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Kurt Eichenwald takes on Ari Fleisher

I have not read Kurt Eichenwald’s new book, 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars. It appears that Ari Fleisher, former White House press secretary for Bush, hasn’t read his book either; yet, he has plenty to say. Now, you can wave the 9/11 commission report, as Ari Fleisher did, and expect that we are going to be hypnotized, but we all know that the report was limited at best. Some of the details of the 9/11 hijackers which Senator Bob Graham reveals in Intelligence Matters aren’t in the 9/11 Report. Anyway, Kurt does an excellent job of defending himself and revealing that Ari isn’t much more than a blow-hard. (Ari never says that the information that Kurt is presenting is wrong.)

Now, time for full disclosure. Kurt Eichenwald is a friend of mine. I have known him for decades. (I just wish that I could write like him.) 🙂

Addendum: Kurt Eichenwald was also on the Rachel Maddow show.

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By |2012-09-12T20:24:50-04:00September 12th, 2012|9-11|2 Comments

Ronald Reagan and economics

For more than 20 years we’ve heard about the greatness of Ronald Reagan and his economic policies. According to those who believe, everything was better under Ronald Reagan. The sunshine was brighter. Oranges were tastier. Jobs were more plentiful. People sang and danced in the streets as if in a musical. Well, the ’80s were good, but they weren’t great.

Yesterday, I revealed the unemployment rate over the last several decades. The one thing that jumps out is that during Ronald Reagan’s presidency the unemployment rate was higher than at any other time in the last 40 years. Conservatives continue to point to Ronald Reagan as an economic guru. So, I thought I would look up the GDP since 1960. Since our gross domestic product (GDP) is somewhat related to our population, it’s not fair to compare the GDP of the 1960s with the GDP of today. Our population is much bigger. Therefore, we should standardize GDP by looking at gross domestic product per capita. Also, we need to take inflation into account. So, this would be the real GDP. Finally, to make it fair, we should look at gross domestic product per year. Got it. Real GDP per capita per year.

Now we get out pencil and paper. The John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Baines Johnson administration seems to have an annualized growth rate of 3.48%. Bill Clinton seems to have an annualized growth rate of 2.49%. Ronald Reagan seems to have an annualized growth rate of 2.45%. (More explanation of real GDP – So it looks as if the economy didn’t do its best under Reagan. Instead, it did its best under Kennedy/Johnson. Second to note is the much aligned Bill Clinton. So, when conservatives are telling me that the economy did better under Reagan, I’m not sure that the data support that notion.

By |2012-08-03T07:20:18-04:00July 31st, 2012|Economy|3 Comments

Treating Americans as nothing more than piles of money has consequences

Americans can take abuse. You can push us around and you can talk badly about us… for a while. Wall Street darling Netflix was raking in money hand over fist. Who would’ve thought that sending DVDs through the mail could be really, really profitable? Well, the guys at Netflix figured this out. They were on Easy Street. They’d figured out a model for delivering movie content to Americans through multiple different ways – DVDs through the mail, direct download to your TV or direct download to your computer. They had an extremely sweet set-up. Then, during the middle of a recession, they decided to raise prices significantly. They forgot their own business model. They forgot that they were delivering movies to Americans cheaply and easily. Without regard to the cheapness, Americans can go and rent a movie at any number of locations or even buy the movie, at a pretty cheap price. Americans were not happy. We spoke loudly and clearly by canceling subscriptions to Netflix – left and right. The reaction was so swift and sudden that we saw something in the United States that we haven’t seen for decades – a CEO actually apologizing to the American people. It may be too little, too late. (I bet you the board will fire him.)

By |2011-10-24T20:46:04-04:00October 24th, 2011|Business, Economy|Comments Off on Treating Americans as nothing more than piles of money has consequences
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