Chart Of Darkness: Belaboring The Point

Following up on Saturday’s post on the latest wingnut meme that Kenyan Soshulist Maths are hiding the truth that the reeeeeeeal unemployment rate among scared, crazy self-piddling conservatives is 157 gazillion percent, we see FOX and Friends is happily joining in the silliness.

“Are they playing around with the numbers?” fill-in host Eric Bolling asked. “Look, it’s the Bureau of Labor of Statistics. It’s suppose to be non-partisan, but that’s the Department of Labor, Hilda Solis. Hilda Solis works directly for Obama.”

“Are you saying they’re cooking the books,” regular co-host Steve Doocy inquired.

“I’m saying, there’s room for error,” Bolling replied. “But when you’re talking about four million people, how do you know?”

It is, of course, irresponsible not to speculate how President Notlikeus McTakeyourmoney is using his unholy control of Bistromathics to destroy working-class melanin-challenged America.  Since we all know there’s no way his dark policies could actually be improving the economy and adding jobs since there are still Americans on FOOD STAMPS, it’s clearly a deadly, deadly trap.

Later in the segment, Doocy declared war on numbers, science, engineering, calculus, statistical analysis and pi.  Because only “they” use numbers.  Real Americans don’t need facts to know the truth about THE REDISTRIBUTION OF OUR NUBILE YOUNG DAUGHTER-VIRGINS.  The only possible explanation for this is YOU LIE(tm).

Really, they should just send the White House the bill for Bolling peeing on the studio carpet in abject fear.  Abject fear…of numbers.

Snark aside, with the more unstable among us about three steps away from burning the President in effigy over birth control and Republicans trying to criminalize having cabinet departments, it really won’t be long before we’re having another “free speech right to do horrible, horrible things flashpoint” in this country.  We’re just waiting to try to contain the damage when it happens if it’s this insane 9 months out before the election.

Seriously, we’re to the point that actually having the Labor Department is now the equivalent of The Ministry Of Truth And Silly Walks.  How long before we get to the point where Tea Party shenanigans become so exponentially insane that Our Serious And Knowledgeable Betters tell us that the President should just resign now “for the good of the country” rather than risk his “divisive and polarizing” re-election to a second term?

Five gets you seven that column is already on Bobo’s hard drive.

[UPDATE]  This line of attack is now official, as Rush Limbaugh accused the President of “monkeying with the numbers” today.   Monkey.  Mmm-hmm.

51 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Somewhat related, Obama has decided to support the Obama SuperPAC. They apparently are concerned about being outgunned. This election is going to be messy.

  2. 2
    RP says:

    If they’re going to cook the books, why not just show that the unemployment rate has dropped to 7%? Or 6?

  3. 3
    redshirt says:

    I hesitate to ask, but really, how much worse can it get? Other than outright violence? Have the freaks not gone deeply to the well from 2008-2010? Is there anything left they can say that is truly surprising?

  4. 4
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    three steps away from burning the President in effigy over birth control

    You mean DK, right?

  5. 5
    Rommie says:

    If secession talk starts filtering back into their discussion points, that’s the sign (IMO) that things are getting worse.

    I hope that cloning/time-travel technology for Uncle Billy is real, as we may need him Soon(tm)

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    @RP: Or, for that matter, why did “they” “let” the unemployment rate rise to nearly 10 percent in the first place?

  7. 7
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    These guys are the masters of projection. It’s like the Minister of Misinformation accusing the World Health Organization of bias. Sure, every organization has a bias but dude, you’re the fuggin’ Minister of Misinformation.

    You’re the guy who tells me that the government is firmly in control, while tank battalions are criss-crossing five feet behind you. Since you can’t even be relied on for simple observation, I’m sure commenting on statistics is way beyond your pay grade.

  8. 8
    Schlemizel says:

    @Rommie:
    The past as prolog – the slave states kept threatening and threatening to the point most people didn’t believe they were stupid enough to actually destroy the Union over owning human beings. Eventually though the hotheads ‘won’.

    The problem we will have this time is how to divide up. Its not as simple as “Us 11 morans are pulling out now” as the division are between groups within the State.

  9. 9
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    In all seriousness, I am seeing signs that people are starting to think the economy is getting better. If that reaches a critical mass, Obama would beat zombie Reagan. They’ve got to find a way to stop that. The problem FOX has is that they have bought into the line that they are the “Number 1 new station for 10 years.” Their viewership is so tiny and not representative that the Daily Show gets more viewers.

  10. 10
    Egg Berry says:

    I vote bobo should resign for the good of. the country.

  11. 11
    Lee says:

    Archbishop for the US Military in a letter to the members of the armed services says providing birth control “It is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle.”

  12. 12
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    What I don’t understand is that these are the same people (Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox et. al.) that keep telling us that we are doomed because 10 billion baby-boomers a day are retiring and beginning to collect social security and medicare, and then in the next breath tell us that “millions have just dropped out of the work force” so the “numbers are all wrong”.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    From WereBear in the previous thread:

    It’s like talking to a parent on the phone for a long stretch… and then visiting and finding a dead horse in the living room and they’re wearing a SuperHero costume to bed.

    The Thoughtful Commentators are not actually standing on the ground any more– they are falling, accelerating downwards at 32 feet/second/second.

  14. 14
    Jay C says:

    I’m not so worried about rightie hyperventilating about unemployment numbers becoming much of an election issue: AFACBT, the job numbers are predicted to slowly rise over the next couple of quarters – probably under where they should be, but still better than the piss-poor rates we’ve seen. If any sort of economic progress gets perceived at all by the public by this fall, Fox “News” gibbering about OMG OBAMA’S SOSHULIST CRONIES ARE COOKING THE NUMBERS CHICAGO-STYLE!!!1!
    is going to lose whatever minimal traction it might have had outside the 27% nut-kernel, so who cares?

    On which point, I have a question: how do Fox’s (non-entertainment) numbers really stack up as a segment of the national media market? I realize that they have a large core demographic, but isn’t said demographic fairly frozen? Is it a video analogue to Rush Limbaugh’s fabled “five million listeners” – i.e., the same five million folks every day – an audience which isn’t ever going to shrink or grow?

  15. 15
    rlrr says:

    Eric Bolling: “Numbers suck!”

    Steve Doocy: “Yeah! Yeah! There’s like too many of them.”

  16. 16
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Lee:

    Did it mention that 98% of Catholic women have used birth control at some point in their lives? Thought not.

  17. 17
    patrick II says:

    @Jay C:
    It may not ever grow, but age demographics indicate it will shrink — especially if they are successful in harming medicare.

  18. 18
    Zach says:

    Our Serious And Knowledgeable Betters tell us that the President should just resign now “for the good of the country” rather than risk his “divisive and polarizing” re-election to a second term?

    I just realized that this is exactly what Broder and Brooks would’ve said in 1860 when the event that immediately catalyzed Southern secession was Lincoln’s election (as opposed to, you know, Lincoln doing anything).

  19. 19
    Steve says:

    I didn’t even think the jobs report was THAT awesome, but the full-blown winger lying campaign has forced me to reconsider. At the end of the day, though, people vote based upon their own experience and what they see around them, not based on the number in the newspaper. If things really are getting better, Fox is not all-powerful enough to hide it.

  20. 20
    Jay C says:

    @Lee:

    Can anyone with more experience of the military than I (i.e. none) fill me in as to the likelihood of Archbishop Broglio’s hysterical screed having any significant impact on any significant numbers of the serving US military?

    To judge by His Excellency’s ranting about “blows to religious freedom”, you would think the HHS’s contraception-insurance directive was a modern equivalent of a Popish Recusants Act ; and that we’re just a baby-step away from seeing a reenactment of the Terror Rojo. Over birth control?

  21. 21
    Lee says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    It is just stunning to me that the Archbishop over the military would invoke dead buddies over GOD DAMN BIRTH CONTROL.

    I hope someone decides to put a boot up his ass.

  22. 22
    Jennifer says:

    Fox & Friends is the TV news equivalent of the late, great Weekly World News. Whenever they come up with some dumb new alleged conspiracy, I’m reminded of this clip, wherein the warned the trogladytes who watch their show of the looming menace of the Taliban Monkey Army. And illustrated said menace by not only photoshopping a picture of a monkey with a gun, but then telling the fucking morons watching that it was a photoshop – which actually went one better on the old WWN.

  23. 23
    Mino says:

    This morning they had a Catholic apologist on Chuckie explaining that the Bishops’ fee-fees have been so engorged by all the pain that government had caused them recently (like the court system) that they have decided to auto-de-fe over female sexytime now.

  24. 24
    The Moar You Know says:

    How long before we get to the point where Tea Party shenanigans become so exponentially insane that Our Serious And Knowledgeable Betters tell us that the President should just resign now “for the good of the country” rather than risk his “divisive and polarizing” re-election to a second term?
    __
    Five gets you seven that column is already on Bobo’s hard drive.

    Ten gets you twenty it’s been there since January of 2009.

  25. 25
    rlrr says:

    @Mino:

    Women having access to birth control: “OUTRAGE!

    Priests sexually abusing children: “meh.”

  26. 26
    Bill H. says:

    Actually, I have been maintaining for years that the BLS numbers are cooked to meaninglessness, but it has nothing to do with Obama and predates his presidency by many years. It is based on surveys and models rather than on actual counts, and is not only seasonally adjusted but is adjusted every year in January, and this year it was adjusted for a census taken two years ago.

    As time has gone on the Bureau has tinkered with their surveys and models to make them more “accurate” supposedly, or more likely to make the government look good: not any one president, administration, or party, but just to make the people of America feel less anxious.

    If you compare the BLS numbers with income tax collections, which are real numbers in real time because it is money withheld from paychecks and submitted to government within ten days of being withheld, you often find large discrepancies between what the BLS said happened in new jobs and what is being withheld in paychecks.

    Mish at Global Economics has a decent dissertation on why the numbers don’t add up. Like me, he doesn’t assert it favors Obama, but rather that it predates Obama’s term in office.

  27. 27
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Concern Troll Steve: You keep giving the game away. You’ve got to be more subtle.

  28. 28
    Lee says:

    @Bill H.:

    Yes that is a problem but I’m not sure there is a fix for the US. The only solution would be to actually track and count people working/not working. There is no way the wingnuts would let that happen.

  29. 29
    Steve says:

    @The Moar You Know: The concern trolling in my comment was so subtle that even I can’t find it. I’m starting to think you are just a loon.

  30. 30
    Samara Morgan says:

    how President Notlikeus McTakeyourmoney is using his unholy control of Bistromathics to destroy working-class melanin-challenged America

    wallah….that is really good.
    may i touch the hem of your garment so that i can be healed?

  31. 31
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Concern Troll Steve: My, so touchy.

  32. 32
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Lee:
    @Lee:
    This guy is not a member of the military or the chain of command. He is the ecclesiastic superior, not the military superior of Catholic Priests who serve as Chaplains. Nothing more. Any Chaplain, like any other commissioned officer who cannot continue to serve in good conscience is, of course, welcome to resign his or her commission if that is what the Archdiocese demands of them. But as long as they wear the rank and accept a military paycheck they must obey the law, and that includes Article 88, UCMJ.

  33. 33
    Lee says:

    @Soonergrunt: I did not know he was not a member of the military. I was wondering if he was writing that on his way out the door.

    Still deserves a boot up his ass :)

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill H.:

    You can trace this back to the shitty grade Z movie star.

  36. 36
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    The Catholic Church is spending millions of dollars on a PR campaign to fight this ruling while at the same time closing hundreds of parishes across the country (including dozens in Michigan) and when thousands of homeowners in Catholic parishes continue to struggle with mortgage payments and unemployment. My city, Detroit, is on the brink of bankruptcy, and four of the top 10 most violent cities in the country are located in Michigan. Where are the leaders of our Church on these issues? Why were there no letters in our bulletins urging action about the 30,000 poor children in Michigan who were being cut off from public assistance this past fall?

    http://www.catholicdemocrats.org/

    When California’s Prop 8 was on the ballot, the Mormon Church squandered millions to defeat it.

    I don’t think there are more Jack Mormons than there are cafeteria Catholics. Fact is, there has been a silent revolt against Rome for some decades now.

    But, the money is a problem. Especially those funds in the petty cash vault.

  37. 37
    Shinobi says:

    @Bill H.: If you ask pretty much any economist or statistician or anyone with more than a cursory understanding of the BLS unemployment figures they would tell you that for this recession in particular those figures have done a poor job of representing the situation.

    The actual employment situation has been consistently worse than represented throughout the entire recession. Underemployment and people dropping out of the workforce are completely left out of the “official” unemployment figure.

    The reason these surveys and models remain useful is that they do allow us to gather more information than a simple rate of employment. It allows the statisticians to understand the growth of the workforce, the length of typical unemployment stints as well as other issues that cannot necessarily be pulled from payroll data.

    That said, the BLS has been using these unemployment surveys for a long time, and it might be time to modernize their methods and incorporate more payroll level data. Or perhaps to report that alongside the official numbers.

    I think the larger issue at play here isn’t that the BLS is hiding something, it is that the media is afraid of statistics and full of sensationalism. Anything that isn’t 1 number with a simple explanation that is happy happy will send them into full blown panic mode.

  38. 38
    Waldo says:

    The problem with Fox’s cooking-the-books meme is that they have nothing to offer in place of the BLS numbers. Aside from some hunches and guesstimates shat out just for the occasion, they got nuthin’. That might work with low-info Fox viewers, but it’s not going to play anywhere else. Let ’em cry it out.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    The Catholic Church is spending millions of dollars on a PR campaign to fight this ruling while at the same time closing hundreds of parishes across the country (including dozens in Michigan) and when thousands of homeowners in Catholic parishes continue to struggle with mortgage payments and unemployment. My city, Detroit, is on the brink of bankruptcy, and four of the top 10 most violent cities in the country are located in Michigan. Where are the leaders of our Church on these issues? Why were there no letters in our bulletins urging action about the 30,000 poor children in Michigan who were being cut off from public assistance this past fall?

    This.

    I don’t think there are more Jack Mormons than there are cafeteria Catholics. Fact is, there has been a silent revolt against Rome for some decades now.

    Decades, hell. Centuries.

  40. 40
    kd bart says:

    “Numbers Suck”

    Well, they are Arabic.

  41. 41
    Jay C says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    Where are the leaders of our Church on these issues? Why were there no letters in our bulletins urging action about the 30,000 poor children in Michigan who were being cut off from public assistance this past fall?

    Because it’s easier (and cheaper) just to rant about sex stuff?

  42. 42
    gbear says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    The problem FOX has is that they have bought into the line that they are the “Number 1 new station for people who are going to die within 10 years.”

    Fixed for accuracy.

  43. 43
    piratedan says:

    all this coming from the party that didn’t even bother to keep an entire frigging WAR on the books?

    when are these guys gonna understand that they’ve lost all credibility with anyone that has a few firing synapses?

  44. 44
    Someguy says:

    The wingers aren’t making up the U unemployment figures. The 8.6% is only the short term unemployed – out of work and looking for it for less than 6 months. Those unemployed longer for 6 months and still looking, and those who are part time in shit jobs but looking for full time work, plus the short term unemployed, add up to 15.6% right now. The really long term unemployed, who have just given up looking, aren’t even counting, and you can bet there are some thanks to the Bush recession removing 6 million jobs from the economy – the “workforce participation” numbers reflecting total jobs is low, at 1992 levels, back when we were considerably smaller as a nation. The statistics are really goofy too – for instance we lost >2 million jobs in January, but they didn’t actually just disappear. That’s a reflection of jobs lost when businesses went under during all of 2011. They don’t count it and announce the numbers until January. Klein or Yglesias were talking about this over the weekend – the workforce won’t be back to pre-Bush-recession numbers until 2015 at best or more likely some time in the 2020’s. Thanks Dubya, ya criminable!

    The bottom line is that it’s totally not Obama’s fault but trying to make the sort of phony 8.6% unemployement rate a positive talking point during a time when probably 20% of the country’s workforce is either short or long term unemployed, or just terminally discouraged and out of the workforce, is asking for trouble. Even taking the right wing machine out of the picture, there are an awful lot of folks who will be alienated by a talking point like that because they or somebody close to them cannot find work.

  45. 45
    uptown says:

    Here in the great NW (Seattle), I’m starting to see help wanted signs in retail establishments. In a month when normally they are laying off folks.

  46. 46
    Tone In DC says:

    Later in the segment, Doocy declared war on numbers, science, engineering, calculus, statistical analysis and pi. Because only “they” use numbers. Real Americans don’t need facts to know the truth about THE REDISTRIBUTION OF OUR NUBILE YOUNG DAUGHTER-VIRGINS. The only possible explanation for this is YOU LIE.

    Really, they should just send the White House the bill for Bolling peeing on the studio carpet in abject fear. Abject fear…of numbers.

    I like it.

  47. 47
    Tone In DC says:

    TAG FAIL.

    (hangs head in shame).

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @Jay C:
    Don’t say frozen to old people in the context of them not moving. We all take it to mean we are stiff enough to bury.

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    @Jay C:
    I was in a long, long time ago, there was a draft and I am an atheist but I didn’t notice any religious influence in the military. However things seem to have changed what with the AF academy and some service members being wingnuts.

  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    @Shinobi:
    When I tutored statistics in college the number one issue I found was that people understood mathematics because they could see how the numbers interacted, but they could not grasp the fungible nature of statistics. They could not understand that statistics sometimes only make sense over time and context.

  51. 51
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    Oh Pulllease. Step away from your computer and get a fucking life. You are watching too much right wing TV and it’s obviously rotting your brain.

    You do realize that by reacting this way with arms flailing you are doing EXACTLY what the right wing shills want don’t you? Apparently in addition to ‘Racism around every corner one trick pony’ ABL v2.0.01, you also never got the memo!

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