Private sector ain’t so hot, Mr. President

Hiding in the basement avoiding the heat. Two news items of note. The first, from James Pethokoukis, who emphasizes how “not fine” the private sector really is:

The government’s April Job Opening and Labor Turnover report was, in the words of JPMorgan economists, “soft, lending some credence to the view that the April-May slowing seen in the payroll report was real and not a statistical fluke.”

– The number of job openings in April fell 325,000 to 3.416 million. That’s the lowest level since November of last year.

– But here is the real red flag. Private job openings fell 282,000 — the most since early 2009 — to 3.080 million. Early 2009, if you recall, saw the economy just hemorrhaging jobs.

Hemorrhaging, eh? Wonderful news less than six months before an election. Have the Obami figured out how to make the unemployment number not reflect the new pool of job seekers they’ve illegally granted amnesty to–or will those folks simply not be counted as part of the labor pool?

Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see how much traction the handful of block-the-President bills gain. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz) said of his bill:

“Last week, the president decided to grant amnesty and hand out work permits to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, while over 23 million Americans remain unemployed and the civilian participation rate is at a 30-year low,” he said Monday. “This amounts to an abdication of duty to the American people who are struggling in this economy.”Instead of working with Congress to secure our border and reform our immigration policy, President Obama sought to circumvent Congress once again.”

Pretty much.

I knew this would be an insane election season. I never knew how much. This salvo from Obama last week–only one step short of full amnesty, by fiat at that–shows he’s willing to stop at nothing.

Anyone else nervous about the newfound pools of voters they’ll dig out of graves, one way or another?

“Are We in Revolutionary Times?”

So asks Victor Davis Hanson of Obama’s unprecedented (and shameful) disregard of the Constitution yesterday in announcing he will  blatently ignore the law of the land (and the separation of powers) and not deport 800,000 illegal aliens. How quick can you get ‘em on the voter rolls illegally, eh? Hanson writes:

Legally, President Obama has reiterated the principle that he can pick and choose which U.S. laws he wishes to enforce (see his decision to reverse the order of the Chrysler creditors, his decision not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and his administration’s contempt for national-security confidentiality and Senate and House subpoenas to the attorney general). If one individual can decide to exempt nearly a million residents from the law — when he most certainly could not get the law amended or repealed through proper legislative or judicial action — then what can he not do? Obama is turning out to be the most subversive chief executive in terms of eroding U.S. law since Richard Nixon.

Politically, Obama calculates that some polls showing the current likely Hispanic support for him in the high 50s or low 60s would not provide enough of a margin in critical states such as Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado, or perhaps also in Florida and Virginia, to counteract the growing slippage of the independent vote and the energy of the clinger/tea-party activists. Thus, what was not legal or advisable in 2009, 2010, or 2011, suddenly has become critical in mid-2012. No doubt free green cards will quickly lead to citizenship and a million new voters. Will it work politically? Obama must assume lots of things: that all Hispanics vote as a block in favoring exempting more illegal aliens from the law, and are without worry that the high unemployment rate hits their community among the hardest; that black voters, stung by his gay-marriage stance, will not resent what may be seen as de facto amnesty, possibly endangering his tiny (and slipping) lead in places like Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. And because polls show overwhelming resistance to non-enforcement of immigrationlaw, Obama also figures that the minority who supports his recent action does so far more vehemently than the majority who opposes it. Time will tell; but my gut feeling is that his brazen act will enrage far more than it will delight — and for a variety of different reasons. As with all his special-interest efforts — the Keystone cancellation, war-on-women ploy, gay-marriage turnabout, and now de facto amnesty — Obama believes dividing Americans along class, ethnic, gender, and cultural lines will result in a cobbled together majority, far more preferable than a 1996 Clinton-like effort to win over the independents by forging  a bipartisan consensus.

There is no bipartisan consensus in Obama’s head. Yes, we can steamroll the Constitution! He is desperate, because in doing so, he’s going to make the employment situation bleaker for many. Read the rest.

Rush called this the “Catch, Release, Vote” plan. Fitting. His predictions of what comes next frighten me more.

UPDATE: Pundette has much more.

Change: For the first time since Depression, more Mexicans leave U.S. than enter

The border isn’t any stronger, folks. So what does this really mean? Oh: our economy is that bad. What an accomplishment! From the clueless WaPo:

According to the report, the Mexican-born population, which had been increasing since 1970, peaked at 12.6 million in 2007 and has dropped to 12 million since then.

The reversal appears to be a result of tightened border controls, a weak U.S. job and housing construction market, a rise in deportations and a decline in Mexican birthrates, said the study, which used U.S. and Mexican census figures and Mexican government surveys. Arrests of illegal immigrants trying to enter the United States have also dropped precipitously in recent years

There are no jobs to be had.

How’s this factoid:

One in 10 people born in Mexico live in the United States, and more than half entered illegally.

Or this one:

Although most Mexican deportees say they will try to return, their numbers are shrinking, too, the study said: According to a Mexican government survey, 20 percent of deportees in 2010 said they would not return to the United States, compared with 7 percent in 2005.

Half of those returning to Mexico took their entire families, including more than 100,000 U.S.-born children of Mexican immigrants.

Maybe the 20% grew tired of the over-regulation, too. Don’t blame ‘em.

New Obama ’12 slogan: We didn’t mean to change that!

“Illegal immigration: For the sake of the children”

That’s the headline of the article at the LA Times. No joke.

Is there anything that can’t be rationalized with the argument but it’s for the children?

Apparently not:

This is what I learned in Mexico: that parents will make any sacrifice for their children. Why do so many come across the border illegally? If you told me that one of my daughters would die young after stepping on a nail in a village without a doctor, or that my girls would have to leave school because they were needed to work and support the family, or that they would be in danger every day from drug cartels, I can promise you I would risk everything to give them a better life, especially if that life was available just across the border.
[...]

Living only 100 miles from the Mexican border, I’ve seen wave after wave of immigration and a variety of laws intended to control it. I saw lives changed by Reagan’s amnesty in the 1980s and by Clinton’s Operation Gatekeeper in the 1990s. And through all the policy shifts, the migration has continued. We can’t simply open the borders, of course. But we need to acknowledge the labor issues, and family realities, that have produced the situation and develop policy that acknowledges those complexities.

A teacher friend told me recently about her second-grade student whose father was killed in drug violence. An uncle helped the boy and his mother get to California, but then the uncle was killed. The boy has nightmares and never says a word in class, and his mother is desperate. But will she return to Mexico? Would you?

Why can’t we “simply open the borders” since everyone on the other side who has a sob story or children apparently has the right to make that child’s life better by breaking a law? It’s for the children. They can learn to abuse the welfare state here without ever learning the language. It’s for the children.

It’s for the children until folks realize the local elementary school has more native Spanish speakers than locals, or when the local ER closes because it’s in bankruptcy after treating wave upon wave of illegals who cannot be denied treatment and who never pay. It’s for the children. Until that impacts your own.

 

Romney’s “crowning achievement” more than a blueprint for Obamacare

Who will repeal Obamacare? The one whose state mandate to purchase insurance provided Obama administration hacks not only the blueprint but also worked for Obama to get ‘er done?

The Romneycare bill rests next to Mitt's knee. His wife apparently approves, too.

From  NBC:

“The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”

So what, Romneycare advisors met with Obamacare advisors. Big deal?

You betcha. Ed Morrissey says “uh oh”:

Rick Perry and other Republicans have attacked Mitt Romney for providing the “blueprint” for ObamaCare, which Romney has successfully rebutted — at least until now.  NBC’s report shows that if Romney and his team didn’t provide the blueprint, the argument can be made that the Romney’s team provided at least some direction to Obama and his team.

These weren’t just offhand contacts, either.  Besides meeting with Obama himself, Gruber also met with economic adviser Larry Summers, OMB chief Peter Orzsag, and Obama’s point person on health care reform, Nancy-Ann DeParle.  Most significantly, these meetings resulted in a contract for $380,000 to produce federal legislation based on Gruber’s work in Massachusetts.  Two other Romney aides met several times at the White House on the same topic.

A $380,000 contract, eh? Sweet!

Contrary to every politically expedient thing rushing from his mouth, Mitt Romney is not the man who will repeal Obamacare.

Ann Coulter still swears up and down that immigration is a bigger deal for Perry than Romneycare is for Mitt. I beg to differ.

The exodus of illegals from Alabama

From the AP:

Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home this week, afraid that sending the kids to school would draw attention from authorities.

There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments — from small towns to large urban districts — reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’ immigration status.

But they’re not leaving the country, they’re headed to sanctuary states:

A school worker in Albertville — a community with a large poultry industry that employs many Hispanic workers — said Friday that many families might leave town over the weekend for other states. About 22 percent of the community’s 4,200 students are Hispanic.

It’s striking to me that no one dares to argue these folks should leave and try to come back legally. That isn’t even part of the discussion. They can flee and become a problem in another state due to the lack of any federal enforcement of, well, you know, laws.

Instead, we get the tears:

Many of the 223 Hispanic students at Foley Elementary came to school Thursday crying and afraid, said Principal Bill Lawrence. 

Nineteen of them withdrew, and another 39 were absent, Lawrence said, the day after a federal judge upheld much of Alabama’s strict new immigration law, which authorizes law enforcement to detain people suspected of not being U.S. citizens and requires schools to ask new enrollees for a copy of their birth certificate. 

Bad people, who expect folks to follow laws and who end up making children cry. The children are afraid! Boohiss. Mean bad people. What of the other students, the ones forced to deal with the consequences of so many resources being funneled to deal with the vast influx of ESL students? In our old neighborhood in Virginia, the Spanish-speaking kids outnumbered the English speakers, and teachers spent more time speaking in Spanish than they did in English. Great education.

But it’s mean and heartless to point out the obvious ripple effects of the federal government failing to secure the border.

“Our taxes are too high, our schools don’t educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public”

So argues Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, in explaining why he proposed his county and 13 others in Southern California secede from the state. More:

Stone said in a statement late Thursday that Riverside, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono counties should form the new state of South California.

The creation of the new state would allow officials to focus on securing borders, balancing budgets, improving schools and creating a vibrant economy, he said.

[...]

He unveiled his proposal on the day Gov. Jerry Brown signed budget legislation that will divert about $14 million in 2011-12 vehicle license fee revenue from four new Riverside County cities.

Officials fear the cut will cripple the new cities of Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar.

Stone said he would present his proposal to the Board of Supervisors July 12.

The new state would have no term limits, only a part-time legislature and limits on property taxes.

Red county in blue state. How many others feel the need to secede in order to secure the borders? Educate rather than indoctrinate? Create a vibrant economy?

h/t  pjHusband

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a “Featured Blog.” Thanks!

Tuesday Laundry

The Other McCain has the latest on the fanatic Lutheran who stormed the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 1561 screaming “Praise Jesus!”  GatorDoug thinks he was a Methodist. As a Catholic, I just lump ‘em all together as “Protestant.”

Pundette: Obama heads to Texas to poke a stick in a hornet’s nest.

Can you agree and disagree with John Boehner in one sentence? Yes. “Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels should run,” he says. Yea to the former, however unlikely. Boohiss to the latter. Speaking of Christie fantasies, Byron York discusses the “Republican rescue fantasies” here. I admit to indulging. You?

“In the Navy” was no accident: Navy Chaplains authorizes Same Sex Marriages. Lawsuits headed to a military base near you. J.E. Dyer observes:

As the Navy Times article observes, members of Congress object to the Navy guidance, some of them stating explicitly that it violates DOMA.  But the Obama administration has announced that it will not defend DOMA in court, so it is not clear how Congress can proceed to prevent chaplains from presiding over same-sex marriages on military bases.

The obvious questions that will be raised include how such marriages are to be treated by the military, an agency of the federal government, and how they will be treated when the servicemembers are transferred to states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage.  These questions will be dealt with through lawsuits.

One lawsuit that is coming will be against a chaplain who declines to perform a same-sex ceremony.  The assurances of DOD spokesmen that chaplains won’t be asked to do anything inconsistent with their faith are meaningless.  Chaplains are federal employees.  There will be a judge somewhere who will accord a hearing to the argument that a chaplain has wrongfully discriminated.  The argument will be that clerics should be free to believe anything they want, but that the federal government should not allow them to discriminate in the performance of their duties if they are in its employ.

Unintended consiquences or intended? Gotta wonder sometimes.

The latest Obama campaign strategy: a new “text” alert system in NYC. Cell phone users can opt-out of terror alert texts, but cannot turn off “Presidential messages.” Wanna bet that all texts will end with “To donate, reply with GOBAMA to automatically support the President with $10. Need not be a citizen to reply!”

Last, an apology. I had a Mother’s Day post on the dashboard for three days to shout-out to my favorite mom blogger friends. And we had such an insane weekend that it didn’t happen. Nothing happened. The Mother’s Day weekend that will live in family infamy. A special thank you to my partner-in crime, Teachingmytwo, who is quite busy teaching her two at the end of the school year. And a hat-tip to all the ladies: Quite Rightly, Carol, Sherry, Pat, Anne, MJ, Kris, MarySueRetriever, Just a Conservative Girl, Edge of the Sandbox, No One of Any Import, Lisa and especially Jill. You all brighten my day with wit and wisdom, of both the mom and political variety (which often intersect). And last but not least, to my own mom, without whom I wouldn’t have been interested in either.

I hope your weekends were better than mine! Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

Arizona building its own border fence? You betcha.

Wow!

Can you spare $10 for a good cause? Via AP:

 Arizona lawmakers want more fence along the border with Mexico — whether the federal government thinks it’s necessary or not.

They’ve got a plan that could get a project started using online donations and prison labor. If they get enough money, all they would have to do is get cooperation from landowners and construction could begin as soon as this year.

Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed a bill that sets the state on a course that begins with launching a website to raise money for the work, said state Sen. Steve Smith, the bill’s sponsor.

“We’re going to build this site as fast as we can, and promote it, and market the heck out of it,” said Smith, a first-term Republican senator from Maricopa.

Arizona — strapped for cash and mired in a budget crisis — is already using public donations to pay for its legal defense of the SB1070 illegal immigration law.

Waiting for the federal lawsuit in 3, 2, 1. And prison labor?

The nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border already has about 650 miles of fence of one type or another, nearly half of it in Arizona. The state’s 376-mile border is the busiest gateway for both illegal immigrants and marijuana smuggling.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler said federal officials declined to comment on the Arizona legislation.

State Corrections Director Charles Ryan said getting inmate labor to help construct border fencing wouldn’t be a problem.

Minimum-security prisoners already have been used to clear brush in immigrants’ hiding spots near the border and clean up trash and other material dumped by border-crossers, he said.

Work crews of Arizona inmates also have been used to refurbish public buildings, build sidewalks and construct park facilities.

At 50 cents an hour, “we are a relatively inexpensive labor force,” Ryan said. “If we have the funding to do it, we’re capable of doing it.”

I grew up in Georgia, where good prisoners work on the side as trash collectors. I was shocked upon moving out of state that it wasn’t the norm.

I would love to see Texas and New Mexico follow suit.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a Recommended Read. Thanks!

Good news from the border: mission complete!

Oh, it's a surprise!

No, they can’t catch smugglers of humans, but they can sieze those pesky chocolate eggs! Mark Steyn on his hazardous trip across the border with kids in tow:

I am looking this bright Easter morn at a Department of Homeland Security “Custody Receipt for Seized Property and Evidence”. Late last night, crossing the Quebec/Vermont border, my children had two boxes of “Kinder Eggs” (“Est. Dom. Value $7.50″) confiscated by Customs & Border Protection.

A joke? Nope.

Don’t worry, it’s for their own safety. I had no idea that the United States is the only nation on the planet (well, okay, excepting North Korea and Saudi Arabia and one or two others) to ban Kinder Eggs. According to the CBP:

Kinder Chocolate Eggs are hollow milk chocolate eggs about the size of a large hen’s egg usually packaged in a colorful foil wrapper. They are a popular treat and collector’s item during holiday periods in various countries around the world, including those in Europe, South America and even Canada. A toy within the egg is contained in an oval-shaped plastic capsule. The toy requires assembly and each egg contains a different toy. Many of the toys that have been tested by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the past were determined to present a choking hazard for young children.

And yet oddly enough generations of European and Latin American children remain unchoked. Gotta love that “even Canada”, by the way: Is that an implied threat that Kinder Egg consumption is incompatible with participation in NORAD or membership of NAFTA?

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an import alert for Kinder Eggs, because they are a confectionery product with a non-nutritive object imbedded in it. As in years past, CBP, the Food and Drug Administration and CPSC work in close collaboration to ensure the safety of imported goods by examining, sampling and testing products that may present such import safety hazards. Last year, CBP officers discovered more than 25,000 of these banned chocolate eggs. More than 2,000 separate seizures were made of this product.

Let’s see – CBP, FDA, CPSC. I’m impressed it takes a mere three agencies from the vast alphabet soup of federal regulation to keep us safe from the menace of confectionery products with non-nutritive embeds.

As Janet Napolitano would say, the system worked. I hope America’s chocolate soldiers are enjoying their seized eggs this Easter.

Bonus prediction: What’s the betting that the first jihadist to weaponize a Kinder Egg makes it on to the plane?

PS My kids asked the CBP seizure squad if they could eat the chocolate in front of the border guards while the border guards held on to the toys to prevent any choking hazard – and then, having safely consumed the chocolate, take the toys home as a separate item. This request was denied. Could have been worse. Could have been a $300 fine, plus a $250 fee for seized-egg storage.

PPS The real choking hazard is the vise-like grip of government.

No lie.

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