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Read Federalism DIY: 10 Ways for States to Check and Balance Washington here
The Republican strategists who confidently predicted that their candidate, Mitt Romney, would win the 2012 election are already pontificating about what Republicans must do to win in 2016. After their disastrous defeat, strategy and policy mistakes and expensive super PAC advertising that failed to win votes, why should anybody take their advice again?
The elitists now tell us that amnesty for illegal aliens, aka “immigration reform,” is the key to future Republican nirvana. That’s wrong-headed advice.
Barack Obama sealed his victory in the battleground states: Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and New Hampshire, but those states have very few Hispanics, and illegal immigration was not a significant issue. Obama won narrowly in Florida, another battleground state, but the Hispanic vote there is Cuban and Puerto Rican, and they don’t care about immigration laws.
Most polls show that Romney’s pro-enforcement policies were more popular than Obama’s pro-amnesty views. Let’s look at some numbers.
In regard to the entry of illegal aliens, a CBS poll in August found that 63 percent of voters believed that Arizona’s immigration enforcement laws are either “about right” or “didn’t go far enough.” This was confirmed by a Breitbart News election-night poll reporting that 61 percent of voters favored Arizona-style immigration laws, including 63 percent of independents, 53 percent of blacks and even 40 percent of Democrats.
The notion that the main reason Hispanics vote Democratic is their support of amnesty for illegal aliens and their resentment against Republicans who oppose it is a big political lie. The reason Hispanics vote Democratic is that two-thirds of Mexican immigrant families, although they are hard workers, are in or near poverty, and 57 percent use at least one welfare program, which is twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households.
That’s not a constituency for whom promises of amnesty for more poor immigrants would persuade them to vote for the party that is branded as supporting tax cuts for the rich, limited government and spending reductions. Nor does it mean that Hispanics are a voting bloc eager to vote for a white Cuban, Marco Rubio, instead of the party that is offering them cash, health care and other benefits.
The United Nations may be useful as a forum for world leaders, but it is not a productive place to develop policy. The international bureaucracy compulsively supports statist initiatives that would reduce individual liberty and expand the burden of government.
And you won’t be surprised to learn that the United Nations also wants to control the Internet. Actually, to be more specific, some nations want to regulate and censor the Internet and they are using the United Nations as a venue.
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Gordon Crovitz explains this new threat. He starts by describing the laissez-faire system that currently exists and identifies the governments pushing for bad policy.
To summarize: according to one of the least susceptible to manipulation indicators of US economic strength and growth, the US economy is now in a recession.
Jeb was neutral.
Say again, neutral.
As Ronald Reagan might say, there he went again.
What was Jeb Bush neutral about?
The choice between liberal Charlie Crist and conservative Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination for United States Senator from Florida.
Oh, he finally came around. After then-Governor Crist endorsed the Obama stimulus, this was a bridge too far even for former Governor Bush.
But when others were out there at the barricades for an unknown conservative Marco Rubio at the very beginning? When Mark Levin was, typically, out there first to give the conservative underdog some much needed attention with appearances on his show? Where was Jeb?
Say again: Jeb was neutral.
Why does this seemingly small detail amount to anything?
Over the Thanksgiving holidays, the New York Times ran this story on its front page, headlined as follows:
Jeb Bush in 2016? Not Too Early for Chatter
The paper might as well have had another headline:
Jeb Bush in 2016? Here Comes the Next Mitt Romney
The Times went on at length about the love for all-things Bush coming from the very same kind of people who were once upon a time insisting that only Mitt Romney could win the day for the GOP. The paper included favorable reference to Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, about which more in a moment.
It feels a bit like deja vu all over again. The Supreme Court has ordered an appeals court to reopen arguments on the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and contraceptive coverage provisions, opening a potential path back to the highest court by late 2013.
The case at hand is one filed Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia. The university had filed one of the earlier suits against the health care law, which was among the dozens dismissed by the Supreme Court when it ruled the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to be constitutional.
The Liberty University case also is unique in that it was the only one where the appeals court decided it couldn’t even make a ruling, given that the provisions it was supposed to rule on hadn’t come into effect. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act precluded any rulings about the mandate’s constitutionality before the mandate actually took effect and individuals began paying penalties.
The Supreme Court sided against that viewpoint. In its decision, the justices said that it was within the court’s power to rule on the health law now. That leaves Liberty wanting some answers on the provisions it challenged in court. The Obama administration also agreed that these issues should go back to the Fourth Circuit. Other courts are already hearing new challenges to the health care law, too.
Liberty University doesn’t want to challenge the individual mandate; we already know what the Supreme Court thinks about that. But it does want are answers on two other provisions that it challenged: the mandate that employers provide insurance coverage and the requirement that contraceptives be covered. ”Petitioners’ remaining claims should be subject to adjudication by the lower courts,” Liberty University’s lawyers wrote in a July 2012 petition for re-hearing.
The betting market Intrade, a popular site for political prognosticators, is now closed to Americans.
“We are sorry to announce that due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets,” the company said in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately this means that all US residents must begin the process of closing down their Intrade accounts. We strongly urge you to begin this process immediately.”
The man, only named as Jan, married Monica, his family’s former au pair in a previous marriage, in 1993 despite legal difficulties raised by the Belgian immigration authorities.
But it was only in recent weeks that he discovered that his wife had originally been a man and had undergone a sex change.
“I feel I’ve been assaulted,” he told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.
“I brought her to Belgium. That was not easy. The Belgian courts had serious doubts about the authenticity of her birth and her identity papers, but eventually they accepted it anyway. I thought she was an attractive woman, all woman. She had no male traits.”
Jan, 64, said that he and his wife had decided not to have children because he had two by his previous marriage and she fooled him by pretending to menstruate, using sanitary towels, “to conceal the truth”.
Don’t buy a house in a state where private sector workers are outnumbered by folks dependent on government.
Thinking about buying a house? Or a municipal bond? Be careful where you put your capital. Don’t put it in a state at high risk of a fiscal tailspin.
Eleven states make our list of danger spots for investors. They can look forward to a rising tax burden, deteriorating state finances and an exodus of employers. The list includes California, New York, Illinois and Ohio, along with some smaller states like New Mexico and Hawaii.ac
If your career takes you to Los Angeles or Chicago, don’t buy a house. Rent.
If you have money in municipal bonds, clean up the portfolio. Sell holdings from the sick states and reinvest where you’re less likely to get clipped. Nebraska and Virginia are unlikely to give their bondholders a Greek haircut. California and New York are comparatively risky.
Two factors determine whether a state makes this elite list of fiscal hellholes. The first is whether it has more takers than makers. A taker is someone who draws money from the government, as an employee, pensioner or welfare recipient. A maker is someone gainfully employed in the private sector.
Let us give those takers the benefit of our sympathy and assume that every single one of them is a deserving soul. This person is either genuinely needy or a dedicated public servant or the recipient of a well-earned pension.
But what happens when these needy types outnumber the providers? Taxes get too high. Prosperous citizens decamp. Employers decamp. That just makes matters worse for the taxpayers left behind.
Defenders of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, can be forgiven for some post-election triumphalism. But their joy is likely to be short lived. Because the law put off implementation of most key provisions until after the 2012 election, voters cast their ballots on November 6 without knowing what Obamacare’s true effect will be on their tax bills, insurance costs, or access to care.
Delaying implementation until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due. The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact any longer, and the result will keep Congress and the media occupied for months and years to come.
The administration has just begun to issue guidance (proposed rules) to the insurance industry on Obamacare’s most important (and expensive) insurance market “reforms.” Insurance plans must have clarity on these issues if they are to develop and price plans for the individual and small group markets both inside and outside of the exchanges.
Right now, insurance companies don’t have answers to some of the most critical questions. Dozens of other smaller, but still important rules are also outstanding from HHS that will affect what kinds of plans are available on the exchanges, and how much they will cost insurers and taxpayers.
Some of the recently issued rules, particularly on community rating (charging the same price to everyone regardless of health status) and limiting the premium difference between older and younger applicants are likely to increase prices for young people – and over half (55%) of the uninsured are under age 35.
Morsi decreed Nov. 22 that his pronouncements and edicts were beyond the reach of judicial review. The announcement was met by resistance from the nation’s top judges, who said they would fight Morsi’s unusual self-elevation to near-dictator status.
“I am waiting to see, I hope soon, a very strong statement of condemnation by the U.S., by Europe and by everybody who really cares about human dignity,” declared Mohamed ElBaradei, who is one of Egypt’s more visible non-Islamist politicians.
So far, the White House has not weighed in, although Morsi’s power grab is a repudiation of the “Arab Spring” democracy movement that Obama has supported for two years.
It is also a rejection of Obama’s efforts to use Egypt to mute the religious conflict between the Arab world and Israel, and a jarring followup to the Nov. 21 cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, which Morsi and Obama negotiated.
Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, is expected to face media questions Nov. 26 about the administration’s response.
So far, the White House’s only comment has been a nondescript paragraph, released Nov. 23 by the Department of State.
“The decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns… We call for calm and encourage all parties to work together and call for all Egyptians to resolve their differences over these important issues peacefully and through democratic dialogue,” said the statement, which did not mention Morsi.