Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Civil and Human "Right" to American Citizenship

Townhall.com ^ | April 27, 2013 | Carol Platt Liebau

In Eric Holder's America, there's no Constitutional right to gun ownership, no right to life for the unborn, no right of conscience for Catholics (or other people of faith) who disagree with elements of ObamaCare . . . but there is a "right to citizenship" as a matter of "civil and human rights" for illegal aliens.
Witness Holder's newest utterance, offered in a major-league suck up speech to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund:
Holder calls amnesty a "civil right"

"Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country is essential. The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented – by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows – transcends the issue of immigration status. This is a matter of civil and human rights. It is about who we are as a nation. And it goes to the core of our treasured American principle of equal opportunity." (emphasis added)
His invocation of "civil and human rights" as a justification for legislation offeriing a path to citizenship is entirely incoherent. Here's why:
What are "civil rights"? They are defined as "the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or 'discrimination') in a number of settings -- including education, employment, housing, and more -- and based on certain legally-protected characteristics."
So what confers a "civil right"? Well, the Constitution can. But nowhere does it require the government to extend citizenship to anyone who wants it, based only on their presence in the country and/or their wish to get it. Read it and see. Obviously, if it had, that would mean every law restricting any immigration at all that we've had since our founding was unconstitutional and hence invalid.
So where else can we go to find a legal source for a "civil right"? "Most laws guaranteeing and regulating civil rights originate at the federal level, either through federal legislation, or through federal court decisions (such as those handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court)." If a path to citizenship were already a "civil right" -- i.e. secured by federal legislation -- there'd be no need for legislation to establish it. Likewise, if the Supreme Court had "found" a new "right" to citizenship for all, federal legislation wouldn't be necessary. Holder argues, in essence, that we need legislation to secure a right that's already been secured. Anyone else detect a whiff of circularity to his argument here?
What about "human rights"? Well, the august office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nation defines "human rights" as "rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status." Under this definition, there might be a "human right" to citizenship in some country. But there isn't a "human right" to citizenship in any country where one wishes to have it, or else every law regulating immigration all over the world is invalid. Clearly, there's no entitlement to citizenship in the USA . . . especially when one's method of entering it -- or continued residence in it --demonstrates a clear contempt for its laws.
"Human rights" are generally understood to encompass freedom from harassment or other mistreatment based on one's (non-dangerous) beliefs or immutable characteristics. By that definition, it would seem that illegal immigrants in the US are doing rather well -- especially given that the Obama USDA is actively advising people they needn't be citizens of this country in order to enjoy its government (i.e. taxpayer-funded) benefits.
Eric Holder has long been an embarassment and a disgrace as this nation's attorney general. Obviously, he invoked the specter of "civil and human rights" in an effort to imbue his message with a moral force that it otherwise lacks. But you can't make things up just because they sound good to you, especially in high government office. It's always painful to wonder whether the nation's highest law enforcement officer simply doesn't understand what he's saying -- or simply doesn't care whether it's true.

Disgusted ICE Agent Faces Down ‘Gang of Eight’ in Dramatic Senate Testimony

Stand With Arizona ^ | 04-27-2013 | John Hill

crane2
“Never before have I seen such contempt for law enforcement officers
as what I’ve seen from the Gang of Eight”
- Chris Crane, ICE Agent union president.

Last week, ICE union chief Chris Crane won a stunning initial court victory in his lawsuit against the Obama Administration. As we reported, Federal Judge Federal Judge Reed O’Connor told the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that they had no power to refuse to deport illegal aliens, and that he was likely to strike down Obama's virtual "DACA" amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. The ruling stunned Washington, and Crane's lawsuit could derail Obama's four-year effort to undermine immigration enforcement nationwide.
In Senate testimony (video below), President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council Crane slammed the Obama administration and the Senate’s Gang of Eight for including advocates for illegal aliens, but excluding law enforcement from providing input on the new 'immigration reform' legislation.
Crane testified before the Senate expressing his disgust that law enforcement was shut out of the negotiations on immigration reform. Crane was sitting right next to National Council of La Raza ("The Race") president Janet Murguia when he made his comments. La Raza - a racist intimidation group originally funded by the Mexican Government - was outrageously welcomed to help write the immigration bill, while law enforcement agents were shunned.
Crane recounted to the Judiciary Committee how he was physically escorted out of a Gang of Eight press conference last week and “spoken to with anger and disrespect.”
“Never before have I seen such contempt for law enforcement officers as what I’ve seen from the Gang of Eight,” he said.
Crane told the Judiciary Committee:
Lawmaking in our nation has indeed taken a strange twist. Senators invite illegal aliens to testify before Congress…but American citizens working as law enforcement officers within our nation’s broken immigration system are purposely excluded from the process and prohibited from providing input.Suffice it to say, following the Boston terrorist attack, I was appalled to hear the Gang of Eight telling America that its legislation was what American law enforcement needs.
Crane criticized Obama and Congress for choosing a path of legalization for illegals rather than allowing immigration agents to crackdown on enforcement. “Unbelievably, [this bill] gives far greater authority to the president and secretary of DHS. Exactly the opposite of what our country needs to create a consistent and effective immigration system,” Crane concluded.
Watch video below of ICE union chief Crane’s stunning testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee:
Excerpt...click here for the full article

How Obama blew the sequester

Flopping Aces ^ | 04-27-13 | DrJohn

obama facepalm 2
It could have been a powerful tool. Obama blew it and blew it big. The real answer was simple.
The idea of the sequester came from the White House:

"In 2011, President Obama proposed the devastating sequestration cuts and stood by them. Now the Democrats continue saying Washington doesn’t have a spending problem, showing just out of touch the Democrats are with the American people. House Republicans have passed two bills that provide common-sense solutions that would reduce spending and preserve and strengthen our safety net for future generations. Instead of admitting we have a problem, Obama and the Democrats would rather find more tax increases. Our nation’s problem is spending and it’s time the president realizes that."
It was designed to cause maximum pain to the public:

The Washington Examiner reported Monday, “it is in the political interest of a president to inflict maximum pain on the American people.” “Now facing the consequences” of the automatic spending cuts his administration's sequester cuts will inflict upon Americans – and frustrated by Republican successes in blocking his effort to raise taxes and pass gun-control measures – The Washington Post reported Sunday that Obama is now “focused” on winning back control of the House to “forward” his agenda, “which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president.”
The worst case scenario for Washington was for a sequester to occur and no one to give a damn:

Three out of 4 Americans say they aren't following the spending cuts issue very closely, according to a Pew Research Center poll released this week. It's a significant drop from the nearly 4 in 10 who in December said they were closely following the fiscal-cliff debate. Public data from Google's search engine shows that at its peak in December, the search term "fiscal cliff" was about 10 times as popular as "sequestration" has been in recent days. Even "debt ceiling," not a huge thriller for the web-surfing crowd, maxed out in July 2011 at about three times the searches the sequester is now getting.
"We're now approaching the next alleged deadline of doom. And voters, having been told previously that the world might end, found it did not in the past and are becoming more skeptical that it will in the future," said Peter Brown of the nonpartisan Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Oh sure, some were put off with the termination of the White House tours, but that was about it.
Thing is, there was a way that this sequester could have been designed to maximize the effect: design it to inconvenience Congress. Congress doesn't care about White House tours. There's a whole list of things Congress really doesn't care about here. What does Congress care about?
Itself.
(excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

U.S. Oil Production Set to Surpass Imports For First Time in 20 Years


Booming shale plays in North Dakota and Texas are juicing the nation's oil output and reducing our dependence on foreign imports

March 20, 2013 RSS Feed Print
U.S. could soon produce more oil than it imports from abroad.
The U.S. could soon produce more oil than it imports from abroad.
The domestic oil boom is poised to reach another milestone as projections have the nation's monthly crude oil production outpacing imports for the first time in almost 20 years.
Buoyed by booming shale plays in North Dakota and Texas, U.S. oil production will be 2 million barrels a day higher than imports by the end of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Short-Term Energy Outlook.

"This projected change is primarily because of rising domestic crude oil production, particularly from shale and other tight rock formations in North Dakota and Texas," the agency noted on its website Wednesday.
After 2014, the gap between production and exports is expected to grow with domestic oil production skirting 8 million barrels a day by the end of 2014 while imports continue to wane. The gap could grow even faster if tight oil plays pan out better than expected.
U.S. Monthly Crude Oil Production and Imports
But just because the domestic energy industry is ramping up—oil production increased by about a million barrels a day according to the EIA—that doesn't mean the U.S. can stop importing foreign oil tomorrow.
[PHOTOS: BP Fined Record $4.5 Billion for Gulf Oil Spill]
"The United States is a huge consumer of oil and even though domestic production is rising significantly and is now over 7 million barrels per day, last year we consumed around 18.5 million barrels of oil per day," says Aaron Brady. "The size of our demand is just so big that it would require many more years of increases in production to become totally self-sufficient."
Still, rising domestic oil production benefits the United States in various ways, Brady says. Not only does importing less foreign oil improve our trade balance, but it increases national energy security and supports thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industries.

Air Traffic Slowdown is Manufactured Crisis... You Didn't Know that?

Townhall.com ^ | April 27, 2013 | Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON -- President Obama is clearly playing a nasty political game with the air traffic controller furloughs that have forced severe airline delays across the country.
It's not the first time he's exploited the budget-cutting sequestration law for political purposes. Earlier this year, he tried to stir up fears that our economy would be hit by fiscal Armageddon if the Republican House didn't submit to his tax-hiking, big-spending demands.
But his hysterical claims that our food would be unsafe, America's defenses would crumble and the elderly would lose their benefits have proven to be groundless.
A headline in Thursday's Washington Post states that "Defense firms are not yet suffering from budget cuts." Defense Department contractor General Dynamics, for example, reported its first-quarter sales dipped a little to $7.4 billion, and Northrop Grumman said sales were down slightly to $6.1 billion. The defense industry is doing fine.
So the sky is not falling, the government is beginning to see higher revenues, the deficit appears to have shrunk a little and Social Security checks are going out on time.
But over at the Federal Aviation Administration, they're playing a different game, hitting the air-flying public and air freight industry where it hurts the most: lengthy delays that cost time and money.
FAA officials say sequestration cuts have forced them to sharply reduce the number of air traffic controllers and that they had no other options.
Republican leaders on Capitol Hill says the White House is playing hardball budget politics with the FAA and the airlines, and that the spending cuts could have fallen elsewhere in the FAA's vast bureaucracy.
"This is a manufactured crisis," says Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a member of the appropriations subcommittee that approves funding for the FAA.
Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, who chairs the Senate transportation committee, and Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, its ranking Republican, shot off an angry letter to the FAA, demanding an accounting of the furloughs and its costs. They were not buying the administration's explanations that their hands were tied by the sequestration process.
"Many stakeholders argue that you have flexibility within your budget to avoid or minimize air traffic controller furloughs," they wrote.
In fact, the FAA has some flexibility over where the cuts can fall, but it zeroed in on the most critical part of its budget, knowing it would trigger a political explosion.
High-level officials on Capitol Hill gave me two lengthy legal memorandums that thoroughly analyzed the budget laws governing the FAA's sequestration. Their conclusions: The FAA has some flexibility in making its budget cuts, and that it has authority to transfer funds from one account to another to ease the impact of sequestration.
There are seven distinct programs under FAA authority and "the FAA retains discretion -- at least as a matter of sequestration law -- with respect to how to implement cuts within each of these seven activities, so long as the uniform percentage reduction for the overall activity is achieved," one memo concluded.
"The statutory requirement of uniformity, in other words, does not restrict the FAA's choices about how best to reduce spending levels for items within each of the budget activities consistent with its statutory responsibilities," the memo added.
A second legal analysis provided to me by senior GOP officials cited statutory appropriation laws and rulings from the Office of Management and Budget that furloughs should be considered only "as a last resort."
Citing the congressional conference report governing federal pay provisions, this memo states:
"The conferees urge program managers to employ all other options available to them in order to achieve savings required under a sequestration order and resort to personnel furloughs only if other methods prove insufficient.
"Because furloughs would, as the FAA has indicated, impede air traffic operations and threaten airspace efficiency in a highly intrusive and public manner, the FAA should do all within its power to avoid that disruption with OMB's priorities," the memo said.
As the slowdown worsened at our busiest airports this week, the White House made little, if any, pretense about what this fight was really all about: political payback for being forced to accept the sequestered spending cuts.
"We did everything we could to avert the sequester, and unfortunately Republicans decided as a political matter that it was a home run for them to inflict this upon the American people," said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
What Carney doesn't acknowledge is that the sequester language also was approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate and signed into law by the president.
There's another important point that has gotten lost in all of this, a senior House Republican official told me. "Even if they believe they have to resort to some furloughs, they obviously can make decisions about where the furloughs fall," the official said.
"Put in place a plan that would reflect where they would have the least impact on the public. Instead, they've chosen to implement these furloughs in the most careless way possible. Did they do any research about what is the most effective way to do this? Did they get any input from the airlines? What planning went into place here? Apparently none," he said.
In a blistering Senate speech Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out that "the Obama administration knew about the sequestration for months. Yet it gave the traveling public and Congress only three days' notice before implementing the furloughs that are now being blamed for these delays."
The result: Airline schedules are in chaos, the FAA's budget decisions are being run out of the West Wing, and Obama is still playing "blood sport" politics on Capitol Hill.

The Tsarnaev Miranda – Who Exactly is Judge Marianne Bowler ? Who Directed Her, and Why?

http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2013/04/26/the-tsarnaev-miranda-who-exactly-is-judge-marianne-bo ^ | 042613 | Sundance

The FBI works for, and falls under the authority of, the Federal Department of Justice, Eric Holder. Which brings in a strange series of questions regarding the stoppage of questioning by the FBI of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Megyn Kelly outlines the initial issue:
Initially the feds proclaimed Tsarnaev would fall under the “public safety exception to miranda” which would have given them 48 hours to question him prior to the delivery of Miranda protection. The feds didn’t even need to charge him with anything right away – but they did. In addition, something, obviously unexpected by the FBI interrogators, was changed. Who changed it? Why? and why was the FBI not notified of the intent to change direction?
Boston AP [excerpt] … Once Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was read his rights on Monday, he immediately stopped talking, according to four officials of both political parties who were briefed on the interrogation but insisted on anonymity because the briefing was private.
After roughly 16 hours of questioning, investigators were surprised when a magistrate judge and a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s office entered the hospital room and read Tsarnaev his rights, the four officials and one law enforcement official said. Investigators had planned to keep questioning him.
[...] District Court Judge Marianne Bowler arrived at the hospital where he is being treated to preside over his initial hearing Monday, when she read him his Miranda rights.
(Excerpt) Read more at theconservativetreehouse.com ...

Hiding The Unemployed: Disability And The Politics Of Stats (Real Unemployed ~30%)

Laissez Faire Today ^ | Wendy McElroy

Hiding The Unemployed: Disability And The Politics Of Stats


Some statistics cannot be understood without being set within a political framework, because they reflect politics as much as, or more than, they do reality.
The unemployment rate is an example and a cautionary tale.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the seasonally adjusted official unemployment rate for February fell to a four-year national low of 7.7%. While the White House cautiously congratulated itself, Republicans quickly pointed to what is often called the real unemployment rate; it stood at 14.3%.
The BLS looks at six categories of different data, from U-1 to U-6, to analyze employment every month. U-3 includes people who have been unemployed but who have actively looked for work during the past month; this is the official unemployment rate used by the media. U-6 contains data excluded from U-3, including part-time workers and the unemployed who have unsuccessfully looked for a job in the last year; this is the real unemployment rate.
Those politicians who want to take credit for lower unemployment thrust U-3 figures forward. Those who wish to deny them credit prefer U-6.
But matters may be even worse.
Now there is fresh reason to believe that even the 14.3% rate may be a considerable understatement.
The Disabled and the Unemployment Rate
National Public Radio recently published the results of a six-month investigation by reporter Chana Joffe-Walt: “Unfit for Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America.” Joffe-Walt uncovered what she calls a “disability-industrial complex,” which spends more on disability payouts than on welfare and food stamps combined.
About a year ago, the New York Post reported that “more than 10.5 million individuals” received disability each month, and that the reserves will be exhausted in 2018. Joffe-Walt claims the federal government sends out approximately 14 million payments; Social Security’s disability fund is expected to run out of reserves by 2016.
On March 22, during an interview with This American Life, we learned that “since the economy began its slow, slow recovery in late 2009, we’ve been averaging about 150,000 jobs created per month. In that same period every month, almost 250,000 people have been applying for disability.”
Why do disability figures skew the unemployment rate? In the NPR article, Joffe-Walt explains that “the vast majority of people on federal disability do not work. Yet because they are not technically part of the labor force, they are not counted among the unemployed.” They become the invisible unemployed.
What Explains the Rise in Disability Payouts?
The precipitous rise in disability claims comes from the unintended consequences of political maneuvering.
“The End of Welfare as We Know It” was announced in 1996 when President Clinton signed a reform act intended to move people off welfare rolls and into jobs. Clinton “encouraged” the individual states to push for the transition by making them fund a much larger share of their welfare programs. To encourage the individual recipients, the reforms also capped the length of time a person was eligible for welfare.
The incentive worked on the states, but not in the manner intended.
Each person on welfare became a continuing cost for a state, but each person who moved onto disability saved the state money, because Social Security disability insurance is fully funded by the federal government.
In her NPR report, Joffe-Walt indicates how aggressively the states shifted welfare recipients onto disability. She writes:
“PCG [Public Consulting Group] is a private company that states pay to comb their welfare rolls and move as many people as possible onto disability… The company has an office in eastern Washington state that’s basically a call center, full of headsetted women in cubicles who make calls all day long to potentially disabled Americans, trying to help them discover and document their disabilities.”
A recent contract between PCG and the state of Missouri offered PCG $2,300 per person it shifted from welfare to disability.
The incentive for individuals to leave welfare also worked, but, again, not in the manner intended.
Disability is easier to qualify for than welfare and has no time limit. Moreover, those on disability qualify for Medicare and other benefits, as well as receive payments roughly equal to a minimum-wage job. According to Joffe-Walt, only 1% of those who go onto disability leave to rejoin the workforce.
Conclusion: What Is the Actual Unemployment Rate?
If neither the official (U-3) nor the real (U-6) unemployment rate can be trusted, then how can we ascertain a more reliable rate?
A huge step would be to acknowledge the invisible unemployed who are not part of the current BLS calculations. They include not merely the so-called “disabled,” but also those who have left the workforce for other reasons.
CNS News noted of the February 7.7% unemployment rate: “The number of Americans designated as ‘not in the labor force’ in February was 89,304,000, a record high… according to the Department of Labor.” The economic trend-monitoring site InvestmentWatch concluded that the actual American unemployment rate — one that includes all unemployed — is around 30%. The site reasoned that “89 million not in the labor force = 29%, give or take, assuming the U.S. population is 310,000,000 + official unemployment 7.7%.”
It is not possible to render an entirely accurate unemployment picture. For example, the population figure of 310,000,000 used by InvestmentWatch almost certainly includes people under 16 who cannot legally work. Thus, the unemployment rate may be higher. On the other hand, many “not in the labor force” could be retired or otherwise voluntarily unemployed. Not enough data are available.
It is possible, however, to reject the official unemployment rate. And it is necessary to cultivate a healthy skepticism of statistics produced by politics, as so many are.

$2 Trillion Underground Economy May Be Recovery's Savior!

CNBC ^ | April 24, 2013 | Mark Koba, Senior editor

The growing underground economy may be helping to prevent the real economy from sinking further, according to analysts.
The shadow economy is a system composed of those who can't find a full-time or regular job. Workers turn to anything that pays them under the table, with no income reported and no taxes paid — especially with an uneven job picture.
"I think the underground economy is quite big in the U.S.," said Alexandre Padilla, associate professor of economics at Metropolitan State University of Denver. "Whether it's using undocumented workers or those here legally, it's pretty large."
"You normally see underground economies in places like Brazil or in southern Europe," said Laura Gonzalez, professor of personal finance at Fordham University. "But with the job situation and the uncertainty in the economy, it's not all that surprising to have it growing here in the United States."
Estimates are that underground activity last year totaled as much as $2 trillion, according to a study by Edgar Feige, an economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
That's double the amount in 2009, according to a study by Friedrich Schneider, a professor at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. The study said the shadow economy amounts to nearly 8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.
Much of that money goes into cash registers, said Gonzalez, as personal consumption has risen since the recession.
"There is consumer spending in the short term, with people having money even if it's not reported, and that's boosting the economy," she said. "But in the long run, an underground economy is telling us that things have to change."(continued)
(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...

Sarah Palin: Women Don’t Need Abortion, Obama or Planned Parenthood!

Life News ^ | 4-26-2013 | Steven Ertelt

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has a strong pro-woman, pro-life response to President Barack Obama’s speech today before the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

As she wrote on Facebook:

There’s no such thing as a coincidence. Today I’m looking forward to speaking at a pro-life women’s resource center in Nevada. I intend again to remind women that we are strong enough and capable enough to choose life and work together to create a culture that empowers everyone to live to the fullest. How ironic that on this same day President Obama will be headlining a gala event for the highly controversial and repeatedly discredited organization Planned Parenthood.
He’s the first sitting president to speak to them, but then again he’s also the first president who is so radically pro-abortion that as a state senator he refused three times to vote in favor of legislation that would simply provide medical attention to babies born alive from botched abortions.
Considering the role Planned Parenthood has played in looking the other way while the mass murdering abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell butchered babies born alive from his horrific infanticide procedures and abused his women patients, it’s perhaps not surprising that this same president sees nothing wrong with allowing his name to be so openly associated with this organization.
Please take a look at the following excerpt from Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism” for information about the racist and eugenicist origins of Planned Parenthood, then ask yourself again why in the world our president would “bless” the cruel underlying efforts of an organization like this. Do you want him to spend your family’s hard earned tax dollars funding this culture of death?
Surely there are people of good conscience within Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion centers who will feel the imperative within themselves to find other ways to help women in their time of need. There are so many better answers than merely eliminating the most precious, promising ingredient we have on earth – innocent human life. May efforts to cull the defenseless and vulnerable not be “blessed,” instead may God bless those who decide that respecting a culture of life in America is the only way to get us out of the mess we’re in.

What's the Economy's Big Problem? In a Word: Washington!

CNBC ^ | Fri. April 26, 2013 | John W. Schoen

Washington's efforts to balance the budget are holding back the wobbly economic recovery.

After "fiscal cliff" fears brought the economy to a near standstill late last year, many forecasters had expected growth to come roaring back in the first quarter as consumers made up delayed spending and businesses filled deferred job openings and restocked depleted inventories.

But the Commerce Department's latest read on growth Friday showed U.S. gross domestic product expanding by 2.5 percent in the first three months of the year, less than the 3.1 percent pace forecasters had expected.

Analysts say deficit-cutting moves, including a 2 percent payroll tax hike that kicked in Jan. 1 and the ongoing the federal budget cutting known as sequestration, are beginning to take a bite out of growth. That's expected to continue later this year.

"The economy continues at a brisk walk at best," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. "With the tax hikes reducing disposable income and sequestration restraining federal spending, don't expect strong economic growth anytime soon."

"Whatever your view is on government spending, it's going to be a headwind for growth," said Ralph Schlosstein, CEO of Evercore Partners.

The weakness appeared to worsen late in the quarter, with a much slower-than-expected performance by the job market last month. After averaging more than 200,000 jobs a month in January and February, the pace of job creation fell to 88,000 in March. More recent data have pointed to marked slowdown in retail sales, industrial production and orders for durable goods
(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...

USDA Flyer: We Don't Check Immigration Status for Food Stamps!

Big Government ^ | 4/26/2013 | Tony Lee

A government watchdog group has discovered that the United States government is advising Spanish-speaking residents that they need not declare their immigration status to qualify for food stamps.
Judicial Watch obtained the Spanish-language flyers through a Freedom of Information Act request and announced on Thursday that the "promotion of the food stamp program, now known as 'SNAP' (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA.
A statement on the flyer—emphasized in bold and underlined—reads, “You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said of this discovery, the "USDA is actively working with the Mexican government to promote food stamps for illegal aliens." This implication, he asserted, "should have a direct impact on the fate of the immigration bill now being debated in Congress."
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Obama gave money to fake "farmers"!

New York Times ^ | April 25, 2013 | SHARON LaFRANIERE

the Obama administration’s political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a stunning turnabout: they committed $1.33 billion to compensate...
The deal... was fashioned in White House meetings... the $50,000 payouts to black farmers had proved a magnet for fraud.
the claims process prompted allegations of widespread fraud and criticism that its very design encouraged people to lie... Agriculture Department reviewers found reams of suspicious claims, from nursery-school-age children and pockets of urban dwellers, sometimes in the same handwriting with nearly identical accounts of discrimination.
As a senator, Barack Obama supported expanding compensation for black farmers, and then as president he pressed for $1.15 billion to pay those new claims.
In 16 ZIP codes in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina, the number of successful claimants exceeded the total number of farms operated by people of any race in 1997, the year the lawsuit was filed. Those applicants received nearly $100 million.
In Maple Hill, a struggling town in southeastern North Carolina, the number of people paid was nearly four times the total number of farms. More than one in nine African-American adults there received checks. In Little Rock, Ark., a confidential list of payments shows, 10 members of one extended family collected a total of $500,000, and dozens of other successful claimants shared addresses, phone numbers or close family connections.
In Arkansas, prosecutors rejected a test case against a Pine Bluff police officer who had admitted lying on his claim form.
in one ZIP code in Columbus, Ohio, nearly everyone in two adjoining apartment buildings had filed, according to the former high-ranking agency official.
She cinched the claim, he said to a ripple of laughter, by asserting that her father had whispered on his deathbed, “I was discriminated against by U.S.D.A.”
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...

Immigration bill to bring in at least 33 million people

The Daily Caller ^ | 04/26/2013 | Neil Munro

The pending Senate immigration bill would bring a minimum of 33 million people into the country during its first decade of operation, according to an analysis by NumbersUSA, a group that wants to slow the current immigration rate.
By 2024, the inflow would include an estimated 9.2 million illegal immigrants, plus 2.5 million illegals who arrived as children — dubbed ‘Dreamers’ — plus roughly 3.4 million company-sponsored employees with university degrees, said the unreleased analysis.
The majority of the inflow, or roughly 17 million people, would consist of family members of illegals, recent immigrants and of company-sponsored workers, according to the NumbersUSA analysis provided to The Daily Caller.
The estimate is likely the first of several that will be produced by advocates as the Senate grapples with the immigration bill developed by the “Gang of Eight” senators.
The 844-page bill was released last week, and was scheduled for debate and amendment in the Senate’e judiciary committee starting April 25. However, the amendment process was held up for a week by Republican Senators, who said they need more time to study the complex bill.
Advocates for the bill have yet to release any estimates of the future inflow.
“Nobody has a number that is based on the bill right now that’s accurate,” Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of the pro-immigration America’s Voice Education Fund, told the Christian Science Monitor in an April 25 article. “It’ll take a bit more [analysis] to get a specific number about how things will change.”
A high inflow could prove to be a political problem for the bill’s advocates.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...

How the Civil War Changed Your Life

AARP ^ | April 12, 2011 | Betsy Towner

8 things to think about as we mark the conflict's 150th anniversary.
Some ring strong: of course the end of slavery, perhaps the worst disgrace in the nation's history. And the 620,000 ancestors lost. Other vestiges have weakened with the passage of time but are no less legacies of the four horrific, heroic years that shaped us as one nation.
Here are eight ways the Civil War indelibly changed us and how we live:
1. We have ambulances and hospitals.
The Civil War began during medieval medicine's last gasp and ended at the dawn of modern medicine. Each side entered the war with puny squads of physicians trained by textbook, if at all. Four years later, legions of field-tested doctors, well-versed in anatomy, anesthesia and surgical practice, were poised to make great medical leaps.
The nation's first ambulance corps, organized to rush wounded soldiers to battlefront hospitals and using wagons developed and deployed for that purpose, was created during the Civil War. The idea was to collect wounded soldiers from the field, take them to a dressing station and then transport them to the field hospital.
Doctors laid out the hospitals as camps divided into well-defined wards for specific activities such as surgery and convalescence. Women flocked to serve these hospitals as nurses.
Before the war, most people received health care at home. After the war, hospitals adapted from the battlefront model cropped up all over the country. The ambulance and nurses' corps became fixtures, with the Civil War's most famous nurse, Clara Barton, going on to establish the American Red Cross. Today's modern hospital is a direct descendant of these first medical centers.
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(Excerpt) Read more at aarp.org ...

This Lethal Injection Stuff is for the Birds- HANG 'EM HIGH, Dammit!

Reaganite Republican ^ | 27 April 2013 | Reaganite Republican

The prospect of gently dozing off while taunting victims right-to-the-end is hardly an effective deterrent...

The death penalty is currently a legal sentence in 33 American states and in the federal civilian and military legal systems. Lethal injection has become the most common method of capital punishment utilized since SCOTUS re-enstated the death penalty in 1976, popularity owed to the theory it's the most 'humane' method available... but humane to whom? Not society, the victims, nor their families, that's for sure...

Case-in-point being yesterday's execution of Richard Cobb (29) in Texas: he and his crime partner Beunka Adams (righteously executed April 2012) went on a robbery spree south of Dallas in 2010-2011 that ended with the kidnapping/rape of a woman cashier, shooting of another, and murder of a mentally-damaged customer.

After they took the three to a field and the rape part was over, the shooting began: the hyper-sadistic Adams asked the women if they where 'hit' or 'bleeding' as a
20-ga. shotgun was fired every few seconds. When one of the girls attempted to play possum he said 'Answer me or I'll shoot you in the face!' She was frightened into responding 'No, I'm not bleeding'... then he shot her in the face anyway. Once Cobb flamed a lighter in their face to test if they were alive, he simply said 'They're dead, let's go'.

Both female victims miraculously survived to bear witness in court and put Cobb and Adams where they belong, on death row. There is NO rehabilitating such rabid, bloodthirsty animals- to think otherwise is the wishful thinking of fools. But they're not crazy- just EVIL, and they knew what they were doing, as thoroughly-proven in court.

But wouldn't SOME deterrent effect have be nice? It's supposed to be one of the primary reasons we retain capital punishment... that, and the concept of victims justice.

But hapless victims of Cobb and Adams got neither yesterday: the surviving rape victim attended the execution with her family, and as they watched demented moral-black-hole Richard Cobb showed zero remorse while using the opportunity to put the last laugh on us...

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'Life is death, death is life. I hope that someday this absurdity that humanity has come to will come to an end,' Cobb said when asked if he had any last words.

'Life is too short. I hope anyone that has negative energy towards me will resolve that. 'Life is too short to harbor feelings of hatred and anger.
That's it, warden.'

But that wasn't it. Just before the lethal drug took effect and at the conclusion of his statement, Cobb twisted his head back, raised it off a pillow placed on the gurney and then toward the warden standing behind him.
'Wow!' the inmate exclaimed in a loud voice. 'That is great. That is awesome! Thank you, warden! Thank you (expletive) warden!' His head fell back on the pillow, and his neck twisted at an odd angle, with his mouth and eyes open...

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Actually, I don't think hating on Richard Cobb is a waste of time- feels right, actually. But does this sound to you like the victims are getting a much-deserved sense of closure...?

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'I think justice was served but it doesn't change anything to speak of,' the slain man's father, Don Vandever, said after watching Cobb die.

'I do think the justice system needs to be more of a deterrent. 'All he did was go to sleep. That's it.'

Nikki Daniels, 29, who was raped and shot during the 2002 attack but survived to testify against Cobb, said, 'I thought he was going to be remorseful, I thought he was going to be apologetic, was hoping that he was going to address me.

'I saw the same evil person I saw 11 years ago. ... He definitely showed his true colors.'

The Associated Press generally does not name victims of sexual assault but Daniels agreed to be identified. Daniels said Cobb's punishment in the end 'was far too easy.'

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Richard Cobb said in a media interview that he 'didn't want to die' but 'committed the crime' and was 'prepared to die'- nary a word of regret, mind you... in fact he breezily dismissed it all as 'an act of compulsion'.



The gallows or a firing-squad while blindfolded and gagged is THE only way to allow victims and others to witness justice being done (without exposing them to further lifelong damage) while promptly relieving humanity of such predatory scum. This would be a decidedly less pleasant a prospect for aspiring killers than a decade or more of appeals followed by an event little more traumatic than falling asleep in the dentist's chair.

You can just ignore those preaching 'humane' treatment of proven-guilty monsters like these two, because whatever the true motivation, these libs are supporting, glorifying, and perpetuating EVIL.

Some may have genuine, principled opposition to capital punishment -and understandably,hanging or firing squad- but they're obviously not balancing this out against the victims' view with any sort of moral clarity, nor attempting to spare us from similar crimes in the future- rather, many are just zealots that identify with the black hats- for some strange reason.

Just consider the source- we're talking some of the biggest cult-like idiots on the planet- i.e. Beunka Adams' Manson-esque fan club of 10+ groupies that protested outside court at every turn, including a hunger strike last year... for THIS guy!

There's something seriously wrong with people that identify so strongly with a rotten-to-the-core rapist/killer with SO little consideration for the victims- but it takes a special kind of stupid to marry one...

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