March 30, 2012

Heads It Rose, Tails It’s Rosy: Up or Down, Press Treated This Month’s Consumer Sentiment Reports Positively

APbloombergReuters2012On Tuesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press’s headlined assessments at Anne D’Innocenzio’s reports throughout the day on the Conference Board’s monthly consumer confidence survey went from “falls” to “dips slightly” to “roughly flat” before ending up at “rosy” — an evaluation the AP reporter also included in the verbiage of her final dispatch. For the record, the confidence measurement fell to 70.2 in March from 71.6 in February. Bloomberg’s final report for the day also obfuscated, with a headline of “Consumer Confidence in U.S. Holds Close to One-Year High” and an opening sentence which read: “Confidence among U.S. consumers in March held close to the highest level in a year, underpinned by an improving labor market” — anything to keep any indication of drop out of what most people would see. Along the same lines, Rush Limbaugh also picked on Reuters Tuesday for saying that confidence only “eased.”

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Survey came out today. The press release’s opening sentence: “Consumer confidence edged upward as more favorable income and job trends offset rising gas prices.” Its value (with a different scale) went from 75.3 to 76.2. That’s also “roughly” flat, isn’t it? Don’t be silly. All three wires said that an increase smaller than Tuesday’s Conference Board decrease was an  unqualified “rise.”

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TIB All-Stars Post (033012)

Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:24 pm

The show started at 6 p.m., and goes until 9 p.m. Go to Weapons of Mass Discussion to tune in.

Here are some topics of discussion:

  • Sen. Blumenthal of Connecticut — “This court would not only have to stretch, it would have to abandon and completely overrule a lot of modern precedent, which would do grave damage to this court, in its credibility and power,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D), a former attorney general of Connecticut. “The court commands no armies, it has no money; it depends for its power on its credibility. The only reason people obey it is because it has that credibility. And the court risks grave damage if it strikes down a statute of this magnitude and importance, and stretches so dramatically and drastically to do it.”
  • Elena Kagan’s ignorant perspective on ObamaCare and coercion — ” Why is a big gift from the federal government a matter of coercion? In other words, the federal government is here saying: We’re giving you a boatload of money. There are no matching funds requirement. There are no extraneous conditions attached to it. It’s just a boatload of federal money for you to take and spend on poor people’s health care. It doesn’t sound coercive to me, I have to tell you.”
  • Bill Whittle’s Merchants of Despair video
  • Investor’s Business Daily — “If The Court Dumps ObamaCare, Republicans Must Be Ready”
  • Charles Krauthammer — “The ‘flexibility’ doctrine”
  • Charles Hurt – “Brutal week for Obama, the worst of his presidency”
  • At Rush Limbaugh’s place — “Shell CEO Schools Charlie Rose”
  • Bloomberg — “Obama Relies on Debt Collectors Profiting From Student Loan Woe”

Facts Are Stubborn Things (‘Nine Dollar Gas’) …

This ad from the American Energy Alliance is factual (HT Hot Air), and the facts contained therein are indeed quite stubborn:

Here is the text of the ad:

Since Obama became President, gas prices have nearly doubled.
Obama opposed exploring for energy in Alaska.
He gave millions of tax dollars to Solyndra, which went bankrupt.
And he blocked the Keystone Pipeline so we will all pay more at the pump.
President Obama’s Secretary of Energy Steven Chu told the Wall Street Journal in September 2008 that “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”
But what does he care? (Energy Secretary Chu: “I don’t own a car at the moment.”)
Tell Obama we can’t afford his failing energy policies.

Here are the facts to back up each statement in the ad.

The Democratic Party, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the Obama Administration don’t like the ad, and claim that it’s another part of the Koch Brothers conspiracy against all that is good and holy. Wrong — (“This ad was not funded by the Koch organizations,” spokesman Benjamin Cole told CBS News. “It is a lie to suggest otherwise”).

Jobs Lost in Best Buy HQ Layoffs, Store Closures: Several Thousand, Not 400

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 12:43 pm

BestBuyLogoFrom what I can tell, no one in the establishment press yesterday attempted to quantify the total employment impact of yesterday’s announcement by Best Buy that it will reduce its headquarters headcount by 400 and close 50 stores. One thing is certain: It’s not just 400, as the headlines and verbiage in certain media reports might lead readers to believe — and it’s not excusable to say that the company itself didn’t specify the number of employees affected by the store closures.

An estimate of how many jobs will really be lost is after the jump, followed by a few misleading media examples. Note that the media review is based on reports from Thursday; today, we began learning which stores will be closing. They include five in the Twin Cities area where the company is headquartered.

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Bill Whittle: ‘Merchants of Despair’

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:42 am

Wow — Watch and absorb every second, as Whittle surveys the wreckage the Obama administration has wrought in its three-plus years (HT Instapundit):

I would excerpt, but that would inappropriately downplay what’s not excerpted — But don’t miss his final statement about voting.

Rush: ‘Ratings are up 10% to 60%’

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:33 am

File under “Rush 1; Entire Liberal Universe, up to and including 0″ (HT American Glob):

Key point (begins at 1:35 mark):

… on the range of all 600 radio stations, our ratings are up anywhere from 10% to 60% … we’re up 50% in a number of places.

The advertisers who hung in here are going gangbusters. … The only ones who got hurt are the ones who left. That’s its own tragedy because they left under false, trumped-up, unreal pretense.

Talk shows may start lining up around the block at the front door of Media Matters begging the group to organize a campaign against them.

Latest PJ Media Column (‘The Green Jobs Boondoggle’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:16 am

MoneyDownTheToiletIt’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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The column includes this paragraph relating to President Obama’s oil company-bashing speech at the Rose Garden yesterday:

Thursday, President Obama, in bashing “subsidies” to oil companies which mostly represent legitimate deductions for money actually spent, insisted that the nation should “double-down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising.” They’ve learned nothing.

White House wordsmiths — the same people who suddenly decided that the formerly reviled term “ObamaCare” is now great to use to describe the statist health care law formally (and now apparently formerly) known as the Affordable Care Act (which really has to do with the fact that the Congressional Budget Office has shown that it’s definitely not affordable) — made sure that the word “green” did not appear in the President’s teleprompter. Check for yourself.

There is an alternative take to my evaluation that “They’ve learned nothing,” which is: They’ve learned, and they don’t care, because it isn’t about generating green energy. If some green energy comes out of all of this, that’s fine, but that’s not the top priority. The top priority is slowing down and stopping the production of fossil-fuel based energy.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (033012)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

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

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Positivity: ‘We opened our hearts to hope,’ Cuban dissident says after papal visit

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Havana:

Mar 29, 2012 / 04:08 pm

Oswaldo Paya, a peaceful dissident and global director of the Christian Liberation Movement, said Cubans have “opened our hearts to hope” after attending the Mass Pope Benedict XVI celebrated in Havana.

In a statement posted on his website on March 28, Paya said that despite harassment and widespread surveillance by government agents, he was able to attend the Mass in Havana, “where the People of God heard the words of the Holy Father.”

Paya also denounced the recent arrests made by the Castro government to prevent dissidents from participating in Pope Benedict XVI’s historic March 26-28 visit to the country.

“Our first words are for hundreds of our fellow dissidents who were not able to be here because of the wave of fear. There was a great absence of precisely those of us who defend human rights,” he said.

“I speak of them and in the name of those who have no voice and have only suffered scorn and repression, and we must remember.”

“But we prayed with the Holy Father, we opened our hearts to hope,” Paya emphasized. “As John Paul II said: we have to be the protagonists of our history.”

“Liberation is a task for the Cuban people – now with greater hope because we are definitely on the verge, on the threshold of truth and liberation. That is our hope,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.