June 17, 2011

Apparatchik Press: AP Vastly Exaggerates Modest to Non-Existent Improvements in Unemployment Claims, Housing Data

Thursday morning, initial weekly unemployment claims as reported by Uncle Sam’s Department of Labor came in at a seasonally adjusted 414,000. It was 16,000 lower than the previous week’s upwardly revised (as usual) number, but certainly no indicator in and of itself of meaningful improvement.

The housing industry data really wasn’t any better. True, the seasonally adjusted figures from the Census Bureau for building permits issued and housing units started were somewhat improved, but the raw data still had several examples of record weakness.

Wait until you see the headline the Associated Press applied to a story covering the DOL and Census reports by Derek Kravitz and Christopher Rugaber:


Tom’s and Greg’s Links (061711, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:06 am

(Links are from my findings unless otherwise noted: All commentary unquoted commentary is mine)


At Gallup“Generic Republican 44%, Obama 39%” (HT Hot Air via Instapundit). This means a sensible, constitution-loving conservative kicks Obama’s butt by double digits.


(via Greg) At the Washington Times “Lawmakers sue to end U.S. role in Libya fight”:

By Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, that will have grown to $1.1 billion, with an additional $50 million spent on munitions over the final four months.

Obama administration officials said those funds are being shifted from within the Defense Department, and it doesn’t see a need to request emergency funds from Congress.

In other words, likely necessary ordinary defense spending is being cut to fund an unauthorized foreign adventure.

By contrast, Bush 43 got resolutions from Congress before sending troops into Afghanistan and Iraq. Who’s the real warmonger here?


At the Hill (HT Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place) — “Pelosi’s wealth grows by 62 percent.” It went from “at least” $21.7 mil to “at least” $35.2 mil during 2010. I’ve seen similar forms. The figures are likely much, much lower than the actuals.

Nice work if you can get it. Too bad so many people can’t even find work.


(via Greg) In a Washington Times editorial — “States challenge feds on guns; Ninth Circuit hears case to nullify federal intrastate firearm regulations.” Specifically:

Eight states have thrown down the gauntlet and denied the federal government’s authority to regulate firearms that never cross state lines.

… The Justice Department wants (wannabe intrastate gunmaker Mr. (Gary S.) Marbut’s lawsuit thrown out and Montana’s firearms-freedom statute nullified.

Greg would like to see Ohio enact a similar law.

Hmm. This would seem to a natural cause for supposedly born-again Second Amendment fan, concealed carry permit holder, and Buckeye State Attorney General Mike DeWine — except that his past includes ringing endorsements from the Brady campaign, and his 2010 campaign position in support of gun rights, including his and Recipe Fran’s permits, were nothing but cynical poses to counteract the consistent pro-gun rights position of his Democratic opponent.

Prove me wrong, Mike.


From Luba Sindler at American Thinker (HT Confederate Yankee via Greg) — Take it from someone who’s been there, done that, fled that, and is seeing it again (bold is mine):

When candidate Obama showed up, I realized that I had heard his typical stump speech every single day of my old Soviet life from big and small Communist party bosses — the same structure, the same cadences, the same bogeymen, the same demagoguery, the same targets. The American people had no defense against this rhetoric. The result of the elections was totally predictable. To me it was a “Back to the Future” moment.

Imagine you are having a terrible nightmare. Just as you are about to suffer torture or certain death, you wake up and realize the sun is shining, your family is peacefully sleeping, and everything is in place. After enjoying a few blissful moments, you turn your head and see that hideous monster from your dream coming after you for real. This image described the trajectory of my life perfectly. Running from Communism, finding the safe haven and a new life, and now to have the same wrecking crew coming even here?



The FDA as a de facto Death Panel — This is from the Wall Street Journal in mid-April (HT at the end of a maze to Dad29 via Greg):

Shortage Worsens of Leukemia Drug

A shortage of a key leukemia drug that started last year has worsened, causing many major cancer centers such as the Johns Hopkins Hospital to start rationing the drug and others to turn away patients from community hospitals that have run out of the medication.

The three companies that make the drug, called cytarabine, have all suffered production difficulties in the past year. Only one of them, Hospira Inc., is currently shipping the drug, but only in limited quantities that are not nearly enough to meet demand. A shortage in 2010 of the active ingredient used to make cytarabine slowed production at Hospira.

The back story, which the Journal should have told and didn’t, is that FDA, beyond micromanaging manufacturing processes beyond all reason, is actually dictating how much companies can produce, as explained at the Health Affairs blog (bold is mine):

The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been stepping up its quality enforcement efforts — levying fines and forcing manufacturers to retool their facilities both here and abroad. Not only has this more rigorous regulatory oversight slowed down production, the FDA’s “zero tolerance” regime is forcing manufacturers to abide by rules that are rigid, inflexible and unforgiving. For example, a drug manufacturer must get approval for how much of a drug it plans to produce, as well as the timeframe. If a shortage develops (because, say, the FDA shuts down a competitor’s plant), a drug manufacturer cannot increase its output of that drug without another round of approvals. Nor can it alter its timetable production (producing a shortage drug earlier than planned) without FDA approval.

My late father worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years until the mid-1990s and was involved in quality control during that entire time. He talked about the out-of-control FDA a lot, but he never, ever said a word about dictating levels of production.

The FDA is engaging in Soviet-style central planning, with tragically predictable results. The agency’s behavior dates back to Bush 43, but as would be expected, it seems to have ramped upon El Presidente Obama’s arrival. Some people in life-and-death situations are not getting the drugs they need. If Obamacare ever kicks in, “some” will become “most” in relatively short order.

IBD Has Romney, and His Dangers, Pegged

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:58 am

RomneyNo0808In an editorial last night that starts out being about Mitt Romney earning the coveted Al Gore endorsement, Investors Business Daily delivers a serious de facto warning to GOP primary voters, while understating its valid conclusion:

Al Warms To Mitt

“Good for Mitt Romney,” Gore blogged Wednesday afternoon. “While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party.”

At a recent New Hampshire town hall meeting, Romney “stuck to the position he has held for many years — that he believes the world is getting warmer and that humans are contributing to it,” said the Washington Post.

A year and a half ago, the Climate-gate scandals showed that “scientists” — actually, government-funded global warming activists — were skewing climate data and trying to silence climate change skeptics.

But Romney’s campaign says he can’t reconsider global warming because he’s already flip-flopped on too much else — including abortion and government-run health care. Democrats such as DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz are having a field day accusing Romney of being a chameleon who has to “debate with himself on where he is on any issue.”

Romney also has no economic plan to speak of, and liberal New Republic writer Jonathan Chait blogged Monday it’s because doing so would “undercut the political salience of his managerial reputation.”

So avoiding being seen as a flip-flopper (it’s too late, pal; see this graphic) is more important than being right? Having no plan for a pathetic economy and our dire fiscal situation is “smart”?

O … M … G. This is the resume, and the mindset, of a loser, and if he were somehow to win anyway, an incredibly dangerous and unpredictable White House occupant (yes, potentially more dangerous than the current one, because of that unpredictability).

IBD elaborates (bolds are mine):

There is something disquieting, however, about a liberal like Gore issuing a public bravo for the Republican front-runner. Could it be that Democrats fear Romney’s more ideas-focused rivals for the GOP nod? Do they want Romney to stay strong so a Chris Christie or Rick Perry doesn’t enter the race, generating excitement for Reaganite grass-roots voters?

One of Ronald Reagan’s favorite quotes was Victor Hugo’s observation that “no army can stop an idea whose time has come.” And the idea Reagan had in mind was a less-interventionist government creating “a climate in which the entrepreneurial genius of the private sector can do what it does best — namely, create new wealth, new possibilities of employment.”

Some Democrats seem to be convinced Romney doesn’t stand for that — and therefore want him to be the one to face President Obama in November 2012.

IBD is being too kind. Democrats and the establishment press running interference for him know that Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney really “doesn’t stand for that.” They want to have Romney be Barack Obama’s November 2012 opponent so badly they can taste it.

If Romney gets the GOP nomination, 2012 will become the Seinfeld campaign — all about nothing — at perhaps the worst possible time in American history for that to happen. Add this to the long, long list of reasons why he must be rejected.

Positivity: Leonard Pope hailed a hero after daring rescue

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Americus, Georgia:

Kansas City Chiefs player Leonard Pope is being hailed as a hero by a south Georgia mother, who credits him with saving her son from drowning.

Anne Moore said her son, 6-year-old Bryson, was at a pool party Saturday when she saw him go under water and she began screaming for help.

“Leonard was inside, and he came out of nowhere and dove into the water without any hesitation, cell phone in his pocket and all,” Moore told the Americus Times-Recorder.

Pope, responding to Moore’s cries for help, said he could no longer see Bryson above the water.

“All I saw was his fingertips at the top of the water and I couldn’t see his head,” Pope told ESPN.

Pope said he has children of his own, and that he would want someone to do the same for them.
“I just knew I had to do something,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.