#SOTU: It’s time to stop the “equal pay for equal work” lie…


Facts matter.

Independent Women’s Forum managing director Carrie Lukas tackles the oft-told-by-liberals lie that there is a “wage gap” between what women earn and what men earn for “equal work”:

Yet they [liberals] are behind the curve in using a statistic that is increasingly acknowledged as misleading. As feminist writer Hanna Rosin wrote about the 77-cent statistic in Slate:

I’ve heard the line enough times that I feel the need to set the record straight: It’s not true.

The official Bureau of Labor Department statistics show that the median earnings of full-time female workers is 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers. But that is very different than “77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.” The latter gives the impression that a man and a woman standing next to each other doing the same job for the same number of hours get paid different salaries. That’s not at all the case.

She goes on to describe – as those of us on the right have countless times before – that it’s the different choices men and women make (hours spent working, industry, fields of specialty, time spent out of the workforce, etc.) that are the primary drivers of the wage gap.

We can all debate why it is that women and men make such different choices, and whether that in itself is a problem society ought to seek to solve. Yet it would be nice if first we could all agree to stop misleading Americans by repeating this statistic and pretending that the 23-cent wage gap is evidence of rampant workplace sexism. Mainstream journalists are moving in that direction; it would be nice if the president’s speechwriters would catch on.

I wish we could put this argument to rest because it has been consistently debunked over and over again but who cares about the truth when you’re trying to – almost literally – buy the women’s vote via emotional manipulation by repeating again and again the same false information about their wages in comparison to their male co-workers?  It’s bad enough when Democrat politicos keep uttering this nonsense, but the mainstream media also accepts the assertion as “fact” as this CNN piece demonstrates (hat tip):

Working women and their struggles will form a major part of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, CNN has learned, underscoring the important role women play both in Obama’s domestic agenda and his party’s hopes for this year’s midterm elections.

During his speech, Obama will call for an end to the wage gap between men and women. On average, women earn 77 cents to every dollar a man makes in the workplace

See? Just repeated without questioning, without analyzing. No attempt made at all by CNN to determine whether or not what the President says is factually accurate. Can’t say that I’m surprised, but it’s frustrating nevertheless.

We’ve also seen this same type of shameless pandering from Democrats when it comes to “let’s raise the minimum wage!” arguments.  Do liberals (and their allies in the press) never learn?

2014 election: #Obamacare & a stagnant economy loom large for Democrats

Election 2014

The road ahead.

The Hill has a story up today that points out vulnerable Democrats running for re-election this year will have more than just Obamacare to worry about come November:

President Obama and Democrats may not be able to rely on the economic recovery to bolster their chances in November’s midterm elections.

Even though there has been a raft of positive economic news recently, experts in key battleground states caution that other issues, notably ObamaCare, could loom even larger than the economy.

They also add that congressional races, whether for the House or Senate, can swing as easily on local priorities as on broader questions of the national economy. And in some cases, the local economic story is different from the emerging national trend.

For the GOP to wrest control of the Senate, the party needs to pick up six seats.

In Arkansas, where Republicans fancy their chances of ousting incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, the unemployment rate has edged up over the past 12 months and, at 7.5 percent, is now above the national average.

In Louisiana, where Sen. Mary Landrieu is the Democrat under threat, unemployment has also ticked up year-on-year — but only to 6.3 percent, a figure that is relatively healthy, at least in comparison to the country at large.

A mirror image of that situation is found in North Carolina, a key battleground where the GOP is seeking to topple Sen. Kay Hagan (D). Unemployment has dropped more precipitously in the Tar Heel State than anywhere else in the country, falling a full two percentage points between November 2012 and November 2013. Yet it still remains high, at 7.4 percent.

“I think there is a general sense that the state could be doing better, but I’m not sure the U.S. Senate race is going to be a referendum on the state economy,” said Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. “Healthcare will be huge and the real question for me is how much does the election end up being a referendum on each party’s brand?”

Democrats would of course hope that a rising economy nationally would help their brand. The national unemployment rate is now 7.0 percent which, a significant decrease from 7.8 percent a year ago. At the same time, unemployment remains elevated in historical terms, and much of the drop in the unemployment rate has come from people leaving the workforce.

In spite of the strong dislike of Obamacare across many parts of the country and the fact that many states aren’t seeing the so-called “economic recovery” the Obama administration (and their allies in the mainstream media)  keeps touting, the Republicans are known for blowing elections spectacularly even when conditions on the ground favor them to win. So don’t think 2014 is a lock for the GOP in terms of winning seats in Congress.  All the same, if things keep going south for Democrats as they have been for the last several months, it might just be that the GOP picks up seats by default because so many are sick of being told one thing by Democrats and actually experiencing something much different (and not for the better) later on.

As always, stay tuned.

Prepare for even higher premiums as #Obamacare tax set to hit insurers


Obamacare – bad for your health, your wallet, your …

As if premiums weren’t too high already thanks to the so-called “Affordable Care Act.” Via Fox News:

New Year’s Day marks the start of coverage under ObamaCare for millions of people — but it also marks the start of a massive tax increase which could further inflate premiums.

Beginning Wednesday, the Affordable Care Act imposes an annual fee on health insurers. The fee is projected to bring in $8 billion next year and roughly $100 billion over the next decade, making it one of the biggest under the law.

The health insurance industry has been howling about the “tax” for years, and is trying to rally support for a bill in Congress that would repeal it. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., has 229 co-sponsors — which represents a majority of members in the House.

But the White House will fight any effort to repeal it, and for now the measure is in effect.

On Tuesday, America’s Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni warned that the fee will end up hitting consumers in the form of higher premiums.

“Taxing health insurance makes it more expensive and that undermines the goals of health care reform,” she said.

The health care overhaul impacts what people pay for health insurance on the individual market in a host of ways.

For some, premiums will rise, but they’ll be eligible for subsidies to offset the cost, ultimately bringing down their health care tab. Others, who make too much to qualify for subsidies, will see their health care costs rise. The impact will vary depending on the state, the level of coverage sought and other factors.

Happy New Year! o=>

“Serious cuts” coming from SeaTac, WA biz as $15/hr min wage set to take effect

Minimum wage protest

Why not make it $20? $25? $30? #AskALiberal

Shocking! Via Fox News:

As talk builds on Capitol Hill over hiking the federal minimum wage, one city in Washington state is poised to set the highest rate in the nation.

On Jan. 1, an estimated 1,600 hotel and transportation workers in SeaTac, Wash., will see their pay jump to $15 an hour, a 60 percent increase from the state’s $9.32 minimum wage. 

While many workers look forward to the higher pay, employers are looking for ways to absorb the big increase in labor costs. Some plan on eliminating jobs. 

“We’re going to be looking at making some serious cuts,” said Cedarbrook Lodge General Manager Scott Ostrander. “We’re going to be looking at reducing employee hours, reducing benefits and eliminating some positions.” 

That’s in the short term. Eventually, those jobs and more are expected to return as the Cedarbrook Lodge looks to build an addition to the hotel. The plan is to increase revenue to offset the higher labor costs.

But not every employer is being so ambitious. One has told a trade group it is going to close one of its two restaurants, eliminating 200 jobs. 

The plan has also caused Han Kim — who runs Hotel Concepts, a company that owns and manages 11 hotels in Washington state — to shelve plans to build a hotel in SeaTac. The company already has three hotels in SeaTac, and Kim and a business partner were looking to build a fourth on land they own.

“Uncertainty is bad for business, and right now we’re right in that area so we’re just putting everything on hold,” Kim said.


The owner of Dollar Rental Cars told Fox News she’ll outsource some functions, change schedules and cut some staff in response to the new policy.

And guess what? Job cut backs, losses, and a halt in business expansion won’t be the only thing hitting SeaTac, WA if the minimum wage hike goes through: The prices of goods and services will also go up, which means tourists will spend less because they can’t afford the price jump the businesses had to implement in order to pay their staffs.

Talk about dumb!

This, btw, is all part of a new nationwide strategy on the part of Democrats who are trying to do their best to distract and deflect from a hellacious 2013 year for them thanks to Obamacare:

WASHINGTON — Democratic Party  leaders, bruised by months of attacks on the new health care program, have found an issue they believe can lift their fortunes both locally and nationally in 2014: an increase in the minimum wage.

The effort to take advantage of growing populism among voters in both parties is being coordinated by officials from the White House, labor unions and liberal advocacy groups.

In a series of strategy meetings and conference calls among them in recent weeks, they have focused on two levels: an effort to raise the federal minimum wage, which will be pushed by President Obama and congressional leaders, and a campaign to place state-level minimum wage proposals on the ballot in states with hotly contested congressional races.

With polls showing widespread support for an increase in the $7.25-per-hour federal minimum wage among both Republican and Democratic voters, top Democrats see not only a wedge issue that they hope will place Republican candidates in a difficult position, but also a tool with which to enlarge the electorate in a nonpresidential election, when turnout among minorities and youths typically drops off.

“It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue when it comes to fairness,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser. “You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014. But the goal here is to actually get it done. That’s why the president put it on the agenda.”

Top Republicans assert that a wage increase would dampen the economic recovery and indicated after Mr. Obama mentioned the issue in his State of the Union speech this year that they had no intention of bringing a minimum-wage increase to a vote in the House, which they control.

“Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?” Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said.

Indeed why?

What we’re seeing here – as usual – are Democrats (who are also cranking up this rhetoric here in North Carolina) resorting to desperate attempts at vote-buying. They did it with “free” healthcare, “free” birth control, “forgiveness” of student loans, a vast expansion of the welfare state, and now this.  This party is flat out of ideas – has been for a long time, in fact – and now has few other options on the table left but to promise you “free” stuff,  higher pay (which would have to come out of someone ELSE’S pocket – surprise!) , and “protection” from the very people who have the money to spend to start up a business or expand one. You know, the people who provide employment opportunities – which this country so desperately needs right now?  It’s never occurred to these dum dums that you earn higher pay based on the type of job you have, the skill level it requires, how productive and efficient you are at it, etc.  Then again, it shouldn’t shock anyone that this bunch believes you shouldn’t have to work harder to earn more money – that instead it should just be given to you via the force of government.

Just how do Republicans effectively combat naked liberal appeals to the “gimme generation”?

Disturbing: Did the Census Bureau “fake” 2012 elections jobs report?


“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

The NY Post has an explosive report in which deliberate election-year numbers fudging by the Census Bureau is alleged by an anonymous source (hat tip):

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

Intriguing. But even so,  National Review’s Jim Geraghty urges caution after talking to a Census source:

One Campaign Spot reader is a veteran of the Census Bureau, who finds some elements of the story believable, but is skeptical that this sort of dishonesty could be widespread within the organization:

I worked at the Census Bureau for 23 years and knew the people who ran the CPS Branch. It is true that the vast majority of Census employees support Obama but I have a hard time believing that they would risk their careers by deliberately manipulating the employment data. It is true that interviewers sometimes submit fake completed interviews (curbstoning) but this is usually due to pressures to meet a target of completed interviews or laziness or both. Even if there was a coordinated conspiracy to fake the unemployment numbers, doing it by having a lot of interviewers fake interviews seems to be an inefficient and risky way to do it.

Unless there is a lot more information out there that hasn’t been reported I would not believe this story. I say this as one of the few people I knew at Census who did not support Obama. I also admit that a lot of things I didn’t think possible have happened in this administration.

However, if any economic data was falsified, we can rest assured that the Obama administration will seek out the perpetrators, most likely rogue low-level employees acting on their own initiative in the Cincinnati office, just like in the IRS scandal.

If there is indeed a scandal and cover-up here, how much higher up did it go? Bring on the investigations & hearings, Congress!

So for now, the partial #shutdown is over – so what’s next?

Government shutdown

Not anymore.

Fox News reports that the partial shutdown was officially over as of last night:

For the first time since Sept. 30, the federal government will be fully open Thursday after President Obama signed a short-term bill ending the partial government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, capping one of the most bitter and brutal political fights in recent memory.

The bill cleared the House late Wednesday on a 285-144 vote, lifted over the finish line by a large chunk of Democrats. All House Democrats voted in favor of the bill and 87 Republicans did as well. 144 Republicans voted against it.

The Senate, where the plan originated, earlier voted 81-18 for the bill. As soon as Obama signed the legislation, the White House directed all federal agencies affected by the slimdown to promptly restore staffing to normal levels.


After weeks of wrangling on the Hill, though, the bill passed Wednesday after House Republican leaders backed down on their demands that the legislation rein in ObamaCare.

To the dismay of many conservatives, the final product does not include any major provisions pertaining to the health care law. But, with the House a day earlier unable to muster support for an alternative GOP plan, House leaders agreed to go along with the bipartisan Senate bill.

President Obama, speaking between the two sets of votes, said he would sign the bill “immediately” and “immediately” begin reopening parts of the government that were closed.

He called on both sides of the aisle to work together in the future on a range of issues, including stalled immigration legislation. “We’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” he said.

The bill puts an end, for now, to the historic showdown that has kept the government partly shuttered for more than two weeks. Putting additional pressure on lawmakers to reach an agreement, Congress was facing a Thursday deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” House Speaker John Boehner said in an interview with Cincinnati radio station WLW-AM ahead of the vote.

The final bill will fund the government through Jan. 15, and raise the debt cap through Feb. 7. Plus it provides back-pay for furloughed workers.

First off, the idea that Obama is truly willing to “talk” to the opposition in any serious, meaningful way is absolute BS – so when this issue pops up again, expect ZERO concessions out of either him or Harry Reid in the Senate, both of whom were largely responsible for the shutdown in the first place.

That said, I find myself in the rare position of being torn on this issue. On one hand, I wanted the GOP to fight on, to force Obama’s hand on Obamacare, but on the flip side, it was clear this issue was hurting us politically.  Call me a RINO if you want, but just remember I feel exactly the way most conservatives and Republicans feel about Obamacare. I hate it.  I also hate the idea of having more elected Democrats in government.

Aside from that, I think we can all agree on at least one thing: Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) both should frankly be embarrassed at how they acted, how they treated colleagues in both the House and Senate  with such utter contempt and disdain over sincere attempts at resolving the issue. Nice way to totally abandon any attempt at unity, guys. Well done. NOT.


Senior admin official tells WSJ “it doesn’t really matter” to WH when #HarryReidsShutdown ends

Government shutdown

To be continued …?

As Phineas indicated earlier, the GOP campaign commercials against Democrats are practically writing themselves at this point. Via WSJ (hat tip):

President Barack Obama is sticking to his stance that he won’t negotiate with Republicans over the government shutdown or the higher-stakes fight over the federal debt ceiling.

The question, for Republicans and White House allies alike: How long will that resolve last?

Mr. Obama spoke Thursday at a construction company just outside Washington and held fast to his view that Republicans must not attach conditions to bills that underpin the functioning of government.

“There is one way out,” he said: Republicans must relent and reopen the government.

White House officials believe they have the upper hand, citing evidence that some Republicans are buckling under public pressure. Mr. Obama invited the four congressional leaders to the Oval Office Wednesday, and despite the show of engagement made no concessions, according to people familiar with the meeting.

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) left the White House and said Mr. Obama “reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate.”

Terry Holt, a longtime Republican strategist, said Mr. Obama’s strategy rests on a cold-eyed calculation that Republicans are the ones with the most to lose. “As long as the president thinks his poll numbers are going to be good, I don’t expect the government to reopen,” he said.

Said a senior administration official: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”

And what is that “end result”? Ultimately one-upping the GOP in the political battle, which is what this is all about to the pathetic, desperate left.  It’s the GOP who has taken more political risk here by drawing a principled line in the sand because they knew the media and liberals – working in concert, as usual – would blame them, and that most people, especially low information voters, would likely buy into it. But this week hasn’t exactly proved to be a winning one for those same Democrats when you consider the WWII Memorial visit fiasco, the threats to arrest military priests as well as our Greatest Generation,  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s heartless comments about funding clinical trial for kids with cancer, etc.  The White House and House and Senate Democrats are failing badly at the messaging war, and Boehner’s strategy of trying to pass mini-funding bills aimed squarely at groups the mainstream media would normally badger them as being “heartless” over, coupled with Harry Reid’s refusal to even entertain the idea of passing such bills, has turned the media narrative against the left for the time being. It is a sight to see – almost a Kodak moment.

This week, in summary has been a big disaster for the Pelosi/Reid/Obama Democrats, and this quote from an unnamed Park Service ranger encompasses everyone’s frustration:

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Indeed. And if it continues to go on, with Reid and Obama refusing to negotiate at the table with the GOP – which continues to strategically drum out mini-funding bills, the likelihood of more blame being shifted to Democrats on the shutdown will increase.

Stay tuned.

#IRS watching conservative groups as recently as two weeks ago?


**Posted by Phineas

"Rogue agents, IRS Cincinnati field office"

“Rogue agents, IRS Cincinnati field office”

You’d think, after admitting wrongdoing back in May and being thoroughly pilloried by the public since then, the IRS would have had the good sense to stop singling out groups based on political beliefs. You would also be wrong:

Republicans investigating the IRS targeting scandal said Wednesday that the agency continued to conduct secret surveillance on tea party groups even after approving them for tax-exempt status.

Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said he shut down the monitoring program after he found out about it, and said he has halted all audits of tax-exempt organizations based on political activity as he tries to get a handle on the embattled agency.


In May, the IRS acknowledged subjecting conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny and delaying applications for far too long before approving them. Some applications are still awaiting approval after three years.

The newly revealed surveillance, however, applied to applications that had been approved, but where the IRS apparently wanted to determine whether the groups strayed too far into political activity to keep their tax-exempt status.

Mr. Werfel quibbled with calling the continued “surveillance” and said he didn’t see any evidence that groups on the list for scrutiny was improperly influenced by any IRS employees.

But he said the program was troubling enough that he shut it down two weeks ago.

This deserves one of those “Hitler in the bunker” Downfall videos of its own. I mean, what was going on, here? Did Boris Badenov, one of those hypothetical rogue agents in Cincinnati, twirl his Evil Mustache(tm) and laugh maniacally while receiving orders from Fearless Leader to carry on with Phase Two?

Whether this latest harrassment was born of arrogance or cluelessness —or both— it is yet another example of why the IRS needs to be seriously reduced in size and power, if not eliminated altogether, and why our tax code should be radically simplified and flattened so that one’s entire tax filing fits on a single postcard. The permanent bureaucracy as a class is fundamentally hostile to that large swath of Americans who prefer smaller, less intrusive government, which makes it the natural ally of those political factions that see the State as the solution to all problems and the ultimate arbiter of fairness.

And a mindbogglingly complicated tax code is a weapon in their hands to harry those they disapprove of, as we’ve seen time and again these last few months. The pols don’t even need to give explicit instructions to their allies in he bureaucracy; as ST reported, a “wink and a nod” is enough. The simpatico is that strong.

We don’t need to trim the federal government. We need to take a chainsaw to it.

Be sure to read the rest for the latest on Natasha …er…  Lois Lerner. Sadly, she’s not hypothetical.

via Bryan Preston

RELATED: Ed Morrissey noticed a very, very interesting coincidence in dates. As I’ve been saying for years, Obama is at his core hostile to freedom of speech, and now he has the IRS abetting him.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Obamanomics nightmare headline: “Labor participation at lowest rate since 1978”


Read it and weep, ladies and gents:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The official U.S. unemployment rate is falling, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

That’s because the slice of Americans involved in the labor force has shrunk to a level not seen in 35 years.

The labor force participation rate — the percentage of people over 16 who either have a job or are actively searching for one — fell to 63.2% in August. The last time it was that low was in August of 1978.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the rate rose steadily for decades as more women were entering the workforce, eventually peaking at 67.3% in 2000. But the number has been on the decline ever since — a trend that was accelerated by the Great Recession.

Economist say there are several reasons for the decline, including the retirement of the baby boomers and fewer students who also work. But the main reason for its recent fall is a lack of good jobs.

“We know there’s a lot of hardworking people that want to be productive, we just don’t have work for them to do,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Schierholz said the labor force participation rate would be going down anyway as the baby boomers retire. But she said that since the recession, between two-thirds and three-quarters of the drop can be attributed to the lousy job market.

“We’re operating way below potential,” she said.

Um, can someone say “understatement of the decade”?  This is utterly pathetic.  That promise he made prior to being elected the first time around about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” takes on a whole new meaning in this context, doesn’t it? Sad – and disgraceful.


Says it all.
(Graphic via @SooperMexican)