Posts tagged Rick Perry
By Rob Waugh
‘Pink slime’ is also used in cheese, reveals meat industry under fire for using caustic cleaning chemical
- Caustic cleaning chemical is also used to turn milk to cheese
- Similar chemicals used in chocolate and baked products
- Kraft admits chemical is used in some of its foods
The controversy over ammonia-treated beef – or what critics dub ‘pink slime’ – broadened this week as it was revealed that the caustic cleaning chemical is also used in cheese.
Related compounds are also used in baked goods and chocolate.
Ammonia, known for its noxious odor, became a hot topic with the uproar over what the meat industry calls ‘finely textured beef’ and what a former U.S. government scientist first called ‘pink slime’.
Backlash: Meat industry experts have struck back after the ‘pink slime’ controversy by pointing out that the chemical is also used in cheese.
The meat industry has been trying to raise awareness of other foods that contain ammonia, in response to what it has characterized as an unfair attack on a safe and healthy product.
For example, ammonia compounds are used as leavening agents in baked goods and as an acidity controller in cheese and sometimes chocolate.
‘Ammonia’s not an unusual product to find added to food,’ Gary Acuff, director of Texas A&M University’s Center for Food Safety, told a recent press conference hosted by Beef Products Inc. ‘We use ammonia in all kinds of foods in the food industry.’
After critics highlighted the product on social media websites and showed unappetizing photos on television, calling it ‘pink slime,’ the nation’s leading fast-food chains and supermarkets spurned the product, even though U.S. public health officials deem it safe to eat.
Hundreds of U.S. school districts also demanded it be removed from school lunch programs.
One producer, Beef Products Inc, has since idled three factories. Another, AFA Foods, filed for bankruptcy protection.
Ammonia – often associated with cleaning products – was cleared by U.S. health officials nearly 40 years ago and is used in making many foods, including cheese. Related compounds have a role in baked goods and chocolate products.
Using small amounts of ammonia to make food is not unusual to those expert in high-tech food production. Now that little known world is coming under increasing pressure from concerned consumers who want to know more about what they are eating.
‘I think we’re seeing a sea change today in consumers’ concerns about the presence of ingredients in foods, and this is just one example,’ said Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety
The outrage, which many experts say has been fueled by the term ‘pink slime,’ seems more about the unsavoriness of the product rather than its safety.
‘This is not a health issue,’ said Bill Marler, a prominent food safety lawyer. ‘This is an ‘I’m grossed out by this’ issue.’
Still, critics of so-called ‘Big Food’ point out that while ‘pink slime’ and the ammonia in it may not be harmful, consumer shock over their presence points to a wider issue.
‘The food supply is full of all sorts of chemical additives that people don’t know about,’ said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and president of industry watchdog consulting firm Eat Drink Politics.
Wiggins said that in turning milk to cheese, a tiny amount of ammonium hydroxide is added to a starter dairy culture to reduce the culture’s acidity and encourage cheese cultures to grow.
‘It is somewhat similar to activating yeast for dough by adding warm water, sugar and salt to create the proper environment for yeast growth,’ Wiggins said.
In the case of ammonium phosphate, used as a leavening agent in baking, she said the heat during baking causes the gas to evaporate.
We, the consumers, need to know what we are buying in these regards. Honesty in food labeling is something that needs to be driven home to our legislative bodies, whether it is “pink slime”, which years ago was filler for dog food, or GMO products. Label the beef as 20% “pink slime” or other products as GMO or not, let the people and the free market dicide who we will buy from and which companies will go belly up after not being able to sell their products.
By Brent Budowsky
There are now multiple polls that show Ron Paul has gained support and has a legitimate chance to come in first or second in Iowa and New Hampshire. I would now call Ron Paul one of three front-runners in both Iowa and New Hampshire alongside Mitt Romney and a third candidate, currently Newt Gingrich. If Ron Paul wins Iowa, which he might, all bets are off. Also, most analysts miss the fact that many states have open systems where independents, and in some cases Democrats, can vote for a Republican nominee. This could give a further boost to Paul.
It is now time to give Ron Paul the attention he deserves in debates and throughout the political community.
For Paul this presents good news and new challenges as his positions are given the kind of wider attention I have called for. For example, his foreign policy positions could help him attract independents and some Democrats in open primary states, along with some Republicans, but they also conflict with the majority Republican view.
The campaign gets very interesting if Newt Gingrich joins Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Donald Trump in collapsing, which would give Paul a head-to-head contest with Romney.
I am not predicting Ron Paul is nominated, I am suggesting he deserves to be treated with the respect of now being a serious contender to win first or second place in Iowa and New Hampshire. I have always predicted that Paul will ultimately be one of three finalists for the Republican nomination, which will become a three-person race, with Ron Paul one of the three.
At a minimum Ron Paul is now a force to be reckoned with. His support has surged in multiple polls. His fundraising will probably surge even more. He has the potential to be a kingmaker if he is the third Republican left at the convention with no candidate having a majority of delegates.
No doubt about it, a Ron Paul third-party candidacy would now be very formidable.
It may be that before this is done, one of the most important questions in American politics will be whether Paul runs as a third-party candidate, especially if the race is between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Fasten your seatbelts.
[CIM Comment: Photo added to the original story.]
By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
A strong majority of Texas voters don’t give Rick Perry credit for boosting the state’s economy, according to a new poll that will likely catch the eye of his GOP presidential rivals.
The poll by the University of Texas-Texas Tribune found that 65% of respondents said long-standing policies in the state — such as having no state income tax — and the abundance of natural resources are the main reasons the Texan economy has outperformed the rest of the nation.
Another 21% say Perry’s leadership deserves credit and 14% say they don’t know.
Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a government professor at the University of Texas, told the Tribune that it’s not surprising Texan voters aren’t giving credit to Perry, who has been governor for the past 10 years.
“Voters are rational gods of vengeance, but it’s not clear to me how much they’re rational gods of reward,” Shaw is quoted as saying. “They’ll kill you if things go wrong — they may give you some credit if things go right.”
The Texas story on job creation figures prominently in Perry’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. He often repeats two statistics: Texas has created 1 million jobs while the nation has lost even more and that about 40% of the new jobs created in the United States since June 2009 have been in the Lone Star State.
Mitt Romney has been the most vocal in questioning whether Perry deserves credit for the state’s jobs growth and economy. The former Massachusetts governor charged during a debate in Tampa that Perry was “dealt four aces.” Romney actually ticked off five things about Texas that have helped its economy: the lack of a state income tax, low regulations, oil, its GOP Legislature and its status as a right-to-work state.
Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry is floating the idea of invading Mexico. Too late: the U.S. military is already up to epaulets there.
“It may require our military, in Mexico, working in concert with them, to kill these drug cartels and to keep them off our border and to destroy their networks,” Perry said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Saturday, reported the Dallas Morning News. “It is very important for us to work with them to keep that country from failing,” he added.
Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, was skeptical of Perry’s offer. Sarukhan told the Morning News the U.S. and Mexico share “a new paradigm of joint responsibility, law-enforcement, security and intelligence cooperation” aimed at confronting the cartels. “But U.S. boots on the ground in Mexico is not in the books; it is a non-starter.”
The ambassador isn’t kidding about joint responsibility. Defense and intelligence cooperation is a crucial — and growing — feature of U.S.-Mexico relations. First, there is the “unprecedented” $1.6 billion (total) Merida Initiative, which trains Mexican cops and provides U.S. equipment ranging from UH-60 Black Hawk and Bell 412 Enhanced Performance helicopters to telecommunications gear.
Second, the Mexican government confirmed in March that unarmed U.S. drones were operating inside the country under Mexican supervision. The Mexican government was also revealed to have launched counter-drug operations from within U.S. territory. And in November of last year, Mexico’s Proceso exposed a secret base near the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, possibly housing a buffet of Washington’s top intelligence, defense and law enforcement agencies.
But boots on the ground? Unless Perry is cooking up a second Punitive Expedition, the odds of a direct military presence is remote, at best. Currently, the Mexican government won’t even allow U.S. law enforcement to piggyback on operations, let alone carry personal arms. This doesn’t mean, however, there are no other — let’s say — creative ways of assisting the Mexican government.
According to a New York Times report in August, the U.S. sent a small team of CIA agents and “retired military personnel” to collaborate with Mexican police from inside an undisclosed military base. Not only that, the Times report notes the U.S. is considering embedding mercenaries within an elite Mexican police unit. Mexican law may restrict agents of foreign powers from operating within the country, but it’s a different matter for private contractors and retired veterans.
It’s also a reflection of “serious constraints on U.S. influence” in Mexico, noted U.S. Army War College Professor George W. Grayson, “largely because of the reactive nationalism that infuses Mexico’s political, media, and academic sectors, not to mention traditionalists in Mexico’s Ministry of Defense who resent being tutored by North Americans, no matter how diplomatic and well-meaning the instructor.”
In other words: For now, don’t expect any American troops to march across the Rio Grande. The U.S. will stick to drones and cash and covert agents and mercenaries — just like it’s doing in Mexico, already.
A Look at Employment Gains for Immigrants and the Native-Born, 2007 to 2011
Steven A. Camarota is the Director of Research and Ashley Monique Webster a demographer at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) has pointed to job growth in Texas during the current economic downturn as one of his main accomplishments. But analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) data collected by the Census Bureau show that immigrants (legal and illegal) have been the primary beneficiaries of this growth since 2007, not native-born workers. This is true even though the native-born accounted for the vast majority of growth in the working-age population (age 16 to 65) in Texas. Thus, they should have received the lion’s share of the increase in employment. As a result, the share of working-age natives in Texas holding a job has declined in a manner very similar to the nation a whole.
Among the findings:
- Of jobs created in Texas since 2007, 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrant workers (legal and illegal).
- In terms of numbers, between the second quarter of 2007, right before the recession began, and the second quarter of 2011, total employment in Texas increased by 279,000. Of this, 225,000 jobs went to immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the United States in 2007 or later.
- Of newly arrived immigrants who took a job in Texas, 93 percent were not U.S. citizens. Thus government data show that more than three-fourths of net job growth in Texas were taken by newly arrived non-citizens (legal and illegal).
- The large share of job growth that went to immigrants is surprising because the native-born accounted for 69 percent of the growth in Texas’ working-age population (16 to 65). Thus, even though natives made up most of the growth in potential workers, most of the job growth went to immigrants.
- The share of working-age natives holding a job in Texas declined significantly, from 71 percent in 2007 to 67 percent in 2011. This decline is very similar to the decline for natives in the United States as a whole and is an indication that the situation for native-born workers in Texas is very similar to the overall situation in the country despite the state’s job growth.
- Of newly arrived immigrants who took jobs in Texas since 2007, we estimate that 50 percent (113,000) were illegal immigrants. Thus, about 40 percent of all the job growth in Texas since 2007 went to newly arrived illegal immigrants and 40 percent went to newly arrived legal immigrants.
- Immigrants took jobs across the educational distribution. More than one out three (97,000) of newly arrived immigrants who took a job had at least some college.
- These numbers raise the question of whether it makes sense to continue the current high level of legal immigration and also whether to continue to tolerate illegal immigration.
One of the most important issues in the unfolding presidential election is the nation’s lack of job growth. The U.S. labor market has been afflicted with high unemployment and low employment rates for more than three years. As Republicans go through the process of selecting the party’s nominee, job growth in Texas during the current economic downturn has been the subject of much discussion. GOP frontrunner Rick Perry has argued that he has a proven record of job creation in his state, even during the current economic downturn. Most of the debate over the state’s job growth has focused on what types of jobs have been created. The extent to which foreign-born or immigrant workers vs. native-born workers benefited from increased employment in the state has received little attention. This Memorandum examines job growth in Texas. The findings indicate that most of the increase in jobs in Texas since 2007 went to foreign-born (immigrant) workers, both legal and illegal, not U.S.-born workers.
Data and Methods
The two primary employment surveys collected by the United States government are referred to as the “household survey” (also called the Current Population Survey or CPS) and the “establishment survey.” The establishment survey asks employers about the number of workers they have. In contrast, the CPS asks people at their place of residence if they are working. While the two surveys shows the same general trends, the figures from the two surveys do differ to some extent. Because the CPS asks actual workers about their employment situation, only it provides information about who is working, who is looking for work, and who is not working or looking for work. Moreover, only the CPS asks respondents about their socio-demographic characteristics such as race, education level, age, citizenship, and year of arrival in the United States. Thus the CPS can be used not only to compare job growth among immigrants and the native-born, it can also be used to examine the share of different groups who are employed or unemployed or to make comparisons about any other measure of labor force attachment. For these reasons, this report uses the public-use files of the CPS to examine employment in Texas by quarter.1
Growth in Employment. There are two ways to examine the share of employment growth that went to immigrants vs. natives in Texas during the economic downturn. One way is to compare the increase in total employment to the number of newly arrived immigrants holding a job. The second way is to compare the increase in employment to net growth in the number of immigrants holding a job. While there are differences in these two comparisons, no matter which method is used, the data show that a disproportionate share of job growth went to immigrant workers.
The Impact of Newly Arrived Immigrants. The left bar in Figure 1 shows the share of population growth among the working age (16 to 65) accounted for by newly arrived immigrants in Texas between the second quarter of 2007, before the recession began, and the second quarter of 2011, which is the most recent quarter for which data are available.2 Newly arrived immigrants (legal and illegal) are defined as those who indicated in the CPS that they came to the United States in the second quarter of 2007 or after.3 The population growth of 28.9 percent is for those of working age (16 to 65). There were 358,000 working-age (16 to 65) immigrants in 2011 who indicated that they had arrived in the United States in 2007 or later. This equals 28.9 percent of the 1.24 million overall increase in the size of the working-age population in Texas between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2011. The second bar in Figure 1 shows employment relative to the number of newly arrived immigrants holding a job. There were 225,000 immigrants holding a job in 2011 who indicated that they had arrived in the United States in 2007 or later. This equals 80.6 percent of the 279,000 overall increase in employment in Texas between 2007 and 2011. Of new arrivals, 93 percent indicated they were not U.S. citizens.4 The newly arrived can be described as new foreign workers.
The above analysis shows that newly arrived immigrants took most of the net increase in jobs in Texas. This is the case even though new immigrants accounted for a modest share of population growth among the working age (16 to 65). Put a different way, since natives accounted for the overwhelming share of the growth in the number of working-age people in the state, it would be expected that they would receive roughly the same share of the net increase in jobs, but this was not the case. We report figures for the working-age population because about 96 percent of all workers in America fall into this age group, making this population the pool of potential workers from which employers draw.
Legal vs. Illegal Immigration. It is well established that illegal aliens do respond to government surveys such as the decennial Census and the Current Population Survey. While the CPS does not ask immigrants if they are legal residents of the United States, the Urban Institute, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the former INS, the Pew Hispanic Center, and the Census Bureau all have used socio-demographic characteristics in the data to estimate the size of the illegal-alien population. We follow this same approach.5 Our best estimate is that, of Texas immigrants holding a job in 2011 who indicated that they arrived in the country between 2007 and 2011, half are illegal immigrants. It should be noted that no estimate of illegal immigration is exact. It is possible that somewhat fewer or somewhat more of the newly arrived are illegal immigrants. If our estimate is too high, then more are legal immigrants; if our estimate is too low, then more are illegal immigrants. Assuming our estimates are correct, of recently arrived working-age immigrants in the state, 113,000 are in the country illegally.6 The other half of the recently arrived immigrants (112,000) are legally in the country. Compared to the overall increase jobs in Texas from 2007 to 2011, 40 percent went to new illegal immigrants and 40 percent went to new legal immigrants. This means that in Texas — one of the few states that experienced job growth after 2007 — native-born workers benefited little from this growth. These numbers raise the question of whether it makes sense to continue to allow so many legal immigrants into the country and also whether it makes sense to continue tolerating illegal immigration. Certainly both policies have consequences for the labor market.
Net Changes in Number of Immigrants. Figure 2 uses a different method to examine the share of job growth that went to new immigrants in Texas. Rather than looking at new arrivals, Figure 2 compares overall job growth in the CPS to the net increase in immigrant employment. The left bar shows that the net increase in the number of working-age immigrants accounted for 30.6 percent of the net increase in the overall size of the working-age (16 to 65) population in Texas from the second quarter of 2007 to the same quarter in 2011. The net increase in working-age immigrants was 379,000 and this was equal to 30.6 percent of the 1.24 million increase in the total working-age population in Texas over this time period. This, of course, means that the net increase in the number of native-born Texans accounted for 69.4 percent of population growth among 16 to 65 year olds over this period. The bar on the right side of Figure 2 reports the share of net employment growth accounted for by the net increase in immigrants working. The net increase in immigrant workers was 150,000 and this equaled 53.6 percent of the 279,000 overall growth in employment from 2007 to 2011.
The immigrant share of employment growth is less than when we examine new arrivals (Figure 1). But it is still the case that immigrants accounted for less than one-third of population growth from 2007 to 2011, but more than half of all the job growth in Texas. Thus, whether we calculate the impact of immigration in Texas by looking at the share of jobs taken by newly arrived immigrants (Figure 1) or by looking at the net increase in immigrant workers (Figure 2), in both cases a disproportionate share of job growth in Texas went to immigrants.
It is worth noting that the net increase in immigrants is different from the number of new arrivals because net figures are impacted by immigrants leaving the state each year as well as the movement of immigrants into Texas. Net figures also reflect the small fraction of immigrants who die each year. Moreover, we are looking at those 16 to 65 or those who are employed, who are generally in this same age group. Therefore, some people enter these populations by reaching working age each year, while others age out of these populations. Still others who are of working age are no longer working. Thus, net figures reflect many factors, while the number of new arrivals simply shows those coming into the United States and settling in Texas. What is important about these results is that, in Texas, we can say that although natives accounted for the overwhelming majority of growth in the number of potential workers — persons 16 to 65 — most of the increase in jobs went to immigrants.
In terms of evaluating the nation’s immigration system, looking at new arrivals may be more relevant than net changes because those arriving in the country directly reflect both those admitted legally as well as the level of new illegal immigration. In contrast, net changes reflect many factors such as deaths or a decision to leave the country.
The Unemployment and Employment Rate. In addition to looking at job growth, there are other ways to examine the labor market. Table 2 reports a variety of employment figures by state for the second quarters of 2007 and 2011. But no matter what measure is used, it is difficult to find evidence to support the argument that things are very different in Texas than in the rest of the country for the native-born population. In the second quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate in Texas was 8.1 percent for natives, ranking the state 22nd out of 50 states in terms of the lowest rate. If we compare the growth in unemployment from 2007 to 2011, the rate roughly doubled in Texas, which is very similar to what happened in the country as a whole. The share of working-age natives holding a job in Texas was 66.6 percent in 2011, ranking Texas 29th in the nation. Both the unemployment rate and the employment rate represent a significant deterioration for natives since 2007. A deterioration that roughly parallels what took place in the rest of the nation.
What Types of Jobs? Some commentators have expressed concern that most of the job growth in Texas is for low-wage jobs requiring relatively little education. While that issue is outside of the scope of this analysis, the CPS does show that immigrants gained jobs across the educational distribution. For example, overall 55.2 percent (154,000) of the net increase in jobs since 2007 in Texas went to workers (immigrant and native-born) who had no more than a high school education. That is, they either did not graduate high school or did graduate, but had no additional schooling. Of the net increase in jobs for these less-educated workers, 63 percent went to immigrant workers even though they accounted for only 44.2 percent of population growth among those of working-age who have no more than a high school education. Of the net increase in jobs for workers with education beyond high school, 42.1 percent went to immigrants. This compares to their 21.8 percent share of population growth among working-age individuals with more than a high school education. When examined in this way, immigrants made gains across the educational distribution out of proportion to their population shares.
Some may still feel that less-educated immigrants who work at the bottom of the labor market do not really compete with natives. There is a long debate among economists on this topic. It is true that 56.8 percent of newly arrived immigrants had no more than a high school education. However, there are more than three million native-born Texans working in the state who have no more than an high school education. Moreover, between 2007 and 2011 the number of native-born Texans with a high school degree or less who were not working increased by 259,000 over this time period. The unemployment rate for these less-educated, U.S.-born Texans rose substantially after 2007 and stood at 11.2 percent in the second quarter of 2011. There are a very large number of natives who work in lower-skilled occupations. And less-educated natives who generally work at such jobs have done very poorly in Texas, as they have throughout the country. It would be very difficult to find evidence that less-educated workers were in short supply in the state.
It must also be remembered that many immigrants are more educated. When we look at the number of newly-arrived immigrants in Texas, we find that 43.2 percent (97,000) of those that took a job in Texas had at least some college. If we look at the net gain in employment among more educated immigrants, rather than new arrivals, the growth was 53,000, which means that more-educated workers accounted for one-third of the net growth in immigrant employment. Thus it would a mistake to assume that immigrants are only competing for jobs at the bottom end of the labor market.
This analysis shows that job growth was significant in Texas. But, depending on how one calculates the impact of immigration, between 2007, before the recession began, and 2011 more than three-quarters or more than half of that growth went to immigrants. This is the case even though the native-born accounted for more than two-thirds of the growth in the working-age population. Some may argue that it was because so many immigrants arrived in Texas that there was job growth in the state. But if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, the numbers in Texas would be expected to look very different. The unemployment rate and the employment rate show a dramatic deterioration in the Texas for the native-born that was similar to the rest of the country. Moreover, if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, why have states that received so many new immigrants done so poorly in recent years? (See Table 2.) For example, unemployment in the top-10 immigrant-receiving states in 2011 averaged 8.7 percent, compared to 8.1 percent in the other 40 states. Moreover, unemployment is 7.2 percent on average in the 10 states where the fewest immigrants arrived since 2007. These figures do not settle the debate over the economics of immigration. What they do show is that high immigration can go hand in hand with very negative labor market outcomes for the native-born. And conversely the native-born can do relatively well in areas of lower immigration.
There is a long and complex debate among economists about whether the native-born population benefits economically from immigration, which cannot be settled here. There is also significant debate about whether the impact of immigration can be measured by comparing different parts of the country that have varying levels of immigration. What we can say about Texas is that there has been significant job growth in the state since 2007, and that immigrants (particularly newly arrived non-citizens) were the primary beneficiaries of this growth. This is an important finding and should be part of any discussion of the performance of the Texas economy.
2 Comparing the same quarter is important because it controls for seasonal factors that may impact employment. All figures in this report are seasonally unadjusted because they are computationally simpler and easier for other researchers to replicate.
3 The Census Bureau groups year-of-arrival data in order to preserve the anonymity of survey participants. This makes it more difficult to look at post-2007 arrivals in the 2011 data because those who indicated they came to the country in 2008 to 2011 are coded as one group, and those who indicated they arrived in 2006 to 2007 are coded as another group. To calculate recently arrived immigrants in 2011, we look at those who arrived in 2008 to 2011 and add 37.5 percent of those who indicated they arrived in 2006 and 2007. By taking only 37.5 percent of the 2006-2007 arrival cohort we are counting just three of the eight quarters between 2006 to 2007. So, for example, the data for 2011 show 169,000 employed immigrants who said they arrived in the country in 2008 to 2011. The 2011 data also show 150,000 immigrants who said they arrived in 2006 and 2007. We add 37.5 percent (56,000) of 150,000 to 169,000 for a total of 225,000 immigrants in 2011 who said they arrived between 2007 and 2011. It is worth noting that even if we use only the 169,000 immigrant workers who indicated that they arrived in 2008 to 2011, and exclude the three quarters in 2007, this would still equal 76 percent of overall job growth in Texas. Thus, including the 2006-2007 cohort of immigrants makes little difference to the overall results. To calculate the impact of newly arrived immigrants on the overall working-age population (16 to 65) in Texas we employ the same basic approach.
4 The 7 percent who are naturalized citizens are those who are re-entering the country or who naturalized very quickly after arriving because they married American citizens or otherwise were able to expedite their naturalization, such as those in the military.
5 To distinguish legal from illegal immigrants in the survey this report uses citizenship status, year of arrival in the United States, age, country of birth, educational attainment, sex, and marital status. We use these variables to assign probabilities to each respondent. Those individuals who have a cumulative probability of 1 or higher are assumed to be illegal aliens. The probabilities are assigned so that both the total number of illegal aliens and the characteristics of the illegal population closely match other research in the field, particularly the estimates developed by the Department of Homeland Security/legacy INS, the Urban Institute, and the Pew Hispanic Center. This method is based on some very well established facts about the characteristics of the illegal population. For example, it is well known that illegal aliens are disproportionately young, male, unmarried, under age 40, have few years of schooling, etc. Thus, we assign probabilities to these and other factors in order to select the likely illegal population. In some cases, we assume that there is no probability that an individual is an illegal alien.
6 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that the illegal immigrant population grew by 90,000 in Texas between January 2008 and January 2010. Texas is one of the only states in the country where the size of the illegal population increased over this period. The DHS estimate is similar to our estimate of 112,000 new illegal immigrant workers arriving from abroad and settling in the state from 2007 to 2011. The DHS estimates are only through January 2010, while our figures go through the second quarter of 2011. Moreover, DHS numbers are a net increase, which tends to be lower than new arrivals. See Table 4 in “Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2010”, at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe_20….
Many media pundits have been working overtime to defend Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s detestable 2007 executive order mandating the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil for all young girls in the Lone Star State. Far from saving his campaign, however, such desperate efforts to spin one of the most disturbing political scandals in recent history will more than likely quicken the complete debacle of Mr. Perry’s presidential campaign.
After Mr. Perry exposed himself as a blatant liar during last week’s gubernatorial debate in Orlando, Fla., claiming that a woman he met after issuing his executive order was partially responsible for spurring his decision to issue it, many in the media downplayed his answer as a “misstatement.” They then proceeded to provide excess media coverage of his sappy “err on the side of life” rhetorical spiel, which ultimately failed to vindicate the decision as was intended.
The media then decided to go on the offensive against Rep. Michelle Bachmann, the candidate at the debate who brought up the issue of Gardasil in the first place, and who spoke the truth about the vaccine’s link to causing brain problems. Some pundits went so far as to claim that Bachmann’s statements about Gardasil’s dangers were “shameful” and “dangerous.”
But what is truly shameful and dangerous is the media’s unscrupulous handling of the whole situation, as it continually denies the very real dangers associated with a vaccine that is being heavily pushed on the nation’s youth, and coddles a supposed presidential “frontrunner” who tried to force preteen girls in Texas to be jabbed with it. After all, Gardasil is linked to causing migraine headaches, neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders, paralysis, Guillain Barre Syndrome, seizures, blindness, hearing loss, memory loss, and death (http://truthaboutgardasil.org).
The good news is that an increasing number of Americans simply are not buying what the media and its political darlings are trying to sell them. The Great Texas Gardasil Scandal of 2007 is not going away any time soon, and as more and more people learn the truth about the vaccine and Mr. Perry’s role in promoting Gardasil, his campaign will self-destruct faster than the time it took the Texas State legislature to annul his executive order.
It might be hard to imagine after last week’s GOP presidential slugfest, but there was a time not too long ago when a group headed by Mitt Romney quietly—and a judge says illegally—helped Rick Perry’s political career in Texas and set the stage for his new nemesis to rise on the national stage.
Known mostly by Texas political insiders, the allegations gleaned from court files have mostly escaped national attention as Romney and Perry quickly transform the 2012 GOP presidential nomination into an intense two-man race that has left other contenders like Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman in the rearview mirror.
And what hasn’t emerged before are court files reviewed by The Daily Beast stating that Romney was personally aware of the origins of the $1 million donation from a Texas homebuilder at the heart of the controversy, and that he discussed it with Perry’s campaign aides.
In the fall of 2006, Perry was engaged in an unexpectedly tight reelection race for Texas governor. Romney, a fellow governor from Massachusetts, was running the Republican Governors Association, helping GOP incumbents try to keep their jobs in a tough election swayed by discontent over Iraq, Bush fatigue, and economic uncertainty in an unstable mortgage market.
Perry was in need of fresh funds for advertising in the final weeks, and he had the perfect source: millionaire Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, the man who just two years earlier had helped underwrite the Swift Boat attack ads that damaged John Kerry’s standing among veterans in the 2004 presidential race that tipped to George W. Bush. (The Perrys are not related.)
If the governor took money directly from the homebuilder late in the race, he might resurrect questions over his close ties to Bob Perry, who was already one of Rick Perry’s biggest benefactors and had been tied to his controversial 2003 decision to create a commission to regulate complaints against homebuilders. Rick Perry also had run ads earlier in the campaign accusing his Democratic competitor of being addicted to trial-lawyer money, and his advisers didn’t want the issue to boomerang.
It all looked so easy. Just hire lobbyists who have access to the right public officials, make strategic campaign contributions, and finance a front for women to carry your message.
This wasn’t a typical advertising campaign to sell the new vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus), called Gardasil, by repetitive commercials on the television network evening newscasts. The real money to be made from this drug depends on government mandating and funding it for all girls.
Marketing costs of inducing state governments to require all teenage girls to be given this vaccine would be just pennies compared to the billions of dollars that would flow to Merck. The profits could even be enough to bail out Merck from its potential billion-dollar liabilities on Vioxx (which is why some say that HPV stands for Help Pay for Vioxx).
So Merck hired Texas Governor Rick Perry’s former chief-of-staff to carry the ball. On the slowest news day of the year in Texas, the Friday before the Super Bowl, Governor Perry issued an Executive Order requiring young girls to receive Merck’s HPV vaccine in order to enter the sixth grade.
The Associated Press reported, based on documents, that Perry’s current chief-of-staff Deidre Delisi discussed Merck’s HPV vaccine with aides on Oct. 16. On the very same day, Merck’s political action committee donated $5,000 to Perry’s reelection campaign plus an additional total of $5,000 to eight Texas lawmakers.
Meanwhile, Merck financed a new “Women in Government” organization, composed of women state legislators, to push for the vaccine. Does it evade regulations against lobbying if women legislators are merely “educating” each other?
Recently released staff emails reveal that Governor Perry’s aides were themselves shocked by his mandate. Commenting on the first draft of his Executive Order, one aide said, “that first line sounds almost like a Merck commercial.”
Perhaps Perry’s rush to put a mandate in place was to preempt the Texas legislature from holding hearings that would expose how senseless this mandatory vaccination of 11-year-old girls would be. Hearings would reveal that this vaccine has not been shown to prevent a single case of cancer.
“I believe that their timing was a little bit premature so soon after [the vaccine's] release, before we have a picture of whether there are going to be any untoward side effects,” says Dr. Anne Francis. She chairs the usually pro-vaccination American Academy of Pediatrics committee.
Merck’s HPV vaccine was approved by the FDA only eight months ago, based on minimal testing (including few tests with young girls), and it has largely unknown risks and benefits. Even in the best case scenario, it would protect against only some strains of HPV, leaving girls vulnerable to many other sexually transmitted diseases.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not support this vaccine mandate. State legislatures in Michigan, Indiana and Maryland have declined to make this vaccine mandatory.
Governor Perry is so far unapologetic. He wrapped himself in a new version of Hillary Clinton’s “for the children” excuse, arguing that his mandate is “for young ladies who are dying of cancer.”
But the average age of diagnosis of cervical cancer is 48. Not even Merck claims that inoculating an 11-year-old girl will protect her against sexually transmitted diseases five, ten, twenty and thirty years later.
“I got hammered in church this morning on the Merck thing, and it was just Saturday,” Perry’s Chief Clerk Greg Davidson emailed the day after the Executive Order was issued. “Do we have any talking points or stats or anything that can help me fight through Sunday. This is brutal.”
No list of talking points can justify forcing this vaccine on schoolchildren for a disease that is not contagious in the classroom environment. Follow the money.
The HPV vaccine requires three shots priced at $360, not counting the costs of separate doctor visits and administrative expenses. Sexual abstinence costs zero dollars and, unlike the vaccine, is 100 percent protective against sexually transmitted diseases.
The U.S. government spends billions of dollars to promote teenage abstinence from illegal drugs, and forces the tobacco companies to spend billions to promote teenage abstinence from smoking. Why not put a fraction of the government’s proposed vaccine costs into promoting teenage abstinence from sex?
Instead, the Perry mandate would force the vaccine on good girls who don’t engage in premarital sex and don’t need the vaccine. At the same time, girls who receive the vaccine will be given a false sense of security that will be even more costly to them than the high-priced vaccine is to the public.
The backlash against the mandate caused Merck to announce that it is suspending its lobbying campaign to make this vaccine compulsory, and the Texas Legislature is trying to cancel Perry’s Executive Order. Stay tuned; Merck’s lobbying campaign has to shift gears, but it isn’t going away because too much money is involved.
MSNBC’s First Read continues attracting votes for its post-Presidential Republican Debate poll. As of 3:30 a.m. Sept 9, more than 205,000 votes have been cast. Ron Paul has widened his lead over Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Paul has 57.1%, Romney 14.5%, and Perry 12.4%.
Despite the thunderous “thumbs up” for Paul, mainstream media continues to virtually ignore the poll results and the comments about a candidate that the public has enshrined yet the media continues to write him off as not a serious contender for the Presidential nomination. MSNBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, and L.A. Times all called the debate a Romney vs. Perry event.
“The New York Times, like everyone else, frames last night’s debate a clash between Perry and Romney,” states First Read from MSNBC/NBC.
Those writing short comments in the poll have even slammed the website for disproportionate graphs of the on line straw vote results. Paul’s green line reflecting 57% (over 117,500 votes) is only twice as long as that of second place finisher, Romney, who has received about 25,500 votes.
A non-supporter of Paul stressed the bar graph is “really deceptive,” then ponders whether the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is “on to something about Ron Paul and the media.” Another admits that in 2008 he voted for Obama. However, the “independent” voter repeats that three years ago the candidates were elitists chosen for us. “They are trying to do it again. The press will not make my choice. Dr. Paul does not waiver and explains himself well. We the people are fed up with elite telling us how we should think.”
A California attorney also questions the pre-determined Romney/Perry express:
“The media attention to those two losers calling them a winner, compared to the poll by the American people that clearly shows Ron Paul by more than 2:1 over Romney? This is just more proof that the media is attempting to control the political outcome. People, do not be fooled. Ron Paul says what he means and means what he says. How come they are so afraid of Ron Paul? Is it because that the federal reserve is going to be shutdown? I mean how the hell can they print money with no value and lend it to us at interest? Biggest scam of them all if you ask me……”
One writer stated on Sept. 8 at about 4 a.m. that the Paul poll win was fueled solely by Paul supporters using the internet. But, the writer’s prediction backfired — “by midday tomorrow, Paul will have slid to his proper place, midway to the bottom.”
Instead , he has widened his lead in first place.
LIMITED TO THREE QUESTIONS
Respondents emphasize that Paul received only three questions during the debate, but “every time he was allowed to talk, he rocked it.”
More specifically, “Dr. Paul is the only one who has never wavered from his set goals which are truly in line with liberty and real conservative values,” a respondent wrote.
“Who do you think won the Republican debate at the Reagan library” has attained over 50 pages of comments from poll voters. And, those commenting have Ron Paul on their mind.
“Ron Paul is the only guy who understands what truly ails America,” the most recent posting reads. Another stated, “the cowardly media is despicable for ignoring him.”
Following President Obama’s jobs speech, John Huntsman, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have appeared, for instance, on Fox News.
One writer admits that he does not agree with all that Paul advocates. Still, he believes the words from a twelve term Congressman resonate:
I mean the guy is a 12-term congressman, so obviously when people are allowed to actually hear his message it resonates with them.
Furthermore, these debates are structured in such a way that makes genuine discussion about the issues very difficult. Candidates get a limited amount of time to respond, which is understandable, but it means that they have to condense their arguments into easily digestible sound bytes. It waters down the issues and it makes the American people stupider because they are only exposed to simple arguments and not given the chance to listen to a more articulate and complex argument, like the kind Dr. Paul makes.”
One “vexed” respondent stated that Paul knows “nothing about national security.” But, the writer has obviously not spoken with military families — Paul already leads a poll amongst those serving in the Armed Forces. He’s also a member of another minority — he’s one of the few veterans running for the Presidential office.
Interestingly, one writer complains about Paul, but he states that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, another candidate overlooked by media, “did a much better job than all the rest.” Still, Newt’s not his choice for the job: “If Sarah Palin runs, I’m campaigning for her, Obama out 2012.”
Finally, one of those voting in the poll analyzes that “Paul by his 40 plus years of writing and speaking to youthful populations, Ron Paul has already set [the nation] on a path to healing. Due to the life and times of Dr..Ron Paul we now have what we need to overcome.” The writer suggests that whether he wins the most votes in the dash for the Oval Office, “ Ron ,Paul has already won” by shaking and waking Americans to see through the myths foisted upon them by the media. In essence, the popularity of Dr. Paul means that Americans are done with apathetic listening, now, they are ready to think seriously about the responsibility and consequences of choices made at the ballot box.
So, what’s next? CNN’s Tea Party debate. Will that network be more objectivie? So far, they have limited their poll to only THREE GOP candidates? Guess they do not have the ball to put all the names in the poll and let the internet voters do the rest.. But if they have only three listed candidates, they have removed America’s right to vote for the candidate of not the media’s choice, but the people’s choice.