April 2011

The public battle between President Obama and businessman turned potential presidential hopeful Donald Trump took a surprising turn yesterday with the release by the White House of Obama’s long form Hawaiian birth certificate.

After challenging Obama for weeks to release his birth certificate to settle the controversy as to whether or not he was born in the U.S. and is indeed qualified to be the president Trump still managed to come out on top.

With word that the certificate would be released and that Obama would hold a press conference Trump flew into New Hampshire on his private helicopter and beat the president to the punch by holding his own press conference for which he took credit for forcing Obama to release the certificate.

The issue of Obama’s birth first came not from a bunch of right-ring conspiracy theorists or Tea Party types as the mainstream media has led the public to believe but supporters of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Up to now Obama has resisted all calls to release the long form certificate by instead producing only a short form certificate of live birth which contained little information that proved without a doubt that Obama was born in the U.S.

Even with the release of the birth certificate that would seem to prove Trump wrong, he still comes out a winner.

He managed to do something no one else was able to do after nearly three years of trying and kept the pressure on by asking for even more transparency from Obama on other matters and hammered the president on his handling of the economy and other issues.

Trump also managed to keep the press occupied and entertained while Obama’s presser was dull and drab, as he called the whole matter “silliness” and accused those of buying into the birther theories as “carnival barkers.”

Of course Obama lover Chris Matthews saw the release as a victory for Obama and spent all but 5 minutes of his show talking about it, even calling Obama “debonair” in how he handled his press conference.

Liberals may think that Obama has now settled the issue once and for all but by calling Trump’s bluff he may have given the GOP an unexpected boost as he will now have to answer for his economic and foreign policy failures among other issues that he won’t be able to so easily dismiss as a “sideshow” and “silliness” just in time for the 2012 elections.

Less than two weeks ago Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that requires the state to obtain one-third of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal power by 2020.

Currently the state’s three largest investor owned utilities generate 18% of its power from renewable sources according to the California Public Utilities Commission which is just short of the 20% target the state set for them.  But since they made a good faith effort to achieve the goal they weren’t penalized for failing to meet the state mandate.

Efforts in other states to push renewable energy have not worked out as planned.  In Maryland despite an overwhelming majority in the state legislature Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley couldn’t get his wind farm initiative passed because of concerns about how much it would cost consumers.

One state study in California showed that the new law would cost utilities 7% than coal or natural gas use and that cost will probably be passed on to consumers.

But there is an out.  If the costs of moving the energy are deemed excessive the utilities won’t be forced to meet the new targets and this likely to happen more than the PUC envisioned.

Ratepayers have already taken it on the chin as an analysis of renewable energy contracts under the old law showed that a whopping 59% exceeded market prices. But they were helping the environment.

Backers of the law claim that it will generate 100,000 new jobs in the state but we have heard this son before.  In Massachusetts Evergreen Solar announced earlier this year that they would be closing a plant in Devens due to competition from China leaving the state holding the bag on $58 million in incentives they gave the company to set up shop.  That’s a loss of 800 jobs in a job starved state.

Environmentalists are under the illusion that going green will always generate net job growth but they often forget that the higher costs of doing so actually stunt job growth in the long run as companies affected by higher energy costs trim overhead to make up the difference.

Gov. Brown may have scored major points with environmentalists by signing the law but he should have been focusing on how he was going to plug the state’s $26 million budget gap rather than increase the economic burden on cash-strapped residents.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to remain relevant which isn’t easy when you are deemed irrelevant by your own president.

Rather than ‘Hands off our Medicare” which was a less than rousing chant why not “Hands off my botox”? which would be more appropriate for her anyway.

Unemployed citizens of central Florida are about to be rescued by a campaign to give them superhero capes to a lucky few all compliments of a state unemployment agency according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Dubbed the “Cape-A-Bility Challenge,” a $73,000 public-relations campaign by Workforce Central Florida features a cartoon character named “Dr. Evil Unemployment” and includes handing out about 6,000 red superhero capes to jobless Central Floridians.

The campaign, revealed Saturday in a report in the Orlando Sentinel, was met with derision by many unemployed who questioned spending more than $14,200 on capes and $2,300 on foam cutouts of “Dr. Evil Unemployment.” They said the campaign’s tone risked minimizing the severity of the region’s labor problems.

Dr. Evil?  Does he come with a Mini- Me? I hear former labor secretary Robert Reich may be available.

The “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” is part of an “Everyday Superheroes” theme the agency has adopted. Its website features videos of employers, job seekers and Wentworth in capes similar to those the agency plans to distribute to the unemployed.

Shot in slow-motion and underscored by a heroic soundtrack, Wentworth strikes a Superman pose, dramatically removing his glasses. In another scene he taps out a message on his BlackBerry.

While the $73,000 is a drop in the bucket to the $24  million in public money that the Workforce agency received it raises the question of  exactly how handing out 6,000 capes actually helps anyone find a job.  Do they expect these people to show up for job interviews wearing a cape and using their new found super powers and get a job?

Then again a lot of what the government does requires a bit of magic.

The Democrats are grasping for straws to find issues that they think will reverberate with voters and non other than Jesse Jackson Jr. has now taken on the iPad by calling it a job killer.

If it’s such a job killer then why didn’t Jackson complain last year when Apple was selling nearly 15 million copies and the country was facing increasing unemployment? Could it possibly be that it was due to the Democrats being in control of Congress and any talk about high unemployment and job killing devices wouldn’t have fit his agenda?

Also exactly what did the Democrats do to reduce unemployment which rose on their watch beyond throwing taxpayer money at it with little or no effect.

Jackson now appears to be blaming the high unemployment rate on the new Republican Congress and not on the Democrats and the White House where the blame squarely lies.

As for the idea that the publishers and bookstores are suffering solely based on the iPad then Jackson must have somehow missed the fact that both Borders and Barnes & Noble have their own e-readers for downloading electronic books so they are contributing to their own demise by Jackson’s logic.

For publishers the advantage of e-books is lower overhead and distribution costs and more direct control over where their products are sold and at what price.

And why is Jackson complaining about iPads being distributed to students at Chicago State University?  He should be overjoyed that the heavily minority school is placing modern technology in the hands of students who wouldn’t be able to purchase the device on their own and save them a ton of money on textbook costs.

He should be championing the iPad and similar devices as great equalizers for minorities rather than some specious argument about how they kill jobs.

But for Democrats this is just another example of their twisted logic as a minority party.

Radical activist and Obama buddy Bill Ayers told conservative talk show host Larry Elder this week that he doesn’t regret his terrorist past in which he participated in bombings at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol and called the Pentagon a terror organization.

Ayers defended his actions by saying that no one was killed by any of the bombings though there was property damage which was still better than the 6,000 people being killed a week during the Vietnam war as if these were comparable events.

In an odd bit of timing the New York Times published an interview with Ayers on September 11, 2001 on his love of explosives and lack of regret for what he did.

California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez appeared on the Stephanie Miller radio show on Tuesday and during a discussion of the Tea Party went into a southern accent in an effort to label their supporters as dumb southern hicks.

Oh by the way Loretta there are 87 freshmen Republican members of Congress and not 89.

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