In a front page story today the Washington Post claims that "Obama's focus on visiting clean-tech companies raises questions." The problem is that the people raising questions are clean tech's competitors in the oil industry.
The article explains that President Obama who is on the record as a supporter of clean energy technology, has "fulfill[ed] a campaign pledge to push clean tech, from solar energy and wind power to electric vehicles," in part by visiting "22 clean-tech projects on 19 separate trips."
What's the problem? The Post answers:
The oil and gas industry, for example, has invested billions in energy innovation and job creation and could benefit from similar presidential attention, said Martin J. Durbin, executive vice president of the American Petroleum Institute.
"He's missing an incredible opportunity he has to join with us to make a difference in economic growth, job creation, national security and clean technology," Durbin said. "If you went and added up the number of jobs at these clean-tech companies he visited, in all honesty, I think you're going to find a very modest number of jobs."
So the trade association of the oil and gas industry -- the American Petroleum Institute -- raises a concern about their competitors, and the Post gives them a front page article? Even the hook doesn't make sense: How is it news that a President who ran a campaign in which he supported clean energy still supports it?
This story does create an interesting precedent. Can rivals now just order up news stories that are critical of their competitors? Can Yankees fans "raise questions" about the Red Sox, and vice versa?
In the latter portions of Monday night's Republican presidential debate, the candidates were asked how they would "prevent illegal immigrants from using our health care, educational, or welfare systems." The topic quickly veered into a discussion of citizenship, as debate moderator and CNN anchor John King asked: "If there are two illegal immigrants, two adults who came into this country illegally, and they have a child, should that child be considered a citizen of the United States?"
Herman Cain answered "I don't believe so." He elaborated on his answer after the debate, telling ThinkProgress that the "14th Amendment doesn't talk about people that were here illegally." Tim Pawlenty, who has previously endorsed revoking the birthright citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, said that birthright citizenship came about "because a U.S. Supreme Court determined that that right exists, notwithstanding language in the Constitution."
This is a big deal. At least two people running for the presidency want to change the fundamental notion of American citizenship as it has been understood since Reconstruction. Indeed, they want to change the Constitution to achieve that end. But their position is not getting much in the way of media attention.
Several media outlets have reported on a letter sent by House Speaker John Boehner to President Obama signed by "150 economists" who support Boehner's spending cut proposal. But these media outlets have ignored that many of the economists who signed the letter have made baseless predictions in the past, some have endorsed dubious theories, and others have used extreme rhetoric to attack Obama and other Democrats.
The right-wing media have reacted to President Obama's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) by complaining either he "flip-flop[ped]" or "double[d] down" on his previous comments or both. However, in his speech to AIPAC, Obama simply reiterated his earlier call that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should be "based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."
Conservative media figures continue to claim that the National Labor Relations Board is attacking states with lax labor laws and engaging in "unprecedented" actions by filing a complaint alleging that Boeing violated federal labor laws in connection with its decision to move the production line for its new 787 Dreamliner to South Carolina. In fact, labor law experts say that if the allegations against Boeing are true, the NLRB has presented a "classic" case of labor law violations.