February 2, 2012

AP Lets Obama’s Untrue Critique of Romney As ‘Willing to Let (Auto) Industry Die’ Stand

On Tuesday, Ken Thomas of the Associated Press covered President Barack Obama’s appearance at the Washington Auto Show and allowed Obama’s criticism of Mitt Romney as being among those “willing to let this industry die” to stand, ignoring known history in the process.

Obama’s statement marks him as a true ingrate, because for better or worse (my opinion: worse; your mileage, so to speak, may vary) Mitt Romney, after warning of the dangers of bailing out General Motors and Chrysler, shifted gears four months later and vigorously defended the President when the administration orchestrated a boardroom coup at GM which included the forced resignation of CEO Rick Wagoner. This was the point at which it became clear that Obama wanted the government to control what happened at GM until it either recovered or was forced into what most were already seeing as an inevitable bankruptcy filing. In a CNN interview the day the news broke, Romney complimented Obama for demonstrating “backbone.” What follows are five paragraphs from Thomas’s piece, a screen shot of the article CNN posted that day, and a transcript of the relevant portion of Romney’s March 31, 2009 interview:

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More on State Employment: Looking at the Private Sector

Filed under: Economy,OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:30 pm

Let’s compare the increase in private sector employment in states with Republican vs. Democratic governors, right to work and non-right to work states, and the various combinations of the two:

StatePrivateJobGrowthByCategory2011.png

Everything is as expected except perhaps the Democrat-RTW category, which only has two states, and was dragged down by the disaster in North Carolina known as Beverly Perdue.

Differences of 0.3% to 0.4% between GOP- and Dem-governed states and right to work vs. non-right to work states many not seem like much, but it’s what has been happening consistently for a couple of decades, and explains why a lot of the Midwest, whose income and standard of living used to exceed the South by miles, no longer really does.

The difference between the sum of the states and the national report may (emphasis may) indicate a downside surprise in prior-month revisions when tomorrow’s Employment Situation report is released, or possibly an increase in the state numbers when the next related state report is released later this month.

Now let’s look at the top 15 private sector performers, which is deep enough to pick up the great State of Ohio:

StatePrivateJobGrowthTop152011

Several points:

  • Louisiana, as indicated in my column earlier this week, has done very well considering the barriers the Obama administration has put in the way of full Gulf drilling resumption.
  • Texas’s performance in the private sector compared to overall (where it placed sixth) directly contradicts the silly claim made late last year by a Democratic hack who said that Rick Perry as governor had overseen big growth in public sector employment.
  • Of the top 15, ten are GOP-governed. Eight of those ten are right to work states. Of the five Democrat-governed states, two (KY and WV) are arguably governed relatively conservatively, and DC keeps growing because of Uncle Sam. Washington State is the only real star performer of the bunch.

Levin Takes Down Coulter on RomneyCare

Filed under: Economy,General,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:09 pm

Anyone who still doesn’t believe, as I have been demonstrating for well over a month (here, here, and here, for starters), that Ann Coulter hasn’t gone totally into the tank for Mitt Romney, abandoning all pretense of possessing anything resembling principles, needs to read her awful column yesterday.

She spends her allotted verbiage dealing with RomneyCare … defending it … no, really more than that, praising it, as indicated in her column’s title (“Three Cheers for RomneyCare!”).

I heard a bit of Mark Levin’s takedown of “Romney zombie” (Levin’s term) Coulter’s utter nonsense last night, and have just been referred by an emailer to the complete audio, which I then found in two segments at YouTube (originals here and here; HT Right Scoop).

Levin takes the column apart, and in the process Mitt Romney’s supposedly signature achievement, piece by piece:

 

Please listen to both segments. Then ask yourself why in the world Mitt Romney deserves the GOP nomination, as well as why so many people like Ann Coulter have been willing to throw their life’s work and reputations overboard for this man. If they think they can effect after-the-fact rescues, they’ve got another thing coming.

Unemployment Claims: 367K SA (378K With Consistently Applied Seasonal Factors)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:02 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending January 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 367,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 379,000. The 4-week moving average was 375,750, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 377,750.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 415,094 in the week ending January 28, a decrease of 1,786 from the previous week. There were 464,775 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

The year-over-year drop in not seasonally adjusted claims was 10.7%. The seasonally adjusted drop from last year’s 424,000 was 13.5%. The discrepancy is there because this seasonal divisor is higher, something which is a bit hard to handle (at least considering the degree of the change) given that we’re talking about the last full week in January in both years.

If last year’s seasonal adjustment factor of 109.7 (findable at the interactive link here) had been applied to this year’s raw number of claims, seasonally adjusted claims would have come in at 378,000 (415,094 divided by 1.097) — virtually the same as last week’s (as usual) upwardly revised 379,000. Instead, this year’s SA factor was 1.131. Even if the stat guys at DOL can defend the use of the higher factor, they should be explaining that its use — and not necessarily demonstrably better economic conditions — led to the reported “improvement.”

Yet the press will run with today’s report and say it’s some kind of great sign of improvement, when it’s no such thing.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (020212)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

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

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Positivity: Principal — Child’s river rescue part of the job

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Rochester, New Hampshire:

Published Jan 28, 2012 at 3:00 am (Updated Jan 27, 2012)

ROCHESTER — Gonic School Principal Gwen Rhodes said her rescue of a child from the Cocheco River on Wednesday morning was no more difficult than what educators do every day.

Rhodes was quick to brush off terms like “hero” in regard to the incident, and has tried to keep things at her school as normal as possible since it happened.

Around 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning, EMS crews were called to the school for a report of a student running into the woods.

But the situation had become much worse than that.

Rhodes said the student, who has autism, got himself into a situation he could not get out of and may not have been aware of the icy danger of the river which runs behind the school. She simply did what she always does, which is look out for the best interest of students, she said.

After running into the woods, the student had crossed one section of the river onto a small peninsula, then onto another section of the river that loops around, Rhodes said.

She and another educator were following the student’s footsteps into the woods while others called 911 when Rhodes said she heard the child scream.

She reached a steep embankment and saw him on the river.

“He looked at me and he said ‘help.’ I said his name and said ‘don’t move’ and just then the ice cracked and at that point he’s going into the water, so I just reacted to get closer to him,” Rhodes recounted during a phone interview on Friday.

Although they could touch ground, the water was cold, and icy, as would be expected even on a warm January day.

She said the only way to get the student out of the water was to work upstream away from the steep embankment to flatter land. She started swimming with the student to where she saw a tree, held on for a moment, and realized no one was coming yet to help them.

“I gave him directions step by step as we carefully worked our way up,” Rhodes said. “He did everything I asked him to do.”

She said she knew she could not stay standing in the water while holding the student up, and began slowly and carefully pushing him out of the water and up the bank. …

Go here for the rest of the story.