Posts tagged President Obama
The City of Boulder recently completed a 2.5-year modernization project of its historic Boulder Canyon Hydroelectric (BCH) facility with the help of a $1.18 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Originally built in 1910, the BCH facility was in need of upgrading if it was to continue to be operable. Without a new turbine and generator, operation of the facility was expected to cease within five years or less.
“Hydropower resources are an important part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to develop all of America’s energy resources. The completion of this important water power project in Colorado demonstrates how investments in America’s clean energy economy are helping to create jobs, diversify America’s energy portfolio and strengthen American energy security,” said David Danielson, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Energy Department.
The BCH facility was originally built by the Central Colorado Power Company for the sole purpose of hydroelectric power production as part of the Boulder Canyon Hydroelectric System. The system began delivering water for Boulder’s municipal water supply in the 1950s. Over the years, the system was owned and operated by numerous companies, and in 2001, the City of Boulder purchased the system from Public Service Co. of Colorado and incorporated it into its hydroelectric program.
“The Boulder Canyon Hydro Facility is extremely unique due to its age, its history, and where and how it was constructed,” said Director of Public Works for Utilities Jeff Arthur. “The effort to upgrade the turbines was arduous and complex. Obviously, the city was concerned with continuing operations at the facility, increasing power generation, and improving safety, but equally as important, was preserving the historical significance of the plant itself. This is a facility the community should be proud to own.”
The modernization project included removing one of two pre-existing 10 megawatt turbine/generators and replacing it with a new five megawatt turbine/generator. The new five megawatt turbine/generator is more appropriately sized for the plant’s power generation and will generate up to 583,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity during its 50-year lifespan. This will, in effect displace the need to burn more than 300,000 tons of coal (the amount needed in a traditional coal-fired plant to produce the same amount of energy). Despite its smaller size, it should also generate up to 30 percent more energy because it is more efficient. The pre-existing turbine/generators were more than 70 years old. One of the original turbine/generators failed in 2000 and was not repaired at that time, but it will remain on site for historical purposes.
Other improvements to the facility included enhanced lightning protection; removal and replacement of aging transformers and an old oil storage tank; upgraded wiring; installation of a state-of-the-art turbine isolation valve; and installing remote monitoring and operation equipment.
The total project cost was approximately $5.155 million and was funded by city water utility funds in addition to the ARRA grant. The ARRA funding was announced by the DOE in November 2009 when it awarded grants to seven different hydropower projects throughout the country.
Approximately 35,000 new work hours were created as a result of the project, or approximately seven full-time jobs. This number does not include the hours needed by subcontractors or the associated work hours created or preserved by using materials that are manufactured in the United States, as this project did.
“The city is grateful for the funding support we received from the Department of Energy,” said City Manager Jane Brautigam. “Without that support, completing this complex project would have been difficult, if not impossible. As with most of our capital projects, Boulder places a high level of importance on leveraging local funds with other funding sources so that we can make improvements that appeal to the greater good of the community. We are all proud of this project and expect to see this facility continue its important role of providing our community with clean energy well into the future.”
Boulder’s Hydro Program
Beginning in the early 1980s, Boulder recognized the potential for hydroelectric energy generation within its water system and began developing facilities to produce electricity as a by-product of its water utility operations. Today, Boulder owns and operates eight hydroelectric facilities. These hydroelectric plants produce environmentally friendly hydroelectricity by making use of pressure developed in the water supply pipelines due to the large elevation drop between the city’s water sources in the mountains and delivery points on the plains. This pressure must be reduced to treat and deliver the water and would otherwise be wasted through pressure-reducing valves. Revenue from the sale of the electricity produced by the hydro plants allows the city to maintain lower water rates for its customers.
By the end of 2011, the city had generated approximately 612,531,577 kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity since its first hydroelectric project began operation in 1985. Sale of this power has produced approximately $27,095,110 of revenue and has also provided environmental benefits by displacing the need to burn approximately 306,266 tons of coal, preventing the greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from traditional coal-fired power generation facilities.
The BCH facility is located on Boulder Creek west of the city. The plant’s power is generated using water diverted at Barker Reservoir that is transported approximately 11.5 miles in the Barker Gravity Pipeline and experiences a 1,800-foot elevation drop to the BCH building.
Analysis of election factors points to
Romney win, University of Colorado study says
A University of Colorado analysis of state-by-state factors leading to the Electoral College selection of every U.S. president since 1980 forecasts that the 2012 winner will be Mitt Romney.
The key is the economy, say political science professors Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder and Michael Berry of CU Denver. Their prediction model stresses economic data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, including both state and national unemployment figures as well as changes in real per capita income, among other factors.
“Based on our forecasting model, it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble,” said Bickers, also director of the CU in DC Internship Program.
According to their analysis, President Barack Obama will win 218 votes in the Electoral College, short of the 270 he needs. And though they chiefly focus on the Electoral College, the political scientists predict Romney will win 52.9 percent of the popular vote to Obama’s 47.1 percent, when considering only the two major political parties.
“For the last eight presidential elections, this model has correctly predicted the winner,” said Berry. “The economy has seen some improvement since President Obama took office. What remains to be seen is whether voters will consider the economy in relative or absolute terms. If it’s the former, the president may receive credit for the economy’s trajectory and win a second term. In the latter case, Romney should pick up a number of states Obama won in 2008.”
Their model correctly predicted all elections since 1980, including two years when independent candidates ran strongly, 1980 and 1992. It also correctly predicted the outcome in 2000, when Al Gore received the most popular vote but George W. Bush won the election.
The study will be published this month in PS: Political Science & Politics, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Political Science Association. It will be among about a dozen election prediction models, but one of only two to focus on the Electoral College.
While many forecast models are based on the popular vote, the Electoral College model developed by Bickers and Berry is the only one of its type to include more than one state-level measure of economic conditions.
In addition to state and national unemployment rates, the authors looked at per capita income, which indicates the extent to which people have more or less disposable income. Research shows that these two factors affect the major parties differently: Voters hold Democrats more responsible for unemployment rates while Republicans are held more responsible for per capita income.
Accordingly — and depending largely on which party is in the White House at the time — each factor can either help or hurt the major parties disproportionately.
Their results show that “the apparent advantage of being a Democratic candidate and holding the White House disappears when the national unemployment rate hits 5.6 percent,” Berry said. The results indicate, according to Bickers, “that the incumbency advantage enjoyed by President Obama, though statistically significant, is not great enough to offset high rates of unemployment currently experienced in many of the states.”
In an examination of other factors, the authors found that none of the following had any statistically significant effect on whether a state ultimately went for a particular candidate: The location of a party’s national convention; the home state of the vice president; or the partisanship of state governors.
In 2012, “What is striking about our state-level economic indicator forecast is the expectation that Obama will lose almost all of the states currently considered as swing states, including North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida,” Bickers said.
In Colorado, which went for Obama in 2008, the model predicts that Romney will receive 51.9 percent of the vote to Obama’s 48.1 percent, again with only the two major parties considered.
The authors also provided caveats. Factors they said may affect their prediction include the timeframe of the economic data used in the study and close tallies in certain states. The current data was taken five months in advance of the Nov. 6 election and they plan to update it with more current economic data in September. A second factor is that states very close to a 50-50 split may fall an unexpected direction.
“As scholars and pundits well know, each election has unique elements that could lead one or more states to behave in ways in a particular election that the model is unable to correctly predict,” Berry said.
Election prediction models “suggest that presidential elections are about big things and the stewardship of the national economy,” Bickers said. “It’s not about gaffes, political commercials or day-to-day campaign tactics. I find that heartening for our democracy.”
When President Obama was in Colorado Springs this past Friday, he gave his weekly address from the fire zone. For our state that is really something and we appreciate his being here.
“President Barack Obama intends to publish a weekly video address every Saturday morning of his presidency.
Weekly Address: An All-Hands-On-Deck Approach to Fighting the Colorado Wildfires
President Obama speaks to the American people from Colorado, where he toured areas impacted by the devastating Waldo Canyon fire and met with first responders as well as families affected by the fires. The President thanks the brave firefighters and countless volunteers who are providing food, water, and shelter to those in need, and makes clear that his administration will continue to bring all resources available to assist efforts to combat the fires.”
There is a broad consensus that a military strike is both unnecessary and dangerous
Several former high-level military and intelligence officials took out a full page ad in Monday’s Washington Post urging President Obama to resist pressure to attack Iran nuclear program.
The letter retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard Jr., retired Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar, retired Army Brig. Gen. John H. Johns, retired Army Maj. Gen. Rudolph Ostovich III, former deputy director of National Intelligence for analysis Thomas Fingar, former CIA national intelligence officer Paul Pillar, and retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson.
The page is headlined “Mr. President: Say No to a War of Choice with Iran,” and is sponsored by the National Iranian American Council, a non-partisan, non-profit organization headquartered in Washington. The letter states that “not every challenge has a military solution” and “unless we or an ally is attacked, war should be the option of last resort.
The ad also features quotations by current and former senior military and intelligence officials explaining why attacking Iran is the wrong move. Those include Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former CENTCOM Commander Gen. Anthony Zinni, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen.
Occupy & 350.org Crash Boehner’s Office over Backroom Attempt to Revive Keystone XL
Fossil fuel industry spent over $42 million to elect politicians involved; Activists respond with “Human Oil Spill” on Boehner’s front door
Cincinnati, OH- Members of Occupy Cincinnati joined climate activists in storming House Speaker John Boehner’s West Chester, Ohio office this morning with a “human oil spill” in response to last night’s vote to force through Keystone XL. The fossil fuel industry has poured an estimated $42,000,000 into campaign coffers of the 234 House members voting in favor, including $1,100,000 to Rep. Boehner alone, according to OpenSecrets.org. The industry lists the pipeline as a top priority.
“The House brings shame on itself when its members take tens of millions in big oil money and then do the industry’s bidding. Keystone XL creates no net jobs and pours carbon into the atmosphere. That’s why millions across the country opposed it,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. “Its only beneficiaries are the fossil fuel industry and the politicians they support.”.
A Cornell Global Labor Institute study found that any jobs stemming from the pipeline’s construction were likely be outweighed by the environmental damage it caused and a rise in gas prices in the Midwest.
Activists upset by corporate influence on the process created a “human oil spill” in front of Rep. Boehner’s office early today. Dressed in black, they used their bodies to represent the toxic tar sands oil that would likely spill over precious farmland and critical aquifers in the heart of our nation if the pipeline is built.
“Hundreds of Ohioans travelled to Washington, DC to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Now John Boehner is trying to push it through despite mass opposition from his constituents. I’m fed up with politicians doing the bidding of their corporate benefactors,” stated Casey Abernathy, a computer software engineer and member of Occupy Cincinnati
Today’s rally is the latest in a 4-month national grassroots uprising in response to the proposed pipeline. The campaign kicked off in August with a two-week protest that resulted in more than 1,200 arrests. The most recent featured 12,000 people circling the White House which resulted in President Obama delaying his decision on the pipeline
CNNMoney reports there is a new threat to home prices. The threat is coming from the culmination of all financial issues facing Washington. Between the growing national debt, the harrowing financial markets, and the weaning economic market, signs point to a growing threat against home prices. The issue: home mortgages will feel pressure on prices in high-end markets. New loan limits are coming into play and these limits will mostly affect high-end markets and is said to affect 8% of the total U.S. housing market.
You may be thinking, this will not affect me, this is only about high-end homes, wrong! If expensive homes stop selling, then prices for the houses under them will feel the pressure too. As this issue will fall from high-end to low-end there is threat to the housing market. Experts believe that President Obama will propose a major housing-related stimulus in the coming weeks as part of a broader economic plan. May it be cutting conforming loans or creating more hurdles for ‘jumbo’ loans.
I will be keeping tabs on this story as it progresses.
Bill Allen, broker associate, RE/MAX of Boulder INC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Next year, President Obama will join thousands of other Democrats on ballots in all 50 states.
These next 19 months will provide some of the best opportunities for community organizing that this movement has ever seen — and we’re looking for a few more folks to join the Summer Organizer Program and take the lead.
From June 4th to August 6th, summer organizers will help lay the groundwork for 2012 across the country, planning events, registering voters, and building neighborhood teams.
These organizers are the future leaders of this movement — will you be one of them?
If you haven’t already, apply here by Monday, April 18th, or pass this message along to anyone else who might be interested.
If selected, you’ll hit the ground running with top-notch training to learn how to recruit new volunteers, manage resources wisely, and run an efficient operation.
Then you’ll get to work in the states. Maybe you’ll run a local strategy session in Philadelphia. Maybe you’ll register voters at a concert in Las Vegas. Maybe you’ll empower a supporter to become a team leader in Dallas.
Or maybe you’ll help fire up a big crowd before the President takes the stage.
No experience is necessary, and anyone can apply — but you need to do so by midnight on Monday, April 18th:
See you out there,
National Field Director
Obama for America
Yesterday, Barack Obama and Joe Biden began their 2012 campaign. Tonight, they want to talk to you.
At 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, the President and Vice President will be holding a campaign conference call for the supporters and volunteers who’ve powered this movement for the past two years. I hope you can join us.
As the 2012 campaign kicks off, we want to thank you for all that you’ve done, give a briefing on next steps as we build a new organization upon the foundation we’ve built together, and get everyone fired up for what lies ahead.
RSVP here to join tonight’s call, or listen live online.
We’ve accomplished a lot over the last two years — but our work is far from done.
President Obama needs to continue his efforts to put Americans back to work and more fundamentally change the way business gets done in Washington. And while he keeps his focus on the job he was elected to do, he’s relying more than ever on supporters like you to start laying the groundwork — so we’re prepared for when the race hits full speed next year.
You can get in on the ground floor as we build this campaign.
Please join the President on tonight’s phone call. RSVP here to get a call at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, or to listen in online:
If you can’t make tonight’s kick-off call, there will be another one this Thursday, April 7th, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. David Axelrod and I will talk about the strategy for the first few months of this campaign — RSVP here for that second call.
Talk to you soon,
We are excited to announce the start of demolition and abatement! We will begin with the removal of the cinder block classrooms built in the 1950′s and 1960′s and start our site work soon after. This past week our site development loan was closed and the final civil engineering and landscape plans for Phase I were submitted to the City for approval. The architectural design work has been progressing on the single-family homes, and unit design meetings are happening this month with the community members that have reserved units in the historic school building. Current plans are to start two or three of the single-family homes, the historic school building, and the Carriage residences, by May or June, depending on the timing for building permits.
-Steven Toot, VP of Construction
Establishing a Healthy, Sustainable Lifestyle for an Aging Generation
by Chuck Durrett
Last year Americans drove 5 billion miles caring for seniors in their homes (Meals on Wheels, Whistle Stop Nurses, and so on). In our small, semi-rural county in the Sierra foothills, Telecare made 60,000 trips in massive, lumbering, polluting vans-buses – usually carrying only one senior at a time – schlepping a couple thousand seniors total over hill and dale to doctor’s appointments, to pick up medicine, or to see friends. In our cohousing community of 21 seniors, I have never seen a single Telecare bus in the driveway. In cohousing it happens organically by caring neighbors: “Can I catch a ride with you?”; “Are you headed to the drug store?”, etc. And this alternative is much more fun and inexpensive for all involved, and much less damaging to the environment. Wolf Creek Lodge, a new senior cohousing community under construction, has 30 units on 1 acre within walking distance of downtown Grass Valley, CA. population 12,000. Top of mind, one future household will be moving from a 20 acre lot, 9 miles from town, another from 15 acres, also 9 miles out of town, and another from 13 acres, 7 miles from town. These are young seniors planning not only to live more sustainably, but more fulfilling as well.
Bill Thomas, M.D. and prominent author on issues affecting seniors, describes our currently predominant scenario of caring for seniors as the “$3 trillion dollar dilemma.” The cost of care for the 78 million new senior/baby boomers “coming of age” in the next 20 years will be $3 trillion dollars more per year than it is now (and that is in a nation with a $13 trillion dollar GDP – to put it into perspective). It goes without saying, that the current pattern is not sustainable from an environmental, cultural or financial point of view.
President Obama has announced that for us to arrest global warming, we will have to reduce carbon emissions by 2% per year until 2050. It seems doable, but last year, carbon emissions increased by 1.4% – we are headed in the wrong direction. Given this situation, we’ve got to do something. We need to think collectively about how to set seniors up for success and to help them achieve their full potential into their last 20-30 years and how to set the environment up for success at the same time. Cohousing is for seniors who want to be a part of the solution.
SENIOR COHOUSING WORKSHOP APRIL 11-15, 2011
Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living, second edition published by New Society Publishers (www.newsociety.com) – and the type of communities it describes and helps to create – allows seniors to live lightly on the planet and to enhance their quality of life at the same time.
Boulder Feb 24 2011 BELOW:This material sent to Boulder Channel 1 news as Birthers
bid to show their point of view. Birthers also claim suppression by American news media. Below is the Birther communique from their outlaw head quarters in Longmont Colorado. Boulder channel 1 news does not side with these rebels , but we believe in the First Amendment to the Constutution of the United States of America and that their point of view should be published:
“”They have spent millions on trying
to keep this from the American people. Should be
to see how they try
and lie their way out of this one.
Obama’s authentic birth certificate from Coast Memorial Hospital,
in Mombasa, KENYA. Now the task is to get the courts to authenticate
it and then ask Mr Obama to leave the white house.
Here it is, folks! The document we have been waiting for! Now
if only SOMEONE in Congress or the Supreme Court will act on this!
Spread this around…..if these documents are as authentic as they
certainly seem to be, Obama is NOT qualified to be our President and
he sits in the White House illegalThis is what Obama has spent almost $1M (so far) to hide. This is a ‘certified copy’ – please notice it was signed on February 17th, 1964, and it was provided based on the REAL Birth Certificate, below.
Here’s a close-up of the top of the document where you can plainly read his name and his parent’s names, etc.
A British history buff was asked if he could find out who the colonial registrar was for Mombasa in 1961.
the above has been sent to Boulder Channel 1 news as their bid to show their point of view.They also claim suppression by American news media.
This is an extraordinary speech by president Obama, probably his best yet. it is about the fallen.
This Wednesday, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, First Lady Michelle Obama is going to join OFA supporters for a Vote 2010 ca0
This Wednesday, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, First Lady Michelle Obama is going to join OFA supporters for a Vote 2010 call — and I wanted to make sure you got the invitation to hop on.
She’ll talk about the work we’ve all been doing together and the importance of volunteering in the final four weeks before the November elections.
When you RSVP, you’ll give the number you wish to use to participate — then you’ll get a call before noon Eastern Time on Wednesday.
With just 29 days left until the elections — and early voting already underway in several states — we’re in the final stretch of our Vote 2010 campaign.
And with so little time until November 2nd, this call with Michelle Obama will be an exciting way to get motivated for the work we have left to accomplish together.
Please RSVP to join the First Lady on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time:
Organizing for America
P.S. — On Tuesday, October 12th, President Obama will be joining OFA supporters via a live webcast at house parties nationwide. If you haven’t already, can you sign up to host one in Boulder?
Boulder police investigate serious injury accident
The Boulder Police Department’s Traffic Section is investigating a serious injury accident that occurred at about 3:10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, on 28th Street north of Canyon Boulevard.
A 15-year-old pedestrian, identified as Nikisha Young, was crossing the southbound lanes of 28th Street about 275 feet north of Canyon Boulevard when she was hit by a Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee, driven by Susan Sanders, 30, of Boulder, was headed southbound in the right turn lane for westbound Canyon Boulevard. The pedestrian, who was not in a crosswalk, ran into the right turn lane and collided with the front driver’s side of the Jeep. The pedestrian was taken to Boulder Community Hospital. She sustained a fractured right leg, fractured right arm and fractured right jaw.
The investigation revealed that the driver of the Jeep Cherokee did not commit any traffic violations and could not have seen the approaching pedestrian.
The Boulder Municipal Prosecutor’s Office and the Boulder Police Department agreed that the pedestrian will not be issued a citation.
The case number for this incident is 10-8435.Anyone with information about this accident is asked to contact Sgt. Jack Walker at 303-441-4314.
Did You Know?
The Chamber Board opposes three tax and government measures for this November’s statewide ballot (Amendments 60 & 61 and Proposition 101) that would negatively impact state and local government entities to provide services critical to attract and retain businesses. Read more.
Event Spotlight: Networking with Confidence
Learn from local pros how to network with confidence, practice good etiquette and add a sense of adventure to your business. Our presenters will offer insight into their networking styles and provide useful tools to help you make meaningful connections. Practice included.
Roundtable topics: Networking & the Art of Listening, Be a Resource for Connections, Networking is a Contact Sport, and Building Power Partnering. Cost is included in your Chamber membership ($25 for non-members).
Presenters: Nancy Chin-Wagner, Arbonne International; Peggy Goehringer, Homebased Business Group; Brent Hultman, Taggart Insurance; and Chris Ratay, Re/Max Alliance
Tues., July 20 | 11am-12:30pm | Chamber Center, 2440 Pearl St. | Register
This month’s Business After Hours at Amadeus Consulting on July 21 has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience.
CONNECT FOR LUNCH
Wed., July 14 | 12-1pm | More info>>
START-UP ESSENTIALS (Boulder SBDC)
Wed., July 14 | 1-4:30pm | Chamber Center, 2440 Pearl St. | Register >>
RIBBON CUTTING AT ADVENTURES WITHIN REACH
Thurs., July 15 | 4-5pm | 1200 Pearl St. #60
| Details >>
Ribbon cuttings sponsored by FastFrame.
View the full event calendar
It’s been less than four months since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act — and, because of reform, about 1 million uninsured Americans are expected to receive coverage by next year. And that’s just the start.
A new bill of rights for patients is starting to take effect, and the worst abuses of the insurance industry are coming to an end. As the President recently announced, the Patient’s Bill of Rights will ban rescission of coverage, stop discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, and place restrictions on annual limits.
This is an incredibly important first step for reform, and we need your help. We’ve put together an information sheet that breaks down exactly what the Patient’s Bill of Rights does. To start spreading the word in your own community, print it out and pass it along to your friends, post in your local coffee shop and grocery store, or bring it along with you when going door-to-door.
There are those who still aren’t sure about health reform, but as the law takes effect, we have a new opportunity to convince the skeptics. OFA supporters are the very best communicators and organizers in communities all across the county — you can bring the debate out of D.C. and into your town, and this information sheet is a great tool we believe will help.
The Affordable Care Act works to put consumers back in charge of their health coverage and care. And because of the Patient’s Bill of Rights, Americans can know that their insurance will be there when they need it most.
The more information sheets we put in visible places, the stronger the message we’ll send about our support for health reform and President Obama. Share it with your friends. Mail it to your family members. If you’re a medical professional, post it in your office or waiting room. Be creative — anything you do will be a huge help in making sure Americans understand what the new law does for them.
Will you help us make the case for change? Download your information sheet and share the Patient’s Bill of Rights with five friends today:
Organizing for America
Spoiler alert: Barring unforeseen circumstances, Elena Kagan will be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Even Fox News admits as much. Reporter Carl Cameron called her confirmation “likely”; Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace said she’ll “sail through”; Fox political analyst Charles Krauthammer called it “a shoo-in”; Fox reporter Shannon Bream predicted she’ll get GOP votes; and Fox senior analyst Brit Hume said there’s “nothing” that would merit a filibuster.
Part of the reason for her expected confirmation is that Kagan not only has bipartisan support and a “fantastic resume,” but the ammunition prepared against her in the weeks leading up to the hearings — see them debunked by Media Matters here — have fallen flat.
Still, that hasn’t stopped Republicans and their conservative media counterparts from pushing tired falsehoods and myths. But why fight a battle when even their cheerleaders at Fox think the outcome has been virtually decided?
As conservatives made clear months before the hearings, the opposition is based on politics rather than Kagan’s actual qualifications and opinions. In other words, the Kagan confirmation battle is just one piece of the larger battle for the Supreme Court. As Democrats hold confirmation power in the U.S. Senate, and nomination power in the White House, conservatives need to shift power in upcoming elections. And on point, conservative media figures have used the Kagan hearings to drum up old caricatures about Democrats and progressives on old base issues like god, guns, abortion and the military.
The most popular Kagan myth is that she banned military recruiters while dean at Harvard Law. In reality, Harvard students had access to military recruiters throughout her tenure, were allowed access to Harvard’s Office of Career Services, and military veterans at Harvard Law spoke out in favor of Kagan.
Those facts haven’t stopped Fox News, The Washington Times, the New York Post, and The Weekly Standard from pushing the “military ban” myth. The talking point also found prominence on the Sunday talk shows, where the hosts for CNN, Fox, and NBC failed to challenge Republican officials spouting the attack.
With his characteristic charm, botanist Michael Savage, who also hosts a radio show, called Kagan “an unqualified idiot” because she puts her “gay agenda” ahead of national security. Rush Limbaugh said Kagan “doesn’t like the U.S. military.” Laura Ingraham claimed Kagan believes “military recruiters are second-class citizens.” And radio host and Washington Times columnist Jeff Kuhner claimed Kagan’s action towards military recruiters “was an act of treason.”
Conservatives have also set their sights on a memo Kagan wrote in 1987, distorting it to claim that she’s anti-Second amendment. CNN’s Erick Erickson, last seen touting his wife’s shotgun and calling Justice David Souter a “goat fucking child molester,” said Kagan is “hostile to Second Amendment rights.” Michelle Malkin wrote that Kagan has “hostility to the 2nd Amendment.” And Limbaugh claimed Kagan “would have voted against the Second Amendment.”
In reality, Kagan’s Second Amendment views are within the mainstream, and Justice Antonin Scalia has agreed with Kagan that Second Amendment rights are “not unlimited.”
Conservative media have also ramped up claims that Kagan is hostile to religion. Late last week, Matt Drudge promoted an attack by Rabbi Yehuda Levin of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, who attacked Kagan for turning “traditional Judaism on its head” because she supposedly wants to “homosexualize every segment of society.” Strong words made more understandable when one realizes that Rabbi Levin is a hateful bigot. Not only has he spent much of his adult life protesting gays and lesbians (even going so far as to protest the inclusion of gays in a Holocaust museum), Rabbi Levin has claimed gays are responsible for 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in Haiti. Fun fact: they’re not!
Savage, the fourth most popular radio talker in the country, has provided a clearinghouse for personal attacks on Kagan. He called “Kagan the pagan” a “bagel and lox Jew” who “shuns her own religion.” He also said Kagan has “aesthetics” problems, “looks like she belongs in a kosher deli,” and “we understand that they gave her makeup, lipstick, and pearls to make her look like a woman.”
When it comes to abortion, Fox News host and recovering lawyer Megyn Kelly falsely claimed that Kagan advised President Clinton to “essentially” endorse a health exception that would have allowed women to “get an abortion in the third trimester” because of “a headache.” In reality, Kagan advocated for a middle position that would have banned late-term abortions with a narrowly drawn health exception.
Limbaugh took the baby-killer meme one step further by claiming that Kagan “may have a bigger problem with me eating an egg than with a woman killing her child.”
If the Kagan myths and smears sound familiar, it’s because they’re virtually the same caricatures used against Democrats for years. Barack Obama, you’ll remember, is the pro-baby killing candidate with questionable faith and a desire to replace the military and take your guns.
Of course, none of that has happened. The claims were rhetorical grandstanding for votes, money, and viewers — a playbook repeated during the Kagan hearings.
Fox News still failing econ
Earlier this week, America’s Newsroom, one of Fox News’ purported straight news programs, aired a chart claiming to show “job loss by quarter.” What the chart actually showed was the number of unemployed during four random quarters over the past two-and-a-half years — and Fox News’ lax research standards and accountability.
As Media Matters’ Jocie Fong noted, Fox News’ chart appears to have been deliberately manipulated to generate a less favorable trend line for the Obama administration. The chart used a straight red line to show that job loses have been on the rise since December 2007 to this month. But the chart distorted the scale of the horizontal and vertical axes and included only four data points, thereby omitting any information from the 15-month period between March 2009 and June 2010. Fox viewers came away with the false notion that the unemployment trend has been unchanged since the beginning of the recession.
On Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade — whose economic background includes charting the number of Swedish “pure genes” compared to those of Americans — said the chart shows the stimulus “doesn’t seem to be helping” (prominent economics not named Kilmeade disagree).
Fox & Friends also repeatedly attacked Obama’s recent town hall remarks on the stimulus by falsely referring to the stimulus as the “bailout” and claiming that it “didn’t work.” Fox News, and their colleagues in the conservative media, also falsely suggested that Vice President Joe Biden admitted the stimulus failed when he said, “There’s no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession”; and attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for stating that unemployment insurance stimulates the economy and creates jobs (economists agree that extending unemployment insurance has a strong stimulative effect on GDP and employment during a recession).
As regular readers of Media Matters know, mistakes like this are fairly common for Fox News. In that vein, Media Matters sent its seventh letter to Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente to ask how the network would handle its recent on-air errors, such as the bogus “job loss” chart, in light of the network’s “zero tolerance” policy. Media Matters has sent Clemente six previous letters about such errors but has yet to receive a response.
Glenn Beck’s principles don’t apply to Glenn Beck
Back in early January 2009, as President Obama was preparing to enter the White House, Glenn Beck was readying his own (lower-stakes) move from CNN Headline News to Fox News. Promoing his forthcoming show, Beck claimed he was “tired of the politics of left and right” and decried conservatives who say things like “Oh, those donkeys trying to turn us into communist Russia.” He then yelled, “Stop!”
Beck’s proclamation was a tad hypocritical since he had a long, pre-Fox history of comparing progressives to Russian communists, Marxists and socialists. And in the first several weeks of his Fox News program, Beck continued the trend by similarly smearing Democrats and their policies.
Fast forward to today. As Media Matters’ Ben Dimiero noted, history professor Beck has spent significant time trying to rehabilitate the supposed unfairly tarnished legacy of Joseph McCarthy. Beck added that today, “Marxism is alive and well” and “thriving here in the United States.” In other words, as Beck might put it, “those donkeys [are] trying to turn us into communist Russia.”
Speaking of fear-mongering about “Marxism,” Beck also continued to attack President Obama’s family this week, stating: “[H]is dad leaves him for Marxism, his mom leaves him for Marxism.” Just weeks ago, Beck commented that “there is absolutely no excuse or reason to ever, ever, ever, ever even come close to the line of dragging somebody’s family into the debate.”
Glenn Beck’s principles simply don’t apply to Glenn Beck.
This weekly wrap-up was compiled by Eric Hananoki, a research fellow at Media Matters for America.