Category: p.r. flackery

Crashing the solar system, for fun and profit

It is the perfect ALEC scheme:

An alliance of corporations and conservative activists is mobilising to penalise homeowners who install their own solar panels – casting them as “freeriders” – in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy, the Guardian has learned.

It’s counter-intuitive. It steals from consumers. It halts energy development. Bombs away:

[John] Eick told the Guardian the group would be looking closely in the coming year at how individual homeowners with solar panels are compensated for feeding surplus electricity back into the grid . .

“As it stands now, those direct generation customers are essentially freeriders on the system. They are not paying for the infrastructure they are using. In effect, all the other non direct generation customers are being penalised,” he said.

The folks who generate their own electricity are screwing the people who don’t. Why? Because they’re sending their excess electrons back to the grid, so that other people can use them. And if in that you can’t see the inherent fraud, the American Petroleum Institute will be hosting an indoor Texas barbecue and PowerPoint presentation shortly.

Eick dismissed the suggestion that individuals who buy and install home-based solar panels had made such investments. “How are they going to get that electricity from their solar panel to somebody else’s house?” he said. “They should be paying to distribute the surplus electricity.”

They didn’t just let Mother Teresa attend the lepers for free, did they?

In November, Arizona became the first state to charge customers for installing solar panels. The fee, which works out to about $5 a month for the average homeowner, was far lower than that sought by the main electricity company, which was seeking to add up to $100 a month to customers’ bills.

You want to be patriotic, I know. So what should you choose to do? Make a little electricity, and share it with your neighbors? Or shield Exxon/Mobil from competition, and double their profits? What’ll it be, America? Don’t be stupid, we choose the latter [it’s always the latter]. ALEC is a bitch.


Krauthammer correction: Republicans crazy love taxes, math

Good thing I had absolutely nothing to do today.

Charles Krauthammer cares enough about keeping the political record squeaky clean he just gave me an education. How did I get this hysterical, fed-killer view of Republicans? Guess I’d taken leave of my senses for all time. Good thing for us the wingnuts care so much for this country they’re willing to stockpile revenues and elicit compromise at every turn. How surprisingly lucky we are.

Krauthammer’s memo: The slaves to Grover Norquist are a silly bunch, breaking their no-more-taxes vow any time the president bats eyelashes at them. They raise taxes so frequently they simply forget to tell Democrats anything about it. Come to think of it, I never remind anybody when I’m done masturbating, so this makes sense. And friends, it doesn’t do a Republican’s reputation any good that liberals can’t do math:

November 24, 2011 8:00 P.M.
The Norquist Myth
Charles Krauthammer | National review

. . Apparently, Republicans are in the thrall of one Grover Norquist, the anti-tax campaigner, whom Sen. John Kerry called “the 13th member of this committee without being there.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid helpfully suggested “maybe they should impeach Grover Norquist.”

With that, Norquist officially replaces the Koch brothers as the great malevolent manipulator that controls the republic by pulling unseen strings on behalf of the plutocracy.

I have here one of those invisible garrotes, spray-painted for your viewing:

Still, do right-wingers pay much attention to oaths and pledges and such?

No, naw. Back to Krauthammer:

Nice theory. Except for the following facts:

• Sen. Tom Coburn last year signed on to the Simpson-Bowles tax reform that would have increased tax revenues by $1 trillion over a decade.

• During the debt-ceiling talks, Speaker John Boehner agreed to an $800 billion revenue increase as part of a Grand Bargain.

• Supercommittee member Pat Toomey, a Club for Growth Republican, proposed increasing tax revenues by $300 billion as part of $1.2 trillion in debt reduction.

Just look at those facts. They don’t really substitute for taxes, do they? Those would be FACTS. But they’re at least facts. Or ‘Facthammers,’ which are versions of facts resembling ‘not-facts.’

Tom Coburn did sign off on the Cat Food Commission’s recommendations, but those never had a chance of serious consideration. A whole ‘nother set of votes on the recommendations would have had to occur in the House and Senate, and the Norquist Boy Scouts killed them long before that. ‘Dr. No’ figured as much. And ‘Who Cares?’ Coburn is retiring at the end of his term, so this is, at best, a Facthammer.

Boehner did say he wanted $800 billion in revenue during the debt ceiling negotiations, but he says things he doesn’t mean.

In negotiations last summer, according to numerous officials, President Barack Obama and Boehner were considering sizeable cuts to benefit programs as well as an overhaul of the tax code that would have raised as much as $800 billion in additional revenue — money that Republicans said at the time would have come from economic growth.

No one ever took Boehner seriously. If Krauthammer says he took the speaker seriously, he needs to give up his lecture gig and proceed with treatment immediately.

In his quixotic quest for a grand bargain, Obama displayed a willingness to take on entitlement spending, sending his liberal base into a predictable tizzy.

The bargain went bust, but largely because House Speaker John Boehner could not deliver on the $800 billion in tax revenue he dangled.

Boehner had a problem: Barack could count. When John said he had the okay to raise hundreds of dollars in levy wampum and to project $799,999,999,659 in atomic tax-growth, Obama knew Boehner was around one trillion short of his compromise. Facthammer #2.

And Toomey? So facile with raising tax revenues, he can do it in reverse.

In his comments Tuesday, Boehner cited the importance of tax overhaul in the proposal that Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., made to supercommittee Democrats last week.

“It’s important for us to, in my opinion, reform the tax code. And we’ve got the highest business tax rate in the world. We’ve got a personal tax system that’s so complicated it costs Americans about $500 billion a year to comply with the current tax code,” he said.

Funny-sounding tax increase, eh?

Republican officials have said the offer made by Toomey envisions an overhaul that would drop the top tax rate on personal income to 28 percent from the current 35 and shave or eliminate some itemized deductions that are commonly used. The top corporate rate would also fall.

The result would be an estimated $250 billion in additional revenue over a decade, they estimate.

Tax cuts are increases? You’re right, Charles: I cannot do Republican math, and I am an idiot. But my empty vanity reminds you the Bush tax cuts resulted in a puzzling two trillion dollar drop in tax revenues between 2001 and 2010.

You, reader, may have noticed you hadn’t even heard of these Republican plans for generating tax revenues, and there’s a reason for that. Once Republicans committed to any of these, the Congressional Budget Office would get a shot at the numbers. Unlike politicians, the CBO does math real good, and the ‘revenue increases’ would have been robustly Facthammered, for sure. Instead of generating money, the Toomey plan would have added to the debt, probably in a significant number like hundreds of billions of dollars.

But Chuck knows this. He’s just testing to see if you know it.


Let’s compare the Jewish and Palin versions of “Blood Libel”

Sarah Palin’s now calling criticism of her a “Blood Libel”? Wow. I don’t find Republicans’ yearning equivalence compelling. Here and here.

Medieval: Blood Libels occurred when the many fearful Christians invented a myth: the few Jews amongst them were killing children to make Passover bread. Powerful authorities were quick to target society’s perceived enemies for political gain, allowing the killing of Jews.

Now: Blood Libels occur after left-wing Jews get shot and killed, and society perceives that powerful right-wing politicians have targeted their enemies for political gain, the Jews included.


Dear Mr. President: you don’t ‘message’ a memorial service with your tee shirts

What the hell were they thinking?

The nation is shocked. People are grieving. So the President decides to address the people of the particular community that have suffered most egregiously. What a good thing.

But the administration rolls out rally shirts for those who came to pay their respects? What The Fuck?

“Together We Thrive”? I’ve got a sinking feeling I’m going to see that slogan in the future. When and if I do, a whole pile of cynical assholes should get fired. What a great way to piss on a serious event.

Terrific speech, by the way, but a bizarre crowd. Maybe they’d have been more respectful if they hadn’t gotten goosed.


Dear Republicans: please do not attempt to “improve” the discourse with utter bullsh*t

What a horrible tragedy. So many shattered lives, so much pain.

Now that we’ve seen what a mentally ill man with delusions about government victimization can do, wouldn’t it be a good idea to improve the tone of our political rhetoric?

Let’s not claim the President wants to burn us: “President Obama — why don’t you just set us on fire?” Let’s not say the government aims to smash us: “Our government wants to stir the pot so they can use the iron fist and crush people.” Let’s not pretend to kill the Speaker of the House: “You gonna drink your wine? I want you to drink it now. Drink it. By the way, I put poison in your . . “

. . and that’s only a couple months of one guy, Glenn Beck. And when we point out that Sarah Palin has been using “bullet politics” to score cheap points, don’t spit in our stupid faces:

[REBECCA] MANSOUR: I just want to clarify again, and maybe it wasn’t done on the record enough by us when this came out, the graphic, is just, it’s basically — we never, ever, ever intended it to be gunsights. It was simply crosshairs like you see on maps.

[TAMMY] BRUCE: Well, it’s a surveyor’s symbol. It’s a surveyor’s symbol.

MANSOUR: It’s a surveyor’s symbol. I just want to say this, Tammy, if I can. This graphic was done, not even done in house — we had a political graphics professional who did this for us.

I remind Rebecca and Tammy:

And after a tragedy where a congresswoman is targeted and shot through the head, and six others are now dead, don’t tell everyone to shut up:

[LAMAR] ALEXANDER: Well, Candy, I think you’re responsible, by bringing this up, of doing the very thing you’re trying to condemn. You’re making and implying a direct connection between Sarah Palin and what happened. You’re picking out a particular incident. Well, I think the way to get away from it is for you not to be talking about it.

This country has a long history of horrible, brutal political killings. Abraham Lincoln, shot in the head. John F. Kennedy, shot in the head. Robert Kennedy, shot in the head. Martin Luther King jr., shot in the head. How anyone could’ve ignored or forgotten this, I don’t understand.

Well, it’s happened again. Sarah Palin is a reckless fool for having produced and pimped such a shallow political stunt. A classier person would have acknowledged it and apologized by now.

ADD: Glenn Reynolds, exhibit #1A in the trial of discursive disgrace:

The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel
GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS | Jan 10 2011 | Wall Street Journal

Shortly after November’s electoral defeat for the Democrats, pollster Mark Penn appeared on Chris Matthews’s TV show and remarked that what President Obama needed to reconnect with the American people was another Oklahoma City bombing. To judge from the reaction to Saturday’s tragic shootings in Arizona, many on the left (and in the press) agree, and for a while hoped that Jared Lee Loughner’s killing spree might fill the bill.

Yes, we’ve all been praying for a spree killing. A mass murder, or maybe a politically motivated serial killer — we need something that we can work with to reconnect our president with the American people. Anything with a large body count and witnesses permanently scarred would be nice. I more politically than personally rejoice over all the blood and brain matter spilled.

Good use of “Blood Libel”, incidentally, where Jews were murdered in suspicious retaliation for killing children to make Passover bread. You’d be one of those Jews, right, Glenn? You picked a convenient time to stand in for the wounded Jewish congresswoman. The discourse continues to improve.

ADD 2: Meanwhile, on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, they’ve got editors working overtime scrubbing any mention of her “hit map” from the comments section. However, a comment that said the death of nine year old Christina Green was “ok” was saved:

“It’s ok. Christina Taylor Green was probably going to end up a left wing bleeding heart liberal anyway. Hey, as ‘they’ say, what would you do if you had the chance to kill Hitler as a kid? Exactly.”

Read the post at Obama London.


Insta-concerned Senator Coburn beats on Obama administration with Bush’s earmarks

Senator Coburn from Oklahoma is nothing if not consistent: a political opportunist to the end.

In an era where screaming about government waste is a convenient and typically self-serving political exercise, you could bet Tom wouldn’t miss out on the fun. He’s increasingly showing up everywhere as an anti-earmark crusader, a perhaps contender for the last honest man in Washington.

His September report on wasteful spending in the Department of Education is one of the first things he’d seek to feature:

Coburn Report Shows Billions in Education Budget Spent on ‘School House Pork’
September 30, 2010 |

What do mariachi classes, wine studies and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have in common? They were all funded by federal Department of Education earmarks, according to an extensive new report released Thursday by Sen. Tom Coburn.

The Oklahoma Republican, in a study called “School House Pork,” is urging the federal government to suspend these education “slush funds” . .

“We’re in tough times and we’re still doing this kind of stupid stuff,” Coburn said Thursday. “Everybody’s thinking we have to raise taxes, the first thing we need to do is cut back waste.”

Yes, cut the government and cut the government. And then, eliminate the Department of Education — I know the drill. It’s right there at the top of Tom’s report:

Dear Taxpayers:

The U.S. Constitution provides no role to the federal government in education – and for good reason. Greater federal expenditures have not proven effective, efficient means of improving American schools. To the contrary, federal involvement has led to a loss of individual control and an increased bureaucracy that stifles innovation and increases burdens on school teachers and administrators.

Anyways, I became a little more interested in all of this because I was intrigued by a peculiar thing Coburn called attention to (I think I caught this particular bit on Sunday’s nightly news): an earmark to fight “Goth culture” in Blue Springs, Missouri. Really? Really:

state to crack down on gothic culture
By Erik W. Robelen

“Goth culture” in Blue Springs, Mo., may be in for some tough times. Thanks to Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican who represents the Kansas City suburb, $273,000 out of the Department of Education’s fiscal . . budget will help the Blue Springs Outreach Unit take on a perceived problem for local youths.

“It is my hope that this funding will give the officers in the Youth Outreach Unit the tools they need to identify Goth culture leaders that are preying on our kids,” Rep. Graves said in a press release announcing the appropriation last month.

. . and, sure enough, in Coburn’s “School of Pork” report, the anti-Goth earmark is prominently featured. In the 98 page PDF file, it’s mentioned at least six times and footnoted twice.

So, what’s the big deal? Other than any anti-Goth effort being laughable? The earmark is from 2002. It’s from the first year of Bush Administration earmarking, pre-Iraq War era.

After 8 years of obscene Bush spending, getting shards of shrapnel and corpses by the thousands in return, Tom Coburn now cares. Eight years later, long after this tiny earmark’s been allocated and distributed, somebody really oughta do something about all this, you know?


Largest law school in America gets a baseball stadium

When you’ve got 4 campuses and over 3,500 students, you’re not exactly exclusive. And you’re probably not exactly shy about money-making or marketing.

Which probably explains why the Thomas M. Cooley Law School ranked the Thomas M. Cooley Law School twelfth in the nation in the Thomas M. Cooley Law School rankings:

thomas m cooley rankings

Poor Stanford and Berkeley. And recruiting for the lesser institutions will only get tougher now that Cooley has got Oldsmobile Thomas M. Cooley Law School Park:

Thomas M. Cooley Law School Buys Stadium Naming Rights

Okay, the legal economy is in the tank. Recent law graduates are having a tough time finding jobs. Graduates from lower tier law schools are getting squeezed as top tier law students and deferred associates compete for jobs and opportunities. You get the picture.

. . What is Cooley Law School doing to improve the lot of the students suckered into a 4th tier law school? It’s buying the naming rights to a minor league baseball stadium. I’m not joking. Cooley is taking the tuition dollars of its students and buying naming rights. Naming rights. I guess replacing all the desks and lecterns with steaming piles of dung was just a little bit too expensive for the bigwigs at Cooley. Buying naming rights gets the same message across to students.

thomas m. cooley ballpark


Nobody with a name like the “American Freedom Alliance” really wants to talk about Evolution

So this caught my eye:

California Science Center is sued for canceling a film promoting intelligent design

where did my pajamas go?…A lawsuit alleges that the state-owned center improperly bowed to pressure from the Smithsonian Institution, as well as e-mailed complaints from USC professors and others. It contends that the center violated both the 1st Amendment and a contract to rent the museum’s Imax Theater when it canceled the screening of “Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record.”

The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by the American Freedom Alliance, an L.A.-based group described by senior fellow Avi Davis as a nonprofit, nonpartisan “think tank and activist network promoting Western values and ideals.”

This is a familiar wingnut gambit: get a respectable institution with ‘Science’ in its name to somehow screen a Creationist crap movie, and then trumpet the fact that it’s being screened, as if scientists take it seriously. It happened to The Smithsonian. It happened to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Oklahoma. And now the anti-science folks tried it with our California Science Center, but failed.

When the best they can do to pretend Creationism could ever be taken seriously is this sort of p.r. sleight-of-hand, I’d say they’ve proven they’re intellectually bankrupt. And when the uber-hacks at Creationism Central, the Discovery Institute, release chintz like this, making the California Science Center look like a Non-Science Center, you can bet someone should and will be pissed:


Highlighting the continuing controversy over the origins of life on earth, the American Freedom Alliance will premiere “Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Explosion” at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Sunday October 25 at 7:00 pm. The event will feature a panel discussion with filmmakers and leading proponents of the movement to examine the scientific inconsistencies of the famous British naturalist’s theories proposed in his work, On the Origin of Species, first published exactly 150 years ago . . .

anti-evolutionistThere are plenty of mysteries surrounding the details of Evolution, but there’s no ‘continuing controversy’ about the essential theory itself. This makes the Science Center look like fools, and it’s exactly why they demand that hype about their scheduled events go through them.

The AFA and the Discovery Institute are certainly entitled to their opinions, but duping science institutions into their circus acts and then suing when they predictably back out, demanding they declare their own actions ‘Unconstitutional!’, is nothing less than pathetic. It’s a childish game.

Grow up. And show your movies at your churches if you like, those are the people who created Creationism. None of us are demanding you screen our atheist cinema there.