Wednesday, 30 March 2011

NBC DOES NOT REPORT GE'S TAX AVOIDANCE: SUR-PRAHZ, SUR-PRAHZ

Ken Berwitz

It isn't often I get to quote Gomer Pyle in a blog title.  But - in keeping with Pyle's character - this one is a no-brainer.

As I blogged days ago, General Electric, the parent company of NBC, earned 14.2 billion dollars last year, over 5 billion of it in the USA, and paid federal taxes of.......$0.  Nothing.  Not one penny.

But NBC - self-righteous NBC - holier than thou NBC, when it comes to "the rich" paying their "fair share"?  Not one word about it in the network's national news. 

Excerpted from an article by Paul Farhi in yesterday's Washington Post:

Its the kind of accountability journalism that makes readers raise an eyebrow, if it doesnt raise their blood pressure first. General Electric Co., reported the New York Times last week, earned $14.2 billion in worldwide profits last year, including $5.1 billion in the United States and paid exactly zero dollars in federal taxes.

 

The front-page story drew widespread commentary in newspapers and on many Web sites. ABC News and Fox News, among others, were all over it.

 

But the story was conspicuously absent from the reportage of one news organization: NBC.

 

During its Friday broadcast, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams had no time to mention that Americas largest corporation had essentially avoided paying federal taxes in 2010. Or its Saturday, Sunday or Monday broadcasts, either.

 

Did NBCs silence have anything to do with the fact that one of its parent companies is General Electric?

NBC News representatives say that it didnt. This was a straightforward editorial decision, the kind we make daily around here, said Lauren Kapp, spokeswoman for NBC News. Kapp declined to discuss how NBC decides whats news or, in this case, what isnt.

What frauds.  What amazingly dishonest hypocrites.

Are you sur-prahzed, sur-prahzed?  I hope not. 

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


"STIMULUS PACKAGE" UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Wondering how the so-called "stimulus package" is making out these days?

Read this excerpt from an article by Michael Hinkelman of the Philadelphia Daily News, and see for yourself:

WHEN OFFICIALS at the U.S. General Services Administration in Washington were deciding what to do with billions in federal stimulus funds, spurring job growth and making federal buildings more energy-efficient was at the top of the agenda.

Rather than being a boon for jobs, though, one high-profile project here may turn out to be a boondoggle for taxpayers.

The GSA, which provides office space to more than 1 million federal workers in 9,600 facilities around the country, awarded $22.7 million to renovate the William J. Green Federal Building and James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse complex, bounded by 6th, 7th, Market and Arch streets in Center City.

Local GSA officials claim the improvements, to be finished by year's end, will reduce the agency's energy bill for the two aging buildings, built in 1975, by more than $827,000 a year.

But the project has created or saved just 53 full-time jobs, and it will take more than a quarter-century - 26.5 years, in fact - for the projected energy savings to pay back taxpayers for the initial cost of the improvements, GSA said.

Economists said they were surprised that almost $23 million of taxpayer spending didn't produce a bigger jobs bonanza.

"It looks kind of meager," said (Professor William) Stull, adding that "job creation is more important than energy savings."

And the jobs were also pricey: Taxpayers ponied up $428,302 for each job created.

$23 million dollars for 53 jobs?  $428,302 for each job created?

No wonder our wonderful "neutral" media are jumping all over this outra.......oh, wait.


THE LIBYA MESS (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

The Libya mess wasn't bad enough already? 

Now, according to Reuters, President Obama has signed off on a secret war. 

Here are the particulars, via the following excerpt from today's article by Mark Hosenball:

Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret support for Libya rebels

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:54pm EDT

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter.

Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA and the White House declined immediate comment.

Can this possibly be true?

Because, if it is, we are not "bombing for humanitarian purposes", and this is not a "kinetic military action" - the absurd euphemism barfed out by deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes.

It is a war.  Obama's war. 

And whose side are we taking in this war?  "The Rebels", that's who.

And who are "The Rebels"?  We don't know.  All we know is that a) they are against qaddafi and b) they seem to have no problem incorporating al qaeda and jihadists into their ranks.

So we are quite possibly going to war for the purpose of removing a murderous scumbag who hates the USA....and replacing him with murderous scumbags who hate the USA.

This is insane.

free` Ken wrote: "This is insane." --- Nope, it is hope and change. (03/30/11)


WHAT IF PRESIDENT BUSH SAID THIS?

Ken Berwitz

A very quick blog, with a very simple question:

First, we have Barack Obama, talking about his decision to bomb Libya, as reported by mediaite.com:

I do a lot of praying. Absolutely. Every night, right before I go to bed. You know, and I am praying that Im making the best possible decisions, and that Ive got the strength to serve the American people well.

Now that simple question:  How would our media have reacted if it were George Bush talking about Iraq or Afghanistan?

Keep in mind that the above quote is nothing unusual; President Obama constantly talks about how often he prays and of his Christianity. 

Now, what's your answer?


ABOUT THAT "FLICKER OF AL-QAEDA"

Ken Berwitz 

If ever there was a disconnect from reality, this is it. 

Read these two quotes, and please note their dates.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, (Libyan "rebel" leader Abdel-Hakim) al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited "around 25" men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are "today are on the front lines in Adjabiya".

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters "are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists," but added that the "members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader":  London's Daily Telegraph, March 25th.

=====================================================================

"We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hezbollah; we've seen different things. But at this point, I don't have the detail sufficient to say that there's a significant al Qaeda presence or any other terrorist presence in and among these folks.":  James Stavridis, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, March 29th

Four days after a rebel leader tells us, in so many words, that he is recruiting al qaeda because "members of al-qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader", the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO tells us there are "flickers" of "potential" al qaeda (and hezbollah too). in an effort to minimize their importance.

Is he brain dead?

It does not matter how many al qaeda have been recruited so far.  It does not matter that, if 25 were recruited in one place as of a week ago, the total number of al qaeda recruited by "the rebels" is almost certain to be dramatically higher now.

What matters is that al qaeda is a welcome addition to "the rebels" in Libya.  That if they prevail, al qaeda is going to be a valued component and have a seat at the table.

We, literally, are bombing the murderous scum qaddafi, so that we can install the murderous scum al qaeda.  And maybe hezbollah too, for good measure.

Does this make any sense to you?

What in god's name are Obama and Clinton doing?  Do they have even the slightest clue?

And what kind of an idiot is commanding the NATO forces, which Obama and Clinton are handing the responsibility for Libya over to?

Zeke .... ..... My Friend Flicka ..... .... ....... Darn, Flicked Again ...... ......... Where the Flick are we ? ..... ...... (03/30/11)


THE OBAMA ENERGY POLICY: ANYTHING BUT OIL (UNLESS YOU ARE BRAZILIAN)

Ken Berwitz

I am strongly in favor of alternative energy, and strongly support its development ASAP. 

But I am fully aware that alternative energy, as a substitute for oil, is a long way off.

Oil works now.

With that in mind, please read the following excerpt from an article in today's New York Times - and pay special attention to the last part, which I've put in bold print:

The president, in a speech to be delivered at Georgetown University, will say that the United States needs, for geopolitical and economic reasons, to reduce its reliance on imported oil, according to White House officials who provided a preview of the speech on the condition that they not be identified. More than half of the oil burned in the United States today comes from overseas and from Mexico and Canada.

Mr. Obama will propose a mix of measures, none of them new, to help the nation cut down on its thirst for oil. He will point out the nations tendency, since the first Arab oil embargo in 1973, to panic when gas prices rise and then fall back into old gas-guzzling habits when they recede.

He will call for a consistent long-term fuel-savings strategy of producing more electric cars, converting trucks to run on natural gas, building new refineries to brew billions of gallons of biofuels and setting new fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles. Congress has been debating these measures for years.

The president will also repeat his assertion that despite the frightening situation at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex in Japan, nuclear power will remain an important source of electricity in the United States for decades to come, aides said.

He will respond to members of Congress and oil industry executives who have complained that the administration has choked off domestic oil and gas production by imposing costly new regulations and by blocking exploration on millions of acres of potentially oil-rich tracts both on shore and off.

This is the same President Obama who avidly supports Brazil's offshore drilling, so we can buy oil from them and therefore become even more dependent on foreign countries for our energy.

Make sense of this.  I dare you.  I double dare you.

The 2012 elections cannot come fast enough.


"PASS THE DAMN BILL"

Ken Berwitz

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, today, on the Democrat-majority senate's performance regarding this year's budget:

The House has passed our bill and its been nearly 40 days and yet weve seen nothing pass the United States Senat.  Its time for Senate Democrats to act on a bill. We know that reducing spending will lead to a better environment for job creators to create jobs in America. Weve done our job.

Now the Senate says, we have a plan. Well, great! Pass the damn thing, all right, and send it over here and lets have real negotiations instead of sitting over there rooting for a government shutdown.

In November, 1995, Bill Clinton and the then-Republican congress (both houses) were at an impasse over the budget.  Neither gave in, and there was a "government shutdown" for 6 days (then a second one which lasted, in part, until April, 1996). 

Despite the shutdown being due to a disagreement between the Republican congress and the Democrat President, most of our wonderful "neutral" media - which were then in the middle of their (continuing) love affair with Bill Clinton, made sure the public "knew" it was exclusively the fault of Republicans.

John Boehner apparently feels that the current gamesmanship being utilized by Senate Democrats is being done in the hope that they can recreate those happy days of 1995-1996 and cause a shutdown which media  - now in the middle of their (continuing) love affair with Barack Obama - might blame on Republicans again.

Does he have a point?  You decide.


THE WISCONSIN PROTECTION RACKET

Ken Berwitz

This truly disgusting story comes to us via the following excerpt from Don Walker, writing for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Members of Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, asking them to support workers rights by putting up a sign in their windows.

If businesses fail to comply, the letter says, Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means 'no' to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members."

Jim Parrett, a field representative of Council 24 for Southeast Wisconsin, confirmed the contents of the letter, which carries his signature. But he added that the union was also circulating letters to businesses thanking them for supporting workers rights.

Parrett said that since the letters were sent out, he has received threatening phone calls as well as calls from people supporting the state workers.

"I've gotten a lot of threatening phone calls," Parrett said.

Parrett referred questions to Marty Beil, the head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union. Beil was not immediately available for comment.

Translation:  If you put up the sign you're ok with the union.  If you don't put up the sign you're going to be boycotted (and who knows what else).

This, folks, is the protection racket.  And if you're surprised that Wisconsin AFSCME would engage in thug tactics like this, you haven't been following events there too closely.

I hope you're not waiting for the Department of Justice to step in........


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