Thursday, November 14, 2013

Participation In American Labor Force Drops To Historic Low (Again)

by   / Personal Liberty Digest

Participation In American Labor Force Drops To Historic Low (Again)
PHOTOS.COM
Not since the Presidency of Jimmy Carter has participation in the U.S. labor force been as low as it is today. The difference between the Carter Administration and that of President Barack Obama, though, is that job growth under Carter was outpacing the rate at which people were entering, or re-entering, the labor force.

Today, under Obama, the opposite is happening. People are dropping out, because there’s often more incentive to accept a bevy of ever-expanding, low-threshold government doles than a part-time, low-wage service job.

Carter finished his single term in office with 10.5 million more Americans working than when he took office. The Obama Administration has taken credit for a steady uptick in job creation, with the President repeatedly touting the creation of 4.5 million new jobs as he campaigned for re-election.

But those weren’t “new” jobs. They were old jobs people had lost during the recession. Only 300,000 of those jobs represented a net gain for the U.S. labor force. Here’s how CNN’s Election Center explained Obama’s spin:
[T]otal nonfarm payrolls, including government workers, are down from 133.6 million workers at the beginning of 2009 to 133.2 million in July 2012. There’s been a net loss of nearly 1 million public-sector jobs since Obama took office, despite a surge in temporary hiring for the 2010 census.
Meanwhile, the jobs that have come back aren’t the same ones that were lost.
Are you better off?
According to a study released last week by the liberal-leaning National Employment Law Project, low-wage fields such as retail sales and food service are adding jobs nearly three times as fast as higher-paid occupations.
And even The Washington Post took Obama to task over the summer for bumping up his claims of increasing manufacturing jobs, taking apart the President’s broken-record refrain that he’d added 7 million new jobs, including 500,000 in the manufacturing sector:
By July 2012, the number of manufacturing jobs had risen to 11.957 million, or just shy of a 500,000 job gain. That’s when it became part of the President’s campaign rhetoric.
But at that point, the number also stopping (sic) climbing and instead began bouncing around.
In August 2012, 14,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. In the next month, an additional 18,000 were lost. Then came several months of gains — followed by three months of losses. The preliminary numbers in the employment report released Friday show a loss of 9,000 manufacturing jobs in April and 8,000 in May.
So here we are, nearly one year later, and the United States is still stuck at a gain of 500,000 jobs.
More striking, rather than month-by-month figures, look at the trend when year-to-year calculations are made: 
Gain in manufacturing jobs
Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2013: +124,000
Feb. 2012 to Feb. 2013: +118,000
March 2012 to March 2013: +74,000
April 2012 to April 2013: +55,000
May 2012 to May 2013: +41,000
In other words, it’s a downhill trend — headed possibly to zero.
Sure, there’s a bright side, if you’re looking for part-time work with no insurance: part-time jobs have grown a rate sevenfold that of full-time jobs under Obama.

And swinging back around to the shrinking labor force, we come to the latest round of numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What we learn is that a record-high 91.5 million people aren’t even participating in the labor force, that labor force participation stands at 62.8 percent, and that 932,000 more Americans gave up looking for work in October alone.

“At this pace the people out of the labor force will surpass the working Americans in about 4 years,” observes investment website Zero Hedge.

Obama continues to spin the facts about job growth as a way to demonstrate he’s turned around the abysmal economy he inherited from George W. Bush, but he touts his job growth numbers in a vacuum –one that disregards the troubling fact that more and more people are discouraged from (or enticed, by the welfare state) from even looking for work.

Obama, who’s been President for nearly five years now, doesn’t have to contend with double-digit inflation, as Carter did. And even though participation in the labor force was similarly light during Carter’s Presidency, the economy continued to add jobs eventually drawing dormant job seekers back into the labor force.

West must stop appeasing efforts to ban criticism of Islam: "Islamophobia" term designed to destroy free speech and impose Islamic law

 From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Indeed. "West must stop appeasing efforts to ban criticism of Islam," by Michael Curtis for The Commentator, November 11:
It is no accident that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." It is also no accident that there is no such absolute provision in the Arab and Islamic world. 
On the contrary, for at least fifteen years a concerted effort has been made by Islamic organizations, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to prevent or limit criticism of Islam and the Prophet.
This effort of the OIC has led to calls for controls of free speech in democratic countries as well as implementation of repression in its own member states. Although this OIC objective and its consequences have become familiar, it is puzzling that the Obama Administration, and Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, did not resist it but rather seemed to compromise with it.
It should have been obvious that major international organs have been manipulated by the OIC to suppress speech. Each year from 1999 until 2010, one of the countries of the 57 member-state OIC, often Pakistan, has proposed resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) outlawing "defamation of religions."
Rather than protection of religions in general, the intent of all the resolutions that have been passed is to declare criticism of Islam illegal and therefore punishable. More recently, OIC-inspired resolutions have condemned and called for penalization of what they term "Islamophobia."
However, the number of states approving such resolutions has been declining. The OIC is aware of the fact that democratic countries have become alert to the fact that infringements of free speech result from any implementation of supposed "defamation" resolutions.
In 2011 the OIC, attempting to overcome criticism of its tactics, no longer used the concept of "defamation of religions." It modified its extremist rhetoric, but not its objective.
On March 24, 2011 at the UNHRC, the OIC introduced Resolution 16/18. The Resolution was worded and then revised to make it more acceptable to the U.S. It avoided "defamation" and instead called for "fighting against intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against individuals because of their religion or belief." It seemingly appeared to be concerned with individuals, rather than a religion. The OIC tactic was successful. The Resolution, which is nonbinding, was adopted by consensus.
What is important was the next step, the creation of "The Istanbul Process" at a meeting in Istanbul in July 2011 initiated by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the OIC, with the assistance of Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, European Union (EU) Foreign Representative.
For Mr. Ihsanoglu the intent of the "Process" is to implement 16/18, which he views not as an end in itself but a means to an end. He was particularly concerned with what he called the "increasing trend of Islamophobia ... and the increase in intolerance and discrimination against Muslims." For the OIC an international blasphemy law was needed. 
At the Istanbul meeting, Clinton applauded the OIC and the EU for helping pass 16/18.
She spoke of it beginning to overcome "the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression." She also remarked that 16/18 was intended to "prohibit discrimination, profiling, and hate crimes, but not to criminalize speech unless there is an incitement to imminent violence."
Commendable though the intent of Clinton's remarks may be, they misunderstand the objective of OIC which calls for "a global awareness of the dangerous implications of the rise of Islamophobia on world peace and security." Seemingly innocuous, the OIC calls on countries "to promote respect for all religious and cultural values and prevent intolerance, discrimination and the instigation of hatred against any group or followers of any religion."
But the OIC should examine itself and acknowledge that most of its members do not allow freedom of speech or religion to non-Muslims within its own borders. It is disheartening to read of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's absurd remark in September 2012 that the West has not recognized Islamophobia as a "crime against humanity."
What is unsaid is the fact that the OIC does not subscribe to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UNGA on December 10, 1948. Instead, it subscribes to two other documents. One is the September 19, 1981 OIC Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights which is based on the "Koran and the Sunnah."
The other is the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, adopted on August 5, 1990 by the OIC 19th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers. The key clause is Article 24:
"All the rights and freedoms stipulated in the Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shariah."
This does not suggest protection of free speech and religion in non-Muslim countries, but rather their suppression. It appears to violate both the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 19), signed December 1966, that declares, "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression."
The "Istanbul Process" was continued in December 2011 at a closed meeting at the State Department in Washington, D.C. So far no word has leaked about the nature of the meeting.
A third meeting was held in Geneva in June 2013. At this stage no agreement on action has been reached, nor has the tension between acting against discrimination and preservation of free speech been resolved. It is unlikely that the Process will be of any value in this regard.
It is time for the U.S. State Department and the Obama Administration as a whole to be conscious of the assault by the OIC on human rights and free expression. The Department and the White House must reconsider whether it serves the cause of such freedoms for the U.S. to continue its association with this anti-democratic Istanbul Process.
Don't hold your breath.

Obamacare is already Almost Broke

Political Calculations/ Townhall Finance
Political  Calculations

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was set up with a slush fund of one billion dollars to support the implementation of Obamacare. If we go by the department's summary of its Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal, it would appear to have already burned through $811 million through 30 September 2013, the end of the federal government's 2013 fiscal year:

Cumulative Government Spending to Implement Obamacare, FY2010 through FY2014 That would leave the department with just $189 million left to spend. It was planning to spend $163 million in the federal government's Fiscal Year 2014, which began on 1 October 2013.

Instead, the problems that have plagued both the department's Healthcare.gov web site and the back end systems that support its operation are forcing the agency to spend this money on fixing its problems.

Keeping in mind that HHS was burning through money at an average rate of $871,233 per day during the federal government's 2013 fiscal year, it is very likely that it is now spending much more than that amount per day as the Obama administration is desperate to keep President Obama's signature achievement from becoming an unmitigated failure.

Something has to give, because they cannot both repair Obamacare's IT systems and web site and spend what they were planning to spend to do other things in FY2014. HHS is running out of money and cannot do both.

Oh, by the way, we described how we could have eliminated HHS' technical problems within a very short period of time for just $47 million back on 22 October 2013. And as far as we're concerned, the hardest part of implementing our solution is already done. And yet, the Obama administration would appear to be more concerned with funneling money to its crony corporate partners than it does in actually making it possible for regular Americans to shop for and buy health insurance as they might choose.

Perhaps a good question for a mainstream media reporter to ask is why does the Obama administration insist on doing those things? And a really good question for a skeptical U.S. Congress member to ask is why they should throw even more money to repair the Obamacare web site when our solution is already proving to be a much more viable and a much more affordable option?

Data Sources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fiscal Year 2012 Budget in Brief. Advancing the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Our People. [PDF Document]. 2011.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fiscal Year 2013 Budget in Brief. Strengthening Health and Opportunity for All Americans. [PDF Document]. 2012.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fiscal Year 2014 Budget in Brief. Strengthening Health and Opportunity for All Americans. [PDF Document]. 2013.
When Bill Clinton speaks, Democrats listen. But Bill Clinton, as we know all too well, is not an honest broker. He does what’s best for himself first, people also named Clinton second – and, if there is time left, others.

But he still has high approval ratings and is a fundraising machine for Democrats, which means they listen to him. So when he came out this week and said, “I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got” about the millions of Americans losing their health insurance thanks to Obamacare, it was a watershed moment.

It could be the straw that at least starts to break the camel’s back. But, if some Republicans get their way, it won’t be.

Support in Congress from Democrats for these “if you like your plan you can keep it” bills is growing. The biggest defection from the White House line came when Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said she would co-sponsor legislation Sen. Mary Landrieu, R-La., is pushing that will allow people who’ve lost coverage they like to keep it. Landrieu is up of re-election next year in a red state, so her motives are clear. Feinstein isn’t, and even if she were she could execute puppies on live TV and still win by 20 points.

But there are a couple of problems here.

First, Feinstein isn’t just coming at this from some altruistic perspective. Although she is safe in her position, her position is much worse if Republicans re-take the Senate next year. Progressives such as Feinstein knew millions would lose their coverage in the individual market, and millions more will lose their employer-provided coverage in coming years. It was all part of the plan. Government can’t completely take over health care at once, so it takes baby-steps. Feinstein knows this. She’s not looking to help people; she’s looking to help the cause.

Obamacare is supposed to fail – it’s just supposed to take a few years as opposed to a few days. They thought if private insurance companies start to fold or if costs skyrocket five or 10 years down the road, progressives could say, “Well, we tried a private-sector solution and it didn’t work. Now we need to move to a single-payer system.” That would place the blame on greedy corporations for setting up a framework that couldn’t work and let government emerge as the hero coming to the rescue.

But the horse has dropped dead right out of the gate – too soon for it to be blamed on the private sector. And blame will go where it deserves - to the government. If people decide government can’t even set up a semi-private system of health insurance, they are unlikely to let it run the whole system.
This is progressive’s biggest fear. It has to be avoided. Hence, Landrieu’s legislation.

But Landrieu’s legislation is a classic example of symbolism over substance. The title, “The Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act,” is classic Washington. Name a bill something warm and fuzzy so people can’t vote against it. But the promise is hollow.

Those cancelled plans are gone – killed by Obamacare. And most of them are not coming back.

Healthcare law, in spite of how it’s portrayed, is not something simple that a bill can make or break on a whim. Each state has regulatory boards that oversee all the plans in their states. Plans have to be submitted to prove they meet with each state’s mandates, etc. More than that, there are contracts with doctors, hospitals and all manner of other vendors, and all that can’t be undone on a moment’s notice.

There are too many moving parts, laws and regulations.

In a way, the progressives’ regulatory state is the biggest hurdle to altering the progressive regulatory state to save the progressives regulatory state. It’s karma. But it’s also a scam.

If Landrieu’s legislation, or any like it proposed by either Democrats and Republicans, become law, it won’t bring back anyone’s canceled plans. It may save some people who are still months away from their plans being canceled, but even that is doubtful. But what it will do is provide cover to Democrats feeling the crush of their constituents’ anger. They’ll be able to say, “We tried, but those insurance companies wouldn’t bring back those plans because they’re greedy.” The media coverage would follow, and we’d be exactly where we are now, only with the “problem solved.”

Republicans need to not fall for this. Democrats and the White House knew what they were doing when they passed Obamacare. They knew people would lose their coverage and they did it anyway.

They did it on purpose because they need at least 7 million people to enter the Obamacare exchanges and pay full-freight. Since people wouldn’t have voluntarily left plans they liked and enter the exchanges, they had to be forced to if they wanted insurance. Simple. Evil, but simple.

But what Democrats didn’t plan for was for people to be so thoroughly angry about losing their plans, paying more to replace them and – indignity on top of indignities – to encounter a dysfunctional website when they set about trying to find new insurance.

That cover they’re seeking is not actual policy change cover – it’s cosmetic. If the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act becomes law that will mean problem solved for the Democrats.

This affects only about 5 million people so far, so most Americans – who are not affected – would move on, assuming the worst of ACA had been “fixed.” But it hasn’t been fixed, and it can’t be so long as Obamacare is in place.

There is no going back; there’s only going forward. And going forward means the collapse and/or overwhelming rejection of Obamacare by voters next year if Republicans don’t fall for this cosmetic “fix.”

Bill Clinton said “the federal government” made this commitment to the American people, but it didn’t. President Obama did, Democrats did. The American people remember that, and will remember that, unless Republicans take partial ownership of this mess by supporting feel-good but meaningless cosmetic legislation designed to limp this monster past the next election cycle. They shouldn’t do it.
Op-ed: 
Hypocrisy on both the domestic and international fronts 
By: Diane Sori

Hypocrisy abounds in Washington DC…we all know it…we seethe over the newest issue de jour…and then it seems to blow over only to be replaced by the next issue de jour.

And we all know Barack HUSSEIN Obama is a master at the art of hypocrisy and its companion ‘deflection’ as things seems to roll of his back as he straddles others to take the fall.

But two issues...one domestic and one international…brings both Obama’s credibility and his administration’s credibility…or should I say lack thereof…into question…and those issues are ObamaCare and the continued stabbing of America's ally and friend Israel in the back.

ObamaCare is the issue de jour on the domestic level but it’s one that seems to have ‘legs’ to do the most damage to this most miserable of presidents…one that will be around for quite some time and could seriously affect the outcome of the 2014 mid-term elections. Led off by the now infamous, “no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what”…words Obama said 29 times in the media ‘suddenly’ morphing into, “What I said was if you liked your health care coverage you could keep it, if that coverage contained minimum standards set up under the Affordable Care Act, and if you didn’t change anything after the ACA went into effect”…and you just know trouble is on the horizon.

And while the latter is NOT what Obama said the sheeple, the kool-aiders, and the apathetic are lapping it up for they remain enamored of the media anointed ‘savior’ of us all, because they need the LIES that is ObamaCare as their yet another free ride…this time a free ride right into the Medicaid system while millions of we hard working, tax-paying Americans are getting our health insurance policies cancelled.  And the Obama administration knew back in 2010 that these cancellations would be happening for the simple reason that most private health insurance policies do NOT meet the ridiculous ObamaCare’s minimum standards of coverage…coverage that most people do NOT want, need, or can afford…yet are forced to pay for with higher premiums just to carry the 'sponges' who sign onto…who bilk…the already overburdened Medicaid system.

And now the ObamaCare hypocrisy gains strength as Mr. “I never had sex with that woman” Billy-Boy Clinton sticks his nose into the ObamaCare fray but NOT for the altruistic reason of it’s the right thing to do…NOT because he gives a damn how Americans are hurting because of Obama’s LIES…but to help distance Hillary from all the negative fallout for Heaven forbid she does run in 2016 and has ‘ObamaCare’ circling overhead. Saying, “I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, the president should honor the commitment that the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got,” Clinton forgets that good old ‘What difference does it make” Hillary was behind this law 100%, heralded its arrival, and pushed its ‘supposed’ virtues almost daily before the 2012 elections and up to her resignation as Secretary of State.

And that leads right into the Obama's hypocrisy on the international level…a level that could make the ObamaCare problems and issues seem like a walk in the park as he's playing a dangerous 'cat and mouse game' with Israel's survival as a Jewish state. During his recent stopover in Israel on his way to Geneva for the Iranian talks, Hillary’s successor and Obama's mouthpiece Secretary of State John ‘Swiftboat’ Kerry had the audacity to ask Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “Why do you want to build in what will eventually be Palestine?” He called the building of new settlements “illegitimate” and warned of war as he threatened Israeli leaders that if the current Israeli/Palestinian peace talks fail because of Israel’s refusal to accept a Palestinian state carved out of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, Israel could face a third intifada and growing international isolation.

“We do not believe the settlements are legitimate. We think they’re illegitimate. And we believe that the entire peace process would in fact be easier if these settlements were not taking place. Now that’s our position…”

Kerry continued by saying, “If we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis, if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel, there will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that’s been taking place on an international basis.”

And I say who the hell is John Kerry to speak for ‘We the People’s’ beliefs on the Israeli settlements built on Israeli land…and who the hell is he to give the sovereign nation of Israel warnings on anything or to threaten Israel with isolation for any international ‘delegitimization’ of Israel has come directly from his boss Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s misguided Middle East policies…policies that clearly side with his Arab brethren over Israel...the only democracy in the Middle East. And the proof of that can be found in three words… Libya...Egypt...Syria.

And so the hypocrite John Kerry smiles sweetly in photo-ops with Benjamin Netanyhau…as he deliberately and with malice much intended, spews out inflammatory words that plunge the knife deeper into Israel’s back…in just as deep as when Obama said and continues to say that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will only happen when Israel returns to its pre-'67 borders, which includes a divided Jerusalem.

So while Kerry’s hypocritical words show exactly with whom both he and Obama side with in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict…a conflict over ‘supposed’ disputed territories that are anything but disputed…let me tell them both in NO uncertain terms that Israel…ALL Israel…including ALL Jerusalem…belongs to the Jews and the Jews alone, period.

And so the hypocrisy continues on both the domestic and international fronts as Barack HUSSEIN Obama and his minions continue to spread the pain around…giving both ‘We the People’ and the people of Israel a heaping dose of the hatred he harbors deep within him for America and for the Jewish nation…and it’s all wrapped up in a neat little bow to be untied when his ‘puppet masters’ say to do so.