May 5, 2014

Politico Magazine’s National Editor Worries Benghazi ‘Pseudo-Scandal’ May Keep Hillary From Running

Michael Hirsh is the recently named National Editor at Politico Magazine, an effort which is turning out to be to the left of the crumbling Time Magazine and the for-now defunct Newsweek. One of Hirsh’s career lowlights — he probably thinks it’s a highlight — is his December 2008 contention that President George W. Bush having a shoe thrown at him in Iraq “was somehow appropriate.”

Lest there be any doubt as to the possibility that there will be fair and balanced reporting on Benghazi on Hirsh’s watch, I give you excerpts from “The Benghazi-Industrial Complex; Will the pseudo-scandal be enough to stop Hillary from running?” — wherein Hirsh plows new groveling ground (bolds are mine):

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April ISM Non-Manufacturing: 55.2%, Up from 53.1%, Beating Expectations of 54.0%

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 9:57 am

Predictions:

The report will be here at 10 a.m.

10:05 a.m.: Still waiting …

10:07 a.m.: HERE IT IS (permanent link) —

(Tempe, Arizona) — Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in April for the 51st consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

“The NMI® registered 55.2 percent in April, 2.1 percentage points higher than March’s reading of 53.1 percent. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased substantially to 60.9 percent, which is 7.5 percentage points higher than the March reading of 53.4 percent, reflecting growth for the 57th consecutive month at a much faster rate. The New Orders Index registered 58.2 percent, 4.8 percentage points higher than the reading of 53.4 percent registered in March. The Employment Index decreased 2.3 percentage points to 51.3 percent from the March reading of 53.6 percent and indicates growth for the second consecutive month, but at a slower rate. The Prices Index increased 2.5 percentage points from the March reading of 58.3 percent to 60.8 percent, indicating prices increased at a faster rate in April when compared to March. According to the NMI®, 14 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in April. The majority of survey respondents’ comments indicate that both business conditions and the economy are improving.”

14 of 18 industries showed expansion.

Two of three future GDP drivers shot up: New Orders from 53.4% to 58.3%, and Business Activity from 53.4% to 60.9%.

But Backlog of Orders went into contraction, from 51.5% to 49.0%.

This report looks like it has a lot of post-winter exuberance; remember, this is a sentiment survey not necessarily based on hard numbers.

The question of whether it will last is open, but we’ll take it.

Imagine That: Even Politico Questions Whether the Economy Is Set to ‘Pop or Drop’

In stark contrast to the celebratory “AMERICAN ECONOMY BOUNCES BACK FROM BRUTAL WINTER” headline Friday afternoon at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, Ben White’s “Morning Money” report at the Politico is notably concerned about whether Friday’s “vexing jobs report” justifies the kind of optimism the AP conveyed with seeming finality in its headline.

To be fair, the underlying AP report by Chris Rugaber and Josh Boak pointed to several weaknesses in the jobs report. But to be appropriately critical, as I noted yesterday, they took it as a virtual given that the economy will turn in full-year growth of “nearly 3 percent.” Achieving that result will require second-half annualized growth of nearly 4 percent — a level would likely cause the Federal Reserve to put on the brakes by raising interest rates to stave off inflation. In a separate post, I also criticized the AP pair for presenting economists’s estimates of 3.5 percent annualized growth in the second quarter without telling readers that their prediction is premised on the first quarter’s current 0.1 percent result getting revised downward into contraction. White’s brief report at the insufferably pro-Obama, pro-Hillary, leftist Politico is unusually balanced, and even went after the New York Times’s dueling headlines which were just two days apart (NYT links added by me; bolds are mine):

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (050514)

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.

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8:05 a.m.: USA Today, reporting the results of a Pew poll — “By more than 2-1, 65%-30%, Americans say they want the president elected in 2016 to pursue different policies and programs than the Obama administration, rather than similar ones.”

Racists.

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8:00 a.m.: “James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and Family Talk Radio, a harsh critic of President Obama and an opponent in court, on Thursday described him as the abortion president’ during an address at the National Day of Prayer.”

Well, because he is.

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7:30 a.m.: At Truth Revolt

Once a year, at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the president drops in to deliver a short comedy bit heavy on self deprecation. President Reagan was a master, goofing on himself as a slow-witted Hollywood rube; George H.W. Bush stepped out of his stiff patrician bearing to hit himself with a few zingers; Bill Clinton singed himself badly after his affair with a White House intern (“How was your week?”).

And George W. Bush was, frankly, a master. Derided like Reagan, a slow witted rube, but this time from Texas, Bush once brought an impersonator on stage to mock him nonstop, for everything from his marble-mouthed delivery to his low approval rating. Mastery.

But President Obama each year proves he just isn’t man enough to point his super-intellectual humor at himself. Sure, he almost always delivers a burn or two at himself, but he always goes on a scorched-earth campaign after that, viciously ripping any and all critics who have taken him on.

You didn’t really expect the Punk President to act any differently, didn’t you?

Positivity: Italy’s March for Life draws global participation

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

From Rome:

May 4, 2014 / 01:11 pm

The fourth annual March for Life held in Rome May 4 drew attendees from across Italy, Europe and the United States.

“The beautiful thing about this march is that it has always been very international,” explained Joseph Meaney, Director of Coordination for the global pro-life group Human Life International.

“The Italians have had a pro-life movement for years, decades, but they’ve never really had a lot of marches, and so they put this together… (with) all different kinds of Italian groups, widening out to European, and now even further,” he told CNA on May 4.

Rosa, an Italian woman from the province of Caserta, north of Naples, was at the March for Life in Rome for the first time. “I’m happy to be here with my friends because it’s a moment of joy and happiness,” she explained.

The group came to “demonstrate together for life, because life is good, and invaluable for all, and it’s necessary to protect it.”

“Life is the most fundamental good that we can have. Therefore, if we don’t protect it as young people, who can?” Rosa’s friend added.

Giorgio, a young man originally from Albania, expressed a similar conviction.

“Life must be respected properly–it’s the foundation of everything,” he said, adding “it would be very beautiful if…everyone in the world rose up to protect life.”

Elvira, a 17-year-old girl from Poland, travelled to Rome with a group of 50 young people. She said they wanted to show that “life is very important for everyone.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.