January 6, 2012

TIB Broadcast Tonight

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 6:20 pm

We’re back for another year starting tonight, beginning 15 minutes ago.

Go here to listen (find the “Listen Now” link).

Josh Mandel on Fox & Friends

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 12:32 pm

Calling out Obama and – despite his recent and predictable tack toward sanity – the most liberal member of the Senate, Sherrod Brown:

If the GOP establishment insists on perpetuating the electibility myth of Objectively Unfit Mitt, then they may want to consider doing what they should have done in 2008: pour all their money & resources into procuring veto-proof majorities in Congress.

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UPDATE from Tom: I was pretty disappointed in Josh’s performance here (talked to another frequent emailer who definitely agreed). He looked like he had been programmed to say “hyperpartisan” and “rammed down our throats” as many times as possible and didn’t come across as personally positive (which you should be able to do even when going negative). Just let Josh be Josh, people.

December Employment Situation Summary (010612); +200K Jobs SA, Unemployment Rate 8.5%, With Quirks and Qualifiers

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:00 am

Econ Catch-upYesterday’s reports:

  • ISM Non Manufacturing — slightly faster expansion.
  • Initial unemployment claims — 372,000, down 15,000 from previous week, which was revised up by 6,000.
  • ADP private-sector employment — 325,000 jobs added, best in a year (“The increase in December was the largest monthly gain since last December 2010″).
  • Challenger Gray mass layoffs — 41,785, considered a pretty decent result.

Other Econ Catch-up:

  • ISM Manufacturing — Improved by 1.2% to 53.9%, indicating faster expansion.
  • Auto sales — a relatively strong December, up 8.7% from December 2010 (10.3% for the year, more in light trucks than in cars). GM, which I thought was predicted to be up over 30% (Update: That was Dec. vs. Nov., and was an accurate prediction), came in at +5%. Ford was up 10%. Chrysler was up 37%. For the year: GM, +13%; Ford, +11%; Chrysler, +26%. Despite the underhanded nature of the government’s handling of the bankruptcy, you’ve got to hand it to CEO Marchionne and his crew (the guess here is that he kept Team Obama at a distance). Others with stellar full-year results: Nissan, +15%; Hyundai, +20%; Mitsubishi, +42%; Kia, +36%; Mercedes, +16%; VW, +26%.

Predictions for today:

  • Business Insider’s email: +155,000 overall jobs added, with unemployment rate going up to 8.7%.
  • Same at Bloomberg.
  • Associated Press — +150,000 overall jobs added, unemployment rate to 8.7%.

Not seasonally adjusted benchmarks:

SAandNSAjobs2001 to Nov11

The jobs change number on the ground (i.e., NOT seasonally adjusted, or NSA) needs to be 100,000 or fewer. NSA Private-sector job losses need to be 50,000 or fewer. These numbers are important than whatever the seasonaly adjusted (SA) numbers end up being, because the irregularities of the past 3-1/2 years render normal concepts of seasonality almost useless.

My instinct is that both benchmarks will be met.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS — in Month 30 after the end of the recession, it seems to be a relatively good report for this “recovery” but nowhere near Reaganesque-level good news (pending a look at whether it’s “Going Galt”-aided or not and at what the NSA numbers are):

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000 in December, and the unemployment rate, at 8.5 percent, continued to trend down, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, health care, and mining.

Household Survey Data

Both the number of unemployed persons (13.1 million) and the unemployment rate (8.5 percent) continued to trend down in December. The unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage point since August.

… The civilian labor force participation rate (64.0 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) were both unchanged over the month.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 200,000 in December. Over the past 12 months, nonfarm payroll employment has risen by 1.6 million. Employment in the private sector rose by 212,000 in December and by 1.9 million over the year. Government employment changed little over the month but fell by 280,000 over the year.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised from +100,000 to +112,000, and the change for November was revised from +120,000 to +100,000.

So the seasonally adjusted change including prior revisions is +192K (200K today plus 12K from October minus 20K from November).

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UPDATE: The NSA numbers are disappointing, and the SA numbers came out wacky in Team Obama’s favor –

  • Overall, December job losses on the ground were 219,000. That’s 119,000 below where I believe it needed to be (and below where anyone looking at the chart before the numbers came out would have hoped for). Note that the overall NSA number in 2006 was -110K, almost exactly half of today’s loss. It led to a lower SA number (+180K) than we saw today (+200K).
  • In the private sector, jobs losses on the ground of 80,000 were much closer to the benchmark of -50,000, but still didn’t meet or beat it. Today’s raw number is pretty close to 2005′s -94K, yet today’s result led to +212K seasonally adjusted vs. 138,000 that year.

The Birth/Death numbers hardly had an impact in December.

As I said earlier, the past 3-1/2 years have thrown seasonality into total turmoil. This month, Team Obama caught a huge break. Ordinarily in these things, what goes around will come around. Update: As if by magic — “Morgan Stanley Warns 42,000 “Jobs” Bogus Due To Seasonal Quirk.” That’s only about half of the overall discrepancies.

UPDATE 2: From the Household Survey (all seasonally adjusted) — Compared to a year ago, 1.4 million more people are not in the labor force, 1.7 million more Americans are working, and the civilian labor force has increased by less than 300,000 (and has decreased by 843,000 since the recession ended 2-1/2 years ago). The unemployment rate has come down, but it’s not the sign of improvement you would ordinarily expect it to be.

In the same 30 months after September 1982, the last full quarter of the Reagan-era recession, the civilian workforce increased by 4.6 million.

Yeah, the “Going Galt” thing the left loves to ridicule is for real.

UPDATE 3: Good new, bad news — The good news is that the number of people employed full-time (seasonally adjusted) has increased by almost 1.3 million in the past three months, and by 1.8 million since that number hit its trough six months ago.

The bad news is that the number of full-time workers is still over 8 million fewer than was the case in November 2007, and only 1 million more (about 0.8% higher) than when the recession ended. The Reagan-era recession’s-end comparable? Up by almost 7.5 million (about 9%).

UPDATE 4, Jan. 11: Late on this, because I didn’t see a trackback and haven’t yet seen a Google Alert hit, but Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard referenced this post on January 10.

HillBuzz (Sort of) Gets an ‘I Told You So’; Santorum May Have Won Iowa (Update: A Pro-Romney Offset Elsewhere?)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:45 am

Early Wednesday morning, HillBuzz’s proprietor wrote:

The Iowa Caucus is incredibly easy to steal through voter fraud and other nefarious means. It is, by design, a chaotic and horribly organized affair with no ID checks for people attempting to vote. Very elderly people run most of the Caucus sites and most of the counting is done by hand, without a system in place to assure any sort of accuracy. Results are then called in verbally via telephone from the Caucus site to the “headquarters” that tallies the results. I have known of elections in junior high schools that were more secure and safe from both fraud and human error.

Well, it’s probably not nefarious or stolen, but it looks like there’s been an error in Iowa’s Caucus vote tallying, and guess who it really doesn’t help?

From KCCI in Des Moines:

Could Typo Rewrite Caucus History?
Caucus Vote Counter Says Romney Mistakenly Given 20 Votes

Caucus night was chaotic in many places, with hundreds of voters, candidates showing up and the throngs of media who followed. The world’s eyes were on Iowa. But in the quiet town of Moulton, Appanoose County, a caucus of 53 people may just blow up the results.

Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn’t.

“When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I’ve got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa,” True said. “Not Mitt Romney.”

True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party’s website, True’s precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.

“This is huge,” True said. “It essentially changes who won.”

Readers may also recall that I wrote that “(this) is why I’m not giving Mitt Romney a ‘W.’”

Well, I think I found the precinct involved (number 51005 on the sixth page of the document at this link). It’s a 73-person precinct (20 higher than Mr. True says is the number of people who attended), and Romney currently has 22 votes.

Hopefully this will get resolved and not buried.

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UPDATE: Mr. True has completed an affidavit.

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UPDATE 2: An update at KCCI says that “Rick Santorum said the GOP told him about another error in Romney’s favor canceling out his error.” Seems pretty convenient, especially if they don’t bother to tell us what that error is and where it occurred. Original stories with Santorum’s reax are here and here. Probably a good move on Santorum’s part not to make a stink.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (010612)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Fire officials say girl saved family’s lives

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Prattsburgh, New York:

Posted Dec 25, 2011 @ 02:00 PM

A young girl is being credited with helping save her family from carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday, Dec. 18 in Prattsburgh.

The family members were still being treated at a Syracuse hospital as of last Monday evening.

The incident happened Sunday at Bernard and Joy Mark’s home on Butts Road.

The girl was only 8 or 9 years old, according to Jim Cermak, captain of the Prattsburgh Ambulance Corps. He was among the emergency responders at the scene.

The girl had spent Saturday night at a friend’s house, Cermak said. She called home Sunday and no one answered, so she got a ride home. When she went in the house, she found her father and 13-year-old sister unresponsive, and her mother conscious but barely coherent.

So she left and went to call 911, Cermak said.

“You wouldn’t believe the courage, how strong she was,” Cermak said. “I found her in all the commotion, and walked her over to an ambulance to get her looked at. It was after we had all of her family members out of the house, and she finally broke into tears at that point.”

“I can’t imagine, even at 45 years old, going in and finding my family like that, and being as composed as she was,” Cermak added. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Obama v. Romney Debate Preview Addendum (Also: The Best $5 GOP Primary Voters Will Ever Spend)

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:34 am

(Gregg Jackson’s original; BizzyBlog excerpt from Thursday morning)

Here’s an update to Gregg’s mythical (oh how we hope it’s mythical) debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney:

Romney: “A President needs to follow and uphold the Constitution. A President swears an oath to do that when he is inaugurated. He can’t go around violating the Constitution by making so-called ‘recess appointments’ when the Senate really isn’t in recess.”

Obama: “Well then, why as governor did you unilaterally, illegally and unconstitutionally implement same-sex ‘marriage’ while falsely claiming the ‘court ordered you to?’ The court only ruled that the Legislature should rewrite the marriage statute within 180 days of the ruling, but it could not force it to. Its ‘ruling’ had absolutely nothing to do with you. You can’t just go around imposing things because you feel like it. And you dare to lecture me about constitutionality and keeping oaths?”

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AmyContradaEBook0112This is a really good time to plug a $5 book excerpt/E-book by Amy Contrada available through Amazon, who was there at crunch time in Massachusetts, namely:

How “Gay Marriage” Came to Massachusetts:
Governor Mitt Romney’s Failure in a Constitutional Crisis

For $5, you’ll get the core chapters of Amy’s longer book telling you exactly what happened in the aftermath of the Goodridge decision. After this 4-chapter excerpt, you’ll understand why it’s absolutely correct to say that all same-sex marriages supposedly performed in Massachusetts beginning 180 days after the decision have no legal standing under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You’ll understand the full extent of Mitt Romney planned imposition of same-sex marriage because, as I have noted so many times, he promised that he would. I learned a lot, especially that there were giveaway hints during the critical 180-day period that Romney always intended to “obey” (his false word) the court’s decision — even before Michael Luo’s damning New York Times report in 2007 independently corroborated the treachery.

Anyone going into the voting booth on GOP Primary Day in their state who does not understand what Amy has covered will be casting their ballot less than fully informed about why Mitt Romney is fundamentally unfit to be President.

Amy’s E-book is the best $5 I’ve ever spent; it will be yours too. You don’t need a Kindle. All you need to do is install Amazon’s Kindle app on your computer. I did it; it was easy (even for me), so go for it.