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There Are Nearly 300 Cases of Voter Fraud in America

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This is from The Daily Signal.  

 Eric The Lawless Holder told us voter fraud does not happen.

What a load of crap.

The Heritage Foundation’s list of nearly 300 documented cases of voter fraud in the United States continues to grow.

Recent additions reveal that voter fraud is not just an individual or isolated crime; in some counties and communities, election fraud is almost a way of life.

These additions again reinforce the need for measures such as voter ID laws and procedures designed to verify the accuracy of voter registration information are needed to prevent these crimes in the first place.

Take East Chicago, Ind., for example, a town made infamous by the extensive voter fraud that occurred there in the 2003 Democratic mayoral primary election.

The fraud was so pervasive that the Indiana Supreme Courtoverturned the results of the primary and ordered a new special election that resulted in a different winner.

A local judge found “direct, competent, and convincing evidence” that supporters of the election’s apparent victor, incumbent Mayor Robert Pastrick, orchestrated an elaborate scheme of absentee ballot fraud.

Pastrick won the primary by garnering more absentee ballot votes than his nearest opponent, George Pabey, who received more in-person votes. Once that result was overturned, a new primary election was held and Pabey prevailed.

State and local officials convened a voter fraud task force to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this scheme.

The task force secured 46 convictions over a few years.

Many of these would-be election thieves submitted absentee ballots despite not even living in the city of East Chicago.

Joseph Pedraza and Constance D. Simmons-Pedraza, for example, falsely claimed residence in East Chicago so they could vote there in the 2003 Democratic primary.

City employment records revealed that both actually resided in the nearby town of St. John. They pleaded guilty in 2008 to voting in a precinct where they did not live and were each sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence.

Larry Battle, who had a prior history of “crimes of dishonesty,” also pleaded guilty to voting outside his precinct for the election.

At his sentencing hearing, Battle’s lawyer, Willie Harris, asked the judge for leniency, pointing out that everybody was voting outside their precincts.

Unpersuaded by the “everybody was doing it” defense, the judge sentenced Battle to two years in prison.

Another defendant, Tamika Lay, echoed Harris’s sentiments, expressing frustration to the judge at her sentencing hearing at being held accountable for her fraudulent vote. “People have been doing it [fraudulent voting] for years, and all of a sudden they want to do something about it,” she lamented.

These comments indicate an extraordinary and unsettling nonchalance toward crimes that undermine the integrity of the democratic electoral process.

Moreover, they suggest that a culture of voter fraud pervades communities like East Chicago across America, to the point that voter fraud is no longer seen as an insidious and illegal activity but rather an accepted way of life.

East Chicago is certainly not the only home of systematic attempts to steal elections; another new addition to Heritage’s ever-growing list of documented voter fraud convictions is a collection of cases from Benton County, Miss., stemming from a 2007 election in which 16 individuals orchestrated an elaborate vote-buying scheme.

In Knott County, Ky., Judge Executive (the chief executive of that county) Donnie Newsome and co-conspirator Willard Smith were convicted on federal charges for organizing a conspiracy to pay several impoverished, handicapped, illiterate, or otherwise impaired persons to vote for Newsome and others by absentee ballot in the 1998 Democratic primary election.

Newsome was sentenced to 26 months in prison. Smith got a 24-month sentence.

Just a few years later, Randy Thompson became the second consecutive Knott County Judge Executive to be sent to federal prison on voter fraud charges.

A jury convicted Thompson and three co-conspirators of a vote-buying scheme that involved use of public funds.

Voter fraud also pervaded Lincoln County, W.V., over the years.Six Lincoln County Democrats pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges relating to a vote-buying conspiracy covering presidential and congressional elections dating back to 1990.

This was hardly the end of voter fraud in Lincoln County.Local public officials pleaded guilty in 2012 to falsifying absentee ballots and stuffing the ballot boxes in an effort to rig the 2010 Democratic primary. A judge overturned the results of one of the primary elections after throwing out 300 fraudulent ballots.

Justice ultimately prevailed in these cases. The fraudsters and thieves were held accountable for their crimes.

It is imperative that we root out these cultures of entrenched voter fraud in communities throughout the country.

It goes without saying that elections should be won by those who win through a fair democratic process, rather than by those with the most unethical supporters. That is why efforts to crack down on voter fraud are critical.

And though it may come as a surprise to the partisans who claim that efforts to maintain electoral integrity are sinister, there is one final lesson from the East Chicago Democratic primary: The perpetrators of voter fraud are not just committed to cheating their ideological opponents.

They’ll take out members of their own party if they have to.

Legislators and officials in states and localities across the country can and must act now.

Our posterity should not have to dream of something called a “fair election.”

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From Sea to Shining Sea: 5 Examples of Voter Fraud across America

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This is from the Daily Signal.

We all remember the words of Eric The Lawless Holder when he said voter fraud does not exist. 

Contrary to the assertions of many, voter fraud is not a myth.

 

It is a stark reality that exists nationwide, from the rural counties of Georgia to the urban centers of New York.

The Heritage Foundation has documented nearly 250 caseswhere nefarious citizens, officials, candidates and campaign operatives conspired to commit vote fraud, compromising the integrity of our elections to achieve their ideological goals.

Here are some of the egregious new additions to the voter fraud database:

1. Kentucky

In eastern Kentucky, Ross Harris and Loren Glenn Turnerfunneled $41,000 to the 2002 county judgeship campaign of Doug Hays for what the defendants claimed was a lawful operation to pay more than 1,200 people $50 each to drive voters to the polls.

But a jury determined that this alleged vote-hauling program was just a disguise for what was in reality a vote-buying scheme. The punishment reflected the severity of the fraud:Hays was sentenced to six months behind bars, and Harris was hit with a $100,000 fine.

2. Mississippi

Not to be outdone, William Greg Eason of Tallahatchie County, Mississippi bribed voters with beer and money to cast fraudulent absentee ballots for a district supervisor candidate in a 2003 run-off election. A jury found him guilty, and he was sentenced to two years in prison, a punishment that also clearly reflected the severity of the offense.

3. West Virginia

Voter fraud and its ill effects are not limited to elections for local offices. On the contrary, voter fraud can and often does occur in connection with elections to the nation’s highest offices. In Lincoln County, West Virginia, Circuit Clerk Greg Stowers and five other Democrats were charged in 2005 with participating in a conspiracy to buy votes in congressional and presidential elections dating back to 1990.

The men paid for votes in liquor and cash (typically $20 per vote), handed out slates listing preferred candidates, and performed favors for supporters. All six eventually pleaded guilty to these charges in 2006, and Stowers was sentenced to six months in federal prison.

4. Georgia

A case out of Georgia shows that voter fraud has the power to steal an election from the rightful victor.

Tommy Raney, a 2007 candidate for a city council seat, and his campaign worker, Debra Brown, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit absentee ballot fraud.

Raney won the election against Larry Pickett by only 27 votes. Raney and Brown were fined $158,000 and $20,000, respectively. Despite the fraud, the election results were never officially overturned, and Raney did not resign his city council seat until nearly two years later, in September of 2009.

5. Iowa

Martia Yvonne Phillips and eight others in Iowa  pleaded  guilty to voting in the 2008 election despite being convicted felons who had not had their voting rights restored. Phillips voted while still on probation for a 2006 felony drug conviction. She was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison, a sentence that was suspended to two years’ probation.

Voter fraud clearly exists in many forms and in many places despite earnest efforts by some authorities to crack down hard on offenders. Moreover, voter fraud is easy to commit and tough to investigate after the fact, particularly when inadequate safeguards exist to detect the crime in the first place.

That is why it is important for state legislatures to enact commonsense legislation designed to combat voter fraud before it can distort an electoral result. Voter ID laws—which many liberals love to criticize, but which a majority of Americans across ideological lines support—are an answer to many types of voter fraud, including fraudulent use of absentee ballots.

But other measures are also needed, such as requiring proof of citizenship to register and verification of the accuracy of voter registration information.

Critics often argue that laws intended to uphold the integrity of elections are ineffective and unnecessary.

Voting Fraud Prevented

But take the case of Carol Hannah of Colorado. Hannah was registered to vote in Mohave County, Arizona and Adams County, Colorado and was convicted of voting in both statesduring the 2010 election. Hannah’s double-voting was detected by the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, a system that examines shared voter data from more than 25 states and checks for identical name and date-of-birth matches to ensure the accuracy of voter rolls and to ensure that individuals like Hannah cannot unlawfully double-dip.

In that case, the program did exactly what it was designed to do. Hannah was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Democracy is one of America’s finest traditions; voter fraud is not.

The implications of these cases are clear: election fraud exists, and it is neither isolated nor inconsequential. We can and must take steps to detect and deter this problem.

 

 

Obama making bid to diversify wealthy neighborhoods

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This is from The Hill.

Hey Barack start by putting affordable housing in Georgetown then your  neighborhood and Nancy Pelosis, Harry Reids and Rahm Emanuels.

After that, go to Nanny Bloomergs , Mayor DeBlasio’s lets not forget Bill and Hillarys neighborhood.

That will never happen so everyone else neighborhoods get turned into ghettos.

 

The Obama administration is moving forward with regulations designed to help diversify America’s wealthier neighborhoods, drawing fire from critics who decry the proposal as executive overreach in search of an “unrealistic utopia.”

A final Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule due out this month is aimed at ending decades of deep-rooted segregation around the country.

The regulations would use grant money as an incentive for communities to build affordable housing in more affluent areas while also taking steps to upgrade poorer areas with better schools, parks, libraries, grocery stores and transportation routes as part of a gentrification of those communities.

“HUD is working with communities across the country to fulfill the promise of equal opportunity for all,” a HUD spokeswoman said. “The proposed policy seeks to break down barriers to access to opportunity in communities supported by HUD funds.”

It’s a tough sell for some conservatives. Among them is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who argued that the administration “shouldn’t be holding hostage grant monies aimed at community improvement based on its unrealistic utopian ideas of what every community should resemble.”

“American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government,” said Gosar, who is leading an effort in the House to block the regulations.

Civil rights advocates, meanwhile, are praising the plan, arguing that it is needed to break through decades-old barriers that keep poor and minority families trapped in hardscrabble neighborhoods.

“We have a history of putting affordable housing in poor communities,” said Debby Goldberg, vice president at the National Fair Housing Alliance.

HUD says it is obligated to take the action under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited direct and intentional housing discrimination, such as a real estate agent not showing a home in a wealthy neighborhood to a black family or a bank not providing a loan based on someone’s race.

The agency is also looking to root out more subtle forms of discrimination that take shape in local government policies that unintentionally harm minority communities, known as “disparate impact.”

“This rule is not about forcing anyone to live anywhere they don’t want to,” said Margery Turner, senior vice president at the left-leaning Urban Institute. “It’s really about addressing long-standing practices that prevent people from living where they want to.”

“In our country, decades of public policies and institutional practices have built deeply segregated and unequal neighborhoods,” Turner said.

Children growing up in poor communities have less of a chance of succeeding in life, because they face greater exposure to violence and crime, and less access to quality education and health facilities, Turner suggested.

“Segregation is clearly a problem that is blocking upward mobility for children growing up today,” she said.

To qualify for certain funds under the regulations, cities would be required to examine patterns of segregation in neighborhoods and develop plans to address it. Those that don’t could see the funds they use to improve blighted neighborhoods disappear, critics of the rule say.

The regulations would apply to roughly 1,250 local governments.

Hans von Spakovsky, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, called the Obama administration “too race conscious.”

“It’s a sign that this administration seems to take race into account on everything,” Spakovsky said.

Republicans are trying to block the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. Before passing HUD’s funding bill this week, the GOP-led House approved Gosar’s amendment prohibiting the agency from following through with the rule.

Though segregationist policies were outlawed long ago, civil rights advocates say housing discrimination persists.

HUD is looking to break down many barriers, but Gosar suggested the regulation would have negative repercussions.

“Instead of living with neighbors you like and choose, this breaks up the core fabric of how we start to look at communities,” Gosar said. “That just brings unease to everyone in that area.”

“People have to feel comfortable where they live,” he added. “If I don’t feel comfortable in my own backyard, where do I feel comfortable?”

Critics of the rule say it would allow HUD to assert authority over local zoning laws. The agency could dictate what types of homes are built where and who can live in those homes, said Gosar, who believes local communities should make those decisions for themselves rather than relying on the federal government.

If enacted, the rule could depress property values as cheaper homes crop up in wealthy neighborhoods and raise taxes, Gosar warned.

It could also tilt the balance of political power as more minorities are funneled into Republican-leaning neighborhoods, he suggested.

The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on housing discrimination in a related case in the coming weeks. At issue is whether government policies that unintentionally create a disparate impact for minority communities violate federal laws against segregation.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is facing accusations that it makes low-income housing funds more readily available in minority neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods. This promotes segregation, critics argue, by encouraging minorities to continue living in poor communities where government assistance is available.

Court observers say the case could have a profound impact on HUD’s rule.

U.S. Military No Longer Able to Fight Two Wars at Same Time

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This is from The Washington Free Beacon.

I have read that our troop levels are lower than they were before the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor getting America into the second world war.

Liberals fail to understand the real purpose of the military they think the military should be the international meals on wheels.

The true purpose of the military is to win by killing the enemy and breaking their things.

 

Report finds that shrinking armed forces are less able to respond to global threats.

 

The United States military does not currently have the ability to fight two major wars simultaneously, according to a new report, a significant reduction from the capacity enjoyed by defense officials for decades.

The Heritage Foundation’s “2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength”concludes that the armed forces “would be ill-equipped to handle two, near-simultaneous major regional contingencies (MRC).” The two-MRC goal was largely attained during the Cold War, when U.S. forces engaged in a conflict every 15 to 20 years while maintaining ground forces in other regions to ensure stability and deter aggressors.

That strategy enables the U.S. military to defeat one adversary in a conflict while preventing another aggressor—seeking to take advantage of the United States’ preoccupation with the first conflict—from defeating it in a separate theater.

But this strategy is no longer feasible, according to the report.

“The consistent decline in funding and the consequent shrinking of the force are putting it under significant pressure,” the report said. “Essential maintenance is being deferred; fewer units (mostly the Navy’s platforms and the Special Operations Forces community) are being cycled through operational deployments more often and for longer periods; and old equipment is being extended while programmed replacements are problematic.”

“The cumulative effect of such factors has resulted in a U.S. military that is marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.”

If current automatic budget cuts remain in place, nearly $1 trillion will be slashed from the Defense Department’s funding in the next decade. Almost all of the service branches are already in “marginal” condition, according to the report.

The Army only had 12 brigade combat teams (BCT) ready for action at the end of last year, while the Obama administration’s last major defense review in 2010 called for 45 active BCTs. The Navy is 24 ships short of the total fleet it recommended to Congress in January 2013. And the Marine Corps could shrink from 188,800 active personnel last year to 175,000 by 2017, increasing deployment frequency for troops that have had less time to train.

The report said the Air Force was in the best relative condition of the services.

The size and readiness of the U.S. armed forces are declining during a period of global instability not seen since the Cold War. The report said the threats to U.S. vital interests are “elevated” from Iran, Middle East terrorism, and North Korea.

The threat levels are even higher from Russia and China, according to the think tank. Russia “possesses the largest nuclear weapons arsenal among the nuclear powers (when short-range nuclear weapons are included)” and has demonstrated a willingness to harm U.S. allies in Europe—as evidenced by its ongoing destabilization of Ukraine. China has been modernizing its nuclear and conventional forces in recent years and “is taking increasingly assertive steps to secure its own interests in [the Asia-Pacific region] independent of U.S. efforts to maintain freedom of the commons for all.”

The report also expressed concerns about the state of U.S. nuclear forces. Defense officials are not developing any new nuclear warheads, and weapons and delivery vehicles are not replaced for long periods—heightening the risk of failure.

“Nearly every other nuclear power is carrying out a modernization program that involves warhead and delivery system upgrades,” the report said.

The Heritage military index, released for the first time this year, will serve as a “baseline” for assessing U.S. defenses in the future, the think tank said. Presidential administrations, the Pentagon, and the services release several reports periodically on defense strategy and posture but lack a consistent measure for grading the armed forces, according to the Heritage report.

In These 13 States, Gas Is Selling for Below $2 a Gallon

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This is from The Daily Signal.

In my part of Indiana gas is still $2.39.9 per gallon.

Yet 92.4 miles away in Franklin, Indiana gas is $1.87.9 per gallon. 

 

 

Just two weeks ago, a sole gas station in Oklahoma swept headlines for dropping gas prices below $2 a gallon. Today, 13 states have joined that list, and the trend is expanding.

Gas for less than $1.90 a gallon can be found in at least one station in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Ohio, according to CNN. CNN cites 10 additional states– Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia– that now have gas below $2 a gallon.

“What we’re seeing is markets at work,” Heritage Foundation economist Nick Loris said. “Significant increases in supply and a relatively weak demand is lowering prices not just at the pump, but for most of the goods and services we pay for.”

The national average has dipped to $2.55 a gallon, marking the lowest drop since October 2009, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. Just a year ago, that average was $3.23.

“Oil prices are plunging because there is so much oil in the market,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a press release. “It’s unclear exactly how long this will continue, but gas prices will keep falling as long as oil prices do.”

Jenkins said oil prices are predicted to continue dropping through the first half of next year, increasing the “likelihood of $2 gasoline.”

CNN partially attributes this drop in prices to decreased oil demand because of the “economic slowdowns” across Europe and Asia along with increasingly fuel-efficient vehicles.

Another key reason for the drop is the increase in U.S. output. Domestic oil production is at a three-decade high, contributing to the increase in supply and driving down costs.

But Loris cautions against celebrating too soon.

“The falling prices are certainly a welcome relief,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean policymakers should ignore the government-imposed regulations and restrictions that artificially inflate prices and prevent markets from working more efficiently.”

 

 

 

If Obama Acts Alone on Immigration, House Judiciary Chairman Vows Court Challenge

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This is from The Daily Signal.

This sounds really good the big question is will the GOP pull the trigger to start this fight?

I have my doubts.

Editor’s note this was scheduled at 1600 I screwed up and put the wrong day.

 

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says Congress should “go to court very quickly” to stop President Obama if he decides to act alone on immigration by deferring deportations and offering work permits to millions of people in the U.S. illegally.

“If the president were to take further action, I believe it would be very important for Congress to undertake a challenge to that,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, at a Heritage Foundation event about Obama’s use of executive action.

“I would hope we would go to court very quickly and seek an injunction restraining the administration from granting those kind of work authorizations that I don’t think the law in any way provides for,” Goodlatte said.

Obama said last month that he plans to put off executive action on immigration until after the November midterm elections, citing the surge of unaccompanied children who flooded the U.S. border with Mexico this summer—and political concerns—as the reasons for the delay.

Even though the House has rebuffed attempts to revive comprehensive immigration reform during the border crisis this summer, Goodlatte said Obama should work with Congress to make an changes to current policy.

 

Goodlatte argues that because Obama announced he would act alone, it discouraged Democrats from undertaking serious negotiations in Congress.

“Most people feel immigration reform is needed, but there’s disagreement on what it should be,” Goodlatte said.

But when you try to bring legislative bodies together and you have to work out the differences and in the middle of that the president says, ‘Here is my list of things and if you don’t do it I will,’ those who agree with the president’s policies can sit back and say, ‘Well I don’t need to enter into tough negotiations about what needs to be done to enforce the law or reform the law and instead, I will just wait for the president to act.’

Besides effectively expanding his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which delays deportation for certain immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children, Obama is also expected to pursue changes that would produce more legal visas for people wanting to work in the United States.

No matter the form of action, Goodlatte vowed to fight it.

“The president does not have the authority to act,” Goodlatte said. “We should challenge.”

13 Quotes You Need To Read About Illegal Immigration

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This is from Town Hall.

 

 

1) “Could legalizing an estimated 11 million illegal aliens tip our precarious national finances into insolvency? Could be. Robert Rector, who works on such problems at the Heritage Foundation stated, “Granting amnesty or legal status to illegals will generate costs in Medicare and Social Security alone of $2.5 trillion above any taxes paid in” (Daily Caller, January 31). Two and a half trillion dollars? Yep. That’s Trillion with a T!” — Jim Robb

2) “57 percent of all households that are led by an immigrant (legal or illegal) are enrolled in at least one welfare program.” – Michael Snyder

3) “According to the California Hospital Association, health care for illegal aliens is costing state taxpayers well over $1 billion a year. Eighty-four hospitals across California have already been forced to close because of unpaid bills by illegal aliens.” – Ann Coulter

4) “While harrying and stalling tea party groups seeking nonprofit status, the Internal Revenue Service mailed $4.2 billion in child-credit checks to undocumented immigrants. Critics say midlevel IRS bureaucrats continue to abuse the Additional Child Tax Credit program by dispensing $1,000 checks to families in this country illegally.

‘The law needs clarification that undocumented immigrants are not eligible,’ Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told Watchdog.org in a statement….The IRS has said it doesn’t believe the ACTC law allows the agency to deny payment to undocumented immigrants. Watchdog reported in June that disbursement of ACTC credits has grown rapidly — and suspiciously — with increased issuance of Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers as substitutes for Social Security numbers. ITIN holders are not required to prove legal residency, and ITIN applications are running at the rate of 1 million a year.

Federal investigators identified one address in Atlanta where 23,994 ITIN refunds totaling $46,378,040 were delivered. A single bank account there received 8,393 refunds. Records indicate that undocumented immigrants in Virginia received $87.9 million in ACTC cash from the IRS. Watchdog reported that $163,711 went to a single address in the tiny eastern shore town of Parksley.” —Watchdog.org

5) “Contrary to President Obama’s claims of record deportations, John Sandweg, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, admits ICE deported only 134,000 illegal immigrants from the country’s interior in 2012. That figure — down 40 percent since 2009, when Obama took office — represents just 0.2 percent of the estimated 11.7 million illegals in the United States.” – Kenric Ward

6) “At least 99.92% of illegal immigrants and visa overstays without known crimes on their records did not face removal.” – Jeff Sessions

7) “Of 472 civilian occupations defined by the Department of Commerce, only six are majority immigrant (legal and illegal). These six occupations account for 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Many jobs often thought to be overwhelmingly done by immigrants are in fact majority native-born: 51 percent of maids are U.S.-born, as are 63 percent of butchers and meat processors, and 73 percent of janitors.” — Mark Krikorian

8) “In the fourth quarter of 2012, there were 27 million American citizens who were 18 to 65 years old, had no education beyond high school, and were not working. (This figure excludes those in jails or prisons.) If just one-fourth of them were employed, their number would nearly equal that of the illegal-alien work force outside agriculture. Some of the unemployed may lack a sufficient work ethic, but note that real wages (adjusted for inflation) for less-educated Americans have declined 10 to 22 percent in the past three decades as immigration has grown. Relative to the real wages of college graduates, the decline is even more dramatic. That less-skilled work pays so much less than what it used to likely explains, at least in part, any erosion of the work ethic among less-skilled workers.

There is good evidence that immigration has reduced wages and employment opportunities for less-educated Americans. Even more important, there is no shortage of less-skilled labor in the United States. To be sure, if employers’ access to the labor of less-skilled immigrants, both legal and illegal, were curtailed, they would have to pay higher wages and guarantee better working conditions to attract and retain native-born citizens. But improving the lives of our poorest workers, legal immigrants as well as natives, should be viewed as good public policy.” — Steven Carmota

9) “According to a Pew Hispanic Center survey released in October, just 34 percent of Latino registered voters considered immigration to be ‘extremely important’ to them. That trailed education (55 percent); jobs and the economy (54 percent); health care (50 percent); the federal budget deficit (36 percent) and barely edged out taxes (33 percent). It’s quite possible, in other words, that Republicans could back some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and still find that they don’t improve among this voting bloc. Also, a softer line on immigration could hurt Republicans’ ability to win over working class voters who feel threatened by cheaper labor, and working class voters are a bloc that another contingent of pundits views as crucial to GOP comeback chances.” — <href=”#.ukmoi4dx23g”>Philip Klein

10) “In 2006, the Secure Fence Act was signed into law, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to build upward of 700 miles of double layered fencing along the U. S-Mexico border. While the Obama administration is quick to state that the targets have been met, only a small fraction — in fact, less than 40 miles — of the newly implemented infrastructure is double-layered.” – Duncan Hunter

11) “You can be in the country illegally, you can have an extensive criminal history, you can have multiple criminal convictions for serious offenses, and there is nothing that we can do to touch you.” – Chris Crane, president of the ICE Council, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents’ union

12) “Roughly one in six illegal immigrants is re-arrested on criminal charges within three years of release, according to new government data being released Tuesday. Those charges range from murder to drunken-driving and, according to House Republicans pushing out the report, are symptoms of what they describe as a “dangerous and deadly” immigration policy. The findings, obtained by Fox News, are contained in reports by the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee and nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. They are the result of the committee’s subpoena request for Department of Homeland Security records from October 2008 to July 2011.

The information was analyzed by the CRS, which also broke down the information for criminal immigrants — legal immigrants who committed crimes and were arrested again over the three-year period. Together, the two groups also had a roughly one-in-six recidivism rate. The records show 276,412 reported charges against illegal and criminal immigrants over that three-year period as identified by Secure Communities, a federal program that essentially attempts to make best use of resources by identifying and prioritizing which illegal immigrants pose the biggest threat to public safety and should be arrested or deported.

Of the 160,000 people in the database, more than 26,000 were re-arrested — accounting for nearly 58,000 crimes and violations. They allegedly committed nearly 8,500 drunken-driving offenses and more than 6,000 drug-related violations. The records also show major criminal offenses, which included murder, battery, rape, kidnapping and nearly 3,000 thefts. Roughly 2 percent of the crimes included carjacking, child molestation, lynching and torture, according to the 13-page Congressional Research Service report.” — Fox News

13) “According to a May report of the Center for Immigration Studies, of the 36,000 criminal aliens who, while awaiting deportation, were set free by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 193 had been convicted of homicide, 426 of sexual assault, 303 of kidnaping, 1,075 of aggravated assault, 1,160 for stolen vehicles, 9,187 for possession or use of dangerous drugs, and 16,070 for driving drunk or drugged. Those 36,000 criminal aliens are roughly equivalent to three-and-a-half divisions of felons and social misfits released into our midst. And this does not include the 68,000 illegal aliens against whom ICE declined to press criminal charges last year, but turned loose.” — Pat Buchanan

America’s Veterans Deserve Better: 5 Priorities to Fix VA

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This is from  The Heritage Foundations The Foundry.

I have no doubt Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinsek became the fall guy for the incompetent as that is president.

Now Obama has his sheeple distracted, he can get on with destroying America.

 

 

All Washington is speculating on when—not if—U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki will have to step down. And once that happens, all the chatter will turn immediately to who gets to take the hot seat next. In many ways, that’s the wrong question.

Washington is ever fixated on who’s in and who’s out. But the most important question here is: How can we build a more effective and efficient Department of Veterans Affairs?

That’s a task that requires much more than a new face in President Obama’s cabinet. To fix VA, the next secretary will need an attentive, committed partner in the White House and bipartisan support in the Congress. That’s the only way to establish the administrative and legislative foundation necessary to deliver the world-class service our veterans deserve.

So rather than start with names, let’s start with identifying five fixes all of Washington needs to pursue to get VA right.

1) Create a culture of accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Lack of accountability is not a problem specific to VA headquarters or the Phoenix hospital; it is department-wide. The VA Management Accountability Act can be highly useful in achieving this goal: The secretary needs to be able to fire the leaders who work underneath him. Employees found to be in violation of VA procedures should face real consequences—not just be shuffled over to another slot in the bureaucracy. The same goes for middle management and rank-and-file employees, who right now are largely sheltered from oversight.

2) Empower employees to speak up about wrongdoings. The revelations of falsification of wait lists and bureaucratic corruption have come largely from whistleblowers who were courageous enough to speak truth knowing their truth-telling likely would cost them their job. Many more stories are waiting to be told. The inspector general’s interim report from the Phoenix VA states that investigators received “numerous allegations daily of mismanagement, inappropriate hiring decisions, sexual harassment and bullying behavior by mid- and senior-level managers at this facility.” VA employees should not be afraid to speak out on such matters. Whistleblower protections should be strengthened, the inspector general’s budget increased, and the inspector general should be empowered to pursue these new allegations.

3) The department must be made to answer congressional inquiries in a direct, transparent and timely manner. The House Veterans Affairs Committee documented hundreds of congressional requests for information that have been ignored by department officials. The committee has tried to shame VA into compliance by publicizing the lack of cooperation, but that tactic was met with more inaction and unresponsiveness.

4) Increase the efficiency of service delivery and elevate the quality of care provided by the VA system to that found in the private sector. Recent reports indicate the work schedules of VA doctors are several times lighter than those of their private-sector counterparts. Such inefficiency, driven by excess regulation, red tape and so-called “protections,” necessarily leads to increased wait time. Obama acknowledged the system’s productivity problems when he talked of the need to bring the department into the 21st century. It is not a matter of resources, but rather creating the incentives for those resources to be used efficiently.

5) Increase medical options for our veterans. VA already has a program that allows veterans to go outside the VA health care network on a per-fee basis. Despite the resistance from VA employees, that program needs to be dramatically expanded. Veterans should be given the direct choice to access private care—based on triggers such as geographic hardships, excess wait times or a general lack of quality care. At a House hearing on Tuesday, VA officials admitted they’ve been operating under misguided priorities, and they need to refocus on making outcomes for veterans the primary goal—not the perpetuation of VA’s monopoly. Injecting choice into the VA system also allows free-market incentives to induce VA to improve their service, lest veterans go somewhere else for care.

These priorities are not just for the next secretary. No one man or woman can make it happen. All of Washington—House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, Veterans Affairs and the White House—needs to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

VA has a legal obligation to provide services to veterans. But all us have a moral obligation to give back to those who have served us. As advocates, we can fight for a better VA—and we must. And as individuals, we can welcome veterans back into our communities and help them thrive—and in doing so, inject the courage, selflessness and leadership America desperately needs right now.

 

 

18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels

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This is from Joe For America.

These numbers are mind boggling.

How long will it be before America is just a memory?

 

 

This article has been generously contributed by Michael Snyder. You can follow his regular writings, research and analysis at The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream. Read his recent book The Beginning of the End to get an idea of what America may look like in the very near future.

Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million?  In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system.  And did you know that nearly 70 percent of all of the money that the federal government spends goes toward entitlement and welfare programs?  When it comes to the transfer of wealth, nobody does it on a grander scale than the U.S. government.  Most of what the government does involves taking money from some people and giving it to other people.  In fact, at this point that is the primary function of the federal government.

Just check out the chart below.  It comes from the Heritage Foundation, and it shows that 69 percent of all federal money is spent either on entitlements or on welfare programs…

Heritage-Foundation-460x343

So when people tell you that the main reason why we are being taxed into oblivion is so that we can “build roads” and provide “public services”, they are lying to you.  The main reason why the government taxes you so much is so that they can take your money and give it to someone else.

We have become a nation that is completely and totally addicted to government money.  The following are 18 stats that prove that government dependence has reached epidemic levels…

#1 According to an analysis of U.S. government numbers conducted by Terrence P. Jeffrey, there are 86 million full-time private sector workers in the United States paying taxes to support the government, and nearly 148 million Americans that are receiving benefits from the government each month.  How long can such a lopsided system possibly continue?

#2 Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

#3 The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

#4 Today, the federal government runs about 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.

#5 Back in 1960, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 10 percent.  In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent.  Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.

#6 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the total number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to nearly 47 million.

#7 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#8 It sounds crazy, but the number of Americans on food stamps now exceedsthe entire population of the nation of Spain.

#9 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps is now greater than the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#10 According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, 43 percent of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare.

#11 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today,more than 70 million Americans are on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#12 The number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.

#13 Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.

#14 If the number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program were gathered into a single state, it would be the 8th largest state in the entire country.

#15 In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.  Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.

#16 It is being projected that the number of Americans on Social Security will rise from about 62 million today to more than 100 million in 25 years.

#17 Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfallover the next 75 years.

#18 According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

Many will read this and will assume that I am against helping the poor.  That is completely and totally not true.  There will always be people that are impoverished, and this happens for many reasons.  In many cases, people simply lack the capacity to take care of themselves.  It is a good thing to take care of such people, whether the money comes from public or private sources.  In every society, those that are the most vulnerable need to be looked after.

But it is a very troubling sign that the number of people on government assistance is now far, far greater than the number of people with full-time jobs.  This is not a sustainable situation.  The federal government is already drowning in debt, and yet more people become dependent on the government with each passing day.

The long-term solution is to get more Americans working or starting their own businesses, but the federal government continues to pursue policies that are absolutely killing the creation of jobs and the creation of small businesses in this country.  So our epidemic of government dependence is going to continue to get worse.

And many of these programs are absolutely riddled with fraud and corruption.  Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Natural News article

To understand the extent of this fraudulent waste, go no further than Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone. Dr. Melgen isn’t the only one bathing in the fraud of this crony government program. Medicare dished out over $1 million to almost 4,000 doctors in 2012, according to the new data release analyzed by The Washington Post.

Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is calling on the public for help in identifying fraud. He says, “The program is funded by and large by taxpayer dollars. The public has a right to know what it is paying for. We know there is fraud in the system. We are asking for the public’s help to check, to find waste, and to find potential fraud.”

Instead of fixing their own problems, they want us to help them do it.

Just great.

And of course they always want more of our money to help fund these programs.  In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform, Barack Obama has proposed 442 tax increases since entering the White House…

-79 tax increases for FY 2010
-52 tax increases for FY 2011
-47 tax increases for FY 2012
-34 tax increases for FY 2013
-137 tax increases for FY 2014
-93 tax increases for FY 2015

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with “only” 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.

The more we feed the monster, the larger and larger it grows.

And yet poverty is not decreasing.  In fact, the poverty rate has been at 15 percent or greater for three years in a row.  That is the first time that has happened in decades.

Barack Obama promised to “transform” America, and yet poverty and government dependence have just continued to grow during his presidency.

Not that anyone really believes anything that he has to say at this point.  In fact, one recent survey found that only 15 percent of Americans believe that Barack Obama always tells the truth and 37 percent believe that he lies “most of the time”…

A Fox News poll released Wednesday shows that six out of every ten Americans believes that President Barack Obama lies to the American people, at least some of the time. A plurality – 37% – say that he lies “most of the time,” while another 24% say he lies “some of the time.” Another 20% say he lies once in awhile, while only 15% say that he never lies.

So what do you think?

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years. Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream. If you want to know what things in America are going to look like in a few years read his new book The Beginning of the End.


Read more at http://joeforamerica.com/2014/04/18-stats-prove-government-dependence-reached-epidemic-levels/#qHpLmB8tuzCprXb8.99

Tales of the Red Tape #42: Peeling Back Nonsense in Vehicle Regulation

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This is from The Heritage Foundation‘s The Foundry.

One more example of out of control government.

Gene Blevins/Polaris/Newscom

Gene Blevins/Polaris/Newscom

General Motors Corp. (GM) is recalling 18,941 Chevy Camaros (model years 2013 and 2014) for violating Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208—Occupant Crash Protection.

Defective seat belts? Air bag malfunction? Brake failure?

Nope.

GM is recalling 18,941 Chevy Camaros because the air bag warning label on the sun visormay peel.

Seriously.

The recall decision was made by the Executive Field Action Decision Committee, following a review by the Field Performance Evaluation Review Committee. So, pursuant to 49 CFR §573.6, the automaker submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) its determination of noncompliance for the requirement that the visor label be “permanently affixed.”

GM also issued a stop delivery order to dealers, and instructed them to inspect the label on each sun visor (“using a finger nail, plastic card, or similar” to determine proper adhesion). In the event a label is prone to peel, the entire sun visor must be scrapped and replaced.

This is no small matter, evidently. If the air bag warning label detaches from the visor, the driver and front seat passenger may not be warned of the risks of air bag deployment. Or so goes the reasoning for the adhesion edict. But even when warned via visor label, a driver and front seat passenger have little choice about air bag deployment, since the potentially dangerous equipment is required by the NHTSA itself.

In other words, General Motors is required under NHTSA rules to initiate a recall of 18,941 vehicles because of a danger created by other NHTSA rules. Perhaps it is regulators who should come with a warning label.

 

 

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