House Hearing Examines Presidential Overreach in Light of Constitutional Balance of Powers

Tuesday’s House hearing, The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws, was more gripping than a wonky examination of law might suggest. Constitutionalist Tea Party Republicans were in attendance, while the Democrat side of the dais was somewhat empty. Perhaps members of the President’s party didn’t want to be seen defending him, now that Obamacare has become the disaster without end.

The House is the branch of government most damaged by the “imperial President” (a phrase used by liberal Prof. Jonathan Turley in his testimony).

The opening statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte was straightforward and specific.

Statement of Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Full Committee Hearing “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws” December 3, 2013

Chairman Goodlatte: Today’s hearing is about the President’s role in our constitutional system.

Our system of government is a tripartite one, with each branch having certain defined functions delegated to it by the Constitution.  The President is charged with executing the laws; the Congress with writing the laws; and the Judiciary with interpreting them.

The Obama Administration, however, has ignored the Constitution’s carefully balanced separation of powers and unilaterally granted itself the extra-constitutional authority to amend the laws and to waive or suspend their enforcement. [. . .]

From Obamacare to immigration, the current administration is picking and choosing which laws to enforce.  But the Constitution does not confer upon the President the “executive authority” to disregard the separation of powers by unilaterally waiving, suspending, or revising the laws.  It is a bedrock principle of constitutional law that the President must “faithfully execute” Acts of Congress.  The President cannot refuse to enforce a law simply because he dislikes it. [. . .]

In place of the checks and balances established by the Constitution, President Obama has proclaimed that “I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer” and that “where [Congress] won’t act, I will.”  Throughout the Obama presidency we have seen a pattern: President Obama circumvents Congress when he doesn’t get his way.

For instance, while Congress is currently debating how to reform our immigration laws, the President effectively enacted the DREAM Act himself by ordering immigration officials to stop enforcing the immigration laws against certain unlawful immigrants. [. . .]

Also noteworthy was Congressman Trey Gowdy, the former prosecutor, who asked witnesses on the panel of lawyers, “If you can suspend mandatory minimum and immigration laws, why not election laws?” referring to the President.

Professor Turley expressed his deep concern with the slow-moving Constitutional crisis and its harm done to the House of Representatives:

TURLEY (starting 6.45): The great concern I have for this body is that it is not only being circumvented, but it is also being denied the ability to enforce its inherent powers. Many of these questions are not close in my view; the President is outside the line. But it has to go in front of a court and that court has to grant review, and that’s where we have the most serious Constitutional crisis I view in my lifetime. And that is, this body is becoming less and less relevant.

Iowa Congressman Steve King is not a lawyer, but he is well read on the Constitution. His questioning of Prof Turley brought another statement of concern about how this President is destroying the brilliant system created by the framers:

TURLEY (starting at 5.28): I have great trepidation of where we are headed, because we are creating a new system here – something that is not what was designed. We have a rising fourth branch in a system that was tripartite. The center of gravity is shifting and that makes it unstable. And ithin that system, you have the rise of an Uber-Presidency. There could be no greater danger for individual liberty. I really think that the Framers would be horrified by that shift, because everything they dedicated themselves to was creating political balance – and we’ve lost it.

You can view the entire hearing using C-SPAN online: Presidential Powers and the Constitution.

Speaker John Boehner Hires Amnesty Advocate for Staff

For those who think they can turn over and go back to sleep about amnesty, there’s this: the Speaker of the House just engaged an amnesty proponent experienced in crafting legislation. Rebecca Tallent earlier was employed in top positions for Senator John McCain and before that, Congressman Jim Kolbe who have been enthusiastic exponents of legalization.

Most recently she worked at the Bipartisan Policy Center, as the director of immigration policy.

Many friends of national sovereignty sighed in relief when Speaker Boehner announced on November 13 that the House would not conference with the Senate on its execrable amnesty bill. But the billionaires desiring cheap foreign labor are patient and know that the present GOP leadership is on their side, although quietly. So the Speaker apparently has another amnesty move in mind.

Boehner hires legalization advocate to advise on immigration, Washington Times, By Stephen Dinan, December 3, 2013

House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Tuesday he has hired a longtime advocate of immigration legalization to be his policy adviser, encouraging immigration activists but angering those who want to see a crackdown and who say Mr. Boehner’s move signals he still wants an “amnesty” bill to pass.

Rebecca Tallent, whom Mr. Boehner’s office confirmed it was hiring, worked on immigration issues for Sen. John McCain and former Rep. Jim Kolbe. Both of those Arizona Republicans led the push for legalization within the GOP. Ms. Tallent will leave her job as immigration policy director at the Bipartisan Policy Center to start in Mr. Boehner’s office on Wednesday.

“Tallent’s hiring suggests he really does still want to push an amnesty through the House, which to me suggests that the immigration hawks still have their work cut out for them,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which wants to see a crackdown. Continue reading this article

LA Times Investigates Anti-Sovereignty Cardinal Mahony, Sort of

Monday’s front page of the Los Angeles Times had a headline that was ever-so-slightly critical of the former Catholic Cardinal who presided over the local diocese: “INTO THE LIGHT, As the clergy abuse scandal unfolds, Roger Mahony’s moral authority — and his legacy — erodes.”

It was part of a feature article that was unduly kind to a man who protected pedophile priests for decades and caused immeasurable psychological damage to many children. The two-day article was a careful mixture of analysis that investigated Mahony’s agenda of promoting illegal immigration and expanding his own political power, and how that scheme was somewhat thwarted by his criminal protection racket of keeping pedophile priests safe from authorities.

One measure of Mahony’s leadership: in 2007, Mahony wrote a $600 million check to settle sex abuse claims, the largest amount ever in the United States for such crimes.

When Detective Gary Lyons recalled Mahony and his lawyers representing pedophile priests for the article, he characterized them as criminals: “They lied as bad as any thug or ex-con I’ve ever come across on the street. They were more interested in saving the reputation of the church than helping us find these young victims.”

Pundit Tucker Carlson recognized the cardinal’s failure of integrity in 2006, observing, “And yet despite all this, Mahony still has the gall to lecture the rest of us about our moral inferiority because we don’t support illegal immigration. At this point, Roger Mahony is not in a position to tell anybody anything. He’s lucky he’s not in jail.”

Yet Mahony continues to preach about the wonders of illegal immigration on the blog that he writes from a deluxe diocese apartment rather than a cell. As I reported in More Nails in the Moral Coffin of Cardinal Mahony, he used that blog to compare supporters of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law to Nazis.

The LA Times’ criticism was not exactly timely, since Mahony retired from his position in February 2011 and was replaced by a genuine Mexican. It may seem a little odd that an investigation of a powerful local figure would come so late, but the report follows the release of thousands of pages of documents related to Mahony’s extra-legal machinations.

The original story on latimes.com has interesting graphics like Mahony praying and an expanding chart of nearly 50 priests accused of abusing children over his tenure. The illegal alien issue is sprinkled throughout.

For Roger Mahony, clergy abuse cases were a threat to agenda, Los Angeles Times, December 01, 2013

From the start of his tenure as the leader of L.A.’s Catholics, Roger Mahony had ambitious plans for the archdiocese. But clergy molestation claims were vying for his attention.

A year after arriving in Los Angeles, the youngest archbishop in the U.S. Catholic Church had a schedule and an agenda befitting a presidential candidate.

Roger Mahony raced around the city in a chauffeured sedan, exhorting labor leaders to support immigrant rights and rallying hundreds against a proposed prison in Boyle Heights.

Where his predecessors had talked up praying the rosary, Mahony touted his positions on nuclear disarmament and Middle East peace, porn on cable TV and AIDS prevention. No issue seemed outside his purview: When an earthquake struck El Salvador, he cut a $100,000 check. When a 7-year-old went missing in South Pasadena, he wrote her Protestant parents a consoling letter.

Reporters took notes and the influential took heed. The mayor, the governor, business executives and millionaires recognized a rising star and sought his company.

Among the thousands of papers that crossed his desk in September 1986 was a handwritten letter.

“During priests’ retreat … you provided us with an invitation to talk to you about a shadow that some of us might have,” Father Michael Baker wrote. “I would like to take you up on that invitation.”

The note would come to define Mahony’s legacy more than any public stance he took or powerful friend he made. Continue reading this article

Surveillance Robot Is Touted as Security Aid (while It Eliminates Jobs)

Monday’s Fox News report on a new “crime prevention” robot was mostly upbeat and tech-friendly, with the only concern being that of privacy. The robot is a essentially a surveillance camera on wheels that also collects personal data.

Tech reporter Peter Pachal noted in the interview that the robot “eliminates that night watchman duty.”

Company co-founder William Santana Li said the mass murder of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School was the inspiration for building the machine. “You are never going to have an armed officer in every school,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail delved into my concern about the robot — the growing loss of American jobs. Over a million private security jobs are at risk from automation.

Workers are now facing employment destruction from three fronts: immigration, outsourcing and automation.

William Li said “We want to give the humans the ability to do the strategic work,” but what about the half of the population who are below average? Don’t the non-rocket scientists get to have jobs?

The dawn of a REAL Robocop? Machines armed with thermal imaging, radar and cameras that its designers say could help prevent another Sandy Hook, Daily Mail, December 1, 2013

A Silicon Valley startup is poised to replace the everyday security guard with high tech robots the company plans to introduce to the world on Thursday.

The 300 pound R5 Autonomous Data Machine looks like a hybrid of R2-D2 and the robot from Lost in Space.

More than just yelling ‘danger,’ manufacturer Knightscope hopes the machines will actually help predict crimes and even cut current rates in half.

And its inventors say it was a recent school shooting that actually inspired them to create the R5.

‘We founded Knightscope after what happened at Sandy Hook,’ Knightscope co-founder William Santana Li told the New York Times.

According to Li, the idea was to put the R5, not just where guards already exist, but where they haven’t yet or may never go.

‘You are never going to have an armed officer in every school,’ he explained.

Knightscope sees the mobile robot as a security tool that will also one day be placed in businesses and even act as a neighborhood watch in residential areas.

The company appears to understand that successfully gaining a foothold in the market could mean the elimination of many of the 1.3 million private security jobs in the United States.

They note the savings companies could gain from firing the already low-paid, largely non-union workers in favor of even cheaper—at least in the long run—robotic guards.

With minimum wages hovering around $8 per hour, the creators of R5 hope the costs of the robot will be closer to $6.25 per hour according to the New York Times.

But they say the role of the guards who keep their jobs will become more like an analyst.

‘We want to give the humans the ability to do the strategic work,’ Li told the Times.

Roma Families Train Kiddies in Pickpocket Skills

In Bulgaria, theft-minded Roma are tutoring the kids to improve their pickpocket abilities in anticipation of the January opening of the border to Britain. Little moppets as young as seven are taught to move in close to their targets and insert their small hands into purses and pockets. In fact, most of the pickpockets are children, since polite westerners are unlikely to kick a cutesy munchkin to the ground after finding a tiny grubbing paw trying to pinch their wallet.

Britons will need to learn to protect their valuables more carefully, particularly when a diverse person bumps into them on the street.

Below, seven-year-old Nikita Nicolov practices pickpocketry on the purse of her willing mother.

This video shows how Romas train their kids in the family business — theft.

Some westerners might be surprised at the complete social acceptance of thievery as a proper career choice. One man says, “Pickpocketing is just part of our heritage.”

It’s another reminder that not all cultures are equal or compatible.

Undercover film exposes ‘Fagin school’ teaching Bulgarians to pick YOUR pocket: Criminal svengali shows young proteges how to ‘dip’… before they come to Britain, Daily Mail, November 30, 2013

A black Mercedes slows to a halt and the driver hurries to open the door for his celebrated passenger.
The tip of a walking stick appears first, then, as it finds the pavement, lean fingers decorated with jewelled rings can be seen gripping its handle.

After a few moments the stick is followed by its owner – a matriarchal old lady wrapped against the winter chill in a thick blue cardigan.

She pulls herself upright as children greet her with cries of delight and a young man obligingly takes her arm.

In this quiet residential district on the fringes of the Bulgarian city of Stara Zagora, 77-year-old Donka Panova is everyone’s favourite Roma grandmother and much revered.

But don’t be fooled by her congenial smile and, above all, don’t get too close . . . she is also Bulgaria’s grande dame of pickpocketing and proud of her sobriquet, Golden Hands.

Down the years Golden Hands has schooled hundreds of children, including her 30 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, in the intricacies of her criminal art – and many of her graduates are now planning to travel to Britain in the New Year when restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants are lifted.

Sitting in a cafe, her grandson Gospodin Panov, 26, emits a low whistle as he contemplates the rich pickings. ‘All those people in London packed on Underground trains with their arms in the air. It will be too easy!’

Gospodin has experience of England already. ‘I was in Portsmouth a few years ago and made £3,000 in one week pickpocketing,’ he says. His grandmother interjects: ‘I started in 1950, in the Communist era, when things were not so easy.

‘These days, I envy the way our young people can travel all over Europe to make money. But in my day I was the best. I was The Pickpocket.’ Continue reading this article

Obama Visits Would-Be Future Democrats on the National Mall

On Black Friday, when American citizens were urged by business and government alike to spend big for the holidays, the President spent some special time with open-borders enthusiasts fasting for amnesty in massive tents on the National Mall.

Below, Obama met with Eliseo Medina, SEIU boss, and other alleged hunger strikers who were all dressed in matching brown hoodies.

Remember that this administration has been generous to the cause of rewarding foreign lawbreakers in the use of federal park land. During the government shutdown in October, the open-air WWII monument on the National Mall was closed to veterans but open for an elaborate immigration rally with speakers and live music.

The current soirée has been quite the social magnet for Democrats. The visitors to the hunger tent have included Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, chief of staff Denis McDonough, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett.

In addition, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the daughter of RFK, dropped by to add that unique Kennedy amnesty mystique. “There is a moral quality to what kind of country we are,” she said after meeting with the dieters.

Right, that would be the Kennedy version of morality where lawbreaking foreigners are imported in the millions to displace honest Americans from their jobs, all in the cause of creating a permanent Democrat majority.

Obama visits activists fasting for immigration, Associated Press, November 29, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday told activists who are fasting to protest House inaction on immigration legislation that their “commitment to change” ultimately will help pressure lawmakers to act.

On the day after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving marked by an abundance of food, Obama stopped in at a heated, white tent on the National Mall where some activists have drunk only water since Nov. 12 in support of immigration legislation.

Obama mentioned the activists in an immigration speech in San Francisco earlier this week. He delivered his message in person on Friday, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama.

“I want everybody to know I remain optimistic that we’re going to get this done,” he said, according to video of his remarks. He said passage of an immigration bill was “more a question of when than if.”

“But I’d rather get this done sooner rather than later,” Obama said. Continue reading this article

Canada's Burqa Daycare Stirs Controversy

Montreal recently experienced some discussion about Muslim diversity after a photo appeared showing burqa creatures shepherding a group of Canadian pre-schoolers:

Why would any parent want their child taught by a masked person? You might as well have robots as daycare personnel. Pre-schoolers have smaller vocabularies than adults and rely more on subtle facial communication. Basic social interactive skills are being learned at that young age and kids with masked teachers are being cheated, not to mention confused.

Every child being taught by a burqa person is being propagandized in the Islamic belief that women are lesser beings and must be covered up entirely to block them from mainstream society.

VladTepesBlog included a local news show with appropriate comments. The ignorance of young liberal women regarding Islamic misogyny is truly appalling.

Niqab-wearing daycare teachers shock photographer, radio host, Montreal CTV News, November 20, 2013

MONTREAL — The latest uproar in the religious accommodation debate concerns a photo of two daycare teachers wearing niqabs leading a group of children on a walk through Verdun.

One of Quebec’s best-known radio hosts interviewed the photographer. The picture is being passed around Facebook and Twitter, complete with denunciations of the veil-wearing women, and praise from some who say their children attend the daycare in question.

The photo popped up last week after being taken on Nov. 15, 2013 during the lunch hour at the corner of Verdun St. and Richard St. in Montreal’s borough of Verdun. Continue reading this article

Bangladeshis Become New York City Ticket Writers

Add to the list of Jobs Americans Won’t Do: parking ticket writer. The New York Times informs its diversity-appreciative readership that Bangladeshi immigrants are creating a mini-surge to take the jobs, at least 400 out of 3000 total.

The job pays $29,000 to start and has good benefits. Only a high-school education is required — why aren’t young New York City citizens encouraged to apply?

Instead, a self-appointed ethnic booster, Showkat Khan, arranges meetings of his countrymen to pitch the job as an opportunity to “get a better life.”

Ninety percent of Bangladeshis are Muslim, but the Times doesn’t even mention that aspect. Do they insist upon having prayer breaks with special places to wash their feet? Inquiring minds want to know.

In addition, Bangladesh was ranked as the most corrupt nation on earth in 2005, yet 100 of the Bangla ticket writers have been promoted to full police officers in the NYPD.

Below, Showkat Khan, Bangldeshi booster, helps his countrymen bone up for the US Civil Service Exam.

This being a diversity puff piece with facts added, we learn that 74,000 Bangladeshis live in New York City. Sometimes the ticket writers hear the suggestion, “Go back to your country” but the foreigners are adjusting now that more of them have learned to speak some English and are less rude (“standoffish”).

Bangladeshis Build Careers in New York Traffic, New York Times, November 28, 2013

Above a Korean fried chicken restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens, Showkat Khan worked the room of mostly Bangladeshi men, speaking Bengali with a few English phrases mixed in, his enthusiastic message of opportunity broadcast through a crackling amp. At one point, he held aloft a copy of New York City’s Civil Service newspaper, The Chief.

“You are here to make money in this country, and to get a better life,” Mr. Khan said.

There was more than one way toward that American dream, he acknowledged, outlining a few options. But one path seemed to stand above the others, if only because Mr. Khan had already paved the way: He is a traffic enforcement agent.

Mr. Khan is part of an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants who earn a living by writing parking summonses for the city, a curious and growing presence navigating the choking traffic and bumper-to-bumper sea of parked cars.

Bangladeshi immigrants, who represent less than 1 percent of the city’s population, now make up between 10 percent and 15 percent of the 3,000 traffic agents, Robert Cassar, the president of the union representing the agents, said. Continue reading this article

SunTV: Robert Spencer Comments on the Pope's Misunderstanding of Islam

There’s little more infuriating than when non-Muslims take it upon themselves to define the “true” Islam — how it’s a “religion of peace” and all the nasty violence is committed by a small minority of extremists. Why should anyone assume that people like George Bush and Bill Clinton have any expertise in Islamic theology? They don’t.

The latest on the dismal list of ignorance about Islam is Pope Francis. Francis recently wrote in a new paper that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”

ROBERT SPENCER: It’s always delicate to say these kinds of things as Catholics, but we have to remember that papal infallibility covers Catholic doctrine, that he can define on matters of morals that are considered part of the whole church but this is about Islamic doctrine over which he doesn’t have any authority. I don’t hesitate to say that this statement is flatly wrong, it’s misleading and it’s a shame because it gives the Christians who are being persecuted by Muslims in Nigeria, in Egypt, in Syria, in Iraq and elsewhere no support; it doesn’t give them any help to deny and dissemble about the root cause of why they are being persecuted in the first place.

Robert Spencer has written at length about the Koranic basis for Islamic violence, citing chapter and verse. The Pope is not helping to protect Europe from the immigration invasion of hostile Muslims by pretending the problem does not exist. His predecessor, Pope Benedict, was somewhat more realistic about the threat, for example speaking against Turkey’s entrance into the European Union before he became Pope.

Pope Francis may think talking nice about Islam will encourage good behavior, when on the contrary it only convinces Allah’s gangsters that the West is pathetically weak.

In Pope Francis’ first foreign foray, he visited the African-inundated island of Lampedusa in July with words of welcome for “immigrants.”

In addition to analyzing the Pope’s naivete, Spencer and TV host Michaal Coren also discussed the death threats in Denmark against an ex-Muslim poet and British schoolchildren bullied with being branded as racist in their permanent record if they didn’t attend an Islam propaganda session.

Big plus, Spencer used the “Immigration” word: “It shows how desperate the British authorities are even at low levels like these primary schools to indoctrinate people into thinking that there’s no jihad threat, there’s no problem with massive unchecked Muslim immigration.”

Nigeria: Muslim Diversity Includes Destruction of Beer

One of the major points of conflict in areas where Muslims and Christians share nations is the attempt of Allah’s willing slaves to institute sharia law for everyone. That means a mostly low-intensity warfare against the rights of any and all non-Muslims. Sometimes things get violent, as in 2000 when nine people died over home-made beer sales (BBC — Nigeria: Deaths over Drink). A recent flare-up of sharia imposition was a major campaign of Muslims and machines against beer in the city of Kano.

Nigerians Muslims used heavy machinery to destroy the dread infidel liquid.

The video below shows great enthusiasm among some beer smashers for their task.

Regular infidel folks in Africa appreciate their brewskies. When the Islamic jackboot was removed in Mali by French troops, the steins were brought out in celebration (see Beer Returns to Mali after Liberation from Sharia). But no such rescue is in the offing for Kano Christians and animists.

Why would any civilized society allow Muslims to immigrate into their country? The US Census counted the number of Nigerian-born persons at 228,953 as of 2011, but without religious affiliation noted.

240,000 bottles of beer smashed by Islamic police in crackdown on ‘immoral’ behaviour, News.com – Australia, November 28, 2013

IT’S enough to make a grown man cry.

Police enforcing Islamic law in the Nigerian city of Kano have publicly destroyed nearly a quarter of a million bottles of beer as part of a crackdown on “immoral” behaviour.

The banned booze had been confiscated from trucks coming into the city in recent weeks, according to officials from the Hisbah, the patrol tasked with enforcing the strict sharia law.

After destroying some 240,000 bottles, the city’s Hisbah chief Aminu Daurawa said he had “the ardent hope this will bring an end to the consumption of such prohibited substances”.

A large bulldozer was used to smashed the bottles to shouts of “Allahu Ahkbar” (God is Great) from supporters outside the Hisbah headquarters in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north. Continue reading this article

California Rainfall Outlook Is Dreary

Water supply in California is such a serious issue that even journalists report on it.

Of course, scribblers describe the problem in terms of supply only (rainfall, reservoir levels and snowpack), never the growing demand (immigration-fueled population growth).

In recent decades, following a bad state-wide drought in the mid 1970s, Los Angeles installed millions of water-conserving toilets and shower heads, with excellent results. However, conservation can only go so far when endless population growth is the government’s policy.

Another dry year could be bad news for California, Los Angeles Times, October 14, 2013

[. . .] The widespread use of low-flow indoor fixtures helped drive down per capita water use in Southern California in recent decades. The region uses about the same amount of water it did 20 years ago, despite population growth.

Overall, Los Angeles uses less water than it did four decades ago, even though it has added more than 1 million residents during that time. Per person water use in Los Angeles is 123 gallons a day, compared to 187 gallons in the mid 1980s.

Seasonal predictions of rainfall are still unreliable, but the consensus of science prognosticators is not hopeful for overpopulated California.

Weather models say California likely to remain dry this winter, Los Angeles Times, November 28, 2013

Dry conditions are likely to persist this winter across the Southland and most of California, according to a seasonal forecast prepared for the state Department of Water Resources.

But long-term forecasts always come with a big dose of uncertainty, and that is especially true this winter, when neither El Niño nor La Niña is expected to dominate weather patterns.

“We have to take it with a grain of salt,” said Jeanine Jones, DWR’s interstate resources manager. “But it’s a reminder that we should think about being prepared for 2014 being dry.”

The forecast, developed by a University of Colorado scientist, is based on statistical models that look at global weather patterns and compare them with the historical record to see what happened in California under those conditions.

The scientist, Klaus Wolter of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, predicted mostly dry conditions for the state, especially Southern California. But he said there was a slight chance that El Niño conditions could develop in the spring, bringing some late-season wet weather to the Southland.

The outlook for the Colorado River basin, an important Southern California water source that is stuck in a severe, long-term drought, was a bit better. Winter precipitation in the basin could be near normal to drier than normal, according to the forecast.

“It’s heartening to say we may not be quite that dry” on the Colorado, Jones said, adding that the basin has experienced drought conditions in 11 of the last 14 years.

As a result of the drought years, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the Colorado’s biggest reservoirs, are less than half full.

In California, statewide reservoir storage is about 69% of the norm for the date, thanks in part to record high precipitation in late 2012.

Although this year has thus far been the driest on record in many parts of the state, the calendar year is not what water managers pay attention to. They look at the water year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Continue reading this article

Irish Government Pitches Amnesty Again

Does it ever stop? The Irish are back with yet another plea for legalization for their tribe. There’s a new ambassador from the Emerald Isle, and one of the early actions of Anne Anderson for US-Ireland relations has been to endorse amnesty for Irish lawbreakers.

The illegal Irish boosters have the idea that they deserve special consideration because of the immigration history with this country. They have a sense of entitlement second to none, and seem unaware that the US need for labor is quite different compared with a century ago.

What’s squirrelly in the current report is the assertion that Republican House members were “surprised” that some illegals were non-hispanic Irish persons. In fact, the illegal Irish have been persistently lobbying against American sovereignty for years:

Ahern, Bush discuss immigration reform, Associated Press, March 16, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, at the White House to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, said Friday that he hopes the U.S. Congress will embrace President Bush’s immigration proposal that would affect illegal Irish immigrants in the United States.

“The resolution of this issue would mean enormous amounts to so many Irish men and women,” Ahern said of the 50,000 to 70,000 illegal Irish immigrants in the United States. “I fervently hope that they will, in the not too distant future, be able to step away from the shadows and into the sunshine of this great country.”

The efforts of the Irish Prime Minister was one of numerous campaigns, both governmental and from illegal Irish themselves for amnesty. “We’ve sent busloads of Irish to Washington,” said Kieran O’Sullivan, a Boston-area legalization activist in August.

So it’s rather doubtful that anyone in Congress was unaware about Irish amnesty lobbying. But emphasizing non-hispanic illegal immigration makes for a nice sound bite and allows the Irish to feel special about their lawbreaking.

Irish Government Launches Campaign For New Immigration Law — In The U.S., BuzzFeed, November 2013

Ireland’s new ambassador is actively meeting with House Republicans to try to sway them on immigration reform. “For many of them, they have been surprised. They think of this as a Hispanic issue.”

WASHINGTON — Ireland’s new ambassador to the United States is throwing her nation’s weight behind calls for American comprehensive immigration reform.

Anne Anderson, who began her term as ambassador in September, argues changes to the immigration system are needed to reflect “the historical and contemporary relationship” between the two nations.

She has the backing of the Irish parliament and head of government, Taoiseach Enda Kenny — and she’s “spent a considerable amount of that time talking to [House Republicans] about” immigration reform, Anderson said in an interview with BuzzFeed.

Indeed, Anderson has been holding regular meetings with Republican lawmakers, and the embassy is working with a coalition of Irish-American cultural, business, and civic organizations to organize the estimated 40 million Americans who trace at least part of their ethnic heritage to Ireland.

And while Anderson acknowledged the path to reform is difficult, she argued bringing a non-Latino face to the debate is helping win over some House Republicans.

“For many of them, they have been surprised. They think of this as a Hispanic issue, which is not surprising given the numbers,” Anderson said. “There is increasingly a deeper understanding of the complexities of this issue, and that it’s not just one community,” Anderson explained.

Anderson’s emphasis on immigration comes as Irish-American business and civic organizations have increasingly become involved in the push for a comprehensive reform to the nation’s immigration rules.

Part of the push comes in response to “the situation of the Irish undocumented here.” While the estimated 50,000 to 75,000 undocumented Irish make up a relatively small percentage of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, “in a country the size of Ireland … that makes quite an impact,” Anderson said. Continue reading this article

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