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Tags: Liberals | Angry

Liberals Angry With Matthews for Senate

By    |   Sunday, 28 December 2008 06:03 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Liberals Angry With Matthews for Senate
2. Rahm Made Millions at Investment Bank
3. Protests Rise Over U.S. Efforts to Deny Bail to Jew
4. Middle Class Got Tax Cut Under Bush
5. Scientist Fired by Gore Calls Warming Fears ‘Mistaken’
6. We Heard: Bret Baier, Howard Wolfson

1. Liberals Angry with Matthews for Senate

Speculation has been rampant that MSNBC host Chris Matthews will seek Republican Sen. Arlen Specter’s seat in Pennsylvania in 2010. But if he runs, he’ll likely face serious heat from liberals over his on-air comments.

The left-wing group Media Matters for America fired an early volley against the “Hardball” host with a lengthy diatribe castigating Matthews for, among other things, expressing admiration for President George W. Bush and ridiculing Democrats.

“Few politicians are as aggressive as Chris Matthews in purporting to speak for average voters — or as quick to declare [liberal] politicians to be out of touch with those voters,” the group’s Web site states. “But there is no real accountability in cable news . . . Should he run for the Senate, however, Matthews might finally have to answer for his dubious track record.”

Included in that “track record” are a number of comments cited by Media Matters:

  • In 2005, Matthews said of Bush: “I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left.”
  • The following year, Matthews referred to Bush as “a wise man.”
  • When Bush gave his “Mission Accomplished” speech in 2003, Matthews lauded his “amazing display of leadership” and said, “He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.”
  • Later that same day Matthews gushed, “We’re proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who’s physical.”
  • When Bush discussed his “strategy for victory in Iraq” in late 2005, Matthews praised the move and derided Democrats as “carpers and complainers.”
  • While Matthews has praised Barack Obama at times, he told viewers during the campaign that the candidate’s bowling form was insufficiently “macho,” and asserted that his lack of bowling skill “tells you something about the Democratic Party.”
  • When Matthews interviewed conservative pundit Ann Coulter and she called former Vice President Al Gore a “total fag,” Matthews said of Coulter, “We’d love to have her back.”

Matthews has also been criticized for his treatment of women. He said the reason Hillary Clinton was a senator and candidate for president "is that her husband messed around." He also said point-black, “I hate her,” and called her “uppity” and a “she-devil.”

He described House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “scary” and said she would “castrate” House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Media Matters opined, “If Matthews does run for the Senate, he may soon discover that Pennsylvania Democratic primary voters share neither his hatred of Hillary Clinton nor his view that Barack Obama is insufficiently ‘macho.’”

The group’s Web site added that Matthews may also find those voters to be “less indulgent of his cheerleading for Bush, his near-constant ridicule of Democrats, and his frequently offensive treatment of women.”

Editor's Note:

2. Rahm Made Millions at Investment Bank

Congressional dealmaker and incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel made millions of dollars brokering deals of another sort as an investment banker.

Emanuel was a fundraiser for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, directed the Bill Clinton presidential campaign’s finance committee and was a senior adviser to Clinton in the White House, where he helped broker the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Congress.

But after he left his post in 1998, political friends helped him land a job with the investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella, and Emanuel made out nicely when the company was bought by investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort, Barron’s columnist Jim McTague reported.

Emanuel’s biggest deal was investment bank Goldner Rauner’s purchase of the alarm company SecurityLink from SBC Communications for $479 million in 2000. In what McTague calls “perhaps the greatest coup,” Emanuel convinced SBC to provide 80 percent of the funding for the purchase.

By the time Emanuel left the firm in January to prepare for what was to be a successful run for Congress, he had made $16.2 million in 2.5 years, The New York Times reported.

During his stint as an investment banker, Emanuel also helped utility company Unicom in an $82 billion merger with Peco Energy, which created Exelon, a utility with nearly $19 billion in annual revenue.

Exelon has 17 nuclear reactors, the most in the U.S., and McTague wonders if Emanuel will “recuse himself on nuclear-energy issues.”

Editor's Note:

3. Protests Rise Over U.S. Efforts to Deny Bail to Jew

Lawyers for a Jewish businessman are protesting prosecutors’ efforts to deny bail to their client on the grounds that he is entitled to Israeli citizenship and could flee to the Jewish state.

Sholom Rubashkin faces charges related to the alleged hiring of illegal immigrants at Agriprocessors Inc.’s kosher meatpacking plant in Pottsville, Iowa, where he was the top executive. He has been in jail since Nov. 14.

Federal agents raided the slaughterhouse in May and arrested almost 400 illegal immigrants.

Justice Department prosecutors have argued that Rubashkin’s “Jewish heritage” made him a “de factor dual citizen” who could flee to Israel, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Israel’s “Law of Return” allows Jews from around the world to become Israeli citizens.

One of Rubashkin’s attorneys, Baruch Weiss, said in legal papers that the government’s argument discriminates against Jews, and “means that 5,300,000 Americans would be viewed as heightened bail risks simply because they are Jews.”

Prosecutors also note that Rubashkin, 49, had a large amount of cash in a travel bag found at his home, along with passports for some of his 10 children, and that two other former Agriprocessors managers are believed to have fled to Israel.

But Deborah Lauter, civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Des Moines Register: “There can’t be a rule that every Jew is a flight risk, and that’s essentially what this is saying.”

Rubashkin’s lawyers point out that he has surrendered his passport, offered to post bond, agreed to wear an electronic monitor, and offered to hire a private security company to watch him, according to the Register.

Prosecutors maintain that those measures are insufficient.

Israel and the U.S. signed an extradition treaty in 1962, but The Journal reports that federal prosecutors have complained about roadblocks to bringing Israeli defendants to the U.S. for trial.

Editor's Note:

4. Middle Class Got Tax Cut Under Bush

Barack Obama's campaign pledge to "rebuild the middle class" by giving tax breaks to 95 percent of workers and their families surely won him votes.

But an analysis by Investor’s Business Daily found that the middle class already got a large tax break under President George W. Bush.

Citing data from the Congressional Budget Office, IBD disclosed that the
effective tax rate on the middle fifth of households fell from an average of about 17.1 percent under President Bill Clinton to 14.4 percent under Bush. That's a
16 percent tax cut for the middle class.

As for the oft-heard claim from the left that middle-class incomes are stagnant or shrinking, a study last year by the Minneapolis Fed concluded that "incomes of most types of middle American households have increased substantially over the past three decades."

Real household income did grow just 18 percent over the past 30 years. But after correcting for distortions in the data, Terry Fitzgerald, a Fed senior economist, found that "median household income for most household types . . . increased
by 44 percent to 62 percent from 1976 to 2006." And per-person income surged 80 percent.

IBD observes, “Yes, many Americans are suffering in this recession, including the middle class. But the last thing we need is another general in a phony class war telling people how bad they have it.”

Editor's Note:

5. Scientist Fired by Gore Calls Warming Fears ‘Mistaken’

Princeton University physicist Dr. Will Happer, who says he was fired by Vice President Al Gore for failing to adhere to Gore’s views on global warming, has now declared that man-made warming fears are “mistaken.”

Happer, who served as the director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993, said, “I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism. I did not need the job that badly.”

He said in 1993, “I was told that science was not going to intrude on policy."

Now Happer has asked to join the more than 650 international scientists who have spoken out against man-made global warming fears and are cited in the 2008 U.S. Senate Minority Report from Environmental and Public Works Committee ranking member James Inhofe, R-Okla.

“I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken,” Happer told the committee on Dec. 22.

President-elect Barack Obama’s choice as his top science adviser, Harvard University professor John Holdren, is a staunch believer in the dangers of man-made global warming and advised Gore on his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Dr. Happer has published over 200 scientific papers, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Sen. Inhofe said that the statements of prominent scientists like Happer who are willing to publicly dissent from climate fears strike a blow to the United Nations, Gore, and the media’s claims about global warming.

“The endless claims of a 'consensus' about man-made global warming grow less and less credible every day," Inhofe said.

Happer declared, “I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect — for example, absorption and emission of visible and infrared radiation, and fluid flow. Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science. The earth's climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past . . . 

“Computer models used to generate frightening scenarios from increasing levels of carbon dioxide have scant credibility.”

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT Fox News has chosen its chief White House correspondent Bret Baier to succeed Brit Hume as the primary anchor on Fox’s “Special Report” nightly newscast.

Baier joined Fox in 1998 and was previously the network’s Pentagon correspondent. He has covered a wide range of stories including the 9/11 attacks, the Kosovo War, and the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Hume’s last show aired on Tuesday. But Politico.com reported that he will continue at Fox News as a senior political analyst and panelist on “Fox News Sunday.”

THAT Howard Wolfson, the top spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has signed on as senior communications adviser to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s third-term bid in 2009.

The news surprised many observers, since Wolfson called Bloomberg an "out-of-touch billionaire" in 2003.

Wolfson told the New York Post that when the mayor's team first approached him, he pointed out he'd once said some "rather unkind things" about Bloomberg.

But he added: "I was impressed with the fact that they were willing to bring on a former critic.”

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Liberals Angry With Matthews for Senate2. Rahm Made Millions at Investment Bank3. Protests Rise Over U.S. Efforts to Deny Bail to Jew4. Middle Class Got Tax Cut Under Bush5. Scientist Fired by Gore Calls Warming Fears...
Sunday, 28 December 2008 06:03 PM
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