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Cleveland Plain Dealer Conflates Clean with Renewable

John Funk of the Plain Dealer recently authored a story that discusses energy and job creation. The story focuses around Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu calling for increased renewable energy production but also agreeing with chief executive officer of Cleveland Medical Devices that the government should target more research and development funds toward small businesses. The majority of the article, however, jumbles the phrases renewable energy standard and clean energy standard.

Funk writes that Secretary Chu, “made it clear that the White House has another idea for creating jobs: requiring power companies to use clean energy … Continue Reading

Columbus Dispatch Omits Facts About Solar Subsidies

Spencer Hunt of the Columbus Dispatch has a story on the overwhelming demand for state tax credits to homeowners and businesses that install solar panels on their homes and buildings. The two takeaways from the reader would get from this story is that demand to install solar panels is incredibly high and the cost of solar technology is coming down. The real takeaways of the story should be that if you subsidize something enough, people will buy it, and that the cost of generating electricity from solar panels is still prohibitively high to compete in the … Continue Reading

CBS Misleads on Budget Deficit Reduction

In a story discussing President Obama’s FY2012 budget request, Rachel Jakubowitcz of CBS News mentions how that the budget proposal will reduce the deficit $1.1 trillion over ten years. Jakubowitcz also quotes Former Congressional budget analyst Stan Collender calling the deficit reduction “not an insignificant amount.” This may be true if the budget actually But, as Heritage research fellow Brian Riedl notes, much of the President’s proposed budget savings nonexistent and also will not be scorable by the Congressional Budget Office. Riedl explains,

It claims $315 billion saved from eliminating “certain tax expenditures” — but doesn’t list which

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New York Times Misleads Success of ARPA-E

Matthew Wald of The New York Times recently reported on the success of a new Department of Energy program Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, better known as ARPA-E, because the government grants were not receiving private sector support. The ARPA-E program is designed to fund high-risk, high-reward projects that the private sector would not embark upon on its own. Specifically ARPA-E is “responsible for funding specific high-risk, high-payoff, game-changing research and development projects to meet the nation’s long-term energy challenges.”

One example Wald points to is FloDesign. He writes, “FloDesign, which is working on a more efficient … Continue Reading

Bloomberg Misses Obama Budget Spending Hikes

The February 15th Bloomberg write up of President Barack Obama’s FY 2012 budget reports:

Obama previously pledged to freeze non-security discretionary spending for the next five years, and under his budget about half of all federal agencies would see their budgets reduced from levels in 2010, the last time agencies operated under an enacted budget, according to administration documents.

Authors Laura Litvan and Roger Runningen go on to note that the President’s budget does increase spending for the IRS and SEC, but there are a lot more spending increases than that. The Department of Education budget would rise 11%, the … Continue Reading

AP Doesn’t Distinguish U.S. From World on Climate Report

A number of news reports tried to reengage the climate change debate by reporting on a press release from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies that suggested 2010 tied 2005 for the warmest year on record. The Associated Press reports, “Indeed, the last three months have been particularly cool in the U.S. Southeast, even while worldwide readings were going on to tie 2010 with 2005 for the warmest year on record as climate change continues to affect the atmosphere.”

But the article fails to differentiate between warmest years in the United States … Continue Reading

WaPo Ignores Common Cause’s Blatant Hypocrisy

Dan Eggen had an article on Common Cause’s recent embrace confrontational activism in February 10ths Washington Post beginning:

Common cause has long been something of a nerd among the jocks. While other activists staged loud demonstrations and nervy stunts, the 40-year-old good-government group was more likely to hold a forum on filibuster reform or the vagaries of redistricting.

Amazingly, after specifically mentioning the filibuster in his lead, Eggen fails to report that Common Cause recently flip-flopped their position on the filibuster for purely transparent politically partisan reasons. A 2005 Common Cause press release reads:

Common Cause strongly opposes any effort

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AP Fails to Note High Tax Future

The Associated Press’ Stephen Ohlemacher had a fine item out February 7th noting that federal tax receipts as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest level since World War II. Ohlemacher even properly reported that “the poor economy is largely to blame.” But no where does Ohlemacher clearly explain the difference between tax rates and tax receipts. It is not until the 14th paragraph that he finally reports that “Income tax rates remain unchanged.”

So will federal taxes remain low when the economy improves? Ohlemacher does not tell us. But the Congressional Budget Office does. Thanks to our … Continue Reading

McClatchy White Washes Fannie and Freddie Facts

In anticipation of upcoming hearing on the government owned housing finance corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, McClatchy’s Kevin Hall reported on February 6th:

Beginning in 1992, Fannie and Freddie were directed to foster more lending to minorities by purchasing and securitizing these loans — when the loans met guidelines.

At the high-water mark, Fannie and Freddie did securitize 52 percent of the loans made to low and moderate income borrowers. But during the boom from 2001 to 2007, bank lending standards weakened dramatically and in 2006, the height of the housing boom, Fannie and Freddie purchased just 24 percent of the

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LAT Misses Key Medicaid Costs

The February 3rd Los Angeles Times has an article by Noam Levey on Obama Administration attempts to help states cut their Medicaid spending. Levey reports:

The Obama administration is particularly concerned with maintaining state Medicaid programs because under the new healthcare law, these government insurance plans are expected to provide a foundation for guaranteeing coverage to all Americans beginning in 2014.

First of all, Obamacare does not gurantee coverage to all Americans. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 18 million Americans will pay $33 billion in penalties for failing to comply with Obamacare’s individual mandate and yet … Continue Reading

NYT Asserts Computer Simulation as Fact

In a January 19th article title “The White House Looks for Work” The New York Times Peter Baker reports:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as the stimulus, produced or saved at least 1.9 million jobs and as many as 4.7 million last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Someone reading this sentence might conclude that the CBO has analyzed actual real world data taken before, during, and after the stimulus and concluded that it saved jobs. This is completely false. The CBO job estimate numbers are based off of a computer model that does not incorporate any … Continue Reading

McClatchy Misses Obamacare Administrative Medicaid Costs

Reporting on the budget crisis Medicaid is causing for states across the country, McClatchy’s Marilyn Werber Serafini and Julie Appleby wrote on January, 31st:

Under [Obamacare], Medicaid will expand sharply in 2014, when 16 million more people are expected to become eligible for the program. The federal government will pick up the full tab for the newcomers for the first three years, then the federal share tapers down to 90 percent by 2020.

This is all true, but Serafini and Appleby forgot to report on the additional administrative burdens that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion inflicts on states. In order to get scored … Continue Reading

Politico Conflates Oil and Electricity Production

The political conflict currently going on in Egypt has sparked an energy debate in the United States. Although Egypt is not a big oil producer, their unsettled situation may have some short-run transportation impacts because 2.4 million barrels per day are transported through the Suez Canal. Reporting on this issue, Politico’s Darren Goode wrote on January 30th:

Congressional Republicans quickly called for a greater push for North American energy production, including accelerating oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Democrats will undoubtedly use high prices to pursue more conservation and oil-alternatives, such as with President Barack Obama’s

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National Journal Whiffs on Corporate Tax Facts

In an otherwise fine effort to explain why the U.S. economy is not creating new jobs as fast as it used to, National Journal’s Jim Tankersley reports in the January 21st edition:

Some free-market economists say that we could encourage more domestic investment by cutting corporate tax rates, although it’s fair to note that the jobs breakdown of the 2000s coincided with hefty tax cuts under President Bush. Still, liberal and free-market analysts alike have argued for a sweeping reform of America’s corporate tax code—one that would reduce rates while eliminating many deductions and provisions that give companies incentives to

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As If Gov’t Spending Had Nothing to Do with It

This is how a front-page story by Lori Montgomery in January 27th’s Washington Post portrayed the cause of this year’s $1.5 trillion deficit:

Record U.S. Deficit Projected This Year
CBO forecasts tax cuts will push budget gap to $1.5 trillion

The still-fragile economy and fresh tax cuts approved by Congress last month will drive the federal deficit to nearly $1.5 trillion this year, the biggest budget gap in U.S. history, congressional budget analysts said Wednesday.

Federal spending and federal tax revenue play equally important roles in creating the federal budget deficit. In fact, the federal government, despite the recession and tax Continue Reading

WaPo Fact Checker Misinterprets Regulation Facts

Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post does a lot of editorializing in his January 14th Fact Checker report, especially when critiquing The Heritage Foundation’s recent report on the cost of regulations under the Obama Administration. Kessler accuses the Heritage Foundation study of not counting the benefits of regulation, of double-counting (citing an unnamed Obama administration official) and contrasts the study with the way the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports costs, which is over a ten-year period. James Gattuso, a research fellow and author of the Heritage report, debunks Kessler’s claims saying,

The approach we used

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LA Times Leaves Jobs Out of Pipeline Story

The Los Angeles Times ran a story by Kim Murphy on January 24th on the Keystone pipeline which would could oil fields in Alberta, Canada with refineries in Texas. Murphy’s article does not contain a single quote from anyone who supports the pipeline. Members and supporters of the Sierra Club, however, are mentioned and quoted early and often. Murphy’s article mentions plenty of possible downsides to the project but none of the benefits. Not only would new oil supplies decrease the price of oil in the United States, and decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but the construction Continue Reading

NY Times Contradicts Itself in Own Article

On January 19th, David Leonhardt of the New York Times reported on why unemployment in the United States has been persistently high relative to other countries such as Britain, Japan, Russia and Germany. In his article, “In Wreckage of Lost Jobs, Lost Power,” Leonhardt first discusses the lack of power employees in the United States saying, “American employers operate with few restraints. Unions have withered, at least in the private sector, and courts have grown friendlier to business. Many companies can now come much closer to setting the terms of their relationship with employees,

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WaPo’s Misleading Defense Spending Numbers

In the January 16th Washington Post, the day before the 50th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” speech to Congress, his granddaughter, and chairman emeritus of the Eisenhower Institute, Susan Eisenhower wrote:

Looking back, it is easy to see the parallels to our era, especially how the complex has expanded since Sept. 11, 2001. In less than 10 years, our military and security expenditures have increased by 119 percent. Even after subtracting the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the budget has grown by 68 percent since 2001. In 2010, the United States is projected to spend

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LAT Misses Half the Job Killing Story

Covering the House of Representatives vote to repeal Obamacare, The Los Angeles Times‘ Noam Levey penned a “Healthcare Q&A” on January 18th, that acknowledges that Obamacare’s employer mandate “would create a quirky incentive not to hire.” But then Levey goes on to write:

But several studies — including one by the respected Lewin Group — suggest any job loss would be minimal and would be at least partially offset by new jobs created as the healthcare system expands to care for tens of millions of Americans expected to gain coverage.

That Lewin study is not the only study on the economic … Continue Reading

WaPo Missed New Mexico’s Departure from Cap and Trade Scheme

In the January 12th Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin reported on a company that is launching a project to measure atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. She writes:

Robert Marshall, president and chief executive of Earth Networks, said the information the new sensors gather would be particularly valuable in a regulated market in which greenhouse gas emitters can buy and sell carbon credits. While the federal government is unlikely to adopt such a nationwide trading system anytime soon, states such as California and New Mexico are pressing ahead with such policies, as are many nations overseas.

This might have been true before November 2010, … Continue Reading

Politics Daily Butchers CNAS Report

For the January 11th Politics Daily, David Wood wrote a story titled, “Counterinsurgency Strategy Not Working In Afghanistan, Critics Say.” In the piece he offer a laundry list of comments from opponents of the counter insurgency strategy being implemented by the senior US commander General David Petraeus. The article, however, cheery picks its comments to make assessments sound as dour as possible.

“The Center for a New American Security [CNAS}, a centrist Washington think tank, recommends,” Woods states, “shifting decisively away from the current large-scale counterinsurgency campaign to focus the military effort on al-Qaeda. Fighting the Taliban … Continue Reading

Time Misleads on Carbon Concentration Levels

Time’s Bryan Walsh reports on a new study Nature Geoscience that discusses what increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could do all over the world – mostly lots of glacier melting, sea level rises and desertification. Walsh calls the study “an imperfect study, to say the least” but the real point of contention is the tipping point for the amount of carbon that can be in the atmosphere. Walsh writes:

As of 2100, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere reach some 1,000 ppm—two and a half times the current level, and well above the 450 or 350

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Reuters Leaves Declining Crime Rates Out of Gun Law Reporting

In his January 10th, Factbox: U.S. guns laws among the most permissive in world, Reuters Greg McCune reports:

For a decade until 2004, the U.S. banned civilians from owning certain types of assault weapons. This ban was allowed to expire during the administration of President George W. Bush. Police said the young man arrested in the Arizona shooting, Jared Lee Loughner, purchased a semi-automatic Glock pistol from a Tucson gun dealer in November. This has prompted some in Congress to call for the ban on assault weapons to be reinstated.

What happened in Tucson is a tragedy, but it should not … Continue Reading

WaPo Wrongly Knocks Bush Cuts

One wouldn’t think a report on slavery and the South’s secession from the Union would mention the tax cut debate but somehow The Washington Post was able to make it happen. James W. Loewen’s piece “Five myths about why the South seceded,” is a very interesting read, but he makes and absurd and wrong statement when he compares non-slave owners’ support for slavery with low-income Americans’ support for an extension of tax cuts for the wealthy. Loewen writes:

Less than half of white Mississippi households owned one or more slaves, for example, and that proportion was smaller still in

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The Economist Misses Key Government Union Statistic

The Economist’s January 6th print edition has a great article on “The Battle Ahead” about public sector unions that includes these facts:

While union membership has collapsed in the private sector over the past 30 years (from 44% of the workforce to 15% in Britain and from 33% to 15% in America), it has remained buoyant in the public sector. In Britain over half the workers are unionised. In America the figure is now 36% (compared with just 11% in 1960).

This is all true, but The Economist left out one little fact that could have bolstered their story: 2010 was … Continue Reading

WaPo Hides Federal Government Takeover of Health Care

Reporting on the January 5th release of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services report on national health spending, The Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein leads with:

The nation’s expenditures on health care in 2009 grew by 4 percent, the smallest increase in at least a half-century…

Which is true, but hides the explosion of federal spending that the report documents. Goldstein does mention that, “On the other hand, spending on Medicaid soared - by 9 percent, compared with less than 5 percent in 2008.” But that number lumps state spending on Medicaid in with federal spending on Medicaid and federal Medicaid … Continue Reading

Politico Blind to Medicaid’s Key Role in Obamacare

Sarah Kliff penned a piece for Politico published January 3rd titled, 6 States to Watch on Health Reform, stating that while “health reform repeal efforts will generate a lot of noise in the opening weeks of the 112th Congress … the real action on health reform is going to ramp up outside the Beltway in state capitals.”

This is true. But then the rest of her three page piece only mentions Medicaid once, and then only in passing. This is a huge omission. Of the 34 million Americans who gain health insurance through Obamacare, over half (18 million) … Continue Reading

Reuters Whiffs on California Tax Burden

In a fine Reuters “Special Report: California or Bust” posted January 3rd, Nichola Groom reports:

But many in the state say taxes, rather than spending, are at the heart of California’s troubles. For some, the Golden State hamstrung its finances when a 1978 ballot initiative, Proposition 13, capped property taxes at 1 percent. California became more dependent on personal income, sales and corporate taxes, which can fluctuate wildly from good times to bad.

Prop 13 also limited the ability of California’s towns and cities to raise their own revenues by requiring a two-thirds vote to do so. The idea was to

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NYT Misinformed by Media Study

On Decemeber 17th, The New York Times Brian Stelter reported on a study conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org purporting to show that Fox News Channel was a major purveyor of “misinformation” communicated to the electorate. Stelter typed:

According to the study, which can be reviewed online, in most cases, the more a person watched and read the news, the less likely they were to have been misled about the facts. But “there were however a number of cases where greater exposure to a news source increased misinformation on a specific issue,” the study’s authors wrote. In particular, they found that regular viewers

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