April 24, 2012

Follow-Up: Atlantic Revises John Edwards Trial Article, Names His Party, More Fully Discloses Writer’s Background

The Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor tipped me to a remarkable development this afternoon. Someone at the Atlantic, probably with the help of commenters there, took notice of the noise being made by Doug Ross, yours truly (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), and probably others, and took some action on a disgracefully written 1,800-word article about the upcoming trial of John Edwards by Hampton Dellinger (“Why the John Edwards Trial Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think”) — for the better.

Doug’s more than valid complaint was that Dellinger never tagged the former 2008 Democratic presidential contender who was also the party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2004 and (shudder) would have become Vice President if Bush v. Kerry in Ohio had gone the other way, as a Democrat. Yet Dellinger was somehow still able to mention the Republican Party or specific Republicans five times. I further noted that the author’s bio was totally inadequate, as it never mentioned his unsuccessful run — as a Democrat, of course — for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina in 2008. These shortcomings have been fixed, as will be shown after the jump.

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Establishment Press Ignores Ind. Union’s Legal Claim: Right-to-Work Law Creates ‘Involuntary Servitude’

As of 1:30 p.m., what follows was a story only at Big Government, The Blaze, and the Daily Caller.

The news is that an Indiana union has expanded the scope of an already-filed lawsuit by claiming that the Hoosier State’s recently enacted right to work law violates the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition against slavery because it forces unions to work beside and negotiate on behalf of workers who are no longer required to pay union dues to keep their jobs. Based on the related articles’ time stamps, it appears that the Daily Caller’s David Martosko was first with the story very early Sunday morning, so I will excerpt from its coverage (apologies if I am incorrect; bolds are mine):

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March New Home Sales Down 7% From February, Which Was Revised Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:25 am

From the Census Bureau:

Sales of new single-family houses in March 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 7.1 percent (±20.7%)* below the revised February rate of 353,000, but is 7.5 percent (±19.6%)* above the March 2011 estimate of 305,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2012 was $234,500; the average sales price was $291,200. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 144,000. This represents a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate.

The raw number for March was 32,000.

Reuters reports that “sales in the prior three months were revised higher than initially thought.” The Associated Press says that March’s news “followed a 7.3 percent increase in sales in February … (which) was revised up from an initial estimate that February sales had fallen 1.6 percent.” I doubt that revisions to March made in next month’s report on April will be so significant.

The numbers for the previous four Marches: 2011 – 28K; 2010 – 36K; 2009 – 31K; 2008 – 49K.

First-quarter 2012 sales were 83,000. That compares to the past four years as possible: 2011 – 71K; 2010 – 87K; 2009 – 84K; 2008 – 141K.

Four years after the new home industry crashed, it’s still not coming back. If it does, finding qualified people to build the homes people want is going to be very challenging.

Joseph Kennedy Jr. at NYT: Crude Oil ‘Extraction’ Costs Average $11 a Barrel

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:57 am

It would appear that if you’re an op-ed columnist at the New York Times, you can make up just about any outrageous claim and not get called on it by anyone responsible (if there is such a thing) at the Old Gray Lady.

The column in question, Joseph P. Kennedy II’s “The High Cost of Gambling on Oil,” goes back two weeks to April 10, but deserves a closer look for two reasons. First Kennedy, who wants to see “pure” speculation by those who are not actual industry participants completely banned (confirmed in the item’s browser window title), claimed that oil “extraction” costs “average $11 a barrel worldwide.” Second, Kennedy’s concluding bio gives the impression that he is an energy industry mogul and not in fact the head of “a non-profit organization that primarily aids the poor in the United States and throughout the world …” First, here is Kennedy’s extraction cost claim (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (042412)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:20 am

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

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Positivity: Young couple finds love through heart transplants

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Houston (video at link):

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Houston hospital is the last place you’d expect to find love. But, it actually happened to two young people were waiting for heart transplants at the same time.

Linda Thibodeaux and Jordan Merecka like watching alligator shows, and they like to cook.

Linda said, “I do things my way and he does things his way, but somehow we seem work together.”

And they both have … new hearts.

Jordan said, “She got her transplant May 11 and I got Syncardia May 22.”

Their romance began when in a hospital. They were waiting for heart transplants at the same time. When a heart became available last May, it matched Linda. To keep Jordan alive, Texas Children’s surgeons gave him the new artificial heart.

It made national news. Jordan’s face was on a JumboTron in Times Square. But it was hard. At 18, living on a mechanical heart, still waiting for a heart transplant.

Linda Thibodeaux understood. This was her second heart transplant.

“Our physical therapists and our nurses thought we should meet,” Jordan explained,

Jordan came to visit, dragging the 400 pound console that ran the artificial heart.

He sad, “They brought Linda out of her room and her mask and everything and I was on big blue in the hallway. And I’m not going to lie — it was kind of an awkward meeting at first.”

“I don’t think we really knew what to think yet,” Linda said.

But they had so much in common.

“I’d never met anyone my age who was going through pretty much the same exact thing,” Linda said.

“It was really nice to have someone to talk to who understood what I was going through,” said Jordan.

Linda added, “Its a connection you can’t really have with anyone else.”

Linda was the hospital for the five months Jordan was on the artificial heart.

He said, “There was hope I could live a normal life like she was doing.”

He was near death in October, when they found a donor heart.

Linda said, “I felt like myself getting a whole new heart again, but it was him and it was a beautiful moment.”

As Jordan and Linda recovered, their friendship grew into a romance.

“Seems like we’ve come so far and both doing amazing,” Linda said. “It’s wonderful.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Bloomberg Business Week Misleads in Headline and Opening in Covering Social Security Trustees’ 2012 Report

At Bloomberg Business Week, the distortion of what the Social Security system’s trustees told the public on Monday began with its headline and opening sentence.

The headline: “Social Security Fund to Run Out in ’35: Trustees.” Any reader would assume that the reference is to the situation with the retirement and disability programs combined, as both are collectively referred to as “Social Security.” Reporter Brian Faler doubled down on the headline error in his opening sentence:

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