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Household income declines in Obama Recovery;
Legacy Media Barely Notices

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:18 pm - August 24, 2012.
Filed under: Economy,Media Bias

While our friends in the legacy media were gasping and clutching their pearls at Mitt Romney’s reference to his birth certificate, an economic report came out which is, perhaps, more significant than the unemployment number.  It involves something which effects all of us, not just those looking for work.

Most of us don’t even need this report to inform us that

Household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, according to a report released Thursday, providing another sign of the stubborn weakness of the economic recovery.

From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964, according to a report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials.

Incomes have dropped more since the beginning of the recovery than they did during the recession itself, when they declined 2.6 percent, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.

(H/t:  Jim Geraghty.)  We feel this every day when, after paying for groceries and other necessities, we have less to spend on entertainment, recreation and relaxation.  Over at Newsbusters, Ken Shepherd notes that the Washington Post buried this news on Page A10.

Our incomes declined more in the Obama recovery than they did in the Bush-Reid-Pelosi recession.  You’d think this would be a little more newsworthy than Mitt Romney’s recent comment or Todd Akin’s crazy statement.

But, then, we don’t need the media to tell us we have less disposable income today than we did when Obama took office.  But, you’d think folks ever so eager to analyze Akin’s gaffe might also be willing to analyze why this recovery has been so lackluster, with incomes declining more under the best years of the Obama administration than under the worst years of his much-maligned predecessor.

In this campaign, only Republican gaffes get attention

Reporting John King’ contention that Mitt Romney “‘stepped on’ [on good polling news] with his Birth Certificate joke“, Ace wonders

. . . if Romney didn’t do that on purpose. Since our unserious, unprofessional, unintelligent, partisan press is determined to talk about distractions (given that all substance favors Romney), why not give them a distraction of your own choosing?

If the choice is between Rape!!! and Birth Certificate, isn’t it better to talk about Obama’s Birth Certificate? Neither is what Romney wants to talk about, but the press is determined to only report on irrelevancies; so give them one that doesn’t much hurt you.

Romney’s joke wasn’t funny, observes Jennifer Rubin, but the media were “hysterical“, giving the word its original meaning.  CNN spent more time on this awkward joke than it did on any issues in the current presidential contest — at least they did in the hour I wanted that I watched while working out.

From the moment this sentence [i.e., the Birth certificate joke] escaped Romney’s lips,” writes Allahpundit,”it was a metaphysical certainty that it would dominate political coverage for the rest of the day, with MSNBC’s pants-wetting expected to last well into the evening.”

We get 2,410 results when we do a google news search of “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate.”  And when we do a similar search for “It is very rare I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person,” we only get 759 results.

A few days ago, the president spoke those words at New York fundraiser which included “numerous basketball luminaries” and added:

Usually the folks want to take a picture with me, sit next to me, talk to me. That has not been the case at this event and I completely understand.

That may well be true, but secure men don’t need say such things.   (more…)

Dana Milbank’s Beltway Bubble

Earlier today, when I clicked on the Charles Krauthammer link atop Jennifer Rubin’s Washington Post blog, instead of getting that sage conservative pundit’s original insight into the events of the day, I got Dana Milbank’s stale repetition of conventional wisdom. (Maybe the Post editors set it up that way because otherwise no conservatives would read Milbank.)

Contending that when “Todd Akin sneezes, Paul Ryan catches a cold“, Milbank offers

The Republicans’ soon-to-be nominee for vice president is supposed to be delivering a message about jobs and the economy, but he’s finding he cannot escape his longtime House colleague, now a national pariah for his exotic views on rape.

Well, perhaps for Beltway denizens like yourself, Dana — and for Democratic partisans, but most Americans will evaluate Mr. Ryan not by words he has deemed “outrageous”, but by the way he carries himself next week at the Republican convention and in the coming months on the campaign trail.

The only reason anyone is connecting Ryan to Akin is because left-leaning pundits and Democratic partisans are dwelling on the issue.  I mean, come on, Dana, who’s asking these questions?  Who’s making this a story?

It ain’t undecided voters in Ohio, Florida and Virginia; it’s self-satisfied pundits in Washington, D.C.

Oh, and by the notion, about the notion circulating among such pundits about Ryan trying to “restrict the definition of rape,” well, that’s based on false New York Times report.  The Times reporters failed “to to provide very basic context about the bill Ryan cosponsored”: (more…)

Economy top issue to gay voters

It seems that Mitt Romney has an opening among gay voters who have not yet made up their mind in the presidential contest. According to a “new poll commissioned by Logo TV . . . [,] the economy ranks as the top issue among LGBT voters going into the presidential election“:

Eighteen percent of the 1,190 self-identified LGBT voters whom Harris Interactive polled on behalf of the network between Aug. 10-15 listed the economy as their primary concern. Fourteen percent of respondents indicated unemployment and jobs as their top priority going into November, while health care ranked third with 12 percent. Nine percent of respondents listed “gay rights in general” as their top priority, while only six percent said marriage rights for same-sex couples is the most important issue.

Only fifteen percent of gay voters consider “gay rights in general” and same-sex marriage as their top priority.  I would dare say that those voters have already made up their mind and will be backing Mr. Obama this fall.

It makes sense that the economy and jobs would be the most important issues to gay Americans as our concerns are not much different from our straight counterparts. (more…)

Has once-hyped Obamania bitten the dust?

Sure sounds like it with this report that more than one half of Obama’s twitter followers being fake:

President Obama’s Twitter account has 18.8 million followers — but more than half of them really don’t exist, according to reports.

A new Web tool has determined that 70% of Obama’s crowd includes “fake followers,” The New York Times reports in a story about how Twitter followers can be purchased.

To me, sounds like the once-hyped Obamania is biting the dust.

Unlike my coblogger, however, I don’t tweet and don’t really understand how the medium works.  To me, this sounds significant. But, then, maybe in the twitter-verse, it’s par for the course?

Who are you calling “unpatriotic”, Mr. President?

(Not to mention “irresponsible”.)

In his post on the looming $16 Trillion Debt, up from “$10.6 trillion on Inauguration Day” 2009, Jim Geraghty shares this video from the 2008 campaign:

On March 19 of this year, CBSNews reported:

The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

Wonder if any reporters have asked Mr. Obama about that in recent days.

Democratic social issue focus at convention today likely to be
as successful as Republican social issue focus in 1992

Yesterday, I wondered if the Democratic Convention this year will mirror the Republican Party’s 1992 “Family Values” affair; it would “mirror” it in the way a mirror reproduces an image but from the opposite perspective of the original.

Back then, the Republicans focused on “family values,” attempting to raise doubts about then-womanizing Democratic nominee.  This year, the Democrats seem also focused on “abortion rights,” attempting to raise doubts about Republicans who, they allege, want to wage some kind of war on women.

In their respective conventions, each party would make social issues the focus by attacking the supposed extremism of the other side.  And both times, it seems the parties struggled to find a focus.  Then-President George H.W. Bush couldn’t run on the economy, given its sour state in 1992(though not as sour as today) and he raised taxes despite pledging not to do so.

Current President Barack Obama can’t run on the economy, given the weak recovery, with growth much less and unemployment much higher than his team had forecast when he pushed his “stimulus”.  And he has failed to cut the deficit in half despite pledging to do so.

Interesting for today’s Democrats that they’re only now, fewer than two weeks before their affair, seizing on the abortion issue — in the wake of Todd Akin’s crazy comments.  (And this, like the Bush reelection campaign of 1992, is indeed a campaign in search of a theme.)  Yesterday, as I noted in an update, Ed Morrissey reported that recent agenda changes at the Democratic convention, would “make Akin the poster boy of the GOP and focus the three-day affair on abortion and contraception policy“.

Making social issues the focus may rally the base, but it won’t sway independent voters for whom the economy is the primary issues.  Democrats this year could learn a lesson from an embattled Republican facing reelection in troubled economic times: social issues don’t win elections.

RELATED:  Mark Hemingway observes that “a cooperative media is helping Obama play up the abortion issue (more…)

Seems Mitt Romney would rather talk about issues than Akin
Seems Obama supporters would rather talk about Romney not wanting to talk about Akin

Yesterday, a liberal blogress whose Facebook posts I follow faulted presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney for stipulating, as per this article, that “that he did not want to be asked about the topic of abortion or the controversial comments made by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.)“.

Now, the second paragraph indicated that

The Romney campaign said later Thursday that “the matter was being addressed,” and that as a policy, it does not place restrictions on reporters. It also pointed to reports that other news stations granted interviews Thursday were not put under similar restrictions as evidence Romney was not trying to skirt the issue.

Interesting that a leftie would raise such a ruckus about the Romney campaign stipulating that one reporter not ask about Akin. And, hey, who could blame the former Massachusetts governor, given that the media seems more interested in Akin than in Romney’s just-released energy plan?

They prefer dwelling on a candidate whose crazy statement Romney has repudiated and whom Romney has urged to exit his race to the actual issues in the presidential contest.

That said, I don’t like the idea of candidates stipulating what issues a reporter should address, but it is a good sign that Romney would rather focus on issues other than abortion.

On Wednesday, Michelle reminded us that what is occasional practice for Mitt Romney is standard practice for Barack Obama: (more…)