All posts by Steven Rosenblum

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Can Thaddeus McCotter Be The 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee?

Congressman, Potential Presidential Candidate and ax man Thaddeus McCotter (R) MI-11

We’ve interviewed Congressman- and potential presidential candidate- Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District several times on ‘Conservative Republican Forum’. He has always been one of our favorite guests because he usually provides direct answers to direct questions and has an easy going demeanor and sense of humor that make him a pleasure talk to.

So imagine my surprise when I listened to the June 9th edition of ‘The Tony Katz Radio Spectacular’ and heard what could be characterized as a “contentious” interview with the aforementioned Congressman McCotter.

Tony Katz – who indicated he opposed all bailouts- asked McCotter, who voted against TARP, about the bailouts of GM and Chrysler. The Congressman’s reply caught me (and I think Tony) quite by surprise.

McCotter started by saying, “It’s nice to have ideology and fantasy, but here’s the reality of the vote. You can walk around and say you’re opposed to all bailouts, that’s fine, but here’s how your vote would have come down. As you know the Wall Street bailout was passed first before the auto companies ever came to Washington. That meant that $700 billion of Main Street’s money was parked on Wall Street with the same people that crashed the economy”.

To begin with, McCotter’s statement that, “It’s nice to have ideology and fantasy” implies that he believes a person cannot be opposed to bailouts in general, or the auto company bailouts in particular, for principled reasons. If this is truly how he feels it is disturbing.

But what is more troubling is that I believe his statement misrepresents what TARP was and is. It’s true that Congress authorized $700 billion in TARP funds. But according to the CBO only about $433 billion was actually distributed and it was certainly not “parked” in a lump sum  “on Wall Street”. Whatever portion of the funds had not yet been distributed were, and still are, in the Treasury and did not have to be distributed.

Using that set of “facts” the congressman then asked Katz what he would have done as a legislator. Specifically McCotter asked, “The $700 billion TARP stays on Wall Street or some of it is peeled away from [it] to give Main Street a chance to survive and the auto industry and save the taxpayers $300 billion in social safety net costs, according to Moodys. Which do you do?”

Again I was surprised by Congressman McCotter’s response (or lack thereof). He did not answer the question that was posed to him, but rather turned it around on Katz- who is not a legislator, but a journalist and talk show host – and posed a question to his interviewer.

It is also important to note that the auto bailouts still led to the restructuring of the car companies and it is unclear whether the bailouts will save them in the long run. But unlike in a standard Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Chrysler bankruptcy a chunk of the equity went to the government and a majority to the UAW. In a normal Chapter 11 filing the secured bondholders claims would have been paramount. But because of the intervention of the federal government they were sent to the back of the line and that set a potentially dangerous precedent.

In addition private emails obtained by The Daily Caller detail the Obama administration’s involvement in cutting non-union worker pensions after the GM bailout, that could not have occurred otherwise.

It should be noted that the district that Congressman McCotter represents, Michigan’s 11th, is a suburb of Detroit. Many of his constituents are union autoworkers, their children, spouses and retirees who rely on union benefits and pensions. In addition many of those that are not directly employed by or tied to the automakers are dependent on the continued success of those companies for their livelihoods.

With the June 9th Katz interview in mind, and with the knowledge that Congressman McCotter is mulling a potential presidential bid, I asked him about another issue that a listener had brought to my attention. Specifically, that this year Congressman McCotter had voted against 2 Republican amendments that would have reversed President Obama’s executive order directing PLAs (project labor agreements) be used for federal construction projects. PLAs require non-union construction companies to have an agreement with the local unions if they want to bid on a government contract. Many feel that PLAs drive up the cost of government contracts, waste taxpayer dollars and limit competition.

Asked why he voted that way McCotter replied, “How many votes in the Senate would it have? How would the President sign it into law? I would also point out that we don’t need anymore, especially in a place like Michigan, any more confusion or chaos within the economy as we struggle to survive. So at this point it would not be wise to do that. So what you see hear is what the argument is it’s a bill that’s going nowhere and it’s also a case, that in my case, in the district that I represent it would have harmful effects and so I’m not going to support it at this time”.

The argument that the bill would have gone nowhere in the Senate and that President Obama would not have signed it is beside the point. The line of reasoning that it would have had harmful effects, especially on his constituents, is not. But it does raise some questions about a member of the House of Representatives running for President.

You can listen to the complete interview with Congressman McCotter by clicking here.

Many have made the argument that legislators should not run for President of the United States. Certainly there is a huge difference between the job of a member of Congress- writing and amending laws, oversight, etc. – and the job of President, which is to act as the nation’s chief executive.

In addition the priorities of a congressman are different than those of the President. A congressman’s first responsibility – after adhering to their oath to Constitution – is to serve the needs of their constituents – the 650,000 or so people that live in their district – who elect them every 2 years. The President must answer to the vastly broader constituency of the entire United States.

Congressman McCotter’s “contentiousness” in both the interviews with Tony Katz and on our program maybe related to the recognition that if he runs for President he will face many questions about his voting record like the ones posed to him on both shows. The questions will come not only from the relatively friendly and conservative “New Media”, but also from his primary opponents and the liberal “mainstream media”, who will likely dig deeper and be much more relentless in their inquiries.

When it comes to national security, foreign policy, illegal immigration, border enforcement and a host of other issues that are important to the Republican base and the “Tea Party” Congressman McCotter’s positions are very much in line with the grassroots supporters and primary voters he will need to persuade to vote for him. But on some fiscal issues, due to the district he represents, some of his votes may give certain fiscal conservatives pause.

Ronald Reagan said, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor”. I do not believe that Congressman McCotter taking some votes that I- and perhaps other fiscal conservatives- disagree with, disqualifies him as a potential, and very formidable, presidential contender. However, he needs to recognize that these questions about his positions and voting record will continue to be asked and perhaps return to his usual demeanor in answering them. It is after all that easy going disposition- in addition to his intelligence, directness and principles- that makes him such an attractive potential presidential candidate to so many Americans.

Steven Rosenblum is the host of  ‘Conservative Republican Forum’ & ‘CRF Weekdays’ on BlogTalkRadio. He was also the 2010 GOP nominee for Florida State House-District 89.

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter R-MI

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) Joins CRF Weekdays w/Steve & Daria

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)

 

Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) who has been mulling a possible 2012 Presidential run joins Steve Rosenblum and Daria DiGiovanni on CRF Weekdays to discuss the economy, the budget and President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan.

CRF Weekdays with Steve Rosenblum & Daria DiGiovanni on USA Talk Radio is a spinoff of the popular Conservative Republican Forum Saturday program which has aired since June 2009.

As always listeners are invited to call-in to 347-637-1121 with comments and questions.

The One & Only Ann Coulter

Constitutional Attorney & Author Ann Coulter On Conservative Republican Forum

The One & Only Ann Coulter

UPDATE: Ms. Coulter unfortunately had to reschedule this appearance. We will update you when the new date has been scheduled.

Steve & Daria’s guest on Conservative Republican Forum Saturday, June 25th is a constitutional attorney, a political pundit, a legal correspondent for Human Events and is the author of 7 New York Times bestsellers.

Ann Coulter is also a frequent guest on such shows as The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Red Eye and many more.

Now she has released what many feel is her best book to date; Demonic- How The Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.

They’ll talk to Ann about her new book, her career and some topics of the day.

As always, listeners are welcome to call-in to 347-637-1121 with comment and questions.

National Security Expert Frank Gaffney

National Security Expert Frank Gaffney Joins CRF Weekdays

National Security Expert Frank Gaffney

Wednesday, June 22nd, at 2:00pm ET, National security expert Frank Gaffney- The President & CEO of The Center For Security Policy,  will join Steve Rosenblum & Daria DiGiovanni on CRF Weekdays.

Mr. Gaffney is also the host of Secure Freedom Radio, a nationally-syndicated radio program heard weeknights throughout the country. In addition in the 1980′s he held several key national security posts.

CRF Weekdays on USA Talk Radio is a spinoff of the popular- Conservative Republican Forum- Saturday program which has aired since June 2009.

Unlike the Saturday show CRF Weekdays focuses more on analysis and opinion of news stories and less on guest interviews.

CRF SQ_ITALIC_INITIALS

CRF w/guest Peter Konetchy-US Senate Candidate

This Saturday on Conservative Republican Forum your host Steve Rosenblum is joined by guest cohost Diva Ellen (Snyder).  

The guest this evening, as part of their continuing ‘Grassroots Candidates Series’, is Michigan US Senate Candidate Peter Koentchy (R) who is hoping to unseat incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

They’ll also examine the latest news and politics. Topics will include the resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), the GOP Presidential Debate and much, much more!

As always your calls with comments and questions are welcome at 347-637-1121.

 

Is Glenn Beck A Hypocrite?

 

Glenn Beck versus Andrew Breitbart

It is important that I start by saying I don’t personally know Andrew Breitbart or Glenn Beck. I met Breitbart once, for about 60 seconds, at CPAC 2010. I also interviewed him by phone on May 21st, with my co-host Daria DiGiovanni, on Conservative Republican Forum. I have never met or spoken to Glenn Beck. I admire what both of these men have accomplished.

*Updated (see below).

On the evening of May 24th I became aware of a feud between Andrew Breitbart and Glenn Beck, two conservative media heavyweights, that apparently has been brewing for the better part of a year. The dispute goes back to the story of Shirley Sherrod, the USDA employee, who was forced to resign in July of 2009 after a video of her speaking at a local NAACP chapter meeting was shown on Breitbart’s BigGovernment website.

In the video Mrs. Sherrod- who is black- talks about an experience she had with a white farmer who came to her for help saving his farm. She tells the audience among other things that, “I was struggling with the fact that so many black people have lost their farmland and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land — so I didn’t give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough.”

This video became public at a time when the NAACP and much of the liberal media were attempting to portray the Tea Party movement as racist. Not surprisingly conservative media outlets: including FoxNews and others ran with the story. This led to Mrs. Sherrod, the USDA’s Georgia Director of Rural Development, being forced to resign by Secretary Tom Vilsack to avoid embarrassing the Department and the Obama Administration.

Unfortunately the video on BigGoverment’s website was not the full video of the event. It was however “the entirety of the speech [Breitbart] had in his possession”, according to blogger Ed Morrissey at HotAir.com. Mrs. Sherrod goes on to explain the error of her initial impression, this fact was later confirmed by the farmer himself and his wife. In fact the wife calls Sherrod a “friend” who “helped us save our farm”.

Andrew Breitbart has said that the point of the video was not Mrs. Sherrod’s statement, but rather the way that the audience laughed and seemed to approve of her not giving the white farmer “the full force of what” she could do. Again, the NAACP was accusing the Tea Party of racism and Breitbart had a tape of people at a NAACP chapter meeting embracing her story of black on white racism.

The dispute between Beck and Breitbart stems from some of the claims Beck made about how he covered the story, including: “We didn’t rush to condemn her”, “We defended her and said her side of the story demanded to be heard- because– context matters.”

It is true that on his Fox News Channel show Beck did not condemn Shirley Sherrod. But what was not revealed to his TV audience, and was largely ignored in the media, was that earlier that morning on his nationally syndicated radio program (before all the exculpatory information became known and put her comments in context) Beck did attack Sherrod in 3 segments, totaling about 9 minutes.

Click below to hear the segments from 7/20/2010:

Glenn Beck Radio Audio Segment 4

Glenn Beck Radio Audio Segment 11

Glenn Beck Radio Audio Segment 12

If Beck had simply said he didn’t have all the facts when his radio show aired and had framed his future coverage of the story that way, there would have been no problem. But instead he told this cable audience, “I have a story I want to share with you that I haven’t shared yet. Do you know why I didn’t do the Shirley Sherrod story? Did anyone think that story was uncommon for the people that we have in the White House? That there might be some prejudice that is happening? No. I stood in my office with my entire team, and I said, “Something’s wrong, don’t do this story.” That’s what saved me: the Sword of the Spirit.”

Clearly, this is not the case. He attacked Mrs. Sherrod on his radio show based on the information he had in his possession at that time. He also ignored the context of the article that accompanied the audio he was using to attack her. Then when the full story became clear Mr. Beck didn’t simply admit it, he made himself the victim and started to blame others.

Click below to see Glenn later the same day on his Fox News show:

Beck- Context Matters Part 1

Beck- Context Matters Part 2

Beck- Context Matters Part 3

Beck- Context Matters Part 4

On his Twitter feed Breitbart says he’s “been trying since July 2010 to get him [Beck] to set [the] record straight”. He says he “sucked it up for most of a year & went to Beck’s office last month. Talked to [a] top exec. Expected results. Got none”.

Breitbart goes on to ask “Beck fans” 5 questions:

  1. “Is it cool your guru goes behind my back to hire away my editors, take bloggers/contributors & while bad mouthing me?”
  2. “Why’d he take so much Big content w/out attribution during even our high times? Is partial attribution the ‘truth’ standard?”
  3. “When he was throwing me under [the] Sherrod bus, why’d he double down & lie to O’Reilly’s face that he didn’t do [the] story?”
  4. “Why has he avoided a year of me trying to settle this privately through Kerry, LibertyChick & others?”
  5. “Why’d you go after O’Keefe & me (though I had nothing to do w/NPR)? @mmfa [Media Matters for America] sure liked that d*ck move!”

I have been to GlennBeck.com and TheBlaze.com to see if Mr. Beck has addressed Mr. Breitbart’s charges. I could find no evidence that he has. On his cable show Beck tells his viewers a few things that have always made me respect him: “Don’t take my word for anything I say on this show”, “do your own research”, “truth has no agenda” and “QUESTION WITH BOLDNESS”.

I don’t have a dog in this hunt. Both Andrew Breitbart and Glenn Beck are titans of conservative media that have inspired many of us to write, broadcast, investigate and question. If I had never heard of the two of them I might not be writing for this publication and likely would not be hosting my own radio show.

Andrew Breitbart vs. Glenn Beck, to me, is the equivalent of the old Japanese monster movie ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla’ (I’m not sure who is who). It is a colossal battle and just as the result of those two monsters fighting led to the destruction of Tokyo, a battle between Breitbart and Beck could lead to damage to the conservative movement and media. The only winners in this dispute are left-wing media organizations like Media Matters for America, the DailyKos, MSNBC and the New York Times.

And yet it seems the difficult question that must be asked, because “the truth has no agenda”, is: “Is Glenn Beck a hypocrite?” Has he failed to live by the standards he espouses to his audience? His listeners, viewers and all the people that buy his books and have traveled vast distances to attend his rallies, not to mention all the people that follow his 9 principles and 12 values (912) deserve to know the truth of what really happened.

Andrew Breitbart has made his side of the story extraordinarily clear and very public. He has brought the issue of Glenn Beck’s ethics and integrity to the court of public opinion, because he says Beck refused to deal with it privately for almost a year. To put it simply Beck’s principles and values have been challenged, this time by a conservative peer not some left-winger. Shouldn’t Glenn address this? His silence is deafening.

Updated 12:30pm 5/26/11:

It appears that Glenn Beck’s  producers did go on to defend Mrs. Sherrod in the 4th hour of the show which is available only to SUBSCRIBERS OF HIS INSIDER EXTREME service. They play audio of a CNN interview with Mrs. Sherrod, where she defends herself and tries to explain why she did not fight when the USDA and White House demanded her resignation. You can judge for yourself the veracity of her claims and how much the Beck producers actually defend Sherrod.

LiveLeak.com audio of 4th Hour (Insider Extreme) of Glenn Beck Radio Show

Steven Rosenblum is the host of  ‘Conservative Republican Forum’ & ‘CRF Weekdays’ on BlogTalkRadio and the USA Talk Radio Network. He was also the 2010 GOP nominee for Florida State House-District 89.

The Tony Katz Radio Spectacular! on CRF

Tony Katz of ‘The Tony Katz Radio Spectacular’ and ‘The Conversation’ on PJTV will be on ‘Conservative Republican Forum’ with hosts Steven Rosenblum and Daria DiGiovanni on Saturday, May 28th. The show airs from 6:00-7:30pm ET.

In addition, Bill Whittle of PJTV’s ‘Trifecta’ & ‘Afterburner’ shows will be a guest that evening as well.

‘The Tony Katz Radio Spectacular’, starring Tony Katz and producer-in-training Holly Bacon, on All Patriots Media and PJTV made a huge announcement on Friday evening.

Starting Wednesday, June 1st, the show will be heard in New York. They will join the lineup at WVNJ 1160am at their same 6pm EST time slot.

If you’ve never listened to Tony’s show then you don’t know what you’re missing. Because it his, as Tony says, “a pleasure, like you would not and could not believe” for him to do the show and for the listener.

From his bio: “Tony Katz is a proud American and Capitalist…  The Tony Katz Radio Spectacular is the daily show that extols the virtues of Freedom, Liberty and Capitalism. Focusing on right vs. wrong, instead of right vs. left, Tony methodically works his way through current events and pop culture, exposing MSM hypocrisy and making the complex easy to understand.

Tony is also the host of The Conversation with Tony Katz on PJTV (http://pjtv.com).  On The Conversation, Tony gathers a weekly panel of pundits, politicos, celebrities and media professionals to talk about the hot subjects of the day.  Unlike other talk shows, The Conversation is not about sound bites, but about the free exchange of ideas”.

I strongly recommend you check out the show at AllPatriotsMedia.com or on one of the terrestrial radio stations where his show is syndicated:

880 AM – KLRG
Little Rock, AR

1330 AM – KTAE
Ft. Hood/Kileen, TX

1340 AM – WTAN
Clearwater/Tampa Bay, FL

1350 AM – WDCF
Dade City, FL

US Transmission Lines

More Common Sense On US Energy Policy

I have written about energy policy before. It is a critically important issue that affects every American, every day. It is not merely an economic concern. It affects our national security and the environment.

There are basically 8 sources of energy available to us here in the US- Oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, biofuels, wind, solar and hydroelectric. All receive some level of taxpayer subsidies and all involve certain pros and cons. But the information- or misinformation- that continually goes out to the public about each energy source affects how Americans and their elected officials view them.

Oil is an energy source that most of us use everyday. We use it to fuel our cars, obtain electricity, and power the trucks that bring products to market and the airplanes that make it possible to travel the nation and the world. Its byproducts also supply us with a wide array of materials used in daily living.

The price of oil fluctuates as a result of three distinct factors: supply and demand, speculation and the value of the US Dollar. Currently oil prices (and gasoline prices) are at relatively high levels. President Obama and pundits like Bill O’Reilly would have you believe that “evil” speculators are solely to blame for these current astronomical prices. But there are other factors at play here:

  • Oil is traded in US Dollars. The US Treasury has been printing a lot of dollars recently causing the dollar to be worth less, thereby resulting in a higher cost of oil per barrel.
  • Oil is traded based on futures — otherwise known as speculation. With turmoil in the Middle East; China and India emerging as greater consumers of oil; and uncertainty as to whether the US government will allow for expanded domestic drilling, futures of oil get more expensive as there is speculation that future demand will outpace future supplies.
  • The federal government imposes cafe standards on oil refiners. This means that refiners must produce different blends of gasoline for different regions of the country. This requirement itself artificially keeps gas prices high year round, but also accounts for the even higher prices we pay in the summer when the government requires “summer blends”. This retooling for the summer also necessitates the refineries to reduce capacity for a time which decreases supply and causes a temporary seasonal spike in prices.

The President and Congress could lower the price of oil tomorrow by opening up expanded domestic drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Atlantic coast, in ANWR and other areas in the Continental US. Even if some of these new leases wouldn’t result in supply for a decade, the markets would have some certainty of greater future supplies and the price would fall.

Besides lowering oil and gasoline prices, expanded domestic drilling (to 50% of our domestic demand) would result in 3-4 million more high-paying American jobs, lower prices for other items (due to lower transportation costs), a boon to the economy and a dramatic reduction in our dependence on foreign oil from unfriendly (or downright hostile) nations, which would be great for our national security.

Unfortunately President Obama, most Democrats in Congress, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior are more interested in demonizing the Oil Industry and misinforming the public about the actual amount of domestic oil that exists, than they are in providing leases to drill for more domestic sources.

Natural gas is plentiful, cleaner burning than oil and can be extracted from a vast area domestically. It is used to heat homes and businesses, to operate vehicles (in it’s compressed form) and can be used to generate electricity.

It has some risks, but those have been deemed acceptable long ago. It is volatile, poisonous, colorless and odorless. There are deaths from it every year, but usually these deaths come from poor maintenance that leads to gas line ruptures and/or explosions.

There have been some complaints about the method of extracting natural gas from the ground, known as fracking (short for Hydraulic Fracturing) the process of injecting a combination of chemicals deep into the ground to fracture rock, releasing natural gas. The complaints have been about the chemicals being dangerous and both the chemicals and the gas itself infiltrating water supplies. Most of these complaints have been debunked. The chemicals used in fracking are not known to be anymore dangerous than those you find in your home and they are injected well below the water table. Most of the incidents of gas in water supplies have been found to be just natural infiltration of methane into wells that happens even where there is no fracking.

Coal is one of the oldest, most reliable and least clean burning sources of energy in use in the United States. It is abundant and relatively easy to transport but there are a number of safety hazards involved with mining and transporting it.

Coal mining is a major source of employment in states like Kentucky and West Virginia. Though it is dangerous, generations of Americans owe their livelihoods to working in coalmines. Lethal methane levels, explosions, fire and mine collapses are all very real threats to those that earn their livings far beneath the surface of the Earth to mine for coal.

This energy source certainly has the worst reputation in terms of pollution. But in the past few decades the technology has advanced and “clean coal” seems to be a more realistic reality going forward.

Nuclear power is by far the most controversial and yet most efficient method of generating electricity without carbon emissions. While there are zero carbon emissions from nuclear power, the fact that Plutonium is used and is radioactive makes it unpopular with many environmentalists.

The recent tragedy in Japan has reignited the debate over the use of nuclear power. Opponents point to the dangers of meltdown or a “China Syndrome” type accident. But the truth is more than 18,000 people lost their lives in Japan from the earthquake, aftershocks and the tsunami waves that followed. To date, not one person has lost their life due to the nuclear accident. The levels of radiation that the public has been exposed to- at it’s worst- in Japan is less than what they would be exposed to in a CT scan.

The US currently produces about 10% of its electricity from nuclear power. If we are to truly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, nuclear is the only practical solution and must be expanded. But in order to achieve this goal the Federal government must deal in a realistic way with the very real problem of storing spent nuclear fuel rods.

The Yucca Mountain facility, in Nevada, was to be the answer to that problem. The facility has been a major political ping-pong ball, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) being a major opponent. There had been extensive and expensive research and development done to locate an appropriate facility that would be remote, secure and geologically and seismically stable for the storage of spent nuclear materials. When President Obama took office he and his Energy Secretary Steven Chu unilaterally moved to close the facility and now we are back to square one. It will take a minimum of 34 years to find and develop another location and that’s assuming that the next place that’s chosen doesn’t run into the same political roadblocks. In the meantime spent nuclear fuel is being stored onsite at less secure nuclear power plants all around the nation.

Biofuels are two separate fuels that come from renewable resources. They can be used alone or as additives with petroleum products to make a blended fuel.

  • Ethanol is derived from the glucose extracted from the starch of a crop (most often corn in the US), which is fermented to produce alcohol.
  • Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl, propyl or ethyl) esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, animal fat (tallow)) with an alcohol.

At present there is a healthy debate occurring regarding the pros and cons of these fuels. I am still researching these issues. But what I will say at this point is the Federal government’s involvement in the form of subsidies needs to stop.

In a recent interview Congressman Steve King (R-IA), who represents many corn farmers and ethanol producers, said that both he and the ethanol producers favor what he termed a “soft landing” for ethanol subsidies. I have no problem with phasing the subsidies out, rather than dropping them all at once, perhaps within 10 years.

Wind is certainly a clean source of electricity, but has issues that even leave some environmentalists questioning its value.

The biggest issue in utilizing wind turbines to generate electricity is that even in the best of locations and circumstances the wind only blows about 30% of the time. Not the most reliable source of electricity. Another problem is that wind turbines aren’t particularly efficient. It would take a field of wind turbines hundreds of square miles in size to generate the same amount of megawatts as a single nuclear reactor.

Wind turbines are also noisy and that leads to the old not in my backyard arguments. Even the vaunted “environmentalist” Kennedy family said no to having wind turbines near their home. Wind turbines also kill bird and bats, though the numbers killed is relatively insignificant compared to other natural causes such as predators.

Without taxpayer subsidies it is unlikely there would be much demand for wind power in the United States, at least as the technology currently exists and functions.

Solar energy, like wind power, suffers from the inconsistency of the source. The fact is the sun does not always shine. Solar power generation also is also inefficient and it requires many acres of photovoltaic panels to produce a commercially significant and economically viable amount of electricity.

Again without sizeable taxpayer subsidies no private sector business would invest in building solar power plants in the United States.

Hydroelectric power plants are efficient and clean. They produce electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, rain or shine. The only time they may stop producing electricity is in times of severe drought or if they’re taken offline for maintenance or upgrade of the turbines.

The major objection that environmentalists have with hydroelectric is the fact that a dam is required to harness the power of the water. This means diverting a river and affecting the ecosystem of the region.

Building a dam creates a manmade lake (a.k.a. a reservoir), which floods the land upstream of the site. It displaces wildlife and affects the spawning of indigenous fish and other aquatic life. In response to some of these ecological concerns some dams are being retrofit to make it possible for the fish to move back upstream

Of course the upside of creating a manmade lake is a large fresh water supply for human consumption and a new recreation area that is good for the economy of the region. Lake Mead, which was created when the Hoover Dam was built, is perhaps the most famous and best example of such reservoir.

The possibility of building additional hydroelectric dams in the US seems unlikely. The cost and the environmental impact make it problematic at best.

Subsidies for all types of energy should be ended. But it should be noted that the lion’s share of energy subsidies go to wind and solar because those are the pet projects of the “green movement” and their allies in Congress.

They believe that carbon dioxide is a “greenhouse gas” and they want to support these energy sources because they don’t emit carbon dioxide. They also want to demonize and obliterate hydrocarbon-based energy industries.

But isn’t it interesting that these same “green” members of Congress do not want to expand nuclear power, which emits no carbon dioxide, is proven (France generates about 80% of their electricity with nuclear power) and supplies much more energy a great deal more efficiently?

Bottom line? It’s time to tell Americans the truth about all of these energy sources. And it’s well past time for the government to stop the politically motivated demagoguery and get out of the way. Good old-fashioned American innovation and entrepreneurship will lead to workable energy solutions — just as it always has for other industries.

Steven Rosenblum is the host of ‘Conservative Republican Forum’ & ‘CRF Weekdays’ onBlogTalkRadioand the USA Talk Radio Network. He was also the 2010 GOP nominee for Florida State House-District 89.

Obama at Ground Zero Thursday (Charles Dharapak-AP)

Taking A Victory Lap Without Spiking The Ball

Obama at Ground Zero Thursday (Charles Dharapak-AP)

After the virtually flawless raid by the US Navy SEALS and CIA paramilitary forces on Sunday, which resulted in the termination of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama and his administration seem to have fallen back on bad habits.

First there was the changing narrative of just how the raid went down. Did Bin Laden resist, or not? Was he armed, or not? Did he use his wife as human shield, or not?

Then came the question of whether the administration would release the photographs of Bin Laden’s corpse or not. Initially it seemed like a no-brainer; of course the pictures would be released. CIA Director Leon Panetta said he expected the pictures would be released. The next day President Obama declared, via Press Secretary Jay Carney, that the photos would not be released. We were told “that’s not who we are”, “we don’t need to be taking a victory lap” and “we don’t need to spike the ball”.

But the reason that the Bin Laden photos are being withheld seems to be more about sensitivity to Muslim sensibilities than about avoiding “spiking the ball”. In his speech Sunday night President Obama said that Osama Bin Laden “was not a Muslim leader, he was a murderer of Muslims”. We are constantly being told that most Muslims are peaceful and not radicals. If these two statements are accurate then why would the release of the photographs of a mass-murderer who was not a Muslim leader, but killed many Muslims, offend the sensitivities of peaceful Muslims?

The President’s visit to Ground Zero Thursday seemed to be a victory lap and a photo-op, more for political gain than to comfort 9/11 families. To illustrate this, look at the visit itself. While President Obama made no remarks while at Ground Zero, there was a gaggle of politicians- mostly from his party- in attendance. By contrast only a handful of the thousands of 9/11 families were invited to be present at the wreath laying. In addition, when the President met briefly with the sister of American Airlines Flight 77 pilot Charles Burlingame, Debra Burlingame, he treated her poorly because she spoke up in defense of the CIA agents whose use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques led to the discovery of Bin Laden’s hiding place and eventual termination.

To be clear, the photographs of Bin Laden’s corpse should be released not to prove that he was killed by the SEALS- we know he was. They should be released because the sensitivities of the American people should be more important than the sensitivities of Islamic extremists that will want to kill us whether they see the photos or not. It should also be noted that our enemies respect strength and power, not weakness and dhimmitude. In war you don’t worry about your enemy’s feelings, you try to make them fear you and make them think twice before attacking you. Showing our Jihadist enemies the pictures of their vanquished ex-leader will show them that the United States will pursue them, no matter where they hide or how long it takes.

My brother-in-law Eric was killed on 9/11 in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. so this issue is very personal to me. I and the families of the 3,000 people murdered by Osama Bin Laden that day have waited almost 10 years for justice to be served. We and the American people have paid for those pictures with our blood and treasure and we have a right to see them.

President Obama needs to reconsider his decision and release the photographs of Osama Bin Laden. Taking a “victory lap” on the hallowed earth of Ground Zero, but not “spiking the ball” by letting the American people see the pictures of our deceased enemy is despicable.

Steven Rosenblum is the host of ‘Conservative Republican Forum’ & ‘CRF Weekdays’ onBlogTalkRadio and the USA Talk Radio Network. He was also the 2010 GOP nominee for Florida State House-District 89.

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Navy SEALS Terminate Bin Laden

Late Sunday night rumors started to circulate that President Obama would be making a nationally televised address. The rumors quickly became that Obama was going to announce that the US had in fact killed Osama Bin Laden and was in possession of the mass murder’s body.

Rumors then turned to confirmation of Bin Laden’s death. Initial reports said that a US bomb had killed him in Pakistan. Then we learned that in fact US Navy Seals had staged an assault on a compound where Bin Laden had been living since 2006 and that he and one of his adult sons had been shot and killed.

As a family member of a victim of the 9/11 attacks I couldn’t be more pleased. The death of Bin Laden is a long time coming and will let the victims rest a little easier and the families sleep a little more soundly.

But any suggestion that this victory is anything more than a feel good moment and a moral victory is just false. This is not a strategic or tactical victory in the overall war with Al Qaeda, the jihadists and the Sharia compliant Islamists that mean to impose their global caliphate upon all of us that they consider nothing more than infidels.

This is one fantastic victory, carried out with precision and bravery by our CIA and US Navy Seals. But the war continues and it is a war that was declared on us by the Islamists.

As the sun rises we find the world on a higher state of alert, concerned that Bin Laden’s followers- his network-will attempt to retaliate for his death.

The fact is they were coming for us eventually. I’d rather have them coming after us angry, pissed off and distracted. A distracted Jihadist is a sloppy Jihadist and easier for us to stop.

The United States Navy SEALS terminated Osama Bin Laden, with extreme prejudice. They displayed true “gun control” by putting rounds accurately through the skull of a mass murderer. Do I call that victory or an end to the war? No, I call it a good start!