Bill Scher

Bizarre Sight Of The Day

A Sam Brownback supporter with a lip ring. The evil grasp Britney Spears has on our youth has even infiltrated CPAC. The terrorists have won. You may go home now.

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Bill Scher

Blogger Ethics Panel Time

Rudy Giuliani was glowingly introduced today by a member of the so-called liberal media, Washington Post columnist George Will. Will assured the audience that Giuliani’s conservatism is “the flavor of Margaret Thatcher’s” and “produced the 8 consectutive years of the most successful conservative government in the 20th century in America.” This is not the first time Will has crossed the journalistic ethics line. Unless anyone can add his well-documented past exploits in the comments, I’ll shoot to add them later on.

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Bill Scher

More Old Ideas Please

I’ve yet to hear any conservatives recognize that they are suffering from a “secular problem”. But the closest anyone has come is US News’ Michael Barone. In a morning panel on the ’08 landscape, he cautioned conservatives not to look in the past for another Reagan, but to find “new ideas” that speak to the concerns of today’s voters. Barone’s advice didn’t take. Minutes later, Human Events editor John Gizzi urged conservatives to keep pushing for “less government,” then turned to Barone and said: New ideas are fine, but isn’t it about time we take some old ideas off the shelf And that received far louder applause.

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Bill Scher

“The Rich Are Getting Screwed”

So that’s what’s wrong with our economy. At an afternoon panel on taxes, Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation, lamented that despite six years of tax cuts mainly for the wealthiest, we haven’t completely destroyed our progressive tax system. After a slide presentation described how the wealthy contribute more in taxes and the poor receive more in benefits, Hodge declared, “the rich are getting screwed.” Now there’s the message that will bring back conservatism. Later, a questioner suggested that that stats of people living under the poverty level aren’t accurate because it doesn’t include their government benefits. In response, Hodge, after claiming that the percent of people in poverty is the same as it was in the 60s (not mentioning that poverty went down under Pres. Clinton and up under Pres.

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Bill Scher

Osama, Zawahiri, Britney

On a panel about social issues, panelists were asked if, when choosing a presidential candidate, protecting America from terrorism is more important than banning abortion and denying equal marriage rights — the argument for Rudy Giuliani. Robert Wright of the Media Research Center put things in the proper perspective: We need to defend the country … but we can’t allow our country to become Sodom and Gomorrah in the meantime.

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Bill Scher

Quote of the Day (So Far)

When society tolerates deviance … it normalizes deviance … lesbianism among young women has risen dramatically in the last 10 years alone. And that is certainly due to media and advertising, and certainly also because of the fact that we decide to tolerate it.

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Bill Scher

Bring The Hate

As I alluded to in that last post, conservatives appear to believe hating on immigrants is the ticket back to power. As Schlafly urged her brethren to reach out to the “Reagan Democrats” whose “jobs have been taken away,” she ramped up the demagougery, hysterically warning “we cannot let Mexico turn us into a two-language nation.” (Ever been to Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Chinatown, Little Saigon, Amish country…?) She thundered that America should not be a country of “multiculturalism, multilingualism and diversity”.

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Bill Scher

Conservatives Are Cranky In the Morning

The blame game is in full effect. Conservatives are not blaming themselves and their failed ideology, but President Bush and the Republican leadership for not being conservative enough. The conservative movement pioneer Richard Viguerie railed against “Big Government Republicanism” (As if the citizens of New Orleans wished Republicans provided them with less government). He ripped the presidential frontrunners as insufficiently conservative, while anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly complained the media was forcing McCain, Giuliani and Romney on them. (Hugging the Iraq war and gearing up for Iran apparently isn’t as important as hating gays and immigrants.

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Bill Scher

The Conservatives’ “Secular Problem”

Today through Saturday, when Republicans and conservatives gather in Washington for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, will they face up to the biggest obstacle preventing them from connecting with voters? Their “secular problem.” Lots of ink has been spilled about how Democrats and liberals suffer from a “religion problem” — a perceived hostility towards Christianity and religion in general. But Pew Research Center exit poll data from the 2006 midterm elections shows the opposite. Democrats crushed Republicans among secular voters, broadly defined as those who attend church seldom (favoring Democrats 60% to 38%) or never (67% to 30%). Republicans retained strong support among those who attend church more than weekly.

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Bill Scher

Welcome to the CPAC LiveBlog!

How will conservatives handle their colossal failure to govern? Will they blame Dubya? Will they claim they weren’t conservative enough? Unlike their president, will they actually admit mistakes? To find out, we’re in the belly of the beast, blogging live from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. CPAC promises a cavalcade of stars: Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, John Bolton, several presidential candidates and oh so much more. Throughout the conference, from Thursday March 1 to Saturday March 3, keep checking back for dispatches and analysis.

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Bill Scher

Clean Energy Battle Royale?

The following was initially posted at The Huffington Post America’s governors have begun to throw down over who can become the most energy independent and bring in the most jobs. Will the presidential candidates be next? Yesterday marked the end of a landmark event, the first Apollo Summit for Clean Energy & Good Jobs. The three-day conference of the Apollo Alliance brought together labor leaders, business executives, environmental advocates and community organizers to build a clean energy future that will create millions of good-paying, high-skill jobs. The highlight of the Summit was when Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick pledged (see the video) to make his state a leader in renewable energy… I don’t just want the wind farms. I want the companies that build the turbines.

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Bill Scher

Energy Blast On Capitol Hill

The Apollo Alliance Summit took its campaign for energy independence and good jobs to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, meeting with members of Congress and their staffs and pressing for increased government support of renewable energy. On the Hill, the Apollo agenda got an embrace from presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton during a lunch-time meeting. It is a “tremendous asset” to bring together “those who care about the environment and those who care about the economy,” Clinton told the group.

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Bill Scher

Bernie and Hillary Cap Off Summit

Senators Hillary Clinton (NY) and Bernie Sanders (VT) thanked Apollo Summiteers for coming to Capitol Hill and pressing their representatives to create good jobs by investing in renewable energy. At a lunchtime event in the Senate, Sen. Sanders said of the labor-environmental partnership at the heart of the Apollo Alliance, “This is a marriage made in heaven. This is a marriage that will move heaven and earth.” And Sen. Clinton noted it’s a “tremendous asset” to bring together “those who care about the environment and those who care about the economy.” Both echoed the theme of the entire summit, as Sen. Sanders proclaimed “to be pro-environment is to be pro-jobs,” while Sen. Clinton talked of job creation efforts in upstate New York involving biofuels, clean coal and green buildings. Sen.

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Bill Scher

Rep. Inslee Rallies The Troops

Apollo Summiteers are off to Capitol Hill today, meeting with congresspeople and their staffs and pressing for increased government support of renewable energy. Before they took to the Hill, Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) addressed the Summit and deemed the Apollo Alliance the “most important coalition” in America today, because “this is a matter of our American destiny … to lead the world in solving this global warming crisis.” Though he cautioned that without strong government policies to quickly create clean energy jobs, those jobs would go to other countries such as China, Germany, England and Denmark. He argued that a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon dioxide emissions was needed to create those jobs.

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Bill Scher

Good Environment = Good Economy

Monday night’s dinner speakers offered a common theme: the future of our economy is tied to the future of our environment. Keynote speaker Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell emphasized that the development of renewable energy is not just “a race for energy independence” but also “a race for economic superiority,” where we will lose our strong economic position in the world if we drag our feet. “It is absolutely criminal that we are moving at a snail’s pace.” (Watch the video.) Gov. Rendell pointed to the Gamesa wind energy project in Pennsylvania as a model. Gamesa representative Michael Peck already addressed the dinner audience, explaining how their “sustainable partnership” with the United Steelworkers is on its way to bring 1,000 good-pay, high-skill union jobs to the Keystone State.

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Bill Scher

Ritter-Patrick Gubernatorial Smackdown!

Oh, it’s on. After Gov. Deval Patrick declared his intention to make Massachusetts the capital of renewable energy, Gov. Bill Ritter threw down the gauntlet on behalf of his Colorado. Patrick, who won election promising support for a groundbreaking wind farm off of Cape Cod, announced yesterday (watch the video): I don’t just want the wind farms. I want the companies that build the turbines. I want the ones that assemble the hybrid vehicles and consult on the conservation strategies. I want the companies that design and manufacture the solar panels. The whole integrated industry ought to and can have a place in Massachusetts … I really believe that if we get this right the whole world will be our customer. Then Ritter (watch the video) upped the ante: Governor Patrick talks about bringing jobs to Massachusetts.

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Bill Scher

Pension Power

Damon Silvers, Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO stunned the room this afternoon, announcing that while there’s $160 trillion of fossil fuels currently underground, the economic costs of unchecked climate change will total between $700 and $1,400 trillion — possibly causing a global depression. Silvers said that’s why the AFL-CIO backs investing union pension assets into clean energy funds — because you’re not responsibly investing for the future, if you’re not investing in a sustainable future. Further, Tom Croft of the Heartland Network stressed that it’s important for unions to control their assets and invest in sustainable projects that will create good jobs.

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Bill Scher

Business and Labor: Create Clean Energy Markets

This morning’s “Policies and Partnerships for a Clean Power Future” session found wide agreement from union officials and business leaders on how we should reform our energy policies. Todd Foley of BP Solar and Jim Gordon of Cape Wind both lamented the “start and stop” nature of our government’s involvement in promoting renewable energy. Gordon advocated long-term policies, including tax incentives for production and power-purchasing agreements with utilities, while IBEW Local 103’s Marty Aikens supported residential tax credits . Lee Smith of the National Photovoltaic Construction Partnership pushed for state and local governments to create more demand by purchasing clean energy from domestic manufacturers. Foley concurred that if smart policies create domestic markets, home-grown manufacturing will make good business sense.

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Bill Scher

Green Buildings: Win-Win-Win-Win

By retrofitting our nation’s buildings to make them energy efficient, we can improve the environment, save consumers money, create good-paying union jobs, and reduce poverty. That’s the word from the panelists at today’s “High Performance Buildings & Job Creation” session. Don Gilligan of the National Association of Energy Services Companies told the crowd that a $7 billion annual investment would save consumers $22 billion in energy costs by 2017, while also creating 400,000 jobs annually. Steve Cowell of the non-profit consultant Conservation Services Group explained that the new jobs would not come and go after buildings get retrofitted, but good-paying high-skill permanent jobs would be created to operate and manage energy efficient buildings. And that’s a good fit for unions.

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Bill Scher

Welcome To The Apollo Summit LiveBlog

Today in Washington, labor leaders, environmental activists, business executives, elected officials and community organizers are convening for the Apollo Summit For Clean Energy & Good Jobs. The broad array of participants — brought together by our Apollo Alliance coalition — are finding critical common ground: highlighting state and local projects that have enhanced energy independence while creating jobs with good pay and benefits, and developing strategies that can build on these successes nationwide. I’ll be liveblogging the action for the rest of today and tomorrow, and our friends at PoliticsTV will be posting video highlights and interviews.

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