A married couple, Federico Freire, 27, a Marine currently home on leave from Afghanistan, and his wife Kaylin, out for what they hoped would be a pleasant evening at the movies, was viciously attacked by a group of up to 60 black ‘youths’ for having the audacity to ask a small group of teen girls to please quiet down in the theater.

Predictably, the girls went nuts, hurling profanities, etc… back at the Freires.

Kaylin Freire then went and notified the theater’s management of the situation, whereupon the management removed the girls from the theater.

Shortly thereafter, the Freires, their evening now ruined, decided to leave. What they found upon exiting the theater was that the group of girls was laying in wait for them, now accompanied by a large group of their homies.

From the Bradenton Herald:

MANATEE — A Marine and his wife were attacked outside a movie theater Christmas night after asking a group of teens to be quiet during a movie, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reports.

The attack escalated into an affray attracting approximately 300 bystanders.

As a result, four teens and an adult were placed under arrest, according to reports.

Federico Freire, 27, who is on leave from Afghanistan, went to the movies at the Carmike Royal Palm 20, 5125 26th St. E., to see “Little Fockers” with his wife, Kayln.

Freire said a group of about 20 teens were being obnoxious and loud during the movie.

When they were asked to be quiet, some of teens began swearing. Kayln Freire went to find a manager and the youths were asked to leave.

The couple left shortly after.

“We were just so aggravated. We thought, ‘Forget this, we’re out of here,’ ” Federico Freire told the Herald.

Theater management asked more of the teens to leave and when they refused, deputies were called.

As the couple exited the theater just before 10 p.m., Kayln Freire was surrounded by about 15 girls who appeared like they were going to attack her, Federico Freire said.

A witness told Freire that he had a firearm in his vehicle and offered to escort the couple to safety.

Federico Freire said he told his wife to go with the witness to get her out of harm’s way.

Seven males then surrounded Federico Freire and began to kick and punch him, according to the sheriff’s office report; he was struck across the left side of his face.

“I got back up to defend myself and they started running everywhere,” he said.

A crowd of about 100 people began to form.

When Freire looked to his wife, he said he saw a young male with his shirt off punch her in the face, knocking her out.

Freire said he went after the youth and the witness brandished his gun, telling the crowd to step back.

Deputies arrived shortly thereafter.

As deputies were investigating, the manager of the theater asked anyone without a ticket to leave.

When a deputy asked 16-year-old Ishmael Dunbar to leave several times, the teenager refused and struck the deputy, according to the sheriff’s office.

At one point, Destiny McNeil, 20, a relative of Dunbar, attempted to intervene in the arrest and was arrested herself, the release said.

She was charged with resisting arrest without violence and was released from Manatee County jail Sunday on a $750 bond.

Reginald Gardner, 17, also hit the same deputy in the arm and resisted arrest after he was asked to leave the area. Gardner was stunned in the chest with a Taser by a deputy.

Both Gardner and Dunbar were charged with battery on a law enforcement officer.

The names of 15-year-old twin brothers who were charged with misdemeanor battery for striking the couple were not released. Details of misdemeanor arrests for juveniles are not public record under Florida law.

Near the end of the incident, there were about 300 people milling around, according to authorities.

All available deputies were asked to come to the theater to help restore order, the release said. The manager then shut down the location.

A manager at the theater said thousands of dollars in refunds were given to patrons.

Normally, one to two off-duty law enforcement officers from state agencies are hired to work security on weekends. On Christmas night, no one was available, according to theater management.

No one was seriously injured.

“I’m fine. My wife’s face is all swollen up. She’s got cuts in the inside of her mouth. I was able to defend myself pretty good because of my training, but I was more worried about her,” Freire said.

A couple of videos were posted by the couple on YouTube showing police presence after the incident.

Freire, who is based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., leaves this week. He said after this incident, he has spent the remainder of his time at home with family.

“I’ve lived in this town. I know how trashy it can be,” he said, reflecting on the incident.

He is considering filing a lawsuit against the theater for not providing adequate security, as well as against the teens involved.

The events according to victim Kaylin Freire, whose account is supported by witnesses, taken from the comments of this Bradenton Herald article:

“It was def a riot and very sad. It was my husband and I at the movies. Our first night together without the kids in a long time.

These girls would not be quiet and after nicely asking them to be quiet, we got cussed at. I then had to ask the manager to remove them.

As my husband and I left, about 10 black girls surrounded us. All under age. They kept asking me to hit them and I said no. Then 6 black males hit my husband from behind and ran. None of them had the balls to go face to face with him, they just ran. Then Charlottes husband said he had a firearm and to follow him, as the black cloud defended on us. Literally about 60 of them.

A black boy took off his shirt and started walking towards my husband and I had seen enough. I walked up to the boy and put my hands up and said “stop it, just stop” before I knew it he punched me in the face and knocked me unconscious and I was on the ground. Apparently (of course) he hit and run due to him being a coward. My husband ran after him and the crowd then come towards me. Charlottes husband pulled out the gun to get them away from me.

About half an hour later, the boys mother showed up being just as trashy as he was, yelling and screaming. Then the cops started getting attacked. They held their own though and had dogs and tazered many people. And that is how it happened.

I am Kalyn Freire. My husband is Federico Freire in case anyone wonders….this is the truth of how it all happened. Not what the paper put up. Happy New year to everyone.”

Here’s additional testimony, taken from this Bradenton Herald article, from commenter “Charlotte10″, who was a witness to the attack. Charlotte10′s husband was the man with the firearm who managed to hold back the attackers – in all probability saving the Freire’s lives in the process – and is the ‘witness” described in her account:

The witness and I arrived at the theater at the moment this fight began. I went inside to escape the chaos and he stayed outside. The crowd consisted of black males and females and the married couple that was attacked was a white couple. The husband is a Marine and was home for Christmas from Afghanistan. Since BH believes in being so politically correct, I feel this should be brought to light.

There were roughly 60 members in the crowd that were attacking this white couple, to clarify – when we were there. After we left, I am not sure how many were there, but I wouldn’t doubt that more showed up. This gives you an idea of how many people were taunting and going after this white couple.

The husband was struck by several of the black teenage males and as the couple tried to get to their car and leave, the wife was struck in the face by another one of the black males, right in front of the witness. Let me say that only a coward would strike an innocent woman. The witness was there to assist her; thankfully he had his firearm with him that evening.

We left after statements were given and before the black juveniles turned against the police. This scene was appalling and a tragedy to what has become our society. We are both disgusted with what happened and consider it a HATE crime – that is the only way to describe it. I will say we were very impressed with how the police handled the situation, but disturbed that this theater did not have an officer already there for security as they normally do, especially on Christmas.

So there you have it.

Imagine this situation had been reversed – a large gang of white people attacking a lone black couple. This would be national headline news, if not international. But, since it’s only white people that are the victims, what the hell, bury the story. Nothing to see here

This is insanity

…..

-Cnation

Additional links:

http://www.bradenton.com/2010/12/26/2836179/youths-arrested-in-cinema-fight.html

http://www.bradenton.com/2010/12/27/2837235/manatee-sheriff-couple-attacked.html

http://www.bradenton.com/2010/12/28/2837745/couple-we-were-attacked-at-movies.html

…..

Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell: Obamacare at Any Cost

Obamacare at Any Cost

Yesterday the White House circulated a memo by pollster Joel Benenson. It was designed to create momentum for Obamacare by convincing wayward House Democrats that support for the President’s plan has been building since the State of the Union. As with everything else that comes out of the White House on health care these days, the memo is nothing but pure fantasy.

This Tuesday, Gallup released its latest poll showing that by a 48%-45% margin Americans would tell their representative in Congress to vote against President Obama’s health plan. Compare that to the last time Gallup asked the question in January, Americans supported the President’s plan 49%-46%. That’s a net six point loss in support for the President’s plan since the State of the Union. That is momentum. Against Obamacare.

And Gallup isn’t alone. The Associated Press released a poll this week showing that 68% of Americans believe the President and Congressional Democrats shouldn’t pass their health care plan without Republican support.  “Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats’ current health-care plan,” Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen add in today’s Washington Post, “A solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan.”

Yesterday was particularly tough for the President’s plan. First, the White House underwhelmed the Democratic Caucus in a presentation of the new (still unwritten) reconciliation bill. Then, the Senate Parliamentarian killed the Democrats favored procedural path for passage by signaling he would rule that President Obama must sign the original Senate bill into law before the Senate could act on the President’s new reconciliation package. Finally, the Associated Press reported that House leaders have abandoned all hope of finding language to satisfy Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-MI) concerns that the Senate bill funds abortion. By the end of the day, the leftist firedoglake site had dropped its count of committed House Democrats for passage to 189 (Speaker Pelosi needs 216 for passage).

With the loss of Stupak and his 7-12 member caucus opposed to taxpayer-funded-abortions, Speaker Pelosi will have to find the remaining dozen plus votes from the ranks of cost conscious Blue Dog Democrats. For example, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) who voted against the House bill in the fall explained at the time: “According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House health care bill will actually increase federal health care spending over the long term, while proposals being considered by the Senate would have a net decrease.” But according to a new CBO score of the Senate bill passed on Christmas Eve (the one with the Cornhusker Kickback), it actually increases health care spending. And the reconciliation bill only make things worse, since, among other increased spending measures, President Obama “fixed” the Cornhusker Kickback not by eliminating the new spending, but by extending it to all 50 states.

With no votes piling up, and  “yes” votes materializing, the Democratic plans to shove Obamacare down the throats of the American people are becoming more and more desperate. This Monday, the House Budget Committee will begin markup on the new reconciliation bill even though actual legislative text does not exist for it yet. The Democrats plan to pass a shell of a bill through the appropriate committees so that the Rules Committee can then substitute the bill that is being drafted completely behind closed doors by the White House and Senate and Democrat leaders.

Politico reports that despite the Parliamentarian’s initial verbal ruling, they will press on with their Slaughter Rule plan to pass the Senate bill without voting on it. NRO’s Yuval Levin quips: “Democratic leaders should be asking themselves just how they have gotten to the point that their strategy is to amend a law that doesn’t exist yet by passing a bill without voting on it.”

But President Obama’s progressive base is way past rational thought when it comes to health care. They want it passed at any cost. And as George Will pointed out yesterday, the very essence of progressivism sublimates the democratic process to the rule of experts in Washington. No one can say if this bill will finally pass, but if it does, it is abundantly clear that our republican form of government will be permanently damaged by it.

Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell: Dead Legislation Walking

Dead Legislation Walking

Another day, another stream of health care fantasy from the White House. A quick look at two health care events from yesterday, one in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and the other in Tawas City, Michigan, clearly exposes the yawing gap between the Obama administration’s health care rhetoric and cold hard legislative reality. First in Glenside, President Barack Obama turned up the volume on his already tired “final push” for health care reform. In addition to the usual litany of false claims about the legislation in Congress (in fact, you don’t get to keep your doctor, it isn’t paid for, it doesn’t reduce costs) President Obama also repeated his new line from his doctors-in-lab-coats address last week:

We have now incorporated almost every single serious idea from across the political spectrum about how to contain the rising cost of health care … Our cost-cutting measures mirror most of the proposals in the current Senate bill…

But, as we pointed out last week, there is one not-so-minor difference between the Senate bill and the President’s new proposal: the Senate bill actually exists. Now, Democrats may be telling their conservative counterparts that they will have reconciliation legislative text in front of the Budget Committee by tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath. The “fixes” that the White House is promising wavering House Democrats they will make all sound easy at first glance: 1) scaling back the tax on high-end health insurance policies; 2) closing the Medicare D loophole; 3) boosting insurance subsidies; 4) increasing Medicaid payments; and 5) fixing the Cornhusker Kickback. But when you take a second look, you see that all of these “fixes” will cost more money. Just look at the Cornhusker Kickback which the President chose to address, not by taking away Nebraska’s special Medicaid payments, but by extending those extra Medicaid payments to every state! Every single item in the President’s proposal either increases spending or reduces new revenues. And he didn’t put forward any way to pay for them. If passing health reform were as easy as giving away free candy, Obamacare would be law already. Finding a way to pay for all these fixes is going to be just as difficult as every earlier effort to pay for this bill. So don’t expect any solutions anytime soon.

And we haven’t even mentioned “abortion” yet, which brings us to Tawas City where Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) hosted his own health care townhall. Now the Associated Press headline may read “Stupak: Health bill abortion fight can be resolved” but then the AP actually reports “Rep. Bart Stupak said he expects to resume talks with House leaders this week…” In other words, there is no agreement yet. And what kind of timeline is Stupak looking at for such an agreement? WJRT reports: “[Stupak]‘s confident a bill will pass sometime this year.” “Sometime this year” is a bit longer of a timeframe than the White House deadline of next Thursday. But even more importantly, look at the process Stupak suggests for final passage: “According Stupak, until the House and the Senate bills and the president’s proposals become one piece of legislation, health care will remain in limbo.” Considering that everyone agrees that abortion cannot be fixed in reconciliation, Stupak’s position is a total rejection of the White House’s current plan to have the House pass the Senate bill now on the promise that the Senate might come back and try and fix it sometime in the future. Stupak clearly wants “one piece of legislation,” and the only way to accomplish that is to scrap the current Senate bill and start over.

In the meantime, legislative “limbo” has not been kind to the Senate bill. Every day seems to bring news of yet another yes vote switching to undecided or no vote. Just yesterday, former-yes votes Reps. Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Dan Maffei (D-NY), Bill Owens (D-NY) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) all confirmed they were either now undecided or would vote no. And Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), who voted no the first time, said he would suspend his campaign for Governor just so he could come back to Washington to vote against Obamacare again. The President can travel the country talking about an up-or-down vote for “our proposal” all he wants, but the reality is he simply doesn’t have the votes in the House for the only piece of health care legislation that actually exists.

Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell: No Votes Until the People Speak

No Votes Until the People Speak

On March 5th of last year, firefighter Travis Ulerick, of Dublin, Indiana, introduced President Barack Obama at a White House summit on health care. Upon hearing the first rumblings of dissent about the President’s plan, Ulerick tells USA Today he thought at the time: "I definitely think it’s going to have to be a huge consensus." It’s now 12 months later, and the only consensus that exists among the American people is strong opposition to the President’s health care plan.The White House, however, is now completely uninterested in establishing a consensus for their health care plan before they jam it through Congress. Today, in a speech from the White House, President Barack Obama will urge Congress to move swiftly to pass his health care plan by implementing a legislative tactic that can be used to pass legislation that has failed to gain broad support among the American people. It’s known as reconciliation.

Reconciliation has been used in the past, but only for procedural reasons, not because the underlying policy change was unable to muster 60-vote support. So, for example, the 1996 welfare reform law signed by President Bill Clinton was passed through reconciliation, but it also ended up getting 78 votes in the Senate (28 of them from Democrats). President Ronald Reagan also passed seven bills through reconciliation, but every single one of those bills passed through a Democratically-controlled House and won Senate votes from both parties. Never has reconciliation been used to pass any bill on purely partisan lines.

In an attempt to provide some political cover for his nakedly-partisan health care push, President Obama released a letter yesterday identifying "four policy priorities" that "I am exploring." Specifically he is "open" to: 1) random undercover investigations of health care providers that receive reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid; 2) $50 million in cash for states that reform medical malpractice laws in ways the White House approves of; 3) increased spending on Medicaid; and 4) language that clearly allows Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to qualify as health insurance.

The White House has not yet released any legislative language for any of these "policy priorities." In fact, his letter does not even promise that whatever legislation the White House does eventually offer will contain language on each of these issues. He only says he is "exploring" the issues. This is beyond a sham of bipartisanship. Details matter. The American people must be allowed to see real legislative language and they must be allowed the time to read and comment on it before any votes are taken.

Most importantly, simply adding so-called conservative ideas to the bill does not change the fundamental direction of the proposal. The bills before Congress, including the President’s new additions, would still result in a massive shift of power over health care financing and delivery of care to Washington politicians and bureaucrats. The public has spoken, and it does not want a federal take over of health care.

Julia Denton of Yorktown, Virginia, another of the Obama administration’s hand-picked March 5 health summit attendees, tells USA Today: "The legislation as proposed is so long and tough to read that people are afraid of it. Health care is such a highly personal issue. I cannot see how anyone will win if unpopular reforms are forced through over vigorous opposition." Denton is 100% correct. The American people should not have unpopular health care reform forced down their throats in the face of strong bipartisan opposition. At a bare minimum they should have the opportunity to see actual legislation from the White House and be allowed to speak to their members about it while they are home in their districts over Easter break.

Conservatives should continue to press the Administration and leaders in Congress for bipartisan solutions that are based on elements of common ground, including letting states take the lead on health reform, tackling the tax treatment of health insurance, sensible insurance market reforms, and an honest commitment to fixing existing health care programs that the government already controls.

For real bipartisanship to work, the President must set aside the current proposals that are based on consolidating power over health care in Washington and instead embrace solutions that would give individuals and families more control over health care dollars and decisions. Simply adjusting the magnitude of the existing proposals or adding so-called conservative provisions does not change this fundamental direction.

FAIR Legislative Update for the Week of March 1, 2010

 

FOR THE WEEK OF March 1, 2010 

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House to Act on Jobs Bill This Week

The U.S. Senate passed Majority Leader Harry Reid’s $15 billion jobs bill last Wednesday by a 70-28 vote. Reid introduced the “Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act” (HIRE Act), S.AMDT. 3310, to address the issue of jobs and the economy, but disappointed immigration reformers by leaving out any mandate that jobs created by the bill go to U.S. workers. The bill has two major tax provisions, an exemption from payroll taxes for employers who hire new employees in 2010 and a $1,000 tax credit for employers who keep those employees for at least 52 weeks. Unfortunately, the bill does not require that these new workers be legal or that employers use E-Verify to confirm their work authorization.

Read the full article

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Illegal Aliens Committing Identity Fraud, Theft to Sneak Past E-Verify

A recently released report has revealed that illegal aliens are using fraudulent methods to obtain employment with employers who are enrolled in E-Verify the online, electronically operated system that allows employers to confirm that their new hires have established their authorization to work in the United States. The report was conducted by Westat, a Maryland-based social science research firm under contract with the federal government. According to Westat, approximately half of illegal aliens run through E-Verify are inaccurately found to be work authorized, primarily due to identity theft.

Read the full article

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Obama’s Top Civil Rights Prosecutor Misrepresents Hate Crimes Statistics

The nation’s top civil rights prosecutor last week blatantly misrepresented FBI crime statistics by claiming that hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise. Mr. Thomas Perez, who took over the Justice Department’s civil rights unit for the Obama Administration, said last Wednesday, “The data and my own experience is that hate crimes are on the rise: Hate crimes against every group are on the rise.” According to the Seattle Intelligencer, Perez then expressed particular concern that hate crimes directed at Latinos are on the rise and that Hispanic leaders and organizations are receiving threats, in his opinion, “because they had the audacity to stand up for immigration reform.” (Id.).

Read the full article

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Obama Health Care Plan Silent on Immigration Issues

Last week, President Obama attempted to kick-start the stalled health care debate by offering his own proposal to reform the U.S. health care system. While the White House states that the proposal “incorporates the work the House and the Senate have done and adds additional ideas from Republican members of Congress,” the president’s plan is more akin to a list of ideas rather than actual legislative text. (Proposal). Importantly, the White House proposal is completely silent with respect to the immigration-related issues FAIR and other groups had raised concerning the House and Senate-passed health care bills.

Read the full article

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Rep. Tiahrt Introduces Bill to Prevent Illegal Aliens from Accessing SCHIP Benefits

On Thursday, February 25, Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) introduced the “Reinstatement of Personal Responsibility for Immigrants Act” (H.R. 4708). H.R. 4708 would reverse several troubling changes that were made to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) when President Obama signed the SCHIP Reauthorization bill (H.R. 2) into law in February 2009. Specifically, the Reinstatement of Personal Responsibility for Immigrants Act would require applicants for taxpayer-subsidized benefits under SCHIP to be verified through a well-established verification system that requires applicants to present documentation to establish both their identity and citizenship. In addition, the legislation would reinstate the five-year waiting period before legal immigrants could access benefits under SCHIP. Finally, the bill would require that legal immigrants who apply for SCHIP have their eligibility verified through the proven Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system. H.R. 4708 has already garnered four co-sponsors, including Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Sue Myrick (R-NC), and Walter Jones (R-NC).

Read the full article

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State Bills Would Require School Districts to Collect Data on Foreign-Born Students

Last week, committees in the Oklahoma and Arizona state legislatures passed landmark bills that would require school districts to collect information on the number of foreign-born students enrolled in their schools.

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Summary of Rep. Gutierrez’s Mass Amnesty Bill
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English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study of Prince George’s County, Maryland
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The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders
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The Sinking Lifeboat: Uncontrolled Immigration and the U.S. Health Care System in 2009
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Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell: The Edifice Falls

The Edifice Falls

Having failed to convince the country that we should reorder one-sixth of our economy (health care) in one fell swoop, liberals in the Administration and Congress are now doubling down and moving on to the next big thing. This time it’s the transformation of everything, through climate legislation. One could almost stand agape, admiring the boldness of the overreach, were not so much prosperity at stake.

The latest attempt to force the U.S. economy to turn away from readily available, affordable fuels and leaving it to the tender mercies of untried, experimental and expensive technologies is a bipartisan effort by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). A legislative package from them, according to The Washington Post on Saturday, would individually cap how much traditional energy the main pillars of the American economy would be able to use. This would of course cripple our economy and threaten our prosperity. Any doubts about how broad and deep this effort is are dispelled by reading the following paragraph in the Post:

According to several sources familiar with the process, the lawmakers are looking at cutting the nation’s greenhouse gas output by targeting, in separate ways, three major sources of emissions: electric utilities, transportation and industry.

The reason the Senators could not act through their preferred vehicle, a “cap-and-trade” scheme that would put an across-the-economy ceiling on the use of traditional sources of fuel such as coal, oil and natural gas—above which companies using these fuels would have to pay for extra rights—is that the whole edifice of global warming is now falling apart.

It is collapsing with such rapidity that it is worth pausing from time to time to take stock.

The foundations of such edifice rest on a single assumption. This hypothesis—one that drove many people, even some reasonable ones, to contemplate upending the world as we know it — is that that traditional fuels will have cataclysmic consequences on the environment because they emit gases that make the world too hot.

The authority to turn this assumption into fact rested largely on a U.N. document - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report - which declared climate change “unequivocal” and its man-made origin “very likely.” The purpose of the IPCC report was to turn hypothesis into fact.

The reason Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman had to turn away from cap-and-trade, and target industries individually, is that the idea of an iron-clad scientific consensus is now being revealed to be a bit, shall we say, exaggerated. The IPCC’s turning of hypothesis into fact now looks less like the scientific process and more like the magician you paid $50 an hour to pull flowers out of hats at your daughter’s birthday.

The first scales began to come off the global warming edifice in November, when emails from the University of East Anglia in the UK revealed how scientists at that key global research center had tried to suppress the opinion of peers who dissented from their view and hid evidence that countered the theory of man-made global warming.

Then the U.N.’s Copenhagen summit that was supposed to produce a global agreement to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol fell apart in December, with the key countries refusing to hobble their own economies for the sake of science that was less and less there.

Then, last month it started to become clear that the 2007 IPCC report was more hollow than hallowed. Its claims that half the Netherlands is below sea level was off by a factor of two. Ditto for the outlandish fear-mongering that the glaciers of the Himalayas would melt by 2035. The IPCC was forced to admit that, actually, its projections were that that would happen by 2350. Oops!

Then last Friday, the news pages of The Wall Street Journal published yet one more devastating story on the IPCC and its hapless chairman, Rajendra Pachauri. The front page story detailed how inconclusive science, political pressure and shoddy administration all led to the Cassandra-like pronouncements of the IPCC report. Imagine that: politicians putting pressure on scientists to come up with theories that would vastly add to their regulatory and taxing powers.

Things have gotten so desperate that Al Gore himself had to come out of seclusion and pen a piece for The New York Times. On Saturday he implored readers that all these cascading events didn’t amount to a hill of beans. The article was vintage Gore. Let’s say it was not restrained. Here’s Gore on what will happen if we fail to act now:

Our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands.

The former Vice President and failed presidential candidate was so exercised he even took a jab at FOX, apparently blaming it for the troubles global warming is experiencing: “Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment.”

Alas for Gore, Pachauri, et al., the climate alarums are working less and less not because of FOX, but because the alarmists overreached. Even an embarrassed U.N. was forced to announce Saturday that an independent board of scientists will be appointed to review the workings of the IPCC.

Unfortunately, climategate and IPCCgate have not put a dent on the Obama Administration’s plan to (mis)use the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2, and thereby the companies that power our nation. Its Administrator Lisa Jackson was out in front of Congress last week again repeating the same shibboleths on a scientific consensus on global warming. This should make us all wonder if stopping global warming really was ever the end game.

As for Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman, their reaction is to slap carbon controls on individual sectors of the economy separately, instead of setting a national target through cap-and-trade. The foundations for doing cap-and-trade have been torn asunder. Our research shows that cap-and-trade would be a $1.9 trillion tax on businesses over eight years, more expensive than the Vietnam War, Hurricane Katrina or the New Deal. But taxing the different pillars of our economy individually would be just as economically suicidal.

Sen. Kerry told the Post last week about his legislative effort, “What people need to understand about this bill is this really is a jobs bill, an economic transformation for America, an energy independence bill and a health/pollution-reduction bill that has enormous benefits for the country,” Kerry said. Notice he said nothing about global warming or climate change, the reason we were supposed to take this long walk off a short pier. Notice also he didn’t say it was about handing the political class the reins of the private economy. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman want electric power to be first on the economic chopping block. Previous analysis of similarly severe carbon cuts project electricity prices will rise over 70 percent, even after adjusting for inflation. Not only is this a nightmare for household utility bills, the higher cost will hit consumers over and over since businesses must pass on their higher costs as well.

Someone Needs to Tell the President His Health Care Plan is Dead

The day before yesterday’s White House health care summit, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) told reporters: “The only way this works is for the House to pass the Senate bill and then, depending on what the package is, the reconciliation provision that moves first through the House and then comes here.” When Conrad was reminded that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly insisted that the House will not pass the Senate bill until the Senate passes a second bill that fixes the first, Conrad replied: “Fine, then it’s dead.”

This was the dynamic that President Barack Obama was trying to alter with his eventually-seven-hour meeting. And judging by pretty much every major news outlet, he completely failed. Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who is one of the 39 House Democrats that the White House needs to switch from a “no” the first time around to a “yes” this time, told The New York Times: “I don’t see very many at all who voted no who are going to switch their votes unless there are substantial changes in the bill.”

And that reality is already spreading throughout Capitol Hill. Politico reports that while Democrats were hoping to pass Obamacare by Easter, “there were signs Thursday night that the schedule was slipping. One Democratic lawmaker involved in the negotiations, who asked not to be identified to speak candidly of the process, said the party would not, in fact, start down the path of reconciliation next week.”

That is some rare great news for the American people. As Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) ably explained yesterday, Americans do not want Washington dictating their health care decisions to them, and that is exactly what Obamacare would do:

The difference is this: We don’t think all the answers lie in Washington regulating all of this. … if the National Restaurant Association or the National Federation of Independent Business, on behalf of their members, wants to set up an association health plan, we think they’ll probably do a good job on behalf of their members. Let them decide to do that instead of restricting insurance competition by federalizing the regulation of insurance, and by mandating exactly how it will work, you make it more expensive and you reduce the competition among insurers for people’s business. We want to decentralize the system, give more power to small businesses, more power to individuals, and make insurers compete more. But if you federalize it and standardize it and mandate it, you do not achieve that. And that’s the big difference we have.

President Obama bristled at this analysis, responding: “Can I just say that, at this point, any time that a question is phrased as, “Does Washington know better,” I think we’re kind of tipping the scales a little bit there since we all know that everybody is angry at Washington right now.”

The President seems to understand that the American people do not want bureaucrats in Washington controlling their health care decisions, but then he seems completely oblivious to the fact that increasing bureaucratic control at the expense of every American’s ability to make their own choices is exactly what his plan does.

The American people know this. That is why support for the President’s health care plan has been steadily declining. That is why the most recent CBS News/New York Times Poll shows 53% of Americans say the United States cannot afford to fix health care at this time. It is why 52% of Americans tell Gallup they do not want to see Obamacare pass with only 50 Senators in support (Vice President Joe Biden casting the 51st vote). That is why 59% of registered voters tell Fox News they want the President to start over.

And he should. If the President truly wants to enact historic bipartisan and lasting health care reform, he needs to admit this version of Obamacare is dead. In 2011, when there is likely to be a more centrist Congress in place, then Obama should come back and start again.

FAIR Legislative Update for the Week of February 9, 2010

 

FOR THE WEEK OF February 9, 2010 

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Obama Proposes Cuts to Important Immigration Enforcement Programs

On February 1, President Obama released the details of his Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Budget Request, which seeks to cut funding for important immigration enforcement programs. Specifically, the president’s budget would slash funding for the Secure Border Initiative; cut funding for US-VISIT; and cut 180 agents from the Border Patrol. The president’s proposed budget also proposes to merely maintain funding for the critically underfunded State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).

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Senators Push for Immigration Measures in Jobs Bill

In anticipation of jobs legislation Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid intends to bring to the floor this week (see, e.g., CBS, February 5, 2010), true immigration reformers in the Senate are seeking to add measures that would improve immigration enforcement while simultaneously helping the American worker. Last week, Senators Sessions (R-AL), Grassley (R-IA), Coburn, (R-OK), Vitter (R-LA), Chambliss (R-GA), Isakson (R-GA), Bunning (R-KY), and Inhofe (R-OK), sent a letter to Reid asking that he add these measures to any jobs legislation aimed at reducing unemployment in the United States.

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Fourteen Texas Busing Companies Implicated in Illegal Alien Smuggling Scheme

Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 22 individuals charged with conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants as a result of a three-month investigation into fourteen Houston-area transportation businesses.  According to federal officials, the individuals “allegedly accepted cash from alien smugglers to move undocumented aliens in vans and SUVs from Houston to other cities around the United States.” ICE also arrested 81 suspected illegal aliens during the operation, who were then placed in deportation proceedings. (Id.).

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Obama’s Aunt Remains in the U.S. Illegally

Last week, a federal judge continued the asylum hearing for President Barack Obama’s aunt, Kenya native Zeituni Onyango. Ms. Onyango, the half-sister of Obama’s father, has been in the United States on an overstayed visa since 2000. Immigration officials ordered Onyango deported in 2004 after her first asylum request was rejected, but she ignored the order and is currently living in taxpayer-subsidized public housing in Boston. Id. At the immigration hearing last Thursday for her second bid for asylum, there was no immediate decision from Judge Leonard Shapiro.  Shapiro scheduled a follow-up hearing for May 25, though he may issue a ruling before then.

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New Research from FAIR

Summary of Rep. Gutierrez’s Mass Amnesty Bill
January 2010

How the Senate Health Care Bill Impacts Immigration
December 2009 (PDF)

English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study of Prince George’s County, Maryland
November 2009

The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders
November 2009

Backsliding on National Security: The Immigration Connection
September 2009

The Sinking Lifeboat: Uncontrolled Immigration and the U.S. Health Care System in 2009
September 2009

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When Did the American People Elect Eric Holder Commander in Chief?

Following weeks of strong bipartisan criticism of their handling of terror trials and detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder released a letter yesterday defending the Obama administration’s criminal justice system approach to prosecuting the war against al-Qaeda. Defending his administration’s handling of the Flight 253 terrorist, Holder wrote: “I made the decision to charge Mr. Abdulmutallab with federal crimes, and to seek his detention in connection with those charges, the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of the government.”

First, this statement directly contradicts the sworn Congressional testimony of Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair who, when asked by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) under oath if he had been consulted about how Abdulmutallab should have been interrogated, responded: “I was not consulted.” Under intense political pressure from the White House, Blair has since said his remarks were “misconstrued.” But his politically-pressured retraction was not made under oath. His initial statement was. At the very minimum, Congress must demand that both Holder and Blair testify under oath to settle this contradiction.

But more importantly, both the personal pronouns and the underlying substance of Holder’s letter speaks volumes about this administration’s approach to protecting the American people. Holder wrote yesterday: “Neither advising Abdulmutallab of his Miranda rights nor granting him access to counsel prevents us from obtaining intelligence from him. On the contrary, history shows that the federal justice system is an extremely effective tool for gathering intelligence.” Holder appears to be arguing that reading suspects their Miranda rights is a great way to get them to talk. But as American University law professor Kenneth Anderson notes: “The point of offering suspects the Miranda warning and associated rights is not in order to persuade them to talk, but in order to make sure they know they don’t have to and, if they have much in the way of brains, won’t.” Read the rest of this entry »

FAIR Legislative Update for the Week of 2/2/2010

 

 

FOR THE WEEK OF February 1, 2010 

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State of the Union Disappoints Amnesty Forces

President Obama disappointed many amnesty advocates last week with only a passing mention of immigration during his State of the Union speech. This reference, consisting of just 38 words near the end of the more than hour-long speech, was noticeably ambiguous: “And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system to secure our borders and enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.” Absent was any mention of “comprehensive” immigration reform, a path to citizenship, or even legalization. This passing reference to immigration reform has amnesty proponents questioning whether President Obama truly intends to push for such legislation as part of the agenda he laid out for his second year.

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U.S. Suspends then Resumes Transport of Haitians as Florida Hospitals Become Overwhelmed

Last week, the government announced that it was halting the transport of Haitians to U.S. hospitals due to the uncertainty of who would pay for the cost of care.  On Wednesday, January 27, Florida Governor Charlie Crist sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking the federal government to pay some of the costs for treatment. In the letter, Crist wrote that his state did not have capacity to support plans to transport 30-50 critically ill patients to Florida for an indefinite period of time. Governor Crist’s office later added: “Florida stands ready to assist our neighbors in Haiti, but we need a plan of action and reimbursement for the care we are providing.”  However, upon receiving “assurances that additional capacity exists both [in the United States] and among [the U.S.’] international partners,” the White House resumed the evacuations on Sunday, January 31.

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Christmas Day Bombing Highlights Turf War Over Visa Authority

One of the most disturbing revelations in the wake of the foiled Christmas Day attack, in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to set off explosives on a plane bound for Detroit, was that the suspect had a valid United States visa.  In a recent hearing on the attack held by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) stated that “the most obvious error” in handling this case was that the State Department did not revoke his visa. This particular issue has fueled a debate that has raged since September 11th over who has ultimate authority to revoke visas.

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Representatives Introduce Bill to Block Illegal Aliens from Accessing In-State Tuition

On Wednesday, January 27, Congressmen Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), Rodney Alexander (R-LA), Brian Bilbray (R-CA), and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced the “Fairness for American Students Act” (H.R. 4548). This commonsense legislation would amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act to clarify that illegal aliens who attend a postsecondary educational institution are ineligible for in-state tuition unless the institution offers those rates to all American citizens. To help enforce this provision, the bill provides out-of-state students legal standing to file civil actions against states and institutions that violate the law. Finally, H.R. 4548 would bar any college or university that provides in-state tuition to illegal aliens from receiving any Federal funding.

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New Interview!

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Check out a new interview with FAIR’s Bob Dane on KFMB 760 AM. Scroll down to Wed. Jan 27th to listen.

fair university

Check out the new FAIR online university where you can learn about immigration reform!

support FAIR

New Research from FAIR

Summary of Rep. Gutierrez’s Mass Amnesty Bill
January 2010

How the Senate Health Care Bill Impacts Immigration
December 2009

English Learners and Immigration: A Case Study of Prince George’s County, Maryland
November 2009

The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders
November 2009

Backsliding on National Security: The Immigration Connection
September 2009

The Sinking Lifeboat: Uncontrolled Immigration and the U.S. Health Care System in 2009
September 2009

Health Care Reform Bill
to Cover Illegal Aliens
(pdf)
August 2009

Takeaction

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Visit the best immigration news blog on the web…
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