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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Republican Field, Stephen Hayse on: July 31, 2015, 09:10:35 AM
One question of each candidate;  (more at the link)

At the center of each candidacy lies a fundamental question, the answer to which will determine whether the candidate becomes the Republican nominee. Some of those questions are philosophical, some of them political. With all 16 candidates formally in the race as of last week, and with the first debate just two weeks away, here is a look at the field and those questions.

For nearly half of the candidates, the fundamental question is the simplest one in politics: Am I viable?

This is the question now facing Jindal, Santorum, Fiorina, Graham, and even Perry. The top 10 candidates will be invited to the Fox News debate in Cleveland on August 6. At press time, none of these candidates would qualify on the basis of the Real Clear Politics average of national polls. If you’re not in the debates, you have no shot.

Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson will both make the debates, but they face the same question. Huckabee is a good communicator, but he appeals largely to social conservatives, and his only hope is a strong showing in Iowa, where he’s currently running sixth. Carson has a strong grassroots following, and his early-state supporters seem more committed to their candidate than are the early backers of other candidates. His challenge is to expand his appeal beyond that core group.

Kasich: Will primary voters rally to a candidate arguing that the good Lord wants him to expand government?

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, entered the race with a 45-minute extemporaneous speech that served as a strong reminder of the importance of speechwriters. More than once, Kasich seemed to end up in a rhetorical cul de sac, pausing momentarily to wonder how he’d gotten there before abruptly heading out in a new direction.

There is an authenticity about Kasich that could well be appealing, particularly in a state like New Hampshire, where voters are often open to quirky Republicans. And if government experience were the most important qualification for the presidency, Kasich, with 18 years in the House of Representatives before his two terms as Ohio governor, would be the Republican nominee.

But Kasich, who portrays himself as a budget hawk, chose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, arguing that anyone who decided otherwise would be disappointing God. “When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small,” Kasich told  an Ohio lawmaker skeptical of his expansion. “But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.”

It’s an argument without a limiting principle that could be used to justify any expansion of government. And Kasich’s Medicaid expansion is already over budget—some $1.4 billion over budget in just 18 months.

Christie: Will voters, and donors, give him a second look?

Four years ago, with Mitt Romney the odds-on favorite in the Republican primary, a group of six influential Iowa Republicans flew to New Jersey to implore Chris Christie to consider a presidential run. He declined. Christie is running this time, and none of those six men is supporting him. In the RCP average of polls, Christie registers a paltry 2.8 percent.

There are several explanations for this. Being governor of New Jersey means extra attention in the media capital of the world, particularly from the broadcast networks. That’s an advantage, but also a liability, as Christie discovered during the “Bridgegate” scandal in 2013. The story received widespread coverage on television and in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, newspapers with national readership. The governor of Oregon, forced to resign amid scandal, didn’t receive a fraction of the coverage that Christie has on the bridge.

Beyond that, conservatives have grown increasingly skeptical of Christie for reasons both substantive and symbolic. Christie, like Kasich, opted to expand Medicaid in New Jersey, a deal with the devil that will inevitably mean vastly more state-level spending when the federal support for the expansion ends. Christie once proclaimed that failure to reform Medicaid and other entitlements put America “on the path to ruin.” And in 2012, he said: “Obamacare on Medicaid to the states was extortion.” But facing reelection in a blue state in 2013, Christie agreed to the expansion, and he now defends it as necessary. That would be a problem for anyone, but it presents a particular challenge for Christie, who is running as a “telling-it-like-it-is” candidate who will deliver the hard truths on entitlements.

But for many conservatives, it was Christie’s embrace of Obama in the days before the 2012 presidential election that left them skeptical. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as Christie sought federal help for his battered state, he toured the coast with Obama and offered praise for the president. It was a brief moment of little actual consequence, but for many conservative voters, it is an enduring memory.

Cruz: Can the mad-as-hell conservative base be converted to mad-as-hell supporters of Ted Cruz?

Cruz has money and arguably the clearest, most consistent message in the entire field: He’s had it with Washington, he’s had it with the Democrats who have expanded government, and he’s especially had it with the Republicans who have enabled them. The good news for Cruz is that large parts of the American electorate agree with him; the bad news is that they’re not yet prepared to make him their spokesman. Cruz, at 5.4 percent in the RCP average, correctly understands that Trump is occupying space that he’s fought for several years to own. And he correctly understands that Trump is only renting that real estate, so he’s been very friendly to Trump in the hopes of staking a claim to it when Trump is evicted.

But there’s a risk to this approach. If Cruz is seen as too close to him, Trump’s inevitable collapse, spectacular as it is likely to be, could damage Cruz, too.

Paul: Is the novelty wearing off?

For years, Rand Paul has attracted attention by being a different kind of Republican. He challenged the hawks who dominate the party and campaigned in places Republicans have ignored for too long. Time magazine dubbed him the “most interesting man in American politics.”

Are Republicans losing interest? Paul is at 5.6 percent in the RCP polling average, and his second-quarter fundraising totals were well below what many observers had expected.

Paul has inexplicably focused on issues where his libertarianism is out of step with the Republican base (national security and civil liberties) and spent less time on those where his party is naturally more libertarian (taxes, regulation, health care). Last week, Paul released a video in which he destroys the U.S. tax code in a variety of ways—chainsaw, bonfire, woodchipper. Perhaps the video is an attempt at a course correction, but it feels like desperation.

His anti-interventionism played better as a theory than it has in real life, with Barack Obama as its chief practitioner accumulating failures around the globe. So Paul has sounded less dovish in recent days, reversing his onetime embrace of Obama’s Iran deal and even suggesting last week that military force might be required if the mullahs move toward nuclear weapons. The irony is that, as Paul has tailored his idiosyncratic views to appeal to a more conventional conserv-ative electorate, he has begun to look more and more like the traditional politicians he deplores.

Bush: Is Jeb Bush the strong conservative reformer he was as governor of Florida or the more cautious and moderate Republican he has been over the past few years? During a brief press availability at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 17, a reporter asked Jeb Bush whether he was comfortable with the growing perception of him as a “moderate” Republican. “No, look, I have a conservative record,” Bush replied, adding, in case there were any doubt, that he considers himself an “I’m-not-kidding conservative.” The coda: “Perhaps moderate in tone is misinterpreted to moderate in terms of core beliefs.”

And yet Bush has been vocal about his concern that the Republican party has become too conservative in recent years. He worried that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have a place in the modern GOP. He famously said Republicans must be willing to “lose the primary to win the general,” a declaration that he wouldn’t allow himself to be pulled to the right in order to win the nomination. It was a lesson he learned from the 2012 Republican primary. He later described his feelings this way: “I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective. And that’s kind of where we are.” Beyond that, Bush backs comprehensive immigration reform—he says illegal immigration is often an “act of love”—and he remains an unwavering supporter of Common Core, the education standards loathed by many conservatives.

But the fact that many primary voters see him through the prism of Common Core and immigration could allow him to surprise in the debate. Conservatives who assume that Bush is moderate across the board might well be more open to supporting him when they learn he is not.

The other big question, of course, is his name. Even if voters warm to Bush over the course of the fall campaign, will they be willing to embrace the dynasty and throw out what will likely be at the heart of the Republican case against Hillary Clinton if she’s the Democratic nominee—that she’s a relic of a bygone era, a professional politician by marriage, with stale ideas and who doesn’t understand the lives of everyday Americans?

Rubio: Will voters see him as the Republican Obama?

Five years ago, when Rubio was running for Senate, many of those who saw him on the trail compared him to Barack Obama. At the time, it was the highest compliment they could imagine. But six years into the Obama administration, and in the context of a Republican primary, it’s not a compliment but a critique.

The similarities are obvious. Rubio, like Obama, is a great communicator, would come to the presidency with relatively limited experience, and would take office as a young man by historical standards. Rubio skeptics say: We’ve done this with Obama, and look how that turned out. But that assessment assumes that the problem with Obama was his lack of experience or relative youth. It wasn’t. As Rubio is fond of pointing out, Obama is a failed president because “his ideas don’t work.”

Rubio’s team pushes back hard on suggestions he’s like Obama, pointing to his experience as speaker of the Florida house and contrasting it with Obama’s unremarkable tenure as a state senator in Illinois. And they point out that Rubio will have had two more years of experience on national security, with seats on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees, than Obama did when he took office.

But the smartest move for Rubio might be to embrace the comparison, rather than reject it. If Rubio can convince people that he would do as much to limit government as Obama has done to expand it, he will have a winning argument.

Walker: Will voters view Walker as a battle-tested, reform-driven governor with a string of electoral and policy victories, or will the changes he’s made, in tone and sometimes in substance, erode the reputation he built during his tenure in Wisconsin?

Walker ran for governor in 2010 on a pledge to create 250,000 jobs and balance the budget. He didn’t accomplish the former but did, after a nasty and exhausting fight, implement reforms that allowed him to achieve the latter. So the $3.6 billion deficit that Walker inherited was eliminated. He has cut taxes, reformed state welfare programs, and won election three times in a purple state.

But since floating his name as a potential candidate last winter, Walker has equivocated on several issues. Walker had been for comprehensive immigration reform, but now opposes such reform as “amnesty” and is open to greater restrictions even on legal immigration to protect American workers. He once opposed renewable fuel subsidies but now prefers a gradual phaseout. In his 2014 reelection campaign, he ran an ad in which he declared that he was pro-life but said the “final decision” is between “a woman and her doctor.”

Asked in a recent interview about these changes in position, or at least in tone, Walker told The Weekly Standard: “It’s totally overblown. The only position I’ve changed on is my position on immigration, which was a pretty limited position as a governor to begin with. There are a lot of people covering this race who don’t get how people have to talk in a state that’s as swing a state as we are. And talking in a way that doesn’t alienate people doesn’t equate to flipping positions. It means articulating it in a way that maybe isn’t the same red meat that they’ve heard from conservatives in Washington.”

But enthusiasm for Walker’s grit—demonstrated in his fight against public-sector unions and Democratic special interests during a failed recall attempt—remains. And many Republicans are in the mood for a fighter—or, as Walker prefers, a “fighter who can win” on “commonsense conservative reforms.”

But these days, GOP primary voters are behaving as if they would settle for a fighter who has no chance of winning, no common sense, and isn’t a conservative. Which brings us back to Donald Trump.

Trump is without question a fighter. He seems to spend much of his day fighting with his Republican rivals, mainstream journalists, high-profile pollsters—anyone, really, who has said anything negative about him.

But before his recent conversion, the views he expressed over the years would make him a mainstream Democrat. This is the great irony of the current moment in American political life: The man leading the primary of a party whose recent success owes largely to a shift rightward has never really been a Republican.

Trump described himself as “very liberal on health care” and was an advocate of a single-payer health insurance system, a view that puts him to the left of Barack Obama. He long considered himself “very pro-choice” and was in favor of drug legalization. Trump once called Mitt Romney’s self-deportation proposal “crazy” and “maniacal.” Trump said Obama’s $787 billion stimulus was “what we need” and added, “It looks like we have somebody that knows what he is doing finally in office.”

As those comments suggest, Trump didn’t think George W. Bush did a very good job in office. But he didn’t stop there. Trump said Bush was “evil.”

Trump’s financial support for Democrats over the years has been well documented, with checks to Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and others. That’s no surprise, since he said in 2004, “I identify more as a Democrat.” He praised Nancy Pelosi as “the best” when she became speaker of the House in 2007. That same year, he said of a prospective Hillary Clinton in the White House: “I think Hillary would do a good job.”

To put it mildly, Trump is an uncomfortable fit in the Republican party. And that’s why he is unlikely to be there at the end of this process.

That doesn’t mean he won’t run for president. Trump’s political activism has its roots in the Reform party movement of the late 1990s. He flirted with a presidential bid in 1999 on the Reform party ticket. He has in recent days repeatedly declared his openness to running as an independent candidate in 2016. Last week, he told the Hill that “so many people want” him to run as an independent if he doesn’t win the GOP nod and acknowledged that revenge could play a role if he loses. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that could be a factor.”

If he does run, all of the strategizing, planning, and campaigning that those mentioned above are currently engaged in could well be for nothing. With an evenly divided electorate and an angry conservative base, if Trump runs as a third-party, right-wing populist he could well siphon off enough votes to make Hillary Clinton the next president.

On the other hand, perhaps Trump won’t run. And, given her current troubles, with polls showing more Americans disapproving than approving of her, Hillary seems increasingly not a terribly formidable candidate. She seems eminently beatable. But which Republican can win the nomination and defeat her?
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 31, 2015, 09:00:19 AM
So say Jeb could beat Hillary.  What have we won?  I say not much.
What's the point.  His father was great with Iraq with the caveat that he established a serious precedent of turning over our sovereignty to the court of public opinion on at least  war decisions.  His brother was great with 911.   But otherwise not much else.  Bushes are not able to reset conservative values.   I don't hear Jeb saying anything that is impressive, convincing, or even motivating that is not just  status quo, appeasing, compromising, in and bed with the lobbyists speak.
Jeb is Hillary lite IMHO.
I will stay home if it is him or someone like him.
Even Christie has my ear and has sounded better!   I might even be able to give HIM another chance.   shocked  But no more Bushes.

Let's say it somehow shakes out that it is not Trump or Bush.  What do we have left?  Top tier left is Walker, Rubio, Cruz.  Second tier who might move up: Kasich, Fiorina.  I would argue that all are good choices.  Of them, I think Rubio and Fiorina might be the most electable, Cruz  the most pure in his stances, and Governors Kasich and Walker having the closest executive experience for the job.

I think the unsettled side is with the Dems.  Republican candidates are all announced and known.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Hillary's friends in high places on: July 31, 2015, 08:45:59 AM
Good coverage Crafty of all these issues and good article here.  ccp and others might say say the Clintons always get away with this and I partly feel that way, but this is different.  It is was intentional, not something they backed into, setting up their own server, their own foundation, their own overlapping contacts, soliciting big money while knowing they were running for President.

One thing they didn't see coming was Benghazi.  They thought the Sec State job was all PR and setup to be the successor; Obama and Jarrett had special envoys reporting to them for all the trouble spots.  But the Libya collapse was Hillary's doing, not fitting at all with Obama's (lack of a) foreign policy.  She steered away from the plan and deposed a guy who gave up his nuclear ambitions and replaced him with al Qaeda.  If it wasn't obvious then, in hindsight it was kind of dumb.

Of course she had classified info going in and out or else how was she communicating?  If Ambassador Stevens was not emailing his whereabouts, mission and plans, then did she not even know his whereabouts, mission and plans?  Maybe she didn't; she was writing books about herself.  Was the attempt to keep classified off of this why he couldn't reach her in his warning cries for help?

Now she is at war with the NY Times and the AP among others. not Drudge and the vast right wing conspiracy.  A catchy phrase and a tear from drop-trow Bill isn't going to make this go away. 

As soon as Obama turns on her, it's over.

My fear is that while we succeed at exposing Hillary's defective moral character, we are failing to challenge the eventual nominee on the issues, Warren or whoever.
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 30, 2015, 11:10:49 AM
If I am not mistaken if Romney had matched Bush's 40% he would have won.

Winning an even slightly greater share of any and all of these demographic groups matters.  Black, Hispanic, gay, Jew, Catholic, single mom, soccer mom, urban dwellers, media people, academia, (martial artists?), etc. etc., we have to convince them that there are other viewpoints and it is okay to choose one that is not what everyone else you know is choosing.  Each time they see one more person slip over to the other side they face the possibility of being curious about what they are not seeing.

We have former liberals right here on the board...
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: July 30, 2015, 10:59:46 AM
Thanks Crafty.  One more example:  The US bought Alaska (Someone's Folly) and Britain leased Hong Kong.  99 years goes by quickly.  Who has the strategic advantage now?

If not for property taxes, debt, and a hundred other problems that could come up, it's better to own than rent.

Objectivist:  Yes, it is rare (but can be done) for people to be smart and disciplined enough to rent beneath their means and accumulate wealth outside of real estate.  My advice to some in similar situations is to rent inexpensively where you live but buy and own the land under your red state, dream home getaway where you plan to live either in retirement or economic collapse.

I know that you know this, but savings in dollar based investments may not be savings at all.  Real estate has ups and downs but like is partly limited in quantity and independent from the currency. 
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: July 29, 2015, 07:21:37 PM
Due to the bursting of the bubble, it makes perfect sense that lots of people no longer believe owning a home is a good investment. 

Non performance of the housing market does not explain worst homeownership rate in nearly a half century, IMHO.  I ask rental applicants all the time, why don't you just buy this house?  They laugh and then explain about needing years to get their income up and their credit rating restored.

Housing is tied to employment and income, and also spending choices that show up on credit reports.  Homeownership rate is tied to worforce participation rate, not the badly understated unemployment rate.  100% of the 37% of adults not in the workforce and 11% of the others are unemployed or underemployed.  The new, part time economy does not lend itself well to home ownership or credit restoration - as costs keep going up.  Housing demand will bump up if/when real employment and take-home income bumps up.

Almost NO ONE prefers renting to owning, waiting for the landlord to fix something, waiting for the landlord to raise your rent, having their house sold out from under them or their lease non renewed.  Renting isn't cheaper than buying when interest rates are below 4%. 

99% of renters I meet rent because they can't buy right now, not because of a risk averse investment strategy.  While interest rates went down for the best borrowers, every other borrowing requirement went up.

For those owning real estate without debt, the last downturn changed nothing.  I sold nothing, bought a couple more, and now the values are most of the way back in most locations.  Meanwhile rental demand increased making ownership even more desirable. 

  - Rental Manager, Ulysses Up  (pronounced: yo lease is up)
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters - EU on: July 29, 2015, 06:53:43 PM
"The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament whose powers subtract from those of national legislatures, a bureaucracy no one admires or controls, and rules of fiscal rectitude that no member is penalized for ignoring."   - George Will
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential, Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review on Lee-Rubio Tax Plan on: July 29, 2015, 06:51:16 PM
A very different take than we have heard on this from WSJ etc.  "... it pursues supply-side goals on investment taxation too avidly".  That was my thought as well.


Of the top three candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, judging from the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, only one has released a detailed tax plan: Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida. Not surprisingly, then, his proposal — made along with Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who proposed an earlier version of it on his own — has become the focus of the party’s tax debate.

When New Jersey governor Chris Christie, currently in eighth place in that average, outlined his own plan, the editors of the Wall Street Journal praised it by saying it was better than Rubio’s. Stephen Moore, writing in favor of a flat tax in The Weekly Stan­dard, included an aside blasting the Rubio plan. This could be a useful debate for conservatives — if it is conducted on accurate premises. Judging from the press coverage, so far it has not been. The real flaws of the Lee-Rubio proposal are being obscured by misguided criticisms.

The Los Angeles Times, for example, reports that Rubio is trying to alter “party orthodoxy” on taxes by moving away from cutting the top income-tax rate: “Rubio’s plan tests whether Re­pub­lican primary voters are willing to go beyond that supply-side view.” Po­li­ti­co claims that Rubio is “running on a tax plan that tosses out decades of GOP allegiance to the idea of simply slashing rates across the board and expecting faster economic growth to follow.”

Such descriptions may hurt Rubio by making him look out of step with his party, or help him by making him look fresh and new. But they are false. Re­pub­li­can tax policy has never been purely about supply-side tax-rate cuts to spur economic growth. Especially when it has been politically successful — when it has actually changed tax policy — the GOP has combined supply-side tax-rate cuts with tax relief that puts money in middle-class families’ pockets. Rubio’s plan is squarely within that tradition.

 Supply-side economics has often been criticized, unfairly, as a cover for plutocratic interests. That’s because a particular concern for the tax rate paid by the very highest earners is built into its logic. They pay the highest, and therefore the most distortionary, rate. They are the ones who are most responsive to changes in their incentives to work, save, and invest. The real flaws of the Lee-Rubio proposal are being obscured by misguided criticisms.

And there’s another feature of a progressive income tax that requires a little unpacking: The top rate is the only one that acts as a marginal tax rate on every person who pays it. Let’s say you cut only the 15 percent tax rate that applies to married couples making between $18,000 and $74,000 in taxable income. Making it 10 percent would improve those couples’ incentives to work: Now instead of keeping 85 cents of every extra dollar they earn from the IRS, they would keep 90 cents, an increase of about 6 percent. But every couple that makes more than $74,000 would get the benefit of that tax cut, too, pocketing an extra $2,800 — and their incentives to earn would not have changed at all, because all of their earnings above that threshold would continue to be taxed at the same rates as before. That’s fine if the goal is to let people keep more of their money. But if the goal is to maximize the effect of a tax cut on incentives — if the tax cut is to be judged, that is, on supply-side terms — then the top rate is the one that most needs lowering.

All of this helps to explain why, when he evaluated the Reagan tax cuts in his book The Growth Experiment, Lawrence Lindsey concluded that the reduction of the highest income-tax rate — it went from 70 percent at the start of Reagan’s term to 28 percent at the end of it — had resulted in additional revenue, but the reduction of low-end tax rates had lost revenue. It’s why some supply-siders groused that George W. Bush’s reduction of the lowest tax rate was a waste of money. And it’s a large part of the reason that many supply-siders are enthusiastic about flat-tax proposals that would bring the top tax rate down a lot while raising the lower tax rates.

But Republican presidential nominees have never run on such proposals. They have never taken the only goal of tax policy to be maximizing economic growth while yielding a targeted level of revenues. Reagan could have offered a tax cut as large as the one he did while cutting the top rate much more, if he had left the lower tax rates alone and let bracket creep (whereby inflation pushed people into higher tax brackets) continue. But he wanted to cut middle-class taxes, he wanted a plan that could be enacted, and he wanted to be elected and reelected. So he offered across-the-board reductions in tax rates and an end to bracket creep. The

Republicans running for Con­gress in 1994 again offered middle-class tax relief in their Contract with America: Its major tax proposal was the creation of a $500 tax credit for children. In 1997 that proposal made it into law, paired with a capital-gains-tax cut. George W. Bush, running for president in 2000, also combined supply-side and middle-class tax cuts. He cut the capital-gains, dividend, and estate taxes and the top income-tax rate; he also cut most of the other income-tax rates and increased the tax credit for children to $1,000.

The Lee-Rubio plan, too, has supply-side elements. It eliminates the taxes on capital gains, dividends, and estates, and the alternative minimum tax. It cuts the top income-tax rate. It cuts the tax rate on business income and allows businesses to write off the expense of investments immediately. But it also has two major middle-class-friendly features: It expands the child credit, adding $2,500 to it and applying it against payroll taxes as well as income taxes. (The senators say the credit is necessary to correct for the way entitlements overtax parents, who contribute extra to the programs by raising children.) And it taxes a lot of income that now falls in the 25 percent bracket at 15 percent.

What isn’t new in the plan, then, is that it includes tax cuts other than tax-rate cuts, that it is not just a list of supply-side priorities, and that it expands the child credit. Politico noted that lowering the top tax rate from 39.6 to 35, as Lee-Rubio does, still leaves it “far higher than many Republicans would like.” That’s true, but it also leaves it in the ballpark of previous Republican proposals. It’s the rate George W. Bush and congressional Republicans enacted in 2001. We have had a top tax rate lower than 35 in only five of the last 80 years — and in those years, investment was taxed more heavily than it would be under Lee-Rubio. Re­pub­li­can tax policy has never been purely about supply-side tax-rate cuts to spur economic growth.

Some supply-siders argue that Lee-Rubio should have proposed bringing the top tax rate still lower, which would do more to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, and thus encourage growth. The Journal prefers Christie’s top rate of 28. But this lower rate would not be likely to have a large economic effect. First, we should expect diminishing returns. When Reagan cut the top rate from 70 to 50, the after-tax return on a dollar earned rose 67 percent. Cutting the top rate from 35 to 28 would raise it only 11 percent.

Second, Republicans have repeatedly overestimated the growth effects of income-tax rates — predicting a bust when Clinton raised taxes and a boom when George W. Bush lowered them. Neither occurred, and in fact growth rates were better under the higher Clinton income-tax rates than under the lower Bush ones. Any positive effect of lower tax rates on growth are small enough that other factors can overwhelm them.

Third, it’s not clear that getting the rate on high earners so far down is politically realistic. A tax package that combined some reduction in the top rate with tax cuts that directly benefitted the middle class would almost certainly stand a better chance of enactment. That is, after all, how such tax-rate reductions have been achieved before.

 Lee-Rubio does not break precedents, then, in its approach to the top tax rate. But other aspects of the plan are genuinely new. Over the last generation the payroll tax has become a bigger burden for the middle class than the income tax, but Republicans have generally left the payroll tax alone. Mitt Romney, for example, offered an across-the-board reduction in income-tax rates, but middle-class income-tax liability is too low for it to have helped people as much as previous proposals in that vein. Lee-Rubio reduces ­payroll-tax liabilities for many people. Lee-Rubio is also a bigger tax cut than most previous proposals: The Tax Foun­dation estimates that it would reduce federal revenues by $4 trillion over a decade unless it raised economic growth. Some Republican-primary candidates have run on zeroing out taxes on capital gains and dividends, but no nominee has. The proposed treatment of business is new, too, and reflects an increased concern about competition among countries for capital investment. And the child-credit proposal is also much larger than previous candidates have suggested.

Finally, Lee-Rubio raises taxes on some people. Single people making more than $75,000 and married people making more than $150,000 a year would pay a 35 percent tax rate on income above that amount. These are high earners: The Census Bureau reports that in 2013, the median income for married couples was $76,000. Many of these high earners are now in the 25, 28, and 33 percent brackets, so mar­gin­al tax rates would go up on them. A good many of them would, however, have lower total tax bills. Take a couple making $200,000 a year. The new rate structure in Lee-Rubio would leave them ahead: They would save more from the lower taxes on income between $75,000 and $150,000 than they would pay from the higher taxes on income above that level. They would come out even farther ahead if they had children.

Republican tax reforms have sometimes proposed raising tax rates and tax bills for some people. Most flat taxes, for example, would raise taxes on many more people (and on people with lower incomes) than Lee-Rubio would. Re­pub­li­can nominees, though, have usually avoided proposing tax increases on anyone.

We don’t yet know how the plan will play in the 2016 elections. Most Republican-primary voters have not been supply-side purists, which is why nominees have not been either. Voters might find the $4 trillion impact on revenues too large. And the combination of raising taxes on some affluent households while also nearly eliminating income-tax bills for wealthy people who derive most of their income from investments seems politically problematic, to say the least. Proposing to end the capital-gains tax, as opposed to cut it, was unwise: If it was meant to buy supply-side support for the plan, it has not worked. (The Journal hardly mentions that feature of the plan when it de­nounces it.)

The problem with Lee-Rubio, in other words, isn’t that it breaks with the Republican party’s supply-side traditions; it doesn’t. The problems are that it pursues supply-side goals on investment taxation too avidly, and that it’s too large. Put the plan on a diet and both problems are solved.
 — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor of National Review.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 29, 2015, 06:34:41 PM
"It is all unraveling for Clinton. So, will the Obama safety net hold? If it doesn't, we will have a Republican president"

Take it from Dick.   And Romney was a great President too....  as predicted.

The right was wrong on that one and the demographic deck keeps getting stacked more steeply against us.  Still, for a major, leading candidate to drop from 50 to 43 in a short time based on factors that aren't going away is significant.  She also dropped to trailing key Republicans in swing states in polls.  Of course it's early and polls are flawed, but ths is not a good sign for her.

I am more worried about losing to some Democrat than losing to Hillary specifically.  They are name dropping not just Warren and Biden, but also Gore and now Kerry.  It's not too late for any of them because a shorter campaign means more excitement and less scrutiny.

We need to fight back against the governing philosophy common to all of them, not just watch and hope Hillary implodes.

Disclosure: Like Morris,  I was wrong with my last prediction and owe 1 dinner so far...
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward for the American Creed: Freedom Bumper Sticker on: July 29, 2015, 06:19:46 PM
Opportunity for All,
Favoritism for None.

   - Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Math of CO2 on: July 27, 2015, 11:57:41 AM
This will be an interesting series to track. I suspect those with a carbon fetish who bandy about a lot of math will be provided plenty of food for thought:

I agree that the math and science of CO2 is all quite interesting.

From the article:

I'm not sure how sea ice was increasing back to mean, historic levels while CO2 directly tied to 'warmth' was increasing.

In all the times I've warmed a freezer I've never seen ice cube tray ice increase.

Besides no new warmth in the last 19 years while measured CO2 levels kept increasing, I question the assumptions that fossil fuel addiction is permanent and that negative feedback mechanisms are insignificant.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: More Recovery summer 2015! on: July 27, 2015, 11:34:44 AM

"credit card debt up 1,760%."

Don't we all know that credit card debt is now how we measure wealth and confidence, while available credit has replaced savings as your rainy day fund.

Credit card transactions are for those purchases that the government won't pay for directly, like taxes on the middle class.  While the government may not pay for everything, they have the power to wipe out all of your debts, ... except those owed to the government.
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: July 26, 2015, 10:13:05 PM

Ah, this is how you are wrong, Doug. These people aren't trading in baby body parts, it is tissue from products of Conception.
Because science!

Gallows humor but funny to see them squirm.

Fetus isn't a born baby obviously, it is the "little one".  Yes, one day after conception it doesn't look like a baby and one day before birth it does.

"a ten to twelve week fetus looks nothing like a term baby—and is medically incorrect."

That being their view, maybe we can all agree to ban abortion after 10-12 weeks rather than growing them out for harvesting and profits.

How about this, try telling a late term pregnant woman with a knife in her hand that it's not a baby in there and see who gets hurt.
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abortion: The Science is Settled, the Fetus has UNIQUE DNA on: July 26, 2015, 05:09:22 PM
We've been through this before and I'm surprised and disappointed that Rachel doesn't jump back in with the topic front and center.

The fetus (Latin for 'little one') is:

a) alive

b). of the human species

...and a crucial point so often ignored by abortion advocates and apologists,

c). the fetus has UNIQUE DNA, distinct from the mother (and from the father and from everyone else.)

Choice and women's rights are great cliches and misnomers, but whose choice is it?  The mother has separate DNA, is very directly related, is in close proximity, is presumed to be looking out for the best interests of her baby, and has complete control only when she acting in that role and capacity.  She has no more right to kill her daughter than Adrian Peterson has to whoop his son.

It is a separate and distinct being.  Make no mistake, the science is settled.

Liberals including our own express more concern for the comfort of a chicken raised in captivity for food than they do for the most vulnerable and innocent human life.

On Mother's Day, we are thankful for all the things she did for us.  Among them, what was more valuable and irreplaceable than struggling through a successful pregnancy and giving live birth?

Was there a life inside the mother before live birth or not?  Science knows; certain political factions deny.  But then they get caught selling live, functional organs and tissue from that live, human, distinct being.

These body parts are used for research and someday will save lives... ?

If stranded on an island with no food, and help is too far away, would you kill, cut up and eat your friends?  Worst case, I hope you would say, only if you had to.  98% of these killings are out of convenience, not due to the mainvreasons they argue, rape, incest or a threat to the mother's life.

Do the research some other way.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: July 26, 2015, 09:34:37 AM
If Trump wants more attention, here goes...

Trump supports the Kelo decision where big business partners with big government to Trump the liberties of small people.  Is that populism?

Trump is hugely pro-choice.  How is that trending with Republicans and independents?

Trump was pro-Pelosi, meaning he favored a Democratic Congress.

Trump was pro-Hillary.

Trump is pro-amnesty.  Ask him.  What do you do with those here who didn't break laws other than illegally coming or staying.  Reasonable position possibly, but not likely what the hard core he stirred up want to hear. 
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Embracing Abject Failure on: July 21, 2015, 11:00:54 PM
Good points BBG, thanks for posting this.  The so-called sin tax is a bad strategy except as Crafty may point out, when I T goes to pay for some direct, external cost.

Funding healthcare with declining cigarette revenues and funding Colorado schools with excessive and easy to bypass pot taxes are bad ideas. Sin tax revenues pose their own moral hazard for policy makers.

Regarding an earlier post, yes, why not decriminalization - first.

On another topic, why not legalize widely available and relatively safe  prescription drugs and also other basic medical supplies and procedures to the public away from the govt sanctioned medical cartel? Does anyone else see that logic.  Like a gun you would have to learn to use things responsibly.  But maybe we don't need a 300 per hour doc and a thousand per hour room to receive a tetanus shot or freeze a skin spot. Just a libertarian thought.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: July 21, 2015, 07:56:27 AM
I am going to disagree.  My understanding is that his response to the torture was exemplary.

McCain says he wasn't a war hero and doesn't want Trump's apology. War heroes don't call themselves war heroes.  From where I sit, average performance in the our military makes you a war hero.  (Bergdahl, not a hero). McCain's service was exemplary.  Trump's disrespect for service and his verbal diarrhea disqualies him from being Commander in Chief. 

McCain's political career OTOH has been less than exemplary. 

Same for Trump.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Her highness demands this photo not be seen on: July 21, 2015, 07:20:19 AM
She was happier then.  Should not have run - or done the Bruce Jenner surgeries.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: July 20, 2015, 04:35:08 PM
Williamson also uses the term butcher, pretty descriptive.  Also harvest but that sounds more like cutting up a plant.

It is not really a choice if you are the baby, the father, or the taxpayer.

In China they kill little girls after they are gender identified.  I remember Hillary fighting against this mysogynal  genocide as First Lady and as Sec of State.  Wait, I guess she never did.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: July 19, 2015, 06:43:01 PM
Agree.  The left's silence on the disparate impact of abortion promotion on black families is deafening.

Another aspect is that legal abortion requires only the consent of the mother, not from the one being killed, sliced up into parts and sold.  I'm sorry but that logic is  analogous to slave trading being legal with the consent only of the slave owner. But this is worse (killing and butchering versus mistreatment and depriving of liberty) and we and sending taxpayer money into black neighborhoods specifically to promote how good it is.

Somebody on our side  ought to be able to make the case that those policies along with greater than 50% dropout and unemployment rates should not earn 98% of the votes.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: July 19, 2015, 08:52:57 AM
"So outlaw abortion."

Like banning guns, that oughtta stop it. (?)

No.  Before you pass laws against the will of the people, you must change minds and mindsets.  Can't we get consensus of 98% of scientists (like we hear on other matters) that it is alive and identified as belonging to the human species.

Secondly, you would need a newfound respect for human life, even for helpless, innocent ones, even for black babies - slaughtered at more than 3 times the rate of white babies. 

That new acknowledgement and respect would have to reach all the way over to atheists and liberals, against all they've been taught.

Instead of the above, outlaw the most obvious and egregious where people already agree, late term and 'abortions'.

Then define late term to match the 'settled science' recognizing basic things like feeling pain or having functional, marketable organs and tissue.

Let the left fight against this slippery slope they so fear. 

There doesn't need to be an endgame of banning all abortions.
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: July 18, 2015, 11:25:04 PM
Big story, Planned Parenthood has been selling fetal organs.

This goes also have under cognitive dissonance of the left.

The left and the media would have us believe the problem with this is the profit motive. Capitalism is what's wrong they say, not the cutting up of innocent life.

But that misses the point.  The problem is this proves that blob of unviable matter has organs.  Usable, functional HUMAN organs.  Who f'ing knew?  Everyone knew.  It's a baby growing in the there.  This changes everything.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The U.S. Is a dying country on: July 18, 2015, 10:32:38 PM

Self-inflicted and still available.  Worse than self-inflicted, some are doing this to the rest of us.  More a homicide than an 'evolutionary process'.

If not for copyrights I would call the political path to steer away from this national death, die less often.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Onion, Case for and against Iran deal on: July 15, 2015, 08:14:12 AM
Really no way to know if Iran is a terrorist nation bent on destroying the world until we test it (with nuclear weapons)

Gallows humor for Israel and the world.  Better analysis here than in most liberal publications. 


Creates room for some fresh new up-and-coming state sponsors of terrorism
Breathes new life into decades-old animosity between U.S. and Saudi Arabia
Nice to see John Kerry so engaged at work
Frees Iran to brainstorm all sorts of exciting, outside-the-box ways to destroy Israel
Fresh material for Rabbi Cohen’s sermon
Really no way to know if Iran is a terrorist nation bent on destroying the world until we test it
Just feels kind of empty without current U.S. military intervention in Muslim world


Zero people involved with this are to be trusted
Uranium only fun if enriched beyond 3.67 percent
Stand-your-ground provision allows Iran to fast-track construction of nuclear missile in event it feels at all threatened
Might lose the comfort and familiarity of unbearably high tensions in Middle East
Complete waste of perfectly good centrifuges
Possibility that closer cooperation will humanize Iranian people in Americans’ eyes
Not complete and utter surrender to demands of U.S.
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 13, 2015, 04:33:25 PM
It's going to be hard for all of them to run a 2 year campaign, take interviews continuously and not mis-speak, misunderstand or be taken wrong..

"But Jeb doesn't realize the situation of part-time workers, so he flubbed the comment."

That is the problem, when the screwup confirms something already suspected.

Part time work is a good and a bad thing, depending on a lot of other factors.  No sweeping statement can be said about it without spelling out context and that everyone faces different circumstances.  Like the Romney-47%, a lot of the 29 hourers like their leisurely life and their QE-subsidized healthcare, etc.

Meanwhile Hillary says workers want a raise, not longer hours.  In her world, a private sector raise, like family leave, comes from a government declaration or mandate, not by making the business climate more conducive to productive investment.

26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 13, 2015, 12:56:23 PM
Received in the email from a friend who is a former Democrat.  Humor grounded in truth.

Things I trust more than Hillary:
Mexican tap water.
A rattlesnake with a "pet me" sign.
OJ Simpson showing me his knife collection.
A fart when I have diarrhea.
An elevator ride with Ray Rice.
Taking pills offered by Bill Cosby.
Michael Jackson's Doctor.
An Obama Nuclear deal with Iran.
A Palestinian on a motorcycle.
Gas station Sushi.
A Jimmy Carter economic plan.
Brian Williams news reports.
Loch Ness monster sightings.
Prayers for peace from Al Sharpton.
Playing Russian Roulette with a semi-auto pistol.
Emails from Nigerian princes.
The Heimlich Maneuver from Barney Frank.
A condom made in China.
A prostate exam from Captain Hook.
And finally....
Bill Clinton at a Girl Scout convention.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 13, 2015, 01:41:30 AM
Morris may be right about Biden.  Why wouldn't he jump in?  Losing a son is a good reason for getting in late.  
With the backing of the Obama machine (against the Clinton machine), this thing gets weird and ugly.  
And the Dem nominee becomes my prediction, none of the above.

Is Elizabeth Warren really smart enough to know she isn't Presidential?  Wouldn't she be Valerie Jarrett's first choice?  in that scenario, the Obama machine would be backing neither Hillary nor Biden...

A point of trivia, the family name Hickenlooper has won statewide elections in Iowa 17 times:
Both sides need swing state Colorado to win.
Colo Gov John Hickenlooper is showing no signs of warming up in the bullpen.  But don't rule him out.

Jim Webb:

Both Clintons ordered to give depositions regarding email server:

Trump helps R's by making others look sane.  Hurts by showing how many identify with his message and tone.  Destroys the party by running as an independent.  There needs to be a contract that you don't take up a valuable place on the debate stage for the nonination and then run outside of the nomination
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: July 13, 2015, 12:35:43 AM
I believe in buying gold and silver. Even more, I believe in guns, ammo and canned food.

Then if our currency was tied to gold, would you buy and hold money instead?  Nothing's perfect in the bunker; canned goods are damaged by freezing and guns can damage with moisture.

(Frustrating that I can't cut and paste from the pdf, but...) Gilder says in effect, with QE and other tampering, money moved from being the neutral medium of exchange to being the message itself.  Only if the channel (money) is changeless can the message in the channel [clearly] communicate changes.  In 2003, Milton Freidman acknowledged failure of his money supply target theory.

8 canons of Gilder's information theory, slightly shortened and paraphrased:
1. The economy is not an incentive system, but an information system.  (An odd distinction.)
2. Creativity comes as a surprise.  Planned economies don't produce it.
3. The capitalist economy is not an equilibrium system (static, as taught) but dynamic domains of entrepreneurial activity.  
4. Money should be / needs to be - a stable and reliable standard of measure.
5. Interference (The Fed, QE, etc.) is noise and makes it impossible to distinguish between content and channel.
6. Gyrating currencies are deadly to the commitment of long term enterprise.
7. Profits and losses are unexpected outcomes.  The real interest rate represents average return.
8. Velocity is not a constant, therefore the effective supply of money is not controlled by the central bank but by free decisions made by individuals.

Bonus point, time is the scarce resource.

As Crafty said, serious read.  103 pages, 87 sources cited.  All this should be in the monetary thread also.
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: July 12, 2015, 08:03:09 PM

I found it plausible in that in concurs with my sense of man overwhelming the health of our oceans.

As G M says, beware of the source.  With environmental writings I would add, beware of the headline and summary writers.  Very often those do not match the findings of fact in the study.

I don't know about seabirds, I live on an inland lake and the bird world is alive and well I can tell you first hand.  Did we have an over-population of birds in the 1950s?  I don't know.  Did they study only one island to measure global population?  I don't know.

Let me ask this this one question about 'man overwhelming the health of the oceans'.  What percent of all the activity relating to the temperature, chemistry and content of the oceans comes from man?  Less than 0.001% is my guess.  If it is significantly more than that, please explain how so?

30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: SERIOUS READ: Gilder calls for a return to the Gold Standard on: July 12, 2015, 07:55:54 PM

Okay, I read this.  Did anyone else read it?  Let's discuss.

I am a big fan of Gilder.  That said, I'm not fully following his logic here.  Will come back to this to post some quotes.  This is a long scholarly piece.  At the end, out of the blue, he is saying that the world will turn to a de facto gold standard.  I think he is also implying that we could save ourselves a lot of heartache and economic damage if we would do that now rather than later.

An easier solution would be to simplify the mission of the Fed and appoint a Federal Reserve board that would competently pursue that mission, namely maintainng a US dollar as stable, as strong and as predictable as gold.  Same goes for all other countries and currencies if they want to succeed and prosper.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Once again, Romney vindicated on: July 11, 2015, 10:45:57 AM

When Obama promised the most transparent administration ever, who knew he meant the background information of every American with a security clearance ?

Paraphrasing one of our own, they warned me that if I voted for Romney all this would happen.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WArrenand McCain intro bill to restore Glass Steagall on: July 11, 2015, 10:43:05 AM
"Very interesting.  My first response is to agree."

My first reaction is to NOT trust any of the names mentioned, Warren, McCain et al.

"At the least I hope the Rep candidates do not give any stupid or tone deaf answers..."

That's right.  Who knows what is in that bill, but our own rapid response should be (should have been?) to have a good bill ready to go addressing and correcting all the relevant, valid concerns. 

Wasn't the authority of the Fed to bail out non-insured financial institutions recently struck down?

Why not 'reintroduce' the SOLE mission of the Fed while we are at it.
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: July 08, 2015, 11:53:30 PM
G M:  "The whole running out of other people's money thing doesn't look like much fun. Go ask the Greeks."

Yes.  The Soviet example has grown too old for young people to know.

ccp:  "How do we explain they make it all worse not better?"

That's right.  It doesn't do what it purports to do.  I also think we need to explain why it doesn't work. 

And there's this:

Socialism pretends to offer you income security, knowing that all the basics of life are free, nothing to worry about, all treated the same.

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."
   - Dwight D. Eisenhower

34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 08, 2015, 11:37:09 PM
"His advocacy (Bernie Sanders) (and hers, Hillary Clinton) of a reduced retirement age, a confiscatory top bracket on the income tax, a single-payer socialized medicine system and a $15 minimum wage,... have all generated an enthusiasm among liberals..."

Speaking of 'why not socialism', isn't that exactly what Greece has done?

almost 75 percent of Greek pensioners retire before the age of 61.

46% income tax + 15% social security + 23% VAT + 26% corporate, capital gains taxed as ordinary income!

Public health services are provided by the National Healthcare Service
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why not socialism? on: July 08, 2015, 09:05:53 AM
Conservatives are having some fun watching declared Socialist Bernie Sanders gain on her in the polls, not unlike how fun it was to watch the furthest left junior Senator from Illinois gain and pass her in 2007-2008.  Be careful what you wish for!  Calling someone a socialist isn't good enough anymore, nor is proving the candidate is a socialist, nor even in this case is the candidate calling himself a socialist a disqualifier anymore.

We have to answer that question in a thorough, but concise and irrefutable way, why not socialism?

I challenge all here, and especially Crafty of 2015 to explain to Crafty of age 20, why not socialism/liberalism/progressivism?
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: William F Buckley interviews Saul Alinsky on: July 08, 2015, 08:53:35 AM
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 03, 2015, 12:40:53 AM
Your a Bush fan?   cry

No.  But I wish I could pick and choose good qualities from each.
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Welcome Donald Trump on: July 02, 2015, 11:28:41 AM
His points about Mexico are not wrong but made very crassly.  If only he were more careful about singling out and categorizing Mexicans the way he did he might score more points.   

That's right, it was inartful, as they say.  Indelicate.  Within the flood of millions still coming in unchecked are rapists and thieves, etc., even Middle Est terrorists.  That's unacceptable and it will stop immediately after inauguration, he could have said, and not impugn the others for lawbreaking other than coming here illegally.

Maybe it's good that Trump is soaring early in the polls (farther to fall).  He will therefore be on the debate stage until he does fall.  I don't get his popularity, didn't watch any more than a highlight of his show and I hold a personal grudge against because I once paid real money to buy his book, 'how great I am / art of the deal'.  But if he has low information segment appeal, he may draw viewers to the debates, and that is good.  Also good that he is running within the party, not as a 3rd party candidate.  They should all make that promise in order to appear in a GOP debate.  Let whoever should look responsible and Presidential on the stage do so.

Maybe a serious candidate like Carly Fiorina or Bobby Jindal will get left out while Trump takes a seat.  Let them make that case and earn their way in. 
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Who could have seen this coming? Cuba demands return of Guantanamo on: July 01, 2015, 10:41:10 PM
Just say no.  It would make a good place to lock up the Castros, IMHO.
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 01, 2015, 10:32:14 PM
On Jeb Bush's reading list:  George Gilder:  Knowledge and Power

Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues on: July 01, 2015, 12:17:31 PM
Chicago Tribune today:  Community braces itself for violent holiday weekend

Doug:  Why?

My city is bracing itself for a holiday weekend of picnics, family get-togethers, boating and fireworks.  Has had no murders - ever.


Our national strategy is to make all cities more like Chicago.  And eliminate all communities like mine.

42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio ansewrs critics on personal wealth on: July 01, 2015, 11:52:14 AM
It's not a luxury yacht if you have to pee off the side.
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush - Releases 33 years of tax returns on: July 01, 2015, 11:40:47 AM
Trying to inoculate himself from stories that are on the way about his own 'Clinton Cash' machine.  Also trying to avoid the Mitt Romney train wreck.

Politico:  Jeb's Wealth to Riches Story  (funny title)
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 01, 2015, 11:27:16 AM
Yes, we will soon have Gender Studies majors and cultural sensitivity experts replace Biology majors in our medical schools - to improve health care.

Speaking of MCAT and Medical Schools limiting the supply of doctors, when will the cartel get opened up?
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bringing manufacturing home to US on: July 01, 2015, 11:23:18 AM
The labor cost excuse doesn't work anymore when so much is automated and labor cost differentials are shrinking.  There are tons of existing businesses that could come back to America if the business climate was significantly improved, in addition to a revitalization of startups!
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul (and dad Ron Paul) on: July 01, 2015, 11:19:44 AM
I think you want your marriage recognized at least until estate taxes are repealed.  You would otherwise have to expressly designate someone on a whole host of topics, giving up even more privacy.  Does the surgeon want spousal privilege in criminal matters ended - or extended to all witnesses who have the perp's confidence?  This is Rand drifting back to his fringe roots, attracting no one new.  Accept gay marriage or attack it.  Ending marriage is not a winning Presidential platform. MHO

Ron Paul is doing some kind of a radio ad for an investment company selling the idea of preparing for economic collapse.  Not too far out of message for the elder Paul, but not helpful to son Rand either.  Take a lesson from what Bill Clinton does (wrong), get out of the limelight.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 01, 2015, 11:06:21 AM
"People will do anything to remain politically correct, even if it means losing their rear end... "

The internet has really been a boom for the Left.   With immediate excoriating, shaming, marginalizing, and ridiculing of anyone who opposes their world view.  .
It seems to work.  Who wants their face going around the world being shamed

Couldn't have come at a worse time for America.

The Right cannot compete.  Just can't.

Even Fox is in retreat.    I didn't hear much comment at all about the recent SCOTUS decisions.  Almost like they ignored them.

Must be hoping for JEB.  Appease appease appease while the LEFT keeps moving forward with their shoulders in driving us back with zero thoughts of retreat.

Yes the internet helps them but helps us more in the sense that they have a monopoly on almost everything else.

The so-called news on conservative radio, separate from the shows, comes with all the bias of the regular networks - and it drives me nuts.  They need a Mark Levin type to hit pause after every idiocy and set them straight or at least present the other side with it.  Sometimes Fox News could use that too.

Chris Christy says we need more compromise.  Speaking of Mark Levin, I heard his reaction to Christy:  Compromise isn't a principle.  Compromise isn't a vision.  Compromise on what?  With whom?  Compromise is what we do now; it's what got us where we are.

The contradiction between how far left the left has gone / how left we have become, and the fact the Republicans have taken back the House, the Senate and the state houses is astounding.  Yet liberalism is still the driving and governing force.  Conservatism of a sort is starting to win again elsewhere around the globe as well.  As GM said, we are fcuked.  Either that or the table has almost never been set so perfectly for a real leader to emerge and persuasively make the case for a resurgence of freedom and prosperity. 

We are looking for something like a Reagan - without the Anthony Kennedy appointment!  If I were Marco Rubio or any of the others I would offer to put Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court. 
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 01, 2015, 10:13:26 AM
This could go under housing...  I rented a house yesterday to a nice Spanish speaking couple with 3 adorable children.  

We hear about better identification and stronger employer sanctions as being part of the solution.  I haven't had to deal with the question of legal status much in housing; most of the influx of people to north Minneapolis come from the southside of Chicago, Detroit, Gary, IN, etc.  I am not clear whether it is illegal to rent to an illegal.  I am pretty sure it is illegal not to.  

In this case, the man who doesn't speak a word of English showed his Driver's License - I don't know if illegals get those here.  He also has a good bank account; I don't know the rules there either, but good enough for me.  The wife speaks English as a second language but didn't want her name on the lease.  I told her it has to go on the lease.  The kids were great translators and pretty soon I had them talking on the phone with my daughter in Spanish to sharpen her language skills.

I went with 'don't ask, don't tell' on legal status and made a business decision that I liked this family and had no reason to turn down their application.  

Whether they are legal or illegal, I'm sure they know people affected by the words used (cf. Donald Trump) and issues negotiated in "immigration reform".  

But what if both parents are illegal and their children are legal, and that we want to make new law going forward that emphasizes control over our border?  We should be able to argue that anyone who came here some time ago illegally, who has set up a life, a residence, a family, a job here, can stay but will not ever vote, and that by making ours a sovereign nation (e pluribus unum) with good, enforceable laws in the best interests of our nation is what is in the best interest of their children's interests also, and that policies that grow our economy are best for their family and their children - all without permanently driving away everyone of their heritage from our side of politics.

It is a very delicate argument to say that we don't want to become the place they left without insulting the people and losing them forever politically.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: July 01, 2015, 09:35:48 AM
""It's all about love", it says in our local paper.  No.  Love was already legal.  It's all about benefits."

I suspect that is why many get married literally the day it becomes legal.  Start the process to get the checks or write the deductions.  Not about "LUV".

Nothing wrong with that as everyone else would do the same thing.

I still think it not a good idea for the State to sanction gay marriage.  And I have larger problem with male gays using surrogates to have children or female gays using sperm donors to have children, or gay adoptions unless in extenuating circumstances.

And I very strongly suspect MOST people agree with me.   I don't believe the veracity of polls that purportedly show a MAJORITY of Americans think gay marriage or adoption or having children is ok.  I just don't believe it.  I think it is the herd mentality and fear of being crucified as insensitive or a homophobe that makes people cover up their true feelings.   

There is so much in there.  We jumped from private love to public benefits to removing the words mother and father (as the US govt did in FAFSA years ago) and replacing them with "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" (with room for more), also offensive to gays - who wants to be Parent 2?

There are gender differences with gays too.  Male gays don't bond for life at the same frequency as females.  Who knew?!  Heteros screwed up the bond for life argument all on their own.

Is it still legal to "discriminate" in adoption placement?  Does a kid have the chance statistically with a single mom, with a lesbian couple, with 2 gay men, with 2 reverse gender trans-sexuals, with some other future combination that I won't make facetiously but is imaginable?

Don't kids have the best chance to succeed in American when they grow up with one mother, one father, in love, married, and under one roof?

Who is denying the science here?
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nixon's interference with negotiations and Reagan so accused on: July 01, 2015, 09:17:00 AM

Maybe we can keep an empty thread here to track of every time one of Crafty's liberal friends with "progressive" sourcing gets something right...   wink

Iran held the American Hostages for 444 days.  The reason alleged that they didn't release them in exactly October 1980, just before the election, was that the "Reagan administration" (during the Carter administration) had secret ties with the Ayatollah.  The source of that is Amadinejad's predecessor Bani-Sadr, who claims way after the fact that he believes that but does not claim to have any personal knowledge of that, or source or evidence.  Just his word.  He also claims Carter would have otherwise won (Nothing else wrong with the Carter Presidency?) and that without Reagan we wouldn't have any problems with Iran today. (Huh?)   If the absurd claim was true, why would they hold them then past the election through November and December and early January?  That makes no sense.  More plausibly they were told the opposite of hold them longer.  If they were told anything at the instruction of Reagan it would be they were told of the dire consequence of holding them for more than one minute after his inauguration as Commander in Chief.  If he didn't tell them that, then they figured it out on their own.  If the Iranian government had no control over the "students", then how could they negotiate and get it done in January, as alleged.  It makes no sense.

We know now in the Obama post-Cairo speech years that terrorists (and most foreigners) make no meaningful distinction between different American Presidents.  And if they did, why would they prefer Reagan?

Regarding the left's slam on Nixon, have at him.  Nixon ran as a conservative and governed as a liberal.  I consider him one of theirs.  Founded the EPA, price wage freezes with governmental oversight.  Uses the IRS like Obama, with the moral integrity of Hillary.

For credibility sake, has Bani Sadr ever written to correct Amadinejad on holocaust denial?  Or only to smear Reagan?  FYI: My Dad and his unit were the first medical responders at the liberation of death camp Buchenwald.  I have it first hand - it happened.
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