Senate passes S.744 amnesty, but grassroots opposition is on the way to blocking it in House | NumbersUSA – For Lower Immigration Levels

Senate passes S.744 amnesty, but grassroots opposition is on the way to blocking it in House | NumbersUSA – For Lower Immigration Levels.

What just happened: This afternoon, 68 Senators voted to pass S. 744. (Click here for the full roll call.) The bad news: If eventually signed into law, this bill would threaten to knock millions of Americans out of the middle class by flooding their occupations with 33 million foreign citizens who are offered lifetime work permits over the next decade. Can you believe 68 U.S. Senators voted for that?The willingness of every single Democratic Senator and almost a third of Republicans to accept the corporate lobbyists’ insistence that our country faces devastating labor shortages is disheartening to all of us who have fought so hard to protect the 20 million Americans who can’t find a full-time job, and the millions more who have seen their real wages declining for decades during a worker surplus.

What’s next, and the good news about your efforts thus far: Now, we must turn our full efforts to immigrationthe U.S. House of Representatives and another huge grassroots effort in July. But this will be only a three-week fight before the month-long August recess.

There is no question that the five-month opposition that all of you have waged is having good results in the House, where the Senate bill is facing an increasingly hostile reception.

If the House refuses to move a giant overall amnesty, it doesn’t matter what the Senate has done.

Your efforts have been phenomenal: Over the last few months, you have been faxing your Representatives and going to their offices, even as you focused primary attention on Senators. Republican Representatives have watched the incredible grassroots opposition to the 14 Republican Senators who broke with the rest of their Party and supported Pres. Obama‘s top priority for the year.

Just today, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois), a member of the House Republican leadership, told reporters,

“It is a pipe dream to think that that (Senate) bill is going to go to the (House) floor and be voted on. The House is going to move through in a more deliberative process.”

For months, the open-borders lobby and their supporters in the news media have proclaimed that citizens were not speaking against this amnesty anything close to the way they did in 2007.

Your efforts back in 2007 to mobilize against that amnesty effort has become the stuff of legend around Washington. But I’m so proud to tell you that over the last five months — especially the past two weeks — you smashed the old records for activism! You’ve sent millions of faxes and made hundreds of thousands of phone calls into congressional offices.

For example, Republican Bob Corker, the Senator who rescued the S. 744 amnesty from defeat last week with a fig-leaf border control amendment, admitted on the floor this morning that the bill is extremely unpopular back in his state of Tennessee.

All of us at NumbersUSA thank you U.S. citizens for everything you have done thus far. And we thank you for all Americans who will benefit if the House blocks the incredibly harmful provisions of S. 744.

Fighting the bad stuff in narrow House bill: The  grassroots uprising against the Senate has truly caught hold among House Republicans who have persuaded their Leadership to go along with House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte (R-Virginia) to refuse to do a giant comprehensive bill, instead passing small bills that deal with one immigration issue at a time.

isupportlegalimmigrationThe problem is that the special-interest lobbyists are succeeding in getting a number of provisions into those small bills that would harm American wage-earners and taxpayers.

We will be coming to you for assistance in taming those Fat Cat Welfare provisions.

Dealing with the Conference Committee danger: Even if the House passes an absolutely wonderful immigration bill — such as the enforcement legislation recently passed overwhelmingly by the Judiciary Committee — that would give Senate leaders the opportunity to ask for a joint Senate/House “Conference Committee” which would split the difference between that very good bill and the Senate monstrosity.

If a Conference compromise bill were to include an amnesty, both the Senate and House would need to vote for it, without opportunity for amendment. The general thinking here in Washington is that most House Democrats would vote for the Conference “report” bill and very likely the needed couple dozen or so House Republicans would, too..

But . . .

Even if the Senate leadership were to ask for a Conference Committee, Speaker Boehner would not have to agree and appoint House conferees.

And even if there were a Conference Committee that reported out a bill with an amnesty, Speaker Boehner would not have to bring it to the House floor for a vote.

We have precedents in 2005 and 2006 for what we can hope will happen this year.

Many of you were part of those battles in which the House passed an excellent enforcement bill in late 2005. Despite our best efforts, the Republican-Majority Senate passed an amnesty in the spring of 2006. Then-Speaker Hastert refused to conference over those two bills, and the Senate amnesty died. (It was the next spring in 2007 when the new Democrat-Majority Senate failed to pass an amnesty when the new Democrat-Majority House was sure to have approved it.)

Until recently, Speaker Boehner has kept open the option of bringing an amnesty bill to the House floor that might pass with a minority of Republican votes — as he has done with some fiscal bills in the past. But over the last week, he has assured an increasingly aggressive Republican Conference in the House that he would not bring an immigration bill to the floor without at least a bare majority of Republicans supporting it.

Nonetheless, until today, he has refused to say what he would do about a Conference report that reconciled House and Senate bills.

This morning, once again, we saw the results of the powerful grassroots opposition to what the Senate has been doing. Politico just reported that Boehner told reporters :

“For any legislation including the conference report to pass the House it’s going to have to be a bill that has the support of the majority of our members.”

As you know, our Board of Directors, our staff and our members are Independents, Republicans and Democrats. But our July House Battle will be all about making sure that the majority of Republicans are against any overall amnesty. And we want the majority to be at least the two-thirds majority opposition to overall amnesty that we saw among Senate Republicans today.

The pro-amnesty, low-wage, labor globalization folks want Congress to believe that Americans will lose their will to fight and will just go back to reading celebrity news. But that’s not the Americans I’ve known ever since we’ve worked together to stop every amnesty attempt in every year starting in 2001 (after seven amnesties passed between 1986 and 2000).

Which Senators voted out of belief in ‘labor shortages’ and bogus enforcement promises?

At NumbersUSA, we have an Immigration Grade Card system that ensures that no vote against the interests of the American people will ever be forgotten.

Today, 68 Senators cast votes that will be very difficult to ever redeem with future actions.

After all the promises of “enforcement first,” these Senators accepted an entirely “amnesty first” bill that in the first few months would give work permits and legalization to some 11 million foreign citizens who either (a) crossed the border illegally, most of them by paying drug cartels and many of them by helping the cartels move drugs, or who (b) violated the promises on their vacation and guest visas and illegally took U.S. jobs (often through identity theft and fraud) and a share of the taxpayer-provided infrastructure.

Every single Democratic Senator voted YES to the amnesty and to the arguments of corporate lobbyists that a nation with 20 million Americans unable to find full-time jobs is desperately in need of 33 million new lifetime work permits for foreign citizens over the next decade.

And these Republican Senators voted YES to the same provisions, breaking with the majority of their Party (32 Senators) and all four of their Senate Party leaders:

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Chiesa (R-NJ)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Kirk (R-IL)
McCain (R-AZ)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Rubio (R-FL)

We will work with all of you to ensure that those 68 Senators are held accountable for their betrayal today of American wage-earners, of the unemployed and of the rule of law.

But our top attention must now be in the July House Battle that your activism has so-well prepared us for.

ROY BECK is the CEO & Founder of NumbersUSA

NumbersUSA’s blogs are copyrighted and may be republished or reposted only if they are copied in their entirety, including this paragraph, and provide proper credit to NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA bears no responsibility for where our blogs may be republished or reposted.

RINOs and cowardly conservatives – Tea Party Nation

RINOs and cowardly conservatives – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Conservatives always lament RINOs.  Conservatives ask why we end up with RINOs all of the time.

 

Where are the conservatives that can defeat RINOs?

 One of the worst RINOs in the Senate has been at work again.   But understanding how he got there might help conservatives rid the Party of these RINOs.

 Who is one of the worst RINOs and how did he get there?

 One of the worst RINOs is Bob Corker of Tennessee.  Corker, despite his pledge to the people of Tennessee that he was a conservative, has been a non-stop disaster for Republicans.

 When the Democrats need help, they can count on Bob Corker to help bail them out.   Corker almost singlehandedly revived the horrendous Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

 Now he is riding to the rescue to save the Gang of Eight and their amnesty bill.

 How did we end up with Corker?

 He was a businessman in east Tennessee, who got the political bug.  He ran or the Senate and lost in 1994.  He became Mayor of Chattanooga and then in 2006, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced he would not run for reelection.

 Corker quickly threw his hat into the ring, as did two other Republicans.  They were Ed Bryant and Van Hillary

 Both Bryant and Hillary were good solid conservatives.  They had been swept into office as a part of the 1994 Gingrich revolution.  Both served three terms and then left.  Bryant ran for the Senate, losing to “Liberal” Lamar Alexander.  Hillary ran for Tennessee governor, losing to Phil Bredesen.

 As 2006, rolled on, the three men campaigned against each other for the Republican nomination for the Senate.

 While that campaign was going on, another campaign was going on in Tennessee.  Governor Phil Bredesen was running for reelection.  As two well-funded, well-regarded and experienced candidates were busy dividing the conservative vote for the Senate, Tennessee Republicans were desperately searching for a candidate to challenge Bredesen for reelection.

 Jim Bryson was a relatively unknown state senator who ended up running against Bredesen.  The term that was often used by political pundits to describe Bryson’s campaign was, “sacrificial lamb.”

 In August 2006, Corker won the three way primary with 48% of the vote.  The two conservatives split the majority of the vote.  Since Tennessee does not have a runoff system, Corker became the nominee.   In November, Bredesen handily defeated Bryson, carrying all of Tennessee’s 95 counties and gaining a second term.

 There are lessons to be learned from this.

 First, had conservatives united behind a single candidate, we could have had a conservative Senator instead of Corker.  Second, conservatives need to learn how to be very forceful with conservative candidates.  In Tennessee in 2006, one of the candidates for the Senate should have been told to drop out and run for governor. 

 Had that happened, in January 2007, Tennessee might have seen a conservative Republican Governor and a conservative United States Senator

 This is a lesson conservatives should and must learn as we look to the 2014 elections.

 While there are some squishy Republicans we should give a pass to because it is better to have them than a Democrat, there are some RINOs in solidly Red States that we must replace.

 Lamar Alexander is one of them.  Lindsay Graham is another.  Conservatives must do something we are unaccustomed to doing.  We must unite and get behind one candidate in each of those races and replace those two RINOs. 

 Several candidates are already talking about running against Graham.  Alexander has done a good job of trying to co-opt his potential competition but there are a couple of people who are thinking about running against him.  Once the candidates have announced, the conservatives in those states must unite to find someone who can defeat both Alexander and Graham.

 Winning the Senate is the crucial battle of 2014.  We need not only a Republican majority in the Senate; we need to replace some of the worst RINOs.  There are some RINOs that if we primary them, we risk losing their seat and losing control of the Senate.  But there are some, like Alexander and Graham, we can primary and not worry about losing the general election.

 Conservatives must learn from our failures of the past and act.  Only then can we put RINOs on the endangered species list.

 

Lies, damn lies and Obama unemployment numbers – Tea Party Nation

 

Lies, damn lies and Obama unemployment numbers – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

It probably should not shock anyone that unemployment magically dropped to 7.8%.  If you think that is interesting, wait until the first Friday in November when unemployment is magically going to drop to below 7.5%.

 What are the real unemployment numbers and what does it mean?

 First, I predicted some months ago that right before the election, the numbers would magically drop in Obama’s favor.  The hard cold fact is no president in the modern era has been reelected with unemployment over 7.1%.    Obama and his team know that if they can get unemployment down to 7.5%, they have a chance.

 Did unemployment really drop?

 If you believe it did, you believe that Obama really wants to cut spending.  You believe he really has America’s best interests at heart.  And if you believe that, I have ocean front property in Tennessee to sell you. 

 The unemployment number is what is referred to as the U3 number.   I like to call this the cook the books number.  It means nothing.

 The real number is the U6 number.  The U6 number is the aggregate of all of the people who are not working.  U6 is the real number and it is 14.7%.  These are unemployment levels that reflect the economy.  These are numbers worthy of the Great Depression.  This is why I refer to our economy as the Great Obama Depression.

 Another true factor to look at is work force participation.  The labor force participation is at 63.6%.  That means that only 63.6% of adult Americans are in the work force.  The all time low, hit last month, was 63.5%.  These are not the numbers you will hear about from the Obama Propaganda Media. 

 To put this in perspective, the U6 was 8.0 percent the last time Republicans controlled the government.   The U3 was at 4.6%. 

 In September, allegedly 114,000 jobs were created.  Compare this to the 300,000 jobs created per month, which was a norm during the Bush years.  If the labor force were still the size it was when Obama took office, unemployment would be 10.7%.

 In short, Obama has destroyed our jobs market and our economy.  It is the equivalent of an obese patient losing weight because they are dying.  Yes the scale is moving in the right direction, but the disease is killing the patient. 

  I’m willing to go out on a limb here with a few predictions.  First, the propaganda media will be beside themselves tonight.  They will report throughout the weekend how much better the economy is doing.  They will ignore the economic bad news.

 Second, in a couple of weeks, we will get the revised figures on the jobs report.  And it will be not nearly as rosy as the Obama Regime is telling us it is today.  The media will bury that story.   This is a habit with both the Regime and the media.  When the jobs numbers are revised in the middle of the month, and the news from those revisions is always bad, the media ignores the story. 

 The only reason there is even a flicker in the economy right now is the creative accounting from the Obama Regime. 

 My friends over at Breitbart.com like to refer to the media as the Palace Guards for Obama.  You can expect more protection for Obama from his Palace Guards. 

 What you will not get from the media is the truth.

 

Prison Planet.com » Arizona Bill Would Ban UN Agenda 21 Within State

 

Prison Planet.com » Arizona Bill Would Ban UN Agenda 21 Within State.

Alex Newman
New American
May 1, 2012

As nationwide opposition against the controversial United Nations Agenda 21 “sustainability” plan continues to build, a popular bill in Arizona that analysts say looks set to pass would prohibit all state agencies and political subdivisions from implementing or supporting any portion of the UN’s so-called “sustainable development” scheme. The legislation was approved by the state Senate last month and has already cleared initial hurdles in Arizona’s House of Representatives.

As nationwide opposition against the controversial United Nations Agenda 21 “sustainability” plan continues to build, a popular bill in Arizona that analysts say looks set to pass would prohibit all state agencies and political subdivisions from implementing or supporting any portion of the UN’s so-called “sustainable development” scheme. The legislation was approved by the state Senate last month and has already cleared initial hurdles in Arizona’s House of Representatives.

The two-page bill, known as SB1507, would prevent the state, county, and city governments of Arizona from adopting any tenets of theUN Declaration and the Statement of Principles for Sustainable Development. It would block any other international schemes that violate the U.S. or state constitutions as well.

Under the proposed law, all public entities in Arizona would also be barred from cooperating with, funding, or implementing any programs linked to a controversial global organization known as ICLEI (formerly named International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives). The UN-backed non-profit organization, based in Germany, seeks to force the “sustainability” plan on the world by stealth.

“Any way you want to describe it, Agenda 21 is a direct attack on the middle class and the working poor,” sponsor Sen. Judy Burgessaid during a hearing on the bill last month; noting that even though the U.S. Senate had refused to ratify the global plan, former President Bill Clinton used an executive order to start foisting it on America by stealth anyway. “The primary goal of Agenda 21 is to create social engineering of our citizens and it will impact every aspect of our daily lives.”

A Tea Party activist who testified at the hearing called Agenda 21 an insidious attack on American sovereignty in an effort to build a one-world order. He also said the Obama administration was using taxpayer-funded grants to prod state and local governments into implementing the “subversive” scheme.

In an e-mail to MSNBC, state Sen. Burges, a Republican, further explained why the legislation is desperately needed. “The bill is designed to protect the rights of Arizona citizens and prevent encroachment on those rights by international institutions,” she explained. “We have three branches of government and when one branch preempts the process through executive orders, the balance of power is lost in the process. It is that simple – no more, no less.”

Among state Representatives, alarm about the UN agenda is building, too. State Rep. Terri Proud, for example, told supporters that the scheme “will take away our rights as Americans by allowing the United Nations to mandate laws on our soil. … It’s very real and it is happening.”

Another Republican, state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, said the UN did not have America’s best interests at heart. “I have concerns about us giving up our sovereignty to the United Nations and the World Court,” he explained.

The state lawmakers have also found strong support across America for their fight against the global “sustainability” scheme. Lawmakers in Tennessee, for example, just approved a bill slamming the UN agenda as an insidious socialist plot to dismantle national sovereignty and private property rights. Other states are considering similar resolutions even as a growing number of local governments continue to drop their controversial memberships in ICLEI.

At the national level, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution earlier this year blasting Agenda 21, too. And RNC members have publicly expressed support for the Arizona bill.  “SB 1507 will prohibit the imposition of UN Agenda 21 here in Arizona which is an insidious plan by the United Nations to force their governance on our state, counties, municipalities, schools and even neighborhoods,” noted National RNC Committeeman for Arizona Bruce Ash, congratulating lawmakers for their efforts.

“UN Agenda 21 preaches population control as well as control of where we live and how we live. The UN Agenda strips America of our wealth and threatens our sovereignty,” he added. “If SB 1507 passes and is signed by Governor Brewer we will … protect our liberty and way of life. This is a must pass piece of legislation.”

Because the UN agenda’s tentacles have spread so far over the last two decades, analysts are not entirely sure how broad the legislation’s effect might be. The bill could, for instance, potentially stop “green” corporate welfare by ending controversial wealth transfers from taxpayers to businesses that claim to adopt “sustainability” measures.

Some pro-Agenda 21 scaremongers, however, have attempted to drum up unfounded fears about the bill with hysterical and false claims about its potential effect on welfare programs. “We wouldn’t be able to use CFL light bulbs in state buildings because that would be considered energy efficiency,” alleged state House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, a Democrat. In reality, the bill would do nothing of the sort, and he almost certainly knows that.

Campbell also falsely claimed that Arizona’s welfare department could be dismantled under the bill. Ironically, he even said the state university system’s “sustainability” programs could disappear – saving taxpayers vast sums of money. However, fantasy-based straw-man attacks notwithstanding, it was not immediately clear why Campbell opposed the legislation.

“This is the most ludicrous bill I’ve ever seen in six years in the legislature,” Campbell claimed. “It’s the most poorly crafted bill in this state.” He also made headlines with a ludicrous conspiracy theory of his own, claiming that “the Tea Party and conspiracy theorists run the state now.”

Rabid supporters of Agenda 21 continue to claim that critics of the UN schemes somehow believe in a “conspiracy theory.” Of course, the global “sustainability” plan is neither a conspiracy nor a theory. In reality, the documents are all online for the world to see.

But pro-UN extremists, lobbyists, and people who depend on government-mandated “sustainability” programs for their livelihood are still attempting in vain to manufacture an outcry against the bill. Some members of the establishment press, meanwhile, have been dutifully repeating the hysterical claims even though the UN’s own documents are available online.

The chief architects of the plan have made its nature very clear as well. “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class — involving high meat intake, the use of fossil fuels, electrical appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning and suburban housing — are not sustainable,” claimed UN Earth Summit Secretary-General Maurice Strong as he ushered in Agenda 21 two decades ago.

Despite efforts to paint opposition to Agenda 21 as a conservative movement, however, the broad coalition seeking to stop it largely transcends party lines – at least at the grassroots level. In Tennessee, for example, more than a few democrats joined the GOP majority to overwhelmingly pass a resolution condemning the UN schemes. And the organization “Democrats Against U.N. Agenda 21” has been a key player in exposing the global plot.

But even as efforts to defeat the agenda gain unprecedented momentum in the U.S., the UN is moving full-speed ahead toward doubling down on the controversial plan. Recently released official documents revealed that the global body plans to use its upcoming Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro — known as Rio+20 to mark the 20-year anniversary of the Earth Summit — to amass a broad array of new powers and literally re-make civilization.

The Arizona legislation must clear one more hurdle in the state House of Representatives, a roll-call vote expected as early as next week, before heading to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk for her signature. The Governor did not comment on the bill when contacted by reporters, as is typical.

 

The battle for the Constitution in Tennessee – Tea Party Nation

The battle for the Constitution in Tennessee – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

In Tennessee, a silent battle for the Constitution is shaping up.  Ironically those who are most inclined to shred the Constitution are not liberals, but Republicans.  Many of them do not even know what they are doing.

 What is happening in the very red State of Tennessee?

 The National Popular Vote has reared its ugly head.

 The National Popular Vote initiative is a way to simply shred the Constitution without amending it.  The NPV is an idea where individual States agree that they will award their electoral votes not to the presidential candidate who wins the state, but the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide.

 The NPV came about in part due to the election of 2000, where Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral Vote.   The election showed the power of small states, because if Al Gore had carried Tennessee for example, the result would have been different.

 However, the result was something our Founding Fathers took into consideration when they created the Electoral College.

 The National Popular Vote strips the power of the Electoral College away.  There is a reason why our founding fathers created the Electoral College.   The Electoral College allows small states to have power against some of the larger states.  No state, no matter what its size, gets at least three electoral votes.

 If we were going to change the Constitution, there is a process for that.  It is called amending the Constitution.  The advocates of NPV do not want to do this.

 Perhaps the most alarming part of the NPV is the potential for electoral fraud.  With the current system, if you have massive vote fraud in Nevada, it is only going to affect Nevada.  With the NPV, vote fraud affects the entire nation and could change the outcome of an election.

 So how does Tennessee figure into this?

 The Tennessee House of Representatives is now considering adding Tennessee to the National Popular Vote.

 This is not just an issue for Tennessee.  It is an issue for America.  If a majority of states enact the NPV, it will go into effect and the Constitution will be destroyed.

 We need help from all across the country.

 The bill is currently being considered by the State and Local Subcommittee in the Tennessee House.  If the bill is killed here, it will die and we can help protect the Constitution.

 Here are the members of the State and Local Subcommittee:

 Ryan Haynes (615) 741-2264
 
rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov

 Jim Cobb (615) 741-1450
Fax: rep.jim.cobb@capitol.tn.gov

 Gerald McCormick (615) 741-2548
 
rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov

 Bob Ramsey (615) 741-3560rep.bob.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov

 Curry Todd (615) 741-1866rep.curry.todd@capitol.tn.gov

 Kent Williams (615) 741-7450rep.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov

 Call and email these Representatives, even if you do not live in Tennessee, because their votes will impact you, even if you live in Montana, Texas or Maine. 

 We must stop this attack on the Constitution.  As the proponents of the NPV try to push it, I am reminded of the words of Benjamin Franklin, who was asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had given America.  He said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

 We must keep our Republic from those who would seek to destroy it.

Teachers Union President Deems Education Too Complex for Tax-Paying Rubes – Kyle Olson – Townhall Conservative

Teachers Union President Deems Education Too Complex for Tax-Paying Rubes – Kyle Olson – Townhall Conservative.

It’s so reassuring to have the intellectual elites in our nation’s teachers unions, like Sandy Hughes of Tennessee, looking out for us rubes.

Hughes, a local union president, is pitching the idea that school board membership be limited to people who “have worked in the education field,” because the issues at hand are “so complex” and too complicated for average citizens.

In other words, all will be well if taxpayers just get out of the way and let the wise and wonderful union folks run our schools, no questions asked. All we have to do is keep paying the taxes, then mind our own business.

This is a perfect example of the snobbery and arrogance that is so pervasive in the public education establishment.

A stay-at-home mom that wants to be on the board? Sorry. Business owners who know how to control labor costs and balance budgets? They don’t have the right skill set, according to Hughes. Public education is too “complex” for them.

Hughes didn’t happen to mention the 80% graduation rate in her county, the 52% of 3-8 graders who aren’t proficient in reading or the 62% who aren’t proficient in math. Perhaps she thinks those statistics are acceptable, and the public school accept them, too.

There’s another issue at play here. Most communities throughout the nation elect school board members. Teachers unions throughout the nation provide millions of dollars in campaign contributions to get their hand-picked candidates elected, then lo and behold, they negotiate juicy, expensive contracts with their pet board members.

Union leaders have clearly thought this through. Some have actually produced How-To manuals, such as the Michigan Education Association’s “Electing Your Employer – It’s as easy as 1-2-3!” In it, the union details every step necessary to elect union-friendly school board members.

The only problem is that, with a board full of union supporters, nobody is looking out for the interests of students and taxpayers. But of course, people who aren’t dedicated to the union agenda have no business on school boards, according to Hughes. We obviously don’t understand the process. It’s all too “complex” for us.

Barney Frank Backs IPAB Repeal – By Andrew Stiles – The Corner – National Review Online

 

English: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Ser...

Barney Frank Backs IPAB Repeal – By Andrew Stiles – The Corner – National Review Online.

By Andrew Stiles

As the editors make clear on the homepage, outgoing Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) will not be missed. However, just one day after announcing his retirement from Congress, the curmudgeonly liberal has, perhaps for the first time in his career, given conservatives something to cheer about:  

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank announced on Tuesday his support for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a significant portion of President Obama’s health care overhaul. Frank…became the 12th Democrat, and the 212th member of the House, to co-sponsor Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe’s bill aimed at repealing the IPAB.

Frank is by far the most prominent of those 12 Democratic co-sponsors, the ranks of whom have been steadily growing as more of them are actually reading President Obama’s health-care reform legislation and “finding out what’s in it.” Under the new law, a 15-member panel of appointed “experts” — IPAB — will be given sweeping authority to rein in out-of-control Medicare costs. For example:

Under the law, there are only a few ways for the board’s cost-control recommendations to be amended. Congress can pass alternative measures that reduce Medicare spending by at least as much as the IPAB proposal; or, three-fifths of the Senate can vote to override the IPAB proposal entirely. If Congress fails to pass its own version by a certain deadline and the Senate doesn’t waive the requirement with a three-fifths vote, the board’s recommendations automatically become law.

Too many Republicans insist that President Obama has offered no alternative to House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s (R., Wis.) bold proposal to reform (and, thus, to preserve) Medicare for future generations. But he has. That alternative is IPAB. Whereas Ryan’s reforms would employ free-market principles to drive down costs by giving seniors the ability to choose their own plans, Obama’s top-down approach involves a board of unelected bureaucrats employing cold cost-benefit analysis to make far-reaching decisions about what procedures will be covered under Medicare and at what cost; in other words, heath-care rationing.

And while Ryan’s reforms would not go into effect until 2022, under the new health-care law, IPAB is scheduled to begin operating in 2014. However, a growing number of lawmakers and policy advocates are working to make sure it never does. Rep. Phil Roe (R., Tenn.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) have sponsored legislation to repeal IPAB in their respective chambers. But as demonstrated by Frank’s announcement, it’s not just Republicans who are wary of Obama’s plan: 

Health-care advocacy groups are also signing up to the effort. Organizations including the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), which vocally supported the health-care bill despite deep concerns about IPAB, are revamping their opposition to the board by lobbying for IPAB’s demise. Max Richtman, executive vice president and acting CEO of NCPSSM, cites concerns about IPAB’s lack of accountability to Congress and, consequently, the American people…

Richtman argues that the board would be able to impose “dramatic cuts” to Medicare, which would inevitably lead to restricted access to care for seniors. “It’s not going to address the problem in a way that doesn’t end up hurting the program,” he said. “The way the board is constituted is really not the right way to make those decisions.”

Of course, Democrats like Barney Frank and groups like the NCPSSM don’t actually agree with Republicans on what needs to be done with regard to Medicare spending; they live in a fantasy land where Medicare’s $23 trillion in unfunded liabilities can be solved by eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse” (and massively increasing taxes). But such bipartisan opposition to IPAB certainty poses another challenge to the Obama administration in its effort to defend an increasingly unpopular health-care law. Representative Roe tells me that his repeal bill is likely to see action sometime next year. “We have bipartisan agreement around the idea that this board will harm patient care and needs to be repealed,” he said in response to Frank’s announcement. “The IPAB will lack full Congressional oversight, compromising its accountability to the American people. This cannot be allowed to happen.”

Liberal Republicans want to raise taxes. – Tea Party Nation

Lamar Alexander 2

Image via Wikipedia

Liberal Republicans want to raise taxes. – Tea Party Nation.

If you wanted to rate Tennessee’s Senator Lamar Alexander, you would have to put him somewhere between horrible and even worse than awful. 

 What has he done?

 Lamar Alexander, or as Tennesseans refer to him as Liberal Lamar, is working on legislation that will force online retailers to collect sales taxes for states.

 While Liberal Lamar is a little vague on the details, it is a nightmare. 

 First, no branch of government, Federal, State or Local needs any more tax dollars.  Americans need that money in their pockets. 

 If you have any indication this is a bad bill, it comes as soon as Liberal Lamar opens his mouth and says he hopes this bill will have bipartisan support.

 Internet stores such as Amazon have a significant advantage.  They do not have to charge sales tax therefore their prices are usually cheaper.   The down side is if you want something from Amazon or LLBean.com or any other online retailer is you have to wait a week or two for the item to be shipped to you.  If you want your product now, you have to go to a brick and mortar store.

 When this issue is discussed, it is usually in terms of the big online internet retailers.  Amazon  has threatened to move facilities from states that have tried to make it collect sales taxes and has even terminated affiliate relationships in those states. 

 By requiring these retailers to collect sales taxes, Senator Liberal Lamar Alexander is creating a nightmare.  There are fifty states that have fifty different taxing structures.  It is not simply a matter of adding the tax to the purchase and then sending it to the states, these retailers are going to have to add staff to make sure they understand each state’s taxes, program their computers so they are in compliance with the tax laws, accountants to make sure the taxes are sent and then of course, they are going to have to deal with the ever popular tax audits.

 Amazon, Office Depot, Staples and Sears, some of the largest online retailers, will have to deal with this.  If costs become too great, they will shut down their online retail operations.  No matter what, there will be significant cost increases.

 They will probably survive.

 The real casualty here will be small businesses.  The vast majority of online retailers are small businesses.   They offer products or occasionally a service.  Many of these small businesses only have a few employees.  Some only have one. 

 This legislation will not simply cost these businesses more money.  It will put a lot of them out of business.  The taxes that will be increased in some cases make the difference for these retailers between staying in business and going out of business.    The extra costs of figuring out these taxes may force some of these businesses out of business.

 Businesses understand the nature of costs.  The first rule of business is you hold your costs down.  If you cannot hold your costs down, your competitor will and you will be out of business.

 Liberals, like Lamar Alexander, do not understand this.  Taxes and the mandates that go along with them, are a cost to business.  If costs exceed revenue, a business dies.  If costs rise to the point where a businessman cannot draw profit from his business, he will say it is not worth it and shut the business down. 

 All liberal politicians, like Lamar Alexander and Barack Obama do is add more and more regulations, taxes and costs on businesses.    It makes the costs of what we consumers buy greater and it forces businesses out of business.

 Lamar Alexander is the personification of the RINO concept.    He is a walking disaster who manages to screw up everything he touches.   He is proof that the theory we send our best and brightest to Washington is absolutely wrong.

 If you think Liberal Lamar Alexander’s bill is a bad idea, and you want to tell him about it, call his office today.  I certainly will be. 

 His Washington Office number is  (202) 224-4944 and his state office is 615-736-5129.

TSA’s power grope:EDITORIAL – Washington Times

TSA’s power grope: EDITORIAL – Washington Times.

Rogue agency reaches out and touches people outside airports

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has always intended to expand beyond the confines of airport terminals. Its agents have been conducting more and more surprise groping sessions for women, children and the elderly in locations that have nothing to do with aviation. It’s all part of TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program, which drew additional scrutiny following an Oct. 18 blitz in Tennessee.

As part of a “statewide safety operation,” TSA employees fondled travelers at bus terminals in Nashville and Knoxville, hunting for “security threats.” Truckers were harassed at four Volunteer State highway locations between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – prime time for terrorism, apparently.

Brian Gamble, a Florida firefighter, caught one of these intrusive VIPR operations on video after he got off a train in Savannah, Ga., earlier this year. “They had the scanners and everything there,” Mr. Gamble told The Washington Times. “They had them pull up their shirts, patted them down, wanded them. There were a couple ladies in our group getting searched. … It’s kinda ridiculous when you’re coming off a train – it doesn’t make any sense.”

Expect a lot more touching in the months ahead. “TSA conducted more than 8,000 VIPR operations in the past 12 months, including more than 3,700 operations in mass-transit and passenger-railroad venues,” boasted TSA Administrator John S. Pistole in June testimony before the Senate. His 2012 budget calls for expanding VIPR by 50 percent.

That means more searches, but it doesn’t mean more safety. As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted, “TSA had measured the progress of its VIPR program in terms of the number of VIPR operations conducted, but had not yet developed measures or targets to report on the effectiveness of the operations themselves.” That’s a nice way to say that TSA is acting for action’s sake.

By nature, the government bureaucratic leviathan constantly seeks to expand itself, regardless of need. It is the duty of elected leaders to keep this impulse in check. Sadly, however, aside from a handful of members, a timid Congress lets TSA go wild out of fear of being blamed should a Madrid-style attack happen on our shores.

The faith that this blue-gloved federal force would be able to detect and prevent a catastrophe from happening is misplaced. TSA has yet to catch a single terrorist. We don’t need obscene screening methods at airports, and we certainly don’t need them on our highways or bus stops. TSA needs to be wrestled under control.

Obama Kills Another 500,000 Non-Union Jobs – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

Obama Kills Another 500,000 Non-Union Jobs – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

Obama just destroyed another 500,000 jobs for Americans- at least ones who aren’t unionized. .

Flanked by flunkies from the government-dependent auto makers, the world’s largest shareholder in the American auto industry, Brarack Obama, imposed increased fuel standards on companies making cars in the United States. By 2025 auto makers will have to meet fuel efficiency standards that brings “new cars to 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level, in a bid to reduce U.S. oil consumption,” says the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Journal effort by the administration to raise the current fuel standard just to “the 35.5 mpg target by 2016 will cost the industry more than $50 billion.” The administration didn’t provide the Journal with costs for the 2025 standard but expect it to cost a ton, jobs-wise and financially.

$50 billion is about 100,000 American jobs- that’s non-union jobs.

That, in short is where all the jobs have gone under the Obama administration.

Makes one wonder if the only reason why the president doesn’t ban cars altogether is because of the union jobs.

Non-union jobs just aren’t that big of a deal.

As the foreign auto makers point out the rules are written to favor the Detroit, union-controlled, domestic auto makers.

“Not all auto makers support Mr. Obama’s plan,” says the Journal.

“German auto makers Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG both declined to send representatives to Mr. Obama’s announcement. Representatives for both companies, whose sales in the U.S. are dominated by passenger cars, said the deal would put their companies at a disadvantage, by setting relatively modest requirements for large pickups like the kind that Detroit auto makers like GM, Ford and Chrysler have long produced.”

Coincidentally, the United Auto Workers have targeted German automaker Volkswagen AG’s Tennessee plant as “a focal point in union efforts to gain a foothold among foreign auto makers’ U.S. manufacturing operations,’ reports the Journal in a separate story.

On Thursday I wrote about how the SEIU is facing racketing charges related to possibly using federal regulatory pressure against private companies in order to facilitate union organizing in non-union shops.

While thus far there have been no allegations regarding the UAW, there certainly is the consequent regulatory pressure.  

As The Journal notes: “The union has run into particularly stiff opposition at foreign-owned plants in Tennessee and other Southern states, where cultural sentiment against unions runs deep and right-to-work laws allow workers to opt out of unions where they exist. Nissan workers in Tennessee rejected UAW representation by 2-1 ratios in 2001 and 1989.”

Ah, but it’s nothing a little regulatory pressure can’t get around. 

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