August 2, 2018

Blumer’s Bandwidth Burn (080218)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 12:17 pm

Econ Tidbits

ISM’s July 2018 Manufacturing Survey came in a 58.1 percent (anything above 50 percent indicates expansion), down from 60.2 percent in June. The key GDP drivers all softened by non-minor amounts: New Orders (60.2, down from 63.5), Production (58.5, down from 63.2), and Backlog of Orders (54.7, down from 60.1). July’s levels are still quite positive and, if maintained, are consistent with sustainable, non-overheating growth. So let’s hope they don’t fall any lower.

Reported July vehicle sales were pretty weak. Chrysler was up 6 percent from July of last year, but Ford and the three major Japanese makers fell. Subaru and VW had year-over-year gains. General Motors only reports quarterly, though, so there’s no solid overall result.

Unemployment claims continue to be historically low. Raw claims for the most recently reported week were down 10 percent from last year’s comparable week.

Media Bias-Ignorance Brief

The New York Times’ newest editorial board member has a problem with white peoplea big, ugly problem which makes her objectively unqualified for the position. But at the Times, being a “creepy race obsessive” is apparently a resumé enhancer.

Fact-Check Fail

Snopes.com had to be dragged kicking and sreaming into admitting that the answer to the following question is an unequivocal “Yes”:

Did the Obama Administration Approve the Transfer of Money to a Listed Terrorism Funder?

The question concerns $125,000 given “to the Islamic Relief Agency, a Sudan-based organization with ties to Al-Qaeda” by” the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).” The related reimbursement came “came from “USAID funds,” aka taxpayer money.

At the bottom of the site’s review, one sees the following statement:

Updated [2 August 2018]: We modified the rating from “Mostly True” to “True” after World Vision confirmed that the money they disbursed to ISRA in May 2015 came from public funds, confirming a significant factual claim made by the Middle East Forum.

This episode demonstrates that Snopes.com’s default assumption is that any claim harmful to the left can’t possibly be completely true, and that an admission that it is will only occur if its evaluators are confronted and cornered. The same knee-jerk “fact-check” bias is clearly present at Politifact and the Associated Press.

Social Media Suppression Watch

Great News (that’s sarcasm, folks): “Our New Twitter ‘Conversation Health’ Overlords (Are) Mainly Trump Critics.” Well, of course.

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