April 20, 2015

Minn. 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.”

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April 19, 2015

Cincinnati Enquirer Reporter: Cancellation of High School’s ‘Covered Girl Challenge’ May Signal ‘Bigotry’

At Mason High School in Ohio this past week, the school’s administration originally supported but has now cancelled a “Covered Girl Challenge.” The goal, according to a school email captured in full at Jihad Watch and almost nowhere else, was to “celebrate … diversity and promote open mindedness” by promoting the Muslim Student Association’s invitation to “all female students to … wear a headscarf for the whole school day.”

Jihad Watch, unlike every other Ohio-based establishment press outlet report I have seen, including one found in the Cincinnati Enquirer, also linked readers to a reminder that collegiate chapters of the Muslim Student Association, which also encourages the creation of high school chapters under its aegis, have served as breeding grounds for terrorism (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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‘Failed’ Gwyneth Paltrow Was Actually on Track to Succeed in ‘Food Stamp Challenge’

As yours truly noted on April 12, actress Gwyneth Paltrow made a bit of a splash earlier this month when she announced that she would add her name to the list of ignorant politicians, advocates and celebrities taking on the deceptively designed “Food Stamp Challenge.”

The idea is to “try to survive” eating for a week on the average benefit a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient receives. The objective is to prove that it really can’t be done, thereby “proving” that food stamp benefits are too low. Of course, that’s what Paltrow claims occurred, with MSNBC.com hyping how she “succeeded by failing.” As was the case with an Indiana journalist several months ago, based on the spending figure Paltrow herself disclosed, she was not failing at all. Based on how the program really works, she would have succeeded had she stuck with it.

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April 18, 2015

Rubio’s Age Is Problematic, But Hillary Being Post-Menopausal Makes Her ‘Perfect’?

Time.com’s Zeke Miller tweeted yesterday that a “reporter” asked recently declared presidential candidate Marco Rubio of Florida the following question: “Is 43 old enough to be president?” Meanwhile, two weeks ago, a column at Time.com claimed that Hillary Clinton is “biologically primed to be a leader.” Seriously.

Since he either can’t or won’t tell us who asked the question, we’re unable to determine if the “reporter” to whom Miller referred was asking the question because he or she doesn’t know the Constitution or was trying to bait Rubio into giving an answer implicitly or explicitly criticizing other candidates. It would be worth knowing, because the first answer betrays ignorance, while the second reveals bias and a likely double standard in interviewing. Miller’s tweet, which includes Rubio’s priceless answer, is after the jump:

ZekeMillerRubioTweet041715

This means that Rubio would be 45 on Inauguration Day if he is elected (actually 45 years, 7 months and 23 days). That’s less than 22 months younger than Barack Obama (47 years, 5 months, and 16 days) when he was inaugurated. Both John Fitzgerald Kennedy (43 when inaugurated) and Theodore Roosevelt (42 after William McKinley’s assassination) were younger when they became president.

One commenter at Miller’s tweet specifically asked for the reporter’s name. From what I can tell at the tweet’s thread and in his Twitter feed up to about 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Miller hasn’t answered.

If anyone has asked Hillary Clinton about whether her relatively advanced age is a problem, I’m not aware of it, even though it was a press near-obsession during John McCain’s presidential run — only after he had secured the Republican Party’s nomination, of course. Apparently, the push is on to see it Mrs. Clinton’s age as a feature, and not a potential bug.

A “Dr.” Julie Holland at Time.com, Miller’s hangout, thinks that “Hillary Clinton Is the Perfect Age to Be President,” especially — get this — because she is “of a certain age” (bolds are mine):

Forget politics — she’s biologically primed to be a leader

At 67, Hillary Clinton is now a “woman of a certain age.” So much emphasis and worry are put on physical aging in women that the emotional maturity and freedom that can come at this time are given short shrift. That robs everyone of a great natural resource. For women of a certain age, it is our time to lead. The new standard for aging women should be about vitality, strength and assertiveness.

One of the largest demographics in America is women in their 40s to 60s, and by 2020 there will be nearly 60 million peri- and post-menopausal women living in the U.S. Because women’s average life expectancy is currently 81 years, we’re easily spending a third of our lives postmenopausal. That is a great opportunity for growth and change.

Holland, “a psychopharmacologist and psychiatrist” last seen at NewsBusters in 2009 discussing “the positive aspects of smoking marijuana,” brags about having written a book called “Moody Bitches,” and further explains why Mrs. Clinton is so uniquely qualified:

… I look at how women are taught from an early age that moodiness is a problem to be fixed. That is simply wrongheaded. Women’s moods are our body’s intelligent feedback system. If we learn to manage them properly, they are a great resource and a tremendous source of power. They show us when we are primed for certain challenges and opportunities.

Translated: “Since none of you guys running for president have ‘women’s moods’ and therefore their ‘tremendous source of power,’ get the heck out of the way and let her be become the nation’s 45th president already. Oh, and if you’re a post-menopausal woman and don’t vote for Hillary, you’re not only betraying the sisterhood; you’re also betraying your fellow older sisters.”

Thus, Holland plays the ageism and gender cards at the same time. Amazing — especially since Holland’s appearance at a site link Time.com would seem to indicate that this will be (or may already be) a conscious political strategy.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

April 15, 2015

The Checklist Which, If the Establishment Press Has Its Way, Will Never Receive Any Checkmarks

Kurt Schlichter at Truth Revolt:

Questions No Mainstream Media Hack Will Ever Ask Hillary

Others may be able to ask the questions Schlichter has listed, but only if Mrs. Clinton allows anyone other than fawning fanboys and fangirls in the press to get close enough to ask her. Even then, depending on the circumstances, the likelihood that she would just walk out of an interview or walk away in silence is quite high.

There isn’t a chance that Mrs. Clinton has an acceptable answer for most of the question Schlichter has listed, which is why she is, as Barack Obama was determined to be seven years ago, objectively unfit to be President.

The Potemkin Economy

The press has hidden it for months.

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

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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 14, 2015

Hillary’s Original Bio Indicated That She ‘Fought (For) Children and Families’ — For Over 80 Years!

Hillary Clinton’s campaign rollout has been the gaffe machine that keeps on giving. One gaffe in particular was so obvious that it masked an even more ludicrous one.

On Sunday, several people, including yours truly, the Twitter curators at Twitchy, David Knowles at Bloomberg, but almost no one else in the establishment press, noticed that Mrs. Clinton’s campaign announcement press release told America that “she’s fought children and their families all her career.” That gaffe was so glaring that a far worse one which would have led readers to believe that she has fought for them even longer than she has been alive has, from what I can tell, been completely ignored.

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Bloomberg, AP Sharply Differ in Evaluating Ominous March Retail Sales Report

Today, the Census Bureau reported that retail sales in March increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent. While that was the first such positive figure in four months, it was less than the 1.1 percent increase analysts expected, and did little to calm fears that the economy contracted during the first quarter of 2015.

An unbylined report at Bloomberg News and a dispatch from Josh Boak at the Associated Press had sharply differing takes on what the result meant. Longtime readers probably won’t have a difficult time guessing who had the bigger set of blinders on.

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CNN, While Showing a ‘Vintage’ Car: ‘See Cuba Before American Investors Ruin It’

Journalists’ and leftists’ (but I repeat myself) misguided love for Cuba goes back decades. Y’know, free healthcare (cough), yada-yada.

Now that President Obama is unilaterally changing the relationship between the two nations, and as usual getting nothing in return, you’d think that they’d be happy. Heck no. It started several months ago when Fox News’s Shepard Smith fretted about how a thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations might “ruin the place,” and has been echoed in many quarters since then. Early today, CNN International went over the top, essentially communicating in one picture their concern that the changed situation will “ruin” what has already been ruined:

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In Low-Visibility Report, AP’s Crutsinger Masks Spike in Govt. Spending

Late Monday afternoon, the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger produced a typically dodgy dispatch on the government’s Monthly Treasury Statement. The Treasury Department released the March version of that report covering the first six months of the current fiscal year early Monday afternoon.

The odd thing is, while it has been published elsewhere at the web sites of certain of its subscribers, a search on “budget deficit” (not in quotes) at the wire service’s national site indicates that it’s not present there at all. The national site’s only mention of March’s deficit is in the sixth of 13 listings at a “Business Highlights” summary. It reads as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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April 13, 2015

NY Times Editorial Board Melts Down in Deceptive Rant Over GOP’s ‘Racist’ ‘Insurrection’

On Saturday evening (published in print on Sunday), the editorial board at the New York Times had an epic meltdown over the Republican Party’s allegedly shabby treatment of President Barack Obama.

Although its title claimed that the GOP had entered “A New Phase in Anti-Obama Attacks,” nothing truly new seemed to prompt this rant. Its primary focus was the letter 47 GOP Senators led by Tom Cotton of Arkansas sent to Iran’s leaders. But that was a month ago, on March 9. The Times’s take on that letter was so embarrassing that it tried to keep curious readers from actually seeing it, forcing them to click through to two other items before deigning to expose them to its almost bland but legally and constitutionally accurate text.

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Let the Gaffes Begin: Hillary’s Original Bio Said She ‘Fought Children and Families’

With months (really years) to prepare, the allegedly well-oiled Hillary Clinton for President machine still managed to produce a howler of a mistake in her campaign bio’s debut. Since corrected, it originally stated that “she’s fought children and families all her career.”

This and other obvious gaffes are likely destined to go unreported by the Hillary-worshipping establishment press, while the slighest of real or imagined mistakes — up to and including supposedly taking an untimely drink of water — will become media obsessions for the next 19 months.

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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.

USA Today Columnist: With Air 62 Pct. Cleaner, Look at Obama As Cause For Malia’s Asthma

A Wednesday “Good Morning America” piece gave President Barack Obama an open mic to claim that, in ABC’s words, “climate change became a personal issue for him when his older daughter Malia, now 16, was rushed to the emergency room with an asthma attack when she was just a toddler.”

Somehow, ABC managed to avoid another possible contributor — besides the obvious possibility that Malia developed asthma independent of external influences — namely the President’s 30-year smoking habit. He is said to have quit once and for all in 2011. USA Today columnist James S. Robbins wasn’t impressed with the President’s “reasoning,” and with good cause, as he articulated in a Thursday evening column. He even managed to get a “there’s been no warming for a long time” past USA Today’s editors (links are in original; bolds are mine):

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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:

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