January 23, 2015

Re: ‘Deflategate’

Filed under: General,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 11:46 pm

Given the team involved and their history, I certainly understand the suspicions.

But the following quote made me entertain another possibility I have heard no one bring up:

“I did not believe what (New England Patriots quarterback) Tom (Brady) had to say. Those balls were deflated. Somebody had to do it, and I don’t believe there’s an equipment manager in the NFL who, on his own initiative, would deflate a ball without his starting quarterback’s approval,” (former NFL quarterback Mark) Brunell said.

Well, what would cause an equipment manager to do such a thing — something he knows is against the rules but would benefit his team’s quarterback — “on his own initiative”?

Hint: It’s green, and it would come from people who would financially benefit from the Patriots beating the Colts by more than the point spread.

This could hurt the NFL the way the Black Sox Scandal hurt baseball 95 years ago.

Maybe the reason no one is mentioning what I believe is a pretty clear possibility is that they’ve been told not to.

Pass the Smelling Salts: AP Uses the Term ‘Radical Left’

In a report on the upcoming Greek elections, an unbylined Friday afternoon Associated Press report dusted off words seldom seen in their dispatches, using the term “radical left” twice and the word “radical” separately once for good measure.

The almost never seen terms — virtually invisible in decades of descriptions of longtime radical leftists like Fidel Castro, the late Hugo Chavez or lefty legends like the late Che Guevera — appeared in describing the party and policies of Greece’s Syriza party and its leader, Alexis Tsipras. Syriza and Tsipras appear to have winning momentum going into Sunday’s balloting. Excerpts follow the jump:

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DOL, AP Spin Today’s Glum (For Organized Labor) Union Membership Report

Someone looking at the annual “Union Members” report released this morning by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics would logically conclude that 2014 was a year organized labor would rather forget.

While average nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by over 2.32 million from 2013 to 2014, union membership only went up by 48,000, or about 2 percent of the nationwide increase. Additionally, the private sector’s 41,000-person pickup in union membership was only 1.6 percent of its total 2.55 million increase. Yes, that means that public-sector union membership increased a bit while public-sector employment declined by 226,000. Of course, no such decidedly negative nuggets made their way into Labor Secretary Tom Perez’s press release or Tom Raum’s Associated Press report, excerpts of which follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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Not News: Fewer Than 0.5% of Americans Live in Fully Recovered Counties

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:22 am

In his State of the Union address — perhaps, based on the recommendations for government involvement and control he made therein, better described as his Statist of the Union address — President Obama referenced the “growing” U.S. economy at least three times, but “recovery” only once. Specifically, he claimed that “thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives.”

The recovery, which Obama acknowledged is still in progress over 5-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, has a great deal more “touching” to do. On January 12, the National Association of Counties released a detailed study which most of the press ignored, but which would have been front-page and broadcast-leading news in a Republican or conservative presidential administration. The NACo report showed that only 65 of the nation’s 3,069 counties have fully recovered from the recession. That’s bad enough, but even with that ugly statistic, the results involved are worse than they appear.

Eric Morath’s coverage of the report at the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog missed a key point, namely how sparsely populated the 65 fully recovered counties are:

Of More Than 3,000 U.S. Counties, Just 65 Have Recovered From Recession, NACo Says

… The 2014 County Economic Tracker shows that 65 of the nation’s 3,069 counties have met or surpassed prerecession levels in four measured categories: jobs, unemployment rate, economic output and home prices.

The recovered counties are largely located in energy-rich areas and have small populations. Of the 65 recovered counties, 24 are in Texas and 16 are in North Dakota. The others are generally in the middle of the country, including nine in Minnesota and eight in Kansas.

None of the recovered counties has more than 500,000 residents.

Actually, only 15 of the counties are in North Dakota. Far more important, a detailed look at 2013 Census data using the bureau’s interactive tool indicates that none of the recovered counties has more than 200,000 residents:

CountiesFullyRecovered2014

Also, as seen above, 34 of the counties, or over half, have populations of under 10,000.

The 65 fully-recovered counties represent just over 2 percent of all U.S. counties, but their total population of under 1.4 million is less than one-half of one percent of the nation’s total. This means that 99.56 percent of Americans live in counties which have not fully come back to where they were in 2007.

But the Obama administration and its press acolytes continue to crow about the economy. Unreal.

A crowning irony is that if the Obama administration’s environmental zealots had their way and had stopped hydraulic fracturing, the number of fully recovered counties today would be likely have been cut by more than half from the already absolutely abysmal total.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012315)

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

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Hundreds of Thousands of Pro-Lifers March for Life, Mourn 57 Million Abortions

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

From Washington:

1/22/15 2:55 PM

Hundreds of thousands of pro-life people turned out for the annual March for Life in Washington, braving cold temperatures to take a stand for the right to life of unborn children. While marchers mourned 42 years of legalized abortion, many sounded a hopeful theme for a pro-life future and think the decision will eventually be reversed.

The Roe v. Wade decision, handed down on January 22, 1973, overturned pro-life laws offering protection for unborn children in most states across the country, and made abortions legal and virtually unlimited. Almost 58 million unborn children have been killed in abortions since.

Polling data shows Americans are pro-life and few agree with Obama’s unlimited abortion position. Pope Francis sent out a tweet praying for the marchers.

As with other recent marches, the number of young adults and high school and college students impressed organizers and provided another reason to be optimistic. …

Go here for the rest of the story.