Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fox News and Media Bias

I found this study on the media and the president interesting. Most of the focus was on the fawningly ridiculous coverage of Obama, but this factoid stood out.

Previous CMPA studies found that Mr. Bush received only 23 percent positive
evaluations in 2001; Mr. Clinton had 28 percent positive evaluations in 1993 and Mr. Reagan had 26 percent positive evaluations in 1981…

Fox News was never in the Obama fan club, however. Only 22 percent of their stories on Mr. Obama were positive during the year, some of it quite pointed.

So otherwise Fox News treated Obama just like the media treated every other president up to Obama. Hey, they really are fair and balanced!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Cheap Economists

I found this rather amusing, and it explained several of my professors in b-school. They know who they are.

Academic economists gather in Atlanta this weekend for their annual meetings, always held the first weekend after New Year's Day. That's not only because it coincides with holidays at most universities. A post-holiday lull in business travel also puts hotel rates near the lowest point of the year.

Economists are often cheapskates.

The economists make cities bid against each other to hold their convention, and don't care so much about beaches, golf courses or other frills. It's like buying a car, explains the American Economic Association's secretary-treasurer, John Siegfried, an economist at Vanderbilt University.

"When my wife buys a car, she seems to care what color it is," he says. "I always tell her, don't care about the color." He initially wanted a gray 2007 Mercury Grand Marquis, but a black one cost about $100 less. He got black.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Why the Health-Care Bills Are Unconstitutional

I am not a huge Orrin Hatch fan, but he is absolutely right here. If Congress can force you to purchase a private product, then their powers are unlimited, and the constitution is meaningless.

President Obama's health-care bill is now moving toward final passage. The policy issues may be coming to an end, but the legal issues are certain to continue because key provisions of this dangerous legislation are unconstitutional. Legally speaking, this legislation creates a target-rich environment. We will focus on three of its more glaring constitutional defects.

First, the Constitution does not give Congress the power to require that Americans purchase health insurance. Congress must be able to point to at least one of its powers listed in the Constitution as the basis of any legislation it passes. None of those powers justifies the individual insurance mandate. Congress's powers to tax and spend do not apply because the mandate neither taxes nor spends. The only other option is Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce.