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IMF Chair’s ‘Conspiracy Against Women Working’ as Effective as Obama’s Generic ‘Extremism’

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Lip Service

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde followed Obama’s trendsetting “War on Muslims” narrative, thus failing the cause of women’s equality across the globe. The Feminist Fail started out on the right track:

Nations should remove laws that prevent women from working in order to increase the female labour supply and boost their economies, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said.

“In too many countries, too many legal restrictions conspire against women to be economically active,” Lagarde wrote in a blog. “In a world in search of growth, women will help find it, if they face a level playing field instead of an insidious conspiracy.”

What exactly is this “insidious conspiracy” Lagarde is referring to? Don’t worry, she hasn’t taken the Patty Arquette pill, although she’s definitely drinking the Obama Kool Aid, because it’s all downhill from here:

But the IMF has to tread a careful line on this issue to avoid explicitly critiquing the laws in its 188 member countries, including states like Mali and Yemen, which have been among the worst performers on indices of gender equality.

Mali and Yemen, both Muslim-dominated states. Mali’s logo, “one people, one goal, one faith” is a contradiction in terms, at least when it comes to fostering economic growth, which is the only topic up for discussion on Lagarde’s watch:

The IMF has sought to couch its arguments in economic terms, saying in a previous study that having as many women in the labor force as men could boost economic growth by 5% in the United States, 9% in Japan and 34% in Egypt.

Note the radical climb in potential economic growth when the stats begin speaking to Muslim nations? Oops. Guess Lagarde’s staffers didn’t get the “War on Muslims” memo until after they prepared their findings, to which they quickly tacked on the following caveat:

“In recommending equal opportunities …this study does not intend to render a judgment of countries’ broadly accepted cultural and religious norms.”

Classy. Let’s talk about an obvious problem without directly drawing attention to it, since the problem is defended by radicalized terrorists. Is that called the White Elephant defense strategy?

 

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‘Cap and Trade’ Is Alive and Well – Despite Having Never Passed Congress

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 - by Seton Motley

Remember “Cap and Trade?”  The anti-market allegedly “market-based” “solution” to man-faked global warming climate change?

A central authority (usually a governmental body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that may be emitted.

The limit or cap is allocated and/or sold by the central authority to firms in the form of emissions permits which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of the specified pollutant.

Permits (and possibly also derivatives of permits) can then be traded on secondary markets.

Except:

Cap-and-Trade Schemes Are Not Markets

Only if (you) want government to raise energy prices, make coal uneconomical as an electricity fuel, or restrict Americans’ access to carbon-based energy.…

“Cap and trade” is a policy so disastrous it couldn’t pass a Democrat-majority Congress – with Democrat President Barack Obama eagerly waiting with pen at the ready.

(Democrat) Ben Nelson: Cap-and-Trade Will Not Pass This Congress

Cap and Trade is Dead (Really, Truly, I’m Not Kidding)

Except with this President, no terrible idea dies just because the Constitutional process demands it.

(Environmental Protection Agency) EPA: If Congress Doesn’t Pass Cap-and-Trade, We Will

And so they have. Here’s the EPA’s “Cap and Trade” page.

And in government, terrible ideas are like kudzu – they rapidly, illegally spread everywhere.

USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced an expanded partnership to support water quality trading….

Oh look – the government is assaulting our farmers’ water supply.  Where else have we seen that?

The EPA is Turning Water on Farms Into a Weapon Against Farmers

The EPA exists to assault the private sector.  And it is teaming up with other government departments to maximize the damage.

The USDA is a complete waste of money, time and space.  Humans have engaged in agriculture for 10,000 years – we did so for 9,900 of those years without a government department.  I think we’ve got this.

And, of course, there is zero Constitutional authority granted to the federal government to have a USDA.

Having no useful purpose, the Department of Agriculture works day and night to make private agriculture more difficult and expensive.  Which raises our food prices – and makes our farmers less competitive on the now-global market.

These government-inflicted regulations and costs – by a department that shouldn’t exist – foster other government programs that shouldn’t exist.

Like the horrendous Farm Bill.  Government makes it nearly impossible for farmers to turn a profit – then subsidizes them.

Like Food Stamps.  Government jacks the price of food – then buys tens of millions of people food at the government-inflated prices because they can no longer afford it.

The Obama Administration is assaulting the private sector with every department, agency, commission and board at its $4-trillion-a-year disposal.  Including unilaterally imposing “Cap and Trade” across multiple agencies.  And what has transpired during the Obama Administration’s tenure?

14 Million More on Food Stamps Under Obama

Food Stamp Growth 75X Greater than Job Creation

It would seem there is a correlation there.

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The Idiocy of ‘Leaning In’ and Thinking You’ll Win Because You’re a Woman

Friday, February 20th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Laugh as the New Yorker attempts to trumpet the struggles of professional women through the story of an academic who grounded her negotiating skills in Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In:

This spring, an aspiring professor—W, as she’s chosen to call herself in a blog post about the experience—attempted to negotiate her tenure-track job offer with the Nazareth College philosophy department. She wanted a slightly higher salary than the starting offer, paid maternity leave for one semester, a pre-tenure sabbatical, a cap on the number of new classes that she would teach each semester, and a deferred starting date. “I know that some of these might be easier to grant than others,” she acknowledged in her e-mail. “Let me know what you think.”

Nazareth didn’t hesitate to do just that: W wrote that the college promptly let her know that she was no longer welcome. “The institution has decided to withdraw its offer of employment to you,” the terse reply concluded. “We wish you the best in finding a suitable position.”

What a dope.

Head over to Nazareth College’s website and you’ll learn rather quickly via their faculty manual that most of the items she attempted to “negotiate” are already set in stone, most likely via union negotiation and past practice. Regarding her “paid maternity leave” request, Nazareth’s policy is generous to say the least. Fully paid disability period, ability to apply paid time off towards FMLA, and the ability to request up to 2 semesters of leave without pay, “but with paid employee basic health insurance and major medical insurance only to which the faculty member would otherwise be entitled”. That’s one heck of a good faith investment put forth on behalf of the college for new parents (moms and dads) to stay at home for up to a year.

As far as a “pre-tenure sabbatical” goes, this woman apparently hasn’t worked a day in academia in her life. She’s applying for a tenure-track position. Time worked is what allows you to accrue tenure. A sabbatical doesn’t count towards time worked, so essentially she just asked them to delay her own job advancement so she could have paid time off to wander the libraries of the world. Combine that with the class cap request and ask how either measure, both of which illustrate a total lack of work ethic, would possibly work to her advantage?

Higher salary within reason? Sure. Lean in all you want. Deferred start date? Depends on the circumstances. But before you decide to negotiate a first job based on the musings of a high-level executive, try reading about the job for which you’re actually negotiating. Or, just whine to the world that your demands were rejected because you’re a woman. That’s much more empowering.

 

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Sanders: Wal-Mart Being Cheapskates with New Raises

Thursday, February 19th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the raise announced across the board to Wal-Mart employees isn’t nearly big enough because the Waltons are way richer than that.

Wal-Mart was told in a letter from CEO Doug McMillon that the entry wage will be hiked “to at least $9 an hour in April, and, by February of next year, all current associates will earn at least $10 an hour.”

“I’m also excited about an innovative program we’re launching for future associates that will allow you to join Wal-Mart at $9 an hour or more next year, receive skills-based training for six months, and then be guaranteed at least $10 an hour upon successful completion of that program,” McMillon wrote. “We’re also strengthening our department manager roles and will raise the starting wage for some of these positions to at least $13 an hour this summer and at least $15 an hour early next year.”

The company is also making improvements to flexible scheduling and benefits.

Sanders pointed out that the Walton family, which owns Wal-Mart, “is the wealthiest family in America and it is absurd that thousands of their low-wage workers are forced to use programs like food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing.”

“Wal-Mart should not be paying starvation wages,” he said. “While this is a step forward and a response to grassroots activism across the country, this is nowhere near enough. Wal-Mart should raise their minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour now and move it to $15 over the next several years”

“Struggling working families should not have to subsidize the wealthiest family in the country. Wal-Mart also should end its vehemently anti-union activities.”

Sanders, who’s flirting with the idea of a presidential run, is in Iowa to propose cutting college costs in half through an $18 billion boost in federal aid for higher education to be matched by states.

The senator would get that money by pulling half of the extra money requested for the military in President Obama’s budget.

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The Church Of England Takes The Unprecedented Step Of Opening A Credit Union

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

The Church of England launched its own credit union this week, with two objectives in mind: to create a trustworthy place for Britons to bank and to help lift people out of poverty.

The foundation of the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union is part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s drive to promote access to responsible credit and savings.

“It could transform the way retail finance is done in this country,” Archbishop [Justin] Welby said, adding that it will put an ethical basis back into the industry and help forge community links back into the sector.

The credit union was launched by leaders of member churches with a video of a ship being launched in the background, emotive music and the slogan: “God bless the CMCU and all who save with her.”

It is currently open to about 60,000 church workers, charities, clergy and volunteers such as church wardens and members of the parochial church council, but will eventually be rolled out to every church member in the country. This could be more than one million people in the Church of England alone, with many hundreds of thousands more in the ecumenical partner churches; the Methodists, Church of Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church and Church in Wales.

Welby is the first archbishop to come from a financial background, and he refers to the unprecedented launch as “putting our money where our mouth is” to both fight poverty and hold up high ethical standards for the financial marketplace.

Rather than preaching at the problem, the Church is becoming part of the solution.

“Credit unions are essential. We are trying to build a new financial sector in this country,” the Archbishop added. The new credit union was a “major step” in this direction, he said.

Canon Antony MacRow-Wood, president of the new credit union, said: “Of immediate interest to many, especially ordained ministers, will be our plans to provide a competitive car loan scheme (APR 5.54%). The Church forms an obvious community with many shared interests and as such it has a natural fit with the idea of a credit union. The recycling of capital within the community, not least for mission, will be of benefit to all.”

Rev Ken Howcroft, president of the Methodist Conference, said: “The gap between rich and poor seems to be widening and leaving people without the resources to do new things, or even pushing them into crippling debt. When we recognise your interdependence we can share our resources to help each of us meet our needs.”

CMCU treads much of the same ground as American faith-based credit unions like America’s Christian Credit Union and Christian Community Credit Union, but it may well be the first credit union run directly by a church. Its success or failure should make for an interesting story in the years to come.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / yurchello108

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For the Obama Administration, It’s Lies All the Way Down

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

So what else is new? Still, the breathtaking mendacity of this crew just keeps getting worse. The Emperor Hussein and his fawning courtiers live in a typically Leftist fantasy land, in which reality counts for nothing and “reality” for everything. From the WaPo‘s fact checker, Glenn Kessler:

The Fact Checker frequently warns readers to be wary of claims by politicians that various policy initiatives will yield tens of thousands of jobs. Such claims are often based on studies that rely on a variety of assumptions, any of which can be called into question. So we were interested when we received a call from a reader who wondered how the administration calculated that a proposed international trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, would support some 650,000 jobs…

Asked about the statistic on 650,000 jobs, the White House referred us to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. USTR spokesman Matthew McAlvanah directed us to page 58 of the book. “They do not provide an estimate on jobs,” he acknowledged. “However they do provide a methodology that one could use.”

Ah… a methodology! The mediocre academics who make up the guts of the administration return to their comfort zone — imaginary numbers!

Essentially, the book suggests that an income gain of $121,000 would be “roughly equivalent to creating an extra job.” So the Obama administration took the figure of $77.5 billion and divided it by $121,000, which yields 640,000. Rounded up, that becomes 650,000.

There’s just one problem: This is the incorrect way to use Petri’s research, especially when officials such as Kerry combine the jobs figure in the same sentence as the income prediction: “The TPP could provide $77 billion a year in real income and support 650,000 new jobs in the US alone.”

That’s because the calculation on jobs can only be done if one assumes that wages have been frozen and there is no income gain. So it’s completely misleading to suggest there would be both a gain in income and a gain in jobs.

My God, these people are incorrigible. And shameless. And, let’s just say it — as stupid as only credentialed morons can be.

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Fourth Quarter GDP Report A ‘Disappointment’

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This number is awful in light of what economists expected but pretty much par for the course in recent years. The good news always brings hope for some sustainable growth but is followed by “unexpected” bad news. The lapdog media faithfully dig for nuggets of hope, though.

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Think Progress Finds 2 Economists and a Magic Unicorn to Make $15 Minimum Wage Feasible

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Welcome to the other side of the looking glass.

Fast food workers have been staging strikes across the country for the last three years to demand a $15 minimum wage, among other things. Which begs the question: Would raising wages in the industry to that level force companies to lay off workers to reduce costs?

The answer in a new paper is a resounding no. Economists Robert Pollin and Jeannette Wicks-Lim of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst looked at a scenario in which the federal minimum wage gets increased to $10.50 in one year and to $15 three years after that, which in the end would mean a 107 percent increase over the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. They found that instead of having to cut jobs, fast food restaurants could cover the cost of the increase with savings from reducing turnover, higher prices, and greater economic growth.

I made it as far as that paragraph before my first out loud laugh.

As with most progressive think pieces, it is a veritable cornucopia of qualifying. There are enough assumptions and kinda/sorta/maybes to fill Michael Moore at lunchtime here.

The first assumption is that the jump to $10.50 an hour would be so life-changing that it would drastically reduce turnover. This key component also exposes the fact that progressives would prefer to trap people in low income jobs for as long as possible, if not forever. Rather than get someone on the path to being a fast food franchisee, the progs would rather they remain slightly more comfortable fry cooks.

The second assumption is that sales would only suffer a slight dip from the price increases that would have to be put in place, which is a rather bold hope when even McDonald’s is looking at dropping numbers.

So significantly higher wages and the resultant higher prices are going to eventually result in economic growth. Makes sense, no?

No.

Especially when there is a more sensible way to reduce turnover and avoid raising wages:
McDonalds-Machines

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Texas Dem: Don’t ‘Try to Ram Through’ Obama’s Plan to Tax Rich

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

A Blue Dog Democrat said that instead of President Obama’s plan to target the rich with higher taxes, Congress needs to expand the tax base.

“We have to keep in mind is the words from President Lincoln that said you don’t help the poor by tearing down the rich or you don’t help the workers by tearing down businesses and to have a targeted tax increase, I don’t think that’s the right approach. We should find a way to make the taxes more fair and flatter,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Fox, stressing, “I respectfully don’t agree with the president.”

“For example, corporations, if we can lower their taxes for the corporations so we can compete with other ones across the world. There’s a lot of things we can do to flatten the tax rate and expand the base. And I think if we look at maybe what David Camp looked at, what Paul Ryan might look at and see if the Democrats can sit down and work something out,” he said.

“But to try to ram something through, that’s not the way. It will take some sort of consensus. I hope we can do this. Anybody can talk about tax reform. Can we actually roll up our sleeves and make tough decisions?”

Cuellar said that trying to bring anyone to the middle, though, is “exactly” what’s “wrong with Washington.”

“You have the far right. The far left. And trying to get us together and work this out, it sort of takes moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans to actually get things done,” he said.

“…And a lot of issues, we’re not there. But that’s the approach we ought to have. Otherwise, the far right and the far left will control the debates in Washington, D.C. And the practical aspects of getting stuff done are not going to get done because of the far left and the far right.”

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The Revenge of Sarah Palin

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
June 2012: the bad old days

June 2012: the bad old days

Remember her chant, “Drill, baby, drill”? Well, how about that:

Back when gas topped $4 a gallon, Republicans chanted “drill, baby, drill” at rallies across the country — arguing more domestic drilling would increase supplies, reduce dependence on foreign oil and boost the U.S. economy. Democrats, almost universally, mocked the GOP plan. In 2012, President Obama called it “a slogan, a gimmick, and a bumper sticker … not a strategy.”

“They were waving their three-point plans for $2-a-gallon gas,” Obama told a laughing audience during an energy speech in Washington. “You remember that? Drill, baby, drill. We were going through all that. And none of it was really going to do anything to solve the problem.”

Today, Democrats are singing a different tune, as increased domestic drilling has led to a record supply of domestic crude, put some $100 billion into the pockets of U.S. consumers and sent world oil prices tumbling. The price of a gallon of regular gasoline on Monday was $2.13 nationwide, and below $2 in 18 states.

“Of course [Obama] was wrong. We’ve seen oil prices fall internationally now by half since last June,” said American Enterprise Institute economist Ben Zycher. “The U.S. is now the biggest oil and gas producer in the world, or almost that, and the effect has been to drive prices down as we’ve seen.”

Barack Obama: wrong about everything

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Earnest: GOP ‘Welcome to Articulate’ Views After State of the Union, But People Will Agree with Obama

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama will be “focusing on middle class economics” in his State of the Union address tonight.

“And what the president believes we should do is we can actually ask those at top of the income scale — and when I’m talking about the top, I’m talking about the very top. We’re talking about large Wall Street firms that are highly leveraged and those essentially who benefit from trust funds; we want to close the trust fund loophole and use that revenue to do the kind of things that are going to benefit the middle class families,” Earnest told CNN this morning.

“We want to do this because the president believes that our economy is best when it’s growing from the middle out. And by focusing on middle class economics, what we can do is we offer a $500 tax credit to working families where you have both Mom and Dad who are working a job. Well, we can offer a tax credit, because we know if both parents are working, there are going to be some extra costs associated with child care or with commuting.”

Earnest said Obama will also pitch “free community college to hard-working students who are getting good grades.”

“We know that never before has a college education been more important to making a — to getting a middle class job and leading a middle class life. So these are the kinds of policies that the president believes should be a priority and we’re hopeful that Democrats and Republicans will work together to advance this agenda,” he said.

Earnest said Republicans in Congress “will have to make a decision about what they think is more important — do they think that the trust-fund loophole is more important and that we should be ensuring that millionaires and billionaires are getting tax — special preferential tax benefits that middle class families don’t get?”

“Or do they think that more middle class families should have the opportunity to go to college? That’s really the question before them. And if they have a fundamental disagreement with the president, they’re welcome to articulate that view,” he added. “I just don’t happen to think that the vast majority of the American people are going to agree with them.”

He said that when Obama took office “we were on the precipice of a second great depression, but because this president worked, scratched, and clawed, essentially had to fight Republicans to put in place policies that are focused on the middle class, we actually have been able to dig out of this terrible economic downturn.”

“And actually our economy is starting to show the kind of resilience that indicates that we’re ready to turn the page.”

The Republican National Committee began the day with a preemptive strike against Obama’s address, sending out a “by the numbers” fact sheet that showed debt at $10.6 trillion when Obama took office in January 2009 and $18.1 trillion today.

“Without getting into too many of the specifics on policy, as chairman of the party, but I think that, sure, some loopholes can be closed. But the reality is is that none of that dinking and dunking is going to change anything about the trajectory of the economy, unless you take a serious look at the overall tax code, simplify it, do some fairly significant things to the code and do the types of things that Paul Ryan has been delivering to the Senate for the last five years,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told Fox this morning.

“Now they’ll have that chance as chairman of the ways and means in order to get the economy turned around. We’ve got a — the president’s going to try to tell people that Americans aren’t struggling and the economy’s great. We’ve got the worst labor participation rate since Jimmy Carter’s been president,” Priebus said.

“And so, he’s going to spend the night, tell people that the economy is great. He’s going to play a good round of small ball. He’s going to tell people that he’s for bipartisanship, while he kills things like they Keystone pipeline, the 40-hour work week… No one really thinks that the president’s going to follow through on anything that he says.”

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As Gas Prices Plunge, New Gas Taxes Proposed

Monday, January 5th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

Heading into the weekend, I filled up my tank for less than $20 for the first time in over a decade. It was surreal. I recall, in my younger and poorer days, routinely putting five bucks in the tank to get through the week on a partial fill. Six months ago, five bucks couldn’t get you two gallons. Yet, here we are, back to the good old days.

But before it gets too easy to work and raise a family, politicians are lining up with proposals to hike state and federal gas taxes. In Minnesota, Democrat Governor Mark Dayton is looking to supplement the existing 28.5 cent per gallon tax with an additional “wholesale gas tax” that would kick in as a percentage (like sales tax) when the pump price hits about $2.15.

Not to be outdone, and doing his best to forward the increasingly popular notion that no difference exists between the major parties, the incoming Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee told Fox News Sunday that a federal gas tax hike is on the table. From the Associated Press:

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota says all options must be looked at to fill an enormous shortfall when the existing highway legislation expires in May.

Gas and diesel taxes haven’t risen since 1993, resulting in perennial shortfalls in the fund that pays for most road projects.

Several commissions have called for raising the taxes, but Congress has been reluctant. Instead lawmakers have dipped repeatedly into the general treasury to keep the trust fund solvent.

The chatter around Governor Dayton’s proposal boasts similar rhetoric. Roads and bridges are in tough shape and getting worse. It’s projected that far less revenue will be raised through current taxes than that needed to maintain, let alone improve, the current infrastructure. The only rational option is to raise taxes, we’re led to believe.

But is that really the only possible approach to the problem? Couldn’t we cite the same scary stats to argue for something like – I don’t know – prioritizing existing spending to focus on infrastructure instead of the gazillion other things that government wastes money on?

Governor Dayton presides over a state which will spend $63.6 billion this year alone. He says he wants an additional $6 billion for transportation over the next 10 years to “cover existing needs.” That translates to $600 million per year. We can’t shave $600 million from a $63.6 billion budget? That’s less than 1%. We’re going to raise taxes on everyone in the economy rather than divert less than 1% of the budget to transportation? Really?

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here.)

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The Case Against Buying New

Monday, December 29th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Michael Walsh linked to an excellent article on the inability of many millennials to fix the simplest of household devices. Walsh was joined by many of my Boomer/Gen-X friends in his comment that it’s usually cheaper to throw out and buy new, but speaking as one of those Gen-X/millennial crossovers, going shopping isn’t always the cheapest thing to do. Especially when you’re caught up in a lousy economy.

Here’s where I praise my incredibly handy husband who grew up learning fractions via wrench set before he ever encountered them in school. When he lost his job shortly after the recession hit, we newlyweds risked becoming a statistic, joining the millions of college graduates like us who were out of work at a time when no jobs could be found. Thankfully, along with raising us with a fabulously humble work ethic, our parents also trained us to make the most out of nothing. My husband saved us thousands of dollars by repairing cars, plumbing, even our household heater himself when times were lean.

Fixing things doesn’t always mean owning crap, either. How did my husband manage to drive a Mercedes in college? He found a wreck in a salvage yard and spent one summer fixing it up with his dad after work. That car lasted him over 10 years and remained a great investment because he took the time to learn how to maintain and repair it when necessary.

His Mr. Fix-It habit is far from over now that he’s back in the work force. Do you know how much it costs the average young homeowner to re-do a bathroom in their first fixer-upper? Enough to make them not bother, or mortgage more for a home that’s already been upgraded. Every project we’ve done in our home we’ve done ourselves with little to no outside help. Yes, it takes longer. Yes, it’s hard work. But when you’re young and newly married in a depression marketed as a recession, knowing how to be handy around the house is a lifesaver for your budget and your marriage.

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The Real Reason Why Marriage Is on the Downward Slide

Monday, December 29th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Lynn Stuart Parramore (advocate of socialist economist and alleged woman-puncher Thomas Piketty) argues that “economic injustice” is messing with marriage:

Women of greater and lesser means are getting pushed in different directions when it comes to getting hitched. Affluent women are finding a larger pool of potential mates, while women further down on the economic latter have fewer choices — and often they decide that it is not in their interest to marry at all.

Values — and romances — are shaped by economic circumstances. Until women can count on things like affordable education and childcare, along with decent, stable jobs and a strong social safety net, pragmatism will likely tell them whether, or if, marriage is worth it.

…If you’re a single woman looking for a desirable partner, the odds are in your favor if you happen to be in the top 5 percent of the income distribution. Men at the top are competing for you — and they know they need to commit. If you’re in the middle range, you have fewer good matches. If you’re at the bottom, well, good luck with that.

The decline in marriage is not the big statement against female “economic injustice” Parramore wishes it to be. According to recent Pew findings:

A host of complex factors – economic change, demographics, more women in the labor force and shifting attitudes about the value of marriage – have contributed to what Parker called a “mismatch in the marriage market” and made finding a partner and getting married more complicated. …ambivalence and disinclination to marry held true regardless of whether one had a college education – where marriage rates and marriage stability tend to be high – or a high school education, where marriage rates are lower and marriages more often end in divorce.

Parramore blows past the massive impact of contemporary feminism on attitudes towards marriage in her pursuit to justify increased economic socialization. According to the Pew stats, 78% of women stated that finding a partner with a “steady job” was the most important factor in finding a spouse. In other words, statistically speaking, “economic injustice” does have an impact on your chances of getting married if you’re a man. Factors like the equal pay myth and the socialized “safety net” that Parramore believes are so important don’t make their way into the conversation, most likely because they aren’t realistic ways of ensuring the creation and maintenance of new jobs, which is the key factor in boosting the marriage rate.

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GOP Eyes Overhaul of Congressional Budget Office

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

An idea whose time has come?

When Republicans take full control of Congress on Jan. 6, they will face decisions on major changes at the Congressional Budget Office, including possibly naming a new head and changing the rules used to assess the cost of legislation.

Conservative groups have been calling for the replacement of CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, who was appointed by Democrats in 2009 and whose term expires next month. They argue that a Republican-leaning economist would more readily adopt a cost analysis known as “dynamic scoring” that incorporates expectations of higher economic growth associated with legislation.

Analyses by the CBO, a non-partisan office, show how much a bill would increase or decrease the federal budget deficit over a 10-year period.

The budget math used under dynamic scoring has long been a goal for Republican lawmakers, including the incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Tom Price, and the current chairman, Paul Ryan, who next month will take over the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Under current congressional analysis rules, if a bill cuts tax rates, government revenues fall. Dynamic scoring assumes that lower tax rates would boost growth and income, helping to offset at least some of the lost revenues.

Higher tax rates are always onerous but lower ones can have very positive effects, so why not factor that potential in? Unless, of course, you’re on the side that now calls taxes “revenues” all the time in an attempt to dupe the American people into feeling better about having income confiscated from them. Or you’re deliberately trying to avoid a conversation about the economy-stimulating effects of less confiscatory behavior on the part of our, ahem, “representatives”.

So you can see why Democrats will probably be opposed to a change like this.

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What the Stats Really Say About Racially Motivated Cop Killings

Friday, December 19th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Larry Elder at Real Clear Politics breathes essential statistical insight into the ongoing fight over whether or not white cops have a predilection for shooting black men:

In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.

Police shootings, nationwide, are down dramatically from what they were 20 or 30 years ago. The CDC reported that in 1968, shootings by law enforcement — called “legal intervention” by the CDC — was the cause of death for 8.6 out of every million blacks. For whites the rate was was .9 deaths per million.

By 2011, law enforcement shootings caused 2.74 deaths for every million blacks, and 1.28 deaths for every million whites. While the death-by-cop rate for whites has held pretty steady over these last 45 years, hovering just above or below the one-in-a-million level, the rate for blacks has fallen. In 1981, black deaths by cop stood at four in a million, but since 2000 has remained just above or below two in a million.

So what’s driving this notion that there is now an “epidemic” of white cops shooting blacks when in the last several decades the numbers of blacks killed by cops are down nearly 75 percent?

As Elder points out, there was no mention of race or racial motivation in the cases of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, or Michael Brown. When questioned about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict, “several jurors later said that during jury deliberations ‘race never came up.’” Elder asserts

This white-cop-out-to-get-black-civilian narrative advances the interest of many. The media loves what Tom Wolfe called the “Great White Defendant” — a bad white guy everybody can agree to dislike. For the Democrats, it furthers their assertion that race remains a major problem in America, that Republicans/tea partiers/black conservatives are out to get them, and you must vote for us. For “activists” like the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and local wannabes, it gives them continued relevance.

In reality, the facts provide a startling lack of evidence in support of the theory of racial motivation. At the same time, they do provide solid evidence that both the media and so-called community activists like the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson need to promulgate the myth of ghetto culture in order to maintain power over an audience and presumed authority over an entire segment of the American population.

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Sessions Gives Up Challenge for Senate Budget Committee Gavel

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

In a Senate chairman race billed as Tea Party conservative vs. GOP establishment, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) backed out and will let Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) have the gavel.

Sessions has been ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee for four years, and wanted to challenge the senior Enzi for the chairmanship in the 114th Congress.

In a statement yesterday, Sessions said he and Enzi, who both came to the Senate 18 years ago, “will long remain good and close friends.”

“We have talked and I am deferring to his seniority so that he can lead the Budget Committee as its Chairman beginning in 2015. Mike graciously deferred to me two years ago after he timed out on HELP as Ranking Member, and it has been my enormous privilege to serve as the panel’s Ranking Member these last four years, as well as to serve as the Judiciary Ranking Member for the two years before that,” Sessions said.

He pitched Enzi as “an accountant and a small businessman who understands the need to balance budgets and tell the truth about the numbers.”

“He is a man of integrity and principle, respected by all of his Senate colleagues. I am eager to assist him next year, and I hope to tackle the important issue of welfare reform,” Sessions added.

The Alabama Republican will serve on four committees come January: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary.

“My roles in the Senate will give me the opportunity to focus on important issues such as defense, national security, federal debt, EPA reform, crime, and immigration,” Sessions added. “Overall, I remain deeply concerned about falling wages and the lack of good jobs for Americans. Too many of our citizens are either stuck in place or falling behind, and too often their needs are forgotten. Our new GOP Congress must put the needs of Americans first.”

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Sessions has been “a tireless advocate for fiscal responsibility and pro-growth policies” on the Senate Budget Committee.

“I wish to congratulate Senator Enzi on his upcoming chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee,” Price said. “It will be an honor to work together as we address the tremendous fiscal and economic challenges facing our nation in a way that can achieve real, positive results for the American people.”

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It’s Called Obama Privilege

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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In an interview with People magazine, Michelle Obama gets serious about “the impact of stereotypes” in the “wake” of the Brown and Garner incidents:

“Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE. 

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.” 

Word to the wise: The next time someone asks you to help them with an item on a shelf, they’re obviously racist. Michelle probably wanted to reply, “Can’t you see I’m the first lady?!” but instead checked her privilege. I’m sure she rewarded herself for that at Bergdorf’s later.

The president also chimed in:

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Progressive Caucus Member: Obama ‘in Danger of Really Doing Some Awful Things’

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

A Washington state Democrat warned that President Obama could do some “really awful things” next year with legislative naiveté and his small core of advisers.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Obama “made a mistake” by agreeing to sign the cromnibus without pressuring Republicans to take out Wall Street provisions objected to by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and others.

“He did not have to say he would support it. That he wanted us to pass it. We were in the midst of pulling it down in the Democratic caucus when the president suddenly jumped in and said, ‘Oh, well I want this.’ And I’m – what is very hard for me to understand is how he thinks that’s better for the American people,” McDermott said.

The congressman stressed that he “lived through the savings and loan crisis and then through the one that went on later.”

“And you got to say to yourself, when are you going to learn that people are greedy? And that government has to have regulations to control their greed. This is going to happen again as sure as I’m sitting here.”

McDermott said the country needs a president “who will act like Teddy Roosevelt did and break up the banks.”

“We cannot allow that much power to concentrate in so few hands. That’s what Teddy Roosevelt did as the trust buster. And what’s happened in this banking industry, the financial services industry, it’s got more and more powerful between, you know, Citizens United where they can pump all the money they want into the system to buy elections. And at the same time go out and play with the people’s money at the gambling table,” he continued.

“We have given them carte blanche to put us into something really horrendous. And I really think that as Elizabeth Warren suggested that bill should have broken up Citibank when it passed, the Dodd-Frank Bill. We didn’t do it. And we’re going to pay for it down the road.”

With Republicans in control of the House and Senate in the 114th Congress, McDermott stressed that Obama “is going to have to listen to some people other than the little group of people around him now.”

“He is all by himself. He doesn’t have the Senate to save him as they have in the last six years. And he is really in danger of really doing some awful things because he really doesn’t understand,” McDermott said.

“There is a story about Governor Ray of Iowa who was once asked about a bill and he said, ‘Listen, I vote last.’ And that’s what the president should have said when they asked him about this bill. I’m going to make my decision after I see what the House and Senate do. But he got into it way to early and put his cards on the table face up. You could see what he had.”

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How to Solve Poverty: Write a Check!

Monday, December 15th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

Who knew the “problem” of “income inequality” (to use a couple of current Marxist buzzwords) could be solved so easily? And here the answer was staring us in the face the whole time, at least according to Betsy Isaacson at what’s left of Newsweek, the near-dead magazine that once told us “We Are All Socialists Now“:

 In the United States—as in all of the world’s wealthier nations—ending poverty is not a matter of resources. Many economists, including Timothy Smeeding of the University of Wisconsin (and former director of the Institute for Research on Poverty) have argued that every developed nation has the financial wherewithal to eradicate poverty. In large part this is because post-industrial productivity has reached the point where to suggest a deficit in resources is laughably disingenuous. And despite the occasional political grandstanding against welfare, there is no policy, ideology or political party that is on the books as pro-starvation, pro-homelessness, pro-death or anti-dignity. Yet, poverty continues to exist…

But there may be a solution. Some might see it as radical, but advocates, both libertarian and liberal, are suggesting straight up cash: a guaranteed subsidy to everyone. “We’ve got to a technological level now where no one needs to work the traditional 40-hour week,” says Barbara Jacobson, chair of Unconditional Basic Income–Europe, an alliance of European citizens and organizations that advocate for such subsidies.

A simple cash subsidy—$15,000 per year (which is about what the average retiree gets annually from Social Security) for every household, say—would give the poor and middle class a financial floor on which they could live, take care of their loved ones and maybe, says Jacobson, “think about what really needs doing, what they would like to do, what they have trained to do, as opposed to simply what someone might hire them to do.”

The gist of the argument here is that we inefficiently spend just about as much money servicing the poor via existing programs, so why not just give them a check? This obscures the hidden argument beneath, which is about the meaning of work and the value of one’s labor in the marketplace. Because to Leftists, there ought not be a marketplace at all.

And here silly you thought this kind of thinking went out with the Soviet Union. Marxism is like a pestilence, a virus that refuses to die. What will it take to finally throttle it?

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Senate Passes Cromnibus as Just 22 GOPs Vote for Cruz’s Constitutional Point of Order

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Senate passed the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” appropriations bill late tonight, sending it to President Obama’s desk and averting a government shutdown.

The cromnibus squeaked past the House 219-206 on Thursday night. The vote tonight in the Senate was 56-40.

Between the cloture vote and the final cromnibus vote, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tried to shoot down the bill with a constitutional point of order related to the funding of Obama’s immigration orders. That was firmly rebuked on a 22-74 vote.

“The junior senator from Texas is wrong, wrong, wrong,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the floor.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) voted for the point of order. “Any attempt to circumvent Congress and grant amnesty to millions in this country illegally is unacceptable and unconstitutional,” Isakson said. “The president continues to circumvent Congress by executive action, and I am appalled that he is doing it once again with immigration.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who voted no, said the cromnibus “empowers the new Republican majority to fight the President’s unconstitutional immigration executive order head-on in January, when the era of unfettered, big-government liberalism from this White House comes to an end.”

“‎While the president’s executive actions on immigration are reprehensible and deserve a strong response, I value the oath I took to support and defend the Constitution too much to exploit it for political expediency,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said. “The Constitution gives Congress the power to fund the government so to assert that the House-passed spending bill is unconstitutional is not only inaccurate but irresponsible.”

The Senate voted for nearly 10 hours straight on Saturday beginning at noon, plowing through 28 votes.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sided with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in opposing the cromnibus from the left.

“Sadly, slipped into this measure at the last moment were massive special interest giveaways rolling back taxpayer protections against risky financial maneuvers by banks, reversing transportation safety rules, undercutting pension rights, and opening huge loopholes for billionaires to increase their influence on political campaigns and candidates. That is why I voted against this flawed measure – poisoned by special favors flagrantly contrary to the public interest,” Blumenthal said.

“Such provisions are unwise, unfair and unacceptable, snuck into the bill without debate or public scrutiny.”

Not voting over the weekend were Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.). Chambliss and Coburn are retiring.

Many GOP senators were irked at the strategy of Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to delay the cromnibus vote, as nominations pushed through in the weekend sessions included a key procedural vote on Obama’s controversial pick for surgeon general.

Vivek Murthy, a 37-year-old Harvard Medical School instructor who founded Doctors for Obama (which changed its name to Doctors for America) and who is lobbied against by the NRA as a gun-control activist, was nominated in November 2013. The final vote on his nomination could be as early as Monday.

 

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Bernie Sanders to Lead Dem Caucus on Incoming Budget Committee

Friday, December 12th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The Senate’s self-proclaimed socialist will be moving from his Veterans Affairs Committee chairmanship to the top Democratic spot on the powerful Senate Budget Committee in the 114th Congress.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has been flirting with a potential 2016 presidential run on a platform of economic fairness, announced today that he’ll be the ranking member on the panel, which is currently helmed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

“I want to thank Sen. Reid and the Democratic caucus for the opportunity to serve as the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee. At a time when the middle class is disappearing and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we need a budget which reflects the needs of working families and not Wall Street and the top 1 percent,” Sanders said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans on the committee to craft a budget that is fair to all Americans, not just the powerful special interests.”

Sanders was one of 14 votes Thursday against advancing a defense spending bill and planned to vote “no” on the “cromnibus” spending bill.

“Instead of cutting back on the ability of billionaires to buy elections, this bill outrageously gives the wealthy even more power over the political process,” Sanders said. “Instead of giving the Environmental Protection Agency the tools it needs to begin dealing with the planetary crisis of global warming, this bill would cut spending by the EPA.”

The current ranking member on the Budget Committee is conservative Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is battling for the chairmanship versus Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). The committee’s Republicans will pick the chairman by secret ballot after new members are seated next month.

Murray will become ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where current ranking member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) doesn’t face opposition for the chairmanship.

The HELP Committee’s current chairman is retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

“I look forward to continuing my work on a Committee that does so much to impact policies that define who we are as a nation, what we value, and what we are doing to help all workers, families, and children succeed,” Murray said today. “Making progress on these priorities will take continued bipartisanship, but I believe the work we did to pass a bipartisan budget deal last year showed that Democrats and Republicans can come together on challenging issues and deliver results.”

“Our budget deal moved our country away from years of manufactured crises and helped to restore critical investments in education, research, infrastructure, and jobs,” she added in reference to the deal forged with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). That committee will be led by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) in the next Congress.

Another liberal senator will take the top Democratic spot on an economic committee. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced today he’ll be the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee.

“This committee is about ensuring a fair set of rules for all financial institutions while protecting taxpayers and consumers,” Brown said. “…We must ensure transparency and accountability for Wall Street and access to credit on fair terms for Main Street.”

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With Cracks in Both Caucuses, $1.1 Trillion Cromnibus Passes House

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Congress likes to keep its holiday traditions, such as averting a shutdown mere moments before the deadline.

With even Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledging the “cromnibus” nickname for the continuing resolution and omnibus hybrid, the $1.1 trillion spending bill squeaked by on a 219-206 vote.

It wasn’t just the Republicans who were falling away, but the Democrats were splintered — so much so that President Obama and Vice President Biden were ringing up Dems during the day and urging “yes” votes.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted the deal that funds most of the government through Sept. 30 but the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 27. Hoyer, meanwhile, rallied Dems to pass it. Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) sided with Hoyer.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued that this was the best way to tackle Obama’s immigration actions in the new year with a GOP majority Senate and House.

“Over the 10-year window, we’re on-track to save taxpayers nearly $2.1 trillion. This bill also supports our national defense, particularly our efforts to defeat and destroy ISIL,” Boehner told reporters today. “It prevents a taxpayer bailout of Obamacare’s ‘risk corridor’ program while cutting funding for the IRS and the EPA.”

Some Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), were upset over alterations to the Wall Street reform bill included in the CR.

“While some members may have an objection to this issue or that issue, nobody did this unilaterally,” Boehner said. “We’ve done this in a bipartisan fashion and, frankly, it’s a good bill.”

In the end, 67 Republicans voted against the cromnibus. Fifty-seven Democrats voted for it.

“This bill funds the Department of Homeland Security, which would provide for much of the President’s immigration plan, at existing levels only into the beginning of next year. Then, Republicans will control both the House and the Senate next Congress and will be in a much stronger position to fight the President’s executive overreach on immigration,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who blocked amendments in committee last night to defund Obama’s immigration orders. “That is why I fought to ensure that the House Rules Committee will allow for a vote on the House floor in January on a measure to block the President’s executive amnesty plan.”

“I remain strongly opposed to the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty and I look forward to strategically fighting against his amnesty plan early next month in the beginning of the new Congress,” Sessions added.

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) voted against the bill, saying he was disappointed that it provided funds for Obama’s “illegal and unconstitutional executive actions.”

“The president’s executive action on immigration is unconstitutional,” agreed Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). “I can’t in good conscience support something that goes against the Constitution – not for 3 months, a week or even a day.”

The spending bill gets kicked back to the Senate on Friday. The upper chamber was expected to pass a 2-day spending bill tonight to allow time for debate.

The House gave a hearty standing ovation to Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), casting his last vote as the longest serving member of Congress in history. The departure of Dingell and Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas) means there are no more World War II veterans in Congress.

Dingell, 88, and Hall, 91, served a combined 46 terms, or 92 years, in the House.

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Noam Chomsky Gets ‘Invisible Hand’ Concept Completely Backwards

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 - by Kathy Shaidle

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One of the running gags in Canadian playwright Jason Sherman’s controversial 1995 work Reading Hebron sees its overwhelmingly liberal Jewish characters regularly sighing, “Ah… Chomsky…” with the kind of ecstatic reverence you’d expect from Catholic saints in the midst of a mystical trance.

The play is still semi-regularly revived, and I doubt any dramaturge has felt it necessary to single out that line as anachronistic.

“Progressive” Jews (and gentiles, and atheists) still think o Noam Chomsky as a secular prophet, despite (or because of) the Right’s thorough debunking of many of his predictions and prescriptions.

Unpopular opinion alert: Chomsky’s not all bad.

He was on the right side of the Great Canadian Hate Speech Wars.

And asking why it takes 90 minutes longer to get from Boston to New York than it did in 1970 is more than reasonable.

(Although I suspect his solution might not be…)

However, one of Chomsky’s recent speeches has just been uploaded to YouTube, and one of my fellow Canadian bloggers, Richard Klagsbrun, is tearing into it with relish, as you’ll see on the next page. (Language warning.)

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Yale Study Concludes Babies are Natural Born Socialists

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Reporting on the most idiotic study involving babies to date, Mother Jones covers a Yale (that’s right, the Ivy League university) study performed by cognitive scientist Paul Bloom that is focused on answering the question: “ Can the youngest of our species distinguish good from evil practically from birth—or does morality need to be taught?”

Bloom’s thesis, in all its eugenic creepiness:

“I think all babies are created equal in that all normal babies—all babies without brain damage—possess some basic foundational understanding of morality and some foundational moral impulses,” says Bloom on the Inquiring Minds podcast. “They’re equal in the same way that all babies come with a visual system, and the ability to move around, and a propensity to learn language.”

To this end, Bloom showed babies a series of morality puppet plays, one-act jobs where cats either steal or return balls to dogs and babies choose which kitty they like better. They invariably choose the nice kitty. No comment on whether or not these babies prefer the color grey (the evil cat is orange) or the actor handling the grey kitty puppet for any particular reason — because those variables don’t matter in science. Even more stupefying to the scientists, “babies show a preference for characters who reward good and punish evil.” Isn’t it amazing that babies would respond well to rewards? I bet no parent alive ever guessed that one!

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Exclusive: New, Legally Binding Treaty Emerges on First Day of UN’s Lima Climate Conference

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Cathie Adams

At a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Lima, Peru, delegates from 196 parties are drafting a new legally binding treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that is to be completed next year in Paris, France. At the outset of negotiations, environmentalists are calling for the new treaty to mandate a cap and tax on greenhouse gas emissions to go into effect by 2020. And to eliminate the use of fossil fuels altogether by 2050.

President Obama’s recent climate announcement with China, that the U.S. would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, is a boost to environmentalists at the Peru meeting that extends from December 1-12.

Stated by Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace, “In Lima, the countries must agree on the long-term goal of phasing out fossil fuel emissions to zero by mid-century while moving towards 100% renewable energy for all in a fair transition period. Subsidies for fossil fuel industries must be shifted towards renewable energy deployment and climate adaptation for vulnerable countries. In countries like the US, China, and the EU, the phase-out of coal must be accelerated.”

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, international policy adviser for Climate Action Network Latin America, added, “We must leave fossil fuels in the ground and not repeat the steps of the developed countries that brought us to this point.”

The UNFCCC thesis is that rich nations are responsible for climate change because they burn fossil fuels to produce energy, even though there is no conclusive science to substantiate the claims. Furthermore, the poor nations want the rich nations to fork over a minimum of $100 million annually for the UN’s Green Climate Fund that is to afford renewable energy for the poor.

On the first day of the conference, Climate Action Network, a conglomerate of 900 radical green groups from about 100 nations, mocked Australia, Belgium, Ireland and Austria because they have yet to donate to a new Green Climate Fund. With a new legally binding treaty, they hope to make nations pay penalties for using fossil fuels. The climate will continue to change, even if nations are energy poor.

Remember it was President Bill Clinton’s VP Al Gore who flew to Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 to revive talks for the same scheme to cap and tax greenhouse gas emissions. That treaty was never ratified by the U.S. Senate because it would have killed American jobs and devastated our economy. Even so, Americans should expect Obama to sign the new legally binding treaty before he leaves office, which should make American voters cautious about electing another President Clinton in 2016.

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Happy Holidays: Consumer Confidence Drops in November

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Wait for it…(emphasis mine)

One month after hitting its highest level in seven years, consumer confidence unexpectedly retreated in November, a sign that consumers are less optimistic about the U.S. economy as the holiday shopping season begins, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.

An overall gauge of consumer confidence fell to 88.7 in November from 94.1 in October, the New York-based research group said.

The drop erased all of October’s gain and left the index at its lowest level since June.

Do the members of the media, especially financial reporters, not realize how pathetic they appear now when using the words “unexpected” or “unexpectedly” in their knee-jerk covering for the president? Leftists can growl all they want about the wonders Obama has done for the economy but, other than the stock market, it’s been a “two steps forward, one and a half back” affair for the last six years. It’s just sad to see them pretending otherwise.

Quick aside: if a lib gets in your face about how awesome “Obama’s stock market” is just ask them if this means they’re on board with allowing citizens to make private Social Security investments in it.

Shuts ‘em up every time.

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SNL Snubs Obama, Mocks Executive Order

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

IJReview picked up on one of the funniest SNL sketches in recent (a.k.a. post-original cast) history. It was a Schoolhouse Rock! parody that aired last night, mocking Obama’s latest immigration-related executive order and complete disregard for the constitutional process:

It starts out with the familiar boy climbing the steps of Capitol Hill and asking what kind of bill is on the Hill with him. The bill responds with a jingle that he is an “immigration bill” and that he hopes he can be passed into law someday.

Cue the President shoving the bill down the stairs before inviting his buddy, the cigarette smoking “executive order,” into the picture.

The boy exclaims in bewilderment that what the President is doing is unconstitutional, but the executive order just laughs at the boy’s belief that he still thinks that is how government works.

The sketch may be tongue-in-cheek payback on the part of NBC after being snubbed by the president, whose administration just so happened not to request air time from the Big 4 to announce his executive order plans in prime time. Dubbed “The Commander-in-Chief of MSNBC,” Obama has employed his “heckler’s veto” multiple times in the past, and Saturday Night Live sketches were far from immune. Last night’s humor is obviously a sampling of what can happen when Tina Fey no longer manages the Obama campaign from its 30 Rock location.

Despite the president’s latest appearance on Univision and Telemundo, the majority of Latino voters disagree with his executive order and rate amnesty low on their list of priorities:

By a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, Hispanic voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to obtain federal benefits, including Obamacare benefits, “while they are going through the legalization process and before the 90% goal is reached.”

When asked to choose which of four issues — the economy, immigration reform, education, or health care — is most important to them, registered Hispanic voters said immigration reform was their lowest priority. Just 31 percent ranked the issue first or second, compared with 62 percent for the economy, 57 percent for health care, and 45 percent for education. Non-registered voters, on the other hand, ranked immigration reform as their highest priority.

Apparently SNL did a better job of marketing to a new target demographic than the Big-O.

Watch the video on the next page.

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Elizabeth Warren Polishes Her Class Warfare Rhetoric

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Okayyyyyyy

Elizabeth Warren, in her first major public speech since being elevated to the Democratic leadership in the Senate, slammed Republicans on education, job creation and other economic policies, warning Wednesday that “the American Dream is slipping out of reach.”

“We must fight back with everything we have,” Warren told a gathering hosted by the Center for American Progress in Washington. “The game is rigged but we know how to fix it. We know what to do. We tested the Republican ideas and they failed. They failed spectacularly there’s no denying that fact.”

As a science fiction fan, I have always hoped that evidence of parallel dimensions would show up during my lifetime and it would appear that the Democrats have been giving it to me for the last couple of weeks. They don’t seem to understand just how overwhelming their defeat was in this last election and that it was a rejection of their ideas, which are the ones that have been tested in this universe.

Warren even managed to tie taxpayer spending on high speed rail to the American Dream, which couldn’t possibly have involved any sort of thought process.

There isn’t an American alive who wakes up hoping for a better life through direct or indirect taxation, that’s the “Progressive Dream” and only the fevered fringes of American politics are having it.

For those who think she isn’t running for 2016, this is pretty much boilerplate Democrat presidential rhetoric. There’s always a lot of “fight” and “dream” talk, as well as scary stories about what the Republicans are doing to the middle class. In the politically diseased minds of progressives, the middle class will get better if it spends a lot more on health care premiums and pays for high speed rail to get to the poor house.

Scratch the parallel dimension idea, maybe they’re merely concussed.

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HuffPo Already Hyperventilating About Post-Election Shift In Energy Policy

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

“ZOMG-IT’S PETROLEUMMMMMM!”

There is enough hot air in this post to finally almost make humans the cause of climate change. Most of it could serve as fodder for some psychology grad work on “projection”. Let’s just grab a couple nuggets to pick apart.

Pop the Champagne corks in Washington! It’s party time for Big Energy.

Hey-it only took two sentences to find something ridiculous! “Big Oil” is now “Big Energy” and the seemingly minor change is notable. A central component to the push for federal subsidization of alternative energy sources is the notion that it’s the result of the imminent danger of polar bears floating through Manhattan and not influence peddling by lobbyists. It’s all part of the Democrat fairy tale that all of the money ever spent in politics comes from the checkbooks of Charles and David Koch. There is plenty of money in being a shill for Big Green (see: Al Gore’s bank account). The Dem narrative is reinforced by pretending that all energy lobby money is oil money.

None of their initiatives, however, will have as catastrophic an impact as their coming drive to ensure that fossil fuels will dominate the nation’s energy landscape into the distant future, long after climate change has wrecked the planet and ruined the lives of millions of Americans.

Get this poor man a tissue and some smelling salts. It’s as if he’s trying to turn hyperbole into an alternative energy source. Ratchet up the fear-mongering and hope no one notices that the computer models aren’t really looking that solid and the United States is now becoming energy independent (an idea all Democrats paid lip service to when they thought it only meant alternative fuels would make it happen).

Most amusing in this meltdown is the assertion that non-AGW hysterics have a “messianic belief” in the benefits of fossil fuels. The fastest growing religion on the planet is the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming, which has resurrected the selling of indulgences from Middle Ages Catholicism and repacked it as carbon offsets. It even has its own elaborate climate-themed eschatology (WRECKED PLANET!).

All of this caterwauling has almost nothing to do with a genuine fear of the demise of the planet. It’s designed merely to obfuscate the almost purely political agenda of the Big Green movement. The panic needs to be at a fever pitch to keep the EPA running amok and taxpayer dollars flowing to fund technologies that can’t survive market testing at the moment, or maybe ever.

There are a lot of American cities buried in snow today. They’re looking for petroleum based heating solutions, not solar or wind. That petroleum is the better present day option isn’t a “messianic belief,” it’s reality.

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Barack Obama Remains One Of Only About Fourteen Americans Still Opposed To The Keystone Pipeline

Monday, November 17th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Remember, he’s a “pragmatic centrist” to the remaining hangers-on.

Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. Senate scrambled on Monday to gather one last vote to pass a bill that authorizes the project that would help send Canadian oil to the U.S. Gulf, a task made harder after President Barack Obama made his toughest comments yet on the topic.

All eyes were on Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat who is retiring. He had originally told backers he would vote “no.” But unions and the oil industry were pressuring him, an aide to a top Republican backer of the pipeline said. Rockefeller’s office did not immediately answer questions about his stance.

Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat who is co-sponsoring the bill and faces a runoff for another six-year term next month, worked hard to gather the 60th vote needed to pass a bill that the House of Representatives approved on Friday.

An incumbent Senator desperate to win a runoff election sees the passage of this bill as her 11th hour savior. One would think that would send a message to the president about yielding on this issue.

We are not, however, going to be seeing any Clinton-esque triangulation from The Lightbringer. He remains blissfully unaware that his course for America was rejected with a resounding, “Oh HELL no!” at the beginning of the month and has no plans to stop being an irrational ideologue. Keystone XL runs counter to the interests of his big money green supporters, therefore he will do everything he can to block it.

So for those of you who thought he might back off on immigration…

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In 22 Words: Obama’s Landmark Historic Climate-Change Deal with Chinese President Xi

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

What’s the deal with the climate-change deal Obama made with Chinese President Xi Jinping?

The leaders of the world’s two most powerful nations dress up in silk teddies to do this (in 22 words):

One leader “pledges” to do what he said he’d do five years ago.
The other “pledges” to do nothing for 15 years.

Obama committed the U.S. to concrete, measurable goals — 26-28% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, from the 2005 baseline, by 2025. But Obama had already committed to similar goals back in 2009 at the United Nations. For his part, Xi “pledged” that China would “plan” to have her CO2 emissions peak by the year 2030.

On the bright side, while Chinese carbon emissions skyrocket as a result of its rapid emergence from the stone age, along with heavy reliance on coal, U.S. emissions are already in steady decline, thanks to the moribund Obama economy, and the fact that those nice Chinese folks burn the coal to make the stuff that we use, so we don’t have to soil our hands with manufacturing…or coal. So, Obama’s climate change pledge is do-able, as long as Democrats keep their boot on the throat of the U.S. economy through taxation, regulation and profligate entitlement spending.

One can’t help but hope that the New York Times is right that Democrats will make climate change the centerpiece of their 2016 president campaign.

Obama-Xi_ClimateDeal

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Obama’s Net Neutrality Vid Causes Cable Shares to Tank

Monday, November 10th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Dumb and dumber.

Under the assumption that the sort of regulations Obama vaguely proposed Monday would hurt profitability at ISPs, shares of Charter Communications dropped 6 percent, while Time Warner Cable was off 5 percent, Cablevision Systems was down 2 percent and Comcast, which is trying to purchase TWC, was off 4 percent.

Obama is now shifting into post-election tantrum mode and will probably be acting out a lot in the coming months when it comes to economic and personal freedoms, both of which he opposes. If you think you are paying too much for broadband right now just wait until the government starts helping to make things “fair.”

It’s probably not a stretch to think that this administration pays little regard to which industries its policies (or musings on policy) affect, as it has no respect whatsoever for the private sector.

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“By Far the Most Egregious” Violator: Holder & EPA Ding Carmaker $350 Million for Climate Change

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Scott Ott
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Attorney General Eric Holder and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the biggest climate change enforcement action to date against Hyundai Group for overstating their fleet-wide fuel efficiency by an average of one mile per gallon.


In sensational language, Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the biggest enforcement action ever against a greenhouse gas violator, as the federal government penalized automaker Hyundai Group up to $350 million.

“This will send a strong message that cheating is not profitable and any company that violates the law will be held to account,” Holder said. “This announcement illustrates that this type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated.”

What did they do to deserve the biggest spanking since the Supreme Court, in 2007, gave the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases?

Hyundai Group overestimated the miles-per-gallon rating in about a quarter of their Kia and Hyundai models.

That means they’ve had to downgrade their fleet-wide 2012 fuel efficiency average from 27 all the way down to 26 MPG.

That 1 MPG variance apparently constitutes a high crime.

According to the EPA, the fine is the largest in Clean Air Act history, which the automakers violated when they sold close to 1.2 million vehicles that will emit approximately 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in excess of what the automakers certified to EPA.

The biggest part of the penalty comes in the form of lost carbon credits. Hyundai already compensated some 900,000 customers for the MPG misstatement, and characterizes the settlement as a welcome end to a two-year government inquisition.

“We’re going to be working with the EPA to make sure that the guidelines are easy to follow. … So we’re getting slapped on the wrist here [but] we did have an error, and we fixed this. It’s not going to happen again. We’re paying a penalty and it’s time to move on,” [Hyundai spokesman Jim] Trainor said.

While the issue may be behind Hyundai, the rest of the industry can’t breathe easy yet.

[EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy] said Hyundai’s conduct was the most “egregious” and “systemic,” but didn’t close the door on possible investigations against Ford Motor Co. or other automakers who have overstated mpg. Ford, BMW AG and Daimler AG have restated mileage ratings on vehicles over the last year.

Of course, corporations don’t pay fines any more than they pay taxes. You and I pay for all of it. So, now that you’ve been chastised, I hope we won’t have to have this conversation again.

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When it Comes to Obama, Inc., Nobody Likes Babies

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

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Much like the First Lady on Scandal, Obama, Inc. has no problem using babies for political gain. While campaigning in Rhode Island for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo last Friday, Barack Obama declared:

“Sometimes, someone, usually Mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

Tying motherhood to the workplace proved to be a well-timed twist on the tired old War on Women routine. That same evening, Drudge picked up on a New York Times page one headline that read

Dems second-guessing strategy of focusing on women’s issues over economy

before it was quickly softened to

Democrats Count on Edge With Women to Limit Losses.

The article revealed that Dems are

…second-guessing the party’s strategy of focusing more on issues like abortion and birth control than on jobs and the economy.

The danger for Democratic candidates is that their advantage among women could be so reduced by dissatisfaction with President Obama and the country’s course that it is not enough to offset Republicans’ usual edge among the smaller population of male voters. Should that happen, a party pollster, Geoff Garin, acknowledged, “They’ll lose.”

Conservatives should not fail to recognize Obama’s Rhode Island line as an acknowledgement of his and his party’s political failures. Yet, tied to the War on Women’s dead weight, they can’t free themselves from their own rhetoric even when attempting to bring the economy into the discussion at the 11th hour. And while some working dads may appreciate the idea of increasing government programs so mom can get back to earning a paycheck, the pay gap myth remains lost on male voters seeking real solutions to the economic problems they’re facing.

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