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Democrat Special Interests Failed to Buy the Senate, Governorships

Billionaire crony capitalist Tom Steyer spent $74 Million trying to buy a Democrat US Senate that would pass draconian energy regulations… thus making his investments in “Green Energy” highly profitable. He failed.

[Steyer’s mentor is an extreme environmentalist, Bill McKibben, who thinks Americans should reduce their standard of living to third world levels in order to save the planet from ManBearPig. Although I imagine, under such a scenario, wealthy politicians and their cronies would be exempted from the third world living standards.]

Democrat-affiliated Teacher’s Unions spent as much as $80 Million to try and elect Democrat governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida… and support Democrat Kay “Conflict of Interest” Hagan in North Carolina. Gosh, think of all the school supplies that $80,000,ooo could have bought.

The travails of Government Motors

This is a long-term story; time for a review.

In 2009, General Motors made itself the fourth-largest Chapter 11 re-org in U.S. history. The U.S. Treasury was heavily involved with bailout money. President Obama made speeches and saw to it that the terms were harsh for people who had supported GM by loaning or investing their money, and not-so-harsh for labor unions and GM retirees (who can vote).

The new GM repaid government loans ahead of schedule – after shuffling around some bailout monies. But it all still cost the taxpayer at least $10 billion in the end (Treasury direct losses on GM stock as they re-privatized the company).

I would argue that the intangible costs go beyond $10 billion. GM bailout advocates like to emphasize the many jobs “saved”. But if the government had stayed out (doing nothing), the jobs would exist – at more efficient companies. GM’s productive assets would have been re-organized in bankruptcy anyway; probably taken over by startup companies or other competitors who are more efficient.

So, cars would still be manufactured in America – on better terms for the consumer. It’s a general principle that doing it the government-backed way is cronyism and always rewards incompetence on some level (at the expense of consumers, investors & taxpayers). There is no reason to consider GM an exception.

Which brings us to GM’s scandal with faulty ignition switches, which have caused at least 13 deaths.

The problem goes back for years. GM, which became a famously bureaucratic company under decades of Big Government backing, has been slow to react:

GM first learned of a problem with its ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other models in 2001, documents have shown, but took no steps to recall any cars until this past February.

Lawmakers are investigating why GM and regulators missed or ignored numerous red flags that faulty ignition switches could unexpectedly turn off engines during operation and leave airbags, power steering and power brakes inoperable.

The unflappable [GM CEO] Barra…announced that GM had retained Kenneth Feinberg, who recently oversaw the BP oil spill fund, as a consultant…

The drama inside the packed hearing room – named the “John D. Dingell” room after the Michigan Democrat with a long history of advocating for GM – was heightened by photos of victims, which were displayed against one of the walls.

Your crony capitalism/ Venture Socialism at work, folks.

By the way:

  • Did those famous Government Regulators help the problem? No, although they have plenty of excuses. (Prediction: the Left will surely claim that the solution is…more regulators.)
  • Did CEO Barra just tell Congress the truth, when she claimed to have only learned about the ignition switch problem recently (Jan 31)? No again.
  • Did GM commit fraud, when it didn’t reveal the problem *during its bankruptcy* proceedings? Was escaping liability one of the motives for doing the 2009 bankruptcy? Perhaps, yes.

Which is why the new, refreshed, taxpayer-revived GM now faces multiple criminal probes.

Progressives For Cronyism; Ridesharing Edition

Posted by V the K at 7:02 am - April 15, 2014.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

Surprised Jeff didn’t have this one. Technology has enabled people who need rides to connect with people who have rides to offer through services like Lyft, Sidecar and Uber. The taxicab companies are not happy about these interlopers. In a Free Market, the taxicab companies would have to up their game in order to hold onto their customers; i.e. offer better services and/or better prices… cabs that don’t smell like the floor of a dive bar’s bathroom, drivers with a higher level of courtesy than a rap star’s bodyguards. But in the modern “progressive” political economy, it’s easier just to get their bought-and-paid-for politicians to shut the competition down and claim it’s for the Common Good.

In Philadelphia, the city has confiscated the automobiles of people participating in Sidecar’s ridesharing service.  In Austin TX, these services have been banned outright at the behest of… of course … taxicab companies. Minneapolis is requiring ride-sharers to register and be licensed as taxi drivers (an expensive, time-consuming process subject to the whims of bureaucracy). Efforts are underway in NYC, DC, Atlanta, and other large socialist-run cities to ban the services entirely.

It is also bothersome to the bureaucrats that the ratings systems provided by consumers offer a higher assurance of driver quality than the paperwork of a thousand bureaucrats.

Ask yourself: Would you rather ride with a driver who has been rated by other passengers, with that rating posted on your cell phone and monitored continuously by a company with a stake in maintaining consumer confidence, or one who has been cleared by some local political appointee who might, just might, see approval of a driver as a source of income?

You also don’t have to worry about a Somali cabdriver refusing to give you a ride because your guide dog is forbidden according to his Mohammedan religion.

Demagogues will always find some reason to oppose the free market; “public safety” or “protecting jobs.” When Progressives rail against “unbridled capitalism,” they are railing against the innovation, efficiency, and higher standard of service that comes from free market competition. And what they are advocating instead is bureaucracy, cronyism, and stagnation.

Leftists: Still running amok

They’re still claiming that any opposition to leftism could only be motivated by racism. Here, Rep. Steve Israel (D) says it back-hand style:

Candy: Do you think your Republican colleagues are racist?

Israel: Not all of them, no. Of course not. But to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.

They’re still demanding that their failures be subsidized and bailed out. Here, a “green” solar company sues the government for only having dished it $250 million of taxpayer money, instead of millions more.

They’re still using highly questionable statistics to demagogue the issue of equal pay for men and women.

They’re still fighting their ‘war’ on Fox News, and failing – sometimes with hilarious results. The video shows Greta van Susteren cornering an aggressive Democrat into admitting that he lied about his resume.

They’re still racially divisive with amazing double standards. Here, a Democrat belittles her African-American GOP colleague for being only “half” black. Which, remember, happens to be what President Obama is.

They still have amazing double standards on the issues of Islam, free speech and women’s rights. Last week, leftists hit a triple (the wrong positions on all three) when Brandeis snubbed Ayaan Hirsi Ali after considering her for an honorary degree.

They’re still screeching “McCarthyism!” to deflect attention from their misconduct, as Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) did last week, when questions arose over his own staff’s collusion with the dangerously out-of-control IRS.

UPDATE: At least there’s hope for Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has had a good run lately. He signed a major tax relief package into law, his controversial budget reforms have put the state back in the black…A new poll from Wisconsin Public Radio suggests that voters are appreciative of the governor’s accomplishments. Walker leads Democrat Mary Burke by 16 points in the survey (56/40), with Walker’s approval rating soaring to just shy of 60 percent — an all-time high in the series. (President Obama’s job approval is underwater at 48/50 in the poll). Walker’s lead is fueled by a 19-point advantage among independents…

Today’s sadly-ironic headline

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 5:10 pm - April 9, 2014.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Crony Capitalism Consequences

HP pays $108 million to settle foreign bribery probes:

WARSAW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard agreed to pay $108 million to resolve wide-ranging U.S. government investigations into whether some of its foreign units bribed government officials to obtain lucrative contracts, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

HP’s Russia subsidiary pleaded guilty…Polish and Mexican units of the computing giant also resolved U.S. criminal charges related to contracts they had won in those countries…

Get it?

  1. Foreign companies (owned by HP) paid fees that foreign officials demanded of them. Everyone called these fees “bribes” in order to displace the guilt, that is, to hide the extortion aspect.
  2. U.S. officials were jealous so they, in turn, demanded and got $108 million from HP. Everyone called these fees “settling criminal charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”, again in order to displace the guilt, that is, to hide the bottom-line extortion aspect.

Pro-business or pro-market?

Jonah Goldberg makes a great distinction:

…the difference between being pro-business and pro-market is categorical. A politician who is a “friend of business” is exactly that, a guy who does favors for his friends. A politician who is pro-market is a referee who will refuse to help protect his friends (or anyone else) from competition unless the competitors have broken the rules. The friend of business supports industry-specific or even business-specific loans, grants, tariffs, or tax breaks. The pro-market referee opposes special treatment for anyone.

Goldberg’s point is that the GOP must make up its mind about which one it is. Pro-business is crony capitalism, venture socialism and Big Government as we know it today. Pro-market is more the Tea Party putting real checks on Washington. Goldberg describes the GOP’s dilemma in more detail; RTWT.

To make my view clear: I am not pro-business, I am absolutely pro-market. The mentality that the economy would boom (and America would be great again) if only we could vote in smart people to tinker with the economy in good ways – if only the Republicans had power to do better Washington-y things than the Democrats do – that mentality is part of what has gotten America into a hole.

The truth is, nothing that government does to rig interfere with markets and business outcomes is ever much good. It never turns out anything as well as the politicians said it would, and never as well as what markets – that is, free people – could do, if left to their own devices.

Chicago: Where Crony Socialism Meets Gay Blackmail

Posted by V the K at 6:38 am - March 13, 2014.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are seen as threats to the profits of traditional taxi companies; which have worked out cozy licensing and bribery arrangements with municipal governments (like NYC, DC, and Chicago) to protect their turf against competition.  In Chicago, Big Taxi may be resorting to extraordinary measures to protect their monopoly.

A trade newspaper for the city’s taxi industry has threatened to out five aldermen who it claims are “secretly gay,” unless the City Council bans ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and SideCar.

In an editorial in The Chicago Dispatcher, publisher George Lutfallah said the trade publication “has learned that five of the city’s 50 aldermen are closeted homosexuals. In the next issue of this newspaper, set to be published early next month, we will disclose their names unless our demands are met.”

It’s also possible that the article the blog is referring to, or parts of it, are intended as satire. Some of their demands are on the order of “we demand that the letter ‘m’ be eliminated from the alphabet.” But the hostility toward competition from ridesharing is very real.

Fairness ‘frayed’? Poor people trapped? Sorry Mr. Obama, but You Are The Problem

Current Yahoo! headine, Obama: Economic fairness ‘frayed’:

President Barack Obama prodded Congress to raise wages and secure the social safety net as he issued an overarching appeal Wednesday to correct inequalities that he said make it harder for a child in the United States to escape poverty. “That should offend all of us,” he declared. “We are a better country than this.”

Obama argued that the dream of upward economic mobility is breaking down and that the growing income gap is a “defining challenge of our time.”

“The basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed,” the president said…

This is an example of the Left’s classic tactic, “poison as food, poison as antidote”. First the Left creates/worsens problems with their dysfunctional policies; then they position themselves (or, even more dysfunctional left-wing policies) as the supposed solution.

In this case, President Obama’s own policies create/worsen the inequality he decries. As I’ve discussed in my “Recovery for the One Percent” series here, here, here and here.

For any lefties reading this, who need the reminder:

  • Raising the minimum wage costs people jobs.
  • Big Government denies opportunity to the working poor.
  • High government spending hurts the economy and stops new businesses from being formed, as do high regulation and taxes.
  • Quantitative Easing bails out (or subsidizes) the One Percent, at the expense of the poor and middle-class.

All policies increased, maintained or advocated by Your Obama.

To be clear, the problems didn’t start with Obama; but he has worsened them.

Recovery for the One Percent: Record inequality

To “celebrate” Dow 16000 and S&P 1800, both of which the stock market just hit intra-day, I’ve gathered a few links on rising economic inequality in the U.S. A few remarks first, to set context.

As a capitalist, I have no problem with inequality – when it comes about for the right reasons, that is, when sovereign consumers have awarded it by their actions in free markets. The problem is that, under President Obama, we have inequality for the wrong reasons.

Obama puts government in control of more and more of the economy, and he has the Federal Reserve bailing out the biggest players on Wall Street (as well as the government) and goosing the financial markets ever higher. That doesn’t come for free.

Whenever someone is bailed out, somebody else was “bailed in”; somebody else lost wealth (or purchasing power). Obama’s policies stealth-transfer it from the wages, pensions, savings and balance sheets of productive people to those who happen either to (1) receive government spending, or/and (2) own financial assets (stocks, bonds, etc.).

Many of those are productive people; but many are not and, in any event, everyone should have to earn wealth the real way, by pleasing their employer or their customers in the market. None merit bailouts. No one deserves government-orchestrated wealth transfers (stealthy or otherwise). No one.

I want small government, natural rights under Rule of Law, sound money and free markets because they are both moral and populist. They form the only moral social system (the only system that lets people be free and doesn’t steal from them, or enslave them). And, as a consequence of being moral, they form the only practical system where masses of deserving poor and middle-class people can and will get ahead.

The Big Lie of Leftism is that leftism somehow stands for the People, or the little guy. It doesn’t. As we see today with President Obama’s policies, producing a result of record inequality – for all the wrong reasons.

OK, now for some data. First, via Marc Faber and Zero Hedge, here is household net worth by wealth percentile:

household net worth by wealth percentile

You can see that, in the last six years, the share of wealth held by the bottom 75% has plunged from 12.7% to barely 10%. (more…)

What difference does it make – that Hillary works for Goldman-Sachs?

In the last week, Hillary made $400,000 from Goldman-Sachs.

I’m not certain that’s money going to her personally, but it seems likely. It would be interesting to see what she takes in campaign contributions also.

Goldman-Sachs is a top political donor. Although they favored Romney in 2012, they favored President Obama even more in 2008. And they were rewarded hugely when Obama sealed the bailouts that President Bush began; not just the money funneled to Goldman via the AIG – TARP bailouts, but also the Dodd-Frank bill that guarantees Goldman future bailouts, the Federal Reserve’s general money-printing, etc.

Goldman is also the single largest backer of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D). The corrupt Jon Corzine (D) was a former top Goldman employee, as was Bush’s Treasury secretary (Hank Paulsen).

So these guys get their way with both parties, and internationally to boot. They are near the heart of the Big Government – Big Banking nexus (that isn’t capitalism).

A look at food stamps

It’s not a “safety net”, it’s a cultural phenomenon. An unholy alliance of special interests – starting with the big one, Big Government, and then getting into corporations who naturally rise to meet the business opportunity – works to keep it that way:

YouTube Preview Image

Via Mike Krieger’s blog.

Bonus (via Ace): Mark Steyn on the American Banana Republic.

Capricious Enforcement: A sign of the times

Back in October 2010, blogger Tigerhawk recalled what one of his Princeton classmates, who was originally from Romania, said about the nature of life under socialism:

One recurring tool of socialist tyranny is the capricious enforcement of unworkable laws.

He quoted the passage in making a point about the “capricious enforcement” which was an inevitable feature of the unworkable mess better known as Obamacare.

But two and a half years later, it’s evident that observation could just as easily have been applied to our byzantine tax code, our environmental regulations, and even laws pertaining to press freedoms under the Obama administration.  As Dan wrote earlier today, the only folks who are surprised by any of these scandals are the ones who haven’t been paying attention to what has been going with our government since January 20, 2009.

In the case of the Obama administration, though, it’s not strictly capricious enforcement, but selective enforcement, always with a partisan goal in mind.  The IRS targeting of the Tea Party and conservative organizations is appalling, but one would have to be naive not to believe, as ABC’s Trey Hardin noted today, that it wasn’t authorized by someone in the West Wing.  Hardin observed (audio at the link):

I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it. It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization.

And it’s not just the IRS.  Earlier today it came out that the EPA waived fees for leftist organizations and leftist journalists who requested information, but not for conservative ones:   “Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.”  Yes, this would be the same EPA that has classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant, making the mere act of exhaling potentially troublesome.

A coincidence?  I think not.  This is the same administration committed to picking winners and losers on most matters.  Hence, it should surprise no one that while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of eagles and other protected species, the bird-killing wind farms are naturally given a pass.   Clearly, some energy companies are more equal than others.

It’s the same with journalists.  Just a day after the AP snooping scandal broke, the administration is playing favorites again.  Jake Tapper has gained a reputation as one who can be counted on to ask tough questions of the White House with greater frequency than the reporters at most of the other lamestream news organizations.  Well, today Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is reporting that the White House played Jake Tapper by selectively leaking one e-mail with the apparent aim of creating a diversion in the reporting about the Benghazi cover-up.  Jacobson writes: “Like I said, this entire diversion of leaking a single email out of a chain of emails to Tapper was simply meant to put critics of the administration back on their heels and to provide an excuse for White House defenders to throw around words like ‘doctored.’”

And so what else do we see today?  Well, all of a sudden the administration’s lackeys in the press such as Hilary Rosen are now out expressing their sympathy for poor Jay Carney.  I guess they’re afraid of ending up as the subject of a DOJ snooping scandal or an IRS investigation or a selective leak.

 

Al Gore: Romney-rich

From Bloomberg[1]: Gore Is Romney-Rich With $200 Million After Bush Defeat

In 1999, Al Gore…had a net worth of about $1.7 million…In January, the Current TV network, which he helped to start in 2004, was sold to Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Satellite Network for about $500 million [of which Gore] grossed an estimated $70 million…

Two weeks later, Gore exercised options, at $7.48 a share, on 59,000 shares of Apple Inc. stock…about a $30 million payday…

How Gore achieved this is as much about timing and luck as it is about business skills. His Apple board tenure has coincided with a 5,900 percent increase in its stock price. Current TV was a moribund “fixer-upper” when Al Jazeera stepped in to buy it at “a huge valuation,”…

Gore also had his share of flubs, most of them in his efforts at green-tech investing…

The article goes on to report praise of Gore – from people who likely got money or power by being connected with him. And to give numerous examples of Gore making money from, in essence, being well-connected. Here is one pair:

After losing to Bush [in 2000], he had enough wealth by March 2008 to put $35 million into hedge funds and private partnerships through Capricorn Investment Group…founded by his buddy, Canadian billionaire Jeffrey Skoll…

By the time of the Capricorn investment, he was already starting to rake in cash from Generation Investment Management – - a fund that incorporates “sustainability” into its investment approach. [ed: I read that as government "green" subsidies] Gore co-founded GIM in 2004 with former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Managing Director David W. Blood. [ed: Goldman-Sachs are top Obama donors]

Public filings show that in 2008 through 2011 London-based GIM racked up almost 140 million pounds ($218 million) in profits to be split among its 26 partners.

There are more examples; you can read the whole thing. What I find interesting is:

  • The latest confirmation that, actually, Democrats are the party of the super-rich.
  • The Gore-Romney contrast; how each man got rich. Romney did it by adding to the economy’s productive power[2]. Gore did it by exploiting his connections to the American government’s power and largesse, and also by pandering to the prejudices of various anti-Americans.[3]

(more…)

Another federal loan to financially-troubled “green” company
(with ties to Obama supporters)

Those who rely on the legacy media for reports on this administration’s record with taxpayer dollars may not be as up to speed as those who follow conservative blogs about federal support for failing companies.

We know that Solyndra is just the tip of the iceberg, one of many green energy firms (receiving federal subsidies or loan guarantees) which are, well, not flourishing in the marketplace.  Last week, for example, we reported on the the 22clean energy companies supported by President Obama’s stimulus that are now failing or have filed for bankruptcy.

Now comes word that a federal agency is backing another such company:

Late last week, the Ex-Im loaned about $57 million to First Solar, ostensibly so the solar panel manufacturer could boost exports of its product to India. The Ex-Im’s press release says that the loan will help create 200 jobs at First Solar’s factory in Tempe, AZ. A quick calculation finds that the Ex-Im loan amounts to $285,000 per job.

This firm, observes Bryan Preston,

. . . is a curious choice for the Ex-Im to consider worthy of a huge loan. It was the worst performing firm on the SPX in 2011. It has also been linked with several junk bond firms. In March 2012, First Solar was found using government subsidies to “export” solar panels to itself.

But First Solar has connections, similar to the connections that won Solyndra its taxpayer-backed loans. According to Townhall columnist Marita Noon, several Obama campaign bundlers are investors in First Solar. Bruce Heyman, David Heller, and Jennifer Scully are all Obama bundlers who have investments in First Solar. First Solar CEO Michael Ahearn “gives generously (and exclusively) to Democrats.”

Can you imagine how much media coverage this would get if a Republican were doling out the bucks to a financially-troubled company producing a product near and dear to the conservative agenda — which included investors were ties to that politician’s political campaigns?

RELATED: Solyndra cash in Obama’s pocket

How many* is that now?

Another Obama Solar Company Goes Bankrupt …Taxpayers Lose $2 BILLION?

A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

Solar Trust of America’s Chapter 11 filing on Monday listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million.

The filing comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Solyndra, a solar firm that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.

At the same link you’ll find the text of an April 19, 2011 article reporting, “The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $2.1 billion loan guarantee to Solar Trust of America for a solar thermal power plant near Blythe, Calif.”

——-

*green companies taking federal subsidies and/or loan guarantees going bankrupt.

WaPo runs Solyndra story on day after Christmas

The left-leaning daily in our nation’s capital is finally reporting on an Obama administration scandal, but do wonder if they are doing so deliberately on a day when most people aren’t paying much attention to the news.

At least they do report how “infused” the green technology program was “at every level“:

Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.

Via Instapundit.

Back in ’09, Biden said Jon Corzine was right;
in ’11, Corzine’s company loses $1 B in customer money

Bruce alerts me to a tweet from Michael Johns, “Remember when Biden said they used to call @joncorzine for advice?”

“The reason why we called Jon,” the Vice President said (at about 0:44 above), “is that we knew he knew about the economy, about world markets, about how we had to respond unlike anyone we knew.”  Later, the Delaware Democrat reports (at 2:00) that they talked with Corzine a “long time about what the elements of a national package should be.”

Indeed, Biden wanted to start a mantra about where “Jon was right.”  Doesn’t look like the defeated Democrat of a pretty blue state was right about this: MF Global Trustee Says Shortfall Could Exceed $1.2 Billion. According to the New York Times,

The amount of customer money missing from the collapsed trading firm MF Global may be more than $1.2 billion — double previous estimates — the trustee dismantling the firm’s brokerage unit said on Monday.

. . . .

Regulators currently suspect that MF Global — at the time run by Jon S. Corzine, the former Democratic governor of New Jersey — improperly used customer money for its own purposes in the days before filing for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 31.

Well, $1 billion is chump change to the Obama-Biden Democrats whose failed “stimulus” cost the country about 800 times that.   Can you imagine how much coverage the above clip would get if a top Republican had said this about a fellow partisan who led his company into a (possibly) billion-dollar bankruptcy?

Well, now we’re getting a better idea of what the “stimulus” failed; just look at the economic knowhow of some of the folk who designed it.

White House Chief of Staff Demoted; Media Focus on Herman Cain

There are many things I would rather blog about than the Herman Cain proposal.  Newt Gingrich delivered a stellar performance in his debate with Herman Cain.  Mitt Romney released a bold plan to tackle federal spending, confront the debt and reform entitlements.  And yet the media have turned the coverage of the candidate into a circus.  So, we blog to put such sensationalism into context.

Barack Obama has been president for two-and-three-quarters years and we still don’t know the specifics of his plan to confront the debt — or reform entitlements.  Meanwhile, his White House stonewalls on Solyndra, refusing to provide documents requested by Congress.  And it’s not just Solyndra.  The White House won’t “cough up requested info” about other troubled companies receiving federal loans.

Now, we read that the White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley is turning

over day-to-day management of the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a veteran aide to President Obama, according to several people familiar with the matter. It is unusual for a White House chief of staff to relinquish part of the job.

Emphasis added.  “Congressional Democrats,” reports Will Rahn

had criticized Daley, a former commerce secretary under President Clinton, for what some described as his imperfect understanding of the legislative branch, and his tense relationship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This stood in marked contrast to his predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, a former Democratic congressman who is now Mayor of Chicago.

This is pretty big news, yet on Memeorandum, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, it is relegated to the middle of the page far below the stories on Herman Cain’s accuser. (more…)

Big Gay’s Cozy Relationship With…. Wait For It…

… BIG OIL!

Aiming to blunt a regulatory and political backlash as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, BP PLC has revved up its influence machine, relying on heavy hitters with deep Democratic roots.

BP is one of the biggest spenders on lobbying in the oil and gas industry, which as a whole has spent a total of $625 million since 2004 to represent its interests in Washington. After the Obama administration took office in 2009, BP’s annual spending grew by half, to $16 million.

During the first quarter of 2010, it spent $3.5 million on lobbying, second to ConocoPhillips, according to figures compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Since the April 20 oil rig explosion that started the Gulf spill, BP’s lobbyists and crisis communications experts have helped to shore up congressional opposition to measures punishing oil companies, and moved to position BP as an ally with the government to manage the crisis.

After the spill, the company brought on crisis communicator Hilary Rosen, former Democratic congressional staffer, former chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, and a current editor-at-large for HuffingtonPost.com. Ms. Rosen heads the Washington-based office of U.K. communications firm the Brunswick Group.

If Hilary Rosen’s name sounds familiar to you gays & lesbians out there – well it should.  She lead the “leading gay rights organization” for many years.  None other than the Human Rights Campaign!

On January 22, 2003, Rosen announced that she would resign as head of the RIAA at the end of 2003, in order to spend more time with her partner, Elizabeth Birch, and the couple’s twins (a boy and a girl). She began a television commentator career first with CNBC and then with MSNBC. She signed with CNN in April 2008. Rosen and Birch separated in 2006.

On November 30, 2004, Rosen became the interim director for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading GLBT lobbyist organization, following the ouster of Cheryl Jacques. Hilary’s partner, Elizabeth, was the executive director of HRC for eight years prior to Jacques’ assumption of the post. Since May 2005 she’s been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post and a consultant to companies in the media industry such as XM Radio, Viacom and Snocap.

Wow.  Rosen sure knows how to work it, huh?  She found that Nepotism is the Best Strategy for the HRC.  Unreal.

Now answer me this:  Since when does taking money from Big Oil constitute a gay rights issue?  Just curious!!!  Do liberals really have no shame?  There are so many “progressives” in the pocket of BP, one might believe abortion was somehow involved with oil exploration.

Despite this history of safety problems, BP has made allies of some Democrats and environmentalists with its support for climate-change legislation, which company lobbyists helped write. It is a key member of the United States Climate Action Partnership, which aims to convince businesses that renewable energy and putting a price on industry emissions of heat-trapping gases can be profitable.

Among BP’s lobbyists is Tony Podesta, who heads the Podesta Group, a lobbying powerhouse founded by Mr. Podesta and his brother, former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, who headed President Barack Obama’s transition team. John Podesta now leads the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank whose scholars have presented the White House with ideas like forcing BP to devote its first-quarter profits, or some $5 billion, to a fund for Gulf cleanup. It also has criticized potential BP-related conflicts of interest within the government.

Tony Podesta confirmed Podesta Group was working for BP on the Deepwater Horizon issue, but responded by email that “they have asked us not to talk to press.” BP paid the Podesta Group $320,000 a year in 2008 and 2009, and $60,000 this year through March 31, said the Center for Responsive Politics.

… that it is amazing that Obama even knows there is an oil spill from his Corporate ATM.

American Progressives — Where Hypocrisy Doesn’t Cost Much To Buy.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)