Saturday, August 27, 2011

Justice Dept. heeds India law, not ours; Obama administration ruling by decree on union rights; Kaiser Permanente and Inova Health System both announce large lay-offs; Flash mob in Montgomery County follows typical scenario; Exxon Mobil suing federal government; Texas Governor sues Dept. of Homeland Security for $350 million; Boehner again requests list of planned regulations with $1 billion economic impact; Cosmic rays are cause of global warming; Chicago township stops building of $1.5 million civic office

Redstate reveals: The Department of Justice is under fire for taking the bold step of sending armed agents into the factories of Gibson Guitar in Nashville and Memphis to seize what it believes to be illegal wood.
Via press release from Gibson:
The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.
Unbelievably enough, this was not the first time that the Gibson factories have been raided for this same reason.
Redstate writes: Obama, ruling by decree: The National Labor Relations Board has issued a Final Rule that will require employers to notify employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act as of November 14, 2011.
Private-sector employers (including labor organizations) whose workplaces fall under the National Labor Relations Act will be required to post the employee rights notice where other workplace notices are typically posted. Also, employers who customarily post notices to employees regarding personnel rules or policies on an internet or intranet site will be required to post the Board’s notice on those sites. Copies of the notice will be available from the Agency’s regional offices, and it may also be downloaded from the NLRB website.
[Closely following the news that Kaiser Permanente of Washington D,C, is laying people off comes this news from the Washington Post: Inova Health System has cut 13 percent of its management jobs to reduce costs, a spokesman for the Northern Virginia company said this week. Inova, which operates five hospitals and is one of the Washington region’s largest health systems, said it cut 117 senior and mid-level jobs across all its hospitals. At the four community hospitals — Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Loudoun and Mount Vernon — the leadership teams were restructured to eliminate the position of chief operating officer. There were no cuts to nurses or doctors directly involved in patient care, said spokesman Tony Raker.
Of the 117 positions eliminated, 84 were the result of attrition and 33 were through layoffs. Employees were told Monday. The cost reductions were in response to anticipated health-care changes, including continuing reductions in Medicare compensation, Raker said.

The Washington Examiner reports: Montgomery County police say 17 people have been charged in a flash mob theft of a Germantown convenience store.
A group of 25 young people stormed the 7-Eleven at 13001 Wisteria Drive shortly before 2 a.m. on Aug. 13. In just about a minute, they stole snacks, drinks and other items from the store, then left.  [Yes, once again, the perps had black skin....- unreported in article, verified by video.]
CNS News reports: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest energy company, filed a lawsuit against the federal government for canceling an oil-drilling lease in the Gulf of Mexico that held “billions of barrels of oil,” according to the company. In the suit, filed Aug. 12 in federal court in Louisiana against Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar and related parties, Exxon alleges that the Interior Department made an “arbitrary, capricious” decision in canceling the deepwater leases, arguing that the government’s action “deprives ExxonMobil of property without due process of law.”
Fox News reports: Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for nearly $350 million to cover the costs he says Texas has incurred incarcerating illegal immigrants in state prisons and county jails.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Perry reiterated a claim he's often leveled against the federal government: that it's not doing enough to secure the border with Mexico and as a result, has allowed illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. and use taxpayer-funded resources, including the prison system.
USA Today writes: House Speaker John Boehner wrote President Obama today seeking a list of all planned federal regulations with an economic impact of more than $1 billion.It's the same request Boehner made of Obama a year ago -- to no avail. And it signals what could be a bruising legislative battle this fall over government regulations.
  The UK Telegraph reports: Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has long postulated – it’s [global warming] the result of cosmic rays which act as a seed for cloud formation. The scientists working on the project are naturally euphoric: this is a major breakthrough which will not only overturn decades of misguided conjecture on so-called Man Made Global Warming but will spare the global economy trillions of dollars which might otherwise have been squandered on utterly pointless efforts to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.
The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.
In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.
The Wall St. Journal reports: In these tough economic times, the sight of angry taxpayers filling the auditorium of a suburban high school isn't unusual.
But those gathered in this Chicago suburb earlier this month weren't facing off against impassive town officials. In a rare expression of direct democracy that invoked a 100-year-old state law, all 200 people present got to vote, and resoundingly overturned the township's plan to build a new $1.5 million civic office.
"We directed an out-of-control government to listen to the people," said Debra Holscher, the campaign's leader, who kicked off the insurrection by scribbling out a petition and getting 17 people to sign it at the town's annual meeting in April.
Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, attorney for the township of 45,000, says she is studying whether the vote is legally binding.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Obama considering changes for government-backed mortgage holders; Sea levels actually drop!; Civil strife in poor tropical countries caused by El Nino; Obama to dismantle Trans-Alaska pipeline?; Town Hall activists' cameras seized; Update on "kinetic military operation" in Libya; Government-wide sensitivity training urged; Obama's unconstitutional order waiving deportation; Japan's radioactive disaster; Warren Buffet's $5 billion investment; Iran for eradication of Israel; Inhofe - on our President;

CNBC reports: The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: plans must help a broad swath of homeowners, stimulate the economy and cost next to nothing.
One proposal would allow millions of homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance them at today’s lower interest rates, about 4 percent, according to two people briefed on the administration’s discussions who asked not to be identified because they were not allowed to talk about the information.
A wave of refinancing could be a strong stimulus to the economy, because it would lower consumers’ mortgage bills right away and allow them to spend elsewhere. But such a sweeping change could face opposition from the regulator who oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and from investors in government-backed mortgage bonds.
Daily Mail reports: Cutline: A graphic from NASA shows sea levels have dropped 6 mm in the last 6 months, wiping out the rise over the past 2 years. Whoops!
“The sea-level is now rising faster along the U.S. Atlantic coast than at any time in the past 2,100 years, and this surge is linked to increasing global temperatures, an international research team reports.”
“Sea-level rise is a potentially disastrous outcome of climate change, as rising temperatures melt land-based ice and warm ocean waters,” said study co-author Benjamin Horton of the University of Pennsylvania. The study was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

The drop is the largest in the generally upward curve of sea level measured over the past 18 years, although there have been other downward bumps. Another big one occurred in 1998 and 1999, and both have been linked to La Niña, the periodic cooling of equatorial ocean waters in the eastern Pacific. The ocean region cycles back and forth between La Niña and El Niño, a periodic warming.
“It’s definitely happened before, and will definitely happen again,” Willis said.
So what is the moral to this story? All things on heaven and Earth are cyclical and mankind — a cork bobbing in the universal sea — is just getting around to understand a few of these cycles. It took us just 2,000 years to figure out that the planets circled the Sun and not the Earth.
NASA is blaming “one of the strongest La Niñas in recent memory.”
Daily Caller reports: WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have found another thing to blame on the climate demon El Nino: civil strife in poor tropical countries.
A new study released Wednesday finds a significant increase in unrest during the years of an El Nino, which is a regular climatic event that tends to warm up and dry out tropical regions.
“When people get warm and uncomfortable, they get irritable, they are more prone to fight,” said Mark Cane, a professor of Earth and climate sciences at Columbia University and co-author of the study.
“People do like to fight and El Nino conditions help.”
The flip side of El Nino, a La Nina, is also the most peaceful time for these tropical countries,
Read more:
Daily Caller reports: The Obama administration is setting the stage for the dismantling of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and poses the greatest threat to its existence today, according to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.
The 800-mile pipeline cost $8 billion to construct in the 1970s, and has moved more than 18 billion barrels of crude oil. Three oil companies constructed it, in the face of significant opposition from environmentalists, in response to the 1973 Arab oil embargo.
The federal government approved the pipeline as part of a strategy to secure domestic alternatives to oil from the Middle East. But the Natural Resources Committee notes that the law authorizing the then-controversial pipeline’s construction came with a caveat: If the pipeline should ever cease being viable, it must dismantled.
That day could come within the next decade.
Indeed, according to Alyeska, the company that manages the pipeline, at these lower production levels the pipeline may become useless as “low flow” permits ice crystals to grow. A low enough flow of oil could also allow surrounding soils to freeze, endangering the pipeline through frost heaves and other ground-buckling phenomena.
Balash also warned Congress that shutting down the pipeline would have a “crushing impact on Alaskans” because one-third of the state’s economy is tied to oil production.
Nonetheless, environmental activists have successfully lobbied the Obama administration to keep Alaska’s vast energy resources — including an estimated 45 billion barrels of oil and 114 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — “under lock and key,” in Hastings’ chosen words.
Read more:
From Cincinnati comes this report: Monday night, at a “town hall” meeting in North Avondale featuring U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R), video cameras owned by two Democratic activists were seized by a Cincinnati police officer at the direction of Chabot’s staff.
A Chabot spokesman said the had the cameras seized “to protect the privacy of constituents” at the event, although there were at least two media outlets at the North Avondale Recreation Center filming the meeting.
Fox News reports: Pentagon spokesman David Lapan offered an operational update Tuesday of how the "kinetic military operation" known as Operation Unified Protector in Libya has played out -- it included 5,357 sorties flown by U.S. forces since April 1 until Tuesday.
1. Cost to U.S. 
The estimated cost to the Department of Defense for Libya operations is approximately $896 million through July 31, 2011. This cost includes amounts for daily military operations, munitions used in the operation  President-directed drawdown of DoD supplies and humanitarian assistance.
2. Foreign Military Sales
From the beginning of OUP through Aug. 19, the U.S. has sold participating allies and partners approximately $221.9 million worth of ammunition, repair parts, fuel and technical assistance.
3. Non-Lethal Aid
The Defense Department has expended about $12.5 million of the $25 million drawdown authority for non-lethal aid to Libya, which includes approximately $1 million for ready to eat meals. The MRE drop on May 10, was 10,000 cases -- 120,000 meals -- delivered to Benghazi.
Read more:
The  Washington Times reports: U.S. Department of Agriculture activists want to impose their intense brand of homosexual sensitivity training government-wide, including a discussion that compares “heterosexism” - believing marriage can be between only one man and one woman - to racism.
USDA officials have asked the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees all federal employee policies, to impose its gay-awareness programs on all federal departments, according to an internal newsletter. The training includes a discussion of “heterosexism” and compares it to racism. It says people who view marriage as being between only one man and one woman are guilty of “heterosexism.”

Sheriffs Begin Thumbing Their Nose At Obama's Unconstitutional Executive Order Immigration Waiver 

At this time, close to 20% of those illegals coming into our country have broken American laws, never mind their probable lawlessness in their country of origin.  They feel our President should not be deciding which laws should be enforced by law enforcement officers, and which ones shouldn't. This will encourage further illegal entries.  They feel we are not un-American for not submitting to Obama's edict as a quasi-dictator, according to the Pinal County, AZ sheriff.  Some sheriffs are deciding to ignore President Obama's new edict to stop deportation.


The UK Telegraph reports: Japan's government estimates the amount of radioactive caesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs.


Breitbart repots: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will invest $5 billion in Bank of America, stepping in to shore up the company in the same way he helped prop up Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis.

[What are we to make of the fact that just prior to Warren Buffett's investment of $5 billion into Bank of America, he spoke with our President?  He is now supporting Obama's reelection campaign.....] 

A recent Gallup poll found that public approval for [Obama's] economic management had dipped to 26 percent, a worrying sign for the president, 15 months out from the next election.


Haaretz reports: "Iran believes that whoever is for humanity should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and discrimination," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network, carried by ISNA.


Tulsa World reports: President Barack Obama alone is to blame for the nation’s budget deficit – and just about everything else, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe told the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.We now have a president, and I don’t mean this disrespectfully, who is destroying these very institutions that made America great,” Inhofe, R-Okla., said.
Inhofe went on to say the Obama administration has “disarmed America,” is solely responsible for the federal budget deficit, mostly responsible for the nation’s dependence on imported oil and suffocating business with regulations.
He also said Obama engineered the House Republicans’ ban on earmarks in order to give himself more control of the budget.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Foreign Goat Herders working in America get special treatment from Obama; Law on permitting circumcision in CA may go state-wide; Martha Vineyard vacation a PR disaster; Martin Luther King, Jr. monument made in China; CNN's Cafferty loves labels; Unions' Contract Campaign Manual rules; No religious leaders at 9/11 NYC 10 year ceremony; Obama in his own words - on responsibility and patriotism

Human Events writes: The Obama administration is setting new workplace regulations to assist foreign workers who fill goat herding positions in the U.S. , including employee-paid cell phones and comfy beds.

These new special procedures issued by the Labor Department must be followed by employers who want to hire temporary agricultural foreign workers to perform sheep herding or goat herding activities.  It describes strict rules for sleeping quarters, lighting, food storage, bathing, laundry, cooking and new rules for the counters where food is prepared.
Diane Katz, a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation, unearthed the policy in the "Federal Register," the massive daily journal of proposed regulations that Washington bureaucrats publish every day.
Under the Obama Administration, the nanny state has imposed 75 new major regulations with annual costs of $38 billion.
“This captures what is wrong with government,” Katz said.  “I could not have made this up.”
Breitbart reports: California lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on whether local jurisdictions have the right to ban male circumcision or whether the practice should be covered by statewide rules, a debate that evolved from a divisive ballot measure in San Francisco.
A bill by two Democratic lawmakers being considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee would declare that circumcision—surgically removing the foreskin that covers the tip of the penis—has health, cultural and other benefits, and that uniform statewide rules are needed to govern it and a parent's authority over whether their children receive it.
"It's a medical procedure, and it has value," said Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, co-author of AB768. Passing the bill, he told the committee, would prevent a statewide patchwork of laws governing circumcision.
The legislation comes against a national backdrop of efforts to limit male circumcision,

The UK Daily Mail opines: The Obamas' summer break in Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.
But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.
White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.
The 'top source' told the National Enquirer: 'It's disgusting. Michelle is taking advantage of her privileged position while the most hardworking Americans can barely afford a week or two off work.
Human Events writes: A new memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. opened on the National Mall in Washington this week.  It’s the only memorial on the Mall that isn’t dedicated to a president or the fallen soldiers in a war.
There have been some criticisms leveled at the design of the monument.  An ABC News report describes the layout:
Inspiration for the design came from a line in King's "I Have a Dream" speech, which he delivered 48 years ago on the National Mall during the March on Washington: "Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope." 
Artistic quibbles pale in comparison to the provenance of the statue, which was made in China, by an artist whose work includes statues of Chairman Mao.  As reported by the UK Telegraph:
There has been controversy over the choice of Lei Yixin, a 57-year-old master sculptor from Changsha in Hunan province, to carry out the work. Critics have openly asked why a black, or at least an American, artist was not chosen and even remarked that Dr King appears slightly Asian in Mr Lei's rendering.
Mr Lei, who has in the past carved two statues of Mao Tse-tung, one of which stands in the former garden of Mao Anqing, the Chinese leader's son, carried out almost all of the work in Changsha.
Newsbuster's reports: CNN's Jack Cafferty slammed the "intellectual lightweights" leading the Republican presidential field on Wednesday, wondering why their supporters "seem to be allergic to brains."

The CNN contributor labeled the candidates "Curly, Moe, and Larry" and sarcastically dubbed Palin a "MENSA candidate," a term reserved for smart people. Recently he also bemoaned a possible Palin run and gave credence to the conspiratorial theory that Bachmann and Perry are serious members of a theocratic fringe sect of Christianity.
And just who are Cafferty's intellectual heavyweights in the GOP? Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich. "I venture to say none of the three has a prayer against Curly, Moe and Larry," Cafferty quipped, "[a]nd that's a sad commentary on the state of our politics, isn't it?  [I would say that Cafferty is an example of the sad state of affairs in the liberal media - name-calling instead of debating issues or simply bringing us the news.]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big Government exposes union tactics: John Sweeney penned the “Contract Campaign Manual” we - and otherspreviously exposed on this blog. As a 2002 report by Labor Watch and the Capital Research Center put it:
“Corporate campaigns are coordinated assaults on a company’s reputation. The union goes outside ordinary procedures for seeking representation or pressing its grievances. Instead, it mounts a full-scale political and public relations campaign, often enlisting other social and religious groups as allies and threatening the employer with an economic boycott. The implicit threat: We unionize your workforce or we destroy your reputation. Under Sweeney, SEIU helped bring corporate campaigns into the mainstream of union organizing tactics.”
These few sentences could hardly do a better job at summing up what the SEIU has been all about in its campaign against Sodexo. The grand strategy is here: coerce by any means possible a company into recognizing a union by directly pressuring management instead of trying to convince employees.

“Its tactics take many forms: feeding news to the media alleging company wrongdoings, sending letters to stockholders deriding management and the company’s financial health, complaining to regulatory agencies, and good old-fashioned leafleting and picketing.”

Fox News reports: Some New York politicians and religious leaders are criticizing Mayor Michael Bloomberg for not offering clergy members a role in the high-profile ceremonies marking 10 years since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, The Wall Street Journal reported
"This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me," said Rudy Washington, a former deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani. "I feel like America has lost its way."
Expose Obama writes: In 2008, candidate Obama had some harsh words about President George W. Bush's fiscal policy:

"The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up the national debt from 5 trillion for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s...." [unpatriotic]
CBS News reported Monday:
The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama’s watch.
The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion.
It’s the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.
Remember,Number-44 racked up what he deems an “unpatriotic”amount of debt in less than three years,while it took the free-spending George W. Bush administration eight years to compound an equivalent deficit.
By Obama’s reasoning,that means he must really hate this country.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Obama's list of firsts, part 2; Obama's 38% approval rate; Foreign vessels move American oil - in America; Obama's boom in federal regulatory agency jobs;

Obama's List of First - Part 2 - by Doug Ross

• First President to Bypass Congress and Implement the DREAM Act Through Executive Fiat

• First President to "Order a Secret Amnesty Program that Stopped the Deportations of Illegal Immigrants Across the U.S., Including Those With Criminal Convictions"

• First President to
Demand a Company Hand Over $20 Billion to One of His Political Appointees

• First President to Terminate America's Ability to Put a Man into Space.

• First President to
Encourage Racial Discrimination and Intimidation at Polling Places

• First President to Have a Law Signed By an 'Auto-pen' Without Being "Present"

• First President to Arbitrarily Declare an Existing Law Unconstitutional and Refuse to Enforce It

• First President to Threaten Insurance Companies if they Publicly Speak out on the Reasons for their Rate 

• First President to Tell a Major Manufacturing Company In Which State They Are Allowed to Locate a Factory

• First President to File Lawsuits Against the States He Swore an Oath to Protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN, etc.)

• First President to Withdraw an Existing Coal Permit That Had Been Properly Issued Years Ago

• First President to Fire an Inspector General of Americorps for Catching One of His Friends in a Corruption Case

• First President to Propose an Executive Order Demanding Companies Disclose Their Political Contributions to Bid on Government Contracts

• First President to Golf 73 Separate Times in His First Two-and-a-Half Years in Office

  • First President to have a government takeover of a company (GM), give a controlling interest to the Unions, and then declare that Preferred Bond holders get 10 cents on the dollar instead of being the first ones paid.
But remember: he will not rest until all Americans have jobs, affordable homes, green-energy vehicles, and the environment is repaired, etc., etc., etc.

CNS News reports: Only 38 percent of Americans say they approve of the way Barack Obama is handing his job as president, according to Gallup's daily tracking poll released today (which averages the president's approval over Gallup's previous three days of polling).
The NYT writes: In its hurry to transport millions of barrels of oil from federal stockpiles to stabilize world oil prices earlier this summer, the Obama administration has repeatedly bypassed federal law by allowing nearly all the oil to move on foreign-owned vessels, drawing protests from domestic maritime operators.

The domestic ship owners say that 46 times the administration has waived the Jones Act, a 90-year-old law requiring purely domestic cargo to move on United States-flagged ships except under extraordinary circumstances. Only once this summer has oil from the reserve moved on American barges.
Even as unemployment hovered over 9 percent, the administration approved dozens of applications to transport nearly 30 million barrels of domestic crude oil within the borders of the United States on tankers employing foreign crews and flying the flags of the Marshall Islands, Panama and other countries.  [It's so comforting that our President is devoted to job creation, isn't it?]

The NY Post opines: President Obama can take credit for a boom in at least one economic sector: Since he took office, employment has surged 13 percent at federal regulatory agencies.
The regulators’ budgets are up 16 percent, according to a May report by Washington University and George Washington University. That’s before some major administration regulatory initiatives -- the financial-reform bill and the health-care overhaul -- are fully implemented.
Obama understands that a reputation for regulatory hyperactivity amid a weak economy wouldn’t help his re-election. In January, he promised “a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.” That review led to some modest improvements: The Environmental Protection Agency pulled back a rule that would have treated dairy spills on farms like oil spills.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

German unions won't unionize VW plant in Tennessee; Public utilities must charge more if EPA regulations take effect; States where no one wants to buy a home include Michigan; The upside down agenda of civil rights; New transaction tax will cause billions in lost revenue to J.P. Morgan - customers to pay the bill; Obama spends Americans money to adverise Obamacare on Google and Yahoo; Obama tips America to Socialism in a new way; The [non] Constitutional law professor spouts untruths about Obamacare; Obama's complete list of historic firsts, part 1

Redstate opines: Unfortunately for Bob King and his ambitions, the UAW got some bad news on Friday. It appears the German unions have decided against helping the UAW unionize the VW plant in Tennessee.
This comes as a double-whammy following VW-owned Audi’s decision to locate a new manufacturing plant in Mexico instead of the U.S. in what appears to be a desire not to put itself in the UAW’s (and NLRB’s) sights.
To make matters worse for King and his cronies at the Solidarity House, just a few weeks after UAW members rejected a final offer at an American Axle plant in Cheektowaga, New York, the company has decided to close the plant, eliminating 300 jobs.
This closure follows the UAW’s rejection of a contract at American Axle’s Detroit facility two months ago, which prompted the company to announce the closure of the Detroit facility as well.
The New York Post reveals: With coal providing 45 percent of the nation’s energy, utility companies warn of an economic “train wreck” if the regulations -- based on Bush-era EPA proposals that the federal courts threw out in 2008 -- take effect. One Wisconsin utility says its costs would jump $32.6 million next year, while the head of the Texas Public Utility Commission says the rules could lead to rolling blackouts -- especially given the short time the utilities have to comply with Washington’s iron fist.
Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, warns of job losses totaling 1.4 million over the next eight years and a 23 percent jump in electric rates in states dependent on coal-fired plants.
Environmental extremists cheer the new rules because closing “dirty” coal plants is part of their fantasy of “clean energy” and green jobs. But the reality is otherwise. Even backed by stimulus funds, “green” business after business has flopped or folded, costing taxpayers millions.
In Seattle, a plan called Retrofit Ramp-Up sucked up $20 million in federal grants to make houses more energy efficient. The result: so far, only three homes retrofitted and just 14 jobs “created.” California got $186 million for a similar program and has spent just over half of it -- with just 538 new full-time jobs to show for it.

Yahoo Finance reports: States Where No One Wants To Buy A New Home

There is a strong indication that home builders have almost ceased activity in several states as demand for newly built homes has dwindled. The slowdown in new home permits is particularly stark when compared to the total number of existing homes in each state. 24/7 Wall St. examined the number of building permits to find the states where no one wants to buy a new home.

4. Michigan
Building permits/total housing units: 0.09
Decline in building permits (2005-2011): -82.19% (7th largest)
Building permits 2011 YTD: 4,250
Total housing units: 4,532,233
Michigan is one of the states that has suffered the most from the recession. The state's unemployment rate peaked around 15% in 2010. It is now at 10.5%, which is still significantly higher than the national average of 9.2%. The state has a vacancy rate of just under 15%, which is one of the highest in the country. New building permits have also decreased by over 80% since 2005, also one of the highest rates in the country. The state may now be more focused on tearing down old buildings than building new ones.

Townhall carries the words of "Black" columnist Star Parker as she opines: For black political culture that dominated after the civil rights movement, the point was not just equal treatment under the law, but special treatment under the law. Plus the assumption that more black political power -- defined by more blacks holding office -- would mean that blacks would be better off.
In other words, post-civil rights movement black political culture embraced an agenda exactly the opposite of what the civil rights movement was about. Its agenda was to get laws and policies that were not neutral but racially slanted and to put individuals in power based on their race and not on their character and capability.
So, according to the script of this political culture, election of a black man as president meant more than an end to racism. The conclusion had to be that if the man holding the highest political office in the nation was black, it must follow that blacks would be better off.
Now blacks have a dilemma. We have a black president and blacks are worse off. Not just a little, but a lot worse off.
In the words of longtime Congressional Black Caucus member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., "Our people are hurtin'.."
Blacks now grapple with two possible conclusions.
One, our black president is a traitor to his race. Our struggles put him in power and now he's not taking care of his folks. He's become, in the words of left wing professor and activist Cornel West, a "mascot" of Wall Street.
Or, two, that the man's performance reflects his views and his capability, not his race. He's not delivering for anyone. Blacks are hurting more because they were already in worse shape when Obama got elected. Bad policies hurt the weakest the most.

Take the Congressional Black Caucus itself. The average poverty rate in Black Caucus districts is almost 50 percent higher than the national average. Yet, these black politicians have 100 percent re-election rates.
Maybe a real bonus that will have come from electing a black president is that blacks will take seriously Dr. King's dream that we judge men by their character and not their color.
Big Government writes: According to the Durbin Amendment, a hard cap of 12¢ per transaction will be put into place [on debit card use]. This replaces the previous method of calculating transaction fees based upon the cost of the item. Before the Dodd-Frank bill, banks would charge a transaction fee of approximately 1% of the total cost of the goods or services that had been purchased. The 12¢ rule is now in play whether you are buying a Cadillac with your card, a computer or a can of Mr. Pibb.
According to J.P. Morgan, this cap will cost them over a billion dollars in lost revenue. In fact many banks claim that 12¢ is too low, and that it costs them more than that to process each transaction. In short, the Durbin amendment removes the incentive for banks to encourage their customers to use debit cards as a method of payment. So as a result, the debit rewards program that many of us have come to rely on are going away.

In the end, this takes money directly out of the pockets of the middle class (money they would have spent with the very merchants the law seeks to help, ironically hurting their bottom line as well). While this legislation was the result of the Democrat battle cry of “Punish the Rich”, I doubt Warren Buffet or Bill Gates is cashing in their debit rewards points in early December to help pay for Christmas gifts. Even worse, banks may now try to discourage the use of debit cards by adding a user fee to each transaction. This fee would be paid by cardholder, not the merchant. That would cost the average American even more.
World Net Daily writes: The documents, obtained using a Freedom of Information request, showed that from October 2010 through February 2011, the Obama administration spent $1,435,009 on an online advertising campaign alone, including campaigns with Google and Yahoo, at almost $300,000 per month.

The documents, obtained using a Freedom of Information request, showed that from October 2010 through February 2011, the Obama administration spent $1,435,009 on an online advertising campaign alone, including campaigns with Google and Yahoo, at almost $300,000 per month.
American Thinker opines [on another way Obama is tipping America toward Socialism]: The Obama administration is busy expanding the exact type of vicious, ungrateful underclass which recently exploded in London.  An administration program will expand free school meal coverage to millions of young people who are not even supposed to be eligible.
A stated goal of the program is to eliminate the stigma of getting a free lunch.  But that stigma is one of the only things separating dignified free people from wretched government dependants. 
The Obama administration is busy expanding the exact type of vicious, ungrateful underclass which recently exploded in London.  An administration program will expand free school meal coverage to millions of young people who are not even supposed to be eligible.
A stated goal of the program is to eliminate the stigma of getting a free lunch.  But that stigma is one of the only things separating dignified free people from wretched government dependents. By 2014-15, the option will be available in all states, if this law is kept on the books.
American Spectator reminds us: At a 2007 fundraiser, for example, he told his admirers, "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution." This claim turned out, of course, to be one of Obama's trademark shadings of the truth. He was never a "professor" as genuine academics use the term. He was, however, a part-time faculty member at the University of Chicago, where he occasionally subjected hapless students to pontifications on the nation's founding document.
The latter assertion, that the individual mandate is analogous to laws requiring people to buy auto insurance, betrays a level of ignorance concerning the difference between state prerogatives and those of Congress that wouldn't be tolerated in a high school government class. It's a little unnerving coming from the President of the United States. The scholar-in-chief apparently doesn't remember that the reach of the federal government is limited to a specific set of enumerated powers and that any power not found on that short list is reserved to the states.

President Barack Obama's Complete List of Historic Firsts - Part 1

Monday, August 22, 2011

Millionaires are vanishing; Change we can believe in - at CBS; EPA's regulatory trainwreck; Bused-in union workers held demonstration outside CEO's home; September 17 "Day of Rage"; Possible attacks on military funerals; EPA rules lead to higher electricity costs; Americans sentenced to 8 years in Iranian jail; Tax dollars to farmers to restore habitat of unthreatened bird; Nasa official warns of alien attack over greenhouse gases; Sheriff Arpaio to investigate validity of long-form birth certificate; Maxine Waters isn't afraid; It's all about saving $10 million per week for unions

The Wall St. Journal writes: Speaking of "millionaires and billionaires", the real tax news is that there are fewer of both these days. This month the IRS released more detailed tax data for 2009, and the nearby table records the decline of the taxpaying rich.
In 2007, 390,000 tax filers reported adjusted gross income of $1 million or more and paid $309 billion in taxes. In 2009, there were only 237,000 such filers, a decline of 39%. Almost four of 10 millionaires vanished in two years
As blatant proof that media is biased in the President's favor, failing to do it's historical job, the Blaze reports: There‘s some curious merchandise for sale in CBS News’ online store.*
Alongside a travel mug, tote bag and T-shirt that all bear the CBS News logo, the store also includes the following:
  • “Dreams From My Father,” by Barack Obama
  • “Dreams From My Father,” by Barack Obama (hardcover)
  • “Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama‘s Plan to Renew America’s Promise”
  • “The American Journey of Barack Obama,” by Life Magazine
  • “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs”
  • “The Official Inauguration Celebration DVD”
  • In fact, out of the 13 items for sale, seven are Obama-related, in addition to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s memoir, “True Compass.” The only CBS-related item is a DVD copy of “60 Minutes Presents — Obama: All Access – The Road to the White House.”
    There is so much merchandise that a side bar on the site even has a separate “Barack Obama” tab for quick browsing:
    All of this raises a simple question: Why is CBS selling it?
    A note at the bottom of the site says the merchandise has “national importance
  • When The Blaze reached out to CBS for comment, no one initially knew who was in charge of the store, or indeed, that one existed. One woman even asked, “There’s a CBS News online store?”
    After several hours being bounced around through various departments, CBS directed The Blaze to a spokesman for CBS Interactive, the arm that manages the network’s online content.
    So what’s the reason for the items?
    In a statement, the spokesman said the merchandise posted for sale was a mistake by the store’s third-party provider and would be taken down:
    “It has come to our attention that merchandise unrelated to CBS News was inadvertently made available by our third-party provider on the webpage that is located in the CBS Interactive online store. The items will be removed. We’d like to thank The Blaze for their vigilance in this important matter.”
    Important, indeed.
    *UPDATE: Minutes after publication, CBS removed the items from the website. Note that “Change We Can Believe In” is still visible in the lower-left corner under “recently viewed.”
    Cowboy Byte writes: Over the next 18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake, coal ash—it’s all getting regulated. And, not surprisingly, some lawmakers are grumbling.
    Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs. 
  • -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • The Blaze reveals: Hundreds of striking Verizon workers sporting red shirts and holding candles while chanting of  ”No contract, No peace!“ and ”What’s disgusting? Union busting” held a vigil outside the Mendham, New Jersey home of CEO Lowell McAdam. The strikers were bused in by their union in an effort to highlight the differences between executives and blue collar workers.  [Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals in action......]
  • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What, exactly, is a “US Day of Rage?” Well, on September 17th we may find out for certain, but until then, The Blaze is revealing what information does exist about this very nefarious-sounding campaign.
US Day of Rage is the title given to a day of ostensibly “non-violent” civil disobedience orchestrated by a group of radicals — that reportedly include SEIU’s Stephen Lerner and ACORN founder Wade Rathke (who, coincidentally, formerly served as president of SEIU’s local New Orleans branch) — targeting Wall Street and U.S. capitalism. It’s worth noting that the title of the movement — if its intentions are indeed non-violent in nature — appears to contradict itself slightly.
The Blaze reports: Al Qaeda continues to plot horrific violence against civilians in the West, and now their strategy may include attempts to bomb U.S. military funerals here at home.
According to information obtained by the private SITE intelligence network, a posting on the jihadist-associated Ansar al-Mujahideen internet forum suggested that American military funerals posed a unique opportunity to maim and kill U.S. military and political leadership through suicide bombings.
The poster explained why he believed the plan to attack military funerals would be both effective and simple.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes: Two state utilities said this week new federal pollution rules will lead to higher electricity costs come January.
Reuters writes: Two Americans held in Iran for more than two years have been convicted as spies and sentenced to eight years' jail, Iranian TV reported on Saturday, a verdict that will further strain already very poor relations with Washington.
 "In connection with illegal entry into Iranian territory each was given three years in jail and in connection with the charge of cooperating with American intelligence service, each was given five years in jail," a state TV website said, quoting what it called an informed judiciary source.
They have 20 days to appeal, it said.
The United States, which does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, said it was trying to confirm the report through the Swiss Protecting Power, which handles U.S. diplomatic interests with Tehran.
CNS News reports: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is paying $112 million in tax money to farmers and ranchers in 11 Western states to restore the habitat of the Sage Grouse, a bird that has not been listed as either threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species law because the government says there are too many of them.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that the USDA would dedicate $21.8 million to pay eligible ranchers and farmers in the state of Wyoming to encourage conservation practices that preserve the numbers of Sage Grouse.
That will bring to $112 million the total amount that the USDA has distributed over the last two years to eligible farmers and ranchers in 11 states as part of its Sage Grouse Initiative.
The UK Guardian reports: It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.
Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.
This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.
World Net Daily reports: At the request of tea party leaders in Arizona, famed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has promised to investigate the validity of Barack Obama's purported long-form birth certificate in a determination of the president's eligibility for the county's 2012 election ballot.
Tea party leaders in Surprise, Ariz., met with Arpaio and WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi Thursday morning to express concern that a fake birth certificate would be used to document the president's eligibility to run in Maricopa County, where Arpaio is the chief law enforcement officer.
The Daily Caller reports: I’m not afraid of anybody,” Maxine Waters, the California congresswoman, told constituents in footage that appeared on ABC affiliate KABC in Los Angeles, not backing down from comments made about President Obama earlier in the week. “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned — the tea party can go straight to hell.”
That proclamation was met with cheers from the audience, including attendees sporting purple SEIU T-shirts.
Read more:
RedState reports:  After two weeks of striking, it appears that the red shirts at the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are heading back to work without a contract in hand.  This back to work agreement comes just before the CWA would begin paying up to $300 per week in strike benefits to its striking members, saving the union up to $10 million per week out of its union treasury.