Thursday, June 30, 2011

Obama's Promise of Change Has Been Painful

Hey that's Obama's characterization of "change" in the Obama era, not mine.

With a hat tip to Jim Geraghty, on a visit to Cree Inc. in Durham, NC -- Obama summed up what Change has meant since he was elected president.

I made this video to put that summation in context.

MORE: Here's an old photoshop I did that fits in rather well here.

Obama: Change That Works You Over

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grading Palin Vs The Media

So the media went nuts over the release of Sarah Palin's emails from her time as Governor of Alaska.  As an example, here's a headline from the New York Daily News (via JammieWearingFool):
I wonder if anyone has put a grade level on Anthony Weiner's tweets?
Now to be fair, the article -- unlike the headline -- is fairly balanced.  In it we find this:
It turns out Palin's writing skills are still better than most educated Americans. Global Language Monitor gave Palin's emails a score of 8.2, which actually exceeds that of most chief executives.
So as chief executive of the state of Alaska, her emails scored higher than most other chief executives.
Also the name "Global Language Monitor" rang a bell.  Remember the 2008 VP debate?
(CNN) -- An analysis carried out by a language monitoring service said Friday that Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at a more than ninth-grade level and Sen. Joseph Biden spoke at a nearly eighth-grade level in Thursday night's debate between the vice presidential candidates. ...
Grade level: Biden, 7.8; Palin, 9.5
Ah, those were the days.
But wait!  There's more!  I left off the parenthetical that followed that last part.
Because it's the kicker:
(Newspapers are typically written to a sixth-grade reading level.)
Sarah Palin writes her emails two grades higher than journalists write their articles. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

The (Not So) Popular Mechanic In Chief

Instapundit is nothing if not helpful with this: 

SIX DRIVING TIPS to save gas this summer. At these prices, you’ll need to!
Good ideas from Popular Mechanics.  And, hey, check it out:
Monitor Tire PressureKeep your tires properly inflated, because low pressure increases rolling resistance. Few drivers check and adjust their tire pressure often, but it's a good idea to do it once a week. 
They say to keep your tires inflated . . . just like Obama!

Of course, Obama was talking just as much about reducing our overall dependence on foreign oil and getting to a fossil fuel free world as he was about personal savings.

Speaking of reducing fossil fuel use, one tip is this: 
Avoid Ethanol When Possible
Gasoline that has been cut with 10 or 15 percent ethanol, called E10 or E15, is an mpg killer. Why? Gasoline stores more energy than ethanol (119,000 Btu per gallon vs 80,000). So it takes more ethanol than gasoline to go the same distance.
Obama wants to cost us more money at the pump by pushing alternative fuel?  The deuce, you say!

Speaking of costing you more money -- I notice that Popular Mechanics didn't mention trading in your 8 mpg clunker in favor of a hybrid as an idea to save money.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

When Economic Conditions (And Definitions) Won't Cooperate

From Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt, we are directed to this NY Times article on how bad unemployment numbers bring discouraging news for out of work Americans Obama's election chances:

WASHINGTON — No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.

Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job.

Roughly 9 percent of Americans who want to go to work cannot find an employer. Companies are firing fewer people, but hiring remains anemic. And the vast majority of economic forecasters, including the president’s own advisers, predict only modest progress by November 2012.

Bold mine. Because, well, that is a poorly worded sentence.

Via Instapundit, let's turn to this AP article:

The labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one — is getting smaller, even though the economy is growing and steadily adding jobs. That trend defies the rules of a normal economic recovery.
By the government's definition, if you quit looking, you're no longer counted as unemployed. And you're no longer part of the labor force.

So the NY Times':

"Roughly 9 percent of Americans who want to go to work cannot find an employer."

should rather be:

"Roughly 9 percent of Americans who are actively looking for work cannot find an employer."

So the question is, how many people have given up looking for work? Back to the article:

Since November, the number of Americans counted as employed has grown by 765,000, to just shy of 139 million. The nation has been creating jobs every month as the economy recovers. The economy added 244,000 jobs in April.

But the number of Americans counted as unemployed has shrunk by much more — almost 1.3 million — during this time. That means the labor force has dropped by 529,000 workers.

In an article making the case that the current 9% unemployment rate is bad news for Obama's re-election prospects, it wouldn't appear that the NY Times is simply wishing away a half million people as a boost for the President. So, perhaps the NY Times simply does not know any better.