Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's The Economy and We're not Stupid

What’s new Today 

Story #1 looks at the economy and it doesn’t look good.  #2 wonders who the greedy ones are.  Private business or public institutions?  #3 relates that it appears in Senate races the Republicans will have the advantage even over incumbent democrats.  #4 looks at the left, their desire to find the conservative brain defective and the stupidity that they will go to make their case.  #5 talks about Occupy Cleveland leaders who’ve been arrested for a plot to blow up a Cleveland bridge.  It seems more often than not, leftist protests end up in violence.  I think it is a defect in their brains.

Today’s thoughts

It appears Elizabeth Warrens’ staff thinks calling attention to Dr. Warrens’ claim to be of Native American descent, is sexist.  Of course it is but only if a Republican does it. 

While the Administration has told us that the war on terror is over, 79% of the American public doesn’t agree.  Once again the Administration is completely at odds with the American people.

Obama has for the second time questioned whether Romney would have taken bin Laden out.  It appears his campaign strategy consists of hypotheticals since reality doesn’t work for him. 

Dan Rather is standing by his story on George W. Bush claiming he still believes the story was authentic as were the documents.  This despite the assurance of experts that a 1970s typewriter couldn’t produce the document he claims is real. 

1.   It’s still the Economy!

Here’s Goldman economist Jan Hatzius:

Goldman Sachs is turning increasingly bearish on the U.S. economy, expecting the nation to have added only 125,000 new jobs in April, as the effects of a warm winter, which buoyed employment late last year, wear off.

The forecast is far lower than the Reuters estimate of 170,000, and the average 177,250 jobs created every month from December to March. According to a report by the bank’s Chief U.S. Economist Jan Hatzius, the jobs report will be a further sign of a weakening economy, where inventory accumulation has accelerated and final demand growth remains sluggish.

“Real income growth remains soft, partly because of higher energy prices, wealth effects are not yet particularly positive, consumer confidence remains modest, and again some of the recent strength in retail sales probably reflects weather effects,” Hatzius said.

And this from Goldman market strategist Abby Joseph Cohen equally as gloomy:

She said she agrees with Goldman economist Jan Hatzius’s forecast of the second half being more “difficult” than the first. “We have seen some deceleration in economic activity” after a mild winter that might have “puffed up” seasonal growth in the first quarter, she said….

The first half’s growth so far is 2.2 percent.  If the second half will be “more difficult” how low will it go?  Not a good time to be running for reelection.

2.   Who’s Greedy Now?

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, vetoed a bill Friday that would have allowed the University of Florida and Florida State University -- research universities where tuition rates lag national averages -- to increase tuition substantially. In his veto message, Governor Scott cited concerns about the impact of tuition increase on students and their families, and a need for more information on whether tuition increases would provide an appropriate "return" for Florida taxpayers. Florida State and University of Florida had lobbied hard for passage of the bill, arguing that they needed more money to achieve the state's aspirations for them as research universities. The veto comes amid deep budget cuts to the state's universities. Following the veto, Bernie Machen, president of the University of Florida, issued a statement saying that he was "so very disappointed" in the governor's action. "This legislation presented the University of Florida with a pathway toward excellence and would have enabled the great state of Florida to have two world-class universities."


So who are the selfish heads of organizations?  CEO at major corporations?  Or Presidents of State Universities putting their desires ahead of the people they are supposed to be serving?

3.   Advantage Republican when it comes to money this year

Third-party groups allied with the Republican Party have vastly outspent Democratic incumbents and their backers in Senate battlegrounds.

The disparity in advertising firepower threatens Democratic control of the Senate and could have an impact on the presidential race as well.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a first-term Democrat from Ohio, has been the primary target of outside groups, which have outspent his allies by a ratio of 10-1 this election cycle…

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats’ chief political strategist, sees the uneven spending war between Republican- and Democratic-allied outside groups as the biggest threat to Democrats’ retaining control of the Senate.

Actually it’s been in the cards that the Democrats will lose control of the Senate.  The Democrats are defending 23 seats vs the Republicans 10 seats and they only have a 3 seat majority.  Republicans only need to win 42% of the seats up for election this year to take over the majority. 

4.   The Republican Brain

Author Chris Mooney compiles much of this research for his new book The Republican Brain, which purports to show that conservatives are, literally by nature, more closed-minded and resistant to change and facts. His evidence includes the fact that conservatives are less likely to buy into global warming, allegedly proving they are not only "anti-science" but innately anti-fact, as well. "Politicized wrongness today," he writes "is clustered among Republicans, conservatives and especially Tea Partiers."

A liberal partisan

That's an entirely understandable view for Mooney to hold. He's a soaked-to-the-bone liberal partisan. But he crosses the line into pseudoscientific hogwash by trying to explain every political disagreement as a symptom of bad brains. For instance, Mooney claims Republicans have trouble processing reality because Republicans think "ObamaCare" will raise the deficit. No really, stop laughing.

Of course, Mooney believes he's simply going where the science leads. Consider that one of the more famous studies was conducted by liberal researchers at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and New York University and published in Nature Neuroscience. Subjects were asked to spot the letters M or W on a screen for a fraction of a second. It turns out that self-described liberals did somewhat better on the test than the conservatives.

What does that mean? Well, according to the researchers, it means: "Liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty." Liberals are also "more likely than are conservatives to respond to cues signaling the need to change habitual responses," NYU says….

What is amazing is how simple minded Liberals like Mooney appear to be.  He is the kind of person who was talked about in the fairytale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. 

5.  Occupy group in Cleveland responsible for bombing plot

One of the leaders of the Occupy Cleveland movement, Brandon Baxter, is one of those arrested for today's terrorist plot to bomb a bridge in Cleveland. Occupier Brandon Baxter appears to have gotten the guidance he sought.

OCCUPIED — Occupy Cleveland organizer Brandon Baxter gets some shade in the Occupy Cleveland tent in downtown Cleveland on March 21, 2012. Baxter, one of the few remaining members of Occupy Cleveland’s physical presence downtown, said the group has seen a sharp decline in numbers since last October because of increasing disorganization. “We need guidance,” he said.

Another of today's suspects is Anthony Hayne, named previously in a report on Occupy Cleveland.  “I just want to be very clear: we are not occupying Lakewood,” said Anthony Hayne, who is organizing the information session. Hayne, a Lakewood resident since 2001, said there will be about six or seven members of Occupy Cleveland, which stems from the Occupy Wall Street movement, at the table Saturday.

It seems to be a fact that leftist protests end up with violence, while right wing protests end up cleaning up the place they protested at and leaving it better than when they got there.  I think it’s a defect in the leftists’ brains. 

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