Wednesday, August 11, 2010
"The drafters of the 14th amendment had no intention of conferring citizenship on the children of aliens who happened to be born in the U.S. (For my younger readers, back in those days, people cleaned their own houses and raised their own kids.)
Inasmuch as America was not the massive welfare state operating as a magnet for malingerers, frauds and cheats that it is today, it's amazing the drafters even considered the amendment's effect on the children of aliens.
But they did.
The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: 'This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.'
In the 1884 case Elk v. Wilkins, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians -- because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction.
For a hundred years, that was how it stood, with only one case adding the caveat that children born to LEGAL permanent residents of the U.S., gainfully employed, and who were not employed by a foreign government would also be deemed citizens under the 14th Amendment. (United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 1898.)
And then, out of the blue in 1982, Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that 'no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.' (Other than the part about one being lawful and the other not.)
Brennan's authority for this lunatic statement was that it appeared in a 1912 book written by Clement L. Bouve. (Yes, THE Clement L. Bouve -- the one you've heard so much about over the years.) Bouve was not a senator, not an elected official, certainly not a judge -- just some guy who wrote a book.
So on one hand we have the history, the objective, the author's intent and 100 years of history of the 14th Amendment, which says that the 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship on children born to illegal immigrants.
On the other hand, we have a random outburst by some guy named Clement -- who, I'm guessing, was too cheap to hire an American housekeeper."
You've no doubt heard that glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating due to global warming. Look at the chart above to see where the warming is coming from - hint - it's not from CO2.
Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.
Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.
The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year."
Democrats doing what they do best - pretending to take care of the poor while they take care of themselves.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Recently the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report claiming that 2010 was the hottest year on record so far. As you probably know, their temperature sensors are supposed to be free of surrounding heat sources, such as paved parking lots.
The warmers are projecting a rise in temperature of a couple of degrees in a hundred years. With temperature sensors like this one, it's surprising that they aren't projecting temperatures hot enough to fry eggs.
"Though elite schools give points to applicants for extracurricular activities, especially for leadership roles and honors...if you played a lead role in Future Farmers of America, the 4-H Clubs or junior ROTC, leave it off your resume or you may just be blackballed. 'Excelling in these activities is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds on admissions.' ...
For these schools are not interested in a diversity that would include 'born-again Christians from the Bible belt, students from Appalachia and other rural and small-town areas, people who have served in the U.S. military, those who have grown up on farms or ranches, Mormons, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, lower- and middle-class Catholics, working class white ethnics, social and political conservatives, wheelchair users, married students, married students with children or older students just starting into college and raising children.'
'Students in these categories,...are often very rare at the most competitive colleges, especially the Ivy League.'
'Lower-class whites prove to be all-around losers' at the elite schools. They are rarely accepted. Lower-class Hispanics and blacks are eight to 10 times more likely to get in with the same scores...
Many of these elite public and private colleges and universities benefit from U.S. tax dollars through student loans and direct grants. The future flow of those tax dollars should be made contingent on Harvard and Yale ending racial practices that went out at Little Rock Central High in 1957."
If any proof was needed, that is. Liberal reporters and their political and academic friends used a listserv called Journolist, a place where a group of people could post comments to one another, during the 2008 election and until recently.
The Daily Caller obtained some or all of the backfiles, which show an active conspiracy among MSM journalists from a variety of publications discussing how to help Obama escape the Rev. Wright scandal.
While Republicans have known for decades that the MSM works to help Democratic candidates, this is the first evidence I’m aware of where this conspiracy is documented in writing. Among the tactics suggested by MSM “reporters” was to call senior Republicans “racist”.
This should be a huge scandal, but since it involves the MSM, unless Fox, talk radio, and the blogs pick this up and push it, the MSM will do everything in its power to bury it.
If you ever wondered whether the MSM actively coordinated its pro-Democratic coverage, or just happened to agree, this is the smoking gun.
Friday, July 16, 2010
According to the Americans for Tax Reform,
"Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:
- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%
Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.
The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.
Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013."
Unfortunately, there's more. Read the article for the rest of the story. Have fun being crushed by higher taxes.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
From the blog Greenie Watch - click to enlarge. Most people don't know that global warming data used to justify the warmers' theories is not the actual data, but "adjusted" data, and that the organizations that maintain these databases "adjust" it retroactively all the time without disclosing the reasons for their adjustments. See anything fishy here?
Several weeks ago it was rumored that the Obama administration was going to provide amnesty to illegals through some sort of executive action without trying to pass legislation. A public announcement of this sort of action would ignite a firestorm of protest which would nullify any political advantage Obama could gain from Hispanic voters.
Now, however, it appears that a partial amnesty has been imposed through an apparently innocuous internal document at ICE. So far, this appears to have flown under the media radar. There has been limited reporting on the memo, but not on its implications. Once this first pass at amnesty has been successfully digested, it won't be long until other illegal categories will be granted amnesty through the same mechanism. Executive branch amnesty is here.
According to this article, "the Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- known as ICE -- circulated an internal memo ordering officers not to arrest a broad range of illegal aliens he deems immune from 'mandatory detention,' according to watchdog public-interest group Judicial Watch...
'Field office directors 'should not expend detention resources on aliens who are known to be suffering from serious physical or mental illness, or who are disabled, elderly, pregnant, or nursing, or demonstrate that they are primary caretakers of children or an infirm person, or whose detention is otherwise not in the public interest,' according to a memorandum issued by ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton."
By using this approach, illegals won't be required to do anything to stay in this country. They're simply given a free pass. This first group includes all the illegals who need medical care, so the American taxpayer is now responsible for providing free medical care to anyone who can get across the border from anywhere else. Everyone should wake up to what's happening here.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
That’s pretty weak — a whole lot more negative than the numbers you usually see for all voters. This is hugely relevant to the 2010 elections. Most of the states with seriously contested Senate races or Democratic seats that seem almost certain to go Republican have below-national-average black percentages."
Read the rest of the article here.
Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Such is the case with Keynesian economic theory. Named for the famous 1930's British economist, this holds that government can end recessions, or in his time, depressions by engaging in massive deficit spending. This is really a crackpot theory, but it has been a great excuse for governments to do what they want to do anyway - spend lots of your money.
The mere fact that it has never worked anywhere in the world, and has made things worse time after time, was no reason for the Obama administration not to try it again. Apparently using a new word, "stimulus," was supposed to make everyone forget Keynesian-ism's sorry history. What is unfortunately not surprising is that the media, with its utter ignorance of basic economics, has led the cheer-leading squad for this tired old fraud.
Now, however, according to this Wall Street Journal article, Obama is likely to have a hard time at the G-20 summit selling Europe on recovering from its massive Keynesian hangover by drinking from the same bottle.
As the above chart shows, when comparing tax cuts versus increasing spending to improve the economy, there really is no doubt which is the correct strategy.
Friday, June 25, 2010
In Britain, "Energy firms will receive thousands of pounds a day per wind farm to turn off their turbines because the National Grid cannot use the power they are producing...
The National Grid fears that on breezy summer nights, wind farms could actually cause a surge in the electricity supply which is not met by demand from businesses and households...
Whereas coal and gas power stations often pay the National Grid £15 to £20 per megawatt hour they do not supply, Scottish Power was paid £180 per megawatt hour.
It raises the prospect of hugely profitable electricity suppliers receiving large sums of money from the National Grid just for switching off wind turbines...
Earlier this year, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that electricity customers are paying more than £1 billion a year to subsidize wind farms and other forms of renewable energy...
Professor Michael Laughton, emeritus professor of electrical engineering at the University of London, said: 'People will find it very hard to understand that an electricity company is getting paid the market rate plus a subsidy for doing nothing. It is essentially a waste of consumers' money.'"
Britain is ahead, if you can call it that, of us in forcing wind power on its already overburdened citizens. It probably won't be long before utilities here are paid for not producing wind power. When it becomes a large enough source of power to matter, its inherent unreliability means it will not be producing power when we need it, and producing too much power when we don't need it.
If you were planning a new industrial facility, would you pick a country that is going to increase electricity costs by 300% to 500% using unreliable wind and solar power, or a country like China that is building reliable new low-cost coal fired plants at the rate of one a week?
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The Obama administration is reportedly looking into ways to "legalize" the millions of illegals in this country by some sort of executive action, according to a former Bush administration official who has talked to several people involved in the discussions.
"The former official said it's unclear what specific avenues the administration is considering, but that one potentially feasible option would be to use either deferred action or parole to legalize at once the millions of immigrants who have overstayed their visas -- not necessarily those who crossed the border illegally.
Deferred action and parole would give illegal immigrants the ability to seek a work permit and temporary legal status.
Those two tools are usually used on a case-by-case basis. The former official said any move to broaden that authority and use it on a mass basis would be 'woefully inappropriate'"...
It was obvious from the first moment Obama appeared on the scene that he was a radical leftist, who was unfortunately able to bamboozle millions of Americans into believing he was some sort of moderate. But it wasn't obvious that he would be willing to go this far.
This is Hugo Chavez territory. Some commentators have termed his administration to be a "gangster government", and this would put him firmly in that category.
We can only cross our fingers and hope he really doesn't intend to go that far. Based on his track record, it may be a forlorn hope. If he does pull that trigger, the issue for the next election should be whether to impeach him.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
"Mexican drug cartels have set up shop on American soil, maintaining lookout bases in strategic locations in the hills of southern Arizona from which their scouts can monitor every move made by law enforcement officials, federal agents tell Fox News.
The scouts are supplied by drivers who bring them food, water, batteries for radios -- all the items they need to stay in the wilderness for a long time.
'To say that this area is out of control is an understatement,' said an agent who patrols the area and asked not to be named. 'We (federal border agents), as well as the Pima County Sheriff Office and the Bureau of Land Management, can attest to that...'
In these areas, which are south and west of Tucson, sources said there are 'cartel scouts galore' watching the movements of federal, state and local law enforcement, from the border all the way up to Interstate 8.
'Every night we’re getting beaten like a pinata at a birthday party by drug, alien smugglers,' a second federal agent told Fox News by e-mail. 'The danger is out there, with all the weapons being found coming northbound…. someone needs to know about this!'...
multiple agents told Fox that the situation is more dangerous for them than ever now that the cartels have such a strong position on the American side of the border.
They say morale is down among many who patrol the desolate area, and they worry that the situation won't change until an agent gets killed."
Monday, June 21, 2010
According to George Will, "[This is from] a recent e-mail from a noncommissioned officer (NCO) serving in Afghanistan. He explains why the rules of engagement for U.S. troops are 'too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical successes.'
Receiving mortar fire during an overnight mission, his unit called for a 155mm howitzer illumination round to be fired to reveal the enemy's location. The request was rejected 'on the grounds that it may cause collateral damage.' The NCO says that the only thing that comes down from an illumination round is a canister, and the likelihood of it hitting someone or something was akin to that of being struck by lightning.
Returning from a mission, his unit took casualties from an improvised explosive device that the unit knew had been placed no more than an hour earlier. 'There were villagers laughing at the U.S. casualties' and 'two suspicious individuals were seen fleeing the scene and entering a home.' U.S. forces "are no longer allowed to search homes without Afghan National Security Forces personnel present." But when his unit asked Afghan police to search the house, the police refused on the grounds that the people in the house 'are good people.'
On another mission, some Afghan adults ran off with their children immediately before the NCO's unit came under heavy small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and the unit asked for artillery fire on the enemy position. The response was a question: Where is the nearest civilian structure? 'Judging distances,' the NCO writes dryly, 'can be difficult when bullets and RPGs are flying over your head.'
When the artillery support was denied because of fear of collateral damage, the unit asked for a 'smoke mission' -- like an illumination round; only the canister falls to earth -- 'to conceal our movement as we planned to flank and destroy the enemy.' This request was granted -- but because of fear of collateral damage, the round was deliberately fired one kilometer off the requested site, making 'the smoke mission useless and leaving us to fend for ourselves.'"
It's a miracle that our troops are willing to fight under rules like this. They are expected to risk death themselves in order to prevent enemy combatants from being killed. This is insanity, but perfectly understandable given Obama's military experience as a community organizer. If these rules continue, we will lose the Afghan war.
From Hot Air blog,
"Of course The One won’t do anything about the border until he gets ... amnesty; his party wants to build a heavy Democratic majority among Latinos long-term and he’s not going to mess that up. What’s stunning is simply the fact that he’d be so candid, to a member of the opposition no less, in admitting his dereliction of duty. Sure, he could fulfill his constitutional responsibility and try to enforce federal law — but what good will that do him politically?... And you thought the BP deal was a 'shakedown.'”
Does anyone actually believe that Obama will enforce border security after an amnesty bill passes?
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
"You know how it is when you’re at the mall and someone rattles a collection box under your nose and you’re not sure where it’s going but it’s probably for Darfur or Rwanda or Hoogivsastan. Whatever. You’re dropping a buck or two in the tin for the privilege of not having to think about it. For the more ideologically committed, there’s always the awareness-raising rock concert: it’s something to do with Bono and debt forgiveness, whatever that means, but let’s face it, going to the park for eight hours of celebrity caterwauling beats having to wrap your head around Afro-Marxist economics.
The modern welfare state operates on the same principle: since the Second World War, the hard-working middle classes have transferred historically unprecedented amounts of money to the unproductive sector in order not to have to think about it. But so what? We were rich enough that we could afford to be stupid.
That works for a while. In the economic expansion of the late 20th century, citizens of Western democracies paid more in taxes but lived better than their parents and grandparents. They weren’t exactly rich, but they got richer. They also got more stupid. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the modern British welfare state in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want.” Sir William and his colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic succeeded beyond their wildest dreams: to be “poor” in the 21st-century West is not to be hungry and emaciated but to be obese, with your kids suffering from childhood diabetes. When Michelle Obama turned up to serve food at a soup kitchen, its poverty-stricken clientele snapped pictures of her with their cellphones.
In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works. They are not so much without employment as without need of it. At a certain level, your hard-working bourgeois understands that the bulk of his contribution to the treasury is entirely wasted. It’s one of the basic rules of life: if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it. But, in good and good-ish times, who cares?By the way, where does the government get the money to fund all these immensely useful programs? According to a Fox News poll earlier this year, 65 per cent of Americans understand that the government gets its money from taxpayers, but 24 per cent think the government has 'plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars.'"
Read it all.
"How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26...
On every question the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31%) was more than twice that of conservatives (13%) and more than four times that of libertarians (7%). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61%) was more than four times that of conservatives (13%) and almost three times that of libertarians (21%).
The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect."
The continuing ignorance of a large fraction of the population about economics is one of the wonders of our age. A majority of politicians today don't know as much about the subject as economic thinkers of 150-200 years ago. The result of that ignorance is the imposition of destructive policies that make almost everyone poorer.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
You all know what a speliothem is, don't you? Just in case you weren't listening when that word was explained in class, "Speleothems are secondary mineral deposits formed in caves. Stalactites and stalagmites are speleothems, and they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes...
The speleothems give us a record of what is called the 'delta oxygen 18' (∂18O) value. This value is related to the temperature... What can we learn from the speleothems?...
As is shown in the Greenland ice core records, we are currently at the cold end of the Holocene (the current interglacial).
• Recent phenomena (Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, Current Warm Period) are scarcely visible at this scale. So much for the 'uprecedented' nature of the recent rise.
• The polar bears are not in any danger from the recent rise.• What’s up with the big jump and drop about 12000 years ago?...this is almost certainly the 'Younger Dryas' event...The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a geologically brief (1,300 ± 70 years) cold climate period between approximately 12,800 and 11,500 years ago (between 10,800 and 9,500 BCE)."
Under Section 2 of Article I, the United States House of Representatives must be composed of House members chosen every two years. The number of Representatives apportioned to each state of the Union is determined by an 'enumeration' (i.e., a census) taken every ten years of the people living in each state who are legally eligible to vote in statewide elections. While different states at different times have allowed non-citizens to vote in statewide elections, by 1926 every state in the Union had legally abolished that practice. Thus, to be eligible to vote for a member of the House of Representatives today, you must in fact be a citizen of the United States of America.
So, why is it that the United States Census Bureau doesn't even inquire whether the people being counted in the current census are American citizens? Is it that the Constitution of the United States doesn't mean anything to federal officials anymore?"
We know why the Census Bureau doesn't ask about citizenship. It creates over-representation of Democratic districts. Besides, many illegals vote, and this makes sure there won't be more votes than citizens.
Charles Krauthammer has an excellent piece on this charade. His conclusion:
"The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.
The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution."
Thursday, June 3, 2010
"With a hidden camera, I caught four Census supervisors encouraging enumerators to falsify information on their time sheets. Over the course of two days of training, I was paid for four hours of work I never did. I was told to take a 70 minute lunch break, was given an hour of travel time to drive 10 minutes, and was told to leave work at 3:30pm. I resigned prior to doing any data collection but confronted Census supervisors who assured me, 'no one is going to be auditing that that level,' and 'nobody is going to be questioning it except for you.'"
This is the kind of performance one would expect from our overpaid Federal bureaucracy (see below.) What's perhaps more interesting is that the independent Mr. O'Keefe is able to document one example of corruption after another while the mandarins of the MSM apparently can't uncover government fraud right under their noses.
Of course, the MSM assiduously avoids looking under government rocks precisely because it might find something, which would undermine its leftist, pro-government narrative.
Dems love to bleat about "the gap between the rich and the poor," which is the central element of their economic con job justifying high taxes on those who produce wealth to buy votes from their political supporters.
The real scandal is shown in the chart above. Federal workers, with the help of their unions, are conducting a massive rip-off of the rest of us. These coddled denizens of the Federal Goliath now make twice what private sector workers make, and this for working fewer hours, getting more time off, having lower performance standards, with no risk of layoffs and little risk of being fired for poor performance.
We really do live in a two tiered society - Federal workers on top, and the rest of us down below staggering to pay for them. Welcome to the new aristocracy.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Let's remember that Sestak originally said he "was offered a job" in return for dropping out of the race. Would anyone call an unpaid, occasional advisory role a "job?" When asked whether the job was Navy Secretary, Sestak refused to answer. If that wasn't the case, why didn't he just say "no?" Sestak also originally said the offer was made by "someone in the White House." Could the ex-President reasonably be described as "someone in the White House?"
It's really quite remarkable that Obama would turn to famous liar Clinton to try to cover his tracks with such a lame concoction. Does anyone really believe that Obama would employ a former President to make such a minuscule, meaningless offer? Sestak also originally said that he had multiple conversations over a period of 1-2 months. The White House announcement also said that there had been contacts over a 2 month period. Then, once Clinton was brought into the picture, Sestak said he had only talked to Clinton once about a position for less than a minute. Is this not a blatant contradiction?
The fact that Obama and Clinton had lunch before the announcement, and that Sestak's brother was called by the White House is likely evidence that Obama's people were making sure everyone had their stories straight before issuing this howler.
The fact that the White House has gone to such lengths to create an obviously implausible story can only mean they believe they have something serious to hide. The question now is whether a compliant MSM will conspire with the White House to bury this scandal before it gets out of hand.
There is almost certainly a serious cover up going on, but unless media pressure forces the Administration to appoint a special prosecutor, the cover up will be successful. The chances of the Obama lapdogs in the MSM doing that are somewhere between slim and none.
Friday, May 28, 2010
The border is a 'combat zone,' says T.J. Bonner, head of the Border patrol agents' union, too dangerous even for Border Patrol. You read that correctly. Without armored vehicles to protect them, Bonner opposes putting Border Patrol agents on the border itself...
The Stollers themselves were broken into in May last year and again in June, and in January, a retired couple living a mile north suffered a home invasion by two illegals, one carrying a machete. 'It all built up,' says Terrie. 'The Apache School was being totally ruined and trashed and everything taken out of it. Then Rob Krentz was killed March 27, and he was just down the road...'
Mary and I have worked all our life to pay for this place, and now they tell me it is worth nothing because no one will buy it. I don't blame them. Helen Snyder sells real estate in the area and she said that since Rob's death, the market is dead in the water. I can't believe my country would leave me high and dry like this.
Yet Obama doesn't spend ten seconds thinking about the citizens he is supposed to protect in Arizona. Instead, he joins with the Mexican President to demean his own countrymen as they struggle against the very real Mexican invasion. Disgusting.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
New research by the Harvard Business School proves that "stimulus" actually depresses private economic activity
"New research from Harvard Business School shows that federal spending in states causes local businesses to cut back rather than grow. In other words, when government spending grows the private sector shrinks. Key findings in the study:
The average state experiences a 40 to 50 percent increase in earmark spending if its senator becomes chair of one of the top-three congressional committees. In the House, the average is around 20 percent.
For broader measures of spending, such as discretionary state-level federal transfers, the increase from being represented by a powerful senator is around 10 percent.
In the year that follows a congressman's ascendancy, the average firm in his state cuts back capital expenditures by roughly 15 percent.
There is some evidence that firms scale back their employment and experience a decline in sales growth.
While these results are very interesting, the most intriguing part of this study is the admission by the authors — Lauren Cohen, Joshua Coval, and Christopher Malloy — that they were stunned by these results. Check out this Harvard Business School interview:
Recent research at Harvard Business School began with the premise that as a state's congressional delegation grew in stature and power in Washington, D.C., local businesses would benefit from the increased federal spending sure to come their way.
It turned out quite the opposite. In fact, professors Lauren Cohen, Joshua Coval, and Christopher Malloy discovered to their surprise that companies experienced lower sales and retrenched by cutting payroll, R&D, and other expenses. Indeed, in the years that followed a congressman's ascendancy to the chairmanship of a powerful committee, the average firm in his state cut back capital expenditures by roughly 15 percent, according to their working paper, "Do Powerful Politicians Cause Corporate Downsizing?"
'It was an enormous surprise, at least to us, to learn that the average firm in the chairman's state did not benefit at all from the unanticipated increase in spending,' Coval reports."
So now we have more detailed evidence that Keynesian "stimulus" depresses, rather than stimulates economic growth. There has been consistent, overwhelming evidence that "stimulus" spending has failed on a national level around the world. Japan tried that approach over and over again in the 1980's and '90's without success, and the US has just seen unemployement rise substantially after the 2009 "stimulus."Now the same phenomenon has been observed on a state level. But evidence doesn't count for much. As long as the MSM remains determinedly ignorant of basic economics, and thinks its role is to support Democrats, the public will keep hearing that we need more "stimulus," AKA government spending, to cure what ails us.
The current downturn was initiated by the failures of government sponsored entities (GSEs) Fannie May and Freddie Mac due to mandated programs to provide mortgage loans to people who couldn't afford them. When the value of their mortgage backed securities, which were one of the foundations of the financial system, were found to be crumbling, they took down a number of major banks and other financial institutions such as AIG with them.
Now, according to an article in the London Telegraph, "The stock of money fell from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the three months to April, amounting to an annual rate of contraction of 9.6pc. The assets of insitutional money market funds fell at a 37pc rate, the sharpest drop ever.
'It’s frightening,' said Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research. 'The plunge in M3 has no precedent since the Great Depression. The dominant reason for this is that regulators across the world are pressing banks to raise capital asset ratios and to shrink their risk assets. This is why the US is not recovering properly,' he said."
Not surprisingly, the Administration is not letting this crisis go to waste, but is proposing more Keynesian "stimulus" AKA spending, in spite of the fact that the last huge spending blowout didn't prevent unemployment from rising. The fact that fiscal "stimulus" has never worked anywhere is no reason not to keep using it as an excuse to do what the Dems want to do anyway - increase the government share of the economy.
"Mr Congdon said the Obama policy risks repeating the strategic errors of Japan, which pushed debt to dangerously high levels with one fiscal boost after another during its Lost Decade, instead of resorting to full-blown 'Friedmanite' monetary stimulus.
'Fiscal policy does not work. The US has just tried the biggest fiscal experiment in history and it has failed. What matters is the quantity of money and in extremis that can be increased easily by quantititave easing. If the Fed doesn’t act, a double-dip recession is a virtual certainty,' he said.
Mr Congdon said the dominant voices in US policy-making - Nobel laureates Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz, as well as Mr Summers and Fed chair Ben Bernanke - are all Keynesians of different stripes who 'despise traditional monetary theory and have a religious aversion to any mention of the quantity of money'. The great opus by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz - The Monetary History of the United States - has been left to gather dust.
Mr Bernanke no longer pays attention to the M3 data. The bank stopped publishing the data five years ago, deeming it too erratic to be of much use.
This may have been a serious error since double-digit growth of M3 during the US housing bubble gave clear warnings that the boom was out of control. The sudden slowdown in M3 in early to mid-2008 - just as the Fed raised rates - gave a second warning that the economy was about to go into a nosedive."
So it appears we have yet another example of government claiming it needs to regulate capitalism to avoid economic chaos, and using regulation to produce economic chaos instead. Is anyone surprised?
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Waving signs denouncing bank 'greed,' hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer's steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer's teenage son Jack -- alone in the house -- locked himself in the bathroom. 'When are they going to leave?' Jack pleaded when I called to check on him...
Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might 'incite' these trespassers...
There were no reporters from organizations like the Washington Post, no local camera crews who might have aired criticism of this private-home invasion. With the media covering the conservative Tea Party protesters, the behavior of individual activists has drawn withering scrutiny."
According to the MSM, peaceful Tea Party rallies - dangerous - union thugs surrounding a private home to intimidate a family - not worth mentioning. Is there any wonder the MSM has no credibility?
"Yesterday, The New York Times published another front-page article based on a leaked classified document. This time, it was an order signed by Gen. authorizing black operations against adversaries and such dubious friends as Iran, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Gee, thanks. We really needed to know that. The world's a better place now...
This not only increases the virulent paranoia in the region's police states, but poses a mortal danger to agents, special operators and the innocent.
Our bravest men and women will face heightened risks and difficulties in executing their missions -- and businessmen, tourists and (did the Times think this through?) journalists will also come under greater suspicion. Innocent people and regime opponents will be executed as spies. And does anyone think that publicizing this program will help those three hikers held for a year in Iran?
In fact, there's a far greater risk of harm to blundering bystanders than to skilled operatives. The Tehran regime, especially, will use the revelation of this document as an excuse to imprison more democracy advocates -- or kill them.
Think the jerk who leaked this order considered any of these consequences? ... But nobody's going to be punished. High-ranking officials can get away with manslaughter, if not murder. An Army captain would go to prison. A political appointee can expect a promotion...
After the ruling class reaped the finest of the crops and livestock for themselves, the serfs were to distribute all the yield of their labor amongst everyone equally. They had no rights to any crops or land for themselves, all belonged to the community, which was bestowed upon them by their feudal lords. They also shared in utilities. Most peasant societies had a communal oven that was also shared to save on resources...
The companies have gone to court to challenge the state's action -- it apparently had no basis for its ruling beyond the political needs of Gov. Deval Patrick. If they win, Bay State health premiums will continue their rapid rise; if they lose, they'll eventually have to stop doing business in Massachusetts -- and the state will be that much closer to a 'single payer' system of socialized medicine...
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
While Obama jokes about the failure of the federal government to secure the borders, across America this is happening all the time:
In Seattle, "Jose Lopez Madrigal, an illegal alien was arrested last Sunday and accused of raping a woman near Edmonds Supermarket...
Madrigal's arrest and immigration record includes a staggering number of contacts with law enforcement since 1989. That's the year he was convicted of theft using a firearm in California.
He was deported a couple of times after that. Then in 1999, he was arrested for drug sales in both San Diego and San Francisco. Records show that he was deported three times that year between April and August.
He was arrested for drugs again in Stockton, Calif. in 2000. In 2002, he pleaded to third degree sexual assault in Denver. Later that year, he was deported again. And in 2003, records show he was deported three more times."
Gotta love that secure border. Meanwhile an illegal alien was recently convicted for this horrendous crime in Newark:
"In 2007, a gang of MS-13-tied illegal aliens ambushed a group of young college students in Newark and murdered them execution-style in a schoolyard...
The four students were hanging out behind Mount Vernon School on Aug. 4, 2007, when they were confronted by their attackers with a handgun and a machete. Three of the victims — Terrance Aeriel, 18, Dashon Harvey, 20, and Iofemi Hightower, 20 — were killed when they were lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head. Terrance’s sister, Natasha Aeriel, survived after being shot in the face and left for dead.
All of the victims were robbed, and Aeriel and the group’s other female, Iofemi Hightower, were sexually molested and cut with machetes and knives...
Yesterday, a family member of one of the slain victims, Iofemi Hightower, described the level of savagery of the attack. He said the thugs used a machete to hack their victims.
'They cut my niece’s face off,' said John McClain, who is Hightower’s great-uncle, and the chaplain of the Newark Police Department. “They cut her from cheek to cheek. They left her head hanging.”
McClain said the mortician told him he had to work for three days to put his grand-niece’s face back together...
Rodolfo Antonio Godinez Gomez entered the U.S. from Nicaragua on Oct. 24, 1992. He was ordered deported on May 5, 1993, but it isn’t clear if he ever left the country, according to Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontura...
He...obtained permanent legal residency in 2001.
He had eluded cops for four years after becoming a fugitive on July 7, 2003, when he ditched a Superior Court hearing on charges that he robbed and attacked three people in Irvington a year earlier."
And Obama thinks the real problem is Arizona's efforts to defend its citizens.
"President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill are publicly fretting about the dangers of spending and debt, which can mean only one thing: Another big spending 'stimulus' bill is in the works. And sure enough, the House plans to vote this week on $190 billion in new spending, $134 billion of which it won't even pretend to pay for.
Sander Levin, the new Ways and Means Chairman, calls this exercise the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. Mr. Levin has waited 28 years to ascend to this throne and this is the best he can do? 'Jobs' were also the justification in February 2009 for the $862 billion stimulus that has managed to hold the jobless rate down to a mere 9.9%. Maybe Mr. Levin's spending can hold it down to even greater heights.
The nearby table gives a flavor of what's in this grab bag of political payoffs, corporate welfare and transfer payments. There's $24 billion to help states pay the exploding tab for Medicaid, the same program that ObamaCare expands by some 16 million new recipients. The bill also offers $1 billion for summer jobs for teens, whose jobless rate is 25.4%. Congress could do far more to create teen jobs if it merely suspended last year's minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour, which priced millions of young workers out of the labor market. But that would be too rational...
The $47 billion to extend unemployment insurance to nearly two full years will bring the total spent on this program to $137 billion during this recession—five times more than in either of the prior two recessions. That's nearly as much as the federal corporate income raised in 2009.
The sages in Congress continue to claim that these payments for not working will lead to more work. Representative Jim McDermott recently declared on the House floor that jobless payments are "one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus" because "every unemployment dollar spent returns $1.64 of economic benefits." So let's lay off everybody, pay them for not working, and watch the economy really boom. Where do they teach this stuff?"
There's much more nasty detail in this piece. Please read it all.
"The massive expansion of requirements for businesses to file 1099 tax forms that was hidden in the 2,409-page health reform bill took many by surprise when it came to light last month. But it's just one piece of a years-long legislative stealth campaign to create ways for the federal government to track down unreported income.
The result: A blizzard of new tax forms that the Internal Revenue Service will begin rolling out next year...
In essence, the 1099-Misc is having its role changed from a form for tracking off-payroll employment to one that must accompany virtually any sizeable business transaction.
'Just with business travel it would include hotels, rental cars,' Henschke says. 'Phone service: 1099. Computer service: 1099. Whoever does your postage meter: 1099. You do a little advertising, Yellow Pages: 1099. Your landlord: 1099. You might as well just keep them in your pocket and hand them out as you go around every day.'"
Remember when Nancy Pelosi said "Pass the bill so you can find out what's in it"? Just another step on the road to monster government.