December 4, 2009

Michelle Malkin Takes Down Nick Kristof

Kristof’s column about a patient who can’t get treatment is best described as a pack of lies from beginning to end.

Michelle exposed it, and doubled down (with additional links; just go there), by doing something Kristof apparently wasn’t interested in doing: research.

If Kristof’s piece is the best argument for ObamaCare, there is no argument for ObamaCare.

Of course, Kristof thinks that Mao wasn’t such a bad guy, so his promotion of statism and his lack of interest in the truth shouldn’t exactly be a surprise.

Nick Kristof was scammed just as surely as his fellow journalists have been scammed for years by the perpetrators of what is now known as Climategate. That they won’t own up to having been played doesn’t change the fact that they have been.

The November Employment Situation Report (120409)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:27 am

Run-up: ADP reported 169,000 jobs lost in the private sector during November in the national employment report it released Wednesday.

  • This quickie note at a local Fox station predicts the unemployment rate will be unchanged at 10.2% and that 130,000 seasonally adjusted jobs will be lost.
  • That same prediction is in this AP report from yesterday on the worsening employment situation in many metro areas.
  • Forbes columnist Joshua Zumbrun, claiming that the “turning point is near,” has the rate staying the same and 125,000 lost.

The report comes out here at 8:30 a.m.

Here it is:

The unemployment rate edged down to 10.0 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged (-11,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In the prior 3 months, payroll job losses had averaged 135,000 a month. In November, employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and information, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

The Forbes guy may be right.

If you look at the following graphic which has the seasonally adjusted and raw rates, it looks like the rate may indeed stay at 10% or even decline slightly in the coming months:

BLSrawAndSeasAdjUnempRates1109

The actual on-the-ground rate went up from October to November in each of the past five years, but went down this time. That’s a pretty good thing.

One takeaway from this is that BLS probably overshot reality a bit in October when it showed a 0.4% increase in the unemployment rate, but that the rate might actually be stabilizing and headed slightly downward.

The open question is whether the rate dropped because fewer people are working and/or looking for work according to the Household Survey. I’ll be back with that shortly.

UPDATE: The workforce situation is a mixed bag –

WorkforceData1109

The bad news is that the civilian labor force continues to shrink while the number of people who currently want a job continues to increase. The good news is that more people were working in November than in October, and fewer were unemployed.

“Luckily” for the calculation of the unemployment rate, a lot fewer people are participating in the workforce. If the participation rate had been the same as a year ago (65.8%), 1.9 million more people would be showing as unemployed (65.8% times 236.743 million is 155.777 million; 155.777 million minus the current civilian labor force of 153.877 million is 1.9 million right on the button), and the unemployment rate would now be 11.1% (17.275 million unemployed because of the additional 1.9 million unemployed in the labor force divided by 155.777 million) instead of 10.0%.

I would suggest that it’s at least as important for long-term economic growth for the administration to figure out a way to get as many of those who have withdrawn from the workforce back into it as possible as it is to help those who are currently looking. Doing that would involve lifting the pervasive, government-induced uncertainty that hangs over the entire economy. It would not involve increasing transfer payments beyond what is needed, as has clearly been done in the Food Stamp program.

Here’s an obvious idea, given that so many have withdrawn from the workforce by retiring early for the purpose of collecting Social Security benefits: Repeal the punitive Social Security earnings penalty.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Three Big Stories, Three Media Disappearing Acts’) Is Up

Hear_No_Evil_See_No_Evil_Speak_No_EIt’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

_______________________________

The three disappearing acts cited in the column are:

  • The $80.7 billion in “reorganization gains” (i.e., gains resulting from the fleecing of taxpayers and creditors) recognized by “old” General Motors during the final days of its bankruptcy proceedings in early July. The earliest AP breakers after GM’s release of financial info on November 16 mentioned it. Subsequent reports, including this one, have not.
  • During Thanksgiving, barely covering the homelessness situation, which is almost certainly worse nationwide and is definitely worse in certain parts of the country, and never, as far as I could tell, putting it into the context of the awful national economy.
  • Trying to put a smiley face while hiding a thus far mediocre at best Christmas shopping season.

A fourth more important disappearing act is the one where the establishment media, particularly non-Fox network TV, has been trying to make Climategate disappear. Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters yesterday noted that it’s Day 13 of the steadfast refusal by ABC, CBS, and NBC to substantively cover the exposure of “scientists” who have come perilously close to reordering the world’s economic and political systems in the name of globaloney as a collection of data-manipulatiing, info-hiding, enemy-attacking charlatans. For cryin’ out loud, Jon Stewart has done more with the story than have the Big 3 nets.

Because of this see-nothing, hear-nothing, speak-nothing approach to an objectively important story, TV viewers who learn about it from alternative media and word-of-mouth will probably continue to perform their own disappearing acts and decide to go elsewhere for actual news.

Positivity: Woman rescued after driving into river in Mississippi

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:13 am

From D’Iberville, Mississippi:

Posted: Dec 02, 2009 9:31 AM
Updated: Dec 02, 2009 1:07 PM

A 19-year-old girl is lucky to be alive after her car ended up at the bottom of the Tchoutacabouffa River Wednesday morning. A D’Iberville Police officer happened to be on Lamey Bridge Road checking the river stage when her car spun out of control and into the water.

Officer Michael Knapp watched in horror as the scene unfolded in front of him.

“I was praying it wouldn’t go into the water,” Officer Knapp remembered. “And the next thing you know, the front end of the car, I saw the bumper rip off and the car goes into the water.”

Moments later, Officer Knapp saw Carrie McGill climb out of her window.

“She started screaming, ‘Help me, help me, help me.’ First thing I thought of was my life jacket.”

Knapp grabbed the life jacket from his car and carefully tossed it down to the girl. He said it’s a miracle the wind didn’t blow it away first.

“It just dropped right in her arms. And she grabbed it, wrapped her arms around it. That’s when the car went under,” Knapp said.

But Carrie McGill’s legs were still in the car, so she went down with it.

“I was praying that she would come up. I was hoping the water wouldn’t take her under. I was thinking about jumping in right after that. Then she popped up,” Knapp said.

That’s when Officer Chris Roberts arrived. He immediately got in the water.

“The first thing I thought when I stepped into the water was hypothermia on her part, because she had been in there for an unknown amount of time before I arrived,” Officer Roberts said.

“Once I got about 50 feet into the water there, she began to paddle towards me. Once she got to me, I grabbed her and pulled her to the shore.”

Both officers are being hailed as heroes for their quick actions.

“But that’s what we’re trained to do. We’re trained to react and help people and that’s what we’re out here for,” Knapp said.

“This makes it worth it, to be able to do this,” Roberts said. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.