June 24, 2015

NPR Calls Hillary’s ‘All Lives Matter’ Statement a ’3-Word Misstep’

The politically correct speech police are everywhere these days. Many members of the leftist establishment have taken it upon themselves to aid in their enforcement efforts. No one is safe — not even the person they want us to believe is destined to be the Democrats’ 2016 presidential nominee.

Yesterday, at a Florissant, Missouri church only five miles from Ferguson, Hillary Clinton uttered the following words in succession: “All lives matter.” NPR’s Tamara Keith and Amita Kelly devoted much of their four-minute “Morning Edition” report on her appearance to what was described as a “3-Word Misstep.”

(more…)

Bigoted Vox Writer Smears the South

Vox’s David Roberts, who describes himself at his “drvox” Twitter page as a “Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee,” clearly does not have a lot of love for his region of origin.

Tuesday afternoon, in the wake of Dylann Roof’s racially-motivated massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, Roberts tweeted his belief that “The American South has always been the most barbaric, backward region in any developed democracy.” He then asked, “Can we admit that now?” No we can’t, David, and we won’t.

(more…)

1Q15 GDP, Third Reading: Annualized Contraction of -0.2 Percent, a 0.5 Percent Improvement Over Previous Estimate

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:28 am

Predictions are for a move to a 0.2 percent annualized contraction from the 0.7 percent reported a month ago.

I think it should be larger, but whether it gets reflected is another matter.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS: Predictions were dead-on (full release with tables here) —

Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes — decreased at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the decrease in real GDP was 0.7 percent. With the third estimate for the first quarter, exports decreased less than previously estimated, and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and imports increased more (see “Revisions” on page 3).

The decrease in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by positive contributions from PCE, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

I’ll have a comparison chart up shortly.

Here it is:

GDPcomponentsThru1Q15at062415

The two most important items are:

  • Health care, which is likely a major contributor because of increased out-of-pocket costs consumers are having to swallow (in Obamacare and non-Obamacare plans). Trouble is, this is the component no one really feels enhances their standard of living.
  • Imports, which as seen above, went from being a minor to a huge detriment to GDP.

A runner-up is inventories, which increased by more than was estimated a month ago. My view would be that any increase here is going to come off in the second quarter, and then some.

There certainly isn’t any fundamental strength evident in today’s numbers.

The Atlanta Fed’s estimate for the second quarter is currently an annualized 2.1 percent, a figure which has moved up by about 1.3 points during the past three weeks. The estimate as of June 23 appears to take existing home sales data into account but doesn’t mention yesterday’s weak durable goods numbers.

July’s GDP report is going to include revisions to data going back several years, incluing this quarter. It will be quite interesting, especially in light of the spurious claims about “residual seasonality,” whether today’s figure moves back into positive territory, or gets more negative to in my opinion more accurately reflect horribly weak underlying first-quarter data.

 

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062415)

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: The Race to Grace

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council:

une 23, 2015

Somewhere in Charleston, a deeply embittered 21-year-old is sitting in a dark cell replaying scenes from the courtroom over in his mind. For the killer who hoped to incite a nation with his bloody rampage, things didn’t exactly work out as planned. The nine lives he sacrificed in God’s house, offerings to a centuries-old race war, did more to quell the tension than spark it. In the end, violence was met by a force much stronger: forgiveness.

Sitting across from the shooter at his bond hearing, no one would have blamed the families for lashing out in anger. Instead, one by one, racked by grief, they offered an unexpected gift — grace. “I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you,” one daughter said through her tears. “We have no room for hating, so we have to forgive.”

What the gunman sowed in evil, the church repaid in love. Where other cities would have set cars on fire, Charleston set faith ablaze. Led by the families suffering most, the world no longer sees hate but a picture of the One who overcame it. “The killer set out to defile a sacred place and ended up showing why it is sacred,” wrote Michael Gerson. “These victims and their families have shown what it means to be followers of Christ.”

It was a powerful moment for a nation in distress. Even the New York Times was confounded by the compassion extended amidst so much cruelty. The sense of wonderment spread across newspapers — until forgiveness became the story. “It was as if the Bible study had never ended,” one reporter explained, “as one after another, victims’ family members offered lessons in forgiveness, testaments to a faith that is not compromised by violence or grief.” …

Go here for the rest of Perkins’ post.