Archive for October, 2009
WASHINGTON – It was the kind of legislation that rarely generates much debate in Congress: a bill to expand a local water recycling program.
However, the House spent more than three hours Thursday trying to decide whether to allow the creation of six recycling projects in the San Francisco area.
In the end, the bill passed easily, as everyone knew it would. The lengthy and often pointed debate amounted to a Republican gambit that increasing California‘s parched farm belt — and could help tilt some congressional races in the GOP’s favor next year.in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s backyard wouldn’t go over very well with voters in
Some of the nation’s most productive farmland has been idled because of a water shortage caused by three years of drought, as well as restrictions associated with protecting a native fish. Lawmakers from the San Joaquin Valley have described the economic devastation as their Hurricane Katrina, citing as high as 40 percent in some of the hardest-hit communities.
GOP strategists believe they have a winning plan for the next election by tying the economic woes to Democratic lawmakers.
“Water is going to be the issue in all thethat are part of the ,” said Joanna Burgos, spokeswoman for the . “When you have 40 percent unemployment because of a court order that could be solved by Congress, it’s hard to focus on any other subject.”
Previous water recycling projects have been noncontroversial. For example, Republican lawmakers Ken Calvert, and all sponsored legislation expanding or establishing recycling programs in their California districts. Those bills all passed overwhelmingly in the House.
, D-Calif., didn’t get such support. The recycling projects authorized through Miller’s bill would be located in the Bay area and would turn more than 7 million gallons of wastewater daily into water for parks, golf courses and landscaping.
In the long run, the program helps the farm belt, Miller said. If parks in his district need less water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, then more water could be made available for other uses, such as meeting the needs of farmers, he said.
“If you want to make it more difficult in the valley, then kill all the recycling projects,” Miller said. “If you want to make it less likely that water’s going to come to the valley, kill all the recycling projects.”
Opponents repeated the contention from San Joaquin Valley lawmakers that protections for fish are being given higher priority than people. Several mentioned San Francisco, Pelosi’s home, in their arguments.
“We are watering lawns in San Francisco and diverting more water to San Francisco,” said, R-Iowa, “and throwing dust in the face of the hardworking people in the valley.”
San Joaquin Valley.”, R-Wash., made it a point to note that the legislation provides millions of dollars for the speaker’s home turf. “All the while, tens of thousand of their fellow citizens suffer economic devastation just a few hours south and inland in the
Such arguments could make life difficult for Democratic representatives from the San Joaquin Valley, primarily Reps. Election Day, many of those voters will want to make a statement, said Dave Wasserman, an editor at the Cook Political Report.and . Republicans know that come
“To the extent that these Democrats are voting with Nancy Pelosi on anything, Republicans are going to have leverage to tie them with her and to try to send her a message,” Wasserman said.
The two Democrats seemed to take his point to heart. Both voted against Miller’s bill.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
RUSH: The estimable Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat, Texas, took to the floor of the House of Representatives last night. We have two sound bites of her remarks.
|LEE: I stand with the NFL Players Association not to make Rush Limbo (sic) any kind of national standard or a national hero or the national issue. He is not the kind of owner that the NFL needs. He does not represent the fullness of appreciation of athletes of all diverse backgrounds, no matter what he wants to pretend to say on his radio station. Just as they are about to select him as a judge for a Miss America contest, I can’t understand that, but that is their choice. Maybe they think he’ll bring in millions of listeners. But can you imagine a poor girl, scared already, to be able to ask a question about the person she admires most, and she says somebody that happens to be a different political affiliation, she is of course not a winner. But that’s their decision.
RUSH: I wonder if Ms. Jackson Lee has any regard for the truth. Does she have any regard for hoping, desiring to sound intelligent and knowledgeable or is she content and happy and proud to go to the floor of the House of Representatives and make a fool of herself? Do you think she knows the name Carrie Prejean? Maybe it will help here on “my radio station” if I explain to her who Carrie Prejean is. Miss California in the USA pageant. She was asked a purely political question by a lunatic, radical, sick, gay blogger about gay marriage. She gave the same answer to that question that the organizer of the pageant, Donald Trump, has given to that answer, and the president of the United States. She gave the same answer to the question as Obama gave and she was drummed out of her title. And here comes Sheila Jackson Lee, off now to protect not only the National Football League, helping to spread lies, but now hoping to protect the Miss America Pageant. The United States government has people who are now totally comfortable in targeting an individual citizen. Harry Reid has done it, now Sheila Jackson Lee is getting in on the action in the United States of America. Here’s the next sound bite.
LEE: Anybody that wants to call a quarterback in Pennsylvania and call him out, he happens to be African-American, as not being competent, just somebody that the media has promoted, not being talented, interestingly enough that football player is — happens to still be playing and doing a great job. Well, I don’t know why in the heck, other than the big dollar, that Rush Limbo (sic) would be interested in the NFL. And so we’re not interested in him, either.
RUSH: Well, then why did you take all that time to spread lies about me on the floor of the House of Representatives? I’m the guy, Ms. Jackson Lee, who has defended the money athletes make on the basis of their unique talents and the nature of the free market, which awards them their value, based on their ability to get it. She said much more than this, but that’s the flavor of it. So the whole media here has been poisoned. The Democrat Party has been poisoned with lies and fabrications and misstatements, quotes that were never made — (interruption) Snerdley is yelling in my ear, “What makes her a sports expert, who the hell is she?” See, this is the difference between me and Sheila Jackson Lee. If election time came around and I happened to live in her district I’d vote against her, but she can say what she wants. These are the people that have power over us. I don’t have any power where Sheila Jackson Lee is concerned, I have nothing to say about what she does, I have nothing to say about the way she votes, and I don’t seek any power over Sheila Jackson Lee. She on the other hand is just the opposite. She wants power over not just me but as many people as she can get. So there’s a storm, folks.
Now, we’ve all been through these things before. And I mentioned in the previous hour you’ve overwhelmed me with your e-mails and letters of support and your desire to do something. I know you want to be turned loose. I know there’s something you want to do, just take some kind of action. But we’ve been through this before. We’ve been through all these storms, and when the storm surge finally retreats and things return to a modicum of normalcy on the beach, the rock is still there, not going anywhere. We always come through these things better and in a more solid position than we were even when they all began, because these kind of tactics and this kind of behavior always end up backfiring on the perpetrators of lies and falsehoods. Maybe not immediately, but in the big scheme of things, they always do. Snerdley, you want to really get mad? I’ve got something that’s going to make you madder than you have been all week. And those of you, too, in the audience, if you’re mad now, wait ’til you hear the Reverend Jackson on local Chicago TV last night spreading the two false quotes.
|RUSH: Okay. So Rick Sanchez repeats the slavery quote, notes that I deny it, and then says it doesn’t matter. Do you know who Rick Sanchez is? Do you know he’s got two middle names? Rick “DUI” Sanchez, Rick “Leaving-the-Scene” Sanchez. Rick Sanchez was a hit-and-run driver when he lived in Miami, and he is a hit-and-run reporter. From the New York Observer, October 9th, 2007: “Mr. Sanchez had already survived what would ordinarily be a career-killer. While leaving a Miami Dolphins game with his father in 1990, Mr. Sanchez struck a drunken pedestrian, who later died of his injuries. According to police, Mr. Sanchez’s own blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit, and he left the scene before returning. He ultimately pleaded no contest to a DUI charge, but avoided jail time, and even remained on the air. Asked about the incident, Mr. Sanchez’s Ron Burgundy jocularity vanished in an instant.
“‘I don’t see where that has anything to do with anything,’ he said, and called the inquiry ‘a hatchet question.’ He soon regained his cool though. ‘Was it an unfortunate experience? Yes. Was it a learning experience? Absolutely. Do I wish it hadn’t happened? Of course,’ he allowed. ‘I was wrong, because I had a couple of cocktails, because I was over the legal limit,’ he went on. ‘It could have happened to anybody. … There were probably a lot of other people leaving the stadium that had had a couple of beers as well.'” From the Miami New Times, August 7th, 1991: “Minutes after midnight on the morning of December 10, 1990, an intoxicated Smuzinick darted out in front of a Volvo on a residential street near Joe Robbie Stadium. The driver of the car, WSVN-TV Channel 7 anchorman Rick Sanchez, became the subject of a subsequent January 16 New Times story that described the odd circumstances of the accident.
“Sanchez, whom a Metro-Dade police officer said ‘smelled strongly of alcohol,’ first stopped his car but then later left the scene. A blood test to determine Sanchez’s sobriety was not administered until an hour and fifteen minutes after the collision. Though Sanchez says he tried to aid Smuzinick at the scene of the accident and flag down motorists, eyewitnesses claim the anchorman ignored the injured man and loudly told police and bystanders that blood tests were pointless, and would hurt his public image. His attorney, Richard Essen, now says the anchorman returned home and had ‘a couple of drinks to calm his nerves’ before returning to the scene,” before talking to the cops after striking somebody near the Dolphins Stadium and killing him. This is Rick Sanchez — and, hey, Rick? I got sources. I researched this. I sourced it. And I checked it before I decided to go on the air with it. This is how it’s done, Rick, and I’m not even a journalist.
|JACKSON: I stand with the players because he has been so insulting and so incendiary in his comments. The idea that James Earl Ray who killed Dr. King should get an award —
|Lisa, Prairie Home, Missouri, welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hello, Rush.
CALLER: What an honor.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: I have a question for you.
CALLER: Does the government play any role in whether you purchase the St. Louis Rams team or not?
RUSH: Well, they’re trying to, members of the government are, Sheila Jackson Lee certainly is trying to.
CALLER: Well —
RUSH: They’re trying to intimidate. Look, let’s cut to the chase here, folks — and, Lisa, hang on. Let’s cut to the chase here. I can think of no liberal — no matter how foulmouthed, no matter how hateful, in entertainment or outside entertainment — who would be banned from being part of an NFL ownership group. I can’t think of one liberal inside or outside entertainment, foulmouthed or not. I can’t think of one liberal who would even be treated like this. This is all about smearing mainstream, traditional conservatism — and I, El Rushbo, happen to be the most prominent voice for mainstream, traditional conservatism. They cannot beat us, folks, in the arena of ideas. For my entire 21-year broadcast career, they have attempted to discredit me and everybody else who is prominent in conservatism. And it’s now descended to the point that they have to make up things I said! And then when we catch them making up things, they say, “Well, so what? He really believes them! He really believes the words we put in his mouth, and we know he believes them. We know who he is.” There are people… No liberal would ever be treated like this, no matter how foulmouthed. I mean, there are rappers that own parts of NBA teams. Lyrics to their songs we couldn’t play on this radio show. They’re celebrated. “Cool, daddy. Cool!” Now, Lisa, are you still there?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: You sound very tired.
CALLER: No, I’m just nervous ’cause I’m getting to talk to you. Like, you’re like my idol.
RUSH: Aw. That’s great.
CALLER: I think you’re wonderful. Anyway, I think that if you can purchase the team, then you should purchase the team, and I do not understand why Sheila Jackson Lee is talking about it on the House floor if it’s no place for it.
RUSH: I just explained it.
CALLER: I agree. I agree.
RUSH: She’s not trying to keep me out of the NFL. This is just an attack on all of us who are conservatives. Look, they’re scared. Conservatism is in ascendancy. Conservatism is rising. Conservatism is growing. Obama’s in trouble, folks. You can’t take the politics out of me in this, ’cause it’s not about the National Football League. It’s just the latest vehicle for them to go after me.
Now, Lisa, I want you to hang on. Mr. Snerdley has to get some information from you because I am going to give you your choice of a Select Comfort bed because I know you’re tired. You sound tired. You’re probably not sleeping well as indicated by the nervousness you feel talking to me. So, Snerdley will get the information necessary to get you a Select Comfort bed, how to do it, the kind you want. The Sleep Number Select Comfort bed.
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By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
The Obama administration has cut funding for pro-democracy and human rights programs in Iran, reversing years of efforts during the Bush administration to help develop a civil society, congressional sources told Newsmax this week.
The move is apparently intended to please Iran’s rulers after they criticized President Obama and the State Department for allegedly seeking to fund a “velvet revolution” during the June presidential elections in Iran.
“It sounds like the Iranians complained in Geneva and we acceded to their demands,” a former senior government official familiar with the pro-democracy programs told Newsmax.
Word that the administration was planning to cut the pro-democracy programs leaked out in June, when the draft budget for the State Department sent to Congress zeroed out the funds.
The aid cut-back became public last week, when the executive director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, which is affiliated with Yale University campus in New Haven, Conn., disclosed that her center’s request for a grant of $2.7 million had been denied.
“If there is one time that I expected to get funding, this was it,’’ Renee Redman told the Boston Globe last week. “I was surprised, because the world was watching human rights violations right there on television.”
Redman’s center has received $3 million under the State Department program, and has issued reports on human rights abuses. However, they were not active inside Iran and had no programs to support the pro-democracy movement itself, as such activities were considered “too provocative” by the State Department even under President George W. Bush.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who co-sponsored legislation earlier this year that greatly expands pro-democracy funding, questioned the wisdom of the Obama administration’s policy shift.
“It is disturbing that the State Department would cut off funding at precisely the moment when these brave investigations are needed most,” he said last week.
Lieberman’s bill, called the Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) act, passed the Senate in July and has been incorporated into the annual defense appropriations bill, which is scheduled for a final vote this week.
The legislation expands funding for Farsi-language broadcasts by the Voice of America and Radio Farda and authorizes the State Department to spend up to $20 million to develop new technologies to help Iranians get around Internet censorship, and another $5 million for human rights documentation.
Congress continues to fund the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which last year handed out $450,000 to three Iranian-American organizations for media and Internet-related projects. But compared to the $75 million fund set up by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — now frozen by the Obama administration — the NED money is just a drop in the bucket.
“The State Department cut in pro-democracy funding for Iran is part and parcel of a very deliberate policy by President Obama to diminish the role of human rights and democracy as goals of U.S. foreign policy,” said Joshua Muravchik, a scholar focusing on democracy promotion with the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
“This is taking us back to a Nixonian approach to foreign policy, with the incompetence of Carter and the national self-effacement of George McGovern,” he told Newsmax.
President Nixon set aside democracy and human rights to deal with dictatorships such as Communist China and Soviet Russia, based on U.S. national interests. “The Obama administration has combined realism with policies that put the national interest quite low” on the scale of priorities, Muravchik said.
The Iran democracy programs have been shrouded in secrecy, even though they are not classified. David Denehy, a former program manager at the State Department, said he had agreed not to disclose specific grantees or projects, to protect participants who were working inside Iran.
“We did good things with Internet freedom, civil society organizations, and in helping to better inform the Iranian people and better connect them to the outside world,” he told Newsmax. “I don’t see why President Obama wouldn’t support these things. The United States philosophically should always stand on the side of freedom against tyranny.”
The Iranian regime has accused the United States of backing presidential candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi before and after the disputed June 12 presidential elections.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unexpectedly poured fuel onto those suspicions. In an Aug. 9 interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, she said that the Obama administration was torn between their desire to engage the regime and their sympathy for the protesters.
“And we knew that, if we stepped in too soon, too hard, the attention might very well shift and the leadership would try to use us to unify the country against the protesters. And that was — it was a hard judgment call. But I think we, in retrospect, handled it pretty well.
“Now, behind the scenes, we were doing a lot, as you know,” Clinton added, citing specifically the actions of a young State Department employee, Jared Cohen, who intervened with the management of Twitter to prevent them from shutting down access to Iranian bloggers for technical maintenance.
Iranians close to the protesters have argued that the Obama administration turned its back on them when they most needed moral support from Washington.
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Obama appoints an SEIU man with ties to Blago.
One of Big Labor’s priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress. This is a very good reason for the Senate to hold a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Mr. Becker is associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is most recently in the news for its close ties to Acorn, the disgraced housing shakedown operation. President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress.
Yet now that he could soon have the power to act on this conviction, Mr. Becker won’t tell Congress if this is what he still believes. In written responses to questions from Republican Orrin Hatch, Mr. Becker promised only to “maintain an open mind about whether [his] suggestions should be implemented in any manner.” That sounds like his mind is made up but he won’t admit it lest it hurt his confirmation.
Mr. Becker also won’t give a clear answer about his role in preparing several pro-labor executive orders issued by President Obama shortly after inauguration. Mr. Becker’s name was found in at least one of the documents, suggesting that he had written it.
When asked by Sen. Hatch if he was “involved or responsible in any way” for these executive orders, Mr. Becker responded: “I was not responsible for [the specific executive orders] except as described below. As a member of the Presidential Transition Team, I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.” In other words, Mr. Becker was the main author but would rather not say so explicitly.
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Four congressmen are asking for an investigation into the Council on American Islamic Relations after discovering an internal memo noting the group’s strategy.
Four House Republicans on Wednesday accused the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group of trying to “infiltrate” Capitol Hill by placing interns in the offices of lawmakers who handle national security issues.
The four lawmakers, members of the anti-terror caucus, asked for an investigation into the Council on American Islamic Relations after discovering an internal memo noting the group’s strategy. They also highlighted a new book by Paul Sperry titled “Muslim Mafia,” scheduled for release on Thursday, which claims the group has been actively infiltrating Congress.
Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, Trent Franks of Arizona, Paul Broun of Georgia and John Shadegg of Arizona asked the Internal Revenue Service to determine whether CAIR deserves its nonprofit status. They also are asking their colleagues to review a summary of findings that led the Justice Department to name CAIR as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case.
The internal memo, provided to FOXNews.com, stated that CAIR would “focus on influencing congressmen responsible for policy that directly impacts the American Muslim community.”
The memo cited three House committees — Homeland Security, Intelligence and the Judiciary — as panels on which lawmakers preside over policy affecting American Muslims.
“We will develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices,” the memo read.
Earlier this year the FBI severed its once-close ties with CAIR as evidence mounted of the group’s links to a support network for Hamas, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization.
“It’s frightening to think that an organization with clear-cut ties to terrorism could have a hand in influencing policy — especially national security policy — within our government,” Myrick said. “The investigations that we’re asking for are simple, and I’m hopeful that they will bring to light any and all information regarding the goals of CAIR.”
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‘O’ SAY CAN YOU SEE?
Is Obama’s face on U.S. flag illegal?
President’s mug on more than 20 altered Old Glory banners
By Chelsea Schilling
At least 20 American flags with the stars removed from the blue field and President Barack Obama’s face inserted are still available on numerous eBay auctions – but, according to a state code, the listings may violate the law.
The listings were posted by ucandoit45, mekaitlyn-2008 and jaysterd.
The U.S. flag code does not specify penalties for desecration or misuse of the United States flag, but each state has its own laws for such issues. According to the Revised Code of Washington, the eBay items located in Washington may constitute improper use of an American flag:
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Improper use of flag prohibited.
No person shall, in any manner, for exhibition or display:
(1) Place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield of the United States or of this state, or authorized by any law of the United States or of this state; or(2) Expose to public view any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield upon which shall have been printed, painted or otherwise produced, or to which shall have been attached, appended, affixed or annexed any such word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement; or
(3) Expose to public view for sale, manufacture, or otherwise, or to sell, give, or have in possession for sale, for gift or for use for any purpose, any substance, being an article of merchandise, or receptacle, or thing for holding or carrying merchandise, upon or to which shall have been produced or attached any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield, in order to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark or distinguish such article or substance.
Desecration of flag.
No person shall knowingly cast contempt upon any flag, standard,
color, ensign or shield, as defined in RCW 9.86.010, by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon said flag, standard, color, ensign or shield.Improperly using or desecrating the American flag is considered a gross misdemeanor in the state of Washington.
Read the rest of the story with pictures on WND.com
By ISABEL VINCENT and SUSAN EDELMAN
Last Updated: 4:07 AM, June 15, 2008
Anheuser-Busch gave him six figures, Colgate-Palmolive shelled out $50,000 and Macy’s and Pfizer have contributed thousands to the Rev. Al Sharpton’s charity.
Almost 50 companies – including PepsiCo, General Motors, Wal-Mart, FedEx, Continental Airlines, Johnson & Johnson and Chase – and some labor unions sponsored Sharpton’s National Action Network annual conference in April.
Terrified of negative publicity, fearful of a consumer boycott or eager to make nice with the civil-rights activist, CEOs write checks, critics say, to NAN and Sharpton – who brandishes the buying power of African-American consumers. In some cases, they hire him as a consultant.
The cash flows even as the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn has been conducting a grand-jury investigation of NAN’s finances.
A General Motors spokesman told The Post that NAN had repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – asked for contributions for six years, beginning in August 2000.
Then, in December 2006, Sharpton threatened to call a boycott of the carmaker over the closing of an African-American-owned GM dealership in The Bronx, and he picketed outside GM headquarters on Fifth Avenue.
Last year, General Motors gave NAN a $5,000 donation. It gave $5,000 more this year, a spokesman said, calling NAN a “worthy” organization.
In November 2003, Sharpton picketed DaimlerChrysler’s Chicago car show and threatened a boycott over alleged racial bias in car loans.
“This is institutional racism,” he bellowed.
In May 2004, Chrysler began supporting NAN’s conferences, which include panels on corporate responsibility and civil rights and a black-tie awards dinner to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, Sharpton gave Chrysler an award for corporate excellence.
In 2003, Sharpton targeted American Honda for not hiring enough African-Americans in management.
“We support those that support us,” wrote Sharpton and the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, president of NAN’s Michigan chapter, in a letter to American Honda. “We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner.”
Two months after American Honda execs met with Sharpton, the carmaker began to sponsor NAN’s events – and continues to pay “a modest amount” each year, a spokesman said.
“I think this is quite clearly a shakedown operation,” said Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center in Virginia, a conservative corporate watchdog. “He’s good at harassing people and making noise. CEOs give him his way because it is a lot easier than confronting him.”
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In December 2004, Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch sued Capital One for failing to state in its advertisements that it could increase interest rates on credit cards. As part of a 2006 settlement, Capital One paid $749,999, of which $249,999 went to ACORN, $250,000 went to the nonprofit Legal Aid, and $250,000 to the State of Minnesota.
ACORN’s political action committee had endorsed Mike Hatch for attorney general in 1998 and 2002, and in 2006 for governor.
In 2008, Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor, James Nobles, conducted a review of the Capital One settlement and payment to ACORN. By letter, he asked Hatch’s successor, current state Attorney General Lori Swanson (who was given a grade of A+ from ACORN in 2008) for information about the settlement. Specifically, Nobles asked:
[Minnesota statute 16A-151] says: ‘A state official may not commence, pursue, or settle litigation, or settle a matter that could have resulted in litigation, in a manner that would result in money being distributed to a person or entity other than the state.’ An exception is… if the settlement amount is less than $750,000. It is alleged that the Attorney General’s office sought a judgment of $749,999 to avoid the prohibition [on diverting settlement money from the state]. Is that true? If not, please explain why the Attorney General’s office sought a $749,999 judgment.
Hatch’s letter begged more questions than it answered. In response to Nobles’ question about why Hatch sought and accepted a $749,999 settlement, exactly one dollar below the statutory threshold requiring all of the settlement money to be paid to the state, Hatch replied, “[t]he answer is because that is what the statute permitted.” That answer, of course, evades Nobles’ question. The settlement could have been for any amount or no amount whatsoever, rather than exactly one dollar below the threshold that would have required the settlement proceeds be paid to the state. That exactly one-dollar difference would have barred ACORN from receiving any portion of the settlement proceeds.
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Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was dropped from a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the story on Wednesday.
Limbaugh was to be a limited partner in a group headed by St. Louis Blues chairman Dave Checketts. Checketts said in a statement Wednesday that Limbaugh’s participation had become a complication in the group’s efforts and the bid will move forward without him.
Checketts told the Associated Press he will have no further comment on the bid process.
Three-quarters of the league’s 32 owners would have had to approve any sale to Limbaugh and his group. Earlier this week, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay predicted that Limbaugh’s potential bid would be met by significant opposition. Several players have also voiced their displeasure with Limbaugh’s potential ownership position, and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith, who is black, urged players to speak out against Limbaugh’s bid.
A Limbaugh spokesman told ESPN that Limbaugh would have no comment on Wednesday. Earlier, on his syndicated radio show, Limbaugh was defiant, holding on to hope that he still could be part of the ownership group that buys the Rams.
“This is not about the NFL, it’s not about the St. Louis Rams, it’s not about me,” Limbaugh said. “This is about the ongoing effort by the left in this country, wherever you find them, in the media, the Democrat Party, or wherever, to destroy conservatism, to prevent the mainstreaming of anyone who is prominent as a conservative.
“Therefore, this is about the future of the United States of America and what kind of country we’re going to have.”
Without Limbaugh, Checketts and his group will have to find another partner. At the NFL owners meetings this week in Boston, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Limbaugh’s potential involvement in the league and said “divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about.”
Goodell added: “I’ve said many times before, we’re all held to a high standard here. I would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL — absolutely not.”
In 2003, Limbaugh was forced to resign from ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown after saying of Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb: “I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”
The Rams had no comment, reissuing a statement from Oct. 5 in which owner Chip Rosenbloom said a review of the team’s ownership was under way and the club will make an announcement when it’s over.
Checketts, the chairman of SCP Worldwide, announced that Limbaugh had been dumped toward the end of a news release.
“It has become clear that his involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions; endangering our bid to keep the team in St. Louis,” Checketts said. “As such, we have decided to move forward without him and hope it will eventually lead us to a successful conclusion.”
The move was hailed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the most vocal critics of Limbaugh’s bid.
“It is a moral victory for all Americans — especially the players that have been unfairly castigated by Rush Limbaugh,” Sharpton said in a statement. “This decision will also uphold the unifying standards of major sports.”
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“CNN and MSNBC were given ample opportunity to come clean, but both are continuing to masquerade malicious lies [against Rush Limbaugh] as credible,” Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell said in a statement today.
Yesterday, Bozell promised to report back publicly with how CNN and MSNBC responded to his challenge to put up – or shut up – proof that Rush Limbaugh actually stated the racist quote that both cable networks attributed to him as fact, or to immediately retract and apologize for their participation in spreading an outlandish lie.
Talk show giant Limbaugh denied having ever stated, “Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.” Further, it has been established that this was a fabrication pushed through the Internet, intentionally designed to destroy Mr. Limbaugh’s reputation at a time he is attempting to purchase a professional football team.
In addition to this public call to action, Mr. Bozell overnighted letters to CNN President Jonathan Klein and MSNBC President Phil Griffin to ensure both took the matter seriously. Both CNN and MSNBC failed to respond appropriately.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez, who was responsible for pushing this lie initially, had the gall to repeat the lie but this time also attaching Mr. Limbaugh’s denial, suggesting the truth was unclear when the truth is absolutely crystal clear. CNN neither apologized nor retracted.
MSNBC was even worse. This disgraceful network continued to repeat this smear on MSNBC Live.
Neither showed any initiative to source the fabricated quote, nor did either network retract or apologize for spreading the false propaganda on their broadcast airwaves. Instead, both CNN and MSNBC repeated the fictitious statement that was created to smear Rush Limbaugh and his character.
MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement: at Newbusters.com
Okay, Prove You Didn’t Say It! [Mark Steyn]
For some reason, Rush Limbaugh’s mooted purchase of a sports franchise has prompted CNN and others to distribute far and wide what appear to be entirely fabricated racist quotes by Rush. As Tim Blair points out:
Bizarrely, nobody running these career-killing “quotes” seems to question why they weren’t of previous interest.
Just so. What’s the theory here? He said these things on the air in 2006 and nobody noticed? 2001? Maybe 1995, back when Clinton was blaming him for Oklahoma City? Hey, let’s not get hung up on details. Just because nobody can find any evidence anywhere of Rush saying these “quotes” doesn’t mean he didn’t say ’em. As someone called Jason Whitlock says:
Limbaugh doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt on racial matters.
Why not? He does his show every day with an off-mike black sidekick yakking in his ear (Mr. Snerdley) and he has a black guest-host (the great Walter Williams). More to the point, when I began guest-hosting for Rush, I was amazed to discover that George Soros pays a team of stenographers, many of them called Zachary, to work their tippy-tappy fingers to the bone for three hours transcribing everything Rush or his fill-ins say in the hope that their efforts will one day be rewarded and he will deliver the big career-detonating soundbite. Among the afficionados of this service are, as I discovered recently, America’s “newspaper of record,” which faithfully follows the George Soros typing pool and dutifully plasters any potentially damaging bon mot on page one.
And, aside from all that, 20 million people are out there listening.
So where are these racist soundbites? Where’s the audio? Where’s the transcript? Name the year. Heigh-ho, say CNN’s Rick Sanchez and the rest of the basement-ratings crowd. Not our problem: It’s for Limbaugh to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s never said it. We’re too busy fact-checking anti-Obama jokes to fact-check our own reporting . . .
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By: Rebecca Larsen
The man who likes to call himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., is planning a Friday showdown with the feds.
The sheriff has announced he will defy the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by doing a street sweep for illegal immigrants one day after the expiration of the agreement that has permitted him to conduct such operations for the past three years. The sheriff has said he expects the deal not to be extended, though federal officials have remained publicly noncommittal.
Deputies, and Sheriff Arpaio, will stake out an intersection somewhere in the Phoenix metro area to stop cars for traffic violations – everything from speeding to broken taillights to driving while intoxicated. Both drivers and passengers will be held if deputies determine that they are illegal immigrants – regardless of how minor was the initial infraction.
Sheriff Arpaio is charging ahead because he claims he has jurisdiction under a 1996 federal law allowing police to detain someone briefly if that person could be in the country illegally.
“We will call Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] to see if they will take them from us,” Sheriff Arpaio told The Washington Times. “And if they tell me to let them go, I guess I’ll have to transport them myself to the border [about 175 miles] and turn them over to the Border Patrol.”
Sheriff Arpaio, 77 but looking 10 years younger, has been shaking up Maricopa County for 17 years, and he’s not ready to quiet down: “I just got re-elected last year, but I’m going to run again, and I’ve already raised a lot of money. They’ll have to put up with me for another seven years.”
With customary bravado, he will announce on his Web site the Friday sweep’s location shortly before it happens, enough time so protesters can show up: “The same ones who are out in front of my building every day calling me Hitler and a Nazi. I’m the poster boy for the open borders crowd.”
“We’re doing it the day after Oct. 15, in order to play a little game with them,” Sheriff Arpaio said. He said he expects to use a “new secret weapon,” but declined to say what it is.
Oct. 15 is the day he expects to find out whether federal officials will approve his pending application for a renewal of the contract with ICE to detain illegal immigrants. In the past few weeks, the sheriff has been loudly complaining that the contract will no longer allow street sweeps of the kind he plans Friday, potentially angering federal authorities, who still have the power not to extend the agreement at all.
For the past three years, Sheriff Arpaio has been working under what is known as a 287(g) contract, named for the section of a federal immigration-reform law that established the program in 1996.
That law allows for partnerships that permit local law-enforcement agencies to perform immigration functions traditionally reserved for the federal government – such as holding all illegal immigrants when arrested and bringing them to jail until they can be turned over to ICE for deportation. If immigrants are convicted, they serve their time and are then deported. If they are acquitted or charges are dropped, they are held until they can be deported.
Read the rest of this great article At NewsMaxRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Good news for everyone. Hawks get a well funded, well connected nonprofit to put out the message — and there’s plenty of reason to think the public will be receptive — and doves get a new Cheney/Kristol collaboration they can screech at. If PNAC had a PAC…
Keep America Safe will focus on issues like troop levels, missile defense, detainees, and interrogation, according to Liz Cheney, who is heading the group along with Weekly Standard editor William Kristol and Debra Burlingame, the hawkish sister of an American Airlines pilot killed in the September 11 attacks…
“The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror,” said Kristol, a seasoned partisan warrior. “The good guys need some help too.”
The group’s mechanics are largely a product of former campaign aides to Senator John McCain: Michael Goldfarb, now a Weekly Standard blogger, is an adviser to the group; its executive director is McCain war room chief Aaron Harison, and the video was produced by Justin Germany, the McCain aide who produced a campaign video titled, “The One,” which mocked Obama as a messianic figure.
LC denies that starting the group has anything to do with her political ambitions, but given that this will establish her as even more of a go-to spokesman for hawks on cable news than she already is, that’s hard to take seriously. Here’s the website; the section on CIA interrogations under “Resources” is, not surprisingly, the most worthwhile part. And here’s the new video, which is slickly produced but needlessly melodramatic per the music. The use of multiple clips from Fox News stands out too. Like it or not, FNC is a conservative bugaboo for at least some of the centrists Cheney’s trying to lure into the hawkish camp; if it wasn’t, Anita Dunn wouldn’t be whining about it daily. Keep the partisan signposts out of the spots going forward, please.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, two Russian economists who had never lived in a country with a free market economy understood something about market economies that many others who have lived in such economies all their lives have never understood. Nikolai Shmelev and Vladimir Popov said: “Everything is interconnected in the world of prices, so that the smallest change in one element is passed along the chain to millions of others.”
What does that mean? It means that a huge increase in the demand for ice cream can mean higher prices for catchers’ mitts, among other things.
When more cows are needed to produce more milk to make ice cream, then fewer cows will be slaughtered and that means less cowhide available to make baseball gloves. Supply and demand mean that catchers’ mitts are going to cost more.
While this may be easy enough to understand, its implications are completely lost on many people in politics and in the media. If everything is connected to everything else in a market economy, then it makes no sense to have laws and policies that declare some given goal to be a “good thing,” without regard to the repercussions, which spread out in all directions, like waves that spread across a pond when you drop a rock in the water.
Our current economic meltdown results from the federal government, under both Democrats and Republicans, declaring home ownership to be a “good thing” and treating the percentage of families who own their own home as if it was some sort of magic number that had to be kept growing– without regard to the repercussions on other things.
We are now living with those repercussions, which include the worst unemployment in decades. That is the price we are paying for increasing home ownership from 64 percent to 69 percent.
How did we get from home ownership to 15 million unemployed Americans? By ignoring the fact that there was a reason why only 64 percent of families owned their own home. More people would have liked to be home owners but did not qualify under mortgage lending standards that had been in place for decades. Continued…TownHall.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
My syndicated column today follows up on yesterday’s Fox News Derangement Syndrome post. Who has Obama stocked his communications shop with, you ask? Beltway flacks for corruptocrats. Meet some of the key people behind the White House war on Fox News.
Birds of a feather…
Who’s behind the White House war on Fox News?
by Michelle Makin
White House interim communications director Anita Dunn assumed the role of lead Fox News Channel-basher this weekend. The attack was a dud. The left-leaning Nation magazine ridiculed President Obama’s press shop for turning him into the “whiner-in-chief.” AOL media columnist Jeff Bercovici called the war on Fox a “loser’s strategy” that “signals weakness.” And that’s the friendly fire.
Dunn found refuge in rival CNN’s green zone, where she blasted Fox News as a “research arm of the Republican Party.” Unhappy with headline-generating Fox News hosts who have wrested control of the news cycle from Team Obama, Dunn complained about “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”
Well, that is certainly an apt description of an Obama-sympathizing “news” segment on Wolf Blizter’s CNN Politics show, which purported to “fact check” a Saturday Night Live skit mocking the president’s lack of accomplishments. Yes, the “real” news fact-checked the fake news to cover for Obama’s deficiencies. Zero complaints from the White House communications office about that. Or about authentic CNN journalist Anderson Cooper using his prime-time show to make vulgar sexual jokes about Tea Party activists. Or about the joint White House-ABC News health care reform infomercial that aired earlier this summer.
Some “opinion journalism” is more equal than others.
Debates about the blurred lines between opinion and journalism are all well and good. But don’t the talking points-crafters in the Oval Office have something better to do than carp about the talking points they don’t like hearing on the one cable network that hasn’t been completely overrun by Obama sycophants? (Full disclosure: I’ve been a Fox News contributor since 2001.)
Where are the seasoned press gurus to help Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama appear more presidential and less petty and thuggish?
The corruptocrat affiliations of Obama’s communications team are illuminating. His press shop can’t rise above the fray because they’ve been entrenched in the Beltway fray for years. They can’t help themselves.
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All eyes are on Senate Majority Leader Reid, who has said he wants to complete the wedding quickly and get historic health care overhaul legislation onto the floor the week after next.
WASHINGTON — Health care talks slip back behind closed doors Wednesday as Senate leaders start trying to merge two very different bills into a new version that can get the 60 votes needed to guarantee its passage.
All eyes are on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has said he wants to complete the wedding quickly and get historic health care overhaul legislation onto the floor the week after next.
Both bills were written by Democrats, but that’s not going to make it easier for Reid. They share a common goal, which is to provide all Americans with access to affordable health insurance, but they differ on how to accomplish it.
The Finance Committee bill that was approved Tuesday has no government-sponsored insurance plan and no requirement on employers that they must offer coverage. It relies instead on a requirement that all Americans obtain insurance.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill, passed earlier by a panel in which liberals predominate, calls for both a government plan to compete with private insurers and a mandate that employers help cover their workers. Those are only two of dozens of differences.
President Barack Obama acknowledges it’s not going to be easy. Speaking Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Obama called the 14-9 Finance Committee vote “a critical milestone” toward getting a health care overhaul this year. The legislation won its first Republican support when Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine broke ranks with her party, saying she was answering the call of history.
Obama wasn’t ready to bask in the bipartisan glow.
“Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back,” he said. “Now is the time to dig in and work even harder.”
There was no victory lap either for Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana. “The bottom line here is we need a final bill, a merged bill, that gets 60 votes,” he said. “Our goal is to pass health care reform, not just talk about it.”
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Humility, not humiliation
“You rescue those who are humble, but you humiliate the proud.”
The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.”
About this week’s promise
“May God’s grace give you the necessary humility. Try not to think—much less, speak—of their sins. One’s own are a much more profitable theme! And if on consideration, one can find no faults on one’s own side, then cry for mercy: for this must be a most dangerous delusion.
Humility is not effacing oneself. It is not destroying one’s sense of self-worth. It is honest recognition of our own worth, our worth as God sees us.
Pride elevated us above others, and often above God himself. But to destroy one’s sense of self-worth is also unacceptable, for it denies the value God placed upon us when he created us in his image and when he sent his Son to die for us.
Christ did not die for worms but for people he loves very much, and those people have great worth or value in God’s eyes.
To see ourselves as God sees us—that is our goal.
from the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 1217
Glenn Beck mocked the White House’s new anti-Fox News press strategy Monday, declaring that the Obama administration now believe the fight against Fox is more important than the war in Afghanistan.
Beck then displayed a map of Manhattan and circled Fox’s headquarters, sarcastically calling Fox “the enemy” as he surrounded the spot on the map with toy tanks and barbed wire. Later, he suggested that the White House was using “your tax dollars to target the media.”
Beck was responding to Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, who told The New York Times on Sunday that the Obama administration is treating Fox News “the way we would treat an opponent.”
Dunn said that administration officials would still talk to Fox, and that President Obama was likely to be interviewed on the network in the future.
But Fox reported Monday that the channel has been told by the White House not to expect an interview with the president this year.
Here’s what Beck had to say: at NewsMax.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
ST. LOUIS — The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson attacked the bid by Rush Limbaugh to buy the St. Louis Rams on Monday, saying the conservative radio host’s track record on race should exclude him from owning an NFL team.
Sharpton sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, arguing that Limbaugh has been divisive and “anti-NFL” in some of his comments.
Jackson said in a telephone interview that Limbaugh had made his wealth “appealing to the fears of whites” with an unending line of insults against blacks and other minorities.
“The National Football League has set high standards for racial justice and inclusion,” Jackson said. “He should not have the privilege of owning an NFL franchise — and it is a privilege.” The civil rights leader said he’s had contact with numerous players and ex-players concerned about the bid.
Limbaugh shot back at Sharpton on his radio show.
“Now, this saddens me as well this disappoints me,” he said. “I know Rev. Sharpton. Sharpton is better than this. He knows better than this. You know, I didn’t judge Al Sharpton’s fitness to be in radio when he wanted to earn an honest living for once, given his well-documented past as the author of the Tawana Brawley hoax. I believe in freedom and I also don’t discriminate.”
Limbaugh said last week that he is teaming up with St. Louis Blues hockey team owner Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the Rams. He has declined to discuss details of the offer, citing a confidentiality agreement.
In 2003, Limbaugh worked briefly on ESPN’s NFL pregame show. He resigned after saying Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
Transcripts posted on the radio host’s Web site also say that on a January 2007 show, Limbaugh commented: “The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
Asked about Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the winless Rams, McNabb said: “If he’s rewarded to buy them, congratulations to him. But I won’t be in St. Louis any time soon.”
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is aware of the concerns voiced by Sharpton and Jackson.
“It is very early in the process and no transfer of ownership of the Rams has been presented to the league for review,” Aiello said.
The latest complaints came a day after executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, urged players to speak out against Limbaugh’s bid.
“I have asked our players to embrace their roles not only in the game of football but also as players and partners in the business of the NFL,” Smith said in a statement Sunday. “They risk everything to play this game, they understand that risk and they live with that risk and its consequences for the rest of their life.
“We also know that there is an ugly part of history and we will not risk going backwards, giving up giving in or lying down to it.”
Players on the 0-5 Rams, who were routed by the Minnesota Vikings 38-10 on Sunday, tried to distance themselves from the controversy.
“I’m paying attention, but I’m not even touching that one,” running back Steven Jackson said. “Because if I start touching it I might go somewhere I don’t want to go.”
Defensive end Chris Long said he just heard Monday that Limbaugh was part of a group seeking to purchase the team. His reaction: “Oh, is that the guy on the radio?”
Reminded of Limbaugh’s statements about McNabb, Long seemed to disapprove while adding he didn’t care who owned the team.
“I mean, those weren’t great comments at all,” Long said. “But it’s not my job to really comment on that.”
Defensive end Leonard Little, the last remaining player from the Rams’ Super Bowl championship after the 1999 season, didn’t want to talk about it.
“We’ve got a lot more things to worry about than who’s going to be our owner,” he said.
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