September 5, 2008

‘McCain Didn’t Vet Palin’ Meme Has Serious Holes, Including a Likely Serious HuffPo Reporter’s Error (Update: A DEFINITE Error)

Note: This was posted at Pajamas Media (“‘McCain Didn’t Vet Palin’ Meme Has Serious Holes”) on Tuesday morning.

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UPDATE: On September 3, I confirmed with Greg Johnson, Managing Editor of the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, that the paper’s archives have been online “for years,” and that they have been easily accessible.

That could not be confirmed when the original PJM piece was written in the wee hours of the morning on Sept. 2. The article that follows was written with qualifiers that archive accesibility may have somehow begun between the time of Sam Stein HuffPo column and mine.

But, as expected, that’s not the case.

Sam Stein’s HuffingtonPost column therefore contains clear falsehoods that an organization with integrity would retract.

It has not done so.

Sam Stein “has worked for Newsweek magazine, the New York Daily News and the investigative journalism group Center for Public Integrity.” He supposedly knows better than to let false reporting stand.

Two HuffPo commenters have even rubbed Sam Stein’s error in his face:

HuffPoSteinLast2Comments0908

Stein, and HuffPo, apparently don’t care. Nor does filthy-rich Arianna “pink-collar sweatshop” Huffington.

Comments are now closed at the post. How convenient.

Rely on Stein’s, and HuffPo’s, “reporting” at your own risk.

The original column follows.

(more…)

The August Employment Report

Filed under: Economy,General,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:54 am

I didn’t have time to look at the predictions, which I’ll catch up to eventually.

The seasonally adjusted news is grim:

The unemployment rate rose from 5.7 to 6.1 percent in August, and non-farm payroll employment continued to trend down (-84,000), the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.  In August, employment fell in manufacturing and employment services, while mining and health care continued to add jobs.  Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents, or 0.4 percent, over the month.

My reax: The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy, with its energy intransigence and its threat of massive 2009 tax increases, is wreaking its havoc. Party first, country second (if that), and workers (even unionized ones) be damned.

I thought a couple of weeks ago that President Bush’s initiatives to re-open drilling, the likely September 30 expiration of the ban on US offshore drilling, and the fall in worldwide oil prices that largely resulted from those two factors might stave off a report like this, but it appears not (how much worse would it have been if Bush hadn’t acted?). It’s clear that the idea that Obama might win in November is causing business owners and managers to be very cautious in their hiring.

I suspect we’ll also find that the four big basket cases (CA, MI, IL, OH) contributed disproportionately to the rise in the unemployment rate.

Wild card: Is the BLS’s estimate of the size of the workforce propertly taking the out-migration of illegals into account? If the unemployment rate “falls out” as a result of comparing the total workforce to those working, that would cause the calculated rate to be high by as much as 0.5%. This question will, of course, not be considered by the doom-and-gloom machine at the Associated Press and elsewhere.

More info will come later as time allows.

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UPDATE: This is all time allows for, and may be all I do with the post. Here is what actually happened (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) since the beginning of 2006:

BLSnsaJobs2006thru2008on0808

This is the 10th straight month where the jobs change trailed the same month of the previous year. My guess is that this situtation probably won’t turn for the better until December, or heaven knows when, if Obama somehow wins.

As I’ve said frequently, we really should have had another tax CUT about a year ago, and we should have been taking advantage of our own energy resources many years ago.

McCain’s Speech, and His Approach

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:12 am

Transcript is here; video is here. I’m still looking for video I can save to the hard drive.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the guy more relaxed, yet determined.

This isn’t the somewhat unsettling guy I saw in South Carolina in 2000.

Unspoken, but I think important: McCain, and everyone else, thought that his presidential aspirations were over in 2001 as a result of health issues that he thought would prevent him from having the strength to campaign. When he was later given the all-clear, I believe he did a top-to-bottom re-examination of himself, and came out stronger.

The 2007-2008 McCain did something I don’t think the 2000 McCain would have done: He risked it all –

And when the pundits said — when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I’d rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

He also doesn’t care what his unprincipled critics think. He’ll kick and scream a bit, but he will, eventually, listen to his principled ones. But those principled critics will have to labor to be heard.

So make no mistake: McCain’s will be a high-maintenance presidency, and he will infuriate from time to time. But there is no doubt that he is committed to doing the right thing, and, unlike 2000, he realizes that he doesn’t have all the answers. He doesn’t necessarily like it, and he’ll resist, but he’ll recognize it when he needs to.

His opponent, perhaps the most unvetted presidential nominee of a major political party in US history, doesn’t “think” he has all the answers. He “knows” it. Yet his ignorance of so many very basic things continues to stun and amaze. He reinforces my months-ago conclusion that he is objectively unfit in so many ways for the most powerful elected office on earth on an almost-daily basis.

He thinks campaigning, and looking good while doing it, is an accomplishment. It’s understandable, though. It’s all he has, all he can cling to.

I like McCain’s approach better:

I’m not running for president because I think I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need.

My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

Positivity: The Internet’s New Shortcut

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

I normally resist putting on-the-horizon tech developments into Positivity, because so many are highly speculative and don’t pan out. I believe this one is far enough along, and it implications far-reaching enough (the e-mail alert for the article says that this “faster way of moving data could end the debate over net neutrality”), that something will surely come of it, even if not in the area described below.

Thus it merits notice now:

08.21.08, 6:00 AM ET

The Internet, it turns out, may have room enough for everyone. Even the most bandwidth-hogging digital pirates.

That, at least, is the hope of two professors from the University of Washington and Yale University. They plan to present research at a conference in Seattle on Thursday describing a new and speedier way to send data across the Internet. Their technique, based on an algorithm they call P4P, could eventually offer a less controversial version of peer-to-peer file sharing, a practice that has flooded the Internet with pirated music and movies and ignited debate over what online content broadband providers should regulate.

Peer-to-peer file-sharing, online pirates’ favorite channel for transferring copyrighted movies and music, now accounts for 40% to 60% of all Internet traffic. That bandwidth overload has meant massive losses for Internet service providers (ISPs) who charge flat rates to users regardless of how much data they send over a network.

….. Now, professors Arvind Krishnamurthy of the University of Washington and Richard Yang of Yale say they have a better way to solve broadband providers’ woes. Their algorithm, which they call P4P or “local file-sharing,” tracks users’ locations to find the shortest path across the Internet. The result, they say, should please both sides of the peer-to-peer debate: Users can download files about 20% faster than conventional file-sharing, while cutting the bandwidth requirements by more than a factor of five.

“We think we’ve come up with a way to end this catfight between Internet service providers and peer-to-peer users,” Krishnamurthy says.

The barrier until now, Krishnamurthy says, has been privacy. Users, often sending files illegally, haven’t been willing to reveal their location to their broadband providers. Broadband providers haven’t wanted to give users access to the geography of their network–a move that could reveal elements of their business to competitors. P4P, Krishnamurthy asserts, takes advantage of data about users’ location and a provider’s network map without revealing details to either side.

If users and broadband providers buy in, the results look promising. Since April, Verizon has been testing a version of the researchers’ P4P system implemented by the New York-based file-sharing start-up, Pando. In a test with around 600,000 users, Krishnamurthy says, data sent using P4P had to travel between an average of just two networks to reach its destination, as opposed to around seven with normal file-sharing, vastly cutting the cost of moving the data.

Go here for the rest of the story.