Communists who don’t abide by their own rules? What the hell is next?! Cats and dogs living together? Via Jenny Blando: Bolibourgeoisie: A portmanteau of the words Bolivarian and Bourgeoisie; a term describing the new bourgeois created by the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chávez and Chavismo, made up of people who became rich under the […]

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Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution — A Factory Of Billionaires

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Today is “Equal Pay Day,” which supposedly represents how far into the year women must work to make the same as men. This is based on the hoary and false statistic, which Obama loves to toss around, that women supposedly get paid 77 cents for every dollar made by men. Every single non-hyper-partisan analysis of this claim wholly debunks it, which is why Obama repeatedly gets Pinocchios from the fact checkers for making the claim. When this 77% number is discussed, the soft-headed or simply uneducated in the electorate assume this means that apples are being compared to apples — meaning all relevant variables are controlled for. But they are not. There is no substantial evidence of a pay gap once you control for the proper variables. Here are Mark J. Perry and Andrew Biggs in the Wall Street Journal : [E]very “full-time” worker, as the BLS notes, is not the same: Men were almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week, and women almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week. Once that is taken into consideration, the pay gap begins to shrink. Women who worked a 40-hour week earned 88% of male earnings. Then there is the issue of marriage and children. The BLS reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men’s earnings in 2012. The supposed pay gap appears when marriage and children enter the picture. Child care takes mothers out of the labor market, so when they return they have less work experience than similarly-aged males. Many working mothers seek jobs that provide greater flexibility, such as telecommuting or flexible hours. Not all jobs can be flexible, and all other things being equal, those which are will pay less than those that do not. Not only do working mothers choose more flexible jobs, by the way: those who plan to be working mothers choose more flexible careers . Some careers simply do not work for someone who plans to leave the profession for years at a time; your knowledge base disappears and you cannot be rehired. Prospective mothers know this and plan accordingly. There are also issues of education, risk, and other variables that the studies do not account for. But Perry has a different observation that many will find amusing: the White House has its own pay gap! D’oh!! In a CD post last September, I documented the significant gender wage gap for the White House staff, based on salary data from the “2013 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff.” An analysis of White House payroll data reveals that the 229 female employees in the Obama White House are being paid a median annual salary of $65,000 this year, compared to a median annual salary of nearly $73,729 for the 229 male White House staffers (see chart above). In other words, female staffers at the Obama White House are paid less than 88 cents for every dollar paid to male staffers, and there is therefore a significant White House “gender pay gap” of more than 12%. Carnie-man was asked about this, and he insisted that women get equal pay for the same position in the White House . Of course, that is never the question when asked about the free market. The 77% studies look at men and women in the aggregate, not comparing equal positions to equal positions. And, putting that aside: WHY DOES OBAMA HATE WOMEN?!?!?! I guess he hates them a little less than the bosses in the free market do, but still: he hates them. Hates them!! Of course, that is not the point of noting the White House’s own wage disparity: it just goes to prove that even when you are boosting women’s salaries to try to make things look good politically, the natural forces that cause the so-called pay gap are going to operate for you, too. You’d think Obama would be shamed into admitting reality, but instead he is ordering federal contractors to report the wages they pay together with information on gender (and race, too, because, hey, why not?) That way, he can hector contractors for doing what he himself does. One standard for me, and another for thee. By the way, Perry calculates “Equal Pay Day” at the White House as February 20 . Mark the date!

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White House Denounces Alleged Gender Pay Gap; Also Has Gender Pay Gap

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Remember how Dave Weigel of Slate mocked Charles C. Johnson for falling for a hoax story from a satirical edition of The Daily Princetonian ? I do. Even though the link is now broken , it’s still available in Google’s cache .* Yet when Slate itself linked a hoax story — and explicitly said that the hoax story wasn’t fanciful, did you hear about that ? Me neither. Even though it happened a month ago, I can’t find any discussion about it on these here Interwebz. I think it’s time we corrected that oversight, don’t you? The piece in question was titled Ross Douthat’s Canny (and Utterly Dishonest) Defense of Homophobia by Mark Joseph Stern, whom Andrew Sullivan has amusingly described as “the gay politburo official at Slate .” Stern opens his piece with a hypothetical in which a host at a restaurant refuses to seat a lesbian couple and their child, and is reprimanded by the restaurant’s management. Who is the victim in this situation? Stern asks. The family? The child? The restaurant? He continues: None of the above, according to New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat: By his moral calculus, the host would be the true victim, the family the “victors,” and the hypothetical—which is far from fanciful—demonstrates not the continuing threat of discrimination in America, but, rather, the marginalization of devout Christians at the hands of bellicose pro-gay forces.* At the bottom of the article there is now a correction: *Correction, March 4, 2014: This post originally linked the words “far from fanciful” to a TopekasNews article ​ that claimed a restaurant had ejected a gay man telling him “no gay eating here.” The article is a hoax. The words now link to a Chickasha Express-Star article about a gay man who alleges he was ejected from a Walmart store. In other words, Stern linked the words “far from fanciful” to a hoax article that was pure fantasy . The publication linked by Stern was TopekasNews.com , which bills itself as “A Progressive Voice for the Free Thinker” . . . but which is, in reality, a poor man’s The Onion: an obvious hoax publication . I took this screenshot from the main page of the publication today: In addition to the stories in this screenshot, including the one about the gay relationship of Vladimir Putin and Kin Jong Un , or the one about the “local cat” who is “traumatized” upon seeing his owners have sex , the publication also has stories such as: Tearful George Takei Confesses His Homosexuality Is ‘Just An Act’, It’s ‘All In My Head’ New Undated Photograph Proves Neil DeGrasse Tyson is Barack Obama’s Father Local Chicken Gives Birth to Puppy, Gay Marriage Laws to Blame We have a new crusade for you, Mark Joseph Stern! The bigoted author of the story blaming chicken-puppies on gay marriage laws simply must be taken to task !!! The Slate correction does not provide a direct hyperlink to the article, but I found it. It is titled Kansas Restaurant Kicks Gay Man Out, Tells Him “No Gay Eating Here.” In Stern’s defense, while the piece tries to be funny, it fails, as do most of the articles on this extremely amateurish satire Web site. The “What is wrong. What is this sign meaning,” Quinns-Smith asked, feeling uncomfortable as eyes rested on him. “It means you and your boyfriend can’t come eating in here no more, unless you find God,” a customer seated offered a response before staff said anything. “You need to find God and the Bible,” someone else yelled out. The floodgates were open. “We don’t want your germs on the silverware.” ”Just repent son, you can still be forgiven and be normal.” ”Being gay is not natural. It is not God’s way.” The numerous comments to the story include dozens of comments detailing reasons that the story is an obvious hoax: the fact that it is set in “Franton, Kansas,” which does not exist; the rather obvious Photoshopping of the sign referred to in the story; and so on. Most of these comments were left in February 2014, before Stern’s March 3, 2014 article was published — meaning that if Stern had read any of the comments, he could have saved himself some embarrassment. Here is a typical comment: There’s also the fact that virtually every story at the publication is an obvious hoax, meaning that the publication didn’t get trolled — the publication is doing the trolling. To me, the first point made by the commenter above is the critical one: the idea that an entire restaurant would suddenly start heaping abuse on a gay patron should draw skepticism. The commenter notes that this is unlikely “even in deep KS” — but note that it is not alleged to happen in “deep Kansas” but in Topeka, a capital city with over 100,000 people and a Democrat mayor . In short, it would take a fairly clueless gay-mafia ideologue to believe this story. Oh, hi, Mark Joseph Stern! We were just talking about you! Are your ears burning? When conservatives fall for a hoax, it generally makes a splash. When Larry O’Connor linked an article which in turn was based on a hoax article, Media Matters blasted O’Connor — even though the publication he himself had linked was a supposedly reputable news source: Boston.com, a Web site launched under the auspices of the Boston Globe . And we have already seen how Dave Weigel blasted Charles C. Johnson for relying on an article from a satirical edition of a normally straight-news publication: The Daily Princetonian . Yet when a hard-left scold at Slate.com gets snookered by a piece from an obvious hoax site, there is, seemingly, not a peep about it . I hope this post provides a corrective to that collective oversight by the Internet. *UPDATE: I don’t intend to suggest that Weigel is hiding something because the link was broken when I wrote the post. Oddly enough, it works for me now.

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Did You Hear the One About the Lefty Slate Writer Who Fell for a Hoax Article?

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Scott Martelle of the L.A. Times recently began a piece on global warming with this statement : Here’s a statistic for you. Out of 10,855 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals last year that dealt with some aspect of global warming, all but two accepted human behavior as the primary cause. I published a post demonstrating that this was inaccurate . Martelle’s source, James Powell, reviewed abstracts of over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles that mentioned climate change or global warming — but he never claimed that all but two accepted human behavior as the primary cause” of global warming. Instead, he said that only two “rejected” it. The distinction was critical, Powell never claimed that these articles all discussed the cause of global warming — and it is clear that many of the articles did not even address the premise that humans are the primary cause of global warming. Many of the articles, bearing names like “Life Cycle Assessment in Switchgears for Primary Electrical Distribution” or “Larval development of the feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in Helix aspersa,” mentioned global warming only in passing, and didn’t even pretend to address whether it was primarily caused by humans. So while these articles may not have “rejected” the notion that global warming is caused by humans, they certainly did not “accept” it — because they never addressed the issue. I wrote Martelle and asked for a correction . He wrote me back this morning and has refused. Here is his email: Hi, Patrick: Thanks for the email, and the interest. I went back and looked at the original source and my wording, and while I recognize there may be a hair to split here, it doesn’t strike me as an error. I could have worded it better to make the context clearer, but to not reject is tacit acceptance . Others have raised your argument in the comments below the blog post, so that alternate view is represented. Thanks, Scott (My emphasis.) Here is the email I have sent in response: Mr. Martelle, “To not reject” is not “tacit acceptance” if it is based on silence — in other words, if one has not addressed the issue at all . This morning’s L.A. Times editorials did not reject the idea that Joseph Stalin’s purges were morally justified. May I conclude that the editorial board “tacitly accepts” the morality of Stalin’s mass murder? Less dramatically and more to the point: I demonstrated, in my email to you and in my blog post, that there are many articles reviewed by James Powell that do not address at all the issue of whether humans are primarily responsible for global warming. Here is one such article: LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF LEAD ACID BATTERY. CASE STUDY FOR THAILAND . It’s true that this article does not reject the notion that humans are the primary cause of global warming. But it also does not reject the notion that non-human activity is the primary cause of global warming. Therefore, by your logic, the article “tacitly accepts” that non-human activity is the primary cause of global warming ! Indeed, by your logic, the article “tacitly accepts” two completely inconsistent premises — that humans are, and are not, the primary cause of global warming — by examining and mentioning neither premise. I would not be surprised if hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of these articles reviewed by Powell “tacitly accept” the notion that humans are not the primary cause of global warming, by that same logic. You say this is hairsplitting. That is a convenient way to avoid correcting an error, but it does not withstand scrutiny. Imagine if an editorial writer employed your logic to bolster a premise you consider questionable, rather than one that you take for granted. Say, for example, that a draft editorial said: “A review of 100 speeches by Obama shows that he accepts the notion that states have the right to secede.” The writer offers as proof that Obama has never rejected that notion, so he “tacitly accepted” it. Would you vote to attach the L.A. Times name to that opinion, based on that logic? I believe readers were substantially misled by your statement. I am disappointed that you have been shown the flaw in your statement and still refuse to correct it. Any fair-minded person who runs across this exchange will trust you and the Los Angeles Times a little less. And they should — if you allow such misleading statements to stand. Patrick Frey patterico.com I expect this is the end of it, but if I hear anything else, I will let you know.

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L.A. Times Refuses to Correct Misleading Statement on Global Warming

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Ezra Klein Stands By Misleading Video

On March 26, 2014, in Barack Obama, by CerysBurnes

Ezra Klein has written me to say that he stands by the video that opens with the phrase: The United States’s national debt is 12.5 trillion dollars. As I noted earlier today , the United States’s national debt is $17.5 trillion dollars. Only a portion of that — debt held by the public — is $12.5 trillion. Here is Klein’s email: Hey Patterico – I get where you’re coming from on this, but I actually think we’re pretty clear that we’re dealing with public debt (which is the correct measure for these purposes). Indeed, in this e-mail, you note that we note that it’s public debt. It’s there on large letters on the screen. It seems to me that you’re looking at this as if the audio track and the video are somehow separate but the two exist only in concert — this isn’t published as a piece somewhere else on the site, because it wouldn’t make sense absent the visuals that are the core of the presentation. If we did have an article we’d probably spend some time explaining the difference between public debt and other measures and conveying why this one makes the most sense, but for a quick explainer, just clearly labeling the measure we’re using made the most sense. I appreciate you reaching out, and am glad you’re watching! My response speaks for itself: Ezra, This video seems geared towards unsophisticated news consumers. Given the audience, the false impression conveyed is that “debt held by the public” (the phrase in the graphic) is the same thing as “the United States’s national debt” (the phrase used by Yglesias). Your argument, and that of Yglesias, seems to be that if a relatively sophisticated news consumer knows the difference, so will your audience of twenty-somethings. In other words, if I can spot the sleight of hand going on here — your equating two measures that aren’t truly equivalent — then all is well. But I think you’re misleading your target audience and you know you’re doing it. P UPDATE: More from our exchange. Ezra chides me for saying he knows he is misleading people: Well, I can assure you that by using the correct debt measure and labeling it clearly in large letters we did not think we were misleading anyone. I think both unsophisticated and sophisticated readers will read the large words on the screen and come away with the right number in their heads. Also, as a general point, you could be more generous. In my experience almost no one is ever trying to mislead their audience. I recognize you don’t agree with the point of this video. But it doesn’t hurt you to assume good faith, and it might even help you see where other folks are actually coming from! My response: Two points. 1) In 2011, you considered bonds held by Social Security to be real debt that had to be paid back . So the “debt held by the public” is not really “the correct debt measure” according to your own previous analysis. 2) The “large words on the screen” accompany audio verbiage referencing “the United States’s national debt.” The natural conclusion drawn by anyone not previously aware of the distinction is that “the United States’s national debt” IS the “debt held by the public” — nothing more, nothing less. The fact that *I* know the difference does not mean that a person who needs this stuff “explained” is going to think: hey, I know they’re saying “the United States’ national debt” but the accompanying graphic means they are referring only to a subset of that debt — the part held by the public. Come on, dude. That is not a thought running through the head of *anyone* who doesn’t already know this stuff. You know that’s the case. If people don’t already know this stuff, they’re going to think the two are the *same* — that the U.S. debt consists of the $12.5 trillion held by the public. That is not true, you didn’t consider it to be true in 2011, and yet you are conveying that impression to unsophisticated readers now. P UPDATE x2: Klein’s latest response: I don’t think you actually understand the dispute in the 2011 post – or perhaps in the video. Debt the government owes itself is debt it has to manage. But it doesn’t have the same effects, for all kinds of reasons, as public debt. There’s a reason when cbo does this it uses public debt. http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010 The video is about the effects of our debt load – which is to say, the effects of primarily of the Feds perception of our debt load, and of the markets perception of the Feds perception. Those effects, as watched by fed, by cbo, and others are based on public debt. As Matt says, the fed is the key actor here, and when bernanke talks about our debt, he also refers to cbo calculations of public debt: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/bernanke20130522a.htm All of which is to say that this is the right measure to be using and that doesn’t take away from my 2011 post on a different kind of debt question at all. And even if it did, the video is by Matt, not me. I’ve tried in these emails to clearly lay out my take on the video because I want you to see that we’re trying to get this stuff right. But I can see from your posts that you don’t really want to hear it – you want to play a game of gotcha with me, and whip up your folks, which is of course your right. So I’ll leave it here. Have a good night! Ah, I don’t understand what I’m talking about. And I’m not interested in an honest debate. Meanwhile, that video was wonderfully forthright and honest. OK, then.

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Ezra Klein Stands By Misleading Video

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