October 1, 2012

MRC’s 25th Anniversary Gala

Filed under: General — Tom @ 7:21 pm

Yours truly was privileged to be invited to attend, and did attend, the Media Research Center’s 25th Anniversary Gala in Washington on Thursday night.

The event is a roughly annual roast of the previous year’s worst media performances. Needless to say, there’s no shortage of raw material.

The show is here.

Thanks to MRC head Brent Bozell and NewsBusters honcho Matt Sheffield for inviting me.

Sept. ISM Manufacturing Moves Into Expansion at 51.5%; Aug. Construction Spending Plunged to -0.6% from -0.4% on Expectations of 0.5% Increase

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:20 am

From the Institute for Supply Management (title is theirs, other bolds are mine):

New Orders, Employment and Inventories Growing
Production Contracting
Supplier Deliveries Slower

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in September following three consecutive months of slight contraction, and the overall economy grew for the 40th consecutive month …

“The PMI™ registered 51.5 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from August’s reading of 49.6 percent, indicating a return to expansion after contracting for three consecutive months. The New Orders Index registered 52.3 percent, an increase of 5.2 percentage points from August, indicating growth in new orders after three consecutive months of contraction. The Production Index registered 49.5 percent, an increase of 2.3 percentage points and indicating contraction in production for the second time since May 2009. The Employment Index increased by 3.1 percentage points, registering 54.7 percent. The Prices Index increased 4 percentage points from its August reading to 58 percent. Comments from the panel reflect a mix of optimism over new orders beginning to pick up, and continued concern over soft global business conditions and an unsettled political environment.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 are reporting growth in September …

It’s the contraction in production that will tie in most directly to third-quarter GDP. It is gratifying to see new orders come back, because they were looking really weak last month.

That said, even though new orders expanded and production contracted slightly, the backlog of orders declined. If you’re among those wondering how that makes sense, join the club, and remember that for all its historical and predictive value, the ISM’s indices are of sentiment and aren’t hard financial numbers.

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UPDATE: In hard-number news, from the Census Bureau:

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during August 2012 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $837.1 billion, 0.6 percent (±2.1%)* below the revised July estimate of $842.0 billion. The August figure is 6.5 percent (±2.1%) above the August 2011 estimate of $786.3 billion.

The decline was, as usual, not expected:

Construction spending in U.S. unexpectedly decreased in August

Construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in August for a second month as declines in commercial and government projects overshadowed the strongest pace of home building in three years.

… The median estimate of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.5 percent rise.

Pat Caddell: Media Have Become an ‘Enemy of the American People’

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:00 am

The former Democratic pollster sounds the alarm (HT American Thinker; direct YouTube; bolds are mine):

Key excerpts (but do watch the whole thing):

In remarks to the AIM conference, “ObamaNation: A Day of Truth,” on September 21st, former Democratic pollster and analyst Pat Caddell said, “I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy.” Caddell noted that while First Amendment protections were originally provided to the press so they would protect the liberty and freedom of the public from “organized governmental power,” they had clearly relinquished the role of impartial news providers.

Nowhere was this more evident than during the tragic death of a U.S. ambassador in Libya that was covered up for nine days because the press and the administration did not want to admit it was a terrorist attack.

“We’ve had nine day of lies over what happened because they can’t dare say it’s a terrorist attack, and the press won’t push this,” said Caddell. “Yesterday there was not a single piece in The New York Times over the question of Libya. Twenty American embassies, yesterday, are under attack. None of that is on the national news. None of it is being pressed in the papers.”

Caddell added that it is one thing for the news to have a biased view, but “It is another thing to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know.”

He closed his talk with these words: “The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power. When they desert those ramparts and go to serve—to decide that they will now become an active participants—when they decide that their job is not simply to tell you who you may vote for, and who you may not, but, worse—and this is the danger of the last two weeks—what truth that you may know, as an American, and what truth you are not allowed to know, they have, then, made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy, and, in my opinion, made themselves the enemy of the American people.

Indeed, lines have been crossed, and it’s really unforgivable.

Caddell’s full speech is here.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

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

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Positivity: Dodger Stadium to host ‘joyous’ pro-life youth event

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Los Angeles:

Sep 30, 2012 / 05:23 pm (CNA).- An “upbeat” pro-life event this November at Dodger Stadium will bring together teen speakers, professional athletes, celebrities, musicians and religious leaders to encourage young people to “go to bat for life” and become outspoken pro-life advocates.

“Young people speaking to young people is what will make our event unique – along with a joyous tone that will convey the beauty, fun and normalcy of being pro-life!” Carol Golbranson, co-founder of LIFEsocal, said Sept. 14.

LIFEsocal, a group of Los Angeles-area high school and college students and their parents, organized the Nov. 18 event, called Go2bat4LIFE. The interfaith gathering has the support of Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.

Golbranson said the event will send the message that “not only is it okay to be prolife, but it is fun, and it is cool as well.”

Baptist Pastor Walter Hoye II will emcee the event. Christian bands such as Christafari and Lincoln Brewster will perform on the stadium’s infield stage. Professional athletes and other guests will rally the crowd.

Featured speakers and special guests include actor and “Bella” star Eduardo Verastegui; actress, singer and visual artist Alexandra Besore; 14-year-old actor Mauricio Kuri, who starred in the movie “For Greater Glory”; and pro-life advocate Marion Jones. …

Go here for the rest of the story.