February 5, 2013

ISM and Car Sales Catch-Up: Predominantly Good News

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 2:07 pm

The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing and Non Manufacturing releases for January contained predominantly good news, as did the January sales reports from the car companies.

Manufacturing moved from bare expansion in December (50.3%) to brisker expansion (53.2%) in January. The New Orders and Employment elements were strong, while the backlog component declined.

The Non Manufacturing index dipped a bit from 55.7% in December to 55.2% in January — still a very decent number. New Orders sentiment dropped, but it was still well above 50%, while Backlog dropped just a bit to below 50%.

In vehicle sales, virtually everyone had a good January, but the champ was Toyota (up 26%). Detroit’s Big Three all had double-digit gains, with Ford leading the way at +22%. The only weak performance in the Japanese Big Three was Nissan’s +2%. Overall sales were up 14% from January 2012.

IBD Notes Disturbing and Virtually Unreported Reduction of Retail Hours in Employment Report

In a Friday editorial, Investor’s Business Daily picked up a disturbing downside in the January 2013 jobs report released by the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier that day: More people are working, but they’re working fewer hours per week. In certain sectors, including retail, the industry’s aggregate hours worked actually shrank compared to January 2012. Memo to Chris Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press: That’s another reason your description of Friday’s report as “mostly encouraging” is rubbish.

IBD relied on seasonally adjusted data in arriving at its findings. The raw figures (i.e., not seasonally adjusted amounts), representing the government’s best estimates of actual conditions during the month before seasonal smoothing, are even more disturbing — and far more relevant. This is especially the case in retail, as January is a month when retailers retrench after the Christmas shopping season; whatever pullback takes place will mostly stick for the next several months. A few paragraphs from the paper’s editorial, as well as a comparison of the raw and seasonally adjusted numbers in retail in January 2013 and 2012, follow the jump (HT to frequent commenter dscott):

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US News Item on How Working Less Might Slow ‘Climate Change’ Ignores Underlying Radical ‘De-Growth’ Agenda

A Monday US News item by Jason Koebler (“Study: Global Warming Can Be Slowed By Working Less”) illustrates how radical thought injects itself into establishment press news stories.

Koebler’s work attempts to be cute, with its picture (a cyclist taking a nap), its subheadline (a suggestion that “a more ‘European’ schedule would reduce the effects of climate change”), and its opening (“Want to reduce the effects of global warming? Stop working so hard”). The seemingly innocent concept is that “working fewer hours and more vacation time, could prevent as much as half of the expected global temperature rise by 2100.” It takes a bit of digging before one learns that the whole idea is really premised on “de-growth” — “a political, economic, and social movement … (which) advocate(s) for the downscaling of production and consumption,” or, in other words, “the contraction of economies.”

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NewsBusted (020513)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 6:30 am

Here we go:

Topics:
–Super Bowl
–President Bush
–President Obama Gun
–Chuck Hagel
–Leon Panetta
–Hillary Clinton
–NBC News
–RuPaul
–Piers Morgan

Best Line: “Steve Capus has stepped down as president of NBC News. Capus plans to spend more time with his family and fulfill a dream he’s always had — of writing non-fiction.”

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (020513)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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“Name That Party” Catch of the Day: Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was a Democratic Party precinct captain.

Positivity: Pro-life groups care for mothers in crisis pregnancies

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Feb 3, 2013 / 04:03 pm

Organizations that offer pro-life aid for women facing difficult pregnancies stressed that there are both resources and tools available for mothers in need.

The Sisters of Life “invite the women to come and live with us,” Sister Johanna, Superior of the Holy Respite in Manhattan, told CNA.

In addition to the religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, Sisters of Life take an additional vow to protect and defend the sacredness of human life.

Founded in 1991 by Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, the sisters care for expectant mothers, offer retreats and provide aid to women suffering from a past abortion.

Sister Johanna explained that women can come to the sisters at any stage in pregnancy, and “they are welcome to stay with us until they get back on their feet.”

During their stay at the convent, the material needs of both the mother and child are taken care of, allowing them “to just relax and be and pray and dream,” she said.

Even after their child is born and they have moved out of the convent, the sisters provide “any materials we’ve been given,” to continue assisting each mother.

“We always walk with them for as long as they need,” Sister Johanna added, saying that many mothers will often “check in” and visit, creating a strong and lasting community among the women.

Numerous members of the Sisters for Life attended the 2013 March for Life in Washington, D.C. The annual march – held this year on Jan. 25 – commemorates the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that effectively legalized abortion throughout America.

The National Maternity Housing Coalition was also present at the march. Sponsored by Heartbeat International, the coalition seeks to help homeless mothers in crisis pregnancy situations connect with housing providers.

“We can say to any woman in a crisis pregnancy situation in the United States, you can get help,” said Christopher Bell, founding member of the coalition. …

Go here for the rest of the story.