Using The Law To Break The Law

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about a lawsuit a half dozen members of the Honduras caravan have filed against President Trump and various other federal officials. It is a class action lawsuit.

The article reports:

Trump’s professed and enacted policy towards thousands of caravanners seeking asylum in the United States is shockingly unconstitutional. President Trump continues to abuse the law, including constitutional rights, to deter Central Americans from exercising their lawful right to seek asylum in the United States, and the fact that innocent children are involved matters none to President Trump.

Remember that the majority of the caravan is comprised of military-age men. The women and children are put at the front of the line for photo ops (and will probably be put in the front during the attempt to break into the United States). It may be lawful for people to seek asylum, but I think it is rather cheeky to sue the leaders of the country where you are requesting asylum.

The article explains:

Asylum is supposed to be available to people who face persecution in their home countries on grounds of religion, race, etc. It was never intended to apply wholesale to entire populations on the ground that their country is poorly governed.

But the theory of the caravan (and the lawsuit) is that anyone who makes it to American soil has due process rights as an asylum seeker, meaning, as a practical matter, that he or she has plenty of time to disappear into sanctuary regions like California. Think of it as a kind of legal illegal immigration.

Canada is not impressed with the economic migrants either. Reuters posted the following headline on Wednesday, “Exclusive: Canada rushes to deport asylum seekers who walked from U.S.”

The article at Reuters reports:

Canada is prioritizing the deportation of asylum seekers who walked across the border from the United States illegally, federal agency statistics show, as the Liberal government tries to tackle a politically sensitive issue ahead of an election year.

…Toronto lawyer Lorne Waldman said there were good reasons for accelerating the processing and deportation of people who crossed the border: it deters people with weak claims from making refugee claims in the hopes of living in Canada for years while their case wends through the system.

“The best way of discouraging people from making frivolous claims is by having the claims processed quickly,” Waldman said.

Canada may have stumbled on the answer to the problem.

Why The Iran Deal Needed To Be Scrapped

Reuters is reporting today that France has seized Iranian assets belonging to Iran’s intelligence services in response to a June plot to attack an exiled Iranian opposition group’s rally outside Paris. Make no mistake–the money Iran got in the Iran deal is being used to fund terrorism around the world. If European countries choose to ignore the sanctions America has put on Iran, they do so at their own risk. The Muslim population of Europe can easily be mobilized and paid by Iran to create havoc in Europe.

The article reports:

The hardening of relations between Paris and Tehran could have deep consequences for Iran, coming at a time when Rouhani’s government is looking to European capitals to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal after the United States pulled out.

“An attempted attack in Villepinte was foiled on June 30. An incident of such gravity on our national territory could not go unpunished,” said a joint statement by the foreign, interior and economy ministries.

Asked for reaction, a spokesman at the Iranian Embassy in Paris replied simply: “Hello. Thank you.” There was no immediate response to the French move from Tehran.

The plot targeted a meeting of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) outside the French capital. U.S. President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and several former European and Arab ministers attended the rally.

It unraveled after an Iranian diplomat accredited in Austria was arrested in Germany and two other individuals in possession of explosives were detained in Belgium.

The article concludes:

Paris has also suspended nominating a new ambassador to Iran and not responded to Tehran nominations for diplomatic positions in France.

The deterioration of relations with France could have wider implications for Iran.

France has been one of the strongest advocates of salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw Tehran agree to curbs on its nuclear program in return for a lifting of economic sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said it expects renewed sanctions to impact the Iranian economy hard.

The answer to Iran as a terrorist state is regime change. Increasing the economic pressure on the current regime through sanctions could bring that to pass. For further information on the Iranian revolution and the goals of the government that took control in 1979, I recommend reading A Time to Betray by Reza Kahlili. The book tells the story of a man who believed that the revolution would bring freedom to Iran and thus supported it, only to be disillusioned later and work undercover as an American spy. It’s a great read.

Realizing The Threat To European Civilization

Reuters posted an article today reporting that Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has decided not to sign the Global Compact For Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The agreement was approved on Friday by all 193 U.N. member nations except the United States, which pulled out last year.

The article reports:

“This document is entirely against Hungary’s security interests,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference, adding: “This pact poses a threat to the world from the aspect that it could inspire millions (of migrants).”

Hungary, along with Poland and Czech Republic, has taken a tough stand against the admission of migrants, putting it at odds with the European Union, but striking a chord with voters by arguing that irregular immigration threatens European stability, and fencing off Hungary’s southern borders.

Szijjarto said the U.N. pact was “extreme, biased and facilitates migration.

“Its main premise is that migration is a good and inevitable phenomenon … We consider migration a bad process, which has extremely serious security implications.”

France, Germany, and Sweden have all experienced drastic increases in crime due to the influx of immigrants from Muslim countries. Unless the immigrants are willing to assimilate (and most of them are not), the attitudes of the immigrants towards women and other western cultural norms have been a problem. Hungary has recognized this and acted accordingly.

The solution to the massive migration to Europe from Africa and the Middle East is for the people in the African and Middle Eastern countries to clean up their act. Generally speaking, in the countries the migrants are coming from, the wealth and the law are controlled by a select group of people in charge. I don’t blame these people for fleeing, but they need to stay and fight. If you look at the pictures of the migrants, the majority of them are men between the ages of about eighteen to thirty-five. They are fleeing rather than joining together to fight for economic (and other) freedoms. I wonder if these migrants were forced to remain in their home countries if they would be willing to fight for those countries.

In Case You Have Been Sleeping Well…

Reuters is reporting today that Russia is clearing the way to send Iran anti-missile systems as soon as the sanctions are lifted on Iran. Doesn’t that news give you hope for peace in the Middle East?

The article reports:

Russia paved the way on Monday for missile system deliveries to Iran and started an oil-for-goods swap, signaling that Moscow may have a head-start in the race to benefit from an eventual lifting of sanctions on Tehran.

The moves come after world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iran this month on curbing its nuclear program.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ending a self-imposed ban on delivering the S-300 anti-missile rocket system to Iran, removing a major irritant between the two after Moscow canceled a corresponding contract in 2010 under pressure from the West.

This is another reason Congress should demand its constitutional right to review this treaty and a reason to reject the treaty. Once these anti-missile systems are delivered, there will be no way to prevent Iran from going nuclear, assuming that they do not already possess at least one nuclear bomb.

Please follow the link above to read the entire Reuters article. Russia will benefit economically when the sanctions are lifted, and the alliance that is being formed between Russia and Iran will not advance the cause of peace.

 

 

Is The Economy Getting Stronger?

Reuters posted a story today about the latest jobless claim numbers.

The article reports:

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week increased to the highest level since early September, but the underlying trend continued to point to a strengthening labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 316,000 for the week ended Jan. 10, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 291,000 last week. The prior week’s data was revised to show 3,000 more claims received than previously reported.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose by only 6,750 to 298,000 last week.

Notice that the number of jobless claims is rising–not falling. The article then goes on to imply that this is an indication of a strengthening economy. However, there is something the article fails to mention.

A website called ycharts has posted the following graph:

LaborForceParticipationRateA shrinking labor force is not a sign of a growing economy. Keep in mind that the unemployment rate is only based on the number of people who are in the labor force–therefore the actual unemployment rate may not be the one the government is citing. If the unemployment rate were calculated based on the number of people who are actually out of work and not looking for work, the number would probably be well into the teens. Again, we are being told the economy is strengthening, but that is not necessarily the case.

 

 

The Situation In Nevada Is Getting Uglier

The Obama Administration is noted for runaway government. Harry Reid is right in there with them. However, the latest news on the Nevada ranch standoff is stunning.

A website called Infowars has posted a story about the government action on the Bundy ranch that really raises some questions about what this is really about.

The article reports:

Back in 2012, the New American reported that Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, was the chief representative for a Chinese energy firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.

And journalist Marcus Stern with Reuters also reported that Sen. Reid was heavily involved in the deal as well.

“[Reid] and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert,” he wrote. “Reid has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada.”

“His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.”

The article at Infowars has pictures of Bureau of Land Management documents that have been pulled off of the internet that give credence to this story.

When Harry Reid entered Congress he was a middle-class American. He is now a millionaire. There is a least one questionable land deal in his past. It looks as if he working on another one–only this one may involve loss of life.

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Has The Government Lost Its Mind?

Last week CNS News reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a draft resolution that would lift a 30-year-ban on Libyan nationals coming to the United States to work or train in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields.”

The article reports:

In a statement on his congressional website, Rep. Chaffetz said that the draft final regulation could take effect without prior notice and comment. The congressmen say the prohibition was put in place in the 1980s after the wave of terrorist incidents involving Libyans.

“The administration justifies lifting this ban by claiming that the United States’ relationship with Libya has been ‘normalized,’” the statement said.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Reuters reports today:

Heavy fighting between militias using rifles, grenades and anti-aircraft weapons erupted in several parts of Tripoli on Tuesday in the worst violence in the Libyan capital for weeks.

…OPEC producer Libya faces chaos and anarchy as the government struggles to rein in militias, gangs and Islamist radicals in a country awash with arms two years after the ouster of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Several security officials declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on the latest incdient.

Officials are often reluctant to discuss militias which call the shots in the streets. Many technically work for the police or other other regular forces but in practice report to their commanders.

Fighting between militias is often about personal arguments, control of local areas, stolen cars or smuggled goods such as drugs or alcohol banned in Libya.

I don’t have a problem with taking in refugees from a war-torn country. I do have a problem with allowing people from a country with known terrorist ties to work or train in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields.” The draft memo by the DHS is simply not sensible. I don’t understand how America’s relationship with a terrorist country can ever be ‘normalized.’

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Why Is This Even Being Reported?

If you ever doubted the bias of the mainstream media, this story should help erase that doubt. Reuters reported yesterday that Florida Governor Rick Scott is planning to remove non-U.S. citizens from its voting rolls. That news should be reported on a par with “people on Main Street plan to walk their dogs after work.” It’s not news–it’s simply something that should routinely happen.

Voter fraud is a problem in the United States. I am not sure it is enough of a problem to throw an election, although there are some serious questions about voter fraud in the past.

In July, Fox News reported that a Cincinnati poll worker has been sentenced to jail for voting multiple times in the last election. Again, this was probably not an isolated incident. True The Vote in Texas found about 1,500 legitimate voters in a group of 25,000 registered by an activist group.

The Reuters article about Florida reports:

Last year, Florida officials said they had drawn up an initial list of 182,000 potential non-citizens. But that number was reduced to fewer than 200 after election officials acknowledged errors on the original list.

In identifying potential non-citizens, Florida officials sent their information to county election supervisors who then mailed letters to voters requesting proof they were U.S. citizens. If no response was received, the voter was dropped from the rolls.

The effort, which angered some county election supervisors, was the subject of lawsuits from five voter protection groups and at least two individual plaintiffs.

Do 200 votes matter? Two hundred votes from non-citizens combined with fraudulent absentee votes do matter.

In June of this year, Breitbart.com reported on some investigations of voter fraud in Florida that may have stolen a very close election.

The article reports:

When the  story first broke that Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia’s main-man/Chief of Staff/campaign advisor Jeffrey Garcia, along with two others were implicated in an alleged fraudulent absentee ballot request scandal, the political community immediately turned their eyes on the possibility that this same alleged voter fraud could have been conducted in Murphy’s race against former Congressman Allen West.

Jeffrey Garcia also worked for Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, supposedly doing the same kind of advising that he was doing for Garcia.

There are two things that will keep our representative republic safe. One is educated voters and the other is honest elections. Every state needs to do everything it can to ensure that its voter rolls are accurate and include only American citizens who actually live in that state. What Florida is doing should be seen as an example of what is supposed to happen. Trying to ensure the integrity of your voting rolls should not be newsworthy–it should be routine.

 

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Both Sets Of Jobs Numbers For January 2013

Yesterday CNS News reported that the number of Americans not in the labor force grew by 169,000 in January. Meanwhile, aol.com reports that 157,000 new jobs were added in January 2013.

The article at aol.com reported:

Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday that economic activity had “paused,” but they signaled optimism the recovery would regain speed with continued monetary policy support. The Fed left in place a monthly $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan. Economists polled by Reuters had expected employers to add 160,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.8 percent last month.

…Job growth in 2012 averaged 181,000 a month, but not enough to significantly reduce unemployment. Economists say employment gains in excess of 250,000 a month over a sustained period are needed.

We are losing jobs as fast as we are gaining them. This really does not look like a strong economic recovery.

Even Internationally Gun Laws Don’t Work

On Monday Reuters reported that a large weapons shipment was intercepted off Yemen. The shipment was from Iran and contained weapons for Yemeni insurgents. The shipment included surface-to-air missiles. It should be mentioned that surface-to-air missiles were the deciding factor in the war Afghanistan fought against the Russians–when America supplied the shoulder held weapons, the mujahideen began shooting down the Russian airplanes and eventually kicked the Russians out of the country.

The article reports:

Yemen’s government said in a statement the shipment was intercepted in Yemeni waters, close to the Arabian Sea. It said Yemeni Coast Guard officials boarded the vessel, which flew multiple flags and had eight Yemeni crew members on board.

“Authorities are continuing to investigate the vessel’s shipping route by analyzing navigation records found on board the ship,” the statement said.

Yemen is dealing with Al Qaeda in the north and insurgents sponsored by Iran in other areas. This is another instance where Iran is trying to increase Shi’ite influence where Sunni Muslims are in charge. Iran is not only a danger to Israel, it is a danger to all the Sunni Muslim countries in the area. It would not be a surprise to see some of those Sunni countries support Israel as it seeks to slow Iran’s progress in developing a nuclear bomb. It is also important to remember that one of the main supporters of Iranian nuclear activity is Russia. They are supplying technology, hardware and scientists,.

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I Guess It Wasn’t Too High On The Priorities List

Politico reported today that as of yesterday President Obama’s Job Council has gone one year without an official meeting.

The article reports:

The group, formally known as the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, last convened on Jan. 17, 2012 for a White House session where it presented formal recommendations to Obama. It was the panel’s fourth official meeting since it was created in early 2011.

The article reports that although the Council has not met for the past year, they have had a number of conference calls which were not made public.

The article further reports:

Though those calls were not open to the public, the public recently got some insight into what those discussions may have been like when Jobs Council member Robert Wolf scored a half-hour-long interview with Sperling earlier this month for Wolf’s Reuters TV show, “Impact Players.”

Wolf, former chairman of the  American division of Swiss bank UBS, launched the show in September. The Reuters website describes Wolf as “one of President Obama’s major fundraisers and outside advisers on economic issues.”

There are some questions I have about this Council. Robert Wolf is described in the article as “one of President Obama’s major fundraisers and outside advisers on economic issues.” Are those two things related? Also, how much are we paying the Jobs Council?

The article reminds us that the Council is scheduled to expire at the end of this month. Considering their activity level, why wait?

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Reaping The Rewards Of A Well-Run State

Reuters reported yesterday that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed a plan to simplify Louisiana’s tax code to make it more friendly to business. The Governor’s plan is to eliminate all corporate and personal income taxes in a way that would be revenue neutral.

The article reports:

But political analyst Maginnis (John Maginnis) questioned whether the Republican-majority Louisiana legislature would endorse Jindal’s ambitious plan.

“Any tax increase (such as sales tax) or elimination of exemptions would require a two-thirds vote, a form of legislative approval that would require (Republican) solidarity and significant Democratic support,” Maginnis said.

Jindal said his team will meet with lawmakers soon to discuss details of his tax reform plan.

“Eliminating personal income taxes will put more money back into the pockets of Louisiana families and will change a complex tax code into a more simple system that will make Louisiana more attractive to companies who want to invest here and create jobs,” he said.

There an important lesson in this idea. Raising taxes slows economic activity and does not necessarily result in an increase in tax revenue. Lowering taxes increases economic activity and often results in increased tax revenue.

During the 1980’s President Reagan lowered taxes. This resulted in an increase in revenue taken in by the government. Because the Democratic congress never kept their promise to cut spending, the federal deficit did not decrease, but federal revenue did increase.

Lower taxes mean more economic activity. Washington needs to learn that lesson.

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Was Obamacare About Healthcare Or Taxes ?

Reuters reported on Monday that the Internal Revenue Service has released new rules concerning dividends and capital gains as part of the 2010 healthcare law. The obvious questions here is, “What do dividends and capital gains have to do with healthcare?” Evidently more than we knew.

The article reports:

The tax affects only individuals with more than $200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than $250,000 of MAGI.

The tax applies to a broad range of investment securities ranging from stocks and bonds to commodity securities and specialized derivatives.

The 159 pages of rules spell out when the tax applies to trusts and annuities, as well as to individual securities traders.

Released late on Friday, the new regulations include a 0.9 percent healthcare tax on wages for high-income individuals.

Please keep in mind that the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) was originally enacted to impact only the wealthy. As of 2011, a single person who made $48,450 was impacted by that tax. I really don’t consider $48,450 wealthy. How long will it be before the new healthcare taxes begin to impact the middle class?

The article further points out:

The IRS plans to release a new form for taxpayers to fill out for this tax when filing 2013 returns.

Oh joy.

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I Love Elmo, But This Is Ridiculous

Reuters reported on Friday that a “Million Muppet March” is being planned for November 3 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event is a response to Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney‘s statement that he loves Big Bird, but it is time to stop subsidizing PBS with taxpayer money. The implication is that it is time to kick Big Bird out of the public nest.

I like Big Bird too, but enough is enough. If Dora the Explorer can survive without public assistance, why can’t Big Bird? Do you know how many “Tickle-Me Elmo‘s” I have bought for my grandchildren? How many Sesame Street books? Sesame Street coloring books? I realize that Public Broadcasting is more than Sesame Street, but it seems that with an income generator like Sesame Street, it ought to be easy to make Public Broadcasting profitable. What about the fund raisers they do throughout the year? I understand that ‘they do not do commercials,’ but what about all the names mentioned of contributors in between shows?

Anyway, I hope those supporting Big Bird have a happy march. I also hope that someone comes up with a few ideas on some small places to cut the federal budget. If we can’t make little budget cuts, how will we ever make big ones?

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The Muslim Brotherhood Makes A Move In Egypt

Reuters is reporting today that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, has ordered Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to retire.

The article reports:

President Mohamed Mursi also cancelled a constitutional declaration that limited presidential powers and which the ruling army council issued in June, as voting in the election that brought Mursi to power drew to a close.

There had previously been much debate over the fate of 76-year-old Tantawi, who had ruled Egypt as head of the military council after Mubarak was toppled last year, but the timing of the announcement to replace him was a surprise.

The move sidelines Tantawi, whose presence had cast a shadow over Mursi’s rule, and appeared to whittle away at the remaining powers of the military, from whose ranks every president for 60 years had been drawn until Mursi’s election.

This move essentially transfers power away from the military and strengthens the power of the President and the Parliament. The Parliament that was elected in Egypt was largely fundamentalist Islamists who support Sharia Law. Taking control of the military breaks down the last barrier to Sharia Law and to Egypt becoming what Iran became after the 1979 revolution there. The next step will be the official breaking of the treaty with Israel (which will only happen when Egypt feels that it has gotten all the U. S. foreign aid money it is going to get).

Unfortunately, the outreach initiative by the Obama Administration to the Arabs in the Middle East has resulted in a loss of  freedom for the people of the Middle East, heightened tensions in the area as the countries align against Israel, and the probable loss of Iraq and Afghanistan to extreme Islamists.

I am not sure a new administration in Washington can solve these problems, but I can pretty much guarantee that four more years of President Obama will make them worse.

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Exactly The Wrong Solution

It has been proven that when you tax an activity you get less of it. When you provide a tax break for an activity, you get more of it. We have seen over the past thirty years that when taxes on businesses are lowered the economy grows. When taxes and regulations are increased, the economy shrinks. Well, not everyone got the message.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that the United Nations has suggested a global tax on developed countries to help underdeveloped countries. The taxes would include a carbon tax, currency taxes, and taxes on billionaires. What the article fails to mention is that in many countries (if not all) poverty is political–not economic. In countries that are free with freely elected governments and private property rights, there is generally prosperity. In countries with dictators (who generally live rather well) and no private property rights, there is generally massive poverty. If the UN truly wanted to fight poverty, they would encourage democracy and private property rights in countries that have neither. All they really want to do is take money from countries that have earned it and give it to dictators in countries where it will never reach those who desperately need it!

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

It is no secret that one of the priorities of the Obama Administration is green energy. The problem with green energy is that we do not yet have the technology to make it cost effective. I suspect we will have that technology within the next thirty years, but we do not have it now. However, that has not stopped the government from using it when it is entirely impractical to do so.

Reuters posted a story today about the U. S. Navy‘s latest foray into the world of green energy.  The “Great Green Fleet,” the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels, is currently headed to the central Pacific in an effort to prove that bio-fuels are as effective as conventional fuels.

There is, however, a problem. The article reports:

Some Republican lawmakers have seized on the fuel’s $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel. They paint the program as a waste of precious funds at a time when the U.S. government’s budget remains severely strained, the Pentagon is facing cuts and energy companies are finding big quantities of oil and gas in the United States.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the program’s biggest public booster, calls it vital for the military’s energy security.

We need to understand that green energy will become cost effective and practical when the free market is allowed to develop an effective green fuel. Meanwhile, throwing money at solar panel manufactures that go bankrupt and rewarding political cronies who are involved in green energy simply slows down the progress toward practical and inexpensive green energy. If energy independence is so important to the Obama Administration, why did they veto the Keystone Pipeline, close down coal-powered electric plants, and slow down permits for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico?

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How’s That Green Jobs Thing Working For You ?

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that President Obama’s ‘green jobs‘ initiative has not worked very well. The source of their story was a Reuters story that had been posted on Friday.

Since 2009, although the energy capacity of wind farms has almost doubled, the industry has lost 10,000 jobs. During that same time period, the oil and gas industry have created 75,000 jobs.

Reuters reports:

The program’s (the $500 million job-training program that aims to train workers for skills they would need in a new “green economy“) initial results were so poor that the Labor Department‘s inspector general recommended last fall that the agency should return the $327 million that remained unspent.

The numbers have improved somewhat since then, but the department remains far short of its goal of placing 80,000 workers into green jobs by 2013.

By the end of 2011, some 16,092 participants had found new work in a “green” field, according to the Labor Department – roughly one-fifth of its target. The program also helped employed workers upgrade their skills.

At some point are we going to stop wasting taxpayer money on things that don’t work? This is a glaring example of a place where the federal budget could be seriously cut without endangering anyone’s existence.

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One Way To Deal With A Shakedown By Extreme Environmentalists

Reuters is reporting today that China is banning its airlines from the European Union (EU) policy that charges a carbon fee for flights in and out of Europe. The carbon fee is essentially an additional tax and China has said that it simply will not pay the tax.

The article reports:

The EU plan is intended to curb rising greenhouse gas pollution from aviation and fight climate change. Globally, emissions from aviation comprise about two percent of mankind’s greenhouse gas pollution and this share is expected to grow.

“China hopes Europe will act in the light of the broader issues of responding to global climate change, the sustainable development of international aviation and Sino-European ties, strengthening communication and coordination to find an appropriate solution acceptable to both sides,” an unnamed official from China’s civil aviation authority said, according to the announcement.

The interesting fact in this little dust up is that China is included in the EU plan to reduce air pollution. One of the problems with the Kyoto Protocol of 2006 was that the restrictions on greenhouse gases were not extended to India and China.

The National Geographic Magazine reported in July of 2007:

Damaging air pollutants include sulfur dioxide, particulate matter—a mixture of extremely small particles and water droplets—ozone, and nitrogen dioxide. China accounts for roughly one-third of the global total for these pollutants, according to Krzyzanowski (Michal Krzyzanowski, an air quality adviser at the WHO Regional Office for Europe).

China is not willing to play the global warming game. As I have stated before, I do not support dirty air. However, I think we need to make sure that any climate change is man-caused before we cripple the major free economies of the world in the name of saving the planet. The current ‘solutions’ to global warming are nothing more than a global redistribution of wealth–the major polluters are not included in the restrictions. Evidently China does not like being included in the efforts to save the planet.

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The Role Of Internet News Sites

 

English: Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florid...

Image via Wikipedia

The Weekly Standard posted an article yesterday about the role of an Internet blogger in bringing to light the errors in a very negative Reuters story about Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Matt Lewis, a blogger for the Daily Caller, pointed out the errors in the story, forcing Reuters to correct five of the items listed in the story. Reuters has admitted that the story is regrettable.

The article at The Weekly Standard reports:

It was so bad, in fact, that the editors and writer involved have been asked not to talk about it. (I reached out to editors David Lindsey and Eric Walsh, but have not heard back.)

The article, by David Adams, had intended to detail why Rubio was an unlikely pick for Vice President: “Rubio may not be as coveted as Gingrich or Romney would have it appear as they press for votes in Florida, where more than 450,000 Hispanics identify themselves as Republicans,” Reuters David Adams wrote. “Despite his reputation as a watchdog over federal spending, Rubio, 40, has had significant financial problems that could keep him from passing any vetting process as a potential vice presidential choice, Republican and Democratic strategists say.”

But after pressure from the Rubio staff, Reuters was forced to issue corrections that quickly became a larger talking point than the article itself.

Without the work of Matt Lewis, this story would have been allowed to go unchallenged, and a good man would have been smeared in the press. That is the reason why we need the Internet and Internet news sources!

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In The Muslim Culture Weakness Does Not Lead To Peace

The Muslim culture is a very male-oriented culture where power is respected and weakness is not. I am not sure that our State Department and the Obama Administration are taking that into consideration in some of their recent actions.

Reuters reported yesterday that the Obama Administration is considering transferring a senior Taliban official now at Guantanamo over to Afghan custody. Haven’t we learned from our mistakes? In Iraq (see rightwinggranny.com) Ali Musa Daqduq, a Hezbollah operative involved in the planning of the kidnapping and murder of American soldiers in Karbala in 2007, who is also guilty of arming and training Iraqi insurgents, was turned over to the Iraqis as the Americans withdrew (rather than taken to Guantanamo) and is expected to be released to either Beirut or Tehran.

The Reuters story reports:

One U.S. intelligence official said there had been intense bipartisan opposition in Congress to the proposed transfer.

“I can tell you that the hair on the back of my neck went up when they walked in with this a month ago, and there’s been very, very strong letters fired off to the administration,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

The senior administration official confirmed that the White House has received letters from lawmakers on the issue. “We will not characterize classified Congressional correspondence, but what is clear is the President’s order to us to continue to discuss these important matters with Congress,” the official said.

Even supporters of a controversial deal with the Taliban – a fundamentalist group that refers to Americans as infidels and which is still killing U.S., NATO and Afghan soldiers on the battlefield – say the odds of striking an accord are slim.

Critics of Obama’s peace initiative remain deeply skeptical of the Taliban’s willingness to negotiate, given that the West’s intent to pull out most troops after 2014 could give insurgents a chance to reclaim lost territory or push the weak Kabul government toward collapse.

President Obama refuses to send anyone to Guantanamo. Unfortunately that refusal is putting Americans and our national security at risk.

 

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Why We Need To Be Energy Independent

 

British map showing the Strait of Hormuz

Image via Wikipedia

Yahoo News posted a Reuters story yesterday about a recent statement by Parviz Sarvari, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee. Mr. Sarvari stated that the military was preparing for a military training exercise to practice closing the Straits of Hormuz. At least 40 percent of the oil traded in the world leaves the Gulf States through the Straits of Hormuz. United States warships patrol the area in order to protect shipping in that area. To close those Straits would create chaos in the world’s oil markets. 

The article reports:

Tension over the program has increased since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on November 8 that Tehran appears to have worked on designing a nuclear bomb and may still be pursuing research to that end. Iran strongly denies this and says it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Iran has warned it will respond to any attack by hitting Israel and U.S. interests in the Gulf and analysts say one way to retaliate would be to close the Strait of Hormuz.

When America has a weak president, the world is less safe. The current actions of Iran are further proof of that.

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The Problem With Green Energy

A wind turbine at Greenpark, Reading, England,...

Image via Wikipedia

Green energy is a great idea. Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the point where it makes economic sense. I suspect we will get there in the near future, but we are not there yet. When the United States or other governments try to force the issue, they run into problems. (See rightwinggranny.com from March 8, 2011, which explains what has happened with green energy in Spain). Now it’s the Netherlands’ turn.

On Wednesday, November 16, Reuters reported that the Dutch government is preparing to end its subsidies of offshore wind power. There are 36 turbines in the North Sea that produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 100,000 households each year. Because of the need to cut its budget deficit, the Dutch government says it can no longer afford to subsidize the entire cost of offshore wind power (18 cents per kilowatt hour–4.5 billion euros last year).

The article reports:

The government now plans to transfer the financial burden to households and industrial consumers in order to secure the funds for wind power and try to attract private sector investment.

It will start billing consumers and companies in January 2013 and simultaneously launch a system under which investors will be able to apply to participate in renewable energy projects.

But the new billing system will reap only a third of what was previously available to the industry in subsidies — the government forecasts 1.5 billion euros every year — while the pricing scale of the investment plan makes it more likely that interested parties will choose less expensive technologies than wind.

The outlook for Dutch wind projects seems bleak.

There will come a day when green energy is practical. Today is not it. When the government interferes with the free market, bad things happen.

 

 

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Two Stories That Need To Be Viewed Together

Reuters posted a story today about the fact that Fannie Mae is has lost $5.1 billion in the third quarter of this year and needs $7.8 billion in federal aid to stay afloat. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Mary Katharine Ham at the Daily Caller posted a story today stating that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to whom taxpayers have already given billions, gave out $12.79 million in bonuses to its executives for meeting modest goals.

My husband works in the private sector. There was a year when he got no raise and no bonus because the economy was bad and the company he works for was trying not to lay anyone off and still stay profitable. I guess my question is how come a company that loses $5.1 billion in three months and is being subsidized by taxpayers is handing out bonuses amounting to $12.79 million.

This is a total misuse of taxpayer money and needs to be stopped. If the company was making a profit and operating on its own money, I would have no problem with any bonuses they wanted to hand out. However, this is taxpayer money and should be spent much more carefully.

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