Saturday, May 29, 2010

“I Did Not Offer A Job To That (Joe)Man.”

Ah Bill Clinton, is there no scandal you won’t join? Let’s dissect this Joe Sestak matter because it’s import. Indeed, it appears that a very serious crime has been committed. BUT, this is something the Republicans need to shut up about. Here’s why. . .
1. The Facts: What Happened
Here is what happened in JobGate.
1. Joe Sestak begins a primary challenge against turncoat Sen. Snarlin Arlen Specter.

2. Soon Sestak starts bragging that the White House offered him a job to drop his senate bid. On Larry King, he was asked: “Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?” Answer: “Yes.” The following day, on FOX News, he was asked if he was offered “a federal job, a White House or administrative job.” Sestak said “yes.” On Joe Scarborough he was asked if it was “an offer to run the Navy.” Sestak said “yes.” At no point in this interview or any others did he ever suggest that he wasn’t actually offered a job or that it was only an advisor position. That’s called an admission.

3. People start pointing out that this is a felony (see below). And the Republicans ask Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor. Holder refuses. That’s called a cover-up.

4. Obama is questioned by the media and avoids responding: “You will get it from my administration, and it will be coming out shortly. . . I can assure the public that nothing improper took place, but as I said, there will be a response shortly on that issue.” That’s called a non-denial denial and indicates a cover-up in progress.

5. Sestak is asked to clarify exactly what the job was. He now refuses to answer: “I have nothing else to say on the matter.” That’s guilty talk.

6. Obama and Clinton meet for lunch. That’s called conspiracy.

7. The White House issues a very carefully-worded, very evasive white wash memo that claims that Bill Clinton met with Sestak, not anyone from the White House, and that Bill only offered to put Sestak on an “uncompensated advisory board.” It also claims that Republicans have done this in the past too. . . although it doesn’t cite any examples. Demonization is always an acknowledgement of guilt

8. Finally, Sestak issued a statement saying he had turned down an unpaid advisor job. That's called conspiracy after the fact.
2. Why This Is A Crime
If a job was offered to Sestak, then a felony was committed. Here’s why:
1. 18 U.S.C. section 211 makes it a crime to solicit or receive anything of value in exchange for appointing (or influencing the appointment of) someone to an office or job with the United States. This is subject to one year in prison and a fine.

2. 18 U.S.C. section 595 makes it a crime for anyone to use a federal job, federal funds, or a federal position to interfere with a Senate election. This is subject to one year in prison and a fine.

3. 18 U.S.C. section 600, makes it a crime to offer public employment in exchange for political activity. This is the Hatch Act, which was passed in 1939 to stop the practice of hiring political hacks for government jobs and to stop the use of government resources to promote political parties, i.e. to depoliticize the federal work force. However, the only penalty appears to be termination of employment.
Each of these applies “directly or indirectly,” meaning that going through a third party is the same thing as doing it yourself. . . hi Bill. Thus, everyone involved in this could be sentenced up to two years in prison, fined, and lose any federal job they hold. Removing a President would require impeachment.
3. Why This Should Be Investigated
Speaking as an attorney, this has all the hallmarks of a crime that is now being covered up. Can it be proven? Possibly. That’s why you need a special prosecutor. They can call in all the witnesses and quiz them, including secretaries and assistants. It is the secretaries and assistants who usually break a case open either because they decide not to lie for their bosses (though, in truth, they usually do lie) or they don’t know what lie to tell (this is more common). The prosecutor can also subpoena phone records and computer records -- including e-mails, which is also where these things usually fall apart. After that, one or more main players will usually roll over and start telling the truth.

The other reason a special prosecutor should be called is that this is not an isolated incident. In Colorado, Andrew Romanoff is running against Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary. According to The Denver Post, Jim Messina, Obama’s deputy chief of staff, “suggested a place for Romanoff might be found in the administration and offered specific suggestions, according to several sources. . . Romanoff turned down the overture, which included mention of a job at USAID.” The day after, Romanoff announced his Senate bid. The White House has denied this, but “several top Colorado Democrats” have confirmed it anonymously to The Post.
4. Why Republicans Need To Shut The Heck Up Fast
Despite the fact that this is a crime, the Republicans need to shut the heck up about this. They should push to get a special prosecutor, but should not talk about impeachment and should not try to score points on this once a special prosecutor is appointed. Here’s why.

People do not like attacks that seem purely political. And they don’t like politicians using the criminal justice system to attack their opponents. They particularly don’t like politicians trying to “get” their opponents with esoteric laws. And the public will see this as esoteric. Why? Because Obama could have done this legally.

Presidents have the power to appoint anyone they want. Thus, Obama could have appointed Sestak to whatever position he has in mind and it would have been entirely legal, even if Sestak needed to drop his Senate bid to take the job. It only became illegal because of the quid-pro-quo aspect, the “you only get this if. . .” aspect. But since Obama could have done this legally by just omitting those words, people will see this as a “technically illegal” illegality. In my experience, people do not like those, and they hate it when politicians use those against their opponents.

Moreover, look at the history of using these kinds of attacks on opponents. Iran Contra made Oliver North into a hero and made the Democrats looks like incompetent, anti-American jerks. The impeachment of Bill Clinton made Bill Clinton much more popular than he had been and made Republicans look like nasty, intolerant, sex-obsessed tyrants. It also ended many a career on the Republican side, but only enhanced those on the left. Even consider Watergate. The Democrats didn’t bring down Nixon, Nixon brought down Nixon. And what did the Democrats gain? Nothing. They only beat Ford after he pardoned Nixon, and four years later came Ronald Reagan and a dramatic shift to the right.

This same history gets repeated in other countries as well. When politicians try to use criminal laws against their opponents, the crime better be ultra-serious. Anything that sounds technical or snippy will always blow up on the party that is perceived as exploiting the law.

The better approach is to let the investigation do its thing. Let a prosecutor go after these people and let the steady drip of allegations and the infighting do the damage. In the meantime, just keep saying, “serious allegations have been raised and there should be a prosecutor appointed to uncover the truth. The American people deserve the truth. Beyond that, I’ll wait to comment until after the investigation.”

That may not be the sexy strategy, but it's the smart strategy.

** Update: It now turns out that Sestak would not have been eligible for the job Clinton supposedly offered him. That makes their claims look even more like a coverup. That's what happens when you try to make up an "alibi" after the fact.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Money, It’s A Gas

The United States is in deep deficit doo doo. Like Greece, we are flirting with insolvency. So what do you do if you are one of the Democrats who has driven us to the verge of bankruptcy? How about spend more money? Pink Floyd once said about money: “if you ask for a raise, it’s no surprise that they’re giving none away.” Apparently, Congress is intent on proving that wrong. Here are some of the spending bills Reid, Pelosi and the crew are planning before November.

Another Jobs Bill: First, they need another jobs bill because the last three or four jobs bills didn’t produce any jobs. . . unless you count the people who got paid to print the bills. This time they want to spend $190 billion. But there’s a problem. Moderate Democrats are freaking out about the price tag. Said Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) “With the entire world focused on sovereign debt, [this] is not moving in the right direction. I am highly skeptical.” Government “worker” unions aren’t skeptical though, so look for this giveaway to pass.

Interestingly, to get the price tag down they cut a few things from the bill. First, while the bill does extend jobless benefits, that provision will now expire on November 30. Call me crazy, but something about that timing seems suspicious. . . though I can’t quite put my finger on what is happening in November? Secondly, they have cut back on the “doctor fix,” because those greedy Medicare doctors don’t deserve to be paid 50% of the cost of the treatment they provide!

As an aside, the New York Post is now reporting a “jobs creation” scam that the Census Bureau is running. Apparently, they have been hiring people, firing them for the slightest cause, and then rehiring them. . . repeatedly. The reason is that any employee who works one day or more gets counted as a new job created, even if they were just fired from the same job. Thus, several whistleblowers are now claiming that they’ve been counted as new hires as many as four times in recent months.

Afghanistan: This week, the White House will send a second emergency appropriations bill to the Congress, seeking $58.8 billion, give or take a few pennies, to keep the troops in Afghanistan long enough to make it look like the administration isn’t soft on terror.

Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats are hoping to add numerous spending provisions to show that they aren’t soft on pork. After all, this is the same Congress that passed an omnibus spending bill in December that included 5,000 earmarks costing $447 billion.

Skool Is Cool: Finally, the Democrats are planning to give $23 billion to local school districts to prevent them from laying off fat-cat administrators, er, teachers. Sadly, the teachers unions apparently haven’t donated enough yet, because the White House has been noncommittal on this (though Secretary of Education Spending Arne Duncan says this is “an absolute myth”. . . as compared to the “partial myth” about Democrats being tax and spenders, or the just plain old "myth" that is the Easter Bunny). Still, the Democrats plan to sneak this into the military emergency appropriations bill, because nothing says national defense quite like wasteful spending.

No word on any new mascots they may be planning to create, but I hear a crack team of government operatives are working on a budget mascot called "Willy Wasteful."

So there you have it: $271.8 billion in good money to be thrown after $2.184 trillion in bad money. Thank you team Donkey.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Deepwater Horizon: Government Failure

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon presents us with a true teachable moment. But the lesson isn’t that offshore drilling is bad or dangerous or wrong, or that oil companies are evil. No. The oil companies do bare the brunt of the blame and should be made to pay for all of the damage they have caused. But the real lesson here is that it’s time to reform our government because it keeps failing to do the few tasks it should be doing.

Under federal law, the Minerals Management Service is charged with inspecting offshore drilling rigs to make sure that they comply with all federal safety regulations. The MMS is supposed to inspect each rig at least once per month. We are now learning that they haven’t been doing that.

The exact number of times MMS inspected the Deepwater Horizon is not clear because MMS has been giving different numbers. They originally claimed to do 26 inspection in the last 64 months. But then they mysteriously raised this number to 48 out of 64, no explanation given. In either event, MMS failed to conduct between 25% and 59% of the required inspections.

This follows a citation in July 2002, when the Deepwater Horizon was shut down because the company had failed to conduct a pressure test of the blowout preventer -- a device that is supposed to stop the kind of gusher they can’t seem to stop right now. And in September 2002, the rig was cited again for problems with the blowout preventer.

Moreover, several years ago, MMS weakened its testing requirements on the very cutoff valves that should have prevented the current disaster. Indeed, they weakened these testing requirements so much that there is virtually no oversight of these key safety features. As a result, there have been repeated failures of these cutoff valves on other rigs in recent years -- at a time when inspections have been falling. This time, it went seriously wrong, costing eleven lives and billions of dollars in damage.

So why was this rig allowed to operate? Did BP trick MMS? No. Believe it or not, it turns out that the Deepwater Horizon was allowed to operate without providing safety documentation showing that these valves were functioning. Apparently, many of these rigs are. And Team Obama has ruled out stopping the process of granting such waivers, despite all the sound and fury coming out of the White House about this incident.

The problems here are obvious. First, the government is wasting so much money doing things it shouldn’t be doing that it has lost focus on the things it should be doing. Moreover, the government is too rife with conflicts of interest. For example, last year, MMS awarded the Deepwater Horizon an award for its safety history. Aside from the obvious of “you gave an award to people who kept being cited for violations?”, is the bigger question of why is MMS giving awards in the first place? Their job is to inspect. They are to shut down those who fail and pass those who do. Their job is not to pass out awards or to play footsie with these companies.

And lest you think this is a minor point, a report by the Interior Department's Inspector General now reveals that the relationship between the agency employees and the oil companies was so close that it bordered on bribery. Apparently, agency personnel accepted sporting-event tickets, meals, and other gifts from the oil companies they were supposedly monitoring. The report also finds that agency personnel, rather than doing inspections, were using government computers to view pornography.

Further, why is the agency doing inspections with the one hand, but collecting billions of dollars in royalties with the other? How can it make sense to give the inspection role to an agency whose primary incentive is to maximize output? Where is their incentive to do honest inspections?

The time has come to remake the government. It is time to strip out the conflicts of interest, it is time to hold everyone in the agency chain of command accountable for their failures, it is time to divorce government from its incestuous relationship with industry, it is time to focus these agencies on doing the job they should be doing and doing away with all of the distractions.

It is a scandal that the government allowed defective gear to be put into place without a substantive inspection. And it is a bigger scandal that Team Obama is not planning to fix this situation.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

School Killings In China

Anyone who follows the MSM will have heard that America is an evil place because our “gun culture” has led to the murder of vast numbers of school kids. By comparison, the rest of the world is a peaceful Garden of Eden where nothing bad ever happens. Of course, this is a lie, but it fits the narrative the MSM wants you to believe. Nothing shows this more than the non-coverage of what has been going on in China in the past couple of months.

For starters, let me remind you that despite the high profile that the media loves to give school shootings, they are incredibly rare. In the last five years in the United States, there have been five shooting sprees in schools that resulted in three or more deaths. A total of 50 people were killed in these five shootings (32 at Virginia Tech and 18 during the other four). This compares to 2.5 million deaths in the US annually. Thus, while each of these is indeed tragic, this is hardly a common occurrence as the media would have you believe.

Moreover, pinning this on our “gun culture” is pure politics. Indeed, all we hear from the MSM for weeks when such a shooting happens is how it could have been prevented if we banned guns. Of course, this is a lie, and they know it. But they are looking to exploit this tragedy and no lack of logic on their part will stop them.

If you want proof that this is not the result of our “gun culture,” look at Europe. In the same five year period just discussed, anti-gun Europe had four mass killings at schools. These resulted in 49 deaths. Almost the identical number as in the United States. Thus, while the media plays up the idea of US “gun culture” being the cause of school killings, the reality is quite different.

(I am not including things like Beslan, where terrorists killed more than 340 people in a school or Afghanistan where there were more than 80 school attacks this month alone to keep girls from being educated.)

Further, consider what has gone on in China, something that is not being reported in the MSM. On May 12th, seven children were hacked to death in a kindergarten in Shaanxi. Eleven others were injured. In April, more than 50 children were injured or killed in a half dozen similar attacks. On March 23, in Fujian province, eight children were killed. These incidents are becoming so common that the Chinese have started putting armed guards in their schools with orders to shoot suspects on sight.

The current thinking in China is that this is a response by people who feel powerless to oppose their system and that these killers choose to strike at the most vulnerable in response. This strikes me as false just as the gun culture argument is false. The reality is that some people are just sick. And the idea that we should remake society, e.g. eliminate guns in the US or more closely monitor dissidents in China, to stop these people is ludicrous.

What we should take away from these events are that (1) we should not politicize tragedies, (2) we should not attribute the acts of the deranged to political groups, political causes, or groups of people, and (3) we should be more watchful of people with mental conditions and we should look to intervene earlier and with greater care.

Finally, we should take away one last fact. Some things cannot be stopped. If a lunatic is intent on hurting people, they will find a way. Thus, we must expect these things to happen. Therefore, we should consider ways to improve our protections in the event something like this does happen. Indeed, it must be pointed out that each of these killings could have been stopped sooner if we had not tried to keep peaceful, innocent people from protecting themselves through the possession of firearms.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Primer On Capitalism

Marxism, socialism, and other forms of leftism have long been discredited to anyone not driven by ideology. Indeed, after having bankrupted country after country, it has become obvious that even a little bit of socialism is destructive. But capitalism has failed now too, right? Actually, no. What has gone “wrong” is that liberals have misinterpreted capitalism and falsely attribute their own failures to it. Let’s dispel a few of these misinterpretations.

1. The Left Misuses “Market Failure”:

Since Clinton’s term, the left has started using the lingo of capitalism. They just don’t use that lingo correctly. For example, capitalism is not entirely opposed to regulation as the left likes to claim. Capitalism has long recognized that regulation is important where you have “a market failure.” A market failure is a situation where the normal disciplines of the market, which allow buyers and sellers to exercise their preferences, are impaired for some reason. This prevents the “market mechanisms” that solve problems from working. Thus, regulation can be appropriate.

Leftists have learned the phrase “market failure,” but they misuse it. Rather than using it only where market mechanisms cannot work, they apply it whenever they don’t like what the market has done: prices are “too high” for everyone who wants the product, demand is too low to keep companies like GM working, consumers won’t voluntarily select features the left wants them to want. . . those are not market failures. Those are, in fact, market mechanisms at work.

Examples of market failures are situations where you have a chicken and egg problem that keeps would-be-willing suppliers from making a product that would-be-willing consumers desire because neither group is willing to act first, or where consumers and producers are able to push “externalities” onto third parties (typically safety or pollution concerns), or where a monopolist can control the market price.

So when the left tells you that there has been a “market failure” that requires government action, ask yourself if there has been true interference with market mechanisms or if consumers have simply rejected the things the left wants.

2. The Involvement of Private Business Does Not Make It Capitalism:

In both the healthcare and cap and trade debates, the left argues that they are employing “market solutions” because they are involving private firms in their schemes. That’s not capitalism. Capitalism involves producers and consumers exercising their preferences and thereby creating market prices. When the government requires producers or sellers to make something or buy something, that’s not capitalism, that’s socialism even if private firms benefit. Said differently, just because a crony private firm will profit from government action does not make that action capitalism, it is still state control over the economy, i.e. socialism.

3. Capitalism Requires Failures:

The left loves to whine that capitalism “has failed” whenever a business goes under -- like GE’s Jeffrey Immelt said during the big crash in 2008. This is stunningly ignorant. Capitalism does not assure there won’t be failures. To the contrary, it expects them. Failure is a market discipline. If you don’t produce something that consumers want, then you will fail. And when you fail, the resources that were allocated to you, will seek out higher valued users. That’s how the market ensures that resources are allocated efficiently. The idea that businesses can't be allowed to fail, i.e. that the government should substitute its judgement for that of consumers, is anti-capitalism.

4. "Crony Capitalism" Is Not Capitalism:

2008 proved (once again) that crony capitalism does not work. But it proved nothing about actual capitalism because crony capitalism is not capitalism. Crony capitalism is corporate socialism, where the taxpayers prop up large businesses but well-connected private investors reap the benefits. That’s the situation at the top of our banking system. When everyone at CNBC kept talking about the failure of our banking system in 2008, what they were really talking about was the failure of the top tier of corrupt banks. What they tried hard never to mention was that right below the corrupt names you know -- Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers -- were a whole group of next tier banks ready to take their places.

That's how capitalism works. In a capitalist system, we would have let these institutions fail and be replaced by the Jefferies and Raymond James of the world. By the same token, we would have let GM and Chrysler fail and let Ford take the next step up. So don’t buy this idea that somehow capitalism was what failed in 2008.

5. The Left Loves The Broken Window Fallacy:

There has been a fallacy in economic thinking on the left that holds that regulation is not harmful. This is based on the broken window fallacy. This is the idea that if we break a window, we create economic activity as people need to replace that window. What this theory completely fails to consider is that by forcing people to replace that window, we are keeping them from using that money on something more worthwhile. Thus, while we may create a job in the window industry, we are destroying jobs in other industries (and these are more valuable jobs).

This is the problem with regulation. Regulations force people to allocate their resources to things they would not have otherwise chosen. Thus, it is disingenuous to claim that regulations will ever create jobs because every job created when someone is forced to comply with regulations is more than offset by jobs destroyed elsewhere in the economy. So don’t believe for a minute that cap and trade regulations will “create jobs.”

6. The Left Loves The Fallacy of Certainty:

Finally, the same thing is true with the fallacy of “certainty.” The left has claimed for years that all business wants is certainty. In other words, business doesn’t care what the rules are so long as it knows what those rules are. This is garbage. When rules are put into place that harm business, business will respond by hiring fewer people, investing fewer resources, and by looking for more profitable pursuits. They don’t just shrug this off and say “hey, at least we know what the rules are.”

I had to laugh recently when I read how mystified The Economist was at the current lack of job growth. They pointed out that everyone now knows what Obama will do, so we have certainty. So why aren't businesses responding by hiring? To The Economist, this was a “mystery”. To the rest of us. . . it wasn't.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Elective Thoughts

There are four conflicting trends that are making this election season quite interesting, though not entirely comforting: (1) Obama is on a long losing streak; (2) the Republicans are making no inroads with Democratic voters; (3) the prospects are bleak for establishment types; and (4) turn out has been surprisingly low. Let’s make some sense of this.

Trend 1: In the past year, Obama has endorsed almost a dozen candidates in races as varied as the governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey and Senate races in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Arkansas. Every single candidate he endorsed has lost.

What does this mean? It means Obama no longer has the ability to sway the public, or indeed, to sway Democratic voters. It means that Obama, like Bush before him, has become political poison. It means that anyone tied too closely to Obama is doomed.

Longer term, this means that Obama’s agenda is doomed. As the members of his own party start to realize that he’s more albatross than eagle, they will begin to oppose him in favor of their own agendas.

Trend 2: Since Obama’s election there have been various special elections throughout the country, around ten total. The Republican candidate has lost every single one of these, for one reason or another, except for the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Last night, the Republicans lost the chance to pick up Jack Murtha’s former seat.

Here’s the catch. While the media makes a big deal of these seats being “conservative leaning” seats, the reality is quite different. Each of these elections has taken place in deeply Democratic-leaning states. Moreover, most of these seats have been in districts that are heavily unionized. Thus, the only trend that can be drawn from this is that the Republicans are not making any inroads with Democratic voters. But, in truth, they don’t need to. As I pointed out before, the Republicans can win 70 additional House seats without winning a single Democratic-leaning district.

Trend 3: The media is making out a case that incumbents are in trouble. I think this is incorrect. The reality is that candidates who are seen as corrupt or “malleable by the establishment” are the ones who are in trouble. Charlie Crist (I-Florida), Arlen Specter (D/R-Penn), Robert Bennett (R-Utah), and Bart Stupak (D-Mich) showed themselves to be unprincipled opportunists. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) showed they were willing to do Washington’s bidding against the strong wishes of their constituents. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn) were corrupt. And so on and so on.

There is no evidence that incumbents in general are in trouble, but there is evidence that anyone who has partaken of the waters of the establishment is. Anyone who has willfully handed taxpayer money to cronies, flirted with lobbyists, glad-handed and traded favors or proclaimed their power to milk the system, is in serious trouble.

What’s troubling about this, and what bothers me a good deal about the results last night, is that the Democrats are managing to clean up some of their weakest candidates. Chris Dodd easily would have lost to whatever Republican challenged him. The new guy, despite his Vietnam lie, is a much stronger candidate because he has shed the thing that the Democrats of Connecticut did not like about Dodd -- his corruption.

At the same time, Specter would have been a much weaker candidate against Toomey than Sestak will be. Sestak will have the strong support of Democrats, unlike Specter, and will not enrage moderate Republicans like Specter did. Ditto in Arkansas and anywhere else that the Democrats replace corrupt, establishment co-opted candidates with fresh faces.

Trend 4: Finally, we come to the issue of turn out. Turn out has been low, almost bizarrely low, in every election since the Presidential election. This indicates that the public is not as enraged as people wish to believe. Sadly, this means that the Tea Party effect is quite limited, if it exists at all. But at the same time, this means that Obama’s ability to turn out voters has evaporated. The Kool-Aid is gone and his magical ability to mobilize the masses is no more.

So what does this mean? It’s actually good news. Low turn out means that the party that is more energized has the advantage, and that’s the Republicans. Moreover, this low turn out has taken place during contested Democratic primaries, which further indicates that Democratic voters are demoralized.

That’s good. But all in all, these trends are somewhat troubling. With the anger the public showed when ObamaCare passed, there was a hope that a massive wave of public support would rid us of the Democrats and their RINO hangers-on. But, instead, these trends tell us that we are looking at a very tactical, low-turn out election where local personalities have much greater influence than national trends.

I think the Republicans better consider why they aren’t riding the expected wave.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Supreme Court Goes Stupid

Yesterday, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that anyone under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced to life in prison without parole unless they’ve killed someone (they ruled out the death penalty for teens in 2005). To some, this might sound like a good distinction, but it’s not. By focusing on the outcome of the crime rather than the actions undertaken, the Court has created an illogical, arbitrary and nonsensical law. Consider this. . .
Actions and Intent Should Matter, Not Outcomes
The Supreme Court’s new ruling focuses on the outcome of the crime, as courts must now look to whether or not the teenager killed someone. This is ridiculous. Under the law, taking an action has always been enough to receive the maximum punishment for the crime without any consideration as to the outcome. Thus, the punishment doesn’t change depending on how successful the criminal was, e.g. if you break into a bank, you are charged with bank robbery whether you get away with anything or not. But the Supreme Court’s new ruling turns this on its head and the result is arbitrary.

Assume that you have two teenagers, both age 17. Teenager A pulls out a gun and shoots another person. Teenager B does the same. Both empty the clip with the intent of killing the person they are shooting at. The person shot by Teenager A dies. The person shot by Teenager B does not die. Under the Supreme Court’s new ruling, Teenager A can be locked up for life, whereas Teenager B can not. Does that make sense? Both had the same intent. Both took the same actions. Teenager B is merely lucky that the person did not die. Distinctions like this are arbitrary and discredit the law.

Moreover, intent has always mattered under the law. Indeed, there are defenses like self defense that are entirely based on intent. Similarly, the law often enhances the punishment level where the criminal’s intent was evil. Yet, the Supreme Court’s new ruling ignores intent and looks only to the outcome and age of the criminal, and consequently, the Court reaches a bizarre result.

Let’s change the scenario from above. Teenager A pulls out a gun and shoots someone. The case is arguably self defense, but the jury doesn’t buy it. Teenager A can be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Meanwhile, Teenager B kidnaps, rapes and tortures a child. Teenager B then shoots the child and leaves the child to die. But the child does not die. The child is, instead, left paralyzed, in permanent pain and mentally disabled. Teenager B cannot be sentenced to life in prison. Does that make sense? Under what standard can we consider Teenager A to be a greater danger to society or more depraved that Teenager B?
Age Is An Artificial Distinction
Finally, drawing a line between the ages of 17 and 18 is an arbitrary and senseless distinction. Eighteen was chosen as the age of majority eons ago for the sole purpose of creating clear lines in the law. Below that age, you had no legal rights. Beyond that age, you did. The reason 18 was chosen (it used to be 21) was that it was assumed that 18 (21) was the age where you finally matured into an adult and that you could understand your actions. But there is nothing magical about the age of 18, nor is 18 even the age of majority in all countries; in some countries it is as low as 14. Thus, there is no logical reason for picking 18.

Once again, assume two teenagers. Teenager A turned 18 years old today. Teenager B is 17 years and 364 days old. They commit the same crime, together. Teenager A can be sentenced to life in jail with no parole. Teenager B cannot. What possible difference can that one day make? Shouldn’t the Court be concerned with determining whether or not the teenagers were aware of the consequences of their actions? That’s the supposed reason they drew the cutoff at 18 in the first place. So why draw the distinction using some arbitrary date set a thousand years ago rather than having teenage defendants examined to determine their competence?
This is the problem with weak reasoning. When a court looks at a case and abandons intellectual rigor to reach a particular result, it thinks it’s being fair and decent. But what it really is doing is making the system less fair and more arbitrary. This ruling creates a system where the truly twisted can escape justice because of the date of their birth, while less depraved others face greater punishments.

It will only be a matter of time before you see your first 60 Minutes show about some poor murdering teen who is in jail for life when other teens who tortured and maimed their victims are roaming free. When that liberal 60 Minutes anchor turns to the screen and asks you “how can we let such an unfair system exist,” look them straight in the eye and tell them “because a group of liberal judges wanted to make the system more fair, and this is what their illogic wrought.”

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Elena Kagan Is A "Racist"

As you know, whenever the left doesn’t like someone, they call them a racist. Yawn, whatever. And when that person also refuses to advocate adopting an Apartheid-like system of racial spoils and preferences in America? Then, I guess, they're double-racists? Well, get this, using the left's definition, it turns out that Elena Kagan is a racist. . . a dirty, dirty double-racist.

Ever since Martin Luther King said that he wished that we would judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, the left has been busy trying to make sure that the law judges people by their race without regard to their characters. Indeed, nothing obsesses the left more than separating people by race. And nothing angers them more than character tests.

But in the mid-1990s, a group of “New Democrats” appeared who felt that there was no way this country would ever move beyond race so long as we continued to give out legal protections, benefits, school seats, jobs, Congressional seats, and even government funding on the basis of race. Yeah, they were crazy like that. In fact, these people, who would have been considered dirty racists if they had been on the right, somehow managed to infiltrate the highest levels of the Clinton administration -- much to the chagrin of the old-line Apartheidists. . . er, civil rights types.

What this group argued was that it was counterproductive and harmful to the country to keep separating people by race and ensconcing race-based legal preferences into the law. Instead, they advocated using broad-based, color-blind assistance to help poor people, regardless of color, and limiting affirmative action to narrowly-tailored circumstances to remedy actual past discrimination. That’s almost the conservative view, if you drop the affirmative action crap.

So what does this have to do with Kagan? She was smack dab in the middle of this group of modern New Democrat bigots. Oh the humanity! Yep. And this isn’t sitting well with the race hustlers. Indeed, they have begun an angry “muttering” campaign against her, pointing our several damning facts:
1. She never did the kind of “civil rights” work that other Democrats do.

2. Not one single black person became a tenured or tenured-track professor at Harvard Law School while Elena “Bull Connor” Kagan guarded the doors as Dean.

3. Recently released memos from the Clinton Presidential Library and Dirty Book Store show that she “clashed with and sometimes mocked” Clinton’s advisers who were involved with Clinton’s initiative on race. As if these people know what true mocking is. One little whiner, Chris Edley, complained that Kagan ignored his efforts to contact her by phone, email and even “hallway greeting.” It got so bad that the poor dear threatened to resign and go work at UC Berkeley as the dean of their law school. Oh no! Hey Chris, if you read this (if you can read), give me a call and I’ll show you real mocking.

4. In November 1997, she co-authored a memo that said: “We believe that the central focus of the race initiative should be a race-neutral opportunity agenda that reflects these common values and aspirations.”

Well, I’ve never heard such unbelievably vile thoughts. And she wasn’t even done there: “The best hope for improving race relations and reducing racial disparities over the long term is a set of policies that expand opportunities across race lines and, in doing so, force the recognition of shared interests.”

The monster! This woman is worse than Hitler! What have you done Barack Obama? Have you no shame?! This woman clearly wants to set back the clock to the age of slavery.
In all seriousness, this is great news. If she follows through on these views, and there is no reason to think she won’t -- unless you want to believe that she’s gone through the last twenty years hiding her views in the hopes of one day sitting on the Court -- then she will push the court irretrievably to the right on race. And even if she doesn’t, we still don’t lose anything because we’re replacing one of the Court’s most liberal members. So the worst we can do is break even. But the left, the left has a lot to lose here. They could find themselves going from 4-5 to 3-6, from which they will probably not recover in our lifetimes.

Maybe there is something I like about Barack Obama after all?

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Friday, May 14, 2010

“Immigration Splits America”. . . Not Really

The AP is pushing a new article that tell us that we, as a nation, are truly “split” on immigration. This article is based on a poll conducted by the AP and Univision. The AP’s spin is garbage. Even a cursory examination of the poll shows that Americans are amazingly unified on this issue. . . just not in the way the AP wants.

This poll broke out its results into two groups: Hispanics and non-Hispanics. And check out these results:
• 66% of both Hispanics and non-Hispanics consider illegal immigration a serious problem.

• 83% of non-Hispanics believe the federal government should be doing more to stop illegal immigration. (52% of Hispanics)

• Only 20% of non-Hispanics oppose Arizona’s new law. (67% of Hispanics)

• Only 30% of non-Hispanics hope their states don’t pass the same law Arizona did. (70% of Hispanics)

• 62% of non-Hispanics think that being in the U.S. illegally should be considered a serious crime. (24% of Hispanics)

• Only 46% of non-Hispanics think that police crackdowns are likely to target Hispanics unfairly. (73% of Hispanics)

• Only 35% of non-Hispanics believe that illegal immigrants “mostly contribute” to society. (74% of Hispanics)
The headline and the story focus on the supposed “split,” but the real story here is the level of uniformity. Americans have varied opinions and it is exceedingly rare that you ever get more than 60% support for any position. In this case, we are well beyond that. Excluding Hispanics, we are looking at between 66% and 80% of Americans who believe that illegal immigration is a problem, that more needs to be done, and that Arizona has done the right thing.

That’s incredible. If a similar number had come out in favor of ObamaCare, the headlines would have screamed about “stunning uniformity” and “entire population favors.” The limited dissenters would have been dismissed as fringe idiots and cranks. But here, because the AP doesn’t like that uniformity, it ignores that story.

Moreover, it tries to create a “split” by comparing non-Hispanics to Hispanics. But that’s hardly relevant. First, there are only 46 million Hispanics in this country compared to around 270 million non-Hispanics. If 6 of your 7 friends agreed on something, would you say that your friend are “split”? Further, one third of Hispanics are here illegally. Excluding those changes the ratio from 6/7 to 8/9. Also, presumably, these illegals will vote for self-interest in the poll, thus we must assume that the Hispanic numbers are themselves skewed and that missing number nine is more like a half.

And even if we assume that somehow the pollsters got only legally-resident Hispanics for this poll, the Hispanic numbers are themselves not as unified as presented by the AP. Indeed, a sizeable minority of Hispanics, around 30% to 40%, think just like the vast majority of non-Hispanics. Again, let us assume this was 30%-40% of Republicans supporting ObamaCare; wouldn’t the headlines have been “strong bipartisan support for ObamaCare”? Yet, somehow this qualifies as unified opposition and creates this vast split within the country. . . between your eight friends and the one dissenter.

So what are the lessons here? First, that the AP continues to be a political organization, not a journalistic one. Secondly, that the American public is remarkably unified on this issues, across all races and the entire political spectrum; they are fed up and they want something done. And third, that the left is barking up the wrong tree when they are attacking Arizona.

Finally, here's an interesting thought. Arizona's new law enjoys this massive amount of support despite the best efforts of the MSM to present the law in as draconian a manner as possible. That means that either the public no longer listens to the MSM or the public supports the draconian version of the law presented by the MSM. Either way, that's a loser for the left.

Good for us.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Commentarama Right, Legal Experts Wrong. . . Again

You may recall that a number of states Attorneys General brought suits to stop ObamaCare. The number is now up to 20. And you may recall that all the “legal experts” laughed at these suits, claiming they were frivolous. And you may recall Commentarama pointing out how ridiculous it was to call these suits frivolous and pointing out how parts of these suits had significant legal merit. Guess what? It looks like the legal world is coming around to the Commentarama view.

In an article published in The New York Times two days ago, the mouthpiece of the left came up with this:
“Some legal scholars, including some who normally lean to the left, believe the states have identified the law’s weak spot and devised a credible theory for eviscerating it.”
Really? And here I thought all the “experts” had concluded not only that these suits could not win, but that they were “frivolous,” i.e. so obviously wrong that the courts should sanction anyone who brings such suits. How can this be? Are these experts fools? Or were they lying to support political positions?

In any event, the thinking now is that ObamaCare overstepped its bounds when it tried to regulate “inactivity”:
“The power of their argument lies in questioning whether Congress can regulate inactivity — in this case by levying a tax penalty on those who do not obtain health insurance. If so, they ask, what would theoretically prevent the government from mandating all manner of acts in the national interest, say regular exercise or buying an American car?”
Sound familiar? It should. We pointed this out to you weeks ago. The article then goes through the same cases and same analysis that we pointed out to you here: (click me).

First, it points out how the Supreme Court has allowed the Congress to use the Commerce Clause to stop locally grown marijuana, but that the Court then struck down two attempts to use that same logic to defend other expansions of the Commerce Clause. Finally, it points out that while the pro-ObamaCare people will argue that the effects of people not buying insurance will have an economic effect on the nation (the “cumulative effect” argument which we told the Court has already rejected), there is reason to believe the Court won’t buy that:
“Every decision you can make as a human being has an economic footprint — whether to procreate, whether to marry. To say that is enough for your behavior to be regulated transforms the Commerce Clause into an infinitely capacious font of power, whose exercise is only restricted by the Bill of Rights.”
Gee, who could have guessed that?! ;-)

You may now shower us with praise! Just kidding. But seriously, this is very good news for our country that even "legal experts" are starting to admit the flaws in ObamaCare. When even leftist legal scholars are seeing these defects, it’s a fairly sure bet that the same Supreme Court that has been drifting further and further into a re-recognition of federalism will use ObamaCare as a defining moment for the Court to plant the flag of federalism and revitalize our constitutional structure. And that will be a great day for America.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why Hillary Won't Challenge Obama

Some people are speculating that Hillary Clinton might challenge Obama in the Democratic primary for the 2012 election. They base this on Obama’s low poll numbers and the anger he’s producing in the country. But that doesn’t make sense, as I will explain. Moreover, I’m not even sure Hillary could run anymore at this point. Here’s why.
Why Nobody Is Running Against Obama Yet
Let’s start by dispelling the two reasons most commonly given for someone challenging Obama in the Democratic primary.

Low Poll Numbers Don’t Matter: Yes, Obama’s poll numbers are about as low as modern presidents can get, and yes they’ve been consistently low for almost a year now. But low poll numbers in and of themselves don’t matter because they are subject to change, especially with more than two years to go before the election. In other words, no one chooses to run against a sitting president just because he has low poll numbers. What politicians need to inspire them is some sort of disaster from which the president's electability won't recover. And right now, the only potential catalyst on the horizon is a potential total debacle in November. So barring that or something else dramatic, don't expect anyone to jump into the ring.

The Wrong Anger: Anger won't do it either at the moment because it's the wrong anger. There is no doubt that Obama is producing anger in the country, just as Bush produced anger in the country. But that’s not translating into anger in the Democratic ranks. Obama currently enjoys between an 85% and 92% approval rating among Democrats. Unless that changes, no Democrat will attempt to challenge him in a primary.

What this means is that we need to wait until after November to see if the Democrats suffer a big enough disaster that they start pointing fingers. Only if that happens, and only if the party itself starts to become angry with Obama will anyone challenge him. But it won’t be Hillary.
Why Hillary Won't Run
Hillary won’t run because of a combination of two factors. First, she’s smart enough not to run. Secondly, she’s put herself into a bind.

Smart Enough: No matter what we may think of Hillary, she’s not stupid. She knows that the history of insurgent candidates against a sitting incumbent president is less than glorious. I can’t think of any that ever defeated the incumbent, and most have basically destroyed their political careers in the process. This is because politics does not tolerate losers. To run and lose is almost a guarantee of the end of your political career in America. What’s worse, running against your own side makes you into a traitor. And that bad blood will keep you from being appointed to any other post or winning any other election. Since Hillary doesn't think she's done yet, it doesn't make sense for her to squander her future on a low probability run.

In A Bind: Moreover, it's not clear Hillary could run if she wanted to. Hillary may not be stupid, but she does have poor judgment. When she gave up her Senate seat, she took herself off the political map. Not only did she give up her bully pulpit, meaning that she no longer has a place from which she can challenge Obama, but she took herself out of the news cycle. When a politician makes themselves irrelevant, their support withers and dies, which has already happened to Hillary. Indeed, when Game Change came out, the political grapevine openly asked why no one came out to defend Hillary. In the past an army of Clinton people would have come out to denounce the book. This time we heard nothing but silence. That means her support is gone.

Further, by going to the State Department, a notoriously unglamorous and dead-end position, she put herself into a place where (1) she can’t raise funds, the lifeblood of any candidacy, (2) she can’t introduce legislation to rally her supporters, (3) she can’t do constituent favors, (4) her television appearances are limited to foreign policy issues, and (5) she must be loyal to Obama, bearing the brunt of his failures and sitting quietly as he steals the credit for her successes. And all of this was compounded with Obama’s disassembling the Clinton machine that Bill Clinton left in place upon leaving office and which remained in place until Obama purged it and replaced it with Chicago lackeys.

Basically, Hillary has no political machine, no profile, no base of support, no way to raise money, must do as she is told by Obama and play Obama's scapegoat, and has no way to change any of this from her present job.

If she wants to run in 2012, she needs to resign now and start rebuilding immediately, so that she can start campaigning if there is a disaster in November. Unless she does that, and there are no hints she's willing to do that, then I can't see her doing anything in 2012.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Obama Nominates Elena Kagan, Upsets The Left

This morning, Obama picked Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. Kagan is a woman who looks like Mike Myers from Austin Powers and has an even smaller paper trail than stealth candidate David Souter. She is a self-avowed liberal, but the left isn’t happy. And, truthfully, they have reason to be concerned. Indeed, Obama seems to have picked her because she's likely to be acceptable to the Republicans.

Let’s start with the obvious. Kagan checks off a lot of boxes. She’s female and Jewish, two of Obama’s biggest supporting groups. She’s rumored to be a lesbian, another Obama supporting group, though they prefer their candidates to be open. She’s also young, at 50, so she’s likely to stay on the court a long time.

So what does she stand for? Nobody knows, and that’s the problem.

She was a law clerk for Thurgood Marshall, one of the biggest dipsh*ts to ever sit on the Supreme Court. That’s bad. But she taught with Obama at the University of Chicago Law School, a supposedly conservative school. Her biggest achievement was becoming dean of the Harvard Law School (2003-2009), where she grabbed a little infamy for refusing to let military recruiters operate on campus because of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a policy put in place while she worked at the Clinton White House. She called the policy a “moral outrage.”

Sounds like a good leftist, right? Not so fast. When she was at Harvard, she garnered serious praise from conservatives for being quite fair to conservative groups at Harvard and by recruiting numerous conservatives for the Harvard faculty. This bothers the left a lot. What’s more, they are furious with her for hiring mostly white males (25 out of 32) during her tenure.

They are also upset with her actions vis-à-vis terror. At one point, she signed a letter opposing legislation proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC) to strip courts of the power to review detention practices at Guantanamo Bay, complaining that this law could be used to strip Americans of their legal rights and claiming that this is inconsistent with our government’s current and former criticism of dictatorships. This sounds liberal (though it's also consistent with libertarian thinking). But then, when she became Solicitor General, she took a different stance on this and has been roundly criticized by the left for advocating “Bush-lite.”

Beyond that, she has a scant paper trail, which is also upsetting the left a lot. She hasn’t taken any public stances on the nation’s more controversial issues over the past 20 years, despite the fact that few leftists have been able to shut their yaps on any issue during that time period.

Moreover, she has no legal record. In fact, 31 Republican Senators voted against her confirmation as Solicitor General because, not only has she never argued before the Supreme Court, she’s never argued before ANY COURT. (Her nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was shot down for that very reason.)

So no one knows what she stands for, which has actually generated a whisper campaign against her on the left. And you can see why they would be concerned. She may turn out to be everything the left wants, but it’s a gamble. And that’s making them furious since there are confirmed leftist candidates out there that could have been nominated instead.

Frankly, I think they have reason to worry. This is entirely speculation on my part, but I suspect the left will regret replacing Stevens with her. Stevens was a far-left lunatic. Kagan has shown through her time at Harvard and her adoption of “Bush-lite” that she’s much more reasonable and most likely center-left. She doesn’t seem to hate the right, like the fringe left does. She seems open to reason, and is not blind to ideology. And she seems to respect rule of law. Moreover, the fact that she would hire conservatives and wouldn’t whine constantly about the “evil Bush administration” makes me think that, at the least, she’s a liberal rather than a leftist, and she may even be a moderate liberal at that. If that’s the case, then Obama will have actually moved the court considerably to the right with this choice.

Still, who the heck knows?

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Democratic Narrative Fails Again

Everywhere you look the Democratic narrative keeps breaking down. The latest example comes from the New York Times itself. We all know that the Republicans are racists right? And that there is no such thing as a black Republican, right? And those Tea Party people are nothing but angry racist white dudes, right? Hmm, then how do you explain this. . .?

The Democratic Party is a racist party. They were the party of slavery. They were the party of Jim Crow and of segregation and the Klan. They even managed to turn the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the law that looked to end the issue of race in America, into a racial spoils bill that acts like American Apartheid.

And like all hypocrites, they are very quick to tar others with their own sins. Thus, we are treated to an endless stream of lies about Republicans being racists. We’re told that the Republican Party is anti-black. We’re told that there are no black Republicans. And that those black Republicans who do exist are all dupes or “Uncle Toms” or “a disgrace to [their] race”. That’s why Clarence Thomas is so hated by the left, he doesn’t fit their narrative. That’s why Bush HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan was treated so disgracefully by racist liberals in the House.

That's why black columnist Bill Maxwell said that black Republicans are "mean-spirited self-loathers who rarely find anything positive to say about fellow blacks." And why Maureen Dowd said that black Republicans are "an oddity, useful only in enabling Republicans to make a perverse claim to diversity." How's that for blatant racism!

Well, now there is a new problem from the left. . . their narrative is broken: there are 32 black Americans running for the House of Representatives as Republicans. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Arkansas, etc. All over the United States.

That’s only seven fewer than the total number of blacks in the Congress today.

What’s more, these aren’t blacks who are looking to get elected in black districts. Nor are they trying to live off a false legacy of a civil rights movement that betrayed its own objectives the very moment victory was in its grasp. These aren’t professional hustlers looking to milk the system. Nope. These are normal Americans. The horror!

These are people who are bright, accomplished, proud Americans who are concerned with the state of their country. Some are ex-military, some are business executives, some are elected officials. Many are members of the Tea Party, and they freely report that they never saw any evidence of the racist narrative the left tried to use to tar that movement. These are the very people the left tells us don’t exist.

I can’t say that each deserves to become the party nominee as I don’t know enough about them all. But I can say that if any sizable number of them do win House seats, the effects on the political landscape could be seismic. Indeed, this could be one of those moments that shatters the Democrat narrative permanently, a moment that even the most Kool-Aid drunk leftist will need to acknowledge.

Of course, the left isn’t happy about this. Said Donna Brazile, a former hack for Al Gore: "In 1994 and 2000, there were 24 black G.O.P. nominees, and you didn’t see many of them win their elections." Translation: “Don’t worry folks, the public is too racist to elect these people." Other Democrats have said the same thing. Even the NYT reporter reached this standard liberal-narrative conclusion:
Still, black Republicans face a double hurdle: black Democrats who are disinclined to back them in a general election, and incongruity with white Republicans, who sometimes do not welcome the blacks whom party officials claim to covet as new members.
In other words, Republicans are racists and won’t vote for them, and blacks don’t trust them because they’re Uncle Toms. . . I guess old habits die hard, especially at the NYT.

No matter what these leftists say, this is going to be an interesting election, and I wish these people well. I hope that they finally achieve what we should have achieved in the 1960s, breaking the color barrier, so that even Democrats must begin to judge others on the content of their characters, rather than the color of their skin.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why Immigration Has Become A Political Problem

Immigration has become a hot button issue in the United States during the past twenty years. The left likes to claim that this is because the rest of us are racists. That is, of course, a self-serving lie. The reality is that immigration has become a problem because of the actions of the left.
Americans Do Love Immigrants
Before we talk about the problems caused by the left, let’s be clear: Americans love immigrants. This is reflected in our politics, in every poll I’ve ever seen, and in even in our culture. And the reasons for this are simple. America is a nation of immigrants and always has been. Many of us are immigrants, are married to immigrants, and have parents or grandparents who are immigrants.

Moreover, immigrants made this country everything it is today and continue to contribute to all facets of our country, our history and our culture. Study after study shows that immigrants work harder and are more patriotic than natives. They perform better economically, they are more entrepreneurial, and they vote in higher numbers. Said simply, they make the perfect Americans.
So What’s Gone Wrong?
There are three things that have gone wrong with immigration today, and the blame lies firmly at the doorstep of the left.

First, starting in the 1970s, the left decided to open the flood gates and dramatically increased the number of immigrants that would be let into the United States each year. Last year, this resulted in over one million legal immigrants being added to the United States.

Secondly, this was compounded by the economic collapse of Mexico, which began the flood of illegal aliens into the United States. This resulted in an additional 17 million immigrants over the past twenty years. Moreover, the left has fought hard to keep anyone from addressing this problem.

Together, between legal and illegal immigration, this means that we are taking in a city the size of Denver every year. That’s troubling, but that’s not even the real problem.

The real problem is that at the same time the left began letting so many people into the country, they began instituting policies with the express purpose of keeping immigrants from assimilating into American society.
Why Is This A Problem?
The reason immigration worked so well in the past was that each wave of immigrants worked to become part of the American fabric. They learned English, they sent their kids to school, and they struggled to achieve the American dream. But this is no longer true because the left has been busy putting policies in place that discourage assimilation.

The left has worked hard to destroy language as our common bond, requiring governments to deal with immigrants in their birth languages and demanding that the children of immigrants be taught “in their native language.” This denies these immigrants the most important tool they will need to fit in with the rest of us.

The left also struggles to wipe out our culture. We are told that we must scrub the foundations of our culture from our educational system to avoid offending immigrants. Thus, schools are dropping things like Western civilization, civics, English literature, and the philosophy that gave us the Enlightenment, capitalism, and ultimately the principles ensconced in our founding and our Constitution -- the glue that holds our society together. In their place, the leftist media, leftist politic establishment, and leftist education behemoth tell us that we should teach multiculturalism, that all values are inherently equal (except our own of course), and that we should look to become like the rest of the world. . . that would be the rest of the world where corruption is a daily fact of life and thuggish dictators compete, often times violently, to use the power of the state to crush their opponents and reward their friends.

And the predictable result of all of this is that vast numbers of immigrants are being dumped into ethnic ghettos, little colonies set up inside the United States, from which they will not escape. The left even glorifies this idea, saying we should stop talking about a melting pot and instead talk about an "American stew."
Why Has The Left Done This?
The left has done this for one reason: because their views are inconsistent with Western culture and, specifically, with the American mindset. Americans have seen the dangers of collectivism writ large in Europe during the 20th Century and they want no part of it. And even more fundamentally, what the left wants goes against the very foundations of American thinking, which hold that the rights of the individual are superior to the rights of the state. Said simply, the left cannot prevail in America because Americans don’t accept its principles.

But by encouraging massive amounts of immigration and discouraging assimilation, the left is hoping to bring enough non-Americans into America that America itself must change, and thereby abandon the culture that has excluded their statist dreams. Basically, they view unassimilated immigrants as a tool for remaking America into a land more favorable to leftist thought. And if you want proof, look not only at their words -- they will admit this quite openly -- but look also at everything they propose about immigration. Every one of their proposals has the obvious effect of separating immigrants into these enclaves and keeping them from becoming Americans.

Moreover, the left works hard to poison this debate. Try pointing out any of this and see how long it takes for some leftist to come along and call you a racist -- even though the right would make the same complaints if these were ethnic enclaves of Germans or Irish. Not only does this prevent the public from fighting back effectively, but it also provides exactly what the left needs to shape these enclaves. The left wants these enclaves to feel put upon, angry, isolated, and in need of protection. . . protection which only the state can offer. The last thing they want is for these people to escape into mainstream America and become Americans.

That’s why immigration has become such a political hot button and why people are so angry. Add in some of the practical problems that accompany waves of illegal immigration (disrespect for law, drug trafficking, exploitation of people, the murder of law enforcement personnel and ranchers, the abuse of public services, depression of wages, etc.) and you have a recipe for a very angry electorate. Further add in a government that lies openly about this issue, that attacks its own citizens for raising these concerns and that seems more concerned with the “rights” of lawbreakers and terrorists than of citizens and you have a disaster brewing.

So realize that this has nothing to do with race, it has to do with the conscious attempt by the left to use these people to change our culture. Realize also that this has little to do with the immigrants themselves. Americans would happily welcome all of these people if they assimilated. They just don’t want to be colonized.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Democrats Continue To Lose Touch With Reality

The Democratic party continues to show that it has little or no grasp on reality. They have finally woken up to the idea that they could be in political trouble in November, but the reasons escape them. So they’ve hired a team of crackheads to sort out the problem for them and to give them an effective strategy to reconnect with the public. Oh boy.

It turns out that the biggest problem for Democrats, according to Dick Durbin, is that: “When you spend all your time in the Senate among the senators and the staff, you tend to use words that average people just puzzle over.” Yep, that’s right Dick. The problem is that we’re just too stupid to get your nomenclature. It couldn’t have anything to do with the way you act. Maybe you should talk down to us?

Indeed, that is the plan. They have hired an egghead to teach them “the importance of speaking with a clear voice to the anger of the average American.” Said egghead will teach them to use simple language that engages the “frontal emotion circuits” of the brain. In other words, "we're going to try to speak as primitively as you do."

Now stop me if you’ve heard this before, but don’t the Democrats seem to keep missing the point? They always seem to believe that people hate them, not for their twisted actions, but because they haven’t described their actions in just the right words. That’s why some months back, a large group of female Democrats hired someone to teach them to “talk tough” because they found that the public didn’t trust them to deal with “man-made disasterist.” They actually believed that the fact that they’ve called for unilateral withdrawal in Iraq, nuclear disarmament, opposed the missile shield, and refused to recognize the existence of terrorists who want to kill us, had nothing to do with the public’s perception of them as weak. . . no, it was the words they used. Yeah, words like “surrender.”

By the same token, in the mid-2000s, Team Donkey hired religious specialists to teach them to slip “God” words into their speeches after they found out that the public viewed them as anti-religious. Yep, it was their choice of words that was the problem, not their aggressive agenda to drive Christianity out of every inch of the public sphere and their opposition to everything religious groups hold dear.

So what’s the new plan? Hold on to your seats!

The goal is to present a “can-do” image for their party, an image of a party “that is focused on issues the public is worried about” to replace the “party of big government” image that the GOP somehow managed to attach to them. To that end, they plan to:
(1) Start by pushing tighter regulations on Wall Street -- an obvious choice for anyone who has witnessed the mass “bring back Basel II” protest marches all around the country.

(2) Overhaul immigration policy -- a sure fire way to make the public happy.

(3) Pass a jobs bill of some sort -- because the last dozen didn’t produce any jobs.

(4) Extend middle class tax cuts -- note that the word “extend” means “keep from raising taxes” and that no one’s taxes will actually go down from this, and note also that “middle class” doesn’t really mean “middle class” when Democrats use it.

(5) Reduce carbon emissions -- the first bill to really bring out the public against the Democrats.

AND (6) Tout the benefits of ObamaCare. . . as if there were any benefits.
So basically, the plan is to push the same crappy agenda that got them into trouble in the first place, only this time it will all magically work out differently! A popular definition of insanity holds that one who repeats the same actions and expects different results is insane. That’s probably why the guy who put this strategy together for the Democrats is a clinical psychologist. . . Dr. Drew Westen.

Somehow, that’s the only part of this that makes sense.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Forget The Minority Take Over Of America

You’ve all heard how there will be more minorities in the United States by 2050 than there will be whites, right? Forget it. It’s not happening. Moreover, expect the illegal alien problem to start going away soon all on its own. Why? Because demographics don’t move in a straight line.

If you do as the left does, and you look at demographics as a straight line, then you see that 30 million Hispanics in 1980 turned into 45 million Hispanics in 2000 and will turn into 67 million in 2020 and 104 million in 2040. That, combined with blacks and Asians (groups that are not experiencing growth), results in about 50% of the population by 2050.

But that’s not how demographics work, and recent developments have shown the problem with this assumption. First, when the recession hit the United States, large numbers of Hispanics left the United States. So many in fact, that the Census Bureau had to revise its estimates downward for the future take over of the United States by a decade. They now estimate that there will be only 105.1 million Hispanics by 2050 -- a full decade later than expected.

But there’s another problem with this that hasn’t been considered yet. The key to Hispanic growth has been Mexico. Indeed, almost all of the growth in the Hispanic population in the United States has been the result of Mexicans coming to the United States. When Reagan granted an amnesty in the 1980s, there were about five million Mexicans illegally in the United States. By 2000, we’d added another 12 million. That seventeen million is more than one-third of the forty-five million Hispanics in the United States today, and it represents almost the entire growth in the Hispanic population since the 1980s.

Indeed, if you look at the map to the right, you’ll see that consistent with this, Hispanics are almost entirely concentrated along the border with Mexico.

So why does this matter? Because things are changing dramatically in Mexico.

Mexicans first started coming to the United States in vast numbers in the 1980s. There were two reasons for this. First, with the end of the oil boom, Mexico’s economy tanked. At the same time, the American economy boomed. Thus, with few jobs south of the border and large numbers of jobs north of the border, people fled Mexico for the United States. This was made even worse by the fact that Mexico’s economy was almost entirely dependent on the oil industry and that its government is one of the most corrupt in the world -- leading to a lack of opportunities and huge disparities in income, which creates a large underclass.

The second reason was that Mexico’s collapse coincided with a baby boom that began in the 1950s, similar to that experienced by the United States. Indeed, in the 1960s, Mexico had the highest birth rate in the world, with Mexican mothers having on average seven children each. Thus, in addition to its economic collapse, Mexico was awash in young people, who are by-their-nature more willing to emigrate to find work. These were the people who began coming in the 1980s.

So what’s changed? Mexico’s birth rate has plummeted. It is now just over 2 children per mother, almost identical to the birth rate in the United States, and it’s still falling -- it will soon be at European levels (around 1.4). Because of this, Mexico’s population is estimated to peak in 2043, though I suspect that will happen much sooner, as it has in other countries. That means that the supply of people to head north is quickly running out.

Moreover, because of this change, the population is aging much quicker, which will accelerate the decline in the number of people willing to go north. Not only is an older population less interested in emigrating, but this also means that there will be more opportunities for Mexico’s young to find solid, long-term employment. Also, a smaller, older population tends to lead to greater personal wealth because the competition for employees drives up wages. This again, reduces emigration because it makes it more profitable to remain in Mexico. It also may draw people back to Mexico, just as this recession has done, because they can do better in Mexico.

What all of this means is that there will be fewer Mexicans very soon, and fewer of them will want to come to the United States to find work. That means that American Hispanics will no longer be receiving the mega-demographic boost that illegal immigration has been providing. When you exclude those numbers, the rest of Hispanic America is growing at about the same pace as white America.

Thus, the Hispanic growth rate will soon start to fall from 50% every twenty years to around 4%, about the growth rate of everybody else.

Hence, reports of the minority take over of America have been greatly exaggerated.

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