Featured Video Archive

 
June 30, 2015

Twisted Statistics on Obamacare

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A picture’s worth a thousand words, and numbers paint an indelible picture. That is why the ploy of gaming statistics in debates on news shows is so dangerous. It’s nothing that an alert moderator using simple, common sense checks can’t bust, however. On the heels of SCOTUS’s ruling on ACA, Larry Kudlow, citing a recent Wall Street Journal poll (search “health”), said: “there’s a lot of disatisfaction, … 65% either want [Obamacare] fixed or repealed altogether.” If CNBC’s Kelly Evans had Asked the Question’s: How many want it fixed? How many want it repealed?, she would have uncovered Mr. Kudlows Mischaracterization and been able to Correct the Inaccuracy. The citedWSJ ACA poll results: 8% said ACA is working fine; 25%- it should be eliminated; 25%- needs major overhaul; 40%- needs minor modifications. To get to 65%, Mr. Kudlow must have added 25% (eliminate ACA) to 40% (minor modifications), rather than 25% (major overhaul), which would have yielded 50%, not 65%. Watch the video for additional Cite the Basis rule breaks on Kudlow’s claim that “most analysts don’t think [CBO’s cost estimates] add up”. Barney Frank calls him out on that, plus the Republicans in two separate instances for having a Double Standard. Finally, check out this recent CBS/NYT poll which shows slightly better and steadily increasing favorable ratings of ACA. And watch those stats!
 

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May 2014

Charlie Rose Toadies to Former Treas. Sec. Tim Geithner

Ask The Question: Why were there no strings attached in the bank bailout?
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“Financial systems are inherently fragile, they are not divorced from the economy, but are like oxygen to the body. If turned off, the damage to people’s livelihood is immediate and powerful and traumatic.” Given those words by Tim Geithner in his interview with Charlie Rose, it is incomprehensible that Mr. Rose did not press him on why a commitment from the banks to use TARP bailout money for lending was not extracted. The closest Mr. Geithner got to addressing this was his vague statement: ”I have not yet heard a plausible argument [for] a better option [] or strategy to protect the average American.”
When so many disagree (see Sen. E. Warren on Charlie Rose, MIT’s Simon Johnson & others in NYT Magazine & DealB%k), and with lending still low- both to businesses (WSJ-Ramp Up Lending) and for mortgages (NYT- Banks Wary), and with many still un-, or under-employed, this is an egregious omission! The articles give much insight into the workings of banks and explain real issues they face. But this Reuters article suggests another reason for poor mortgage lending not mentioned elsewhere: banks don’t want to commit to 30-year terms since interest rates will eventually go up. ie. They’ll miss future profits. Geithner did make valid points on TARP success and Dodd-Frank’s “good start”, but after all this time, we deserve a much better answer to why the TARP terms so favored Wall St. to the exclusion of Main St.

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November 14, 2013

To President Obama, Ask The Question:

Why did you repeatedly say “you can keep your plan” when you knew many couldn’t?

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Ever hear of the Federal Registry? That is where a 2010 government report on the ACA’s ‘grandfathering clause’ (the provision allowing people to keep their health plans), and its expected disruption of the insurance market is filed. In it, estimates for the expected loss of ‘grandfather status’ are given as: 40-67% of people with individual plans, 66%- small employer plans, and 45%- large employer plans, totaling 93 million people who would NOT be able to “keep their plan”. Avik Roy of Forbes, and Lisa Myers of NBC uncovered the report. The figures consistently quoted in the media recently are far smaller- roughly half of the 5% in the individual market, or 7-8 million. So, other ATQ’s: What are the real estimates for cancelled plans? About the media- Why have so few media outlets found this discrepancy? And why does Media Matters (a media watchdog site) criticize Ms. Myers for reporting cancellation stories when, the Federal Register report notwithstanding, the President, himself, repeatedly claimed otherwise?  Read the Forbes article for nuance and updates.

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October 1, 2013

Netanyahu:  Iranian Pres. Hassan Rouhani is “a wolf in sheeps clothing.”

To President Rouhani, Ask the Question:  Does Israel have a right to exist?

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In his Oct. 1 UN speech, Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map.” In his Sept. 25 interview on CNN, Rouhani said: “… when it comes to [] the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it. But … any crime [] in history against humanity, including the [] Nazis’ [] towards the Jews as well as non-Jews is reprehensible and condemnable. Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn…”. But the Daily Beast & Wall Street Journal claim a slightly different translation, and The New York Times reports similar translation issues in an August statement by Rouhani, on Israel. These, together with Iran’s nuclear program and his seeming stance as a moderate, beg the direct Question be Asked to Rouhani: Does Israel have a right to exist?  Also, check out Netanyahu’s interview with Charlie Rose.

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July 17, 2013

The Zimmerman Verdict

Ask The Question:  Should the law be changed?

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The verdict is in and the discussion has started. Watch this Charlie Rose interview with Noah Feldman, Charles Ogletree, and Dan Abrams. The biggest take away for me is on the question of when and how self-defense should be allowed in a case like this. Noah Feldman suggests that self-defense be prohibited in cases where a defendant with a firearm was the initial pursuer.  Dan Abrams cites Ohio as the only state where the burden of proof in self-defense cases is on the defense , not the prosecution.   And Charles Ogletree makes the point that Trayvon Martin’s ‘standing his ground’ could be used in a civil case.  (Ads preceding video cannot be removed.)

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June 24, 2013

ATD gets assist from The Daily Show!

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Watch John Oliver’s hilarious take on the Justice Departments case against the ratings agencies and their role in the financial collapse.  I blogged on this topic in February and now Oliver is taking a leap from ATD’s playbook in his own review of CNBC’s reaction to Sen. Al Frankens proposal to fix the conflict of interest inherent in ratings agencies.  Thank you, John.  Read my blog and watch a different CNBC video that teaches Wall Street how to avoid writing incriminating emails!

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March 21, 2013:

Joe Scarborough vs. Paul Krugman : Debt & Growth

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Say it aint so, Joe!  After the discussion that took place on Charlie Rose between you and Mr. Krugman on handling debt in a time of high unemployment and slow growth, I thought you two were not that far apart.  But here you are the very next day, magnifying your differences and breaking the False Comparison rule again by equating economic conditions in 1997 and 2005, with those of today, when they clearly are different, as Mr. Krugman pointed out.  Is that really the best way to fulfill your role in helping us move toward solutions?  I’m Calling You Out, Joe.  Watch the Charlie Rose debate and read my blog for 3 other rule breakers.

 

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December 10, 2012:

Fiscal Cliff is a Grand Canyon!

With all the focus on $4T vs. $2T fiscal cliff negotiation figures, our national debt actually stands at $16T+. This Erin Burnett interview is an example of good ‘big picture’ (read: In Context) reporting, the implication being- why aren’t more news stations covering this aspect?  Maybe if they did, the public would clamor for more serious negotiations and there would be actual progress. Click on video above (or here) for Part 1.  Also, check out Part 2 of the interview with Bill Gross, CEO of Pimco. It is well worth it. (Thirty second ads preceding videos cannot be removed.)