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Mid-Morning Art Thread | Main | Now They Tell Us: Joe Biden Has Frequent Angry Outbursts, Humiliates Staff
July 10, 2023

THE MORNING RANT: Checking Out the Business Pages

For this morning’s Rant, let’s take a look at some of the interesting stories going on in the Business section of whatever constitutes “the paper” these days.

*****

The Labor Department’s Fraudulent Jobs Report

Did you hear about the June jobs report? The 209,000 new jobs was a little shy of the 225,000 expected new jobs, but it’s still good news, right, especially regarding unemployment?

June Jobs Report: 209,000 Jobs Added as Unemployment Falls to 3.6% [USA Today – 7/07/2023]

Hiring slowed but remained sturdy in June as U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs despite inflation, high interest rates and nagging recession fears. Still, that's the weakest showing since employers shed jobs in December 2020. The unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.6%, the Labor Department said Friday.

The only problem is that those numbers released by the Labor Department are intentionally fraudulent. There is a 100% chance that they are going to be revised downward in upcoming months. In fact, included with the June jobs report was another huge negative revision to recent months’ employment figures.

Payroll gains for April and May were revised down by a total of 110,000, depicting somewhat weaker hiring in the spring than believed.

The negative revision to April alone was 77,000 jobs. Let’s take a look at headlines from two months ago when April’s jobs report was released:

April Hiring Gains Reflect a Still-Resilient US Job Market [AP – 5/05/2023]

America’s employers added a healthy 253,000 jobs in April, evidence of a labor market that still shows surprising resilience…

With April’s jobs report retroactively adjusted down to 176,000 jobs, that “resilient” jobs report was overstated by 30%! At the Department of Labor, publishing disinformation isn’t a problem, it’s policy.

Your government is lying to you. You know they’re lying to you. They know that you know they’re lying to you. Yet they continue to lie. And the credulous, obedient media continues to publish each new lie as if it’s the truth.

*****

The Labor Department’s Fraudulent Inflation Report

Speaking of statistical fabrications from the Department of Labor, it continues to release inflation figures that are comically understated. John Williams’ website (www.shadowstats.com) monitors flaws in government economic reporting and data. The chart below shows official inflation as reported by the US government (red line) versus inflation if calculated the same way it was calculated in 1980 (blue line.) The Department of Labor is reporting 4% inflation, when in actuality it exceeds 10%.

Shadowstats Inflation - 2023.JPG


Because consumers live in the real world – not in the world of dishonest bureaucrats who produce falsified statistics – those consumers are having to tap into retirement savings at record levels.

It’s ‘More Expensive to Live,’ and Workers Are Tapping 401ks for Help [NY Times – 5/27/2023]

More Americans are raiding their retirement accounts as the cost of living climbs, and experts predict that the number of workers drawing on their 401(k)s to pay for financial emergencies may increase due to a confluence of factors, like new provisions that make withdrawals easier and high inflation that is straining household budgets.

Paying rent and buying food should not be “financial emergencies” that “strain household budgets.” There are so many more households that are struggling now than there were during the Trump administration, but a lot of people (including “polite Republicans”) determined that it was preferable to destroy the economy if that’s what it took to replace the mean tweeter in the White House with a “respectable” person like Joe Biden.

*****

Has “Conservative” NeverTrump Media Lost Its Left-Wing Funding Source?

Speaking of “polite Republicans,” the NeverTrump, faux-conservative media may be losing its sugar daddy.

Has Anyone Seen Pierre Omidyar? [The Puck – 6/20/2023]


Omidyar, who is primarily holed up these days in New Zealand, has recently been sending word to the network of organizations that depend on his support that he is planning to scale back his political and philanthropic giving, perhaps dramatically.

Without their largesse, these nonprofit and for-profit companies, each of which have received hundreds of millions of dollars from the Omidyars over the last decade or two, will possibly be forced to scramble to find alternate funding to remain operational. “The folks I have heard from in several of the orgs are worried, some freaked,” said one person close with leaders at multiple Omidyar groups.

Are any of these worried and freaked folks former writers from The Weekly Standard and National Review, who received funding from Omidyar for their upstart NeverTrump webzines?

The fallout could be a major storyline over the next year.

The whole journalistic gimmick of “conservatives who, with a heavy heart, have no choice but to advocate for the election of left-wing Democrats” has a short shelf life. After more than one election cycle it became pretty clear that they were not “principled conservatives” at all. Instead, they were revealed to be either politically flexible grifters, or partisans operating under a false political flag for the purpose of electing Democrats. Neither was a good look, but since these charlatans are now exposed and no longer have any political influence, why would Omidyar waste any more money on them?

Omidyar is apparently inviting his benefactors to “collaborate” with new funders.

Describing the pivot as “a necessary step in our evolution,” the statement went on to say that “collaboration can take many forms” and that some Omidyar teams will indeed need to partner with new funders to continue their work.

Greenwald - Kristol - Omidyar.JPG


NeverTrumpers became NeverRepublicans and now they may be getting cut off from their left-wing sugar daddy. Is that a “blessing of liberty?”

*****

Disney is Taking a $1.5 Billion Impaired Asset Write-Off

Disney isn't my normal beat, but after all of Ace’s posts about Disney’s failed investments and its succession of box office busts, I started to wonder just how Disney's accounting firm hasn't found the need yet to impose an impairment charge for all the assets that have imploded.

Meanwhile, I just did a search, and sure enough, Disney just took a $1.5 billion impairment charge after pulling so much content from streaming services.

Disney to Take $1.5 Billion Content Write-Off Charge in June Quarter After Pulling Dozens of Titles From Streaming Services [Yahoo – 6/02/2023]

In an SEC filing Friday, the company said that on May 26, 2023, it removed “certain produced content” from its direct-to-consumer streaming services. As a result, Disney will record a $1.5 billion impairment charge in its fiscal third quarter financial statements “to adjust the carrying value of these content assets to fair value.”

Based on everything Ace has been writing about the Mouse House, it sounds like this may be the first of many, much larger impairment charges. I am very eager to read Disney’s next 10-K.

*****

Levi’s Posts a Loss as Sales Plunge

Levi’s has been extremely woke for a while, but when it forced out Brand President Jennifer Sey for voicing opposition to school closures during Covid, she embarked on a new career battling woke capital. The woman who could have been Levi’s CEO, if she had stayed faithful to the woke agenda, has made Levi’s her favorite target, and she is getting a lot of attention in non-legacy media.

Levis Unbuttoned.JPG

Her message seems to be getting through. American consumers are starting to reject Levi’s in large enough numbers to hurt the company.

Levi Strauss Swings to 2Q Loss, Americas Sales Drop 22% [MarketWatch – 7/03/2023]

Levi Strauss on Thursday reported a swing to a loss in the latest quarter amid a major drop in sales in the Americas region and wholesale revenue.

The San Francisco-based jeans maker posted a net loss for the fiscal second quarter ended May 28 of $2 million, or 0 cents a share, compared with a profit of $50 million, or 12 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier.

Sales were down globally, but most especially at home in America.

Levi Strauss reported a 22% drop in sales in its core market, the Americas region…

We consumers have always had the power to punish corporations for their left-wing political activism, but we now have the motivation and communication to make it happen. Levi’s is joining Gillette (P&G), Anheuser Busch, and Target in learning the lesson that going woke can lead to a meaningful loss in revenue.

*****

Petroleum Pronouns

There has been a lot of discussion on conservative blogs about the bill that just passed the Michigan House of representatives making it a felony not to use a person’s preferred pronouns, because that could be considered threatening.

The US Oil & Gas Association had a response. Not using its preferred pronouns of “Petro / Masculine” in Michigan will be considered threatening, warranting punishment from the state. Heh.

Petroleum Pronouns.JPG

More of this please. It is necessary for conservatives to see that not all of corporate America has allied with the woke left.

Seriously, corporate America will never dissuade the left of its ultimate communist goals, so it cannot afford to also lose traditional conservatives by seeking favor with the left and becoming enforcers of their agenda. Good on the US Oil & Gas Association for boldly mocking the woke left and its agenda.

*****

The Enemy of My Enemy is My (Situational) Ally

The cartel of too-big-to-fail banks has become obedient enforcers of the WEF’s anti-freedom agenda. They’ve embraced the fascistic role of enforcing a woke political agenda, while continuing to remain private. They use their capital as a political weapon against small businesses and wrong-thinking consumers. And of course, their executives enjoy the rich compensation that comes with an operation engaged in public risk / private gain.

Those Wall Street titans and giant banks are a threat to free market capitalism. If we freedom-lovers on the right must make a temporary alliance with the far left to battle the financial oligopoly, I’m on board.

The New Power Couple Taking on Wall Street: J.D. Vance and Elizabeth Warren [Politico – 7/06/2023]

He’s taking a lead role in advancing bipartisan proposals that would penalize bank executives when their companies fail, make it harder for giant lenders to get bigger by acquiring other banks and rein in credit card fees. Along the way, he’s had some success in recruiting fellow Republicans to the cause — creating fresh headaches for big bank lobbyists, who are gearing up to fight the Vance-backed policies.

It is neither “free market” nor is it “capitalism” when executives loot their companies for 10-figure compensation, and then have taxpayers clean up the mess when their institutions fail.

“The executives responsible for running their banks into the ground are sitting on millions of dollars in compensation and bonuses,” Vance said at the time. “Meanwhile, the American people are bearing the financial burden for their excessive risk-taking and gross mismanagement.”

The Republican establishment hates J.D. Vance because he believes in using government to break up cartels. Instead, they’d rather have a confederation of de facto government entities empowered to act as agents of the state, and able to enforce unconstitutional infringements on liberty such as de-banking and denial of capital.

“There’s a broad attempt to rethink the way that Republicans govern, and Vance is clearly a leader of that,” said Matt Stoller, a progressive who serves as director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project. “He wants to rebuild the banking industry to bring it closer to Ohio, closer to local communities — and then kind of rebuild a more decentralized banking system.”

Decentralized banking would be a breath of fresh air right now.

[buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com]

digg this
posted by Buck Throckmorton at 11:00 AM

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