Thursday, October 11, 2012

President running roughshod over Constitution; 1.8Million private sectory employees laid off in August; Russia pulling out of dismantling nuclear weapons program; Obama went to debate moderator's wedding; The empty chair sybolism grows; Battery manufacturer takes our money and runs; No risk to shale development; No Sharia law in Kansas; MI ballot initiatives; Obama an Indonesian prince?; Throwing someone under the bus for Obama; Antarctic ice continues to grow

*President Barack Obama is running roughshod over the Constitution, legal scholars say, by disregarding it, changing laws outside the legislative process, and extending federal power in unprecedented ways.
The president has “profound disdain for the Constitution,” said David Rivkin, a lawyer at the BakerHostetler law firm in Washington, DC.
“Across a whole host of policy areas, President Obama and other high officials in his administration have pushed the envelope of anything attempted before,” said Ilya Shapiro, a constitutional expert at the Cato Institute. [In the coming days, I will be rerunning some of my list of 80 ways in which he has done this.]

The Private Sector is Not Doing Fine

BLS: 1.8M private sector employees laid off in August 
In August, nearly 1.8 million private sector employees were laid off—up nearly 300,000 from July and nearly 100,000 from August 2011. Those layoffs came just two months after Obama proclaimed that “the private sector is doing fine” and attributed struggling job creation to government layoffs. [I don't remember seeing this statistic in the much touted falling unemployment figures.]
Russia’s government announced on Wednesday it is pulling out of the multi-billion dollar program Cooperative Threat Reduction program that since the early 1990s helped Moscow dismantle nuclear weapons and missiles, United States officials said.  [Meanwhile Obama continues to reduce our supply of nuclear weapons as a sign of good faith to a country which can't be trusted.]
Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced that it does not plan to extend the agreement with the U.S. when it expires next year.
President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------A A friend in Texas told me of some local difficulties in getting big Romney lawn signs. Its possible there’s been a run on those signs since the first debate, and maybe local GOP organizations are running out. You know what Romney supporters who cant find lawn signs should do? Put an empty chair on the lawn instead. Just one big empty chair. Says it all. Says it better.
In the fall of 2010, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. — the state's "corporate welfare” arm — uploaded a video to YouTube highlighting the battery manufacturer A123 Systems.
At the time, the company was promoted heavily by President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow. Since then, A123 has shed money, laid off half its workforce, recalled products and seen its stock price plummet to about 26 cents this week from a previous high of $26.
Now, just two years after the initial roll-out, A123 is being acquired by a Chinese company. Shortly after this deal was rumored a few weeks ago, the MEDC made all of its promotional videos “private.” This is not the first time questions have been raised about the MEDC’s lack of transparency.
The company is a poster child of government subsidies for green energy initiatives. Michigan gave A123 Systems $100 million in MEGA tax credits and another $41 million in tax breaks and subsidies from a separate program. At the same time, the Department of Energy awarded A123 Systems a $249.1 million grant as part of the federal "stimulus program."
A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examines the relative risks of shale development and hydraulic fracturing, using existing research as its guide. Unfortunately for opponents who have invested so much time stating otherwise, GAO finds no evidence of hydraulic fracturing fluids migrating from depth up into groundwater.
Granted, GAO wasn’t conducting an original investigative report, but rather aggregating research that’s been done to date. For that reason, the report did not make conclusions or recommendations on the topics it examined. Nonetheless, its findings are instructive in the broader discussion about hydraulic fracturing, specifically as it pertains to groundwater.
Here are a few excerpts worth highlighting:
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a law aimed at keeping the state's courts or government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes, and a national Muslim group's spokesman said Friday that a court challenge is likely.
For those in Michigan: If Proposal 4 passes on Nov. 6, the forced unionization of tens of thousands of home-based caregivers in Michigan would be locked into the state constitution, allowing the Service Employees International Union to continue skimming millions of dollars in dues from Medicaid stipends meant to help Michigan’s most vulnerable residents, according to a new study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
More for Michigan voters: Proposal 2, a ballot measure that Michigan voters will consider on Nov. 6, would allow collective bargaining agreements reached by teachers and school officials to override existing and future state laws.
If teachers unions hold sway at the bargaining table, the passage of Proposal 2 would likely result in a rollback of state reforms designed to address sprawling pension and health care costs.
But it appears that these same powers could also be used to negotiate away teacher tenure and certification requirements.
State law is what allows Michigan teachers to achieve tenure. Michigan state law is also what limits the hiring of teachers who are not certified by the state. Furthermore, state law also limits how school districts can fire or demote tenured teachers.
The group supporting Proposal 2, the collective bargaining ballot initiative, lists on its website five states that outlaw public employee collective bargaining for teachers and says those states perform "among the worst in the nation" on standardized test scores.
The problem? Michigan scores lower than all five of those states on the most widely-taken standardized test.

This week, PBS’s “Frontline” published the transcript from a June 27, 2012 interview with Kristen Caldwell, a woman who grew up with President Barack Obama and attended the Punahou School with him in Honolulu, Hawaii. Among other claims, she told PBS that, as a young child, Obama told his classmates that he was Kenyan royalty or an Indonesian prince — fascinating claims that she discussed in great detail.-
“I can picture him as this slightly — “chubby” is too strong, but rounded, short little guy, Barry Obama,” Caldwell said. “And he told us that his father was an Indonesian king and that he was a prince, and after he finished school he was going to go back, and he would be a ruler in Indonesia.”
“My sister and I remember very clearly that he was an Indonesian prince and that he would be going back there,” she continued. “So there was some reference to where he had come from, and the understanding was his family was there.”
Mere hours after the attack — purposefully timed on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington — the nation’s spooks knew that al-Qaeda had just opened up a new front in its long battle against America and the West. Heck, the nation’s schoolchildren knew that, too. And yet the administration persisted in peddling its ludicrous YouTube story — and throwing an American citizen in jail for the crime of spitting on the sidewalk.
Now, it seems, that Team Obama has decided to try and save U.N. ambassador Susan Rice — whose reputation in the IC could hardly be lower — and perhaps press secretary Jay Carney as well by tossing the nation’s spooks under the bus, in which direction they’re also nudging Hillary Clinton.
Antarctic sea ice has expanded to cover the largest area recorded since satellite mapping began more than three decades ago. The expansion continues a trend of increasing Antarctic sea ice cover of about 1 per cent a decade and is at odds with predictions of climate change models that continue to forecast a long-term decline.

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