Tags: Charlie | Cook | Obama | Iraq | Glenn Beck Boycott | Biggest Coal Co | Lee Rodgers

Charlie Cook: Healthcare Is Obama's Iraq

By    |   Sunday, 28 February 2010 09:51 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Charlie Cook: Healthcare Is Obama’s Iraq
2. Glenn Beck Boycott Fails Here, Catches On in U.K.
3. Biggest Coal Co. Files Legal Challenge Against EPA
4. D.C. Catholics End Foster-Care Program Over Gay Marriage Bill
5. We Heard: D.C. Shutdown, Lee Rodgers, Blagojevich, Roger Ailes, Fox News

1. Charlie Cook: Healthcare Is Obama’s Iraq

The Obama administration made “grave miscalculations” in pushing for healthcare reform just as his predecessor George W. Bush erred with the invasion of Iraq, political analyst Charlie Cook observed.

Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report, said in an interview with National Journal that “when unemployment numbers started proving to be much, much tougher and it started becoming more clear that the stimulus package hadn’t worked properly, [Democrats] just kept plowing ahead on healthcare.”

“I think they made some grave miscalculations and as it became more clear that they had screwed up, they just kept doubling down their bet.”

Obama and the Democrats’ miscalculations have been “of proportions comparable to President George W. Bush’s decision to go into Iraq,” Cook declared.

“Bush went, ‘We’re going to go after Afghanistan as a reaction to 9/11,’ and then pretty soon got distracted and obsessed with going into Iraq with varying rationalizations that sort of evolved over time.”

Cook also predicated the tea party movement could have a “huge impact” on the political scene, and said “it’s hard to come up with a scenario where Democrats don’t lose the House” in November.

The Republicans have problems, he acknowledged, but added: “If I had a choice of the Republican Party’s problems right now or the Democratic Party’s problems, I think you could triple the Republican Party’s problems and I’d still rather have their problems than the problems facing Democrats.”

Editor's Note:

2. Glenn Beck Boycott Fails Here, Catches On in U.K.

A left-wing group’s call for an advertiser boycott of Glenn Beck’s cable news show has fizzled in the U.S., but it is taking hold in another country — the U.K.

Beck’s show has run without commercials over a 6-day period in the U.K. Instead of ads, Britain’s Sky News inserted news and weather updates between segments of Beck’s program, Examiner.com reports.

The campaign against Beck stems from remarks he made on the July 28 “Fox & Friends” show, following President Obama's assertion that the Cambridge Police Department had acted "stupidly" in its arrest of Henry Louis Gates, an African-American Harvard professor.

Obama’s comment sparked outrage among law enforcement professionals, and Beck said Obama is a “racist” with “a deep seated hatred for white people.”

Beck later issued an apology of sorts, telling Katie Couric in September: “I’m sorry the way it was phrased.”

The boycott was originally organized by Color of Change, which claims to be the largest African-American political organization online with 600,000 members.

Color of Change was founded by Van Jones, who served in the Obama White House as his "green-jobs czar" until he resigned in September amid controversy over inflammatory statements. Beck had been sharply critical of Jones on his program.

StopBeck.com joined the call for a boycott.

But Beck’s ratings actually surged in the wake of the Gates controversy.

And Color of Change’s call for a boycott triggered a wave of support from grass-roots fans rushing to defend the popular TV personality from the attacks. A nationwide effort sprang up, including Web sites, Facebook groups, homegrown e-mail blasts, and individual telephone campaigns.

Although Color of Change asserted that its call was receiving a response from advertisers, it soon appeared that it was making claims that didn’t match reality, with several major companies denying claims that they had joined a boycott of Beck’s show.

Beck’s support remains strong. A Web site set up in August by John Hill, DefendGlenn.com, which Hill said recorded 1.9 million visits in its first five days online, is still on the Internet.

The site declares, “Fight back against the lies and the extremist boycott of Glenn Beck."

Footnote: Color of Change’s outrage over Beck’s “racist” remark is ironic considering that the group supported an allegation that President George W. Bush was a racist.

Rapper Kanye West leveled the racism accusation against Bush during a nationwide fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims in September 2005.

During that broadcast, West appeared to allege that the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina was intentionally slow because the crisis disproportionately affected poor people and blacks.

Not long after, Color of Change’s Web site began selling “Kanye Was Right!” T-shirts.

Editor's Note:

3. Biggest Coal Co. Files Legal Challenge Against EPA

Peabody Energy, America’s largest coal company, has filed a 240-page legal challenge against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying it relied on flawed climate change science when it decided to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Peabody filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Feb. 12, seeking a review of the EPA’s decision in December that greenhouse gases pose a danger to public health, BusinessWeek reported.

The EPA’s “endangerment finding” would allow regulators to control carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act.

“Peabody is, in effect, challenging the right of the current U.S. federal government to introduce cap-and-trade regulations by the ‘back door,’” the Climate Depot Web site observed.

Peabody maintains that the finding relied too heavily on a United Nations panel’s disputed work, according to BusinessWeek.

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded in 2007 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are “very likely” to blame for global warming.

But that conclusion was challenged following the “climategate” scandal, when e-mails leaked in November from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in Britain indicated that researchers sought to keep some data out of the U.N. body’s findings to bolster their case for man-made global warming.

Peabody’s petition argues that the EPA must reconsider its endangerment finding “based on all the new material from climategate that was not available during the original EPA ‘comment period’ and which is central to the outcome that EPA reached,” Climate Depot disclosed.

Peabody spokeswoman Beth Sutton said in a statement, “There is no sufficient basis to implement regulations that would harm a fragile economy, further suppress investment and raise energy costs for Americans.”

St. Louis-based Peabody had sales of 244 million tons of coal last year. Its coal products fuel 10 percent of all U.S. electricity generation and 2 percent of worldwide generation.

Editor's Note:

4. D.C. Catholics End Foster-Care Program Over Gay Marriage Bill

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has ended an 80-year-old program of arranging foster care after the city council voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

The archdiocese took action because the marriage bill, approved on Dec. 15, would allow children to be adopted by homosexual couples.

After the bill was approved, the archdiocese denied earlier reports that it would halt charitable cooperation with Washington due to the marriage legislation, adding in a statement that it is “deeply committed to serving those in need, regardless of race, creed, gender, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”

But on Feb. 17, Catholic Charities — the social service arm of the archdiocese — transferred its foster care and public adoption programs in the District to the National Center for Children and Families, a private nonprofit organization based in Maryland.

“The foster care transition took place because we would be required by the city, because of the new law, to place children with same-sex married couples, which is something that as a Catholic organization we can’t do,” Erik Salmi, a spokesman for Catholic Charities, told CNSNew.com.

And Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement, “Archbishop Donald Wuerl (who presides over D.C.’s archdiocese) is a man of principle and prudence. He did not want to end the foster fare program, but he was left with no realistic option . . .

“The real losers are the children who were served by the Catholic Church.”

Same-sex marriage is also legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Editor's Note:

5. We Heard . . .

THAT the snowstorms that hammered Washington, D.C., recently and shut down the government for several days came at a bad time for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her efforts to push legislation through the House.

Democrats are eager to return to their districts and campaign during the spring recess, which begins on March 29. That leaves Pelosi little time to get anything done before that.

But several sources told CNN that if healthcare reform is not passed before the recess, Congress will have to move on to other issues when members return.

CNN reported: “Democratic leaders have warned the White House that if the health legislation is not finished before the spring recess, it is hard to craft a scenario in which Congress can return to the bill later in the year.”

Snow forced the federal government to shut down for a day in December, and another storm paralyzed Washington for a week in February.

THAT longtime conservative radio host Lee Rodgers is off the air in San Francisco after more than 25 years at station KSFO.

Rodgers was ousted from the station on Feb. 18 in what his former co-host Melanie Morgan calls a “downsizing” move.

"This was a very natural transition," said KSFO Programming Vice President Jack Swanson, Morgan's husband.

THAT former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will speak to Northwestern University students on March 2. The topic? Ethics in Politics!

The event, sponsored by College Democrats, is called “Ethics in Politics: An Evening with Former Governor Rod Blagojevich.”

Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges in December 2008, and removed from office in January 2009. He is scheduled to go on trial this summer. He pleaded not guilty on Feb. 10.

“A conversation about ethics and politics is important to have,” Dan Rockoff, vice president of programming for College Democrats, told The Daily Northwestern.

“There isn’t a better person out there to discuss this than Rod Blagojevich.”

THAT Fox News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will deliver an address at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum on March 5.

Ailes joined News Corp. in 1996 and oversaw the creation of Fox News Channel, the 24-hour cable news channel that currently reaches more than 90 million homes. He is also the chairman of Fox Television Stations Group.

The library of George H.W. Bush, located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, was dedicated in 1997. The Ailes event will be hosted by the William Waldo Cameron Forum on Public Affairs, established by an endowment to the library.

THAT Fox News Channel is a ratings powerhouse even when it comes to sports figures.

When disgraced golfer Tiger Woods’ apologetic message aired on TV on Feb. 19, 1.87 million viewers watched it on Fox, compared to 1.55 million on sports network ESPN, according to Nielsen figures released this week.

CNN’s coverage drew 911,000 viewers.

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Insider Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Charlie Cook: Healthcare Is Obama s Iraq2. Glenn Beck Boycott Fails Here, Catches On in U.K.3. Biggest Coal Co. Files Legal Challenge Against EPA4. D.C. Catholics End Foster-Care Program Over Gay Marriage...
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Sunday, 28 February 2010 09:51 PM
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