Soon it’s going to cost you more to mow your lawn, and the Christian Science Monitor doesn’t mind because it’s all in the name of a cleaner planet.
“[H]elp is on the way. Thanks to a new rule unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency this week, homeowners will finally be able to buy mowers that give their lawn a truly clean cut,” wrote Mark Clayton of the Monitor.
But it was not homeowners who pressured mower manufacturers to lower emissions, but a mandate from the EPA. According to the new rule, beginning in 2011 small engines like those used in lawn tractors must filter out “an additional 35 pollutants … in addition to the 60 percent reduction mandated last year.”
Mike Strizki lives in the very first solar-hydrogen house in the U.S. and according to The Christian Science Monitor, "It sounds promising, even utopian: homemade, storable energy that doesn't contribute to global warming."
But the very positive profile of Strizki and his unusual new home left out the cost to other New Jersey residents.
“The total cost, $500,000, was paid for in part with a $250,000 grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities,” correspondent Jared Flesher wrote on March 15.
Let's see ... a grant from New Jersey. Since New Jersey isn't a person that means the $250,000 came from taxpayers.
Since today is being hyped as Bow to the Iraq Study Group Day, we should note that this is not a White House commission, but a group assembled by Congress. It’s also affiliated with the U.S. Institute of Peace. (Not all of those affiliated commissions get massive hype from journalists. For example, take Newt Gingrich and George Mitchell’s commission on United Nations reform last year.) Gail Russell Chaddock of the Christian Science Monitor explained recently it began with veteran Republican Rep. Frank Wolf of northern Virginia:
The Iraq Study Group is the flip side of the usual blue-ribbon panel, whose launch is often its high point. It began modestly as a one-line earmark in last spring's emergency defense spending bill - "$1 million ... for activities relating to Iraq."
American paychecks are rising again at a pace not seen since the 1990s.
The pay increase amounts to 4 percent on average over the past 12 months, and it comes at a very helpful time for millions of households.
For three years, pay increases haven't kept pace with the rising cost of living. Then came this year's housing slowdown, which has further squeezed family finances.
Those setbacks, however, are now being offset by rising income. Four percent may not sound like much, but you have to look back to 1997 to find a calendar year with a gain that big.
First, a correction: Trumbull's statement about pay increases not keeping pace with inflation "for three years" is incorrect. Start with this chart from the Census Bureau (go to the bottom half of the link for the "real income" version):
As Dave Pierre notes, some newspapers can be proven to find Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor a more newsworthy hostage than Fox News Channel's Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig. It's certainly true of the Washington Post, which never put Steve and Olaf on page one, even after they were released. On Monday, in his weekly "Critiquing the Press" online chat, Howard Kurtz disagreed with his paper's record:
Christian Science Monitor reveals what most economists have known for years. Free Market Project
For years, the media have been telling Americans the economy, though growing, is not producing good jobs. From Lou Dobbs’ continuous rant at CNN about “The War on the Middle Class” to the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne claiming in a February 21 op-ed that “The decline of manufacturing employment means the economy is producing fewer well-paying jobs,” the media mantra has been that wage gains during this recovery have been very disappointing.
“Now Democrats have argued, though, that under the Bush administration, Americans have seen wages remain flat, also high health care costs and high heating oil and gas prices,” CNN’s Elaine Quijano reiterated on an April 15 “CNN Live” report.
After a longtime “Chicken Little” media view of the labor markets, The Christian Science Monitor finally broke from the pack in an April 11 article by Mark Trumbull stating the “Newest job numbers show that businesses are expanding opportunities in high-wage fields.”
Just two days earlier, however, The New York Times asserted that “New technology and low-cost labor in places like China and India have put downward pressure on the wages and benefits of the average American worker.”
Who’s right? Well, the Monitor used some highly-regarded economists to support its assertions:
According to a large story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on January 26th, income inequality is widening. Wrote David Westphal, "income inequality is likely to deepen beyond its growth of the 1980s and 1990s, when incomes of affluent Americans grew more than three times faster than those of the low-income."
"Inequality is growing in all parts of the country," said Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
"Certain trends have been favoring the left for the past several decades. In the early 1960s, transfer payments (entitlements and welfare) constituted less than a third of the federal government's budget. Now they constitute almost 60 percent of the budget, or about $1.4 trillion per year. Measured according to this, the US government's main function now is redistribution: taking money from one segment of the population and giving it to another segment. In a few decades, transfer payments are expected to make up more than 75 percent of federal government spending."
There’s an old saying: What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. When it comes to mainstream media reporting, nothing could be further from the truth.
No finer example of a media double standard has been recently evident than in the furor that has evolved over revelations of National Security Agency eavesdropping. To be more precise, the press response to The New York Times report on this subject last Friday is in stark contrast to how they reacted in the ’90s when the Clinton administration was found to be engaging in extraordinarily similar activities.
A perfect example surfaced in a Washington Postarticle written yesterday by Charles Lane. In it, Lane referred to changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act under former President Clinton after the Aldrich Ames affair. For those unfamiliar, Ames was a CIA agent that was convicted in 1994 of working for the former Soviet Union:
Remember all those media predictions about the toxic nature of the floodwaters in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina? Well, it appears that much like their prognostications of casualties, how long it was going to take to drain the city, and the likely devastation to America’s economy, this too was an extraordinary exaggeration.
Here’s a sampling of the press opinions concerning this water made shortly after Katrina hit:
ABC News reported on September 6: "Thousands of hurricane survivors who spent hours trapped in or wading through floodwaters likely exposed themselves to a wide range of bacteria and other contaminants.”
Reuters reported on September 7: “The brew of chemicals and human waste in the New Orleans floodwaters will have to be pumped into the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain, raising the specter of an environmental disaster on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, experts say.”
The Christian Science Monitor reported on September 8: “Chemicals leaking from cars and factories will cause one of costliest environmental cleanups ever.”
With the exception of a few lines, this October 7 Christian Science Monitor story by Warren Richey about Harriet Miers could have been written by the White House. Its thesis is that prior judicial experience is not a reliable indicator of how well an individual will do as a justice if appointed and confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Among a number of reasonably thoughtful quotes from academics, however, this line stands out:
Snobbery is no small part of the debate over Miers, analysts say.
The "analysts" who said this are not identified, however, and the only support for a "snobbery" element to the debate is this line:
If your local movie reviewer seems snippier than usual in his/her take on the latest romantic comedy vehicle for Reese Witherspoon, Just Like Heaven, well, it might have a bit to do with the writer's politics.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer's William Arnold wasn't content to confine his scorn for the theatrical merits (or lack thereof) for Witherspoon's latest work. In his negative review, Arnold scolds the movie's writers for what he sees as the politics behind the premise of the film: