masthead-highres

Friday, April 09, 2010

A Bart Stupak Cartoon

Too bad I can't draw, because David sent over a nice caption for a Bart Stupak retirement political cartoon:

"New from Swanson, the Stupac... 5 seconds of heat and it's done."

Speaking of Bart Stupak, I'm not the only one remembering low points in his career today. Timothy Carney reports on a doozy in the Examiner.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:45 PM

Friday, April 02, 2010

Death by Government

Ace links to one of our papers to demonstrate yet another -- actually, one of the main -- ways our government kills us.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:30 PM

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pelosi Tries to Clear Capitol; Crowd Isn't Leaving

TeaParty032010b.png

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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

Monday, February 01, 2010

Populism & the Tea Party Movement: Deneen Borelli on Fox & Friends

For all the Deneen Borelli fans out there, here's the video from her appearance on Fox and Friends this morning, where she discussed populism and the rise of the Tea Party movement:


Hat tip: Thanks to CEOMonitor for uploading it to YouTube.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:27 PM

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Note to Project 21 Fans: Glenn Beck Rebroadcast of Most Recent Show Featuring Project 21 Members

GlennBeckLogoThe Fox News Channel is rebroadcasting, right this minute, the second of two Beck shows featuring a discussion with black conservatives (including Project 21 members).

If you can't catch it on the Fox News Channel for whatever reason, Booker Rising (a website I often visit, but don't mention as much as I should) has made available the video of the entire show, which is entitled "A Time To Be Heard."

We also posted on this blog the segments of the show featuring Project 21 members. Go here to watch Lisa Fritsch; go here to watch full-time Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli on the "A Time To Be Heard" Glenn Beck broadcast.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:01 PM

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tom Borelli on Climategate; Cap-and-Trade on Varney & Co.


In the category of "in case you missed it," here's video from the debut show this week of the Fox Business Channel's Varney & Co., with host Stuart Verney. In this video clip, our Tom Borelli discusses funding from the "stimulus" bill being granted to the work of a scientist involved in the Climategate scandal, and he also discusses the impact of cap-and-trade on California.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:05 AM

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DeSmogBlog's Recent Word

DeSmogblog's most recent word in our "debate," a Tweet about me (and Rush Limbaugh) from Kevin Grandia's Twitter feed that popped up on my online clip service last night:

KevinGrandiaTweet011910.jpg

I assume he means we are both fat (although Rush Limbaugh has lost a lot of weight this past year), but, based on the pictures he choose, Kevin doesn't know the half of it: My hair color is a lot closer to Rush's now.

But to answer the question, no, superficial (and ideological as well as football) similarities notwithstanding, we were not separated at birth. My parents would never have let Rush go.

But it is time, I think, to let this particular "debate" with DeSmogBlog die its natural death. By the time a conversation hits the "you're fat" level, it's no longer even remotely about public policy. Our priorities here at the National Center right now are to stop economically-ruinous environmental legislation (that won't even help the environment!), put a halt to the Administration's forced march toward the pain, fear, misery and premature death that is the hallmark of government-run health care, promote the free-market reforms that can strengthen our health care and retirement security systems, cut the size of government and promote a strong, secure and free America that is governed according to what our Constitution says and according to the principles of our Founders. Pointing out the ideological weaknesses of the left -- such as the DeSmogBlog tactic of demonizing opponents a la "denier" labelling -- promotes this goal, but dwelling upon a message once the statement has been made, or becoming distracted by debates that have devolved into personal insults, does not.

I'm sure I'll visit DeSmogBlog again at some point in the future, and perhaps comment on something they say related to public policy, but not for some time.

In the meantime, I leave followers of this conversation with two links to policy-oriented critiques of other, but very important, aspects of the DeSmogBlog approach to policy that are (alas!) far better written, and far more entertaining, than anything I have posted in this thread:
DeSoggyBog.com - DeSmogBlog parody site that proves DeSmogBlog's true philosophy is the promotion of totalitarianism, created by Donna Laframboise, a former vice-president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (also the creator of NOconsensus.org).

"DeSmog Accidentally Vindicates The Skeptics Handbook" -- absolutely hilarious response of science educator and speaker Joanne Nova to DeSmogBlog's futile effort to rebut "The Skeptics Handbook," which she authored.
And now, back to regularly-scheduled public policy programming.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:38 PM

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ObamaCare - All the Hallmarks of a Scam

MPatterson102209b.jpgA couple of summers ago, I moved from New York City to Washington, D.C.

Now, finding a new home long distance can be a tedious and enervating task -- train rides to unfamiliar cities, cab rides in unfamiliar neighborhoods, lots of wasted time and money. Fortunately these days online real estate listings make the process somewhat easier; at the very least it is another resource available to the prospective renter/buyer.

But online offers pitfalls of its own. During my search, I would often inquire via email about an online ad for what seemed like a nice apartment, only to get a response along these lines:
"Dear Sir,

I am overseas, but will send you the keys for apartment as soon as you send me check."
Of course, there was always a reason why I couldn't see the apartment first; there was no one available to show it; the apartment was about to be sold and so I had to send the check right away in order to secure it, etc.

ObamaCare is me reminding more and more of these online swindles. Consider, for example, the staggered nature of the proposed Senate bill (if passed and signed into law, of course) -- new taxes starting right away in 2010, with most of the costs and benefits delayed until after 2014. The Democrats seem to be saying: "Send us your money now, then you'll get your health care."

But it's much worse than that, of course. With the real estate scammers, I had the choice to not send them my money -- and then to report them to the authorities. Congress will not ask for our money -- they will take it. And if the delivered program does not operate as advertised -- if it busts the budget, or leads to rationed care -- who do we report Congress too?

Unfortunately, thomas.gov does not come with a "flag" button for rotten or dishonest legislation.

Written by Matt Patterson, policy analyst at 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 Matt Patterson at 4:16 PM

Sunday, December 20, 2009

From Hopenhagen to Nopenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark - The climate change conference in Copenhagen adopted a new, bold, historic agreement...

... to continue to talk. Wow, and accomplished in just two weeks!

The last-minute deal, helped along by our deal-closer-in-chief Barack Obama, was three-pages long (not counting appendices) and included a number of non-binding commitments, including...
* The U.S. and other developed countries will help raise $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing nations with climate change mitigation and adaptation. In return, these nations agreed to accept the cash. The cash specifies on that "[m]itigation actions... be subject to... domestic measurement, reporting and verification."

* Developed nations also agreed to provide some $30 billion in aid between 2010 and 2012, with the U.S. pledging $3.6 billion of that amount.

* China and other developing countries agreed to what is being widely reported as international verification of their action to address climate change, but they agreed to do nothing of the kind. The agreement calls for the establishment of "guidelines" for international "consultations and analysis," but significantly, no international verification. And, lest there be any doubt that China won't tolerate such verification, the agreement specifies the guidelines it issues "will ensure that national sovereignty is respected."

* China, now the world's largest emitter of carbon, agreed to cut its "carbon intensity" by between 40% and 45% by 2020. Sounds good, doesn't it? But there's a difference between reducing carbon intensity (the amount of carbon emitted per dollar of GDP) and overall carbon reduction, which the U.S., EU and other large emitters committed to undertaking. India, too, vowed only to reduce its carbon intensity by between 20% and 25% by 2020. Both countries could meet these targets and still see their emissions grow substantially.

* State parties agreed to a goal of limiting global warming by 2 degrees Celsius, but as the above makes plain, they didn't establish a blue print – certainly not one that is binding to achieve this goal.
Obama hasn't had such a stunning success in Copenhagen since he closed the deal for Chicago to host the next Olympic games. Oh right - scratch that.

Though the climate summit was a spectacular failure for President Obama, it was a great victory for the American people.

The Heritage Foundation estimates that the imposition of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade regime, the type of system most likely to be imposed to ensure the U.S. meets its carbon reduction targets under a binding treaty, would destroy an average of 1.15 million jobs every year between 2012 and 2030. So President Obama's failure to deliver a treaty may have been his single biggest contribution to fighting unemployment in the United States.

Even if he didn't mean to do it.

Written by David A. Ridenour, vice president 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 A. Ridenour at 12:05 AM

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Everyone Must Buy a Chevy Malibu

I heard a very good point from radio host Sean Casey on WCBN radio (Baltimore) today on the question of the constitutionality of the health care insurance mandate.

He asked (paraphrase), "would it be constitutional if the federal government said we all had to buy a new Chevy Malibu every year?"

I think that's the fastest explanation of the idiocy of the individual mandate I have heard yet.

One can, after all, build a solid case for mandating frequent purchases of Chevy Malibus: the taxpayers are invested in General Motors and would like their money back; new engines burn cleaner than old engines so it would be (on one level) good for the environment; people in Michigan and elsewhere need jobs and car manufacturing and selling creates them; old Chevy Malibus could be given to the poor, etc.

There are many good reasons to mandate annual purchases of Chevy Malibus, but that wouldn't make a federal requirement that we must do so constitutional, and an individual mandate that we must buy health insurance isn't constitutional, either.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:25 PM

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Health Care Bombshell: ObamaCare Would Doom Medicaid

Writing for the Heritage Foundation, Dennis Smith and Ed Haislmaier have today exposed a huge political drawback to the liberal health care bill: ObamaCare -- without intending to -- could, almost certainly would, be the death knell of Medicaid, America's health care safety net for the poor.

Smith and Haislmaier convincingly demonstrate that the states can't afford Medicaid under an ObamaCare regime -- costs to the states would reach $725 billion over the 2013-2019 period alone. What's more, staying in Medicaid under ObamaCare effectively puts the federal government in charge of about a quarter of each state's budget, and every state except North Dakota would come out better financially by abandoning Medicaid.

Fiscally and logically, withdrawing from Medicaid would be a no-brainer for the states. It could even be seen as a compassionate choice, as ObamaCare provides subsidies to help low-income people buy health insurance unless they receive Medicaid. So, a state legislature or governor could reason, why not get rid of the burdensome, unaffordable and -- let's be frank, substandard -- Medicaid program? The poor of my state will still get help with their health care bills, because Washington D.C. will provide it!

The Heritage paper explains all this in far greater detail, and it is a must-read for anyone following the health care debate. (The paper is quite readable for people who aren't health care wonks, by the way.) If the mainstream media has any competence at all (I doubt it very strongly), it will cover this heavily, as the repercussions are immense.

A closing thought (from me): When Barack Obama was running for president, I don't recall him promising an end to Medicaid and steep cuts in Medicare, but if he gets ObamaCare through, it looks like that's what he'll be delivering. Surprise!

Full disclosure: Ed Haislmaier is a member of the National Center for Public Policy Research's board of directors.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 7:16 PM

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's Happening Now

Final words from 9-11. Don't forget.

Iran, Libya and Obama's inexperience.

An American experiences the NHS.

Government Electric?

Death panels strike again.

ATR: Top five tax fibs in Obama speech.

Osteoporosis drug controversy in the UK.

Britain may not have enough hospital beds to handle swine flu.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:40 AM

Thursday, September 10, 2009

British MP Charges Some Parents Have Been Threatened for Questioning Health System

A Liberal Democrat Member of the British Parliament is charging that some parents in Britain have been told they could lose legal custody of their children because they complained about the British government's National Health Service.

From the Times (UK):
Parents are being threatened with having their children taken into care after questioning doctors' diagnoses or objecting to their medical care.

John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, who campaigns to stop injustices in the family court, said:
"Very often care proceedings are used as retaliation by local authorities against 'uppity' people who question the system."

Cases are emerging across the UK: The mother of a 13-year-old girl who became partly paralysed after being given a cervical cancer vaccination says social workers have told her the child may be removed if she (the mother) continues to link her condition with the vaccination.

A couple had all six of their children removed from their care after they disputed the necessity of an invasive medical test on their eldest daughter. Doctors, who suspected she might have had a blood disease, called for social services to obtain an emergency protection order, although it was subsequently confirmed that she was not suffering from the condition. The parents were still considered unstable, and all their children were taken from them.

A single mother whose teenage son is terminally ill and confined to a wheelchair has been told he is to become the subject of a care order after she complained that her local authority’s failure to provide bathroom facilities for him has left her struggling to maintain sanitary standards...
Read the entire story here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:19 PM

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Possibly It Can Be Found in the Kiddie Sex Section of the Constitution?

Where do you suppose the federal government found the authority for it to do this in the Constitution?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:11 PM

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

D.C. Post Office Rationing Stamps (Still Excited About Government-Run Health Care?)

One of my co-workers, who is managing a particularly large mailing, has just returned empty-handed from a quest to obtain 3,000 stamps from nearby post offices.

Not even the official stamp store attached to the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum - which celebrates the ability of mailmen to deliver to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and to the front lines during wartime, and which has a vault system to handle the valuable bulk quantities of stamps - could spare 3,000 44-cent stamps.

Not a square to spare.

Why? According to some of the counter staff, there is a new district manager overseeing post offices in our area. This manager is setting a limit on how many stamps any one post office can have at any one time. Therefore, area post offices are being forced to ration their stamps. If we bought 3,000 at this point, there might not be enough left later for other customers.

So the U.S. Postal Service turned away our business for lack of resources.

It reminds me of a comment President Obama made earlier this month when asked about private insurers possibly being better than a government-run "public option":
"My answer is that if the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining - meaning taxpayers aren't subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services and a good network of doctors, just like any other private insurer would do - then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It's the post office that's always having problems."
Still interested in a "public option"?

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 4:51 PM

Friday, August 07, 2009

"I Don't Want The Folks Who Created The Mess To Do A Lot Of Talking"

RealClearPolitics has a video (51 seconds) of President Obama telling a crowd in Virginia that "I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking."

Is he frustrated that Americans are turning out at town halls to express opinions different than his own?

Who else could he be referring to? Talk show hosts? Bloggers? Opposition party politicians?

Who is it he believes "created the mess"?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:01 PM

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What's Happening Now

It's Obama v. Obama, as Obama White House unleashes ex-ABCer Linda Douglas to rebut a video of Barack Obama.

The British government spends $12 million a year lobbying itself on global warming, but it won't buy Mrs. Fletcher Lucentis.

The White House is looking for some snitches. Michelle Malkin asks: How much is the snitch effort costing us?

The Obama administration is refusing to release government records on Cash for Clunkers, even as it asks the Senate to renew it.

Russian subs have begun patrolling our east coast. Resetting our foreign policy indeed.

John Stossel blogs about Cash for Clunkers. Not a fan.

10 reasons the government should take over health care (NOT).


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:11 AM

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Mouthing Disingenuous Assurances Isn't Leadership or Change"

Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie, writing in his personal column on WorldNetDaily, asks: "Why the rush on Obamacare?"?

Mychal (as usual!) doesn't mince any words in his conclusion:
Parading in front of teleprompters and mouthing disingenuous assurances isn't leadership or change. It is simply more of the same from another smarmy politician who will say and do anything to advance a diabolical agenda – no matter how bad it is for the nation.
You can see what Mychal has to say by reading his column here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:27 AM

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Conflicted Priorities of Britain's Government-Run Health System

Britain's public health system has said that heroin addicts may be given access to swine flu vaccine earlier than Britain's general population, as they are unusually vulnerable.

Last week, a 22-year-old man from Essex, England with liver disease died after he was denied a liver transplant by the same health system. Active alcoholics aren't allowed transplants, even if they commit to stop drinking, as Gary Reinbach did. His brother, Luke, told the press, "They never gave him the chance to show he could change."

Whether you agree or disagree with these decisions, are they the national government's to make?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:03 PM

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Police Chief Calls Traffic Camera Monitoring "Cowardly"

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier called iPhone users who monitor the location of traffic cameras and speed traps "cowardly."

Chief Lanier appears to have totally forgotten the official purpose of the traffic cameras and speed traps, which is to get drivers to follow traffic regulations.

People who stick to the speed limit because their iPhone app told them a speed trap is coming up are not any less safe than people who stick to the speed limit because they see a police car on the shoulder.

In fact, they may be safer, as the pre-warned iPhone users probably don't suddenly hit the brakes as do so many drivers when they see a police car (even if they aren't speeding in the first place -- ever notice that?).

I'm an iPhone user who drives in D.C. I had no interest in getting this app until Chief Lanier made this comment. Now I intend to find out what it is called and get it just because she said this. Few things are more annoying than a public servant abusing citizens for exercising their constitutional rights (unless it is a public servant with the power to make arrests doing it).

I will toss the chief a bone, however: When I start routinely seeing police cars -- the ones that don't have their sirens on or show any sign that they are responding to an emergency -- routinely following the speed limits and other traffic rules, I'll delete the app.

Care to tell your own officers to slow down, Chief?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:31 AM

Thursday, July 16, 2009

House Health Care "Reform" Bill Bans Sale of Private Health Insurance Policies

Investor's Business Daily is reporting that page 16 of the House Majority's health care bill bans new health insurance policies from being sold after the bill becomes law.

The editorial says, in part:
It didn't take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House's "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised - with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers...

...It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It's scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we'll come across in the final 1,002.
There's more in the editorial; for copyright reasons I could only excerpt it. Please go to Investor's Business Daily and read "It's Not An Option" immediately. Then ask your friends to do so.

This isn't merely a smoking gun showing the liberals are making a hard push now for socialized medicine, folks. This is a forest fire.

Addendum, 9:30 AM: A private source is telling me that, under the legislation, individual private insurance policies would still be permitted for sale through the government's insurance exchange, but the current system for the purchase and sale of health insurance would be shut down. So, as Matt Drudge would say, developing...

Addendum, 11:57 PM: More explanation here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:50 AM

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Government's Penalties for Success Are Running Into Its Subsidies for Failure

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) says today in an article by Matt Cover for CNSNews.com that small businesses don't make $280,000 a year, so new health care tax hikes at that level won't harm small business.

Oddly though -- as a commenter on the CNSNews.com website noted -- the Small Business Administration will provide financial assistance to firms making many times that.

If you manufacture cigarettes, for example, you are eligible for Small Business Administration assistance if you have a thousand employees. Setting aside the question of why Congress is subsidizing cigarette manufacturing while penalizing it with sin taxes, can we rationally assume a business with a thousand employees never clears $280,000 a year?

So we appear to have a case in which you are penalized for being rich at the same time you are subsidized for not being rich enough.

But there is a method to Congress' madness, says Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), as reported by Adam Brickley and Fadia Galindo for CNSNews.com. The Congressional majority's health care tax plan is designed to harm small businesses sufficiently to force them to cut their employees' health care benefits, thus forcing those employees onto the public health care plan.

So when it looks like Congress is taxing and subsidizing the same people in a completely nonsensical way, we can rest assured that there is a purpose behind it after all -- the purpose of driving as many of us as politically-possible into a substandard, inevitably insolvent public health care plan.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:36 PM

Have a Disabled Child? Mom Getting Forgetful? Expect ObamaCare to Let Them Die

Longtime conservative activist Foster Friess writes on his Campfire blog of Dr. Zeke Emanuel's plans to limit the health care expenses of "individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens..."

In other words, if you are getting old, or not all there mentally, bye bye to you if you need health services that cost money.

Is Dr. Emanuel some powerless nut? If only!

No, he's President Obama's Special Advisor for Health Policy, his brother is the White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel, and Dr. Emanuel laid out these views in the influential British medical journal The Lancet.

Have a severely disabled child? Mom getting forgetful? If this kind of thinking becomes policy (beware: it could), expect ObamaCare to let them die.

Addendum 7/22/09: Mark Tapscott and John Goodman see it the same way.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:22 AM

Monday, July 13, 2009

Video of Tom Borelli on Obama's Corporatism Strategy on Glenn Beck

Here's the video of Monday's broadcast of the Glenn Beck Show on the Fox News channel in which Tom Borelli, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project and Wall Street analyst/Fox Business News commentator Charles Payne talk about GE's quasi-merger with the Obama Administration, GE's hiring of Linda Daschle as a lobbyist, the recent appointment of a GE executive to a top Obama Administration post at the EPA and how, as Glenn Beck put it in the segment, "the little guy gets screwed."

Hat tip to America's News Today for putting the video on YouTube.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:10 PM

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Carol Browner's Hijinks: They Call This Open Government?

Mark Tapscott is on the case of White House "climate czar" Carol Browner, who appears to be continuing her wily Clinton Administration pattern of dodging and weaving whenever legal niceties interfere with her left-wing agenda.

As Mark writes in his piece entitled "'Put Nothing In Writing,' Browner Told Auto Execs on Secret White House CAFE Talks; Sensenbrenner Wants Investigation":
Carol Browner, former Clinton administration EPA head and current Obama White House climate czar, instructed auto industry execs "to put nothing in writing, ever" regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated regarding a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-WI, is demanding a congressional investigation of Browner's conduct in the CAFE talks, saying in a letter to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, that Browner "intended to leave little or no documentation of the deliberations that lead to stringent new CAFE standards."

Federal law requires officials to preserve documents concerning significant policy decisions, so instructing participants in a policy negotation concerning a major federal policy change could be viewed as a criminal act...
Browner should answer these charges and very specifically, too, but President Obama must be held to account as well. It's not as though he didn't know what he was getting when he appointed Browner. As my husband David Ridenour pointed out in an op-ed published around the U.S. early this year, when Browner was head of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration, it made a practice of skirting the law.

David wrote, in part:
Throughout [Carol Browner's] years as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton administration, EPA officials routinely violated the Anti-Lobbying Act - a law prohibiting federal employees from using agency money for 'telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress.'

In 1995, the EPA flagrantly violated that law when it lobbied against the Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act, a bill that would have curbed some of the EPA's worst abuses.

As James Hinchman, comptroller general of the United States, noted, EPA officials 'distributed EPA fact sheets to various organizations' and 'directly lobbied the Congress.' Not only that, but an EPA regional administrator wrote a strong op-ed designed to stop the bill's passage.

Four years later, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., accused the EPA of violating the Anti-Lobbying Act again. Byrd - who has made a career of steering pork to his state - complained that the EPA's Transportation Partners Program was coordinating and funding anti-road lobbyists against the law and his state's interests. Browner was forced to terminate the program.
The following year, Browner was at it yet again. This time, her agency was accused of allowing special interests to improperly influence last-minute - so-called midnight - environmental regulations.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered the EPA to preserve communications with such groups. Instead, Browner had her computer hard drive re-initialized, wiping it clean. Lamberth then held the EPA in contempt for 'contumacious conduct.'
As little respect as she's shown for the law, Browner has shown even less for science. During her years at the EPA, agency scientists who didn't toe the party line were subjected to relentless harassment.

David Lewis, an EPA Science Achievement Award recipient, publicly criticized the quality of science used in crafting regulations. In response, the EPA charged Lewis with ethics violations and repeatedly denied him promotion. Although he won whistle-blower judgments against the EPA, he was eventually forced into retirement.
I recommend reading both Mark's full editorial on Browner's CAFE shenanigans and David's full op-ed on Carol Browner's ideology and ethics, as well as a second commentary by Mark, "Browner Has History of Deceit on Government Files" in today's Washington Examiner.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:47 AM

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's Even Worse When It's The Majority Leader

It is not a very good thing when a Congressman laughs at the notion that Congressmen should read the text of legislation before voting on it.

CNSNews.com's Monica Gabriel and Marie Magleby report today that Majority Leader Steny Hoyer actually laughed when asked by CNSNews.com if Members of Congress should read a government health care "reform" bill before voting on it.

"If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn't read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes," Hoyer told CNSNews.com.

If the bill is so unimportant it's not worth the trouble to read (by people who are paid well to read it, no less!), maybe we should just do without.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:31 AM

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Photos of the Washington DC Tea Party

Continuing my post about the Tea Parties in New York City and Washington, D.C. attended by National Center staff, here are photos of the July 4 Tea Party in Washington.

I estimate approximately 4,000 people attended the Tea Party in Washington D.C.

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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 12:38 AM

National Center Staff Engages in Tea Party-Mania

A second round of "tea parties" took place across America this week. According to one organizer's web site, there were almost 1,500 scheduled events across America to protest the unabated growth of government, particularly since Obama took office.

On July 1, Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli and her husband - National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Tom Borelli - attended the tea party in Times Square in New York City.

On July 4, National Center executive director David W. Almasi and his wife Nancy attended the tea party in Washington just steps from the Capitol.

Below are some photos from the New York City tea party. The next post will contain photos from the Washington D.C. tea party.

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Deneen Borelli


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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 12:18 AM

Monday, June 29, 2009

What Killed GM













In this CNBC interview, Peter Flaherty of the National Legal and Policy Center argues that government regulation killed GM.

Peter includes the role of government-backed unions in his analysis:
...[GM's management's] biggest shortcoming... was the failure to take on the unions. No executive in Detroit would dare take on the unions or build a non-union plant in a southern state. Now, there is a reason for that... That’s because of the government, because of the power of the United Auto Workers on our government. If one of them tried, they would have been run out of town. And now we have the ultimate manifestation of it where the UAW has an equity stake in the company and I predict the results are just going to be worse and worse.
Dittos to Peter on that one.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:04 AM

Friday, June 19, 2009

Black Conservatives Warn of Threat to Continued Freedom

On the occasion of the annual holiday "Juneteenth," which celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S., black conservatives associated with Project 21 are warning the continued growth of government poses a significant threat to continued freedom.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:57 AM

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CWRA Approved by Senate Committee, As Expected

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the Clean Water Restoration Act by a party-line vote this morning.

This was expected.

Prospects for CWRA on the Senate floor are less predictable. It could go either way, although the left appears to have an advantage given 1) its control of Congress, and 2) the limited public attention (even from conservative media) the onerous provisions of this massive bill are receiving.

On a more positive note, excluding the bigger-the-government-the-better crowd, the more Americans look at this bill, the less they like it. And why would they like it? Who wants to get a federal permit, or the very least have to investigate whether they need a federal permit, just to landscape their own back yards?

It is not as though the original Clean Water Act, which is a powerful law by anyone's definition, has been repealed or expired. We don't need CWRA to have clean water.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:58 PM

Inhofe on CWRA

Senator James Inhofe's opening statement on CWRA from the hearing is a useful addition to the debate.

I hadn't previously realized the National Association of Realtors and had come out against the bill (perhaps I should stop reviewing the environmental groups' propaganda sheets, which often claim only right-wing dirty water lovers oppose CWRA).

An excerpt from Senator Inhofe's statement:
I see this bill as a significant part of a hostile agenda aimed squarely at rural America. Whether it’s new energy taxes from cap-and-trade legislation or more unfunded environmental mandates, it’s clear that this bill is yet one more raw deal for rural America.

Allowing EPA and the Corps to exercise unlimited regulatory authority over all inter- and intrastate water, or virtually anything that is wet, goes too far and is certainly beyond anything intended by the Clean Water Act. But, that is what S. 787 does. It vastly expands Federal control of private property, despite assurances contained in S. 787. In fact, the very premise of the bill is to override a State’s fundamental right to oversee waters within its borders and to usurp the power of land owners to manage their property as they see fit. The Constitution never envisioned federal jurisdiction being boundless; it carves out room for state and local governments and private property owners to manage their resources.

Two of my Republican colleagues have filed amendments to S. 787, which highlight some very legitimate concerns with the bill. I have chosen not to try and amend the bill because, frankly, I don’t think this bill is fixable. Allow me to just briefly list some of the groups that have expressed concerns with this bill that are not covered by any the amendments filed today: The Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, the American Forest and Paper Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of REALTORS, the American Highway Users Alliance, the American Association of Airport Executives, and the list goes on for about 14 pages...
Senator Inhofe's statement on CWRA should be read in its entirety.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:56 PM

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Clean Water Restoration Act Information Webpage Created

The National Center for Public Policy Research has created a webpage with links to resources about the Clean Water Restoration Act.

The page has links to resources about CWRA published not only by the National Center, but by a variety of other organizations as well. If you are a columnist, blogger, speaker or talk show host planning to address the issue, you will find plenty of useful information on the page.

As National Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith noted below, the legislation is scheduled for a markup and vote in the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee on June 18.

You can visit the page here.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:05 AM

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Clean Water Restoration Act Scheduled for Senate Committee Vote June 18

An important message from National Center for Public Policy Research Senior Fellow R.J. Smith on the Clean Water Restoration Act, which is less about protecting our nation's waters and more about expanding the federal government's power to regulate private property.

From R.J. Smith:
I received an email at 11:05 p.m. last night from Senate Environment and Public Works staff that Senator Barbara Boxer and company are going to bring the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) up for full committee mark-up and vote in their Thursday 18 June business session scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the EPW Hearing Room, 406 Dirksen.

This is Senator Russ Feingold's S.787, which was introduced on April 2.

With the Democrats having nationalized the financial, banking and automobile industries -- bringing a strong layer of socialism to the key portions of the US economy -- they are now moving to nationalize the American land and water.

Under the Clean Water Act, the Federal government only had the authority to regulate "navigable waters" and control the discharge of pollutants and dredge and fill activities within those navigable waters.

The so-called Clean Water RESTORATION Act restores nothing. That is a hoax. Instead, it removes the restrictive and limiting terms "navigable" waters and unconstitutionally extends the Federal regulatory authority over ALL waters of the United States. This includes the driest desert areas that may only hold water for a few weeks a year during summer monsoon rains. And it includes completely isolated prairie potholes (small ponds and marshes) with no connection whatsoever to any other waters.

Furthermore, the bill will now prohibit ALL activities affecting all waters of the United States. This means that anything a landowner, a business, a county roads department, a waterfowl conservation program undertakes that could conceivably affect anything that is wet -- will be subject to the discretionary jurisdiction of Army Corps or EPA bureaucrats. They will then be able to make the lives of family farmers, ranchers, tree farmers, home builders -- almost anyone and everyone -- literally impossible. They will have the total power to force every farmer or rancher or ordinary business owner to run a gauntlet of permits, red tape, delays -- that will delay projects long enough and cost so much as to essentially shut down or bankrupt even the most necessary and innocuous projects.

There are copious examples of wetlands horror stories over the last 20 years in which people have been imprisoned and fined staggering amounts for simply building their own home, cleaning up dumps, or creating habitat for waterfowl. And that occurred under the CWA restrictions of "navigable waters" and prohibitions only on discharging pollutants and dredge and fill activities.

Once those constraints are removed by the CWRA, life will quickly become a bureaucratic nightmare with no exit -- particularly so throughout all of rural America. This bill would be much more honestly named "The Rural Cleansing Act of 2009."

This will be a tough battle given that the E&PW Committee make up is 12 Ds and 7 Rs (which includes Senators George Voinovich and Lamar Alexander).

It is important that people who are concerned about this enlist the help of the agricultural community, especially county and state farm bureaus. They should notify not only the members of the Senate E&PW but also the Senate Agriculture Committee.

It is also vital to contact Rep. Collin Peterson Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and request that he ask for oversight hearings on the impact of the CWRA on America's farmers and the nation's food production.

They should also request that the farmers and ranchers they know and their county and state farm bureaus and cattlemen's associations contact the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, asking them to strongly oppose the CWRA.
Addendum (6/14/09): For more information on the Clean Water restoration act, please visit our new CWRA information webpage at http://www.nationalcenter.org/CWRA.html.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:03 PM

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Go For It, Indiana

Here's hoping the U.S. Supreme Court hears this case.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:13 PM

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chrysler Dealership Closings: They're Calling it "DealerGate"

Did the Obama White House pressure Chrysler to close some dealerships for political reasons?

Mark Tapscott, editorial page editor of the Washington Examiner, examines the question here (blog post) and here (newspaper column).

Others on the story include Josh Painter at RedState; Sammy Benoit at Yid with Lid; Doug Ross @ Journal and more.

A Gateway Pundit post on this tonight leads with: "After Weeding Out GOP-Linked Dealers, Chrysler Looking To Open New Dealerships."

This article sticks out in my mind: "After Surviving Katrina, a Local Car Dealer Becomes a Casualty of the Economy." Nothing overtly political in that story, but it's worth a read for the angle of the guy who pulled up his bootstraps to get a dealership in the first place, only to be hit by Katrina and spend years recovering, now to suffer a killing blow from his government.

Paul Ibrahim notes, accurately, I believe: "Regardless of whether these specific allegations are true, one would be foolish to believe that government makes decisions based on business judgment as opposed to political considerations."

Hat tips: Yid With Lid and Say Anything.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:46 AM

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Money Manager Castigates President, and Good for Him

By way of the Zero Hedge blog, by way of New York magazine, The Lid blog reprints a nice tough letter from money management executive Clifford S. Asness about President Obama's recent attack on hedge fund managers.

An excerpt of the letter (the full version of which you can find on all three websites above):
The President has just harshly castigated hedge fund managers for being unwilling to take his administration's bid for their Chrysler bonds. He called them "speculators" who were "refusing to sacrifice like everyone else" and who wanted "to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout."

...Here's a shock. When hedge funds, pension funds, mutual funds, and individuals, including very sweet grandmothers, lend their money they expect to get it back. However, they know, or should know, they take the risk of not being paid back. But if such a bad event happens it usually does not result in a complete loss. A firm in bankruptcy still has assets. It's not always a pretty process. Bankruptcy court is about figuring out how to most fairly divvy up the remaining assets based on who is owed what and whose contracts come first. The process already has built-in partial protections for employees and pensions, and can set lenders' contracts aside in order to help the company survive, all of which are the rules of the game lenders know before they lend. But, without this recovery process nobody would lend to risky borrowers. Essentially, lenders accept less than shareholders (means bonds return less than stocks) in good times only because they get more than shareholders in bad times.

The above is how it works in America, or how it's supposed to work. The President and his team sought to avoid having Chrysler go through this process, proposing their own plan for re-organizing the company and partially paying off Chrysler's creditors. Some bond holders thought this plan unfair. Specifically, they thought it unfairly favored the United Auto Workers, and unfairly paid bondholders less than they would get in bankruptcy court. So, they said no to the plan and decided, as is their right, to take their chances in the bankruptcy process. But, as his quotes above show, the President thought they were being unpatriotic or worse.

Let's be clear, it is the job and obligation of all investment managers, including hedge fund managers, to get their clients the most return they can. They are allowed to be charitable with their own money, and many are spectacularly so, but if they give away their clients' money to share in the "sacrifice", they are stealing. Clients of hedge funds include, among others, pension funds of all kinds of workers, unionized and not. The managers have a fiduciary obligation to look after their clients' money as best they can, not to support the President, nor to oppose him, nor otherwise advance their personal political views. That's how the system works. If you hired an investment professional and he could preserve more of your money in a financial disaster, but instead he decided to spend it on the UAW so you could "share in the sacrifice", you would not be happy...

...Let's also mention only in passing the irony of this same President begging hedge funds to borrow more to purchase other troubled securities. That he expects them to do so when he has already shown what happens if they ask for their money to be repaid fairly would be amusing if not so dangerous. That hedge funds might not participate in these programs because of fear of getting sucked into some toxic demagoguery that ends in arbitrary punishment for trying to work with the Treasury is distressing...
By the way, New York magazine reports that Mr. Asness supported Mr. Obama during the last election.

Hat tip: Mychal Massie.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:15 PM

Sunday, April 26, 2009

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

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

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Watch Tom Borelli on the Fox Business Network's "Money for Breakfast" on Wednesday Morning

Note: Due to news coming from the G20 meeting, the Fox Business Network has postponed running the scheduled April 1 interview with Tom Borelli until April 2. We apologize for any inconvenience to our readers who tuned in April 1 expecting to see Tom.

From David Almasi:
Tom Borelli, director of The National Center's Free Enterprise Project, is scheduled to be a guest on the Wednesday morning edition of the Fox Business Network's "Money for Breakfast" program (April 1, 2009). Tom will be talking about the inherent problems with imposing a "cap-and-trade" policy relating to greenhouse gas emissions.

"Money for Breakfast" airs between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM eastern on the Fox Business Channel. Tom is tentatively scheduled to appear around 7:40 AM eastern. Check your local cable listings for local channel number or click here.

In a recent column on Townhall, Tom wrote about why some big businesses are lobbying for the inherently risky cap-and-trade policy:
...Clearly, these firms have placed a huge wager on cap-and-trade since the legislation will make carbon dioxide a commodity and drive demand for renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels.

But carbon trading is very speculative at best. For example, JPMorgan is seeking to create carbon emission credits from distributing energy-efficient stoves in Africa. Since the stoves will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere because they burn less fuel than traditional cooking methods, the company wants to claim the savings as a carbon emission credit. The carbon credits would then be sold in the carbon exchange to a company that is over its government mandated limit...

...There must be something in the water on Wall Street that makes these firms dream up such ridiculous ideas. Creating a market built on a house of cards that man's activity is causing global warming is dangerous enough, but that risk gets magnified when markets are created by assigning an artificial value to a ubiquitous and invisible gas such as carbon dioxide.
Additionally, a National Center poll taken in 2008 found that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose a cap-and-trade policy. The poll results can be found here

To learn more about the "Money for Breakfast" program, click here.
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 6:59 PM

U.S. House Holds Kangaroo Hearing to Fool Public About Causes of California Drought

The National Center for Public Policy Research has sent a 'kangaroo' to a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Resources Committee on climate change and the California drought.

The kangaroo's appearance will to protest the fact that the hearing is expected to ignore the contribution of environmental regulations in exacerbating the drought, and also the fact that only representatives of government agencies, mostly federal, have been invited to testify.

Our press release explains:
'Kangaroo-Court' Hearing a One-Sided View of California Drought

Regulations Making Water Shortage Worse


For Release: March 31, 2009 10:30 AM

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


Washington, D.C.: The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources is holding a one-sided hearing this morning on the California drought that is expected to blame climate change for a critical water shortage while glossing over the role of activist-inspired environmental policies in exacerbating the shortage, according to The National Center for Public Policy Research.

The hearing, entitled "The California Drought: Actions by Federal and State Agencies to Address Impacts on Lands, Fisheries, and Water Users," will be held today, March 31, at 10:30 am in Room 1324, Longworth House Office Building.

Only representatives of government agencies will be permitted to testify at the hearing. Most of the witnesses will be from federal agencies.

To draw attention to the biased nature of the proceedings, The National Center for Public Policy Research will send a representative to the hearing best suited for a kangaroo court - a kangaroo.

"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," remarked R.J. Smith, a Senior Fellow at The National Center for Public Policy Research. "Let's have an open Committee hearing and hear real people discussing the impacts on their lives from government regulations and their massive job losses - instead of more government bureaucrats who are only causing the problem."

California - the nation's largest producer of tomatoes, lettuce, almonds, apricots, strawberries and many other crops - risks agricultural losses of over $2 billion for the upcoming season and $3 billion in total economic losses in 2009. According to a University of California at Davis study, 80,000 jobs could be lost in the Central Valley.

Although global warming is expected to receive much of the blame for this economic disaster, government regulation is a more significant - and preventable cause - of it, according to The National Center for Public Policy Research.

For example, state and federal water officials have sharply cut agricultural water deliveries in California so that more water can go out to sea as part of an effort to protect the Delta Smelt - a three-inch long fish listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In February, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced a "zero allocation" of water from the Central Valley Project, cutting off the massive federal irrigation system that serves numerous California farms. The supply of water from California's State Water Project is 20 percent of normal.

"By demanding that the water flow into the Pacific Ocean, government meddlers have forced farmers to abandon production, threatening both the nation's fresh food supplies and the jobs of farm workers, many of whom are among the nation's poorest minorities," said Mr. Smith. "Ironically, the cut-off of agricultural water has done nothing to help the Delta Smelt. Every year less water is diverted for agriculture, yet the fish population continues to decline."

The state of California also deserves blame for the water shortage because it has failed to build the water infrastructure necessary for the state's growing population.

Donn Zea, President of the Northern California Water Association, wrote in the March 5th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle that although California's population has doubled over the past 40 years, the state has not meaningfully updated its water storage capacity since 1967. "As a result, when drought hits, we have an amount of water suitable for California in 1960 - not 2009," wrote Mr. Zea.

The Resources Committee - which has a history of promoting global warming alarmism - is expected to explore the dubious link between a modest increase in global temperatures and localized weather patterns devastating California.

"If certain members of the House Natural Resources Committee want the world to believe that a regional drought in an arid area of California is further 'proof' of global warming, then let's hope that they apply the same reasoning to the floods that are ravaging eastern and central North Dakota," remarked Dr. Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow at The National Center for Public Policy Research. "By the thousands, residents of Fargo and Bismarck are trying to protect their cities from the rising waters of the Red and Missouri Rivers. The blocks of ice on the Missouri River north of Bismarck were so huge that explosives were used to blow them up. Will Chairman Rahall invite Fargo's mayor and other North Dakota officials before his committee to testify on how ordinary citizens spent hours in sub-freezing, snowy weather protecting their homes and businesses from the effects of global cooling?"

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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Here's hoping our 'kangaroo' (actually, a man in a kangaroo costume) is able to draw some attention to government regulations that are needlessly hurting Californians.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:23 AM

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