November 14, 2011

Really Lazy AP, NYT Fail to Report Obama’s ‘We’ve Been a Little Bit Lazy’ Remark

APandNYTheartObamaOn Saturday, at a Q&A session at the APEC CEO Business Summit in Hawaii, President Barack Obama, when asked about impediments to foreign investment in the United States, responded in part: “… we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.”

As would be expected, this impolitic comment has generated quite a bit of discussion all over the place in the two days since. Well, almost all over the place, as you’ll after the jump in graphic captures of the results of searches on “Obama lazy” (not in quotes) at the main site of the Associated Press and at the New York Times (Times search is in order of newest first):

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‘Scandal-Free’ Admin Update: 80% of DOE ‘Green’ Loan $ Went to Obama Backers

ObamaDeptOfEnergy1111In Hawaii today, according to an Associated Press dispatch filed by Ben Feller, President Barack Obama is reported to have told supporters that, in Feller’s words, “everything they worked for and that the country stands for is on the line in his 2012 re-election bid.”

Well, if what those donors have “worked” for is an inside track to government money, and if what the country stands for is crony capitalism, the President is right. The following excerpt from Peter Schweizer’s new book, “Throw The All Out,” provides the details in just one commercial arena (via The Daily Beast; HTs to Doug Ross, Conservatives4Palin, Victory Chronicles, and Heritage; bolds are mine; extra paragraph breaks added by me):

After he was sworn in as president, he proclaimed that taxpayer money would assuredly not be doled out to political friends. “Decisions about how Recovery Act dollars are spent will be based on the merits,” he said, referring to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. “Let me repeat that: decisions about how recovery money will be spent will be based on the merits. They will not be made as a way of doing favors for lobbyists.”

an examination of grants and guaranteed loans offered by just one stimulus program run by the Department of Energy, for alternative-energy projects, is stunning. The so-called 1705 Loan Guarantee Program and the 1603 Grant Program channeled billions of dollars to all sorts of energy companies. The grants were earmarked for alternative-fuel and green-power projects, so it would not be a surprise to learn that those industries were led by liberals. Furthermore, these were highly competitive grant and loan programs—not usually a hallmark of cronyism. Often fewer than 10 percent of applicants were deemed worthy.

Nevertheless, a large proportion of the winners were companies with Obama-campaign connections. Indeed, at least 10 members of Obama’s finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting your money. At the same time, several politicians who supported Obama managed to strike gold by launching alternative-energy companies and obtaining grants. How much did they get?

According to the Department of Energy’s own numbers … a lot. In the 1705 government-backed-loan program, for example, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers—individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.

The grant and guaranteed-loan recipients were early backers of Obama before he ran for president, people who continued to give to his campaigns and exclusively to the Democratic Party in the years leading up to 2008. Their political largesse is probably the best investment they ever made in alternative energy. It brought them returns many times over.

… One might think that the Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office, which has doled out billions in taxpayer-guaranteed loans, would be directed by a dedicated scientist or engineer. Or perhaps a civil servant with considerable financial knowledge. Instead, the department’s loan and grant programs are run by partisans who were responsible for raising money during the Obama campaign from the same people who later came to seek government loans and grants. Steve Spinner, who served on the Obama campaign’s National Finance Committee and was a bundler himself, was the campaign’s “liaison to Silicon Valley.”

… Another Obama fundraiser positioned to lead the allocation of taxpayer money to Obama contributors was Sanjay Wagle, who served as the managing co-chairman of Cleantech & Green Business Leaders for Obama. Wagle’s day job was as a principal at VantagePoint Venture Partners. After the 2008 election, Wagle joined the Obama administration as a “renewable energy grants adviser” at the Department of Energy. VantagePoint owned firms that would later see federal loan guarantees roll in.

As one might expect, it goes on and on and on.

It’s bad enough that this is to some degree business as usual inside the Beltway. But two things make it unique. First, its scope. $16 billion in just one program is a lot of money, even in a world where we’re being conditioned to be unimpressed by anything which isn’t followed by 12 zeroes. Second, the brazen hypocrisy. Obama didn’t just make a point of claiming that he would run a clean and above board operation in Washington during the 2008 campaign — supposedly in stark contrast to his predecessor and the pre-2007 Republican majority in Congress — he hammered at the theme at seemingly every conceivable opportunity.

Jonathan Alter and Allan Lichtman, both of whom have claimed that the Obama administration has been free of scandal during its nearly three years controlling the White House thus far — call your offices.

Will the relatively disengaged majority of the electorate every hear about what Schweizer has detailed in the above segment from his book? It’s not looking good; a search on his last name at the main site of the Associated Press, which may as well call itself The Administration’s Press, at 7:00 p.m. ET came up empty. Ben Feller, you too need to call your office — and get a grip.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

USAT’s Hampson Promotes OWS ‘Violent Fringe’ Myth

usatodayAccording to Rick Hamspon in what is apparently an analysis piece in Monday’s USA Today, the Occupy movement has a violent “fringe,” which constitutes just a “fraction” of those involved.

Well, he’s right about it being a “fraction,” except that said fraction is a lot larger than he apparently believes. The USAT writer also attempts to perpetuate the Occupy Oakland myth that its November 2 “non-violent ‘general strike’” was absolutely peaceful until “some masked anarchists broke off from the main protest.” Here is some of Hampson’s harrumphing:

‘Occupy’ movement faces challenge from violent fringe

As winter closes in on its open-air encampments and public attention prepares to move on to the next big thing, the Occupy movement faces a dilemma: Conflict and confrontation, which have helped make it a national phenomenon, also can derail it. The scene this month in Oakland, where a fraction of protesters fought with riot police, trashed stores, built barricades and started fires, reminded activists and historians that a movement suffers if conflicts with authority turn violent.

… Political analysts and historians — and many Occupy adherents — agree that violence usually eclipses a movement’s message and alienates potential mainstream support. But they say that though public opinion condemns violence’s initiators, it sympathizes with its victims. And conflict that stops short of violence creates cohesion within a movement and attracts attention outside it.

The trick is to go only to the brink, according to Tom Juravich, a labor activist and historian. “If militancy stays within bounds, there’s mileage to be gained. But not if you hurt people or destroy property.”

Occupy Wall Street, the encampment that started it all on Sept. 17 in New York City, was ignored or derided by much of the news media until a police commander was videotaped pepper-spraying two female protesters, and about 700 protesters were arrested for allegedly trying to block the Brooklyn Bridge.

… “Conflict gets people’s attention,” says Caroline Pincus, a 53-year-old San Franciscan who marched in Occupy Oakland’s non-violent “general strike” that briefly closed the nation’s fifth-busiest port. “It’s put the story on the front page. It’s given permission for much more coverage of income disparity.”

In Oakland, a splinter group that included some masked anarchists broke off from the main protest Nov. 2 after a day of peaceful protests. Police made more than 80 arrests.

There’s only one problem with Hampson’s “violent fringe” contention: Democratic pollster Doug Schoen punctured that myth almost a month ago in a Wall Street Journal report:

Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.

There’s your “fraction,” Rick, and it’s almost one-third. That’s hardly a “fringe.” Given both the Occupiers’ failure to make any headway in moving public opinion toward their primarily redistributionist agenda and the personal violence we’ve seen in so many camps around the country, it’s more than a little likely that the street violence-supporting component of the Occupy movement is greater, perhaps far greater, than it was in mid-October.

As to Occupy Oakland:

  • As seen here (picture caption: “Demonstrators from the ‘Occupy Oakland movement climb aboard trucks at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, November 2, 2011″) at least some so-called “peaceful” participants in the demonstrations at the Port of Oakland prevented workers there from doing their job. It seems that the Port didn’t shut down because it wanted to avoid a confrontation; it really shut down because of one.
  • At BigJournalism.com on November 4, P.J. Salvatore showed “that violence began during, not after, the main “general strike” protest conducted by Occupy Oakland on Nov. 2. Masked activists, marching with the main parade, begin smashing windows as the Occupy chants (“Banks got bailed out, we got sold out”) are heard in the background.”

One commenter at Hampson’s piece wrote: “Violence is not the fringe, it is the mainstream with the OWS.” If not the mainstream, arguably darned near it — and certainly not a “fringe.”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Column of the Day: Dot-Connecting — Penn State and America’s Growing Dependency Culture

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:38 am

Read it.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111411)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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Obama-endorsed (proof herehere, and hereOccupy Update:

  • Kyle-Anne Shiver at PJ Media“The Five Most Infantile Beliefs on Display at the ‘Occupy’ Tantrums”
  • P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters“Artist Frank Miller Shocks Left With Harsh Criticism of OWS Protests”
  • Portland (video at link; HT Gateway Pundit) — “Bail for a man inside the Occupy Portland camp Wednesday on accusations related to a Tuesday Molotov cocktail fire was raised to $1 million by a judge Thursday.”
  • John at Powerline identifies a candidate for “the lamest Occupy protest anywhere.”
  • Occupy Portland formally and openly adopts what was apparently the Penn State Athletic Department’s unspoken rule for over a decade — “If you witness a sexual assault, ‘nobody should contact the police.’”
  • Philadelphia — “A woman protester at the Occupy Philadelphia encampment at City Hall was raped in a tent, allegedly by a man who had traveled from out of state to join the protest, police said.”
  • Portland (“Police raze camps, drive protesters from 2 squares”; HT JWF) — “As protesters shouted, ‘The whole world is watching!’ onlooker Gene Gallun, 63, yelled back, ‘The whole world is laughing.’” For those who don’t remember or are too young, “The whole world is watching” was the self-absorbed, self-important chant of the violent crowd at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Andrew Breitbart asks: “How many more rapes, how many more deaths, how many more acts of violence have to occur before President Obama and the Democratic Party withdraw their support and condemn these lawless protests?” My response: It’s too late for that, Andrew. They’ve had weeks to distance themselves from the disgusting criminal mayhem, and haven’t. They own it now and they always will. No amount of attempted distancing from this point on can change that.

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From the “Too Many Great Blogs, Too Little Time” Dept. — On October 19, Pamela at Atlas Shrugs caught an important development the press outside of one small New York City publication totally ignored, namely that Park51 mosque (i.e., the infamous proposed Ground Zero Mosque) developer Sharif El-Gamal has gone AWOL (previous related BizzyBlog posts are here). He has six collection-related suits pending against, and the politically correct community board which approved his project has “been shut out.” And of course, the national press is ignoring the implosion.

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You can’t make this up (the news item or the book title) — as of Friday evening, “Jerry Sandusky’s autobiography, ‘Touched,’ is still available at The Penn State Bookstore”

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This one is painful — “Sold as newer, cleaner, more advanced energy technology, ethanol production has been a blistering disaster in the United States.” More: “A careful look into the ethanol question in the US leaves one wondering why this … industry even exists. Is it attributable to Crony Capitalism?” Uh, yes.

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Great question: “Who hired Gloria Allred? Knowing that might shed light on the matter at hand.” Not letting her get in a word during an interview until she answers that question should be mandatory, at least on the part of interviewers interested in the truth.

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Speaking of questions — In light of this item at NewsBusters (warning: barely concealed R-rated language), here’s one for anyone still subscribing to HBO: How can you possibly defend that choice?

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From the “If you like your plan, you can keep it … ha-ha, the joke’s on you!” Dept. — “Since Obamacare’s Passage, Millions Have Lost Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance” (related Gallup poll).

Positivity: Bedford: Man ‘dies,’ lives to tell about it

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Bedford, Ohio:

7:13 PM, Oct 24, 2011

An Oakwood man is being called a medical miracle after surviving a massive heart attack that stopped his heart four separate times. The police officers and emergency responders who helped save his life are being called heroes.

On September 30th, EMS crews were dispatched to Bedford Cemetery. Ernie Walker and his wife were driving down Broadway Avenue when he recognized the symptoms of a heart attack.

“I was pretty much dead when they picked me up at the cemetery and they brought me back from the reaper,” says Walker.

He doesn’t remember where he was going or what he was doing that day. All he remembers is waking up in the hospital days later.

A Bedford police officer started Ernie’s treatment just outside the cemetery gates. Once the ambulance arrived, a team of five took over his care.

EMT worker Vic DePasquale explained, the situation wasn’t good. His heart and breathing stopped. Ernie’s heart was “just shivering, not pumping any blood or taking in any blood,” DePasquale said.

Firefighters didn’t realize it at the time, but the man on the stretcher was the same Boy Scout leader who’d trained alongside them in times past.

Ernie oversees a troop of 12, all of whom have received some training in emergency medical response.

The seemingly healthy man, was taken down within the same week, at the same age as his father who died from a heart attack.

Ernie was brought back from the dead after his heart attack, with no injury. …

Go here for the rest of the story.