Author

Commentary

The fossil fuel defenders at the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity are out with another “you can’t make this stuff up” claim in their never-ending battle to kill sustainable energy. Last week, the group issued a statement in which it made the following amazing claim:

“It’s time for lawmakers to make responsible decisions about the future of North Carolina’s electrical grid. The subsidies and mandates for expensive, so-called green energy are no longer a sustainable path or an acceptable burden for taxpayers. Americans for Prosperity has advocated separately for the end of North Carolina’s renewable energy tax credit and the Renewable Portfolio Standard. It is morally repugnant that some lawmakers are now trying to maintain both costly laws.”

Uh…Earth to AFP: Here’s what’s “morally repugnant” when it comes to the planet’s consumption of energy: the hundreds of billions of dollars that all of us pay to deal with the destructive impact of fossil fuels. As we reported back in May:

“Fossil fuels aren’t cheaper than renewables. As a new and powerful report from the International Monetary Fund demonstrates convincingly, the true cost of fossil fuels to society is vastly higher when one figures in the massive public subsidies that are expended in the form of environmental damage, health impacts and the public costs of dealing with both.

As CNBC reported Monday:

‘Governments around the world charge prices for energy that do not account for its harmful environmental, health and other side effects, amounting to a $5.3 trillion ‘post-tax’ subsidy this year, the International Monetary Fund said in a report on Monday.

The IMF said China in particular failed to charge its more than 1 billion consumers for the pollution that comes from heavy use of fossil fuels, adding up to a $2.3 trillion subsidy this year.

The United States was the second-biggest offender, with an estimated $699 billion subsidy, followed by Russia, the European Union, India and Japan.’

You got that? The nations of the world are effectively spending around 6.5% of their gross domestic product dealing with the effects of fossil fuel pollution, but because most fail to include it in the upfront price charged for fossil fuels, we labor under a wildly false impression of their true cost. If the Americans built an extra $699 billion per year into the upfront price of fossil fuels instead of just paying it later, you can rest assured that the “free market” would produce some different results. In comparison, the subsidies provided to the renewable energy industry – an industry with a comparatively tiny environmental impact – are laughably insignificant.”

Commentary

In case you missed it last week, it’s hard to imagine that there was a more hateful or offensive comment on the tragic murder of two Virginia journalists than the one promoted on the John Locke Foundation’s “Locker Room” blog by George Leef, Director of Research at the Pope Center for Higher Education. Here is Leef’s entire post:

“Law professor Elizabeth Price Foley nails it on Instapundit:

‘We have all encountered angry, entitled individuals like this. They aren’t just toxic to work with; they’re potentially dangerous. We typically give them wide berth, just to avoid the hurling of hurtful ‘racism!” accusations and potential violence that simmers just below the surface. Individuals like this may get reprimanded or bounced around (for the sanity of coworkers) but they rarely get fired, for fear of lawsuits.  This television station was frankly brave to fire the guy.

On a broader level, Flanagan is a sad but ineluctable product of the progressive left’s incessant race-baiting and claims of minority entitlement. He is, essentially, the love child of Al Sharpton and President Obama (with Elizabeth Warren as the surrogate).’”

Happily, Foley’s statement and Leef’s endorsement of it are so deeply offensive and downright idiotic that no one in their right mind is paying it any attention. That said, Art Pope ought to be profoundly embarrassed that any person representing a group named after his family would stoop to promoting such a monstrous comment at any time or in any place.

Commentary
McCrory_budget305-a

Gov. Pat McCrory

David Lane

American Renewal Project founder David Lane – Image: www.americanrenewalproject.org

News reports this morning indicate that Gov. Pat McCrory is distancing himself from a full page ad that ran in yesterday’s Charlotte Observer in which the Governor was quoted as inviting people to a September 26 event in Charlotte sponsored by a far right, conservative Christian group known as the American Renewal Project. The ad shows a picture of the Governor with the words:  “Come Join me in a time of worship, prayer, fasting and repentance.”

This is from McClatchy and the Winston-Salem Journal:

“The full page ad on Monday touted The Response, an event scheduled for Sept. 26.

‘Come Join Me in a time of worship, prayer, fasting and repentance,’ the ad says over McCrory’s name and beside a picture of the governor. It goes on to say the Response is ‘to call on Jesus on behalf of America that he might hear our cry and heal our land.’

In a statement, McCrory spokesman Graham Wilson said the governor had been invited to the event and agreed to speak.

A representative for the Charlotte event said the ad may have been poorly worded.”

Laying aside the questions surrounding the ad itself, however, one can’t help but wonder what the Governor was thinking when he agreed to speak at an event for such a group. As the good people at People for the American Way reported earlier this year in a lengthy post, the head of the American Renewal Project, a guy named David Lane, is a far right religious activist who wants to make the United States a “Christian nation.” Here are some excerpts:

“David Lane promotes a vision of America as a nation founded by and for Christians; denounces court rulings upholding church-state separation; calls for Christianity to be established as America’s official religion with the Bible as a primary textbook in public schools; vehemently opposes legal equality for LGBT people; and demands the impeachment of judges who rule in favor of allowing same-sex couples to be legally married.”

And this: Read More

Commentary

There were two new and great editorial page “must reads” this past weekend on the state’s education wars.

Number One was Gene Nichol’s fine essay in Raleigh’s News & Observer on the public school teachers who continue to fight for their children and profession despite the ongoing assault by state lawmakers.

“I think [teachers NaShonsda] Cooke, [Angela] Scioli and [Brendan] Fetters knew what they were signing up for. This path has never been strewn with rose petals. I know they didn’t expect, however, to be officially derided for their efforts. ‘The elephant in the room,’ Fetters explains, ‘is the constant claim that we are failing our students.’

The politicians who accuse them, of course, never go to their schools, never talk to the teachers. They do, though, ‘take away our teaching assistants, run good teachers off to other states, give us bigger classes, cut our budgets and disparage our schools,’ Cooke says.

It’s not lost on teachers of high-poverty children that all the current political energy is directed toward vouchers and charter schools, draining already inadequate resources. They “evaluate us on matters outside of our control,” Cooke says, “pronounce us broken, and then make it tougher to do our work.”

Cooke’s own daughter attends one of the high-poverty Durham schools receiving an F on the state’s new scorecard. ‘I know the greatness of what they do in that school. I’d never move her,’ Cooke says. She gets angry when her daughter’s teachers are maligned by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

It’s one thing, I suppose, to wage war on public education. It’s another to shamelessly defame in the process.”

You can read the rest by clicking here.

Essay #2 comes from the Greensboro News & Record and it takes down the absurd an inappropriate partisanship that marked the firing of UNC President Tom Ross (which has been confirmed recently in emails released to N.C. Policy Watch and other news outlets). As the N&R Notes:

“The indication of misguided and unfair partisan attitudes toward Ross raises concerns about the next president. The Board of Governors won’t serve the people of the state well if it limits its choices to only Republican candidates. Read More

Commentary

This morning’s North Carolina news media “must read” comes from Greensboro News & Record  columnist Susan Ladd. In her column, Ladd explains exactly why the latest manufactured smear campaign against Planned Parenthood is just that:

“Because of its nationwide network of providers, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion services in the country, but abortions amount to only 3 percent of the health services this group provides.

The most recent attacks on Planned Parenthood were videos purporting to show the group’s ‘procuring baby parts for profit.’

The Center for Medical Progress, which shot these heavily edited undercover videos, is not a medical organization but a political one, founded to create inflammatory ‘sting’ videos of Planned Parenthood.

David Daleiden, the project leader for the videos has a history of creating deceptively edited videos. One of CMP’s board members is Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who in 2003, called the murder of an abortion doctor “a justifiable defensive action.”

Abortion rights groups and some U.S. senators are asking that CMP be investigated for false representation and misleading the IRS when it applied for tax-exempt status….

But the smear campaign hasn’t abated. CMP continues to release more of its videos, and politicians continue to site them over and over in trying to sway opinion and public policy.

I’m sad to say that some of our local elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Mark Walker (R-Guilford) and Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) are among them.

Unfortunately, a lie repeated often enough still will persuade some of the people — especially those who want to believe it. And the truth, determined over time by impartial investigations, never has the shock value or leaves quite as much of an impression as those sensational videos.”

Fortunately, the lies aren’t achieving their intended objective -harming Planned Parenthood. As Ladd notes:

Read More