July 31, 2014

Writers at the Hill Give ‘Obama Pivots to Economic Legacy’ Credibility

This post is not about an item in The Onion. It’s about a supposedly serious establishment press story at the Hill.

This morning, Amie Parnes and Peter Schroeder covered the Obama administration’s apparent plan to pivot to the economy for the umpteenth time. But this time, Obama and his apparatchiks aren’t doing it because they think they need to convince people that things are getting better. No-no-no. They’re declaring victory, “tying his legacy” to Obama’s apparently wondrous stewardhip of the economy. In the words of the Hill pair, they are “seizing on the administration’s successes in boosting the nation during financial woes.” Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

(more…)

AP Acknowledges That There Are ‘Fewer Full-Time Jobs,’ But Doesn’t Cite Obamacare As a Contributor

In a Thursday report on why many Americans are still unimpressed with the U.S. job market, Associated Press reporters Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak made a rare admission that “Finding a steady full-time job has become harder” than it was before the recession.

The AP pair then contended that “the trend might also reflect a lasting shift among restaurants and coffee shops,” but found an “expert” who only acknowledged that such employers are trying to be more careful in their spending. Although they mentioned Obamacare as a reason why pollied Republicans are dissatisfied with the economy, Rugaber and Boak never cited the healthcare law as a possible factor in the significant move to employ part-timers, even though Investor’s Business Daily has compiled a list of 429 employers “with strong proof that ObamaCare’s employer mandate is behind cuts to work hours or staffing levels.” Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

(more…)

July 30, 2014

Paying the Price For Bias and Slop? In July, MSNBC Fell to Number Four in 25-54 Demo

Oh, how the pathetic progs have fallen.

Earlier today, the Hollywood Reporter told readers that MSNBC had a horrible July rating period. For the four weeks ended July 27, the self-described “lean forward” network saw “its total day average among the news demo of adults 25-54″ drop by “33 percent from July 2013,” causing it come in “below HLN by 16,000 viewers for No. 4 status”:

(more…)

July 29, 2014

Unreal: Language in Offensive AP Tweet on Israel-Gaza-Congress Led Its Actual Story Early Tuesday

Earlier today, I gave the Associated Press an unwarranted benefit of the doubt. I figured that there was no way the language contained in an offensive AP tweet on the Israel-Gaza situation would appear in an actual story by an alleged professional journalist. Boy, was I wrong.

The language in question was posted at 6 a.m. ET and is still present at the wire service’s official Twitter account. It reads: “As much of world watches Gaza war in horror, members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel.” I wrote this afternoon that “The tweet … links to a brief dispatch by Bradley Klapper, whose coverage, to be fair (but only if he’s not the tweeter), doesn’t reflect the sentiments expressed in the tweet.” Well, it didn’t then, because the underlying story had been revised. Here’s are the first five paragraphs of Klapper’s story as they appeared before comprehensive cleanup efforts ensued:

(more…)

WaPo’s Sargent Cites ‘Bombshell’ ACA Legislative History Which Really Helps Halbig Plaintiffs

At the Washington Post’s Plum Line blog this afternoon, Greg Sargent argued that the legislative history of Obamacare supports the argument that Congress intended that participants in federal exchanges be entitled to premium subsidies (alternatively referred to in some quarters as “tax credits”), and that the history should doom the Halbig suit, which contends that tax subsidies cannot be disbursed to Obamacare participants who purchased their coverage through the federal exchange.

Unfortunately for Sargent, the history really makes the opposite legal argument, significantly strengthening the Halbig side’s hand. First we’ll look at what Sargent wrote. Then we’ll see how a RedState diarist nuked his argument within two hours.

(more…)

AP Reporter: Get Used to the ‘New Normal’

 ”Newfound strengths”? Hardly.

______________________________

This column went up at PJ Media on Sunday morning and was teased here at BizzyBlog yesterday.

______________________________

One of the luckiest people on earth this week was the person at the Associated Press who began a Thursday report by telling readers: “Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged.”

Translation: “This ‘new normal’ economy President Barack Obama and the left have created is as good as it’s going to get. So learn to like it.”

Ordinarily, the perpetrator of such nonsense would have been known and subjected to the relentless personal ridicule he or she deserves. But this is the week the AP’s union, the News Media Guild, upset that its members have been working without a contract for almost eight months after a year of negotiating, began a series of childish “multiple protests” they think will cause the news co-op “to start bargaining in good faith.” (The News Media Guild’s militance largely explains why the AP’s coverage of labor-related matters is so routinely biased.)

One of those “protests” was “a four-day byline and credit boycott” by reporters and photographers who refused to put their names on dispatches and photos submitted from Tuesday through Friday. The tortured statement which opened this column came out smack dab in the middle of that boycott, which the union hilariously described as “a sacrifice.”

Even the AP reporter’s admissions concerning how weak the economy’s performance has been under President Barack Obama were watered down.

The article’s assertion that “in the five years since the recession officially ended, Americans’ pay has basically stagnated” is rubbish. The Census Bureau alumni who run Sentier Research tell us that inflation-adjusted median household income, a far more comprehensive indicator of financial well-being, is still about 3 percent below where it was in June 2009 when the recession officially ended, and has basically gone nowhere since late 2011.

The reporter further claimed that “Economic growth is merely plodding along.” Wrong. To be “plodding along,” you have to be moving forward. The government’s last official reading on economic growth told us that it contracted by an annualized 2.9 percent in the first quarter. The economy’s growth performance has been barely better than that seen during the awful post-Depression 1930s. Very few economists believe that any second-quarter growth will offset the first quarter’s dive, meaning that we’ve gone nowhere so far this year.

The incredibly lucky anonymous AP reporter cited five “newfound strengths” the economy has developed. I will show that each either is a weakness, or masks one.

“Fewer people are piling up credit card debt or taking on risky mortgages.”

The reporter cited a $1,618 reduction in “typical household” credit card debt. Unfortunately, that decline has been far more than offset by an average increase in per-household student loan debt of roughly $3,000. Meanwhile, student-loan delinquencies are going through the roof.

Thursday’s awful new-home sales report and a level of existing-home sales which is still far from where it should be show that fewer people are taking on any kind of mortgage, “risky” or not.

“Banks are more profitable and holding additional cash …”

Banks are holding that cash because they can’t find borrowers. Despite low interest rates, demand for loans, especially to businesses, is lagging. That’s because the opportunity-constraining, growth-choking POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy of the past six years has led to fewer new business startups, fewer employed by those startups in comparison to previous periods, and an intimidating Dodd Frank-driven regulatory environment.

“More workers hold advanced degrees.”

The AP reporter claimed that this is supposedly good, because “Education typically leads to higher wages and greater job security,” and celebrated the fact that “During the recovery, the number of Americans with a college degree surpassed the number with only a high school diploma for the first time.”

Sadly, we don’t live in typical times, and there’s little cause for celebration. The following graph from a just-published Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco study shows what may be a permanent break in that education-wage relationship (“full-time” label added by me for emphasis):

CollegeGradFTearnings1970to2014

For five long years, the starting salaries of college graduates landing full-time jobs have gone nowhere (the figures presented above are not inflation-adjusted). The study’s authors further note, with a supporting table, that “With few exceptions, wage growth has been limited in all occupational groups for recent graduates.”

Especially after considering the explosion in student-loan debt, it’s long past time to question the still ironclad assumption that a college education pays off, and that going to college should be the default goal of every high school student.

“Inflation is under control.”

This triumphal statement is supposed to be a rebuttal to the Rick Santellis of the world who have worried and continue to be concerned about inflation because of the over $4 trillion in money out of thin air Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen have created.

As I wrote earlier this month:

… [L]ook at what was “accomplished” to cause that (low inflation): real hits to household income, which is stuck far below where it was in 2007, and millions of Americans withdrawing from the workforce. Both of these have dampened demand for goods and services and lessened price pressures. Meanwhile, the government during Obama’s presidency has run up over $5.7 trillion in deficits (through June) while adding just under $7 trillion to the national debt (through July 14), immorally pushing the obligation to pay for our profligacy onto generations yet unborn.

Does inflation being “under control” now merely mean that any coming hyperinflation will be that much worse? The AP reporter has no historical basis for his or her “under control” overconfidence.

“Millions who have reached retirement age are staying on the job.”

Seriously, this is a good thing? What this really means is that many Americans who thought they had their financial situations under control so they could spend their retirements as they had planned have found themselves unable to do so.

This trend has also worked to keep many young people with unproven or non-existent work records from gaining employment.

Imagine the reaction if an AP reporter tried to portray this development as a positive during a Republican or conservative administration.

This anonymous reporter and his or her colleagues at the AP and elsewhere in the establishment press can apply as much lipstick as they’d like to this economy. It won’t change the fact that it remains ugly for the average American, and promises to remain that way as long as Barack Obama occupies the White House.

Official AP Tweet: Despite Gaza ‘Horror,’ U.S. Lawmakers ‘Fall Over Each Other to Support Israel’

It would appear that the Associated Press is branching out into new avenues of bias and submission.

Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, its journalists have worked feverishly to earn the wire service its U.S.-based nickname as the Administration’s Press. Now a still-present tweet early this morning (HT Twitchy) from AP’s official Twitter account seen after the jump demonstrates a desire to be seen as Hamas’s Press:

(more…)

July 28, 2014

WSJ Journalists Delete Tweets About Gaza Hospital Hit by Errant Hamas Rocket

As yours truly noted a week ago, journalists who have ventured into Gaza operate under coverage restrictions imposed by Hamas, the terrorist group which controls it. Based on the tenor of their coverage, the New York Times and other organizations are complying with Hamas’s constraints, usually without telling their readers, listeners, and viewers. This of course begs the question of why those reporters and photographers stay there — unless they’d like to leave and are being prevented from doing so.

A little onsite reality leaked out of Gaza today, in the form of two tweets from Wall Street Journal reporters based there, before they were quickly withdrawn. Twitter user Yair_Rosenberg caught them before they disappeared. They provide evidence that a rocket strike at a Gaza hospital which killed many Palestinians was the result of an errant Hamas rocket, not an Israeli strike:

(more…)

AP’s Matt Lee ‘Jokes’ in a Tweet That U.S. Strategy Is to ‘P*ss Off Everyone’ in Mideast (See Update)

Of all the Associated Press reporters out there, Matt Lee, whose beat is the State Department, appears to have the least patience with the pablum (and worse) he is expected to swallow from the Obama administration.

In September of last year, as the situation in Syria escalated, Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria. After hearing State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki defend that proposal as “courageous,” Lee, after getting a non-response to a question as why it was courageous, famously asked: “Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal op procedure at the White House over the weekend?” Though he may not have exercised the best judgment this morning in posting the tweet which follows the jump, at least we can say that Lee hasn’t taken up permanent residence in the wire service’s otherwise very crowded water-carrier wing:

(more…)

AP Plays Defense For Obama Admin ‘Fuming’ Over Israeli Anger at Kerry

The Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, wants Americans to know that the Obama adminisration is really, really upset — but not at Hamas for committing terrorist acts, using women and children as human shields, and digging tunnels for the purpose of mass-murdering civilians on Rosh Hashanah.

No-no-no. Team Obama is “fuming” (i.e., their poor little feeeeewings are hurt) because Israeli officials and the Israeli media — even its liberal wing — are furiously criticizing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for apparently doing all he can to sell out the Jewish state’s positions in attempting to negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas.

(more…)

At CNN, Poll Results on Impeachment Released Friday Morning, But Romney Whipping Obama Held Until Sunday

CNN/Opinion Research conducted a poll of “1,012 adult Americans conducted by telephone” from July 18-20. The poll contained over 40 questions. But instead of publishing all of the poll’s results in one document, the network is parsing them out.

Several questions relating to support for impeaching President Barack Obama and suing him in court over his unilateral executive actions were released Friday morning at 6 a.m. Related coverage by Paul Steinhauser, which includes a video, was headlined “Majority say no to impeachment and lawsuit.” But another set of questions, including one showing that Mitt Romney would beat Obama by nine points today in a head-to-head race, did not go public until Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., conveniently a time of much less immediate public attention — and Steinhauser’s related article did not include a video.

(more…)

Latest PJ Media Column (‘AP Reporter: Get Used to the ‘New Normal’’) Went Up Yesterday

It’s here.

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

July 27, 2014

NYT Headlines Decline in Median Net Worth Since 2003, Downplays Much Steeper Drop Since ’07

Which is the more important statistic: A 36 percent decline in U.S. median household net worth since 2003, or a 43 percent decline in that same statistic since 2007?

The average person would certainly be more concerned about the latter, which represents an annual drop of about 7 percent compared to the less than 4 percent per year seen in the past decade. But apparently if you’re a reporter or editor at the New York Times, the former statistic is of far more interest, while the latter doesn’t merit a specific numerical mention.

(more…)

Federal Court Strikes Down ‘Nation’s Last Explicit’ Gun Ban; Press Mostly Ignores

On Saturday, District of Columbia Circuit Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. finally ruled that the city of Washington’s ban on residents carrying firearms outside their homes is unconstitutional.

Emily Miller at Fox News calls it a decision which “leaves no gray area in gun-carrying rights.” But a Google News search on “Washington DC gun case” (not in quotes, sorted by date), returned only 16 items, only one of which — a terse five-paragraph Reuters dispatch carried at the New York Times and appearing in Sunday’s paper on Page A16 — is from a U.S. establishment press outlet.

(more…)

July 26, 2014

Megyn Kelly Chronicles IRS Lies and Flip-Flops the Press Refuses to Cover, Let Alone Feature

On Thursday, with PJ Media’s J. Christian Adams as her guest, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly recited a list of assertions (under oath, she reminded us) made by Internal Revenue Service officials which have later been shown to be lies or cause for agency flip-flops after “new” facts have been revealed.

It’s a significant list. By implication, it’s an indictment of the vast majority of the establishment press, which has refused to give the IRS scandal the attention it deserves. Video and a transcript follow the jump.

(more…)