Sunday, February 15, 2015

op ed review 2/15



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Illegal immigrants are eligible for tax refunds — even if they haven’t paid taxes. …“if you get a Social Security number and you work, you’ll be eligible to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit.” …..according to the IRS’ own website, a filer can receive a check up to $6,143 when they have “three or more qualifying children.”

“Obama claims 1 in 5 women in America have experienced rape or attempted rape.  Wow, just wow. Gone are the days that the president makes false claims that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted while in college. Now 20 percent of all women in America have been raped or nearly raped. And 25 percent of American women — not just college women — have experienced domestic violence.”
Obama claims climate change directly impacts more Americans than terrorism
Obama amnesty creates loophole for illegal immigrants to vote in elections

FCC commissioner said President Obama is about to succeed in his attempt to take “alarmingly unprecedented direct involvement” into the FCC’s plan to regulate the internet, which he explained will mean “billions of dollars in new taxes,” slower broadband speeds and “less competition.”

Obama hints that he will kill conservatism with immigration.

Obama warns companies not to complain about ObamaCare.

While Obama Plays with Selfie Stick for BuzzFeed, ISIS Closes In on U.S. Marines in Iraq
“The full-moon extent of the Obama world view still survives in his second National Security Strategy which lists among its national security priorities the need to “be a champion for … people with disabilities; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals; displaced persons; and migrant workers.”

I don’t remember this level of scrutiny into Obama’s past:   “Washington Post investigates Scott Walker college years”
“Why they fear Scott Walker”

In a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas excoriated his fellow justices for refusing to temporarily stop enforcement of a federal district judge´s ruling that overturned the marriage laws of the state of Alabama and ordered Alabama to recognize as legal "marriages" unions between two people of the same sex.

Everyone in Colorado from Republicans to marijuana moguls wants to stop welfare cash from being used to buy recreational pot, but standing in their way are the state’s formidable legislative Democrats.
Republican FCC Commissioner Slams ‘Obama’s 332-Page Plan To Regulate The Internet’

What could go wrong?  The Obama administration is going to offer the Iranian regime technical aid for its nuclear program in exchange for “less jihad” in the region.

Rep. Mia Love Decries New ‘Slavery’ Of ‘Being Dependent On People In Power’ At RNC Black Outreach Event

Second Amendment advocates landed a major victory on Wednesday after a federal judge declared the longstanding federal interstate handgun transfer ban to be unconstitutional.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
George Will  1/21
America’s national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:   America’s welfare state transfers more than 14 percent of gross domestic product to recipients, with more than a third of Americans taking “need-based” payments. In our wealthy society, the government officially treats an unprecedented portion of the population as “needy.”

Transfers of benefits to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than 1 federal dollar in 4 (24 percent) in 1963 to almost 3 out of 5 (59 percent) in 2013. In that half-century, entitlement payments were, Eberstadt says, America’s “fastest growing source of personal income,” growing twice as fast as all other real per capita personal income. It is probable that this year a majority of Americans will seek and receive payments.

This is not primarily because of Social Security and Medicare transfers to an aging population. Rather, the growth is overwhelmingly in means-tested entitlements. More than twice as many households receive “anti-poverty” benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million — and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments. Food stamp recipients increased from 19 million to 51 million — more than the combined populations of 24 states.

What has changed? Not the portion of the estimated population below the poverty line (15.2 percent in 1983; 15 percent in 2012). Rather, poverty programs have become untethered from the official designation of poverty: In 2012, more than half the recipients were not classified as poor but accepted being treated as needy. Expanding dependency requires erasing Americans’ traditional distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor. This distinction was rooted in this nation’s exceptional sense that poverty is not the unalterable accident of birth and is related to traditions of generosity arising from immigrant and settler experiences.

Eberstadt’s essay, “American Exceptionalism and the Entitlement State,” argues that this state is extinguishing the former. America “arrived late to the 20th century’s entitlement party.” The welfare state’s European pedigree traces from post-1945 Britain, back through Sweden’s interwar “social democracy,” to Bismarck’s late-19th-century social insurance. European welfare states reflected European beliefs about poverty: Rigid class structures rooted in a feudal past meant meager opportunities for upward mobility based on merit. People were thought to be stuck in neediness through no fault of their own, and welfare states would reconcile people to intractable social structures.

Eberstadt notes that the structure of U.S. government spending “has been completely overturned within living memory,” resulting in the “remolding of daily life for ordinary Americans under the shadow of the entitlement state.” In two generations, the American family budget has been recast: In 1963, entitlement transfers were less than $1 out of every $15; by 2012, they were more than $1 out of every $6.

Causation works both ways between the rapid increase in family disintegration (from 1964 to 2012, the percentage of children born to unmarried women increased from 7 to 41) and the fact that, Eberstadt says, for many women, children and even working-age men, “the entitlement state is now the breadwinner of the household.” In the past 50 years, the fraction of civilian men ages 25 to 34 who were neither working nor looking for work approximately quadrupled.

Eberstadt believes that the entitlement state poses “character challenges” because it powerfully promotes certain habits, including habits of mind. These include corruption. Since 1970, Americans have become healthier, work has become less physically stressful, the workplace has become safer — and claims from Social Security Disability Insurance have increased almost sixfold. Such claims (including fraudulent ones) are gateways to a plethora of other payments.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a lifelong New Deal liberal and accomplished social scientist, warned that “the issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it but what it costs those who receive it.” As a growing portion of the population succumbs to the entitlement state’s ever-expanding menu of temptations, the costs, Eberstadt concludes, include a transformation of the nation’s “political culture, sensibilities, and tradition,” the weakening of America’s distinctive “conceptions of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and self-advancement,” and perhaps a “rending of the national fabric.” As a result, “America today does not look exceptional at all.”


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
 “Mr. Obama proposed no funding next year for private school scholarship vouchers in the District of Columbia. The $20 million annual program, which began under George W. Bush, has proven extremely effective. Thousands of kids have benefited from these scholarships – which typically amount to about $8,000 to $10,000 a year. That’s still about one-third lower than what it costs to ‘educate’ students in the district’s public schools. Almost all students who get the money are blacks and Latinos. … Several years ago, when President Obama tried to shut down the program, black and Hispanic parents locked arms with Republicans in Congress who support the program and marched in front of the Capitol. That was an amazing optic. In the 1960s and 1970s, civil rights leaders and ‘community activists’ fought against laws that prevent[ed] blacks from getting in to the public schools. Now, liberals refuse to let them out. … Republicans must go on the offensive on school choice. A quality education is the best anti-poverty program ever invented. This is the best path to reducing income inequality. … Democrats are on the wrong side on this issue. They put unions ahead of kids. Let’s hope Republicans in Congress not only restore funding of this program but expand its budget so that every poor child in Washington, D.C., can get the education that Barack Obama’s daughters do.”
                -Stephen Moore
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LEFTIST WATCH
Top advisers to the billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer helped run a green group, financed in part by Steyer himself, that is at the center of a corruption scandal that has forced the Democratic governor of Oregon to resign.

Rep. Cummings: “People Come to Government To Feed Their Souls”

Young Oakland Girls Called ‘Radical Brownies’ Learn Social Justice Instead Of Selling Cookies

Obama secretly partied with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn at a wedding last summer

St. Louis University to erect monument to anti-cop protests
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ISLAM
French artist’s calls for religions to “coexist” end in brutal beating by local Muslims, who found the idea of coexistence “very offensive”.

Mother of four charged in Chicago with helping ISIS and Al Qaeda (+video)

President Obama has called the terror attack on Jews in a kosher supermarket in Paris last month an act of random violence, rather than a terror attack or an antisemitic attack.
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GLOBALONEY
The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.  New data shows that the “vanishing” of polar ice is not the result of runaway global warming.  When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

Global warming?  New York to drop to 20 BELOW ZERO on Sunday as Mayor de Blasio urges all residents to stay indoors.

Reporters told to stop covering ´irrelevant´ climate change critics
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ARTICLES
Europe slouching towards Mecca:  “It sounds like some kind of mysterious demographic whodunnit: "The case of the missing Jews." Except it´s no real mystery. After years of hostility, both at the government and personal level, declining fertility rates and growing emigration, Jews now make up their smallest share of Europe´s population in hundreds of years, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. This is of course tragic for Jewish families that have lived in Europe for generations, but it´s especially bad for European culture and science, two areas where Jews have had an especially dominant role.”

Krauthammer:  “His secretary of defense says, “The world is exploding all over.” His attorney general says that the threat of terror “keeps me up at night.” The world bears them out. On Tuesday, American hostage Kayla Mueller is confirmed dead. On Wednesday, the U.S. evacuates its embassy in Yemen, a country cited by President Obama last September as an American success in fighting terrorism….Not to worry, says his national security adviser…..Obama calls his policy “strategic patience.” That’s a synonym for “inaction,” made to sound profoundly “strategic……This passivity — strategic, syntactical, ideological — is more than just a reaction to the perceived overreach of the Bush years. Or a fear of failure. Or bowing to the domestic left. It is, above all, rooted in Obama’s deep belief that we — America, Christians, the West — lack the moral authority to engage, to project, i.e., to lead……If, during the very week Islamic supremacists achieve “peak barbarism” with the immolation of a helpless prisoner, you cannot take them on without apologizing for sins committed a thousand years ago, you have prepared the ground for strategic paralysis.  All that’s left is to call it strategic patience.”

As Greg Abbott takes the reins as the 48th Governor of Texas, political operatives on the right should take a closer look at his campaign and learn a lesson or two for 2016. The 2014 election cycle was a very good year for Republican candidates across the country, but the challenge of re-claiming the White House in 2016 is staring us directly in the face. And while Attorney General Abbott’s 20+ point win in the gubernatorial election seems like a foregone conclusion in hindsight, it was not always a sure thing.

“Media’s Lack of Curiosity About Killer of Muslims in North Carolina”
Can A Liberal Commit a Hate Crime?  Apparently not.
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
As the media’s digs at Scott Walker’s lack of a degree (he left Marquette in his senior year in perfectly good standing to take a job) fall flat and as he correctly refuses to answer whether he believes in the theory of evolution because it is irrelevant to the presidency, I’ve decided to help them out by creating a Questionator -- spin it Left for Democrat candidates and Right for Republicans…. Then they can spend even more time on the important part of their craft -- haircuts, wardrobe and makeup. I’ll give you a sneak preview so you can watch it at work:
Spin Left -- Dem candidate: What’s it like to be a parent/grandparent?
Spin Right -- Do you believe in micro- or macro-evolution and why?
Spin left -- Boxers or briefs?
Spin right -- Do you believe in global warming (machine coughs) I mean climate change?
Spin left -- Do you prefer peace or war?
Spin right -- What’s the name of the deputy assistant minister for sewage disposal in Upper Volta?

WISE WORDS
“[L]iberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have everything to fear from its union with either of the other departments.”
               –Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78

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