Thursday, July 31, 2014

Four Stories: Four Worrisome Signs That Our Economy Is In Trouble

When it comes to measuring the state of the economy, we know that 70-to-71% is driven by what you and I spend.  Therefore, in order for it to remain healthy and growing, the consumer must be increasingly active.  That activity, first and foremost, must come from increases in their incomes.  That brings us to the first story.

Just recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that real worker incomes -- incomes adjusted for inflation -- actually fell in June of 2014 when compared to June 2013.  While the drop is small -- 40 cents per work week or about $21 per worker per year -- the impact is fairly large when rolled up against 155 million workers; equaling a loss of a total of $3.2 billion in consumer buying power.  In other words, $3.2 billion that won't be spent to drive the economy.  More importantly, the economy could suffer even more by the "psychological" impact of lower wages.  That loss of $21 per year is an average.  So, some workers had a much larger loss of buying power.  If even a small percentage of employees feel they are behind the eight ball on salary and, as result, cut back a lot of discretionary spending, it could seriously hurt the economy.

Proof of the lack of consumer spending comes from another story.  Our major retailers are expected to close hundreds of stores in the U.S. as their retail sales continue to fall.  CNBC even called it a "Tsunami" of store closures. This is a sure sign that the shopper is backing away from spending.  Also, these closures mean a loss of jobs and, eventually, higher unemployment.

Then, there is this concern.  Last month's employment report showed an overall increase of 404,000 workers.  Of this, 275,000 temporary help jobs were created.  Simply, that means that almost 70% of the jobs created in June were low paying and temporary.  Whether this fact was because employers are making adjustments to cope with low business activity or because of their attempts to circumvent the 2015 mandates of ObamaCare, it is possibly another reason why wages have fallen. Again, there is a negative psychological impact when a worker can only find part time work.  It results in a lack of confidence and, more likely, another reason not to spend money on non-essentials.

Lastly, a recent report from the Urban Institute showed that 35% of American's face debt collection.  A fact that proves that they have been living beyond their incomes for quite some time. To put it simply, 35% of Americans could have their credit ratings adversely impacted.  As a result, it could affect their chances of getting or holding a job when wage garnishment is threatened. It could also mean that millions may not be able to buy a house or rent an apartment; or, purchase an automobile; or, get any further credit cards or loans for emergency situations.  Having a third of the population in financial trouble, is a formula for disaster which could greatly impact economic growth.

Of course, just yesterday, the economy was said to have grown by 4% in the second quarter.  However, this is a preliminary number; subject to 3 more revisions.  The question then becomes whether or not that 4% will hold or fall in the same way that the first quarter had positive growth in its preliminary number; only to go negative and stay negative after that initial number's release. As far as consumer spending was concerned, non-big ticket items matched the growth of the first quarter at 2.5%.  But, understand that much of that growth was due to extremely high prices for food; driven by the drought and bad weather. Energy prices also drove up spending, but consumer spending for services fell by half from the first quarter.  What really drove that supposed 4% growth in the second quarter was the fact that imports fell (normally, a higher import number is a negative drag on our economy).  But, a drop in imports may be a sign that consumers aren't buying much of the goods we normally get from China, Indonesia, Mexico, etc. and, that business upped their inventory of products in anticipation of future sales.  Whether or not those replenished inventories will sell in the future with what appears to be a cooling of buying activity seems to be unlikely. In essence, the consumer didn't really contribute to the growth of the economy in the second quarter.


Real Incomes: June 2014:

A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail:

June 2014: Employment Situation Report: Table A: 

Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors:

U.S. Second-Quarter GDP Expands at 4.0% Rate:

Q2 GDP Surges 4%, Beats Estimates Driven By Inventories, Fixed Investment Spike; Historical Data Revised:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why Obama Won't Be Impeached and Why He Could Be

Normally, Democrats are totally dismissive of everything Sarah Palin says or stands for.  After all, she's one of those wacko Tea Party people and a former losing V.P. candidate of John McCain's.  So, it was interesting that, all of  a sudden, the Democrats and the White House are taking her seriously when she said Obama should be impeached. The only reason that her words have resonated with Democrats is because they think that her they can be used as a campaign and fund raising tool.  As a result, there is a concerted effort to convince America that Palin, is somehow, speaking for all Republicans.  What better way to get Democrats out to vote in the fall, or to stimulate fund raising to defeat the Republicans in November, than to make them think Republicans are poised to impeach their beloved President?

Of course, all this talk is just that: Talk.  There is no way that the Republicans are going to put themselves on record as attempting to impeach the country's first Black President.  That is the very reason that Boehner is trying to sue the President instead. Further, America doesn't want Obama impeached.  A recent poll by ORC/CNN revealed that only about a third of those questioned believe he should be impeached.  Not anywhere close to a majority.  This is despite the fact that 45% thought this he has exceeded his powers.  But again, most said, not enough for that extreme action.

What could result in this President's impeachment is if Democrats start calling for it.  Only then should Republicans even think about proceeding.  This could happen "if" there is a substantial loss for the Democrats in the Fall and "if" they, in general, believe that Obama could seriously hurt them or their next Presidential candidate in 2016.  But, these "if's" have about as much of a chance of happening as  lighting striking thrice; not just twice.


Sarah Palin: 'It's Time to Impeach' President Obama:

Poll: One-third Say Obama Should Be Impeached:

Dems pump up impeachment talk in appeal for support, campaign bucks:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Billion Dollar Plus Jury Awards: A Legal System Out Of Control

Just this year, there have been 3 separate jury awards to a single individual; each in excess of a billion dollars.

In February, a woman by the name of Carolyn Whittaker was awarded $1.6 billion dollars after claiming that her insurance company defrauded her.  In April, Terrance Allen was awarded $9 billion after having taken the diabetes drug Actos and contracted bladder cancer.  Then, just this week, a woman by the name of Cynthia Robinson was awarded $23.6 billion dollars after her chain-smoking husband died of a smoking-related cancer.

Up until this year, awards of $10 million dollars or more to a single individual were quite rare.  But, now, to have three awards at more than 2300 times that amount has to be sending shock waves through corporate America.  Awards in the billions of dollars can literally put companies out of business and all their workers out of jobs.  More importantly, if drug manufacturers are driven out of business because any of their drugs, on a likely chance that on rare occasion can cause death or injury, then what?  Millions of people will no longer have access to medications they need to keep themselves alive.  And, for what?  A legal system that is now valuing peoples lives at well beyond any amount of money that any average person could make in a lifetime.  For example, the average college degreed worker is only expected to make 2.27 million in their lifetime.  An award of $23.6 billion dollars is the equivalent lifetime incomes of more than 10,000 college degreed workers.  Or, to look it another way. Just a single billion dollars equals more almost $37,000 a day -- every day -- over a period of an average person's lifetime of 75 years.  For, $23.6 billion, that daily average would be almost be a million dollars a day at $862,100.

The jury system for malpractice and personal injury suits has to be reformed.  Juries, today, have no concept of the amount of money they are awarding and what the overall consequences of those awards are.  We are creating a society where companies and corporations will be less likely to take risks if they think they will be hit with just one jury award in excess of a billion dollars.  And, for that, we will all be pay.


Florida jury awards $23.6 billion to widow in smoking lawsuit:

Louisiana Jury Hands Down $9 Billion Actos Verdict:

Woman Awarded Billion Dollar Verdict:

How Higher Education Affects Lifetime Salary:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Billions In Taxes Lost as U.S. Corporations Park Money or Leave The U.S.

There is a little reported fact that a number of  large U.S. companies are leaving the U.S. to be headquartered in other, more tax-favorable countries. The trend is increasing with 5 major companies announcing their plans to relocate in just this year so far: Chiquita, Abbvie, Medtronic, Walgreens and Mylan.

The mechanism by which they are doing this is called corporate inversion; whereby, a foreign company, with as little as 20% ownership in a U.S. company, is allowed to relocate that U.S. company's headquarters to their country of origin.

In doing so, the U.S. company being relocated would no longer be subject to the U.S.'s 35% corporate tax on all it's corporate profits, both foreign and domestic; and, the highest among all industrialized countries.  Further, redomiciled companies could then avoid the absolutely stupid U.S. tax policy of   double taxing any foreign profits returned to the U.S. -- after foreign taxes had already been paid on those same profits.  We are are the only major industrialized country that does this, and, this stupidity has resulted in nearly $2 trillion of accumulated profits just sitting overseas with that money not benefiting us one iota.  Money, that could very well have been brought back to this country to expand manufacturing facilities and create jobs. Or, to lower prices. Then, too, to simply retire corporate debt; which, in turn, would take away a major tax deduction that corporations use every day to lower their overall taxable profits. Or, money that could be paid out as a dividend and thus injecting it into the economy without one taxpayer dollar being involved.

Now, the Obama Administration doesn't like corporate inversion.  They refer to it as a lack of "economic patriotism"; as if corporations, and all of us, only exist patriotically to pay taxes to the U.S. government.  In this country, only half of the population pays any taxes.  Are those who don't pay taxes, also, economically unpatriotic?

The simple fact is that our current tax laws are driving companies offshore; and, talk by Obama to kill any remaining corporate tax benefits -- which he calls loopholes -- is only going to aggravate the situation.  That is probably why the trend of inversion has accelerated under Obama.  And, what is Obama's solution to the problem and a potential 10 year loss of  $20 billion in taxes?  Certainly not to fix the corporate tax laws.  Instead, he wants Congress to act immediately to raise the inversion ownership requirement by overseas companies from 20% to 50%.  This, too, is stupid.  Remember that $2 trillion parked out there?  Well, a smart U.S. corporation could just have a foreign buyer take on more debt to satisfy the 50% ownership requirement. Once, the deal is done, that excess debt could be retired with the money that is sitting offshore and the total combined company would still be better off than remaining domiciled in the U.S. and paying high taxes.

Right now, Obama is using corporate inversion as another campaign tool by demonizing those companies who are moving out of this country.  Calling them deserters and unpatriotic.  He knows that, if the Republicans don't act by the Fall elections to raise the inversion ownership requirement to 50%, he can use that fact to hammer the GOP for being too "in bed" with big business.  That's exactly what he did in Los Angeles last week in another one of his campaign style rallies at a technical training school. Of course, he also knows that there isn't enough Congressional session time to bring the "50%" rule to passage; given their current preoccupation with all the other crises that keep occurring under Obama's stewardship. Crises that he seems to have no time for while he's out campaigning against corporate inversion. 


Corporate Inversion:

Jack Lew pushes Congress to crack down on tax ‘inversions’:

US could lose $20B from corporate tax inversions:

U.S. Firms Move Abroad to Cut Taxes:

GE, Pfizer, Microsoft, Apple And Other Major US Corporations Are Parking More Cash Abroad To Avoid Paying Taxes:

Cash Abroad Rises by $206 Billion as Apple to IBM Avoid Tax:

Los Angeles Rally: Obama seizes on 'corporate deserters' of U.S.:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Except For U.S., Global Warming Compliance Is Cooling Down

President Obama, Al Gore, and many others such as billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer, would have us believe that we need to do more to fight global warming.  They like to claim that 97% of scientists "agree" that climate change is man-caused and needs to be controlled.  However, that theory is based on only 79 scientists who responded to an online poll in 2009.  But, when it comes to priorities Americans wants our government to tackle, climate change finds itself just one-up from the bottom:

With none of the doomsday predictions coming true, it is becoming increasing difficult for Americans and others around the world to believe that fighting global warming is worthwhile.

Just last week, Australia became the first industrialized country to dump its emission tax; and, South Korea seems poised to delay its 2015 implementation of their carbon taxation system.  Both of these countries may just be the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to cooling attitudes on global warming.  For example, earlier this year, the European Union signaled that it may relax its compliance with its own carbon reducing mandates.

So this begs the question.  Why is President Obama so hell-bent on controlling carbon when the rest of the world seems to be going in the opposite direction?  Controlling carbon is not a go-it-alone option.  Even if we reduced all of our emissions, the rest of the world would easily make up for it with their increased activity.  This is especially true when you look at the massively increasing carbon output of countries such as India and China as they attempt to become more affluent.

The simple fact is that many are no longer buying into the climate change hysteria and wildly predicted disasters that just aren't happening.  Apparently, the alarmists have never heard about "Chicken Little".  And, in this country, we have a President who is now siding with a minority by still treating climate change as a national priority.


The Myth of the Climate Change '97%' - Wall Street Journal:

Australia abolishes tax on carbon emissions:

S.Korean finmin says planned carbon market flawed, wants delay -paper:

Europe, Facing Economic Pain, May Ease Climate Rules:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Harry Reid's Disingenuous Comments On The DC Court's Ruling On ObamaCare Subsidies

After two separate, but equal, federal courts ruled at odds with each other over the expansion of the ObamaCare subsidies to include those states that refused to establish their own exchanges, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid felt obliged to go to the microphones and admonish the DC court which had just ruled against the expansion.   Reid, arguing that the DC ruling was a partisan effort by two "activist" Republican judges, seemed to be blind to the fact that one could argue that the very same activism took place in the Virginia court where 3 Democrat Judges (Davis, Gregory, and Thacker) unanimously sided with the Obama Administration over the expansion of subsidies.

Reid also continued his admonishment by declaring that ObamaCare was lawfully passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court.  However, what he is completely ignoring is the fact that the the constitutionality or the legality of the ObamaCare law was never at issue in those two court rulings.  What is at issue is whether or not the IRS had the right to re-write the law and, thereby, expand subsidies to those 36 states who elected not to provide their own exchanges.  Section 36b of ObamaCare clearly mandates that, in order to receive a subsidy, you must enroll “through an Exchange established by the State under 1311.”  The words "established by the State" obviously doesn't imply any exchange established by the Federal government like "".  Otherwise, why even be so specific by using such wording?  And the reason for the IRS re-write is simple.  Too many states had refused to set up their own exchanges; leaving millions of the enrolled ineligible for subsidies.  In fact, only 14 actually did create their own exchanges. So, the Obama Administration knew the law would die on its own if millions avoided signing up for healthcare without those subsidies. Once again, it is the lawlessness of the Obama Administration that is really at issue here. 

Sadly, these opposing decisions by our courts does expose political activism in our judicial system.  If there wasn't, at least one of the 4 Democrat judges involved in these two decisions crossed party lines and would have ruled differently in what is an obvious wording intent of the law.  And, that activism is the very reason that Reid went "nuclear" in the Senate; thus, allowing federal judges and other political candidates to be appointed with a simple majority and not the previously required two-thirds vote.  This way Harry, with a majority control of the Senate, could load up our legal system with as many far-left, activist justices as he and the President could see fit. So, if Reid wants to make claims of political activism in our courts, he need only look in a mirror.


Video: Harry Reid Admonishes DC Court Decision:

The statutory text of Obamacare and the Halbig and King cases:

U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions On Obamacare Subsidies:

Judge Andre M. Davis:

Judge Roger L. Gregory:

Judge Stephanie Thacker:

Upholding ObamaCare—as Written An appeals court's remedial civics lesson: Laws mean what they say:

Why the Halbig Decision Should Be Taken Seriously:

Senate Nuclear Option:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Three Reasons Why The Downing Of MH17 Will Go Unpunished

First of all, the Ukrainian government should be leading the charge against the separatists for the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH17.  However, their army is in no position to take any military action.  They can't even secure the crash site. While the separatists are receiving weapons and training from Russia, the Ukrainian army is receiving no such support from either NATO/Europe or the United States.  To date, the U.S. has only supplied peripheral support such as sleeping bags, some medical supplies, meals-ready-to-eat, and night vision goggles.  Obama will never supply weapons because he is, first and foremost, an anti-war President.  To supply the Ukraine, as silly as it seems, would be to promote war in that country.  This is the reason he hasn't provided the non-ISIS rebels with weapons in their fight against Bashar al-Assad.

Secondly, Europe and NATO won't act to assist the Ukrainian government because, to do so, might cause Putin to take economic action against Europe by cutting off oil and gas supplies.  Russia supplies nearly 40% of their natural gas and a third of its total oil requirements.

Finally, The United Nations and its Security Council are impotent in their ability to take action against either Russia or the Ukrainian separatists because Russia (Putin) has veto power and that power would effectively kill any resolutions or military actions that may be proposed by other members of the Council.

The bottom line is that Putin is in the catbird seat when it comes to the Ukraine.  He knows that Obama and the Europeans won't act against him and his goal of reconstituting the U.S.S.R.  Ultimately, he will annex the Ukraine; just as he was able to annex Crimea.  Unless, the world wakes up and takes decisive actions, his ambitions of a stronger and larger Russian superpower will resurface.

Russia in the European energy sector:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Obama Administration "Surprised" Over The Border Crisis

When the news broke of mass numbers of unaccompanied children crossing the border, the response by officials at DHS and ICE were that they were "surprised" by the influx.  This first-we-heard-of-it tactic by the President and his people is getting a little tiring.  Remember the V.A. scandal.  The first they heard of it was when it was reported by CNN.  The same was true with the IRS scandal and Fast and Furious.

Now, with the border crisis raging, we are finding out that the Obama Administration knew for a least a year that there would be a massive influx of Central American children crossing the border.  Last January, they ran an ad seeking a contractor to handle the transportation of a very specific and calculated number of 65,000 unaccompanied children.  That amount seems to be right in sync with the projected numbers that we are now being given by the "surprised" Administration.  Then, just recently, we find out that, in August of last year, the Border Patrol built a makeshift processing and transportation center at Brownsville, Texas; specifically to handle unaccompanied children.  

This all begs the question: When is the most transparent Administration in the history of the United States going to start being transparent?


Question: If DHS Is “Surprised” At The Number Of Unaccompanied Minors Crossing The Border, Then Why Were They Looking For A Vendor To Support 65,000 Unaccompanied Minors In January ?…:

Stunning: DHS solicited bids for vendor to handle 65,000 unaccompanied minors -- IN JANUARY!:

White House says Obama only learned of VA wait-list scandal on TV (just like the IRS, Fast and Furious and reporter snooping scandals):

Obama aides were warned of brewing border crisis:

Monday, July 21, 2014

John Kerry Is Dispatched To Egypt To Secure Cease-Fire In Gaza


U.S. pushes for 'immediate' end to Gaza fighting as deaths mount: Secretary of State John Kerry, who was headed to Egypt, to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities:

What Border Does Harry Reid Think Is Secure?

In a recent impromptu press briefing, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this: "without any equivocation the border is secure."

Of course, this begs the question as to why the immigration reform bill that has passed his Democrat-controlled Senate includes $30 billion to double the number of border agents and to add 700 miles of fencing to -- guess what -- secure the border.  Further, while still not approved by the House, the Senate's immigration bill was passed in June 2013. That was long before an estimated 50,000 unaccompanied children started pouring over the border last Fall; prompting Obama to ask for an additional $3.7 billion in order to tackle the current crisis. A crisis, by the way, that has literally turned our border agents into child care orderlies; leaving them no time to perform their real duties such as keeping us secure from illegally crossing drug smugglers and gang members. 

Either Harry is off his meds or he must be talking about some other border that we're not aware of.


Harry Reid declares border ‘secure’:

June 20, 2013: Senators reach deal on border security proposals:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Obama's Weekly Address Gets Pinocchio'ed..But How Many Americans Knew It?

In this week's address, President Obama decided to hammer the Republicans over John Boehner's decision to sue him for the lawless actions of using executive orders to delay and change current laws without any Congressional involvement, approval, or legislative action.

In that address, there was a line that was almost exclusively reported by the national media. The President stated that:
"So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class. Lifting the minimum wage, fair pay, student loan reform - they've said no to all of it..." 
So, as in the case of a CBS report and many others, most American's got the "news driven" notion that the President was speaking the truth when he blamed the Republican House for inaction; never once alluding to the fact that he was perhaps stretching the truth when he claimed that "every serious idea" was blocked.

However, one main stream media giant, the Washington Post, did take the time to admonish Obama by showing that many "helping-the-middle-class" laws were passed by the House and were either signed into law or left to languish in the Senate where Harry Reid selectively brought votes to the floor only when they gave political advantage to the Democrats. For Obama's lying, the Washington Post gave the President "3" big Pinocchios.

The problem is that this was only seen by those who took the time to read the Washington Post's online blog, or to watch Fox News to see the coverage of the "3 Pinocchio" story.  As a result, most Americans probably believe that the middle class is now worse off, thanks to the GOP.

The media is doing a disservice to this country by allowing Obama to lie in his weekly address and not publicly admonishing him for it.  The Boehner lawsuit is what is needed to, once again, allow us to,  maintain the division of powers and to stop the lawless actions of the President.  A fact that was so eloquently testified to by the eminent liberal law professor Jonathan Turley in a recent hearing before Congress.


CBS:  Obama to GOP: Instead of suing me, "do something":

Obama’s claim that the GOP has ‘blocked every serious idea’:

Jonathan Turley: Congress ‘Must Act’ Against Obama’s Overreach Or Face ‘Self-Destruction’:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A New Style Of High End, Low Risk Burglaries: Facial Recognition

Recently, a new app hit the marketplace for your smart phone. Its called "NameTag".  It gives users access to a powerful facial recognition system that is able to isolate and identify the photo of someone against the millions of other photos on social media sites.  Simply snap a picture of someone, and if they are out there on the internet, their name and other information will be displayed.

Now, picture this.  You're fairly well to do, and you and your family pull into a local sports stadium for the big game.  Your high-end car attracts attention and a picture is taken of you and your wife.  Using NameTag, the person taking the pictures is now aware of  at least one or maybe both of your names. Combine that with some inexpensive background check service and voila', any criminal in the world will not only know where you live but, also, know your wealth status and, most importantly, can assume that you'll be away f rom home for at least a couple of hours watching a sporting event.  Just enough time to ransack your whole house.

This is just another reason to be as discreet as possible when using social networking sites.


Facial recognition app matches strangers to online profiles:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Blame-Game and Lies About the Border Immigration Crisis

The explosion of unaccompanied children crossing our southern border -- up 92% just this year under Obama's watch -- has caused the President and the Democrats to find anyway possible to blame the Republicans -- and even George W. Bush -- for this crisis.

Obama blames the Republicans for not passing immigration reform. However, there isn't a single,  change in the proposed policies -- from either the Democrats or the Republicans -- that would have prevented or stopped this current wave of children from asking for asylum from violent countries like El Salvador, Honduras, or Guatemala.

They are coming here because they are aware of an existing law --  the Trafficking Victims and Violence Protection Act -- which mandates that border agents must accept any child into this country who is seeking asylum from violence in their own country.  And, they can't be deported without having  a legal hearing as to whether or not they were truly endangered. Even if we added 700 miles of new fencing, any of these children could go to a cross-border checkpoint, and our agents must accept them.

Now, with regard to the Trafficking Victims and Violence Protection Act, there are those who are attempting to blame George W. Bush for its reauthorization in 2008. But, there are three facts that aren't being told about the 2008 law.  First, it was originally signed by Bill Clinton in 2000 and had to be renewed several times because it always carried an automatic sunset date.  The 2008 renewal not only pertained to human trafficking, but also included a new amendment covering asylum for unaccompanied alien children fleeing violence. That amendment was written and promoted by a Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, in her role as the Chairperson of the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.  Bush may have signed it into law but the "unaccompanied rule" was a Democrat-led initiative. Secondly, it expired in 2011 and had to be reauthorized and signed by President Barack Obama in 2013.  This 2013 reauthorization seems to have been the impetus for the current wave of children exploding into the crisis we are now seeing.

So, it's pretty simple.  If the Trafficking Victims and Violence Protection Act is repealed or amended, the problem would, in all probability, go away.  However, none of our politicians -- on either side of the political aisle -- are going to put their name on a law that would heartlessly return children to a life of violence and possible death.  Personally I don't see any way of ever stopping this.

However, what I am afraid of, is that many politicians will push for reuniting these children with their parents in "this" country and not their own.  If this does happen, it will create a new method for immigrants to gain legal access into the U.S. by simply sending their kids to the border.  Thus, they will succeed in bypassing our existing legal immigration laws.  And, the surge of aliens into our country will only be amplified.


Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000:

Surge in unaccompanied child immigrants spurs White House reaction:

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Feinstein Amendment to Protect Unaccompanied Alien Children:

U.S. State Department Guide on Trafficking Laws:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Obama Wants $62k Per Child To Clean Up Border Mess

It is currently estimated that about 60,000 unaccompanied children from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will reach our southern border this year; all seeking asylum.  President Obama has told Congress he wants $3.7 billion to fix this immigration nightmare.  But, if you do the math, his funding requests equals  about $61,700 per child;  and, this amount is above the thousands that this government is already spending to detain, health check, and bus these kids to either families or other detention centers throughout the United States.

All indications are that almost all of the $62K per child is really needed to feed and cloth and process these children through the immigration and court systems and "not" to prevent, deter, or block these children from overrunning the country.  Of course, any sane person would say that's a lot of money, on a per child basis to be spending, and still not stop the migration of these kids.

Once again, Obama wants to throw money at the symptom and not address the real issue.  Of course, if the Republican House doesn't approve his funding request, he will do what he always does and blame them for blocking his efforts to solve the problem.  This is all he really wants so that he can again use it a campaign tool in advance of the Fall elections; never once putting this country above political maneuvering.


Surge in unaccompanied child immigrants spurs White House reaction:

Obama holds off on deportation changes, seeks $3.7B to address border crisis:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Will Obama's Real Climate Scientist Please Stand Up?

Recently, with a series of zingers, President Obama chided the GOP as climate deniers.  In a specific response to those Republicans who have made the argument that he is not a climate scientist and therefore not qualified to push climate issues, Obama said this: "I mean, I'm not a scientist...but I've got this guy, John Holdren, he's a scientist."  Thus referring to his Science Czar, John Holdren.

The problem with Holdren is his credibility.

In 1971, he wrote a paper titled "Global Ecology: Readings Toward a Rational Strategy for Man" in which he predicted a coming ice age due to reduced atmospheric transparency.  That reduction, he claimed, was a direct result of all kinds of human and natural pollutants. In arguing his point, he cooked up the theory  that pollutants were acting like filters; not allowing heat to reach the surface of the earth.  Now, today, he seems to believe just the opposite; with those very same pollutants trapping heat and, thus, causing global warming.

Now, I suppose it's OK for people of science to change their minds.  However, this flip flop on such a major issue as to the direction of the earth's temperature brings into question his scientific prowess and, subsequently, his believability.

So, which Holdren are we to believe today?  The guy who said we are entering an ice age?  Or, the one that Obama says is his climate scientist?  A man who appears to have gotten it so wrong in 1971.


Obama Has a Response to Republicans' 'I Am Not a Scientist' Line:

Flashback: John Holdren in 1971: ‘New ice age’ likely:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How Eating Breakfast Can Literally Make You Sick

Many nutritionists tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it kick-starts into our morning.  But, lately, you may be feeling a little sick, or perhaps even a bit depressed after eating that All-American staple of eggs, bacon, toast and coffee.  This may be because -- just since January 2013 -- the cost of that basic meal has risen by 24% overall; with coffee up 72% and bacon 42%.
Click on image to enlarge
Simply, you have to ask yourself this: Did I get a 24% raise last year to afford these breakfast increases? Probably not.  And, it isn't just breakfast that has become expensive.  All meals are costing you more.  Because of this,  you and I have less dollars in our pockets for other things and, as a result, overall consumer spending is hurt in the process; just another one of the reasons the economy contracted by 2.9% in the first quarter.


Blistering food rally plays havoc with breakfast:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Another Executive Action May Be Death Knell For ObamaCare

When ObamaCare was being drafted, the Democrats wanted to make sure that all the states would buy into the program by creating their own insurance exchanges.  To insure this, the law specifically said that if a state refused to setup their own exchange -- and Health and Human Services (HHS) was forced to provide one instead -- no one in that state would not be eligible for any federally subsidized insurance policies. What the President, the Democrats, and his HHS department didn't count on was the fact that 34 states refused to setup an exchange; meaning that millions wouldn't received subsidies and, as such, were probably not inclined to sign up for health insurance.  This, in essence, would crush ObamaCare by not getting all the currently uninsured into the program.

Recognizing this flaw in his health law, Obama decided -- on his own and contrary to the law -- to extend subsidies to those enrollees in those states who didn't establish exchanges.  That action by the President is now being challenged in the D.C. federal appellate court under the reference name Halbig vs. Sebelius.  If successfully argued, it would mean that millions in 34 states would lose the subsidies that Obama promised; thus forcing mass cancellations. At the same time, it would post another court loss for the Administration.


Obamacare faces another court threat — and this one could be fatal:

Jonathan Turley: Get ready for an even bigger threat to Obamacare:

The BIG threat to Obamacare (that you've never heard of):

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Is Mexico Our Lethal Dirty Bomb Threat?

In December of last year, the Mexican authorities were fortunately, able to recover radioactive material that had been stolen two weeks earlier.  The fact that it was able to be taken in the first place raised fears that, in the wrong hands, this kind of nuclear material could be used to create extremely lethal  dirty bombs.  Fortunately, the thieves in this case contaminated themselves because they were totally unaware of what they had stolen.

Now, just about 8 months later, another container full of radioactive material was again stolen in Mexico.

As a country with such a porous border, the United States should be extremely concerned about the apparent lack of security accompanying these transports through Mexico.  It would only take one of these shipments and a limited amount of expertise to smuggle this it into our country and turn it into a deadly bomb using conventional explosives.

These two stories should serve as a wake up call to all those who think we don't have to beef up the security on our southern border.  Not just to keep illegals from entering but, to keep us safe from what could be a serious threat.


December 2013: Truck carrying dangerous radioactive material stolen in Mexico:

Mexico finds stolen radioactive material amid dirty bomb fear:

July 4, 2014: Radioactive material stolen in Mexico: officials:

Chicago: July 4th Killings/Shootings Beat 2013

Chicago's Mayor has been kicking back and celebrating the year's drop in deadly violence in his city compared to years past.

However, this year's 4th of July weekend just proved that violence must still be in that city's genes.

Last year, 12 people died of gunshots and 74 were wounded.  This year, with violence supposedly down, 14 people lost their lives and 82 were wounded. 


2013: Chicago erupts in gun violence: 74 people shot, 12 killed over July 4 weekend:

2014: Fourth of July weekend toll: 82 shot, 14 of them fatally, in Chicago:,0,5439185.story

Friday, July 4, 2014

Decades Of Labor Participation Wiped Out and Continuing to Decline

In 1997 -- 14 years before the supposed wave of retiring baby boomers were to start hitting the economy -- the number of workers participating in labor peaked at 68.1%. This after having climbed from a low of 57.9% in 1965.  Compared to that high in 1997, the current participation rate has fallen nearly 8% to today's level of 62.8%; now equaling levels not seen since 1978.  And the current decline -- post recession --  has significantly accelerated since 2007.

In a recent report release by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), almost all of the newly created jobs in this country since 2000 have gone to immigrants; both legal and illegal.  During that same period, 58 million natural born citizens simply dropped out of the workforce.

So, how do 58 million workers survive not working?

Many find filing for Social Security disability insurance a new way to get a lifetime of pay without having to work.  As a result, we now have a record 11 million on disability; or, approximately, one out of every fourteen working age citizens collecting insurance.  Because of poor economic times, 36 percent of 18-to-31 year-olds or more than 21 million are living at home; most not working.  This, too, is the reason that gang membership has swelled to 1.4 million; up from 1 million in 2009 and 750,000 in 2000. The welfare rolls have been exploding with 15% of the population or 46.5 million in poverty and many eligible for full benefits including income.  Others aren't working because of college or the military.

The declining trend in labor participation is putting this country at risk economically. As the participation rate declines, it means that fewer and fewer of us are paying taxes and paying towards programs like Social Security and Medicare; and, subsequently, more and more of us are living off of the government instead of assisting it.

Essentially, the decline in labor participation also means that America is becoming a poorer country with incomes either stagnant or declining while the cost of living increases at a faster pace.  This is evidenced by the fact that median incomes in the U.S. pretty much peaked in 1998; exactly one year  after the 1997 peak in the participation rate:
During that same period where incomes were in decline, the cost of things we buy went up 48%.

America must wake up to the fact that the country is in decline with too few people working.  We are becoming the very essence of the European economies that have high unemployment; high taxes; unmanageable government debt; and, low business profits.  You can find all kinds of reasons for this: an increasingly poorly educated workforce with the good jobs either going overseas or being handed to better educated immigrants on work visas; or, because of increased government regulation that accelerated during the Clinton years and are even more oppressive under Obama; and/or, too high taxes on businesses that continue to make our companies less competitive in a world marketplace and which, prevent both the volume and quality of jobs being created.  At the same time we need to reassess all of our government assistance programs to insure that people who can work do work.


Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate:

Disability Beneficiaries Hit New Record:

June 2014: Civilian Workforce Participation Rate:

America’s Shameful Poverty Stats:

A Record 21.6 Million Millennials Living With Parents:

2009 Gang Statistics:

2014 Gang Data:

Median Income Falls For 5th Year, Inequality At Record High:

Year-to-Year U.S. Inflation Calculator:

Obama's Legacy: Being the Worst President?

In two separate, recent polls, Barack Obama has found himself in the unenviable position of being the "worst" of his presidential predecessors.

In a Gallup poll, he found himself dead last among all other living presidents.  Adding insult to injury he even trailed behind Jimmy Carter -- arguably, the previous worst president in modern times. Along with finding himself at the bottom, those polled awarded him with a favorability rating of less than 50%. All others managed to at least score over 50%.

And, in a Quinnipiac poll, the current President found himself, once again, at the bottom of the heap with 33% of those respondents labeling him as the "worst".  Second from the bottom was George W. Bush -- the same guy that Obama seems to blame for everything that's gone wrong since he's taken office.  Obviously, Americans don't share his opinion of George W.

I think that both of these polls reflect the incompetence of Obama's handling of both domestic and foreign policy.  Like or not, he is not a strong President.  Unable to negotiate or compromise, he is constantly going around Congress by issuing executive orders; many of which, are overreaching, violate the Constitution, and are being struck down in the courts.  On the foreign policy front, one is hard pressed to find a success. Most of the Middle East is in flames, or on the verge of it. China and Russia are flexing their muscles against their neighbors, and both of those countries are vying to be the biggest kid on the block.

Sadly, Obama is not listening to what the polls are saying because he just continues to barrel down his ideological highway by declaring that he will continue his planned end-runs around Congress and the Constitution.  While some pundits might be pooh-poohing either of these polls in isolation, the reality is that two separate sources independently came to the same conclusion: Obama is the worst President in modern times.


Of Living Presidents, Obama Has Least Favorable Approval Rating:

POLL: Obama Worst Modern-Day President:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Canada Tires of Waiting For Obama. Approves A New Pipeline to Supply Asia (China).

The President has delayed the Keystone Pipeline Project for almost as long as he's been in office.  That pipeline would have brought oil from Canada for refinement throughout the central and southern United States; and it now seems to be in jeopardy.  The Canadian government has just approved a trans-Canada pipeline that would move the oil that was originally destined for the Keystone Pipeline to their Pacific ports for shipments to Asia; primarily China.

So, instead of counting on our friendly neighbor to the north to supply us with oil, that neighbor has been forced to help China instead.  And, that oil, that would have been more cleanly refined in the U.S., will probably be processed in a country whose CO2 emission laws hardly exist.  As a result, Obama is actually responsible for creating more CO2 pollution than if it had been processed here in the US.  Is this what going it alone on Climate Change is all about?


Canada OKs oil pipeline to the Pacific Coast:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision Is Being Distorted By Media

In headline after headline, the Supreme Court decision, siding with Hobby Lobby, is being grossly distorted by calling it a decision against a woman's reproductive health; or, more generally: contraception.  This is a complete lie.

What is not being told, is the fact that Hobby Lobby and the other litigant, Conestoga, already provided insurance with contraceptive coverage for 16 of 20 methods of contraception that were mandated by ObamaCare; meeting the contraception needs of 95% of the women working at their companies. Their's was not an argument against providing contraception or, somehow, a kind of war against women's reproductive health.  What they did object to is having to be told by Obama and his Department of Health and Human Services that they have to provide therapeutic abortion drugs such as Plan B as part of their medical insurance plans.  This is the only and true basis of their religious objection.

I think one of the most distorted headlines about the Supreme Court decision was this from NBC: "Hobby Lobby Ruling: Employers Don't Have to Cover Birth Control."  It paints "employers", in a broad brush fashion, being able to deny birth control coverage. That is simply a lie.  The decision by the high court was limited to companies that are non-public owned and whose ownership is closely held by, for example, a family -- as was the case for Hobby Lobby.  All other employers must comply with the ObamaCare mandate to provide total contraceptive coverage; including abortive drugs.

The reality is that many, if not most employers had already provided some forms of contraception; and, they did so long before ObamaCare.  It is just good business in several ways.  Coverage of contraception is a recruiting tool that is able to attract good, qualified female employees; just as other benefits would.  Also, a pregnancy can be very costly to a company.  Under existing laws, women are entitled to maternity leave with their jobs held for them when they return.  As a result, companies must hire some form of temporary help to cover the loss of a woman on leave.  While some lower level jobs are easy to cover with temporary help, some higher level vacancies must be supplemented with extremely expensive consulting and contract labor.

Now, one last important note.  ObamaCare is designed to literally destroy the system of employer-based insurance in this country.  That's why the penalty for not providing it is so low; relative to the cost of providing insurance. So, the Hobby Lobby win is a moot point because, that company, like so many others, will probably elect to pay the ObamaCare employer mandate tax penalty and force their employees to buy their own insurance through the exchanges; assuming ObamaCare hasn't been repealed.  And, once an employee is in the exchange, all forms of contraception are covered; including those designed to be abortive.


New Research Shows that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Provide the Contraceptive of Choice to Over 95% of Women it Ensures:

Hobby Lobby Ruling: Employers Don't Have to Cover Birth Control:

Obamacare And The End Of Employer-Based Health Insurance:

Obamacare Architect Emanuel: Most Employers Will Drop Health Coverage:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Why Air Strikes Might Not Be Effective In Iraq

Most people seem to think that a fighter/bomber pilot can just jump into their assigned aircraft, fly off and complete their mission.  Now, that might be true if the pilot is aiming at a well-known and easily identifiable landmark or some easily-seen column of soldiers or military vehicles.

Having myself served as a military air controller, I know that pilots literally need "eyes on the ground" in the form of a FAC (Forward Air Controller) in order to insure that the real targets, and not some collateral targets, are being destroyed.  So, in essence and contrary to President Obama's commitment not to put boots on the ground, we do need people there to conduct airstrikes. First, to act as an intelligence source to determine what has to be attacked and, too, to act as a qualified FAC to direct and control the needed strikes.  Although, I am sure Special Forces personnel are quite able to both surveil the situation and call for and direct air strikes.

But, make no mistake, sending our forces into Iraq, to operate behind the lines in areas already controlled by the ISIS terrorists, would be an extremely dangerous mission; only achievable if our military personnel can easily and quickly assimilate into the ISIS-controlled Sunni population and be able to move freely enough to determine valued targets.   I just don't see this President putting our military personnel in that level of harms way.

What I think Obama will do is allow drone strikes on easily-identifiable columns of ISIS personnel; never once putting any of our actual military personnel at risk. Thus showing Americans that we are doing something to fix the broken situation in Iraq.  But, drones can't carry a lot of weaponry.  So, what will be required are numerous strikes with clear targeting of only visually identifiable targets; resulting in only limited success in curbing the ISIS march to control the country of Iraq.  Then, too, there's the problem of former Iraqi tanks and Humvee that are commandeered by ISIS in battle after battle on Iraqi soil.  It will be very difficult for drones and other aircraft to determine if any particular Iraqi tank or Humvee is under Iraqi control or ISIS control.

The truth is that Iraq is the proverbial "Humpty Dumpty" and it is now too late to try and put it back together again.  There is no way  we can reverse the situation in that country without another invasion.  What we had before we removed all our troops can never be recreated using the limited capability of the Iraqis and a few limited airstrikes.