May 18, 2015

At WashPost, Philip Bump’s Anti-GOP Amtrak Harangue Is Chock Full of Falsehoods

It’s bad enough, as Bryan Ballas at NewsBusters noted on May 16, that the Washington Post’s Philip Bump dishonestly used last week’s Amtrak tragedy to rip Republican members of Congress for somehow being responsible for the (theoretically) for-profit entity’s “constant struggle” for funding.

As Sean Davis at the Federalist explained, Amtrak has really had no funding struggles. Bump had to make things up to create that impression, and even when caught, issued a “clarification” containing serious errors (HT Patterico, who has demanded corrections; bolds are mine):

(more…)

May 17, 2015

PolitiFact’s ‘Half True’ Evaluation of Fiorina Layoffs Claim Is Utterly False and Dishonest

On May 5, PolitiFact’s Louis Jacobson kept with the alleged “fact-checking” web site’s actual role as pack of leftist hacks by issuing a fundamentally dishonest “Half True” ruling on a statement made by CarlyFiorina.org’s cybersquatter. I raise the matter now because the web site’s critics, while raising most of the relevant points, haven’t gone far enough in tearing apart Jacobson’s work.

As his headline states, the cyberquatter “accuses Carly Fiorina of wishing she’d laid off 30,000 employees more quickly” during the Republican presidential candidate’s tenure as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO which ended a decade ago. The squatter is lying. She didn’t make that statement in connection with H-P’s layoffs. That should have been the end of it, but Jacobson still pretended that the lie is “Half True” in his evaluation.

(more…)

May 10, 2015

Burned Again: Fiorina Registers ChuckTodd.org After He Cites Her ‘Lost’ .org Domain

Chuck Todd should have been ready for this, but he wasn’t.

Just a few days days ago, on the very network at which Todd toils, “Late Night” comedian Seth Meyers thought he would be cute and embarrass GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina over not registering the CarlyFiorina.org domain, thereby allowing a critic to take it and use it as a platform for criticizing her tenure as H-P’s CEO. Fiorina then informed Meyers that she had just purchased SethMeyers.org moments earlier. When the ignorant comedian speculated that doing so must have been expensive, she told him that the price tag was cheap. On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Todd went after Fiorina over the same matter, with the same eventual result.

(more…)

April 30, 2015

AP Writers: Cities Hit by 1960s Riots ‘Have Taken Decades to Recover’; They Haven’t Recovered At All

An Associated Press report on small businesses hit with looting, fires and property destruction in Baltimore during the past several days wraps up with a final paragraph only a historically ignorant person could possibly believe.

Without getting too personal, David Dishneau and Joyce M. Rosenberg, the two AP writers responsible for that final sentence, appear to be old enough and learned enough to know better than to have written that final paragraph. But here it is:

(more…)

PunditFact Calls an Accurate Assertion About the Clinton Foundation by the Federalist and Rush Limbaugh ‘Mostly False’

If Rush Limbaugh told his audience that the sun rose in the east today, it seems that PunditFact, an arm of Politifact, would find a way to determine that he wasn’t telling the truth.

That’s pretty much what you have to conclude from the web site’s laughable evaluation of Limbaugh’s true assertion that “The Federalist reports only 15 percent of the money donated to the Clinton Family Foundation went to actual charitable causes.” So its beef isn’t really with Limbaugh anyway, but the cynical evaluators at the web site knew that they would catch more eyeballs by going after Rush.

(more…)

April 28, 2015

Orioles to Play in an Empty Stadium on Wed., Play 3 Home Games in Tampa

At NewsBusters this morning, Matthew Philbin posted on how Michael Eric Dyson, in a guest appearance on MSNBC (where else?), placed a great deal of blame for Baltimore’s blight on “the ways in which the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles with their tax-exempt status were given tremendous goodies to stay into the city.”

It would be reasonable to believe that Dyson, who has revealed a vengeful streak in the recent past — in July 2013, after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, he said that “Not until, and unless, the number of white kids die that approximate the numbers of black and other kids who die, will America see” — is quite pleased at the financial losses the Orioles, their employees, and businesses in the vicinity are being forced to absorb. Thanks to arguably necessary decisions made today, they will continue.

(more…)

April 27, 2015

Not News: Baltimore Mayor Says ‘Protesters’ Who Wish to Can Have ‘Space’ to ‘Destroy’

At a Sunday press conference, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters that she and the law enforcement in the city she runs have a de facto responsibility, in the name of “balance,” to give “space” to “destroy” to “protesters” who have such a desire.

This obviously newsworthy pull quote condoning property destruction is not present in coverage at the Associated Press’s main national site, in several stories where her comment could have been mentioned at the wire service’s “Big Story” site, or in two additional stories at the New York Times containing Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s byline. Video and a transcript follow the jump.

(more…)

April 24, 2015

Rush Limbaugh Wonders How CNN and MSNBC Can Still Be on the Air; Here’s How

Rush Limbaugh posted an interesting pair of questions at his web site yesterday: “How can CNN still be on the air with no audience? How can MSNBC have been on the air with no audience? In the old days, they’re gone, kaput. Something else is tried. But they stay. And they double down on what they’re doing that’s losing audience.”

A large part of the answer, as I noted on March 30, is that those two networks apparently have suffered very little financially as they have lost audience. That’s because, as is apparently the case with most of the major cable channels, their primary source of revenue comes from “subscriptions,” also referred to as “carriage fees” or “license fee revenues.” In plain English, cable channels get paid a great deal of money even if nobody watches them, and don’t benefit as much as would be expected when their audience grows.

(more…)

April 20, 2015

Minneapolis Star Tribune Reporter Bemoans ‘Youth Exodus,’ Doesn’t Mention Taxes

Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Jackie Crosby’s writeup on how “Minnesota has been losing residents to other states” since 2002, and that it’s especially troubling because “young adults are leaving in the greatest numbers,” contained an enormous blind spot.

The Gopher State, aka the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is also sardonically known as the Land of 10,000 Taxes by many residents, and with good reason. Yet the only time the word “tax” appeared was in a sentence discussing the need for “robust tax rolls.”

(more…)

April 15, 2015

The Potemkin Economy

The press has hidden it for months.

_______________________________

This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog Sunday evening.

_______________________________

The disappointing March employment report the government released on April 3 finally forced the business press to ‘fess up to the truth, best summed up in words found at the Associated Press“For months, the U.S. economy’s strength has been flagging.”

That admission takes “too little, too late” to a whole new level.

During the past several months, business scribes and broadcasters have largely pretended that all is well, constructing and maintaining a Potemkin-like facade of a prosperous economy, even as the vast majority of hard-number economic indicators turned in performances ranging from middling to awful. To prop their false image up, they concentrated most of the commerce-related news they delivered to low-information voters and low-awareness news consumers on the job market, the economy’s one supposedly strong area, and positive consumer and corporate sentiment surveys.

After the strong economic growth seen during the second and third quarters of last year, the AP, aka the Administration’s Press, has been especially odious in insisting that the economy is still really “robust,” while coming just inches short of declaring that President Barack Obama’s economic critics should be cowering in the corner in shame. Until Friday, the shouting only got louder as the underlying data deteriorated further.

On February 20, the wire service’s Jim Kuhnhenn admired how Obama was “taunting Republicans” over the economy. Devoid of any sense of historical irony, Kuhnhenn described an “economic recovery showing signs of taking hold” — over 5-1/2 years after the recession officially ended.

When Kuhnhenn wrote his love letter, we had already seen:

  • Seasonally adjusted annualized fourth-quarter growth of 2.6 percent, barely half that reported in the previous quarter. That figure was revised down to a mediocre 2.2 percent just a week later. Given the next several items which follow, that revised figure still seems high.
  • Steep November and December declines in durable goods orders totaling over 5 percent.
  • Sharp consecutive drops in December and January retail sales.
  • A microscopic two-month advance of less than 0.2 percent in November and December construction spending.
  • December slippages in both real and current-dollar personal consumption expenditures.

Not to be outdone, five weeks later, the AP’s Martin Crutsinger composed a veritable hosanna of dishonest praise directed at Dear Leader’s economy, which he described as “sluggish,” but “one of the most durable since World War II.”

Crutsinger removed all doubt over whether he was bearing false witness when he wrote the following:

The current expansion will mark its sixth anniversary in June, meaning it will have already lasted 14 months longer than the average expansion since the end of World War II.

In referring to “months,” Crutsinger pretended that the economy has continuously expanded since the recession’s end. It hasn’t:

GDPquarterlies1Q09to4Q14

The previous expansions to which the AP writer referred were legitimate, because they were uninterrupted. By contrast, as seen above, the economy has contracted twice since the recession’s end. Its current winning streak is only three quarters. Therefore, despite what Crutsinger wrote, there will be no six-year anniversary to “mark” in June — and he has once again demonstrated why the National Review’s Kevin Williamson was correct in calling him the nation’s “Worst Economics Writer” two years ago.

Until that March employment report, the economy had indeed added an impressive-sounding seasonally adjusted 200,000 or more payroll jobs per month for 12 months. Though it’s a nice round number and the best such streak in 15 years, it’s still not particularly strong in historical context. More importantly, it remains far from what’s required to get discouraged and disengaged Americans on the sidelines who want to work back to work, or searching for more financially rewarding work.

As seen below, the post-recession Reagan economy of the 1980s, during which the Gipper did all of the things which Obama and his Keynesian cadre insist “don’t work,” after adjusting for the size of the workforce, more than doubled the job-creating performance seen during the Obama post-recession era:

ReaganVsObamaGraphicsThru69mos

By the time Crutsinger produced his false, fawning crud, there had been further weakening in durable goods orders and shipments, all factory orders and shipmentsconstruction spending, and retail sales. All of this has caused economists to write down their estimates of first-quarter growth to as low as the annualized 0.1 percent seen at the Atlanta Branch of the Federal Reserve as of late last week. Even the incurable optimists at Moody’s were only expecting 1.1 percent on April 3.

The March employment news was so bad that the Potemkin curtain had to be lifted. Instead of the 250,000 payroll jobs “experts” predicted — one particularly well-known analyst actually thought we would see almost 300,000, and that it would mark the beginning of several “even faster gains … in the spring”  — the government’s jobs report showed only 126,000 payroll jobs added in March accompanied by 69,000 in combined reductions to January and February. Far more damning, despite the nominally low unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, the job market’s malaise indicators got worse. The civilian workforce actually shrunk, and the labor force participation rate sank back to a 37-year low.

The cumulative effect of monthly declines have brought some year-over-year comparisons into negative territory, particularly in durable goods and total factory orders. Logically, this would seem to dictate that the producing side of the economy has given up all of the gains seen last spring and summer and reverted back to where it was last winter — or worse.

If that’s really true, first-quarter GDP, absent a strong surge in consumer spending which no one expects, seems destined to come in with a minus sign.

The only thing which seems more certain is that Marty Crutsinger and the other propagandists at the Associated Press will continue to pretend that we’re in the midst of a six-year expansion.

April 13, 2015

Why Everyone, But Especially Ohioans, Should Read an Important Post at Zero Hedge

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:00 am

Link: “Why This Retail Earnings Season Is Different”

The reason everyone should read: It’s about where retail seems to be headed. It’s not pretty.

The special reason why Ohioans should read: The author concentrates on conditions in Columbus. Yours truly has noted on several occasions that Metro Columbus has “somehow” managed to prosper fabulously compared to the rest of the state since John Kasich became the Buckeye State’s governor (and yes, that trend has continued).

If Columbus is as bad as portrayed, or even half as bad as portrayed, imagine the condition the rest of the state’s — and most of the rest of the nation’s — retail sector finds itself.

The money quote:

To paraphrase one of retailing’s most vociferous watchdogs Howard Davidowitz when explaining the current state of retailing and malls: “What’s going on is the customers don’t have the f***ing money. That’s it. This isn’t rocket science.”

He’s absolutely dead on. And, it would appear now with QE (as of this writing) still in the tail lights, along with the possibility (however so slight) that interest rates may rise, so too are the retailers themselves even more “empty pocketed” than their ailing consumers.

Perhaps consumers can yet save the day. But to do so, it would appear that all but the wealthy will have to go deeper into debt, only deferring the inevitable reckoning and making it worse when it strikes.

April 12, 2015

Latest PJ Media Column (‘The Potemkin Economy’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog Wednesday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

CNN Hypes Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Food Stamp Challenge’ Participation — And Its Bogus Benchmark

On Saturday, CNN hyped actress and self-appointed “lifestyle guru” Gwyneth Paltrow’s participation in the “Food Stamp Challenge.” This is the fundamentally dishonest campaign which has been working for at least eight years to convince Americans that benefits provided under the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are inadequate.

As usual, Paltrow has taken up the challenge to get by for a week on a drastically understated amount which does not reflect the program’s real provisions. As has almost always been the case with journalists covering politicians, celebrities and others who have taken up the “challenge,” CNN’s Jareen Imam didn’t question the correctness of the weekly amount involved:

(more…)

April 4, 2015

Richmond, Va. Hack Reports Memories Pizza’s GoFundMe Effort For ‘Fraud’ — ‘Just in Case’ (Updated)

UPDATE, April 6: An email sent by “Virginia Commonwealth University News” insists, despite the November 2014 tweet originally found at the link about Bryan’s “GoFundMe” effort, that Alix Bryan “has not been employed by Virginia Commonwealth University.” Accordingly, the text in this post’s final sentence now refers to Bryan’s claim in her WTVR bio and at her LinkedIn profile to have received a “Master’s in Multimedia Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University.”

__________________________

Opening up a new frontier in the left’s ongoing effort to intimidate opponents into silence, a Virginia TV reporter tweeted on Wednesday that “I have reported the GoFundMe for Memories Pizza for fraud. Just in case.” In doing so, social media reporter Alix Bryan of CBS affiliate WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia, effectively admitted that she had no factual basis upon which to file such a report — but did so anyway.

To the surprise of very few, after she was publicly criticized for this disgraceful behavior, Bryan went to a wide variety of failed defenses before she ended up very inadequately “apologizing.”

(more…)

April 2, 2015

At Memories Pizza, New Threats Arise; Press’s Determination to Ignore Them Continues (See Update)

Update, April 3: The Indiana man who claims to have been hacked now admits that he wasn’t, but says he was “joking” about robbing Memories Pizza, and is threatening to sue those who exposed his (ahem) public comments.

__________________________

Those of us following the Memories Pizza story won’t have trouble remembering it as the years go by, thanks only partially to the Walkerton, Indiana store’s fairly unusual name for a pizzeria.

What will also easy to recall are the “memories” of the unhinged and threatening leftist behavior that accompanied its owner’s simple statement that, if the request ever arose, they would have to turn down catering a same-sex “marriage” because participating in or supporting such a ceremony violates their firm Christian religious beliefs — and the press’s attempts to cover up what their journalistic malfeasance unleashed.

(more…)