April 2012


The nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came in Friday below expectations, but you might not know it if you read the headline of the Washington Post on Saturday.

Rather than lead with the GDP number, the Post ran the headline- Economy continues on path of growth and talked about how consumer spending is up even though the savings rate dipped.

As for the GDP number though, readers didn’t find out about it until the 14th paragraph in the jump, where the jump was -economic growth cools but was buoyed by an uptick in consumer spending.

So the economy is both on a path of growth and is cooling at the same time?

And why is the GDP number not mentioned until the 14th paragraph when it’s one of our most important economic indicators?

Perhaps it’s because the slowing of GDP below economists forecasts and that of the Obama administration is not good news for a president seeking re-election.

But the Post has too much journalistic integrity to try and bury the bad news to help Obama, so that couldn’t be the reason for the subterfuge.

The fact of the matter is that the economy is indeed slowing down and could possibly slip back into a another recession as Great Britain has just done.

Maybe the editors at the Post still have hope for Obama, but the rest of the country needs a change.

 

Mitt Romney spoke yesterday at the NRA convention in St. Louis and received a warm welcome from the attendees, but the media did its best to downplay Romney’s appearance.

James Hohmann of Politico was one of the biggest offenders when he wrote about the venue and what he thought was the NRA’s plan to make Romney’s speech sound bigger and better than it actually was.

Here is what Hohmann wrote;

Romney spoke in the cavernous stadium where the St. Louis Rams football team normally plays. The dimly-lit venue was divided for the conference to make it feel smaller and less empty. High ceilings meant Romney’s voice echoed around the arena.

Hohmann made it sound like this was some kind of tactic that the NRA had set up juts for Romney’s speech, when in fact this type of venue has been used for years, starting in 2008 at the US Airways arena in Phoenix.  As for dimly lit, Hohmann didn’t realize that the stage lighting was set for daylight for the television cameras and to accentuate all the speakers rather than have them being washed out in a sea of stadium lighting.  Hohmann would know this if he had actually attended previous NRA meetings which he obviously hadn’t.

Maybe Hohmann was feeling a bit put out though by the time Romney stepped up to the stage.  The two previous speakers, Chris Cox the executive director of the NRA-ILA and Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA made withering attacks on the mainstream media for their coverage of the gun issue and challenged the audience to let  the media know who they really were.

The National Rifle  Association begins its annual  meeting today in St. Louis and is expected to attract over 60,000 attendees throughout the weekend, bolstering the local economy and standing strong for the right to keep and bear arms.

Today attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a host of politicians at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum.  Among those speaking today will be Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in what will be their first public appearance together since Santorum announced that he was suspending his presidential campaign.  While I expect the focus will be on guns and gun ownership it should be very interesting to see how they treat each other now that the path has essentially been cleared for Romney to become the Republican nominee for president.

Other speakers will include former presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin who is facing a recall election in June and Rep. Darrell Issa of California who has been investigating the Attorney General Eric Holder’s handling of the Fast and Furious program.

And maybe even best of all, the exhibit hall opens this morning.  The NRA has billboards running in St. Louis describing it as acres and acres of guns and gear and it is certain;y the largest display of such material that I have ever seen.

The left will be protesting at at the Arch grounds on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. which is several blocks away from the convention center.

Two months after Jennifer Wedel elicited President Obama’s help in finding her husband a job, the phones have stopped ringing and Darin Wedel is still unemployed.

Jennifer Wedel was participating in a Google Plus “hangout” chat with Obama where she told the president of her husband’s inability to find work which she blamed largely on the restrictions placed on H-!B visa holders which her husband was one.

Obama sensing an opportunity with high unemployment numbers plaguing his administration, asked for Darin’s resume saying that America lacks enough skilled engineers like Wedel.

That request spurred plenty of phone calls from recruiters and follow-up by the White House, but no job for Wedel.  One complication is that Wedel’s child custody agreement prevents him from leaving North Texas.

A slight complication that maybe Jennifer Wedel could have mentioned as being a factor in her husband’s job search.

Jennifer Wedel told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram she had hope after her conversation with Obama.

“I did feel we got our hopes up a little,” Jennifer Wedel said last week. “I mean, he’s the POTUS. But it seems not even the leader of our country can get [Darin] a job.”

For Obama it seemed like a good political move at the time, but it has backfired as he should have had his staff fully vet the Wedel’s before committing to help them.  If he was successful he could claim victory, but by making a promise to help them out,he raised their expectations beyond what was reasonable and his failure to find Wedel a job, only makes him look worse.

That’s probably the last time he’ll make a commitment like that in public.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that she doesn’t approve of Congress and blamed the Republicans for blocking the president’s agenda.

Rose: Americans in overwhelming numbers show that they don’t approve of the Congress. Why do you think that is?

Pelosi: Well they don’t see- I don’t approve of the Congress, so count me among them.  The fact is that we’ve had a period of time where ther’s been obstruction to anything the president wants to do. The public isn’t aware of the process…

Rose reminded Pelosi that Obama had overwhelming majorities in Congress during his first two years to which she replied that they had approval ratings of 40% and now it’s at 25%.  Actually according to Gallup during Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker, Congress’ approval ratings were 23% and 25% respectively, though they have fallen even further since then.

The fact is that even with large majorities in Congress the Democrats struggled to pass the legislation that the administration wanted so it wasn’t just the GOP that stymied the administration and made Pelosi one of the most ineffective Speaker’s in history.

Maybe if they had spent more time on actually trying to pass substantive legislation rather than name post offices, they might not have lost control of the House in 2010.

Of course if she doesn’t approve she could always leave, but Pelosi is delusional enough to believe that she will get her old job back so she is sticking around for now.