January 5, 2012

OLC Supports Bill Johnson’s Investigation of President’s Cordray and NLRB Appointments

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:51 pm

From an Ohio Liberty Council email:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday, January 5, 2012

OHIO LIBERTY COUNCIL SUPPORTS OHIO CONGRESSMAN BILL JOHNSON’S LEGAL INVESTIGATION OF PRESIDENT’S ACTIONS

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Liberty Council announced this evening that its members support Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson’s legal investigation into President Obama’s actions in appointing Richard Cordray and three members of the NLRB Board this week. In a brief statement OLC President Tom Zawistowski said, “We applaud Congressman Johnson for taking a leadership role and doing his duty to protect and defend the Constitution. Our members and all liberty minded citizens demand that all of our elected officials follow the Constitution and if they do not, then they must be removed from office. We will do everything in our power to support Congressman Johnson’s efforts and those of any elected officials who take action to stop the President from shredding the Constitution and assuming powers that are not explicitly granted to him by the citizens of the United States.”

In a television interview on Fox Business with Neil Cavuto this evening, Johnson said that he would undertake a legal investigation beginning on Friday morning and would file suit against the President if necessary to stop these actions. Toward the end of the interview, host Neil Cavuto suggested that if the Congressman could make the case, the President’s action this week could be an impeachable offense. Video of the interview is available at this link:

The Ohio Liberty Council is a council of leaders whose purpose is to unite conservative grassroots organizations for greater effectiveness in the state and nation, and to provide resources for member organizations to strengthen their groups. The OLC currently has over 75 liberty-minded groups across Ohio who are members of its coalition.

It should be a short investigation. The appointments clearly violate the Constitution, as several scholars have indicated, including Roger Pilon at Cato (bio; links are in original):

All of Obama’s appointments yesterday are illegal under the Constitution. And, in addition, as too little noted by the media, his appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is legally futile. Under the plain language of the Dodd-Frank Act that created the CFPB, Cordray will have no authority whatsoever.

Yesterday, Professors John Yoo and Richard Epstein, writing separately, made it crystal clear that the president, under Article II, section 2, may make temporary recess appointments, but only when the Senate is in recess. Add in Article I, section 5, and it’s plain that the Senate is presently not in recess, just as it wasn’t under Senate Democrats when George W. Bush wanted to make recess appointments. The difference here is that Bush respected those constitutional provisions while Obama — never a constitutional law professor but only a part-time instructor – ignores them as politically inconvenient. Attempts by Obama’s apologists to say the Senate is not in session are pure sophistry and, in the case of Harry Reid, rank hypocrisy, as this morning’s Wall Street Journal brings out.

This is a bad-faith, authoritarian president who is using the distraction of the GOP primaries to see how far he can stretch his “powers.” We’ll be seeing this for at least the next 381 days, especially if there isn’t enough staunch resistance right now. Heaven help us if it’s another four years beyond that.

Cordray isn’t off the hook either. He can read, and as an attorney and former state Attorney General he should (i.e., really does) know that what President Obama has just done is a cynical and unconstitutional gambit. He should have refused to be appointed under the conditions presented.

Somebody’s Getting Jobbed Here

From the Hill (HT to a WashTimes email):

President Obama on Thursday will unveil a summer-jobs initiative that the White House says is already on track to create 180,000 “work opportunities” in the private sector in 2012.

That is the number of opportunities, which includes mentoring and unpaid internships, that companies have told the administration they are willing to create. Some 70,000 jobs are paid, the White House says.

That means 110,000 jobs aren’t paid.

(Next thing y’know they’re going to tell me that unpaid jobs stimulate the economy — /sarc, I hope)

Look, internships are very useful when they’re related to a college major or other career choice, but since when are they considered something special for a government to crow about? (not to mention that if you believe the leftist claptrap, these companies are sitting on trillions of cash and can surely afford to pay at least minimum wage, right? Or do the private-sector cronies among the 1% get a pass?)

And please don’t tell me that the 110,000 jobs are considered real jobs in the employment statistics (answer, based on a quick phone call: No. If the only work they do is for free, they’re considered to be not in the labor force).

But that gets back to the word games. The companies have promised 70,000 paying jobs and 110,000 non-paying internships.

Take a look at this Associated Press item (graphic capture here) and you’ll see that I’ve got an instant NewsBusters post.

Econ Catch-up (Thursday’s Reports): News Is Generally Positive

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:47 am

Working backwards in terms of when they were released today …

ISM Non Manufacturing Index

Today’s Institute for Supply Management Non Manufacturing Index advanced by 0.6% to 52.6%, indicating slightly stronger expansion (a reading above 50% indicates expansion):

“The NMI registered 52.6 percent in December, 0.6 percentage point higher than the 52 percent registered in November, and indicating continued growth at a slightly faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 56.2 percent, which is the same reading as reported in November, reflecting growth for the 29th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 0.2 percentage point to 53.2 percent. The Employment Index increased 0.5 percentage point to 49.4 percent, indicating contraction in employment for the third time in the last four months. The Prices Index decreased 1.3 percentage points to 61.2 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in December when compared to November. According to the NMI, 11 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in December. Respondents’ comments are mixed and vary by industry and company. Economic growth continues to be slowed by the lag in employment.”

Seven industries showed contraction.

Initial Unemployment Claims

A slight improvement from the previous week, during week which is hard to peg because of the Christmas season. From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending December 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 372,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 387,000. The 4-week moving average was 373,250, a decrease of 3,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 376,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.8 percent for the week ending December 24, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 535,112 in the week ending December 31, an increase of 37,423 from the previous week. There were 578,904 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

Optimism should be tempered, at least partially because the previous week (the one just before Christmas) was adjusted upward by a larger-than normal 6,000, and also because the drop in actual claims from a year ago was only about 7.5%.

As I noted last week, we’ll start getting a better picture once we see the numbers from full business weeks, which won’t happen until two weeks from now.

ADP Private-Sector Job Additions

Relatively good news here, especially when compared to the other 29 months since the recession officially ended in June 2009:

ADP today reported that employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 325,000 from November to December on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated advance in employment from October to November was revised down slightly to 204,000 from the initially reported 206,000. The increase in December was the largest monthly gain since last December 2010 and nearly twice the average monthly gain since May when employment decelerated sharply.

Let’s hope it holds up in tomorrow’s Employment Situation Report from Uncle Sam. In historical context, it’s worth nothing that nine of the first 30 months of the Reagan-era recovery, when the workforce was 25% smaller, showed monthly private-sector job growth of 325,000 or more, and that monthly private-sector job additions during those 30 months averaged 239,000. If tomorrow really comes in at 325,000, the comparable average during the first 30 months of this “recovery” will be … 70,000.

Mass Layoffs

From Challenger Gray:

CHICAGO, January 5, 2012 – Planned job cuts announced by U.S. employers declined in December to 41,785, the lowest monthly total since June, according to the latest report on downsizing activity from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The December total was down 1.6 percent from 42,474 job cuts in November. Last month was up 31 percent from December 2010, when employers announced just 32,004 job cuts, which still stands as the lowest monthly total since 17,241 job cuts were recorded in June 2000.

While 2011 went out like a lamb in terms of downsizing activity, with employers announcing an average of just 42,339 job cuts per month over the final quarter of the year, the yearend job-cut total of 606,082 was 14 percent higher than the 529,973 job cuts announced in 2010. However, the 2010 yearend total was a 13-year low. The 2011 total is still well below the recession peak of 1,288,030 annual job cuts reached in 2009.

The increase in job cuts in 2011 was due primarily to heavy job cutting in the government sector, where employers announced plans to eliminate 183,064 jobs, a 29 percent increase from 142,255 in 2010. Government job cuts were 188 percent higher than the second-ranked financial sector, which saw 63,624 job cuts this year.

A large portion of the 2010 job cut increase occurred in September, when job cuts hit a 29-month high of 115,730, more than double the 2011 monthly average of 50,507. Of the September cuts, 80,000, or nearly 70 percent of the total, came from just two organizations: Bank of America and the United States Army.

“Job cuts in 2011 were dominated by the government and financial sectors. These two alone accounted for 41 percent of all the job cuts announced last year. The 183,064 government job cuts represent a record high for that sector, since we started tracking it in 2002. And, while the financial sector did not come close to its record high, annual cuts for the sector were up 165 percent from 2010,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“Unfortunately, these sectors are likely to continue to struggle in 2012. Washington is under immense pressure to cut spending and it looks like every deal to extend tax cuts, raise the debt ceiling and pass the budget will come with measures to cut spending, which can be expected to result in more job cuts.

… But even as job cuts remain low in most sectors, employers still appear reluctant to add jobs. Net job gains picked up at the end of the year, after dipping in the third second and third quarters, but the pace of job creation is still too slow to make a significant dent in the number of unemployed,” said Challenger.

Well, guys, in terms of oncoming government layoffs, it’s either that or go bankrupt as a nation.

… Oh wait, there is a third alternative, which public-sector unions refuse to consider: job-maintaining concessions, especially in gold-plated health care and pensions.

Despite the Army exception, the vast majority of public-sector layoffs are at state and local governments. All too often unions have refused to make reasonable concessions comparable to the private sector. As long as that’s the case, the non-federal layoffs will no doubt continue.

Gregg Jackson, On a Mythical Debate Between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:48 am

After reading how it would go (and this IS how it would go), you have to hope it really is mythical:

Romney: “We need to repeal Obamacare.”

Obama: “But Mitt, your consultants helped us design Obamacare on the basis of Romneycare. While my plan didn’t include $50 co-pay abortion coverage like yours does, it still has the individual mandate!”

Romney: “We need to protect ‘traditional male-female’ marriage.”

Obama: “Well then why as governor did you unilaterally, illegally and unconstitutionally implement same-sex “marriage” falsely claiming the “court ordered you to?”

Romney: “We need a president who will protect and defend life and de-fund Planned Parenthood.”

Obama
: “Well why as governor did you sign into law $50 co-pay abortions and put a Planned Parenthood board member on your healthcare advisory board (3 years after your supposed “pro-life conversion.”)? And why did you and your wife give Planned Parenthood money and give them extra power? …

The mythical debate ends with Obama saying: “Kinda sounds like you and I actually stand for the very same things — my brother from another mother!”

Exactly.

Read the whole thing.

Incurable Romniac Ann Coulter Smears Rick Santorum

RomneySignsHealthBill0406Three items in Ann Coulter’s latest column are so self-evidently false that they simply cannot be accidents.

First:

Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative, which means he’s good on 60 percent of the issues, but bad on others, such as big government social programs. He’d be Ted Kennedy if he didn’t believe in God.

This is from the woman who falsely claimed last week (as shown in two BizzyBlog posts: long version; short version) that Santorum opposes E-Verify because he voted against the de facto immigration amnesty bill (which happened to contain E-Verify — big whoop), but has otherwise consistently supported E-Verify.

Oh, did I mention that the amnesty bill Santorum voted against was co-sponsored by John McCain, who endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday, and, uh … Ted Kennedy?

And who can forget that Ann Coulter’s very next column after the 2006 shamnesty vote ripped into Republicans who supported the law, thereby taking the same position of opposition Rick Santorum took when he voted against it the previous week?

Coulter’s “Ted Kennedy” slur — and yes, I consider associating Rick Santorum with the criminal of Chappaquiddick a sluris not an accident or oversight. Santorum corrected “Chairman Ann” about McCain-Kennedy and E-Verify publicly last week. Clearly, she has thrown any concern about the truth overboard.

Second and third:

The Catholic missionary (i.e., Santorum — Ed.) was fantastic on issues like partial-birth abortion, but more like a Catholic bishop in his support for No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug entitlement program (now costing taxpayers more than $60 billion a year), and a highway bill with a Christmas tree of earmarks, including the famous “bridge to nowhere.”

Coulter has a point on earmarks, but it ends there:

  • A Manchester Union Leader editorial today with a great title (“Establish-Mitt: Romney the insider”) notes that Coulter’s guy Mitt Romney also supported No Child Left Behind, which was championed by George W. Bush and, uh … Ted Kennedy.
  • Mitt Romney didn’t just do a “drug entitlement.” He established comprehensive, state-run, abortion-allowing health care, i.e., RomneyCare, something Santorum has always opposed, when he was Massachusetts Governor, using many of the same people who moved on to design the statist nightmare known as Obamacare. Standing by at the RomneyCare law’s signing ceremony was the one, the only … (as seen at the top right) Ted Kennedy.

That’s three huge whoppers about Santorum or Santorum v. Romney.

What Bill Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection wrote a week ago has again been shown to be true, this time in triplicate:

Ann’s a lawyer, so she knows that omitting material facts can be just as much a fraud as stating false facts.

… Ann Coulter is willing to say anything to elect Romney.

Coulter’s high-water mark was Treason. That was nine years ago. Since then, when it comes to Republican presidential politics, she has gradually turned into a reckless polemicist with almost no regard for the truth.

Oh, and one more thing — Here’s Coulter in yesterday’s column:

Even in Iowa, the only Republican with a chance of doing that (i.e., defeating Obama — Ed.) won.

Here is Coulter in February 2011:

(at the 0:45 mark) I’ll put it in a nutshell: If we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee, and we’ll lose.

__________________________________________

UPDATE: At Legal Insurrection — “Coulter: Santorum ‘more of a Catholic than a conservative’”

UPDATE 2: The comments at the NewsBusters post of Chairman Ann’s column are mostly less than complimentary.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (010512)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Retired Stonington lobsterman, 98, pens best-seller

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Stonington, Connecticut (HT The Daily Good):

Published 12/12/2011 12:00 AM
Updated 12/12/2011 12:29 AM

Jim Henry’s story sells out first printing, attracts interest as far away as Greece, Germany

He may not have learned to read and write until he was 91, but Jim Henry is becoming a literary star.

Since the 98-year-old Academy Point resident released his first book, “In a Fisherman’s Language” last month, he and his family have found themselves immersed in a world of book printings, agents, publicity and film rights.

The book’s first printing of 780 copies sold out in just two weeks and a new shipment of 1,000 more arrived last week. A New York City film producer has contacted Henry and his family, they now have a book agent and a textbook publisher wants to feature his story in one of its books. A German television station and Greek newspaper are doing stories about him, there’s a offer for an audio book and Kindle and Amazon want to offer an e-version.

And people from not just around the country but the world have called and emailed wanting a book.
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