masthead-highres

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Police Shoot, Kidnap Citizen -- or Maybe Not

Either the Associated Press needs to hire better editors, or the Baltimore police need to find less violent officers. Or so I conclude after reading an article in the Washington Times, part of which I reprint here:
County police are investigating the incident as a shooting and kidnapping with assistance from Baltimore police, Mr. Vinson said.
More seriously, the story is about a kidnapping victim who went to a house looking for help after being released by the bad guys. As it happened, the house belonged to former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripkin, who called the police. (A local TV station has said calling the police makes Ripkin a "hero." No. He did the right thing, but it takes more than that to be a hero.)

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:47 AM

Washington Post: Battles and Bruises Produce Medicare Bill

This interesting Washington Post November 30 article recaps negotiations over the Medicare bill on Capitol Hill. It includes a few choice tidbits, such as the Hill nixing a detailed White House plan that apparently would have delivered far more fundamental reform than did the legislation eventually approved by Congress.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:40 AM

Saturday, November 29, 2003

A Dandy, A Fop, But Not a Newcomer

A word we keep hearing about is "metrosexual."

Supposedly, the term comes from the notion that a man who is interested in clothes is in touch with his feminine side. We are supposed to believe that his very existence is a new social phenomenon.

I don't buy it. Beau Brummel, prince of dandies, lived 200 years ago. Our Founding Fathers powdered their hair, which was bad enough by itself, but their English cohorts had to pay an annual hair powder tax for the privilege, and still they did it. Elizabethean men wore lace ruffs and peascod doublets (essentially coulottes for men, often garishly striped), and decorated codpieces (the size of which were regulated by the Church). Men wore tights, tying them with ribbon near the knee to keep the fabric clingy enough to show off their legs.

And keep in mind that among our European and some American ancestors, young boys wore dresses and long hair -- which often was artificially curled. Talk about keeping in touch with your feminine side!

Today's metrosexual is a dandy, or a fop. But he's no newcomer.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:02 AM

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Do You Like Miguel? Check Yes or No

An observation by NCPPR executive director David W. Almasi:
Remember the silly notes you passed back and forth in grade school, particularly about the opposite sex? Like a ballot, you'd respond to your friends' questions about who you liked and who you didn't and hope the teacher didn't intercept the notes and read them to the entire class.

While most people left this practice behind when them graduated from middle school, a version of it still apparently continues in Senator Ted Kennedy's office. And now the entire nation gets to read the notes. The leak of staff memos shows that, when his staff makes recommendations to him, they leave boxes at the end for him to check off his decision.

But don't just look for the silly boxes, read the memos.

The memos show how liberal special interests such as People for the American Way, the NAACP and the National Organization for Women appear to have run the schedule and direction in which Democratic staff of the Judiciary Committee operated with regard to Bush Administration judicial nominees during the years they were in the majority. They also imply that the NAACP may have sidelined a judicial hearing in order to ensure the NAACP the outcome they sought in the University of Michigan affirmative action case -- a decision in favor or racial preferences that was largely reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer. (Their logic was wrong, but the deceit is still reprehensible.)

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:13 PM

Rx for Bankruptcy... and More

Chheck Out Townhall.com's C-Log Blog today for one than one worthy essay on the Medicare bill and conservative thoughts on the fact it was approved by the GOP.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:03 PM

Friday, November 21, 2003

The Medicare Conundrum

This article by Ramesh Ponnuru on National Review Online may be the best summary of what conservatives are thinking and feeling right now on Medicare.

This is what happens when conservative leaders don't go outside the beltway to build a consensus on major changes within major programs in the manner that Stuart Butler suggested (see blog entry below). Conservative and free-market think-tanks and allied organizations have been doing this for years now, but on an issue as huge as this we can only lay the groundwork for the politicians.

In this case, the politicians have forgotten to invite the American people into the debate. We're all the poorer.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:27 PM

Billboard Needed

From Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation, who knows as much about this subject as anybody, comes the best answer to those who say the Medicare proposal on the table is the best that can be hoped for:
1. Congress should enact a limited measure, based on the discount card agreed to by the conference that will actually help most seniors who now lack affordable drug coverage.

2. The President and Members of Congress committed to reform must do what they failed to do effectively over the last two years – methodically build the case with the American people for critical reforms in the program. Changes in sensitive programs like Medicare can only be achieved through a public campaign, not through back-door deals.
#2 is particularly on-point. Somebody, please, put it on a billboard and place it on the White House front lawn.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:37 PM

Sad Commentary

From our David Ridenour:
The big news isn't that a warrant was issued for Michael Jackson's arrest, but that parents would allow their child to have unsupervised visits with the man widely believed to have molested a child ten years ago.

It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation in which parents who spank their children are hauled before a judge, but parents who allow their children into situations in which they can be abused are allowed to roam freely.

Where are child protective services? Should the child in question be taken from the parents?

If the allegations against Jackson are true, and the media reports about Jackson paying the medical bills of the child in question and buying a house for his parents are also true, it seems to me that the boy's parents should have a cell next to Jackson.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:23 AM

Thursday, November 20, 2003

"Medicare Perspective Index" -- Grim Parody of Harper's Sheds Light on Medicare Debate

Ed Haislmaier has put together, with a nod to Harper's Index, a "Medicare Perspective Index" (PDF file) to illuminate some of the more striking facts of the medicare prescription drug debate. It's worth reading and scary stuff when you consider how big some of the numbers are and how quickly Congress is voting on this. There's not time enough for public input -- even the Congressmen won;t have time to read the bill before they vote, if the current schedule holds.

Our David Almasi (and possibly Ed Haislmaier as well) will speak at a press conference on this subject at 11 AM today organized by the National Taxpayers Union.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:43 AM

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Dy-No-MITE!

An observation from Project 21 member Darryn "Dutch" Martin on how appearances can be deceiving:
On a recent edition of The O'Reilly Factor dealing with Rush Limbaugh's stint in rehab for painkiller addiction -- and whether -the view of him by his listeners may have changed since the admission -- O'Reilly's guest was none other that Jimmie "J.J." Walker of "Good Times" television fame.

To my utter surprise and pleasure, Walker is not only an avid fan and supporter of Limbaugh, but he also espouses many a conservative viewpoint.

When asked about the liberal media's almost lustful hatred for Limbaugh, Walker said he believes that the left's pot shots and cheap shots will backfire, resulting in an increase in Limbaugh's already enormous fan base.

Watching this segment was refreshing for me for two reasons:

1. It shows that there are more people (including celebrities) who sincerely respect and admire Rush Limbaugh than we are normally led to believe; and

2. It shows that not all celebrities and TV personalities, past and present, are card-carrying liberals.

It was particularly gratifying given that not everyone got a kick out of Walker's portrayal of J.J. Evans. This includes the late Esther Rolle, a fellow "Good Times" co-star. She believed that his character, in a show created by arch-liberal Hollywood activist Norman Lear, represented a negative stereotypical depiction of blacks on television.

In expressing himself the way he did on The O'Reilly Factor, Jimmie Walker showed that he is indeed an intelligent man and well-informed American citizen. I was very impressed.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:45 PM

Simply Nuts

A note from Project 21 member Michael King:
Do you need permission to call an injustice a lynching?

U.S. Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) has been taken to task by Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, for comments the senator made during last week's Senate debate-a-thon.

Miller's crime? Calling the Democratic filibuster of federal court nominee,and California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, "an injustice" and a "modern lynching."

Well, as a duly-born black consultant, and citizen of the great state of Georgia, I hereby give former Georgia governor and current U.S. Senator Zell Miller permission to use the term "lynching" to describe any injustice
perpetrated by anyone.

For Henderson, or anyone else for that matter, to go up in smoke over something as basic and inconsequential as that is just plain nuts. It certainly diminishes any efforts that Henderson's group may have. You know the drill: keep crying wolf, and no one will pay attention when you really need to get their notice.

Simply nuts.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:44 PM

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Medicare: It Needs Reform for More Reasons Than Most People Realize

Ed Haislmaier writes in this new National Policy Analysis #498 paper, Medicare: It's About the Future, Stupid! that Medicare's current structure has a lot more problems than just the one we keep hearing about (the little matter of what in the private sector would be called "looming bankruptcy").

If you rely on Medicare, read this piece to see how Medicare's shortcomings are hurting you now.

If you are an American who expects to turn 65 at some later date, read this to be forewarned.

Our country can do better, and should.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:10 PM

Who Says Congressional Trips Are Just Vacations?

An observation from our executive director, David Almasi:
Who said congressional delegations are just vacations? It seems one CODEL really made a big difference, for now.

In a surprising policy reversal, Congressman Sheila Jackson-Lee, a hardened Bush critic, decided American forces need to be in Iraq longer than Bush or her liberal colleagues are prepared to keep them there. This change of heart came after Jackson-Lee visited Iraq. According to a report filed by Houston TV station KHOU, "Jackson Lee's concern is that the fragile peace cannot survive without a strong military presence -- American or coalition."

One has to wonder, however, if Jackson-Lee is going be batted back into line as Al Sharpton was recently after he said that a black judicial candidate deserved a timely up-or-down vote on her nomination in the U.S. Senate. Only time will tell.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:01 PM

War between the Generations: Federal Spending on the Elderly Set to Explode

This piece by Chris Edwards and Tad Dehaven at the Cato Institute provides further support for the notion that we need to reform Medicare -- really reform it -- and the sooner the better.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:57 PM

From New Democrats Online: "Medi-Mess"

Ed Haislmaier recommended this informative short piece posted online today by the Democratic Leadership Council.

The piece calls the House-Senate compromise "a lost opportunity to modernize Medicare," saying Congress "should have designed a workable prescription drug benefit and introduced key principles of accountability for results, innovation, and cost restraint through competition, helping to maintain Medicare's fragile solvency for future generations of seniors."

There is more, and it is worth reading.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:49 PM

Friday, November 14, 2003

"We're Only Filibustering Four"

Another observation from NCPPR executive director David Almasi:
The liberal obstructionists in the Senate recently changed their battle cry from one of a crusade to stop the ‘right wing’ from packing the courts to a defensive "we're only filibustering four."

Make that six, now that they ended the unprecedented judicial nomination debate marathon by defeating the cloture votes on nominees Carolyn Kuhl and Janice Rogers Brown. And this does not include the others in the wings who are being blocked procedurally and under threat of filibuster.

If they want to play the numbers game, that'll be a 50% INCREASE in the number of nominees are now being OFFICIALLY filibustered.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:42 PM

And Then There Was One

More on the story of Congressman Jim Moran from NCPPR executive director David W. Almasi:
And then there was one.

Yet another of Congressman Jim Moran's announced primary opponents has dropped out of the race. Former Fairfax County Board Chairman Katherine Hanley dropped out citing the lack of time necessary to unseat Moran. The remaining primary opponent is a little-known area attorney. The new state chairman for the Democratic Party, upon hearing the news, said Hanley's withdrawal "paves the way for Jim Moran's re-election."

This means that I will once again have a congressman who, if he was a conservative, would be described as an anti-Semitic, wife-beating, cheating, hot-headed unethical partisan. But, since he's a liberal, I guess I'll have to settle with him being a "maverick."

I guess I have to get used to being embarrassed by my representatives. I came to Washington from the south suburbs of Chicago. At first, mother was extremely proud of our representative, Ed Derwinksi — who became the first secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs. More recent ones, after congressional redistricting, were more interested in having affairs. Gus Savage was ousted after it was revealed he sexually assaulted a Peace Corps worker in Zaire and criticized her as a "traitor to the black movement" for rejecting his advances. He was defeated in a primary challenge by Mel Reynolds. Reynolds, however, left the office in disgrace. He was convicted of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and child pornography related to a campaign worker. After he got out of prison, he went to work for Jesse Jackson and Jesse Jackson, Jr. now holds the congressional seat.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:40 PM

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

"The Government Can't Even Put Out a Fire"

There's a good bit of idiocy in this piece, which tries to tie forest fires to global warming.

Environmentalists have a lot of gall. They oppose forest thinning and sensible management programs to reduce the chance of monster forest fires. Then, when thousands of people those their homes and many are killed, instead of taking responsibility (as any moral people would) and rethinking their extremism, they try to exploit the death and destruction for one of their other pet causes.

A pet cause that is not, by the way, any better grounded in sound science than their forest policy recommendations are. Manybe less.

The best observation on this I've seen comes from Ron Nehring, now the chairman of the San Diego Republican Party, but once known as the guy who put the African-American leadership group Project 21 on the map:
"And as for global warming, the government can't even put out a FIRE, and they think the government can affect the whole PLANET??? They should get their priorities straight. When they've mastered the skill of putting a bucket of water on a fire, they can come back and talk about doing something with the planet."
If Ron seems a little emotional, it is because his house came within a whisker of burning down. See the photos and read his story here. Pay particular attention to the fact that the burned areas in the photos are government property, and the land that was saved was Ron's well-tended private property.

Keep in mind also that the environmentalists would call Ron's house and yard, which lie on the outskirts of San Diego, "sprawl." Well, viva la sprawl, I say. It sure beats carnage.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:02 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

More Blacks are Conservative than Liberal: Who's the "Race Traitor" Now?

More on that new Gallup poll...

In it, more blacks (30 percent) say they are conservative than say they are liberal (22 percent). 47 percent say they are moderate.

(Yet, liberal U.S. Senators are planning to filibuster a qualified black judicial nominee because she's not liberal -- as if not being liberal makes her some kind of race traitor. Maybe the true race traitors are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and their ilk.)

The corresponding numbers for whites are 43 percent conservative, 18 percent liberal and 38 percent moderate.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:08 AM

The New Gender Gap

A new Gallup poll (paid subscription required) is showing not only that more Americans now say they are conservative or moderate than liberal, but more say they are conservative than either moderate or liberal.

According to the Oct/Nov 2003 poll, 41 percent of Americans identify as conservative, 39 percent as moderate and 19 percent as liberal.

A year ago the percentages were 38, 39 and 19; in 2001, 38, 40 and 19; in 2000, 37, 42 and 20.

The much ballyhooed "gender gap" still exists, but maybe not the way liberals would like it.

According to Gallup, 44 percent of men say they are conservative, 39 percent say they are moderate, and 16 percent liberal.

39 percent of women say they are conservative, 39 percent say they are moderate and 21 percent say they are liberal.

These days the gender gap means than more than twice as many men say they are conservative as say they are liberal, whereas for women, not quite twice as many do -- yet.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:07 AM

Washington Post: WTO Upholds Ruling on U.S. Tariff

This WTO ruling against Bush's steel tariffs is said by the Washington Post to be bad for Bush politically, but it may not be. It may well remind voters in steel producing states that Bush tried to support them -- tried so much, in fact, that the WTO shot him down.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:06 AM

Saturday, November 08, 2003

On License Plates, is the ACLU Hypocritical?

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have sued the state of Tennessee, saying the state's "Choose Life" Specialty license plate "discriminates against those citizens with opposing viewpoints."

There is no record I can find of the ACLU suing the District of Columbia in regards to their "taxation without representation" license plates, which protest the fact that the District of Columbia, not being a state, does not have a Congressman and two Senators.

Unlike the Tennessee plates, which are issued to people only upon their request, the D.C. plates are mandatory for all vehicle owners.

ALCU has an interesting record in regard to license plates. In 2000, it sued in federal court to force Missouri to issue an "Aryan 1" license plate after the state had refused, saying the plate ran afoul of a law banning plates that are "obscene, profane, inflammatory, or contrary to public policy." Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. had previously refused to order Missouri to issue the plate.

(Limbaugh, by the way, is a relative of Rush Limbaugh's, putting at least part of the Limbaugh family against ending a ban on racially inflammatory license plates while the left-wing ACLU take the opposite position.)

In Ohio, Ray Vasvari, legal director for the ACLU, told the Cincinnati Post (11/23/2001) that license plates are a public forum that should not be heavily regulated. Vasvari was commenting on Ohio's policy banning hateful speech, profanity and enthic slurs on plates. His comments would seem to leave the door open for "choose life" plates, and all other specialty license plates, for that matter.

If anyone knows that the ACLU did try to block the District of Columbia from forcing its residents to display a slogan with which they might not agree, or can give me a good argument as to why the ACLU should be more interested in a voluntary slogan than a mandatory one, please let me know. I'll share anything thoughtful I receive here in the blog.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:06 AM

Say It Ain't So, Al

Al Sharpton apparently doesn't have the courage of his convictions.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:05 AM

Friday, November 07, 2003

More on Putin & Yukos

Anyone who is following the Yukos case at all will want to read this Washington Post article today. The article explains much about the Khodorkovsky and Lebedev indictments -- warts and all.

Khodorkovsky doesn't look great in the piece, but Putin looks worse, because by the end of it one is left with even more reason to believe that the Russian government's prosecution of these Yukos executives is politically motivated.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:34 AM

Foxes and Henhouses

A note from our executive director, David Almasi:
People have been warmed about putting foxes in charge of henhouses. This is what you'll get:

Not only did liberal Congressman John Conyers take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution when he was sworn in, but he is also the ranking liberal on the House Judiciary Committee. As such, he can be rightfully considered the top liberal in the House of Representatives in charge of protection the integrity of that sacred document. So why is he pushing legislation that is in direct violation of the Constitution?

The Constitution expressly forbids bills of attainder -- legislation that singles out an individual or a group for punishment without a trial.

Conyers has sponsored legislation to censure U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Boykin, the 32-year Army veteran heading the office in charge of hunting down the likes of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Boykin is under fire for saying America is a "Christian nation" and remarks that some people say are critical of the Muslim faith. Boykin's remarks were made at a private church gathering, and not as a representative of the military.

Under our Constitution, people are entitled to their own opinions (First Amendment) and protected against bills of attainder (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 3). Except, in this case, General Boykin. It's a sad day when liberals believe that a political drive-by shooting, which is essentially what the anti-Boykin bill is, trumps a congressman's better judgment and compliance with his oath of office and leadership position.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:03 AM

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Gays Don't Have Full Freedom of Religion or Expression, Judge Says

The judge in this news story is effectively trying to decree that homosexuals have less First Amendment rights than anyone else.

Briefly, Denver Judge John Coughlin has ordered a mother not to teach her child any Christian teaching that condemns homosexual activity. This is because the mother (who is the child's sole parent) considered herself to be a lesbian at the time of the child's adoption, and had a lover at the time.

The judge believes the former lover's feelings should be taken into consideration, even though the former lover has no legal nor biological relationship with the child.

Legal precedent grants no rights to persons whose sole relationship to a child is a sexual relationship with the child's parent, regardless of the parent's sexuality.

Had the mother in this story not considered herself to be a lesbian before her conversion to Christianity, she would not now be being told that she can't legally instruct her child that sex outside of marriage is against Christian teaching.

Can anyone imagine a judge telling a woman who used to sleep with her boyfriend that she can't teach her children that sex outside of marriage is against Christian theology?

The judge, by the way, did not tell the mother's former lover that she can't make disparaging remarks about Christian theology to the child.

Don't expect gay rights groups to stand up for the First Amendment rights being threatened in this case. All they'll see is a judge telling someone not to criticize homosexual activity. Nonetheless, they should remember that when fundamental human rights are tossed out like dirty bathwater, historically it is minorities who suffer most.

WorldNetDaily has an story about this as well, here, for anyone who wants additional details.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:14 AM

The Congresswoman Can't Tell the Difference Between A Human Life and A Uterus

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is on television just now comparing a ban on partial birth abortion to a ban on hysterectomies.

The root word for "hysterectomy" is "hysteria," as in "behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, or a mental disorder characterized by emotional excitability."

I hope this Congresswoman, who can't tell the difference between a human life and a uterus, is not serving on the Intelligence Committee.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:37 AM

As Putin Visits the EU...

From a Reuters Report, November 6: "An EU official in Brussels, who declined to be named, told reporters the way the Yukos case was being handled was 'way off what we would consider acceptable in the European Union.'"

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:27 AM

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

A left-wing talk show host, Thom Hartmann, has published an Internet document called Free Yourself from Conservative Talk Radio: 12 Steps to Recovery.

Among other advice, he suggests that readers "love democracy's basis in debate and respectful disagreement."

He spends most of the rest of the piece throwing mud at people who disagree with liberals.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:16 AM

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Medicare Bill Obstructed: Naughty GOP Has Been Trying to Help Seniors

The headline, "GOP Blocking Drug Bill, Democrats Say," in this Washington Post article today is a little bizarre, given that the piece goes on to discuss a possible Democrat filibuster of the bill.

The article's paragraph two also is ridiculous:
Negotiations to reach a compromise on Medicare and the drug plan are on "a surefire road to failure unless something changes," said Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.).
Well, yes. Negotiations to reach a compromise on ANYTHING will fail unless changes occur. Compromise is a verb.

Finally, it becomes clear that the thrust of the piece is that the GOP is insisting upon doing what it believes is best. Naughty, naughty. Only Democrats are allowed to do that.

It must have been a very slow news day.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:15 AM

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Not So Poor

A note from our executive director, David Almasi:
I'd love to have a bigger television, but I bought the biggest one I believe my family can afford.

Today the Washington Post discusses the long-awaited move of some public housing tenants in Annapolis, Maryland.

I can't help but notice that the accompanying photo shows them moving one tenant's television that is larger than the one my household believes it can afford on two good incomes.

For more on the how "poverty" might not really mean poor, see this recent
column by Ralph de Toldeano from Insight magazine.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:40 PM

If the Public is With You, Why the Crafty Poll Questions?

An e-mail from Mike Catanzaro over at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee raises some very good questions about polling done on a global warming bill the U.S. Senate voted on last week:
One of the many canards about the Lieberman-McCain bill (S. 139) is the notion that the American public overwhelmingly supports it, and mandatory greenhouse gas reductions more generally. This is something supporters argued in last week's debate, and will repeat with greater vehemence in the coming months. Opponents, as the argument goes, are guilty of obstructing the "will" of the people, something that, apparently, is fairly easily and readily identifiable. To find it, and discern its meaning, Lieberman-McCain supporters point to a recent Zogby poll, which found that "75 percent of Americans want the U.S. Congress to take action now to stop global warming," according to Phil Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust. "The numbers speak for themselves," Jeremy Symons, climate change manager for the National Wildlife Federation, said of the poll. "Americans want action now on global warming, and they clearly support the moderate approach being offered by Senators McCain and Lieberman."

FACT: The Zogby poll provides no evidence of overwhelming support for S. 139 or Kyoto-style restrictions on energy use. Consider the questions: "Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman have proposed legislation to begin addressing global warming. If enacted, the bill would -- for the first time -- require major industries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, these industries would be required to reduce emissions to year 2000 levels within the next 7 years. How you feel about this proposal?" Not surprisingly, 75 percent "feel" pretty good about it, because the question says nothing about costs, who pays them, or what it means--both for consumers and the economy -- to reduce emissions to 2000 levels. Here's another: "Addressing global warming by requiring major industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can improve the environment without harming the economy. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree?" Again, many respondents thought that sounded plausible as an abstract proposition. Instead, w hat might the reaction be to this question: "How would you feel about this legislation if you knew that, when fully implemented, it would increase your electricity bill by 46 percent?" Or: "How would you feel about this bill if you knew that, when fully implemented, it would impose a tax of $1,000 on every American household?" Or even: "Would you support the Kyoto Protocol if you knew it would impose substantial burdens on the poor, elderly, and minorities?”

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:31 PM

Teaching "Integrity" Costs Taxpayers Over a Quarter Million

A note from our executive director, David W. Almasi:
Because, according to a Metro spokesman, "integrity and trust are the cornerstones of effective leadership," the mass transit authority for the Washington, D.C. region spent over $275,000 on workshops to teach these values to their management.

In most places, this is taken care of by careful interviews of applicants. But this is Washington, and this is the same system that recently raised fares and is already contemplating raising them again soon while simultaneously demanding more funding from the federal government. Metro board members find no problem with this lavish expense or similar expenses like promoting of artwork, self-cleaning toilets and a new staff law library and redecorated legal offices at a time when the system is supposed to be tightening its belt.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:11 PM

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