Monday, November 24, 2014

SNL Ridicules Obama's Immigration Order

Almost no one believes President Obama's claim that his executive order "legalizing" half the illegal immigrant population is constitutionally sound. Even Saturday Night Live ridiculed his action in a parody based on Schoolhouse Rock's "I'm Just a Bill" this week:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Strassel: The Next Prez and the Obama Way

Wall Street Journal Washington correspondent Kimberley Strassel lets her imagination run wild in a brilliant fantasy staff memo to the next Republican president outlining a plan — using Obama's  executive order precedent — to usher in a conservative agenda in his first four months in office.
What really counts in this town is precedent. And the ace news is that your predecessor blew up about 230 years of it. We’ve attached an 87-page list (check your spam box) of President Obama ’s unilateral actions: altering the ObamaCare statute; refusing to enforce federal drug laws; granting waivers to education reforms; using Justice Department suits to impose new industry rules; drafting agency regulations to go around Congress. Don’t forget 2014, when he rewrote federal immigration law. Like, all of it. By himself.

And here’s where it gets sweet. We’ve been analyzing the Obama team’s justifications. Some are p-r-e-t-t-y creative, but they boil down to this: Whenever a law is “unworkable,” or inadequately “funded”—and Congress won’t do anything—the president gets to act!  ... That’s you, boss. That’s you.

So here’s our plan for getting your entire agenda done—all of it!—by May:

Prosecutorial discretion: Love this. Your top item? Cutting taxes. We have two words and one number for you: Tax Code, 73,954 pages. Is there a more unworkable law? ROFL! We’ve got an executive order ready instructing IRS agents not to enforce the code on any person or company who refuses to pay more than our new rates. Goodbye Alternative Minimum Tax, death tax, capital gains, restrictions on nonprofits. Hello, flat tax on a postcard.

Speaking of taxes, do remember to thank Chief Justice John Roberts for declaring the ObamaCare individual mandate a tax. Not enforcing that one, either! That’s O-Care repealed. Check. You ran on reducing the regulatory burden. We’re sending a list of rules under major laws that you can instruct agencies and the Justice Department to no longer uphold. You know, the damaging stuff buried in the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Labor Relations Act, Dodd-Frank, McCain-Feingold. All unworkable! 

Agencies: Justice now has time on its hands, so we’re setting up a task force to bring criminal charges against slippery characters (folks who, bonus, Americans love to hate): trial firms, union shops. Obama showed with his banking and BP suits that if we go big and ugly, we won’t even have to test legal theories; the targets will roll, and agree to new restrictions. That’s tort and labor reform done. And we’re already directing your agencies to start authorizing moves that Congress won’t: drilling off the East Coast and in ANWR; health insurance across state lines; school vouchers. Sky’s the limit!
The fantasy memo closes with this:
We could do the right thing; arguably should.  Then again, who will they be to complain if we don’t?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama Adds More Foreign Workers to US Than New Jobs Since 2009

"President Barack Obama's unilateral amnesty will quickly add as many foreign workers to the nation's legal labor force as the total number of new jobs created by his economy since 2009," reports the Daily Caller.

Foreign Workers = 6,000,000  *
  • Obama previously provided or promised almost 1 million extra work permits to foreigners
  • His reported plan, to be announced today, will distribute 5 million more work permits to illegal immigrants
U.S. Jobs Created Since 2009 = 5,977,000
  • Total U.S. jobs in 2009 = 139,894,000
  • Total U.S. jobs in 2014 = 145,871,000

*Note: This number does not include the normal inflow of legal immigrants granted work permits.

Source: Obama's Amnesty Will Add As Many Foreign Workers as New Jobs Since 2009, Neil Munro, Daily Caller

Top 20% Pay Almost Everybody's Share

Based on the latest Congressional Budget Office annual report, the top 20% of American households in income pays the federal tax load that subsidizes almost all of the other 80% of American households, according to analysis by AEI economist Mark J. Perry.

Here is his chart:

And the numbers:

"We hear all the time [from the Left] that 'the rich' aren't paying their fair share and need to be taxed more," writes Perry. "We might want to start asking if the bottom 60% of  'net recipient' households are really paying their fair share."

Source: New CBO Study Shows That 'The Rich' Don't Just Pay Their 'Fair Share', They Pay Almost Everybody's Share, Mark J. Perry, American Enterprise Institute
Data Source: The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, Congressional Budget Office, November 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

'Net Neutrality' - Don't Buy the Con

If you love smooth-streaming music and HD movies or videos over the internet, chances are you will hate 'Net Neutrality' — a government internet regulation proposal that is as big a con in packaging as 'The Affordable Care Act'.

As explained here and here, the proposed Federal Communications Commission's Net Neutrality regulations will force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to treat all internet traffic equally, giving the same priority and speed to text, video, audio, and interactive content, whether consumers like it or not. 
  • Net Neutrality is a bad deal for consumers.  Because internet bandwidth space is finite, ISPs must pay for every megabyte of bandwidth their consumers use. ISPs currently pays those bandwidth costs by offering higher-priced product differentiation packages to on-demand video services such as Amazon and Netflex so that the end users (you and me) can enjoy fast lane, smooth movie streaming at a relatively low cost without slowing down their neighbours' internet connections. 

    If Net Neutrality becomes law, ISPs won't be allowed to do that, and movie viewing is likely to become a choppy, unhappy experience. Worse, if ISPs can't charge big user companies like Amazon and Netflex for bandwidth use, ISPs will likely begin charging consumers (you and me) for the bandwidth they actually use, just as cell phone carriers charge consumers for data they use.   
  • Net Neutrality is a bad deal for web companies.  ISPs shouldn't be forced to treat all web companies equally. Currently the bigger, established companies are paying a greater share of the cost because they use far more bandwidth than smaller, less established companies. However, "Net Neutrality effectively forces startups to subsidize the bandwidth requirements of established companies, by equally distributing the cost of service to everyone, even those who do not benefit from faster speeds."  
For more, read:

Here's What 'Net Neutrality' is ... and What to Think About It
Rebutting the President on Net Neutrality

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Labor Dept Rules Would Hit Working Women Hardest

The Department of Labor's proposed new rules on overtime pay would significantly hurt working women's ability to negotiate workplace flexibility tailored to their personal and family needs, argues economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth.
  • The new rules would apply to several million new female workers who are currently classified as executive or professional, many of whom now enjoy highly valued workplace flexibility.
  • The new rules would prevent women from negotiating "comp" arrangements in which they take additional time off in exchange for extra time worked.
  • The new rules would have a chilling impact on women's opportunity to telecommute and/or work from home, since employers will be required to keep careful track of worker's hours to avoid being sued for overtime violations. Working mothers, in particular, find these flexible work arrangements highly beneficial when a child becomes sick or a babysitter cancels.
A better solution for working women, argues the author, would be to leave undisturbed the workplace flexibility that many millions of women have already successfully negotiated.

As for "comp" arrangements, she argues another proposal — the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year — would be a more woman-friendly solution:  offering "workers who worked more than 40 hours a week a choice of 1.5 hours of comp time per overtime hour worked, rather than overtime pay." 

Source: Obama's War on Working Women, by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Manhattan Institute.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hasson: Five Lessons 2014's Conservative Women Taught MSM

The smashing victories of conservative women on election night "make this a teaching moment" for the mainstream media, argues Mary Hasson, who should adjust their stylebooks to these five lessons:
  1. "Women" does not equate to "liberal women." Conservative women are women too. (Example: Don't say "women voters" when you really mean "liberal women voters.")
  2. Delete "women's issues" from your lexicon. (Note: "women's issues" is a misnomer for the demeaning "lady parts" agenda of liberals who think women's priorities begin with birth control and end with abortion.)
  3. Ditto the meaningless "war on women." (See the losing campaigns of "Mark Uterus" and John Foust.)
  4. Do not say "women's rights" when you mean "abortion rights." (Iowas Senator-elect Joni Ernst and Virginia Representative-elect Barbara Comstock champion issues important to women — and passionately oppose abortion. Losing candidate Sandra Fluke champions abortion rights, not the rights of liberty-loving women.)
  5. To take the pulse of women voters, try interviewing ordinary, hard-working women. (Hint: They don't loiter in pricey Manhattan gyms or at glitzy Democrat fundraisers in Los Angeles. Try the grocery store, in flyover country, at the end of a long workday.)
Read What 2014's Victories From GOP Taught Us for the lessons Hasson believes the GOP should have learned.