For over six months, bankers, traders, financial institution employees, and anybody in any way associated with Wall Street have been eviscerated by the media as greedy, lying crooks.
Considering this, and how shortly after his inauguration, President Barack Obama said this isn't the time for people to be worried about profits, one has to wonder what kind of reaction the left and their media minions will have towards George Soros's declaration that he's "having a very good crisis."
The following shocking revelation was reported Wednesday by Britain's Daily Mail in an article astoundingly titled "'I'm Having a Very Good Crisis,' says Soros as Hedge Fund Managers Make Billions Off Recession":
Perhaps this post could be headlined "CNBC Continues to Atone for Its Outspoken Obama Criticism."
As if announcing Democratic National Committee chairman and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as a "CNBC contributor" weren't enough, CNBC has invited the editor in chief of one of the its biggest critics to guest co-host one of CNBC's most popular shows.
Originally reported in a status update from Arianna Huffington's Facebook page on March 24, and later confirmed by Huffington herself in an e-mail with the Media Research Center, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post will co-host CNBC's "Squawk Box" on March 31.
“Oh, god,” why did he have to use that word? According to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the GOP “outsourced” the Republican response to a young, successful Indian-American governor who “had nothing to do with Congress.”
They had to outsource the response tonight, the Republican party. They had to outsource to someone who had nothing to do with Congress because the Republicans in Congress had nothing to do with the programs he was talking about tonight or the record he referred to.
First of all, one might point out that Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2004 to 2006. Furthermore, Republican governors are quite important members of the party. The idea that the GOP was bringing in an outsider is flat out wrong.
As Nobel Laureate Al Gore warns Congress today about how the naturally occurring gas carbon dioxide is destroying the planet -- and gets a lot of press attention doing so, of course! -- one has to wonder whether anyone -- either on Capitol Hill or in the media -- will ask him how he financially benefits if the legislative measures he's proposing get enacted.
After all, as NewsBusters reported last April, Gore has made huge investments in companies that produce green technologies specifically designed to combat the "problem" he's been telling the world -- using his brand of junk science, of course! -- exists.
Now, with a new, green Administration in office, Gore wants our tax dollars spent on things he's invested in (from prepared remarks):
It's not often that meteorology intersects with geopolitics - but Europe could be in store for another Cold War, literally.
Accuweather.com's chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi observed that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's recent cut of gas flows to Europe via Ukraine may have been done so in anticipation of a global cooling cycle on the Jan. 6 "Glenn Beck Show" radio program. Bastardi has a solid reputation among Wall Street traders for understanding weather's impact on energy commodities.
"The thing I want to bring up here - very interesting - most of the solar cycle studies that we know about and that guys like me read have come out of the Russian scientists," Bastardi said. "But when Glasnost developed, the Russian scientists, a lot of their ideas on the coming cool period that a lot of us believe is going to occur - ice, rather than fire is the big problem down the road here 2030, 2040, and the reversing cyclical cycles of the ocean - it came out of the East."
Climate realists around the world have contended for years that the real goal of alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his followers is to use the fear of man-made global warming to redistribute wealth.
On Monday, one of Gore's leading scientific resources, Goddard Institute for Space Studies chief James Hansen, sent a letter to Barack and Michelle Obama specifically urging the president-elect to enact a tax on carbon emissions that would take money from higher-income Americans and distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate.
The eco-socialism cat was let out of the bag on page five of a PDF Hansen published at Columbia University's website on December 29 (emphasis added, h/t Britain's Guardian, file photo):
Well, the unprecedented decline in gasoline prices the past five months is actually giving regular Americans a much-needed boost to their balance sheets possibly greater than what the government is doling out to the financial services and automobile industries.
New data just released by the Oil Price Information Service reveals that we're currently spending $1 billion a day less on gasoline than we were back in July.
Don't expect media members to be lining up to thank the oil companies for what was reported by the Associated Press just minutes ago:
Common sense says that the chart's results after adjusting for inflation are more important (identified as "Chained  dollars") than those in current dollars. Consmers' disposable income went up 1.0% in real (after-inflation) terms in November after a 0.7% increase in October.
It took a month for real consumer spending ("Personal consumption expenditures") to catch up to the increased disposable income, but it did so in a big way in November. The 0.6% real increase is the highest in over three years. Both improvements are objectively good news, and are largely due to sharply declining gas prices.
This is pretty fundamental Econ 101 stuff, isn't it? As you can see from the headlines and the treatment of the real spending increase that follow, the business press mostly flunked, and badly:
As oil and gasoline prices rose throughout much of this decade, a popular media meme was that a lower dollar was largely to blame.
By making this dubious connection, press outlets could point fingers at Bush economic policies thereby distracting the public from the reality that decades of liberal environmental constraints on oil exploration and refinery construction led to an inevitable and undesirable supply-demand squeeze culminating in the commodity futures bubble that peaked in July.
Yet, since early November, oil and the dollar have both been plummeting thereby destroying the press assertion that as one goes down, the other goes up (charts courtesy TradingCharts.com):
"You can see that even in Europe, some of the climate concerns, given this, this once in a lifetime recession, John - to put someone that, an advocate of such strong measures," Kernen said on "Squawk Box" Dec. 11. "Really I've seen her called Brownies or Brownistas. Um. That's a little scary with what's happening right now."
Earlier Kernen was discussing cabinet appoints with CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood and pointed to new regulations Browner could institute:
During an interview on CNN’s “No Bias, No Bull” program on Tuesday, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman expressed his confidence in President-Elect Obama’s “vision” for environmental policy and urged that the future executive be given “means...that are as radical as its ends” to carry out this policy: “...[I]t’s great to say we’re going to have green jobs and green homes and green-collared jobs to re-insulate people’s homes, install solar panels. Those jobs won’t get taken up unless you change building codes around the country. So...I think, the challenge for President-elect Obama will be to have the standards, regulations, the means that are as radical as its ends so we can really achieve those ends.”
Host Campbell Brown devoted two segments to her interview of Friedman. During the second segment, Brown brought up “Obama’s attempt to take on the enormous environmental challenges facing the country and the world.” She first asked the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist if the president-elect’s plan for creating green jobs was “visionary” enough and if he has “the leadership ability to get this done.”
If you needed any more proof that liberal media members don't give a darn about the state of the economy or the American people, and instead just want to raise taxes, you got it Sunday when Tom Brokaw advocated gas prices, which have plummeted recently, be kept at $4 a gallon with government keeping the added cost.
Coming just two days after it was announced that America lost over 500,000 jobs in November, Brokaw, in what could be his last performance as "Meet the Press" host, actually asked Barack Obama why taxes shouldn't be dramatically raised on gasoline with revenues to be spent on alternative energy, and to send a signal that folks won't be able to "just fill up [their] tank for 20 bucks anymore."
This came in response to president-elect uttering another disturbingly socialist statement that should make clearer his spread the wealth motives (video embedded below the fold with relevant section at 6:00, readers are encouraged to review Mark Finkelstein's earlier piece on this subject, file photo):
If you needed any more proof climate alarmists are an extraordinarily deluded bunch that will do anything to protect their dogma, you got it Saturday when a 56-page report on military strategy incited ire because it included two paragraphs on global warming that don't perfectly fit Nobel Laureate Al Gore's agenda.
In fact, all the brouhaha was largely about one sentence: "In many respects, scientific conclusions about the causes and potential effects of global warming are contradictory."
Seems innocent enough, don't you think?
Well, not according to the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender, or any of the folks he chose to question about it:
Low gas prices are a boost to the economy and a reason for Americans to give thanks this holiday, but they’re bad for environmentalists who want government mandates for alternative energy, according to Business & Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel.
“[T]hese prices are good for the American people, they’re good for the American economy, but they’re bad for environmentalists who want to use the government to make these cheaper, more efficient forms of energy more expensive so that the more expensive, less efficient forms of alternative energy are more appealing,” Burchfiel said on CBN “Newswatch” Nov. 25. “And that’s government manipulation of markets and it’s just not what we need right now in an economy that’s struggling.”
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.89 Nov. 25. It was down more than 50 percent from an all-time high of $4.11 in mid-July, and about 40 percent from the Nov. 2007 average of $3.09.
The Denver Post took note of leading state Democrats' objections to the Bush Administration's royalty rates for oil shale development in the state. Senator Ken Salazar and Governor Ritter's spokesman claimed that setting rates was putting the cart before the horse, as the technologies weren't fully vetted yet:
[Sen.] Salazar's brother, Democratic Rep. John Salazar, was also critical, saying water, energy and the impact of shale development on Colorado towns remain unresolved.
Harris Sherman, director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said it was "irresponsible" to move ahead before officials have a better idea of which technologies will work and what the likely impact will be on towns, air, water and land.
Of course, the Senator and the Governor have been among the most vocal in blocking the creation of a regulatory regime that would permit experimentation on a large enough scale to vet the technologies. Then again, Mr. Sherman claims that the "right rate" is unknowable, while Sen. Salazar insists that it's too low. The mutual contradiction here also goes unremarked.
After spending much of the spring and summer hyping the dire consequences of rising gas prices, CBS on Thursday night decided the plummeting cost of gas at the pump is really bad news. Noting that “crude settled at about $58 a barrel today, that's about $90 less than it was in July,” fill-in CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith warned “that comes as a mixed blessing.”
Reporter Mark Strassmann found an ecstatic man paying less than $2.00 a gallon, but Strassmann spoiled the mood: “Low gas prices are also bad news and the lower prices go, the worse the news gets.” An “oil analyst” explained: “This is just a reflection of the poor state of the economy and the oil market is reflecting this global slow down.” Strassmann soon fretted over how “it's also a grim time for alternative energy champions” and “sinking oil prices could” hurt “plans to develop alternative sources of energy or fund green developments.”
Earlier today, in a story on falling oil prices, Mark Williams of the Associated Press bemoaned "evaporating" consumption, warned that the abrupt prices drop would cause a decline in exploration, and cited the need for trillions of dollars of investment to find more fossil fuels.
Contrary to or not in what Williams wrote:
Consumption has barely fallen.
The American electorate has chosen a new president who thinks exploring for new oil is a bad thing, and the need for that oil can be eliminated through proper tire inflation.
The new president and the Congressional majority want investments in alternative energy, and to tax the alleged "windfall" profits of oil companies, which would of course take money away from exploration.
Here are the key paragraphs from Williams's report:
It's not like Barack Obama is a socialist or anything. It's just that Thomas Friedman wants him to put a "government master" in charge of the country's biggest manufacturing sector. Friedman made his modest proposal in his New York Times column of today, and expanded on it during a Morning Joe appearance. [H/t reader Tom.]
Californians by very wide margins defeated two green initiatives that anthropogenic global warming enthusiasts in the media and in legislative houses across the fruited plain should take heed...but will they?
To begin with, Proposition 7 would have required utilities to generate 40 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025.
Proposition 10 would have created $5 billion in general obligation bonds to help consumers and others purchase certain high fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology.
Much to the likely chagrin of Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his global warming sycophants in the media, these measures went down, and went down in flames:
Washington Post reporter Sholnn Freeman frontloaded his October 31 business section front page article, "Airfare Surcharges Stay Despite Oil Price Drop," not on examining the valid business reasons for why some airlines retain the fee but in citing a liberal politician seeking to grandstand the issue.:
When oil prices were rising rapidly, many financially-strapped airlines started adding special surcharges to ticket prices to cover the bill. So now that oil prices are falling, are the fees coming off? Not yet.
The lag is drawing complaints from air travelers, consumer watchdogs and a member of Congress. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is sending a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters asking the department to investigate whether the charges "have any basis in reality or if they are being used to mislead travelers, reduce competition and increase fares."
I want to put up two graphics that show how much prices have increased in the last year. To fly from New York to Miami the current average fare is $363 round-trip ... Now last year the same trip cost on average $321, that's 13 percent higher than last year. And to fly from Los Angeles to Dallas, Fort Worth airport, the current average is $391 round-trip. Last year that same trip cost on average $341, that's 15 percent higher than last year. Do you see any signs of airfare prices changing direction?
Amy Ziff, the editor-at-large of Travelocity, qualified Chen's numbers by saying those figure only tracked Thanksgiving specific airfare and opposed Chen's assumption that airfares were unusually high:
Prices shouldn't be set by supply and demand. They should be determined by, well, what prices "should" be. That's the innovative theory Maggie Rodriguez propounded on today's Early Show.
The Early Show anchor's unique take on economics came in the course of a segment on the falling price of gasoline. Rodriguez lamented to co-anchor Chris Wragge that grocery prices weren't falling along with gas prices. In Maggie's view, grocers who set prices based on demand rather than on what prices "should" be are the culprits.
Matt Drudge learned long ago that jumping across the pond in the late evening and perusing the British press is a way to get a head start on the news, and in some cases to get news that the American press is ignoring.
The situation with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is an example of the latter.
If it happens, call it The Caracas Crackup -- The UK Telegraph is reporting that the inevitable inefficiences of a state-run enterprise and falling oil prices appear to have the potential to do serious damage to Venezuela's economy:
Venezuela's daily oil production has fallen by a quarter since President Hugo Chavez won power, depriving his "Bolivarian Revolution" of much of the benefit of the global boom in oil prices.
There has been an unreality in the reports on the falling stock markets for at least the past 10 days. Each day's plunge seems to have been exclusively due to the "global economic crisis" and/or the supposed "freeze on credit."
Oddly enough, the admittedly small bank where I have my business accounts is having absolutely no problem funding mortgage, home-equity, and other loan applications from qualified borrowers -- a fact I confirmed just before posting this entry. With all due respect to the global business press, if there's truly a "freeze," how can that be?
I've put forth an alternative explanation to the media meme a couple of times this week myself, but an editorial at IBDeditorials.com yesterday brought out a major element of what I have been saying much more forcefully and articulately. Remarkably, though the possibility seems pretty obvious to me, and I suspect many others, I have seen no one in the business press covering daily market events even mention the obvious and quite likely alternative that follows.
The editorial, "Investors' Real Fear: A Socialist Tsunami," teases with the plaintive question, "What is it about the specter of our first socialist president and the end of capitalism as we know it that they don't understand?"
Old Media's coverage of the recently-lifted executive and congressional bans on offshore exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas largely overlooked an important element that should have been very relevant to the discussion.
Supporters of lifting the bans surely share much of the blame for only rarely citing it. Though they have frequently noted the hundreds of billions of dollars a years annually sent overseas to pay for oil that could have been extracted here, they have mostly missed a golden opportunity to tell the American people what over a quarter-century of drilling bans has cost the government and taxpayers. They also generally failed to tell us about the windfall that awaits if the end of the offshore and other bans finally leads to appropriately aggressive use of this country's God-given resources.
But if we had inquisitive financial reporters in the business press who were interested in information relevant to the "Drill Baby Drill" debate instead of merely repackaging the press releases they received from those on both sides (the sole exception I found was this Wall Street Journal editorial), many more Americans would have long ago learned about what follows.
Borrowing from the nickname for a federal earmark that would have built a multi-million dollar bridge for an Alaska town of 50 people, Newsweek's Mark Hosenball offers readers of the September 29 print magazine a look at "[Gov. Sarah] Palin's Pipeline to Nowhere."
Hosenball suggests that Palin's $500-million "principal achievement" as governor "might never be built after all." But while the headline evokes images of the "Bridge to Nowhere," this isn't a case of government waste as much as it is of the endless red tape of lawsuits.:
Approximately half of the proposed pipeline would run through Canada; native tribes who live along its route complain they haven't been consulted about it and are threatening to sue unless they are compensated. Representatives of the canadian tribes, known as First Nations, say Palin and other pipeline proponents are treating them with disrespect. The tribes' lawyers warn that the courts are on their side and say the Indians have the power to delay the pipeline for years-or even kill it entirely by filing endless lawsuits.
Beginning on September 15 and continuing through the 19th, "Good Morning America" has been touring America via train and finding economic misery and despair along the way. During the three special shows that have aired so far, which ABC has dubbed the "Whistle-Stop Tour '08," the program traveled to struggling towns in Massachusetts, Ohio and New York. On Monday, while talking with an elderly man who had lived through he Great Depression, co-host Diane Sawyer described him as someone who had survived "another time of economic crisis." (As a comparison, a quarter of the population was unemployed during the Great Depression. Unemployment today stands at just over six percent.)
On Tuesday, co-host Robin Roberts mentioned the people of Rome, New York and their "tough times." "...Some of them are feeling hard times," she added. On Wednesday, near Gustavus, Ohio, Roberts reported from a small town that "is not booming." While visiting the "suffering town" of Niagara New York on Tuesday, Sawyer talked to parents at a high school hockey game and lamented, "There were moms up in the bleachers, who say they have to look across the river [to Canada] too and wonder about American leadership."
When Andrea Mitchell says "all of us" thought a certain way, whom does she have in mind?
On her MSBNC show this afternoon, Mitchell stated that "all of us" originally thought John McCain had made a political mistake when he changed positions and came out of in favor of expanded oil drilling.
Mitchell was chatting with former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers and Republican strategist Doug MacKinnon. The subject was the just-announced Dem energy plan, that claims to make some limited provision for expanded offshore drilling. Mitchell made no bones of the fact that the politics now favor the advocates of expanded drilling, and that Dems were caught off guard.