The illegal immigration debate has become an urgent focal point of American politics. Liberal politicians from the White House on down have vigorously advocated for illegal immigrant amnesty and lax border enforcement in a naked attempt to bolster prospective voter rolls.
This controversy has been brewing for some time in Maryland, whose Hispanic population more than doubled between 2000 and 2010. Under Governor Martin O’Malley’s sanctuary policies the state has become an illegal alien magnet. The current cost of illegals in Maryland is estimated to be $1.7 billion per year, more than three-quarters of the state’s $2 billion structural deficit.
Taxpayer ire overflowed this March with the passage of Maryland’s Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, granting in-state college tuition rates to illegals. A nonpartisan coalition of concerned Marylanders launched a petition drive to delay the measure and place it on the 2012 ballot as a referendum. They needed 55,736 signatures. They received twice that amount.
CASA de Maryland
The driving force behind the DREAM Act was CASA de Maryland, an increasingly vocal advocate for Maryland’s illegals. The group’s aggressive tactics and questionable dealings helped provoke the outrage that drove the DREAM Act petition to overwhelming victory. CASA’s defeat, however, did not deter them. They recruited longtime Democratic National Committee chief lawyer, Joseph E. Sandler, an attorney who specializes in harassing conservatives with frivolous litigation threats. They have now sued Maryland’s Election Commission to overturn the petition.
CASA receives about 40 percent of its funding from Maryland state and local governments—almost $5 million of taxpayer dollars in 2010—and spends most of it lobbying for illegal immigrant perks and exceptions. Their recent lawsuit is a blatant attempt to derail the democratic process itself. So it is a fair question to ask: what is CASA de Maryland?
CASA de Maryland was founded by a young activist named Bette “Rainbow” Hoover. CASA’s name is a metaphor for the organization’s duplicitous nature. CASA means “house” or “home” in Spanish; however, “CASA” is actually an acronym for Central American Solidarity Association. It is more in keeping with the designs and philosophies of other Central American solidarity organizations formed at the time, like the communist-founded6 Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).
It was incorporated on February 28, 1985, but Hoover said it actually began operating in 1983, based out of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church in Takoma Park, Maryland. From its modest beginnings, CASA has grown into a multi-million dollar operation, with influence reaching to the Obama White House. It is headquartered in the newly-renovated (with $10 million in taxpayer dollars), 18,000 square foot, 28-room, Langley Park Mansion, right up the street from Takoma Park. It boasts a community center and five day-labor centers spread over a 35-mile radius from the Washington, D.C. metro area to Baltimore. Recently, CASA created a political-action arm, “CASA in Action,” based at Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, bringing CASA full circle back to where it all began.
Hoover described CASA’s early days: “We just had to do something. People were coming here who really needed help…” She said that virtually all were illegals fleeing El Salvador’s civil war. Hoover added that they decided early on to help all comers, including communist guerillas of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).
Click here to read the complete report.
Does the free market have you feeling blue? Customers not buying your brand? Don’t worry, the Obama Administration has the cure for you. We swear, it’s almost like they’re trying to sell anti-depressants for the economy…
From the Accuracy in Media A/V Room:
AIM’s Ben Johnson Interviews Sen. Marco Rubio over questions concerning the Debt limit, Obama legacy and Presidential job performance.
From Accuracy in Media‘s Don Irvine:
Yesterday President Obama held the first ever White House Twitter Town Hall, but as the Associated Press noted it was lacking in factual detail:
OBAMA: “My expectation is, is that over the next week to two weeks, that Congress, working with the White House, comes up with a deal that solves our deficit, solves our debt problems and makes sure that our full faith and credit is protected.”
THE FACTS: The deal he seeks with Congress would, if reached, let the U.S. avoid defaulting on its debt payments. In that sense it would guard America’s “full faith and credit,” as the president said. But it would leave the underlying deficit and debt problems far from solved. Even Obama’s proposal for $4 trillion in deficit cuts over 12 years would see the debt increase and leave the budget out of balance.
The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates Obama’s plan would require $7 trillion in borrowing over a decade.
OBAMA: “I actually worked with Speaker (John) Boehner to pass a payroll tax cut in December that put an extra $1,000 in the pockets of almost every single American.”
THE FACTS: Obama, who said at another point that the $1,000 went to “every American,” misstated the reach and size of the payroll tax cut. By the White House’s own calculations, 159 million Americans are benefiting from the tax cut. The U.S. population is more than 311 million. The White House says the cut is worth $1,000 to a “typical family” — one making $50,000 a year. That’s a far cry from $1,000 into the pocket of every or nearly every American.
The cut, which runs through this year, reduces the payroll taxes that workers pay on their wages to 4.2 percent from 6.2 percent. So a family making $40,000, for example, saves $800.
OBAMA: “But if we had a goal where we’re just reducing our dependence on oil each year in a staggered set of steps, it would save consumers in their pocketbook; it would make our businesses more efficient and less subject to the whims of the spot oil market; it would make us less vulnerable to the kinds of disruptions that have occurred because of what happened in the Middle East this spring; and it would drastically cut down on our carbon resources.”
THE FACTS: Obama, his predecessors in office back to Richard Nixon and leaders in both parties have called for energy independence, an achievement that most energy experts consider pie in the sky. But Obama’s latest remarks were a reality check of sorts. He spoke of reducing that dependence in steps, not ending it anytime soon, and conceded oil will remain central to U.S. needs.
What’s more surprising than the fact that Obama’s answers lacked facts was that the AP of all people decided to do the fact checking.
This coming from a news organization that has raised the ire of conservatives for years with their biased reporting.
Thanks to the AP, the Town Hall, which was intended to show how tech savvy the President is and lure back the young voters who supported him in 2008 but largely abandoned the Democrats in 2010, only further exposed Obama’s basic lack of candor and/ or understanding of economics and how his policies were hurting the economy.
Obama was fed softball questions and he still blew it.
For liberals the news was even worse since they can’t claim that the factual errors were due to a right-wing spin since the fact checkers came from their side of the aisle.
If the White House is planning any more of these events they should make sure they have something worth tweeting about first.
From Accuracy in Media‘s Val Jensen II:
An article in NewsMax on July 1st exposes President Obama’s questionable fundraising techniques which, when thoroughly investigated, could be found to be illegal. It is no doubt that the President is an unprecedented powerhouse of fundraising and his unleashed torrent has amassed a staggering amount of cash that will be nearly impossible for GOP candidates to equal. Unofficial figures suggest that Obama’s second quarter fundraising should surpass that of record holder President George W. Bush in 2003 which totaled $50.1 million. July 15th will be the day that campaigns will have to disclose their filings publicly and will also be the day that may spell doom for GOP contenders at least in the money race.
President Obama may enjoy a comfortable lead among his competitors, but it also seems that he is enjoying a comfortable leniency in protocol in terms of legality in fundraising. The article in NewsMax explains that Obama used a room in the White House as a location for a fundraising video in which he and Vice President Biden were touting a raffle for a dinner with the two of them in exchange for a campaign contribution. This video was apparently shot in the Map Room on the ground floor of the White House which has been used by Obama for official business. The rules stipulate in United State Code 18 Sec. 607 that:
It shall be unlawful for an individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress, to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an officer or employee of the United States, from any person.
This would not be an issue if the soliciting took place in a residential part of the White House but this particular room is not and has been used by President Obama in official business with a meeting of the Dalai Lama, media interviews and is also the site of Obama’s second oath taking (See Video). If an investigation is done and it is concluded that this breaks the law, then this is a criminal offense that is punishable by up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. However, before any criminal charges could ever be brought against a sitting president, he would have to be impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate, neither of which will even be considered for this transgression. The other more plausible option is that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) could sanction the Obama reelection campaign and require it to pay a fine.
The Newsmax article quotes Cleta Mitchell, a “high-powered GOP attorney who sits on the ABA’s election-law committee,” as saying, “It’s a criminal offense.”
An article in the New York Times on the same day, July 1st, and which also concerns fundraising does not mention this possible breach of law but only concerns itself with how slowly the GOP candidates fundraising is going. In an ABC News article, however, it has a White House official saying it “is entirely appropriate. The legal restriction is only that we cannot solicit funds in certain offices in the White House which we’re not doing.” The article also quotes Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) as saying that “the White House residence can be used as anyone would use his or her home. ‘Can you imagine if he had traveled on a big motorcade to go somewhere else to film it?’” The article concludes with saying that the White House provided clips of President Bush and Reagan using the White House in campaign ads which can be viewed here and here but as one can see, this is just footage shot of each president walking in front of the White House in a completely unrelated event. They are not even inside the White House. The difference in this case is that President Obama is specifically using a room in the White House which is used repeatedly for official business and is said on the White House Museum webpage to serve as “a private meeting room for the president or first lady.” This was the case in 2010 when the President and the First Lady waited to meet the president of Mexico in this room.
The decision Attorney General Janet Reno made during the 1996 reelection campaign of Bill Clinton and Al Gore to not seek an independent counsel to investigate alleged telephone fund raising abuses, as reported in this Washington Post article, was substantiated by her because, as she stated, “the law did not apply because the calls either were made from residential areas, did not involve specific solicitations or did not raise actual campaign money.” The last two of these factors are undisputed in Obama’s case and the residential area is highly disputable given the current description and all of the official business conducted in the Map Room.
So what are the options at this point? On the one hand, a very questionable fundraising technique that if investigated could come back with plausible ramifications due to its apparent illegality and on the other, a simple wave off of importance by the White House as a non-issue in the spirit of not letting this story get out of hand.
From Accuracy in Media‘s Shana Weitzen:
Last week’s POLITICO front page article entitled, “Obama may be losing the faith of Jewish Democrats,” caught the attention of numerous media publications. The POLITICO journalist, Ben Smith, mainly based his piece on Obama’s foreign policy speech on April 27, 2011, when he publicly declared, “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”
Smith appropriately noted, “Obama’s speech last month seems to have crystallized the doubts many pro-Israel Democrats had about Obama in 2008,” but unfortunately failed to communicate the fundamental issues of this political shift.
His terminology is a clear example of this misrepresentation. Smith writes of center-left American Jews and Obama supporters as “Fearful for Israel at a moment of turmoil in a hostile region when the moderate Palestinian Authority is joining forces with the militantly anti-Israel Hamas.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is only moderate if you compare it to Hamas. But repeatedly referring to it as “moderate” can have serious ramifications such as turning public opinion against Israel.
As for Hamas, sending over 8,000 rockets into southern Israel and calling for the Jewish State’s destruction, is not “militantly anti-Israel,” it is once again blatant terrorism.
Later in the article, the Politico writer noted that “the U.S. boycotted an anti-racism conference seen as anti-Israel,” in an attempt to boost Obama’s image. The administration should not receive plaudits for anything they should already be expected to do; there is no doubt the U.S. should have boycotted the conference.
Smith also posed the question, “Does the new wave of Jewish angst matter?” Dick Morris would answer “Yes.” On Tuesday, Morris published polling data on the matter: “If the election were held today, President Obama would get only 56 percent of the Jewish vote against a generic Republican candidate, down from the 78 percent he won in 2008 and less than the 74 percent John Kerry received in 2004.”
Morris also found that when “asked if President Obama is ‘too biased against Israel’, Jewish voters as a whole agreed with the charge by 39-30, while 32 percent of Jewish Democrats also agreed (and 40 percent of Jewish Democrats disagreed).”
Apparently Obama is feeling the heat. As of a little over a week ago, “President Barack Obama has decided to shelve any serious effort to generate Israel-Palestinian negotiations for at least two years.”
From Accuracy in Media‘s Roger Aronoff:
President Obama’s Middle East policies continue to unravel as he pursues a dangerous and duplicitous policy. It may have worked while he was getting elected the first time as President, but evidence of failure is everywhere, as the Arab Spring turns into a frenzied death spiral where the winners, to the extent there are any, are radical Islamists including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and in Turkey, a re-election of the Erdogan government with growing ties to Iran. In Libya the U.S. and NATO are caught up in a quagmire that was supposed to involve heavy U.S. involvement for “days not weeks,” followed by a supporting role only. According to President Obama, who never sought Congressional approval under the War Powers Act, the mission was to protect civilians and enforce an arms embargo. It has now shifted to heavy bombing of Col. Moammar Gaddafi’s compound with the clear intent to kill him or drive him out, precisely what Obama said the mission was not about. And the U.S. has continued an active role in the bombing campaign.
Whether President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world since becoming President has provoked the turmoil that now exists, or has kept it from getting even worse than it is, is open to debate. But today, virtually every country in that region of the world is either dominated by radical Islamists, often with ties to Iran, or is in turmoil with the current government in jeopardy of being swept away onto the ash heap of history.
So what to do? Step up pressure on Israel, of course, to make a deal with the newly formed alliance between the supposedly moderate Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, and the Iranian-backed Hamas in Gaza. The opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has been dramatically set back by an Obama policy that is either a case of deliberate undermining for ideological or political reasons, or else the work of rank amateurs. And America’s mainstream media are largely supportive of the Obama narrative that is driving this dangerous and misguided policy.
The problem for Obama is that this is no longer 2008, when while running for president, he said in his speech to the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) that Jerusalem “must” remain the “undivided” capital of Israel. The next day, through an aide, came his true position, that Jerusalem was literally “not going to be divided by barbed wire.” That’s what he meant by “undivided.”
He still tries to parse his words to give himself credibility and wiggle room. That way, Israelis and American Jewish supporters might believe him when he says, for example, that his statement prior to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s arrival in Washington in late May wasn’t a policy shift, rather it was the same, but unstated, position of past U.S. presidents.
It was during a May 19th speech at the State Department, just days before the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that President Obama stated the line that generated so much discussion. After offering a cautiously optimistic view of the so-called Arab Spring, the subject switched to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Obama said:
“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”
Netanyahu was reportedly told by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just before his arrival that President Obama would be using that language. Netanyahu objected, but there was no turning back. Over the next several days, the two heads of state gave dueling speeches—Obama at the State Department and then at AIPAC; Netanyahu before Congress and at AIPAC. They met at the White House, and went before the cameras, where Netanyahu explained—some said “lectured”—to Obama about why those 1967 borders were not defensible, and not the basis for further negotiations.
Obama and others argued that he was boldly stating the obvious, a policy that had existed for many years. But when it comes to Middle East peace, nuance and code words abound, all fraught with historical context.
Caroline Glick, the highly regarded columnist and Deputy Managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, explained the shift in policy. The claim that this didn’t represent a shift in policy “is exposed as a lie by previous administration statements. On November 25, 2009, in response to Netanyahu’s acceptance of Obama’s demand for a 10-month moratorium on Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the State Department issued the following statement:
‘Today’s announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal [emphasis added] of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.’
Thus, in Obama’s May 19th speech, “he took ‘the Palestinian goal’ and made it the US’s goal. It is hard to imagine a more radically anti-Israel policy shift than that.”
And that was by no means all. “Until his May 19 speech,” wrote Glick, “the US agreed with Israel that the issue of borders is only one of many—including the Palestinians’ rejection of Israel’s right to exist, their demand to inundate Israel with millions of foreign Arab immigrants, their demand for control over Israel’s water supply and Jerusalem—that have to be sorted out in negotiations. The joint US-Israeli position was that until all of these issues were resolved, none of them were resolved.”
Up until the time that Netanyahu agreed to the 10-month moratorium in 2009, even the Palestinians weren’t making those demands of the Israelis. The Palestinians refused to negotiate with the Israelis during that period, and Israel has not extended the freeze. So Obama’s pressure on Israel ended up making conditions for an agreement that much more difficult.
Now he has done it again. Before the Palestinians will even discuss any of these other issues, as Caroline Glick pointed out, “Israel has to first agree to accept the indefensible 1967 boundaries as its permanent borders. This position allows the Palestinians to essentially maintain their policy of demanding that Israel make unreciprocated concessions that then serve as the starting point for further unreciprocated concessions.”
The fact is, under certain conditions, the ’67 borders, with swaps, could be the basis for negotiations, if only there was a genuine partner with which Israel could establish peaceful relations. But that became even less likely once Hamas and Fatah joined forces. A June 13th New York Times article made it clear that the alliance is having troubles, as the two sides to the May 4th Egyptian-brokered agreement can’t agree on even interim leadership. Again, the idea that this is the time for Israel to step up and make an agreement with the Palestinians, while all this is occurring, is absurd and unrealistic.
Obama’s implied position is that Israel should agree to his formula, because if they don’t, the United Nations is going to approve Palestinian statehood this September when a resolution is introduced in the General Assembly. The issue there, however, is that while the U.S. has no veto power in the General Assembly, the resolution would first require a recommendation from the Security Council. The U.S. has a veto there, and in the past has used it when necessary on behalf of Israel, sometimes quite grudgingly. In fact last February UN Ambassador Susan Rice issued the Obama administration’s first such veto, in this case a resolution declaring Israel’s settlements in the West Bank illegal. Rice stated at the time that with “the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.”
What Obama should have said is that the starting point for negotiations is the acceptance, and statement, that the Palestinian Authority, the official governing body of the disputed territories, must publicly, in word and deed, acknowledge the acceptance of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Thus, they must give up the idea of the so-called “right of return.”
The Refugees and “Right of Return”
The right of return is the idea promoted by the Palestinians and many of their supporters that those Arabs who left Israel in 1948, shortly after the UN declared Israel a state, should be allowed to return to their original homes. There were an estimated 700,000 such Arabs who fled Israel at the time, but for the most part, they weren’t expelled from Israel. They left at the behest of the Arab countries that were about to invade and attempt to destroy the nascent state. And now, not only do they want the right of return for the remaining population of those 700,000, but for all of their descendants, something that has never been the case with refugees in the past.
Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, has studied the situation, and how it differs from other refugee plights; in fact, from all the other 135 million 20th-century refugees. According to Pipes,
“In every other instance, the pain of dispossession, statelessness, and poverty has diminished over time. Refugees eventually either resettled, returned home or died. Their children…then shed the refugee status and joined the mainstream.
“Not so the Palestinians. For them, the refugee status continues from one generation to the next, creating an ever-larger pool of anguish and discontent.”
What explains the difference, according to Pipes, is the UN bureaucratic structure. One UN agency is the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which was set up specifically for Palestinian refugees in 1949, and which defines Palestinian refugees differently from all other refugees. “They are persons who lived in Palestine ‘between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict,’ wrote Pipes. “Especially important is that UNRWA extends the refugee status to ‘the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948.’”
Pipes wrote that “the U.N.’s (inflated) statistics numbered 726,000,” though scholarly estimates are much lower, and as of 2004, he says that, according to a demographer, the real number of those 1948 refugees still alive is probably around 200,000.
According to UNRWA, the total, in 2004, was 4.25 million people, which included three generations of descendants and Palestinians who left in 1967. As Pipes argued in his article, the 200,000 actual refugees at that time comprised just five percent of the 4.25 million. “By international standards, those other 95 percent are not refugees at all. By falsely attaching a refugee status to these Palestinians who never fled anywhere, UNRWA condemns a creative and entrepreneurial people to lives of exclusion, self-pity and nihilism.”
He pointed out that things are made worse by the policies of Arab governments, who use this to their advantage. “In Lebanon, for instance, the 400,000 stateless Palestinians are not allowed to attend public school, own property or even improve their housing stock.” He argues that UNRWA should be shut down. The U.S. provides some 40% of its more than $300 million budget.
In addition, the General Assembly of the UN spends much of its time criticizing Israel. As of 2004, there had been 322 resolutions critical of Israel, compared to zero, none, condemning any Arab country.
But in spite of all this, the Obama administration is still pressuring Netanyahu to publicly accept the 1967 borders, with land swaps, as the basis for negotiations, and to then move on to the other key issues—right of return and dividing Jerusalem.
The Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer noted how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position:
“He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war—its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus the starting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian—alien territory for which Israel must now bargain.”
“The very idea that Judaism’s holiest shrine is alien or that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter is rightfully or historically or demographically Arab is an absurdity. And the idea that, in order to retain them, Israel has to give up parts of itself is a travesty.” He took note of Obama’s statement that “The status quo is unsustainable,” and that “Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.”
“Israel too?” asked Krauthammer:
“Exactly what bold steps for peace have the Palestinians taken? Israel made three radically conciliatory offers to establish a Palestinian state, withdrew from Gaza and has been trying to renew negotiations for more than two years. Meanwhile, the Gaza Palestinians have been firing rockets at Israeli towns and villages. And on the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas turns down then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer, walks out of negotiations with Binyamin Netanyahu and now defies the United States by seeking not peace talks but instant statehood—without peace, without recognizing Israel—at the United Nations.”
Mainstream Media Choose Sides
But much of the mainstream media—such as Andrea Mitchell of NBC and MSNBC, were appalled at the “disrespect” that they felt Netanyahu showed toward Obama at the White House.
Tom Friedman of The New York Times agrees with Obama that it is up to Israel to “take a big risk for peace.” He wrote:
“The only way for Netanyahu to be taken seriously again is if he risks some political capital and actually surprises people. Bibi keeps hinting that he is ready for painful territorial compromises involving settlements. Fine, put a map on the table. Let’s see what you’re talking about.”
Writing for Time, Joe Klein was even more direct: “I have enough respect for Netanyahu to know that his positions are not just politically expedient; they are heartfelt. But they are terribly, perhaps disastrously, wrong.” Klein added this: “Why on earth would Bibi Netanyahu choose to be so boorish and provocative? Because he can be. He has the U.S. Congress in his pocket…”
The only remaining question, however, according to Krauthammer, “is whether this perverse and ultimately self-defeating policy is born of genuine antipathy toward Israel or of the arrogance of a blundering amateur [Obama] who refuses to see that he is undermining not just peace but the very possibility of negotiations.”
If the goal of the Obama administration is the peaceful co-existence between two independent and secure countries living side by side, Israel and Palestine, their actions and policies couldn’t have been more counterproductive. There would be little chance under normal circumstances that the Palestinians could get as generous an offer for statehood from this Israeli government as they have already gotten three times in the last 11 years. And on top of that you have the divided Palestinian government with both sides still openly hostile to Israel, Lebanon controlled by Iranian backed Hezbollah, Syria in a civil war, Egypt no longer a reliable ally in terms of upholding the Camp David Accords, and Iran’s nuclear weapons program advancing unabated. So why is the U.S. wasting its prestige and credibility on a deal that isn’t going to happen? Could it be that it provides these countries the opportunity to blame the crises throughout the region on Israel, while the U.S. maintains viable relations with the oil-rich nations of the Middle East? Or is it something even more sinister than that?
From Accuracy in Media‘s A/V Room:
AIM’s Ben Johnson Interviews Rep. Allen West over questions of the Obama Legacy and Presidential job performance.
From Accuracy in Media‘s Michael Watson:
In a tweet sent by White House media official Jesse Lee in direct response to AIM’s coverage of the Politico report on the elusive “green jobs” the President has promised, the press office sent “a few folks who disagree.”
The first item was an image of President Obama at a photo-op with workers at a solar energy plant. The second item is more interesting. Lee tweeted an article written for CNBC by “freelance journalist” Rob Reuteman which claimed that “everyone seems to agree there will be many more [green jobs] in the coming decades.” Reuteman claims that “market forces” in addition to regulatory mandates are creating such jobs.
Reuteman notes that “twenty-nine states have ordered their utilities to produce up to 30 percent of power through renewable energy in the next couple decades.” This is a mandate, not a market force.
Reuteman reports that the stimulus program “earmarked more than $70 billion in direct spending, tax breaks, and loan guarantees…most of it for ‘green energy.’” This too is not a market force but state intervention.
Reuteman then finds his first “market force,” noting that a for-profit university in Colorado offers a degree in “Wind Energy Technology.” This is the same “Wind Energy Technology” that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) noted receives “25 times as much [in subsidy] per megawatt-hour as…all other forms of electricity combined.”
Citing a report by IHS Global Insight for the United States Conference of Mayors, Reuteman claims that “4.2 million green jobs over the next 30 years” will be created. This translates to 140,000 jobs per year, or approximately the minimum number of jobs that must be created in one month to keep the unemployment rate from rising. It is worth noting that the Global Insight report was published in October 2008, before the effects of the September 2008 financial calamity were widely known. Additionally, the study assumes that legislatures will not only continue to enact “Renewable Portfolio Standards” which mandate that “renewables” will constitute a certain proportion of total electricity generation but also raise the mandated targets. Reutman has not found his “market forces.”
Reuteman also reports that the stimulus provided significant amounts of money to community colleges to train students in “green job” skills. This again is clearly a “legislative mandate” and a state intervention.
In conclusion, Reuteman can only claim vindication on half his thesis. If legislative mandates continue to subsidize “green” technologies, jobs will be created in those sectors. However, his claim that the private market will switch to the technologies Reuteman prefers is unsupported: The only “incentives” he can demonstrate are state and federal subsidies, not customer preference. Reuteman and Lee may be noble in their desire for a world in which windmills are plentiful and migratory bird deaths are legion, but they must be honest about the costs of their dream.