After reading RPN, Republicans realize one politician’s “spending” is many thousands of people’s “jobs”

SPIN METER: GOP flips on job creation for defense http://m.cecilwhig.com/mobile/news/national_news/article_ec8924de-08b4-11e1-8970-001cc4c03286.html

Consider the latest argument from Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee as lawmakers stare down at least $450 billion in cuts from projected defense spending over the next 10 years. Running for re-election, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said in February 2010 that the stimulus package did not create new jobs. In a statement about the economy and jobs now on his website, McKeon says “congressional Democrats and the administration continue to insist that we can spend our way out of this recession and create jobs, but the numbers just don’t add up.” But at a hearing last week, McKeon, now the committee chairman, argued against cuts to the military, saying, “We don’t spend money on defense to create jobs. But defense cuts are certainly a path to job loss, especially among our high-skilled workforces. There is no private sector alternative to compensate for the government’s investment.” He later added, “While cuts to the military might reduce federal spending, they harm national security and they definitely don’t lead to job growth.”

This is pretty standard b.s. rhetoric.   It’s getting a bit more attention now, as rational folks ask how firing a bunch of people in order to prolong tax cuts for high earners makes even a lick of sense during an employment crisis.

Note: Title reference.

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GE/NBC/Comcast Merger Approved, Olbermann Fired…50th anniversary of what speech?

Oh yes, the first Texan in the White House (and just for the official records, this guy was a yankee).  Here’s that speech..

There’s some great historical context here.  This was the previous election that he mentions in passing. The direction the country would go next was very much up for debate and led to a very close election (and the subsequent second amendment rebuttal).

Wonderful under-quoted part of this (@5:00), “Crises there will continue to be.  In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great of small, there is a recurring temptation to feel some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.”   For some reason, “Shock and Awe” springs immediately to mind.

His call to balance that followed was nice as well.

But the tides have changed since his warning.  He notes how military spending was roughly on par with corporate earnings in 1961.  Fifty years later, the balance of power has shifted as much as how we engage our enemies.

American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or non-inflation-adjusted terms.

[full story]

Military spending was roughly $0.750 trillion in 2010.     So while I love Eisenhower’s take on it, and it’s been around for a while, the balance of power really has shifted away as mergers, consolidation, and attrition have brought this whole military industrial complex thing to a whole new level.  Which the acquisition of NBC some time ago, there was a mouthpiece, and with Universal, always something to say (and charge for).  Now with Comcast thrown into the mix, you do *really have* a vertically integrated global behemoth that can start the wars, cover it up, hide the news, broadcast something else, and keep pumping out half-hour crap that seems to be the only thing the only cable company left in town carries.

The scary part, at least from the recent developments file, is how they’ve been using an idiot led mob-horde of political opinion to make net neutrality, the obvious policy-level antidote to the entire scenario I described above, something akin to death panels/commie/socialism/etc. etc. the same bag of connotation and guilt by association used by all the media slime balls to slime things.

So where are we now?  GE owner of NBC Universal has been approved to buy Comcast and later that week Olbermann gets the quick axe.   I wouldn’t doubt he pulled it down faster, he’s just that kind of guy, but while his hyperbole wasn’t really my cup of tea, I didn’t doubt his sincerity, and found folks like him to be something of a bulwark against *actual* policy threats, and not the imagined ones.   Kind of like Donahue used to be.

You know about Phil Donahue, right?  He was a lefty political commentator on MSNBC back before the Iraq War.  He started asking lots of questions.  Having lots of guests.  As the war rhetoric heated up, so did his ratings. Three weeks before the bombs started dropping in Baghdad, GE dropped one on Donahue.

It simple doesn’t do to have one division of your company making and selling bombs, and the another of your division riling up domestic opposition to the use of them.  It’s not really a conspiracy folks.  There’s not man behind the curtain pulling all the strings.   There’s just a lot of people doing their jobs, trying to make it through the week/month/year.

But how it works, ultimately?  And how the *system* as a whole works to protect itself, and it’s profits?    That bothers me, that scares me.  That is something I try to fight against, in whatever way possible.  Unfortunately such a system is not an easy thing to combat, as I agree that each discrete decision such a system makes is rational, or very close to it.

Net neutrality is one of those things that would acts as a check and balance against such concentrated market power.   The Net can level the playing field, but only if the Net is level.

So there’s one less loudmouth on the air, and one more corporate behemoth encircling the globe (NEW AND IMPROVED: With a completely unfettered ability to distribute political money [and free airtime/bandwidth to the good kids]).

Joy.

Link Dump….

Working…can’t write…dumping link…

This is why they should. (I got sick of this nontroversy a couple days ago)

When Pat Buchanan calls your Nazi analogy over the edge, it is.

Read the comments to see why I call them nutjobs.  (note the comment and reactions to the comment that explains this away rationally.  Rationality is like the rage virus to these people, turns them crazy).’

Thanks, Rupert, for making this so obvious.  Fox News is *directly* funding the Republicans now, and not just donating 20 hours a day to free advocacy and attack ads.

Top 10 Right Wing Conspiracy theories. With the news that 40% of Republicans and 20% of Americans think Obama is a muslim, these fit right in.

Media companies stealing customer data. More definitive proof of their hypocrisy.

The Making of a Nontroversy.

Roger Ebert continues to do good stuff.

Franklin Graham makes up stuff about the President’s Dad to explain American’s ignorance re: Obama’s religion.   For some reason I think he’s doing it wrong.

We recently gave Israel $3,000,000,000 to buy $2,7500,000,000 worth of F-35s. This would be more of an actual issue if this story (and those like it) got more play.  That’s how the Military Industrial Complex works, BTW.  We borrow from China to give to Israel to buy from Us.   And a few people make out like bandits selling stuff to kill, well, bandits.  It does keep us at #1, I guess.

RIAA wants to force electronic manufacturers to include FM radios in all phones, ipods, etc.  Yes, it is that stupid, and yes, they actually are saying this is good for you.  I side with the concept of the free market on this one.

Military Industrial Complex Shuts Down Olbermann and Matthews on MSNBC (owned by GE)

(and Microsoft).  Microsoft doesn’t want to pay their taxes anymore than you do.

GE has a number of interests.  Some on them deeply involved in the could hundred billion dollars a year business of “defense”.   They don’t like Obama, or his change.

Oblermann and Mathews do.

So they’re gone.

MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat

MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

That experiment appears to be over.

After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.

Although MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions, its competitive position did not improve, as it remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks. In prime time, the channel averaged 2.2 million viewers during the Democratic convention and 1.7 million viewers during the Republican convention.

The success of the Fox News Channel in the past decade along with the growth of political blogs have convinced many media companies that provocative commentary attracts viewers and lures Web browsers more than straight news delivered dispassionately.

“In a rapidly changing media environment, this is the great philosophical debate,” Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in a telephone interview Saturday. Fighting the ratings game, he added, “the bottom line is that we’re experiencing incredible success.”

[full story]

The problem is that the “president of MSNBC” isn’t the presiden of MSNBC, of ya follow, as they are owned by other companies.  They are big gears in a bigger machine, and the bigger machine makes a whole lot more money the way things are, than they would if things were to change.

Real change.  So it’s pretty evident who they support in this election, and who represents a “changing of the guard” if you will…

BTW, this happened before.  Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Donahue’s final show will be Friday night. The news show that precedes him on the air, “Countdown: Iraq,” temporarily will be expanded to two hours to replace him.

“We’re proud of the program and we’re disappointed that the show was not able to attract the viewership we had hoped for and expected,” said Erik Sorenson, MSNBC president. “We thank Phil and his staff for their dedication, commitment and passion.”

Donahue’s office referred calls to his agent on Thursday, and he did not immediately return a call for comment.

The move was not a surprise. MSNBC hoped “Donahue” would provide a liberal counterweight to Fox News Channel’s competing “The O’Reilly Factor,” but the ratings started poorly and didn’t improve.

[full story]

Donahue was very much against the invasion of Iraq. It was an unpopular opinion at the time, both with the general public and his bosses (and their bosses). 

He’s still not so hot on it. 

I wonder what his ratings would be if he had been broadcasting for the last five years.  I wonder if we’d still be there now.  That’s how powerful a TV program can be.  Don’t fool yourself.  People can only make decisions on the information they have at hand.  Visual, visceral images can be *very powerful* forms of information.  Often the people who bring you information try to find experts to trust to analyze and simplify complex information and situations. 

We can’t all be experts at everything, but some of us try to be quick studies on as many things as possible.  And try to see how the inter-relate.  And try to see what is happening now.

We write journals about it.  Some people call us journalists.  Nowadays a subset of that group is called bloggers.  I thought this was important enough to write about.

Because I’ve seen it before.  I’ve seen the same people do the same thing.  And I’ve seen the result. 

 Interesting times, we have here, that’s for sure.