May 20, 2011

Evening Howler: In Libya Coverage, AP Invents a Bizarre Synonym for ‘Fails to Comply With’

It’s been 60 days since America’s “kinetic military action” in Libya commenced.

The War Powers Act is relevant in certain circumstances, including (Section 1543) “in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced … into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat.” This would clearly apply to the Libyan situation.

The Act requires timely presidential notification of the commencement of such operations. Though of dubious constitutionality, the Act further requires that (Section 1544) “Within sixty calendar days … the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces” unless Congress has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization …”

We’re at Day 60, and the Obama administration isn’t going to comply with any of this. Here is how the Associated Press is headlining and describing Obama’s failure to comply (copied in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):

APonNoLibyaWPR052011

Those who care about such things (i.e., people who don’t want to see the press continually corrupt the English language) should note that the dictionary meanings of “skip” as a verb do not include “to fail to comply with a legal requirement.”

Nobody can possibly believe that the AP would have engaged in such an obvious dodge if a Republican or conservative in the White House has even considered such an option, let alone gone with the “You wouldn’t dare do something about this, would you?” strategy Team Obama is employing.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Press Ignorance of Stimulus Job-Loss Study Leads to Ridiculous Assertion in AP Coverage of Labor’s Discontent

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:38 pm

Earlier today, Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted that the establishment press has given the silent treatment to a study by Timothy Conley of the University of Western Ontario and Bill Dupor of Ohio State University showing that the stimulus plan passed in February 2009 was a major net economic loser. In the first paragraph of the study, the authors revealed their core estimate that  the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act “created/saved 450 thousand government-sector jobs and destroyed/forestalled one million private sector jobs.” That’s a net loss of 550,000 jobs “destroyed/forestalled.”

To test Tim’s contention that “Our media only cites studies which estimate the number of jobs Team Obama ‘saved or created,’” I did searches on Dupor’s last name at the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and got back the following results:

Finally, a Google News search on Dupor’s last name at 10:30 p.m. (sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 16 results (it looks like 22, but it’s really 16), none of which are establishment press outlets.

Ignorance of published results can have consequences. In a report on how the “AFL-CIO may reduce support to Democrats,” Associated Press reported Sam Hananel relays what is apparently one of labor’s objections to how the Obama administration has failed to sufficiently do its bidding:

Unions have been disappointed that Congress has not passed a more ambitious stimulus plan to create jobs, that health care reform didn’t go far enough and that Democrats – when they held a majority in Congress – couldn’t muster enough votes to pass a bill that would make it easier to organize unions.

So I guess the union guys would have preferred a stimulus plan twice the legislated size, so that the economy could suffer 1.1 million jobs “destroyed/forestalled.”

On a more observant note, maybe someone in the union movement will figure out that by artificially preserving many of their state and local jobs for a year or two, the stimulus plan put off the day of reckoning for their governments and worsened their financial situations in the meantime. If the Obama administration and the Pelosi-Reid Congress had done nothing, states would have had to face hard but somewhat more manageable choices in early 2009 instead of even tougher ones in 2011 after the stimulus money was used up.

In other words, the stimulus plan’s clear intent and documented success at briefly preserving public-sector jobs led to dire situations such as those which were dumped on governors, many newly-elected, in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere. These dreadful fiscal circumstances were ripe for serious collective-bargaining reforms which may never have been undertaken by the likes of Badger State Governor Scott Walker or Buckeye State Governor John Kasich in less difficult conditions.

Put more bluntly: The Obama stimulus plan created the conditions which allowed Walker and Kasich to push through legislation altering the union-management playing field. With “friends” like Obama, who needs enemies?

Do I think the union guys will ever figure this out? Nah.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Ohio Jobs Scorecard: Kasich +62K; Every Year Under Strickland, Much Less

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:52 pm

Through the first four months of John Kasich’s first term, Ohio’s economy has added 62,300 seasonally adjusted (SA) jobs, and 4,000 actual (NSA, or not seasonally adjusted) jobs.

As seen in the graphic which follows, this performance wipes the floor with the results achieved under Ted Strickland in good economies or bad from 2007 through 2010 — and it’s hard to make a case that the economy in which Kasich and Ohio are operating is being managed well at the national level:

KasichVsStricklandJobsTo0411

Strickland’s 2010 did gain a bit on Kasich in April, but it’s difficult to imagine why that should be worrisome, given that Ohio’s economy in all of 2010 only added seasonally adjusted 31,000 jobs. Ohio’s economy has added twice that many seasonally adjusted jobs under Kasich already.

As to April’s unemployment rate, it fell to 8.6% SA (lowest since January 2009) and 8.4% NSA (1.9% lower than April 2010).

As I noted a month ago, absent contrary information, Kasich’s electoral win, the GOP’s re-taking of the House, and their combined actions in office this year get the presumptive credit for the improvements noted, unless someone can name something Ted Strickland did that might have had some kind of carryover effect. Good luck with that.

Lickety-Split Links (052011, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:31 am

A spine has been located within the Republican U.S. Senate delegation (“Obama’s appeals court pick blocked”):

Democrats fell short of the 60 votes they need to end a filibuster and give Goodwin Liu an up-or-down vote on his nomination to the San Francisco-based US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Liu is a 40-year-old legal scholar at the University of California’s Berkeley law school.

Hope it’s not a fleeting appearance. It will need to hang around for a long time.

If you can stand it, the rest of the relatively brief Associated Press report appearing at the Boston Globe perfectly exemplifies its institutional bias.

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Kyle-Anne Shiver, at Pajamas Media

America Drowns, But Obama Throws the Mideast Our Life Preserver
It’s the kind of stupid you can only afford with other people’s money.

… Which brings us back to President Obama and his innate arrogance. Only a truly arrogant fool, using other people’s money, could possibly ask the struggling American taxpayer to dole out more money to save the world — at a point when we cannot even save ourselves from economic crash-and-burn reality.

What’s even worse about this fool’s-errand speech is that the money he’s promising on our behalf is for the Islamic regimes which daily threaten to destroy our way of life and grow stronger as we grow weaker. Any American with a mere grain of common sense will see this presidential folly as not merely stupid but also traitorous.

Arrogant, and misguided.

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At Zero Hedge (truncated title): “Philly Fed Plummets” — The Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve issues a monthly report on manufacturing activity in its region. It came in pretty weak.

Specifically, Reuters: “The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index slumped to 3.9 from 18.5 in April. Economists had expected a reading of 20, based on the results of a Reuters poll, which ranged from 10.0 to 28.0. Any reading above zero indicates expansion in the region’s manufacturing.”

This is another indicator that anyone expecting 4% annualized economic growth for the rest of the year is dreaming.

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Laws? Who cares about those? —

Kent Conrad, (Democratic) Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, ignored the law that requires his committee to produce a budget by April 15.

John at Powerline believes it’s all about avoiding dealing with Medicare, pretending it’s okay, and using its not far-off implosion to ensure that health care is nationalized. That looks about right.

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Robert Spencer, at FrontPageMag.com: “Obama Throws Israel to the Dogs” —

It was widely reported Thursday evening that Obama was calling for a return to the 1967 borders, but this is not the case. He actually called for the creation of a “sovereign and contiguous state” for the Palestinian Arabs, and said that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.” Thus he wasn’t calling for a return to the 1967 lines, but new borders “based on the 1967 lines.”

There were, however, no 1967 lines in which Palestinian Arab territory was contiguous. For the territory of Palestine to be contiguous, that of Israel will have to be substantially reduced. Israel’s 1967 borders were indefensible, and Obama is calling for Israel to be reduced even further so that a contiguous Palestinian state can be established.

Thus, from all indications, Israel would end up smaller than it was in 1967.

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At Investors Business Daily (“Patching Potholes”):

Ever wondered where that 18.4 cents-a-gallon gasoline tax goes while dodging disaster on an overcrowded and crumbling highway? Too much of that revenue is spent on nontransportation items.

… But it isn’t. Only about 60% is used for federal highways and bridges. The rest is spent on whatever Washington decides it wants to use it for. Mary Peters, transportation secretary under President George W. Bush, once noted on PBS that it’s spent on “special programs.”

… Hoping for a better arrangement? So are a couple of state lawmakers in Michigan. In separate bills, Paul Opsommer and Tom McMillin have introduced resolutions asking Washington to let the states keep the revenues from the federal gasoline tax rather than round-tripping the money around the Beltway, where it’s watered down by politics and the usual bureaucratic handling fee before it’s returned with strings attached.

This is a wonderful idea. Of course the money would need to be sequestered, and politicians everywhere have a hard time leaving their hands off specifically targeted money. But in Ohio’s case, instead of having stupid discussions about whether we should take $400 million in “free” money for a choo-choo train route the private sector abandoned almost 40 years ago and which would run annual deficits forever and ever, the Buckeye State could target its money to areas where it’s really needed — like the sections of I-71 between Columbus and Cleveland which are still only two lanes each way.

Positivity: Laketon Township (MI) grandmother, 98, twice says yes to the dress

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Muskegon, Michigan (HT AP):

Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 8:49 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 2:16 PM

Twice in her lifetime, Agnes Anderson, 98, of Laketon Township has strolled down the aisle to the altar in her special wedding dress.

The first time was in 1938 in Youngstown, Ohio, to marry her college sweetheart and fiancée, Delmar Anderson.
Her second trip was last week as part of the grand finale of a vintage bridal gown fashion show at Samuel Lutheran Church in Muskegon, where her daughter, Alice Land, is a member.

“She was just beaming,” said Marilyn Nygren of Laketon Township, the fashion show’s organizer, of Anderson’s entrance May 10 into the church sanctuary where about 145 audience members and participants gave her a standing ovation. “It was wonderful,” Nygren said.

Land said nearly three quarters of a century ago, her mother, the former Agnes Smith, then a resident of Youngstown, ordered the ivory-white, satin and lace wedding gown with a veil and train from one of the town’s department stores to wear at her church wedding on Thanksgiving Day to Delmar Anderson.

Agnes Anderson said their marriage lasted nearly 51 “wonderful” years until his death in 1989.

As for her wedding dress, she said it was in mint condition when she retrieved it this spring from a storage box at her home that she shares with Land.

Anderson said before she made her entrance in her wedding attire into the sanctuary last week, she thought she was to be escorted down the aisle by one of the church’s member. That was until her son, Dick Anderson of Laketon Township, surprised her with his arrival at the church.

“He was sitting out in his car waiting in the parking lot, waiting to be called in at the right moment,” Nygren said. “It really was a surprise (for Agnes Anderson).”

Dick Anderson escorted his mother into the church sanctuary and to the altar where Agnes Anderson stood in among more than a dozen other models wearing gowns of church and family members or other friends. …

Go here for the rest of the story.