Free Markets, Free People

What I learned reading this morning’s USA Today

I don’t read newspapers much, and of course, I’m not the only one. But I’m travelling today, with most of my work for the week behind me. So I browsed through a USA Today while having breakfast in my hotel.

Here’s what I learned from it.

I learned that the driver of the crashed train in Philadelphia was going over a hundred miles an hour. I also learned that the way to respond to a government employee going double the speed limit around a curve on a government-run train is to raise taxes and spend more on infrastructure

I learned that Jeb Bush is raising scads of money. I learned that he knows exactly how to game the system of complex campaign finance regulations to raise the most money. I learned that one such technique is to delay a formal announcement. So he can talk incessantly about what he will do as president, but he is wise to delay the day he actually says (or tweets) “I’m running for president.”

I didn’t learn anything of consequence about what Jeb would do if he were elected president. The reporter seemed completely uninterested in that, possibly because said reporter is about as likely to vote for Jeb Bush or any other Republican for president as she is to vote for SpongeBob Squarepants.

I did learn from this reporter that GOP insider named Fergus Cullen said “Somebody like Jeb Bush doesn’t need to be worried that his poll numbers are mediocre right now.” Just as Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Bob Dole didn’t have to worry about their vote totals being mediocre on election day, I suppose.

I learned that there is a breakthrough in medical research between the US and Cuba. That’s because an early trial found that Cuban doctors have this incredible vaccine that, on a modest sample, let lung cancer victims live two to four months longer. Having watched my dad die of lung cancer, I didn’t exactly see this as something to get joyous about – extending the pain and suffering of cancer for a few months doesn’t strike me as a huge breakthrough. But the reporters sure seemed excited about it. They talked about a “quantum leap” of breakthroughs. I have the feeling that if it had been, say, New Zealand instead of Cuba, their enthusiasm would have been a bit more muted.

They didn’t seem interested in the possibility that this modest trial in a Communist country might have some fudged data either. Because, as we know from the client science debate, leftists just don’t do that. So Castroite communists certainly would not.

I learned that the Senate really, really wants to give Obama more power, specifically to fix up a trade deal with Asia, but he doesn’t want it because there’s one minor thing in the bill he doesn’t like. Something about currency manipulation by China. The bill has large bipartisan support, according to the article, which I interpret to mean that both Democrats and establishment Republicans are for it. But that famous compromiser Obama somehow just can’t give in a bit to get a whole bunch of other stuff he wants. Odd, that.

I learned that Rubio has a doctrine of defense. I learned that if it’s a Republican, the headline needs to put “doctrine” in scare quotes. (The web article moves the scare quotes from the headline to the article. Nice try, USA Today. But I’ve got a photo of the print copy.)

On the casual side, I learned that Saturday Night Live’s newest, hottest cast member is breaking new ground with fart jokes. (Web article again sanitizes things. Print copy’s subhead is “With farts, weed, and sex his forte (for jokes, that is) the new kid slays”.)

I learned that the average CEO makes 373 times more than the average worker. That doesn’t mesh with the CEOsc of mid-size companies that I happen to know, but the data is from an AFL-CIO database, and, given how close American labor leaders are to Castroite communists, you can be sure it’s reliable. (This article was apparently too hot for the web. I can’t even find it on their site.)

I learned that economic growth is sputtering. Nothing in that article about how much more politicians make than unemployed people, but I guess they can’t cover everything.

I learned that USA Today has a reporter named Gregg Zoroya who “covers the impact of war on troops and their families for USA Today”. I didn’t notice that they had any reporter who “covers the impact of government policies on workers and their families”, but perhaps I just missed it.

Remember, now, these people are not biased. Just ask them, they’ll tell you.

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10 Responses to What I learned reading this morning’s USA Today

  • The train driver reportedly has Hillary disease…he can’t recall, Senator.

    In his case, at least, it’s plausible…

    • When asked he replied “At this point in time, what difference does it make?”

  • George Stephanopoulos: By the way, I gave $50,000 to Clinton Foundation

    #Breaking: ABC News will NOT take punitive action against Stephanopoulos: “We accept his apology. It was an honest mistake.” Brian Williams wishes he worked for a more “enlighten” news organization.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: That that is an issue for them, but its not a criminal .. its nothing that would warrant a criminal investigation.

  • specifically to fix up a trade deal with Asia,

    … but you have to listen to Liz Warren to find the “silver lining” … the “fast track” authority extends for 6 years .. 4 years beyond Obama.

    I will say that I have no idea was the “secret sauce” that Obama is keeping in the bowels of Capitol Hill. I guess it’s his negotiating strategery … which will all know would be a blank piece of paper. I mean, who needs copies or notes of such a thing ?

  • a breakthrough in medical research between the US and Cuba

    I understand the Cuba is the leading authority on the use of “magnets” in medicine.
    I’ve heard of drugs that only gave moderate relief that were either not approved by the FDA or were not listed under Medicare because their cost was too high to the minimal relief they provided.
    So this leaves the new breakthrough where ?

  • The high ratio of CEO pay is done by selecting only the highest paid CEOs. When you look at a broader range of CEOs the ratio drops to 4:1

    https://www.aei.org/publication/when-we-consider-all-us-chief-executives-the-ceo-to-worker-pay-ratio-falls-from-3311-to-below-41/

    • Sorry, it wasn’t the ‘highest paid’ CEOs. Here is what the AFL-CIO did:

      The AFL-CIO did an analysis of the CEOs of 350 companies in the S&P 500 in 2013 and then computed a “CEO-to-worker pay ratio” of 331 times, up from a ratio of 300 ten years ago and 200 twenty years ago.

      Although these samples of 300-350 CEOs are representative of large, publicly-traded, multinational US companies, they certainly aren’t very representative of the average US company or the average US CEO.

  • “What I learned reading this morning’s USA Today”

    Reminds me of a Tom Paxton song–“What did you learn in school today”.