November 30, 2010

Rush Rips AP’s Misnamed Wiseman As ‘Ignoramus’ Over Perils of Letting Unemployment Benefits Expire

APabsolutelyPathetic0109In no uncertain terms, Rush Limbaugh (link will become unavailable in seven days) ripped into an Associated Press report today on the alleged perils of allowing unemployment benefits to expire for what the Labor Department says is nearly 2 million unemployed:

I have not had one class in economics since high school in the 1960s — not one — and I understand more about this through my own self-education than these wizards at the AP. And I’m still convinced they just repeated it. They just printed a fax from Pelosi’s office or whatever. … After 23 years and we still get trash like this in our major, #1 wire service. I guarantee you whoever wrote this story is an absolute, abject ignoramus. I don’t know about you, folks, but I don’t like being surrounded by stupidity.

The chief ignoramus in question whose name Rush didn’t have is the misnamed AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman, with the ignorant assistance of Christopher Rugaber. Behold their ignorance:

Cut-off of jobless aid would lower economic growth

If Congress lets unemployment benefits expire this week for the long-term unemployed, they won’t be the only ones to feel the pain. The overall economy would suffer, too.

Unemployment benefits help drive the economy because the jobless tend to spend every dollar they get, pumping cash into businesses. A cut-off of aid for millions of people unemployed for more than six months could squeeze a fragile economy, analysts say. Among the consequences they envision over the next year:

- Annual economic growth could fall by one half to nearly 1 percentage point.

- Up to 1 million more people could lose their jobs.

- Hundreds of thousands would fall into poverty.

“Look for homelessness to rise and food lines to get longer as we approach Christmas if the situation can’t be resolved,” says Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.

… That (unemployment) money ripples through the economy, into supermarkets, gasoline stations, utilities, convenience stores. That allows those businesses to hire more people, who, in turn, spend more money.

The Congressional Budget Office says every $1 spent on unemployment benefits generates up to $1.90 in economic growth. The program is the most effective government policy for generating growth among 11 options the CBO has analyzed.

Well, if that’s the case, everyone should get unemployed and start collecting benefits. Economic growth will be off the charts. Give me a break.

Seriously now (take notes now, Paul and Chris), very few if any businesses will make decisions to “hire more people, who, in turn, spend more money” based on a temporary extension of unemployment benefits. They’ll only decide to do so when it becomes clear that overall conditions have significantly improved or very shortly will improve, and if real improvement seems like it is or shortly will be long-lived. Until then, they’ll either try to get by with the staff they have and if necessary bring in temporary help to get through the somewhat busier times.

Extending unemployment benefits may or may not have the “multiplier effect” cited, but its effect on hiring is minimal at best, and the supposedly disastrous consequences for the economy by not extending benefits simply aren’t credible. In fact, you could argue that ending unemployment benefits will motivate some (emphasis some) some who have been sitting on the sidelines to find work at some of the unfilled jobs that are out there (yes, there are some, even in this economy), thereby adding to GDP and possibly creating genuine economic growth.

The report Rush cited really represents what AP has come to stand for: Absolutely Pathetic.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Quick Econ Items

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:56 pm

The fun really starts tomorrow, when the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index comes out. In fairly quick succession during the rest of the week, we’ll see car sales, the ADP Employment Report, Initial Unemployment Claims (likely very incomplete because of the holiday week), the government’s Employment Situation Report, and ISM’s Non Manufacturing Index.

But there are a few preliminaries of note that most readers probably missed during the past week.

Item 1 (shhh, don’t tell anyone) — The Fed downwardly adjusted its growth expectations and significantly raised the gloom level for unemployment:

The economy will grow only 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent this year, Fed officials said Tuesday in an updated forecast. That’s down sharply from a previous projection of 3 percent to 3.5 percent. Next year, the economy will expand by 3 percent to 3.6 percent, the Fed said, also much lower than its June forecast.

… Fed officials project that unemployment won’t change much this year, averaging between 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent. The current unemployment rate is 9.6 percent. Progress in reducing unemployment has been “disappointingly slow,” the central bank said, according to the minutes of its Nov. 2-3 meeting.

… The jobless rate will be 8.9 percent to 9.1 percent in 2011, Fed officials predict. That’s much worse than June’s projection of 8.3 percent to 8.7 percent.

Implications:

  • The Congressional Budget Office’s projection that tax collections will somehow rise by 22.5% during fiscal 2011 seems ever more unlikely, no matter how the 2011 income tax impasse works out, especially given that October 2010 was only about 7.5% ahead of October 2009.
  • Spending on unemployment- and low income-related benefits won’t come down by as much as expected.

Item 2 (it gets worse) — The folks looking at tax proposals going forward think the Fed is being wildly optimistic about unemployment. In an AP report excerpted at this BizzyBlog post last week, Jeannine Aversa writes that no matter which of the three major scenarios are chosen (taxes go up for everyone, taxes don’t change from 2010 levels, taxes go up for those earning about $250,000) next year’s unemployment rate will be 9.9% or 10.0%. What do these people know that the Fed doesn’t?

With this news, you can double down on the implications described in Item 1.

Item 3 — As described in this BizzyBlog critique of AP’s coverage of the related news, actual new home sales (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) came in at 23,000 in October, tying the lowest month on record (the other two are August 2010 and December 1966). Further elaborating, based on the graphic at the link:

  • After actually outpacing 2009 during the first four months of the year, new home sales from May through October 2010 of 150,000 trailed the same six months of 2009 by a startling 28%, and the same six months of 2008 by 38%. The housing market is intensely worse than when the recession was officially in gear.
  • This year’s new home sales are a cinch to come in below last year’s since-records-kept (almost 50 years) low of 375,000. It’s on track to come in at about 325,000 — maybe. On an annualized population-adjusted basis compared to any year before 2008, this is by far (and by “far” I mean by well over 50%) the worst new housing market since World War II.

How the housing market will get better while unemployment remains at 9% or 10% is a mystery.

Item 4 — 2nd Quarter GDP was revised upward from 2.0% to 2.5%, annualized. That’s nice, but as noted last week, the comparable figure during the fifth quarter of the Reagan recovery in 1984 was an annualized 8.5%.

There is also a new item today that the press is trumpeting as some kind of good omen. But wait until you get to a later paragraph:

Americans’ confidence in the economy rose to a five-month high in November, showing increased optimism for the first half of next year.

The report offered some comfort to the nation’s retailers during the holiday shopping season, but shoppers still remain downbeat as they grapple with a high unemployment rate. Moreover, the latest report on housing, released Tuesday, showed that home prices weakened in September.

The Conference Board, a private research group based in New York, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 54.1 in November, up from a revised 49.9 in October.

… One component of the index, how Americans feel now about the economy, rose to 24.0, up from 23.5. The other gauge, which measures how American feel about the economy over the next six months, rose to 74.2, up from 67.5 last month.

In other words: Things really, really, really stink right now (pre-revision, October’s “now” number was 23.9), but they’re going to get a bit better/less bad in the first six months of 2011 (a level of 90 is considered indicative of a healthy economy).

It would be nice to think that the improvement, such as it is, occurred because the GOP took the House in the midterm elections. But the vast majority of people responding to surveys like these tend not to think in those terms, and the Conference Board’s press release doesn’t allude to them.

In SW Ohio, Low Rent In Indian Hill Now Affects Sharonville…

Filed under: Activism,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 10:07 am

About a year ago, the following piece about the Miami Valley’s resident late-term abortionist, got lost in the BizzyBlog coffers…I chalk it up to mom-heimers.

Low Rent In Indian Hill

Late-term abortionist Martin Haskell murders children by day and plays “high society” with his wife Valerie in Indian Hill (Note the Vic Wulsin [misspelled "Wuslin"] & John Glenn connections in that last link).

I love the part where “the noble” Valerie pretends to care about children [whose mothers somehow evaded her husband] while serving on the Board of Directors of the Indian Hill Public Schools Foundation.

“Poor” Indian Hill liberals…this is just further proof that all the money in the world can’t buy you wisdom, class or decent neighbors (Indian Hill is where the Haskells reside *).

This link from the article puts to rest the facade that only rich “conservatives” are racists…

* – As of the 2000 census, the last time measured, Indian Hill had the 20th highest per-capita income of any place in the United States with a population of 1,000 or more. No other place in Ohio was in the top 80.

I went digging for this thanks to Tom’s forward (and phenomenal memory). Turns out that the City of Cincinnati doesn’t have much for this pig either, so he’s moving to a location in Sharonville where I guess he thinks he might be able to gain some marketshare from the competition…50 ft. from the front door of Liberty Sharonville Pediatrics.

Here is part of the release from Operation Rescue (Cincinnati Enquirer link added):

Sharonville, Ohio – One group of Ohio pediatricians are very upset with their new neighbor. Late-term abortionist Martin Haskell has closed his Cincinnati, Ohio, abortion clinic and reopened in the community of Sharonville, about twelve miles to the north – right next to Liberty Sharonville Pediatrics. In fact, parents will now have to enter a common driveway and pass by Haskell’s surgical abortion mill in order to get the Pediatrician’s office.

Dr. Steve Brinn, M.D., was so upset that he wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the Cincinnati Inquirer (sic) on Saturday, November 27, 2010, expressing his opposition to the abortion business.

“Imagine our shock and disbelief, when we learned that an abortion clinic was opening in the building 50-feet from our front door. Why would a clinic performing abortions be so insensitive to a group practice treating children for 31 years?” wrote Dr. Brinn.

He continued, “To have a group of OB/GYN doctors terminating fetuses just outside our door, to force our mothers and their babies drive through a common driveway, driving by the front of an abortion clinic, in order to park in our lot to have their babies cared for is an atrocity. We are here to prevent infant diseases, and they are here to end infant lives. We may not have the legal right to get them to move but we will do anything in our power to vocalize our personal disgust with their mission.”

Haskell’s long-term legal woes stem from the fact that he has never had the mandatory ambulatory care license, and/or [hospital] transfer agreement. In other words, he doesn’t have the necessary equipment/expertise to deal with the many risks involved in his butchery nor does any hospital deem him qualified enough to treat patients in their facility. What he HAS had however, is a federal judge in Columbus (mentioned in report links above and below), who has granted him a “variance” from the law.

Quite ironically, that Federal Judge (Marbley) was appointed by Bill Clinton at the behest of none other than John Glenn, the staunch pro-abortion recipient of Haskell’s political donations. The judge also sits on the Board of Advisors of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, oh, and is Secretary and Member on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Hospital! Oh yes, that’s EXACTLY who I want as a “Trustee” of Children’s Hospital..someone who believes in, ergo grants exceptions to late-term abortionists so they can keep murdering, er, children. Clearly they took all the logic requirements out of this guy’s copy of the bar exam…

Again, the three-piece report on this pig is here. The rest of the Sharonville “Grand Opening” is here.

Lucid Links (113010, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:03 am

Via Chris J. Kobus at Pajamas Media: “Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf Actually Get Only 23, 25 MPG.” That’s after figuring in the fuel burned to recharge the batteries converted to gas equivalent usage.

Kobus calls it “fraud.” I call it incomplete disclosure. The cars’ stickers ought to be able to present the “true” MPG, but then, with equal or greater prominence, the equivalent MPG after considering the use of other resources to recharge, or an estimated annual cost to recharge if driven, say 10,000 miles. The electric cars definitely shouldn’t get a free ride for the rest of the energy they really use.

_______________________________________

Related to the previous item, found at the Associated Press: “Utilities thrilled and worried about electric cars” (interesting alternative title at a Portland, Maine paper — “Opportunity Has Power Industry Scrambling”).

Plugged into a socket, an electric car can draw as much power as a small house.

The surge in demand could knock out power to a home, or even a neighborhood. That has utilities in parts of California, Texas and North Carolina scrambling to upgrade transformers and other equipment in neighborhoods where the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are expected to be in high demand.

Uh, just wondering, folks. What fuel is going to be used to meet the additional demand?

C-C-C-C … coal? As I noted in July 2008, environuts at supposedly “mainstream” groups like the Sierra Club are pushing for “an end to conventional coal.”

N-N-N-N … Natural gas? Pennsylvania and neighboring states, including a portion of New York, have “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas” on their hands in what’s known as the Marcellus Shale deposits. The New York Times has editorialized that the Empire State’s portion should be “permanently off limits to drilling.”

If they don’t get the fuel to support expanded electricity use, neighborhoods with a fair number of electric cars will see brownouts and/or rationing and/or restrictions on when people can recharge (i.e., only during off-peak hours).

Way to go, enviros.

_______________________________________

In Chicago, where the dead wake up every couple of years to cast election ballots, some of them apparently spend the rest of the time getting free Windy City transit system rides. Isn’t that amazing?

_______________________________________

Are many listed Chinese companies thinly disguised scams? It’s worth asking, given this item at Zero Hedge. I don’t understand how informed investors can feel comfortable putting money into a company whose fortunes depend on the whims of an authoritarian government, unless they treat it as entirely a gamble. So-called “fundamentals” are irrelevant.

As long as the U.S. and other governments own what amounts to a de facto controlling stake in this company, it will also be nothing but a pure gamble for investors.

_______________________________________

Despite its fundamentally seditious nature, the Wikileaks cable dump nonetheless has some interesting revelations that seriously damage memes repeated ad nauseam by the anti-Israel crowd. Among them is proof that the Israelis weren’t paranoid at all in monitoring “relief workers” during the Lebanon conflict in 2006“Hezbollah Smuggled Weapons in Ambulances.”

That sheds additional light on these related BizzyBlog posts during that time:

  • August 24, 2006 — “Zombietime Exposes the Red Cross Ambulance Hoax (and Even More Fauxtography Examples)”
  • August 27 — “Who Won the Recent Middle East (Propaganda) War?”
  • August 31 — “The Lack of Contrition Gives Away Their Agenda”

We also must not forget the Arab-state paymaster arrangements the Associated Press and likely many other news services had at the time, and more than likely still have (the bills must be paid, y’know). These arrangements explain why you can never, ever take news emanating from the Middle East at face value.

Positivity: The Original Hammerin’ Hank

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

Via David G. Dalin at the Weekly Standard last month (HT Powerline):

Oct. 23, 2010

When he died in 1986 at the age of 75, Hank Greenberg was widely acknowledged to have been the greatest Jewish player in the history of baseball. His achievements were beyond merely great—they were monumental. He played in the major leagues from 1933 to 1947, but lost four and a half seasons to military service in World War II. And yet, as the baseball historian Robert W. Creamer has noted, “in that brief period he established himself as one of the best of all power hitters, possibly the best after Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.”

… From 1937 to 1940, Greenberg averaged 148 RBIs a year and 43 home runs. More than just the sum of his individual statistics, Greenberg led the Detroit Tigers to four American League pennants and two World Series titles over the course of his career.

… For American Jews during the 1930s, as Edward S. Shapiro put it, “Greenberg’s struggle against anti-Semitism was their struggle, and his victory over hatred and injustice was theirs also.” In 1956, he became the first Jewish player enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Today, as we approach the centenary of his birth, it is appropriate to remember the extraordinary life and legacy of Hank Greenberg, the greatest Jewish-American sports hero of all time.

… he accepted an offer from the Tigers and after three years in the minor leagues began his major league career in Detroit in 1933.

His impact was almost immediate. During the 1934 season, Greenberg hit .339 and drove in 139 RBIs while leading the Tigers to the pennant. But for the many Jewish baseball fans who regarded him as a role model, his most significant contribution may have been the decision that earned him an iconic niche in American Jewish history. In the heat of the pennant race, with the Tigers leading the Yankees by four games, Greenberg’s club was scheduled to play the Boston Red Sox on September 10, which was when Rosh Hashanah fell that year, the Jewish New Year. Nine days later, on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, the Tigers were to play the second-place Yankees in what was sure to be one of the decisive games of the pennant race. Greenberg was torn about whether or not to play, even though he was not a religious Jew. Baseball fans and rabbis alike debated whether Greenberg should be in synagogue on the Jewish High Holy Days, or in the Tigers’ lineup. To the disappointment of some Jews, Greenberg succumbed to the pressure of the Tigers’ management, who demanded that Greenberg not abandon his teammates in the heat of the pennant race, and played on Rosh Hashanah. His two home runs beat the Red Sox 2-1.

There is little question that anti-Semitism played a part in Greenberg’s failure to break Ruth’s single-season home run record in 1938. Statistics show that Greenberg walked in at least 20 percent of his plate appearances in September 1938, suggesting that many of those were intentional passes to prevent him from breaking Ruth’s record. Over the years, sports writers and baseball fans alike have remained convinced that Greenberg’s pursuit of Ruth’s record was undermined by pitchers who refused to give Greenberg a decent pitch to hit. For the many anti-Semites in the stands, the press box, and between the foul lines, it was inconceivable, and unseemly, that a Jew should break the Babe’s record.

The 1941 season was historic, with Joe DiMaggio hitting in 56 straight games and Ted Williams batting over .400, while Hank Greenberg went to war. The Tigers first baseman was coming off a banner 1940 campaign, having led the American League with 41 home runs and 150 RBIs, while batting .340, and was once again voted the American League MVP. He hoped to match or better those numbers in ’41, but only 19 games into the new season, Greenberg’s baseball career was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps, the first American League player to be drafted into the military in World War II. Although he missed most of the historic 1941 baseball season and found his salary cut from $55,000 a year to $21 a month, Greenberg was never bitter or resentful. … on December 5, 1941, Greenberg, age 30, was honorably discharged.

… Two days later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, prompting Greenberg to reenlist, the first major league player to do so. Greenberg was widely admired for his patriotism, especially since at age 30 he was exempt from military service.

… For American Jews, as for many baseball fans generally, Greenberg took on almost epic proportions: He served in the military for 45 months, longer than any other major league player, missing almost four complete seasons, and half of another, before returning to the Detroit lineup on July 1, 1945. Never one to disappoint his fans—and the stands were filled to capacity that day to welcome him back—Greenberg hit a home run. Even more dramatically, he hit a ninth-inning grand slam to win the pennant on the last day of the season, and finished his shortened 78-game season with a .311 batting average, before leading the Tigers to victory over the Cubs in the 1945 World Series.

… Over the years, baseball analysts and fans alike have wondered what sort of statistics Greenberg might have compiled had he not sacrificed four and a half seasons, at the peak of his career, to serve his country. Had he matched his extraordinary accomplishments of the 1937-1940 seasons, when he averaged 43 home runs a year, he would have concluded his career with well over 500 home runs and more than 1,800 RBIs. In so doing, he would have become only the fourth baseball player of the pre-1950s era to join the 500 home-run club, a sure ticket to baseball immortality, a measure of fame that Hank Greenberg, the “Jewish Babe Ruth” and one of the greatest power hitters in the history of the game, richly deserved.

Go here for the full story.

Greenberg’s career stats are here. It’s also reasonable to believe that Greenberg’s baseball career might have lasted beyond 1947 if he hadn’t gone four years virtually without picking up a baseball bat.

November 29, 2010

At Cancun, ‘Climate Change Experts’ Call for End to Developed World Economic Growth for ‘The Next 20 Years’

GlobalWarming

This would be really funny if it weren’t for the fact that so many supposedly informed people, including our president and so many who surround him, may actually buy into ideas being proposed at the United Nations-sponsored Cancun climate conference, and will relish the means by which they could be put into place.

At the UK Telegraph today, environment correspondent Louise Gray feeds us the following headline and sub-headline:

Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world

Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.

From all appearances, such rationing would last at least two decades, during which there would be, by design, no economic growth. Zero, zip, nada.

Here are selected paragraphs from Gray’s grouse (bolds and number tags are mine):

In a series of papers published by the Royal Society, physicists and chemists from some of world’s most respected scientific institutions, including Oxford University and the Met Office, agreed that current plans to tackle global warming are not enough.

Unless emissions are reduced dramatically in the next ten years the world is set to see temperatures rise by more than 4C (7.2F) by as early as the 2060s, causing floods, droughts and mass migration. [1]

… In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years. [2]

This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles [2] for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.

… He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s. [3]

Prof Anderson insisted that halting growth in the rich world does not necessarily mean a recession or a worse lifestyle, [2] it just means making adjustments in everyday life such as using public transport and wearing a sweater rather than turning on the heating.

… At the moment efforts are focused on trying to get countries to cut emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. [4]

But Dr Myles Allen, of Oxford University’s Department of Physics, said this might not be enough. He said that if emissions do not come down quick enough even a slight change in temperature will be too rapid for ecosystems to keep up.

A suggestion for Prof. Anderson and Dr. Allen: You first, guys. If you commit for the next 20 years not to use a computer or any kind of wireless communication device, and only to travel via public transportation, we might listen. Too harsh for self-appointed elitists like you? Too bad.

Specific notes:

  • [1] — Climategate, “The Dog Ate My Global Warming Data,” other clear breaches of scientific protocol and objectivity, and the inherent limitations of relying on computer models to predict what will happen in a complex world make this claim speculative at best, and needless scaremongering at worst.
  • [2] — Within just a few paragraphs, 20 years of no economic growth means “drastic lifestyle changes” but somehow not “a worse lifestyle.” Really?
  • [3] — By describing them as having occurred “in the 1930s and 1940s,” Ms. Gray makes the World War II-related rationing regimes appear worse than they were. They lasted six years at most, less than one-third of the two decades desired by the self-appointed experts. Patriotism reined in the black market to an extent during World War II. It will require a police state to restrain the black market that will result from a government-enforced, popularly-opposed scam during peacetime. Perhaps statists consider that a feature, not a bug.
  • [4] — “Cutting emissions by 50% relative to 1990″ is cynically manipulative math at its worst. Since worldwide emissions have grown by about 35% since 1990, cutting back to 1990 levels would really require a reduction of 63% (.85 divided by 1.35). Gullible environment correspondents are apparently a bit more likely to swallow the idea of a falsely-advertised 50% reduction than one that in reality, after considering population growth, involves per-capita reductions approaching 70%.

As noted earlier, the fact that there are people in positions of power and responsibility who either buy into globaloney (my term for human-caused global warming) or, in certain cases, unapologetically see it as a convenient opportunity for engaging in wealth redistribution, means that nonsense such as what is emanating from Cancun can’t be ignored.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lucid Links (112910, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:02 am

Contrasting post-Black Friday headlines:

  • At the Associated Press late Friday — “What recession? Shoppers eat up Black Friday deals” (*)
  • At the Wall Street Journal, on Sunday at about noon — “Black Friday Sales Rise, But Only Slightly”
  • At the AP late Sunday, seemingly in response to the WSJ’s cold water — “Holiday sales encouraging, but are shoppers done?”
  • At the New York Times on Sunday — “Robust Sales for Holiday Weekend”

The pertinent fact, obtained from the third report listed: “On Friday, retailers at shopping malls had sales of $10.7 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent over last year, according to preliminary figures from ShopperTrak, a research firm that counts shoppers at 70,000 stores.” Based on anecdotes and personal observations, I’m surprised it was that good.

* – Hmm, is the AP’s Anne D’Innocenzio telling us she’s not convinced that the recession is really over?

__________________________________________________

At the UK Telegraph“Inside North Korea – exclusive footage.” It’s only three minutes. Just watch.

__________________________________________________

Deficit commission member Alan Simpson has a name for the generation that followed “the Greatest Generation.” It’s “the Greediest Generation.” He’s referring to Boomers. Despite Simpson’s premature verdict based on his e-mail inbox, interactions with long-time acquaintances, and government bureaucrats trying to preserve their turf, the jury is still out. Oh, and you’re not “greedy” if you think taxes are already too high.

__________________________________________________

R. Emmett Tyrell at NewsBusters: “I Was Wrong: The TSA Has Gone Overboard.” He has four good reasons, of which the last, bolded by me, is the best:

  1. “Mark Hyman, who, having served in intelligence in the 1980s, is given to writing very thoughtfully about security matters. He thought the TSA a joke.” (Hyman writes that It is long past time to disband the TSA. Replace it with an effective, free market system that actually works.”)
  2. “… the savage who almost killed the head of Saudi intelligence had secreted one in his — the polite word is — body cavity. Bombs carried in this manner could not be caught by the scanner or a team of the TSA’s best.”
  3. “(There is) a whole array of freedom issues here, and one could not take them lightly. This was, if not the tea party movement, at least the impulse that gave the tea party life, a love of personal liberty that is not found in many nations of the earth.”
  4. “This whole controversy is unnecessary. The Israelis have found a way to avoid it and to avoid savages blowing up airplanes. It is by intelligent, non-intrusive profiling. The Israeli agent picks a suspect. The agent stands very close to the suspect and asks questions in a rapid-fire manner, preventing the suspects from considering their answers. The Israelis watch for behavioral reactions that merit further inspection. By contrast, TSA behavior detection officers’ techniques are a joke.”

__________________________________________________

The News York Times’s description of its handling of the latest wave of Wikileaks docs reveals an extraordinary level of constructive communication with the Obama administration:

The Times has taken care to exclude, in its articles and in supplementary material, in print and online, information that would endanger confidential informants or compromise national security. The Times’s redactions were shared with other news organizations and communicated to WikiLeaks, in the hope that they would similarly edit the documents they planned to post online.

After its own redactions, The Times sent Obama administration officials the cables it planned to post and invited them to challenge publication of any information that, in the official view, would harm the national interest. After reviewing the cables, the officials — while making clear they condemn the publication of secret material — suggested additional redactions. The Times agreed to some, but not all. The Times is forwarding the administration’s concerns to other news organizations and, at the suggestion of the State Department, to WikiLeaks itself.

That’s nice.

Does anyone recall the Times being so cooperative during the Bush administration when it had info in 2006 about how terror money was making its way around the world? Uh no, it was the opposite.

Positivity: The Wedding Gown That Made History

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

At the Jewish Press (HT to an e-mailer):

Posted Dec 31 2008

Lilly Friedman doesn’t remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle over 60 years ago. But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiancé Ludwig that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown he realized he had his work cut out for him.

For the tall, lanky 21-year-old who had survived hunger, disease and torture this was a different kind of challenge. How was he ever going to find such a dress in the Bergen Belsen Displaced Person’s camp where they felt grateful for the clothes on their backs?

Fate would intervene in the guise of a former German pilot who walked into the food distribution center where Ludwig worked, eager to make a trade for his worthless parachute. In exchange for two pounds of coffee beans and a couple of packs of cigarettes Lilly would have her wedding gown.

For two weeks Miriam the seamstress worked under the curious eyes of her fellow DPs, carefully fashioning the six parachute panels into a simple, long sleeved gown with a rolled collar and a fitted waist that tied in the back with a bow. When the dress was completed she sewed the leftover material into a matching shirt for the groom.

A white wedding gown may have seemed like a frivolous request in the surreal environment of the camps, but for Lilly the dress symbolized the innocent, normal life she and her family had once led before the world descended into madness. Lilly and her siblings were raised in a Torah observant home in the small town of Zarica, Czechoslovakia where her father was a melamed, respected and well liked by the young yeshiva students he taught in nearby Irsheva.

He and his two sons were marked for extermination immediately upon arriving at Auschwitz. For Lilly and her sisters it was only their first stop on their long journey of persecution, which included Plashof, Neustadt, Gross Rosen and finally Bergen Belsen.

Four hundred people marched 15 miles in the snow to the town of Celle on January 27, 1946 to attend Lilly and Ludwig’s wedding. The town synagogue, damaged and desecrated, had been lovingly renovated by the DPs with the meager materials available to them. When a Sefer Torah arrived from England they converted an old kitchen cabinet into a makeshift Aron Kodesh.

“My sisters and I lost everything – our parents, our two brothers, our homes. The most important thing was to build a new home.” Six months later, Lilly’s sister Ilona wore the dress when she married Max Traeger. After that came Cousin Rosie. How many brides wore Lilly’s dress? “I stopped counting after 17.” With the camps experiencing the highest marriage rate in the world, Lilly’s gown was in great demand.

In 1948 when President Harry Truman finally permitted the 100,000 Jews who had been languishing in DP camps since the end of the war to emigrate, the gown accompanied Lilly across the ocean to America. Unable to part with her dress, it lay at the bottom of her bedroom closet for the next 50 years, “not even good enough for a garage sale. I was happy when it found such a good home.”

Home was the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 28, 2010

Partisan Inconsistency: In Close Congressional Races, AP Gives Two Paragraphs to GOP Win in IL-08, 14 to Dem in CA-11

I’ve noted an interesting disparity in how the Associated Press, the so-called Essential Global News Network, has covered Democratic and Republican congressional victories in situations where the counting has gone on well past Election Day.

Let’s contrast the amount of ink and bandwidth devoted to Republican Joe Walsh’s victory over incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean in Illinois compared to the coverage accorded California Democrat Jerry McNerney in his victory over the GOP’s David Harmer.

First, in Walsh vs. Bean, the following is the only item that comes up in a search on Ms. Bean’s name at the AP’s main site:

US Melissa Bean concedes to challenger

Democratic U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean has conceded to her Republican challenger, Joe Walsh.

Following the completion of ballot counting in each county in Illinois 8th Congressional District, Bean called Walsh Tuesday night upon her return to Illinois.

That’s it. Gosh, don’t overwork yourselves or anything, guys.

The headline doesn’t even give us the name of the election’s winner, or his party, and one can be excused for thinking that “US Melissa Bean” might really be a yacht involved in competitions.

By contrast, in a Tuesday report, the AP’s Judy Lin gave McNerney’s win 14 paragraphs, as well as a far clearer headline:

California Democrat McNerney retains House seat

Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney has been re-elected to a third term in a Northern California congressional district, fending off a challenge from Republican David Harmer.

McNerney held a lead of nearly 2,500 votes on Wednesday with less than 1,900 ballots left to be counted.

His re-election means no California congressional seat changed party hands, even as Republicans took back the U.S. House of Representatives with a national GOP landslide on Nov. 2.

“Congressman McNerney is honored to be re-elected to the 11th congressional district,” spokeswoman Sarah Hersh said. “He looks forward to the opportunity to serve the people of this area, to work to create jobs and to work to improve benefits for veterans.”

… Hersh said McNerney has always made bipartisanship a part of his tenure and “will work across party aisles to serve the people he represents well.”

I had no idea that CA-11 was seven times as important as IL-08, did you?

For those who think I’m catching an aberration, consider the following:

Why, if you didn’t know better, you might think that the folks at the Associated Press are quite pleased when Democrats win razor-thin Congressional elections. When Republicans prevail? Not so much.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

AP’s Crutsinger Downplays Worst New Home Market Ever, Lowers the Recovery Bar

There are many annoying aspects of the sea change in media coverage of the economy since Barack Obama became president. At or near the top of the list is how the business press has downplayed the unprecedented housing industry disaster, while lowering the bar that will supposedly represent a real recovery to ridiculous levels.

According the the Census Bureau (12-page PDF), 23,000 new homes were sold nationwide in October. That figure ties August 2010 and December 1966 (when the population was 35% smaller) for is the lowest single month since records have been kept. More extensive evidence of how bad things are will come later in the post.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger provided as good an example as any of the press template for housing coverage — acknowledge that, yes, things are really bad; give readers an absurdly low benchmark for what would represent real improvement and how long it should take to get there; locate some “expert” to say it’s really not all that bad; and find some kind of anecdote somewhere, anywhere, that will leave the impression that things might somehow be getting better:

October new home sales drop 8.1 pct., prices fall

New home sales tumbled in October while the median home price dropped to the lowest point in seven years.

Sales of new single-family homes declined 8.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 283,000 units in October, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

It was the fourth time the sales rate has dropped in the past six months. New home sales are just 2.9 percent above August’s pace of 275,000 units – the lowest level on records dating back to 1963.

Many economists believe it could take three years for the industry to get back to a healthy annual rate of sales of around 600,000 homes.

… Some analysts downplayed the drop in sales, saying that when the market is this low it is vulnerable to high volatility.

“Sales are bumping along the bottom, showing no real inclination to start recovering or, thankfully, to fall any further,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

… Despite the overall weakness, some individual builders are seeing signs of hope.

Meridian, Idaho homebuilder CBH Homes saw sales pick up in October after a slow summer. But that came only after hefty discounts ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 per house. It offered them during a three-day weekend sale.

“There are buyers out there, but they just needed that little push to kind of get them convinced to buy,” said Ronda Conger, CBH Homes’ vice president.

I do sympathize with CBH’s Ms. Conger. She’s in sales; she needs to say something that seems positive. Unfortunately, what buyers need to “get them convinced to buy” is an economy that creates jobs and the kind of confidence that will enable people to be comfortable with making the kind of long-term commitment buying a home represents. We’re not there.

I don’t know how Mr. Shepherdson can be so confident that new home sales aren’t going “to fall any further,” especially given the data in the following chart (build on annual sales data found here at the Census Bureau):

NewHomeSalesDataThru1010

New home sales from May through October 2010 totaled 150,000 (see red boxes above). Even though May-October is supposed to represent the peak selling season, that is the lowest consecutive six-month total on record. The annualized sales rate of 97 per 100,000 is by far the lowest rate ever seen for any six-month period since records have been kept. Crutsinger’s reported stats barely scratched the surface in describing how bad things really are, and have been.

The stats presented above also make a mockery of the AP reporter’s 600,000-unit benchmark for a “healthy annual rate.” Every decade back to the 1970s had an average annual sales rate above that, even though the nation obviously had far fewer residents. Adjusting for population, no previous decade has come in below 250 annual sales per 100,000 in population. To get to even that historically low level in a population of 310 million, annual sales would have to be 775,000, a threshold almost 30% higher than Crutsinger’s absurdly low bar. In full historical context, a “healthy annual rate” should be at least 800,000-850,000. And who in the world believes that it has to take three years for a recovery to arrive?

One final cover-up indicator is found in this additional sentence in the AP’s coverage: “Government tax credits had propelled the market earlier this year but those expired in April.” Whose government and whose tax credits, Marty? Even though he championed those credits, as well as other initiatives that have only made things worse, the President Obama’s name is found nowhere in Crutsinger’s report. How convenient.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Woman fighting sex slavery named CNN Hero of the Year

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Los Angeles:

November 22, 2010 3:54 p.m. EST

A woman whose group has rescued more than 12,000 women and girls from sex slavery has been named the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year.

Anuradha Koirala was chosen by the public in an online poll that ran for eight weeks on CNN.com. CNN’s Anderson Cooper revealed the result at the conclusion of the fourth annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.”

“Human trafficking is a crime, a heinous crime, a shame to humanity,” Koirala said earlier in the evening after being introduced as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010. “I ask everyone to join me to create a society free of trafficking. We need to do this for all our daughters.”

Koirala was introduced by actress Demi Moore, who along with her husband, Ashton Kutcher, created DNA, The Demi and Ashton Foundation, which aims to eliminate child sex slavery worldwide.

“Every day this woman confronts the worst of what humanity has to offer,” Moore said of Koirala. “She says, ‘Stop. Stop selling our girls.’ By raiding brothels and patrolling the India-Nepal border, she saves girls from being sold into the sex trade, where they are being repeatedly raped for profit, tortured and enslaved.

CNN Hero fights sex trafficking

Gallery: CNN Heroes red carpet

Gallery: The Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010 “Since 1993, she has helped rescue more than 12,000 women and girls. Through her organization Maiti Nepal, she has provided more than a shelter for these girls and young women, she has created a home. It is a place for them to heal, go to school, learn a skill, and for some who are infected with HIV/AIDS, it is the place where they can spend their days surrounded by love.”

See Koirala’s fan page on CNN Heroes

Koirala will receive $100,000 to continue her work with Maiti Nepal, in addition to the $25,000 awarded to each of the top 10 Heroes honored.

“This is another responsibility to me to work with all your support,” Koirala told the audience after being named Hero of the Year. “We have to end this heinous crime. Please join hands with me to end this crime. … Please try to respect the youth. They are the ones who are going to build the next generation. Thank you so much.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 27, 2010

Within 3 Days, AP’s Reported Unemployment Estimates Significantly Worsen

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:26 pm

In separate reports for the Associated Press during the past week, Christopher Rugaber and Jeannine Aversa, economics writers for the wire service, each dealt with estimates for next year’s average unemployment rate. They came back with significantly different predictions for 2011 without recognizing how widely those estimates varied.

On Tuesday, Rugaber dealt with the Federal Reserve’s latest economic growth projections, in the process telling readers that the Fed expects that the unemployment rate “will be 8.9 percent to 9.1 percent in 2011.”

On Friday, Aversa looked at three alternative proposals for handling next year’s federal income tax rates, which will increase substantially for everyone unless Congress acts. The projected unemployment rates for next year under the three proposals are all either 9.9% or 10.0%.

So the Fed thinks that unemployment will come down next year, while Aversa’s consulted experts think it will go up slightly regardless of what Congress does or doesn’t do about taxes. The one-point difference between the two sets of estimates represents about 1.5 million workers. That’s not a small number. Did things suddenly get worse while the turkeys were cooking on Thursday?

Maybe, maybe not. But it is clear from Rugaber’s report that the Fed’s unemployment outlook has turned more grim in the past five months:

Federal Reserve officials have become more pessimistic in their economic outlook through next year and have lowered their forecast for growth.

The economy will grow only 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent this year, Fed officials said Tuesday in an updated forecast. That’s down sharply from a previous projection of 3 percent to 3.5 percent. Next year, the economy will expand by 3 percent to 3.6 percent, the Fed said, also much lower than its June forecast.

Fed officials project that unemployment won’t change much this year, averaging between 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent. The current unemployment rate is 9.6 percent. Progress in reducing unemployment has been “disappointingly slow,” the central bank said, according to the minutes of its Nov. 2-3 meeting.

… The jobless rate will be 8.9 percent to 9.1 percent in 2011, Fed officials predict. That’s much worse than June’s projection of 8.3 percent to 8.7 percent.

By 2012, when President Barack Obama faces the electorate, unemployment will be 7.7 percent to 8.2 percent, up from the previous forecast of 7.1 percent to 7.5 percent.

Gosh, this bad news about the continually decaying projected employment situation has sure been quiet. I won’t even bother asking if it made the Big Three networks’ evening newscasts.

But Ben Bernanke & Co.’s estimates are optimistic compared to those Aversa relayed in the midst of presenting three possible scenarios for dealing with next year’s scheduled tax increases:

OPTION ONE: Let the tax rates for the highest earners rise back to what they were before 2001, when the first round of Bush tax cuts was passed. But extend them permanently for everyone else. This is what Obama favors.

Moody’s Analytics says that under this scenario, the economy would grow 2.6 percent in 2011. That’s better than the scant 0.9 percent growth envisioned if everyone’s tax cuts expired.

Economists note that low- and middle-income people tend to spend more of their take-home pay than the highest-earners do. That’s especially true in a tough economy.

Still, unemployment would average 10 percent next year, up from the 9.7 percent estimated for this year. The jobless rate would tick up as growth weakened slightly next year.

… OPTION TWO: Extend the tax cuts for one or two years for the highest earners and permanently for everyone else.

Moody’s Analytics estimates this scenario would help the economy more than the first approach. The economy would grow 2.95 percent next year – a 0.4 percentage point improvement over Option One.

Unemployment would average 9.9 percent next year.

OPTION THREE: Make the tax cuts permanent for everyone. This is the plan Republicans favor.

By Moody’s calculations, the impact on unemployment, growth and the deficit in 2011 would be the same as in Option Two.

Aversa’s report is deeply marred by the pervasive assumption that consumer spending is what drives economic growth. Only in her final paragraphs does she get to economist Allen Sinai, who tells us that, in the AP reporter’s words, “letting the tax cuts for high-income Americans expire could reduce the flow of money into private equity firms, venture capital and other investments that ‘grease the wheels of entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy.’”

But the bigger story in Aversa’s report is that the tax analysts she consulted all believe that the unemployment rate is going up next year, no matter what. Maybe she should let Chris Rugaber, and more importantly Ben Bernanke, know.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

IBD on ‘Stem-Cell Fraud’ Mostly Gets It

Filed under: Life-Based News,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:05 am

California taxpayers have been fleeced once.

Proponents want to do it again.

IBD weighs in nicely in preemptive opposition, with one shortcoming noted later (bolds are mine):

(The original $4 billion) Proposition 71 was based on two false premises. The first was that money was the problem and by restricting federal funding on embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR) to existing stem-cell lines derived from previously destroyed embryos, President George W. Bush had stopped the science in its tracks.

Federal funding of stem-cell research was one of the decisions President Bush covers in his book “Decision Points.”

On Page 117, he writes: “Embryonic stem cell research seemed to offer so much hope. Yet it raised troubling moral concerns. I wondered if it was possible to find a principled policy that advanced science while respecting the dignity of life.”

And here’s a fact you never hear: Bush was the first president to fund embryonic stem-cell research at all. He decided to continue funding on existing stem-cell lines derived from already destroyed embryos, but not fund new lines created from embryos created just for that purpose. Private ESCR research was never banned.

The second false premise was that ESCR was the only promising avenue of such stem-cell research. Because embryonic stem cells could be easily coaxed into becoming any body part, the argument went, research into adult stem cells was a waste of time.

The Obama administration recently approved only the second human clinical trial using embryonic stem-cell lines.

“We’ve heard so many times that adult stem cells can’t treat diseases, or only treat a few blood diseases, and those who have pointed out the truth, that adult stem cells are already helping patients for over 70 diseases and injuries, have been scorned,” Prentice notes.

… Prop 71 was driven by ideology, not science. Were it otherwise, the money should have flowed to those pursuing, and producing, actual treatments and actual therapies for actual human beings.

It would be nice if scorn were the only thing ESCR proponents have. As is the case with the hoax known as human-caused global warming, they still have mythology and a fair amount of control over the pursestrings on their side. 

As is the case with what I refer to as “globaloney,” a substantial portion of the ruling class and the media won’t let go of ESCR no matter how beneficial adult stem-cell research (ASCR) proves to be. The editorial’s only shortcoming is that it didn’t elaborate on why that’s the case. 

With globaloney, we have an admission on the record from Ottmar Edenhofer, an IPCC economist, that their enterprise is all about a different kind of green, i.e., worldwide wealth redistribution and control (as translated — “But one must say clearly that we distribute by climate policy de facto the world’s wealth”).   

With ESCR, we don’t have a smoking-gun admisson just yet. But in addition to the obvious monetary motivations of ESCR-involved researchers, there is an obsession on the part of some (you know who you; you just don’t have the honesty to publicly acknowledge it) to prove that you can improve the live of the already living by taking embryonic human lives. 

They’re self-evidently wrong. With each passing day during the past decade, ASCR’s forward march has gradually removed their mask. For all practical purposes, we don’t even need a motivtional admission any more. As they continue to bitterly cling to their mythology in the face of overwhelming evidence, they tell us all we need to know.

Positvity: Three Samoan teenagers rescued after 50 days adrift at sea in tiny boat

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:56 am

From Samoa:

Three Samoan teenagers have survived 50 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean, being found alive by a tuna fishing vessel long after their families had given them up for dead.

9:45AM GMT 25 Nov 2010

The youths, two aged 15 and one aged 14, had disappeared on Oct 5 in a tiny aluminium boat from the remote Atafu Atoll.

The trio were presumed to have drowned after unsuccessful searches by the New Zealand Air Force and Samoa had held a memorial service in their honour.

But, in a remarkable stroke of luck, the teenagers were spotted on Wednesday by a New Zealand tuna fishing boat which was far off its usual course.

Samuel Perez and Filo Filo, both 15 and Edward Nasau, 14, had drifted 800 miles and were in waters northeast of Fiji when they were rescued.

The first mate of the fishing boat the San Nikunau said that the boys had only eaten one seabird and a couple of coconuts during their time at sea.

In the days before their miraculous rescue, they had started drinking seawater, because it had not rained for some time, and would not have survived much longer, he said.

However, the teens had sustained surprisingly few injuries during their ordeal. They were thin and sunburnt, but otherwise fairly healthy and in good spirits.

“We got to them in a miracle,” Tai Fredricsen, first mate of the San Nikunau, said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 26, 2010

OMG, They’re Serious: ‘GM Says Thank You to American Public,’ Using Popeye, Animal House, Evel Knievel References

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:12 pm

When I first saw this video at a non-Government/General Motors site, I said, “Wow, that’s quite a spoof. Who did that?”

It’s not a spoof. It’s for real. It’s posted in the media section at GM’s web site.

Even diehard defenders of the GM and Chrysler bailouts have to wonder what in the world the folks who put together and approved the 60-second ad that follows were thinking.

Here’s the hype for the ad found at GM’s site (bold is mine):

As the nation celebrates Thanksgiving on Thursday, General Motors is saying thanks to the American people. In a 60-second commercial with no voiceover, serious and comic images of failure appear on screen back to back followed by images of recovery, or comeback, as the advertisement is titled. The ad closes with the words: “We all fall down. Thank you for helping us get back up.”

GM shares returned to the New York Stock Exchange last week in an initial public offering that reduced the U.S. Treasury’s ownership stake from more than 60 percent to about 33 percent, just 16 months after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization.

Now here’s the ad

Here are the examples of falling down and getting back up:

  • A knockdown scene from a boxing movie (the get-up ends the ad).
  • A space launch that fails.
  • Truman defeating Dewey in 1948.
  • A Popeye clip.
  • Animal House, with John Belushi shouting “I’m not gonna take this!”
  • Evil Knievel.

The “falls” are in the order just listed. The get-ups are in reverse order.

Knievel? Popeye? Animal House? Are you kidding me?

Do you ever get the feeling that some of the people involved are getting their jollies by mocking the fools at GM who actually paid them for this?

As to substance:

  • Nobody asked the American people first. Oh, wait a minute. They sort of did; at least they tried to go through channels. After House passage, the Senate voted down the initial attempt to “lend” money to GM and Chrysler in December 2008. Despite that legislative failure, President Bush just went ahead and started the ball rolling anyway by ill-advisedly and more than likely illegally allowing TARP funds to be used for the initial “bridge loans.”
  • Nobody asked the American people before President Obama and his car czar crew did their boardroom coup and ousted GM’s Rick Wagoner in March 2009. He, and they, just did it, without even bothering to ask Congress (which wouldn’t have been enough anyway, given that they never approved the initial “loans”).
  • Nobody asked the American people if they were okay with the idea of ripping off certain creditors of equal or superior standing in favor of others during bankruptcy and ensuring the the United Auto Workers remained whole. The government’s “negotiators” just went ahead and did it.
  • Nobody asked the American people if they were okay with the idea of pumping tens of billions of dollars of cash into GM and giving it additional tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks so it could emerge from bankruptcy. The government just did it, giving GM a huge unfair competitive advantage.
  • Finally, nobody asked the American people if they were down with the idea of foreign entities and owners taking a stake in “their” company.

There’s nothing wrong with GM being thankful that it’s alive.

But to pretend that “the American public” had anything to do with the company’s survival is a complete insult to our intelligence. This was a government-engineered rescue totally absent of popular input.

If a conservative cause used cartoon and movie references to draw direct parallels to what it was doing or trying to do, the ridicule from the establishment press would be deafening. Searches on “General Motors thanks” (not in quotes) at the Associated Press and the New York Times instead come up with nothing related to the claptrap I have just covered.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.