Category Archives: Politics

E&E Legal: Private Interests & Public Office: Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda

E&E Legal Releases Report Exposing Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a 501 (c) (3) watchdog group, released an investigative report, Private Interests & Public Office: Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda (and an appendix of source documents), revealing a vast, coordinated, three-track effort by public officials and private interests to promote EPA’s expansive, overreaching and economically devastating greenhouse gas rules, specifically the section 111(d) regulation to shut the nation’s fleet of existing coal-fired power plants, as well as the December Paris climate treaty President Obama is expected to sign to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

“Our report pulls the curtain back on a carefully planned and heavily funded ‘orchestration’ by individuals who have placed their personal interests ahead of the public interest,” said Chris Horner, E&E Legal’s Senior Legal Fellow and the report’s author.

The report is the product of open records requests over the course of a year at the federal level and nearly 30 offices in over a dozen states. The exposé contains appendices with over a hundred pages of source emails and attachments. It details a campaign to use public offices, in very close collaboration with wealthy benefactors, to advance and defend President Obama’s climate change regulatory and treaty agenda. This quasi-governmental campaign involves more than a dozen governors’ offices, with a parallel advocacy network and political operation funded and staffed by activists paid through ideologically , economically and politically motivated donors.

The report released today points to emails obtained by E&E Legal’s campaign without litigation, but also in federal district court; others are the subject of oral arguments made last week in court in Richmond, Virginia, and a new suit just filed against the Governor of Kentucky. The latter complaint objects to a false “no records” claim — about records that this report proves do in fact exist, and even quotes from, but which are being kept from the public by a governor who claims to be appalled by EPA rules his office was quietly a “core group” promoter of for the past two years.

This report is timely given President Obama’s ongoing tour to promote the same EPA rules that these governors and “major environmental donors” scheme to promote in the correspondence released today. This includes a stop today at Harry Reid’s “clean energy economy” conference, curiously also sponsored by the same donors as those playing a leading role in today’s report.

Indeed these emails E&E Legal uncovered also show this campaign was developed with the early, active support and participation of the White House, which went beyond enthusiastically embracing the plan and follow up meetings and calls, to even directing the governors to what one green trade-press outlet calls a “shadowy group” affiliated with then-Chief of Staff John Podesta. The White House’s followup actions , as one governor’s aide praised them, were “moving dials”. Podesta also convinced the governors’ offices that their plan should be broken into separate, complementary pillars. The latest email obtained, from May of this year, shows the governors’ campaign arranging to coordinate with the State Department.

The scheme took shape at a meeting in the White House in December 2013, after which the Obama administration launched coordinated with the “core group” of activist Democrat governors to design one of what we see are three tracks to promote the climate agenda. One was run by the Steyer network and left-wing foundations. Another is run by governors with green groups, which are “useful” but whose “standard NGO shaming strategy might not deliver”. A third, run by the White House includes, in the words of a senior aide, “a few other tracks with private sector and unusual allies”.

Nearly every aspect of this effort, from the key early players to the funders and even the director the governors’ campaign hired — housed by some state’s taxpayers in the Hall of States in Washington, DC, overhead paid for by as-yet unknown means — has direct ties to a scandal involving “clean energy” donors and conflicts of interest, one which felled Oregon’s sitting governor earlier this year.

In what is possibly the most intriguing element, seemingly out of an episode of “House of Cards”, Democratic governors’ aides repeatedly reference a plan of “creative engagement” to “compel” certain electric utilities — those subject to their jurisdiction whose businesses cross lines into states led by Republicans — to bring “red state” governors around to support the EPA rules: “[B]ecause there are key utilities whose service territories cross red and blue states Governors in these states could quietly engineer a breakthrough strategy that compels utilities in key red states to lead the charge to win over a key Governor, rather than rely on a standard NGO-shaming strategy that might not deliver.”

The “core group” of governors also coordinated with Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer and his managing partner, Ted White, who directed them to “affiliated groups that we founded and fund (such as NextGen Climate Action, or Next Generation, or AEE [Advanced Energy Economy]” . Those groups in turn underwrote consultants and activists to hand-hold governors through implementing the Obama EPA’s rules, keeping them from the clutches of the “just say no” states.

This core group soon expanded to more than a dozen states, coast-to- coast, embracing a four-point plan which they soon called the Governor’s Climate Compact or GCC, which was ultimately rebranded as the Governors’ Climate Accord or GCA and now goes by the name of the Governors Clean Energy Initiative (none of which have any internet footprint whatsoever, and begging the question who is indeed paying for its director and other overhead). The emails do reflect an awareness that the agenda’s lack of popularity in the “flyover states” necessitated a flexible timeline and keeping some offices’ involvement quiet, specifically citing elections as a concern.

“This is the 5th transparency report in a series that E&E Legal has published on the ‘green movement’ and its network of public, private, and business interests, and what is clear is that 1%-ers are using ‘climate’ policies to destroy politically disfavored industries in order to transfer wealth to the politically preferred,” said Craig Richardson, E&E Legal Executive Director. “The campaign by self-serving individuals must be made known to the public as policymakers consider this plan that will destroy parts of our economy and ruin the most efficient, affordable, and clean energy system ever created.”

 
[H/T WUWT]

Tracinski: I Have Seen the Future, and It Is (Shudder) Canadian

[Editor’s note: there are multiple links in this article referencing the commentary. Please refer to the original article for these sources.]

I Have Seen the Future, and It Is (Shudder) Canadian

By Robert Tracinski August 7, 2015, The Federalist

It’s a bit fashionable to poke gentle fun at our national Northern suburb, especially for those of us on the right, who are used to viewing Canada is a warning of where we’ll be if we go a little farther to the left. I’m not sure how much that’s true these days; I would trade Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Barack Obama in a heartbeat. But it’s true in one particular respect.

The Canadians don’t have our Constitution. They share a common British legal heritage, but they enjoy less in the way of explicit protections for liberty—or rather, such provisions are much more recent and don’t enjoy the same tradition of robust interpretation. So Canada is a cautionary tale for what would happen here if the First Amendment is further eroded.

Specifically, Canada has pioneered the left’s idea of having race and gender “sensitivity” be enforced by law, a job they have given over to the kangaroo courts of local “human rights commissions.” For example, Canadian lawyer, columnist, and publisher Ezra Levant was hauled before the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission after Islamic groups filed a complaint against his publication of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed in the Western Standard. The complaint was eventually dropped after Levant placed it under harsh public scrutiny, including videotaping his questioning by the commission and posting it online.

Then again, he was forced to devote time and money to fighting off a form of legal harassment. Sometimes the prosecution is the punishment.

Now Levant is being targeted again by the Law Society of Alberta, in response to a complaint from lawyer Arman Chak, a former member of the Alberta commission. Chak’s complaint is that Levant’s description of the commission as “crazy town” in a newspaper column is “unbecoming” of a lawyer, for which he should be fined or lose his license. Specifically, Levant wrote, “But with human rights commissions, when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, you haven’t. The crazy keeps going down. You gotta get out your shovel and dig to get to the crazy that’s underneath the crazy.” Which sounds just about right.

The Canadian blog Small Dead Animals, but the way, provides the perfect response to the Alberta Human Rights Commission’s apparent sensitivity to criticism.

Maybe Levant will be cleared in this inquiry, and even if he is fined, he does not currently work as a lawyer, so the professional damage to him will be limited. But the message has been sent pretty clearly: no one in Canada with any background or expertise as a lawyer is welcome to criticize its human rights commissions.

Meanwhile, in Toronto, graphic designer Gregory Elliot is on trial for “criminal harassment” via Twitter. We should stop right there and observe that there is probably no way to actually criminally harass anyone on Twitter, especially since the service includes a handy “block” function that makes it easy to ignore your critics.

In fact, according to an excellent National Post report from Christie Blatchford, “it’s not alleged he ever threatened either woman (or any other, according to the testimony of the Toronto Police officer, Detective Jeff Bangild, who was in charge).” But it turns out the case is about harassment, after all.

He and [accuser Steph] Guthrie…initially fell out over his refusal to endorse her plan to “sic the Internet” upon a young man in Northern Ontario who had invented a violent video game, where users could punch an image of a feminist video blogger named Anita Sarkeesian until the screen turned red.

Guthrie Tweeted at the time that she wanted the inventor’s “hatred on the Internet to impact his real-life experience”

and Tweeted to prospective employers to warn them off the young man and even sent the local newspaper in his town a link to the story about the game.

Elliott disagreed with the tactic and Tweeted he thought the shaming “was every bit as vicious as the face-punch game.”

So it started with Elliot’s refusal to endorse a campaign of harassment—and then he became the object of such a campaign himself.

Guthrie and Reilly didn’t behave as though they were remotely frightened or intimidated: they convened a meeting of friends to discuss how Elliott should be publicly shamed; they bombarded their followers with furious tweets and retweets about him (including a grotesque suggestion from someone pretending she was a 13-year-old that he was a pedophile); they could and did dish it out.

Then, of course, they dragged him into court. So anti-harassment laws are being used as a tool of harassment. Who could have predicted that?

There’s a good chance this case won’t succeed, but once again, the prosecution is the punishment. Blatchford reports that after his initial arrest, Elliot was fired from job.

We should thank heaven we live in the good old US of A, where everyone has a God-given right to be a jerk on Twitter. But we shouldn’t be complacent. Bear in mind the ominous example of Wisconsin’s John Doe prosecutions—a campaign finance witch hunt by rogue prosecutors against Republican political groups who were prohibited by gag orders from defending themselves or even explaining to their neighbors why their houses had been raided by armed officers in the middle of the night.

The John Doe cases were recently shot down rather firmly by Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, which declared that “the special prosecutor’s legal theory is unsupported in either reason or law” and that he “employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing.” Then again, the court was calling on America’s relatively strong interpretation of freedom of speech: “The special prosecutor has disregarded the vital principle that in our nation and our state political speech is a fundamental right and is afforded the highest level of protection.”

On the one hand, this is reassuring, particularly since the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision provides a convincing brief for the civil rights suit that will likely proceed against the rogue prosecutors. But the Canadian cases indicate how fragile freedom of speech is, the determination of today’s left to stamp out the speech of its enemies, and the Orwellian constructs they have created to crush free speech in the name of “human rights.”

This doesn’t need to be the future, but it will be if we don’t fight back.

Charlie Hebdo

We’ve withdrawn editorial support for Charlie Hebdo. Yeah, we know, big deal, internet dragon-slayers are as ubiquitous as mosquitoes. And yeah, we know, the support we, and most media outlets, provided was barely token, let alone substantial. But the public capitulation provided recently by the editor of Charlie Hebdo in regard to the Mohammed cartoons is just that – a capitulation. Its an assault on the memories of those who died that awful day.

It is one thing to bow away gracefully and with dignity in the face of an enemy you no longer personally have the strength to fight. It’s something else to surrender in the public square as you withdraw from the battlefield. We empathise with the stress and strain the events have placed on the surviving staff of Charlie Hebdo, and no, we cannot know the extent of their pain from that time. But the evil that spawned the attacks continues to exist, and continues to exert its horror on an undeserving corner of the world.

Nations continue to shuffle along with their hands in their pockets and their collective heads bowed with the shame they should surely feel. The enemy is clear; the solution is equally so. As the lights of those who stand the moral high ground are quietly and steadily snuffed, the end result will only be all the more brutal and cataclysmic. The battle is coming.

Beacons of hope, once extinguished, seldom rise again. That Charlie chooses to publicly extinguish their candle is unfortunate and sad.

Regardless, editor Sourisseau is quite correct that …”It is a bit strange though: we are expected to exercise a freedom of expression that no one dares to“. A valid rationalization, perhaps, but capitulation remains truly, an ugly thing, and does nothing to dissuade evil.

Daniels: Defending the Confederate flag

Black veteran, a ‘Son of the South,’ defends the Confederate flag


A huge Confederate flag is raised over the southbound side of Interstate 65 in Verbena, Ala., north of Montgomery Sunday afternoon, June 26, 2005. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Jerry Ayres) (JERRY AYRES)

By Courtney Daniels, June 25, 2015, Al.com

In 2001, the Taliban shamelessly dynamited the Bamiyan Buddhas, two of the largest such carvings of the ancient world. Built in the 6th century by monks who made their homes along the Silk Road, the Buddahs stood for millenia until fundamentalists removed them from the face of the Earth. Such ignorance still abounds. Over the past few months, the onslaught of the Islamic State has wrought the systematic destruction of cultural artifacts from Palmyra to Nineva, all because they were deemed “offensive” by a minority that if it had its way, would ensure the entire world would adhere to a dark and revisionist existence.

A couple of days ago, in the wake of a childish debate over a memorial flag flown near a Confederate statue, a Southern monument was ignorantly desecrated with an attempt at the “Black Lives Matter” slogan. The spray-painted phrase was misspelled. The inanimate statue, a solemn reminder of the South’s fallen sons, didn’t take away any citizen’s pursuit of happiness, it didn’t interfere with the social and racial disparities that some claim as a detriment to advancement — it simply stood there, silent and bold, marking the bravery and errors of yesterday’s determinations.

From the gun debate to the flag debate (which are both somehow tied to this most recent, senseless shooting tragedy) it seems that liberal thought continues to show its fear of inanimate objects. Such a way of thinking never holds PEOPLE accountable.  Instead it points fingers in every other direction.

The removal of a historical banner won’t stop racists from exercising bigotry. As a matter of fact, racists will be racists despite regulations and constant “feel good” legislation, no flag needed. The ignorance of the disgruntled protestors is evident in their refusal to acknowledge that the flag widely recognized as the “Confederate Flag” was never actually adopted as the flag of the Confederacy. They’ll also never admit or realize that not only was slavery not the motivating factor for the ensuing civil war, but that slavery was an American institution, not a Confederate one.

The Confederacy, in its prime, never mounted the atrocities of the Trail of Tears or the Black Hills conspiracy. But it seems that all because a few cowards in bedsheets once hijacked the gorgeous colors of a banner so rich in history to terrorize and intimidate other Americans, we condemn the Southern cloth to oblivion as a misnamed symbol of hate. It doesn’t matter that slaves outside of the declared boundaries remained enslaved in the North. Neither does it matter that many Southerners gave up plots of their property to house and provide compensable labor for black workers. It doesn’t matter that Lincoln, who is often regarded as the liberator of enslaved blacks cared less for the welfare of slaves than for the sovereignty of an entire country.

Where I come from, deep in the Heart of Dixie, I see that flag every single day with its bold red field and star-studded cross of St. Andrews in royal blue. I hold a certain respect for it that others fueled by emotion and misinformation wouldn’t understand. I revere it as a son of the South in a way that would confuse those on the outside looking in, who by the way are not entitled to commentary on which flag waves in our humid Southern breeze. I spot it on not so subtle scavenger hunts gracing a random shirt at the gas station, the hat of the guy behind the counter at my local bait and tackle shop, and the bed of a passing pickup with the accompanying decal “Southern Pride.” I smile because I know that if in need, that guy would give me that same shirt off his back. I smile because I live in a region that has a certain defiance that only a select few inherit.

As a black man who grew up in the South, I’ll admit I didn’t always see the issue with this same clarity. I blindly followed the sentimentalism of my parents and educators who passed judgement from a seat of victimization, failing to challenge evidence to the contrary. My opinion on the Battle Flag was swayed as a 13-year-old reading a contributor’s opinion in the Birmingham News, circa 2001. A white man with Confederate heritage, he acknowledged that he had never considered the flag flying on his front lawn to have held such a negative connotation in the minds of so many blacks. I remember from reading the column, he had a certain politeness that urged him to take his flag down and hang it indoors out of respect for those who didn’t like it. I respected his consideration and it prompted me to do my own homework on what role the Civil War and the flag in question played in my ancestor’s past and my own future. I realized then that I had foolishly labeled every white person sporting the flag as a racist, with no facts to back my claim and without placing myself in their shoes or knowing them personally.

In short, I’ve come to terms with it being a wrongfully vilified piece of Southern culture, as important to our collective heritage as RC Cola and Moon Pies.

In so many ways, the South is the conscience of the entire nation. In the 21st century with Americans abandoning all decency and forgetting to walk tall, the South still manages to maintain a certain air of moral obligation that has been all but lost in northern enclaves like Philadelphia where Americans scowl at one another, heavily divided by racial suspicion and bigotry, or cities like New York where neighborhoods a century after the Great Migration of blacks are still heavily defined by skin tone and distrust. In the South, we mingle. We play. We do like Willie Mays and “say hey” no matter the color of the person sitting on the porch. I walk into my local grocery with my daughter and like the tick of the clock, I know I can count on an endearing “Hey baby doll, you need some help?” from the attendant whose skin heavily contrasts mine. Her “y’all come on back now” is the most welcoming invitation I could ever hear.

It’s clear that as a nation, we are embarking on a new, revised, politically correct avenue of apology. The future is a dim one, void of backbone and fistfights. No more, “each according to the dictates of his own conscience.”

“If it offends my neighbor, make it illegal, dynamite it, wipe it from the face of the Earth” rages the contentious fascist. It’s becoming clear that what those progressives want is a new, bleak, unrecognizable South, its accomplishments and errors equally stricken from the annals of history. They wish its monuments to be no more, the names of its generals removed from every institution, it’s antebellum flair retold as a horror story as if Sherman’s destruction wasn’t enough of a disgrace.

I am from the great state of Alabama and live between the rivers of Tennessee. I am a proud American and maybe in ways, an even louder Southerner. Can’t help it. I relate because I’m a rebel in so many ways and I’m very proud of where I’m from. I can read an accent from either Carolina and know that I’m in good company. I can present my pistol permit to a Texas Ranger and trust that it will be honored four hundred miles in the other direction. I know that I can stop for small talk in any Waffle House in Georgia, and strike up a meaningful conversation with the Walmart shopper behind me in line in Mississippi. I don’t need to know those people, they already know me. I am related to them and they are related to me.

If you don’t know us but have an opinion about how we should live our lives or if you can’t dissect the FACTS of a situation without making it a divisive issue, as Southerners, we only have one thing to say to your folly: “Bless your heart.”

Courtney Daniels is a Birmingham native, former U.S. Marine and veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom

Happy 4th, America, In the years ahead, you’ll need all the Grace you can find…

Contender…?

Combover

Credit to somebody, just not sure who…

Burchill: Meet the Cry-Bully: a hideous hybrid of victim and victor

[Editor’s Note: I’ve promoted the “cry-bullies” link from Julie Burchill in Gavin McInnes’ article previous, to its own entry, as I believe it makes a crucial observation about the newly-minted liberal meme of SJW – “social justice warrior”, which is about as oxymoronic a term as one could contrive. Julie Burchill is an occasionally controversial British writer.]

Meet the Cry-Bully: a hideous hybrid of victim and victor

by Julie Burchill,  April 21,  2015, The Spectator.

n the 1970s, there was a big difference between bullies and cry-babies. Your mum would have preferred you to hang around with the latter, but sometimes the former had a twisted charisma so strong that you found yourself joining in the taunts of ‘Onion Head! ’ at some poor unfortunate creature sporting a cranium of a somewhat allium caste. After a bit, of course, if you had anything about you, you realized what a knob you were being and went off to sample the more solitary, civilized pleasures of shoplifting and reading Oscar Wilde with the bedroom curtains closed. But you could be certain, as you festered in your pilfered Chelsea Girl vest, that bullies were bullies and cry-babies were cry-babies and never the twain would meet.

Fast forward some four decades and things are not so simple. This is the age of the Cry-Bully, a hideous hybrid of victim and victor, weeper and walloper. They are everywhere, these duplicit Pushmi-Pullyus of the personal and the political, from Celebrity Big Brother to the frontline of Islamism. Jeremy Clarkson is a prime cry bully, punching a producer and then whining in The Sunday Times about ‘losing my baby’ (The baby being Top Gear). Perez Hilton, recently of the CBB house, is a good example too, screaming abuse at his wretched room-mates until they snapped and hit back, at which point he would dissolve in floods of tears and flee to the Diary Room to claim that he felt ‘unsafe’. Stephen Fry is one, forever banging on about his own mental fragility yet mocking Stephen Hawking’s voice at a recent awards ceremony.

Esther Rantzen — an anti-bullying campaigner — strikes me as another. An otherwise anodyne interviewer recently felt moved to ask her if she was a bully, due to her reputation as an over-bossy boss during her That ’s Life heyday and the rather vile reports of her yelling out ‘My husband’s ex-wife ’ during a trivia quiz at a TV bash – the question being ‘What burnt in Richmond?’, the locality in which the woman whose husband she took had recently been cremated. Rantzen has re-created herself as a pathetic widow, complaining about having no one to go on holiday with, so desperately lonely for human companionship that she once rang her daughter to say that the Almighty would want them to live together. (Not as much as He’d want people not to gloat over the deaths of people whose lives they had ruined, surely.)

Even social media – the source of so much fun and friendship for most of us – becomes a double-edged sword in the hands of the Cry-Bully. They will threaten women with rape on Twitter then boo-hoo about the invasion of their privacy when called to account. It’ s a sort of Munchausen’s syndrome – causing one’s own misery then complaining about it – seen most sadly in the case of Hannah Smith, the 14-year-old girl who took her own life in 2013 after allegedly being cyber-bullied on the teen website Ask.fm. It turned out that some 98 per cent of the abusive messages came from poor Hannah herself, with only four posts being contributed by actual trolls.

Cry-Bullies do end up isolated, as their determination to be victim and victor eventually wears out the patience of the most forebearing friend. But they can also be found hanging around in gangs; then, Cry-Bullies really come into their own and are not just irritating but dangerous. Islamism is the ultimate Cry-Bully cause; on one hand stamping around murdering anyone who doesn’ t agree with you, on the other hand yelling ‘ISLAMOPHOBIA’ in lieu of having a real adult debate about the merits of your case. Their ‘helpline’ is even called Tell Mama – bless. The British-born Islamist recently sentenced to twelve years had no problem posing with severed heads (‘Heads, kaffirs, disgusting’) and asking friends back home to send him condoms which he planned to use raping women captured as ‘war booty’ but then claimed to be having nightmares and suffering from depression in order to escape jail.

The transexual and pimp-lobbies bring classic Cry-Bully tactics into play whenever they come across someone who doesn’t – shock, horror! – think the same as them, as unashamed feminists from the activist Julie Bindel to the comedian Kate Smurthwaite have discovered. In these cases, the claim that ‘safe spaces’ might be violated by the presence of someone who thinks differently to them; but born women, mysteriously, are expected to surrender the ultimate Safe Space – the female toilets – to pre-op chicks with dicks if they are not to be accused of violent bigotry.

I don’t like much about monarchy, but the old saw they are said to live by – ‘Never complain, never explain’ (if only Prince Charles could do this!) – is a good one. The Cry-Bully always explains to the point of demanding that one agrees with them and always complains to the point of insisting that one is persecuting them. They really are the very worst sort of modern moaner.