Record Number Of Young Adults Living With Parents

A Pew study released late last week reveals more young adults — 21.6 million — are living at home with their parents than at any time in America’s history.

Perhaps that’s to be expected, since the Nation’s overall population continues, gradually, to grow. But the study also found that a higher proportion of the young adult population is living back at home than at any time immediately before, during or after the 2008 recession.

In fact, the 36 percent of young “millennials” living with parents represents the highest ratio in more than 40 years, when the culture of the nuclear family in the United States was far more dominant. Live-at-home data reaching farther into the past than 1968 doesn’t exist, so there’s no way to know if today’s statistics reflect a true all-time high for the Nation.

The study, which analyzed information drawn from a March follow-up survey augmenting the 2010 census, found that 32 percent of millennial adults lived with parents in 2007. That’s a number that had remained relatively consistent since 1968.

By the “official” end of the recession in 2009, the number had risen to 34 percent. In 2012, despite repeated chirpy proclamations from the White House that the economy is in recovery mode, the number had climbed past 36 percent.

The economy heads a list of three key factors the Pew researchers credit for fueling the “crash-with-mom” trend.

The steady rise in the share of young adults who live in their parents’ home appears to be driven by a combination of economic, educational and cultural factors. Among them:

  • Declining employment. In 2012, 63% of 18- to 31-year-olds had jobs, down from the 70% of their same-aged counterparts who had jobs in 2007. In 2012, unemployed Millennials were much more likely than employed Millennials to be living with their parents (45% versus 29%).
  • Rising college enrollment. In March 2012, 39% of 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in college, up from 35% in March 2007. Among 18 to 24 year olds, those enrolled in college were much more likely than those not in college to be living at home – 66% versus 50%.
  • Declining marriage. In 2012 just 25% of Millennials were married, down from the 30% of 18- to 31-year-olds who were married in 2007. Today’s unmarried Millennials are much more likely than married Millennials to be living with their parents (47% versus 3%).

Comparing today’s family demographic trends with those of 1968 also revealed that singles with children and cohabitation between unmarried partners are both way up (from 5.5 percent to 26 percent), and the number of married spouses sharing a home is way down (from 56 percent to 27 percent).

See the survey overview here. The full report is here.

Bail Out Detroit? Democrats: Maybe; Rest Of America: NO!

A Quinnipiac poll shows no decisive public will, even among Democrats, to involve the Federal government in whatever rescue operation may be deployed to dredge the ashes of Detroit for an economic bailout.

Only 51 percent of Democrats polled said they support a taxpayer-funded bailout, funneled through Washington, D.C., for Detroit, which is seeking bankruptcy protection over the opposition of State pensioners whose retirement funds could be decimated by court-approved write-offs of public debt.

By contrast, 73 percent of Republicans said they oppose any form of Federal bailout. And the majority opinion of Americans, regardless of their political views, is on the same side. Only 33 percent of all Americans polled said they support a government safety net for Detroit, while 57 percent said they were opposed.

The poll, which questioned 1,468 voters late last month on a number of current topics ranging from the Detroit bailout to “Stand Your Ground” laws to Congress and President
Barack Obama, showed a strong divide among various racial demographics on the extent to which the government should get involved in structuring a rescue plan for the Motor City.

With large racial and gender divisions, American voters back so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws 53 – 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Voters also say by a wide margin that the federal government should not bail out Detroit.

…Partisan and racial splits also mark American voters’ 57 – 33 percent opposition to a federal bailout of bankrupt Detroit.

Democrats back a bailout 51 – 35 percent, while opposition is 73 – 18 percent among Republicans and 65 – 28 percent among independent voters. Black voters support a bailout 57 – 36 percent, with white voters opposed 63 – 26 percent.

Once the Nation’s fourth-largest city, Detroit’s population peaked in the 1950s at more than 1.8 million. The city has lost more than 1 million residents in a gradual decline that accelerated most rapidly from 2000 to 2010, eroding its tax base and leaving behind a sprawling and expensive infrastructure to maintain. Detroit’s current population hovers slightly above 700,000.

Unrelated footnote: The Quinnipiac poll also reveals that racial demographics invert respondents’ opinions about “Stand Your Ground” laws. Whites favor “Stand Your Ground” protections for would-be crime victims by a 57 percent to 37 percent margin. Blacks, on the other hand, oppose such laws by exactly the same margin.

Stave Off Hackers With Passphrases

Vehement capitalist blogger Lew Rockwell has a tip for people concerned about the security of the passwords they use to access their protected information online: ditch passwords altogether in favor of passphrases.

What’s a passphrase? A “password” composed of words and symbols that, taken together, form a phrase that you’ll remember – but that can take a heck of a long time for hackers to crack.

An online security company, Silent Circle, has a website that, while soliciting subscriptions for its services, nevertheless allows you to test the relative security of any password or passphrase you create without having to buy anything.

A caution, if you do want to test the strength of a made-up password on the Silent Circle site: by all means, don’t type in a password that protects any of your current accounts. Make up one you have no intention of using, just to suss out what makes passphrases easier or harder to crack – and then get off the website and create a different, “real” passphrase that employs the same security-tightening measures.

Also, Rockwell points out that this sort of passphrase protection isn’t likely to guard against the spying eyes of the NSA or other American data surveillance programs (both known and unknown). Rather, use it to protect your information from conventional hackers. If you want to improve your chances of dodging the NSA – at least so far as email is concerned – consider email hosts that are based outside the U.S. and don’t have servers tied into the NSA dragnet.

“Bottom Line,” writes Rockwell: “Consider an offshore email, but definitely make your passwords longer by using a passphrase rather than a shorter but ‘harder’ password. Most sites will allow you to enter very long passphrases. Think of the minor investment in time versus the risk of identity theft, account takeover, and the extra time and resources for the government to snoop on you.”

 

Rangel: Tea Party The Same ‘White Crackers’ We Fought In The 1960s

Add Representative Charlie Rangel to the brood of race-baiters in the Congressional Black Caucus trying their damnedest to establish an imaginary link between Tea Party conservatism and the racism of the losers (many of them Southern Democrats) who persecuted blacks and their allies during America’s civil rights era.

Talking to The Daily Beast, Rangel (D-N.Y.) followed the precedent set by fellow CBC lumen Sheila Jackson Lee in 2010, freely using the “white crackers” epithet in an endeavor to not-so-constructively reopen the hateful wounds of racism that men like Martin Luther King Jr. sacrificed their lives to heal.

Admitting, at least, that the Tea Party strain of Constitutional activism is a threat to Democrats, Rangel said:

It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough. ‘I don’t want to see it and I am not a part of it.’ What the hell! If you have to bomb little kids and send dogs out against human beings, give me a break.

What Rangel’s reverie on the cruelties of dead Southern Democrats has to do with the Tea Party is anyone’s guess. He rests his case on “It is the same group” before falling into an emotional commentary on worthless people.

Are we to judge our elected leaders by the content of their character?

Imagine King deploying a term like “white crackers” to interject race, as a divisive ad hominem wedge, into an argument that otherwise wouldn’t involve race at all. Tall order, huh?

Rangel isn’t carrying the flag of American racial equality that King hoisted; he’s burning it.

Watch: Acting IRS Commissioner Says He Doesn’t Want To Switch To An Obamacare Health Plan

Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Daniel Werfel briefed the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday on the agency’s role in implementing and enforcing participation in Obamacare, which is set to start rolling out Oct. 1.

The temporary Obama appointee found it difficult to get through the session without staring down some hard questions from Republicans already opposed to the law. But, to his credit, Werfel allowed himself an extraordinary measure of candor when committee member Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) asked him this:

Mr. Werfel, last week your employees who are a member of the National Treasury Employee’s Union sent a form letter for union members to send in to ask they be exempt from the exchanges. Why are your employees trying to exempt themselves from the very law that you’re tasked to enforce?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jmy1eSwbP0&w=420&h=315]
 
For those who don’t watch the video, the upshot is Werfel telling Johnson: “I would prefer to stay with the current policy that I’m pleased with rather than go through a change if I don’t need to go through that change.”

Werfel’s response was astonishing for its honesty. He did attempt to justify the exempting of Federal employees by explaining that, with their comfortable benefit package, they aren’t ideal candidates for what Obamacare is selling. But that only serves to illustrate the chasm that separates the quality and cost of currently available health coverage from the government-subsidized, wealth-redistributing plans mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a related note, Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner made an emergency request on Wednesday to postpone the start of Obamacare health exchanges in the State, as leaders try to figure out how to reconfigure new health plans under the program that won’t jack rates by 198 percent.

City Ponders Eminent Domain To Justify Mass Buy Of Underwater Home Mortgages

In a bizarre interpretation of State eminent domain law, a California Bay-Area city is considering the power of eminent domain to rescue more than 600 homeowners from delinquent mortgages.

The city would accomplish this new brand of government-subsidized housing by seizing the properties from secondary lenders, many of whom have cheaply bought off the underwater mortgages from major banks resigned to offload the original homeowners’ loans at a loss. The city would then pay the secondary lenders “a fair market value” and resell the homes back to their original occupants at current market prices, which in 2013 are far below the homes’ market values at the time of their pre-housing-bubble financing and construction.

Among the many things that aren’t clear is whether the “fair market value” the city intends to pay the lenders directly corresponds to the current market price the city would charge (with interest, no doubt) the delinquent occupants to remain in their homes.

If the plan is successful, Richmond, a city long controlled by a succession of Democratic mayors and council members, would become the first municipality in the United States to use the power of eminent domain in such fashion. But other cities are expressing interest in the idea.

Nearly half of Richmond’s home mortgages are underwater. Many of the houses are now valued at less than half what their owners, who financed their homes at the height of California’s easy-lending housing craze, are having to pay.

The eminent domain move has infuriated banks and secondary lenders, with many industry advocates warning that no bank on Earth would re-enter the housing market in a city with leaders willing to pull the trigger and force lenders to take a financial hit on properties whose owners stopped paying.

Family Innocently Googles ‘Pressure Cooker’ And ‘Backpack’ – Cops Show Up

A Long Island writer needed a new pressure cooker and wanted to compare brands. Internet, right? Her husband, meanwhile, wanted a new backpack and decided to do a little online shopping. The couple’s 20 year-old son, meanwhile, had avidly kept up with the news coverage of the Boston Marathon terror attack. He’s a news junkie; a child of the Digital Age, so he got his news from the internet.

“This was weeks ago,” blogged pressure cooker-shopper Michele Catalano Thursday. “I don’t know what took them so long to get here. Maybe they were waiting for some other devious Google search to show up but ‘what the hell do I do with quinoa’ and ‘Is A-Rod suspended yet’ didn’t fit into the equation so they just moved in based on those older searches. I was at work when it happened. My husband called me as soon as it was over, almost laughing about it but I wasn’t joining in the laughter. His call left me shaken and anxious.”

Why was she so distressed? Because six cops identifying themselves as part of a “joint terrorism task force” showed up at her house. They wanted to know about her husband’s ancestry. If they’d ever looked up instructions on how to make a pressure cooker bomb. If they had a bomb. If they had a pressure cooker. They asked to search the house.

Since Catalano and her family are all “U.S. Persons” and aren’t subject to the FISA laws enabling the Feds to surveil people they’re 51 percent sure might be foreign-born terrorists, it’s an open question how the officers (legally) came to know the family’s internet habits.

Various news agencies late Thursday still hadn’t been able to determine which law enforcement agencies supplied officers for the would-be terror raid.

 

Cruz Calls On Conservatives To Stand On Principle – Even If They Go Down Swinging

There’s a lot of news going on today, so pointing everyone to a lengthy, reflective interview in which a freshman Senator looks back on his first seven months in office might seem counterintuitive.

But Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has more worth saying in his sit-down with Rare’s Brett Decker than you likely heard if you spent all week poring over the words of NSA heads, IRS commissioners or a bevy of Congressmen jockeying for political capital before they go home to their angry constituents for August recess.

There’s more than one takeaway from Cruz’ impassioned, optimistic call for conservatives not to water down their principles, but two of his comments stand out:

In my view, Republicans lost in 2012 and 2008 because they tried not to lose and painted not with bold colors but pale pastels. I think we do best when we present a clear contrast with the Democrats: “First you win the argument, then you win the vote,” as Margaret Thatcher used to say.

…Every domestic policy that we think about or talk about should focus like a laser on opportunity – on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder. We should look with a Rawlsian lens at how every policy impacts the most vulnerable among us, on how it impacts those struggling to achieve the American Dream.

Be clear; Be brave; Be uncompromising. That’s a message conservatives can get behind.

Then there’s this:

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I think Republicans win when we stand for clear principles and draw strong contrasts with the other party. If we make clear that Republicans are fighting for jobs and to protect high-quality health care against Democrats wedded to an ideological dream of government-controlled healthcare, I think we will win. But the only way this happens is if a massive grassroots army makes its voice heard, and demands of our elected officials that they stand up and fight. I think “We the People” should hold every politician – including me – accountable, and that’s how we can win fights that are otherwise impossible.

Don’t dilute your views. Stand and fight, even if you lose, for what you believe is right – not for the scraps you believe you can win through endless, character-eroding compromises. Go down swinging.

In short, be an American.

Read the entire piece at Rare.

Sign the Cruz-sponsored petition for Congress to defund Obamacare at www.dontfundobamacare.com .

Snowden Leaves The Transit Area; Rand Stands Down In Tiff With Christie; Computer Guys Heckle NSA Head; Eminent Domain To Bail Out Mortgages?!; Cruz Wants A High-Contrast GOP – Thursday Morning News Roundup 8-1-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and is allowed to enter the country’s territory. He is free to stay in Russia until at least July 31, 2014. His asylum status may be extended annually upon request. Source: Russia Today…

 

  • Sen. Rand Paul (R) on Wednesday cried uncle in his feud with Chris Christie (R), inviting the New Jersey governor for a beer to patch up their differences. The Kentucky senator told Fox News that “anytime [Christie] would like to come down and sit down at the pub right around the corner from the Senate we’ll have a beer.” Christie spurned Paul’s overture. Source: The Hill…

 

  • The head of the U.S. National Security Agency defended the government’s much-criticized surveillance program against hecklers among a crowd of computer systems analysts Wednesday, but also had a challenge for them: If you don’t like it, lend your talent to build a better one. Source: CBS Las Vegas…

 

  • A California city is the first in the Nation to take the controversial step of threatening to use eminent domain, the power to take private property for public use, in an effort to buy 600 underwater mortgages and head off a foreclosure crisis. Sorta gives new meaning to “government housing.” Source: CBS San Francisco…

 

  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) continues to gain momentum in the fight to defund Obamacare this Fall, staking a well-defined territory where Congressional Republicans can, if they choose, stand on principle. “I think Republicans win when we stand for clear principles and draw strong contrasts with the other party. If we make clear that Republicans are fighting for jobs and to protect high-quality health care against Democrats wedded to an ideological dream of government-controlled healthcare, I think we will win,” he said in an interview Wednesday. Source: Rare…

 

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Police Don’t Need A Warrant To Find Out Where You — And Your Cellphone — Go

A Federal appeals court in Texas has ruled that law enforcement can obtain from cellphone service providers the geolocation data that pinpoints the physical movements of individual users over time without first obtaining a search warrant.

The ruling, handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, drew immediate condemnation from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The 5th Circuit holds jurisdiction over appeals cases originating in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Tuesday’s ruling was meant to clarify whether the 4th Amendment protects warrantless people-tracking based on data held privately by companies paid to provide a service to private individuals. In a 2-1 ruling, the Court found that such searches by law enforcement weren’t “per se unconstitutional” since the data was “clearly a business record” and, therefore, doesn’t fall under 4th Amendment protection.

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

The ACLU condemned that perverse interpretation in a long rebuttal, released the day of the ruling. Here’s a portion:

It has long been our position that the government must obtain a warrant based on probable cause before engaging in surveillance of people’s historical cell phone location information. Today, our efforts were dealt a setback. Over a strong dissent, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that individuals have no reasonable expectation of privacy over their location data. According to the court, law enforcement agents do not need to obtain a warrant to get this information, ruling instead that a less protective standard suffices.

This ruling is troubling because, as we and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argued, only a warrant standard fully protects Americans’ privacy interests in their locations and movements over time. Cell phone companies store records on where each of us have been, often stretching back for years. That location information is sensitive and can reveal a great deal — what doctors people visit, where they spend the night, who their friends are, and where they worship. Given the sensitivity of these facts, law enforcement agents should have to demonstrate to a judge that they have a good reason to believe that they will turn up evidence of wrongdoing before gaining access to information that can paint a detailed picture of where a person has been over time.

The Fifth Circuit did not accept this argument. It concludes that because historical cell phone location records are the business records of cell phone companies, individuals can have no reasonable expectation of privacy in them — and therefore no Fourth Amendment protections.

…This reasoning, generally referred to has the “third-party doctrine” (according to which you don’t have a privacy expectation in any information turned over to a third party), was developed decades ago, long before cell phones were common, the use email was widespread, or the general public had heard of the Internet. It’s not compatible with the ease with which digital technologies collect data about each of us today.

Indeed, cellphone companies easily track and store data on where you’ve been with your phone. A 2010 petition organized by the ACLU yielded an information sheet from the U.S. Department of Justice revealing that Verizon holds onto such information for one “rolling” year, while Sprint hangs onto users’ geolocation data for 18 to 24 months.

“There is no cell phone company that doesn’t retain historical cell site location data, or even one that keeps it only for a short time. And anyway, our Fourth Amendment rights should not depend on the largesse of for-profit corporations,” the civil liberties watchdog concluded.

Mishandling The Immigration Reform Debate: A Roundup

In the early going, the omnibus immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in June looked as though it would be killed off by a GOP-led House effort at toning down the ambition; making a series of smaller, piecemeal changes; and setting aside the real elephant in the room — amnesty — for a separate final battle.

In other words, it appeared as though the GOP might actually have something meaningful to offer on immigration reform.

Fast forward to August, when the idealism has mostly faded.

In the House, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is poised to stall deliberation on immigration reform until after the August recess — mainly in an attempt to avoid angry constituent confrontations while on break. The tactical delay also keeps House GOP leaders from taking a stand, which effectively gives their Democratic adversaries no GOP policies to criticize. From Wednesday’s National Journal:

But far from a failure of leadership, top House Republicans are casting the inaction as a tactical play designed to boost reform’s chances.

Keeping immigration on the back-burner helps avoid a recess filled with angry town-hall meetings reminiscent of the heated August 2009 protests where the backlash against health care reform coalesced. Doing nothing also starves Democrats of a target, Republicans argue.

… Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy have privately discussed holding off on immigration until October. (September has only nine legislative days that will be jammed with fiscal negotiations as House Republicans and Senate Democrats scramble to fund the government after the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.) The August break gives Republicans time to chart a course on immigration ahead of a packed fall schedule that leaves little time for strategizing.

On the Senate side, we have Senator John “Gang of Eight” McCain (R-Ariz.) engaged in back-room machinations to defang the border security apparatus. The sine qua non border security provision that helped the Senate bill garner enough crossover Republican votes won’t survive the House-Senate “compromise” bill that comes up in the fall. From POLITICO on Tuesday:

During an immigration forum hosted by the AFL-CIO Tuesday, McCain — a key Senate Gang of Eight negotiator — said while a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s undocumented immigrants is a “fundamental element” of the bill, the “rest of it could be adjusted.” He singled out the border security parts as an example.

“We don’t need 20,000 additional border patrol agents,” McCain said Tuesday. “But what we do need is use of technology that has been developed where we can survey the border more effectively.”

The border-security provisions in the Gang of Eight bill, written by Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota, would set aside more than $46 billion to double the number of border patrol agents along the southwestern U.S. boundary, add new surveillance technology and to complete the 700-mile border fence.

Corker and Hoeven drafted their amendment in the final days of the Senate immigration debate, and it was critical to luring several wavering Republican and Democratic senators on board with the overall bill.

“I voted for it so friends of mine would be comfortable that we are securing the border,” McCain said Tuesday. “But the real securing of the border is with technology, as opposed to individuals.”

Read into that what you will.

And, hanging like a Sword of Damocles over both chambers is the GOP’s donor class, whose money is on amnesty. Dozens of top donors and legacy officials from the George W. Bush era are pushing Congressional Republicans to grant amnesty wholesale. The Washington Times revealed Tuesday that donors see amnesty as a gateway to including “potential Republican voters” — a tactic borrowed straight from President Barack Obama’s own political playbook.

Nearly a hundred top Republican donors and Bush administration officials sent a letter to the House GOP on Tuesday urging lawmakers to pass a bill that legalizes illegal immigrants, arguing that the current system is already allowing them to stay and so it makes sense to register them and bring them into the system.

The donors, led by former Bush administration Cabinet officials Carlos Gutierrez and Spencer Abraham, also said that immigrants are potential Republican voters who can be won over — if the party can be seen as welcoming to immigrants.

“Doing nothing is de facto amnesty. We need to take control of whom we let in our country and we need to make sure everybody plays by the same rules,” the donors said in their letter.

In the midst of it all came a separate story in The Washington Times Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security (how did we live without it before 2001?) can’t find more than 1 million immigrants who’ve overstayed their visas in the United States. One of those turned out to be the crazy homeless lady from China who was caught this week defacing Washington, D.C. landmarks with green paint. Clearly, our immigration enforcement system is already plenty airtight; so there’s no getting the cart before the horse by granting amnesty now to 11 million more people. Clearly.

The Homeland Security Department has lost track of more than 1 million people who it knows arrived in the U.S. but who it cannot prove left the country, according to an audit Tuesday that also found the department probably won’t meet its own goals for deploying an entry-exit system.

The findings were revealed as Congress debates an immigration bill, and the Government Accountability Office’s report could throw up another hurdle because lawmakers in the House and Senate have said that any final deal must include a workable system to track entries and exits and cut down on so-called visa overstays.

The government does track arrivals, but is years overdue in setting up a system to track departures — a goal set in a 1996 immigration law and reaffirmed in 2004, but which has eluded Republican and Democratic administrations.

“DHS has not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability, but has planning efforts under way to report to Congress in time for the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle on the costs and benefits of such a capability at airports and seaports,” GAO investigators wrote.

Chattonooga Newspaper Editorial Snatches The Welcome Mat Out From Under Obama Jobs Visit

“Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.”

That was the headline that ran above a scathing editorial in Tuesday’s Chattanooga Times Free Press greeting President Barack Obama, who arrived hours later to deliver his “grand bargain” jobs proposal that would offer tax cuts to corporations and shell out more government subsidies for jobs programs.

Never mind that the proposed corporate tax cut — from 35 percent to 28 percent — far undercuts the 39.6 maximum that small business owners, the backbone of Obama’s ostensibly dear middle class, can pay under his policies.

Without waiting for the President to lay out his new ideas later in the day, the Free Press held no quarter with Obama’s past attempts at “stimulating” the economy:

President Obama,

Welcome to Chattanooga, one of hundreds of cities throughout this great nation struggling to succeed in spite of your foolish policies that limit job creation, stifle economic growth and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit.

Forgive us if you are not greeted with the same level of Southern hospitality that our area usually bestows on its distinguished guests. You see, we understand you are in town to share your umpteenth different job creation plan during your time in office. If it works as well as your other job creation programs, then thanks, but no thanks. We’d prefer you keep it to yourself.

That’s because your jobs creation plans so far have included a ridiculous government spending spree and punitive tax increase on job creators that were passed, as well as a minimum wage increase that, thankfully, was not. Economists — and regular folks with a basic understanding of math — understand that these are three of the most damaging policies imaginable when a country is mired in unemployment and starving for job growth.

Even though 64 percent of Chattanooga respondents said they would rather you hadn’t chosen to visit our fair city, according to a survey on the Times Free Press website, it’s probably good that you’re here. It will give you an opportunity to see the failure of your most comprehensive jobs plan to date, the disastrous stimulus scheme, up close and personal.

…So excuse us, Mr. President, for our lack of enthusiasm for your new jobs program. Here in Chattanooga we’re still reeling from your old one.

Read the entire piece here.

McCain’s Border ‘Compromise’; Univision Sweeps Nielsens; DHS Loses A Million Immigrants; Declassified NSA Docs; China’s ‘People’s War’ – Wednesday Morning News Roundup 7-31-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) signaled Tuesday that the dramatic boost in border-security in the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill could be one of the provisions that may be changed in a potential House-Senate compromise. “We don’t need 20,000 additional border patrol agents,” McCain said. Source: POLITICO…

 

  • Univision ranked No. 1 among all networks in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demographics during the July sweep period (June 26-July 24), according to Nielsen, a first for the Spanish-language titan in any sweep period. Source: Variety… 

 

  • The Homeland Security Department has lost track of more than 1 million people who it knows arrived in the U.S. but who it cannot prove left the country, according to an audit Tuesday that also found the department probably won’t meet its own goals for deploying an entry-exit system. Source: The Washington Times… 

 

  • The U.S. Director of National Intelligence released three declassified documents on Wednesday that authorized the bulk collection of telephone data, one of the surveillance programs revealed by former security contractor Edward Snowden. Source: Reuters… 

 

  • China’s military is preparing for war in cyberspace involving space attacks on satellites and the use of both military and civilian personnel for a digital “people’s war,” according to an internal Chinese defense report. Source: The Washington Free Beacon… 

 

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Congressional Black Caucus Wants Sheila Jackson Lee To Replace Big Sis

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has written to President Barack Obama urging him to consider Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, replacing Janet Napolitano, who left the position to accept an offer to lead the State university system in California.

Lee, who’s been in Congress since 1995 and continues to serve as a whip for the CBC, was evidently the organization’s second choice for a recommendation from among its own members. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) spurned the group’s effort to elevate him for the coveted big-government nomination.

Lee has a history of ignorance, belligerence and racially divisive, sensational public speech. She once asked if the Mars Pathfinder had taken a picture of the flag planted on the Red Planet by Neil Armstrong. She’s advocated for selling F-16 fighter jets and their components to Venezuela. In 2010, she told an NAACP audience that the Tea Party and the Ku Klux Klan were one and the same. Here in the 21st century, she thinks there’s a North Vietnam and a South Vietnam. She thinks “lily white” hurricane names are racist.

The CBC’s letter touts Lee’s deep understanding of immigration enforcement and her long resume of committee membership:

Representative Jackson Lee would serve as an effective DHS Secretary because she understands the importance of increasing border security and maintaining homeland security.

Since entering Congress in 1995, Jackson Lee has served on several committees, including Foreign Affairs, Judiciary and Homeland Security, in which she was the Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection.

…As Chairwoman, Representative Jackson Lee supported increased airplane cargo inspections and increased security for railroads, issues of great importance to the security of this nation and its citizens.

Jackson Lee currently holds the post of Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, a position that the CBC says she “stands as a strong and honest ‘voice of reason

President Barack Obama has insinuated that he’d welcome interest from New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for the DHS Secretary position. The White House had not responded late Tuesday to the CBC’s suggested alternative.

Study: Most On Disability Can Work, Don’t Want To

In 2009, the Social Security Administration (SSA) put together a study intended to gauge the character traits, behaviors and tendencies of people who were receiving Federal disability checks. Although the study was a matter of public record, it wasn’t intended to communicate its findings to the public — only to academics and policymakers.

The Washington Examiner recently analyzed the raw data from that study, going through the individual responses of 2,300 respondents — each of whom was on Federal disability in 2009.

What the newspaper found was at the same time both predictable and, in a disgusting way, shocking:

Recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but cannot or will not find a job, that those closest to them tell them they should be working, and that working to get off the disability rolls is not among their goals.

And even though many of the Nation’s 11 million SSDI (earned disability) enrollees, along with 7 million SSI (unearned disability) recipients, cite medical reasons for getting and remaining on disability, most of them reported that they had never received any kind of medical treatment for their stated illness and that they hadn’t been to a doctor for any reason related to their condition in more than a year.

Among many more details, the survey demonstrated:

  • 71 percent of SSDI recipients — those who’ve paid some money in to Social Security through payroll deductions from previous jobs — said they aren’t looking to return to work; 60 percent of SSI recipients — those who haven’t ever had a payroll deduction (and, in all likelihood, a job) — said they have no interest in finding work.
  • 75 percent of the SSDI recipients said they aren’t likely to go back to work within five years; 65 percent of the SSI recipients said the same thing.
  • 87 percent of SSDI recipients admitted they don’t want to look for employment because they don’t want to lose their disability check — not because of the disability that’s allegedly preventing them from working in the first place; 81 percent of SSI recipients said the same thing.
  • Of those few SSDI beneficiaries who did attempt to find a job while receiving disability benefits, 72 percent said they were paid under the table; 70 percent of SSI recipients said the same thing.

Have you ever known someone who’s milking the system in similar fashion? Most of us have witnessed it firsthand at least once in our working lives.

Are you legitimately disabled and have a story to share about freeloaders you’ve seen who are able to work, but continue to receive the same (or greater) benefits that you receive? Sound off in the comments.

Cruz: End Obamacare Before President’s Delaying Tactic Makes Repeal Impossible

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is sounding an alarm over President Barack Obama’s real intentions in delaying the tiered implementation of his signature first-term accomplishment – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a Breitbart interview, Cruz cautions that Obamacare will soon be inextricably rooted in America’s bureaucratic structure – if the President continues to stagger portions of its implementation while Congressional Republicans sit on the sidelines.

“It is why, hand in hand with delaying the employer mandate for big corporations, the Obama administration announced it wasn’t going to enforce the eligibility requirements for the subsidies,” he said. “It’s essentially encouraging liar loans; encouraging fraud for people who come forward and say, ‘I qualify for a subsidy,’ and the Obama administration saying, ‘we’re not going to check on anything, we’re just going to take your word for it and grant you the subsidy.’ That is all Chicago-style politics designed to buy as many votes as possible. It is why the fight is now or never.”

According to Cruz, defunding Obamacare as Congress begins its evergreen fight over government spending this September represents the best opportunity opponents will have to ensure the law never gets out of the starting gate – because once it does, he argues, it’ll never be reined in.

“Right now is, in my view, our single best opportunity to defeat Obamacare and it may well be out last opportunity,” he told conservative radio host Dana Loesch Monday. “We have our best opportunity to do so on September 30th; the continuing resolution which funds the federal government it expires on September 30th and that’s the best opportunity…

“The Obama Administration’s plan is to get to January 1st. Because on Jan 1st, the exchanges start; the subsidies start. And their plan is to get everyone addicted to the sugar, addicted to the subsidies and look, in the modern age, there has been no major entitlement plan that’s been enacted that’s ever been repealed. So this is our last chance to take on Obamacare. And every one of those Republicans who says ‘let’s not fight on the continuing resolution’ – what they’re really saying is ‘we should surrender to Obamacare being a permanent feature of our economy.’”

Faculty, Staff At Arkansas School To Carry Firearms

More than 20 teachers and administrators at schools in one small Southern town will be concealed-carrying firearms on campus this fall, after the school district in Clarksville, Arkansas, a family-friendly town of about 9,000 people, agreed to train and license certain employees as armed security guards.

In addition to completing a 53-hour training course, each licensed employee will be awarded a $1,100 stipend to buy a handgun and holster. The identities of most employees carrying the weapons isn’t being revealed, so that would-be criminals won’t hold an advantage – in the unlikely event a school is ever attacked. The district will, however, post signs at each school alerting students and visitors to the presence of armed guards.

The school district is also paying $50,000 for ammunition and for training at a privately-run academy.

“We’re not tying our money up in a guard 24/7 that we won’t have to have unless something happens,” explained Superintendent David Hopkins. “We’ve got these people who are already hired and using them in other areas. Hopefully we’ll never have to use them as a security guard.

“The plan we’ve been given in the past is `Well, lock your doors, turn off your lights and hope for the best,’” he added. “That’s not a plan.”

Obama’s Middle Class ‘Grand Bargain’; California’s Hispanic GOP; More Benghazi Testimony; D.C. Vandal Just A Homeless Lady; A Victory For The Stars And Stripes – Tuesday Morning News Roundup 7-30-2013

  • President Barack Obama will propose a “grand bargain for middle-class jobs” on Tuesday that would cut the U.S. corporate tax rate and use billions in revenues generated by a business tax overhaul to fund projects aimed at creating jobs. Source: Reuters… 

 

  • Cherry farmer and cattle rancher Andy Vidak said he captured his newly-won California Senate seat in last week’s runoff vote by connecting with Hispanic voters with a “common-sense” approach that focused on job creation, affordable energy and opposition to big government. Now, a new kind of GOP leadership suddenly is thinking about making major inroads in California, and they are not embarrassed to say so aloud. Source: The Washington Times… 

 

  • Congress will hear eagerly awaited testimony Wednesday on the Benghazi, Libya, terror attack from a special operations task force commander who is set to retire the next day. Source: The Hill 

 

  • The short national nightmare of vandalism that marred several Washington, D.C. memorials and landmarks has likely come to an end. In a strangely comforting outcome, the culprit appears to be a fairly garden-variety crazy homeless woman with no extremist manifesto or major geopolitical ambitions. More Surveillance! Source: The Daily Caller…

 

  • An injured veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was told to take down the American flag she has flying from the balcony of her apartment is now being told it can stay. Jen Elliot was shocked when she found a notice from property management on her door last week, asking her to remove the flag from her balcony, along with some other items. Public backlash won the day. Source: CBS Sacramento… 

 

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Police Kill 95-Year-Old Nursing Home Resident With Taser, Bean Bag Shot

A 95-year-old resident of a Chicago-area assisted-living nursing home was killed after police attempted to subdue him Friday with a Taser and bean bag rounds shot from a gun.

According to a press release issued by the police department in Park Forest, Ill., officers were called to assist with subduing 95-year-old John Warna, allegedly combative because he did not want to be restrained and forced to undergo an “involuntary” medical procedure at the Victory Centre of Park Forest, the assisted-living facility where he resided.

Warna allegedly had held the medical staff at bay with a long shoehorn and a walking cane. When police arrived, he allegedly dropped the shoehorn and picked up a 12-inch kitchen knife.

After resisting the cops’ demands that he put down the knife and cane and surrender for his treatment, Warna was shot with a Taser, but apparently he remained undeterred. So the cops fired bean bag rounds at Warna, which indeed forced him to drop the knife. He was taken into custody and transported to an Oak Lawn hospital, and remained responsive in the immediate aftermath of the ordeal.

However, he died early Saturday from stomach bleeding. The Cook County medical examiner’s office attributed the bleeding to “blunt force trauma” to his midsection caused by the bean bag shots. The examiner ruled the man’s death a homicide.

Bean bag rounds are made of lead shot, which is encased in a fabric bag. They can be fired from a traditional shotgun, and, like Tasers, are used to immobilize noncompliant suspects. Fired at close range, bean bag rounds typically cause traumatic injuries, such as broken ribs and internal bleeding.

Nursing home staff said Warna had not been an unruly resident before Friday’s incident.

The Park Forest Police Department is reviewing the incident. Other than the press release, which was emailed to The Chicago Tribune, there has been no other official statement from Park Forest Police Chief Clifford Butz. The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit is also reviewing the case.

Congress Moving To Kill Citizen Journalism

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is calling on Congress (and voters who elect Senators and Congressmen) to back off a pair of bills that take direct aim at the freedoms of bloggers, independent journalists and small media outlets to gain access to information while protecting their sources.

Introduced in May, the pair of bills (H.R. 1962 and S.B. 987) attempt to define who “journalists” are in such a way that favors the mainstream media while excluding just about everybody else. That’s accomplished with the phrase “covered person,” which the legislation goes on to define as someone who makes his living from researching and reporting the news or who regularly researches and reports news.

The problem with that, says EFF, is that the legislation seeks to endorse a professional class of journalists — ironically so, since the professional class of journalists is often most ineffectual, as industry maverick Gay Talese once observed. Why can’t Congress just do the Constitutional thing and submit to the idea that anyone, at any time, can be a “journalist?” If today’s lawmakers just have to fill their time in Washington by drafting more legislation, why can’t they at least do a little less harm by simply defining the practice of journalism instead of the person engaged in it?

If these bills–support for which the White House reaffirmed in its DOJ report–pass without change, Congress effectively will create two tiers of journalists: the institutional press licensed by the government, and everyone else. That’s a pretty flimsy shield if what we are really trying to protect is the free flow of information.

…So what’s the solution? Congress should link shield law protections to the practice of journalism as opposed to the profession. Not only does this fix ensure that bloggers and freelancers are not categorically denied access to the protections to which they should be entitled under the law, but also it addresses lawmakers’ concerns, recently voiced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in a June 26 op-ed, that in the absence of a legal definition of journalist anyone can claim to be one, thereby diluting the law by stretching it beyond any relevant boundaries. We can have a line in the sand; it simply needs to be one that is meaningfully tied to what journalism actually is…

It won’t be long before each bill comes up for a vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to begin marking up its version of the bill within a week. The House already has referred its version to two judiciary subcommittees. And the legislation, of course, has President Barack Obama’s full support.

Shock Poll: Americans Want To Mind Their Own Business

Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. should mind its own business concerning foreign policy, and should allow other countries to mind theirs without our intervention – whether for good or ill.

According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, 46 percent of Americans – a historic high ever since the poll began in the early 1960s – believe the United States should worry only about the United States.

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According to Pew, Americans’ resentment at recent Presidential Administrations over Mideast interventionist policies has fostered an unprecedented degree of isolationist philosophy among average Americans.

“Getting the American public’s attention, let alone commitment to deal with international issues is as challenging as it has ever been in the modern era,” said Pew Founding Director Andrew Kohut. “Feeling burned by Iraq and Afghanistan and burdened by domestic concerns, the public feels little responsibility and inclination to deal with international problems that are not seen as direct threats to the national interest. The depth and duration of the public’s disengagement these days goes well beyond the periodic spikes in isolationist sentiment that have been observed over the past 50 years.”