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Ed Driscoll

From Hope and Change to Cut and Paste, Revisited

April 5th, 2013 - 9:33 pm

As Michael Lewis wrote in Liar’s Poker, at some point, Wall Street investment bankers in search of new business dubbed local saving and loan presidents “the 3-6-3 Club:” Borrow money at three percent, loan it out to your customers at six percent, and hit the golf course by 3:00 PM. The Obama administration also wants to hit the golf course early and often; and they’re fully prepared to do whatever it takes to get there, even if it means cutting and pasting the same press release month after month after month.

After month:

When the monthly employment report came out Friday morning, Alan Krueger, Chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, quickly commented on the White House blog.  He began with the observation that “more work remains to be done”:

April 4, 2013 - “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are helping to build an economy that creates jobs and works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

If the words sound familiar, there’s a good reason.  After a brief respite in March, Mr. Krueger used the same two opening sentences in the April post that were used in the preceding seven Employment Situation blog posts (although to be fair, Megan Slack is credited with the November 2012 entry).

March 8, 2013 - “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction.”

February 1, 2013 - “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we pursue the policies needed to build an economy that works for the middle class as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

January 4, 2013 - “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

December 7, 2012 - “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

November 2, 2012 - “While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

October 5, 2012 - “While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

September 7, 2012 - “While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

August 3, 2012 - “While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.  It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

And that’s on top of the earlier cut-and-paste reports bearing Krueger’s name that the Romney campaign collated last July:

June 2012: “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.” (LINK: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/07/06/employment-situation-june)

May 2012: “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is helpful to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.” (LINK: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/01/employment-situation-may)

April 2012: “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is helpful to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.” (LINK: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/05/04/employment-situation-april)

March 2012: “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, and it is helpful to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.” (LINK: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/06/employment-situation-march)

February 2012: “Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report; nevertheless, the trend in job market indicators over recent months is an encouraging sign.” (LINK: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/03/09/employment-situation-february)

And note that Kruger’s latest report bears that same language:

Twenty years ago, before he become the legendarily fair straight-shooting completely objective journalist that he is today, George Stephanopoulos whined:

Stephanopoulos has a neat explanation for the negative reporting about Bill’s promises. He says reporters today all have computers, which means they can look up promises too easily. His bottom line: ”We have become hostage to Lexis-Nexis.”

The proliferation of Internet search engines in the years since isn’t stopping the Obama administration — they have fundraisers to go to, and golf courses to hit — and anything that saves them time in getting there helps, especially when they know the MSM doesn’t care what the administration they elected has to say, so they can just phone it in.

As the Weekly Standard’s Jerl Bier adds, “copy/pasting is quite a common blogging practice, Mr. Krueger has certainly opened himself up to charges that he is phoning in his monthly responses to the disappointing job situation in the country.  It is the same charge that has been leveled at his boss, President Obama, often in the last four years as his priorities have taken him in many other directions.”

Speaking of which, since I meant to link to this earlier, “Obama Quick to Note Roger Ebert’s Death, Said Nothing After America’s Most Prolific Sniper was Killed,” as spotted by Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler. Hey, never let it be said that the Biggest Celebrity in the World doesn’t appreciate critics.

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