Manipulation

“What’s frustrated people is that I’ve not been able to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes. But what we have been able to do is move in the right direction.”–President Obama

Damn those founding fathers, they made it harder for a Dictator-King-Wanna Be to whatever he wanted whenever he wanted because he wanted!!

A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that’s not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation.
The Heritage Foundation confirms the plunge in labor force participation in this chart, followed by another graph demonstrating that by the Obama administration’s own projections (which were used to sell the stimulus to anxious Americans in 2009), the unemployment rate should be more than two percentage points lower than today’s 8.3 percent:                 

And the failed-on-its-own-terms “stimulus” data:

Nevertheless, saccharine headlines and “I get better with age!” happy talk from President Obama — matched with a lackluster and increasingly bitter GOP primary — will give the incumbent an approval boost.  Right on cue, the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll purports to show Obama hitting the magic 50 percent mark and leading Mitt Romney in head-to-head general election contest.  Celebrate good times, Democrats!  Except…the poll is “worthless,” according to Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey.  Why?

First, this is a poll of general population adults rather than registered or likely voters, so it’s not even a proper polling type for the predictive outcome they claim. More importantly, though, the poll series has dropped its reporting of partisan identification within their samples.  It’s the second time that the poll has not included the D/R/I split in its sample report, and now it looks as though this will be policy from this point forward.  Since this is a poll series that has handed double-digit partisan advantages to Democrats in the past (for instance, this poll from April 2011 where the sample only had 22% Republicans), it’s not enough to just hear “trust us” on sample integrity from the Washington Post or ABC. One cannot determine whether Obama’s improvement in this series is a result of the State of the Union speech, as Dan Balz and Jon Cohen suggest, or whether it’s due to shifting the sample to favor Democrats more so than in previous samples.
Indeed, WaPo/ABC’s numbers have been raked over the coals by conservatives in the past for their ludicrously unbalanced party ID samples.  This pollster has displayed an interesting habit of surveying far more Democrats than Republicans, which — surprise! — produces favorable data for Democrats.  Rather than be held to account for their questionable methods,  WaPo/ABC has simply decided to hide their methodology from the public altogether.  Which reminds me: I’d like to announce the release of a new nationwide poll of likely voters that shows Barack Obama’s approval rating falling to 36 percent.  This IGB* survey reveals that Obama would lose to every possible Republican opponent by at least seven points.  Whom did this pollster question, you ask?  It’s IGB’s policy to adhere to the Washington Post/ABC News precedent and not release that data.  But by all means, please talk about these important findings ad nauseam on television and radio.

All sarcasm aside, this election cycle will have peaks and valleys.  This latest poll will get breathless attention from liberals, while conservatives will point to Gallup’s recent swing-state data and other numbers.  Polls are addictive to horse-race watchers (guilty as charged), but they won’t become truly meaningful until late September.  Recall that McCain-Palin raced out to a ten point lead among likely voters in Gallup on the heels of the 2008 RNC.  The rollercoaster ride continues…
UPDATE – A Democratic pollster is questioning another element of the WaPo/ABC numbers. (Townhall.com)

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

The Devil You May Not Know

(ARLINGTON, Va.) – A draft executive order that would force government contractors to disclose all political contributions would make it too easy for political appointees to punish contractors for their political views or to coerce contributions from firms, officials with the Associated General Contractors of America warned today in testimony submitted to Congress.

“The process outlined in the draft executive order would make it much easier for government officials to use the political activities of government contractors as a factor when awarding contracts,” Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer noted in testimony submitted today to a hearing held jointly between the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Small Business. “This order actually introduces, instead of excludes, politics from government contracting.”

So you have if you give your political contributions to the wrong source (aka Republican or Tea Party) then you might not get that big fat government contract.

Be a toadie and and an apparatchik or else. Even if you hate me (a Liberal Democrat), give me money or else!!

Now that’s good for business…

“This rule makes it look like the Administration is more interested in punishing political opponents and propping up political allies than protecting public taxpayers.”–Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO Associated General Contractors of America.

It does indeed. Now ask them if they (the liberal progressives) care? 😦

My bet, Not even a little bit.

Oh, and the journalists covering the stories, well, they just might not be very impartial either.

Gov. Mike Huckabee (2010): I’m sad to report today a death of a good friend to all of us…..Journalism, the once esteemed 4th estate of our nation and the protector of our freedoms and a watchdog of our rights has passed away after a long struggle with a crippling and debilitating disease of acute dishonesty aggravated by advanced laziness and the loss of brain function.

When liberal investor George Soros gave $1.8 million to National Public Radio , it became part of the firestorm of controversy that jeopardized NPR’s federal funding. But that gift only hints at the widespread influence the controversial billionaire has on the mainstream media. Soros, who spent $27 million trying to defeat President Bush in 2004 (and millions getting Obama elected), has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets – including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press (see later story), NBC and ABC.

Prominent journalists like ABC’s Christiane Amanpour and former Washington Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that take Soros cash. This despite the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethical code stating: “avoid all conflicts real or perceived.”

The investigative reporting start-up ProPublica is a prime example. ProPublica, which recently won its second Pulitzer Prize, initially was given millions of dollars from the Sandler Foundation to “strengthen the progressive infrastructure” – “progressive” being the code word for very liberal. In 2010, it also received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from the Open Society Foundations. In case you wonder where that money comes from, the OSF website is http://www.soros.org. It is a network of more than 30 international foundations, mostly funded by Soros, who has contributed more than $8 billion to those efforts.

The ProPublica stories are thoroughly researched by top-notch staffers who used to work at some of the biggest news outlets in the nation. But the topics are almost laughably left-wing. The site’s proud list of  “Our Investigations” includes attacks on oil companies, gas companies, the health care industry, for-profit schools and more. More than 100 stories on the latest lefty cause: opposition to drilling for natural gas by hydraulic fracking. Another 100 on the evils of the foreclosure industry.

Throw in a couple investigations making the military look bad and another about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and you have almost the perfect journalism fantasy – a huge budget, lots of major media partners and a liberal agenda unconstrained by advertising.

One more thing: a 14-person Journalism Advisory Board, stacked with CNN’s David Gergen and representatives from top newspapers, a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal and the editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster. Several are working journalists, including:

• Jill Abramson, a managing editor of The New York Times;

• Kerry Smith, the senior vice president for editorial quality of ABC News;

• Cynthia A. Tucker, the editor of the editorial page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

ProPublica is far from the only Soros-funded organization that is stacked with members of the supposedly neutral press. 

The Center for Public Integrity is another great example. Its board of directors is filled with working journalists like Amanpour from ABC, right along side blatant liberal media types like Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post and now AOL.

Like ProPublica, the CPI board is a veritable Who’s Who of journalism and top media organizations, including:

• Christiane Amanpour – Anchor of ABC’s Sunday morning political affairs program, “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” A reliable lefty, she has called tax cuts “giveaways,” the Tea Party “extreme,” and Obama “very Reaganesque.” 

• Paula Madison – Executive vice president and chief diversity officer for NBC Universal, who leads NBC Universal’s corporate diversity initiatives, spanning all broadcast television, cable, digital, and film properties.

• Matt Thompson – Editorial product manager at National Public Radio and an adjunct faculty member at the prominent Poynter Institute.

The group’s advisory board features: 

• Ben Sherwood, ABC News president and former “Good Morning America” executive producer

Once again, like ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity’s investigations are mostly liberal – attacks on the coal industry, payday loans and conservatives like Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. The Center for Public Integrity is also more open about its politics, including a detailed investigation into conservative funders David and Charles Koch and their “web of influence.”According to the center’s own 990 tax forms, the Open Society Institute gave it $651,650 in 2009 alone.

The well-known Center for Investigative Reporting follows the same template – important journalists on the board and a liberal editorial agenda. Both the board of directors and the advisory board contain journalists from major news outlets. The board features:

• Phil Bronstein (President), San Francisco Chronicle;

• David Boardman, The Seattle Times;

• Len Downie, former Executive Editor of the Washington Post, now VP;

• George Osterkamp, CBS News producer.

Readers of the site are greeted with numerous stories on climate change, illegal immigration and the evils of big companies. It counts among its media partners The Washington Post, Salon, CNN and ABC News. CIR received close to $1 million from Open Society from 2003 to 2008.

Why does it all matter? Journalists, we are constantly told, are neutral in their reporting. In almost the same breath, many bemoan the influence of money in politics. It is a maxim of both the left and many in the media that conservatives are bought and paid for by business interests. Yet where are the concerns about where their money comes from?

Fred Brown, who recently revised the book “Journalism Ethics: A Casebook of Professional Conduct for News Media,” argues journalists need to be “transparent” about their connections and “be up front about your relationship” with those who fund you.

Unfortunately, that rarely happens. While the nonprofits list who sits on their boards, the news outlets they work for make little or no effort to connect those dots. Amanpour’s biography page, for instance, talks about her lengthy career, her time at CNN and her many awards. It makes no mention of her affiliation with the Center for Public Integrity.

If journalists were more up front, they would have to admit numerous uncomfortable connections with groups that push a liberal agenda, many of them funded by the stridently liberal George Soros. So don’t expect that transparency any time soon.

Oh and that polling data showing how Obama is now Mohammad Ali and is staging a miraculous comeback and people love him after he gave the order to Kill bin Laden like something out of a Video Game…

Well… IT JUST MIGHT BE RIGGED!!

Wow! The AP poll has Obama’s approval rating hitting 60 percent! And 53 percent say he deserves to be reelected!

And on the economy, 52 percent approve of the way Obama’s handling it, and only 47 percent disapprove! He’s up 54–46 on approval of how he’s handling health care! On unemployment, 52 percent approval, 47 percent disapproval! 57 percent approval on handling Libya! Even on the deficit, he’s at 47 percent approval, 52 percent disapproval!

It is a poll of adults, which isn’t surprising; as I mentioned yesterday, you don’t have to be a registered or likely voter to have an opinion on the president.

But then you get to the party ID: 46 percent identify as Democrat or leaning Democrat, 29 percent identify as Republican or leaning Republican, 4 percent identify as purely independent leaning towards neither party, and 20 percent answered, “I don’t know.”

With a poll sample that has a 17-percentage-point margin in favor of the Democrats, is anyone surprised that these results look like a David Axelrod dream?

(Interestingly, George W. Bush is at 50 percent approval, 49 percent disapproval, even in this sample wildly weighted in favor of the Democrats.)

AP response: Some conservatives criticized the AP-GfK poll as heavy with responses from Democrats that skewed the results. AP-GfK polls use a consistent methodology that draws a random sample of the population independent of party identification.

But the question isn’t really whether the sample changed too much from their poll in April; the question is whether the sample accurately reflects the American public at large, and whether we indeed have 1.63 Democrats in this country for every 1 Republican. If their sample had an unrealistic proportion of Democrats one month, it’s entirely possible they can get a similar unrealistic proportion the following month. (NRO)

Ya Think? 🙂

Naw, Liberals would never do that…

Lying, cheating, and stealing…Naw, never happen.

Dishonesty, disingenuous and pure self-interest…never happens… 🙂

So Caveat Emptor. Buyer Beware!

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel