Archive for facts schmacts

"It is no longer beneficial to watch the news."

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The other day I posted about my Twitter pal Michael Hiltzik's column about why men should pay for #Obamacare pregnancy coverage.

He nailed it, as he is wont to do. The letters below reflect that, but the one that stood out to me was the last one, which pretty much replicates my mantra, only long form.

With that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Why men should pay for coverage of maternity care," Column, Nov. 6

Michael Hiltzik gets it right in explaining why men pay for maternity coverage and women pay for men to have prostate cancer screening and treatment. The point is to make the coverage universal.

Hiltzik also debunks so much media misinformation about those Obamacare horror stories and the lack of responsible research. I applaud him for digging into the real facts behind the Affordable Care Act and specifically Covered California.

My wife and I have researched coverage options for our 23-year-old son and have found that we are very well served here on the West Coast. Thanks to Hiltzik for clearing up some misconceptions.

Robert McMahon

San Diego

***

In a media environment dominated by misinformation or willful ignorance, Hiltzik's column laying out the true costs behind the Obamacare debate was remarkably clear.

Hiltzik belongs either on the front page of The Times or on a podium in Washington. He follows the long-forgotten maxim of Joe Friday in "Dragnet," who said, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Eric Alter

Woodland Hills

***

Hiltzik shows how mainstream television news programs have failed the public. His column proves it is no longer beneficial to watch the news.

It takes a real effort these days to find news sources that do anything more than regurgitate talking points and copy other news channels. In the case of Westchester real estate agent Deborah Cavallaro's story on CNBC, it was a lost opportunity to educate viewers who may or may not have also seen the same wrongheaded narrative on Fox News.

Thanks to Hiltzik for all his columns.

Robin Zur Schmiede

Laguna Beach

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Bob Costas takes on conservative Jonah Goldberg, who "sees liberal boogeymen lurking behind every issue."

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Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Redskins: No harm, no foul,” Opinion, Oct. 15

In response to my remarks on NBC about the Washington Redskins team name controversy, Jonah Goldberg writes of his love and respect for words. So why then play so fast and loose with them?

Goldberg twice refers to my comments as a “tirade.” I defy any fair-minded person to view the two-minute piece in its entirety and find anything in its tone or content that remotely resembles a tirade. He later refers to my “crusade.” How does addressing a prominent football-related issue one time on the very night Washington was playing on NBC qualify as a crusade?

Goldberg writes: “It strains credulity to believe the team name was intentionally pejorative, or that fans or ownership see it that way today.” I went out of my way to stipulate that very thing. Or don't the words I actually used matter if they get in the way of whatever point Goldberg is trying to make in this case?

Goldberg is usually cogent, but we all have our blind spots and hot buttons. For Goldberg, it is the tendency to see liberal boogeymen lurking behind every issue. Always. Yet I clearly delineated the difference between the often silly politically correct objections to other team names and the singularly objectionable “Redskins.”

Every dictionary I have consulted has defined “redskins” with words such as “offensive,” “insulting,” “pejorative” and “derogatory.” No such words are part of the definition of Braves, Chiefs, Warriors or any other team name associated with Native Americans. One would think a professed lover of words like Goldberg would appreciate that clear and compelling distinction, and recognize that many of those who have problems with the name Redskins are motivated not by liberalism or political correctness but by common sense and common decency.

Bob Costas
New York

***

Goldberg misses the point. As a mixed-blood Muscogee and former chairman of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, I can tell you that the term “redskin” is never used by American Indians to describe ourselves. It is a term popularized by whites and almost always used in a pejorative sense.

More than 20 years after the NBA's Baltimore Bullets moved to Washington, it was felt that the name “Bullets” sent the wrong message; the team became the Washington Wizards in 1997. Likewise, “Redskins” sends the wrong message, especially for a team located in the nation's capital.

By the way, Goldberg's assertion that he is offended by the Philadelphia Eagles being the namesake of the National Recovery Administration's Blue Eagle symbol is both historically correct and profoundly silly.

Jack Shakely
Rancho Mirage

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Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia warns Gov. Scott Walker on giving misleading data on WI economy

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scott walker no jobs

For some inexplicable reason, WI Gov. Scott Walker is an early favorite for re-election (but not a lock). At this point Wisconsin gets what it deserves if they fail to get out the vote and defeat their should-have-been-recalled voter suppressing, privatizing, union busting governor.

And now that should-have-been-recalled, voter suppressing, privatizing, union busting governor is in hot water... again.

The Cap Times has the latest:

Top officials with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are warning Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and others that they are misusing a monthly index produced by its top economists.

Walker in recent speeches has been touting figures from the “Philly Fed,” claiming they show Wisconsin’s economy as No. 2 in the nation. WMC has been using the same number in a series of advertising buys, thanking Walker for putting the state on the road to prosperity.

But officials with the Philly Fed, who have been following the situation in Wisconsin, issued a statement Friday saying it’s a misreading of their "Coincident Indexes" to try and compare one state to another.

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Some of you may recall that Scotty campaigned on improving the business climate and promised to create 250,000 new private sector jobs by 2015. And that wasn't the first time he offered misleading economic statistics.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin added 24,305 jobs between March 2012 and March 2013. That was a 1.1% increase. The national growth rate was 2 percent.

Private-sector jobs grew by 2.8 percent in Michigan, 2.1 percent in Minnesota and 1.2 percent in Iowa over the same period. That percentage increase put Wisconsin 34th among the states in job growth over the period.

But Walker said this:

Actual jobs data released by the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show Wisconsin created 24,305 private sector jobs from March 2012 to March 2013, ranking 22nd in the nation for private sector job creation.

Oops.

lies pinocchio nose grows

More here, including what he blamed his weak jobs numbers on.

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VIDEO-- Fox Biz's Neil Cavuto to liberal commentator: "It’s annoying how obnoxious you can be... Cut his damn mic!"

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Leave it to a Fox host to be abusive and cowardly. This time it's Fox Business host Neil Cavuto shouting, contorting, and getting all lathered up over Julian Epstein's attempts to be, you know, reasonable. What? Reasonable? On Fox? Oh come now.

Epstein was trying to get Cavuto to stop conflating all of the so-called "scandals" that conservatives have been obsessing on for months in hopes of destroying the Obama (and possible future Hillary Clinton) presidency. See: Dead horse, beating.

But Cavuto would have none of that, nosireebob! He was bound and determined to burst out of his skin and name-call, the surefire technique Foxers use when they have absolutely nothing to offer.

Neil, Neil, Neil, you are seriously losing it:

Excerpts...

Neil Cavuto:

What part of Custer don't you understand?...

Privacy is invaded, or potentially invaded, institutions of all sorts doing pretty much the same thing. There is a pattern.

Julian Epstein:

If you want to conflate and combine all these issues, then you can do that. I just don't think it's a very thoughtful way of approaching it...

Cavuto:

Drop the liberal thing and focus on the reality thing! ...

Epstein:

Because I want to talk facts, and you want to make these general broadsides, Neil.

Cavuto:

Julian, you’re saying nothing and it’s offensive! ...

Epstein:

Okay, why don’t we speak about them specifically?...

Cavuto:

Julian, why don’t you talk facts? It’s annoying how obnoxious you can be on the reality.

Epstein:

I am talking the reality.

Cavuto:

I’m not going to play this game with you, Julian. You play the same damn game dismissing one incident...

Epstein:

No Neil, you’re playing the game too and — [overtalk]

Cavuto:

Cut his mic! Cut his mic, he’s going nowhere fast. Cut his mic! Ben, I want to go back to you. Cut his damn mic!

Shorter Cavuto: PFFTIOWEKLsputterGZAKTPRYspitUDJWJLwritheZWQRT!!!!

"Julian, why don’t you talk facts? It’s annoying how obnoxious you can be on the reality."  Pot. Kettle. Obnoxious. Hey Neil, when will Fox start talking facts? When that happens, then maybe you can demand that of liberal guests who try to do just that.

tv benghazi

rabid dog2

H/t: Think Progress

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What WI Gov. Scott Walker, GOP do when they need positive voucher school study: Pay major donors to do the research.

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It's becoming more and more difficult to avoid writing about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker these days. What a shame, so many of us would like to escape all Walker-related thoughts, but alas...

No sooner had I written WI Gov. Walker, GOP gov's "tempered" (you can stop laughing now) as they seek 2nd terms; Dems slam GOP at convention than I ran across another article about Gov. Scotty from The Marshfield News Herald.

This one is about campaign finance reports showing that Walker and GOP legislators are using research that supports expanding the state's school voucher program. So? What's wrong with that, you ask? Well, I respond, that research was paid for by the same special interest groups that support many GOP candidates who are pushing for those very vouchers.

I sense very little surprise from you about this. This is completely understandable. It is also completely expected.

This Republican-I-approve-this-message study is being slammed by other researchers who say it's all kinds of flawed, that voucher schools are no better than public schools:

The research conducted by the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas is paid for primarily by special interest groups that also donate to politicians pushing for the voucher expansion.

A Wisconsin Democracy Campaign report on school choice special interest money shows that individuals with ties to foundations that have funded the School Choice Demonstration Project have donated more than $630,000 to Wisconsin politicians, most of them Republicans, during the past decade.

Oops.

But hey, if facts about the issues don't go your way, pay major donors to make 'em up for you. Way to earn voters' trust, Republicans.

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VIDEO-- Memo to GOP, John McCain: "You need to have a basic level of competence."

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(Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The GOP, and John McCain specifically, get the Rachel Maddow treatment:

The GOP, John McCain "are not thinking very hard or very clearly about the role of American in the world" and in war.

"How did John McCain get to be the Republican party's North Star in foreign policy in 2012?"

"Why is he the guy in charge?"

"This was the same John McCain who thought we'd be easily victorious in the fraudulent Iraq War."

"No, the anthrax did not come from Iraq.

And no we were not greeted as liberators in Iraq.

And no, the Iraq War wasn't easy.

And no, it turned out not to be cool to 'muddle through' in Afghanistan for, what is it now, 12 years?"

"John McCain said... the U.S. should think about going to war with Russia. U.S.! War with Russia! What could possibly go wrong?"

"It's also his grasp of the facts.... Iraq and Pakistan do not share a border.

Iran was not training Al Qaeda operatives.

Ronald Reagan did not cause the Prague Spring of 1968. Wanna know what he was doing in 1968? That was his first year as governor of California."

The GOP "hasn't figured out that Iraq was a bad idea."

"The Senate really does have to confirm someone as Secretary of State, even if John McCain has decided he doesn't want one this year."

"You need to know what you're talking about. You need to have a basic level of competence. And doing what John McCain says is not a reasonable substitution for basic competence... Pick somebody else."

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Paul Ryan would play "leading role" if Romney wins. Then why won't he answer any questions?

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I got this email alert today. Since I'm not a subscriber, my access is limited, but here's the tease:

Paul Ryan Is Said to be Planning an Active Role: Representative Paul D. Ryan expects to play a leading role in a Romney administration’s drive to enact a budget-shrinking government and overhauling programs like Medicare.

Two things: One is the obvious concern over their agenda. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher system that will cost more out of pocket, and they'd love to cut things like, oh, let's see... FEMA. And that's just for starters.

But the other thing is this: Romney-Ryan’s shunning the press. Both of these cowards are refusing to answer questions, neither will be interviewed and haven't been for weeks. So what we got (or didn't get) during their campaign was a conspicuous lack of details about their policies and plans, a press blackout, and a whole lot of lies.

Yet if-- and that's a big if-- they win on Tuesday, Paul Ryan would suddenly become very visible and is already previewing the horror story that will become the United States of America should they gain the powers they crave so much. He aspires to be the next Dick Cheney, and we all know how that turned out.

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