Patterico's Pontifications

8/31/2011

L.A. Times Loves Them Some Financial Aid to Illegal Immigrants

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Immigration — Patterico @ 11:05 pm

Because California state government has so much money that legislators hardly know what to do with it all, state senators passed a bill today to give financial aid to illegal immigrants who are college students. Plenty of U.S. citizens are short financial aid — never mind our eternal budget crisis — but apparently lawmakers still think we have $40 million available to hand over to non-citizens.

Just lovely.

And what do you think the Los Angeles Times thinks of this legislation? Just read the beginning of their story and you’ll quickly get the picture:

The college dreams of thousands of students who are illegal immigrants moved closer to fulfillment Wednesday after the state Senate approved a bill that for the first time would give them access to public financial aid.

Part of a two-bill package known as the California Dream Act, the measure would allow undocumented students who qualify for reduced in-state tuition to apply for Cal Grants, community college waivers and other public aid programs. To be eligible, they must be California high school graduates who attended schools in the state at least three years, and demonstrate financial need and academic merit.

The Senate vote brought relief to Brian Lee, a UCLA undergraduate who was brought to the U.S. at age 4 from South Korea and fell out of legal status when his mother did not renew their visas. Lee, a biology major who hopes to become a dentist, said the chance to apply for financial aid would help him finish school more quickly and alleviate the stress of working multiple under-the-table jobs. As it is, he has worked for two academic quarters to pay for each term he attends.

“I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel, finally,” said Lee, 24, who has completed just two quarters in more than two years.

Is there balance? Sure, if you read far enough down into the story. But the editors would never think of opening the story in this way:

Despite a recurring budget crisis and claims that even U.S. citizens are short on financial aid, California lawmakers voted in favor of funding financial aid for illegal immigrants, to the tune of $40 million.

That would be biased, you see. But the way they did it? Fair!

They probably don’t even realize what they’re doing. Or maybe they do. Who really cares? The effect is the same either way.

P.S. Many of you have noticed I hardly blog about this rag any more. I don’t know. They keep doing the same thing over and over, but they seem so irrelevant. All they do is keep printing the same tired stories with the same tired leftist slant, and laying more and more people off. It’s hard to get too excited about it any more, frankly.

I can still manage some minor irritation. But the outrage is gone, vanished just like the paper’s influence.

That’s a trade-off I can live with.

Yagman Seeks Reversal By Selling His Pal Erwin Chemerinsky Down the River

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:36 pm

After scumbag civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman was convicted of thirteen federal felonies, including tax evasion, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud, one person stuck with him: his pal Erwin Chemerinsky. The well-known leftist law professor stepped up for Yagman in a big way — not only trying in vain to save Yagman’s bar card, but handling Yagman’s criminal appeal pro bono.

And while Chemerinsky may be (OK, is) a raging leftist with the common sense God gave a rotting potato, he is generally thought to be a legal scholar of the first rank. Nobody would ever say he screwed up Yagman’s appeal.

Nobody, that is . . . except for Yagman himself:

The normally voluble Yagman is keeping an exceptionally low profile, but he’s raising eyebrows anyway. He hopes to win back his old life by having his conviction overturned on appeal before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

And to do that, among other things, Yagman hopes to convince the court that his good friend, Irvine School of Law Dean and legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, misrepresented him and screwed up Yagman’s previous and unsuccessful appeal.

Last November, Yagman filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to vacate his convictions. Key among his claims since then: that the government withheld evidence and that he got ineffective assistance from Chemerinsky, who worked pro bono on his appeal.

Top appellate lawyers in Los Angeles describe Yagman’s chances of convincing the court that Chemerinsky ruined Yagman’s appeal as “next to zero,” “forget about it” and “absolutely no way.”

That’s the thanks Chemerinsky gets. He is apparently taken aback:

Chemerinsky commented on the case by email to L.A. Weekly, saying, “I am sad that Mr. Yagman made these allegations. I worked very hard to provide him the best representation I could. I encourage anyone to read the briefs I filed and the transcript of the oral argument in assessing Mr. Yagman’s allegations.”

Yagman claims Chemerinsky didn’t have enough time to devote to his case. But Chemerinsky writes to the Weekly: “I devoted a very significant amount of time to writing the briefs and preparing the oral argument. I think that will be evident to anyone who reads the briefs or listens to the tape of the oral argument.”

I’m sure it’s evident to Yagman too. But, you know, when you’re a dishonest convicted criminal, you can’t let your actions be ruled by niggling scruples about minor issues — like the fact that you’re backstabbing your loyal friends.

Obama Tries to Overshadow GOP Debate; Caves

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:37 pm

It was a fun day as the Obama administration tried to set a speech before a joint session of Congress at the very same time as a GOP debate. It was hilarious to watch the top spokeshole try to justify this:

It was when we wanted it, you see . . . because . . . well . . . it just was.

It had nothing to do with wanting to screw up a Republican debate featuring the debate debut of Rick Perry.

Anyway, Barry caved. Ha ha.

So long, Solyndra: 1100 green tech jobs risk $535 million in tax funds

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:50 am

[Posted by Karl]

Even the HuffPo has to say “ouch”:

Solyndra, a solar technology firm in California that the Obama administration once touted as an exemplar of an emerging green economy, said Wednesday that it intended to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

For some reason, the HuffPo downplays the fact that Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the DoE, despite the fact that Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the Solyndra guarantee within 60 days of taking over the department (and Vice-President Biden personally announced the closure of the deal).  Remember how many times the Obama Administration and the establishment media reminded us that Chu was a Nobel Prize winner?  This is the oh-so-smug “Party of Science” at work.  Bloomberg has this choice bit:

Solyndra is the third U.S. solar manufacturer to file for bankruptcy in a month as falling panel prices and weak global demand is driving a wave of industry consolidation.

“Regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion,” Solyndra’s President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison said in the statement.

I thought greens and lefties didn’t believe in regulatory uncertainty… but in fact, labor and environmental regs are thwarting efforts to create “clean tech” jobs.

However, that may not be the whole story at Solyndra, which was (and likely will be) a center of Congressional attention for waste, fraud and abuse of Pres. Obama’s stimulus and green tech programs:

A closer look at the company shows it has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.

And Solyndra’s auditor declared that “the company has suffered recurring losses, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, [that] raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a growing concern” in a March 2010 amendment to its SEC registration statement.

“While we understand the purpose of the Loan Guarantee Program is to help private companies engaging in clean energy products to obtain financing by providing loan guarantees, subsequent events raise questions about Solyndra was the right candidate to receive a loan guarantee in excess of half a billion dollars,” [Reps.] Upton and Stearns wrote.

You will be shocked to learn that Solyndra’s majority owner, Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, was a major fundraiser for the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign.

–Karl

Will I Finally Contribute To R.S. McCain’s Tip Jar??

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

Well, I sat down to write a post about Robert Stacy McCain’s triumph in forcing a retraction out of the guy who put the misleading caption on McCain’s video of Michele Bachmann. (She said to a rained-upon crowd: “Who likes wet people?” The propagandist put a caption underneath that read: “Who likes white people?” and proceeded to butcher the video to remove the context that made it even clearer what she was saying.) After McCain’s lawyer sent the guy a letter, the guy conceded not only that he had gotten it wrong, but deliberately so:

I want to apologize for misusing Stacey Robert McCain’s original video . . . I was angry so I decided to take Mrs. Bachmann’s line out of context to make her seem more overtly racist in light of her recent signing of that Iowa marriage pledge that said black children were better off under slavery than in Obama’s America.

Reads like an admission of actual malice to me. Ms. Bachmann? Ball’s in your court.

But when I went to McCain’s site to get the link, I saw that the story is not over. Perez Hilton and CBS News have been spreading the smear all over the place. The best part is that Hilton took Stacy’s video (as doctored by the cretin) and slapped his own watermark on it! This from a guy, Perez Hilton (true name Mario Lavandeira), who has himself misused copyright law to try to threaten people into silence regarding subjects he finds embarrassing.

Stacy is talking about suing these people. If he sues Hilton, he will finally get me to contribute to that tip jar he’s always talking about.

Just a Reminder: It is Wrong to Call an Illegal Immigrant an Undocumented Immigrant

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:05 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

It’s not only wrong on the principle that it is a euphemism (i.e. bull____), but because its actually misleading because very often they have plenty of documents:

President Obama’s accused drunken-driving uncle — who was busted after a near collision with a Framingham cop — has had a valid Social Security number for at least 19 years, despite being an illegal immigrant ordered to be deported back to Kenya, the Herald has learned.

The president’s 67-year-old uncle, Obama Onyango, has had a valid Massachusetts driver’s license and Social Security number since at least 1992, said Registry of Motor Vehicles spokesman Michael Verseckes.

By the way, the Obama administration has said it wanted to deport the criminals aliens.  Will this apply to Mr. Onyango?

(Of course, deportation without actual border control is an exercise in futility, but I digress…)

Via JWF, who has some thoughts of his own.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

8/30/2011

Don’t Fall for Daniel Hamermesh’s Trap

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:59 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

So on Sunday we had what has to be one of the most insipid editorials the New York Times has ever published, where UT economics professor Hamermesh writes a column that Ted Frank calls “self-parody.”

Hamermesh writes that people who are ugly face discrimination and therefore deserve legal protection from discrimination.  And there is much to be appalled with in what he writes.  For instance, there is the generalized “there oughta be a law” syndrome writ large.  I mean, yes, people make idiotic assumptions about people based on looks.  Studies show, for instance, that people rated as ugly were more likely to be misdiagnosed as retarded when they are merely learning disabled—and disquietingly, the same is more likely to happen to black children.  And how many times have people assumed that a pretty woman must be stupid or a lightweight.  Of course in at least one case I suspect that this is her secret weapon:

I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem, just that there is no good legal solution.  I mean what he proposes is that first a court must determine that a person is ugly and then decide if they were discriminated against based on that ugliness.  His proposal runs into the familiar problems of determining who counts as ugly, creating endless litigation on the threshold issue of whether a person, as a matter of law, is an ugly person.  But even if he did something more sane, like proposing a law that banned all discrimination based on physical attractiveness or the lack thereof—and not just ugliness—the fact is it would effectively make every single employment decision the subject of a very likely lawsuit.

Not to mention other offensive nuggets like this:

Ugliness could be protected generally in the United States by small extensions of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

It’s bad enough that people stereotype the disabled as ugly and the ugly as disabled, but this idiot would write that bigotry into the law.

But don’t get fooled by any of this.  Look again at the very first line of the editorial, before the first insipid word about the plight of the ugly is written:

Daniel S. Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas, Austin, is the author of “[title deleted],” published this month.

Why did I delete the name of the book he is pimping?  Because that is what he is really fishing for.  He writes an insipid essay arguing for a dumb law, not because he ever expects any such thing to pass, but because it will draw attention to his book.

Mind you, that is just my opinion based on nothing but the essay itself, but that is my sincere belief.  He is not really trying to convince us of anything, but trying to create outrage on the theory that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

So don’t fall for it.  Ignore him.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Fast and Furious Claims a Pair of Scalps

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:22 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Via Fox News:

Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was also pushed out Tuesday as fallout from Operation Fast and Furious reached new heights.

Do read the whole thing, but watch what they do here (emphasis added):

U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, one of the officials closely tied to Fast and Furious, is also a casualty in a shakeup tied to the botched gun-running program. Burke was on the hot seat last week with congressional investigators and, according to several sources, got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session.

The purge of those responsible for the firearms trafficking scandal continued as new documents reveal a deeper involvement of federal agencies beyond ATF.

Ha-ha, very clever Mr. Lajeunesse!

It’s interesting that much of the press is getting “the vapors” at the thought that Rick Perry might be packing heat, but seems considerably less interested in the bad guys that were handed weapons by the United States government.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Rep. Andre Carson: Tea Party Congressmen want African-Americans to hang on a tree

Filed under: General — Karl @ 6:31 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Fourteen glorious months of “new tone” ahead of us, folks. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) is the Congressional Black Caucus Whip, also playing the “Jim Crow” card:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG8x6X8xn3c

Lest anyone think The Blaze or Naked Emperor News “misleadingly edited” the video, Carson’s spox confirms he said it and stands by the comments.

In a world where the news media was not in the tank for the Democratic Party, someone like Jake Tapper, Mark Knoller or Ed Henry would ask Pres. Obama (and not WH flack Jay Carney) to condemn Carson’s remarks. After all, the establishment media insists that any Republican running for the presidency vouch for Obama’s religion, patriotism, etc. Moreover, Obama ran on the notion of bringing Americans together. He has condemned the coarseness of our political discourse. Indeed, his most recent weekend media message sought to rekindle the spirit of national unity the country felt after the 9/11 attacks. So when a member of Congress makes this sort of poisonous, race-baiting remark, the first black president ought to be able to muster the energy to flatly condemn it.

But he won’t be asked, let alone pressed for the condemnation.

–Karl

The Unexpectedly Index

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:12 am

[Posted by Karl]

ZeroHedge’s “Tyler Durden” understandably led with the depressing news that year-over-year real GDP growth now stands at 1.5%.  Apparently, since 1948, every time YoY real GDP has fallen below 2%, the economy has fallen into recession. Manufacturing is likely to look bad on Friday, too.

But the amusing-if-it-wasn’t-sad part of Durden’s report is an apparently unprecedented deterioration in global growth based on a proprietary realtime model I would rename the “Unexpectedly Index”:

Few pictures sum up this collapse in output better than the chart below which plots the three month change in the “Global Surprise Model” (GSM).  I created the GSM in the late 1990’s as a means of tracking how the most important (as measured by timeliness and market response) economic statistics were being reported relative to estimates.  Although Goldman, and later Citigroup, created comparable models in the early 2000’s, it remains a very useful tool for tracking the change in economic growth (2nd derivative) relative to consensus forecasts.
 
As shown, the current three month change is the largest in the history of the model.  In other words, the collapse in real-time economic data (such as ISM, German IFO, etc.) over the past three months is the sharpest of the last two decades for which data is available.

The accompanying chart at the link is not pretty.  I suppose the silver lining is learning Goldman and Citigroup take note of how badly their government-style economic forecasting models fail.  Admitting you have a problem is always the first step.  It is at least a step ahead of the Obama administration and the establishment media.  The establishment media seems more wedded to the idea of reporting “unexpectedly” bad economic news without ever reporting on the limits of macroeconomics as a science.  That phenomenon is probably related to the cult of experts to which most of the media and the Obama administration belong.  What results is a virtuous circle for progressives and a vicious cycle for everyone else.  To quote Arnold Kling:

[E]lected officials want results. They turn to experts who promise results. The experts cannot deliver. So the experts must ask for more power.

–Karl

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