What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 7, 2011

Typical Monday, I guess - a Trib Twofer

This'll have to be short - I was up late watching the unfortunate events play themselves out on my TV.  Pallid as a bust of Pallas right now (look it up if you don't get it) and it's not even bleak December yet.

But onto this morning's less than transparent contribution from the Tribune-Review to our civic discourse.

It references a study by the Heritage Foundation complaining about how public school teachers are overpaid.

At this point, I'd usually just point out the millions (almost $24 million, according to mediamatters) of dollars Richard Mellon Scaife's funneled to the Heritage Foundation over the years.  I might even point out that the publisher of this editorial is actually the vice chairman of the board of trustees (there's a nice picture of him there, of you're still curious as to what he looks like).  I'd then usually point out that none of this information is ever communicated to the Trib's readership while it touts the scholarship its publisher has so consistently and generously supported.

But I said this is a twofer.

Take a look at the authors of the study.  From the bottom of the page:
Jason Richwine, Ph.D. is Senior Policy Analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, and Andrew G. Biggs, Ph.D. is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Another thinktank! With some more Scaife connections!

According to mediamatters, Scaife's foundations have given about $8.4 million to the AEI between 1988 and 2009.  So this doesn't include the:
  • $500,000 from Sarah Scaife in 2010
That's the twofer.  I'm thinking there's nearly 33 million reasons why Scaife's braintrust should include Scaife's support of those two think tanks when Scaife's paper cites their research.

Actually, come to think of it, that's probably have 33 million reasons not to.

The circle jerk continues.


Winding down said...

So if I understand your post...Heritage Foundation publishes study...Foundation supported by Scaife..study cited by T-R opinion piece...T-R owned by Scaife ...take the forgoing as factual ...so what...? Was the methodology of the study flawed??? The conclusion of the study seems to indicate that public school teachers are paid more than is necessary to keep them in the profession...and they are paid more than persons similarly educated and experienced, who labor in other occupations. In addition they have generous pension and health care benefits...not very prevalent in the private sector.

Or are you distressed by the big bad secret: The T-R
andHeritage are joined at the hip. It ain't no secret...so when reading any anything .... consider the sources cited ..if any...and the obvious or hidden agenda of author.
I do not share your opinion of the level of understanding among the T-R readers about where Scaife spreads his money. What is your basis for concluding its readers are ignorant on that topic?

Winding down said...

Any other one percenter operate like Scaife?

If the evolving newspaper publishing business model continues to put ink on paper... And retains value in that venue.. The Block decendants may want to sell... Who might be a likely buyer??? Hee hee hee

Ol' Froth said...

What is your basis for concluding its readers are ignorant on that topic?

Well, the fact that the Trib never discloses this information might be a clue that the general readership isn't widely aware of the connection. Then, when the story is picked up and retransmitted by other media outlets, the connection becopmes even more obscured.

Winding down said...

"Never discloses" froth?
Sounds like he is a conservative who supports conservative
causes.....like Soros supports liberals causes

Think tank honors Trib publisher

By Tribune-Review
Friday, May 20, 2011
About the writer
Contact information for the Tribune-Review's staff can be found here.

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Praised as a publisher who has "informed readers and challenged government officials," the Tribune-Review's Dick Scaife was honored Thursday with the Heritage Foundation's Clare Boothe Luce Award.

The award was presented during a dinner at the Duquesne Club, Downtown.

Scaife owns Trib Total Media, which publishes daily newspapers in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Tarentum, Connellsville, Kittanning, McKeesport and Monessen, and weekly editions across Western Pennsylvania.

One of the Heritage Foundation's founders in 1973, Scaife has served the Washington-based conservative think tank as a trustee and vice chairman.

The Clare Boothe Luce Award is the foundation's highest honor. It gives the honor periodically to recognize individuals who are essential to advancing America's conservative principles.

Luce, the wife of famed Time and Life magazine publisher Henry Luce, was an author, playwright and correspondent. She served in Congress in the 1940s, was an ambassador and an adviser to several U.S. presidents, and was a trustee of Heritage.

She died in 1987 at age 84.

Past award recipients include President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, author and political columnist William F. Buckley, Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman and his wife, and fellow economist, Rose Friedman.

Heritage president Ed Feulner and board chairman Tom Saunders presented the award to Scaife.

The award's citation noted Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson's admonition that "it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error" and added: "For more than five decades, Richard Scaife has excelled in that function."

"As a newspaper publisher for more than 40 years," the award stated, Scaife has "accurately informed readers and challenged government officials who overreached," while his many charitable donations and endowments have helped to develop the nation's "future generations of leaders."

The award citation praised his "philanthropic vision" as a "guiding force in the conservative movement."

Accepting the award, Scaife said his work with Heritage "has been a privilege and an honor. Along with newspaper publishing, working with Heritage has been my greatest reward and my most important mission in life."

He said his father was a classmate and friend of Henry Luce, and he recalled that Luce and his wife "were frequent guests in my family's

EdHeath said...

"Never discloses" in each opinion piece or story itself, WD. As for whether the study is flawed or not, I am not going to spend hours researching that. It is enough that the opinion piece doesn't mention the connection between Scaife and the Heritage Foundation. I will say that a cursory look at the online study shows no connection to footnotes (where sources for table data are) and also tables based on author's calculations from census data.

A difference between Scaife and Soros is that Scaife's newspaper is presenting conservative ideas as fact, backed up by data from organizations obligated to Scaife for the money he gives them. We rely on the media for unbiased reporting, something they themselves claim they do (Fox News - "Fair and Balanced"). We deserve to know the specific connection of monetary support to sources in each opinion piece or news story.

Winding down said...


I choose to believe most readers can sift through a piece and discern the elements ...and distinguish the two.
Don't conflate them.

Definition from wiki:

A fact is a thing KNOWN to be true or to have really happened. Facts can be ascertained through documentation or experimentation.

An idea is just a thought or an opinion or even a suggestion. It is possible that an idea could become a fact. Most facts are originally determined by someone having an idea and proving it to be true.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_facts_and_ideas#ixzz1d4WpArLk

EdHeath said...

So, WD, are you saying that it is a fact that public school teachers are overpaid?

Is it a fact that ClimateGate revealed that climate change is a hoax?

Did the first (and so far only) stimulus really "fail"? Did it produce no jobs at all?

Is the way to reduce unemployment really to eliminate regulations on pollution and on financial institutions, and to reduce the debt by cutting government spending (ie reduce Social Security benefits, reduce Medicare and Medicaid benefits, reduce or eliminate unemployment compensation) and institute a flat tax that reduces taxes for the top bracket but raises them on everyone else?

Are those presented by the Trib as fact or idea? If they are presented as facts, are those "facts" backed up by "studies" from organizations that Scaife has given money to? Is that financial link disclosed?

Winding down said...


Teachers overpaid...I leave that judgement to the school boards and taxing bodies... 
Compelling arguments  can  be made on both sides..suffice to say that PGH has a hugeshortfall..projecting as many as 300 layoffs.. What if all took a cut to save jobs?

Climate change.. I reserve taking a position.. Again I see credible arguments on both sides.

Stimulus... As I understand the flow of the funds ,much went to bolster state and local gov'ts... Keeping public jobs.. Then there is Solyndra. And other similar rat holes. Real jobs are created in capitalist economy based on demand for products and services..how do policies encourage/discourage that..?

Are the transfer of wealth programs sustainable at their current rates? I think not.
How to make adjustments? Increase contributions ..raise age eligibility..reduce benefit...raise taxes..these are the issues the pols grapple with...I am winding down...so I'll leave it younger citizens to elect pols to do their bidding.. 

I use the library system...so I voted for the tax,
..but I believe the library decision makers spent too much too fast on new/redo buildings

I don't read the Trib....so I do not follow their agenda...opinions
Ditto Jack Kelly

Reading  reports of current events requires some thoughtful effort to understand the perspective of the writer and his/her selection of facts/opinions. I guess the words ..critical thinking .. Come to mind.... What is an idea..a fact ..an opinion. How does what is written comport with how I understand the real world and the values I hold.

Winding down said...

Food for thought from aThomasSowell column

Currently we are hearing a lot in the media and in politics about the "top one percent" of income earners who are supposedly getting an ever-increasing share of the nation's income.
That is absolutely true if you are talking about income brackets. It is totally untrue if you are talking about actual flesh and blood people.
The Internal Revenue Service can follow individual people over the years because they can identify individuals from their Social Security numbers. During recent years, when "the top one percent" as an income category has been getting a growing share of the nation's income, IRS data show that actual flesh and blood people who were in the top one percent in 1996 had their incomes go down — repeat, DOWN — by a whopping 26 percent by 2005.
How can both sets of statistics be true at the same time? Because most people who are in the top one percent in a given year do not stay in that bracket over the years.
If we are being serious — as distinguished from being political — then our concern should be with what is happening to actual flesh and blood human beings, not what is happening to abstract income brackets.
There is the same statistical problem when talking about "the poor" as there is when talking about "the rich."
A University of Michigan study showed that most of the working people who were in the bottom 20 percent of income earners in 1975 were also in the top 40 percent at some point by 1991. Only 5 percent of those in the bottom quintile in 1975 were still there in 1991, while 29 percent of them were now in the top quintile.
People in the media and in politics choose statistics that seem to prove what they want to prove. But the rest of us should become aware of what games are being played with numbers.

EdHeath said...

Krugman had some thoughts on mobility at the top on November third.

What is the credible argument that climate change does not exist? You really think you know better than the finest scientific minds on the planet?

As for whether teachers are paid appropriately for their education and skills, you would make that a function of tax revenues. If we are in a recession, teachers are suddenly not very good at their jobs.

You said nothing about whether unemployment will be helped by making the rich richer and the rest of us poorer. Because you don't care about the 99%, you just want the one percent to have even more?

What were the new technologies Solyndra was trying to pioneer? I guess you prefer the Germans and Chinese make all the solar panels and wind turbines.

Winding down said...

(Reuters) — Fannie Mae, the biggest source of money for U.S. home loans, on Tuesday said it needed a further $7.8 billion in federal aid to stay afloat as a shaky housing market widened its third-quarter loss to $5.1 billion.

The government-controlled firm also attributed the deeper cash drain to losses on derivatives used to hedge its exposure to interest-rate swings and on expenses related to home loans made prior to the 2008 financial collapse. In the year-earlier quarter it had a loss of a $1.3 billion.

Fannie Mae has now drawn $112.6 billion in bailout funds from the Treasury Department since being seized by the government in 2008 as mortgage losses mounted, and it has returned $17.2 billion to taxpayers in the form of dividends.

“There is certainly a lot of pre-2009 loans that we need to work through and that is certainly driving the credit losses you saw in this quarter and over the last several years,” Fannie Mae Chief Financial Officer Susan McFarland told Reuters.

She said the company was “working to reduce losses” on those legacy loans and “limit taxpayer exposure.”

Winding down said...

From the dumbplumber

The Guide to Idiot Economics

If you think taking from the working and giving to the slackers, deadbeats and dirtballs is good, then you’re an Idiot.

If you accept that stealing from the rich and giving it to the poor, the lazy, the drug and alcohol addicted, the self-inflicted unemployable and professional scammers is a good idea, you’re an Idiot.

If you are certain unemployment and welfare stimulates the economy, you’re most certainly and Idiot.

If you believe “redistributing” wealth makes everyone rich, you’re a babbling Idiot.

If you have concluded that government is more efficient than the private sector, you’re absolutely an Idiot.

If you postulate that adding over 85,000 pages of Federal and State regulations, each year, is good for business, you’re an oatmeal drooling Idiot.

If you have swallowed the notion that we need the government more than the government needs us, you’re a hopeless, unredeemable Idiot.

If you signed on to the idea that THIS government is of, by, and for the people, you’re a short-sighted, uncomprehending, oblivious Idiot.

If you envision that money coming from the Government is not money being supplied by taxpayers, well, you’re not just an idiot, you’re a flaming Loon.

If you are a Socialist, Marxist, Communist, Leftist, Libtard, Progtard or Eco-Nazi, you’re not only an Idiot, but you're more a part of the problem than part of the answer.


Winding down said...

He has to deal with that miscreant Benjamin Netanyahu every day! That is what President Obama said, apparently, to Nicolas Sarkozy when he thought his microphone was turned off. Drudge is headlining this story, so it is not exactly a scoop. But it still deserves notice:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly told US President Barack Obama that he could not “stand” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that he thinks the Israeli premier “is a liar.”

According to a Monday report in the French website “Arret sur Images,” after facing reporters for a G20 press conference on Thursday, the two presidents retired to a private room, to further discuss the matters of the day.

The conversation apparently began with President Obama criticizing Sarkozy for not having warned him that France would be voting in favor of the Palestinian membership bid in UNESCO despite Washington’s strong objection to the move.

The conversation then drifted to Netanyahu, at which time Sarkozy declared: “I cannot stand him. He is a liar.” According to the report, Obama replied: “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”

The remark was naturally meant to be said in confidence, but the two leaders’ microphones were accidently left on, making the would-be private comment embarrassingly public.

The communication faux pas went unnoticed for several minutes, during which the conversation between the two heads of state – which quickly reverted to other matters – was all but open to members the press, who were still in possession of headsets provided by the Elysée for the sake of simultaneous translation during the G20 press conference.

I have seen things of that sort happen–once, for example, a speaker at a seminar forgot to remove his lapel microphone when he was finished talking and it continued broadcasting to the auditorium while he walked backstage and went to the men’s room. Embarrassing, to be sure–but heads of state should exercise more caution.

Apparently this story is just now leaking out because the reporters who were present signed an agreement to keep quiet about Obama’s and Sarkozy’s inadvertently public comments. It will be interesting to see whether the U.S. press exercises the same discretion without being bound to any such agreement.

Winding down said...



BHO explaind
Occam's Beard Says:
November 7th, 2011 at 9:07 pm
Bob, because I think he has neither the intelligence nor the force of character to get as far as he has on his own. His effortless ascent (skates into and through Columbia and Harvard Law, gets offered a lucrative book contract, screws it up, then gets another, when he churns out a stylish book, as a twenty-something is offered a high profile position handing out $100 MM, goes to the state legislature where he is allowed to duck contentious issues and to share credit for bills others wrote, has his political rivals mysteriously cheap-shotted, drifts into the Senate, backs into the Presidency …) bespeaks
some heavy duty downfield blocking for him. No one legitimately has a life like that. No one. His life story is as improbable as that of Harry Flashman in a Flashman novel, or Dustin Hoffman’s character in Little Big Man (or, for that matter, and perhaps more appropriately, Forrest Gump).

And yet, despite all of his success, and all of his accolades, in terms of native ability he clearly is pretty much a cipher, a born manager of a Target branch that will soon be struggling under his feeble management.

Conclusion: he’s a spokesmodel, and a none-too-bright one, either, for one or more principals. Look at how badly he handles himself off the teleprompter, and at how poor a politician he is (even Dems are muttering this now, apparently). No way he got where he is on his own. He’s basically politics’ answer to Milli Vanilli or The Monkees – a triumph of the marketer’s art. Others, with considerably more intelligence and steelier character, have cast him in this role, I suspect.

Winding down said...

Maybe you and krugman can explain the above

Winding down said...

Ignorance Exploited
By Walter Williams

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Many Wall Street occupiers are echoing the Communist Party USA's call to "Save the nation! Tax corporations! Tax the rich!" There are other Americans, on both the left and the right — for example, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner — who call for reductions in corporate taxes. But the University of California, Berkeley's pretend economist Robert Reich disagrees, saying, "The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox." Let's look at corporate taxes and ask, "Who pays them?"
Virginia has a car tax. Does the car pay the tax? In most political jurisdictions, there's a property tax. Does property pay the tax? You say: "Williams, that's lunacy. Neither a car nor property pays taxes. Only flesh-and-blood people pay taxes!" What about a corporation? As it turns out, a corporation is an artificial creation of the legal system and, as such, a legal fiction. A corporation is not a person and therefore cannot pay taxes. When tax is levied on a corporation, who pays it?
There's an entire subject area in economics, known as tax incidence, that investigates who bears the burden of a tax. It turns out that the burden of a tax is not necessarily borne by the party or entity upon whom it is levied. For example, if a sales tax is levied on a cigarette retailer, the retailer does not bear the full burden of the tax. Part of it will be shifted forward to customers in the form of higher product prices. The exact amount of the shifting depends upon market supply and demand conditions.

Winding down said...

Rest of Prof Williams column:

What about raising taxes on corporations as a means to get them to pay their "rightful share of government"? If a tax is levied on a corporation and if it is to survive, it will have one of several responses or some combination thereof. One response is to raise the price of its product, so customers share part of the burden. Another response is to lower dividends, so shareholders share a part of the burden. And a considerable portion of reduced dividend burden falls on ordinary non-rich people. According to the Tax Foundation, 19 percent of federal tax returns report dividend income but 42 percent of taxpayers older than 65 report dividend income. Therefore, it is people, not some legal fiction called a corporation, who bear the burden of the tax. Because corporations have these responses to the imposition of a tax, they are merely government tax collectors.
The largest burden of corporate taxes is borne by workers. We discover that by asking a simple question, such as: Which workers on a road construction project earn the higher pay, those employed moving dirt with shovels and wheelbarrows or those doing the same atop giant earthmovers? You'd guess the guys operating the earthmovers, but why? It's not because they're unionized or because construction contractors have a fondness for earthmover operators. It's because those workers have more capital (tools) to work with and are thereby more productive. Higher productivity translates into higher wages.
Tax policies that raise the cost of capital formation — such as capital gains taxes, low depreciation allowances and corporate taxes — reduce capital formation. As a result, workers have less capital, lower productivity and lower wage growth. In 1980, Joseph Stiglitz, now a Nobel laureate, said that workers share the highest corporate tax burden in the form of lower wages. A number of economic studies, including that of the Congressional Budget Office, show that workers bear anywhere from 45 to 75 percent of the corporate tax burden. Adding to the burden is the fact that capital has the kind of mobility that labor doesn't. Corporate capital can flee to other countries easily, but workers cannot.
Politicians and leftist elite get away with corporate tax demagoguery because economists haven't done well in making our subject understandable to ordinary people, not to mention that we have derelict news media people with little understanding.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Winding down said...


Comments please...

Still cannot get a response to my query on the Jordan Miles case.?.I commented on another 2PJ post

Winding down said...

The problem:

Pick your contentious issue

The facts are not clear

The meaning of "facts" lacks clarity

Any conclusions are necessarily not built on solid foundations

Try not to be trolling tergiversator