masthead-highres

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Infidels Are Cool Reprints Joe Roche Letter

Infidels Are Cool has reprinted Joe Roche's letter, with main points highlighted.

Joe's letter also appears to be getting some nice diggs over at Digg.com.

Thanks to those of you who have reprinted it, dugg it, or passed it along to friends.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:10 PM

Outrage of the Day: Keith Olbermann Got a Big Raise While His Employer Got a Bailout

Writing on U.S. News and World Report's website, Peter Roff notes that MSNBC's Keith Olbermann negotiated a $3.5 million raise at the very time his employer was receiving a taxpayer bailout.

Peter reports the "Stop the Worst Bailout in the World" website has started on online petition to Olbermann:
Dear Mr. Olbermann,

While General Electric, the parent-company of your MSNBC network, was negotiating a $126 billion taxpayer-funded bailout, you signed a new contract raising your salary from $4 million to $7.5 million annually. You have used your show as a platform to call for the resignation of corporate executives accepting excessive bonuses on the backs of taxpayers who are picking up the tab for these atrocious bailouts, yet you yourself have no problem engaging in the same “class economic rape” that you accuse them of.

Please heed your own advice and stop accepting taxpayer money to subsidize your nightly diatribes. Resign or return the balance of your excessive raise to the U.S. Treasury.

Sincerely,
Go here if you'd like to sign it (and/or go if you'd like to watch a video the hilarious SNL send-up of Olbermann).

P.S. Here's a video of Keith Olbermann complaining about spending by bailed-out firms ("corporate pirates" ... who "need to be fired"). It's jaw-dropping to watch it knowing that he just got an extra $3.5 million in pay from a bailed-out firm.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:46 AM

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quote of Note

"What does a banana republic do? It tries to jail political opponents after defeating them and spends more money than it will ever have."
-Fred Barnes, Twitter, April 25, 2009



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:26 PM

Outrage of the Day: "Change Has Come. It's Very Demoralizing."

It's been a while since I've published a letter from Sgt. Joe Roche, my old friend whose letters from Iraq during 14 months in 2003-2004 garnered so much attention.

Since last year, Joe is once again overseas in active duty combat with the U.S. Army (no longer in Iraq). He continues to send letters. Unfortunately, he's gone months without giving me permission to publish any.

In stark contrast to his letters from Iraq, which were optimistic even when few others were optimistic about U.S. operations in that country, Joe's letters now are very alarming. Reading them, I have concluded that it would be a very good idea if all of us (bloggers, Congressmen, citizens -- all of us) paid a great deal more attention to such things as the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan (among other things).

Joe gave me permission to reprint the letter I received from him yesterday. He doesn't get into the very alarming things that are in his other letters; as depressing as it is, it's the least alarming one I've seen from him in months. Nevertheless, his reporting on how some politicians and commentators here are adversely affecting the morale of deployed soldiers should be read by anyone who wishes to see us prevail in the War on Terror.
Amy,

It is frustrating and demoralizing to see the spectacle going on in the press/media and in Washington, D.C. over the release of the CIA memos and the debate over the use of enhanced interrogation techniques or torture. My fellow soldiers are NOT impressed, and are actually quite disgusted by the moralizing going on, and the posturing of some leaders against what we, the United States, had to do in order to get control of the catastrophe that hit us on September 11th, 2001.

The root issue is not being addressed by anyone. This is that there was a massive intelligence failure and a failure of leadership during the decade leading up to 9/11. Our country had been attacked nearly every year since the first bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993. The Khobar Towers bombing (1996), the massive bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998), the USS Cole bombing (2000), including foiled plots such as the Bojinka plot (1995) to hijack a dozen planes in a single day, as well as other attacks such as the massive bombings in Argentina (1994), the numerous bus bombings in Israel (1995-1996), and there were more. Osama Bin Laden had been very prominent throughout the 1990s in calling for war against American civilians, issuing his fatwa in 1998 that led to the 9/11 attacks.

I was involved in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East before 9/11 as you know, and there was a painfully disasterous ignorance and disregard of the threat of Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and terrorism in general before 9/11. I wrote about this threat in 1995 in my college newspaper and was ridiculed as a racist and bigot for suggesting such a thing. FBI agents working this issue were blocked in their investigations. The infamous political "wall" preventing agencies from working together in order to understand the threat was well detailed in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Our government and leadership failed us in the decade leading up to 9/11. Therefore, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we had to quickly learn and clarify exactly what the threat was. There were concerns of nuclear bombs being brought to New York City, and other WMD warnings. We were blind. Our nation's intelligence was blind. The American people were in a panic, and in lieu of the anger over 9/11 the American people were demanding quick action to avert any repeat of the 9/11 disaster. Our intelligence had no clarity of the extent of the threat, so aggressive measures had to be used quickly just in order to repair the blindness of not only our intelligence agencies, but also that of our leaders and the American people overall. This is why such things happened. If those moralizing today want to point the finger of blame for things they don't like about what we had to do, they need to point to our leadership and the intelligence agencies during the decade before 9/11.

I've heard that one of our current leaders likes to say that he told President Bush one day in the Oval Office that if he looked behind, no one was there following him. True. We had dropped all of our personal affairs, left civilian jobs, said goodbye to loved ones, and joined the military and deployed to the front lines overseas to confront and reverse the consequences of the past decade of failure. That was where we were, in uniform, on the front lines, following the leadership of our Commander-in-Chief.

The one thing we knew before was that we had the backing of our leadership. Yes, change has come. It is very demoralizing.

Joe

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:06 AM

Monday, April 27, 2009

Honest Error, Or Test of Our Defenses?

No word was immediately available.

P.S. My husband urges me to make it clear that I am kidding.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:35 PM

Obama Reverses Labor Union Transparency Rules

The Obama Administration has just reversed rules requiring labor unions to make public certain financial and compensation arrangements.

The rules requiring disclosure had been adopted to help root out and prevent corruption and conflicts of interest.

In effect, the Administration said filing the forms was just too much of a bother for the unions, which, coincidentally, were a major backer of Obama's election.

No word on whether the Administration plans to reverse rules requiring taxpayers to file the onerous 1040 Form, the filing of which is regarded as a great bother.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:22 AM

Outrage of the Day: The Leaders of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela

The (in some cases, self-proclaimed) heads of state and/or government of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela claim: "...we are going to need two planets Earth by the year 2030."

They also claim "Capitalism is leading humanity and the planet to extinction."

I guess we're doomed, then, because only capitalism has the power to motivate people to create a second planet Earth by 2030.

I don't know a lot about a couple of these leaders, but the ones I do know about are evil. I guess it should be comforting to know that in some ways, they also are idiots.

Hat tip: Drudge.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:22 AM

First Things First

Stephen Green, better known as VodkaPundit, reports that "Congressman Connie Mack would like to give Hugo Chavez a copy of Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom."

Heck, I'd like to give one to our own President.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:46 AM

Fox Haters Week in Review

Johnny Dollar's Place has a lot of fun with Keith Olbermann's inability to get the facts straight in its latest Fox Haters Week in Review.

This edition has several links back to this blog and coverage of our General Electric-related activities (among other stories and issues), but it would have been a fun read for me even without that.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:18 AM

Sunday, April 26, 2009

And the Left Claims the Skeptics are in the Global Warming Debate for the Money

Pro Patria has the story: Al Gore's net worth went from the $1-$2 million range in 2000 to about $100 million now.

To be fair, Al Gore isn't in the global warming debate exclusively for the money.

He got the Nobel Prize, too.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:10 PM

100 Days, 100 Mistakes

A trip down memory lane, courtesy of the New York Post.

Hat tip: Ace of Spades


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:47 PM

Quote of Note

"'Well, as you just heard Lisa [Sylvester] report, the former vice president claimed that this climate change legislation has the moral significance or equivalence of the civil rights legislation of the '60s and the Marshall Plans,' Dobbs said. 'Well, an interesting note -- Gore's father, Senator Al Gore, Sr., like many southern Democrats at the time voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.'"
-CNN's Lou Dobbs, as quoted by Ed Poor on NewsBusters.org.

Hat tip: CFACT's Climate Depot.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:37 PM

Randy Barnett's Constitutional Convention Proposal

Randy E. Barnett makes a surprisingly compelling argument for organizing states into calling for a Constitutional convention.

I'm not saying I'm ready to endorse his proposal, but there's food for thought there.

Hat tip: Alamo City Pundit.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:04 AM

Waterboarding for Charity

Blogger Charlie Martin offers to be waterboarded for charity.

Dittos here. I'd do it on the same terms for autism research. Assuming the U.S. government waterboarding experts are willing to do it for charity (I DON'T volunteer to have it done by random nutcases from the Daily Kos), is anyone out there willing to put up the funds?

Might as well turn a little part of this waterboarding controversy into something useful. So, far, it's been nothing but harm.

P.S. Pass it on: If thousands of Americans volunteer to be waterboarded for charity, will it be regarded as torture any more?

Hat tip: VodkaPundit.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Hurting the Nations by Hurting the Rich

A very good column by composer/producer Andrew Lloyd Webber (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and more) on the pitfalls of raising taxes on the rich is directed at a British audience, but ought to be read by Americans.

Here's hoping lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic pay attention.

Andrew Lloyd Webber writes:
The opinion polls have uttered. The country loves the new 50 per cent top rate of income tax. Soak the rich. Smash the bankers...

...I believe that this new top rate of tax could be the final nail in the coffin of Britain plc.

I am 61 years old. I have lived and worked in Britain all my life. Not even in the dark days of penal Labour taxation in the Seventies did I have any intention of leaving the country of my birth...

...I write this article because I fear the inevitable exodus of the talent that can dig us out of the hole we find ourselves in. It is inevitable, given that other countries are bidding for entrepreneurs. The Government must modify its proposals.

I give you this example. I have altered the details of the family I write about for obvious reasons. But the essentials are true.

Last Thursday I met with a thirtysomething guy. I absolutely depend on him in a highly technical area of theatrical production. For legal reasons he has to employ himself through his own company. Under the new tax regime, he will have to pay 13.3 per cent to employ himself before he pays himself anything. And then he will have to pay 51.5 per cent on what's left.

This is a guy at the cutting edge of his profession who works all over the world. He is in demand in every major territory where entertainment is produced. He has a young wife and two children. Last Thursday he told me that he and his wife had decided that the UK was no longer where they wanted to live.

His wife thinks the State education system is inadequate. And she fears that a bankrupt Britain will increasingly be a worse place in which to live as the horror of our present financial mess hits us all in the solar plexus.

He says that he is young enough to set up shop somewhere else. The new tax rates were the final straw. These talented young people know they will make it impossible for them to educate their kids privately in the UK.

So Britain plc loses not just the 40 per cent he would have paid in personal taxes under the old regime - plus NI and everything else - but... Come on, I don't need to explain the knock-on effect. It's obviously huge and immensely damaging - that's why I am writing this article quickly and probably with too much passion...

...Of course there are thousands of people like my friend - some employing themselves through their own companies, some self-employed, some employed by others. But all are part of the wealth-creation engine that has helped power Britain's economy...

...So I ask the Government to reconsider what it is doing. More than ever before we need to keep high-flying professionals in the UK. We can't, as we have done in the past, dump on them through penal personal taxation...

...The next few years are going to be horrendous in the UK. The last thing we need is a Somali pirate-style raid on the few wealth creators who still dare to navigate Britain's gale-force waters.
Read it all here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:35 PM

Quote of Note

"No president before has sought to punish his predecessor for policy decisions, no matter how wrong or wrong-headed. Lyndon B. Johnson's management of the Vietnam War was often ham-handed, as anyone who was there could tell you, and his policy makers sometimes verged on criminal incompetence. But Richard Nixon was never tempted to send LBJ or any of those presidential acolytes to prison. Abraham Lincoln, by his lights, would have had ample opportunity to hang Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, but even the rabid Republicans who survived the assassination stopped short of putting Davis in the dock, finally releasing him from imprisonment at Fort Monroe when judgment overcame lust for revenge. Lee was never touched."
-Wesley Pruden, "Steady Descent Into Third World," Washington Times, April 24, 2009

Hat tip: Faultline USA.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:55 PM

Not "Nobody," Rep. Dingell, But We Appreciate You Saying It Anyway


"Nobody in this country realizes that cap-and-trade is a tax -- and it's a great big one."
-Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), April 24,2009


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:16 AM

A Very Strange Lawsuit

I won't even describe it.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:58 AM

Hollywood Reporter Updates 'Drama at GE Shareholders Meeting'

Reporter Paul Bond of the Hollywood Reporter has substantially updated his report on the GE stockholders meeting, with a new version published Friday evening.

I could tell you what he added, but you might as well go directly to the source, which is here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:15 AM

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Help to Workers

In thinking about card check, and how the unions don't want workers to be able to vote on whether their workplaces are unionized, it occurs to me that, when conservatives once again are in power, a law should be passed mandating that unions hold a secret-ballot renewal election every year, to permit workers continual say over the unionization, or lack thereof, of their workplace.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:32 PM

Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly Report the Alleged GE Corruption Story


Here's Bill O'Reilly being interviewed by Glenn Beck, April 23, 2009, to tease the GE cap-and-trade story O'Reilly would present later that evening on the O'Reilly Factor.


Here's the actual report by Bill O'Reilly on the O'Reilly Factor, April 23, including his conversation with nationally-syndicated talk radio host Laura Ingraham.


Here's the portion of Tom Borelli's audio tape of the GE stockholders' meeting's Q&A covering Jesse Watters' question to GE CEO Jeff Immelt about MSNBC, as run by Fox News, including the O'Reilly Factor, on April 23.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:35 AM

Outrage of the Day: Dismantling the Rule of Law

I can't improve on what Ralph Peters wrote:
With the ugly sanctimony of those who never had to make hard decisions, the American left demands show trials of those who kept us safe after 9/11. Wrapping themselves in repugnant self-righteousness, the MoveOn.org set wants political prosecutions. Should President Obama acquiesce, he won't be furthering the rule of law, but dismantling it...
Read the rest here.

Hat tip: @Mysterious_1 on Twitter.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:11 AM

Jesse Watters as the American Archetype

As part of a report on the confrontation between Jesse Watters, Deneen Borelli, Tom Borelli and others versus the GE management at yesterday's GE stockholders' meeting, The Cable Game blog has a great "picture" of Fox News Producer Jesse Watters.

It only takes a second to take a look.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:43 AM

Keith Olbermann: Worst Fact-Checking in the World


The odious Keith Olbermann, GE employee, named Jesse Watters runner-up for "Worst Person in the World" for asking questions at the GE stockholder meeting.

You can see it here (or above) if you like. The segment on Watters has several factual errors (such as claiming Watters' mike wasn't cut off), which is really inexcusable, but what else is new?

After I fact-check my own list of the errors in the segment with those who were there, I'll post the other errors Olbermann made, so if you care, watch this space.

Addendum: OK, I've checked. As I suspected, Keith Olbermann had more wrong than his false claim that Jesse Watters' microphone wasn't cut off. Olbermann also claimed that Watters audiotaped the Q&A session and then lied about it when GE asked if he was taping. In fact, Watters didn't tape the session, Tom Borelli did. Tom -- later -- allowed Fox News to use a copy of his tape.

(As an aside, Tom tells me that "Jesse was being watched by GE security and every time he took his Blackberry out - they were all over him." This is bizarre. What did GE think a lone guy was going to do to them with a Blackberry?)

Then there's Olbermann's assertion that one of the people who asked about CNBC works for Fox News. Two people asked about CNBC: Deneen Borelli (the "unidentified woman" in the oft-quoted Hollywood Reporter story) and Tom Borelli. Both work for the National Center for Public Policy Research (Tom as co-director of the Free Enterprise Project; Deneen as full-time fellow with Project 21. Tom also works, independently, for the Free Enterprise Action Fund mutual fund), and neither has ever worked for, been paid by, or received funds from, Fox News.

So Olbermann had four errors in 78 seconds:
1) Olbermann falsely claimed Jesse Watters' microphone wasn't cut off, when it was (as was, temporarily, Deneen Borelli's);

2) Olbermann falsely claimed Jesse Watters audiotaped the Q&A session;

3) Olbermann falsely claimed that Watters lied when he denied taping the meeting;

4) Olbermann falsely claimed that one of the two persons who asked about CNBC was representing Fox News.
That's one error every 19.5 seconds.

Maybe at next year's annual GE stockholders' meeting, the stockholders should question the competency of a news division that makes an error every twenty seconds.

Hat tip: A commenter on Olbermann Watch.

Note: Comments on the video were made by YouTube user Gamingeagle19, who is not affiliated with the National Center for Public Policy Research.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:21 AM

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Olbermann Watch Has Tom Borelli/Glenn Beck Interview Audio as Video


The Olbermann Watch website has Tom Borelli's April 23 Glenn Beck radio interview, as a as a video. (It had been posted on YouTube by "Olbywatch.")

Watch it for Tom and Glenn's take on the significance of events at the GE shareholder meeting and information about the petition to GE Tom's Free Enterprise Project is circulating for signatures.

Hat tip: Olbermann Watch.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:59 PM

CNBC Coverage of GE Stockholder Meeting


Gateway Pundit has video, as does YouTube (see above) of a CNBC news report on the GE stockholder meeting.

Note: I originally posted the wrong video in this post. I have since corrected the error. Apologies to all for any inconvenience.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:49 PM

GE-Owned Networks' Media Bias, Conflicts-of-Interest Remain Focus Day After Stockholder Meeting

As readers here know, at yesterday's annual GE shareholder meeting, CEO Jeffrey Immelt was challenged on the subject of media bias at GE-owned NBC, CNBC and MSNBC.

The story is far from over. I encourage those interested in it to watch the O'Reilly Factor tonight for additional in-depth reporting, including the airing at least part of an audio recording of the Q&A session inside the stockholders' meeting made by Tom Borelli. (As of this writing, Fox has also made a tiny portion of the tape, the part featuring Fox reporter Jesse Watters asking about about Keith Olbermann's handling of the recent infamous Janeane Garofalo interview, and the shareholders booing when GE cut off Jesse Watters' mike, available on its website now here, and it has been linked to by Drudge.)

Borelli is co-director (with Steve Milloy) of the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research, and, independently, a long-time shareholder activist with the Free Enterprise Action Fund pro-free enterprise mutual fund.

Leading the questioning about media bias at the shareholder meeting (the unidentified woman whose microphone was cut off by GE in Noel Sheppard's report) was Deneen Borelli, Tom's wife and full-time fellow at the conservative African-American group Project 21.

Here's how Tom described events on the Free Enterprise Project's Free Enterpriser blog:
The Hollywood Reporter described the events at yesterday's GE shareholder meeting in its story Drama at GE Shareholder Meeting

In addition, here is our first hand account from yesterday's meeting. Deneen is my wife.

Censorship and limited government was a theme at the General Electric (GE) shareholder meeting in Orlando, FL.

Deneen had the opportunity to ask the first question, directed at GE CEO Jeff Immelt. She inquired whether he tried to silence anti-Obama criticism on CNBC as it was reported in the media. The New York Post reported that GE executives were concerned that CNBC was perceived as too critical of President Obama. Immelt responded that he does not interfere with the opinions of his networks even though he doesn't necessarily agree with them.

Deneen's concern is Immelt will do anything to preserve a favorable relationship with Obama in order to sell GE's green technologies. At some point in Deneen's dialogue with Immelt, Deneen's microphone was shut off.

I told Immelt he was not only a threat to shareholders but also to liberty and limited government. I reminded Immelt that the company's stock was underperforming the stock market before the economic crisis.

I advised Immelt that we have an online petition that encourages GE never to trade with enemies, to stop pursuing cap-and-trade legislation that would raise energy prices, and that he uses his media empire to advance his agenda.

I also told Immelt that "We surround you" and that it was time for a "GE Tea Party" to reign in this out of control corporation.
In cutting off Deneen's microphone when she asked about media bias at CNBC (GE restored the mike when Deneen kept talking anyway), and then that of Fox producer Jesse Watters, when he asked about Keith Olbermann's handling of the Janeane Garofalo interview, GE showed itself to be defensive. (It also showed itself to be ineffective, as the next person up at a microphone was Tom Borelli, who asked Immelt about GE's business with Iran; GE's lobbying for cap-and-trade, and GE's double-hit on senior citizen stockholders [by cutting dividends after saying it wouldn't while lobbying for cap-and-trade regulations that will dramatically raise consumer energy prices].)

It's no wonder GE is defensive, however. As Tom's pointed questions, and Bill O'Reilly's comments tonight on the Glenn Beck TV show ("We're in an area right now that makes Watergate look like a Shirley Temple movie.") illustrate, the best that can be said about General Electric is that it is hip deep in conflict of interest. It's running TV networks that prop up liberalism, the global warming issue and Obama, while privately lobbying hard for cap-and-trade, from which it intends to profit heavily.

It is that last angle we can expect O'Reilly to illuminate tonight.

Meantime, in an apparent counterattack against Tom Borelli for his long-time free-market activism against GE's left-wing activism, media allegations are being made that Tom is employed by or is on the payroll of Fox News. This allegation is incorrect. Tom is not now nor has he ever been employed, paid or funded by Fox News. He is employed by the National Center for Public Policy Research to co-direct its Free Enterprise Project and, separately, he is co-director of the Free Enterprise Action Fund mutual fund. In these capacities Tom attends many shareholder meetings (such as one in March in which Disney CEO Robert Iger swore at him), including each of the last four GE shareholder meetings.

Arguments that the Borellis are agents of Fox News are a diversion intended to take interest away from GE's use of media outlets it owns to promote global warming policies from which it can handsomely profit. We shouldn't let the diversion succeed.

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.

Addendum: Jeff Poor, writing for Newsbusters, has a good write-up of the O'Reilly broadcast on this tonight.

Addendum 2: Moonbattery does, too.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:50 PM

Quote of Note

"We have a president whose foreign policy can only be described as 'anti-American.'"
-Dick Morris, speaking on the O'Reilly Factor, April 22, 2009


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:30 AM

Outrage of the Day: No Tolerance for the Truth

BillofRightsIDed.jpgSometimes it seems there's no tolerance at all these days.

Even for telling the truth.

Witness the treatment of Carrie Prejean, aka "Miss California," who was (apparently) not only denied the Miss USA title for holding the same beliefs about marriage as has virtually every society on Earth for thousands of years, but, according to one of the Miss USA pageant judges, because she didn't lie.

Check out this Los Angeles Times blog post by Richard Abowitz:
If you had any doubt that Miss California, Carrie Prejean, lost the crown, if indeed she ever had a chance to win it, with her answer to Perez Hilton's question about states legalizing gay marriage, then read fellow judge Alicia Jacobs' account of her voting. After hearing the answer, Jacobs, a former Miss Nevada USA, writes on her blog, "if I could have made her 51st runner-up, I would have." In a blog item titled "Pretty is as pretty does," Jacobs offers a behind-the-scenes account of the judges and pageant officials involved. Included is Jacobs' account of her reaction as she heard the answer:

"As she continued to speak, I saw the crown move further & further away from her. When she finished, she looked strangely proud for a moment. Personally, I was STUNNED on several levels. First, how could this young woman NOT know her audience and judges? Let's not forget that the person asking the question is an openly gay man, at least 2 people on the judges panel are openly gay. Another judge has a sister in a gay marriage..."
According to this account, Miss USA pageant judge Alicia Jacobs was stunned because Carrie Prejean didn't lie.

So there you have it. Carrie Prejean was expected to know the political views of the judges, and lie if her own views did not conform with theirs.

Can it possibly be an honor to win the Miss USA pageant if lying to the judges is a precondition for victory?

A precondition so openly acknowledged, one of the judges is quoted in the Los Angeles Times expressing shock that a contestant didn't lie?

With all due respect to the winner of this little contest from Hades, I'd say it's no honor at all.

(By the way, the judge who reportedly is shocked Carrie Prejean didn't lie is a news reporter. Given the mendacious state of the news reporting industry, who's surprised?)

Next year, in addition to the main award and the Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic awards, the Miss USA pageant should have a "Best Liar" category.

Plus, there should be a new award, to be bestowed upon the most narcissistic of the judges: Most Self-Absorbed.

Addendum 1: A commentary on this by writer Roland S. Martin is pretty good. It begins, "A lot of folks are always saying they like to keep it real, that they want authenticity and straight talk. Yet when someone actually does it, there is hell to pay." Read it here.

Addendum 2: Speaking of a lack of tolerance, if the details in this story are true, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler certainly doesn't have any.

Addendum 3: Before anyone writes to say I've missed the core problem, which is not the promotion of dishonesty but increasingly totalitarian attitudes toward dissent from the PC line on gay marriage, I haven't. In fact, I recommend this document by the Free Market Foundation for anyone who is unaware that some are working to make dissent from the PC line on this issue against the law.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:35 AM

Her Microphone Was Cut Off: GE Executives Respond to Questions About Media Bias, More at Shareholder Meeting

Tom and Deneen Borelli have emailed this report about their participation in the General Electric Shareholder meeting today:
Censorship and limited government was a theme at the General Electric (GE) shareholder meeting in Orlando, FL.

Deneen had the opportunity to ask the first question directed at GE CEO Jeff Immelt. She inquired whether he tried to silence anti-Obama criticism on CNBC as it was reported in the media. The New York Post reported that GE executives were concerned that CNBC was perceived as too critical of President Obama. Immelt responded that he does not interfere with the opinions of his networks even though he doesn't necessarily agree with them.

Deneen's concern is Immelt will do anything to preserve a favorable relationship with Obama in order to sell GE's green technologies. At some point in Deneen's dialogue with Immelt, Deneen's microphone was shut off.

Tom told Immelt he was not only a threat to shareholders but also to liberty and limited government. He reminded Immelt that the company's stock was underperforming the stock market before the economic crisis.

Tom advised Immelt that he has an online petition that encourages GE never to trade with enemies, to stop pursuing cap-and-trade legislation that would raise energy prices, and that he uses his media empire to advance his agenda.

Tom also told Immelt that "We surround you" and that it was time for a "GE Tea Party" to reign in this out of control corporation.
For more information, visit the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterpriser website, or read other recent posts on this blog.

And remember to catch Tom on the Glenn Beck radio show Thursday morning at 10 AM Eastern (the start of the show's second hour, if you listen via a podcast) for more detailed information.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:29 AM

Drama at GE Shareholders Meeting

General ElectricImage by MatthewBradley via Flickr

Tom Borelli tells me the GE shareholders' meeting today was very interesting.

The first of several questions about media bias at GE-owned CNBC and MSNBC was asked by Mrs. Tom Borelli, aka Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli.

We'll have more details from Tom and Deneen about what happened shortly (they're writing up a summary of events right now, in between talking to journalists), but for now, you can whet your appetite with this story by the Hollywood Reporter (which was just linked to by Drudge, so you can tell it's interesting).

For an even better report, catch Tom on Glenn Beck's radio show Thursday morning at 10 AM Eastern.

And if you haven't already done it, sign the online petition to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:17 AM

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Nancy Pelosi's Contempt

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Easton, Pennsylvania Tea Party Photo by Mychal Massie

Writing in his regular, independent column for WorldNetDaily, Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie has strong words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and no doubt others (such as David Axelrod) who belittle the Americans of all political persuasions who gathered across the country last week in "tea party" protests.

Said Mychal:
Any doubt about the condescending arrogance of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her ilk was laid to rest when she attacked the tea parties as being initiatives "funded by the high-end, we call it Astroturf -- it's not really a grass-roots movement -- its Astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich, instead for the great middle class."

The Obama White House said those attending the tea parties were either disaffected, bitter Republicans, or voters acting out of frustration. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano characterized military veterans and the types of Americans attending tea party events as right-wing extremists and warned that said extremists (i.e., anyone that dares disagree with Obama policies) would use the bad economy and the election of a black man as president to recruit members. Government officials fomenting the agitprop that the rich white boogeyman is out to get you shows how far those in government are willing to go to increase their control over our rights, liberties and pursuits of happiness.

Americans are angry. Americans are disaffected, and voters are darn sure frustrated...

...I not only attended a tea party, I watched them develop and take root. I can assure the White House and Pelosi that those in attendance were of all political persuasions. I can assure Napolitano that we are angry, and we are recruiting members...

...The line in the sand has been drawn -- the pressing issue for those of us, from every political persuasion, who are fighting back is: What do we do next? We turned out by the hundreds of thousands across the nation -- but what now? What now is that we stay disgusted, determined and focused. Our enemy is worried because they know that if we do, they are in trouble.

They have insulted us as extremists, while Pelosi and the mainstream media referred to the illegal aliens that attempted to disrupt our economy by staging nationwide job walkouts as patriots.

We cannot afford to forget or relent. We have their attention and we must keep it...

...This isn't about Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent -- it is about those of us who collectively have had enough of the wasteful spending and taxation. It is about those of us who are outraged over the debt that is being passed on to our children and grandchildren. It is about those of us who refuse to have foreign courts tell Americans in Kansas, Iowa or Kentucky what they can do with their land. We may not agree on every political issue -- but the tea parties are showing that we are united on those crucial issues...
Read it all here.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:29 PM

A (Brief) E-Mail Response from GE

An individual whose signature line identified him as a tax analyst for GE based in Ft. Myers, Florida sent along one of the shortest blog comments possible: a link to a page on GE's website, with no accompanying commentary.

The link is:

http://www.ge.com/news/our_viewpoints/iran.html

For the convenience of our readers, the linked page says:
Iran Policy

GE doesn't do business in or with Iran. Due to the developing circumstances there, the concerns of our shareholders, and our view of our corporate responsibilities, GE and its board decided in 2005 to stop doing business in Iran.

There have been two exceptions to this: completing the work for existing contracts as quickly as possible and humanitarian activity, which is authorized by U.S. Government licenses. As of June 2008, we have completed all business in Iran. GE at all times acted in full compliance with U.S. and other laws. We have always required our businesses to follow U.S. sanctions and other applicable laws. In fact, our policies have been more restrictive than U.S. law.

GE does business in more than 100 countries. We carefully consider the locations in which we do business. We want to do what is best for our shareholders, our company, our partners, and the countries in which and with whom we do business. We devote significant resources to ensuring that our business activities are in compliance with all applicable laws, that they are conducted with integrity and that they deliver value for our shareholders worldwide.

Our actions regarding Iran reflect our shareholders' concerns, our board of directors' judgment, and GE's dedication to being a responsible corporate citizen. In light of business and reputation risks that may arise from doing business with countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism by the U.S. Department of State (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria), GE will not accept business in any of these countries, except activity that is authorized by the U.S. Government for humanitarian or public policy purposes.
I don't believe this conflicts with anything we've said about GE, and it is of course silent on several of our concerns (such as GE's lobbying for cap and trade, for the new "green bank," etc.). Nevertheless we are happy to make this brief response from GE conveniently available to our readers.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:21 PM

Want Tax Money to Fund a New "Green Bank"? If "No," Sign Our Petition to GE


Do you agree with GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt that America needs a new, taxpayer-funded "green bank"?

If you're not sure, Watch the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck interview Free Enterprise Project co-director Tom Borelli about GE and the "green Bank" proposal.

If you don't, you may wish to sign our Free Enterprise Project's petition to Jeffrey Immelt.

For more information, go here or here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:10 PM

Bill O'Reilly Interviews Tom Borelli on GE Doing Business with Iran

A year ago, on the occasion of General Electric's 2008 shareholder meeting, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News interviewed our Free Enterprise Project's Tom Borelli on GE's relationship with Iran.

The video includes audio, with an on-screen transcript, of Tom Borelli directly confronting GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt at the 2008 shareholder meeting about GE's receipt of what Tom called "blood money" from Iran.

Fox News conducted "man on the street" interviews outside the 2008 GE stockholder meeting and found a lot of support for Tom's position, then and now.

Do you disagree with GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt on Iran, on the need for greater regulation of the economy, and more government funds going to the private sector? If so, go here to sign Tom's petition to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

For more information on why so many Americans are upset with GE, go to the Free Enterprise Project home page or visit this post on this blog.

And return to this blog in coming days to learn what happens at this year's annual GE stockholder meeting, which Tom Borelli is attending in Orlando today.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:45 AM

Outrage of the Day: United Nations Threatens Bush Administration Officials

From "European Nations May Investigate Bush Officials Over Prisoner Treatment" by Craig Whitlock for the Washington Post:
...Martin Scheinin, the U.N. special investigator for human rights and counterterrorism, said the interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration clearly violated international law. He said the lawyers who wrote the Justice Department memos, as well as senior figures such as former vice president Richard B. Cheney, will probably face legal trouble overseas if they avoid prosecution in the United States.

'Torture is an international crime irrespective of the place where it is committed. Other countries have an obligation to investigate,' Scheinin said in a telephone interview from Cairo. 'This may be something that will be haunting CIA officials, or Justice Department officials, or the vice president, for the rest of their lives.'"...
Tell me again: Why do we remain in the United Nations? We're paying nearly the quarter of the budget for a corrupt, bloated organization that sits by (or goes to dinner) while corrupt dictators kill and imprison suspected political opponents (and sometimes their children), but let George W. Bush try to keep Americans alive, and it is all over it.

The United Nations is an affront to our sovereignty, our pocketbooks, and to every sane notion of decency.

America must get out of the United Nations.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:36 AM

Free Enterprise Project Takes on GE Today: Join It By Signing Our Online Petition


If you've followed the work of Tom Borelli and the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, you know Tom and his crew have been very tough on General Electric and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

GE has its shareholder meeting today in sunny Orlando, Florida. Tom will be there, and you can be, too -- virtually, that is.

You can do so by going to the Free Enterpriser website and signing the Free Enterprise Project's petition to GE CEO Immelt.

Read the petition to review the concerns Tom and his allies have about GE, both from a free enterprise and American perspective, and if you agree, please go here and add your name to the over 1,000 people who signed the petition in just the first day or so of its posting:
Jeffery Immelt
Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer
General Electric Company
3135 Easton Turnpike
Fairfield, CT 06828
Dear Mr. Immelt,

We surround you.

I'm writing you to express my deep concern that under your leadership, GE's business practices are undermining the principles of our free society.

I'm outraged that GE sold infrastructure equipment to Iran -- a country that is a recognized state sponsor of terror. Moreover, I'm appalled you defended your business dealings with Iran by saying "The issue of whether to conduct business in certain countries is complex; we must take into account not only the views of the U.S. Government but all relevant stakeholders."

It's reckless for you to place your short-term business interest ahead of our national security.

I'm troubled by your use of GE's considerable lobbying resources to expand the growth and influence of government over my life. Specifically, GE is supporting so-called cap-and-trade legislation that would increase energy prices, increase job losses and result in slower economic growth. In addition, the legislation would lead to a massive government bureaucracy and loss of individual freedom.

I'm concerned that you are using GE's media empire to manipulate public opinion. NBC News and MSNBC are slanted to favor the left-wing political agenda and network programming is skewed to promote -- without attribution -- GE's "green" business goals.

As a supporter of the 9-12 Project and the Tax Day Tea Party rallies, I'm motivated to take action to promote the values and principles on which our country was founded.

Accordingly, I'm encouraging you to never trade with enemies of the U.S., to stop lobbying for cap-and-trade legislation and to bring fairness and balance to your media empire.

I'm putting you and your board of directors on notice that your decisions are inconsistent with my values and to inform you that as one of thousands of liberty loving citizens -- we surround you.

Sincerely,
For more information, go to Glenn Beck's website and listen to Glenn's first-hour radio interview with Tom on 4/20 (paid subscription required), and/or watch Glenn interview Tom about GE on Fox's Glenn Beck show on February 9 in the video I've embedded above.

You can also go here to read what happened when Tom confronted GE at its 2007 shareholder meeting, here to read a quote from Jeff Immelt calling for more regulation on private business, go here to see how GE lobbies for global warming regulations, or here to see Tom name Immelt one of the nation's five worst CEOs.

Or come back to this blog later today, when I post more video of Tom on other programs, discussing GE policies.

But, above all, don't forget! If you agree, go here to sign the petition to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:43 AM

Monday, April 20, 2009

Attention Glenn Beck Fans

Tom Borelli, co-director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, will be a guest on the Glenn Beck radio program Tuesday morning at 9:40 am Eastern. Tom will be talking about upcoming corporate shareholder meetings he will be attending and an associated petition project.

Stay tuned for more details...

___________________________
Post From My iPhone

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:32 PM

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Watch Deneen Borelli Live Online on Fox's Strategy Room Monday

DBStrategyRoom021909.jpgBy David Almasi:
Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli is scheduled to speak about current events and breaking news as part of the group discussion on the Fox News Channel's online "Strategy Room" program on Monday, April 20 between 9:00 - 10:00 AM eastern.

To access the live Internet broadcast, click here and then click the "STREAM THIS NOW" headline in the center or the page under the photo.

To learn more about Fox's "Strategy Room" Internet talk show, click here to see an article about the program that appeared in the New York Times.
This post was written by National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David Almasi. To send comments to the author, write him at [email protected]. Please state if a letter is not for publication or should be published anonymously.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:55 PM

Friday, April 17, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Obama Lowers Himself

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As we have no particular reason to believe President Obama kept up with foreign affairs before he was elected, perhaps someone should tell him how Hugo Chavez treats Presidents of the United States.

Come to think of it, why doesn't he know?

Obama is starting to make Jimmy Carter look like Rambo.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:28 PM

NBC DC Affiliate Runs Leftist Spoof as Real Tea Party Footage

NBCAffilFakeFootage041709.jpgI know it may seem hard to believe, but even after many excellent Newsbusters exposes of scandalous Tea Party media coverage (Noel Sheppard on Janeane Garofalo's attacks, CNN's selective Susan Roesgen coverage, and MSNBC's juvenile behavior; Warner Todd Huston on CNN cutting off e-mail access; Seton Motley on Susan Roesgen's conflict-of-interest vis-a-vis Fox; and much more) one instance of Tea Party media coverage that's either shockingly incompetent or record-breakingly biased has virtually gone overlooked.

Overlooked, that is, except by Eric the Red on his Vocal Minority blog. Eric realized the NBC News affiliate in Washington, D.C. was running a left-wing spoof video of the D.C. Tea Party on its website as if it were footage of the real thing.

I say "spoof video," but it's really worse than that: It's a video shot by leftists of other leftists who, after trying and failing to infiltrate the D.C. Tea Party, moved elsewhere, chanting slogans like "tax work, not wealth" in an effort to falsely make Tea Party attendees look rich, callous and out-of-touch. It's not a spoof meant in fun, but a spoof meant to slander. And NBC either fell for it or is complicit.

As bad as that is, the footage has now been running on the NBC affiliate's website for two days and as of the time of this post, has yet to be taken down.

Eric has the video, or you can see it, as of this writing at least, on the D.C. NBC News affiliate's website here (it's the video mockingly entitled "Scenes From The Most Important Protest In Polit...").

The chants heard in this video are nothing like those one would expect at a genuine Tea Party, and NBC should have realized it.

Here's how Eric transcribed them:
[Unintelligible] "community organizers!" [unintelligible] (0:15)
"We could read Saul Alinsky too!" (0:20)
"Feed the rich! Feed the rich!" (0:29)
"Lower the minimum wage! Lower the minimum wage!" (0:35)
One spectator is filmed saying to another, "This is a very small protest, isn't it?" (1:08)
"Tax work, not wealth! Tax work, not wealth!" (1:10)
If the chants weren't enough of a clue for NBC, comments such as this on YouTube should have done the job:
The idiots chanting were obviously counter protesters. What they were shouting had absolutely nothing to do with what the Tea Parties were about. Anyone with half a brain could recognize that.
A little more backstory:

The leftists reportedly are part of a group called "Billionaires for Bush." The group tried to infiltrate the main D.C. Tea Party, but after Tea Party speaker Andrew Langer realized what was going on and told the crowd what the infiltrators were up to, the infiltrators moved about 300 feet distant on Pensylvania Avenue and began acting out and shooting the video later to be run by NBC.

Andrew Langer has said today that this leftist effort was organized by a professional political organizer who is a $2,700 Obama contributor. While Obama voters are said to have particpated in Tea Parties from coast-to-coast, NBC may have found the only $2,700 Obama contributor to get anywhere near a Tea Party.

Too bad NBC didn't label the Billionaires for Bush spoof for what it was: a modern-day YouTube version of an old-fashioned political dirty trick, and -- except perhaps for NBC's unwitting or witting complicity -- not a very well-done one at that.



Cross-posted at Newsbusters, which has comments enabled.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:41 PM

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Kangaroo Returns: Obama Administration's One-Sided Energy Hearing a Kangaroo Court

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The Kangaroo poses with an unidentified woman outside the Obama Administration hearing in San Francisco


The kangaroo is back:
Live "Kangaroo" Returns to Highlight One-Sided Obama Administration Hearing; San Francisco Hearing on Offshore Energy Resources a Kangaroo Court

For Release: Immediate

Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or
[email protected]

The kangaroo is back, and with good reason!

After an appearance last month in the halls of Congress, a live "kangaroo" appeared today at a federal hearing in San Francisco to protest the "kangaroo court" atmosphere at an important meeting to discuss the future of national energy policy.

Obama Administration Interior Secretary Ken Salazar presided over a public hearing today that effectively represented only one aspect of the debate over offshore energy development. The kangaroo is meant to point out that oil and gas exploration is being largely ignored in favor of promoting wind power along the Pacific coast.

The kangaroo was seen protesting the hearing outside the Robertson Auditorium on the Mission Bay campus of the University of California, San Francisco (1675 Owens Street) between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM Pacific Time.

"Oil and gas exploration could create trillions in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs, but this hearing is likely to overlook this economic stimulus package in favor of dubious green technology," said National Center executive director David W. Almasi. "Right now is the window of opportunity. The government is considering the next five-year plan for energy policy. To ignore drilling today is irresponsible, which is why it is considered a kangaroo court and why participants will find a live, bouncing marsupial there today."

Today's hearing is the third of four being conducted by Salazar and the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service. The hearings follow a report issued by the Obama Administration that says Southern Oregon and Northern California are prime areas for wind-energy development. This is despite the acknowledgement that current technology and the ocean terrain in the region are incompatible and that the region also lacks the transmission infrastructure necessary to accommodate any offshore production of wind energy.

To the contrary, the Point Arena Basin off Mendocino County, California is thought to have a more than 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The California coastline is already the home to many offshore drilling operations.

A kangaroo visit was already made to a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C. on March 31. A similar "kangaroo court" on drought conditions in California was being protested at that time. Before last-minute testimony by area congressmen was added, this hearing was expected to be simply a platform for government officials and environmental radicals to promote further regulation of resources in the name of combating global warming.

"As was seen in yesterday's tea parties against out-of-control government spending and taxation, it's clear that people want their leaders to be more accountable," said The National Center's Almasi. "The same applies to the creation of public policy. When crafting something as important as our nation's energy future, a one-sided hearing just won't do. If they continue in this manner, they can expect to be seeing a lot of this kangaroo."

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-profit 501(c)(3) communications and research foundation dedicated to providing free market solutions to today's public policy problems. For more information, visit the National Center's website at www.nationalcenter.org or call (202) 543-4110.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:08 PM

No Lions at Georgetown

Some Christians faced lions in the Coliseum rather than deny Jesus.

At the theoretically-Catholic Georgetown University, all it takes is a White House request.

From "Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request," by Edwin Mora for CNSNews.com:
Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram "IHS" -- symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ -- because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there.
A Georgetown official told CNSNews: "The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches..."

So they covered up Jesus Christ.

Addendum: The White House responds:
Decisions made about the backdrop for the speech were made to have a consistent background of American flags, which is standard for many presidential events," said White House spokesman Shin Inouye in a statement released Thursday.
The White House wants a "consistent background."

What, they don't appreciate diversity?



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:58 PM

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Outrageous Tea Party News Coverage

Some mainstream news outlets had decent coverage (here is another fair example) of the Tea Parties across the United States, but others, predictably, were awful.

A Chris Parry article for the Vancouver Sun, "Turnout Tepid in U.S. for Modern-Era 'Tea Parties'" struck me as particularly bad, though not as bad as the adult "humor" used to denigrate the Tea Parties by NBC/MSNBC/Newsweek, and the weirdly hostile reaction by a CNN correspondent.

Newsbusters has these well covered. For details, go to:
"CNN Correspondent Claims Tea Parties 'Anti-Government,' 'Anti-CNN'," by Julia A. Seymour

"Newsweek's Gross Confronted on 'Teabagging' Schtick," by Matthew Philbin

"CNN's Anderson Cooper: 'It's Hard to Talk When You're Tea-Bagging'," by Matthew Balan

"NBC's Chuck Todd Says Tea Parties Haven't 'Caught On'," by Julia A. Seymour

"MSNBC: The Place for Low-Brow 'Teabag' Humor," by Jeff Poor
These folks not only aren't journalists, they can't even play one on TV.

P.S. See the National Center for Public Policy Research's pictures of Tea Party events here, here and here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:59 PM

Taxed Enough Already? More Tea Party Pictures

Executive Director David Almasi and other National Center for Public Policy Research staff members were among the estimated 2,000 attendees at the Tea Party outside the White House today.

David took quite a few pictures, a few of which follow (see the note at the end of this post for reprint information; go here to see more pictures, a collection taken by staff member Devon Carlin):

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And National Center for Public Policy Research staff members Jeff Temple and Devon Carlin...

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Note: Bloggers, webmasters, journalists and others who would like to use any of these pictures are welcome to do so under the following conditions: We ask that you not sell them or deface them, and that they be credited as follows: "David Almasi/National Center for Public Policy Research," with a link back to this location.

Pictures taken by staff member Devon Carlin also are available on the same terms.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:17 PM

Don't Tax Me, Bro! - Tax Day Tea Party Pictures

Research Associate Devon Carlin braved the rain today to attend the Washington, D.C. Tea Party outside the White House today (along with other other staff members from the National Center for Public Policy Research and Project 21's Kevin Martin, who spoke at the event).

An assortment of pictures Devon took at the White House Tea Party follows (see the note at the end of this post for reprint information; go here to see pictures taken by Executive Director David Almasi):

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And, of course, a shot of some of the many tea bags...
TeaPartyDCDCarlin09-3.jpg


Note: Bloggers, webmasters, journalists and others who would like to use any of these pictures are welcome to do so under the following conditions: We ask that you not sell them or deface them, and that they be credited as follows: "Devon Carlin/National Center for Public Policy Research," with a link back to this location.

More pictures, an assortment taken by David Almasi, are available here on the same terms.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:41 PM

Mychal Massie at Pennsylvania Tea Party

Mychal Massie sent along these photos from the Easton, Pennsylvania Tea Party, which he attended today:

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Speaking of Mychal, folks might be interested in his latest column for WorldNetDaily, "Anti-Gun Laws Favor Criminals." Mychal's regular WorldNetDaily column is done separately from his work as chairman of Project 21, but it's still pure Mychal.

A sample from this column:
...It is as easy to target and vilify gun owners as it is to target and vilify smokers, but it won't end gun crimes. It certainly won't end the brutal murder of law-enforcement officers, who are the line of defense between criminals and us. It is easy for the anti-Second Amendment groups to blame conservative commentators for being responsible for these killings based on their support of private gun ownership -- but that is a crude banausic idiocy based on agenda-driven contempt for any and all who disagree with their agendas.

And to that point, how many anti-firearm groups contribute to funds set up to help the families of slain officers? How many funerals of slain officers have Susan Sarandon, Rosie O'Donnell, Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton attended?...



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:32 PM

Three Health Care Myths Busted

This Steve Bierfeldt essay is worth reading.

Bierfeldt tackles three myths:
Myth #1: There are 47 Million Uninsured Americans in Crisis Today
Myth #2: Switching to Electronic Records will Save Lives
Myth #3: U.S. Health Care is Inferior to the Rest of the World's
Hat tip: NetRightNation.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:04 AM

Tax Day Tea Parties

If you are wondering where to find your local Tax Day Tea Party, you can find out here.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:07 AM

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Putin's Totalitarianism

As detailed in this Kim Zigfeld article for American Thinker, Vladimir Putin's Russia continues to get worse.

Zigfeld writing about a Russian court in Siberia issuing a $1.7 billion judgment against a Norwegian telecom firm reminds me of something I wrote back in 2002:
In the past few years, bureaucrats inside the Russian government have demonstrated a troubling tendency to use Soviet-style tactics when dealing with private companies. A situation exemplifying this growing problem has occurred in the case of world famous Stolichnaya Vodka.

Vodka production is Russia's second biggest industry. After the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1991 the government sold the assets of the Russian vodka industry to private industry. SPI International, now based in the Netherlands, bought the rights to Stoli Vodka and has run the company successfully for over a decade. Over one and a half million cases of Stoli Vodka are imported into the U.S. each year.

But last October, the Russian state trademark industry turned SPI's vodka trademarks over to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, which subsequently declared the trademarks void. A Russian court intervened on behalf of SPI but, to the chagrin of independent observers, the Russian government is ignoring the court's findings and orders. In fact, the government seized the company's assets and trademarks for its own purposes.

If this worrisome situation had occurred only to one company in one industry, it would be troublesome, but perhaps an aberration. Alas, SPI is not alone. Other private enterprises in Russia are suffering similar, all but catastrophic, fates.

If we imagine the havoc that would occur in the United States if our Securities and Exchange Commission (which regulates Wall Street), was corrupt, and officials of the President's cabinet felt empowered to seize the assets of industries as large as, say, our automotive industry - even if ordered not to do so by U.S. courts - then we have an approximate picture of the chaos into which Russia economy may be sliding.

This bureaucratic rot imperils Russia's democratic reforms. For Russia's sake, as well as our own, Congress and the President should press this point to Mr. Putin, who is the one man currently in a position to effectively reverse these dangerous trends in Russia. If necessary, normal trade relations and WTO membership should be withheld.

An impartial legal system that guards property rights is the irreplaceable cornerstone of democratic capitalism. No less than the future of an economically secure and democratically stable Russia is at stake.
I regret that my worries in 2002 don't appear to have been overblown.

I've discussed Putin's Russia many times (for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), and news keeps getting worse.

I am reminded of a Putin quote I posted in this blog in 2005:
First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.
-Russian President Vladimir Putin
P.S. I think we can suppose Putin still defends the Hitler-Stalin Pact.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:43 PM

Monday, April 13, 2009

More on Making Green Loans

The CEO of e3bank has written to respond to the post last week about e3bank.

Here's what he had to say:
Good Morning Amy,

I have read your blog and would like to respond to statements made about the recent New York Times article on e3bank.

Our goal at e3bank is to provide credit worthy people with financial tools that help them incorporate sustainability into their lives, homes and businesses. As a triple bottom line bank, all of our business decisions - including loan decisions - are viewed through three lenses: What are the impacts of our decisions on profitability? What are the impacts on the environment? What are the impacts on all of the people who are affected by them?

We have no intention of lowering credit standards. We're all suffering through the results of that kind of behavior. However, we recognize that companies and individuals who are focused on energy conservation and environmental responsibility tend to have a better risk profile. Understanding sustainability and taking action on it is an indicator that these customers are forward-thinking and conservative in the broadest sense of the word.

Frank J. Baldassarre, Jr.
President/CEO
e3bank
enterprise. environment. equity.
346 East King Street
Malvern, PA 19355
(484) 614-6883
www.e3bank.com
Fair enough.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:00 PM

Outrage of the Day: Siding With the Pirates

Today's Outrage of the Day is dedicated to those leftists who saw in the rescue of Captain Phillips a story of Western greed and Somali victimization?

Visit the "Captain Phillips is a Hero" post on the American Power blog for more.

Hat tip: Ace of Spades.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:38 PM

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Mandating Dirty Dishes

Today's Outrage of the Day is news out of Spokane of environmentalist efforts to ban the sale of dishwasher detergent that actually gets dishes clean.

From Nicholas K. Geranios of the Associated Press:
The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation's strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.

But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.

Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand...
The article goes on to say that Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York are joining Washington state in mandating dirty dishwasher dishes, and that there is a bill on Capitol Hill to make the phosphate ban national.

The article also says the affected industry group, the Soap and Detergent Association, at first opposed the ban, but now it has completely surrendered to the point of exhibiting signs of Stockholm syndrome (not the AP's wording).

The piece ends by quoting a Spokane resident who runs his dishwasher longer to make up for what the green groups have gotten mandated by law. That, he says, uses five gallons more water (and more electricity).

So we're basically going to hurt the environment by using more water (longer cycles or hand-washing after the dishwasher finishes) and more electricity in order to help the environment.

Is there any part of our lives that is not now or will not soon be regulated by environmentalists working through patsy legislatures?

Go here to read the rest of the AP article.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:09 PM

Friday, April 10, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Loving Castro

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with brutal dictator Fidel Castro and fell in love.

Read these quotes American Thinker collected from Representatives Laura Richardson (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Bobby Rush (D-IL), if you think I exaggerate.

Some people see ugly old murderers and brainlessly swoon. Other people see the Castros and are so repelled, they immediately force their minds to think of something more pleasant -- such as flies in poop. I still believe most Americans fall into the latter category. I'm not sure about a majority of the Congress.

The Washington Post (of all places, so perhaps we have some hope) had a mostly decent staff editorial on this. It notes that, when it comes to Cuba, Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) could also use some scrutiny.

Yes, the rot is bipartisan.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:26 AM

Watch Deneen Borelli Live Online on Fox's "Strategy Room" Friday

DBStrategyRoom021909.jpgBy David Almasi:
Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli is scheduled to speak about current events and breaking news as part of the group discussion on the Fox News Channel's online "Strategy Room" program on Friday, April 10 between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM eastern.

To access the live Internet broadcast, click here and then click the "STREAM THIS NOW" headline in the center or the page under the photo.

To learn more about Fox's "Strategy Room" Internet talk show, click here to see an article about the program that appeared in the New York Times.
This post was written by National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David Almasi. To send comments to the author, write him at [email protected]. Please state if a letter is not for publication or should be published anonymously.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:25 AM

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Fake Excuses for Bow to Saudi King


Ben Smith is reporting on Politico.com that the White House is denying that President Obama bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

According to the unidentified (of course!!!) White House aide, when the President shakes hands with short people, he always gets down really low, as a way of making fun of them for being short.

Well, that's not quite what the White House aide with the top-secret identity said, but it's about as likely to be true.

If they had tried to claim the President's knee suddenly gave out right before he shook the King's hand, or the President stepped on his shoelace, well, MAYBE...

...but watch the video for yourself.

Hat tip: Drudge Report.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:18 AM

Making Green Loans

On our sister blog, the Free Enterpriser, Tom Borelli notes a new start-up among the phenomenon of businesses set up with a social purpose:
A story published in the New York Times describes the growth of green banks. E3bank recently received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and if it gets the final ok from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and by the commonwealth it will be ready for business.

E3bank will incorporate the principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to its lending practices in an effort to stimulate the green economy.

"Instead of following the industry standard -- basing loans on a borrower's ability to pay and the up-front costs of the building -- e3bank officers will be authorized to modify debt-to-income and loan-to-value proposals. Financial products would be tailored to account for the up-front costs of more expensive green projects but also factor in cost savings from lower energy consumption that would be netted over the course of the loan."

By lowering lending standards for a social purpose the green banks are repeating the mistake made by the banking industry in pushing mortgages on low income households. Social purpose should not be the criteria for lending money -- only the ability of the individual to repay the loan.
I wonder if the FDIC charges banks more for deposit insurance if they use criteria other than/in addition to the ability to repay when making loans. Since taxpayers are ultimately behind the FDIC, I hope so.

Note: Mr. Frank J. Baldassarre, Jr., the president and CEO of e3bank, has sent us a reply to this post. Readers can find it here.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:17 AM

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Washington Post & Far Left Team Examine Geithner

Writing on the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterpriser blog, Tom Borelli says the Washington Post learned a few interesting things when it and a left-wing group jointly examined the role Timothy Geithner played in magnifying the banking crisis.

Says Tom:
An investigative story published in the Washington Post charges that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner played a significant role in creating the economic crisis.

While in charge of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner facilitated the trading of credit derivatives - exotic financial instruments - that magnified the banking crisis and he failed to adequately regulate the banks under his control.

Specifically, Geithner was aware that the banks had not properly assessed the risks - including those posed by credit derivates - from an economic down-turn and did not take strong measures to address these issues.

"Records and interviews show that Geithner and his colleagues did not employ some of the harsher tools at their disposal to bring the banks into line. From 2006 through the start of the credit crisis in the summer of 2007, they brought no formal enforcement actions against any large institution for substandard risk-management practices."

Had Geithner exercised his regulatory power, it's possible we could have averted significant portions of the current economic crisis. Nevertheless, Obama promoted Geithner to head the Treasury Department. Clearly, Geithner's selection calls into question Obama's judgment.
Interestingly, the Washington Post story was jointly written by Post reporter Robert O'Harrow, Jr., and Jeff Gerth, a former New York Times reporter now employed by the left-wing non-profit ProPublica. ProPublica was founded and is funded (to the tune of $10 million annually) and chaired by Herb Sandler, who, with his wife, Marion, is former CEO and owner of Golden West Financial and the World Savings S&L. The acquisition of these institutions, which specialized in adjustable-rate mortgages, by Wachovia in 2006 was cited as a key factor in the substantial losses suffered by that bank in 2008. While the Post acknowledged that its story was co-written with ProPublica, it did so referring to the organization as a "independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest." The Post made no mention of the rather obvious conflict-of-interest ProPublica has on this particular subject matter.

For more on the Sandlers, their left-wing agenda, the economic crisis and ProPublica, I recommend this Carter Wood post on ShopFloor.org and this Ed Lasky post on American Thinker.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:58 PM

Outrage of the Day: President Obama Denigrating Bush in Europe

No one is under any illusion that Barack Obama and George W. Bush see eye-to-eye on all or even most policy issues, so President Obama's criticisms of President Bush while on foreign soil are unnecessary and, to my way of thinking, tacky.

If Obama won't forgo digs at his predecessor out of a sense of dignity and appreciation for the office of the President of the United States, or appreciation for the old dictum that politics stops at the water's edge, then he might at least remind himself that inevitably, one day (Obama confidently says this won't be until 2017), he himself will be a former President of the United States, and will want to be treated with the same amount of respect President Bush showed to him.

I agree with what Charles Krauthammer said on Fox's "Special Report," by way of NRO with a hat tip to Jake Tapper and Karen Travers:
Where does one begin? Obama says in America there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world.

Maybe that's because when there was a civil war in Europe's doorstep in the Balkans and genocide it didn't lift a finger until America led.

Maybe it's because there was an invasion in Kuwait it didn't lift a finger until America led.

Maybe it's because with America spending over half a trillion a year keeping open the sea lanes and defending the world, Europe is spending pennies on defense.

It's hard to appreciate an entity's leading role in the world when it's been sucking on your tit for 60 years as Europe has with regard to the United States, parasitically...

And then he goes on and calls America arrogant, dismissive, and derisive regarding Europe. "The London Telegraph," a correspondent in Strasbourg, said this was the most critical remarks he had ever seen a president give on foreign soil, and I think he's right.

When Kennedy arrived in Paris, he did not attack Eisenhower and the United States. When Obama's elected president, he is president of all of the United States, including Americans who opposed him, and he owns American history, including a past he may not have wanted to engage in.

I think what he did is, in order to gain the adoration of the crowd, he denigrated his country in a way that I think is disgraceful.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:26 PM

A New Government Bank?


If events in recent months have convinced you that what America needs is a new government bank, funded by tax dollars, to lend money to the production of so-called "green" technologies that don't merit a loan from a free-market bank, then you'll be pleased to know that Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), has introduced legislation to create such an entity.

If, on the other hand, you are less-than-pleased, you may want to watch the 5-minute Glenn Beck interview of Tom Borelli, co-director of The National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, about this proposed government bank.

For additional information and links, please visit our sister blog, the Free Enterpriser.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:28 AM

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Outrage of the Day: President Obama Calls Us "A Nation of Citizens"


"We are bound by ideals; a set of values," the President says. I wonder where he believes we got those ideals?

We have a President who does not understand or believe in the most basic principles of the founding of the United States. "Nation of citizens" notwithstanding, God help us.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:13 PM

Dick Morris on "Ending American Sovereignty"

Dick Morris on the new financial regulatory framework.

He's not at all happy about it.

My brief thoughts on this are here.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:46 PM

A Union Organizer Explains Card Check

This video on the ShopFloor.org website is worth watching if you have any interest whatsoever in card check, union organizing, etc.

In under three minutes, you get a better idea for why organized labor wants card check. There's more to it than simply intimidating workers into signing the cards.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:44 AM

Monday, April 06, 2009

Outrage of the Day: The Costly Waxman-Markey Global Warming Tax

Last Tuesday, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) unveiled proposed legislation that, if adopted, would kill (at best) hundreds of thousands, more likely, millions of jobs and put a substantial and highly-regressive global warming tax on every American even as Congressional leaders wring their hands and bemoan the state of our economy.

Adding insult to injury, Waxman made the outlandish claim the monstrosity "will create millions of clean energy jobs," though, admittedly, there are few liberal politicians who have not made the moronic claim that raising the cost of energy will be a net job-creator.

If there is any educated person left who doubts that environmentalists care little about the welfare of ordinary people, even a brief review of this bill should permanently prevent a reoccurrence of that particular hallucination.

Lest I be thought the only one who thinks it would be idiotic for the Congressional majority to nearly bankrupt the nation via a trillion-dollar "stimulus" bill only to immediately intentionally shoot the economy in the proverbial head with a cap-and-trade-plus global warming tax, here are a few other opinions expressed following the release of the Waxman-Markey draft:
"Since 85 percent of U.S. energy demand is met by fossil fuels, taxing the lifeblood of the American economy would have disastrous consequences. The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis' study of the Lieberman-Warner cap and trade bill found aggregate real GDP losses (adjusted for inflation) of nearly $5 trillion -- for comparison, this is equivalent to the economic damage done by over 600 hurricanes. The bill would've also destroyed between 400,000 and 800,000 jobs each year. It should be noted that the targets and timetables in the discussion draft are considerably more stringent than those in Lieberman-Warner and thus would be costlier."
-Nick Loris, The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog, March 31, 2009

Add together NASA since its inception, the cost of Hurricane Katrina and spending on the New Deal. Adjust for inflation. What do you get? Not quite the amount of money a cap and trade program would generate in energy taxes on consumers. The $1.9 trillion generated over eight years from a cap-and-trade bill would still be larger than the $1.5 trillion from NASA, the New Deal, and Hurricane Katrina.
-Nick Loris, The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog, April 2, 2009

"Many U.S. lawmakers view cap and trade as a politically superior non-tax approach to climate policy. However, cap and trade imposes identical economic burdens on households to a similarly designed carbon tax. ...we present new estimates of the distributional impact of a typical cap and-trade system by income, age, U.S. region and family type. In total, households would face an annual burden of roughly $144.8 billion per year with costs disproportionately borne by low-income households, those under age 25 and over 75 years, those in Southern states, and single parents with dependent children."
-Andrew Chamberlain, "Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact of a U.S. Cap-and-Trade System," (pdf) Tax Foundation Working Paper No. 6, March 2009

"The bill as drafted clears the way for carbon protectionism. It envisages "rebates" to companies that have to pay higher costs than their international competitors, which amounts to illegal state aid under WTO rules. Further, it directs the President to institute what is laughably called a 'border adjustment' program requiring foreign companies to pay for the cost of carbon. This is nothing more than a tariff aimed at eliminating the competitive advantage of other nations. Taken together, these provisions represent the first shot in what is likely to prove a disastrous carbon trade war."
-Iain Murray, Competitive Enterprise Institute, March 31, 2009

"Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said cap and trade systems would be devastating to coal manufacturing states like Illinois and West Virginia and proposed cap and trade legislation could kill the entire coal mining industry.

'This cap-and-trade scheme may not just reduce Illinois coal jobs further -- it is my worry that this legislation aims to kill the entire coal industry,' Shimkus told CNSNews.com.

Shimkus and Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) held a press conference Wednesday to rally support opposing the cap and trade proposals, which they said would lead to both higher energy costs and severe job loss in the coal mining industry..."
-Ryan Byrnes, "Cap and Trade Legislation Would Kill Coal Industry, Congressman Says," CNSNews.com, April 2, 2009

"Until recently, much of the debate on climate change focused on the extent of the threat. But now that House Democratic leaders are planning to take up legislation to set up a mandatory cap-and-trade system for greenhouse emissions sometime this summer, opponents are focusing on the cost.

'They seem to give people the impression that it's going to be a huge environmentally friendly free lunch,' said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. 'This lunch is not free.'"
-Jim Angle/AP, "Republicans Criticize Cost of Cap-and-Trade Emissions Plan," FoxNews.com, April 2, 2009




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:42 PM

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Obama and the Bankers

President Obama meets with bank CEOs.

Where to begin?

Perhaps the outrageous pitchfork remark.

Or the pretense that Obama opposes generous executive compensation.

Or the request that banks not return TARP money.

Just one meeting, so many editorial targets.

I'll be brief.

Publicly, Obama says, "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks." Privately, Obama associates with ACORN, and helps ACORN raise money. ACORN is waving pitchforks.

Publicly, Obama criticizes executives receiving bonuses. Privately, he end-runs Congressional restrictions on such bonuses.

Publicly, Obama claims to support the free market. Privately, he asks banks not to return TARP funds anytime soon.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:08 AM

Why Obama Doesn't Want TARP Funds Returned

This Wall Street Journal op-ed by Fox Business Channel host Stuart Varney should be read by one and all:
I must be naive. I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn't much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street's black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?

My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell 'em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.

It is not for nothing that rage has been turned on those wicked financiers. The banks are at the core of the administration's thrust: By managing the money, government can steer the whole economy even more firmly down the left fork in the road.

If the banks are forced to keep TARP cash -- which was often forced on them in the first place -- the Obama team can work its will on the financial system to unprecedented degree. That's what's happening right now.

Here's a true story...
Read it all here.




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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:42 AM

Tracking the Lobbyists

Mark Tapscott writes about a new Internet tool to track how many lobbyists are at work in our nation's capital, and on what.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:04 AM

ABC Asks: Is NATO's Article Five Being Upheld?

ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asks: "Is NATO's Article Five being upheld?"

Of course it isn't.

NATO was set up to keep the Russians out of Europe. Continental Europe* took an interest in that, more or less.

These days, NATO has a larger mission. It's not all about Europe anymore.

So when it is time to sacrifice blood and treasure, you can count Europe out.


*I'm not including Britain.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:48 AM

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Don't Expect Much

As President Obama evidently does not object to racism, we ought not expect him to object to rape.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:42 PM

Friday, April 03, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Presidents Shouldn't Bow

It's hard to imagine what President Obama was thinking when he decided to bow to a foreign monarch, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Aside from being offensive generally -- no American should bow to a foreign monarch, least of all, our Head of State -- it really makes one wonder: If our President thought doing this was a good idea, what other things might he be contemplating?



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:14 PM

Eeyore is Cute!

If you visited earlier this evening, or read this blog on an RSS feeder, you may have seen a cryptic post reading "eeyore is cute!," with the headline "1238801027298."

eeyore is cute! .jpg

As you might guess, I didn't post that. It appeared mysteriously this evening, in place of several recent posts that had been published today and yesterday.

The rest of this post has been written for any bloggers who have had this happen to them, and who are doing Internet searches to see if it happened to anyone else.

When I did quick Google search for "eeyore is cute!," I found that other blogs had the same mysterious post.

The following are examples with screen shots (I assume most bloggers will remove "eeyore is cute!" once they notice it):

eeyorefloridatoday.com.jpg

FloridaToday.com

eeyorefreesbie.org.jpg

Freesbie.org

eeyoreMassLawUpdate.jpg

Massachusetts Law Updates

eeyoreMedicalMarijuanaBlog.jpg

Medical Marijuana Blog

eeyoreBlogRevisited.jpg

Blog Revisited

eeyoreWeirdMeat.jpg

Weird Meat

eeyoreYourDailyArt.jpg

YourDailyArt

eeyoreArmyofMom.jpg

ArmyofMom

eeyoreAirGuns.jpg

Air guns - Pyramyd Air Report

eeyoreSearchEngine.jpg

Search Engine Marketing System

...among others.

It appears that all the affected blogs use the Blogger publishing platform owned by Google. I'm no software expert, but it appears to me that the post was inserted by the Blogger publishing system. The posts that had gone missing from my main page remained on my blogger.com home page, and the new post about Eeyore did not appear there (Eeyore was on my server, however). I was able to get rid of the Eeyore post and regain the posts that had been deleted simply by republishing my blog.

I hope this is helpful to someone.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:13 PM

The New Byrd-Hagel

The Senate has voted 89-8 to oppose cap-and-trade if it raises electricity or gasoline prices.

Of course, cap-and-trade would raise electricity and gasoline prices, so the Senate has effectively just gone on record 89-8 against cap-and-trade.

In 1997, the Senate voted 95-0 for the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which opposed the adoption of any climate treaty that exempted developing nations. As the Kyoto global warming treaty exempted developing nations, Byrd-Hagel was seen as a signal that the Senate would not ratify Kyoto. As a result, though then-Vice President Al Gore signed the Kyoto Treaty on behalf of the United States, the Clinton-Gore Administration never submitted it to the Senate for ratification.

Will Senator John Thune (R-SD)'s amendment be the new Byrd-Hagel? Not without continuing hard work by those of us who don't want electricity and gasoline prices to rise in a wasteful and expensive effort to enrich a handful of businesses and wage a futile effort to control the planet's climate...

...but it definitely has possibilities.

Hat tip: Roger Pielke, Jr. on Prometheus.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:56 AM

Noodlehead Analysis

Although I can usually read the left-wing journal Mother Jones without feeling the need to leave comments or otherwise editorialize, I thought this "Is Homophobia Just Narcissism?" article was so idiotic, I tried to leave a mild comment calling the post a "noodlehead analysis."

It was not to be.

Mother Jones' software system brooks no disrespect. Its website immediately sent me this message:

MotherJonesSpamFilter.jpg

I still think it's a noodlehead analysis.

Hat tip: The Other McCain.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:38 AM

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Outrage of the Day: The Communique of the G-20

From the Communique of the G-20:
...In particular we agree: to establish a new Financial Stability Board (FSB) with a strengthened mandate, as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), including all G20 countries, FSF members, Spain, and the European Commission; that the FSB should collaborate with the IMF to provide early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks and the actions needed to address them; to reshape our regulatory systems so that our authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks; to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets. This will include, for the first time, systemically important hedge funds; to endorse and implement the FSF's tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of all firms; to take action, once recovery is assured, to improve the quality, quantity, and international consistency of capital in the banking system. In future, regulation must prevent excessive leverage and require buffers of resources to be built up in good times; to take action against noncooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens. We stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems...
From the Declaration of Independence:
...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it...
Any government we don't vote for has no right to regulate us.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:34 PM

President Obama and Alinksy's Rules

Project 21's Mychal Massie has been thinking about President Obama and Saul Alinsky:
Black Leader Speaks Against the Radical Underpinnings of Obama's Bailout Agenda

For Release: Immediate

Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or
[email protected]

Washington, D.C.: President Barack Obama has now laid the groundwork for sweeping government intervention in the free market with his announcement of new government requirements for its continued support for struggling American automakers.

Mychal Massie, the chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network, had this to say about Obama's announcement:
I am not aware of any part of the U.S. Constitution in which the government is given the right to dispense taxpayer money to private institutions and then use that ability to hire, fire and make other major decisions for that business. But I am aware of Saul Alinsky's infamous rules for radicals. So is the President, having been a disciple of Alinsky's teachings since his days as a community organizer.

These rules are now being employed at the peril of our economy.

Alinsky's eight rule advocated keeping up pressure so critics are kept off balance. We have seen this is the relentless march toward the heavy regulation of our financial and manufacturing sectors to the brink of nationalization.

Alinsky's ninth rule advised making the threat more terrifying than the reality. It is the exactly the opposite of FDR's first inaugural assertion during the Great Depression that the "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Today's dire assertions about the futures of GM and Chrysler without government involvement plays into this strategy

Then there is Alinsky's twelfth rule of personalizing and polarizing targets, with a preference of demonizing individuals rather than institutions. That's what we saw with the AIG executives before and are seeing now with General Motors's Rick Wagoner.

What must not be forgotten is Alinsky's first rule: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." In whipping up the anger and the fear of the American people, Obama is attempting to blind people to the power of the free market.

We must not forget that ours is a society based on and reliant on a vibrant free market. To upset it with overregulation and domineering government intervention could be crippling now and for generations to come.

I am the owner of both GM and Chrysler vehicles. I don't want these prominent American companies to go out of business, and I don't want their workers or the workers of their subsidiaries to lose their jobs. That being said, however, I do not want the government - especially this government - to be in the power to call the shots.

This nation was founded on a rebellion against a tyrannical government. We should not now create a new one in our haste to return to the comfort of years past.
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:36 AM

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The California Drought's Congressional "Kangaroo Court"

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The kangaroo waits for the hearing to begin.

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The kangaroo listens attentively to hearing proceedings. The National Center for Public Policy Research's Jeff Temple and Devon Carlin are seated to the kangaroo's left.
Devon Carlin provides a report on the U.S. House Resources Committee hearing Monday -- the one to which the National Center for Public Policy Research sent a "kangaroo" (actually, an undercover operative in a kangaroo suit).

By Devon Carlin:
Rural Californians are in their third year of a severe drought, but Congressional leaders seem more fixated on finding a "comprehensive" solution that accommodates endangered species and adheres to the belief in catastrophic man-made global warming than in dealing with very real human suffering.

This was our observation during a March 31 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources hearing, titled "The California Drought: Actions by Federal and State Agencies to Address Impacts on Lands, Fisheries, and Water Users."

According to the hearing's initial announcement, the hearing was to feature only one panel of witnesses - one overwhelmingly comprised of federal bureaucrats.

To some, this was seen as a "kangaroo court" that would promote the global warming and endangered species gospel with little or no opposition. It seemed to lack everything but an actual kangaroo. But the National Center for Public Policy Research was more than happy to provide one!

As the overflow crowd lined up for entry into the hearing room, the National Center's kangaroo stepped out of a nearby elevator. As participating members of Congress arrived, they certainly noticed the large, brown kangaroo. When acting Committee Chairwoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) gaveled the hearing to order, our kangaroo was prominently seated in the audience.

As National Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith pointed out in a press release that was handed out at the hearing:
At the height of a California drought and during a serious recession with massive unemployment in California's Central Valley, one would hope that the Committee cared enough about agricultural workers and minorities to invite as witnesses actual unemployed farm workers from the scores of communities closing down. Let's have an open Committee hearing and hear real people discussing the impacts on their lives from government regulations and massive job losses - instead of more government bureaucrats who are only causing the problem.
The furry, National Center-provided visual reminder - and some last-minute intervention from a bipartisan delegation of Congressmen from districts affected by the drought - helped to provide balance.

While it seemed the Committee's leaders had already made up their minds, they and the witnesses they selected nevertheless ended up receiving an earful about the human suffering brought about by poorly-applied government regulations and what could be done to alleviate the distress.

It was originally announced that testimony would be given exclusively by the panel of representatives of government agencies. Invited agency representatives were Mary M. Glackin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; J. William McDonald of the Bureau of Reclamation; Candy Thompson of the Farm Service Agency and California Secretary of Natural Resources Mike Chrisman. The lone critic was to be Allen Ishida, a Tulare County Supervisor and farmer.

Things changed due to the last-minute inclusion of a bipartisan panel of Congressmen representing the region worst hit by the drought. This panel was comprised of Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Dennis A. Cardoza (D-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Wally Herger (R-CA) and Ken Calvert (R- CA).

This new panel, unanticipated at the time the hearing was announced (and the kangaroo was called) brought much-needed balance.

All participants appeared to agree that California is in bad shape. The lack of an adequate supply of water in affected areas is putting farmers and ranchers out of work. Their crops aren't growing and livestock are going thirsty. Employment rates in affected areas range from 20 to over 40 percent, and job losses could rise to nearly 80,000. Families are flocking to food lines. Depleted food bank pantries reflect the state's shortage of produce. Incredible numbers of acres are left even more vulnerable to the type of brush fires that consumed more than one million acres last year. Agricultural economic losses are projected to exceed $3 billion by year-end.

What people want to know is what the government is going to do to help. The representatives of the government, and their liberal supporters among the Committee majority, seem committed to a "comprehensive" solution that protect the environment first and merely seeks to aid the afflicted human population. Conservatives, however, offered concrete plans to alleviate human suffering and increase agricultural productivity while minimizing environmental impact.

Congressmen from the affected areas - both on the Committee and on the testifying panel - noted that, despite California's historic familiarity with natural drought conditions, the problem this time is man-made. With rainfall and snow-pack totals nearing the average when compared to recent years, neither nature nor global warming can be blamed for the water shortage.

One of the many regulatory culprits is the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Delta Smelt, for example, is a three-inch long fish that has been declared "threatened" under the ESA. Federal water officials reallocated a substantial amount of the water supply to flow out to sea in order to help protect the Delta Smelt. In the process, it recklessly slashed water deliveries to agricultural areas of California.

The local Congressman pointed out factors in the Smelt's population decline that are not man-made, such as larger predatory fish. Representative Tom McClintock (R-CA), who represents the region and is a member of the Committee, noted from the dais that more water diverted for the good of the Delta Smelt has not helped its recovery.

When queried, the government officials, who gave very dry presentations about "comprehensive" relief strategies, offered no precise ways to bring about an end to the human suffering in the region.

Conversely, the lawmakers whose constituents were affected and have a sense of the needs of the region proposed multiple relief plans and suggested reform of the ESA that would bring water back to residents in need and pose a minimal threat to the Delta Smelt population.

In the short history of the Obama Administration, conservatives have been cast as obstructionist and lacking ideas by their liberal counterparts. At this hearing, exactly the opposite was the case.

One proposed idea, known as the "Two-Gates" project, involves the installation of two temporary gates in the central Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. These gates would reduce the number of smelt removed from the Delta, thus permitting water export restrictions to be minimized.

Another proposal was to reform the ESA to overcome an ESA-based lawsuit that forced the Red Bluff Diversion Dam ("RBDD") to cease operating. Prior to the lawsuit, the RBDD performed as an efficient, gravity-fed water diversion. Shutting the existing diversion down has created the need for a comparable alternative. A popular pitch for its replacement is a power-driven, screened pumping plant that would supply 150,000 acres of agricultural land with irrigation water.

These and other relief proposals were called "shovel-ready" and within the scope of projects that could be funded by the recently-passed "stimulus" bill. The committee liberals' response? Representative George Miller (D-CA) mocked members of the Congressional panel who voted against the "stimulus." As for human suffering at the hands of government regulation, he considered that "cherry-picking history." He passed off any blame to a judge, whose decision set the policy.

This liberal disdain is surprising when the drought was called the "Katrina of California" by both panelists and members of the committee alike.

Near the end of the hearing, freshman Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) came right out and asked the direct and nearly rhetorical question that was surely on the minds of many in attendance: "What's more important - people or fish?"
This post was written by Research Associate Devon Carlin. To send comments to the author, write her at [email protected]. Please state if a letter is not for publication or if you prefer that it be published anonymously.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:28 PM

Watch Deneen Borelli Live Online on Fox's "Strategy Room" Friday

DBStrategyRoom021309.jpgBy David Almasi:
Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli is scheduled to speak about current events and breaking news as part of the group discussion on the Fox News Channel's online "Strategy Room" program on Friday, April 3 between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM eastern.

This is the second time this week Deneen will be a guest on the show.

To access the live Internet broadcast, click here and then click the "STREAM THIS NOW" headline in the center or the page under the photo.

To learn more about Fox's "Strategy Room" Internet talk show, click here to see an article about the program that appeared in the New York Times.
This post was written by National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David Almasi. To send comments to the author, write him at [email protected]. Please state if a letter is not for publication or if you prefer that it be published anonymously.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:03 PM

Tom Borelli Interview Postponed

Due to news coming from the G20 meeting today, the Fox Business Network has postponed running the interview with Tom Borelli, co-director of our Free Enterprise Project, until tomorrow (Thursday, 4/2/09) morning. We apologize for any inconvenience.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:40 AM

Do They Just Make These Deadlines Up Out of Thin Air?

"We have less than 100 months to alter our behavior before we risk catastrophic climate change, and the unimaginable horrors that this would bring."
-Climate scientist Prince Charles, March 2009
"We cannot afford to put off change any longer. We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead."
- Celebrity Dr. James Hansen, Goddard Institute of Space Studies, January 2009


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:23 AM

Gitmo is "Calm and Beautiful"

Maybe we should make the terrorists leave.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:15 AM

NY Times Story Gives Huge Waxman-Markey Global Warming Tax Bill One-Sided Treatment

When the New York Times today told its readers about the massive Henry Waxman-Ed Markey 648-page draft global warming tax bill, it bent over backwards to report the pros and cons of the proposal.

Not.

The March 31 story, supplied by Darren Samuelsohn and Ben Geman of Greenwire:
* Included sponsor Rep Waxman's claim that "this legislation will create millions of clean energy jobs, put America on the path to energy independence, and cut global warming pollution," without a balancing rebuttal or reference to the economic damage passage of the bill would almost assuredly cause.

* Followed that favorable quote by California liberal Democrat Waxman with a favorable quote by California liberal Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

* Followed those two favorable statements with seven sentences quoting Democrats Rep. Charles Gonzales (D-TX), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rick Boucher (D-VA), who have quibbles on the margins about the proposal but who like the concept.

* Followed that with two sentences from the lone voice of rebuttal, the only Republican/conservative quoted, and the only person quoted who addressed the massive negative impact the bill, if adopted, would likely have on the economy, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX).

* Followed the two sentences allocated to Rep. Barton with 32 paragraphs of discription of the bill, none of it a critical analysis.

* Concluded with seven paragraphs headlined "Reactions," which covered quotations and opinions from four organizations on an ideological spectrum ranging from very left-wing to far left-wing: The Environmental Defense Fund, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Oxfam America and Environment America. No economists, energy experts, free-market groups, businesses or business groups or any other individual or institution other than left-wing environmental organizations were quoted or cited.
No one with a straight face could call this a balanced story.

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:06 AM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research