Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration (Prager | Zmirak)

Here is the full interview… followed by links to the topical breakdown of it:


Dennis Prager interviews John Zmirak, who is the author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration.” This was quite an interview. I will be splitting some of this up into topical segments in a bit. But Mr. Zmirak is a guy I would love to sit and have a beer with (a few of em’).

Here are the edited portions:

 

The “Evil” Rich Hide Their Money ~ Mantra

  • Was America’s first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, a greedy robber baron, a generous philanthropist, or both? And did the oil tycoon exploit America’s poor or give them access to much-needed energy? Historian and Hillsdale College professor Burt Folsom, author of “The Myth of the Robber Barons,” reveals the truth about the Rockefeller empire.

A number to keep in your mind as you read is about how much you have to earn to be in the top 1% ~ and is why “being rich” is a fluid matter and why so many move in and out of this designation of “rich.” There is opportunity for all in this market-based system. And the rich-get-poorer while the poor-get-richer! One should note as well that this number changes by geography as well.

The richest percentile of Americans makes many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. So how could a $135,000 salary make you a one-percenter? If you’re 31 or younger, that figure puts you ahead of 99 percent of your age group.

[….] 

This chart partially explains why the 1 percent is such a fluid club (about half of the top 1 percent flips over every year.) To stay in the top percentile, a 30-year-old earning $130,000 in 2010 would have to raise her salary by $80,000 by 35, and then another $70,000 before she turned 45.

In an article I enjoyed, “10 Myths in the Movie ‘Inequality for all‘.” I do think however that the article does not explain each point well enough. A good example of this is their point number two, that reads:

number 2

Just a quick addition to the above before getting to my example. When banks have large sums of money they invest that capital in loans, investment in the markets, and the like. This leads to funding many of the retirement packages the elderly retire on, creates job growth and opportunity for the poor, and all the other benefits that follow from it. So if all the rich did was stuff their money into banks ~ Great! However, as we will see from a oft tarred-and-feathered favorite whipping boys of the left, this just isn’t the case… in which case we go beyond saying “Great!” to “Hallelujah, I hope the rich-get-richer!”

I will use the EVIL Koch Brothers to make my point. The first point is that these uber rich persons give a lot of money to various “good works.” Here NewsMax zeroes in on the issue:

The Kochs’ critics are free to disagree with the Kansas industrialists and their libertarian ideas. However, most who despise the Kochs would be shocked by what these “greedy capitalists” do with their profits, beyond campaign donations.

For starters, the Kochs, support university programs and think tanks that try “to understand the nature of human freedom and how that freedom leads to prosperity,” as the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) explains.

The Kochs fund cures and treatments.CKF underwrites research and teaching at Brown, Mount Holyoke, Sarah Lawrence, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Vassar, and some 245 other colleges. This includes a speaker series, reading group, and essay contest at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in Harry Reid’s home state. Koch Industries (which offers same-sex spousal benefits to its legally married employees) also donated $814,000 to the Kansas State University Office of Diversity to assist “historically under-represented students.”

David Koch survived a 1991 plane crash that killed 34 people, including everyone else in first class. He soon was diagnosed with, and then endured, prostate cancer. These challenges reinforced his passion for medical philanthropy. Among $506 million in such gifts, his major grants include:

  1. $25 million to Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to eliminate genitourinary malignancies.
  2. $100 million for cancer research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  3. $100 million for a new ambulatory care center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. This donation actually triggered an outbreak of mental illness among leftists who decried Koch’s nine-digit check.

“Quality care, not Koch care!” unionized nurses screamed outside Koch’s Park Avenue apartment. Never mind that his contributions create work for unionized nurses.

The Kochs back the arts.

Elizabeth B. Koch, Charles’ wife, launched the Koch Cultural Trust. It has furnished $1.8 million in grants to artists and musicians with ties to Kansas.

David Koch supports PBS’ documentary series “Nova.” He also is a paleo-philanthropist, having given $15 million to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for a Hall of Human Origins and another $35 million to update its fossil and dinosaur displays in Washington, D.C. New York’s American Museum of Natural History will enjoy a new Dinosaur Wing, thanks to David’s $20 million gift.

David also donated $100 million in 2008 to modernize the former New York State Theater at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, home to the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

The Kochs also steward the environment.

“Koch Industries, Inc. takes a leadership role in the promotion of biodiversity, wildlife habitat enhancement, land restoration and conservation education,” according to Wildlife Habitat Council president Robert Johnson. “Koch and its subsidiaries maintain Council-certified programs at 10 facilities throughout the United States,” including Montana’s 300,000-acre Matador Cattle Company Beaverhead Ranch.

Flint Hills Resources (a Koch company) helps Ducks Unlimited maintain 36,000 acres of waterfowl habitat on 116 Minnesota lakes. Thus, Ducks Unlimited gave the company its Emerald Teal Award.

…etc…

Another point worth making is one from my own life. I have never worked for a poor person. So let us apply this to our Koch example. Koch Industries “employs about 60,000 people in the United States and another 40,000 in 59 other countries.” These are people, real people, providing sustenance to their kids, spouse, community (in being able to donate to causes they support), and the like. In our own and in the other countries Koch Industries hires people… this job may be what is keeping said family from poverty.

National Review points out the following:

Politicians often divide Americans between “the rich” and “working people,” implying that the rich don’t work for their money. Complaining about the tax deal, Rep. Jim McDermott (D., Wash.) contemptuously referred to the rich as “trust-funders,” suggesting that most had done nothing to earn their wealth. But in reality, roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first generation of their family to be rich. They didn’t inherit their wealth; they earned it.

In fact, several studies indicate that the rich work very hard for their wealth. For example, research by professors Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst found that the working time for upper-income professionals has increased since 1965, while working time for low-skill, low-income workers has decreased. Similarly, according to a study by the economists Peter Kuhn and Fernando Lozano, the number of men in the bottom fifth of the income ladder who work more than 49 hours per week has dropped by half since 1980. But among the top fifth of earners, work weeks in excess of 49 hours have increased by 80 percent. Dalton Conley, chairman of NYU’s sociology department, concludes that “higher-income folks work more hours than lower-wage earners do.”

Research by Nobel Prize–winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman showed that those earning more than $100,000 per year spent on average less than 20 percent of their time on leisure activities, compared with more than a third of their time for people who earned less than $20,000 per year. Kahneman concluded that “being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things and more time doing compulsory things.”

The rich are not sitting by the pool, sipping their cocktails; they are sitting in their offices, working their behinds off….

People do not realize this, but about 80% of America’s Millionaires are first gen rich, started with nothing and became wealthy. The Left has this idea of people being rich by the luck of inheritance… which isn’t bad itself. If I was able to “make it,” I would want to leave my kids my money. But the reality is more like Investopedia points out:

  1. Millionaires Don’t Pay Their Taxes
    Fact: It is estimated that millionaires, those in the top 1% of earners, pay about 40% of all taxes. Current tax regulation shifts may change these numbers to make this even larger than that – so think twice before accusing the millionaires in America of not paying taxes. (Do you know when you’re going to retire? It might not be as soon as you think. Read The New Retirement Age.)
  2. Millionaires Just Inherited Their Money
    According to Thomas J. Stanley’s book, “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy,” only 20% of millionaires inherited their riches. The other 80% are what you’d call nouveau riche: first generation millionaires who earned their cash on their own. Many millionaires simply worked, saved and lived within their means to generate their wealth – think accountants and managers: regular people going to work every day. Most millionaires didn’t get their riches overnight when a rich relative died – they worked for the money.
  3. Millionaires Feel Rich
    From the outside looking in, you would think that millionaires feel rich and secure, but that’s not so. Most millionaires worry about retirement, their kids’ college fund and the mortgage just like the rest of us. Those worries are greatest among new millionaires, the people who just recently acquired their wealth. (For more, see Don’t Forget The Kids: Save For Their Education And Retirement.)
  4. Millionaires Have High-Paying Jobs
    It certainly doesn’t hurt to be gainfully employed, but half of all millionaires are self-employed or own a business. It does help to have a college degree, as about 80% are college graduates, though only 18% have master’s degrees.
  5. Millionaires All Drive Fancy Cars
    You can get that idea of the rich guy in a fancy German car out of your head when you think of a millionaire: they actually drive a Ford, with the carmaker topping the millionaire preferred car list at 9.4%. Cadillacs run second on the millionaires’ favorite car list, and Lincolns third according to onmoneymaking.com.Car payments are an investment with little return, which is why someone looking to grow wealth avoids high-priced vehicles in favor of a more economical set of wheels. (For more, see 10 Steps To Retire A Millionaire.)
  6. Millionaires Hang Around the Golf Course All Day
    Those millionaires are all retired, with nothing else to do but hang around the golf course, right? Wrong: only 20% of millionaires are retirees, with a full 80% still going to work. It’s not as glamorous or fun, but millionaires go to work just like you do; it’s how the money gets in the bank.
  7. Millionaires Are Elitists
    We’ve already established that most millionaires earned their money not inherited it, still go to work, drive a Ford and worry about their kids’ college expenses. Sounds a lot like the rest of America, right? Millionaires come in all shapes and sizes – some may be elitists, but most are just regular Joes who successfully managed their money.

The Bottom Line
Maybe you see a pattern here: today’s millionaires are people who live within their means, budget and spend wisely, and focus on financial independence first. These are habits that take discipline, but ones we can all adopt to begin growing wealth….

Which brings us back to National Review’s article:

…The Left also makes two other contradictory claims about the rich and their wealth. On the one hand, we are told that the rich spend their money frivolously. Perhaps some do, but this ignores the fact that frivolous expenditures often provide jobs and income for the rest of us. Back in 1990, for example, Congress decided to impose a “luxury tax” on such frivolous items as high-priced automobiles, aircraft, jewelry, furs, and yachts. The tax “worked” in a sense. The rich bought fewer luxury goods — and thousands of Americans who worked in the jewelry, aircraft, and boating industries lost their jobs. According to a study done for the Joint Economic Committee, the tax destroyed 7,600 jobs in the yacht-building industry alone.

On the other hand, we are told that lower taxes on the wealthy won’t help the economy because the rich don’t spend enough of their money. That old-fashioned Keynesian economics — which assumes economic growth is driven by consumer demand — ignores the fact that money not spent by the rich is not simply stuffed under millionaires’ mattresses. The savings of the rich provides the investment capital that funds new ventures, creates new jobs, and spurs innovation. The money that the rich save and invest is the money that companies use to start or expand businesses, buy machinery and other physical capital, or hire workers.

No doubt there are dishonest or unscrupulous businessmen who have gotten rich by taking advantage of others. And it’s hard to feel much sympathy for the Paris Hiltons of the world, flitting through life with a sense of entitlement that they haven’t earned. But most wealthy Americans have worked hard for what they have, pay more than their fair share of taxes, give generously to charity, and, most important, drive the economic growth that all of us non-rich people rely on.

That’s something to remember the next time that politicians start to beat the drums of class warfare.

What do these “class warfare” politicians do to create jobs and wealth? Not much. You can see more on this and other subjects via my ECON 101 Topics Page. In the following 11-minute audio, Radio talk show hos Michael Medved sheds some light on the Koch’s and takes a dissenting call on the matter:

Again, I will let other’s share my point about the rich with the Koch’s as my example:

  1. Koch Industries employs about 100,000 globally (60,000 in the US alone).
  2. Koch Companies support more than 200,000 US jobs and “about $11.8 billion in compensation and benefits.”
  3. Of Koch Companies’ 60,000 US employees, approximately one-third are unionized.
  4. Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation’s partnership with the United Negro College Fund has resulted in a “$25 million grant that will provide nearly 3,000 merit-based awards to African American undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctorate students seeking scholarship assistance.”
  5. Globally, Koch companies “have earned 917 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innovation, and customer service.”
  6. Koch Industries has sponsored the Special Olympics in Wichita, Kansas for the past 33 years.
  7. “Through the Helping Heroes initiative, Koch companies have contributed nearly $230,000 to emergency response organizations in communities where they operate since 2011.” Koch’s Georgia- Pacific Bucket BrigadeTM program, “has contributed more than $1 million to fire units in communities where the company operates to meet critical needs, as well as provide educational materials to schools.”
  8. Through the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, Koch has contributed or pledged “more than $1.2 billion to cancer research, medical centers, educational institutions, arts and cultural institutions, and to assist public policy organizations.”
  9. David Koch’s charitable foundation also provided $100 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital to build a new ambulatory care center, as well as $28 million to research causes.
  10. Yet another major Koch grant contributed $100 million to research cancer at MIT.
  11. Flint Hill Industries (a Koch company) earned a Clean Air Award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The question is “what happens when you do tax the rich”? Well, we know from past experience:

Why MSNBC is Last In Cable News Ratings (Soros vs. Koch Brothers)

~ Re-Posted ~

Had to post this from NewsBusters. The rhetoric from the media (MSNBC, CNN, and the like) has been mind-numbingly shallow. I also wish to say that I doubt Ball has ever mentioned any add as being backed by Soros. To wit, before getting to the NewsBusters piece, let me explain why people fear government via a post of mine answering a local writer:


And any person should acknowledge why someone should “fear” government more than business. In fact, I made this point on my FB outgrowth of this blog in talking to my liberal friend:

…this is to show how the Obama admin is stacking the books with GM. You see, when the government chooses winners-and-losers instead of getting contracts with private companies (like Ford, GM, etc.), they are invested to [i.e., forced to] only choose a government run business and stock their fish (so-to-speak) with GM fleets… leaving the non-government company to flounder.

This next audio deals with the differences of the Koch brothers, in comparison to the Left’s version of them, Soros. There are many areas that one can discuss about the two… but let us focus in on the main/foundational difference. One wants a large government that is able to legislate more than just what kind of light-bulbs one can use in the privacy of their own home. Soros wants large government able to control a large portion of the economy (see link to chart below), and he has been very vocal on this goal. The other party always mentioned are the Koch brothers. These rich conservatives want a weak government. A government that cannot effect our daily lives nearly as much (personal, business, etc) as the Soros enterprise wants. And really, if you think about it, what business can really “harm” you, when people come to my door with pistols on their hip… are they a) more likely to be from GM, or, b) from the IRS?

The possibility of them being from the IRS is even more possible with the passing of Obama-Care [i.e., larger government]. So the “fear” (audio in next comment) I think the Left has of “Big-Business” is unfounded, and the problem comes when big-business gets in bed with big-government. Here I am thinking of (like with the penalties that were found to be Constitutional in the recent SCOTUS decision) a government that can penalize you if you do not buy a Chevy Volt, or some other green car in order to save the planet. When this happens, guys coming to my door because of unpaid (hypothetical… but historical examples abound of the tax history of our nation) “fines” are likely to be IRS agents because of a personal choice made in the “free-market.”

Appendix: If the above example didn’t inspire any liberal fear (forced to go green or be penalized), maybe this one will?

…First, the government needs to issue a mandate that all households must own at least one firearm. We will need a federal agency to ensure that people aren’t just buying cheap BB guns or .22 pistols, even though that may be all they need or want. It has to be 9mm or above, with .44 magnums getting a one-time tax credit on their own. Let’s pick an agency known for its aptitude on firearms and home protection to issue required annual certifications each year, without which the government will have to levy hefty fines. Which agency would do the best job? Hmmmm … I know! How about TSA? With their track record of excellence, we should have no problems implementing this mandate.

Don’t want to own a gun? Hey, no worries. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says citizens have the right to refuse to comply with mandates. The government will just seize some of your cash in fines, that’s all. Isn’t choice great? Those fines will go toward federal credits that will fund firearm purchases for the less well off, so that they can protect their homes as adequately as those who can afford guns on their own. Since they generally live in neighborhoods where police response is appreciably worse than their higher-earning fellow Americans, they need them more anyway. Besides — gun ownership is actually mentioned in the Constitution, unlike health care, which isn’t. Obviously, that means that the federal government should be funding gun ownership….

…read more…

This is why people fear government, to answer John’s question.


Back to the excellent NewsBusters response to “Krystal Ball” on MSNBC:

Honestly, how does this woman have a job in a news division?

Oh. That’s right. MSNBC isn’t a news organization. How could I have forgotten?

Saying Republicans don’t want young people to buy health insurance is preposterous.

What conservatives don’t want is the government to force young people to purchase something that morbidity tables show will likely have absolutely no benefit for them until the distant future so that others who likely will benefit much sooner can get it either for free or far more cheaply.

Irrespective of what Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts foolishly ruled last year, this is neither Constitutional nor ethical.

As for these young people dying if ObamaCare is not enacted, that asininely assumes that people won’t have the money to pay for their care if they get sick or won’t purchase health insurance when they reach an age when they believe they need it.

For example, Ball mentioned prenatal care and tetanus shots. As a person that owns an insurance agency, I certainly would be telling a client looking to have children to purchase health insurance.

As for Pap smears, the Mayo Clinic recommends women over 21 do them every two to three years.

The cost varies state by state. In New York City, you can get one for as little as $150.

As such, a woman in that city doing it even once every two years would save thousands of dollars paying for it herself rather than buying health insurance.

As for cholesterol tests, these are now available online for as little as $40.

…read more…

This great, short, update comes via The Lonely Conservative:

The short answer to the question posed above is “Not even close.” It’s not the Koch Brothers or ALEC. Nope. The biggest spender in the dark money game is the Tides Foundation. Oh and by the way, Tides is a big liberal group.

Whenever “ALEC” and “dark money” are mentioned in the media, however, there ought to be a third name given at least equal attention – the Tides Foundation. That’s because Tides, the San Francisco-based funder of virtually every liberal activist group in existence since the mid-1970s, pioneered the concept of providing a cut-out for donors who don’t wish to be associated in public with a particular cause. It is instructive to compare the funding totals for Tides and ALEC.

A search of non-profit grant databases reveals 139 grants worth a total of $5.6 million to ALEC since 1998. By comparison, Tides is the Mega-Goliath of dark money cash flows. Tides received 1,976 grants worth a total of $451 million during the same period, or nearly 100 times as much money as ALEC. But even that’s not the whole story with Tides, which unlike ALEC, has divided and multiplied over the years. Add to the Tides Foundation total the directly linked Tides Center’s 465 grants with a combined worth of $62 million, and the total is well over half a billion dollars. (Read More)

So there.


BIG versus SMALL


(You can enlarge the article by clicking it.) This is a local, small town magazine, and John Van Huizum writes a regular piece that I will critique here-and-there. Here is my first installment:

I wish to write a response to a recent Concepts article by John Van Huizum, entitled “What Does ‘Free’ Mean?” There are a couple issues worth responding to or in-the-least offering a differing viewpoint on. The first of Mr. Huizum’s positions that needs de”concept”ualizing is the idea of “greed.” Mr. Huizum spoke of history, something Dr. Sowell reminds us of in the telling of Richard Sears ferocious greed in wanting to overtake Montgomery Ward.[1] This type of greed leads to lower prices. Alternatively the Fords, Rockefellers, and the Carnegies found ways to offer goods at lower prices. This type of greed leads to Carnegie — for instance — becoming a “prodigious philanthrop[ist] – building more than 3,000 public libraries in 47 states…, founding Carnegie-Mellon University and the Carnegie Institute of Technology (C.I.T.), establishing Carnegie Hall in New York, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and much more.”[2]

In a wonderful response to Donahue’s 1979 challenge to Milton Freidman on the issue of greed and if greed has ever caused Dr. Friedman to doubt capitalism. Milton Friedman responded that “the world runs on individuals pursuing their own interests, the great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory from an order of a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of the grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and free trade.”[3] So I wish to proffer another history that maybe, just possibly Forbes is taking into account and Mr. Huizum is not.

Another point worth politely rejecting is the definition given to Forbes by Mr. Huizum on freedom: “free from ANY government regulation.”[4] This is a fallacy of straw-man.[5] Mr. Huizum does not show a full knowledge of Forbes understanding on this matter. Nor does the facile dealing with this complex issue and the putting forth of a false definition as if-it-were Forbes do this topic justice.

One last point, the most important. Unlike big business when it makes mistakes, big government cannot go out of business. Unlike corrupt government, corrupt business cannot print money and thereby devalue a nation’s currency. Businesses cannot coerce you by force (tax liens, garnishing of wages, or armed IRS officials, etc) into an action. So the “greed” of the corporation pales in comparison to the greed of government.[6] Which is why our Founders stated that, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government” (Patrick Henry); “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master” (George Washington).

Footnotes:

[1] Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2004), 361.
[2] Michael Medved, The 10 biggest Lies About America (New York, NY: Crown Forum, 2008), 132; see also, “What Did He Get for That Money?
[3] youtu.be/RWsx1X8PV_A
[4] John Van Huizum, Agua Dulce/Acton Country Journal, Vol. XXII, Issue 21 (May 26, 2012), 19.
[5] a) Person A has position X; b) Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X); c) Person B attacks position Y; d) Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
[6] Dennis Prager, Still the Best Hope (New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2012), 35-36.

David & Goliath in Politics ~ The Bible and the Koch Brothers

I haven’t done a Concepts in a while. I have been busy and honestly the stuff John writes he has mainly written in the past… just rehashed in a different form. But this one caught my eye, as even his analogy to David and Goliath is wrong, so too is his understanding of what undermines a Constitutional Democracy. (As usual, you can enlarge the article by clicking it.)

Firstly, let’s deal with David and Goliath.

GOLIATH

Mr Van Huizum says this:

  • The battle between David and Goliath was an unfair battle because their respective armaments were so one-sided, as were their physical size and strength.

Let us go more in-depth into this story via an interview with Malcolm Gladwell’s about his new book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”

Never Bring a Knife To A Gun-Fight

There are limited historical accounts and archaeological evidence to verify what truly happened in the fight between David and Goliath, but the story as we know it could use a clarification as big as a gargantuan Philistine. Goliath was a heavily armored, slow-moving giant. David, not just a shepherd boy but perhaps also an official shield-bearer to King Saul, chose no armor and was equipped with a sling… with roughly the same power as a handgun, according to Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book. Just as you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, you don’t bring a heavy bronze weapon to a sling fight. On top of all this, Goliath may not have even been that tall and may have been partially blind. Evidence of how this brief fight went down is scarce, but if Gladwell is right, you can imagine David would’ve been able to get an easy shot at the lumbering Goliath’s oversized head. (Text: 7 Biggest Buts)

What is ironic is that the left (Mr. Huizum) would have made it through legislation almost impossible for David to be “carrying.” That being said, it seems that David wasn’t all that defenseless or lucky to begin with, and knew exactly what he was doing and that he had God on his side to boot! So the analogy John tries o fob onto the public breaks down under scrutiny. Not to mention I doubt John believes much of the Bible anyway.

Now, on to the Koch Brothers.

Koch Brothers

(This is from a previous response to Mr. Huizum on the issue… as I said, he merely rehashes the same topics.) Any well thinking person should acknowledge that someone should “fear” government more than business. In fact, I made this point on my FaceBook discussion with a liberal friend:


...the was to show how the Obama admin is stacking the books with GM. You see, when the government chooses winners-and-losers instead of getting contracts with private companies (like Ford, GM, etc.), they are invested to [i.e., forced to] only choose a government run business and stock their fish (so-to-speak) with GM fleets… leaving the non-government company to flounder.

This next audio deals with the differences of the Koch brothers, in comparison to the Left’s version of them, Soros. There are many areas that one can discuss about the two… but let us focus in on the main/foundational difference. One wants a large government that is able to legislate more than just what kind of light-bulbs one can use in the privacy of their own home. Soros wants large government able to control a large portion of the economy (see link to chart below), and he has been very vocal on this goal. The other party always mentioned are the Koch brothers. These rich conservatives want a weak government.

And really, if you think about it, what business can really “harm” you, when people come to my door with pistols on their hip… are they a) more likely to be from GM, or, b) from the IRS?A government that cannot effect our daily lives nearly as much (personal, business, etc) as the Soros enterprise wants.

This great “short” comes via The Lonely Conservative:

The short answer to the question posed above is “Not even close.” It’s not the Koch Brothers or ALEC. Nope. The biggest spender in the dark money game is the Tides Foundation. Oh and by the way, Tides is a big liberal group.

Whenever “ALEC” and “dark money” are mentioned in the media, however, there ought to be a third name given at least equal attention – the Tides Foundation. That’s because Tides, the San Francisco-based funder of virtually every liberal activist group in existence since the mid-1970s, pioneered the concept of providing a cut-out for donors who don’t wish to be associated in public with a particular cause. It is instructive to compare the funding totals for Tides and ALEC.

A search of non-profit grant databases reveals 139 grants worth a total of $5.6 million to ALEC since 1998. By comparison, Tides is the Mega-Goliath of dark money cash flows. Tides received 1,976 grants worth a total of $451 million during the same period, or nearly 100 times as much money as ALEC. But even that’s not the whole story with Tides, which unlike ALEC, has divided and multiplied over the years. Add to the Tides Foundation total the directly linked Tides Center’s 465 grants with a combined worth of $62 million, and the total is well over half a billion dollars. (Read More)

So there.

The next portion is merely a re-posting of a MAJOR maligning of the Koch Brothers that often happens via the LEFT, and exemplifies the bias and hatred that cover-up reality:

The Washington Post just makes stuff up now… from whole-cloth! H/T to IOwntheWorld, via Powerline:

On Thursday, the Washington Post published an article by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin titled “The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.” The article’s first paragraph included this claim:

The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.

The theme of the article was that the Keystone Pipeline is all about the Koch brothers; or, at least, that this is a plausible claim. The Post authors relied on a report by a far-left group called International Forum on Globalization that I debunked last October.

So Thursday evening, I wrote about the Post article here. I pointed out that Koch is not, in fact, the largest leaser of tar sands land; that Koch will not be a user of the pipeline if it is built; and that construction of the Keystone Pipeline would actually be harmful to Koch’s economic interests, which is why Koch has never taken a position on the pipeline’s construction. The Keystone Pipeline, in short, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Koch brothers.

Ethics Violations @ WaPo

Juliet

  • Koch is not the largest leaser of tar sands land;
  • Koch will not use the pipeline if it is built;
  • the Keystone Pipeline would harm the Kochs’  interest;
  • and the Koch brothers have not taken a position on the pipeline’s construction for that reason.

(Ethics Alarms)

My post garnered a great deal of attention, and Mufson and Eilperin undertook to respond to it here. It isn’t much of a response: they don’t deny the truth of anything Iwrote, and they don’t try to sustain the proposition that Koch is even in favor of the pipeline, let alone the driving force behind it. They lamely suggest that if Koch leased 2 million acres, rather than 1.1 million as they reported on Thursday, then Koch might be the largest leaseholder. But they make no attempt to respond to the official Province of Alberta maps that I posted, which clearly show that Canadian National Resources, Ltd., for example, leases more acreage than Koch.

The Post’s response attempted to explain “Why we wrote about the Koch Industries [sic] and its leases in Canada’s oil sands.” Good question! What’s the answer?

The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.

So in the Post’s view, it is acceptable to publish articles that are both literally false (Koch is the largest tar sands leaseholder) and massively misleading (the Keystone Pipeline is all about Koch Industries), if by doing so the paper can “stir and inflame public debate in this election year?” I can’t top Jonah Goldberg’s comment on that howler:

By this logic any unfair attack posing as reporting is worthwhile when people try to correct the record. Why not just have at it and accuse the Kochs of killing JFK or hiding the Malaysian airplane? The resulting criticism would once again provide “strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.”

Read it all!

Threat to Democracy

This is both an update to and combination of another post… see a previous post for an update to this article:

Enjoy.

Kimberley Strassel wrote an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about the imperial predilections of Obama’s “reign.” (Posted by Religio-Political Talk)

…Put another way: Mr. Obama proposes, Congress refuses, he does it anyway.

For example, Congress refused to pass Mr. Obama’s Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for some not here legally. So Mr. Obama passed it himself with an executive order that directs officers to no longer deport certain illegal immigrants. This may be good or humane policy, yet there is no reading of “prosecutorial discretion” that allows for blanket immunity for entire classes of offenders.

Mr. Obama disagrees with federal law, which criminalizes the use of medical marijuana. Congress has not repealed the law. No matter. The president instructs his Justice Department not to prosecute transgressors. He disapproves of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, yet rather than get Congress to repeal it, he stops defending it in court. He dislikes provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, so he asked Congress for fixes. That effort failed, so now his Education Department issues waivers that are patently inconsistent with the statute.

Similarly, when Mr. Obama wants a new program and Congress won’t give it to him, he creates it regardless. Congress, including Democrats, wouldn’t pass his cap-and-trade legislation. His Environmental Protection Agency is now instituting it via a broad reading of the Clean Air Act. Congress, again including members of his own party, wouldn’t pass his “card-check” legislation eliminating secret ballots in union elections. So he stacked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with appointees who pushed through a “quickie” election law to accomplish much the same. Congress wouldn’t pass “net neutrality” Internet regulations, so Mr. Obama’s Federal Communications Commission did it unilaterally.

In January, when the Senate refused to confirm Mr. Obama’s new picks for the NLRB, he proclaimed the Senate to be in “recess” and appointed the members anyway, making a mockery of that chamber’s advice-and-consent role. In June, he expanded the definition of “executive privilege” to deny House Republicans documents for their probe into the botched Fast and Furious drug-war operation, making a mockery of Congress’s oversight responsibilities.

This president’s imperial pretensions extend into the brute force the executive branch has exercised over the private sector. The auto bailouts turned contract law on its head, as the White House subordinated bondholders’ rights to those of its union allies. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Justice Department leaked that it had opened a criminal probe at exactly the time the Obama White House was demanding BP suspend its dividend and cough up billions for an extralegal claims fund. BP paid. Who wouldn’t?

And it has been much the same in his dealings with the states. Don’t like Arizona’s plans to check immigration status? Sue. Don’t like state efforts to clean up their voter rolls? Invoke the Voting Rights Act. Don’t like state authority over fracking? Elbow in with new and imagined federal authority, via federal water or land laws.

In so many situations, Mr. Obama’s stated rationale for action has been the same: We tried working with Congress but it didn’t pan out—so we did what we had to do. This is not only admission that the president has subverted the legislative branch, but a revealing insight into Mr. Obama’s view of his own importance and authority….

…read it all…

This first video is another wonderful Trey Gowdy anthem. Click his name in the “TAGS” to see other “music to your ears” speeches:

Video description: Rep. Gowdy’s floor speech in favor of H.R. 4138 the ENFORCE the Law Act.

And this is a recent Jonathan Turley statement before Congress (do the same, check out Turley in the “TAGS”):

Video description:

Via The Blaze ~ I did turn the volume up from the original file… so prep your volume control.

A constitutional law expert warned Congress during a hearing Wednesday that America has reached a “constitutional tipping point” under the watch of President Barack Obama.

Jonathan Turley, professor of public interest law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said the legislative branch of the U.S. government is in danger of becoming irrelevant in the face of continued executive overreach.

“My view [is] that the president, has in fact, exceeded his authority in a way that is creating a destabilizing influence in a three branch system,” Turley said. “I want to emphasize, of course, this problem didn’t begin with President Obama, I was critical of his predecessor President Bush as well, but the rate at which executive power has been concentrated in our system is accelerating. And frankly, I am very alarmed by the implications of that aggregation of power.”

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” he added….

Billionaire Coal Magnate Tom Steyer Gives Hypocrisy a New Name

“I think that I’m very different from the Koch brothers in the sense that I have absolutely no personal interest in what happens except as a citizen of the United States. So whereas they’re representing points of view that are in their personal monetary interests, I’m actually representing the citizens of the whole country in terms of their diffuse interests against concentrated economic interests that the Koch brothers represent.” ~ POWERLINE

(A response to this quote is at bottom)

Some great information about Democratic billionaire activist, Tom Steyer has been added to the collective mind called the blogosphere, via Powerline! If one is not familiar with the issue at hand, you should read a previous post on this issue. A quick recap however, also comes from Powerline who explains the reason behind a bunch of old, outdated politicians doing an all-nighter:

(Pic Linked)

…Tom Steyer, a billionaire who has made a great deal of money on government-subsidized “green” energy projects, has become one of the Democratic Party’s most important donors. On February 18, he hosted a fundraiser at his home that netted $400,000. Harry Reid and six other Senators attended, along with Al Gore and a number of rich environmentalists. At that meeting, plans for last night’s talk-a-thon were already being laid.

The connection is simple: Steyer has pledged to contribute $50 million and raise another $50 million to help Democrats in the 2014 elections. The catch is that they have to emphasize global warming as an issue:

✦ Steyer’s advocacy group, NextGen Political Action, plans to spend at least $50 million of the former hedge-fund manager’s money, plus another $50 million raised from other donors. The group will refuse to spend money on behalf of Democrats who oppose climate regulation, but will not spend money against them either, according to Chris Lehane, a Steyer consultant.

So the Democrats are trying to walk a narrow line. They need to make noise about global warming to keep the cash flowing from Tom Steyer and other deep-pocketed environmental activists (some of whom, of course, are also “green” energy cronies)….

The newest installment in regards to the biggest story lately in Democratic [billionaire] hypocrisy is the recent piece by John Hinderaker on Tom Steyer. Below is part of that article by John as well as an interview of John by Hugh Hewitt:

But Steyer’s hypocrisy goes still deeper. Today, he is a bitter opponent of fossil fuels, especially coal. That fits with his current economic interests: banning coal-fired power plants will boost the value of his solar projects. But it was not always thus. In fact, Steyer owes his fortune in large part to the fact that he has been one of the world’s largest financers of coal projects. Tom Steyer was for coal before he was against it.

A reader with first-hand knowledge of the relevant Asian and Australian markets sent us this detailed report on how Steyer got rich on coal. He titled his report “Hypocrisy & Hedge Funds: Climate Change Warrior Tom Steyer’s Secret Life as Coal Investment Kingpin.” Here it is, in full:

Tom Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management L.L.C. (“Farallon”) in 1986. Farallon has grown to become one of the largest and most successful hedge funds in the United States with over $20bn in funds under management.1 Mr. Steyer’s net worth is reported to be $1.6bn.2

Mr. Steyer left Farallon in 2012 to focus on political and environmental causes and potentially to position himself for public office. He has been described in the press as the “liberals’ answer to the Koch Brothers”3 due to his wealth and his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and carbon-based energy in general. He has dedicated some $50 million of his personal fortune to back political candidates who support his position on climate change – and punish those who don’t. Mr. Steyer has led recent campaigns with Bill McKibben to encourage university endowments to divest coal equities.

[….]

The facts, summarized below, might lead one to conclude that:

  • Mr. Steyer has had a direct, personal involvement in assembling, through Farallon, a portfolio of strategic investments in overseas coal miners and coal fired power plants which is unprecedented in scale. The total quantum of Farallon’s investments in these transactions is not publicly disclosed, but reasonable estimates suggest that it could be between US$1 and $2 billion in total.6 Taken collectively, the coal producers in which his fund has amassed these investment interests represent one of the largest sources of thermal coal in the world;
  • The financing provided by Mr. Steyer’s fund enabled these coal producers to restructure and recapitalize thereby freeing them to grow rapidly during a period of rapidly rising coal prices, leading to one of the largest expansions of thermal coal production in modern times7;
  • Made during a period of ever rising coal prices, these investments were almost certainly extremely profitable for Mr. Steyer’s fund overall, and my extension Mr. Steyer personally. It stands to reason that few people in American history have made more money from investment in thermal coal than Mr. Steyer.

[….]

Hypocrisy is not in short supply in the political world, but Tom Steyer is in a class by himself. Now that he is enriching himself through “green” cronyism, coal is evil. Sure: like all hydrocarbons, it competes with the solar energy boondoggles on which he is making millions, with the aid of the Obama administration. But where was Steyer’s alleged social conscience when he was one of the world’s biggest investors in coal? And how substantial are his current holdings in coal projects? Is Steyer financing his anti-fossil fuel campaign on profits from past or, perhaps, ongoing investments in Asian and Australian coal? Inquiring minds want to know! Tom Steyer appears to have elevated political hypocrisy to an entirely new level.

…read it all!…

Jake Tapper of CNN, one of the few truly fair guys in the legacy media, was also asked by Hugh Hewitt about Tom Steyer and the hypocrisy uncovered by John at Powerline. Hugh also played an American Commitment ad for Jake to get his comment on the topic at hand. Here is THAT interview with the description from my YouTube channel:

Hugh Hewitt interviews Jake Tapper of CNN, the topic? John Hinderaker’s recent piece, “The Epic Hypocrisy of Tom Steyer” (http://tinyurl.com/lro2wow). Tapper is hopeful for a braoder media attention to stories like John broke in regards to rich — hypocritical — millionaires and billionaires that give to the Democratic party. LIKE, the legacy media does, in regards to the Koch brothers and others.

My posts on the Koch brothers and Tom Steyer are as follows:

http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/tag/koch-brothers/
http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/tag/tom-steyer/

Tapper is fair as usual, one of the names in the media I have come to respect.

For more clear thinking like this from Hugh Hewitt… I invite you to visit: http://www.hughniverse.com/

To see more projects and information as well from American Commitment, check out their site: http://www.americancommitment.org/

WOW! I look forward to more on this.

PolitiBrew offers a response to the quote I chose to start this post with, “I think that I’m very different from the Koch brothers…” (top). I will include an upload of Michael Medved speaking about the generosity of the Koch Brothers as well, enjoy:

Tom Steyer is most certainly not the Koch Brothers. Steyer’s hedge fund is tied to a $67 million ponzi scheme that siphoned millions of dollars from foreign investors.

Steyer has also promised to spend $100 million to get democrats elected in 2014.

Meanwhile, the “evil” Koch Brothers donate billions of dollars to many deserving causes but generally give to conservative ones, you know, like all the money they give to M.D. Anderson for cancer research. How conservative is that? I guess they’d like to help conserve lives. How about that they “underwrite research and teaching at Brown, Mount Holyoke, Sarah Lawrence, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Vassar, and some 245 other colleges”? Is that conservative?

Think nothing of the Millions to MIT for cancer research, that’s conservative too, right? Right.

Yes Tom. We can’t deny that you are not the Koch Brothers. You may be able to hold a candle, just not to these Men. May as well blow it out….

These leftists are making it too easy! It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Charles Koch Responds to Harry Reid

This is a h-t to Gay Patriot:

Last week, one of the Koch brothers responded to Harry Reid’s outrageous attacks demonizing them:

Charles Koch: I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government…[and] we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

…In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you…

More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. “The natural progress of things,” Jefferson wrote, “is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” He knew that no government could possibly run citizens’ lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle…

Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced…

…I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished….

The almost unbearable hypocrisy Reid doesn’t get is his “renting” of the Senate floor to the 1% ~ via Breitbart:

The Republican National Committee says that the Senate Democrats’ all-nighter on the Senate floor Monday evening until 9 AM Tuesday was not about principle. The RNC claims Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats rented out the Senate floor to the environmental cause of one of their biggest left-wing billionaire donors.

RNC spokesman Raffi Williams points to how liberal billionaire Tom Steyer—a major Democratic Party donor—supports environmental causes.

“If you thought living in the Ritz-Carlton was expensive, it’s peanuts compared to the $100 million contribution from California billionaire Tom Steyer which is the going rate to rent Harry Reid’s Senate,” Williams said in a Tuesday statement. “Last night’s talk-a-thon was nothing more than payback for Steyer’s donations to the Democrat Party. Either Mr. Reid or the Democrat Party needs to reimburse taxpayers for their campaign stunt.”….

This bugs me to no end, I will post at the end of this a oft posted comparison to progressive billionaires versus more conservative billionaires and the impact this money has for-or-against our freedoms.

Michael Medved shows how Democrats and rational libertarians (the Koch Brothers) diverge on the issues most important to voters. Not to mention the hypocrisy of the left in all this. So much so that Washington Post’s Dana Milbank said:

  • “Democrats’ climate-change filibuster is nothing but a lot of hot air”…. “This may be the first time in history that a group of senators filibustered themselves.”

The Washington Examiner’s Zack Colman points out some of the hypocrisy when he writes,

  • “While Reid has grown more boisterous when it comes to the Koch brothers, Republicans have shot back that Democratic-aligned outsiders are starting to play the big money game as well. They have pointed to Tom Steyer, the billionaire former hedge fund manager, who has pledged to spend $100 million through his NextGen Climate PAC on climate and environmental issues ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.”

Powerline goes on to explain the reason behind a bunch of old, outdated politicians doing an all-nighter:

…Tom Steyer, a billionaire who has made a great deal of money on government-subsidized “green” energy projects, has become one of the Democratic Party’s most important donors. On February 18, he hosted a fundraiser at his home that netted $400,000. Harry Reid and six other Senators attended, along with Al Gore and a number of rich environmentalists. At that meeting, plans for last night’s talk-a-thon were already being laid.

The connection is simple: Steyer has pledged to contribute $50 million and raise another $50 million to help Democrats in the 2014 elections. The catch is that they have to emphasize global warming as an issue:

✦ Steyer’s advocacy group, NextGen Political Action, plans to spend at least $50 million of the former hedge-fund manager’s money, plus another $50 million raised from other donors. The group will refuse to spend money on behalf of Democrats who oppose climate regulation, but will not spend money against them either, according to Chris Lehane, a Steyer consultant.

So the Democrats are trying to walk a narrow line. They need to make noise about global warming to keep the cash flowing from Tom Steyer and other deep-pocketed environmental activists (some of whom, of course, are also “green” energy cronies)….

Plus, the comparison to these leftist radicals shrinking human freedom (growing government) versus allowing the proverbial us to make more choices in the individual sense (smaller government) is legend:


…First, the government needs to issue a mandate that all households must own at least one firearm. We will need a federal agency to ensure that people aren’t just buying cheap BB guns or .22 pistols, even though that may be all they need or want. It has to be 9mm or above, with .44 magnums getting a one-time tax credit on their own. Let’s pick an agency known for its aptitude on firearms and home protection to issue required annual certifications each year, without which the government will have to levy hefty fines. Which agency would do the best job? Hmmmm … I know! How about TSA? With their track record of excellence, we should have no problems implementing this mandate.

Don’t want to own a gun? Hey, no worries. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says citizens have the right to refuse to comply with mandates. The government will just seize some of your cash in fines, that’s all. Isn’t choice great? Those fines will go toward federal credits that will fund firearm purchases for the less well off, so that they can protect their homes as adequately as those who can afford guns on their own. Since they generally live in neighborhoods where police response is appreciably worse than their higher-earning fellow Americans, they need them more anyway. Besides — gun ownership is actually mentioned in the Constitution, unlike health care, which isn’t. Obviously, that means that the federal government should be funding gun ownership….

…read more…

This is why people fear government, to answer John’s question.


Back to the excellent NewsBusters response to “Krystal Ball” on MSNBC:

Honestly, how does this woman have a job in a news division?

Oh. That’s right. MSNBC isn’t a news organization. How could I have forgotten?

Saying Republicans don’t want young people to buy health insurance is preposterous.

What conservatives don’t want is the government to force young people to purchase something that morbidity tables show will likely have absolutely no benefit for them until the distant future so that others who likely will benefit much sooner can get it either for free or far more cheaply.

Irrespective of what Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts foolishly ruled last year, this is neither Constitutional nor ethical.

As for these young people dying if ObamaCare is not enacted, that asininely assumes that people won’t have the money to pay for their care if they get sick or won’t purchase health insurance when they reach an age when they believe they need it.

For example, Ball mentioned prenatal care and tetanus shots. As a person that owns an insurance agency, I certainly would be telling a client looking to have children to purchase health insurance.

As for Pap smears, the Mayo Clinic recommends women over 21 do them every two to three years.

The cost varies state by state. In New York City, you can get one for as little as $150.

As such, a woman in that city doing it even once every two years would save thousands of dollars paying for it herself rather than buying health insurance.

As for cholesterol tests, these are now available online for as little as $40.

…read more…

This great, short, update comes via The Lonely Conservative:

The short answer to the question posed above is “Not even close.” It’s not the Koch Brothers or ALEC. Nope. The biggest spender in the dark money game is the Tides Foundation. Oh and by the way, Tides is a big liberal group.

Whenever “ALEC” and “dark money” are mentioned in the media, however, there ought to be a third name given at least equal attention – the Tides Foundation. That’s because Tides, the San Francisco-based funder of virtually every liberal activist group in existence since the mid-1970s, pioneered the concept of providing a cut-out for donors who don’t wish to be associated in public with a particular cause. It is instructive to compare the funding totals for Tides and ALEC.

A search of non-profit grant databases reveals 139 grants worth a total of $5.6 million to ALEC since 1998. By comparison, Tides is the Mega-Goliath of dark money cash flows. Tides received 1,976 grants worth a total of $451 million during the same period, or nearly 100 times as much money as ALEC. But even that’s not the whole story with Tides, which unlike ALEC, has divided and multiplied over the years. Add to the Tides Foundation total the directly linked Tides Center’s 465 grants with a combined worth of $62 million, and the total is well over half a billion dollars. (Read More)

So there.

READ MORE

“I think that I’m very different from the Koch brothers in the sense that I have absolutely no personal interest in what happens except as a citizen of the United States. So whereas they’re representing points of view that are in their personal monetary interests, I’m actually representing the citizens of the whole country in terms of their diffuse interests against concentrated economic interests that the Koch brothers represent.” ~ POWERLINE

(A response to this quote is at bottom)

The newest installment in regards to the biggest story lately in Democratic [billionaire] hypocrisy is the recent piece by John Hinderaker on Tom Steyer. Below is part of that article by John as well as an interview of John by Hugh Hewitt:

But Steyer’s hypocrisy goes still deeper. Today, he is a bitter opponent of fossil fuels, especially coal. That fits with his current economic interests: banning coal-fired power plants will boost the value of his solar projects. But it was not always thus. In fact, Steyer owes his fortune in large part to the fact that he has been one of the world’s largest financers of coal projects. Tom Steyer was for coal before he was against it.

A reader with first-hand knowledge of the relevant Asian and Australian markets sent us this detailed report on how Steyer got rich on coal. He titled his report “Hypocrisy & Hedge Funds: Climate Change Warrior Tom Steyer’s Secret Life as Coal Investment Kingpin.” Here it is, in full:

Tom Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management L.L.C. (“Farallon”) in 1986. Farallon has grown to become one of the largest and most successful hedge funds in the United States with over $20bn in funds under management.1 Mr. Steyer’s net worth is reported to be $1.6bn.2

Mr. Steyer left Farallon in 2012 to focus on political and environmental causes and potentially to position himself for public office. He has been described in the press as the “liberals’ answer to the Koch Brothers”3 due to his wealth and his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and carbon-based energy in general. He has dedicated some $50 million of his personal fortune to back political candidates who support his position on climate change – and punish those who don’t. Mr. Steyer has led recent campaigns with Bill McKibben to encourage university endowments to divest coal equities.

[….]

The facts, summarized below, might lead one to conclude that:

  • Mr. Steyer has had a direct, personal involvement in assembling, through Farallon, a portfolio of strategic investments in overseas coal miners and coal fired power plants which is unprecedented in scale. The total quantum of Farallon’s investments in these transactions is not publicly disclosed, but reasonable estimates suggest that it could be between US$1 and $2 billion in total.6 Taken collectively, the coal producers in which his fund has amassed these investment interests represent one of the largest sources of thermal coal in the world;
  • The financing provided by Mr. Steyer’s fund enabled these coal producers to restructure and recapitalize thereby freeing them to grow rapidly during a period of rapidly rising coal prices, leading to one of the largest expansions of thermal coal production in modern times7;
  • Made during a period of ever rising coal prices, these investments were almost certainly extremely profitable for Mr. Steyer’s fund overall, and my extension Mr. Steyer personally. It stands to reason that few people in American history have made more money from investment in thermal coal than Mr. Steyer.

[….]

Hypocrisy is not in short supply in the political world, but Tom Steyer is in a class by himself. Now that he is enriching himself through “green” cronyism, coal is evil. Sure: like all hydrocarbons, it competes with the solar energy boondoggles on which he is making millions, with the aid of the Obama administration. But where was Steyer’s alleged social conscience when he was one of the world’s biggest investors in coal? And how substantial are his current holdings in coal projects? Is Steyer financing his anti-fossil fuel campaign on profits from past or, perhaps, ongoing investments in Asian and Australian coal? Inquiring minds want to know! Tom Steyer appears to have elevated political hypocrisy to an entirely new level.

…read it all!…

Jake Tapper of CNN, one of the few truly fair guys in the legacy media, was also asked by Hugh Hewitt about Tom Steyer and the hypocrisy uncovered by John at Powerline. Hugh also played an American Commitment ad for Jake to get his comment on the topic at hand. Here is THAT interview with the description from my YouTube channel:

Hugh Hewitt interviews Jake Tapper of CNN, the topic? John Hinderaker’s recent piece, “The Epic Hypocrisy of Tom Steyer” (http://tinyurl.com/lro2wow). Tapper is hopeful for a braoder media attention to stories like John broke in regards to rich — hypocritical — millionaires and billionaires that give to the Democratic party. LIKE, the legacy media does, in regards to the Koch brothers and others.

My posts on the Koch brothers and Tom Steyer are as follows:

http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/tag/koch-brothers/
http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/tag/tom-steyer/

Tapper is fair as usual, one of the names in the media I have come to respect.

For more clear thinking like this from Hugh Hewitt… I invite you to visit: http://www.hughniverse.com/

To see more projects and information as well from American Commitment, check out their site: http://www.americancommitment.org/

WOW! I look forward to more on this.

PolitiBrew offers a response to the quote I chose to start this post with, “I think that I’m very different from the Koch brothers…” (top). I will include an upload of Michael Medved speaking about the generosity of the Koch Brothers as well, enjoy:

Tom Steyer is most certainly not the Koch Brothers. Steyer’s hedge fund is tied to a $67 million ponzi scheme that siphoned millions of dollars from foreign investors.

Steyer has also promised to spend $100 million to get democrats elected in 2014.

Meanwhile, the “evil” Koch Brothers donate billions of dollars to many deserving causes but generally give to conservative ones, you know, like all the money they give to M.D. Anderson for cancer research. How conservative is that? I guess they’d like to help conserve lives. How about that they “underwrite research and teaching at Brown, Mount Holyoke, Sarah Lawrence, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Vassar, and some 245 other colleges”? Is that conservative?

Think nothing of the Millions to MIT for cancer research, that’s conservative too, right? Right.

Yes Tom. We can’t deny that you are not the Koch Brothers. You may be able to hold a candle, just not to these Men. May as well blow it out….

These leftists are making it too easy! It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Powerline vs. WaPo ~ Interview w/John Hinderaker Added @end

The Washington Post just makes stuff up now… from whole-cloth! H/T to IOwntheWorld, via Powerline:

On Thursday, the Washington Post published an article by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin titled “The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.” The article’s first paragraph included this claim:

The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.

The theme of the article was that the Keystone Pipeline is all about the Koch brothers; or, at least, that this is a plausible claim. The Post authors relied on a report by a far-left group called International Forum on Globalization that I debunked last October.

So Thursday evening, I wrote about the Post article here. I pointed out that Koch is not, in fact, the largest leaser of tar sands land; that Koch will not be a user of the pipeline if it is built; and that construction of the Keystone Pipeline would actually be harmful to Koch’s economic interests, which is why Koch has never taken a position on the pipeline’s construction. The Keystone Pipeline, in short, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Koch brothers.

Ethics Violations @ WaPo

  • Koch is not the largest leaser of tar sands land;
  • Koch will not use the pipeline if it is built;  
  • the Keystone Pipeline would harm the Kochs’  interest;
  • and the Koch brothers have not taken a position on the pipeline’s construction for that reason.

(Ethics Alarms)

My post garnered a great deal of attention, and Mufson and Eilperin undertook to respond to it here. It isn’t much of a response: they don’t deny the truth of anything Iwrote, and they don’t try to sustain the proposition that Koch is even in favor of the pipeline, let alone the driving force behind it. They lamely suggest that if Koch leased 2 million acres, rather than 1.1 million as they reported on Thursday, then Koch might be the largest leaseholder. But they make no attempt to respond to the official Province of Alberta maps that I posted, which clearly show that Canadian National Resources, Ltd., for example, leases more acreage than Koch.

The Post’s response attempted to explain “Why we wrote about the Koch Industries [sic] and its leases in Canada’s oil sands.” Good question! What’s the answer?

The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.

So in the Post’s view, it is acceptable to publish articles that are both literally false (Koch is the largest tar sands leaseholder) and massively misleading (the Keystone Pipeline is all about Koch Industries), if by doing so the paper can “stir and inflame public debate in this election year?” I can’t top Jonah Goldberg’s comment on that howler:

By this logic any unfair attack posing as reporting is worthwhile when people try to correct the record. Why not just have at it and accuse the Kochs of killing JFK or hiding the Malaysian airplane? The resulting criticism would once again provide “strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.”

Read it all!

Democratic Money Grubbing Hypocrites Kowtowing to Billionaires

This bugs me to no end, I will post at the end of this a oft posted comparison to progressive billionaires versus more conservative billionaires and the impact this money has for-or-against our freedoms.

Michael Medved shows how Democrats and rational libertarians (the Koch Brothers) diverge on the issues most important to voters. Not to mention the hypocrisy of the left in all this. So much so that Washington Post’s Dana Milbank said:

“Democrats’ climate-change filibuster is nothing but a lot of hot air”…. “This may be the first time in history that a group of senators filibustered themselves.”

The Washington Examiner’s Zack Colman points out some of the hypocrisy when he writes,

✂ “While Reid has grown more boisterous when it comes to the Koch brothers, Republicans have shot back that Democratic-aligned outsiders are starting to play the big money game as well. They have pointed to Tom Steyer, the billionaire former hedge fund manager, who has pledged to spend $100 million through his NextGen Climate PAC on climate and environmental issues ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.”

Powerline goes on to explain the reason behind a bunch of old, outdated politicians doing an all-nighter:

…Tom Steyer, a billionaire who has made a great deal of money on government-subsidized “green” energy projects, has become one of the Democratic Party’s most important donors. On February 18, he hosted a fundraiser at his home that netted $400,000. Harry Reid and six other Senators attended, along with Al Gore and a number of rich environmentalists. At that meeting, plans for last night’s talk-a-thon were already being laid.

The connection is simple: Steyer has pledged to contribute $50 million and raise another $50 million to help Democrats in the 2014 elections. The catch is that they have to emphasize global warming as an issue:

✦ Steyer’s advocacy group, NextGen Political Action, plans to spend at least $50 million of the former hedge-fund manager’s money, plus another $50 million raised from other donors. The group will refuse to spend money on behalf of Democrats who oppose climate regulation, but will not spend money against them either, according to Chris Lehane, a Steyer consultant.

So the Democrats are trying to walk a narrow line. They need to make noise about global warming to keep the cash flowing from Tom Steyer and other deep-pocketed environmental activists (some of whom, of course, are also “green” energy cronies)….

Plus, the comparison to these leftist radicals shrinking human freedom (growing government) versus allowing the proverbial us to make more choices in the individual sense (smaller government) is legend:


…First, the government needs to issue a mandate that all households must own at least one firearm. We will need a federal agency to ensure that people aren’t just buying cheap BB guns or .22 pistols, even though that may be all they need or want. It has to be 9mm or above, with .44 magnums getting a one-time tax credit on their own. Let’s pick an agency known for its aptitude on firearms and home protection to issue required annual certifications each year, without which the government will have to levy hefty fines. Which agency would do the best job? Hmmmm … I know! How about TSA? With their track record of excellence, we should have no problems implementing this mandate.

Don’t want to own a gun? Hey, no worries. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says citizens have the right to refuse to comply with mandates. The government will just seize some of your cash in fines, that’s all. Isn’t choice great? Those fines will go toward federal credits that will fund firearm purchases for the less well off, so that they can protect their homes as adequately as those who can afford guns on their own. Since they generally live in neighborhoods where police response is appreciably worse than their higher-earning fellow Americans, they need them more anyway. Besides — gun ownership is actually mentioned in the Constitution, unlike health care, which isn’t. Obviously, that means that the federal government should be funding gun ownership….

…read more…

This is why people fear government, to answer John’s question.


Back to the excellent NewsBusters response to “Krystal Ball” on MSNBC:

Honestly, how does this woman have a job in a news division?

Oh. That’s right. MSNBC isn’t a news organization. How could I have forgotten?

Saying Republicans don’t want young people to buy health insurance is preposterous.

What conservatives don’t want is the government to force young people to purchase something that morbidity tables show will likely have absolutely no benefit for them until the distant future so that others who likely will benefit much sooner can get it either for free or far more cheaply.

Irrespective of what Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts foolishly ruled last year, this is neither Constitutional nor ethical.

As for these young people dying if ObamaCare is not enacted, that asininely assumes that people won’t have the money to pay for their care if they get sick or won’t purchase health insurance when they reach an age when they believe they need it.

For example, Ball mentioned prenatal care and tetanus shots. As a person that owns an insurance agency, I certainly would be telling a client looking to have children to purchase health insurance.

As for Pap smears, the Mayo Clinic recommends women over 21 do them every two to three years.

The cost varies state by state. In New York City, you can get one for as little as $150.

As such, a woman in that city doing it even once every two years would save thousands of dollars paying for it herself rather than buying health insurance.

As for cholesterol tests, these are now available online for as little as $40.

…read more…

This great, short, update comes via The Lonely Conservative:

The short answer to the question posed above is “Not even close.” It’s not the Koch Brothers or ALEC. Nope. The biggest spender in the dark money game is the Tides Foundation. Oh and by the way, Tides is a big liberal group.

Whenever “ALEC” and “dark money” are mentioned in the media, however, there ought to be a third name given at least equal attention – the Tides Foundation. That’s because Tides, the San Francisco-based funder of virtually every liberal activist group in existence since the mid-1970s, pioneered the concept of providing a cut-out for donors who don’t wish to be associated in public with a particular cause. It is instructive to compare the funding totals for Tides and ALEC.

A search of non-profit grant databases reveals 139 grants worth a total of $5.6 million to ALEC since 1998. By comparison, Tides is the Mega-Goliath of dark money cash flows. Tides received 1,976 grants worth a total of $451 million during the same period, or nearly 100 times as much money as ALEC. But even that’s not the whole story with Tides, which unlike ALEC, has divided and multiplied over the years. Add to the Tides Foundation total the directly linked Tides Center’s 465 grants with a combined worth of $62 million, and the total is well over half a billion dollars. (Read More)

So there.

READ MORE