Friday, January 31, 2014

When Did Global Warming Begin?

When Did Global Warming Begin?

by John Hinderaker in ClimateThat excellent question is posed at Watts Up With That. The significance of any story depends largely on when you decide to begin it. Warmists like to talk about the last 100 years or less, but the Earth’s climate has–needless to say–a much longer history than that.
This chart, based on ice cores, shows temperatures over the last 450,000 years. It reminds us that we are lucky to be living during an inter-glacial period. Just the blink of an eye ago, in geologic time–say, 15,000 years–the place where I am now typing was buried under ice a half-mile deep:

If that time scale seems a little too long, let’s look at the Holocene Interglacial, the “warm” interval in which we are now living:
Two points worth noting: 1) Since the end of the last Ice Age, it has been warmer than it is now around 90% of the time. 2) The Earth is still emerging from the Little Ice Age that ended circa 1850.
And if you want to get really micro, this chart from NASA GISS shows no net warming over the last 12 years (other data sets show no warming over the last 17 years):
So, when did global warming begin? There have been many cycles of warming and cooling over the Earth’s history, and even within the brief time that has elapsed during the current interglacial period. At the moment, for better or worse, the Earth is not warming. But one thing we can be absolutely sure of is that at some point in the future the Earth will get warmer; cooler, too.

Fox News Poll: Voters blame Clinton and Obama for Benghazi

Fox News Poll: Voters blame Clinton and Obama for Benghazi

Majorities of American voters blame former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama for what happened at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

The 2012 terrorist attack took place on the anniversary of September 11 and resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, at the diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. A new bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report found that the attacks were preventable and that the State Department, headed by Clinton at the time, had failed to increase security at the U.S. consulate there.
Sixty percent of voters blame Clinton for what happened, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. That includes 28 percent who blame her “a great deal” and another 32 percent who say she deserves “some” blame.
Click here to view the poll results.
Essentially the same number -- 59 percent -- blames Obama (26 percent “a great deal” and 33 percent “some”).
One voter in five says that the leaders are “not at all” responsible.
About four Democrats in 10 blames each: 41 percent blame Clinton, and 38 percent blame Obama. Twice as many Republicans blame the former secretary (80 percent) and the president (80 percent).
Among independents, about six in ten think Clinton (62 percent) and Obama (64 percent) are at least somewhat responsible.
In public statements soon after the assault, Obama administration officials falsely claimed it was a spontaneous reaction to an offensive video, even though they had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda. The new poll asks voters what they think motivated the administration’s misleading statements.
About half think it was to protect Obama politically (49 percent). The rest split between saying the White House just made a “mistake” (22 percent) and that they did it to protect America (19 percent).
Republicans (74 percent) are far more likely than independents (46 percents) and Democrats (26 percent) to think the administration was protecting Obama politically.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,010 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from January 19-21, 2014. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The Lessons of Wendy Davis’s Success Story

The Lessons of Wendy Davis’s Success Story Her false heroic tale fits in with the Left’s women-can-do-it-themselves propaganda.


Mona Charen

‘I came from a place of struggle,” insisted Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis after the Dallas Morning News revealed that key details of the life story she had successfully shopped to the mainstream media were false. She wasn’t a 19-year-old mom when she was first divorced, but 21. She lived with her second husband in the very comfortable Mistletoe Heights neighborhood of Fort Worth, not in a trailer park made famous in a thousand admiring profiles. She lived in the trailer park for just a few months. One of Ms. Davis’s struggles, apparently, is with the truth.
Davis isn’t the first politician to campaign falsely as an up-from-poverty candidate. William Henry Harrison, scion of a wealthy family, campaigned in 1840 as the “log cabin and hard cider” candidate against Martin Van Buren. It worked, though Harrison didn’t live to relish his success. The story about his two-hour inaugural address causing him to catch pneumonia is probably untrue — he didn’t fall ill until three weeks later. It may have been the snakeweed or leeches that gave him the septicemia that killed him, or it may have been the office seekers, who reportedly so crowded the White House that he couldn’t find a place to rest when he felt sick.

You might suppose that reflections on the Internet age — and the impossibility of hiding the truth — will now follow the tale of Harrison’s successful deception. Not really. What’s surprising about the Davis tale is that someone actually took the trouble to question her account, because her “narrative” appeals so strongly to the liberal imagination. We just love the “little woman who conquers the world” stories, especially if (well, okay, only if) she favors abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, a higher minimum wage, and universal pre-K.
Davis did grow up in difficult circumstances — her parents divorced and Davis went to work early. She also made poor decisions, moving in with a boyfriend at the age of 17. Her story of working hard to better herself, first at community college and then at Texas Christian University and Harvard Law School is a tribute to her tenacity and intelligence.
But it requires a pretty calculating coldness to omit from her story husband number two, Jeff Davis, the lawyer she married when she was 24 and lived with for 18 years. It was he who paid her tuition at TCU and Harvard Law, cashing out his 401(k) and borrowing money to do it. It was he who cared for her two daughters while she went to Boston to study law for three years. And it was he who got custody (with no contest) after the divorce. He notes ruefully that she left the marriage at a key juncture: “It was ironic,” Davis told the Dallas Morning News, “I made the last [Harvard] payment, and it was the next day she left.”
No outsider can ever know what goes on in a marriage and it isn’t our place to speculate, but Davis herself made her single-mother-beats-the-odds personal story a key part of her campaign. Just before the Dallas Morning News story broke, Davis was the subject of a fawning profile on the Today Show. Maria Shriver introduced the story of the plucky gubernatorial aspirant over chyrons touting “Doing it all” and “On her own two feet.” Her personal story, we were told, “resonated across this country.” Davis visited the trailer park with Shriver, and spoke of having to scrape together enough money to keep the lights on, sometimes working two jobs. Her 18-year marriage to a man who committed himself to her welfare and went into debt to help her achieve her career goals was practically airbrushed out, just mentioned in passing — “she married again for a time” — to explain the appearance of her second daughter. The rest is Harvard triumphalism and her star turn filibustering an abortion law in the Texas senate.
Wendy Davis achieved success the way most successful people do — through hard work and the support of a loving family. She, and the press who lionize her, seem all too eager to suggest that she somehow did everything all by herself. This false heroic tale is a common trope on the left these days — women doing it all by themselves. It’s more than partisan hackery. It reinforces the very damaging notion that women don’t need husbands. Many, many women are swallowing this propaganda and acting on it. They, their children, and our society are suffering mightily as a result.
Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2014 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

EPA chief unable to say if the world has gotten warmer

EPA chief unable to say if the world has gotten warmer

by Michael Bastasch
Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy wasn’t able to definitively say whether the world has gotten warmer in Senate testimony.
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked McCarthy to confirm a statement made by President Obama last year that global temperatures were increasing faster in the last five or ten years than climate scientists had predicted.
McCarthy couldn’t answer the question, saying that she only repeats what the climate scientists tell her. Sessions was not satisfied with her response.
“Do I not have the right to ask the Director of EPA a simple question that is relevant to the dispute that is before us?” Sessions angrily asked. “Is the temperature around the globe increasing faster than was predicted, even 10 years ago [as the President claimed]?”
“I can’t answer that question,” McCarthy said.
“You are asking us to impose billions of dollars of cost on this economy and you won’t answer the simple question of whether [temperature around the globe is increasing faster than predicted] is an accurate statement or not?” Sessions shot back.
“I just look at what the climate scientists tell me,” said McCarthy.
The hearing was meant to examine President Obama’s climate agenda and featured two panels of environmentalists, climate scientists and federal officials. Last summer, Obama pledged to use his executive powers to fight global warming. His main effort so far has been focused on banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants.
The EPA recently published its carbon dioxide emissions limits for coal plants. In order to comply with such limits, coal plants must install costly clean coal technology that is not commercially proven.

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Backdoor Amnesty: Deportation Cases Closed by 'Prosecutorial Discretion' Up Almost 70%

Backdoor Amnesty: Deportation Cases Closed by 'Prosecutorial Discretion' Up Almost 70%

More immigrants facing deportation in immigration courts across the nation are having their court cases closed because of Obama’s prosecutorial discretion policy, researchers at Syracuse University found.

Meanwhile, the number of removal proceedings initiated in immigration courts by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has dropped since the new policy was implemented.
In fiscal 2013, immigration courts cited the exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” (PD) as the reason to dismiss 16,306 cases.
That is a 68 percent increase from the 9,684 cases that were tossed in 2012 for the same reason.
In total, from October 2011 when Obama’s discretion policy was implemented through December 2013, there were 28,983 PD-related closures in immigration courts across the U.S.
The number of deportations proceedings initiated in immigration courts by ICE has also dropped since Obama’s discretion policy was implemented.
In fiscal 2013, ICE initiated 190,277 removal proceedings in immigration courts, a 21 percent drop from the 239,504 in fiscal 2011, the year prior to the beginning of prosecutorial discretion.
Overall, the number of ICE removals has also dropped ten percent in 2013.
ICE deportations went from a record high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012 to 368,644 last year.
As a percentage of all cases closed, the number of prosecutorial discretion closures in court is also on the rise.
In fiscal 2013, 8.5 percent of all case closures were based on prosecutorial discretion, up from 4.7 percent the previous year.
Some immigration courts reported that prosecutorial discretion resulted in almost three out of every ten cases closed.
“The Seattle Court led the nation with 29.8 percent PD closures. The Tucson court was in second place with 26.0 percent PD closures, while the Los Angeles Court was third with 23.7 percent. Rounding out the top five were the Omaha Court at 23.1 percent and the Phoenix Court at 20.7 percent,” according to the Syracuse University analysis.
Houston saw one of the lowest percentages of case closures based on Obama’s policy.
Syracuse University researchers found that “Houston was at 1.7 percent PD closures, New York City 3.7 percent, Chicago 5.0 percent, and Miami 6.3 percent.”
The prosecutorial discretion closures mentioned in this report only refer to those cases that actually make it to court. Some immigration cases are dealt with administratively by the Obama administration.
John Morton, then-Obama’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, first announced the prosecutorial discretion policy in an October 2011 memo.
The new policy directed immigration enforcement officials to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in deciding which illegal aliens to remove from the U.S.
According to the memo, the purpose of the policy was to remove the worst criminal offenders while allowing other aliens such as those who were brought into the country as children to remain in the country.
One purpose of the policy is to reduce a backlog of cases in immigration courts, according to the White House.
However, Syracuse University found that the policy is also being used to deal with new immigration court cases.
The White House has extended the use of prosecutorial discretion to immigration law violators who are military veterans and the spouses of active-duty military personnel.

Governing by Pen and Phone

Governing by Pen and Phone
Obama used to sigh that he was not a dictator who could act unilaterally. No more.
By Victor Davis Hanson

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

State of Exhaustion

State of Exhaustion
Don’t expect any fresh ideas on reviving the economy in tonight’s SOTU address.

Mona Charen
Only 28 percent of respondents to a recent Harris poll said they plan to watch the State of the Union address. And some of those are lying. It’s clear that the Obama charm has worn extremely thin.
The rapturous excitement Obama once elicited was based, at least in part, on the idea that he had something new to offer; that he transcended the “old politics.” It’s not enough to say that those expectations were misplaced — that was obvious from the beginning. But he has proved to be one of the most polarizing leaders of the modern era, encouraging a corrosive sense of grievance between Americans and undermining people’s faith in the essential justness of their country.

Tonight, we are told, the president will once again mount his horse and fix his lance at the scourge of “income inequality” and declining upward mobility in an attempt to convince voters struggling with the Obama economy that the wealthy are to blame for their problems. It’s the leftist mantra and Obama never tires of it. He hasn’t read Adam Smith. He doesn’t know that one man’s prosperity is not the cause of another man’s poverty.
It’s awkward for Obama, so he probably won’t mention it, but income inequality has increased since he assumed office. And while he’s waxing indignant about declining upward mobility, he probably won’t acknowledge that, thanks to the strength of the U.S. economy before he got his hands on it, economic mobility has improved in recent decades as incomes have risen. Median family income (adjusted for inflation) is 12 percent higher today than it was in 1980. People have more disposable income than their parents did at the same stage of life.
Though he has referred approvingly to the work of Emmanuel Saez in the past, the president will probably avoid the economist’s most recent study, “Where Is the Land of Opportunity?” because Saez concludes that the chief obstacle to upward mobility is not the “1 percent” but family structure. Even children in intact families suffer when they grow up in communities with large percentages of single-parent families.
Responding clumsily to the problem of joblessness — which has assumed nearly European levels under his leadership — President Obama will reach into his 1930s kit bag and propose an increase in the federal minimum wage. Sigh. First, most economists agree that increasing the minimum wage has a tendency to discourage hiring. Second, most people who earn minimum wage are not heads of households. Third, 80 percent are not poor. Fourth, most receive a raise within twelve months. Fifth, the states containing half the population already have minimum wages above the federal level.
What the soft shoe about income inequality and declining upward mobility is meant to disguise is that President Obama has presided over an economy that is providing diminishing opportunities for work. People who work full time are almost never poor. The Current Population Survey of the Census Bureau found that among full-time workers the poverty rate in 2013 was 2.9 percent. Most of those who are poor are not working at all, or are working only part time.
Long-term unemployment is demoralizing for the jobless and expensive for taxpayers. Rather than attempt to set wages from Washington, Mr. Obama’s entire focus ought to be on removing obstacles to hiring. The first candidate is Obamacare. As Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle has noted, we just enacted a huge new entitlement to ensure coverage to the “45 million uninsured,” but as of December, fewer than 750,000 have signed up. Meanwhile, the entire health-care sector has been thrown into chaos, and employers throughout the country are hesitating to hire.
Mr. Obama will boast that he has a “pen and a phone.” He can use his pen to relax some of the job-depressing regulations his administration has imposed, particularly in the health, financial, and energy sectors. He can use his phone to approve the Keystone pipeline. And he could use his influence to extol the essential habits of success without which more and more Americans will fail to flourish. As the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported years ago, if Americans do three simple things, they will not be poor: 1) graduate from high school, 2) get a job, and 3) wait until marriage to have their first child.
But that would require more imagination than Obama has ever demonstrated. Instead, he’ll stubbornly continue to push policies that have failed everywhere they’ve been tried. When they fail for him, he will blame Republicans. Once hailed as a messiah, he’s now revealed as just a mess.
Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2014 Creators Syndicate, Inc.!

Undermining Prop. 13: The Beat Goes On

A handful of far-left, Bay Area activists think they have come up with a clever plan to chip away at Proposition 13. Specifically, they are attempting to persuade local school boards and city councils to pass resolutions in support of removing Prop 13 protections for business property. While “resolutions” are not laws, they nonetheless can lay the groundwork for future political action.
To bolster their argument in favor of higher taxes on businesses, these activists falsely claim that homeowners are paying a greater percentage of the total property tax today than they were when Proposition 13 passed 36 years ago. In fact, the percentage paid by non-homeowner occupied property accounted for 58.16 in 1978-79 and has increased to 60.26 percent of all assessments in 2011-12, which means the percentage paid by homeowners has declined. They further justify the increase in property taxes they advocate by saying that Proposition 13 has decimated education while ignoring that, after adjusting for inflation, California is spending 30 percent more per pupil than prior to the passage of the landmark taxpayer protection.
Apparently unimportant to the radical activists is that a system where business pays more (called a “split roll” property tax) would result in a loss of nearly 400,000 thousand jobs and a reduction of billions of dollars in economic activity, according to a recent Pepperdine University study. Of course, the hardest hit by this proposed change in our property tax system would be small businesses and owners of residential rental property — renters could be expected to see an escalation in their rents.
For homeowners, higher taxes on commercial property would also be bad news because if business no longer is invested in protecting Proposition 13, homeowners would have to stand alone against the attack. When it comes to protecting Prop 13, there is surely strength in numbers.
A massive tax increase on business property would be counterproductive. As Howard Jarvis used to say, business does not pay taxes, we pay their taxes through higher prices. The best way to generate more revenue in our already high tax state is to encourage the private sector to prosper, adding jobs and improving the quality of life for all Californians. Rather than tearing down Proposition 13, those concerned about our state’s future would do better to build on the foundation Proposition 13 represents. Proposition 13 not only protects property owners from unpredictable tax increases, but the certainty in taxation allows both home and business owners to spend and invest in ways that boost the economy. Even without the increased economic activity, a portion of which is captured by taxation, the Proposition 13 system provides local government with its most stable source of revenue.
Proposition 13 is like a goose that that lays golden eggs. The problem is not the goose, but the predators who want to eat it.
For sensible school boards, city councils, organizations and clubs who want to reassert their support for Proposition 13, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association makes available, on its website under “Taxpayer Action Tools” a resolution commending Proposition 13 for the benefit that it provides to individual homeowners, renters, local governments and to the state’s overall economy. All are welcome to use it.
(Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights. Originally published on HJTA.)

Gangster Government, Rampant

Gangster Government, Rampant

by John Hinderaker in Gangster Government, Obama Administration Scandals


It was Michael Barone who, early in President Obama’s first term, described the Obama administration as “gangster government.” With Obama now re-elected, his administration’s gangsterism has shifted into high gear. Consider the following news stories from just the last 24 hours:
* Dinesh D’Souza, who made a popular documentary film critical of Obama, has been indicted on felony charges by a U.S. Attorney in New York for using straw contributors to donate $20,000 to a friend’s Senate campaign in 2012. I have no idea whether the allegations are truthful or not. But in both 2008 and 2012, the Obama campaign deliberately solicited and received illegal campaign contributions online. By disabling standard security measures, the Obama campaign invited, and undoubtedly received, contributions from foreign citizens, contributors who had already donated the maximum permissible amounts, felons, and others. Where is the criminal investigation of the Obama campaign, or, for that matter, of any Obama donor? There hasn’t been one. Selective enforcement of the laws is a hallmark of gangster governments.
* For the last two years, Obama’s IRS has been investigating the Friends of Abe, Hollywood’s only conservative group, and has held up approval of the organization’s 501(c)(3) status. The IRS has asked for information that would include the Friends’ membership list, which would then allow it to harass individual conservatives. As far as I can tell from news accounts, the Friends of Abe have done nothing that isn’t universal among 501(c)(3) organizations that relate to current events or political philosophy. And, as far as has been reported, the IRS isn’t investigating any of Hollywood’s many liberal groups.
* The U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey has subpoenaed records from Chris Christie’s reelection campaign and the state’s Republican Party, seeking to keep the George Washington Bridge controversy alive. Bear in mind that U.S. Attorneys are political appointees of the president. Barack Obama and Eric Holder have politicized the Department of Justice to an extent never before seen.
* Obama’s DOJ has sued Standard & Poor’s. S&P’s CEO says the lawsuit is retaliation for S&P’s downgrade of U.S. bonds, and that Tim Geithner threatened him with such legal action as payback for S&P’s failure to toe the Obama administration line. There is considerable circumstantial evidence, as well as sworn testimony, supporting that claim.
* I know from personal experience that the IRS harasses Republican campaign contributors and Holder’s Department of Justice has groundlessly threatened Republican donors with criminal prosecution. These cases don’t make headlines because DOJ backs off when they can’t come up with even a “ham sandwich” indictment. But imagine how chilling it must be to be summoned before a grand jury, for absolutely no reason other than political retaliation, as the subject of a criminal investigation.
Then, of course, we have whole additional categories of lawlessness, such as Obama’s illegal, extra-constitutional decrees altering the Affordable Care Act in a desperate effort to delay some of its more baleful effects until after the midterm elections. Taken together, the gangsterism currently on display in Washington should be of deep concern to all Americans of either party.

Tea Party Express SOTU response by Mike Lee--Absolutely must be viewed!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce vs. America

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce vs. America
Giant corporations make common cause with leftist special interests to win government favors.

Michelle Malkin

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a politically entrenched synod of special interests. These fat cats do not represent the best interests of American entrepreneurs, American workers, American parents and students, or Americans of any race, class, or age who believe in low taxes and limited government. The chamber’s business is the big business of the Beltway, not the business of mainstream America.
If you are a business owner who believes your country should strictly and consistently enforce its borders and deport illegal immigrants who violate the terms of their visas, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t represent you.
If you are a worker who believes that the feds should punish illegal aliens who use fake documents to obtain jobs instead of rewarding them with “legal status,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t champion you.

If you are a parent or educator who opposes top-down federal education schemes such as Common Core that undermine local control, dumb down rigorous curricula, and threaten family privacy while enriching big business and lobbying groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t speak for you.
If you are a taxpayer who has had enough of crony capitalism and publicly funded bailouts of failing corporations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t work for you.
Last year, the Chamber poured more than $52 million into K Street lobbying efforts on behalf of illegal-alien amnesty, Fed Ed Common Core programs, and increased federal spending. This year, chamber bigwigs are paving the perilous pathway to GOP capitulation. The Left hardly needs to lift a finger against tea-party candidates and activists who are bravely challenging the big-government status quo. The Chamber has already volunteered to spend $50 million subsidizing the Republican incumbency-protection racket and attacking anti-establishment conservatives.
Allow me to say, “I told you so.” In 2010, when President Barack Obama hypocritically attacked the Chamber for accepting “foreign donations” right before the midterm elections, many on the right rushed to the group’s side. But as I warned then, the purported enemy of my enemy is . . . sometimes my worst enemy. Barely three months after their Kabuki campaign fight, Obama and the Chamber had already kissed and made up.
The Chamber joined hands with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations on a joint campaign to support Obama’s increased government infrastructure and spending proposals, stuffed with Big Labor payoffs.
The Chamber is one of the staunchest promoters of mass illegal immigration, and it joined with the AFL-CIO and American Civil Liberties Union to oppose immigration-enforcement measures.
The Chamber opposed E-verify and sued Arizona over its employer-sanctions law.
The Chamber supported a pro-Obamacare, pro-TARP, pro-stimulus, pro-amnesty Democrat in Arizona over his free-market GOP challenger.
The Chamber supported the George W. Bush/Obama TARP, the Bush/Obama auto bailout, and the billion-dollar, pork-stuffed stimulus.
This isn’t about letting the best ideas and businesses thrive. It’s about picking winners and losers. It’s about “managing” competition and engineering political outcomes under the guise of stimulating the economy and supporting “commerce.” What’s in it for the statist businesses that go along for the ride with Obama and his team of corruptocrats? Like they say in the Windy City: It’s all about the boodle — publicly subsidized payoffs meted out to the corruptocrats’ friends and special interests.
In the case of Common Core, the Chamber has made common cause with the left-wing, corporate-bashing Center for American Progress in a new Bootleggers and Baptists coalition. They are strange bedfellows who both profit from increased federal government intervention. For giant corporate publishers, such as Pearson and other big-business ventures backed by the Chamber, it’s all about cashing in on the public schools’ Common Core captive guinea pigs in testing, teaching, data collection, and data analysis.
For big-government advocacy groups, such as CAP, it’s all about diminishing state, local, and parental control over local education and curricular decisions, expanding Washington’s regulatory reach into the classroom, and ensuring the perpetuation of the Fed Ed bureaucracy.
When businesses get in the government handout line, it’s not a “public-private partnership.” It’s corporate welfare. It’s venture socialism. Whatever you call it, it stinks as much under Democrat administrations as it does under Republican ones.
Always beware of Washington business-boosters wearing false free-market facades.
Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is . © 2014!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Time For Republicans to Stand Up For American Workers

Time For Republicans to Stand Up For American Workers

by John Hinderaker in Immigration
It is almost unbelievable that Republican leaders in the House are seriously considering an immigration “reform” bill that reportedly resembles the disastrous package that was passed by the Senate. With poverty skyrocketing, labor force participation plummeting and wages declining, why on Earth would we want to import tens of millions of new, unskilled laborers to compete with our own fellow citizens, who are already hurting? In order to lower wages even further, apparently, which is why the Chamber of Commerce wants “reform.” But the first duty of Republican Congressmen is not to the Chamber of Commerce.
Senator Jeff Sessions is Washington’s most tireless advocate for America’s working class. He has a column in USA Today that should not be missed:
In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to discuss the plight of American workers. At the same time, he is pushing Republicans to pass an immigration plan making the problem worse by increasing the flow of immigrant workers to compete against unemployed Americans and those struggling to get by in low-wage jobs. Yet, alarmingly, the move is regarded as a part of Obama’s agenda that has a chance of becoming law.
House Republicans should reply to the president’s immigration effort with a simple message: Our first duty is to help struggling Americans find good work and rising wages.
The president’s own economic adviser, Gene Sperling, recently noted that there are three unemployed people for every job available. Wages today have been flat since 2000. Last year, a record one in five American households received food stamps.
This is a national emergency.
So what is the president’s proposal? With three job seekers for every open job, he proposes doubling the number of guest workers entering every year, granting immediate work permits to millions of illegal immigrants, and tripling the number of new immigrants granted permanent residency over the next decade.
Today, the U.S. admits 1 million immigrants a year. The plan supported by the president and Senate Democrats would increase that to 3 million a year, or 30 million largely lower-skill immigrants over the next 10.
Did anyone ask the American people whether they wanted to triple immigration?
Polling shows that the public opposes these increases. The opposition is particularly strong among lower- and middle-income Americans. Those earning under $30,000 prefer a reduction to an increase by 3-1.
This is not hard to understand. From 2000 to 2013, a period of record immigration, the number of U.S.-born Americans with jobs declined by 1.3 million while the number of immigrants with jobs increased 5.3 million. On net, all employment gains went to immigrant workers.
Harvard professor George Borjas determined that high levels of immigration from 1980 through 2000 resulted in a 7.4% wage reduction for workers without a high school diploma. Similarly, he found current immigration policy resulted in a net wage loss of $402 billion for workers competing directly with immigrant labor.
The message to the Republican House is: just say no. This is an occasion when good policy intersects with good politics. Republicans have an opportunity to avert a damaging blow to America’s blue collar workers. Note, too, that the real issue is legal immigration, not illegal immigration. Building a fence would do nothing to avert the disaster that would result from tripling current legal unskilled immigration levels.
It is understandable that certain business interests want lower wages, and equally understandable that Democrats want to import tens of millions of new Democratic voters. But I can’t see any coherent reason why Republicans should cooperate with Democrats to bring about such a disastrous result.

So What Was The Point of Obamacare Again?

So What Was The Point of Obamacare Again?

As Rich noted the other day, the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the uninsured haven’t been rushing to sign up for insurance under Obamacare. From the WSJ:
Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.
Insurers, brokers and consultants estimate at least two-thirds of those consumers previously bought their own coverage or were enrolled in employer-backed plans.
Note, this is after decades of liberals insisting that the uninsured were desperate to get insurance and years of Obama officials and defenders swearing that this law would make it happen. Indeed, in order to make it happen the Democrats blew up the entire health-care industry casting millions of people off their existing insurance plans. When those people went to exchanges to sign up for new ones, the Obama administration took credit for it, as if they were doing something for the uninsured. But barely 1 in 10 of new Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured. 
Look at this chart from Gallup:
I joked on Twitter this morning, ”They said if I voted for Mitt Romney, the ranks of the uninsured would continue to swell. And they were right!” (Every time I make that joke, I send Glenn Reynolds a quarter). 
The response from some liberals in my feed boiled down to “He inherited a financial crisis!”
And that’s absolutely true. But that was a long time ago and this administration long ago declared we were in a recovery. Oh and he also blew up the entire health-insurance industry in response, insisting that it was absolutely necessary not only to fix the bad economy (which was always a stretch) but to deal with the ongoing crisis of the uninsured. It turns out it did neither. It created more uninsured people than it gave insurance to. And it promises to create even more.

Don's Tuesday Column

      THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News   1/28/2014

What’s so bad about rezoning a few acres?

Tehama County Supervisor for District 3, Dennis Garton, will appear before the Tehama County Tea Party Patriots tonight, at the Westside Grange, 6 PM. Given the controversial agenda item involving rezoning a 40-acre parcel at Baker and Plymire, attendees will have an opportunity to get a more detailed explanation for whatever decision the Board makes on the issue.

One never knows how exercised to get over such issues as land use, rezoning and changes in population density. As the news article by Rich Greene in Saturday’s Daily News explained, 36.85 acres of currently rural land is and has been “listed as residential in the county’s General Plan since the 1980s and stayed that way in the 2009 update. Right now it’s just a theoretical rezone, (Planning Director Sean) Moore said.” Moreover, “the rezone was simply being proposed so the county’s General Plan Housing Element could comply with state regulations and that there were no plans in the work to build anything at the location.”

That certainly sounds reasonable enough, as far as it goes. I suspect that given interconnected levels of local, state and federal government, together with the tendency in recent decades for mandates to flow from higher to lower levels, such mild subterfuges (going through the motions to appear to comply with housing regulations with no intention of ever actually building said units) are par for the course.

However, were such a potential project—36.85 acres “at a minimum density of 16 units per acre” that could house nearly 1,200 or more people—“in the work” for what was pasture across from my home on Saint Mary’s Avenue decades ago, I would not have been complacent; I’d have been darn mad. Then there is the predictable influx of low income or subsidized tenants and ancillary problems that rarely confine themselves to the property boundaries. One of my earliest experiences as a crime victim involved being robbed at knifepoint in a Chicago low income, high-rise project, so I’m not unfamiliar with the problems.

Some folks mention Agenda 21 and its intention to encourage, even force, people into ever-denser housing concentrations, primarily of urban-centered nature, for the questionable goal of minimizing the use of supposedly limited resources for housing and transportation. It’s a real, although greatly misguided, agenda antithetical to core American values of private property and freedom to self-direct our lives. One could easily ascribe such ulterior motives to the potential development, at least on paper, for the Baker Road rezoning. Similarly, impact fees, such as have been proposed by air quality officials for residential, commercial and warehouse/factory developments, have the inherent purpose of discouraging new construction, theoretically conserving resources and, critical to the agenda, limiting supposed climate-warming gases. All wrong-headed.

Our local supervisors and planning officials may have no such motives in their decisions and votes but someone up the regulatory food chain, even including the Obama administration, does. Even now, in places as far apart as Westchester County, New York, and our own Bay Area, Obama’s Housing and Urban Development Department is slowly but inexorably moving to impose (liberals always gravitate there, don’t they) “regionalism.”

The short version goes like this: Free people with the means to do so have migrated out of the urban unpleasantness of cities to surrounding areas with more space and less crime. People making such decisions, in their own self-interest, have created relatively more affluent, certainly safer and more civil, suburbs and “ex-urbs” (larger population centers independent of major cities) that, coincidentally, have far fewer low-income and minority residents.

You see, free people naturally gravitate to, and surround themselves with, those who share their social, moral, economic and civic values. President Obama and his supposedly enlightened, but certainly ideologically fanatical, housing overlords see all of that as “disparate impact” racism and income discrimination. Their delivered wisdom and mandated solution to such fabricated problems is to condition receipt of those indispensable federal housing dollars, and development and road approval, on the creation of high-density, mixed-income “infill” projects among the more affluent areas outside of cities.

The result is poor and minority relocation, together with inherent crime, drugs, gangs, broken families and property deterioration, right next to you, your family and neighbors. It is not, however, a case of racial discrimination. There are suburbs in the south, around Atlanta, for instance, where well-to-do African-American populations have fled poverty-, crime- and drug-infested cities to create black middle-class islands of civility. White, rural counties all across America have plenty of drugs and a violence-ridden underclass without minorities because the problems stemming from welfare, illegitimacy and social deterioration are no respecter of color.

So, I don’t like it one bit when populations are artificially made more dense for ideologically suspect reasons; I like it even less that such a potentially lifestyle-changing decision is forced on local governments by far away bureaucracies unaccountable to the people having to live under said rules and dictates.

Note: When the High School Board was elected, with at least 3 candidates, including Barbara McGiver, owing their seats at least in part to support and campaign material bought and paid for by teachers unions—I suggested there might be a pay back opportunity. Doing the union’s bidding and firing Ms. Escobar proved my suspicions were on the money—corrupt money.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Who New Yorkers Are

Who New Yorkers Are

New York governor Andrew Cuomo
New York governor Andrew Cuomo, whose desire to be the Democratic nominee for president of these United States is embarrassingly palpable, has decided that those who do not share his views on abortion (Hooray!), scary-looking firearms (Horrors!), and the various political demands attached to organized homosexuality (Hand on heart!) are untouchables — “They have no place in the state of New York,” he says, “because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
The governor needs to meet some New Yorkers.  
Before moving on to the moral and political probity of the governor’s statement, first consider his facts and logic: It must be the case that people who are pro-life, pro–Second Amendment, and in favor of traditional family arrangements (he used the term “anti-gay”) are resident in New York — otherwise, whom, exactly is he denouncing? It follows that, to some extent, that is “who New Yorkers are,” even if the governor would prefer that that weren’t the case. Andrew Cuomo seems not to have received the admittedly disturbing news that he is the governor of the state of New York, not the governor of Barney Greengrass. Ignorance is bliss, after all.

But how prevalent are such views? This is who New Yorkers are: 87 percent of New Yorkers want mothers given information about abortion alternatives before undergoing an abortion, a proposal bitterly opposed by Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies; 78 percent of New Yorkers favor a waiting period before an abortion, a proposal bitterly opposed by Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies; 76 percent favor parental-notification rules for minors, a proposal bitterly opposed by Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies; and 80 percent oppose an unlimited abortion license extended into the ninth month of pregnancy, the dearest thing to Governor Cuomo’s Planned Parenthood allies. According to the governor, seven or eight out of ten New Yorkers are not who New Yorkers are and have no place in the state. Perhaps New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan should be looking for an apartment in Greenwich, Conn.
It’s not much different on guns and gays: A third of New Yorkers oppose the governor’s ghoulishly opportunistic post-Newtown gun bill, and a third of them still oppose gay marriage — as late as 2009, a third of Democrats opposed gay marriage, too, including one Barack Obama, late of Columbia University.  
Governor Cuomo is the perfect example of the modern Democrat, who cherishes “diversity” and “open dialogue” above all things — so long as he never has to encounter anybody who is not exactly like him nor hear a point of view with which he disagrees. It is one thing to have strong political views, but another for a governor, the highest executive power in the state, to declare those who do not share his preferences to be personae non gratae. It is thuggish and backward, precisely the sort of thing that the struggling Empire State can ill afford.
On the issue of abortion, there was, once upon a time, another Cuomo involved in New York politics, who gave a famous speech on the subject, arguing that while his church and his conscience required him to believe certain things, he was not obliged “under pain of expulsion” to make of them a political platform. Mario Cuomo was much admired for the alleged suavity of his approach to the subject; son Andrew apparently got stuck on the word “expulsion” and now dreams of it, constructing in his mind some great Siberia in which to exile those who “have no place” in his struggling state.
Our suggestion: Ship them off to Texas, where they’ll find thousands of their former New York neighbors, and, who knows, maybe jobs, too.