surgery to remove the clot, which was as big as a golf ball.

She had suffered a spontaneous arteriovenous malformation causing a cluster of capillaries in her brain to erupt into a blood clot.

A month later, Kirk was back in surgery to remove the clot-causing spontaneous arteriovenous malformation.

Afterward, a test of her writing and math skills put her at a fourth-grade level.

Since then, Kirk has had to relearn how to learn. Some days, she felt like giving up.

However, Kirk persevered. She defied the odds, and with the help of tutors and teachers for the homebound, she was able to graduate from Richmond High School on time in 2004 and just a week ago, the now 23-year-old graduated from Ball State University with a degree in nursing.

“I was overwhelmed,” Kirk said. “I couldn’t believe that I was up there on that stage getting ready to get my nursing pin.”

Kirk’s mother, Pam Kirk, said, “I was so happy for her. I thought I would cry but I didn’t.”

“It just was an absolute miracle,” said Kirk’s father, Randy Kirk.

Kirk’s achievement of a nursing degree is something her doctors didn’t think was possible.

“During my whole recovery phase, I saw many people, many doctors,” Kirk said. “They’d ask, ‘What are your plans?’ I’d say, ‘I’m going into nursing.’ After knowing what I’d been through, there’d be a look of concern. … ‘That’s a great big dream you’ve got. That might be a difficult dream for you to attain.’”

“Katie just refused to accept that,” Randy Kirk said.

Memorization problems, in particular, were forecast to be a possible deterrent.

“She was determined to rebuild those pathways and she did. It’s just incredible,” said Pam Kirk, a physical education teacher at Charles Elementary School. “I think of myself as a hard worker, but I don’t think I could hold a candle to my daughter.” ….

Go here for the rest of the story.