Gradycarter's Blog

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Tag: 2012

2012 in review

I’ve gotten a slow start to the year in blogging so far, but I plan to change that sometime soon. I’ve just had a locations and occupation change, so it might take me a little longer.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Ohio Is A Test Case For The U.S. Economy – Steve Rattner

Ohio is a test case for US economy.

If you read my blog with any regularity you by know are aware that I love Steve Rattner… He is a very smart, and also thoughtful person. I think that he nailed with pinpoint accuracy what citizens of this country should have an understand of, so that we can learn how to face common obstacles together.

At the end of this post I am post a video that is a few years old that I think pertains to what he is talking about… The apparent leakage of our nations power is attributed to so much, and identifying the importance of education is but one way that we can maintain growth and influence in the world (which is obviously of great importance to anyone who considers our nation to be founded on outstanding ideals).

Ohio is a test case for US economy

Romney’s Latest Auto Claims Are Absurd – Steve Rattner (aka: the Car Czar)

Romney’s latest auto claims are absurd.

If you don’t have much time, or patience, I would recommend skipping my comments (they are blog comments…) and go ahead and read the article below, which was written by the Car Czar for the auto bailout on Romney’s comments as of late about the auto industry.

Steve Rattner is one of my political and economic heroes… I think that he has a very clear vision of what it means to be pragmatic and plain-spoken in our complex world of politics and business. I often speak to my conservative friends to pay close attention, but that is mostly because of where I’m from. Being from Oklahoma, and living in Arkansas makes it more likely that the uninformed commentator is conservative – the opposite would be true if I were from another part of the country (something that the show “Portlandia” takes a comical approach towards addressing). It’s all about perspective really, we speak in such scathing and polarizing terms about people who promote policies that aren’t so different from our own. In this article Mr. Rattner is calling to the reader’s attention the importance of understanding simple and verifiable facts as they stand… It does not mean that he thinks that Governor Romney is all bad, and the opposite from himself. In fact, I’ve heard Mr. Rattner on multiple occasions praise Governor Romney for being a pioneer on Wall Street. The criticism found in this article is only partially ideological, but more so it is a referendum on the former Governor/CEO/Bishop/etc.’s lack of deference to the truth… It is not a coincidence that these attacks are mostly being made in Ohio, as he desperately needs a November surprise in the state with probably the most organized auto labor collective that there is…

The counter response that I have been hearing when I try to discuss Governor Romney’s multiple aggressions upon reality is that the President lies to, so it’s a push… Well, it’s not… When I ask for examples, or when I hear examples on TV they all seem to be about how the President promised lower unemployment (5.something percent), however that isn’t really the same kind of lie… Being overly optimistic and missing the mark on how much his actions would affect the economy is not the same as blatantly lying about what has or has not happened. It’s just not the same thing. It’s fine to ask questions about whether or not the President implemented appropriate policies, and there is Plenty of room for that debate, but that does not mean that he is a liar in the same way that Romney was… What do you think? Surely I’m wrong about something here, and I’d love some feedback, so feel free to let me know what you think.



Romney’s latest auto claims are absurd

Imagine Playing iPad mini – YouTube

Imagine Playing iPad mini – YouTube.

I just watched the iPad Mini keynote, and I’m planning to post it when it hits YouTube, but until then here is a video of what it looks like.

C-SPAN: Full Vice Presidential Debate with Gov. Palin and Sen. Biden

C-SPAN: Full Vice Presidential Debate with Gov. Palin and Sen. Biden.




Sarah: “Hey, can I call you Joe?”

Joe: “You can call me Joe.”

Sarah: “Okay good, thanks.”


The time has come… I love this time, when caring about what’s going on doesn’t make me completely bothersome to my friends 🙂

Tonight the the Vice-Presidential debate, and I think that there are a few things to point out to those who seem to have short memories.

4 years ago Sarah Palin was said to have losed the Vice-Presidential debate to Joe Biden by the main stream media, but the McCain-Palin ticket was wildly happy with her performance… She spoke simply, and a lot of people liked what she had to say. I personally am glad that she was not ever given a real chance to be the President of this country, but I love hearing her as a part of the debate. As a governor she helped fight a lot of big oil companies on behalf of the people… People forget that.

On the flip side, Joe Biden does seem to say and to things that can very easily become a laugh line, but he is no joke… Vice-President Biden is incredibly smart, and practiced in what he’s doing. As the Chairman on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations he knows a lot about this world that we live in. Not to mention, the gaffes that he has made have been pretty honest mistakes for the most part… I haven’t seen too many “Freudian” slips of the tongue about him believing something other than what he claims to believe. He has done things like asked a man who sat in a wheelchair to stand and be recognized .. He dropped the F-Bomb in a microphone after the Affordable Care Act was passed (I actually kind of liked seeing him genuinely excited, we never see stuff like that from political figures).

And as for Paul Ryan, he has shown himself to be a formidable fighter and contender, but he also seems to be pretty deceptive and dishonest to me… I’m disappointed in how he’s campaigned since being selected, and I don’t want him to be the Vice-President. However, I am glad that he can be a spearhead to start conversation about actual changes that need to be made, and hopefully he can be that spearhead.

I think that underestimating either the Vice-President or Congressman Ryan would be unwise, but to get excited for tonight’s debate I’m going to have to watch the debate between then Senator Biden, and Governor Palin… Please join me 🙂

Jobs Report – Cooked or Correct? –

Jobs Report – Cooked or Correct? –

I posted the other day about the backlash of the Republican punditry about the September Jobs report from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and simply put I was frustrated in hearing what I thought to be a hypocritical if not paranoid attack on the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I said that I don’t like the Republican pundits and talking heads willingness to use the numbers when they are convenient  and to through the Bureau under the bus when it’s not conveniently telling them what they want to hear. Now, I recognize that people have potential to be corrupt, and I don’t even mind asking questions about the BLS, but this is the first attack of it’s kind on a very old and well respected bureau of our government (and I know that it sounds funny to some of you that I would use respect and government in the same sentence). Well anyway, I enjoyed this article, and I thought that I should pass it along to anyone who is interested in this muddying of the waters over the Jobs Numbers. Enjoy


Jobs Report - Cooked or Correct? -


Jobs Report: Cooked or Correct?


“Unbelievable job numbers,” tweeted Jack Welch, the iconic former boss of General Electric on Friday morning, moments after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its September jobs figures. “These Chicago guys will do anything,” he continued. “Can’t debate so change numbers.”

The jobs numbers, unquestionably,gave a boost to the Obama campaign, still reeling from the president’s poor debate performance. While the bureau’s survey of businesses showed a ho-hum rise of 114,000 in nonfarm employment, the unemployment rate had somehow dropped from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent, far exceeding expectations. Thus, a month before the election, and for the first time in Obama’s presidency, unemployment was under 8 percent.

Welch smelled conspiracy. And he wasn’t alone. “Total data manipulation,” tweeted a writer at Zerohedge, a financial news blog. “Such a farce.” Fox News spent much of Friday morning piling on.

It’s worth pointing out that the last time anyone accused the Bureau of Labor Statistics of being politically motivated was when Richard Nixon did so in 1971. Upset that the bureau was releasing figures showing higher unemployment during his re-election campaign, he asked his hatchet man, Charles Colson, to investigate the bureau’s top officials, including its chief, Geoffrey Moore.

So Point No. 1: the idea that a handful of career bureaucrats, their jobs secure no matter who is in the White House, would manipulate the unemployment data to help President Obama, is ludicrous. Jack Welch knows it, too; when I called him Friday afternoon, he quickly backpedaled. “I’m not accusing anybody of anything,” he protested. But he went on to add that everything he’s seen suggests that the economy remains in the doldrums, and it just didn’t seem possible that the unemployment rate could have dropped so drastically, and so quickly.

Hence, Point No. 2: there is, indeed, something a little strange about the way the country derives its employment statistics. It turns out that the statistics the bureau releases each month are generated by two different reports. One, called the establishment report, is a survey of businesses. That’s where the 114,000 additional jobs comes from.

The second is a survey of 55,000 households, where people are asked about their employment status. Extrapolating from the survey, the bureau concluded that an additional 873,000 people had found work in September. It is that number that brought the unemployment rate from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.

When I asked a bureau spokeswoman why there was such divergence between the two numbers, she said she had no idea. “The reports are totally separate,” she said.

When I put the same question to economists, they shrugged. Maybe it was because an additional 582,000 Americans were working part time, which doesn’t show up in payroll statistics. Maybe it was because of increased government employment. For some unexplained reason, there is always an uptick in September. (“Maybe it has something to do with going back to school,” said Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, who quickly added, “I’m just guessing here.”) In any case, it wasn’t anything economists hadn’t seen before. Sometimes the two surveys delink, though over the long term they tend to reinforce each other. In the short term, however, the household survey is considered the more volatile — and less reliable — of the two numbers.

Which leads to Point No. 3: there is something truly absurd about having the presidential race hinge on the unemployment rate. Even putting aside the reliability of the short-term numbers, the harsh reality is that no president has much control over the economy. That is especially true of President Obama, whose every effort to boost the economy these past two years has been stymied by Republicans. Again and again, they have shown that they would rather see the country suffer than do anything that might help Obama’s re-election.

There is rough justice in the way things are playing out. Having spent the last year wrongly blaming the president for high unemployment, Republicans can only stand by helplessly as the unemployment rate goes down at the worst possible moment for them. Fox News scoured the data Friday, looking for signs that the economy wasn’t improving. They found some: high unemployment for African-Americans, for instance, and fewer manufacturing jobs.

But the data were largely overwhelmed by positive signals. In its revised figures for July and August, for instance, the bureau said that more jobs had been created than it originally estimated. People with only high school degrees were finding jobs. The number of people who had been out of work for six months or more was at its lowest point in three years.

Whether the Republicans like it or not, the economy is slowly getting better.

Awful, isn’t it?


This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 8, 2012

An earlier version of this column misidentified the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1971. It was Geoffrey Moore, not Julius Shiskin.

Swing State Polls as of First Debate

So it’s the day of the First presidential debate of 2012. Morning Joe did some analysis of the holes today in swing states. It sounds like Ohio is a lost cause for Mitt Romney, but maybe we can make history and win the presidency without it. I don’t think that’s likely… But we will just have to see.

The three poles that they seem to find most notable were in: Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.

Republicans do not win the Presidency without winning Ohio… But everything that isn’t is a rule, until of course that rule is broken.




They also discussed Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, and Nevada:





It seems obvious to me that the 2 states to consider on this list are Ohio and Florida. However, the states not on this list that probably need the most consideration are: Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The Midwest is becoming the new South in Republican politics, and therefore Presidential politics. But we’ll see if they can get a real stronghold over the next few years. I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s just get ready for this debate tonight.

State of the Race 9-14: Morning Joe

I think it’s pretty clear that the Presidential race is Obama’s to lose, and looking at some of the latest swing state polls it seems to only confirm much of the same.


Over the last couple of years I have personally thought that Colorado will actually become the next Iowa or Ohio in terms of swing state stature. It has places like Colorado Springs representing the far right and Boulder repeating the far left. I think that this state is one to pay attention to over the next few years and elections.


My Favorite Event of the Year – The White House Correspondence Dinner 2012

The White House Correspondence Dinner – April 28, 2012

The Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmy’s, The Dundies (joking) – these awards shows are of course always at the forefront of conversation when they come around. While I love all of these awards shows because of how they can be a snapshot of the current moment in time my favorite black tie event (that isn’t actually an award show) is the White House Correspondence Dinner – where the president and a comedian cut loose and do standup for one night each year.

I’m not sure which year of this event is my all-time favorite, but this year did not disappoint. If you are thin skinned and you know it you might want to move on to something else. I don’t get my feelings hurt very easily, so stuff like this is my favorite. If you enjoy it please let me know which jokes are your favorite.



Likeability vs Productivity

Now that Santorum is out of the race it’s time to really start talking about the actual inevitable race that we’ve been waiting for – Obama vs Romney.

Why do people vote for who they vote for? It really is a tricky question, because even now (and over the past year) in the Republican nomination process happening across the country there are millions of conservatives who are choosing to vote for former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney because they think that he’s the most likely candidate to win the election, not because they actually like him.

I personally like a lot of things about Gov. Romney, but I am disappointed in many of his antics.

The question facing American voters in November is whether they are going to get very detailed in examining these candidates, or if they’ll vote from the gut. My opinion is that they’ll probably vote from the gut, they did it with George W. Bush in 2004, and most other elections over the last 60 years. If they do that it looks like President Obama would win again this year. While it is likely that I’ll vote for President Obama again, this is more an analysis of what is likely – it’s not an endorsement.

The conversation and charts on Morning Joe today might help explain.

The likeability of a candidate, and the favorable/unfavorable ratings say a lot more than a lot of people might realize.





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