Mourning at the White House: Inventor of the Teleprompter Dies at 91

Sad news to report this morning. The inventer of the teleprompter has passed away:

Hubert Schlafly created the teleprompter, the device that helps actors and politicians read scripts on television without looking down. Then he helped develop the satellite and cable networks that sent their words around the globe.

Mr. Schlafly, an engineer who died April 20 at age 91, created the teleprompter in 1950 in partnership with Fred Barton, a Broadway actor who imagined a tool that would eliminate human prompters.

He leaves behind a wife, three kids, nine grandchildren, and one presidency. If you see the flag outside the White House flying at half staff, now you know why. The president is expected to cancel his speeches for the remainder of the week until TOTUS is finished mourning.

More on the life of Mr. Schlafly here.

Cash-Strapped Americans Anxiously Wait to See if EPA Causing Shell Oil to Lose Billions Will Drive Down the Price of Gas

In February the EPA allowed Shell to appeal a decision on Arctic drilling (they had to appeal to the EPA so guess what happened). At the time Shell all but said they were scrapping plans to drill in the Arctic north of Alaska, but today it became official.

The U. S. Geological Survey estimates there to be 27 billion barrels of oil (I mean, “yesterday’s energy source”) in the US part of the Arctic Ocean.

It will probably remain there for a long time:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

Shell spent billions for nothing. Hey, that ought to lead speculators to believe the prices will drop.

Note: Complaints directed to the White House will be auto-reponded with “Trade in your 8 mpg SUV and buy a Volt!”

The White House’s Easter Proclamation

(Note: I think the comments are fixed now!)

If you missed the White House’s Easter proclamation yesterday, here it is:

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That’s right, there wasn’t one. They didn’t forget Earth Day and Ramadan though!

President Obama failed to release a statement or a proclamation recognizing the national observance of Easter Sunday, Christianity’s most sacred holiday.

By comparison, the White House has released statements recognizing the observance of major Muslim holidays and released statements in 2010 on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.

The White House also failed to release a statement marking Good Friday. However, they did release an eight-paragraph statement heralding Earth Day. Likewise, the president’s weekend address mentioned neither Good Friday or Easter.

Is that why lightning struck the White House yesterday?

Today is the Easter Egg Roll at the White House. If you’re there, don’t miss the yoga garden:

And today, the president and first lady will host 30,000 people for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The secular celebration of Easter includes readings, games, and a yoga garden. This year’s theme, “Get Up and Go!” is part of the first lady’s anti-obesity campaign and will also display produce from the White House garden.

Not to sound like an unenlightened flyover-country hick, but what the hell is a yoga garden? “It must be spring… the Bikram Choudhury is in full bloom!”

Update: Sarah Palin didn’t forget an Easter message.

By the way, according to Obama’s spokeman, the president was too busy going to church to think about Easter.

Update II: Reverend Wright’s not available in DC, but Obama at least found an Easter pastor who once equated Rush Limbaugh with the KKK.

Kloppenburg’s Long Pause for Laughter

In the Wisconsin Supreme Court election, David Prosser holds a 7,316 lead over JoAnne Kloppenburg. Bring on a recount!

I ran across the Kloppenburg press conference video below at Hot Air. If you can, zip forward to about 1:35 when a reporter asks the candidate who is forcing a recount that the state says could cost between a half a million and a million dollars this question: “Do you still feel that you’re the winner of the election?”

You’d have to ask the octo-mom to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity during her eighth month to get a more pregnant pause:

PDS Backfire

You may have seen the post at Wonkette yesterday that mocked Trig Palin on his birthday (normally I might not have linked to it to contribute to their ad revenue, but since so many of their advertisers have pulled, I figure it’s not as big a deal). It was the typically tasteless hatred very poorly disguised as “humor” we’ve come to expect from some on the left when it comes to the Palin family.

The Wonkette folks and anybody defending them over this no doubt loved the Glenn Beck advertiser boycott, but I doubt they’re loving it when the tables are turned:

JJIll: “All: Please know we do not condone the Wonkette story. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. We have taken action to remove our ads.”

Holland America Cruises: “Thanks for letting us known, we have blocked that page from running our ads.”

Nordstrom: “Thanks for letting us know. The ads have been removed. We’re sorry to disappoint you.”

Reliant Energy: “Thank you for alerting us. We did not choose this site and are working to have this removed immediately.”

Bob Evans: “Our ad is not supposed to be running on that site. Agency has been alerted to pull it immediately.”

DealSwarm: “We’ve pulled our ads from the site — we wouldn’t have approved them running next to that blog post. (Trig is a cutie pie.) Thank you for alerting us — we weren’t aware our ads were running alongside a blog post like that. Ads have been pulled.”

MetroPCS: “We don’t condone @Wonkette, have removed the ad and ensured that our ads won’t appear on this site in the future. Thanks for bringing to our attention.”

The “reasoning” for the Palin fail at Wonkette is the same lame excuse that’s usually made when the PDS afflicted left mocks Trig’s Down Syndrome: “We’re just pointing out that Sarah Palin uses her son as a campaign prop.” Sure — and if she never appeared with her son they’d accuse her of being ashamed of him and of being a bad mother. Whatever. What this kind of thing boils down to is that people like this Wonkette idiot believe that Trig should have never been born. Well, if the author of that post is the definition of perfection, give me a million Trig Palins over one Jack Steuf (the alleged name of the author) any day of the week.

Speaking of the author, in a nice sort of “f-you,” somebody bought the domain name JackSteuf.com and the site now redirects to the National Down Syndrome donation page. Heh. Well played, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous.

You’ll now see at the top of the Wonkette post, the author has supposedly apologized for calling Trig “retarded,” but not for calling Trig a “political prop.” I don’t know, maybe the author’s parents just weren’t as proud to take him around with them as the Palins are to show off Trig, but that’s hardly the fault of the Palins, Mr. Steuf.

You know it’s bad when even the Huffington Post is distancing themselves from these “Trig truther” fools.

Update: As you can see, the post has been removed. “Poor comedic judgment”? Pah-leez. “Hate-filled unfunny rant that backfired horribly” would be more honest.

Team Obama Fulfulling Transparency Pledge: Now Easier to See Through Than Saran Wrap

Obama and the Democrats pledged the most transparent administration ever, and they weren’t kidding. What’s easier to see through than a statement that implies with all the subtlety of a baseball bat to the groin, “If your company donated money to Republicans instead of Democrats, you’re probably not going to get government contracts”?

From Politico:

The Obama administration is considering a number of measures to compel disclosure of the kind of anonymous campaign contributions that helped finance millions of dollars of attack ads against Democrats during the 2010 elections.

The White House last week began circulating a draft executive order that would require companies seeking government contracts to disclose contributions – including those that otherwise would have been secret – to groups that air political ads attacking or supporting candidates.

Another way to phrase this, especially with 2012 just around the corner, could be, “Give money to Democrats next year and you just might (you never know) be more likely to get that government contract you’re bidding on.” The nudge factor in this is so high that it’ll knock you out of your chair.

Here’s the funny part: in the draft executive order that may end up in political affiliation or leanings of government contractors (or would-be contractors) be disclosed in all bids, it’s ordered that political favoritism will play no part in the decision-making process if this is implemented:

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Politics can’t play a part when the government makes its decision? Uh-huh… in that case, why do this at all? Wouldn’t the best way to ensure that politics plays no part to be to avoid politics altogether?

You’ll notice too that Obama’s possible attempt to impose the DISCLOSE Act in spite of Congress, the FEC and the Supreme Court knocking it down is directed only toward government contracters — the companies themselves and their management… not the unions. That’s not surprising at all, just worth noting.

The Obama Administration’s quest for transparency: Mission Accomplished!â„¢

Update: The road to transparency in the era of Hope & Change is, of course, a one-way street:

Pres. Obama often trumpets that his White House is more transparent and open than any other. But it’s clear he does not apply that approach to his political fund-raising.

The president attended three fundraisers last Thursday in Chicago. His political operation revealed the price range of tickets, from $100 to $35,800 per person, and also disclosed the number of people in attendance. But it declined to provide an official estimate of how much money would be raised. Reporters could try to estimate the amounts.

Your Tax Dollars at Work: Florida Agency Spends $14,000 on Superhero Capes for the Unemployed

“It’s a jobless bird… it’s an out of work plane… it’s — Super Unemployed Man!”

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida officials are investigating an unemployment agency that spent public money to give 6,000 superhero capes to the jobless.

Workforce Central Florida spent more than $14,000 on the red capes as part of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” public relations campaign. The campaign featured a cartoon character, “Dr. Evil Unemployment,” who needs to be vanquished.

“Dr. Evil Unemployment” wouldn’t happen to be from Chicago and currently living in DC, would he?

Not only did taxpayers pay for the capes, but we’re paying people to think up these kinds of absolute embarrassments. What are the super-powers of Unemployed Man? The ability to leap well beyond 99 weeks in a single bound?

By the way, there actually is an “Unemployed Man,” and Florida might owe him a few dollars for swiping the idea:

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Donald Trump: Tea Partier?

If you ever see me laughing when Donald Trump is speaking at a Tea Party rally, this is part of the reason:

Trump is allied with the tea party movement in favoring repeal of the health care law and opposing tax hikes. But while exploring a 2000 Reform Party presidential bid, part-time Palm Beacher Trump supported universal health care and a one-time 14.25 percent “wealth tax” on individuals and estates with a net worth of more than $10 million.

But that was more than a decade ago.

More recently, Trump has given campaign contributions to some high-profile tea party foes.

Trump gave $2,400 in 2009 to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who hung onto his seat in November against tea party favorite Sharron Angle.

Trump has also given $8,900 over the years to House and Senate campaigns of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who was recently overheard coaching fellow Dems to brand GOP budget cuts “extreme” to try to drive a wedge between House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the tea party movement.

Trump also gave $4,800 to former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist‘s 2010 Senate campaign. Trump contributed in October 2009, when Crist was still a Republican trying to fend off a tea party-boosted primary challenge from eventual winner Marco Rubio.

I’ve heard people say, “He’s a businessman… many businessmen give money to both parties like Trump does.” To a degree that’s true, but those with true political conviction don’t always feel the need to do that — George Soros for example.

Donald Trump says he’s a conservative, but does anybody know an actual conservative who could have donated campaign funds to Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid without stabbing the pen into their jugular and ending it all just after signing the checks? Simply put, I won’t vote for somebody who was capable, for whatever reason, of giving money to Ted Kennedy and Anthony Weiner. I’m having enough trouble getting past Newt Gingrich doing a global warming PSA with Nancy Pelosi (I still haven’t forgiven him) — so I’m not likely to forgive a “conservative” who helped get Dick Durbin re-elected.

Trump might be some sort of Republican in an Olympia Snowe kind of way — but he’s definitely not a conservative. I think Mark Levin hit it closest to the mark though when he called Trump an opportunist.