October 24, 2006

The Economy in Ohio’s 6th District, and How Ted Strickland’s Would-Be Successor Betrays the Truth

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:50 pm

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland currently “represents” Ohio’s 6th Congressional district. During the campaign, he has introduced a “Turnaound Ohio” plan with some supposedly nifty ideas for helping businesses and Ohio’s economy grow. Noble-sounding ideas.

But it’s fair to ask what Mr. Stricklands’ tenure as 6th District congressman has done for the economy of “his” District during that time.

The answer provided in this map showing county-by-county unemployment as of the end of September is — “not much” (original source is map released by Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services today as part of that agency’s September report; scroll to bottom to find “Color map of county unemployment rates,” which is a PDF):

SEOHunemployment

Here’s the rundown:

  • Every single county that is fully or partially located in “his” District has an unemployment rate higher than the national not-seasonally-adjusted average of 4.4%.
  • All but two counties in “his” district have unemployment rates higher than the state’s not-seasonally-adjusted average of 5.0%.
  • The two counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state are in “his” 6th District.

How bad is the economy in the 6th District Ted Strickland “represents”? It’s so bad that Charlie Wilson, Ted Strickland’s would-be Democratic successor, is bad-mouthing it, and strongly:

(Video in RealPlayer format can be downloaded here; e-mail me if you can send me a WMV or QuickTime compatible vid, or if you can find it on YouTube or GoogleVideo)

WilsonVidPic2 WilsonVidPic

Here is the incredible script of Charlie Wilson’s commercial repudiation of Ted Strickland’s 6th District economy (bolds are mine):

These tracks used to take products from Eastern Ohio all over the country. But now instead of a symbol of our strong economy, these tracks lead to half-empty factories.

I’m Charlie Wilson and I approve this message.

Because while we suffer, Washington is too busy with special interests to help us.

In Congress, I’ll oppose trade agreements that shift jobs overseas.

I’ll fight to raise the minimum wage and I’ll create new jobs to get us back on track.

Uh, Charlie:

  • Who has been the congressman of the redrawn 6th District for the past 4 years?
  • How many jobs did Ted Strickland bring into “his” district during those four years (or his old 6th District, for that matter, during the previous eight)?
  • Would you recommend that the rest of Ohio risk replicating Ted Strickland’s 6th District economy throughout the rest of the state?

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UPDATE: Why am I saying that the 6th is “his” district, and the district he “represents”? Tune in tomorrow.

UPDATE 2: I would hope that the campaign of Chuck Blasdel, who is opposing “Green Card” Charlie Wilson (who doesn’t even live in the district), asks 6th District voters why they should elect someone from the same party as Ted Strickland after the economic performance of the past four years.

Column of the Day: Dennis Prager Comes Out…. Against Patty Wetterling

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:24 pm

….. against MN-06 Congressional candidate Patty Wetterling’s unbelievably irresponsible lie in her TV ad:

A vote for Patty Wetterling can hurt children

I do not live in Minnesota.

Nor have I ever written a column about any congressional race.

But what Patty Wetterling, Democratic congressional candidate in Minnesota’s sixth district, just did is so wrong, so dishonest, so low even for the generally negative tone of political advertising, and so injurious to children, that I am breaking a lifelong silence on congressional races to beg Democrats and others in her district not to vote for her.

This is not motivated by partisanship; I would even prefer a candidate to the left of her. Vote for the Green candidate if there is one; write in someone to the left of her. But to vote for Patty Wetterling is to harm political discourse and compromise our society’s battle against child abuse.

Her recent television ad, referring to the Mark Foley scandal, states: “It shocks the conscience . . . congressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a congressman who used the Internet to molest children.”

Even the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, among America’s most left/liberal newspapers, which essentially endorses only Democrats, published an article under the headline, “Wetterling ad overstates facts: The TV spot by the Sixth District candidate is wrong in stating that members of Congress admitted to a coverup — none has.”

But that lie in the Patty Wetterling ad is actually the lesser of its sins. The greater sin, the unforgivable one, is its characterization that what former Republican Congressman Mark Foley did was “molest children.”

Foley not only did not molest any children, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, he did not even engage in consensual sex with any page over the age of consent. (There was a relationship with one adult male who had served as a page.)

So that is the second lie in the Patty Wetterling ad. No one was molested. And no child was involved at any time in any way.

That is what prompts this anger at Patty Wetterling more than her lies, which she continues to defend.

….. He never molested a child. First, he never touched any page(s), since you cannot sexually molest a person you don’t touch. It utterly cheapens the word “molest.”

Second, no “children” were involved.

To equate seductive e-mails to a 16-year-old — or even the more explicit instant messages with an 18-year-old (which no Republican knew about) — with “molesting children” — only undermines our efforts to fight the enormous, almost unparalleled, evil of child molestation.

Prager goes on to say that the fact that Wetterling’s child was abducted in 1989 and never found was and still is awful, but not an excuse for lying about Mark Foley.

Unless I get a better suggestion (which would be welcome) Wetterling, should she win and/or stay in politics, will hereafter be named Panderer Patty on this blog.

Three DeWine Must-See Vids at Atlas Shrugs

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:45 am

Pamela of Atlas Shrugs was at an “Election Dinner with DeWine” where incumbent Ohio Senator Mike DeWine informally answered some questions about his issue positions.

The three vids will not enamor him of all conservatives, but they clearly delineate (mostly by default, but it’s there) the stark differences between DeWine and Sherrod Brown.

If the vids don’t motivate you to consider your Senate vote (or lack thereof) carefully, you’ll be saying that strict-constructionist Supreme Court justices don’t matter, and that winning the War on Terror doesn’t matter. I don’t know how anyone can say that.

Perceptions of the Economy: Peaking Just in Time

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:33 am

Just in time for that little exercise in representative government coming up a couple weeks from now, the polling numbers from American Research Group (ARG) on perceptions about the economy are at the highest level I’ve seen in the year or so I have been reviewing them.

The improved perceptions about the economy aren’t rubbing off on George Bush’s overall rating (approve-disapprove is 36%-58%, slightly worse than last month’s 37%-56%), but Bush’s numbers on handling the economy have jumped quite a bit (approve-disapprove is 42%-53%, nine points better than last month’s 33%-61%). Not that 42% is anything to get thrilled about, but it’s the highest in the 12 months listed at the link, and 13 points higher than this year’s bottom in May.

But since Bush is not on the November ballot, I would suggest, as I did last month, that the following results are more important:

  • On the current national economy, the “Getting better” response has tripled in two months, with most of the gain coming from “Getting worse” –
ARGnatlEcon1022
  • On the economy a year from now, the “Better than today” is up in 3 months from flat on its back to virtually the same as “Worse than today” –
ARGNatlEcon1yr1022
  • Then there’s The Stupid Question (“Are we in a recession?”). Of course we’re not, but I’m coming to believe that this question, especially in the month before an election, is a proxy for a liberal v. conservative point of view. The results come pretty close, after allocating the undecideds and considering that some liberals would actually answer the question honestly, to matching the 34-61 split noted at this post (the getting better/getting worse household situation question, which is not shown, also diverged in what I see as a near-election partisan direction):
    ARGrecession1022
  • The detailed question about where the economy stands has turned positive in a big way — The three positive categories combined have more than doubled in the past three months:
    ARGnatlEconDtl1022
  • Finally, there has been a migration of 9 points towards the positive responses regarding current household situation in the past two months; now the positives outweigh the negatives by 3-1/2 to 1:
    ARGhshldEcon1022

Don’t forget that the monthly ARG polls on the non-presidential approval questions are of people in general, not registered voters or likely voters. I believe that non-voters generally tend to pay less attention to the news, especially news about the economy, and that the economic news they do hear and see is more likely to come from The 527 Media. This should mean that ARG’s results, since they include those non-voters, will typically reflect more economic pessimism than actual voters will have.

The improvements in perception noted make me believe that with certain exceptions (the whole state of Michigan and the southeastern part of Ohio come to mind), the economy has indeed been taken away as something to run against successfully. This news comes just in time for incumbents, and is especially good news for GOP congressional incumbents.

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UPDATE: To be clear, this is what ARG says:

Sample Size: 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of all adults age 18 and older living in telephone households in the continental United States.

Notice that there is no mention of voting status of the 1,100. The survey describes the answers to the president’s overall and economy approval questions as being of “registered voters in the survey,” meaning that there must be unregistered voters in the survey that were excluded from these two questions.

Fed Economist: Bubble, Schmubble

Published Real Estate Journal, an affiliate of the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch.com:

U.S. Home Prices May Fall, But Drops Will Be Mild
From The Wall Street Journal Online

U.S. housing prices may decline “a little” within the next year, but any such drop is likely to be mild and inconsistent with a bursting housing bubble, according to a paper written by a Federal Reserve economist.

Based on an analysis of housing futures and options and derivatives of housing-related company shares, “market participants expect home prices to decelerate sharply or actually decline a little within the next year,” wrote J. Benson Durham, an economist with the Fed’s monetary affairs division. However, the anticipated drop in prices “is mild compared to some estimates of the purported overvaluation of the housing market,” he added. The paper, dated September, was posted on the Fed’s Web site Thursday.

Rex Nutting of MarketWatch.com — call your office.

An Invisible Lawsuit Whose Outcome Will Affect Consumers

Filed under: Business Moves,Money Tip of the Day — Tom @ 8:02 am

From a subscription-only October 12 story at CardForum’s CardLine (para breaks added by me), this is no real surprise:

FAIR ISAAC SUES CREDIT AGENCIES ON VANTAGESCORE

Fair Isaac Corp. has sued the three national credit-reporting agencies on antitrust grounds over the VantageScore credit-scoring model they launched this year. Fair Isaac filed the suit yesterday in federal court in Minneapolis against TransUnion LLC, Equifax Inc., Experian Information Solutions, and their jointly owned unit VantageScore Solutions LLC. Fair Isaac, developer and owner of the widely used FICO score, is based in Minneapolis.

Fair Isaac alleges that the four firms are engaged in “unfair and anticompetitive practices that harm the FICO credit score brand and goodwill.” Fair Isaac CEO Tom Grudnowski said in a statement that the partnership between the “three powerhouse agencies unfairly threatens our ability to compete, and inhibits … innovation, choice and competition in the credit information marketplace.” Fair Isaac claims the three agencies have the power to set prices for both the FICO score and the VantageScore that they sell directly to lenders.

Equifax responded in a statement that VantageScore increases competition and provides more choice. Christopher A. Callero, Experian Americas CEO, told CardLine this week that VantageScore is being used or tested by over 600 clients.

The Money Tip of the Day is that if you’re waiting for the appearance of VantageScore, whose overhyped announcement I noted earlier this year, to occur any time soon in hopes that competition will lower costs, forget about it. If you need to know your credit score, find the best deal you can, either through the bureaus (Experian, Equifax, or Trans Union), or by working directly through Fair Isaac’s MyFICO.com site. A quick look at the three bureau sites indicates that Equifax is still leveraging the FICO score, while the other two, if they are even using FICO any more, are hiding it well.

Bottom Business Story of the Day

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Scams — Tom @ 7:57 am

(with apologies to Best of the Web’s usually-daily feature called “Bottom Stories of the Day)

At MarketWatch.com (link requires free registration):

“Errant e-mails northing more than another stock scam”

The Latest on the Chinese Free-Speech Suppression Front

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:52 am

From Xinhua, noted at China View (HT Interested-Participant):

….. a real name (blog) system will be an unavoidable choice if China wants to standardize and develop its blog industry, Huang Chengqing, ISC (Internet Society of China) secretary general, told Xinhua on Sunday.

Expect little objection from BizzyBlog Internet Wall of Shame members.

Expect little notice in the US media, even though this obvious dirty-trick plant (who has been exposed, if anyone would bother to notice; HT Ace) is considered a folk hero by some.

Positivity: UK Police Officer Saves Second Life in 6 Years

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

In Isle of Man, UK:

BRAVE POLICE OFFICER SAVES WOMAN FROM DROWNING A HERO cop risked her life diving into the sea to save a distressed woman.
October 23, 2006
Constable Faith Cooper leapt into the outer harbour at Castletown in a desperate bid to rescue the suicidal woman.

The 33-year-old said it was all in a day’s work, but her bravery has earned her a nomination for a commendation from Chief Constable Mike Culverhouse.

Deputy Chief Constable Mike Langdon said Faith had put her life at risk, but acted without fear for her personal safety.

Night had fallen when the call came in from a member of the public that a woman was threatening to throw herself in the harbour.

Faith was dispatched from Castletown police station, and found the distressed woman at the end of the breakwater.

‘She had already been in the water, and was on the steps into the harbour when I arrived,’ said Faith. ‘I was trying to talk to her, but she made it clear she was going to go back into the water.

‘She went back down the steps, so I ran down after her and followed her into the water.

‘She was struggling. I thought at one point she would pull me right under, but I managed to get her to the water’s edge.’

The man who had raised the alarm and Faith’s colleague Constable Adrian Brooks, who had arrived from Port Erin, helped lift the woman from the water. The woman was uninjured and able to receive the help she needed.

Modest Faith, who has been based in the south for three years, played down her heroics.

‘It is just part of my job,’ she said. ‘You don’t think twice about it.

‘I think it has to be part of the job, but it is also just human instinct as well. We are here to preserve life.

‘I am just glad I was in the area and close by. Also, if it hadn’t been for the gentleman who phoned it in, it may have turned out differently.’

It isn’t the first time Faith’s heroics have drawn accolades, she was commended after risking her life to rescue a woman from a house fire while working in South Wales, before she transferred here in 2000.

Mr Langdon said: ‘Without fear for her personal safety she entered the water at Castletown harbour to help a vulnerable female.

‘She had to go down a set of slimy steps, entered the sea and ended up struggling with this woman. She put her life at risk trying to restrain and rescue the woman, but managed to pull her out of the water, with the assistance of another police officer and a member of the public.

‘We are enormously proud of our officers, that they take this sort of incident as an every day occurrence, their duty and something which is expected of them.’

Reporting on the War and CNN’s Betrayal: Briefly Stated

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:11 am

Sunday’s Post: Why Aren’t We Hearing More Stories of Military Heroism (and Why Does That Make CNN an Enemy Ally)?

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With all due respect to Rush (his rant is behind his firewall), Michelle Malkin (also at Hot Air in a vid with O’Reilly), Allah at Hot Air, and all the others who are justifiably “Venting” at CNN — You’re STILL missing a BIG, BIG point — We aren’t getting “the unvarnished truth” from our military, because they are constrained about issues relating to the safety of soldiers and their families HERE, IN THIS COUNTRY. Since they are limited in what they can show of our soldiers’ exploits, it is incumbent on media outlets to be VERY restrained in what they will show of the enemy’s.

Since my post Sunday rambled on with what I believed were necessary excerpts and may have gone too long, let me break it down as briefly as I can:

  • Thanks to jihadists in the US, the military has to consider potential danger to soldiers and their families that might occur if their war exploits are publicized.
  • Patterico’s 5-part interview with Guantanamo Bay nurse “Stashiu” and the report by Andrew Selsky of the Associated Press on his Gitmo together prove that concern about the safety of returning soldiers and their stateside families is definitely warranted.
  • Media organizations like CNN, who HAVE to know the constraints the military is under in reporting good battlefield news, have a special duty, even beyond “normal,” to NOT push enemy propaganda on the public.
  • CNN instead went in the OPPOSITE direction with their terrorist sniper video last week, and by doing so in light of our military’s constraints, has for all practical purposes, intentionally or not, allied itself with our enemy in the propaganda war.

It is therefore very difficult to credibly disagree with Michelle Malkin’s contention on O’Reilly earlier tonight (a contention O’Reilly didn’t buy, and should) that CNN wants the terrorists to win. AT BEST, it can be said that CNN, intentionally or not, is doing its level best to bring about that result.
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ADDENDUM: And I would also ask readers to consider how many of our Senators and Congressmen know full well the communication constraints our military operates under. Certainly those on the defense-, intelligence- and homeland security-based committees cannot be unaware of the potential domestic threat to our soldiers and their familiies, especially those who might perform heroically on the battlefield. I would argue that even more than has been the case in previous wars, our legislators and other government officials have a duty to be measured and discreet in their criticism. Is that what we have been seeing for the past 3-1/2 years?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: Michelle Malkin notes the Newsbusters mirror post.