Archive for June 10th, 2011

10
Jun
11

night everyone

The leading Catholic on planet earth …. meets the Pope.

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‘When we grow up we’re going to live in a big house with a dog’ – Happy Birthday Sasha Obama

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You want comedy? No problem:

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See you tomorrow 😉

10
Jun
11

‘the case of the mystery study’

Earlier this week McKinsey & Company released the results of their study that claimed 30 per cent of employers are planning to stop giving health insurance to their workers as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

 Almost all of the mainstream media unquestioningly reported McKinsey & Company’s findings and framed them as a major blow to President Obama’s healthcare reform.

 A few – and only a few – voices in the media, though, were curious about the study, not least because it completely contradicted the findings of surveys by three independent organizations – The Rand Corporation, The Urban Institute and Mercer (see here)

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Steve Benen: …How was the study conducted? What were the questions? How were the employers chosen? What were the statistical breakdowns among businesses of different sizes? Who funded the study? We don’t know and McKinsey hasn’t said.

Kate Pickert (Time) noticed a small tidbit in the report: McKinsey acknowledged having “educated” those participating in the survey. And what, pray tell, did the company say to respondents that might have affected the results? You guessed it: we don’t know and McKinsey hasn’t said.

Politico added that it “asked really nicely” to at least see the questionnaire McKinsey used to conduct the employers survey, but the company refused. Raise your hand if you think the McKinsey & Company report has some credibility problems.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent: …as a number of critics were quick to point out, McKinsey’s finding is at odds with many other studies – and the company did not release key portions of the study’s methodology, making it impossible to evaluate the study’s validity.

 There’s now been a new twist in this story.

 I’m told that the White House, as well as top Democrats on key House and Senate committees, have privately contacted McKinsey to ask for details on the study’s methodology. According to an Obama administration official and a source on the House Ways and Means Committee, the company refused.

 Now the White House and top Congressional Democrats are asking the company to release the baseline information we need to evaluate the study’s credibility and integrity. So this story could now get a good deal more interesting.

Full post here

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Paul Krugman: One has to assume that there was something terribly wrong with the study. At any rate, nobody should be citing it until or unless McKinsey comes clean.

Full post here

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TPM: …multiple sources both within and outside McKinsey tell TPM the survey was not conducted using McKinsey’s typical, meticulous methodology.

“This particular survey wasn’t designed in a way that would allow it to be peer review published or cited academically,” said one source familiar with the controversy …. All sources were granted anonymity, in order to be able to speak candidly about the controversy.

Reached for comment today, a McKinsey spokesperson once again declined to release the survey materials, or to comment beyond saying that, for the moment, McKinsey will let the study speak for itself….

Another keyed-in source says McKinsey is unlikely to release the survey materials because “it would be damaging to them”.

Both sources disagree with the results of the survey, which was devised by consultants without particular expertise in this area, not by the firm’s health experts.

…Republicans, and reform opponents, seized on the report’s conclusions to sow further suspicion of the law…..

Full post here

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You can read about McKinsey & Company’s record here

10
Jun
11

not that we should trust economists, but…..

Bloomberg: Slowdowns in consumer spending and employment will prove temporary, giving way to a U.S. growth rebound in the second half of 2011, economists surveyed by Bloomberg News said.

After growing at a 2.3 percent annual pace this quarter, the world’s largest economy will expand at a 3.2 percent rate from July through December, according to the median forecast of 67 economists polled from June 1 to June 8.

Rising exports, stable fuel prices, record levels of cash in company coffers and easier lending rules will be enough to overcome the damage done by one-time events like poor weather and the disaster in Japan….

“The economic headwinds are well known, but if you look at the tailwinds, they are still pretty strong,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. “There are a lot of reasons to be fairly upbeat about the recovery. Growth will pick up in the second half.”

….Increasing overseas demand is another reason for optimism ….. Exports climbed to a record in April, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday….

More here

10
Jun
11

oh mitt….

TPM: Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty … have something in common: According to new surveys from Public Policy Polling, they would both lose their respective home states to President Obama by serious margins – though as the new numbers from Massachusetts show, it’s much worse in Romney’s case.

In the new Massachusetts survey, Obama leads Romney by a landslide margin of 57%-37% – wider than the 51%-43% margin that Obama has over Pawlenty in Minnesota, and comparable to Obama’s 56%-35% lead over the other likely Minnesotan candidate, Michele Bachmann, in that state.

As it turns out, Romney is actually the strongest Republican candidate in Massachusetts. Obama leads Herman Cain by 60%-27%, leads Newt Gingrich by 63%-27%, leads Sarah Palin by 63%-27%, and leads Pawlenty by 59%-28%.

….PPP’s Tom Jensen writes: “I’m sure no one was in a lot of suspense about whether Obama would win Massachusetts next year. The bigger question is if an Obama win by 20 points against Romney…or by 30 points or more against someone else…will be enough to carry Scott Brown’s eventual Democratic challenger over the top.”

More here

Thank you Loriah 😉

10
Jun
11

fourball

Uggh. I hope the President sticks his putter up Kasich’s …. no, no, I’ll behave. 😕

10
Jun
11

phew, it’s friday

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson leave the White House for Camp David, June 10

10
Jun
11

see ya later

Hey people, I have to go out for a few hours, but catch you all later – have a perfect day 😉

10
Jun
11

‘blame china, not obama, for high gas prices’

Andrew Leonard (Salon): In the U.S., gasoline prices have been falling, on average, for about a month, but that doesn’t seem to be dampening the ardor with which Republican presidential candidates are using the high cost of fueling your automobile to bash President Obama.

….Barring a sustained decline at the pump, we’re going to keep hearing all the usual boilerplate attacks, which can be handily divided into two categories: Either Obama is purposefully making gas prices higher by attempting to regulate pollution or subsidize renewable energy, or he isn’t doing enough to bring them down, i.e., allow as much offshore and onshore drilling as the earth will allow.

It’s all nonsense. If you want to know why gas prices are high, and why, in the long run, they will keep getting higher, all you need to do is peruse BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2011 report.

Bottom line: World oil consumption hit an all-time record high of 87.4 million barrels a day in 2010, driven by a surge in demand from emerging nations, but primarily led by China…Since 2000, China’s oil consumption has grown an incredible 90 percent … The rest of the world is going to continue to consume more oil … Obama can’t do a damn thing about it, except to put in place policies that encourage U.S. consumers to consume as little oil as possible.

Full post here

10
Jun
11

ooops, rick’s google problem

10
Jun
11

morning people

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Today:

4:0 The first family departs the White House en route Camp David

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GOPolitico: The National Education Association’s executive director, John Wilson, said he’s prepared to invest resources and manpower to reelect President Obama … The 3.2 million-member organization has affiliate organizations in every state, and Wilson said it is prepared to spend at least $60 million to reelect Obama.

“Quite frankly, we don’t have the money the Koch brothers have, but one thing we do have is, we have boots on the ground,” Wilson said …. he sees fights between state governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio’s John Kasich as opportunities for the group to reach its more than 1 million Republican members with the reelection message.

The budget debate in Washington, which the Obama administration has sought to frame starkly in terms of education investments instead of deep education cuts, has sharpened the contrast between Obama and his potential opponents, Wilson said.

“A lot of them in Ohio are saying that ‘the Republican Party has left me,’ ” Wilson said. “We think we’ll be able to move a lot of our members no matter what their party affiliation to understand that there is no better person for our issues – particularly for labor and civil rights – than this president.”….

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TTNews: Daimler Trucks North America said it plans to sharply increase production and hire about 1,400 new workers at three truck plants, to meet higher demand …. the company will increase production at its Mt. Holly, N.C. and Portland, Ore., truck manufacturing plants in the last half of 2011.

….Daimler said it plans to add more than 1,230 employees to its manufacturing and administrative payroll at the three locations to accommodate rising customer demand, and will add about 120 shop and staff employees at its Gastonia, N.C., parts plant.

Company officials said the plans were in addition to the more than 1,300 positions filled in the at its truck and parts facilities in the first half of this year.

…Company officials said employment at its Cleveland, N.C., truck plant expanded significantly last year and jumped again in May, as part of the 1,300 position expansion DTNA announced earlier this year.

Thanks Jovie 😉




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