February 28, 2017

Here We Go Again: Politifact Rates Trump’s Obvious Facts About the National Debt ‘Mostly False’

On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that “The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo.” Demonstrating that “fact checking” by the partisan press is a sick joke which has instead turned into a vehicle to make cheap political points, Politifact rated Trump’s utterly true statement “Mostly False.”


4Q16 Gross Domestic Product, 2nd Estimate (022717): Annualized 1.9 Percent; Full Year Is 1.6 Percent, Full Obama Era is 1.5 Percent Annually

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:11 am

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis (link with tables):

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 (table 1), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.5 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 1.9 percent. With the second estimate for the fourth quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; the increase in personal consumption expenditures was larger and increases in state and local government spending and in nonresidential fixed investment were smaller than previously estimated

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

The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected a downturn in exports, an acceleration in imports, and a downturn in federal government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in residential fixed investment, an acceleration in private inventory investment, and an upturn in state and local government spending.

2016 GDP

Real GDP increased 1.6 percent in 2016 (that is, from the 2015 annual level to the 2016 annual level), compared with an increase of 2.6 percent in 2015 (table 1). Revisions to 2016 real GDP from the advance estimate did not affect the 1.6 percent rate of increase.

Updated detail coming shortly.



The entire story here is, as seen above, that health care spending increased by over 3-1/2 times as much in the second estimate compared to the first (0.66 points vs. 0.18 points). Yet health care wasn’t even mentioned in the government’s narrative, even though health care effectively crowded out most other spending on services.

Most other elements declined slightly, leaving zero net change from the first estimate.

As a result, this is an even weaker ending to the Obama era than was seen a month ago.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022817)

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: This Spanish prison ministry is helping rehabilitate inmates

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Madrid, Spain:

eb 28, 2017 / 03:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The prison ministry founded by a Spanish Jesuit in the 1960s has had such fruits as a group of inmates donating their own money to help the needy at Christmas, according to the head of the foundation.

At Christmas of 2015, a group of prisoners in the Estremera prison in Madrid did their own food drive to buy non-perishable food with their own money from the prison store, Lola Navarro, president of the Father Garralda-Horizontes Abiertos Foundation, told CNA.

“All the prisoners who participated agreed to deliver the more than 220 pounds of food to the Fr. Garralda Foundation to help those they were thinking of, because they knew that there are people who needed it more than they did.”

Helping prisoners rebuild their lives, overcome addictions, and re-enter the workforce is a challenge that the Father Garralda-Horizontes Abiertos Foundation has been working toward for 40 years.

Navarro said Fr. Jaime Garralda began to work with prisoners and now serves, through his foundation, more than 200 people in prison, halfway homes for parolees, and with workshops on re-entering the workforce.

“Fr. Jaime Garralda, S.J., lived for 16 years in in a shanty town during the ’60s. Many women there wanted to visit their husbands or children who were in prison. Fr. Garralda and some volunteers began to accompany them and began a social action work in the prisons, also addressing all those realities related to the prisons,” Navarro explained.

“We also have the figure of the ‘volunteer resident’, or prisoners who are at the end of their sentence who help others in the prison achieve their goals so they can set out on an itinerary so their stay in the prison is as bearable as possible.”

She pointed out how this is “beautiful, because that person sees that you have helped them and now they’re the ones who get involved with the other prisoners to give back what was given to them, and the horizons that were opened up for them.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 27, 2017

Glenn Thrush at New York Times Distorts Trump’s Immigration Statement in CPAC Speech

It hasn’t taken much time for the seedy, left agenda-driven unprofessionalism of Politico alum Glenn Thrush, who while there sent “an entire section of an article pertaining to (Hillary Clinton campaign manager) Podesta for approval before publication,” to make its presence felt at the New York Times, his new place of employment. In a Friday diatribe disguised as a dispatch which appeared on the front page of the paper’s Saturday print edition above the fold, Thrush quoted six words from Trump’s speech earlier that day at CPAC, and deliberately misinterpreted them.

Thrush claimed that Trump’s speech “included a promise to throw undocumented immigrants ‘the hell out of the country.’” No it didn’t. The speech transcript and the actual video confirm that Trump said “the hell out of our country” twice. In neither instance did Trump come anywhere close to referring to “undocumented” or illegal “immigrants” in general.


Slate Writer Brands Colmes a ‘Buffoon’ and ‘Liberal Weakling’ Mere Hours After His Death

This post goes straight into the “Just When You Didn’t Think They Could Sink Any Lower (But They Always Manage)” file. At Slate.com on Thursday, staff writer Isaac Chotiner took the occasion of Alan Colmes’s death only hours earlier to criticize him as a “buffoon and patsy,” and as “Fox News’ Original Liberal Weakling.”


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022717)

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: Waterloo woman saved after neighbor, first responders pull her from burning home

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Waterloo, New York:

Thursday, February 23rd 2017

A Waterloo woman is alive thanks to a neighbor and first responders who rushed into her burning home Wednesday evening on Inslee Street.

Nearly 100 firefighters and an off duty police officer who lives on the street worked to pull her out of the home, extinguish the fire and fly her to Upstate Medical Center. Her husband, Andrew Fegley, credits those who ran into the burning home with saving her life.

“I’d like to say thank you,” Fegley told 13WHAM News. “They went inside a burning structure and found my wife, who was passed out, and got her out of the house and saved her life.”

He said the outcome could have been far worse.

“She could be in the morgue right now and not at Upstate Medical Center,” Fegley said, taking a long pause.

The first responders went into the home, despite thick smoke pouring out from all of the windows.

“One of our neighbors is a police officer and took it upon himself to help our local police department and went inside the burning structure,” Fegley added. “It is a wonderful feeling to know that anybody is willing to do that for others and I wish there were more people in the world like them.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 26, 2017

Nigel Farage Tells CPAC What the U.S. Press Won’t Admit: Obama Helped ‘Leave’ Win Brexit Vote

At CPAC on Friday, Nigel Farage, a key leader of the “Leave” campaign which resulted in UK voters choosing on June 23, 2016 to leave the European Union, reminded attendees and the world of something that the U.S. press has virtually failed to acknowledge: that then-U.S. President Obama was instrumental in his effort’s success. Two months before the vote, Obama, in a UK speech, promised that a “Leave” victory would move the UK “to the back of the queue” in future trade negotiations — after which polling, which had shown “Remain” with a big lead, moved into a dead heat.


Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022617)

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: This doctor is 92 years-old – and she’s delivered over 7,000 babies

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Rome, Italy:

Feb 24, 2017 / 03:03 am

Obstetrician Maria Pollacci holds a very special record.

She’s delivered 7,642 babies and after a 72-year career – despite now being 92 years-old – is still receiving newborns coming into the world in Padavena, a small town in northern Italy.

Dr. Pollacci considers her work to be “the most beautiful in the world,” and calls it a true “mission.”

“It’s an occupation that you have to do with love, kindness and skill. When I’m in front of a little one, I’m not working. I’m loving,” she said. “To be an obstetrician you need love, passion and professionalism.”

Maria Pollacci still remembers her first day at work on Sept. 3, 1945, and the name of the child she delivered. He was named Francesco and today he is 72 years-old.

“I met him when he was 25. I was in Lama Mocogno, a town in the province of Modena, Italy, where I was born. There was a party and people were dancing,” she recalled.

“A handsome young man came up to me and said, ‘May I have the honor of dancing with the person who delivered me?’ Since then we see each other every year.”

“Also at my house, every once in awhile, boys and girls that were born into my hands come to see me. I am very moved when they tell me that I’m their second mother,” she said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 25, 2017

Partisan Orioles Exec Wouldn’t Want Trump Throwing Opening Day First Pitch

Earlier this week, Baltimore Orioles executive vice president and chief operating officer John Angelos said that he wouldn’t want President Donald Trump to throw out the first pitch at his team’s Camden Yards home opener until Trump “retract(s) all these outrageous things that have been said and simply apologize(s).”

Most coverage of this story has failed to report that Angelos’s father Peter is a longtime, heavy-contributing Democratic Party operative, while no one has questioned John’s disingenuous claim of non-partisanship.


Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022517)

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: Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Will Marry the Firefighter Who Saved Her Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Boston and New York:

February 1, 2017

On the day of the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, long-distance runner Roseann Sdoia was hanging out on the sidelines as a spectator when the bombs went off. Mike Materia, a firefighter on the scene, came to her aid and stuck by her side as she was rushed to the hospital. While looking at her blown-up leg, Sdoia asked Materia if she was going to die. Almost 4 years later, the two are now engaged, reports the New York Post.

Naturally, the moment didn’t feel romantic to Sdoia at the time, but when Materia visited her a couple days after the incident, her mother took note of his charm. “In the hospital, my mom tried to set me up with him,” Sdoia told the New York Post. “She was like, ‘Oh, did you see that firefighter? He’s so cute.’ And I was like, ‘Mom, I just got blown up.’”

Sdoia lost a good portion of her right leg after the bombing, but as she recovered in the hospital, Materia continued to visit her. He looked for a prosthetist and literally helped her get back on her feet, Sdoia explained. He was there to comfort her and help her recover for a couple of months before they went on their first date.

Last month, Materia popped the question with the help of their dog, Sal, who was wearing an engraved dog tag that read: “Mike wants to know… if you’ll marry him.”

The two are set to tie the knot this fall. “I do feel that, in a sense, some things happen for a reason,” Sdoia said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 24, 2017

A Reminder of How Fortunate We Are

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:41 am

Photo taken in the New York Times newsroom, November 2016 (note the headline; click on photo to enlarge if necessary):