Thursday, September 20, 2018

Where the rot began -- in the "Progressive" era

Some history that should not be forgotten

The Constitution of the United States has been abandoned wholly in theory and partially in practice by liberals. This is the result of the progressive movement that arose at the beginning of the 20th century, roughly 1880-1920. Because of this, today, the purpose and scope of the national government has drifted dramatically from the thinking of the American Founders.

While progressives differed on some matters they did have a coherent theory. The aims of progressives and their theory required the rejection of the political theory of the American founding.

Progressives intended and partially succeeded in extending the scope and purpose of the federal government. Why? The answer is simple: First, from the progressive perspective, the limited government established by the Founders was outdated. Second, the social and economic ills of modern society required action. Third, history had progressed to such an extent that a powerful central government no longer posed the threat to life, liberty, and property it did in 1776.

Progressives saw the constitutional limited government of the Founders as a barrier to much-needed progress. Progressives thought that the rise of big corporations and the Industrial Revolution required more extensive government regulation. They desired to move away from the enumerated powers, separation of powers, and federalism of the Constitution to a more active government. The move from the thinking of the Founding Fathers can be seen in several ways.

First, the rejection of natural rights theory, the idea that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights governments are instituted to protect. The end of government, after all, is the establishment of justice.

Second, progressives held to the idea of historical contingency over the constancy of human nature. Progressives held that the social and economic conditions had changed so greatly that the regime of the Founders was inadequate to address the situation.

Third, due to historical progress, government was no longer the threat it was perceived to be by the Founders but could be instead entrusted with increased power to meet the needs of a new era.

Progressives argued that the Constitution is a product of its time, designed to defend against the issues of the day. This stands in contrast to the Founders’ view that it was intended to instantiate the abstract truths applicable to all men at all times found in the Declaration of Independence.

Their aim was to make the national government a dynamic agent, directly responsive to changing social conditions. Practical parts of achieving this was the initiative, referendum, open primary, and passage of the 17th Amendment that brought about the direct election of senators.

Furthermore, progressives shifted how the executive office is viewed and the duties he assumes. For progressives, the executive would provide the unity of direction their movement required.

The product of progressivism, the current administrative state violates the Constitution in three distinct ways. First, the principle of non-delegation. Only Congress has been vested by the Constitution with legislative authority. Instead, agencies now legislate — creating laws and regulations. Second, the combination of functions within an agency violates the separation of powers. Agencies have been given the ability to legislate, adjudicate, and enforce their own rules. Third, the principle of the unitary executive. The administrators of the law should be accountable to the elected president. However, independent agencies violate this principle.

Progressives intended to separate politics from administration. At the same time, they were attempting to make the system more democratic. They tried to shield bureaucrats from political influence under the theory that well-educated, idealistic, and well-paid men would be able to be objective and politically neutral. This separation violates the consent of the governed. Americans do not elect the vast majority of bureaucrats who have a greater influence upon their lives than most politicians.

The administrative state has had doleful effects upon the national government: centralized bureaucracy, irresponsibility of Congress, and the compliance of the judiciary in bowing before administrators and their expertise.

Because of the administrative state, Americans are faced with a grave problem: Elections no longer change the character of government. The nature of the administrative state is insidious and is a different answer than that of the Founders to the political question of who should rule. Despite Republican elections in the past, little has been achieved to change the direction of the government. This led to dissatisfaction among the people and is perhaps best summarized in the phrase “drain the swamp.” The reaction of Washington bureaucrats to the election of Donald Trump, duly elected in accordance with the Constitution by the people, has shown the depth of this problem.

As Americans go to cast their vote in elections this November they should consider whether those they vote for and the party they are a part of support in practice the rule of the people or the rule of experts. It is time for Americans to choose men and women who will support the Trump administration’s goal of making the government accountable to the people who elect them and whose taxes pay their salary.



Governor Moonbeam cements his place as a member of the vicious left

California Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown threatened President Donald Trump on Monday, calling him a “saboteur” before snapping and saying, “Something’s got to happen to this guy, because if we don’t get rid of him, he’s going to undermine America and even the world.”

During an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Brown was asked about Hurricane Florence rocking the East Coast and Trump denying climate change.

When asked for his response, Brown went on an unhinged diatribe and called the president a liar.

    “First, I want to say that it’s really extraordinary that the president can deny science like that, but he’s done so many other terr—what’s the word, I don’t even have an adjective. It’s bad, and how we counteract it is with a climate summit, with normal people respecting the truth, and communicating that with other normal people, and combating the President of the United States in what are lies, distortions, and quite frankly, bizarre behavior.”

Mitchell then mentioned that Trump pulled the U.S. from he Paris climate change agreement earlier this year, asking Brown if that will essentially lead to the end of the world.

Brown again took the bait from the left-wing host and called Trump an “enabler of climate negligence” and said the president is a “saboteur.”

    “Trump is an enabler. We often hear the term ‘enabler.’ He’s an enabler of climate negligence and climate avoidance. So that’s what’s bad about it. So we have to make sure that all these other countries, whether it’s Russia, or Poland, or South America, Brazil, whatever the heck it is, everybody’s gotta step up, and the President of the United States should be the cheerleader, the exemplar, and instead, he’s the saboteur.”

Mitchell rounded out the interview by giving Brown a third chance to attack Trump, asking him about conflicting reports from Puerto Rico about the death toll from last year’s hurricane.

    “Well, the problem is, we never had a president who was engaged in this kind of behavior. I mean he’s not telling the truth; he keeps changing his mind; he’s sabotaging the world order in many respects. So it’s unprecedented, it’s dangerous, and hopefully this election is going to send a strong message to the country; the Democrats will win and then Trump — well, something’s got to happen to this guy, because if we don’t get rid of him, he’s going to undermine America and even the world.”

Brown is correct that something is going to happen to Trump — he’s going to easily win re-election in 2020 because the Democratic Party continues to push far-left, radical, and dangerous policies that a majority of Americans do not support.

Brown’s comments are indicative of how scared the Left truly is of Trump; where they cannot offer better ideas or solutions, so they just threaten and smear him.

Brown’s comments are very troubling, and he should not be allowed to threaten the president of the United States without facing any reprimand.



Census Bureau: Hispanic Household Income Hits Record High

The median household income for U.S. households in which the
householder is Hispanic hit a record high of $50,486 in 2017, according to the Census Bureau’s annual income report, which was released last week.

“[W]e can confirm that real median household income was higher in 2017 than in any prior year for which we have data,” the Census Bureau told in specific reference to Hispanic household income.

The $50,486 Hispanic median household income in 2017 (as reported in Table A-1 of the Census Bureau report) was an increase of $1,786—or 3.7 percent--from the Hispanic median household income in 2016, which was $48,700 in constant 2017 dollars.

In its report—“Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017”—the Census Bureau cautioned on making historical comparisons between the report’s overall median household income numbers for years before and after 2013 because of changes the Census Bureau made in its survey in 2014.

“Although 2017 [overall] median household income appears to be the highest median household income ever reported from the CPS ASEC, comparisons to estimates prior to 2013 must be made with caution as the income questions were redesigned in the 2014 CPS ASEC (for income in 2013),” said the report.

However, in response to an inquiry from as to whether the Hispanic median household income for 2017 was in fact a record, the Census Bureau confirmed that it was.

When the Census Bureau redesigned the survey in 2014, it ran what it called a “split panel” test to determine how the redesign impacted the numbers.

“To better understand how the survey changes would affect income estimates, the 2014 CPS ASEC used a split-panel design,” the report said. “In the split-panel design, about 70 percent of the sample was randomly selected to receive the traditional income questions, which matched those administered prior to 2014. The other 30 percent of the sample received the redesigned questions.”

In response to’s inquiry as to whether Hispanic median household income had set a record in 2017, the Census Bureau confirmed that Hispanic income did not come out higher because of the redesign and that, therefore, the 2017 Hispanic median household income number was in fact a record.

“For Hispanics, income was not higher in the redesign than in the traditional sample in our split panel test,” the Census Bureau said. “Because of this, we can confirm that real median household income was higher in 2017 than in any prior year for which we have data.”



Administration Sets Record-Low Refugee Admission Ceiling; Will Prioritize Asylum Applications of Those Already in the US

The Trump administration has proposed a refugee admission ceiling for fiscal year 2019 of 30,000 – which would be the lowest ceiling set by an administration since the Refugee Act was passed in 1980 – but is arguing that that number should be viewed in the context of broader humanitarian programs.

Specifically, the administration says it wants to prioritize helping displaced people closer to their home countries, and to focus also on addressing a backlog of more than 800,000 individuals already in the United States with pending asylum cases.

In the coming fiscal year, therefore, it proposes to admit up to 30,000 refugees but also process more than 280,000 asylum-seekers already in the U.S., Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the State Department on Monday.

The proposed 30,000 refugee admission ceiling compares to one of 45,000 in FY 2018, which was itself a record low in the almost four decades since the Refugee Act’s passage.

As of Monday – with just 13 days of the fiscal year to go – the actual number of admissions in FY 2018 stands at just 20,918, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

That is by far the lowest number of admissions since 1980: The next smallest number was in FY 2002, when 27,131 refugees were resettled (61 percent fewer than that year’s ceiling of 70,000 – a disparity attributed to security concerns after 9/11.)

In comments seen as an attempt to preempt anticipated criticism, Pompeo said the refugee admission ceiling should not be viewed in isolation. “Some will characterize the refugee ceiling as the sole barometer of America’s commitment to vulnerable people around the world,” he said. “This would be wrong.”

Pompeo said other countries highlight their assistance both to refugees and asylum-seekers – and the U.S. should do the same.

“This year’s refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in our country, leading to a massive backlog of outstanding asylum cases and greater public expense.”

“In consideration of both U.S. national security interests and the urgent need to restore integrity to our overwhelmed asylum system, the United States will focus on addressing humanitarian protection cases of those already in the country.”

International law defines a refugee as someone who has fled his or her home country and is unable or unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution on grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

An asylum-seeker is someone seeking international protection but whose claim has not been finalized. Not all asylum-seeker are recognized and resettled as refugees.

As Pompeo observed, other countries that take in sizeable numbers of displaced people usually cite both refugee and asylum seeker admissions.

For instance the European Union’s statistical agency Eurostat reports that the 28 member-states resettled just 23,925 refugees in total in calendar year 2017, but during the same period also made positive decisions on asylum applications for 538,120 individuals.

Pompeo said that since 2000, more than 1.5 million people have been admitted as refugees or granted asylum in the United States.

“Since 2001, the U.S. has permanently admitted 4.1 million total lawful permanent residents from refugee-producing nations.”

Hundreds of thousands of people had received temporary or permanent humanitarian protection under other immigration categories, such as victims of human trafficking and special immigrant juveniles.

The total U.S. humanitarian assistance worldwide in FY 2017 was more than $8 billion, “more than any other country.”

‘Defective’ vetting

Pompeo said the 30,000 refugee admission ceiling for the fiscal year starting October 1 “reflects our commitment to protect the most vulnerable around the world while prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of the American people, as President Trump has directed.”

He stressed the importance of security vetting for applicants, “to prevent the entry of those who might do harm to our country.”

Previous vetting procedures have been shown to be “defective,” he said, pointing to the admission this year of a foreign national who was later found to be a member of ISIS, along with others who had criminal backgrounds.

Pompeo said the more than 68 million people forcibly displaced worldwide were far more than could ever be resettled or granted asylum status in host countries each year.

It was critical to make it clear that U.S. support for the most vulnerable extends well beyond the U.S. immigration system.

He said the U.S. was maintaining its “enduring humanitarian commitments, by working to assist refugees and other displaced people as close to their home countries as possible, thereby increasing the number of displaced people who receive aid and protection.”

The U.S. will prioritize efforts to enable the safe and voluntary return of refugees to their countries of origin, “if and when conditions permit – a solution most refugees prefer”

“The best way to help most people is to promote burden-sharing with partners and allies, to work to end conflicts that drive displacement in the first place, and to target the application of foreign aid in a smarter way.”

Pompeo said the focus on helping refugees overseas also allows the U.S. to maximize its resources. “We can house, feed and provide medical care for hundreds of thousands more refugees closer to their homes, and do so more rapidly than we could possibly do here in the United States.”

He said the “improved refugee policy” of the Trump administration serves the U.S. national interest and expands its ability to help the needy around the world.

“We will continue to assist the world’s most vulnerable while never losing sight of our first duty – serving the American people.”

“We are, and continue to be, the most generous nation in the world.”



Leftists see only the bits they want to see


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