F.A.S.T.: Good News! The Record Low Labor Participation Rate Is Not Bad News.

Facts Are Stupid Things — November 8, 2015

LaborForce Graphic

With the great news that real wages are finally actually climbing as unemployment sank to 5% with 271,000 new jobs created in October, almost all exclusively in the private sector, the right wing is absolutely up in arms about the truly “bad” economic news: The labor participation rate is at an all time low!

Google it.  You will find nothing but right wing media obsessing over the number.  James Woods actually flipped out over it to the delight of the minions.

The implication here, is that despite all the hocus-pocus involved in faking nearly 9 million new jobs (almost all in the private sector) and the lowest unemployment in a generation, the truth is the Obama economy is a failure because “everyone” has actually given up on finding a job.

A big problem with that theory is it would only be true if the labor participation rate was exclusively a metric of those who have given up looking for work.  It is not.

In short, other than “other,” those who gave up on finding a job make up the smallest category of those not participating in the labor force.  Heading the pack are retirees,  followed closely by the disabled, then students and then people working in the home.

Maybe the headlines should read:
Retired Baby Boomers Relaxing on the Beach Are Not Participating in the Labor Force in Droves.”
That would be more accurate

Here’s a WSJ blog post with two pretty graphics that help clarify.

What We Know About the 92 Million Americans Who Aren’t in the Labor Force

Bottom line, the “bad news”  Obama haters are determined to unearth  has again failed to materialize.

RGR: Don’t you hate it when Poppy Bush is right?


Ross Goldberg Report: November 05, 2015



I’m not a reader. but if I were, I might be interested in this book:


Here’s a quote in regard to his dislike for Dick Cheney, while acknowledging that “Dubya” did bear responsibility:

“I do worry about some of the rhetoric that was out there — some of it his, maybe, and some of it the people around him,” Mr. Bush told Mr. Meacham. “Hot rhetoric is pretty easy to get headlines, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the diplomatic problem.”

There’s a note for bloviating candidates and those who would support them.

Here’s the link to this whole article:

Elder Bush Says His Son Was Served Badly by Aides


Facts Are Stupid Things: Don’t You Hate It When Donald Trump Is Right?


While in no way endorsing the 70 something adolescent with arrested development, facts are facts. George W. Bush had been president for about nine full months when the United States suffered the first attack on it’s own soil since Pearl Harbor.  At the time, to deflect blame, I remember Bush used the analogy that he’d “only been here nine months. I mean a man barely get’s his coat on ….”  Yes. Go check my facts. That is more or less the exact quote. He drew an analogy between nine months as president of the United States and barely getting one’s coat on.  As I’ve said many a time before: any man needing nine months to put on a coat, clearly is not ready to be President of the United States.

Read this AP article.

What it says beneath the headline is that Trump pointed out an irrefutable fact. We were attacked on GW’s watch. There can be no debate on that simple truth.

Trump, Bush call each other ‘pathetic’ in 9/11 spat

And the article above does not even mention that Bush recieved a Presidential Daily Briefing on August 6, 2001 titled: “Bin Laden determined to strike within U.S.”  That is recalled by the NY Times here:

The Deafness Before the Storm

Now Jeb!, in trying to defend the family brand, is saying ‘wait a minute, my brother kept us safe.’  And whether you look back to his inability to heed the warning of August 6, 2001, or look straight ahead at Isis, which in part was born of US torture of prisoners of war, Jeb! has a big hill to climb in trying to back up that claim.

So facts are stupid things.  And in this case,  even I can’t fault Donald Trump for stating the obvious: George W. Bush  was president on September 11, 2001.

What Trump did not say, but what is also true is that G.W.Bush had nine full months to get his coat on.

Annoy The Media: Deficit Down, Unemployment Filings Down. News Coverage Of Both? DOWN, DOWN, DOWN

Annoy The Media  — October 9 2015

SeeNoEvilTalk about glass half full…

In a story I had to read primarily from foreign news sources, one of the best kept secrets the last few days is another massive drop in the annual budget deficit under Barack Obama.

Even more hilarious is that at least one news outlet that did cover this story — Bloomberg — chose to put in the headline that the deficit is “higher” …than expected, without telling the casual reader that the deficit is actually LOWER than it was last year, as one who reads their story would find out.

Add to that another drop in people filing for unemployment and the argument can be made that intentional or not, the media does not want you to focus too much on economic news that does not fit the anti-government narrative.

Read for yourself:
U.S. 2015 Budget Deficit Higher Than Previous Estimate, CBO Says

Congressional Budget Office: US budget deficit drops to $435 billion

Filings for US jobless aid fell to 263K last week, few signs of layoffs despite slower hiring

F&%$ Liberal Media!!!!

Annoy The Media – NY Times Misleads/WAPO Fails To Explain

Annoy The Media. Think For Yourself.  September 27, 2015

Two stories I read today bugged me because in the classic journalistic sense, both buried the lead.

Story #1:  NY Times Headline: Thousands Enter Syria To Assist Militants in ISIS.
Sub headline: Nearly 30,000 since 2011.

Online, it appears this way:

Thousands Enter Syria to Join ISIS Despite Global Efforts

So immediately we are all to think the situation is worse than ever, that is until we start reading and find that this huge number is a bit larger than previous estimates and is cumulative.  It’s not like 30,000 have joined SINCE the efforts to stop them have begun.  More importantly, buried way deep in the story is the following information:

“ISIS no longer has the momentum in its core territory of Syria and Iraq,” said Peter Neumann, director of the center and a professor of security studies at King’s College. “It’s no longer the ever-expanding jihadist utopia that it seemed to be.”

So while the headline screams “deteriorating calamity,” what we actually learn is that ISIS’s expansion has been halted and as we learn elsewhere in the article there is a growing trend of defection and people speaking out against the ISIS Utopian myth.

This is a classic case where the media wants you to read a headline and panic even though the very delivery system of this particular freak out contains all the information you need to take a deep breath and understand all is not lost.  Yet.


Story #2 Washington Post Headline that reads:

Donald Trump says the media underestimates his crowds — and him

This one is worth citing because while it’s headline suggests Trump is being wronged by the media, it covers him at a state fair in Oklahoma City where the crowd clearly loves him.  That’s pretty good coverage in my eyes.

Here’s the issue with this story: it never bothers to point out to the reader that there’s no explanation for Trump being in Oklahoma, other than his mission to go anywhere he can find a friendly crowd.  That’s not a presidential candidate. It’s an Off Broadway show.

The first contest for the nomination is Iowa. The first actual vote, in New Hampshire. Then comes South Carolina. Oklahoma doesn’t come into play until March, on a day when (as of now) 14 States, including delegate rich Texas will vote. So why is Donald Trump, the Manhattan Billionaire, hauling his 747 to the heartland at the end of September 2015?  My guess is that is where he was able to find a crowd.

And the net-worth of that crowd?  That’s what I’d like to see the media figure out, both with and without Trump in attendance.