Saturday, March 28, 2015

With passage of Trans-Pacific Partnership, US towns and cities will be subject to UN and World Bank tribunals. Republicans and Obama admin. seek to fast track this, details secret from US citizens-NY Times

US towns and cities will be subservient to UN and World Bank tribunals. "Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a member nation would be forbidden from favoring “goods produced in its territory.”"

3/25/15, "Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S.," NY Times, Jonathan Weisman

"An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment “expectations” and hurt their business, according to a classified document.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership — a cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s remaining economic agenda — would grant broad powers to multinational companies operating in North America, South America and Asia. Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.
Backers of the emerging trade accord, which is supported by a wide variety of business groups and favored by most Republicans, say that it is in line with previous agreements that contain similar provisions. But critics, including many Democrats in Congress, argue that the planned deal widens the opening for multinationals to sue in the United States and elsewhere, giving greater priority to protecting corporate interests than promoting free trade and competition that benefits consumers.
The chapter in the draft of the trade deal, dated Jan. 20, 2015, and obtained by The New York Times in collaboration with the group WikiLeaks, is certain to kindle opposition from both the political left and the right. The sensitivity of the issue is reflected in the fact that the cover mandates that the chapter not be declassified until four years after the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into force or trade negotiations end, should the agreement fail.
Conservatives are likely to be incensed that even local policy changes could send the government to a United Nations-sanctioned tribunal. On the left, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, law professors and a host of liberal activists have expressed fears the provisions would infringe on United States sovereignty and impinge on government regulation involving businesses in banking, tobacco, pharmaceuticals and other sectors.
Members of Congress have been reviewing the secret document in secure reading rooms, but this is the first disclosure to the public since an early version leaked in 2012..
“This is really troubling,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “It seems to indicate that savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government, such as made-in-America laws or anti-tobacco laws. I think people on both sides of the aisle will have trouble with this.”...
Such “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” accords exist already in more than 3,000 trade agreements across the globe. The United States is party to 51, including the North American Free Trade Agreement. Administration officials say they level the playing field for American companies doing business abroad, protect property from government seizure and ensure access to international justice.
But the limited use of trade tribunals, critics argue, is because companies in those countries do not have the size, legal budgets and market power to come after governments in the United States. The Trans-Pacific Partnership could change all that, they say. The agreement would expand that authority to investors in countries as wealthy as Japan and Australia, with sophisticated companies deeply invested in the United States.
“U.S.T.R. will say the U.S. has never lost a case, but you’re going to see a lot more challenges in the future,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio. “There’s a huge pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for these companies.”
One 1999 case gives ammunition to both sides of the debate. Back then, California banned the chemical MTBE from the state’s gasoline, citing the damage it was doing to its water supply. The Canadian company Methanex Corporation sued for $970 million under Nafta, claiming damages on future profits. The case stretched to 2005, when the tribunal finally dismissed all claims.
To supporters of the TPP, the Methanex case was proof that regulation for the “public good” would win out. For opponents, it showed what could happen when far larger companies from countries like Japan have access to the same extrajudicial tribunals....
Civil courts in the United States are already open to action by foreign investors and companies. Since 1993, while the federal government was defending itself against those 17 cases brought through extrajudicial trade tribunals, it was sued 700,000 times in domestic courts.
In all, according to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, about 9,000 foreign-owned firms operating in the United States would be empowered to bring cases against governments here. Those are as diverse as timber and mining companies in Australia and investment conglomerates from China whose subsidiaries in Trans-Pacific Partnership countries like Vietnam and New Zealand also have ventures in the United States.
More than 18,000 companies based in the United States would gain new powers to go after the other 11 countries in the accord.
A similar accord under negotiation with Europe has already provoked an outcry there.
Senator Brown contended that the overall accord, not just the investment provisions, was troubling. 
“This continues the great American tradition of corporations writing trade agreements, sharing them with almost nobody, so often at the expense of consumers, public health and workers,” he said.
Under the terms of the Pacific trade chapter, foreign investors could demand cash compensation if member nations “expropriate or nationalize a covered investment either directly or indirectly.” 
Opponents fear “indirect expropriation” will be interpreted broadly, especially by deep-pocketed multinational companies opposing regulatory or legal changes that diminish the value of their investments.
Included in the definition of “indirect expropriation” is government action that “interferes with distinct, reasonable investment-backed expectations,” according to the leaked document.
The cost can be high. In 2012, one such tribunal, under the auspices of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, ordered Ecuador to pay Occidental Petroleum a record $2.3 billion for expropriating oil drilling rights.
Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a member nation would be forbidden from favoring “goods produced in its territory.”
Critics say the text’s definition of an investment is so broad that it could open enormous avenues of legal challenge. An investment includes “every asset that an investor owns or controls, directly or indirectly, that has the characteristic of an investment,” including “regulatory permits; intellectual property rights; financial instruments such as stocks and derivatives”; construction, management, production, concession, revenue-sharing and other similar contracts; and “licenses, authorizations, permits and similar rights conferred pursuant to domestic law.”
“This is not about expropriation; it’s about regulatory changes,” said Lori Wallach, director of Global Trade Watch and a fierce opponent of the Pacific accord. “You now have specialized law firms being set up. You go to them, tell them what country you’re in, what regulation you want to go after, and they say ‘We’ll do it on contingency.’”
In 2013, Eli Lilly took advantage of a similar provision under Nafta to sue Canada for $500 million, accusing Ottawa of violating its obligations to foreign investors by allowing its courts to invalidate patents for two of its drugs.
All of those disputes would be adjudicated under rules set by either the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes or the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law....
There are other mitigating provisions, but many have catches. For instance, one article states that “nothing in this chapter” should prevent a member country from regulating investment activity for “environmental, health or other regulatory objectives.” But that safety valve says such regulation must be “consistent” with the other strictures of the chapter, a provision even administration officials said rendered the clause more political than legal.
One of the chapter’s annexes states that regulatory actions meant “to protect legitimate public welfare objectives, such as public health, safety and the environment” do not constitute indirect expropriation, “except in rare circumstances.” That final exception could open such regulations to legal second-guessing, critics say."

"Correction: March 27, 2015 An article on Thursday about provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as outlined in a classified document, that would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States over actions that hurt their business or investment expectations misstated when the document was made available to members of Congress. Drafts were available for review soon after being written; it is not the case that the latest document was not made available until last week."
"A version of this article appears in print on [Thurs.] March 26, 2015, on page B1 of the New York edition."...


3/17/15, "Putting the TPP on the Right Track," Politico, "There is a real choice to be made between two different approaches to international trade." by Simon Johnson and Rep. Sander Levin
p. 2, "Vietnam represents the first time the U.S. is negotiating a broad trade agreement with a command economy. As a country that has never allowed workers to choose their own representatives and where the single labor union is part of the Communist Party, Vietnam will require not only major changes to its laws and practices, but also regular monitoring of compliance by a panel of experts.

And if TPP is to serve as a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico will need to change its labor laws and practices to properly implement its TPP obligations."...

1/13/14, "Noam Chomsky: Obama Trade Deal A 'Neoliberal Assault' To Further Corporate 'Domination'," Huffington Post, Zach Carter, Ryan Grim

"The Obama administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is an "assault," on working people intended to further corporate "domination," according to author and activist Noam Chomsky.

“It’s designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity,” Chomsky said during an interview with HuffPost Live.

The Obama administration has been negotiating the TPP pact with 11 other Pacific nations for years. 

While the deal has not been finalized and much of it has been classified, American corporate interest groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have already voiced strong support for the TPP, describing it as a free trade deal that will encourage economic growth. The Office of U.S. Trade Representative has also defended the talks, saying the TPP will include robust regulatory protections. 

But labor unions and a host of traditionally liberal interest groups, including environmentalists and public health advocates, have sharply criticized the deal. 

Chomsky argues that much of the negotiations concern issues outside of what many consider trade, and are focused instead on limiting the activities governments can regulate, imposing new intellectual property standards abroad and boosting corporate political power.
“It’s called free trade, but that’s just a joke," Chomsky said. 

"These are extreme, highly protectionist measures designed to undermine freedom of trade. In fact, much of what's leaked about the TPP indicates that it's not about trade at all, it’s about investor rights.”

The Obama administration is treating the precise terms of the deal as classified information, blocking many Congressional staffers from viewing the negotiation texts and limiting the information available to members of Congress themselves. The deal's only publicly available negotiation documents have come to light through document leaks. Recent documents have been published by WikiLeaks and HuffPost.

According to these leaked documents, the TPP would empower corporations to directly challenge laws and regulations set by foreign nations before an international tribunal. The tribunal would be given the authority to not only overrule that nation's legal standards but also impose economic penalties on it. Under World Trade Organization treaties, corporations must convince a sovereign nation to bring trade cases before an international court. Chomsky said the deal is an escalation of neoliberal political goals previously advanced by the WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"It's very hard to make anything of the TPP because it's been kept very secret," Chomsky told HuffPost Live. "A half-secret, I should say. It's not secret from the hundreds of corporate lawyers and lobbyists who are writing the legislation. To them, it's perfectly public. They're, in fact, writing it. It's being kept secret from the population. Which of course raises obvious questions."

Several members of Congress, including Obama's fellow Democrats, have attacked the intense secrecy surrounding the talks. But others want to give the TPP the "fast track" to passage; Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced legislation on Thursday that would prevent members of Congress from offering legislative amendments to whatever final trade deal Obama reaches. 

But the move to fast track the TPP hit headwinds in the House, where no Democrat has agreed to co-sponsor the legislation. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the fast track bill cannot pass without Democratic support. Chomsky quipped that of course the administration and lawmakers would want to speed up a sweeping trade deal that may be more in the interest of corporations than the public.

“It’s very understandable that it should be kept secret from the public," Chomsky said, "why should people know what’s happening to them?”"


TPP to be followed by US-EU version, TTIP:

3/28/15, "A new US-EU free trade agreement could make countries subservient to corporations," Business Insider, Don Quijones, Wolf St.

"After eight rounds of secret negotiations, Washington and Brussels are still struggling to breathe life into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). According to current European Union President, Latvia, the chances of the agreement being signed by the year-end target are growing perilously slim.

The potentially game-changing trade deal is aimed at radically reconfiguring the legal and regulatory superstructures of the world’s two largest markets, the United States and the European Union – for the almost exclusive benefit of the world’s biggest multinational corporations.

However, resistance continues to mount on both sides of the Atlantic. In the U.S. Wikileaks’ perfectly timed exposé of the investment chapter of TTIP’s sister treaty, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), could derail White House efforts to gain fast track approval to bulldoze the treaty through Congress. 

This time, even the mainstream media seems to be paying an interest, with the New York Times in particular publishing a broadly critical report.

On the other side of the Atlantic, things seem to be going from bad to worse — at least for the treaty’s supporters. Even the U.S.’s ever-faithful ally and fellow Five-Eye member, the United Kingdom, is beginning to express reservations about TTIP. Earlier this week an all-party committee of Members of Parliament released a scathing report on the trade agreement. The Business, Innovation and Skills committee said the government needed “stronger evidence” to back up its claim that TTIP would bring a boost of £100bn a year to the UK.

The report also warned that the case had yet to be made for the highly controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), a provision that elevates individual foreign corporations and investors to equal (or arguably superior) status with a sovereign nation’s government. If signed, it would allow companies to skirt domestic courts and directly “sue” signatory governments for compensation in foreign extrajudicial tribunals."...


Young New Hampshire crowd cheers Ted Cruz support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu

"The crowd erupted in applause after Cruz declared his steadfast support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu."
3/28/15, "The Disrupter? Ted Cruz Lays Out ‘Grassroots Guerrilla’ Strategy for College Audience," Breitbart, A. Marlow, Nashua, N.H.

Fri., 3/27/15, Nashua, NH

"With a speech peppered with pop culture references, Texas Senator Ted Cruz brought a crowd of college students to their feet on three occasions Friday night at the New England Freedom Conference.

The first 2016 presidential candidate is the most prominent conservative speaking at the free enterprise-themed weekend hosted by conservative activist organization Young America’s Foundation.

Cruz, who paid homage to Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul for their ability to connect with young audiences, tailored his speech to the youthful crowd.

Of the 200+ in attendance at the Radisson Hotel Nashua, most were students. The 44-year-old Texan presented himself as relentlessly positive in the face of intense and often nasty opposition. In his introduction, Reagan Ranch director Andrew Coffin compared the onslaught of attacks waged against Cruz to what Ronald Reagan endured.

Cruz laughed off the negativity. “Reagan dealt with things with a smile,” he said....

At times the speech veered to serious political topics:

The junior Texas Senator criticized the Democrats for the rapid rise in the national debt—he noted that it has gone up $8 trillion since his six-year-old daughter was born—as well as the beleaguered jobs market and staggering student loans for young people....

He went on to describe the Obama administration as the “most antagonist administration to Israel” in the history of the USA. The crowd erupted in applause after Cruz declared his steadfast support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Several shots at the GOP political establishment were well received by the conference-goers.  

Republicans in Washington D.C. have accepted Obamacare as a permanent feature,” he declared to a smattering of moans. Cruz cited Republicans in particular as being unwilling to change polices and strategies that could jeopardize their own job security.

The 2016 hopeful described himself as a disrupter: an agent whose modus operandi is to question accepted norms and upset the natural order of things.

The Hispanic American of Cuban descent made it clear that he hopes to establish an identity as an upbeat conservative, steadfast in his principles, often at odds with the Republican Party, and using a playbook patented by Democrats.

With the clarion call “change the rules in Washington” neatly summing up his extensive remarks, Sen. Ted Cruz generated an enthusiastic response from the Young America’s Foundation New England Freedom Conference audience.

The conference continues Saturday with a full day of speakers and is live-streamed at"

Image by Breitbart. Via Free Rep.



Republican road to 2016 White House may run through Israel. Ted Cruz mention of Israel drew roaring, standing ovation from Evangelical Christians. Importance of Israel as election issue can only grow as US government treatment of the nation worsens-Keith Koffler, Reuters blog

3/16/15, "The Republican road to the White House runs through Israel," Reuters blogs, Keith Koffler

"As Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) announced on Monday that he is running for president, his Virginia audience cheered. He dropped applause line after applause line on some 10,000 students at Liberty University, which bills itself as the largest Christian university in the world....

There was applause throughout. But one line prompted the students to erupt into a roaring, 30-second, standing ovation:

"Instead of a president who boycotts Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel."

It brought down the house.

There can be little doubt. Evangelical Christian voters, a key component of the Republican Party base, are wild about Israel. They are also furious about what they see as President Barack Obama’s rough treatment of the current custodian of the Holy Land, Netanyahu....

Evangelicals might also view Israel as a reliable steward of the Holy Land. Israel has maintained many Christian sites and keeps the areas accessible to visitors. Should Islamic extremists — such as Islamic State, which is busy destroying historical artifacts — ever seize control of a Palestinian state, results for sacred Christian sites could be catastrophic.

But support on the American right for Israel may also have to do with an attitude toward Islam informed by national security concerns. Pew found in a June 2014 survey that 72 percent of those describing themselves as “steadfast conservatives” believe the Islamic religion is “more likely than others to encourage violence,” compared to just 13 percent of liberals.

Traditionally, backing for Israel has been viewed as a lure for Jewish votes. That will still be true during the 2016 presidential cycle, particularly in the general election. This has long bolstered the Democratic Party, however. With Republican candidates advocating strong support for Israel, they could cause many Jewish voters to defect to the GOP, and undermine the Democratic nominee.

Jewish voters in Florida, which Obama won in 2012, counted for 5 percent of the state’s vote. Given the extreme tightness of the presidential contests there, a shift of Jewish voters to the Republican camp could turn the state from blue to red — and possibly deliver its Electoral College votes, too.

Jewish voters in swing states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, and to a lesser extent, Ohio could also have an impact. But more than half of all Jews in the United States live in New York, California and New Jersey, states that are solidly in the Democratic camp. The importance of the Jewish vote is lower than it used to be when those states were in play for Republicans....

If relations with Israel continue to deteriorate and Obama moves to “re-assess” Washington’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian question, the importance of Israel as an election issue to those with an emotional attachment to the nation will only grow.

And a Republican could ride that wave of emotion straight to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

"Keith Koffler is the editor of the website White House Dossier and the morning news tip sheet REDLINE." Above image, Ted Cruz, 9/25/13, leaving Senate chamber after ObamaCare marathon, Reuters


Overthrow of US by its political class continues in 2015 via weapon of choice, 'unaccompanied minors,' pouring across southern border. American citizens aren't asked, we're told 'we have to be prepared' for more 'kids' who somehow walk thousands of miles alone

3/27/15, "DHS Secretary: 'Thousands' of Unaccompanied Children Still Crossing Into U.S.," CNS News, Susan Jones

"Unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the United States still number in the thousands, probably the tens of thousands, even though the percentages are lower, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress on Thursday. 

"For the kids, unaccompanied kids, it's running about 40 percent lower," Johnson said. "I hope it stays that way, but we have to be prepared in the event it doesn't."...

(Rep.) Cuellar rounded the number of unaccompanied children expected to enter the U.S. this year to "30,000 individuals, or maybe less than 30,000. It's still a lot," the congressman noted....

Cuellar asked Johnson if those numbers include "family units" as well.

"No, that's a different number," Johnson said....

Johnson testified Thursday before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security."

Unaccompanied minors, AP


Commenter to above article at CNS observes this is NOT immigration, it's an invasion:


This is NOT immigration, this is an invasion!!! And these children  aren't just crossing over on their own!! It is time for mass deportations of the "children", those who brought them here and those who are housing them!!!! If a business KNOWINGLY hires illegals, shut them down!!! Charge the governments of where these "children" are coming from for their deportation and DEMAND that our elected officials uphold OUR rules of law!!! Illegal immigration is criminal and must be stopped!!!"

Comment: 30,000 children walk thousands of miles from El Salvador or Honduras to Texas on their own? Not a single US elected official cares that this couldn't possibly be true or even tries to come up with a better lie. If you have no southern border, you're not a country. There's no reason to have a military since you have no country to defend. "Unaccompanied minors" ("kids") from violent cultures are forced into the environment of defenseless American children. Plenty of American families may have wanted to have more kids of their own but didn't because they couldn't afford to. Now, they're forced in effect to have more kids they can't afford. The US has been overthrown.


Companies quit China natural gas exploration, prices and policies mandated by Communist China gov., complex geology made it difficult for companies to survive

3/27/15, "Here’s Why Royal Dutch Shell And BP plc (ADR) Are Cutting Investments In China,"

"The 50% plummet in crude oil price since June 2014 is forcing energy companies to cut back on their investments in China. With the fall in oil price, profit margins for these companies have fallen sharply, offering lower rates of return. The cost of production in China is considered to be high, plus the country is geologically riskier compared to other countries.

The North Dakota region has become the shale oil hub in recent years. Energy companies began using hydraulic fracturing techniques which allowed them to drill deeper into the surface and extract more oil. After gaining success in the US, energy companies started to explore other options of shale oil.

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) invested substantial amounts in China. The oil giant went on to develop numerous businesses involving production and selling of oil products. The company also signed a production sharing contract with PetroChina Company Limited (ADR) (NYSE:PTR).

This was during the time when crude oil price was above $100 per barrel. Energy companies during this period rushed to China to make investments in the region. Shell’s former CEO Peter Voser in 2013 claimed gas development to be a top priority in the country.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, China has the world’s largest technically recoverable shale gas reserves and with the natural gas demand rising in the area, the country aimed on shifting its dependence to natural gas from coal.

However, Shell faced numerous challenges in the area. The geology surrounding the Chinese shale reserves is very complicated. The companies lack data on the area, which leads to higher costs of shale oil production. Other problems that energy companies face are the shale prices set by the government. This prevents the companies from making adequate profits and discourages investment
According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the energy experts of China, Zhongmin Wang, said that China’s two largest oil companies have made losses amounting to $1 billion on shale through 2013 due to the government policies. In addition, most of the shale areas have higher population densities making it difficult to operate in them.

With the recent challenges faced by the company in terms of lower crude price and costly production, Shell was forced to cut back on its investment activity in the country. According to the Wall Street Journal, Shell now aims on selling its Chinese lubricant brand of business along with its operations. 

In addition, the company has sold the joint venture with PetroChina in Australia which involved exporting liquefied natural gas.

In addition to Shell, many other energy companies have also sold operations in China. One of them is BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP). The company is yet face a penalty for its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and its Russian operations are also hurt due to the US sanctions. With the falling crude oil price, the London-based oil major is finding it difficult to survive in China. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the British oil major has announced to withdraw from three exploratory blocks in the South China Sea, writing off $100 million in exploration costs.

Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) is also planning to quit a deal that it signed with PetroChina for shale oil exploration. Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) have decided to sell operations in China."


3/26/15, "Oil Producers Sound Retreat From China," Wall St. Journal," Brian Spegele, Beijing

"Shell, others slash investments in country amid falling prices, shaking China’s energy ambitions."

Global oil companies are unwinding some big bets they made on China."...(subscription)

In August 2014, China cut shale gas expectations:

8/7/2014, "China finds shale gas challenging, halves 2020 output target," Reuters

"China has halved the quantum of shale gas it expects to produce by 2020 after early exploration efforts to unlock the unconventional fuel proved challenging, according to an industry website and a government source.

China, believed to hold the world's largest technically recoverable shale resources, is hoping to replicate the shale boom that has transformed the energy landscape of the United States. 

About four years of early evaluations and drilling have so far yielded one large find - Fuling field - in the most prospective gas province of southwest Sichuan, but experts say the Fuling success is hard to repeat due to complex geology and high cost of production....

The revision, which is pending government finalization, would be negative for oil service sector companies that were hoping to cash in on the major drilling activity needed to reach the earlier target.

"This is clearly negative for sentiment for some of the China oil service sector firms such as Anton Oilfield ," said Scott Darling, head of Asia Oil and Gas research of JPMorgan in Hong Kong. "This admission on shale gas reflects the challenges facing China’s natural gas market."...

The government's efforts, led by the Ministry of Land and Resources, to open up the shale gas sector to independent players have had small success, as the blocks the ministry has to offer are of poorer quality and would entail hefty exploration costs.

Attempts by international firms to participate in the shale gas development have not been wholly fruitful either, with Royal Dutch Shell and Hess Corp the only foreign firms that have landed production sharing contracts, while most of them, including Exxon Mobil and BP, have barely progressed beyond the preliminary stage of studying the blocks." 


Gallup poll, 74% of Republicans with college degree say idea of man caused global warming is exaggerated, 5 year survey, March 2010-March 2015, 6000 interviews

3/26/15, "College-Educated Republicans Most Skeptical of Global Warming," Gallup, by Frank Newport and Andrew Dugan

"Republicans with higher levels of education are more likely than those in their parties with less education to say that the seriousness of global warming is "generally exaggerated." By contrast, Democrats with some college or more are less likely than those with less education to believe the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated.

Seventy-four percent of Republicans with a college degree say it is exaggerated, compared with 57% of those with high school education or less saying the same. Democrats are much less likely in general to say that the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated, but those a college degree (15%) are significantly less likely to say this than those with a high school education or less (27%).

The relationship between education and views of global warming among independents is generally similar to that shown among Republicans.

These opposing trends by party suggest that higher levels of education reinforce core partisan positions; in this case, Republicans' strong tendency to question or deny global warming and Democrats' inclination to affirm it. The trends also suggest that partisanship rather than education is a main lens through which Americans view global warming and its effects, particularly for those who claim allegiance to one of the two major political parties.

These results come from an aggregation of more than 6,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup's annual Environmental Poll conducted each March from 2010 to 2015. Over that time, Americans' views about the seriousness of global warming have been steady: 43% on average have said it was generally exaggerated, 24% generally correct and 31% have said it was generally underestimated. Longer term, though, Republicans' and Democrats' views about global warming have increasingly diverged.

Educated Republicans Less Likely to Worry About, Believe in Global Warming

The tendency for Republicans with college education to be skeptical of global warming is evident in other Gallup trends
For example, although Republicans tend to be much less likely to worry about global warming than others, Republicans with a college degree are even less likely to worry about global warming "a great deal" than their fellow Republicans. Republicans with more education are also about half as likely as those with a high school education or less to say global warming will pose a serious threat in their lifetime, more likely to say that global warming's effects will never occur, and more likely to say that global warming is caused by natural changes in the environment rather than by human activity.

The relationship between education and views on global warming among Democrats is in the opposite direction: The most educated Democrats are slightly more likely than less educated Democrats to worry about global warming and to believe it will be a threat in their lifetime. Highly educated Democrats are also much less likely to believe that global warming is the result of natural changes rather than caused by humans. Very few Democrats, regardless of education, say the effects of global warming will never happen....


Given the scientific nature of global warming, it is not surprising that Americans' understanding and interpretation of its effects could be related to their education levels. Among Republicans and Democrats, education levels have opposite effects, with higher educational attainment linked to more doubt about global warming among Republicans but a greater sense of its reality among Democrats.

In other words, education appears to harden the partisan battle lines, rather than build common bridges. College graduates who are Republicans are actually more likely than college graduates who are Democrats to say they understand a great deal about the issue, but well-educated Republicans find this understanding leads them in a different direction than it does Democrats....

Education does not mitigate the partisan divide in beliefs about global warming but instead strengthens it.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted in March of each year between 2010-2015, with an aggregated random sample of 6,154 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods."

Ted Cruz for President raised $2 million in first 3 days of campaign, nearly 10,000 online donations were $99 or less-USA Today

3/27/15, "Ted Cruz raises $2 million for White House bid," USA Today, Fredreka Schouten

"Sen. Ted Cruz, the first major Republican candidate to declare his White House candidacy, raised $2 million during the first three days of his presidential campaign — as his team deployed a mix of complex social-media strategy and behavioral analytics to reach and sway potential donors.

Hours before his announcement speech Monday in Lynchburg, Va., Cruz tweeted the news that he was running for president. That day, he had 5.7 million interactions on Facebook. So far, nearly two-thirds of his fundraising haul has flowed in through the Internet, aided behind the scenes by a team of data scientists who closely monitor social media and digital traffic to determine who's reading their messages, who's sharing them and who's clicking through to his website and taking action.

The communication is two-way. Relying on marketing techniques common in the world of commerce, Cruz's team has tailored its web advertising to reach seven different "psychographic" clusters — groups of people with similar attitudes, personalities and interests. It has crafted 17 different advertising messages to reach those potential donors.

For instance, pro-gun "traditionalists" saw online banner ads with a grandfather and grandson heading out to hunt, while another targeted people concerned about personal safety with an image of a home break-in. Another talked about "bringing ... faith in God back to America" to attract religious conservatives. They all directed people to visit

The Cruz rollout is the latest sign that the world of data analytics is fast taking root in American politics — as candidates race to build out a digital strategy for a contest that will require each party's nominee to raise at least $1 billion.

Increasingly, political campaigns are "targeting people based on their hopes, dreams, worries, fears and motivation," said Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center. However, all the data-crunching in the world would not succeed without Cruz also having a message and persona that appeals to some voters, she said.

"If this were all about high-altitude baking techniques, nothing would come of it," Rutledge said. "He's managed to tap into the underdog archetype."...

Building a network of small donors will be crucial for Cruz, a Senate firebrand who has trailed behind other likely GOP contenders, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, in early polling. Small donors can be tapped repeatedly for contributions until they hit the $2,700 maximum contribution for the primary election.

Cruz's decision to announce first allowed him to dominate political coverage for several days and quickly attract small donors. Nearly 10,000 of Cruz's online donations came in amounts of $99 or smaller, according to figures released by his campaign."...chart from USA Today, via Free Rep.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Conservative Democrat NY State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. invites Ted Cruz to South Bronx to meet its grassroots army of Black and Hispanic Evangelical Christians 'who have been ignored by every Presidential candidate'-NY Observer

3/26/15, "Ruben Diaz Sr. Wants Ted Cruz to Visit the South Bronx," NY Observer, by Jillian Jorgensen

Forget New Hampshire, or Iowa, or Lynchburg, Virginia, where Republican Senator Ted Cruz kicked off his presidential campaign. State Senator Ruben Diaz wants Mr. Cruz to come stump in the South Bronx.

Imagine Ted Cruz traveling to the Bronx where there is a grassroots army of Black and Hispanic Evangelical Christians who are just like him—and who have been ignored by every Presidential candidate,” Mr. Diaz wrote today in one of his periodic e-mail blasts to constituents. “Imagine Ted Cruz coming to the South Bronx where there are many of Hispanic Evangelical Churches that are willing to stand together for liberty—to encourage us and let us know that he is one of us.”

Mr. Diaz, a conservative Democrat and pastor who has previously endorsed Republican candidates (including failed gubernatorial contender Rob Astorino), said he is “extending an invitation” for Mr. Cruz to join the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization for its Annual Ministers Banquet on April 18, and “bring with him the gift of hope.”

Mr. Cruz announced his presidential bid at Liberty University in Lynchburg, a Christian university founded by televangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell. In his speech, he asked people to “Imagine millions of courageous conservatives rising up,” a theme Mr. Diaz borrowed in his “What You Should Know” missive.

“Imagine Ted Cruz coming to the South Bronx where there are many of Hispanic Evangelical Churches that are willing to stand together for liberty—to encourage us and let us know that he is one of us,” Mr. Diaz wrote. “Imagine Ted Cruz being willing to break another rule and come to the South Bronx to show his respect for our Black and Hispanic communities, and also to break bread with our Evangelical leaders.”

In addition to his socially conservative views, the flamboyant Mr. Diaz is also known for his penchant for cowboy hats—which would perhaps help Mr. Cruz, who represents Texas, feel more at home in the South Bronx.

Mr. Diaz’s son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., had a bit of a spat with Mr. Cruz when the Texan knocked the Bronx while discussing immigration.

Like many GOP presidential contenders, Mr. Cruz may not pull a ton of votes from New York City, but he is looking to the Big Apple to raise cash—he met with Sheldon Adelson among others in November. He also has not been shy about reaching out to religious groups: on that November trip, he spoke at Mort Klein’s Zionist Organization of America dinner." via Free Republic