Turning back the tide of information overload with a digest of the latest developments in news conservatives need to pay attention to:
† Living in these mad, mad, Madoff times: As little success as the Obama administration has had in reducing blue-collar unemployment, its track record for high-skilled, white-collar and professional jobs is even worse. No shovel-ready stimulus project can help an out-of-work project manager or staff attorney. And down to their last unemployment insurance checks, many white collar professionals are filing Social Security claims for mental illness and other disabilities. This trend makes the employment rate “look healthier than it should” because once people start collecting disability checks instead of unemployment checks they are no longer counted among the unemployed, New York Post reports:
As of January, the federal government was mailing out disability checks to more than 10.5 million individuals, including 2 million to spouses and children of disabled workers, at a cost of record $200 billion a year, recent research from JPMorgan Chase shows.
The sputtering economy has fueled those ranks. Around 5.3 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 is currently collecting federal disability payments, a jump from 4.5 percent since the economy slid into a recession. …
During the recent economic boom, only 33 percent of applicants were claiming mental illness, but that figure has jumped to 43 percent, says [Matthew Rutledge, a research economist at Boston College] …
His research also shows a growing number of men, particularly older, former white-collar workers, instead of the typical blue-collar ones, are applying.
Social Security’s disability fund has been in the red since 2005 and is expected to run out of reserves within the next six years.
† A to Z approach on illegal immigration in AZ: After AL passed a tough AZ-style anti-illegal immigration law, Republicans hoped the measure would induce immigrants to self-deport in large numbers (related article, penultimate item on the page). A small percentage did – though to other states, not back to their home countries – and now that judges blocked several provisions of the law many of them are coming back, The Associated Press reports:
The Obama administration, immigrant groups and others sued over Alabama's law, and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to consider arguments about it on March 1. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments a month later over Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration, which isn't considered as strict as Alabama's. …
Estela Fuentes said friends of hers moved to Atlanta because the law required that public schools verify the citizenship status of students, yet they returned late last month after learning courts had put that section of the law on hold. The family was sad throughout its exile to Georgia, she said through a translator [emphasis, The Stiletto].
"One of their daughters cried and cried because she had no friends over there," said Fuentes, who is originally from El Salvador.
And while there are families returning, some officials say they haven't heard anything to suggest the numbers are huge. Zayne Smith, an immigration attorney with the nonprofit Alabama Appleseed legal center in Montgomery, said she had been hearing that some people wanted to wait until after the 11th Circuit considers the case in March.
The people of GA will be surprised to learn that AP thinks they are living “in exile,” though it’s a perfectly fine state with temperate weather, yummy peaches and is the headquarters of 14 Fortune 500 companies, including Home Depot, Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines.
† Socialized medicine good enough for thee, but not for me: British healthcare workers (related article, fourth item on the page): Well, well, well. Michael Moore may need a sequel to Sicko now that British Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to emulate the French in controlling healthcare costs. By partially privatizing the National Health Service Cameron hopes to scale back government entitlements to avoid a financial meltdown of Greek proportions. But the MSM and Dems in the U.S. are pretending not to notice, The Daily Caller reports:
Sally Pipes, an American health policy expert who leads the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco, told TheDC that President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will likely ignore any changes in U.K. health policy. Their allies in the U.S. media and public policy establishment, she said, would follow suit.
“They are ideologues,” Pipes said. “They don’t care whether the system really works or not. They have an ideological goal in mind.” …
Joseph A. Morris, a former Reagan White House lawyer who now serves on the board of the American Conservative Union, told TheDC that socialized medicine has turned out to be a threat to Britons’ health, and to their economy as well.
“Europe’s message to the world is no longer that the socialist dream of the cradle-to-grave welfare state is an easy achievement,” Morris said. “Rather, it is the shouted warning that it is a fool’s paradise. The bills are coming due and the only real alternatives – serious financial reform of government or national bankruptcy – are not pleasant.”
Morris added that the British government, “unlike the Obama administration, is hearing the warnings, identifying its greatest vulnerabilities, and trying to race ahead of the deluge.”
Hope no one tells former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Donald Berwick that his great romance with the NHS is about to end because it’s evolving in a different direction.
† The magic is gone: Remember Obama’s “youthquake” when 66 percent of the 24 million voters age 18-29 gave him their votes in 2008? Well, the earth has shifted under the feet of the youth vote and they’re experiencing the aftershocks of the Obama economy (click here for related article). A new poll from Generation Opportunity find that just 31 percent approve of Obama’s handling of youth unemployment, and significant numbers of young Americans are delaying making major life changes or purchases because of the poor economy, The Washington Examiner reports:
“Ironically for President Obama,” said the group’s president, Paul Conway, “the hardcore reality is that young voters are now very dissatisfied with the direction of the country and are becoming more vocal in their demands for real jobs rather than promises of more unpaid internships and unproven programs.”
And, he added, their anger coupled with their social media savvy could be a threat to Obama. “These vocal young voters are even more digitally connected--and politically potent--for 2012 than they were in 2008,” Conway told Washington Secrets. …
[A] whopping 77 percent say that they are delaying life changes due to economic woes. Of those:
‡ 44 percent are delaying buying a home.
‡ 28 percent are delaying saving for retirement.
‡ 23 percent are delaying starting a family.
‡ 18 percent will wait to get married.
According to Conway, young people have “strong objections to higher personal taxes, government interference with business, and reckless indebtedness to countries like communist China.” Hmmm. They sound more like Tea Partiers and less like Ocupiers.
† Chevy Volt: An electric Edsel: President Barack Hussein Obama wants to up the ante on taxpayer funds to subsidize the purchase of green vehicles (click here for related article). His budget proposal calls for raising the current $7,500 tax credit for purchasing natural gas or plug-in electric vehicles by 25 percent to $10,000 and allow for consumers to receive the tax incentive at the dealership, CNSNews.com reports.
† Let them eat steak!: Part VIII: You couldn’t afford to take your family anywhere for the holiday week-end because gas prices are too high, but Michelle Obama and her two daughters went on a ski trip to Aspen on your dime (related article, third item on the page), the Aspen Daily News reports:
Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo confirmed that he has met with the Secret Service and has loaned seven deputies to help protect the first lady and her family. …
Last President’s Day weekend Obama and the girls spent the holiday at Vail and Beaver Creek. …
No public events are scheduled for the first lady’s visit.
The Stiletto marvels that MO needs another getaway just a few weeks after getting home from her 17-day Hawaiian vacay – in fact, this is the 16th vacation members of the Obama family have taken in the past three years:
You better get it while you can.
If you wait too long, it'll all be gone,
And you'll be sorry then.
† Obama is just about every U.S. president all rolled into one!: And in his review of Jodi Kantor's book, "The First Marriage" – which he terms “chick nonfiction” – historian Douglas Brinkley sycophantically describes Michelle Obama as having "echoes of Jackie Kennedy’s style sense, Lady Bird Johnson’s green thumb and Nancy Reagan’s zealous protection of her family from the slings and arrows of political discourse." To which John Glotzer, one of The Stiletto's waggish friends, posted this riposte on Facebook: "And Mary Lincoln's spending habits, Elanor Roosevelt's [sic] good looks, and Rosalyn Carter's [sic] vindictiveness."
† R-E-S-P-E-C-T: You get as you give (click here and here for related articles): Bill Maher thinks it’s OK for talk show hosts and pundits to attack a president viciously on the air as long as they don’t repeat their vituperative criticisms when they meet the president face-to-face, because the latter is disrespectful. Thanks for clearing that up, Bill.