Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mid-2007 Video: Chuck Schumer insists that lame-duck president should not get Supreme Court pick

Hotair ^ | 02/15/2016 | Ed Morrissey 

Sounds like pretty good advice, huh? Thankfully, Chuck Schumer has gone on record on this issue, insisting to the American Constitution Society that the Senate not only has the right but the duty to block Supreme Court nominees from a lame-duck President. Only with an extraordinary nominee should the Senate confirm such an appointment, Schumer insists (via Grabien and Gary Gross):


Of course Schumer aimed this at George W. Bush, but note that this speech took place in mid-2007, when Bush still had 18 months left in his presidency. That’s almost twice as much as Barack Obama has left in his own, and both presidents appointed two members to the court. Schumer complains about the supposed extremism of the two appointments, but Republicans can easily make the same complaint about both of Obama’s appointments. Gander, sauce … some assembly required.
The only differences between then and now are the party that controls the White House, and the small allowance Schumer holds out for potential cooperation. If an extraordinary candidate who could pass Democrats’ standards for “mainstream” came before the Senate for confirmation, then Schumer says they could consider approving him or her. Republicans are insisting that they won’t confirm anyone regardless of whom Obama appoints, which functionally amounts to the same threat Schumer made in mid-2007 but is a little harder to sell as a reasonable stand. If Obama nominated an Alito or Roberts, why would Republicans refuse to confirm him or her? Obama has no intention of replacing Scalia with another conservative, of course, but what if Obama agreed to confer with the Republican majority to give him three acceptable options for nominees and he appointed one of them? Would they still refuse to hold hearings?

    The GOP would have been smarter to take the Schumer road, but it’s a little late for that now, and it really doesn’t make that much difference. Every time someone complains that Republicans are acting unconstitutionally, offer them Schumer’s 2007 declaration — and the American Constitution Society’s approving applause.

    Maine Food Stamp Work Requirement Cuts Non-Parent Caseload by 80 Percent

    The Heritage Foundation ^ | 1/15/16 | By Robert Rector, Rachel Sheffield and Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D. 

    Growth in the food stamp caseload occurred particularly rapidly among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). These are work-capable adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have children or other dependents to support. The ABAWD food stamp caseload grew by nearly 150 percent between 2008 and 2014 and has risen from nearly 2 million recipients in 2008 to around 5 million today.
    In response to the growth in food stamp dependence, Maine's Governor, Paul LePage, recently established work requirements on ABAWD recipients. In Maine, all ABAWDs in the food stamp program are now required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service.
    Job openings for lower-skill workers are abundant in Maine, and for those ABAWD recipients who cannot find immediate employment, Maine offers both training and community service slots. In response to the new work requirement, however, most ABAWDs in Maine refused to participate in training or community service, despite vigorous outreach efforts by the government to encourage participation. When ABAWD recipients refused to participate, their food stamp benefits ceased.
    (Excerpt) Read more at heritage.org ...

    Will Justice Scalia's Passing Wake Up Republican Primary Voters?

    National Review ^ | Feb 15, 2016 | Thomas Sowell 

    Amid the petty bickering, loud rhetoric, and sordid attack ads in this year’s primary election campaigns, the death of a giant — Justice Antonin Scalia — suddenly overshadows all of that. The vacancy created on the Supreme Court makes painfully clear the huge stakes involved when we choose a president of the United States, just one of whose many powers is the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia’s passing would be a great loss at any time. But at this crucial juncture in the history of the nation — with 5–4 Supreme Court decisions determining what kind of country America will be — Scalia’s death can be catastrophic in its consequences, depending on who is chosen to be his successor.
    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431363/antonin-scalia-obituary-republican-primary-voters
    (Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...

    U.S. special forces not ready to integrate women, report finds

    Washington Times ^ | 2/15/16 | Rowan Scarborough 

    At a time when U.S. special operations are devising plans for the mission of accepting women into the male domains of SEALs, Green Berets and Army Rangers, the terrorist-fighting community is facing a looming readiness problem.
    The new challenge is tucked inside President Obama’s 2017 defense budget. It states that U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and its 69,000 personnel are up against “training challenges” and is seeing “minor impacts to the forces’ ability to accomplish missions” that could grow worse.
    Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs face some limits on training due to cutbacks in fleet and training range operations, according to a budget overview document sent to Congress last week.
    (Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

    More grandparents taking on parental role for grandchildren (unfarily)

    Associated Press ^ | Feb. 16, 2016 3:36 AM EST | Alejandra Cancino 

    When Debra Aldridge became her grandson's primary caregiver, she was making $7.50 per hour as a cook. The alternative for the newborn, she was told, was to put him up for adoption. "I took one look at the little fella, and that was it," said Aldridge, now 62. "I couldn't let go."
    For more than 11 years, Aldridge, who is divorced and lives in Chicago, has struggled to feed, house and clothe her "baby," Mario. As she ages, she is sinking deeper into poverty.
    Nationwide, there are 2.7 million grandparents raising grandchildren, and about one-fifth have incomes that fall below the poverty line, according to census figures.
    Their ranks are increasing. The number of grandparents raising grandchildren is up 7 percent from 2009. Experts say the trend is likely to continue as the nation responds to the opiate epidemic. Military deployment and a growth in the number of women incarcerated are other factors forcing grandparents to step into parental roles. ...
    (Excerpt) Read more at bigstory.ap.org ...

    Capitalism Is Freedom; Socialism Is Slavery

    Townhall.com ^ | February 16, 2016 | John Hawkins 

    "The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both." -- Milton Friedman

    'If there is ever a fascist takeover in America, it will come not in the form of storm troopers kicking down doors but with lawyers and social workers saying, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" - Jonah Goldberg
    In a time where consumers have almost unlimited choices of music, movies, websites and every product you can imagine in the supermarket, socialism is an outdated economic system that no longer fits with the world we live in. Socialism requires the intervention and control of the marketplace by an overwhelmingly powerful centralized government. It penalizes high achievers, rewards laziness and stifles choice.
    Socialism is a government regulation that stops you from creating a successful business. It's the Bureau of Land Management or the EPA making arbitrary decisions about what you can do with your own land. It's the IRS taking the money you busted your butt to earn and giving it to people who didn't work as hard as you did.
    Almost every socialist policy requires taking resources from someone who's earned them and giving them to someone who hasn't. Even programs that are supposed to be self-funding rarely are because the juice is never quite worth the squeeze. The real reason we're so deeply in debt is because if the middle class was forced to choose between paying for what our government is spending or dramatically cutting back, our government would already be much smaller than it is - and no wonder.
    What does our government do well anymore? Do you trust the IRS? FEMA? Are our borders secure? How does the customer service of the post office or DMV compare to, let's say Apple or Amazon? Who wants to live in government housing? Who wants a minimum wage job? Who wants to answer to bureaucrats, jump through their hoops and do as he's told by people who see him as a nameless, faceless slob dependent upon them for his livelihood?
    This is what socialism offers.
    Socialism will take something from someone else who earned it and give it to you and in return, you will do what socialists want you to do. If you're irresponsible, lazy, have a habit of making poor decisions or just need a master, this can seem like a good deal. You can work a menial job and get paid more than you're worth! You can go to college and you don't have to pay for it! Someone else will give you a place to live, food stamps, welfare and health care! In return, you just have to give up on your pride, your dreams and control of your own life.
    People who can take care of themselves don't need socialism and most of those who have difficulty taking care of themselves would still be better off under a more capitalistic system. The more capitalistic an economy is, the faster it grows. The faster an economy grows, the more jobs and wealth are created.
    Eighty percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. Meanwhile, 96% of the poor in America have televisions, 93% have microwaves and 81% have cell phones. Ultimately, it's the economic growth produced by capitalistic policies that has allowed America's poor to do so well compared to the poor in more socialistic nations. Paradoxically, the more we move towards socialism in the name of "helping" the poor, the less poor Americans will ultimately have. That's because the more regulations, the more taxes and the more GOVERNMENT a country has, the slower its economy grows.
    Socialism requires a gargantuan government so it can confiscate property, control behavior and manage an always growing list of programs to achieve "fairness." Unfortunately, "fairness" is a will-o'-the-wisp that can never be caught because human beings have different levels of talent, skill and effort.
    The factory worker who spent 30 years working his way through the ranks to become regional sales manager should make more than the new guy who just started yesterday. The man who spent 10 years building his own successful business should make more money than his employees. The man who invested every extra dime he had and does well should make more money than the fellow who used all his extra money to buy a bigger car and nicer furniture for his house. Socialists say, "Not so fast. Maybe those guys should make more money, but they're making too much money. We should control how much they make. We should decide how much of their money they get to keep. We should control how much of their money is given away and to whom."
    On the other hand, capitalism is freedom. Capitalism says you should do what you want to do with your own time and either suffer the consequences or reap the rewards. Sure, we might all cooperate to create a military and a police force along with building sewage systems, roads, street lights and stop signs and a few other necessities, but beyond that, let everyone rise and fall as he deserves.
    If you want to get a four year degree in women's studies at an Ivy League university? Great, pay for it yourself. You want to live cheaply and work a second job so you can save up money? You should be able to do that and someone else shouldn't get the benefits from your hard work. If you want to spend your twenties as a beach bum, surfing all day and sleeping in a tent at night, you can do that, but no one else should be asked to help pay for your lifestyle.
    Having real freedom means you get to make real choices and when that happens, some of those choices will work out better than others. The only way to change that is to build a massive government apparatus that makes everyone poorer in return for reducing the amount of natural inequality that will happen when people are allowed to pursue their wildly differing hopes and dreams.
    Capitalism is not perfect, but it won't bankrupt the country, it doesn't reward failure and it can't control you like socialism. To the contrary, in a capitalist system, businesses benefit from voluntary transactions. Do you want to get rich in a capitalist system? Find a way to give people what they want. If you're just okay at it, you can make a decent salary. If you're as good at it as Henry Ford or Bill Gates, you can become rich beyond imagination.
    Do you want to get rich in a socialist system? Be well connected. Make friends or just pay off people who can give you government contracts. Make contributions to politicians so they'll change the laws to help you and hurt your competitors. Get the government to take money from other people and give it to you as part of a bailout.
    Which sounds more admirable? Which sounds healthier for our country? When you give the government unlimited power to create "equality," you also give it the power to tilt the playing field towards corrupt businesses that have every incentive to try to take advantage of it.
    At the end of the day, socialism is for slaves who are willing to give up their freedom for promises that they'll be given some minimal level of support no matter what. On the other hand, capitalism is for people who want the freedom to rise or fall based on their own effort. If you know which type of person you are, then you know whether you should be a capitalist or a socialist.





    Charlie Daniels’ Open Letter to America’s Enemies

    CNS News ^ | 2/15/16 | Charlie Daniels 


    And judging us by the weakness and unwillingness of our president and his flower child administration would be a fatal mistake.
    A note to our enemies:
    You think you know America, but you only see the tiny, inept, incompetent, cowering political tip of a very big, very capable iceberg.
    You don't know the Heartland where the people are fiercely independent and willing to defend this nation with their bare hands if that's what it takes.
    You don't know the steel workers in Pittsburgh with muscles that could break a man's neck like a twig.
    You don't know the swamp folks in Cajun country that can wrestle a full-grown alligator out of the water.
    You don't know the mountain folks in Appalachia who can knock a squirrel's eye out from a hundred yards away with a small caliber rifle.
    You don't know the farmers, the cowboys, the loggers and the seagoing folks. You don't know the truck drivers, the carpenters, the mountain men who live off the land, the hard rock miners or the small town cops who keep the peace in the rowdy border towns.
    (Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...

    Political power couple thinks Ted Cruz will be Republican nominee for President

    KBMT-TV ^ | February 15, 2016 | Angel San Juan 

    ORANGE - Two of the nation's most prominent political consultants visited Orange Monday night. Mary Matalin and James Carville were part of the Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by Lamar State College-Orange.
    They spoke to a crowd of more than 600 at the Lutcher Theater.
    The two represent different political parties, Matalin is a Republican and Carville is a Democrat. Both have presidential wins under their belts.
    Matalin with George H.W. Bush and Carville with Bill Clinton.
    Matalin and Carville have been married for 22 years.
    Before they took the stage at the Lutcher, they met with 12News. They were both charming, witty, and despite their political differences agree a lot on the current political climate.
    Carville told us, "I think both parties seem hell bent on committing suicide." He went on to say, "It has been completely unpredictable, it's been topsy turvy." That's describing the presidential race, which Carville says has humiliated many pundits. He said things they all thought was going to happen, didn't, and vice versa.
    Both Carville and Matalin predict Ted Cruz will get the Republican nomination for President.
    But they disagree on who the Democratic nominee will be. Carville is helping the Hillary Clinton campaign, and believes she will prevail. Matalin, however, doesn't think neither Clinton nor Sanders will get the nomination.
    Matalin said about Clinton, "She's losing all the constituencies that Obama won that she needed."
    Both consultants also say that President Obama will make a nomination to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, but they agree the Senate will not confirm that person.
    To hear what the couple says has kept them together for so long, despite their opposing political views, watch the video.