May 23, 2006

What John Boehner’s E-Mail about ANWR Should Have Said

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:48 pm

Boehner sent out a pretty good e-mail today (permalink is here) about drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR).

I said it was pretty good. Here is how he should have revised it:

WHY WOULD MIKE DEWINE OPPOSE AMERICAN ENERGY PRODUCTION & NEW AMERICAN JOBS?
May 23, 2006

Environmentally safe energy production …. (would require) just 2,000 of ANWR’s 20 million acres using 21st Century technology. That’s just 0.01 percent of the total ANWR acreage. This common sense legislation is aimed at increasing U.S. energy security and independence, safeguarding our economy, and creating new American jobs.

Who supports ANWR energy development?
- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- The International Union of Operating Engineers
- The Laborers International Union of North America
- The AFL-CIO — Building Trades Department
- The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters
- The Seafarers International Union
- The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

Who opposes ANWR energy development?

Senator Mike DeWine, a couple of other supposedly Republican senators, and a band of Capitol Hill Democrats.

Despite its support from organized labor, a consituency whose rank and file the GOP should be actively courting, DeWine has voted AGAINST legislation creating new jobs and bolstering America’s supply of energy several times in the last five years alone. In the 1990s, DeWine opposed and President Clinton vetoed legislation calling for ANWR energy development — energy that could be fueling the American economy today.

So why has DeWine recklessly OPPOSED environmentally safe energy development in ANWR? Because opponents insists ANWR reserves possess “an insignificant amount of oil.” But the Energy Information Administration contradicts that notion, saying ANWR would produce nearly 1.5 million barrels a day or more, every day, for roughly 30 years. According to a new study conducted by the National Defense Council Foundation, recovery of these barrels would create more than 1 million new jobs in the United States.

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the issue in his weekly press conference. National Journal’s On Call blog includes the text from his remarks.

Boehner also noted one of the political difficulties DeWine faces on the issue, charging DeWine “is on the wrong side of the issue of American energy independence with regards to the policy AND politics. Even their supporters in the labor movement recognize that Democrats and dingaling Republicans like Mike DeWine are standing in the way of increased American energy production.”

Capitol Hill Democrats and Mike DeWine appear more beholden to left-wing environmentalists than to American workers. They are single-handedly putting the squeeze on the American energy market, driving up costs, preventing job creation, and boosting profits for oil companies. After thirty years of “NO” action, can we really afford more of the Democrats’ and Mike DeWine’s chronic negligence?

Majority Leader’s Press Office
House Majority Leader John Boehner

Unfortunately, that’s not how Boehner’s e-mail read. But it should have.

What, we’re supposed to be worried about hurting Mike DeWine’s feelings? HE should be worried (REALLY worried) about getting our votes.

You see, ANWR has had the votes for passage in the House at least as far back as 1995. It’s the Senate, specifically Mike DeWine and a couple of other “chronically negligent” GOP senators, that has held up drilling in ANWR.

The announcement should have been directed to DeWine and his fellow anti-ANWR Senatorial dingalings.

Cross-posted at the SOB Alliance.

Ohio’s Economy: Good News, Bad News, Silver Lining

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 3:56 pm

Good News:Large-Scale Layoffs” are down by one-third from a year ago, vs. down 15% from a year ago nationwide.

Bad News: The state’s unemployment rate went from 5.0% in March to 5.5% in April.

Silver Lining: The fact that the unemployment rate went up on April while 18,500 new jobs were created in the state can only mean that many more people are looking for work.

Another “Military Atrocity” Fraud Exposed (UPDATED, Carried Forward)

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:46 pm

NOTE: This post originally went up shortly after midnight and has been carried forward, as we’re now learning that Jessie MacBeth wasn’t even in the Army.
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His name is Jessie MacBeth. The “Socalist Alternative” interviewed him. He had, as of last night when this post was drafted, this video at peacefilms.org (videos at YouTube were taken down).

Among this guy’s claims: “We were ordered to fire on peaceful protesters in Fallujah. Somebody threw a rock at us, and an officer said that he thought it was a grenade. Then we were ordered to fire. When it’s daylight in Iraq, it’s daylight! Nobody really thought it was a grenade.”

Others who have seen the full video report that MacBeth claims that he (or his group) executed 200 Iraqis as a Ranger per orders (Here’s a quote:“By my hand alone almost 200 were taken out, that’s just a rough estimate.”).

He, is, so, busted, busted, busted.
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UPDATE: Wow, this is turning out to be a put-on for the ages (HT LGF) — “Mr. MacBeth has NO Army service record. Anywhere. Period.” Per Army spokesman John Boyce –

“Initial research by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg shows no Soldier with the name of Jesse Macbeth having ever been assigned to the Special Forces or the Army Rangers — which are, in fact, two separate disciplines. This appears to be some sort of hoax. No Soldier by that name at Fort Lewis to our knowledge, in the past, either. Of course, the line about “go into the Army or go to jail” is vintage TV script not heard since the 1960s. There are also numerous wear and appearance issues with the Soldier’s uniform — a mix of foreign uniforms with the sleeves rolled up like a Marine and a badly floppy tan beret worn like a pastry chef. Of course, the allegations of war crimes are vague, as are the awards the Soldier allegedly received.”

Just Citizens wonders:

This is a classic example of people who are pushing an agenda doing one of two things: 1. Putting these interviews out knowing full-well that Mr. MacBeth is lying, thereby purposefully spreading false and malicious lies about the great men who are Rangers or 2. Putting these interviews out without doing even the most basic research to determine whether Mr. MacBeth was telling the truth.

That’s a tough call. I would guess that the answer is behind both Door Number 1 and Door Number 2 at different levels of the food chain at The Socialist Alternative. Some were fooled (oh, they SOOOOO want it be true); others must have known it was a con, but didn’t care.

Just Citizens also has great follow-up thoughts and observations about those who are being forced to handle and explain their culpability and complicity in the charade.

UPDATE 2: Michelle Malkin has a great point at the end of her post, that this is an excellent opportunity to reinforce the debunking of the REALLY BIG antiwar lies. I therefore refer you to this tremendous piece by Peter Wehner at today’s OpinionJournal.com, AND to this BizzyBlog post on the “The ‘No WMD’ Lie.”

UPDATE 3: Blackfive is reporting an uptick in submissions to the site’s “Someone You Should Know” posts about what the real soldiers in Iraq are doing. Allah at Hotair is stunned: “The irony of this video bringing traffic to milbloggers and attention to real soldiers might be such that I have to lie down to absorb it all.” Call it one of the wonders of poetic justice, Allah.

UPDATE 4: Let’s give the kid credit; the act worked for over 2-1/2 years. Here are two items from Arizona Indymedia (keep scrolling — “Coffee Plantation Refuses Service to Black Veteran” (4/6/04); “Soldier struggles with memories of Iraqi war” (11/3/03).

And, by golly, he has a rap sheet (scroll down). And yet another.

UPDATE 5: Oh, this is fun. The inmates at Democratic Underground are in full-conspiracy mode. They’re so cute when they’re unhinged –

  • Here’s one: “….. when people are trying to discredit a movement or potential leaders, they will go to any lengths and tell any lies. Including planting fakes that can later be used to discredit the movement.”
  • And another: “When people are convinced a course of action is wrong (Iraq) some will go to any lengths to fight it. In this case it’s propaganda of War Crimes. All it takes is someone pouring a little bile in one ear and honey in the other to convince someone to go out and lie, lie, lie.”
  • And more: “This kid sounds like he has some mental issues. Either that, or he is doing somebody’s dirty work by being a plant.”

UPDATE 6: Can you top this? Mudville Gazette (go to end of post) reports that there’s a bench warrant for MacBeth’s arrest in Pierce County Washington dated ….. May 23. Given all those who are mad at him, it may be that jail is the safest place for him.

UPDATE 7, May 24 — New stuff:

  • Michelle has a minivid at Hot Air (I hope these stay posted; I would hate to lose access to this one).
  • an unrepentant moonbat tells us that the fraud was still useful: “In any event it should be remembered that whilst many of Jesse’s claims were outlandish many of the things he speaks of almost certainly are being carried out right now and in our name. If this video can have any positive effect at all it will be to remind people that’s wars aren’t pretty, children and innocents get killed and that to make the decision to go to war is one of the gravest decisions that can be made ….. and should not be made on the back of a bunch of half truths, downright lies, and pinch of post 9/11 hysteria added to a shedload of Fox News propaganda.” Uh-huh.
  • He also has a MySpace account that has now been modified with an obscene message (hence no link; you can find it elsewhere if it’s that important to you).

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Previous Post (November 6, 2005) — An Early-Stage John Kerry Has Been Outed

Also related: Two years ago, A Small Victory exposed a similar wannabe named Micah Wright. Start at the bottom.

A Kenyan Newspaper Pleads for DDT Use Against Malaria

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:15 pm

Memo to holdout environmentalists and stubborn governments — people are dying, and they don’t need to. Perhaps you’ll listen to an editorial out of Kenya:

Friday May 19, 2006
DDT holds the key to malaria control

Malaria is still the leading killer disease in the world. Statistics show that in Africa, a person dies every 30 seconds from the disease. The challenge to many countries, including Kenya, has been prevention and treatment of the disease.

Several initiatives have been mooted in vain, with the incidence growing by the day. Mid-last month, the Government introduced artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) as the first-line treatment for malaria to replace sulphur-based drugs that have lost potency against the parasite.

Although this was a positive step, there is need to invest in other intervention measures to wipe out mosquitoes. One of the best ways of controlling malaria is to use DDT, the insecticide that most environmentalists love to hate.

The insecticide was banned several years ago following pressure by environmental lobbyists, despite the fact that indoor residual spraying (IRS) with DDT eradicated malaria in the US and Europe and led to spectacular declines in the disease in other countries.

This resulted in an increase in the incidence of malaria, forcing some countries to review the ban against the wish of the European Union, US and UN. Southern Africa is today winning the war after reverting to DDT use.

The incidence has fallen by over 80 per cent in South Africa and almost by a half in Zambia, which reverted to the IRS programme in 2002. Tanzania and Uganda have just opted for the programme, despite threats by the EU to ban Ugandan agricultural exports.

Given these successes, there is need for the UN to review its stand on the insecticide and help developing countries institute tight controls and strict audits of their malaria-control programmes.

The good news is that DDT is at least being used in some areas that need it. Why not all of them?
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Previous Posts:
March 9, 2006 — What Do DDT, Bedbugs, and Immigration Have to Do With Each Other?
Dec. 20, 2005 — Passage of the Day: John Stossel on DDT Lunacy
Nov. 21, 2005 — Quote of the Day: Not Allowing DDT Has Killed Millions

Quote of the Day: Thomas Sowell

Filed under: Economy,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:06 pm

America’s leading intellectual nails it:

Bordering on fraud
May 23, 2006

The immigration bill before Congress has some of the most serious consequences for the future of this country. Yet it is not being discussed seriously by most politicians or most of the media. Instead, it is being discussed in a series of glib talking points that insult our intelligence.

Read the whole thing.
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UPDATE, May 24 — Encore; Sowell has a Part 2 that starts thusly, and should be read in its entirety:

Of all the insults to our intelligence in the current discussions of immigration legislation, the biggest insult is the claim that border control legislation and legislation on the illegal immigrants already in the country must go together.

Why? What will happen if they are done separately? And who will be worse off?

The claim that the two pieces of legislation must be passed at the same time has been repeated endlessly. But endless repetition is not a coherent argument.

Fannie Mae Was, and Still Is, Out of Control

From CNN Money:

Fannie report lays blame at the top

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fannie Mae’s “arrogant and unethical” corporate culture led employees to massage earnings to trigger bonuses for senior executives, and the board of directors contributed by failing to act independently, the company’s regulator said Tuesday.

The U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, in its report on Fannie’s nearly $11 billion accounting scandal, said it was going to announce a settlement with the mortgage finance giant. Sources have said the settlement would total $400 million.

“A combination of factors led Fannie Mae senior management, through their actions and inactions, to commit or tolerate a wide variety of unsafe and unsound practices and conditions,” the report said.

“Fannie Mae’s board of directors contributed to those problems by failing to be sufficiently informed and to act independently of its chairman, Franklin Raines, and senior management, and by failing to exercise the requisite oversight over the enterprise’s operations.”

If this were an ordinary public company, it would have been delisted and shut down long ago.

And is anyone going to demand that Frank Raines return his ill-gotten gains? This article makes it clear that “clawbacks,” the term used for trying to recover bonuses subsequently determined to be undeserved, are difficult to achieve.

Related item:

More accounting woes for Fannie Mae
Mortgage finance company said the restatement process will likely cost more than $800 million this year.
May 9, 2006

Fannie Mae, which is still investigating $11 billion worth of accounting problems, Tuesday said it identified new errors in two areas, but that it still expects to meet capital requirements set by regulators.

The company also said it has substantially completed its analysis of accounting problems, and the restatement process will likely cost more than $800 million this year.

If I’m reading this correctly, Fannie Mae is spending $800 mil just to correct its records (if I’m not reading it correctly, it’s very poorly written copy).

The idea that the mortgage market is more than a little dependent on the continued existence of Fannie Mae is a scary thought indeed, and that has nothing to do with whether or not the housing market is overvalued.
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UPDATE: This first para from the AP report is much more on point –

Employees at mortgage giant Fannie Mae manipulated accounting so that executives could collect millions in bonuses as senior management deceived investors and stonewalled regulators at a company whose prestigious image was phony, a federal agency charged Tuesday.

UPDATE 2: Announced just after 11 AM, from a subscriber link at The Wall Street Journal — “The report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, or Ofheo, came as the mortgage-finance company prepared to announce a settlement with Ofheo and the Securities and Exchange Commission under which Fannie is expected to pay a fine of about $400 million.” Remind me again why Frank Raines’ bonuses shouldn’t be recovered. Also, here is a free Reuters link at the ABC News web site.

UPDATE 3, May 24: The Business & Media Institute notes that only CBS covered the story in its evening newscast, and even they failed to note the Democrat Party connections of its former leading lights. BMI characterizes Fannie Mae as the “government-sponsored Enron,” and it’s hard to disagree with them.

This is British “Law Enforcement” Gone Mad; We May Not Be Far Behind

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:17 am

What in the world is going on over there? Whatever it is, it may not be long in arriving here (HT Overlawyered):

Human rights fears mean police refuse to issue wanted posters of foreign criminals
May 14, 2006

The “human rights” of foreign ex-prisoners on the run from police are being put before public safety. Detectives across the country are refusing to issue “wanted” posters for the missing criminals because they do not want to breach human rights laws.

Forces said that the offenders had a right to privacy and might sue for defamation if their names and photographs were released.

Although the madness has not yet affected “wanted” posters here, it has certainly polluted the newsroom, where despite its relevance, the race of a wanted suspect is often not revealed (and how are we supposed to be on the lookout for this vaguely described person?). And of course, one never, never NEVER reveals the immigration status of a suspect — we don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea, or to learn the larger fact that illegal immigrants make up 20% of our state and federal prison population (308,000 illegal-alien prisoners [GAO PDF here, go to Page 12]; 1.5 million total prisoners).

So how long will it be before the cops here get as paranoid as the ones in the UK?

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (052306)

Free Links:

  • So Cincinnati’s mayor thinks City Hall is safe enough not to require metal detectors, and removed them late last year. But HE needs a fulltime bodyguard.
  • So the Butler County, Ohio sheriff had to release 18 illegal aliens because only the feds can arrest them for being here illegally. That just means it’s long past time for a state trespassing law.
  • A site about 40 miles from where I sit appears to be in the running for the new Honda plant — It’s in Fayette County, about halfway between Columbus and Cincinnati. Awesome.
  • The “bad” news from Iraq is that the country has a government (here, and here, and here; final link HT Interested-Participant) — This is “bad” news for those emotionally invested in the mission’s failure, and who don’t grasp the impressiveness of putting into place in three years what it took the United States about 13 (1776-1789). And DO NOT MISS this post from fellow “S.O.B.er” Lincoln Logs on what a couple of Iraq war vets had to say to someone who sought out their feelings about the war.
  • Skeptical Optimist notes that the percentage of tax returns with a zero or negative liability has gone from 25% to 32% during the Bush years, the highest percentage in the since-1950 time period he graphed. He adds, obviously but seldom stated, that the 7% so affected during the past 5 years have received the highest income tax cut possible — 100%. That’s almost right; thanks to credits like the expanded Earned Income Credit, some taxpayers have turned into “negative tax” receivers.
  • I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more often — Symantec is suing Microsoft for building security features supposedly stolen from it into its next-generation Vista operating system.

Positivity: Miracle Dad Gets Six New Organs at Once

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:08 am

Greg Marshall is not all the way back, but the fact that he’s alive at all is astounding (HT Good News Blog):

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