Saturday, January 13, 2018

Broke California Looking to Take Money from the Pockets of Retired State Workers

https://www.westernjournal.com ^ | January 11, 2018 at 8:39am | By Jonathan Pincus 

Public employees in California may have their pension benefits slashed due to the rollback of a longstanding rule in the state, Gov. Jerry Brown revealed in a recent budget briefing.

The California governor revealed that he has a “hunch” legal proceedings could pave the way for cuts to public employees’ benefits.

“There is more flexibility than there is currently assumed by those who discuss the California rule,” Brown said during the briefing.
(Excerpt) Read more at westernjournal.com ...

CNN's Epic Meltdown Over Trump's 'S**thole Countries' Remark Was A Sight To Behold

Townhall.com ^ | January 12, 2018 | Matt Vespa 



It doesn’t take much to set off the media. It really doesn’t. Last night, the entire media establishment went into full meltdown mode because the president reportedly asked why are we allowing people from ‘sh*thole countries’ to come here. This is anonymously sourced. It really hasn’t been verified, and no—Dick Durbin is not a credible source, having lied about White House meetings before. Regardless, CNN blew a gasket. Anderson Cooper cried, Chris Cuomo decided to take this lecture to the white board, and Don Lemon’s program was off the hinges.
Vulgar CNN: Trump's 'S***hole' Quote Shows He's Clearly 'Racist'

CNN’s Cooper and Jim Acosta called the remarks racist (via The Hill):
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper slammed President Trump for reportedly referring to Haiti and several African nations as "shithole countries" on Thursday, calling the remarks "racist."
In a monologue delivered on "Anderson Cooper 360," the CNN host said it was important for members of the news media to point out that Trump's remarks were not "racially charged" or offensive, but rather "racist."
"The president of the United States is tired of so many black people coming to this country. Tired of immigrants from Haiti and Africa being allowed in," Cooper said, reading comments from Trump as reported by The Washington Post.
"Tired of Haitians and Africans, the president went on to say he would like to bring more people from countries like Norway. Norway, whose population is overwhelmingly of Nordic descent. White people, in other words," Cooper said.
Philip Mudd, a former CIA counterterrorism official, decided to blast Trump’s alleged racism by using racist dialogue to describe every demographic in America, as if that helps move the conversation forward. Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele said Trump was racist. Don Lemon was quite clear on that front last night as well (via Free Beacon):

The President of the United States is racist," Lemon said. "A lot of us already knew that."
Lemon's opening comments come on the heels of reporting that Trump asked during an Oval Office meeting Thursday why the United States is allowing people from "s—hole countries"–referencing Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries–to immigrate to America.
Lemon called the remarks "disgusting."
"But you know what? They’re not shocking, not even really surprising because this is who Donald Trump is. This is what he thinks," Lemon added.
Lemon then went into, what he classified as, past examples of Trump being a racist, and then asked "do I need to go on? I get tired of saying it."
After relaying that some at the White House felt Trump's reported remarks could help him with his base, Lemon muttered, "Jesus."
Chris Cuomo was, well, this:
Again, we don’t know if this was actually uttered during the immigration negotiations. Durbin says one thing, Graham confirms it, but Sens. Cotton (R-AR) and Perdue (R-GA) don’t recall the “sh*thole” comment being said. Given the news media’s track record in reporting on this White House, err on the side of caution. Yet, let’s be honest. The news media thinks Trump has been racist for a long time. Now, they can rehash it. You can tell by the grin Mr. Lemon had on his face when he opened his show. That theme carried throughout his program, an appalling snobby, and condescending display that is the reason why so many Trump supporters stick with the Donald. It also forced a lot of conservative Republicans on the fence about Trump to vote for him. They may not like him, but when you embody the insufferable self-righteousness that infests our newsrooms today, calling us bigots for merely disagreeing with the liberal point of view, yeah you bet I’ll vote for Trump (and I did).
The second part is the disingenuous parameters of this discussion. It is a fact that some countries are better than others. Sorry folks, Somalia is a failed state (there's another word for it too) and Norway is not. Katie wrote earlier today that a West African sociologist admitted that the whole continent, not just temporary protected status nations or the ones listed in Trump's executive order on immigration, is “sh*t.”
Hitting closer to home, North Korea is a communist hellhole, but South Korea is a vibrant, flourishing modern economy. It’s part of the G-20. They can compete with most European nations. It’s just better. There are countries that are just sh*tholes. It’s the way of the world. And please, if you had to choose between Norway and Haiti, you would choose the former, not this weak sauce response from Joan Walsh last night:

I’m sorry; we’ve heard that Trump has been racist for months. This is just another example of his blunt, and at times, overt political incorrectness. And I don’t trust the media to tell me what is racist and what is not anymore. They’ve actually managed to kill its meaning. Remember when saying Chicago was supposedly a dog whistle. So, let’s go to an area of agreement, leaving out the noise.
We are a nation of immigrants. I’m an emigrant, being adopted at four months from South Korea. I became a citizen a couple years later. My father’s business—a window manufacturing empire, or at least it was in my mind—was built on the backs of Hispanic immigrants. It allowed me to go to college and graduate without any debt, something for which I am very grateful for. The same goes for my brother and sister, and all three of us were privately educated from lower school through high school. Manufacturing was very good to the Vespa clan.
I worked in my dad’s glass plant for a couple summers in the sweltering heat; the glass oven was heated at 900 degrees, so you can imagine what it was like in the middle of August. I won’t lie. It was great. And believe me, I had a hefty beer account for when fall semester began. These people work hard. After the closing bell, these workers left my dad’s factory to work another job. I think the point here is that people can come from sh*thole countries and become good citizens. That’s what The Federalist’s Ben Domenech touched upon, which is embodied in former President Calvin Coolidge’s ethos about us as a nation. At the same time, he admits that Haiti is a total sh*thole; he’s been there twice:
Let’s be clear about one thing here: Haiti is a shithole. I’ve been there twice. It has a cholera epidemic thanks to the United Nations and a burgeoning child sex trafficking problem thanks to the predilections of evil people. It is really a hellish place. But the whole point of the temporary status welcoming immigrants from these countries is based on them being real shitholes – places so dangerous and awful that we won’t send refugees from them back to the countries because they’ll probably die, or worse. That’s the whole point of granting this policy in the first place.
When this story broke yesterday, people immediately seized upon it as indicative of the president’s racism. That’s wrong – contra Noah Rothman, who maintained without any basis whatsoever that Trump was referring to the entire African continent as opposed to those nations covered by TPS, I’m sure Trump knows the difference between Somalia and Egypt and would not refer to them in the same way. Fresh from his Asia tour late last year, he has no such insults to direct toward those countries. But for those eager to tag him as a white supremacist – as an opinion editor of the Washington Post did yesterday – this was an easy opportunity to do so.
The problem emerges when you actually deal with the question at hand. Witness this back and forth on CNN, where Joan Walsh was caught flat footed when Rich Lowry asks if she’d rather live in Haiti or Norway.  This is an easy question, and pretending otherwise doesn’t help matters. Anti-immigration appetites are fed when people are unwilling to admit the truth about what they are arguing.
[…]
In this case, I’d gladly argue that America has the potential to take people from shithole countries and turn them into great Americans. In fact, America has been doing this for a very long time.
That being said, if you want to come to America and work, the door is open. But you have to come here legally. We’re a nation of laws. Illegal aliens are deported. Period. This shouldn’t be an issue and neither should ICE agents being allowed to do their jobs. Far too often we’ve heard tragic stories of families suffering unspeakable tragedy, usually an illegal murdering a loved one that could have been avoided if that person wasn’t here. One of those stories is Laura Wilkerson, whose son Josh was brutally tortured, tied up, beaten to death, and then set on fire in 2010 by Hermilo Vildo Moralez, an illegal alien from Belize.
Kate Steinle is another tragic example. Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire was blunt; Trump is president because illegal aliens are committing crimes and re-entering at will. And it hits close to home, where I live in Virginia, where MS-13 is running rampant. You can be pro-immigration and for a strong border, while supporting federal authorities enforce our immigration laws. Democrats do not see it that way. In fact, even noted anti-Trump media personality and scholar Fareed Zakaria, who is not a hard-core conservative, said that the Democratic Party has swung to the extreme on immigration. Why? Because the Democratic Party has been taken over by urban-based self-righteous elites.
Before we go, again, this holier than this attitude the media has on this is appalling. I know par for the course, but let’s not kid around here; the news media and the liberal elites have described parts of America that are economically depressed as sh*tholes. Former President Barack Obama criticized former UK Prime Minister for turning Libya into a “sh*t show.” Does that make him racially insensitive? Also, he’s right—Libya is another hellhole nation.
Is this a problematic statement by the president? Was it just salty language used in a negotiation in which he meant the TPS countries, offering a rough and certainly not eloquent description? All of this based on second hand accounts mind you and none of the people privy to this meeting can agree that he said it.
Despite the aggressive coverage of these remarks, Trump isn’t going anywhere. He will be president tomorrow. The Access Hollywood tape that was leaked in October of 2015, which catches Trump making graphic remarks about women from a 2005 appearance on the show, was much worse than this remark. Trump will survive it.
Second, it could muddy the chances of a deal on immigration being hashed out prior to the next week when the government runs out of money. This is politics, folks. It could get nasty. Democrats probably didn’t want to do a deal from the outset, with congressional Republicans equally skeptical. I hope we do have a deal, but idealism and the notion that good can be done in Washington D.C. often ends at the edges of the Potomac.
Think what you will of the president’s remarks. I’m of the opinion that you can be for immigration enforcement, while providing a path for people who want to work and live here to enter legally. Could the president have used better language? Of course, Obama could have done the same as well. In the meantime, let the media steam, in which case I know they will not dwell on that they’re partially responsible for this situation. Yeah, does anyone remember when they gave Trump $2 billion in free media? So spare us the lectures.
***
UPDATE: Hillary Clinton weighed in; I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

The Democratic Response To Companies Doling Out Bonuses To Workers Remains Abjectly Pathetic

Townhall.com ^ | January 12, 2018 | Matt Vespa 

Democrats are choking on crow for opposing this tax bill. Are they this economically illiterate? You pass the most extensive tax reform in nearly 30 years, it creates a better job creating and investing environment, and companies begin to boost U.S. investment, dole out bonuses to workers, some increase wages, and make declarations that charitable donations will go up. Yeah, that sounds bad, or something. It all centers on the notion that the Left thinks that your money is their money, and that the government, preferably run by over-educated, snobby liberal elitists, know best to allocate how that money is spent. Namely on programs that foster dependence so when reforms are due, as with any socialist program, the Left can attack the opposing side as being anti-poor, anti-middle class, anti-children, and make apocalyptic calls of people dying in the streets. It’s whatever creates the most hysteria, peddled by their allies in the news media.
With this bill, it’s blown up in their faces. Eighty percent of Americans will be getting a tax cut. Over 90 percent of the American middle class will be getting relief. Over 100 companies are handing out bonuses, with over a million workers receiving that extra cash. For the first time in 11 years, CNBC’s economic survey showed that a majority was optimistic heading into 2018, with more crediting Donald Trump for the booming economy. So, how do Democrats react to this news? Well, they say that it won’t last; not the best spin, folks (via HuffPo):
“Listen, I think it’s great when companies want to give workers bonuses,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Tuesday. “That doesn’t change the reality of the numbers. It’s a debt-inducing, make-rich-people-richer tax bill that in the long run is not going to be helpful to the vast majority of people in my state that are sitting around the kitchen table trying to figure out how [to] come out even at the end of the month.”
Dozens of companies ? including Wells Fargo, Comcast, AT&T, American Airlines, BB&T, U.S. Bancorp and Nationwide Mutual Insurance ? announced bonuses up to $2,000 for thousands of employees in response to the new law. Others, like Aflac and Visa, announced they would be hiking their 401k match program due to the law. A spokesman for Visa said the company is also exploring other “long-term, sustainable investments versus one-time actions.”
[…]
“I think what they’re doing now is great,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said. “But we’re going to have to live with this baby for a long time, so we’ll see next year and the year after that.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called it a “good thing” that some corporations are rewarding workers with bonuses because of the tax law. He argued, however, that the positive aspects of the law are “greatly outweighed by the bad things” in it.
[…]
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), while applauding companies that are giving out bonuses, added that such payments “are often a one-shot deal.”
“I think the issue is, look at the ratio of the money they’re spending now on their employees versus the amount for stock buybacks,” Brown said.
They’re all following Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) lead; he admitted to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Christmas Eve that it’s a good thing the middle class is receiving a tax cut, but that this won’t last. So, they’re admitting that this bill is good, and that the only problem is that the middle class tax cuts aren’t permanent? Talk about moving the goal posts, but why is that. Well, Allen Ginzburg aptly noted that Democrats simply held this provision hostage in order to sink the bill. It failed, as the GOP remained united in passing tax reform. Now, they’re stuck with an eight-year period in which middle class taxes will go down, and they’ll have to explain why they voted against that, the American worker, and economic growth. If Democrats resort to attacking savings which they think is meager (hardly the case to working class families), then there’s your cosmopolitan bias. And another angle to attack the Left as out of touch, snobby academics that hate rural America. The Democrats are explaining. When you’re explaining your losing. More companies are going to dole out bonuses to workers, and this bill will become more popular. With the right messaging, Republicans can tie up the Left in a neat bow. These people voted against giving middle class tax relief in order to screw the president—and they say Trump and his crew are Machiavellian.
So far, the Left’s response to one of the most extensive tax cuts in decades can only be characterized as weak sauce. With the reduced rates, Apple is set to repatriate $250+ billion in overseas money; it was too insane to do so under Obama and a Democratic (and later split) Congress. Fiat Chrysler, while announcing $2,000 bonuses to its workers, also said that they’ll be investing $1 billion for a plant in Michigan. It will create 2,500 jobs. In Las Vegas, the Fontainebleau resort was given the final green light when it became clear the tax bill would pass. As a result, 11,000 jobs were created. Yeah, not much to spin when workers are getting bonuses and increased wages and jobs are being created. All you can do is offer half-assed praise that companies are doing this, while privately hoping that everything collapses to have the big “I told you so” moment the Left is craving in order to lecture the country on how insufferably self-righteous they really are.  

Psychiatrists diagnosing the President smacked down by the APA

Hot Air.com ^ | January 12, 2018 | JAZZ SHAW 


Not too long ago we talked about Ivy League psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee, who had briefed members of Congress (read: pretty much entirely Democrats) on President Trump’s mental health. Despite having never even met the President, say nothing of examined him, she apparently had quite a lot to say. Dr. Lee and her colleagues who jumped on the dogpile have been getting some significant pushback since then, with not only members of the press (a few of them, anyway) objecting, but drawing a formal rebuke from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) who called for an end to “armchair psychiatry.” (Legal Insurrection)
Today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) reiterates its continued and unwavering commitment to the ethical principle known as “The Goldwater Rule.” We at the APA call for an end to psychiatrists providing professional opinions in the media about public figures whom they have not examined, whether it be on cable news appearances, books, or in social media. Armchair psychiatry or the use of psychiatry as a political tool is the misuse of psychiatry and is unacceptable and unethical.
The ethical principle, in place since 1973, guides physician members of the APA to refrain from publicly issuing professional medical opinions about individuals that they have not personally evaluated in a professional setting or context. Doing otherwise undermines the credibility and integrity of the profession and the physician-patient relationship.
As Mike Lachance at Legal Insurrection pointed out yesterday, two Harvard shrinks pushed back on this criticism in the pages of Politico, strangely claiming that diagnosing the President’s mental health from the other side of a television screen wasn’t violating the Goldwater Rule at all. In their opinion, since they aren’t diagnosing Trump “in a specific way” in their various publications and comments, everything is fair game. Also, it’s “not only acceptable but vitally necessary to have a public conversation about the mental state of our nation’s leader.”
Sorry, Doc, but I don’t think that’s going to fly. Take, for example, the idea of me writing a post on our site saying, hey… did you hear what the President said last night? That guy is nuts. That’s commentary, which you can agree with or dispute as you wish. It’s not even particularly useful commentary since the closest I ever came to medical school was shortly after a motorcycle accident in the 80s. But when two Doctors of Psychiatry from Harvard say the same thing, it’s a diagnosis. You don’t need to tell us the specific name of the mental ailment you suspect is plaguing a public official. (I’d wager more than a few of us wouldn’t know what it meant without hitting up Google anyway.) It’s sufficient just to say that something isn’t right.
But, hey… don’t let us stop you. There’s finally all sorts of political and media figures paying attention to you. Enjoy your fifteen minutes while it lasts.