Most trusted media? Not newspapers.

Besides skiing, wine gulping and dining 24/7, there are some presentations at Davos. I know, it is hard to believe.

Two thirds of people in the Western world don’t trust newspaper articles.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, began a session saying that trust is an issue for the press as well as government and big business. Edelman found that trust in business magazines and analysts fell from 57% to 44% and from 56% to 47% respectively. Trust in TV news is down from 49% to 36% and in newspaper coverage from 47% to 34%.

The least trusted businesses: Banking and the auto business. In general the U.S., India, U.K., Poland and China, there is much more trust in business than in government. The French, Germans and most of Europe believe  in Big Brother over the private sector. The sad part, the U.S. is moving toward the French.

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Bottom-up change of America by Obama — Lowering the middle class

Trickle up poverty,  a phrase coined by someone who deserves an award or something, is probably not well liked by the far right. Why not try trickle up economic support?  Most of us consider ourselves “middle class.” I’d imagine even Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh think of themselves as middle class, on the upper end, of course.

For political “big tent” purposes, the middle class is now about 80 percent of the country, including the  millions who don’t pay income taxes. We now know that  Joe the Plumber will soon be too rich for middle class status or Obama’s tax cuts. Welcome to the new lower middle class.

The Wall Street Journal’s Bill McGurn unpacks Barack Obama’s “tax cut for 95% of the people” hooey. The short version:

Now, if you have been following this so far, you have learned that people who pay no income tax will get an income tax refund. You have also learned that this check will represent relief for the payroll taxes these people do pay. And you have been assured that this rebate check won’t actually come out of payroll taxes, lest we harm Social Security.

You have to admire the audacity. With one touch of the Obama magic, what otherwise would be described as taking money from Peter to pay Paul is now transformed into Paul’s tax relief. Where a tax cut for payroll taxes paid will not in fact come from payroll taxes. And where all these plans come together under the rhetorical umbrella of “Making Work Pay.”

All of this is breathtakingly dishonest. (As Al Gore would say I think we need a lock box.)

Welcome to the world of MSM-lapdog-ism. But I can’t blame the MSM. McCain was too frozen in country club Republican politics to respond. 

Stop the Press Club–Please!

Mick Gregory

Dallas Press Club slashes expenses, gives up rental space. This, in a one newspaper town.

This is the state of the press in 2007.

I was once a member of the Dallas Press Club, in my twenties. That’s when Dallas had a newspaper war going on between Times Mirror’s Dallas Times Herald and the Belo Dallas Morning News. Molly Ivans would make an appearance at meetings as well as U.S. Senators and celebrities.

Today, it’s on par with a Salvation Army drop off store front.

The active members of the Press Club of Dallas are trying to save their disgraced group after the former president apparently falsified the results of the club’s signature awards program and mismanaged her club-issued credit card on luxury items.

Four vacant board seats were filled — some by spirit-of-the-moment volunteers — with hopeful members stepping up to keep the club running.

Tom Stewart, now the club president, said the future of the annual Katie Awards and the club itself remains uncertain. The group was given three choices: Let the club slowly die, disband it immediately or drastically reduce expenses to buy time until the annual meeting in August.

Of the $5,500 a month it takes to operate the club, they voted to eliminate at least $4,000 in monthly operating expenses, including its rental space at the Women’s Museum in Fair Park. The Press Club Foundation, which supports the club and benefits from the Katies program, terminated its $4,000-a-month stipend to the club in February.

In an April 14 interview with the Dallas Business Journal, former club president Lisa “Elizabeth” Albanese, 41, said she didn’t have records detailing the judges from past-years’ Katies because she failed to keep the records and switched computers. She then said she would be able to reconstruct a judges’ list.

She couldn’t be reached for comment by a Dallas Business Journal reporter.

Albanese won all four Katies for which she was nominated in 2006, including for best business news story, best business feature story, best specialty reporting and best investigative reporting for a major-market newspaper. She won 10 Katies over the last four years, and began coordinating the judging in 2003.

No former boss of Albanese’s has alleged that she plagiarized or fabricated sources for her stories.

The Katie Awards rank among the most coveted in Texas, drawing contestants from six states who hope to be honored as the best in journalism and mass communications.

Albanese spent seven years at The Bond Buyer, a New York-based municipal bond newspaper, and recently became a vice president at First Southwest Co., a financial advisory firm, which she often wrote about as a journalist. She was fired by Dallas-based First Southwest after criminal allegations from her past surfaced.

News bytes by Lauren D’Avolio

Editors and wealthy favorite sons with little to no management skills are responsible for the end of their industry

By Mick Gregory

It finally happened, for the past several months the Tribune Co. has had to put their once mighty chain up for bid. Rather than try and develop their Web/print empire and manage the media company, they gave in to the Chandler family’s need to sell out. The Chandlers have been behind the wave of shuttered big city newspapers across the nation for the past 20 years, including: The Dallas Times Herald, Houston Post, and the terminal Denver Post and Baltimore Sun. Now, with real estate flipper, Sam Zell taking the Tribune Co. private, the future of the LA Times is ashen.

Instead of innovative media management, the editor-centric and rich, spoiled relatives of the former publishers sell the assets like the decedents of 19th century railroad barons.

Tribune was particularly egregious. This company never did anything Web-wise, with management endlessly thinking that its stock was undervalued. It was clearly overvalued, and now the upside is totally capped. The little amount that Sam Zell is putting up to take this company private shows how little these companies are really worth.

All of these companies seem to be run, frankly, by jokers or dreamers who had no idea how to deploy capital. The only explanation I can think of is that they were run by people who are up from the newspaper side or are heirs to the founders and had no idea what they were doing financially. Dow Jones (DJ – commentary – Cramer’s Take – Rating) was like that for years, and it is finally being run in an intelligent financial way. Probably too late, though.

These are diminishing assets. They don’t need to exist. Younger people rarely read them. And the companies acted like they would always be in demand and were simply misunderstood by Wall Street. Nope, Wall Street got it the whole time, except a couple of hedge and mutual funds that are trapped and trying to get managements to do something to bring out value.

The result? The Philadelphia Inquirer gets wrecked. The Times boosts the dividend well beyond its means. And now the Tribune sets the stage for a massive downsizing, massive firings and the inclusion of tons of Associated Press copy.
—Larry Cramer of TheStreet.

—————–
The Denver Post and JOA partner with the Rocky Mountain News, filed the joint agency’s financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

They show total revenue at the agency dropped 5.3 percent in 2006 to $409 million, compared with $431.7 million in 2005. Revenue was essentially flat from 2004 to 2005.

Advertising revenue dropped 7.1 percent from 2005 to 2006’s $339.5 million.

Net income fell from $71.1 million in 2004 to $47.2 million in 2005 and $18.5 million in 2006.
More layoffs are just around the corner.

Business writers should follow the Chandlers’ investments after they receive the windfall from the Zell buyout. That would be “impact journalism.”

LA Times scandal just the tip of the iceburg

By Mick Gregory

Society of Hispanic Editors poster boy Andres Martinez dethroned from his prestigious appointment.

Mr. Bill Boyarsky, who retired from the Los Angeles Times in 2001, would like to see media reporter James Rainey and a team of top LAT reporters examine past Current sections and editorials to see whether they’ve been influenced by publicist Allen Mayer and his associate, Kelly Mullens, who has been dating editorial page editor Andres Martinez.

Executive editor Andres Martinez is forced to “buy the farm;” steps down as editor of the LA Times Sunday editorial section.

Look at this “holier than thou” memo from the shamed executive who is acutally putting his resume out to the public. It’s a “situation wanted” ad.

…. This event makes my continued tenure as Los Angeles Times editorial page editor untenable. The person in this job needs to have an unimpeachable integrity, and Hiller’s decision amounts to a vote of no confidence in my continued leadership.

I regret that my failure to anticipate and adequately address the perception of a conflict in this matter has placed Hiller — whom I like and respect a great deal, incidentally — and my colleagues on the editorial board in such an awkward position, not to mention Brian Grazer and Kelly Mullens, who did nothing wrong here but have been caught up in all this. Nick Goldberg and Michael Newman are two of the smartest, most talented people I have worked with, and any lapses in judgment here were mine, not theirs.

I accept responsibility for creating this appearance problem, though I also maintain that the newspaper is overreacting today. We are depriving readers of an interesting, serious section that is beyond reproach, and unfairly insulting the individuals we approached to participate in this guest editor program by telling them it is a corrupt concept. How we come about this decision when 24 hours ago the managing editor of this newspaper was assuring me he didn’t see a story after I walked him through the facts, and while Hiller maintains we did nothing wrong, is a bit perplexing. In trying to keep up with the blogosphere, and boasting about their ability to go after their own, navel-gazing newsrooms run the risk of becoming parodies of themselves.

Among the biggest possible conflicts of interest a newspaper can enter into is to have the same people involved in news coverage running opinion pages. I am proud of the fact that Jeff Johnson, Dean Baquet and I fully separated the opinion pages from the newsroom at the Times. I accept my share of the responsibility for placing the Times in this predicament, but I will not be lectured on ethics by some ostensibly objective news reporters and editors who lobby for editorials to be written on certain subjects, or who have suggested that our editorial page coordinate more closely with the newsroom’s agenda, and I strongly urge the present and future leadership of the paper to resist the cries to revisit the separation between news and opinion that we have achieved.

We’re a long ways removed from the fall of 2004 when Michael Kinsley and John Carroll lured me out to the West Coast, with promises of investing more resources on the LAT opinion pages and web site. Some of the retrenchment is understandable given the business fundamentals, but I have been alarmed recently by the company’s failure to acknowledge that our opinion journalism, central to the paper’s role as a virtual town square for community debate and dialogue, should not be crudely scaled back as part of across-the-board cuts. Decisions being made now to cut the one part of the paper that is predominantly about ideas and community voices go too far in my view, and are shortsighted.

Still, I am proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last two years. —Andrés

——

This brings to mind a former icon of “Bagdad by the Bay” who’s girl friend was a PR executive who would hit up celebrity restaurants around town: i.e., Stars, Postrio, Cafe Lulu, Greens, Boulevard, One, and Farallon. If they retained her services, “like magic,” some nice plugs would appear in the popular column.

I heard this from an executive chef.

Citizen journalism at your service.

300 Is the perfect drama for red state vs. blue state, George Bush vs. Harry Reid

By Mick Gregory

Update: “300” comes out on DVD on July 31.

This year’s No. 1 movie, “300” has a strong “free people vs. tyrannical evil,” “Red State vs. Blue State” message. The Spartans even wear red. The Persians are a decadent society of perversion run by a “kind,” homosexual, god-like king, Xerxes, with plans to impose his ways on the world. His followers are from the lands that are now Iran, Iraq, and Egypt; the Persian army wears Muslim garb, and treat women as second class citizens. Xerxes crushed every city-state his massive army of slaves faced and had the Greek lands next on the plan before invading Europa.

Sparta’s congress was divided with the corrupt, pacifist, traitors in control. I see some direct parallels. The pacifists are refusing to defend Sparta or Athens and back their brave king and his 300. Aren’t there about 300 Republicans in Congress? The similarities with today’s Democrat-controlled congress are astounding.

The queen Sparta is strong, outspoken and beautiful, much like Ann Coulter. The movie is a must-see for Americans. You know that liberals do not want “300’s” message to become “popular” — the need to take a stand and fight your enemies before they are at your gate, no matter what the odds.

Ted Kennedy is shoe-in for the fat lobster claw monster. Oboma could get the part of the messenger asking for “earth and water” and submission, who gets kicked into a bottomless pit by Unites (United States, of course) as he yells “This is Sparta!” I can imagine red staters shouting “This is America!”

A Hillary look-alike plays the part of a fat, disfigured lesbian in the court of Xerxes.

There are powerful, old corrupt puppet masters who look a lot like George Soros, Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Robert Byrd and Bill Clinton. The king has to go to them for advice. You can guess, they are paid off.

Frank Miller wrote and illustrated this story years ago. It’s shocking how accurate it is to today’s political actions with the Democrats trying to strand America and submit to the massive Islamic blood thristy slaves.

In historic writings, the Persians had expanded from modern Iran, Iraq, conquering Babylon and Egypt, at this time set its sights on the West, seeing in the Greeks an easy conquest. But their gamble, like that of Saddam’s kingdom, ended with a ruined state and failed leader. While the Persian emperor Xerxes watched from his throne atop the hill of Egaleo, the Greek general Themistocles shattered the Persian fleet while the 300 killed an estimated 100,000 — 200,000 Persians before they entered Greece.

Greater battles, have been fought; but the battles against the Persians live immortal not in the historical records of nations only, but also of science and of art, and of the noble and the moral. For these are world-historical victories; they were the salvation of culture and spiritual vigor, and they rendered the Asiatic principle powerless. …

The interest of the World’s History hung trembling in the balance. Asian-Arab despotism — a world united under one lord and sovereign — on the one side, and separate free states — insignificant in extent and resources, but animated by freedom and individuality — on the other side, stood front to front in array of battle. Never in History has the superiority of spiritual power over material bulk — and that of no contemptible amount — been made so gloriously manifest.

Aeschylus’ “The Persians” shows Xerxes returned to Persia, wrestling with the consequences of his failure, lamenting that “I was born / To crush, to desolate my ruined country.”
—Dr. Hegel

So what the progressive bible, “Slate” contributor Dana Stevens think?

Here are just a few of the categories that are not-so-vaguely conflated with the “bad” (i.e., Persian) side in the movie: black people. Brown people. Disfigured people. Gay men (not gay in the buff, homoerotic Spartan fashion, but in the effeminate Persian style). Lesbians. Disfigured lesbians. Ten-foot-tall giants with filed teeth and lobster claws. Elephants and rhinos (filthy creatures both). The Persian commander, the god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) is a towering, bald club fag with facial piercings, kohl-rimmed eyes, and a disturbing predilection for making people kneel before him.

Thanks again Slate. I’ve learned that when a book or movie is panned by Slate, it must break away from the progressive liberal mind-numbing PC claptrap, i.e., Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear,” Mel Gibson’s “Apocolypto,” and now “300.”

‘He Betrayed Us! He Played on our Fears!’ — Al Gore — A Convenient Crisis — But Don’t Look at His Carbon Footprint

By Mick Gregory

Editor’s note: I know the pressure that professors and journalists are under to follow the doctrine of their “profession.” In my case, I don’t care, I’m not attempting to talk the PC talk to impress editors for a $70,000 a year job of pumping out AP-style clap-trap following the progressive agenda of “global warming,” “Republicans bad,” “Democrats good,” and “It takes a village.”

UPDATE FROM DRUDGE: GORE MANSION USES 20 Times the ENERGY OF AN AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASED AFTER RELEASE OF “AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH.”

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

For Further Information, Contact:
Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431
editor@tennesseepolicy.org

I felt a little sorry for “AlGore” last night. Didn’t you? His weight has ballooned, I think he must be nearly 300 pounds and his wife who used to promote Hollywood sanctions on content, is back on the A list. Hollywood gave his PowerPoint presentation that was jazzed up with glaciers sliding into the ocean and a dead bird here and there an Academy Award. I don’t think great directors Robert Altman or David Lynch have ever won one. Gulfstream jets flying “leaders” coast-to-coast for black tie events and political fund raisers, while the little working people should be taking mass transit to work every day. That’s the Progressive Democrat vision for America.

Didn’t Gore’s comments seem sheepish, trite and stiff? And why isn’t he running for president as the jokes all night suggested? I’m guessing that the Clinton machine told Gore he can’t run for president. That the donation machine will not be turned on for his campaign. Clinton may have said: “It’s Hillary/Obama’s race, you came close, but no cigar…. catch my drift?”

Another professor who says that Al Gore’s movie is a bunch of dumb-downed science. He appeared on the Dennis Prager show last week, and Prager promised that the transcript will be up at Prager’s Townhall.com site.

Remember when the VP AlGore came out and started his Moveon.org days by yelling to a crowd of fanatics that “He Betrayed Us! He Played on Our Fears!”

Well that is exactly what Gore is doing. Pure scare, propaganda. Pure nonsense. It’s targeted to the liberal masses with a hate toward the free market and free choice democracy we have in America.

Did you see AlGore’s book yet? It’s a picture book filled with images from his movie.

“The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”
Michael Crichton, Science writer and author ‘State of Fear’.

And yet another reputable scientist is willing to stand up to Gore. Professor Giegengack of Penn State now has seen enough of the political nonsense:

There’s no way to watch “An Inconvenient Truth” without getting worried — at least a little worried.
Not Bob Giegengack. He has described Al Gore’s documentary as “a political statement timed to present him as a presidential candidate in 2008.” And he added, “The glossy production is replete with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and appeals to public fear as shamelessly as any other political statement that hopes to unite the public behind a particular ideology.” This from a guy who voted for Gore in 2000 and says he’d probably vote for him again.

He has another idea about why climate change happens:

The Earth has been warming for about 20,000 years. We’ve only been collecting data on that trend for about 200 years. “For most of Earth’s history,” he said, “the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has only rarely been cooler.” Those cooler periods have meant things like two miles of ice piled over much of what is now North America. Nothing to be nostalgic for.
The professor hits a button on his computer, and the really long-term view appears — the past 650,000 years. In that time, the Earth’s temperature has gone through regular cycles of rise and fall. The best explanation of those cycles was conceived by a Serbian amateur scientist named Milutin Milankovi´c. Very basically, Milankovi´c said this: The Earth’s orbit around the sun is more or less circular, but when other planets align in certain ways and their gravitational forces tug at the Earth, the orbit stretches into a more elliptical shape. Combined with the tilt of the Earth on its axis as it spins, that greater or lesser distance from the sun, plus the consequent difference in solar radiation that reaches our planet, is responsible for long-term climate change.

Those who question the environmental orthodoxy are treated harshly, where do you think funding comes from? This is why they don’t speak up very often. It only causes trouble, and the activists don’t really care about the science, anyway.

NOW TO THE ROOT OF THE AlGore argument — the idea that rising carbon dioxide levels are causing an increase in temperature.

To determine temperatures and carbon dioxide levels in the distant past, scientists rely on what they call the “proxy record.” There weren’t thermometers. So researchers drill deep down into the Antarctic ice sheet and the ocean floor and pull up core samples, whose varying chemical elements let them gauge both the CO2 levels and the temperatures of the distant past.

The scientist clicks a button, and three charts come together. The peaks and valleys of the Milankovi´c cycles for planetary temperature align well with the ocean-floor estimates, and those match closely the records of carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature indications from ice cores. So, the professor maintains, these core samples from the polar ice and ocean floor help show that the Earth’s temperature and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been in lockstep for tens of thousands of years.

Of course, that was long before anybody was burning fossil fuels. So Giegengack tells his students they might want to consider that “natural” climatic temperature cycles control carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. That’s the crux of his argument with Gore’s view of global warming — he says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct, linear way.

Giegengack has a lot of slides is his show too. He points out that within his lifetime, there was a three-decade period of unusually low temperatures that culminated in the popular consciousness with the awful winter of 1976-77. Back then, scientists started sounding the alarm about a new Ice Age.

Of course, it’s long been thought that the world would end either in fire or in ice. These days, the scientists are shouting fire. And in all his years around environmental issues, Giegengack has never heard so much shouting. “I don’t think we’re going to have a rational discussion of this question in the present environment,” he says. “The scientists are mad because they think nobody in Washington is listening to them. So it’s all either apocalyptic disaster or conflict of interest. If you suggest that we’re not going to hell in a handbasket because the rate of global warming is low compared to so many other environmental issues that we’re enduring, then you’re accused of being in the employ of the oil companies and you’re labeled a Republican.”

AlGore’s mission is propaganda. He REFUSES TO DEBATE with those who know what is going on. No, he is in the middle of a political campaign.

He GOES ON OPRAH:

The show turns out to be pretty much a synopsis of An Inconvenient Truth, with Gore clicking through his hyper-produced PowerPoint program and Oprah exclaiming “Wow! Wow!” with dramatic concern.
And no, this is not one of those people who are in the employ of the Republicans:

To dramatize the melting of the floating ice cap at the North Pole, Gore has inserted an animated clip of a polar bear swimming desperately to a tiny ice floe that isn’t strong enough to hold him. Global warming is drowning helpless bears. Oprah thinks it’s the coolest and saddest thing in Gore’s whole movie. Giegebgeck starts shouting:
“We don’t know that. We don’t know that! We don’t know that polar bears haven’t drowned in every interglacial period. Nobody was watching them back then.”

It’s got to be a frustrating experience, seeing a topic you’ve spent some 50 years studying turned into an Oprah episode. “I like her,” Gieg says. “She’d beat Al Gore if she ran for president.”

Then Gore clicks again to dramatic footage of a collapsing polar ice shelf. “That’s irresponsible,” Gieg says. “What he’s doing is no less than the scare tactics used by people like Karl Rove.”

But we must act soon! Before it is too late! We only have 3500 years to figure this thing out:

“Sea level is rising,” Giegengack agrees, switching off the sound. But, he explains, it’s been rising ever since warming set in 18,000 years ago. The rate of rise has been pretty slow — only about 400 feet so far. And recently — meaning in the thousands of years — the rate has slowed even more. The Earth’s global ocean level is only going up 1.8 millimeters per year. That’s less than the thickness of one nickel. For the catastrophe of flooded cities and millions of refugees that Gore envisions, sea levels would have to rise about 20 feet.
“At the present rate of sea-level rise,” Gieg says, “it’s going to take 3,500 years to get up there. So if for some reason this warming process that melts ice is cutting loose and accelerating, sea level doesn’t know it. And sea level, we think, is the best indicator of global warming.”

More:

“See,” Gieg says, “the thing he doesn’t mention is that there are 2.4 billion people in India and China who have launched a campaign that will increase their energy consumption by a factor of 10. No matter what we do. If we somehow cut our CO2 emissions in half, you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference because of the role played by India and China.
“It’s over. If CO2 is the problem, we’ve already lost.”

When Gieg gets to this point in his argument, as he often does when talking about global warming, he gets a little frustrated. “I always get sidetracked because, first of all, the science isn’t good. Second, there are all these other interpretations for what we see. Third, it doesn’t make any difference, and fourth, it’s distracting us from environmental problems that really matter.” Among those, Gieg says, are the millions of people a year who die from smoking and two million people a year who die because they don’t have access to clean water.

But no, the Democrats are going to get everyone wound up about global warming, which we really have about 10-50 years to figure out. In the meantime, those 2 million people will continue to die, year in, year out, while Democrats chase their tails, and make themselves feel moral.