August 31, 2013

Columbus OFA Immigration Rally Fizzles; MAIG Rally ‘Becomes Pro-Gun Event’; Columbus Dispatch AWOL

On Thursday morning, the Columbus Dispatch’s Darrel Rowland reported (“Gun battle slated for high noon in downtown Columbus”) that “Mayors Against Illegal Guns is coming to Columbus on Friday for an event urging Sen. Rob Portman to support expanding background checks on gun purchases,” and that “guns rights groups are planning to make their voices heard, too.” There was no follow-up on what happened at the Michael Bloomberg-supported group’s rally; we’ll see why shortly.

Organizing for Action, the group which exists solely to promote President Barack Obama’s agenda, also scheduled a rally to promote illegal-immigrant amnesty in Columbus on Friday. Intrepid center-right blogger Jesse Hathaway reported attendance (HT Twitchy) of perhaps a half-dozen. A search of the first couple of pages (here and here) of results on “immigration” at the Dispatch’s web site returned no relevant coverage (results were not sorted by date, but seemed to generally move backwards in time).

Here’s what deliciously happened at the MAIG rally, as reported by Jim Heath at

Rally For Gun Background Checks Quickly Becomes Pro-Gun Event


It was a rally organized by gun-control supporters, but by the end, it looked more like an NRA rally.


AP’s Raum: ‘Economy Is Being Eclipsed As Top Campaign Issue’; Lib Historian Brinkley: It ‘Looks Pretty Good’

If we’re to believe Tom Raum’s Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, the economy is humming along smoothly enough that we really shouldn’t think about it that much any more, especially as something to consider when voting. And besides, it’s being “eclipsed” by “other pressing events.”

I’ll stay away from those other “events” in the interest of concentrating on the 3-1/2 paragraphs Raum employed to convince readers that things really are okay, followed by a quote from a reliable leftist apparatchik (bolds and numbered tags are mine):


AP’s Rugaber Uses Unadjusted Metro Area Data to Find ‘Widespread Improvement in the Job Market’

At the Associated Press, economics writer Christopher Rugaber used not seasonally adjusted data published by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics on metro area employment and unemployment to crow about "widespread improvement in the job market." The predominance of part-time jobs among the new ones created and fact that houshold incomes have yet to recover from the recession apparently had no impact on his assessment.

The opening sentence of the government's report reads: "Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 320 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 38 areas, and unchanged in 14 area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today." But the second paragraph of Rugaber's AP report, headlined "Unemployment Rates Fall in Two-thirds of U.S. Cities," tells readers that "[U]nemployment rates fell in 239 of the nation's 372 largest cities in July from June."


Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (083113)

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

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

If you are on the front page, click “more” to see today’s items (updated sporadically; items time-stamped 6:05 a.m., if any, were posted earlier and held).

Positivity: Widower submits a song about his wife of 73 years to a songwriting contest

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Just watch (hanky alert):

August 30, 2013

Acceptable News For the I-270 Beltway …

Filed under: Ohio Economy — Tom @ 10:13 pm

… and bad news for most of the rest of the state.

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics Household Survey:


It really requires no further explanation.


UPDATE: Well, I’ll clarify one thing upon further review, namely that the past 12 months have been acceptable in context in Akron and Toledo, which makes the unacceptability everywhere else that much more glaring.

Latest PJ Media Column (‘African-Americans’ Worst Economic Enemies’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:38 pm

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.


Left on the cutting room floor: “Unexpected” stats.

In 1995, African-American and Hispanic median household income were virtually identical: $32,815 for AA, $33,499 for Hispanics — a mere 2% difference.

The column estimates Hispanic median household income as of June 2013 of $40,979 was 22% greater than AA household income of #33,519.

As recently as 2008, the difference was only 10.8% ($43,319 for Hispanics vs. $38,747 for AA).

In the past five years, that differential has doubled.

Yeah, Barack Obama and his party have done a great job for “their” people.

NYT’s Sanger Pathetically Compares Cameron’s UK War Support Failure to Reagan-Thatcher Falklands Disagreement

Well, if you can’t say anything good about how your guy’s foreign policy is going, you can at least try to trash one of his predecessors so your guy doesn’t look so bad.

That would appear to be the idea behind David E. Sanger’s attempt at the New York Times today to falsely inform readers that the two towering leaders of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, angrily disagreed over the UK’s choice to retake the Falkland Islands after Argentina had seized them. Sanger linked back to a previous Times story which clearly pointed to the real disagreement, but never described anything resembling anger. Additionally, a cable from Secretary of State Alexander Haig during that era directly refutes Sanger’s contention.


Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.): Raising Fast-Food Industry Wages to $15/Hr. Would Lead to ‘Millions of Jobs Created’

Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky added her ignorant voice to the cacophony of economic confusion Thursday on the low-rated MSNBC show hosted by Chris Hayes. If a Republican congressperson made a statement as breathtakingly ignorant as the one you’re about to see, it would get wider media play. Schakowsky’s “brilliant” suggestion almost certainly won’t.

Why has nobody thought of this fantastic idea? Here it is as “articulated” by Schakowsky in response to a question from Hayes (HT Bridget Johnson at PJ Tatler; bolds are mine; click on the “transcript” tab at the link to see the full text of the discussion; the original transcript has no caps and is missing some punctuation, but yours truly has added them where needed):


‘Labor Organizer’ Pretends That McDonald’s Has ‘Plenty of Money’ to Raise Wages to $15/Hr.

It must be nice to blithely talk about how you would spend somebody else’s money without thinking through the consequences.

Kendall Fells, the organizing director of Fast Food Forward in New York, told Yahoo Finance’s Bernice Napatch at its Daily Ticker site that “McDonald’s made $5.5 billion in profits and there’s plenty of money to pay the workers who work there and new hires without firing anyone.” As was the case with a Detroit protester’s claim that “McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year” noted earlier today, Napatch did not challenge Fells’s fallacy. After the jump, we’ll come up with a better estimate showing that the company and its franchisees couldn’t pay their employees $15 an hour even if they burned through all of their current restaurant operating income in trying.


Detroit TV Station Lets Ridiculous Claim That McDonalds ‘Made Like $500 Billion Last Year’ Stand


Vickie Thomas and the news department at Detroit TV station WWJ really ought to be ashamed of themselves. The open question is whether they even know enough to be ashamed.

In reporting on a Motor City McDonald’s store which was forced to close — whether it was for a few hours or all day and night isn’t disclosed — Thomas quoted a “protester” claiming that “McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year.” Most readers would interpret “made” as the company’s annual profit. The company’s worldwide net income in 2012 was $5.5 billion, barely 1 percent of the protester’s completely unchallenged figure. The “like $500 billion” cited and allowed to stand is also 14 times larger than the $35.6 billion in gross sales at all of McDonald’s U.S. franchised and company-owned stores.


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (083013)

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

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

If you are on the front page, click “more” to see today’s items (updated sporadically; items time-stamped 6:05 a.m., if any, were posted earlier and held).

Positivity: Men enter closed store by accident, pay for purchases

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Wayne, New Jersey (video at link):

Posted: Aug 27, 2013 2:35 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 27, 2013 8:20 AM EDT

It pays to be on your best behavior, even when you think no one is watching.

That’s a lesson learned by a few young men from New Jersey after cameras caught them doing the right thing at a local store.

Sunday night, the management of Buddy’s Small Lots got the after-hours call all retailers fear.

“We got a phone call at the police department saying there had been a break in at the store,” Marci Lederman of Buddy’s Small Lots said.

But when they got to the store, nothing appeared out of place. But the eye in the sky sees everything, so they went to the video tape.

The cameras caught it all. A handful of young men cautiously enter the store before heading downstairs.

They do a little shopping, calling out to a clerk who never shows up. After doing a little mental math, the guys decide to pay for sunglasses and batteries, even though no one’s around to force them.

So how’d this happen?

At around 7 on a Sunday, the shopping mall is still open, including the pharmacy and grocery store on either side. But Buddy’s Small Lots was closed, although you wouldn’t know it because the lock on the door had malfunctioned.

The system also leaves most of the lights on, so employees admit it pretty much looks open.

Buddy’s just opened their Wayne location, and the store’s leadership says they’re happy to be a part of such an honest community. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 29, 2013

AP Headline As Obama Takes New Unilateral Executive Actions: ‘Obama Offers New Gun Control Steps’

In yet another Orwellian advance at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, the headline at today’s AP “exclusive” report on President Obama’s unilateral imposition of new orders relating to guns is: “OBAMA OFFERS NEW GUN CONTROL STEPS.”

Reporter Josh Lederman is in on it too. He never specficially describes Obama’s current actions as “orders.” Alternate words include “announced,” “proposing,” “executive actions,” and “new policy.” It isn’t until the second-last of his 13 paragraphs that Lederman informs readers that “the White House has completed or made significant progress on all but one of the 23 executive actions Obama had previously ordered in January” (but the actions themselves are not called “orders”), and casually slips in the administration’s intent to “require insurers to cover mental health at parity with medical benefits,” something Congress has specifically rejected several times in the past, partially because it could present a costly open-ended opportunity for the therapy community to milk the system by keeping patients in treatment interminably.


2Q13 Gross Domestic Product (082913): An Annualized 2.5%, Revised Up From 1.7%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:30 am

Originally posted at 8:15; moved to the top.


  • The Associated Press has already weighed in with 2.2% in several reports, up from 1.7% in the initial report.
  • Bloomberg is also at 2.2%.
  • Interesting — Early this month, the immediate reaction to more favorable export-import news at Reuters was as follows: “Economists, who had expected the trade gap to narrow only to $43.5 billion in June, said second-quarter GDP growth could be revised up to as high as an annual pace of 2.5 percent from the 1.7 percent rate initially estimated by the government.”

So maybe the contrary news I’m going to mention is already baked into the 2.2% current estimates.

That contrary news concerns housing. Last week’s new home sales report, in addition to telling us that July was awful, revised April, May, and June down by 69,000 single-family units. We’re told constantly that each new home is $90,000 in GDP. That’s a $6.2 billion impact, or $24.8 billion annualized. Against $16 trillion in annualized GDP, that’s a 0.16% impact all by itself.

If what’s happening in new homes was happening to an extent through the rest of the economy and is just now being detected, it’s not too difficult to imagine a hit of 0.3% or more, maybe even 0.5%.

But again, given what I pointed out concerning Reuters higher estimate early in the month, perhaps that cooling in housing and elsewhere is already built-in. We’ll see.

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

HERE IT IS, the first upside surprise in ages (permanent link):

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 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.1 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 1.7 percent. With this second estimate for the second quarter, the increase in exports was larger than previously estimated, and the increase in imports was smaller than previously estimated.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected upturns in exports and in nonresidential fixed investment and a smaller decrease in federal government spending that were partly offset by an acceleration in imports and decelerations in private inventory investment and in PCE.

Side-by-sides of components coming up …

Okay, it’s really all about exports and imports, and there’s not much else to say:


Zero Hedge’s take:

… (this) should make everyone happy (well not the market which desperately need bad news to go higher). However, as usual, the real news is underneath the surface, which is where we find that both real components of GDP growth, Personal Consumption and Fixed Investment were actually revised lower from the preliminary print.

Well, okay, but not by much. Given almost no change in the residential component vs. the new-home sales revisions noted earlier, I’m thinking that September’s final revision might come down by a tenth of a point or two.

So who will be the first person in the press to say how fantabulous 2.5% annualized growth is?