June 23, 2015

Jonathan Who? AP, NY Times Set the Stage For Gruber News Blackout

Two recent NewsBusters posts have demonstrated that the major broadcast networks other than Fox News have failed to cover new information reported Sunday evening at the Wall Street Journal. Newly available emails reveal that MIT’s Jonathan Gruber “worked more closely than previously known with the White House and top federal officials to shape” the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Monday afternoon, NB’s Scott Whitlock noted that “All three network morning shows on Monday ignored” the clearly newsworthy revelations. Very early Tuesday morning, NB’s Curtis Houck observed that “The top English and Spanish-language broadcast networks” did the same thing Monday evening. The Associated Press and the New York Times, the nation’s de facto news gatekeepers during the Obama era (far more the former than the latter, in my view) were instrumental in this deliberate averted-eyes exercise. Neither outlet has printed a word about what the Journal found.


Kaus Finds Kasich ‘Annoying’; Welcome to the Club, Mickey

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:30 pm

Based on reading this item at the Washington Examiner, Mickey Kaus asks:

Why is John Kasich so annoying? Byron York notes that John Kasich’s frankly religious appeal to conservative evangelicals in the Faith & Freedom Caucus somehow turned them off.

May Durable Goods: More ‘Positive’ Seasonal Cooking

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:25 pm

As has been the case in several other areas, the government’s seasonal conversions of orders and shipments in today’s durable goods report are suspect — all too predictably, in the direction of making things look better than they really are.

Orders (revised April 2015 and preliminary May 2015 are from today’s Census Bureau release):


Actual durable goods orders fell by 2.7 percent (rounded) from April 2015 to May 2015; the analogous change in 2014 was virtually zip. But after seasonal adjusted the difference between the two years narrowed to just 0.8 points.

Horse manure.

Today’s seasonally adjusted decline could easily have been 4 percent or more.

Actual durable goods orders cratered in May instead of advancing sharply as was the case in most previous years.

Now let’s look at shipments (revised April 2015 and preliminary May 2015 are from today’s Census Bureau release):


In the past four years, May shipments have significantly outpaced April by an average of 3.3 percent, leading to average seasonally adjusted increases of 0.88 percent. But this year, May shipments came in 0.46 lower than April (i.e., 3.76 points worse than the average of the past four years), but the seasonally adjusted result was only 0.98 points worse than the previous four-years seasonally adjusted average.

Again, horse manure.

Today’s seasonally adjusted decline could easily have been 2 percent or more.

Maybe the government can defend its seasonal conversions based on their magic formulas.

But no one can pretend that May’s seasonally adjusted results haven’t made the situation look far, far better than it really is.


Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062315)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 11:00 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: In Charleston, thousands join hands to show solidarity, mourn ‘Emanuel Nine’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Charleston, where crowd estimates were in the 15,000-20,000 range:

June 21 at 11:40 PM

Charlestonians continued to seek healing late Sunday night, as musicians shook tambourines, choirs bellowed mournful tunes and South Carolina jazz legend George Kinney played “My Buddy” in honor of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and the rest of the “Emanuel Nine,” who were fatally shot after Bible study in a church basement.

“Our seed is more powerful than a bullet,” the Rev. William Swinton Jr. told a crowd gathered for a benefit concert at Ebenezer AME church. “The funds will be used as a scholarship to help young people fight racism and all the evil things of society through education. They will look back and know that we did something more than cried.”

The Rev. Melanie Conner of the Charleston NAACP told the crowd that she knew many of those who were killed at Emanuel AME church during a racially motivated massacre in the fellowship hall Wednesday night.

“Their living and dying will not be in vain. What man meant for evil, God turned it around,” she said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.