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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: April 29, 2016, 04:09:41 PM
GDP would  be 25% higher if regulations were frozen at 1980 levels. Over-regulation has cost us an estimated 72 trillion dollars over the last 36 years.   I will try to follow up with links and math.

We lose more money to regulations than 192 of the other 195 countries produce in total GDP.

Study: GDP Would Be 25% Bigger If Government Regulations Had Been Capped In 1980

A new study finds that the federal regulations enacted since 1980 wiped out $4 trillion from GDP in 2012 alone. (MathKnight/wikipedia)
Red Tape: Economists scratch their heads when asked to explain the economy’s tepid growth over the past several years. A new study gives a possible answer: the growing, cumulative burden of federal regulations.

Under President Obama, annual GDP growth never once even hit 3%. Under Bush before him, there were only two years when growth topped 3%. But in the two decades before that, annual GDP growth was above 3% in all but six years.

Growth has been so anemic for so long, we’re now being told that this is the “new normal.” As the Bureau of Labor Statistics put it, “annual U.S. GDP growth exceeding 3% … is not expected to be attainable over the coming decade.” It lists everything as a cause, except for one thing: federal regulations.

Whenever a new regulation gets passed, the government puts out a cost analysis, which focuses on annual compliance costs. That’s fine for a point in time. But these regulations don’t go away. And every year more get added to the pile. The Code of Federal Regulations is now more than 81,000 pages long.

What’s the cumulative impact of all these rules, EDIT3-regu-042616regulations and mandates over several decades? A new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University tries to get an answer, and what it found is mind-boggling.

The paper looked at regulations imposed since 1977 on 22 different industries, their actual growth, and what might have happened if all those regulations had not been imposed.

What it found is that if the regulatory state had remained frozen in place in 1980, the economy would have been $4 trillion — or 25% — bigger than it was in 2012. That’s equal to almost $13,000 per person in that one year alone.

Looked at another way, if the economic growth lost to regulation in the U.S. were its own country, it would be the fourth largest economy in the world, as the nearby chart shows.

The authors — Patrick McLaughlin, Bentley Coffey, and Pietro Peretto — are quick to point out that this calculation includes only the costs of complying with federal regulations, not benefits — like cleaner air, safer workplaces, etc. — that don’t show up in the GDP numbers.

Still, does anyone really think that we are getting $4 trillion worth of benefits from federal regulations today?

Bad as this picture is, it has only gotten much, much worse since 2012, as President Obama has embarked on a regulatory free-for-all since winning re-election. While his administration imposed 172 “economically significant” regulations in Obama’s first terms, it’s added another 200 since then.  The pace of regulations under this president far exceeds those of either Bush or Clinton. At the end of last year, Obama had imposed 85 more than Clinton and 100 more than Bush. Plus, the scale of Obama’s regulations are arguably far grander than his predecessors, including the entire health care industry, the banking and financial services industry, and the overbearing carbon emission rules.

Yet, mysteriously, this massive and growing regulatory burden on the private sector never comes up when the discussion turns to underwhelming economic growth. Instead, we hear about “headwinds” and the lingering effects of the financial crisis.

The authors say their findings suggest “that a wide-scale review of regulations … would deliver not only lower compliance costs but also a substantially higher economic growth rate.”
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: April 29, 2016, 02:08:12 PM
Actually, cutting the mortgage interest deduction is a good way to punish the blue States, so I support that.

Right, and the deduction for state and local taxes.  It is totally not fair that people choosing to pay higher state and local taxes should then pay less than their share of federal for that choice.

Needs to be said with that: [Eliminate deductions] ...and lower the tax rates accordingly.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Robert Reich and the Power of Bankrupt Thinking on: April 29, 2016, 01:43:05 PM

"Why Is the Racial Wealth Gap Widening?"

   - Black people are disproportionately held back by the programs that Robert Reich advocates.  It isn't because we had slavery in part of our country a century and a half ago.  The biggest reason people live paycheck to paycheck is the artificially high cost of everything.  The burden of government is in everything we buy, not just the tax in your paycheck.  And employers are held back from expanding payrolls by the kinds of taxes and regulations that he always wants to increase.

Address inequality by stomping out wealth:

"First, reform the tax system so capital gains — increases in the value of assets — are taxed at the same rate as ordinary income."

  - Great, just subtract the inflationary component first.  That isn't a gain, it isn't income and it doesn't bring in revenue when it prevents investors from selling assets.

"Second, limit how much mortgage interest the wealthy can deduct from their incomes."

   - (We already do that!)  Odd that he thinks the super rich are people who need to borrow to buy a house.  People reading Pat's posts know that a large portion of the housing transactions were all cash, especially times were the hardest.  I'm surprised he didn't say ban people from using their own money to buy houses.  The left seeks equality by rejecting equal treatment under the law.  Why do they always want two sets of rules?  Should mortgage interest be deductible or not?  How about letting interest rates return to market levels - when everyone knows that the Fed's wrongful meddling is disproportionately benefiting the rich?

"Provide every newborn child with a savings account consisting of at least $1,250 — and more if a child is from a low-income family. This sum will compound over the years into a solid nest egg."

   - Again, two sets of rules with an incentive to be poor.  Give them what money, borrowed money?  That they will have to pay back with interest if they grow up and succeed in joining the productive economy?  No worries, the program won't succeed.  Like all the rest, it will help to trap people in poverty.  Like the fight against social security privatization, poor people will be banned from having this money in "risky" rich people investments (the market).  With the power of compound interest it could grow at a .0001% for all those years - while thsee low income families can't touch this money for more urgent needs.

"Allow families receiving public benefits to save."

   - Or put the other way, give assistance to people who don't need the money.

He never answers the question, what money?  We already squandered ourselves into 19 trillion of debt.  If poor people thought they would ever catch up and have to pay for these  programs where they see the waste firsthand, they wouldn't support them either.  The more we did of the Obama-Reich-Left policies, cash for clunkers, solyndra, community reinvestment act, federal student loan increases, affordable healthcare, prescription drug benefit, the Kennedy education bill, family leave, quantitative expansion, all of it, the worse inequality got.  Their answer:  We need to do more!

How about we trust people in their abilities, even "racial" people, and let them compete on a level playing field?

4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trump's foreign policy on: April 29, 2016, 01:03:06 PM

America First was our foreign policy before Pearl Harbor, as Buchanan admits.  The nice thing about not addressing threats abroad is that they will come to us soon enough - after gaining numbers, strength, confidence, momentum, riches, weapons and a few victories under their belt.

Buchanan was the most anti-Iraq-war of all Republicans, he opposed the first gulf war too, after Saddam invaded and took control of Kuwait.  But I haven't heard his answer or Obama's or Trump's to what they would have done otherwise (nothing) about Saddam Hussein joining the nuclear club.  Iraq Study Group, said Saddam was 5-7 years away from the capability.  From 2002-2003, that makes Saddam's Iraq nuclear in roughly 2007-2010.  The 2016 equivalent strategy for 'stability in the region' would be to hand Iran that capability.  Thank you President Obama, mission accomplished.  (

Buchanan:  "Military intervention for reasons of ideology or nation building..."

This is a straw man argument right out of the Obama left vocabulary.  Those motives are not among the 23 compelling reasons in the authorization approved by a 3:1 margin in the House and a majority of both parties in the Senate, nor were they the hidden reason.  We didn't go into Iraq for ideology or nation building; we were addressing a threat recognized at the time by all the best intelligence agencies in the world as 'grave and gathering'.  Saddam had attacked four of his neighbors by the time we deposed him, had gassed the Kurds and given financial support to suicide bombers.  The first World Trade Center bombers traveled under Iraqi passports.  What threat?

The lesson AFTER overthrowing Saddam, and after he was hanged after a fair trial, is that if we were going to spend hundreds of billions more and lose thousands more lives in pursuit of stability, don't needlessly squander the gains when we're done.  We didn't abandon Germany or Japan immediately after that 'surge'.  

A couple others (from the right) join my criticism of Trump's foreign policy speech (famous people reading the forum?):

Noah Rothman at Commentary:  After again demonstrating that he doesn’t know what a trade deficit is by contending that it should be balanced “quickly,” he asserted that the world should “look at what China is doing in the South China Sea.” Without defining what that is, he noted: “they’re not supposed to be doing it.” You’ve heard the same turn of phrase from Secretary of State John Kerry when he’s utterly flummoxed by the actions of American adversaries and has no way to counter them.

Charles Krauthammer:  "His foreign policy speech is an incoherent jumble of contradictory ideas."
" inconsistent and often contradictory. He pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)?"

"More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death."

"Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise."
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump foreign policy speech - text and comments on: April 28, 2016, 02:31:36 PM

Good points in there.  This speech was good only because Obama, Hillary and Trump himself have lowered the bar so far.  From my point of view, he is right on some of it, vague on most and wrong in parts.

Vagueness:  South China Sea gets a mention.  " Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it."  Then what??  Israel gets a mention:  "Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East.  President Obama has not been a friend to Israel."  Right...

Good points: 1) Defense buildup.  He starts to mention things like the number of ships:  "The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships."  People have been trying to get him to do that for over a year.  Keep in mind this is a well prepared script.  "We will spend what we need to rebuild our military."  Vague but strong.

2) International agreements:  "Under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs".  This is very good, my points below about trade agreements notwithstanding.  We need to be able to negotiate TPP and trade agreements that do not infringe on our sovereignty.

Hypocrisies:  1) Iran deal, 'bad, bad bad, very bad'.  But in Iraq he makes clear he would have left Saddam to go nuclear by now because that is some kind of great political selling point of the moment.  But would you prefer Saddam in Iraq going nuclear or for Iran to do it  The right answer is no, no, no.  Do what we need to do to stop both. 

2) Willingness to walk in negotiations.  What is his leverage over the Chinese when he admits before negotiating that our consumers will not end up stuck with the 45% tariffs threatened.  We are willing to walk economically on the Chinese?  I don't think so.  Willingness to walk in negotiations was one of the few things I took from his book, 'Art of the Deal'.  Now I'm 59 and single.

Wrong:  1) He has more criticism of the decision to go into Iraq than the decision to abandon and lose all gains.  Trying to set up a western-style democracy wasn't the low moment of the American effort.  Handing back all gains to terrorism was.  There were 23 reasons to go into Iraq spelled out in the congressional authorization.  His answer to that was - do nothing?  If he had the same intelligence GWB had, he would have said, hey, we're not nation builders and that's not our problem?  I don't think so.

2) Nafta isn't what's wrong with manufacturing here.  Before Nafta, Mexico had steep tariffs on American goods and we had virtually none on theirs.  He wouldn't have taken that deal?  Nafta was the hemisphere wide free trade zone that was a dream of Reagan's.  Trump is siding with Perot, Smoot and Halley while Bill and Hillary sided with Reagan.

3) Along those lines is the "trade deficit".  In fact we have an export deficit and an enterprise deficit and it is partly because the rest of the world is screwed up and partly because we have made nearly impossible to manufacture here.  Taxes and regulations that won't go away by renegotiating with Mexico and China.

4) Punish companies that leave.  This is right out of the Bernie, Barack, Hillary playbook.  Throw one more tax and regulation on them when it was taxes and regulations that drove them out in the first place.  Pure economic ignorance showing big government instincts over limited government and freedom.  Let's say Carrier moves to Mexico and Trump slaps a penalty on the air conditioners they send back here.  WHO PAYS THAT TAX?  Clue:  Not the corporation.

Text of the speech:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you, and thank you to the Center for National Interest for honoring me with this invitation. It truly is a great honor. I’d like to talk today about how to develop a new foreign policy direction for our country, one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace.

It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy. It’s time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold, something we have to do. The direction I will outline today will also return us to a timeless principle. My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. It has to be first. Has to be.

That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make.

America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.

In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. Democrats and Republicans working together got Mr. Gorbachev to heed the words of President Reagan, our great president, when he said, tear down this wall.

History will not forget what he did. A very special man and president. Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which led to one foreign policy disaster after another.

They just kept coming and coming. We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.

We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.

They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy. Today I want to identify five main weaknesses in our foreign policy.

First, our resources are totally over extended. President Obama has weakened our military by weakening our economy. He’s crippled us with wasteful spending, massive debt, low growth, a huge trade deficit and open borders. Our manufacturing trade deficit with the world is now approaching $1 trillion a year.

We’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own. Ending the theft of American jobs will give us resources we need to rebuild our military, which has to happen and regain our financial independence and strength. I am the only person running for the presidency who understands this and this is a serious problem.

I’m the only one — believe me, I know them all, I’m the only one who knows how to fix it.

Secondly, our allies are not paying their fair share, and I’ve been talking about this recently a lot. Our allies must contribute toward their financial, political, and human costs, have to do it, of our tremendous security burden. But many of them are simply not doing so.

They look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us. In NATO, for instance, only 4 of 28 other member countries besides America, are spending the minimum required 2 percent of GDP on defense. We have spent trillions of dollars over time on planes, missiles, ships, equipment, building up our military to provide a strong defense for Europe and Asia.

The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.

The whole world will be safer if our allies do their part to support our common defense and security. A Trump administration will lead a free world that is properly armed and funded, and funded beautifully.

Thirdly, our friends are beginning to think they can’t depend on us. We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.

And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon.

All of this without even mentioning the humiliation of the United States with Iran’s treatment of our ten captured sailors — so vividly I remember that day. In negotiation, you must be willing to walk. The Iran deal, like so many of our worst agreements, is the result of not being willing to leave the table.

When the other side knows you’re not going to walk, it becomes absolutely impossible to win — you just can’t win. At the same time, your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them. You’ve made that agreement, you have to stand by it and the world will be a better place. President Obama gutted our missile defense program and then abandoned our missile defense plans with Poland and the Czech Republic. He supported the ouster of a friendly regime in Egypt that had a longstanding peace treaty with Israel, and then helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in its place.

Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity. Just a few days ago, Vice President Biden again criticized Israel, a force for justice and peace, for acting as an impatient peace area in the region.

President Obama has not been a friend to Israel. He has treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power. Iran has, indeed, become a great, great power in just a very short period of time, because of what we’ve done. All of the expense and all at the expense of Israel, our allies in the region and very importantly, the United States itself.

We’ve picked fights with our oldest friends, and now they’re starting to look elsewhere for help. Remember that. Not good.

Fourth, our rivals no longer respect us. In fact, they’re just as confused as our allies, but in an even bigger problem is they don’t take us seriously anymore. The truth is they don’t respect us. When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, no leader was there, nobody, to greet him.

Perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One. Then amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia. It’s called no respect. Absolutely no respect.

Do you remember when the president made a long and expensive trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, to get the Olympics for our country, and after this unprecedented effort, it was announced that the United States came in fourth — fourth place? The president of the United States making this trip — unprecedented — comes in fourth place. He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment. We were laughed at all over the world, as we have been many, many times.

The list of humiliations go on and on and on. President Obama watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression and expands further and further with its nuclear reach. Our president has allowed China to continue its economic assault on American jobs and wealth, refusing to enforce trade deals and apply leverage on China necessary to rein in North Korea. We have the leverage. We have the power over China, economic power, and people don’t understand it. And with that economic power, we can rein in and we can get them to do what they have to do with North Korea, which is totally out of control.

He has even allowed China to steal government secrets with cyber attacks and engaged in industrial espionage against the United States and its companies. We’ve let our rivals and challengers think they can get away with anything, and they do. They do at will. It always happens. If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.

Finally, America no longer has a clear understanding of our foreign policy goals. Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, we’ve lacked a coherent foreign policy. One day, we’re bombing Libya and getting rid of a dictator to foster democracy for civilians. The next day, we’re watching the same civilians suffer while that country falls and absolutely falls apart. Lives lost, massive moneys lost. The world is a different place.

We’re a humanitarian nation, but the legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess. We’ve made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before. We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide.

We have done nothing to help the Christians, nothing, and we should always be ashamed for that, for that lack of action. Our actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria have helped unleash ISIS, and we’re in a war against radical Islam, but President Obama won’t even name the enemy, and unless you name the enemy, you will never ever solve the problem.

Hillary Clinton also refuses to say the words radical Islam, even as she pushes for a massive increase in refugees coming into our country. After Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya, Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep. Incredible.

Clinton blames it all on a video, an excuse that was a total lie, proven to be absolutely a total lie. Our ambassador was murdered and our secretary of state misled the nation. And, by the way, she was not awake to take that call at 3 o’clock in the morning. And now ISIS is making millions and millions of dollars a week selling Libya oil. And you know what? We don’t blockade, we don’t bomb, we don’t do anything about it. It’s almost as if our country doesn’t even know what’s happening, which could be a fact and could be true. This will all change when I become president.

To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.

We’re getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world. Our moments of greatest strength came when politics ended at the water’s edge. We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties — Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies.

This is how we won the Cold War and it’s how we will win our new future struggles, which may be many, which may be complex, but we will win if I become president.

First, we need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam. Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.

In this, we’re going to be working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world, all of which are at risk from radical Islamic violence, attacks and everything else. It is a dangerous world, more dangerous now than it has ever been.

We should work together with any nation in the region that is threatened by the rise of radical Islam. But this has to be a two-way street. They must also be good to us. Remember that. They have to be good to us, no longer one way. It’s now two-way. And remember, us and all we’re doing, they have to appreciate what we’ve done to them. We’re going to help, but they have to appreciate what we’ve done for them. The struggle against radical Islam also takes place in our homeland. There are scores of recent migrants inside our borders charged with terrorism. For every case known to the public, there are dozens and dozens more. We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies. We have no idea where these people are coming from. There’s no documentation. There’s no paperwork. There’s nothing. We have to be smart. We have to be vigilant.

A pause for reassessment will help us to prevent the next San Bernardino or frankly, much worse. All you have to do is look at the World Trade Center and September 11th, one of the great catastrophes, in my opinion, the single greatest military catastrophe in the history of our country; worse than Pearl Harbor because you take a look at what’s happened, and citizens were attacked, as opposed to the military being attacked — one of the true great catastrophes.

And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must...

... we must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now.

But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.

Secondly, we have to rebuild our military and our economy. The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.

But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again.

This will ensure that our own workers, right here in America, get the jobs and higher pay that will grow our tax revenues, increase our economic might as a nation, make us strong financially again. So, so important. We need to think smart about areas where our technological superiority, and nobody comes close, gives us an edge.

This includes 3D printing, artificial intelligence and cyber warfare. A great country also takes care of its warriors. Our commitment to them is absolute, and I mean absolute. A Trump administration will give our servicemen and women the best equipment and support in the world when they serve and where they serve. And the best care in the world when they return as veterans and they come back home to civilian life. Our veterans...

Our veterans have not been treated fairly or justly. These are our great people and we must treat them fairly. We must even treat them really, really well and that will happen under the Trump administration.

Finally, we must develop a foreign policy based on American interests. Businesses do not succeed when they lose sight of their core interests and neither do countries. Look at what happened in the 1990s. Our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania — and this was a horrible time for us — were attacked. and 17 brave sailors were killed on the U.S.S. Cole.

And what did we do? It seemed we put more effort into adding China into the World Trade organization, which has been a total disaster for the United States. Frankly, we spent more time on that than we did in stopping Al Qaeda. We even had an opportunity to take out Osama bin Laden and we didn’t do it

And then we got hit at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Again, the worst attack on our country in its history. Our foreign policy goals must be based on America’s core national security interests. And the following will be my priorities.

In the Middle East our goals must be, and I mean must be, to defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change. We need to be clearsighted about the groups that will never be anything other than enemies. And believe me, we have groups that no matter what you do, they will be the enemy.: We have to be smart enough to recognize who those groups are, who those people are, and not help them. And we must only be generous to those that prove they are indeed our friends.

We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests.

Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.

Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.

Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.

We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it.

No respect for this country or this president. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways. If need be, that’s what’s going to have to happen.

After I’m elected president, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies and a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges. For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO’s outdated mission and structure, grown out of the Cold War to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism.

I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win.

I will never sent our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.

Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction. The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy. With President Obama and Secretary Clinton we’ve had the exact opposite — a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy, one that has blazed the path of destruction in its wake.

After losing thousands of lives and spending trillions of dollars, we are in far worst shape in the Middle East than ever, ever before. I challenge anyone to explain the strategic foreign policy vision of Obama/Clinton. It has been a complete and total disaster.

I will also be prepared to deploy America’s economic resources. Financial leverage and sanctions can be very, very persuasive, but we need to use them selectively and with total determination. Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me.

However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are really truly signs of strength. Although not in government service, I was totally against the war in Iraq, very proudly, saying for many years that it would destabilize the Middle East. Sadly, I was correct, and the biggest beneficiary has been has been Iran, who is systematically taking over Iraq and gaining access to their very rich oil reserves, something it has wanted to do for decades.

And now, to top it off, we have ISIS. My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect résumés but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war. We have to look to new people.

We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in The New York Times or being watched on television.

Finally, I will work with our allies to reinvigorate Western values and institutions. Instead of trying to spread universal values that not everybody shares or wants, we should understand that strengthening and promoting Western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world than military interventions.

These are my goals as president. I will seek a foreign policy that all Americans, whatever their party, can support, so important, and which our friends and allies will respect and totally welcome. The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends and when old friends become allies, that’s what we want. We want them to be our allies.

We want the world to be — we want to bring peace to the world. Too much destruction out there, too many destructive weapons. The power of weaponry is the single biggest problem that we have today in the world.

To achieve these goals, Americans must have confidence in their country and its leadership. Again, many Americans must wonder why we our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than in defending their own. Americans.

Americans must know that we’re putting the American people first again on trade.

So true. On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy. The jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority.

No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down and will never enter.

And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.

NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the United States and has emptied our states — literally emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs. And I’ve just gotten to see it. I’ve toured Pennsylvania. I’ve toured New York. I’ve toured so many of the states. They have been cleaned out. Their manufacturing is gone.

Never again, only the reverse — and I have to say this strongly — never again; only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for the companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. They fire the people. They take advantage of the United States. There will be consequences for those companies. Never again.

Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of a foreign country.

I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.

The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again.

And always — always, always, we must make, and we have to look at it from every angle, and we have no choice, we must make America respected again. We must make America truly wealthy again. And we must — we have to and we will make America great again. And if we do that — and if we do that, perhaps this century can be the most peaceful and prosperous the world has ever, ever known. Thank you very much, everybody. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Thank you very much.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fracking study buried on: April 28, 2016, 01:19:35 PM

"Science" isn't really science when the researchers and publicists put bias above truth.
Readers of the forum have had the facts for a long time:
Studies show fracking does not hurt ground water

Hydraulic Fracturing –15 Statements from State Regulatory Officials
Babies diapers don't have this clean of a report.
(I picked these quotes out of longer documents.  I see the detail is now missing at the source link.   - Doug)

"After 25 years of investigating dtizen complainls of contamination, DMRM geologists
have not documented a single inddent involVing contamination of ground water
attributed to hydraulic fracturing
."  - Ohio Department of Natural Resources

After review of DEP's complaint database and interviews with regional staff that
investigate groundwater contamination related to oil and gas activities, no groundwater pollution
or disruption of underground sources of drinking water has been attributed to hydraulic
of deep gas fonnations.  - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

"we have found no example of contamination of usable water where the cause was claimed to. be hydraUlic fracturing."  - New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

"I can state with authority that there have been no documented cases of drinking water
contamination caused by such hydraulic fracturing
operations in our State."  - STATE OIL AND GAS BOARD OF ALABAMA

"Though hydraulic fracturing has becn
used for over 50 years in Texas, our records do not indicate a single documented contamination case
associated with hydraulic fracturing."  - chief regulatory agency over oil and gas activities in Texas

"There have been no verified cases of harm to ground water in the State of Alaska as a result of
hydraulic fracturing."  - Commissioner Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

"To the knowledge of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff, there has been
no verified instance of harm to groundwater caused by hydraulic fracturing in Colorado."

"There have been no instances where the Division of Oil and Gas has verified that harm to
groundwater has ever been found
to be the result of hydraulic fracturing in Indiana."  - Director
Indiana Department of Natural Resources

"The Louisiana Office of Conservation is unaware of any instance of harm to groundwater in the
State of Louisiana caused by the practice of hydraulic fracturing."

"My agency, the Office of Geological Survey (OGS) of the Department of Environmental
Quality, regulates oil and gas exploration and production in Michigan. Hydraulic fracturing has been utilized extensively for many years in Michigan, in both deep formations and in the relatively shallow Antrim Shale formation. There are about 9,900 Antrim wells in Michigan producing natural gas at depths of 500 to 2000 feet. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in virtually every Antrim well.
There is no indication that hydraulic fracturing has ever caused damage to ground water or other
resources in Michigan."

"No documented cases of groundwater contamination from fracture stimulations in

7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: April 27, 2016, 11:50:22 PM
 GDP would  be 25% higher if regulations were frozen at 1980 levels. Over-regulation has cost us an estimated 72 trillion dollars over the last 36 years.   I will try to follow up with links and math.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our embassy in Libya told Hillary it wasn't the video on: April 27, 2016, 02:50:17 PM

The email brings up another important point about having the three stooges speak for our country and run our foreign policy:

Along with the fact that it proves the narrative false is that the false narrative was used to draw attention to the video in hopes of making that a true motive for more attacks??

From the warning in the US Embassy in Tripoli:
"If we post messaging about the video specifically, we may draw unwanted attention to it."

Fits the line describing the whole Obama administration that should have been the reelection stopper:
'They made it worse.'   We have all these problems, the economy, Libya, ISIS, terrorism, the world, they made it worse.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left, electric car subsidies on: April 27, 2016, 01:20:38 PM
The story is Germany but the issue is everywhere, cognitive dissonance of the left, crony governmentism and unintended consequences.

"Germany to subsidize electric cars to help own auto industry"

But Germany was also closing its nuclear plants as a result of tsunami (in Japan).  Electric cars are far more polluting than gasoline ones.  The electric grid in Germany is 45% coal, 55% fossil fuel.  Generating with fossil fuels involves a 63% energy loss at the plant and loses 2/3rds more in transmission, making the overall efficiency 13.7%.

While they build more public sector solar I would note that it has been cloudy every time I was there, dark all night, and their latitude is similar to Ketchikan, not Scottsdale.

The policy of finding failure and subsidizing it is not uniquely German or European.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races, Paul Ryan's agenda on: April 27, 2016, 12:55:43 PM
"The principle for tax reform is get the cronyism out of the code, give people more power, lower rates, make us more competitive for faster growth of the and on health care, put the patient in charge," Ryan said. "Let she and her doctor be in charge of deciding their health care. Give people more choices, more insurance competition."

Read more:
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Venezuela Imposes 2 Day (public sector) Work Week on: April 27, 2016, 12:46:47 PM
Pretty soon we can merge our Venezuela and America under Leftism threads, same content.  Public employees will now be taking Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays off.  "Full salaries will still be paid despite the two-day week."  - They won't use water or electricity at home?

Venezuela Imposes 2 Day Work Week

The country, which is going through a recession, is also suffering from water shortages and electricity cuts.

President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of Venezuela’s 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May to cut down on electricity consumption.

“From tomorrow, for at least two weeks, we are going to have Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as non-working days for the public sector,” Maduro said on his weekly television program.

President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of Venezuela’s 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May to cut down on electricity consumption.

“From tomorrow, for at least two weeks, we are going to have Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as non-working days for the public sector,” Maduro said on his weekly television program. ... Full salaries will still be paid despite the two-day week.
Drought has reduced water levels at Venezuela’s main dam and hydroelectric plant in Guri to near-critical levels. The dam provides for about two-thirds of the nation’s energy needs.

It would seem to me they have a freedom and prosperity shortage and just looking at the symptoms.  Hydro electric is great, but safe, clean, reliable electricity today requires state of the art nuclear facilities.  Nuclear is less susceptible to El Niño.  Is it hard to attract private investment after confiscating and nationalizing all the previous ones?  

A country located on a rising ocean might not have a water shortage but insufficient desalination capacity.

Combustion of hydrocarbons around the world releases more H2O than CO2.  By now we should be swimming in it.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillbillary criminal affiliations: Meet Donald Mullen, former Goldman Sachs on: April 27, 2016, 11:39:45 AM
This could go in so many threads, crony governmentism, rigged economy, housing crash, corruption, white collar crime etc, but the most immediate relevance is his affiliation with the Clintons.  Why do you suppose that is so?  When I bought foreclosures, I was limited by the amount of money I had to invest.  When Friends of Hillary do it, free money, no limits.  Stories like this conflate resentment for others' success with all the corruption that makes some of it possible.  There is nothing like watching a liberal look out for the little guy - he caused foreclosures, bought foreclosures, then refuses to rent to anyone who had a foreclosure.  
The Guy Who Screwed America’s Economy Hearts Hillary Clinton

The man behind Goldman Sachs’s infamous bets on the housing collapse now buys foreclosed homes and rents them out—but not to anyone convicted of a financial crime. He’s also a big Clinton donor.
Wall Street is buying Main Street one foreclosed home at a time.
The houses—more than 200,000 of them—are then rented to folks who continue to struggle in the aftermath of a near financial collapse in 2008.

And one of the leading figures in Wall Street’s scavenging of the wreckage created by Wall Street is also a big-time backer of Hillary Clinton.

His name is Donald Mullen, and he was once the global head of credit at Goldman Sachs. He was credited with devising the infamous “big short,” by which the firm bet bigger than big that the housing market would collapse even as it was urging customers to invest in it.
“Sounds like we will make some serious money,” he famously emailed colleagues in 2007, at early signs of the impending implosion.

Mullen left Goldman Sachs in 2012 and made some more serious money by becoming one of a number of Wall Streeters who are acquiring and leasing thousands of foreclosed homes.
Mullen embarked on this new endeavor with Curt Schade, formerly a managing director at Bear Stearns, which failed at the start of the financial crisis. Mullen and Schade received a $400 million credit line from Deutsche Bank, which survived thanks to billions of dollars in direct and indirect financial support from the government.
The new firm came to be called Progress Residential. The name takes on an added resonance when you visit the website of the major pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA Action, to which Mullen contributed $100,000 in June. You are welcomed by a picture of a smiling, waving Hillary Clinton and a message:
“The story of America is one of hard-fought, hard-won progress. And it continues today.”

The $100,000 to the pro-Clinton super PAC was noted by and reported by various news outlets. The Washington Post has further reported that Mullen is one of 146 people who have contributed to all six of the federal races entered by either Hillary or Bill Clinton.

What has not been reported are some supreme ironies arising not so much from the money Mullen hands out but in the money he rakes in. Consider the “Rental Qualification Criteria” that a prospective tenant must pass before being granted a lease to one of the foreclosed homes that Progress Residential has acquired.
Applicants must document monthly household income of at least three times the monthly rent. Income and “credit worthiness” (PDF) are then “entered into an application scoring model to determine rental eligibility.”
But that is not all. You must also attest that you have never been convicted of any one of various felonies, including these:
“Financial crimes.”
The ban in this category applies for 10 years for those convicted of a felony, three years for a misdemeanor.
A guy who has been caught passing a bad check can forget renting one of Mullen’s houses for a decade.

That by the onetime credit chief at Goldman Sachs, which this month reached a $5.06 billion settlement with the government arising from allegations that the bank knowingly sold iffy mortgages to unsuspecting customers even as it was betting against them via Mullen’s big short.
In announcing the deal, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Benjamin Mizer, said, “Today’s settlement is another example of the department’s resolve to hold accountable those whose illegal conduct resulted in the financial crisis of 2008.”
If there was illegal conduct, how come nobody was arrested?
In truth, the settlement was another example of the department’s failure to hold any individuals accountable for breaking the law.
Too big to jail.
To be completely fair to Mullen, the Goldman emails show that he at one point worried “about the representations we may be making to clients.”
But that does not seem to have stopped him from playing a major role in what followed, which is to say upending the lives of millions of people.
And he refuses to rent not only to those who have committed financial crimes but also to those who have been evicted within the past seven years.
In other words, a family could be evicted when its home is foreclosed, watch Mullen buy the house, and then find itself barred from renting any of his thousands of properties because they had been evicted.
Also barred from renting are those who have been incarcerated for a felony of any kind within the past five years; those jailed for a misdemeanor have to wait three years.
Those who survived the financial collapse without being evicted or going bankrupt or committing a crime for which Main Street if not Wall Street folks are jailed might then actually get a lease.  (more at link)
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The war on the rule of law: The Danziger Bridge case on: April 27, 2016, 11:13:13 AM
(Moving this over by request)  I'm sure everyone has already seen this case plastered all over the news...

Serious misconduct and cover up by the New Orleans police followed by misconduct of the Justice Department lawyers in the case. The judge excoriates in very strong language the conduct of gov’t prosecutors and their supervisors in Washington. The judge puts the blame on the supervisors of the civil rights division of the Justice Dept. and Thomas Perez, the current Secretary of Labor and head of the Civil Rights Division at the time, is specifically mentioned.

Perez is a possible Hillary VP choice and Loretta Lynch runs a Justice Department that still hasn't acted on Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, black Panthers voter interference or Hillary Clinton's security breaches.  Also note the lack of coverage outside of that region.  Does anyone here know more on this?

More here:
and here:
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Justice Involved Individuals on: April 27, 2016, 11:07:29 AM

Liberals owning the language if we let them, and making excuses for being soft on crime, 44 more shot in Chicago this weekend.  If I were making the rules, the rapist would have a Caitlin Jenner like procedure imposed and the term 'justice involved individual' would have meaning.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: April 27, 2016, 10:55:39 AM
If we could believe Pres Trump would get the Trump tax plan enacted, then he would be a million times better than Hillary.  He also has agreed to the 'penny plan' to limit federal spending.  If both were to happent, he could cut tax rates, grow the economy, rein in government AND balance the budget.

I see he is in talks with Paul Ryan on policy.  If the nominee and the House can get on the same page, that will help define the choices in the contested Senate races and also set up a mandate in case of a win.  If everything were to go right for him in this election, he still won't have anywhere near 60 votes in the Senate to enact real change.  In the fights with the Senate, after calling Rubio Little Marco, I wonder what Trump will call Dick Durbin in opposition...
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: April 27, 2016, 10:33:55 AM
Didn't Menken say something about the people deserving the government they voted for , , , in spades?

If all the laws applied to all the people equally, if we chose tax rates, tax burdens, rules and regulations same for all, voting would require discipline.  When 51% can vote for rules that apply to the other 49% and benefit only them, like the so-called rob Peter to pay Paul, .

Imagine if we had founded our country under principles like limited government and equal protection under the law with individual rights that the congress and the executive shall not infringe on, none of which could ever be violated without the approval of massive super-majorities of the people and of the states ...   oh, skip it, and make sure you file your new 1095.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: April 26, 2016, 11:51:26 AM
Trump is awful.

At least he is for a big increase in military spending, defending the border, a moratorium on Muslim immigration, and strongly for the Second Amendment.

But if I use my gun on the government agents taking my house I will lose my gun too, along with my house and my remaining freedom.

He has already divided and destroyed the Republican party and what was once the conservative movement.  He will do much more damage as nominee and President.

Breitbart has the long inside story on the fight inside Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum.  Schlafly was a friend of Reagan and a friend of my mom.  Brilliant, but I always warned mom Schlafly misguided on trade protectionism, while presciently right on nearly everything else, culture wars, peace through strength, etc.  At 91, still very sharp, she endorsed Trump.  Many on her conservative board predictably back Cruz. The split and fight on her board, including her daughter siding with the dissidents, is a microcosm of the anger and division on the right.

Larry Kudlow has a piece today BEGGING conservatives to be civil to each other.  It isn't working and the split is all about Trump.  Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Walker and all the rest could have survived this but the vitriol was 'raised' to new low.

Conservative talk show hosts feel the anger and the divide.  Those who endorsed one or the other are hated by the rest.  Those who didn't choose sides are hated by all.  We have 6 months to go but the damage is done and it's irreversible.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Danziger Bridge case on: April 26, 2016, 11:27:45 AM
Serious misconduct and cover up by the New Orleans police followed by misconduct of the Justice Department lawyers in the case. The judge excoriates in very strong language the conduct of gov’t prosecutors and their supervisors in Washington. The judge puts the blame on the supervisors of the civil rights division of the Justice Dept. and Thomas Perez, the current Secretary of Labor and head of the Civil Rights Division at the time, is specifically mentioned.

Perez is a possible Hillary VP choice and Loretta Lynch runs a Justice Department that still hasn't acted on Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, black Panthers voter interference or Hillary Clinton's security breaches.  Also note the lack of coverage outside of that region.  Does anyone here know more on this?

More here:
and here:
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mattis on: April 26, 2016, 11:11:41 AM

This country really wouldn't deserve him. Not anymore.

I was thinking about it, and if I was charged with protecting any of the current candidates, I think I'd spit out my coffee at the idea of it.

Bernie - The Socialist
Clinton - The criminal, America hating hag
Trump - The Manhattan Realtor (saleperson - you know the type)
Kasich - If ever someone had RINO written all over him
Cruz - The Canadian.... and he is.

I hope God knows what HE is doing in all of this. The worst part is a large swath of America are perfectly fine endorsing a criminal or a socialist that's never earned his own paycheck. What does one do with that?

You don't get anywhere in politics by blaming the voters, ... but I blame the voters.

I would write a different description of Cruz, the rest is spot-on from my point of view.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Environmental issues:The Greening of the Earth, who knew it was a good thing? on: April 26, 2016, 11:05:13 AM
The human race is doing Earth a great service by restoring long-buried CO2 to our atmosphere.

CO2 helps plants grow.  Who knew?!  Plants in turn replenishes earth's atmosphere with oxygen essential for animal life.  Crazy talk!  I haven't heard this kind of thing since ... science class.  We needed a new study to learn this?  What if this news leaks out to the political class?!

...we use three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to investigate four key drivers of LAI trends during 1982–2009. We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning). Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend,
A small team of scientists studied and came up with the above conclusions: Zaichun Zhu,   Shilong Piao,   Ranga B. Myneni,   Mengtian Huang,   Zhenzhong Zeng,   Josep G. Canadell,   Philippe Ciais,   Stephen Sitch,   Pierre Friedlingstein, Almut Arneth,   Chunxiang Cao,   Lei Cheng,   Etsushi Kato,   Charles Koven,   Yue Li,   Xu Lian,   Yongwen Liu,   Ronggao Liu,   Jiafu Mao,   Yaozhong Pan,   Shushi Peng,   Josep Peñuelas,   Benjamin Poulter,   Thomas A. M. Pugh,   Benjamin D. Stocker,   Nicolas Viovy,   Xuhui Wang,   Yingping Wang,   Zhiqiang Xiao,   Hui Yang, Sönke Zaehle   & Ning Zeng
Received 08 June 2015 Accepted 29 March 2016 Published online 25 April 2016

On any reasonable accounting, the human race is doing Earth a service by restoring long-buried CO2 to our atmosphere.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: April 26, 2016, 10:44:01 AM
"He now admits wanting to "raise taxes on the rich" along with expanding the role, power and scale of government."

ccp:  Doug I haven't seen this.

Donald Trump is running on a plan to dramatically cut taxes for the ultra-rich while talking up his willingness to raise taxes on the same group. Sooner or later, it’s going to get him into trouble.

“Do you believe on raising taxes on the wealthy?” Trump was asked on the TODAY Show on Thursday morning.  

“I do,” he said. “I do. Including myself, I do.”

(2nd source:

When I read the left I always look for the lie in the first sentence or point they make, but when ripping Trump, now they are able to just run with the truth.

I wrote previously that I like Trump tax plan in some ways better than Rubio's or Cruz'.  Rubio massively bumped up a tax credit, didn't lower ordinary rates enough and unrealistically lowered capital gains rates to zero - that will never happen.  Ted Cruz creates a new 16% tax on everything certain to be used against us forever by liberals while unrealistically lowering the top tax rate on the rich to just 10% - and that will never happen.

The problems with Trump's tax plan are that it isn't his, he hasn't read it, he isn't pushing it and he doesn't believe in it.

Besides giving the left endless fodder, his wishy-washiness, lack of a core and endless inconsistencies expose more than a tax rate problem.
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: April 26, 2016, 10:28:07 AM
ccp:  "As will be the fact that Bernie and wife paid only 14% tax rate on over 200K income as per Greta last night.  I don't blame them for doing THAT (and agree with Greta that I would like to know just how they got away with it)  but it is just the hypocrisy of it all."

To his credit, George McGovern had some regrets later, after trying and failing at business, about the massive burden of government - back then.

Bernie at 74 is new at being a rick star. He likes being a 1%er like the Clintons and Michelle Obama, note the jumbo jet and entourage this common man took for his 3 minute meeting with the Pope.  Like a lottery winner, he will have learned nothing along the way of what ordinary people need to do to raise their income and how government fights you every step of the way, taxes jut being a part of it.

In terms of hypocrisy, why is it that none of them give an extra dollar they don't have to when they think it is the agent of the greatest good of all.

Tax vs. charity or coercion versus philanthropy:  What if all those things government does for people were great and we believed people are great and trusted the to do the right thing.  Why not let people prosper and then give to all these great causes voluntarily?  This is the antithesis to leftism where coercion is the centerpiece, not the great good you are pretending to be doing. 

It turns out that freedom, prosperity and philanthropy beats coercive socialism every time it is tried.  Besides being morally superior, it turns out it is far more efficient and effective.

What a shame that Bernie's vision of returning to something so close to slavery sounds appealing to so many young people and is not being effectively countered by our side at all.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Thank God for Europeans, rooster taking credit for the sunrise on: April 25, 2016, 04:50:15 PM
“We are fortunate to be living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history,” Obama boasted during a speech in Germany today.

Good grief.  He did everything he knew how to do to screw that up.  What a d*ckhead.  What brought the prosperity?  Free markets, free economies.  What brought the peace?  Peace through strength.  Taking on and defeating evil.  What direction is he taking us - the polar opposite.  Compare "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall" with being our bower in chief unable to even name, much less call out the enemy for 8 lousy years.

Europe didn't get strong by allowing an invasion of a hostile, non assimilating population.  Nor is that what e Pluribus Unum here means, nor did we want the name to be divided states of America.

We went through this with Clinton.  They squandered the "peace dividend" handed to them, gutted our intelligence services, allowed threats to grow, and then ripped the next Republican President for getting the intelligence wrong on the ground in Iraq. 

As G M has noted and as we had with Paul Volcker and the aftermath of Jimmy Carter, this house of cards is going to fall and they are all set to blame whoever is next.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: April 25, 2016, 01:25:48 PM
G M:   I think I would rather have all the looming catastrophic incidents looming happen under her watch.

Along those lines, I don't want the next round of wrong and failed policies with failed results to be proof that our policies don't work.

After George Bush, America desperately needed bold change.  When we needed a sharp turn to the right, all we were offered was the failed status quo versus a sharp turn to the left.  

Said of George Bush, he gave supply side economics a bad name, without ever trying it.  

Tax rate cuts brought in phenomenal revenue gains once they were fully enacted.  Meanwhile George Bush grew government in a big way.  Taxes aren't the only burden of government.  Government spending also diverts resources away from their most productive use and so do government rules like stifle industry and make bad loans.  Bush and the Republicans did a couple of things right, and then screwed it all up by leaving in place all kinds of bad programs, see Fannie Mae,  CRAp and so many other dangerous programs, not to mention the folly of the Fed distorting markets to the point of blowing it up.  The Bush administration was enjoying all the distortion effects of that monetary expansion on the way up when they should have been warning against it.  While markets and incomes were going up he should have used that opportunity to cut and reform all the programs of proven failure.  He didn't do that and he couldn't articulate the things he did right.

My point here is that I don't want my views, our poicies, judged by the success or failure of Trump policies which are largely the opposite.  He now admits wanting to "raise taxes on the rich" along with expanding the role, power and scale of government.  If that's Republican, I'm not one.  If we are going to double down on Democrat failed policies and it fails further, as GM suggests, it should be called Democrat failure.  

The failure of George Bush was the failure of Democrat policies (that he wrongly continued) and especially fault of the incoming Democrat Congress with its de facto leaders, Senators Hillary and Barack.  Instead they threw out the Republicans.
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cruz and Kasich coordinating on: April 25, 2016, 12:57:22 PM

This will probably backfire(?).  Could help Cruz in Indiana.  Splitting up California will be difficult to pull off.
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music, Sometimes it Snows in April on: April 25, 2016, 12:43:56 PM
"I didn't know he [Prince] lived near you.  Actually I never realized he lived in Minn."

Unlike Bob Dylan and others, he actually stayed here and was proud to be from here.  Must not have had a competent tax adviser.

"There are good reasons why Prince had to live in a high security compound and reportedly had a bank like vault.  "

As the saying goes, just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.  Most don't know the music theft business the way you and Katherine do.  I think of that when I see some cute 21 year old new on the scene who 'writes all her own songs'.  I saw a 14 year old Kid Johnny Lang play a heavy blues guitar song 'he wrote' about love gone bad.

Local urban legend on lyrics: 52 years ago (1964), a little known band from England, the Rolling Stones played here at Excelsior Park on the lake and were allegedly booed off the stage.  While in town, Mick Jagger (or whoever wrote songs for him) "was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy", the town bum, down at the Chelsea drug store, "they decided they would have a soda"but they were out of his favorite flavor cherry red, and Jimmy told him... "you can't always get what you want"... A singalong lyric now well known by millions.  

Final Prince story:  My sister is a professional viola player, played on his Paisley Park recordings in the 1980s. I tried to find out what songs that might have been.  Here is a pretty song from that time with Prince on piano and the viola starting to come through around the 1:20 mark:  Sometimes it Snows in April, about the death of a friend.  Prescient?  They didn't come up with that line in Nashville or Hollywood.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: triple play trivia on: April 24, 2016, 04:59:09 PM
Breitbart had a post about a CWS triple play so I looked and found this triple play trivia.  I like the one about one player's only major league game included being struck out, hitting into a double play, and hitting into a triple play.  Or the pitcher that was called in to relieve with a runner on first and second.  He threw one pitch that was hit into a triple play.  The pitcher completed the inning with the single pitch.

Another website supposedly has a record of all the major league triple play totals since the 1800s.  I don't know how accurate it is.  Talk about "big data".

It took me a moment to figure out 'CWS' - Chicago White Sox.  )
Great play!

Another successful defensive play from the past, Kent Hrbek pulled the baserunner off the base during the tag for a crucial World Series out, 1991:
Hey, we needed the out!

One of my favorites from baseball trivia:
What pitcher had the most losses in baseball history?

Cy Young, of course, 511-316. Nolan Ryan was 3rd and Walter Johnson 4th in career losses.  You had to have a lot of wins for them to keep playing you through all the losses.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FWIW I found this on: April 24, 2016, 04:27:29 PM

Imagine if heteros labeled themselves a positive name for being heterosexual along the lines of 'lighthearted and cheerful', implying that others are not.  You would face lawsuits and criminal charges.
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Repentant Transsexual; Drop the "T" from LGBT on: April 24, 2016, 12:21:57 PM

Let's drop the B (and Q) too.  Being confused, undecided, inconsistent, questioning, indiscriminate or promiscuous is not a gender.  Look at your genitals and use the right bathroom. 

Can't we drop the L too?  Aren't lesbians gay?  Or no?  And when did we lose the meaning of the word gay from our language?  Can we have that word back?  If you are homo-sexual, you can say so or keep your private life private.  Same sex attraction is not a synonym for happy.  Some are less happy.  What word to heteros get?  Straight?  Who gave us that label?  Do we teach our language from Meriam Webster or from the 'urban dictionary'?

For the record, we on the right want more privacy, personal freedom, and liberty to pursue happiness for (all people including) gay people than do those on the left.  The right to keep the fruits of your labor and investment, the right to choose your own healthcare, the right to opt in or out of a union, the right to NOT be asked 300 personal questions on the census, personal property rights and the right to have the government off of your land, the right to choose your own charities and not have your social causes forced on you by the government, the right to bear arms and defend yourself and your household, and on and on.  Too bad no one ever makes that point to Democrat constituent groups.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary and Yoko Ono on: April 24, 2016, 11:51:08 AM
Snopes isn't agenda free or impartial.

Agreed.  Still, not much of a source on that quote.

Coming out as gay now would be the perfect shiny object she needs to rescue her candidacy.  I just kind of doubt it. 

As an excuse for Bill's pattern of conduct, having a lesbian wife is not a free pass to be a criminal, sexual predator. 
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: April 23, 2016, 09:14:06 AM
He was a big star on stations I didn't listen to and clubs I didn't go into.  A 5'2" guy with an unbuttoned shirt wasn't my kind of sexy, but he was a big star and helped a lot of people get started. Prince would join local acts on stage in downtown Mpls clubs and then disappear as soon as the word got out.

26 unreleased albums, they say, someone is going to make money off of this.

The nameless period was weird but I kind of admire standing up to a big company that thinks they own the name your parents gave you.  Also seems strange to go from his very sexual stage act to being a Jehovah's Witness, and then just not play certain songs.

A history of depression and dark stuff like the movie Purple Rain, and songs like Manic Monday, I can guess that a lot of these so-called creative geniuses were living out what otherwise would be considered mental illness, manic depressive bipolar, if it had a label.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary and Yoko Ono on: April 23, 2016, 08:51:23 AM

Snopes says no on the logic that if true the msm would have carried it.

So that settles it.  (?)
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: More proof of the lies on: April 23, 2016, 08:39:46 AM
What if she just admitted she helped Obama spread that lie about the film to help him get re-elected?

That they didn't rescue them for the same reasons, denying there was a terror attack.

And admitted Bill convinced her to do business on the private server because of all the quid pro quo arrangements sure to develop, taking personal and Foundation enrichment in exchange for State Dept favors.

And that the Obama DOJ isn't prosecuting because no one else can win on the Democrat side.

Everyone already knows all this.  Would people like her any better if she was honest?   (No.)
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary has no regrets about Libya on: April 22, 2016, 07:19:18 PM

 interesting, it was Obama's, admitted, greatest failure, trusting Hillary / having no plan for the aftermath in Libya.  (Chris Wallace interview)
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters, Britain, UK, exit or remain? European Union, EU on: April 22, 2016, 02:52:07 PM
I wonder what others here think.  If you were British, how would you vote to exit or remain in the European Union.

(Do we have a separate Great Britain, U.K. thread?)

The E.U. is clearly stronger and better off with the UK in.  But what does the U.K. gain in return?  They don't even want the currency and neither side would gain from a trade war retaliation of their exit.   EU has no defense beyond the larger countries acting on their own.

The future of the EU will be the richer, more productive states bailing out the poorer, less productive ones.  As a richer nation, wouldn't you get out at every opportunity?

But the real, driving force of this is, out of control, open immigration.  Because it is in the EU, the UK  does not have the sovereignty to stop the current invasion.  Wouldn't they want to get the power back?  The UK should make UK immigration decisions.  No?
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science, Earth is on brink of mass extinction - again on: April 22, 2016, 12:12:00 PM
Earth is on brink of a sixth mass extinction, scientists say, and it’s humans’ fault
Al Gore: Polar Ice Gone in 5 Years, 2009

John Kerry claims the Arctic will be ice-free by summer 2013

PoliticFact rates this "Barely True" in 2009.  Huh?

In 2011, PolitiFact changed the name of Barely True to Mostly False.  Huh??

Doug rates all of this as pathologically, reality denyingly false, then and now.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 13% of Syrian refugees support ISIS, 33% sympathize on: April 22, 2016, 11:25:06 AM
Posting this here by request, adding a link for the Syrian refugees coming to our northern border and the Montana border protection 'gap'!
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to welcome at least 100,000 Syrian Muslims, refugees, into his country. 25,000 already admitted.

13% 'support' ISIS, 33% 'sypathize' with ISIS.

Mr. Trump, it looks like we may need a couple more walls.

The Canada–United States border is the longest international border in the world, 5500 miles, 4000 across the lower 48 + 1500 going up Alaska.  I wonder if Canada will pay for it...

In Montana, Reuters reported earlier this year, our federal enforcement force is still so understaffed that the Border Patrol depends on 100 private citizen ranchers along the northern border to police the U.S.-Canada boundaries.  Of 21,000 total Border Patrol agents, only 2,100 are assigned to the northern border. There are only about 300 agents guarding the entire northern border at any one time.

I have never driven or flown into Canada but have been over the border many times on foot, boat and snowmobile.

As an aside, Crafty (and others), may I recommend you take your son or family on a trip into the Boundary Waters before the border is closed.
That portion of the wall will be most difficult to build, a million acres along the border non-motorized, bringing in workers and cement blocks by paddle and portage.  (3 million acres of lakes and forests counting the Canadian side, Quetico Park.)
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: April 22, 2016, 11:07:25 AM
Hamilton was a great American (including being a co-author of the Federalist Papers!) who guided us into founding as an economically solvent nation after the tremendous economic disruption (including massive monetary inflation) of the War for Independence.  He most certainly deserves to stay where he is.

Thank you for a well-informed defense of this great American.  My poke at the Obama's political Treasury Dept ignored all of Hamilton's contributions.  Your post is a good example of the value of reading these pages.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music, RIP Prince on: April 22, 2016, 10:58:06 AM
Rest in Peace, neighbor and icon, Prince Nelson from Minneapolis Central, class of 76.  His parents divorced when he was 8, felt his mother abandoned him.  Moved around maybe 30 times as a kid, all in Minneapolis. His dad, a jazz musician, co-wrote some of his songs.  Mostly not my type of music, but he was an original and a legend. Known for his live performances, played many instruments.  He wrote many songs that made others famous.  I haven't seen him since his wedding...  Superbowl halftime show  Purple Rain on Arsenio Hall  Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Prince, Tribute to George Harrison, While my Guitar Gently Weeps, Prince on guitar starts at 3:33.

In 1984, Prince accomplished something only the Beatles had one before him: He was topping charts simultaneously with an album, a film and a single.
Rolling Stone ranked Prince the no. 2 greatest live act, behind Springsteen, ahead of the Rolling Stones.

Our lake got a famous mention in the movie Purple rain as the pretty girl tosses off her clothes to jump in:
The Kid (Prince): You have to purify yourself in Lake Minnetonka.
[She strips down, and runs towards the lake]
The Kid: Hey! Wait a minute! That's...
[She jumps in. She gets out shivering]
The Kid: Uh, hold it...
Apollonia: What?
The Kid: That ain't Lake Minnetonka.
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Econ, S.F. Fed: State Minimum Wage Law Killed 200,000 Jobs in Calif. on: April 22, 2016, 08:51:49 AM
Even the San Francisco Fed knows this policy costs jobs!

It wasn't very long ago, 2007, that the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25.  Funny, isn't that the year we elected Pelosi-Reid-Obama-Clinton, ended economic growth and we headed into collapse.  Not all because of minimum wage but because of the bankrupt thinking that took control of Washington.  Now we are talking about doubling that (while we deny any inflation exists when we tax capital gains, the long term investments that support those jobs.

Elastic Demand.  Every economist will tell you that when you raise the price of something, you will get less of it, even labor, all other factors held constant.

But minimum wage is different.  It sounds good and polls well for Democrats, so they keep bringing it up, and because not all other factors are ever held perfectly constant and most min wage increases are small, they can keep producing flawed studies to show no real damage is done even when it is.

When the government mandated minimum wage is below the prevailing wage, no one notices the effect.  When you raise it a quarter once in a while, no one notices a reduced employment effect.  But when you raise it boldly, bold effects will result.  Ask proponents this question, if $15 is good for us, why isn't $20 or $25 better?  We all know why.  Jobs disappear.  But which jobs affecting which people?  Always hurt most are the least skilled and most vulnerable among us.  The leftist answer:  we have programsfor that, pay without work and job training for no jobs available.

The Effects of Minimum Wages on Employment
State minimum wage hikes may have killed 200,000 jobs

(More delicately put,) "the evidence suggests that it is appropriate to weigh the cost of potential job losses from a higher minimum wage against the benefits of wage increases for other workers."
Bump up the pay for those on the second rung of the economic ladder while completely removing the lowest rung so that MANY will NEVER be able to climb up the ladder at all.  No worries.  Those left behind will still vote Democrat for life while those who had to automate and eliminate low end jobs to keep their businesses make more and pay more taxes to cover it.

What a strange political-economic world we live in.  We know better but keep doing worse.

Aside from the job losses and economic costs of this bad policy, there is a moral cost.  Is it right or wrong for consenting adults to be BANNED from being able to freely make contracts with each other in any area as basic as labor and making a living, or even PART of a living?  What has government done well or done right, healthcare?, that makes us think they are more competent than the people to make our most important decisions for us?

One Size Fits All?  Why would the right wage in NYC be right for Topeka or Peoria?  Why would the right wage for Palo Alto be right for Selma or Fresno?  Why would the wage for manufacturing be right for retail?  Why would the base wage for a tipped employee be right for one who gets no tips?  It doesn't, it isn't, it isn't, it isn't and it isn't.

One of my earlier proposals applies here.  Lawmakers should have to submit and approve an 'Unintended Consequences" statement with new laws and programs like these in the same way that developers are required to have environmental impact studies approved to build new projects.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / $1.4M for app to choose left or right on: April 21, 2016, 01:43:28 PM
TSA paid $1.4 million for Randomizer app that chooses left or right

Or you could spend about $10 out on the free market.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues, the longest wall in the world? on: April 21, 2016, 12:56:40 PM
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to welcome at least 100,000 Syrian Muslims, refugees, into his country. This is in addition to the 25,000 he has already admitted.

13% 'support' ISIS, 33% 'sypathize' with ISIS.

Mr. Trump, it looks like we may need a couple more walls.

The Canada–United States border is the longest international border in the world, 5500 miles, 4000 across the lower 48 + 1500 going up Alaska.  I wonder if Canada will pay for it...

I have never driven or flown into Canada but have been over the border many times on foot, boat and snowmobile.

As an aside, Crafty, may I recommend you take your son or family on a trip into the Boundary Waters before the border is closed.
That portion of the wall will be most difficult to build, a million acres non-motorized, bringing in workers and cement blocks by paddle and portage.  (3 million acres of lakes and forests counting the Canadian side, Quetico Park.)
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Congressional races, The fight for the Senate, 2016 on: April 21, 2016, 10:24:19 AM
WI (WPR): Feingold 51, Johnson 41
NH (UNH): Ayotte 43, Hassan 42

2016 Generic Congressional Vote
Democrats45.0, Republicans44.0, Democrats +1.0
Real Clear Politics average
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Harriet Tubman/Civil rights "leaders" to replace Jackson and Lincoln on: April 21, 2016, 09:55:31 AM

GM:  Harriet Tubman was a gun owning republican woman.
I am cool with that.

Hamilton was the Founder of the Democratic Party...
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption, Skullduggery, and Treason on: April 20, 2016, 11:13:59 PM
IIRC Sen. Feinstein's husband got lucky with a contract to build the Supertrain or something like that , , ,

Right, "lucky".

When I started in sales they used to say, the harder you work, the luckier you get. 

Now they say, the more you give to liberal politicians, the luckier you get.
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Scott Grannis and friends: on: April 20, 2016, 11:01:10 PM
I think Grannis' comparison of National debt to personal or family debt is rather dubious.  He says the because our national debt is less then family debt we are in ok shape???
What???   What was the number of households living from paycheck to paycheck?  What is he nuts?

" typical family, which earns about $54,000 per year."

Maybe we should look at our household income after taxes, which are greater than food, clothing and shelter combined.

Scott uses the $13.9 trillion number, not $19 trillion.  Fair enough.  30% of the Federal debt is owed to other Federal agencies.

"Don't Worry About Debt; We Owe It To Ourselves"  - Paul Krugman

Interest on the debt is unrealistically low, ZIRP, NIRP, etc.  Imagine the carrying cost of tomorrow's debt if interest rates ever approached Jimmy Carter levels again!

We are devaluing our debt by 2.6% a year even with inflation under control.  Imagine the future burden if, like other third world countries, we were not able to borrow in our own (manipulated) currency.

Large numbers are kicked around for unfunded liabilities estimates, $127 trillion one decade out:  Still no problem?

The household debt, student debt etc does't make government debt easier, it makes it harder to pay.

The real problem isn't the debt, it's the stagnation in our under-performing economy.  Household debt usually gets us into a car, a house, a degree, or a higher income.  Our government debt bought us nothing.  We run up our debt while moving backwards on all fronts.  We still need a defense buildup.  The domestic spending spree bought us a dependency epidemic.  100 million adults don't work and a good number of those are dependent on a plethora of programs.  This won't be easy to reverse while we all are getting older.  A good part of our population has never seen economic growth over 2% in their adult life.  Family leave became paid family leave.  Birth control is an entitlement.  Medical marijuana is tax free.  You can vote yourself more benefits every election cycle if you want and a paid blockworker will come by every two years to remind you.  You don't need Peter's consent to rob Peter to pay Paul, anymore, to hell with consent of the governed.  You vote people other than you a tax increase.  A person has to be pretty much oblivious to our complex system of disincentives if they want to work a full time, private sector job anymore.  

People on programs can face marginal tax rates of over 100% on the next dollar of income earned.  

If I sold all my properties today for one dollar each over my inflation adjusted cost, the marginal tax rate on the (real) gain would be over 13,000%.

What could possibly go wrong along the path we're on?
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: April 20, 2016, 10:09:49 PM
"I not hoping anything for Trump."

Doug are you saying you will sit out this election if Trump is nominee?

"Also it is lazy and dishonest of Trump and others to label conservative activists who may be delegates as 'establishment'."

Has he been doing that?
If so you are 100% correct.  The "establishment" are not conservative enough.   They are appeasers.  IMO.

If Trump becomes the nominee he will be our only hope.  Because he won't be competitive in MN I may do something else with my vote but I will still be pulling for him over Hillary.

The Trumpists think National Review is establishment, WSJ opinion page too, Hot Air. Powerline, Thomas Sowell and so on.  Like I said, it's lazy and dishonest to say that.  Reince Priebus delivered Wisconsin for the tea party - so he's establishment.  WSJ opinion page is run by free market advocate Paul Gigot, from Green Bay Wisconsin, with no interference from ownership or the news department, so he is "Washington establishment".  Paul Ryan from Janesville WIsc is Washington establishment.  Good grief.  Trump is running for Washington establishment.  Who is the boogeyman if / when he wins?
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: New Cruz ad on: April 20, 2016, 10:00:19 PM

Good ad!  I like the way they show Huma in charge and Hillary clueless.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Saudi Arabia & the Arabian Peninsula on: April 20, 2016, 09:58:16 PM
Asked and answered:

Frankly I am not so clear as to why we need to kiss up to the Saudis. ...

... Though we would all prefer them to Iran. [and ISIS and al Qaida and Boko Haram etc.]

Take it one step further, some of the 'moderate' Arab states will soon be allies of Israel, because Israel never was a threat to them and the common enemies Iran, ISIS etc. are.

The Kingdom is a strange place but they are our strategic ally.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: April 20, 2016, 11:54:42 AM
Well,  Lets hope the people Trump recently hired can get him in the right direction so he can attract more then 35% of Republicans.
Otherwise it will be a Clinton again and more regulation, more government "policy" more intrusion into our lives, more taxation and redistribution, endless themes about women, and more loss of freedom.  Also are there any "public" law firms?  their stocks will sky rocked in a Clinton world.

I not hoping anything for Trump.  This is a hold your nose election if he is the nominee and I won't need to vote for him. He won't come within 25 points of Hillary in MN (where Rubio was leading her in the last poll).  

Also it is lazy and dishonest of Trump and others to label conservative activists who may be delegates as 'establishment'.

Neither Trump nor Cruz opens up the map beyond where Romney 'won'.  There was a time to get serious about this and America didn't. 
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