The United States Export-Import (ExIm) Bank is at it again. Bloomberg reports
the Bank “gave preliminary approval for $694 million in financing for billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project in Australia.”
Four quick questions about this 122-word report.
- Who is Gina Rinehart? According to Forbes, she is Australia’s richest person, worth an estimated $17 billion.
- Which U.S. companies will benefit? Companies like Caterpillar Inc. (market cap. $53.24 billion) and General Electric Co. (market cap. $273.98 billion).
President Obama has many problems these days, and he can thank his
Chief Technology Officer Todd Park for the latest.
Later this week, the Obama administration will release data on the number of Americans who have enrolled in Obamacare. On Monday, the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff confirmed with an anonymous “administration official” who will count as Obamacare enrollee:
Health insurance plans only count subscribers as enrolled in a health plan once they’ve submitted a payment. That is when the carrier sends out a member card and begins paying doctor bills.
When the Obama administration releases health law enrollment figures later this week, though, it will use a more expansive definition. It will count people who have purchased a plan as well as those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid.
Not only will the government have different enrollment numbers than the insurance companies, the feds will also count transactions differently than other private sector companies. In testimony before the House Oversight Committee today, Park acknowledged Amazon would not count sales in the manner described above.
Over the past several months, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board clashed frequently with conservatives who fought to stop Obamacare during the funding battle. Rushing to continue their linguistic assault, the editorial writers made a clear error in their lead editorial last night (cached version):
Mr. Cuccinelli’s supposed friends in the tea party also stabbed him in the back by pushing the government shutdown. About 30% of Virginia voters live in the Washington, D.C., suburbs that are packed with government employees, and nearly 90% of voters in exit polls blamed Republicans for the shutdown. (emphasis added)
But the exit polling says no such thing. The “nearly 90%” figure the Journal’s editorial writers referenced was that 88% of voters who blamed Republicans voted for of McAuliffe.
There was actually a near-even split between President Obama (45%) and Republicans in Congress (48%) on who was “more to blame” for the partial shutdown. Michael Barone, co-author of the Almanac of American Politics, provided some helpful context:
The Washington Post has a provocative headline
this morning: “Poll: Majority of Republicans OK with revenue increases.”
After asking a series of questions about the debt, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation poll conducted by Global Strategy Group asked respondents: “If both parties were to agree on a long-term solution on the national debt, I would support it, even if it includes revenue increases that I don’t agree with.” 54-percent of self-identified Republicans agreed.
Word choice matters here, and the decision to use “revenue increases” as opposed to “tax increases” was intentional (every word in a poll is carefully chosen). Peterson’s spin on the poll was that everyone wants “a majority of voters in both parties are willing to give ground on key issues in order to achieve a much desired, long-term fiscal solution.” To arrive at those polling results, the questions whitewashed the policy prescriptions being discussed, i.e., tax increases.
Pollsters understand “tax increases” are unlikely to poll as well as “revenue increases.” This is not controversial.
Yesterday, President Obama officially tried to pivot away (again) from the failings of his signature legislative achievement – Obamacare. This time, he attempted to score a few political points by renewing his push for immigration reform. Of course, this is the same promise he’s made since 2009 and follows the same comprehensive approach he and his congressional allies took with Obamacare.
In the midst of soaring rhetoric, the obvious pitfalls are lost on the President.
Everybody knows that our current immigration system is broken. Across the political spectrum, people understand that. We’ve known it for years.
Now, the good news is, this year the Senate has already passed an immigration reform bill by a wide, bipartisan majority that addressed all of these issues. It’s a bill that would continue to strengthen our borders.