Saturday, October 6, 2012

Numbers are just a theory

The Numbers Deniers claim that the unemployment rate dropping below 8% is a vast government conspiracy orchestrated by the Muslim-Keyan-socialist-liberal-anti colonial-fascist in the White House. Their proof, the report was created using Arab 'numerals', we all know that real Americans would use Chinese made 'numerals' bought at Walmart. 

To understand what is really going on requires some background, the initial jobs reports that come out each month are based on surveys, and are revised later as more data comes in. The job creation number is based on an employer sampling survey, and this number can be way off from reality if the growth or decline is concentrated in a particular area.

The un-employment rate is based on the Household Survey that gives a much broader number. The right is claiming the rate only dropped below 8% because millions of people have given up looking for work. They are either lying, or didn't even look at the data (the moral equivalent of lying). The survey shows that 873,000 people found work in the past month, an eight fold difference from the corporate dominated employer survey. Adjusted for past seasonal hiring trends, the BLS put the number at 294,000. This is still nearly 3 times the employer reported number.

You can find support for the bounce in job creation in business news media. Large retailers are engaging in massive hiring for the Christmas season, this would likely also be occurring in small business that wouldn't show up as quickly in the employer survey. Then there is the 'underground' economy that wouldn't show up in the Employer Survey but would in the Household Survey. Housing starts and home sales have ticked up sharply and that would create many 'under reported' jobs.

The Republicans have done everything possible to cripple the economy with local austerity measures, interference in government policy, and with corporate out-sourcing. Lately they simply 'talk it down' for political gain. The fact is that things are getting better and the Numbers Deniers can't stop it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sucking fumes

You've probably noticed the spike in gasoline prices in California. This is simply the result of the consolidation of refinery capacity into the hands of fewer and fewer massive corporations. Even if you were to bring these companies to heel over their price manipulation, this is an national security issue. National security is something the Right claims to care about, but they don't, it's all about their own gratification.

The right claims liberals have halted the construction of refineries. In fact the big oil companies have been buying up the small refineries and closing them, while hugely expanding their own. Guess what happens when the inevitable accident occurs? The practices of these big companies make the inevitable, really just the inevitable, or anymore really the imminent disaster.

The big companies don't care how dangerous this is, it creates the environment they thrive in. Disaster capitalism is a way of life for these people. It doesn't affect them, it makes them richer. If I have to spell it out, it pushes you as an individual ever closer to the curb, if not the mass grave.

Counting with The Count

Big Bird was an Angry Bird today. He had his friend The Count crunch the numbers and they don't add up. He counted 27, 27 big lies in Mr Romney's debate performance in just 36 minutes. Big Bird isn't happy that the bad man bullied his friend the nice Mr Lehrer either.

It makes Big Bird sad that 72 million people with pre-existing health conditions will lose their insurance if the bad man gets to be President. (72 million was a big number for The Count to count) The bad man says that won't happen because he said so, but the bad man's own spokesman said right after the debate, it isn't possible for the bad man to do that, it would be up to states to do that. States that never did that before.

The Count counted the people who watched the bad man lie, and it was a bigger number than everyone expected. Even more people watched than four years ago, 67 million this time, up 15 million. This is a lot of people who are paying attention. A total of 131 million people voted in the 2008 election, you can expect even more this time. People who love Big Bird and learned to count from The Count are paying attention. This is not good news for the bad man. The bad man can bully and lie, but he can't count, and this makes Big Bird happy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Horse Race! 'Etch a Sketch' leads by nose!

Romney was declared the overwhelming winner by corporate media, as was predicted. They need to have their Horse Race because it represents millions in profits. They based their 'victory' proclamation by polling undecided voters, something as rare as Big Bird in Romney's Dicksonian future. There are primarily two kinds of undecided people at this point in history: low information voters (the chronically misinformed and the stupid), and liars. Guess which political party both of these groups lean toward.

Obama is being heavily criticized for looking down, but that's what you do when you take notes. Romney simply stared at Obama while looking smug as he sweated profusely waiting for his next cue. The real Willard only emerged when he bullied the help. Romney simply ignored all the rules while Obama looked warm and friendly.

Obama had to pay attention to Mittens because he had to respond substantively, Romney could simply lie. There will be plenty of clips to use in Obama ads showing Romney lying, and this was Obama's real game. Romney is all in with his chips, Obama is the smart player. The big lie strategy from history only works when you control the entire media. Obama has plenty of money to run ads and Willard gave him plenty material to put in them.

Predictions of a huge Romney bounce from the polls are simply not going to happen. The biggest demographic in the real swing voter group are women (these are former Republicans), and Willard didn't do well with women in the audience. The President came across far better with women and Muppets. Etch a Sketch still trails in the Electoral College by a hundred votes. Ann doesn't need to worry about Mitten's mental health as President.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thank God for the 'liberal' media

Even though the corporate media that loves Romney, the media that the right calls 'liberal', has been forced to report Mitt's sagging poll numbers, they continue prop him up as if he has a chance to win. Even with massive election fraud by the Republicans, Romney has no chance. No chance, if the Democrats turn out to vote. The corporate media wants to keep the ad money coming in, so they'll keep the race appearing close, and that will help the Democrats.

Ironically the only media that really doesn't want Romney to win are the right wing operations like Fox. They make money bashing Obama, Romney is so awful that it's driving down their viewership. MSNBC is actually giving them competition in the ratings. Fox is heavily dependent on the elderly for their ratings base, the same people who booed Ryan at the AARP. Fox can't afford a Romney Presidency, lucky for them that won't happen.

The best outcome for Fox would be if the Republicans can hang onto the House and impeach Obama. However, they might not find that to be as well received as they hope. They don't seem to realize that the normal people are catching on, the real 'silent majority' aren't just sitting back and allowing the crazies to run things anymore.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The right-wing pundits can't pile enough blame on Romney to fix their mess. In the former swing states people who thought that only the crazy tea baggers would let them die in the street are waking up. The 47% (and it's really 80% judging from the lead opening up), they are figuring out that the Masters of the Universe that the GOP wants to run things are no different than the crazy tea baggers.

The GOP is either going to split into two parties, crazy tea baggers on one side funded by angry old billionaires, and corporate types who claim they aren't like that, or the party will just die. Without angry old billionaires funding the tea-baggers, they will just fade away, that is what is most likely to happen. The GOP will rise from the dead, pretend they never believed any of the talking points, with finger bones crossed, of course.

Democrats need to actually vote to make this happen, but in swing state Iowa, Democrats requesting absentee ballots out number Republicans more than 5 to 1. Obama's lead in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin is 14 points and climbing. In Massachusetts where Romney was once Governor, Obama is up by 30 points. But it's all a liberal media conspiracy, which oddly includes Fox and Rasmussen. Obama is apparently all powerful, sounds like he won't even need all those UN troops he was going to bring in to suppress the right.   

Monday, October 1, 2012

Obama and your Grandma

More of that big government interference with your doctor and hospital is now taking effect. Medicare will start levying fines on hospitals that have excessive re-admissions within 30 days for certain complications from treatment (or lack of, or shoddy care). It will be based on statistical analysis of patient records, and to begin with it will only apply to heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. This will be expanded to other ailments that hospitals are notorious for cutting corners on. The numbers will be available online so that you can see what sort of death trap your local care facility really is.

Medicare and Medicaid will also stop paying hospitals and doctors for fixing harm done to their own patients. Things like treating bed sores caused by hospital neglect, or that surgical instrument left behind in the patient. Those things will no longer be fixed on the taxpayer's dime, so you can expect to see much less of them.

The right thinks this nanny state interference is horrible, perhaps when grandma is turning blue they might reconsider. The problem is that when this works they will not see it, and will continue to believe the right-wing lies just the same. They are affected by thousands of similar 'government interference' everyday but don't have a clue about it. We could get rid of the right if we simply stopped taking care of them. Unfortunately cholera and such spreads too easily. Maybe a big red button over an obvious trap door that says, 'DO NOT TOUCH, The Government will not save you'.

Mister Magoo goes to Washington

Even Chris Wallace of Fox News has taken to challenging Paul Ryan for specifics on Romney's policies. Ryan had a lot of specifics in his budget that the Republican House passed two years in a row. Romney has disavowed everything in the budget he had previously called "marvelous". Ryan claims to have details but it would "take too long to explain", so you'll just have to take his word for it.

The constant refrain from the right is that there is a clear choice between Obama and Romney, something that Ryan says in every other sentence. A complete lack of detail is not how you characterize the word "clear", it would be more like "fuzzy", "indistinct" and "misleading". Like the cartoon character Mister Magoo, fabulously wealthy, but stuck in the past and totally clueless. Only able to get across the street through dumb luck and the kindness of strangers. It's no wonder that 2/3 of Americans are now certain that Obama will be re-elected. Romney and Ryan are headed toward the manhole but don't see it.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Econ 101 - The confidence fairy doesn't leave jobs under your pillow

The refrain from Republicans and particularly from Willard Romney is that business is sitting on $5 Trillion because they have no confidence in Obama and the Democrats. He is sure that he will personally create 12 million or 20 million jobs (depending on the day he's talking) just from the confidence that he will inspire.

To refer back to my earlier post, that's not what creates jobs. US companies are hiring pretty much all the people they need (mostly in China). If they were really holding back there would be shortages of US made goods, and there's not.

Mittens is also dedicated to lowering wages and eliminating public sector jobs. You should be able figure out what this does to demand. If you can, that's why you're a Democrat and not a Republican idiot.

Why who appoints the Judges matters

Robert Wilkins, a US district judge in Washington has struck down the new commodities trading rules that were supposed to limit how much of the futures market anyone trader could hold. You know, rig the market. 

This rule was passed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act passed while the Democrats briefly had control of Congress. It doesn't even begin to roll back the rules to the pre-Clinton era.  

The judge said on Friday the CFTC failed to heed instructions from Congress requiring it to determine that its rule was “necessary to diminish, eliminate or prevent” excessive speculation, and they could propose their rule again. Hog snot futures are trading higher on the news. 

We have a small problem with this right-wing corporate ruling, this was an Obama appointed judge. Washington is so awash in corporate money that it's impossible to predict how these judges will rule, except to take cynical view of it, which seems to always be right.

On the other hand maybe the judge was just doing his job, perhaps the corporate dominated CFTC deliberately put a poison pill into their own regulations. Regulations that have taken years to get out of the commission instead of the few months it was expected to take. This one was only two weeks from being implemented before being struck down.