District of Columbia

"The Only Communist to Ever Become a Czar"

The resignation of "green jobs" czar Van Jones over the weekend drew little attention from mainstream media (even the New York Times admitted they were late on the piece) with the exception of those who were outraged that such an extraordinarily accomplished man -- author of a best-selling novel with a law degree from Yale to boot -- could be vilified so egregiously and forced to resign prematurely. Sure, he's made a few nasty comments about Republicans, admitted to converting to Communism (while in prison!) in the 1990s, and signed a petition to investigate the involvement of the Bush administration in the attacks on September 11. But come on, a Yale Law degree! And a best-selling novel! Aren't those ample qualifications to work at the White House?

I would suspect that Jones' very own mentor, Karl Marx, were he alive and writing today, would not have a difficult time being accepted to Yale on the grounds of "academic diversity" and would remain on the New York Times' Best-sellers list for years. After all, Columbia invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak for those very reasons, and the Communist Manifesto isn't exactly the least popular item on reading lists across the country, I hear.

The amazing thing to me is that he is being defended by the Left despite these revelations. They often cite his apologetic tone for signing the petition or becoming a communist, and instead focus on his passionate pursuit of creating “green jobs” that will, admittedly, need to be created to compensate for the millions of jobs inevitably destroyed if current environmental legislation is passed in the Senate. He is, of course, a victim of a “smear campaign” being propagated by the Right, not to be confused with the smear campaigns of the Left brought against people like, as a random example, Joe the Plumber, who has absolutely no role in government but instead had the audacity to challenge future-president Barrack Obama. The result of his confrontation with the candidate was an investigation into his past personal and financial records to determine if he was in fact as indigent as he had initially claimed. If only the White House dug this deep when appointing czars, the whole situation with Mr. Jones may have been avoided entirely.

ht - James Taranto

Looking for a Copy of Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative"

 Hey all.  A while back, on a day in St. Louis when I found Tim Geithner's bailout atrocity to be particularly offensive, I tweeted at Karl Rove that I was a Hopemonger on the fence, and asked him What is the one Republican text he would recommend to shift me Right?  He recommended Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative & the early Reagan radio tapes.  If anyone in the Washington, D.C. area has a copy of either I could borrow, or that they are looking to get rid of cheap, please let me know.  I intend to review Goldwater's book, and would love to give The Gipper a listen.

Cheers.

 

Emissions Standards: The Global Siege on America >>

Let me begin by pronouncing the agreements that I share with Democrats. Or rather: let me be clear. The Earth is a gift from God, and is, aside from perhaps the feminine form, the most stunning thing in existence. No man alive is so base as to devalue what we have. This vehicle, like the Hand that created it, yields beyond sustenance and gives inspiration.

Now with that caveat out of the way, I submit that the Liberals, the Greens, and the Radical Left’s feel-good ideas of castrating the industrial machine are reckless and downright dangerous for America. The Left (and by extension the Democratic Party), in what has become an international battle royale for energy, prefers to surrender our arms and engines.  They are gruelingly unable to comprehend nuclear and fossil energy as a game-changing tactical weapon like steel and gunpowder. Nor are they able to accept that environmental stewardship treaties ratified by international bodies actually hold deliberate, ulterior motives to tightly bind America in other ways. And a shrugging regard at such powers is one of the most imminent dangers of the new century.

And to temper this sentiment, I believe that America can and should reduce its negative impact on the environment; namely by shifting from coal to nuclear power as a staple like France did and John McCain suggested. It seems that Liberals only like the bad ideas from Europe, but none of the good ones. As a case in point, we would have already reached the Kyoto emissions goals through the nuclear option that Republicans have proposed for years.

 

If President Bush had not pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol that President Clinton signed in 1997, we would have shouldered the burden of what other nations turn and ignore. Sadly, many of the global shirkers were Kyoto's chief architects within the European Union! Aside from ignoring the pollution of China and India which clearly no longer deserve special exemption, it held America to an unreasonable standard.

Europe's Performance:       

The European Union has had mixed results since signing the Kyoto Accord. Spain failed abysmally at achieving its goals and Italy approached underdeveloped Russia to buy carbon credits. To contextualize Russia’s position, the fall of the Soviet Union led to "Perestroika" and an industrial collapse, and Kyoto’s lax standards on Russia were assessed on this collapse. Similarly, Germany claims to have decreased their overall emissions. Yet, the integration of East Germany and the other ex-Soviet states (whose outmoded production stood to be revamped anyway) has tilted this statistic grossly. The reunification of West Germany to East Germany made it much easier to restructure the rusting coal-fired production of the Cold War. This overhaul was slated to happen anyway, making such a benchmark much easier to reach. Now having lived in Spain, I saw the staggering unemployment that fluctuated between 12-18%, and that is one thing that haunts me with upcoming legislations in the pipeline. Spanish Economist Gabriel Calzada detailed the consequences of these legislations in his “Study of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources,” which demonstrates the damaging falsehoods of the “green job,” whatever that is. According to this perplexed academe, the subsidy of every 1 green job costs 2.2 regular jobs through inefficiencies, displacement, and re-allocation, and he expects the same results in the United States with President Obama’s Cap-and-Trade deal.

The liberal admonitionary chatchprase that “the debate is over” has battered many eardrums, not just yours. In the video below is an interview with Ex Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain. It’s not in English, but I can tell you that he treats the question of climate change as we do in America. His affiliates call climate change a religion, fettered with dogma, and state we have a “blue planet, not a green one.” Like many in the US, he claims not to be a “denier,” as that label presupposes something to deny. He concludes by stating that the debate is not over, because it has yet to even commence, and that there has been a marked decay in parliamentary spirit and democratic debate in Spain in years past, and that people should return to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MD_bDfFaeI

China’s Performance:    

    The People’s Republic of China had recently surpassed the United States in CO2 emission in mid-2008, debunking the notion that America is the #1 offender.  But according to the environmental lunatics on the Left, we, The United States of America, must lead by example through blind faith and hope without assurance, that a military despotism like China will get warm fuzzies and turn green long after we have sacrificed trillions in GDP, millions of jobs, and the strategic high grounds that come with robust productive capacity. Yep. After watching America sadomasochistically self-immolate for a decade, China will want to join the rip-roarin’ fun!

India’s Performance:

Recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited India, and India’s Environmental Minister laid out a stalwart launch pad from which to negotiate future accords with the West. In short, he was not willing to sell his nation down the postmodern drain. I wish I could say the same for our leaders. Take a look for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyfJKgIQPXQ

Hillary’s refuted olive branch in New Delhi will be a microcosm of times to come, as we become the poor little match girl, passing from door to door and selling our eco-wares at no avail to a world hurtling in the opposite direction towards Ayn Rand.

The Ghosts of Energy Present and Future:

In America, we are a nation of people, not “masses” as the planeteers tend to esteem us. Hence, Carl Sagan’s hint at microbes having rights superseding those of humans will not fly far amidst a people unable to subtract anthropocentrism from stargazing, and who care little to imagine the giant unknowable workings of space and time after humans. Politically, it would be madness for a politico to expand his constituencies to mother earth, time, and space (gerrymandering would have to be done in either 3D or parsecs). The only manner in which to mobilize the public, or massage them into becoming pliant, would be to create a false sense of crisis, fear, and to literally demonize opposition as paid off or "flat-earthers." So it comes as no surprise that both Cap-and-Trade and ObamaCare are to be rushed. Despite that, the pending Waxman-Markey Bill puts forth many of the directives of “Old Europe” that will scare away manufacturing to the hills of Asia and Latin America. And Washington DC is counting on your docility to pass it.

Now according to the CIA World Factbook, America produces 14 trillion dollars in GDP as a total of our economy while China produces over 4 trillion. We dump 5.9 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere while China chugs out a full 6 billion. Now comparing the GDP in ratio to national emissions, a revelation emerges: We produce .00042 tons of CO2 per dollar of production. China produces .0015 tons of CO2 per dollar of production. So if cleanliness is the utmost goal, then the United States should already serve as an example to China, given that with a smaller population we produce more goods for the world at cleaner levels. 

Two points highlight China’s energy strategy for the 21st century: a petroleum highway and an emissions-free nuclear grid to make up for it. They already foresaw that T. Boone Pickens would abandon windfarms (which he did) and all the takeout joints in Hong Kong cannot accumulate the biodiesel grease to power fleets of buses. To put it another way: they’re not screwing around.  

According to Westinghouse Electric International, China has made it a national priority to build 100 nuclear power plants by 2020 (more resemblant of the Space Race than ObamaCare). And this national mobilization utilizes United States technology! Lord knows that the EU is already jacked into the atomic grid as well. We are not.

What’s the matter?  Did I frazzle your hippiemojo-windpower vibe and shatter your image of the avuncular T. Boone, who you learned was so hip during the hopeandchange era? Too bad, undergrad. It gets worse.

Aside from holding our debt, China is leveraging its surpluses to purchase assets around the globe, opening up trade channels to fan out their empire. Africa has become the next battlefield for resources, and China is pulling no punches in applying the same colonial takeover methodology as the powers of Europe did a century past. Nearly one third of all of China’s petroleum imports come from the African continent, and they have begun courting nations like Angola, The Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and yes…Sudan. With an economy growing at 9% for the past two decades, they are jealously vying for control of new sources of timber, coal, copper, and oil, and doing so in side by side competition with the United States. Traditionally, China has taken a hands-off approach towards meddling in the affairs of another nations (since they themselves have no desire for scrutiny), but has recently scrapped this diplomatic dogma by cozying up to local oil-friendly African nations and their government officials. A crux of their tactic has been to lay “investments” into roads, fiber optics, technology training, bridges, and other infrastructures that would otherwise bollix African nations to quickly build for themselves. This colonial paradox for a once insular power demonstrates that the searing growth of their nation has alarmingly trumped old wisdoms, and is goading them to do what it takes to win…Confucius be damned and anyone else who stands in their way.

In this quest to outbid America in global energy sources, arms have become a desired currency for petty dictators and warlords, and China is in no short supply. While Western powers have done the same for some time in supporting unsavory regimes for regional interest, the rabbit hole goes much deeper in China’s case. Dangerous regions like Sudan receive their arms shipments from China (and military trainers), while 60% of Sudanese oil output heads in the other direction. This transcontinental circulation of arms-for-oil has been used to curry favor with African members of the United Nations, allowing for more votes to disregard China’s human rights violations and it even compells African nations to rebuff the ineffectual African Union in overseeing Sino-African commerce in its own continent.

Brazil, the fastest-growing economy in Latin America and by far its largest nation, has announced that China has surpassed the United States as a trade partner in an historic demand sweep for iron ore. In February of this year, Brasil’s state-run oil company accepted a $10 billion-dollar loan deal from the People’s Republic of China, and agreed to supply China’s national oil company, SINOPEC, with petroleum output. Through decades of cultural drift from North America, and socialist Brazilian President Lula da Silva at the helm, who blames American capitalism for the global meltdown, totalitarian wheels have been set in motion in our own, western hemisphere.

An Old Bear, still tired of American power, has bellowed out a roar to be heard across Eurasia. It is common knowledge that Russia has been buying up utility companies in Eastern Europe, and providing shelter in the United Nations for Iran, a country with its own untapped resources. The recent invasion of Georgia and South Ossetia impinged into their Caucasus pipeline—one of the few pipelines that flows into Europe independently of Russia. It is no small wonder that Vladimir Putin threatened to sever the pipeline into Europe to keep the west at bay. 

The Final Word:

With exploding demand, China, Russia, and other hostile powers will continue to buy, to seek, and to prod for more economic hegemony, and weave it into their mutual fatigue with America’s superpower status. And what do they all have in common? They purchase assets with government-run oil companies, treating utilities like defense commodities and branching out with the backing of infinite subsidy under the guise of corporate buyout. And to add insult to injury, they are all exempt from Waxman-Markey and Kyoto mandates. Here in the States, we own literally oceans of natural gas beneath our bedrock, and deluvian reserves offshore. We even have three times the reserves of Saudi Arabia in the Rocky Mountains. All of this is capable of being transported with modern technology that has come a long way since the Exxon-Valdez spill ages ago; yet drilling remains illegal in spite of marvelous precautionary advances and a clean record since. This vainglorious distaste for black crude serves as an object of haughty disdain for the Liberal elite, and from others it is merely a reckless childishness regarding the stern realities of this world. Tanks are not powered on corn oil, F-22 fighter jets do not run on solar power, and aircraft carriers do not use windmills. We fuel these battle weapons with fossil fuels and nuclear reactors—the twin strategic pillars of the Republican energy platform and still the beverage of choice for the grown-up world.  

Nothin’ like the real thing. 

As I exit stage right with reminiscence, I recall President Bill Clinton rejecting a Republican push in 1995 to drill in ANWR, a frozen desert, claiming that the project would not yield oil until 2005. This stance would then contort into blatant denial when in 2008, the Democratic Party would then accuse Republicans of short-sightedness for wanting to drill in Palin Country. Fittingly enough, either party has yet to accuse China, a 4,000 year-old kingdom, of being short-sighted.

America is under siege. I suggest we start guarding our aqueducts. >>

 

 

Am I the only one hearing President Obama correctly?

At the All-Star game last week, President Obama went into the booth and spoke to the announcers at the bottom of the third inning.  Not a lot was said, however, I found it very interesting that he said that "we're our of money" in response to a question.  This is not the first time President Obama has made that sort of remark off the cuff.  I'm not sure whether its intentional or not, probably is but those of use who actually believe in fixing the fiscal situation in our nation should highlight and emphasize in efforts to trim the budget, modify entitlement spending and get our country back on the right track. 

 

Using Harry and Roy Reid to highlight federalism's import

This morning's Politico had an article about the potential political situation in which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be up for re-election while his son Rory will be running for Governor (if he makes it through the primary).

If this happens, the Rory Reid campaign will do the following:  

"Rory Reid campaign manager David Chase Cohen, who served as Barack Obama’s Nevada state director in the 2008 presidential caucus, wouldn’t say exactly how the campaign planned to distinguish between the two Reids. But he was quick to point out that the campaign would highlight the importance of local — as opposed to federal — governance." 

This campaign could give small government supporters the perfect opportunity to show local, regional or even voters accross the country the different roles that the federal government should play versus the role of state governments. 

 

Enron politics on healthcare

Today the Whitehouse, via Vice President Joe Biden, are going to announce that hospitals are agreeing to $110 billion in cost savings over the next ten years.  A few weeks ago, the Obama administration also announced that they were going to save $80 billion a year in health care costs through concessions from pharmaceutical companies.  What is notable, is that these "agreements" are non-binding and won't be until Congress writes a law that is passed and is signed by President Obama. 

This sort of celebration is akin to the mark-to-market accounting practiced by Enron and other vilified businesses where they booked future profits as current revenue even when no money had actually been made.  Anyone who has been part of the legislative process knows that any non-binding agreement laid out between the Administration and industry groups now will inevitably be changed (and likely weakened) on Capital Hill. 

Those opposing the administration on health care need to highlight these fake announcements and show the world that the like Enron, these press conferences do not provide any actual cost savings to any actual Americans over any timeframe. 

 

 

A Conservative Case for Healthcare to be Made Wednesday

This week, Senator Jim DeMint will give his reply to Obamacare and it is sure to be a conservative reply as he is being backed by several stalwartly conservative organizations in the effort.

Groups like Americans for Tax Reform, Media Research Center, Americans for Prosperity, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights and Tea Party Patriots will all stand behind Senator DeMint's presentation in the Cannon Building in the House Budget Committee Hearing room on the Hill this Wednesday at noon.

DeMint has a full menu of items to propose and we have been informed that the list of issues that will be discussed will include:

  • Do no harm, keep employer-based plans
  • Vouchers of $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for a family will be proposed for those without insurance whether it be private or employer-based
  • It will be proposed that health savings accounts should be able to be used for insurance premiums -- this is thought a great benefit for employers that want to drop their own plans
  • A national market for health insurance will be proposed so that competition across state lines will improve choice for everyone
  • Block grants to help states with their programs will be discussed, this will prevent guaranteed issued coverage and will also help federal mandates harder to impose
  • Tort reform to reduce predatory and frivolous lawsuits is being considered, as will caps on awards. This will be closely related to Senator Ensign's malpractice law proposal
  • Also, an option for individuals to leave their employer-based insurance plan and to choose a tax credit to pursue their own insurance will also be on the table

DeMint claims that these ideas will help 22.4 million currently uninsured Americans get healthcare coverage at lower costs. It will be cheaper and faster than the Kennedy plan currently finding such a tough road of it in the Senate. DeMint says this plan will save $310 billion over 5 years with the tax credit voucher proposal.

It will certainly be interesting to see where this proposal goes and if the media will give DeMint the attention he deserves.

If You Call Obama “Socialist,” Then the House GOP Is 99% Socialist

 Cato's Chris Edwards is correct.  Republicans are playing small-ball.  They have no real vision, so they've ended up with policy paralysis.  - Jon Henke

As I note in a recent New York Post op-ed Republicans are fond of implying that President Obama is a big-spending socialist. But the House GOP recently offered a spending cut plan that was able to find savings worth less than one percent of Obama’s budget.

As Tad DeHaven and Brian Riedl have also pointed out, the GOP spending reform effort is rather pathetic. It proposed specific annual budget cuts of about $14 billion per year.

Consider that the center-left budget wonks at the Brookings Institution put their heads together a few years ago and came up with a “smaller government plan” that proposed about $342 billion in annual spending cuts (by 2014). The Brookings authors note:  

These cuts are achieved by reducing government subsidies to commercial activities ($138 billion); by returning responsibility for education, housing, training, environmental, and law enforcement programs to the states ($123 billion) . . . by cutting entitlements such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare ($74 billion); and by eliminating some wasteful spending in these entitlement programs ($7 billion).

Thus, the Brookings scholars found cuts more than twenty times larger than the House GOP leadership cuts, and Brookings proposed its plan back when the deficit was about one-fifth of the size it is today. (Note that both the Brookings and GOP plans would also put a cap on overall nondefense discretionary spending, in addition to these specific cuts).

My point in the New York Post piece is that the GOP needs to challenge Obama’s big spending agenda at a more fundamental level. They need to do some careful research, pick out some big spending targets, and go on the offense. Why not propose to eliminate the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development? Why not sell off federal assets, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, in order to help pay down the federal debt? Why not open up the U.S. Postal Service to competition?

Obama won’t agree to these reforms at this point, but they would hopefully open a serious national debate about reforming our massive and sprawling federal government. Ronald Reagan in 1980 and the congressional Republicans in 1994 didn’t win by splitting hairs with the Democrats over 1% of spending. They offered a more fundamental critique.

At least, GOP leaders need to offer up spending reforms as bold as those of the Brookings Institution.

Chris Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at The Cato Institute

The GOP Is Clearly Not Serious about Cutting Down Spending

Cato Budget Analyst Tad DeHaven says Republicans still aren't serious about the budget.  This is a major problem.  I don't think it's so much a lack of "courage" as it is a lack of ideas.  Republicans just don't have a vision for how a smaller government could be better, and how to get from here to there through the political process.  DeHaven's points are correct. - Jon Henke

A month ago, President Obama issued a list of proposed spending cuts that I dismissed as “unserious” due to the fact that they were trivial when compared to his proposed spending and debt increases.  Yesterday, the House Republican leadership released a list of proposed spending cuts.

I’d love to say I’m impressed, but I can’t.

Both proposals indicate that neither side of the aisle grasps the severity of the country’s ugly fiscal situation, or at least has the guts to do anything concrete about it.

The GOP proposal claims savings of more than $375 billion over five years, the bulk of which ($317 billion) would come from holding non-defense discretionary spending increases to no more than inflation over the next five years.

First, it should be cut — period.  Second, non-defense discretionary spending only amounts to about 17% of all the money the federal government spends in a year, so singling out this pot of money misses the bigger picture.  At least, defense spending, which is almost entirely discretionary, should be included in any cap.  But it has become an article of faith in the Republican Party that reining in defense spending is tantamount to putting a white flag in the Statue of Liberty’s hand.

The second biggest chunk of savings would come from directing $45 billion in repaid TARP funds to deficit reduction instead of allowing the money to be used for further bailing out.  That’s a sound idea as far it goes, but I can’t help but point out that the signatories to the document, House Republican Leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor, voted for the original $700 billion TARP bailout. Proposing to rescind the Treasury’s power to release the remaining funds, about $300 billion I believe, should have been included.

According to the proposal, the rest of the cuts and savings comes out to around $25 billion over five years.  Like the specific cuts in the president’s proposal, they’re all good cuts.  But the president detailed $17 billion in cuts for one year and I generously called it “measly.”  What am I to call the House Republican leadership specifying $5 billion a year in cuts?

 Take for example, proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is likely to spend around $65 billion this year.  Having recently spent a couple months analyzing HUD’s past and present, I can state unequivocally that it’s one of the sorriest bureaucracies the world has ever seen.  Yet, the House Republican leadership comes up with only one proposed elimination: a $300,000 a year program that gives “$25,000 stipends for 12 students completing their doctoral dissertation on issues related to housing and urban development.”  The only other proposed cut to HUD would be $1.7 billion over five years to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.  This notoriously wasteful program is projected to spend over $8 billion this year alone.  Eliminate it!

The spending cuts the country needs must be substantial, serious, and put forward in the spirit of recognizing that the federal government’s role in our lives must be downsized.  Half-measures are not enough, and from the Republican House leadership, wholly insufficient for winning back the support of limited-government voters who have come to associate the GOP with runaway spending and debt.  For a more substantive guide to cutting federal spending, policymakers should start with Cato’s Handbook chapter on the subject.

Tad DeHaven is a budget analyst at The Cato Institute.

C/P Cato@Liberty

Tapper Thumper: Is Obama 'Preventing Actual Reporters' From Covering White House?

On May 20, ABC's Jake Tapper asked a few salient questions about coverage of an April 27 incident at the White House basketball court, a sort of event after the event that the White House press corps was barred from covering. Tapper wondered then why the president barred the press but it later became clear that Team Obama was creating its own little media report "complete with cuts, interviews, and chyrons identifying who's speaking."

Tapper subtly warned that the president's penchant for controlling the message smacks of an Obama Ministry of Propaganda styled effort that excludes "actual reporters" from covering the White House and leaves the country with faux news that is free of any "uncomfortable questions" asked by probing journalists.

At issue is a pick-up basketball game on the White House court that President Obama hosted with NCAA champion basketball team the University of Connecticut Lady Huskies. The impromptu game was joined by the Lady Huskies after Obama met publicly with team members and their families, a meeting that the White House press corps was permitted to observe. But, as Tapper shows, reporters were "not allowed to attend" the impromptu basketball game held after the official meeting.

Reads the print pool report from that day: "After shaking hands with the team's parents and members of Congress who showed up, the president walked the team over to his basketball court and shot hoops. The pool was held back from the stroll down the drive and around the corner, and couldn't see the court. Poolers could hear periodic cheering coming from the other side of the bushes."

The lap dog media snubbed by The One! Ouch.

But here is the thing, coverage of this basketball game appeared on Obama's new media extravaganza that Tapper dubs "OTV." The real press was not allowed, but Team Obama created its own media coverage instead.

So, why was the real press kept away from this simple basketball game and how many more times in the future will Obama's handlers exclude the press from covering the president in the people's house? Further, is this Ministry of Propaganda styled, presidential approved "media" coverage the sort of thing that American's should be concerned about? Isn't it a troubling proposition to have the White House excluding the actual press to create its own media reports for public consumption? Even if the Old Media is so often a lap dog for Obama, isn't his outright dismissal of them something to raise eyebrows? Further, would that snubbed White House press corps allow without comment a Republican president to do this sort of thing?

Speaking of penchants, Tapper is well known to cast a zinger or two and he didn't disappoint with this little Political Punch posting. Remembering how past presidents have bemoaned how vicious the press was to them, Tapper unleashes this amusing little jab:

Do Obama White House officials think their media coverage isn't flattering enough?

Certainly a tacit admission that the press has let Obama off easy thus far. But Tapper's chief criticism is one we should all wonder about.

It's perfectly fine, of course, for the White House to put out its own version of events -- but is it right to do so by preventing actual reporters from covering something? (Even something like a pickup basketball game).

Is the goal to ultimately replace the pesky photographers who film what they want to and not what they're told to (not to mention the annoying reporters who ask uncomfortable questions about, say, detainee policy and bank bailouts)?

Heady questions, indeed.

So, are you ready for your "OTV"? Tapper ain't so thrilled. We shouldn't be either.

(Photo credit: The American Press Institute)

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