June 10, 2008

Dirty US Media Secret: ‘Rest of the World’ Rebels Against Climate Taxes

The supposedly surprising rejection of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill last week had an element that Old Media in the US hasn’t covered, but is very relevant.

While the press is ever eager to jump on politicians who fly in the face of supposed “world opinion” when it goes against US positions and traditions, it has been virtually silent over how “the rest of the world” has been rejecting the true linchpin of government climate policies: supposedly climate change-related higher taxes and fees. Surely some of the green-leaning Senators who were supposedly on board but voted against cloture were not blind to this.

Consider the following:

  • Germany — “German Car Tax Plan to Be Delayed: Government.”
  • In Canada, a sympathetic columnist cautions the Liberal Party, which seems to think that the road back into power is through green taxes, about “The Suicidal Allure of a Carbon Tax.”
  • Australia — “The Sun Sets on Rudd’s Climate Change Credibility.”
  • New Zealand — “Emissions Bill Hanging by Thread”

Each story is about how a government or party is finding that citizens/voters are not at all keen on reducing their living standards in the name of supposed environmental purity.

The biggest media blackout is over the political situation in Great Britain, where Tony Blair’s successor Gordon Brown hangs by a thread, largely because of his radical environmental initiatives.

Brown continues to push his “Green Road Tax” on “environmentally unfriendly cars.” Poorer Britons stand to be hit hardest, while his environmental minister plays the save-the-planet card:

Owners of the most polluting cars in band M will pay £440 (about $870) in tax. And from April 2010, people buying the most polluting cars would pay a one-off “showroom tax” of up to £950 (about $1,900).

(Environmental Minister Joan) Ruddock added: “What we can’t do is lose sight of the environment agenda because this is everybody’s future, the future of the planet.”

She denied the retrospective aspect of the policy was unfair.

“Over a 10 year period…I think the direction we have been going in has been clear to people at the time,” she said.

In other words, according to Ms. Ruddock, “Your crystal balls should have told you these taxes were coming.”

Two weeks ago, a one-day strike by lorry drivers (truckers) over high fuel prices shut down London’s roads in what was called the “capital’s largest-ever fuel protest.”

If most of all of this is news to you, it’s because the US press is studiously ignoring it. New York Times stories about Brown’s situation on May 14 and May 23 have not a word about the Green Road Tax, even though many Labour MPs have been calling it a “ticking time bomb” for several weeks. Wire-service stories have also been few and far between.

There are three lessons here:

  • The tax plans environmentalists want invariably end up taking their pound of flesh from the people they supposedly care about the most.
  • Once people see through it, they rebel.
  • Politicians interested in self-preservation aren’t about to commit political suicide in the name of greenness. Their best hope is that the news media keep details of the costs away from public view until after legislation passes — a tough task indeed in the New Media Age.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘AP Clueless About Economic News’) Is Up

It’s here.

The PJM folks actually put it out there yesterday afternoon ahead of when I expected it. I liked PJM’s tease:

Associated Press reporters insist that American jobs are “disappearing into thin air.” What’s really disappearing is the AP’s credibility in analyzing economic data.

It will go up tomorrow afternoon at BizzyBlog (link won’t work until then) under the title “Is the Associated Press Up to the Task of Reporting on the Economy?” after the blackout expires.

Couldn’t Help But Comment (061008, Morning)

The Club for Growth PAC is on a sensible streak:

  • It backed Tom McClintock in California’s GOP primary. McClintock won against a relative RINO.
  • It backed Congressman Steve Pearce in New Mexico. Pearce defeated RINO-drifting Congresswoman Heather Wilson in the GOP Senate Primary.
  • It is backing Sean Parnell, Alaska’s current Lt. Governor, against incumbent congressman Don “Bridge to Nowhere” Young in August’s GOP primary. A Parnell win could energize fiscal conservatives around the country and shake some religion into wandering RINOs.

When it picks its battles wisely, the Club is awesome. When it gets involved in races where the differences are minimal between two decently conservative candidates, it gets egg on its face.

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Speaking of which, the Club for Growth’s 2007 ratings of congresspersons and senators came out back in March. Here’s how Ohio’s reps and select others fared:

Senate:
- McConnell (KY) – 84%
- Bunning (KY) – 82%
- Lugar (IN) – 57%
- Voinovich (OH) – 46%
- Specter (PA) – 39%
- Bayh (IN) – 9%
- Brown (OH) – 0%
- Casey (PA) – 0%
- McCain (AZ) – 94% (but incomplete due to missed votes)
- Obama (IL) – 0%
- Clinton (NY) – 0%

House:
- Pence (IN-06) – 99%
- Jordan (OH-04) – 96%
- Boehner (OH-08) – 92%
- Chabot (OH-01) – 87%
- Davis (KY-04) – 85%
- Schmidt (OH-02) – 80%
- Tiberi (OH-12) – 65%
- Hobson (OH-07) – 50%
- Pryce (OH-15) – 49%
- Regula (OH-16) – 39%
- Turner (OH-03) – 37%
- LaTourette (OH-14) – 18%
- Jones (OH-11) – 11%
- Kucinich (OH-10) – 6%
- Space (OH-18) – 6%
- Heath Shuler (NC-11) – 2%
- Ryan (OH-17) – 1%
- Wilson (OH-06) – 1%
- Mollohan (WV-01) – 1%
- Sutton (OH-13) – 0%
- Kaptur (OH-09) – 0%

Observations:

  • Jordan, whom the Club supported in 2006, is no surprise, but good to see nonetheless.
  • Some readers may be surprised at how Davis and Schmidt fared. Maybe they can mellow on the criticism a bit. Maybe Definitely, the Club owes Schmidt an apology for its attack ads against her in 2005.
  • Zack Space = Dennis Kucinich. Fred Dailey, call your office.
  • Charlie Wilson < Dennis Kucinich. Richard Stobbs, call your office.
  • Heath Shuler < Dennis Kucinich. Carl Mumpower, call your office.
  • It’s hard to understand why Ohio Daily Hack Jeff “Dann’s the Man” Coryell is so upset at being represented by LaTourette, who votes like a Dem.

The biggest takeaway is that there are many more economic and regulatory RINOs than DINOs. No Dem senator scored higher than 21%; Maine’s Olympia Snowe is the only GOP senator who scored lower (12%). No Dem congressperson scored higher than 29%; only five GOP congresspersons came in below that. 52 Dems had scores of 0% – 2%.

Make sure to see what votes the Club used for its scorecards. It’s pretty obvious which party is generally on the side of economic freedom and growth.

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NewsBusters was on a roll yesterday:

  • Brent Baker outed Brian Williams as just another lib newshack — “NBC’s Williams Tells Grads U.S. Broken, ‘Need You to Fix the Country.’”
  • Geoffrey Dickens — “‘Today’ Promotes French Climber Who Claims Global Warming Kills More Than 9/11.” To be clear, the climber claims that this happens every day.
  • Terry Ann Rendon — “CNN Shows Us How We Are Reliving 1968 in 2008.” Okay. The Republican won the presidency that year.
  • Tim Graham — “‘Bush Lied’ Argument Doesn’t Match Facts — Democrats Say.” The takeaway: The president’s statements were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates and information, and this was acknowledged by Democrats, particularly Jay Rockefeller.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (061008, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 6:02 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Obama and Khalidi sittin’ in a tree …..
  • If you want to start getting your arms around why people with standards are losing the culture wars, this would be a good place to start.
  • Michelle Malkin has all you can stand to know about Defaultin’ Dem Laura Richardson of Long Beach, CA. This will not make your day — Richardson won her Democratic primary election on June 3 and is as of now unopposed in the general election.
  • Michelle (as far as I’m concerned, she’s THE Michelle, not THAT Michelle) also has news on another Dem defaulter in North Carolina. The underlying news story waited until the 12th paragraph to tell us that Julia Boseman is a Dem.
  • Patrick Poole has posted the US Justice Department’s Statement of (very inconvenient to jihad deniers, also exposed by Poole) Facts about the recently convicted Christopher Paul.
  • Easy, really — “The Wall Street Journal reports that a very special friend of Sen. Barack Obama is also a very special friend of embattled Countrywide Financial co-founder Angelo Mozilo. The Journal reports that James Johnson — a high-ranking advisor to Obama — was part of an elite group — ‘friends of Angelo’ — who got more than $7 million in special loans from Countrywide.” Read on at the link, and you see that the Objectively Unfit Obama is playing the same old games with the same old pols. How audacious. Update: Kaus has lots more. The person involved, Jim Johnson, is as old-style pol as you can get. Obama seems to have done the impossible — He has a rough equivalent of George McGovern’s Tom Eagleton problem (arguably worse, in context) even before he picks his Veep. He can’t even pick a selection committee without stepping in it.
  • This news explains why I don’t consider myself a partisan Republican. A sensible analysis of issues usually leads me in the direction of what the party is supposed to be but isn’t. Dumbkopf moves like the one described at the link sap much of my potential enthusiasm for the party itself. Update: Matt Hurley has related hurlings.

Positivity: Stem cells apparently cure boy’s fatal disease

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Minneapolis:

June 7, 2008

The treatment uses umbilical and marrow cells to help develop normal skin. Doctors say it may move his genetic disorder, recessive epidermolysis bullosa, ‘off the incurable list’ for other patients.

Using stem cells from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, researchers have apparently cured a fatal genetic disease in a 2-year-old Minneapolis boy, which could open the door for other stem cell treatments.

For the first time in his life, Nate Liao is wearing normal clothes, eating food that has not been pureed, and playing with his siblings.

“Nate’s quality of life is forever changed,” said Dr. John Wagner of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who performed the treatment. “Maybe we can take one more disorder off the incurable list.”

The team later treated Nate’s 5-year-old brother, Jacob, and is preparing to treat 9-month-old Sarah Rose Mooreland of Folsom, Calif. Hopes are high for them as well.

Nate suffers from recessive epidermolysis bullosa, which affects 1 in 100,000 children. They lack a critical protein called collagen type VII that anchors the skin and lining of the gastrointestinal system to the body.

Their skin is extraordinarily fragile. Tearing and blistering occur with minimal friction, leading to painful wounds and scarring. Solid food produces erosion of the esophagus. Death usually results from malnutrition, infections or aggressive skin cancer.

The only treatment previously has been to wrap the skin in bandages. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.