January 12, 2012

Romney, Abortion, Planned Parenthood and … Economic Development?

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:07 pm

In what I suspect may be the only example of its kind in the entire nation, the Economic Development Agency under the administration of the allegedly prolife Mitt Romney — a group “controlled by Romney appointees” — in late 2006 pushed through “a tax-exempt bond” for “a Planned Parenthood clinic in Worcester that will provide abortions.”

Today, it actually does do abortions (i.e., it takes preborn babies’ lives). Thanks, Mitt. (/sarc)

Steve Deace’s blog cites numerous excerpts from a December 29, 2007 Boston Globe report by Frank Phillips (intro here) as support.

Though the bond isn’t mentioned, the intro to a May 14, 2008 Worcester Telegram & Gazette article tells us that Planned Parenthood’s move to a new location on (of all things) Pleasant Street “would provide safer, better service to the expected 10,000-plus clients, as well as ample parking and easy access to public transportation.” Oh joy.

The excuse that Romney didn’t know about it doesn’t wash, because he appointed those who approved. Only on Planet Romney, whose orbit clearly includes those whom he appoints, would moving and expanding an abortion clinic fall within the realm of “economic development.”

If there’s another example anywhere in the U.S. of Planned Parenthood getting a tax break to build a facility, I’d like to hear about it. My guess is that there isn’t one.

In case you’re wondering, Mitt Romney’s alleged prolife “conversion” occurred in November 2004.

And he and his peeps wonder why we question the legitimacy of the “conversion.” Zheesh.

Deceptive Detroit Free Press Headline Reads as Blaming Tea Party for Democrat-Driven Election Scam

Given the underlying story, the following headline to a Thursday story at the Detroit Free Press is either a big mistake or a deliberate attempt to focus blame where it absolutely does not belong: “Man on probation, fined for role in tea party scam.” Excuse me while I question whether the Freep deserves the benefit of the doubt.

L.L. Brasler’s story is really about how the second of two Democratic Party operatives has been sentenced for running an electoral scam with sham candidates to hurt Republican and conservatives and to blunt the impact of the Tea Party movement:

A former Oakland County Democratic Party operative was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay more than $2,500 in fines and court costs for his role in creating fake tea party candidates during the 2010 election in an effort to siphon off support for Republican candidates.

Jason Bauer, 31, of Waterford said nothing Wednesday as Oakland County Circuit Judge James Alexander, a former official with the county’s Republican Party, told Bauer: “This is as heinous as someone who tries to kill somebody else.”

In November, Bauer pleaded no contest to five felony counts of perjury and falsifying notarized documents.

He and fellow Democratic official Michael McGuinness were indicted by a one-man grand jury in March for attempting to put unknowing residents on the ballot as tea party candidates.

Investigators said the ruse was an attempt to dilute the votes of legitimate Republican candidates.

McGuinness also pleaded no contest; he was sentenced to probation in December.

Alexander’s reaction is overheated but somewhat understandable, and no one got hurt. If the pair of Democrats had been successful, voters in the affected areas would definitely have been hurt by a serious breach of electoral integrity. If it had only been discovered after the fact, faith in the electoral system, which is already shaky in the Wolverine State (see Detroit, and its larger roster of registered voters than adult residents), would have been further undermined.

The Freep’s “clever” headline writer knows that many news consumers on electronic devices (computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.) go through lists of headlines and don’t actually visit most listed stories. In this case, unless they do, they’ll believe that Tea Party members conducted a scam.

L.L. Brasler should be vehemently objecting to the story’s headline. If not, the reporter is as bit a part of the problem as the person who wrote the headline and the editors who waved it through.

The Freep in this instance is conducting a scam on the public. How shameful.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Unemployment Claims: Unhappy New Year! 399K SA, 642K NSA (Update: Dec. Retail Sales Disappoint)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:53 am

From the Department of Labor — the regime cannot be pleased:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending January 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 399,000, an increase of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 375,000. The 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 7,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 374,000.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 642,381 in the week ending January 7, an increase of 102,314 from the previous week. There were 773,499 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

Business Insider’s email said that Bloomberg expected 375K. FXstreet.com had 373K.

Though it is only one week, and a quirky one at that with the holiday built in, it’s a major miss in the wrong direction. It’s a near lock to go to 400K or more after revision next week, given that upward revisions have occurred in 43 of the past 44 weeks.

Bloomberg’s reax, with the help of an “expert” whose 5-Hour Energy drink must have been laced with uppers:

More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, raising the possibility that a greater-than-usual increase in temporary holiday hiring boosted December payrolls.

“Labor demand is still not strong enough to support a complete jobs recovery,” Henry Mo, an economist at Credit Suisse in New York, said before the report. Even so, “the labor market is heading in the right direction.”

A Labor Department spokesman said there was nothing unusual in the data and no states or territories were estimated. The seasonal-adjustment projected a 12 percent increase in claims during the first week of January. Instead, unadjusted applications climbed by 19 percent, he said.

Reuters: “The number of Americans applying for first-time jobless benefits rose on Thursday, reversing a recent decline and suggesting the labor market remains brittle.” That a pretty good word for the situation: “easily damaged or destroyed; fragile; frail.”

Next week, the first full week of business after the Christmas season, will really tell the tale.

_______________________________________

UPDATE: I should say “(supposedly) strong Christmas shopping season update,” wherein Bloomberg works mightily to avoid the U-word (unexpectedly) —

Retail Sales in U.S. Rose Less Than Forecast

Sales at U.S. retailers in December rose less than forecast, restrained by cheaper fuel prices and holiday discounting that helped hold down the value of goods sold.

… “Consumers pulled out all the stops to have a decent holiday season, but we’re seeing the momentum from that dropping off,” said Tim Quinlan, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, which correctly forecast the December sales gain. “We suspect the rate of consumer spending will slow.”

… Retail sales were projected to accelerate after rising a previously reported 0.2 percent in November, according to the Bloomberg survey. The 75 economists’ estimates ranged from a decline of 0.2 percent to a gain of 0.9 percent.

What’s annoying about all of this, which anyone actually out there in the real world would have said was a likely outcome, is how we have to constantly endure the press using the tiniest shreds of positive news as excuses to blow sunshine up our butts about the economy, when it really takes several months of truly solid performances in a variety of indicators — something we have never seen since the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy began over 3-1/2 years ago — to make any kind of convincing case that things might be going well.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011212)

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: Kentfield Woman Is A Medical Miracle

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Kentfield, California:

December 31, 2011

Doctors hope to learn from Rita Calumet’s ongoing 75-year battle with Type 1 diabetes.

“Stubborn.” That’s the secret to a long life, according to Kentfield resident Rita Calumet.

The 87 year old’s stubbornness has put her in an exclusive class and made her something of a medical wonder. Calumet has survived the past 75 years, fighting Type 1 diabetes and giving herself regular insulin injections.

“I’m glad I’ve had the life I’ve had. I’ve had pretty good life let me tell you,” she said. “Lots of bad things happened … but I had two children and I just love them and life’s been good to me.”

New York’s Joslin Diabetes Center honored that accomplishment with a medal that was presented to Calumet on Wednesday by her doctor, Linda Gaudiani. She is just the 48th person in the nation to receive this award since it was founded in 1970.

“My mother had good genes. She lived to be 102,” according to Calumet, who also received a 50-year medal.

Calumet’s daughters and grandchildren, some of whom were visiting from Seattle, gathered around her to share in the moment.

Calumet is now part of a study to determine the factors that have contributed to her successful fight against diabetes. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Positivity: Firefighter who led dramatic rescue praises mom, dad in New Year’s fire

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Bellingham, Washington:

POSTED: Tuesday, Jan. 03, 2012

As a family of four remained hospitalized Monday, Jan. 2, after fire consumed their Happy Valley home early New Year’s Day, the Bellingham firefighters who saved a mother and her two daughters from certain death were being hailed as heroes.

“These guys did an incredible job,” said Bellingham Fire Department Assistant Chief Roger Christensen. “We’re very proud of them.”

But the engine company officer who led the dramatic rescue praised the family’s father, Joseph MacGregor, for providing accurate information that helped firefighters locate his wife and two daughters, who lay unconscious in a front bedroom as flames roared around them in the one-story duplex at 1208 24th St.

“The real hero there is the father,” said Capt. Danny Anderson, 61, a 38-year veteran of the Bellingham Fire Department assigned to Engine 2 at the Fairhaven firehouse.

MacGregor, who was burned and bloodied as he smashed a window in a frantic attempt to save his family, was able to show Anderson exactly where his wife and girls were trapped. Without that knowledge, Anderson said he would have made different tactical decisions in making assignments to his crew.

“The outcome could’ve been completely different,” Anderson said. “We could be having four funerals.”

In addition, Anderson said, Jennifer MacGregor apparently closed the door as she and Willow, 10, and Summer, 13, sought refuge against the flames and heavy smoke. Anderson said the door protected the girls and their mother from the worst of the heat and smoke in the 10-foot by 12-foot bedroom.

“It was almost like there was divine intervention, the way things went,” Anderson said. “It was a huge team effort.” ..

Go here for the rest of the story.

Cincinnati Library’s Response to Email Protesting Sister Souljah’s Presence on MLK Day Reading List

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:28 am

Tuesday, I posted on the Cincinnati Public Library’s inclusion of a book by Sister Souljah, currently an author but in the early 1990s an unrepentant violence-advocating rapper, on the recommended reading list for Martin Luther King Day, and sent a complaint email to the library.

I find the Libarary’s response unsatisfactory — Received early Wednesday afternoon (bold is mine):

Hello:

Thank you for taking the time to send your comments regarding the Library’s inclusion of Midnight and the Meaning of Love by Sister Souljah as a title on our booklist of works by African American authors that was selected in conjunction with the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We always appreciate hearing thoughts and suggestions from our customers.

Midnight and the Meaning of Love is a sequel to the popular novel The Coldest Winter Ever. This fictional story by a bestselling African American writer focuses on a religiously and racially diverse couple seeking acceptance from the world for their romance.

The Library strives to offer a broad range of reading material to our customers. Selecting a book for one of our many booklists does not indicate that the Library endorses any or all opinions and statements made by an author.

Thank you again for taking the time to comment on the Library’s booklist. We do appreciate your comments and hope that you will continue to use your Public Library. We provide a variety of additional booklists available at http://www.cincinnatilibrary.org/booklists/

Paula Brehm-Heeger
Library Services Manager-Central
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Nice try, no sale, Paula. It may be true that “selecting a book for one of our many booklists does not indicate that the Library endorses any or all opinions and statements made by an author,” but it’s also true that selecting a book for a booklist means that you think it’s appropriate for that booklist. Sister Souljah’s work has no relevance to Dr. King’s message, and her career as a violence-advocating rapper, a career which she apparently to this day doesn’t regret, make a mockery of Dr. King’s memory.