November 26, 2014

AP Report on Venezuela Touts How Chronic Shortages ‘Bury Mindless Consumerism’

It’s amazing how any reporter can cover the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela without saying a word about how the country got there.

But Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier was up to the task. In a bizarre, sickening November 20 report on how its people are having to get “creative” in the face of chronic shortages of basic goods to get by, she acted as if those shortages — and the over five decades of worse problems in Cuba — somehow just happened.

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November 25, 2014

Schumer: Election Results Show That Dems Need to Go Further Left

An Associated Press story late this afternoon has New York Senator Chuck Schumer saying the darnedest things, with only a tiny bit of pushback from reporter Charles Babington.

In the wake of a midterm election rout which saw Republicans win at least eight Senate seats, increase their House majority, and take gubernatorial races in at least three deep blue states (MD, MA, and IL), Schumer now says that Democrats erred in pushing passage of the Affordable Care act, aka Obamacare, at the supposed expense of economic issues. Hey Chuck, that’s because the Keynesian clowns in the Obama administration thought they had the economy totally under control in 2009 thanks to the stimulus plan.

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AP’s Kurtenbach Stunned That Japan Is in Recession Again Despite ‘Unprecedented Stimulus’

After reading Elaine Kurtenbach’s coverage of how Japan’s latest dive into yet another recession is affecting young people there, I can only say, “The Keynesian koolaid is strong in this one.”

The AP reporter’s headline says that the recession was “unexpected,” and her first sentence calls it “a surprise.” Anyone watching economic events in the country, and I think that’s supposed to include her, should have known it was imminent. Kurtenbach, and apparently every other Keynesian koolaid drinker is shocked — shocked, I tell you! — that the recession occurred despite “unprecedented stimulus,” and believes that young Japanese really, really want yet another tax increase (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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3Q14 GDP Revised Up to an Annualized 3.9 Percent

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:06 am

Was doing computer updates earlier this morning, so my look at GDP was delayed.

The number is up. Too bad it doesn’t feel as good as advertised out here in the real world.

But here it is, from the government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.6 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 3.5 percent. With the second estimate for the third quarter, private inventory investment decreased less than previously estimated, and both personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investment increased more. In contrast, exports increased less than previously estimated (see “Revisions” on page 3).

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The deceleration in the percent change in real GDP reflected a downturn in private inventory investment and decelerations in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, in state and local government spending, in PCE, and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a downturn in imports and an upturn in federal government spending.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter, 0.1 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this index increased 2.0 percent in the second quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.6 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent in the second.

Here’s how the original report and today’s revision compare:

3Q14GDPorigAndRevised

The consumption element, though better, is still weak. The investment component, though better, isn’t a major growth driver.  The export element is an improvement, though the nation’s trade imbalance is still near historically high levels.

Perhaps most important, the government component makes a mockery of Washington’s supposed “austerity,” and in my view isn’t adding tangible, standard of living-enhancing value — which is why I believe that my “we’re not feelin’ it” observation above is quite valid.

November 24, 2014

Top Google Engineers Throw Up Their Hands on Renewables, Ignore Nuclear Power

As of 5:30 p.m. ET today, a search on “Koningstein” at the Associated Press’s national web site returned no results.

That’s an indication that the wire service’s globaloney-believing pseudo-science reporters are still trying to figure out how to respond to a November 18 article in the IEEE Spectrum by Ross Koningstein & David Fork, a pair of Google engineers tasked by the company in 2007 to “tackle the world’s climate and energy problems.” The pair, whose active work on the project at Google ended in 2011, have concluded, as succinctly stated in the UK Register (HT Instapundit), that renewable energy sources “will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists.”

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November 21, 2014

AP Still Wants Readers to Think That Monthly Deficit Is the Same as Change in the National Debt

Old habits die hard at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press — especially when those old habits help Dear Leader’s regime look better, or less awful, than it deserves.

It’s been eight days, but it’s still worth a look. On November 13, the government released its Monthly Treasury Statement for October, showing that Uncle Sam ran a $122 billion deficit. In his coverage of that statement’s release, the AP’s Martin Crutsinger, in the wire service’s monthly effort at miseducating the masses, wrote the following:

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November 20, 2014

Ohio Press Buys Fed’s Hokey Claim That Extended Jobless Benefits Didn’t Hurt Economy

Boy, it’s a good thing that the unemployment benefits Congress continued to extend during most of the first five-plus years of Barack Obama’s presidency didn’t hurt the economy much.

A study commissioned by the Cleveland branch of the Federal Reserve concluded that extended benefits “only account for a fraction of the actual increase in the unemployment rate.” The allegedly minimal impact of that “fraction” follows the jump.

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November 19, 2014

Not Reported: The South Is Carrying the Nation’s Homebuilding Industry

Today at the Assocated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, Martin Crustsinger covered the Census Bureau’s report on new home construction in the usual way. Regardless of whether a given month shows improving or declining data, the wire service’s overall message is almost invariably, “Things are really getting better. No, really.”

The sentence promoting that point of view in Crutsinger’s report came from one of the AP’s go-to analysts:

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November 18, 2014

Another Keynesian Fail: Japan ‘Unexpectedly’ Falls Into Another Recession

There were several more of those infamous “U-word” (“unexpectedly”) sightings yesterday in the business press, as Japan — to the surprise of no one who has successfully avoided the Keynesian koolaid — reported that its economy shrank for the second quarter in a row, officially falling yet another recession.

The U-word hit the trifecta, appearing in reports at the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters.

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Immigration Study: Obama’s Executive Action Will Make Many Illegals De Facto Full Participants in the Welfare State

Link (organization’s home page):

Through a maze of statutes and regulations, aliens granted deferred action or parole in place will be eligible for many public benefits. This is true even though they are still illegal aliens. To summarize:

Aliens with parole for less than a year are eligible for Obamacare, Social Security, EITC, Unemployment, and Medicare (with sufficient authorized work history). Paroled aliens, whether for less than a year or greater, who are children and pregnant women are also eligible for health care benefits through Medicaid and SCHIP in states that have opted to cover them.

Aliens with parole for more than a year retain their eligibility for Obamacare, Social Security, EITC, Unemployment, and Medicare. If they are children or pregnant women, they are also eligible for health care benefits through Medicaid and SCHIP in states that have opted to cover them. Finally, because paroled aliens become qualified aliens after a year, paroled aliens become eligible for all federal public benefits after 6 years, including SCHIP and TANF.

Finally, aliens with deferred action are eligible for Obamacare, Social Security, EITC, Unemployment, Medicare (with sufficient authorized work history). If they are children and pregnant women, they are also eligible for health care benefits through Medicaid and SCHIP in states that have opted to cover them.

Even if this was a good idea — and it most emphatically isn’t, for reasons which would take up a book — a government running serious deficits as far as the eye can see and long-term unfunded liabilities approaching and perhaps by now exceeding $100 trillion can’t even begin to afford this.

NYT Editorial Calls Gruber’s Obamacare Role ‘Limited’; Past Times Articles Disagree

The New York Times wants America to ignore Jonathan Gruber. Pay no attention to that architect behind the curtain!

Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today that a Times editorial on Jonathan “stupid voters” Gruber claims that the MIT economist was not an important player in the law’s creation. The Times now insists that “In truth, his role was limited.” The trouble is, Times reporters and columnists have paid quite a bit of attention to Gruber and the importance of his role in the creation, passage and defense of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, during the past five years.

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Fournier: Obama Has Destroyed His, Admin’s, and Government’s Credibility; But He Still Wants ACA to Work

Two cheers — and two cheers only — for the National Journal’s Ron Fournier.

On Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier last night, the former Associated Press Washington Bureau chief observed that the Jonathan Gruber videos about how the Affordable Care Act was dishonestly written and promoted, as well as President Barack Obama’s reaction to those revelations, demonstrate that he (Obama) has destroyed the credibility of his administration, himself, and government itself.” Fine. But then, imitating the naive lover who won’t give up despite constant betrayal in the hit song “I Can’t Let Go,” Fournier stated that he “would like to see this bill work.” Video follows the jump (HT Washington Free Beacon):

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November 17, 2014

AP’s Elliott Tries to Separate Gruber From His Obamacare Architect Role

The Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press — the entity which to our great misfortune is considered the de facto news source of record by the nation’s establishment press — finally broke down several days ago and mentioned the name “Jonathan Gruber” in a news story.

Of course, the wire service saved Philip Elliott’s story for Friday afternoon to minimize its visibility; the time stamp at the AP’s national site is 4:20 p.m. ET Friday; that’s only a minute later than the 3:19 p.m. CT time stamp found here at the earliest Google News entry I could find. Elliott largely made the story almost entirely about Republicans’ and conservatives’ reactions to what Gruber has said — as if they’re the only ones who should be deeply troubled about Gruber’s insulting descriptions of the American people and the fundamental dishonesty involved in drafting and passing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in early 2010. But he also quite dishonestly tried to claim that Gruber wasn’t even an “architect” of the law (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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November 16, 2014

Greenhouse’s False Claim: No One Is ‘Required’ to Spend More Than 8 of Income on ACA Insurance

On Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted the hypocritical fury of Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times that the Supreme Court has taken on the King v. Burwell case over the legality of Obamacare subsidies in states which don’t have their own Obamacare exchanges.

I need to address another item of Greenhouse gas contained therein, namely her claim that the Affordable Care Act requires no one to “spend more than 8 percent of his or her income of health insurance.” That’s only true if one chooses not to get covered.

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November 13, 2014

Gruber in July 2012, Confirmed In White House Logs: Obama Discussed Benefits Taxation Subterfuge

I think this makes six videos (CNN says they have Number 4, and I believe this is Number 5) of Obamacare co-architect Jonathan Gruber giving away the Obama administration’s comprehensively deceptive game in drafting and promoting the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

The most relevant 40-second snip is at the YouTube account and a Thursday afternoon post by the indispensable Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit. It’s a small portion of a 33-minute June 2012 interview of Gruber at PBS’s Frontline. The most important revelation is that President Barack Obama was in the room and actively participating in, if not leading, a discussion about how to effectively take away the tax benefits of the most generous healthcare plans which were then being offered in the marketplace. What resulted is now known as the “Cadillac Tax.” But there is much more to that Frontline video.

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