Temporary refugees taking jobs from Americans sent $1.3 billion back to Haiti in 2015

Steve Forester

Steve Forester

At first I didn’t think they were going to get to the crux of the matter when Tucker Carlson last night grilled Steve Forester, an attorney for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, about the upcoming Trump decision about whether to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti (we mentioned it here the other day).

At first they beat around the bush on whether there were any criminals in the Haitian population living legally (temporarily!) in the US, but with continued questioning Forester finally mentioned the ‘R-word’—remittances!

The 50,000 or so Haitians who got in to the US (mostly illegally) prior to the earthquake of 2010 were given a temporary amnesty to stay and work in America and according to Forester in 2015 alone sent $1.3 billion American dollars back to their home country.  That money is propping up Haiti and Forester says the country will be destabilized if those ‘temporary’ legal workers are returned to Haiti!

However, the question I have is: so what about the fact that that money is now lost to the US economy? And are those Haitian workers taking jobs Americans can do (or legal refugees might do).

You know I mostly write about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program where of course refugees are also sending billions ‘home,’ but it’s important for you to know about the many other programs for legal immigration, like TPS and the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery’ I told you about here the other day.

Disney wants the Haitian workers!

Forester told Tucker there were 50,000 Haitians here enjoying temporary protected status and have been here 7-15 years. I think Forester completely lost the audience (and Tucker) when he got to his final argument—Disney would lose 500 workers if TPS is not extended—instead of continuing his ‘humanitarian’ shtick.

Tucker commented that maybe Disney would have to pay higher wages to hire new (American) workers!

Watch the whole interview starting at 22:49 and ending at around 28:43.  You might want to watch the segment prior to the Haiti piece about how Mexicans aren’t too happy with all the Central Americans parked in their country who are no longer headed to the US border!

I have a category on Haiti here, with 56 previous posts!

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Useful Idiots: American Workers Protesting Trump’s Immigration Policies

The first day of May is also known as “May Day” a day that brings out demonstrators around the world to ostensibly support workers around the world.

On May 1, 2017 supposedly pro-labor demonstrations were carried out around the United States purportedly to defend workers’ rights, wages and working conditions.  In some instances the May Day demonstrations became “Mayhem” demonstrations with participants rioting and destroying property.

Incredibly, in addition to demanding better wages and working conditions, these same demonstrators and rioters demanded an end to the Trump administration’s immigration policies and efforts to effectively and fairly enforce our immigration laws.

In point of fact, President Trump’s immigration policies are pro-labor and pro-American.

The demonstrators apparently don’t understand the principle of “Supply and Demand” and that flooding the labor pool with millions of foreign workers suppresses wages and working conditions and also results in American and lawful immigrant workers being displaced by foreign workers.

cair seiu logosToday all too many Americans have fallen victim to the massive fraud campaign that has been foisted on Americans by politicians and a laundry list of special interest groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and labor unions such as the SEIU (Service Employees International Union). that are literally and figuratively “making out like bandits” by exploiting the immigration system.

These unions are betraying America and their members, seeking to flood America with foreign workers whom they seek to enroll as dues paying members.  More members provides unions with more political leverage and more money in the form of dues.

As for the notion that “immigrants” need protection from federal immigration law enforcement personnel is utterly fatuous and is part and parcel of the Orwellian Newspeak tactic of the open-borders / immigration anarchists begun when President Jimmy Carter insisted that illegal aliens be referred to as “undocumented immigrants.”

Demanding protection for immigrants is not unlike the rhetoric of President George W. Bush who attempted to create a Guest Worker Amnesty program for illegal aliens to provide them with lawful status.  Back then I said that Bush’s offer to make immigrants legal was as absurd as offering to make water wet.

Water is already wet and immigrants are already legal.

Simply stated, Bush wanted to legalize illegal aliens through an amnesty program even though he knew that the Reagan amnesty that was an integral part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was a disaster that ultimately led to the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of the United States.

Today President Trump’s immigration policies which stand out in stark contrast to the policies of Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, employers are whining that they have to “resort” to hiring Americans.

Under our immigration laws Americans are supposed to get first crack at jobs and not be the employees of last resort.

By now most Americans have heard about the H-1B Visa Program that enables highly skilled nonimmigrant workers to be employed in the United States.  Another category of temporary work visa is the H-2B visa for Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers.

These visas are issued to aliens to work at non-agricultural jobs such as cooks, waiters/waitresses and hotel workers provided that these foreign workers don’t displace American workers or harm the wages and working conditions of Americans who are similarly employed.

On April 28, 2017 the Bangor Daily News reported, Amid foreign worker shortage, Bar Harbor businesses turn to local labor.

Consider this excerpt from the article:

“There are people who have come here year after year after year and worked in the same restaurants as cooks, as waiters, as whatever is needed, and they’re like family. And now for the first time, it’s uncertain that they’ll be able to come back,” says Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Martha says that’s why the chamber is holding a job fair Saturday, hoping to attract significant numbers of workers from the area and the region to fill a long list of openings.

The article went on to note:

“The best thing that can happen right now is for the administration to do an audit of how many of these visas are actually being used, because the indications are that the visas are taken out early in this sort of deadline process and a lot of them never get used,” he says. “So if we can determine — and the administration can do this very quickly — which ones haven’t been used, that would open up an allocation that would be available to our businesses for this summer.”

Until then, Bar Harbor area employers are enticing workers in other ways. Higher wages are part of the solution. Searchfield says some businesses are also weighing new schedules that might appeal to older workers in the region, interested in working only a day or two each week.

It is important to focus on the statement that “Higher wages are part of the solution.”

According to requirements of the H-2B visa program, as posted on the official USCIS website, an element of this program requires that:

  • There are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.
  • Employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
  • Its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary.

It it would appear that American workers are available since employers are now seeking to hire Americans and would likely have to raise wages in order to do so.

Clearly these employers have been gaming the H-2B visa program which requires that visas should only be issued when American workers are not available to do the work.  Furthermore, it is obvious that unscrupulous employers have also used the H-2B visa to suppress wages inasmuch as the article noted that in order to hire Americans wages would have to be increased.

To put it succinctly, the immigration policies of the Trump administration are actually meeting the demands of the protestors, freeing up jobs for Americans and, at the same time, increasing wages.

Yet the May Day “Mayhem” protestors who profess that they are fighting for better wages and working conditions even as they protest President Trump’s effective and beneficial immigration policies.

Of course not all of the demonstrators are motivated by the same factors.  Some, particularly those who went on a rampage are likely anarchists who are looking for opportunities to justify their aggressive actions.

There are, however, undoubtedly some naive folks who have been caught up in the rhetoric about how the Trump immigration policies are “Anti-Immigrant” when, in reality, the only aliens who have to fear arrest are those who are present in the United States in violation of our laws.

I recently wrote, an extensive article, “Immigration Fraud: Lies That Kill – 9/11 Commission identified immigration fraud as a key embedding tactic of terrorists,” in which I not only explored the two traditional forms of immigration fraud- fraudulent documents and fraud schemes such as marriage fraud, visa fraud and political asylum fraud, but also looked at the fraud perpetrated upon Americans by politicians, pollsters and special interest groups.

It is likely that a significant percentage of the protestors have been snookered by these open borders fraudsters.

These protestors should consider that the exhortations of the SEIU and other unions parallel the open borders demands of the United States Chamber of Commerce, one of the most anti-American and anti-labor special groups in the United States today

It is, for example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that has been responsible for the continual increase in the number of Visa Waiver Countries since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 even though the Visa Waiver Program violates the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

My article, Immigration Failure By Design– Immigration Failure By Design– Doing the bidding of the Open Borders anarchists, lays out the way that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, motivated by blind and unbridled greed has applied extreme pressure upon our government to endanger national security and public safety by expanding this dangerous program.

One of the key goals of the globalist U.S. Chamber of Commerce is to flood America with a limitless supply of cheap exploitable labor by opening our borders to foreign workers.

This precisely parallels the cries for open borders and Sanctuary Cities by the leaders of the SEIU and other such unions.

Apparently, as the memorable saying in the film, “Cool Hand Luke” starring Paul Newman goes, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

If only the mainstream media would tell the truth, perhaps the protestors wouldn’t have bothered to demonstrate, except, perhaps to demonstrate on behalf of President Trump’s immigration policies.

RELATED ARTICLE: San Francisco Chronicle Admits: Some Anti-Trump Protesters are Paid – Breitbart

What Eastern Europe Can Teach Cuba and Venezuela by Daniel J. Mitchell

It appears that Venezuela is on the brink of collapse as it enters the fourth circle of statist hell.

And the death of Cuba’s long-time dictator gives hope that the people of that island nation may soon escape communist tyranny.

Moreover, one certainly hopes that the lunatic leadership of North Korea’s brutal regime won’t last forever.

Let’s cross our fingers that these evil governments will soon lose power. But that’s only the first step. We also need to think about the policies that would enable these nations to undo the damage of pervasive socialism.

We can learn some lessons by looking at the experience of post-communist nations in Eastern Europe, which is a topic I addressed in the latest edition of The Conservative, which is the quarterly magazine published by the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformers in Europe.

I started the article with some broad observations about grim political and economic impact of communism.

Communism was an awful system for people trapped behind the Iron Curtain. The political cost was enormous. Personal rights and individual liberties were sacrificed to protect the power of the state. Human rights were abused, dissidents were imprisoned, and some were even killed. Communism also imposed huge economic costs. Collectivized agriculture, central planning, price controls, and government-run industries were among the policies that resulted in a debilitating misallocation of resources. And because labor and capital were poorly utilized, living standards lagged far behind western nations.

That was the bad news.

The good news is that the Soviet Empire collapsed, the Berlin Wall was dismantled, and democratic forms of government are now the norm in Eastern Europe.

But good news isn’t perfect news. Nations that emerged from the Soviet Bloc are still economic laggards. And if you dig into the latest version of Economic Freedom of the World, a big problem is that post-communist nations have not been very successful in defending property rights and implementing the rule of law.

Establishing genuine capitalism, though, has been a bigger challenge. Part of the problem is policy. And to be more specific, data from the Fraser’s Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World shows that the major difference today between Western Europe and Eastern Europe (nations that were part of the Soviet Bloc) is that the former get much better scores for “Legal System and Property Rights.” Indeed, the average ranking of Western European nations is 20.6 (with 1 being the best) while the average ranking of Eastern European countries is 67.1 (Economic Freedom of the World ranks 159 jurisdictions).

Here’s a graph comparing Western European nations with Eastern European nations.

As you can see, this is an area where Western Europe leads the world. Nordic nations tend to be at the very top of the rankings (thus helping to offset bad fiscal policy in those countries), and other countries in the region also are highly ranked (though a few countries in the region, such as Italy and Greece, don’t get good scores).

Eastern European countries, by contrast, don’t do well. There’s a significant gap when looking at average scores. Indeed, only Estonia ranks in the top 25.

And bad scores in this category are akin to putting a house on a foundation of sand. Other policies may create a house that looks very nice, but it probably won’t last very long on the unstable foundation.

And speaking of other policies, post-communist nations have better fiscal policy than the countries from Western Europe. Or, to be more accurate, they have less-worse fiscal policy.

If you examine the overall ratings for “Size of Government,” Eastern European nations actually are ranked significantly better, with an average ranking of 89.2 compared to 129.2 for Western European countries. This is because tax rates tend to be lower (many former Soviet Bloc nations have flat tax regimes, for instance) and welfare states aren’t as burdensome.

As I already hinted, doing “significantly better” on fiscal policy than Western Europe does not mean Eastern Europe has good fiscal policy.

Indeed, an average ranking of 89 means that most Eastern European nations are in the bottom half of the world.

So while it’s good that some Eastern European nations have flat taxes, that’s not an economic elixir if there are very high payroll taxes, stifling value-added taxes, and onerous energy taxes.

And since the burden of government spending is extremely onerous in Western Europe, it’s hardly an impressive achievement that Eastern Europe ranks slightly higher.

Though there’s one aspect of fiscal policy where the post-communist countries are lagging their neighbors to the west.

…if you dig into the details and examine the various components that determine “Size of Government,” there’s one area where Eastern Europe lags. The numbers for “Government Enterprises and Investment” are better in Western Europe. …In other words, politicians play too large a role in the allocation of capital in former communist nations.

To put that message in blunter terms, there’s too much cronyism in Eastern Europe.

So long as politicians can directly (state-owned enterprises) or indirectly (handouts, subsidies, and bailouts) provide favors and tilt the playing field, the enriching forces of private markets will be stunted.

Which is why I shared this conclusion in my article.

The bottom line is that post-communist nations need to choose genuine capitalism if they want a brighter future for their citizens.

If you want to close with some good news, I did point out in the article that there are some bright spots in the region, especially Estonia, though Poland also has made big progress.

Republished from International Liberty.

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

Brexit Group calls for ‘five-year ban on unskilled workers’ immigrating

Brexit group Leave Means Leave says the measures will help migration back to levels last seen in the 1990s and finally hit the failed Tory target of tens of thousands. The group… says Brexit provides a “golden opportunity” to stem immigration at last.

This would be a good start for Britain, yet while the main concern discussed there about migration is the economy, let’s not forget the politically incorrect truth about the threat of jihad terrorism from Muslim migrants and the shocking sex assaults on up to a million British girls by Muslim grooming gangs, which led Rotherham’s Labour MP Sarah Champion to describe the situation as a “national disaster” and “demanding a taskforce to fight the horror.” But news about all that has gone rather quiet. This is no surprise, since many reports failed to even mention that Muslims were involved, while others were blunt in stating that “white girls are seen as easy meat by Pakistani rapists,” as also reported here and here.

“Call for new migrant freeze: UK ‘needs five-year ban on unskilled workers to hit targets’”, by David Maddox, Express, April 10, 2017:

Brexit group Leave Means Leave says the measures will help migration back to levels last seen in the 1990s and finally hit the failed Tory target of tens of thousands.

The group, backed by former Cabinet ministers as well as 15 Tory MPs, says Brexit provides a “golden opportunity” to stem immigration at last.

It is particularly concerned about unskilled labour which pressure group Migration Watch claims makes up 80 per cent of existing EU incomers.

The blueprint for “fair” immigration has been drawn up by former UKIP leadership candidate Steven Woolfe.

He wants to see the introduction of a “British working visa system” and have Parliament vote each year on a figure for net migration.

Many pro-Brexit supporters were angered last week when the Prime Minister hinted that free movement from the EU could continue for years into an “implementation period” after leaving in 2019.

In a speech introducing his findings today Mr Woolfe, now an independent, says Britain needs an immigration system that is “fair in its outlook, flexible in practice and forward-thinking for our economy.

“It won’t mean pulling up the drawbridge as we will continue to encourage the best and the brightest to migrate and settle here.

“But by introducing strict controls, an annual cap and a five-year freeze on unskilled migrants, it will reduce net migration year on year, lessen the strain on our public services and help build a more cohesive society”.

His report states that a five-year freeze on unskilled migrants would significantly reduce immigration from its current level of 273,000 a year.

Work permits would only be granted if the applicant had a job offer with a minimum £35,000 salary, had passed an English test, signed a five-year private health insurance contract and could show savings in the bank.

Among the other recommendations is a proposal to combine work visas with an Australian style points system aimed at judging the annual immigration need for different parts of the UK and different sectors.

It also urges the Government not to give preferential treatment to EU citizens as part of a deal for leaving the failed economic bloc.

He wants those in the UK to be allowed to stay but anybody who arrived after March 29, the day Article 50 was triggered, should not have the same rights.

The report says there should be no cap on highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors or those in the highly skilled top category, or restrictions on students.

It also wants a new body set up to assess NHS needs and ensure it is fully staffed. Former Tory minister Sir Gerald Howarth described the report as “thoughtful, measured and constructive”…..

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Crack in Democrat Party: ‘Islamic Supremacists’ fighting ‘Union Infidels’

In the Daily Caller article Influential Muslim Group Fights Employees Over Efforts To Unionize by Ted Goodman it appears that two pro-Democrat organizations are fighting one against the other. This is a classic battle between the Muslim lead Islamic supremacist organization Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Both CAIR and SEIU have historically supported the Democrat Party (go here and here).

Is this a crack in the Democrat base – the Muslim versus the non-Muslim (infidel)?

Goodman reports:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an influential Muslim advocacy group, is fighting efforts by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to unionize its staff.

SEIU Local 500, which represents 20,000 teachers, health care workers and non-profit employees in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, submitted union authorization cards that were filled out by over half of CAIR’s eligible staff, Christopher Honey, communications director for SEIU Local 500 told The Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.

CAIR appealed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), according to the Washington Examiner, arguing that it is a religious organization and therefore exempt from the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Congress passed the NLRA in 1935, which protected the rights of employees to organize under a union but included exemptions, including one for religious organizations.

The NLRB’s Region 05 rejected CAIR’s argument Friday, asserting the the group is primarily a civil rights organization, not a religious one. The NLRB also set April 24 as the date for employees to vote on whether or not to join the SEIU Local 500 chapter.

Read more…

According to Discover the Networks:

CAIR was co-founded in 1994 by Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber, all of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was established by senior Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook and functioned as Hamas’ public relations and recruitment arm in the United States. Awad and Ahmad previously had served, respectively, as IAP’s Public Relations Director and President. Thus it can be said that CAIR was an outgrowth of IAP.

CAIR opened its first office in Washington, DC, with the help of a $5,000 donation from the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a self-described charity founded by Mousa Abu Marzook.

CAIR is a Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood) affiliated organization. The United Kingdom designated the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization in 2015. Lead by Senator Ted Cruz, legislation has been introduced by the U.S. Congress to also designate the MB a terrorist organization, which would in effect designate CAIR because of its ties to Hamas, a terrorist organization.

Discover the Networks reports the following about SEIU:

Designated as a “527 organization,” SEIU in 2003 became a national partner in the America Votes (AV) coalition. AV, in turn, belongs to the so-called Shadow Democratic Party, a nationwide network of leftwing unions, activist groups, and think tanks engaged in supporting the Democrats. To view SEIU’s fellow partners in America Votes, click here.

[ … ]

A noteworthy affiliate of SEIU is its powerful and militant, New York City-based Local 1199, which has more than 300,000 members and is the world’s largest union local. Sixteen years after its 1932 founding, 1199 was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee on suspicion of Communist “infiltration.” When the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) split in 1991, several officials of Local 1199 took many comrades with them into the breakaway group, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. One of those officials, Rafael Pizarro, also went on to help establish the New Party, a socialist organization that Barack Obama would join in 1995. At a March 2007 meeting, 1199’s executive vice president Steve Kramer spoke enthusiastically about the role which CPUSA had played in building up his union.

[ … ]

In November 2003, SEIU dispatched thousands of volunteers to work on the presidential campaign of Howard Dean. After Dean dropped out of the race in early 2004, Andrew Stern played a major role in persuading the Democratic nominee, John Kerry, to select John Edwards as his running mate. By June 2004, SEIU had already committed $65 million to voter-registration, voter-education, and voter-mobilization initiatives on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Moreover, the union pledged to assign 50,000 of its members as get-out-the-vote “volunteers” just prior to, and on, election day.

[ … ]

In 2008, SEIU spent approximately $60.7 million to help elect Barack Obama to the White House, deploying some 100,000 pro-Obama campaign volunteers who “knocked on 1.87 million doors, made 4.4 million phone calls … and sent more than 2.5 million pieces of mail in support of Obama.” During his campaign, Obama told an SEIU audience: “Your agenda has been my agenda in the United States Senate…. Just imagine what we could do together…Imagine having a president whose life’s work was your work…” After Obama’s election, the SEIU became an enormously influential force in his administration: and to SEIU.

Read more…

It appears the red (Communist)/green (Islamist) alliance may be splitting on ideological grounds?

Unionizing CAIR would empower its predominantly Muslim employees to dictate working conditions to its Islamic supremacist superiors. We shall see how this turns on on April 24th, 2017 when the employees vote on becoming members of SEIU.

The Return of the Shale Boom

The shale boom is back.

After a decrease in shale oil production in 2016 we’re seeing an upswing in 2017:

The Energy Information Administration on Monday said it expects an increase in domestic shale-oil production to nearly 5 million barrels a day for April, which would be the highest monthly level in roughly a year.

The EIA offered forecasts for a climb from seven major U.S. shale producers by 109,000 barrels a day to 4.962 million barrels a day in April from March, according to the agencies monthly Drilling Productivity Report.

EIA: Monthly oil production by basin.
Source: Energy Information Administration.

Improved Efficiency

During the two-year span of falling oil prices, companies retooled. By employing new technology and rethinking the fracking process, they became more efficient and lowered their “brake-even price,” the lowest oil can be for a producer to recoup its costs.

When oil prices rebounded, companies took advantage and ramped up production.

Big Oil Finds in Texas and Alaska

In addition, as technology and techniques to find and get shale oil continue to advance, more areas become commercially available for production.

For instance, late last year, a massive oil and natural gas field was found in Texas:

Geologists say a new survey shows an oilfield in west Texas dwarfs others found so far in the United States, according to the US Geological Survey.

The Midland Basin of the Wolfcamp Shale area in the Permian Basin is now estimated to have 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas, according to a new assessment by the USGS.

That makes it three times larger than the assessment of the oil in the mammoth Bakken formation in North Dakota.

The estimate would make the oilfield, which encompasses the cities of Lubbock and Midland — 118 miles apart — the largest “continuous oil” discovery in the United States, according to the USGS.

And Alaska could be the next fracking frontier:

A pioneer of the U.S. shale revolution wants to take fracking to America’s final frontier. Success could help revive Alaska’s flagging oil fortunes.

Paul Basinski, the geologist who helped discover the Eagle Ford basin in Texas, is part of a fledgling effort on Alaska’s North Slope to emulate the shale boom that reinvigorated production in the rest of the U.S. His venture, Project Icewine, has gained rights to 700,000 acres inside the Arctic Circle and says they could hold 3.6 billion barrels of oil, rivaling the legendary Eagle Ford.

[ … ]

The companies’ first well, Icewine 1, confirmed the presence of petroleum in the shale and found a geology that should be conducive to fracking, Basinski said. Their second well, due to be drilled in the first half of 2017, will fracture a small section of that range and see how readily the oil flows.

“We don’t know what we have yet,” said Michael McFarlane, Burgundy’s president. “We know that the shale has sourced a tremendous amount of oil, but is it commercial? That’s a question that we haven’t answered yet.”

If companies can figure out how to safely get and transport shale oil at a cost that makes business sense, we’ll see it come to market.

Great for U.S. Companies and Workers

Rising domestic energy production is great news for U.S. companies and workers.

Even with the fall in oil prices in the last few years, since President Barack Obama lifted the oil export ban in 2015, exports have surged. As production increases, there will be more opportunity for American workers to satisfy overseas energy appetites.

Abundant shale energy is also good for manufacturing. ExxonMobil recently announced $20 billion in manufacturing investments that will create 45,000 jobs.

After some dark times, it’s looking brighter for American shale energy.

UPDATE: Check out this fascinating 360-degree video from a drilling rig in Texas’ Permian Basin.

MORE ARTICLES ON: ENERGY

RELATED ARTICLES:

More Evidence that the Energy Revolution has Sparked a Manufacturing Renaissance in the U.S. by Karen Alderman Harbert

How to Think About NAFTA as the U.S.-Mexico Energy Landscape Changes by Sean Hackbarth

EDITORS NOTE: An oil rig worker in the Permian basin outside of Midland, Texas. Photo credit: Brittany Sowacke/Bloomberg

Breitbart: Refugees cost taxpayers BILLIONS each year

While bringing refugees to the US from certain parts of the world poses a security risk for America, often forgotten is the huge cost to US taxpayers (federal, state and local) of placing them in communities already loaded with poor people, a practice the mayor of Springfield, Mass. recently pointed out.

domenic-sarno

Democrat Domemic Sarno, Mayor Springfield, Massachusetts.

And, before the refugee industry starts shouting about the fact that some refugees ultimately pay taxes, in reality very few even reach the income threshhold to pay taxes and many who make small amounts of income can actually file to get money back from the government through earned income tax credits while not ever having paid in anything.

The Democrat mayor of Springfield, Mass recently said that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program concentrates “poverty on top of poverty!

Here is Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart in an article entitled: ‘Refugees Will Cost Taxpayers an Estimated $4.1 Billion in FY 2017’ says:

American taxpayers will spend more than $4.1 billion in the 2017 budget to support the 519,018 refugees who have been resettled by the federal government in the United States since October 2009, according to a cost estimate by Breitbart News.

To put that very large number in context, $4.1 billion can buy 10,677 new homes for $384,000 each, which is the average price of a new home sold in the United States in December 2016. Or it could buy 170,124 new autos for $24,100 each, which is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu.

Even if the Trump administration were to entirely shut down the flow of refugees into the United States in FY 2018 and beyond, the refugees who have already arrived in the country will cost at least another $3.5 billion in 2018, and about $2 billion to $3 billion annually thereafter until FY 2022 and beyond.

Here is one of several useful charts prepared by Leahy. This summarizes the COST PER REFUGEE:

screenshot-323

For more fun with numbers, continue reading here.

Where is Congress?

Donald Trump can cut the numbers arriving in the US while he is in office and can tinker with the regulations, but unless Congress grows a spine and reforms this out-of-control federal program, in 4 or 8 years we will go back to a wide open spigot! There is a limit to what can be done with a phone and a pen as Obama learned the hard way.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

How Illegal Immigration Hurts Black Americans, According to Civil Rights Commissioner

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Malta takes ‘refugees’ from Greece and Italy and passes others on to U.S.

Government demographic studies all wrong on Somali numbers in U.S.

Will new EO slow the Syrian migration to the US?

Nebraska Republican Governor supports security screening, BUT wants refugee admissions to resume ASAP

WSJ explains (sort of) what that March 3rd date means for slowing U.S. refugee admissions

Visualizing the Flow of Asylum Seekers Into the Industrialized World

Based on data from the UN Refugee Agency, approximately 4.4 million asylum applications were submitted to 44 industrialized countries between 2013 and 2016. The map below shows the flow of these asylum seekers from their country of origin to the country in which they applied for asylum. Each point represents 500 asylum seekers.

To navigate around the map with a mouse:

  • Pan: left mouse button + drag
  • Rotate: right mouse button + drag
  • Zoom: both buttons + drag / two-finger touchpad scroll

Full screen version / Youtube video

Asylum seeker vs refugee

An asylum seeker is someone who has requested sanctuary from persecution in their home country. If the request is granted, the asylum seeker then becomes a refugee. In some cases, a host country may not have a formal process for evaluating asylum requests for all migrants crossing its border seeking refuge, in which case these displaced persons become “prima facie” refugees.

The map above displays the flow of asylum seekers into industrialized nations, which makes up only a small piece of the global refugee crisis. As of the end of 2015, there were about 16 million refugees globally, and a much larger number of displaced persons who did not qualify as refugees under the U.N. statue.

The countries hosting the largest number of refugees are all in the developing world. No industrialized nation features in the top 10.

Which countries host the largest refugee populations?

This map shows how the world’s 16 million refugees are distributed by country. To take a closer look, see the interactive map.

refugees map

The seven largest refugee populations are in Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Kenya, respectively. Together they host more than half the world’s refugees.

Credit:

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DeVos Confirmed: Everything They Said about Her Is False by James Agresti

Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as Secretary of Education, but just barely. In the course of the hearings, outrageous claims were made about her views. Most originated from the public school industry itself, which is clinging to old forms for dear life. The result has been nothing but confusion. Let’s look more carefully.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) alleges that she is voting against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education because:

  • DeVos opposes policies that allow “our young people, all of them, to participate in our democracy and compete on a fair footing in the workforce.”
  • DeVos supports “voucher systems that divert taxpayer dollars to private, religious and for-profit schools without requirements for accountability.”
  • “The voucher programs that Ms. DeVos advocates leave out students whose families cannot afford to pay the part of the tuition that the voucher does not cover; the programs also leave behind students with disabilities because the schools do not accommodate their complex needs.”

Each of those claims is belied by concrete facts, and Hassan is guilty of most of the charges she levels at DeVos. Also, Hassan sent her own daughter to a private school, an opportunity that she would deny to other children.

A Fair Footing

Under the current U.S. education system, the quality of students’ schooling is largely determined by their parents’ income. This is because wealthy parents can afford to send their children to private schools and live in neighborhoods with the best public schools. Such options narrow as income declines, and the children of poor families—who are often racial minorities—typically end up in the nation’s worst schools.

Contrary to popular perception, funding is not the primary cause of differences between schools. Since the early 1970s, school districts with large portions of minority students have spent about the same amount per student as districts with fewer minorities. This is shown by studies conducted by the left-leaning Urban Institute, the U.S. Department of Education, Ph.D. economist Derek Neal, and the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Moreover, contrary to the notion that certain minorities are intellectually inferior, empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that with competent schooling, people of all races can excel. For example, in 2009, Public School 172 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York, had:

  • a mostly Hispanic population.
  • one-third of the students not fluent in English and no bilingual classes.
  • 80% of the students poor enough to qualify for free lunch.
  • lower spending per student than the New York City average.
  • the highest average math score of all fourth graders in New York City, with 99% of the students scoring “advanced.”
  • the top-dozen English scores of all fourth graders in New York City, with 99% of students passing.

These and other such results indicate that school quality plays a major role in student performance. Hassan and other critics of school choice are keenly aware of this, as evidenced by the choices they make for their own children. For example, Obama’s first Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, stated that the primary reason he decided to live in Arlington, Virginia, was so his daughter could attend its public schools. In his words:

That was why we chose where we live, it was the determining factor. That was the most important thing to me. My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.

Duncan’s statement is an admission that public schools in the D.C. area often jeopardize the education of children, but he would not let this happen to his child. Few parents have the choice that Duncan made because most cannot afford to live in places like Arlington, where the annual cash income of the median family is $144,843, the highest of all counties in the United States.

Other prominent opponents of private school choice—like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Bill Clinton—personally attended and also sent their own children to private K-12 schools. Likewise, Hassan’s daughter attended an elite private high school (Phillips Exeter Academy) where Hassan’s husband was the principal.

The existing U.S. education system does not provide an equal footing for children, but Hassan criticizes DeVos for supporting school choice, which would lessen this inequity. By its very definition, school choice allows parents to select the schools their children attend, an option that Hassan and other affluent people regularly exercise.

Taxpayer Money and Accountability

Four lines of evidence disprove Hassan’s claim that DeVos wants to “divert taxpayer dollars” to non-public schools “without requirements for accountability.”

First, private school choice generally increases public school spending per student, which is the primary measure of education funding. As explained by Stephen Cornman, a statistician with the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, per-pupil spending is “the gold standard in school finance.”

Private school choice programs boost per-student funding in public schools because the public schools no longer educate the students who go to the private schools, which typically spend much less per student than public schools. This leaves additional funding for the students who remain in public schools.

According to the latest available data, the average spending per student in private K-12 schools during the 2011-12 school year was about $6,762. In the same year, the average spending per student in public schools was $13,398, or about twice as much. These figures exclude state administration spending, unfunded pension liabilities, and post-employment benefits like healthcare—all of which are common in public schools and rare in private ones.

Certain school costs like building maintenance are fixed in the short term, and thus, the savings of educating fewer students occurs in steps. This means that private school choice can temporarily decrease the funding per student in some public schools, but this is brief and slight because only 8% of public school spending is for operations and maintenance.

Second, school choice provides the most direct form of accountability, which is accountability to students and parents. With school choice, if parents are unhappy with any school, they have the ability to send their children to other schools. This means that every school is accountable to every parent.Under the current public education system, schools are accountable to government officials, not students and parents. Again, Hassan knows this, because her son has severe disabilities, and Hassan used her influence as a lawyer to get her son’s public elementary school to “accommodate his needs.”

Unlike Hassan, people without a law degree, extra time on their hands, or ample financial resources are at the mercy of politicians and government employees. Short of legal action or changing an election outcome, most children and parents are stuck with their public schools, regardless of whether they are effective or safe. That is precisely the situation that DeVos would like to fix through school choice, but Hassan talks as if DeVos were trying to do the opposite.

Third, taxpayer funds are commonly used for private schools, and Hassan actually wants more of this. Her campaign website states that she “will fight to expand Pell Grants” but fails to reveal that these are often used for private colleges like, for example, Brown University, the Ivy League school that she, her husband, and her daughter attended (disclosure: so did this author).

In other words, Hassan supports using taxpayer money for top students to attend elite private universities, but she opposes the same opportunity for poor students to attend private K-12 schools.

Hassan’s position on college aid also undercuts her objection that DeVos supports programs that “leave out students whose families cannot afford to pay the part of the tuition that the voucher does not cover.” If that were truly Hassan’s objection, she would also oppose aid that doesn’t cover the full costs of every college, because that would leave out students who can’t pay the rest of the tuition.

Fourth, contrary to Hassan’s rhetoric about accountability to taxpayers, she supports current spending levels in public K-12 schools, “debt-free public college for all,” and expanding “early childhood education” in spite of the facts that:

  • the U.S. spends an average of 31% more per K-12 student than other developed nations, but 15-year olds in the U.S. rank 31st among 35 nations in math.
  • federal, state, and local governments spend about $900 billion per year on formal education, but only 18% of U.S. residents aged 16 and older can correctly answer a word problem requiring the ability to search text, interpret it, and calculate using multiplication and division.
  • the average spending per public school classroom is $286,000 per year, but only 26% of the high school students who take the ACT exam meet its college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math, and science).
  • federal, state and local governments spend $173 billion per year on higher education, but 80% of first-time, full-time students who enroll in a public community college do not receive a degree from the college within 150% of the normal time required to do so.
  • 4-year public colleges spend an average of $40,033 per year for each full-time student, but one-third of students who graduate from 4-year colleges don’t improve their “critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem-solving, and writing” skills by more than one percentage point over their entire college careers.
  • the federal government funds dozens of preschool programs, and the largest —Head Start—spends an average of $8,772 per child per year, but it produces no measurable benefit by the time students reach 3rd grade.

In sum, Hassan supports pumping taxpayer money into programs with high costs and substandard outcomes, but she opposes doing the same for private K–12 schools that produce better outcomes with far less cost.

Left Behind?

Hassan’s claim that private school choice programs “leave behind students with disabilities because the schools do not accommodate their complex needs” is also false.

In Northern and Central New Jersey, there are more than 30 private special education schools that are approved by the state. As far as parents are concerned, these schools serve the needs of their children better than the public schools in their areas. If this were not the case, these private schools would not exist.

More importantly, if parents don’t think that a private school will be best for their special needs child, school choice allows them to keep the child in a public school that is better-funded thanks to the money saved by school choice.

In a recent brief to the Nevada Supreme Court, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, and its state affiliate argue that free-market voucher programs will lead to “cream-skimming—the drawing away of the most advantaged students to private schools––and lead to a highly stratified system of education.”

As detailed above, the current public school system is highly stratified by income, and income and education go hand in hand. Hence, the real issue is not stratification but what happens to students who stay in public schools. Contrary to the belief that school choice will harm these students, a mass of evidence shows the opposite.

At least 21 high-quality studies have been performed on the academic outcomes of students who remain in public schools that are subject to school choice programs. All but one found neutral-to-positive results, and none found negative results. This is consistent with the theory that school choice stimulates competition that induces public schools to improve.

Who Wins and Who Loses?

Wide-ranging facts prove that school choice is a win for students, parents, and taxpayers. However, it financially harms teachers unions by depriving them of dues, because private schools are less likely to have unions than public ones.

In turn, this financially harms Democratic politicians, political action committees, and related organizations, which have received about $200 million in reported donations from the two largest teachers’ unions since 1990. Unions also give many unreported donations to Democratic Party causes.

Teachers’ unions are firmly opposed to private school choice, and the National Education Association has sent an open letter to Democrats stating that “opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA.”

So why does Hassan oppose giving other children opportunities that she gave to her own children? Motives are difficult to divine, but the reasons she gave in her op-ed are at odds with verifiable facts and her own actions.

James Agresti

James Agresti

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a nonprofit institute dedicated to publishing verifiable facts about public policy.

RELATED ARTICLE: Bill to Shut U.S. Education Department Introduced in Congress

DOJ to defend Trump’s executive order on immigration

The showdown over President Trump’s executive order on immigration continues. District Senior Judge James Robart of Seattle has issued “a nationwide restraining order” to block Trump’s order, which restricts immigration from seven Muslim countries – countries selected by the Obama administration — suspends refugee admission for 120 days, and ban Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Lee Gelernt, the lawyer who successfully argued for a restraining order against Trump’s so-called “ban” in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, stated:

The courts have and will continue to recognize that this executive order favors Christians and disfavors Muslims and that is antithetical to American values and flatly inconsistent with the United States Constitution.

This erroneous comparison between Christians and Muslims aims to stir up division and once again reveals the myopia of leftists and the the anti-Trump camp. The reason for the Trump immigration policy is solely national security. How many Christians have been infiltrating the refugee stream for the purpose of murdering Westerners? How many Christians have been raping and sexually assaulting non-Christian Western women and girls all across Europe? How many Christian migrants have been committing crimes and wreaking havoc to the tune of the 46 billion dollars that German and European taxpayers now have to fork over to fix?

There is no discriminatory intent about the Trump order. At worst, it can be described as a drastic measure in a crisis. This obvious point was addressed by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who said in a statement:

The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.

“White House: DOJ plans to defend Trump’s immigration ban”, by Melanie Eversley, USA Today, February 3, 2017:

U.S. District Senior Judge James Robart of Seattle on Friday issued a nationwide restraining order blocking the travel ban put in place by President Trump last week.

Trump’s ban, created through an executive order, sought to block people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.

In issuing his decision, Robart was siding with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who filed a suit to block key provisions of the president’s executive order, which also bars Syrian refugees from entering the country.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer released a statement Friday night saying the Department of Justice would seek an emergency stay of this “outrageous order.”

“The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people,” Spicer said in the statement.

Statement by the Press Secretary:
At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate. The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people.

As the law states, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, hailed Ferguson and applauded the decision.

“We should feel heartened by today’s victory and more resolute than ever that we are fighting on the right side of history,” the governor said in a statement. “Thank you to (Attorney General Bob Ferguson) and his team for making the case that no person – not even the president – is above the law.”

Amnesty International also applauded the development.

“This decision is a short-term relief for thousands of people whose lives have been upended, but Congress must step in and block this unlawful ban for good,” organization spokesman Eric Ferrero said in a statement. “Trump’s Muslim ban is in humane, unlawful, and discriminatory, which is why the courts and the public want it to be stopped.”

Ferguson said his team has been working around-the-clock for the last week on reversing the executive order.

“It’s obviously an historic decision and an important one for the rule of law and for the people of the state of Washington and the people of our country. I have said from the beginning: it is not the loudest voice that prevails in the courtroom, it is the Constitution, and that’s what we heard from Judge Robart today.”

The decision is effective immediately nationwide, Ferguson said.

A lawyer with the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union said the decision was significant.

“The decision in Washington reaffirms that the courts will stand up to the president,” said Lee Gelernt, the lawyer who successfully argued for a restraining order against Trump’s ban in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“The courts have and will continue to recognize that this executive order favors Christians and disfavors Muslims and that is antithetical to American values and flatly inconsistent with the United States Constitution.”….

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Appeals court rejects Trump administration’s request to restore travel ban

Ninth Circuit allows migrants from terror hotspots to resume entering the country

Pakistan’s ambassador in Kuwait says Kuwait hasn’t banned Pakistanis

Austria: Muslim MP calls for Christian symbols ban after burka outlawed

EDITORS NOTE: The column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

Why Cheap Muslim Refugee Labor has Taken Over Meatpacking Jobs

Editor:  We occasionally post comments or guest posts from readers that are so informative that we don’t want them lost where comments are normally posted.  This is from a reader answering my perennial question about how it came to be that good paying American jobs in the meatpacking industry have now become low paying jobs for immigrants and refugees.

Before you read what Deena has to say, check out a post I wrote in 2008 about how President Bill Clinton brought tens of thousands of mostly Muslim Bosnians in to the US to do meatpacking jobs in Iowa in the mid-1990s (with the help of Lavinia Limon who was Bill Clinton’s director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement). The business model allows BIG MEAT (or LOL! BIG YOGURT) to pay low wages which are then supplemented by welfare that you pay for!

The US State Department is acting as a head-hunter for big business, so forget about the humanitarian mumbo-jumbo they are trying to sell!

From Deena:

You asked if slaughterhouse work used to be a good job. It did; and, in fact, was heavily unionized until sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s, I believe.

jbs-greeley

Brazilian owned JBS (formerly Swift & Co).

It had its own union (Amalgamated Meat Cutters (AMC)) and the former president of the Iowa AFL-CIO back when I worked for the national AFL-CIO came out of this union. This work was among the best in pay and benefits in the US along with auto work because basically the entire industry was unionized; and like in the UAW, workers spent a lifetime in the trade.

This is a photo I took on my fact-finding mission in the heartland this past summer. Meat giant JBS (formerly Swift & Co) is a Brazilian owned company that encourages Somali refugee labor, and as such it is changing the demographic make-up of Greeley, Colorado.

It ended when the market was flooded by foreign workers – largely illegal. The decent paying companies – and most then fell into this category – were unable to compete with low-paid-unskilled-foreign-worker-filled companies which sprang up. The pay is now about 55% of what it was then. Forget benefits.

The union merged into what is now known as the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), which largely represents retail workers. The ‘meat cutters’ of today are more likely to cut and package large sections of pre-cut meat into individual packages for purchase by shoppers in local grocery stores like Kroger where I live.

The actual slaughterhouse industry has high turnover – some logging over 100% in a year. The work is hard on the body and dangerous, which is why the wages used to be reasonably high. I’m sure OSHA still requires the posting of health and safety rules but I doubt if most of the workers can even read them, let alone care about them.

Back when Bush was staging company raids, the first things a company would do after losing its illegal workers to a raid were to raise wages to attract legal workers to this hard, dirty work and to offer bonuses to workers who could bring in new workers, proving that this was work that US workers would do, just not for the wages and conditions that prevailed in the plants where illegal workers set the standards. [And where legal refugees are now hired at those low wages—ed]

Construction work has largely followed slaughterhouse work.

The AFL-CIO used to be against massive immigration because of what I just outlined: the law of supply and demand in which large numbers of workers who will work for low wages under bad conditions drive down wages for the remaining ones who stay and force those who can’t or won’t work for these wages out of the field. It changed after Sweeney-Trumka came in 1996, bringing several operatives from the Democratic Party.

screenshot-122

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Recently the AFL-CIO has toed the Democratic Party’s line on immigration – more and faster – and has paid the price.

Their idea seems to be that they can organize these low wage workers, but it doesn’t work out that way. The union numbers keep decreasing. SEIU*** has enjoyed some success but they are organizing workers at low wages who can be easily replaced. If necessary, companies like WalMart simply subcontract out work like janitorial work to companies who will hire illegal workers on the cheap.

Construction companies hire subcontractors for wall boarding, painting, and roofing. Young men who would like a start in construction don’t get hired at these entry level jobs and so don’t make their way up the ladder.

The loss of such careers as meatpacking and construction to non-college educated men is a shame and a disaster.

In 2013, Senator Jeff Sessions called out Trumka and the meat packer lobbyists on the Gang of Eight bill, a bill to legalize more cheap laborers. This is why they hate him so much!

The MSM made much of women voting for Trump. I’d be willing to bet that many non-college educated women would be far happier for their husbands still to be able to get those better paying jobs so that they didn’t have to work full-time and could spend more time at home when the kids are small.

***See our post over the weekend where SEIU is attempting to organize Rohingya refugees.

For more comments worth noting and guest posts, click here.

Sessions photo!  please read this!

Senator Jeff Sessions has been a stalwart in fighting for American workers in the US Senate and tomorrow the Left will try to destroy him!

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Don’t miss James Simpson’s prescription for what must be done about the UN/US Refugee Admissions program

Processing country map is instructive: US Dept. of State working hard to clean out UN camps in Kenya

Rochester, NY: Confirmation that the US State Department has packed the pipeline with refugees in advance of Trump

Chicago: Story about Rohingya Muslim airport workers is instructive

Getting new housing in your town? Then you will get refugees!

The Purge Begins: President-elect Trump Wants All Obama Envoys Out by Inauguration Day

The purge begins. Exhale.

Looking forward to Trump’s purge of the Muslim Brotherhood operatives and jihad sympathizers at the Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense. We are talking a massive purge and Obama stacked those agencies with enemies of freedom, Americanism and patriotism. I relish the coming prosecutions of dangerous Islamic groups like CAIR, ISNA et al, who were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorist funding trial in our nation’s history.

The Department of State is particularly compromised under Hillary Clinton. It works to impose the agenda of America’s most vicious adversaries.

TRUMP WANTS ALL OBAMA ENVOYS TO LEAVE BY INAUGURATION: REPORT

By Seerat Chabba, International Business Times, January 6, 2017:

President-elect Donald Trump is breaking with precedent by demanding that politically appointed ambassadors leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day, a report by the New York Times stated.

In the past, new administrations have granted extensions to ambassadors on a case-by-case basis, especially those who have school-going children, for weeks or months. Trump’s transition staff, however, has reportedly issued an all-encompassing order, according to a State Department cable sent out Dec. 23.

The president-elect has taken a stand to not allow any of President Barack Obama’s political appointees to continue beyond inauguration day, possibly with the aim dismantling many of Obama’s foreign and domestic policy measures. The move, however, could be problematic as it leaves the country without Senate-confirmed envoys for months to follow, the report said.

While the Times cited a senior Trump transition official as saying that there was no “ill will” in the order, many ambassadors are considering approaching Trump’s nominee for secretary of state Rex Tillerson to appeal the decision.

Many diplomats have now been left in the lurch as they attempt to come up with living arrangements in their respective countries and acquire visas that allow them to remain there in order for their children to complete the school year, the publication reported.

“When you have people out there whose only reason for being an ambassador is their political connection to the outgoing president of a different party, it’s pretty logical to say they should leave,” said Ronald E. Neumann, the president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a Washington-based nonprofit association for former ambassadors and senior diplomats. “But I don’t recollect there was ever a guillotine in January where it was just, ‘Everybody out of the pool immediately.’”

As of now, Trump has named ambassadors to two countries — bankruptcy lawyer and campaign adviser David Friedman will be the U.S. ambassador to Israel, while Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will be serving in China.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Geller Report.

Reflections on the Trump Presidency by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio, Chairman & Chief Investment Officer at Bridgewater Associates, L.P. wrote a compelling analysis of the Trump administration. The title of Dilio’s Linkedin article is “Reflections on the Trump Presidency, One Month after the Election.”

Please take the time to read it in full.


Reflections on the Trump Presidency, One Month after the Election

By Ray Dalio

Now that we’re a month past the election and most of the cabinet posts have been filled, it is increasingly obvious that we are about to experience a profound, president-led ideological shift that will have a big impact on both the US and the world. This will not just be a shift in government policy, but also a shift in how government policy is pursued. Trump is a deal maker who negotiates hard, and doesn’t mind getting banged around or banging others around. Similarly, the people he chose are bold and hell-bent on playing hardball to make big changes happen in economics and in foreign policy (as well as other areas such as education, environmental policies, etc.). They also have different temperaments and different views that will have to be resolved.

Regarding economics, if you haven’t read Ayn Rand lately, I suggest that you do as her books pretty well capture the mindset. This new administration hates weak, unproductive, socialist people and policies, and it admires strong, can-do, profit makers. It wants to, and probably will, shift the environment from one that makes profit makers villains with limited power to one that makes them heroes with significant power. The shift from the past administration to this administration will probably be even more significant than the 1979-82 shift from the socialists to the capitalists in the UK, US, and Germany when Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Helmut Kohl came to power. To understand that ideological shift you also might read Thatcher’s “The Downing Street Years.” Or, you might reflect on China’s political/economic shift as marked by moving from “protecting the iron rice bowl” to believing that “it’s glorious to be rich.”

This particular shift by the Trump administration could have a much bigger impact on the US economy than one would calculate on the basis of changes in tax and spending policies alone because it could ignite animal spirits and attract productive capital. Regarding igniting animal spirits, if this administration can spark a virtuous cycle in which people can make money, the move out of cash (that pays them virtually nothing) to risk-on investments could be huge. Regarding attracting capital, Trump’s policies can also have a big impact because businessmen and investors move very quickly away from inhospitable environments to hospitable environments. Remember how quickly money left and came back to places like Spain and Argentina? A pro-business US with its rule of law, political stability, property rights protections, and (soon to be) favorable corporate taxes offers a uniquely attractive environment for those who make money and/or have money. These policies will also have shocking negative impacts on certain sectors.

Regarding foreign policy, we should expect the Trump administration to be comparably aggressive. Notably, even before assuming the presidency, Trump is questioning the one-China policy which is a shocking move. Policies pertaining to Iran, Mexico, and most other countries will probably also be aggressive.

The question is whether this administration will be a) aggressive and thoughtful or b) aggressive and reckless. The interactions between Trump, his heavy-weight advisors, and them with each other will likely determine the answer to this question. For example, on the foreign policy front, what Trump, Flynn, Tillerson, and Mattis (and others) are individually and collectively like will probably determine how much the new administration’s policies will be a) aggressive and thoughtful versus b) aggressive and reckless. We are pretty sure that it won’t take long to find out.

In the next section we look at some of the new appointees via some statistics to characterize what they’re like. Most notably, many of the people entering the new administration have held serious responsibilities that required pragmatism and sound judgment, with a notable skew toward businessmen.

Perspective on the Ideology and Experience of the New Trump Administration

We can get a rough sense of the experience of the new Trump administration by adding up the years major appointees have spent in relevant leadership positions. The table below compares the executive/government experience of the Trump administration’s top eight officials* to previous administrations, counting elected positions, government roles with major administrative responsibilities, or time as C-suite corporate executives or equivalent at mid-size or large companies. Trump’s administration stands out for having by far the most business experience and a bit lower than average government experience (lower compared to recent presidents, and in line with Carter and Reagan). But the cumulative years of executive/government experience of his appointees are second-highest. Obviously, this is a very simple, imprecise measure, and there will be gray zones in exactly how you classify people, but it is indicative.

Below we show some rough quantitative measures of the ideological shift to the right we’re likely to see under Trump and the Republican Congress. First, we look at the economic ideology of the incoming US Congress. Trump’s views may differ in some important ways from the Congressional Republicans, but he’ll need Congressional support for many of his policies and he’s picking many of his nominees from the heart of the Republican Party. As the chart below shows, the Republican members of Congress have shifted significantly to the right on economic issues since Reagan; Democratic congressmen have shifted a bit to the left. The measure below is one-dimensional and not precise, but it captures the flavor of the shift. The measure was commissioned by a National Science Foundation grant and is meant to capture economic views with a focus on government intervention on the economy. They looked at each congressman’s voting record, compared it to a measure of what an archetypical liberal or conservative congressman would have done, and rated each member of Congress on a scale of -1 to 1 (with -1 corresponding to an archetypical liberal and +1 corresponding to an archetypical conservative).

When we look more specifically at the ideology of Trump’s cabinet nominees, we see the same shift to the right on economic issues. Below we compare the ideology of Trump’s cabinet nominees to those of prior administrations using the same methodology as described above for the cabinet members who have been in the legislature. By this measure, Trump’s administration is the most conservative in recent American history, but only slightly more conservative than the average Republican congressman. Keep in mind that we are only including members of the new administration who have voting records (which is a very small group of people so far).

While the Trump administration appears very right-leaning by the measures above, it’s worth keeping in mind that Trump’s stated ideology differs from traditional Republicans in a number of ways, most notably on issues related to free trade and protectionism. In addition, a number of key members of his team—such as Steven Mnuchin, Rex Tillerson, and Wilbur Ross—don’t have voting records and may not subscribe to the same brand of conservatism as many Republican congressmen. There’s a degree of difference in ideology and a level of uncertainty that these measures don’t convey.

Comparing the Trump and Reagan Administrations

The above was a very rough quantitative look at Trump’s administration. To draw out some more nuances, below we zoom in on Trump’s particular appointees and compare them to those of the Reagan administration. Trump is still filling in his appointments, so the picture is still emerging and our observations are based on his key appointments so far.

Looking closer, a few observations are worth noting. First, the overall quality of government experience in the Trump administration looks to be a bit less than Reagan’s, while the Trump team’s strong business experience stands out (in particular, the amount of business experience among top cabinet nominees). Even though Reagan’s administration had somewhat fewer years of government experience, the typical quality of that experience was somewhat higher, with more people who had served in senior government positions. Reagan himself had more political experience than Trump does, having served as the governor of California for eight years prior to taking office, and he also had people with significant past government experience in top posts (such as his VP, George HW Bush). By contrast, Trump’s appointees bring lots of high quality business leadership experience from roles that required pragmatism and judgment. Rex Tillerson’s time as head of a global oil company is a good example of high-level international business experience with clear relevance to his role as Secretary of State (to some extent reminiscent of Reagan’s second Secretary of State, George Shultz, who had a mix of past government experience and international business experience as the president of the construction firm Bechtel). Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross have serious business credentials as well, not to mention Trump’s own experience. It’s also of note that Trump has leaned heavily on appointees with military experience to compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience (appointing three generals for Defense, National Security Advisor, and Homeland Security), while Reagan compensated for his weakness in that area with appointees from both military and civilian government backgrounds (Bush had been CIA head and UN ambassador, and Reagan’s first Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces during the Cold War). Also, Trump has seemed less willing to make appointments from among his opponents than Reagan was (Reagan’s Chief of Staff had chaired opposing campaigns, and his Vice President had run against him).

By and large, deal-maker businessmen will be running the government. Their boldness will almost certainly make the next four years incredibly interesting and will keep us all on our toes.

Somalis pouring in to U.S., could be biggest year ever for Muslim migrants

I told you about the astronomically high numbers of Somalis being admitted to the U.S. here recently, but since I was working on data for the first ten weeks (here for overall numbers and here for Syrians), I figured I would put the Somali numbers in the same format.

So according to data at Wrapsnet.org we have admitted 2,959 Somalis to the U.S. in the first ten weeks of FY2017, that is highest rate in the over 30 years we have been admitting them, see here. This also would result in a higher resettlement rate than the one for Syrians right now.

Bush’s 2004 number of 12,814 will be dwarfed if Donald Trump doesn’t follow through on his campaign promise to halt the flow of refugees from terror-producing parts of the world.

Virtually all Somalis are Muslims and very few come in to U.S. outside of the Refugee Admissions Program. Although some do come illegally across our borders and then apply for asylum.

Here is the map of where they went (again these are the numbers for October 1, 2016 to December 10, 2016). This is the number for resettled refugees only:

screenshot-96
Sorry again, the map does not fit my page! Florida is 37, Alaska is 6 and Hawaii is 0.

Here are the top ten states in which they were placed. Large numbers will move on to Minnesota or Ohio after initial resettlement.

screenshot-97If as time goes on and you know I wrote about refugee numbers, but can’t find the post, you can always go to the category here at RRW called ‘refugee statistics’ or the one called ‘where to find information.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Terror Attack in Germany Puts Spotlight on Refugee Policy

Portland, OR: Somali Christmas tree bomber’s conviction upheld

Unaccompanied refugee minors program, small but could grow

Terror around the world yesterday (thanks to these three ‘leaders’)

Italy Votes ‘No’ in Referendum, Renzi to Resign, Nail in Coffin for EU

In what has becoming a stunning movement for freedom and individual rights, Italy, too has voted to overthrow the political status quo.

Projections late Sunday indicated that Italian voters have rejected proposed constitutional changes, in what if confirmed would be a stinging rebuke to the country’s leader and a victory for populists in the heartland of Europe. (WSJ)

The Trump effect.

Italy’s Referendum Could Be The Nail In The Coffin For The EU

The referendum is a “test of strength of the anti-Europe and anti-establishment forces in Italy,” former Italian diplomat Stefano Stefanini told The New York Times. The proposed vote would rewrite 47 of the 139 articles in the Italian constitution, which Renzi says need to be replaced to allow the government to compete with European economies.

“If Renzi’s referendum fails, it will be seen as another symbolic victory for the populists that portends greater risk for other states and the EU,” a Eurasia Group Europe analyst told The Telegraph. He continued, “It will make the EU defensive and inward-looking, and more incapable of addressing the problems that are giving rise to the populists in the first place.”

It failed. Between 57% and 61% of voters opposed constitutional changes sought by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, according to Istituto Piepoli projections.

The EU jumped the shark with the Muslim invasion of Europe and they are going down.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi to resign in wake of referendum defeat

The Express: Mr Renzi hoped Italy’s oldest bank will be bailed out by the Qatari Royal family

As voters go to the polls today to take part in their referendum, bankers at Banca Monte dei Paschi de Siena are attempting a last minute bail-out deal from bondholders, supported by the Prime Minister who has gone all out to request help.

The government has gone cap in hand to the Qatari royal family and a number of US hedge funds in the hope they can request a £4.2BN bail-out ahead of the crunch vote.

According to reports the bank has issued a voluntary bondholder debt-for-equity swap to raise £1.25bn and will further request £830m from the Qatari royal family.It has also been reported that six hedge funds, including those that belong to billionaires George Soros and John Paulson, are stepping in to offer much needed liquidity.
Ordinary Italians have been hit hard by Italy’s banking crisis

Insiders say if the bank fails to raise enough funds US banks, including JP Morgan, Mediobanca, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will move into asset strip triggering a Lehman brothers style collapse.

According to reports but dependent on the result of the referendum, Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, is considering allowing a bail out.

However, new rules mean investors must first face serious right downs before Brussels steps in.

Indeed the outcome of the referendum will have a significant impact with Italy facing a potential ratings downgrade.

“MY GOVERNMENT ENDS HERE” RENZI LOSES ITALIAN REFERENDUM, WILL OFFER RESIGNATION TO PRESIDENT” –

By Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, December 3, 2016:

Summary: this is what has happened so far in yet another major overthrow of the political status quo:

  1.  Italy PM Renzi lost by a large margin
  2. In a speech moments after the results were announce, Renzi confirmed he would hand in his resignation tomorrow.
  3. As Bloomberg notes, the scale of the loss and how quickly it happened cast a huge shadow on the fate of the continent headed into 2017.
  4. The EURUSD has tumbled to lows not seen since March 2015

Read more…

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on PamelaGeller.com.