August 31, 2016

AP’s Matt Lee Fails to Cite Kerry’s Plea For Less Media Coverage of Terrorism

Filed under: Economy,Lucid Links,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:45 pm

In Bangladesh on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry had a concern about media coverage of terrorism he felt he needed to communicate, namely that “the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much.” That would be a great thing, apparently, because then “People wouldn’t know what’s going on.” You can’t make this stuff up.

The dateline location at Diplomatic Writer Matt Lee’s August 29 story at the Associated Press on Kerry’s related speech indicates that he is accompanying the Kerry entourage on his current trip. Lee, who has acquired a reputation as a pesky questioner at State Department briefings in DC, failed to include Kerry’s media-related remark, obviously the most controversial element in his speech, in his report. This move by a veteran reporter at the nation’s de facto gatekeeping wire service likely influenced the three major broadcast networks, as Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted Tuesday evening, to almost completely ignore Kerry’s remark in their recent newscasts.


August ADP Employment Report: 177K Private-Sector Jobs (Also See Conference Call Notes)

Filed under: Economy,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:12 am

Predictions: 170,000 (markets) to 190,000 ( private-sector jobs added.

The report will be here at 8:15 a.m. I will be on the conference call which goes from 8:30 – 9:00.


Private-sector employment increased by 177,000 from July to August, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

From the press release:

“Job growth in August was stable and consistent with levels from previous months as consumer conditions improve,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute. “Continued strong growth in service-providing jobs is offset by weakness in goods-producing areas.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The American job machine continues to hum along. Job creation remains strong, with most industries and companies of all sizes adding solidly to their payrolls. The U.S. economy will soon be at full employment.”

Prior months:
- July is now 194K; it was 179K last month.
- June is now 171K; it was 176K last month, and was originally 172K.


MARK ZANDI, Moody’s Analytics — another month, another 177K jobs. Labor market is sturdy and strong. We need 85K to absorb growth in working-age population, meaning that unemployment and under-employment are declining.

Goods side is soft (const -2K and goods -6K). Job losses should wind down there pretty soon. Const may be weak because winter was warn. Mfg is trade-related softness.

Services side is strong. Large company job growth is good.

Solid growth in number of establishments – best since 2006, and is across the board, energy sector aside.

Expects BLS number on Friday to be about 185-190K, a good solid number if we get that. But initial August reports have traditionally been weak but have been revised up by 60-70K (slow reporting in that month, messing up the numbers, residual seasonality, recession seasonality still affecting). Also start dates for school have been changing. Thus 150K initially eventually revised up to 190K.

Switching gears to immigration: Two candidates have very different positions. Clinton is all-in and supports Gang of 8 legislation and expand legal immigrants.

Immigration is important to labor market. Pew Research estimates 5-6 million illegals in labor force. Also they will reduce consumption.

Qs. Producitivity messed up by stock options (????). Atlanta Fed’s wage-tracker weighting of different measures. Wage growth is accelerating pretty steadily. Caution putting too much weight on one measure.

Participation rate of working-age men has declined for a long time. Longer-running process. Jason Furman of CEA dissected the factors at work. Demand side issue but also supply side. More are staying at home. Wives working more, they’re working less. Lifestyle choice. Don’t need to work as much, and will instead work internittently. Or underground economy.

No substitution (used a landscaping company example). Immigrants are complementary workers, not substitutes. Based on CBO 2013. If you legalized the undocumented, they can take jobs better suited to their positions. (hurting productivity). Also, LEGAL immigration is better for productivity and risk-taking.

(Yours truly expressed disappointment in Zandi failing to disclose Clinton campaign contribution since he’s commenting on the candidates. Zandi acknowledged that, and that he’s a Democrat. I essentially said he should be disclosing that himself without my help.)

Chris Rugaber, AP — Is there a benefit from a growing population? Zandi: It’s a plus for entitlement programs. Important to compare us to other countries with declining pops which are running into big problems like Japan and Germany.

Chris Rugaber, on Fed rate change. Zandi: Diff between what they should do and what they will do. He thinks they should do it, but his sense is that they won’t unless it’s a fabulous number Friday, because they’re so risk-averse. They will in Sept. and won’t do again until Dec. plus four rate hikes next year.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (083116)

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.


6:50 a.m.: The lengthy treatment of something like this at a supposedly respectable, well-funded web site reportedly run by really smart people (just ask ‘em) has to be an indication that the culture has finally reached rock bottom.

Positivity: The miracle twins and the unknown hero

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Toronto and Kingston in Ontario, Canada (HT Good News Network):

August 18, 2016

How the anonymous liver donor who saved one of the Wagner girls became part of their family

Kris Chung walked through the front door of Toronto General Hospital at 7:00 a.m., as instructed. Over the next hour, while medical staff prepped him for surgery, every doctor who approached his bedside asked the same question: Are you absolutely sure about this? It is not too late to change your mind.

“I was very calm,” Kris recalls, more than a year removed from that April morning in 2015. “Honestly, I felt more nervous about walking into an exam than being wheeled into the operating room.”
A soldier-in-training, the 19-year-old assured the docs, again and again, he was good to go. By 8:00 a.m., the anaesthetic kicked in.

Across the street at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, four-year-old Binh Wagner was waiting for what Kris had come to give: a piece of his healthy liver. By then, Binh and her twin sister, Phuoc, had triggered countless headlines around the world, their story almost too heartbreaking to believe: both girls, adopted from a Vietnamese orphanage, needed life-saving liver transplants—but their dad, a perfect match, could donate to only one. (A portion of his liver had already gone to Phuoc, deemed the sicker of the two.)

Moved by the girls’ rarest of plights, more than 600 strangers volunteered to be the second donor, knowing full well they were signing up for major surgery, weeks of recovery, and complete anonymity. Kris was the chosen one, his identity known only to hospital staff and a few trusted others. In a medical drama that was so widely publicized, he was the unknown hero.

“I’d like to thank the donor,” said a tearful Michael Wagner, the girls’ Kingston, Ont., dad, at a post-surgery press conference. “They put their life on the line for someone they’ve never met, and changed our lives forever.” Beside him, his wife was crying, too. “I would like to say to the anonymous donor that you were in my thoughts as much as my daughter was in my thoughts,” Johanne Wagner said. “Thank you for your unselfishness.”

Today, 16 months later, the Wagners know exactly where to direct their eternal gratitude. Binh’s anonymous donor, it turned out, lived barely five minutes down the road, in the dorm at Kingston’s Royal Military College (RMC). …

Go here for the rest of the story.