Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Richmond, the economist who defeated Eric Cantor, supports power of the purse to defund Obama exec. act rewarding illegal residents while millions of Americans are out of work, 'not one thin dime,' Times-Dispatch

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"The (House) appropriations committee voted in August to determine how the agency spends those fees."...Too late for committee to claim it has no jurisdiction in CIS finances.

11/21/14, "Brat: 'Not one thin dime' for Obama's immigration plan," Richmond Times-Dispatch, by Allison Brophy Champion Culpeper Star-Exponent

"The 7th District's newly elected Congressman vowed via Twitter Thursday night that he supports, "Not one thin dime," to fund the proposed actions outlined by President Barack Obama to deal with the broken immigration system.

"I support using the power of the purse to defund Obama's amnesty," tweeted Rep. Dave Brat, R-Richmond, the economist, replacing Eric Cantor, who recently took office in Washington.

Virginia Democrats, meanwhile, applauded the president's efforts attempting to bring some five million undocumented residents "out of the shadows."...

Brat said he would not vote to fund a program "that subverts the law or encourages tens of thousands more people to risk their lives illegally crossing our border." He said the U.S. House should "use its power of the purse" to defund in the current budget bill "Obama's illegal executive action."

"We must fund the rest of government with a short-term bill while, in a separate bill, defund the appropriations for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services programs that the president intends to use to carry out this act," Brat said.

The newly elected 7th District representative called the presidential action an "attempt to give amnesty to five million illegal aliens," saying it was unfair to others "waiting in line to become citizens the right way." Brat said the president's actions would encourage more children to attempt to illegally enter the U.S.

"In addition, crony insiders will now get the amnesty they lobbied for to provide a cheap supply of labor while millions of Americans remain unemployed," he said.

A statement Thursday from the House Appropriations Committee indicated that Congress could not use the budget appropriations process to cut funding for the president's proposed actions through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Brat acknowledged that the agency is self-funded through immigration application fees, but that the appropriations committee voted in August to determine how the agency spends those fees.

The committee said in its statement Thursday that the immigration services agency could continue to collect its fees, operate and expand operations under the president's new executive order "without needing legislative approval by the Appropriations Committee or the Congress, even under a continuing resolution or a government shutdown.""...



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US warns citizens to avoid Mexican resort of Acapulco due to continuing violence-AP

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11/21/14, "US warns citizens to avoid resort of Acapulco," AP, Mark Stevenson, Mexico City

"The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued a security message Friday warning U.S. citizens to avoid the Pacific resort of Acapulco because of violence and protests.

In yet another blow to a coastal city once favored by U.S. movie stars and jet-setters in the 1950s and `60s, the embassy said its personnel "have been instructed to defer non-essential travel to Acapulco, by air or land," and added that it "cautions U.S. citizens to follow the same guidelines."

The alert noted that "protests and violent incidents continue in Guerrero state in response to the disappearance of 43 students there."

Demonstrators have blocked highways to Acapulco, hijacked buses and blockaded the city's airport to demand the government find the students who disappeared Sept. 26 in the nearby city of Iguala. Prosecutors say local police working for a drug gang probably turned the students over to gang members, who may have killed them and burned their bodies.

In early November, demonstrators blocked Acapulco's airport for hours carrying clubs, machetes and gasoline bombs, causing hotel reservations on a subsequent three-day holiday weekend to fall about 35 percent, said Javier Saldivar, head of Acapulco's business chamber. Hotel occupancy that should have neared 95 percent was only about 60 percent.

"We suffered a serious loss," Saldivar said.

While U.S. tourists account for about 55 percent of foreign visitors to Mexico, relatively few of them go to Acapulco any more. For example, while Mexico's most popular cruise ship port, Cozumel, handled 894 cruise ship arrivals in 2013, Acapulco had only 9.
Drug gang violence has also played a role. In recent years there have even been some shootouts on Acapulco's famed coastal boulevard, but those incidents have calmed somewhat in the last two years.

Acapulco was once a well-regarded destination. It was during a vacation there in the 1960s that novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez came up with the idea for "100 Years of Solitude." It was there that Bill Clinton took a young woman named Hillary for a honeymoon in 1975.

But in the 1970s and `80s, the resort's infrastructure crumbled, and poor, crowded settlements sprung up inland from the bay, sparking rising problems of unemployment, crime and pollution."
via Drudge




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In filthy China citizens are forced to live amidst trash and stench-UK Express

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11/21/14, "As Britain sends tonnes of waste to China…residents wade through dirty streets," UK Express, Helen Barratt

"Importing thousands of tonnes of waste from British households has left this Chinese city with a dirty habit."





 







"These filthy photographs show monstrous mounting piles of waste overflowing into streets and even blocking roads in the city of Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong Province.




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The smell is so bad nauseous residents have taken to wearing masks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tonnes of plastic recycling being sent from Britain and other European countries is being blamed for the backlog, as tough EU laws have forced local authorities and businesses on the continent to recycle more.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As a result, migrant labour, including council staff, are jumping from being council rubbish sorters to private companies where they can earn more cash.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And that has left Shenzhen with domestically-produced rubbish piling up on the city's streets.

One local Sun Fu, 33, said: "We have been forced to wear masks to deal with the smell, and sometimes roads can be blocked as the rubbish heaps topple over when they get too high. Something has to be done about this."

While the country is drowning in a mass of waste, China drives the global waste trade, importing more than 3 million tonnes of waste plastic and 15 million tonnes of paper and cardboard a year including vast amounts coming from the UK.

As landfill charges are rising in UK, it is becoming cheaper to send waste to China on the vast number of shipping containers arriving in Britain with Chinese exports.
 
Freight experts in Britain said the return waste trade to China is accelerating rapidly." via Free Rep.

Images: 

"A resident tries to mask the smell of rotting waste in China," Cen photos
"China is struggling to maintain its waste management work"
"A van is trapped, surrounded by waste in the road" 
"Residents have been complaining to the council for months"
"Traffic tries to dodge the mounds of waste" 






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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Under Obama Democrats have lost 68 seats in the House. No other president in past 50 years has overseen loss of more than 50 House seats-WSJ

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11/21/14, "What’s Distinctive About Democrats’ Losses Under Obama? Their Magnitude." Wall St. Journal, Rhodes Cook

"What’s distinctive about Mr. Obama’s presidency in this regard has been the magnitude of his party’s congressional losses. Democrats emerged from the 2008 elections with 256 House seats and 57 Senate seats. After this month’s elections, the Democrats are likely to have 188 House seats and 44 Senate seats (not including the two independents that caucus with Senate Democrats), according to Kyle Kondit, managing editor of Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Altogether, that would represent a loss for Democrats of 68 House seats and 13 Senate seats since 2008. After six years in office, no other president in the past half-century has seen his party lose more than 50 House seats or more than a dozen Senate seats."...via Lucianne




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Republicans can win 2016 pres. without Hispanics. Only 3 battleground states key in electoral votes have 5%+ Hispanic voters, Fla., Nev., and Col. Hispanic voters disproportionately concentrated in noncompetitive Texas and Calif. 2014 GOP wins in Iowa and Col. due to incr. in white, rural voters w/o college degree-NY Times

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"Improving among white Northern voters is the core of the GOP route to victory, regardless of whether the party makes gains with Hispanic voters....If the Republicans can't make gains among white Northerners...it just won’t really matter."...

11/20/14, "Hispanic Voters Are Important for Republicans, but Not Indispensable," NY Times, Nate Cohn

"President Obama's plan to defer deportation and grant work permits for up to five million undocumented migrants is having two utterly predictable results: outrage from congressional Republicans, and speculation about how the politics will play in 2016.

The country’s growing Hispanic population was widely credited with tipping Mr. Obama’s re-election in 2012. Just about every post-2012 analysis found that the Republicans needed to do better among Hispanic voters in 2016. Whether politicians agree with that assessment might shape their reaction to Mr. Obama’s decision, and might even underlie Mr. Obama’s decision itself.

Yet a close look at demographic data and recent election results suggest that the Republicans do not necessarily need significant gains among Hispanic voters to win the presidency. Yes, the next Republican presidential candidate will be making a big gamble if he or she doesn’t make meaningful gains among Hispanic voters, especially in Florida. But the Hispanic vote cannot single-handedly determine the presidency, as one could be forgiven for believing based on post-2012 election commentary.

The Republicans have a path to the White House without Hispanic voters. It’s just a harder one.

This idea may seem jarring, given that Mitt Romney took just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in his 2012 loss to Mr. Obama, according to the exit polls, while George W. Bush won about 40 percent in his 2004 victory.

But in 2016 Hispanics will represent just 12 percent of eligible voters, and between 9 and 10 percent of actual voters. That’s a lot, but it’s not large enough to grant or deny Republicans the presidency.

The math is simple: A 10-point gain among 10 percent of the electorate yields an additional point in the popular vote. Mr. Obama won by a 3.9-point margin in 2012. So even if the next Republican presidential candidate received the magical 40 percent of Hispanic voters that Mr. Bush received in 2004--which seems unlikely in a fairly competitive national election--it still wouldn’t erase Mr. Romney’s deficit in the popular vote.

Hispanic voters are disproportionately concentrated in noncompetitive states like Texas and California. This makes it even harder for the Republicans to claim the presidency by focusing on them, since there are relatively few Hispanic voters in the battleground states that determine who wins the Electoral College. Hispanics represent more than 5 percent of eligible voters in just three battlegrounds: 

Florida, Nevada and Colorado. 

As a result, the Republicans could have entirely erased Mr. Obama’s advantage among Hispanic voters and still lost the presidency in 2012,  

since Mr. Romney would have still lost states like Virginia and Ohio, where there are very few Hispanic voters.

Why, then, do so many assume that the Republican path to the presidency is through Hispanic voters? 

It was the result of an incorrect inference from Mr. Obama’s performance among white voters in national exit polls, which showed Mr. Obama losing the white vote by 20 points, worse than any Democrat since Walter Mondale in 1984. The implication was that Republicans had done all they could among white voters. The Republicans therefore had to make gains among Hispanic voters instead (another assumption being that Republicans couldn’t make big improvements among black voters).

But the national exit poll finding for white voters was misleading. Nearly all of Mr. Obama’s weakness was attributable to the South and Appalachia, where Mr. Obama suffered catastrophic losses compared with prior Democrats."...

[Ed. note: If people from "the South and Appalachia" gave Obama "catastrophic losses" in 2012, it must mean they voted for him in 2008. In Appalachia, Mr. Obama's well known views on coal flipped longtime democrat counties to republican (p. 2). A few years ago, Republicans didn't even bother to run in West Virginia. (p. 2)] 

(continuing): "Mr. Obama in fact performed quite well among white voters outside of the South, easily winning overwhelmingly white states like 

Iowa, 
Minnesota, 
Oregon, 
Wisconsin and 
New Hampshire, 

which were all extremely competitive in one or both of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. The state exit polls most likely overstated Mr. Obama’s weakness among white voters as well, often supposing unrealistic levels of nonwhite turnout.

The next Republican presidential candidate could fare better than Mr. Romney among white voters by retaining Mr. Romney’s strength among Southern white voters and merely returning to Mr. Bush’s showing in many areas north of the Mason-Dixon line. 

The strong G.O.P. showing in the midterm elections was highly consistent with this pattern, with Southern Democrats barely outperforming Mr. Obama, and Republican candidates like Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner making big improvements over Mr. Romney’s performance among white voters, and particularly among white rural voters without a college degree.

Improving among white Northern voters is the core of the G.O.P. route to victory, regardless of whether the party makes gains with Hispanic voters. If the Republicans can’t make gains among white Northerners and hold Mr. Romney’s share of white Southerners, it just won’t really matter whether they receive 25 or 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.

But if the Republicans don’t make any gains among Hispanic voters, they will be taking a big risk. Hispanic voters are still important — and it’s easy to imagine a situation in which Republican gains among Hispanics are in fact necessary to win.

That situation turns on Florida. The Republicans don’t have an especially credible path to the presidency without Florida’s 29 electoral votes. The easiest alternative might be for Republicans to flip Virginia and Ohio, scale the so-called Blue Wall in Pennsylvania, and then pick up 12 additional electoral votes from some combination of Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. The G.O.P. path to the presidency all but closes if the Democrats combine Florida and Pennsylvania.

Florida was the closest state of the 2012 presidential election, and Hispanics will most likely represent 19 percent of eligible voters in 2016, up from 17 percent in 2012.

Florida’s Hispanic voters are somewhat more conservative than those elsewhere, in part because of the state’s distinctive enclave of Cuban-Americans. But Democrats gained ground among Cuban-Americans in the Obama elections and the governor’s race this year. And Florida’s Hispanic population has moved toward the left over the last decade, as non-Cuban Hispanics
have come into the state. For example, heavily Democratic Puerto Rican voters have transformed the once competitive Orlando-Kissimmee area.

Florida was so close in 2012 that even fairly modest Republican improvements would be enough to overcome Mr. Obama’s one-point margin of victory and the effects of four more years of demographic change, which will draw the white share of eligible voters down to 62 percent, from 65 percent in 2012.

But there are more reasons to question whether the G.O.P. has as much room to improve among white voters as it does elsewhere. Unlike in most of the battlegrounds, Mr. Obama really did fare unusually poorly among the state’s white voters.

According to the exit polls, Mr. Obama lost white voters in Florida by 24 points. If he had merely lost them by the same 15-point margin as John Kerry, he would have won decisively — a fact that highlights the tremendous importance of Democratic improvements among Hispanic voters and the pace of demographic change in a state that Mr. Kerry lost by five points in 2004.

The state’s (Fla.) white population was an unusual mix of nearly all of Mr. Obama’s weaknesses: older, Southern, Jewish. That same mix also means the state’s white voters might be more amenable to another Democratic candidate, like Hillary Clinton, who also represented a good number of the state’s New York expats when she was a senator last decade.

None of this is to say that the Republicans can’t do much better among Florida’s white voters than Mr. Romney. The point is that it’s easy to imagine a situation where it turns out that the G.O.P.'s opportunities for additional improvement are not enough to roll back Mr. Obama’s margin of victory and four more years of demographic change. In that event, Republicans would be very well served by gains, even modest ones, among the state’s Hispanics.

The question of what Republicans must do to appeal to Hispanic voters is an entirely separate one. It is possible that the same dissatisfaction with the Obama administration that might help Republicans among Northern white voters might also allow them to make gains among Hispanic voters, even if Republicans don’t make any substantive changes on immigration. On the other hand, immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship might be emerging as a litmus test for whether candidates are seen as hostile to the country’s growing Latino population.

This much is clear: Additional Hispanic voters could be a big help to Republicans, and the party’s position on immigration will make the effort to appeal to Hispanics far more challenging. If the Republicans don’t make gains among Hispanics, they’ll need to make up for it elsewhere. It’s not impossible, but it is harder — especially in Florida."

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11/8/14, "Dems may face long exile from coal country," Politico Pro, Erica Martinson   

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Added: "The Democrat Agenda Marches On Regardless of Election Results"

"Republicans..relying on the voters to get mad and throw the Democrats out...is not enough. They've got to be stopped."...
 
11/20/14, "Don't Live in a Time Warp! The Democrat Agenda Marches On Regardless of Election Results," Rush Limbaugh

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GOP E had no agenda during 2014 midterms:

11/4/14, "For Republicans, the hard part is about to begin," Washington Post, Dana Milbank, opinion

"Because Republicans didn’t run on an agenda other than antipathy toward all things Obama, they created a policy vacuum--

and it’s about to be filled by a swirl of competing, and contradictory, proposals."...


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Comment: A few years ago we had to shut up because we were alienating independents. Now we have to shut up about a border fence and not wanting to be raped or murdered because we're alienating Hispanics. Constant personal attacks by the GOP E on its "hard-liner" base divert attention from the fact that the GOP has no agenda and no ideology separate from democrats.

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11/20/14, Washington Post: Republicans Confront Own Worst Enemy on Immigration - Robert Costa 

11/21/14, New York Times: Some in G.O.P. Fear That Their Hard-Liners Will Alienate Latino Voters - Jackie Calmes

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Friday, November 21, 2014

GOP should refrain from further border deals until a Republican president is seated and has demonstrated respect for laws. Surely that's not too long for the Chamber to wait. GOP action now will be Boehner chasing a laughing Obama and his pen around the desk-Quin Hillyer, NRO

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11/21/14, "No More Promises on Immigration," NRO, by Quin Hillyer
 
"Until someone else is president, the House should stick to its “no” vote on reform." 
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"Republican congressional leaders are making one very bad argument and yet again risking uncivil war on the right, in responding to Barack Obama’s wildly unconstitutional amnesty order. Their continuing failure to understand the political dynamics is deeply frustrating.
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Again and again, Republican leaders in recent weeks have urged Obama not to issue his order because (in one of many similar iterations) it will “ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue.” The implied promise one that Speaker John Boehner would obviously like to fulfill— was that if Obama held off, Congress would indeed find a way to pass “comprehensive” immigration reform of its own.

But that gives away the game, on multiple fronts.

First, this promise implicitly accepts the Obama argument that comprehensive reform is such an urgent national need that congressional inaction has “forced” his hand. Boehner and company effectively are saying that the choice is only between executive action and regular lawmaking through Congress. This is wrong. The choice is not between one form of action and the other; it is between unconstitutional executive action and a deliberate, lawful decision by the people’s representatives not to act at all, or at least not now
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The Boehner stance implicitly bolsters Obama’s contention that he is acting within the law, because he is acting in accordance with Congress’s own real will — a will that Congress is merely too inept or too subject to extremist “obstruction” to actually pass. (This is an argument based on the so-called progressive interpretation of the Constitution as an aspirational document rather than a specific, and intentionally limiting, one.) It lets Obama push a notion that seriously imperils the stability of our constitutional system: that the president is empowered to interpret, or is even the embodiment of, some overarching “national will” that would be perhaps more kumbaya-ish if acted on by Congress but that he can implement on his own if the cause is important enough.

In essence, Obama is saying that he is merely speeding up an inevitable action, because the need is so pressing now. The GOP leadership response seems to be that of course it’s pressing, but that it’s their prerogative — not the president’s — to act on it.

Instead, the proper Republican response should be: “We in Congress didn’t act because we as the people’s constitutional representatives chose not to act, and the president must abide by that decision. Period.” There is no national will that has any legal merit unless Congress acts (national defense excepted, of course). And this isn’t an official national emergency, either. The only urgency here is a result of the administration’s unlawful decision not to enforce current law. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one.

The second way this gives away the game is that even after Obama has acted, it puts pressure on Congress to pass something comprehensive — something he can sign — in order to assert Congress’s own prerogatives and override the worst features of his order. If they keep saying that Congress should act, well, it becomes a promise that Congress will act. And since Obama still holds the veto pen, he can continue pushing the envelope on the actual substance of the final legislative package.

The Republican Congress will be held accountable to “keep their promise” while Obama sits pretty, knowing that if no law gets passed and signed, his executive order remains in effect.

In their scramble to fulfill their promise while meeting his demands, Republican leaders will force their caucuses ever further from both good policy and the overwhelming majority of conservative activists and Republican voters nationwide. But with the media, the Chamber of Commerce, and Obama all putting pressure on the Republican Congress to fulfill its stated aim of a law of its own, there is no chance — repeat, none — that good policy will result.

The simple reality is that there is no immigration legislation bad enough for Obama to sign that could possibly be reasonable enough for even an immigration “moderate” to accept.

The third way the leadership’s message gives away the game is that it re-quakes the single biggest fault line in the Republican coalition. Any attempt to pass comprehensive reform while Obama is president is guaranteed to send the Chamber types and the conservative movement into paroxysms of fury against each other, just as it did last year when Boehner seemed determined to do something on immigration. Such intra-GOP strife would hobble any efforts, on other issues, to make the newly Republican bicameral majority a successful one.

Immigration is an issue on which, frankly, the Chamber should just stifle itself until a Republican president with an identifiably tough-on-scofflaws attitude is in office. The corporate desire for cheap labor should not outweigh the damage done to corporate bottom lines by the burdensome regulations, taxes, and aggressively biased administrative-law actions that always spew from the Left when a split Right loses elections.

Cynics say that conservatives always think it’s never time for an immigration bill. But there is a good time: A good time would be the third year of a successful Republican presidency during the first two years of which he demonstrated serious, measurably effective commitment to enforcement.

For now, though, Republicans should use the courts and careful legislative methods to fight Obama’s lawless order, not try to compete with it. As long as Obama is president, the idea of comprehensive immigration-reform legislation should remain incomprehensible." via Levin twitter

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Chinese Communist gov. of trusted Obama 'CO2 partner' Xi Jinping sends reporters to spy on college profs to ensure no talk of why gov. officials are so rich, etc. Pressure comes as US universities such as Duke and Stanford open China campuses-AP

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11/21/14, "Chinese state media give profs a chilling warning," AP via Washington Post

"Over two weeks, the Communist Party-run Liaoning Daily newspaper sent reporters to sit in on dozens of university lectures all over the country looking for what the paper said were professors “being scornful of China.” 

During visits to more than 20 schools, the regional paper wrote last week, it found exactly what it said it was looking for: Some professors compared Mao Zedong, first leader of China’s communist government, to ancient emperors, a blasphemy to party ideology upholding Mao as a break from the country’s feudal past. Other scholars were caught pointing out the party’s failures after taking power in 1949. Some repeatedly praised “Western” ideas such as a separation of powers in government.

“Dear teachers, because your profession demands something higher of you, and because of the solemnity and particularity of the university classroom, please do not speak this way about China!” implored the article, since widely distributed on social media throughout China.

Chinese professors have long endured monitoring and some degree of political interference, but this kind of public shaming was unprecedented in China’s recent history, said Zhang Wen, a journalism professor at the University of Science and Technology Beijing. For some, it evokes memories of the bloody political purges of the Cultural Revolution 40 years ago.

Since taking power last year, President Xi Jinping’s government has tightened controls over a wide range of society, from artists to churches. And while academics have traditionally been held up as respected voices of authority in Chinese society, many view the public investigation as an order to watch what they say in classrooms, Zhang said.

“I think this is a very bad thing,” he said. “Teachers need some freedom to interpret facts. If not, why have teachers then? Students can just read books. I think this is definitely a warning to us.”

Just months after Xi took power last year, Chinese authorities outlined seven topics that professors shouldn’t talk about in their classes, including judicial independence, civil society and the wealth of government officials, according to Xia Yeliang, a former Peking University economics professor who was fired last year for supporting democratic reforms in China.

In addition to Xia, at least two other Beijing-based professors have been disciplined for their teachings about sensitive topics such as the Arab Spring uprisings and constitutionalism in China, Zhang said.

Economics professor Ilham Tohti was even sentenced to life in prison in September on separatism charges in part for championing the rights of the country’s Muslim Uighur minority during his lectures at Minzu University in Beijing. That sentence was upheld by a higher court Friday.

I don't think there's any question we're in the midst of a renewed crackdown on dissent,” said David Bandurski, a researcher at the University of Hong Kong-based China Media Project, which studies the practice of journalism in the country. “It seems there is a broader attempt to limit discussion on a whole range of issues in academia and in the press that the party regards as sensitive.”
 
The growing pressure hits as several U.S. universities, including Duke and Stanford, open campuses in China, hoping to tap into the country’s enormous and growing pool of students.

Last year, more than 130 faculty members at Wellesley College in Massachusetts signed a letter warning that firing Xia would jeopardize a new academic partnership between the college and Peking University.

Several U.S. institutions, including the University of Chicago and Penn State, have ended their relationships with the Chinese government-run Confucius Institute, which has opened branches in hundreds of universities and schools around the world. U.S. professors have complained that instructors at the institutes have promoted a rosy, state-approved vision of China and are trained to avoid discussion of sensitive subjects such as Tibet and the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Bruce Lincoln, a University of Chicago religious studies professor, said he and others there objected to the Confucius Institute independently running its program and offering classes for school credit.

“If they’re partnering with an American university and ... are supplying the teachers and the curriculum, and the university calls it one of their courses, I think something terrible is going on,” Lincoln said. “It’s as if we let the tobacco industry offer its course in health sciences.”

In China, the Liaoning Daily article has also sparked furious debate on Chinese social media about the need for intellectual autonomy versus patriotism in academia.

Zhang Ming, a politics professor at Renmin University in Beijing, noted in a rebuttal that the story doesn’t cite specific professors or schools, only saying reporters visited classrooms in Beijing, Shanghai and three other cities, during which “they listened to nearly 100 expert classes.”

“They didn’t say who said what, they just said the problem was big,” Zhang said. “It’s a very strange thing.”

Also, Chinese professors asked why the story came out in a northeast Chinese branch of state media rather than the People’s Daily or another national publication. Liaoning Daily declined Thursday to comment on their story.

In its article, the paper said it was responding to reports that many professors were “blackening” the country in their lectures.

“We felt we had to write this open letter so that our teachers could better consider questions like these: How should China be taught objectively and accurately in the classroom?” the article read. 


“How can students be taught all at once with expert knowledge and a bright attitude?”

According to Xia, now a visiting fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian U.S. think tank, the article showed the Chinese government was no longer hiding what had always been private or unspoken pressure on academics. It was an unmistakable move by the government, he said, to rein in public discourse in a corner of Chinese society that has up until now enjoyed more freedom.

“The way they’re doing it, they’re trying to terrorize Chinese academics,” Xia said. “This is like in the Cultural Revolution. If you have foreign connections, they can say you’re anti-Chinese. They can treat you like enemies.”"



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Some people engage in temper tantrums after crushing, embarrassing defeats

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Above image by Free Republic commenter in thread of article below

11/20/14, "FACT CHECK: Obama's claims on illegal immigration," AP, Alicia A. Caldwell and Erica Werner

Obama is embarrassed by his rejection in the midterms. So he's having a temper tantrum.



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