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  • We are proud to announce that the 2014 Ronald Reagan Gala will honor Gary Sinise. For over thirty … [more]

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There’s a Not-So-Small Problem With the President’s Claim That the US is Seeing a ‘Jobs Recovery’

by Frank Camp     •     IJReview

According to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts, using data from 2000-2013, the middle class population in America has “shrunk” in all 50 states:

The states that have suffered the most recently are:

Wisconsin:
2000: 54.6% middle-class
2013: 48.9% middle-class
Total loss: 5.7%

Ohio:
2000: 50.9% middle-class
2013: 45.7%% middle-class
Total loss: 5.2%

North Dakota:
2000: 52.6% middle-class
2013: 47.5% middle-class
Total loss: 5.1%

States that have fared the best recently are:

Wyoming:
2000: 51.5% middle-class
2013: 51.2% middle-class
Total loss: 0.3%

Idaho:
2000: 52.7% middle-class
2013: 51.9% middle-class
Total loss: 0.8%

Hawaii:
2000: 49.9% middle-class
2013: 48.6% middle-class
Total loss: 1.3%

The “shrinking” middle class can possibly be attributed to a decrease in employment. Despite the national unemployment rate dropping to 5.7% in January 2015, the Civilian Employment Population Ratio (CEPR) has reported an all-time low number of eligible Americans in the workforce:

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reported in January of 2005 the CEPR stood at 62.4%. Ten years later, it has dropped to 59.3%. However, unemployment rates in January 2005 were reported to be 5.3% and in January of 2015 it is a reported 5.7%. These numbers do not reflect those who have left the workforce entirely.

According to The Huffington Post, many jobs gained after the recession have been in a lower income bracket. Even if middle class families have found work, it’s often been with jobs that pay less.

Upon further inspection of the recent numbers concerning job recovery, they seem to indicate a discrepancy between the purported “boom” in the economy and a “disappearing” middle class.

Consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects in NEPA Reviews

Marlo Lewis Competitive Enterprise Institute and Free Market Allies Comment Letter on NEPA GHG Guidance Document 73-1

[Read more...]

Netanyahu pollster: US President’s role in election larger than reported

By Jesse Byrnes     •     The Hill

Corruption TransparencyPresident Obama’s role during the Israeli elections was larger than reported, according to a pollster for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

“What was not well reported in the American media is that President Obama and his allies were playing in the election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu,” John McLaughlin, a Republican strategist, said in an interview on John Catsimatidis’s “The Cats Roundtable” radio show broadcast Sunday on AM 970 in New York.

“There was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through non-profit organizations. And there were various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu,” McLaughlin said. [Read more...]

Khamenei calls ‘Death to America’ as Kerry hails progress on nuke deal

Day after Obama urges Iran to seize ‘historic opportunity,’ supreme leader says US seeks to create insecurity

by Times of Israel Staff     •     The Times of Israel

Obama IranIran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for “Death to America” on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a “historic opportunity” for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as US Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord.

Khamenei told a crowd in Tehran that Iran would not capitulate to Western demands. When the crowd started shouting, “Death to America,” the ayatollah responded: “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.

“They insist on putting pressure on our dear people’s economy,” he said, referring to economic sanctions aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear program. “What is their goal? Their goal is to put the people against the system,” he said. “The politics of America is to create insecurity,” he added, referring both to US pressure on Iran and elsewhere in the region. [Read more...]

Scott Walker Signs Right-To-Work Into Law

The Wisconsin governor has created a template for busting unions

3_172015_b3-patterson8201_c0-106-1800-1155_s561x327By Matt Patterson     •     Washington Times

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is clearly running for president.

He may or may not win the nomination; he may or may not win the presidency. Even if he never wins another election, Mr. Walker is already the most consequential Republican politician of the last quarter-century, excepting only George W. Bush.

On March 9, with the stroke of his pen, Mr. Walker pierced the heart of Wisconsin organized labor when he signed right-to-work into law. Right-to-work allows workers to opt out of union dues and is viciously opposed by unions who maintain the level of financial support they do only because many workers are forced by federal labor law to pony up.

Right-to-work changes that. It does not forbid unionization; it does not outlaw unions. Labor unions are perfectly free to organize in right-to-work states. The only difference — in right-to-work states they actually have to earn the dues money they collect.

Right-to-work has traditionally been confined to the deep-red South and West. Wisconsin now follows Michigan as right-to-work advances into the deep-blue Midwest and Upper West. [Read more...]

Liberals Find An Excuse To Abandon Israel

It’s got nothing to do with American principles and everything to do with partisanship.

By David Harsanyi     •     The Federalist

netanyahu_israelIsrael is a liberal nation—in the best sense of the word—but it’s not a leftist one. And for increasing numbers of Democrats, the center-right consensus of Israeli politics is unacceptable, immoral and bigoted, incompatible with their conception of American values.

This is bad news, because Likud looks like it’s going to win around 30 seats. If the numbers hold, Benjamin Netanyahu, despite the best efforts of the president and his allies, will likely remain prime minister. Bougie Herzog will, no doubt, have a bright future in the opposition.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Paul Krugman had already declared Likud’s impeding fall was all about inequality. (What isn’t, right?) Slate proposed that Likud’s looming death would be about housing, or maybe it was racism. Mostly, though, Netanyahu was going to lose because he has a nasty habit of challenging the progressive worldview of Barack Obama, which offends many people, according to the New York Times. And really, is there any bigger sin? [Read more...]

Testing the Limits of “Suspension of Disbelief”

72820By Shawn Macomber  Lawfare Tyranny 

How much “artistic license” will be required to make the International Criminal Court appear fair, effective, and/or legitimate?

We’re about to find out: Writer/director Hugo Blick plans to follow up his Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring BBC2 hit The Honourable Woman with an eight-part series set in The Hague, detailing the ICC’s supposedly noble, swashbuckling role in the world.

Here’s hoping Blick’s plotting a farce because — as regular readers of this space well know — the reality of the Court is like watching the world’s most expensive paint dry in an Africans Only cellblock.

We’ll say it again: ICC fandom fails victims.

Cutting Healthcare Costs Without Harming Patients

by Peter Roff     •     The Hill

obamacare pay less for healthcareA debate has raged for more than 20 years now over the best way to bend the U.S. healthcare cost curve downward. So far, no one is winning – least of all patients and healthcare providers. And no one will as long as “bending the curve” (which is just a fancy way of saying we need to find ways to make the delivery of healthcare cheaper) remains the primary objective regardless of the impact on patient care.

Up to now the debate has focused largely on what government can proactively do to ease costs. This led to the passage by the narrowest of margins of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – which is really nothing more than a complex series of new regulations and taxes, fines and fees that have forced insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and patients all to make changes in the way they provide and receive care as well as coverage.

People don’t like the new system very much but they weren’t exactly fans of the old one either. And no matter what the United States Supreme Court determines in the pending King vs. Burwell suit over the questionable use of tax dollars to subsidize health insurance bought through the federal exchange by people living in states that do not have exchanges of their own, things can probably only get worse. [Read more...]

The ObamaCare of Arms-Control Agreements

The Iran nuclear deal has the same political weaknesses as the Affordable Care Act.

By Daniel Henninger     •     Wall Street Journal

Obama Iran Nuke DealThe Iran nuclear deal is going to be the ObamaCare of arms-control agreements—a substantive mess undermined by a failure to build adequate political support.

Next Tuesday is the deadline for completing the “political” terms of an agreement with Iran. “Technical” details arrive in June. From news reporting on the negotiations, it appears the agreement is turning into a virtual Rube Goldberg machine, a patchwork of fixes that its creators will claim somehow limits Iran’s nuclear breakout period to “a year.” Which is to say, it’s going to be another ObamaCare, a poorly designed mega-project others will have to clean up later.

Just as ObamaCare was a massive entitlement program enacted with no Republican support (unlike Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), the administration’s major arms-control agreement is bypassing a traditional vote in the Senate. Instead, it will get rubber-stamp approval by, of all things, the U.N. Security Council. [Read more...]

At the White House, There’s Nobody Home

By Victor Davis Hanson     •     RealClearPolitics

Obama Corruption IntimidationWhat has gone wrong with the U.S. government in the past month? Just about everything, from the fundamental to the ridiculous.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the United States to warn Congress about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. He spoke without the invitation of an irritated President Obama, who claimed that he did not even watch the address on television.

Obama declined to even meet with the Israeli prime minister, announcing that it would have been improper for him to have such a meeting so close to Netanyahu’s re-election bid.

But if Obama was so concerned about not influencing the Israeli elections, why, according to some news accounts, is a Senate panel launching an investigation into whether Obama’s State Department gave grant money to a nonprofit organization, the OneVoice Movement, that sought to unseat Netanyahu with the help of several former Obama campaign operatives?

Then, 47 Republican senators signed an unusual letter to the Iranian theocracy, reminding it that any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program negotiated with the Obama administration would have to first clear Congress. [Read more...]

Iran Declares Pre-emptive Victory in Nuke Talks

Iran FlagIntroduction by Peter Huessy     •     National Security Roundtable

Iran’s foreign minister and chief negotiator in nuclear talks with the West declared victory for his country, stating that no matter how the negotiations end, Tehran has come out “the winner,” according to remarks made on Tuesday (see below).

While some may dismiss this as typical Iranian bluster, we (NSR) would venture to say it’s one of those rare moments where Iran is actually telling the TRUTH.

As we and others have been saying from day one, Iran’s main goal in its negotiations with the West has been to gain TIME. Time to complete its nuclear weapons program and delivery systems, and operate freely, while under relaxed sanctions.

But the truth is Iran is doing much more. Its Revolutionary Guards have taken over and are leading the Iraqi military and Iraqi Shia militias in the fight against ISIS. That would explain the recent sightings of General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Quds Force (a division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) in places like Tikrit, Iraq and even in Amman, Jordan. [Read more...]

Al Gore at SXSW: We Need to ‘Punish Climate-Change Deniers’ and ‘Put a Price on Carbon’

al gore_global warming_climate change_carbonEditor’s Note: Al Gore wants to “punish” people who disagree with him. Sadly, there is nothing new in this — the far Left has been talking about punishing and holding “Nuremberg-style trials” for those who do not agree with Al Gore and his climate alarmist buddies for many years. That is as anti-American as it comes. If they had their way, they would throw Free Speech on the ash heap of history. These people are dangerous. They do not seek to govern us as citizens with inalienable rights. They seek to rule over us as subjects and they seek to force their opinions upon us. They are wanna-be dictators. If given the power, they would abuse it. They’ve told us that much.

Sensible Americans are horrified when extremists punish those with whom they disagree in the Middle East. Al Gore and his ilk won’t likely behead anyone, but they share the same intolerance for differences of opinion and the same absolute confidence that they are “right” and that being “right” gives them the right to outlaw and punish those who don’t agree with them. As a group that was targeted by the IRS because the word “Freedom” appears in our name, we take seriously threats to punish people who don’t share the views of a self-appointed orthodoxy. The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to protect thought, opinion and the ability to debate and disagree within a context of constitutional freedom. But the far left does not respect the right of free speech or our constitutional freedoms. They seek to control and dominate. They always have and they always will. That is simply who they are. And now Al Gore provides further vivid evidence of this sad but undeniable fact. [Read more...]

Global Warming

by Walter E Williams      •      Townhall

Obama Global Warming“But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact,” said President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. Saying the debate is settled is nonsense, but the president is right about climate change.

GlobalChange.gov gives the definition of climate change: “Changes in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer. Climate change encompasses both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as shifts in precipitation, changing risk of certain types of severe weather events, and changes to other features of the climate system.” That definition covers all weather phenomena throughout all 4.54 billion years of Earth’s existence. [Read more...]

ICC Renews Comittment to Fail Women

unnamed-2By Shawn Macomber • Lawfare Tyranny

The International Criminal Court marked International Women’s Day by doing the one thing it actually does well — i.e. issuing a strongly-worded, self-aggrandizing, yet ultimately futile press release:

[Read more...]

The Iran Letter

by Peter Huessy

Obama IranThe Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) forbids any of its signatories, other than the five permanent members of the UN National Security Council, from having nuclear weapons. Of the 190 signatories to the treaty, Iran is one. So there already is an internationally agreed upon law that forbids Iran from getting nuclear weapons even if it meets all the rules in producing nuclear energy for electricity.

So why do we need another agreement between the US and Iran to stop Tehran’s nuclear program?

Can’t we just enforce the current NPT?

Apparently not. [Read more...]