January 12, 2018

More Government Statistical Sandbagging? Here’s 2017′s History of Retail Sales Revisions

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:01 pm

It’s strange how often, and by how much, monthly advance retail sales were revised up during 2017.

Here we go, with original advance readings and current readings per the detailed database (bolds are improvements from advance estimate, italics are declines from original estimates):

In 11 months, there have been three net downward revisions from original to current readings totaling -0.5 points.

In 11 months, there have been eight net upward revisions from original to current readings totaling +2.2 points.

It’s hard to see these results as random.

Other points:

  • Per Bloomberg, “The average gain in sales over the last two months was the strongest for any November and December since 2010.”
  • December’s and November’s seasonally adjusted year-over-year monthly increases (Page 4 at linkl pending more revisions, of course) were 5.4 percent and 6.0 percent.


Laura Ingraham: Illegals Arrested in Denver Drug Bust Could Have Been DACA Beneficiaries

Thursday evening’s Ingraham Angle show on Fox News spent much of its time on immigration and DACA, the Deferred Amnesty for Child Arrivals program which was unilaterally created without congressional approval by the Obama administration in 2012. In one particularly telling exchange, host Laura Ingraham highlighted a major drug bust in Denver after she learned that all six men arrested or wanted are in the U.S. illegally — something the Denver Post and two other Denver-area media outlets which have covered the story have all failed to report.


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (011218)

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: Appeals court strikes down Baltimore law targeting pregnancy centers

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

From Baltimore:

Jan 5, 2018 / 04:56 pm

An appellate court struck down a Baltimore city ordinance Friday, ruling that the city’s pro-life pregnancy centers would not be forced to display in their waiting areas information relating to abortion services.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Jan. 5 decision, a victory for Baltimore’s pregnancy centers, was a unanimous 3-0.

Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Inc., a pro-life pregnancy center in Baltimore, along with the Archdiocese of Baltimore and St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Congregation, Inc., sued the city of Baltimore in March 2010 after a city ordinance was passed the previous year which required it and other organizations promoting alternatives to abortion to post signs in their waiting room saying that they do not perform abortions and will not refer patients out for an abortion.

The ordinance only applied to “limited-service pregnancy center(s)” that do not provide abortion or birth control.

Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns said that they should not be forced to post this information as it ran contrary to the center’s mission. The center operates in space owned by a Catholic church, and provides pregnant women with counseling, sonograms, pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins, diapers, and other needs completely free of charge.

The mayor of Baltimore and the City Council were joined in the suit by a variety of pro-abortion groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood of Maryland, and the Maryland Abortion Fund. The city argued that the ordinance was lawful due to the center’s “deceptive advertising” and the various health risks from delaying an abortion.

Previously, the center had run advertisements on Baltimore busses about its free pregnancy tests, counseling, and alternatives to abortion, but did not mention that it is a center religiously opposed to abortion.

In October 2016 the district court ruled in favor of Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Inc., but the ruling was appealed and sent to the 4th Circuit.

In the appellate court’s opinion, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson said that the City of Baltimore could not provide a single example of someone who entered the Greater Baltimore Center thinking that she could obtain an abortion or abortion referral, and that the center had a history of “affirmative advocacy of abortion alternatives.”

Wilkinson said the city ordinance was “neither viewpoint nor content neutral,” as it was aimed specifically at clinics that do not provide abortion services.

“We do not begrudge the City its viewpoint. But neither may the City disfavor only those who disagree,” wrote Wilkinson.

Go here for the rest of the story.

Not News: Tax-Cut ‘Crumbs’ Were a Big Deal to Pelosi and Dems in 2011-2012

Thursday, House Democratic Party Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized as “crumbs” the bonuses of $1,000 or more, pay raises of up to $3 per hour, and other benefits well over 100 companies have showered on over 2 million employees as a result of December’s tax law passage. Given their track record, there’s no reason to believe that the establishment press will report Pelosi’s condescending remarks — or that they will remind their audience that in 2011 and 2012, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress treated the prospect of workers losing $40 every other week in their paychecks as catastrophic.