September 28, 2010

AP to Obama: Find Your Bus, and Throw Andy Stern Under It

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:43 am

The Associated Press plays the “hide the Democratic Party affiliation” game so often that when the party’s name appears as obviously as it does in the item that follows — and is tied to tons of money involved in political campaigns — you can’t help but figure that there’s something else going on:

APonSternFBIinvestigation092810

The “something else” is, of course, Stern’s participation in Obama’s deficit reduction commission noted in the sixth paragraph. The commission’s credibility, such as it is already, will be seriously hurt by Stern’s continued presence.

The AP is helpfully telling the president that Stern’s got to go.

For once, they’re right.

P.S. Though it is interesting that the “Democratic” reference doesn’t include the word “Party.”

Cleanup at AP: Report on Serious Consumer Confidence Drop Omits Its Size, Deletes Previously Included Context

conference-boardToday’s report from The Conference Board shows that consumer confidence fell steeply in September:

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had improved in August, retreated in September. The Index now stands at 48.5 (1985=100), down from 53.2 in August.

In a report issued in the run-up to the Board’s release (go to the text which follows the “Breaking News Update” here; saved at my web host for future reference), the Associated Press’s Stephen Bernard revealed economists’ consensus prediction (52.5) and helpfully told readers the level of result (90) that would represent “a strong, healthy economy.”

In his 10:36 report consolidating the breaking news with info presented before its release (saved here), that useful information disappeared. In fact, even though it was in the “Breaking News Update” of the earlier report, Bernard omitted the Board’s specific reading from his revision. Amazing.

Here is what the AP reporter told readers in his run-up story (bolds are mine throughout):

Growth in consumer confidence in Germany comes on the same day where a key report on consumer confidence in the U.S. is scheduled for release. The Conference Board is expected to say U.S. consumer confidence dipped slightly this month compared with August.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters forecast the consumer confidence index dipped to 52.5 from 53.5 last month. It takes a reading of 90 to indicate a strong, healthy economy.

Confidence remains low in the U.S. as unemployment remains high and economic growth is tepid. But investors have been able to drive stocks sharply higher throughout September because economic data indicates the country is strong enough to avoid falling back into recession.

Here is how the related information looked in the revision:

Stocks slipped Tuesday following news that consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level since February.

The Conference Board said its September reading on consumer confidence fell sharply from August and was well below forecasts. Stocks have rallied throughout September as many major economic reports suggested that economic growth was slightly better than previously thought.

Why would Stephen Bernard and the AP not want readers to know what the Board’s reading actually was, or just how far below expectations it came in? And why is it no longer important that readers understand what kind of reading is seen when an economy is strong and healthy?

The questions answer themselves, don’t they?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lucid Links (092810, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:30 am

At Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com“AFL-CIO Head Calls for ‘Popular Control Over Private Corporations’”:

Building for the future, he (Richard Trumka) said, “we need to fundamentally restructure our economy and re-establish popular control over the private corporations which have distorted our economy and hijacked our government. That’s a long-term job, but one we should start now.”

It comes straight from the AFL-CIO Now Blog.

The most obvious point to make is that most of the “private corporations” he is criticizing are “publicly held” — that is, they are owned directly through individually purchased shares or indirectly through mutual funds by millions of Americans, young and old, rich and not-so-rich. Though they are heavily regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, companies such as these whose stocks are publicly traded are already in a very real sense “popularly controlled.” The fact that shareholders don’t exercise their right to have a say in how companies are run very often is a separate issue, but it’s there to use if they wish to use it.

I’m thinking that Trumka is advocating going further than “merely” getting the government’s boot more firmly on the necks of publicly-held companies. Given that Koch Industries, which truly is privately held, has made it to the top tier of Barack Obama’s enemies list, Trumka’s “fundamental restructuring” may be about exercising “popular control” over entities such as these.

“Popular control” in leftist parlance normally means “government ownership” — which, in Trumka’s world, might imply that once a private entity reaches a certain size, the government can demand to become a “partner.”

If this seems like a stretch, look at the “small business loan” legislation that just passed. The law requires that participating lenders accept “government capital investment” (i.e., partial government ownership) as a precondition of participating in these loan programs.

One fundamental difference between the U.S. labor movement and those found in the rest of the world was the basic understanding here that free-market capitalism works, with the only open questions relating to whether or not companies were appropriately paying the help and treating them fairly.

Trumka’s statement would indicate that the labor movement’s leadership has now moved firmly into the leftists’ May Day, “workers of the world unite” camp. George Meany and Lane Kirkland are spinning in their graves.

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From AP Add Russ Feingold to the list of key Dems who don’t want to be seen with President Obama:

Democratic Party Chairman Timothy Kaine says he sees no slight in Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold skipping a campaign rally tonight where President Barack Obama is appearing on his behalf.

Sure, Tim.

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At CNS News:

Just seven days after he sparked controversy by omitting the word “Creator” when he closely paraphrased the passage from the Declaration of Independence that says all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights,” President Barack Obama again omitted the Creator when speaking about the “inalienable rights” that “everybody is endowed with.”

This is the kind of “cute,” in-your-face crap immature, defiant punks engage in — which is why my description of Obama’s term as the Punk Presidency has remained appropriate since the day it was first coined. It would be a barely tolerable sideshow if it weren’t for the fact that the Punk Presidency has, as Michael Barone has frequently noted, come with the actions of a Gangster Government.

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Birds of a Feather (HT Mark Hemingway):

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s six nights in New York featured a secret sit-down with militant minister Louis Farrakhan, heckling in a hotel bar, and a fear of being rubbed out that bordered on paranoia.

The president shared a hush-hush meal with Farrakhan and members of the New Black Panther Party Tuesday at the Warwick Hotel on West 54th Street.

The meeting of the podium smackers took place in a banquet room, where the fiery leaders presumably exchanged theories on what’s wrong with the world.

To get a handle on what’s wrong with the world, all they had to do is look at each other.

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“Obama Presses for Longer School Years” — I might be receptive to the idea if a) it doesn’t come with a 9% pay raise, which the teachers’ unions will expect for going from roughly 180 to 196 days, and b) the extra days are devoted to academics instead of garbage like Arne Duncan’s “sustainable economy” brainwashing:

On Tuesday, the conferees were addressed by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who stated that the Department of Education had “been mostly absent from the movement to educate our children to be stewards of our environment” and had not “been doing enough in the sustainability movement.” But the Secretary further stated, “I promise you that we will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society.” The Secretary went on to speak to the issue of the central role educators must play in promoting a culture of change in our schools and in our communities. “President Obama has made clean, renewable energy a priority because, as he says, it’s the best way to ‘truly transform our economy, to protect our security, and save our planet.’”

Until the extra days are dedicated to genuine learning, they shouldn’t waste everybody’s time. That’s not going to happen any time soon.

Through the first eleven months of the fiscal year, the Department of Education has spent $81.6 billion this year, up from $50.3 billion the previous year — and that’s before digging into what looks to be some unusual accounting. During August $9.24 billion in actual spending was nearly offset by $8.57 billion in “Proprietary Receipts From the Public,” leaving total “spending” for the month at $667 million. Huh?

Positivity: Years later, bravery on a Laos mountain is honored

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:09 am

From Washington:

For decades, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard L. “Dick” Etchberger’s courage under fire was kept as secret as the mission that placed him on a remote Laotian mountain, high above the clouds, in March 1968.

Now, his bravery that day can be written in stone.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday posthumously recognized Etchberger for service “beyond the call of duty” by giving him the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. Obama said those three words can now be etched into a granite monument to Etchberger’s memory at Barksdale Air Force base in Louisiana.

“Even though it’s been 42 years,” Obama said at a ceremony with Etchberger’s three sons, “it’s never too late to do the right thing and it’s never too late to pay tribute to our Vietnam veterans and their families.”

Etchberger was part of a radar team that came under attack by North Vietnamese soldiers who had improbably scaled the heights to Lima Site 85, a radar installation helping to direct U.S. bombing of Hanoi. The mission was secret because the U.S. was not supposed to have troops in officially neutral Laos.

The 35-year-old radar technician from Hamburg, Pa., with no formal training in combat, acted on instinct. Using an M-16 and a radio to call in air strikes, he single-handedly held off the attackers until helicopters arrived at dawn.

He then braved enemy fire to help three wounded comrades into rescue slings.

After climbing into the chopper behind the others, Etchberger was fatally wounded when enemy fire struck the aircraft. The others in the helicopter made it to safety.

“Today,” Obama told Etchberger’s sons in the East Room ceremony, “your nation finally acknowledges and fully honors your father’s bravery.”

“We knew that he was that kind of person,” Richard Etchberger, who shares his father’s first name, said afterward. “He would be here just saying ‘I was doing my job up there.’ I think he’d be really humbled but proud of his achievement.”

Etchberger was secretly honored by the Air Force months after his death and his wife, Catherine, knew the truth of his mission. But his children, and others, at first did not.

Go here for the rest of the story.