Thursday, April 30, 2015

Will the True Wage Report Please Stand Up

The Labor Department, in releasing the weekly unemployment claims number, also released wage data for March.  As Reuters news is reporting:
Private sector wages and salaries were up 2.8 percent in the 12 months through March, the biggest gain since the third quarter of 2008, after rising 2.2 percent in the 12 months through December.
The only problem with this 2.8% increase is that it isn't consistent with the Employment Situation Report for March from another government agency: the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.  That report, in Table B (page 5), says that average weekly private-sector wages only rose 2.1% from $839.73 in March 2014 to $857.67 in March 2015; just barely above the core annual inflation rate of 1.8%.  

Does the Obama Administration think people are too dumb to compare two separate reports for their accuracy and consistency?  Is this a politically motivated report to counter GOP Presidential candidates and their increasing focus on the poor wage growth under Obama? 


U.S. jobless claims at 15-year low; consumer spending rises:


In rounding out the Labor Department’s report, core inflation advanced 1.8% on a year-over-year basis after gaining 1.7% in the 12 months ending February and 1.6% through January:

Restoring the American Dream: Economy & Jobs | GOP:

Our Broken Educational System Is Feeding Our Prison System

In a recent speech at Columbia University, Hillary Clinton addressed the Baltimore rioting by saying that there is something "profoundly wrong" with our justice system.  Then she gave a litany of likelihoods that face black males.  Things like higher rates of incarceration and longer sentencing and that statistics on black incarceration and employment, are an embarrassment to this country. What she doesn't seem to understand is that our justice system exists as a result of crime; not the other way around.  So, the objective in improving crime statistics -- especially for blacks -- is to go after the root cause and not apply a band aid after the fact.

According to the President's own Education Department, 70% of prison inmates in this country can't  read at a basic level.  So, obviously, much of all criminal behavior can be traced back to functional illiteracy.   When blacks make up 40% of the prison population, also understand that nearly 1-in-4 (24%) are functionally illiterate.  So, then, what is the solution to race and the justice system?  Better policing and lighter sentencing?  Or a better educational system?

Also, high black illiteracy rates also lead to higher unemployment rates, lower wages, and higher rates of poverty.   More importantly, high rates of poverty and unemployment are also linked to higher rates of crime.  Thus, if black unemployment and poverty is high, higher crime rates will also follow.  In Baltimore, for example, the black unemployment rate for ages 20 to 24 was 37%. 

The bottom line is that, if we want to lessen the frequency by which blacks have to interact with the police and, in doing so, lessen the possibility that they will die at their hands, we need to improve black education and black attitudes towards being educated.

One of the most disturbing statistics from the Department of Education is that almost 1-in-5 (19%) of all high school graduates can't read.  So, then, how is one who can't read able to test and graduate from high school?  The only way something like that can happen is if we have a lot of teachers who are willing to push students out of the doors of their high school without an education.  Until that changes, black crime and overall crime will remain high in this country.

As far as Hillary Clinton is concerned...her trashing of the justice system is simply telling blacks what they want to believe and not the truth.  


Hillary Clinton: 'There Is Something Profoundly Wrong' In Our Criminal Justice System:

Hillary Clinton: It's time to confront 'hard truths' about race and justice:

Illiteracy Statistics:

The U.S. Illiteracy Rate Hasn't Changed In 10 Years:

Breaking Down Mass Incarceration in the 2010 Census: State-by-State Incarceration Rates by Race/Ethnicity:

How Baltimore’s Young Black Men Are Boxed In:

Poverty and Crime: Breaking a Vicious Cycle of Discrimination:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage and the Liberal Spin

On April 1st, Seattle, Washington's $15 Minimum wage law technically went into effect.  Already, the liberals have attacked Republicans who had claimed that raising it that high would cost jobs and shutter businesses. The argument is that none of that has happened.   In fact, on April 10th, the far left think tank, "Think Progress", wrote an online article titled: "Seattle Restaurant Data Demolishes Conservative Argument Against $15 Minimum Wage."

The problem with the "Think Progress" article is that it leads people to believe that a $15 minimum wage completely went into effect April 1st.  It didn't.

If you are a small business of less than 500 employees, you have seven years to gradually raise it to $15.  That's about an 81 cent per hour raise per year from the previous $9.32 in Washington state.  All other businesses have just three years to increase it, and since most small business like restaurants and retail operations employ minimum wage workers, overall impact will be minimal; at least this year.

There's another reason that Seattle can handle the $15 minimum wage over time without a lot of impact on jobs. Seattle is wealthy.  The average per capita income is $43,237 (in 2013).  That's much higher then our nation as a whole at just $28,155 (again, in 2013). Because of its wealth, and the city's ability to keep people working, the unemployment rate was just 3.9% in December of 2014.

So, I guess from the 'Think Progress" article, we're supposed to conclude that raising the national minimum wage to $15 won't do any harm.  That reminds me of that old adage: "But, will it play in Peoria."  In Peoria, Illinois the average per capita salary is only $28,438 (in 2013); or, about $13.67 an hour (based on a 40-hour work week).  In terms of the unemployment rate, Peoria is already hurting at  6.9% as of December 2014.  Compared to Seattle's poverty rate of 13.6%, Peoria sits at 17.2%; meaning that 1-in-6 wouldn't see their salaries increased anyway.

Let's not have a national minimum wage of $15.  If Seattle, with its high standard of living, does it...then, fine.  But not every community can afford the price hikes that will result from it.


Seattle approves $15 minimum wage:

Seattle Restaurant Data Demolishes Conservative Argument Against $15 Minimum Wage:

We Are Seeing The Effects Of Seattle's $15 An Hour Minimum Wage:

USA Quick Facts:

Seattle Quick Facts:

Seattle Unemployment Rate:

Peoria Quick Facts:

Peoria Unemployment Rate:

Will it Play in Peoria:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why Now For The 'Clinton Cash' Book?

Whether accurate or not, the new book titled 'Clinton Cash' paints the picture of a family involved a lot of potentially shady and perhaps(?) quid-pro-quo deals while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.  Deals involving wealthy foreigners, foreign companies, and countries that contributed to the Clinton Foundation.  Supporters of  Bill and Hillary are quick to point out that the book was written by former Bush speechwriter Peter Schweizer as the reason to believe its just another "political hit" job by a biased GOP writer. Thus, we are not supposed to trust even a single word that appears in that book.

But, the possibility that it may be a "political hit" job leads us to a very interesting question:  Why now?  We are months away from the nomination and more than a year away from the November 2016 Presidential election.   Why not hold the book until just before the election where it could do some real political damage to Hillary?  That, of course, assumes she will be the Democrat nominee.

I personally think that the book's current release has the sole intended purpose of  hurting Hillary so much that she won't receive the nomination.  I believe that there are some in the Republican party who believe she is unbeatable because of her being a woman and that many Americans feel it is time for the first woman President.  Also, many believe she should have beaten Obama in 2008.  Thus, this book is a defensive move to insure someone else jumps into the race and wins the nomination.  Just my opinion.


New Book, 'Clinton Cash,' Questions Foreign Donations to Clinton Foundation:


Monday, April 27, 2015

Unions Can Now Have Access To Your Personal Info

As of April 14, the Obama-slanted National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) put new rules into effect that are designed to favor the labor unions and disadvantage employers.

Under these new rules, employers will have an extremely short time to argue their cases against unionization because voting must occur within 14 to 21 days after being notified that a vote must be taken. Prior to this, the average time was 38 days with some contested voting lasting up to 56 days. Thus, a large company with multiple locations and multiple shifts (such as Walmart) will be logistically disadvantaged in arguing its case against unionization.  And, that's intentional.  The whole purpose of this "quickie election rule" is to insure that employees don't get all the facts before they decide.

But, it doesn't just stop there.  Under the new rules, if your company is targeted by a union, you must turn over the names, addresses, telephone numbers, company and private email addresses, company locations and work hours of all employees.  Previously, it was only required for unions to have access to names and addresses of a company's employees.  So now, while businesses will have less time to argue their case, unions will have months to barrage potential members with information by mail, email, telephone calls, or in person meetings at your home, or anywhere outside your work location.  At the same time, employers are restricted from countering the union campaigning prior to the period after the union notifies the employer of a vote.  A fact that many legal eagles find unconstitutional because it restricts an employer's freedom of speech.

The biggest problem with the above ruling is that it is a complete invasion of privacy.  In the wake of the NSA scandal where private emails and conversations were being listened into by the federal government, a lot of people are not going to tolerate this.  Unions contacting people in multiple ways might find out that this will backfire when it comes to votes.  I know that I would consider it harassment if I already had no interest in being a member of a union and they kept contacting me.

Also, unions are big "get-out-the-vote" volunteers for the Democrat party.  In the past, having a list of just names and addresses was too labor intensive.  They were better off going door-to-door, neighborhood by neighborhood.  Now, they have all the contact information they need  for campaigning.  I also doubt that there are any protections that prevent the unions from handing over that extremely valuable information to their favored political party.

Lastly, the NLRB rules (similar to other attempts by Obama to legislate by mandate) may not stand up to a legal review.  Several business groups have already filed federal lawsuits to block these new rules.


NLRB To Force Companies To Turn Over Employee Telephone Numbers & E-Mail Addresses To Unions?:

NLRB Allows Employees to Use Employer Email Systems for Organizing Purposes, and Issues New Speedy Union Election Rule:

 NLRB “Quickie Election” Rule Accelerates the Union Organizing Process:

Business Groups File Lawsuit to Block NLRB’s Union-Organizing Rule:

Friday, April 24, 2015

McDonald's Struggles To Survive

I am of the belief that raising the minimum wage during the Great Recession made it both deeper and wider than it had to be.  The reason for that is simple.  If you, as a business owner, are forced to raise wages when you are already losing money in the midst of a recession, your only choice is to lay people off; or, worst case, close your doors.  During the recession years of 2007 to 2009, the minimum wage was raised 40%.  Over that time,  more than 200,000 small businesses -- the type that hire many minimum wage workers -- ceased to exist.  It is anyone's guess as to what percentage of those places had to close because of the higher salaries, but, for sure some -- maybe many -- had to.

Now, in 2015, fast food giant McDonald's is struggling.  Hundreds of their under-performing stores have already been closed; with hundreds more slated to shut down later this year.  As each one closes, an average of 61 workers will lose their jobs.  Yet, many of those McD's employees seem to think their wages should be doubled to at least $15 an hour as this picture from the New York Post clearly shows.

Maybe they should rethink that.  In my opinion, having a job is a lot better than not having one at all. Especially in an economy that still has 17 million workers still unemployed based on the U6 alternative measure of employment.


McDonald's to Shutter Hundreds of Stores As it Bleeds Money:

April 15th: Fast-food workers picket, demanding wage hikes:

Economy lost more than 200,000 small businesses in recession, Census shows:

McDonald's Statistics from Michigan:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report for March 2015: Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hillary Wants To Topple the Wealthiest One Percent

Apparently, Hillary Clinton plans to fix income inequality in America by making the rich poorer and  literally toppling the top one percent.  This way, I suppose, it will make the poor "look" a little richer. Forget about the fact that most of the nation's wealthy got that way by creating companies that, in turn, create jobs.

If she does topple the rich, how are we going to pay for all those liberal federal programs that benefit the poor?  The top one percent already pays more in taxes than the bottom 90% of all wage earners combined.  All this so that the bottom 43% can pay no taxes and the poor can survive on programs like food stamps and Medicaid.  But, Hillary still thinks the rich are unfairly treated when it comes to taxes. 

Of course, this comes from the mouth of a woman whose combined wealth with her husband is estimated to be between $100 and $200 million dollars. 

Maybe she needs to topple herself.


Hillary Clinton Calls For 'Toppling' The 1 Percent:

Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax:

43% Of Americans Don't Pay Federal Income Taxes:

The Top 1 Percent Pays More in Taxes than the Bottom 90 Percent:

How foreign cash made Bill and Hillary ‘filthy rich’:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Will Your Spouse Lose Their Health Insurance Because Of ObamaCare?

As of January 1st, the Employer Mandate of the Affordable Care Act went into effect.  Any company with at least 100 full time employees must now offer health insurance to at least 70% of their employees in 2015.  At least 95% in 2016.  Otherwise, the company will face fines of $2500 per uninsured employee. Also, by the first of next January, any company with 50 or more full time employees must also provide their insurance or face the same penalties.

In addition to providing the insurance, there are other caveats that employers must meet.  The insurance must meet minimum standards under the ObamaCare law, such as providing free birth control, one free annual doctors checkup, free screenings for a variety of illnesses, etc.  Also, it must be affordable.  By that, the employee's cost must be less than 9.5% of their gross wages, and the policy must also cover an employee's dependents up to the age of 26.

Now, those are the rules and here are the problems.

Marginally profitable and unprofitable firms may just go belly up.  The ObamaCare employer mandate makes no exception for struggling companies.  Either provide the insurance or pay the fine.   Some businesses simply won't survive that. Most struggling companies cannot afford to raise prices in order to cover the high cost of health insurance. Also, as a result, the cost of starting a business has just gotten a lot more expensive.

Companies may lower their costs of providing insurance by not covering spouses.  The Employer Mandate says that companies must provide insurance to dependents up to the age of 26.  But, interestingly, a spouse is not considered a dependent under the new healthcare law.  This actually gives companies an excuse for not covering them.

Low wage employers are disproportionately punished by the law.  Before ObamaCare, most employers offered insurance to their employees on a cost sharing basis of about 50%.  In other words, the employer would typically pay 50% of an insurance bill that, today, is in excess of $6,000 a year per single employee or more than $16,000 for a family.  Today, there is the affordability rule.  At a maximum of 9.5% of salary, a minimum wage worker should only have to pay $1,254 for insurance on the basis of an annual salary of  $13,200; leaving the company to pick up the remaining cost of more than $4700 for a $6,000 insurance policy.  On the other hand, if an employee makes $40,000, the employer might only be on the hook for  a maximum of $2,200.

Some companies may rather pay the fine than pay for insurance. In the example above, a company faced with paying more than $2500 per employee may just find it cheaper to pay the fine and force a formerly insured employee to purchase their own insurance.

The Employer Mandate will reduce federal and state income tax revenues.  Providing health insurance is a taxable deduction.  So, every dollar a company pays to provide insurance, has their tax bill reduced by that same amount.

We will all pay billions in higher prices. The cost of providing employer-based insurance is certain to show up in the cost of much of what we buy.  There's a difference between an employee paying for their own insurance or having the company pay for it.  In other words, we will end up footing the bill through raised prices.


ObamaCare Employer Mandate:

Employers Adjust Health Benefits for 2015:

7 Trends in Employer Health Benefits:

2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey:

Obamacare and the Employer Mandate: Cutting Jobs and Wages:

The Obamacare Mandate Is Still Bad News For Employers:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why Millions Of Poor Will Suffer at the Hands of Obama's Coal Regulation

In June of 2014, President Obama, by executive order, directed his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue regulations that would basically eliminate all of America's more than 600 coal-fired power plants by 2030, with a third of the largest being shuttered "by" 2020 ("by" actually meaning before 2020).  As a result, 39 states, that are affected by the rule, will have just one year, by June of 2016, to come up with their initial plan to eliminate the more than 200 coal plants.

The problems with this Obama edict is that it will disproportionately punish people living in some of the poorest states in the union.

West Virginia, for example, gets 95% of its power from coal, and almost every power plant will have to be shutdown by 2030.  It will cost billions of dollars to build new natural gas plants to replace the existing ones; millions or billions more to create an infrastructure of 20 to 30 inch diameter underground pipes to feed those new plants; and, again, millions more to connect them to the existing electrical grid.  All these costs will have to be picked by by West Virginians in the form of higher electricity prices that may more than double.

All too many in that state won't be able to afford those new rates and the impact on their economy will be substantial.  West Virginia is poor.  The state's per capita income is just under $23,000 a year.  That's 20% less than what the average American makes. Nearly, 18% of the state lives below the poverty line.  That's more than 330,000 of the 1.8 million residents who are already struggling to make ends meet.  Now, they will be facing substantially higher electric bills.

According to the West Virginia government agency that oversees their coal industry, 30,000 direct jobs are involved in mining and those jobs are sure to be eliminated by 2030.  In many cases entire towns are wholly dependent on coal miner's incomes.  Hundreds of stores, restaurants, and other businesses will cease to exist when they lose their jobs. Whole towns will disappear, and, finding new jobs for all these people will be a difficult task.  For most, coal mining is all they know.  In addition, the lack of education will be an impediment to getting a new job because West Virginia ranks number one as the least educated state in the country.  Already, their population has fallen by more than 3,000 from 2013 to 2014 as more and more people seek employment outside the state.  But, these are the residents who can afford to pickup and leave with all their belongings.  Those who remain will probably be the poorest and least educated; meaning that the state will only decline in its tax revenues and business stature.

But, West Virginia isn't alone.  Kentucky gets 90% of its electricity from coal, and they too are poor; making just about $450 more a year than the average West Virginian.  The poverty rate is almost 19% against a population that is more than double that of West Virginia.  This means that more than 800,000 poor Kentuckians won't be able to afford the new electricity rates and higher retail costs that will surely come.  They too are in the bottom 10 when it comes to education, and 18,000 miners in that state will also lose their jobs by 2030.

So, in just two states, more than a million poor will suffer greatly from President Obama's shutdown of coal.  But the list of those with heavy coal dependence is long: Wyoming (85%), Indiana (84%), Missouri (83%), North Dakota (77%), Utah (76%), and so many more.  The Washington Post article referenced below includes an interactive map which shows how much each state is dependent on coal power.  Basically, the President's mandate will hurt more than half of the nation's 45 million poor in a mad rush to eliminate all coal-fired electricity in just 14 years.

Lastly, Obama's plan won't hurt some states like California and New York where there is little dependence on coal.  Of course, those states also have some of the highest electricity rates in the nation at around 14 cents per kilowatt hour.   In comparison, West Virginia is at about 8 cents per kilowatt hour, but, because of the rapid and widespread required replacement of coal, West Virginia's kilowatt rate will most likely wind up being much higher than 14 cents.


The states that will be hit hardest by the EPA’s coal regulations, in one map:

Quick Facts West Virginia:

Quick Facts Kentucky:

West Virginia Coal Facts:

Kentucky Coal Facts:

America's Most and Least Educated States:

Electricity Prices by State:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hillary Clinton and the Little Guy

As Hillary Clinton continues her run for the presidency, one thing that we can anticipate hearing a lot about  is income inequality.  She has already stated that the economy is stacked against the poor to benefit the rich.  So, expect her to pitch raising the minimum wage to help the little guy.  However, in doing so, she doesn't mind that you and I will then have to pay a lot more for our goods and services as a result.  Of course, when it comes to Hillary shelling out her own money, it's a totally different story.

Here's a woman that has made millions in speaking appearances and, for those, her minimum wage is $300,000.  It is interesting then, that when she stopped at the Chipotle restaurant to have a meal and, passed the tip jar next to the cash register, she put nada in it to help the minimum wage workers who prepared her, I suppose, much desired burrito.

This woman is a total phony when it comes to really helping those whom she claims to be concerned about.  Obviously, she sees herself as entitled royalty calmly awaiting her Presidential coronation. Evidently, it is beneath her to actually have to deal with the little guy.


Hillary Clinton slams inequality in populist speech | MSNBC:

Chipotle Manager: Hillary Clinton Didn't Leave Anything in Tip Jar:

Hillary Clinton's Speaking Fee: $300K Plus Hummus:

By one measure, Hillary earned more than America's top 10 CEOs:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tax Day Protests Demanding a $15 Minimum Wage

Once again, thousands of fast food workers, side-by-side union organizers, and agents are picketing fast food restaurants in 200 cities across the United States demanding that the minimum wage be raised from the current $7.25 an hour to $15.   The TV cameras and radio microphones will once again be out in force to hear stories about people not being able to live on $7.25 an hour and that many, if not most, are living in poverty.  Thus, the listeners of those broadcasts will be left with the opinion that millions of minimum wage workers are poverty stricken. But, as you will see, that is not the truth.

According to the Health and Human Services Department, you are in poverty if you, as an individual, earn less $11,770 dollars a year or less than $5.66 an hour; well below the current minimum wage.   As such, the federal government thinks that $7.25 an hour is more than adequate to live on.  Of course, if you are a sole provider with children and only earning $7.25 an hour, you would definitely be in poverty.  But, that fact would qualify you for assistance, which varies by state, but would be at least $16,984 or $8.61 an hour in additional benefits; assuming that you live in the least generous welfare state of Mississippi.

You also have to understand that only 1.5 million workers actually earn the exact minimum wage.  Out of which, 1.1 million of that number (or 71%) work part time and have no other job.  Again, not a fact that supports the claim that most people can't live off of $7.25 an hour.  In fact, if we did up the minimum wage to $15, a lot of high school students, working part time, will get big fat raises.  After all, you probably don't see too many "grey beards" working the counters at your local fast food store.

So, that leaves us with about 450,000 minimum wage employees who are working full time and of which some -- certainly not all -- may need federal or state financial assistance.  It's ridiculous to raise the minimum wage for all 1.5 million workers when, in fact, there is no rational argument to the poverty claim. 

Also understand this.  One in seven Americans or 45 million people are in poverty in this country and raising the minimum wage can ultimately hurt them since they will be forced to pay higher costs as retailers raise their prices to accommodate the increased salaries  When you double the wage at the bottom, everyone above must also have their wages increased in fairness to seniority.  So, if the average labor cost for a fast food restaurant is 32%, the doubling of the minimum wage means that a meal that used to cost $10 will now cost $13.20; putting dining at these businesses out of the reach of millions of Americans in poverty and millions more who solely live off of social security or disability checks.

The claim that substantial numbers of people will be raised out of poverty is, quite frankly, bull.  In 2006, before the minimum wage was raised 40% by 2009, there were 36 million Americans in poverty.  Today, 9 million more than that share that same distinction. 

Here is another fact that most people aren't aware of.  We have whole states of people who, on average, aren't even close to making a $15 wage.  According to the Census Bureau, statistically half of Mississippi's nearly 3 million people make less than $20,618; or, less than $9.91 on the basis of a 40-hour work week.  The average in Arkansas it's $10.66.  Worse, the average American only makes a per capita income of $28,155 or $13.54 an hour; but somehow, only the fast food workers need a wage of $15 in order to survive.

Finally, because salaries vary so much by state, there should never be a one-size-fits-all national minimum wage mandated by the federal government.  That is, unless, the federal mandate is based on some percentage of each state's average hourly wage.  That would be fair, and that would also stop this incessant political tinkering with the minimum wage.  This would permanently index it.


U.S. fast-food workers mark Tax Day demanding higher wages:

Characteristics of a Minimum Wage Worker:

2015 Poverty Guidelines:

Work or Welfare: What Pays More? - Real Time Economics:

45 Million Stuck Below The Poverty Line:

The Tightwire Act of Living Only on Social Security:

Common Food & Labor Cost Percentages:

Mississippi - State and County QuickFacts:

Arkansas - State QuickFacts:

Persons Below Poverty Level in the U.S., 1975–2010:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why the Saudis Fear ISIS and Iran

To most people, Saudi Arabia represents a wealthy country based on decades of being the world's leader in the extraction of oil.  But, within the religion of Islam, they have something of much greater value than oil. Saudi Arabia is home to the most holy cities of Mecca and Medina.   Mecca is where the Prophet Mohammed was born and began writing the Qur'an. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to make a pilgrimage to this holiest of places within their lifetime.  Medina is where the Prophet is buried and was, when he was alive, the capital of the Muslim empire.

So, if you are ISIS and want to create a true Islamic State or Caliphate, it must include Mecca and Medina.  Also, Iran believes in the coming of the 12th and final Imam and, as such, Shia and Sunni Muslims must be unified under Shia rule.  This is why Iran is actively supporting a Shia takeover in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Libya.   And, for sure, and at some point, Iran will set their sights on Sunni Saudi Arabia and Jordan; a goal that is only solidified if Iran has nuclear weapons because having the bomb insulates them from attacks by stronger Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia.  Also, understand that Iran having control of Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Libya is, in a way, attempting to surround both Sunni countries of Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The Saudis clearly understand this threat.  Currently, they are building an extremely fortified  600-mile wall along the Iraq border to protect themselves from an ISIS invasion.  A similar wall is being built  along the Yemeni border to shield themselves from a possible Houthis Shia invasion from Yemen.   It is also the reason that Saudi Arabia has created a coalition of 10 countries to restore Sunni control of Yemen and beat back the Shia Houthis.

At issue, now, is whether or not that same coalition will eventually turn on Iran in an attempt to keep them from ever getting the bomb.  In fact, Obama's nuke deal may have just solidified that very possibility.  But, even if the Saudis don't lead a war against Iran, there is a very real possibility that the  President's deal will create a rush of Sunni countries, lead by Saudi Arabia, to have their own nuclear weapons as a matter of self defense.

Simply, there has never been a worse time for peace in the Middle East because the United States has created a vacuum for ISIS and Iran to walk all over Sunni countries in the region.  It is possible that in less than two years, an all out Middle East war could ensue, or as rumored, the Saudis may allow Israel access to their airspace to launch a defensive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.   A fact that previously would have never been possible had Iran not been given a pathway to the bomb under the current nuke deal.





Criticism of Twelver Shia Islam:

Iran Now Controls Four Middle Eastern Capitals:

Saudi Arabia Builds Iraq Border Wall To Protect Against ISIS:

Saudi Arabia builds giant Yemen border fence - BBC News:

Saudi Arabia to allow Israel use of its airspace to strike Iran:

Sudanese army says ground troops to join Saudi-led coalition in Yemen:

Turkey-Pakistan reaffirm support for Saudi Arabia:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Selective Outrage Over CEO Pay

Last week, the New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton sought the advice of more than 200 experts on how to solve the problem of income inequality.  After all that advice, her solution to the  is to express her outrage over CEO pay.

Rather than come up with any ideas that would give 156 million workers better pay by creating better jobs, her solution is to somehow reduce the salaries of the roughly 19,000 CEO's who head up publicly traded corporations and who are paid, on average, $153,000 a year.  In expressing her outrage she claims that the average CEO is paid 300 times what the average worker is paid.  Well, try dividing $153,000 by 300 and you get a average of $510 a year. 

The fact is, that Hillary, once again, is distorting the facts.  Her "300 times" claim is based on a published work of a liberal think tank called the Economic Policy Institute.  Their claim is that the top 350 CEO's make an average of $15.2 million in annual compensation (salary and benefits, incentives, and forward stock options).  So, were supposed to be angry at every CEO in America because 350 make more than what Hillary and a bunch of other liberals think they should.

But, one has to wonder why that liberal study only looked at the top 350 and not the top 400 or, even the top 500 CEO's.  Well, the reason is that the top 350 are the exception and not the rule.  For example, Mary Barra, the head of General Motors, received $4.4 million in total compensation (salary and incentives) last year.  Apple's CEO got paid $4.2 million.  The new head of Ford just received a compensation package of $5.25 million.

But, where is Hillary's outrage over the insane salaries in Hollywood where the top stars make between 20 and 30 million dollars per movie.   Or, the NBA where the average basketball player is paid $5.5 million.  And, what about her own salary?  Since leaving the State Department, she has average 3/4 of million dollars in income per month.   That's $9 million a year, or the equivalent of the combined incomes of the CEO's of General Motors and Apple Computer.

We are in a country where the working class is hurting.  The middle class makes less now than they did in 2010 at the height of post-recession unemployment.  Instead of spending time talking to a bunch of liberal economists and academics on how to fix the inequality problem, maybe she should spend time with the CEO's who are real job creators; and, stop bashing them about their salaries.  If she's going to be outraged about incomes, Hillary should try looking in the mirror before she lectures anyone else.


New York Times: With advice from more than 200 policy experts, Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to answer what has emerged as a central question of her early presidential campaign strategy: how to address the anger about income inequality without overly vilifying the wealthy:

Hillary Clinton surprises with early attack on CEO pay:

Average CEO Pay in America:

Number of Publicly Traded Corporations in U.S.:

Economic Policy Institute: CEO Pay Continues to Rise as Typical Workers Are Paid Less:

Since exiting the Obama administration in February 2013, she has raked in an estimated $750,000 per month with her nonstop speaking appearances and the advance for her new book, according to an analysis by Bloomberg:

Mary Barra Salary:

The New Ford CEO Pay:

Apple CEO Pay:

Average NBA Pay:

List of highest paid film actors:

Real Median Household Incomes:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Have You or Your Tax Preparer Read All 70,000 Pages of the Federal Tax Code Yet?

Last year, about 170 million Americans had to file a tax return at a cost of 1.35 billion (billion with a "b") man hours in preparing those returns.  On average, that's about 8 hours per person or the equivalent of one long business day per filer spent putting numbers in little boxes, adding them up, and checking off things he or she may not understand.  Then, at the end, you sign and date the thing swearing that its totally correct or you may be subject under penalty of law.

Up until ObamaCare, only those who reasonably made any income had to file tax returns.   But, this year, because of the new healthcare law, even those, who in the past, made too little to pay taxes  must file a return anyway in order to prove they have official ObamaCare approved health insurance and avoid paying a penalty.  According to the nation's leading tax service, H and R Block, only about 1 in 4 low income families even knows this; leaving 3 out of 4 in violation of IRS rules and regulations by not filing the up to 3 forms associated with proof of insurance.  Of course, the friendly IRS has whipped up a handy 21-page single-spaced guide to help you understand how to fill out those three forms.  Unfortunately, for most people reading the guide, it will seem like it was written by some alien being; especially for low income families with limited education.  Of course, this means millions more tax returns and it also means thousands of new IRS agents to handle all that new paperwork.

In 1989, when the tax code was about 30,000 pages long, the LA Times found that the IRS help line was 30.8% wrong in the advice they gave someone with regard to their tax preparation. Today, with more than 70,000 pages of tax code, it's anyone's guess how accurate (or inaccurate) the help line is.  But, this we do know.  The IRS has already said that it will only be able to handle half the calls to its help line and 87% of those who do get connected will have to wait 2-1/2 hours for the call to be answered.

My purpose in explaining all this is to say that the current tax code is beyond human comprehension.  It would be like remembering page-by-page every book you ever read plus all future rewrites.

Simply, the tax code needs to be abolished and a simplified system installed in its place.  After all, the original income tax was a flat tax.  Then, it morphed into a progressive tax in which the more money you made the higher your taxes were.  Ever since then, each political party has attempted to curry favor by modifying the code to give special exemptions to garner votes.  Taxes have become both punishing and incentivizing; always with the voter in mind. No one should have to wait 2-1/2 hours to get an answer about trying to pay their taxes without the threat of fines or jail time.


The Cost of Tax Compliance:

H&R Block: ‘No One Can Understand’ New Obamacare Tax Code:

IRS seeks 4,000 agents, $303 million for Obamacare:

IRS Help Line Has Error Rate of 30.8% - Los Angeles Times:

The IRS will answer less than half your calls this filing season:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hillary Should Not Be Seen or Heard

Over the last three decades, the Gallup polling organization has been able to track Hillary Clinton's approvals; first as First Lady; then, as a person running for the Senate; also, as a Presidential contender; and now with another run at the presidency.  Here's the result of that polling:
As First Lady, she eventually achieved a 62% approval rating by 1994. Two years later, her favorability numbers were down almost 20 percentage points to 43%.  This was because, to many, Hillary was seen as untruthful.  In fact, in 1996, the late Bill Safire, a New York Times opinion writer for a very liberal newspaper, made that quite clear by calling her a "congenital liar".

Then, as Hillary sunk back into hiding, her approval numbers rose again until, by 1999, she stood at an all time of 67%.  However, following her and Bill's exit from the White House, she  decided to run for U.S. Senator from New York in 2000.  By 2001, her numbers had fallen to 44%  and, if she hadn't been running against such a weak GOP candidate as Rick Lazio she probably wouldn't have won.  After her senate victory, her approval numbers climbed back to 58%, until she ran for President against Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008.  Then, her rating plummeted again, to just 46% and Obama won.

Now, since 2013 -- when she started her ill-fated book tour and it was presumed that she was pursuing the Presidency again -- she's gone from a 66% approval down to the current 48%; which, I am sure, will be going even lower in the future.

Essentially, all this proves is that Hillary is a bad candidate.  The more people hear from her, the less they like her.  Bill Safire had her accurately pegged in 1996 as a liar.  Her explanation of her private email server is more proof of that.  Then there's her claim that she and Bill were "dead" broke when they left the White House after they had just spent $2.85 million for a new home in Washington D.C..  And, then, there was a little matter of that $8 million book deal advance in 2000.

No one should ignore history; especially when it comes to Hillary Clinton.  She opens her mouth and people develop negative attitudes towards her.  She is not a good campaigner and the Democrats would be wrong to anoint her as their Presidential candidate.  But, as a Republican, all I can say is "Run, Hillary, Run!"


Gallup: Clinton's Favorable Rating at 48%, But Dems Still Like Her:

Bill Safire: A Blizzard of Lies:

Clintons Buy $2.85 Million Washington Home -

Hillary Clinton Book Advance, $8 Million, Is Near Record:

Friday, April 10, 2015

High Prices: The Beef Over Beef

Americans like hamburgers, but maybe, not so much anymore.  The numbers are in and ground beef again, has hit another all-time high of $4.24 a pound in February.  That's twice the price of late 2009 when it was selling for $2.19 a pound.

Ground Beef Prices - Bureau of Labor Statistics

The problem with beef prices is that there is less being produced while the demand is still high.

Until demand falls, or the supply increases, prices will continue to rise. So, theoretically, cattle ranchers should want to increase production to take advantage of this.  So why do beef supplies just keep falling? This drop in supply has actually been accelerating since late 2012.  In actuality, more cattle farmers are giving up raising cattle because energy and feed prices are increasing too fast.  Also, the severe 2014 winter and the drought in the Southwest have taken their toll; but only in the last couple of years.  Additionally, some ranches have to be sold off to land developers in order to pay the government its 40% estate tax (death tax).  Often a price too high for any of the heirs to pay and still operate the ranch profitably.

The truth is that the tax policies and the cost of fighting climate change are killing the beef market.  Feed corn has become more costly due to the increased production of ethanol for fuel.  Energy prices -- especially under Obama -- have increased faster than inflation as producers of electricity move to abandon coal ahead of harsh restrictions.  The real worry for U.S. beef producers is that high prices in this country may attract an onslaught of imported beef which, in turn, could only further decimate our own beef production.   

Lastly, a crustacean alert!  Lobster, at just $2.89/lb (in 2013), may quickly replace that Saturday afternoon BBQ'd hamburger. 


BLS: Ground Beef Prices:

US Beef - Bloomberg: Another Year of the Chicken: U.S. Beef Supply Will Fall Again in 2015:

Ethanol pumping up food prices -

Food and Electricity Prices Rise to RECORD HIGH AGAIN!:

Cost per pound of lobster:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

March's Horrible Jobs Report Was Clearly Expected

I'm always amazed how shocked economists are when the real numbers substantially miss their projections.  Last month's job's report was no different. The estimate for job creation was 250,000.  The economists at had theirs even higher at 260,000.  The actual number came in at 126,000.  A monumental miss.

Why did the economic community get it so wrong?  Well, all too often, economists work in a vacuum.  First, they were fooled into believing that the jobs number would be strong because of February's 295,000 total.  This after another strong number in January.

In doing so, economists were ignoring a simple economic principal: Job creation is a direct a result of increased business activity.

Primarily, this means that jobs are created if consumers are buying and spending more than they had in the past. Usually, because their incomes are rising. Also, any increased business activity means job creation as a result of new businesses being formed.  A new beauty shop with 5 new employees. A new fast food restaurant could add as many as 52 new jobs to the economy. 

There were several indicators that none of these things were happening.

In the three months of December 2014, and January and February of 2015, retail sales fell.  The reason for this is simple.  People haven't received enough of an increase in wages to drive retail sales.  For example, in the December jobs report, the average hourly wage for all employees in the labor market actually decreased by 7 cents.  Weekly earnings only increased by a whopping $21 from $829.03 to $850.12.  That's just two one-hundreds of a percent increase in income in a year's time.  Hardly enough to drive the economy and create jobs.  Then in a recent poll by Deutsche Bank, it was determined that 47% of Americans save nothing and, as such, are probably living paycheck to paycheck. The lack of retail sales is why businesses like Target are laying off 3,100 workers and why an untold number may be laid off as a result of the Radio Shack bankruptcy and store closures.

Additionally, business creation is in decline due to the lack of small business lending.  Newer and younger companies create more jobs than older companies, and much of this decline is a direct result of policies from the Obama Administration.

Simply, we are in a period of economic decline.  Without good wages, there won't be enough people buying things to drive the economy.  Proof of this comes from the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPnow computer algorithm projecting that the first quarter economic output will be near zero growth.  No growth equals no jobs.


March 2015 Nonfarm Payrolls:


The Employment Situation - February 2015:

the employment situation—january 2015:

The Employment Situation - December 2014:

Retail Sales Down for Third Straight Month, Automobiles Put Brakes On:

Target eliminates 3100 jobs - MPR News:

Target layoffs will hit 1,700 today, with another 1,400 jobs going unfilled:

These are the stores RadioShack is closing - CNNMoney:

Half America Doesn't Save:

GOP presidential contenders need to start talking about ways to reverse the decline of entrepreneurship:

Who Creates Jobs?:

The consequences of the anti-business Obama administration:

GDPNow - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Obama: “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch”

How did we go from Iran never getting a bomb, to Iran not getting one during the last 18 months of Obama's Presidency?  That's basically what the President told the New York Times when he said this is a "once-in-lifetime opportunity" and that “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch”.  Who's lifetime is he talking about?  The shortened Israeli's lives that might end after Iran nukes Israel in the days or months after Obama leaves office?  In 2012, he made it crystal clear that he would stop Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon.  Of course, 2012 was an election year and now he's never going to run for office again.

These words clearly show that Obama lied in 2012, and they clearly prove that he doesn't have Israel's back or, for that matter, the world's back with this pending Iran nuke deal.


2012: Obama's Crystal-Clear Promise to Stop Iran From Getting a Nuclear Weapon:

 Obama: Iran Deal ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Chance:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Obama Wins No Matter How Supreme Court Decides On Subsidies

No matter if you call it  King v. Burwell, Halbig v. Burwell, Pruitt v. Burwell, or Indiana v. IRS, the Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments as to whether or not enrollees in the Federal exchanges (aka or HCgov) are eligible for Federal subsidies.  At stake are millions of enrollees who may lose those subsidies.  To put this into perspective, is reporting that as of 3/2/15, 11.76 million had signed up for ObamaCare health plans.  But, of that number nearly 9 million were signed up through HCgov, and, approximately 87% of that number or 7.83 million  are qualified for and should receive some amount of subsidies. Subsidies that may be struck down by the highest court if it rules to side with King.

Now, many have written that if the Supreme Court rules favorably in the case of King (the primary umbrella suit for all of the other suits), ObamaCare will unravel because subsidies are the key to reducing the number of uninsured lower income families.  But, there's more to that decision than just what is legal.  As usual, that "more" is politics.

Certainly, if the Supreme's vote that federal subsidies in the federal exchanges are legal, then Obama and the Democrats are winners.  But, what if the subsidies are struck down.  What then?  At that point, Democrat politics will kick into high gear.  Even though the Democrats are wholly responsible for writing a flawed legislation that, legally, would deny millions their subsidies, they will still use that court defeat to blame the Republicans. 

First, they will blame those 36 states run by Republican Governors and Legislatures for denying millions of people subsidies by not setting up their own ObamaCare exchanges and, instead, relying on the for their enrollments.  Then, they will pressure the Republican House and Senate to come up with a solution to re-instate those subsidies.  If they aren't re-instated, the President and the Democrats "and" the mainstream media will hammer the Republicans right through the 2016 Presidential election cycle.  That has already started.  The Kaiser Family conducted a poll and 64% of  wanted Congress to act if the subsidies are struck down by the Supreme Court.  This despite the fact that, according to a RealClearPolitics summary of several polls, only 39.6% even approve of the law.

So, there you have it.  Obama wins no matter what happens, and once again, Republicans are being boxed in by something that not even one of them voted for and which is negatively viewed by most Americans.  Go figure!


King v. Burwell:

87% of Obamacare Enrollees Qualify for Subsidies:

Most uninsured Americans live in states that won't run their own ObamaCare exchanges:

Public Approval of Health Care Law:

64% Want Congress to Act if Subsidies are denied:

Monday, April 6, 2015

What The Political Left Doesn't Understand About Religious Freedom

Ever since Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) blew up on the national stage, people on the political left have claimed that the law discriminates against gays and lesbians.  I even heard one Democrat strategist say it would take us back decades to when interracial couples were refused service in restaurants and other businesses.  This is a complete distortion of the RFRA.

What they don't seem to understand is that RFRA is all about "participation" and not "discrimination".

In this country, when you open a business, it is unlawful and unconstitutional to discriminate against any person unless, for some reason, that person endangers that business or puts other customers or other people in jeopardy.  For example, a bartender is free to stop serving a patron if they are presumed to be getting too drunk because, in most states, the bartender is liable for a drunk driver's actions after leaving a bar.  Similarly, "No shirts...No Shoes...No Service" is allowable for health and hygienic reasons.

The federal law that bans discrimination goes all the way back to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which
"all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude..."
As a result, no state RFRA law can override that federal law and allow discrimination. But, even so, many on the left seem to ignore the words "subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law".  And, in the case of any RFRA law, the limitation to that Civil Rights Act of 1875 is the First Amendment of the United States Constitution which insures the right to the freedom of religion. 

So, when a gay or lesbian or same-sex couple enters a place of business, they are free to buy any products or services being sold as long as the service or services being provided doesn't infringe upon the owners freedom of religion.  It is this issue of "service" that has become the sticking point.  In every case of supposed gay/lesbian discrimination, it has occurred because the owner of that business was being asked to "participate" either by proxy or directly, in a same-sex marriage.  A marriage that is against their religious beliefs.  Photographing a same-sex wedding is a form of direct "participation". Catering a wedding is another form of direct "participation".  Providing a wedding cake is a form of "participation" by proxy.

The only intent of the RFRA is to insure that the Constitutional right to religious freedom is maintained and understood so that no business or their owner or owners are punished for a refusal to participate in any activity that goes against their religion.  It doesn't mean that some plumber can refuse to snake a clogged pipe in the home of a same sex couple.  That would not stand up in court and, in fact, would be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1875.

Lets also understand that Muslims, too, have religious objections to gays.  In 2007, Minneapolis Muslim cab drivers refused to take fares from anyone who had been drinking or presumed to have been drinking and from anyone who had a service dog or pet on the basis of their religion.  It is interesting to me that no Muslim cabby was asked if they would pick up any hand-holding or kissing same-sex couple.  Apparently, the only beef about discrimination is with Christians.  Especially, those who might be overtly Christian pizzeria owners. 

To me, this whole uproar over Indiana law is about politics and not reality.  That is why the left-wing media in this country was so quick to ask every potential Republican presidential candidate if the they agreed with the Indiana law.   In fact, the New York Daily News posted this headline: "2016 Republican candidates support controversial Indiana law that makes discrimination legal".   Thus, in the minds of every reader of the article, any Republican, who would be President, is anti-gay.  So, for the 2016 election cycle, the supposed war on women has now been extended to gays and lesbians.  Simply, the number of cases of supposed determination of same-sex weddings is few and too far between to even be an issue to warrant the magnitude of press coverage that the Indiana law has received.


Christian activists: Indiana law tried to shield companies against gay marriage:

Civil Rights Act of 1875:

2016 Republican candidates support controversial Indiana law that makes discrimination legal:

Muslim Cab Drivers Refuse to Transport Alcohol, and Dogs:

Big Gay Hate Machine Closes Christian Pizza Parlor:

Steven Crowder: Gay Wedding Cakes At Muslim Bakeries?:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Obama Uses a Propaganda Technique to Sell the Iran Deal

When President Obama announced his nuke deal with Iran, he said that the choice was either this deal or war.   This type of "either/or" statement is a common propaganda technique called "false dichotomy" in order to sell you on the fact that there are no "in-betweens" that could have otherwise been achieved.

So, now, we're supposed to believe that restoring the sanctions that were removed and adding others was not an option. Nor, are we supposed to believe that some carrots other than allowing Iran to continue its nuke program couldn't have been offered.

It just bothers me that the President has to resort to this kind of known propaganda technique.  In my opinion, he is doing this because the so-called deal is flawed and he wants to discourage any further debate by claiming that without it, war would ensue.  And, of course, he knows America doesn't want another war.  That, too, may be a false conclusion if Americans feel a future situation calls for it.


False Dichotomy:

Obama calls Iran deal the best option, instead of another war:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Climate Change: Droughts More Severe in California?

By any measure, California's Governor, Jerry Brown, is one of the top climate change alarmists in the nation.  Recently, he has taken aim at Ted Cruz for being a climate denier by saying that he disqualifies himself for the presidency because of his contrary viewpoint on global warming. Brown has even gotten his Energy Commission on the bandwagon.  Their drought website claims that droughts are more severe than ever and now threaten California's water supply.

Well, I lived in Los Angeles in the 1950's and 1960's and the drought then was very severe.  So bad even, that one of the largest lakes in Southern California, Big Bear, looked like this:

Essentially, it was a mud puddle. All those white areas were formerly water.  I know because I was there to see it for myself. Today (actually August 2014), that same lake looks like this:

The fact is, that good water management has kept it from returning to its previous bleak condition. To say that the drought, today, is more severe is simply political bull. 

The real reason that a drought can be seen as more severe today, is population growth.  In 1950, California's total population was 10.6 million people.  Today, it is nearly 40 million (actually 38.3 million in 2013).  So, the rate of water usage is 4 times greater than in the 50's/60's. That's 4 times more people drinking, flushing, showering, and hot tubbing with whomever.

The fact is, that since the 1950's, the California legislature should have been preparing for the next drought instead of spending so much time banning plastic shopping bags and barring animals from mating in public within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship; or all the other crazy things California lawmakers have come up with in the land of fruits and nuts.  Maybe, then, they wouldn't now be scrambling to deal with a drought that isn't waiting at their doorsteps, but is already in the house.


California Energy Commission: Water is a precious resource. A changing climate is resulting in droughts being more severe and pronounced and putting our water supply at risk:

Climate change threatens California and the world, Jerry Brown:

Big Bear Lake History:

U.S. Population by State, 1790 to 2013:,d.eXY

Dumb Laws in California:

Stupid California Laws:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Why Religious Freedom Needs To Be Restored

After years of waiting, gays and lesbians have finally won the right to marry in all but 13 states.  For all those years, it was primarily religious objections that stood in the way of same-sex marriage.

One problem with allowing same sex marriages is that, in the minds of some of those married or soon-to-be married, they now believe they are a protected class of individuals.  So much so, they some believe that the new-found right to marriage trumps the constitutional right of freedom of religion.  Proof of this fact comes from two well-known cases in which a baker refused, for religious reasons, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding and a photographer refusing to take photos for another gay wedding; again, for religious reasons.  In both cases, the couples could have moved on to another vendor in respect and tolerance of those religious beliefs but, instead, they sought to promote boycotting those businesses and sought legal intervention.

So, this begs the question.  Why would any same-sex couple want to do business with a company that objects to their marriage for religious reasons?  Does any same-sex couple really think they are going to get the best service from someone who is being forced to serve them?  Most people would not do business with a vendor or contractor who they didn't feel completely comfortable with.  Especially, over something as important as a wedding. 

But, that's the point.  The forcing of businesses to set aside their religious beliefs is all about punishing religions for centuries of anti-gay beliefs and activism against same-sex marriage.  It is an attempt to undermine the freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Constitution.  This is why 21 states -- recognizing what is at stake here -- have enacted their own Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.  Understand that the operative word here is "Restoration".  Because, in each of these states, they can see that religious freedom is under assault and is being eroded by the political left and the supporters of widespread gay rights.  In theory, if not stopped, Churches, who are opposed to gay/lesbian relationships, may be legally forced under state-enacted anti-discrimination laws to preform same-sex marriages. 

Lastly, those opposed to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act claim that the law will cause widespread discrimination against gays.  That is completely false.  There have been tens of thousands of same-sex marriages in those 37 states that allow it.  I am sure any of those weddings needing professional photography, wedding cakes, bands, or catering contracted those services without incident.  That's because the bottom line for 99.9999% of businesses is their bottom line.  Simply, most could not afford to put their religious beliefs above their business needs.  While there might be some issues with Indiana law in terms of scope, those will be corrected and the law will stand and gay couples will continue to be served by the vast of majority of professional wedding service companies. 


37 States with Legal Gay Marriage and 13 States with Same-Sex Marriage Bans:

The New Mexico Supreme Court Applies Anti-Discrimination Law to Wedding Photographer Refusing to Photograph Same-Sex Commitment Ceremonies:

Indiana Law: Sorting Fact From Fiction From Politics:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Why Ted Cruz Might Not Be Eligible To Be President

After Ted Cruz announced his run for the presidency, many in the media made note of the fact that he talked about his non-citizen father who was living in Texas while he and his U.S. born mother were living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Well, it took just a couple of seconds for the media to also disclose that Cruz was actually born in Canada.  Thus, many questioned his eligibility to be president because it is assumed that, as stated in the Constitution, he isn't a natural born citizen.

However, those defending Cruz's eligibility misquoted federal law by stating that you are a citizen at birth -- no matter where you are born -- if at least one of your parents is a U.S. citizen. Cruz supported that belief by previously providing the media with his mother's U.S. birth certificate.

But, there's still a problem.

U.S. law states that if you are born outside of the U.S. to one or both parents who are U.S. citizens, the citizen parent or parents must go to a U.S. consulate or embassy in the country where the child was born and apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (CRBA).  This form insures that the birth certificate isn't a fake in an attempt of circumvent our immigration laws. And, this application must be done before the child is 18 years of age.  Once the consulate/embassy verifies that birth right to citizenship, an FS-240 form will be issued as proof of citizenship.

That's the form that Cruz should have produced.  Not his mother's birth certificate. Obviously, he doesn't have that form or he would have provided it. That document is something that he should have  with him for life since it supersedes and replaces his actual birth certificate.  Yet,  Cruz, instead, produced his Canadian birth certificate in 2013:
Click on Image to enlarge

Simply, without having obtained a FS-240 before he was 18 years of age, Cruz is not a citizen by birth; and, thus, not eligible to be President of the United States.  After age 18, he can become a citizen through the naturalization process; but, still, can't be President.  Thus, proof of a FS-240 must be provided before he can even participate in the primaries.

I was unable to find out if there was a federal database to determine if a FS-240 existed for Cruz.  The only database available was from and its records only span from the years 1910 to 1949.  Cruz was born in 1970.  But, what the Ancestry database proves is that the consular birth requirements existed long before he was born; just in case someone thinks the law was somehow recent and not applicable in this case.


Ted Cruz - Wikipedia:

Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to run for president:

Ted Cruz releases his birth certificate:

State Department: A child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents may acquire U.S. citizenship at birth if certain statutory requirements are met

U.S., Consular Reports of Births, 1910-1949 - Search: