Sunday, June 30, 2013

Problems with the Cornyn Amendment (DP: dated but reveals what passes for a "Republican" amend't)

Problems with the Cornyn Amendment

Erick Erickson

The so-called Cornyn amendment, though touted by some as a “poison pill” to the Gang of 8’s S. 744, is little more than a fig leaf for the toothless border security measures in the underlying bill. Despite some improvements, the Cornyn amendment adopts the same framework (and, in many cases, the exact language) of the Gang of 8 bill–granting legalization before border enhancements, encouraging more illegal crossings, and removing any incentive to actually secure the border.
(1) The bill accepts the Gang of 8’s premise that legalization must come first, with border security to follow. The Cornyn amendment retains the Gang’s trigger structure, granting legalization to the 11 million illegal immigrants immediately and mandating security measures 10 years later.
(2) The Cornyn amendment does not substantially change the border control metrics in the Gang of 8’s bill—in fact, it uses the same 90% apprehension-rate measure that is easily manipulated. The Gang of 8 bill requires “persistent surveillance” of the entire border and a 90% “effectiveness rate” (defined as deterring or apprehending 90% of illegal crossings). Cornyn’s amendment requires “situational awareness” (meaning having surveillance in place) and a 90% “apprehension rate.” There is no meaningful distinction between these metrics.
(3) The Cornyn amendment does not require completion of a biometric entry-exit system at land ports (as required by current law) prior to granting legalization or green cards. Current law requires a biometric entry/exit system at all air, land, and sea ports of entry; the Cornyn amendment would allow illegal immigrants to get green cards and citizenship even if no biometric system exists for land ports, despite the prevalence of visa overstays from Mexico.
(4) Like the Gang of 8 bill, the Cornyn amendment does not require a single additional border patrol agent be on the ground prior to the legalization of illegal immigrants. The Cornyn amendment calls for 5,000 additional Border Patrol Agents, admittedly an improvement over the Gang of 8’s failure to require a single additional border patrol agent; however, the amendment does not ensure that any of those agents are added prior to legalization and only requires the DHS Secretary to “make progress in increasing such number of officers during each of fiscal years 2014 through 2017.” This Administration has made clear its belief that no additional Border Patrol Agents are necessary. Therefore, it is almost certain this discretion will be used to delay the addition of these agents.
(5) The Cornyn amendment, like the Gang of 8 bill, does not require a single foot of fencing be built along the border – even though current law requires 700 miles of double-layer fencing. The Cornyn amendment makes no changes whatsoever to the Gang of 8’s plan with regard to fencing. Thus, it leaves the construction of new fencing entirely to the Obama Administration’s discretion, despite the Administration’s refusal to comply with current law requiring fence construction.
(6) The Cornyn amendment fails to grant border patrol full access to public lands. Like the Gang of 8 bill, the Cornyn amendment requires that Border Patrol be granted access to public lands only in southern Arizona, and allows limitations on enforcement activities to “protect the natural and cultural resources on federal lands.” Furthermore, the amendment places Border Patrol activities under the requirements of the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture, who for years have required extensive reporting, permissions, and fees out of the Border Patrol for ‘use’ of federal lands for Border Patrol activity. This provision will not ensure security, and may be a step backward.
(7) The Cornyn amendment, like the Gang of 8 bill, invites the Department of Justice’s controversial, politicized Civil Rights Division to second guess law enforcement decisions. This bill empowers the Civil Rights Division to meddle in DHS’s use of force policies and create mandatory cultural sensitivity and ecological impact training. These provisions potentially demean Border Patrol agents. Furthermore, these provisions hinder agents’ ability to defend themselves and secure the border against dangerous human smugglers, and smuggling scouts, drug mules, and violent cartel members.
(8) This amendment, like the Gang of 8 bill, allows the DHS Secretary to abdicate his or her authorities under the bill to the Secretary of Agriculture, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of State, or the Commissioner of Social Security. Such delegation of authority reduces accountability to congressional oversight, consolidates even more power in the executive branch, and leads to duplicative and burdensome regulations.
(9) The Cornyn amendment contains multiple mandatory minimum criminal penalties, objectionable to many senators.
(10) Like the Gang of 8 bill, the Cornyn amendment preserves the expedited path to citizenship for agricultural workers and DREAMers, allowing these individuals to apply for legal permanent residency within five years, regardless of whether the border has been secured. Not only is doing so irresponsible, but it is unfair to legal immigrants who often wait decades to become citizens.
(11) The Cornyn amendment, like the Gang of 8 bill, fails to require congressional approval or agreement that legalization triggers have been met. Instead, it includes meaningless language expressing only the “sense of Congress” that the Senate should weigh in on whether the triggers have been achieved.
(12) The Cornyn amendment sunsets the Southern Border Security Commission it creates to consult with the Secretary (the commission has no other authority) after 10 years, regardless of whether the border has been secured.
(13) The Cornyn amendment adopts the untested and flawed employment verification system in the Gang of 8 bill as a replacement for the existing, successful E-Verify program that is already 99.74 percent effective in determining work authorization.
(14) The Cornyn amendment creates a new, wasteful, and harmful federal bureaucracy, known as the Immigration Ombudsman, to process complaints against the Border Patrol, USCIS, and ICE. These agencies are already appropriately subject to oversight by Congress and other agencies. Creating an internal ombudsman’s office will only serve to micro-manage the decisions of law enforcement officers under stressful conditions, undermining enforcement efforts and weakening confidence in agencies already suffering from damaged credibility.
(15) The Cornyn amendment maintains the broad delegation authority granted to the Secretary by the Gang of 8. Both measures allow the Secretary to delegate ANY authority granted therein to the Secretary of Agriculture, Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of State, or the Commissioner of Social Security.
(16) Both the Cornyn amendment and the Gang of 8 bill require that consideration be given to family unity and “other public interest factors”when determining whether to repatriate or prosecute individuals apprehended at the border. Both measures require border officials to ask each individual apprehended at the border whether they are a parent, legal guardian, or primary caregiver of a child or traveling with a spouse or child, and to ascertain whether repatriation raises any humanitarian or safety concerns.

Niall Ferguson: The Regulated States of America

Niall Ferguson: The Regulated States of America

Tocqueville saw a nation of individuals who were defiant of authority. Today? Welcome to Planet Government.


In "Democracy in America," published in 1833, Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the way Americans preferred voluntary association to government regulation. "The inhabitant of the United States," he wrote, "has only a defiant and restive regard for social authority and he appeals to it . . . only when he cannot do without it."
Unlike Frenchmen, he continued, who instinctively looked to the state to provide economic and social order, Americans relied on their own efforts. "In the United States, they associate for the goals of public security, of commerce and industry, of morality and religion. There is nothing the human will despairs of attaining by the free action of the collective power of individuals."
What especially amazed Tocqueville was the sheer range of nongovernmental organizations Americans formed: "Not only do they have commercial and industrial associations . . . but they also have a thousand other kinds: religious, moral, grave, futile, very general and very particular, immense and very small; Americans use associations to give fetes, to found seminaries, to build inns, to raise churches, to distribute books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they create hospitals, prisons, schools."

Tocqueville would not recognize America today. Indeed, so completely has associational life collapsed, and so enormously has the state grown, that he would be forced to conclude that, at some point between 1833 and 2013, France must have conquered the United States.
Barbara Kelley
The decline of American associational life was memorably documented in Robert Puttnam's seminal 1995 essay "Bowling Alone," which documented the exodus of Americans from bowling leagues, Rotary clubs and the like. Since then, the downward trend in "social capital" has only continued. According to the 2006 World Values Survey, active membership even of religious associations has declined from just over half the population to little more than a third (37%). The proportion of Americans who are active members of cultural associations is down to 14% from 24%; for professional associations the figure is now just 12%, compared with more than a fifth in 1995. And, no, Facebook FB +0.41%is not a substitute.
Instead of joining together to get things done, Americans have increasingly become dependent on Washington. On foreign policy, it may still be true that Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus. But when it comes to domestic policy, we all now come from the same place: Planet Government.
As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Clyde Wayne Crews shows in his invaluable annual survey of the federal regulatory state, we have become the regulation nation almost imperceptibly. Excluding blank pages, the 2012 Federal Register—the official directory of regulation—today runs to 78,961 pages. Back in 1986 it was 44,812 pages. In 1936 it was just 2,620.
True, our economy today is much larger than it was in 1936—around 12 times larger, allowing for inflation. But the Federal Register has grown by a factor of 30 in the same period.
The last time regulation was cut was under Ronald Reagan, when the number of pages in the Federal Register fell by 31%. Surprise: Real GDP grew by 30% in that same period. But Leviathan's diet lasted just eight years. Since 1993, 81,883 new rules have been issued. In the past 10 years, the "final rules" issued by our 63 federal departments, agencies and commissions have outnumbered laws passed by Congress 223 to 1.
Right now there are 4,062 new regulations at various stages of implementation, of which 224 are deemed "economically significant," i.e., their economic impact will exceed $100 million.
The cost of all this, Mr. Crews estimates, is $1.8 trillion annually—that's on top of the federal government's $3.5 trillion in outlays, so it is equivalent to an invisible 65% surcharge on your federal taxes, or nearly 12% of GDP. Especially invidious is the fact that the costs of regulation for small businesses (those with fewer than 20 employees) are 36% higher per employee than they are for bigger firms.
Next year's big treat will be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, something every small business in the country must be looking forward to with eager anticipation. Then, as Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) warned readers on this page 10 months ago, there's also the Labor Department's new fiduciary rule, which will increase the cost of retirement planning for middle-class workers; the EPA's new Ozone Rule, which will impose up to $90 billion in yearly costs on American manufacturers; and the Department of Transportation's Rear-View Camera Rule. That's so you never have to turn your head around when backing up.
President Obama occasionally pays lip service to the idea of tax reform. But nothing actually gets done and the Internal Revenue Service code (plus associated regulations) just keeps growing—it passed the nine-million-word mark back in 2005, according to the Tax Foundation, meaning nearly 19% more verbiage than 10 years before. While some taxes may have been cut in the intervening years, the tax code just kept growing.
I wonder if all this could have anything to do with the fact that we still have nearly 12 million people out of work, plus eight million working part-time jobs, five long years after the financial crisis began.
Genius that he was, Tocqueville saw this transformation of America coming. Toward the end of "Democracy in America" he warned against the government becoming "an immense tutelary power . . . absolute, detailed, regular . . . cover[ing] [society's] surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way."
Tocqueville also foresaw exactly how this regulatory state would suffocate the spirit of free enterprise: "It rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one's acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces [the] nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd."
If that makes you bleat with frustration, there's still hope.
Mr. Ferguson's new book "The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die" has just been published by Penguin Press.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

‘Comprehensive’ Immigration Reform? Just Say No

‘Comprehensive’ Immigration Reform? Just Say No


Sean Trende asks, in a thoughtful and data-heavy piece, whether the GOP has to pass immigration reform to be competitive in the future at the presidential level. The answer is no.

Meanwhile, with respect to the 2014 congressional elections, it's increasingly clear that allowing any form or permutation of the Senate bill to become law would divide and demoralize potential Republican voters. So if Republicans want to win House and Senate seats in 2014, John Boehner should kill the Senate bill—first refusing to take it up in the House, and also by making clear the House will refuse to go to conference with it. The House can still pass specific bills to address particular immigration issues this session (which presumably the Senate won't take up—but let Harry Reid explain his refusal to do so). But the key is for Boehner to kill "comprehensive" immigration "reform" in this session of Congress.
The primary and indeed sufficient reason to do this is of course because the Senate legislation is such bad public policy. But it may be reassuring to elected officials that doing the right thing won't hurt politically in 2014 or most likely 2016. And it's also the case that Republican presidential candidates can set forth whatever proposals they think right in 2015 and 2016, so they're not just saying no. But the House GOP, for the sake of party and country, should say no: No Capitulation, No "Comprehensive" Bill, No Conference.

What if we looked at cars the same way we look at guns?

What if we looked at carsthe same way we look at guns?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, automobile accidents are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the United States.
Some 2,700 teens aged 16-19 died in car crashes in 2010, the most recent year for which the federal agency's website has figures, and 282,000 were injured. So, the nation's schools have rightly implemented programs that teach teens to be safer drivers. Yet, suppose educators instead declared that cars themselves were harmful instruments of death and destruction with no useful purpose. Then they began punishing students at all ages, even down to kindergarten level, for such "offenses" as drawing pictures of cars, bringing toy cars to school or even mentioning the word "car." You'd likely think this was an extreme overreaction, a textbook example of irrational behavior that was likely to punish innocent students for harmless words and actions. Now, substitute the word "guns" for "cars," and you have a description of what appears to be a widespread mindset on the part of school officials nationwide that one psychologist and family doctor has called "psychotic." School shootings are horrific crimes as well as tragedies (though annual deaths from them run 1 percent to 2 percent of the automobile total) and there is every reason to try to stop them. Teenagers also die in inner-city gang warfare and by suicide, but those are social problems, and guns are not the reasons they occur. In truth, there are effective and ineffective ways of addressing any problem. Schools' "zero tolerance" policies that punish children for words and actions that create absolutely no danger to anyone are not only unjust, they border on ideologically motivated child abuse. It's often said that "Zero tolerance equals zero thought," and "overreaction" is what happens when people go beyond the bounds of reason, allowing emotion to take over. And when those in authority overreact, people's rights get trampled. Here's a list of some things happening recently in our nation's schools, as compiled by University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds (in a June 3 USA Today column) and Fox News writer Perry Chiaramonte (in a June 11 article): * Maryland: A 5-year-old boy who brought an orange-tipped cap pistol onto a school bus was interrogated for two hours (not allowed to go to the bathroom, he wet his pants) and then suspended for 10 days; in a different school, a second-grader was suspended for biting a Pop-Tart into a shape resembling a gun (to a teacher's eyes, at least -- others just saw a pastry with a bite missing). * Massachusetts: A kindergarten boy was punished with detention for bringing a tiny Lego gun the size of a quarter onto a school bus, and was forced to write a note of apology to the driver. * South Carolina: A 6-year-old girl was expelled for bringing a toy gun to school. * Pennsylvania: A fifth-grader was scolded in class for accidentally bringing a piece of paper folded into the shape of a gun to school; in another school, a 5-year-old girl was suspended for talking about a Hello Kitty gun that shot soap bubbles. Other stories around the nation tell of students being disciplined for just saying the word "gun" to another student or drawing a picture of one or wearing clothing with U.S. military symbols and slogans (one boy was sent home for wearing a T-shirt with the National Guard's Minuteman statue logo showing a farmer holding a musket, long a symbol of American patriotism). As Chiaramonte notes, children -- especially boys -- have played soldier or cops-and-robbers for generations, and punishing them "is turning adults into bullies and backfiring on kids." He quotes Dr. Leonard Sax, a psychologist and family physician, as saying such policies are "psychotic, in the strict sense of the word ... out of touch with reality." Sax said there are more effective ways of addressing violence than by "disengaging boys from school altogether." Reynolds is more critical: "What's up with this? It's not based on any concern with safety. ... There's more going on here than simple school discipline. Who treats a 5-year-old this way? It smacks of fanaticism." He concludes, "I think it's about the administrative class ... doing its best to exterminate the very idea of guns. It's some sort of wacky moral-purity crusade. If a few toddlers have to suffer along the way, that's tough." Guns, like cars, are only inanimate tools, and like any tool from hammers to chain saws, can be used for good or evil purposes. So these crackdowns seem primarily to be punishing boys for being boys -- something many social critics say we have been doing for a generation. And public-school "zero tolerance" policies, Reynolds notes, help explain why home-schooling and private schools are becoming more popular every year. M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:

Why the IRS IG Stopped with an Audit (DP: remember Walpin? Busted O's Sacramento mayor bud skimming fed $s)

Why the IRS IG Stopped with an Audit
Probably in part because the Obama administration intimidates inspector generals.

IRS inspector general J. Russell George

Among all the unanswered questions about the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative organizations, one is most crucial: Who ordered this extreme scrutiny?
Amazingly, IRS inspector general J. Russell George, responsible for the investigation asking those questions about the IRS, has testified that he did not obtain that information.
Details of that testimony are interesting. Representative Tom Graves (R., Ga.) asked, “Have you asked the individuals who ordered them to use this extra scrutiny to punish, or penalize, or postpone, or deny?” George turns around to confer with his assistant. Just the fact that the inspector general had to confer to know the answer to this crucial question is amazing. George’s assistant says something to him that is not recorded, but one can see the assistant shaking his head back and forth. Then George responds publicly to the question, saying, “During our audit, Congressman, we did pose that question and no one would acknowledge who, if anyone, provided that direction.”

Anyone who knows anything about the rights and responsibilities of an inspector general has to be shaking his head in disbelief at George’s explanation. First, every employee of the government has the responsibility to cooperate with and provide information to an IG concerning his work.Second, George was particularly careful to limit his answer to the “audit phase.” Every IG has two procedures to obtain information. One is audit procedure, to which IG George referred. That’s generally limited to accounting analysis, to determine whether there may be reason to open an investigation. Once there is reason — and there clearly was reason here, given the obviously illegal conduct — the IG opens an investigation, in which investigators, not auditors, pose the questions, the department employees are placed under oath, and, as a federal court has approved, informed that “failure to answer completely and truthfully may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.” The question is why George’s office didn’t do this immediately.
From my personal experience as an IG of another agency, I suspect the answer. I do not blame IG George personally, as he is a career civil servant who depends on a steady salary and, thereafter, a pension.
But I learned, through being fired by the Obama administration, that performing one’s responsibilities as one should, and potentially adversely affecting the administration’s image, is not the way to keep one’s job. (Fortunately, I was not dependent on my federal IG salary.)
That reality was made apparent to me — and, through what happened to me, to all IGs — when I supported my staff of longtime dedicated civil servants, who had recommended taking action against one Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player who had misused, for personal purposes, about $750,000 of an AmeriCorps grant intended for underprivileged young people. What I did not then know was that he was a friend and supporter of President Obama — a fact that caused the proverbial you-know-what to hit the fan.
Without detailing all that happened, the bottom line was that I started to receive pressure to drop the case against Mr. Johnson. When I declined to repudiate my staff’s work, the guillotine fell: I was summarily telephoned that if I did not resign in one hour, I would be fired. And I was, along with my special assistant, John Park. The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote of my firing: “The evidence suggests that [President Obama’s] White House fired a public official who refused to roll over to protect a Presidential crony.”
Similar questions have been raised about other IGs who somehow have been discarded. Amtrak IG Fred Weiderhold, Treasury special IG Neil Barofsky, and International Trade Commission IG Judith Gwynn all left their positions after disputes that weren’t appreciated by the administration, giving more reason for others to go easy with the administration. Further, the president has significantly failed to fill IG vacancies in important agencies (State, Interior, Labor, Homeland Security, and USAID) – well-documented by former IG Joseph Schmitz — demeaning the importance of the IG position.
This administration’s treatment of IGs is not conducive to active, independent, and objective inspectors general, and explains at least in part why key questions about the IRS still have not been asked or investigated.
— Gerald Walpin was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2006 as inspector general of the Corporation For National and Community Service, and fired by President Obama in June 2009. He is the author of The Supreme Court vs. The Constitution (Significance Press, 2013).

Friday, June 28, 2013

In response to Newtown shootings, some states move to put guns in classrooms (DP: wow NRA and I were right--hand wringing anti-gunners wrong)

In response to Newtown shootings, some states move to put guns in classrooms

By Lauren Russell, CNN
(CNN) - While most of the nation's students are enjoying summer break, teachers in a handful of states are studying not their fall curriculum, but how to take out an assailant.
In Ohio, Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun rights PAC, has launched a program to educate teachers on how to take down a gunman.
"We were mocked when we first said we wanted to teach this class," Jim Irvine, president of Buckeye, said. "People doubted if we could fill the class."
States tighten, loosen gun laws after Newtown
Yet more than 1,400 school staff members applied for the 24 spots first offered in late December, he said.
Interest in arming teachers has grown among some school staff, gun rights groups and lawmakers in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which 20 students ages 6 and 7 and six adults were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14.

Photos: Teachers pose with their guns

Gun rights groups have sponsored classes for teachers in a number of states from Texas to Ohio.

In the six months since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, legislators in at least 30 states have proposed laws allowing teachers and other school staff to carry firearms on primary and secondary school campuses, according to Lauren Heintz, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. In most states the bills have failed, but laws have been enacted in South Dakota, Alabama, Arizona, and Kansas. Texas, which already allows staff to carry firearms with school approval, passed two new laws creating a "school marshal" program and addressing training teachers.
Some bills proposed in the past six months require only that the school employee have a concealed-firearm permit, but many of the bills include training provisions. For example, South Dakota's new law requires law enforcement-approved training for every appointed school sentinel.
The week after Sandy Hook, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told the media that all schools in the United States should have armed security, and an NRA-backed task force proposed training and arming adults at schools.
Six months since Sandy Hook: Newtown residents find their voice
"Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared?" LaPierre asked. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he said.
Before Sandy Hook, no state's law explicitly permitted firearms on school campuses, though some states had exemptions, according to the NCSL.
For 12 years, Utah's concealed weapon law has permitted a person to have, on his or her person or in a secure lockbox, a weapon inside a school. As concealed firearm permit holders, they are not required to tell parents or school officials.
But in Texas and Ohio, for instance, a person must get permission from the school district to bring a concealed weapon on school grounds.
The Harrold Independent School District board in rural Texas approved a plan to arm certain staff members in 2007. Under the so-called Guardian Plan, identities of armed staff members aren't divulged. This way, a shooter can't target them, the superintendent wrote in a column for CNN's "Schools of Thought" blog after Newtown.
"At the end of the school day, we at Harrold want to know we've done everything possible to protect our children from people who are intent on harming them," David Thweatt wrote.
The Union Grove Independent School District and Van Independent School District, both in East Texas, in January became the second and third districts in the state to authorize teachers with concealed handgun licenses to carry firearms on campus.

At Colt's Connecticut factory, no apologies for arming America

Ohio allows school boards to vote on whether teachers and administrators can carry concealed weapons into schools, a stipulation that was largely overlooked until Sandy Hook. The exception has existed since at least 2008 when the law was last amended.
Dick Caster, head of the Ohio School Board Association, said school safety plans are private documents, so there isn't a list of all the school districts that have armed employees. Though not required to disclose it, a few Ohio school districts have made headlines by voting to allow teachers to carry guns. Sidney City Schools announced in March it would be arming staff, and the school board in Montpelier approved arming its custodial staff in January.
But Bill Bond, a former principal who once confronted a shooter, isn't so sure arming teachers is the answer. In 1997, a student shot eight of his peers at Kentucky's Heath High School, where Bond was principal at the time. Three of those students were killed in the shooting. Looking back, Bond said he wouldn't have wanted a gun. "It could have made the situation worse," he said. "The potential for wrongful accidental killing is greater than the potential for saving," he said about arming school personnel.
He supports having trained school resource officers on campus, but educators have enough on their plates without the responsibility of a deadly weapon, he said.
"Anytime you have divided or added responsibilities, it distracts from primary responsibilities," he said. "From an educational standpoint, I'm against it."
Bond worked 29 years in schools and has been the school safety expert with the National Association of Secondary School Principals for 12 years. He's heard talk of arming school personnel before, but it wasn't seriously considered until after Sandy Hook, he said.
"I do realize that the only thing that would have been able to stop (the shooter) was gunfire," he said, "but that particular situation is an anomaly."
He also points out that an armed educator would have had only one gun with a few rounds, while the shooter had multiple firearms and 30-round magazines.
"Teachers will hesitate and that will cause teachers to be killed, and if they don't hesitate they'll make the wrong decision," Bond said. "It's wracked with danger."
Ken Trump, a school safety consultant who runs his own firm, agrees that it's a high-risk, high-liability proposal. He thinks only a law enforcement officer should carry weapons on campus.
"There's a huge difference between saying, 'I can protect my family and my home,' versus 'I'm prepared to protect the masses,'" he said.
There's also the question of whether teachers want to carry guns. Nearly three-fourths of teachers said they would not bring a firearm to school even if allowed, a February School Improvement Network survey showed. However, the survey showed most educators believed armed guards would improve safety.
John Benner, president and chief instructor at the Ohio-based Tactical Defense Institute, has trained school resource officers for years. He taught his first class to teachers this spring.
The three-day class, sponsored by Buckeye Firearms Association, examined mass shootings and taught school personnel how to predict a killer's behavior and shoot on the run amid obstacles like narrow hallways and stairwells. Police officers and SWAT commanders help teach the course. Participants had to have a concealed weapons permit before registering.
Buckeye paid about $1,000 per teacher, which includes tuition, room and board, and ammunition. The group will cover tuition and board for the six courses offered this summer.
Benner would like to see all school employees teachers, resource officers, administrators learn to use firearms.
"I hate the idea of arming teachers, but we have to," Benner said. Signs and locks won't deter an attacker and police can't respond quickly enough, he said. "It's the only thing that's going to work."
Asked if training law enforcement officers to patrol schools was a better idea than arming teachers, Caster, who was the executive director for the National Association of School Resource Officers before joining the Ohio School Board Association, said it's not possible.
School resource officers are typically funded by either the school or the local law enforcement agency.
"This is what it boils down to: Can you afford to have an officer in every school?" Caster said. "It's not in the budget."
In any event, he said, emotions should not drive the discussion.
"This isn't about guns, it's about a possible tactic," Caster said. "My plea is that we have a rational, logical discussion (about arming teachers) as an additional possible tool."

Obama Renews His War On Coal

Obama Renews His War On Coal

by John Hinderaker in Energy Policy

Don’t say he didn’t warn us: “Go ahead and build a coal-powered plant — but it will bankrupt you.” Today President Obama put those words into action. With poverty and unemployment at record levels and his foreign policy in tatters, Obama decided to address a more important problem: Americans aren’t paying enough for electricity! So he mounted a new attack on coal, America’s principal source of power.
His speech was the usual combination of the uninformed and the disingenuous.
The 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15 years.
Recorded history doesn’t go back very far. The thermometer is a recent invention, and anyone who thinks that we know the mean global surface temperature is kidding himself. It is, of course, true that the Earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age, which is what most of the alarmists’ factoids reflect. But it isn’t true that the Earth has warmed in recent years, as we noted here:

Obama served up the same cherry-picked factoids that we always hear from alarmists:
Last year, temperatures in some areas of the ocean reached record highs, and ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record — faster than most models had predicted it would.
Antarctic ice, however, covered a greater area than ever. This was a new, and particularly stupid one:
Just last week, a heat wave in Alaska shot temperatures into the 90s.
Yes, and “the five-week period from April 3 to May 7 was the coldest in 109 years of record keeping at Fairbanks, Alaska, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).” Take your pick.
Obama issued the usual disclaimer about severe weather events not being caused by global warming, but then went on to pretend that they are. He implied that global warming is causing droughts as well as excessive rainfall–global warming causes everything!–but either doesn’t know, or concealed from his audience, that neither drought nor rainfall is, these days, unusual in any way:

Obama repeatedly referred to carbon as a “pollutant,” and even a “toxin.” This is simply insane: carbon is necessary for nearly all forms of life on earth, and more carbon dioxide helps crops, and all other plants, grow better.
It is easy to ridicule Obama’s scientific ignorance, but as always in these matters, the key is to follow the money. Obama wants to pour many billions more into “green energy” scams that mostly benefit Democratic Party donors and Obama administration cronies. Taking advantage of the mathematically illiterate, he touted our ostensibly booming “clean” energy industries:
[T]he year that I took office, my administration pledged to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 percent from their 2005 levels by the end of this decade. And we rolled up our sleeves and we got to work. We doubled the electricity we generated from wind and the sun.
We reduced our carbon dioxide emissions because of the exploding use of natural gas. Doubling the puny wind and solar energy industries amounted to almost nothing, as Steve pointed out here. America’s fastest-growing energy source is coal:

Nevertheless, Obama wants to make coal-fired energy more expensive. The centerpiece of his speech was a directive to the EPA to establish, by fiat, carbon emission standards for power plants. That will make all of us a little poorer by driving up the cost of electricity, while having no effect–zero, nada–on the Earth’s climate.
But along the way, the power of the federal government will be expanded and its ability to shift tens of billions of dollars to the Democratic Party’s cronies will be enhanced. That’s the real point of the potpourri of bad ideas that masquerades as Obama’s energy policy.

Amended or Not: No

Amended or Not: No

In a final theatrical flourish in the immigration-reform drama, the Senate has scheduled a hasty vote on the so-called amendment offered by Senators John Hoeven and Bob Corker — an “amendment” that amounts to an entirely new piece of legislation. The Senate is to be presented with a Monday vote on a 1,200-page bill substantially amended on Friday, meaning that few if any of our senators will have had the chance even to read the final bill, much less to digest its details. As Yuval Levin and others have noted, this amounts to another case of passing the bill to find out what’s in it. Republicans should not be party to that.
Among the many promises he has made regarding this issue, Senator Marco Rubio averred that he would not support the passage of a bill without sufficient time for debate, discussion, study, and public input. This is yet another assurance from Senator Rubio that has gone by the wayside. If the amendment is adopted on Monday and Senator Harry Reid follows through with his plan to have a vote on the legislation before the July 4 recess, that leaves a matter of mere days to evaluate it. That means no score from the Congressional Budget Office, though the bill will have hundreds of billions of dollars in fiscal consequences. That means no time for detailed analysis of the so-called security triggers in the bill, which are much less robust than the Gang of Eight would have us believe.

Another key defect is the absence of a meaningful standard for policing those who enter the country legally on visas but overstay them — the source of about 40 percent of our illegal immigrants. The bill promises the development and implementation of a system to deal with that problem, but nothing else. That very same mandate already has been on the law books for years, with no action.
And that is just on the subject of illegal immigration. The bill would also expand legal immigration to unprecedented levels, with the Gang of Eight having rejected even the most modest of limitations. There is much that is unknown about this latest iteration of the bill, but we do know that the bill would not stop future illegal immigration, would not physically secure the borders, and would not ensure that visa overstays are curtailed. Which is to say, what we know is worrisome and what we do not know is more worrisome still.
Amended or not, this bill would simply offer an amnesty and then set about creating the constituency for the next amnesty.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 Ways the Immigration Bill Is Like Obamacare

Morning Bell: 5 Ways the Immigration Bill Is Like Obamacare

Congress rammed Obamacare through without many Members even reading the bill. Now it’s applying that same frantic, complex, pie-in-the-sky legislating to immigration. The similarities are frightening.
1. Extreme Costs
The Government Accountability Office now projects that under the most realistic scenario, Obamacare will add $6.2 trillion to the primary deficit over the next 75 years. That’s a staggering figure, especially considering the fact that President Obama pledged in 2009, “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future.”
The Gang of Eight’s immigration plan granting amnesty to those unlawfully in the U.S. will cost already burdened American taxpayers more than they can bear. When he last crunched the numbers during the 2007 amnesty debate, Heritage’s Robert Rector calculated that a general amnesty would cost some $2.5 trillion—after considering what legalized immigrants would likely pay in taxes and receive in government benefits and services. His updated research on the latest proposal, due out soon, is likely to find a higher price tag in 2013.
2. False Promises
Remember President Obama’s promise that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”? That’s just one of the most famous (or infamous) broken promises of Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office projects 7 million people will lose their employer-sponsored coverage by 2022 because of the law.
On immigration, Heritage President Jim DeMint told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow this week: “I’ve heard a lot of promises about bills that have gone through Congress. …The only thing that I know about this bill is that it’s going to give legal status and eventual citizenship to those who came here unlawfully. The rest are just promises.” One of those promises is border security—as Heritage’s James Jay Carafano explains, the bill would not actually secure the border.
>>> Watch Jim DeMint explain the problems with the Gang of Eight bill
3. Have to Pass It to See What’s In It
Nancy Pelosi wasn’t kidding when she said Congress would have to pass Obamacare “to see what’s in it.” That’s because the bill gave federal agencies free rein to write regulations that would become the real-world version of the law—and even though it passed in 2010, the regulations are still being written today.
The immigration bill does the same thing—it gives over congressional authority to federal agencies, allowing unelected bureaucrats to think up all the details later.
Tweet this graphic
4. Piles on Already Broken—and Broke—Entitlement Programs
Obamacare plans to add millions of people to the Medicaid rolls—the largest expansion ever to this problematic program, which is already unsustainable and needs vital reforms.
Likewise, the immigration bill would add millions to the number of people on various taxpayer-funded benefits, from Medicare and Social Security to welfare. As DeMint said, “These programs are already broke. Our country is already $17 trillion in debt. This will be a net loss, a huge cost to taxpayers.”
5. Perks for Special Interests
Whenever the legislative process turns fast and furious, Members of Congress start loading on special-interest deals that are less likely to be noticed in the chaos. Obamacare was full of favors for Big Labor. Now, the immigration bill is carrying all sorts of special-interest goodies—not to mention a bonanza for immigration lawyers.
This isn’t the way Congress should make laws. It’s only making the same mistakes all over again—and we’ll be paying for them.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

How Could a Goofy Techie Expose Our Government’s Incompetence?

How Could a Goofy Techie Expose Our Government’s Incompetence?

by John Hinderaker in Obama administration, Obama Administration Scandals, Obama Foreign Policy

The goofy techie, of course, is Ed Snowden, and the question might seem hard to answer if the Obama administration’s incompetence were not on display for all to see. The international press, belatedly catching on to the fact that our president is a fool, is having fun with the U.S. Thus, Reuters headlines, with a snicker: “Questions turn to U.S. competence in Snowden saga.”
As well they might.
The Obama administration has spent the past few weeks arguing it can wield power responsibly after Edward Snowden unveiled its sweeping spying programs. Now the administration must prove it can wield power effectively.
Well, it certainly can domestically. Not only can it sic the IRS on its political opponents, it can buy whatever votes may be necessary with other people’s money. Dealing with foreign countries, where such powers come up short, is another story.
As the 30-year-old leads the world’s lone superpower on a global game of hide and seek, U.S. government officials faced questions about whether they had botched the effort to extradite Snowden from Hong Kong to face charges related to his leak of classified information.
Actually, they botched much more than that. How in the world could the NSA allow a random employee of a contractor, Booz Allen, who had been on the “job” for only a couple of months, such unfettered and apparently uncharted access to secret materials? The fact that the NSA did so is the best argument against that agency’s being a trustworthy custodian of Americans’ secrets.
The latest wrinkle in the Snowden saga poses a different set of questions for an administration that has spent weeks fending off questions about whether it has abused its power to collect taxes, investigate criminal activity and fight terrorism.
Abusive and incompetent! That’s Barack Obama.
On Monday, administration officials said they had done all they could to bring Snowden to justice. Chinese defiance, rather than bureaucratic bungling, had allowed the 30-year-old former contractor to slip out of Hong Kong as officials there weighed Washington’s request for extradition, they said.
Well, yeah. The Chinese hold our mortgage, so why would they pay any attention to Barack Obama? Obama’s policy of borrowing $17 trillion isn’t what a sane person would consider smart.
Snowden’s exact whereabouts were a mystery on Monday as Russia resisted White House pressure to stop him during his journey to escape U.S. prosecution.
Of course they did. Reset! Vladimir Putin is a smart, tough guy. Barack Obama–I will be gentle here–isn’t. Pete Wehner sums up their relationship:
Add to that Putin’s support for Iran’s nuclear ambitions and his crackdown at home. (The Washington Post writes that in “an attempt to suppress swelling protests against his rigged reelection and the massively corrupt autocracy he presides over, Mr. Putin has launched what both Russian and Western human rights groups describe as the most intense and pervasive campaign of political repression since the downfall of the Soviet Union.”). Taken all together, you can see that the Obama “reset”–which at the dawn of the Obama administration was described as a “win-win” strategy for both nations–has been a rout for the Russians.
With the Snowden situation, Vladimir Putin seems intent not only defying America but embarrassing her. It turns out that an irresolute amateur like Barack Obama was the best thing that the brutal but determined Putin could have hoped for.
He’s cleaning Obama’s clock.
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the “reset,” and the disaster of American foreign policy over the last four years, have been attributable not only to Obama, but to our old-lady-president in waiting, Hillary Clinton.
Snowden’s decision to go on the lam creates another headache for the Obama administration, which has seen priorities like immigration reform threatened by a string of scandals.
That, plus the fact that the immigration “reform” bill is a disaster.
When it comes to the NSA revelations, most lawmakers were already aware of the surveillance program and few have raised objections. Republicans by and large have focused their criticism on Snowden and China rather than the administration.
That may change if the ordeal drags on. Republican Representative Peter King of New York on Monday said Obama should have taken a harder line with the Chinese authorities who ultimately control the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong.
“I hate to be in the middle of a crisis second guessing the president, but where is he? Where is the president? Why is he not speaking to the American people? Why is he not more forceful in dealing with foreign leaders?” King said on CNN television.
Those are rhetorical questions, obviously. Barack Obama has never been a real president. He has never led. He seems to view his job duties as an unfortunate distraction from golfing and partying with celebrities. How could anyone be surprised to learn that he is an inept, ineffective president?
There are also likely to be increasingly embarrassing questions about how Snowden managed to download and take many highly sensitive documents when he was working in Hawaii for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. The head of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, said on Sunday that he did not know why the NSA did not catch Snowden before he left Hawaii for Hong Kong in May.
Well, that’s reassuring! The NSA has wonderful technical capabilities to spy on everyone in the world, but can’t figure out how its own contract employee made off with a pocket full of secrets. Maybe that’s a sign that the U.S. would be ill-advised to go down the road of totalitarian, all-knowing government. Maybe we can start by repealing Obamacare.
Obama first learned that Snowden had turned up in Hong Kong on Sunday, June 9, as he flew back from a weekend of talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
But Obama does not appear to have played a direct role in trying to get him back.
Really? There’s a shock! Obama hasn’t played a “direct role” in anything other than an election campaign since he first ran for the Illinois State Senate.
Obama declined to say on Monday whether he has spoken directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin or other foreign leaders about the extradition efforts. Obama had an icy meeting with Putin a week ago at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
Reset! Reset! Remember how contemptuous the wet-behind-the-ears Barack Obama and his newly-minted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose only claim to fame was her marriage to Bill, were of the Bush administration’s Russia policy? Reset! Putin thinks Obama is an idiot. Can you blame him?
Obama’s public schedule leaves little room for the extradition effort. He makes a major speech on climate change on Tuesday, and then leaves on a week-long trip to Africa.
This is really pretty funny. Obama would surely deal with the crisis that was brought about by his administration’s incompetence, only he is too busy! He’s going to prevent climate change–sure he is! Just dial down that CO2 thermostat! Well, our small part of it, anyway. And no doubt his trip to Africa will be just as productive as the hundred or so trips to Africa by his predecessors have been. Too busy to actually function as president? That’s our Barack! With luck, he will be able to squeeze in a couple of rounds of golf.
Though the White House has distanced itself from the Snowden affair…
Of course! The White House distances itself from everything. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to live in a U.S. that didn’t have a president–vis-a-vis foreign countries, at least–you are now finding out.
Officials from the FBI, the Justice Department and the State Department worked with their counterparts in Hong Kong to extradite Snowden over the next several days, culminating in a telephone call between U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen, on June 19.
“There was a sense that the process was moving forward,” a Justice Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Hong Kong officials asked for more information and evidence two days later, but did not give the United States enough time to respond before Snowden left the Chinese territory on June 23.
We should have known that Eric Holder would be involved in the fiasco, somehow. One can only imagine what the Chinese think of Holder.
George Terwilliger, who served as the Justice Department’s No. 2 official under President George H.W. Bush, said it was too early to know whether the agency should be blamed for failing to get Snowden.
“These are not legal issues, per se. They’re political and diplomatic issues, and most of the skills that are exercised are exercised away from the public eye.”
Or not exercised, as the case may be. When you read these stories in which European journalists make fun of the Obama administration, you need to keep in mind that most of them, along with the European elites whom they represent, want the United States to be weak. That is why they awarded Obama a Nobel prize before he had done anything at all: it was a Nobel prize for weakness. But even the Euros can’t resist laughing at what a fool we have for a president. A fool, anyway, if you assume that we all want the United States to be a strong and prosperous nation.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Corker and Hoeven were cheap dates

Corker and Hoeven were cheap dates

by Paul Mirengoff in Immigration, Senate

Chris Crane, president of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) National Council, has denounced the amendment of Sens. Corker and Hoeven to the Senate immigration reform bill. So too has Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Council.
Crane contends that “the 1,200 page substitute bill before the Senate will provide instant legalization and a path to citizenship to gang members and other dangerous criminal aliens, and handcuff ICE officers from enforcing immigration laws in the future.” He adds that the legislation “provides no means of effectively enforcing visa overstays which account for almost half of the nation’s illegal immigration crisis.” “Instead of empowering ICE agents to enforce the law,” Crane complains, “this legislation empowers political appointees to further violate the law and unilaterally stop enforcement.”
Palinkas concurs. He believes that the revised bill will exacerbate USCIS concerns about threats to national security and public safety. According to Palinkas, “the Corker-Hoeven substitute proposal, like the original proposal, will lead to the rubber stamping of millions of applications for both amnesty and future admissions.” Indeed, “this bill rewards immigrants who break the law, more so than the prior bill proposed by the Gang of Eight.”
Ironically, Sen. Corker actually agrees with part of the ICE-USCIS critique. He has admitted that his amendment fails properly to address the problem of interior enforcement. He says that he wanted to, but apparently the Democrats wouldn’t agree.
Corker and Hoeven turned out to be cheap dates for Team Amnesty.

The Real Climate Threat

The Real Climate Threat

by John Hinderaker in Climate

There is a certain irony in the fact that statists are trying to get people riled up about global warming. History’s warm eras–Roman times, the Medieval Warm Period, and the current warm cycle that follows the Little Ice Age–have been good times for humans and for the vast majority of animals. It is cold periods that we should dread, which is why the statists’ first choice, back in the 1970s, was to claim that human civilization is bringing about another Ice Age.
Now that’s something to worry about! Anthony Watts reminds us of the real climate threat, bearing in mind that, geologically speaking, we are still living in the Ice Age. This graphic compares the depth of the ice during the last Ice Age with the height of current skyscrapers in several northern cities:

Where I am sitting right now, in suburban Minneapolis, the ice was a half mile thick, if I remember correctly. That would put us somewhere between Chicago and Boston–in other words, way higher than my house. A return of colder weather would be an utter disaster for the human race and for most animals. An increase of a half a degree in average global temperature? Seriously? Bring it on!

Democrats to Shut Off Debate On a Bill No One Has Read

Democrats to Shut Off Debate On a Bill No One Has Read

by John Hinderaker in Immigration

Tomorrow, Harry Reid will call for cloture on the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill as amended by Corker-Hoeven, a 1,200-page bill that no one–literally no one, given the fact that it was drafted by committee–has read. It is a remarkable moment in American history. This morning Jeff Sessions, who has been a one-man voice of sanity on the immigration issue, appeared on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Schieffer went straight to the political question: isn’t it true that Republicans need to support amnesty, or else they will never win another election? It is remarkable how many people are suddenly concerned about the GOP’s electoral prospects. Sessions responded that the Senate should do what is right, and explained with commendable coherence and detail, in a short time, why the Gang’s bill is so awful: (use link to view video):

Notwithstanding that no one has read the immigration bill in its entirety, a few intrepid investigators have tried to establish what it really says. Among them is law professor William Jacobson, who has painstakingly pinned down what discretion the bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security to simply ignore those provisions that would otherwise require deportation of, or denial of residence to, lawbreaking aliens. Figuring this out is harder than it sounds, since much of this sort of legislation consists of references to, and changes in, other statutes. Yesterday Jacobson explained that the Gang’s bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security unfettered discretion to ignore the law’s supposedly draconian enforcement provisions:
The rush to pass the Gang of 8 1000+ page bill is another example. As if that weren’t bad enough to start, Sen. Bob Corker last night unveiled his 1190-page amendment, and Harry Reid is rushing the first test vote to Monday. We have seen this movie before.
There is one provision which has not received a lot of press.
Yesterday Dana Loesch had a series of tweets about a section of the original Gang of 8 bill giving the Secretary of Homeland Security almost complete discretion to waive all other provisions of the law as to removal, deportation and inadmissibility.
It took me many hours to run that down and confirm. And I have done so.
This is extremely dense material. I’ve extracted and uploaded sections 3214 and 3215 from the May 28 version of the bill (the most recent listed on the Thomas website) along with the Corker amendment (3214 and 3215) as to these sections (which did not change anything relevant to this discussion) so you can read them yourself. The text references 8 U.S.C. 1182.
Here is the key provision, as part of section 3214(b) dealing with family unification. The section gives the Secretary discretion to waive the provisions as to removal, deportation and inadmissibility of illegal aliens not just for family ”hardship” (which itself is huge) but for any reason the Secretary deems in the ”public interest.”
I have highlighted and marked the key portion of the section to point out key wording:

The section goes on to take discretion away from the Secretary for aliens who have committed certain specified crimes, but otherwise the Secretary can do pretty much whatever she wants in terms of waiving removal or deportation of a person attempting to enter the country or in the country illegally based on her determination of the “public interest.”
There are similar provisions in section 3215 as to admissibility into the United States.
The section not only guarantees that a single family member being lawfully in the country will allow the full immediate family to stay, but it also will provide the Secretary — Janet Napolitano now — with broad discretion to allow anyone to stay for almost any reason. …
There is every reason to expect this discretion to be abused to widen amnesty.
We have seen how the Obama administration unlawfully refused to enforce the immigration laws as to removal proceedings, as a federal judge found.
Now they want you to trust that they will not waive enforcement of other provisions in the name of what they deem to be the public interest.
The rush to a vote in the Senate does not allow time to fully understand all the provisions. And that’s why the rush is taking place.
I think the Democrats can see that public opinion is swinging away from the bill as voters learn more about what is in it. Hence the desire to cut off debate and pass a bill that no one–neither a senator nor anyone else–has read.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Martin Bashir’s Nostalgic Liberal Racism

Martin Bashir’s Nostalgic Liberal Racism

by Roger L. Simon

A few days ago, MSNBC commentator Martin Bashir, in high dudgeon, accused critics of the IRS scandal of racism toward Barack Obama. I’m not going to rehearse the number of black conservatives — including intellects of the stature of Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele — who would then be racists, or even go into my own personal story as a white civil rights worker in the South in the sixties (I’m older than Bashir) and how insulting it would be to people like me to be lumped in as racists because we object to the president’s policies.
Never mind the massive declines in racism in our (and other Anglo-Saxon) societies documented in a recent Pew Poll and never mind the late Andrew Breitbart’s offer of one hundred thousand dollars for evidence of the use of the n-word by even one of tens of thousands of Tea Party demonstrators for which not a single bid came forward.
What interests me is why people like Bashir maintain this need to brand anyone even vaguely to the right as racist. It’s almost a disorder worthy of classification in the DSM-5 — PRDS: Projective Racist Derangement Syndrome.
Actually, I don’t think it’s quite that sick, although it does have definite pathological aspects. A more obvious motivation is old-fashioned fear. The liberal canon is under heavy intellectual and practical assault at this moment. Keynesian economics hang by a thread as monumental deficits threaten the global financial system. Unemployment numbers coupled with entitlements escalating into the stratosphere spell disaster for all. The welfare state is on the brink of bankruptcy — or over it in many instances.
For the rational person, something must been done about this. But to do so would mean the dismantling of the liberal orthodoxy. For people like Bashir that would also mean undoing or questioning everything (or a great deal of) what they had believed since high school or college or even earlier. Not fun. I know — I had to do it myself. Like it or not, you pay. (If you’re an employee of MSNBC, you lose your job.) Most liberals I know don’t even dare to examine this.
Much better to blame the other and accuse him or her of racism, taking the ideas off the table and dehumanizing your opponent.
This is a common scenario and helps explain why most racists today are on the left. They are racists by projection and by nostalgia. Oh for the good old days when America was racist and folks were easily classifiable.
That’s not really true, of course. As a young Democrat in 1964 I was appalled by the number of members of my party blocking the Civil Rights Act while it seemed okay with so many Republicans. There are numerous other instances of such confusion. But today the Democratic Party depends on racial division for its electoral success. If people voted based on policy and not ethnicity, the party would be extinct.
Paradoxically, that would not be a good thing. America needs a two-party system (at minimum). Democracy does not exist otherwise.
Martin Bashir clearly cannot “contain” that knowledge in the psychoanalytic sense, so he projects out rage at his adversaries, accusing them of racism for which he has no evidence other than his own fantasies.
If you’re looking for a real division in our society — rather than an imaginary one — the IRS scandal provides one that is truly disturbing. Apparently 95% of IRS workers are Democrats. Not only does that render the question how much Obama was personally involved in the targeting of Tea Party groups almost moot, it is the closest thing to a license for totalitarianism I have ever heard about in this country.

Don's Tuesday column

         THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   6/25/2013

Lies, the presidency, lawyers and nation

Plan to attend tonight’s Tea Party Patriots’ meeting for a DVD presentation called “Whistleblowers of the National Security Agency.” It promises to be timely and eye opening.

I ran across an insightful column by Dr. Thomas Sowell, “The Loss of Trust (subhead: Every untruth damages the presidency, not just the president)”. He began: “Amid all the heated crosscurrents of debate about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program, there is a growing distrust of the Obama Administration that makes weighing the costs and benefits of the NSA program itself hard to assess.” As I pointed out, a CNN/ORC poll found half of Americans say they don’t believe Obama is “honest and trustworthy and 61 percent disapprove of” the NSA spying on Americans.

When the little boy cried “wolf” without cause, people doubted when he saw a real wolf; Americans have—in spite of their hopes for President Obama to bring about whatever “change” meant to them—found instead a prevaricating, disingenuous pol from the ends-justifies-the-means, “bring a gun to a knife fight” school of Chicago hardball politics. The NSA programs may well have thwarted terrorist attacks; I believe it’s likely, just as the anti-terror policies under President Bush stopped attacks. However, Democrats had crass political motives to never give Bush credit. Republicans extend a bit more benefit of the doubt to Obama, even while reserving judgment over whether the programs may become abusive of essential American liberties.

Thomas Sowell recalls the trust, from all sides of politics, when President John F. Kennedy “took this country to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union,” without backlash or second-guessing. Sowell bemoaned losing acceptance that those in high positions knew much more than we did and would make righteous decisions.

“Whatever happened to that feeling? Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon happened, and both were shameless liars. They destroyed not only their own credibility, but also the credibility of the office. Even when Lyndon Johnson told us the truth at a crucial juncture during the Vietnam War—that the Communist offensive of 1968 was a defeat for them, even as the media depicted it as a defeat for us—we didn’t believe him.

“In later years, Communist leaders themselves admitted that they had been devastated on the battlefield. But by then it was too late. What the Communists lost militarily on the ground in Vietnam they won politically in the American media and in American public opinion. More than 50,000 Americans lost their lives winning battles on the ground in Vietnam, only to have the war lost politically back home.

“We seem to be having a similar scenario unfolding in Iraq, where soldiers won the war, only to have politicians lose the peace, as Iraq now increasingly aligns itself with Iran. When Barack Obama squanders his own credibility with his glib lies he is not just injuring himself during his time in office. He is inflicting a lasting wound on the country as a whole. But we the voters are not blameless. Having chosen an untested man to be president, on the basis of rhetoric, style, and symbolism, we have ourselves to blame….”

Dr. Thomas Sowell has academic achievements from Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Chicago, has taught economics at numerous esteemed universities and has, since 1980, been a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He also served in the United States Marine Corps in the Korean War, and is African-American.

I made short mention of the pro-Obama slant to political donations by various federal employees last week. The law requires donors beyond a certain amount to state name and employer, which can reveal much of the political leanings of those in various agencies. As I recall, donations from identifiable IRS employees heavily favored Obama. When the donations of the IRS employees union were examined, that rose to 100 percent for Obama—meaning your taxes paid IRS employees, whose mandatory union dues you paid for, from which political donations were skimmed to the benefit of one candidate, the candidate advocating for bigger government, and whose health care law specifically called for many thousands more IRS employees. He might as well have run as B. K. Rupt (D.C.) but his real name was Barack Obama.

Robert Anderson of Pepperdine University found, when he searched the database for contributors with the term “lawyer” or “attorney” in the occupation field, “a list of 20 federal agencies with at least 20 employees contributing to either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.” IRS lawyers gave “95 percent” to Obama; while previous reporting showed a 4-to-1 Obama slant, the actual number was 20-to-1, and when the dollar amounts were counted, IRS lawyers gave 32 times as much to Obama as Romney.

Moreover, IRS lawyers were only the 10th most slanted in contributions. From the FTC, the EPA, the FERC (energy), Public Defender, FINRA, Dept. of Labor, Education, UN and the NLRB, over 500 lawyers gave up to 100 percent to the Obama campaign. It’s a “symptom of a larger disease—the rule by career bureaucrat lawyers.” Government employees, lawyers in particular, are not politically representative of the country as a whole, and utterly devoid of the political diversity required to serve Americans. You have a right to a trial by a jury of your peers; when agencies can act as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, you are facing an adversary, not a servant. More in future columns on declining constitutional rights and protections.