Defacto Amensty for Illegal Aliens?

Obama couldn't get an immigration bill through Congress (even an overwhelmingly Democrat one), so he just stops enforcing the law.

Federal authorities have issued a new policy aimed at stopping deportation proceedings for some illegal immigrants, according to a memo issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The memo, which ICE released on Aug. 20, could affect up to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who are married or related to a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has filed a petition on their behalf. Illegal immigrants with criminal convictions will not qualify under the plan. ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton wrote the memo to Peter Vincent, principal legal adviser and head of the agency's removal operations.

The memo directs ICE attorneys to check cases of detained illegal immigrants for any "serious" or "adverse" factors weighing against dismissal, including criminal convictions, fraud, national security and public safety considerations. . . .


Appearing on Jason Lewis' Show Tonight

I will be on Jason's show from 8 to 9 EDT. It should be fun.

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New Fox News piece: You Call This a 'Recovery'?

My newest piece starts this way:

So this is the economic growth that by far the largest Keynesian stimulus in American history produces? President Obama’s $814 billion in stimulus, a more than $1.3 trillion annual deficit for the second year in a row, has produced what the administration has declared is the long awaited "Summer of Recovery."

Last fall the economy grew at a reasonable 5 percent annual rate, though even that was not particularly fast for a "recovery." Yet, it has dropped since then: during January through March, the growth rate dropped to 3.7 percent and April through June, 1.6 percent.

But Americans didn't need the new incredibly slow GDP growth numbers that came out on Friday to tell them that the economy was growing slowly or see through the Obama administration's constant cheerleading. . . .

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Canadian views on gun registration and gun ownership

By almost a 4 to 1 ratio, Canadians don't believe that the Canadian Firearms Registry has been a success.

The Canadian Firearms Registry, also known as the long gun registry, requires the registration of all non-restricted firearms in Canada. Two-in-five Canadians (43%) believe the registry has been unsuccessful in preventing crime in Canada, while three-in-ten (29%) think it has had no effect on crime. Only 13 per cent of respondents believe the Canadian Firearms Registry has been successful.

A plurality of Canadians (44%) calls for scrapping the long gun registry—including large majorities in the Prairies (65%) and Alberta (59%). More than a third of respondents (35%) are opposed to this course of action, including 51 per cent of Quebecers.

Since a survey conducted in November 2009, the proportion of Canadians who oppose the long gun registry has dropped by seven points, while the proportion of supporters has increased by one point.

Canadian are split on another question, with 40 per cent of respondents saying it should be legal for ordinary citizens to own firearms, and 45 per cent wanting to make this illegal. There are some major geographic differences on this question, with majorities in Quebec (54%) and Ontario (53%) wanting to keep firearms away from ordinary citizens, and more than half of Albertans (51%) expressing support for the legality of this practice.

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The Stimulus package was really just a giant social engineering bill

We know that this bill didn't create net new jobs. Apparently, the Democrats always believed it was a way to do a lot of social engineering.

But in the words of Vice President Joe Biden, Obama's effusive Recovery Act point man, "Now the fun stuff starts!" The "fun stuff," about one-sixth of the total cost, is an all-out effort to exploit the crisis to make green energy, green building and green transportation real; launch green manufacturing industries; computerize a pen-and-paper health system; promote data-driven school reforms; and ramp up the research of the future. "This is a chance to do something big, man!" Biden said during a 90-minute interview with TIME.
For starters, the Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation in history, converting the Energy Department into the world's largest venture-capital fund. It's pouring $90 billion into clean energy, including unprecedented investments in a smart grid; energy efficiency; electric cars; renewable power from the sun, wind and earth; cleaner coal; advanced biofuels; and factories to manufacture green stuff in the U.S. The act will also triple the number of smart electric meters in our homes, quadruple the number of hybrids in the federal auto fleet and finance far-out energy research through a new government incubator modeled after the Pentagon agency that fathered the Internet. . . .



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The Australian Election Results

News.com.au has this breakdown for the voting. This one remaining seat in Hasluck may determine everything. The Coalition needs this seat to be able to form a government. The best outcome might be for the Coalition to get 73 seats to Labor's 72, but have Labor form the government. Some seats may yet change and the Hasluck seat may still go either way because of so-called preferential voting, where the preferences of voters lower level choices are given weight when their first choice isn't among the top two finishers.


Washington Times Editorial: Cooking the books on job claims

Cooking the books on job claims

Administration officials passed around the champagne Tuesday as the Congressional Budget Office reported that the $814 billion spent on the first stimulus bill created between 1.4 million and 3.3 million new jobs. President Obama's policies "put the country on a path to recovery by getting Americans back to work quickly," Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. crowed. "We've created 3 million jobs, and we're adding jobs every month."

As is obvious to anyone living outside the Beltway, there's not much cause for celebration in this economy. While America's output is on the rise, the rate of growth is weak, and many economists expect that the second-quarter GDP growth figure will be revised down to just 1 percent on an annual basis.

The job outlook is equally bleak. Each week, a half-million people sign up for unemployment. For some, it is the first time ever setting foot in a line to ask for benefits. For 1.7 million others, the wait has been so hopeless that they've simply given up looking for work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics household survey finds that since April, the total number of people employed has dropped by 495,000.

If that's the case, how did CBO arrive at 3 million jobs created? . . .

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Is Obama administration moving towards a ban on leaded ammunition?

Some information on this proposed ban and its impact is available here.

Some other information on a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study from 2008 is available here. Only a small percentage (5.94 percent) of venison shot with lead ammunition was found to have lead in the meat.

The 0.3 +-g/dl (micrograms per deciliter) difference is small but not "insignificant." There was a statistically significant difference in blood lead level between game-consumers and non game-consumers at P<0.0001 level (statistically highly significant). Granted, the mean difference of 0.3 +-g/dl more lead in the blood of game-consumers than non game-consumers is not large by contemporary levels (although it is orders of magnitude higher than the 0.016 􏰂g/dl baseline that the report recommends be the reference point). But, the conclusion from the study is simple: People who eat game are exposed to more lead than people who don􏰄t eat game. That's all. The study design could not determine whether that exposure was biologically important because blood lead elevation is short-lived.



Max Baucus, author of health care bill, admits that he didn't read it

This must make debate on the bill a little nonsensical.

Judy Matott asked Baucus if he would work to improve Libby’s image, and then asked him and Sebelius, “if either of you read the health care bill before it was passed and if not, that is the most despicable, irresponsible thing.” . . .

“I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the health care bill. You know why? It’s statutory language,” Baucus said. “We hire experts.” . . . .


So why not have government fund sex with prostitutes for the disabled?

At least that is the attitude of one columnist in Ireland. I guess if the government pays for everything else, why not sex?

I thought the story about public money sending a 21-year-old guy with learning difficulties off to Amsterdam to soak in the sights, sample the unique local cuisine and have sex with a prostitute was the feelgood story of the week.

Not everyone agreed. Since it came to light that council money handed out to disabled people has paid for visits to lap-dancing clubs, prostitutes and sign-ups to internet dating sites, newspapers and radio phone-ins have been jam-packed with indignant voices.

Some object to a ‘mis-use of public funds’, some have expressed concern about the immorality of promoting ‘loveless’ sex as a social service, and some have even suggested that the state putting money into the hands of a sex-worker is ‘evil’ and/or ‘sick’.

It never ceases to amaze me how energetic people can get disapproving of acts of compassion being visited upon those less fortunate than themselves. . . .

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Alaska looks to be replacing Sen. Murkowski in Republican primary

This will be pretty amazing if things continue the way that they look right now. Murkowski had a huge lead just weeks ago, and then Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller. As I recently noted, "Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski Rejects Repealing Obamacare." These are the types of changes that Republicans will have to make if they are going to convince voters that they are serious about repealing Obamacare. From The Hill:

08/25/10 03:41 AM ET
Attorney Joe Miller (R) is leading Sen. Lisa Murkoswki (R-Alaska) in early returns for Alaska's Republican senate nomination.

The race is too close to call and Miller is only up by less 3,000 votes. It could end up in a recount.

Murkowski wasn't initially expected to face a strong challenge in 2010, but Miller's campaign got an early jolt from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express.

The Tea Party Express dropped more than $500,000 running TV and radio ads to aid Miller's campaign. He also had the backing of Palin and of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both rumored presidential contenders in 2012.

Palin, who endorsed Miller in June, recorded a last-minute robocall for the campaign that went out to voters Monday. She did post a fundraising appeal on her Facebook page Monday trumpeting Miller's efforts to raise $30,000 for a late TV buy. She did not campaign with him, but she did tweet early Wednesday morning, before the race was called: “Keeping fingers crossed, powder dry, prayers upward.”

It's hard to accuse Murkowski of being caught flat-footed by the challenge, though. Given 2010's brutal anti-incumbent environment, Murkowski took Miller seriously. She spent more than $2 million on the primary.

This puts the Murkowski loss in perspective:

Not a single public poll showed Miller within striking distance of Murkowski in the weeks before the primary, and she spent more than 12 times as much as he spent. . . . Like many political observers in the state, veteran GOP pollster David Dittman was surprised by Miller's strong showing. He said his most recent polling showed Miller closing in on Murkowski somewhat, but still trailing her by about 20 points. . . .

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Marine Commandant General James Conway speaks out about homosexuals in the military

He doesn't explicitly raise the issue of unit cohesion and how relationships between marines could impact that. An article on this is here:

Marine Commandant General James Conway told reporters, "We have some people that are -- that are very religious, and I think in some instances -- I couldn't begin to give you a percentage -- but I think in some instances we will have people that say that homosexuality is wrong and they simply do not want to room with a person of that persuasion because it would go against their religious beliefs."

In response to why Marines appeared to have more of an issue with changing the policy than perhaps other branches of the military, he offered, "That's a tough question to answer because I'm not as familiar with the other services as I am my own Corps...we recruit a certain type of young American, a pretty macho guy or gal, that is willing to go fight and perhaps die for their country."

He added, "We are forced to live in close proximity aboard ship, in the field for long periods of time and that type of thing...and we'd just as soon not see it change."

General Conway's comments come one day after Pentagon officials mailed out 150,000 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" surveys to military spouses, seeking input about the potential dismantling of the federal law that bans openly gay, lesbian or bisexual applicants from serving.

"We're anxious to see what the survey indicates when it's made public toward the end of the year...but if the law changes, we pride our Corps in leading the services in many, many things, and we're going to have to lead in this too. We've got a war to fight, and we need to, if the law changes, implement and get on with it." . . .


New Fox News piece: "More Bad Economic News, Yet Here Comes ANOTHER Wall Street Bailout"

My newest piece starts off this way:

Americans may be extremely upset about Wall Street bailouts, but President Obama isn't listening. Come September 7, President Obama will have Wall Street investment banks lining up for another huge bailout. But such a bailout will do little to stimulate the housing market and offset the latest 27.2 percent plunge in existing home sales.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will offer financial institutions holding mortgages worth more than the value of the houses, so-called "underwater" mortgages, a guarantee on 90 percent of the mortgage value if the institution will write-off 10 percent of the mortgage. . . .

To summarize: Those who made large down payments when they bought their homes get no benefit but those who put little or no money down get a reduction in debt. This creates great incentives for the future.

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Fuel economy standards forcing Ford to take "high-stake" risks on its best selling F-150 pickups

This is one way for government to try to mess up Ford's success in the large pickup truck category.

This fall, Ford will introduce a 300 horsepower V-6 engine and a new six-speed transmission in its F-150 pickups—the No. 1 seller in a market where eight cylinders now rule. And for the first time, Ford will offer a V-6 in its popular crew cab model, which accounts for 60% of all F-150 sales, says F-150 marketing manager Mark Grueber. . . .

Why is Ford pushing this strategy? The company is hedging the risk that its highly profitable vehicle line could get battered by another run-up in gasoline prices. It also must meet federal fuel economy rules that will steadily ratchet up the minimum mileage required for all vehicles.

In the past, Ford has offered V-6 engines only in its most basic, two-door F-150 trucks, primarily purchased for farms or work crews.

Ford sold more than 500,000 F-series trucks in 2009, and sales are up nearly 35% through the end of July this year. The F-series has been the best-selling model line in the U.S. for 28 years—ahead of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and rival pickups such as the Chevy Silverado.

That means that in the heart of Ford's pickup lineup, there will be two V-6 engines on offer and just one V-8 – setting aside a few limited production models that will come with a king-size, 6.2 liter V-8. . . .

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Here is your chance to dump your mortgage on the taxpayers!

What a deal for people who have lost money on their homes. This is a huge bailout for Wall Street investment banks.

Suppose that you have a homeowner whose house is underwater. That mortgage has been bought up by Wall Street investment banks at may be 30, 40, 50 cents on the dollar. The government now says that if the holder takes 10 percent off the mortgage, the government will guarantee 90 percent of the mortgage. So they may have bought a $100,000 mortgage for $50,000. If the mortgage holder agrees to write-off $10,000, the government will guarantee the mortgage for $90,000. You, the taxpayer, has just given these Wall Street investment firms $40,000!

Why is the government giving a 10 percent write-off to people whose homes are underwater? Marking down a $400,000 mortgage by 10% is $40,000. That is a lot of money. Why do people in California, Nevada and Florida get these pay-offs? But not people in Texas? Why do people who bought houses recently get the money, but not people who have lived in the same house for 15 years whose houses are unlikely to be underwater?

Even worse, suppose that you couldn't afford your home and you didn't want to default, so you did the responsible thing and rented out the home and moved into a smaller apartment. Guess what. You aren't eligible for this money.

Starting September 7, 2010, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will offer certain “underwater” non-FHA borrowers who are current on their existing mortgage and whose lenders agree to write off at least 10% of the unpaid principal balance of the first mortgage, the opportunity to qualify for a new FHA-insured mortgage.
The FHA Short Refinance option is targeted to help people who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth—or “underwater”—because their local markets saw large declines in home values. Originally announced in March, these changes and other programs that have been put in place will help the Administration meet its goal of stabilizing housing markets by offering a second chance to up to 3-4 million struggling homeowners through the end of 2012.
“We’re throwing a life line out to those families who are current on their mortgage and are experiencing financial hardships because property values in their community have declined,” said FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. “This is another tool to help overcome the negative equity problem facing many responsible homeowners who are looking to refinance into a safer, more secure mortgage product.” . . .

How big will this program be?

HUD estimates that between 500,000 and 1,500,000 borrowers will refinance using these enhancements and the net economic benefits will be between $11.774 and $35.322 billion.

This is great. Those who made large down payments when they bought their homes get no benefit but those who put little or no money down get a reduction in debt and the banks are bribed by the government with a 90% guarantee on the mortgage when they forgive 10%.

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$578 Million on one public school?

This is just too bizarre. The Los Angeles Unified School District was supposedly tight on money.

With an eye-popping price tag of $578 million, it will mark the inauguration of the nation's most expensive public school ever.
The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has raised eyebrows across the country as the creme de la creme of "Taj Mahal" schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities.
"There's no more of the old, windowless cinderblock schools of the '70s where kids felt, 'Oh, back to jail,'" said Joe Agron, editor-in-chief of American School & University, a school construction journal. "Districts want a showpiece for the community, a really impressive environment for learning."
Not everyone is similarly enthusiastic.
"New buildings are nice, but when they're run by the same people who've given us a 50 percent dropout rate, they're a big waste of taxpayer money," said Ben Austin, executive director of Parent Revolution who sits on the California Board of Education. "Parents aren't fooled." . . .
New York City has a $235 million campus; New Brunswick, N.J., opened a $185 million high school in January.
Nationwide, dozens of schools have surpassed $100 million with amenities including atriums, orchestra-pit auditoriums, food courts, even bamboo nooks. . . .

With $7.3 billion budget in the 2009-10 school year, this is really a phenomenal amount of money to be spent on one school. This one school's construction costs represents 1/12th of the entire budget.

UPDATE: Meanwhile "California Delays $2.9 Billion School, County Payments Amid Budget Impasse"

This one school represents 1/6 of this entire payment to all the school systems and counties in the state.



Illegal Alien who voted in US elections wants his name removed from voter roles so that he may get citizenship

Why is the Obama administration trying to help this illegal alien get citizenship? People won't believe the language barrier argument made at the end of the video.

. . . Her letter was prompted by this mystery man's return to her office right around primary election time last week, to offer a confession about his casting a ballot in '04, and now his quest to undo it. The immigrant, according to Steidl, came armed with a letter from the Department of Homeland Security, headquartered in Memphis. The letter instructed Steidl to 'purge' the man from the Putnam County voter registration rolls.

"If he doesn't get purged, he can't become a citizen," Steidl told NewsChannel 5, in an exclusive interview Tuesday afternoon.

She confirmed the man, by his own admission, had managed to get himself a social security number; two forms of identification, required to cast a ballot; he was able to register to vote, said Steidl; and he perjured himself, according to Steidl, admitting in writing that he was a U.S. citizen, before successfully voting six years ago.

Steidl seemed frustrated by, not only the federal government's apparent willingness to assist this illegal immigrant, but by the election commission's inability to demand proof that anyone is a legal, U.S. citizen.

"He is being enabled," Steidl said. "And that's what bothered me more than anything!"

Even in defense of the previous election headquarters' administration, Steidl was quick to point out: "And there was nothing they could do! They did exactly what they were supposed to do."

Although Steidl did inform the State, in writing, about the man's success breaking through election security measures, NewsChannel 5 informed one state election commission member of the development after a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

"We would investigate it," reassured Beth Henry Roberts, the deputy election coordinator. "That would be an illegal activity, and that would be something that we would have to refer to the D.A. (district attorney), based upon whatever information and evidence we gather."

Steidl's whistleblowing attempts hit yet another brickwall: the Honorable Randy York, district attorney general, told her the statute of limitations had run out on prosecuting the illegal immigrant, and illegal voter, on any level.

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Biden: "Last Administration Had A Ponzi Scheme"

This is a great trick. Dems create these problems, refuse to get them fixed, and now blame Republicans.

The vice president also said that the last administration was pretty much running a "Ponzi" scheme, "We inherited economic policy and plan for prosperity that lay in creative financial instruments, credit default swaps, collateralized obligations, sub-prime mortgages, basically the last administration had a Ponzi scheme masquerading as a vision in terms of our future."