hotair: Page 1
Erika Johnsen of HotAir and other fiscal conservatives have a habit of showing their low level of patriotism by turning their backs on their fellow citizens in California.
Could Obamacare end up being an electoral boon for the GOP? Let me explain in the context of the video below. The video - from Time Warner Cable News - shows a Job Creator complaining that he can't expand his business to two more locations: if he does he'll hit the 50 employer limit imposed by Obamacare and have to either pay a fine or provide healthcare to his employees.
[SEE 6/17/14 UPDATE BELOW]
"The Kronies" is a series of slick, live action videos that promote a libertarian message. The effort comes complete with not only its own site, but a fake site for the "company" behind the figures, a "Chimera Global Holdings Inc.".
Kirsten Gillibrand could be better on immigration, but HotAir and others didn't help (Jazz Shaw) - 10/26/13
One of the things you can count on rightwing bloggers doing is to breathlessly describe how things are bad. They aren't actually going to do anything to make things better, but they will give a play-by-play of what's happening.
Conservative bloggers who support amnesty (Rubio; Hot Air, Morrissey, Johnsen, Loesch, Moran, Mataconis...) - 01/21/13
This post will maintain a list of those supposed conservative bloggers who support some form of comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty), specifically the amnesty proposed by Marco Rubio. This post doesn't list GOP politicians or pundits, just bloggers and other low-level members of the GOP establishment.
Needless to say, there are far too many examples of the incompetence of rightwing bloggers than I could ever cover. However, to pick one out of the hat, take a look at the reaction to "The Puzzle of Black Republicans" by University of Pennsylvania professor Adolph L. Reed Jr (link).
Those in the libertarians/fiscal conservative sphere tend to put loyalty to money ahead of loyalty to country. An example from earlier this year is at the link, and another example is offered by the case of Gérard Depardieu. That French actor has "gone Galt" by giving up his French citizenship and moving to Belgium in part to avoid high taxes ( peekURL.com/zEf4J2g ).
Dear readers of HotAir:
We disagree on many topics, but many of you agree with me on reducing illegal immigration and blocking amnesty.
Reuters says, "[r]ed states give more money to charity than blue states, according to a new study" (link, ). Just one problem: that's not true. In fact, blue states gave over twice as much in dollar terms than red (depending on the blue/red definition).
Fiscal conservatives side with America-denouncing billionaire (Cato, Dan Mitchell, Heritage, Brownfield, Sean Medlock, Daily Caller, HotAir) - 05/11/12
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin recently denounced his U.S. citizenship to avoid paying U.S. taxes he'd owe when that company goes public. Hopefully to most people the idea of turning your back on your country  to save money would be abhorrent.
Earlier today, the Washington Post published allegations that Mitt Romney was a bully back in prep school (link). I didn't read the story, but that's not what this post is about.
Just three days ago I wrote about J.E. Dyer of HotAir.com ignoring immigration's impact on California.
In a HotAir "Greenroom" post ("California by the numbers", link) that was promoted to their front page, J.E. Dyer engages in the Fiscal Con. As described at that link, that consists of fiscal conservatives ignoring their role in the problems they whine about and using those problems to push another part of their agenda.
Will California declare state-level immigration amnesty? (Opportunity and Prosperity Act, illegal aliens) - 12/03/11
No, California won't be declaring its own, state-level amnesty for illegal aliens. While Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and others are trying to put an initiative on the ballot ("California Opportunity and Prosperity Act") that would attempt to declare such an amnesty (link), such an initiative has nearly zero chance of passing.
Last night, Congress finally did something about massive government spending (link), the single most important issue ever to face the U.S. and the only thing keeping us from continued hope, growth, opportunity and prosperity.
Er, maybe not. And, in fact, others used to agree. For instance, consider this table showing the average number of monthly mentions of the listed terms at HotAir . In 2007 there were an average of just 8 mentions per month of the word "deficit" at HotAir. By 2011, there were an average of 222 mentions per month:
|2011 (4 months)||222||497||1242|
|2006 (8 months)||10||63||318|
For another data point, consider this: just over three years ago, the Comptroller of the U.S. (David Walker) resigned in protest over spending and commenced a "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour" warning about deficits. Walker's events weren't exactly greeted by hordes of teapartiers, in fact few people showed up at all. The year before he quit, Walker appeared on CBS News' Sixty Minutes (link):
''I would argue,'' he told Steve Kroft, ''that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility.''
Mr. Walker, who heads the Government Accountability Office, has embarked on a mission to take his message to the people because, he says, politicians don't want to hear about it, much less act.
But that mission may be quixotic. If Mr. Walker's alarms are valid, the near total lack of a response to the report is quite disturbing. There was very little in the way of reaction from blogs or in most of the media this week.
If he'd done that this year, he'd have his own 4-hour daily show on Fox News by now.
To be clear, spending and deficits are important. However, they aren't by any stretch of the imagination the only issues the U.S. has and they aren't the most important issues (more on that below).
The word "interest" above is a huge understatement. At present, the GOP - led around by the small but very loud and annoying tea parties types - acts like a drugged-up, green eyeshaded, OCD-suffering, rabies-inflicted crazy accountant. Concerns about spending, budgets, and the deficit have passed beyond the normal realm and are now not just an unhealthy obsession for much of the GOP base, but also "Boob Bait for Bubba" for their leaders. Those leaders are using this issue only partly because it's important, but also because it helps distract from other, more important issues. And, those are the same leaders who for the most part ignored George W Bush's massive spending, such as somewhere between $1 and $3 trillion on the Iraq war. The people who now make up the tea parties were around then, but they were oddly silent and now they refuse to account for their whereabouts during the eight Bush years.
And, even if we could get spending under control, we'd still be faced with much greater and much more fundamental issues, many of which are social in nature. To list just a few:
* Education issues, including general low knowledge of civics, foreign countries, and so on.
* Pollution, something that the GOP would make worse with their very corporate-friendly calls to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency.
* Reliance on foreign energy, something that the teaparty types do occasionally mention. Then, they launch into their "Real Men Don't Push Green Energy" trained behaviors.
* Global warming, a topic greeted by hysteria and sloppy thinking on all sides. Those in effect paid off by corporations retail "Real Men Think Global Warming is a Myth" to the teaparty types which buy it up. At the same time, those who warn about the issue engage in various forms of propaganda and many of them seem to have ulterior motives just like their opponents. The rational approach - realizing it might be happening and taking reasonable steps to mitigate it - is favored by only a few.
* Government corruption of various kinds.
* Media bias and disinformation in general.
* De-industrialization, outsourcing, and globalism-related issues.
* And, the issue of all issues facing the U.S., illegal immigration and massive immigration in general. That plays a role in some of the issues above, it increases spending, and it reduces the political power of the GOP and of the tea party types. And, decades from now all of the low-skilled immigrants who've been allowed to come here will be retiring and others like them will be trying to support our generous social welfare programs. Even Obama admits that's a problem. Yet, the tea party types have largely ignored the immigration issue since they started.
Bottom line: don't trust the libertarians and tea party types because their OCD-level obsession with fiscal issues will just allow other, far more important issues to get even worse.
 The numbers in the chart were obtained through this google search (and by changing the year and the search term): site:hotair.com inurl:2011 deficit
The number of results was then divided by the number of months that HotAir had coverage for that year. Bear in mind that such a search is hardly an exact science for various reasons, but if there were a huge concern about deficits in 2007 one would certainly expect more than 8 results per month on average.
Ed Morrissey of HotAir uses the recent tragic earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan as a launching point to promote his idea of free market capitalism. Except, he forgot to mention free market capitalism's possible role in the current nuclear issues associated with the tragedy (link):
Well, the question here is whether wealth allows for adaptation - or whether an economic system’s openness to adaptation leads to the wealth necessary to recover from disasters. The wealth of Western democracies based on capitalism owes its existence to economic and political environments where capital could flow freely to innovation and adaptation. Centrally-planned economies do not have that allowance for innovation and adaptation, even the so-called “enlightened” environment in China, where the reins have been loosened on central control but are far from removed.
Now, see this:
Critics of nuclear energy have long questioned the viability of nuclear power in earthquake-prone regions like Japan. Reactors have been designed with such concerns in mind, but preliminary assessments of the Fukushima Daiichi accidents suggested that too little attention was paid to the threat of tsunami. It appeared that the reactors withstood the powerful earthquake, but the ocean waves damaged generators and backup systems, harming the ability to cool the reactors.
That reactor is owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), a public company. It appears that they skimped on safety mechanisms, taking a chance that such a large earthquake wouldn't happen. And, all of that is consistent with the brand of "free market capitalism" that those in the Morrissey, tea parties, libertarians, Koch family, and Profits at Any Price school promote.
And, those in that school also tend to forget social issues, which will also play a very major role in Japan's recovery. They're a more cohesive, stratified society than the U.S. and one will note that there have been no food riots or the like as there might have been in the U.S. and there haven't even been any reported looting incidents (link).
UPDATE: From this:
Although the exact sequence of events at the Fukushima plant is still unclear, early assessments suggested that the containment structures weathered last week’s earthquake, but that power from the electric grid was cut off.
Nearly all nuclear facilities use backup diesel generators in such situations to maintain control over a reactor, prevent it from overheating by circulating a cooling agent and begin shutting it down.
But in this case, the subsequent tsunami may have damaged those generators and other components, forcing the use of another layer of backup, battery power.
However, batteries are designed to last only four to eight hours in most cases, just long enough to allow technicians to restore grid or generator power. If there is trouble restoring those power sources, as appears to be the case in Japan, the strategies for cooling the reactor become much more difficult.
All nuclear facilities in the United States deploy similar backup strategies...
And, those backup strategies failed in practice and that should have been foreseen. I'm not at all knowledgeable about nuclear power, but I do know about backups, and I can tell that all contingencies weren't planned for. It's part of the "backup culture", such as having three light sources when going caving or knowing how to make fire and distill water. It was also expressed by Hank Hill having a small can of WD-40 to open the stuck cap on the larger can of WD-40. Obviously no one can be prepared for every extremely slight contingency, but when dealing with extremely dangerous things like radiation it's vital to have multiple layers of backups.
3/15/11 UPDATE: AllahPundit offers yet another example of "capitalism" at work: "Terrific: Containment vessels used at Japanese plant have long been questioned by nuclear experts; Update: Reactor roof cracked?"
questioned-by-nuclear-experts which links to a New York Times story with:
In 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended in a memo that the sort of “pressure-suppression” system used in G.E.’s Mark 1 plants presented unacceptable safety risks and that it should be discontinued. Among his concerns were that the smaller containment design was more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup in hydrogen — a situation that may have unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant…
A written response came later that same year from Joseph Hendrie, who would later become chairman of the N.R.C. He called the idea of a ban on such systems “attractive” because alternative containment systems have the “notable advantage of brute simplicity in dealing with a primary blowdown.”
But he added that the technology had been so widely accepted by the industry and regulatory officials that “reversal of this hallowed policy, particularly at this time, could well be the end of nuclear power.”
Reason Magazine offers the deceptive video "The Week in Stupid: Cable Pundits on the Gifford Shooting" (below). If you trust anything Reason tells you, keep reading.
Did Pima County Sheriff Dupnik ignore Jared Loughner's warning signs before Gabrielle Giffords shooting? - 01/13/11
Almost immediately after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and several others by Jared Lee Loughner, Pima County, Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik began politicizing the tragedy . Part of that politicization was justified, part was not. Specifically, considering the role that an overly hostile political environment might have played in the tragedy and urging calm is acceptable, but naming specific persons (Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh) as possible contributing factors is not.
In any case, supporters and enablers of Palin, Limbaugh, and the tea parties movement responded by going on a witch hunt against Dupnik, using his initial claim that Loughner had made death threats  to claim that Dupnik knew about Loughner's issues and had done nothing. In some cases, they claimed that he had done nothing because Loughner's mother worked for Pima County. 
However, the police reports on Loughner's past contacts with the Pima sheriff's office (summary here; in full here) and Pima Community College (read them here; PDF cached) have been released, and neither indicate any death threats. Loughner's negative past contacts with the Sheriffs are on two minor matters; the contacts with the College are more severe however none of them would seem to offer any reasonable person a clue to what was to come.
So, while Dupnik needlessly politicized this, the teaparty enablers' attempts to smear him as incompetent or corrupt strongly appears to be false. Unless he and his office were mindreaders, there's little they could have done to stop the tragedy.
UPDATE: From this:
Jared Loughner's increasingly menacing behavior, what may look like a psychotic spiral in hindsight, likely would not have been enough to have him forced into psychiatric care, much less arrested... mental-health and legal experts say it's likely that no one could have seen a tragedy coming before Saturday... Even with Arizona's broader laws on involuntary psychiatric commitment, it's still a high bar...
ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting
 From this, search for more:
Dupnik called Arizona a "mecca for prejudice and bigotry," assigning a measure of blame for the rampage that killed six and wounded 14 others to overheated political "vitriol."
Dupnik said there had been earlier contact between Loughner and law enforcement after he had made death threats, although they had not been against Giffords. He said the authorities believe he may not have been working alone.
 The epicenter of tea party claims was the 1/9/11 post "Jared Loughner is a product of Sheriff Dupnik’s office" (thechollajumps.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/
The sheriff has been editorializing and politicizing the event since he took the podium to report on the incident. His blaming of radio personalities and bloggers is a pre-emptive strike because Mr. Dupnik knows this tragedy lays at his feet and his office. Six people died on his watch and he could have prevented it... Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County. Amy Loughner is a Natural Resource specialist for the Pima County Parks and Recreation.
Either that never happened, or the records linked above are incomplete. More than likely, it never happened. "The Cholla Jumps" has a follow-up post (thechollajumps.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/
I had to source the puzzle pieces and vet the information with people who assured me they had first hand information regarding Jared Loughner. I wanted documentation. Unfortunately the mere possesion of the documentation would be a violation of HIPPA laws and the track back would be detrimental to the livelyhoods and lives of the people involved... Anyone in Law Enforcement or Mental Health in Pima County that ever had contact with Mr. Loughner is now in bunker mode. Everyone is afraid of lawsuits down the road. They are evaluating their behavior and checking to make sure they followed all rules governing the care of Jared Loughner... Lawfully some of the people that had knowledge of Mr Loughner could never come forward without subpoena by a lawful authority. Others are just too afraid.
Based on that, it's almost certain that their initial report was just made up.
None of that kept AllahPundit from retransmitting their tale ("Did Clarence Dupnik miss the red flags on Loughner?", hotair.com/archives/2011/01/10/
did-dupnik-miss-the-red-flags-on-loughner), even if he CYAs:
we’re getting lots of e-mails about this post, but I’m unfamiliar with the site and can’t vouch for its credibility. Under those circumstances I’d normally pass on it, but since America’s new standard of journalism requires no supporting evidence whatsoever before tossing an assertion into the news stream, here you go. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t. The important thing is, does it serve your political agenda?
Moe Lane was even less cautious (moelane.com/2011/01/10/
it is not a matter of controversy whether or not Loughner made death threats, or at least it should not be. As was reported by both local sources (via here) and Reuters, Sheriff Dupnik himself revealed that Loughner had made death threats against at least one person who was not Congresswoman Giffords. This happened. What the The Cholla Jumps site is alleging – and which has not yet been confirmed- is the following [claim as above]... The question is, is this true? We don’t know – yet – but it’s certainly plausible. Again, we know that there were death threats made, because Dupnik himself admitted that they had happened (that’s the NPR link). And we also know that Loughner was sufficiently unstable to have been thrown out of college as being, frankly, a menace to the local community. And when I say ‘thrown out’ I want it to be understood that the police were involved, because they were. But it could be that this is not actually a true report: a violent paranoid schizophrenic with a history of erratic behavior might have managed to restrain himself to making death threats to one specific person outside of the jurisdiction of the Pima County Sheriff’s Office – thus making him not specifically the problem of one Clarence Dupnik...
Needless to say, that was linked by Glenn Reynolds (instapundit.com/112919 ).
Note that AllahPundit later admitted "There were no missed red flags as far as I can tell" (hotair.com/archives/2011/01/12/
Confronted, Harry Reid claims illegal aliens aren't working construction jobs (note: in Nevada, maybe on stimulus projects) - 07/13/10
The video at peekURL.com/vvjwb7a shows Harry Reid being confronted about not allowing a vote last year that would have required construction companies hiring in regards to the stimulus plan to use the eVerify system. Reid then seems to make the outrageous claim that no illegal aliens are working construction jobs in Nevada , and that's the way it's being presented by HotAir  and by the low-wattage "StandWithAZ" group (the video was uploaded by them).
Unfortunately, it's not clear whether Reid was referring to all construction jobs or just those funded by the stimulus. In the first case he's, of course, lying through his teeth: as the report points out, Pew Hispanic says that 17% of all construction workers are illegal aliens, and also per Pew, 12.2% of Nevada's labor force are illegal aliens, the highest in the U.S. In the second case, there's very little chance that he's right, but he might be less wrong than in the first case. And, because it's not clear what type of jobs they were talking about - stimulus or just in general - that gives him an out which he may use in the not-very-likely event that Sharron Angle brings it up.
UPDATE: As predicted, Reid has an explanation, even if it's different from the one I suggested above. From politico.com/news/stories/0710/39716.html:
When a reporter from KLAS-TV in Las Vegas told Reid a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center report found 17 percent of the nation’s construction workers were undocumented, the Nevada Democrat replied: “That may be some place, but it’s not here in Nevada.”
Political opponents have tried to twist Reid’s words, saying he believes there are no illegal workers in Nevada. But Reid spokesman Jim Manley clarified his boss’ comments on Wednesday, saying the majority leader was simply disputing the reporter’s statistic and did not say the state has zero illegal workers.
In the past few days, rumors have swirled that Angle is a crypto-Birther. I asked her “flat out” whether she believed Barack Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii, and she replied, “No. Is that flat-out enough for you?” Angle says she “wasn’t dodging” the caller on the radio show now being parsed by the media, in which she replied that the Supreme Court had already ruled on that issue, but instead wanted to talk about Obama’s political qualifications and wanted to politely redirect the conversation. Angle believes that Obama was born in Hawaii and is an American citizen, and also believes that those subjects are nothing more than a distraction that Democrats use to keep attention from their track record.
Angle is not now, nor has she ever been, a Birther. Even some of Morrissey's commenters call him out for McCarthyism. And, neither Morrissey nor Angle are competent enough to turn the birth certificate issue to their advantage. Neither of them are smart enough to figure out that no matter what they say their opponents are going to keep using the issue against them, and they need to do things in a different way.
Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times offers "Democrats Skip Town Halls to Avoid Voter Rage" (nytimes.com/2010/06/07/us/politics/07townhall.html): the tantrums that those in the tea parties threw at last summer's public meetings have caused many Democrats to avoid open meetings this time around: Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the
The video at peekURL.com/v5rn15o shows New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea Porter basically lecturing her constituents at a townhall yesterday. Those on the video (and the one at peekURL.com/vuimsnv ) just aren't in her league. And, that's saying something since Porter appears to be quite a piece of work.
Ron Paul was right: Federal Reserve had involvement in Watergate, money sent to Saddam Hussein (Ben Bernanke) - 02/25/10
Yesterday, Rep. Ron Paul quizzed Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve about that group's involvement in relation to Watergate and to the funding of Saddam Hussein of Iraq (video: peekURL.com/vqxfnme ). Bernanke called that questioning "absolutely bizarre", and several sources (some listed below) joined in.
As it turns out, the Fed in fact did have some sort of involvement with both Watergate and with money that was sent to Saddam, as documented in the book "Deception and Abuse at the Fed: Henry B. Gonzalez Battles Alan Greenspan's Bank" (link). From the blurb:
...Robert Auerbach, a former [U.S. House of Representatives] banking committee investigator, recounts major instances of Fed mismanagement and abuse of power that were exposed by Rep. Gonzalez, including: * Blocking Congress and the public from holding powerful Fed officials accountable by falsely declaring--for 17 years--it had no transcripts of its meetings; * Manipulating the stock and bond markets in 1994 under cover of a preemptive strike against inflation; * Allowing $5.5 billion to be sent to Saddam Hussein from a small Atlanta branch of a foreign bank--the result of faulty bank examination practices by the Fed; * Stonewalling Congressional investigations and misleading the Washington Post about the $6,300 found on the Watergate burglars. Auerbach provides documentation of these and other abuses at the Fed, which confirms Rep. Gonzalez's belief that no government agency should be allowed to operate with the secrecy and independence in which the Federal Reserve has shrouded itself. Auerbach concludes with recommendations for specific, broad-ranging reforms that will make the Fed accountable to the government and the people of the United States.
See also hnn.us/blogs/entries/123737.html and this.
Here are some of those who reflexively supported Bernanke without doing even a little bit of research. The reader is encouraged to add more in comments. Unless otherwise noted, all of the following mock Paul in one way or other, none of them even hint that the Fed was in fact involved in some ways with both issues, and none of them have corrections at post time:
* AllahPundit hotair.com/archives/2010/02/24/ron-paul-grills-bernanke-
wasnt-the-fed-involved-with-saddam-and-in-watergate (no correction at post time)
* NPR npr.org/blogs/money/2010/02/
* Huffington Post huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/24/ben-bernanke-snaps-at-ron_n_474874.html (Note that one of their contributors posted a link to the book at huffingtonpost.com/j-bradley-jansen/bizarre-bernanke_b_475230.html)
Please add more in comments.
UPDATE: Paul has read into the Congressional Record a statement he received from Auerbach (link):
I thank Congressman Ron Paul for bringing to the public’s attention the Federal Reserve coverup of the source of the Watergate burglars’ source of funding and the defective audit by the Federal Reserve of the bank that transferred $5.5 billion from the U.S. government to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. Congressman Paul directed these comments to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the House Financial Services Hearing February 24, 2010. I question Chairman Bernanke’s dismissive response...