Motor vehicle sales rose 1.2% in June to a 17.0 million annual rate. That’s the strongest rate since July 2006.
ICSC-Goldman reports retail sales rose 1.0%, while the rear-over-year rate rose to 4.6% in the latest week. Conversely, Redbook says year-over-year retail sales growth fell to 3.1% in the latest week.
The Markit PMI manufacturing index rose 0.3 points to 57.3 in June.
The ISM Manufacturing index fell 0.1 point to 55.3 in June.
Construction Spending rose a less-than-expected 0.1% in May. Spending rose 6.6% on a year-ago basis.
The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose 0.5 points to 52.7 in June.
The Gallup Economic Confidence Index fell -1 point to -15 in June.
The MBA reports that mortgage application fell 0.2% in the latest week, with purchases down -1.0%, but re-fis up 0.1%.
The ADP national employment report estimates that a strong increase of 281,000 private payroll jobs were created in June.
Gallup’s Job Creation Index is unchanged at 27 in June.
Gallup’s Payroll to Population employment rate rose 0.5% to 45.0% in June.
Factory orders fell 0.5% in May, but nondefense orders rose 0.2%. A 0.7% rise in nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft is a positive.
More outrage smoke from Ezekiel Emanuel on the Supreme Court women’s contraception ruling over at Politico lamenting unintended consequences.
Someone should lament the unintended consequences of the ACA, assuming they are unintended.
Blah blah, no personal choice, your company’s religious belief trumps yours, what a crime that companies have provided the majority of American’s health insurance since World War II when we could have had a super good program like ObamaCare is offering right now. Don’t you just wish those evil Supreme Court justices had gone the way of progressive liberal goodness and niceness and made up law like Justice Roberts did when he magiced a penalty, unlawful, into a tax, lawful, instead of reading this new rule to see if it clashed with laws already on the books?
The ACA was crated to, uh, prevent you from being locked into your job you see. Odd, I personally changed jobs, as a father of a family, which HAD pre-existing conditions, of a serious nature, some 9 times over the course of the last 35 years BEFORE the ACA, and oddly must have missed the handcuffs that kept me locked in my job(s). The ACA is a cure all, it will prevent job lock, it will raise wages AND it will keep health care inflation under control. Yeah, course it will. It would have helped win the War on women, but not now because Sharia law!
Here’s a snip….
‘To minimize disruption and reassure most Americans, the Affordable Care Act kept employer-sponsored health insurance intact. The ACA includes an employer mandate enforced by a $2,000 per worker penalty: Employers with more than 50 full-time workers who do not provide insurance that satisfies a minimum requirement must pay.
The minimum requirement includes preventive services from vaccinations to cancer screening tests to cholesterol screening. It also includes contraception. The Hobby Lobby case basically says employers need not cover contraception in the health insurance it provides” (my emphasis)
So well crafted was this law, that women’s contraceptive health coverage wasn’t even included in it. That would be the rule that the evil religious folks NOW can use to control women’s uterus’s! I mean that would be the rule that means the evil religious folks have to pay for birth control.
The ACA passed into law on March 23, 2010 – there was NO provision in the original law for birth control – here’s a FAQ from the National Women’s Law Center web site that explains it was added on August 1, 2011. Added, not voted on, not sent to the House, Senate, President. Just added.
“The health care law (the Affordable Care Act) requires certain preventive health services and screenings to be covered in all new health insurance plans without cost sharing. This means that, for the preventive health care services included, you will not be charged a co-payment for the services, and the costs of the services will not be applied to your deductible. The list of covered preventive services is extensive and includes services such as mammograms, pap-smears, and smoking cessation supports….(I snipped a link ‘for more info)
On August 1, 2011, the list was expanded to include birth control alongside other women’s preventive services, such as an annual well-woman visit.”
Maybe Nancy Pelosi should have read it first to see if that was in there. Or maybe it was, we just couldn’t see it, yet.
That was, not so soon, taken care of by Kathleen Sebelius and the good folks down at US Department of Health and Human Service, a year later. Really, you’d have thought they’d have done it sooner, but maybe they finally read the ACA.
Free contraception for women. They couldn’t possibly have left that out, that would be like a war on women or something, and not a Bush or Republican in sight to take the blame! It’s important, right? It couldn’t have been overlooked. It’s important enough that the government just tried to use it to tell people with objecting religious convictions (dirrrrrrrrty Christians) ….they were going to have to provide contraception coverage.
And now because of the Jihadi Sharia loving 5 maniacs on the Supreme Court, women can’t have contraception, or contraception of their choice, or health care, or something!!!!!!!!
Well, not quite, in this case, specifically, the government mandated Hobby Lobby had to pay for methods they considered to be tantamount to ”abortion’ coverage. Hobby Lobby actually agreed to cover some other forms of contraception, a pretty fair number, in fact, 16.
Robin Abcarian at the LA Times weighed in on the decision too. According to Robin the Supremes should have looked at what the drugs and devices did and made their decision on that basis. So long as when it was done the 5 male Justices that didn’t know for sure what 1 male and 3 female Justices didn’t know for sure, that is, when life begins, listened only to the 3 females because, uh, they have a uterus and ovaries.
Seems to me they probably did consider what those drugs and devices did as it really figures in their determination it was in fact a religious argument, or an argument of ‘faith’ if you will.
Here’s a summary from The Atlantic of what Hobby Lobby is thinking… and that’s where the argument gets religious for them. Hobby Lobby views life as beginning at the point the egg is fertilized by the sperm. The counter argument, and the Atlantic linked an authority appeal of ‘Most Doctors’ which turns out to be the Federal Government and a reference to the American Congress of OBGYNs, is that it begins at implantation (and we all know from Roe v. Wade that what implants is a puppy, or goldfish, or protoblob, until 9 months later a miracle occurs and a human is born.) The Atlantic summary is okay, but to me they torpedo themselves right around the straights of IUD diagram because they rely on their experts to make a decision of faith for Hobby Lobby, and decide that Hobby Lobby’s faith is politely, crap.
Once again, note if the egg hasn’t implanted (yet), the now hysterical side of the argument has decided it’s not a pregnancy. The IUDs prevent implantation and the pills in question prevent fertilization rather than stopping ovulation. And that’s where faith/belief comes in because we didn’t get the instruction book from the Deity of your choice. If you don’t have a deity, I’m not sure what you’re going to decide, but at some point LIFE begins and the two sides do NOT agree definitively when that is.
The 5 mad male Mullah’s on the Supreme Court decided to err on the side of Hobby Lobby’s beliefs. Owing to the Religious Freedom Restoration act. A law, already, on, the, books. Which the new ‘rule’ seemed to contradict in the 4 instances specified.
More from Zeke:
“The closely held corporation limit is no limit at all. It turns out that more than half of U.S. employees work for closely held corporations. While many are small, many, like Hobby Lobby, are large. And it gives an incentive for more employers to become closely held corporations.”
It doesn’t stop contraceptives from being covered, it’s probably not going to lead to a massive rush by companies to drop contraceptive coverage, it’s not some fundamentalist plot to control women and (re)gain control over their reproductive systems.
It was a loss for the progressives though, because they made such a freaking big deal out of making sure the crazy faith holders at Hobby Lobby did as they were damn well told. Hence the lamentations of their…uh, various genders.
As a final note, I can’t help thinking it is interesting to note that while 4 methods of “contraception” are no longer available to female Hobby Lobby employees, no one of these outraged folks is particularly concerned that the Democrats left such an important item out of the original encyclopedic bill or that an Executive branch agency came along and created an entire entitlement completely out of whole cloth a year after “the law” was passed.
You’d almost think they had some plan to make sure they were going to remain permanently in control of those agencies, otherwise that sort of thing would be dangerous if the crazy faith holders ever got back into power and turned the tables on them.
As the crisis at our southern border continues to stagger on, a recent IBD/TIPP poll found that a majority of Americans hold President Obama and his administration responsible for the problem:
The public largely blames President Obama for the flood of children who have poured over the border in recent weeks, creating a growing humanitarian crisis, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll released Monday.
The poll found that 59% of those closely following the immigration crisis agree that “current administration policies and lack of focus on securing the border” are behind the human tide of illegal crossings. Six in 10 say that the children should be ordered to leave the country. (The survey found that 73% of Americans are following this story closely.)
The responsibility for the border crisis is one Obama can’t duck or deny – it is a crisis of his own making. His refusal to enforce the laws of the land and his permissive policies and rhetoric all but invited this to happen. Now that it has, he’s “frustrated” with Congress – his personal candidate for being tossed under the blame bus, and is asking for 2 billion in emergency funds to address the crisis he created. As you can see, most Americans aren’t buying the White House spin.
He doesn’t get a pass on Iraq either. Per the poll, 56% believe his decision to withdraw troops in 2011 had a direct bearing on the crisis there today.
What’s more, 55% say that Obama wasn’t being honest when he claimed that Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was entirely responsible for the decision to bring the troops home.
Meanwhile, 55% say that the administration’s failure to contain the Syria conflict contributed to the rise of the militant forces in Iraq. Just 27% give Obama high marks for his handling of the Iraq situation.
Finally, the IRS scandal is considered anything but a “phony scandal” by the public:
The IBD/TIPP poll found that 65% believe that the lost IRS emails are an attempt by the administration to “hide evidence that the IRS deliberately targeted conservative groups” prior to the 2012 presidential election.
The lost emails are the latest twist in a more than year-long saga that erupted when an inspector general report detailed how the IRS held up Tea Party groups’ applications for tax-exempt status before the 2012 elections.
Obama dismissed the IRS scandal earlier this year, saying there was not “even a smidgen of corruption.” Congressional Democrats argue that the IRS wasn’t singling out right-wing groups.
Those defenses aren’t flying with most Americans who’ve been tracking this story. Among independents, 66% think the lost emails were an attempt to cover up wrongdoing. Even 36% of Democrats say it was a cover-up.
These are three very hot topics that Americans are following closely and a majority doesn’t believe the administration’s side of the story. As Mr. Obama’s favorite preacher would say, it appears as if the Obama chickens “are coming home to roost”.
While I agree there may be far reaching implications concerning this decision and that the right might not like how all that plays out, I have got to say I have sore ribs from laughing at the hateful, screechy display put on by so-called “progressives” concerning the decision.
The first bit of nonsense they toss around is they’re being “denied” some sort of right to an abortion. Of course, no one has denied them anything. Planned Parenthood is ready when they are. Abortificants are available to them through their doctor.
No the problem is they’ll have to pay for it, not someone else. They don’t get to impose their will on others that don’t believe like they do.
And, of course, that just won’t do. Especially when it comes to <sneer> “religious” people/companies. Next thing you know they’ll be demanding kosher butchers sell ham and the Amish deliver goods by truck.
It is time to stem this tide of BS the left has unleashed. This cobbled up “right” to whatever they want and the equal “right” to have someone else pay for it. The imposition of their will on others to benefit themselves.
Charles Murray explains in today’s Wall Street Journal that, in essence, what these people want is their brand of fascism imposed on all of your lesser beings and if they don’t get their way they’ll throw tantrum after tantrum:
But philosophically, the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century had roots in German philosophy ( Hegel and Nietzsche were big favorites) and German public administration ( Woodrow Wilson’s open reverence for Bismarck was typical among progressives). To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.
That’s not a description that Woodrow Wilson or the other leading progressive intellectuals would have argued with. They openly said it themselves.
It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mind-set that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America. Such thinking on the left also is behind the rationales for indulging President Obama in his anti-Constitutional use of executive power. If you want substantiation for what I’m saying, read Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 book “Liberal Fascism,” an erudite and closely argued exposition of American progressivism and its subsequent effects on liberalism. The title is all too accurate.
Indeed. Murray, however, distinguishes “progressive” from “liberal”, by claiming there is quite a degree of difference between the progressive left and the liberal left:
Here, I want to make a simple point about millions of people—like my liberal-minded dinner companions—who regularly vote Democratic and who are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Along with its intellectual legacy, the Progressive Era had a political legacy that corresponds to the liberalism of these millions of Democrats. They think that an activist federal government is a force for good, approve of the growing welfare state and hate the idea of publicly agreeing with a Republican about anything. But they also don’t like the idea of shouting down anyone who disagrees with them.
They gave money to the ACLU in 1978 when the organization’s absolutism on free speech led it to defend the right of neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Ill. They still believe that the individual should not be sacrificed to the collective and that people who achieve honest success should be celebrated for what they have built. I’m not happy that they like the idea of a “living Constitution”—one that can be subjected to interpretations according to changing times—but they still believe in the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the president’s duty to execute the laws faithfully.
I’m not quite sure I agree but if there is a separation between the two, there is one hell of a big, wide, fuzzy border between the two. Given the antics of the left these past few years and their frantic attempts to expand government control along with cultural change while the Democrats hold power causes me to still lump both contingencies into the same hateful mass. Afterall, as Murray points out, “liberal” is a term stolen from an era when it described a group who believed in small, non-intrusive government, the individual and his rights and capitalism. That hardly describes “liberals” today. In fact, at best I’d call them “progressive light”.
Anyway, something to munch on as we watch the left continue to throw their juvenile fits over a court ruling that went against them. Now if we can only hope that the court continues to chip away at the oppressive law passed by a Democratic Congress popularly derided as ObamaCare. With each chip and the subsequent acting out by the left, one can only hope that the more moderate in America will become less and less enchanted with their siren song.
For a few decades, Jimmy Carter has been thought of as the modern president with the very worst foreign policy. He’s also been considered the bottom of the heap of modern presidents as well. But James Kircheck makes the point that the one positive accomplishment in all of this is the Obama administration’s ability to elevate Jimmy Carter from worst to next to worst when it comes to both the presidency and foreign policy. An objective look at the foreign policies of both presidents shows some remarkable similarities, but there are also striking differences. The biggest is that upon examination, Carter’s foreign policy, while poor, wasn’t at all as inept and incompetent as the current president’s. When the Iranian hostage crisis and the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan took place, Carter at least had a plan and executed it:
By January, Carter announced a series of proposals directed at weakening America’s adversaries. First was a 5% increase in defense spending, a move that angered many of his Democratic allies in Congress who had taken to slashing the defense budget in the wake of the Vietnam War.
In his State of the Union address, Carter announced what would later come to be known as the Carter Doctrine: that the United States would use military force to protect its vital interests in the Persian Gulf.
Next came an embargo on grain and agricultural technology to the Soviet Union. Carter also declared that the United States would boycott the 1980 Moscow summer Olympics unless the Soviets withdrew their troops from Afghanistan. When they did not, he began covert funding of Afghan rebel fighters.
Conservatives like to credit Ronald Reagan with ending the Cold War. To the extent that the collapse of the Soviet Union was brought about by American policies and not the internal contradictions and weaknesses of the communist system itself (a debate that engages historians to this day), the last year of the Carter administration laid the groundwork.
Now you may disagree with what he did and how he did it, but at least he took action. On the other hand:
The correlations between the world situation in the twilight of the Carter administration and in the second Obama term are hard to ignore. Once again, Russia has invaded a neighbor. Only this time, that neighbor is on the European continent, and Moscow went so far as to annex — not merely attack — its territory. And once again the Middle East is in flames, with the prospect of another Islamist movement taking control over a state, this time in Iraq.
But rather than respond to the collapsing world order by supporting our allies and undermining our adversaries, the Obama administration dithers. It is an indication of just how worrisome the situation is that many in Washington are pining for the resolve and fortitude of Jimmy Carter.
For months, the beleaguered Ukrainians have requested the most basic of military aid. The administration sends Meals Ready to Eat. Even hard-hitting, “sectoral” sanctions aimed at the Russian economy are viewed as too provocative.
Last year, Obama declared a “red line” on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people. Assad’s deployment of such weapons, the world was told, would constitute the sort of breach of international law and norms requiring an American response.
When Assad did use such weapons, Washington allowed itself to be coopted into a farcical deal — proposed by that most altruistic of world leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin — that saw the purported removal of Assad’s chemical arsenal. The message from Washington to Assad: You can continue murdering your people en masse and destabilizing the entire Middle East, but just do so using conventional weapons.
When you analyze what this administration has done, or in may cases not done, you’re left scratching your head. At least what Carter did had some short term and long term plan. As pointed out, it laid the basis for future foreign policy (whether or not you agree with its direction).
But when you look at the Obama foreign policy (or lack thereof), it shows no direction, no leadership, no nothing. Add to that a feckless John Kerry preceded by an equally feckless Hillary Clinton and the US suffers on all fronts in the world arena. Where there was a discernible lack of respect that emerged due to Carter’s bungling at times, it was nowhere as deep or as widespread as the lack of respect in the world for Barack Obama. The two examples above typify both the emptiness and toothlessness of this administration’s attempts at foreign policy. The lack of leadership is telling. And again, Obama et. al. seem to think that symbolic acts serve the purpose and that talking equals action. For instance:
Few take America, least of all Secretary of State John Kerry, at its word anymore. Earlier this week, Kerry demanded that Russia urge separatists in Ukraine to disarm “within the next hours, literally.”
Or what? This empty threat followed months of similar reprimands from Washington.
Precisely right – or what!? Same in Syria, with Russia, Iran, well, you name it. Empty threats and hand-waving. Red lines drawn, erased and redrawn.
And, of course there’s the “blame Bush” side of their “foreign policy”:
Obama and his surrogates endlessly complain about the “disaster” they inherited from the Bush administration there, but the country was largely pacified by the time Obama entered the White House. Today, due largely to American absenteeism in the region, Islamist militants that make Al Qaeda look like a Rotary Club control a large chunk of the country.
There is no real reason we should be witnessing what we’re seeing in Iraq, had this administration not made the SOFA agreement conditions unacceptable. Its handling of that was “failure by design”. And now, well now the inevitable has happened hasn’t it? Our answer? “Buy jets from the Russians”, a move that will let them steal another step in the region.
Global instability is on the rise and faith in America’s stabilizing presence is on the decline, and all we have from Washington are empty, millennial-friendly buzz phrases. “Leading from behind” was how one, too-clever-by-half administration official termed Obama’s global strategy. Hitting “singles” and “doubles” is Obama’s own, jocular assessment of his foreign policy. And now, “Don’t do stupid s—” is the mantra being repeated throughout the halls of the White House and State Department.
“Don’t do anything at all” seems more apt a description of this administration’s approach.
I disagree slightly – the mantra being repeated through the halls of both the White House and State Department isn’t preceded by “don’t”. They’ve been doing “stupid s—” since day one and continue to do it on a daily basis. And there is absolutely nothing that seems to indicate that won’t be the case for the rest of Obama’s term. While the majority of the nation and the world are seeing the horrific downside produced by this inept and incompetent administration’s “foreign policy” and lack of leadership, there is at least one winner – Jimmy Carter.
This week, Michael, and Dale talk about the week’s events.
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Before this slips into the abyss of news ignored by the establishment media – One of the things we’ve talked about persistently in the past is the integrity of the voting system. If there is no integrity, if people believe the vote is manipulated or doesn’t reflect the true will of the people, they’re likely to not participate and certainly won’t trust any results from such a system.
We’ve talked about voter I.D. and how easy it is to get and how the left’s arguments amount to “much ado about nothing” when they try to claim it is an onerous requirement that disenfranchises the poor and minorities. Nonsense.
They’ve also tried to pretend there is no such thing as voter fraud as well. And, of course, we’ve pointed out any number of instances where there were people who committed voter fraud. Like double voting. Being registered in two different states and voting in each (one by going to the polls and one by absentee ballot). Again, the left claims that even if that does happen the numbers just aren’t that significant.
Some 6.9 million Americans are registered to vote in two or more states, according to a report obtained by Watchdog.org.
“Our nation’s voter rolls are a mess,” says Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the election-watch group True The Vote.
“Sensible approaches to roll maintenance are fought tooth and nail by radical special interests who can use the duplicity in the system to their advantage,” she said.
The latest interstate voter cross check tallied 6,951,484 overlapping voter registrations, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
The cross-check program involves only 28 states and does not include the three largest: California, Texas and Florida.
Like everything else government does, it’s managed to make an unholy mess of the voting system. No potential for fraud in those numbers is there? And, of course, even though the technology exists, it requires an outside organization to bring this to light, because apparently, like the IRS, the IT capability of government in this arena resides somewhere in the era of the 1980s.
How do you stop double voting with voter ID, when one is absentee? You require the voter to produce a copy of the voter ID and mail it with the ballot or the ballot is invalid. The voter ID, of course, will have the state of residence on it. That will stop all but the most hardcore double voters out there. Once you make them put a name and a pic, etc., with an official ballot, even if they have two IDs, you have evidence of willful fraud if they vote twice. Then you prosecute. Yeah, you have to enforce the law (something that seems to be beyond this administration’s abilities). But actually enforcing it as well as setting up a system that catches double registrations, etc. tied in with voter ID would actually give confidence to voters that the vote they cast did indeed have some significance and that the government actually was concerned with insuring the integrity of the system.
Which brings us back to the left who view moves such as this (even with many states already requiring voter ID for many past elections and doing just fine with it) as an attempt at disenfranchisement. As you consider the merits of the two arguments you realize that the argument against voter ID has very little “merit”. In fact, you could certainly conceive of a reason the left doesn’t want this to come about. Kind a reminds me of the joke that goes, “my grandfather voted Republican in every election until he died. Now he votes Democrat”.
Hopefully, when sanity and common sense prevail, we’ll see a voting system that you can rely on to be reflective of the real will of the people, not the manipulated nonsense the left prefers.
Personal income rose 0.4% in May, while personal spending rose 0.2%. The May PCE Price index rose 0.2% at both the headline and core level. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE Price index is up and up 1.5% less food and energy.
The Kansas City Fed manufacturing index fell from 10 in May to 6 in June.
Weekly initial jobless claims fell 2,000 to 312,000. The 4-week average rose 3,000 to 314,250. Continuing claims rose 12,000 to 2.571 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is unchanged at 37.1 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.368 trillion. Total reserve bank credit rose by $9.7 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply rose $4.3 billion in the latest week.