March 9, 2012

Rush Is Right: Sandra Fluke Opportunism Has Totally Backfired on the Left and the Establishment Press

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:20 pm

RushLimbaugh0711Any doubt that Rush Limbaugh and his center-right defenders have been marvelously successful this week at turing the tables on leftist misogynists was completely dispelled this afternoon and evening.

As noted by Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters, in response to learning that filthy “liberal comedian Louis C.K., who has said a number of offensive statements about Sarah Palin and other women that are far in excess of anything ever said by Rush Limbaugh on the air,” would be headlining the Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner in DC, Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren announced on her blog that “I am not going. I refuse to go. Everyone in the media should join me in this boycott.”

More from Greta:

He uses filthy language about women…..yes, the C word…and yes, even to describe a woman candidate for Vice President of the United States. It isn’t just Governor Palin he denigrates. He denigrates all women and looks to the crowd to laugh.

I refuse to show any support for this guy or for the Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner Committee who hired him. I think the organization that hired him is just as bad as he is. It is no secret that he denigrates women.

Here is a sample of what he said about Governor Sarah Palin and you tell me whether any member of the media should sit in the crowd while he speaks to them (warning: what follows are cleaned-up but discernible in context obscene words):
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Wishful Thinking? AP Headline Overstates Feb. Job Adds by 50,000

Gosh, how did that happen?

At the Associated Press as of 7:30 p.m., its Top Business stories (saved here for future reference) top headline read: “Strong 3 months of hiring as US adds 277,000 jobs.” The headline at the underlying article (saved here) reads the same. Related pics are after the jump.

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Did AP and Rugaber, Obsessed With Managing Economic Expectations, Spin Carl Quintanilla on ‘Today’?

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:39 pm

Yesterday was sort of “Pick on Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press Day.” So when I came across a particularly reprehensible report he filed last night whining about the difficulty the economy may face in meeting heightened expectations — with yet another reference to the wire service’s obsession with its relevance to President Obama’s approval ratings and reelection — I let it go.

That changed when I learned about and then read Kyle Drennen’s NewsBusters post today about CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, Friday’s fill-in Today show host. Carl Q spoke of how “…we’re in a situation where we’re sort of managing expectations, especially for the White House.” “We” are “managing expectations … especially for the White House”? What Carl Q said seems to have been influenced by what Rugaber wrote yesterday. Especially note the last excerpted paragraph (bolds are mine):

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Rush: ‘There Is Shellshock’ That Campaign to Marginalize Him Hasn’t Worked, and Has Backfired

In the second half of his second hour today, Rush Limbaugh followed up on a phone call from a “Victor in Atlanta.” Vince is concerned that many Americans like him, even though they want a different president, are “zapped out of enthusiasm.”

Rush took Vince’s call as an opportunity to look at the Sandra Fluke controversy of the past week and use its results as an indicator that enthusiasm for defending conservatives and conservative principles against the hate-filled left is as great as ever — great enough to not only defeat the attempt to marginalize him but to force the left and the leftist establishment press to at least for the moment go into strategic retreat and to temporarily clean up its act (bolds are mine):

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Today’s Employment Report: Private-Sector Deceleration, Just in Time for the Key Job-Adding Months on the Ground

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:16 am

On the jobs front from the Establishment Survey, the news was relatively good in the context of the past 11 years, but as has been the case since the recession ended, not the kind of progress needed to get employment back to where it was five years ago:

SAandNSAempJan01toFeb12

Taking it month by month:

  • December (blue boxes) — Modest changes in the number of jobs actually lost (NSA — Not Seasonally Adjusted) led to modest changes after seasonal adjustment.
  • January (red boxes) — Pay attention here. Overall, there was a 37,000 lower loss of jobs NSA, which led to a 41,000-job pickup after seasonal adjustment. But on the private side, the improvement was only 15,000, leading to a seasonally adjusted improvement of 28,000, which seems a bit large in context. Larger point: After a more careful look, BLS’s revision added 26,000 more … government jobs.
  • February (green boxes) — In historical context, the overall actual jobs pickup of 851,000 was pretty good though not great, which is what this recovery needs to be genuine. The seasonally adjusted conversion to 227,000 is reasonable in historical context. As with December, the private-sector news isn’t as impressive. The 418,000-job actual pickup trails last year (the seasonal conversion to 233,000 is reasonable, and and also trails last year), and needed to be much much stronger.

Overall, despite the sure to be glowing media reports you’ll read today, the growth in private-sector hiring appears to be decelerating.

It’s too early to call this a trend, but given the gas price hikes this year and other evidence of headwinds, I wouldn’t be betting on really strong March-June reports, especially given the jobs pickup that will be needed on the ground to generate strong seasonally adjusted numbers:

PrivateSectorNSAJantoJue2007to2012 PrivateSectorSAJantoJune2007to2012

As seen above, the economy actually added (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) 3.24 million jobsfrom March through June 2010, which translated to only a combined 510,000 (127K per month) after seasonal adjustment. Last year, the comparable numbers were 3.58 million and 735,000 (184K per month). March and April 2011 were fairly strong, while the next two months, largely in response to $4-per gallon gas prices in much of the nation, slipped badly.

For the next four months to be truly impressive and representative of a genuine recovery, the economy in my view will have to add at least 4.2 million jobs on the ground. Given that this year’s gas-price surge arrived two months earlier than last year’s, that’s going to be a tough climb.

The February Employment Situation Summary (030912); Unemployment Stays at 8.3%, +227K SA Jobs (IBD: ‘Longest Jobs Recession Since WWII’)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:44 am

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.8 million, was essentially unchanged in February. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent, 0.8 percentage point below the August 2011 rate.

… The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 5.4 million in February. These individuals accounted for 42.6 percent of the unemployed.

Both the labor force and employment rose in February. The civilian labor force participation rate, at 63.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, edged up over the month.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February. Private-sector employment grew by 233,000, with job gains in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining.

Professional and business services added 82,000 jobs in February. Just over half of the increase occurred in temporary help services (+45,000).

… The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +203,000 to +223,000, and the change for January was revised from +243,000 to +284,000.

This means, according to BLS’s seasonally adjusted number, that 288,000 more people (227K plus December’s +20K adjustment plus January’s +41K adjustment) were working in February than in January.

The February result is in line with expectations I’ve seen in Business Insider’s email and at the Associated Press.

A look at the actual numbers will come later this morning. …

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UPDATE: Today’s Employment Report: Private-Sector Deceleration, Just in Time for the Key Job-Adding Months on the Ground

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In the meantime, here’s a devastating up-to-the-minute weigh-in from Investor’s Business Daily:

IBDonWorstRecovery030912

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (030912)

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: Cardinals approve heroic virtues of Father Felix Varela

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Vatican City:

Mar 8, 2012 / 04:03 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of the Saints approved a decree on the heroic virtues of Cuban priest Father Felix Varela, moving him one step closer to being declared “venerable.”

“The vote of the commission of cardinals and bishops was positive, and that means that now the prefect of the congregation of saints has to go to the Pope for his authorization to proclaim the decree on heroic virtues,” explained Brother Rodolfo Meoli, the postulator of the cause for Fr. Felix’s beatification.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, who heads the congregation, presided over the plenary meeting and vote which took place in Rome on March 6.

In an interview with CNA on March 7, Br. Meoli said it is uncertain when Pope Benedict will approve the decree, but many think it will take place during the pontiff’s March 25-28 trip to Cuba.

“I am thinking of calling Cardinal Amato to meet soon and find out if he plans to present the documentation before the Pope’s visit to Cuba,” he said.

“Generally, when the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints presents a decree to the Pope, he usually presents other decrees as well, and this can cause a delay.”

Br. Meoli said that as soon as the announcement about Fr. Varela’s heroic virtues was made, he called Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana.

He also called Bishop Felipe de Jesus Estevez of St. Augustine in Florida, where Fr. Varela died, and Bishop Anthony DiMarzio of Brooklyn – vice postulator of the cause – where the Cuban priest lived for many years.

“I am very happy,” Br. Meoli said. “Everyone responded with great enthusiasm hoping that the Pope will proclaim Felix Varela venerable when he goes to Havana.”

Felix Varela Morales was born in Havana on November 20, 1788. He was orphaned at a young age and was raised by his grandparents. At the age of 23, he was ordained a priest and devoted himself to teaching.

In 1821 he was elected to represent of the Spanish colony of Cuba before the government of Madrid.
He left for Spain that year, never imagining that he would never again return to Cuba.

Fr. Varela made three proposals to the Spanish crown that would lead to his exile. He called for the abolition of slavery, for Cuban independence and for self-rule for the colonies in the Caribbean.

With the outbreak of Absolutism in Spain in 1823, Varela fled Madrid and was denied entry into Cuba. He was forced to settle in New York, where he worked as a pastor and eventually as vicar general. He continued speaking out and writing for the defense of human rights and freedom for Cuba.

His poor health forced him to move to St. Augustine, Florida, where he spent the last four years of his life. He died on February 25, 1853. …

Go here for the rest of the story.