May 5, 2012

Three Wires All Avoid Mentioning Seasonality of Jobs Data in Friday’s Reports; Strangely Enough, the Raw Numbers Stink

It is more than a little odd that each of the three wire services identified in today’s earlier post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in reporting on yesterday’s OMG-awful jobs report, somehow failed to mention something about the data presented. Specifically, at Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Associated Press (here and here), five reporters in four stories somehow avoided using two truly required words in describing the data contained in many if not most government economic data releases: “seasonally adjusted.”

One is in an odd omission. A pair of such reports is a strange coincidence. The presence of four from three separate sources makes you wonder, especially since all three wire services found room for the two magic words (Bloomberg, though cryptically; Reuters; AP) in dispatches about Uncle Sam’s report on initial unemployment claims the previous day. A look at how dismal the not seasonally adjusted numbers were in April follows the jump, and shows how, bad as they turned out to be, the Obama administration caught a lucky break in the seasonal adjustment calculations. It may also explain why the wire services avoided mentioning it.

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After Weak Jobs Report, Wires Focus on Obama Reelection Impact

To the extent that it was there at all, there was far too little emphasis in yesterday’s wire service reporting on yesterday’s OMG-awful jobs report (worse than most believe, as will be shown in a later post) was far less on those who continue to be affected — like, say, the unemployed, under-employed and discouraged, who should be the object of such news stories — and far too much concentration on what it might mean for President Obama’s reelection prospects.

This was noticeable yesterday at Bloomberg, Reuters, and of course at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine).

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Peggy Noonan Tries to Make Excuses for Dick Lugar, Who’s Out of Them

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:43 am

Memo to Peg, who attempted yesterday to resuscitate a failing primary campaign for six-term incumbent Indiana Senator Dick Lugar: We’re tired of excuses. Really, really tired.

Even if we grant Noonan’s contentions that Lugar is a smart guy, that his instincts lean conservative, and that throwing his institutional senatorial memory overboard would be regrettable if he is replaced (I don’t concede Items 2 or 3), that doesn’t make up for two things: He hasn’t followed through on his conservative instincts often enough, and he is out of touch.

On conservative follow-through, two sources:

  • Club for Growth — 2010, 70%; 2011, 80%; Lifetime up to 2011, 65%. Translation: A completely dismal record until it started becoming clear that he would be vulnerable — and even then he could only manage 29th place among all senators.
  • Numbers USA’s grade for Lugar on immigration issues — D

On being out-of-touch, I’ll quote Noonan:

… 35. That’s how many years he’s been in the Senate, how many years he’s lived and worked primarily in the environs of Washington, not Indiana, where apparently he no longer has a home. That was a mistake.

That’s not a “mistake,” Peg. It’s a betrayal.

Richard Mourdock for Senate.

Passage of the Day, from the Wall Street Journal

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:13 am

In an editorial’s summary paragraph about yesterday’s OMG-awful jobs report, “>the Wall Street Journal got pretty close:

The tragedy of the Obama Administration is that it put the political pursuit of its social welfare agenda above policies to nurture a strong, durable economic expansion. Americans are paying for that mistake in less work and less reward for the work they get. The priority of the next Administration must be to reverse the decline.

My revision:

The tragedy of the 2008 election is that it put in charge those who everyone should have known would place the political pursuit of a social welfare agenda above policies to nurture a strong, durable economic expansion. Americans are paying for that mistake in less work and less reward for the work they get. The priority of the next Administration must be to reverse the decline.

The tragedy occurred before the Obama administration arrived in Washington.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (050512)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:00 am

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

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Positivity: Pope moved by young mother with terminal cancer

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 8:45 am

From Vatican City:

May 4, 2012 / 12:01 pm

Chiara, a young mother from Rome suffering from terminal cancer, deeply touched Pope Benedict with her story of opting to protect her third child by forgoing treatment.

The 28-year-old greeted the Pope at the conclusion of this week’s Wednesday General Audience on May 2, together with her 33-year-old husband Enrico.

The couple lost their two previous children – Maria, who suffered from anencephaly and lived only 30 minutes outside the womb, and David, who died hours after birth as he was born without legs or healthy internal organs.

In the case of their two deceased children, the couple refused abortion despite learning of their severe illnesses through pre-natal screening.

According to the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano, the couple greeted Benedict XVI and “were all smiles as they calmly told him the story of their young Christian family, their complete trust in providence and that they take the Gospel seriously, as they s