Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Senate Diversity Police Need To Question Democrats

This is one of the more irrirtating manifestations of the faux drive for “diversity”.  See if you can pick up on it:

That historically all-white club known as the U.S. Senate is likely to lose what little diversity it has after November’s elections.

Two white men will be competing for President Barack Obama’s former seat in Illinois, now held by Roland Burris, the chamber’s lone African-American. Appointed by the scandal-tainted former governor, Burris won’t be seeking a full term.

In contests in Florida, Texas and North Carolina, black candidates face daunting challenges to joining the august body, from difficulty raising cash to lack of name recognition to formidable rivals.

Got it?  Yeah, no mention of other “minorities”.  Apparently “diversity” is now only measured by the inclusion of only one race.  In fact, despite the assertion in the article, the Senate is not – let me repeat that – not an “all-white club”.

While 94 members are white, 2 are Asian and 3 are Hispanic and 1 is black.  17 are women.

To make the point that it’s really not diversity that this is about, the article notes:

Blacks comprise 12.2 percent of the nation’s population, but you wouldn’t know it in the 100-member Senate. Come next year, the total number could add up to zero.

“It certainly is not a desirable state of affairs,” said David Bositis, a senior political analyst with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Bositis noted that blacks don’t make up the majority population in any state and in states where there are large numbers of blacks, as in the South, there are racial divisions that make getting elected difficult.

Apparently democracy and the will of the people are wonderful things unless they don’t yield the results the diversity police think they should.  Then it is “not a desirable state of affairs”.

Let’s try this – how many black candidates are the Democrats, the party that positions itself as the party of African Americans, running for the Senate in predominantly blue states?  Why is it that the Democratic party has a white guy running for Barack Obama’s seat?  Whose fault is that?  Why don’t the Democrats have an African American available to contest that and other Senate seats in opposition to Republicans if this is such a undesirable state of affairs?

The implicit assumption made by Bostis is “racial divisons” in the South are the reason a fairly large black population can’t elect a black Senator.  It couldn’t at all be the fact that they’re all deep red states, could it?  And if we grant him his assumption that the problem in the South is racism, then one assumes that such a problem wouldn’t exist in the North in deep blue states, correct (otherwise why try to make such an implication)?  So where are the black Senators then – from Michigan, for instance?  Why don’t Washington or Oregon have black Senators?  New York?  Massachusetts? Afterall, what’s being implied is that race isn’t really an issue elsewhere for blacks – only in the South.  Never mind the fact that the deep red South would be unlikely to elect a Democrat to begin whether he or she be white or black. 

Anyway, this one just struck me wrong.  This is a nonsense story spun as something significant.  If the diversity police  want to point fingers, Mr. Bostis, et al should be asking the Democrats why members of a constituency they claim is theirs aren’t being put forward as candidates for the “historically all-white club”  in deeply blue states where, one assumes, they’d have a great chance as the party’s primary choice.

~McQ

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Jobs, Unemployment And “A Deficit Of Trust”

Yesterday we were told the nation’s employers “unexpectedly” shed more jobs last month than forecast.  Today we’re told that despite that, the unemployment rate “surprisingly” decreased to 9.7%.

Unsurprisingly I don’t believe a word of it.  Call me a cynic, call me a skeptic, but I just don’t believe much of anything coming out of the government these days (I know, let’s call it a “deficit of trust”).  Don’t forget that 9.7% number comes on the heels of a report saying the government forgot to count over 800,000 lost jobs last year.

When the government releases Friday’s unemployment report, nearly a million jobs could be erased. The change won’t show up in the monthly report. Rather, the expected job will show up in the government’s revised job losses from April 2008 to March 2009, showing the labor market was in much worse shape than we knew at the time.

So here we are, rampant and exceedingly high unemployment, no relief in sight and the unicorns and rainbows crowd are spinning the numbers and telling us all is well and getting better.

Well, economic well-being, like is said of politics, is all local.  And for the most part, the locals aren’t buying the spin.  Here’s the brutal truth:

An unemployment rate that’s projected to average 10 percent this year will likely weigh on consumer spending, preventing the biggest part of the economy from accelerating. Without additional gains in sales, companies will be forced to keep cutting costs, limiting staff in order to boost profits.

“Businesses are simply postponing their hiring for as long as possible,” Richard DeKaser, chief economist at Woodley Park Research in Washington, said before the report. “The willingness to hire is not there.”

Fewer customers, less spending. Less spending, less of a need to make things.  Less demand for products means less demand for more employees.

Key line: “Without additional gains in sales, companies will be forced to keep cutting costs, limiting staff in order to boost profits.”

And that’s precisely what they’re doing.  The Labor Department reports:

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 6.2 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This gain in productivity reflects increases of 7.2 percent in output and 1.0 percent in hours worked. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) This was the first quarterly increase in hours worked since the second quarter of 2007 (0.9 percent). Productivity increased 5.1 percent over the last four quarters –more than during any similar period since output per hour rose 6.1 percent from the first quarter of 2001 to the first quarter of 2002.

Even the Riddler could puzzle this one out.  Worker productivity has increased 5.1% over the last four quarters.  But unemployment has continued to grow.  What does that mean?  Well it means companies and businesses have found a way to increase production with fewer employees.  And that, as the key line above suggests, boosts profits.

Now that productivity increase can come in many ways.  Simply distributing the same (or even increased) work load to fewer employees.  That’s happening all over the place now.  Then, in certain industries,  automation replaces employees (it doesn’t require health insurance, vacation days, a 401k and isn’t represented by a union).  And in some places it’s a combination of both plus modified business models. 

The bottom line is there’s not likely to be that much hiring if and when the economy actually turns around unless a huge increase in demand is realized.   And even then, employers are likely to try to hold out as long as possible, given their productivity gains, until those productivity gains are neutralized.  I’m sure there’s a tremendous gap between now and that point.  Then add in the market instability brought on by pending legislation like health care reform and cap-and-trade, and you can see high unemployment in the future for quite some time.

But the unicorn and rainbow crowd are going to tell you everything, relatively speaking, is getting better.  The fact that your relatives are all unemployed and your job isn’t looking so hot at the moment either will cause you to doubt their assertions.  Do.  Doubt them I mean.  They’re as full of crap as a Christmas goose.  And that’s becoming more and more obvious each day as we watch this dance of the dodgers continue.  Because, you know, you can’t handle the truth.  No, that’s not true.  If they tell you the truth, they too will be unemployed.

“Deficit of trust?”

A true understatement.

~McQ

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Race Baiters and Political Correctness

Two of the banes of our existence.  First the old “race baiter” story.  For some out there, symbolism is always more important than substance, or, for that matter, the truth.  Instead of focusing on what is important, they make their living in the trivial, the irrelevant and the unimportant.  The problem, of course, is they have a modicum of power and attempt to use it in the most absurd ways. 

Take Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.)(please!).  He’s upset and demanding a person who is doing critical aid work in Haiti and who had the courtesy to brief the Congressional Black Caucus about that relief effort be demoted.

Why?  Because he’s doing a bad job?  Of course not – because he didn’t have any black faces on his staff when they showed up for the briefing.

“I was alarmed and chagrined to learn that none of the approximately dozen staff he brought with him were African American,” Conyers wrote in the letter. “This is so serious an error in judgment that it warrants his immediate demotion to a subordinate position at AID.”

“Alarmed and chagrined”?  A “serious … error in judgment”? 

No word on how he felt the team was doing in providing aid to Haitians, of course.  This person’s “sin” was not having the proper diversity of staff.  And the punishment for that sin is demotion – Conyers being a compasionate bigot didn’t want to see this person lose their job.

Some day, one can hope, this sort of nonsense will all be a thing of the past.  But it again points out why attitudes such as this and demands for “numbers” over merit hurt African-Americans more than help them.

Then there’s the NBC Cafeteria Story :

So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, “in honor of Black History Month”?

The accompanying picture shows the menu (fried chicken, collard greens, etc) topped by a title saying “NBC  – In Honor Of Black Historty Month”.

Apparently this just offended the hell out of some black musician who eats there. 

The irony?

Well, you can see it for yourself, below:

Yes friends, the insensitive lout who foisted this offensive menu on unassuming black folks was an African-American cook who had fought for the last two years to be able to present meals in honor of black history month. To quote her:

It’s not trying to offend anybody and it’s not trying to suggest that that’s all that African-Americans eat. It’s just a good meal.

All I have to say is thank goodness she didn’t put watermelon on the menu for desert – they’d have probably rioted in the street. Need more irony? If you were to go to any place that purported to serve “soul food” and fried chicken wasn’t on the menu, you could rightfully question their authenticity.

The whole point is it is time to move past quotas and taking offense at every preceived slight. Now there’s a controversy about saying “retard”. Certainly we should not purposely offend others. And yes certain words should not be used – the “n” word being primary among them.

But it seems like we spend an enormous amount of energy and time looking for reasons to be offended anymore. That speaks to the success of those who’ve made policial correctness such a pernicious force in our lives. Political correctness (and I extend that to the “diversity mix” Conyers is demanding) has literally destroyed tolerance, which is ironic, given it is the PC crowd that is normally demanding tolerance for other issues they favor.

The NBC story is a perfect example of what that intolerance it brings. The assumption is made that the reason fried chicken is on the menu is someone is totally (and purposely) insensitive and the reaction is to immediately choose to take offense. And that’s a key point.  It is a choice.  It couldn’t just be “a good meal” that the person thought others might enjoy. Nope – the fact that most eating there would enjoy it, and most likely do eat fried chicken by choice when elsewhere must be subordinated to the PC demand that they be intolerant of such a perceived slight and demand the insensitivity be addressed.

This sort of knee-jerk PC stupidity needs to stop. And yes, I’m intolerant of it. So sue me.

~McQ

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Republicans Prefer Tax Cuts To Balanced Budget?

That’s the buzz going around some liberal blogs about a Rasmussen poll which claims that a plurality of Republicans polled would rather see tax cuts and a deficit than a balanced budget and tax increases (one supposes the increases would be used to balance it.  The history of our government says otherwise).

Of course I’m of the opinion there’s a third choice.  Cut spending commensurate with the tax cuts and reduce the size of government until you’re able to balance the budget.  Then start reducing the debt.  Apparently that wasn’t one of the choices however.

On to the poll.  Here are the results with which the left has decided it can use to deride the right as lying no-good deficit lovers:

Fifty percent (50%) of conservatives are comfortable with a budget deficit if taxes are cut versus 63% of liberals who favor a balanced budget with higher taxes. But then 50% of conservative voters also think the federal budget can be balanced without a tax increase. Sixty-one percent (61%) of liberals say that’s impossible.

Ah, ha! Apparently my choice is in the mix, albeit hidden – what do you supposed those 50% who think the federal budget can be balanced without a tax increase mean?

So let’s recast the findings – 50% of “conservatives” want tax cuts and can live with deficits, 50% of “conservatives” say a blanced budget can be done with spending cuts and 61% of “liberals” believe the only way to balance the budget is to increase taxes (apparently eschewing any spending cuts).

Fair recap?

Now here’s the shocker for you (ok, sarcasm again):

Sixty-two percent (62%) of the Political Class prefer a balanced budget with higher taxes, compared to just 26% of Mainstream voters. Forty-six percent (46%) of Mainstream voters would rather see a budget deficit with tax cuts.

Those in the Political Class are twice as likely as Mainstream voters – 70% to 35% – to believe it is not possible to balance the federal budget without raising taxes.

This is a clever way Rasmussen has of letting us know what our political betters think about those questions vs. what you the mainstream voters think (Proles! When will you wise up?).

So what this portion of the poll tells us is if the “Political Class” ever actually gets serious about debt and deficit reduction, you can throw the “cut spending” mantra right out the window (along with tax cuts) and bend over while grabbing your wallet.  At the rate they’re spending right now though, “serious about the deficit” is lightyears away from being considered.  Lip service, however, will be extravagent, since it’s politically cheap.

But it is, as usual, instructive to see how out of touch the “Political Class” is with it’s voters. 

And speaking of our policial masters and referencing the story about Joe Biden below, here’s the public’s answer to Bidenomics:

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters believe decreasing the level of government spending will help the U.S. economy. Sixty-one percent (61%) say cutting taxes will boost the economy, the highest level of support since May.

What are the administion’s plans?  Increased government spending and higher taxes, of course.  If you want to see the “deficit of trust” Obama spoke about in the SOTU, read through the entire poll results.  It tells the story of the rise of the Tea Parties with percentages.

And we’re suposed to be the ‘ungovernable’ ones?

~McQ

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Government Is The Answer To Economic Prosperity?

E.J. Dionne has apparently mistaken Joe Biden’s passion for intelligent thought.  In an interview with Biden, Dionne quotes him as saying:

“We will continue to be the most significant and dominant influence in the world as long as our economy is strong, growing and responsive to 21st-century needs. And they relate to education, they relate to energy, and they relate to health care.”

On he went: “Give me a break. So many people have bet on our demise that it absolutely drives me crazy. . . . There’s sort of an attitude that is both politically directed by our Republican friends but also believed by a fair number of people that we just can’t make this transition in the 21st century.

“I want to tell you something, because if we cede the ground to those who suggest that — I don’t mean foreigners, I mean domestic critics — that somehow, we are destined to fulfill [historian Paul] Kennedy’s prophecy that we are going to be a great nation that has failed because we lost control of our economy and overextended, then we might as well throw it in now, for God’s sake. I mean it’s ridiculous.”

“We will continue to be the most significant and dominant influence in the world as long as our economy is strong, growing and responsive to 21st-century needs. And they relate to education, they relate to energy, and they relate to health care.”

Read the highlighted paragraph carefully. What is Joe Biden equating a strong economy with? “Education, energy and health care”.

What is he really saying?

That increasing government intervention is the answer to a strong economy.  That the answer lies in education (reform), energy (cap-and-trade) and health care (reform).  IOW, unlike in any previous era, Joe Biden is claiming government is the key to building wealth and economic prosperity.  Not one mention in his clueless tirade about markets, economic freedom, entrepreneurship or business.  None.  In Joe Biden’s world, economic strength seems to depend solely on government.  The fact that the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries of United States history show him up for the windbag he is, apparently doesn’t phase him.  Or Dionne either, for that matter.  It is pure liberal economic cluelessness crossed with Joe Biden’s usual verbal flatulence.  Dionne apparently buys into it.

In fact Dionne goes on to say:

Beneath the predictable back-and-forth between Obama and his Republican adversaries over government spending lies a substantively important difference over how the United States can maintain its global leadership.

[…]

For Republicans, American power is rooted largely in military might and showing a tough and resolute face to the world. They would rely on tax cuts as the one and only spur to economic growth.

Obama, Biden and the Democrats, on the other hand, believe that American power depends ultimately on the American economy, and that government has an essential role to play in fostering the next generation of growth.

Republicans believe that “American power is rooted largely in military might?”

Really!? 

So all those charges of “friends to big business” and “the party of business” were  just so much hot air – that it’s always been about “military power” and nothing else? How purposefully tendentious does one have to be to live in Washington, cover politics for a living and write something like that? 

And then to claim that the GOP’s “one and only spur to economic growth” is the tax cut is absolutely stunning.  You have to wonder if alcohol or weed (or both) were present and in use when this was being written (and I’d have to wonder about those 3 layers of editors as well).  If they can’t use that as an excuse I’m at a loss to explain the sheer cluelessness of such a statement.

Jennifer Rubin at Commentary jumped on this as well:

Republicans don’t care about economic growth? Just military might? Hard to see where he gets that, considering that the post-Reagan conservative movement and the Republican party have been devoted to market capitalism. Indeed, the slur on Republicans has been that all they cared about was wealth creation. Oh, but they are just interested in “tax cuts.” Well, that and free trade, modest regulation, legal reform, and other conditions that spur economic growth, investment, and wealth creation.

If Dionne really believes what he wrote he has no business writing political opinion columns for anyone, much less the Washington Post.  That’s the most ill informed sentence I’ve seen in some time.  And his sentence touting Obama, Biden and the Democrat’s belief that the economy is what America’s power depends on is refuted by Biden’s own words.  Biden is saying the economy depends on government.  Therefore “America’s power” depends on government’s management of the economy – not the economy itself.  When he claims it all depends on “education, energy and health care”, he’s parroting the Democrats agenda for more government intervention, regulation and intrusion.  If you don’t believe that, Rubin provides the proof:

Dionne considers this all trivial or dim because he and liberals are convinced that government creates wealth, that public spending creates jobs, and that expansion of the public sector is the way to a brighter future. In fact, he congratulates the president for cheering on the competition in statism with other powers. In the State of the Union, Dionne recalls, the president vowed that no nation would get the jump on us when it comes to government programs. (”Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany is not waiting. India is not waiting. These nations aren’t standing still. These nations aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on math and science. They’re rebuilding their infrastructure. They’re making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs.”)

That’s right, in the SOTU, Obama stressed precisely what Biden is saying and Dionne is parroting.  China – of all places – was first on Obama’s list of nations to apparently emulate.  And not in the sense you’d like to believe.  He didn’t say China’s entrepreneurs are turning that economy around.  He’s talking about government.  The government of  China, the government of Germany, the government of India – they are the purported engines of economic recovery and wealth creation.

Is it any surprise then to find that he, Biden and liberals like Dionne are of the opinion that more government and more government spending is the path to economic success?  A former community organizer, a professional politician and professional pundit all claiming that the laws of economics are null and void and that the path to proseperity is through bigger and more expensive government?  All we need now is Hugo Chavez to add some real intellectual economic heft to that group [/sarcasm].

All the more reason to be thankful the supermajority in the Senate will be history at 5pm today.  The “party of no” has its work cut out for it.

~McQ

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Define “Green Jobs”

Because where I come from, this doesn’t suffice:

President Barack Obama is spending $2.1 million to help Suntech Power Holdings Co. build a solar- panel plant in Arizona. It will hire 70 Americans to assemble components made by Suntech’s 11,000 Chinese workers.

So it’s not really a “solar-panel plant”, it’s a “solar-panel assembly plant”. Are those “green jobs?” How so? They don’t make the parts. It’s not their technology. To me it’s not much different than assembling an air conditioner. Or a car. It’s not a manufacturing job, it’s an assembly job, and it is no more “green” than assembling an auto-winding watch (I mean, there’s no battery in the watch, so that makes it a “green job” right?).

And at $30,000 a job (subsidy), it’s clear how government efficiently and carefully spends your money and should be trusted with more.

Just to make sure I’ve got this – we’re spending 30K per job subsidizing a Chinese manufacturer’s assembly plant in the US? Have I got that straight? All so a) a claim can be made that jobs were “created” and b) that the created jobs were “green jobs”.

Laughing and derision optional but highly recommended at this point. Keep in mind though that the government’s answer to making “real” green jobs available in America is cap-and-trade (yeah, I know that’s counter-intuitive, but only if you live outside the beltway). Don’t believe me? Read the rest of the article.

~McQ

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IPCC Chief Tries To Hang On

The fact that a former railroad engineer has been previously touted as the “world’s leading climate scientist” pretty much sums this whole IPCC/AGW scam in a nutshell.

Of course I’m talking about Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the man directly responsible for ensuring the scientific credibility of that report. As we’re learning it has as much scientific credibility as an Al Gore movie.

There are now calls for him to step down as the chair of that panel. The latest has come from John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , who says Pachauri should have acted to correct the record immediately after learning that the Himalayan glacier claim contained in the IPCC report had been refuted – even if its correction would have caused embarrassment in Copenhagen.

But of course he didn’t – which brings us to the “what did he know and when did he know it” question.

A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: “I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.” He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.

The IPCC issued a correction and apology on January 20, three days after the error had made global headlines. Mr Sauven said: “Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said ‘we made a mistake’. It’s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didn’t.”

Sauven’s absolutely correct in as far as his assertion goes. But this wasn’t a mistake as Sauven claims. At the point Pachauri learned this claim was untrue and chose not to reveal that, it became fraud. Additionally, a “mistake” is something altogether different than the deliberate inclusion of data which has no basis in scientific fact. Pachauri and those on the panel who included this report knew it had no accepted research to back it and that it had not been peer reviewed. And, of course, the glaciers aren’t the only such problem that’s been found in the IPCC report. We now know the Amazon rain forest claim in the report has been refuted as well and have learned that it’s basis was a paper by the WWF on logging – not global warming – destroying up to 40% of the area.

Sauven’s real concern here is to attempt to save the scientific credibility of both the report and the panel. It’s not going to happen. It is becoming common knowledge that the base data used by the panel to formulate its conclusions are, at best, questionable (CRU). And now we have two examples of decidedly unscientific work being included with the implicit claim that it was researched, peer reviewed and the findings conclusive. They were not. How much more remains to be found that further make the report a scientific laughing stock

But while Sauven’s attempt may not bear the fruit he’d like, it would be nice, just once, to see some public official held accountable for the mess he or she has made. But then, we’re talking about the UN here – the same organization which recently shut down it’s own internal ethics and corruption organization because it was finding too many problems in both areas. Pachauri is probably safe to continue in his position for as long as he desires.

Dr Pachauri did not return calls yesterday but he told Indian television at the weekend that he believed attacks on him were being orchestrated by companies facing lower profits because of actions against climate change recommended by the IPCC.He added: “My credibility has been established because I was re-elected chairman in 2008 by all the countries of the world. They must have been satisfied with what I did in terms of the fourth assessment report [published in 2007] because they have given me the mandate of completing the fifth assessment report [to be released over 2013 and 2014] which I intend doing.”

Of course, his re-election took place well before the revelations about glaciers and rainforests (and while he can’t be held responsible for the temperature fiasco, before that as well). If he remains in his position and produces the next edition of the report, it’s scientific credibility will immediately be called into question before the first paragraph is read.

If the UN wants to have its next attempt at cobbling together a narrative useful for demanding the redistribution of global wealth outlining the problems of man-made global warming, it had best can Pachauri.

~McQ

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New Debt Limit To Be Reached This Month (Update)

But don’t be concerned, because, you know, they have everything under control in Washington:

The US debt is on track to hit a congressionally proposed debt ceiling of 14.3 trillion dollars by the end of February, the Treasury said Wednesday, a day ahead of a key vote to raise it to that level.

“Based on current projections, Treasury expects to reach the debt ceiling as early as the end of February. However, the government’s cash flows are volatile, making it difficult to forecast a precise date,” the Treasury said in a statement.

This isn’t the old debt ceiling of $12.374 trillion. Nope, this is the new one that the Senate approved (and still awaits House approval) that adds $1.9 trillion to the ceiling. By the end of February they’ll apparently have spent another $2 trillion or so. In case you’re wondering, that proposed debt ceiling finally puts our total debt at 100+% of our GDP. We finally owe more than we make.

And yes, both political parties have added to this – but none like the present one.

None.

Guess what – with the “jobs bill” in the wings, they’re going to want to raise that ceiling again since we’re borrowing $0.42 cents for every dollar spent by government.

And they wonder why there are tea parties and the natives seem restless, angry and “ungovernable”.

UPDATE: Apparently AFP got the story wrong.  AP says:

The Treasury Department said Wednesday it expects to hit the government’s debt ceiling by the end of February, putting pressure on Congress to raise the limit from its current level of $12.4 trillion.

Still not good at all, but not at all what the AFP claimed. So to quote SNL’s Emily Litella – “nevermind” -well, until they finally do spend to the new limit which most likely won’t be that far in the future (see upcoming “jobs bill” or “health care reform” if they manage to sneak that through – your choice).

HT: Doug Mataconis for the heads up.

~McQ

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Fox News Channel Dominates

I bring this story to your attention because of the questions it raises.  First the story by Steve Krakauer – then the questions:

Fox News had its best January in the history of the network, and was the only cable news network to grow year-to-year.

FNC also had the top 13 programs on cable news in total viewers for the fifth month in a row, and the top 13 programs in the A25-54 demographic for the first time in more than five years.

• FNC grew in double digits in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic from January 2009. In prime time, it was up 22% in total viewers and 51% in the demo[graphic]. CNN was down 34% and 37% and MSNBC down 26% and 38%. In total day, FNC was up 16% and 28%. CNN was down 34% and 41% and MSNBC down 28% and 39%. Last January all networks performed while with the Inauguration coverage. This month, the big political event was Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, which FNC dominated in the ratings.

Fox News Channel has been a target of a concerted campaign by the White House to discredit it for a year. How well does that strategy seem to be working?

If, as the left likes to claim, FNC is simply a mouthpiece for the Republican party, what do these numbers tell us?

If, as the right contends, MSNBC is a shill for the left, what do its numbers tell us?

Why does FNC dominate the all important 25-54 demographic?

Last – do these numbers really portend anything of political significance, or does FNC just do a more entertaining (and dare I say it, more “fair and balanced”) job of presenting news and opinion?

~McQ

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