Obama’s EPA Puts Gag Order On Cap and Trade Video

Railing against “Cap and Trade” Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel,  attorneys for the EPA, made a video on their own dime with their own  time revealing the truth about trading carbon credits for emissions above cap levels.  Apparently the big guy in the short pants, Obama, did not approve of their efforts, and had Lisa P. Jackson, the big wig of the EPA,  put a gag order on the video, which was posted on you tube.  Being that the creators of the video acknowledge that the video is not a representation of the views of the EPA or the Obama administration the gag order smacks of censorship. For a guy that claims that he was going to bring transparency to the White House, Obama sure has been sweeping a lot of dirt under the carpet lately.

Truth about Kyoto: huge profits, little carbon saved

On the eve of a G8 summit focused on climate change, Nick Davies reveals major flaws in the global system designed to reduce emissions


Cap-and-Trade’s Unlikely Critics: Its Creators

Economists Behind Original Concept Question the System’s Large-Scale Usefulness, and Recommend Emissions Taxes Instead



Left Cuts Obama Slack For Now

(The Politico) This story was written by Glenn Thrush and Ryan Grim.

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama boasted of opposing the Iraq War from the start.

But as president-elect, he has come to the rescue of surge supporter Joe Lieberman and flirted with the idea of keeping on Bush administration Defense Secretary Robert Gates – and now he seems poised to nominate war-authorizing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to serve as his secretary of state. 

The sound from the left: not silence, but no howls of betrayal, either.

“Anybody who has reacted after two weeks is not a serious person,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

Members of Obama’s loyal liberal base – from the Netroots to campus liberals to Hill Democrats – are watching closely as the candidate’s vague incantations of hope coalesce into cold, concrete presidential decision making. It’s not a seamless transition, but so far the left seems to be cutting Obama some favorite-son slack. Then again, he’s been president-elect for only two weeks – even milk bought on the day he was elected hasn’t had time to go sour.

“People continue to be excited,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat who represents an Oregon district he described as one of the five most progressive in the nation. “They’re still going to websites. There are campaigns they can be involved with. They’re still networking and raising ideas and moving forward.”

Anti-war voters are used to being disappointed. Some were flabbergasted when George W. Bush won a second term in the midst of the war in 2004; others were disillusioned when the Democrats didn’t do more to stop the war after capturing majorities of the House and the Senate in 2006.

And for some, that “here we go again” feeling came rushing back recently when Obama urged his soon-to-be-former Democratic Senate colleagues not to hold “grudges” against Lieberman, who infuriated liberals with his support for Iraq then picked at the scab by supporting John McCain – and opposing Obama – during the presidential race.

But in a sign that the left is willing to cut the president-elect some slack, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) – rather than Obama – has taken the lion’s share of the grief for this week’s decision to let Lieberman hang onto his chairmanship at the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In a blog post, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas said the Lieberman deal was proof that Senate Democrats are “tone deaf” to the views of “the American electorate that voted in overwhelming numbers for change from the discredited Bush/McCain/Lieberman policies.” Said Moulitsas: “I’m done with Reid as Senate leader.”

Moulitsas’ criticism of Obama’s role in the Lieberman proceedings was more muted. But there are signs that the benefit of the doubt won’t last forever. The list of potential flashpoints between Obama and the left wing of his party is growing, an inevitable development given the sky-high expectations and his need to recruit experienced lieutenants to deal with immense domestic and military problems.

Little that Obama has done has prompted as much anxiety as his flirtation with Gates, a proponent of continued ground operations in Iraq and longtime opponent of a date-certain withdrawal.

“Kind of makes you think that Democrats believe Republicans are better at managing both national security,” scoffed Chris Bowers at OpenLeft.com, a progressive blog.

Obama has also drawn considerable flak for enlisting so many battle-scarred Clinton White House veterans – led by chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who helped engineer the passage of the now-unpopular North American Free Trade Agreement for President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Obama has also taken some heat for considering former Harvard President Larry Summers for Treasury secretary, while drawing milder rebukes for passing over outgoing DNC hairman Howard Dean for secretary of Health and Human Services. The job, according to reports, is going to Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

And while opinion about Hillary Clinton’s fitness to serve as secretary of state is divided, many lefty bloggers haven’t forgotten Clinton’s authorizing President Bush to use military force in Iraq in October 2002- or what they believe was her mishandling of health care reform 15 years ago.

“Sen. Clinton has been at the helm in two big undertakings – had two big executive leadership tasks,” wrote Josh Marshall, the influential founder of Talking Points Memo. “One was health care in 1994, and the other was her presidential bid in 2007-08. Each was something of a train wreck from an executive-level management perspective.”

Watching Obama stack his transition team and senior staff with Clinton-era operatives – and maybe an actual Clinton – has agitated many liberal lions who otherwise admire Obama.

“It tells me I’m going to have to be Frederick Douglas to his Abraham Lincoln,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), referring to Obama’s fascination with all things Lincoln.

In some corners of the left, there’s been downright dejection, but people there mostly were skeptical of him all along. Ali Abuminah, a Palestinian-rights activist in Chicago, says he’s seen Obama move to the right on Israel, is troubled by the possible selection of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state and finds himself especially bothered by Emanuel’s pro-Israel views.

“The emerging direction of Obama’s Middle East policy is not going to do anything to unblock the peace process,” he said, calling Emanuel “to the right of George Bush in many respects.”

For the moment, though, such critics appear to be in the minority.

“At this point, a lot of people have a lot of confidence in him,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who is a self-identified socialist.

“His behavior is concurrent with how he ran his campaign,” said Rep. Mike Honda, one of the more progressive members of California Democratic delegation. “Fingers crossed; this might work.”

When Obama has faced opposition from his left flank, he’s responded quickly.

In August, the Nation, the country’s oldest progressive magazine, published an editorial warning of “troubling signs” that Obama was reverting to a “more cautious, centrist stance,” citing his vote in favor of allowing telecom companies immunity in warrantless wiretap lawsuits.

Obama responded with an open letter to readers. I won’t always agree with you, he told the lefty magazine, but I will always listen.

John Aravosis, founder of the left-of-center AMERICAblog, says most liberals implicitly trust Obama more than any Democrat in recent memory – and they understand that not every compromise he makes is a sellout.

“He hasn’t really screwed up yet on these appointments,” Aravosis added. “And look at the Lieberman situation. It’s not like people aren’t pissed off at Lieberman or Reid. But they just don’t hold it against Obama because they know he needs to work with the Senate.”

By Glenn Thrush and Ryan Grim Copyright 2008 POLITICO

Ayman Zawahiri: the negroes are in the house . . .

Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader

uses racial epithet against Barack Obama


In a video, Ayman Zawahiri says the president-elect is ‘the direct opposite of honorable black Americans’ and says Obama, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are ‘house Negroes.’


Associated Press

November 20, 2008

Reporting from Cairo — Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites. The message seems aimed at convincing Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman Zawahiri said in the message, which appeared on militant websites, that Obama was “the direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X, the 1960s black Muslim leader. In Al Qaeda’s first response to Obama’s historic victory, Zawahiri also called the president-elect — along with Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice — “house Negroes.” Speaking in Arabic, Zawahiri uses the term “abeed al-beit,” which literally translates as “house slaves.” But Al Qaeda supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as “house Negroes.” In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the message was just “more despicable comments from a terrorist.” The 11-minute, 23-second video features the audio message by Zawahiri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images, including one of Obama wearing a skullcap as he meets with Jewish leaders. In his speech, Zawahiri refers to a Nov. 5 U.S. air strike in Afghanistan, meaning the video was made after that date.

Obamanomics Reaffirmed

During the 2008 Presidential Election I managed to scribble a few lines about the economics Obama would face upon his election, and with regards to his economic plans. Diana Furchtgott has managed to reaffirm my conclusions. Below her article is a list of a few of my articles and the ideals projected by others that I enlisted to support my opinions.

A Reality Check for Obama


By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Pity President-elect Barack Obama. Today, only three days after his historic victory as the first African-American elected president, the Labor Department announced that the economy lost 240,000 jobs from payrolls in October and that the unemployment rate rose to 6.5%. This underscores the difficulties he faces in raising taxes on “the rich” to fund new spending.

Obama must recognize that his campaign promises are impossible to implement without making the economy sicker. The economy is weak and getting weaker, probably contracting now at an annual rate of 3-4 percent.

Obama’s promises include a combination of tax cuts and welfare for 95 percent of working Americans, an end to America’s foreign oil dependence, a costly healthcare plan, more education spending, and so-called pay equity for women. Much of this is supposed to be funded by levies on businesses as well as tax increases on those making over $250,000.

But, according to the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, Obama’s tax package would cost $2.9 trillion over the decade from 2009 to 2018. That includes increasing the tax rate on capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent, and raising the top two tax rates, 33-36 percent and 35-39.6 percent, on singles with taxable income exceeding $165,000 and married couples earning over $201,000.

The Tax Policy Center’s estimates do not include the effects of financial market chaos and the stock market decline, which has reduced taxable income. And with the economy worsening, tax increases on upper income earners would net less than the Center projected, increasing the 10-year deficit to over $3 trillion.

Here’s one small example. In 2005, the latest data available, the Internal Revenue Service recorded 3.5 million returns with $200,000 or more. About half those returns had capital gains income, which averaged $304,000, netting approximately $80 billion in taxes annually.

These revenues will be reduced by weak stock markets—as well as by disincentives to invest stemming from higher taxes. In addition, many Americans are losing jobs, meaning not only less wage and salary income to be taxed but increased government payouts for unemployment benefits.

As president, Obama will have difficulty paying for new projects such as an incremental $65 billion health care plan, a $30 billion addition to the Medicare prescription drug plan, and $37 billion in increased education and research spending—all estimates for one year.

The bill for some other proposals would go to employers, who are already struggling to survive the recession. Investments in alternative energy and electric vehicles, for instance, would be funded by requiring purchases of permits to emit carbon, estimated to raise $56 billion annually.

Obama would also require most employers to offer paid sick and maternity leave, vacation, and parental leave for school visits. Employers would be penalized for paying women less than men for “equivalent” jobs, however they are defined.

Of course, in a recession, federal deficits are desirable. The question is how to structure them to help the economy recover. By increasing taxes on upper-income earners, small businesses, and capital gains, President Obama would reduce incentives to work and invest. Additional requirements on employers would encourage them to open plants overseas, rather than in America, slowing job creation.

After the euphoria in the streets and the chants of “yes we can” have faded, the question will remain: do Obama’s promises make fiscal sense?

Diana Furchtgott-Roth can be reached at dfr@hudson.org.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, is a former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor, and is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

original article: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/07/after-victory-a-reality-check-for-obama/ 


The Myth of Obamanomics


Will Obama’s Collection Plate Come Back Empty: Fearful Investors May Seek Shelter




economic woes