October 30, 2009

Confirmed: Prosperity Montage Returns!
— Ace

Sadly, I don't have a clip of it yet (those Newsbusters are slacking), but ArthurK. saw it last night.

Just as predicted -- including a substitution for the printing-presses-rolling-off-currency part.

Watched ABC network news. They had a mini-montage.

1) Cash registers beeping and cash register drawers popping open, filled with cash.

They showed cash being counted - twice.

2) The ding-ding-ding at day's end on Wall Street, to the cheers of traders.

Check.

3) Government printing presses rolling off millions of dollars in $100 bills.


Housing, for sale signs. Happy people in car showrooms.

Actually that's not a mini-montage, that's the full montage. The Prosperity Montage only lasts, like, five or six seconds as they read a couple of sentences about the super-duper growth numbers meaning that we're all rich.

I'll keep looking for the clip.

Ah. Hello again, old chum.

Posted by: Ace at 05:58 AM | Comments (86)
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ABC Poll: Voters would choose public option over a bipartisan bill
— Slublog

The numbers:

Fifty one percent said they preferred the public option; 37 percent said they preferred a bill with some support from Republicans in Congress. Six percent said neither and seven percent expressed no opinion.
What's really amazing is how consistent these numbers are with the last question on the poll (pdf link):

abcpollquestion.jpg

Look at those numbers. What a crazy random happenstance, huh?

Thank goodness for the WaPo/ABC polling unit, or we never would have known that voters who intend to vote Democrat are supportive of Democrat policies.

Posted by: Slublog at 05:00 AM | Comments (125)
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NY-23 Debate Night
— Gabriel Malor

Doug Hoffman, Bill Owens, and Dede Scozzafava had their one and only debate last night. Says one viewer:

Owens and Scozzafava are obviously more comfortable in public speaking than Doug Hoffman as would be expected from their professions of politician and lawyer as opposed to Hoffman’s career in accounting. For myself it was substance over presentation that was important and I thought Hoffman did well, a B+. Scozzafava did very well on the background issues facing the district, but since it is her judgement and liberal leanings which are in question, one has to ask whether knowledge of the issues, without a strongly principled background, would lead to the best solutions.

Anybody else see it? Let us know what you thought in comments.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:28 AM | Comments (87)
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More Thin-Skinned "Attacks" From the White House
— Dave in Texas

This time aimed at Edmunds.com, who pointed out yesterday the Cash for Clunkers program was a clunker.

We're being governed by a bunch of emo pukes.

From the White House blog:

On the same day that we found out that motor vehicle output added 1.7% to economic growth in the third quarter – the largest contribution to quarterly growth in over a decade – Edmunds.com has released a faulty analysis suggesting that the Cash for Clunkers program had no meaningful impact on our economy or on overall auto sales. This is the latest of several critical “analyses” of the Cash for Clunkers program from Edmunds.com, which appear designed to grab headlines and get coverage on cable TV

MOM! THE CAR GUYS TOOK THE LAST PIECE OF BIRTHDAY CAKE!

I suppose this is the kind of reaction you'd expect from people whose job is to make shit up and sell it as something it most certainly is not. And a lot of numbskulls who buy into any Obama plan (because it's from His Awesomeness) will surely pump their little fists in the air and say "Yeah!", but they really don't need convincing, do they?

I'm just a moron, but I think Shakespeare's point was something along the lines of protesting too loudly kinda makes you look bad.

MISSED THIS: LauraW and techie point out the sophisticated high-brow rhetoric in the piece really shows those Edmunds guys they're all wrong.

In other words, all the other cars were being sold on Mars, while the rest of the country was caught up in the excitement of the Cash for Clunkers program..

Edmunds.com, on the other hand, is promoting a bombastic press release without any public access to their underlying analysis.

So put on your space suit and compare the two approaches yourself:


Whining truth to power.


via eddiebear over at H2, where the MOM! thing is a bit of a running gag, which I'm more than happy to swipe.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 04:28 AM | Comments (87)
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Top Headline Comments 10-30-09
— Gabriel Malor

Friday!

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:22 AM | Comments (46)
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October 29, 2009

Pataki Endorses Hoffman
— Slublog

Dede Scozzafava, Newt Gingrich hardest hit.

As someone personally engaged in the way of life in the Adirondacks and Northern New York, I’m deeply concerned about the course of our nation and the outcome of the election in the 23rd Congressional District.

Simply put, we cannot afford to give another vote to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid we cannot afford another vote for higher taxes, we cannot afford another vote for government run health care and we absolutely cannot afford another vote to take away from hard working men and women the right to secret ballot.

That is why tonight, I’m proud to endorse Doug Hoffman, a Republican, running on the Conservative line for Congress in the 23rd Congressional District.

Newt Gingrich reacts to the news: more...

Posted by: Slublog at 07:16 PM | Comments (117)
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Birthers Lose Another Lawsuit
— Gabriel Malor

Alright, that's not news. The news is that the judge wrote what will probably be the most in-depth discussion (30 pages) of the issues that have plagued the Birther lawsuits: standing, separation of powers, and the political question doctrine.

First, for the first time a court has suggested that failed presidential candidates like Alan Keyes might have standing to sue the President over constitutional eligibility. This is the argument that Ace has been making for a while. As Ace said long ago, somebody out there should have standing. The court in this case considered several possible plaintiffs and found each lacking: active military, retired military, state representatives, taxpayers, and distant Obama relatives (!!!).

When it came to presidential candidates, though, the judge noted "the political candidate plaintiffs are the only category of plaintiffs who potentially satisfy the injury-in-fact requirement[.] [T]he Court will turn to whether the political candidates can satisfy the redressability requirement of the standing analysis."

That's where the plaintiffs failed. As I have been arguing all along, the Constitution does not commit any authority to the courts to depose Presidents. Sole constitutional authority to remove sitting presidents rests with Congress. Thus, there is no remedy for the courts to provide.

So the lawsuit was dismissed. Oh, and lest I forget, Orly Taitz took it in the teeth (again). The judge was not amused by her antics. I LOLed at this observation:

While Plaintiffs removed Mueller in their First Amended Complaint following the Court’s suggestion that they narrow and focus their claims, they insisted upon the continued inclusion of the First Lady, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Vice President as Defendants. [FN2]

FN2. The inclusion of the First Lady in this lawsuit, considering she holds no
constitutional office, is baffling.

But seriously, Taitz is probably facing a bar complaint over several of her claims, which the court called "inexcusable", and for some possibly criminal behavior. I've tucked that portion of the decision below the fold. more...

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 05:13 PM | Comments (219)
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Overnight Open Thread - Thursday Style! (Mætenloch)
— Open Blog

Welcome all M&Ms. It's Thursday night and all downhill from here. In a good way.

British Thug Gets a Comeuppance
Here a 'chav' (a UK hybrid of wigger and white trash) taunts a man in his own yard. Finally at around 2:17 the punk gets laid low. You see what he didn't know is that the man, Jason Smith, was a Gulf War veteran with black belts in karate and jiu-jitsu. And he had complained to police 50 times(!) in the last year about harassment like this.

Frankly I'm surprised Smith let the confrontation go on this long but then given Britain's current legal state, it's not clear you're even allowed to physically defend yourself when threatened and assaulted on your own property. Sadly the UK is coming to resemble the first acts of Mad Max or any Death Wish movie. But unfortunately in real life the second and third acts never seem to come.

more...

Posted by: Open Blog at 05:10 PM | Comments (1172)
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Is The Politico Just Making Stuff Up Now?
— DrewM

It's about Sarah Palin, so that makes it cool I guess.

Consider this headline: "Iowa Republicans wince at Sarah Palin's $100K speaking fee"

The Politico story starts...

A conservative Iowa group’s effort to lure Sarah Palin to its banquet next month has had an unintended effect: Rather than exciting conservatives about the prospect of a visit from the former Alaska governor, the group’s plan to raise a six-figure sum to bring her to the state has GOP activists recoiling at the thought of paying to land a politician's speaking appearance.

The Iowa Family Policy Center’s effort to cobble together $100,000 for Palin would represent a striking departure from customary practice in the first-in-the-nation state, these Republicans say, noting that a generation of White House hopefuls has paid their own way to boost their party and presidential ambitions.

Then way down on page 2, in the 24th paragraph of the article we find this little nugget.

There is no indication that the former governor has requested a fee or that her decision whether to attend is being influenced by whether she’ll be paid.

Hello? What's that again? You spend 23 paragraphs telling us how odd it is for a candidate or prospective candidate to charge for an appearance, how some people are put off by this highway robbery and then you get around to mentioning, Palin never asked for the money and there's no reason to believe it will impact her decision to show up?

Jayson Blair emails to say, "Dude, have some integrity".

Can we start doing posts about how writers for certain online publications might be engaged in illicit behavior? Maybe we could fill up the post with quotes from people about how disappointed they are that some political reporters are having, say, intimate relations with, oh I don't know, farm animals. Then after a few hundred words of this I'll drop in something like, "Of course, there's no evidence any of this happening".

Hey Politico, would that make it ok?

Here's a hint...no it wouldn't.

But I'm not talking about making up stories about Sarah Palin so a whole different set of rules apply. You know, the rules that require you don't make stuff up and hit 'publish'.

Let me admit something...I'm agnostic at best on Palin but if the leftists keep acting like she's Holy Water and they are vampires, I'm gonna have to rethink my position.

See what I did there with the "gonna" and not "going to"...I can fit in.

To be clear...she did not ask for the fee according to her people.

It seems some folks wanted to bring her to their event and have heard her fee is 100K. Well, that's apparently for her speaking gigs, like the one in China. He political efforts are separate and funded by her PAC.

But then "Palin Speaks For Free To Conservatives" isn't exactly an earth shattering scoop.

I don't know how much Jonathan Martin makes but if I were his boss I'd wince every time I signed his check. Unless they want to pay for fiction.

h/t Jim Treacher

*I accidentally linked to the second page of the article. I've fixed that.

Posted by: DrewM at 01:44 PM | Comments (226)
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Four Arraigned in Riverside Gang-Rape
— Ace

This story says they're charged, but a later story say they were arraigned today.

Three minors — 15, 16 and 17 — are each charged with felony rape with a foreign object. The charges all carry an enhancement that they acted in concert, which could make them eligible for life in prison if found true, Deputy District Attorney Dara Cashman said.

The 16-year-old also has been charged with robbery. Cashman charged a fourth suspect, 19-year-old Manuel Ortega, with robbery, assault causing great bodily injury, rape in concert and an enhancement that also makes him eligible for life in prison.

The youths were charged as adults "because this crime speaks to a high degree of callousness and viciousness," said Contra Costa Deputy District Attorney Dan Cabral, head of the office's juvenile division

Cashman and Richmond police detectives said Wednesday that they expect to make more arrests in the case. A fifth suspect arrested Tuesday night, 21-year-old Salvador Rodriguez, remains in custody but has not been charged.

Here's a dumb opinion piece by, I guess, a local columnist:

They laughed. They snapped pictures. For two hours, they took turns beating and raping a drunk, defenseless girl. Fine Saturday night fun.

The details of the brutal gang rape outside the Richmond High School homecoming dance last weekend chill my soul. The 15-year-old was lured to a "party" by a "friend" only to find out she was to be the evening's entertainment. Dozens of people wandered by and thought it was funny.

I wonder what sort of twisted young people would get their kicks out of participating in such an attack. I wonder what kind of callous young people would stand by and watch, or see what was going on and hurry away, but never try to stop it or even call police. Surely they must have precious women in their lives. Mothers, sisters, grandmothers. Yet no one cared what happened to the victim, who had to be airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. How could young people be so cruel and inhuman?

One of the young women who called the cops as soon as they heard about the attack tried to offer an explanation: "They think it's cool," she told our reporter. "They weren't raised to respect girls."

They weren't raised to respect girls.

Is that it?


We do not, as a society, respect girls. We teach them from birth that sexy is cute, sexy is beautiful, sexy is the way to get attention. From baby shirts that say "Hot Chick" to preschool dance classes where little girls learn to bump and grind, there's no escaping it. By the time they're in middle school, girls know that sexy gets more attention from boys than brainy or athletic or tough.

And it goes on like that, eventually mentioning video games or something.

Look, I understand women's horror at this. I happen to share it. But, just to be accurate about this, one is underinclusive when one says these thugs did not "respect women."

They did not respect humans, period. They are animals lacking the most basic empathetic spark that typically restrains human beings from beating or raping each other brutally -- the empathy that makes such monstrous behavior difficult to even contemplate, let alone perform.

For two hours.

In front of an apparently entertained crowd.

On Twitter, Greg Pollowitz says "Death penalty for all of them, including the spectators." I agree. And I know there's no law to get to such just punishment, but then, as they say, no jury in the world would convict you.

The problem isn't that we're raising boys who don't respect girls. Or, rather, that is a problem too, but not really the problem here. Yes, they targeted her because, as a girl, she had what they wanted. But it's hard to imagine that a vulnerable, lone man who had something they wanted -- including simple humanity that they could shatter for their jollies (stuff like this is, as they say, also about dominance and pure cruelty rather than sex alone) -- would get better treatment from these vermin.

"Respecting women" is a lesson they need to learn. But that's kind of nuance they could only appreciate after a long lesson in Why it's a bad thing to prey upon human beings as if you're brutish jackals.

Actually, the hell with learning. Kill them in prison. And yeah, rape them in prison. With my blessing.

We have monsters in our society and no one much seems to care.

One local article notes that "interest in the case in cyberspace" is high.

In cyberspace? Um, why not in the leftwing media? Is this story somehow not interesting enough?

We know why. It's not that this story doesn't have national policy implications. The trouble for the leftwing media is that it obviously, incandescently does have national policy implications about which they wish to keep silent. As it's impolite.

Well, the crime rate among blacks and Latinos is viciously high. Lives are shattered, and snuffed out, every day because of this.

Can we perhaps get over our political correctness and treat this as a problem, maybe?

I don't know if spotlighting the problem would help. As I mentioned in my previous post*, the Kitty Genovese murder shocked the country out of complacency about crime, and cowardice in the face of crime.

But for that to happen, people have to know about it.


* Which I put into draft because some idiot decided it was the perfect time to let loose a torrent of racial animus. I would appreciate if this does not happen again.

Posted by: Ace at 01:09 PM | Comments (266)
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Sting: In Many Ways, Obama's Sent From God
— Ace

To think I used to vote the same way as these backwater, bucktooted, inbred religious wackadoodles.

Sting isn't a religious man, but he says President Barack Obama might be a divine answer to the world's problems.

"In many ways, he's sent from God," he joked in an interview, "because the world's a mess."

...

"I can't think of any be better qualified because of his background, his education, particularly in regard to Islam," he said.

He also says those heretics who do not accept the divinity of Chocolate Jesus are "full of fear" and yay verily, they shall be smitten until they have been smoten:

"It's aggressive and violent and full of fear," he said of the backlash against Obama. "They don't want change, they want things to feel the same because they feel safe there."

Sting, 58, said he's hopeful that the world's problems can be dealt with, but is frustrated that "we seem to be living in a currency of medieval ideas."

"My hope is that we can start talking about real issues and not caring about whether God cares about your hemline or your color," he said. "We are here to evolve as one family, and we can't be separate anymore."

Is there anything good in any of this? Well, yeah. This jackass used to be considered pretty hot. But he's gone from Zenyetta Mondata to...

...Senor Zenyetta, your eighth grade Spanish teacher. The one with various court restrictions about being alone with students.

I am kind of "full of fear." I'm filled with the fear that somewhere on his decrepit person he carries a bag full of children's teeth.

Full article at Breitbart.com.

Thanks to KurtB.

Posted by: Ace at 12:54 PM | Comments (193)
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Robbers Don't Have Masks, So Like They Draw Masks on Their Faces With Magic Marker 'n Stuff
— Ace

Smart.

The only way this guy would look less inconspicuous is if he were holding a bloody trident and wearing nothing but AstroGlide and Saran Wrap.

Police arrested this guy (and his bud, his pic back at the link) near the home they'd tried to rob. Police kinda got suspicious about the magic marker villain masks and all.

Which is why villains usually wear masks they can take off after a heist.

See, they didn't get that part. The point of a mask is that you look different during the crime, and then you can also look different after the crime again.

Speaking of masks: Guy invents bra that can double as a face mask.

Cups and strap already there, see? No only that, but the activated charcoal of the mask serves to plump up your sweater pumpkins, too. Kind of a wonderbra that could just save your life.

Thanks to 3rdBird.

Posted by: Ace at 11:16 AM | Comments (176)
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New Jersey Democrats Ask Secretary of State to Ignore Wildly-Mismatched Signatures on Absentee Ballot Requests
— Ace

From small ACORNs grow mighty oaks of voter fraud.

Currently, when a county clerk rejects an absentee ballot request, they try to contact the voter, through mail, by phone, and in some cases, they make an attempt to contact the voter in person. And a person who has spoken to some of New Jersey’s county clerks says they’re granting wide latitude on signature styles; for them to reject a ballot request because of the signature, it has to be dramatically different from the one on file.

Could some of these cases be the circumstance an election official misjudging natural deviation in two handwriting samples from the same person? Certainly, and that's why the current system has clerks reaching out to the rejected voters (presuming they actually exist) to sort out the discrepancy. But Democrats want to short-circuit the established methods of sorting out the problem, and in fact ban rejections based on signature mismatches entirely.

Yes, by all means, let's ignore the obvious sham nature of these requests and issue ballots anyway. Imaginary people and dead people have rights, too.

Incidentally, it seems someone in NY23 is already preparing the ground for an election challenge, too:

Of the 11 counties in the 23rd, seven will be using paper ballot/optical scanning voting systems rather than the lever machines, said John Conklin, spokesman for the state Board of Elections. Two counties will combine old and new systems, while another two -- Clinton and Essex -- are keeping lever machines.

...

One wrinkle to note if the 23rd becomes a photo-finish race: The paper/scan devices are being used on a pilot basis -- and they haven't been fully certified by the state.

Conklin said the devices are on track to be certified by the end of the year. And Lipari added that they've been trouble-free so far.

...

In a related matter, the Associated Press reports Democrats are heading to court seeking to have voting machines impounded on election night. Democrats say they're going to court early because a portion of the district is requiring people who registered to vote in time for federal elections, but not in time for state and local elections, to vote on ballots -- not on the pull-lever machines.

The only election Democrats aren't going to steal is VA-GOV, because that one is just silly.

Thanks to DrewM. and notropis.


Posted by: Ace at 10:31 AM | Comments (88)
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Defacing A Spray Painted Flag Is The Highest Form Of Patriotism
— DrewM

On the upside, at least it wasn't a real flag.

The DNC is using the splattered Old Glory to pick up some change, asking for donations to air the winner of its contest. "[T]o put the winning ad on national television, we'll need folks to chip in and help cover the cost of getting the ad on the air," the DNC says on its my.BarackObama.com Web site, which hosts its Organizing for America campaign program.

"I think that most Americans no matter what their political persuasion is will find this pretty obscene and pretty shocking," said Armstrong Williams, a conservative radio host. Williams said it was a bad message to send for the DNC to give "energy and credibility" to an artist desecrating the flag.

The video made it past a panel of judges "comprised of DNC employees," the site says. All finalists were screened to find "the most apt, creative, original and interesting video" that provides "clarity of message concerning supporting health insurance reform."

Supporters defended the video and said it might strike a chord with Americans who are interested in health care reform.

"I don't really think it's an issue," said Leonard Jacobs, editor of the Clyde Fitch Report. "It's one of 20 videos, and graffiti is protected by the First Amendment. And it's certainly something that might hook up with the way people feel."

Well being able to "hook up with the way people feel" is certainly an admirable goal. And if you have to insult some people along the way, that's really their problem, isn't it.

Obviously this isn't as big of a deal as it would be had it been a real flag but it gets tiresome listening to the terminally hip tell the rest of us how their particular brand of patriotism is authentic and those of us who chose to respect our country in a more traditional way are some how using that respect to substitute for real patriotism.

So overall is this a big story? Probably not, after all like Dennis Green once said, "They're what we thought they were".

The video is below the fold. more...

Posted by: DrewM at 10:31 AM | Comments (38)
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Kurtz: Joe Lieberman, an Elected Senator Charged with Voting His Judgment and His Constituency's Will as Their Representative, Is "Holding Democracy Hostage" by Refusing to Vote for ObamaCare
— Ace

Yeah. As Allah noted, he didn't expect that Joe Lieberman would get the Marvelous Maverick treatment from the press that Olympia Snowe did.

But it turns out it's worse than that. Not only is Joe Lieberman getting credit as a independent-minded, um, independent, he actually stands accused by Howard Kurtz today of "holding democracy hostage."

Democracy = marching in lockstep with Obama. The debate is over. The vote must be taken before the bill is written.

Holding Democracy Hostage by participating in the democratic process.

We've come a long way from "dissent is the highest form of patriotism," haven't we? We're now "holding democracy hostage" by engaging in it.

Over at Newsweek, Anna Quindlen is having the same anger that democracy is getting in democracy's way.

This is a country that often has transformational ambitions but is saddled with an incremental system, a nation built on revolution, then engineered so the revolutionary can rarely take hold.

Checks and balances: that's how we learn about it in social-studies class, and in theory it is meant to guard against a despotic executive, a wild-eyed legislature, an overweening judiciary. And it's also meant to safeguard the rights of the individual...But what our system has meant during the poisonous partisan civil war that has paralyzed Washington in recent years is that very little of the big stuff gets done. It simply can't.

Neither Kurtz nor Quindlen was bothered by the Democrats' "holding of democracy hostage" by filibustering so many of Bush's judicial picks, of course.

But now: America has been kidnapped. Be on the look out for cute tyke wearing red, white, and blue.

Democracy Held Hostage: Day One of the Crisis

Police have released a sketch of the suspected kidnapper... is 6'2" and has "dissent-ish" cast to his face

Posted by: Ace at 09:52 AM | Comments (134)
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Prosperity: Cash For Clunksers Only Cost Ya $24,000 Per Vehicle
— Ace

Because many of those vehicles would have been sold anyway. The true cost is the cost for each vehicle that was sold that otherwise wouldn't have been.

$24,000 bucks per car.

A total of 690,000 new vehicles were sold under the Cash for Clunkers program last summer, but only 125,000 of those were vehicles that would not have been sold anyway, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the automotive Web site Edmunds.com.

Still, auto sales contributed heavily to the economy's expansion in the third quarter, adding 1.7 percentage points to the nation's gross domestic product growth.

...

But the overwhelming majority of sales would have taken place anyway at some time in the last half of 2009, according to Edmunds.com. That means the government ended up spending about $24,000 each for those 125,000 additional vehicle sales.

And now the program ends, and not only is there no crazy cash giveaway anymore to continue these sales, but in fact some number of cars were merely bought earlier than they would have been.

Which means they won't be getting bought in subsequent quarters.

Oh, and, by the way, GMAC, GM's credit arm, only wants another paltry $6.5 billion bailout to keep going.

Which they'll get, of course.


Posted by: Ace at 09:23 AM | Comments (72)
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After Eight Long Years: The Return of the "Prosperity Montage!"
— Ace

This is a longstanding complaint of mine. If you've read this eight times before, bear with me: I can't help myself.

The media uses -- or... used to use -- a "Prosperity Montage" as an illustration of, and reification of, good economic news. The Montage consists of the following three images:

1) Cash registers beeping and cash register drawers popping open, filled with cash.

2) The ding-ding-ding at day's end on Wall Street, to the cheers of traders.

3) Government printing presses rolling off millions of dollars in $100 bills.

This montage was used to illustrate -- and, again, reify -- the numbers, which, left to their own, are abstract things with not much concrete, tangible effect on people's daily lives. The montage is used to sell the idea that oh yes indeed this affects your daily lives plenty.

The Prosperity Montage disappeared from the television screens for... um, almost precisely 8 years. Nine years, I suppose, because there wasn't a lot of great economic news to illustrate at the end of Clinton's term (he bequeathed Bush a recession) nor since Obama was inaugurated.

But I know, for a fact, with all certainty, that the Prosperity Montage has now been pulled out of semi-retirement now. And I know this without looking at a TV screen. I know CNN and MSNBC are running the Prosperity Montage now, every time they mention this story. And I know all the networks will run it tonight.

Pictures matter. Visuals matter. "Optics" matter. The media concedes this whenever they discuss, say, a tableaux of veterans or ordinary folks at a State of the Union, or the theatrical power of a candidate's stage at a convention.

But they are of course entirely unwilling to concede that the pictures they choose to illustrate a story are similarly theatrical. And potent.

The media will not address this point, but supposing they did, they would claim 1, it was pure coincidence that they never ran the Prosperity Montage during Bush's terms, despite (for example) quarters of 5.5% and 7.2% growth, and even if they didn't, it's no big deal anyway: They're just pictures.

No, they're not. The media sold Bush's big growth as a mere abstraction having nothing at all to do with the lives of "real people;" where are the jobs?, they asked and asked. (Until there was in fact lots of jobs; at which point, they began asking, when does this unsustainable growth end and the new recession begin? If you remember, there were always "storm clouds on the horizon" for Bush.)

And to illustrate that -- to make sure you didn't confuse these growth rates as having any tangible effect on your lives -- they would just put up the number and an up arrow in the corner of the screen. No Prosperity Montage. No demonstration of economic growth in actual, tangible, real terms that impact people's day-to-day lives.

Just a number. And where are the jobs? And oh, the numbers are deceptive; there's a recession coming, you know. (Yes, any period of growth will be followed by a recession, same as it has for all of economic history. Nice prediction, there, that the growth will end. And interesting that you will only concede growth in the same breath you state it is doomed to end.)

But for Obama -- the Prosperity Montage will be back in full force, and the question will not be Where are the Jobs? The pictures will tell the story: The economy is "roaring back to life," as the Washington Post claims on its front (web) page.

This complaint is connected to another longstanding observation of mine: the media is always trying to denigrate and minimize growth under Republican presidents, this affects consumer and investor psychology to a small degree. Markets and economics have a big psychological component to them, and the media does its level best to sell a depressive psychology under Republican administrations, and a euphoric one under Democrats.

Because this does have an effect, the media does in fact wind up shaving about a half-point of GDP growth every quarter from the economy when it's managed by a Republican. I call this the "Republican Tax" -- the missing growth the media takes away from the economy, deliberately, in order to sabotage Republicans. It's an unfair tax, of course, and we shouldn't have to pay it, but we do.

Because the media is determined to downplay prosperity under Republicans and, by so doing, actually does in fact undermine consumer and investor confidence.

Anyway, I am writing to one of the Newsbusters (Tom Blumer), to make sure I get to see the return of the Prosperity Montage.

Because it's such a nice, optimistic, thrilling montage. And I haven't seen it for nine years. Like an old friend who's on his way back for a visit.

Oh: Because of worries that Obama is simply printing money to paper-up a fake recovery, it's likely you won't see the Treasury-presses-rolling-off-$100-bills part of the Prosperity Montage. That might be a bit too suggestive, a bit too reifying, in the wrong sort of way.

Not sure what they'll use instead of that. That is part of the "Prosperity Montage Classic" formula, so they'll have to come up with a new, sweeter ingredient for the "New Prosperity Montage."

They'll get creative and find something good, I'm sure.

Posted by: Ace at 08:43 AM | Comments (179)
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Flashback: Bush's Economy Posts 7.2% Quarterly Growth, and CNN Wonders: But Where Are the Jobs?
— Ace

Of course, of course. This post is, I guess, so obvious as to be pointless, but let's just note it for the sake of completeness.

While Treasury Secretary John Snow predicted this month the economy would soon be adding 200,000 jobs a month, other White House officials Thursday were quick to note the recent burst of growth has yet to create many jobs.

"We need to continue to act to build upon the steps we have taken to get our economy growing so we can continue to translate growth into job creation," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan, according to a Reuters report.

The Labor Department, in a separate report Thursday, said new weekly claims for unemployment benefits were still relatively high in the week ending Oct. 25.

In fact, during a quarter with the strongest growth rate since 1984, total employment fell by 165,000 jobs, according to Labor Department statistics, in part because of strong productivity growth, which enables companies to get more work out of fewer workers.

Fell only by 165,000 jobs? We should be so lucky.

The 7.2% was the initial reading; it was later revised down to paltry 6.5% or something like that. And CNN, it should be noted, does say the economy "sizzled" in that quarter, but, um, that's hard to not say. 7.2% is an eye-popping number.

And, incidentally, that was no one-quarter wonder, either; the economy had already been growing by quite a bit for two years, and would continue growing until Bush's last quarter in office. It was adding a huge burst of growth on to an already nicely-growing economy.

But having acknowledged that, they then go on to whine endlessly about jobs, despite the fact that an economy that just grew 7.2% is obviously going to be producing jobs pretty quickly.

Thanks to Drew for the reminder.

Posted by: Ace at 07:57 AM | Comments (47)
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Daily Kos Poll: Hoffman's Behind by One, Which Means... Um, Hoffman's Winning
— Ace

It's a Daily Kos poll. Although it's of course partisan and we can rightly suspect a lot of client-appeasing massaging goes into the poll, it's not so biased that we can or should write it off entirely. The Kos poll wasn't too far off in 2008, mostly. Not exactly super-accurate, but neither was it laughably off-base.

The poll has Owens up by one at 33, and Hoffman behind by one at 32.

Which means -- well, look. The people doing the poll understand who their client is, don't they? I take this to mean that the sample is skewed for best-case-scenario for the Democrat, and that Hoffman is really now the frontrunner by a slim 3 point margin.

Scoffa- Scozza -- Scozzo -- whatever her name is, which I've never really learned to spell, and hopefully will soon be able to stop spelling altogether, is fading at 21.

Allah has an interesting theory, by the way: He thinks Scozzablahblah's support is now mostly liberals, or liberal-leaners, who would be inclined to vote for Owens, mostly, were she to drop out of the race completely; so he thinks, perversely, the Scozzer is actually helping Hoffman in this race by dividing the liberals between two candidates, and allowing the conservative to sneak a win with only a third of the electorate.

We're probably never going to see numbers proving or disproving that, but it's not a bad theory.

Meanwhile, 15 prominent conservatives (like Ed Meese, those type guys) have signed a letter urging conservatives to support Hoffman. Which I have to think they already do, but it's a nice enough gesture.

Via Hot Air.


Posted by: Ace at 07:18 AM | Comments (140)
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Obama's Commerce Department Proudly Announces Prelude to the Double-Dip Recession
— Ace

3.5% growth, beating analyst expectations, but Ed Morrissey pretty much nails it:

[W]hat we had in the third quarter was not long-term growth based on solid investment in business. We had a flurry of federal spending and consumer behavior predicated on highly temporary government interventions, like Cash for Clunkers and the homebuyer tax credit. That may be enough to make the administration look good for the next three months, but only for that long if they don’t stimulate real investment instead of using these gimmicky programs. If we have a double dip recession after these gimmicks end, Barack Obama won’t have George Bush to kick around any longer on the economy. He’ll own it after this.

If this is a genuine recovery, well, kudos to Obama for ignoring every principle of economics and sound fiscal policy and somehow contriving success.

But that seems unlikely. More likely is that this is a One Quarter Wonder. The enormous deficits Obama has created, and his general attitude of tax anything in sight, are going to continue to discourage non-government-gimmick investment, spending, and growth, and plunge us back into the next recession.

Meanwhile, at that link, job losses continue pretty much apace:

The number of people claiming jobless benefits for the first time dropped less than expected last week, evidence that the labor market remains weak even as the economy is recovering.

Also at Hot Air: Obama's already anemic "saved or created" nonsense jobs figure is even more nonsense than imagined.

An early progress report on President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.

The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

Obama's fans, apparently, tried to do him a solid by claiming large numbers of jobs had been "saved or created," when in fact none, or very few, had been:

_ A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced.

_ A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending.

_ A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees.

It is, of course, in the financial interests of "Stimulus" money recipients to claim all sorts of job growth -- they want Obama to keep sending them money, of course, and all Obama wants in return is for them to put numbers on a piece of paper that he can parade out to prove his drunken-sailor spending is "working."

So of course the Administration has no interest in vetting these numbers -- the higher the better, wink wink nudge nudge. Want to say that your small aromatherapy-for-convicts business expanded by thirty-three bazillion people thanks to Obama's spendulus? Awesome. Just write down large numbers on an unvetted, unverified report, and Obama will write down a large number on a check.

Posted by: Ace at 06:57 AM | Comments (72)
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