January 10, 2008

USAT Report on Okla. Immigration Law Impact Heavy on Anecdotes, Light on Facts and Stats

USA Today’s Emily Bazar wrote a long article Wednesday (“Strict immigration law rattles Okla. businesses”) on the early impact of Oklahoma’s recently-passed immigration reform legislation, apparently now well-known as “1804,” or “House Bill 1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, arguably the nation’s toughest state law targeting illegal immigrants,” which became effective November 1.

Bazar’s report is dominated by plenty of downbeat anecdotes and dire warnings to relay to her readers from employers and others. Here are a few:

….. workers at the sprawling Greenleaf Nursery were prepping for deadly frosts. They needed to ship plants, erect greenhouses and bunch trees together to protect them against the cold.

But in late October, about 40 employees disappeared from the 600-acre nursery about an hour’s drive from Tulsa. “Some went to Texas, some went to Arkansas,” nursery President Randy Davis says. “They just left.”

Why did the workers, all immigrants, flee? “Those states don’t have 1804,” Davis says.

(more…)

Mitt Romney Calls Gregg Jackson ‘Delusional’; What Does That Make Romney?

Filed under: Economy,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:49 pm

OVERVIEW: On a major Boston talk show just before Christmas, Mitt Romney called a leading conservative author “delusional.” You know what they say about people in glass houses.

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Mass Resistance has posted the audio and transcript of a call that took place on the air during the Howie Carr show on the afternoon of December 21 on WRKO in Boston.

The caller was Gregg Jackson, who is co-host of Pundit Review Radio on Sunday evenings on WRKO and is co-proprietor at the Pundit Review blog. Howie Carr’s guest was Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney, who in the course of answering Jackson’s question, showed exactly why he is, indeed, objectively unfit.

Keep in mind that Gregg is the author of “Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies,” a book that has earned rave reviews from the likes of Thomas Sowell (“political and media spin are shot to pieces by hard facts”) and David Limbaugh (“There is not a better one-stop-shop item to refute with evidence and examples the liberal lies.”).

The former Massachusetts governor, according to this debate footage (first 30 seconds of so at linked video), wants to: “….. bring together the same coalition that Ronald Reagan put together, conservatives fiscally, conservatives from a military standpoint, and conservatives socially,” and says that “….. I was a conservative Republican in a very Democrat state.”

Let’s see how Mr. Coalition-Building Conservative handled perfectly legitimate questions from (sorry Gregg, I’m going to make you blush) one of the rising stars of conservative punditry (bolds are mine; explanations of footnoted items are at the end of this post):

Gregg Jackson: ….. Mr. Romney, I’m just wondering, why is it that you have claimed that you were just following the MSJC’s Goodridge opinion by ordering the Department of Public Health to change the marriage certificates from “Husband and Wife” to “Partner A and Partner B” and also forcing the Justices of the Peace and Town Clerks to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies or resign when there was no specific order from the court for you to do so? I mean, I guess the question is, why did you violate your oath of office that you swore and, was it to fulfill a campaign promise to the Log Cabin Republicans not to oppose same-sex marriage? (i)

Howie Carr: Boy, they don’t like, the Log Cabin Republicans have been running ads on our radio station, Gregg, against Mitt. (ii) Go ahead, Mitt.

Mitt Romney: Gregg, I’m afraid, is slightly delusional. And let’s go through this one by one. First of all, we received a request to change our birth certificates to “Parent A and Parent B” and we refused to do so. (iii) So we insisted that they not change the birth certificates. So he’s got that wrong, number one. Number two, we did instruct our Justices of the Peace that they needed to understand that given the Supreme Court’s decision requiring them to marry people of the same people, of the same gender (iv), if so requested that they had no choice but to do so or, alternatively, they would be wise not to stay as a Justice of the Peace because they might get sued by somebody. So we were giving them the information they needed to avoid a legal condition. And finally, number three, the idea that I’m not an opponent of same-sex marriage is frankly laughable.

Howie Carr: Right.

Mitt Romney: Everybody in the entire nation knows that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made same-sex marriage legal and that I fought it in every single way I could. (v) I even went to Washington and testified in favor of an amendment to the federal Constitution. I helped collect signatures. I took cases to the court. I did everything in my power. And I continue to fight same-sex marriage. So it’s a little silly. By the way, I’m probably the most frequently protested person by many gay groups because of my opposition to gay marriage. So to have the folks on the right wing (vi) think that somehow I was trying to promote gay marriage is actually the height of silliness.

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“Delusional,” eh?

Well, since the Mittster opened this can of worms, I hope you don’t mind if I examine the can’s contents.

So who is more “delusional,” Gregg Jackson or:

  • Someone who says he “saw” his dad march with Martin Luther King, but could not have — and then when it is proven he could not have, tries to play games with the meaning of “saw”?
  • Someone who, in justifying the validity of his supposed “epiphany” on abortion, claims that Ronald Reagan was “adamantly” pro-abortion, when there is NO historical evidence of that?
  • Someone who, for the same purpose, tries to claim that the late Henry Hyde was pro-abortion, again with no historical evidence?
  • Someone who, for the same purpose, mischaracterizes the abortion position held by his own mother in 1970?
  • Someone who, while voicing outrage over pension funds investing in companies that do business with Iran, is heavily invested, both in his family and with Bain Capital (where he is still an investor), in Russian and Communist Chinese oil companies with massive Iranian projects?
  • Someone who claims to have been a lifelong hunter, when he has hunted at most only a few times?

The only reason the list stops here is that six items are plenty. Those were just off the top of my head; there are plenty more where these came from.

Final question: Who’s more “delusional” — Gregg Jackson. or Romney supporters who know damn well that the things I’ve just recited and others I have posted about for the past 7 weeks are true, yet still support Objectively Unfit Mitt for president?

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Notes:
(i) – Proof that there was a 2002 promise to Log Cabin Republicans is here (original NY Times link).
(ii) – Carr is right, but doesn’t explain why. Log Cabin Republicans in reality are currently opposing Romney in their “MittFlops” opposition messages on a wide variety of matters, including inconsistent statements on on same-sex marriage. They cite as an inconsistency Romney’s opposition to a 2002 “preemptive state Marriage Protection Amendment prohibiting homosexual marriage, civil unions and same-sex public employee benefits,” but then “flipping” in 2007 to support a Federal Marriage Amendment. It doesn’t change the fact that they supported him Romney in 2002, and that their support was based on a pledge to, in essence, violate Massachusetts’s constitution to protect a same-sex marriage ruling that everyone knew was coming.
(iii) Romney totally changed the subject from marriage certificates to birth certificates. There is no way he misunderstood the question, as the rest of his misguided answer shows. He just didn’t want to talk about these new marriage certificates. What horse manure — Carr should have corrected the governor and demanded an answer, or allowed Jackson to do so.
(iv) and (v) – For the umpteenth time, unrefuted by anyone, the MSJC did NOT require that the state marry people of the same sex; the MSJC simply does NOT have that power under the Bay State’s Constitution (briefly explained here; more detailed layout here). Mitt Romney did not fight same-sex marriage; he unilaterally, extra-constitutionally, and in violation of his oath of office, imposed it.
(vi) – If this isn’t revealing, I don’t know what is. Grasp the significance, folks: Mitt Romney is speaking of “the folks on the right wing” (note: not “some folks,” or a few folks; it’s ALL “the folks”) as if they are a group he is not a part of. I submit that this is because, when all his pretenses are shoved aside in unguarded moments like these, HE ISN’T.

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UPDATE: From Gregg himself at Pundit Review — “Mitt Zombie Calls Me ‘Delusional’.” At the Mass Resistance blog – “Howie Carr Let Romney Off the Hook on ‘Gay Marriage’ Lies”

Editorial of the Day: IBD on Tax Cuts

Filed under: Economy,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:42 am

From IBDeditorials.com:

President Bush reportedly might float a $500 tax rebate plan in his State of the Union address. Relief is always welcome, but permanent cuts stimulate the economy. Leave gimmicks to the Democrats.

….. Those are not the kinds of medicines that really will prove effective for an economy headed for a possible slowdown. But the president, speaking to the Union League Club of Chicago, identified Monday the things that are most important for keeping the economy going.

….. To pretend that anything less than making Bush’s supply-side tax cuts permanent will change investors’ and workers’ behavior for the better and keep the good times rolling is taking a step backward to the discredited and disastrous Keynesian economic theories prevalent in the 1970s.

We need to get the language right on this. “Making Bush’s supply-side tax cuts permanent” is, in reality, “making the current tax-rate structure permanent.”

With very small exceptions, we have been operating within the framework of the tax laws and rate structure in place since 2003 — 5 years ago.

That structure that everyone has gotten used to is scheduled to change in two years, with rates going up to their pre-2003 (possibly pre-2001) levels. If that change occurs, it will be a massive tax increase after 5 years of the current system, NOT a reversal of tax cuts long since ingrained into the country’s economic fabric.

As to how to deal with the current situation, I say do both: Make the current system permanent for its growth-stimulating effects, and throw in a one-time rebate to juice consumer spending. Mr. Bush should veto anything that doesn’t do BOTH at the same time.

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UPDATE: Of course, a more effective stimulant would be a further across-the-board rate cut in the neighborhood of 10%, with the highest rate dropping from 35% to 32% and the lowest from 10% to 9%.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (011008)

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:09 am

President Bush needs to hold the pork, says John Fund:

Congress allocates money for nearly 9,000 new earmarks. But no law says Bush has to spend it.

….. What Mr. Bush knows, and Congress doesn’t want the taxpayers to know, is that the vast majority of the offending earmarks–the ones that aren’t part of the actual budget law and were instead “air-dropped” into the committee report–aren’t legally binding. A Dec. 18 legal analysis by the Congressional Research Service found that most of the committee reports have not been formally passed by both houses and “presented” to the President for signing, and thus have not become law. “President Bush could ignore the 90% of earmarks that never make it to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote,” says Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who has read the CRS report. “He doesn’t need a line-item veto.”

Federal agencies would still be obligated to spend the dollars appropriated by Congress. But they could use the money higher priorities that would benefit all taxpayers, rather than on favors for special interests or political donors.

This possibility led Old Bull members of Congress to call the White House, complaining that such a move would threaten its relations with the legislative branch and threatening retribution. But none of those complaints or threats were made publicly. Members know how unpopular earmarking is with voters, and they also know that Mr. Bush could easily turn the tables on them if they actually engaged in petty revenge over the loss of their budgetary toys.

The White House is at a crossroads. “If Bush were to do the right thing on earmarks it would an attention-getting precedent that could make other budget reforms possible,” says Alison Fraser, who heads up economic policy for the Heritage Foundation. “It’s a legacy-building moment.”

But if Mr. Bush blinks and issues a “recission order” that strips only the most egregious pork-barrel projects from the budget Congress sent him, it will be more than a lost opportunity. It will show that the power of the spending lobbies in Washington has grown so great that they can blithely ignore the Constitution and common sense as they go about their self-interested business.

Exactly. This should be seen as a crossroads moment. Mr. Bush needs to restock the testosterone and do the obviously right thing.

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Jeff Jacoby (HT One News Now) – There is no global warming:

Given the number of worldwide cold events, it is no surprise that 2007 *didn’t* turn out to be the warmest ever. In fact, 2007′s global temperature was essentially the same as that in 2006 — and 2005, and 2004, and every year back to 2001. The record set in 1998 has not been surpassed. For nearly a decade now, there has been no global warming. Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to accumulate — it’s up about 4 percent since 1998 — the global mean temperature has remained flat. That raises some obvious questions about the theory that CO2 is the cause of climate change.

Jacoby’s point about worldwide temps not being at their peak is relevant as well when only looking at the US. In a previous story about US temperatures, after some misapplied mathematical machinations were exposed, it turns out that the warmest year ever was 1934.

Clarification: Jacoby’s article is referring to world temps. My linkback related to error corrections to US temperature data, and the previous paragraph was corrected to reflect that. Both Jacoby and the prior-post info debunk the idea that the world as we know is as warm as we’ve known it here and now. It clearly is not. Thanks to a commenter for pointing that out.

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Thomas Sowell remembers 1968, and not nostalgically.

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Terence Jeffrey: “Obama is the Most Pro-Abortion Candidate Ever”

He is so pro-abortion he refused as an Illinois state senator to support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions because he did not want to concede — as he explained in a cold-blooded speech on the Illinois Senate floor — that these babies, fully outside their mothers’ wombs, with their hearts beating and lungs heaving, were in fact “persons.”

BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) doesn’t own the English language. These babies are persons, and those who would not protect them are accessories to murder.

Positivity: Grateful mum thanks son’s life-savers

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Dorchester County, England:

THE mother of a young horseriding champion left seriously injured after being kicked by a pony has praised those who saved his life.

Dean Brown, 11, suffered head injuries after tripping over in a paddock and being kicked.

The Junior British Endurance Champion was airlifted to the Dorset County Hospital and later taken to Southampton Hospital’s neurological unit.

Now his mother Lisa says she owes everything to Portland’s emergency care practitioner Maria Beet and the coastguards who rescued Dean at Windmill Riding School in Portland.

Mrs Brown said: “They were all absolutely amazing. They were quick and efficient and Maria was so calming.

“I can’t thank them all enough for what they did.

“It makes you realise what the emergency services go through every day and how they have to deal with things.”

She added: “The doctors at Dorchester County Hospital were amazing. There was a team there waiting for Dean when he landed.”

Go here for the rest of the story.