April 11, 2012

AP’s Crutsinger Ignores All-Time Single-Month Spending Record in Report on March Deficit

AdministrationsPress1111In his report on the February 2012 monthly federal deficit on March 12, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press (aka the Administration’s Press) told readers that the month’s deficit was $232 billion, but “somehow” forgot to tell readers that it was an all-time record for a single month in U.S. government history.

Well, there’s good news, much worse news, and an utterly predictable agenda-driven item in the AP’s coverage of March’s deficit, this time courtesy of the wire service’s Martin Crutsinger. The good news is that Crutsinger recognized that March’s deficit was the highest on record for any March. The much worse news is that, as I forecast AP and others would do at my home blog last last week when the Congressional Budget Office estimated March’s results, he failed to tell readers that March’s spending of $369.37 billion was the highest single-month amount ever recorded by $30.32 billion — a whopping 8.9% above the previous record of 339.05 billion set in March 2011. The increase is largely due to the fact that checks for many April 1 items were written on March 30 because April 1 was a Sunday, but a record is a record, and failing to recognize one (and only then trying to explain it away if there is cause for it) is shoddy journalism. The utterly predictable agenda-driven item is after the jump.

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Dayton Daily News Reporters Try to Pin Child’s Death by Neglect on ‘Lax’ Oversight of Homeschooling

MakaylaNorman2011On March 1, 2011, 14 year-old Makayla Norman of Dayton died of neglect at the hands of adults (her mother and three others) who were responsible for her care and safety. Makayla weighed 28 pounds when she died, and was found “covered in bedsores, living in filth and starved to the point the she looked more like a skeleton than a teenager.” On Friday, her mother pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and endangering children. The cases of the three other adults go to trial on April 16.

In January, an investigative report by Cox Newspapers Dayton-area staff writers Josh Sweigart and Doug Page identified several parties who could and should have prevented the neglect in the first place, or detected it while in progress: “the home care agency responsible for feeding her”; “an extensive bureaucracy where officials say fraud is a massive and growing problem”; her case manager (among those indicted), who “worked for CareStar of Ohio”; and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Bizarrely, two months later, while barely mentioning any of the aforementioned parties in their report, Mary McCarty and Margo Kissell at the Dayton Daily News, using questionable methods and verbiage (to be noted later), decided that one other element in Makayla’s life should be nominated to receive part of the blame — homeschooling:

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Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:55 am

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

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Incomprehensible, outrageous, jaw-dropping factoid of the day (HT to a frequent tipster):

At a separate news conference, (State of Michigan Treasurer Andy) Dillon noted that 65 people work full-time just handling payroll in the Detroit police department.

According to Wikipedia, the Detroit Police Department had 2,770 officers in 2011. The City’s web site was running slow (/surprise), so Wiki was the best source available.

There are private companies with tens of thousands of employees and complex payroll systems and workers spread out all over the country who either have far fewer than 65 internal employees doing payroll (and, I would assume, benefits), or who outsource most or all of it to firms like ADP, Paychex, Paycor and others for a tiny fraction of the cost.

Look at it another way: If Cisco, which had 37,000 U.S. employees (as of 2010), devoted the same resources to processing payroll (and benefits) as Detroit does to its Police Department, it would have over 850 people working full-time on that task. I guaran-freaking-tee you that Cisco does not have over 850 people (and probably fewer than 65) working full-time on that task, or is spending nowhere near that equivalent in the likely case that it is outsourcing those functions.

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Appeasement: ‘US to accept civilian nuke program in Iran’ (HT Instapundit, who calls it ”If you like your nukes, you can keep your nukes”) –

President Obama signals Iran that US would endorse nuclear program if Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backs up claim that Islamic Republic won’t purse atom bomb, US paper reports.

US President Barack Obama has signaled Tehran that the Washington would accept an civilian nuclear program in Iran if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can back up his recent claim that his nation “will never pursue nuclear weapons,” the Washington Post reported Friday.

But of course, Iran needs nuke reactors for domestic energy generation because they’re so starved for fossil-based fuel resources … Oh, wait.

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Denying the obvious (HT Washington Examiner) –

So these investments — in things like education and research and health care — they haven’t been made as some grand scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another. This is not some socialist dream. They have been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations, because they benefit all of us and they lead to strong and durable economic growth.

Gehrke at WashEx: “In short: Obama was careful to avoid the ‘spread the wealth’ phrase today, but he defended the Buffett Rule by making the ‘spread the wealth’ argument first made in 2008.”

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If there’s a Guinness Book of Records entry for “Most Bureaucratic Babble on a Single Web Page,” the “Mission, Vision and Goals” page at the General Services Administration would appear to be the hands-down winner.

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At the Oregonian (yes, the Oregonian) — “Global warming ‘hiatus’ in recent years helps spur skepticism.” The story title in the paper’s print edition was “Global Warming without Warming.” Yeah, at the Oregonian. There is hope that sanity might prevail against globaloney.

Positivity: Thousands join Catholic Church on Easter

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:20 am

From Denver:

Apr 10, 2012 / 09:27 am

Thousands of new Catholics were baptized and thousands more Christians were received into full communion with the Catholic Church at the Easter vigil last weekend.

Jeanette DeMelo, communications director for the Archdiocese of Denver, reflected on the vigil Mass’ beginnings in darkness and the symbolism of its transformation into full light.

“Christ our light comes and breaks through the darkness that we experience in suffering and in death and in sin,” she told CNA April 9. “I think that also happens for each of those people who are coming into full communion with the Church. There is that experience of the light of Christ.”

Young and old, single and married, immigrants and native-born Americans, all came together as the newest members of the Church for the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

One of those received into the Church is Houston resident Randall Wilson, a meteorologist who was born and raised a Baptist. He first experienced the Catholic Mass while on a date and felt drawn back for more, according to the U.S. bishops’ conference.

“The richness and fullness of the Catholic Church isn’t found anywhere else. Looking back, I see how much was missing,” he said ahead of Easter. “I’m not even 100 percent Catholic yet, but I can’t imagine my life without the holy sacraments, without praying the holy rosary, without confessions and without the holy Eucharist.”

Those who were not already Christian received the sacrament of Baptism, while those converting from other Christian traditions made a profession of faith with the newly baptized. They all participated in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, which is a process for conversion and study of the Catholic faith.

Go here for the rest of the story.