Former Democratic Michigan governor turned Current TV commentator Jennifer Granholm got a much-needed education Sunday about the difference between Mitt Romney's involvement with Bain Capital and President Obama's forays into green energy investment.
"When Bain invested," said George Will on ABC's This Week, "it invests money that it gets voluntarily to be invested. When the president throws a half-billion dollars away on Solyndra, it's money taken away by the police power of the federal government from unwilling taxpayers" (video follows with transcript and commentary)
Last year New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman called for space aliens to invade earth so that the government would spend money to mount a defense thereby stimulating the economy.
As aliens have yet to comply with Krugman's wishes, he advocated on HBO's Real Time Friday that scientists should get together and lie about an imminent attack to boost federal spending (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If between now and Election Day unemployment numbers improve, particularly if they dip below the 8% barrier, you know President Obama, with an MSM assist, will be out there pounding his chest about the number of jobs "he created."
But when the unemployment numbers remain weak? Well, that's not Obama's fault. Just ask Mike Allen of Politico. On today's Morning Joe, trying to explain Obama's early campaign stumbles, Allen declared that certain factors, including the bleak job numbers, were "beyond the control" of Obama. View the video after the jump.
Last week, what the Department of Labor had originally reported as a dip in new unemployment claims the previous week (from 368,000 to 367,000) was revised into an increase (to 370,000). This week, what DOL originally reported was a no-change situation (i.e., 370,000) was revised into an increase (to 372,000).
It's getting ever more difficult to accept DOL's ongoing underestimations, which now run to 60 of the 61 most recent weeks I've been able to track (the one exception was a "no change" situation during the week ended June 18, 2011). In covering today's charade, Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Associated Press (aka the Administration's Press), all failed to note that this week's revision to last week turned last week into an increase instead of a no-change. In what should be seen as only a marginal improvement, two of the three (the AP, predictably, was the exception), headlined this week's small initial reduction from last week -- which seems destined to disappear after revision next week -- as "essentially unchanged." Excerpts follow the jump.
NBC anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday night ridiculed Mitt Romney’s quest to reduce the unemployment rate to six percent by 2016, a level enjoyed fewer than four years ago.
“Back when Newt Gingrich pledged $2.50 a gallon gasoline, if elected President, he was called out at the time for an unrealistic number. Today,” Williams charged without naming any source, “some of the same thing happened to Mitt Romney when he made a pledge on unemployment as part of his overall defense of his work at Bain Capital.”
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer invited CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer to elaborate on calling Mitt Romney a "job destroyer" as the head of Bain Capital on Sunday's Meet the Press: "You speaking as a pundit, or do you have some experience here?" Cramer declared: "He was talking about rationalizing the workforce, making it so that the companies were more efficient. Matt, these were code words back then. Code words for firing people."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer followed Obama campaign talking points perfectly as he decried Mitt Romney's business record at Bain Capital: "Romney's known as a job destroyer, not a creator....I think Bain sticks. I think the idea that you bring in Bain...they fire a lot of people and that's how they get prosperity for the rich." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the same time, Cramer dismissed a positive forward-looking Romney ad outlining specific policy proposals: "I just don't think that this will stick." He concluded the Bain attacks against Romney were "a more resonant theme" and better "than anything that Romney's come up with."
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Sunday continued his campaign to get Barack Obama reelected by misinforming the public about the economy.
Appearing on CNN's FareedZakaria GPS, the Nobel laureate falsely claimed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to enact Greece's failed economic policies here in America (video follows with transcript and commentary):
I have a serious question for MSNBC's Chris Matthews: How many lies are you willing to tell on national television to get Barack Obama reelected?
On Friday's Hardball, the host gave viewers a plethora of falsehoods and half-truths to giving us an idea of just how far he's prepared to go this election cycle to make sure the objection of his affection remains in the White House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to a Rasmussen Poll conducted last March, over 80 percent of likely U.S. voters see the economy as a “very important” issue going into this November. A strong economy leads to a strong and prosperous country. A good indicator of the strength of the economy is the number of jobs created. Despite the national media’s attempt to spin the numbers, the jobs reports for the last two months have not been reassuring.
The president promised his stimulus plan would create millions of jobs and would bring the unemployment rate to under 8 percent. Instead, nearly one million more Americans are out of work and the country has run up the three largest deficits in U.S. history. Americans are forced to leave the workforce altogether due to scarcity of jobs. The media seems to have amnesia when it comes to the president’s failed promises from his stimulus to his failed attempts to create so-called “green jobs” using taxpayers’ money.
Let's grant that Associated Press reporter Mitch Weiss, in his dispatch Saturday on the headache Democratic National Convention host state North Carolina has become for the left, acknowledged by quoting someone else that "Nobody can sugarcoat the fact that we got problems here." That said, the AP reporter applied quite a bit of sweetener with generous pinches of distortion in several instances.
Weiss's biggest howler was the patently falsely impression he gave that the constitutional amendment approved by voters on Tuesday limiting marriage to one-man, one-woman relationships achieved success solely because of a "fired-up Republican base," when the support for it had to be far broader for it to achieve its 61.06%-38.84% victory margin (scroll to the very bottom at the link; the state's Board of Elections would appear to be quite unhappy with the result).
As has been so typical in analogous instances for the year or so I have been following the weekly claims numbers closely, the Associated Press (aka the Administration's Press), Reuters, and Bloomberg headlined a "dip," a "fall," and a "drop" in filings for initial claims, even though the dip-fall-drop from 368,000 to 367,000 only occurred because last week's figure was revised up from 365,000. If this week's figure is revised up by 1,000 or more (based on the past 60 weeks, there's at least a 95% chance of that), the dip-fall-drop will be gone-gone-gone. The AP's Paul Wiseman produced the howler of the morning in the last of the five excerpted paragraphs which follow (bolds are mine):
CNN's Soledad O'Brien once again jumped to the defense of the Obama campaign, as she tried to argue on Monday that the economy is "trending" in the President's favor. She countered Romney aide Andrea Saul who hit Obama's record of net job loss while in office.
"When you say 'hasn't created net jobs,' of course you are talking about there was so much job loss that even started to happen before the President even came in," she lectured Saul. "They're rebuilding from that, so I'm going to correct you on that if I can." What Soledad did not admit is that while unemployment has slid to 8.1 percent, the labor force participation rate is the lowest in decades. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It is more than a little odd that each of the three wire services identified in today's earlier post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in reporting on yesterday's OMG-awful jobs report, somehow failed to mention something about the data presented. Specifically, at Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Associated Press (here and here), five reporters in four stories somehow avoided using two truly required words in describing the data contained in many if not most government economic data releases: "seasonally adjusted."
One is in an odd omission. A pair of such reports is a strange coincidence. The presence of four from three separate sources makes you wonder, especially since all three wire services found room for the two magic words (Bloomberg, though cryptically; Reuters; AP) in dispatches about Uncle Sam's report on initial unemployment claims the previous day. A look at how dismal the not seasonally adjusted numbers were in April follows the jump, and shows how, bad as they turned out to be, the Obama administration caught a lucky break in the seasonal adjustment calculations. It may also explain why the wire services avoided mentioning it.
To the extent that it was there at all, there was far too little emphasis in yesterday's wire service reporting on yesterday's OMG-awful jobs report (worse than most believe, as will be shown in a later post) was far less on those who continue to be affected -- like, say, the unemployed, under-employed and discouraged, who should be the object of such news stories -- and far too much concentration on what it might mean for President Obama's reelection prospects.
This was noticeable yesterday at Bloomberg, Reuters, and of course at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine).
Is MSNBC's Chris Matthews stupid, dishonest, or both?
On Friday's Hardball, the host actually said of today's report from the Department of Labor, "The unemployment rate did drop to 8.1 percent, the lowest rate since President Obama took office" (video follows with transcribe highlights and commentary):
About 45,000 fewer jobs were added in April than economists expected, and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent due to more than a half million people giving up the job search. CNN Money reacted with the headline “hiring fizzles.”
University of Maryland Economist Peter Morici wrote in response the jobs report, “The economy added 115,000 jobs in April - much less than expected and not enough to keep up with natural population growth. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent because another 522,000 adults quit looking for work and are no longer counted.”
Well, we can all stop thinking about the presidential election, because Barack Obama's victory is assured. This morning, Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, virtually celebrated analysts' predictions that the unemployment rate will drop a whole 0.3% between now and Election Day to 7.9%. But in searching desperately for a precedent, he claimed that a public which has historically tended to have a "What have you done for me lately?" mentality has rewarded presidents seeking reelection who have seen the jobless rate decline in "the two years before the election." By this "logic," Obama will be reelected even if the unemployment rate zooms to 9.7% by Election Day, because that rate will still be lower than November 2010 rate of 9.8%. So, as I said, it's over.
What follows in rebuttal isn't a claim that Obama won't get reelected. But if he does, it will be certainly be for reasons other than the economy's (brace yourself) "brighter jobs picture" and its move into a "virtuous cycle." Excerpts from Wiseman's wheezing follow the jump (bold is mine; HT to BizzyBlog commenter "Tony"):
There's been a lot of bad economic news lately, but the folks at the Associated Press don't care.
In their view - or at least in the opinion of those they surveyed - "[h]iring through the rest of 2012...will be strong enough to push the unemployment rate below 8 percent by Election Day" boosting "Obama's prospects in November":
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is doing a television tour for his book "End This Depression Now!" Charlie Rose interviewed him twice, once on CBS This Morning Monday, then that night for the full hour of Rose's PBS talk show. Krugman appeared on Bloomberg TV Tuesday debating Ron Paul, and the friendlier confines of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show that night.
Krugman's economic recovery plan, no surprise, involves lots of government jobs, a smear of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, and a cavalier attitude toward America's massive debt load: "Britain had debt that was well over 100% of for most of the 20th century. It's not a crisis level problem....you can live with 100% for decades on end." On Rachel Maddow he said Wall Street guys have "destroyed the world."
There's real paradox in romanticizing squalid, rat infested tents in one section of your publication while in another advising well-heeled readers where to buy a $5,000 Chippendale rug. But such is life at a liberal big-city newspaper.
It must be campaign season. Fact-checking gurus are rating accurate statements by the Romney campaign as "Mostly False" or "Half True" or – the best – "True but False," since they're correct but they apparently don't tell the whole story.
However, when President Obama made a factually-incorrect statement last week, he did not receive a "False" rating from the website PolitiFact, but benefitted from a grading curve since he "has a point" to make. Romney received the same "Half True" rating for a factually-correct statement.
There ought to be a law against newscasters blatantly lying to the public.
On Monday, MSNBC's Martin Bashir falsely claimed the economic plans put forth by Great Britain and Spain are "the Romney-Ryan budget in action...almost exactly, word for word" without informing his viewers that those countries raised taxes to fight their deficits (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Despite Wisconsin's unemployment rate being well below the national rate and steadily falling, on Saturday's NBC Nightly News correspondent Ron Allen selectively hyped job losses: "With the protesters serenading Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker and urging voters to recall him from office June 5th, the state's job losses add to the list of grievances.The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012."
That same Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that Wisconsin's unemployment rate fell from 7.6% to 6.8% in that same time period. Ignoring that reality, Allen featured a sound bite from an unidentified woman who ranted: "No other state has lost jobs like this. Wisconsin alone moved sort of off the rails of the national recovery."
On Monday, CBS This Morning gave leftist New York Times columnist Paul Krugman a platform to promote his new book and to spout his usual prescription of massive government spending. Krugman also bashed Mitt Romney: "He's going to make Herbert Hoover look good by comparison." Anchor Gayle King boosted her guest by twice citing President Obama's praise for the author as "one of the smartest economic reporters."
Krugman briefly acknowledged the "long-term budget problem," but quickly added that "now is not the time to be slashing....Now is the time to be doing public works, to be rehiring those school teachers, to get this economy moving again." He also ripped the austerity measures taken by several European countries: "You look at what's happening in Europe and...we just learned that austerity is not the answer...the big problem now is not to have a new stimulus, but simply to reverse those cuts at the state level."
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt gave a much-needed economics lesson to New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman on ABC's This Week Sunday.
During a lengthy discussion about liberal and conservative views on how to stimulate the currently soft recovery, Schmidt - a known Barack Obama supporter - marvelously said to his left-leaning co-panelist, "Surely you're not arguing that the government should hire all the unemployed people" (video follows with transcript and commentary):