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[UPDATE] REAL Unemployment Numbers & Open Thread

“Hubris is terminal” UPDATE: Check out a smart HuffPo story about the documentary on Eliot Spitzer, “The Sheriff of Wall Street Returns in Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.”

Eliot Spitzer — a member of the pantheon of fallen political gods, Clinton, Gingrich, Sanford, Ensign, Hyde, Helms, Mills, Eisenhower, Roosevelt and even Jefferson who couldn’t keep it zipped — is the subject of a new documentary that explodes the myths surrounding his case. (More excerpts immediately below the fold)

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Below the fold there’s a smart, rational discussion on “mama grizzlies” and Sarah Palin as well as my ramblings about marriage, fidelity, and more.

First, from the blog for CNN’s new show, Parker/Spitzer, here’s Eliot Spitzer on actual unemployment statistics, — “the real unemployment rate for September is 12.9 percent”:

NEXT: me on fidelity and the sad state of cable news commentary, plus “mama grizzlies” and Sarah Palin:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORE ON THE UPDATE from HuffPo story about the documentary on Eliot Spitzer, “The Sheriff of Wall Street Returns in Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.”

… The biggest myth is that he and Ashley Dupre were engaged in non-stop, horizontal bop. In fact, he only slept with her once. Recognizing a good career move when she saw one, Ashley stepped into the limelight when Spitzer’s regular escort decided to duck the media storm after his carousing became public. […]

A few months before his fall, he uttered this prophetic observation to a luncheon crowd at the New York State School Board Association, “hubris is terminal.” …
“You can’t make that stuff up,” said Gibney [producer, director, writer], whose film lays out how Spitzer’s drive to root out corruption on Wall Street and in New York’s State capital created enemies that coalesced to “take him out of Albany.”
[In the documentary, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, we] meet a colorful array of characters who’d been stung by Spitzer’s relentless, hard charging prosecutorial ways. We’re reminded that he sued out-of-state coal fired power plants for causing acid rain in New York and took on General Electric for dumping PCB’s in the Hudson River.
But it’s his battles with Wall Street that may have sealed his fate. Spitzer pursued two analysts, Henry Blodget and Hank Grubman, who were accused of misleading the public about the value of investments they knew were, in Blodget’s terms (POS) or, “pieces of shit.” Both were banned from their profession for life. … […]

He took on the CEO of insurance giant AIG, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who’d engineered a scheme to artificially pump up the value of his company. Spitzer kicked over a hornets’ nest when his gaze landed on one of the richest men in America, investor Ken Langone and his pal, Dick Grasso, the head of the New York Stock Exchange, who Spitzer sued over a $187 million pay package.
“There were a lot of people who wanted him gone,” said Gibney. “He wanted systemic change.” […]
He took his attack dog approach to public service into the Governor’s office where he tangled with the rough and tumble entrenched interests in the State house. Gibney interviews Senate leader Joe Bruno who became Spitzer’s main foe. […]
After the government gets wind of Spitzer’s encounters, the Department of Justice (DOJ) begins to close in and his fear, “if we stumble they will kick us in the nuts,” comes true said Gibney.
The twists and turns of why the DOJ was involved, how they traced Spitzer’s transactions, the identity of his frequent escort, the names of the cabal that had it in for him and how the Feds manipulated the press to break the story and the fact that he was never charged with any crime, are part of this riveting, feature length documentary. …

This is proof that nothing is ever quite as simple as it first seems. This is far more than a story about infidelity. Besides recounting Spitzer’s relentless crusades against robber barons and immoral big corporations, this documentary reminds us of the GOOD that Eliot Spitzer did for the people. If only he’d been able to keep his zipper zipped …

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/ END OF UPDATE / Back to excerpted portions of the e-mail on the true unemployment figures that Spitzer received and shares in full in his blog post:

This is the email Eliot Spitzer mentioned during his opening argument on Friday's edition of "Parker Spitzer" from Leo Hindery, who digs deeper into the government's September unemployment data.  Also, Kathleen Parker mentioned a study by the Cato Institute on the unemployment rate.  Click here for that link.

Dear Friends,

As a sign that the economic recovery remains essentially a jobless one, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), using its Current Population Survey of non-farm jobs, announced this morning that in September 2010 the U.S. economy continued to lose jobs in an amount far worse than economists had been predicting. Specifically, … The unemployment rate remained at 9.6%." The BLS noted that there are now 14.8 million unemployed workers and since the Great Recession began (in December 2007) employment has decreased by 6.8 million.

The monthly BLS announcement regarding unemployment …:

• uses only a survey of households rather than much more accurate payroll data;

• excludes changes in employment among the nation's 10.9 million farm and self-employed workers, even though these two categories together represent more than 7% of the civilian labor force; and

• most important, does not take into account the 15.4 million workers who are:

1) part-time-of-necessity because their hours have been cut back or they are unable to find a full-time job (9.5 mm);

2) “marginally attached” because while wanting and available for work they have not searched for it in the past four weeks (2.5 mm); or

3) “discouraged” and out of the labor force because they believe no jobs are available for them (3.4 mm).

Our Summary of U.S. Real Unemployment makes these three adjustments. …

• The number of real unemployed workers in all four categories of unemployment – BLS, part-time-of-necessity, marginally attached and discouraged – increased by 385,000 workers to 30.2 million, versus 29.8 million in August and the BLS’s figure of 14.8 million. ….

The real unemployment rate is now 18.9%, compared to August’s real unemployment rate of 18.6% and this morning’s much lower official BLS rate of 9.6%

The number of real unemployed workers has increased by13.4 million since the start of the Recession … By contrast, the economy needs to add around 150,000 new jobs each month simply to keep up with population growth.

• The Jobs Gap is 22.2 million new jobs in real terms.

[…]

Kindest regards,
Leo Hindery

NOTE: I had to cut quite a bit of Hindery’s remarks, and some important material had to be left out. To read all of Hindery’s e-mail, visit Spitzer’s post.

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The above is one of the reasons I have quickly made Parker/Spitzer a regular viewing habit.

Parker/Spitzer is civilized discourse but it’s not too annoyingly prissy or odd a la NPR. Like PBS’s news programming, Parker/Spitzer gives each subject some TIME — unlike the interviews on Fox News, which don’t begin to sate my appetite for more. In fact, every time Fox News has a decent guest on — you know, somebody who really knows his stuff and expresses it well — he gets cut off inside a minute or two. It drives me NUTS. If I were the guest on a Fox News show — and I’m referring to the daytime news programming preceding Brett Baier’s show — I’d wonder why in the hell I bothered to get dressed up and travel to the set.

Actually, I think that Fox News has probably alienated a whole lot of the guests on the “guest list” they keep, and who they might otherwise get, just because the interviews are too damn short. What happened Friday morning is a great example. The Fox host announced that an A.P. wire broke the news that Jim Jones was leaving the White House as National Security Director (see Larry’s story).

Obviously, Fox needed a national security expert on, like immediately, to comment on Jones’s departure. But who did they get? Joe Trippi. Joe Trippi? You have got to be kidding me. I wonder how many people they called and begged before they got to Trippi.

The host (I forget her name but she’s one of the blondes) thanked Trippi for dashing to the set. But Trippi, as you can well imagine, had NOTHING to say about Jones’s resignation. Joe Trippi doesn’t know much about national security and he sure as hell isn’t privy to ANY information on Jones’s difficulties in the White House. He blathered a bit about it, but you or I could have done just as well as he did. Realizing he had nothing informed to say about Jim Jones, the host quickly switched to asking Trippi about the November elections, about which Trippi knows more.

I’m just guessing, but I bet there were a lot of embarrassed people behind the scenes at Fox News. Trippi’s appearance was worse than having NO expert, and that the host had to switch to an unrelated topic made that embarrassingly obvious.

Fox News must think that its audience has a 60-second attention span. Whatever. The deal is this though: Fox News does not treat genuine experts with respect by giving them the TIME that they need to discuss an important topic.

I digress … but Fox News’s treatment of its guest experts has been bugging me, and that’s one reason I’ve been doing a lot more channel switching during the daytime and why I am celebrating a show like Parker/Spitzer that at least gives me an entire appetizer along with a chance to finish my glass of chardonnay.

Oh yeah. I feel I need to bring this up even though I’ve written about it here before, in other posts. As far as I’m concerned, what Eliot Spitzer did was a matter for himself and his wife to sort out. It has NOTHING to do with his brainy capabilities and his enormous amount of experience in the arenas of Wall Street and government, including the incalculably important experiences as an attorney general and as a governor.

Besides, I’ve worked with and for a lot of very powerful men in my jobs over the years and I have to tell you that most of them, if not all, got around. Whether or not that was immoral is up to them and their families. These days, men and women live a hell of a lot longer than in times past — hasn’t average life span doubled in the past hundred years in the U.S.? And it is not easy, over decades, to stay 100% faithful to the same person — especially for men who have that biologically-driven urge to, um, spread their seed. I think that women, especially young women, also have a biologically-driven need to procreate. Yeah, I truly believe that our genes have something to do with our sexual behavior.

I am NOT in favor of infidelity but, if and when it happens, it is not the end of the world, nor should it necessarily be the end of a marriage. There is a lot more to the value of marriage than sex. There is so much more. Ask Hillary and Bill. How about shared memories? Those are incalculably precious. How about all the times spent with each other’s families and children, if they’ve had any? Again, those experiences are unforgettable and precious. How about shared interests and projects, as Hillary and Bill have had since before they were married? Intensely important.

Nobody’s perfect. Nobody. And every one of us harbors secret feelings and urges. If the worst of Spitzer’s secret urges was that he liked to escape his enormously stressful and demanding responsibilities once in a while with a call girl to whom he owed nothing but money, in the end that is not the worst secret he could have had. Compared to a secret child molester? To a secret drug user? To a secret sadist?

‘nuf of that.

And Kathleen Parker? I really don’t know much about her, and haven’t read many of her columns. But, on the show, she comes across as genuinely gracious, charming, witty and engaged in her guests. She connects well with Spitzer, and they seem to really get along well — unlike the odious Mike and Joe, whose constant bickering has RUINED “Morning Joe” for me. Mika’s constant harping on Joe for everything he does — I don’t know — if I were he, I’d really dislike her. In fact, I am sure that, secretly, he really does dislike her. The other men on the show also act like they are truly tired of her harping and her lecturing. Maybe at first it was amusing but now it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Anyway, I am glad to find a new show that both entertains me and makes for charming, delightful viewing.

Oh. And there’s that light jazz that they play throughout is marvelous. All I’d need is a darkened lounge, a cigarette, and a shot glass. Oh, and a handsome man … ha.

Here’s one more clip, on the state of politics today, Sarah Palin and the mama grizzly phenom, in a daily roundtable segment with special guests on the show called “The Arena.”

WATCH THIS VIDEO — it is a good, rational, thoughtful discussion, just the kind I crave:

Not bad, eh? Notice how Spitzer and Parker let their guests TALK? Notice how the guests let each other talk? Notice how both guests had truly interesting perspectives to listen to? That’s so rare on television these days.

Check out the blog post on the mama grizzlies.

Grrrrrrrrr … and now it’s your turn …

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  • brodie

    Sure they do- but they’re gay. :)

  • Breeze

    -

    The President’s Nun: Obamacare
    Scranton Scandal Explodes

    The American Spectator,
    by Jeffrey Lord   

    Original Article

    10/11/2010

    Can you say “October Surprise”? A mushrooming political battle over ObamaCare involving the White House, two incumbent Pennsylvania congressmen, three Catholic hospitals and a nun has just exploded in, of all places, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Charges from the Scranton medical community of intimidation by the Obama White House and its allies are filling the air. All of this just as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Scranton today to raise money for one of the participants.

  • getfitnow

    Did Scheiffer follow up with a question about BO’s fund raising?

    When the Black Panther story was breaking, Scheiffer said he had been on vacation and wasn’t familiar with that story. WTF?

    These msm fools do just enough to make the average viewer believe they’re “fair and balanced.”

  • sowsear

    Ask if he has a friend and I’ll join you. Sounds wonderful.

    Good looking men don’t come in twos, EllenD

  • Breeze

    -

    IMPORTANT – ROE v WADE DECISION

    FROM HILLBUZZ:

    capechik Says:
    October 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Kind of off-topic, but some day, read for yourself the actual text of the Roe v. Wade decision. In today’s political climate, I’m sure those justices would be slammed by the left for their PRO-LIFE stance.

    There was a long list of amici (friend of the court) briefs filed, including one from Planned Parenthood arguing that a woman’s right to choose was absolute. Most people think that was upheld, but quoting from the actual Supreme Court decision:

    “On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree.”

    “…the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, …and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life.”
    The LIE that’s told by the left is that the Supreme Court declared it is the woman’s right to make this very personal choice. That’s just not true. The justices tried to balance the woman’s rights to her body and her health against the government’s interest in protecting unborn life, an interest they said became more “compelling” as the pregnancy progresses.

    So, I’m not trying to change anyone’s beliefs on abortion, but I just like to spread that little-known message, because I think it’s incredibly dishonest when NOW or PP or NARAL viciously attack people as anti-woman if they support restrictions on abortion, because Roe itself completely allows for it.

  • Breeze
  • Docelder

    Accuse somebody else of what they themselves did and will do again. Nothing new there. These people are despicable as are the politicians and the media which enable them.

  • Annie Soda Cracker

    He’s a Endocrinologist and Ayurvedic physician…a “Vija”.  Everything he teaches about consciousness he learned from his teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Not a “spiritualist”…and not a Guru.  Nice guy but too in love with his celebrity.

  • Annie Soda Cracker

    I certainly would not have had her feed that further.  She should enjoin the public to toss aside the lies the Dims tell…as in…tell them to stop making things up then tell them what she will work to correct.

  • Annie Soda Cracker

    Back at cha, Cindy.  Our histories are often parallel.  Although my GA family was very bigoted.  Still angry and resentful from being burned out by Sherman.

  • Annie Soda Cracker

    Beautiful!

  • Breeze

    -

    Miners argue over who’s out last

    Associated Press,
    by Frank Bajak &
    Michael Warren   

    Original Article

    10/10/2010

    San Jose Mine, Chile – After more than two months trapped deep in a Chilean mine, 33 miners were tantalizingly close to rescue on Sunday and officials said they were so giddy with confidence of success they were arguing over who would be the last one out. The first tests of the three rescue capsules built by Chilean naval engineers will likely begin early Wednesday

    (Snip) Another concern is blood clotting. To counteract it, the miners began taking 100 miligrams each of aspirin on Sunday and will until the rescue, he said. They’ll also put on compression socks and will

  • getfitnow

    Some mistake That One for a professional politician –being one is bad enough. But he’s not even that! He’s a community organizer–an AGITATOR. His true colors are shining through.

  • Onofre’s arm

    Here’s the video……….do I smell popcorn?

  • sowsear
  • Breeze

    -
    Schieffer shoots down White House
    smears against the Chamber of Commerce


    Washington Examiner,
    by David Freddoso   

    Original Article

    10/10/2010

    Obama advisor David Axelrod appeared on CBS Face the Nation this morning and was grilled on unsubstantiated accusations made by President Obama and the Democratic National Committee — which originated with left-wing groups – that the Chamber of Commerce was secretly taking foreign money to fund its election campaign ads. (Snip) SCHIEFFER: Now, I want to ask you about that because the New York Times looked into the Chamber specifically and said the Chamber really isn’t putting foreign money into the campaign.

  • Breeze

    -

    Obama’s New Smash Hit!
    It Was Recovery Summer!!
    Exclusively On Politizoid!!

    Washington Examiner,
    by Mark Tapscott   

    Original Article

    10/10/2010

    Wow, this is big, people, really big, big, big! It’s a guaranteed monster hit that’s going to top the charts like nothing since John, Paul, George, and Ringo opened on Ed Sullivan’s Really Big Sheoowww!! It’s Nancy and the Progressives’ smash single, “It was Recovery Summer,” written by that lyrical genius from Harvard, Barack Obama, and brought to you today exclusively by Politizoid here on The Examiner’s Beltway Confidential. So give it up for Nancy and the Progressives:

  • Talk2ThePaw

    My only surprise is that they did not arrest the conservative reporter.

  • sowsear
  • Talk2ThePaw

    I so enjoyed this.  A remarkable performance.  I made me go and rewatch the videos and view the photos of my granddaughter’s tour of China with the Long Beach Ballet in the summer of ’09.

  • Talk2ThePaw

    I don’t know The Jihadist In Chief seems to be really fast with his hands.  After all he was able to catch that pesky fly just like Dracula’s sidekick Renfeld can.

  • Breeze

    -

    Boxer’s Fiction vs. Fiorina’s Facts
     
    Creators Syndicate Inc.,
    by Debra J. Saunders   

    Original Article

    10/10/2010

    There aren’t a lot of walls around Carly Fiorina. While politicos have marveled at the missteps of Meg Whitman’s $140 million Titanic of a campaign, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO has made herself accessible to journalists in her bid to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer. She hasn’t over-parsed her positions. She didn’t try to retool her take on the issues after she won the GOP primary. There’s a real what-you-see-is-what-you-get feel to Fiorina.

    (Snip) Boxer promises to be the California senator who will fight for “American jobs.” How? She is a cog in a Democratic machine that adjourned Congress and left town….

  • Talk2ThePaw

    Well, there is a time that you must concede that you may be just a little over the hill.  At the salon a few months ago the owner and others were discussing the Botox party they were having the next night.  These youngsters were in their 30′s and 40′s.  I had to admit that I was way past botox and that only a face lift would work at my age.

  • Breeze

    -

    “Author/spiritualist Deepak Chopra said Obama represented a

    “quantum leap in American consciousness.”

    ————————————————————————————–

    Oh, Jonah -

    Deepak Chopra may be a spiritual guru of some kind but he is by no means

    a Spiritualist, you dolt!!!

    Look up SPIRITUALIST!

  • Breeze

    -

    Young voters get serious, Obama gets annoyed

    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
    by Jonah Goldberg

    Original Article

    10/10/2010 

    Repeatedly stabbing the air with his finger, Barack Obama complained to Rolling Stone: “It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election.”

    (Snip) Some of us could have told him two years ago these people weren’t serious. Back then, enthusiasm for Obama jumped the rails of sanity. A San Francisco Chronicle columnist insisted that Obama was a semi-mystical “lightworker.” George Lucas insisted he was a Jedi Knight. Author/spiritualist Deepak Chopra said Obama represented a “quantum leap in American consciousness.” Oprah insisted he was “The One.”

  • Breeze

    -

    State leader wants Germany to close
    doors to Muslim immigrants

     
    Deutsche Welle,
    by Gregg Benzow   

    Original Article

    10/10/2010

    Horst Seehofer, whose Bavarian CSU is part of governing federal coalition, has said Germany should not welcome more Muslim immigrants. His comments were denounced by the opposition – and some political allies.

    (Snip) On the heels of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, in which the German leader reiterated that negotiations for EU membership for Turkey remained “open-ended with no guarantees,” Seehofer called for excluding some groups of immigrants from Germany.

  • Breeze

    -

    Four Italian Nato troops killed
    in western Afghanistan

     
    BBC News,
    by Staff   

    Original Article

    10/10/2010 
    Four Italian Nato soldiers have been killed in an insurgent attack in western Afghanistan, officials say.

    The Italian army said that the men were killed and another wounded in an ambush in the Gulistan Valley in the western province of Farah as they were returning from a mission.

    Italy has about 3,400 soldiers in Afghanistan, with the deployment set to grow to 4,000 by the end of the year.

    (Snip) The deaths brought the number of Italian soldiers killed in Afghanistan in the last six years to 34, of whom 21 have lost their lives in the past two years.

  • Breeze

    -

    FROM THE COMMENTS:

    “And anyone with as much campaign experience as Obama and [Vice President] Biden knows that, which is why you never saw them do it in their own races.”

    BWA-haa-haa-haa

    When I saw this I thought of the old saw…a year’s experience or repeating the same day 365 times!

    Duh Wun has never had a straight forward honest campaign.

    From challenging every signature on an opponent’s petition, to leaking sealed, confidential testimony from a divorce proceeding, to possibly blackmail, to offering positions in the “new administration” to disabling the software to avoid showing foreign donations, he has historically done anything and everything to avoid the experience of an honest campaign.

  • Breeze

    -

    ‘Professional left’ says Obama’s
    needling strategy won’t work


    The Hill [Washington, DC],
    by Sam Youngman

    Original Article

    Oct. 10. 2010 

    High-profile liberals say President Obama’s attempts to badger Democrats into voting will not work this November.

     Jane Hamsher, founder of the blog FireDogLake.com, told The Hill in an email Friday that the strategy being employed by the White House as polls show a Republican landslide looming is the wrong way to go. “Hectoring your supporters doesn’t work, and it never has,” Hamsher said. “And anyone with as much campaign experience as Obama and [Vice President] Biden knows that, which is why you never saw them do it in their own races.”