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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Obama’s Eco-Assault on America

Posted By Arnold Ahlert

On June 27, 2013

On Tuesday, President Obama announced a sweeping series of initiatives, including the use of executive powers, to combat global warming. The plan will involve federal funding for renewable energy technology, and spending for areas hit by storms and droughts aggravated by an allegedly changing climate. Yet the most ambitious part of his agenda is an effort to force a reduction in so-called greenhouse gases from the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Prior to the speech, Daniel P. Schrag, a White House environmentalism adviser and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, got to the nub of that agenda: “Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal,” he explained. “On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained the consequences of such a war. “Declaring a ‘War on Coal’ is tantamount to declaring a war on jobs,” he said. “It’s tantamount to kicking the ladder out from beneath the feet of many Americans struggling in today’s economy.”
McConnell is exactly right. While the percentage has been declining, coal-fired power plants are still responsible for producing 40 percent of the nation’s electricity. Yet that is an overall number. Some states are far more dependent, including West Virginia, which garners 97 of its electrical needs from coal. Curtailing coal usage for generating electricity will invariably drive up the cost of purchasing electricity for households and businesses.
The president couldn’t care less. Like so many leftists, he has bought into the idea that any challenge to the global warming agenda is tantamount to heresy. ”We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society,” Obama said. ”Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.”
The so-called coming storm may take a while to get here. A report released by Spiegel science journal reveals that global warming has stopped. “[Fifteen] years without warming are now behind us” writes Spiegel journalist Axel Bojanowski. ”The stagnation of global near-surface average temperatures shows that the uncertainties in the climate prognoses are surprisingly large.” Moreover, despite a report in March by The Economist noting that the world has added “roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010,” comprising “about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750,” no global warming occurred during that time frame. In fact, some scientists are actually predicting that we may be on the verge of another Little Ice Age similar to the one that occurred from 1275 to 1300 A.D., due in large part to an unexplainable collapse in sunspot activity.
Which scientific camp is right? That is something the scientific community must determine, based on scientific evidence — not the political coercion that far too often accompanies government-funded studies. Yet the president has staked out his position irrespective of science. He is directing the EPA to draft rules on the allowable levels of carbon emissions by existing coal plants, rules he expects to be completed by 2015. Obama intends to reduce Americans’s greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Under current law, the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases, due to a 2007 Supreme Court decision. However, under the provisions of that Clean Air Act, the EPA cannot do so on its own, but must develop standards in accordance with the states.
Congress is another story. As far as the president is concerned, congressional input is completely unnecessary. “This is a challenge that does not pause for partisan gridlock,” Obama contended.
Ironically, partisan gridlock on this particular issue is nowhere to be found. No Congress, controlled by either party, has been able to approve anything resembling the kind of carbon reduction scheme being proposed by the president. That includes a cap-and-trade plan that died in 2010, when Democrats had unassailable control of both houses of Congress and the presidency.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) directly addressed that reality, and the economic one as well. “These policies, rejected even by the last Democratic-controlled Congress, will shutter power plants, destroy good-paying American jobs and raise electricity bills,” he said in a statement. Scott H. Segal, who represents utilities at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani was even more direct. “The administration needs to explain why it needs old-style, command-and-control regulation when the market is moving in that direction anyway,” he said, referring to the reality that both falling prices of natural gas and increased use of it is already moving the nation away from coal.
The president’s plan would dramatically alter that trajectory. According to the Heritage Foundation, the artificial shrinkage of coal supplies would drive up the cost of natural gas by as much as 42 percent by 2030. Furthermore, as Heritage’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow Nicolas Loris notes, even measures far more radical than those proposed by the president will be of little consequence:
But let’s pretend we were able to stop emitting all carbon immediately. Forget the electricity to cool our homes in the summer months. Shut down the power plants. Stop driving our cars. No talking. The Science and Public Policy Institute found that the global temperature would decrease by 0.17 degrees Celsius–by 2100. These regulations are all pain no gain.
They are also completely anathema to emerging nations like India, China, and a host of other countries who aren’t about to reduce their standards of living to accommodate Obama’s pie-in-the-sky priorities.
Those priorities more than likely include killing the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The president insisted it can only be approved if it would not “significantly exacerbate” greenhouse gas emissions. Russell K. Girling, the chief executive of TransCanada, the company seeking a permit to build Keystone, contends the project meets the president’s proposed standard, even as he warned that substitute transpiration for Canadian oil, such as trucking or rail, poses significant environmental problems as well.
Even more disastrous is the president’s call for massive investment in “renewable electricity generation,” meaning large-scale wind- and solar-generated electrical facilities. Because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, such facilities would require conventional backup systems. As the Energy Information Agency reveals such inefficient and costly systems only become feasible ”in response to federal tax credits, state-level policies, and federal requirements to use more biomass-based transportation fuels.” In other words, without government coercion, no one would build an electrical generating facility requiring backup — or use food food fuel — simply to assuage environmentalist sensibilities.
Or is that the sensibilities of the so-called one-percenters? It is truly remarkable how many wealthy individuals are dedicated environmentalists, as long as that dedication only applies to “other people.” Perhaps the ultimate personification of such overt hypocrisy is Al Gore, who has made millions promoting the cataclysmic effects of climate change, even as he rides around in private jets and limousines, maintains a 20-room home and pool house that used more than 20 times the national average of electricity usage in 2006, and recently sold his media network to an oil-funded company for $500 million.
Gore is far from alone. As a 2007 Wall Street Journal column by Robert Frank reveals, the rich long ago reconciled the disconnect between their environmentalist sensibilities and lavish lifestyles. Their purchases of “carbon offsets” ostensibly atone for the sin of living large, and frees them to pressure “lesser mortals” to embrace a more “environmentally correct” lifestyle, also known as a lower standard of living. It’s a nice racket if you can afford it. Not so nice if you are poor or middle class and the radical one-percenters expect you to make do with less or do without.
Whether the president himself embraces such overt hypocrisy is irrelevant. There will never be a single moment in which he or any member of his family will be forced to “walk the environmentalist walk” he would readily impose on the American public, whether they want it, or not. That would be the same American public who will bear the brunt of higher costs for virtually everything, which means higher standards of living will be even more difficult to obtain for the less (and least) well-off.
Americans will also bear the brunt of unintended and unforeseen consequences, best described by the Washington Times’ Paul Driessen. He explains the EPS’s heavy-handedness will lead to “unprecedented sleep deprivation, lower economic and educational status, and soaring anxiety and stress…likely to lead to greater risk of strokes and heart attacks; higher incidences of depression, alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse; more suicides; and declining overall life expectancy.” He further notes the government’s push with regard to fuel-efficient cars “will force more people into smaller, lighter, less-safe cars–causing thousands of needless additional serious injuries and deaths every year.”
Driessen then illuminates the Obama administration’s modus operandi, explaining that “increasingly powerful bureaucrats–who seek and acquire ever-more control over our lives–remain faceless, nameless, unelected and unaccountable. They operate largely behind closed doors, issuing regulations and arranging sweetheart ‘sue-and-settle’ legal actions with radical environmentalist groups to advance ideological agendas, without regard for the impacts on our lives.”
Tellingly, on the same day the president gave his speech, CNNMoney.com published the results of a sobering survey conducted by Bankrate.com. It revealed that a whopping 76 percent of Americans are “living paycheck-to-paycheck.” Less than 25 percent of Americans have enough money saved to cover six months of expenses, 50 percent have a three month total, and 27 percent have no savings at all. “After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn’t enough money left over for saving more,” the article reported.
That’s the real catastrophe most Americans face. Yet a president whose most recent pressing initiatives have included gun control, immigration reform and combatting global warming, not only remains willfully oblivious to that catastrophe, but bound and determined to exacerbate it.
In short, Obama is determined to destroy America in order to save it. Unfortunately, there is no “offset” for such unbridled hubris.

Silver At Less Than 19 Dollars An Ounce? Are You Kidding Me???

By Michael, on June 26th, 2013

The day that silver traders have been waiting for has arrived. On Wednesday, the price of silver dropped another 5 percent. As I write this, it is sitting at $18.55 an ounce. On Wednesday it hit a low that had not been seen in three years. Overall, the price of silver has declined by 34 percent this quarter. That is the largest quarterly move in the price of silver in more than 30 years. So what does all of this mean? It means that we are looking at a historic buying opportunity for those that are interested in silver. Yes, gold is undervalued right now as well, but it is absolutely ridiculous how low the price of silver is. At the moment, the price of gold is about 66 times higher than the price of silver is. But they come out of the ground at about a 9 to 1 ratio, and unlike gold, silver is used up in thousands of common consumer products. Those that want to invest in silver should be shouting for joy that prices have fallen this low. If you have been waiting and waiting and waiting to "load the boat", your moment has arrived.
In my previous articles, I have warned over and over again that we would see wild swings in the prices of gold and silver. For example, I wrote the following back in April...
As I mentioned above, gold and silver are going to experience wild fluctuations over the next few years. When the next stock market crash comes, gold and silver are probably going to go even lower than they are today for a short time. But in the long run gold and silver are going to soar to unprecedented heights.
Investing in gold and silver is not for the faint of heart. If you cannot handle the ride, you should sit on the sidelines. We are entering a period of tremendous financial instability, and holding gold and silver is going to be like riding a roller coaster. The ups and downs are going to shake a lot of people up, but the rewards are going to be great for those that stick with it the entire time.
Right now, a lot of people that bought silver when it was 25 dollars an ounce or 30 dollars an ounce are probably feeling discouraged.
Don't be. You will be just fine. When the price of an ounce of silver hits 100 dollars an ounce you will be very thankful for the silver that you stored away at those prices.
We are moving into a time when we will see more volatility in precious metals prices than we have ever seen before. That means there will be some tremendous opportunities to make money. But in order to make money, you have to buy low and sell high.
The current decline in the price of paper silver does not have anything to do with the demand for actual physical silver. In fact, demand for physical silver is higher than it ever has been before.
For example, sales of silver coins by the U.S. Mint have set a brand new all-time record high during the first half of 2013.
Last year, the U.S. Mint sold 33 million ounces of silver for the entire year.
This year, the U.S. Mint is on pace to sell 50 million ounces of silver for the entire year.
So don't be alarmed that the price of silver is falling.
Instead, be very, very thankful.
Hopefully it will go even lower.
And you know what? There is a decent possibility that the price of silver may go down a bit more. This will especially be true during the initial stages of the next financial panic.
When the price of silver does dip, it is a perfect opportunity to load the boat, because even many mainstream analysts are projecting that the price of silver is headed into the stratosphere over the long-term. For example, the following is what Citi analyst Tom Fitzpatrick told King World News the other day...
Again, if you look at silver going back to the 2008 correction, we got down to levels below $9, then we saw the silver price multiply by a factor of over 5 times. So assuming this marks a point near the end of the correction in silver, then our bias would be one that would take silver not only to new all-time highs, but we would look for a target as high as $100 for silver
A chart illustrating the projections that Fitzpatrick is making can be found right here.
There are so many reasons to own silver (even as opposed to owning gold). The following is an excerpt from a recent article about silver that really caught my attention...
*****
7. Silver is way below its nominal record price of $50 in 1980. It is even further below the government inflation adjusted level of $135. And if you use REAL inflation adjusted numbers, like Shadowstats, the REAL 1980 inflation adjusted price of silver would have to be $450! Silver is a precious and depleting resource and when you look at the price of housing, cars, education, food, energy, taxes, insurance back in the 1980′s, it is insane to think that silver is so cheap on any level. Especially when the uses of silver have skyrocketed since the 1980’s. It is now used in technology on a massive scale and is even now said to cure cancer. Heck, they did not even have Silver Eagle sales back then, or the Silver Bullet Silver Shield for that matter.
8. This time it is going to be much larger! None of the problems from the 2008 Banking Crisis have been solved. In fact it is orders of magnitudes worse. What started out as an institutional problem, is now a sovereign nation problem. This collapse will not be a puny multi – billion dollar corporation like AIG disintegrating, it will be the Trillion dollar economies of the nations of the world and the Quadrillion dollar derivative monster markets cracking apart. There is no financial, political or social safety net left. We destroyed all of that in 2008 and are on a debt based junkie delusion.
The collapse of currencies will affect every counter-party, debt based asset in the world. Your cash, stocks, bonds, Real Estate, pensions, insurance, all of it. The collapse of financial contracts will lead to the collapse of all political and social contracts. The Anger Phase of humanity is coming and only real assets with no counter party risk will be worth anything. Most commodities have storage or degradation issues leaving only precious metals as a real store of wealth.
9. 1:65 Ratio makes silver the only choice. The current gold to silver ratio is: 1 ounce of gold is worth 65 ounces of silver. These come out of the ground at a 1:9 ratio! That means just to get back to the natural mining ratio, silver would have to out perform gold 600%. This is regardless what happens to the dollar value of gold. If gold goes to $13,000 an ounce, silver at a 1:9 ratio would be $1,444 silver.
10. The historical stockpiles of silver are destroyed. We know implicitly that gold has been treasured and kept secure. While silver has been used and abused as a cheap, industrial metal like tin. Since the price of silver has been under attack since the Crime of 1873, silver has been used in such small quantities that it has been destroyed. The US government in 1950 had 5 billion ounces of silver in its strategic stockpile, now it has ZERO. So if gold and silver come out of the ground at a 1:9 ratio and gold has been treasured and silver stockpiles destroyed, logic would dictate that the end of this silver bull market will find the gold to silver ratio BELOW 1:9 and I think it will come close to a 1:1. Either way, we are a long way away from those levels which makes silver so exciting right now.
It is the destruction of huge stockpiles like this that explains the decade long supply deficit to the growing demand of silver. Do not forget that we are only 7 years away from the United States Geological Survey’s prediction that if we continue to consume silver at these rates, silver would be the first metal to become extinct. When I challenged the USGS on that statement, they said that only a massive revaluation of silver to bring on more production and wiser use of silver would stop the extinction. I don’t think we will ever run out of silver, but I do believe that the free market will crush this paper manipulation and that anyone holding physical silver on that day will then have a lottery ticket in real value.
*****
You can read the rest of that excellent article right here.
Do you want some more reasons to own silver?
The following are some excerpts from an excellent article by Mark Thomas...
*****
The amount of silver consumed annually and bought for investment exceeds currently exceeds total annual mining output and has for years. That gap has been filled by sellers willing to sell from existing inventories and as prices rise. As time passes this will naturally push prices significantly higher until this fundamental imbalance reaches a true equilibrium price where supply is closer to demand.
*****
Both industrial and investment demand for silver is growing in excess of the annual increase in mining production growth. The available inventory is low and will get even tighter over time. These two factors will lead to a continued tighter supply-demand situation going forward.
*****
Silver is an industrial metal with over 10,000 commercial applications. Because it is one of the best electrical and thermal conductors, that makes it ideal for electrical uses such as switches, multi-layer ceramic capacitors, conductive adhesives, and contacts. It is used in some brazing and soldering as well. Silver is also used in solar cells, heated automobile wind shields, DVD's and some mirrors.
*****
Silver is an essential element in the electronic gadgets that are a growing part of our digital age. It is in every cell phone, smart phone, tablet, computer keyboard, solar cells and every radio frequency if ID device (RFID). This makes it an essential element going forward as the world becomes more addicted to gadgets. The growth and rising living standards of people in the emerging economies will drive long-term growth of new customers that will demand more and more electronic gadgets.
*****
Silver's industrial demand should increase 60% to 666 million ounces per year by 2016 from 487 million ounces in 2010. Current annual mine production is only around 700 million ounces per year growing a few percent annually.
*****
Of a total of fifty billion ounces of silver that have been mined in history, only two ounces (estimate) or 5% remain in above ground inventories available to be bought and sold. This is due to silver being used up in industrial applications in very small quantities, which makes it unprofitable to recycle at today's prices. A lot of silver is used in minute quantities in industrial products which are used up and discarded without being recycled.
*****
The total amount of silver available to trade in the physical silver market is only about $70 billion versus the total gold market which now exceeds $4.3 trillion. As you can see from these numbers, the total market size of the silver market is only 1.6% of the size of the entire gold market. This lack of liquidity and use of extreme leverage in its respective futures market produces wild volatility in price fluctuations of silver.
*****
You can read the rest of his excellent article right here.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Let us hope that the price of silver stays below 20 dollars an ounce for as long as possible, because once this opportunity is gone we will probably never see it again.
It is important to realize where we are in the greater scheme of things. The world is moving toward another major financial crisis which will usher in a brief period of deflation. Unlike many others that are talking about the coming economic collapse, I have always maintained that we are going to see deflation first and then the response to the crisis will give us the rip-roaring inflation that so many talk about. The following is an excerpt from one of my articles where I talk about this...
So cash will not be king for long. In fact, eventually cash will be trash. The actions of the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve in response to the coming financial crisis will greatly upset much of the rest of the world and cause the death of the U.S. dollar.
That is why gold, silver and other hard assets are going to be so good to have in the long-term. In the short-term they will experience wild swings in price, but if you can handle the ride you will be smiling in the end.
During the initial stages of the next major stock market crash, gold and silver will not do very well. But that is okay. Dips are buying opportunities.
As the coming economic crisis unfolds, governments and central banks all over the world will desperately attempt to resuscitate the global financial system. We are going to see money printing and "stimulus packages" on a scale that we have never seen before. Crazy things will happen with stocks, bonds and currencies.
When the dust finally settles, those that are holding "real money" will be the ones that will be in the best shape.

Egypt's Morsi Calls for Calm in Face of Protests

CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming by cable, satellite, and the Internet, 24-hours a day

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is appealing for calm in the face of protests on the anniversary of the 2011 revolution that brought down former President Hosni Mubarak.
In a lengthy televised address, Morsi admitted he's made mistakes and promised to give political opponents and minorities more say in governing. At the same time, he blamed his opponents for the lack of progress during his first year as president.
Morsi's holding a forum Thursday to discuss new constitutional amendments and a "national reconciliation." Opponents say he pushed the constitution through last year with strong Islamist support.
His critics say he's given too much power to Islamists, pushed through unpopular constitutional amendments and tried to grab more power.
Morsi's opponents are calling for massive protests
The military has protected his government, but now leaders are saying that if protests get out of hand, they may be forced to take control.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yikes: Final Q1 GDP Numbers are in and They’re Not Good





The Complete Annotated History Of Spying (On Ourselves)



Presented with little comment - via the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the full timeline of legislation, rulings, and events related to domestic surveillance in the United States (based on credible accounts and information found in the media, congressional testimony, books, and court actions).















Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WH Climate Adviser: 'A War on Coal Is Exactly What’s Needed'...

THE WEEKLY STANDARD) -- Daniel P. Schrag, a White House climate adviser and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, tells the New York Times "a war on coal is exactly what's needed." Later today, President Obama will give a major "climate change" address at Georgetown University.

“Everybody is waiting for action,” Schrag tells the paper. “The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.
Obama's speech today is expected to offer "a sweeping plan to address climate change on Tuesday, setting ambitious goals and timetables for a series of executive actions to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and prepare the nation for the ravages of a warming planet," according to the Times.
Here's the full context of Schrag's quotation:
Daniel P. Schrag, a geochemist who is the head of Harvard University’s Center for the Environment and a member of a presidential science panel that has helped advise the White House on climate change, said he hoped the presidential speech would mark a turning point in the national debate on climate change.


“Everybody is waiting for action,” he said. “The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.

USA infuriated over Russia's reluctance to arrest Snowden

Edward Snowden's stay in one of Moscow airports pushed the U.S. government to making a number of high-profile statements. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia and China on "consequences" in connection with the case of the former employee of the CIA. The secretary said that Snowden "betrayed his country."
Former CIA officer Edward Snowden, who informed the media about the espionage of U.S. intelligence services on Internet users, arrived in the Russian capital from Hong Kong. On June 24th, it was reported that Snowden registered, but did not board a flight that department from Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport this afternoon. There were dozens of journalists on board that plane. According to them, they could not find the elusive man either in the aircraft.
As soon as it became known that Snowden had left Hong Kong, the U.S. authorities immediately demanded his extradition. Spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Caitlin Hayden, said that the White House would like the Russian government "consider all possible options" of his extradition.
Meanwhile, a source in Russian security services commented the situation to ITAR-TASS. According to the source, Russia has no reason to arrest Edward Snowden.
"Snowden is not on the international wanted list, which could be a reason for his detention. He did not do anything illegal on the territory of the Russian Federation either," the source said.
According to editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs journal, Fyodor Lukyanov, Russia "is not very interested in having Snowden staying in the country, thereby creating a constant thorn in US-Russian relations." At the same time, the expert said, Russia shows in this situation in that the "relations with the U.S. can hardly be characterized as partnership. "On some issues, we are ready to cooperate, but actually we have different ideas and different interests," he said.
If Snowden leaves Russia, the damage to the relations between the Russian Federation and the United States will be insignificant and will quickly come to naught. "If he stays, the cooperation between intelligence services that has recently become more active over the problems in Dagestan and the Olympics in Sochi, may come to a standstill this is a matter of principle for the Americans," Lukyanov told Pravda.Ru.
Anton Kulikov
Pravda.Ru

The Senate Immigration Bill: Another Legislative Disaster

Posted By Bruce Thornton

On June 25, 2013

The “comprehensive immigration reform” bill cooked up by the Senate has a decided Obamacare stink to it. Like that disaster, the immigration bill is rushing to solve a whole host of complex problems with a massive, muddled bill few Senators will have the time or inclination to read in its entirety, with the same plethora of unforeseen expensive consequences, all perfumed with the same dubious CBO estimates of money saved and revenue increased. No more encouraging is the similar political bum’s rush being given to anybody––i.e. House Republicans––who dares to suggest some due diligence and prudence might be in order.
This unseemly haste should raise our suspicions. So too should be the deceiving rhetoric and incoherence lacing the arguments from supporters. Most egregious is the outrageous failure to discriminate between legal and illegal immigration. These are separate issues, but the Gang of Eight amnestistas collapse them together for tactical reasons. They can evoke all the sentimental, Emma Lazarus “nation of immigrants” rhetoric to sell their legislation, hiding the social dysfunctions and massive expenses caused by illegal immigration behind feel-good stories of plucky legal immigrants creating new industries and enriching American identity. Anyone who brings up those costs of illegal immigration will then be demonized as “anti-immigrant,” “xenophobes,” “nativists,” or “racists,” all question-begging epithets designed to avoid the current legislation’s failure to address any of those costs.
Then there is the bathetic rhetoric about illegal aliens that also deflects our attention from those costs. John McCain waxed hysterical in the Senate not long ago as he decried the fact that illegals had to “live in the shadows.” What can he possibly mean by that? That they can’t work, attend school, run businesses, obtain EBT cards, shop at malls, visit hospital emergency rooms, be protected by the police, or buy cars and flat-screen televisions? They do all these things and more, so how dark can those “shadows” be? Indeed, in states like California––home to the largest number of illegal aliens, 2.5 million––state law has invited them to live as openly as anybody else. A few years ago, the student body president of Fresno State was an illegal alien who flaunted his status at various “Dream Act” rallies. Not even wrecking a car while driving under the influence cast him into the “shadows.”
McCain went on to decry how illegal aliens are “exploited.” Let’s see, they risk their lives crossing scorching deserts, at the tender mercies of the criminals transporting them, so they can be “exploited”? That’s some exploitation that allows you freedom, access to government services, free emergency-room health care, and enough economic opportunity to allow illegal Mexican immigrants to send about $10 billion back to Mexico every year. They left Mexico in the first place to avoid the real exploitation caused by a corrupt government, endemic violence, and a culture of stratified social hierarchies that make economic and social advancement difficult.
Worst of all is the demand that there be a “path to citizenship.” Why? Why can’t illegal aliens be given a legal status that removes the threat of deportation but does not grant them the privileges of U.S. citizenship they did not earn the way legal immigrants do? My wife’s grandfather, a Volga German who emigrated from Russia, never became a citizen. He did all right. I know why the Democrats are demanding citizenship. They will reap millions of voters and millions of new clients for their welfare-dependency industry. But what do Republicans think they’ll get?
I remember––they think that these “hard-working, family values, religious” illegal aliens are “natural” Republicans and will vote conservative once the GOP shows how much they love them. This is delusional. These new voters will vote Democratic, because the Democrats cater to their interests. And simply repeating the “hard-working, family values, religious” mantra isn’t going to make it true. Not because there aren’t illegal aliens who have those qualities. I’ve personally known more that do have them than all the Gang of Eight put together. The point is, the amnestistas and their legislation do not codify a workable mechanism for sorting out which do and which do not. Citizenship will be granted indiscriminately, with only the most egregious felons sifted out. And even then, only felons stupid enough to apply for amnesty will get caught. The rest will just keep on living as they already are. All the rest, including those who have 2 DUI’s or have illegally received welfare benefits, will get to become citizens, and then start bringing their extended families along for the ride.
That’s because the enforcement provisions of this bill are moonshine. If the feds were interested in sorting the illegal wheat from the chaff, they would have been doing it already, and every illegal alien in an American penitentiary would have long ago been shipped back to their home countries. E-verify would already be universal, and businesses that hire undocumented workers would be prosecuted. If they really wanted to secure the border, they would have done it already. The fact is, this legislation is about specific present benefits bought with vague future promises to make illegal aliens “go to the back of the line” in order to become citizens. Living in the U.S. is not the “back of the line.” Going back to Mexico is. Ask those aspiring to become Americans who have been waiting decades for legal entry where they think the “back of the line” is.
This bill if passed will guarantee that 30 years from now we’ll still have an illegal alien problem. When the last amnesty passed in 1986, there were 3 million illegal aliens. Now we have 11 million. Just what in the current bill protects against that moral hazard? Once again a bunch of elites insulated from the consequences of their legislative malfeasance are passing the costs of their political and economic self-interests onto others.

Ramming Amnesty Through the Senate

Posted By Arnold Ahlert

On June 25, 2013

On Monday, the United States Senate passed a procedural vote on the so-called “border surge” deal brokered by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) that paves the way for passage of the entire comprehensive immigration reform bill later this week. The vote was 67-27. Despite the objections of 14 GOP Senators who expressed their frustration in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, noting that additional amendments weren’t getting heard, the so-called Corker-Haven amendment is likely the last major change that will be added to the bill. That is due to the reality that any additional amendments would require a unanimous agreement to bring them to a vote. “We could have had three genuine weeks on this bill, processing amendments and having votes,” said Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Yet, we’re forced to vote on packages that were concocted behind closed doors.”
It is worse than that. This amendment, which is essentially the entire bill, is yet another neon-bright example of the utter contempt our elected officials have for the American electorate. One would think the overwhelming disgust registered by the public regarding Obamacare — passed into law despite the fact that not a single lawmaker read it in its entirety before casting a vote — would have prevented such an insult from occurring again. That, however, was not the case. Last Friday afternoon at around 2:30 p.m. EDT, 14 senators introduced the 1,190-page amendment. Since the vote took place at around 7:00 p.m. Monday, senators were given just over 76 hours to read the entire bill. Moreover, since the amendment makes references to other statutes, as well as the changes to those statues, the supplemental reading made an already herculean task virtually impossible to accomplish.
That impossibility may have been precisely what Democrats and their squishy Republican allies were counting on. As Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) pointed out on Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” such a setup makes it extremely difficult to determine exactly what the bill says. Sessions cited law professor William A. Jacobson, who undertook the painstaking effort to analyze just two sections of the bill, 3214 and 3215, which reference another statute, 8 U.S.C. 1182. Jacobson confirmed that these particular sections give the Secretary of Homeland Security “almost complete discretion to waive all other provisions of the law as to removal, deportation and inadmissibility…of illegal aliens not just for family ‘hardship’ (which itself is huge) but for any reason the Secretary deems in the ‘public interest.’”
In other words, despite all the promises, a vast swath of this bill comes down to nothing more than giving the unelected DHS Secretary, currently Janet Napolitano, the kind of discretionary power that one would expect to be granted to the officials of a banana republic. If such discretionary power sounds familiar, that’s because in ObamaCare, vast swaths of that bill’s sections are completely beholden to the discretionary decisions of the unelected Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, currently Kathleen Sebelius. Her most recent discretionary effort was to deny a dying 10-year-old girl a desperately needed lung transplant, until a judge ruled otherwise.
It doesn’t get any more “discretionary” than that.
The border security part of the bill contains an equally “flexible” loophole. Border security was ostensibly the key element of Corker-Hoeven. The following two paragraphs reveals how dishonest the ruling class is willing to be to get immigration reform passed:
Paragraph (1): “Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a strategy, to be known as the ‘Southern Border Fencing Strategy,’ to identify where 700 miles of fencing (including double-layer fencing), infrastructure, and technology, including at ports of entry, should be deployed along the Southern border.”
Paragraph (2): “Notwithstanding paragraph (1), nothing in this subsection shall require the Secretary to install fencing, or infrastructure that directly results from the installation of such fencing, in a particular location along the Southern border, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain effective control over the Southern border at such location.”
If it appears that paragraph two gives the DHS Secretary the power to largely negate everything regarding so-called border security required in paragraph one, that’s because it does. And since current DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano already believes the border is secure, it is almost certain paragraph one will be totally ignored. Furthermore, Napolitano can also waive specific technology listed in the bill, such as the 685 ground sensors, 50 towers and 73 fixed cameras to be deployed to Arizona’s two sectors, “if the secretary determines that an alternate or new technology is at least as effective as the technologies described in paragraph (3) and provides a commensurate level of security.” That would be a commensurate level of security adjudged by Napolitano. Adding insult to injury, the DHS Secretary can make the changes a full 60 days before she has to notify Congress that she has done so.
And once again, just like ObamaCare, “special” provisions have been added to the bill to ensure its passage as well. For radical leftist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), unhappy with the reality that legalizing millions of low-skill workers would devastate their Americans counterparts, a section entitled “Jobs for Youth” was added to the bill. It would authorize the expenditure of $1.5 billion over the next two years to help Americans between the ages of 16-24 get jobs.
The provision is interesting for two reasons. First, much of it is based on President Obama’s American Jobs Act that never got through Congress. Second, it belies claims by the bill’s supporters that comprehensive immigration reform will be a net plus for the economy.
Regardless, President Obama offered up the same rationale in a meeting with CEOs and business leaders shortly before the vote. He cited numbers published by the CBO saying the bill would reduce the deficit by $875 billion over two decades. The report completely contradicts the Heritage Foundation Report that estimates amnesty would add $6.3 trillion to the national debt over a longer time frame. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) explained the CBO numbers are based on the same kind of accounting gimmicks used to hide the true cost of ObamaCare. When the ObamaCare accounting gimmicks were stripped from the CBO’s report, its initial cost assessment of the healthcare bill more than doubled–and may increase even further. Expect the same kind of “revisions” here if this bill makes it into law.
Yet the Sanders Provision pales in comparison to the one offered by Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Dean Holler (R-NV) that is nothing more than a crony capitalist kickback to the casino industry. A law known as the Travel Promotion Act, created a “Brand USA” government-run public relations campaign, promoting Vegas casinos and other US travel destinations. In a 2012 report, Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) contended the program “reveals a history of waste, abuse, patronage, and lax oversight.” Current law funds it through 2015. The new amendment extends that funding indefinitely.
Apparently the fact that such an amendment has absolutely nothing to do with immigration is of little consequence to pro-Amnesty duplicitous lawmakers.
It should come as no surprise either that the rule of law itself is also being tossed under the bus. Last week on the floor of the Senate, Gang of Eight member John McCain (R-AZ) said that “[a]nyone who has committed crimes in this country is going to be deported.” Not exactly. A chart complied by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and published here by the Washington Examiner, reveals there are serious crimes that do not disqualify illegal aliens for Registered Provisional Status. Moreover, illegal aliens remain eligible even if they have committed as many as three misdemeanor offenses, including, but not limited to, assault, battery, identity or document fraud, and tax evasion. These are crimes that could earn U.S. citizens and legal aliens large fines, prison time, or a ten-year ban on re-entering the country for the latter group.
FAIR’s media director, Ira Mehlman, illuminates the infuriating nature of such a provision. “What it indicates is this is more than just an amnesty, it’s an amnesty for all kinds of violations,” he explains. “We say nobody is above the law, but apparently illegal immigrants are.”
After the bill gets its virtually certain approval in the Senate, it moves to the House, where it is likely to undergo major revisions. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he would not allow any bill on the House floor that didn’t have majority support from both parties. The prospect of the bill either getting those revisions, or remaining bottled up in the House, drew predictable outbursts from the media, Democrats, and some clueless Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), all of whom say that the failure to grant legal status to at least 11 million illegal aliens assured a demographic “death spiral” for the GOP.
Gang of Eight member Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took it one step further Sunday, telling Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union that “this has the potential of becoming the next civil-rights movement,” further insisting he could envision “a million people on the mall in Washington–on the platform would not be the usual suspects but the leaders of business, the leaders of the Evangelical movement, the leaders of high tech as well as most Americans pressuring the House to act. I think they’re going to have to act whether they have a majority of Republicans or not,” he concluded.
National Review columnist John Fund puts the lie to Schumer’s threat. “It’s telling that the scare tactics deployed by the proponents of comprehensive immigration reform all revolve around politics: massive rallies on the Washington Mall and an angry Hispanic electorate,” he writes. “In reality, it might be the folks using the scare tactics who are the ones running scared. Maybe they’re afraid that the longer their bill is debated and the more sunshine it’s exposed to, the less likely the American people are to support it.”
There is much more to it than that. The GOP has never received a majority of the Hispanic vote. Even after Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform Act, George H.W. Bush got only 30 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 1988 presidential election — seven points less than Reagan himself received before the bill’s passage. Perhaps Republicans might want to consider the fact that the real threat of a “death spiral” comes from alienating one’s core constituency. A constituency that has made it clear any bill in which border security isn’t the top priority is a deal-breaker. That would be genuine border security, not the so-called triggers and/or the aforementioned flexibility that render it completely impotent.
Republicans might want to consider something else as well. Virtually all of the progressive agenda is based on the politics of incrementalism. That means this bill represents a point of departure, not the “last time” endgame its supporters in both parties claim it to be. As soon as the ink is dry on any comprehensive reform package, Democrats will be right back to work, attempting to “modify” the more “onerous” and “inhumane” aspects of the bill. It doesn’t take a scintilla of imagination to envision Chuck Schumer and his cohorts bemoaning the “cruelty” of making people wait more than a decade to obtain citizenship, or the “narrowness” of the family reunification component, to cite two examples where media-abetted pressure will become relentless.
And then there is the cynicism. Whether Republicans want to believe it or not, Democrats really don’t care if this bill gets defeated. A defeat of this legislation gives them a self-perceived edge in the 2014 election, where they think the bill’s failure will allow them to wrest majority control from “racist” House Republicans. That scenario is based on the belief that the majority of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform, which some polling data indicates. But when Americans begin to realize that border security is a sham, that support is likely to drop precipitously–which is exactly why, just like ObamaCare, the push was on to pass a bill no one read.
Are Americans prepared for yet another bill that must first be passed before they can “find out what’s in it”? ObamaCare has generated enormous discontent, even before the true scope of it is realized beginning next year. If passed into law, it is likely comprehensive immigration reform will be equally unsettling, especially to those Americans who will begin to experience the full scope of competing with millions of job seekers who will have been rewarded for breaking the law.
Congress had 27 years to prove it could enforce the 1986 immigration bill. It failed miserably, despite both parties having full control of the government at various times throughout that period. Anyone who believes “this time” will be different is utterly naive.

IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address

By Terence P. Jeffrey

(CNSNews.com) - The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to “unauthorized” aliens were in Atlanta. The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth. Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877. Since 1996, the IRS has issued what it calls Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to two classes of persons: 1) non-resident aliens who have a tax liability in the United States, and 2) aliens living in the United States who are “not authorized to work in the United States.”The IRS has long known it was giving these numbers to illegal aliens, and thus facilitating their ability to work illegally in the United States. For example, the Treasury Inspector General’s Semiannual Report to Congress published on Oct. 29, 1999—nearly fourteen years ago—specifically drew attention to this problem.“The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to undocumented aliens to improve nonresident alien compliance with tax laws. This IRS practice seems counter-productive to the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s (INS) mission to identify undocumented aliens and prevent unlawful alien entry,” TIGTA warned in that long-ago report. The inspector general’s 2012 audit report on the IRS’s handling of ITINs was spurred by two IRS employees who went to members of Congress "alleging that IRS management was requiring employees to assign Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) even when the applications were fraudulent.”In an August 2012 press release accompanying the audit report, TIGTA said the report “validated” the complaints of the IRS employees.“TIGTA’s audit found that IRS management has not established adequate internal controls to detect and prevent the assignment of an ITIN to individuals submitting questionable applications,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. “Even more troubling, TIGTA found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications.”In addition to the 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 that the IRS sent to a single address in Atlanta, the IG also discovered that the IRS had assigned 15,796 ITINs to unauthorized aliens who presumably used a single Atlanta address. The IRS, according to TIGTA, also assigned ITINs to 15,028 unauthorized aliens presumably using a single address in Dallas, Texas, and 10,356 to unauthorized aliens presumably living at a single address in Atlantic City, N.J. Perhaps the most remarkable act of the IRS was this: It assigned 6,411 ITINs to unauthorized aliens presumably using a single address in Morganton, North Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, there were only 16,681 people in Morganton. So, for the IRS to have been correct in issuing 6,411 ITINS to unauthorized aliens at a single address in Morganton it would have meant that 38 percent of the town’s total population were unauthorized alien workers using a single address. TIGTA said there were 154 addresses around the country that appeared on 1,000 or more ITIN applications made to the IRS.

Bit by Bit Strategy

By Walter E. Williams

There's a move on to prohibit Washington's football team from calling itself "Redskins," even though a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision said that it has that right. Now the name change advocates are turning to the political arena and intimidation. The NCAA has already banned the University of North Dakota from calling its football team the "Fighting Sioux."This is the classic method of busybodies and tyrants; they start out with something trivial or small and then magnify and extend it. If these people are successful in banning the use of Indian names for football teams, you can bet the rent money that won't end their agenda. Our military has a number of fighting aircraft named with what busybodies and tyrants might consider racial slights, such as the Apache, Iroquois, Kiowa, Lakota and Mescalero. We also have military aircraft named after animals, such as the Eagle, Falcon, Raptor, Cobra and Dolphin. The people fighting against the Redskins name might form a coalition with the PETA animal rights kooks to ban the use of animal names.Another example of the strategy of starting out small is that of the tobacco zealots. In 1965, in the name of health, tobacco zealots successfully got Congress to enact the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. A few years later, they were successful in getting a complete smoking ban on planes, and that success emboldened them to seek many other bans. The issue here is not smoking but tyrant strategy. Suppose that in 1965, the tobacco tyrants demanded that Congress enact a law banning smoking in bars, in workplaces, in restaurants, in apartments, within 25 feet of entrances, in ballparks, on beaches, on sidewalks and in other places. Had they revealed and demanded their full agenda back in 1965, there would have been so much resistance that they wouldn't have gotten anything. By the way, much of their later success was a result of a bogus Environmental Protection Agency study on secondhand smoke. I'd like to hear whether EPA scientists are willing to declare that people can die from secondhand smoke at a beach, on a sidewalk, in a park or within 25 feet of a building.During the legislative and subsequent state ratification debates over the 16th Amendment — which established the income tax — the political task of overturning the Constitution's prohibition of such tax was considerably eased by political promises that any income tax levied would fall upon only the wealthiest 3 to 5 percent of the population.Most Americans paid no federal income tax, and those earning $500,000 or more paid only 7 percent. In 1913, only 358,000 Americans filed 1040 forms, compared with today's 140 million. That's the rope-a-dope strategy. To get the votes of the masses, politicians start out small and exploit the politics of envy by promising that only the rich will be taxed.In 1898, Congress imposed a temporary federal excise tax on telephones as a revenue measure during the Spanish-American War. At that time, only the rich owned phones. Soon nearly all Americans owned phones. Both the rich and the poor paid the telephone excise tax. Congress repealed this "temporary" Spanish-American War tax in 2006. Nobel laureate Milton Friedman had it right when he said, "Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."The Tax Reform Act of 1969, called the alternative minimum tax, was created to raise revenue from 155 "rich" Americans who legally avoided federal income taxes by buying tax-free municipal bonds. Today more than 4 million Americans are hit by the AMT, and most of them hardly qualify as rich.Here's another rope-a-dope just beginning. The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that states reduce the allowable blood alcohol content by more than a third — to 0.05 percent, as opposed to today's 0.08 percent. The NTSB is calling it a recommendation just to test the waters. If the board doesn't see resistance, its next move will be to threaten noncomplying states with a cutoff of highway construction funds. Setting the legal limit at 0.05 percent is not these people's end objective. Their end objective is to outlaw any amount of alcohol in the blood while one is driving. - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/walter-e-williams/bit-bit-strategy#sthash.dagi8BSK.dpuf