February 28, 2013

Longtime Dem Lanny Davis Also Reports White House Threat

I assume no one expected that Bob Woodward would be found to be the first and only ordinarily Democrat-friendly recipient of threats from White House officials over what he has written and said.

Another such person has come forward in the name of Lanny Davis, who among other things was a completely insufferable defender of the indefensible during the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky-impeachment saga in 1998 and 1999. The morning, on Washington radio station WMAL (audio is at the link), Davis said that his editor at the Washington Times received a threat as a result of what Davis was writing there:

(more…)

Unemployment Claims (022813): 344K SA; NSA Claims Down 7% From Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:52 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending February 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 344,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 366,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,000, a decrease of 6,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 361,750.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 307,589 in the week ending February 23, a decrease of 43,208 from the previous week. There were 334,242 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

The seasonal adjustment factors were virtually identical in both years.

This is the first week of year-over year improvment after six weeks during which this year’s claims basically matched last year’s. Both weeks contained President’s Day.

This needs to continue. I’m skeptical that it will.

4Q12 GDP Revised to an Annualized +0.1% From -0.1%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:43 am

I think the Associated Press was expecting a bigger adjustment when one of its writers crowed earlier this month about a government trade report’s results indicating that GDP would be revised into positive territory. That happened, but only by the smallest possible amount.

Seriously, big whoop:

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

It’s pretty hard to make an argument that sequestration will slow down an economy which is already crawling at a snail’s pace — but the left will make the argument anyway.

Zero Hedge says expectations were for the number to go to an annualized +0.5%.

WaPo: ‘Scale of the (Sequestration) Cuts May Be Overstated’

On Saturday, Washington Post reporters Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane fretted, with the help of several leftists they quoted, that sequestration might not cause enough pain. Given that the so-called “cuts” under discussion are really “reductions in projected spending growth,” that is a legitimate fear if your perspective is that government shouldn’t ever shrink under any circumstances.

Rush Limbaugh was correct on Tuesday when he noted that the Post let the “sky is falling” mask slip in it report. Several paragraphs, followed by a bit of Rush’s reaction, follow the jump.

(more…)

Not News: Projected Growth in Unpaid Bills Shows State of Illinois on Path to Total Breakdown

On Monday, the Insitute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability (IIFS), an outfit associated with the Civic Federation, a “nonpartisan” organization which appears to have leftist instincts and funding, warned that the state government’s $8 billion stack of unpaid bills will grow to $22 billion in five years. IIFS correctly blames out of control pension costs, and recommends several reforms which don’t seem to match the urgency of the situation.

One thing the report doesn’t do, concerning which the press appears to be completely incurious, is estimate how long it will take vendors in President Barack Obama’s Democrat-dominated home state to get paid if the backlog of unpaid bills really becomes that large. The answer, in brief, is: “so long that no one with a brain will want to do business with the state, likely causing its government to completely collapse.”

(more…)

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022813)

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

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

Positivity: Jobless Indiana teenager rewarded for long walk in the snow

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

From Indianapolis:

6:21PM GMT 26 Feb 2013

An unemployed teenager who embarked on a 10-mile walk through the snow for a job interview saw his dedication pay off after another restaurant owner, impressed with his work ethic, offered him a job at his business.

Jhaqueil Reagan, 18, was walking to an appointment at Dairy Queen, a fast food chain, in Indianapolis, when he approached Art Bouvier to ask directions.

Mr Bouvier, the owner of a Cajun restaurant, told the teenager that he was still about seven miles from his destination.

“I said, ‘You’d be better off on a bus especially in this weather.’ He just said, ‘Okay, thank you.’ And he kept going,” Mr Bouvier told local television station WLFI.

Later the same morning, while driving to a coffee shop, Mr Bouvier saw Mr Reagan walking by the side of the road and offered him a lift.

“I said, well how come you’re not on the bus?” Mr Bouvier said. “He said, ‘I can’t afford the bus until I get a job.’

“I’m thinking to myself, here’s a kid walking almost 10 miles in the ice and slush and snow for the hope of a job at minimum wage. That’s the kind of story your parents used to tell, my parents used to tell.”

After dropping him off, Mr Bouvier asked for Mr Reagan’s phone number and later posted the entire story on his Facebook page, prompting a huge response. The story has been shared nearly 4,000 times and attracted hundreds of positive comments.

That evening Mr Bouvier called Mr Reagan, who did not get the job he initially applied for, and offered him a job at his Papa Roux Cajun Cooking restaurant.

Mr Reagan told local television stations that he had struggled to find work since he left school two years ago when his mother died. He completed his secondary education while caring for his siblings.

Speaking about his new job, he added: “I’m really lucky I met him…He told me about it and I was just so surprised. I was awestruck. My heart’s just racing right now. I’m just too excited, just excited to start.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.