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They must really think we are idiots.

February 3, 2012 4 comments

First the spin via MSNBC:

The U.S. economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate dropped to a near three-year low, offering a hopeful sign for hiring in the year ahead.

Employers added a net 243,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday — that’s the most since April and far better than economists’ expectations for a gain of only 150,000.

January saw the most jobs added since and April and May 2010, when 277,000 and 458,000 jobs were created. But those months were skewed by massive hiring for the census. Before that, the last month with more job creation was March 2006.

The upbeat tenor of the January jobs report was further strengthened by revisions to November and December payrolls data, which showed 60,000 more jobs created than previously reported. In addition, hiring was widespread across many high-paying industries. And average hourly earnings rose four cents, which should help to support spending.

The continued labor market improvement could be a relief for President Barack Obama who faces a tough re-election campaign this year.

Speaking at an event in Arlington, Va., Friday, Obama welcomed the strong January jobs report. But, he added, there are “still far too many Americans who need a job.”

“The economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we have to do everything in our power to keep it going,” Obama said.

Now let’s look at the numbers via ZeroHedge:

A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that’s not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation. As for the quality of jobs, as withholding taxes roll over Year over year, it can only mean that the US is replacing high paying FIRE jobs with low paying construction and manufacturing. So much for the improvement.

Via ZeroHedge: Persons not in the Labor Force

Via ZeroHedge: Labor Force Participation Rate

If you look at the first graph, you’ll see a huge uptick in the number of people not in the Labor Force. Remember how they calculate unemployment? Unemployment rate = Unemployed workers / Total labor force. It’s easy to see how a huge drop in the labor participation rate, which is the total labor force, can make the numbers look artificially good.

Expect more of this chicken-fuckery as the election cycles gears up. The media will portray the unemployment numbers as “unexpectedly better than forecasts” in an attempt to carry water for their Chosen One.

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GOP leaders don’t like Gingrich and that’s a good thing!

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

As Newt gains momentum in the GOP primary, the attacks against him by the GOP elite keep growing.

  1. Why GOP leaders don’t trust Gingrich
  2. Gingrich and Reagan: In the 1980s, the candidate repeatedly insulted the president.
  3. Newt’s Troublesome Lack of Prudence
  4. Hour of Newt
  5. Gingrich: I’ll “serve notice” that future debates must allow audience cheering

Twitter has been even more disturbing as GOP pundits and bloggers: C.E Cupp, Michelle Malkin, Guy Benson and Jim Geraghty sneer and deride Newt and the people that support him.

Newt is not the perfect candidate, he does have lots of skeletons in his closet. I don’t agree with some of his positions at all. But the mere fact that he scared the shit out of the GOP elite and those who want to be part of the elite (explains the bloggers), gives me even more reason to support him.

I have zero faith in the political parties. They are only out to serve their own self interest and the interest of their backers. The Democrats serve the Unions and their “favorite” companies. The GOP serves their “favorites” as well. They both have shown zero regard for what is good for the nation as a whole, rather than their own narrow self interest. The GOP elite want the status quo. They want to keep the things the way they are. They didn’t like Reagan when he ran against Bush I. They wanted a party man like Bush. Afterwards, Reagan became so popular that it was political suicide to talk bad about him. (Well unless your Mitt Romney.) Bush I was a company man through and through.Romney is of the same vein as Bush I, a good company man. Romney’s only chance of winning is to be a company man. He has no appeal to anyone outside of company men and NE Liberal Republicans. Without company backing, he is dead in the water. The GOP media knows this. That’s why the decline to do any real reporting on Romney. That is why any attack against Bain is derided as “Anti-Capitalist.” What is why, as Romney’s numbers continue to fall, their attacks against the front runner continue to rise.

It doesn’t matter who is the frontrunner, as long as it is Romney. When it’s not Romney, we start to see a lot of stories of how bad the frontrunner is. No word about Cain until he became the frontrunner, then multiple stories crept up against him. Newt surged, then came the onslaught. Santorum surged, then came the onslaught. Now Newt is surging again…more attacks. Notice a pattern?

If the GOP has any chance of winning, it has to be a party for the people, not the elites. A vast amount of people are turned off from the Democratic Party, because they perceive it to be a party for the Elites. Obama was the chosen one and pushed down everyone’s throats. The media were behind their money men completely and pushed Obama; never reporting negatives, giving him softball questions, while viciously attacking anyone with the gumption of telling the truth about Obama (Palinization).

Now has the GOP establishment in full panic mode. From C.E. Cupp;

At the risk of sounding maudlin or apocalyptic, the conservative movement is poised to become irrelevant or simply extinct. If the next few weeks go the way the last one did, conservatism may as well hang up a sign that says “Closed for Business (apologies to Ronald Reagan).”

The irony is that she is absolutely right. The conservative movement that the party Elites enjoy will be dead. That’s a very good thing!

Rule of Thumb: Never believe anything MSNBC says about Republicans

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I was watching the snore-fest of a debate last night. Aside from the littany of questions that are really meaningless (Everglades? WTF?) the best stuff happened during the debate wrap up. In particular Andrea Mitchell, long known as a Democratic Propagandists there out this little bomb.The video can be found here. (I don’t know how to embed that in my blog, it’s not a youtube clip)

“I talked to a top Romney adviser tonight who said, ‘Look, if Mitt Romney cannot win in Florida then we’re going to have to try to reinvent the smoke-filled room which has been democratized by all these primaries. And we’re going to have try to come with someone as an alternative to Newt Gingrich who could be Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, someone.’ Because there is such a desperation by the so-called party elites, but that’s exactly what Gingrich is playing against,” Andrea Mitchell said on NBC tonight after the debate.

At first I was like whoa. It plays right into the whole party elites don’t want Newt meme. That was my fast brain thinking. Afterwards, my slow brain started clicking into action and I started thinking, “Why should I believe Andrea Mitchell?” Why would a Romney adviser say something like that to Andrea Mitchell of all people? Andrea Mitchell is a mouthpiece for the DNC. There is a great blog called FireAndreaMitchell.com check it out. A list of Mitchell’s propaganda can be found on that site here. Of my favorites:

  1. Iowa is too white, too evangelical, too rural to re-elect Obama
  2. You and I Are Both White
  3. Andrea Mitchell covers Obama and idiot Biden eating burgers! (a love story)
  4. Andrea Mitchell in Awe of Cabinet’s “Brain Power”

Knowing that she is just a mouthpiece for the DNC, why should we believe anything she says or the Network that employs her as an impartial journalist? The debate question were mere fishing expeditions for a safe or good soundbite for Obama re-election ads.

Earlier yesterday, I was in a facespace debate with some Romneybots over this story; Obama for Gingrich’ memo hits Romney.

President Barack Obama’s campaign manager tried to help former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign on Monday morning by sending out a 1,540-word anti-Romney campaign flyer just days prior to the Jan. 31 Florida primary votes.

The Mittbots were trying to say that this is proof that Obama is scared of Romney. I tried (unsuccessfully) to tell them that they are being played. That Obama wants to face Mittens in the general election and that Messina is using a head-fake strategy on them. Their bias got in the way of the critical thinking skills. But the same question can be asked, why would the Democrats be so blatant? That coupled with Mitchell’s “party elites” statement just make me think that they are trying to stir up controversy within the GOP ranks. They know the GOP is divided over the Romney’s vs Non-Romney’s (I have my own hypothesis on this which I hope to write about this weekend.) They know that the GOP voters think that the party elites really are tyring to push Romney on everyone and are really pissed off about it. MSNBC is only trying to add fuel to the fire.

I urge everyone not to believe trust anything that comes out of the mouth of Andrea Mitchell or MSNBC (ABC, CBS too) about the GOP. Their only goal is to see Obama win, period.

You probably shouldn’t trust Fox either, since they are all in the tank for Romney (with exception of Palin).

UPDATE: Not 3 seconds after I hit publish, I got to thinking not believing is too strong a word. That would insinuate that they never tell the truth and in my mind would be an ad hominem attack on MSNBC. I don’t want to do that. It’s better to say don’t trust them. If you see something, verify it yourself. If it is something that can’t be verified (Mitchell’s statement) then be skeptical, think it through and see if it makes sense. I still firmly believe that our enemies and critics are the best sources of critical information. Yes they have a bias and over hype the short comings, but they are usually the most diligent to find factual errors as well. Our own bias does blind us to our shortcomings. We are the easiest person to fool, we fool ourselves all the time. That’s the criticism I have for Obamabots and Romneybots. I’d be intellectually dishonest to say I am immune. I am not, which is why I do read the criticisms and weight them in my head.

If you don’t like the results, sit on it for 2 years.

January 21, 2012 4 comments

That’s what happened to a new (old) study that showed that selling junk food to kids in school doesn’t lead to overweight kids. According to a study by Penn State sociology professor Jennifer Van Hook, Competitive Food Sales in
Schools and Childhood Obesity: A Longitudinal Study
:

Employing fixed effects models and a natural experimental approach, they found that children’s
weight gain between fifth and eighth grades was not associated with the introduction or the duration
of exposure to competitive food sales in middle school. Also, the relationship between competitive foods
and weight gain did not vary significantly by gender, race/ethnicity, or family socioeconomic status, and it
remained weak and insignificant across several alternative model specifications (bolded for emphasis)

The real travesty is that Prof. Van Hook sat on the data for almost two years.

Van Hook said that the findings surprised the researchers so much that they held off publishing for nearly two years “because we kept looking for a connection that just wasn’t there.”

This is a problem with a lot of junk science now. A lot of researchers fall victim to Belief Bias. They attribute the validity of the research based on what they believe the valid conclusion should be. In this case, Dr. Van Hook had already made up her mind that junk food in middles schools should lead to more overweight kids. When the data fails to show a correlation, they person simply thinks that there is an error in the data, not an error in themselves. They then try to tease (more like torture) the data to try and fit the preconceived paradigm. In this case, they couldn’t torture the data enough to find anything that fits what they think ought to be true. The opposite is also very true in Academia, when they have one piece of data that confirms their bias, they tout that data as proof positive that their hypothesis is right.

There is nothing wrong with this. This is how science is done. You make a hypothesis, form an experiment, look at the data to see if it fits with your hypothesis. Three things can happen; the data can fit your hypothesis, in which you try different experiment to test your hypothesis. If repeated experiment all confirm your hypothesis, you can make a reasonable assumption that your hypothesis is correct. The second thing to happen is that the data totally refutes your hypothesis, in which case you reject the hypothesis and try again. The third thing to happen (which is common) is that some sort of systemic error occurred in your experiments that makes the data inconclusive. The only thing to do is try to reformulate your experimental procedure to get rid of the error. That is what should happen.

The problem now is what to do with all that legislation that was passed aiming to help the children? Policies were put into place based off of bad science. They made the assumption that junk food in schools WERE the cause of obesity, before any data could be looked at. This is the central fallacy of most Statist (Paternal) solutions to societal problems. They are never really based on any actual science. They same can be said for cell phone bans around the country, when there is no evidence that banning cell phones while driving actual does anything?

The other thing about this junk food study, is that it shows once again that the conventional wisdom is usually wrong. It shows that Academics are the easiest people to fool. It shows the depths to which people will hold on to their beliefs when the data is staring them in the face telling them they are wrong. I do have to give credit where credit is due. The research, Dr. Van Hook, actually published the study. A lot of researchers get so married to their pet hypothesis, they will not publish anything that might refute it.

I highly recommend listening to this Econtalk podcast with Gary Taubes.

Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what we know about the relationship between diet and disease. Taubes argues that for decades, doctors, the medical establishment, and government agencies encouraged Americans to reduce fat in their diet and increase carbohydrates in order to reduce heart disease. Taubes argues that the evidence for the connection between fat in the diet and heart disease was weak yet the consensus in favor of low-fat diets remained strong. Casual evidence (such as low heart disease rates among populations with little fat in their diet) ignores the possibilities that other factors such as low sugar consumption may explain the relationship. Underlying the conversation is a theme that causation can be difficult to establish in complex systems such as the human body and the economy.

Why Does the Media Keep Underestimating Newt?

January 20, 2012 1 comment

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself. – Sun Tzu

Excellent article by Walter Shapiro here.

The South Carolina primary has become a referendum on Newt Gingrich. Just 10 days after he was left in a dustbin labeled “Yesterday’s Man” after dismal finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich has confounded the experts yet again. The oft-derided and consistently under-estimated House speaker has now bested Jesus in his sheer number of resurrections—an association that can only help as the South Carolina primary vote looms.

Read the rest but I find the explanation quite simple….they think they are smarter than you, me…and of course they think they are smarter than Newt himself.

This is typical of anyone that buys into the idea of Statism, which modern Liberals overwhelmingly do. The media is comprised of about 90 – 97 percent liberals according to Tim Groseclose of UCLA (I highly recommend watching his Uncommon Knowledge interview here.) They believe in the central premise of Statism, that the State knows more than you and should therefore be able to dictate what you can and can’t do, for your own good. Call it Paternalism if you want, it’s all the same thing, just depends on the degree of control. How often do you hear a Liberal talk about how dumb those people that vote Republican, Libertarian….take your pick of things not Liberal Democrat and how if they were in charge…

They think they are smarter. So when someone that is really smart comes along (enter Newt) they constantly project their idea of a Republicans on to him. The fact that Newt has consistently defied the “conventional wisdom” (another word for what the Media wants you to believe) should be a fairly good indicator of how dumb those in the media really are. Since they are overwhelmingly Liberal…kinda tells you how Liberalism fairs doesn’t it?

GOP media has lost their damn minds

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I normally like Charles Krauthammer. He usually analyzes a topic well and presents a clear logical explanation to an issue. That said….today he has lost his fucking mind! I think during the night, someone took out all the logic circuits and replaced them with sauerkraut.

His first mistake is to assume that only Romney can be the nominee. Then assume that any and all criticism of Romney’s business is “class warefare,” i.e. anti-Capitalism. These are just the lead up to what we already know what is going to happen.

If Romney is the nominee and loses, it’s all the fault of those of us who criticized Bain’s business model and Romney’s role in creating it.

Suddenly Romney’s wealth, practices and taxes take center stage. And why not? If leading Republicans are denouncing rapacious capitalism that enriches the 1 percent while impoverishing everyone else, should this not be the paramount issue in a campaign occurring at a time of economic distress?

Now, economic inequality is an important issue, but the idea that it is the cause of America’s current economic troubles is absurd. Yet, in a stroke, the Republicans have succeeded in turning a Democratic talking point — a last-ditch attempt to salvage reelection by distracting from their record — into a central focus of the nation’s political discourse. (Bolded for emphasis)

That’s your narrative. The other narrative people like Krauthammer will be saying is, if Romney isn’t the nominee and the GOP loses….oh wait…if Romney isn’t the nominee the GOP will not lose…my bad. You know what the narrative would have been anyway. This is a clear example of the GOP media Obamatizing Romney.

Obamatization: The act of carrying water for a candidate, never criticizing them and demagoging anyone that does.

Maybe we need a list and hold these asshole accountable for the damage they are doing to the country, by trying to push the least vetted GOP candidate around…Romney.

I dare say, if Kraut keeps this up…he’s no better than Stephen Colbert.

h/t Legal Insurrection

Romney is being Obamatized.

January 19, 2012 2 comments

One fact about the 2008 election was that Obama received very little criticism and probably a lot of help from the media. Even Jake Tapper admits as much: “You had the media, perhaps, tilting on the scales a little bit” No shit!

Why is the media going easy on Romney? Why is he getting the Obama treatment when McCain’s 2008 opposition research book hit the interwebs?

Notice anything there? Yeah no MSM mention of the book, only blogs. The book can be found here. I hope to write a few posts on some of the issues, particularly the economics, Health Care and Business record sections.

So why is the media going soft on Romney? Could it be that they are still tilted for Obama and they are waiting for Romney to get the nomination, then going for the kill?