April 1, 2011

Scoreboard: Ford Beats GM

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:25 pm

March sales, per MarketWatch:

http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx40/mmatters/FordBeatsGM0311

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UPDATE: The final word, per the Wall Street Journal

FordBeatsGM0311WSJ

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Commentary: At the Washington Times

It … (is) a microcosm of the competition between two worldviews, the automotive equivalent of North vs. South Korea. Right now, the good guys are winning.

If the “good guys” hadn’t made the decision noted here three years ago, this day would probably never have arrived.

BizzyBlog-Surfaced 9/12/01 Vid Cited As Reason To Oust Van Jones From HuffPo Perch (Update: Obama-Farrakhan)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:23 pm

Well, he is still on HuffPo’s front page in the “Recent Blog Post” section (we ordinarily don’t link to HuffPo; readers who wish can surely find their way over there), so I’ll assume that the controversy over Van Jones’s presence vs. Andrew Breitbart’s absence still rages.

Bryan Preston posted on this at the PJ Tatler yesterday:

The back story is that PuffHost banned Breitbart for a mild ad hominem on Commie Truther Van Jones, but has elected not to ban Bill Maher, who has twice called Sarah Palin very foul names.

No one questions whether the Huffers have the right to ban one and not the other, but the Host claimed that the Breitbart banning was about elevating the political discourse or whatever, while what Maher said — that didn’t get him banned — was far far worse than anything Breitbart said. And Maher remains unbanned. What’s the policy, Arianna?

Well, another part of the back story is that the video in question was uploaded by yours truly from a RealPlayer movie downloaded from a far-left web site and converted to a format YouTube would play in September 2009 (HT to Gateway Pundit for remembering).

Rather than endure the entire insufferable, offensive production, I encourage readers to go to the 4:38 mark, where you will see Van Jones, on September 12, 2001, say the following:

  • “It’s the bombs that the government has been dropping around the world that are now blowing up inside the U.S. borders.”
  • “We’ve got something stronger than bombs, we have solidarity. That dream of revolutionary change is stronger than bombs.”

At BigJournalism, Breitbart, who graciously credited yours truly when advised of where the vid was first posted (and credited Powerline for surfacing the quote a few days earlier), properly asks: “Will AOL Remove Van Jones from HuffPost Front Page for Hateful Attack on America Day After 9/11?” Specifically:

Remember, this rally was taking place while the bodies of 3,000 Americans were still smoldering in the rubble of the World Trade Center and American heroes were putting their lives at risk at ground zero in a massive humanitarian effort. What kind of monsters would use this occasion to turn Americans against one another?

It’s no wonder that this man is embraced and honored by groups like the once-relevant, now-radical NAACP and was given the high honor of holding a Presidential appointment in the first year of the Obama Presidency. He speaks the revolutionary “blame America first” rhetoric of Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Malik Zulu Shabazz.

What is curious and confounding is that a major corporation like AOL is allowing a person with this kind of record to influence the content of their influential website through the intimidation tactics of Color Of Change, the anti-free speech organization he founded.

In light of this latest video revelation, Mr. Jones needs to finally explain, fully, his position on 9/11.

Actually, I don’t see why. We’ve just heard it.

What Jones said in the vid was also the topic of the first couple of minutes of a segment on Hannity’s America last night (HT to Deneen Borelli, who was one of the panelists; direct YT link):

Well, it took a while, but I’m glad to see that what Jones said immediately after the 9/11 attacks has finally gotten some of the visibility it deserves.

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UPDATE: Later in the segment, the Hannity’s America panelists discussed Louis Farrakhan and speculated on the extent of the pre-presidential relationship between President Obama and Farrakhan. Readers here will recall (though Hannity’s panelists didn’t) that yours truly “covered” that too, as seen on the covers of Jeremiah “G__ D____ America” Wright’s Trumpet magazine (click on the pics to enlarge and open in a new window):

TUCC120207FarrakhanHilliardTrumpet TUCC021206TrumpetPantheonUnk TUCC102305TrumpetFarrakhan1005

As explained three years ago:

The first pic appears to be the November – December 2007 double issue, as found in the December 2, 2007 TUCC bulletin.

The second, as noted in this previous post, and pictured in the Obama collection above, is from roughly February 2006. Farrakhan appears in a pantheon of African-American “leaders,” including Barack Obama, (Trinity United Church of Christ pastor) Wright, and others (Little Green Footballs readers have identified many of the others at this LGF post; Martin Luther King is NOT in the picture). Farrakhan is on the far right in the third row; Obama is on the far left.

The third, yet another solo appearance (cover title: “Million Man Management”), was found in the October 16, 2005 bulletin, and is probably the October 2005 issue of Trumpet.

We’re supposed to believe (20-year Trinity United Church of Christ member) Obama when he says that he has no idea that Farrakhan has been on Trumpet’s cover at least three times, in one instance sharing cover space with Farrakhan and Wright, his pastor.

At the Weekly Standard in May 2008, Stanley Kurtz reached the only conclusion possible regarding Obama and Wright:

To the question of the moment–What did Barack Obama know and when did he know it?–I answer, Obama knew everything, and he’s known it for ages. Far from succumbing to surprise and shock after Jeremiah Wright’s disastrous performance at the National Press Club, Barack Obama must have long been aware of his pastor’s political radicalism. A careful reading of nearly a year’s worth of Trumpet Newsmagazine, Wright’s glossy national “lifestyle magazine for the socially conscious,” makes it next to impossible to conclude otherwise.

The idea that Barack Obama is not at least a personal and/or “professional” acquaintance of Farrakhan, a close associate of Wright who is currently under fire for defending friend and Libyan dictator Gaddafi, as absurd as the idea that Obama wasn’t intimately familiar with Wright’s radical and racially poisonous views despite almost 20 years of Trinity United Church of Christ membership.

March 2011 Employment Situation Summary (040111)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:12 am

First, a flashback for historical context — In June 1984, the 21st month after the country’s last serious recession ended, the economy on Ronald Reagan’s watch added 379,000 seasonally adjusted jobs (355,000 of them in the private sector), when the workforce was 25%-30% smaller:

BLSseasAdj1982to1985

Projections for today’s Employment Situation Summary covering March, the 21st month after the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Economy’s recession ended, are for job growth to be roughly half the Reagan Era number — less than half after adjusting for population.

ADP’s private-sector report on Wednesday showed 201,000 jobs added in March.

A Wednesday Associated Press item to which I didn’t retain the link asserted that the consensus prediction at that time was for 185,000 jobs to be added overall in today’s report.

More recently, the predictions are as follows:

  • Bloomberg, “according to the median forecast of 83 economists surveyed,” is predicting 190,000 jobs added, with no comment on what might happen to the unemployment rate, which in February came in at 8.9%.
  • This AP report last night also had +185,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate predicted to stay at 8.9%.
  • At Reuters, it’s “190K U.S. jobs seen added, unemployment rate steady.”

What needs to happen in the not seasonally adjusted numbers: The graphic below is from last month, since I didn’t get to BLS in time this morning to get the most recent one. But for analytical purposes in benchmarking for March, it has what’s needed –

NSAforJanToJune2001to2010

Based on what really happened on the ground during the reasonably good years of 2004-2007, today’s report needs to show at least 950,000 not seasonally adjusted jobs added overall in March, with 850,000 of them added in the private sector, to demonstrate the existence of the beginnings of a decent job market recovery. If that seems high, well, we’re 21 months out from the recession, and we’re long overdue for really good things to start happening. If they continue not to happen, well, it has to be because the administration’s policy prescriptions are continuing to keep the patient from recovering normally.

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.

Here it is, with decent (but, as usual, non-Reaganesque) numbers that beat expectations:

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and mining. Employment in manufacturing continued to trend up. …

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons (13.5 million) and the unemployment rate (8.8 percent) changed little in March. The labor force also was little changed over the month. Since November 2010, the jobless rate has declined by 1.0 percentage point. …

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000 in March. Job gains occurred in several service-providing industries and in mining, and manufacturing employment continued to trend up. Since a recent low in February 2010, total payroll employment has grown by 1.5 million.

In March, employment in the service-providing sector continued to expand, led by a gain of 78,000 in professional and business services. Most of the gain occurred in temporary help services (+29,000) and in professional and technical services (+35,000).

Health care employment continued to increase in March (+37,000). Over the last 12 months, health care has added 283,000 jobs, or an average of 24,000 jobs per month.

… Employment in local government continued to trend down over the month. Local government has lost 416,000 jobs since an employment peak in September 2008.

… The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from +63,000 to +68,000, and the change for February was revised from +192,000 to +194,000.

Now for the not seasonally adjusted look:

  • Overall, it came in at +925,000, just short of the +950K benchmark.
  • The private sector came in at +833,000, again just short of the 850,000 benchmark.

That’s why I look at the not-seasonally adjusted numbers, because the seasonally adjusted figures sometimes miscommunicate.

Although I expect that the press will treat the news as outstanding, in reality this report is decent, but far from convincing.

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Stat of the morning: From the Establishment Survey — Since the recession ended in June 2009, the private sector has added 636,000 seasonally adjusted jobs (updated graphic here). 508,000 of them (again seasonally adjusted), almost 80%, have been in temporary help services.

Stat of the morning “look at the bright side” moment: Through last month (as revised), 406,000 private-sector jobs had been added since the recession ended, with 479,000 temp jobs — meaning that there was still a net loss of non-temp jobs in the 20 months after the recession ended. That situation didn’t turn around until this month.