September 12th, 2010
A quest to get Barack Obama to shout his commitment to solar power from the roof tops - by re-installing vintage solar panels at the White House - ended in disappointment for environmental campaigners today.
Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, had led a group of environmental activists to Washington in a bio-diesel van hoping to persuade Obama to re-install a set of solar panels originally put up by Jimmy Carter.
The actual Carter-era solar panels - which weigh in at 55 kilograms and are nearly 2 metres long - are out-dated now. But campaigners had hoped that the White House would embrace at least the symbolism of going solar - much like Michelle Obama kicked off her healthy food movement by planting a vegetable garden.
"Clearly, a solar panel on the White House roof won't solve climate change - and we'd rather have strong presidential leadership on energy transformation. But given the political scene, this may be as good as we'll get for the moment," McKibben said in a Washington Post comment this morning.
A California company Sungevity had offered to equip the White House with the latest technology.
But the White House declined - twitchy perhaps about inviting any comparison to one-term Democratic president Carter in the run-up to the very difficult mid-term elections in November. The White House did send three staffers to meet the campaigners.
McKibben told reporters after the meeting:
"They refused to take the Carter-era panel that we brought with us and said they would continue their deliberative process to figure out what is appropriate for the White House someday. I told them it would be nice to deliberate as fast as possible, since that is the rate at which the planet's climate is deteriorating."
The White House offered up its own version of the meeting in a statement:
"Representatives from the White House met with the group to discuss President Obama's unprecedented commitment to renewable energy including more than $80 billion in the generation of renewable energy sources, expanding manufacturing capacity for clean energy technology, advancing vehicle and fuel technologies, and building a bigger, better, smarter electric grid, all while creating new, sustainable jobs...They concluded by reiterating our continued commitment to promoting renewable energy development."
Carter held a rooftop press conference in 1979 to show off the 32 solar panels and drive home a message to Congress that it was time to get America off imported oil. The panels were used to heat water for the White House staff mess.
The message did not take though, and the panels themselves did not even survive Ronald Reagan. The panels were removed in 1986 during roof repairs. They eventually ended up at Unity College in Maine where they were used to heat water in the student cafeteria until 2005 when they were retired.
September 12th, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA. (June 11, 2010) – Ray Griggs, the director of the film comedy Super Capers (2009) and Wind In The Willows (pre-production), has assembled an all-star cast of prominent voices of America’s conservative movement in the rousing feature film documentary I Want Your Money, a powerful and critical examination of the Obama regime and its expansionistic government policies.
Ray Griggs’ upcoming work is highlighted here in this current Variety Magazine feature, running this week: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118020457.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&ref=bd_film.
Preview screenings of I Want Your Money have already begun to stir up personal and political passions and controversy, attracting attention from both the left and right during the looming election season.
Combining in-depth interviews, fiery criticism and politically charged animated sequences, I Want Your Money is a no-holds-barred critique of the vast expansion of the federal government under the Obama Administration and Democratic Congress.
By cleverly juxtaposing footage of Barack Obama with that of Ronald Reagan, threaded together with insightful interviews with Newt Gingrich, Steve Forbes, Ed Meese, Mike Huckabee, John Stossel, Stephen Moore (Wall Street Journal), Michael Reagan (at the Reagan Ranch Center), Congressmen Tom McClintock, Thad McCotter and former California governor Pete Wilson (among many others), I Want Your Money exposes the shocking reality of a bloated government.
Griggs also allows some major proponents of Big Government to speak for themselves, via archival footage, including Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, showing how the policies they implemented led to the country’s development into an overregulated welfare state. The film also focuses on California as a case study of the perils America will face should there be no change to our government’s current policies.
I Want Your Money skillfully exposes the high cost in lost freedom and economic opportunities in support of a Leviathan-like bureaucratic state, and offers alternatives to help steer the United States back towards firm fiscal ground. Griggs creatively presents alternatives to the current direction of the government in a way that is thoughtful, relevant and highly engaging to both younger and older audiences.
With grassroots campaigns already in full force and the website and film clips attracting over 75,000 viewers per month, this documentary is already garnering attention many months ahead of its planned release.
September 11th, 2010
September 11th, 2010
Warner Todd Houston
Right Wing News
The Washington Examiner asks a few substantive questions about unions this Labor Day weekend. Why do they seem to have such an outsized power when their dues paying members are fewer than ever, when they work in fewer industries than ever, and when they have such money troubles?
Ah, but the answer is what we all know. They have a president in Washington that's bought and paid for.
Here are just some of the favors that Obama has given to his patrons in Big Labor as the Examiner notes:
Only 10 days after taking the oath of office, Obama signed three executive orders that, respectively, limited what federal contractors can say to employees during union organizing drives, made it harder to fire incompetent employees of government contractors, and directed federal contractors to insure that employees are aware of their organizing rights.
One week later, Obama signed another executive order that requires federal agencies to use union-favored Project Labor Agreements on large federally funded construction projects. Not only does that mean many state government construction projects must use a PLA, but so must many economic stimulus-funded projects.
Hilda Solis, Obama's secretary of labor, has nullified disclosure rules issued during the Bush administration that were designed to increase union financial transparency on forms required to be filed with the government under the Landrum-Griffin Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959. The disclosure requirements, which were not enforced before Bush, made it possible for union members to see what their officers were doing with their dues.
Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner forced financially troubled General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy, then imposed settlements on the two corporations that granted ownership stakes of 17.5 percent and 55 percent, respectively, to the United Auto Workers Union.
Yes, it is no wonder that unions have their lowest approval rate ever.
September 11th, 2010
White House Blog
Today the President once again discussed his proposals to boost America’s economic recovery – from rebuilding America’s roads and bridges, to giving businesses incentives to invest, to help for small business. If one sat back and tried to think of the most bipartisan idea the President could possibly propose to boost job creation, it would probably be providing tax breaks for small businesses, and yet even this has been blocked by the partisan Republican minority from even coming up for an up-or-down vote for months.
But for any who thought that blocking even such common sense measures was the limit of how far Republicans in Congress could go in putting partisanship ahead of getting Americans back to work, the Vice Chairman of the House Republicans’ campaign committee (the NRCC) was across town making clear that they were prepared to go much further. While the President was laying out bipartisan solutions to continue creating jobs, this Republican Congressman was rallying his political base in favor of his preferred solution – simply shutting the government down altogether:
Speaking to hundreds of activists gathered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington for the Faith and Freedom Conference, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) urged the audience to stand with House Republicans when they go toe-to-toe with President Barack Obama.
Westmoreland said his caucus – presuming it takes control of the House come November – aims to pass spending bills that Obama is likely to veto. He predicted Republicans would not be able to override such a veto, creating a standoff that could cause Congress to grind to a halt.
“If the government shuts down, we want you with us,” he said.
The congressman recalled a similar shutdown that took place in 1995, when Newt Gingrich – also a speaker at the conference – was serving as House speaker.
This is far from the first time shutting down the government has been put forth by prominent conservatives. Newt Gingrich himself has been urging Republicans to follow the strategy laid out above, and Fox News correspondent Dick Morris recently gave a speech in which he said: "There's going to be a government shutdown just like in '95 and '96, but we're going to win it this time."
We have already heard the head of the same NRCC say “we need to go back to the exact same agenda” they supported during the past 10 years on the economy. And we have heard the House Republican Leader John Boehner promise to push for repeal of Wall Street Reform, allowing huge banks to go right back to the reckless gambling with our economy that led to the crisis the President is leading America out of.
While the President is offering a vision about how to move the country forward and help middle class Americans and small business owners, Republicans in Congress are busy telling partisans and Republican party activists to get prepared for the same stalemate and gridlock they brought the last time they were in charge. The President, like most Americans, is open to hearing new ideas to create jobs and boost the recovery from anybody in any party – unfortunately Americans are not hearing those ideas from Republicans in Congress.