Saturday, May 3, 2014

op ed review 5/4

The U.S. economy grew at a tepid 0.1% annual rate in the first quarter, the weakest growth since Q4 2012. But health care spending shot up by the most in at least 15 years thanks to ObamaCare costs
“More Than 92 Million Americans Remain Out Of Labor Force”, a new record.
In 20% of American Families, No One Works
“Nearly Half of New Yorkers Are Struggling to Get By, Study Finds”

The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated.

“With multiple crises spiraling out of control around the world, stories about the Obama presidency are taking on the air of postmortems. What went wrong, who’s to blame, what next — even The New York Times is starting to recognize that Dear Leader is a global flop.”

Newly released emails on the Benghazi terror attack suggest a senior White House aide played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her controversial Sunday show appearances -- where she wrongly blamed protests over an Internet video.
“This is how the Obama administration saw Benghazi: The overriding imperative was to deflect attention from the “broader failure of policy” that led to the disaster.”
Krauthammer’s Take: “New Benghazi E-mail Akin to Discovery of Nixon Tapes”

During the Congressional Black Caucus’ special order hour on the House floor Monday night, Rep. Charles B. Rangel hammered the tea party not only for embracing the Confederate flag, but also for hating President Barack Obama “as much as their [Dixiecrat] predecessors probably hated Abe Lincoln.”
Guess which party?  A candidate for Mayor of a small New Jersey town was caught on tape allegedly spewing a racist rant in which she said she didn’t want her village to become a “****** ****** town.”

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation from Democrats that would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

A High School principal in Fort Collins, Colorado, is facing a hailstorm of criticism from angry parents and residents for allowing the “Cultural Arms Club” to lead the student body in an Arabic version of the pledge of allegiance, replacing the words “under God” with “under Allah.”

Secretary of State John Kerry has stepped in it again — with a gaffe that this time not only makes him look foolish but makes a mess of U.S. foreign policy and destroys any chance he had of realizing his legacy pipe dream of brokering Middle East peace.  “Kerry’s Israeli gaffe a diplomatic nightmare”

Who cares, it’s only taxpayer money.   “The travel costs for vacations taken by the first family and the Bidens have reached over $40 million with the Air Force´s revelation that two golf outings by President Obama this year cost $2.9 million, according to the taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch.”
Queen Michelle Obama’s 2-Day Hotel Stay in China Costs $222K…..First lady's group used 144 rooms at Shangri-La Hotel.

“Harvard Poll Shows Millennials Have ‘Historically Low’ Levels Of Trust In Government”

A federal judge (Clinton appointee) in Milwaukee struck down Wisconsin’s voter identification law, saying a requirement that voters show a state-issued photo ID at the polls “imposes an unfair burden on poor and minority voters.”

The U.S. Border Patrol is going to put rescue beacons in the desert that allow illegal immigrants to call for help at the push of a red button.

With the news this week that more than 600,000 Washington residents have acquired new health care plans through the state exchange, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said it’s unlikely the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. McMorris Rodgers has been part of the Republican leadership in the House that has voted multiple times to repeal parts or all of Obamacare. (Editor’s note:  Rep McMorris Rodgers was once a subscriber to this newsletter……she should resubscribe…)
“Karl Rove not happy with Obamacare white flag…..Statement by House leader ‘absolutely doesn’t’ help GOP cause”
Then some backpedaling:  “Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is disputing a story in her local newspaper that characterized her view on Obamacare as "here to stay" and "unlikely to be repealed."

“On Keystone Pipeline, Democratic stalwart Laborers Union finds itself outbid by one enviro-billionaire”

A federal judge in Denver granted an injunction Thursday to a ministry founded by longtime Christian author and broadcaster James Dobson, Family Talk radio, preventing the enforcement of Obamacare’s abortifacient mandate.

Toyota is relocating its sales headquarters from California to Texas “Gov. Rick Perry reportedly courted Toyota by promising lower taxes and easier regulations.”

Thomas Sowell 4/15

The "war on women" political slogan is in fact a war against common sense.  It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn -- and that this is because of discrimination.

It would certainly be discrimination if women were doing the same work as men, for the same number of hours, with the same amount of training and experience, as well as other things being the same. But study after study, over the past several decades, has shown repeatedly that those things are not the same.

Constantly repeating the "77 percent" statistic does not make them the same. It simply takes advantage of many people's ignorance -- something that Barack Obama has been very good at doing on many other issues.  

What if you compare women and men who are the same on all the relevant characteristics?  First of all, you can seldom do that, because the statistics you would need are not always available for the whole range of occupations and the whole range of differences between women's patterns and men's patterns in the labor market.  Even where relevant statistics are available, careful judgment is required to pick samples of women and men who are truly comparable.  For example, some women are mothers and some men are fathers. But does the fact that they are both parents make them comparable in the labor market? Actually the biggest disparity in incomes is between fathers and mothers. Nor is there anything mysterious about this, when you stop and think about it.

How surprising is it that women with children do not earn as much as women who do not have children? If you don't think children take up a mother's time, you just haven't raised any children.  How surprising is it that men with children earn more than men without children, just the opposite of the situation with women? Is it surprising that a man who has more mouths to feed is more likely to work longer hours? Or take on harder or more dangerous jobs, in order to earn more money?  More than 90 percent of the people who are killed on the job are men. There is no point pretending that there are no differences between what women do and what men do in the workplace, or that these differences don't affect income.

During my research on male-female differences for my book "Economic Facts and Fallacies," I was amazed to learn that young male doctors earned much higher incomes than young female doctors. But it wasn't so amazing after I discovered that young male doctors worked over 500 hours more per year than young female doctors.

Even when women and men work at jobs that have the same title -- whether doctors, lawyers, economists or whatever -- people do not get paid for what their job title is, but for what they actually do.  Women lawyers who are pregnant, or who have young children, may have good reasons to prefer a 9 to 5 job in a government agency to working 60 hours a week in a high-powered law firm. But there is no point comparing male lawyers as a group with female lawyers as a group, if you don't look any deeper than job titles.

Unless, of course, you are not looking for the truth, but for political talking points to excite the gullible.  Even when you compare women and men with the "same" education, as measured by college or university degrees, the women usually specialize in a very different mix of subjects, with very different income-earning potential.

Although comparing women and men who are in fact comparable is not easy to do, when you look at women and men who are similar on multiple factors, the sex differential in pay shrinks drastically and gets close to the vanishing point. In some categories, women earn more than men with the same range of characteristics.

If the 77 percent statistic was for real, employers would be paying 30 percent more than they had to, every time they hired a man to do a job that a woman could do just as well. Would employers be such fools with their own money? If you think employers don't care about paying 30 percent more than they have to, just go ask your boss for a 30 percent raise!


“Wednesday, [Joe Biden] hinted at another executive order to accomplish what liberals in Congress couldn’t: special homosexual workplace protections. … Under the measure … ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ … would be the most important factor in any hiring, firing, or promotion decision. What people do in the bedroom would suddenly translate to the board room, as executives would be forced to give homosexuals and transgenders a professional edge over their coworkers. The vast majority of employers wouldn’t consider an employee’s sexual orientation relevant – or even want to know. But in ENDA’s case, those same businesses could be hit by costly lawsuits from disgruntled workers suing for ‘discrimination’ over a characteristic which isn’t visible. If liberals are serious about ENDA, they should call it what it is: a club to beat small business and Christian employers into submission on homosexuality.”
               -Tony Perkins

“I believe in the rule of law,” he said, but “I will not pay the surcharge for abortion services. … To pay one cent for the killing of babies is egregious to me, and I will do all I can to correct a government that lies to me about its intentions and then tries to coerce my acquiescence with extortion.” So, he concluded, “come and get me if you must, Mr. President. I will not bow before your wicked regulation.” We’d call that throwing down the gauntlet.
               -James Dobson, Focus on the Family

Having made the second-highest-grossing political documentary of all time, the team behind “2016: Obama’s America” is now, as promised, following up with “America” Sending up some fireworks of his own to rival the ones 2016 generated, producer-writer and kind-of host Dinesh D’Souza  says of his new documentary, “We answer the central moral challenge of America’s critics, which is that America’s greatness is based on theft, plunder and oppression.” Listen for other red-button phrases from interviewees describing the USA as “the new evil empire” and a “predatory colonial power” as well as referring to Mount Rushmore as “a symbol of oppression and genocide to our people.” Director John Sullivan’s film comes out two years after its predecessors — hitting theaters on the Fourth of July. Here’s the new trailer. which was first unveiled tonight on Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File.

A former NASA scientist has described global warming as "nonsense", dismissing the theory of man-made climate change as "an unsubstantiated hypothesis" and saying that it is "absolutely stupid" to blame the recent UK floods on human activity. Professor Les Woodcock, who has had a long and distinguished academic career, also said there is "no reproducible evidence" that carbon dioxide levels have increased over the past century, and blamed the green movement for inflicting economic damage on ordinary people.

Ethanol is losing political steam on the left and right, but the fuel retains a powerful patron in the Environmental Protection Agency. On Wednesday the EPA retroactively reduced the 2013 gasoline-blending mandate for cellulosic ethanol to 810,185 gallons from six million. If that sounds like a big cut, 810,185 gallons is precisely every last drop the industry managed to produce. The 2014 mandate is nonetheless pegged at a preposterous 17 million gallons.

David Horowitz:  “I have just published the second in a projected ten-volume series of my collected writings called “The Black Book of the American Left”. Five years into the Obama administration, most conservatives have little idea of the depth of its malignancy, or the fact that it is the product of decades of development that has transformed the Democratic party and created, as is rapidly becoming apparent, not only America’s nightmare but the World’s as well.”

Cultural suicide?  Paul Weston, co-founder and leader of the British  Liberty party and a candidate for Member of the European Parliament, was arrested Saturday, hauled off in a police van, and could face two years in prison. All for reading a passage from Winston Churchill’s book, The River War, regarding Islam.

Joe Biden blames the disparity between chief executive officer pay and average worker pay on Republicans.  Here’s proof that the big jump to where we are today actually happened during the Clinton administration.

Comedian Rob Schneider on the struggle comedians face in today’s current political environment. “We are sliding very fast towards fascism. It’s an ugly kind of thing. There’s this kind of mob mentality that we have to be careful of…..if you do criticize or tend to be not directly along a liberal stand, you can get murdered…..There’s not one segment of business under the Obama administration that hasn’t been hurt…the attacks on for-profit schools, which is totally an elitist thing from a guy that went to Harvard. I think for free, by the way.”

A Doctor's Declaration of Independence:  “It's time to defy health-care mandates issued by bureaucrats not in the healing profession. In my 23 years as a practicing physician, I've learned that the only thing that matters is the doctor-patient relationship. How we interact and treat our patients is the practice of medicine. I acknowledge that there is a problem with the rising cost of health care, but there is also a problem when the individual physician in the trenches does not have a voice in the debate and is being told what to do and how to do it.”

Why immigration reform isn’t the answer to Republicans’ demographic woes

Rand Paul spoke at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics Friday, and he talked about his libertarian tendencies as well as his desire to broaden the GOP to welcome more people in. He described himself as “libertarian-ish,” in that despite his very clear libertarian political leanings, he’s generally supported fellow Republicans and hasn’t really backed Libertarian party candidates (save for his father during his 1988 presidential run). Paul, according to CNN, also talked about making the Republican party “bigger” and much more inclusive, saying that unless Republicans “broaden their message” to reach more people, winning future elections is going to be a bit of a problem.

"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition."
                        -Thomas Jefferson (1785)

"The rights of neutrality will only be respected when they are defended by an adequate power. A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral."
                      -Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 11

Fallon:    Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's wife, Rochelle, is being accused of making racist remarks during an incident back in 2009. Sterling should break up with his girlfriend and go out with his wife. They're perfect for each other……Donald Sterling's girlfriend said she's “going to be president of the United States” one day. Yeah, like we’re going to elect someone who secretly records people’s private phone calls and conversations. 

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