Summer Vacations Without News 24/7

Well, I’m back following a two week vacation in Colorado. And I’ll admit it: I didn’t pay all that much attention to the news — or what passes for news these days. In fact, I didn’t touch a dead tree newspaper while I was gone.

So, like most these days, I followed the big and small events and happenings via BlackBerry alerts, online media sites and TV. Typical? I think so. During the few days we spent in Colorado Springs after a more extended stay in Breckenridge, I would get up early a.m. and head to the exercise room adjacent to the lobby. There sat a neat stack of newspapers available free. There sat the same stack of newspapers untouched at the end of the day. Go figure.

Anyway, for a news junkie like me, I need to catch up on a few things.

First, Casey Anthony. This story dominated the national TV news — and I really didn’t know all that much about it until I started chasing the treadmill in Colorado, forced to watch the ABC early morning show instead of Fox News. I’m not sure why there is such a national fascination with this trial other than it is as close to a reality TV show as you can get. Here’s from the NYT, “HLN Stays Focused on Casey Anthony Case.

Second, Obama and hiding the news. It appears that the Obama administration took a page from the corporate public relations playbook and tried to slip some unfavorable news by everyone by releasing it late on a Friday afternoon prior to a holiday weekend. Woot!

Here’s from Michelle Malkin’s blog (written by Doug Powers), “Obama’s Economists: Each Job Saving or Created by the Stimulus Cost $278,000 (So Far)“:

As Jeffrey Anderson at the Weekly Standard pointed out, the White House releasing a fiscal report on the Friday before a long holiday weekend can only mean one thing: There’s not much good news in it for the White House, and, ergo, taxpayers.

Such is the case with the White House Council of Economic Advisors’ seventh quarterly report on the impact of the “stimulus”:

The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.

In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.

Mind you these are Obama’s own economists, so the report is like an employee’s performance evaluation that was filled out by the employee. The absolute truth is probably much more bleak.

Oh, boy.

And third, the story that should (but may or may not) dominate the news in coming weeks. Congress and the Prez have until July 22 to agree (or not) about hiking the debt ceiling or the nation faces the potential of default on or about August 2. Here’s David Brooks opining in the NYT and framing the position and dilemma facing Republicans, “The Mother of All No-Brainers.”

Well, I’m glad to be home and back at my post as a pajama-clad citizen journalist. But I’ll admit that I miss the blue sky, sunshine and low humidity in Colorado.

No wonder nobody sits inside there reading dead tree newspapers.

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