Mark Levin Threatens to Sue Chris Matthews

Sunday, 16 Jan 2011 05:28 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Caroline Kennedy Linked to Miniseries Cancellation
2. Mark Levin Threatens to Sue Chris Matthews, Others
3. Warmest-Year Claim Refuted as ‘Politics, Not Science’
4. The Best Country for Tax Simplicity — and the Worst
5. New School Lunch Rule: Hold the Fries
6. We Heard: Sharron Angle, Patrick Leahy
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1. Caroline Kennedy Linked to Miniseries Cancellation

When A&E Television Networks abruptly pulled “The Kennedys” miniseries from the History Channel’s spring schedule, saying it was “not a fit for the History brand,” there were rumblings that the Kennedy family was actually behind the move.

Now a new report discloses that Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver did lobby the network to yank the eight-part miniseries about the American political family.

The multimillion-dollar project starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes created controversy as soon as it was announced in December 2009. Former John F. Kennedy adviser Theodore Sorensen — who died in October — saw an early version of the script and called it “vindictive” and “malicious.”

The Hollywood Reporter, citing a source “close to the situation,” disclosed that “none of History’s advertisers or sponsors complained about the miniseries. But behind the scenes, members of the Kennedy family strongly lobbied AETN [A&E Television Networks] to kill the project.”

AETN is owned by a consortium that includes the Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal, and Hearst. The source said Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK and Jackie Kennedy, personally appealed to Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney, who serves on the AETN board, not to air the miniseries.

Caroline Kennedy has a book deal with Disney’s Hyperion publishing division, which will bring out a collection of previously unreleased interviews with Jackie Kennedy. Caroline has agreed to edit the book, write an introduction, and help promote it.

“But that level of cooperation might have been unlikely if History had gone ahead with the ‘Kennedys’ project,” the Hollywood Reporter observed.

Maria Shriver, daughter of JFK’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was formerly a journalist for NBC Universal. She too voiced her displeasure with the miniseries to NBC executives.

Also, Shriver is a friend of Sweeney, who serves on the board of the Special Olympics, founded by Shriver’s mother Eunice, according to the Reporter.

There has been “very little outcry” over AETN’s decision not to air the miniseries, NewsBusters observed; in contrast, “journalists such as Brian Williams railed about ‘extortion’ when CBS pulled a historically inaccurate 2003 miniseries about Ronald Reagan.”

“The Kennedys” is still scheduled to air in Canada and will be broadcast internationally.

Editor's Note:



2. Mark Levin Threatens to Sue Chris Matthews, Others

Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said he would file a lawsuit against anyone in the media who tries to link him to the shootings in Arizona, as Chris Matthews did earlier in the week.

On MSNBC’s “Hardball” Tuesday night, Matthews essentially blamed Levin and talk radio host Michael Savage for creating a climate of hate that led to the Tucson shootings that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

On Wednesday, Levin — an attorney — told his listeners: “I’m waiting for an allegation that is very specific against me because I’m going to sue. I don’t care if they’re bloggers, I don’t care if they’re television hosts, I don’t care if they’re radio hosts. I’m going to drag your a** into federal court. Oh, you’ll have due process. It’ll all be nice and legal. I’m going to personally depose you. I’m going to drag you in front of a jury, and I’m going to get your assets.

“Somebody has to stand up to this. Somebody has to draw the line. Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough — test me.”

As Newsmax reported, Matthews said during a discussion with two liberal radio hosts: “What’s been the role of talk radio in fueling the heated language? I’ll mention a couple of names. People like Mark Levin, Michael Savage, for example, who every time you listen to them, they are furious. Furious at the left. With anger that just builds and builds in their voice and by the time they go to commercial they are just in some rage every night with ugly talk. Ugly sounding talk, and it never changes, it never modulates.”

Levin, a former Justice Department official, said: “I believe in the law. I believe in free speech. I believe in responsible speech. Now, you want people to tone it down? OK, good. Anybody who accuses me of inciting mass murder in Tucson, Arizona, is going to be sued. Period.”

The American Spectator observed on Thursday: “Levin’s challenge to Matthews and other left-wing media types comes on the heels of increasingly desperate attempts by the left-wing media to pin the Tucson violence by the mentally disturbed Jared Loughner on conservative talk radio stars.

“A friend of Loughner’s has gone on television to specifically say Loughner didn’t listen to ‘political radio’ or watch television news.”

Editor's Note:



3. Warmest-Year Claim Refuted as ‘Politics, Not Science’

Global warming alarmists have pointed to the claim that 2010 was the hottest year ever as proof that the earth is warming and nations must take steps to reduce carbon emissions.

But a website that has taken a prominent role in downplaying global warming fears is refuting that assertion.

“The global warming establishment and the media are crowing about 2010 being in a tie for the ‘hottest year,’” an editorial on the Climate Depot site declares.

“Everyone from Senator John Kerry to [noted climate scientist] Joe Romm are screaming that this is ‘proof’ the planet is burning up in a CO2-induced hell — and it’s your fault!”

The site pointed to a Jan. 13 story in Britain’s Telegraph headlined: “Hottest year confirms global warming, say experts,” which cited “new figures from NASA that experts say confirm the case for man-made climate change.”

Climate Depot responded: “This is pure politics, not science. The ‘hottest year’ claims confirm the case for political science overtaking climate science.

“The ‘hottest year’ claim depends on minute fractions of a degree difference between years. Even NASA’s James Hansen, the leading proponent of man-made global warming in the U.S., conceded the ‘hottest year’ rankings are essentially meaningless. Hansen explained that 2010 differed from 2005 by less than two-hundredths of a degree F (that’s 0.018F).”

Hansen admitted on Jan. 13: “It’s not particularly important whether 2010, 2005, or 1998 was the hottest year on record.”

Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue of Florida State University ridiculed the “hottest year” rankings in light of Hansen’s admission that it is “not particularly important” which year was declared the hottest. “Well, then stop issuing press releases which tout the rankings,” Maue demanded in a Jan. 14 commentary at WattsUpWithThat.com.

The “hottest year” claim falls apart even further when you look at longer time periods, Climate Depot notes.

Climatologist Patrick Michaels told USA Today on Jan. 12: “If you draw a trend line from the data, it’s pretty flat from the 1990s. We don’t see much of a warming trend over the past 12 years.”

Climate Depot concluded: “The declaration that we are experiencing a tie for the ‘hottest’ year is purely a political statement because these claims are based on year-to-year temperature data that differ by only a few hundredths of a degree.”

Editor's Note:



4. The Best Country for Tax Simplicity — and the Worst

The typical small business in the United States might need to spend 187 hours a year to comply with the nation’s tax code. In the Indian Ocean nation of Maldives, compliance could take less than an hour — and in Brazil, 2,600 hours.

The World Bank and the PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm devised an analysis of the world’s tax codes based on a hypothetical company: a flowerpot maker that owns one building, two plots of land, and one truck, has 60 employees, and pays half of its profits to its owners. The United States ranks 66th among the 183 nations in hours spent complying with tax regulations. At the top of the list, after Maldives, are United Arab Emirates (12 hours), Bahrain (36), Qatar (36), The Bahamas (58), and Luxembourg (59).

Maldives has no income, sales, property, or capital-gains taxes.

In Brazil, the flowerpot company would have to devote 2,600 hours to compliance. That’s about 108 days of nonstop work, or 325 eight-hour shifts, Slate.com points out.

Other nations with arduous taxation systems include Bolivia (1,800 hours), Vietnam (941), Nigeria (938), and Venezuela (864).

In the United States, the tax code rose from 1.4 million words to 3.8 million between 2001 and February 2010, the Internal Revenue disclosed, and from 400 pages to about 70,000 since 1913.

According to the IRS, individuals in the U.S. take an average of about 13 hours to file their taxes — five hours for record-keeping, two hours for planning, three hours to fill out forms, one hour to submit the forms, and two hours for miscellaneous activities.

Editor's Note:



5. New School Lunch Rule: Hold the Fries

Sarah Palin and some other conservatives have asserted that federal efforts to dictate what children eat constitute government overreach.

But the Agriculture Department is going ahead with plans to introduce new guidelines for lunches subsidized by the federal government.

The USDA guidelines, which could affect more than 32 million children, include a regulation limiting students to only one cup of starchy vegetables a week, so schools could not offer French fries every day.

“If we don’t contain obesity in this country it’s going to eat us alive in terms of healthcare costs,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.

It could take several years for the proposed guidelines to take effect. They would:

• Establish a calorie limit for school meals.

• Ban most trans fats.

• Require more servings of fruits and vegetables.

• Gradually reduce the amount of sodium in meals, eventually cutting it by half.

• Require all milk, including flavored milk, to be low-fat or nonfat.

• Increase the required amount of whole grains.

The USDA reports that about a third of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese. First lady Michelle Obama has made the fight against childhood obesity her signature issue.

But some school groups have criticized efforts to make lunches healthier, asserting that it will be difficult for cash-strapped schools to meet the new requirements.

Editor's Note:



6. We Heard: Sharron Angle, Patrick Leahy

THAT former Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, who lost her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November, says she won’t seek appointment to the seat being vacated by retiring State Sen. Bill Raggio.

Angle in 2008 ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary against Raggio, who first took office in 1972. But Angle says she won’t participate in the “good old boy politics” of the appointment process, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

“I warned voters in 2008 that Sen. Raggio would vote to increase taxes again and then resign in the middle of his term to pave the way for an appointment rather than allowing the voters to elect his replacement,” she said.

“It’s a premeditated endeavor to keep the ‘good old boy’ politics in play that the majority of Americans rallied against in the recent elections.”

THAT Vermont’s Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy won no fans among gun control proponents by stating a simple fact: “Vermont has the lowest crime rate in the country, lowest or second lowest, and doesn’t have gun control.”

Leahy’s remark came Tuesday at an event in Washington after an audience member cited the Arizona shootings and asked: “In the wake of last weekend, do you think there should be more talk about gun control and do you see any legislative push for that on Capitol Hill?”

Vermont is one of the few states that does not require a permit for carrying a concealed weapon, CNN News reported.

Leahy did add: “I would not want Vermont laws to be in an urban area.”

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

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