Monday, September 22, 2014

Week of 09/22/2014

Deal’s Raw Deal With Numbers
Let’s get this part out of the way first…
I am not a fan of Georgia’s current governor.
My dislike of him goes way back when he was a member of Congress.  Although Nathan Deal got in as a so-called “Blue Dog Democrat”, he decided to jump ship to the GOP right after winning re-election.  And once “imbedded”, it could be said that the system in his district was gamed so that he would continue to get re-elected over and over… at least until “something” convinced him to run for the governor’s mansion.
No, I did not vote for him when he ran for governor in 2010.  And, no, I will in all likelihood not vote for him this time around either.  I voted Libertarian then and I will probably vote Libertarian again.
But just because I am not a fan of the “Real Deal”, that does not mean that I can’t criticize his recent bout of hypocrisy, especially when it concerns one of his strongest re-election selling points.
Deal’s biggest selling point has been the economy.  He’s been running TV ads touting the fact that he gave big breaks to Big Business so they would come to Georgia and supposedly “create jobs” during the Great Recession.  And to back it up, he’s been pointing to the state’s unemployment numbers, which were steadily declining.
But then this past week something “strange” happened.  Those same unemployment numbers started climbing again.  Now, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia is ranked dead last in the country for unemployment. 
Dead last!
Well how can that be if Georgia is supposedly the “best place in the country to do business”, according to Deal’s own spinmasters? 
Don’t worry, Governor Deal has a quick and simple explanation for that.  You ready for it?
It’s all a conspiracy.
No, I’m not kidding about that.  Governor Nathan Deal actually said that the reason why the unemployment numbers suddenly placed his state dead last in the nation was because of a conspiracy by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to “cook the books” in favor of Democratic governors.
So… Deal takes the credit when the BLS numbers look good for him, but, when they don’t, he claims that it’s a “conspiracy”.
Well, wait a minute, Governor.  How do we know that these numbers are the “questionable” ones?  Could it possibly be that the previous numbers – the ones that you touted as part of your campaign – were the actual “fudged” ones?  Maybe they were designed to give you a false sense of security and then the BLS would spring the “real” numbers on you at the last minute to make you look bad!
Don’t forget, Governor Deal, that the BLS numbers were being questioned by your own party going back to October of 2012!  All that time you’ve been reaping the benefits of numbers that members of your own party claimed were suspect!
Oh, but wait, I’m not done yet!
Wouldn’t it make more sense for a suspected politically-manipulated government agency to start sabotaging your efforts while you’re in the middle of your first term and not suddenly when you’re running for re-election?  Why make things look good for you so soon into your tenure?  It would certainly help the “other party” out tremendously to show how much of a perceived failure you are.  It would encourage better candidates to run against you.  It would even support a greater effort to replace you in the primary so you wouldn’t be able to run for re-election.
But that didn’t happen; did it, Governor?  No, it didn’t.
Let’s get brutally honest here… Governor Deal’s tin-foil ass-hat claims of a conspiracy are laughable at best.  They show just how ethically questionable his whole tenure has been, which, given the circumstances which led him to go from Congress to the governor’s mansion in the first place, is really no stretch of the imagination.
Let’s not forget that Deal left Washington under a cloud of shame when the Office of Congressional Ethics said that then-Congressman Deal abused his office to benefit his own family’s businesses.  And then there’s the recent news that his head of the state’s Ethics Committee, Holly LeBerge, was fired after a Fulton County Superior Court judge said that she had, and I quote, “repeatedly proven herself to be dishonest and non-transparent.”
So to claim that there is some sort of “truther” conspiracy out there to cook the unemployment books against him is just par for the course. It’s nothing more than the pathetic whining of a career politician who has no business holding any kind of political position whatsoever.
Besides, this commentator has long pointed out that the unemployment numbers are not a reliable indication of the economy to begin with.  They only count the number of people who are eligible to get and are receiving unemployment compensation.  They cannot count the people who are considered ineligible for compensation or who have exhausted their previous claims.  Those people suddenly do not exist in the eyes of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Deal could have used this to explain the BLS statistics, but then if he did that, it would have also disqualified him from using those same numbers when they would benefit him.  But Deal seems to think that he can use the numbers only when they benefit him and then disqualify them when they don’t.
The sad part is that Deal’s MARTA trip to Wingnut City really won’t help the one person that would gain from it, namely Deal’s Democratic opponent, Jason Carter.  Carter is still too much a political neophyte to take an opportunity like this and run with it.  That leaves the voters to hold Deal to account… and we all know just how well the great unwashed is when it comes to this kind of stupid.
This is yet another reason why I’m not a fan of Governor Deal… because he knows how to game the system all too well, and also how it is already gamed for people like him.

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