Failing To Fight Fake News

We saw a leftist partisan on Facebook refer to this website to show being well-informed.  Under its list of “minimal partisan bias it includes: NPR, BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, ABC (right of center!), NBC, and AP.  Fox News is skews conservative to hyper-partisan.  According to the graph, Fox News is less partisan (and obviously on the other side) than the Huffington Post and more partisan than MSNBC.  Fox also ranks below all the other networks, save CNN, for meets high standards.  CBS and PBS seem to have disappeared from sight.

Sidebar: As always, it depends what you mean by these generalizations.  Does Fox News or NPR mean news or all opinion on that network?   We haven’t seen anything rating NPR but PBS news, not on the graph, is pretty close to center but when you add opinion like Bill Moyers you would get a much further left result.  Fox News rates reasonably close (except on the graph) to center but if you add all the opinion then you get much further right.  The WSJ is even more extreme.  The editorial page is conservative and libertarian but the rest of the newspaper skews liberal.  End Sidebar.

But the graph has a point, we need the facts with analysis of those facts combined with a knowledge of the background and potential biases of the folks making the presentation.  The problem in trying to understand the world is that there are many more than two vectors to consider.  What about the libertarians?  What about principles versus tactics?  IOHO, Hugh is really concerned about tactics and Jonah is equally concerned about principles.  If you know a writer’s leanings then you have a chance to evaluate him.  Practice is a necessary but not sufficient condition to develop expertise.

How It Is Going To Be

The Donald is the pragmatist that Obama alleged himself to be.  It means that yesterday he made Bernie happy by killing TPP and today he makes conservatives happy by bringing two pipelines back to life.  CNN reports that he has signed executive orders to undo President Obama’s mischief in regards to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

Sidebar: TPP isn’t a robust free trade agreement.  Free traders are lukewarm in their support of the agreement.  It seems unlikely, however, that The Donald is going to make us happy by creating a more robust free trade agreement.  End Sidebar.

This is how it will be for the next four and perhaps eight years.  Conservatives will get some nice wins like the pipelines and suffer some losses at the hands of The Donald.  We expect several to be more grievous than TPP.  It is not resolved after one week but if you are a conservative and you failed to support The Donald then you should be having second thoughts about your actions.  He looks to be a big improvement on Herself.



You Know You’re A Fool If …

Bernie Sanders agrees with you on economic policy.  Here is Bernie agreeing with The Donald on ending TPP:

The president and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders both attacked TPP, a free trade agreement among the US and 11 other countries, on the campaign trail. Sanders praised Trump’s decision, saying TPP is “dead and gone”.

“Now is the time to develop a new trade policy that helps working families, not just multinational corporations,” Sanders said in a statement. “If President Trump is serious about a new policy to help American workers then I would be delighted to work with him.”

“For the past 30 years, we have had a series of trade deals … which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and caused a ‘race to the bottom’ which has lowered wages for American workers,” he said.

Life with The Donald isn’t going to be pretty.  On the other hand, this is an area of agreement between The Donald and Herself so it is not a cost from election choice.  Either way we get higher prices, less growth, and regressive taxes.  The best choice, as always, is just to eliminate all tariffs.  There is no need to help other countries.

Satire And Satire?

Ann Althouse has some tweets from #NotMySuperBowl.  We were delighted to find out that it was satire.  Here are Ann’s examples:

refuse to accept the results of the AFC and NFC championship games.Tomorrow I’ll be protesting, looting, and rioting. #NotMySuperBowl

But the Packers won the popular vote #NotMySuperBowl

We demand Tom Brady release his football air pressure statements. #NotMySuperBowl

It is our Super Bowl so we were glad to see the tweeters with tongue firmly in cheek.  On the other hand, here is an editorial from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Unfortunately, we don’t think they mean it as satire.

There’s no telling how Obama’s legacy might have fared had an atmosphere of bipartisan cooperation prevailed. In our grade book, the now former president gets an A for perseverance, a solid B-plus for economic management and another A for good conduct. But he leaves office with conspicuous incompletes on foreign affairs and overall leadership courage.

 Of course, Obama’s legacy is The Donald.  Obama is the post-constitutional egotist who wouldn’t talk to the opposition.   Probably The Donald will be better at talking to the opposition (how could he worse?) but he checks the rest of the boxes.
We are not sure how you get an A for good conduct from the editors.  If it is for not assaulting women then every president except Bill should get it in the last half-century.  Alternatively, it could be satire about the numerous scandals.  On the incompetes in foreign affairs we’re also not sure how the disasters in Syria and Iraq merit an incomplete.  Obama’s plan for Iraq did not work at great cost.  He has revised it.  Syria was a complete loss.  What is incomplete?

Perhaps it is time to start tweeting.  #IWishHeWasReplacedSooner.

Being Humbled

We spent an hour at the Orthopaedic Center waiting for the Lady deGloves.  She is recovering from hand surgery.  Compared to many of the folks in the waiting room both of us should feel good about our health.

Sidebar: That is the way they spelled.  We are not sure but don’t think there is any significant distinction between orthopaedic and orthopedic.  End Sidebar.

Watching the folks come into orthopaedics is a humbling experience.  There are all ages and all degree of problems.  There was a 23 year old with a broken ankle that was charming all the workers while storming around on crutches but there were young and old with more serious problems.  One middle age person was limping and had an arm caste.  Many of them had chronic problems and often seemed interested in audible discussions.  We sure it is not the only waiting room in the clinic that would be humbling but however you spell it, orthopaedics is one of them.



Opining On Trump

We are big fans of Jay Nordlinger but we must disagree with him with this part of today’s Impromtus at NRO.  Jay says:

Let’s talk about journalists for a minute — conservative journalists. Some of these are anti-Trump or Trump-skeptical. And they will get through the next four years, or eight years, as follows: They will write about silly or excessive criticism of Trump from the left. “See what Salon said? See what Slate said? See what was on MSNBC? Absurd!” And it will be. And the conservative journalists will skirt the main issue: Trump, and Trumpism, and what it all means. Mark my word. It is a survival strategy. It will keep them on the happy side of the Right. You will see it all around. In fact, you can already.

Trump is not a conservative or any kind of right-winger.  Neither is a left-winger like the unlamented immediate past president.   He is close to being an unique president.  He will do things that we disagree with and we should call him out on those.  We should support him when appropriate as with his cabinet nominations.  He will be treated unfairly by not just Salon, Slate, and MSNBC but all of the Main Stream Media.  We need to support Trump when he deserves it and oppose him when appropriate.  Part of that will be dueling media.

Good Sporting Fortune

When you have been involved in sports as a player and fan as long as us you know about random shocks to the system.  Today Arsenal overcame a red card to Granit Xhaka in the 65th minute.

Sidebar: A red card means you play a player short for the rest of the match.  In this case Arsenal was a player sort for over 25 minutes.  End Sidebar.

Arsenal scored on a 98th minute penalty to escape Burnley at home 2-1.  An expected win became a miracle escape.  They now sit second in the table.

On this side of the pond, the Patriots benefitted from an injury to Le’Veon Bell and defeated the Steelers convincingly, 36-17.  As sports fans, we know that there is both skill and randomness involved in these outcomes.  It brings you joy when the outcomes favor your teams.  Now we try to catch Chelsea and beat the Falcons.  Neither is assured but the latter is more likely but we know from experience that anything can happen.


MA Drivers

James Hagerty at the WSJ is discussing the joys of driving in various locales.  Most of them are on the East Coast:

In driver-education courses, students are taught that motorists wishing to turn left must yield to oncoming traffic. In Pittsburgh, however, drivers going straight often voluntarily cede their priority to a car waiting to turn. It is considered a matter of politeness, and to some longtime Pittsburghers, a badge of civic honor….   “Boston left” is akin to the one in Pittsburgh.

We grew up driving in Massachusetts and have other memories.  We lived in a small town with exactly one traffic light.  When we came to that light in the car with the drivers education teacher he told us to look at the wheels on the first car.

Sidebar: The year we turned sixteen in October the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (that’s what they call the state legislature) decided to pick on us (yes we understand it wasn’t personal but it felt like it) and move the driving age to seventeen.  We were able to get our learner’s permit in time but the state shut down the local office that driving exams.  Fortunately, we were able to make an appointment in Boston.  Well, it wasn’t entirely fortunate as it meant a kid from the sticks had to take a driving exam in Boston but we managed to pass.  End Sidebar.

We have found that driver-education instructors do prepare you for the Left.  Now that we live in the Midwest we don’t know if things have changed.  We plan to investigate with the nephews at the next opportunity.

Obama Hangs Around

We noticed this quote from our now ex-president at Althouse.  He is talking about when he will (and we know he will) get involved in the political process:

Obama gives 4 examples of what would override the principle of withdrawal:

1. “Systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion.”

2. “Explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise.”

3. “Institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press.”

4. “Efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids, and send them someplace else, when they love this country.”

Ann talks about number four.  We think number three is the interesting one.  Obama has spent most of his presidency trying to do exactly that.  The TaxProf Blog ended the IRS scandal at day 1352 with the end of the Obama presidency.  He loves to complain about Fox News.  Perhaps he will discover what he has done and report himself.  Perhaps.

California Media Arithmetic

The State of California has current budget woes in addition to its long term problems with its pension funds.  Here is a longish quote from the AP but we need it all:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration miscalculated costs for the state Medi-Cal program by $1.9 billion last year, an oversight that contributed to Brown’s projection of a deficit in the upcoming budget, officials acknowledged this week.

The administration discovered accounting mistakes last fall, but it did not notify lawmakers until the administration included adjustments to make up for the errors in Brown’s budget proposal last week. The Democratic governor called for more than $3 billion in cuts because of a projected deficit he pegged at $1.6 billion.

“There’s no other way to describe this other than a straight up error in accounting, which we deeply regret,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance.

The agency followed its normal practice by waiting to report the errors in the governor’s next budget, he said.

Brown’s deficit projection was driven by more than just the accounting error, Palmer said, noting that California tax collections came in below expectations for most of the first half of the fiscal year.

So they miscalculated by $1.9 billion.  Bad things do seem to happen to liberals.

Sidebar: Well, the article lists the Medi-Cal errors in millions as $487, $913, and $573 and that adds to $1,973 million so the correct rounding to a tenth of a billion is $2.0 rather than $1.9.  End Sidebar

More important and more confusing are the projected deficit and the amount of the needed cuts.

The deficit is put at $1.6 billion but the errors are larger than that and CA tax collections are below expectations.  Why is the deficit not substantially in excess of $2 billion?  That number might be consistent with the need for more than $3 billion in cuts.  It might be biennial math like we have in Wisconsin where there is a two-year budget cycle.  Or there might be two fiscal years in discussion.  Or reporters might be innumerate.  They owe us a better explanation of California’s budget woes.