Media on the claim that government spending under Obama has gone up the least in 60 years

My discussion starts at 10:50 into the recording.
Ann Coulter has a discussion of these points on Sean Hannity's radio show available here. She brings up a discussion of my new book right at the beginning of the show at about 1:04 (specifically at 1:38) and again at 10:05 into the clip.

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Romney calls the Obama administration: "the most anti-business administration" since Carter

My book Debacle goes through Obama's claims that he has been one of the most business friendly administrations ever and shows that the opposite is true.  I think that Romney has it right:
Romney said the Obama White House is "the most anti-business administration" since President Carter's, and blasted Obama's proposed "Buffett Rule" that would establish a minimum income tax rate on wealthy individuals, arguing it would hurt small business.
"This is a business that’s taxed at the individual tax rate," he said, gesturing around the room. "This is a direct attack on small business and it's got to end."
He also attacked Obama for working closely with unions. While Virginia has trended Democratic in the last decade, largely due to suburban growth around Washington D.C., Virginia is a "right to work" state and unions are not as popular, or nearly as powerful, there as in some other swing states like Ohio.
"The attempt to change the playing field between management and labor is particularly frightening to small business," Romney said, adding that Obama's policies had "made it back-breaking for many small businesses and made it harder for people to regroup" coming out of the recession. . . .


Another Obama gaffe: ‘My Sons"

Let me be quite clear, I don't care about the gaffes that someone makes.  Everyone misspeaks, but since the media so focuses on Republican gaffes and view it as a sign of low intelligence, I have been collecting a few of Obama's gaffes.  Here is another one:

In two campaign speeches over the last two days, President Barack Obama has twice mistakenly mentioned “my sons” when defending his administration’s regulation requiring virtually all health-care plans in the United States to provide women, without any fees or co-pay, with sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that can cause abortions.
Obama, of course, has two daughters--10-year-old Sasha and 13-year-old Malia--but no sons. . . .


49% of Americans live in Households Receiving Government Benefits

From the WSJ:

. . . . The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.
The increase in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. As of early 2011, 15% of people lived in a household that received food stamps, 26% had someone enrolled in Medicaid and 2% had a member receiving unemployment benefits. Families doubling up to save money or pool expenses also is likely leading to more multigenerational households. But even without the effects of the recession, there would be a larger reliance on government.
The Census data show that 16% of the population lives in a household where at least one member receives Social Security and 15% receive or live with someone who gets Medicare. There is likely a lot of overlap, since Social Security and Medicare tend to go hand in hand, but those percentages also are likely to increase as the Baby Boom generation ages. . . .

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After the Boston Globe piece does anyone believe that Warren didn't get the Harvard Law School position because of her claim to be an American Indian?

The Boston Globe piece on Elizabeth Warren is devastating. As someone who has held academic positions most of my adult life, it is very difficult to believe that Warren didn't understand how much she would benefit from claiming that she was an American Indian.  Talk about a rare find in academia.  An American Indian woman faculty member would be given a huge hiring preference.  At least at the top of the webpage there is this note: "Elizabeth Warren has not proven she has a Native American ancestor, instead saying she based her belief on family lore. "  The fact that anyone would claim that they are of a particular race because they are 1/32nd of that group, even if they had evidence for it, is bizarre.  However, if that becomes the accepted standard, I will have to change my designation because I am 1/32nd American Indian.  

From the Boston Globe (it is a very long piece and I suggest everyone read, but here are some key points):

 . . . for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.In addition, both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet.  . . . 
 In the years before Warren first came to Harvard Law, the school was under intense pressure to diversify its faculty. In 1990, Derrick Bell, a prominent black law professor, went on a one-man strike, taking an unpaid leave of absence to protest the fact that the law school had not yet brought a black female academic permanently on board. He was dismissed from the faculty. 
The same year, the Department of Labor audited Harvard’s diversity practices based on its affirmative action plan, . . . Also in 1990, 12 students sued the law school, alleging it discriminated against academic job applicants on the basis of race and gender. . . . 
Harvard agreed to remedy 10 violations the Labor Department identified, bringing the audit to an end. But the controversy over diversity at Harvard Law did not cease.Warren arrived as a visiting professor in 1992, but left a year later. By then, she had been listing herself for seven years as a minority in a legal directory often used by law recruiters to make diversity-friendly hires. She continued to list herself in the book until 1995, the year she took a permanent position at Harvard. . . . 
But the school had begun describing Warren as Native American in the media soon after she was hired.In 1996, law school news director Mike Chmura, speaking to the Harvard Crimson, identified Warren as a Native American professor. 
In 1997, the Fordham Law Review, citing Chmura, referred to Warren as Harvard Law’s “first woman of color.’ 
In 1998, Chmura wrote a letter to the New York Times, saying the law school had appointed or tenured “eight women, including a Native American.’’ 
Three days later, the Crimson again touched on the issue: “Harvard Law School currently has only one tenured minority woman, Gottlieb Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, who is Native American.’’ . . .



Obama tries to sell himself as a deficit cutter?: Is this serious?

I didn't think that I could be so stunned by Obama's claim in Colorado.  At the US Air Force Academy Obama today claims: "After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law. My opponent won't admit it, but it's been starting to appear in places -- real liberal outlets like the Wall Street Journal."  What Obama is referring to is the absurd claim that government spending has grown less under Obama than any other president since the 1950s.  I had a post up on this yesterday available here.  The problem with the Rex Nutting WSJ article is that it assumed that Bush was responsible for all the spending increases up until October 1, 2009.

Just remember that Obama is the candidate in 2008 who kept promising a "net spending cut."  For example, in the third presidential debate he claimed: "Now, what I've done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut."  Obama was accurate in saying that he made this promise through out the campaign.  After all, Obama argued that Bush's big spending increases during the last decade caused the big deficits that Obama said caused the 2008 financial crisis.  If Obama had really cut spending from 2008 levels to say those in 2007, we wouldn't have a deficit today.

Who can forget that in last year's budget Obama claimed that he was cutting the deficit over 10 years by $1.1 trillion when the CBO claimed that he was actually increasing it by $2.3 trillion.  Or this year's budget where he claimed that he was cutting the deficit over 10 years by $3.2 trillion when CBO found that he was increasing it by $3.5 trillion.

Additional note: Krauthammer says that Obama's claim of fiscal discipline is "Whopper Of The Year" 
"So what he is talking about really is a false impression. There was no intention ever by any administration of repeating the bailouts that you have to have in September, October, and November of 2008 and then the beginning of 2009. And if you count it in it's deliberately distorting the facts. And I'm not sure if there is anybody who believes it because it's so obvious, If an administration starts with the largest stimulus spending bill in galactic history, it obviously is not cost-cutting administration."

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Warren continues to duck questions about her ethnic heritage claims

It is an amazing scene where Warren turns to another reporter in hopes that they will ask a question on another topic and instead the reporter says that he won't interrupt the flow of the other reporter's questions.  I would have asked the questions a little differently, but it should be clear to everyone that Warren has no evidence to support her claims.

The initial reports that claimed there was evidence to support her that she was 1/32nd American Indian was false, but it may have gotten her over the crucial hump.  The simple question that should be asked here is: what evidence do you have that you are 1/32nd Indian?  Every academic knows that she benefited a lot from claiming that she was American Indian.


Democrat refuses to endorse Obama and then flips after pressure

Arizona Democrat Congressional Candidate Ron Barber then has a change of heart.  This race is for the special election to succeed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  Barber is a former staffer for Giffords and is favored to win the race.  Later Barber had this to say:
Ron’s point last night was that the election on June 12 isn't about president Obama, or any other national figure--it's about who is going to do the best job fighting for middle class families in southern Arizona. While Ron does not agree with the President on everything, of course Ron has supported and will support President Obama in the election. His primary focus as a member of Congress will be standing up for Southern Arizonans.



JP Morgan losses $2 billion, Obama administration losses $66+ billion on GM, and the outrage is over JPMorgan

Here is a very typical headline: "Between Facebook and JPMorgan, Wall St. woes mount"

It was the second stumble this month by a major Wall Street firm. JPMorgan Chase, usually revered for taming risk, has yet to contain a growing $2 billion loss in one of its trading units.
The missteps are further eroding the confidence of Main Street, or what was left of it after the financial meltdown of 2008, and reinforcing the sense that the game is rigged. . . . .
By contrast, there is no massive media coverage of what Obama's $66+ billion losses at GM tell us and the Obama administration has a big campaign advertising blitz saying how great the spending was. 

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Jon Stewart described himself as a socialist in 2000

KING: I think you're a Democrat, Jon.

STEWART: I think that's probably correct. I think I would say I'm more of a socialist or an independent. But, yeah, I mean, no one would ever I think watching our show think that, boy, that guy is just leaning so far right.


Senate Democrats get burned in pay for workers debate

This whole issue of underpaying female workers is nuts.  The very fact that Democratic politicians are paying their female staff less than their male staff makes it hard to believe that there is anything other than supply and demand going on here.  I don't believe that female Democratic Senators don't appreciate women workers.  From the Free Beacon (it is a long article):

A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.
Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.
Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent. . . .
A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s. . . .
The employee gender pay gap among Senate Democrats was not limited to Murray, Boxer, and Feinstein. Of the 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus examined in the analysis, 37 senators paid their female staffers less than male staffers. . . .

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Rex Nutting's slight of hand on Obama spending numbers

I previously pointed out problems with Mark Thoma and Justin Wolfers claims on government spending.  Well Rex Nutting wasn't just satisfied with ascribing the first quarter of 2009 government spending to Bush.  He wanted to do it for all the spending up through October 1, 2009.  My question is: Did Nutting get the idea for his write up from Thoma and Wolfers? Ann Coulter does a good job of correcting the record here.
It's been breaking news all over MSNBC, liberal blogs, newspapers and even The Wall Street Journal: "Federal spending under Obama at historic lows ... It's clear that Obama has been the most fiscally moderate president we've had in 60 years." . . .Inasmuch as this is obviously preposterous, I checked with John Lott, one of the nation's premier economists and author of the magnificent new book with Grover Norquist: "Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future."
It turns out Rex Nutting, author of the phony Marketwatch chart, attributes all spending during Obama's entire first year, up to Oct. 1, to President Bush.That's not a joke.
That means, for example, the $825 billion stimulus bill, proposed, lobbied for, signed and spent by Obama, goes in ... Bush's column. . . .
Nutting's "analysis" is so dishonest, even The New York Times has ignored it. He includes only the $140 billion of stimulus money spent after Oct. 1, 2009, as Obama's spending. . . .
The theory is that a new president is stuck with the budget of his predecessor, so the entire 2009 fiscal year should be attributed to Bush.
But Obama didn't come in and live with the budget Bush had approved. He immediately signed off on enormous spending programs that had been specifically rejected by Bush.
This included a $410 billion spending bill that Bush had refused to sign before he left office. Obama signed it on March 10, 2009. . . .
Obama also spent the second half of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP). These were discretionary funds meant to prevent a market meltdown after Lehman Bros. collapsed. . . .

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Obama has been quietly having a hard time in more primaries than almost anyone has realized

Do you see a pattern here?  From Real Clear Politics:

Tuesday night, President Obama continued his streak of poor primary performances in culturally Southern states. He received 58.4 percent of the vote in the Arkansas Democratic primary against token opposition, and 57.9 percent of the vote in the Kentucky primary against no opposition (42.1 percent of the vote went to "uncommitted"). In the latter state's Harlan County, in the heart of coal country, Obama received 26.2 percent of the vote.
This comes on the heels of losing 40.6 percent of the vote in West Virginia to a Texas prison inmate, 21 percent of the vote to “uncommitted” in North Carolina, 24 percent of the vote to token opposition in Louisiana, 19 percent of the vote to “uncommitted” in Alabama, and 43 percent of the vote to various candidates in Oklahoma. . . .
There are only seven sitting presidents who have ever received less than 60 percent of the vote in any primary: Taft in ’12; Coolidge, ’24; Hoover, ’32; LBJ, ’68; Ford '76; Carter, ’80; and Bush ’92. All of these presidents, with the exception of Coolidge, were not re-elected . . . .

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Witnesses in Zimmerman case are changing their stories

While these former prosecutors are saying that these changing stories will help Zimmerman, I am not so sure.  The reason that I am not sure is that there initial statements were so supportive of Zimmerman.  Now because of huge political and public pressure these witnesses either want to say that they didn't see what they originally said that they saw or in one case they are even changing who they saw on top of whom.  The main point is that the changing stories have gone in one direction towards being less helpful to Zimmerman: either the memories have become vaguer or the stories have flipped.  From the Orlando Sentinel:
Witness 6This witness lived a few feet from where Trayvon and Zimmerman had their fight. On the night of the shooting, he told Serino he saw a black man on top of a lighter-skinned man "just throwing down blows on the guy, MMA-style," a reference to mixed martial arts.
He also said the one calling for help was "the one being beat up," a reference to Zimmerman.
But three weeks later . . . the man said he was no longer sure which one called for help.
"I truly can't tell who, after thinking about it, was yelling for help just because it was so dark out on that sidewalk," he said.
He also said he was no longer sure Trayvon was throwing punches. The teenager may have simply been keeping Zimmerman pinned to the ground, he said.
He did not equivocate, though, about who was on top.
"The black guy was on top," he said.
Witness 13He is important because he talked with Zimmerman and watched the way he behaved immediately after the shooting, before police arrived.
After this neighbor heard gunfire, he went outside and spotted Zimmerman standing there with"blood on the back of his head," he told Sanford police the night of the shooting.
Zimmerman told him that Trayvon "was beating up on me, so I had to shoot him," the witness told Serino. The Neighborhood Watch captain then asked the witness to call his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, and tell her what happened.
In two subsequent interviews about a month later . . . the witness described Zimmerman's demeanor in greater detail, adding that he spoke as if the shooting were no big deal.
Zimmerman's tone, the witness said, was "not like 'I can't believe I just shot someone!' — it was more like, 'Just tell my wife I shot somebody …,' like it was nothing." . . . 
 You have a lot of pressure from the black community on this.  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have certainly put things up a few notches. From Zimmerman's attorney:
"Before February 26 we had a peaceful town where people went to church and sat together in multiracial congregations. We didn’t have a seething town of civil unrest because of race relations. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton brought that to town and turned this into a racial event when it never was one."
Of course, President Obama also made this a lot more political.




The two groups of people having the hardest time getting jobs: young people just entering the market and those over 55

Previously, I posted this on how horrible the job market is for young people.  Now there is this on those over age 55.  From Fox News:

About 55% of jobless seniors, or 1.1 million, have been unemployed for more than six months, up from 23%, or less than 200,000, four years earlier, according to a Government Accountability Office report released on Tuesday. . . .
More seniors with jobs expect to work longer, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and just 14% say they believe they can retire comfortably. . . . .
For example: an individual with a defined contribution plan who stops working at age 55 instead of age 62 would see a 39% drop in median-level retirement income, from $817 per month to $500 per month, according to the GAO, which did not take other retirement income sources into account.
Another similar worker would see a 13% drop in median Social Security retirement benefits from $1,467 to $1,273 a month. . . .


2,000 convicted criminals have been exonerated since 1989. Sounds impressive, right?

Well, this isn't as impressive as many believe.  The Huffington Post has this story here:
More than 2,000 inmates and ex-cons have been exonerated since 1989, according to the database that aims to track all wrongful convictions in the United States. More than 100 had been sentenced to death.
"This is a beginning," said University of Michigan Law School professor Samuel Gross, one of the database's creators. "One of my great hopes is that this will lead us to learn more about exonerations."
The database, which was developed with members of Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Conviction, focused on 873 individual cases. The researchers also identified 13 major police scandals that falsely netted 1,170 other people, although these are not included in the database because they are the results of a collective exoneration based on problems in individual agencies. . . . 
But here is the problem.  How many criminals are we talking about? We are talking about exonerations over 23 years, but the period over which the crimes many have occurred would have taken place over a much longer period of time. These data are for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 for Table 29.

Murder 11,201 + 12,418 +  12,955 + 13,480 + 13,435 = 63,489
Rape 20,088 + 21,418 + 22,584  + 23,307 + 24,535 = 111,932
Robbery 112,300 + 126,725 + 129,403 + 126,715 + 125,605 = 620,748
Agg Assault 408,488 + 421,215 + 429,969 + 433,945 + 447,948 = 2,141,565  

If this was the rate over 23 years, the number of arrests would equal 13,513,576, but given 
how much higher crime rates were back then, the annual rate would be much higher.

At 13.5 million arrests and say 90 percent conviction rate, the total convictions would be  
12.1 million.  2,000 out of 12.1 million (which again is an underestimate because of the
fact that the crimes that were eligible for exoneration were over a much longer period of
time) is only a mistake rate of 0.0165 percent.  That seems like a remarkably low mistake
rate to me.

For murders alone, a similar analysis implies 292,049 arrests.  At a conviction rate of 90
percent, that implies 264,844.  100  divided by 264,844 comes to a rate of only 0.038% 
(but the upward bias problem mentioned above is even greater here because people are 
in prison for murder over such a long period of time).



"Obama: Bain debate ‘is what the campaign is going to be about’"

From Politico:
Obama’s damn-the-torpedoes remarks were also aimed at some of his fellow Democrats who are increasingly anxious that their party’s leader is attacking a private equity firm for doing what such businesses were created to do: make cash within the confines of the law.
“My opponent, Gov. Romney, his main calling card for why he should be president is his business experience,” Obama told American and international reporters at McCormick Place at the conclusion of the two-day NATO summit focused on the seemingly weightier issues of Afghan withdrawal and Pakistan.
The deep blue of the NATO stage backdrop seemed, for a moment, to morph into the sky blue of Obama’s campaign sets.
“When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. … So, if your main argument for how to grow the economy is ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you’re missing what this job is about,” Obama said. “It doesn’t mean you weren’t good at private equity, but that’s not what my job is as president.”
Obama’s staff and Romney aides have been locked in an intensifying battle after Newark Mayor — and Obama ally — Cory Booker blasted the Obama campaign’s targeting of the venture capital firm as “nauseating” and a “distraction from the real issues.” . . .
Obama's comments about businesses taking the short term but him being concerned about the economy growing 10 years from now is just nuts.

From ABC News:
. . . As for the criticism that the Team Obama’s Bain attack is part of “nauseating” political discourse with which Booker has become “very uncomfortable,” Axelrod said, “on this particular instance he was just wrong.”
Booker is not the only Democrat to question the aggressive, negative portrayal of Romney’s work in private equity.  Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. said today he agreed with “the substance” of Booker’s comments and “would not have backed out.”
“I agree with him, private equity is not a bad thing. Matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances,” the Democrat said in a separate appearance on MSNBC earlier in the day.
Former Obama administration economic adviser Steven Rattner made similar comments last week, calling a new Obama campaign TV ad attacking Romney’s role in the bankruptcy of a Bain-owned steel company “unfair.”
“Bain Capital’s responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number. It was to create profits for its investors,” Rattner said.  ”‘It did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly. … This is part of capitalism, this is part of life. I don’t think there’s anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about.” . . .
Democrat Virginia Senator Mark Warner (a former venture capitalist): 

Chuck Todd:  "Do you think that Bain Capital practiced good or bad ethics here in the way that they went about their business?"
Senator Warner: "I think that Bain Capital was very successful business.  I think they got a good return for their investors.  That is what they were supposed to do." 

Now what are we to make of Van Jones' comments here?  They sure sound as if Van Jones' comments on integrity implies that even he agrees with Booker.  Is that possible?  Also from the Washington Examiner:
“An urban mayor who nearly DIED saving neighbor from a fire, has earned right 2 demand integrity & courage from other leaders,” Jones tweeted on Tuesday in a message addressed to Booker’s Twitter handle. . . .
UPDATE: Here is an interview with an Obama campaign spokesman defending the campaign's attacks on Bain capital. From Mediaite (video available at bottom of page):

The Obama campaign spent the better part of the day of attempting to recover from Newark MayorCory Booker‘s near-scuttling of a major component of their reelection effort, Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, coming very close with President Obama‘s strong double-down at a press conference this afternoon. Then, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt took to Anderson Cooper 360 to undo as much of that as he could. . . .
[Obama's reframing of the Bain question to whether Romney has the experience to be president] nearly did the trick, using their most effective weapon: President Obama himself. . . . More importantly, he changed the headline to “Obama Doubles Down.” . . .
[Anderson Cooper asked Obama campaign spokesman LaBolt] “How can President Obama attack Mitt Romney on his time at Bain, highlighting only times when Bain cost companies jobs, and at the same time hold high priced fund raisers with the head of another private equity firm that’s done work with Bain, the Blackstone Group, there are people who have worked at other private equity firms in his own administration?”
. . . Five or six times, Cooper tried to get LaBolt to answer that one question, only to be met with uninterrupted talking points, or naked subject changes.

The rest of the interview went on along the same lines. Asked if he agreed with Mayor Booker that Bain had “done a lot to grow businesses,” LaBolt responded, “You know what Mayor Booker also said?” . . .
UPDATE2: A new poll by Rasmussen suggests that the Bain attacks aren't working so well for the president. 

Democrats have begun criticizing Mitt Romney’s business record, but a plurality of voters view the Republican’s business past as a positive.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that Romney’s track record in business is primarily a reason to vote for him. Thirty-three percent (33%) see his business career as chiefly a reason to vote against him. Twenty-two percent (22%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) . . .
Or how about this?
Voters now trust likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney more than President Obama on all five issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports, especially when it comes to money.
A new national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters trust Romney more than Obama when it comes the economy, while 39% trust the president more. Ten percent (10%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording,click here.) . . .

Just a copy of Booker's remarks:
"To me, it's just we're getting to a ridiculous point in America, especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital," Booker said. "If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses. And this, to me, I'm very uncomfortable with." 
Nice summary of quotes from different Democrats upset with Obama's attacks on Bain Capital.

UPDATE: Some more Democrats speak out:

Deval Patrick: Bain "Not A Bad Company"

Ed Rendell: "Either/Or" On If He Agrees With How Obama Campaign Being Run

Rattner on Bain

More info available here.

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It is pretty scary that such a dumb person is a teacher

It isn't just this teacher's attitude that concerns me. The way that she formulates arguments and discusses politics in the class is also very worrisome.

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Austerity and Economic Growth: Keynesianism didn't work so well in Europe

Paul Krugman told MSNBC
“We have actually had a massive unethical human experiment in austerity doctrine.  Here we have had this view that cutting government spending is going to be good for the economy even when the economy is deeply depressed and we have put it into effect in large parts of Europe and we have put it into effect to a significant effect in the US . . . . And the results have been exactly what someone like me said that they would be, which is there has been a very depressing effect on the economy.  Where is the evidence that this other view is at all right?”
Unfortunately, it looks as if Romney is inconsistent with his views on government spending, though it is possible to rationalize this quote by saying that changing spending will temporarily create frictional unemployment. From an interview in Time Magazine:
Halperin: I want to get to a lot of those, and let’s go to spending, which is a big thing for you, one of the bases of comparison – you say you’d cut spending a lot more than the President has.  And like most governors I know, you can get down in the detail.  A lot of people don’t know that about you; you can really get your arms around a policy issue and go deep, so let’s talk about spending.  You have a plan, as you said, over a number of years, to reduce spending dramatically.  Why not in the first year, if you’re elected — why not in 2013, go all the way and propose the kind of budget with spending restraints, that you’d like to see after four years in office?  Why not do it more quickly? 
Romney: Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%.  That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression.  So I’m not going to do that, of course.  What you do is you make adjustments on a basis that show, in the first year, actions that over time get you to a balanced budget.  So I’m not saying I’m going to come up with ideas five or ten years from now that get us to a balanced budget.  Instead I’m going to take action immediately by eliminating programs like Obamacare, which become more and more expensive down the road – by eliminating them, we get to a balanced budget.  And I’d do it in a way that does not have a huge reduction in the first year, but instead has an increasing reduction as time goes on, and given the growth of the economy, you don’t have a reduction in the overall scale of the GDP.  I don’t want to have us go into a recession in order to balance the budget.  I’d like to have us have high rates of growth at the same time we bring down federal spending, on, if you will, a ramp that’s affordable, but that does not cause us to enter into a economic decline. . . . 

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"Voter fraud charges expand in New Mexico town"

No evidence of vote fraud?  Made up votes?


New poll shows that 59% say US is still in a recession

From Rasmussen Reports available here.

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This is a horrible job market for young people who have recently graduated from college

Don't major in fun but useless majors.  The bottom line is that young people are most likely to be unemployed and even if they do get a job it is a low-skilled job that their college degree isn't remotely related to.  From the Associated Press:

. . . The figures are based on an analysis of 2011 Current Population Survey data by Northeastern University researchers . . . . They rely on Labor Department assessments of the level of education required to do the job in 900-plus U.S. occupations, which were used to calculate the shares of young adults with bachelor’s degrees who were “underemployed.”
About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.Broken down by occupation, young college graduates were heavily represented in jobs that require a high-school diploma or less.
In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).
According to government projections last month, only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 will require a bachelor’s degree or higher — teachers, college professors and accountants. Most job openings are in professions such as retail sales, fast food and trucking, jobs not easily replaced by computers.
College graduates who majored in zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history and humanities were among the least likely to find jobs appropriate to their education level; those with nursing, teaching, accounting or computer science degrees were among the most likely. . . .

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Is our universe inside a black hole?

This is some pretty mind blowing information:

Our universe may exist inside a black hole. This may sound strange, but it could actually be the best explanation of how the universe began, and what we observe today. It's a theory that has been explored over the past few decades by a small group of physicists including myself.
Successful as it is, there are notable unsolved questions with the standard big bang theory, which suggests that the universe began as a seemingly impossible "singularity," an infinitely small point containing an infinitely high concentration of matter, expanding in size to what we observe today. The theory of inflation, a super-fast expansion of space proposed in recent decades, fills in many important details, such as why slight lumps in the concentration of matter in the early universe coalesced into large celestial bodies such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
But these theories leave major questions unresolved. . . .


Cross country economic and social statistics to remember - Data

The OECD fact book has a lot of useful cross country data available here, though the latest data is only for 2010.