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Daily Archives: January 15, 2013, 9:27 pm

Obama’s Execrable Use of Children to Sell His Gun Proposals

At many White House events, whoever the president is, there appear what we in the White House press corps call “the sob stories.”

These are the people who are supposedly adversely affected by the status quo, which the president hopes to change with his brilliant new initiative. Often the sob stories will speak, detailing how they incurred some profound tragedy from which only the president – with the cooperation of Congress – can rescue them.

The sob stories, whether they know it or not, are being manipulated to advance the president’s agenda. They may fully understand and support the president’s plans, or they may not. But they are being used as props for the benefit of the big guy.

That’s why rarely are the sob stories children. Because manipulating children for a politician’s gain is generally held to be a bad thing to do.

But not by this White House.

At Wednesday’s White House gun violence event, during which President Obama will unveil his gun control proposals, the props will be children who have written to Obama about their reactions to the shootings in Newtown.

Nothing tugs at the heartstrings more than children. Nothing could make Obama’s case more effectively than a crowd of innocent kids, hoping to avoid the fate of their unlucky peers in Connecticut.

It’s a disgrace to manipulate these children. But for a White House that portrays Republicans as heartless villains and that tore to shreds a good man named Mitt Romney, little is off limits.

The ends justify the means. Because when you are so convinced of your moral and intellectual superiority – of the supreme rightness of your position – as this White House is, whatever you have to do to get your way is worth it.

Gun Stuff Coming Wednesday

President Obama will announce his gun control proposals at a White House event Wednesday, according to Politico.

Obama is expected to announce the White House will push for a prohibition on high-capacity ammunition magazines, universal background checks for gun purchases and an assault weapons ban, along with the 19 executive orders that Vice President Biden told House Democrats Monday Obama will implement unilaterally.

The event will include several mayors – I assume New York’s Michael Bloomberg will be all over this – as well as gun control groups.

UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney this afternoon confirmed the event, but provided no significant details.

But Carney did seek to mitigate fears that Obama will take dramatic steps that could severely limit access to firearms.

“There are limits to what can be done within existing law,” Carney said. “Congress has to act.”

Long Term Unemployment at Highest Level Since WWII

Long term unemployment under President Obama is at the highest level since at least the end of World War II, threatening to create a permanent underclass of workers who will find it difficult or impossible to obtain jobs in the future. What’s more, Obama’s insistence on repeatedly extending long term unemployment benefits may be fueling the unemployment problem.

According to data recently released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the average duration of unemployment is now at about 40 weeks, double the previous highest level of about 20 weeks that prevailed during the last three recessions.

long term unemployment

A separate paper released by the Boston Federal Reserve paints a pernicious picture of the problem: Employers seem to be throwing out the resumes of the long-term unemployed and only hiring those who have been without a job for less than six months. Meanwhile, with the guarantee of benefits rolling in, the long term jobless might not be looking aggressively enough for work, the paper states.

This suggests those who just had their unemployment benefits renewed for another year under this month’s fiscal cliff deal may need the benefits renewed again next year. And since the failure to get jobs is related solely to the length of unemployment – age, education and worker type do not seem to be a factor – Obama’s ambitious plans for funding worker training programs may have little effect.

Since 2008, Congress has voted to extend unemployment benefits ten times at a cost of more than $500 billion. The latest extension raised federal spending by $30 billion.

H/T to Doug Ross @ Journal and Matthew O’Brien at The Atlantic.

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