Saturday, February 1, 2014

God Bless Delta Baggage Handlers

Thank Heavens for the Delta Baggage Handlers. Apparently, the present administration,White House, State Department and Department of Defense can't be bothered with such trivial non headline events. I had no idea Delta does this. God Bless them!



You Just Don't Understand!

Giving The Country Away

Flopping Aces ^ | 01-31-14 | Warren Beatty

illegals Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, last Friday (January 24, 2014) said that the approximately eleven and one half million illegal immigrants in the US have "earned the right to be citizens." He actually said that! Johnson also said:
It is also, frankly, in my judgment, a matter of who we are as Americans, to offer the opportunity to those who want to be citizens, who've earned the right to be citizens, who are present in this country - many of whom came here as children - to have the opportunity that we all have to try to become American citizens.

Johnson, in an effort to relate his remarks toimmigration reform and homeland security, continued:
Comprehensive immigration reform would also promote a more effective and efficient system for enforcing our immigration laws, and should include an earned path to citizenship for the approximately 11-and-a-half-million undocumented immigrants present in this country, something like 86% of whom have been here almost 10 years.

An earned path to citizenship for those currently present in this country is a matter of, in my view, homeland security to encourage people to come out from the shadows, to be accountable, to participate in the American experience, the American society.

What is truly amazing is that RINOs, like Senator John McCain (R-AZ), think, despite historical evidence, that if they support comprehensive immigration reform that Hispanics, mostly Mexicans, will support them. But history indicates otherwise:
Year
Percent Hispanic Vote Margin To Democrats
1980
21%
1984
24%
1988
39%
1992
36%
1996
51%
2000
27%
2004
18%
2008
36%
2012
44%

Ronald Reagan, in 1986, supported amnesty for illegal aliens, yet the vote differential grew when George H.W. Bush ran for president! So, with the above fact and the two most recent vote differentials in mind, guess who will get credit with immigration reform. That's right, Democrats! The MSM will see to it. As John Hawkins writes (Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

Keystone Pipeline to Be Built Because There’s No Reason Not To!

New York Magazine ^ | Jonathan Chait

The State Department today released its long-awaited environmental impact analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline. The analysis is key because President Obama announced last summer he would not approve the pipeline unless it was found to have no significant impact on climate change. And that’s what the analysis finds. It argues, as many other analysts have concluded, that if we block the pipeline, Canada will just ship the oil out by rail. So, what public policy reason is there to block the pipeline? There really isn’t one. Indeed, the environmentalists' obsession with Keystone began as a gigantic mistake. Two and a half years ago, the environmentalist James Hansen wrote a blog post alerting his readers to the pipeline, which he concluded would amount to “game over” for the climate, as it would lead to the burning of enough new oil to moot any effort to limit runaway greenhouse gases. His analysis was based on a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation that turned out to be wrong in several respects, the most important being the assumption that blocking the pipeline would keep the oil in the Canadian oil sands in the ground.
The anti-Keystone movement was an accident. I recently argued that it was a huge mistake. Numerous allies of the environmental movement replied that it did make sense, after all. (See Joe Romm, Matthew Yglesias, Charles Pierce, and Ryan Cooper. All of them insisted that Keystone is indeed a good issue for environmentalists to organize around because it’s easy for people to understand. As Yglesias put it, “You sometimes need to focus on slightly eccentric issues that happen to have good organizing attributes.”) Cooper mockingly asks readers to envision a protest where organizers shout, “What do we want?” “More stringent carbon dioxide emission regulations on extant coal-fired power plants!” “When do we want it?’ “After the extraordinarily complicated rule-writing process over which the president has no direct control!” It certainly may be easier to get people excited about opposing a pipeline. It may also be hard to get people excited about favoring new regulations. But if your goal is to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, you need to have a strategy designed to advance policies that limit greenhouse-gas emissions. Stopping Keystone doesn’t do that. EPA regulations would. Would blocking the Keystone pipeline make it easier for Obama to issue tough regulations on existing power plants, and to negotiate an international climate treaty in 2015 after such regulations bring us into compliance with our reduction targets? I don't see how. I think it would feed criticism by opponents that Obama is captive to environmentalists, even to the point of following their quixotic and marginal obsessions. Approving Keystone might give him more credibility to defend tough regulations. It's not guaranteed, of course. But the intuitive idea is for a movement to organize around the issues that matter, not the issues that are easiest to explain. Building a movement by misleading people is a strange choice

New ethics complaint against Wendy Davis, hid income and ties to lobbyists!

Examiner ^ | 1/31/14

Democrat nominee for the Governor's Mansion in the Lone Star State is finding herself at the receiving end of a new ethics violation complaint filed with the Texas government, as reported by Fox News on Jan. 30, 2014 via Watchdog.org on Jan. 29, 2014
State Senator and darling of the left since her recent pro-abortion filibuster in the Texas State Legislature, Wendy Davis has just been figuratively slapped with accusations that she failed to disclose income as well as ties to lobbyists as required by state law for those seeking elected office. The editor of the citizens rights/journalism activists group Watchdog Wire – Texas, Lou Ann Anderson, filed a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission, claiming Davis failed to disclose $25,000 in both interest and dividends she earned from 2010 to 2012.

(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...

Now Is the Winter of Our Discontent

The Wall Street Journal ^ | January 31, 2013 | ROBERT LEE HOTZ

At times in January, Chicago was colder than the South Pole, while flowers bloomed out of season in balmy Juneau, Alaska.
Driven by contorted bends of the jet stream, cold snaps and snow kept Northern and Southern states in a deep freeze, while unusually warm weather and record drought gripped the far West. The U.S. has been a country divided by temperature extremes, in a winter of record Western highs and bone-chilling Eastern lows, federal climate experts and private meteorologists said. A formal federal tally of January's temperature trends won't be completed for weeks, but preliminary regional data compiled by commercial meteorologists suggest that the Eastern half of the country is experiencing one of its 10 coldest winters on record—with thousands of local records for cold already tied or broken. By contrast, California, Alaska and the Western U.S. are having one of the 10 warmest winters, with several cities setting records in January for high temperatures. "We are talking about significant departures from normal," said meteorologist Joe D'Aleo, chief forecaster at Weatherbell Analytics LLC, a commercial forecasting company based in New York.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

Important change for hurricane warnings in 2014

 

Storm surge flooding sample map (National Hurricane Center)
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  • A common misconception about hurricanes is that wind is your worst enemy.
“Most people, when they hear hurricane, think wind first and maybe water second,” said Jamie Rhome, storm surge specialist at the National Hurricane Center. “Given the fact that water is killing more people, we’ve got to start thinking water first.”
On Friday, the National Hurricane Center announced that it will add storm surge maps to text warnings when the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season begins in June.
The color-coded maps will show geographical areas where inundation from storm surge could occur and how high water might reach. The maps will be updated every six hours during a threat.
“A lot of coastal residents, including those vulnerable to storm surge, simply don’t understand storm surge,” Rhome said. “This map is one of several steps aimed at improving communication and better highlighting the risk.”
Storm surge — an abnormal rise of water pushed onto shore by a hurricane — was the culprit in the three deadliest storms in U.S. history: the Galveston hurricane of 1900 (more 8,000 killed), the Lake Okeechobee hurricane of 1928 (2,500 killed) and Hurricane Katrina of 2005 (more than 1,800 killed).
While those tragedies were all major hurricanes, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 proved that even a post-tropical cyclone can still produce catastrophic storm surge. Sandy caught many people off-guard when the storm drove a 9-foot surge of water above ground in parts of New Jersey and New York.
For the last few years, meteorologists and emergency managers have been working on ways to get the public to think beyond wind-strengths associated with hurricane forecasts.
“What Sandy did was highlight the extreme urgency of this effort,” Rhome said. “Wind and surge don’t always go hand in hand.”
Friday’s announcement was welcome news in forecasting circles.
“This is a much, much needed step,” meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote on Twitter.
Houston TV weatherman Tim Heller said storm surges are the most misunderstood part of a hurricane.
“This will help get people out of the path of the storm,” said Heller, chief meteorologist at KTRK-TV.
In 2005, Houston freeways were paralyzed by residents fleeing to get out of town ahead of Hurricane Rita.
“Hopefully the maps might also show people where they don’t have to evacuate,” Heller said.
The National Weather Service says the maps will be used on an experimental basis for at least two years while they collect feedback from emergency personnel and the public. Heller says he knows the amount of planning that has gone into the maps and doesn’t doubt their value.
“No. 1, I hope we never have to use it, but I’m glad we have it just in case,” he said. “Now we’ll be able to show them how high the water will be in their yard.”

SOTU Slams “Stagnant Economy”

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 31 Jan 2014 | John Semmens

President Obama vowed to rescue the country from the “enemies of prosperity” in his speech on the State-of-the-Union Tuesday.
“Too many people are without jobs because businesses place profit ahead of employment,” the president complained. “This is the outcome of the perverse incentives of our market economy. If Congress will not act to offset these incentives I will take Executive action to rectify this injustice.” “Too many people are without an income because they have no jobs,” Obama asserted. “This is the outcome of a mentality that insists that being self-supporting is somehow a requirement for survival. If Congress will not act to eliminate this requirement I will take Executive action to see that it happens.” “Too many people’s welfare benefits are threatened because the government lacks the resources to ensure a steady and reliable flow of resources to sustain them,” Obama warned. “This is the outcome of an obsession with fiscal solvency. If Congress will not raise the taxes needed to fully fund these programs I will take Executive action to secure whatever revenues are necessary.” Representative Steve Stockman (R-Texas) took issue with both the President’s assertions and his proposed remedy of “Executive action.” “The job situation is bleak because the President’s policies have increased the cost of employing people,” Stockman contended. “The culture of dependency he has cultivated and vows to expand and entrench contradicts the principles of freedom upon which this country was founded. His intention to bypass Congress in order to impose his will is beyond his Constitutional authority and invites impeachment.” In related news, North Carolina has enjoyed an economic boom since ending extended unemployment benefits last July. This occurred in the face of Democratic forecasts that cutting off these payments for not working would devastate the state’s economy. NC State Representative Jason Saine (R-Raleigh) who had himself been a recipient of extended unemployment benefits observed that “years of extended benefits didn’t seem to be having a positive effect on jobs. We decided, instead, to try cutting business taxes to stimulate the economy. I’m happy to say that this seems to be working.”

A superb foreign policy speech — from Ted Cruz (yup!)

By Jennifer Rubin

Washington Post
FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2013 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. This is a year of auditioning, positioning, networking and just plain hard work for people who are considering running for president in 2016. You could see them stirring in 2013 as they plugged holes in resumes, took preliminary steps to build potential campaign organizations and made carefully calibrated moves to get better known by Americans generally and key constituencies in particular. Most _ but not all _ are ticking off items on what could be called the presidential prep checklist. And they’ve got baggage to deal with. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Senator Cruz (R-Tex.), from our vantage point, has not been consistent on national security. He’s bought into easy slogans on the National Security Agency. He failed to lead on Syria or to recognize the connection to Iran. But hawks should give him his due. He is plainly thinking through the big issues and evidencing a more mature world outlook.
He has, in recent months, blasted the president on Cuba and Iran. On Tuesday, he sternly criticized the “lack of U.S. leadership championing freedom and the lack of effective leadership defending our interests in the world, which is making the world a much more dangerous place.” He warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence is spreading in Iran, Egypt and elsewhere. His focus was on Russia and Russia’s “growing spheres of influence,” but he more generally challenged conservatives to return to a pro-freedom foreign policy. Human rights, he said, is more than “disinterested do-goodism”; it is essential to speak and act in defense of our values as Americans and in keeping with our traditions and history.
Cruz faltered, however, when he said the “unilaterally announced strike” on Syria went off the rails (he and others opposed it, thereby helping to push it off track). He further claimed U.S. action lacked a national security purpose. However, his own speech proved it had a central purpose: To enforce the prohibition on WMD’s, deal a blow to Iran and check Russian influence. He’s obviously thinking about these issues — and should rethink this incongruity.
That said, not every senator talks at length about the Magnitsky Act, going through in gruesome detail the fact surrounding its namesake’s murder in Russian jail and bashing the Obama administration for refusing to enforce its terms.
Cruz went on to slam the interim Iran deal (“very, very, very bad”) and correctly compared it to the North Korea deal. “Any deal, just cut a deal,” he says, has become the default U.S. policy. And he gave a rousing defense of Ukraine. (“We stand with those who are protesting for freedom.”) His explanation of our ability to help Ukraine by removing its dependence on Russian natural gas was impressive. “We have nothing to gain by ceding our principles to Russia,” he said. And he concluded by saying it has historically been dangerous for tyrants, despots and autocrats when the United States stands up for freedom. “American exceptionalism has caused tyrants to tumble.”
On the whole, it was promising speech. Plainly, he is not seeking to mimic the isolationism of some on the right. His diligence in learning the particulars of foreign policy issues allows him to talk with authority. Because of his particular appeal to the party’s far right, he offers hope that he will keep that segment of the party within the Reaganesque tent. He is smart enough to criticize Obama from the right, not the left.
Free advice isn’t worth much, but Cruz and the GOP would benefit if he would build on this effort. First, Cruz needs to take a sane view of NSA surveillance, defending accountability and oversight but opposing efforts to make effective programs more cumbersome. A strong foreign policy requires strong anti-terrorism tools, as I think he must understand. He need not follow Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) down the rabbit hole of paranoia. Second, he would do well to look again at immigration in the context of national security. It is essential that we control our borders, encourage high-skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants to stay in the United States and, at the very least, figure out who is in the country, who is overstaying visas, etc. Perhaps the legislative movement away from earned citizenship toward legalization will make his re-evaluation of immigration reform efforts easier. And finally, he can play a useful role in making the case that economic growth goes hand in hand with strong national security and an internationalist outlook. Frankly, too many hawks have failed to make this argument, thereby allowing the Obama-Paul argument that we have to recede from the world to “nation build at home” carry the day.
I differ with Cruz on a number of things and think his misguided behavior in the shutdown hurt the GOP and the cause of conservatism. Nevertheless, just as Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is leading the right to a more constructive, positive domestic agenda, Cruz can do the same on foreign policy. If he does continue his defense of a strong U.S. foreign policy, he can help himself, his party and his country.

Progressivism Kills!

National Review ^ | February 1, 2014 | Kevin D. Williamson

There are many horrific stories to be told about the implosion of Detroit, once the nation’s most prosperous city, today its poorest. There is the story of its corrupt public institutions, its feckless leaders, its poisonous racial politics, its practically nonexistent economy, the riots that have led to its thrice being occupied by federal troops. The most horrific story may be that of the death of its children. Detroit has the highest child-mortality rate of any American city, exceeding that of many parts of what we used to call the Third World........ .....Detroit represents nothing less than progressivism in its final stage of decadence: Worried that unionized public-sector workers are looting your city? Detroit is already bankrupt, unable to provide basic services expected of it — half the streetlights don’t work, transit has been reduced, neighborhoods go unpatrolled. Worried that public-sector unions are ruining your schools? Detroit’s were ruined a generation or more ago, the results of which are everywhere to be seen in the city........... ...The result of all that municipal “investment”? For children newborn through age 18, Detroit sees 120 deaths per 100,000 each year — a rate 26 percent higher than second-place child-killer Philadelphia. That’s nearly two and a half times the rate in Los Angeles, which isn’t exactly a leafy suburban paradise. Every time our progressive friends come to us with another idea for transferring wealth from the productive economy to them and their friends, they scold us: “Think of the children!” But those who resist their efforts to do to the country at large what they have done to Detroit are thinking of the children....

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...

Article V Convention: Path of Least Resistance

American Thinker ^ | February 1st 2014 | Robert Berry

In what is taking shape as a sort of Great Awakening, state legislators have begun to learn that they hold equal status with Congress when it comes to proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, a handful of state legislators from each state, as yet unknown, are destined for the annals of American history the moment the nation's first Convention for Proposing Amendments is gaveled to order.
The process, found in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, requires the legislatures of at least two thirds (34) of the states to pass resolutions demanding that Congress call a "Convention for Proposing Amendments" -- an ad hoc assembly where state legislators, voting state-by-state, may propose (but not ratify) amendments. The thought of such a thing, while horrifying to Congress, represents the last constitutional method to reform a federal government run amok. And nothing more clearly illustrates the divide between flyover country and the federal city than the remedies that are sure to be proposed and later ratified by the states. To the ruling class, nothing could be more anathema than the prospect of amendments requiring term limits, balanced budgets, single-subject bills, and commerce clause reform. Few on the Hill seem to be taking notice of the gathering clouds -- a situation that the states would do well to exploit. If anything, the nascent "Article V movement" is little more than a curiosity among the ruling elite. Congress, aware of Article V, has every expectation that the states will continue a 200-year losing streak when it comes to coordinating the resolutions necessary to trigger the process. This is entirely due to the fact that the founders left Congress in charge of counting the resolutions.

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Speechwriter: Obama Didn’t Lie About ObamaCare, He Just Didn’t Understand How It Worked!

Frontpage Mag ^ | 1/31/14 | Daniel Greenfield

The Obama approval ratings are apparently bad enough that they’re going with the, “He’s not a liar, he’s just stupid” defense.
At an AEI event on the secrets of the State of the Union speech, former President Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett acknowledged that the “keep your health care plan” pledge didn’t turn out to be as accurate as the administration planned. That’s PR speak for, “It was a complete and total lie from beginning to end.” How accurate did the administration hope that a claim that had no basis in fact would be on a scale from one to minus zero?

(Excerpt) Read more at frontpagemag.com ...