masthead-highres

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Borellis at Marlboro College - April 12

BorelliTomDeneen.jpgTom Borelli of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project and Deneen Borelli of the Project 21 black leadership network are scheduled to speak on the campus of Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont on April 12.

The Borellis have been asked to give a presentation entitled "The Tea Party Movement: Political Activism in the Economic Arena." The event is scheduled to take place on April 12 at 7:00 PM at Ragle Hall.

Directions to the campus can be found here. A further description of the event can be found here.

Tom and Deneen have been active in the tea party movement both locally and nationally. They have spoken at tea party rallies in places such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Deneen is also scheduled to speak at the Freedomworks "Tax Day Tea Party" to be held at the Washington Monument grounds on the evening of April 15.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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Posted by David W. Almasi at 10:28 PM

Project 21 Members' Essays Published in New Freedom's Journal Magazine

FreedomsJournalLogo.jpgThe March/April edition of the black-owned Freedom's Journal magazine features three essays from members of the National Center's Project 21 black leadership network.

The issue, which has an overall focus on the problems brought by big government, includes commentary from Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli and members Emery McClendon and R. Dozier Gray.

In the essay "Social Justice: Not What It Used to Be," R. Dozier Gray notes:
Who could possibly be against social justice?...

In one sense, social justice is the basis for a sound and civil society. The struggle for social justice is, in its purest form, the struggle for equality of opportunity over outcome. That's not a problem.

Consider that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in and the 55th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott. These were struggles for social justice, and were key to ending the scourge of enforced segregation in our nation.

Abolishing slavery. Women's suffrage. All social justice movements of their time. All good.

But there is a problem in modern times, where social justice is often redefined for progressive political gain. This problem usually comes when social justice is intertwined with a quest for economic justice...

In this new interpretation, social justice can more appropriately be considered "collective retribution" or "restorative justice." The lingering question, however, is to restore what to whom and at what cost. It opens up a Pandora's Box of unsettling possibilities.

Merely suggesting that "justice" needs a qualifier is appalling. To be just or equitable is a simple task: all parties must be treated fairly as reasoned conscience dictates.
In his essay, "What's brewing in America? A Tea Party Revolt!," Emery McClendon notes the non-violent and non-racial underpinnings of the popular tea party movement against big government. McClendon writes:
Since his election, Barack Obama and his supporters have sought to move our nation leftward at breakneck speed. In the process, they've exhibited a blatant disregard for our Constitution, traditions, military and the general rule of law.

Americans accepted it at first, but now their patience is wearing thin.

Young people are being indoctrinated in left-wing politics, personified by figures such as Mao and Bill Ayers - enemies of our nation's founding principles nonetheless admired by members of the Obama Administration.

Those same people also appear bent on taking us further away from our traditional Judeo-Christian morals and values.

It's shocking that a nation with more freedoms and liberties than most others could fall for such garbage. What happened to the hearts and minds of so many Americans? It's clear there's a battle for the soul of America being waged.
Also, Deneen Borelli, in her "Government Climate Claims Will Cost You More Than You Know," notes:
Too bad for the global warming lobby that the facts don't meet the rhetoric. Too bad for the rest of us that, despite this, it is still set on imposing its flawed agenda on our nation...

At its core, cap-and-trade is a tax directed at people who use fossil fuels. The lofty intent is to promote alternative energy sources, but -- seeing as there are not yet such abundant or feasible sources available -- this means virtually everyone will suffer under the tax for the foreseeable future...

And the U.S. would be imposing cap-and-trade unilaterally, without other major nations governments such as India and China imposing similar limitations on themselves. In going it nearly alone, the U.S. risks all of the economic harm while getting none of the alleged environmental gain.

It's a folly the Obama Administration's EPA is walking into with eyes wide open. At a July 2009 hearing, when Senator Inhofe presented EPA administrator Lisa Jackson with the EPA's own data that showed a unilateral cap-and-trade policy would have no effect on global climate, Jackson replied: "I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world [carbon dioxide] levels."

With all of these revelations and the state of the economy, it's no surprise support for cap-and-trade is so low. Cap-and-trade was one of the catalysts for the tea parties and for the town halls of 2009. In a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, just 28 percent of those surveyed called global warming a top priority for 2010 -- as opposed to the economy (83 percent), jobs (81 percent) and terrorism (80 percent).
Besides these Project 21 members, the March/April issue of Freedom's Journal also includes essays from Walter Williams, Herman Cain and Ken Blackwell.

To see a sample of this issue, look for the new issue tab on the Freedom's Journal web site after clicking here.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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Posted by David W. Almasi at 10:21 PM

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Deneen and Tom Borelli on Fox Shows Friday

Project 21 full-time fellow Deneen Borelli will be a guest on Fox and Friends Friday at 7:15 AM, discussing the subject of the racist attacks she receives, such as those sampled in this blog post.

Her husband Tom, who serves as the director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, will be a guest on Fox's sister channel, the Fox Business Channel, a few hours later. At approximately 10:40 AM, Tom will be a guest on Varney and Co. He will discuss General Electric's exploitation of the memory of the late President Ronald Reagan.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:29 PM

The Washington Post Should Fire Courtland Milloy

A long-time Washington Post columnist, Courtland Milloy, tells his readers how he would like to spit on Americans who protest against big government, and hit them and knock out all their teeth:
I know how the 'tea party' people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their 'Obama Plan White Slavery' signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads.

I am sick of these people -- and those who make excuses for them and their victim-whiner mentality.

They aren't racists, the apologists say. They just don't like deficits and government takeover of health care. So what does using vile epithets for black or gay congressmen have to do with that? The tea party people didn't refer to white Democrats using racial epithets. No one yelled 'white trash' or 'redneck cracker' at any of those congressmen. And none of their own ever stands up and declares that such practices are morally wrong.
If the Washington Post has apologized for this, and fired Courtland Milloy, both of which are called for, I am unaware of it.

Milloy's piece in the Post contains an embedded link in the words "Obama Plan White Slavery," but if you click the link it goes to a long Post photo spread of the March 20 Tea Party at the Capitol, and not a single sign in the entire series contains the term "white slavery," or, unlike Milloy's column, anything else remotely racialist or pro-violence.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:34 PM

Let's See How Chavez Would Be Treated

Quick, somebody at the University of Ottawa who believes in free speech: Invite Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to contribute positively to the meaningful exchange of ideas that is the hallmark of a great university campus.

Let's see how the campus leftists, and the left-wing members of their student body, respond to him.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:14 AM

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Last Supper Obesity Study Looks Like Bunk

A food behavior scientist (I didn't even know foods had behaviors!) and a religious studies professor who happen to be brothers have received international publicity with their theory that the size of the food portions grew over 1,000 years' worth of paintings of the Last Supper, relative to the size of the heads of the disciples.

This is supposed to tell us that people eat larger food portions now than before the Norman invasion.

This study seems like bunk to me.

For one thing, during quite a bit of this time, upper class people -- such as the ones who become artists, or commission them -- typically ate meals of many distinct courses. If you eat an nine-course meal, each of the plates had better be pretty small, unless you intend to take a few days to finish the meal. A typical meat-potatoes-veggie meal today gets served on a single plate. So voila! - a larger plate.

How did the study take into account the medieval practice of serving food on a trencher made of bread? Does it not mess the study up somewhat if the diner, having consumed the meal on the plate, then consumes the plate?

And then there's the common medieval practice of two people sharing a single trencher. How was that accounted for?

Maybe the study took these things and others into account, but none of the news stories I read or heard about said a word about them.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:14 PM

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Speaking of Racist Garbage Hurled by Liberals....

...would any liberal groups or politicians (or Keith Olbermann) care to disavow this....?

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(Open on a new page to enlarge)


Or perhaps emails like this?

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Speaking of racist garbage thrown by liberals (of which the above are just two of many), Project 21 issued a press release yesterday:
Where Is the Outrage When Black Conservative Tea Party Activists Are Called the N-Word?

Black conservatives opposed to government-run health care routinely are called the "n-word" and worse -- by liberals, says Deneen Borelli, full-time Fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network.

To black lawmakers allegedly receiving the same treatment, Borelli said: "Welcome to my world! I've been called worse than the N-word by alleged enlightened liberals for the outrage of expressing my views on topics such as the threat of government overreach on things such as ObamaCare, climate change legislation, the Second Amendment and pro-growth economics."

"It should go without saying that racial slurs are offensive and uncalled for," added Borelli. "But progressives seem far more aggressive in hurling racist comments than Tea Party members. I find that all the time on my e-mail after I appear on television or radio."

Responding to comments made by Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) about the racial aspects and alleged racial tone of Tea Party rallies opposed to a government takeover of America's health care system, Borelli said: "In an attempt to inject race into the national debate about government running our nation's health care system, Representative Charlie Rangel made false allegations about the Tea Parties when he said that '[y]ou don't see any black folks in these groups. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.' Considering he's never invited me -- or any of his conservative colleagues, for that matter -- for insight on reworking one-sixth of our economy, he obviously must not realize I am black. He also failed to see the other black faces I've seen at the many tea party rallies I've attended and spoken at over the past few months."

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by The National Center for Public Policy Research (www.nationalcenter.org).

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:30 PM

Third Video of Tea Party Protest of Black Congressmen Reveals No Racial Taunts

I found what is (by my count) a third video showing Rep. John Lewis and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus walking from the House office buildings to the Capitol on Saturday, March 20 -- the walk during which the Congressmen claim to have been called the "n-word."

The other two videos, already widely viewed, are here:

I don't hear any racial epithets on any of these, although I agree with those who have said that is inconclusive. Still, William Douglas of McClatchy reported that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said the n-word "was a chorus," so it seems odd that no videos or witnesses have appeared. This "n-word" story has been national news for four days now.

For what it's worth, I was there Saturday, Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, and I didn't hear anything race-based the entire time. Unfortunately, that, too, is inconclusive.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:20 PM

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tea Party Video: Tea Partiers Sing "God Bless America"

As the March 20, 2010 Tea Party at the U.S. Capitol comes to an end, Tea Partiers sing "God Bless America."


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:29 AM

Tea Party Video: Tea Partiers Chant as Obama Arrives at Capitol to Lobby Wavering Democrats


This video was shot from the left side of the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, shot toward the south of the Capitol where the House of Representatives office buildings are located and where Tea Party protesters chanted "Kill the Bill" about an hour following the end of the March 20, 2010 Tea Party Rally. At the time this video was shot, President Obama's motorcade was expected to enter the Capitol grounds momentarily.


Although the President's motorcade entered from the north of the Capitol and avoided the protestors, the sounds of the continuing, if impromptu, Tea Party activities must have reached him loud and clear. The President's motorcade is barely visible on the video as the Capitol Police kept the public far away from the Capitol for over an hour before the President's arrival. This is as close as my son Jonathan and I were allowed to get.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:19 AM

More Tea Party Pictures

More photos of Saturday's Tea Party rally, taken by yours truly as my son Jonathan and I attended events this afternoon:

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I have to post a picture of this happy little guy first, because no matter where I looked, he caught my eye and mugged for the camera in some way.

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Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) was generous with his time, approaching Tea Partiers to thank them for expressing their views and answering everyone's questions.

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Shot of the rally from a distance, after 90 minutes after it began.

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Far edge of the rally, with a shot of the Capitol.

And the rest are crowd shots...

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:47 AM

U.S. Capitol Tea Party Pictures

Photos of the Tea Party Code Red Rally at the U.S. Capitol Saturday, taken by David Almasi:

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Even the Johns oppose it.

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If I worked for the suicidal pharmaceutical industry or was one of its twelve zillion lobbyists, I would take note of apparently spontaneous grassroots signs like this one.

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Seems clear enough.

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Fewer doctors, probably. Even doctors gotta eat.

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Actor Jon Voight talks with an unidentified Tea Partier.

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Bill supporters figure people will forget about all this in a few months.

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Survivors know a few things.

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Some folks really know how to do lettering.

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The red star reminds me of something.

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The process, the results...

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At leftie rallies, the unions preprint the signs. Not so here.

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Christopher Gadsen would appreciate this.

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Nobody's child is safe.

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This photo of David Almasi must have been taken by someone else...


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:12 AM

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pelosi Tries to Clear Capitol; Crowd Isn't Leaving

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Spent much of the day at the Tea Party rally outside the U.S. Capitol and returned home to blog about it, but I think I'm heading back. David Almasi is still there [see addendum below] and he tells me the Tea Partiers spontaneously formed at the East side of the Capitol. The Rules Committee complained about the noise, and Nancy Pelosi ordered the grounds cleared. The crowd refused to leave and the Republican House members have joined the Tea Partiers in solidarity.

I don't see this on the news right now; don't know why, but I think I'm going back there and will blog and post pictures and videos from today later.

Addendum, midnight: First, a correction: Turned out it was Joe Roche who was texting me, not David Almasi. Amusingly, we even talked on the telephone in between texts, but the roars of the crowd were so loud I couldn't tell Joe's voice from David's and Joe couldn't hear me calling him by the wrong name.

Now for the news: When Joe, my daughter Kate, my son Christopher and I met up on the East front of the Capitol more than an hour after I posted this and after night had fallen, the crowd was breaking up in favor of an overnight vigil in front of the Supreme Court and, no doubt for some, their first food and drink since breakfast. Joe confirmed for me that Republican lawmakers had indeed come out to talk to the crowd, and that the events described above did happen. Joe added that he believed a few Democratic legislators who oppose the health care bill had joined the GOP members in speaking to the Tea Partiers, although he didn't have their names.

Among the group of perhaps 1,000 that stayed until nightfall were discussions of returning to the Capitol building again Sunday at 11:00 AM. Tea Partiers were being told by members at that time to expect that the House would begin preparing to vote around 1 PM Sunday, but to expect that the actual vote on the legislation would probably not be until 2 PM.

I've seen only vague references to these later events in just a few news stories. I can only assume most of the media stops working after a certain point on Saturdays.

And now to post some pictures...

Note: The photo in this post was taken by David Almasi.



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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:50 PM

Seeing Double: Deneen Borelli on Fox Twice Saturday Morning

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Project 21's Deneen Borelli will appear on Fox and Friends Saturday at 6:15 AM Eastern to discuss health care and the Tea Party Movement.

Deneen also pre-recorded a segment for Good Day New York Street Talk (Fox-5 WNYW in New York) to air Saturday between 6:00 to 6:30 AM discussing the decisions recently made by the Texas State Board of Education regarding textbooks, so for part of the 6 o'clock hour, she'll be competing for air time with herself.

As a bonus for Deneen fans, here's a picture of Deneen today at a rally outside the office of Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY):

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:27 AM

Defending Bill O'Reilly...

and us, and Brian Kilmeade of Fox, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, and I don't know who else.

In the final days before the health care vote, those noted above reported that the New England Journal of Medicine had published/reported on a survey by the Medicus Firm showing, among other things, that passage of ObamaCare could result in a significant decline in the number of doctors willing to practice medicine.

Here's Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points" segment on it:


And here's what Ed Morrissey at Hot Air said, in part:
And you thought wait times were long now. The New England Journal of Medicine, hardly a bastion of conservative thought, polled health-care providers to determine their reaction to ObamaCare, and discovered that it has many doctors looking for the exits. Almost half of all general-practice doctors would feel compelled to leave medicine altogether if it passes...
Here's what Brian Kilmeade said on Fox and Friends:


And here's what we said, in part:
If ObamaCare passes, you may lose your family doctor. Oh, and good luck finding a new one.

That's the stunning conclusion of a new study by the Medicus Firm, as reported by the New England Journal of Medicine. Medicus, a national physician search firm, surveyed 1,195 practicing physicians about the health reform plans pending in Congress. The doctors, representing a wide range of specialties and career levels, were asked to assess the possible impact of ObamaCare on their careers, including "income, job satisfaction, and future career plans."
Following this, according to the Daily Kos and Media Matters, the New England Journal of Medicine came out saying it did not publish the survey at all.

From the Daily Kos, in part:

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Fox breathlessly promoted what it claims to be a new survey from the New England Journal of Medicine showing doctors oppose health care reform, but there's a problem: the non-scientific survey was conducted months ago, was not published in the NEJM, and, according to a spokesperson for the journal, it has "nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine's original research."

From Media Matters, in part:
Right-wing media have seized on a dubious, three-month old email "survey" that purports to show that physicians are concerned about health care reform and that 46 percent of the primary care doctors surveyed "indicated that they would leave medicine - or try to leave medicine - as a result of health reform." Many media figures have falsely attributed this survey to the New England Journal of Medicine. For example, on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said: "The New England Journal of Medicine has published a report and did a survey, and they said the impact of reform on primary care physicians, 46 percent, they say, feel reform will force them out or make them want to leave medicine."

This is false.

Media Matters for America contacted the New England Journal of Medicine, which confirmed it neither conducted nor published the "survey."

NEJM spokesperson Jennifer Zeis told Media Matters that the study had "nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine's original research." She also made clear that the study "was not published by the New England Journal of Medicine," and said that "we are taking steps to clarify the source of the survey."
Following these reports, we posted a correction, as did Ed Morrissey. I can't watch Fox all day, so I don't know what it did. But I don't want to close the book in this incident without saying something further: We made the correction to be as reliable as possible to those who rely on our materials, so if the New England Journal of Medicine is now claiming it never published the survey, and that it only intended to publish it in an affiliated newsletter, and has altered its website so that the link http://www.nejmjobs.org/rpt/health-reform-may-reduce-physician-workforce.asp no longer goes to a story about the survey, we don't want anyone who quotes us publishing something that a third party could point out is denied by the New England Journal of Medicine, thus discrediting the third party, through no fault of their own. So we made the "correction," and we'll leave it up.

But we also want to make it clear that the New England Journal of Medicine did indeed publish this survey on it website. Judge for yourselves (open in new window to enlarge):

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The NEJM has now changed the page to this, which is how we are now citing it, but we have a message for the New England Journal of Medicine: If you don't want people saying you reported on or published something, don't post it on your website with your logo at the top.

Hat tip: YouTube - PoliticsNewsNews's Channel for the Bill O'Reilly video and Media Matters for the Brian Kilmeade video.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:18 AM

Free Books to Be Distributed at Saturday Tea Party Rally at U.S. Capitol

ALT TAGCaroline May and Devon Carlin distributing Shattered Lives at the March 16 Tea Party rally

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National Center staff members will be distributing a limited number of free copies of our book Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care at the Tea Party rally on the west side of the U.S. Capitol at noon Saturday.

If you can't attend but want a book, you can download a free PDF of Shattered Lives here, or buy a paper copy at Amazon.com.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:10 AM

Friday, March 19, 2010

Why Read Time or McClatchy, When You Can Just Visit the Media Matters Website Directly?

Kate Pickert of Time magazine's Swampland column complains that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh responded to the left's exploitation of 11-year-old Marcelas Owens in its desperate 14-month effort to pass its health care takeover.

According to Pickert, Limabugh said:
"Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit the Democrat Party and Barack Obama ...And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens: 'Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn't kick in until 2014.'"
and Beck said:
"That's the George Soros-funded Obama-approved group fighting for health care... Since all of the groups are so concerned and involved now, may I ask where were you when Marcelas' mother was vomiting blood?"
I don't see either of those statements as an attack on Marcelas, so if that's the worst Pickert can come up with, it appears the gentlemen were holding their fire, probably in deference to the boy's age.

Pickert then rather hypocritically says:
Since Democrats are trotting Marcelas before the cameras, there's nothing wrong with reporters or pundits checking out his story to see if it's true. That's fair game.
O-kay. Reporters checking out the family's personal history to see if Mercalas is a liar is one thing, but Limbaugh pointing out that passage of ObamaCare wouldn't help Mercalas' mother if she were alive and sick today, or Beck wondering why the groups exploiting Mercelas now didn't help his family when it could have used the help, is not?

Pickert linked to a McClatchy Newspapers story by Les Blumenthal as the source of her Limbaugh and Beck quotes. The Blumenthal story tracks extremely, extremely closely with a March 6 post by the left-wing Media Matters organization.

By sourcing Blumenthal rather than the Limbaugh and Beck shows themselves, Pickert essentially admits she did not listen to, or read a transcript of, what the two men said in context. By citing only the same quotes Media Matters reported, along with quotes from a Michelle Malkin column that the Media Matters post linked to, McClatchy's Blumenthal pretty much signals he reguritatated left-wing talking points and called it news.

Media Matters, for its part, was appreciative: It ran a post today commending Blumenthal for his article that "simply lays out the facts."

Addendum: Ed Schultz at MSNBC also seems to track pretty closely to Media Matters talking points, too:


Amazing how they all use the same quotes, isn't it?

Hat tip: YouTube - PoliticsNewsNews's Channel for the Ed Schultz video.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:30 PM

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Investor's Business Daily Cites Us on Constitutionality of Self-Executing Rule

InvestorsBusinessDailyLogoFuzzy.jpgInvestor's Business Daily was kind enough to quote this blog in an editorial.

An excerpt:
Using a parliamentary trick ironically known as the "self-executing rule," Democrats plan on passing their massive health bill without voting. In November, they'll learn just how "self-executing" it was.

Just when you thought Washington couldn't get more corrupt, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week seems intent on trampling representative government itself. Unable to get the votes to pass their U.S. health care revolution, she and her fellow Democratic leaders have figured out a way to pass it without a vote.

The "self-executing rule" has been "used to adopt concurrent resolutions correcting the enrollment of measures or to make other technical changes to legislation," according to the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress.

It's "a two-for-one procedure," as the CRS describes it, because the House of Representatives always must pass a rule, written by the House Rules Committee (where Democrats hold a 9-to-4 majority), setting the terms of debate on a particular piece of legislation. In this case, it's been rigged so that if the rule passes, the legislation passes too.

The trick has been used before, as cited by the CRS, on obscure measures like the prohibition of smoking on airline flights in 1989, an employee verification program regarding illegal aliens in 1996, the blocking of the use of statistical sampling for the 2000 census until federal courts could determine its constitutionality, and an IRS overhaul in 1997.

But never on anything approaching such landmark legislation.

Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, is among a number of legal scholars who believe this Slaughter Solution, named after House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., "would stand a very good chance of being tossed out by the U.S. Supreme Court."

In the 1998 Clinton v. City of New York ruling on the line-item veto, liberal Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for a 6-to-3 majority, "laid a likely road map for how the court might rule on a challenge to the constitutionality of the Slaughter Solution," according to Ridenour.

Stevens made note of "three procedural steps" that must be taken before a bill becomes law: The "exact text" must be "approved by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives"; the Senate must approve "precisely the same text"; and the same text must be "signed into law by the president. The Constitution explicitly requires that each of those three steps be taken before a bill may become a law."
There's more. You can read the rest here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:42 PM

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ObamaCare Would Harm Health Care Quality, Survey of Doctors Says

ALT TAGMatt Patterson


National Center for Public Policy Research Policy Analyst Matt Patterson has a new paper out today, "ObamaCare Would Drive Doctors Out of Business."

The paper begins:
If ObamaCare passes, you may lose your family doctor. Oh, and good luck finding a new one.

That's the stunning conclusion of a new study by the Medicus Firm, as reported by the New England Journal of Medicine. Medicus, a national physician search firm, surveyed 1,195 practicing physicians about the health reform plans pending in Congress. The doctors, representing a wide range of specialties and career levels, were asked to assess the possible impact of ObamaCare on their careers, including "income, job satisfaction, and future career plans."

The bottom line of that investigation, titled Physician Survey: Health Reform's Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care, is summed up by Medicus managing partner Steve Marsh: "What many people may not realize is that health reform could impact physician supply in such a way that the quality of health care could suffer. The reality is that there may not be enough doctors to provide quality medical care to the millions of newly insured patients."

Why? Put simply, doctors fear that ObamaCare would make the business and practice of medicine more trouble than it's worth. The surveyed physicians foresee...
Read the rest here.

Addendum, 3/18/10 Correction: The Medicus Study was not reported by the New England Journal of Medicine, but by the newsletter "Recruiting Physicians Today," which is published by the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine. Somewhat confusingly, the newsletter sports the logo of the NEJM on its masthead and prospective writers for the publication are told to submit articles to the New England Journal of Medicine, but the publication is, nonetheless, a different one. We apologize for the error.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:14 PM

Video: Project 21's Deneen Borelli on "Hannity"



In case you missed it, here's video of Deneen Borelli's appearance on Hannity yesterday.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:08 PM

Tea Party Video and Pictures from March 16 U.S. Capitol Code Red Rally

National Center for Public Policy Research David Almasi delivers petitions to Rep. Michelle Bachmann at Tea Party Rally at the U.S. Capitol, March 16


National Center Executive Director David Almasi and other National Center staffers loaded up petitions for delivery to Congress at Tuesday's Tea Party Express "Code Red" rally against ObamaCare.

The National Center delivered about 700 pounds of signed petitions (about 30,000) opposing any form of socialized medicine. Some petitions also expressed opposition to President Obama's plan to eliminate the popular Medicare Advantage option from the Medicare program. The petitions were accepted by Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

National Center-affiliated activists were busy outside of Washington, too. Project 21 member Emery McClendon helped organize several tea party rallies in Indiana, including in the state capital of Indianapolis. Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie, who was in Plymouth, Michigan on Sunday and Monday speaking to the "Rattle With Us" grassroots organization, attended a tea party in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Here are some photos from the petition delivery and rally:

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The National Center's Stephen Saunders (front) and Matt Patterson carry boxes of petitions from the National Center's Capitol Hill office building to the delivery van


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David Almasi shares signed petitions with Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN)


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Rep. Bachman and David Almasi, who holds a copy of the National Center's book of horror stories from government health care systems (free PDF copy available here)


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The National Center's Caroline May (left) and Devon Carlin distribute copies of Shattered Lives


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Crowd scene


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Crowd scene


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Crowd scene


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:01 AM

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Medicaid, Medicare Patients Find it Hard to Find Doctors

ALT TAGGovernment health care does not equal access to doctors

This New York Times story by Kevin Sack explains that 47 million Americans are covered by Medicaid (the nation's state-based, federally-supported health insurance program for the poor), but that Medicaid patients are finding it increasingly difficult to find doctors. This is because the government's reimbursement system is so unrealistic, doctors can actually lose money if they treat a patient on Medicaid.

That particular story focuses on Michigan, but here's a similar one from the Times last month, by Kevin Sack and Robert Pear, covering other states.

If adopted, ObamaCare would increase the number of people eligible for Medicaid, making it even harder for Medicaid patients to find doctors than it is now.

Last month, National Center for Public Policy Research Policy Analyst Matt Patterson completed a paper showing that Medicare patients increasingly are facing the same problem. Medicare, of course, is insolvent now, and the baby boomers are starting to retire, so things are likely to get worse before they get better. If they get better.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:39 PM

Louise Slaughter's Denture Sob Story Raises Question

Speaking of Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), why she didn't tell her constituent -- the one who allegedly wears her dead sister's dentures -- that Medicaid covers dentures in New York state?

It's possible the constituent makes too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, but if that's true, what's the point of Slaughter's sob story?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:11 PM

Project 21's Deneen Borelli on "Hannity" Tonight

Hannity

Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli will appear on the "Great American Panel" on the Fox News Channel's "Hannity" program at 9:00 PM eastern on Tuesday, March 16.

Deneen has been interviewed on Fox News Channel, Hot Tea Radio and many other media outlets lately about the health care debate and how it is growing the tea party movement. Today saw several tea party rallies in Washington and across the nation related to the push for a health care vote this week, so it is likely Deneen will be speaking about this important issue tonight.

Check your local listings for Fox News Channel on cable. Fox News is available on channel 118 on Fios, channel 205 on Dish Network and channel 360 on DirecTV.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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Posted by David W. Almasi at 2:14 PM

On the Slaughter Solution, A Few More Thoughts

Over at the Washington Examiner, Mark Tapscott has blogged about the constitutional issues I raised Sunday with regard to the so-called "Slaughter Solution."

The Slaughter Solution is a proposed rule to allow the House to (ostensibly) pass the Senate's version of ObamaCare by passing a rule saying, in effect, that it had passed without actually voting for it.

Although it is not yet clear if the Democratic leadership will decide to use the Slaughter Rule tactic, the left is pre-emptively defending the measure, claiming the Republicans used "self-executing rules" on numerous occasions when in the majority.

To that, a few thoughts of my own:
1) While the Republicans may have done so, they (insofar as I can determine) limited the use of the tactic to measures insufficiently controversial to inspire anyone to challenge the constitutionality of the tactic in court. According to a 2006 Congressional Research Service report (pdf), for instance, the GOP used the rule for the following purposes:
a) consider a law prohibiting smoking on airline flights under two hours;
b) place a voluntary employment verification program (vis-a-vis immigration status) into an amendment under consideration in the House;
c) incorporate into legislation a ban on the use of statistical sampling in the 2000 Census until a court ruled on its constitutionality;
d) incorporate four bipartisan amendments into an IRS reform bill;
e) drop from an intelligence authorization bill a provision allowing the CIA to offer a particular early retirement program;
f) to adopt a manager's amendment, H.Res. 75, to an immigration bill in 2005.
Do these strike anyone as roughly equivalent to the significance of the ObamaCare vote?

2) So what if the Republicans did it? Does that make it right? Or constitutional? The GOP leadership also broke the House rules by holding a three-hour roll-call vote on its prescription drug bill back in 2003 (which conservatives screamed about at the time; see here for example). Does that mean conservatives and others who believe in free markets (or free choice in health care) have to sit by let the Democrats break that rule in the same fashion, too? When do we start playing by the rules?

3) If I were a Democratic politician interested in future electoral success, even if I supported ObamaCare, I would be very wary of voting for it this way. What if the legislation passes via a Slaughter Solution tactic, and the federal courts rule the tactic unconstitutional? ObamaCare would be tossed out, making supportive politicians look both impotent and vaguely corrupt, and on a judicial timetable, which could be right before an election. If I were in that situation, I'd think it better to hold an up-or-down vote and live with the consequences.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:50 AM

Monday, March 15, 2010

National Center's David Almasi to Speak at U.S. Capitol Tea Party Rally, Will Deliver Tens of Thousands of Petitions Against Socialized Health Care

health care petitionsDavid Almasi with a box of the petitions

National Center Executive Director David Almasi will speak at the Tea Party Express "Code Red" rally against Obamacare on Tuesday, March 16. The rally will be on the U.S. Capitol grounds at Taft Park (on the Senate side) at 10:00 AM. David is scheduled to speak at 10:35 AM.

David also will present Representative Michele Bachman (R-MN) with tens of thousands of petitions collected by the National Center for Public Policy Research. The petitions oppose socialized medicine and President Obama's plan to eliminate the popular Medicare Advantage option for Medicare recipients.

Here are two (unsigned) samples of the tens of thousands of petitions David will present on Tuesday (open in a new window to enlarge):

StopSocializedMedicinePetition0310.jpg

MedicareProtestPetition0310.jpg


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:44 PM

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Slaughter Solution Unconstitutional

John_Paul_Stevens,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait.jpgJustice Stevens' majority opinion in Clinton v. New York signals the Supreme Court's likely view of the Slaughter Solution

Frustrated by their inability to get President Obama's health care plan through Congress, the House leadership is now considering a mad new scheme, dubbed the "Slaughter Solution," to get the Senate version of the bill through a reluctant House.

As described by Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner, the Slaughter Solution would "pass [the] legislation by 'deeming' it approved under a House rule instead of following the process required by the U.S. Constitution in which they actually vote on the proposal itself... Slaughter's approach would bring to the House floor a reconcilliation bill to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of health care reform with the rule deeming the House to have approved the Senate version."

Mark goes on to say a senior House of Representatives GOP staffer has told him the Republicans can find no evidence such a ploy has ever been tried before in the history of the House.

In my view, there's a good reason why not: the legislation would stand a very good chance of being tossed out by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A dozen years ago, in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the line item veto unconstitutional in Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998).

Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens laid a likely roadmap for how the Court might rule on a challenge to the constitutionality of the Slaughter Solution:
...our decision rests on the narrow ground that the procedures authorized by the Line Item Veto Act are not authorized by the Constitution. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 is a 500-page document that became 'Public Law 105--33' after three procedural steps were taken: (1) a bill containing its exact text was approved by a majority of the Members of the House of Representatives; (2) the Senate approved precisely the same text; and (3) that text was signed into law by the President. The Constitution explicitly requires that each of those three steps be taken before a bill may 'become a law.' Art. I, §7. If one paragraph of that text had been omitted at any one of those three stages, Public Law 105--33 would not have been validly enacted. [Emphasis added] If the Line Item Veto Act were valid, it would authorize the President to create a different law - one whose text was not voted on by either House of Congress or presented to the President for signature. Something that might be known as 'Public Law 105--33 as modified by the President' may or may not be desirable, but it is surely not a document that may 'become a law' pursuant to the procedures designed by the Framers of Article I, §7, of the Constitution.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Court in the line item veto case, one cannot deny that the majority decision here is a powerful sign that the Slaughter Solution would not be ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:40 PM

Britain Censors Climate News

ASALogo.png...but maybe not in the way you expect.

It seems Britain's independent, non-governmental Advertising Standards Authority, charged with monitoring advertising for truthfulness, has banned advertisements by Britain's Labour government for exaggerating the risk posed by greenhouse gas emissions.

The ads claimed heat waves, storms and floods will become more "frequent and intense" thanks to "climate change."

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled it is impossible for the government to make such a claim with certainty.

ADDENDUM: Here's what the banned ads look like (open in another window to enlarge):

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The ruling doesn't mean the government has stopped telling mis-truths about global warming, however. For example, on a webpage entitled "Climate change myths and misconceptions," the British government claims climate regulations will lower the cost of energy:

actonco2.direct.gov.uk-031510.png

If this were true, the market would take care of the matter without the need for government interference.

I don't mean to single out the British government, however. Our own lies about global warming rather often.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:38 PM

Friday, March 12, 2010

Eric Holder Blames the "Process" (Mafia Attorneys: Please Don't Read This)

I just love how Attorney General Eric Holder blames an inanimate "process" for his own failure in a quote cited at the end of this Legal Times blog post:
"While I made a good faith effort to fully answer the Committee's questions in my initial submission," Holder wrote, "it appears that the process I used to search manually and electronically for relevant material from my three decades in public life was deficient."
Should we have confidence the errors were inadvertent, when the Attorney General sees such a need to couch his terms?

I wonder how many defendants being prosecuted by DOJ for obstruction of justice will now use this defense before a jury:
"While I made a good faith effort to fully comply with the Justice Department's subpoena, it appears that the process I used to search manually and electronically for relevant material was deficient."
Defense lawyers may have a bit of fun with this one. Here's hoping the ones who do are defending innocent people.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:53 PM

Extremely Liberal Guy Criticizes Glenn Beck...

...and CNN considers it newsworthy.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:37 PM

Alleged Vaccine-Autism Link Receives Another Blow

A special court that examines cases of alleged vaccine injuries has ruled in three cases that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that vaccines containing the preservative thimerosol caused cases of autism.

Autism, however caused, is tragic enough, without having people die because the increasingly-unlikely possibility that vaccines cause autism frightens parents away from vaccines.

It also would be nice if the dollars being spent researching the autism-vaccine link start being more comprehensively spent on more scientifically-objective research into the cause(s) of autism.

Given a choice between a search for a cure or a search for someone to blame, we should be choosing the former.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:30 PM

Thanks to Hostway, An Unintended Hiatus for Our Blog

Since March 1, this blog had been on an unintended hiatus, as posts written for it were not publishing to the site.

So we were writing, but you weren't seeing.

Since 2003, this blog has been published by ftp from Blogger, which has been owned by Google for most of that time, to our nationalcenter.org website hosted by Hostway. When publishing went dead, the question was: Is Blogger not sending the files, or is Hostway blocking the files?

Our queries to both firms revealed that each considered the other responsible. With that kind of response, we weren't getting anywhere.

In an effort to break the logjam, we opened a hosting account at Network Solutions (a competitor of Hostway's) and attempted to publish the blog there. It worked, which pretty much means that Google-owned Blogger is off the hook, and Hostway must have been the problem all along. To publish the blog now, we are publishing it to Network Solutions, and manually moving the files from our server space there to our server space at Hostway.

It is a cumbersome and inelegant solution, but it at least means the blog's posts are once again visible to readers here at nationalcenter.org, and to those who subscribe to our RSS feed. It also means you will see a bunch of posts in coming days to catch folks up -- in abbreviated form at least -- with a few of the things we have been up to during the unintended hiatus.

I would like to think Hostway's technical support will fix its problem and start accepting incoming ftp files from Blogger as it has since 2003, but I can't say things are looking good. Although I have had numerous email exchanges and phone conversations with Hostway personnel about the problem, today I received the following email from Hostway:
Hello,

Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay and any inconveniences caused in our services.

We will need some additional information on the issue you are experiencing so we can further troubleshoot. Please provide us with step by step instructions and all necessary information so we can replicate the error on our end. We appreciate your elaboration in this matter.

Thank you!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
It seems that Hostway's technical support staff has yet to grasp what I've been telling them for more than ten days: that sometime on or just before March 1, Hostway began blocking files coming in via ftp from Blogger. Either that, or Hostway is pretending it doesn't understand. So I'm not at all sure we can rely on Hostway to repair the problem, though thanks to our Network Solutions workaround, our readers at least should be able to see our posts while we execute a more permanent solution.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:24 PM

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Deneen Borelli Discusses Health Care and Tea Party Movement on Fox and Friends


On this morning's edition of Fox and Friends, Project 21 full-time fellow Deneen Borelli discussed the Tea Party movement's reaction to President Obama's continuing push for the big government health care plan.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:29 PM

Project 21's Robin Martin on Michelle Obama's Anti-Obesity Campaign


On a recent edition of the PBS Show "To the Contrary," Project 21's Robin Martin discussed Michelle Obama's health food and anti-obesity campaigns.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:15 PM

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Madness of King Barack

Matt Patterson has a few words about the President's announcement that the health care reform debate is over.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:57 PM

Project 21's Deneen Borelli on "Fox and Friends" Thursday Morning

Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli is scheduled to appear on "Fox and Friends" on the Fox News Channel on Thursday, March 4 at approximately 6:15 AM eastern.

Deneen is expected to talk about health care reform efforts and other breaking morning news. Deneen and her husband, National Center Free Enterprise Project director Tom Borelli, just authored a commentary on how tea party politics factor into the Obama health care plans that was published on the channel's "Fox Forum."

Check your local listings for Fox News Channel on cable. Fox News Channel is available on channel 118 on Fios, channel 205 on Dish Network and channel 360 on DirecTV.

This post was written by David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.


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Posted by David W. Almasi at 9:15 PM

Articles We'd We'd Like To See Removed from the Internet

TheRoot030210upload.pngI see "The Root," a website run by the Washington Post and Henry Louis Gates, has declined to remove an article equating black conservatives with criminals just because they are conservative.

Project 21 members complained about this article on February 24; others have as well, but as usual, black conservatives are considered fair game.

I think their rule is that white people are allowed to think for themselves, but black people aren't, though you'd have to confirm that's what the logic is with the Washington Post and Henry Louis Gates.

Shameful.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:42 AM

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Treat All Car Companies the Same

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker asks: "Will GM execs be dragged before Congress?" as the Toyota executives were?

Ordinarily I oppose Congressional show trials of corporate CEOs, finding it repulsive that people responsible for the insolvent Medicare and Social Security systems pretend to be morally qualified to sit in judgment of the business acumen of others, but now that the U.S. government is in the car business, Congress must bend over backwards to be neutral.

While the GM executives are testifying, I hope someone asks them to account for their membership in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which lobbies for cap-and-trade legislation. Tax money should not be used for lobbying.

P.S. My opinion in this situation is unrelated to my past ownership of a Chevrolet Cavalier with a so-called "sticky accelerator." Very scary situation to be in. I was able to get out of it by braking as hard as possible while switching the car out of drive and coasting to a stop. I took it to a Chevy dealership for repair, but the dealership said it could not replicate the problem, so I was left to take my chances. I sold the car instead (with full and emphatic disclosure) to a car dealer, and bought my first foreign car of my life to replace it. These days, ironically, I own a Toyota. 83,000 miles on it so far, and no problems.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:38 PM

Monday, March 01, 2010

Did Charles Rangel Vote for Sarbanes-Oxley?

Yes, on July 25, 2002, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) voted to agree to the conference report for the Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act, better known as Sarbanes-Oxley.

If you just came back from a deserted island, Rep. Rangel has been admonished by the House Ethics Committee for breaking House rules regarding corporate sponsorship of Congressional travel; Rep. Rangel's defense is that he didn't know corporations paid for his travel, his staff did, and he shouldn't be held responsible for the actions of his Congressional staff.

Under Sarbanes-Oxley, corporate CEOs can be held criminally responsible for signing false reports, including reports prepared by staff (as most are).

Regardless of the double-standard Rangel seeks to hide behind, Peter Flaherty of the National Legal and Policy Center -- which broke the Rangel scandal in the first place and is still the best source of information on it -- says it simply is not credible that Rangel didn't know he was violating House rules by accepting direct corporate support for his travel.

Go here to visit the National Legal and Policy Center's website, which shows pictures of Charlie Rangel at the Caribbean conference, facing a sign listing the conference's many corporate sponsors.

Perhaps next the Congressman will claim he cannot read?

In related Charlie Rangel-scandal news, House Democrats are increasingly pressuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ask Rangel to step down from his post as chairman of the uber-powerful House Ways and Means Committee.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:57 PM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research