Thursday, May 31, 2012

Walmart Caves to Far Left Pressure and Leaves ALEC

Walmart, the largest retailer in the country, has fled ALEC in the progressive left's latest victory in its war on the organization. Jessica Wohl of Daily Finance stated "In April, ALEC said it was abandoning the committee that worked on 'public safety and elections' to focus on the economy. Despite the change, Walmart decided it was no longer focused on the same issues as the council." As I've mentioned before, in a previous post, and which was reiterated by Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com today:
Liberal groups like Media Matters for America and its close associate, the Van Jones-run Color of Change, working in coordination with friends of the Obama Administration, launched secondary boycotts against members in ALEC this year; several major ALEC sponsors have already dropped out, prompting ALEC to announce in April that it was no longer going to focus on “public safety and elections,” and would instead direct its energies toward the economy.
These groups have ALEC targeted due to its past support of model bills related to Stand Your Ground laws and Voter ID legislation. Wohl continued in her piece stating that such legislation is opposed by groups like "ColorOfChange, a liberal advocacy group for black Americans,[that] has said the voting laws put the poor and minorities at a disadvantage." This group was co-founded by Van Jones. The ex-Special Advisor for Green Jobs advisor to the Obama White House who infamously called Republicans "assholes" that led to his premature departure from the administration.

However, this whole notion that it disadvantages the poor and minorities is absurd in the extreme.  It always amazes me how liberals seem to think people, who are missing identification for voting, are incapable of going to their local DMV and acquiring a photo ID. It's only $13.50. Let's take a look at the process in my home state of Pennsylvania.



$13.50! Holy Cow

Regardless, Maggie Sans, Walmart Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations, wrote this statement, addressed to ALEC's national chairman and executive director:
Previously, we expressed our concerns about ALEC's decision to weigh in on issues that stray from its core mission 'to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets...We feel that the divide between these activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide. To that end, we are suspending our membership in ALEC. Sans, who is also giving up her role as secretary of ALEC's private enterprise board, did not specify the issues that caused the split. Walmart has benefited from ALEC campaigns involving taxes, commerce and technology. While we are disappointed in Walmart's decision, we understand the unique pressures they are under, said spokeswoman Kaitlyn Buss.
I guess we can add Walmart to the list of victims of far left badgering.
RIP
Coca-Cola
Kaplan
Procter & Gamble
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Pepsi
Kraft
Wendy’s
Walmart

California's High Speed Folly

More news of the stimulus's failure emerged this week with CBO's report citing how it may have cost $4.1 million per job, but the story that should be on everyone's minds concerning the Obama's agenda is California's high speed rail project. Calls for a high speed rail system by the Obama administration have been enhanced given China's successful completion of their system last summer. However, if you look at the current California project, the scale of failure is epic and our tax dollars are being poured into it.

In a rare instance, CNN gave a rather insightful report on how this proposed high speed rail is actually three times more than its estimated cost. The railroad project itself seemed sound. A line from Los Angeles to San Francisco spanning two hundred miles was a palatable initiative for Californians, which is why they voted for a $10 billion dollar bond measure back in 2008. However, the original estimate was in the ball park of about $34 billion dollars. It is now projected to cost a monstrous $198 billion dollars. Additionally, Drew Griffin, CNN Investigative Correspondent, reported that not a single rail has been laid in the four years since the initiative was passed.

This marks another stinging failure of the domestic agenda of the Obama administration. First clean energy, now high speed rail networks. It fits nicely into the description George Will aptly made about American liberalism on Charlie Rose, last August, as "an amalgamation of appetites of parochial interests". The project is now revised under the new Chairman of California's Railway Authority, Dan Richard, but it's very different original high speed blueprint. Griffin stated:
It turns out, the latest plan could be for a much slower train, not actually the high- speed futuristic cartoon California voters approved four years ago. More of a hybrid that goes slower, makes a few more stops and doesn't quite deliver the L.A. to San Francisco promise of just a few hours.


And that's not the half of it. This is about to become really political. California's high-speed rail has one huge backer -- President Barack Obama -- and that is where you come in. The administration has pledged $3.5 billion in stimulus money, also known as federal tax dollars, and that's just so far. Now, California admits it will need even more, tens of billions of dollars more from federal taxpayers to finish it.


But first, you have to start. And that's where it really gets dicey. The foundational segment, the first stretch of track, will cost at least $6 billion alone and, under the new plan, will connect Fresno to Burbank. It won't go anywhere near San Francisco. And in the process, will dissect generations-old dairy farms, nut orchards and towns that don't want it. 
That's not the worst of it.  Apparently, Barack Obama, who continues to be a staunch proponent of this project:
has pledged $3.5 billion in stimulus money, also known as federal tax dollars, and that's just so far. Now, California admits it will need even more, tens of billions of dollars more from federal taxpayers to finish it.

But first, you have to start. And that's where it really gets dicey. The foundational segment, the first stretch of track, will cost at least $6 billion alone and, under the new plan, will connect Fresno to Burbank. It won't go anywhere near San Francisco. And in the process, will dissect generations-old dairy farms, nut orchards and towns that don't want it. 
However, even with the inflated costs and objections by local farmers, Dan Richard and the rest at the Railroad Authority aren't giving up. After all, as Griffin reported, "they've already got the promised $3 billion of your tax dollars in federal stimulus. California may not get another dime from President Obama, but it has no intention of giving back the $3 billion already promised or the billions more from California voters." This Rube Goldberg project is expected to take ten years to finish. Who's lining up to get their first ticket?

NYC Plans Ban on Many Drinks

New York City is planning to enact a ban on all sugary drinks that are bigger than sixteen ounces.

Specifically targeted are sodas, but anything that has been sweetened will be included in the ban.

The most common size of bottled sodas are twenty ounces.

Diet sodas, vitamin waters, unsweetened iced teas, and any drinks with less than twenty-five calories per eight ounce serving are to be given waivers from the ban.

Restaurants, delis, movie theaters, ballparks, and even sidewalk carts would be affected, and have to change their cup sizes to follow the new law.

Mayor Bloomberg says this is part of the war on obesity.

Opponents say it is an attack on personal freedom.