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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Initial Unemployment Claims (111314); 290K SA; Raw Claims Down 16% From Same Week Last Year, Top 300K For First Time in Four Months

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:27 am

Predictions: Wall Street Journal — 280,000 seasonally adjusted claims, vs. 278K last week, pendning revision.

Press interest in this report appears to be waning. It’s not in the Top 10 things at Business Insider, and I couldn’t immediately find a prediction at Bloomberg News.

The seasonal adjustment factors are about the same for this year and last year’s analogous week (106.6 last year, 105.7 this year), though they’re both a lot higher than the previous week, meaning that a much higher raw claims number can seasonally adjust downward into a number which fits the trend. I don’t quite see why this week’s 2014 and 2013 factors should differ so much from the previous last week.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link), with a result I find a bit surprising:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending November 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 290,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 278,000. The 4-week moving average was 285,000, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 279,000.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 306,889 in the week ending November 8, an increase of 39,968 (or 15.0 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 27,277 (or 10.2 percent) from the previous week. There were 364,167 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

Well, maybe it’s a blip with no long-term significance, but this is the first time raw claims have topped 300,000 since mid-July. If they don’t fall below roughly 294,000 next week, we’ll get a seasonally adjusted reading above 300K.

November 12, 2014

ANOTHER Gruber ‘Stupid Voters’ Video Surfaces; Fox’s Megyn Kelly Goes Off

If Jonathan Gruber, the Obama administration and the establishment press thought that Gruber’s faux mea culpa appearance on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon would get them off the hook and avoid the need to deal with and cover the Obamacare architect’s exposure of the left’s mendacity, they were sadly mistaken.

There’s yet another damning “stupid voters” video. Megyn Kelly was all over it Tuesday night, exposing the defiantly silent White House’s and others’ former financial and emotional love for and dependence on the MIT economist’s work.

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November 11, 2014

Atlantic Columnist: Progressives ‘Have Every Reason to Be Celebrating’

Far be it from me to talk a leftist columnist out of an ignorant, self-satisfied position which might, if anything, cause his fellow travelers to hit the accelerator a little less aggressively in future political campaigns.

At the Atlantic on Monday afternoon, Richard Reeves, policy director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, claimed that the left shouldn’t be so glum after Tuesday’s election results, because “progressive policies are working.” His very first graph makes a mockery of his claim (bold is mine):

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Yeah, We Need to Post Obamacare Architect Gruber’s Damning Deception Admission

And I have saved it too.

Here it is:

Transcript (most):

You can’t do it (pass the law) politically. You just literally cannot do it.

Okay. Transparent financing … transparent spending. I mean, the, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it was written to do that.

In terms of risk-rated subsidies, you get a law which said healthy people are going to pay in, it made explicit that healthy people pay and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Ok? Just like the cal – people transparent – lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting this thing to pass.

And y’know, it’s the second-best argument. … but I’d rather have this law than not.

The Affordable Care Act’s legitimacy is now indisputable. Without question, it has no substantive legitimacy. On that basis alone, those who choose to ignore and defy it have an airtight defense in fact, if not in law.

Nancy Pelosi infamously said that “we’ll have to pass the health care bill before you can find out what’s in it.”

She should have added, “In the meantime, at least until we pass it, we’re going to deceive you about what’s in it, and we’ll for as long as we can withhold our deception from the American people.”

Fortunately, that wasn’t forever.

Unfortunately, it took 4-1/2 years to learn the truth.

And of course the establishment press pretends it means nothing and ignores it, when it means everything.

___________________________

UPDATE: So Gruber appeared on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow show to attempt damage control, which only proves two things:

  • First, his lies won’t stand up to any kind of questioning by a legitimate journalist.
  • Second, he was pressured to appear in front of a sympathetic interviewer somewhere, ANYWHERE, so the rest of the press, which was on the verge having to be forced to get his comments out in the open or look absolutely foolish, can now pretend that it’s over, no big deal, and not worthy of being exposed to low-information voters.

Massachusetts Town Wants to Ban Tobacco; But What About Pot?

A Sunday Associated Press item carried at its national news site informs readers that the town of Westminster in north central Massachusetts is seriously considering a ban on tobacco products. The Boston Globe covered the story in a lengthy report on October 28, and the Washington Post carried a brief item at its GovBeat blog that same day.

None of those three items addressed an obvious question: If it’s okay to ban the sale of a product primarily on the basis of the harm it causes when smoked, what is the justification for legalizing marijuana throughout Massachusetts and elsewhere? Many Bay State observers believe, based on the number of nonbinding referenda passed and the changing public mood, that pot legalization is perhaps two years away.

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