May 26, 2016

O’Reilly Blames Black Lives Matter For Spike in Violent Urban Crime

Wednesday evening, Bill O Reilly at Fox News sharply criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, assigning it primary blame for the spike in violent urban crime seen throughout the nation since late 2014.

Though his monologue contained one significant exaggeration, his overall take — expressed in layman’s terms, that the “Ferguson effect” is real — was spot-on. Leftists, up to and including President Obama, with the full cooperation of a sympathetic establishment press, have denied the linkage between the orchestrated attempt begun in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014 to embed into the nation’s consciousness the false idea that police are on a mission to gun down innocent black youths and the rising crime levels which have since arisen in so many of the nation’s cities. O’Reilly also sharply rebuked the press, which has been far too quick to downplay the serious increase in urban crime and to ignore the violent records and actions of BLM and its leaders.

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April Advance Durable Goods: Up 3.4 Pct. Overall on Aircraft Orders, Ex-Transportation Up 0.4 Pct., Key Business Investment Stat Down 0.8 Pct. and 4.1 Pct. YTD

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:24 am

From the Census Bureau:

New orders for manufactured durable goods in April increased $7.7 billion or 3.4 percent to $235.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up three of the last four months, followed a 1.9 percent March increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 3.7 percent.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in April, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1.5 billion or 0.6 percent to $232.5 billion. This followed a 0.8 percent March decrease.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in April, down nine of the last ten months, decreased $0.7 billion or 0.2 percent to $384.4 billion.

Nondefense aircraft orders made up $6.64 billion of the $7.67 billion seasonally adjusted new orders increase from March to April.

Keep in mind here that even if the generally improved orders-increase percentages seen this month repeat themselves for the next several months (but see the update for an important exception), what we’ll be seeing, if we’re lucky, is a slow emergence from a fairly deep funk going back to late-2014.

Additionally, shipments are still relatively flat, and the March revisions to all shipments (durable and nondurable) reduced them by $1.2 billion, or 0.2 percent. Actual April shipments of durable goods came in 2.8 percent below April 2015, pushing year-to-date shipments 0.2 percent below last year.

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UPDATE: Via AP

Demand for durable goods jumped 3.4 percent after a 1.9 percent gain in March, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Orders in the closely watched category that serves as a proxy for business investment fell 0.8 percent after a 0.1 percent decline in March and a 2.1 percent plunge in February.

It’s the line item for “nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft.” Year-to-date, that category is down 4.1 percent.

Initial Unemployment Claims (052616): 268K SA; Raw Claims (241K) 4 Pct. Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:04 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending May 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 268,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 278,000. The 4-week moving average was 278,500, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 275,750.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 240,868 in the week ending May 21, a decrease of 4,001 (or -1.6 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 5,003 (or 2.0 percent) from the previous week. There were 253,454 initial claims in the comparable week in 2015.

The seasonal adjustment factors (89.9 for same week last year and 90.3 this year) were roughly identical.

So things seem to have settled down in this area. After hitting 294K two weeks ago, claims have dropped back to the range of the past several months.

What this tells us about the true condition of the job market is far from clear, though, give that announced layoffs are up and jobs added pulled back a bit last month.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (052616)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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: Custodian Graduates From College He Spent Nearly A Decade Cleaning

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Worcester, Massachusetts (video at link; HT Daryn Kagan):

May 13, 2016 6:31 PM

Michael Vaudreuil hopes anyone who hits rock bottom hears his story. “You go through life and you say, ‘someday I’m going do this. I’m going do that,’ and very often in life you’re hit with a curveball that kind of throws you off track.”

It was the recession that threw Vaudreuil off track. “It left our heads spinning. It happened so fast.”

In 2007, his plastering business went under. Within six months, so did everything else. “We lost our home, bankruptcy, and our personal vehicle… decimation was completed. I was just a shell of a person at that time.”

He took the only job he could find, a custodian at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. To cut the boredom, he signed up for a tuition-free class WPI offers employees. That brought him to a new world, and the lab where he designed his own prototype of a reusable dust fuel cartridge.

After eight years of classes all day and cleaning all night, Vaudreuil now emerges a mechanical engineer. He graduated Saturday, May 14th, with a class of students less than half his age. “It’s a lot. It’s a lot to comprehend,” says his wife, Joyce. …

Go here for the rest of the story.