Scott Mayer

July 24, 2014

Throwing American Foster Kids Under the Obama Bus

Immigrant Sign 2My article as originally published in American Thinker:    

Breitbart recently reported that the federal government is offering (through a Southern California charity) up to $6,000.00 per month (tax free) to house illegal immigrant children.  This should come as no surprise to those who recognize that the rainbow hovering over President Obama’s Utopia contains nothing but a full spectrum of stupidity and a pot of gold at the end in D.C.  Given this latest revelation in Obama’s growing immigration crisis, any adoption agencies currently struggling with the daunting task of placing American foster kids into good homes may wish to take heed of these developments.

Benswann.com offers some additional details:

Benswann.com called Crittenton FFA, which is located in Orange County and provides services for Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and found that for those willing to a take in a child under the age of 16, you can receive up to $854.00 tax free per month. For those taking in a child over 16, the total is $1,008.00 per month in reimbursement. If you have a 5 bedroom house and can take in as many as 6 children, you can receive reimbursement of up to $6,054.00 per month tax free.

Perhaps not by tomorrow, but like everything else this administration touches, you can bet your bottom dollar that if expanded, this policy will eventually be met with undesirable consequences.  According to adoptuskids.org, there are currently 104,000 American kids waiting to be placed into homes.  So how will flooding the foster system with illegal immigrant children and offering a high monthly stipend to house them alter the chances of all these American children finding homes?

For the answer, just contrast the above advertised rates for illegal kids with the 2013/14 statewide foster rates for American children in California.  By housing a child 0-4, a household will be reimbursed $657.00 per month, and for children over fifteen, the rate jumps to $820.00 per month.  Those who house six older children would be reimbursed $4,920.00 per month.  So choosing to house American children instead of illegal immigrants would result in $1,134.00 of lost potential income – or, to put it another way, the monthly payments for two very nice automobiles. 

Just as misguided rent control laws result in housing shortages followed by higher rents and minimum wage laws cause surpluses of unskilled workers followed by higher unemployment rates, the laws of economics will find equilibrium here as well.  By doing this, the Obama administration is giving illegal “dreamers” the upper hand over deserving American children who are dreaming of being placed into loving homes. 

The Obama administration’s latest “solution” to an illegal immigrant crisis it created merely throws American foster kids under the Obama bus.  Unfortunately, it’s becoming crystal-clear that the underside of Obama’s bus still has room for millions more.

 

 

 


A Model Town for ‘Gun Safety’

Chicago photoMy article as originally published in American Thinker:   

Michael Bloomberg’s group “Everytown for Gun Safety” recently released a map claiming there have been 74 school shootings in the U.S. since the horrifying Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.  The map was widely (and without hesitation) displayed by newsrooms all across America.  The only problem is the map turns out to be a fraud and has been thoroughly debunked:

The saga of the fraudulent map of “school shootings” pumped out by Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety” group is fascinating, especially given how quickly the fraud was exposed and destroyed.  This group was caught in a lie, pure and simple… and the lie went down so hard that CNN got in on the act.

Let’s forget about “Everytown” for a moment and instead focus on just one town – Chicago.  Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, yet in 2012 it had the distinct honor of being named the murder capital of the United States.  In Chicago, one needn’t ask, If a gun spontaneously goes off in a forest, is within five miles of a school and no one is around to get shot, can the data still be used in an Everytown map?  There’s just no need go back two years and torture data to make it look like there were 74 school shootings – that same number can be achieved by going back less than two months (April 19th through June 15th), where there were 74 actual homicides (not just manufactured school shootings) using a gun within the city, as chronicled by a Chicago Tribune-owned website that keeps track of such data.

I’ve taken the liberty of creating a similar map utilizing this appalling data from Chicago (do take the time to zoom-in and read the names of the victims): 

 

By blatantly fabricating data and making false promises of safety while attempting to restrict the rights of those who obey the law, all the while ignoring the root cause of violence from those who fail to obey any laws, Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety” does a tremendous disservice to the families of the 74 names highlighted on the above map, as well as to all freedom-loving Americans. 

Chicago’s gun woes are no surprise to anyone who has taken the time to read the work of John Lott, including his excellent book More Guns, Less Crime.  And speaking of less crime, as bad as things still are, after recently being forced to issue concealed carry permits, Chicago saw its murder rate drop significantly, according to first-quarter statistics.

Like Detroit, Chicago has lived under Democrat rule for many decades and as such is a wonderful Petri dish for all things progressive.  Detroit is the end-stage result of such progressive policy, and Chicago is clearly on a similar path.  This highly toxic mix of strict gun control laws combined with long-term Democrat control of the city has turned out to be a very deadly combination.

Bloomberg naming his group “Everytown” may be truly fitting, because if the group does reach its goals, every town may eventually look strikingly similar to Chicago and Detroit.


Housing Obama’s Flood of Illegal Immigrant Children

ConstitutionMy article as originally published in American Thinker:    

By now President Obama is probably wondering what to do with the influx of illegal immigrant children that are entering this country as a direct result of his previous lawless acts regarding immigration reform. This presents more of an in-your-face problem than some of his previous scandals as it’s hard to make warehouses full of idle kids just disappear. And this problem will only grow exponentially if Obama does act unilaterally on amnesty following Cantor’s defeat.  

The president’s increasingly brazen trashing of the Constitution (a certain Lord Acton quote comes to mind) seems to continually be met with Congressional yawns, so what’s to stop him from taking things a step or two further in order to “solve” his latest orchestrated crisis? The solution is really quite simple for a president with his kind of power. Obama could start by moving forward with one of his stated goals from back in 2008: 

 

We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. 

 

So who would step up and prevent Obama from turning these illegal immigrants into “soldiers” for his civilian national security force? As to the question of where to house all of his new “national security” soldiers — that’s the easy part.  He could simply pull out his pen and cross-out that pesky 3rd Amendment. Again, who would stop him based upon what we’ve seen so far? 

 

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

 

Most opposition would become paralyzed following any Obama lecture about fairness; the U.S. being wealthiest nation on earth and how only a racist would dare oppose such a proposal.  Besides, he already told us that “our future rests” on the success of DREAM-kids.  If middle class families were to complain about any unfair burden, they could simply be reminded of how tough Hillary Clinton had it following her stint in the White House. 

Ben Shapiro sums up the situation succinctly: “President Barack Obama believes he is above the law… That’s because he is.” And it’s not just conservatives who understand who the real Obama is. Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley recently said that “Barack Obama is really the president Richard Nixon always wanted to be.”   

As for the illegal children, personally I prefer Rush’s idea of taking them to the source of all this “caring” and dropping them off within the borders of the massively wealthy zip codes that surround Washington D.C.

 

 

 


Protecting America from Smoke (and Mirror) ‘Inhalation’

My article as originally published in American Thinker:   

To continue to believe even the smallest assemblage of language emanating from the Obama White House or mainstream media – which dutifully protects the former – surely requires one to partake in the heavy smoking of a particular substance that now happens to be legal within the confines of Colorado.   

Eleanor Clift’s attempt to obfuscate the truth by claiming (with a straight face) that Ambassador Stevens “was not murdered” and instead just “died of smoke inhalation” during an attack that escalated due to “that video” is but the latest example.  Clift was talking about the anti-Muslim video that newly released e-mails show the Obama administration had mendaciously characterized as the cause of the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Jay Carney attempted to make full use of smoke and mirrors during questioning (from a press corps that still gave him friendlier treatment then any Republican would have received) about the release of the smoking-gun e-mails.  He claimed (also with a straight face) that the e-mails were not actually about Benghazi.

Being subjected to these two performances was a bit like watching the interrogation scene in the Shrek movie (minus the humor), where Pinocchio utilizes his best Clintonian linguistic skills in an unsuccessful attempt to maintain the length of his nose while answering questions.

 

Many details concerning the numerous scandals surrounding President Obama are becoming increasingly more visible through the thick haze of lies, spin, and propaganda, thanks mostly to a new media providing the American people with much-needed fresh air.  Because of this, in order to continue protecting the president, the mainstream press will need to find new ways to contort into positions that even the highest-paid ladies of the evening would be unwilling to entertain.  Is it any wonder the Democrats want to set fire to the First Amendment and silence a conservative media that consistently unveils the ever-growing nose that unmistakably defines the face of the Democrat Party?

If the Democrats, the MSM, and academia are ultimately successful in snuffing out the First Amendment, it is America that will suffer a slow painful death, following the smoke-and-mirror “inhalation” it is constantly subjected to.


Blinded by Green Energy

Blinded 1My article as originally published in American Thinker:  

Last weekend, my father-in-law took my son and me to Arizona to watch a couple of Giants games during Spring Training – an early birthday gift for my son, and a truly fabulous experience that I’m sure my soon to be ten-year-old will never forget.  But before we even made it to Arizona, I witnessed something else pretty unforgettable during the flight.  About an hour or so into our journey from Sacramento to Phoenix, I noticed three extremely bright lights off in the distance while looking through a window on the right side of the aircraft.  The lights were so intense that I thought I was looking at three miniature suns.  In all my years of flying (that route included), I had never seen anything like this before.

I had my suspicions that the lights had something to do with some sort of solar farm, and after reading an article in The Daily Caller and doing a little research using Google Maps, I realized that I was in fact a victim of the world’s largest solar thermal plant – and that I wasn’t alone:

Airplane pilots cruising over southern California have been complaining about a “nearly blinding” glare emanating from a massive government-funded solar thermal facility.

The Ivanpah solar energy plant in San Bernardino County is the world’s largest solar thermal plant and has 173,500 large mirrors that reflect sunlight onto boilers in three 459-foot towers. A feat of modern engineering — to green energy advocates, but a flying hazard to pilots.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) got two anonymous complaints in August that mentioned a “blinding glare” coming from the Ivanpah solar facility. One complaint came from a Los Angeles air traffic controller and the other from a small transport plane pilot that took off from an airport in Boulder City, Nevada.

“The FAA is aware of potential glare from solar plants and is exploring how to best alert pilots to the issue,” an FAA spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Why didn’t someone think of this before breaking ground on such an enormous project?  Well, according to the DC article, they did:

BrightSource’s environmental impact study for Ivanpah included mitigation measures for glare issues related to the site’s reflective mirrors. The aviation community actually raised such worries during the environmental review process.

Ivanpah’s environmental impact study found that the solar thermal plant could cause temporary blindness to pilots flying within 3,300 feet of the heliostats, which compromises safety. BrightSource had to develop a heliosat position plan to mitigate the potential harm from Ivanpah’s glare.

I think the study may have been off by more than a few decimal points with its estimate of pilots having to be within only 3,300 feet of the heliostats to experience temporary blindness.  When I snapped the below photo (the only one that wasn’t totally overexposed) with my phone, the aircraft was at about 35,000 feet and dozens of miles to the East of Ivanpah’s 459-foot green-’n’-clean towers.

 

Many who are blinded by green energy don’t know about or simply ignore the heavy reliance on taxpayer subsidies and massive cronyism surrounding it.  But now, in addition to the fiscal impracticality of green energy, we have Bald Eagles being killed by ugly wind turbines and pilots being dangerously disorientated by giant solar plants – and as if the Ivanpah solar plant wasn’t causing enough trouble, it’s the very same plant that has been conveniently cooking birds before they fall to the ground.

Isn’t it interesting how green energy (and those who amass their wealth from it) gets a free pass from any of its negative impacts, unlike the economy-growing affordable energy options?  I guess those privileged to make these green omelets are permitted to break a few eggs – even if some of those eggs happen to be a protected species or are otherwise diligently protected by the TSA.

The next time I fly this route, I’ll be sure to bring along a few marshmallows to roast along the way.

We Already Have ‘Super Trucks,’ Mr. Obama

My article as originally published (math corrected) in American Thinker:   

President Obama just threw another wrench into the economy with his new heavy-duty truck efficiency standards. While it may be desirable to see more efficient trucks on the road, as Kevin Williamson at NRO pointed out — this technology isn’t free.

President Barack Obama is a masterly practitioner of the occult art of single-entry bookkeeping. Consider his speech today, in which he praised the fuel economy of a new “super truck,” making the point that, since most U.S. freight moves in trucks, lower operating costs for freight operators should in theory mean lower costs for consumers. And he would have a point — if that fuel-economy technology were free. It is not. It costs money to develop. It costs money to deploy. Where it adds to the price of a vehicle, it also adds to ownership costs such as insurance and taxation.

And as truckers, especially single operators (AKA small businessmen), have found out in California, free it is not.

So just how inefficient are these evil heavy-duty gas hogs? The White House “fact sheet” claims that in 2010, heavy-duty vehicles accounted for only four percent of the vehicles on the road, but consumed twenty-five percent of the fuel. While this sounds pretty bad on the surface, perhaps we should take a look under the hood given the source?

I think it’s important to keep in mind that vehicles contribute to the economy by doing work, be it carrying people to and from the office, or transporting thousands of pounds of goods across state lines. But is it really fair to compare giant cargo haulers with passenger cars simply as a percentage of the vehicles on the road? Shouldn’t the efficiency of doing actual work be what is instead considered?

If heavy-duty vehicles account for only four percent of what is traveling the road, this means that out of every one-hundred vehicles only four would be heavy-duty, and ninety-six would be standard autos. I understand there is a large variance of vehicular size and weight, but for simplicity, let’s take just one group and compare ninety-six passenger vehicles having a total loaded weight of 4,000 lbs each with four semi-trucks with a total legal loaded weight of 80,000 lbs each. The ninety-six cars would weigh a total of 384,000 lbs and the four heavy-duty trucks would weigh a total of 320,000 lbs. When looked at this way, four percent of these vehicles are doing almost as much economic work as the other ninety-six percent. Put another way, the heavy-duty trucks do about forty-five percent of the total work while representing only four percent of the ‘workers’ in this case. Further comparison using actual payload capacity would only serve to make these monstrous trucks look even better.

But what about comparing fuel consumption with work done? Using the same vehicle specifications as above, a truck with a total legal weight of 80,000 lbs can travel about (again keeping it simple) five miles using one gallon of fuel. A passenger car that gets 20 MPG uses .25 gallons of fuel during that same five mile trip but only hauls a total load of 4000 lbs. In order to do the same work (move 80,000 lbs) as the heavy-duty trucks, twenty of these cars would be needed. But in order for those twenty cars to move the same amount of weight over the same five miles, they would instead consume five gallons of fuel. That is a 400% increase if my math is correct.

I won’t get into it here, but couldn’t we also factor in the energy used to produce these vehicles as well? A semi truck engine can last over one million miles while a standard auto engine will last only one or two hundred thousand miles.

It looks to me like we already have “super trucks,” Mr. President. And I have faith that over time, the market will improve upon what we already have, and do so in an efficient manner.

Left alone, the free market has no problem efficiently pulling its own weight. But when the dead-weight of politicians and their “brilliant” ideas are piled upon it, the economy slows down to a crawl.

 


Minimum Wage Destroys Education for the Poor

My article as originally published in American Thinker:  

While President Obama may still possess the ability to bedazzle a certain segment of the population with his haughty rhetoric, his policies, coupled with his economic ignorance, continue to wreak havoc upon the U.S. economy. Case in point: his persistent and injudicious push for an increase in minimum wage that, if achieved, would only further the economic carnage. Without a doubt, minimum wage laws hurt entry-level workers and ultimately the whole economy, as Thomas Sowell and Ron Ross clearly demonstrate. But perhaps the cruelest consequence of minimum-wage law is the fact that it denies poor Americans access to a truly affordable education. With overall teen unemployment already at 21% and sky-high black teen unemployment at 38% under Obama’s watch, his proposal would only exacerbate this problem.

Merely highlighting the hourly wage rate as the singular measure of value received from working in an entry level capacity conveniently ignores one of the most important aspects of the story — education. When an individual has zero work experience and very little in the way of skills to offer, it is imperative to somehow gain such experience. The ability to do just that represents the highest level of value for the entry-level employee. Others think nothing of paying to receive a similar level of instruction in the classroom or taking an unpaid internship to develop new skills. But that’s often just not an option for the poor.

Given the exorbitant costs of higher education (due in part to the ever-reaching tentacles of government), a paid entry-level position appears to be one of the better educational options available for some within the ranks of the poor and middle class. But misguided minimum-wage laws, in effect, price many of these would-be students out of a quality education and a chance to get ahead in life. Employers are willing to give (hire and train) these “students” a paid education in exchange for their labor when it makes good economic sense, but when “tuitions” are raised by government mandated wage controls, only the highest skilled “students” will be accepted, effectively outlawing this form of education for those who possess the lowest level of skills.

President Obama said: “Americans overwhelmingly agree nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. And that is why I firmly believe it’s time to give America a raise.” But wage rates are for the market to decide and no one should expect to raise a family on the wages an entry-level position provides. As it is with any form of education, it is up to the individual as to whether or not something is actually gained during the process. Some will, of course, be complacent in their low-level position or lack the capacity to move up the corporate ladder, much like the proverbial college student-for-life or dropout. But that is certainly no reason for government to effectively bar entry for those who lack other choices but have the ability and ambition to acquire skills using this approach. While the full monetary value of such employment doesn’t appear on one’s paycheck at first, once an individual develops marketable skills, employers will be forced to compete for their labor within the marketplace.

President Obama will no doubt be given accolades from the Left for all of his faux compassion. But his proposal is anything but compassionate and is more than a job-killer — it’s an education-killer for the poor he claims to be trying to help. This will only breed more dependence upon government, which may actually be the point.

By the way, who wants to actually work (and learn) for a ten-plus dollar per hour minimum wage when, on average, welfare pays much more and requires absolutely zero effort? And that’s even before factoring in ObamaCare’s disincentives to continue working as hailed by the Left.

 


When will daily ObamaCare body count reporting begin?

My article as originally published in American Thinker:   

Even before the last tidbits of silver and gold confetti could be swept away following New Year’s Eve celebrations, Americans were already starting off the year with fresh ObamaCare surprises.  Some of the new “enrollees” in President Obama’s signature law are showing up at hospitals in parts of the U.S. and are being met with confusion as to whether or not they’re actually insured.  Because of this, some are just leaving without needed treatment to avoid the enormous out-of-pocket expenses that would be incurred (which they would most likely pay anyway due to ObamaCare’s high deductibles), as Rick Moran discussed in this AT piece highlighting a Northern Virginia hospital.

And in Chicago, a doctor decided to move forward with a patient’s scheduled surgery not knowing if the costs would be covered by insurance:

Paperwork problems almost delayed suburban Chicago resident Sheri Zajcew’s scheduled surgery Thursday, but Dr. John Venetos decided to operate without a routine go-ahead from the insurance company. That was after Venetos’ office manager spent two hours on hold with the insurer Thursday, trying to get an answer about whether the patient needed prior authorization for the surgery. The office manager finally gave up.

[snip]

Venetos, a Chicago digestive system specialist, described “tremendous uncertainty and anxiety” among patients calling his office recently. Some thought they’d signed up for coverage but hadn’t received insurance cards yet. Others had insurance policies that were canceled and weren’t sure if their coverage had been reinstated after Gov. Pat Quinn decided to allow one-year extensions of canceled plans.

Venetos said he has decided to take a risk and provide care for these patients, at least until there’s less confusion about coverage.

So what exactly will happen once tens of millions of Americans start losing their employer-sponsored health plans due to ObamaCare, thus adding even more confusion to a once-working system?  This is serious stuff, and if it continues, people will start dying in sizable numbers.

Just imagine if this disaster known as ObamaCare were instead BushCare under the previous administration.  Rest assured, if people were to begin dying due to these same disastrous policies under George W. Bush, Americans would be reminded daily of the body count, just as they were during the Iraq War when he was commander and chief.  Of course, not only would we be hearing about the daily BushCare body counts (along with his dwindling poll numbers); we would also be glued to the TV watching simultaneous impeachment hearings.

Don’t hold your breath while waiting for the mainstream media to provide any real tally of future ObamaCare-caused carnage.

By the end of 2014, perhaps Americans will be singing “Auld Lang Syne” while reminiscing about what once was the greatest health care system in the world

 


Who Likes Their Health Insurance?

My article as originally published in American Thinker:   

The Obama administration clearly underestimated just how tough the sale of ObamaCare would be once the American people found out what “was in it.” To say the task is a bit like selling broccoli or asparagus flavored candy to a child is surely an understatement. In fact, thanks to a short video my daughter alerted me to, the Administration can get an idea of how the American people feel about having the so-called Affordable Care Act shoved down their throats. (Note: the video is by Crest and Oral B, not Michael Bloomberg.)

While I’m quite certain the Obama administration sees the American people as helpless children who need to have every aspect of their lives planned out for them, the problem isn’t the administration’s sales ability. The problem is the disgusting product they are trying to sell. At least the guy in the video told the children “what was in” the candy up front and didn’t lie to them. And it appears these kids weren’t going to be force fed the candy once they rejected it.

Even a child understands when they are being scammed. And they certainly don’t care what kind of pajamas the salesman is wearing.

 


Eff Yourself

My article as originally published in American Thinker:  

After pushing Thanksgiving dinner indoctrination sessions that obviously proved less than copious, Obama’s Organizing for Action has now released a new video in an attempt to get parents talking health care with their kids (those essential young and healthy) during Christmas.  And as if the video wasn’t embarrassing enough, President Obama Tweeted an ad featuring a young man wearing onesie pajamas (talk about giving comfort to our enemies), drinking cocoa, and talking about health insurance.  So, “are you in?”

 

When this latest effort doesn’t work, maybe the Obama administration will attempt to garner the attention of these 26-plus-year-old “children” by creating some sort of an Elf Yourself parody, perhaps resembling England’s NHS Olympic opening display.  (Elf Yourself is the crafty website where you can upload your image info to the servers and — presto — you and your family instantly become part of a cartoonish musical skit.)  Though, in the case of ObamaCare, the name might best be changed to “Eff Yourself.”

The real reason for low enrollment in the so-called Affordable Care Act is that Americans (including the young) have finally found out “what is in it.”  Because of this, ObamaCare has already gotten the attention of the younger generations, who are rapidly discovering they’ve been had by Obama.  President Obama might as well be trying to sell them Gordon Gekko’s enormous brick of a cell phone as the latest and greatest mobile device.

The Obama administration can use whatever propaganda it chooses, but all one need do is log on to Healthcare.gov, follow the instructions, and upload personal info to the “secure” servers to understand why there is little interest among those who can just pay the fine instead.  Be it higher premiums, higher deductibles, hacked data, or unexpected bank account withdrawals, these “kids” now understand that you will in effect “Eff Yourself” by using this website.  And if you’re paying less due to a subsidy, well, then you’re really just doing the same to the taxpayers.

As for the Republican Party, I’m sure Tea Party members, taxpayers, and wounded veterans will be having many a conversation over Christmas dinner about some of the things that have been said and done by members of Congress as of late.  I think certain congressional Republicans would’ve gotten a much warmer reception had they just told America to go “Elf Yourself” instead of what they in essence said instead.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing at all funny about what is currently going on in the United States.