Our Blog ~ Pros and Cons

Pros and cons will discuss the good and bad in marketing, media and politics. It will also feature marketing tips and whatever else we’re in the mood for posting.

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March 21, 2013

When a reporter asks President Obama a tough question, it’s news in a “man-bites-dog” kind of way, as it happens so infrequently.  So, in the interest of spreading the news, below is an exchange between NBC’s Chuck Todd and the Leader of the Free World.

Note the classic non-answer.  I’ve included what President Obama said, but added what he was likely thinking.

March 20, 2013

Every year, they’re exterminated by the millions.  As you read this, they are being eradicated with poisonous gases, crushed and wiped out.

Yet many Americans stand by and not only tolerate this mass murder, but cheer it on or participate in it.

I’m talking about bugs, of course.  Mosquitoes, flies, beetles, gypsy moths, termites, locusts, hornets, wasps, fire ants, fleas, ticks, bedbugs, cockroaches, earwigs and other species that get no respect.  Where is our compassion?

March 19, 2013

Government leaders once believed that the earth was flat and that it was at the center of the universe.  Today, they believe in Keynesian economics.

As in the past, neither logic nor evidence that their beliefs are wrong can sway them to change.  And why would it?  Keynesians believe in government spending.  Government spending increases the power of those who are doing the spending.  But does anyone really think it helps the economy?

March 15, 2013

It’s not easy to spend $1 trillion – unless you’re a member of Congress or President Obama.

In the U.S. Senate’s first budget in four years, Budget Chair Patty Murray would, among other things, cancel the sequestration cuts and rewrite spending caps to allow another $1 trillion in spending.

The federal government spent $3.6 trillion in fiscal year 2012 and the federal debt is now $16.5 trillion and growing by the day, so what’s another $1,000,000,000,000?

March 14, 2013

The challenge of waking up has been particularly acute this week.

It seems as though Daylight Saving Time has come especially early this year.  This blogger’s aging body has registered a protest by refusing to function at anything close to its usual speed.

Presumably, productivity has been affected not only at Kowal Communications, but throughout corporate America, as well as in other countries that follow this barbaric ritual of welcoming spring by moving clocks forward an hour.

March 13, 2013

As people give up looking for work, the unemployment rate goes down.

Only in the federal government would that make sense.  Yet the official unemployment rate is reported faithfully by most journalists with little analysis.

Not surprisingly, it was reported as good news last week when the Labor Department announced that the economy created 236,000 new jobs in February, bringing the unemployment rate down to 7.7% -- its lowest level since President Obama took office.

March 12, 2013

When I made the transition from journalism to public relations, it was a revelation to find out I could be paid a lot more for putting someone’s name other than my own on the articles I wrote.

It’s a peculiar way to make a living.  Yet there are thousands of ghosts walking the halls of corporate America. 

March 11, 2013

There’s something creepy about President Obama’s repeated assertions that he is neither dictator, nor emperor, nor king.

I am not a dictator,” President Obama told the White House press corps recently, explaining his inability to stop sequestration.

I’m not the emperor of the United States,” President Obama said in February, during a Goggle-sponsored event.

“I am president, I am not king,” President Obama said in 2010, during an interview discussing the lack of immigration reform.

March 8, 2013

Anyone who’s been reading the gripping coverage about TARP auctions may be wondering why it never mentions the buyers, only the sellers.

Today I found out why: It’s “policy.”

Yes, you remember TARP … the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which initially allocated $700 billion to bailout the financial industry.

At the time, TARP was the largest spending program in history at $700 billion, but President Obama blew it out of the water the following year with his $814 billion “stimulus” program.  Then the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act came along and reduced the amount authorized to $475 billion, marking the first time ever that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank ever authorized legislation to reduce spending on anything.

March 7, 2013

Every day is now casual day in corporate America.

Back in the old days, people with white collar jobs actually used to wear white collars.  They even wore colorful silk ties around their white collars.  For a while, three-piece suits were big.  Suspenders had their day, and, if you paid enough for them, you might call them “braces.”  Wing-tip shoes were big, too.

Of course, women dressed even more elegantly.  While dresses gave way to business suits, the emphasis was still on “business.”