January 31, 2018

Counterpunch Editor Brutally Mocks North Korean Defector, GOP Crash Survivors

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:47 pm

In a breathtaking, unhinged display apparently triggered by President Donald Trump’s well-received State of the Union address, Counterpunch Editor Jeffrey St. Clair outrageously mocked invited guest, double amputee, and North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho as “Korea’s version of Tiny Tim who brought his own crutches.” 13 hours later, after a train carrying Republican congresspersons and staff crashed, killing a truck driver and seriously injuring several passengers (while non-seriously injuring several congresspersons), St. Clair tweeted that “All of the injured will be guest stars at next year’s SOTU address.”


WashPost Changes Print SOTU Headline After Apparent Lefty Journos’ Pressure

The Washington Post says that “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” and fancies itself as the guardian of truth and integrity. One could argue that the paper’s integrity died Tuesday night, as it changed its front-page state of the Union speech headline in it first print edition — “A call for bipartisanship” — to “A ‘new American moment’” after apparent pressure from other leftist journalists.


January 2018 ADP Employment Report (013118): +234K Private-Sector Jobs Added (See Conference Call Notes; Updated)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:35 am


Private-sector employment increased by 234,000 from December to January, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

From the press release:

“We’ve kicked off the year with another month of unyielding job gains,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Service providers were firing on all cylinders, posting their strongest gain in more than a year. We also saw robust hiring from midsize and large companies, while job growth in smaller firms slowed slightly.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market juggernaut marches on. Given the strong January job gain, 2018 is on track to be the eighth consecutive year in which the economy creates over 2 million jobs. If it falls short, it is likely because businesses can’t find workers to fill all the open job positions.”

Expectations were for +190K.

Prior-month revisions:
- December — Was 250K, now 242K.
- November — Originally 190K, revised in Dec. to 185K, now 206K.


Mark Zandi: Job growth was broad-based. “Rip-roaring.”

We need to focus on how tight the labor market is getting. The under-employment figures are very low. Recession 12-1 ratio of underemployed to open positions. Now it’s 3-1.

Unemployment will go under 4 percent, and to mid-3s by end of 2018, only seen three times (mid-1960s, late-1990s, and Korean War era). Unemp rate is under 3 percent in placees throughout the country. Some in the 5s in California, but it’s tight pretty much everywhere.

This is resulting in stronger wage growth, even tho BLS isn’t showing it. Internal ADP data says 5% annual for people staying in jobs and 15% for people moving to new ones.

West and South have strongest wage growth. Services wage growth is soaring. Small cos are seeing faster wage growth, maybe indicating small biz is having a hard time holding onto people.

Financial services and info services are seeing big increases. Millennials are seeing 20%-area wage increases in job moves.

Inflation feels like it’s ready to pick up and interest rates going up. Entering stage of cycle when things overheat. Fed meeting today needs to signal interest rates to keep economy from going too hot. By mid-year, growth will be strong. We’re in rarefied territory. Going to be hard to land this plane on the tarmac gracefully.

Enjoy this while we can.


- ME — Full employment vs. past claim of 5.5 percent. We are close to or ar full employment. Rate was thought to be higher short-term previously because of impediments, but ST and LT views on full employment have converged. His view now: “We’re there.”

- Chris Rugaber, AP — Should we expect employers to drop requirements (i.e., lack of college degree, etc.), conversion to FT employment? Zandi: Businesses will have to hire less qualified people and train them. Companies will invest more in labor-saving technology (has caused productivity weakness in recent years). Multinationals will hire more people overseas, esp because of immigration issues. Companies will really focus on HR and retention issues to keep existing workforce happy and productive, which hasn’t been a focus for many years. Quit rates are about as high as they can get. Self-employment will drop; it’s a safety valve in weak labor markets.

-  ME – BLS number on Friday. Should be 250K at least. He can’t square ADP vs. BLS circle, and he thinks ADP is closer to being right. ADP estimates have been less volatile and are closer to the underlying trend. Bottom line: Labor market is strong.

-  Michael Cohen, Accounting Today: Tax cut effect on labor market. Difficult to discern, because labor market was strong and tight without tax cut, and Jan. 1 min-wage increases in several states. Having said that, it is having some impact, and probably already. Has a hard time believing that 3 million workers got bonuses, etc. from tax cut (even tho companies granting them have all credited the tax law!). Thinks tax cut won’t add much to economic growth (a couple tenths of a point).


UPDATE, Feb. 1: To be clear, Zandi did say that full-employment was a 5.5 percent unemployment in September 2014, as I reported in my September 9 column at PJ Media:

… when the call opened up for questions, I asked him what he thought the unemployment rate would be at the end of 2016 when we hit full-employment nirvana.

I was stunned at the answer: 5.5 percent.

He asserted that full employment was commonly regarded as 5 percent last decade — … but that the economic damage caused by the recession had upwardly moved that standard to 5.5 percent.

As I noted then, the lowering of the bar by attempting to raise the definition of the full-employment unemployment rate was done “to avoid having to discuss the welfare state’s pervasive work disincentives and their own Keynesian policies’ utter failure to satisfactorily revive the job market.” Remember, this was written over five years after the official end of the recession, when the unemployment rate (as of August 2014) was still over 6 percent.

UPDATE 2, Feb. 1: The ADP-BLS private-sector jobs difference remains a huge issue. Even Zandi referred to it without direct prompting after I asked my opening question (my question only concerning the likelihood of a strong BLS number considering that ADP was nearly 100K greater than BLS in December).

Pending revisions in Friday’s BLS report, ADP shows 2.553 private-sector jobs added in calendar 2017. BLS shows 2.013 million. That 540K difference is huge, averaging 45,000 per month, and is unexplained.

In the conference call, Zandi stated that he believes ADP is closer to the mark. It would make sense that ADP is more likely correct, because it starts with its own aggregated client data, putting it in a better position to detect small business formation and employment at newly-formed businesses than BLS.

The consequences of ADP being right are pretty significant. It would blow up the current “yeah, job growth has continued, but at a slower pace” media mantra.

ADP’s figure, if it prevails, would be 514K jobs more than were added in 2016, would be the third-highest annual figure seen since the end of the recession, and would be 144K above the 2011-2016 average of 2.409 million — all achieved after the smart people had said a year ago that unemployment had come down about as far as it ever would.

Estimates for Friday’s BLS report as of before ADP’s release were that it will show 188K payroll jobs added, which would in normal circumstances mean about 180K-185K were added in the private sector.

The 234K ADP reported on Wednesday for January 2018 — yet another projected difference of about 45,000 — has to make one wonder when the dam is going to break at BLS — or, if it’s really happening, how long BLS’s sandbagging of the jobs data will continue.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (013118)

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: ‘We Were Crying’: One Woman Shares Why She Left Planned Parenthood

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

From ____:

January 18, 2018

For Myra Neyer, a mom and former Planned Parenthood employee, there was one defining moment that influenced her to leave the abortion giant.

“There was this one girl, young girl—maybe 19, maybe 20, young—she came in, [and] her boyfriend didn’t want any children,” Neyer, who used to work at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Baltimore, told The Daily Signal in an interview Thursday. “He was an older man.”

“She came in and we signed her in, did the ultrasound and found out, well, she found out that instead of one [baby], there was four. And it wasn’t just four, they were all identical,” she recounted.

Neyer, a mom of five children, said this particular girl did not want to have an abortion, but her older boyfriend was forcing her to have the procedure.

“Her boyfriend was flipping out, and we just decided … I didn’t sign off on it,” Neyer said. “So she left, and what he ended up doing was taking her to what I call a butcher clinic, somewhere else, and they gave her the misoprostol and then the next day … she came in … in a lot of pain and bleeding.”

The Planned Parenthood clinic Neyer worked for ended up finishing the abortion procedure, and she said she will never forget it:

She had to have been at least like 15, almost 16 weeks [along in her pregnancy], the babies were big … these two babies were holding each other … they were all boys, and they were just holding each other, and the last one was the one that we have to make sure we had all the pieces [of his body]. It was just horrible.

And then the look on her face when this was all over, she just looked lost … I just remember looking at her, putting her in … her friend’s truck, and just her face was like this blank stare.

This experience was a turning point for Neyer.

“That did it for me, I have never seen anything like that,” she said. “I hit the wall with my co-worker and we were crying. We stayed in there and cried over these kids … I remember saying, ‘That’s a baby, that’s a baby, that looks exactly like a baby’ … we just stood in that room [storing the discarded baby parts] and cried,” Neyer said.

It was the witness of a participant in 40 Days for Life, a campaign of fasting, prayer, and outreach to bring an end to abortion, that was instrumental in Neyer’s pro-life conversion.

Go here for the rest of the story.

January 30, 2018

Press Fave Jay Inslee Wants Higher Taxes, Kills Huge Oil Terminal Project

That Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s is positioning for a possible 2020 presidential run has become obvious. Inslee is following the party’s base’s fever-swamp agenda, while the establishment press tones down his far-left moves for general consumption.


McCabe Departure Coverage at NY Times Ignores ‘Insurance Policy,’ ‘Andy’s Office’

At the New York Times, Wednesday’s print edition version of Adam Goldman’s and Matt Apuzzo’s story on Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s departure from the FBI claims he “abruptly stepped down … after months of withering criticism from President Trump … (and) pressure from the head of the bureau …” That isn’t where the Times started when news of McCabe’s departure first broke Tuesday. None of the story’s original or six subsequent iterations seen at NewDiffs.org mention the “insurance policy” controversy which has tarnished McCabe’s tenure.


Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (013018)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:15 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: March For Life 2018: One-Minute Time Lapse Video

I know we’re more than a week removed from this year’s march, but this is a must-see:

This is hundreds of thousands, not the press’s deceptive “thousands

A real-time video showing about half of the march going through its starting post is here.

Comments from Concerned Women for Life can be seen here.

January 29, 2018

Press Pushes Plastic Straw Laws Based on 2011 Research Done by a Then-9 Year-Old

There’s a war on plastic straws. Its proponents demand that restaurants not offer them unless asked, with criminal penalties for violations. Some jurisdictions have enacted outright bans. The basis for the movement is research done in 2011 by Milo Cress, then 9 years old. Seriously.


Dem Econ Adviser Goolsbee Now Worried About Deficits, Spins Obama’s Debt Buildup

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:32 pm

On Friday, Austan Goolsbee, an early-years Chairman of Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, appeared on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business show. Goolsbee falsely characterized the new tax law’s impact on corporations’ repatriation of funds, and echoed the Democratic Party’s deliberately distracting and irrelevant spin about the Obama era’s record debt buildup and budget deficits. Any good Econ 101 prof would have given his performance an “F.”


Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012918)

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: Mainstream Media Refuses to Cover March for Life Because They’re Afraid of Pictures Like This

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

Worth thousands of words:


January 28, 2018

New Yorker Magazine Howler: Soros ‘Upstaged Donald Trump at Davos’

Those who linger at the The New Yorker magazine’s website eventually see a splash advertising its dedication to “fighting fake stories with real ones.” Staff writer John Cassidy’s ridiculous assertion that “George Soros Upstaged Donald Trump at Davos” shows that this is clearly false advertising.


Press Still Shielding Dems From Their Crummy Tax-Cut Bonus Comments

On January 11, Nancy Pelosi slammed as “crumbs” the wage increases and bonuses well over 100 companies had announced at that point after the new tax law’s passage in December. Thursday, she went to the same well more stridently. The establishment press, including the Associated Press, still won’t report Pelosi’s and others’ similar comments, because they know how toxic they are.