American Elephants


The Administration Wants Immigrants, Shows No Concern for the Jobless by The Elephant's Child

We have added more than eight million people to the working-age population of the United States since 2007. Yet half-a-million fewer people are employed. 531 fewer people have jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes anyone over 16, excluding inmates in penal or mental facilities, and active duty members of the Armed Forces. For their analysis, the Budget Committee compared data from the Labor Department and the Commerce Department manually to exclude persons over 65.

The first Baby Boomers began retiring three years ago. In today’s economy, some may be reluctant to retire, and in some professions there is no push to retire. I would guess that more people are currently unwilling to retire at 65 than might normally be the case. Statistics are one thing, and the real world is another.

Employers, especially in high technology, are pressing Congress to increase the number of people admitted on H-1B visas. The administration on Wednesday, presumably in response to employer demands, proposed to give perhaps 100,000 additional foreign workers, none being admitted because of their skills, permission to work in the United States. These are not highly skilled workers—these are their wives already living in the United States—H-4 spouses, most are women and most from India because most H-1B workers are from that country.

It just seems as if we should sharply reduce the numbers of our unemployed before we increase either the H-1B workers or their wives. We have an excess of STEM graduates who can’t find STEM jobs. Perhaps the High Tech companies could start their own training classes if our STEM grads don’t have the right skills — or are the H-1B workers willing to work for a lot less money?

In a period of high unemployment it seems as if we should make jobs for our own people first. I welcome legal immigrants, and believe they add vitality to our communities, but it is not racist or hateful to believe that Americans should get first crack at the jobs before we increase immigration numbers.



Military Readiness Declines in an Increasingly Troubled World. by The Elephant's Child

biojet

Climate Change comes in dead last on a list of the public’s concerns with zero interest. The newly released National Climate Assessment has the lapdog media, who have assuredly not read it (the executive summary alone is 148 pages), out in full cry to tell you how worried you must be about storms and floods that are not caused by climate, which is a statistic about temperature.

There’s a remarkable amount of taxpayer money filling the pockets of administration cronies, corn growers, private industry stakeholders, and Al Gore and Tom Steyer. Grants and subsidies and tax credits abound.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the Department of Defense (DOD) paid “about $150 per gallon for 1,500 gallons of alternative jet fuel derived from algal oil.”

“The price for conventional jet fuel is currently $2.88 per gallon. GAO’s report reveals that federal agencies have paid significantly higher prices in an effort to promote biofuels in commercial and military aviation,” Lachlan Markay reported today in the Washington Free Beacon.

The companies that produce these alternative fuels are small, and federal agencies are buying extremely expensive fuels as a means of subsidizing these firms. Even if they grow to a commercial scale, subsidies would still be needed to be price competitive. Subsidies can invite a lot of investors to attempt something that may well be useless if rewarded by government largess, especially if it is extra-large.

Federal requirements for renewables are driving big increases in the cost of electric power which is up 10.8 percent nationally, and add in the Obama administration’s push to bankrupt coal-fired power plants. This at a time when we are becoming the fossil fuel capital of the world.

Our military readiness is being cut to the bare bone, yet we can play around with paying $150 per gallon for an experimental fuel for which there is no recognized need. The military needs to rethink its priorities.

 

 



Chuck Schumer Wants to Rewrite the First Amendment! by The Elephant's Child

Liberals regularly refer to the Tea Party as “extremists”— all that talking about the Constitution as if it were important, and not a dusty old document that needs updating. We need a “living” Constitution — and Chuckie Schumer is working on it. Senator Schumer, like all good Democrats is enraged about the Citizens United decision. He wants to rewrite the First Amendment! And he has announced a proposal to amend the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections,” Mr. Schumer said. The Senate will vote this year on the amendment to “once and for all allow Congress to make laws to regulate our system, without the risk of them being eviscerated by a conservative Supreme Court.” He even rolled out retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to pronounce his unhappiness with freedom’s bedrock document.

According to the text of the proposed revision to James Madison’s 1791 handiwork, sponsored by New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, the states and federal government would have the power to regulate the “raising and spending of money” through a wide range of means “to advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all.”

The real guarantee would be political advantage for all incumbents, since it’s the sitting lawmakers who really benefit from any law limiting contributions to candidates or on their behalf. While Beltway boys like Messrs. Schumer and Udall have the name recognition to raise money in small increments, challengers often need the financial boost from a few individuals to get their message heard.

Citizens United according to Scotusblog:

Holding: Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. While corporations or unions may not give money directly to campaigns, they may seek to persuade the voting public through other means, including ads, especially where these ads were not broadcast.

It has been understood, for decades, that corporations are ‘persons” under the Constitution. And nothing the Supreme Court said Thursday undermined that notion. If anything, the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission conferred new dignity on corporate “persons,” treating them —under the First Amendment free-speech clause — as the equal of human beings.

At least in politics, the Court majority indicated, corporations have a voice, and they have worthy political ideas.

A Constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate and ratification by 38 states, so it has little chance of passing any time soon. There are many checks against self-interested legislatures for which we can thank the Founders. The interesting story according to the Journal is how far the American left is willing to go to cripple their political opponents. “They’re even  willing to write a giant loophole into America’s founding charter so Congress can limit political speech. The Tea Party’s concerns about eroding liberty turn out to be more accurate than even its most devoted partisans imagined.”

Somewhere in recent memory, Democrats changed from a party that, at least part of the time, worked with Republicans for the good of the country. Now winning is everything. I’m not, I think, completely naive. Politicians have always wanted to win, but something has dramatically shifted.

Vote fraud has grown exponentially, and is encouraged and arranged. The drive to win is more vicious than ever. Perhaps it’s the rise of the Democracy Alliance, the shadowy group of multimillionaire and billionaire “partners” whose admitted goal is winning elections. This is not a coincidence. You can read up on them at Activist Cash, The Washington Free Beacon, or Discover the Networks. The Capital Research Center has tracked them from the beginning. This is what you call “dark money.” The Democracy Alliance initially concentrated on promoting policies that it wanted, but more recently has shifted focus to simply winning elections, which tracks closely with the change in the Democratic Party.




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