September 29, 2016

Seattle TV Station Describes Washington’s Elections As ‘An Honor System’

Wednesday evening, Seattle TV station KING 5 erroneously broke what it thought was troubling news about Arcan Cetin, who has been arrested and charged with the murder of five people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington last Friday. The station reported that Cetin is not a U.S. citizen, but is instead “considered a permanent resident or green card holder,” and that despite this status, Cetin “registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.”

Thursday evening, KING 5 backed away from its claim that Cetin is not a citizen. That’s embarrassing, but the specific news about Cetin is hardly the most important thing KING 5 revealed on Wednesday. The big reveal, which remains the case, but which has seldom if ever been reported so bluntly, is this: “(Washington State) elections officials say the state’s elections system operates, more or less, under an honor system.


Boy, The Clinton Campaign Sure Knows How to Pick ‘Em

You can’t make this stuff about about Alicia Macahado, whose sordid past (or what I knew of it) was the subject of a post yesterday.

Now there’s this (Warning: not safe for work):


This woman wants to play victim now in an argument about whether Donald Trump is a sexist?

The fact is that Trump was compassionate and gave her a break when he could have fired her. And this, and so much more (criminal activity, drug-lord involvement, and sleaze) is how she has rewarded his faith and tarnished the image of the Miss Universe pageant.

Perhaps the lesson here is ultimately, there is payback. Now, thanks to Clinton campaign vetting incompetence, she’s the gift that keeps on giving — to the Trump campaign.


UPDATE: This is another likely press failure. Machado was engaged to baseball player Bobby Abreu, who called off the engagement after the TV show above aired. It seems quite likely that there were reports in the press explaining why.

AP’s Crutsinger Claims Fictional ‘New-Found Strength’ in the Economy, Ignores Massive Health Care Spending Increases

The government reported today that the US economy grew at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter. That’s a slight increase from the 1.1 percent reported a month ago, but certainly nothing to get excited about, especially given that annualized growth during the past three quarters has been barely above 1 percent.

To make the Obama economy look better than it really is, the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger today found “new-found strength” in a category that is contracting, completely ignored how out-of-control healthcare spending is artificially pumping up with little growth there is, and — as he and most of the establishment press has been doing for the past 7-plus years of Dear Leader’s presidency — told us, once again, that prosperity is just around the corner.


2Q16 GDP, Third Estimate (092916): An Annualized 1.4 Percent, Revised Up From 1.1 Percent; ‘Health Care’ Is 56 Pct. of Past 4 Quarters’ ‘Growth

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:10 am


The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (full release with tables): Oh boy, a slight beat —

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2016, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.8 percent.

… With the third estimate for the second quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same. The most notable change from the second to third estimate is that nonresidential fixed investment increased in the second quarter; in the previous estimate, nonresidential fixed investment decreased.

Real gross domestic income (GDI) decreased 0.2 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to an increase of 0.8 percent in the first. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 0.6 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 0.8 percent in the first.

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

The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected an acceleration in PCE and upturns in nonresidential fixed investment and in exports. These were partly offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment, downturns in state and local government spending and in residential fixed investment, and an upturn in imports.

Current-dollar GDP increased 3.7 percent, or $168.5 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $18,450.1 billion. In the first quarter, current dollar GDP increased 1.3 percent, or $58.8 billion.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.1 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in the first. The PCE price index increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 0.3 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.8 percent, compared with an increase of 2.1 percent.

Updates to GDP

The upward revision to the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and exports.

I’ll have the updated detail shortly.

UPDATE: Here it is:


The critical thing to note, as I’ve highlighted, is that health care costs, which have grown in REAL terms by over 5 percent in the past four quarters, have accounted for 56 percent (0.71 divided by 1.28) of the economy’s “growth.”

Very little of this disproportionate increase represents any kind of genuine improvement in living standards — and it completely explains why so many everyday people who don’t dig into the numbers and are out there living their lives feel that the overall economy and their personal financial situation are each essentially going nowhere.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092916)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 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: Saints and Falcons form circle of unity during national anthem

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New Orleans:

Sep 27, 2016

Players and coaches from both teams come together at midfield to hold hands

Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest the national anthem has sparked lots of conversation as well, and many different NFL players have reacted in many different ways. The Falcons and Saints, ahead of Monday night’s 10th-year anniversary of the first post-Katrina game at the Superdome, chose to honor the anthem in a different way.

All the players for both teams stood in a circle at midfield and formed a ring of unity ahead of the game.

These two teams have formed a pretty heated rivalry over the past decade or so, but they put personal differences aside in order to show respect during a special day for the city of New Orleans and the Saints franchise.

According to Britt McHenry of ESPN, it was actually Sean Payton who reached out to Falcons coach Dan Quinn and broached the idea of a unified approach to the pregame celebration. …

Go here to see the photo and for the rest of the story.