July 12, 2013

Epic Fail in Local Stations’ Reading of Mock Asiana 214 Pilots’ Names Is at Least Half on NTSB

Late this afternoon, an anchor at Oakland TV station KTVU unfortunately read four offensive and insensitive mock Asian-sounding names and identified them as the pilots of Asiana Flight 214, which crash landed at San Franscisco Airport last weekend. A third crash victim died today.

While the station deserves plenty of blame for failing to catch the obviously phony names before airing them, at least half of the blame goes to the National Transportation Safety Board which fed it the improper information, as Politico’s Nick Gass reports:

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Ohio’s labor force is shrinking, everywhere but Columbus

Filed under: Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:50 pm

This column went up at Watchdog.org with minor edits late this afternoon.

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Since Gov. John Kasich’s took office in early January 2011, Ohio’s labor force has noticeably contracted — except in Metro Columbus.

This is not a result anyone who attended a Clermont County Lincoln Day dinner at which Kasich spoke several years ago could have anticipated. Though it took place well before he declared his candidacy for the state’s highest office, and despite the fact that he was fighting a serious cold that evening, Kasich conveyed an almost overwhelming sense of confidence that he knew exactly what to do to get the state’s economy back on track if he were to earn the opportunity.

More than anything else, that self-assuredness is what ultimately carried Republican Kasich to a narrow 2010 victory over Democrat Ted Strickland, defeating an incumbent Buckeye State governor for the first time in 36 years.

2-1/2 years into his administration, Kasich’s major accomplishment has been the elimination of a looming $8 billion financial hole without raising taxes.

His video promoting the state’s next two-year budget beginning July 1 also touts how his administration “has shrunk the state bureaucracy by nearly 10 percent while improving services.” While that assertion seems shaky, a direct job-related claim Kasich makes certainly won’t ring true for most Ohioans, at least those with memories going back to the to the middle of last decade:

Opportunities for a good, rewarding job are more plentiful than we’ve seen in a long time.

With small and rare exceptions, that statement simply isn’t true, unless you happen to live in or decide to move to Metro Columbus, where a large portion of the alleged 10 percent cut in bureaucracy has presumably taken place — and especially if the job you’d like to pursue involves being your own boss.

The metropolitan and micropolitan area statistics published monthly by the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Household Survey sharply refute Kasich’s claim. Several micropolitan areas, generally defined as those containing “one or more urban clusters with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000,” are shrinking seriously enough to raise concerns about their economic viability.

Economists have been justifiably troubled over historically weak nationwide workforce growth since the recession officially ended in June 2009, openly fretting over what to do about “the millions of workers who have dropped out of the labor force altogether.” But at least America’s overall workforce is growing. Sadly, that is not true in the Buckeye State.

Ohio’s statewide labor force contraction during the past two years has been serious enough, but it’s far more troubling after separating Columbus from the rest of the state’s results and comparing both to the entire U.S. (not seasonally adjusted figures were used because BLS does not prepare seasonally adjusted statistics for most metro areas):

CbusOhioUSLaborForceMay11toMay13

Columbus is the only metro area showing beyond-neglible growth in the past two years:

OHmetrosLaborForceGrowthMay11toMay13

The situation in Ohio’s micropolitan areas is even grimmer. Of the 29 micro areas BLS tracks, only Athens has a larger workforce. Altogether, the these areas have seen over 18,000 workers disappear. Six areas — Fremont, Marion, Tiffin, Van Wert, Washington Court House, and Wilmington — have contracted by more than 4 percent. All micro areas combined have lost almost 5 percent of their labor force in the past four years. There was little if any workforce shrinkage in most of these micro areas during the half-decade Before the 2008-2009 recession as traditionally defined began.

In the video mentioned earlier, Kasich points to how “Ohioans have created over 170,000 new private-sector jobs.” That statement, based on results in the BLS’s Establishment Survey of seasonally adjusted employer payrolls from January 2011 to May 2013, ignores the sharply lower employment increase of less than 52,000 during that same period found in its Household Survey. Even after adding back the roughly 14,000 state and local government jobs lost during that time, Household Survey job growth is less than 40 percent of what the Establishment Survey says. Oh, and well over one-third of those 66,000 Establishment Survey jobs have been created in — you guessed it — Metro Columbus.

All of this clearly indicates that the past 2-1/2 years has not been a period during which Ohioans have aggressively plunged into self-employment, contract work, and new business start-ups.

Though his new budget’s tax cuts are a step in the right direction, if Ohio is to again genuinely become “the state of big ideas” that Kasich notes that it once was, his administration is going to have to do a better job of creating a business climate which will allow entrepreneurs, especially in the struggling micro areas, to grow, prosper, and take on their won employees. Currently, it’s just not happening.

MSNBC’s Smerconish Says that DC Mayor Gray Should Veto DC’s ‘Living Wage’ Bill Targeting Walmart

This one is a lead candidate for top placement in this week’s “Even a stopped clock is right twice day” file.

MSNBC’s Michael Smerconish, whose NewsBusters archive exposes him as a Barack Obama-supporting, right-wing conspiracy-mongering faux conservative, had a perhaps surprising reaction to the District of Columbia City Council’s 8-5 vote to force Walmart and other big box retailers in the city — just the ones which aren’t unionized — a living wage of $12.50 per hour. In a Thursday evening column at the network’s website, he advised DC Mayor Vincent Gray to veto it, and was actually quite logical about it (bold is mine):

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Big Sis Resigns (See Update)

Janet Napolitano has announced her resignation from the Department of Homeland Security “to take a job running the University of California education system.”

I would not be surprised if this (related items here, here, and here) is the real reason why.

Odds that the press will mention any of this: Virtually zero.

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UPDATE: Comedy gold, received in an email —

Presente.org Welcomes Janet Napolitano’s Resignation from DHS

Statement by Arturo Carmona, Executive Director

“Presente.org welcomes the resignation of Janet Napolitano as head of the Department of Homeland Security. She will go into the halls of history as President Obama’s go to person for implementing the most repressive anti-Latino and anti-immigrant policies our nation has ever seen. This also presents an important opportunity for the Obama Administration to institute humane policies and stop the senseless deportations and separation of families once and for all.”

ROTFLMAO.

Sorry, Agendized Academics: The Recession Began in June 2008

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:00 am

That’s when Obama’s nomination became a foregone conclusion.

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

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This column will show that the supposedly non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research incorrectly pegged the most recent recession’s beginning as December 2007.

The timing of the recession’s inception is no trifle. NBER’s call less than a month after the 2008 presidential election made the breezy, now well-established meme that we should “Blame Bush for everything” a fixture in the left’s rhetorical toolbox.

But if the economy really peaked in June of 2008 — and I will demonstrate that it did – that timing would be the noncoincidental point at which it became crystal clear that Barack Obama would turn back Hillary Clinton to become the Democrat Party’s nominee for president, and that he was a strong favorite to defeat Republican nominee John McCain.

NBER claimed in its “determination” that “domestic production and employment are the primary conceptual measures of economic activity.”

The monthly analysis of gross domestic product (GDP) done by Macroeconomic Advisers clearly shows that NBER seriously erred in evaluating its first stated component. Seasonally adjusted monthly output peaked in June 2008, reaching a level which was roughly an annualized 0.5 percent higher than in December 2007:

MacroAdvMonthlyGDP2005to1Q13no2

NBER claimed at the time that “the currently available estimates of quarterly aggregate real domestic production do not speak clearly about the date of a peak in activity.” Oh, but today’s currently available monthly estimates clearly do, and they say that the long-term decline in output didn’t begin until after June. Since NBER pointed to a single month to identify the recession’s starting point, it cannot justify ignoring Macro Advisers’ monthly analyses. (More on that later.)
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Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071213)

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

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder (added at 7:35 a.m.) follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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Business Insider, June 30 (HT Economic Collapse Blog) –

“The percentage of companies issuing negative EPS guidance is 81% (87 out of 108),” Butters added. “If this is the final percentage for the quarter, it will mark the highest percentage of companies issuing negative EPS guidance for a quarter.”

The weirdest thing about this is that this trend has been getting worse for years and the stock market has only been going up.

Related, concerning yesterday’s record stock market close:

Call it the Bernanke Boost.

The stock market, which has been marching higher for a week, got extra fuel Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will keep supporting the economy.

I think it’s more like the Bernanke Bubble.

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Noteworthy headlines and posts:

Columbus Business Journal“Gordon Gee getting $190K office suite on Ohio State campus”; (BizzyBlog, June 7: “Gee whiz, Ohio State President Gordon Gee is retiring; Why he was fired isn’t why he should have been sent packing long ago.”)

PolitiFact Ohio“Pants on Fire: Rachel Maddow says that Ohio budget includes requirement for transvaginal ultrasound”

Glenn Beck“Saudi National (originally apprehended and questioned in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing) resurfaces… at White House 4th of July”

WaPo“Wal-Mart says it will pull out of D.C. plans if city mandate ‘living wage’”

NewsBusters“Not Interested: Obama Rewards Fat Cat Donors With Top Diplomatic Spots, Networks Yawn”

Breitbart: “Only 47% of Americans Have Full-Time Job”

CNS News: “101M Get Food Aid from Federal Gov’t; Outnumber Full-Time Private Sector Workers”

RIP, Peak Oil Prevaricators“An End to Eight Years of The Oil Drum” (At BizzyBlog, in 2005: “I’m Tired of the Oil-Price and Oil-Supply Obsessions”)

A Wheeling, West Virginia Intelligence editorial tells us that Ohio still owes the feds $1.5 billion borrowed during the Strickland administration to keeps its unemployment compensation system solvent.

At Campus Reform on July 1 (HT Gateway Pundit) — “Public university unfairly raising grades of black students, say three former faculty members”

Electric vehicles“Unclean at Any Speed” (HT Hot Air)

Positivity: Gang intervention ministry is ‘living the Gospel,’ priest says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Los Angeles:

Jul 7, 2013 / 04:02 pm

Father Greg Boyle, the founder of a program that helps former gang members in Los Angeles, said his mission is a way of living the Christian message, having solidarity with those on the margins of society.

“Living the Gospel is about standing with the demonized, so that the demonizing will stop; standing with the disposables so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away,” Fr. Boyle, a Jesuit priest, told CNA June 26.

While pastor of Dolores Mission parish in east Los Angeles, Fr. Boyle began an outreach to gang members 25 years ago. That outreach has since grown into Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention program in the U.S.

“That’s what the hope of this place is; it helps people for sure, and it helps gang members imagine an exit ramp off this crazy, violent freeway.”

“But it stands as a symbol to the world…what if we were to invest in people rather than just incarcerate our way out of this problem.”

Fr. Boyle’s ministry offers hope, training and job skills to those formerly involved in gangs or in jail. In addition to helping them find employment, Homeboy Industries also provides case management, tattoo removal, mental health and legal services, and GED completion.

While the group’s website says it is “not affiliated with any particular religion,” it also notes that many of its works are “in line with the Jesuit practice of social justice,” and Fr. Boyle said that the organization does not seek to “downplay” its Catholic identity.

“This place is soaked with the Gospel,” he reflected, noting the importance of solidarity.

“Are you standing with the easily despised, and the readily left out? Are you dismantling the barriers that exclude, are you widening the circle of compassion so that nobody’s standing outside the circle?” …

Go here for the rest of the story.