Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Ken Berwitz

Did someone cook the unemployment numbers, to help Barack Obama win re-election last year? 

I am going to post just a bit of New York Post Reporter John Crudele's remarkable investigative report for you below  But you absolutely must read the entire piece to appreciate what may have happened last year, and the effect it had on the presidential - and other - elections.

Here is your taste:

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply - raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline - from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September - might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said.

Interested in reading more?  I certainly hope so.  Please, please use the link I've provided above and read every word.  Then think about what suddenly-good-looking employment numbers right at the end of a political campaign would do for the incumbent President and the congresspeople - senate and house both - who were in competitive races.

Let me finish by putting up an excerpt from a blog I wrote October 10th, 2012, in which I reacted to a New York Times editorial gloating over these unemployment figures:.

Last week, the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate had fallen to 7.8 percent, depriving Mitt Romney of his standard talking point that the rate had never been below 8 percent during Mr. Obama's term. No one expected Republicans to celebrate a positive trend for the country, but almost immediately the anchors on Fox News and the editors of right-wing Web sites saw something more sinister: a conspiracy, led by the Obama campaign, to manipulate the numbers to make the president look good a month before the election.

The charge was absurd. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which along with the Census Bureau conducts the underlying household survey, is run by career civil servants and is impervious to political pressure and manipulation, as all but the hypnotized in Washington understand.

Well, that settles that, doesn't it?  The unemployment rate suddenly, out of nowhere, based on nothing (unless you consider the anemic 114,000 jobs number - which, in and of itself, could not move unemployment in a positive direction at all, let alone .3%), dropped below 8% for the first time since Barack Obama took office.  But, of course, it is nothing but an amazing coincidence that this happened in the last month of a political campaign! 

And the "impervious to political pressure" BLS, as pointed out just days ago in this blog, includes at least two contributors to the Democrats and the Obama campaign.  Does that suggest "impervious to political pressure" to you? 

Please understand that I am not accusing the BLS of fudging the numbers.  I have no specific facts to back such an accusation up, and therefore don't know if it did or did not do so.  But I am damn sure accusing the New York Times of pretending that there is no way it could have done so.

As you can see, I did not have the goods to make specific accusations...but I was exceedingly suspicious that the data were not real.  Y'know?  I just might have been onto something.....

And how about that line from the Times that charging the numbers might be fudged was "absurd"?   Do you think its editorial board will put out a retrospective on that claim any time soon?

Here's a question I'd love The Times to do an editorial on - a real one:  "How can anyone believe a word that comes from this administration?".  Don't hold your breath waiting.


UPDATE:  The house oversight committee is already demanding an investigation - as they 100% should. 

Zeke ... ... No need to LIE about UE rate: . . . . . . IF you aren't working, and have not LOOKED for work in the past 4 weeks (after having knocked on every business' door and email address -- six times, even) -- well, then YOU are Not In the Labor Force --- you don't count as Unemployed. . . . . Must have LOOKED for work in the last month. . . . . . The number of adults Not In The Labor Force has risen Ten Million since Jan 2009. . . . . The LFPR (Labor Force Participation Rate) is at 63% -- record low in 30 years. . . . . (11/20/13)

free` Something that was left out of this blog, is the fact that the Obama administration moved the census operation from labor to the White House in 2009. (11/20/13)


Ken Berwitz

Today's "winner" is Arne Duncan who -god help our children - is the Obama Administration's Secretary of Education.

Here is his take on why there is so much opposition to the "Common Core" school standards:

"It's fascinating to me that some of the pushback [for Common Core] is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who, all of a sudden, their their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were, and that's pretty scary."

Let's look past the controversial nature of Common Core itself - and the fact that, if Duncan was quoted correctly, he would receive a failing grade from any competent middle school English teacher for his multiple bolluxing of singular and plural.    

Let's concentrate only on the racially charged nature of what he said:  i.e. that disapproval is, in part, because White mothers will now find out that their children, and the children's schools, are deficient. 

How's for a racially charged comment?   

Does Duncan assume that, based on their skin color, Black mothers evaluate the education their children are or are not getting differently than White mothers do?  It certainly looks that way, doesn't it?

But wait, there's more.  When his nasty stereotype generated immediate, intense outrage across the various social media, how did Duncan "apologize"?  By referring to it as "clumsy phrasing that I regret".  

What a heartfelt statement; dripping with sincerity, I'm sure.

So congratulations are in order, for Arne Duncan - whose combination of racial insensitivity and language deficiency cannot be beat (well, at least not today). 

Quote Of The Day honors are his.


Ken Berwitz

For countless voters, five years of the Obama administration's failures and general incompetence have been trumped by his personal favorability and trust that he is telling us the truth.

But, if the polls are any indication - and just about every one of them agrees - ObamaCare has obliterated both of those attributes, and left voters with reality;  a reality that is not very pretty.  

Let me show you just four examples:

-Quinnipiac poll:  from 45% aprove/49% disapprove in late September, to 39%/54% now;

-ABC/Washington Post poll:  from 48%/49% in mid-October, to 42%/55% now;

-Fox News:  from 45%/49% in early October, to 40%/55% now;

-CBS News (just out today):  from 46%/49% in mid-October to 37%/57% now.

Taking the average of these four polls, we find that in less than two months....which, not at all incidentally, covers the time voters have had to evaluate ObamaCare... President Obama's approval ratings have gone from 46% approve/49% disapprove - a disparity of -3% - to 40%/55% - a disparity of -15%. 

A one-month drop like that is huge.  And there is no guarantee that the bleeding has stopped either; the prospects are excellent that it will get even worse.

Why has this happened? 

It seems very clear that Mr. Obama, previously positive perceptions of him notwithstanding, is now seen as an out-and-out liar who sold us a bill of goods on health care (e.g. you can keep your policy, you can keep your doctor, the costs will drop by an average of $2,500 per family) whicht turned out to be a hot steamy load of what a bull produces after dinner.

And if this, in fact, is the reason, then it is entirely possible it is curtains for the Obama presidency.  Why?  Because loss of trust is an irrevocable condition; a genie which cannot be stuffed back in the lamp.

Voters may forgive a President for individual screw-ups.  Voters may smile and laugh at a President who they see as a likeable rogue (Bill Clinton is the poster boy for this phenomenon). 

But when someone they actually believe in turns out to be a liar?  Then they have been made fools of.  And that is something most people will neither forgive nor forget. 

Little wonder why Democrats - including a good many who were virtually dancing in the streets just last month when Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and a few other Republicans were publicly flogging ObamaCare - have not only stopped dancing, but are starting to sound suspiciously like Mr. Cruz and Mr. Lee. 

Which leaves Barack Obama and what is left of his ObamaCare supporters, twisting in the wind.  With more - and almost certainly worse -very likely to come.

Stay tuned.


Ken Berwitz

Did that title surprise you?  If so, I can understand why, given that Republicans neither wrote, nor voted for ObamaCare and have been nothing but on the outside for its entire three years of existence.

But the President of the United States said they are culpable, so I feel compelled to pass it along:

"One of the problems we've had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure.  We obviously are going to have to remarket and rebrand, and that will be challenging in this political environment."

Got that?  Republicans are at fault because they were against legislation they were given zero say in writing, zero say in implementing, and which they warned us for three years would be precisely the disaster it turned out to be.  

From Ed Morrissey's excellent analysis at

Obama seems unwilling or unable to come to grips with the scope of the disaster his administration has created.  Instead of blaming Capitol Hill Republicans for not clapping enthusiastically enough...a competent executive would start replacing the people responsible for the massive failures.  In my column for The Week, I wonder why Obama still hasn't sent heads rolling over the problem - and why we're supposed to have confidence that the people who couldn't succeed in three-plus years are the people to fix the problems over the next three weeks

What would this administration have done with Cassandra?  Sent her to Guantanamo?

We have three more years to (try to) survive the Obama onslaught.  I wonder if we can do it.


Ken Berwitz

Apropos of nothing political....

We just got a new bed and night tables - the first bedroom furniture we have bought in I don't know how many years (I think Roosevelt was just starting his second term -- Theodore, not Franklin D.).

Maybe they've been doing this for a long time and I just didn't know it, but - to our amazement and delight - the units have three electrical outlets built into the back...and a UBS outlet too, along with space to stuff the excess cordage from the clock, lamp, or whatever else you might have on your table.

Not only that, but there are also "night lights" on the bottom of each table (they are on legs, raised about 4 inches from the floor) which turn on and off via touch panels in the back of the units.

We bought these tables from a catalogue (after seeing other furniture in the series so we knew the color, finish, quality, etc, first-hand).  The seller did not tell us they had outlets and night lights...and probably did not know about them any more than we did.

What a great idea they are.  What a logical adjunct to night tables.  We're thrilled.

Ok, enough about bedroom furniture.  Back to politics, where there are strange bedfellows and most outlets remain unplugged......


Ken Berwitz

From the beleaguered friends we were just with, talking about their son and his family:

"We used to wish him a son who acted just like he did.  But we forgot that we would wind up babysitting his son"

And with that, I bid you a good night.


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