Election Day primer — and pushback against preemptive Democrat-media spin

Michelle Malkin 

Lead Story

Election Day primer — and pushback against preemptive Democrat-media spin

By Michelle Malkin  •  November 2, 2009 09:55 PM

Joshua Culling at the National Taxpayers Union has a handy primer on the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, plus overviews of state ballot initiatives across the country.

Read and bookmark here.

For NY-23, check 73wire, The Other McCain, Riehl World View, and TCOT Report.

Mark Blumenthal at Pollster.com has analysis on NY-23 polls and concludes:

…my experience conducting surveys for political campaigns, especially in Congressional districts in non-presidential year races, taught me the value of the vote history available on registered voter lists. More often than not, surveys I helped conduct based on such lists came closer representing the true likely electorate than media RDD samples which, like the Siena survey, disclose little to nothing about their likely voter screen or demographic composition.

Add to that the potential advantages of a self-administered automated survey in getting voters to provide more honest answers about whether they plan to vote and who they plan to vote for, and I find it difficult to ignore the PPP results. Hoffman looks like he’s headed to a comfortable victory.

Democrats and their media water-carriers got a head-start with this preemptive AP piece downplaying anticipated GOP wins.

So:

Tea Party movement? Doesn’t mean anything.

Nationwide government health care takeover revolt? Doesn’t mean anything.

Gallup poll showing “Conservatives Maintain Edge as Top Ideological Group?” Doesn’t mean anything.

Tomorrow doesn’t mean anything.

Tomorrow doesn’t mean anything.

Tomorrow doesn’t mean anything.

Tomorrow doesn’t mean anything.

If they plug their ears, stamp their feet, and say it often enough, maybe they can wish tomorrow and the conservative surge all away.

***

Notice I said conservative surge. Not Republican. Read and send Doctor Zero’s excellent essay on the Stupid Party to every clueless GOP leader you know. Excerpt:

The radical nature of the current Administration makes the idea of “moderate” compromise laughable. What’s the moderate position on freedom-crushing trillion-dollar health care and environmentalist legislation? They’re okay, as long as the Democrats pinky-swear to keep the cost under $800 billion? That’s the kind of promise no politician could keep, even if it was made in earnest. A moderate Republican is someone who lives in a state of perpetual surprise as he ponders the monthly bills for nanny-state government. What’s the point of electing people who are guaranteed to spend the rest of their political careers complaining about how they’ve been played for fools?

Too much of the Republicans’ “Stupid Party” strategy is based on the mechanics of getting people with little elephants on their campaign signs elected. They view the election as the conclusion of a contest, when in fact it’s only the beginning. A successful Republican Party doesn’t have to be ideologically rigid, but it should insist on candidates who possess an intellectual foundation of conservative theory, and the ability to explain it at least as well as the thousands of people posting comments on conservative blogs.

***

Brace for Democrat dirty deeds, led by — who else?ACORN.

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Stimulus and the Jobless Recovery

Stimulus and the Jobless Recovery

November 3rd, 2009

By Edward Lazear, Wall Street Journal

Maybe we should look at unemployment rather than bogus “jobs saved” claims

With the news that GDP grew at 3.5% in the third quarter, it seems apparent that economic recovery is underway. How much of this was a result of government programs? To evaluate this, it is important to understand what constitutes a recovery. There are three developments needed to restore the economy to its prior vibrancy.

The first development, bank stabilization, began in late autumn of last year. The source of the recession was financial-sector turmoil that commenced in August 2007 and peaked in early autumn 2008. Although we did not know it at the time, by the end of 2008 the financial crisis had passed. Financial markets were far from normal, but the panics and major collapses that characterized September 2008 were behind us, and no others arose. This financial-sector stabilization created the environment that is allowing our economy to heal.

This past January, at the end of my term as chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, my agency released the White House economic forecast. At that time, I said that I foresaw a couple of bad quarters but expected that the second half of 2009 would be positive, with perhaps very strong growth in 2010.

These forecasts assumed no stimulus; the projected turnaround was instead based on the natural rebound of the economy that would come after the financial crisis had eased. The resumption of GDP growth, which is the second development on the road to full recovery, probably began in late spring of this year.

The third recovery factor—job growth—will be slower to develop. In a shallower recession that ended in late 2001, job growth did not become positive until 2003.

Historically, recoveries have a consistent pattern: Productivity grows first, then jobs are created, and finally wages rise.

Read More:

National Education Association recommends Saul Allinsky

November 03, 2009

National Education Association recommends Saul Allinsky

Right there on the official website:
“An inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community! And to every organizer!” [bold in original]
Hat tip: Jeff R.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/11/national_education_association.html at November 03, 2009 – 08:42:44 AM EST

NYT: GORE’S BIG PROFITS FROM ‘GLOBAL WARMING’…

Gore’s Dual Role in Spotlight: Advocate and Investor

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Al Gore thought he had spotted a winner last year when a small California firm sought financing for an energy-saving technology from the venture capital firm where Mr. Gore is a partner.

The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient. It came to Mr. Gore’s firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers, looking for $75 million to expand its partnerships with utilities seeking to install millions of so-called smart meters in homes and businesses.

Mr. Gore and his partners decided to back the company, and in gratitude Silver Spring retained him and John Doerr, another Kleiner Perkins partner, as unpaid corporate advisers.

The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts. Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr. Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.

Silver Spring Networks is a foot soldier in the global green energy revolution Mr. Gore hopes to lead. Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy as Mr. Gore and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes.

Critics, mostly on the political right and among global warming skeptics, say Mr. Gore is poised to become the world’s first “carbon billionaire,” profiteering from government policies he supports that would direct billions of dollars to the business ventures he has invested in.

Representative Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, asserted at a hearing this year that Mr. Gore stood to benefit personally from the energy and climate policies he was urging Congress to adopt.

Mr. Gore says that he is simply putting his money where his mouth is.

“Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?” Mr. Gore said. “I am proud of it. I am proud of it.”

In an e-mail message this week, he said his investment activities were consistent with his public advocacy over decades.

“I have advocated policies to promote renewable energy and accelerate reductions in global warming pollution for decades, including all of the time I was in public service,” Mr. Gore wrote. “As a private citizen, I have continued to advocate the same policies. Even though the vast majority of my business career has been in areas that do not involve renewable energy or global warming pollution reductions, I absolutely believe in investing in ways that are consistent with my values and beliefs. I encourage others to invest in the same way.”

Mr. Gore has invested a significant portion of the tens of millions of dollars he has earned since leaving government in 2001 in a broad array of environmentally friendly energy and technology business ventures, like carbon trading markets, solar cells and waterless urinals.

He has also given away millions more to finance the nonprofit he founded, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and to another group, the Climate Project, which trains people to present the slide show that was the basis of his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Royalties from his new book on climate change, “Our Choice,” printed on 100 percent recycled paper, will go to the alliance, an aide said.

Other public figures, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who have vocally supported government financing of energy-saving technologies, have investments in alternative energy ventures. Some scientists and policy advocates also promote energy policies that personally enrich them.

As a private citizen, Mr. Gore does not have to disclose his income or assets, as he did in his years in Congress and the White House. When he left government in early 2001, he listed assets of less than $2 million, including homes in suburban Washington and in Tennessee.

Since then, his net worth has skyrocketed, helped by timely investments in Apple and Google, profits from books and his movie, and scores of speeches for which he can be paid more than $100,000, although he often speaks at no charge.

He is a founder of Generation Investment Management, based in London and run by David Blood, a former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (the firm was quickly dubbed Blood and Gore). Mr. Gore earns a partner’s salary at Kleiner Perkins. He has substantial personal finances invested at both firms, officials of the companies said.

He also serves as an adviser to high-profile technology companies including Apple and Google, relationships that have paid him handsome dividends over the last eight years.

Mr. Gore’s spokeswoman would not give a figure for his current net worth, but the scale of his wealth is evident in a single investment of $35 million in Capricorn Investment Group, a private equity fund started by his friend Jeffrey Skoll, the first president of eBay.

Ion Yadigaroglu, a co-founder of Capricorn, said that Mr. Gore does not sit on the fund’s investment committee, but obviously agrees with the partners’ strategy of putting long-term money into promising ventures in energy, technology and health care around the globe.

“Aspirationally,” said Mr. Yadigaroglu, who holds a doctorate from Stanford in astrophysics, “we’re trying to make more money than others doing the same thing and do it in a way that is superior in ethics and impacts.”

Mr. Gore has said he invested in partnerships and funds that try to identify and support companies that are advancing cutting-edge green technologies and are paving the way toward a low-carbon economy.

He has a stake in the world’s pre-eminent carbon credit trading market and in an array of companies in bio-fuels, sustainable fish farming, electric vehicles and solar power.

Capricorn holds a major stake in Falcon Waterfree Technologies, the world’s leading maker of waterless urinals. Generation has holdings in Ausra, a solar energy company based in California, and Camco, a British firm that develops carbon dioxide emissions reduction projects. Kleiner Perkins has a green ventures fund with nearly $1 billion invested in renewable energy and efficiency concerns.

Mr. Gore also has substantial interests in technology, media and biotechnology ventures that have no direct tie to his environmental advocacy, an aide said.

Mr. Gore is not a lobbyist, and he has never asked Congress or the administration for an earmark or policy decision that would directly benefit one of his investments. But he has been a tireless advocate for policies that would move the country away from the use of coal and oil, and he has begun a $300 million campaign to end the use of fossil fuels in electricity production in 10 years.

But Marc Morano, a climate change skeptic who until recently was a top aide to Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, said that what he saw as Mr. Gore’s alarmism and occasional exaggerations distorted the debate and also served his personal financial interests.

Mr. Gore has testified numerous times in support of legislation to address climate change and to revamp the nation’s energy policies.

He appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in April to support an energy and climate change bill that was intended to reduce global warming emissions through a cap-and-trade program for major polluting industries.

Mr. Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his climate advocacy, is generally received on Capitol Hill as something of an oracle, at least by Democrats.

But at the hearing in April, he was challenged by Ms. Blackburn, who echoed some of the criticism of Mr. Gore that has swirled in conservative blogs and radio talk shows. She noted that Mr. Gore is a partner at Kleiner Perkins, which has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in firms that could benefit from any legislation that limits carbon dioxide emissions.

“I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it,” Mr. Gore said, adding that he had put “every penny” he has made from his investments into the Alliance for Climate Protection.

“And, Congresswoman,” he added, “if you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me.”