December 15, 2014

Positivity: Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass draws thousands in LA

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Los Angeles:

Dec 12, 2014 / 11:52 am

More than 25,000 people – including many young people – attended an outdoor Mass in Los Angeles honoring the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Scores of young boys dressed as miniature Juan Diegos and little girls donning multi-colored hair ribbons and traditional Mexican-style dresses marched beside Aztec and Matachines dancers, indigenous drummers, mariachi musicians and everyday Catholics along Cesar Chavez Avenue in East Los Angeles on Dec. 7 during the 83rd annual procession and Mass honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The mile-long morning trek began at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Ford Boulevard, and concluded inside the open-air Weingart Stadium at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, where the celebration of faith, culture and family continued with diverse music, a moving performance by award-winning Mexican singer Miriam Solis, and a Mass with Archbishop José Gomez presiding.

“Today we gather to once again say to Our Lady of Guadalupe: ‘We are a family united under your mantle. We place ourselves under your loving protection and care, under the mantle of your love,’” the archbishop said in his homily. “We are a family in the Church – a family of families – and our families are so important. In God’s plan of love for the world, the family is a sacred reality – a gift that God has given to us for our happiness and for the happiness of our society.”

Archbishop Gomez described the gift of family as the “foundation of our society and our culture” because it serves as a vehicle for passing on “our values and our traditions and our faith” to current and future generations. As such, we should actively nurture and protect our families, in church and at home, he explained.

“My brothers and sisters, it takes love and grace and patience and hard work to live together as a family,” he said. “It is a journey that you have to make together – with God, his Spirit, [and] the intercession of Our Blessed Mother – every day.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.


NYT Corrects Saturday ‘Justice For All’ Marches Coverage Twice, Ignores NYC ‘We Want Dead Cops’ Chants

It’s a good thing that establishment press publications like the New York Times have those layers of editors and fact-checkers. They’re able to prevent embarrassing things like misstatements of commonly known facts, misidentifications of key parties involved in recent events, and misspellings those sloppy bloggers and new media types routinely publish.

Oh, wait a minute. All three types of errors occurred in just one New York Times item this weekend. After publishing its original story by Jennifer Steinhauer and Elena Schneider on this Saturday’s so-called “Justice For All” March in Washington, which also included coverage of New York’s related event, the Times issued a correction which has to be seen to be believed (HT Twitchy):


December 14, 2014

AP Reporter Thinks We’re Thrilled to Be ‘Finally Getting One Over’ on Gas Stations

Here’s a small window into a journalist’s mindset.

In a report on how lower gas prices are affecting the companies operating retail gas stations, Associated Press reporter John Fahey revealed his apparent believes that there are millions of us walking around, perhaps including him, obsessed with getting back at gas station owners for charging us so much at fill-up time for years:



Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121414)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: No such thing as gloomy-faced saints, Pope Francis says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Dec 14, 2014 / 08:43 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christian joy is borne out of nearness to Christ, said Pope Francis during his Angelus address for the third Sunday of Advent, adding that “gloomy-faced” saints are a contradiction.

“You have never heard of a sad or gloomy-faced saint,” the Holy Father said. “That would be a contradiction.” Rather, the heart of a Christian is “full of peace, because he knows to place his joy in the Lord, even in life’s difficult moments.”

Those who have faith are not spared difficulties, he noted. Rather, having faith means “having the strength to confront them, know that we are not alone. And this is the peace which God gives to his children.”

Pope Francis delivered his address to the thousands of pilgrims who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square, many of whom had brought with them little statues of Baby Jesus to be blessed by the Holy Father. The traditional “Bambinelli Blessing” takes place each year on Gaudete Sunday.

The Pope told the crowds that, while the first two weeks are centered on remaining “spiritually vigilant” in expectation of the Lord’s coming, the third week of Advent calls for “another interior attitude”: joy.

“The heart of man desires joy,” he said. However, the joy which Christians are called to live and give witness, he said, “is that which comes from nearness to God, from his presence in our lives.”

From the moment “Jesus entered into history, through his birth in Bethlehem, humanity received the seed of God’s Kingdom,” the Pope said. And Christians need not wait until they reach heaven to experience joy, he added.

“Jesus himself is our joy.”

All baptized Christians, the pontiff continued, are called to welcome “the presence of God in our midst, and to help others to discover Him, or rediscover that which they have forgotten.”

Like John the Baptist, he said, referring to the Gospel reading for Gaudete Sunday, our mission is to “orient people to Christ – not to ourselves!” This is because the human heart reaches out to Christ, he said, “when it seeks joy and happiness.”

In St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle lists the conditions necessary for being “missionaries of joy”: “If this becomes our way of life,” the Pope said, “the Good News will enter many homes,” helping individuals and families “rediscover that, in Jesus, there is Salvation.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 13, 2014

Barely News: Congresswoman Lummis’s ‘Most Moving Moment’ at Gruber Hearing defines “glib” as “readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so.”

Jonathan Gruber’s apology at his Tuesday congressional hearing included that word. The word, especially the “superficial” element of its definition, applies to how the establishment press covered the hearing. With only rare exceptions, it excluded any mention of what has accurately been called “the most moving moment of the Gruber hearing”: Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis’s emotional recounting of how her husband died while the status of his coverage under Obamacare was in dispute.



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121314)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Pro-life ad group sees unprecedented success in 2014

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Austin, Texas:

Dec 12, 2014 / 07:09 pm

Heroic Media is celebrating their most successful year yet, reporting their pro-life ads have generated more than 360,000 responses, the highest number in the apostolate’s ten-year history.

“This is more than a number for us – every woman we are able to connect with a pregnancy center means a potential life saved,” Joe Young, vice president of operations at Heroic Media, said in a Dec. 9 statement.

Heroic Media is a pro-life organization that uses a variety of media outlets to connect pregnant women to life-affirming resources, utilizing information and pregnancy centers to provide women with alternative choices to abortion.

“Heroic Media is committed to serving women with positive messages. Our team of media experts works to produce and place research-based messages to meet women right where they are,” stated Marissa Cope, director of marketing for Heroic Media.

The more than 360,000 persons who contacted Heroic Media because of its advertising were given access to information about pregnancy resources and support. Contacts included texts, chats, online clicks, website visit, and calls to pregnancy centers.

“We empower women with information and access to hopeful, life-affirming resources,” Cope stated.

Those who responded to Heroic Media were given access to pregnancy centers across the country for support and information. Various pregnancy centers nationwide teamed with Heroic Media to spread life-affirming messages, promoting adoption instead of abortion as a viable option. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 12, 2014

Congresswoman’s Husband Dies While in Obamacare Limbo

I was hoping to do more with this item this morning, but getting ready for this got in the way (I know, it’s late notice for those who don’t go to Facebook, but hopefully a few readers will be able to make it to the musical extravaganza described at the links).

Anyway, Wyoming Republican Congresswomn Cynthia Lummis gave her own form of testimony during the John Gruber hearing on Tuesday (beginnning at the 0:45 mark in the video below). Since the establishment press has decided it’s not newsworthy — and they’re full of crap, as usual — I’m showing it below (HT Western Journalism Center and others):

Money quote:

… the so-called ‘glibness’ that has been referenced today have direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness.”

This whole administration can take its arrogant glibness and put it where the sun doesn’t shine.



There’s far less than meets the eye in November’s jobs report.


This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog Wednesday morning.


UPDATE, Dec. 12: Longtime commenter dscott wants to make sure I remind everybody of the following item I left on the cutting room floor (and maybe shouldn’t have) —

[F]ull-time employment is STILL 2.4 million below where it was in November 2007 (seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted) — seven long years ago. But yet, wer’re supposed to believe that Obama administration policies, and particularly Obamacare, have nothing to do with this incredibly depressing statistic.


On Saturday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, reporter Christopher Rugaber described the economy’s pickup of 321,000 payroll jobs in November as “booming.”

Not so fast, pal.

Even if you accept that November’s seasonally adjusted result fairly reflects the underlying reality — and it doesn’t, which will be shown shortly — it will only be “booming” once we see such a figure repeated for at least five more months. On a workforce-adjusted basis, the analogous post-recession period during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s had a streak of 19 out of 20 months with an equal or better performance than just seen in November while averaging 323,000 monthly job additions over 65 months. Monthly job growth during the Obama administration’s 65-month faux recovery has averaged only 140,000.

Additionally, the seasonal adjustment process at the Bureau of Labor Statistics — an attempt to normalize results to smooth out normal and supposedly predictable fluctuations occurring throughout the year — generated an artificially high November result, as illustrated in the following comparison:


As seen in the red boxes, BLS currently estimates that the economy really added 497,000 jobs in November. That’s 26,000 fewer than were added in November 2013. Yet somehow, after seasonal adjustment, November 2014 came in 47,000 jobs higher than the same month last year. A more reasonable seasonally adjusted result in Friday’s report would have been in the neighborhood of 250,000 — far from awful, but definitely not “booming.”

By contrast, as seen in the green boxes, October’s seasonally adjusted result understated that month’s strength. Before adjusting for workforce size, the 1.051 million in estimated job additions that month is the best result since the government began monthly recordkeeping in 1939, and is 107,000 jobs greater than November 2013. October is the month which should have seen a seasonally adjusted result well above 300,000; instead, it was barely better than October 2013.

What’s going on here?

As former BLS head Keith Hall told John Crudele last year, as paraphrased by the New York Post reporter:

All parts of Washington’s data-collecting machine adjust to smooth out the bumps caused by the seasons of the year. But the recession that started five years ago was so severe and the recovery so anemic that the seasonal adjustments have been thrown off.

Gee, I’ve been saying that for over five years, including this statement from mid-2011:

In normal times, it’s usually acceptable for data users to stick with seasonally adjusted (SA) information while avoiding the adventure of delving into and analyzing the raw, not seasonally adjusted stuff. But these are not normal times. … In abnormal times such as these, you cannot be sure that the SA data adequately reflects what’s happening in the raw information.

To be clear, I’m not alleging that the BLS is deliberately engaging in deception in its Establishment Survey of employers — yet. But the agency knows how misleading its official adjusted data have often been, and has done next to nothing to alert the public to the problem. Meanwhile, reporters in the business press, most of whom know better, still treat the adjusted numbers as gospel while barely acknowledging the raw numbers’ existence.

Thus, the public has every reason to believe that November was a great month in the job market, while October was lukewarm. The reality is exactly the opposite — which should be leading people to wonder if economic conditions might once again be deteriorating.

One likely reason why the press isn’t interested in touching the BLS’s detailed machinations is the strong likelihood that there have been and continue to be problems with data integrity and manipulation in the Household Survey. That’s the Census Bureau-managed operation which collects the information used to calculate the nation’s unemployment rate and the civilian population’s degree of engagement.

The Post’s Crudele, virtually the only reporter in the land pointing out the fundamental problems in the government’s jobs reports, noted last week that “whistleblowers in five of the six Census regions in the US have alleged data were being falsified on a regular basis.” The falsification is occurring because workers who can’t meet the Department of Labor’s aggressive and likely unrealistic survey completion requirements are submitting fake surveys.

A likely far bigger problem with the Household Survey, based on discussions I’ve had with an informant out in the trenches, is that BLS, under current far-left agenda-driven director Erica Groshen, appears to have stealthily raised the bar for what it takes to be considered actively looking for work. If you aren’t considered an active job seeker, you’re not considered unemployed, or even part of the civilian labor force. As a result, there’s reason to believe that BLS is deliberately undercounting the number of unemployed by several million, thereby significantly understating the unemployment rate.

Hall believes that the unemployment rate’s understatement may be as high as three percentage points. Imagine how different everyone’s outlook would be if he is right, and today’s unemployment rate, consistently defined and calculated, is really over 8.5 percent. My Census informant tells me that almost every experienced worker in the field believes that the government’s current reported unemployment rate of 5.8 percent is really much higher.

Other indicators point to the existence of a genuinely higher unemployment rate.

Take food stamps. Even given the program’s aggressive recruitment efforts and overly lax qualification requirements, it’s hard to square the idea that the unemployment rate dropped from 9 percent to below 6 percent in the 36 months ending in September, while food stamp enrollment remained between 46 million and 48 million during that entire time.

Now let’s look at income. The Census Bureau alums at Sentier Research estimate that real median household income is still 5 percent below where it was before the Great Recession officially began, and that it has barely budged in the past year. An economy which really has an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent would be showing far more signs of upward pressure on wages. Those questioning the unemployment rate surely should include administration apologists who believe that “full employment” has somehow become 5.5 percent instead of the 4.0-4.5 percent commonly accepted a decade ago.

Sadly, the BLS’s credibility is quickly becoming yet another casualty of the President’s self-described “most transparent administration” ever. We’re all poorer because of it — figuratively and literally.


NewsBusted (121214)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 6:20 am

Here we go:

– Afghanistan Casualties
– Brian Williams/NBC Nightly News
– Strip Club Christmas
– Michelle Obama
– Hillary Clinton Drinking?
– Hillary Clinton Speaking Fees
– Missing Brains
– New Super-Ferrari

Best Lines: “The U.N. reports that 8,000 civilians have been killed or injured this year in Afghanistan — which means Afghanistan has now become almost as dangerous as Chicago.”


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121214)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Palestinian nuns among newly advanced causes for sainthood

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Dec 11, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Saturday approved the advancement in the causes for sainthood of eight men and women, including two Palestinian nuns and an 20th century Italian wife and mother.

The Holy Father authorized the promulgation of the decrees for three Blesseds and five Servants of God during a Dec. 6 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato.

The promulgation declared miracles attributable to the three Blesseds, paving the way for their canonizations. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 11, 2014

Gruber Called a ‘Household Name’ in an LA Times Editorial, While the Paper Had No News Stories

Tuesday afternoon, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters observed that the Big Three networks “Appear Finished With Gruber Coverage,” and that their Tuesday morning shows had no coverage of the de facto Obamacare architect and his congressional appearance.

One factor likely influencing the nets’ posture is how original news sources like the Associated Press and the nation’s largest dailies have managed to shield their readers from almost anything relating to Gruber for weeks. One particularly comical example of that has been the Los Angeles Times.



I’m Calling BS on November’s Retail Sales …

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:37 pm

… until someone explains this:


Start with October (green boxes), where 2014 unadjusted sales were 4.85% greater than October 2013, and seasonally adjusted sales were up by 4.51%. Those percentages are comparable, and within reason.

Now look at November, where 2014 unadjusted sales were 3.36% greater than November 2013, while seasonally adjusted sales were up by 5.13%.  Those percentages are NOT comparable, and do not seem to be within reason.

It looks to me like the seasonally adjusted numbers are overstated.