June 20, 2013

CNN’s Amanpour, No Stranger to (Alleged) ‘Irony,’ Rips Turkish Paper For Clearly Identified Fake Interview

File this under: “She can dish it out but can’t take it.”

Tuesday, the Turkish newspaper Takvim published a fictional interview of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour said to have taken place in Atlanta. As seen in a Google (less than perfect) Translate screen grab, it is clearly identified as sarcasm at its end. That didn’t stop Amanpour from tweeting her anger at the fake interview while implicitly leading readers to believe that the paper was trying to pass it off as real:

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Santelli: ‘Ben, What Are You Afraid Of?’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:28 am

Yesterday — It starts slow, but at 40 seconds CNBC’s Rick Santelli goes off:

Money quote:

Do we have a Fed that operates like a day trader, where every little gyration every 10 minutes is all that matters? If you pull it away and the stock market goes down, where does it say in the Constitution that some form of the government has to guarantee (that) stocks go up, or guarantee that you have a house? They don’t! Where have we gone off the rails? Enough is enough!

Remember, we’re talking about the Fed only “tapering” future purchases, not cutting back on what it holds. The only question right now is whether its multitrillion-dollar balance sheet bought with money created out of thin air will grow at the same pace as it has for some time, or slow down and maybe stop in a year or so. Nobody’s talking about the Fed getting out of what it should never have started doing in the first place.

UPDATE: Santelli’s take is interesting. He seems to think that the economy would be better off, and apparently improve quickly (after an initial dip), if Bernanke would work up the nerve to taper, stop and sell off his holdings. He has an interesting take, and for chilling reasons which I’ll articulate in a future column.

Initial Unemployment Claims (062013): 354K S, 14K Above Expectations; Raw Claims Slightly Above Last Week

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:24 am

Predictions:
- Gosh, you’d almost think that they’ve seen today’s report already at Bloomberg“Jobless claims rose to 340,000 last week from 334,000 the prior period, economists said.” To be clear, it’s still pending.
- MarketWatch also has 340,000.

Seasonal adjustment factors:
- Week ended June 15, 2013 — 94.4
- Week ended June 16, 2012 — 94.8

Raw Claims:
- Week ended June 16, 2012 — 364,548
- Week ended June 8, 2013 — 330,933

The prediction of 340K will come to pass if raw claims come in at 321,000 (321K divided by .944 is 340K, rounded). The guess here is that they’ll be just a bit higher, but we’ll see.

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.

HERE IT IS (permanent link) — Oops, it’s more than a bit higher:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending June 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 354,000, an increase of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 336,000. The 4-week moving average was 348,250, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 345,750.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 335,320 in the week ending June 15, an increase of 2,949 from the previous week. There were 364,548 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

The four-week average would seem to indicate that last week’s dip into the the 330s was an outlier. Today’s reading was the first over 350K in three weeks, yet according to MarketWatch it’s still supposedly “consistent with a mildly improving labor market.”

Given the current inverse logic seen in the stock market, this might be good news because it might help the Fed’s Ben Bernanke decide to slow down the “tapering” of his market-propping quantitative easing. UPDATE: No (“Futures Hold Losses After Jobless Claims”), apparently it’s going to take more than that to convince the markets that Ben will keep buying farther into the future than he indicated yesterday.

Harassment and Intimidation: The Goals of Obama’s Information Dragnet

It may be working.

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This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Tuesday.

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The past month’s news about our national government’s acceleration towards tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”) made me recall the most memorable lines in “Like a Rolling Stone,” arguably Bob Dylan’s best tune, and according to Rolling Stone magazine the best rock and roll song ever.

Dylan’s masterpiece is a sarcastic six-minute “See, I told you so” directed at a condescending high society princess. She thought she had it all, only to see it disappear at the hands of a betraying, conniving beau. As a result, she is forced to fight for her everyday survival like most of the rest of us.

In his final verse, Dylan tells her:

When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

I would like to be wrong, but I fear that more people than ever who could help put a stop to this nation’s government-sponsored madness have reached a dangerous conclusion, namely that they have plenty to lose, and that they’re better off staying invisible.

Recent news about activities during the past several years of President Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service, misnamed Department of Justice, and especially National Security Agency has probably convinced many people who might otherwise make a difference that getting involved is simply not worth the risk to their reputations, their families, their friendships, or their careers. To some, it must appear that choosing political apathy, while limiting one’s “news” exposure to  things like Kim Kardashian’s weight, Kanye West’s oversized ego, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s engagement, or whatever other trivial obsessions I might have missed, has never looked more attractive.

Those considering activism now know that supporting disfavored causes ends invisibility. Anyone organizing or even participating in an effort to do something about government waste, fraud, and abuse, or working to elect people who might stop the the Obama administration’s Federal Reserve-assisted debt and spending death spiral now recognizes that they potentially have plenty to lose. The IRS, based on its track record of the past three years, won’t hesitate to ask them and their associates about their political beliefs, who’s giving them money, what books they’ve read, and their ambitions for political office. Those who really start to become pains in the rear-end, or those who merely write checks in support of opposition causes, face the prospect of having the IRS target their individual and business tax returns, while other federal and state regulatory thugs perform anal exams on other aspects of their lives.

Anyone mounting an effort to stop the slaughter of over one million innocent pre-born babies each year while asserting the scientific fact that life begins at conception and that it deserves the God-given protection identified as humans’ primary inalienable right in our Declaration of Independence from that point on should be prepared to have the IRS ask them about their prayers, their street demonstrations and counseling, and whether they give equal time to those who believe that it’s okay for a mother to murder her unborn child because it’s inconvenient.

Anyone with something in their past which they would rather others not know must confront the likelihood that it will become known. The suspicion here is that a few phone calls or emails from “concerned citizens” or a bit of online key-word trickery can trigger the NSA to profile anyone.

We now know that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper by his own smarmy admission lied through his teeth several months ago when he gave a “No” answer to the following question: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

The reality is that the NSA has only during the past few years begun to accumulate an indiscriminate and vast collection of phone, online and purchase data. Thanks to recent technological advances, sifting through the data has become relatively easy. A president and attorney general who have fits when police legitimately stop and question any non-white person exhibiting suspicious behavior possibly betraying criminal intent have no apparent problem with NSA snoops’ ability to get full profiles of anyone at the touch of a button — and just wait until they add the 400 data points in the Common Core K-12 education regime and ObamaCare’s government-controlled medical records to their collection. We will indeed have no secrets, or private lives.

Anyone pursuing effective dissent can be made to look bad even if they’ve lived noble or saintly lives. In fact, military veterans and devout Christians are already heading to the top of the charts in Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s hit parade (I can see it now: “People who make a habit of going to church at least once a week must be dangerously obsessive-compulsive”).

The day is not far off when attempting to protect one’s privacy by paying cash, avoiding the banking system, using PO boxes, and masking one’s online presence will themselves be seen as reasons for presumptive suspicion.

The existence of the NSA’s high-tech data trove may also partially explain why certain center-right politicians and judges have so quickly, thoroughly, and otherwise inexplicably betrayed their erstwhile supporters.

Unlike the pre-planned acknowledgment of the IRS’s harassment of Tea Party and conservative groups and Eric Holder’s nearly simultaneous missive to the Associated Press revealing that his department had obtained personal and business phone records involving over 100 AP reporters and editors, this past week’s exposure of the NSA’s PRISM program by Edward Snowden appears not to have been an orchestrated administration stunt. Nonetheless, it quite conveniently furthers our Punk President’s agenda of harassment and intimidation, not only of his opponents, but of those within his ranks who might otherwise be tempted to stray from the party line.

The question with which Dylan taunted his subject in “Like a Rolling Stone” applies to America today — “How does it feel?”

And what are we going to do about it?

There’s no perfect answer, but Ohio Tea Party activist Tom Zawistowski recently gave Fox’s Neil Cavuto a pretty good one: “We fix it by Americans individually having the courage of their convictions and standing up and pointing out things that are wrong and demanding that people fix them.” He could have added: “Because what we all stand to lose if we fail is far more precious than anything we think we have to lose as individuals.”

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062013)

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

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

Positivity: Pro-Adoption ad campaign results in strong response

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

From Austin, Texas:

Jun 20, 2013 / 12:02 am

A pro-life media group’s ad campaign encouraging pregnant women to choose adoption has launched its third series of broadcasts after previous campaigns succeeded in reaching hundreds of women.

“We are optimistic that great things will happen over the upcoming weeks, and that lives will be saved as women are put into contact with trusted adoption resources,” Marissa Cope, director of marketing, communication and research at the Austin-based Heroic Media, said June 18.

She said the latest campaign has received “the strongest response yet.”

The commercial, titled “The Adoption Option,” features a pregnant woman who tells the viewer why she plans to put her unborn child up for adoption.

“I’m pregnant, but I’m not in a position to care for this child,” the woman says, placing her hand over her womb. “I want him to be with a family who will love him and give him the things that I can’t.”

“I’ve learned that through adoption, I can choose the family who will raise him. And I can receive help through the rest of my pregnancy,” she continues. “Adoption just seems like the best option. For him, and for me.”

The ad says that the woman can choose the adoptive family for her child and can receive support throughout her pregnancy. The ad refers women to the website or 24-hour hotline of Heroic Media’s partner Bethany Christian Services, which provides resources and adoption counseling for pregnant women.

Since the ad’s third campaign began to air on the Oxygen network on June 10, it has generated 122 calls to Bethany Christian Services, Heroic Media said.

Heroic Media said that one woman who was 22 weeks pregnant had scheduled an abortion in New York, but changed her mind after seeing the ad. The mother made an adoption plan with Bethany Christian Services and decided against the abortion. …

Go here for the rest of the story.