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Friday
Feb052016

Exposers of Planned Parenthood Should Be Hailed as Good Journalists

On RT Network’s “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann,” Horace Cooper went on the attack against Planned Parenthood, and urged the organization to refuse federal funding.

“The lion’s share of Planned Parenthood’s work is killing people. They ought to call it Death Care, not Health Care,” said Cooper on the February 3 show. “But if they want to operate with impunity they should do so without taxpayer support. You will find the scrutiny goes away completely…’”

Cooper also defended anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who faces legal trouble for his undercover videos exposing the gruesome profit motives of some Planned Parenthood executives.

“If an RT reporter goes to a Whole Foods grocery store and attempts to sell tainted beef to them and videotapes it, you guys would be telling us that’s good journalism. You wouldn’t be saying that that person ought to be charged criminally for attempting to put poisonous material into the market,” said Cooper.

The portion of the show dealing with Planned Parenthood and abortion can be viewed below:

Friday
Jan222016

March for Life: Will the Washington Post Cover It As It Did in 2014 (Fairly), or 2015 (Not)?

UnbornBaby abortionfacingleftWDPCIt's no secret that the mainstream media under-reports the massive "March for Life" held every January 22nd in Washington, D.C.

Will it do any better this year?

In 2013, the National Center for Public Policy Research's David Almasi took the issue to the shareholder meeting of the then-publicly-held Washington Post and asked why the Post gave less coverage to hundreds of thousands of people attending the 2013 March for Life than to vastly smaller rallies touting the liberal position on gun control and the Keystone pipeline.

As the National Center reported in a May 9, 2013 press release, here's how the Washington Post responded:

In response, Post Company chairman and CEO Donald Graham, who served as the paper's publisher in 1990, said he agreed with the criticism of the paper's abortion reporting at that time and said the Post's job in reporting the news is "not to take sides." However, he added, "that's not to say we don't make mistakes."

Graham handed off the question to current Post publisher Katherine Weymouth, who added: "[W]e're far from perfect -- we do make mistakes." In a private conversation with Almasi after the conclusion of the meeting, Weymouth suggested around "90 percent" of the Post newsroom holds liberal political beliefs and "obviously their bias comes through" on occasion. "We can't be perfect," Weymouth reiterated. Almasi pointed out that the Post's apparent bias against large pro-life events such as the annual March for Life is a recurring problem with the paper.

"Every year, the hundreds of thousands of people who trek to Washington in January -- often in snow and rain -- for the March for Life get a small story in the Metro section for their efforts. And it usually includes a photo of the handful of pro-abortion counter-protesters who show up -- diluting the coverage and potentially making someone not reading the article think it was a pro-abortion event. This year, the apparent bias was compounded when a gun control rally of less than 1,000 people the next day received better coverage. And another smaller rally against the Keystone XL pipeline made the front section," said Almasi. "People consider Congress more credible than the reporters who cover them these days, and the Washington Post is seen as the poster child for bias for this kind of reporting."

To the Washington Post's credit, the very next year, 2014, its coverage of the March for Life was much more fair. As this blog, in an article by David Almasi, reported on January 23, 2014:
After being taken to task for virtually ignoring what they now report is "the world's largest" pro-life event that has been happening on their home turf for decades, it appears the shareholder activism of the National Center&'s Free Enterprise Project prompted the Washington Post to upgrade its coverage of the annual March for Life.

Life sign abortionW DPCEvery January 22, the anniversary of the release of the Roe v. Wade opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court, hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists converge on the nation’s capital in all forms of weather. That should be enough of a story all by itself.

Yesterday, the federal government was officially closed. It was the day after a major (by D.C. standards) snowstorm that paralyzed the region. Yet March for Life organizers reported that hundreds of thousands still attended (and the Post reported temperatures at the March were near the single digits and that many buses and trains bringing people to the March were cancelled due to the weather). Police no longer issue crowd estimates.

Coverage of this major event in the Washington Post used to be meager. Not this year.

This year’s March for Life received coverage on page 2 of the front section of the Post. Last year, it was covered on page 1 of the Metro section – and received less-favorable coverage than a story that appeared the following day about a rally of less than a thousand people who supported gun control...

Issue closed? Sadly, no.

In the intervening time, the Washington Post was sold to Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos. The leadership of the Post -- partially -- changed. The Post's coverage of the 2015 March for Life was noticeably less fair.

As David Almasi wrote here last year:

...So how did the Washington Post do on reporting the March for Life in 2015? I think a liberal newsroom is beginning to reassert its authority.

Consider the statistics. The 1/23/15 article for the 2015 March for Life is on page A-6 — in the front section and above the fold. Some would consider that buried, as opposed to being on the front page of the Metro section.

In an article with a total of 27.2 column inches, only about 6.75 inches is actually devoted to the March itself. There is 3.5 inches for people who participated to support life issues besides abortion (namely, anti-capital punishment) and 2.75 inches about March leadership not allowing representatives of those other causes to address marchers at a rally. And 2.125 inches was allocated to a pro-abortion Catholic activist. The rest was devoted to abortion-related news from places elsewhere than the teeming streets of D.C on a cold day in January.

Furthermore, the photo accompanying the article prominently featured pro-abortion protesters...Imagine that. Hundreds of thousands of people rally for the pro-life cause the day after a major snowstorm and the Washington Post ran a picture of pro-abortion activists. How much more clear a picture of bias could there be?

The Washington Post is now privately held, so the National Center's Free Enterprise Project can no longer go to Washington Post shareholder meetings and talk frankly to its top executives in front of hundreds of its top shareholders and the business press. The Washington Post editors and management, however, are still as free as ever to report fairly.

If they want to. We'll see when tomorrow's Post comes out.

Friday
Jan222016

Is Apple's Workforce Sufficiently Diverse? A Shareholder Proposal Says No, But I'm Skeptical

Silver Apple Logo WhiteIs Apple's workforce sufficiently diversified?

Antonio Avian Maldonado II, a shareholder, says "no." He's submitted a shareholder proposal to be voted on at Apple's next shareholder meeting calling on the corporation to adopt an "accelerated recruitment policy" to increase diversity.

In its proxy statement, which contains the proposal and Apple's response, Apple urges shareholders to vote "no" on the proposal. It is now receiving criticism for doing so.

But is the criticism fair? At the risk of further aggrieving the perpetually-aggrieved, I see scant reason to think so.

Apple's overall United States workforce is 54 percent white. The USA is 77.4 percent white; if everyone of Hispanic heritage is deducted, it is 62.1 percent white. Apple's leadership is 63 percent white. So Apple's American workforce is less white than America; its leadership is as well unless everyone with Hispanic ancestry is discounted, in which case, the leadership numbers, in terms of white executives, almost exactly match the population's.

Maldonado is quoted saying Apple's board is "a little bit too vanilla." He's more comfortable than I am in judging people based on their birth characteristics.

Apple's board has only eight members. That's small. Anytime you have a group of just eight, the odds of it matching some pre-determined racial/ethnic/gender mix is unlikely. Even so, with one black member, Apple's board is 12.5 percent black (about 13.2 percent of Americans are black).

When it comes to women on Apple's board, at first glance, with two members or 25 percent, women are underrepresented. But women earned only about 18 percent of all U.S. bachelor's degrees in computer science in 2010, and about the same in engineering. By this measure, Apple actually has more women on its board than it might.

The board is 75 percent white.

But again, a sample size of eight is too small for conclusions, and anyone who knows business knows that many of the most influential executives at any corporation are not necessarily on the board of directors. Indeed, boards sometimes are criticized for rubber-stamping what executives want.

It's worth noting, and Apple does, that over the last year 35 percent of Apple's new U.S. hires were female, 19 percent were of Asian ancestry, 13 percent were of Hispanic ancestry, and 11 percent were black.

Some Apple critics, such as the business publication Quartz, claim "studies have found that companies with diverse boards typically see higher financial returns." But Quartz only linked to two studies for this broad statement.

One of these examined boards only for gender mix and for the number of members who were foreign-born, not race or ancestry, and even then, it said, "We acknowledge that these findings, though consistent, aren’t proof of a direct relationship between diversity and financial success."

The other, a four page study (of which two pages are graphics and a third is recommendations and information about the sponsor), examined the return on investment (ROI) of corporations with women on their boards versus those without in three nations (the U.S., U.K. and India; we aren't told why these three were selected), noted that the firms with women on the board had greater ROIs, and apparently just assumed the women made the difference. I think we all know what can happen when we "assume."

Maldonado's proposal asks "the Board of Directors [to] adopt an accelerated recruitment policy... to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directors, two bodies that presently fails [sic] to adequately represent diversity (particularly Hispanic, African-American, Native-American and other people of colour)."

This is vague (is Apple supposed to put more non-whites and females in senior management and its board, or is it merely supposed to examine the resumes of/interview more non-whites, Hispanics and females?), and vagueness can get a proposal disqualified at the Securities and Exchange Commission, but for some reason Apple's attorneys failed to make this argument when it asked the SEC to allow it to leave Maldonado's proposal off its proxy statement, so I have no idea if the SEC would agree with me.

Although I have been an Apple customer for thirty years, I am not a blind lover of everything Apple says and does (and there are many people who are!). Maldonado's proposal is #6 on Apple's proxy statement; one from us is #7. Apple fought us at the SEC (we won), just as it did Maldonado. But I am exasperated by what appears to be increasing arguments that there is something wrong with white men, just because they were born white and male. Apple's U.S. workforce is already less white than the U.S. and its not Apple's fault that women are less likely than men to CHOOSE (a voluntary action!) computer science and engineering careers. If Apple has some bias against non-white non-males -- and no one appears to be alleging that -- it should be addressed and eliminated. Short of that, Apple should choose its executive team and board based on what's between people's ears (which can include knowledge about different population groups), not their skin color, gender, the nations their ancestors lived in or other characteristics of birth.

Its clear Apple already actively recruits minorities and women, and it goes further, by such activities as making donations to the STEM programs at historically-black universities. This almost certainly will increase the pool of black executives for the tech sector. These activities should be applauded. But if a white male happens to be the best applicant for any particular position, Apple should not hold his race and gender against him.

Wednesday
Jan202016

Yes, Conservatives DO Have ObamaCare Alternatives

On RT Network’s “The Big Picture,” Project 21’s Hughey Newsome told host Thom Hartmann that the reason Hartmann knew of no conservative alternatives to ObamaCare isn’t because there aren’t any — it’s because the mainstream media refuses to talk about them.

“I think that Republicans are focused on stopping ObamaCare at this point before it gets too entrenched into the American economic system, into the health care system, and then you fix it,” Newsome said.

“In other words, you don’t have a plan either,” interrupted Hartmann.

“The Republicans have been proposing potential solutions and ObamaCare alternatives since ‘09,” countered Newsome.

“I have not heard one serious proposal,” said Hartmann.

“Let’s not say Republicans haven’t proposed alternatives. Making insurance portable,” for example, said Newsome. “There are alternative approaches and solutions that are being explored. They just haven’t seen the light of day because the mainstream media is not allowing it.”

Too bad Newsome didn’t have this handy resource in front of him to stick in Hartmann’s face. Last year the National Center created this document, which details some of the conservative and libertarian health care reform proposals about which Hartmann and many Americans sadly haven’t heard.

The health care debate between Newsome and Hartmann on 1/15/16 can be viewed below:

 

Friday
Jan152016

Horace Cooper Decries Single-Payer Health Care and Government Witch Hunts Against Conservatives

Project 21’s Horace Cooper dominated the debate during the RT Network’s “Big Picture Rumble” Wednesday night.

First, Horace challenged host Thom Hartmann’s claim that our nation would be better off with a single-payer health care system similar to those found in Canada and Europe.

“Explain why, even though all of these other systems have all these ‘assets’ and ‘advantages’, we see so much health care tourism to the United States,” challenged Cooper. “They come here because market forces are allowing for dynamic treatments that many places simply aren’t going to be able to [provide]….Why are Canadians, when they have high-specialty, intensive health care needs related to heart and vascular circulation issues, coming here?”  

The health care debate can be viewed here:

Later in the program, the topic of campaign finance came up in light of this week’s State of the Union address.  President Obama wants greater transparency regarding political contributions.  Horace argued that if contributions are to be made public, there should be greater accountability as to how that information can be used.

Horace said he believed in transparency “until all of a sudden, people started getting IRS audits, people started getting EPA audits, all kinds of sting operations based on the contributions that they made. And because you progressives go out and do things in the dark of the night that are criminal against these people and targeting them.”

Horace suggests that it should be “a felony with mandatory sentences if you use information that you get from the FEC… to oppress or in some way punish [people] for their actions.”  

View the campaign finance debate below.

 

Thursday
Jan142016

President Obama Hasn't Addressed the Real Issues That Affect the Black Community 

In light of President Obama’s State of the Union address, Project 21’s Stacy Washington appeared on Newsmax TV’s “The Hard Line” last night to address whether the president is effectively tackling the issues that affect African Americans.

“There’ve been a lot of opportunities for this president to come out and talk about things that really matter to the black community — the jobless rate, the fatherlessness rate, the amount of children who have grown up in homes that are poverty-stricken and receiving food stamps and SNAP benefits,” said Washington.  “And at each opportunity, the President has pivoted to his agenda, preferring to instead focus on immigration, illegal immigration, demonizing Americans for their supposed treatment of Muslims, and his obsession with controlling guns.

“The true issue in inner-city communities is the lack of fathers.  And Barack Obama happens to be an excellent husband and father, and he has not once taken a step into that area and said, ‘Look, we’ve got to stop having children out of wedlock.  We’ve got to start focusing on families.’” 

Watch Stacy’s entire appearance below:

 

Monday
Jan042016

To Media Matters, It Is Still 2008

Media Matters logo

Media Matters is at it again.

Writer Kevin Kalhoefer has "awarded" the National Center's Jeff Stier and Julie Kelley's November 9 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about left-wing efforts to raises taxes on meat for supposed climate change-fighting purposes as the 4th most ridiculous thing the conservative media said about climate change in 2015.

To rebut the piece, Media Matters called it "baseless." Not much of a rebuttal, that.

Media Matters also, once again, misled its lemmings by calling the National Center for Public Policy Research "oil-industry backed." As we documented here in November, we last received a contribution from the oil industry in 2008, so any accurate references to oil industry donations would have to be -- very much -- in the past tense.

Media Matters cited its claim that we are oil-industry by linking to a webpage noting that we last received an oil industry donation in 2008, so it can't claim it doesn't know.

Media Matters, like other leftist groups, appears unwilling to discuss the state of the evidence that the man-made catastrophic global warming theory is true. Instead it plays a game of diversion, discussing (however misleadingly) the sources of funding of those who point out that the models that predicted dramatic global warming have overwhelmingly failed to be accurate, as the years have gone by, and we've had time to evaluate them against actual temperature.

One gets the sense the left doesn't care any more about whether the global warming theory is true than if its statements about the right's funding are true.

What Media Matters says about our funding makes no more sense than claiming George w. Bush is president of the United States. What was true in 2008 is not true today.

Saturday
Dec262015

Why is Tim Cook Producing Apple Products in China?

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he is moving Apple production to China not because of low wages, but because China invests more in vocational training than the United States does. Fox Business host Neil Cavuto suspects Cook is not being totally truthful with this statement.

Cavuto interviewed Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project about this issue, and Justin took it a step further:

“It’s very interesting that when Charlie Rose just pointed out a very simple fact of the modern world economy that most Business 101 students know, that Cook got very defensive on this issue,” Danhof said. “And it speaks to a pattern in the Cook administration… where anytime someone criticizes Apple, they get very defensive… And it was interesting his response was to attack American workers.”

Watch Danhof’s entire 12/21/15 appearance on “Cavuto Coast to Coast” below.

Thursday
Dec102015

The Pro-Discrimination Left Needs to Be Slapped Down in Court, Says Project 21's Joe Hicks

Joe hicks on the Kelly FileJoe Hicks talks race relations on the Kelly File

Leaders of the Project 21 black leadership network are continuing to weigh in on the second appearance of the affirmative action case Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin in front of the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Here's Joe Hicks with a fresh observation:

Like a tainted meal, race preferences keep coming back up at the Supreme Court. After a tepid ruling from the Court that satisfied almost no one, the Fisher case finds itself back before the Justices for another shot at getting things right.

In her dissenting 2013 opinion, Justice Ginsburg proved prophetic when she wrote "...As for holistic review, if universities cannot explicitly include race as a factor, many may 'resort to camouflage' to maintain enrollment." With a near-religious devotion to the political concept of 'racial diversity,' the University of Texas did exactly that, ramping up their use of race preferences - in essence defying the Court.

Perhaps the strongest voice on the Court against the use of race in College admissions, Justice Thomas, wrote in a separate but concurring opinion in 2013 that "The Constitution abhors classifications based on race because every time the government places citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provision of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all." The pro-discrimination left thinks otherwise, and deserves to be slapped down by this Court.

Other Project 21 comments, and links to the three amici briefs on the case Project 21 has joined, can be found here.

Tuesday
Dec012015

Are Salt Warnings the Best Way to Improve the Way People Eat?

Chain restaurants in New York City will now be adding sodium warnings to their menus.  But is that the best way to improve diners’ health?

Jeff Stier, the director of the Risk Analysis Division at the National Center for Public Policy Research, argued persuasively today on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” that this new policy will not have the results that policymakers are hoping for.


“The policymakers who want more warning labels, calorie counts on menus, all have good intentions.  The question is, Is science driving the policy?” asked Stier.  “Just yesterday, the New York Times - of all sources - said that the menu calorie counts, which started in New York and then went national, AREN’T WORKING. They’re not having the desired effect.”

Stier continued: “If you look at the science, these approaches don’t work.  And they have the effect of crowding out better ideas.  It makes us feel like we’re doing something good by putting more warnings on, but we’re not.  We need to come up with more innovative approaches about improving nutrition, improving the way people eat.  And what we’re learning is that more taxes on soda, warning labels on salt, and banning food ingredients doesn’t help change how people eat.”

Stier also poked a hornet’s nest by challenging the litigation legacy of fellow panelist John Banzhaf of George Washington University: “You talked about how you were successful in suing about trans fats and salt and tobacco. The question is, were you successful in improving consumer health?”

Read more about the exchange betwen Stier and Banzhaf on the CNBC website, or watch the entire appearance below:

Tuesday
Nov242015

Sanctuary Cities Are a Magnet for Criminals, Says Horace Cooper

What happens when local governments refuse to enforce federal immigration laws?  We see “sanctuary cities” develop in places like San Francisco, where illegal immigrants can live without fear of prosecution or deportation.

Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Research and the Project 21 black leadership network took on the issue of sanctuary cities on a recent edition of Al Jazeera America’s “Inside Story with Ray Suarez.” 

 

Cooper noted the dangers inherent in sanctuary cities, and challenged federal legislators to allow states like Arizona to be tough on illegal immigration if they so choose.

“Apparently we only can go one direction, only the San Francisco model, only the LA city model, of welcoming, which, by the way, is a magnet for criminals,” said Cooper.  “Why should one criminal come to America and see the sanctuary city as a place of refuge?”

Cooper continued: “On the other hand, a state like Arizona says, ‘We’re going to be the opposite of a sanctuary city.  We want to be aggressive about limiting the cost that we have to bear.’” Cooper believes Arizona should have the right to choose that path for itself without federal interference.

A short excerpt of Horace’s appearance on October 27 is below:

Friday
Nov202015

A Partial Solution to the Syrian Refugee Debate

adoptionThe little ones aren't terrorists

Some advocate settling Syrian refugees in the United States, saying, in effect, that the good America does by inviting them to our home outweighs any danger from embedded (or future) terrorists among them.

Others say our government's first responsibility is the safety of American citizens, and as long as it is impossible to vet these refugees to make sure some of them won't blow up innocent Americans, we should not admit them.

A partial compromise: Admit those among the refugees who are young children, on the condition that they go to American citizen families who wish to adopt them. Placement with a family could be required before the child enters the United States.

Most of the refugees are not young orphans, but enough are, and they inarguably are the most vulnerable of all the refugees. They also are the safest. Children who enter the U.S. and grow up in an American family as a son or daughter of the house will be fully assimilated. They are no more likely to become terrorists than any other boy or girl next door.

No nation is and has been more welcoming to its shores than the United States, and no people has adopted more orphans overseas than we have. There are many U.S. families looking to adopt. Why not match them, where a match is possible?

I know adopting -- no pun intended -- this idea will not stop the arguments, but it would help these orphans. I doubt many people would object. Why not give it a try?

Thursday
Nov192015

President Obama's Sexism Revealed

Nancy Pelosi 2013WNancy Pelosi's, too.

I'm not usually one to cry sexist, but because I haven't seen anyone else noticing, I'll point it out: When President Obama tried to mock certain Republicans by saying they are unnecessarily afraid of "widows and orphans" among the Syrian refugees being or becoming terrorists, he was infantiling adult women by comparing their capacity to act to that of children.

Indeed, the President was clearly saying female refugees are not capable of being dangerous. Unlike males, the president was implying, they cannot be or become terrorists. At least, they can't if their husband dies.

This is obviously stupid, but that's what the President said, and it's revealing of his thought processes that it did not strike him as stupid before he said it. I'm not aware that the White House has offered any clarifications or apologies.

But what do I know? I'm only a woman. Maybe I'm too stupid to realize I'm incapable of committing a terrorist act.

I'm not too stupid to know the President would never have inserted the name of any racial group in place of "widows."

Using the President's thought process, I suppose we can ignore that Nancy Pelosi said something similar today (although she referred to "mothers" being safe, so possibly she believes we only become childlike and/or inept after we breed). She's only a woman, too. With five children.

Note: This post was edited as I wrote "women" in place of "widows" erroneously in one spot. Apparently I AM incompetent!

Thursday
Nov192015

Should the U.S. Open Its Arms to Syrian Refugees?

Should the United States start freely welcoming Syrian refugees today, or should it wait until more stringent vetting processes are in place?  

Last night, on Al Jazeera America’s “Inside Story with Ray Suarez,” Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Research noted that it’s not just Republicans demanding increased security measures, but that there are definitely bipartisan objections.


“This resettlement program is being botched by the Administration’s failed Syrian and national security policies,” declared Cooper. “We would never be having this kind of [bipartisan] uprising if the Administration wasn’t engaging in what clearly looks like ‘amateur hour’ and not a serious handling of the national security of the United States of America.”

Watch Horace’s entire appearance below:

Thursday
Nov122015

Environmentalists Don't Want You to Eat Meat

Those who are concerned about climate change are now also concerned with your meat intake. And it turns out that the recent hype over a perceived meat-cancer link could be a result of environmental scare-mongering.

 

Food writer Julie Kelly, co-author with the National Center’s Jeff Stier of a recent Wall Street Journal article about this phenomenon, appeared on the Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” this morning to explain why these issues are linked.

Watch the entire interview below:

Tuesday
Nov102015

Left-wing Media Matters Publishes Dubious Report on Our WSJ Op-Ed; We Correct the Worst Stuff

The left-wing spin outfit Media Matters is attempting to undercut an op-ed published today in the Wall Street Journal written by the National Center's Jeff Stier and food writer Julie Kelly.

You can read the Wall Street Journal piece here.

In the interest of accuracy:

  • Media Matters' sub-headline reads: "Co-Author Works For Fossil Fuel-Funded National Center for Public Policy Research." Putting that in the present tense is spin. Media Matters has no idea if we are presently receiving funding from the fossil fuel industry. One reason it does not know is that it did not bother to ask. In fact, we have not received any such funding in years.
  • Media Matters notes that once upon a time we received grants from ExxonMobil. What it does not tell the lemmings who eat and believe every word it spins was that we have not received such funding in years -- George W. Bush was still president -- and that we stopped getting funding because ExxonMobil told us it would not continue funding us unless we switched our position on global warming to the alarmist position (aka, that held by Media Matters). We declined to change our position for a grant. Now is there any sane person who would not consider this fact relevant? But Media Matters left it out, although 1) we've made it public; 2) ExxonMobil makes all its grants public, so Media Matters must know perfectly well we have not received ExxonMobil funding in years, and 3) ExxonMobil's decision to stop funding groups working on climate that the left does not like for that reason is very well known. Anyone competent covering this issue would know this.
  • Media Matters calls Donors Trust, which has contributed to us, "a dark money group." Spin for the lemmings again! Donors Trust is in fact a donor-advised fund, like this one run by Fidelity, this one run by Vanguard, this one run by Schwab, and many others. Note the reasons listed on these pages why donors would use a donor-advised fund, such as the reasons on the Fidelity page. They are practical money-management reasons, and the ability to make one's gift into so-called "dark money" is not one of them. Donor-advised funds are in fact a big thing in the charitable giving world, with $12.49 billion dollars given to qualified charities by donor-advised funds in 2014 alone. Donor advised funds are not new (they've been around for 80 years) and they aren't rare (there are more an a thousand of them). I assure everyone that $12.49 billion did not go to conservative groups and causes. In fact, this money was donated across the board to medical, humanitarian, educational and other charities in addition to those in the public policy field, of all ideological persuasions, which would represent but a very tiny percentage of all gifts. Public policy is important to us, but its not big in philanthropy.
  • Media Matters adds that Donors Trust "receives large donations from groups connected to the oil billionaire Koch brothers." This is just an extraneous effort to connect us to the Koch Brothers without any information actually connecting us to the Koch Brothers. What this says in plain English is that Media Matters believes groups with board members it links to the Koch brothers or Koch organizations, and allegedly the Charles G. Koch Foundation itself, have accounts at Donors Trust or used to (accounts made within are not "donations," by the way; the donations are the gifts made by those accounts to qualified charities). That's all. This says nothing about what donations and to whom have been made from those accounts, if any (donors can leave the funds in the accounts at their discretion). Media Matters has no information that we are receiving Koch funding, and has ignored previously-published information that we aren't, yet seemingly wanted to trick the lemmings into thinking that we are without actually saying so.

    In fact, Media Matters has never asked us about the funds we get from Donors Trust or anything else about our funding. Most of the funds we get from Donors Trust are from accounts of the estates of deceased individuals -- individuals who were not affiliated in their lifetimes with the fossil fuel industry. Zero Donors Trust donations to us have come from corporations in any industry or fossil fuel interests, and we are happy to state right now for the record that none have come from ExxonMobil or affiliated foundations or from the Koch brothers as individuals or their affiliated organizations/corporations (even though we'd be perfectly happy if they did, as we like the Koch Brothers, and we are ExxonMobil shareholders and customers, for Pete's sake). So I guess our Donors Trust "dark money" is dark no longer -- but will Media Matters acknowledge this?

  • Media Matters cites as "false" our reporting, for years and years now, and very, very correct, that limitations on cheaper energy sought by the climate activists would hurt the poor. Really, this is Economics 101. Raising the price of a staple need people have, whether it is energy, food, health care or housing, is going to hurt the poor more than the rich or middle class because the poor have less money. Media Matters is stupid to argue this point. They singled out this quote, from our Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, speaking on Al Jazeera:

    "Millions of Catholics live in parts of the world which are very vulnerable,” noted Cohen. “What we really don’t want to do, I think, is impose policies that would deny these people access to electricity or make their access to electricity more difficult. That’s where I think the Pope has to be very very careful here, because if he favors policies that will ultimately put some of the good things about the modern life out of the reach of the most vulnerable, he will ultimately wind up perpetuating poverty and putting himself behind policies that will lead to shorter life expectancies, and that’s not something I think any of us want.”

    Seriously, Media Matters disagrees with this? How?

  • Finally, the Media Matters article missed the point on what we were doing at Apple, inasmuch as Tim Cook was fighting a shareholder proposal we submitted trying to get to the bottom of how Apple seemingly evaded the green standards of an electronics rating agency for its laptops. I'm starting to give up on that one. People want to believe Tim Cook and Apple are green, and so they do. But as I wrote at the time, "Tim Cook didn't get paid some $40 million in 2013 because he's an environmentalist, but he is more valuable to Apple when he plays one on TV." We've got perhaps as many as few thousand nasty emails from Apple's fans (an astonishing number with the f-word in them) blasting us for even asking about the laptop ratings, but our shareholder proposal could have been submitted by Greenpeace, it was so green.

    Here's what one writer, Tim Worstall, who got what we were up to (unlike many obtuse ones), wrote at the time about our effort to get Tim Cook to be straightforward:

    Therefore, when Cook is asked by some activist [the National Center's Justin Danhof] why he's wasting money on greenery and not running the company purely for profit Cook cannot tell him the truth. That the company is being run for profit as it only does that amount of greenery that improves the profit margin and it most certainly doesn't do anything that actually costs. For that would be to defeat the objective of doing the little that is being done.

    Yep. So Tim Cook changed the subject to making technology accessible to the blind (not a green issue), lost his temper or pretended to, and fooled those who chose to be fooled, which apparently includes Media Matters. Not us, though.

The Media Matters page does not include an email address for contacting the writer of the piece, Denise Robbins, which is a way to avoid complaints, I suppose. It does include her Twitter address. I noticed with amusement that one of her most recent tweets, posted today, criticizes another party for misspelling a person's name. If only Media Matters' errors were so innocent!

DenisRobbinsMediaMattersTweet111015

Tuesday
Nov102015

What Can Help the University of Missouri?

What is the next step for the University of Missouri, now that its president and chancellor have resigned? Project 21’s Stacy Washington explained to Newsmax host Ed Berliner why two proposed reforms will NOT help, and suggested one idea that could make a huge difference.


“They want to institute mandatory diversity training for all incoming students,” Stacy said on the November 9 broadcast. “I think that’s a load of malarkey. You understand what kind of training falls under ‘diversity?’ It’s not the kind of stuff a lot of parents here in Missouri and elsewhere, who are sending their kids here for quite a pretty penny, are gonna want their children to undergo.”

Stacy continued:

There’s also the issue of them wanting white people to denounce their privilege. Since when should anyone be ashamed of themselves for being whatever their ethnicity or their race is? Do we all have to apologize for any privilege that we have, if we’ve ever been successful, if we have more than what they say we should have? That is the problem here.

Addressing acts of racism means you have to know who did the act of racism. If they don’t know who yelled the racial epithets out of the truck, if they don’t know who smeared the feces, then they can’t properly adjudicate those things. There’s nothing they can do.

On the other hand, there’s something that those students can do… The thing that beats racism and glass ceilings is excellence. So if you’re a Mizzou football player, you play the best football you can. Make it a winning season. Stop focusing on these incidents.

Watch Stacy’s complete 11/9/15 appearance on NewsmaxTV’s “The Hard Line” below:

Friday
Nov062015

Black Lives Matter Movement is No Longer Redeemable, Says Project 21's Nedd 

Despite the good intentions of the initial Black Lives Matter movement, Bishop Council Nedd II of the Project 21 black leadership network says that there’s very little that’s redeemable from the movement in its current form.

“I think it started out as a decent idea, but then got immediately politicized.  Then it got radicalized.  And that radicalization has sort of become the dominant voice in there.  I don’t know if there’s much redeemable,” he told host Ed Berliner on NewsmaxTV’s “The Hard Line.”

Nedd says moderate and reasonable supporters of Black Lives Matter have distanced themselves from the movement as it has become radicalized.

“I’m sure there are some people involved in that movement who have some good intentions.  However, all you hear are the people making the most noise, calling for violence against police officers, calling for the destruction of everything we know in order to promote one group over another, and that’s racist, elitist, and dangerous.  We’ve seen now that, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, police officers have been shot dead in the streets.”

Nedd’s full appearance from October 30 can be viewed below:

Saturday
Oct312015

Apple's Rhetoric vs. Reality

“What Tim Cook is putting out is rhetoric, and what the investors are seeing is reality,” says Free Enterprise Project director Justin Danhof about Apple shareholders.

Talking with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network, Danhof especially mocked Apple’s iPhone 6 ad campaign that promises that everything about the phone has changed. “Well, that’s simply not true,” he laughed.

 

“When you’re selling to areas like China where there’s an emerging middle class and a lot of folks are buying their first-ever iPhone, everything is new and great and wonderful to them,” notes Danhof. “But when you’re telling folks here in America and some European countries, ‘Everything has changed,’ and then they go buy their new phone, there’s this big disconnect. And you can only have that disconnect between the rhetoric of the CEO, the rhetoric of the ad campaigns, and the reality of the lack of innovation in the products for so long.”
 

Justin’s October 28 appearance on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast” can be viewed in its entirety below.

Tuesday
Oct272015

Black Conservative Kevin Martin Supports Voter ID Requirements

Should the Voting Rights Act be reauthorized in its current form? Should photo identification be required to vote? Project 21’s Kevin Martin was part of a panel on Thom Hartmann’s “Big Picture Rumble” to discuss these and other issues. 

Regarding photo identification requirements for voting, Martin said:

“I’m a veteran. I go to get my benefits from the VA, I gotta show an ID. I go into a bank, I gotta show an ID. I go into my credit union, I gotta show an ID. I give blood, I gotta show an ID. All of a sudden now, magically, if I need an ID to vote, it’s racist.”


Martin also called into question the statistics that liberal host Hartmann used to oppose voter identification requirements.

Watch the excerpt below.