June 30, 2016

Violence-Advocating Detroit Free Press Editor Decries the Word ‘Bailout’ in Describing Detroit Schools’ Bailout

On June 8, Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted how Stephen Henderson at the Detroit Free Press had gone on an unhinged, murder-advocating rant against Michigan Republicans legislators for agreeing to a $617 million bailout of Detroit’s public schools while continuing to support charter schools there. Reacting to the legislation, Henderson, in a June 4 column, called for charter school backers to be “sewed into a burlap sack with rabid animals and thrown into a lake to drown – if they aren’t eaten first.” He reiterated his call for violence later in the same column: “A sack. An animal. A lake. No lover of actual democracy could weep at that outcome.”

Now this poor excuse for a journalist, despite a Pulitzer Prize supposedly saying otherwise, is outraged — outraged, I say — at the very idea that people are describing the Detroit schools' bailout as, well, a "bailout."

As such, Henderson, who excused his words as mere "hyperbole" while refusing to apologize, now deserves to have his photo placed with the term "double standard" in the dictionary.


WashPost’s Cillizza: Hillary Has ‘Large-Scale Problems,’ Trump Can ‘Win This Race’

Apparently following up on his Washington Post column earlier this week, the paper’s Chris Cillizza appeared on Thursday’s Morning Joe show and observed that Hillary Clinton has “large-scale problems on honesty and trustworthines,” that “she is the status quo” and “represents the past.” Because of that, and despite the conventional wisdom in much of the establishment press that Mrs. Clinton can’t possibly lose in November, Cillizza argues that her Republican opponent “can win this race.”

Cillizza has previously staunchly denied media bias in the coverage of Mrs. Clinton’s campign. That’s hard to square with what Tim Graham at NewsBusters observed on Wednesday, namely the contrast between Cillizza’s take“Hillary Clinton’s email story continues to get harder and harder to believe” — and the fact that no televsion network had “noticed this latest AP (Associated Press) story and (Mrs. Clinton’s) latest (very problematic) batch of emails.”


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (063016)

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: He escaped Vietnam on a fishing boat, and now he’s a bishop

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Sydney, Australia:

Jun 28, 2016 / 03:44 pm

In the 1970s, a teenager boarded a boat to escape the cruelty of war in his homeland of Vietnam. He landed as a refugee in a foreign land.

Now, he has been installed as the fourth Catholic bishop of Australia’s Parramatta diocese.

On June 16, Vietnamese native Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, O.F.M. Con. became the new shepherd of the Parramatta diocese.

“I have taken many leaps of faith before, including the one that launched me literally onto the Pacific Ocean,” Bishop Nguyen said at his installation Mass at Parramatta’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The bishop explained his episcopal motto “Duc in Altum,” which means “Go into the deep.” He connected it to his own struggle as a refugee.

Born in 1961 in Dong Nai, Vietnam, Nguyen entered St Paul’s Minor Seminary in the Diocese of Xuan Loc, located about 37 miles north of Saigon.

With the fall of Saigon in 1975, the communist authorities forcefully evicted all the seminarians from the seminary building, which they converted into army barracks. Tumult and persecution caused a major refugee crisis. People abandoned their homes and sought to escape the country on boats – becoming known as “boat people.”

The future bishop, at the age of 18, became separated from most of his family. He boarded a 55-foot-long boat with a few family members and 146 other refugees.

The journey was perilous and the destination was unknown. After time at sea, the closely-packed boat ran out of food, water and fuel.

But the passengers were saved when their boat drifted near an oil rig. The refugees were housed in a refugee camp off the coast of Malaysia.

After a year, Nguyen was moved to Australia. There, he faced language differences, cultural shocks, and even a few incidents of bullying.

He later entered the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, a Franciscan order, and was ordained a priest in December 1989. He went on to secure a licentiate in Christology and Spirituality from the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure. He was elected as the Australian superior of the Friar Conventuals in 2005. He served as the order’s assistant general in Rome from 2008-2011, overseeing the Asia-Oceania region.

Pope Benedict XVI named him auxiliary bishop of Melbourne in May 2011. Bishop Nguyen serves as the Australian bishops’ delegate for Migrants and Refugees and also chairs the bishops’ Catholic Social Justice Council.

At his installation Mass, Bishop Nguyen stressed his commitment to being “a bridge builder.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 29, 2016

On Brexit Impact, CBS’s Economic ‘Experts’ Demonstrate Partisanship and Ignorance

CBS broadcasts discussing the Brexit Leave vote on Sunday and Monday went to economic “experts” whose “analysis” betrayed partisanship and both feigned and real ignorance.

On Sunday on Face the Nation, max 2015 Hillary contributor (as usual, not disclosed to viewers) Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics predicted that that the UK economy “is going down the rabbit hole” as the result of the Leave victory, and that the European union, based on being “bigger,” is in better shape to hand the fallout. This defies 40 years of history — both two decades before and two decades after the EU formed a single market in 1993 — during which the British economy has significantly outperformed its continental brethren. Then on Monday’s CBS This Morning show, Obama bundler Mellody Hobson absurdly told viewers that the EU is like “the United States of Europe which came into being after World War II.”


Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062916)

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.

RIP, Pat Summitt

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Knoxville:

Jun. 28, 2016 6:08 PM EDT


Pat Summitt put women’s basketball on her back, breaking down barriers with her indomitable spirit and demanding respect for female athletes on her way to becoming the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history.

The woman who lifted the sport to national prominence staring down players and officials with her icy glare will be remembered for far more than the impressive numbers she piled up over 38 seasons, including eight national titles.

Summitt, 64, died peacefully Tuesday morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most, according to her son, Tyler. Her death, five years and two months after being diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, resulted in an outpouring of reactions from the president to people who never played for Summitt.

“Pat started playing college hoops before Title IX and started coaching before the NCAA recognized women’s basketball as a sport,” President Obama said. “When she took the helm at Tennessee as a 22-year-old, she had to wash her players’ uniforms; by the time Pat stepped down as the Lady Vols’ head coach, her teams wore eight championship rings and had cut down nets in sold-out stadiums.”

Obama added Summitt’s Hall of Fame career tells of the historic progress toward equality in American athletics the coach helped advance.

“Her legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat’s intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court,” Obama said.

Summitt helped grow college women’s basketball as her Lady Vols dominated the sport in the late 1980s and 1990s, winning six titles in 12 years. Tennessee — the only school she coached — won NCAA titles in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996-98 and 2007-08. Summitt had a career record of 1,098-208 in 38 seasons, plus 18 NCAA Final Four appearances.

Former Lady Vols forward Candace Parker said Summitt’s impact went way beyond Knoxville.

“She’s changed the way women’s basketball is played,” Parker said. “She’s changed the nature of women’s basketball.”

Peyton Manning, who sought Summitt’s advice about returning to Tennessee for his senior season or going to the NFL, said it would have been a great experience to play for her.

“She could have coached any team, any sport, men’s or women’s. It wouldn’t have mattered because Pat could flat out coach,” Manning said in a statement. “I will miss her dearly, and I am honored to call her my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Tyler and their entire family.”

Summitt was a tough taskmaster with a frosty glower that could strike the fear of failure in her players. She punished one team that stayed up partying before an early morning practice by running them until they vomited. She even placed garbage cans in the gym so they’d have somewhere to be sick.

Nevertheless, she enjoyed such an intimate relationship with her players that they called her “Pat.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 28, 2016

Press Still Promotes or Is Uninterested In Acknowledging Pranked, Bogus Brexit Referendum Petition

It is now two days since it became obvious that the claim that “millions of Britons” have signed a House of Commons petition advocating a do-over Brexit vote is bogus.

It is now also quite obvious that press is uninterested in reporting that the petition’s buildup to millions of “signatures” was predominantly caused by bot-generating pranksters, and that the entire effort proves absolutely nothing about UK citizens’ alleged “regrets” over voting to leave the European Union last Thursday. But the press, either reluctant to admit they’ve been had or to discard a convenient, agenda-driven meme (or both), is allowing its past erroneous reporting on the petition to stand, while refusing to acknowledge more than a sliver of the fraudulent enterprise.


Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062816)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:00 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: Legally armed bystanders break up Walmart shooting

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 9:55 am

From Augusta, Maine:

4:24 PM. EDT June 27, 2016

Augusta Police say two bystanders, legally armed with handguns, stepped in during a shooting incident at a Walmart in Augusta.

Police say four suspects were taken into custody by police Sunday after allegedly firing gunshots in the parking lot of a Walmart.

The suspects involved were sitting in vehicles parked next to each other when the altercation arose. The occupants of one vehicle fired at the occupants of the other, which resulted in return gunfire.

When the shooting stopped, police said one suspect exited their vehicle to confront the occupants of the other. This is when two bystanders, who were legally carrying, interfered and stopped the incident, police said.

Augusta police say one of the men involved was injured. A bullet grazed the stomach of Kwiesha “Reggie” McBride of Harlem, New York.

Police say while this incident ended fine, they do not encourage citizens to step in. …

The cops are wrong on this. Once the gunfire starts, a responsible owner with good aim should step in.

Go here for the rest of the story.

1Q16 Gross Domestic Product, Third Estimate (062816): An Annualized 1.1 Percent, Up From Previously Reported 0.8 Percent (ALL Due to Increased Health Care Spending)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:26 am

As I noted a month ago, it’s hard to take GDP seriously until the comprehensive revision going back to 2013 comes out next month.

But here is today’s report (full text version) from the government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, for what little it’s worth:

Real gross domestic product — the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2015, real GDP increased 1.4 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 increase in real GDP was 0.8 percent. With the third estimate for the first quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; exports increased more than previously estimated.

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), residential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and exports that were partly offset by negative contributions from nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in PCE, a larger decrease in nonresidential fixed investment, and a downturn in federal government spending that were partly offset by upturns in state and local government spending and exports and an acceleration in residential fixed investment.

Predictions were for 1.0 percent.


UPDATE: Well, it’s pretty simple to explain why reported GDP increased — personal consumption expenditures for health care skyrocketed:


Over half of the reported GDP increase for the first quarter was in Health Care. Most of this is not a genuine improvement in living standards, which over the long haul is what GDP is supposed to represent. This is cost-shifting to consumers, likely heavily driven by Obamacare, which is hurting their ability to buy other things. Note that the increase in the health care component in this revision from 0.25 points to 0.63 points helped to crowd out all other personal consumption expenditures (PCE), which dropped like a rock from 1.04 points (1.29 minus 0.25 in May’s release) to 0.39 points (1.02 minus 0.63 points) in today’s estimate.

These numbers explain why the American people, especially now, feel like they’re stuck in the mud and going nowhere economically.

UPDATE 2: In the past six quarters, the Health Care line item has been responsible for 27 percent of the reported increases in PCE (2.99 of 11.19 points). The average quarterly contribution of PCE after taking out Health Care has only been 1.37 points. That’s absolutely miserable.

UPDATE 3: In 2005 and 2006, the average non-Health Care PCE contribution was 1.85 points. That may not seem like a big difference, but it is. Consumers spent about 35 percent more (0.48 divided by 1.37) on other things — like, y’know, food clothing, shelter, and other more tangible items.

June 27, 2016

Fox’s Kevin Corke: Keystone Pipeline Turndown Took Far Longer Than Benghazi Committee Investigation

At Monday afternoon’s White House press briefing, Fox News reporter Kevin Corke asked Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz about the reasons for the White House’s reluctance to account for President Obama’s whereabouts and activities on the night of the September 2012 Benghazi attacks.

I am told that Schultz never genuinely answered Corke’s question. The video excerpt which follows shows that he instead went into a rant about the length of the House’s Benghazi investigation, which of course has gone as long as it has because of obstruction and stonewalling by the Obama administration and House Select Committee Democrats. After Schultz said his pathetic piece, Corke zinged him with the fact that it took President Barack Obama far longer than the length of time Congress has spent on Benghazi to hem, haw, and finally reject the Keystone Pipeline project.


Those Nuts Who Said That the EU Was All About Creating a Single Authoritarian European State …

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:03 pm

have been right all along:

European SUPERSTATE to be unveiled: EU nations ‘to be morphed into one’ post-Brexit

EUROPEAN political chiefs are to take advantage of Brexit by unveiling their long-held plan to morph the continent’s countries into one GIANT SUPERSTATE, it has emerged today.

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”.

Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.

Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.

It’s not paranoia if someone really does have it as their life’s goal to undermine and then end your autonomy — and we now know that has been the goal of the EU all along. Since they see their ability to make it happen incrementally slip away, they’re apparently going to see if they can do it all in one fell swoop.

I don’t want to hear another flippin’ word about how the Brexit vote is hurting the world economy. This EU move is far more reckless and has the potential to cause far more upheaval than anything the British people have done.


UPDATE 1: Even if they put the genie back in the bottle because of blowback, we know the genie is there, and we know that there will remain a strong desire to pull it back out when the time seems opportune. One would think that this should unsettle the markets for years to come. But the “markets” aren’t even what they used to be, thanks to massive central bank manipulations, so who knows? They elites, despite their pretenses, surely don’t.

UPDATE 2: Lady Thatcher was one of those paranoid “nuts” who warned about the EU’s goals —

She was right, as usual — about what the EU wants, and how willing the left would be (and still is) to cede authority and power to it.

Positivity: Governor’s Wife Takes Summer Job Waiting Tables

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 2:55 pm

From Boothby Harbor, Maine (HT Daryn Kagan):

June 25, 2016

That Ann LePage — the the wife of Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage — snagged her latest job using her family “connections,” is hardly surprising.

What is surprising is that those connections didn’t come from her powerful husband, but instead from her daughter, who is in law school.

Last summer, Lauren LePage made a whopping $28 an hour at McSeagull’s, “a bustling restaurant touting double-wrapped bacon scallops and views of Boothbay Harbor,” according to the Associated Press.

This year, her 58-year-old mother is following in her footsteps to make some extra dough during the profitable tourist season.

“Oh honey, it’s all about the money; it’s all about the money,” LePage told CBS affiliate WGME. “I told him (Governor Paul LePage) my money I earn here I’m putting in a kitty. I want to buy a car this summer.”

What kind of car? Not a Mercedes or a Range Rover — the political elite’s preferred modes of transportation — but a Toyota RAV 4, the kind of modest SUV a person apparently buys when their spouse is the lowest-paid governor in all 50 states, according to the AP. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062716)

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.