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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: T. Freidman interviews Obama in depth on: April 06, 2015, 11:45:09 AM
As always, Pres. Obama is the master of the straw man argument, skillfully shooting down arguments the other side is not making.

“We know that if we do nothing, other than just maintain sanctions, that they will continue with the building of their nuclear infrastructure and we’ll have less insight into what exactly is happening,”   - Doing nothing is NOT the only alternative put forward by people more concerned than him about the Iranian nuclear threat!

"America, with its overwhelming power, needs to have the self-confidence to take some calculated risks"   - Permitting Iran to keep its nuclear infrastructure is a calculated risk?!

Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us.   - Tell that to the families of servicemen and women blown up by Iran-made IEDs in Iraq.  Does he live in a cave? They already are fighting us!  They are the world's number one state sponsor of terror.  Compare terror budgets, not"defense".

Obama doctrine: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”   - While allowing sworn enemies to grow their capabilities exponentially!

"we’re preserving all our options"   - We can "snap" sanctions back on them anytime we want, but "we" now includes unanimous consent agreement with the enemy adversaries of Russia and China.  Why don't we put Israel and Taiwan on the P5 security council in place of adversarial, totalitarian regimes, if serious about peace.  Options not even on the table would be the obvious ones, to take out these known enemy nuclear sites militarily and to tighten, not loosen, sanctions until the regime drops its support for terror and its commitment to the destruction of both Israel and America.

"What I’m willing to do is to make the kinds of commitments that would give everybody in the neighborhood, including Iran, a clarity that if Israel were to be attacked by any state, that we would stand by them."   - Nothing says clarity like another Obama red line.  Chemical weapons in Syria, you can keep your health plan, and a thousand other falsehoods come to mind.

“What I would say to the Israeli people is ... that there is no formula, there is no option, to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon that will be more effective than the diplomatic initiative and framework that we put forward — and that’s demonstrable.”    - Osirak?  http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/7/newsid_3014000/3014623.stm

“the one thing that changes the equation is when these countries get a nuclear weapon. ... Witness North Korea, which is a problem state that is rendered a lot more dangerous because of their nuclear program. If we can prevent that from happening anyplace else in the world, that’s something where it’s worth taking some risks.”   - Then take some risks!

If there is a different site needing inspection, "obviously a request will have to be made. Iran could object, but what we have done is to try to design a mechanism whereby once those objections are heard, that it is not a final veto that Iran has, but in fact some sort of international mechanism will be in place that makes a fair assessment as to whether there should be an inspection"   - Again, subject to a Russia or China veto, and subject to endless delays.

“The conversations I want to have with the Gulf countries is, first and foremost, how do they build more effective defense capabilities,”   - Ask them, they all need to go nuclear as Iran does.

"I also think that I can send a message to them about the U.S.’s commitments to work with them and ensure that they are not invaded from the outside"    - As we did with Ukraine...  And that was a P5 member attacking!  And Yemen. We stand with you every step of the way.  Oops, we're out.

Not asked and not answered:  Why does oil-rich Iran need nuclear facilities for "peaceful energy production" when the US and allies do not?
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 06, 2015, 10:46:03 AM
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1519
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Cornell University Law SchoolSearch Cornell

U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 73 › § 1519
18 U.S. Code § 1519 - Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy

Current through Pub. L. 113-296, except 113-287, 113-291, 113-295. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Even if no crimes are charged, it is good to know serious laws with serious consequences govern this.  You don't just wipe out your emails that are under investigation.  The committee even offered the State Dept as a third party to review them, not Republican partisans.

I doubt that Hillary was writing blatantly incriminating emails even if she knew she would later delete her end of the emails and destroy the server.  Still, the statute is clear and there is plenty of reason to believe the alleged destruction of the server included correspondence under federal investigation.  We don't know she was the one to order the destruction of the server.  She said it was originally set up as Bill's server.  Maybe she was the victim again, and now is just standing by her man!

We also don't know the server was really destroyed; that sounded to me like a trial balloon put into the public airwaves by a surrogate.  I don't believe it was destroyed.  They hid it over by the Rose Law Firm records knowing no one will ever come up with a search warrant.

Mainstream journalist Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News believes the email scandal may be more damaging to her than now thought and made a key point often made here, she does not have anywhere near the level of political skill to dodge these things that her husband had. 

Halperin said Hillary Clinton “may end up meeting her match” in Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC).  Clinton has a history of being a good witness for herself on Capitol Hill, ...Gowdy “may have tougher and better prepared questions for her than she’s ever faced as a witness on the Hill and that could spell a lot of political trouble for her.”
http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/03/31/halperin-hillary-may-end-up-meeting-her-match-in-gowdy/
------------------------
At Real Clear Politics they say that their leasing of office space means she is in.  I am not feeling very good about my bet with ccp (that she won't run) right now.  I should have gone breakfast, lunch and then dinner and gone for better than even odds.  All the facts are coming together that the right answer for her is to not run.  Unfortunately, she may be the only person in the world who doesn't know that.
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption, Skullduggery, and Treason on: April 05, 2015, 01:05:46 PM
Makes you want to call out politicians early and often who show signs of being capable of committing this sort of act just to gain power.
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jeb Bush economics on: April 05, 2015, 12:56:51 PM
Unlike Hillary, none of the R's including Bush start with a presumed coronation.  Jeb has the same challenge to set himself apart that all the other Republicans have.  Even among those who follow this closely, we barely know him.

One other Jeb quote from the interview I posted this week.  Regarding how his Catholic faith would guide his governing, this is encouraging:

"I’m going to get my economic policy from Milton Friedman and others like that, not from the Pope."

105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 04, 2015, 09:48:41 AM
Wiping the hard drives so they cannot be forensically recovered pretty much means physically destroying them. Far from easy or convenient.

http://m.wikihow.com/Destroy-a-Hard-Drive

Melt it, hammer it to pieces, dispose of the pieces separately, attach a heavy weight to it and drop it into the Hudson or Potomac.  Better yet, salt water.  When we hear the details of the extreme measures they took to destroy, we will have an idea of how incriminating the evidence is.  

The recipient's side of some of these emails still exist.  Who deletes an incriminating or embarrassing email from the Clintons?  It's like saving a blue dress just in case no one ever believes you.
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ on the Rubio-Lee Tax Plan on: April 03, 2015, 10:40:15 PM
Good analysis here.  I held off commenting on the Rubio (and Mike Lee) tax reform plan because I also found it a little bit lacking.

Schlaes skips over a major point, the Rubio-Lee plan eliminates all taxes on capital gains.  That is a big deal, a windfall to me, good economic growth policy, but not a good political calculation as I see it.  Capital gains should be indexed to inflation using the same cost of living adjustment that social security uses.  You can't, in this political environment, eliminate a basic tax associated mainly with 'the rich'.  And you shouldn't, as she points out, lower the threshold for the top rate.

Ted Cruz was asked about the Rubio-Lee plan, and his own plan (there isn't one yet).  He said he prefers the flat tax.  I do too.  But he also said (paraphrasing) that you make compromises and take every step you can get to lower the rates and simplify the code.  In other words, all of these campaign plans are negotiating points for a future President.  If the politics is played right, the plan can be written in a Republican congress, maybe by Paul Ryan, current Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

In 2012, we had WONDERFUL Republican candidate tax plans, from Herman Cain's 9-9-9, to Pawlenty's to even Huntsman's plan which was very pro-growth.  Mitt Romney's plan would have doubled our growth rate.

But we lost and got none of those.  We aren't looking for the best plan.  We are looking for the best plan that will get implemented.

I hope that Rubio sharpens his pencil, lowers his rates and raises his income thresholds.  We know that he doesn't want to tax people at 35%.  I hope he realizes 35% federal is at least 45% combined in some states.  Florida has no income tax.  Whatever he does comes up with, he has to answer for in the debates and Meet the Press appearances, etc.

I've had my own tax plan concept in mind for a long time.  When I finally took pen to paper I found out it is harder than it looks to set brackets and rates, raise all the money we supposedly need and appease all the political forces. 

When the current tea party wave started in about 2010, it seemed to me that one of the main lessons of the previous ten years and unifying forces of the movement was that we need to cut spending first.  To Rubio's credit, real entitlement reform is a main focus.
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why would Hillary destroy her personal emails? Doesn't pass the smell test. on: April 03, 2015, 10:00:37 PM
Has anyone here read "John Adams" or other great biographies of past Presidents or founding fathers?  Did Eleanor Roosevelt destroy her emails, er personal letters, memories, notes, photos?  Just to cover up some kind of scandal?  I kind of doubt it.

But Hillary says she did this.  Why?  Convenience reasons?  Doesn't pass the smell test.   
Ann Althouse writes:

I’ve been fixated on Hillary’s statement she destroyed her personal email, which I noticed she slipped in at the beginning of her press conference. Did she really mean that? Why would a woman who values her friends and family—and who has written 2 memoirs of her life—not want to preserve personal correspondence? . . .

Now, maybe it’s just a lie. She didn’t really destroy these records and is only claiming that she destroyed them so that we won’t attempt to gain access to them. But if she really did destroy them, why would she sacrifice so much? It could be that everything she cares about went to Chelsea and a few others who she knows will keep all of her email. Thus, it’s retrievable. Maybe it’s not such a huge sacrifice. But 31,830 private records destroyed? That sounds quite drastic, and it stokes the suspicion that she did shunt damaging work-related email into the “personal” category, then destroyed it all so that no one could ever check her work.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jeb Bush: We should be negotiating to tighten, not loosen sanctions on Iran on: April 02, 2015, 10:04:02 AM
This interview drew more attention for the Indiana and religious freedom aspects, but he was quite clear and tough on his approach to Iran - and Russia.

http://www.hughhewitt.com/jeb-bush-on-the-indiana-law-iran-and-hillary/

Hugh Hewitt: It was announced over the weekend by their foreign minister, deputy foreign minister, they’re not going to send their enriched uranium to Russia. We didn’t get up and leave at that point. What has gone wrong here? And what do you think of these negotiations?

Jeb Bush: I think they should have stopped a long time ago. If the purpose of the negotiations established by President Obama at the beginning, and by the way, by his predecessors of not allowing Iran to enrich uranium to be able to build a bomb, if that was the purpose, fine. But now, we’ve negotiated downward to the point where we’re now talking about breakouts, we’re talking about vague assurances of verification. We’re talking about allowing them to enrich uranium inside, and store it inside their own country. There are places that, facilities that don’t have the same, they’re not open places that this is all taking place, fortified so as to protect themselves from attack. I think this is wrong. All the while, and this is the part that’s most amazing to me, all the while that the Iranian government, through its resources and its surrogates, is destabilizing the region. They have influence or control over four capitals while we’re negotiating with them. This is the part that’s most troubling, is that the President and his administration seems to be more interested in cutting a deal with Iran, who has marches calling for the death of the United States, or the annihilation of Israel, and treats friends in the region, particularly Israel, with incredible disrespect.

HH: Now General Soleimani is said to have been in Tikrit last week and Yemen this week in support of the Houthis. They’re all Shiia-aligned, Iranian-aligned militias. If you’re the president, what’s the line you’ll draw with Iran about projecting force outside of their country’s border?

JB: I think we have to tighten up the sanctions, if possible. This is, the danger of this agreement is what I described and much more, but it also is the loosening of the sanctions very fast, in which case it would be very hard to put the genie back into the bottle. The one leverage point we have over Iran is tightening sanctions rather than loosening them. And if we were in that position, I think we could get a better deal that would contain Iran’s interest in destabilizing the area. In the interim, we also have ISIS. You know, our disengagement has created this dual threat that is, the one solution, I think, that is clear to me, at least, is that we need to rebuild our relationships with the traditional Arab nations, for them to have confidence that we’ve got their back. We’re providing some intelligence support apparently in Yemen, but when we pulled back, these voids are being created, and they’re being filled by people that want to create great instability and harm to the United States, and to those that believe in freedom.
...
Regarding Putin and threats from Russia:
HH: Should we lean forward on Article 5 with the Baltic states?

JB: Yeah, absolutely. And the President has done a small amount of that, but I think there needs to be clarity in Moscow that we’re serious about protecting the one alliance that has creates enormous amounts of security and peace in the post-World War II time.
HH: Are you, Jeb Bush, saying that if Putin makes a play on the Russian population areas of the Baltics, that that’s an occasion for war in Europe?

JB: What I’m saying is that if we’re not serious about Article 5, then we ought to have shut down NATO. And I think shutting down NATO would be a disaster. The Baltic states are counting on the United States to be a leader in this regard, and it’s not just the Baltics. It’s also Poland, it’s Eastern Europe, it’s a lot of countries. The Baltics are the most vulnerable, because they, as you point out, there’s high percentages anywhere, what, 25-40% of the population are Russian speaking. But sure, the new threats aren’t necessarily invasions. It can be creating a cyberattack and then creating, taking off the emblems and coming in and destabilizing countries as has just occurred in Europe.

HH: We’ve got about a minute to the break. Should we have done more for Ukraine? Should we do more for the Ukrainians right now?

JB: I think we should. I think we should provide defensive support for Ukraine, and we need to get the Europeans back in the game as well.
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Commodity Straddles, Thank you Crafty Dog and James Taranto, WSJ on: April 02, 2015, 09:49:07 AM
"Her story just doesn't add up."  "Mrs. Clinton's windfall in the late 1970s has all the trappings of pre-arranged trades."  "The normal trading world just doesn't work that way."
   - Former chief prosecutor of the IRS Commodity Industry Specialization Team

Doug!!!

You are AWESOME!!!  THAT IS THE ARTICLE!!!  How did you pull off finding it?  How did you get all  the way up the food chain to James Taranto?   I am impressed!

Thanks Crafty.  I felt he owed me a favor. )  In reality, he has great staff who actually read and research what comes in for the purpose of building their own column content.  A combination of good things came together, with your memory you hit the keyword phrase exactly, we were able to narrow the time frame to a couple of months and they have unique and complete access to the source.  This article is from 1994 while the WSJ online was launched in 1996; only an internal wsj pdf search was going to find this in any digital format.  Since we were clear about our purpose and it came directly from wsj, that gives us permission to re-print with copyright noted, as we did.  Now run our link past all your Hillary supporting lefties for comment, lol.

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1534.msg86824#msg86824


Please keep an eye on Taranto's future columns to see if he uses the material.  This is a key piece to the case that the Clintons are forever crooks.  This information about this corrupt, criminal practice combines with the mathematical fact that there is less than a one in 31 trillion chance that her story of just due diligence and good luck is what really happened.   

The Clintons' rise to the governor's mansion of Arkansas was made possible by their participation in this ring of organized crime and corruption.  They didn't declare the income in 1980 and they hid their tax returns from scrutiny until the statute of limitations expired.  Why shouldn't she answer for that now if a (pretend) vetting process is about to occur.  The underlying crime was a felony and the pile of money they received looks exactly like the cash found in the freezer of the disgraced Louisiana congressman.  Bill wouldn't have been President if not having been Governor, and Hillary Clinton wouldn't be under consideration for President now if not for Bill's rise back then.  The quid pro quo components of this are detailed in this thread.  The truth of what happened then is most relevant now.

The 1 in 31 trillion chance that she really is that lucky is not even that, demonstrated by the fact that she knew to stop when her criminal source dried up.  No gambler that lucky can stop on a dime and never try again!

This was a long time ago?  Good, then show us your current records.  Money coming in, money going out, official favors arranged or disbursed, and all the related correspondence.   Oops, that's been destroyed.

It's okay, we know the pattern.
--------------------------------------

The Mystery of Hillary's Trades
By David L. Brandon
7 April 1994
The Wall Street Journal
PAGE A14
(Copyright (c) 1994, Dow Jones & Co., Inc.)

As former head of the IRS chief counsel's Commodities Industry Specialization Team in the mid-1980s, I have followed with great interest the media stories on Hillary Clinton's excellent adventures in the commodities markets. As a proud capitalist and free market proponent (and an avid beef eater), I would be the first in line to salute this woman's success with cattle futures. But based on my years of experience with these markets, her story just doesn't add up. In fact, the chances of someone making almost $100,000 in the futures markets on her first try are about as great as walking into a casino in Las Vegas, hitting the million-dollar jackpot on your first try at the slots, then walking out never to play again. It just doesn't happen that way.

For those unfamiliar with the details of Mrs. Clinton's remarkable venture into the commodities markets, she allegedly made more than $99,000 in cattle futures (and other commodities) in late 1978 and 1979, withdrawing from trading just before the markets went bust. No explanation has been offered of how Mrs. Clinton managed to satisfy state laws that require futures investors to demonstrate a minimum net income and net worth, nor how a novice could have such uncanny timing.

There is, in fact, a much more probable explanation for Mrs. Clinton's good fortune. The media have already suggested that trades may have been moved to Mrs. Clinton's account after gains had been realized. However, the stories thus far have not clearly focused on a common trading strategy called a "straddle" that was very much in vogue at the time.

Straddles have the unique ability to produce exactly equal and offsetting gains and losses that can be transferred or used by the straddle trader for a variety of purposes. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, straddles were used for all kinds of illegal activities, ranging from tax evasion to money-laundering and bribes. In fact, this activity prompted a number of legal and regulatory changes by the Reagan administration to curb the abuses.

Although it sounds somewhat esoteric, a commodities straddle is a relatively simple trading device.

A commodities futures contract is nothing more than an agreement between two parties to buy or sell a certain type of commodity (in Mrs. Clinton's case, cattle) for a stated price on some date in the future. If the price of the commodity goes up before the contract delivery date, the individual who agreed to buy the commodity will realize a gain equal to the difference between the current price and the contract price. The individual who agreed to sell will realize a loss in an equal amount. Conversely, if the price goes down, the buyer will lose and the seller will gain.

A straddle is created when an investor enters into contracts to both buy and sell the same commodity. In this case, any gain on one contract will be exactly offset by a loss on the opposite contract. While straddle trading today is used in a variety of legitimate ways, these transactions lend themselves to all sorts of abuses as well. Before regulatory changes in the 1980s, it was common to enter into straddles to wipe out large capital gains for tax purposes. For example, an investor who realized a $100,000 capital gain in the stock market might enter into a large straddle in the commodities market. When the commodity price moved, the investor would close the loss leg of the straddle and realize a $100,000 loss, which offset his gain in the stock market. The investor was not required to report the unrealized $100,000 gain in the opposite leg of the straddle until that leg was closed in the following year. Typically, the investor entered into another straddle in the following year, thereby indefinitely rolling over the capital gain into subsequent years.

Another ploy common during that time required the assistance of a friendly broker. An investor could create a straddle using two separate investment accounts with his broker. After the straddle had moved, so that a gain and an offsetting loss had been created, the friendly broker simply wrote in the name of the investor's tax-exempt retirement fund on the account that held the gain leg of the straddle. The result was that a loss was realized that was reported on the investor's tax return, while the gain went unreported in the tax-exempt retirement account.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the IRS began noticing large numbers of individual tax returns that curiously showed commodities losses just big enough to wipe out unrelated capital gains; no corresponding commodities gains, which would suggest a straddle, ever appeared on subsequent returns. Even more curiously, the profile of these investors always had one thing in common, which was limited experience or no prior experience in commodities trading. In the early 1980s, an IRS agent in Chicago thought to look into one taxpayer's retirement fund and, of course, found the hidden gain leg of the straddle.

After that experience, the IRS redoubled its efforts to seek out thousands of missing straddle gains. It found them in retirement accounts, in London, in the Cayman Islands -- almost anywhere a taxpayer thought he might hide them from the IRS. With respect to these thousands of mysterious, isolated commodities transactions that showed up on tax returns, the IRS uncovered some form of questionable trading in virtually 100% of the cases it investigated. Well before the close of the 1980s, the IRS had assessed more than $7 billion in delinquent taxes and penalties attributable to these transactions and eventually settled these cases out of court for approximately $3.5 billion.

While most of the IRS's efforts were directed at finding hidden gains of the ubiquitous straddle, the trading device could just as easily be used to openly transfer gains while hiding the offsetting loss. If someone desired to make an illicit payment to another party, a straddle could be used to accomplish this purpose with no incriminating or suspicious-looking bank withdrawals or deposits. In fact, the IRS found numerous incidents of straddles being used for money-laundering purposes.

Does Mrs. Clinton's trading activity fit the profile of the illegitimate straddle trader? She was a novice in the commodities markets who, against all odds, realized large gains. Although she intermittently realized losses, it does not appear that she ever had to risk her own capital beyond her initial $1,000 deposit, which itself may have been insufficient to cover even her first transaction (which netted her $5,300). According to the trading records released by the White House, most of Mrs. Clinton's gains were recorded as intra-month transactions. This means that these records include no information regarding key elements of the trade, such as the type and quantity of the contracts, acquisition dates, acquisition prices, etc. Such information is needed to determine whether trades were part of a prearranged straddle.

It also appears that Mrs. Clinton's broker, Robert L. "Red" Bone, was no stranger to the spicier practices of commodities trading, according to The Wall Street Journal's front-page article last Friday.

It seems more than coincidental that Mr. Bone was a former employee of Tyson Foods and that Mrs. Clinton's investment adviser, James Blair, was the company's legal counsel. Tyson, the poultry concern, is one of the largest employers in the state of Arkansas. The fact that the Clintons withheld disclosing only those tax returns that included their commodities gains until the transactions were reported by the New York Times in February also appears quite suspicious. From my standpoint as a former government staff attorney with extensive experience in these matters, Mrs. Clinton's windfall in the late 1970s has all the trappings of pre-arranged trades.

How would a straddle have been used in Mrs. Clinton's case? The Journal has already reported that gains theoretically could have been transferred to Mrs. Clinton's account, while "others" may have absorbed losses. Such a transaction could be accomplished with a straddle.

A party desiring to transfer cash to another's personal account for legal or illegal purposes could enter into a straddle in a particularly volatile commodity, such as cattle futures in the late 1970s. After gains and losses were generated in the opposite sides of the straddle, the gain side would be marked to the beneficiary's account, while the loss side would remain in the account of the contributor. The contributor might even be entitled to use the loss to offset other gains. Such a transaction would be not only well-hidden from government authorities but potentially tax-deductible.

No direct evidence of wrongdoing has been produced in the case of Mrs. Clinton's trading activity. In fact, no conclusive evidence of anything has been produced. In order to settle the legitimate questions surrounding her trades, a satisfactory explanation is needed for her apparently low initial margin deposit and whether the requirements relating to an investor's minimum net income and net worth were satisfied. In addition, the details of her numerous intra-month trades should be provided, as well as the details of the trades of persons who may have had a special interest in how well she did. If it is discovered that certain interested parties happened to realize losses in cattle futures at the same time, and they were comparable in size to the gains reported by Mrs. Clinton, this would amount to a "smoking gun."

This is not a matter of partisan politics. Even if the public had never heard of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the circumstances surrounding her unusual good fortune would still appear suspicious to anyone awake to abuses of the commodities markets. In this writer's experience, the normal trading world just doesn't work that way.
---
Mr. Brandon was a career attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service from 1983 to 1989. During that time he also served as head of that department's Commodity Industry Specialization Team, which was responsible for coordinating and developing the IRS's legal positions on tax issues arising in connection with commodities transactions.

Dow Jones & Company
Document j000000020011029dq470095u

110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CAIR, Left try to Intimidate Ted Cruz... on: March 30, 2015, 10:53:00 AM
Trying to intimidate Ted Cruz seems like a waste of valuable, jihad-sympathizers' time.   )
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's Health Care Task Force on: March 29, 2015, 01:28:21 PM
While we are remembering Hillary, remember her task force.  George Will said, think of a room full of Grubers.  They had all the secrecy they later accused Cheney's energy task force of.  The public hated the plan.  Dems lost Congress because of it, and Hillary was banned from policy assignments be her own husband.  Now she runs on her record?!  She led and they created a bureaucratic flow chart where people  in a hundred agencies, believed to be smarter than all of us combined making individual choices, make our decisions for us.  A version of this is now called Obamacare.

112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Will, Remembrance of Clintons past on: March 29, 2015, 01:14:34 PM
I should add that Bill doesn't have the political skills of the Bill that we remember anymore either.

George Will piles on and remember his Washington Post columns extend out further than what right wing sites can reach.  He politely concludes with "voters will make an informed choice".  

When she announces she isn't running (and leaves the scene gracefully) we can finally let all this Clinton ugliness rest.  George Will is kind to say Bill looks grandfatherly.  The photo with it makes him look great-grandfatherly.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/remembrance-of-clintons-past/2015/03/27/839f5d3a-d3db-11e4-a62f-ee745911a4ff_story.html

An abscess of anger seems to gnaw at Hillary Clinton, but the reasons for her resentments remain unclear. The world’s oldest party, which governed the nation during two world wars and is the primary architect of America’s regulatory and redistributive state, is eager to give her its presidential nomination, in recognition of . . . what?

The party, adrift in identity politics, clings, as shipwrecked sailors do to floating debris, to this odd feminist heroine. Wafted into the upper reaches of American politics by stolid participation in her eventful marriage to a serial philanderer, her performance in governance has been defined by three failures.

Her husband, having assured the 1992 electorate that voting for him meant getting “two for the price of one,” entrusted to her the project that he, in a harbinger of the next Democratic president’s mistake, made his immediate priority — health-care reform. Then-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) urged him to begin with welfare reform, just as wise Democrats wanted President Obama to devote 2009 to economic recovery rather than health care, perhaps sparing the nation six years and counting of economic sluggishness.

Hillary Clinton enveloped her health-care deliberations in secrecy, assembling behind closed doors battalions of the best and the brightest — think of many Jonathan Grubers weaving complexities for the good of, but beyond the comprehension of, the public. When their handiwork was unveiled, it was so baroque that neither house of a Congress controlled by her party would even vote on it. This was one reason that in 1994 Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years — a harbinger of 2010, when Obamacare helped end Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as the first female speaker.

Clinton’s Senate interlude was an uneventful prelude to her 2008 presidential quest, which earned her, as a consolation prize, the State Department. There her tenure was defined by the “reset” with Russia and by regime-change-by-bombers in Libya.

Russia has responded by violently dismembering a European nation. Libya was the object of “humanitarian intervention,” an echo of Bill Clinton’s engagement in the Balkans that appealed to progressives because it was connected only tenuously, if at all, to U.S. national interests. Today, Libya is a humanitarian calamity, a failed state convulsed by civil war and exporting jihadists.

These episodes supposedly recommend a re-immersion in Clintonism, a phenomenon that in 2001 moved The Post to say, more in anger than in sorrow, that “the Clintons’ defining characteristic” is that “they have no capacity for embarrassment.” This judgment was rendered as two episodes were demonstrating that the Clintons in power were defined by their manner of leaving it.

Bill Clinton punctuated his presidency by pardoning the late Marc Rich, a fugitive who 17 years earlier had been indicted for tax evasion, fraud and racketeering. Rich also traded with Libya and South Africa in contravention of embargos and traded with Iran during the hostage crisis. His former wife reportedly contributed more than $1 million to assorted Democratic causes, $450,000 for Clinton’s presidential library and $10,000 to the legal defense fund necessitated by Clinton’s glandular life that led to the Supreme Court effectively disbarring him from practicing before it.

A year before the Clintons decamped from Washington to begin planning their return to it, they began trucking away from the White House $190,000 worth of furnishings. Perhaps exigencies dictated this; the couple was, Hillary Clinton says, “dead broke.” The furnishings became, as things often do with the Clintons, another occasion for an “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” tiptoe along the ledge of illegality. The White House chief usher thought many of the items were government property donated in 1993 to a redecoration project. Several donors of items said they were told this. Although the Clintons said that all the removed furnishings were personal gifts, they returned $28,000 worth of them.

As Hillary Clinton begins her campaign to again reside with the White House furnishings, remember an episode perhaps pertinent to the family penchant for secrecy and to her personal e-mail server. Sandy Berger, who had been President Clinton’s national security adviser, was his designated representative to the commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks that occurred less than nine months after Clinton left office. While representing Clinton, Berger frequented the National Archives. Later, he was fined $50,000 for surreptitiously taking highly classified documents from the Archives and destroying some of them.

Another Clinton presidency probably would include a reprise of the couple’s well-known patterns of behavior. Voters will make an informed choice.


113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillbillary, Comparing her to Nixon is so unfair! (to Nixon) on: March 29, 2015, 01:00:29 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/did-hillary-clinton-destroy-evidence-wiping-clean-her-204359982.html
Did Hillary Clinton destroy evidence in 'wiping clean' her email server?  [Yes.]
Friday was the deadline for Hillary Clinton to respond to a congressional subpoena for emails and documents related to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. She provided nothing since her email server had been wiped clean.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Her server is not the only place where her emails resided.  Deletion alone doesn't destroy all the information.  The steps they took to go further than that like demagnetization or dropping it into the Hudson River in the middle of the night are bound to look bad politically.  I share ccp's concern,  but don't believe this goes away just because she is a Clinton.  I saw one of her hacks on Meet the depressed tell us to move on and talk about issues that are important, but I did not see even the mainstreamers buying it.

If we are being outsmarted here by the Clintons, it can only be that they manufactured this scandal intentionally to distract from larger ones still hidden. 

This is only one of her problems.  She lacks the political skills of Bill, Barack, Reagan, Rubio, etc.    Her policies don't work.  She lacks separation from Obama.  They hid their records and stole from the White House last time they were leaving.  We still don't know what Bill was doing on Pedaphilia Island or where Hillary was help was not sent to Benghazi.  She has resume, but lacks accomplishments.   Not just as Secretary of State, but her policy debut as First Lady, and her experience when they took majority in the Senate.  Everything they did made things worse.  Her Russian reset didn't work.  Her Libyan overthrow didn't work.  Her economic ideas failed.  Her health care debut blew up.  Even the commodities straddles remain unanswered.   She won't be able to say anything like the most transparent administration ever is coming without even her own supporters breaking out in laughter.  Not exactly a dream come true for America in 2016.

All she can honestly is what an aide said about them, they lie with such ease.
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California net migration, then and now on: March 29, 2015, 12:27:11 PM
Interesting picture of two different time frames.  I would like to see this updated.
https://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/051/res/graphics/CA_Migration_v2_101-01.png
https://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/051/

This only counts inflows, outflows from states.  Midwesterners and northeasterners came to California.  Illegals are leaving?
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues, illegal makes more likely to work that US born males on: March 29, 2015, 12:17:16 PM
Of course they are comparing them with the lowest level of male workforce participation in our history.  For women, the opposite is true.  Our social spending complex is working to break up these families next.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/03/28/hold-think-tank-illegal-immigrant-males-more-likely-to-be-in-workforce-than-legal-immigrants-us-born-men/

PEW RESEARCHER: RATE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT MALES IN WORKFORCE 12 PERCENT HIGHER THAN U.S.-BORN MALES
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meanwhile Democrats are working hard to get fewer of these people to work and more of them to vote.


116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Water issues: Did you really need to flush that? on: March 29, 2015, 12:04:05 PM
(Is there no political thread yet for water issues?  It's all science, culture and humanities?)

From where I write, we are immersed in water.  But from where you read this, the drought may be catastrophic.  In the drought areas, people ask why we live where it is so cold for so much of the year.  We ask that too!  The history of it comes back to water.  Living near water was as obvious as living near air would be if air wasn't everywhere. In our case, the Mississippi and other rivers flow through a land with 12,000 lakes.  One of them has 3 quadrillion gallons.  Besides water all around, it comes from above regularly and is easily accessible from below. 

OTOH, we pay dearly for the accommodations we make to cope with cold, natural gas heat, indoor sports, indoor skyway system, plowing budgets, salt on the roads, rust on the cars, and on and on. 

Water is not a consumed resource, of course, it is only rented.  It is used, moved around and disposed back into the water system.  We don't pay for water, we pay for water treatment and the cost to move it around.  My water bill is 90% taxes, but that is another matter.

Now back to the drought regions with pressing water issues, why are we so anti-economic about letting people pay for the real cost of their water usage?  The more crucial the product or service, witness housing, food, education, health care, the more we turn to socialism as the failed system for allocating the scarce resource.

The author below argues that we don't need a special domain of economic thought for water issues.  Let prices float with supply and demand and watch suppliers and consumers of the resource adjust accordingly.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://townhall.com/columnists/pauljacob/2015/03/29/lets-not-be-all-wet-about-water-n1977755

"The failure to charge market prices for water leads to shortages, and then to all the bullying about water usage. How much better would it be were we to give up on politicizing water rationing, and, instead, ration by price. Using the costs associated with prices on open markets as the guidance for conservation."

Comments?
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Google names Barack Obama Employee of the Year on: March 29, 2015, 11:13:24 AM
The award might be satire, but the rest is factual.
http://redstatements.co/google-announces-its-2015-employee-of-the-year-barack-obama/
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Charles Krauthammer on: March 28, 2015, 03:28:16 PM
CK made some remark like that and the warning is fair, we should be careful to pick someone ready for the job.  But those with the longest, widest and deepest experience (Kasich?) are not necessarily best for the job either. 

The column I was teeing off on was this one at the Federalist (Cruz thread):
http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/25/9-reasons-ted-cruz-is-exactly-like-barack-obama/
------------------------------------------------

Charles redeems himself here I think.  This is a first look at what he thinks will happen.  He is right that Cruz is a long shot, may break out - especially in the debate setting.  He pick Rubio first, also a first termer and also a long shot at this point.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-racing-form-first-edition/2015/03/26/2c050b4c-d3cc-11e4-a62f-ee745911a4ff_story.html

The GOP racing form: First edition
By Charles Krauthammer  March 27

With Ted Cruz announcing and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio soon to follow, it’s time to start handicapping the horses and making enemies.

No point in wasting time on the Democratic field. There is none. The only thing that can stop Hillary Clinton is an act of God, and He seems otherwise occupied. As does Elizabeth Warren, the only Democrat who could conceivably defeat her.

On to the GOP.

First Tier

1. Marco Rubio. Trails badly in current polls, ranking seventh at 5 percent, but high upside potential.

Assets: Foreign policy looms uncharacteristically large in this election cycle, and Rubio is the most knowledgeable and fluent current contender on everything from Russia to Cuba to the Middle East. The son of Cuban immigrants, he can break into flawless Spanish (so can Jeb Bush) and speak passionately about the American story in a party that lost the Hispanic vote by 44 points in 2012.

Liabilities (in the primaries): His Gang of Eight immigration apostasy, though his current enforcement-first position has wide appeal. Second, after Barack Obama, will voters want another first-term senator with no executive experience? (Same for Cruz and Paul.)

Major appeal: Fresh, young, dynamic persona is a powerful counterpoint to Clinton fatigue.

Goes out at 3-1.

2. Jeb Bush. The consensus favorite (though I remain a bit skeptical). Solid, soft-spoken, serious, with executive experience and significant achievements as governor. What he lacks in passion, he makes up for in substance. And he has shown backbone in sticking to his semi-heretical positions on immigration and Common Core.

Obvious liability: His name. True, it helps him raise tens of millions of dollars, but it saddles him with legacy and dynastic issues that negate the inherent GOP advantage of running a new vs. old, not-again campaign against Hillary.

Odds: 7-2.

Cruz announces 2016 run for president(2:07)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) announced his intention to run for president in the 2016 election during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. (AP)
3. Scott Walker. A fine record of conservative achievement. Has shown guts and leadership in taking on labor unions and winning three elections (five if you count proxy elections) against highly energized Democrats.

Good, rousing speech in Iowa, but has stumbled since, flubbing routine questions on evolution and patriotism, then appearing to compare the Islamic State to Wisconsin demonstrators. Rookie mistakes, easily forgotten — if he learns from them.

Pandered on ethanol and fired a staffer who complained about Iowa’s unwarranted influence. Sure, everyone panders to Iowa, but Walker’s calling card is standing up to pressure.

Most encouraging sign: ability to maintain altitude after meteoric rise. Numbers remain steady. And his speeches continue to impress.

Odds: 4-1.

Second Tier

4. Chris Christie. Some politicians have their one moment. Christie might have missed his in 2012 when his fearless in-your-face persona was refreshingly new. Over time, however, in-your-face can wear badly. That plus Bridgegate cost him traction and dropped him out of the first tier. Biggest problem: being boxed out ideologically and financially by Jeb Bush for the relatively-moderate-governor-with-cross-aisle-appeal slot. 12-1.

5. Ted Cruz. Grand, florid campaign launch with matching rhetoric. Straightforward base-oriented campaign. Has developed a solid following. Could break out, especially in debate. 15-1.

6. Mike Huckabee. Great name recognition, affable, popular. But highly identified with social/cultural issues — how far can that carry him beyond Iowa and evangelicals? 15-1.

7. Rand Paul. Events have conspired against him. Obama’s setbacks and humiliations abroad have created a national mood less conducive to Paul’s non-interventionism. His nearly 13-hour ­anti-drone filibuster would not fly today. Is trying to tack back, even signing the anti-Iran-deal letter of the 47 senators. Strong youth appeal, though outreach to minorities less successful thus far. Bottom line: High floor of devoted libertarians; low ceiling in today’s climate. 30-1.

Longer Shots

8. Carly Fiorina. Getting her footing. Given current societal taboos, she is best placed to attack Hillary and has done so effectively. Can she do a Huckabee 2008 and, through debates, vault to the first tier? Unlikely. But because she’s talented and disciplined, not impossible. 50-1.

9. Ben Carson. Polling high, but is a novice making cringe-worthy gaffes, for example, on the origins of Islam and on gay choice (“a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight, and when they come out, they’re gay”). And not knowing that the Baltic states are in NATO. Truly good man, brilliant doctor, great patriot. But not ready for the big leagues. Chance of winning? Zero.

Others

Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and John Kasich — still below radar. If they surface, they’ll be featured in the next racing form
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 27, 2015, 11:39:13 AM
Obama's rise to power was based on his opposition to the war that stopped Saddam's Iraq, who had already bombed Israel, from going nuclear.  We shouldn't be surprised now.
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 27, 2015, 10:24:33 AM
Things like this make Obama and the US far worse than just an ally who won't help; he undermines security in the region to the point causing a nuclear arms race.  It makes me upset about the comparisons of Obama to Cruz or Rubio.  He doesn't do this because he has is young (over 50) or because he was once a first term Senator.  What will Cruz do on the other side of the spectrum, go nuts about liberty and security because he is young and inexperienced?  Obama does things like this because he is a jerk, narcissist, liar who is wrongheaded about which side America should be on.  Did they bother to deny the leak?  Or other leaks, or wiretapping journalists, or using the IRS against political opponents, or a thousand other acts of deception, corruption...  Why don't they leak documents that are under subpoena from Congress?
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 26, 2015, 04:04:50 PM
None of this stuff will stop the Clinton machine.  No matter what we hear the first response is, "no laws were broken".  Every single time and the machine rolls ahead.
The MSM fawns and the opposition just twists and wrings our hands in frustration.  

Yes, but laws WERE broken.  

That was Politico and NYTimes bringing it up again.

The Clinton machine was impotent in 2007-2008.  Their last national win was in 1996 when the youngest voters of 2016 were -2 years old.  Even then, with Bill's magic and a very weak opponent, they never won 50% of the vote.  

And she doesn't have his skills.
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Commodity Straddles and The Mystery of Hillary's Trades, WSJ, April 1994 on: March 26, 2015, 12:32:23 PM
...  I would LOVE to find that article that I remember in the WSJ.  Now thanks to this article here we have a much more narrowly defined time range to define our search.   What I remember of the article was that it appeared on the editorial page and was written by the man who had been the IRS attorney in charge of prosecuting tax frauds manipulating "commodity straddles".

Emailed to me this morning by James Taranto, Deputy Editor of the WSJ.   )

The Mystery of Hillary's Trades
By David L. Brandon
1724 words
7 April 1994
The Wall Street Journal
J
PAGE A14
English
(Copyright (c) 1994, Dow Jones & Co., Inc.)
As former head of the IRS chief counsel's Commodities Industry Specialization Team in the mid-1980s, I have followed with great interest the media stories on Hillary Clinton's excellent adventures in the commodities markets. As a proud capitalist and free market proponent (and an avid beef eater), I would be the first in line to salute this woman's success with cattle futures. But based on my years of experience with these markets, her story just doesn't add up. In fact, the chances of someone making almost $100,000 in the futures markets on her first try are about as great as walking into a casino in Las Vegas, hitting the million-dollar jackpot on your first try at the slots, then walking out never to play again. It just doesn't happen that way.

For those unfamiliar with the details of Mrs. Clinton's remarkable venture into the commodities markets, she allegedly made more than $99,000 in cattle futures (and other commodities) in late 1978 and 1979, withdrawing from trading just before the markets went bust. No explanation has been offered of how Mrs. Clinton managed to satisfy state laws that require futures investors to demonstrate a minimum net income and net worth, nor how a novice could have such uncanny timing.

There is, in fact, a much more probable explanation for Mrs. Clinton's good fortune. The media have already suggested that trades may have been moved to Mrs. Clinton's account after gains had been realized. However, the stories thus far have not clearly focused on a common trading strategy called a "straddle" that was very much in vogue at the time.

Straddles have the unique ability to produce exactly equal and offsetting gains and losses that can be transferred or used by the straddle trader for a variety of purposes. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, straddles were used for all kinds of illegal activities, ranging from tax evasion to money-laundering and bribes. In fact, this activity prompted a number of legal and regulatory changes by the Reagan administration to curb the abuses.

Although it sounds somewhat esoteric, a commodities straddle is a relatively simple trading device.

A commodities futures contract is nothing more than an agreement between two parties to buy or sell a certain type of commodity (in Mrs. Clinton's case, cattle) for a stated price on some date in the future. If the price of the commodity goes up before the contract delivery date, the individual who agreed to buy the commodity will realize a gain equal to the difference between the current price and the contract price. The individual who agreed to sell will realize a loss in an equal amount. Conversely, if the price goes down, the buyer will lose and the seller will gain.

A straddle is created when an investor enters into contracts to both buy and sell the same commodity. In this case, any gain on one contract will be exactly offset by a loss on the opposite contract. While straddle trading today is used in a variety of legitimate ways, these transactions lend themselves to all sorts of abuses as well. Before regulatory changes in the 1980s, it was common to enter into straddles to wipe out large capital gains for tax purposes. For example, an investor who realized a $100,000 capital gain in the stock market might enter into a large straddle in the commodities market. When the commodity price moved, the investor would close the loss leg of the straddle and realize a $100,000 loss, which offset his gain in the stock market. The investor was not required to report the unrealized $100,000 gain in the opposite leg of the straddle until that leg was closed in the following year. Typically, the investor entered into another straddle in the following year, thereby indefinitely rolling over the capital gain into subsequent years.

Another ploy common during that time required the assistance of a friendly broker. An investor could create a straddle using two separate investment accounts with his broker. After the straddle had moved, so that a gain and an offsetting loss had been created, the friendly broker simply wrote in the name of the investor's tax-exempt retirement fund on the account that held the gain leg of the straddle. The result was that a loss was realized that was reported on the investor's tax return, while the gain went unreported in the tax-exempt retirement account.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the IRS began noticing large numbers of individual tax returns that curiously showed commodities losses just big enough to wipe out unrelated capital gains; no corresponding commodities gains, which would suggest a straddle, ever appeared on subsequent returns. Even more curiously, the profile of these investors always had one thing in common, which was limited experience or no prior experience in commodities trading. In the early 1980s, an IRS agent in Chicago thought to look into one taxpayer's retirement fund and, of course, found the hidden gain leg of the straddle.

After that experience, the IRS redoubled its efforts to seek out thousands of missing straddle gains. It found them in retirement accounts, in London, in the Cayman Islands -- almost anywhere a taxpayer thought he might hide them from the IRS. With respect to these thousands of mysterious, isolated commodities transactions that showed up on tax returns, the IRS uncovered some form of questionable trading in virtually 100% of the cases it investigated. Well before the close of the 1980s, the IRS had assessed more than $7 billion in delinquent taxes and penalties attributable to these transactions and eventually settled these cases out of court for approximately $3.5 billion.

While most of the IRS's efforts were directed at finding hidden gains of the ubiquitous straddle, the trading device could just as easily be used to openly transfer gains while hiding the offsetting loss. If someone desired to make an illicit payment to another party, a straddle could be used to accomplish this purpose with no incriminating or suspicious-looking bank withdrawals or deposits. In fact, the IRS found numerous incidents of straddles being used for money-laundering purposes.

Does Mrs. Clinton's trading activity fit the profile of the illegitimate straddle trader? She was a novice in the commodities markets who, against all odds, realized large gains. Although she intermittently realized losses, it does not appear that she ever had to risk her own capital beyond her initial $1,000 deposit, which itself may have been insufficient to cover even her first transaction (which netted her $5,300). According to the trading records released by the White House, most of Mrs. Clinton's gains were recorded as intra-month transactions. This means that these records include no information regarding key elements of the trade, such as the type and quantity of the contracts, acquisition dates, acquisition prices, etc. Such information is needed to determine whether trades were part of a prearranged straddle.

It also appears that Mrs. Clinton's broker, Robert L. "Red" Bone, was no stranger to the spicier practices of commodities trading, according to The Wall Street Journal's front-page article last Friday.

It seems more than coincidental that Mr. Bone was a former employee of Tyson Foods and that Mrs. Clinton's investment adviser, James Blair, was the company's legal counsel. Tyson, the poultry concern, is one of the largest employers in the state of Arkansas. The fact that the Clintons withheld disclosing only those tax returns that included their commodities gains until the transactions were reported by the New York Times in February also appears quite suspicious. From my standpoint as a former government staff attorney with extensive experience in these matters, Mrs. Clinton's windfall in the late 1970s has all the trappings of pre-arranged trades.

How would a straddle have been used in Mrs. Clinton's case? The Journal has already reported that gains theoretically could have been transferred to Mrs. Clinton's account, while "others" may have absorbed losses. Such a transaction could be accomplished with a straddle.

A party desiring to transfer cash to another's personal account for legal or illegal purposes could enter into a straddle in a particularly volatile commodity, such as cattle futures in the late 1970s. After gains and losses were generated in the opposite sides of the straddle, the gain side would be marked to the beneficiary's account, while the loss side would remain in the account of the contributor. The contributor might even be entitled to use the loss to offset other gains. Such a transaction would be not only well-hidden from government authorities but potentially tax-deductible.

No direct evidence of wrongdoing has been produced in the case of Mrs. Clinton's trading activity. In fact, no conclusive evidence of anything has been produced. In order to settle the legitimate questions surrounding her trades, a satisfactory explanation is needed for her apparently low initial margin deposit and whether the requirements relating to an investor's minimum net income and net worth were satisfied. In addition, the details of her numerous intra-month trades should be provided, as well as the details of the trades of persons who may have had a special interest in how well she did. If it is discovered that certain interested parties happened to realize losses in cattle futures at the same time, and they were comparable in size to the gains reported by Mrs. Clinton, this would amount to a "smoking gun."

This is not a matter of partisan politics. Even if the public had never heard of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the circumstances surrounding her unusual good fortune would still appear suspicious to anyone awake to abuses of the commodities markets. In this writer's experience, the normal trading world just doesn't work that way.

---

Mr. Brandon was a career attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service from 1983 to 1989. During that time he also served as head of that department's Commodity Industry Specialization Team, which was responsible for coordinating and developing the IRS's legal positions on tax issues arising in connection with commodities transactions.

Dow Jones & Company

Document j000000020011029dq470095u

123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz Baraq Obama in several ways on: March 26, 2015, 12:24:28 AM

(Respectfuilly) I strongly, vehemently, take issue with this.  The first 8 of these are either bogus or are not negatives, they served in state government, taught constitutional law, are populists, have eligibility issues(?!), etc.

Read our thread, Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness.  Of all the things wrong with Barack Obama as President, virtually none of it comes from his lack of executive experience or any of these so-called commonalities.  He would be an even worse President if he had more experience prior to taking office, unless he changed his viewpoint.

He is arrogant, snubs his nose at constitutional issues.  He thinks government has all the answers and individuals with their liberties have none of them.  Barack Obama was a pretend constitutional lecturer.  So am I.  wink  Ted Cruz won BIG cases at the US Supreme Court.  Barack Obama wants to transform America away from what made it great.  Ted Cruz wants to focus precisely on what made America great.  That's hardly the same.

Obama's lack of experience didn't stop him from getting things done.  It was the least of his problems.  He got PLENTY of things done.  Just all the wrong things!

On point 9, "both are divisive and intensely disliked by an opposing faction."  That happened to work for Obama.  He IS President.  And so it is no reason to discount Ted Cruz' chances.

Finding similarities like that they both have dark hair and birthdays in December misses the whole point of both these men, IMHO.
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interesting Morris analysis on: March 26, 2015, 12:00:16 AM
Interesting, and mostly right, I think.  Morris is a pollster so I presume this is a pretty good poll for this point in time.  That still means + or - 3 or 4% for all of them.  I like that my pick Rubio is being careful not to peak too early, lol.  He keeps getting just enough support to stay relevant.

The Morris bracket framework of quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals fits the Republican path to the Presidency pretty well this time around.  The nomination will most likely be wrapped up about 11 months from now unless it goes to the convention.  That leaves some time but it's not that far off either.

Morris' first test, that you are either for or against frontrunner Jeb Bush is a valid one, except that most people don't really know Jeb yet.  He is more likable and more politically skilled than people think so that number should go up some.  And, as mentioned, he will have the money to do that.

I think Morris reads Rand Paul's support correctly.  His fans already know him.  There are a good number of them.  They won't leave him easily, if ever.  Nor will he gain much as the process unfolds.

Scott Walker perhaps is peaking too early.  Based on the 2012 experience with Newt, Michele Backmann, Hermann Cain and others all having big surges that fizzled, it is easy to think that with the scrutiny of being front and center too early, Walker may eventually stumble.  However, he also is an underestimated politician and we don't know how far he can go. 

Morris wrote:  "Setting aside the poll's stragglers, we have to view the candidacies of Walker,
Rubio, Carson and Cruz as a unit, together getting 33 percent of the vote. Some
voters may prefer one or the other, but their support is, at the moment, likely
interchangeable. The winner of this four-way contest will emerge to challenge Bush
-- and the former Florida governor is vulnerable."

Add Kasich and Jindahl's support to that and that bracket reaches 36%, which could become a winner take all.

Of that group, I still see Rubio as the one emerging to challenge Bush and Paul.  Walker is the successful governor of the group, but now they argue his results are no better than the bordering states.  I will refute that, but can he, and can he hold his own on foreign policy and all kinds of other issues that don't come up as Governor of Wisconsin?  Walker appeared on Hugh Hewitt (radio) today and was questioned hard on foreign policy.  He did surprisingly well and will only get better.  He did have to say a couple of times that I agree with Rubio on that.  http://www.hughhewitt.com/governor-scott-walker-talks-foreign-policy/

Carson is great and I wish he was ready for this but he isn't.  No one can be in that short of a time. 

Cruz is Cruz.  He is great but he has crossed too many people to suddenly become well liked.  This is partly a popularity contest, not just how good would you be if elected.  Ted Cruz didn't shut down the government but he did take the rap for it.  It's supposed to work just the opposite, you build up favors and cash in chips to win the nomination.  A groundswell of hundreds of thousands of conservatives won't push Cruz over the top.  He needs tens of millions.

It's going to be exciting; I hope we pick the right one this time.

Bigdog, if you are out there, I am ready to meet up with you in Iowa. 
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: March 25, 2015, 12:32:23 PM
In addition to our shared doubts about his electability, I would add that apparently his father is a pretty extreme character-- a lot of shiny objects there with which to disrupt Ted's campaign.

True.  Rafael (Sr.) has said things that will distract.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/07/the-six-craziest-quotes-from-ted-cruz-s-father-rafael-cruz.html
The Six Craziest Quotes From Ted Cruz’s Father, Rafael Cruz  (Mostly from 2012)

1) No one is going to send Obama "back to" Kenya or Indonesia.  That type of hyperbole is a distraction that no one needs. Those of us on the right wouldn't even like his governing ideas to continue in third world countries.  
2) Murder? Reasonable people actually do believe the intentional act of killing a baby who made it out of the mother alive is... well... murder.  http://www.lifenews.com/2012/08/23/new-audio-surfaces-of-obama-defending-infanticide-in-illinois/   President Barack Obama was the only member of the Illinois legislature to not support a bill to provide medical care for newborns who survived failed late-term abortions.  
3) Just like Fidel Castro? Governing by decree, by executive order?   - Check the record!
4)' Gay marriage is a government plot to destroy the family...Socialism requires that government becomes your god.  They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government'??  - It is not politically helpful to comment on your opponents bad motives.  But yes, breakdown of family was the result of liberal social policies, as warned by extremists on the right.   Dependence on the government is politically helpful to left; belief in God is not.  You don't need to impugn motives when the facts (prior to gay marriage) already make the case.  That said, it is hard to look at the amazing breakdown of marriage and family in response to liberal policies especially since the 1960s and left's ambivalence to all that and not at least ponder the idea that it is intentional.
5) Media: The U.S. has its very own “ministry of misinformation” that governments in communist countries like Cuba employ to spread their messages. That propaganda machine, he said, is the liberal media. “They just tell us what they want us to hear. They are rewriting history…because they have an agenda. And unfortunately the agenda is an evil agenda. It’s an agenda for destroying what this country is all about”.   - This is only slightly over the top.  Don't we have a thread here with 1520 posts and 256015 reads documenting something pretty close to that?  In some ways, the apparent conspiracy of our mainstream media through so many channels is worse than their ministry with one.
6) 'Our enemies control our energy.  Because of Obama’s excessive regulation, the oil industry is stifled...We are buying 40 percent of our oil from our enemies (pre-fracking)…Our enemies control the energy that we use or do not use. And they have the power to shut down the valves and bring us to our knees.'  - Liberals have continuously fought our efforts to produce our own energy.  Enemies don't control all our foreign supplies, but there is a significant element of truth in that concern.  For example, we can't seem to solve the crisis in Ukraine now or the Baltics next because of Russia's willingness to supply them with gas versus our inability or unwillingness based on restraints put on our energy industries by leftist policies here.  Russia, Iran and Venezuela could easily be considered enemies.  Saudi, Libya, etc. arguably so. http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/03/politics/9-11-attacks-saudi-arabia-involvement/  Saudi is somewhat of an ally at the moment only because of worse threats in the region.  It only takes a partial shutdown of sources to create havoc in supplies and prices.  We are less vulnerable now despite, not because of, their policies.

[Rand Paul also has a father problem; he has written as recently as this week on the Iraq situation.]
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One feather of many in Cruz' cap is the DC v. Heller case, a great decision for individual liberty that was based on the merits of the arguments made by Ted Cruz, who as Solicitor General of Texas wrote the Amicus brief signed by 31 states and was Counsel of Record for the winning side, the US constitution.  http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/07-290_amicus_texas.pdf  In the Elk Grove case, he wrote the U.S. Supreme Court brief on behalf of all 50 states that was successful.  Cruz authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court.

The next President of the United States should appoint Ted Cruz to the US Supreme Court.
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: March 24, 2015, 07:18:00 PM
I'm glad he is in and think he is probably the best of those trying to win the right side of the spectrum.  He is a far better candidate than Huckabee, Santorum or Rick Perry, among others.  I trust his agenda better than I trust Jeb and others.  Pundits are over-using the word "purity".  He is emphasizing something like that, but also points out he will compromise, as Reagan did, if that will gets parts of his agenda started.

Cruz is not my first choice right now because I am not convinced he is the best candidate to unite our side and bring more people over to our side.  (I have written elsewhere who is doing that better.)  The challenge is on Cruz (and all of them) to demonstrate they are up to this challenge.

That said, I like him a lot and will enthusiastically support him if he is the nominee, or the last conservative standing.  He seems to have it right on all the key issues, and is very willing to fight for what is most important.  He is very sharp and could do very well in one on one debates against the big government liberal, if he gets that far.
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / On this day in 1775, "Give me liberty or give me death!" Patrick Henry on: March 23, 2015, 09:28:15 PM
On this day in 1775, 240 years ago, Patrick Henry gave his powerful "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech. In Colonial Williamsburg.
http://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/giveme.cfm
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: March 23, 2015, 05:06:28 PM
Wow! There are big problems in the black community; most of the visible and statistical ones come from black males.  This is what a pack of black females can look like.  I argue strongly that this kind of dysfunctionality comes from a learned culture, and is not race-based.  This is proven to me by how easily a black can opt out and how easily a white or anyone else can opt in.

The observer making comments and opinions happens to be black.  Assuming we all believe in free speech, anyone should be able to make those same comments.  Good luck with that.

Nothing will turn a culture like that around instantly.  The Dems say more money to job training, health care, etc. is the answer.  Maybe a shovel-ready project on the site, lol.  If you are a job trainer, do you want one of these people to be required to attend your class, at taxpayer expense, against their will?  Who would benefit?  No one.  Who would lose out?  Those who really wanted job training.

Paraphrasing the premise of George Gilder's bestselling book "Wealth and Poverty" (1981), you cannot study poverty.  Poverty is by definition the lack of something.  You can't study something that isn't there.  Instead, study wealth (success).  Then when you see poverty, you can look to see what elements of wealth and success are missing.

These people may or may not fit the definition of poverty.  If they are largely part of an inner-city demographic common in other cities, they have all the basics of life paid for, free food, shelter, clothing, schooling, etc.  If they are among the so-called poor in America, then statistically they also have air conditioning, cable tv, smart phones, 2 cars and surround sound video theater.  But to the extent that their main source of income is not earned, they most likely lack other important things, such as self discipline, individual responsibility and a schedule full of priorities and commitments. 

When those things are gone, other things fill the void, like time on their hands with little or no sense of being invested in the community.  This video is what the result of that can look like.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: March 23, 2015, 01:32:19 PM
Doug:
Normally I tend to blow off WND as a source; IMHO far too often it bloviates and misleads, but that was an interesting article.


Agree.  Another source:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/411487/troubling-math-muslim-migration-ian-tuttle
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons: commodities continued on: March 23, 2015, 12:39:50 PM
Mrs. Clinton traded with Mr. Bone[known crook], the chief broker in 1978 at the Springdale, Ark., offices of Ray E. Friedman & Co., or Refco. In 1981, Mr. Bone was fined $100,000 and barred from trading for three years after an investigation of allegations that he had been allocating winning positions to favored clients.
http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/27/us/new-records-outline-favor-for-hillary-clinton-on-trades.html


Crafty: "...I would LOVE to find that article that I remember in the WSJ.  Now thanks to this article here we have a much more narrowly defined time range to define our search.   What I remember of the article was that it appeared on the editorial page and was written by the man who had been the IRS attorney in charge of prosecuting tax frauds manipulating "commodity straddles".  "

My subscription-based searching powers have expired but I will try with library resources when time permits.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam in America, from Minneapolis to ISIS on: March 23, 2015, 12:11:59 PM
From the Muslim prayer room at Normandale Community College to Damascas...
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/world/middleeast/from-minneapolis-to-isis-an-americans-path-to-jihad.html
From Minneapolis to ISIS: An American’s Path to Jihad

http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/261919091.html
Minneapolis family worries that son, 20, is headed to Syria

Proud son, sobbing on the phone, but smiling with gun in photo:
[NYT link]

Previously in this thread, 24 Minneapolis al Qaida arrests in one year.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/07/02/somali-americans-accused-al-qaeda-ties-indicted-on-terror-charges-sources-say/
 
Zacarias Moussaoui, trained and arrested in MN.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zacarias_Moussaoui

Now, Somali unrest in St. Cloud, MN:  http://www.startribune.com/local/297097081.html

Mall of America Heightens Security After al-Shabab Threat
http://abcnews.go.com/US/mall-america-heightens-security-al-shabab-threat/story?id=29137738

New wave of Islamic immigration planned for U.S.
http://www.wnd.com/2015/03/new-wave-of-islamic-immigration-planned-for-u-s/#bO2CtYzQygk57dI8.99

What could possibly go wrong?
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: March 23, 2015, 11:11:04 AM
The stock market success is NOT based on QE or our easy money policies, we are told, but when the Fed talks of ending the absurdity of zero interest rates, the market falls and when they talk of continuing it even longer, the market continues to rise. 
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: March 23, 2015, 11:05:56 AM
Agreed.   Watch for Hillary come out to secure the Democratic Jewish vote with strong remarks for Israel.

If she doesn't I would be very surprised. 

And I wouldn't count on the Democratic party to lose the liberal Jewish vote either way though.  Maybe they would sit out the election but it seems hard to believe any of them would be willing to vote for a Republican.   To them Repubs are worse than Nazis.  cry

That's right.  No R is going to win the liberal Jewish vote.  But most of my Jewish friends are traditional Democrats, CFOs and small business owners, who are conflicted with what they see happening.  They are successful and see firsthand the policies of attacking success.  Not just federal, but we have some new state taxes here worse than Calif!  They see over a prolonged period that it is Republicans (and Christians) who want to protect the Jewish state of Israel, and it is liberals and Democrats who keep siding with the terrorists who attack Israel and committed to its destruction.  At some point you stop pulling that lever.

Meanwhile, the Dem coalition has Muslims, gays and Jews all playing on the same team.  And they think WE have problems!  Chipping away at the support of core Democrat demographic constituencies is exactly what we need.  If the black vote for Obama at 98% drops to maybe 88% with weaker enthusiasm and if the Dems hold on Jews that already dropped 21% in 8 years (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/11/are-democrats-losing-the-jews/382665/) falls even further, and if gains are made with Hispanics...  trends like that can change the direction of the country.
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Rodham Clinton, commodities trader extraordinaire (or pathological liar) on: March 23, 2015, 10:43:25 AM
My first search to find Hillary commodity trading scandal background information brought up this thread as a top ten search result!  I've looked through some WSJ material from the 1990s but found neither the article Crafty referenced nor the editorial that I remember.  One interesting point at the start is that it was the NYT that first brought forward the story.  Her earliest explanation was that she got her information from the WSJ.  In response, the editors said we're flattered but no, it doesn't work that way.

In fact, the odds of doing what she did without cheating the system are one in 31 trillion against her, best case.  Assuming that the return is made in the most efficient way possible, this probability falls to approximately 1.5×10−16.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02920493
As the joke goes, so you're sayin' I got a shot!

What really was going on?

The person feeding her information and hand placing her trades with hindsight was chief counsel to one of the state's most powerful companies as her husband was Attorney General and leading candidate for Governor.  In crony corruption language, quid pro quo is the exchange of goods or services where one transfer is contingent upon the other.  "During Mr. Clinton's tenure as Governor, Tyson benefited from several state decisions, including favorable environmental rulings, $9 million in state loans, and the placement of company executives on important state boards."  (http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/30/us/hillary-clinton-turned-1000-into-99540-white-house-says.html)


Politico, March 10, 2015
A few days after Hubbell’s resignation [Hillary's law partner who plead guilty for bilking clients], the New York Times ran a lengthy story about Hillary’s commodity trades. Her aides and lawyers had finally provided financial records to the Times, but only after the newspaper made clear that it was preparing to publish a detailed account of her trading profits.

Initially, senior aides to the Clintons said in March 1994 that Hillary “based her trades on information in the Wall Street Journal.” That explanation was subsequently dropped. An aide to Hillary then said she had withdrawn from the market in the fall of 1979 because she had found trading too nerve-racking in the final months of her pregnancy. But another White House aide quickly declared that excuse “inoperative” after it was disclosed in April 1994 that Hillary made $6,500 in a commodities-trading venture in 1980 but failed to report that profit to the IRS.

Shortly after that, Hillary took responsibility—in her standard combination of singular acknowledgment and plural blame—for her aides’ confusing answers to reporters, saying they stemmed from her being away, working on other issues. “I probably did not spend enough time, get as precise,” she explained, “so I think that the confusion was our responsibility.”

[No criminal investigation was made because the statute of limitations had long expired before the tax returns were made available.]


They note the similarity to the private email scandal press conference and a similar one in 1994:

By mid-April [1994], Hillary’s approval ratings had dropped from 56 percent the year before to 44 percent, a historically low mark for a First Lady. Aides knew that Hillary’s stubborn reluctance to speak with the press was one of the sources of the public’s displeasure with her. For weeks, her aides and friends had urged her to con- front the negative reports and innuendos in an open, candid way. It was one thing to stay in the background, but by not providing Americans with an example different from her initially off-putting public appearance, she was leaving it to her political enemies to define her.
In late April, Hillary told her chief of staff, Maggie Williams, “I want to do it. Let’s call a press conference.”
“You know you’ll have to answer all questions, no matter what they throw at you,” Williams responded.
“I know. I’m ready.”
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/hillary-clinton-emails-pink-press-conferences-115952_Page2.html#ixzz3VDuOabvg



135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senate Floor speech, Marco Rubio: Obama's assault on Israel on: March 23, 2015, 08:54:45 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdMWbqZsyuM

Israel should have this friend in the White House. 
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Government Policies Killed the Two Parent Family on: March 19, 2015, 10:09:46 AM
This liberal article goes halfway to the truth of causation, IMHO.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2015/03/16/our_kids_culture_helped_kill_the_two_parent_family_and_liberals_shouldn.html

"Yes, Culture Helped Kill the Two-Parent Family. And Liberals Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Admit It."
------------------------

They suggest more liberal policies as the solution. 

Causation is a little more simple than this deep article suggests.  Government took over the role of the husband and father.  And would like to take over the role of the mother too!

The solution, in law of holes - when you realize you are in one, is generally to stop digging.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, George Will on Ohio Gov. John Kasich on: March 19, 2015, 09:52:03 AM
We have kind of ignored John Kasich here.  However, he is a two term Governor of a major state and also with big-time Washington experience, especially on the budget. 

Kasich isn't going to go out and compete with Jeb Bush and others for the big donors, but he is sitting there in Columbus with all his ideas, ready to serve.

He is not my first choice, but could be a very acceptable choice.  Goes to show what a deep bench this is for just one side.

Read George Will today:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415612/kasich-waits-wings-george-will
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dr. Ben Carson on: March 19, 2015, 09:49:50 AM
I believe Crafty wrote early on that his first political endeavor should not be running for President.
And this, "Carson may make a very appealing VP candidate."

On the previous post, I find him to be on the right side of the net neutrality fight, but not extremely persuasive.

Now this, right after my post predicting Hugh Hewitt would bring down a few of our own.
----------------------------------------------
 Ben Carson Forgets Baltic States Are in NATO, Dates Islam to Before Christ in Flubbed Foreign Policy Interview March 18, 2015 7:35 PM

Neurosurgeon and prospective Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson stumbled on key foreign policy questions during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, appearing to not realize the Baltic States are members of NATO and dating the founding of Islam to well before the birth of Christ. “I don’t do ‘ambush’ interviews,” Hewitt began, first asking Carson if he felt prepared to tackle some questions on foreign affairs. The neurosurgeon seemed keen, but quickly got into trouble. When asked about the origins of the rage felt by Islamic fundamentalists against the West, Carson said “You have to recognize that they go back thousands and thousands of years — really back to the battle between Jacob and Esau.” “Dr. Carson,” Hewitt said, “you know, Mohammed lives in 632 A.D. So it’s a 13, a 1,400-year-old religion. How do you go back to Jacob and Esau, which is B.C.?” “I’m just saying that the conflict has been ongoing for thousands of years,” Carson replied haltingly. “This is not anything new, is what I’m saying.” “So it’s not specific to the Islamic faith, or to the Salafist offshoot of the Islamic faith?” Hewitt pressed. “Well the Islamic faith emanated from Esau,” Carson said. Biblical tradition claims that Esau is one of the sons of Isaac and the ancestor of all Arabs — but even with that understanding, he was born thousands of years before Islam was first founded. Carson also said he believes that, despite being locked in a brutal regional war, Sunni and Shi’a Islamic radicals could “unite” against the United States. It was an assertion Hewitt called “unique,” and one that many foreign policy experts would likely dismiss entirely. Hewitt later turned to the threat of Vladmir Putin, asked the doctor how to best combat an aggressive and expansionist Russia — particularly in the vulnerable Baltic States. “We need to convince them to get involved in NATO, and strengthen NATO,” he said. “Well, the Balts, they are in NATO,” Hewitt said. “When you were saying ‘Baltic states,’ I thought you were continuing our conversation about the former components of the Soviet Union,” Carson tried to explain. “Obviously they are only three Baltic states.” “Yeah, and they’re all part of NATO,” Hewitt said, adding that he was concerned that the same questions that tripped up Sarah Palin in 2008 could trip up Ben Carson in 2016. “How are you going to navigate that?” Hewitt asked. “Have you been doing geopolitics? Do you read this stuff? Do you immerse yourself in it?” “I’ve, uh, read a lot in the last six months,” Carson chuckled. “There’s a lot of stuff to learn, there’s no question about that.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/415622/ben-carson-forgets-baltic-states-are-nato-dates-islam-christ-flubbed-foreign-policy
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Still, I would like to see him on the debate stage, along with Carly F and all the boring white guys.
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krugman's fatal conceit, 'Austerity' didn't stop (plowhorse) growth on: March 19, 2015, 09:34:32 AM
Also file under cognitive dissonance of the left.  Somehow, cutting deficit spending from over a trillion every year to mere hundreds of billions per year is defined as "austerity" in this argument, but liberal economic icon Paul Krugman was wrong nonetheless.  Two charts make his point. (Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review) Please read the rest at the link:





http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415394/krugmans-fatal-conceit-ramesh-ponnuru
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Black Lives Matter?? Depends on the issue!! on: March 19, 2015, 09:18:33 AM
First, stipulate this:  black lives matter, yes they do!

File this also under cognitive dissonance of the left.

Somehow the mantra 'black lives matter' cannot be extrapolated into the larger truth, 'all lives matter'.

Why not?  I don't know, but let's stick with black lives mattering for this brief post.

The death penalty is unfair because it has been dealt disproportionately to blacks.  Guilt is not the issue.

Ferguson and other police departments arrest blacks disproportionately.  This is wrong, unfair and racist no matter of guilt.

Darren Wilson is a white cop who killed an unarmed black teenager.  This is wrong and racist no matter the facts or 200 years of law and precedent that govern justified homocide, such as SELF DEFENSE.

Now switch issues.  Black babies are aborted in America at FIVE TIMES the rate of white babies.  Aborted, killed, terminated, had their young life stopped short, however you want to put it.  This is NO PROBLEM.  In fact, more is better!  Liberal politicians are up in arms when tricked into supporting legislation that would at all minimize this racial disparity.  Go figure.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/296804851.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/abortions-racial-gap/380251/

Twice as many blacks are killed by abortion as by all other causes of death combined, including old age. No race issue here.  Now back to police being too tough on street criminals.

http://www.abort73.com/abortion/abortion_and_race/
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bill and Hillary made nearly $20M from UAE on: March 18, 2015, 10:56:09 PM

It's hard to fathom the scale of the Clinton misdeeds, but remember the other William Jefferson - the Louisiana Congressman who got caught with $90,000 CASH in his freezer.  It is quite a vivid kickback that people can visualize and remember.  This allegation is to line up 222 of those stocked freezers throughout the Clinton household when the Feds come in to search.  Instead of sneaking in, it is done by wire transfer right under the Feds' watch.

Maybe the new Attorney General will open an investigation.  Lol.
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel election, Netanyahu on: March 18, 2015, 10:24:45 AM
Over here we wonder how this election could have even been close.

(WSJ)  "During the campaign, Mr. Herzog accused the prime minister of neglecting Israel’s economy."

This accusation resonated.  We have seen the success of the Israeli economy but lately there are serious complaints of very high cost of living, over-regulation, and other problems.  Netanyahu reportedly neglected domestic issues with his focus on security threats.  His opponents would address these problems with the wrong solutions.  Now that he won, I hope he will do as America should do, energize the free economy at home, as the right thing to do AND as an essential component of any national security strategy.
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons' email, Jack Lew can't remember on: March 17, 2015, 11:24:41 PM
Secretary of the Treasury isn't really a position of slouch.  The position, high in the order of succession to the Presidency, was held by many distinguished Americans including Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Mellon, George Schultz.  Now enter Jack Lew of the most transparent administration.  Did he notice Hillary used an email address not of the state.gov variety.  He was, after all, Undersecretary of State reporting to her.  He isn't able to even say the words, I don't recall.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/03/jack-lew-clams-up.php

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One other point on Clinton emails.  The system was set up by "President Clinton", is guarded 24/7 by Secret Service, is used presumably to take care of his official duties as former President among other things.  If so, then most likely it was paid for in full or in part with federal dollars, which makes it a public asset subject to oversight by Congress.  No?


144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Washington Post's David Ignatius, not certain she's going to be a candidate on: March 17, 2015, 04:15:07 PM
One more liberal pundit, Washington Post's David Ignatius,  "I'm still not certain she's going to be a candidate."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/03/17/ignatius_on_hillary_clinton_im_not_certain_shes_going_to_be_a_candidate.html

Me neither.   wink
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: March 17, 2015, 03:46:44 PM
Washngton Post, The Fix:
Nobody can match Marco Rubio’s upside
Although Rubio hasn't been at the top of GOP primary polls for many months, the new poll shows he's the guy most Republicans could see themselves voting for.
More at the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/16/marco-rubio-the-gops-upside-candidate/
-----------------------

And a BIG negative story yesterday on Rubio at Politico - contains nothing that wasn't vetted in 2010 and nothing in it comes close to landing a punch.  It could even be Rubio people making sure this story is forever old news.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/marco-rubios-house-of-horrors-116075.html
Marco Rubio’s house of horrors
A Tallahassee home co-owned by a scandal-plagued ex-congressman is the locus of questions about the senator’s finances and judgment.
By Marc Caputo  3/16/15

The friend's money problems had to do with the lobby expanding gambling in Florida and Rubio opposed that.  He paid the bills when the friend didn't.  Used his RNC credit cards a couple of times and reimbursed them. 

His tenant at the "House of Horrors":

The tenant declined to speak with POLITICO, but she said in a written statement that Rubio and his wife “have been very gracious and understanding of my circumstances.” She called them “extraordinary landlords” and expressed her “deep appreciation … for all that you’ve done.”

Try getting a tenant to give their landlord a great reference.  It's not that easy!

146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: March 17, 2015, 03:24:34 PM

I enjoyed it too.  I have been wondering about the credibility of Blood Feud author Ed Klein, once of Newsweek and referenced by Dick Morris.  Here he was ripped pretty badly for accuracy and sourcing by liberal radio on his 2005 Hillary book.  They are a little unfair to him, but mostly make the point he is willing to just repeat juicy things, unverified, to make a buck.
http://www.nationalmemo.com/watch-ed-klein-author-clinton-obama-smear-books-met-joe-conason-al-franken/

False but true, the overall point stands; there is a divide between the Clinton and Obama camps and it will get worse when she has to define how she is different.
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: VDH: Hillary campaign slogan will not be "more of the same"? on: March 17, 2015, 02:26:08 PM
Victor Davis Hanson: "...Clinton will not run in 2016 on the slogan of continuing the hope-and-change policies of Barack Obama.

That's right.  They're having trouble coming up with a winning theme. 

Previously, here:  "...[lack of] excitement of kicking off a campaign theme called 'more of the same'.  http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1534.msg86635#msg86635
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential - 21 Democrats who could maybe take Hillary Clinton's place on: March 17, 2015, 02:10:58 PM
This list doesn't add much to what is already posted in this thread.  Hard to take serious anyone listed behind Bernie Sanders, Terry McAuliffe, and others.  But who knows?
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/21-democrats-who-could-maybe-take-hillary-clintons-place-in-2016/article/2561521
...
Here, in roughly ascending order of feasibility, are 21 prominent or semi-prominent Democrats who could step up for a 2016 presidential run:

Dannel Malloy
Malloy was supposed to be headed for a tough 2014 re-election race for governor of Connecticut, but he ended up winning easily. A spokesman said he was not interested in the Oval Office — but also indicated the Washington Examiner is not the first publication to ask. "As the Governor has said repeatedly, he loves his current job as Governor of Connecticut and has no interest in running for President," Malloy's office said. "He believes that should Secretary Clinton become a candidate for President, she has the outstanding credentials, experience and record to be a very strong candidate."

Tom Udall
The son of a Kennedy-era secretary of the interior and nephew of a powerful Arizona congressman, Udall won a senate seat in New Mexico in 2009. He brings no youth at age 66, but he hails from American royalty. Udalls have had starring political roles in the American Southwest for more than a century. Is it time for a President Udall? Udall declined to comment.

Bernie Sanders
Vermont's junior senator is the most prominent (out of the closet) socialist in American politics, a status that makes him a favorite with reporters (because he gives good copy) and the Democratic base (because he's a socialist). Strangely, the usually forthright and garrulous Sanders has turned coy about his previous 2016 talk. Sanders told Politico Friday he was not eager to run "a poor campaign" that was "not well funded," adding that he had not raised much money. The 73-year-old did not respond to Examiner requests for comment.

Jay Nixon
For better or worse, the Ferguson riots made the governor of Missouri a national figure, and he declined to give a flat "No" when Politico asked him about being a potential Hillary replacement in February — before the email story broke. Nixon did not respond to requests for comment.

Bill Nelson
At 72 years young, the senior senator from Florida is a reliable liberal who occasionally finds common ground with Republicans on defense and intelligence votes. He would also be America's first spaceman president, having traveled into the vacuum as a payload specialist on space shuttle Columbia in 1986. A Nelson spokesman told the Examiner his 2016 answer "is a no."

Martin Heinrich
That New Mexico boasts two Democratic senators is a rare success story for the party. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 3-to-2 ratio in the Land of Enchantment, Democrat hold large majorities in both chambers of the state house, and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez runs moderate to liberal on the GOP spectrum. Nevertheless, Heinrich — though he toes the party line on abortion and environmentalism — is careful to shore up conservative appeal. While he now supports gay marriage, the epiphany that brought his deeply held beliefs into compliance with Democratic Party norms came very late — in 2012 — and only when a primary opponent attempted to flank him on the issue. He opposes the federal "assault weapons" ban. He is just about as handsome and untested as Barack Obama was in 2008. Heinrich declined to comment.

Tom Wolf
A one-time forklift operator with a Ph.D., Wolf successfully ran his family's York-based building materials company for 30 years, before spending a generous chunk of his fortune on a successful 2014 campaign for governor of Pennsylvania. He has assumed office at a time when the Keystone State has nowhere to go but up. GDP growth was anemic under Republican predecessor Tom Corbett, and the city of Chester boasts the second-highest violent crime rate in the country. None of that may add up to a presidential profile for the 66-year-old, but Democrats could use a candidate who has not spent his life seeking one political office after another. Wolf did not comment.

Steve Beshear
Governor of Kentucky since 2007, Beshear has followed a familiar economic-management pattern, with predictable results: A scheme to lure manufacturing of environmentally correct Zap cars went nowhere, as have his efforts to get the Bluegrass State a bigger share of the declining casino gambling business. Kentucky has nevertheless enjoyed reasonable prosperity during his administration, and with two of the Republican Party's most prominent senators, it's the kind of state Democrats need to know how to win. Beshear will be 71 next year, and while fans frequently propose him as a prospective Hillary Clinton running mate, he declined to comment for this article.

Al Gore
What Democrat can ever forget that Al Gore beat George W. Bush in the popular vote in 2000? Like many folks on this list, the two-term vice president is of a certain age. But he has not been idle in his 66 years, having amassed a fortune estimated at $200 million. Various media have quoted anonymous sources saying Gore — whose work history includes honorable service in Vietnam and employment as a journalist, senator and knockabout presidential candidate even before environmentalism made him a Nobel laureate – is interested in a 2016 run. Gore did not respond to requests for comment.

Amy Klobuchar
The senior senator from Minnesota can't quite boast of having appeal in a battleground state: Her colleague Al Franken, also on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ticket, snoozed his way to re-election last November. A Republican wave across the great lakes region has failed to reach the Gopher State, where the DFL still holds the governor's office and one house of the legislative branch. Which means at this point, big labor may need a Minnesotan, and Klobuchar does her part, most recently lamenting U.S. Steel's decision to close a major plant by noting that she's in contact with Local 2660 about the matter. She declined to comment and remains an outside bet at best.

Joe Manchin
If the Democrats are interested in again finding the center of American politics, they could ask West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin the way. Republicans have repeatedly tried to lure him to switch parties. Crucially, he is untainted by Obamacare, having come into office after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, and he is generally pro-gun and pro-coal. Although he'd be running from the Senate, Manchin has executive experience as governor of West Virginia. So far he has made no 2016 moves. Nor has he ruled out the possibility of a run. "I'm not serious about running," Manchin told a West Virginia CBS affiliate. "On a national ticket, it would be a pretty far reach probably for me."

John Hickenlooper
The governor of Colorado could put together a coalition of labor, hipsters and louche libertarians. A secession movement during Hickenlooper's administration went nowhere. A concentrated backlash against his extremely broad gun control law cost several Centennial State Democrats their jobs, but Hickenlooper is still around. He declined to comment.

Rahm Emanuel
Emanuel combines the vices of Andrew Cuomo (unions hate him) and Terry McAuliffe (clinging Clinton odor). On the plus side, Chicago's GDP has grown 10.5 percent since he assumed office, and despite widely reported murder spikes, the city's violent crime rate has declined on his watch, according to a database of violent crime statistics from all law enforcement agencies in cities with populations more than 25,000. Wealth in Chicago is highly concentrated, and Emanuel is highly connected there and in Los Angeles. He declined to comment to the Examiner.

Cory Booker
Booker's passion for retail politics gave him a national profile even before he became mayor of Newark, N.J., in 2006 (the 2005 documentary "Street Fight" details his first, unsuccessful attempt to beat the Sharpe James machine). He ran the Brick City with a penchant for colorful — usually unverifiable — tales of hands-on constituent service. Since joining the Senate in 2013, Booker has more than once found common ground with likely Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky. He declined to comment on the 2016 election.

Jerry Brown
A fixture of California politics since the time of Zorro, Jerry Brown will be 77 next year. But he is an American original whose idiosyncratic career includes a serious challenge to candidate Bill Clinton in the 1992 primary (Brown ran on a flat-tax platform) and a lifelong desire to become president. Now in the second term of his second tenure as California governor, Brown has arguably been a more conservative executive than his Republican predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's also remarkably popular, though claims of a broad California recovery don't bear scrutiny. But he says he's no longer eyeing the Oval Office. "Running against Hillary is like running against Jerry Brown in California," Brown told the Washington Post Friday. "In the Democratic Party, it's not going to happen."

Terry McAuliffe
A gleefully political animal, the current governor of Virginia had the good fortune of following Republican Bob McDonnell, whose recent conviction on corruption charges softens McAuliffe's own reputation for pushing the limits (of good taste if not political ethics). McAuliffe is a longtime Clinton crony, but intriguingly, he said last year he has no intention of helping her campaign. "I've done that," McAuliffe told Richmond's NBC affiliate. "It's been a great part of my life, but to be honest with you, I'm past the politics, I'm now into governing."

Andrew Cuomo
Cuomo wouldn't comment to the Examiner about his presidential thoughts, but he is one of the Democratic Party's most effective fundraisers, and he's the governor of the not-inconsiderable state of New York. The Empire State's dire finances sometimes put him at odds with the labor unions essential to all Democrats. Idealistic leftists — who will be crucial in the primaries — have no passion for him. Last year unnamed Cuomo associates told the New York Post the son of Mario Cuomo is keeping his powder dry for 2020.

Jim Webb
Webb has one of the most impressive résumés in America: Vietnam veteran with a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts; Reagan administration secretary of the Navy; Emmy-winning journalist; inspired author of both fiction and non-fiction; and former Virginia senator who chose to leave office after one term. He told Politico last year he could run a "first-class campaign" reminiscent of his upset over Republican Sen. George Allen. Webb is a Jacksonian Democrat, a type of populism with potentially broader appeal than Warren's professorial jabs at inequality. That could also be his Achilles heel: The Democratic base has moved steadily leftward, and Webb's Scots-Irish candor and emotional patriotism make him a tough sell in the primaries.

Martin O'Malley
O'Malley completed two terms as Maryland governor this year, and his legacy is mixed at best. In a very surprising upset, Old Line State voters elected a Republican over his chosen successor, and painful memories of his "rain tax" and other schemes linger. But he is on record as wanting to run, and "Vote for M.O'M" is a campaign slogan that writes itself. On MSNBC this week he criticized Clinton over the email scandal and said he would decide this spring whether to run.

Joe Biden
The vice president is one of a handful of Democrats who have expressed verbal interest in running for president next year. "There's a chance, but I haven't made my mind up about that," he told ABC in January. "We've got a lot of work to do between now and then. There's plenty of time." Biden is hamstrung by his age, a strong habit of putting his foot in his mouth, and an even stronger habit of putting his hands on uncomfortable-looking women during photo ops. But he is the Democrats' sort-of-lovable uncle, and his current job is a natural — though far from guaranteed — springboard to a presidential run.

Elizabeth Warren
The freshman senator from Massachusetts provided much of the intellectual firepower for Obama-era innovations like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. More than any other potential candidate (Clinton included), she speaks to the hard economic Left that provides most of the party's grassroots energy these days. When Democrats look in their hearts, it's Elizabeth Warren they see. Warren repeatedly disclaims any interest in a 2016 run, a stance she has maintained through Clinton's current troubles and repeated when asked by the Examiner.
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glenn Beck tells NRA: "It's Grover Norquist or Me." on: March 17, 2015, 12:30:42 PM
It would seem that our Obj had this right (about Grover Norquist) all along.  His no new taxes pledge isn't really advancing that cause anymore either.  Dems use it against us and Rs raise 'fees' instead of taxes. 
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton Rumors (Who is your daddy?) snopes and politics on: March 17, 2015, 12:24:58 PM

+ 3) Valerie Jarrett leaked the HRC Clinton email info.

1)  Yes, the cute, blonde 16 year old looks like Bill, sounds totally possible and at least a little bit credible if a court is at least willing to hear the arguments (but they aren't).  A DNA test is either ordered or agreed to, paternity or not is determined quickly.  If this was true, then what happens?  Hillary is the victim which is how she broke out of the doldrums in the first place.  The new girl becomes a star.  Bill takes responsibility and lectures us about how we all need to do that, year of the woman, etc.  In other words, this would not be a political winner if true. In any case, that story disappeared from that link and SNopes says "fiction".  http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/clintonchild.asp.  We need to be careful what we spread...

2)  Yes, if these photos are actual, she is a spitting image of Webb.  But...  it can't be proven, they'll never admit to it, it's totally off-limits politically, and it doesn't amount to anything even if true.  If Arkansas is at all like state law here, the married husband is the legal father of the child no matter the actual DNA. Hillary would be seen as justified, plus Chelsea is 35 now, and a mother.  It can only turn back on the meddling accusers.

3)  Yes, someone like Jarrett and the Obama machine might be one source of some of Hillary's problems.  The author of 'Blood Feud' is just as credible as either the Clintons or the Obamas, which is not saying much.  Again, it won't be admitted to or proven.  NYT isn't giving up sources.  The two camps are bound to split apart if they haven't already.  But our interest IMHO is to paint them both with the same political brush, just as Obama in 2008 was always running against George Bush.

It is important that we defeat these people directly on their failed political ideology, and not get tempted with all the shiny objects that come floating by, Obama's birth certificate and these stories, etc.  Distractions don't change these facts: we are badly over-taxed, over-regulated and are in the process of letting our constitution, sovereignty, national security, fiscal integrity, monetary system, work ethic and culture go to hell if we don't change course pretty soon.
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