American Elephants


A Conservative Guide to Liberal Thought: by The Elephant's Child

The common conservative response to a liberal pronouncement is “You’ve got to be kidding!” Can they possibly believe what they are saying? The real divisions between liberals and conservatives are deep and wide, but Andrew Klavan takes a shot at explaining what it is that liberals believe, and how liberals think. It may be helpful, but —It’s not pretty!



If You Can’t Get Enough Americans Signed Up, Go for Illegals.. by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama announced today that 6 million people had enrolled in ObamaCare. There is no evidence that this is true, nor no evidence that any of them have paid up. But he did announce that, and the media reported his words.

Breitbart helpfully reports that:

The Obama administration has been helping to facilitate a series of events nationwide at Mexican Consulate offices to enroll people in ObamaCare — and a key activist says the efforts are “our responsibility” regardless of citizenship.

Health Care insurance navigator groups hosted an ObamaCare enrollment fair on Tuesday in the Mexican Consulate’s Brownsville, Texas, office, the Rio Grande Guardian reported last Friday, where Mexican nationals among other wer counseled about enrolling in the ACA.

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) undocumented immigrants aren’t supposed to be receiving government-run health benefits or subsidized coverage. The president told Latinos in early March that the Healthcare.gov website would not be used to find out about an individual’s immigration status. “None of the information that is provided in order for  you to obtain health insurance is in any way transferred to immigration services.” he said.

Mexican Consulates are being used to enroll individuals into ObamaCare  in Chicago, Las Vegas, and other cities.

During a speech today at a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event, Vice President Joe Biden said that undocumented immigrants should be given the chance to become citizens and contribute to the country.

These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to be able to contribute fully. And by that standard , eleven million undocumented aliens are already Americans in my view.

Those oaths about faithfully executing the laws — nevermind.

A spokesman for Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said:

One, the possibility that illegal immigrants could fraudulently access federal subsidies; two, that such promotions provide a financial inducement to unlawfully enter the U.S. (or overstay a visa) by offering households headed by illegal immigrants federal subsidies through their legal relatives or dependents; and three, that these activities widen an existing flaw in our legal admissions process by continuing to subvert the principle that those seeking to lawfully enter the US should be financially self-sufficient,” Miller said.

Mexican Consulates have been used previously to advance USDA assistance programs like food stamps to Mexican nationals, The Daily Caller reported in July of 2012. Mexico promoted the program to 50 of its consular offices in the U.S.

These activities certainly cast a bit of suspicion on the White House numbers. If they have plenty of people signed up, they are certainly going to some strange (and probably illegal) efforts to dredge up some more people.



About that “War on Women” by The Elephant's Child

Jason L. Riley reports in the Wall Street Journal:

At a fundraiser in Miami on Thursday, President Obama described his political opponents as “no less patriotic” than Democrats. “They love their families just as much. Many of them do wonderful things in their communities,” he added. Then he went on to describe Republicans as selfish ideologues who are indifferent to the needs of women and the less fortunate.

“[T]heir basic vision is that we don’t have an obligation, at least through our government, to help; everybody has got to just look out for themselves or the community that you’ve built in your church or synagogue or your block or your family,” said Mr. Obama of the Republican world view as he understands it. “We don’t have to worry about that kid on the other side of town. We don’t have to worry about that woman who is cleaning our house—which is why every initiative we put forward they say no to.”

He cited polls showing public support for preschool education, but he did not cite the multitude of studies that show that it does not confer any lasting benefit for the kids.

He bragged about polls showing that the public liked minimum wage increases, but forgot to mention that such increases are job destroyers and increase unemployment. You can’t just order a business to pay people more without figuring out where the money is going to come from — vastly increased prices, or getting rid of some employees.

He said polls showed that the public supports immigration reform, but didn’t mention what kind of reform the public supports. Since he refuses to support the immigration laws that are on the books, the reform the public supports may refer to first enforcing the laws.

He warned the donors to whom he was speaking (yes, he’s still campaigning, and never mind the mess in the Ukraine) that the midterm elections may not go well for Democrats. And he added:

The challenge is, is that our politics in Washington have become so toxic that people just lose faith and finally they just say, ‘You know what, I’m not interested, I’m not going to bother, I’m not going to vote.

As usual. It is not his fault that everything is going badly — that ObamaCare is a mess, that his weak posture on foreign policy has encouraged Putin’s adventurism, the debt is soaring, and there still are not any jobs. It’s those rascally Republicans refusing to do what he wants them to. At least he didn’t call us racist this time.



Why Hasn’t The Economy Recovered? Here Are Answers. by The Elephant's Child

When a business wants to hire someone, they would prefer someone who has done the same job previously and successfully. Someone who wants to step up to your  company. They would be charming, have an excellent resume, excellent academic record with good grades in an applicable field, and a stunning list of notable accomplishments.  Good luck with that.

There is a cost to a bad hiring decision. According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management, it could cost up to five times a bad hire’s annual salary. The higher the person’s position and the longer they remain in that position, the more it will cost to replace him or her. Recruiters say that if you make a mistake in hiring and recognize the mistake within six months, the cost of replacing that employee is still going to cost two and one-half times the person’s salary.

For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) only one is hired into a STEM job. Half of all graduates are not hired into STEM positions. Thirty-two percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. These responses suggest that the supply is larger than the demand for them in industry. The annual inflow of guestworkers amounts to one-third to one-half the number of all new IT job holders, in spite of stagnant or declining wages.

The immigration debate is complicated and polarizing, but the implications of the data for enacting high-skill guestworker policy are clear: Immigration policies that facilitate large flows of guestworkers will supply labor at wages that are too low to induce significant increases in supply from the domestic workforce.

Only about of a third of the IT workforce has an IT-related degree. 36 percent of IT workers do not hold a college degree at all. Only 24 percent of IT workers have a four-year computer science or math degree. But then, Bill Gates was famously a college dropout. I searched for “hiring tests for high tech jobs,” and the variety of tests — aptitude, skill, social, drugs, personality — and some companies have devised their own tests of intelligence and thinking to weed out the unsuitable.

Meantime, the government is stepping in to promote “fairness.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said it will crack down on employers who use the criminal histories of job applicants to discriminate against them illegally. The EEOC’s new guidance requires companies to establish procedures to show they are not using criminal records to discriminate by race or national origin. There’s some leeway for criminal convictions that are “job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”

President Obama on Friday formally announced a deal with some of the nation’s largest companies to institute new hiring practices that do not “disadvantage” those who have been jobless for several months or longer.

Companies such as AT&T, Apple, Wal-Mart, Ford and others have agreed to the president’s initiative which will also extend to the federal government and its interview process.

They just need that chance, somebody who will look past that stretch of unemployment, put in context of the fact that we went through the worst financial and economic crisis in our lifetime which created a group of folks who were unemployed longer than normal,” Mr. Obama. “All they need is a fair shot … giving up on the unemployed will create a drag on our economy we cannot tolerate.

The agreement means that companies will not favor one prospective employee over another based solely on the length of time each has been unemployed. On Tuesday Mr. Obama used executive power to hike the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for all federal contractors.

President Obama’s closest adviser and liaison with corporate America is Valerie Jarrett, although she has no knowledge or experience to help her understand the concerns of those with whom she is dealing.  Financial sector insiders and corporate executives reportedly stopped having meetings with the White House because any such meetings were pointless. They found that Ms. Jarrett was interested only in pushing the administration’s agenda, rather than engaging in any kind of dialogue about how to foster better economic  growth. But the White House does not want input, nor do they want to work with business. They want obedience.

If you want to know why the recession has dragged on so long, why the economy has not come roaring back, the answers are all to be found here. Everything is best fixed by a government policy emanating from the White House. They know better, and don’t have to listen to the people.



“Illegals Have Earned a Right to Be Citizens” Huh? by The Elephant's Child

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke to the United States Conference of Mayors on Friday. He told his audience that the approximately eleven million people who are in the country illegally have “earned the right to be citizens.” This was one of his first public speeches since being confirmed as the chief of the Department of Homeland Security in December.

“It is also, frankly, in my judgment, a matter of who we are as Americans,” he said to offer the opportunity to those who want to be citizens, who’ve earned the right to be citizens, who are present in this country — many of whom came here as children — to have the opportunity that we all have to try to become American citizens.”

They have not “earned” any such right. They are illegal. The rule of law means something in this country, and if you break it you have to face the consequences. Children of parents who break the law usually have consequences — depending on their crime. They are taken away from their parents and dumped in foster care, suffer the shame of the parent’s crime. Why are illegals who were brought here as children any different? And just how did they earn any such right?

If Mr. Johnson cannot uphold the laws of the country, then he needs to resign. We have no obligation to those who are here illegally — even though the Democrats badly want their votes. Our obligation is to those who are legal immigrants who wait their turn and come to this country according to the rules. Those people we welcome with open arms.

It’s lawlessness all the way down.



Fully Functioning Website 0, More False Assurances 100. by The Elephant's Child

The promised deadline of December 1 has come and gone, and the “fully functioning” website is still off glimmering in the far distance, with a lot of burnt-out bulbs. Just another addition to President Obama’s long, long list of broken promises, false assurances and hope and change talk for low-information voters. It’s still all campaigning. He talks a good game, but doesn’t notice that no one believes him anymore, and in case they did his words are recorded for later review.

Ezra Klein, the liberal Washington Post reporter, a true believer, notes that “the site still suffers a disastrous outage rate judged by the standards of major retail Web sites — that’s not counting the time it spends down for scheduled maintenance.” The insurance companies who have to deal  with the mess the administration is creating are in a panic as the system transmits data that is full of errors, fails to transmit at all, and warns that even those few who have managed to sign up for coverage may show up at their doctor’s office in January to learn that they didn’t purchase the insurance they think they purchased.  Oh well, details.

We have learned that at least 30% of the website has never yet been written. It doesn’t exist, including the payment mechanism for subsidies. The effort to fix the website is based on the politics of it — the public, embarrassing part, rather than the serious back-end problems. Subsidies are improperly calculated, consumers are misidentified, relationships are misstated — National Review adds that one customer was surprised to learn that he had three wives instead of one wife and two dependents — and in many cases the information is not being transmitted to the insurers at all. If the information sent from the website to the insurance provider is not accurate or complete — there is no insurance and the website is all a lie as well.

The Washington Post quantifies the enrollment problems — it find that “errors cumulatively have affected roughly one-third of the people who have signed up for health plans since October 1.”

The errors, if not corrected, mean that tens of thousands of consumers are at risk of not having coverage when the insurance goes into effect Jan. 1, because the health plans they picked do not yet have accurate information needed to send them a bill. Under the 2010 law designed to reshape the health-care system, consumers are not considered to have coverage unless they have paid at least the first monthly insurance premium.

The “Tech surge”, “team of experts” according to reports consists of 6 people.

The White House, Barack O’Blameless — blames consumers:

Some of the errors in the past forms were generated by the way people were using the system, another senior official on the project said, such as clicking twice on the confirmation button or moving backward and forward on the site.

The primary promise was universal coverage. President O’Blameless emphasized over and over that the country has a “moral imperative” to cover those who could not find coverage on their own. Somewhere around 30 million to 47 million, depending on the numbers of illegals and those who are eligible for public assistance, but do not partake. The recession increased the uninsured by 6 million,  number that continues to grow. The CBO’s latest estimate says there will be 31 million uncovered Americans in 2019. So much for the universal coverage bit.

The second big promise was to reduce the cost of health care, specifically the cost of premiums. Bwa-ha-ha-ha. Health Care expert Avik Roy has found that costs for a family of four would increase by $7,450 by 2022. In some states costs will be far higher. The ObamaCare people say that the law will provide subsidies to offset the higher cost, but , of course being liberals, have no idea who is going to pay for it. The rich and big corporations?

The incentives are all wrong. Once they fulfill the dream of universal coverage, they have to figure out how to pay for it. The overriding incentive for government becomes controlling costs. The more they move toward “Single Payer”, the more the cost becomes an overriding problem. The ObamaCare people may have copied the mandates from Romney’s plan for Massachusetts, but the overall dream was Britain’s NHS, which Obama’s advisers really admired.

Most of the big cost in health care was for old people in their final years. Limiting their care was the driving force behind Obama’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), unelected, unaccountable, which will decide what the Government will pay for and what they will not. Sarah Palin referred to it accurately as a “Death Panel.” And Obama has frequently suggested that perhaps the old folks should just get a pain pill instead of any expensive medical treatment.

The Daily Telegraph reports that 1,158 NHS care home residents have died of thirst or while suffering severe dehydration over the past decade. Some 318 died from starvation or severe malnutrition, and 2,815 deaths were attributed to bed sores. This does not include those who died in hospital. NHS’s medical director will spell out the failings of 14 hospital trusts in England who have been responsible, between them,  for 13,000 “excess deaths” through poor care, medical errors and failures of management. That’s what you get when the incentives are all about cutting costs, as it is in the liberal dream of Single Payer.

 



Magic Man by The Elephant's Child

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Hard to keep the halo polished up all the time.

February 14, 2008: “The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or gender” he says in that beautiful baritone of his. “It’s not about rich versus poor, young versus old. And it’s not about black versus white.” What voters are really choosing he says is between the past and the future. The future to which he refers, of course, is him. He will take Americans to a color-blind, rational, humanist place where a common good will overpower narrow self-interest. This moves Obama’s fans close to rapture.  CNS News

“President Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America. The only question is whether this can ever be undone.” Dennis Praeger

February 5, 2008: “We are the hope of the future; the answer to the cynics who tell us our house must stand divided; that we cannot come together; that we cannot remake this world as it should be.
Because we know what we have seen and what we believe— that what began as a whisper has now swelled to a chorus that cannot be ignored; that will not be deterred; that will reign out across this land as a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, and make this time different than all the rest— Yes. We. Can.”

What does it take to warn Americans about unchecked pension growth,
socialized medicine, vast increases in entitlements, higher taxes and
steady expansion of  of government? In other words, what is it about
Detroit, Italy or Greece that we do not understand?

Victor Davis Hanson

January 28, 2008: “If you know who you are, who you’re fighting for, what your values are, you can afford to reach out to people across the aisle. If you start off with an agreeable manner, you might be able to pick off a few folks, recruit some independents into the fold, recruit even some Republicans into the fold. If you’ve got the votes, you will beat them and do it with a smile on your face.” It was a summons to reasonableness, yet Obama made it sound thrilling. “False hopes? There’s no such thing. This country was built on hope,” he cried. “We don’t need leaders to tell us what we can’t do—we need leaders to inspire us. Some are thinking about our constraints, and others are thinking about limitless possibility.
Obama spoke for only twenty-five minutes and took no questions; he had figured out how to leave an audience at the peak of its emotion, craving more. As he was ending, I walked outside and found five hundred people standing on the sidewalk and the front steps of the opera house, listening to his last words in silence, as if news of victory in the Pacific were coming over the loudspeakers. I couldn’t recall a single thing that he had said, and the speech dissolved into pure feeling , which stayed with me for days.”  George Packer, New Yorker

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June 8, 2008: “Obama is a LightWorker — an Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being. …The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?
No, it’s not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton with all his effortless winking charm, didn’t have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high vibration integrity.” Mark Mortford, San Francisco Chronicle

    Unprecedented levels of debt —$6.5 trillion in 5 years.
More citizens receive aid— means-tested— than work full time.
Saddling the next generation with enormous debt.
Stymied medical innovation.
IRS used to stymie political opponents and sway election.
Made U.S, weak.    Drop to 17th in economic freedom.
Escalated racial tensions.          Divided Americans by class.
Allies do not trust Obama administration.
Ignores Constitution.       Takes law into own hands.
Ordering Dream Act that Congress rejected.
Impeding economy with red tape and uncertainty.
Keystone XL Pipeline jobs ignored.
Benghazi. Libya. Syria. Ignores separation of powers. Lack of leadership.
Evicting World War II vets from their monument.
Rules of engagement killing our troops in Afghanistan.
“Discretionary” attacks on other countries on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.
Stimulus.      Auto bailout.     Solyndra.     Green jobs.
Weakest economic recovery in history.
Most partisan administration ever. The ObamaCare rollout.



Eddie Haskell — All Grown Up! by The Elephant's Child

Is he always the last to know? Or is it more the Eddie Haskell syndrome?  Kathleen Sebelius has confirmed that President Obama was totally unaware that the initial rollout of ObamaCare was a major catastrophe until it happened. This was the president’s signature project, and clearly no one with the right technology experience was in charge. The company hired to do the work was the only bid, and Canada had fired them earlier for incompetence.

And he didn’t know anything about the NSA tapping the phones and email of German Chancellor Angela Merkel until after an internal review he ordered earlier this year, even though a German weekly reported that Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA chief, briefed Obama on the Merkel wiretaps back in 2010.

Officials said that the president was briefed on and approved of broad intelligence gathering priorities, but those below him made the decisions about specific targets

He is remarkably ignorant of all the scandals that have cropped up in his administration, at least until they make the papers. Then he is just as angry as the rest of us about the slip-up. Remember how angry he said he was about the IRS’ efforts to hold up tax exemption applications from Tea Party groups in the period before the 2012 election, an effort that coincidentally changed the outcome of the election. And nevermind that the IRS inspector general issued a report that documented IRS abuse. Obama said “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this, I think it was on Friday.”

Obama also didn’t know anything about his administration releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants — blaming the sequester cuts. Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary at the time, said even she was surprised to learn about the action.

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and now tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have grown sharply in recent months. The president authorized the CIA to provide limited arms to carefully vetted Syrian rebels, but it took months for the program to even begin.

Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

The Government Accountability Institute examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Briefing, which seems to be about 43.8 percent of the time. President Bush held meetings six days a week with the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, Homeland Security, the FBI director and other Homeland Security officials.

Now NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration knew in advance that their catastrophic takeover of the health care industry would throw millions of their existing plans. Millions of Americans are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under ObamaCare, say experts, and the Obama administration has know that for at least three years.
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act told NB that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year, and that number could reach as high as 80 percent.

I think it’s Eddie Haskell all the way down. But we never saw Eddie Haskell all grown-up. I wold assume that he always has an excuse, nothing is ever his fault, and he’s really irritated about it now that he found out with the rest of us.



The U.S. Has Become The Single Largest Debtor Nation On Earth by The Elephant's Child

President Obama made some formal remarks in the State Dining Room on the reopening of the government. It was an amazing speech, perhaps the most self-serving speech ever given, by anyone ever. He continued to blame Republicans for threatening default, although no Republican threatened default at any time. All the default talk came from President Obama himself. It was President Obama who claimed that if we defaulted — old folks on Social Security wouldn’t get their checks. It was President Obama who claimed that  — we would not be able to pay our bills. It was President Obama who tried — to talk the Dow Jones Industrial average down with talk of default. And now he’s trying to emphasize, once again, that it’s all the Republicans’ fault.

So the key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don’t need, closes corporate tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs, and frees up resources for the things that do help us grow — like education and infrastructure and research.  And these things historically have not been partisan.  And this shouldn’t be as difficult as it’s been in past years because we already spend less than we did a few years ago.  Our deficits are half of what they were a few years ago.  The debt problems we have now are long term, and we can address them without shortchanging our kids, or shortchanging our grandkids, or weakening the security that current generations have earned from their hard work.

So that’s number one.  Number two, we should finish fixing the job of — let me say that again.  Number two, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.

There’s already a broad coalition across America that’s behind this effort of comprehensive immigration reform — from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement.  In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill with strong bipartisan support that would make the biggest commitment to border security in our history; would modernize our legal immigration system; make sure everyone plays by the same rules, makes sure that folks who came here illegally have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, meet their responsibilities.  That bill has already passed the Senate. And economists estimate that if that bill becomes law, our economy would be 5 percent larger two decades from now.  That’s $1.4 trillion in new economic growth.

So now the Republicans cut the deficit with their wretched sequester, and I’ll take credit for that. But now that’s enough deficit cutting, and I need more money to spend on — wait for it — education and infrastructure and research. How money spent here creates jobs has not yet been explained. Would any big infrastructure project be ready to go before Obama has left office?

There may be a broad coalition behind comprehensive immigration reform, but you will notice that it does not include the American people. Our immigration system is broken because the President of the United States refuses to enforce the immigration laws, and the people oppose any amnesty for the same reason. Corporate America in general, and Silicon Valley in particular, want greatly increased immigration so they can get cheaper IT workers. America has no shortage of qualified STEM graduates. Corporations do not want to hire those who have been laid off during the recession. They assume, I guess, that anyone unemployed was laid off for reason. Unfair? Absolutely.

Mr. Obama assumes that jobs are created by government by spending money on education, infrastructure and research. They are not. Anxious businessmen have tried and tried to explain to this president that high corporate taxes, excessive regulation and absolute uncertainty about what this government will do next are killing their ability to hire, to expand and to take risks. President Obama will not listen, and has not been listening for over four years.

Education? Recent college graduates cannot find the jobs they prepared for and are working part-time in fast food. Or is it the free kindergarten for four-year-olds that you expect to transform the job market? It takes years for most infrastructure projects to get off the ground, often because of excessive regulation. Your administration has sponsored all sorts of new products and new research to develop alternative energy that no one needs or wants, and most of the grants have come to nothing except bankruptcy.

 



The President Has No Idea How Jobs Are Created, And It Shows. by The Elephant's Child

Since the Great Depression in the 1930s and ’40s, there have been eleven other recessions in America before this last one.  In all those recessions, the economy recovered all the jobs that had been lost during the recession by an average of 25 months after the recession began.  So the unemployment effects of those recessions lasted an average of about two years.

Today we are 5½ years after the recession began and we still have not come near to recovering the jobs lost during the recession. In 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that total nonfarm seasonally adjusted employment amounted to 138 million workers. Today we have fewer than 136 million, and the number of working age Americans has grown by 12.8 million.

Note that last number. President Obama is out on the budget campaign trail, bragging about his recovery. “[W]e are in a much stronger position now than when we were then. And we’ve created 7.5 million new jobs in the private sector.”  But the number of working age Americans has grown by 12.8 million.

The good news is that every one of the challenges that we confront, every one of the barriers — whether it’s education, immigration, infrastructure —that prevent us from being as competitive as we could be, they’re all solvable. …

Mr. Obama always goes back to the same themes, so it’s apparently the only idea he has. We will create a better economy by improving education with Common Core. And if that were to work, (though I reject indoctrinating children), how many years would it take for a better-educated workforce to appear and start inventing new things?

Democrats are counting on increased immigration to swell the ranks of Democrat voters. Big business is lobbying for increased immigration to give them cheaper workers skilled in science, technology. math and engineering. Big business does not want to hire the unemployed, nor do they admit that we have more STEM graduates in this country than there are STEM jobs. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, is heading to Washington to lobby for more immigrant workers. The Center for Immigration Studies shows clearly that while Americans were getting laid off during the recession, immigrants were getting hired. But if they vote Democrat, what’s the difference?

Obama has been relying on “infrastructure” to revive the economy for 5 years, unaware of the lengthy process involved in building anything. Financing, permits, environmental impact, design approvals and so on and on. On major public projects it can take years.

He had big hopes for “green jobs” but when it turned out that there was never any significant number unless you included bus drivers, and janitors and accountants as “green jobs.” Obama has no idea how jobs are created, won’t listen to those who try to tell him, and keeps destroying jobs daily in major numbers. Home Depot is putting 20,000 workers on part-time because of ObamaCare. Walgreen’s is putting 160,000 workers on part-time. The Cleveland Clinic, celebrated by Mr. Obama in countless speeches as one of the best medical facilities in the country, has laid off 3,000 workers. And that’s just this week.

Obama said, in his speech to the Business Roundtable that in order to continue to bring down the deficit:

Now, in order for us to do that we’ve got to do a couple of things.  Number one, we’ve got to continue to be tightfisted when it comes to spending on things we don’t need.  We’ve got to continue to streamline government.  We’ve got to continue to cut out waste.  And there’s waste to be had, and there are programs that don’t work or used to work and are now obsolete and we should eliminate.  And we’ve identified a whole range of programs that we want to eliminate and programs that we’d like to consolidate.

This is demagoguery at its best. “Continue to be tightfisted when it comes to spending on things we don’t need” — like basic military readiness. “Continue to streamline government.” Bwa ha ha ha. “Cut out waste” — see military readiness.  “and there are programs that don’t work or used to work and are now obsolete and we should eliminate” — he has spoken about that at great length in many speeches, there was a policy that required spilled milk on a dairy farm to be treated as a hazardous oil spill, and they eliminated that. Or perhaps he has in mind the coal-fired power plants that the EPA is shutting down , so your power bills will go up and your chance of blackouts or brownouts will increase, in a potentially cooling climate.

The White House website has a new big graphic called “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class,” an exercise in demagoguery. Celebrating things that are not accomplishments, phony claims, appealing to emotions.  One statement that particularly caught my eye was “No one who works full-time in America should have to live in poverty”— President Obama.

This, as Mr. Obama’s celebrated “law of the land” is causing all sorts of businesses all over the country to drop their employees from full-time to part-time — 27-27½ hours. To escape poverty those workers will have to find a second part-time job to combine with their shortened hours. ObamaCare is raising costs for most businesses. Obama listens to favorable statistics and drops the rest. He doesn’t know how jobs are created. ObamaCare is creating a disaster in the country, it is unready for prime time. It is clumsy law, poorly devised, and poorly thought out, and may collapse of its own weight, leaving disaster in its wake. And it only involves health insurance. There is no promise of actual care. There are not enough doctors to go around.

 



U.S. Companies Have Laid Off Thousands, Now Demand Immigration Reform for New Workers. by The Elephant's Child

careers

Last Tuesday the chief human resource officers of more than 100 of America’s largest companies sent a group letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging swift passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

We have General Electric, Walt Disney, Marriott, Hilton Hyatt, McDonald’s Wendy’s, Coca-Cola, the Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard and many more familiar names. They want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill and high-skill workers, and a path to citizenship for the millions currently illegally in the U.S. The officials cite a trade group publication the HR Policy Association which calls for immigration reform to address the reality that there is a global war for talent. They need more immigration. Well, not so fast.

The problem is that they don’t want to hire anyone who has been laid-off, for they assume the reason they were laid off is because they were lousy employees. Fresh Blood, please. Because we don’t really know how to sort out the potentially good workers out of the applications we get, and some of our picks have turned out really badly. So give us a clean slate of new people and nevermind the 9 million people currently out of work.

You have heard, I am sure, that there are just not enough STEM graduates (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and American companies need more talent. This is NOT true. There are far more STEM graduates than there are available jobs, and 10 years after receiving a STEM degree, 58 percent of STEM grads had left the field. Many stem jobs are linked to a particular project, and when the project is completed, the jobs are over.

The claim is that there are just not enough workers in the economy, but the data do not support that claim. Over the last 13 years, nearly 16 million new immigrants arrived, 5.4 million since 2008. The last 13 years make it clear that large-scale immigration can go hand-in-hand with weak job growth and persistently high rates of joblessness among the native-born. Between the first quarter of 2000, and the first quarter of 2013, the native-born population accounted for two-thirds of overall growth in the working-age population (16-65), but none of the net growth in employment among the working-age people has gone to natives.

Since recovery in employment began in 2010, about half the new employment has gone to immigrants. There has been a decline in jobs for all educational categories. The fall in the share of working-age natives holding a job has been most pronounced for men, blacks and Hispanics.

It would seem that the chief human resource officers want a bigger pool of potential workers to draw from, and plenty of downward pressure on wage costs, hence the push for more immigration. I am not impressed with the corporate whining. They have deep pockets, and lots of lobbying power with Congress. If they want an immigration bill passed, they are likely to get it.

Retired border control people say that there are probably 20 million illegals in the country, not the 11 million usually cited. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said we need immigration reform and more immigration so we have more people enrolled in ObamaCare. What?

And as for those major companies looking for more immigrants— Hewlett Packard laid off 29,000 employees, their VP of Human Resources signed the letter. Cisco, announced plans to lay off 4,000 in addition to the 8,000 cut in the last two years. Signed. United Technologies, layoffs of 3,000 this year. Signed. American Express, Signed, cut 5.400 jobs this year. Procter & Gamble, signed, cut 5,700. According to a recent Reuters report, U.S. employers announced 50,462 layoffs in August, up by 57 percent from 2012. The Center for Immigration Studies says the immigration bill is “more of an effort to level the wages of American citizens.”

The major problem with our current immigration laws is that they are not being enforced. Anything interfering with immigrants flowing freely over the borders, and most regulations governing visas are being ignored. Congress refused to pass the “Dream Act” legalizing in short order those who were brought here as young children and know no other home. (They always have a sad story “for the children.)” Obama just effectively  passed it with executive orders.” If Congress refuses to do what I want, I’ll do it on my own.” ICE agents have sued the Department of Homeland Security, and Janet Napolitano for preventing  them from doing their jobs.

Chalk this one up under “Major Obama Scandals,” but you might want to discuss it with your congressman.



40,000 Longshoremens’ Union Members Dump the AFL-CIO by The Elephant's Child

AFL-CIO Pres

Forty thousand members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest private sector unions.  In an August 29 letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, The ILWU President cited a long list of grievances as the reason for the end of their association, but most prominent among them was the AFL-CIO support for ObamaCare.

“President Obama ran on a platform that he would not tax medical plans, and at the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention, you stated that labor would not stand for a tax on our benefits. “But Obama pushed for just such a tax, and Trumka and the AFL-CIO bowed to political pressure, and lined up behind Obama’s tax on those plans.”

Private sector unions have fallen to an all time low participation rate in the U.S. workforce. Unionized workers now account for only 11.3 percent of the U.S. workforce. In states that have enacted right to work legislation, membership is declining significantly. You mean people don’t want to belong to a union when they aren’t forced to?




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