September 6, 2016

Team Clinton’s Labor Strategy Reveals That They’re Worried About Ohio

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:50 pm

On Labor Day, the Hillary Clinton campaign sent Bill Clinton to Cincinnati’s union-sponsored Labor Day picnic at Coney Island.

Mrs. Clinton and Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine were in Cleveland.

Cleveland is supposed to be securely Democratic. Why have both nominees there when the rest of the state leans Republican?

Cincinnati, though the city has mostly turned blue, has a Republican establishment which, though it has RINO tendencies, appears to be less likely to reflexively reject Donald Trump like the Metro DC GOP establishment has. Thanks to Trump opponent John Kasich, his gubernatorial apparatchiks, and his RINO-leaning state party organization, Columbus would seem to be a place where Mrs. Clinton and/or Kaine could siphon off Republican and independent voters.

It seems that Mrs. Clinton and Kaine could have made more headway in Cincinnati or Columbus (separately, one would think) than together in Cleveland, which would have been perfectly satisfied having Bill Clinton there to entertain them.

I say Clinton and Kaine went to Cleveland because they saw the need to shore up their supposedly reliable but significantly Trump-defecting base.

If that’s really the reason, they’re far more worried about Ohio than they’re letting on — as they should be.

Kaine Falsely Claims Clinton Foundation Now Not Accepting Foreign $$

Since most of the truth about the Clinton Foundation hurts the candidacy of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, her campaign appears to have adopted the strategy of having Tim Kaine, her hapless running mate, lie about its activities and decisions to local reporters, while hoping that nobody outside the local viewing area gets wise to the tactic. With New Media and partisan monitors on the alert, that’s a risky strategy — but not so much if the outlet deceived doesn’t fully correct the record.

Kaine, when asked by WEWS-TV reporter John Kosich whether the Clinton Foundation’s ability to received donations up to Election Day won’t cause a last-minute rush of favor-seekers, claimed that “I think it’s now, foreign donations as of now” (are not being collected). That’s not true, Tim.

Folks at the Republican National Committee’s GOP War Room YouTube channel saw and posted a relevant clip from the report the Cleveland station had posted late Tuesday morning, contending that Kaine’s claim was not true. Then, at National Review (HT MRC Noel Sheppard Media Blogger of the Year David Rutz), the indefatigable Jim Geraghty proved it.

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August ISM Non-Manufacturing: 51.4 Percent, Sharply Down From 55.5 Percent in July

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 6:20 pm

From the Institute for Supply Management (bolds and most paragraph breaks added by me):

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in August for the 79th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

… The NMI® registered 51.4 percent in August, 4.1 percentage points lower than the July reading of 55.5 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slower rate.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased substantially to 51.8 percent, 7.5 percentage points lower than the July reading of 59.3 percent, reflecting growth for the 85th consecutive month, at a notably slower rate in August. The New Orders Index registered 51.4 percent, 8.9 percentage points lower than the reading of 60.3 percent in July.

The Employment Index decreased 0.7 percentage point in August to 50.7 percent from the July reading of 51.4 percent. The Prices Index decreased 0.1 percentage point from the July reading of 51.9 percent to 51.8 percent, indicating prices increased in August for the fifth consecutive month.

According to the NMI®, 11 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in August. The majority of the respondents’ comments indicate that there has been a slowing in the level of business for their respective companies.

INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE

The 11 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in August — listed in order — are: Utilities; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Accommodation & Food Services; Finance & Insurance; Educational Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; Public Administration; Management of Companies & Support Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; Information; and Construction. The seven industries reporting contraction in August — listed in order — are: Other Services; Mining; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Transportation & Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.

Though they are still positive (any reading above 50 percent indicates expansion), two of the three key GDP drivers dropped like a rock: Business Activity, 7.5 points; New Orders, 8.9 points (which I believe may be a new record, and if not certainly darned close to it). Backlog of Orders dropped into contraction, going from 51.0 percent to 49.5 percent. Export Orders, which one would think is separate from other New Orders, dropped 9 points from 55.5 percent to 46.5 percent.

I’ve written before that I believe ISM’s reports suffer from positive selection bias. Thus, I believe it’s fair to say that the non-manufacturing portion of the economy is really either flat as a pancake or in slight contraction.

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UPDATE: This was the lowest ISM NMI reading since February 2010. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Markit’s Services PMI, at 50.9 percent, stayed positive. Markit has usually trailed ISM, so the idea that a tiny bit of expansion is still occurring at least remains plausible. Markit believes it’s about 1 percent annualized. That’s quite different from the Atlanta Fed’s current 3.5 percent and Moody’s Economy.com’s 3.3 percent.

AP Headlines Schlafly as ‘Far-Right,’ Describes Her as ‘Ultraconservative’

The death of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly set off the predictable leftist social media hatefest overnight, and naturally gave rise to a “graceless” obituary in the New York Times.

While it’s a bit of a relief that Jim Salter’s obituary at the Associated Press was not as hostile as the quite left-leaning wire service has been towards deceased conservatives in the past (e.g., Tony Snow in 2008), his writeup was seriously marred in several spots. The two most critical flaws involved labeling. Both are instructive, because the AP almost never uses equivalent labels for people on on the left side of the political spectrum, especially in obituaries.

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Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (090616)

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: Probably the First Internationally Published Item on Now-Sainted Mother Teresa

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

It’s a Reuters dispatch, seen here in the September 2, 1964 Ottawa Citizen:

ReutersOnMotherTeresaSept2in1964