As January ushers in a new year, San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to instate a minimum wage rate of more than $10 an hour. Climbing from $9.92 to $10.24, the city’s new labor mandate will hike the city’s minimum wage more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the rate set by the federal government.
Many San Francisco workers lauded the move, particularly those residents working multiple jobs and being paid the city’s current minimum wage. "It’s a psychological boost," said David Frias, a 34-year-old movie theater usher and security guard for a crowd control firm. "It means that I’ll have more money in my wallet to pay my bills and money to spend in the city to help the economy."
Still, many city residents and community organizations say the new rate is too modest after factoring in rising inflation, cost of living increases, and San Francisco’s persistently stale economy. While Karl Kramer of the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition is happy to see that the city is raising the minimum wage, he says an adequate wage for a single, childless adult in San Francisco is $15 per hour, and double that when adding at least one child.
A United States of Europe — minus recalcitrant Great Britain — is nearly upon us; thus saith Forbes magazine. “The euro, in its old form, has fallen into crisis and the price European countries have to pay is a large loss of sovereignty,” writes Clem Chambers in the Establishment conservative magazine. Chambers continues:
Nationalists would consider this disastrous. In reality, there are not so many nationalists in Europe these days and many countries, and their populations, consider themselves European and see little problem with further integration.
Chambers is confident that zeal to maintain the eurozone will overwhelm nationalist sentiments. As a result of the current financial crisis, political power in Europe will migrate to Brussels, stripping eurozone members of their remaining economic sovereignty:
What is set to happen is that the European super state will hold the cheque book of euro member countries; or at least be able to snap it shut should any one country wish to run away with its local budget.
Money is power and once ultimate budget power is gone, political power will subsequently be drawn into the federal centre.
Emails released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests (and then lawsuits) from the Media Research Center and Judicial Watch have raised even more questions about how much then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan was involved with the proposed ObamaCare legislation. At the time of now-Supreme Court Justice Kagan's Court confirmation hearings, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans asked if she had “ever been asked about [her] opinion” or “offered any view or comments” concerning “the underlying legal or constitutional issued related to any proposed health care legislation, including but not limited to Pub. L. No. 111-148 [ObamaCare], or the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to potential litigation resulting from such legislation.” Kagan's answer was an unqualified “no.”
The newly released emails, however, show that days before the House vote on the healthcare legislation, Kagan was indeed involved in preparing the Department of Justice response to a legal challenge of the bill. This challenge was anticipated by Mark Levin and the Landmark Legal Foundation if the bill was passed through a House procedural rule — which would have “deemed” the bill to have passed the House of Representatives, even if its members had never actually voted on its last version.
Responding to criticism of his “nay” vote on a supplemental appropriations bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Sen. John Kerry said in 2004, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” — a statement that came to define the Massachusetts Democrat, then running for President, as a flip-flopper with no convictions.
Eight years later another presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, finds himself in a similar gherkin. Gingrich, it seems, was for the ObamaCare individual mandate before he was against it; and his newfound opposition to the mandate appears to be less a matter of conviction than of political opportunism.
According to CNSNews.com, as far back as 1993 Gingrich was stumping for an individual mandate. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in October of that year, then-House Minority Whip Gingrich said: “I am for people, individuals — exactly like automobile insurance — individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.” In other words, if Gingrich had gotten his way, one of the central features of ObamaCare would have been enacted 18 years ago.
Washington gridlock may turn out to be the salvation of the Obama administration. Not only does gridlock allow the president to blame Republicans for not solving the financial crisis that his own runaway spending created, the inability to carry out as much government intervention in the economy as when the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress means that the market can now recover on its own to some visible extent before the next election.
Sheriff Kelly Janke was searching for six missing cows. As he searched, he came upon three armed men, requiring the sheriff, armed with nothing but a search warrant, to come back with reinforcements. Ranches spread for thousands of acres on the wide open ranges of North Dakota. The sheriff knew that better than anyone else, and he knew that the rifle-toting resisters could be waiting for him anywhere, so he came prepared. The cavalry called in to assist Sheriff Janke consisted of highway patrolmen, a SWAT team, an explosives detonation squad, and deputies from surrounding counties.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last Thursday that 46 tribal and nonprofit organizations are being granted a combined one million dollars of taxpayer money to fund "environmental justice issues." According to the EPA, such "issues" translate as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to" the environmental decision-making process.
As Americans become increasingly opposed to the intrusive and unconstitutional searching techniques of the Transportation Security Administration — including recent allegations by several women that they were strip-searched by airport security — two New York lawmakers on Sunday proposed the creation of "passenger advocates" at airports. However, their solution is highly controversial. The two men — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and New York State Sen. Michael Gianaris — have stated that such a position should be created by the TSA itself, which critics point out would virtually undermine its purpose of passenger advocacy.
Government climate dignitaries and the Associated Press hailed the “landmark” deal reached Sunday at the United Nations' global-warming summit in Durban, South Africa. According to environmentalist groups, however, the agreement represented a failure of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to “save” the world from supposedly “dangerous” carbon dioxide emissions.
Meanwhile, as the official “science” continues to crumble amid colder temperatures and lower sea levels, critics of UN global-warming theories warned that the foundation was being laid for a dangerous global regime with dire consequences for everyone on Earth. And some progress toward the goal was made in Durban.
Experts said the emerging scheme — to be finalized in the coming years — aims to produce a world government and reduce living standards worldwide. The proposed regime would stifle economic activity and extract ever more wealth from populations while doing absolutely nothing at all to prevent what are essentially natural climate variations, according to critics and scientists.
After running over their scheduled time by more than 36 hours, exhausted “negotiators” representing more than 190 regimes — mostly dictatorships — agreed to work out an enforceable treaty by 2015. The global climate regime would enter into force some five years after that.
I’m not sure why ex-Senator and current Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee keeps getting elected, but I’m quite sure he offends me. I truly can’t stand seeing his face, and you don’t have to ask why. You see, that’s the way offensiveness is: It’s completely subjective and not constrained by rhyme or reason.
Along with a lot of other people, however, I now certainly have one very logical reason to chafe at Chafee: His decision to call the 17-foot-tall blue spruce Christmas tree in his state capitol’s rotunda a “holiday tree” despite opposition from residents and lawmakers. This, mind you, is something even the Obama administration doesn’t dare; all its trees are called what they are.
Of course, the funny thing about all these “holiday” trees is that they always seem to appear at Christmastime. But perhaps Chafee will erect a couple on Memorial Day and Labor Day.
One reason he won’t — at this time — is because what we’re witnessing are half-measures by people who don’t yet dare try to wipe Christianity away completely. It’s as how some now want to replace the chronological designations B.C. and A.D. with B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. If they could cut to the chase, they might just take a leaf out of Maximilien Robespierre’s and the other French revolutionaries’ book and change the calendar (in the French Republic, 1789 became “year 1 of Liberty”) and maybe even the days of the week so as to eliminate Sundays. For now, however, they’ll still have to tolerate our remaining remnants of Christendom.