October 2, 2013

Media Protection Racket Alert: Politico’s Byers Defends Reid ‘Cancer’ Comment, Attacks Drudge

Politico’s Dylan Byers is determined to tell us that we didn’t see and hear what we really saw and heard, and that Matt Drudge is a filthy liar (Update, 8:20 a.m., Oct. 3: as well as Real Clear Politics —”Reid To CNN’s Dana Bash: ‘Why Would We Want To’ Help One Kid With Cancer?”) for relaying what CNN’s Dana Bash saw and heard — and reported.

Today, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid whined about House Republicans “obsessed with this Obamacare thing” and asserted that “they have no right to pick and choose” which programs to fund and not fund (actually, the Constitution gives them that right, Harry), card-carrying liberal Bash asked him: “But if you could help one child with cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” Instead of turning the tables and saying, “I’ll be glad to do that when I get a clean bill,” he appeared to be on the verge of going into expletive mode, but then answered with a question of his own which should haunt him from here to eternity:

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As With CNN This Afternoon, AP’s Rothwell Also Makes a Market Decline Molehill Into a Shutdown Mountain

As I noted in a previous previous post today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), a CNNMoney.com email tried to spin a 0.4% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and tiny drops of less than 0.1% in the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ into proof that the government shutdown and the “looming U.S. default” were having awful effects on investors. Given that the ADP Employment Report today was a disappointment and had significant downward revisions to prior months, that was an indefensible stretch.

Steve Rothwell at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, took things to the next level in his 5:58 p.m. dispatch with overheated writing normally reserved for 200-point drops in the Dow (bolds are mine):

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Harry Reid, Asked About Helping One Child With Cancer, Replies, ‘Why Would We Want to Do That?’

CNN reporter and virtual card-carrying liberal Dana Bash handed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a question on a silver platter today. He fumbled it, bigtime.

After expressing irritation with House Republicans over how they are, in his words, “obsessed with this Obamacare thing” and asserting “that they have no right to pick and choose” which programs to fund and not fund (actually, the Constitution gives them that right, Harry), Bash asked Reid: “But if you could help one child with cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” Instead of turning the tables and saying, “I’ll be glad to do that when I get a clean bill,” he appeared to be on the verge of going into expletive mode, but then answered with a question of his own which should haunt him from here to eternity:

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CNN Email: Market’s Tiny Wed. Losses Due to ‘Looming U.S. Default,’ Not Poor ADP Jobs Report

NASDAQ.com says that the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 58.56 points today. The S&P 500 lost 1.13 points, while the NASDAQ lost 2.96 points. In percentage terms, those losses were 0.39%, 0.07%, and 0.08%, respectively.

Even though there’s usually a large element of speculation relating to why the broad markets go up or down on any given day, the pretend know-it-alls at CNNMoney.com seem to have had a pretty obvious preset agenda in their post-close email, as will be seen after the jump:

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Shutdown Optics Fail: World War II Memorial Edition

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 4:08 pm

At Twitchy:

Priorities: Barry-cades for World War II memorial but not Benghazi

Some tweets:

Rep. Steve Stockman — “Obama sent more protection to the World War II Memorial than he sent to Benghazi.”

Rep. Jorge Bonilla — “The record will reflect that the WH sent more reinforcements to the #WWIIMemorial than to #Benghazi.”

Sen. Rand Paul blasted the federal government for trying to block World War II vets from visiting their memorial, saying “some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades.”

AP Reporter Covering WWII Memorial Story Tries to Find a Veteran Who Only Blames Congress, Fails

Brett Zongker, the reporter the Associated Press assigned to cover the World War II Memorial story yesterday in Washington, apparently felt compelled to try to find someone who would exclusively blame Congress for the memorial’s closure. He failed, but pretended that he succeeded.

For those unfamiliar with the story, in an overrecation to the partial government shutdown, the White House, specifically, the Office of Management and Budget, ordered the open air WWII Memorial barricaded. Anyone attempting to shift the blame elsewhere, e.g., Harry Reid, isn’t telling the truth. With the help of several Republican congressmen, a veterans’ group there on a long-planned visit breached the “Barry-cades” and openes the memorial. Zongker’s report took seven paragraphs to recognize that the congresspersons involved are Republicans, and, as noted earlier, blew his concluding attempt to assign blame (bolds are mine):

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September ADP Employment Private-Sector Employment Report: +166K, Prior Months Revised Down (See Conference Call Notes)

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 8:15 am

The report will come out at 8:15 a.m. The montly conference call will take place at 9:30 a.m.

Business Insider is carrying a prediction of 180,000 private-sector job additions.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):

Private-sector employment increased by 166,000 from August to September, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Highlights:
- Small businesses (1-49 employees) +74,000
- Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +28,000
- Large businesses (500 or more employees) +64,000

I wouldn’t call this a huge miss, but it is of course a miss in the wrong direction.

But there’s more, as seen in the graph at the link. August was written down from 176,000 to 159,000 and July has gone from an original 200K two months ago (Update: and 198K one month ago) to 161K.

Here’s more, from the press release, which includes Mark Zandi’s annoying obsession with “austerity”:

During the month of September, the U.S. private sector added a total of 166,000 jobs,” said Carlos A. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP.

“As in previous months, most of the job gains occurred in the service-providing sector.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market appears to have softened in recent months. Fiscal austerity has begun to take a toll on job creation. The run-up in interest rates may also be doing some damage to jobs in the financial services industry. While job growth has slowed, there remains a general resilience in the market. Job creation continues to be consistent with a slowly declining unemployment rate.”

I’ll be taking conference call notes at 9:30 a.m. Questions I’m going to try to get in:

  • What, if anything, have you learned about the percentage of these jobs which are part-time in nature?
  • Given a recent survey which reported that the Affordable Care Act is affecting small business hiring (according to Gallup, “41 percent indicated that they “have held off on plans to hire new employees,” and 38 percent “have pulled back on plans to grow their business” because of Obamacare”), why do you still believe (asssuming he still does, which is likely — Ed.) that the Act is not affecting employment or employers’ decisions to hire part-timers instead of full-timers?
  • What is total private-sector employment according to ADP’s data? (Seasonally adjusted private-sector employment per the government was 114,302,000 in August.)
  • (If not addressed) What’s with the big prior-month revisions?

Other question suggestions are welcome, though I’m going to have trouble getting them in, since I will probably only get one chance to speak.

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Conference Call Notes:

Mark Zandi: The gain in Sept. was consistent with job growth over past 3, 6, 12 months and past three years. Right in that range.

Gains have been on the soft side in the past few months, consistent with BLS.

Fairly broad-based across industries. Financial services decline last month, probably due to higher interest rates.

Mfg. is still soft. (Then how is ISM so high? — Ed.)

Job growth across company size — no appreciable change. Small cos adding consistently.

Hasn’t seen significant effects of health care reform on the job market. Hard-pressed to see significant effect even on part-timers, but script is still being written. Acknowledges possibility that it would be better without health care reform.

Slowing in past few mos. is probably more related to fiscal austerity and government spending cuts. Can’t draw direct line, but that’s his sense. GDP flatness more traceable to that.

3Q GDP is heading towards 1% – 1.5%.

Shutdown won’t impact ADP report unless it extends to mid-Oct.

Q&A:

Effect on Fed tapering — 150K in jobs adds is not consistent with tapering. Needs to be closer to 200K. Shutdown damage won’t be much if settled by middle of next week. Thinks unemp rate will be lower on Fri. (7.2%).

How long for shutdown impact (asked and answered). It will start to unnerve stock and bond investors in mid-Oct. and might show up in data for a month or two, esp if it goes to Oct. 19 or 20. Q4 will feel like economy is stalling out. (Like it’s not already???? — Ed.)

Zandi sidebar — trying to gauge effect of political uncertainty on the economy (brinksmanship and policy). It has had a significant impact. If it were where it was before the recession, GDP would be about $150 billion greater (about 0.9%), or 1.1 million jobs, with unemp rate 0.7% higher than it would have been (i.e., would be 6.6% instead). Corrosive over years.

Thinks an agreement won’t happen until the market panics. (until “lawmakers get it together”) (just “lawmakers”? — Ed.)

ME:

  • BLS-ADP are the same; ADP doesn’t publish total private-sector employment.
  • Downward revisions — better data. Not certain if downward revisions constitute a pattern.
  • Gallup poll (see above) — not seeing impact of sentiments expressed in data yet.

Q on “Pandora’s box” if debt limit stalemate goes past Oct. 17 — If SocSec checks delayed, big impact. Treasury will continue to make payments on debt, but investors will wonder for how long with pressures to pay Grandma. Confidence will weaken very rapidly. Fed is already at it’s wits’ end, and it will be a mess. Would lead to a deep recession. No policymaker will go down that path.

Q on jobs report not coming out on Friday — Does that in and of itself cause a bad day in the market? A: report if issued might provide some solace, but not really meaningful.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100213)

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 may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Cardinal calls faithful to share pro-life message of mercy

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

From Washington:

Oct 1, 2013 / 02:06 am

Citing the words of Pope Francis, the leader of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee called the faithful to open their hearts to Christ, sharing the Gospel message of mercy and the sanctity of human life.

“Only a tender, compassionate love that seeks to serve those most in need, whatever the personal cost, is strong enough to overcome a culture of death and to build a civilization of love,” said Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.

“Let us open our hearts and reflect on how God might be calling each of us to witness the sacredness of human life and assist in pro-life efforts.”

The cardinal offered encouragement to those defending life in a message for Respect Life Month 2013.

Respect Life Month, which will begin this year on Oct. 6, is a month set aside by the U.S. bishops for prayer and education on issues concerning the sanctity of life in all stages. This year’s theme is “Share the truth about human life,” which “echoes Pope Francis’ call for all people to ‘Open your hearts to life!’” Cardinal O’Malley said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.