Author Archives: CDN Editorial Staff

Inhofe Review Act Defeat Will Hurt U.S Economy

SENATE VOTE WILL CAUSE JOB LOSS AND INCREASE ELECTRICITY RATES

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2012  — The U.S. Senate held an up-or-down vote Wednesday on Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) resolution (S.J. Res. 37) to overturn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) onerous Utility MACT rule. The resolution was defeated by a vote of 53 to 46. The pending new EPA rule will be the most expensive power plant regulation in American history and is directed at plants that use coal—America’s most abundant and affordable energy source—to generate electricity. Surprisingly several senators from states that generate significant electricity from coal voted against the regulation, ensuring higher electricity rates for their constituents.

Senators voting against the Inhofe resolution and in support of the EPA rule included Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both from states that generate more than 80 percent of their electricity from coal; Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, which gets nearly half of its electricity from coal; Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, which generates 63 percent of its electricity with coal; and Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, which uses coal to generate nearly 60 percent of its electricity. All voted against the resolution and in support of an EPA rule that will increase electricity rates across the country.

Sen. Jim Inhofe said in a statement after the Senate rejected his attempt to send EPA’s rule back to the drawing boards, “Our fight is not over: we will continue to do everything possible to expose what the Obama-EPA’s damaging regulatory regime will do to destroy jobs and weaken our economy, and work every day in our efforts to stop President Obama’s war on oil, gas and coal.”

Recent independent studies show EPA’s new rules will force power plants to close across the country, cause electricity prices to spike by an average of 12 percent nationwide, and cost the economy well over a million jobs.

AJC Applauds President Obama for Granting Deferred Action to DREAM Students

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC applauds President Obama’s announcement today of new Administration policy to stop deporting undocumented youth from the U.S. who would qualify for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

“President Obama’s decision will enhance educational opportunities for deserving students, level the playing field for all children, and bolster America’s role as a leader in the competitive global economy,” said Richard Foltin, AJC’s Director of National and Legislative Affairs.

There are an estimated 50,000-65,000 undocumented students who graduate from American high schools each year. “Many came to the U.S. at a young age, have grown up in American schools, developed American values, and are American in every sense except their citizenship,” said Foltin.

Following President Obama’s announcement today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin a process for granting “deferred action” to undocumented youth who are in the U.S. and would otherwise qualify for relief under the version of the DREAM Act passed by the House of Representatives in December 2010.

Eligible individuals – including but not limited to those who are currently in deportation proceedings – will be allowed to remain and work in the U.S. for a renewable two-year period.

“While granting deferred action to these students is an important step towards desperately needed reform of our immigration system, we will continue to advocate for legislation that establishes a permanent path to citizenship for these DREAM Act students,” said Foltin.

Citing a UCLA study that concluded that DREAM Act participants could contribute $1.4-$3.6 trillion to the U.S. economy during their working lives, Foltin continued, “These students are vital to our nation’s future. Allowing them to stay in the United States not only benefits them, but also enhances America’s rich, vibrant, and diverse culture.”

Since its founding in 1906, AJC has been a strong voice in support of fair and generous immigration policies that are consistent with humanitarian values and with the need to treat all individuals with respect, while allowing the United States to implement its immigration laws and protect our national security.

New Poll Sends Clear Message That Holder Should Go

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BELLEVUE, Wash., June 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new Rasmussen poll showing only 27 percent support for Attorney General Eric Holder keeping his job, while 73 percent are either in favor of his resignation or undecided, is a clear message that Holder should step down, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

There is one important caveat, noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. Before Holder leaves, he needs to surrender all documents relating to the Fast and Furious scandal to Congressman Darrell Issa and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“If Eric Holder steps down, that doesn’t mean he gets to walk away from this fiasco,” Gottlieb observed. “He doesn’t get to go home and write his memoirs, and he doesn’t get to just put all of this in his rear view mirror. He needs to comply fully with the subpoena, even if it means trouble for his subordinates, or his boss’ re-election campaign.

“The American public deserves answers,” he added, “and particularly, the family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry deserves those answers. We cannot get those answers until the documents are turned over.”

The survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and released Friday morning. It has a +/- 3 percentage point sampling error. It comes as Holder is trying to head off a looming Oversight Committee vote on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress for withholding thousands of subpoenaed documents relating to the Fast and Furious investigation. The Rasmussen survey revealed that 40 percent of those contacted are in favor of Holder stepping down. Another 33 percent are undecided, but that leaves barely a quarter of the public in favor of Holder’s continued service as attorney general.

“Holder needs to go,” Gottlieb said, “but not before Congress and the American people are allowed to learn the truth about this disturbing operation.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.

Obama Eligibility To Be On Florida Presidential Ballot To Be Argued In Court June 18

Place: Leon County Circuit Court, Courtroom 2-F

301 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301 

Time: 9:00 a.m.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A hearing will be held this Monday, June 18, 2012, at 9 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Terry Lewis, the judge whose decisions helped decide the 2000 presidential elections. The subject of the hearing is a lawsuit filed by Michael Voeltz, a registered Democrat who is challenging, as he has a right to do under Florida law, the eligibility of Barack Obama to be on the Florida presidential ballot in 2012.

The issues in the case at this stage include but are not limited to: 1.) the duty of Florida’s Secretary of State to confirm eligibility before the name of a candidate such as Barack Obama are placed on the ballot, 2.) the definition of the term “natural born citizen,” which is a constitutional requirement for presidential eligibility and 3.) whether Barack Obama is a natural born citizen born in the United States or its territories to two American citizen parents.

In a prior hearing, Judge Lewis stressed that Mr. Voeltz’s attorney, Larry Klayman, had cited Supreme Court authority that a natural born citizen must be born in the United States to two American citizen parents, but the Barack Obama’s attorneys had cited no authority to the contrary.  Judge Lewis called for Obama’s attorneys to submit briefing on the issue prior to the hearing, and for Mr. Klayman to submit affidavits attesting to issues of fact in dispute as to where Obama was born. Among several affidavits, Klayman submitted the sworn testimony of Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio, whose “Cold Case Posse” has been investigating Obama’s eligibility on behalf of Arizona and found that his alleged birth certificate is likely forged.

This case is monumental particularly since Florida is once again at the center of an election dispute that could have a major impact on American history. Larry Klayman observed: “Most of the Washington, D.C. and media establishment have never wanted to confront the issue of Obama’s eligibility to be president, as this is not considered ‘politically correct.’ But the framers did confront it and this is why they required a higher threshold to be president that goes beyond just being a citizen. They understood, particularly given the times they lived in, where British Tories and spies sought to undermine the new Republic, that they could not permit someone with divided loyalties to occupy the highest office in the land.”

The case is titled Voeltz v. Obama, No. 2012 CA 00467 in Leon County Circuit Court. The hearing is open to the public and the media. Klayman’s work is supported by the non-profit ConstitutionActionFund.org.  The hearing is being broadcast “live streamed” on the internet by www.wnd.com.

The Boy Scouts of America Clarifies Membership Policy

IRVING, Texas, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Contrary to media reports, the Boy Scouts of America has no plans to change its membership policy. The introduction of a resolution does not indicate the organization is “reviewing” a policy or signal a change in direction.

Resolution:
In April, a single individual submitted a resolution asking the Boy Scouts to consider amending its policy on not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals. The resolution asked that the policy be amended to allow local units to determine their own standards.

Scouting’s voting members may submit resolutions, which represent that individual’s personal viewpoint, for consideration at the national annual business meeting. As directed by its bylaws, on May 31, the BSA assigned the resolution to a committee that will consider the resolution and present a report to the National Executive Board.

Resolutions and petitions on this subject are not unique and go back as far as 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed this matter, and have been widely covered in the media since that time. In addition, in the past individuals have submitted resolutions asking the BSA to reaffirm its current policy. Those resolutions were handled in the same manner.

The introduction of a resolution is procedural and handled with respect but does not indicate the organization is “reviewing a policy” or signal a change in direction.

Petition:
Completely unrelated to the introduction of this resolution, on May 27, an online petition asked the Boy Scouts to meet with a spokesperson from the group circulating the petition and accept signatures generated from the online petition, which asked the BSA to change its policy.

While it was not on the Boy Scouts’ national business meeting agenda, out of courtesy and respect for differing viewpoints, the BSA accepted the petition during a private meeting. This meeting to accept the petition was not related in any way to the introduction of the resolution.

BSA Policy:
The BSA policy is: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”

Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. The vast majority of parents we serve value this right and do not sign their children up for Scouting for it to introduce or discuss, in any way, these topics.

The BSA is a voluntary, private organization that sets policies that are best for the organization. The BSA welcomes all who share its beliefs but does not criticize or condemn those who wish to follow a different path.

Supreme Court Decision May Not Matter to ObamaCare Authors

TUCSON, Ariz., June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The late libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that laws are generally passed to grant some privilege to those who advocate them. So we must always ask “Who benefits?” writes G. Keith Smith, M.D., founder of Surgery Center of Oklahoma(www.surgerycenterok.com), in the summer 2012 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeonshttp://www.jpands.org/vol17no2/smith.pdf.

Smith believes that the main supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”) have already achieved their main objectives, and so may be indifferent to whether the U.S. Supreme Court overturns it.

One huge beneficiary is the health information technology industry. Physicians and hospitals were presented with a carrot (subsidies to purchase government-approved systems) and a stick (progressive fee cuts If they fail to implement electronic medical records or EMRs). Billions of dollars have already been made, and since the subsidies were in the HITECH Act that preceded the ACA, overturning the ACA might have little effect.

Hospitals favored the costly EMR requirement. The additional overhead cost makes physicians more vulnerable to hospital takeover offers. And once physicians become employees, the EMR provides the hospital the tool it needs for remotely controlling their practices.

Central planners get most of what they need with the EMR, as they will be able to identify high-cost patients. Overturning just the individual mandate would not affect the “death panel” or rationing feature, as the enforcement tool — the EMR — would remain.

The medical loss ratio provision of the law, which requires insurers to pay out all but 10% to 15% of premiums in claims, will do the same thing to small insurers that the EMR requirement does to small hospitals — drive them out of business. For relief from competition, “big businesses are more than willing to pay big money,” Smith writes.

The political theater at the U.S. Supreme Court may serve mainly to divert attention from the real objectives of the biggest proponents of the ACA.

Conservative CAPE PAC Pledges Continued Support for Ted Cruz in Texas Republican Runoff

Conservative Group Supports Cruz in the GOP Senate Primary

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WASHINGTON, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With 62 days left until the Republican Senate runoff race in Texas, the Coalition of Americans for Political Equality PAC (CAPE PAC) will continue its educational and GOTV campaign for state Solicitor General Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz in his bid against Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, it was announced today.

Emerging from a field of nine Republican candidates, Tuesday’s primary results indicate growing momentum for Ted Cruz, since David Dewhurst – the establishment candidate – fell short of breaking the 50 percent margin of votes needed to avoid a runoff.

CAPE PAC Chairman Jeff Loyd said, “It’s critical that we do all that we can to win a majority in the U.S. Senate with conservative leaders like Ted Cruz. This runoff is the next big step on the road to victory in November.”

Loyd noted that there were only 145k votes separating Cruz & Dewhurst. More telling was that less than 1.4MM total votes were cast for the Texas Republican Senate race, which is far short of the more than 10MM Texans registered as Republicans and it was an open primary.

CAPE PAC launched a digitally focused push to get out the vote for Cruz in his successful drive to force a runoff against Dewhurst, focusing the conversation around the hash tag #VOTECRUZ which has begun to trend on Twitter. One of the many facets to CAPE’s digital campaign was a targeted online video viewed by more than 30,000 Texans in the days leading up to the primary. You can watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2i7j4BfsPc or visit the CAPE PAC candidate support site for Ted Cruz at www.votetedcruz.org/

Over the course of the next 60+ days leading up to the runoff vote on July 31st, CAPE PAC will be engaging in a wide range of voter contact activities to get out the vote for Cruz including launching a massive call campaign targeting more than 3 million registered Republicans and Independents in Texas. They are focused on driving a large search, social, online video, and email campaign focused on why Cruz should be elected over Dewhurst. They will also be utilizing digital remarketing and other new media advertising techniques to find Texans online with interest in the campaign in an effort to help sway votes for Cruz. As part of this rollout, CAPE PAC is launching an all-out push on television nationwide to drive interest in Cruz to help him prevail against Dewhurst. Loyd was clear that their goal was simply to, “get as many registered Republican voters out to the polls as possible in support of Cruz on July 31st.”

The Coalition of Americans for Political Equality has built on its experience in Indiana and Nebraska with similar get out the vote activities in preparation for the runoff in July. CAPE PAC proved to be an influence in the victory of Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in defeating six-term incumbent Dick Lugar in the U.S. Senate Republican primary. The organization also conducted a voter outreach campaign in Nebraska to target 90,000 registered Republicans to get out the vote for the G.O.P. primary race.

CAPE PAC’s Chairman Jeff Loyd said: “After our campaign experience from Indiana, Nebraska, and this first round in Texas, we feel the most important thing we can do is to reach out by phone and help inform as many registered Republicans as possible about Cruz and do all that we can to get out the vote for him.”

Loyd said Texans now have a “clear choice between a true conservative – Ted Cruz – versus a moderate Republican who would likely continue destructive state policies [Dewhurst].”

Cruz is the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas, serving from 2003-08 and representing Texas before the U.S. Supreme Court and all state and federal appellate courts. He was also the youngest Solicitor General in the United States and also longest serving Solicitor General in Texas history.  He has authored over 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and personally argued 40 oral arguments, including 9 before the Supreme Court. As Solicitor General, Cruz had numerous victories for Texas including defending the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument, the constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and others.

“We know what a great leader Cruz has been for the state of Texas and what an advocate he has been for the U.S. Constitution. We want to see more of that kind of leadership in Washington,” Loyd said.

The Coalition of Americans for Political Equality Political Action Committee (CAPE PAC) is a non-profit political organization dedicated to restoring conservative values in the politicians elected to represent all citizens of the United States of America. Through the utilization of tools in the CAPE PAC advocacy center, our goal is to assist an informed and active citizenry in their drive for change in the political landscape this November and beyond.

Ted Cruz Underdog Victory in Texas Primary

AUSTIN, Texas, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a true Tea Party vs. establishment showdown, fiscally conservative candidate Ted Cruz forced establishment candidate David Dewhurst to a runoff election.  The runoff election is expected to take place in late July.

“For the past year FreedomWorks for America has been preparing activists and building grassroots communities across the state so that Texas Tea Partiers were ready to support Cruz in this race,” commented Ryan Hecker, Chief Operating Officer of FreedomWorks for America.

“This is an incremental, but important victory for the limited government grassroots movement in Texas.  We have helped maximize our 100,000 Texan activists’ efforts by providing materials, phone banking, and walking map technology.  The activists have risen to the challenge and run a sophisticated ground game on behalf of Ted Cruz.”

FreedomWorks for America was one of Ted Cruz’s earliest endorsements, announcing support for the constitutional conservative in June 2011. Since the endorsement, FreedomWorks for America hosted 26 “Get out the Vote” events and established 35 distribution centers across the state to distribute approximately 46,000 door hangers, 8,600 yard signs, and 7,500 bumper stickers.

Hecker continued, “Ted Cruz’s success in Texas is yet another example of a larger national movement to support fiscal conservative House and Senate candidates like Dan Liljenquist in Utah, Richard Mourdockin Indiana and Josh Mandel in Ohio. Cruz would not only be a strong addition to take back the majority in the Senate, but also to strengthen the cohort of fiscal conservatives who will take leadership on crafting serious reform and advancing pro-growth economic policy.”

Young Professionals Say More Business Creation, Less Government Solves Unemployment

Generation opportunityWASHINGTON, May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Generation Opportunity’s field team continued their grassroots organizing efforts in North Carolina at BusinessExpo 2012, presented by theGreater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and the Piedmont Triad Business Showcase, organized by theGreensboro Chamber of Commerce. More than 2,000 young professionals, entrepreneurs, and business leaders attended the event in Raleigh, where Generation Opportunity’s staff met with and listened to hundreds of young adults. In Greensboro, Generation Opportunity sponsored and participated in the region’s largest trade show.

“As a North Carolinian, I can tell you that young people are very concerned about the direction of the state and the country. High unemployment continues to take a toll on their lives, stands in the way of their plans for the future, and also impacts their families and friends,” said Jonathan Bandy, Regional Field Director for Generation Opportunity. “People know that the policies coming out of Washington are denying them opportunities to contribute and fulfill their dreams. It is a real source of pressure, and young people know that we in North Carolina, and across America, can do better – everywhere I go I meet folks that are enthusiastic about getting involved in our efforts.”

Young adults at both events identified record unemployment, the lack of economic opportunity, and high gas prices as the top issues they would most like to see addressed by elected officials. They also cited business expansion, not more government, as one of the most effective solutions to solving the lack of economic opportunity, indicating government spending and regulation is the greatest barrier to economic growth.

Generation Opportunity is continuing its efforts in the Tar Heel State, participating in the 17th annual Speed Street/600 Festival. The three-day event celebrates the May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and fills the streets of Uptown Charlotte with enthusiastic motor sports fans. Generation Opportunity is sponsoring an exhibit and field organizers will be on hand to engage young adults throughout the weekend. More than 150,000 people are expected to attend the Coca-Cola 600, the only 600-mile event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The grassroots team has traveled across North Carolina to hear firsthand the personal stories of young adults seeking greater economic opportunity and access to meaningful, full-time jobs in their chosen career paths. Generation Opportunity has been meeting with young adults attending community colleges and universities, those who work in the trades and professions, young entrepreneurs, construction workers, veterans, and young parents who are concerned about the poor economy and the lack of jobs.

Generation Opportunity began its first major sweep through North Carolina in April, connecting with young adults at a wide variety of college and community venues including Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Jamestown,Greensboro, and Raleigh. The team visited the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, Central Piedmont Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, UNC Greensboro, Wake Technical Community College, UNC Charlotte, and NC State University. In addition to the campus visits, the team focused on outreach to young professionals at farmers markets and the “Earth Day Extravaganza” in downtown Raleigh, at the Women’s Small Business Expo in Charlotte, and also at the Cuegrass Festival in Raleigh.

Last fall, Generation Opportunity grassroots organizers met with and trained student leaders from High Point University, Campbell University, Gardner-Webb University, and Craven Community College at the 2011 American Student Government Association (ASGA) Conference.

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and highlighted results for all young Americans ages 18-29 appears below:

Young Americans – American Energy Dependency is Top National and Economic Security Issue:

  • Greatest threats to national security: National Debt (62%), Energy Dependency (61%), and Indebtedness to Foreign Powers (50%).
  • 70% would increase production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal.

Young Americans – Delayed Dreams from a Poor Economy and the Lack of Opportunity:

  • 77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:
    • 44% delay buying a home;
    • 28% delay saving for retirement;
    • 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
    • 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
    • 26% delay changing jobs/cities;
    • 23% delay starting a family;
    • 18% delay getting married.

Young Americans – Majority Disapprove of President Obama’s Management of Youth Unemployment, Washington Out-of-Touch:

  • Just 31% of 18 – 29 year-olds approve of President Obama’s handling of youth unemployment.
  • 69% say the current leadership in Washington fails to reflect the interests of the younger generation.
  • 59% of overall Millennials agree the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.

A Salute To America’s Heroes

Portion of Sales Benefit Military Heroes and Their Families

DAVIE, Fla., May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Guy Harvey Inc., is proud to unveil its new United States Armed Forces Collection, a collectible series of custom designed products representing all five military branches.

World renowned for his realistic marine wildlife artwork and his tireless conservation efforts, internationally recognized artist Guy Harvey will be giving consumers the opportunity to support America’s finest through their purchase from this new line. The U.S. Armed Forces Collection will include T-shirts, coffee mugs, mini print posters and other collectible items.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these products will be donated to charitable organizations dedicated to supporting America’s military and their families, including “The Gary Sinise Foundation”, “Birdies for the Brave” and the “Wounded Warrior Project” among others.

Following an extremely successful limited run in November 2011 in honor of Veteran’s Day, Guy Harvey Inc. was recently able to expand the Armed Forces Collection to a permanent fixture within the Guy Harvey product line.

Though he is best known for his depictions of marine wildlife, Harvey has the ability to paint more than just game fish. In creating new artwork for the Armed Forces Collection, he painted a Golden Eagle to represent the Air Force, a Black Knight for the Army, a patriotic Sailfish for the Coast Guard, a White Shark for the Navy and a Bulldog for the Marines. Each image represents a defining aspect of the respected military branch.

“Our organization supports a number of worthy charitable causes but I am especially proud of our new association with these leading military charities,” said Harvey.  “This expanded line of products featuring my new designs is intended to honor America’s military soldiers while raising funds for their various needs.”

Country music recording artist Colton James, http://www.coltonjamesmusic.com/, has agreed to support the program by wearing items from the Armed Forces Collection during his current “Brave Men Tour,” which features his hit single “Brave Men.”

The T-shirts are available at Guy Harvey retail partner outlets. For more information or to purchase items from the United States Armed Forces Collection go to www.GuyHarveyArt.com/Military.html.

Confidence in Congress Stays at Lowest Point in Almost Fifty Years

NEW YORK, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Harris Poll has been measuring the confidence of the American public in the leaders of major institutions since 1966. After seeing drops in confidence in almost all institutions last year, there is some stability this year as well as some small upward levels of confidence. However, some institutions are still at all time lows. Again this year, only 6% of all adults have a great deal of confidence in the leaders of Congress.  Only one in ten Americans (11%) again this year say they have a great deal of confidence in the press.

Based on all the responses to this poll we calculate the Harris Confidence Index. This year, the Index has gone up to 49 after falling to 48 last year, but still down from 53 in 2010 and 54 in 2009.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,060 adults surveyed by telephone and online between April 9 and 17, 2012 by Harris Interactive.

Some of the main findings of this Harris Poll are:

  • At the top of the list, i.e. the largest numbers of people have a great deal of confidence in them, are the leaders of the military (55%) and small business (50%), far ahead of any of the other leaders on the list. These numbers have not changed significantly over the last three years;
  • Also high on the list, but substantially lower, are the leaders of medicine (34%), and colleges and universities (30%);
  • Not quite at the bottom of the list, but below the top institutions are the U.S. Supreme Court (27%, which is up from 24% last year), organized religion (23%), the White House (22% which is up from 19% last year), and public schools (21%); and,
  • At the bottom of the list, leaders in whom the public has the least confidence are Congress (6%), Wall Street (7%), the press (11%), law firms (11%), major companies (15%), organized labor (16%) television news (17%) and the courts and the justice system (19%).

So what?

While the confidence index rose one point and a couple of institutions saw small gains, very little has changed from last year. “The American public continues to be disgusted with the shenanigans of Congress and Wall Street,” says Robert Fronk, EVP Reputation Management at Harris Interactive. “Forgiveness and respect will not return easily for these two entities.” The stabilization in confidence is clearly a better outcome than the slide seen in the previous 3 years, but many of the institutions that form the backbone of our nation continue to be perceived as lacking in leadership, which does not bode well in the short term for our nation.

 

TABLE 1
CURRENT CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (2011)
“As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”

Base: All Adults

Click to view table full screen
A Great Deal

of
Confidence

Only some

Confidence

Hardly Any

Confidence

At All

Not

Sure/Decline
to Answer

% % % %
The military 55 33 8 4
Small business 50 38 7 5
Medicine 34 43 18 5
Major educational institutions, such as colleges and universities 30 47 19 4
The U.S. Supreme Court 27 50 18 5
Organized religion 23 38 30 8
The White House 22 40 34 4
Public schools 21 48 27 4
The courts and the justice system 19 54 23 4
Television news 17 48 31 4
Organized labor 16 42 35 7
Major companies 15 55 25 5
Law firms 12 51 30 8
The press 11 46 39 4
Wall Street 7 39 48 6
Congress 6 42 48 4

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 2A
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (2001-2012)
“As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”
Those saying “A great deal of confidence”

Base: All Adults

Click to view table full screen
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Change

2011-

2012

% % % % % % % % % % % % %
The military 44 71 62 62 47 47 46 51 58 59 57 55 -2
Small business X X X X 47 45 54 47 48 50 50 50 0
Medicine 32 29 31 32 29 31 37 28 34 34 33 34 +1
Major educational institutions such as colleges and universities 35 33 31 37 39 38 37 32 40 35 30 30 0
The U.S. Supreme Court 35 41 34 29 29 33 27 25 28 31 24 27 +3
Organized religion 25 23 19 27 27 30 27 25 30 26 24 23 -1
The White House 21 50 40 31 31 25 22 15 36 27 19 22 +3
Public schools X X X X 26 22 22 20 25 22 20 21 +1
The courts and the justice

system

X X X X 22 21 21 16 19 24 19 19 0
Television news 24 24 21 17 16 19 20 16 22 17 16 17 +1
Organized labor 15 11 14 15 17 12 15 11 16 14 15 16 +1
Major companies 20 16 13 12 17 13 16 14 11 15 13 15 +2
Law firms 10 13 12 10 11 10 13 10 11 13 11 12 +1
The press 13 16 15 15 12 14 12 10 12 13 11 11 0
Wall Street 23 19 12 17 15 15 17 11 4 8 7 7 0
Congress 18 22 20 13 16 10 10 8 9 8 6 6 0
The executive branch of the federal government 20 33 26 23 X X X X X X X X X
HARRIS INTERACTIVE CONFIDENCE INDEX* 55 65 57 55 53 52 53 44 54 53 48 49 +1

X = Not asked; * see methodology

Note: Prior to 2011 this survey was conducted by telephone only; the 2011 survey was conducted prior to Osama bin Laden’s death.


TABLE 2B
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (1991-2000)
“As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”
Those saying “a great deal of confidence”

Base: All Adults

Click to view table full screen
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
% % % % % % % % % %
The military X 50 57 39 43 47 37 44 54 48
Small business 47 X X X X X X X X X
Medicine 23 22 22 23 26 29 29 38 39 44
Major educational institutions such as colleges and universities X 29 23 25 27 30 27 37 37 36
The U.S. Supreme Court 15 30 26 31 32 31 28 37 42 34
Organized religion 21 11 X X 24 X 20 25 27 26
The White House X 25 23 18 13 15 15 20 22 21
Public schools X X X X X X X X X X
The courts and the justice system X X X X X X X X X X
Television news 9 12 23 20 16 21 18 26 23 20
Organized labor 21 11 X X 8 X 9 13 15 15
Major companies 20 10 16 19 21 21 18 21 23 28
Law firms X 13 11 8 9 11 7 11 10 12
The press X X 15 13 11 14 11 14 15 13
Wall Street 14 13 13 15 13 17 17 18 30 30
Congress 9 16 12 8 10 10 11 12 12 15
The executive branch of the federal government X X 15 12 9 12 12 17 17 18
HARRIS INTERACTIVE CONFIDENCE INDEX* 45 45 47 43 43 47 42 54 60 59

X = Not asked; * see methodology

 

TABLE 2C
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (1981-1990)
“As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”
Those saying “a great deal of confidence”

Base: All Adults

Click to view table full screen
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
% % % % % % % % % %
Small business X X X X X X X X X X
The military 28 31 35 45 32 36 35 33 32 43
Medicine 37 32 35 43 39 33 36 40 30 35
Major educational institutions such as colleges & universities 34 30 36 40 35 34 36 34 32 35
The U.S. Supreme Court 29 25 33 35 28 32 30 32 28 32
Organized religion 22 20 22 24 21 22 16 17 16 20
The White House 28 20 23 42 30 19 23 17 20 14
Public Schools X X X X X X X X X X
The courts and justice system X X X X X X X X X X
Television news 24 24 24 28 23 27 29 28 25 27
Organized labor 12 8 10 12 13 11 11 13 10 18
Major companies 16 18 18 19 17 16 21 19 16 9
Law firms X X 12 17 12 14 15 13 X X
The press 16 14 19 18 16 19 19 18 18 12
Wall Street X X X X X X X X 8 21
Congress 16 13 20 28 16 21 20 15 16 14
The executive branch of the federal government 24 X X X 19 18 19 16 17 14
HARRIS INTERACTIVE CONFIDENCE INDEX* 51 46 53 63 51 51 53 50 46 50

X = Not asked; * see methodology


TABLE 2D
CONFIDENCE IN LEADERS OF INSTITUTIONS (1966-1980)
“As far as people in charge of running (READ EACH ITEM) are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”
Those saying “a great deal of confidence”

Base: All Adults

Click to view table full screen
1966 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
% % % % % % % % % % %
The military 61 27 35 40 33 24 23 27 29 29 28
Small business X X X X X X X X X X X
Medicine 73 61 48 57 50 43 42 43 42 30 34
Major educational institutions such as colleges & universities 61 37 33 44 40 36 31 37 41 33 36
The U.S. Supreme Court 50 23 28 33 40 28 22 29 29 28 27
Organized religion 41 27 30 36 32 32 24 29 24 20 22
The White House X X X 18 28 X 11 31 14 15 18
Public schools X X X X X X X X X X X
The courts and justice system X X X X X X X X X X X
Television news X X X 41 31 35 28 28 35 37 29
Organized labor 22 14 15 20 18 14 10 14 15 10 14
Major companies 55 27 27 29 21 19 16 20 22 18 16
Law firms X X X 24 18 16 12 14 18 16 13
The press 29 18 18 30 25 26 20 18 23 28 19
Wall Street X X X X X X X X X X 12
Congress 42 19 21 X 18 13 9 17 10 18 18
The executive branch of the federal government 41 23 27 19 28 13 11 23 14 17 17
HARRIS INTERACTIVE CONFIDENCE INDEX* 100 58 59 69 64 55 44 55 55 50 49

X = Not asked; * see methodology

TABLE 3
CONFIDENCE IN INSTITUTIONS; AVERAGE FOR INDEX IN EACH DECADE

Click to view table full screen
1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
1980 49 1990 50 2000 59 2010 53
1971 58 1981 51 1991 45 2001 55 2011 48
1972 59 1982 46 1992 45 2002 65 2012 49
1973 69 1983 53 1993 47 2003* 57
1974 64 1984 63 1994 43 2004 55
1975 55 1985 51 1995 43 2005 53
1966 100 1976 44 1986 51 1996 47 2006 52
1977 55 1987 53 1997 42 2007 53
1978 55 1988 50 1998 54 2008 44
1979 50 1989 46 1999 60 2009 54
AVERAGE FOR
DECADE
100 57 51 48 55 50

*Completed in December 2002


TABLE 4
CONFIDENCE LEVELS – BY PARTY
“As far as people in charge of running … are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them?”
Those saying “a great deal of confidence”

Base: All Adults

Click to view table full screen
Total Party ID
Republican Democrat Independent
% % % %
The military 55 65 52 55
Small business 50 58 43 55
Medicine 34 33 39 33
Major educational institutions, such as colleges and universities 30 25 37 26
The U.S. Supreme Court 27 29 25 28
Organized religion 23 33 22 18
The White House 22 6 39 16
Public schools 21 16 29 21
The courts and the justice system 19 20 23 17
Television news 17 10 25 14
Organized labor 16 7 26 14
Major companies 15 19 12 15
Law firms 12 10 17 9
The press 11 5 17 10
Wall Street 7 6 7 7
Congress 6 5 8 5

Methodology

The Harris Poll® was conducted by telephone and online, within the United States between April 9 and 17, 2012 among a nationwide cross section of 2,060 adults (aged 18 and over). The interviews conducted by telephone (1016) included a nationwide cross section of adults with landlines in their households.  The interviews conducted online (1044) included a nationwide sample who have agreed to take part in Harris Interactive surveys, and who indicated not having a landline (i.e., cell phone only), or using their cell phone for almost all of their calls (cell phone mostly), and thus were included to ensure representation of these groups that are lacking among a traditional RDD telephone sample.  Telephone data only were adjusted to ensure appropriate representation on number of telephone/voice lines and number of adults in the household, and online data only were are adjusted by propensity to be online to correct for attitudinal/behavioral differences between our panel and those who respond via phone.  Finally, for the combined telephone and online data, figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, household income, and phone status (cell phone only, cell phone mostly, dual users, landline mostly, landline only) were adjusted as necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.  Population proportions for demographic variables were acquired from the 2010 Current Population Survey, while phone status proportions were acquired from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

The Harris Interactive Confidence in Leadership Index measures changes in the public’s confidence in various institutions. It is derived in the following manner:

  1. The index is based on the mean value of the items asked.
  2. All items have equal weight.
  3. The year 1966, the first year the items were asked, was set as a reference year for the index and assigned a score of 100.
  4. In order to yield a score of 100 in 1966, the mean value of the original 10 items was multiplied by a factor of 2.11. This same factor was then applied to the mean score in subsequent years, as long as the same items were asked.
  5. Whenever a new item is added, the multiplication factor is changed so that the new item has no effect on that year’s score. The new factor is derived by calculating the index with and without the new item(s), taking the ratio of the two scores, and multiplying this ratio by the old factor. (The current factor is 2.14).
  6. In years when an item included in a previous year is not asked, it is assumed for calculation purposes that no change has occurred in that item since the last time it was asked.

Fewer Immigrants and Newborns, More Elderly Slow U.S. Population Growth

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Lower immigration levels, population aging, and declining fertility rates are driving a decline in U.S. population growth, according to a new Population Reference Bureau (PRB) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Between 2010 and 2011, the U.S. population increased by 0.7 percent, after averaging 0.9 percent growth each year from 2000 through 2010, reported Mark Mather, PRB associate vice president for Domestic Programs.  We added just 2.3 million people from 2010 to 2011, compared with 2.9 million from 2005 to 2006, just five years earlier.

The current decline is a “significant departure” from recent trends but “it’s too soon to tell whether it will continue or is a short-term result of the recession,” he said.

The U.S. population is currently projected to reach “majority-minority” status (the point at which less than 50 percent of the population is non-Hispanic white) in 2042. But a sustained drop in immigration levels and fertility rates would slow the pace of minority population growth.

Drop in Immigration: Between 2010 and 2011, net migration was estimated at around 700,000, down from 1.4 million per year in 2000 and 2001. This decline contributes to slower growth in the Latino and Asian American populations, and has been linked to job losses in occupations often filled by recent immigrants, as well as stricter immigration law enforcement.

Population Aging:  Between 2010 and 2011, the number of children declined by 190,000, while the number of elderly increased by 917,000; just a decade ago we added more children than elderly. Also down sharply is growth in the number of working-age adults, including those in prime childbearing ages. With more baby boomers retiring and fewer people of reproductive age, births could decline further, and the United States could start to resemble elderly-heavy, slow-growth European countries, Mather noted.

Declining Fertility Rates: There were an estimated 4 million births between 2010 and 2011, down from 4.2 million at the recent peak of U.S. population growth between 2005 and 2006. The total fertility rate (TFR) stood at an average of 2.0 lifetime births per woman in 2009—down from 2.1 a few years ago—but preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics suggest that the TFR could drop below 2 births per woman in 2010. Births among Latina women, a group with historically high fertility rates, could drop below 2.5 per woman in the near future.

California “Money-Grab” Causing Layoffs

LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — You’d think that California would be fostering small businesses, especially ones that clean the environment and enhance public safety. Instead, a group of California District Attorneys have cost one 26 year old California small business their largest customer and forced layoffs for 12 employees.

It all goes back to 2009 when California made it illegal to employ the word “biodegradable” on packaging. Many companies hadn’t even heard of the law due to poor communication on the part of the state. And, because the bill never addressed a practical means of enforcement it has become ripe-picking for the cash strapped state which is exploiting the opportunity to carry-out a “money-grab” on par with their $45 parking meter fines.

That’s the experience of Petpro Products, a South El Monte producer of dog waste scoops when they received an URGENT DEMAND from the Solano County District Attorney (representing eight CA districts and Santa Monica) to “IMMEDIATELY” remove their products from sale throughout the state.

In their strongly worded “NOTICE OF IMPENDING LEGAL ACTION BY LAW ENFORCEMENT”  District Attorneys claim that because the scoop package contained the words “99% biodegradable” and called the scoop “A Step to a Greener World” – it was illegal to be sold in the state and subject to hefty fines and retroactive penalties.

In an unusual move, the District Attorneys sent the same notice to Petpro’s customers. Immediately over 1,200 stores stopped doing business with the company — including 1,000 stores outside of California. Former customers are now IMPORTING MILLIONS OF POOP SCOOPS FROM CHINA. Due to this, the company has had to lay off loyal staff and reduce orders with California suppliers.

Bart Greenhut, owner of Petpro states: “It doesn’t make sense for enforcement to use severe tactics reserved for dangerous drugs and hazardous materials and apply them to a poop scoop. The District Attorneys actions have substantially destroyed our 26 year old California environmental business and the livelihoods of 22 California families.”

“In my 40 years of experience, it is always customary practice for agencies to provide notice of potential infractions and allow an opportunity to resolve the issue without suffering unnecessary hardship, cost or disruption of business.”

Greenhut continues, “In this case there was no notice, no due process, no investigation, and there was certainly no justification for intimidation and strong-arm tactics. We would have voluntarily changed any aspect of our package if anyone would have asked! Something is seriously amiss when the Attorney General has District Attorneys occupying their time shaking-down small businesses and putting good Californians out of work.”

Research Shows Universities and Colleges Are Missing Out on Critical Revenue Stream

New research suggests that higher education institutions need more focus on providing relevant offerings in order to capitalize on corporate education and training dollars

 TORONTO, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Destiny Solutions, the leading innovator of lifelong learning business solutions, today announced the results of a research project commissioned to bring additional attention to the market potential of corporate partnerships for higher education institutions.

The research, which is available on the Destiny Solutions website, reveals that although 95 percent of corporations have systems in place to financially support employee education, only a fraction of that spending goes to colleges and universities. The research suggested that this is due in large part to the fact that colleges and universities are out of touch with the needs of corporations looking to develop their workforce, seeing as only 16 percent of employers said that there is an adequate availability of programs tailored to their needs.

“Given the budget crises higher education is currently experiencing, capitalizing on this market could provide an invaluable revenue source for many colleges and universities,” said Shaul Kuper, president and CEO of Destiny Solutions. “By responding to corporate needs, institutions will not only be able to increase revenue, but they will also be able to better equip students with the skills they need on the job.”

With the rapid pace of advancement in today’s markets, education can no longer be a one-time event, with 70 percent of corporations stating that employees need continuous education and training just to keep up with the pace of their job. However, there are many different options for education, ranging from internally run training departments to tuition reimbursement programs, to corporate partnerships with colleges or universities.

Additionally, low participation rates in tuition reimbursement programs and low success rates of internally developed programs suggest that partnerships with colleges and universities provide one of the most impactful and lucrative options for both the corporation and the institution. Nonetheless, low satisfaction rates with the scope and availability of programs provided by institutions have meant that only 9 percent of corporations surveyed have formalized partnerships, leaving a large percentage of the market untapped by colleges and universities and open for competition.

“Research shows that corporations are spending billions of dollars each year to educate their employees, and they want to be sure that programming is relevant and cost-effective,” Kuper said. “Higher education institutions are being presented with a golden opportunity to transition the workforce, the community and the education system into the 21st century.”

To download the research paper, please visit: http://www.destinysolutions.com/2012-research-voice-employer-effects/

 

Iran Military Chief Vows to Annihilate Israel

NEW YORK, May 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC called today’s Iranian vow to annihilate Israel another unmistakable signal that, despite international pressure to date, the regime in Tehran has not changed its genocidal aims.

“Iran has made clear through a record of deadly terrorism worldwide — against the U.S., Argentina, Great Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and others — what it does without nuclear weapons. Now, just imagine what an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability would do,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Iran’s military chief of staff has left no doubt what is the regime’s goal, and why, if further proof is needed, its nuclear program must be stopped.”

Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, declared today that “the Iranian nation is standing for its cause, which is the full annihilation of Israel.”

The (Iranian) Fars News Agency reported that General Firouzabadi made his threat during a speech in Tehran today. He also repeated Iran’s unwavering commitment to supporting Palestinians opposed to Israel’s very existence.

“General Firouzabadi’s brazen threat to destroy another UN member state, Israel, together with the risk that Iran’s behavior will trigger a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East, should serve to further re-enforce — indeed, bolster — the sanctions against Iran, while, as President Barack Obama has said, keeping all options on the table,” said Harris.

The Iranian military commander’s comments come just before International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Amano arrives in Tehran. He is trying again to reach an understanding with the Iranian regime ahead of Wednesday’s talks in Baghdad between representatives of Iran and the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany.

“General Firouzabadi’s comments are a timely and sobering reminder of the stakes involved,” said Harris. “They should also put to rest, once and for all, the fanciful views of those remaining political leaders, diplomats, and journalists who contend that Iran is a ‘peaceful’ nation which has simply been ‘misunderstood’ by the global community.”

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