October 16, 2015

AP Fails to Cite Work Requirement As a Reason for Maine’s Food Stamp Enrollment Decline

A week ago (late on a Friday afternoon, naturally), the Obama administration released food stamp enrollment figures for July. Despite millions of Americans finding work during the past several years, the data continued a national trend of little to no meaningful decline in enrollment.

Seasonally adjusted Household Survey employment is now 148.8 million, slightly above its prerecession November 2007 peak of 146.6 million. Meanwhile, current food stamp enrollment, at 45.5 million, is far greater than the 2007 average of 26.2 million. There is a small exception to this disturbing situation. It’s in Maine, where enrollment has declined by over 20 percent since 2009. Those wondering why didn’t find the complete answer in a brief Associated Press report Tuesday (presented in full because of its brevity and for fair use and discussion purposes):


NYT Critic Holden: ‘Truth’ Is ‘Beautifully Executed Journalistic Thriller’

The New York Times has not merely climbed aboard the bandwagon of Truth, which exalts the fraudulent September 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report about President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard Service. It’s now serving as the film’s de facto lead apologist.

The most recent example demonstrating how deeply in the tank the Old Gray Lady has gone is Stephen Holden’s Thursday film review published in Friday’s print edition. Holden’s praise comes from an alternative universe where genuine “truth” clearly doesn’t matter, and uses a tortured analogy which in reality disproves his attempt at making a point (bolds are mine throughout this post):


U of M Sentiment Survey Finds ‘Renewed Optimism’ and ‘Renewed Confidence’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:13 am

From the University of Michigan’s preliminary October Sentiment Survey, which crushed expectations of 86.5-88.4 and came in at 92.1:

Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin

The rebound in confidence signifies that consumers have concluded that the fears expressed on Wall Street did not extend to Main Street. Importantly, the renewed confidence did not simply represent a relief rally, but instead reflected renewed optimism. Personal financial expectations rose to their highest level since 2007, as did consumers’ views toward purchases of durable goods. While consumers anticipate a continued economic expansion, many expected strong headwinds from falling commodity prices, weakened economies in China and elsewhere as well as continued stresses on European countries. Perhaps the most important finding is that low inflation and continued job growth have enabled consumers to adapt to a slower and more variable rate of economic growth by varying the pace of their spending without losing confidence that the expansion will continue.

In other words, those surveyed are willing to accept an unacceptable “new normal.”

Who says that press brainwashing doesn’t work?

September Federal Reserve Industrial Production: Decline of 0.2 Pct.; Worst Year-Over-Year Performance Since 2009

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:11 am

Predictions, according to Yahoo’s Economic Calendar, are for a decline of 0.2 percent.

Here are the key “before” snapshots:


I’ll post “after” shots after the report appears here at 9:15 a.m.

UPDATE: Here’s the “after” —


The change in overall industrial production was a net goose egg in September, with the month’s 0.2 percent decline offset by upward revisions to previous months. The overall year-over-year increase is now perilously close zero. Based on how relatively strong October and November of 2014 were, the 12-month rolling metric appears destined to go negative in the next month or two. UPDATE: Zero Hedge says that the 0.4 percent year-over-year figure represents “the weakest growth since Dec 2009.”

Manufacturing netted out to a 0.2 percent increase (after adding back upward prior-month revisions of +0.3 percent — including to May [!] to September’s posted -0.1 percent). The year-over-year increase, though not as bad as the overall number, is still very unacceptably low.

Zero Hedge asserts that today’s figures are “signaling the path to recession.” It’s pretty hard to argue against that.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101615)

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: Hero rescue dog saves owner by pulling her to phone after fall

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From McKinney, Texas:

Updated: 5:39 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 | Posted: 5:39 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

Thanks to the heroic actions of a beloved pet, a Texas woman is recovering after a debilitating fall.

According to WFAA, Janet Wilhelm of McKinney recently slipped in her garage while she was putting away dog food. She lay on the floor, unable to move and in pain, until her rescue dog, a black Lab named Mabel, decided to perform a rescue of her own.

“I grabbed her collar, and she started backing up toward the house,” Wilhelm told WFAA. “I was like, ‘What is she doing? She’s trying to get away from me,’ I thought.”

But that wasn’t the case. Mabel kept pulling her owner toward the home for an hour and a half, eventually helping

Wilhelm reach her phone to call her husband.

“I was so happy she was there,” Wilhelm told WFAA.

Go here for the rest of the story.

Megan McArdle: ‘A Marshmallow Planet’ More Likely Than Finding Truth in ‘Truth’

The disgraceful determination of Hollywood to rewrite history not favorable to the left, its causes and its personalities has perhaps reached its nadir with the laughably misnamed movie Truth.

The film is about Dan Rather’s September 2004 60 Minutes report on President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard Service during the 1970s. In Rather’s words, “The nuanced, not preachy, script makes clear our report was true.” The script may say that, but the historical record doesn’t. On October 2, John H. Hinderaker and Scott W. Johnson’s writeup detailing how bogus that report was from top to bottom appeared online at The Weekly Standard. Reading that essay in its entirely is undoubtedly important; but in this case, so is ridicule. Megan McArdle at Bloomberg View supplied that back in July.