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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump's (un)popularity on: Today at 09:10:52 AM
PP'S like of Donald Trump has added some energy to the forum.  Trump leads national pols by a huge margin.  His staying power has been much greater than other early leaders in the recent past, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, etc.  He comes through with a seemingly clear voice in a crowded, muddy field.  Yet it is still summer and pre-Labor Day - of a non-election year.  The Trump phenomenon makes everyone wonder, can he actually pull it off, and if not, why not?

Without a doubt he has massive strengths.   But I see three areas of trouble for Trump:

1) Unfavorability = Unelectability.  Latest poll:  37 favorable, 59% unfavorable.  That drops to 17 - 79% for non-whites.  Unlike pp, primary voters are going to switch at some point to the candidate they think can win.  Republicans have let us down hugely, but the two parties are not the same.  A Rubio Presidency is not the same as another Obama - Bernie Sanders-like administratiopn.

2)  Vagueness.  He speaks with clarity but rides on a level of vagueness that will likely get flushed out in the campaign.  Obama got away with letting voters fill in the missing colors to fit their own vision; I don't think Trump will.  I see his Republican popularity dropping in half based on purity requirements of the Republican primary voter. 

3)  Past statements and new ones.  A certain amount of what Trump has said, he can explain away or pull off.  And there are some out there that get him.

If a combination of those 3 should get him down a little, downward movement has an unstoppable momentum.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, a picture is worth a thousand words on: September 01, 2015, 10:24:30 PM
But Trump's wife is better looking........with clothes and without!!!


3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, shortest books on: September 01, 2015, 01:41:52 PM
"Trump isn't Reagan..."

We won't need a full thread for Reagan - Trump similarities?   wink
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Redistribution Fallacy, Income Inequality fallacies on: September 01, 2015, 11:04:27 AM
Could also go under Cog Diss of the left.  They have no economic argument that is not based on a snipe hunt called fighting income inequality.  The question is how best to counter them?

A few other links first, then a current article running in Commentary Magazine:

The Left gets the facts wrong on economic and racial disparities
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368952/inequality-fallacies-thomas-sowell

Bernie Sanders’ Inequality Fallacies
http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/15/bernie-sanders-inequality-fallacies/

http://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-the-top-three-income-inequality-fallacies/F274CC17-EA73-4FB4-949F-F10FACC090F3.html

Measured Inequality: Fallacies and Overstatements
http://economics21.org/commentary/measured-inequality-fallacies-and-overstatements

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/01/beating_the_income_inequality_drum_3.html

http://mic.com/articles/12319/6-myths-about-income-inequality-in-america

https://mises.org/library/why-larry-summers-doesn%E2%80%99t-understand-economic-inequality

http://spectator.org/articles/57043/obamas-inequality-fallacies
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Redistribution Fallacy
https://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-redistribution-fallacy/

09.01.15 by James Piereson

Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign last spring by venturing from New York to Iowa to rail against income inequality and to propose new spending programs and higher taxes on the wealthy as remedies for it. She again emphasized these dual themes of inequality and redistribution in the “re-launch” of her campaign in June and in the campaign speeches she delivered over the course of the summer. Clinton’s campaign strategy has been interpreted as a concession to influential progressive spokesmen, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have loudly pressed these redistributionist themes for several years in response to the financial meltdown in 2008 and out of a longstanding wish to reverse the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s. In view of Clinton’s embrace of the progressive agenda, there can be little doubt that inequality, higher taxes, and proposals for new spending programs will be central themes in the Democratic presidential campaign in 2016.

The intellectual case for redistribution has been outlined in impressive detail in recent years by a phalanx of progressive economists, including Thomas Piketty, Joseph Stiglitz, and Paul Krugman, who have called for redistributive tax-and-spending policies to address the challenge of growing inequalities in income and wealth. Nobel Laureate Robert Solow, of MIT, put the matter bluntly last year in a debate with Harvard’s Gregory Mankiw, saying that he is in favor of dealing with inequality by “taking a dollar from a random rich person and giving it to a random poor person.”

Public-opinion polls over the years have consistently shown that voters overwhelmingly reject programs of redistribution in favor of policies designed to promote overall economic growth and job creation. More recent polls suggest that while voters are increasingly concerned about inequality and question the high salaries paid to executives and bankers, they nevertheless reject redistributive remedies such as higher taxes on the wealthy. While voters are worried about inequality, they are far more skeptical of the capacity of governments to do anything about it without making matters worse for everyone.

As is often the case, there is more wisdom in the public’s outlook than in the campaign speeches of Democratic presidential candidates and in the books and opinion columns of progressive economists. Leaving aside the morality of redistribution, the progressive case is based upon a significant fallacy. It assumes that the U.S. government is actually capable of redistributing income from the wealthy to the poor. For reasons of policy, tradition, and institutional design, this is not the case. Whatever one may think of inequality, redistributive fiscal policies are unlikely to do much to reduce it, a point that the voters seem instinctively to understand.

One need only look at the effects of federal tax-and-spending programs over the past three and a half decades to see that this is so. The chart opposite this page, based on data compiled by the Congressional Budget Office, displays the national shares of before- and after-tax income for the top 1 and 10 percent of the income distribution from 1979 through 2011, along with the corresponding figures for the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution. For purposes of this study, the Congressional Budget Office defined income as market income plus government transfers, including cash payments and the value of in-kind services such as health care (Medicare and Medicaid) and cash substitutes such as food stamps. The chart thus represents a comprehensive portrait of the degree to which federal tax-and-spending policies redistribute income from the wealthiest to the poorest groups and to households in between.

The chart illustrates two broad points. First, the wealthiest groups gradually increased their share of national income (both in pre- and after-tax and transfer income) over this period of more than three decades. Second, and more notable for our purposes, federal tax and spending policies had little effect on the overall distribution of income.

Across this period, the top 1 percent of the income distribution nearly doubled its share of (pre-tax and transfer) national income, from about 9 percent in 1979 to more than 18 percent in 2007 and 2008, before falling back after the financial crisis to 15 percent in 2010 and 2011 (some studies suggest that by 2014 it was back up to 18 percent). Meanwhile, the top 10 percent increased its share by one-third, from about 30 percent in 1979 to 40 percent in 2007 and 2008, before it fell to 37 percent in 2011. Through all this, the bottom quintile maintained a fairly consistent share of national income.

Many will be surprised to learn that the federal fiscal system—taxes and spending—does not do more to reduce inequalities in income arising from the free-market system. Yet there are perfectly obvious reasons on both the tax and the spending side as to why redistribution does not succeed in the American system—and probably cannot be made to succeed.

The income tax yields revenues to the government through two main sources: progressive taxes on ordinary income (salaries and wages) and taxes on capital gains (with the latter taxed at somewhat lower rates to encourage investment). For most of this period, taxes on capital gains have yielded less than 10 percent of total income taxes and about 4 percent of total federal revenues. In terms of the income tax, most of the action is in taxes on ordinary income.

The highest marginal income-tax rate oscillated up and down throughout the 1979–2011 period. It began in 1979 at 70 percent during the Carter presidency. It fell first to 50 and then to 28 percent in the Reagan and Bush years. It rose to 39.6 percent in the 1990s under the Clinton presidency, and went down again to 35 percent from 2003 to 2010. It is now back up to 39.6 percent. The highest rate on capital gains moved within a narrower band, beginning at 28 percent in 1979 and falling as low as 15 percent from 2005 to 2011. The highest rate is currently 23.8 percent.

Over this period, regardless of the tax rates, the top 1 percent of the income distribution lost between 1 and 2 percent of the income share after taxes were levied. In 1980, that group claimed 9 percent of before-tax income and 8 percent of after-tax income. In 1990, the figures were 12 percent before tax and 11 percent after tax. In 2010, the figures were 15 percent before and 13 percent after.

The top 10 percent of the income distribution generally lost between 2 and 4 percent of its income share after taxes were levied. That is probably because those households take a greater share of their income in salaries rather than capital gains compared with the wealthiest Americans.

At the other end, the poorest quintiles gained almost nothing (about 1 percent on average) in income shares due to cash and in-kind transfers from government. In 2011, for example, the poorest 20 percent of households received 5 percent of (pre-tax) national income, and 6 percent of the after-tax income.

Many in the redistribution camp attribute this pattern to a lack of progressivity in the U.S. income-tax system; a higher rate of taxation on the wealthy should solve it, they think. But the United States is already a highly taxed country with a highly progressive tax rate. Indeed, income taxes in the United States are at least as progressive as those in many other developed countries. The highest marginal rate in the States was 35 percent, from 2003 to 2012; today it is 39.6 percent for top earners—not far out of line with those of America’s chief competitors, including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan, where the highest marginal rates range between 40 and 46 percent.

A 2008 study published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the United States had the most progressive income-tax system among all 24 OECD countries measured in terms of the share of the tax burden paid by the wealthiest households. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 1 percent of earners paid 39 percent of the personal income taxes in 2010 (while earning 15 percent of the country’s overall before-tax income) compared with just 17 percent in 1980 and 24 percent in 1990. The top 20 percent of earners paid 93 percent of the federal income taxes in 2010 even though they claimed 52 percent of before-tax income. Meanwhile, the bottom 40 percent paid zero net income taxes—zero. For all practical purposes, those in the highest brackets already bear the overwhelming burden of federal income tax, while those below the median income have been taken out of the income-tax system altogether.

There is a more basic reason that the tax system does not do more to redistribute income: The income tax is not the primary source of revenue for the national government. In 2010, the federal government raised $2.144 trillion in taxes, with only 42 percent coming from the individual income tax. Forty percent came from payroll taxes, 9 percent from corporate taxes, and the rest from a mix of estate and excise taxes. Since the early 1950s, the national government has consistently relied upon the income tax for between 40 and 50 percent of its revenues, with precise proportions varying from year to year due to economic conditions. For several generations, progressive reformers have looked to the income tax as the instrument through which they aimed to take resources from the rich and deliver them to the poor. But in reality, in the United States at least, the income tax is not a sufficiently large revenue source for the national government to do the job that the redistributionists want it to do

And here’s the rub: Payroll taxes fall more heavily upon working- and middle-class wage and salary income earners than upon the wealthy, whose incomes come disproportionately from capital gains or whose salaries far exceed the maximum earnings subject to those taxes. In 2010, the wealthiest 1 percent paid 39 percent of income taxes but just 4 percent of payroll taxes. The top 20 percent of earners paid 93 percent of the nation’s income taxes but just 45 percent of payroll taxes. Meanwhile, the middle quintile paid 15 percent of all payroll taxes—but just 3 percent of income taxes. In other words, the more widely shared burdens of the payroll tax tend to mitigate the progressive effects of the income tax.

An increase in the top marginal tax rate from 39.6 to, say, 50 percent might have yielded around $100 billion in additional revenue in 2010.(This assumes no corresponding changes in tax and income strategies on the part of wealthy households and no negative effects on investment and economic growth, which are risky assumptions.)

That would have been real money, to be sure, but it would have represented only about one half of 1 percent of GDP (using 2010 figures) or less than 3 percent of total federal spending. This would not have been enough to permit much in the way of redistribution to the roughly 60 million households in the bottom half of the income scale.

Turning to the spending side of fiscal policy, we encounter a murkier situation because of the sheer number and complexity of federal spending programs. The House of Representatives Budget Committee estimated in 2012 that the federal government spent nearly $800 billion on 92 separate anti-poverty programs that provided cash assistance, medical care, housing assistance, food stamps, and tax credits to the poor and near-poor. The number of people drawing benefits from anti-poverty programs has more than doubled since the 1980s, from 42 million in 1983 to 108 million in 2011. The redistributive effects of these programs are limited, however, because most funds are spent on services to assist the poor and only a small fraction of these expenditures are distributed in the form of cash or income.

As it turns out, most of the money goes not to poor or near-poor households but to providers of services. The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once tartly described this as “feeding the horses to feed the sparrows.” This country pays exorbitant fees to middle-class and upper-middle-class providers to deliver services to the poor.

Why have matters devolved in this way? The American welfare state was built to deliver services rather than incomes in part because the American people have long viewed poverty as a condition to be overcome rather than one to be subsidized with cash. Many also believe that the poor would squander or misspend cash payments and so are better off receiving services and in-kind benefits such as food stamps, health care, and tuition assistance. With regard to aid to the poor, Americans have built a social-service state, not a redistribution state.

Social security is the only substantial federal program that transfers money income from one group to another, in this case from workers and employers to retirees. It is by far the largest of all federal programs, claiming $850 billion—24 percent—of the federal budget in 2014. It is paid for by a payroll tax split equally between employees and employers. As of 2014, about 59 million Americans were collecting benefits under Social Security, with an average benefit of $1,260 per month. Social Security has a progressive benefit formula and contains a feature (Supplemental Security Income) that provides cash benefits to elderly, blind, or disabled persons with incomes below the poverty line. Nevertheless, in spite of these features, it was designed to provide income for retirees, not to redistribute income from the wealthy to the poor, and it continues to function in this way.

The National Bureau of Economic Research has concluded that the program transfers income in various complex ways but does not transfer it from the rich to the poor. As one NBER study bluntly stated: “Social Security does not redistribute from people who are rich over their lifetime to those who are poor. In fact, it may even be slightly regressive.” This is partly because wealthier recipients tend to live longer than others and partly because they are more likely to have non-working spouses also eligible to collect benefits.

Medicare and Medicaid, two other expensive programs that together claim nearly 25 percent of the federal budget, provide important health-care services to the elderly and the poor—but no actual income. The flow of money through these health-care programs, more than $850 billion in federal funds in 2014 (plus another $180 billion in state funds for Medicaid), goes mainly to hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, insurance companies, and health-maintenance organizations. Both programs have been plagued by fraud and corruption since their origins in 1965 because some doctors, nursing-home entrepreneurs, and other providers have sought to manipulate the system for financial advantage and in many cases have succeeded all too well. No one has ever attempted a study of the redistributive aspects of the flow of funds from Medicare and Medicaid, but one surmises from the nature of these payments that most of the money goes to those in the upper reaches of the income distribution.

The federal government does provide cash assistance to the poor and near-poor through two programs. The first is Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF, popularly known as welfare), which currently provides cash benefits to about 4.5 million households at a cost of $17 billion per year to the federal government and about $14 billion (in 2014) to various state governments. The second is Supplemental Security Income, which provides cash benefits to the disabled poor in 8.5 million households at a cost of about $50 billion per year to the federal government. These numbers work out to about $7,000 (on average) per year per household under TANF and $6,000 per year per household under SSI, in each case around half of the average benefit under Social Security.

Lower-income working families are also eligible to receive rebates on payroll taxes through the Earned Income Tax Credit. The House Budget Committee estimated that 28 million taxpayers took advantage of this program in 2011, at an estimated cost of $60 billion to the federal government in rebated taxes (with the average family with children receiving
$2,900 in tax rebates).

And so, of the $800 billion spent on poverty programs in 2012, less than $150 billion was distributed in cash income, if one includes as cash benefit the tax rebate under the EITC. That is a grand total of 18 percent of the whole. The rest was spent on services and in-kind benefits, with the money paid to providers of various kinds, most of whom have incomes well above the poverty line.

With respect to the recipients of federal transfers, the CBO study reveals a surprising fact: Households in the bottom quintile of the income distribution receive less in federal payments than those in the higher income quintiles. Households in the bottom quintile of the income distribution (below $24,000 in income per year) received on average $8,600 in cash and in-kind transfers. But households in the middle quintile received about $16,000 in such transfers. And households in the highest quintile received about $11,000. Even households in the top 1 percent of the distribution received more in dollar transfers than those in the bottom quintile. The federal transfer system may move income around and through the economy—but it does not redistribute it from the rich to the poor or near-poor.

It is well known in Washington that the people and groups lobbying for federal programs are generally those who receive the salaries and income rather than those who get the services. They, as Senator Moynihan observed decades ago, are the direct beneficiaries of most of these programs, and they have the strongest interest in keeping them in place. The nation’s capital is home to countless trade associations, companies seeking government contracts, hospital and medical associations lobbying for Medicare and Medicaid expenditures, agricultural groups, college and university lobbyists, and advocacy organizations for the environment, the elderly, and the poor, all of them seeking a share of federal grants and contracts or some form of subsidy, tax break, or tariff.

This is one reason that five of the seven wealthiest counties in the nation are on the outskirts of Washington D.C. and that the average income for the
District of Columbia’s top 5 percent of households exceeds $500,000, the highest among major American cities. Washington is among the nation’s most unequal cities as measured by the income gap between the wealthy and everyone else. Those wealthy individuals did not descend upon the nation’s capital in order to redistribute income to the poor but to secure some benefit to their institutions, industries, and, incidentally, to themselves.

They understand a basic principle that has so far eluded progressives: The federal government is an effective engine for dispensing patronage, encouraging rent-seeking, and circulating money to important voting blocs and well-connected constituencies. It is not an effective engine for the redistribution of income.

James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that the possession of different degrees and kinds of property is the most durable source of faction under a popularly elected government. Madison especially feared the rise of a redistributive politics under which the poor might seize the reins of government in order to plunder the wealthy by imposing heavy taxes. He and his colleagues introduced various political mechanisms—the intricate system of checks and balances in the Constitution, federalism, and the dispersion of interests across an extended republic—to forestall a division between the rich and poor in America and to deflect political conflict into other channels.

While Madison’s design did not succeed in holding back the tide of “big government” in the 20th century, it nevertheless proved sufficiently robust to frustrate the aims of redistributionists by promoting a national establishment open to a boundless variety of crisscrossing interests.

The ingrained character of the American state is unlikely to change fundamentally any time soon, which is why those worried about inequality should abandon the failed cause of redistribution and turn their attention instead to broad-based economic growth as the only practical remedy for the sagging incomes of too many Americans

James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 01, 2015, 10:37:11 AM
For a bit of fun, predictions on the first five candidates to drop out?

Sounds like good way to continue showing my prediction deficiencies...   Like my prediction that Hillary won't run, it requires them to know they have no chance, not just for me to know.

Looking at the bottom of the draw it ought to be:
Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Gilmore and Pataki if anyone is counting them.  Also Jindal and Christie.  I would like to see Jindal stay in but it is tough to do without support.  Of course we may lose key people like Lincoln Chaffee too, lol.  Jim Webb isn't making an impact but may want a seat at the debate.

I think people like Scott Walker (and Tim Pawlenty last time) would make fine Presidents.  CCP and others have been too hard on him but are right, not enough sizzle to sell the steak.  Also, not enough excitement to cover up their errors and move forward.  Walker will get out as soon as he knows he won't win Iowa, but that might be after the results are in.

I would like to see Huckabee and Rand Paul out but it's probably not going to happen.  Rand in particular is way below expectations and has a Senate campaign to run.  Maybe Huck will fizzle when people start focusing on electability.

First big one out could be Jeb Bush.  He may have already found out he doesn't like doing this.  With Walker, that would make 2 of the original top three out.  And Rubio has a trend line down and is starting to make unforced errors.  All three out?

Of the August outsiders, Trump, Carson and Fiorina, you would think at least one may fall hard and fall soon.  My hope is that it's Trump but right now that's hard to see.  He looks stuck in the polls now but doesn't need to gain much ground as frontrunner to keep making an impact.  And he's having a great time doing it.

More importantly, who that is running in place and under-performing now that will step up their game into the big time?  More than one of them, I hope.

Also, who else will still get in?  Another independent?

Yes I realize I dodged your question.  )


6  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Prayers go out to former Pres. Jimmy Carter on: August 31, 2015, 05:38:13 PM
I have been hard on him for being a failed President but unlike many politicians, he actually is and was a good man and deserves all of the best for health and comfort in these difficult times.
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Scott Walker on: August 31, 2015, 05:33:45 PM
Liberals are giddy with the comparison between Wisconsin and Minnesota and Walker has failed to back up his claim of why that is apples and oranges.  Deflecting that question as he did here just makes it keep coming up.

If I have to answer it for him, he is already done.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 31, 2015, 05:24:00 PM
Bush new campaign photo

I wonder what this race looks like if Bush drops out first.  Not much different I suppose.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: This just in from FOX: on: August 31, 2015, 05:20:36 PM
Carson ties with Trump in Iowa!

One well-timed donation made a difference!
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WaPo on Huma Abedin on: August 31, 2015, 05:19:46 PM

Hillary goes nowhere without Huma.  We were told they are secretly lesbian lovers.  Huma's family has ties to CAIR and to radical Islam.  Some thought Huma calls the shots.  BUt reading the emails it turns out Huma's relationship revolves around clerical support.  "Huma, please print."

Hillary's sycophantic Inner Circle
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423015/hillary-clinton-emails-inner-circle-yes-men
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator "Sugar" Marco Rubio on: August 31, 2015, 04:51:48 PM

I'm not pleased with a couple of developments with Rubio lately.  As pp says, don't look for purity over victory, but we are looking for direction.

As I understand it, South Florida grows 25% of US sugar, and foreign governments are subsidizing their sugar, screwing up the global market. He needs to get elected in order to make a difference and he needs to win Florida in order to win the nomination and the Presidency.  Okay then. Step forward with a plan to right this wrong, not just tell us that two wrong make it right.

It's the Dem platform that calls for more of the same.  We don't beat them by joining them.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: August 31, 2015, 10:18:38 AM
ccp from Iran thread:

"Wait a second… did hell just freeze over? An area where we actually AGREE with DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz? (Even if her move was purely to protect her own political future with her largely Jewish constituency in South Florida.)"

Same goes for Chuck Schumer.  We know they don't care about security, and they know their support for Obama's hoax isn't needed to pass it.  It's about political pressure from big contributors, just like the gay issue was. There are hands at the top of the puppet strings.  By opposing the deal while letting it pass anyway, these filthy politician can play it both ways. MHO
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 27, 2015, 11:55:37 PM
...
As another point to DMG,

People are looking at Trump not for his "detailed" positions, they are looking at him for a reason that escapes most. They are looking for leadership. For so long, we have had no leadership. Politicians have taken a position of getting along or or just acting, often out of spite. None show true leadership capabilities like Reagan, and even JFK for a period of time.

As well, I don't know how old you and others are, but there is something else going on that should be considered. For those who are old enough and worked though this period of time, go back to 1975 through 1980 and think of the economy and what we were go though. Some points about that time:

1. Ford presents his program for reducing inflation. WIN. Whip inflation now. A slogan which meant nothing. ( I don't remember the inflation rate, but it was poor.)

2. 1975 with Ford, the Tax Rebate of $200 (maybe $300 but my memory is not so good). I remember being in a meeting with Senator Tunney, Dem from CA. He was touting how great an idea this was. It would help the middle class. I got up and challenged him about it, stating that the money meant nothing. it would not help the middle class and it would only be spent on food or bills. Needless to say, he had no response. (His brother was the fighter. May he got it too many times fighting his brother and it addled his brains.)

3. 1973, Gas rationing. We had to buy gas on alternative days and you waited in line for an hour or more. If you ran out of gas on the no buy day, you were SOL.

4. Jimmy Carter, a President who had no leadership ability. Control freak who actually filled out the White House Tennis Court Usage schedule. He was voted in simply as a reaction to Nixon and an incompetent Ford who stated in a debate that Poland was not a satellite of the USSR.

5. Under Jimmy Carter, the Misery Index of 19.72%

6. The Iranian Hostage situation.  

(BTW, here is an interesting factoid. When the hostages were taken in Nov 2008, I was stationed at RAF Bentwaters. There, we had 67th Air Rescue which had evacuated US personnel from Iran in the year before. When the hostages were taken, my squadron was recalled for possible action in hostage recovery. At the same time, Airborne and other Army troops were in Germany for the Reforger exercises. We could have sent Airborne from Germany and our own squadron from Bentwaters with C 141 and C 130 aircraft, supported by 5 Bentwater A10 squadrons, F-15s out of Bitburg, F111s from Mildenhall and other support aircraft  to get the hostages within the first few days. Even in April of 1980, we could still have gone, but Carter wanted to use Navy choppers which it was well known would have had problems with the sand getting in their engines. But Carter did not have the guts to do what was needed.)

7. A National Election in 1980 where the GOP tried for the second time to keep Reagan from being the nominee. Instead, they want the Senior Bush to be the nominee. Yet the 'commoners" wanted Reagan.

The conditions of 1980 match what is occurring today in all too many ways. We have a populace looking for leadership and a bunch of politicians that offer no leadership. Even worse, they continuously ignore or insult those who disagree, calling us vulgar, low information votes, idiots, and who knows what else. They are the Elitists who know what is best for us and they are not to be challenged.

To hell with them all. As far as I am concerned, the professional politicians can go to hell. BURN IT DOWN!!!!!

59, and a student of economics in the 70s.

Yes, Whip Inflation Now was perhaps the most economically ignorant policy in history.  And the Price wage freeze concocted on Friday the 13th, Aug 1971 was perhaps the most damaging.  The inflation they couldn't control was 7%.  By the end of the decade it was 14%.  With Reagan and Paul Volcker they whipped unemployment and inflation almost simultaneously, proving almost everything Keynesian to be false.

That said, I don't like putting all elected politicians into one category.  Some have sold out and some haven't (yet).

The GOP establishment isn't is a formal club, just a concept.  There isn't anyone there big enough to pull any real strings.  If nothing else, Trump proved they aren't controlling this process.  Money has been irrelevant to the process so far too.  Money has nothing to do with Trump's success so far.

Hugh Hewitt said it straight up.  He would lead off every show with a Trump interview if he could.  It's good radio.  Rush has been all over the Trump story.  Hannity is a friend of Trump.  Mark Levin loves Trump's boldness on immigration.  None of them I think would choose him at voting time.  It's the story of the day and Trump is smarter than everyone thought.

Like GM said, Trump has balls, so to speak, and we need our candidate (of any gender) to have that.  But the details matter.
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 27, 2015, 11:36:33 PM
"FYI, I was originally completely against ED, but the housing crisis changed my opinion. In cities like Richmond CA, Camden NJ, and many others, there can be no housing recovery because the homes are underwater still and the people cannot afford the mortgages. Lenders are not working with the people. Why not use ED to take the homes, pay the Investors fair market value, and then get someone in to rework the loans for the people? It is possible and I know it is because I have been involved in discussions among a major investor who would rework the loans, a servicer willing to go along with it, and a local government ready to engage the ED. But guess what? The damned Congress and Obama enacted legislation that if a city did ED to help the crisis locally, the homes involved could never again be eligible for GSE or FHA funding. Wells Fargo and the other banks win again."

Interesting take on this PP.  I can see why you like it but I see a few problems too. Some of this belongs in our housing/mortgage thread, but it ties back to Trump as well - by his choice.

a) I don't really see someone as a homeowner if they have zero equity or less.

b)  There is a difference between underwater and being delinquent or in default.  Underwater, I guess, is none of my business as long as they are making the required payments.  I think you deal with situations where they are not.

c)  The central problem with delinquent, underwater properties in default is that government rules make it difficult and sometimes impossible for a lender to take back a property.

d)  That the lender took a bad risk and made a bad loan and the property won't cover their costs is not my problem or concern.

e) A mortgage IS the right to take back a property in default.  If it can't be taken back in a reasonable time, process and cost, it is an unsecured loan.  When the collateral means nothing, that is when loans don't get made, hurting everyone.  Again, the rules of foreclosure are the problem, not market fluctuations or anything else.

f) Instead of fixing the central problem caused by government rules, we establish new government powers.

g) Assuming you cannot change the rules tying the hands of lenders to get back their rightful collateral and the strategy you suggest is perfectly executed, I can see how a bad situation is dealt with and resolved.

g)  On the flip side of giving government the power to take private property for private purposes without limits are all the moral hazards that come with that and eventually take down all great, centrally planned economies:

    1.  With expanded government power comes expanded government corruption.  Without a doubt.
    2.  Large industrial and economic players can buy that power for their own benefit.  And they do.  The richest counties in the United States are mostly in the DC area.  Buying power isn't a small industry; it has become our largest industry.
    3.  Government officials can sell that power for their own benefit.
    4.  People without power get Trumped on, like of Suzette Kelo in New London, Vera Coking in Atlantic City, and Nancy MacGibbon in Minneapolis.
    5.  When victims of eminent domain get 'fair market value' for what is taken from them, they don't get fair market value.
    6.  And when government powers have no limit, well, we don't know and can't even imagine all of where that will lead...

Donald Trump is a great "negotiator", (he says). The victim examples listed above did not consent to entering into "negotiations with Trump or Trump-like entities.  Assuming they owned their property, paid their taxes, followed the laws, kept up their homes, paid their mortgages and all that, do they have a right of privacy?  Do they have a right to be left alone?  Are these rights what the constitution calls unenumerated rights that areprotected by the 9th amendment in the constitution?  Of course they are.  Is this a small matter?  No.

Now back to the 5th amendment:
" If such “economic development” takings are for a “public use,” any taking is, and the Court has erased the Public Use Clause from our Constitution, as Justice O’Connor powerfully argues in dissent. Ante, at 1—2, 8—13. I do not believe that this Court can eliminate liberties expressly enumerated in the Constitution "
    - Justice Clarence Thomas in dissent on Kelo

And if you feel the opposite, you believe the Court can eliminate liberties expressly protected in the constitution.  You are President Trump appointing judges who will do just that.

PP:  "Kelo is an issue, but if eminent domain is available and there is benefit, why not? "

I hope I have answered that.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 27, 2015, 09:00:11 PM
So you are buying homes as rental properties because home values always go up? Correct rents and appreciation?   evil

That was aimed at Crafty I think, but I always bought rental property assuming they would never go up in value and the government would take the tax benefit away.  In some cases, I was right.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: You guys are wrong 3.0 on: August 27, 2015, 02:37:43 PM
Real GDP was Revised to a 3.7% Annual Growth Rate in Q2 To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist

Real GDP was revised to a 3.7% annual growth rate in Q2 from a prior estimate of 2.3%...

FYI to our friend BW.  Aberrant quarterly GDP growth does not get "annualized" when the other quarters were zero or negative.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: August 27, 2015, 02:31:49 PM
"He has clearly tapped into a reserve of public resentment for inside-the-Beltway politics. How far this resentment will carry him is anyone’s guess, but the Republican establishment is worried. His latest proposal to end birthright citizenship has set off alarm bells in the Republican party. The leadership worries that Trump will derail the party’s plans to appeal to the Latino vote"

I keep hearing on MSLSD and the Feminist controlled CNN that 70% of Latins are against Trump.

So what.   70% are against any Republican.   And who is the establishment catering to?  Illegals and new immigrants who overstay their Visas.  They should be catering to those who come here legally as well as US citizens. 

And the darn CANS still can't get it that it is not about Latinos.  It is about anyone from anywhere that comes here illegally.

Does anyone think the Puerto Ricans are thrilled to have Mexicans flooding here by the millions having babies at our expense and then turning around and demanding benefits and the same rights they have? 

I will not vote for a pro amnesty candidate.  I will sit the next election out.

I am not saying Trump is my ideal choice but he is the only standing up to this leftist intimidation.   The rest of the bunch are cowards and are signing their own demise.
 
Thank you.  I feel better now.

CCP has been right on the immigration problem for quite a while.  Assuming it is not going to be Trump, we will need a candidate who will assimilate the Trump voters with the rest of us - and win - and then DO SOMETHING about it.

Immigration SHOULD be a very positive thing for this country.  On the current course, it will never be a positive force with our safety net running wild and our private economy stalled.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Trump's critics are wrong about birthright citizenship on: August 27, 2015, 02:24:57 PM
A very good discussion.

I am quite busy with the sort of things that go with having been on the road for seven days, but this thread is the right place for the discussion of this issue.  May I ask that some one paste here my post of this morning on this matter (on the Immigration thread?)?

   
Trump's critics are wrong about birthright citizenship
« Reply #929 on: Today at 11:54:53 AM »
Reply with quote
http://www.nationalreview.com/birthright-citizenship-not-mandated-by-constitution?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Saturday%20Best%20of%208/22&utm_term=VDHM%20Reader

by Edward J. Erler August 19, 2015 4:00 AM Donald Trump continues to bewilder political experts. He unabashedly wades into politically dangerous territory and yet continues to be rewarded by favorable poll results. He has clearly tapped into a reserve of public resentment for inside-the-Beltway politics. How far this resentment will carry him is anyone’s guess, but the Republican establishment is worried. His latest proposal to end birthright citizenship has set off alarm bells in the Republican party. The leadership worries that Trump will derail the party’s plans to appeal to the Latino vote. Establishment Republicans believe that the future of the party depends on being able to capture a larger share of this rapidly expanding electorate. Trump’s plan, however, may appeal to the most rapidly expanding electorate, senior citizens, and may have an even greater appeal to the millions of Republicans who stayed away from the polls in 2012 as well as the ethnic and blue-collar Democrats who crossed party lines to vote Republican in the congressional elections of 2014. All of these voters outnumber any increase in the Latino vote that Republicans could possibly hope to gain from a population that has consistently voted Democratic by a two-thirds majority and shows little inclination to change. RELATED: Not Hard to Read the 14th Amendment As Not Requiring Birthright Citizenship — And Nothing Odd About Supporting Such a Reading Critics say that Trump’s plan is unrealistic, that it would require a constitutional amendment because the 14th Amendment mandates birthright citizenship and that the Supreme Court has upheld this requirement ever since its passage in 1868. The critics are wrong. A correct understanding of the intent of the framers of the 14th Amendment and legislation passed by Congress in the late 19th century and in 1923 extending citizenship to American Indians provide ample proof that Congress has constitutional power to define who is within the “jurisdiction of the United States” and therefore eligible for citizenship. Simple legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president would be constitutional under the 14th Amendment. Birthright citizenship is the policy whereby the children of illegal aliens born within the geographical limits of the U.S. are entitled to American citizenship — and, as Trump says, it is a great magnet for illegal immigration. Many of Trump’s critics believe that this policy is an explicit command of the Constitution, consistent with the British common-law system. This is simply not true. Congress has constitutional power to define who is within the “jurisdiction of the United States” and therefore eligible for citizenship. Although the Constitution of 1787 mentioned citizens, it did not define citizenship. It was in 1868 that a definition of citizenship entered the Constitution with the ratification of the 14th Amendment. Here is the familiar language: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Thus there are two components to American citizenship: birth or naturalization in the U.S. and being subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Today, we somehow have come to believe that anyone born within the geographical limits of the U.S. is automatically subject to its jurisdiction; but this renders the jurisdiction clause utterly superfluous. If this had been the intention of the framers of the 14th Amendment, presumably they would have said simply that all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. are thereby citizens. Indeed, during debate over the amendment, Senator Jacob Howard, the author of the citizenship clause, attempted to assure skeptical colleagues that the language was not intended to make Indians citizens of the United States. Indians, Howard conceded, were born within the nation’s geographical limits, but he steadfastly maintained that they were not subject to its jurisdiction because they owed allegiance to their tribes and not to the U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, supported this view, arguing that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” meant “not owing allegiance to anybody else and being subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States.” RELATED: End Birthright Citizenship Now: Barack Obama Makes the Case Jurisdiction understood as allegiance, Senator Howard explained, excludes not only Indians but “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.” Thus, “subject to the jurisdiction” does not simply mean, as is commonly thought today, subject to American laws or courts. It means owing exclusive political allegiance to the U.S. Furthermore, there has never been an explicit holding by the Supreme Court that the children of illegal aliens are automatically accorded birthright citizenship. In the case of Wong Kim Ark (1898) the Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. of legal aliens was entitled to “birthright citizenship” under the 14th Amendment. This was a 5–4 opinion which provoked the dissent of Chief Justice Melville Fuller, who argued that, contrary to the reasoning of the majority’s holding, the 14th Amendment did not in fact adopt the common-law understanding of birthright citizenship. Get Free Exclusive NR Content

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/birthright-citizenship-not-mandated-by-constitution?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Saturday%20Best%20of%208/22&utm_term=VDHM%20Reader
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, and others on: August 27, 2015, 02:18:06 PM
PP,  First, glad you're in on the discussion!  Second, I think I'm with you on policies and issues, just not all the conclusions.  

You are kind of tough on some of the other mortals trying to be President, so let's apply that same standard to Trump.  He is a Rino in as many ways as the others who commonly earn that title; he's just not a wishy-washy one.  Most notably, he earns that mark by siding with big government solutions whenever it suits him.  The term Cino is now emerging, conservative in name only.  Trump makes Romney look consistent - and "severely" conservative.  (

"Purity and the ability to be elected does not exist."   - True.  But Trump is also a Rino on constitutional issues, to the left of Sandra Day O'Connor(!), and I don't consider the right to pick the next Supreme Court Justices to be a minor part of the job.  Most of what is wrong with the country today can be traced back to bad Supreme Court decisions.

Yes, I think electing Rubio could change the mindset and direction in this country, and he polls better than Trump and the others in the general election matchups.  In that sense, it is Trump who is unelectable (looking at it today).  Losing the election, by definition, means not being able to change things.  Conversely, the country will have to change its mindset in order to elect a Republican in these new demographics.  So the question becomes, who can make that case most persuasively - to the people who are most persuadable?  Trump is hitting a chord right now with people that are already pissed off. To me, it is Rubio who has a chance to change minds without evoking the usual negative reaction so many voters tend to have toward conservative candidates.  We can discuss Rubio further on his own thread; I sense you disagree.  

On immigration Trump says he will send them all back but it isn't going to happen.  Pressed for details he says start with the gangbangers, murderers and rapists.  I think we can get Rubio, Cruz, Fiorina, Carson and others to agree with at least that.  Rubio went soft on amnesty trying to get a deal (there goes purity) but also got a real world lesson on how Democrats don't negotiate in good faith and how you have to win more elections and bigger ones to make positive changes.  Now he says, secure the border first.  Like Trump, he may actually mean that and accomplish it especially if a like-minded congress got on board.  In the end, I don't see a real policy difference left on immigration beyond that one is going to alienate everyone along the way, and one might win and get border security done.  

PP knows many Hispanics who support Trump.  But most Hispanics know someone pretty closely who is vulnerable to mass deportation talk.  Trump's polling is net -51% with Hispanics.  http://www.gallup.com/poll/184814/hispanics-frown-trump-not-rest-gop-field.aspx  (chart below)  We need to start enforcing the law without the grandstanding to scare everyone (IMHO).

Jeb Bush has stubbornly stuck with Common Core long after everyone else on the right figured out it is a big leftist government takeover.  I don't know where Rubio is on that but I know his underlying principles are not big, federal government centric.  No one speaks out better on liberty than Rubio, IMHO.   Having the federal government bully the states on state issues doesn't match anything else Rubio is saying or doing.  I don't know where Trump is on it, but taking from his other positions, he will head up the best federal government run schools in the world!  

I don't know if Walker survives his latest flipflops.  I've also wondered if Carly is a closet liberal and if statements she made trying to ease the left in California will come back to haunt her.  Now I suspect it is the opposite; she tried sounding moderate in Calif but really was a closet conservative.  She may have some explaining to do along the way but sounds very good to me right now.  I like Cruz but he doesn't seem to know the full political game or have enough appeal, especially crossover appeal to go it alone.  I have the concerns with Carson that PP expressed, does he know enough to survive the process?  It is a long process though and perhaps the answer will be yes.  And when you hear that he lost his two older cousins on the streets of Detroit before he figured out to set his own life on a good path, maybe he knows things about turning things around that the rest of us could never know.  If a significant number of the people currently unproductive by choice suddenly jumped into our economy, amazing things would happen.  Being a black conservative is a GREAT thing!   All of those, Rubio, Carson, Fiorina, Cruz, Walker, would be fine with me, and Jindal too, though I don't see him catching on.   As PP said, just pick the one who will win - and the one who will get the right things done if they do win.  

Jeb Bush is a topic all his own.  He was a good governor but is wrong about the two issues mentioned and declared he doesn't need the support of people like me to win.  So he can win the nomination without the support of people like me.  Kasich is perhaps in a similar situation.  Let's deal with the question of sitting out the general election only if it comes to that.  Our job right now is to make sure we don't need to.

Gallup Chart:
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mr. Trump: There is no such thing as Big Government Conservatism on: August 26, 2015, 10:33:33 PM
Getting tossed out of a Trump event for interrupting it is better treatment than Vera Coking got for the 'crime' of owning a house where Trump wanted a parking lot.

How one behaves when no one is watching is one window into character.  In the case of Donald Trump and Vera Coking, the bullying was in full public view.  Trump called Coking's home "ugly", "tenement housing".  He did it loudly, in public, in trademark Donald Trump style.  

Trump used his purchased political connections and hefty economic clout to join forces with government officials for the purpose of forcing this owner/resident out, using eminent domain by government taking - from a private citizen for the purpose of turning it over to their preferred private project, a Trump casino limosine parking lot.  Welcome to Donald Trump's career.

The developer-in-bed-with-government alliance became famous about 10 years later with the Supreme Court case of Kelo v. New London, CT where Suzette Kelo lost her house and her Supreme Court case to a Pfizer project - that never happened.  Donald Trump insists he agrees 100% with that decision.  

When those with the most economic clout make alliance with bigger and bigger government power and use that power to enrich both themselves and the government, while tromping (Trumping) over the private property rights of the 'smaller' people - that is the worst kind of crony capitalism that makes the right, left and middle angry and cynical.  Yet we keep letting it happen and supporting the perpetrators.

Trump (and the 5 Justices that upheld Kelo) have economic policy and private property rights wrong and backwards.  We aren't better off when our government partners up with the most powerful businesses like they do in the most corrupt, third world countries of the world.  We need our government to govern.  Maintain a safety net, security, public services and infrastructure, but mostly we need government to maintain a level playing field that doesn't favor one class of participants over the others.

Mr. Trump, there is no such thing as a Big Government Conservative, nor will there ever be a head of government who "creates the most jobs in history".  What will make our country great again is to right-size our government down to its proper functions and restore a fair path and reward for honest work and risk taking.

Trump is a serious contender for President so his (lack of) character and principles matters.  When faced with a choice between calling in purchased government power and favoritism over conserving private property rights - even for people who don't contribute millions to both parties, Donald Trump didn't flinch, and has no regret.  Instead he jokes about what he bought with all his contributions, from condemnation of people's property in his way to buying the attendance of the Clintons at his wedding.

It's really not that funny.  My two cents.

21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 26, 2015, 09:30:22 PM
"The 14th Amendment does not need to be repealed. From the wording,  Congress can enact laws to either expend or shrink the scope of the Amendment."

I like this approach - or any other way to get the Supreme Court to revisit this mistake.  Still it would take significant support from Dems to override a veto.  Obama isn't going to sign it and R's don't have 60, much less 67 votes.
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Issues American Creed Constitutional Law: Birthright (wrong) Citizenship on: August 25, 2015, 01:08:59 PM
I posted this on immigration issues also as it is a very important question right now.  Please read and comment.  Does the constitution require amending, or was the Supreme Court wrong, or do we want non-citizens dropping babies in to anchor the new citizenship rights away from our otherwise legal, immigration process.

I don't like to hear that the WSJ Editorialists got this wrong.  Or is John Eastman wrong here?  I don't think so.  This is the interpretation that makes sense to me.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422960/birthright-citizenship-reform-it-without-repealing-14th-amendment

We Can Apply the 14th Amendment While Also Reforming Birthright Citizenship
 by JOHN C. EASTMAN   August 24, 2015 4:00 AM

Birthright citizenship has exploded into the national discourse. The issue is generating a lot of heat on the Republican side of the aisle in particular, because it threatens to expose the long-standing rift between the party’s base and its pro-crony-capitalism establishment.

Unfortunately, in arguing that the 14th Amendment requires citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants, some of the more prominent interlocutors are promoting an incorrect understanding of history. The Wall Street Journal’s recent editorial on the matter is a case in point, and my good friend John Yoo’s NR essay repeats one of the same basic flaws.

The first clause of the 14th Amendment provides that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The Journal thinks the meaning is “straightforward”: “Subject to the jurisdiction” covers everyone born on U.S. soil (except the children of diplomats and invading armies), because “‘jurisdiction’ defines the territory where the force of law applies and to whom — and this principle is well settled to include almost everyone within U.S. borders, regardless of their home country or the circumstances of their birth.” It then states: “By the circular restrictionist logic, illegal immigrants could not be prosecuted for committing crimes because they are not U.S. citizens.”

Professor Yoo makes the same claim (absent the ad hominem word “restrictionist”): “Almost all aliens in the United States, even citizens of other nations, still fall within our jurisdiction while they are in our territory: Otherwise they could commit crimes of all sorts without fear of punishment.”

This claim plays off a widespread ignorance about the meaning of the word “jurisdiction.” It fails to recognize that the same word covers two distinctly different ideas: 1) complete, political jurisdiction; and 2) partial, territorial jurisdiction.

Think of it this way. When a British tourist visits the United States, he subjects himself to our laws as long as he remains within our borders. He must drive on the right side of the road, for example. He is subject to our partial, territorial jurisdiction, but he does not thereby subject himself to our complete, political jurisdiction. He does not get to vote, or serve on a jury; he cannot be drafted into our armed forces; and he cannot be prosecuted for treason if he takes up arms against us, because he owes us no allegiance. He is merely a “temporary sojourner,” to use the language employed by those who wrote the 14th Amendment, and not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in the full and complete sense intended by that language in the 14th Amendment.

The same is true for those who are in this country illegally. They are subject to our laws by their presence within our borders, but they are not subject to the more complete jurisdiction envisioned by the 14th Amendment as a precondition for automatic citizenship. It is just silliness to contend, as the Journal does, that this is “circular restrictionist logic” that would prevent illegal immigrants from being “prosecuted for committing crimes because they are not U.S. citizens.”

Moreover, contrary to Professor Yoo’s contention, the text elsewhere in the 14th Amendment supports this distinction. Unlike the Citizenship Clause, which uses the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction,” the Equal Protection Clause bars a state from “deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (Emphasis added.) The phrase “within its jurisdiction” is territorial, whereas the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” is political.

There were no restrictions on immigration in 1868 when the 14th Amendment was being drafted and ratified, so there was no debate on whether the Citizenship Clause confers automatic citizenship on the children of illegal immigrants. But we do have debate on the analogous circumstance of Native Americans who continued to owe allegiance to their tribes. One senator — exhibiting the same confusion today exhibited by the Journal — asked Senator Lyman Trumbull, a key figure in the drafting and adoption of the 14th Amendment, whether Indians living on reservations would be covered by the clause, since they were “most clearly subject to our jurisdiction, both civil and military.”

Trumbull responded that “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States meant subject to its “complete” jurisdiction, “not owing allegiance to anybody else.” And Senator Jacob Howard, who introduced the language of the jurisdiction clause on the floor of the Senate, contended that it should be construed to mean “a full and complete jurisdiction,” “the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now” — that is, under the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which the 14th Amendment was intended to codify. That act made the point even more clearly: “All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.” (Emphasis added.) As the debate over the 14th Amendment makes clear, the shift in language from the 1866 Civil Rights Act to what became the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment was not intended to provide citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, but rather to shift away from the “not subject to any foreign power” language out of recognition that the Indian tribes were not foreign powers but domestic (albeit dependent) powers. As Senator Howard explained, the Citizenship Clause excludes not only Indians but “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”

The leading treatise writer of the day, Thomas Cooley, confirmed this was the understanding of the 14th Amendment. As he wrote in his treatise, The General Principles of Constitutional Law in America, “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States “meant full and complete jurisdiction to which citizens are generally subject, and not any qualified and partial jurisdiction, such as may consist with allegiance to some other government.”

When the Supreme Court first addressed the Citizenship Clause in the 1873 Slaughterhouse Cases, both the majority and dissenting opinions recognized this same understanding. The majority in that case correctly noted that the “main purpose” of the clause “was to establish the citizenship of the negro” and that “the phrase, ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.” (Emphasis added).

That language in Slaughterhouse was dicta (a comment not strictly relevant to the decision), but it became holding a decade later in the 1884 case of Elk v. Wilkins. The Supreme Court held in that case that the claimant — a Native American born on a tribal reservation — was not a citizen because he was not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States at birth, which required that he be “not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.” Elk did not meet the jurisdictional test because, as a member of an Indian tribe at his birth, he “owed immediate allegiance to” his tribe and not to the United States. Although “Indian tribes, being within the territorial limits of the United States, were not, strictly speaking, foreign states,” “they were alien nations, distinct political communities,” according to the Court, thereby making clear that its holding was about allegiance and not the reservation’s geographic territory. Then, drawing explicitly on the language of the 1866 Civil Rights Act from which the 14th Amendment was drawn, the Court continued: “Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States, members of, and owing immediate allegiance to, one of the Indian tribes (an alien though dependent power), although in a geographical sense born in the United States, are no more ‘born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ within the meaning of the first section of the fourteenth amendment, than the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations.”

Professor Yoo is therefore simply mistaken in his claim that “the Supreme Court has consistently read Section One as granting birthright citizenship to the children of aliens on U.S. territory.” In fact, it has never held that the children born on U.S. soil to parents who are in this country illegally are citizens. In the 1898 case of Wong Kim Ark, the Court simply held that a child born of Chinese immigrants who were lawfully and permanently in the United States — “domiciled” here, to use the Court’s phrase — was a citizen. Language in the opinion that can be read as suggesting that birth on U.S. soil alone, no matter what the circumstances, confers automatic citizenship is pure dicta, because no claim was at issue in the case other than whether the child of lawful, permanent residents was a citizen.

Professor Yoo’s contention to the contrary overlooks the Court’s use of the word “domiciled” in describing the nature of Wong Kim Ark’s relationship to the United States. “Domicile” is a legal term of art; it means “a person’s legal home,” according to Black’s law dictionary, and is often used synonymously with “citizenship.” Wong Kim Ark’s parents were not allowed to become citizens because the U.S. had entered into a nefarious treaty with the Emperor of China that refused to recognize their natural right to emigrate, but they were “domiciled” in the United States, which is to say, lawfully present in the United States. The holding of the case, as opposed to its broader dicta, does not mandate citizenship for children born to those who are unlawfully present in the United States, and it does not even mandate citizenship for those who are visiting the United States temporarily but lawfully. In both cases, the children, through their parents, retain allegiance to their parents’ home country — to a “foreign power,” to return to the language of the 1866 Civil Rights Act. They are therefore not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in the way intended by the 14th Amendment, and therefore not automatic citizens.

As I said, no Supreme Court case has held otherwise. Wong Kim Ark did not so hold. Neither did Plyler v. Doe in 1982, contrary to the Journal’s assertion; the relevant language in that case is simply a footnote for comparison with the Equal Protection Clause, and pure dicta.

Professor Yoo’s description of the debate between Senators Cowan and Conness likewise misses the point. Cowan asked whether the Citizenship Clause would confer citizenship upon the children of Chinese parents who were living in California, or the children of Gypsies living in Pennsylvania. “Have they any more rights than a sojourner in the United States?” he asked. He was attempting to draw a distinction based on race or ethnic background, not on lawful versus unlawful presence in the United States, or even on permanent versus temporary presence. It was for that reason that Conness began his reply by stating that he failed to see what relation Cowan’s question had to do with the Citizenship Clause. The 14th Amendment did not do away with sovereignty.

Conness then responded that automatic citizenship would be available to the “children begotten of Chinese parents in California” just as existed under existing law — that is, the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which extended citizenship to “all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power.” That guarantee was available no matter the ethnic background of the parents — we were not extending citizenship only to the descendants of white Europeans — but his response did not suggest that the children of those who were not lawfully present in the United States, or who were mere temporary visitors, would be automatic citizens. Indeed, Cowan’s own question — “Have [the children of Chinese or Gypsies domiciled in the United States] any more rights than a sojourner?” — demonstrates that he was also aware of the distinction between territorial and political jurisdiction. For the debate to support Professor Yoo’s position, Conness would have had to respond that even the children of sojourners would be entitled to automatic citizenship. There is not a hint in his response to suggest such an answer, nor in any other part of the entire debate.

So, truth be told, the 14th Amendment does not need to be repealed in order to fix the problem of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. It just needs to be understood and applied correctly. The Journal’s contention that conservatives who insist upon this understanding of the law “are promising a GOP version of President Obama’s ‘illegal amnesty order’” could therefore not be further from the truth. Constitutional originalism requires that we give effect to the public meaning of the words actually used, even if the Wall Street Journal would wish the meaning were otherwise. And the Journal’s further contention that anyone who wishes to see the 14th Amendment faithfully applied is claiming “that some people are not real Americans and have no right to be,” is simply another ad hominem attack and mischaracterization not worthy of an otherwise great newspaper.

Finally, let me close with some agreement with Professor Yoo’s soaring rhetoric at the end of his piece, much of which is entirely true. Yes, “rather than being a misguided act of generosity, the 14th Amendment marks one of the great achievements of the Republican party.” And yes, “It was the Republican party that opposed Dred Scott.” And yes, “It was the Republican Party that fought and won the Civil War.” And definitely yes, “it was the Republican party that drafted and ratified the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which did away with slavery and any distinction between Americans based on race.”

But the 14th Amendment did not do away with sovereignty. It did not do away with the importance of citizenship, or with the idea, rooted in the Declaration of Independence, that legitimate governments are grounded on the consent of the governed. Birthright citizenship, as currently practiced, allows those who continue to owe allegiance to a foreign power to demand American citizenship for their children, unilaterally and as a result of their illegal conduct. Those who oppose such an abuse do not support Dred Scott. They are drawing distinctions based not on race, but on the rule of law. Professor Yoo need not worry, therefore, that applying the 14th Amendment faithfully would “discard one of the greatest attributes of American exceptionalism.” The welcome mat to American citizenship is open to anyone in the world regardless of race or ethnic background, as long as they adhere to the legal rules set out by Congress for immigration to this country.

 — John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service and former dean at Chapman University School of Law. He also serves as the director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues, Birthright wrong, 14th amendment on: August 25, 2015, 12:47:16 PM
I don't like to hear that the WSJ Editorialists got this wrong.  Or is John Eastman wrong here?  I don't think so.  This is the only interpretation that makes sense to me.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422960/birthright-citizenship-reform-it-without-repealing-14th-amendment

We Can Apply the 14th Amendment While Also Reforming Birthright Citizenship
 by JOHN C. EASTMAN   August 24, 2015 4:00 AM

Birthright citizenship has exploded into the national discourse. The issue is generating a lot of heat on the Republican side of the aisle in particular, because it threatens to expose the long-standing rift between the party’s base and its pro-crony-capitalism establishment.

Unfortunately, in arguing that the 14th Amendment requires citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants, some of the more prominent interlocutors are promoting an incorrect understanding of history. The Wall Street Journal’s recent editorial on the matter is a case in point, and my good friend John Yoo’s NR essay repeats one of the same basic flaws.

The first clause of the 14th Amendment provides that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The Journal thinks the meaning is “straightforward”: “Subject to the jurisdiction” covers everyone born on U.S. soil (except the children of diplomats and invading armies), because “‘jurisdiction’ defines the territory where the force of law applies and to whom — and this principle is well settled to include almost everyone within U.S. borders, regardless of their home country or the circumstances of their birth.” It then states: “By the circular restrictionist logic, illegal immigrants could not be prosecuted for committing crimes because they are not U.S. citizens.”

Professor Yoo makes the same claim (absent the ad hominem word “restrictionist”): “Almost all aliens in the United States, even citizens of other nations, still fall within our jurisdiction while they are in our territory: Otherwise they could commit crimes of all sorts without fear of punishment.”

This claim plays off a widespread ignorance about the meaning of the word “jurisdiction.” It fails to recognize that the same word covers two distinctly different ideas: 1) complete, political jurisdiction; and 2) partial, territorial jurisdiction.

Think of it this way. When a British tourist visits the United States, he subjects himself to our laws as long as he remains within our borders. He must drive on the right side of the road, for example. He is subject to our partial, territorial jurisdiction, but he does not thereby subject himself to our complete, political jurisdiction. He does not get to vote, or serve on a jury; he cannot be drafted into our armed forces; and he cannot be prosecuted for treason if he takes up arms against us, because he owes us no allegiance. He is merely a “temporary sojourner,” to use the language employed by those who wrote the 14th Amendment, and not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in the full and complete sense intended by that language in the 14th Amendment.

The same is true for those who are in this country illegally. They are subject to our laws by their presence within our borders, but they are not subject to the more complete jurisdiction envisioned by the 14th Amendment as a precondition for automatic citizenship. It is just silliness to contend, as the Journal does, that this is “circular restrictionist logic” that would prevent illegal immigrants from being “prosecuted for committing crimes because they are not U.S. citizens.”

Moreover, contrary to Professor Yoo’s contention, the text elsewhere in the 14th Amendment supports this distinction. Unlike the Citizenship Clause, which uses the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction,” the Equal Protection Clause bars a state from “deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (Emphasis added.) The phrase “within its jurisdiction” is territorial, whereas the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction” is political.

There were no restrictions on immigration in 1868 when the 14th Amendment was being drafted and ratified, so there was no debate on whether the Citizenship Clause confers automatic citizenship on the children of illegal immigrants. But we do have debate on the analogous circumstance of Native Americans who continued to owe allegiance to their tribes. One senator — exhibiting the same confusion today exhibited by the Journal — asked Senator Lyman Trumbull, a key figure in the drafting and adoption of the 14th Amendment, whether Indians living on reservations would be covered by the clause, since they were “most clearly subject to our jurisdiction, both civil and military.”

Trumbull responded that “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States meant subject to its “complete” jurisdiction, “not owing allegiance to anybody else.” And Senator Jacob Howard, who introduced the language of the jurisdiction clause on the floor of the Senate, contended that it should be construed to mean “a full and complete jurisdiction,” “the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now” — that is, under the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which the 14th Amendment was intended to codify. That act made the point even more clearly: “All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.” (Emphasis added.) As the debate over the 14th Amendment makes clear, the shift in language from the 1866 Civil Rights Act to what became the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment was not intended to provide citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, but rather to shift away from the “not subject to any foreign power” language out of recognition that the Indian tribes were not foreign powers but domestic (albeit dependent) powers. As Senator Howard explained, the Citizenship Clause excludes not only Indians but “persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, [or] who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”

The leading treatise writer of the day, Thomas Cooley, confirmed this was the understanding of the 14th Amendment. As he wrote in his treatise, The General Principles of Constitutional Law in America, “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States “meant full and complete jurisdiction to which citizens are generally subject, and not any qualified and partial jurisdiction, such as may consist with allegiance to some other government.”

When the Supreme Court first addressed the Citizenship Clause in the 1873 Slaughterhouse Cases, both the majority and dissenting opinions recognized this same understanding. The majority in that case correctly noted that the “main purpose” of the clause “was to establish the citizenship of the negro” and that “the phrase, ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.” (Emphasis added).

That language in Slaughterhouse was dicta (a comment not strictly relevant to the decision), but it became holding a decade later in the 1884 case of Elk v. Wilkins. The Supreme Court held in that case that the claimant — a Native American born on a tribal reservation — was not a citizen because he was not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States at birth, which required that he be “not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.” Elk did not meet the jurisdictional test because, as a member of an Indian tribe at his birth, he “owed immediate allegiance to” his tribe and not to the United States. Although “Indian tribes, being within the territorial limits of the United States, were not, strictly speaking, foreign states,” “they were alien nations, distinct political communities,” according to the Court, thereby making clear that its holding was about allegiance and not the reservation’s geographic territory. Then, drawing explicitly on the language of the 1866 Civil Rights Act from which the 14th Amendment was drawn, the Court continued: “Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States, members of, and owing immediate allegiance to, one of the Indian tribes (an alien though dependent power), although in a geographical sense born in the United States, are no more ‘born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ within the meaning of the first section of the fourteenth amendment, than the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations.”

Professor Yoo is therefore simply mistaken in his claim that “the Supreme Court has consistently read Section One as granting birthright citizenship to the children of aliens on U.S. territory.” In fact, it has never held that the children born on U.S. soil to parents who are in this country illegally are citizens. In the 1898 case of Wong Kim Ark, the Court simply held that a child born of Chinese immigrants who were lawfully and permanently in the United States — “domiciled” here, to use the Court’s phrase — was a citizen. Language in the opinion that can be read as suggesting that birth on U.S. soil alone, no matter what the circumstances, confers automatic citizenship is pure dicta, because no claim was at issue in the case other than whether the child of lawful, permanent residents was a citizen.

Professor Yoo’s contention to the contrary overlooks the Court’s use of the word “domiciled” in describing the nature of Wong Kim Ark’s relationship to the United States. “Domicile” is a legal term of art; it means “a person’s legal home,” according to Black’s law dictionary, and is often used synonymously with “citizenship.” Wong Kim Ark’s parents were not allowed to become citizens because the U.S. had entered into a nefarious treaty with the Emperor of China that refused to recognize their natural right to emigrate, but they were “domiciled” in the United States, which is to say, lawfully present in the United States. The holding of the case, as opposed to its broader dicta, does not mandate citizenship for children born to those who are unlawfully present in the United States, and it does not even mandate citizenship for those who are visiting the United States temporarily but lawfully. In both cases, the children, through their parents, retain allegiance to their parents’ home country — to a “foreign power,” to return to the language of the 1866 Civil Rights Act. They are therefore not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in the way intended by the 14th Amendment, and therefore not automatic citizens.

As I said, no Supreme Court case has held otherwise. Wong Kim Ark did not so hold. Neither did Plyler v. Doe in 1982, contrary to the Journal’s assertion; the relevant language in that case is simply a footnote for comparison with the Equal Protection Clause, and pure dicta.

Professor Yoo’s description of the debate between Senators Cowan and Conness likewise misses the point. Cowan asked whether the Citizenship Clause would confer citizenship upon the children of Chinese parents who were living in California, or the children of Gypsies living in Pennsylvania. “Have they any more rights than a sojourner in the United States?” he asked. He was attempting to draw a distinction based on race or ethnic background, not on lawful versus unlawful presence in the United States, or even on permanent versus temporary presence. It was for that reason that Conness began his reply by stating that he failed to see what relation Cowan’s question had to do with the Citizenship Clause. The 14th Amendment did not do away with sovereignty.

Conness then responded that automatic citizenship would be available to the “children begotten of Chinese parents in California” just as existed under existing law — that is, the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which extended citizenship to “all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power.” That guarantee was available no matter the ethnic background of the parents — we were not extending citizenship only to the descendants of white Europeans — but his response did not suggest that the children of those who were not lawfully present in the United States, or who were mere temporary visitors, would be automatic citizens. Indeed, Cowan’s own question — “Have [the children of Chinese or Gypsies domiciled in the United States] any more rights than a sojourner?” — demonstrates that he was also aware of the distinction between territorial and political jurisdiction. For the debate to support Professor Yoo’s position, Conness would have had to respond that even the children of sojourners would be entitled to automatic citizenship. There is not a hint in his response to suggest such an answer, nor in any other part of the entire debate.

So, truth be told, the 14th Amendment does not need to be repealed in order to fix the problem of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. It just needs to be understood and applied correctly. The Journal’s contention that conservatives who insist upon this understanding of the law “are promising a GOP version of President Obama’s ‘illegal amnesty order’” could therefore not be further from the truth. Constitutional originalism requires that we give effect to the public meaning of the words actually used, even if the Wall Street Journal would wish the meaning were otherwise. And the Journal’s further contention that anyone who wishes to see the 14th Amendment faithfully applied is claiming “that some people are not real Americans and have no right to be,” is simply another ad hominem attack and mischaracterization not worthy of an otherwise great newspaper.

Finally, let me close with some agreement with Professor Yoo’s soaring rhetoric at the end of his piece, much of which is entirely true. Yes, “rather than being a misguided act of generosity, the 14th Amendment marks one of the great achievements of the Republican party.” And yes, “It was the Republican party that opposed Dred Scott.” And yes, “It was the Republican Party that fought and won the Civil War.” And definitely yes, “it was the Republican party that drafted and ratified the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which did away with slavery and any distinction between Americans based on race.”

But the 14th Amendment did not do away with sovereignty. It did not do away with the importance of citizenship, or with the idea, rooted in the Declaration of Independence, that legitimate governments are grounded on the consent of the governed. Birthright citizenship, as currently practiced, allows those who continue to owe allegiance to a foreign power to demand American citizenship for their children, unilaterally and as a result of their illegal conduct. Those who oppose such an abuse do not support Dred Scott. They are drawing distinctions based not on race, but on the rule of law. Professor Yoo need not worry, therefore, that applying the 14th Amendment faithfully would “discard one of the greatest attributes of American exceptionalism.” The welcome mat to American citizenship is open to anyone in the world regardless of race or ethnic background, as long as they adhere to the legal rules set out by Congress for immigration to this country.

 — John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service and former dean at Chapman University School of Law. He also serves as the director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: August 24, 2015, 01:27:11 PM
When natural gas prices were high and supplies were scarce, Russia had Europe under its thumb. 

When oil prices were high and American supplies were scarce, Venezuela and others had a hold on America.  And Iran had the world scared sh*tless over its proximity to the Straits of Hormuz.  Does anyone remember that?

When Venezuela and Russia were gushing with oil money, puny little Cuba could stick its finger in the US eye.  Didn't need the US for anything.

When economic growth here was going gangbusters, China was a big beneficiary of that and had a level of control over our economy.

And when the Euro was stronger than the dollar, the EU had leverage in various negotiations over the US.

Now the facts are reversed.  So, a) what are we doing to capitalize on the changing balance of forces around the world?  Nothing, of course.  And b) What could we and what SHOULD we be doing differently in response to these changing circumstances?

Other than the fact that we don't have a President who would even want any of the problems around the world resolved,

Why don't we turn the heat up on Russia's presence in the Ukraine - right while oil prices dip below 40?

Why aren't we tightening instead of loosening sanctions in Iran while they feel the pressure?

Why don't we make public demands on Cuba to do SOMETHING to free their people?  Why don't we reach out with the freedom seeking opposition in Venezuela [and elsewhere] and amplify their voices?

Why don't we make a rescue mission into a portion N.K. while the Chinese attention is turned elsewhere, and shrink their evil dictatorship?

Why don't we reach out to India as a natural ally, a peaceful democracy with similar interests, beyond having them over once in 8 years for dinner?

What else should we be doing while the future of the world lies in the balance?

Even Rahm Emmanuel knew to never let a good crisis go to waste.  Did that axiom apply only to political advantage over the Republicans - or could you use it to strengthen our geopolitical position against adversaries?
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 24, 2015, 12:39:09 PM
[Dow was down another 1000 early today, then] ...   "U.S. stocks staged a dramatic recovery off their lows on Monday, helped by a turnaround in Apple's shares, but the three main indexes remained in or within spitting distance of correction territory amid fears China's growth is slowing." (Reuters)


But why would fears of China's growth slowing affect the US negatively?  It isn't like they are buying our products anyway.  Nor are they going to quit making their products cheaply for us.  In fact, the US customers get a purchasing power raise with the devaluation of Chinese currency.

The economic ties to China are more subtle.  A small piece of each of these DOW companies is their China business.  More importantly, if their exports are down, it tells us demand elsewhere around the world is down.  Who leads the global economy today?  No one knows. Maybe it's us, leading from behind.  If the US is still the leader, the direction can only be down or to stagnate. 

Equities prices are based on a multiple of growth - price/earnings x growth rate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PEG_ratio  Take away growth and earnings also disappear for most companies.  Take away earnings and growth and the price goes to zero.
--------------------------------------

Another look at global demand down by looking at oil price analysis via Zerohedge:



26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance, Record of Failure, and Dispproval Ratings of His Glibness on: August 23, 2015, 02:12:09 PM
Two key determinants of the 2016 Presidential elections are a) the approval of the President and b) the perception of the performance of the economy coming into the election.  Both are currently tanking for the President.

For 6 1/2 years we have heard that the performance of the stock market somehow proves the economy is healthy and that Americans mostly approve of this President.  Whoops.  Down goes the market (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/21/all-three-major-indexes-are-having-worst-week-since-2011.html) and in a separate matter it looks like the President is again 10 points underwater in job (dis)approval in the last 4 major polls.

Gallup           8/20 - 8/22    42 Approve, 53 Disapprove.  Net:  -11
Rasmussen    8/18 - 8/20    44               54                           -10
Reuters/Ipsos 8/15 - 8/19   43               52                            -9
The Economist 8/15 - 8/17  43               53                           -10

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump, Kelo,Takings, Eminent Domain and his (lack of) Constitutional Principles on: August 23, 2015, 10:42:34 AM
(Where have we already heard this? http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2551.msg88495#msg88495)

Now the Washington Post chimes in:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/08/19/donald-trumps-abuse-of-eminent-

Trump celebrated the Kelo decision upholding government takings for private purposes:  
“I happen to agree with it [the Kelo decision] 100 percent,” he told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/265171/donald-trump-and-eminent-domain-robert-verbruggen

That puts him at odds with roughly 100% of constitutional conservatives.

Most notably, that puts Trump to the left of Bernie Sanders on government power over private citizens, and most startlingly puts Bernie Sanders is to the right of Donald Trump on constitutional protections of private property rights.  http://volokh.com/posts/1120223955.shtml


John Stossel had one story of Trump's, government-backed takings of private property for private use, pre-Kelo, in March 2004 (below):  Is this really who conservatives want to rally around?  Is this an insignificant issue or is it a sign of core principles (lacking)?? How would you like Trump's tough talk aimed at you - in your home?  These people were living legally in a home they owned.  For the 'crime' of not agreeing to sell to this bully at his price on his schedule they got to have Donald Trump publicly call out their home as ugly, "terrible stuff, Tenement housing", and with his economic and political clout he got the Atlantic City government lawyers to take legal action attempting to force these residents to vacate.  Read below.   The 'win' the residents had in court was prior to the Supreme Court's Kelo decision upholding this power - that Trump supported "100%".  These residents would lose in court now.  - Doug


http://reason.com/archives/2004/03/01/confessions-of-a-welfare-queen/4
(Stossel)  Sometimes citizens fight back, and when they do they can win -- even against a foe as big as Donald Trump and the Atlantic City politicians in his pocket. In the early 1990s, the billionaire already owned Trump Plaza, Trump Tower, Trump Parc, Trump International Hotel, Trump Palace, Trump World’s Fair, and Trump Taj Mahal. But he wanted more. He wanted to expand one of his casinos in Atlantic City.

Vera Coking was in the way. The elderly widow had lived in a house in Atlantic City for more than 30 years, and she didn’t want to move. Trump offered Coking $1 million if she’d sell. She said no.

This annoyed Trump. He told reporters her house was ugly, and it would be better if it were torn down to make room for a parking lot for limousines waiting outside his casino.

I wouldn’t think that was "public use," but before you could say "corporate welfare," New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority filed a lawsuit in 1994 to "acquire" Coking’s property. It told Coking she must vacate her home within 90 days or the sheriff would forcibly remove her.

Suddenly the $1 million offer was off the table. The authority said Coking’s house was worth only $251,000 -- one-fifth what Trump paid for a smaller lot nearby.

It looked to me like the government was robbing Vera Coking to pay off Donald Trump. The government officials wouldn’t talk to me about it, but Trump did.

Stossel: In the old days, big developers came in with thugs with clubs. Now you use lawyers. You go to court and you force people out.

Trump: Excuse me. Other people maybe use thugs today. I don’t. I’ve done this very nicely. If I wanted to use thugs, we wouldn’t have any problems. It would have been all taken care of many years ago. I don’t do business that way. We have been so nice to this woman.

Trump said Coking turned down his offer because "her lawyer wants to get rich, and everybody wants to get rich off me."

Stossel: So don’t pay it. Let them stay. Basic to freedom is that if you own something, it’s yours. The government doesn’t just come and take it away.

Trump: Do you want to live in a city where you can’t build roads or highways or have access to hospitals? Condemnation is a necessary evil.

Stossel: But we’re not talking about a hospital. This is a building a rich guy finds ugly.

Trump: You’re talking about at the tip of this city, lies a little group of terrible, terrible tenements -- just terrible stuff, tenement housing.

Stossel: So what?

Trump: So what?...Atlantic City does a lot less business, and senior citizens get a lot less money and a lot less taxes and a lot less this and that.

Sadly, claims that people will be deprived of "this and that" can now be used by politicians to condemn your house. It didn’t seem right to Vera Coking. "This is America," she said. "My husband fought in the war and worked to make sure I would have a roof over my head, and they want to take it from me?"

Usually the Donald Trumps of the world and their partners in government get what they want. But Vera Coking was lucky enough to get media attention -- and to have a public-interest law firm, the Institute for Justice, take her case to court. In 1998 a judge finally ruled against Trump and the government, finding that taking the property would benefit Trump, not the public. Vera Coking got to keep her home. She still lives there, surrounded by Trump’s hotel.

Such victories against the awful advantages that government loves to grant to the wealthy and well-connected are possible. But to see more of them will require a great deal of diligence on the part of citizens -- and the news media. If we want to live up to the old saw that the press should "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable," the TV cameras need to spend more time focused on the ugly realities of welfare for the rich.

    - John Stossel,  March 2004  
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The plowhorse gets sleepy on: August 21, 2015, 10:35:03 PM

Do you know if anyone saw this coming?    wink
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Birthwrong citizenship on: August 20, 2015, 11:00:59 PM
From our own threads it looked to me like the wrong interpretation of the 14th amendment came in a footnote to a case and became precedent and thus the law of land, subject to either some new case being set up to overturn it or the passing of an amendment that makes restores the amendment to its original, intended meaning.

The President plays no direct role in the constitutional amendment process.  The common way to do it is to have 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate pass it and send it to the state legislatures where 3/4ths of them (38) are needed to ratify it.  70% of the state chambers are now Republican; getting all of those still leaves you 4 states short.  Passage in 34 Republican states plus 4 Democratic states would do it.  Counting in the other direction, passage in all but the 12 most leftward states is required to amend the constitution with a conservative reform. 

A constitutional convention is another way, same difficulty, I believe.

5 Justices could fix this too.  But they won't.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - immigration on: August 19, 2015, 12:25:05 PM
The elephant in the presidential election room is still immigration policy.  It was the starting point and remains the central appeal of frontrunner Trump.  It is the main source of conservative distrust of Bush, and also Rubio.  It was a central argument here on the board too.

Clinton has been clear; she will continue and even expand all of Obama's efforts to ignore current law and write new law expanding our country with new arrivals, regardless of existing law.

Trump says send them home, they've got to go, and goes further - he says don't break up families, send entire families back.  Deport is the only way to follow the law.  Others can stop Trump by stealing his issue and running on it too.

But polls say only 30% of Republicans support widespread deportation. and much lower for the whole electorate.  Any candidate taking that side will compete for a share of the 30%, but not win the Presidency.  

Ann Coulter's research and book has landed a few, very serious, valid points.  Our legal immigration flow is out of control too.  We are not acting at all in our own best interest.  Securing the border is only a part of the problem and solution.

On the other side of it is Jeb - 'they invade as an act of love.'  It is partly true, they love their family and want the best for their children.  But that doesn't speak to our best interests.  Paradoxically, the new people bring voting habits that support the dysfunction they are fleeing.  

In the middle is almost every other candidate and they are floundering.  Someone needs to emerge with a plan tougher than the compromise reforms we have been hearing but still practical and compassionate enough to win. There needs to be a comprehensive plan to overhaul every aspect of the system.  Every overstayed visa needs to be dealt with.  Every illegal family I'm afraid needs to be scrutinized.  Not only rapists and murderers, but people who came here illegally only to become chronic dependents on our generosity need to go back and start over.  Don't confuse the Merican safety net with the American dream.  This process won't be easy or pretty.  But running away from the elephant in the room just isn't working.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 19, 2015, 11:47:27 AM
...
It is certainly enjoyable to see her squirm (with a cloth or something) but it will take a lot more to knock her unconscious.
...
Even the Feminist CNN though replayed the snarky wiping response this morning.  If the lib gals at CNN even do this then there really is a crack in the machine.
 grin grin cheesy cheesy cheesy

Yes.  We saw this coming but we couldn't even imagine it playing out this badly for her  It is so surreal that it seems intentional.  She has very current statements running where she says no classified material was sent or received while the classified email count is over 300 and still rising.  Then she switched to saying 'marked or designated classified' as if the people who may have removed marking weren't under her responsibility or that she wouldn't know that spy satellite aerial photos of Yemen with terrorist locations marked aren't classified, marked or not??

Now the joking about it , talk about tone-deaf - jokes require timing.  She forgot to put this behind her first before lame attempts to poke fun at it all, snapchat with automatic delete and wiping clean with a cloth, ha ha.  That ought to build trust and make felony breach of security charges go away.

I wonder if our best interest is to watch her keep limping toward winning the nomination and losing the general election rather than hope for some newcomer ride in, unscrutinized, and save the day for Dems.

Meanwhile, none of our central questions about her biggest crisis as Sec State (Benghazi) have been answered.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 19, 2015, 10:39:10 AM
I gave $20 each to Carson and Fiorina this morning.

This is the right strategy.  Either of those two could win and be a great President, but only if people step forward and support them.  This is how you vote now from a state where your vote later will not really matter.  Great timing in terms of hitting both of them as they build momentum.  Like every non-profit raising money, they are looking at numbers of contributors, not just the size of the donation.  Everyone who is informed and wants to make a difference should pick now or pick soon and send support.  
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump and the case against birthright citizenships on: August 18, 2015, 01:13:28 PM
I know we have discussed this previously.  Can someone find where?
================================================

A couple of references to anchor babies, birthright citizenship and the origin of the 14th amendment:

Patriot Post
"...The 14th Amendment does not confer citizenship on the children of illegal aliens born on U.S. soil as we implied.

Patriot reader and Harding University political science professor Cheri Pierson Yecke wrote in to clear up the matter. She noted that birthright citizenship "began with the Supreme Court decision of United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898). SCOTUS shamefully ignored congressional intent and gave the following opinion: 'A child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States, by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."'"

Dr. Yecke added, "As can be seen in the Senate debate on the 14th Amendment (39th Congress, First Session), a provision for 'anchor babies' was never the intent of Congress." Sen. Jacob Howard (R-MI) argued for adding the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" to the Amendment, saying, "This [Amendment] will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors, or foreign ministers..."
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1709.msg29121#msg29121
---------------------

Ann Coulter:
The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers."
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1850.msg39499#msg39499
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: August 17, 2015, 06:21:07 PM
Orwellian economics?  I know the point he is making, but still...  homes are more affordable and the financial system is healthier because more people are borrowing more money to buy them while all cash sales plummet.

Might I ask our friend Brian a bit of economic trivia, how does the default rate with all cash buyers compare that of the "closer to normal", highly leveraged home purchases?

So, getting this straight, paying with cash is a sign of dysfunction while borrowing to the hilt with payments required every month for the next 30 years is lower risk and a sign of good economic health.


'Red is grey, and yellow white.  But we decide which is right.  And which is an illusion.'
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: August 17, 2015, 12:44:09 PM
Liberal columnist Ruth Marcus thought she had something reporting that Carly told her in 2008 that she would be supporting Hillary if she wasn't already supporting McCain.  Not much of a bombshell since Rush L also tried to help Hillary's faltering campaign (operation chaos) and since the crowd she was trying to appease is from the nation's bluest state and Hillary was seen then as far more moderate than Obama.

I have wondered what other Fiorina statements and especially policy positions might come back from her more moderate Calif campaign to haunt her today as she comes across today as 100% conservative.  If this is all they've got, she is in good shape.
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 17, 2015, 12:36:05 PM
(ccp) Far more likely than not Donald will eventually shoot himself in the foot.  Personally I hope not.

Sometimes it seems inevitable that he will fall to his own words or temperament and other times in interviews he seems just as knowledgeable on a wide range of issues as the average governor or senator running - and far more passionate about it than most.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: August 17, 2015, 12:31:26 PM
Prepping for the great (nuclear) Sunni-shia war. Obama's legacy.

In the post-Obama world we might need to add a nuclear fallout protection shield to the ammo and canned goods in the bunker.
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: August 16, 2015, 10:10:20 PM
Yes, crazy discrepancy measuring 2 different things, the debt we owe today versus the fiscal gap projecting forward.

Debt at 18T is really only $13T owed to the public.  Even that isn't owed to anyone in the sense of it ever being paid it back when the target is to always run permanent deficits.  It's just an interest cost burden that could easily double or quadruple as interest rates go up, even without further deficits.

Where did GM's $210T number come from?  A few sources below and this description:

"using the Congressional Budget Office’s July 2014 75-year Alternate Fiscal Scenario projection, Kotlikoff calculated that the U.S.’ “fiscal gap” –which he defines as “the difference between our government’s projected financial obligations and the present value of all projected future tax and other receipts”

http://teapartyeconomist.com/2015/03/12/washingtons-210-trillion-deficit/
http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2015/04/08-federal-debt-worse-than-you-think-haskins
http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/StreetTalk/Kotlikoff-GDP-debt-deficit/2015/03/10/id/629314/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/05/13/ben-carsons-claim-that-the-u-s-owes-211-trillion-beyond-the-reported-federal-debt/
http://politics.stackexchange.com/questions/7986/is-the-210-trillion-fiscal-gap-measurement-valid-true-and-is-it-possible-to-fix

I have doubts about that methodology (75 years projections?) but the current problem is a hell of a lot bigger than amount currently owed.


More importantly to me is the growth figure.  2% growth is exaggerated.  2% now is after 0% over the winter and it doesn't even average 2%, and that isn't even breakeven growth.  

The current revenue surge is temporary, and so is the narrowing deficit.  Growth has nowhere to go but down under anti-growth policies and the deficit is already projected to double back up by the end of the decade.

Seems like an odd time to see a grown economists do an endzone dance.

The good news is that if we were to get our act together starting now, we could survive all our self-inflicted wounds.  The bad new is that it seems like a physical impossibility that we can get our act together now.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Letter in WSJ: 60% exclusion on Capital Gains rate on: August 16, 2015, 09:48:40 PM
"A large reason for the exclusion was to take into account things like inflation and the wish to not adversely impact wealth accumulation."


It's been along time since I've heard anyone say that didn't want to 'adversely impact wealth accumulation'.  Are they saying wealth accumulation is (was) a good thing??

I don't understand the arbitrary nature of it all, hold for one year or exclude 60% etc.  Why not deflate the nominal gain by whatever inflation adjustment that the government using elsewhere (COLA) compounded over the life of the investment? 

Excessive Capital Gains taxes cause asset paralysis.  States penalizing inflationary gains at the top personal income tax rate make it even worse.  Taxed only if you sell means don't sell.  The result is that assets and resources don't flow easily to their best use, and revenues to the Treasury under-perform too.
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Whispers of Al Gore on: August 14, 2015, 12:08:33 PM

Al Gore without Tipper.  He is a divorced man now; what was that all about?  Plenty of new gaffes, statements, video clips and transactions to scrutinize since he thought he would never run again.  It's been 16 years (in 2016) since 2000 and 24 years since the 43% electoral 'landslide' of 1992.  He is a little bit out of the loop. 

If Warren gets in, she splits the Bernie vote, helping Hillary...

Also mentioned is current Secretary of State John Kerry, trying so hard to step up his game right now as this plays out with Hillary.  Kerry is a story of his own.  He will be 73 at inauguration.  His cutting off ears in Vietnam talk was more than a half century ago.  Married for money - twice.  Already lost to a relatively weak Republican.  Is betting the farm on Obama's foreign policy where 57% disapprove before it even faces scrutiny.  He is probably the smoothest talker of the old guard. 

But where is the new guard?  Who is the Marco Rubio of the Dems?  Debbie blabbermouth Schultz?  I have been saying Hickenlooper:
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/mine-disaster/colorado-governor-john-hickenlooper-drinks-animas-river-water-story-behind-photo
He will be 65 just after inauguration.  If he was a Republican, Crafty would call him a boring white guy.  )

Biden might become the choice of the Obama machine, with Obama front and center pleading for America to continue his destruction, and the choice of VP becoming crucial for the Dem future. 

Don't rule out Michelle.  I feared she would follow the Hillary route, run for Senate and stake out her own ground.  But she is an Obama and an elitist, why wait for that?

Most likely, because they don't have one who can do it, they will all get in and the Dems will have a mess worse than the Republicans to straighten out with the clock ticking down. 

All this happened after we called Hillary inevitable for the 16th year in a row.  If you didn't care about the future of the country, this would be fun to watch.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Enjoying the headlines and seeing Dems squirm on: August 14, 2015, 11:09:57 AM
"Sad the server was not seized immediately as it should have been.   I would think any reasonable law enforcement people would have known to do this.   Do not understand why not done.

If Drudge report is correct that the server was wiped clean by professionals than her lawyers who allowed this, the IT people who did this and her staff and she should be up for obstruction of justice."
----------------------------

It will be interesting to find out someday what role Obama-Clinton politics played in the delay and decision to seize the server.  There was a time to let them turn over voluntarily.  That time is long past.  The more they scrubbed it, the more guilty they are.  And those emails will come back around some other way.  Likewise, it is fun to watch them squirm; they deserve this.  LA Times editorial today calls it a self-inflicted wound.  That is obvious but it was not obvious that the left and even their own supporters would pick up on the seriousness of it.

Rush L has it right.  Hillary can't drop out because she already promised vast amounts of political favors, corruption, appointments, funding, etc. based on committing to run for President and win.   She cannot pay back that money without power.  Everything to do with the Clinton Crime Family foundation is based on her power to return favors on a very large scale.

When this ship goes down, the whole operation goes down.  And when it goes down, the rats on it will have nothing left to sell except their own stories about Clinton family crimes and mis-deeds.

Meanwhile, we are all once again distracted by the latest shiny object.  The problem with America isn't that Barack Obama is a hypocritical narcissist or that Bill and Hillary are dishonest and corrupt.  The problem is the massive advance of statism over our founding principles of individual freedom and responsibility.

We need to take down and cleanse out lying and corrupt politicians from time to time in either party, but our focus needs to stay on defeating the expansion of government and promoting the elevation of the people.  i.e. 'the right to rise' as one candidate calls it.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sec State Hillary Clinton visited Iraq "exactly once'. on: August 13, 2015, 12:09:17 PM
From Jeb Bush's foreign policy speech at the Reagan Liibrary:

“In all her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly once,”
http://www.redstate.com/2015/08/12/jeb-bush-attacks-hillary-iraq/

Iraq went from won, "Obama's greatest accomplishment" to lost, ISIS' greatest accomplishment, under the watch of our most traveled Secretary of State ever, Hillary Clinton.  Or was it under her watch?  During all this time and all of these travels, Hillary visited Iraq "exactly once".

How is this possible?

The truth is that Hillary was NEVER in the foreign policy decision making circle of the Obama administration.  Pres. Obama appointed envoys to crucial areas who reported directly to the White House, not to Hillary Clinton.  This puts Hillary in a box.  Hillary can say the foreign failures of the Obama administration are not her failures, or she can say she has vast amounts of foreign policy decision making experience, but she cannot claim both.
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re. Hillary's Classified Denial, Trey Gowdy: That is Patently False on: August 13, 2015, 11:20:26 AM
REP. TREY GOWDY: Every explanation Secretary Clinton has provided about a week later was proven to be demonstrably false. this is just the latest one of those assertions that there was no classified info. i saw the clip this morning. she was very definitive – she neither sent or received classified information. Well, that is patently false. hat I’m primarily concerned with is whether or not I’m going to have access to records that i need to do the job that the House asked me to do...

If she were interested in cooperation she wouldn't have done any of the things she's done to date. This was not about cooperation, and Bill, frankly, it's not about convenience, it's about control. she wanted to control access to the public record, and she almost got away with it but she didn't.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 13, 2015, 11:12:36 AM
"The phone call he says (a week before he announced) came after he decided to run."

Well, now that we have The Donald's word on that I feel better.

 smiley  If not his word, watch his actions.  A week before the announcement, were they already out hiring supporters?

Donald Trump reportedly paid actors $50 to cheer for him at his 2016 announcement
http://www.businessinsider.com/paid-actors-at-donald-trump-announcement-2015-6

Team Trump: No, we didn’t hire actors for the launch
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/team-trump-no-we-didnt-hire-actors-the-launch
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: education on: August 13, 2015, 09:45:25 AM
How can holding down repayments, interests rates, and forgiveness timetables be good for anyone but those particular students who don't make the payments.

Why not hold our education system to the new standards they want to hold the medical system.  Pay for quality performance.  I propose that universities get no tuition paid for those graduates who can't get a decent job.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/a-quiet-revolution-in-helping-lift-the-burden-of-student-debt/ar-AA8xUps

Like healthcare, education costs are high because of the third party (government) money being pumped into it.

"A July report from the New York Federal Reserve found that every additional dollar in aid and subsidized loans led colleges to raise tuition as much as 65 cents."
http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/sr733.pdf

So what have we learned?  Hillary (and all Dems) want to double down on failure.  And most Republicans have no rebuttal, offer no alternative.
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 13, 2015, 09:27:41 AM
"From a Democratic standpoint, a moderate-conservative Republican ticket representing the two largest swing states would be cause for concern. In fact, Bush-Kasich would be scary, and Kasich-Rubio even more so."

Bush Kasich is most scary to me forget about the Democrats.  These two are Democrat-lites.

WSJ forgets that Bush senior went from an approval rating of over 90% from the Iraq Kuwait invasion to less than 50% by 1991.

Bush jr.  went from 90% to 26%.

But no matter.  He is their guy.

Kasich is a liberal with a Republican label.

Rubio I am still not sure.

I don't see why Cruz is mentioned as a plausible but Fiorina, Jindal, and others are not.

The WSJ may as well be the Huffington post as far as I am concerned.

That piece was by Bill Galston who is hired by the WSJ to write an opposing or different view than the editorial writers, as Al Hunt and others have done.  Crafty prefaced it with 'moderate Republican view'.  CCP comparison with huff post is about right.  But given the rino or centrist perspective, Bush-Kasich might be a dream ticket for him, and might win, which is better for America than when we let Obama win, or Bernie winning, or Hillary, etc.  I still hold out hope that a really sharp and talented true conservative can run win and change people's minds on some things.

Recent history tells us though that the pale shades of pastels don't in fact give us better results than painting in bold colors, paraphrasing someone successful in this business.

Bush and Kasich were two popular governors of two very key states. Almost a dream ticket.  Hillary is almost a dream candidate for Dems on paper too, but in fact she is miserable.  So we play the game and watch them perform...
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 13, 2015, 09:10:58 AM
I continue to entertain the notion that Bill Clinton's phone call to Trump the week before he announced may indicate a truly nefarious plot by the Clintons for Trump to play Ross Perot and by so doing tip the election to Hillary  , , , if she isn't on trial or in jail , , ,

Who knows the truth but Trump was clarifying that on radio yesterday.  The phone call he says (a week before he announced) came after he decided to run.  Clinton didn't encourage or discourage him to run and it wouldn't have mattered, he said.  Didn't really say what they did talk about.  Most likely Bill Clinton was asking him for money (just by calling up to schmooze), and didn't know yet that Trump was a candidate. 

As better evidence against conspiracy, Trump maintains that he has been the hardest on Hillary which may be true.  He was first (besides me) to openly doubt that she will be the nominee.
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: World Wide Real Estate Bubble Forming on: August 13, 2015, 08:58:21 AM
"Low interest rates and a flood of cash being pumped into economies by central banks..."

That's right, self inflicted wounds and unintended consequences.  Who has been warning about that??  (All of us here.)  How about quit doing that which is harming us instead of worrying about the value of real estate.

More dollars (or euros, yuan) chasing a stagnant amount of goods and services...  they have a term for that...  Maybe the real estate that hasn't changed didn't go up in value.  Maybe the currency we measure it with went down in value.  

“if too much capital comes into any asset class, generally not-so-good things tend to follow.”

A bubble means that values are too high and will come down.  But if you believed in free market dynamism, who cares if values go up or come back down as they seek their correct level.  

"Regulators are watching the market closely..."

And who is watching the 'regulators'?

Of course we are afraid of the consequences of weening ourselves (and other countries) off of QE, deficit spending, welfare abuse, corporate welfare, and everything else.  Someone is going to get hurt.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: August 12, 2015, 02:09:51 PM
I am trying not to get my expectations up just to have them dashed, again, by the sleezy Clinton mafia and media but the Drudge headlines today are so pleasing.   A 25 year wait.

Hopefully they will get these grifters finally.

FBI seizes drives, etc.

Let's see, this means either a) the Obama political machine is now turning on her, opening the door for someone else, or b) big head fake set up to "clear" her, or c) it means nothing political at all, law enforcement professionals are doing their job and justice will run its course.

I think we can rule out c).

Bernie leading her is NH is probably what is causing a) above to be true.  Also having the top 4 Republicans lead her in crucial states puts the party back to the drawing board.  It would be easier to repeal the 22nd amendment (that limits Obama to two terms) than to elect her.

In her attack yesterday on Marco Rubio, she had a very good, Democrat point to make, and yet her delivery would not put her in the top ten of the Republicans.  

Look for Valerie Jarrett to usher in Elizabeth Warren or whoever their new choice is shortly.  I was hoping Dems would choose a moderate governor, but that also wouldn't sit well with the ruling regime.  Very hard to believe it will be Biden.  I see him as a head fake too.  They can take him down even easier than Hillary if they need to.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 12, 2015, 01:59:03 PM
I find it remarkable that virtually no one in the Pravdas, FOX, or the Rep candidates themselves are not making a major point of showing how Trump and the other candidates are polling against Hillary.

IIRC there are 4 or 5 Rep candidates who are beating Hillary by a point or two in certain major primary states while Trump is down about 14%.

That could be right.  But another electoral angle is that if Trump can carry New York state, the math left for the Dems gets real scary.

People on the right need to start focusing soon on who can win.  That is one thing people can try to visualize as they see each one at the debate podium.  Trump failed and was covering up his failure in the post debate by making the story into a war between himself and the evil media.  But the evil media happened to be the conservative's favorite, Fox News and all their top headliners.  As someone said, if you can't handle Megyn Kelly, how are you going to handle Vladimir Putin?

Funny that he accused someone else of blowing hot air.

Another observation is that Trump is the Barack Obama of this cycle.  Walk right in with no experience. Stay vague on the issues and positions and win by name calling and lashing out with personal insults on anyone who challenges you.  Just what we need...  (

It bugs me that shows like Rush and Hannity (along with everyone else) are giving him more than even a frontrunner's share of coverage, and mostly without real scrutiny.
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