Friday, December 26, 2014

Too much power being grabbed by Washington -- Obamacare, environmental regulations, education standards. That's a constant complaint of conservatives not only during Barack Obama's presidency but during George W. Bush's as well. 
But power is also flowing out of Washington, largely unnoticed, and back to the states and localities. You can see that if you look at transportation policy, which is following the same path as the little remembered federal revenue sharing program enacted in the Nixon years and phased out during the Reagan presidency.

Federal transportation spending has an even longer pedigree, dating from the Federal-Aid Highway Act signed by Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. A few states had already been building limited-access toll highways. The new law instituted a federal gasoline tax to pay for Interstates, as they became known, throughout the country.

It made sense at the time, and for years afterwards. There was much more economic disparity between states then, and federal money could be spread from rich states to poor. Interstates would make trucking transportation cheaper at a time when overregulation was making freight rail uneconomic. Routes between states could be coordinated, connecting all major metropolitan areas (though not those which would become major, notably Phoenix and Las Vegas).

But it doesn't work anymore. Gas tax revenue is flat lining because people haven't been driving as much since 2007. Gas mileage has improved, and increasing mileage standards and electric and hybrid vehicles will reduce revenues all the more.

So gas tax revenues are insufficient to replenish the Highway Trust Fund. Congress could increase the gas tax, but won't; it's highly unpopular and only a handful of members favor an increase. Barack Obama understands that and is not seeking one.

The alternative is to spend money from general revenues. But that puts a squeeze on discretionary spending because general revenues are and will be increasingly needed for entitlements -- Social Security and Medicare. In the meantime, Barack Obama has said, the best Congress "could do would be to stagger through another year" of temporary funding.

In effect, the feds are abdicating and the states are taking up the burden. New roads and bridges are needed in some places and, more important, existing roads need to be maintained, repaired and upgraded. More than 30 states have passed transportation fiscal measures in the last three years, according to transportation expert Ken Orski. Six have increased gas taxes. Others have increased highway tolls, floated toll revenue bonds or have passed sales taxes dedicated to transportation. "The move toward greater fiscal autonomy, self-sufficiency and financial innovation at the state and local level is likely to grow in strength," Orski wrote.
The US census bureau reports Florida Passes New York to Become the Nation’s Third Most Populous State

I added the dashed red line to show the stagnation in Illinois.

The Bureau Reports ....
By adding an average of 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Florida passed New York to become the nation’s third most populous state, according to U.S. Census Bureau state population estimates released today. Florida’s population grew by 293,000 over this period, reaching 19.9 million. The population of New York increased by 51,000 to 19.7 million.

California remained the nation’s most populous state in 2014, with 38.8 million residents, followed by Texas, at 27.0 million. Although the list of the 10 most populous states overall was unchanged, two other states did change positions, as North Carolina moved past Michigan to take the ninth spot.

Another milestone took place in Georgia (ranked 8th), which saw its population surpass 10 million for the first time.

North Dakota was the nation’s fastest-growing state over the last year. Its population increased 2.2 percent, followed by the 1.7 percent growth in Nevada and Texas. Each of the 10 fastest-growing states was in the South or West with the exception of North Dakota.

Six states lost population between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014: Illinois (9,972 or -0.08 percent), West Virginia (3,269 or -0.18 percent), Connecticut (2,664 or -0.07 percent), New Mexico (1,323 or -0.06 percent, Alaska (527 or -0.07 percent) and Vermont (293 or -0.05 percent).
Most Populous States

Political Implications

States like Illinois and New York continue to lose population to warmer places like Texas and Florida. Heck, Illinois tax policy is so bad, it has lost population to Indiana and Wisconsin.

Florida not only has more sunshine than Illinois, it also has no state income tax and lower taxes in general, a nice advantage for retirees.

Illinois could easily drop to 6th or even 8th, and probably will do so over the course of the next few years.

These trends have some interesting political implications given the US's electoral college voting system of winner-take-all, state-by-state.

2nd Jihad NYPD Attack: NYPD officer attacked at Harlem station house, security heightened in precincts citywide
Another under-reported news story the media would rather not cover.

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

Jihaad Curry, 27, of the Bronx, attacked police at the 28th precinct, breaking one cop’s arm. Was Jihaad inspired to violence by Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s jihad ?
“28th precinct station house in Harlem,”
NYPD officer attacked at Harlem station house, security heightened in precincts citywide, Cliffview Pilot, December 21, 2014
SPECIAL REPORT: A New York City police officer sustained a broken arm after being attacked inside a Harlem police precinct this afternoon, leading to heightened security at all station houses, sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
The “perp opened the station house door at the 28th Precinct, attacked a patrolman and a...


Islamic State to Ferguson protesters: “Hey blacks ISIS will save you”

Unions to Recruit Immigrants Covered by Obama Amnesty

By Sean Piccoli / NEWSMAX

Labor unions are eyeing an estimated four million immigrants who entered the United States illegally as a prize pool of new recruits for their struggling movement, now that President Barack Obama has used an executive decree of amnesty to shield the migrants from being deported, Fox News reports.

Labor groups including the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, and United Food & Commercial Workers have begun reaching out to immigrants covered by the president's executive order.

They are training organizers, partnering with community groups and churches for recruitment, and using the Internet to inform immigrants about their protected status, Fox reports.

One union leader, Tom Balanoff of SEIU, told the Associated Press that he hopes one effect of the president's order is that "more workers will come forward and want to organize."

Supporters argue that the executive order — if it withstands the legal and congressional challenges it faces — will spur immigrants to join unions in large numbers without fear of reprisal or deportation.

Critics of Obama's move have said it violates the Constitution and will ultimately hurt American workers by depressing wages and forcing them to compete with millions of new job applicants.

Union membership and political clout have declined in tandem over the last decade, as the share of U.S. workers represented by unions shrinks, and more states move to curtail the power and bargaining rights of public-sector unions.

"And in some states where Republicans boosted their numbers in the November midterms, lawmakers are planning another wave of so-called 'right-to-work' bills next year," Fox reports.

One Less Thug on America's Streets
By: Diane Sori

And it's happen yet again...the two-legged 'animals' of sorts are out in force protesting and behaving very badly because another white police officer shot and killed another black thug. But this time there should be NO questioning the motives as the thug...18-year old Antonio Martin...known to the local police for a criminal record that included 3 assaults, armed robbery, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon all since he was 17...and who would again be proven to be in possession of yet another illegally gotten gun...tried to rob a Mobil-On-The-Run gas station/convenience store in Berkeley, Missouri...a mere 2-miles from Ferguson... ground zero of the Obama/Sharpton initiated race war. And after his reportedly robbing the store, Martin and another man were lolling around in the parking lot when confronted by an officer who...on routine patrol...had simply gotten out of his patrol car to talk to him and the other man.

And video footage from the Mobil station's security cameras clearly shows the officer carrying NOTHING but a flashlight when he approached the two men to engage them in a conversation. The video also shows that the officer...a 6-year veteran of Berkley's police force and now on administrative leave...did NOT pull his weapon until Martin pulled out and pointed his gun at the officer while the other man ran away, thus forcing the officer's rightful decision to fire...'case closed.'

Click on link to see video of shooting...

At least this should be 'case-closed' for whether you are black, brown, white, red, yellow, or even purple with pink polka-dots, if you point a gun at a police officer there is almost a one hundred percent certainty that you will be shot dead and rightfully so I might add.

In fact, Theodore Hoskins, the black mayor of Berkeley...a city where the police department is reflective of the city’s majority black population...defended the officer involved in Tuesday night's shooting and said it was probably a justified shooting given what he saw on the surveillance tape. And he did so even as a number of St. Louis-area black community leaders descended on Berkeley demanding answers. Can't wait to hear what the anything but 'Reverend' Al Sharpton has to say about this clear-cut case along with his fellow race-baiters Jesse Jackson, AG Eric Holder, and of course numero uno white-hater Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

And true to form, after what should have been just a local news should have been Ferguson...this was picked up and disseminated by the Obama-loving, 'let's feed into the racism angle' media. Soon after, trouble ensued when a crowd of about 300 so-called protesters...anything but peaceful protesters...gathered at the site of the shooting and decided to throw bricks and fireworks at the roughly 50 officers now on the scene, injuring two officers. And one person even tried burn down a nearby Quik-Trip mini-mart but police were able to put out the fire before any major damage was done. Four people were arrested for assaulting police officers before calm finally took hold.

Shades of Ferguson all over again including the thug's mother ranting and raving that her son was but a sweet innocent child...more like a child from hell if you remember his afore mentioned rap sheet. Toni Martin, crocodile tears right on cue for the cameras, tried to convince reporters that her son had NOT been carrying a gun and was just walking to visit his girlfriend at the time of the shooting. “This doesn’t make any sense for them to kill my son like this,” she said but the fact remains that the surveillance video clearly shows otherwise making this yet another case of some in the black community NOT being aware of or accepting the truth about their children's criminal actions...or just as important...of them raising a thug.

And as the media continues to perpetrate the rhetoric and lies about sweet innocent black boys being killed by big bad white cops, some in Berkley's black community have jumped on his mother's denial bandwagon to challenge the police account that Martin had a fact he had a 9mm with the serial number 'defaced' as in filed off to be unreadable...all while claiming that the video footage was hazy and unreliable. And now just like for Michael Brown and Eric Garner a hashtag... #AntonioMartin...has been started to help feed into the nonsense that Martin was the victim of yet more police brutality against young black men, and they're doing so after many of them spent their recent days chanting and calling for the deaths of all cops.

A hashtag started solely to incite violence and contribute to this country's sad but ever-growing racial divide...a hashtag started to try and convince the rest of us that young black men are the targeted victims of racial hatred just because of the color of their skin...a hashtag started instead of them looking into certain issues within their own black community itself to understand why things like this seem to be happening more and more. And while both the Ferguson and the more recent Eric Garner NYC story were rift with misinformation, conjecture, and omissions from the very beginning due to the misreporting and outright lies put out by the media this story is really quite simple...another black thug robs a convenience store, another black thug tries to kill a white cop, and another black thug gets shot dead in his failed attempt to do so. And yet even with a video to back up above said simple scenario, we are forced to await the DA's decision regarding whether or NOT this case will be presented to the grand jury.

And if by some chance this case does go before the grand jury...and know it will do so only to try and appease the race-baiters and white-haters who will threaten violence if it doesn't...that scenario alone will most assuredly raze even more havoc in America's streets if there is yet another decision NOT to indict a white officer. But wouldn't it make more sense to understand and accept as reality that the Missouri taxpayers have been spared the cost of putting yet another black thug in prison... just saying.

And this 'supposed' affront against young black men will sadly continue to happen until black leaders...true black leaders NOT those of the like of Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, and Barack HUSSEIN Obama...start leading responsibly...start setting a positive example for black youth to follow...start drumming into their heads the importance of family...of an education...that there are indeed consequences of choices whether good or bad...consequences that require one to take responsibility for whatever one's said choices are...and of understanding that for the most part it's black youth themselves by their continuing inappropriate and violent actions and reactions who helped create the very distrust they say white Americans and the police have of them.

And besides the black leaders it's the black community itself who must drive home all this to their children, because if that does NOT happen and happen soon chaos of the worst kind imaginable will result and it will NOT be the black youth who will be on the winning end...and that I can assure you.