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‘Ethnic Identity’ in the 21st Century is All About Politics

our_new_era_of_identity_politics

DNA be damned…

Victor Davis Hanson @ Townhall:

Once upon a time, the liberal position was to reject the old discriminatory branding of people by the color of their skins rather than by the content of their characters.

Not now. Political and career advantage is found in trumpeting — or occasionally making up — genealogies.

Take the inexact category of Latino or Hispanic — an often constructed identity that increasingly no one quite knows how to define. Almost anyone can be a Latino or Hispanic, from a fourth-generation American with one-quarter Mexican ancestry, to a first-generation Cuban, to a youth who recently arrived illegally from Central America, to someone whose great-grandparents emigrated from the Portuguese Azores.

What ties them together? Not necessarily appearance, their names, knowledge of Spanish or proximity of their ancestral homelands.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is Latina — her parents were Mexican-American. But her now-desperate Democratic challenger for the governorship, Gary King, claims that Martinez “does not have a Latino heart.” Apparently for King, a self-appointed genealogist, if you do not share his liberal agenda, then you are, de facto, not Latino.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a similar statement in 2010, when he defined ancestry by political ideology: “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK?”

Last year, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a liberal who is of mixed Mexican and Spanish ancestry, claimed that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a conservative who is half-Cuban, should not “be defined as a Hispanic” because Cruz opposes comprehensive immigration reform.

But imagine if Richardson were conservative, had taken his mother’s name and went by Bill Marquez, and if Cruz were liberal, also took his mother’s name and went by Ted Wilson. Who would be the more authentic Hispanic/Latino?

The New York Times made up an absurd category for George Zimmerman, classifying him as a “white Hispanic” when it wished to gin up the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin controversy along racial fault lines. But had Zimmerman taken his mother’s last name, Mesa, or Latinized his first name to become Jorge Zimmerman, then the New York Times might have had more trouble pulling off its racial gymnastics.

[...]

In an ever more racially diverse society where intermarriage is routine and assimilation often rapid, we have no discernible rules for what determines one’s race.

Is ethnic heritage certified by native language fluency? If so, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the new secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a rising star in the Democratic Party, wouldn’t qualify because he cannot speak fluent Spanish.

[...]

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Conservative Black Americans Dangerously Making Too Much Sense for the Left

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Yes, Economic Growth Leads to Income Equality

american farmers

Outdamnstanding piece (from January) by Peter Ferrara @ Forbes that leftists/liberals/Progressives are completely void of understanding…

Such economic growth has produced dramatic improvements in personal health as well. Throughout most of human history, a typical lifespan was 25 to 30 years, as Moore and Simon report. But “from the mid-18th century to today, life spans in the advanced countries jumped from less than 30 years to about 75 years.” Average life expectancy in the U.S. has grown by more than 50% since 1900. Infant mortality declined from 1 in 10 back then to 1 in 150 today. Children under 15 are at least 10 times less likely to die, as one in four did during the 19th century, with their death rate reduced by 95%. The maternal death rate from pregnancy and childbirth was also 100 times greater back then than today.

Moore and Simon further recount, “Just three infectious diseases – tuberculosis, pneumonia, and diarrhea – accounted for almost half of all deaths in 1900.” Today, we have virtually eliminated or drastically reduced these and other scourges of infectious disease that have killed or crippled billions throughout human history, such as typhoid fever, cholera, typhus, plague, smallpox, diphtheria, polio, influenza, bronchitis, whooping cough, malaria, and others. Besides the advances in the development and application of modern health sciences, this has resulted from the drastic reduction in filthy and unsanitary living conditions that economic growth has made possible as well. More recently, great progress is being made against heart disease and cancer.

Also greatly contributing to the well-being of working people, the middle class, and the poor in America has been the dramatically declining cost of food resulting from economic growth and soaring productivity in agriculture. As Moore and Simon report, “Americans devoted almost 50 percent of their incomes to putting food on the table in the early 1900s compared with 10 percent in the late 1900s.”

While most of human history has involved a struggle against starvation, today in America the battle is against obesity, even more so among the poor. Moore and Simon quote Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, “The average consumption of protein, minerals, and vitamins is virtually the same for poor and middle income children, and in most cases is well above recommended norms for all children. Most poor children today are in fact overnourished.” That cited data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. As a result, poor children in America today “grow up to be about 1 inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.”

Moreover, it is economic growth that has provided the resources enabling us to dramatically reduce pollution and improve the environment, without trashing our standard of living…

[...]

Not any of these truly dramatic advances for the poor, working people and the middle class could have been achieved by redistribution from “the rich.” Only economic growth could achieve these results.

[...]

Achieving and sustaining such economic growth should be the central focus of national economic policy, for it would solve every problem that plagues and threatens us today. Such booming economic growth would produce surging revenues that would make balancing the budget so much more feasible. Surging GDP would reduce the national debt as a percent of GDP relatively quickly, particularly with balanced budgets not adding any further to the debt. Sustained, rapid economic growth is also the ultimate solution to poverty, as after a couple of decades or so of such growth, the poor would climb to the same living standards as the middle class of today.

[...]

Read in full

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GAO: Hundreds of Millions Spent on Paid “Administrative Leave” Federal Government Workers

paid leave

Lois Lerner comes to mind.
At close to $800 million, you think the NIH/CDC might have had enough ‘funding’ for the much yelled-about Ebola cure?

(FOX News) – Thousands of federal workers who have been put on administrative leave for more than a month have been allowed to collect a paycheck, and accrue vacation days and pension benefits, while taxpayers were forced to foot the multi-million-dollar bill, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Some government employees who broke the rules – meaning they were cited for being untrustworthy or had ongoing issues with co-workers or their bosses — were allowed to remain on leave for large chunks of time while they challenged their demotions, the 62-page report said.

The study, released publicly on Monday, marks the first time auditors have taken a look at the scope of administrative leave and its cost to taxpayers.

During a three-year period, more than 57,000 employees were told to go home – and stay home — for 30 days or more, costing taxpayers $775 million in salary alone. The report found that 53,000 civilian employees were kept home for one to three months. Another 4,000 were kept off the job for three months to a year and hundreds more for one to three years.

The report also identified a disparity among how paid leaves were granted and recorded.

The report listed the Department of Defense as having the highest number of paid leaves on record. During the three fiscal years that ended in September 2013, DOD put 8,600 employees on leave for one to three months, close to 900 for three months to a full year and 123 employees for more than a year.

Federal agencies have the discretion to put employees on administrative leave for a number of different reasons, including blood donations and snow days.

Republican Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Tom Coburn, R-Okla, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., requested the GAO report. Grassley, along with Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, have been working together on legislation that would define which employees would be allowed to stay home, reasons paid leave would be granted and the duration.

The number of federal employees put on paid leave typically eclipses the number at private companies. Private companies will rarely pay employees while investigating claims and in the cases where they do, the leave lasts for only a few days.

[...]

Hey, great gig, if you can get it.

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ObamaCare Bites Nurses in the Union Butt

Affordable-Care-Act-Slider-Feature-Image-banner-template

And the unions really believed ObamaCare would protect them if they supported and endorsed it.

Bwaaaaahaaaahaaaa

(Breitbart) – Kaiser Permanente and other health providers are putting pressure on the powerful California Nurses Association (CAN) in negotiations for reductions in medical staffing and compensation due to the implementation of California’s version of Obamacare. Union nurses on Friday tried to launch a new initiative by demanding an extra compensation supplement and more staffing to be prepared to fight the Ebola virus.

But just three years after union nurses won huge contract gains by striking, Obamacare rules that cut patient access to care could now result in huge nurse layoffs.

Nurses are demanding a form of “risk” pay to prepare to fight Ebola. They also are demanding improved training, higher staffing levels, protective gear that exceeds the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements, and an added life insurance benefit.

Diane McClure, a bargaining agent and nurse at Kaiser Permanente’s hospital in Sacramento, treated a suspected Ebola patient earlier this month, told North State Public Radio that “We’d like to have an extra supplemental coverage, for specifically Ebola, if we were to contract Ebola while we’re at work.”

[...]

But the implementation of Obamacare has resulted in a huge loss in bargaining power for the CNA. In 2011, two of the biggest American strikes were led by members of the California Nurses Association and their allies in the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) against Kaiser Permanente. The company caved, resulting in a huge victory in pay and benefits that set the standard for nursing compensation in California and became a goal for the National Nurses Union’s bargaining demands.

Of California’s 250,230 registered nurses, Kaiser Permanente is the largest nurse employer with 17,000 members California Nurses’ Association. However, in February, Kaiser told the CNA that it needs to change staffing patterns drastically in its California networks of clinics and hospitals, which would include laying-off about 400 nurses.

The California Nurses’ Association is complaining that even though the Kaiser Permanente health care chain made $6 billion in profits since 2009, the company wants union job cuts and contract givebacks. Yet it was the California Nurses Association and other labor unions that campaigned for a single-payer health system for decades. Now that it has arrived in the form of Obamacare, it is union nurses’ pay and staffing that seem to be getting thrown under the bus.

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Nobody Puts Barack in the Corner…

He’s taking them down with him…

More @ HotAir

ALSO:

Scary news from MoveOn: If Republicans win the Senate, they might use a dubious procedure known as “reconciliation”

Turns out history for the left didn’t begin on January 20, 2009 but rather in April 2010 or thereabouts. In fact, the ObamaCare omission here is so egregious, it reminds me in an odd way of those creepy liberal revisionist histories in which JFK somehow ends up dead at the hands of the right-wing city of Dallas while his left-wing assassin is conveniently airbrushed into oblivion. They used reconciliation to pass what’s arguably the most momentous piece of domestic policy of the past 50 years, and now, the instant Republicans use it for anything, the tactic will be deemed de facto cheating — despite endless leftist screeching since 2009 that we should probably go ahead and jettison the archaic 60-vote threshold for cloture entirely. You keep smiling, guys.

THIS:

Obamanesia: polls reveal people can’t remember voting for Obama

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Things That Strike Fear in Democrats: Republicans and Americans Pushing for OTC Birth Control

legalizing bc

Why does this bugger the democrats who are constantly running on the republicans keeping birth control from American women?
Because it takes the issue off the table if the democrats cannot insist the federal government pay-for/provide it for them…

From Reason:

The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 70 percent of Americans favor legalizing over-the-counter birth control pills and patches without a doctor’s prescription, 26 percent oppose such a proposal, and 4 percent don’t know enough to say. There has been a slight uptick in support for OTC birth control, rising from 66 percent in May of 2013. Moreover, Reason-Rupe finds that women across income groups highly support legalizing OTC birth control at about the same rates.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have announced their support for such a proposal arguing it could improve contraceptive access and use and decrease unintended pregnancy rates. Republicans too have been pushing for this reform, with Democrats surprisingly reluctant.

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal raised the idea in 2012 in his widely read Wall Street Journal op-ed:

“As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it. But anyone who has a religious objection to contraception should not be forced by government health-care edicts to purchase it for others. And parents who believe, as I do, that their teenage children shouldn’t be involved with sex at all do not deserve ridicule.”

Planned Parenthood and some Democrats have pushed back, expressing concerns that legalizing OTC birth control would require women to pay for it, rather than have it paid for by their health insurance premiums. For instance, Rebecca Leber explained:

“For low-income women, cost can be what’s most prohibitive. Under the Affordable Care Act, the pill and other forms of contraception count as preventative care, which means insurance covers them completely—without any out-of-pocket expenses.”

Planned Parenthood recently released an ad in North Carolina warning:“Just when insurance is finally covering the cost of prescription birth control, Thom Tillis [the Republican] says no—women should pay the $600 dollars a year … he’s turning the pill into yet another bill.” To be clear, Democrats are not necessarily opposed to legalizing OTC birth control, but rather they want to ensure women don’t have to pay for it.

Reason’s own Elizabeth Brown has countered:

“Affordability isn’t the only factor in making something accessible. Those championing the contraception mandate as a way to increase access assume everyone always has insurance coverage. What about undocumented women? Or those between jobs and temporarily uninsured? What about young women who can’t let their parents know they’re on the pill? Or domestic abuse victims who want to keep this information from their husbands? These are just a few of the situations in which a woman would find OTC pills much more accessible and affordable than the prescription-only kind, even if those prescription pills came with no co-pay.”

[...]

But! But! But! … WAR ON WOMEN!!!

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Obama Plans “Beat Down” Post-Midterm Elections

obama punch

Ernest Istook @ The Washington Times telegraphs Obama’s “Triple Threat” punches ahead after the November elections…

The first roundhouse swing: Unless we could quarantine the White House, Mr. Obama’s amnesty announcement will sucker punch millions of Americans who could lose jobs to millions of illegal immigrants. Immigration officials already are advertising to purchase up to 39 million plastic ID cards over the next five years. These are to be Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards, two-year work permits like those given by Mr. Obama to over 800,00 “Dreamers.” Also, Permanent Residency Cards (PRC, often called green cards). Typically, they are good for 10 years.

The solicitation says the base number needed is 4 million cards a year, plus possible “surges” of an extra 5 million ID cards in 2015, 5-million in 2016, 3 million in 2017, 2 million in 2018 and 3 million in 2019. Each is to have embedded RFID chips and holographic images.

Punch No. 2 is more scary news about Obamacare. Next year’s rates should have been revealed Oct. 1st, but that was purposefully delayed until Nov. 14th. Analysts project premiums on the low-cost plans will rise by 14 percent next year. These are high-deductible policies, criticized for requiring a $6,000 deductible to be paid before insurance kicks in. Investors Business Daily reports an expected 64 percent jump in Seattle, rising from $60 to $98 per month. Other examples: In Providence, R.I., the monthly change would be from $72 to $99 per month; Los Angeles from $88 to $111; New York City from $97 to $114.

This Obamacare wallop is a combination punch. Exemptions for “non-compliant” policies will expire, meaning that people who like their coverage cannot keep it. They’ll be knocked down into the Obama mess of high premiums, high deductibles and less choice of doctors. For example, Colorado suffered 22,000 policy cancellations last month alone, with 193,000 more expected in the next year.

Mr. Obama’s third strike at Americans’ jaws is a massive prison release. Expect 20,000 inmates to receive executive clemency in addition to the 36,000 illegal immigrant convicts set free in 2013. Most will be minorities and that’s the heart of the matter. Mr. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have often complained that minorities are sentenced for too long, especially for drug offenses. The Justice Department announced this “New Clemency Initiative” in April, then invited criminal defense lawyers, public defenders and the ACLU to do the screening for who they think should be turned loose.

They claim that violent offenders will be weeded out. But this administration is notorious for announcing supposedly strict guidelines but failing to follow them.

There’s also a major risk because a high number may include those recruited in prison by radical Islamists. Those jihadists focus on black American prisoners who want revenge against supposed injustice. The risk is that another Alton Nolen may be among those put on our streets. Nolen, an Islamist convert, was let out of Oklahoma’s prisons early and now is accused of beheading a co-worker in his pursuit of jihad revenge.

Mr. Obama’s plans are in place for the one-two-three punch on amnesty, Obamacare and get-out-of-jail-early. The last remaining barrier protecting us from Obama-unchained is his need to protect fellow Democrats on Nov. 4th. That date is like a boxing bell, signaling Mr. Obama to unleash his barrage.

And the American MSM will be sternly in his corner, towelling him down and urging him to get back out there and hit us with his left…

MORE:

Ingraham: Obama Can’t Handle the Fact That ‘He’s Over’

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