July 22, 2017

Columnist Ruben Navarrette Is Reluctant to Credit Trump For Border Crossings Plunge

Friday morning on Fox & Friends, Washington Post Writers Group columnist Ruben Navarrette, Jr. gave President Donald Trump only grudging and partial credit for the steep decline in illegal border crossings from Mexico into the U.S. so far this year. Navarrette’s “logic,” which went unchallenged by host Steve Doocy, ignored several policy-related Trump administration announcements which have had direct impact, and failed to recognize how the tone which has been set at the administration’s highest levels has had an impact on how the law is enforced on the ground.



Positivity: Proud Americans cheer on the US military on Panama Beach in Florida

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 12:33 pm



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072217)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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.

July 21, 2017

More Evidence That Bill Kristol Has Lost It

Filed under: Economy,Marvels,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:48 pm

Blind Trump hatred will do that.

Reacting Monday evening to a Made-in-America event at the White House, Kristol tweeted: “Maybe it’s just me, but I find something off-putting about turning the White House into an exhibition hall for American tchotchkes.”

A tchotchke is “an inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament.”

So Kristol expanded my vocab today. That’s where the gratitude ends.

Michelle Malkin’s excellent Wednesday column showed that Kristol believes that tchotchkes include:

  • The products of “A pioneer in the materials handling industry, Hytrol (which) employs 1,300 high-skilled workers and will rake in revenues of more than $200 million this year alone.”
  • Wisconsin’s Pierce Manufacturing, “produces the iconic aerial tillers, pumpers, tankers and rescue trucks driven by first responders across the country every day.”
  • Iowa-based RMA Armament’s founder Blake Waldrop, a former Marine and police officer,” who “was inspired to manufacture stronger body armor after losing a comrade in Iraq to an IED attack.”
  • Delaware’s ILC Dover, whose “trademark trifling bauble” is “The space suit worn by every U.S. astronaut since Project Apollo.”

Malkin’s conclusion:

to nastily deride the makers and job creators proudly showing off their wares in the nation’s capital at the invitation of our commander in chief takes a special level of anti-Trump lunacy and arrogance.

We expect this contempt for people who actually make and do things from the left, but Kristol has taken it to a whole new level.


Report: Murdochs Wanted Fox News to Be Never-Trump; Ailes Refused

Wednesday morning, Michael Wolff at The Hollywood Reporter, based on what conversations he claims to have had “on a regular basis” with recently deceased former Fox News Chairman and CEO, claimed that Rupert Murdoch, and especially his sons, “were agitated by Ailes’ regard” for presidential candidate Donald Trump. Wolff claims that the elder Murdoch “instructed Ailes to tilt to anyone but Trump … even Hillary.”



Stats of the Day: Michigan-Detroit vs. Ohio-Cleveland Unemployment (Update: Indiana Is at 3.0 Percent)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:42 am

Stats of the Day: Michigan-Detroit vs. Ohio-Cleveland Unemployment

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates, January 2011:

  • Michigan — 10.9 percent (absolute high was 14.9 percent in June 2009)
  • Metro Detroit — 12.1 percent (absolute high was 16.3 percent in June 2009)
  • Ohio — 9.2 percent (absolute high was 11.0 percent in January 2010)
  • Metro Cleveland — 7.6 percent (absolute high was 8.9 percent in June 2009)

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates, June 2017, as reported today:

  • Michigan — 3.8 percent
  • Metro Detroit — 3.8 percent
  • Ohio — 5.0 percent
  • Metro Cleveland — 5.9 percent
  • UPDATE: Indiana — 3.0 percent

During Governor John Kasich’s time in office thus far, Ohio’s unemployment rate has dropped by 4.2 points, but is now over a half-point above the national average of 4.4 percent.

Metro Cleveland has seen its unemployment rate drop by only 1.7 points since January 2011 to a rate which is now 1.5 points above the national average.

During Governor Rick Snyder’s time in office thus far, Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped by 7.1 points, and is now over a half-point below the national average.

Metro Detroit has seen its unemployment rate drop by 8.3 points since January 2011 to a rate which is now 0.6 points below the national average.

Ohio’s governor thought his record was so great that he ran for President. Meanwhile, Michigan’s governor has governed. Indiana’s former governor is now the nation’s Vice President.


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072117)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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: Former US head of Opus Dei dies at 71

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Jul 20, 2017 / 04:00 pm

Father Arne Panula, the former U.S. vicar of Opus Dei, passed away at his Washington, D.C. home on July 19, 2017 after a battle with cancer.

“Father Arne had the firm belief that anything is possible, the imagination to think big, and the drive and energy to make things happen,” said Father Thomas G. Bohlin, U.S. vicar of Opus Dei.

Born in Duluth, Fr. Panula graduated with a degree in English Literature from Harvard University in 1967, before studying theology in Rome. While there, he lived with St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of the personal prelature Opus Dei.

Fr. Panula completed his graduate studies in theology, and in 1973, became a priest. He served as chaplain of The Heights School in Washington, D.C. and later became the U.S. vicar of Opus Dei, a role he served from 1998-2002.

Starting in 2007, Fr. Panula became the director of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. The center includes a bookstore and chapel, offering Mass, adoration, confession and spiritual direction, and hosts talks from prolific Catholic speakers.

Under Fr. Panula, the center was expanded to include the Leonine Forum, which aims “to educate men and women early in their careers in the core tenets of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 20, 2017

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072017)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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: 97-year-old war veteran finally gets high school diploma

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

From South Philadelphia (video at link):

Sunday, July 16, 2017 08:18PM

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A very special celebration took place for a 97-year-old South Philadelphia man who received his high school diploma Sunday.

It’s been the dream of a lifetime for Charles Leuzzi, a decorated World War II veteran.

His family made it all possible.

Leuzzi was forced to leave high school his junior year to support his family, the 97-year-old was then drafted as a teen to fight in World War II.

Two purple hearts, four bronze star medals and generations of children and grandchildren later, the Philadelphia School District gave him his honorary diploma.

When asked how does it feel to finally get your diploma.

“This is good. I finally done it. I had to wait a long time for it, but I got it,” Leuzzi said.

His daughter, Beverly Pintarelli said, “It meant everything, especially when he saw all his friends. Just living to be 97 is a blessing. We’re happy we made him happy with a lifelong dream.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 19, 2017

AP, NY Times Are Conveniently AWOL As Women’s March, Black Lives Matter Praise 1970s Cop KIller

The Women’s March movement has received fawning and forgiving establishment press attention, particularly from the Associated Press and New York Times, since its first official event the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Now the movement appears to be (or at least should be) self-immolating for several reasons, most recently its unapologetic support for a 1970s convicted cop killer. That controversy has even pulled in the Black Lives Matter movement, which has also received consistent and undeserved favorable press treatment, also exposing BLM once again as consistently, violently radical. Now the AP and the Times are not covering either group’s direct association with this controversy.



Some Evidence That Real Wages Are (Finally) Rising; Related to Lower Illegal Immigration?

Filed under: Economy,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:22 am

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday morning:

Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 113.4 million full-time wage and salary workers were $859 in the second quarter of 2017 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 4.2 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.9 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.

The raw gain during this year’s first two quarters was 2.3 percent. The after-inflation gain was 1.7 percent (0.6 percent in the first, and 1.1 percent in the second).

The quarter-to-quarter data seems noisy and inconsistent, so we need to see more positive quarters. With that qualifier, that 1.7 percent, two-quarter pickup is the highest such result since the first quarter of 2009, when recession-related job losses at the lower end of the pay scale skewed the results upward.

If the first two quarters are replicated in the second two quarters, the resulting 3.4 percent gain in real pay would be the highest calendar-year result since 1998.

The pay raise “coincides” with reported sharp decreases in the number of illegal-immigrant border crossings — except that it hardly seems like a coincidence.


New ‘Breaking’ Obsession: Trump’s Health

Pausing briefly from the press’s never-ending Trump-Russia obsession, both Politico Magazine and USA Today decided earlier this week to focus on the state of President Donald Trump’s health. Nothing tangible appears to have prompted either report. USA Today absurdly issued a “breaking news” alert on the topic.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (071917)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 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: Would-be bride turns cancelled reception into feast for homeless

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Indianapolis:

Jul 18, 2017 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Many couples spend thousands of dollars on their dream wedding. But what happens when you have to call it all off?

Faced with the question that no bride or groom would ever want to answer, Sarah Cummins and Logan Araujo had to decide what to do with the $30,000 non-refundable wedding reception they were left with after calling off their wedding for undisclosed reasons.

“It was really devastating,” Cummins told the IndyStar. And besides getting some money back on the photographer, everything else seemed like sunk cost.

“I called everyone, canceled, apologized, cried, called vendors, cried some more and then I started feeling really sick about just throwing away all the food I ordered for the reception,” she said.

After checking with Araujo, Cummins decided to invite people from four local homeless shelters to enjoy a fancy dinner and reception at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. She hoped to fill the 170 spots they had reserved for guests.

“For me, it was an opportunity to let these people know they deserved to be at a place like this just as much as everyone else does,” Cummins said.

She even arranged bus transportation to the venue from the various shelters, and greeted the guests as they arrived. She almost didn’t go, thinking it might be too painful, but changed her mind after one of the homeless program directors said they couldn’t wait to meet her.

“Thank you for having us,” one of the guests, a homeless veteran, told Cummins as he arrived. “It means more than you know.”

Cummins’ mother, along with some of her would-be bridesmaids, were also in attendance. …

Go here for the rest of the story.