Obama Lackeys Push For Job-Killing Carbon Taxes

Carbon tax SC Obama Lackeys Push for Job Killing Carbon Taxes

President Obama’s campaign staff morphed into Organizing for America (OFA), and they are using the slow days of August to try to corral its forces to push the president’s scheme to raise taxes on carbon.

A carbon tax would devastate the American workforce, and the turnout at their events show the lack of support for the initiative. In Tennessee, a massive turnout of four Obamabots turned out at the offices of Rep. Scott DesJarlais to demand he vote for the president’s job killing tax increase. Of course, the group is using bogus statistics to push their agenda.  Other members of Congress will face a similar onslaught of half a dozen progressives marching in unison for more taxes and control of our economy.

According to OFA, members of Congress who do not believe that man can control the weather through carbon taxes are described as “deniers” and “anti-science” because “99%” of scientists believe what they are preaching.  It’s all bunk. Forbes reported that this  famous “consensus” claim — that “98% of all scientists believe in global warming” — is bogus. It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois. Of the 10,257 earth scientists who were sent the survey, only about 3,000 responded. But 82 percent of those answered “yes” to the two intentionally ambiguous questions in the “anything but scientific” survey.

Of course, OFA will never mention the fact that 31,487 scientists signed a petition that said “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing (or will in the foreseeable future cause) catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.”

So who is really denying science?

There is one other thing OFA will never mention — the impact the Obama’s carbon taxes will have on jobs.  A tax will drive up the cost of energy, and higher energy prices ripple through the economy. Businesses face higher operating costs and pass those costs on to the consumer. The Heritage Foundation found that significantly reducing coal, as the President’s climate plan would do, would destroy 500,000 jobs by 2030.

The media will probably do their job — reporting on how half a dozen zealots were protesting members of Congress to demand this scheme and never report the truth behind the rhetoric.  We have come to expect nothing less.

Photo credit: peace chicken (Creative Commons)

 

 

The “Stupid Party” Carries Hollywood’s Water

Hollywood SC The Stupid Party Carries Hollywoods Water

News that President Obama has gone back to his Hollywood well to promote ObamaCare enrollment is another reminder of why the GOP is often called the “stupid party.”

Hollywood and the recording industry are the backbone of the Democrat party. They can always be counted on for campaign contributions and support.  During the last presidential campaign, the “stars” raised and donated tens of millions of dollars for the Obama campaign, allowed the campaign to use their names for promotion, and hosted fundraisers across the country.  From music to movies, the content industry is the Democrat Party.
Considering these facts, why on earth would Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) include in his faux border security amendment a special giveaway to Hollywood?  Why would Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees continue to carry water for Hollywood on issues of copyrights?  Why would so-called conservative groups come out and oppose efforts to get government price-fixing out of Internet royalty pricing? The answer is obvious: Money.  But unlike the Democrats who get millions from the industry, the Republicans are willing to sell out and do their bidding for crumbs off their plate.
Late last year, a staff member on the House Republican Study Committee, Derek Khanna, wrote a paper outlining his opposition to Hollywood’s copyright agenda.  Entitled” Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It,” Khanna described how today’s strict copyright system hampers progress and runs contrary to constitutional principles.  “Today’s legal regime of copyright law is seen by many as a form of corporate welfare that hurts innovation and hurts the consumer. It is a system that picks winners and losers, and the losers are new industries that could generate new wealth and added value,” he wrote. He went on to advocate lighter penalties for copyright infringement and an expansion of fair use.
He was summarily fired.  Word on Capitol Hill was that Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a water-carrier for the music industry, pressed for his removal.  Rather than supporting the free exchange of ideas and supporting a constitutional conservative, Blackburn and her allies in the content industry got her way.
The same reaction was seen when conservative Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced legislation to help Internet radio stations that are drowning under a price fixing regime established by the government.  The government established a price for music royalties for songs played on the Internet six times higher than for other mediums.  Companies like Pandora are forced to give over 50% of their revenue back in royalties because of a dictate from the Library of Congress.  Chaffetz’s bill would allow Internet radio stations to negotiate performance fees under the same process used for cable music channels and satellite-radio providers.  But out of the woodwork came a handful of Beltway conservative groups to oppose the introduction of market forces in the price negating process. Seems clear that they are doing the bidding of the big boys.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)  has a chance to do what Corker and Senate Republicans apparently couldn’t– demonstrate that he is not part of the “stupid party.”  Goodlatte has pledged to review the issue of music royalties and copyrights, and perhaps we will finally have a leader in the House willing to stand up for free markets and technology by telling Hollywood and the content industry to take their price fixing schemes elsewhere.  He may lose a few campaign contributions in the process, but he would be doing the country a big favor.
Photo Credit: Kiran Ambre (Creative Commons)

Taxpayers Fuel Democrat Party Corruption

Democrat Recycling Program SC Taxpayers Fuel Democrat Party Corruption

Earlier this month, President Obama traveled to California to tout the state’s progress implementing ObamaCare as a model; but a look behind the curtain finds it is a model for corruption and cronyism.

While other states that have accepted ObamaCare have specifically stated that their health care exchanges are covered by open-records laws, California is purposefully hiding how hundreds of millions in taxpayer money is being spent.  When the California legislature created the agency to oversee its creation of a government health care exchange, it included a provision that would conceal spending on the contractors from public disclosure and scrutiny for one year. The California code now reads, “Except for the portion of a contract that contains the rates of payment, contracts entered into pursuant to this title shall be open to inspection one year after their effective dates.”

The legislature has allocated nearly $1 billion to implement the exchange, with $458 million to be allocated to vendors by the end of 2014.  These vendors will include law firms (many with connections to the highest level of California government); salaries for bureaucrats, consultants and public relations advisors; and most troubling, the pockets of liberal groups.  In liberal speak, that’s called “outreach.”

Terry Francke, head of California Aware, an organization working to ensure public access to government meetings and information, believes the law violates the state’s constitutional requirement that explicit exclusions from the open record law must be “necessary” to protect “powers and obligations to negotiate on behalf of the public.”  With the legislature providing no supporting evidence of the need to keep their contracts secret, Mr. Francke asked, “Why couldn’t the exchange do its job without this secrecy? What’s the worst that could happen?”

We now know.  The first round of grants have been awarded, and many of them were given directly to the treasuries of liberal political groups that have nothing to do with health care.  The NAACP received $600,000 for canvassing.  The AFL-CIO got $1 million to go door-to-door. And another union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), got $2 million for a phone campaign.  Sprinkle in the fact that the legislature also required registration to be a function of the health care exchange, and we have all the elements of a massive political scandal — all paid for by the taxpayers.

Led by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), five United States Senators, all members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, are asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate. “We see no reason why a state that has been awarded nearly $910 million in federal taxpayer dollars should not disclose how that money is being spent once a contract is finalized,” they wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

California’s effort to conceal its ObamaCare contracts may be problematic, but the real scandal appears to be the cronyism and corruption inherent when government hands out half a billion dollars to their friends, benefactors, and political allies.

Photo credit: terrellaftermath

Mad Video Game Science

Videogame SC Mad Video Game Science

You wouldn’t know it from watching the news, but instances of violence in American society have fallen precipitously over the past decade. At the same time, more Americans than ever are playing video games. Yet, a bipartisan group of members of Congress continue to insist that video games might be responsible for random acts of violence, despite overwhelming evidence and facts showing they are wrong.

Vice-President Joe Biden, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IW) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) are among the leading proponents of the belief that there is a link between violence and video games. And they believe that taxpayer dollars should foot the bill for studies to attempt to prove it. But trying to prove causation is folly.

A few months ago, Congressman Wolf, an Appropriations Committee cardinal responsible for doling out billions of taxpayer dollars to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and hundreds of other government agencies, demanded that the National Science Foundation (of which he oversees funding) conduct a study proving his point. The Foundation hired Communication Professor Brad J. Bushman of Ohio State University to do the study. Bushman was the obvious choice; for he once did a study that concluded that the Bible could be used to incite violence. If the Bible induces violence, perhaps so does Grand Theft Auto. Low and behold, the professor found the link! The professor concluded that there are theoretical reasons to believe that violent video games are even more harmful than violent TV programs or films. Rep. Wolf was happy, as were the bureaucrats who want more funding from Mr. Wolf. A Washington win-win, as they say, except for the taxpayers.

There is just one problem — the facts. More Americans play video games today than ever before. While the sales of video games have expanded exponentially, violence in the United States has fallen. Youth violence has fallen. Incidents of bullying have fallen. Even violent crimes by juveniles have fallen. In short, the taxpayers are left holding the bill for a theoretical study with no basis in reality.

But in Washington, one study is never enough. Sen. Charles Grassley wants his own study. Even the National Rifle Association (NRA) is happy to blame the video game industry to shift attention away from gun control. There have been over 130 studies on video games over the past decade, with most finding no link.

Chris Ferguson, a psychologist at Texas A&M International University, has conducted similar experiments and finds studies linking video games and violence to be trivial. “You know most of the debate now is really on to these minor acts of aggressiveness,” he said. “You know we’re talking about little children sticking their tongues out at each other and that sort of thing.” Ferguson says it’s easy to think that senseless video game violence can lead to senseless violence in the real world. But he says that’s mixing up two separate things. “Many of the games do have morally objectionable material, and I think that is where a lot of the debate on this issue went off the rails,” he said. “We kind of mistook our moral concerns about some of these video games, which are very valid — I find many of the games to be morally objectionable — and then assumed that what is morally objectionable is harmful.”

It will be interesting to see if Mr. Ferguson stands up to those (like Bushman) who seem to be in search of data to validate what they are already spouting as true. A bit of intellectual independence would be refreshing in today’s world.

The last thing the taxpayers need is mountains of money being spent on mountains of politically-driven studies to support the political agendas of those who wish to abridge the First Amendment.

Photo credit: dominicotine (Creative Commons)

Liberal Stereotyping

Guns SC Liberal Stereotyping

If a picture speaks a 1,000 words, liberal Philadelphia Daily News cartoonist Signe Wilkerson has painted us a lifetime of reading about the liberal worldview when it comes to the Second Amendment.  His cartoon of August 17th, syndicated to newspapers throughout the nation, paints gun owners as hateful racists Aryan Nazis.  Talk about liberal stereotyping.

Wilkerson’s point is simple — if someone walks into a gun store with no history of mental illness or criminal activity, the government should be in a position to bar the sale if the purchaser does not “look right.”  Talk about a subjective standard that would never stand up to Constitutional scrutiny.  Would Mr. Wilkerson suggest that an African-American wearing pants drooped over his waistband be stereotyped as a gang member?  Or would Mr. Wilkerson’s standard only apply to whites?

Whatever Mr. Wilkerson and his ilk believe, it is not that the Constitution provides citizens with the right to bear arms. If they did believe in the Second Amendment, they would know that the burden would be on the government to prove the purchaser is not entitled to his or her rights.  Wilkerson is applying the Harry Reid “Romney has to prove he paid his taxes” standard to our Second Amendment rights.

Likewise, conveying an image of a gun purchaser as a Nazi is also problematic.  Millions of Americans purchase firearms legally and never use the gun to break the law.  But once again, liberals are more than willing to caricature gun owners in the most negative stereotype imaginable.

Recently, a gay activist walked into the Family Research Council intending to shoot the staff. What are the odds that Wilkerson would ever redraw his cartoon with a flamboyant gay man purchasing a gun? Mr. Wilkerson, are you suggesting the gun store owner should deny gays the ability to purchase firearms to defend themselves?  It is the only logical conclusion you can draw from Mr. Wilkerson’s worldview.

 

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