Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations.

Obama has vowed repeatedly to enact biting sanctions against Russia's vital economic sectors if the Kremlin tries to replicate its actions in Crimea, the peninsula it annexed from Ukraine, elsewhere in the former Soviet republic. Despite those warnings, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be testing Obama's limits, instigating protests in eastern Ukraine, the White House says, and massing tens of thousands of troops on the border, but so far stopping short of a full-scale military incursion.

"They have been willing to do things to provoke the situation that no one anticipated," Matthew Rojansky, a regional analyst at the Wilson Center, said of Russia. "It's such a high-stakes, high-risk situation, and here they are right in the middle of it."

For Obama, the U.S. response to the chaos in Ukraine has become more than a test of his ability to stop Russia's advances. It's also being viewed through the prism of his decision last summer to back away from his threat to launch a military strike when Syria crossed his chemical weapons "red line" — a decision that has fed into a narrative pushed by Obama's critics that the president talks tough, but doesn't follow through.

While there has been no talk of "red lines" when dealing with Putin, Obama has said repeatedly that the Kremlin's advances into eastern Ukraine would be a "serious escalation" of the conflict that would warrant broad international sanctions on the Russian economy. But perhaps trying to avoid another Syria scenario, White House officials have carefully avoided defining what exactly would meet Obama's definition of a "serious escalation," even as they make clear that they believe Russia is fomenting the violence in cities throughout Ukraine's vital industrial east.

"We are actively evaluating what is happening in eastern Ukraine, what actions Russia has taken, what transgressions they've engaged in," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. "And we are working with our partners and assessing for ourselves what response we may choose."

As with the situation in Syria, Obama faces few good options as he watches Russia destabilize Ukraine, the former Soviet republic that has sought greater ties with Europe.

There's little appetite in either the U.S. or Europe for direct military action, and the White House said Monday it was not actively considering sending Ukraine lethal assistance. That's left Obama and his international partners largely reliant on economic and diplomatic retaliation.

The president has wielded some of his available options since the situation in Ukraine devolved in late February, but those actions so far have had little success in stopping Russian advances.

Obama's initial warning that Putin would face "costs" if he pressed into Crimea was largely brushed aside by the Russian leader, who went so far as to formally annex the peninsula from Ukraine.

Economic sanctions on several of Putin's closest associates followed, as did Russia's suspension from the exclusive Group of Eight economic forum, but neither appears to have discouraged Moscow from making a play for eastern Ukraine.

On Friday, the U.S. slapped sanctions on more individuals connected to the Crimea takeover, and White House officials are weighing another round of targeted penalties against additional Russian and Ukrainian citizens.

But tens of thousands of troops massed on Russia's border with eastern Ukraine, Obama is facing calls from some Republicans to take tougher action now. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent Obama a letter over the weekend calling on the administration to immediately ratchet up economic penalties against Moscow.

"Rather than wait for a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine to implement additional sanctions, which seems to be U.S. policy at the moment, we must take action now that will prevent this worst-case scenario before it becomes a reality," Corker wrote.

Privately, some of Obama's advisers are also pushing for more robust penalties now to serve as a deterrent against a full-on Russian military incursion. But questions remain about Europe's commitment to take the kind of coordinated action that would stand the best chance of changing Putin's calculus.

Europe has a far deeper economic relationship with Russia than the U.S., meaning its sanctions would hurt Moscow more. But leaders on the still economically shaky continent fear that the impact of those sanctions could boomerang and hurt their own countries just as much.

European foreign ministers met Monday to debate whether additional sanctions should be enacted on Russia. A high-ranking European Union official said they did decide to sanction more Russians with asset freezes and visa bans, but they appeared to stop well short of targeting Russia's broader economy.
The "war on women" political slogan is in fact a war against common sense. 
It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn -- and that this is because of discrimination.

It would certainly be discrimination if women were doing the same work as men, for the same number of hours, with the same amount of training and experience, as well as other things being the same. But study after study, over the past several decades, has shown repeatedly that those things are not the same.

Constantly repeating the "77 percent" statistic does not make them the same. It simply takes advantage of many people's ignorance -- something that Barack Obama has been very good at doing on many other issues.

What if you compare women and men who are the same on all the relevant characteristics?
First of all, you can seldom do that, because the statistics you would need are not always available for the whole range of occupations and the whole range of differences between women's patterns and men's patterns in the labor market.

Even where relevant statistics are available, careful judgment is required to pick samples of women and men who are truly comparable.

For example, some women are mothers and some men are fathers. But does the fact that they are both parents make them comparable in the labor market? Actually the biggest disparity in incomes is between fathers and mothers. Nor is there anything mysterious about this, when you stop and think about it.

How surprising is it that women with children do not earn as much as women who do not have children? If you don't think children take up a mother's time, you just haven't raised any children.

How surprising is it that men with children earn more than men without children, just the opposite of the situation with women? Is it surprising that a man who has more mouths to feed is more likely to work longer hours? Or take on harder or more dangerous jobs, in order to earn more money?

More than 90 percent of the people who are killed on the job are men. There is no point pretending that there are no differences between what women do and what men do in the workplace, or that these differences don't affect income.

During my research on male-female differences for my book "Economic Facts and Fallacies," I was amazed to learn that young male doctors earned much higher incomes than young female doctors.

But it wasn't so amazing after I discovered that young male doctors worked over 500 hours more per year than young female doctors.

Even when women and men work at jobs that have the same title -- whether doctors, lawyers, economists or whatever -- people do not get paid for what their job title is, but for what they actually do.

Women lawyers who are pregnant, or who have young children, may have good reasons to prefer a 9 to 5 job in a government agency to working 60 hours a week in a high-powered law firm. But there is no point comparing male lawyers as a group with female lawyers as a group, if you don't look any deeper than job titles.

Unless, of course, you are not looking for the truth, but for political talking points to excite the gullible.

Even when you compare women and men with the "same" education, as measured by college or university degrees, the women usually specialize in a very different mix of subjects, with very different income-earning potential.

Although comparing women and men who are in fact comparable is not easy to do, when you look at women and men who are similar on multiple factors, the sex differential in pay shrinks drastically and gets close to the vanishing point. In some categories, women earn more than men with the same range of characteristics.

If the 77 percent statistic was for real, employers would be paying 30 percent more than they had to, every time they hired a man to do a job that a woman could do just as well. Would employers be such fools with their own money? If you think employers don't care about paying 30 percent more than they have to, just go ask your boss for a 30 percent raise!

Officials warn that more Boston Marathon-type jihadis lurk

  / Jihad Watch
FE_DA_130418_boston620x413Of course they do. Authorities are aware that they’re out there, but they’re hamstrung in their ability to track their activities by the politically correct willful ignorance about their motives and goals, imposed by the Obama Administration in October 2011 — as I explain at length in my book Arab Winter Comes to America. And so there is one certainty: there will be more jihad attacks like the one at the Boston Marathon, while FBI agents are busy engaging in “outreach” with jihad terror-tied mosques.

“More Boston bomber types lurk, officials warn,” by Kelly Riddell for The Washington Times, April 14:
The Boston Marathon bombings last year put a new face on terrorism: that of young, U.S.-raised misfits in search of a cause for which they can kill and die thousands of miles away from hotbeds of Islamic radicalism.
Feeling disenfranchised and alone, these youths often seek community online, placing themselves into a guerrilla’s mindset by consuming information on specific movements and gradually becoming self-radicalized, counterterrorism researchers say. Al Qaeda, becoming increasingly diffuse and decentralized, tries to help these individuals in their process through online magazines such as Inspire and jihadist postings on YouTube.
“Al Qaeda still exists, but its ability to reach into the U.S. is very limited — mainly because of the job law enforcement has done,” said Christopher Swift, an adjunct professor of national security studies at Georgetown University. “On the Internet, [al Qaeda's] looking for someone who is isolated, atomized — that they can indoctrinate but don’t have to take responsibility for — someone [to] whom they can push out the ideological source code and have act in their name. We’re going to see this ‘lone wolf’ model proliferate.”
Law enforcement officers have taken note.
“We have to have a recognition — and we do — that terrorists are more agile, they’re not restricted by nation-states and borders, they can flow information in and out of different areas of the world at will,” said Michael Steinbach, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division. “No longer does somebody in country X need to travel to a terrorist hotbed to get trained and get their orders. You can really do everything that needs to be done without leaving your home, let alone the United States.”…
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombings, seemed to have become radicalized in 2011 while he was living in a suburb of the city, according to a congressional report released in March.
By all accounts, Tsarnaev was a volatile young man, accused of domestic violence against a girlfriend, and was thrown out of his local mosque several times for getting into shouting matches with preachers because they encouraged worshippers to celebrate American holidays, according to the report.
When law enforcement personnel searched Tsarnaev’s computer, they found a YouTube account with various Russian-language videos on Islam and playlists of jihadist instructions. One 13-minute video, titled “The Emergence of Prophecy: The Black Flags of Khorasan,” detailed a jihadist prophecy that at the end of the world a holy army would rise out of the region historically associated with Afghanistan and sweep across the Middle East to Jerusalem, according to the congressional report.
Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police in a Boston suburb days after the bombings.
Briefly raised in the Russian republic of Dagestan, an epicenter of Islamic insurgency, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, seemingly had no specific investment in their former homeland’s battles, Mr. Swift said, but they were inspired and ideologically driven by al Qaeda’s call for global jihad via the Internet.
“If you look at the Tsarnaev brothers, they hadn’t been to Chechnya since they were kids — this wasn’t about what Russia’s done to Chechnya and the suffering of the Chechnyan people,” said Mr. Swift. “These individuals already had some other issue, and then went online and glommed onto this understanding of the world. The Internet gives people who are already vulnerable [to jihad] a pathway and a recipe to follow.”
Swift is wrong. Tamerlan was in that region as an adult, trying to join “underground groups” because of his commitment to “radical Islam” — as the Russians told the FBI.
Not all background information has been released on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as he awaits trial on multiple federal charges, including the denotation of two improvised explosive devices — built with pressure cookers and packed with shrapnel — that exploded near the end of the finish line of the Boston Marathon last year….
It's time to cut the 'love thy ILLEGAL neighbor' nonsense
By: Diane Sori

"I think race has something to do with the fact that they're not bringing up an immigration bill." Nancy Pelosi, wicked witch of the House

And now out comes the ever-loving race card once again, and this time it was used by Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Saying, "the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism," Israel's comment adds more fuel to the fires of racial hatred, and comes on top of Nancy Pelosi's statement blaming racial issues for the Republicans' refusal to act on comprehensive immigration reform ...translation: on amnesty.

With NO elements of racial hatred within the Democratic party according to Pelosi and 'Prince' Harry Reid...and if you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you...what this all amounts to is the Democrats simple frustration over the Republicans stalling their ability to get these ILLEGALS into our country so they can be registered as Democratic voters...period.

The Senate bill as currently written outright gives a pathway to citizenship to the 11 million immigrants currently living here ILLEGALLY...and please know that there's a lot more than the 11 million the government claims. And by the very nature of them coming and living here ILLEGALLY...coming here NOT following our immigration laws (Section 1325 in Title 8 of the United States Code states that anyone who enters or attempts to enter the U.S. at any time or place other than as designated by immigration agents, or eludes examination or inspection by immigration agents, or attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact) is breaking our laws...meaning these people are out and out criminals for the word ILLEGAL in and of itself means breaking the law. ILLEGALS thus become criminals by the very nature of their being here, and now the Democrats want to embrace criminals just for votes...making the Democrats accessory after the fact if you will.

And what of the roughly 800,000 children of ILLEGALS who were born here. Do the sins of the parents necessarily reflect on the children...a conundrum for sure. But there are solutions for this. First and most importantly the borders must be sealed and sealed NOW with any and all caught crossing sent back to their home county. As for the children currently here...those under the age of 18 need to be sent back with their parents to said home countries NO matter how much the bleeding heart liberals whine they were born here, they grew up here, all they know is here. That's why a caveat should be placed on those children who by NO fault of their own were born here stating that once they reach a certain age they and they alone...as in NOT their criminal parents...can reapply to LEGALLY re-enter the U.S., and then they would need to take the standard citizenship test that all LEGALLY arriving immigrants take to become an American citizen.

As for those children of ILLEGALS currently here over the age of 18 who want to stay in this country, to do so they must either join the military to show loyalty to this country or must join some other pre-approved organization or group that stresses and works for American ideals and values for we must recognize that NOT everyone is cut out for military duty or service. But with either option these American born children of ILLEGALS must serve for a minimum of four years, and then and only then would they be allowed to take the same standard exam for U.S. citizenship that all other LEGAL immigrants take.

The bottom line is simply this...by coming here ILLEGALLY...and rest assured these people knew damn well they were breaking our laws by coming here as they did...they became criminals and America was NOT intended or designed to be a country of criminals. And while Jeb Bush...a well-liked former Florida governor...tried for that touchy-feely kumbaya moment when he said, "Many illegal immigrants come out of an ‘act of love," and should be treated differently than people who illegally cross U.S. borders or overstay visas, the truth is that he is wrong... totally and completely wrong. 'Acts of love' do NOT include breaking our laws nor do they include raping our health care system, our welfare system, or stealing jobs away from LEGAL Americans in the process of their ILLEGALLY being here. And this is what those so-called 'acts of love' do...they steal from rightful Americans...period.

And I really do NOT care to hear the liberal left propaganda about those they call 'law-abiding ILLEGALS' who came here solely to live the American dream nor do I care to hear about those ILLEGALS who hold legitimate jobs and support their families without government assistance for all are still criminals by their very being here ILLEGALLY, and NO special privileges must be afforded them either.

In fact, I'll go one step further and say that anyone deported from our country who came here ILLEGALLY must NEVER be allowed to re-enter the U.S. for statistics show that these ILLEGALS are the ones who commit the most crimes and are the ones bilking our country and we taxpayer's dry. For example, most ILLEGALS do NOT pay income taxes and for those few that do, most of the revenues collected are refunded back to the ILLEGALS when they file tax returns.

Now add in that every year ILLEGALS cost each American household an average of $1,117. And that number is on the low side because the greatest share of the ILLEGAL burden falls on state and local taxpayers whose monetary outlay in their state depends on the size of the ILLEGAL population in that state...a government sanctioned catch-22 'gotta ya' situation either way.

And breaking it down even further, the cost of educating the children of ILLEGALS is the single largest cost we taxpayers must carry, and carry it to a tune of $52 billion per year. And while most of these costs are absorbed by state and local governments, who do you think funds state and local governments...we taxpayers do...and there's that catch-22 situation again.

And finally, here are some NOT so happy statistics concerning crimes committed by ILLEGALS...for every 100 ILLEGALS who find jobs in the U.S., 65 American workers are displaced...six out of every 10 ILLEGALS deported are deported because they've committed a criminal act...every year more than 72,000 ILLEGALS are arrested for drug offenses in the U.S...ILLEGALS comprise over 25% of the federal prison population which means that a group that comprises less than 5% of the population is committing 25% percent of the crime and in some part of the country ILLEGALS are committing12 % of all felonies, 25% of all burglaries, and 34% of all thefts.

And as the Democrats continue to claim it's all about race with the Republicans, the truth is that it's about our rules of law and the documented facts and statistics and NOTHING more for America is and always has been a nation that welcomes LEGAL immigrants, and has NEVER been a nation comprised of racists. The only racists are those within the Democratic party itself...those who pull out the race card every time they don't get their way or every time the race-baiters within the party...the likes of Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, Elijah J. Cummings and assorted others...need to play upon racial fears for their own personal political gain.

And so the immigration debate will continue on both before and after the mid-term elections, but let's remember that the best way to solve the immigration problem is for Congress to first seal the borders and then enforce the laws currently on the books...and there is NO racism involved in either...case closed.