Tags: Al | Gore | goes | nuts | Aspen | Muslims | Obama approval rating

Is Al Gore Off His Rocker?

By    |   Monday, 15 August 2011 12:17 AM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Al Gore Goes Nuts in Aspen Speech
2. Higher Education Called America's 'Next Bubble'
3. Muslims Give Obama 80% Approval Rating
4. EPA Rules Raise Threat of Power Blackouts
5. Desperate Democrats Push 'Made in USA' Bill in California
6. We Heard: Jeb Bush Jr., Allen West, Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck

1. Al Gore Goes Nuts in Aspen Speech

Global warming crusader Al Gore lost his cool and dropped several s-bombs in a recent speech accusing climate change skeptics of manipulating the media.

Addressing the Aspen Institute in Colorado on Aug. 4, the former vice president declared that skeptics "pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: 'This climate thing, it's nonsense. Manmade CO2 doesn't trap heat. It may be volcanoes.' Bulls***! 'It may be sunspots.' Bulls***! 'It's not getting warmer.' Bulls***!"

The Hot Air Network's Green Room website, which reported the outburst, observed: "It would almost be fascinating to listen to Gore lash out at those who harbor an opposing view if it weren't so pathetic."

New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser was even harder on Gore: "Has the guru of global warming, the Bozo of ozone and pooh-bah of the probably-not-so-endangered polar bear, gone completely off his bleeping rocker?

"I'm talking about Al Gore, the former vice president who, after losing the White House, reinvented himself as a minor deity — a Gulfstream-riding, energy-slurping champion of Planet Earth."

Peyser noted that Gore continued his "potty-mouthed tirade" with this comment: "It's no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the god**** word 'climate.'"

Marc Morano, a skeptic of manmade global warming, refuted Gore's allegations on his Climate Depot website.

One study he cited noted that a lack of volcanic dust in the atmosphere could be responsible for a rise in average global temperatures since the 1960s.

Several other studies linked solar activity and the sunspot cycle with the earth's temperatures.

And Morano referred to a "peer-reviewed admission that 'global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.'"

Gore and other global warming crusaders assert that an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere due to a rise in emissions is responsible for a continuing rise in global temperatures.

But Climate Depot maintains: "It is not simply the sun or CO2 when looking at global temperatures, it is the sun, volcanoes, tilt of the earth's axis, water vapor, methane, clouds, ocean cycles, land use, etc. Climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables, not just CO2."

Peyser pointed out that scientist Charles Monnett, who had claimed that melting polar ice caps had led to the death of polar bears, was being investigated for possible scientific misconduct by the federal agency that employs him.

"The population of fuzzy friends has actually quintupled since 1950," Peyser writes.

"Couple that with NASA's revelation that the earth is letting more heat escape the planet than alarmists previously thought, blowing a hole in warming hysteria. Toss it all together, and you've got one nutty Gore."

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2. Higher Education Called America's 'Next Bubble'

Thanks to easy credit for students, high college tuition, and poor job prospects for graduates, the higher education industry could become America's next bubble, according to a report in Reason magazine.

The delinquency and default rates on nearly $1 trillion worth of private and federally subsidized loans are growing, the report discloses.

In August of last year, data showed student loan debt for the first time had surpassed credit card debt. And a month later, the Department of Education said default rates for student loans had risen from 4.6 percent in 2005 to 7 percent in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available.

"While the two announcements went largely unnoticed, some took the data points as evidence that America's next big bubble — higher education — was becoming dangerously inflated," writes Mike Riggs in Reason.

He cites several reasons why the student loan program is in trouble:

• Unlike home and auto loans, which are approved only under conditions that have tightened drastically since 2008, student loans are "for everybody."

• Borrowing for higher education is not based on income or salary expectations, but on the belief that a degree will pay for itself.

• College graduates from even the best programs and schools are having difficulty finding employment in the fields they studied.

• Tuition has doubled since 2000.

The ratings agency Moody's projects that the delinquency and default rates will get worse in the next few years even if the economy recovers.

Moody's diagnosis: "Unless students limit their debt burdens, choose fields of study that are in demand, and successfully complete their degrees on time, they will find themselves in worse financial positions and unable to earn the projected income that justified taking out their loans in the first place."

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3. Muslims Give Obama 80% Approval Rating

With President Barack Obama's overall approval ratings hovering around all-time lows, one group remains strongly supportive of Obama and his performance on the job: Muslim Americans.

An overwhelming 80 percent of Muslim Americans approve of the way Obama is handling his job, according to a newly released survey by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, a partnership between Gallup and the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.

Jewish Americans — many of whom disapprove of Obama's policies regarding Israel — nevertheless give him a 65 percent approval rating.

His approval rating among atheists, agnostics, and those of no religion is 60 percent; among Catholics, 50 percent; among Protestants, 37 percent; and among Mormons, just 25 percent.

Obama's favorable rating among Muslim Americans has gone down slightly since 2009, when it stood at 84 percent, but still remains far higher than President George W. Bush's rating among Muslim Americans in 2008, 7 percent.

Unfortunately for Obama, Muslim Americans are the least likely members of any major religious group to be registered to vote — 65 percent compared with 91 percent of Protestant Americans and Jewish Americans, according to the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center.

This may be because many Muslim Americans are first-generation immigrants and may not yet be citizens. Muslim Americans as a group are also significantly younger than people of other religions — 36 on average — and youth is often associated with low voter-registration levels.

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4. EPA Rules Raise Threat of Power Blackouts

New Environmental Protection Agency regulations for coal-fired power plants will raise the risk of blackouts and lead to higher electricity bills for many Americans.

Many coal-fired plants will have to be updated over the next three years to comply with the new EPA standards. Faced with the high costs of updating the plants, power companies will likely choose to take a number of them off line instead.

That will reduce power companies' ability to produce sufficient electricity during periods of high demand, according to the Detroit News.

In the Detroit area, the newspaper points out, Detroit Edison's parent company will have to close 10 coal-fired plants. That will reduce reserves and "leave the system vulnerable to blackouts on scorching hot days," the News observes.

To counter that threat, the power company plans to replace the shuttered plants with facilities running on natural gas, which costs more than coal. The switch to natural gas will boost electricity bills by 25 to 35 percent in the Detroit area, and mean higher operating costs for manufacturers.

"The consequences of the coal mandate will be huge," the News' opinion pieces states. "And yet such a momentous change was pushed through by regulatory fiat, without a vote by our elected representatives.

"President Barack Obama has proven wholly inept at putting Americans back to work. But as an economy killer, he is without equal."

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5. Desperate Democrats Push 'Made in USA' Bill in California

Debt-ridden California has lost more than 610,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 10 years thanks in large part to the high taxes and regulatory burden imposed by the Democrats.

Now three Democratic activists are in desperation proposing an arguably impractical measure that would require state and local governments to buy only "Made in USA" products.

The three Democrats have sent the ballot initiative, the Bring Manufacturing Jobs Back to California Act, to the state's attorney general, and they will circulate a petition with the aim of getting sufficient signatures to get the bill on the November 2012 ballot.

Beginning in January 2014, the measure would require the state and all local governments to buy or lease only products that are manufactured in the United States, and made mostly from materials produced in America.

Construction and public works contracts would be awarded only to companies that agree to use or supply American-made products and materials.

One of the three Democrats, John Thiella — who formerly worked for the state's tax commission — said the measure would harness the combined purchasing power of the state and its cities, districts, and local government agencies to create new manufacturing jobs in the country and the state of California as well.

The Act "is about simple economic justice in an economy being destroyed by outsourcing and long-term unemployment," said bill proponent Bill Zimmerman, campaign manager for several other citizens' initiatives in the past.

"The decline of our industrial base, and the loss of high-wage manufacturing jobs, has led to suffering for unemployed workers and frustration for consumers who can't find good 'Made in America' products in stores."

The ballot initiative notes that the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge span is being built in China by workers paid just $12 a day.

Under the bill, the legislature could provide exemption only for "specifically identified and particularly described" items, and for books or media intended for libraries, and artwork or artifacts intended for museums.

The measure seeks to address a distressing trend: Many California-based companies have been moving their operations to other states, CNS News reported.

And analysts say the blame rests with California's burdensome tax and regulatory environment.

The state ranked 49th in the Tax Foundation's 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index, which compares the states in five areas of taxation that affect businesses.

Although California's corporate tax rate is the highest in the West, a survey by the California Chamber of Commerce found that respondents believe too much government regulation is the primary factor in discouraging companies from locating there.

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6. We Heard…

THAT former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's son Jeb Jr. has endorsed Jon Huntsman for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Bush will serve as a national co-chairman of GenH, the youth outreach program for the campaign of Huntsman, former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China.

Bush said in a statement: "Jon is the best-prepared candidate to defeat President Obama in Florida and across the country.

"I am confident that his vision will appeal to young voters, who are alarmed at the trillions of dollars in debt being passed to our generation and who desperately seek jobs and economic opportunity. Washington needs a conservative problem-solver with Jon Huntsman's record of results."

THAT political commentator Amy Holmes will serve as news anchor on Glenn Beck's Web TV network GBTV when it launches in September.

Holmes, often labeled a conservative, left CNN as a contributor in 2009, and has also contributed to NBC's "Dateline" and ABC's "The View."

Beck will host a two-hour show on GBTV.

THAT respected political pundit Larry Sabato — director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia — now rates freshman Republican Rep. Allen West's re-election race a "toss-up."

His congressional district has voted Democratic in the past three presidential elections, and gave Barack Obama 52 percent of the vote in 2008. The district's boundaries may change due to redistricting, with Florida gaining two House seats.

West, a tea party favorite, made news recently when he sent an email calling Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, "despicable" after she questioned his stance on Medicare.

Two Democrats have already announced that they will seek the nomination to oppose West in 2012: former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, and newcomer Patrick Murphy.

THAT former Vice President Dick Cheney will give NBC News the first interview tied to the release of his memoir, "In My Time."

Cheney will be interviewed by Jamie Gangel on a special edition of "Dateline" on Aug. 29 at 10 p.m. Eastern, then will be interviewed live by Matt Lauer the next morning on "Today," Media Bistro reports.

Cheney's book is scheduled for release on Aug. 30.

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Insider Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Al Gore Goes Nuts in Aspen Speech2. Higher Education Called America's 'Next Bubble'3. Muslims Give Obama 80% Approval Rating4. EPA Rules Raise Threat of Power Blackouts5. Desperate Democrats Push 'Made in USA'...
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Monday, 15 August 2011 12:17 AM
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