President Barack Obama is in Texas today.
Texas is the center of the current crisis at the border. From Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, thousands upon thousands of children are pouring into the United States.
This flood of foreign children is not a problem of border security. They are not sneaking across the border illegally. Under the Feinstein Amendment of 2008, unaccompanied minors from these countries can present themselves at a legal border crossing, claim to be political refugees and seek asylum.
The argument on the left is that these three countries have violent gangs and therefore we have a moral obligation to take in their children. One Democratic senator told me that the real key was to end violence in those three countries.
Given last weekend’s 82 shot and 16 killed in Chicago, I wanted to ask that senator how he thought his policies would be more successful in Central America than they have been in our third-largest city.
It is in this context of the liberal fantasy — that we owe the world everything, we can do nothing to protect ourselves and everyone else is innocent while we Americans somehow have an extra burden to take care of their problems — that you have to view the President’s current actions.
The President’s trip highlights vividly the failure of Obama-ism.
It is clear he wants our money.
He is doing two big Democratic fundraisers in Texas this week to get political money.
He has just sent up a request to Congress for an additional $3.7 billion to address the immigration crisis on the southern border — the majority of which would go toward caring for the unaccompanied minors crossing the border. Still, this request is larger than the entire U.S. Border Patrol budget in 2013.
Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, on CNN’s “Crossfire” Tuesday night, demolished the President’s proposal.
“That’s $60,000 per child that we’re going to spend, in emergency money,” he pointed out. (Parents and students trying to get through college should contemplate that number.) “That shows just how incompetent we [are] — we can’t do that for three or four thousand per child?…If we can’t do that, the Border Patrol is as bad as the VA.”
“For $8 million,” he pointed out later in the show, “we can put them all on a first-class seat back to their homes.”
Actually, he exaggerated a little bit. A business class flight from San Antonio to Guatemala City is about $450. Lowest economy ticket is $318. For the 60,000 young people entering the United States this year under the Feinstein Amendment, flying home commercially would be in the range of $18 to $26 million plus the cost of staffing etc. So the Coburn plan might cost (once staff, etc. is included) in the $40 million to $80 million range.
That means, of course, that the Coburn plan would save at least $3.62 billion over the Obama plan.
Why is the Obama plan so expensive? Simple. Left-wing Democrats wake up every morning knowing the answer is bigger government and more money. They just don’t know what the question is.
The border crisis is a new opportunity for Obama to create even bigger government, spending even more of our children’s money. In a rational world it would be an absurdity, but this is the world of Obama and Sen. Harry Reid, and nothing involving more spending and bigger government is absurd to them.
Coburn also noted that the current scale of the border crisis would disappear if Congress would simply repeal the Feinstein Amendment.
Chairman Bob Goodlatte of the House Judiciary Committee also noted that there are a number of executive actions the President could take which would end the open borders for foreign children policy. The Obama administration policy of “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” was an executive decision to begin with (and one of questionable legality). The President certainly has the authority to enforce immigration law.
The Obama policy instead assumes the border will remain open and he wants to use taxpayer money to fund the lengthy process of getting children from Central America involved in the American legal system. It is a great excuse to have the government hire even more lawyers.
House Republicans should immediately repeal the Feinstein Amendment and call on the President to do everything within his power to stop this rush on our borders. Let’s see how long Democratic senators up for reelection can allow Reid to bottle up a solution to the flood of foreign children coming into our country.
Three cheers for Senator Coburn and a loud “no” to President Obama is the right response to this mess.
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Yankee Doodle Dandy
A major problem of the federal government is its idea that somehow it can better regulate a state’s environment, for instance, water pollution. Florida is no exception. Positively, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection can do better, much better, if Florida is going have this specialized department. People in Florida are just as concerned and competent as the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection. One should keep in mind that expert Floridians make up the government regulators.
It looked to me to be some sort of joke they intended to play on the producers. On yesterday’s Morning Joe, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin, asked his take on Barack Obama’s Wednesday press conference, said the President came off like a “dick.” That’s his word, not mine.
He said they might need a delay. The production crew may have been asleep at the switch. They did not delay it. It got out there on live television. Halperin apologized. MSNBC suspended him “indefinitely.” He said what a growing number of Republicans, Democrats, and people in the media think.
It’s a problem for Barack Obama.
But another problem is shaping up on the floor of the United States Senate. Marco Rubio, who is rapidly becoming one of the most impassioned champions for opposing the debt ceiling increase, said that Barack Obama’s class warfare soliloquy was not the rhetoric of the President of the United States, but of a third world leader.
In fact, you could hear a Hugo Chavez or a Fidel Castro or a Robert Mugabe or a Lula da Silva say the same thing. And to be honest, I think this is a message that will resonate with independent voters, a growing number of whom do see Barack Obama as a jerk who tries to reward his friends, punish his enemies, and have the government pick the winners and losers.
Couple that with the President rejecting an invitation to meet with Republicans on Capitol Hill to discuss the debt, while pounding his chest that Congress stay in Washington while he goes out on the campaign trail and he leaves voters with a real disconnect.
If the economy suddenly improves, Barack Obama will win re-election. But thanks to his failed policies that he intends to perpetuate, the economy will not improve. And come 2012 a ham sandwich would beat Barack Obama. Worse for him, a Republican will beat him.
Tony the Tiger, some NASCAR drivers and cookie-selling Girl Scouts will be out of a job unless grocery manufacturers agree to reinvent a vast array of their products to satisfy the Obama administration’s food police.
Either retool the recipes to contain certain levels of sugar, sodium and fats, or no more advertising and marketing to tots and teenagers, say several federal regulatory agencies.
The same goes for restaurants.
It’s not just the usual suspected foods that are being targeted, such as thin mint cookies sold by scouts or M&Ms and Snickers, which sponsor cars in the Sprint Cup, but pretty much everything on a restaurant menu.
Although the intent of the guidelines is to combat childhood obesity, foods that are low in calories, fat, and some considered healthy foods, are also targets, including hot breakfast cereals such as oatmeal, pretzels, popcorn, nuts, yogurt, wheat bread, bagels, diet drinks, fruit juice, tea, bottled water, milk and sherbet.
Food industries are in an uproar over the proposal written by the Federal Trade Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“The most disturbing aspect of this interagency working group is, after it imposes multibillions of dollars in restrictions on the food industry, there is no evidence of any impact on the scourge of childhood obesity,” said Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers.
The “Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulation Efforts” says it is voluntary, but industry officials say the intent is clear: Do it, or else.
“When regulators strongly suggest a course of action, it’s treated as a rule, not a suggestion,” said Scott Faber, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “Industry tends to heed these suggestions from our regulators, and this administration has made it clear they are willing to regulate if we don’t implement their proposal.”
It’s not just the food industry that will be impacted. Hundreds of television shows that depend on the advertising revenue, such as the Nickelodeon Channel, ESPN, and programs including “American Idol” will be affected, critics of the proposal say—at a cost of $5.8 trillion in marketing expenditures that support up to 20 million American jobs.
If the food is not reformulated, no more ads or promotions on TV, radio, in print, on websites, as well as other digital advertising such as e-mail and text messaging, packaging, and point-of-purchase displays and other in-store marketing tools; product placement in movies, videos, video games, contests, sweepstakes, character licensing and toy branding; sponsorship of events including sport teams and individual athletes; and, philanthropic activity tied to branding opportunities.
That includes softball teams that are sponsored by food companies and school reading programs sponsored by restaurants.
“The Interagency working group recommends that the food industry, through voluntary self-regulatory efforts, make significant improvements in the nutritional quality of foods marketed to children and adolescents ages 2 to 17 years,” the proposal says.
“By the year 2016, all food products within the categories most heavily marketed directly to children should meet two basic nutrition principles. Such foods should be formulated to … make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet and minimize the content of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health and weight.”
The foods most heavily marketed directly to children and adolescents fall into 10 categories: “breakfast cereals, snack foods, candy, dairy products, baked goods, carbonated beverages, fruit juice and non-carbonated beverages, prepared foods and meals, frozen and chilled desserts, and restaurant foods.”
Beth Johnson, a dietician for Food Directions in Maryland, said many of the foods targeted in this proposal are the same foods approved by the federal government for the WIC nutrition program for women, infants and children.
“This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” Johnson said. “It’s not going to do anything to help with obesity. These are decisions I want to make for my kids. These should not be government decisions.”
Did you catch President Obama’s attempt at an Irish accent earlier today? Below, entertain yourself by watching him deliver just a few lines (starts at 0:27):
h/t to National Review Online