The Texas Miracle of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is little more than a Texas-sized myth. That’s the upshot of reports across the political spectrum, Right to Left, that have evaluated Perry’s claims. Chief among the tall tales is that Texas has become a jobs machine. That’s true, but Texans aren’t getting the jobs. Immigrants are. More than 80 percent of the new jobs in Texas went to foreigners, the Center for Immigration Studies reported last week, and 40 percent of those jobs went to illegal aliens. That is no surprise, given that Perry is an open-borders, leftist Republican, but in any event, other reports show that most of the job growth in Texas came in one sector: government. Border Jumpers Get the Jobs Perry’s claim to fame is this:
The announcement by Kaspar Villiger, Board Chairman of UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland), that CEO Oswald Grübel had resigned on Saturday caught many by surprise, partly because just the day before he had said he had the board’s complete support. According to Villiger, “The Board regrets Oswald Grübel’s decision. Oswald Grübel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident.” He added: The Board is deeply disappointed by the recent loss arising from unauthorized trading. It will fully support the independent investigation and will ensure that mitigating measures are implemented to prevent such an incident from recurring. This wasn’t supposed to happen. On Wednesday, Villiger told reporters that the board was planning on having a “normal meeting,” despite severe criticism by the bank’s largest shareholder, the Government of Singapore, and the stock market’s negative reaction which drove the bank’s stock price to half what it was back in April. Instead, the meeting ran for two full days and continued via conference calls when several of the board members had to leave Friday afternoon.
The Michigan legislature facilitated a huge pro-life victory September 21 when the state Senate voted 29-8 to ban late-term, “partial-birth” abortions. That vote followed an earlier 75-33 vote in the state House to approve the measure, which now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Rick Snyder for his expected signature. A partial-birth abortion entails having an abortionist partially deliver a viable baby, and then kill the child before he or she completely emerges from the womb — making the procedure, by legal reasoning, an abortion rather than a homicide. The ban would make the procedure a felony punishable by a two-year prison term and a $50,000 fine. Republican Senator Arlan Meekhof, one of the bill’s sponsors, called partial-birth abortion “a barbaric act that we need to stop. I’m proud to sponsor this measure because I believe every life is precious.
Thanks to an unnoticed provision legislators slipped into state law 20 years ago, almost two dozen union leaders in Chicago stand to walk off with a cool $56 million in pension money, the Chicago Tribune reported last week. But only if the Illinois legislature does not repeal the provision, detailed in a lengthy report the Tribune conducted with WGN-TV. Three of the union leaders may earn as much as $5 million. Legalized Theft No one seems to know, the Tribune reported, who tweaked state pension law to permit the looting. Or at least no one will accept responsibility.
An honors student at a Fort Worth, Texas, high school was sent to the principal’s office after he told a fellow student that he thought homosexuality is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Dakota Ary was in his German class “when the conversation shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany,” reported Fox News. “At some point during the conversation, he turned to a friend and said that he was a Christian and ‘being a homosexual is wrong.’” A short time later Dakota’s mother, Holly Pope, received a call from an assistant principal at Fort Worth’s Western Hills High School informing her that her son would be serving an “in-school suspension,” along with a two-day full suspension, for his offense. “Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old,” Pope told Fox News, adding that her son is not only an honors student, but plays on the school’s football team and is involved in his church’s youth group. “He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes,” she added.
With the U.S. debt having surpassed 100 percent of gross domestic product August 3, to $14.58 trillion, it’s crudely entertaining to see how multimillionaire lawmakers in Congress and administrations both past and present find “compassionate” ways to spend ever-more of taxpayers’ money. The following is just the most recent example of a “compassionate” expenditure taxpayers don’t need. On September 10, one day before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, a piece was published that set out conditions under which the U.S. should (and should not) provide humanitarian aid at taxpayers’ expense, humanitarian projects being by their nature philanthropic. Just three days later, the Washington Times (one among several other newspapers), ran a story describing how a compassionate George W. Bush was using his namesake institution to jumpstart an initiative combating women’s cancers (cervical and breast) in developing countries, primarily Africa, Vietnam, and Haiti, where such diseases are more rampant than usual due to the high levels of AIDS/HIV. The project is part of the “Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon,” program, the goal of which is to “expand the services of clinics created under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” while the cancers are presumably still treatable.
Former Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain walked away a clear winner from the Florida Republican Party presidential straw poll September 24. He received 37 percent vote amounted, which was more than the combined percentages won by both Texas Governor Rick Perry (15 percent) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (14 percent). Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the results and predicted that "the road to the White House runs right through Florida." “Folks, this is what you call momentum,” Cain, a former Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Chairman, said in a victory statement. “The Herman Cain Train is picking up steam.” The Florida "President 5" straw poll measured Florida party establishment support for GOP presidential candidates rather than campaign energy, as only registered party members and registered convention-goers were allowed to vote in the poll. Campaigns were not allowed to bus in supporters or buy convention tickets, as most straw polls allow. This may explain the relatively poor showing for Texas Representative Ron Paul, who has won most straw polls but placed fifth in Florida with only 10 percent of the vote.
Not too long ago, The American Spectator contributor Jeffrey Lord authored a couple of articles within which he took to task third-place Republican presidential contender Ron Paul. Because some of Paul’s most earnest defenders have already dealt with the first article in good measure (see here and here), it is on the second of these critiques of the Texas Congressman that I will set my sights. Lord’s objective, to put it bluntly, is to expose Ron Paul as a faux conservative, a less than fully honest libertarian who aspires to “remake” the conservative movement in the image of his own “metaphysically” and morally corrupt ideology. In Lord’s reimagining of the history of American conservatism, Ronald Reagan is the hero while Ron Paul is his nemesis, the “anti-Reagan.” With all due respect to Lord, I find his argument more than a bit peculiar. In order to convict Paul of the charge of being ideologically fraudulent and “metaphysically mad” — Russell Kirk’s description of choice for libertarianism — he leads his readers through a series of mazes of names and quotations.
Former TARP chairman and Senate hopeful from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren gave a shot in the arm to “progressives” everywhere this past Wednesday, with a rousing (or is it rabble-rousing?) extemporaneous speech on the virtues of taxing the rich. Her commentary quickly made the rounds on the Web and radio talk shows — and for good reason. Whatever this law professor said, she said it pretty darn well. Hey, If President Downgrade could articulate himself like that, he wouldn’t be in a bigamous relationship with a Teleprompter. Unfortunately, though, style doesn’t connote substance. And Warren’s words, while rousing, were also reality-bending. Here is what she said: I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.’ No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you, uh, were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
Is the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act on the ropes? The long-term care provision of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), sneaked into the bill at the last minute, has long been criticized on Capitol Hill as a future budget buster; and recent moves by the Obama administration suggest that the White House, too, is not particularly enthusiastic about implementing the program. First the administration asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to zero out funding for CLASS for fiscal year 2012 despite having previously requested $120 million for the program. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) applauded the move, calling it a “good first step,” but said Congress should finish the job by repealing the CLASS Act. Then on Thursday the chief actuary of CLASS, Robert Yee, announced he would be leaving his post because “the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was closing down the office charged with implementing the program and reassigning its staff,” The Hill reports.