Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Q Tips

NPR related comments welcomed.


Anonymous said...

We don't see anything on NPR on this:

"Analysts anticipate $2.2.B Goldman Sachs profit; largest since 2007 earnings record

Or most of the other stuff that Goldman Sachs has been involved in, for that matter, documented in The events preceding Goldman Sachs' new "blowout profits") and The Great American Bubble Machine.

Planet Money's Adam Davidson is such a corporate shill, as are NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, Alicia Shepard and the rest of the biased hacks NPR has working for them.

Congress should pull the plug on the whole scummy organization.

biggerbox said...

This morning on 'Memory Hole', er, 'Morning Edition', they had an "explainer" about the history of congressional oversight of the CIA which did not include the words "Church Committee", and suggested that it was only the "leak" that we'd interfered in an election in Chile that led to tighter control of intelligence activities. Was there any mention of spying on American citizens, plans to assassinate foreign leaders, or any of the other excesses? Not a peep.

Incredible. But I guess that's what you can expect if your "expert" is an AP writer. Which may explain why they chose her, instead of a historian, or even someone who remembers 1975.

Porter Melmoth said...

I recently indulged in an On Point podcast with Jane Clayson showcasing the performance-artist talents of AAAAAdam Davidson and Davidson KestenBOMB, the too-clever twins from Planet Moneygrub. They smirk-laughed their way through the whole thing (in front of a live audience, no less), and believe me, they made no advances whatsoever in 'explaining' the current money crisis. They are, of course, fully integrated into the system they pretend to criticize. One of them (doesn't matter who, they both sound alike, as identical twins - or lovers - tend to do) went on and on, bitching about Timmy Geithner, and how frustrating it was interviewing him. By saying that, he immediately revealed what a lousy 'journalist' he is. Typical NPR - so full of themselves that they can't detect their own BS. Indeed, they increase its production.

Anonymous said...

Adam davidson is just a stupid hack.

But David Kestenbaum is a smart guy who actually had a good reputation as a science journalist.

In my opinion, Kestenbaum should have stuck with science, which he knows something about, being a physicist.

When he talks about economics, he inevitably makes a complete fool of himself.

Most of the stuff he spouts on economic matters is just uninformed gibberish, but he is apparently too ignorant of economics to even realize it.

Porter Melmoth said...

Perhaps they tossed DK into the mix to sex up the show, so that he could play dumbo to AD's infinite wisdom, if needed. Conversely, DK could recite some Newtonian Rule of Law if necessary to melt AD down. (Just a concept, if the show sags...)

Anonymous said...

Dean Baker: NPR Wrongly Tells Listeners that Goldman Sachs Repaid Its Taxpayer Aid

In the top of hour news segment on Morning Edition, NPR told its listeners that Goldman Sachs has repaid the taxpayer money it received. This is important because it is about to report that it earned approximately $1.8 Billion in the 2nd quarter. It will also be giving large bonuses to its executives.

While Goldman did repay the money it received under the TARP, it did not repay the $13 Billion ( approximately equal to 3 million annual family TANF payments ) that it received from the government through AIG. Nor has it repaid the $28 Billion in government subsidized loans that it obtained by borrowing with an FDIC guarantee. In addition, it may still be using the Fed's special lending facilities to borrow money short-term at below market rates. ( The Fed doesn't reveal who borrows its taxpayer dollars. )

The difference between the TARP money that Goldman did repay and the other funds, which it did not, is that the government imposed conditions on the TARP, such as restrictions on executive compensation. The other aid comes without conditions.

geoff said...

I think I must have missed these reports on NPR this AM:

The average national CD rate is 1.75% and the avg credit card interest rate is 13.42%. So we get to invest with an -11% arbitrage. Ignore the negative, accentuate the positive, and that starts to look pretty good. Thus the good news!

The stimulus bill capped credit card interest rates at 36%.
The feds funds rate is 0 - 0.25%. This means that essentially the banks can borrow from us for free and then turn around and charge us 36%.

larry, dfh said...

...spying on American citizens, plans to assassinate foreign leaders...
because these are ILLEGAL, and, like torture, we know that the c.i.a. doesn't do these things. alicia told me so.

Todd said...

Again this morning, NPR resorted to their comic book world view. Dina Temple-Raston did a story about a software program to help find "the bad guys" -- aka terrorists, Hezbollah or its financiers. She also said that the software was sort of like the 7 Degress of Kevin Bacon game. Totally juevenile.

geoff said...

Todd - Yeah, they keep talking about "the terrorists." It can be hard to locate terrorists, apparently. Mebbe there's baddies in WOW? Perhaps the children will be able to recognize terrorists? Mebbe there are Idiots Out Walking Around in IOWA and the truckers'll get 'em? Baby drones? Nanodrones? Their falefal-affinity will betray them?

Q: Why are you looking under the lamp post for terrorists?
A: That's where the light is.
Q: What do you call a civilian killed by a drone?
A: Found one!

byg!pynk!fuhzi!buhni! said...

Nice stringing together of linkages there, Gopey. Brought to you by Boeing (boiyoiyoiyoing?!) "We know why we're here..."

And curious, why does it appear you have relinquished your spot as an official contributor here? (query can be dismissed as rhetorical, if you like)

Anonymous said...

"Dina Temple-Raston did a story about a software program to help find "the bad guys" -- aka terrorists, Hezbollah or its financiers. She also said that the software was sort of like the 7 Degress of Kevin Bacon game."

Initially (a few years ago) there was a lot of hype, even among some computer scientists about the possibilities of "data mining" to identify terrorists from "patterns' in credit card use, phone use, etc.

But it has become clear to computer experts who have actually studied this issue that it's much harder than was initially envisioned. In fact, even with today's supercomputers, it's basically pie in the sky.

It's like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack -- even worse, in fact, because the terrorists understand that people are trying to identify them through the "patterns of their activity", so they purposely do things to avoid detection.(eg, using prepaid phone cards, etc).

So what happens is that the ordinary Joe Innocent (non-terrorist) ends up being put on a "terrorist watch list" (with all that entails) as a result of these "brilliant" programs -- while the actual terrorists (if there are any) go undetected.

It's the same with e-mail and internet "screening" for terrorist and criminal activities. The real criminals and terrorists are very discreet and use encryption, etc, so the people who get identified are again the average Joe.

In fact, I have read that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people on the "terrorist watch lists" that result from such data mining.

Needless to say, the idea that all these people -- or even a significant fraction of them -- are terrorists is absurd.

It's idiotic, really. The entire program is essentially one gigantic clusterf..k by people who have no clue what can and can not be accomplished with such computer searches.

The reality is "not much", at least not when it comes to identifying real terrorists.

geoff said...

brizbigfunkbot - Cartoon noise я NPR я Us, huh? I just finished Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Loanna or some such. Read it through like a good soldier. Now I can't rightly remember who was president before, but I can see the red brigade and and black guard kinda merging into a blackberry thumb war reigning bombs from newly branded obama drones down on the homes of people who have to be like, wtf? and then dead.

Now, say you're one of these cheney squad dudes and your closet's full of duds for the dudely doing and then obama comes along but cheney's saying you're a left behind. Paychecks are still coming but for how long? "Who's your daddy (commander in chief) now, assassin asset butt boy captain L'ipso SEALed again?"

Kimo C said...

"Only 100 Percent Pure Honey Makes Grade In Fla." which ran on 7/14


This was a ridiculous piece which sounded like it was written by the Honey lobby. There is an assumption that honey "cut or adulterated" with corn syrup is somehow bad for you. In reality too many sugars or carbs are bad you it doesn't matter where they came from. NPR really needs to do a correction here.

We are in the middle of a deep recession - if people can purchase a honey product and save money - that should be their choice.

Anonymous said...

"Only 100 Percent Pure Honey Makes Grade In Fla."
There is an assumption that honey "cut or adulterated" with corn syrup is somehow bad for you.

To say nothing for the fact that, in practice, there is no such thing as "100% pure" anything.

WarOnWarOff said...



Anonymous said...

"The prison population has grown from 25,000 to 175,000 since the early 1990s, not because of an increase in crime, Sullivan says, but because of the "tough-on-crime, three-strikes-and-you're-out" laws." -- NPR's Laura Sullivan tells Renee Montagne

California Budget Held Captive By State Prisons"

Actually, that's total BS.

While the 3 strikes laws have certainly contributed to the problem of overcrowding, they are NOT behind the bulk of the increase.

25,000 to 175,000 is an increase of 150,000 (600%)

As this graph shows,
from 1994 (when 3 strikes was implemented) to 2004, 3 strikes inmate population grew from 5000 to about 45,000.

So, the percent change of the total prison population due to the 3 strikes laws is about 40,000/25,000 = 180%

While that is certainly large, it by no means accounts for the bulk of the total 600% increase. Not even close.

Incidentally, that graph does not go beyond 2004, but the text just above the graph says that
"As of December 31, 2004, there were almost 43,000 inmates serving time in prison under the Three Strikes law, making up about 26 percent of the total prison population."

That translates to a total prison population of roughly 165,000 (in 2004) which does not differ all that much from the 175,000 number NPR gives. Also, you will note that the graph shows the number of 3 strikes inmates leveling off in 2001 and actually declining slightly through 2004.

In other words, the overall picture has probably not changed that much since end 2004.

So, the idea that 3 strikes laws were behind the huge increase in the CA prison population is just total nonsense.

But what was?

I wonder if NPR's Laura Sullivan and Renee Montagne have ever heard of drug offenses.

Any "journalist" (I use the term VERY loosely when talking about people like Montagne) who talks about CA prison system overcrowding and fails to even mention the fact that most of the recent (since early 90's for example) increases in the prison population have resulted from drug offenses is talking out their wazoo.

Then again, the "journalists" at NPR seem to play a mean wazoo.

dguzman said...

Did you hear the 8:30am (Eastern) report on the Sotomayor hearing yesterday? The guy starts off by saying that "so far, she's remained unflappable" -- like that's some kind of surprise? I guess we should all be surprised when a 'Rican doesn't pull a knife or something.

Then he goes on to say that she "sounded like a Bush nominee" when she said that judges "should be strict interpreters of the Constitution." Since when did BUSH corner the market on this "ideological philosophy" aka "obvious truth?" I had to change the station at that point.

And I did hear the Goldman Sachs "blowout" profits story yesterday, including the lie that GS has paid back all the taxpayers' money. *ssholes.

Anonymous said...

dguzman says I did hear the Goldman Sachs "blowout" profits story yesterday, including the lie that GS has paid back all the taxpayers' money. *ssholes."

Lying *assholes at that.

Our tax dollars at work (both in the case of Goldman and NPR).

But there's an easy fix: tell them both to go to hell next time they come looking for a handout.

Especially NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, corporate shill extraordinaire.

Anonymous said...

"You Couldn't Save NPR if you Wanted to"

But you can put it out of its misery (and ours).

And if you read that article above, you'll see how.

NPR's very existence depends on purchase of NPR programming (ATC, ME, etc) by member stations.

So put the pressure on the member stations to discontinue NPR news.

That will simultaneously achieve a couple admirable goals. It will put an end to the incessant NPR propaganda. It will free up a huge chunk of cash for each member station that was spent on NPR and can be much better spent in the future.

NPR is on the ropes.

Put them out of their misery -- and ours.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting tidbit about Palantir Technologies, the company referred to in the story about finding terrorists: the company got $35 million in venture capital money in 2008, part of that from In-Q-Tel (a CIA run company).


[Palantir's director of engineering, Bob McGrew] "claims that what happened to [Tom] Brady [people snooping into his personal life] wouldn't have happened if law enforcement had been using Palantir's system because of its privacy control. "When some of these officials were looking at Tom Brady's data, they would be leaving a trail. It is all captured in a log that you don't need to be a technical guy to understand," he says. "A compliance officer or a civil liberties group would be able to see exactly who was looking at what information."

Phew! Mcgrew's assurances certainly assuage my concerns. (Not)

McGrew wants to assure us "Don't worry, everything is being logged" when the government agency (CIA) that financed the development of his company's software have a vested interest in ensuring that just the opposite is true?

One of my physics professors in college had a stamp he would use on problem sets whenever you tried to BS him the way McGrew is doing here: "Hogwash!!"

For anyone who really believes that the CIA has a genuine interest in logging all of their "searches" for later inspection by civil liberties groups , I have some most excellent ocean front property for you (in Arizona).

Kimo C said...

re "Don't worry, everything is being logged"

CIA video tapped all the torture interrogations and as we know now promptly destroyed them.

We can't even see that additional Abu Grab photos which are discloseable under FOIA even though the US forced people to observe the results of concentration camps.

Are we going to shut down the Holocast muesem in DC?

Unless these logs are posted online in real-time and in multiple locations then logging is open to modification.

Kimo C said...

I agree "Adam Davidson" is not to be trusted - I stopped listening to Planet Money a few months ago.