Archive for BigGovernment

Chris Christie Refuses to Visit Border during Mexico Trip: 'This Is Silliness'

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After refusing to commit to discussing immigration, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) mocked those who said he should visit the border when he travels to Mexico on Wednesday. 

“What would I do exactly? Like, you know, bring troops with me or something? I mean come on,” Christie said at a recent news conference before his three-day trip to Mexico with business executives who favor more open borders, reports NJ.com.

“This is silliness. If I went down there and looked at it, what steps am I supposed to take exactly? Send the New Jersey National Guard there?” he added.

Christie has been criticized as a lightweight on foreign policy issues, and his dismissive comments come at a time when, as Breitbart Texas has reported, ISIS is reportedly planning terrorist attacks across the border. In fact, “Federal agents across the entire U.S.-Mexico border have received the ISIS terror warning.”

In addition, the biggest public policy debate during the last two months has centered around illegal immigrant juveniles–90% of whom are teenagers–who have flooded across the border. Illegal immigration is now one of the top three most important issues to most Americans, according to nearly every national poll conducted since June. And the issue is impacting midterm races in states far from the border, like New Hampshire, since the federal government has released illegal immigrants into every state. 



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President Obama on Ebola: 'Stopping This Disease Won't Be Easy'

President Obama issued a video message to Africans struggling in their fight to stop the outbreak of the Ebola virus, particularly residents of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria.

In a video released by the State Department, Obama took time to explain the facts of the Ebola outbreak, reminding viewers that it was impossible to contract the disease through the air, but was passed through bodily fluids of an infected person.

“Stopping this disease won’t be easy, but we know how to do it,” he said assuredly, “You are not alone.”

Obama also warned Africans not to touch the dead bodies of people infected with Ebola, referring to the widely practiced tradition of touching and kissing the body before burial.

“We can save lives and our countries can work together to improve public health so this kind of outbreak doesn’t happen again,” Obama said.



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Reports: Feds Lose Track of 6,000 Foreigners on Student Visas Who Could 'Do Us Harm'

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The federal government has reportedly lost track of more than 6,000 foreigners on student visas, some of whom may be in the country “to do us harm.”

According to an ABC News investigation, “58,000 students overstayed their visas in the past year. Of those, 6,000 were referred to agents for follow-up because they were determined to be of heightened concern.” ABC found that “the number of foreign nationals obtaining visas to study in the U.S. has grown from 662,966 in 2003 to more than 1.2 million in 2012.”

Peter Edge, “the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official who oversees investigations into visa violators,” told ABC News that some of the foreign nationals “could be here to do us harm” and his “greatest concern is that they could be doing anything.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told ABC News that foreigners with student visas just “get the visas and they disappear.” He “said since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, 26 student visa holders have been arrested in the U.S. on terror-related charges.” Some of the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center attack had overstayed their student visas, but immigration officials continue to “grant schools certification to accept overseas applicants even if the schools lack accreditation, state certification, or any obvious measure of academic rigor.”

For instance, there are “more than 9,000 schools on the government approved list,” and many of the for-profit schools may be in the business of profiting off of visas.

“We know we have a lot of non-accredited universities that are using this system to bring people in, collect money, and not educate them at all,” Coburn told ABC News. “To me, it’s a mess.”

ABC found that “86 beauty schools, 36 massage schools and nine schools that teach horseshoeing” are on the approved list, and foreigners “can enter the U.S. on a visa to study acupuncture, hair braiding, or join academies that focus on tennis and golf.” It is reportedly up to these schools “to keep track of the visa-holder’s whereabouts” and “report to the government if they repeatedly miss class.” That may go against the business model of some of the schools. 

For instance, the investigation found that “80 percent of the foreign students enrolled at MicroPower,” a career institute licensed in New York, “had delinquent attendance, putting them out of compliance with their visas. But the school did not report them.” ICE is reportedly hiring more agents to investigate these schools — years after they have been given approval to grant student visas. In the meantime ICE agents are reportedly “trying to locate every one of the 6,000 missing students,” but ICE still may not have sufficient resources to deport the students even if they find them.

Chris Crane, head of the ICE officers’ association, and Ken Palinkas, President of the USCIS agents’ association, have both repeatedly emphasized the federal government’s lax enforcement of its immigration laws, especially when it comes to visa overstays. Palinkas wrote last year that “large swaths” of the country’s immigration laws “are not effectively enforced for legal immigrants and visa holders” and Crane has testified that ICE lacks the resources and, as a result, “in most cases immigration agents cannot arrest persons solely because they have entered the United States with a visa and then overstayed that visa and failed to return to their country.”



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Union Bosses Scramble to Save Democrat Agenda

On Monday, as millions of American workers gathered with family and friends to celebrate and mark the end of summer, the nation’s union bosses were preparing to inject tens of millions of dollars from their members’ paychecks into the midterm elections in November. Unions have already spent $70 million to protect the Democrat majority in the Senate. Even this amount is likely to be dwarfed by a flood of money and manpower in the final weeks of the campaign. 

Union money, which is continually replenished through dues from members’ pay, is just the most public expression of union political power. More critical in many campaigns are the thousands of rank-and-file union members the bosses can mobilize to provide on-the-ground manpower. Many union members are given election day off from work, allowing them to work the polls for Democrats and help boost turnout. 

To a point, this is a snapshot of recent political history in America. Projecting political power has always been a part of labor’s tool-box. What’s unusual is that this political power, in recent years, has been employed to defend a Democrat party policy agenda that is generally unrelated to workplace or labor issues. 

Soon after Obama’s reelection, a top political priority for Senate Democrats was enacting sweeping new gun control legislation. A second priority has been implementing ObamaCare, which itself is built on a new tax on union health care benefits. Senate Democrats have also spent a considerable amount of political capital on amnesty and dramatically boosting the number of unskilled workers in labor force. 

On the economic front, Senate Democrats have tried to slow down domestic energy exploration and production and blocked a vital new pipeline. The party has abetted an effort to close hundreds of coal mines and utility plants and supported even more environmental regulations on new construction. The entire energy sector, which provides lots of high-paying union jobs, is reeling from self-inflicted wounds championed by Democrats in the Senate. 

Even the very high-profile push to raise the minimum wage would do little to offset these economic losses. While debate may rage over how many jobs are lost due to higher mandated wages, few would argue that the policy boosts employment. In any case, most union collective bargaining agreements are exempt from federal rules and regulations concerning wages. The policy provides very little benefit for rank-and-file union members, even though political spending from their earnings are a critical support for legislating a wage hike. 

So, while union political power and money will be critical to protecting the Democrat majority in the Senate, it won’t translate into policies that are relevant, or even popular, with most union members. Defending Senate Democrats will enhance the political clout of union leaders in Washington, but it will do little to increase the economic opportunity or values of its members. 

The political story of the 21st Century is the growing gulf between average Americans and a political elite in Washington. Even the vaunted union hall is now just another piece on the political chess board.  



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Florida Newspaper: Jeb Bush's Embrace of Common Core Hurts 2016 Chances

One of Florida’s top political editors labeled former Florida Governor Jeb Bush the “loser of the week” and noted that his full-throated embrace of Common Core is making it less likely that he would secure the GOP nomination if he decides to run for President of the United States.

“Bush’s strength as a presidential candidate looks much more dubious today than a few months ago, amid widespread backlash against education accountability policies closely associated with him,” veteran Florida politics observer Adam Smith wrote at the Tampa Bay Times.

Smith noted that “the Lee County School Board voted to opt out of Common Core,” which Jeb Bush’s education foundation criticized. On the contrary, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal “sued the federal government over Common Core, while Rick Scott is scrambling to distance himself from Common Core and standardized testing.”

In addition to crony capitalism concerns, Bush’s other major liability, should he choose to run, is his support of amnesty. He has said that illegal immigration is an “act of love,” repeatedly called for a pathway to citizenship for all the country’s illegal immigrants, and advocated for more foreign guest-worker visas at a time when the U.S. economy has a surplus of American workers.



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Study: Net Job Growth in NC Since 2000 Went to Immigrants

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The net increase in the number of employed working-age adults in North Carolina has gone entirely to legal and illegal immigrants since 2000, according to an analysis of government data conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies.

According to the limited immigration group, while the “native” working age (16-65 years old) North Carolina population has increased by 61 percent since 2000, the share of “natives” in that state’s work force has declined. 

“The total number of working-age (16 to 65) immigrants (legal and illegal) holding a job in North Carolina increased by 313,000 from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014, while the number of working-age natives with a job declined by 32,000 over the same time,” the report reads, explaining that in the past 14 years has seen the labor-force participation of natives in North Carolina in decline.

The study comes as North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan — who voted for the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” immigration bill last summer that would have provided a path to legalization to the undocumented population and significantly increased the number of guest workers in the United States — is engaged in a tight re-election bid against Republican challenger Thom Tillis. 

“A huge number of working-age people in North Carolina are not working, and labor force participation remains at record lows. Thus, it is remarkable that any of the state’s political leaders would support legislation that would actually increase the number of foreign workers allowed into the country,” Steven Camarota, CIS’s head of research and the report’s lead author, said in a statement. 

CIS, in recent weeks, has been publishing studies showing the negative impact of immigration on work force participation among “natives” in certain states and across the country.

According to CIS the two major conclusions from their study include: 

-First, the long-term decline in employment for natives in North Carolina and the enormous number of working-age natives not working clearly indicate that there is no general labor shortage in the state. Thus, it is very difficult to justify the large increases in foreign workers (skilled and unskilled) who would be allowed into the country by a bill like S.744 that many of the state’s politicians support.

-Second, North Carolina’s working-age immigrant population grew 146 percent from 2000 to 2014, one of the highest rates of any state in the nation. Yet the number of natives working in 2014 was actually lower than in 2000. This undermines the argument that immigration increases job opportunities for natives.



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Eric Cantor Accepts New Job, Uniting Wall Street With Washington

Throughout his political career, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was closely tied to Wall Street bankers.

Cantor helped the financial industry in Congress, and Wall Street executives returned the favor by flocking to his many fundraisers for Republican candidates.

The former Majority leader raised over $3 million from donors tied to the financial industry during his career according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Now Cantor is uniting his two worlds by accepting a job with Moelis & Co. with plans to open a Washington office, and he will be paid handsomely to do it. Business Insider reports his initial compensation will be $3.4 million.

Since losing his primary election in June in a shocking upset, Cantor has been looking for new opportunities in the business world. After Rep. Kevin McCarthy was elected to replace Cantor as House Majority Leader, Cantor resigned his congressional seat in August, rather than finish his term in Congress.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Moelis hired Cantor for his “judgment and experience.”

“I have no need for a political figurehead,” he said. “What I want is a partner.”

Cantor’s new position will be as a vice chairman and a board member of the financial firm.



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Portland Cops Shoot Armed Man Trying to Carjack Vehicles on Interstate Ramp

On September 1, a police officer in Portland, Oregon, shot a man standing on a ramp on I-84 pointing a gun at passing cars.

Police say they received a number of 911 calls around 10:00 a.m. which “reported that a man was walking along the ramp with a gun, and it appeared he was trying to carjack motorists.”

According to the AP, when police arrived, the man was noncompliant, even directed his weapon at police. “The man ran from the freeway after he was struck by a bullet, and he collapsed on a nearby street.”

Police negotiators managed to get him to surrender before things escalated further, and he was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

Officers have not said whether the gun the suspect possessed was real or fake. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.  Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.



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Common Core Blockbuster: Mathematician Dr. Jim Milgram Warns Common Core Will Destroy America's Standing in Technology

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During a Friday conference call sponsored by Texas-based Women on the Wall, Stanford mathematician and former member of the Common Core Validation Committee Dr. James Milgram, told listeners that if the controversial standards are not repealed, America’s place as a competitor in the technology industry will ultimately be severely undermined.

“In the future, if we want to work with the top level people, we’re going to have to go to China or Japan or Korea… and that’s the future we’re looking at,” Milgram said during the call that was part of a day-long Twitter campaign to target Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s (R) decision merely to “rebrand” the Common Core standards in his state, even though he has a Republican supermajority in the legislature and an appointed state board of education.

Pence was in Dallas Friday for Americans for Prosperity’s Defending the American Dream summit, considered to be an essential stop for presidential hopefuls.

In less than 40 minutes, Milgram floored listeners with information about the Common Core standards, how they will affect the nation’s students and, ultimately, the country itself, and what parents and citizens can do to try to stop them. Listen to the podcast in full below:

Milgram began by addressing the reason why he was on the call: to let Pence know that his “rebrand” of the Common Core was a betrayal of Indiana’s citizens.

Born and raised in Indiana himself, Milgram that it was important to him as a fellow Hoosier that the state do a decent job with replacement standards after repealing the Common Core.

“The state actually paid me to evaluate new standards,” he said about his involvement in the review process.

The Stanford professor then explained to listeners a key reason why the Common Core standards will prevent students from moving into STEM careers.

Milgram said he was “incredibly disappointed that the drafts I was reading [of Indiana’s new standards] looked so much like the Common Core,” but was nevertheless happy to see that advanced math classes like pre-calculus, calculus, and trigonometry were left into the replacement standards.

“These were very well-done and absolutely impossible to teach if all these kids had were Core standards,” Milgram explained. “It was a complete disaster because even the things that they added—that were of high quality—were added to standards that couldn’t support them.”

Milgram described his experience in the 1990s when he was asked to assist with a project that would replace California’s “disastrous” education standards. The mathematician said he strongly recommended that students in the 8th grade take Algebra and that his recommendation was heeded.

From the time the new standards were put in place and until the time of the adoption of Common Core standards in California in 2010, Milgram said two-thirds of the students in the state were taking Algebra in the 8th grade and doing well, with over half of them at least proficient or above.

Milgram said this piece of information is critical because it showed that it was possible for almost every student to handle Algebra in the 8th grade.

“The group that made by far the most progress were the minorities – blacks and Hispanics – who had essentially been written off by the system,” Milgram explained, and then went on to reveal how the fact that challenging minority students – resulting in their increased performance – was a threat to faculty in universities.

“So, their numbers were increasing dramatically and I frankly think that the… faculty in the education schools throughout the country actually got extremely scared by this,” he continued, “because it contradicted everything that they’ve been telling us for the past hundred years about how education works and what one can expect and how one should train teachers.”

Milgram asserted that a strong education in mathematics is essential for success.

“If you don’t have a strong background in mathematics then your most likely career path is into places like McDonald’s,” he said. “In today’s world… the most critical component of opening doors for students is without any question some expertise in mathematics.”

Milgram explained that in the high-achieving countries, where about a third of the population of the world outside the United States is located, about 90 percent of citizens have a high school degree for which the requirements include at least one course in calculus.

“That’s what they [sic] know,” he said. “If we’re lucky, we [sic] know Algebra II. With Algebra II as background, only one in 50 people will ever get a college degree in STEM.”

Milgram warned that with the Common Core standards, unless U.S. students are able to afford exclusive private high school educations that are more challenging, they will be disadvantaged.

“This shows that, from my perspective, Common Core does not come close to the rhetoric that surrounds it,” he continued. “It doesn’t even begin to approach the issues that it was supposedly designed to attack. The things it does are completely distinct from what needs to be done.”

Milgram said, in California, they were able to deal with the problem of their poor academic standards in the 1990s because the curriculum was controlled by the state and the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley threatened to move all its research and manufacturing elsewhere if the problem was not addressed.

“The curricula we were fighting then… they’re back!” he announced. “We are hearing exactly the same kind of things now with Common Core as we heard back in the ’90s!”

“How can you have mathematics problems that don’t have a single answer or correct answer – any answer is correct?” Milgram asked. “Well, of course the answer is mathematically you can’t, and all of this is just a repeat of what went on 20 years ago in California – but this time, it’s national.”

“This time I don’t see any uniform or systematic way of getting rid of it,” Milgram said. “The only way you’re going to get rid of it is state by state and parent group by parent group. And if you’re lucky, industry will join you because high tech is ever a more important part of our economy.”

The bad news, according to Milgram, is that, returning to his experience in California in the ’90s, if students had been in that system with the older, poor standards for three or four years, “the damage couldn’t be undone,” he said.

“All of this should really make you angry at the people who are responsible,” Milgram said, directing himself squarely to the parents listening to him. “And the people who are responsible – I’m going to be blunt about it – are the people in the education schools – they’re the ones who had the ultimate say about all of this and they’re the ones whose beliefs are driving it.”

Milgram explained that a uniform perspective exists on issues in education and what is important to achieve among a vast majority of the faculty in schools of education. Because of this, he said, the same types of standards always come back.

“You must go after the schools of education and the faculty of these schools,” Milgram urged.

Asked about the fact that many industrial giants and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce actually support the Common Core standards, Milgram responded that in the ’90s, research centers in this country were still very much needed. Now, however, he noted that most of the research in top-level firms has moved out of the U.S. IBM’s main research center, he observed, is in India, and other companies have moved their research centers to Russia, Korea, and China.

“Even Microsoft has moved its software development to Beijing,” Milgram noted. The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, is the primary source of private funding of the Common Core standards.

“Production and manufacturing has also moved out of this country,” Milgram added. “The longer this continues, the more we’ll see our major industry move over to other countries and the jobs they generate will go with them.”



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Ferguson Police Begin Wearing Cameras

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Police in the US town roiled by protests after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager are now wearing body cameras in a bid to calm local anger, a news report said.

More than 1,000 protesters again marched Saturday in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, over the August 9 killing of Michael Brown, 18, at the hands of a white police officer.

Some in the St. Louis suburb have also lashed out at the police response to the protests — which turned violent on several occasions — accusing authorities of unnecessarily heavy-handed tactics.

Ferguson police began wearing the cameras on Saturday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, quoting the town’s police chief Tom Jackson as saying the force — which is overwhelmingly white — was donated about 50 body cameras by two companies.

“We are still playing with them,” Jackson reportedly said, adding that each officer will get one to use.

“The quality is good,” he said.

Critics believe police will be more accountable if they wear cameras, which will also allow judges and juries to view for themselves police action in disputed incidents.

A grand jury is hearing evidence to determine whether police officer Darren Wilson, 28, used excessive force in fatally shooting Brown, who was hit at least six times.



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