Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hypoc Risy Obama – Not Just His Middle Name

This is a series of posts to catalog the President’s hypocrisy.

An easy one: Pledging to fund his campaign with only public funding then abandoning the pledge as soon as it became less financially lucrative.

Earth Day Confidence

Earth Day seems to have passed without what had become a customary media blitz. Yes, it was mentioned, but the hype has definitely been toned down.

Could it be due to the economy? Tight finances drive consumers away from luxury “green” products. Without marketing dollars for these “green” products, media corporations, including the news media, are not going promote something without getting paid.

Or could it be the public opinion polls that indicate that the public is slowly being educated about man-made global warming? Earth Day used to be about picking up trash and planting trees, but about a decade ago recipients of global warming research grant money really made a big push into Earth Day. The newest opinion polls indicated that a growing plurality of Americans are realizing that climate is subject to natural changes and that the much promoted “90% confidence” of the IPCC  may just be part of a confidence game to secure more funding.

As George Will has accurately pointed out, global ice extent is well above the historic (30 year) median. At this writing, Artic ice extent is at a 7 year high, despite poorly researched articles in news media publications like the Washington  Post that predict increasing losses.

To be clear, (As the President likes to say), the Post article spoke about ice “volume” and the loss of “multi-year’ ice that is older than two years.

Is ice older than two years critically important to the Artic, or will the same reporters write an article next year about the critical loss of ice older than three years?

Let’s Be Honest

In his March 2, 2009 column E.J. Dionne, Jr. make an appeal to our better angels, calling for income redistribution,  noting that it’s “important for both sides to be honest about the numbers”. Mr. Dionne relied on Peter Orzag, President Obama’s budget director, to provide him with numbers for his column. Unfortunately, Mr. Dionne, assuming the best no doubt, did not check to see if Mr. Orzag’s presentation met Dionne’s standard of  “honesty” and he included a misleading, blatantly partisan claim in his column.

Mr. Orzag, and more prominently, President Obama, have been making the claim that the rich have not been paying their “fair share” of taxes. Mr. Dionne’s column quoted Mr. Orzag noting that the share of the top 1% earners income had doubled and to quote the column “Now, he said, was their time “to pitch in a bit more”.

“Now”? The implication seems to be that while the rich have been making all this money they haven’t been paying any more taxes. That is simply not not true. The share of the total income tax burden paid by the top 1% of earners has increased by 55% in the last 20 years to 2006. 2006 being the most recent year data has been released by the IRS.

Mr. Dionne fails to meet his own standards for honesty much less an economic or moral case for takings the fruits of one man’s labor and giving it to another.

“Right Brained” or Half-Wits? Numbers in the News Media

Except for some financial news outlets, the news media reported the January BLS job loss number without context . Most news consumers would find it helpful to put the 598,000 number in a more complete context when presented with job losses described as “the most since 1974”.

 In full context, the Bureau of Labor Statics reports that the economy was left with only 77,657,000 million jobs in December of 1974 after losing 602,000. Currently, we still have 134,580,000 as of the end of last month. Or the 1974 drop represented 0.78% compared to the current 0.44%. Or we would need to lose 1,043,000 jobs in a month to have a proportional loss.

Not coincidentally, 1974 was also during a period of extreme government interference with the economy. A complete historical context would better serve  news consumers.

Senator Conrad, (D)isgrace – North Dakota

Today, on a CNN program, Senator Conrad was interviewed about the Obama Stimulus Plan. The CNN host, to his credit, asked the Senator to reconcile his current support for a massive expenditure in some form, if not the exact bill currently in the House, with his past comments criticizing the Bush Administration for deficit spending.  The Senator’s response was a disgraceful mix of “this is different” and a junior staffer’s pathetically alliterative talking points.

The host also asked a challenging (for CNN) question as to whether the new stimulus plan would be handled in the manner as the TARP.  I do not think Senator Conrad was planning to have any of his actions or ideas challenge in the interview as he appeared almost flustered in his response citing the Senate’s incapacity for oversight.

Introduction

The purpose of this blog is to synthesize information about current events and provide insights not readily available from the  news media.