These are my links for March 4th from 11:51 to 11:52:
- When Everyone Dares to Call it a Conspiracy – The Koch Brothers – In today's Examiner, Mark Tapscott discusses William F. Buckley's banishment of John Birchers to the fringe of the conservative movement decades ago and how it relates to today's conspiracy mongering on the left. In particular, the bleatings about the influence of Koch Industries have run comepletely off the rails and it's discrediting to the left:(…)
Just add to Tapscott's point, this the left's collective Koch delusions are especially odd considering that for years liberals have been accusing conservatives of wallowing in the fever swamps whenever George Soros' name comes up. And in some select instances, this is a not unfair criticism.
But Tapscott's fellow Examiner columnist Tim Carney has made the point that the political influence of the different billionaire funders is an instructive contrast. Charles and David Koch own a privately held company, whereas hedge fund head and currency manipulator George Soros depends a lot on state coercion to make his money.
Further, Carney notes that some of the biggest critics of Koch on the left, such as the Center for American Progress and Common Cause, are big recipients of Soros funding. Go figure.
Fancy that…..George Soros
- Paranoia 2011: Beware of the Koch behind every bush – The search is over, for now anyway, because the paranoid Left has decided the real evil genius on the Right is named Koch. Actually, that would be "geniuses," as in Charles and David Koch. For decades, these two have been funding libertarian-oriented causes, candidates and organizations. David even ran for vice president once, on the Libertarian Party ticket.
But in recent months we have begun to hear "Koch whore" chanted at every turn by leftist bloggers, think tankers and political activists.
Typical is this from a fundraising e-mail circulated yesterday by Faiz Shakir of the Center for American Progress: "Before most of the general public knew who they were, we were exposing the Kochs as the architects of the Tea Party movement in early 2009. We revealed their culpability for severe air pollution and, most recently, catalogued their union-busting efforts in Wisconsin."
The paranoid left has made much of the Koch Political Action Committee's $43,000 donation to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, saying that money proves the Badger State GOPer is a Koch puppet. They never explain how a politician who, according to MAPLight.org has received more than $9.7 million in political contributions since entering politics in 1993 could now be swayed by a contribution that represents 0.004 percent of his total career funding.
Thus is illustrated what Buckley meant by views being "so far removed from common sense."
The stereotypical conspiracy theorist, of course, is Welch, thanks to decades of mainstream media agitprop. That's ironic considering Saul Alinsky's Rule 12: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." With that maxim, Alinsky unhinged the Left by turning political paranoia into a strategic necessity.
Is there a liberal editor today willing to do for the Left what conservative Buckley did decades ago for the Right?
Read it all
These are my links for March 3rd from 20:23 to 20:32:
- Jim DeMint: Public Broadcasting Should Go Private – When presidents of government-funded broadcasting are making more than the president of the United States, it's time to get the government out of public broadcasting.
While executives at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) are raking in massive salaries, the organizations are participating in an aggressive lobbying effort to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year by cutting their subsidies. The so-called commercial free public airwaves have been filled with pleas for taxpayer cash. The Association of Public Television Stations has hired lobbyists to fight the cuts. Hundreds of taxpayer-supported TV, radio and Web outlets have partnered with an advocacy campaign to facilitate emails and phone calls to Capitol Hill for the purpose of telling members of Congress, "Public broadcasting funding is too important to eliminate!"
PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to "let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting." But if PBS can pay Ms. Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation—as reported on the 990 tax forms all nonprofits are required to file—surely it can operate without tax dollars.
The executives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which distributes the taxpayer money allocated for public broadcasting to other stations, are also generously compensated. According to CPB's 2009 tax forms, President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year. That's practically a pittance compared to Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, who received more than $1.2 million in compensation, according to the tax forms the nonprofit filed in 2009.
- The Kochs fight back – Listing Who, What and Why – Faced with an avalanche of bad publicity after years of funding conservative causes in relative anonymity, the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, Charles and David, are fighting back.
They’ve hired a team of PR pros with experience working for top Republicans including Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger to quietly engage reporters to try to shape their Koch coverage, and commissioned sophisticated polling to monitor any collateral damage to the image of their company, Koch Industries.
At the same time, through their high-priced lawyers, private security detail and influential allies in conservative politics and media, the Kochs have played hard ball with critics and suspected foes.
Young environmental activists who pranked them have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $100,000 in damages, and the leak of an internal document describing their political activities resulted in an investigation – complete with document analysis and interviews of suspects – that eventually identified the mole.
Both their new openness and their aggressive – and sometimes secretive – tactics were on display before and during the Kochs’ closed-door, invitation-only four-day annual winter meeting of conservative donors and leaders that concluded Tuesday with a breakfast at the pricey resort that hosted it here in the Palm Springs suburbs.
Read it all.
I missed this piece a month ago when I covered the Koch Conference in Ranch Mirage
- The Enquirer’s Edwards Source’s Story – Observations by Mickey Kaus – Everybody’s favorite Rielle Hunter source, Pigeon O’Brien, tells her story in the Huffington Post. I learned some things: 1) A lot more people were investigating the Edwards/Hunter sex scandal than I’d thought. It wasn’t just the National Enquirer and Sam Stein of HuffPo. Other campaigns and other publications were calling O’Brien for confirmation. Which raises the question: If so much of the MSM knew or suspected the story was true, why was it subequently so easily cowed by the efforts of John and Elizabeth Edwards to cover it up? 2) After Edwards’ first semi-confession, when he swore he couldn’t be the father of Rielle Hunter’s child, MSM reporters took his side with O’Brien:
Rielle was flown out of the country and Edwards “confessed” on television (the first confession, the one in which he denied he was Quinn’s father) but included a troubling aside that he’d been with her at the hotel late at night because of her “troubles.” The press leaped on this and my phone rang all night: She’s blackmailing him for Andrew Young’s baby! Appalled, I spoke out and was told again and again, off camera, “Why do you defend her? Edwards says she’s a slut. Who knows whose baby that is?”
Read it all
I first learned of the National Enquirer and the entire flap through reading Mickey's blog
These are my links for March 2nd from 14:05 to 14:10:
- California Still Barking Up the Wrong Tree for Taxes – The Amazon tax is back for debate. Again. Despite court rulings that the thing is unconstitutional, despite proven records of failure in those states who have tried it, California’s Democratic leadership is again proposing the online tax.
None of the excuses for this wasteful proposal make sense. Some retailers claim that taxes are needed to even the playing field between brick and mortar stores that do collect tax, and online retailers who do not. After all, that is why our local WalMart is suffering, right? But a recent LA Times article shows that retailers such as WalMart are hurting, not because they compete with Amazon, but because they have scaled back their merchandise offerings, forcing customers to look elsewhere to complete their shopping lists. In fact, WalMart is not losing customers to online retailers so much as they are losing their customers to even lower priced offerings such as dollar stores.
Meanwhile, retailers like Amazon, using technology to streamline delivery processes, and offering a wide variety of items, just posted major increases in sales. In this video from CNN executives claim Amazon shows 26-40% growth, from the same time last year, with 15,000 employees hired in 2010. And yet, California’s Dems want to effectively slap one of the major employers in the US who is actually offering good paying jobs, with benefits.
But, California Democrats in the state legislature have never met a tax they did not like – even if it does not involve capturing that much revenue.
To the LEFT, it is more about punishing people in the marketplace in search of a social justice "fairness."
- Koch Brothers Receive Praise From Obama Administration – Progressives may have decided that businessmen and libertarian political benefactors David and Charles Koch are the latest harbingers of the vast right-wing conspiracy, but they could be shocked to learn that several Koch Industries subsidiaries have been working closely and productively with…the Obama administration.
Specifically, it’s with Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency that Koch Industries has been playing nice. In Texas last fall, for instance, the Koch-owned Flint Hills Resources helped forge an agreement between the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality in a regulation dispute. The move got the company praise from the EPA, calling the agreement a “model for other companies.” (…)
The EPA under President Obama has also praised Koch subsidiaries Georgia-Pacific and Invista for their cooperation with the agency. Georgia-Pacific even won an award from the EPA in 2009. Leftists may complain that these right-wing bogeymen are unfairly challenging federal environmental regulations so they can “keep pumping out pollution for free,” but it seems the Obama administration has a lot of positive things to say about the brothers Koch.
The Koch Brothers are businessmen and it is in their interests to NOT pollute the environment and alienate/poison their customers.
The LEFT is laughable in their conspiracy theories regarding the Kochs
These are my links for February 25th from 13:49 to 14:32:
- Bashing Fox News? Call it free advertising for the network – Those who call it "fake news" may wish to reconsider giving Fox News Channel free advertising: FNC and Cablevision have announced a new multi-year carriage agreement, continuing Fox's presence in homes throughout New York, New Jersey, and my native Connecticut. This news comes despite constant attacks from the Left, primarily in the form of Media Matters, who consistently claims that Fox News is a kind of partisan propaganda outlet that needs to be exposed. Could it be that Media Matters' and other critics' constant drumtaps against Fox are helping to make it stronger?
In fact, Fox is still going strong. For nine years straight, the network has been on top of the pile. It's raking in more and more cash. During its coverage of the Egyptian uprising, Fox beat out MSNBC and CNN combined, the latter of which having had the historical advantage of being the international network. (Many networks risked a great deal to get in on the story, as CNN's Anderson Cooper, CBS's Lara Logan, and Fox News's Greg Palkot were all attacked during their coverage.)
Fox News continues to weather the attacks of the LEFT with even greater ratings success.
Bring it on = Roger Ailes
- Two more leftwing front groups exposed = Common Cause and Alliance for Justice Go After the Koch Brothers – The Post's Feb. 24 story did not explain that the letter had been the brainchild of AFJ. (It didn't provide any reference to Common Cause, which had been manning a nearly identical campaign.) But there it was: the same storyline about the Koch brothers and the attendance of Justice Thomas and Scalia at a Koch event. Moreover, the head of AFJ repeated the Koch storyline to The Post. "Nan Aron, director of the liberal group Alliance for Justice, said that if these rules were extended to the Supreme Court, none of the justices could attend 'overtly political meetings or events' like those sponsored by the Kochs." The Post report never identified her as head of AFJ, the author of the letter.
And so we have the second liberal front group in this scheme, AFJ. AFJ didn't identify itself on the letter to Congress, and I wouldn't have known it was behind the latest round of "get-the-Kochs" except for my work on Citizens United and Morrison's forthright answers.
In a subsequent post I'll look at what AFJ is and who funds them. But if you've been paying attention, you probably know all that, right?
- Gingrich: If Palin Took Obama Actions, There Would Be Calls for Impeachment – In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV Friday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said President Barack Obama’s decision not to fully enforce the Defense of Marriage law has sparked a constitutional crisis as he has directly violated his constitutional duties by arbitrarily suspending a law.
Gingrich for the first time raised the specter of Obama’s removal from office, noting that, if a “President Sarah Palin” had taken a similar action, there would have been immediate calls for her impeachment.
Obama Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday that the administration will not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, which has banned recognition of same-sex marriage for 15 years. President Clinton signed the act into law in 1996.
Obama’s decision to forego a legal defense of the law has caused a firestorm of anger from conservative groups.
Gingrich slammed Obama for his decision, telling Newsmax that he is not a “one-person Supreme Court” and his decision sets a “very dangerous precedent” that must not be allowed to stand.
Indeed there would be.
Obama is not a one man Supreme Court and cannot FLEE from his responsibilities to enforce the laws