Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Q Tips


NPR related comments welcomed.

80 comments:

GRUMPY DEMO said...

I was going to complain about Juan Williams, the FOX News Happy Negro (Google it, its a great essay) when the following deadline caught my eye:

"Why Do Doubts About Obama's Birthplace Persist?"

Despite the awful headline the article isn't half bad it pretty much portrays Birthers as the crack post they are.

But doesn't headline imply there are doubts, when it should say smears.

Anonymous said...

A little late on this, but I still find last week's On the Media astounding. Leave aside the fact that the producers saw no need to have any counterbalance to Frank Luntz. Can it really be that Mike Pesca is covering health care reform and he really thinks that the public option is “government-funded health care"?? How can he even be in the news business and not know what it is?

GRUMPY DEMO said...

I can't help my self, too much coffee this AM.

How 'bout that interview with GOP Senator Grassley.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111273311

Another episode of Steve Inskeep's "Don't Make A Republican Uncomfortable".

First he let's Grassley accuse Obama of personalizing the health care issue (wonder who came up with the phrase "Obamacare"?) with no challenge or follow up.

Second, he didn't interrupt him once, unlike his typical interviews with Democrats (see: Frank, Rangel, Dean, et al).

Third, you don't even mention single payer. Least you could have done was asked the Senator how much he's suffered having received nothing but "government run health care" for more than a decade as a Senator.

But lastly, what makes this a great episode, is that Steve didn't mention that Sen. Grassely has taken more than $4 million in donations from the insurance and health care industries. Special interest he's has worked to protect throughout his career, (just like Steve?) Health care and insurance Senator's top two contributors. Congress and NPR the best representation that health care money can buy. That would have been uncomfortable.

Five minutes on the Web is all it takes: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=Career&cid=N00001758&type=I

janeform said...

This morning, another tedious report by Mara "describing" a recent poll on health care reform. She put on 4 soundbites from interviews. The first two (of course they were first)said that they didn't want the government running their health care. The second two Mara said "were willing to go along with" Obama's plan. Of course no mention that Obama is not proposing "government-run" health care. Also no mention that part of the growing proportion of those polled who disapprove of the plan may want a strong public option included, and even a single payer system. It seems all disapproval must be from the right.

Anonymous said...

NPR asks: "Why Do Doubts About Obama's Birthplace Persist?"

perhaps because NPR and other members of the mainstream media keep obsessing with the story.

If a 4 year old child does something purely to get attention, what is the best thing to do:

1) give him or her attention? (thereby re-infocing the bahavior and making it more likely to persist)

2) ignore him/her?

NPR has clearly chosen number 1.
Of course, they do it because they know it's a "sensational" story.


If NPR really wants to know why this "non-issue' persists, they need look no further than their own blanket coverage.

Maurerguy said...

Yesterday's "Panel seeks to Curb Energy Speculation" essentially communicated that there are two versions of reality -- Democratic and Republican -- and that both are equally valid. The idea that there were some actual facts about energy speculation that a reporter could investigate, or at least get informed nonpartisan opinions on, went right out the window.

Yet I doubt if 1 out of 20 people would dispute the idea that energy speculators shot the prices up last year for their own benefit. In fact, the alternative (Bush Administration) explanation, "changes in global supply and demand," doesn't even really mean anything. Have there ever not been such changes? But does the price of gas shoot up to $4 every year or every second year?

This wasn't just bad reporting, it was anti-reporting.

Anonymous said...

BTW, it's interesting that NPR covers the birth certificate story but chooses NOT to cover legitimate stories like the Downing Street memo that said the "pre-war intelligence was being fixed around the policy".

in other words, they cover nonsense but don't cover critically important stories.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Even in Middull Murka, the birthers cannot stand aside shouting "NIgger nigger, nigger." They have to disguise it. So they clamor for the birth certificate with all the passion their elders used to exhibit at lynchings...

Anonymous said...

Nice story about the Fallujah video games. Laura Sydell. She used to be a regular WBAI-Pacifica staffer, as was Neil Conan. What happened to these people?

Anonymous said...

I don't think everyone (or even the majority) who believes the birther nonsense is racially motivated.

Actually, I would liken the whole "birther" thing to the swifboating of John Kerry.

it's intended to create doubt in people's minds about the legitimacy of the person it is targeting (whether it b the legitimacy of their Presidency or the legitimacy of their military service)

And, just as with the swiftboating of kerry, without the "obsessing" by the MSM media like NPR, th birther "story" would never have got legs.

NPR thinks they are "debunking it" when in fact what they are doing is legitimizing it.

gope said...

NPR reports that the DEA is in Afghanistan to bust the opium producing Taliban. This story is so laughably off kilter it's hard to know where to start debunking. How about contrasting that story with this one? The story is intensely intricate, but quite entertaining, so it may be worth the time - but of course, NPR doesn't do investigation.

As google has it, DEA agent Horn is suing the CIA for illegal eavesdropping. We find this little gem, for instance:

Horn says he became suspicious when he came back from a trip out of town to find his government-issued rectangular coffee table replaced with a round one.

Anonymous said...

Maurerguy: I thought the energy speculation piece was poor because it lacked real depth, but the balance seemed reasonable. There are plenty of liberals, including this one, who believe last year's high energy prices were mostly due to world oil demand getting very close to capacity.

gope said...

Anon - Not only was supply up, but demand was down. Look at the data here, here and here.

Anonymous said...

None of those links contradicts what I stated. Oil production peaked in July, 2008, but demand was still down (as your article states) for all of 2008 because of the economic downturn in the second half.

gope said...

I'm not pretending to be an expert on world oil supply, but there is data available from the EIA here
http://omrpublic.iea.org/world/wb_wosup.pdf
that suggests the production went from 85.7 million barrels per day in 2007 to 86.5 mb/d in 2008. That looks like an increase.

At the same time, there is data showing a concurrent decline in demand from 86.5 to 86.2 mb/d.
http://omrpublic.iea.org/world/wb_wodem.pdf

Anonymous said...

Those who still think the price spike in oil last summer was a result of "supply and demand" are simply kidding themselves.

It never ceases to amaze me that people can be such saps even when it affects their own wallet.

The idea that the market in America is "free" (as opposed to manipulated by the predators at the top of the food chain) is simply a big joke.

The ONLY people who do not appreciate this seem to be the people who are NOT on Wall Street or in the government.

"As the WSJ reports this morning, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is now admitting that oil speculators "played a significant role" in a sudden spike in the price of oil in the summer of 2008. That summer oil reached $147 per barrel, and the CFTC claimed the price increase was due to the forces of supply and demand. In an interview with the WSJ, Bart Chilton, one of the agency's four commissioners, said that analysis was based on "deeply flawed data."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/29/government-considers-limi_n_246792.html

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Re: Oil Prices

Not that supply/demand numbers (data) aren't important, but really, how meaningful are these numbers given the absence of information regarding market manipulation (CFTC, etc.)?

Clearly, there is some recent, good (vetted) public information and analysis regarding what went on at the CFTC during this time, but absent someone blowing the whistle with some real telling stuff (think, phone conversations between Enron traders during California's rolling-blackout summer), how will we (let alone, economists) ever know the truth?

-JET

Anonymous said...

Incidentally the people who buy the "supply and demand" explanation for the oil spike are undoubtedly the same ones who buy the idea that giving bankers who created the financial mess (through fraud, stupidity and all the rest) trillions of dollars is the best way to put the deal with the current economic situation.

By the time people wake up in this country, they are all going to be out on a sidewalk somewhere.

That is NO exaggeration.

Anonymous said...

Not all. I buy the supply and demand explanation for most (not all) of the price spikes, but am horrified by the bailout of the banksters.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of funny: sometimes the actual facts (as opposed to the "NPR balanced facts" TM) -- as with the oil price spike -- simply make NPR's reporters look stupid AND foolish.

Anonymous said...

I buy the supply and demand explanation for most (not all) of the price spikes"

That's a red herring.

Who here was even talking about all price spikes?

I know I wasn't.

I posted the CFTC finding above and was talking specifically about last summer's spike (which was anomalous by pretty much ANY standard which is a red flag waving in the wind.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

NPR 'fact' balancing. Nice. Let's think of some NPR synonyms for 'fact'.

Anonymous said...

Meant to say the explanation for most, but not all, all of the price spike (last summer's), not spikes. No red herring intended.

Anonymous said...

NPR's synonyms for fact:

anything that admits to two or more possible (or even impossible) explanations.

For example, it is an "NPR Fact" (NPRF: pronounced "Empty arf" ) that "This statement [between the quotes] is not true".

And here's another NPRF: "Torture is only torture if other people do it" (where "other" is defined as anyone who Dick Cheney does not like)


or yet another one: "The ombudsman at NPR is actually useless."

Oops. Sorry, the last one is an "actual fact" as opposed to the NPRF kind.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

I don't think everyone (or even the majority) who believes the birther nonsense is racially motivated.

gee, what color's the sky where you live, pard? either an alien or an anosognosiac, blind to reality. They/you'd never admit it, of course. But that's the point.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

I have to concur with Wood, this Birther nonsense is nothing but White Racist Hysteria.

Trust this WASP, I know racist hysteria, the bigot always believe minorities are alien, not turn countrymen, and therefore cannot be trusted and it justifies their second class status.

Why do you think the Palin always claimed that the small little white towns she was in was ther "Real America"?

This is naked racist at its finest.

gope said...

Not so sure it's so pure, Grumpy. Did you read Vidal at truthdig.com?

Anonymous said...

Woody says: "gee, what color's the sky where you live, pard? either an alien or an anosognosiac, blind to reality. They/you'd never admit it, of course. But that's the point.'


Put your reading glasses on, Woody and you will note what i did not claim (but you obviously believe i did) : that none of the birthers is racially motivated.

Some undoubtedly are.

but there a lot of spread between some and all or even between some an d the majority.

but then again, perhaps you have some actual statistics you'd like to share.

I can't wait to see them --and your mathemagical "analysis".


I hate to say it, Woody, but people are motivated by many things and not everyone who dislikes Obama is a racist. As i indicated above, the birther things has a lot in common with the swiftboating. It's basically a way of discrediting someone without addressing the issue (kinda like what you have attempted to do here with your "They/you'd never admit it, of course" comment. Not that it really matters or anything, but I'm neither a birther nor a racist (and I actually voted for Obama)

Anonymous said...

Woody: I would just note one more thing.

There were some who questioned John McCain's birth status as well (during the campaign), so the logic that this somehow has to be racially motivated is a bit less than air tight, I think (unless perhaps McCain is really African American and has just had his skin whitened, o f course.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/01/AR2008050103224.html

In case you have not noticed: politics is very Machiavellian. people will latch onto anything that they believe will accomplish their goal: discrediting Obama (or perhaps even getting him removed from office)

Mytwords said...

Let's everybody have a beer and not get to cutting with each other :)!

And be sure to check out Dean Baker's post about Billy Tauzin's math on today's ME.

If you don't know about "switch-a-roo" Tauzin check out this USA Today story and this PHRMA bio of him (warning: you may need to be medicated after reading)

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Mytwords,

AAAAAAAG! I think my head is going to explode this AM.

We have not one, not two, but three stories that all are un critical pro Pharma and health care profiteers pieces bordering on campagin adds.

It's interspersed with new reports about Pharma's favorite pets Blue Dogs, according to NPR their fiscal conservatives, which in only half right their fiscal whores.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

AS you can see my medical condition, typo-itis, is particular accute this morning.

JayV said...

Counterpunch article
The More You Watch, the Less You Know
Health Care, the Media and Public Opinion
cites NPR's Norris on Meet the Press

http://counterpunch.org/dimaggio07292009.html

andywells2009 said...

Yesterday I heard, for the first time, an NPR announcer point out in that a recent Gallup survey showed the number of respondants who Strongly Disapprove of the president was larger than the number who Strongly Approve.

I'd never heard of the president's popuarlity being understood this way... If they'd done that for Bush, his numbers would have stayed in the negatives!

Well, today I see the reason behind the madness... That's how Rasmussen handles its presidential approval polls...

This means, essentially, writing off those who merely approve or disapprove.

Moreover, NPR was applying this metric to a GALLUP poll!

This guys are GOP operatives in libral drag...

biggerbox said...

Do you suppose Morning Edition thinks it is now balanced by having interviews with both a Republican and now a Democrat who are trying to 'compromise' away health care reform? I may have missed it, because I've developed a habit of not paying attention when Steve Inskeep is talking, but has he interviewed anyone who might be considered a progressive? Yesterday he basically gave Grassley the show for a few minutes, and this morning it was Conrad. Conrad kept acting like the number of votes available was some unchangeable fact of nature, and was so annoying he even made Inskeep sound good.

Anonymous said...

Here's my NPR ListenerCares:

Message Information:
Message #: 5607-9691051
Date Created: 7/25/2009 11:09 AM EDT
Subject: White-deference
Body: This morning you had Juan Williams give his take on the Gates matter. You introduced him as an authority on race in America. Mr. Williams spoke of teaching his children "white deference" and if Gates had shown just a bit of white-deference all would have been fine.

What is "white deference"? You and Mr. Williams (in both his Fox and NPR personna) believe and state over and over that America is the beacon of freedom, the defender of the downtrodden everywhere, the last bastion of liberty when you are discussing American foreign policy. Yet Mr. Williams speaks of the need to "teach" his children the strategy of "white-deference". You can not and never will try to square that circle. It is no surprise here that your credibility is seriously indermined by these interchanges.

And here is what I got back:

Dear Ed,

We appreciate your sharing your concerns about Juan Williams with us.

Juan Williams is an accomplished and respected journalist with more than 20 years of experience. His extensive political knowledge has made him a sought after voice on television and radio, and we believe he brings a valuable viewpoint to our listening audience.

NPR staff is held to a strict code of ethics and practices. These standards are in place to protect and support the integrity, impartiality and conduct of journalists. We encourage you to review the code, which is posted online at http://www.npr.org/about/ethics/.

In addition, NPR's Ombudsman has written about Juan Williams. Please visit http://www.npr.org/ombudsman/2009/02/juan_williams_npr_and_fox_news_1.html to read the column. For more information on the role of the Ombudsman, visit http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6407004.

We, again, thank you for your comments. Your thoughts will be taken into consideration.

Sincerely,

Justin
NPR Services

edk

Anonymous said...

How about this story about the homeless man who (allegedly) willed $400K to NOPR when he died?

Now, the main question I have about that is this: if had all that money, why was he homeless?

did he actually KNOW that he had all that money?

Secondarily, I question whether he really intended his money to go to NPR or whether that was what the executor decided.

but instead we get this:

"Support for NPR comes from the estate of Richard Leroy Walters, whose life was enriched by NPR, and whose bequest seeks to encourage others to discover public radio."

and this"When Walters retired, he evidently retired from the world of material comforts. He didn't have a car."

"He just gave up all of the material things that we think we have to have," Belle says. "You know, I don't know how we gauge happiness. What's happy for you might not be happy for me. I never heard him complain."

Yes, I'm sure he was very "happy" being homeless.

And that he gave up everything so he could leave it to NPR.

What garbage.

But of course NPR does not question this one iota.

in fact, they obviously do not give a ***t whether he actually intended that money for them or not.

All they seem to care about is that they "got theirs".


The management at NPR (Vivian Schiller and the rest) are basically unethical.

Anonymous said...

MTW said: Let's everybody have a beer and not get to cutting with each other :)!

Kegger party at the Obama House!!

Anonymous said...

It's funny.

I just noticed the post above my post about the homeless man includes the "NPR ethics code".

I hear Bernie Madoff had an ethical code, too.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

From Talking Points Memo regarding Rasumssen numbers. Talking Points Memo investigates.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Dean Baker on The Diane Rehm Show today.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

Susan Page sitting in for Diane Rehm today. She is a WoFT!

gope said...

WOFT Warrant Officer Flight Training (US Army)
WOFT Wisconsin On-Farm Testing program
WOFT Work Order and Flow Chart
WOFT Waste Of Freakin' Time (polite form)

I think I take your meaning: the latter.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

gope,

True.

-jet

Anonymous said...

RE: "Strongly Disapprove vs Strongly Approve."

NPR uses that as the gage of public approval/disapproval of Obama because that's pretty much their gage for everything.

Whatever the issue (Iraq, health care, global warming, you name it) NPR invariably represents it as a "balance" of two "extremes". To accomplish that goal, they ask think tanks -- on the right and on the left (sort of, but you get the idea).

They represent issues as if there are only two views (nothing in between) and then say "here, choose one".

As we all know, th world is not black and white, even though NPR wants us to think it is. A multi-colored world simply is not something NPR can fathom.

GRUMPY DEMO said...

Hey JET! where have you been?

Missed you, glad to have you back.

gope said...

Inskeep obviously thinks he's hilarious with his "diversion" about government buildings up for sale in Arizona. This is supposed to be comedic fodder since jokesters will be able to yank the finger of "statehouses up for sale."

It seems to me (wet blanket that I am) that is not such a laughing matter. Schwarzenegger has proposed selling public assets in CA. I can't wait to pay top dollar to Goldman Sachs for my Habeus Corpus call options at the BofA courthouse and NPR/Kroc-house burger franchise.

gope said...

The Young Turk showcases Bill Maher exposing the false "he said/she said" dichotomy MSM outlets like NPR trot out to locate the "center" of their artificially contrived spectrum of public opinion squarely in the camp of more war/police/jails/rich/poor and less health/education/welfare/social justice.

Of course, sometimes, as when Wertheimer interviews Big PhRMA Tauzin, it's pretty much just a "he said." As MTW points out above, be sure to check out Dean Baker's post about that.

Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juan "Toss" Ensalada said...

gd,

I was reborn as a inane little girl in the NPR comments section. Looking forward to getting back in the mix, here and there, but you have been beating me out of bed everyday with the first and best observations and commentaries - typos included.

-jet

Anonymous said...

Schwarzenegger has proposed selling public assets in CA."

maybe he could sell his Governor's ring.


or his brain, to science (for steroid studies)

..although technically, the latter's probably not an "asset" (at least not to the State of California)

gope said...

That brain's a stain upon its containing cranium.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Linda Wertheimer was PATHETIC in her cozy, cutesy questions to one man on EARTH into whose face any thinkng human being should vomit.

Tauzin is the filthiest, most corrupt dickhead on the green side. Luckily the dogs were outside and i could SHRIEK at the lying fucktard's lies and Wertheimer's gutless, grateful acquiescence to them.

gope said...

Woody, Liaison trumps even Wertheimer for evil crappiness. Heard her in the car today just trumpeting how happy it is to be Republican and watch the health care reform get torn apart by greedy self absorbed malodorous putridities like Tauzin.

Anonymous said...

The new npr.org

A Note to the NPR Community:

Now, we at NPR well know that our listeners and readers are different than other news "consumers." [appeal to the "best and brightest", the Ivy League elite] NPR people are loyal [like Blue Dogs?]. You count on the consistency ["torture is only torture when other people do it"], quality ["how many years of dead radio air would a trillion seconds fill up?"] and integrity ["I didn't know before I interviewed them that they had been tortured... though they were covered with welts and blood and seemed a bit dazed, which did puzzle me a bit..."] of our news and programming every day and we appreciate that [more flattery of the ivy league elites]

So we didn't change NPR.org lightly. We've listened to your suggestions [especially about use of the word "torture" ..i mean "enhanced interrogation"]- and a few [thousand] complaints [just a few thousand]. And we've taken the first step to build a new NPR.org that is more, well, NPR-ish.[yikes!]

We want NPR.org to be your source for NPR news [who else would be? "democracynow.org"?], analysis [how many Planet Monkeys does it take to count a trillion bananas?], arts & life stories [like the one about the homeless guy who lived on the street so he could save all his pennies to leave to NPR when he died] and music that is always fresh [as a used tampon] and up-to-date [like our report on jailed Reuters photographer Ibrahim Jassam within just a few short months { 8 to be precise } after he was cleared of all charges by an Iraqi court] in a source of unexpected delight and most important, a site that always upholds NPR's highest standards [gag me with a spoon].

Anonymous said...

gope says exposing the false "he said/she said" dichotomy MSM outlets like NPR trot out to locate the "center" of their artificially contrived spectrum of public opinion squarely in the camp of more war/police/jails/rich/poor and less health/education/welfare/social justice.

That's the NPR formula exactly.

The trick is to choose the extremes carefully so as to make your "middle" come out where you want it to come out and seem palatable.

if you make the extremes extreme enough, pretty much anything seems palatable. (Its called the Overton window)

of course, the "middle" NPR chooses may not be the middle as far as public opinion is concerned.

And in the case of something like science, there is no "middle" ground at all (the shape of the earth is not the 'average" of an oblate spheroid and a flat plane, for example).

The idea that the 'best" choice is always the midpoint of some imaginary line between extremes is a meme that NPR and the rest of the MSM media in the US have elevated to an organizing principle for all their reporting.

When you hear them say "We must be doing something right. Folks on the left and right are criticizing us", they are essentially admitting that this is the case.

Anonymous said...

RE dean baker's take down of interveiw of tauzin:

Correcting tauzin would require that the NPR interviewer actually KNOW something about the subject o fthe interview.

i think that's really asking a lot, don't you?

I mean, come on, these guys and gals are at NPR cuz they could not get a job anywhere else. Ctem a little slack will ya?

gope said...

Message to Wertheimer: U be needed the Google school.

jaytingle said...

"When you hear them say "We must be doing something right. Folks on the left and right are criticizing us", they are essentially admitting that this is the case."
Except you have to factor in the Jeffrey Dvorkin quotient. Jeff once described how he balanced commentary from think tanks by cluelessly revealing that NPR offered opinion from conservative tanks over "liberal" brain trusts by a ratio of 2-1.
http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh121605.shtml
This "balance" was likely determined after many months of fielding complaints. Apparently NPR must give considerable favor to the reactionary right in order for their complaints to be reduced to the level of complaints from the left.

larry, dfh said...

Late to the oil speculation bloodbath. Look up Pam Martens. As far as I'm concerned, some, if not quite a bit of the so called 'toxic assets' involved buying oil at $150/bbl on a 3% margin. That's pretty damn toxic. And that's why they won't come clean for these accounts. And the recent spike a few weeks back was the same ole shit, this time using the TARP funds as the down-payment. And furthermore, the fact that I paid TWICE for my 20 lb bag of med-grain brown rice than I paid a year ago is because of speculation as well. Why do you think hedge funds came into existence? It was to have the heft to control entire markets, as in commodity speculation. Look into who sits on the Commodity Futures Trading Board.
I find it hard to believe that the supply-and-demader is this stupid, rather it is a plant trying to sucker 'fellow liberals'.

Anonymous said...

"Look into who sits on the Commodity Futures Trading Board."

Yeah, and despite that, they STILL admitted that "oil speculators "played a significant role" in a sudden spike in the price of oil in the summer of 2008." -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/29/government-considers-limi_n_246792.ht

Translation doe "significant" as used by CFTC: "virtually all"

These people basically don't admit ANYTHING until they are caught red-handed "massaging" the data (as Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon use to "massage" his nose)

That summer [2008] oil reached $147 per barrel, and the CFTC claimed the price increase was due to the forces of supply and demand. In an interview with the WSJ, Bart Chilton, one of the agency's four commissioners, said that analysis was based on "deeply flawed data."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/29/government-considers-limi_n_246792.ht

Reminds me of Alan Greenspan's comment when he was confronted by a member of Congress on what a disaster "unregulated markets" had been:

"I have discovered a flaw in my thinking".

The primary flaw is not in Greenspan's thinking, of course, but in the fact that anyone actually takes any credence in it (or in the statements of the CFTC).

Anonymous said...

Good news: the Titanic is sinking less slowly than the "analysis" of the Planet Monkeys* had indicated.

"The economy sank at a pace of 1 percent in the second quarter; Planet Monkeys predicted 1.5 percent." (from NPR)

*If you gave the Planet Monkeys a keyboard and enough time, they could undoubtedly reproduce the collected works of the great economist John Maynard Keynes (well, maybe not Adam Davidson, but I bet David Kestenbaum could)

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

According to an economist I heqard on Thom Hartmann a couple of months ago, Glodman, Citi, and all the rest of the big 'banks' getting bail-out money invested it in petroleum futures...

Anonymous said...

Matt Taibbi had a thing or two to say about Goldman here

It has a history of inflating bubbles and bailing out just before they burst.

The next bubble is in carbon trading.

Goldman is little more than a parasite -- a giant leach sucking our economy dry.

The people of Goldman give the decent, legitimate (small town) bankers in this country a very bad name.

Maine Owl said...

I didn't read through everything here but is it fair to say there is something like a consensus on "Those who still think the price spike in oil last summer was a result of "supply and demand" are simply kidding themselves"?

I'd propose this is a false dichotomy. Both "supply & demand" and market manipulation can be factors at the same time. Because of the nature of oil--it gets pumped out of the ground, transported, and then some combination of stored, refined, stored again &/or delivered for use. Last year, "supply & demand" were such that a particular kind of market manipulation became possible due to conditions called "contango". This paid off bigtime for those who could buy oil and store it--it was guaranteed to be worth more into the future. Long story short, this condition collapsed as the economy collapsed--DEMAND fell.

Monopoly practices way beyond the actions of market traders, plus the finite nature of oil supply BOTH contribute. Blaming just corrupt traders is failing to see the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Maine Owl said I'd propose this is a false dichotomy. Both "supply & demand" and market manipulation can be factors at the same time.

of course supply and demand always has an effect on the price. That's pretty much a given (a tautology, really), but the huge price spike of last summer was NOT simply a result of "supply and demand" as many have claimed.

You need to take into account the context here.

Those who have been claiming all along that "supply and demand" was responsible for the price spike have essentially done so to "debunk" alleged "conspiracy theories" that claimed that speculation played a significant role.

In fact even the CFTC claimed until just this week that there was no significant role played by speculation in the price spike. They essentially claimed it WAS supply and demand.

But it turns out all the "conisracy theorists" were right!

Even the CFTC is now admitting (reluctantly, I am sure) that they made a "booboo" in their analysis ("flawed data" they called it) and that "oil speculators "played a significant role" in a sudden spike in the price of oil in the summer of 2008."

So, you are simply wrong to say that there is some sort of "false dichotomy" involved here

"As the WSJ reports this morning, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is now admitting that oil speculators "played a significant role" in a sudden spike in the price of oil in the summer of 2008. That summer oil reached $147 per barrel, and the CFTC claimed the price increase was due to the forces of supply and demand. In an interview with the WSJ, Bart Chilton, one of the agency's four commissioners, said that analysis was based on "deeply flawed data."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/29/government-considers-limi_n_246792.html

GRUMPY DEMO said...

The Devil and NPR Check made me do it;


Well, NPR announced today that Guy Raz will be the new host of Saturday edition.

Wow: Who would have guessed a white guy that was deferential to Bush for eight years, gets promoted at NPR?

Here's his track record:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&newwindow=1&as_q=%22Guy+Raz%22&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&num=100&lr=&as_filetype=&ft=i&as_sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fnprcheck.blogspot.com%2F&as_qdr=all&as_rights=&as_occt=any&cr=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&safe=active

Let's see, that make ATC Sunday the only show that doesn't have a white male host.

Tip O'hat to: http://nprcheck.blogspot.com.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Shorter aAnon in reply to Maine Owl:

"Manipulating production" is the main component of supply shortage 9or surplus. "Speculation" is the main engine in the manipulation of demand.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Shorter aAnon in reply to Maine Owl:

"Manipulating production" is the main component of supply shortage 9or surplus. "Speculation" is the main engine in the manipulation of demand.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Well, NPR announced today that Guy Raz will be the new host of Saturday edition.

Does this mean we're no longer to be treated to the patronizing schmaltz of Snottie Scottie? Oh NOSE! if true...

gope said...

No more moist flushable wipe Scott tissue mucking up the earballs of the weakened?

¡Say it is so!

But don't raise your glass to qtip independence. I can hope Guy Raz, whose "first job at NPR was as personal assistant to NPR Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr," is not a chip off the old "whatever the CIA wants" block, but I don't expect my hope to pan out...

Anonymous said...

Scott Simon may be the new Ombudsman come October.

Wonder if Juan (white-deference) Williams will still be spewing?

edk

Anonymous said...

Here's another one but . . .

Message Information:

Message #:
5607-9380925

Date Created:
7/2/2009 4:00 PM EDT

Listener:
ed kriner (ed_kriner@hotmail.com)

Subject:
Impact of War

Body:
I have tried a number of times without success to find an answer to this question:

Has NPR received any support, (financial, technical etc) from the DoD or the US Army to produce this clear series of propaganda aimed at soothing the NPR listenership.

This should be an easy question but I suspect there is a quandry here:

If NPR says no and this guy has a hard copy of DoD/Army budget that would be bad (who cares if NPR lies? No one) On the other hand to admit taking the money would present another difficulty - mainly the use of public funds to influence puplic opinion.

So Ms. Shepard, does NPR take funding for the Impact of war series from DoD or the US Army?

And her answer:

Dear Ed:

Got your email. I’m not sure what series you are talking about. I need more information to be able to get you an answer. I sent your query to two editors that cover the war and its impact, and they said the same thing. Need links or dates or anything else so I can help you.



Best,
Alicia Shepard



Alicia Shepard

NPR Ombudsman

To read latest Ombudsman posting, please go to: www.npr.org/ombudsman

*Sign up on our website to receive the column by email. Add email in prompt on right where it says NPR Ombudsman Newsletter.*

202.513.3246

Now, the subject is Impact of War (which I think is Pentagon propaganda for which NPR recieves financiaql/technical support) as stated in subject line. She doesn't know this is a NPR series yet she has this position. How did it take 30 days for this to reach her? But I see it as progress of a sort.

edk

Anonymous said...

Yet another great reason to oppose change in the health care system: doctor shortages.
[while this question is legitimate, bringing it up now is highly suspect on the part of NPR. Thanks Vivian Schiller for letting us all know once again that you oppose health care reform]

Shalala: Health Revamp May Mean Doctor Shortage

"As legislators continue to work on an overhaul for the U.S. health care system, numerous questions linger. Here's one of them: If millions more Americans get health insurance, will there be enough doctors to handle the increase in patients?

"Donna Shalala, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, says right now, the answer is no."

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed how crappy NPR's new website is?

With the old site, I could find stupid stuff to criticize right there in plain view.

Now I have to click all around.

It's still there, of course*.

They are just hiding it better (undoubtedly their primary motivation for changing the site)

*3 things are certain in this world: taxes, death and NPR BS/ propaganda.

gope said...

edk - Nice squeeze play on the sleaze sayers. Any answer other than "it is our policy not to take any public monies other than those allocated directly by Congress" is an admission of guilt, which we now have. Surprise! Bowman takes $$$ from DoD to say that more than half the civilians killed in Afghanistan (Balochistan?) are killed by "insurgents" (aka restless natives.)

Anonymous said...

RE Simon might become ombudsman.

This may be an obvious question, but isn't it a bit of a conflict for someone from within NPR (and someone who has been part of the NPR team so long, to boot) to fill that position?

I mean, this is supposed to be an "independent" position,. Or at least so they claim.

It never ceases to amaze me how blatant (in your face) these people are.

"We're going to put in Simon and if you (the listener) don't like it, screw you! We get most of our money from corporate donors anyway, so there" [not true, but I'm sure that's what they would say]

Anonymous said...

RE Simon might become ombudsman.

This may be an obvious question, but isn't it a bit of a conflict for someone from within NPR (and someone who has been part of the NPR team so long, to boot) to fill that position?

I mean, this is supposed to be an "independent" position,. Or at least so they claim.

I was only half kidding when I spoke of Simon as Ombudsman.

edk

RepubLiecan said...

"Let's see, that make ATC Sunday the only show that doesn't have a white male host."

Liane Hansen hosts Weekend Edition Sunday, which is reason enough to not listen to it.

Anonymous said...

Liane gets a special dispensation: she is regularly allowed to "be" a white, right-wing, pro-war, pro torture, Capitalist, male. Just like some entertainers in South Africa were allowed to be "white" until after the show.

edk