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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 25, 2017, 11:37:39 AM
Thank you Crafty.  Regarding talking points, first shoot down the false premise question and then pivot to where the focus of a good healthcare system must be.  Minimize third party pay.  Maximize patient and plan choices.  Unleash competition and innovation.  Force costs down for all but the most experimental of leading edge treatments.

Having the young pay for the old by penalty of law is not a healthcare plan for the young.  Having the Secretary of HHS make the most important decisions is not choice.  Killing off growth in the economy and in incomes to pay for healthcare is wrongheaded.  Subsidizing does not equal affordability as costs and pricing explode.  Giving subsidies to people making 400% of the poverty line for basic living expenses is unsustainable.  For a country $19 trillion in debt to pour more and more hundreds of billions of borrowed money into collapsed 'risk corridors' is bankrupting.

People living in a free country should not be forced into a government healthcare system.  Obamacare was sold on lies and designed to fail.  The voters have already voted it down in the House, Senate and Presidential elections.  The Supreme Court also should have shot it down.  This 3-part plan is the best we have to replace it.  'If you, the liberal media and politicians, have a better plan that accomplishes these objectives, now would be the time to bring it forward!'  The ACA wasn't it and every honest observer knows it.
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: From the Cleveland Clinic Journal on: May 25, 2017, 08:02:17 AM
For the sake of of context , in over 30 yrs in medicine I have never seen an article that explains how to care for diabetics during Jewish fasting holidays of during Christmas or Easter:

http://www.mdedge.com/ccjm/article/136661/diabetes/diabetes-control-during-ramadan-fasting

"A diabetic patient who develops signs or symptoms of hypoglycemia during Ramadan fasting should break the fast to avoid serious complications."

If we can ease the rules of Islam, maybe we can also relax the call to kill all infidels.
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: OK, what is the sound bite answer to this? on: May 25, 2017, 05:53:53 AM
Don't repeal-replace Obamacare? 330 million people will lose their healthcare!

Real and Replace - CBO!

If you like your Bankrupt Country, you can keep your Bankrupt Country.

CBO is Wrong - As Always!

Crafty said sound bite, not bumper sticker.
Today's headline says 'House GOP’s health bill would leave 23 million more uninsured, CBO says'
Political show host asks generic Republican lawmaker to respond.  We write the answer...
-------------------------------------------

CBO is wrong.  This is a false choice.  The wrongly named Affordable Care Act is falling on its own weight, losing insurers, losing choices, losing states, accelerating costs, losing people and losing money.  CBO has consistently overestimated ACA enrollment and underestimated its costs.*  You can't make a 10 year comparison to something that won't last 10 months.

The Republican bill scored by CBO is one part of a 3 part plan.  It can't be meaningfully 'scored' by itself.  If that was the whole plan, we would vote against it too.

Any people 'losing' healthcare are doing so by choice as a result of repealing the admittedly unconstitutional individual mandate.  (They put it through the Supreme Court as a tax.) In reality, the simplification of plans, removal of artificial minimums in coverage, removal of penalties, and introduction of more competition and choices will make more insurance and better healthcare available to all.

*  http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/dec/cbo-crystal-ball-forecast-aca
    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/03-30-healthcarelegislation.pdf
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters, Brennan clueless on: May 24, 2017, 09:46:55 AM
John Brennan, CIA Director through January 2017:  I know of contacts, not collusion.  I don't do evidence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=209&v=VgjY_01FRgs

The inquiry was opened in July 2016.  It's been almost a year with no evidence.
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Emergency plan in case of jihad on: May 24, 2017, 09:34:19 AM
Drive them out.
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: May 24, 2017, 09:31:29 AM
"High social transfers not tied to work incentives emerged as the most likely explanation for the low participation rate"

What are "high social transfers" - is this politically correct speak for free government sponsored benefits ?

Right.  The redistribution economy run amok.  Government directed theft from producers to non-producers both reduces the incentive to produce and increases the receive.  Every additional dollar transferred doubles this incentive/disincentive problem.  Each time one more person switches from contributing to receiving, we are two steps closer to an economy that will not support those in real need.  In the case of the US, we are already $19 trillion in debt, short of being able to pay our bills.

In the US, 27% of the people have full time, private sector jobs.  (I rounded up, using 2014 numbers.)

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/86m-full-time-private-sector-workers-sustain-148m-benefit-takers

107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics, Payments not tied to work incentives lower the participation rate on: May 24, 2017, 08:33:53 AM
"High social transfers not tied to work incentives emerged as the most likely explanation for the low participation rate. The phase-in of ... minimum wage ... may have also helped to drive down participation rates."   - BROOKINGS INSTITUTION (regarding fiscal collapse in Puerto Rico)

http://caseymulligan.blogspot.com/2017/01/who-wrote-this.html?m=1
https://www.brookings.edu/book/restoring-growth-in-puerto-rico/  (Page 29)


Pay for not working hurts work participation.  Who knew?
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, Another look inside that parked car on: May 23, 2017, 11:42:32 AM
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=404.msg103727#msg103727
----------------------------

This story intersects Race, Religion, Urban issues and Homeland Security.  Assault rifles and bomb parts, this could have been the Manchester story if not for the action of a concerned citizen, a black man who took offense that these Muslims were tossing their trash into our streets.  The altercation led to the discovery of perhaps a threat in progress.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/05/another-look-inside-that-parked-car.php
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe and pre-emptive dhimmitude on: May 23, 2017, 10:53:56 AM
Religion of peace.  It never turns out​ to be the Lutheran extremists anymore, does it?

"Known" wolf, as opposed to lone wolf.  Bad analogy. Wolves don't do this.

A tweet about the first identified victim:
"There was not one bad bone in her body she was a true ray of sunshine and loved everyone for who they were.”

I've never heard of the singer, took a look at a couple of her videos. One has a billion views on YouTube.  There is a young, cute, sexiness to the music.  Young male Muslims want young virgins and rape young women, but can't handle young cute sexiness.

When do we start calling islamist extremism a dangerous mental disorder instead of a religion.

110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: proposed spending cuts on: May 22, 2017, 08:05:33 PM
Quote author=ccp
This will cause riots in the streets...

Younger generation motto:  just do it.
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Iron Curtain on: May 22, 2017, 08:01:59 PM

I know someone who teaches there.  )
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / MN: Police uncover bomb making materials, weapons on: May 20, 2017, 04:07:34 PM
http://kstp.com/news/minneapolis-police-uncover-bomb-making-materials-weapons-in-suv-/4489973/?cat=1

So many threads this could go in, Islam in America, Urban issues, the way forward.

Sure they had guns, ammunition, hand grenade, and bomb-making materials.  What pisses me off as a North Minneapolis landlord is that they just dump their fast food wrappers into the street.  And that's how they got caught.  Not because police enforce that law but because someone cared enough to confront them.
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 20, 2017, 03:32:43 PM
"... I distrust every alleged leak coming from unnamed sources."

Isn't that the truth! I would add, it is not a leak or a crime for a high placed unnamed source to put out false information.  There is no penalty to either the source or the reporter.

A pattern in liberal media deception goes like this:
1) The original story from the unnamed source is deceptive, out of context or false.
2) Headline writer goes beyond what the reporter falsely reported.
3) The media talk cycle goes beyond what the headline writer wrote.
4) Leftist politicians draw some conclusion beyond the first three levels of error and deception.
5) The media accurately report what the leftist politicians said as a news story.
6) They demand the President or target respond.
7) Media report what he said as an unpersuasive denial, or "refused comment."
8.) The media polling organizations ask how people feel about the terrible accusations dominating the news cycle.
9) Impeachment, resignation and surrender are presented as all that can fix it.
10) Then start over on whoever is next to attack.

MSNBC is calling on Trump to prove he didn't collaborate with the Russians.  Because Hillary said that's why she lost the election.  And Fox News is gone, because of accusations.  Welcome to America, 2017!

The previous administration sold arms to drug Runners and use the IRS admittedly to stop the political activities of their opponents. 'That is not worse than this because shut up.'
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 19, 2017, 09:15:30 AM
Great analysis Rick!

If the NY Times original, double blind, hearsay story is true as reported ('anonymous sources' saw a memo that the 'reporters' did not see) that President Trump applied inappropriate pressure on then Director Comey in February to stop an FBI investigation for personal or political reasons that Comey denied under oath in May, Comey committed perjury.  I wonder if Mueller will prosecute his successor.  Or was the reporting, deceptive, wrong, and intended to turn the country into crisis over nothing?
---------------

Crafty: "I can picture Trump not taking a hint , , ,"

I can picture Comey putting valuable resources on a non-story and not investigating felonious, damaging leaks.

The NYT youtube of the handshake is the best evidence they have to support what they allege?  70 year old Trump pulled in "6 feet 8 inches tall" Comey against his will for a hug?  Good grief.  Sadly, I reviewed the tape a number of times.  There was no hug.  It was Comey that leaned in more so than Trump, and I'll bet no one in the room detected inappropriate touching.  )   And Biden's fondling of every appointee's wife goes unmentioned?  What has this newspaper come to, all the shiny narrative objects fit to print?


115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Peggy Noonan lets rip on: May 19, 2017, 07:53:05 AM
I also like Peggy Noonan a lot and this is the most sane criticism and helpful advice for him I have seen, and beautifully written.  Lincoln had his challenges too!

OTOH...  I think there is an unprecedented level of fake news going on against Trump.  Keeping your head on straight through that would be hard for anyone.  Fighting back is what got him where he is, for better or worse.  Of course he should keep his focus on issues and solutions.  It's not that he tweets; it's the content of the tweets.

"It would be good if top Hill Republicans went en masse to the president and said: “Stop it. Clean up your act..."

No.  This President won an election over building a wall and they haven't funded it.  This President released Obamacare repeal and replace, phase one that only needs 50 votes in the Senate, and they haven't got a bill through both chambers for him to sign yet.  The President released comprehensive tax reform - nothing passed in either chamber yet.  In the spirit of separation of powers, "top Hill Republicans" need to get their own act together.  They will be judged by the electorate before he is.
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Demographics: Minnesota's Decline on: May 18, 2017, 02:16:13 PM
"Any discussion of Japan must include the subject of demographics."

Also true in Russia, Europe and the US where population and workforce declines are masked by legal immigrants or illegals who often take lower paying jobs and/or live off of public assistance.  Coverage of a new MN study below.  Like Sweden, we are replacing our declining population with people coming for reasons other than the business climate. 

With an income tax rate comparable to NY and Calif and double what they charge in  Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, not to mention zero state income tax like neighboring South Dakota and Texas and Florida, Minnesota has a net out-flow of people going to or coming from other states.  Rich people leave and poor people come, generally speaking.

We have a major inflow of Muslims from east Africa (Somalia) "placed" in Minnesota by the (Obama) state department, as well as 'secondary' immigration where people immigrate and then move to Minnesota for good benefits more so than the weather.

The people leaving tend to be people who want to escape the nation's worst death taxes, and punitive retirement taxes.  The people coming in are more likely to be on government programs according to the (Minneapolis) Startribune:  http://www.startribune.com/affordable-housing-crisis-hits-eden-prairie-families/420163473/

Whether new residents come from the south side of Chicago or the civil war in Somali, new residents seem more prone to crime and terror.
http://www.startribune.com/routine-arrest-leads-minneapolis-police-to-arsenal/422377353/
Also jeopardize public health:
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/05/08/minnesota-measles-outbreak-officials-say-somali-families-targeted-with-misinformation.html
-----------------------------------------
From the Center for the American Experiment:
https://www.americanexperiment.org/2017/05/minnesotas-decline-minnesota-may-lose-congressional-seat-2020/

Minnesota’s decline: Why Minnesota may lose a congressional seat in 2020

 Written by Kim Crockett  in Minnesota Budget, Minnesota Economy on May 17, 2017  Print
As we await the end of the legislative session, Minnesota’s population numbers and growth are in the news, driven by a preliminary report from the Metropolitan Council that estimates current population for the Metro.  The report, required by state statute, will set LGA funding for the Metro.

As reported in the Pioneer Press: “Growth in the urban cores of Minneapolis and St. Paul continue to spur the region’s population gains, according to a new report by the Metropolitan Council…The preliminary report, released Tuesday, says the seven-county metro area grew by 191,628 residents between 2010 and 2016. Both St. Paul and Minneapolis saw significant gains: St. Paul’s population grew to 304,442 in 2016… Minneapolis’ population hit 419,952 in 2016.”

I checked in with the state demographer’s office (because I do not trust the Met Council’s methodology or integrity) and confirmed that there has been a notable uptick in the number of residents in the two core cities. Where are people coming from?

Out of the 5.49 million people in the state, about half a million (457,200 as of 2015) were born outside of the United States. The news reports I read did not mention that the only net positive growth as a state is from foreign-born residents.

Or that people from Minnesota are leaving, and people from the U.S. are not moving here, in sufficient numbers to help Minnesota grow.

We recommend reporters visit the State Demographer’s website where one can find detailed reports on just how Minnesota is growing—and how Minnesota is declining, demographically speaking.

A short report called “Ada to Zumbrota”  underlines the state’s demographic trends that may cost the state a Congressional district following the 2020 Census. One conclusion from the report: “As deaths are predicted to outnumber births in 2040, migration in Minnesota is going to become increasingly important if Minnesota is to continue growing.”

Here are some highlights and a new graph for you to consider:

While both the U.S.-born population and foreign-born population have grown since 1970, the foreign-born population has swelled more quickly…Minnesota had about 113,000 foreign-born residents in 1990, but that number had more than quadrupled to about 457,200 residents by 2015.

Some of that growth is from refugees settled her by the State Department: the Minnesota Department of Health reports that between 2010 and 2016, Minnesota welcomed about 16,571 refugees. (The Department of Human Services puts the number at 15,808). Since 1979, the State Department has placed approximately 105,000 refugees in Minnesota. (Minnesota is also a favored destination for “secondary” refugees, people who are settled by the State Department in another state but move to Minnesota. Secondary migrants are not in the official count of refugees; we are working on getting those numbers.)

Back to the report:

In terms of percentage change, natural increase (births minus deaths) has historically been slower in Minnesota than the U.S. average. However, Minnesota’s foreign-born percentage change began far outpacing national trends between 1985 and 1995 and continues to do so (in part because our number of immigrants are a small fraction of all those in the nation).

The net change for Minnesota’s foreign-born population between 1990 and 2000 alone was 13% annually. By comparison, population growth due to natural increase in Minnesota was less than 1% annually during those same years. (see Figure 2).

tate trends do not tell us what demographic is driving the growth in the Metro area but it seems reasonable to assume that many foreign-born residents, especially refugees, are making their home in the Metro area at least initially (before perhaps finding housing and hopefully work elsewhere in the state).

What do these trends tell us about our state?

It is no surprise that Minnesota is attractive to immigrants and refugees. Who would not want to live here (no jokes about the weather, please).

But why is Minnesota so unattractive to its own population—or to people from around the U.S.?

The answer is simple: state and local policies are hostile to good jobs and economic growth.

117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why is it always Democrats scheming to commit vote fraud? on: May 18, 2017, 01:29:40 PM
https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/05/17/dallas-county-whistleblower-tapes-democrat-campaign-worker-describing-voter-fraud-schemes/

Dallas County Whistleblower Tapes Democrat Campaign Worker Describing Voter Fraud Schemes
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Japan on: May 18, 2017, 12:56:07 PM
Bringing some of this over from Michael Yon thread:

CD: "Any discussion of Japan must include the subject of demographics.  That the birth rate falls FAR short of the replacement rate has profound implications.  The median age of the Japanese population is rising rapidly.  Among other things this means that the ratio of workers to retirees is falling.  Is this sustainable?  Or does the implied push to ever higher tax rates stifle the Japanese economy as its export driven model is increasingly challenged by anti-globalist winds?"

GM: "Japan is on the path to becoming the first all robot nation."
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Crafty, that's right.  
http://oecdinsights.org/2016/04/11/the-case-of-the-shrinking-country-japans-demographic-and-policy-challenges-in-5-charts/


GM perhaps got the answer before I could ask the question.   )

Japan went from an expanding retiree to worker ratio to where the population is actually shrinking too.  Could they grow their way out?  Sure, but why would they with tax rates increasing.

Immigration is essentially zero.  This is good and bad...  And not easily changeable.

They are already in fiscal stimulus mode, pumping up with infrastructure spending and (short term?) deficits without getting out of the multi-decade slump.

They have run QE past the point of zero interest rates, to negative interest rates, to government buying assets.  A necessary attempt perhaps but not healthy, not good and not working.

They already faced two rounds of consumption tax rate increases - while in stimulus mode ??

Now they need to provide for their own defense, and maybe even pay for it.  With what?  They need additional, growth killing, tax rate increases while in stimulus mode??!!

They were cutting their corporate tax rate from highest in the world.  Now we are highest in the world.  If we passed the current US proposal, would Japan again be highest?  If so, hard to compete.  Better to manufacture in lower wage, lower tax countries.

The (consumption) tax rate increases already in place and coming most certainly rule out economic growth.  Is the goal now just survival?

Yet they are still the second third richest country in the world(?)

They are on the leading edge of having to figure out what a lot of other places have to figure out.

Yes, robots robotic functions are part of the answer.  But that leaves jobs like nurses and personal care attendants, needs that don't go away leading the measure of labor income rates.  Unionization and artificial hikes are the only gains to be made there, a zero sum game.  The additional wage that one person makes, another person (or government) pays.

Consumer spending is never going to lead them out of the funk as consumption tax rates escalate.  The export economy of the great Japanese companies like Honda, Toyota, Sony either shifted manufacturing to lower wage countries, destination countries like US, and/or robotics.  Canon, where I once worked, is dominating its main product category yet declining in sales and profits: https://amigobulls.com/stocks/CAJ/income-statement/annual

There was a period in Hong Kong where they lowered tax rates, took in more revenues as a result, lowered tax rates further, took in even more revenue, etc and had phenomenal growth.  This spiral is in the opposite direction with no macro-economic or demographic solution in sight.
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, Special "Councel" on: May 18, 2017, 11:45:36 AM
Counsel mis-spelled in the President's tweet.  https://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/furious-trump-breaks-twitter-silence-with-misspelled-tweet-complaining-about-illegal-obama-acts/

 "Bad idea, good choice"

Right.  Let an FBI Director (former) oversee the closing of this FBI inquiry for credibility while we lack a permanent and confirmed new Director - as if that will make the controversy of the Trump election go away.

NPR was talking impeachment all day yesterday.  I turned on PBS News Hour in the evening and  the first word was impeachment.  An impeachable cover up without a cover up or an underlying crime!

Appointing a Special Prosecutor where no evidence of a crime exists means the Republicans agree to be forever judged by a double standard, and forever investigated and castigated.

We know:
1) The January WaPo story Rick posted, the Flynn tapes exposed no crime or conspiracy.
2) The May 3 Comey testimony under oath,  he has never been pressured to end an investigation for political reasons.
3) Democratic Senators studying this admitted they have no evidence yet, meaning no probable cause to dig and look further, and
4) No Counsel was appointed for Fast and Furious, Benghazi or IRS targeting, Clinton-Russia-Uranium all of which did have far more than probable cause exposed.

Republicans, if we call the Trump people that, are held to a false and different standard by their own consent!

Predicting the lessons out of this.  The investigation will end without charges.  Appointing a special prosecutor will add no credibility to those who shout the loudest.  People who wanted Trump impeached will be even more energized.  Mueller's great reputation ended with acceptance of this job.  Democrats who screamed bloody murder over nothing will do it even more and get their way, even when lacking the votes in all branches of government.
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legalized marijuana turns Colorado resort town into homeless magnet on: May 17, 2017, 11:52:32 PM
"the city [Durango] recently settled a lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union allowing the homeless population to panhandle."

Panhandling might be the biggest growth industry under Obama.  It's the last business to fight off taxes and regulation.  Sadly I wish the IRS would monitor it the way they treat everyone that does productive work.  Too bad people give, with no information about who or for what purpose.

The fracking boom in North Dakota experienced some of those same problems.  In that case they came for the high paying laborer jobs.  But the people who came tended to be male, young, not burdened with responsibilities like college, wife, mortgage.  Young males without family responsibilities don't have the best behaviors.  The crime rate went up accordingly, drugs, prostitution, bar fights etc.

My point with the comparison is that it is not necessarily the pot, but the people that pot legalization attracts.   Colorado is the cool place to relocate for many.  Amazingly beautiful, great climate, wonderful recreation.  Legal marijuana. Housing prices have doubled in the decade I have been involved there.  The 'crash' was of no significance.  http://www.denverpost.com/2017/03/30/northern-front-range-epicenter-rising-home-unaffordability/

I wonder what the effect in Colorado will be with more states legalizing.
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Japan’s Quiet Trumpism—Globalism Takes Big Hits in Land of the Rising Sun on: May 17, 2017, 10:02:00 PM
This post gives reason for optimism.  It is great that young conservative women lead the charge there against global leftism.  Thank you Michael for the list of writers and youtube artists.  I took a look at some of their work.

Trump is right in part.  His challenge for Japan (and other nations) to take a larger role in their own defense is good for both US and Japan.  The threats posed by China and North Korea make Japan a crucial ally for the US and the Asian neighbors.  

I wish Mr. Abe success in making Japan economically strong again.  Unfortunately, recent consumption tax increases have had an anti-growth effect on their economy.
http://www.tokyofoundation.org/en/articles/2017/japanese-economy-2017-1  (interesting for the facts; I don't agree with all the analysis.)

Abe chose a 'nationalist' for defense minister:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/abe-protege-with-nationalist-views-is-japans-new-defense-minister-1470227684
They are still dealing with after-effects and issues from "the War (WWII).

The term globalism ("—the now-broken code for honey-phrased international socialism"), or anti-globalism in this case, needs to make clear the distinction that international trade, free trade and alliances can be quite beneficial, and that global rule, global government, global leftism, global socialism, global kleptocracy is all wrong and dangerous and needs to be defeated across the globe, not just fought in the US.

Under Obama, we pursued the wrong countries to be our allies, Iran and Russia for examples.  We need new and better alliances.  That includes a hopefully revitalized Japan.
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China vs US and other nations. these are not random acts! on: May 17, 2017, 07:57:09 PM
Tillerson sends the wrong message.  What if we had a China policy that worked?
The view expressed here involves risks but makes more sense than the Obama-Tillerman course.
Very good specificity of details included.

http://www.hoover.org/research/china-policy-works-america
Hoover Institution
Stanford University

A China Policy That Works—For America

by Gordon G. Chang
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
 
Image credit: Poster Collection, CC 111, Hoover Institution Archives.
Last March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attempted to set American policy toward China for the next 50 years. Washington in its dealings with the Chinese state, he said, would be guided by the principles of “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation.”

Nobody wants conflict or confrontation and everyone values respect and seeks cooperation. Tillerson’s statement, however, is misguided, as just about every assumption behind those words is wrong. America, therefore, needs a completely new paradigm for relations with Beijing.

As an initial matter, the phrase Tillerson used is not Washington’s. It’s Beijing’s, and the Chinese consider it the foundation of their “new model of great-power relations.” Their “new model,” in sum, is that the U.S. does not challenge Beijing in Asia. China’s policymakers, therefore, heard America’s chief diplomat promise that the Trump administration would not oppose their attempts to dominate their periphery and the wider region.

Obviously, Tillerson did not think he was agreeing to a Chinese sphere of influence or even to defer to Beijing, but his words show how eager American policymakers are—and have been—to partner with China.

The general thrust of American policy, especially since the end of the Cold War, has been to integrate China into the international system. Washington has employed various formulations, such as Robert Zoellick’s “responsible stakeholder” concept announced in 2005, but the general idea is that Beijing would help America uphold the existing global order. U.S. policy, in many senses, was the grandest wager of our time.

And by now, the bet looks like a mistake history will remember. In short, America’s generous approach has created the one thing Washington had hoped to avoid: an aggressive state redrawing its borders by force, attacking liberal values around the world, and undermining institutions at the heart of the international system.

This decade, China’s external policies, except in the area of climate change, have moved in directions troubling to American leaders. During this time, Beijing has, for instance, permitted Chinese entities to transfer semi-processed fissile material and components to North Korea for its nuclear weapons programs. North Korean missiles are full of Chinese parts and parts sourced through Chinese middlemen. China even looks like it gave Pyongyang the plans for a solid-fuel missile.

China’s leaders have permitted North Korean hackers to permanently base themselves on Chinese soil, where they have launched cyberattacks on the U.S., such as the 2014 assault on Sony Pictures Entertainment. Beijing has itself hacked American institutions such as newspapers, foundations, and advocacy groups, and it has taken for commercial purposes somewhere between $300 billion to $500 billion in intellectual property from American corporates each year.

China violated its September 2015 pledge not to militarize artificial islands in the South China Sea; refused to accept the July 2016 arbitration award in Philippines vs. China; threatened freedom of navigation on numerous occasions with dangerous intercepts of American vessels and aircraft; seized a U.S. Navy drone in international water in the South China Sea; and declared without consultation its East China Sea air-defense identification zone. Its warning to a B-1 bomber in March was phrased in such a way as to be tantamount to a claim of sovereignty to much of the East China Sea. Official state media has issued articles that imply all waters inside the infamous “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea are China’s, “blue national soil” as Beijing now calls it.

Beijing also wants to grab land. It regularly sends its troops deep into Indian-controlled territory with the intention of dismembering that country.

China, under the nationalist Xi Jinping, is engaging in increasingly predatory trade practices with the apparent goal of closing off its market to American and other companies. Of special concern are its Made in China 2025 initiative and the new Cybersecurity Law.

These are not random acts, unrepresentative of the regime’s conduct. They form a pattern of deteriorating behavior over a course of years. And these acts flow from similar ones in preceding decades, suggesting the aggressiveness is not just related to any one Chinese leader.

Americans who seek to “engage” Beijing typically ignore its bad acts or downplay their significance. Tolerance, unfortunately, has over time created perverse incentives. As the Chinese engaged in dangerous behavior, Washington continued to try to work with them. As America continued to work with them, they saw no reason to stop belligerent conduct. Arthur Waldron of the University of Pennsylvania put it this way: “We have taught the Chinese to disregard our warnings.”

Perhaps the clearest example of this dynamic relates to Scarborough Shoal. In early 2012, both Chinese and Philippine vessels swarmed this chain of reefs and rocks, 124 nautical miles from the main Philippine island of Luzon—and 550 nautical miles from the closest Chinese landmass. Washington then brokered a deal for both sides to withdraw their craft. Only Manila complied. China has controlled Scarborough Shoal since then.

To avoid confrontation with Beijing, the Obama administration did nothing to enforce the agreement. What the White House did do, by doing nothing, was empower the most belligerent elements in the Chinese political system by showing everybody else in Beijing that aggression in fact worked.

Feeble policy has had further consequences. The Chinese leadership, emboldened by success, just ramped up attempts to seize more territory, such as Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea from the Philippines and the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea from Japan. China, in short, just made the problem bigger. And its ambitions are still expanding. Chinese state institutions, backed by state media, are now laying the groundwork for a sovereignty claim to Okinawa and the rest of the Ryukyu chain.

There are many reasons why Chinese behavior is not conforming to American predictions. “Rising” powers are always assertive, and the turbulence inside Beijing political circles makes it difficult for Chinese leaders to deal with others in good faith. A discussion of these and other trends is far beyond the scope of this short essay, but it is clear that the U.S. needs to change its China policy now.

So how should policy change?

First, American leaders need to see things clearly. Confucius called it “the rectification of names.” As we take the advice of the old sage, we should not call China a friend or partner. It is a threat, fast becoming an adversary of the sort America faced in the Cold War.

In that multi-decade contest, an authoritarian state sought to spread ideology, remake the international system, and undermine Western values. China is doing all these things, plus trying to redraw its borders by force. Washington needs to realize America is in the midst of an across-the-board struggle with China.

“If you treat China as an enemy, it will become one,” American policymakers were constantly told and then said themselves. Washington treated China as a friend, and it is now becoming an enemy anyway.

Second, Washington must begin imposing costs on China for hostile and unacceptable conduct. Why would Beijing ever stop if it is allowed to keep the benefits of its actions?

Take the example of Chinese banks helping North Korea launder money in violation of U.S. law. Last September, the Obama administration did not sanction these financial institutions when it seized money they held in 25 accounts of Chinese parties that were themselves sanctioned for laundering North Korean cash. Apparently, the administration, by not going after the banks that time, wanted to send a message to Beijing to stop storing Pyongyang’s cash.

Yet Chinese officials surely took away the opposite message. As the Wall Street Journal in an editorial correctly pointed out, Washington signaled that the unsanctioned Chinese banks were “untouchable.”

These financial institutions have long thought they are above the law. Last month, the same paper reported that Federal prosecutors are now investigating whether certain Chinese middlemen helped North Korea “orchestrate the theft” of $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh from its account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

If such middlemen were involved, Chinese financial institutions were almost certainly complicit. If such institutions were complicit, the U.S. should cut them off from their dollar accounts in New York.

Such an action would rock global markets, but it would for the first time in decades tell Beijing that Washington was serious about North Korea—and it would cripple Pyongyang’s nuclear proliferation activities. In any event, the Trump administration has an obligation to enforce U.S. law and defend the integrity of its financial system.

The Chinese economy is fragile at the moment, so Washington, in all probability, would only have to do this once before Beijing got the message and withdrew its support for the North’s various criminal activities.

Imposing costs on China will undoubtedly cost us as well, but we are far beyond the point where there are risk-free, painless solutions. The costs we will bear are the price for relentlessly pursuing overly optimistic—and sometimes weak—policies over the course of at least two decades.

Third, Washington should take the advice of Taro Aso when in late 2006 he proposed an “arc of freedom and prosperity” for the region. America should bolster alliances and strengthen ties with friends old and new. Nations in the region, from India in the south to South Korea in the north, realize the dangers of Chinese assertion and are scrambling to build defense links. Those threatened are drawing together, but the one ingredient they need is stout American leadership.

Fourth, American leaders must again believe in American power as a force for good in the world and realize they do not need Chinese permission to act. President Trump took a step in that direction in his Financial Times interview published April 2 when he said that Washington will solve the North Korean problem on its own if China decides not to help.

Chinese leaders need to see that Washington has adopted a fundamentally new approach and is no longer afraid of them. Tillerson then can say things that advance American and regional interests, not undermine them.
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China, 1999, Pres. Clinton Approves Technology Transfer to China on: May 17, 2017, 11:41:15 AM
I'll put this flashback in US-China thread, not Intel matters, assuming it is not on-point to the Presidents giving away intel discussion. 

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/11/world/clinton-approves-technology-transfer-to-china.html

Clinton Approves Technology Transfer to China
MAY 11, 1999
The Clinton Administration notified Congress today that it had approved the export of technology to China to permit the launching of a communications satellite aboard a Chinese rocket next month.

[Bill Clinton did not fear impeachment in May, 1999.]
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: President Trump on: May 17, 2017, 10:58:57 AM
"Donald, you stupid fk!"

Can we safely assume that today will not be a day that the Trump administration will significantly move the ball forward on tax reform, Obamacare repeal or adding 75 more active ships to the Navy?

The comparisons of Trump to Ronald Reagan on focus and discipline are fading fast.

If you need to score touchdowns, how about switching from defense to offense!
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Economics, investment strategies: Forum forewarned ahead of last crash! on: May 17, 2017, 10:37:51 AM
Flashback:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=985.msg7691#msg7691
Rick N, October 22, 2006:
There will be a lot of capital gains realization in 2007 and 2008 as many investors opt to pay the 15% tax rate ahead of possible rate hikes if the Dems control Congress and the White House.  Coupled with the projected decrease in corporate profits in the second half of next year, the likely increase in selling pressure on all asset classes, stocks, real estate and commodities, increases the risk of negative economic and investment data.
-----------------------------

This all came to be true like clockwork, and a point I have tried to make after the fact.  Investors lost confidence and had powerful reasons to pull back ahead of the expected tax rate hikes on capital and investors.  The 2006 election flipped power in Washington to the tax rate hikers and the likelihood of them also taking control of the White House in 2008 led to the crash.  The Federal Reserve and federal government-caused bubble was the other hand in it, left exposed when growth ended.  Democrats kept delaying their promised tax rate hikes, but by continuing to promise them, they stomped out all optimism and growth in the economy. 

It is a nice feature of this forum that Rick alerted anyone paying attention here to this very real economic risk before it happened!
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The alleged Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 17, 2017, 09:54:43 AM
Rick: "If this is so bad, then why didn't Comey report it or resign?  After all, this supposedly occurred 3 months ago.  And the investigation of Flynn has continued."

   - Yes, this is a great point.  To explain it, I think: 1) either the report is false, or 2) (most likely) they removed the context that explains why no action was taken (another version of false or misleading), or 3) Comey was accumulating a J Edgar Hoover like file on his potential enemies to keep them in line.  On its face, the latest shiny news object makes no sense.  

Director Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3, including questions by Democratic Senators Leahy and Coons relating to the call for a special prosecutor, and Comey took a pass on the opportunity to bring this up then.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImYOb0X-Ik

Rick:  "Since Comey worked for the FBI, his memos are FBI property.  We should be able to see all of Comey's memos about all of his meetings with superiors while he was FBI Director."

Ben Sasse, chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee (caught reading the forum?) said this morning that all of Comey's notes should be turned over...  http://www.hughhewitt.com/senator-ben-sasse-vanishing-american-adult-comey-memo/
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: May 16, 2017, 11:58:13 AM
A different offense, but here is James Clapper (of Muslim Brotherhood is secular fame) lying under oath to the Senate Committee, March 12, 2013:

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, asked Clapper for a yes or no answer to the following question: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

“No, sir,” Clapper replied.

Wyden, who appeared taken aback by the answer, tried again: “It does not?”

“Not wittingly,” Clapper responded. “There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”

Three months later, on June 5, 2013, The Guardian newspaper began publishing a series of reports about the NSA based on documents stolen from the agency by Edward Snowden that proved Clapper had perjured himself.

Days after The Guardian’s bombshell report, Clapper told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he had responded in “what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner.”

Three weeks later, under increasing pressure, Clapper wrote a letter to the senators on the committee, apologizing for providing a “clearly erroneous” answer. He also changed his story, jettisoning the excuse he had tried to answer in the “least untruthful” manner, and instead claimed the reason he had misled Congress is that he had “forgotten” about Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which covered the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata.

Needless to say, members of Congress were not amused. Yet despite calls for his ouster and for criminal charges to be brought against him for perjury, Clapper suffered no consequences for lying to members of the Senate and remained in his position as director of DNI through the end of President Obama’s term.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3d-re0dtKA
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/james-clappers-least-untruthful-statement-to-the-senate/2013/06/11/e50677a8-d2d8-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_blog.html?utm_term=.1d63cf59b8f5
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/05/16/james_clappers_assault_on_democracy_133897.html#2

"The fault was with the Senator, for asking the question."
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/mar/11/james-clappers-testimony-one-year-later/
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: May 16, 2017, 11:40:30 AM

http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/254852337-story
Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that.

Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich’s murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation.

   -Tell the police to back down from a DC murder investigation - under Comey and Obama?  Imagine that happening under Trump.


ccp:  "This , if true, completely debunks the whole Russia conspiracy theory.  It was not the Russians."

Wikileaks has said all along it was not the Russian government.  Strange that they have more credibility than most of Washington.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Syrian Crematorium on: May 16, 2017, 10:24:37 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/world/middleeast/syria-assad-prison-crematory.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

Syrian Crematory Is Hiding Mass Killings of Prisoners, U.S. Says
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Economic Growth and Revenue Surges follow Tax Rate Cuts on: May 15, 2017, 01:22:47 PM
"Please feel free to post that in the Tax thread here and the Economics thread on the SC&H forum too."

 http://www.heritage.org/node/18247/print-display
The tax rate cuts of the 1920s were followed by a 61% increase revenues over 7 years.
The Kennedy tax rate cuts brought a 62% increase in revenues over 7 years.
The Reagan tax rate cuts yielded a 54% increase over 6 years (100% over 10 years).

Then when Bush or Trump propose tax rate cuts, the media demands to know how they will deal with the static revenue loss - a demonstrably false premise question.
--------------------------------------

Opponents argue that revenues increase anyway, but the point is that if revenues surge after rates are lowered, the increase in income is that much more - which is a good thing!
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Revenue increases that followed Tax Rate Cuts, Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan on: May 15, 2017, 01:19:19 PM
"Please feel free to post that in the Tax thread here and the Economics thread on the SC&H forum too."

 http://www.heritage.org/node/18247/print-display
The tax rate cuts of the 1920s were followed by a 61% increase revenues over 7 years.
The Kennedy tax rate cuts brought a 62% increase in revenues over 7 years.
The Reagan tax rate cuts yielded a 54% increase over 6 years (100% over 10 years).

Then when Bush or Trump propose tax rate cuts, the media demands to know how they will deal with the static revenue loss - a demonstrably false premise question.
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Social justice wars, SJW warriors, victimhood, St Olaf college Hoax on: May 15, 2017, 01:10:57 PM
A story that went by recently was quite big here in MN.  Happens to be the college my daughter attended.  John Hinderaker also has a daughter attending there so Powerline blog has had good coverage of this, as well as in local news.

St Olaf college is a small, four year, expensive, Lutheran based school with high academics, world famous choir, good tennis team and a lot of blonde girls.  They "value diversity" and pay big money to get minorities to attend.  It is somewhat of a conservative place for a college these days, dry campus for example, though the students went for Hillary 90-10.

This is a happy place with not a hint of a racial problem and then along comes this story that a student of color found a good riddance, n-word note on her windshield, and then they shut the campus down, blocking where students eat, canceling classes, making demands, forcing the administration to study solutions etc.

But the note was a hoax, fake news, didn't happen; the student wrote her own note.

So what happens next?  They are thankful these (false) issues were brought to light and will continue to study and address them even though the incident was false.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/05/hate-crime-farce-at-st-olaf.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/05/the-trouble-at-st-olaf.php
https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/32560/
http://m.startribune.com/st-olaf-report-of-racist-note-on-black-student-s-windshield-was-fabricated/421912763/

https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/32392/
‘Student coup’ at St. Olaf College: Students block buildings, classes shut down over racial unrest
NATHAN RUBBELKE - STAFF REPORTER •MAY 1, 2017
 6340  1072 Share281  62

Racial unrest has wracked St. Olaf College, a small campus in rural Minnesota, with students essentially taking over the campus with aggressive protests that forced administrators to cancel classes on Monday so demonstrators could air their grievances in a day-long sit in.

The sit-in followed unrest on Saturday during which angry students blocked entrances to campus buildings and demanded redress for a string of alleged racial incidents on campus.
---------------------
Anyone familiar with the college should have been able to see from the start this was a calculated, SJW hoax.  If someone had a hatred toward this student, it would not have been for her skin color.  Real victims of real problems should be upset with fake victims of fake causes, hurting not helping them.
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: More indications Intel Assessment of Russian Interference was rigged on: May 15, 2017, 11:51:08 AM
quote author=G M
"Still 100% evidence free!"
-----------------
Senator Warner was all charged up about the investigation on Fox News Sunday yesterday.

After all the bloviating, Wallace asked him:

WALLACE: At various points, top officials, including former Director of National Intelligence Clapper have said that at that point, they had seen no evidence of collusion between the Kremlin and what I will call Trump-world. Have you seen any evidence of collusion?

WARNER: We are still relatively early in our investigation. [No we haven't.] ... We’re going to follow that intelligence wherever it leads.
http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2017/05/14/sens-mark-warner-and-mike-lee-on-replacing-james-comey-at-fbi.html


Sen. Feinstein said the same thing recently:

Do you have evidence that there was in fact collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign?” asked CNN’s Wolf Blizter.

“Not at this time,” replied Feinstein.
https://youtu.be/0BS5amEq7Fc

The point being that these people are on the committees and had classified briefings - for going on a year of looking.  No evidence "YET".

We need to investigate further because we don't have evidence - yet.  There is a cover up but no underlying crime.  A cover up of WHAT?  We need impeachment too, we just don't have the underlying crime yet for that either.

Meanwhile, we have plenty of evidence of Clinton collusion, Hillary from inside the State department and Bill from the Foundation, of collusion and pay, quid pro quo, over the State department approval of the Russian purchase of American Uranium assets.  Is there not a law against this?  Makes the Louisiana Congressman's $100,000 in the freezer look like peanuts.  He didn't sign off on a strategic asset.  The Russians didn't hack one voting machine, but millions of illegals voted at perhaps a 13% rate.  Ho hum.

Another shiny damn object that has nothing to do with reforming healthcare or growing the economy.  Twice in the hour above they interrupted collusion talk with Sen Mike Lee for a question 'about your day job', meaning the passing of legislation in the Senate.  Nothing there.  And Pres. Trump keeps feeding into this instead of either ignoring them or calling them out on it.

Strange times.  Double standard.  Shiny object.
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jonah's take on reasons for leaks on: May 12, 2017, 06:49:52 PM
Leaking classified information is a crime.

But when the 'leak' is false information, it is not a crime.  
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Calif Dem calls heartland "Podunk USA" on: May 12, 2017, 07:47:53 AM
A gaffe for Republicans is when they say something that's wrong.  For Democrats, it's when they reveal what they really think - like Jonathon Gruber selling Obamacare to the "stupid".  In this case, it is more about the "deplorables", the "bitter clingers".  The more refined, liberal, urban coastals like Rep. Eshoo believe you know-nothings in Podunk are an embarrassment.

http://freebeacon.com/politics/democrat-refers-middle-america-podunk-usa/

136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: May 11, 2017, 05:56:18 PM
"an honest liberal"  isn't that an oxymoron?  ... "useful idiot" by those who seek power via socialism.

I meant honest liberal in the optimistic sense.  Honest liberal is a temporary state.  A cognitive dissonant.
  An unstable compound.  The more honest you are - and curious and informed, the less liberal (meaning leftist) you will be.  So much of capitalism and conservatism is counter intuitive.  Acting in your own self interest like starting a business helps others, for example. So much of leftism is wrong in terms of policies and results.  Stealing capital from the rich didn't help the poor, for example.  Venezuela proved it.

The Venezuela experience gives us a time machine look at our (US) own future, following their path.

The 2% inflation target is a destructive force here over time.  Imagine 800% inflation!  And that isn't the central problem, just one of the symptoms.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela - Maybe they went too far (with socialism) on: May 11, 2017, 10:27:15 AM
'[Marxism] is not self sustaining.'

Even the good parts of government or public sector functions are not self sustaining - without a healthy, vibrant PRIVATE sector.

I asked an honest liberal, a Bernie Sanders supporter at the time, why Venezuela failed.  They were doing the same things there that liberals wanted to do here and they destroyed the economy.  She said:

"Maybe they went too far."

Yes, exactly.  All countries and economies have some socialism in them, common defense, post office, roads, safety net for the poor, government encroachments on private sector activities, etc.  In Venezuela under Chavez-Madura, they went too far!
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law, Comey on: May 11, 2017, 09:50:14 AM
The left, the media or the rule of law, who knows?  Does anyone seriously believe firing Comey will make some impeachment level crime of Trump's go away, of which there is no evidence after almost 12 months of investigation...

They didn't kill him.  He can still speak, and make appearances. They didn't fire the whole department.  Was he working alone in secret on something? 

Did he (successfully) investigate leaks in his own department, or the leaks of the bureaucracy (deep state) or of the previous administration?

Did he investigate the IRS scandal that came to light under his watch?  Who did they charge?  (No one)

Is there ANYTHING he did right or got right?
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Left went after the guy who interfered with their narrative no doubt on: May 11, 2017, 09:00:18 AM

Paragraph after paragraph of different angles to look at a shiny object.

President Trump said Comey wasn't doing a good job.

A minute before the firing, everyone in the country thought Comey was not doing a good job.

Even Comey said he has long believed a president can fire an FBI director for any reason or no reason.

No honest person in America believes the laws of the land were even-handedly enforced over Comey's tenure.

Do you remember the uproar from the last time a president fired an FBI director, Bill Clinton firing William Sessions in 1993?

Neither do I.
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration, James Comey on: May 10, 2017, 11:46:53 AM
When Loretta Lynch recused herself from the Hillary Clinton matter, that did not make James Comey in charge of prosecutorial decisions.  He pulled an Alexander Haig there, took charge, and blew it.

People asking why now should ask why their guy didn't do it when they thought he was failing at his job.  Or it is all just talk...

He didn't ask her any question about intent then said he didn't find intent, when the law clearly states that intent is not required.

She was guilty and then uncharged, treated differently from others because he did not want to upset the ongoing election.

Now she is still uncharged because he cannot or will not read the law, or enforce it.  He was fired once they had an assistant AG in place to do that.

Rightfully fired.  Good riddance.
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Venezuela ruined its oil industry on: May 09, 2017, 08:20:56 AM
Heavy oil has production challenges and it turns out that capitalism is capital intensive.  Jimmy Carter also tried to put 'excess profits' into social programs instead of into oil production machinery and expertise.  Chavez was more successful at it.

Now the Venezuelan oil sits in the ground and people starve.

Greed (self-interest) for Chavez and Maduro would have been to let the Venezuelan oil industry become the the biggest and the best in the world, instead of killing​ it.
--------------
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2017/05/07/how-venezuela-ruined-its-oil-industry/#7e6bb6d47399
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: May 08, 2017, 03:47:19 PM
"The french deserve to get what they voted for."

True, but WE would be better off with a better France.
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump Administration: http://www.timesofisrael.com/ivanka-trump-to-review-climat on: May 08, 2017, 03:33:10 PM
Ivanka Trump to review climate change as US mulls Paris pullout
The president’s daughter and adviser will look at the issue as he weighs taking the US out of a global emissions-cutting deal

http://www.timesofisrael.com/ivanka-trump-to-review-climate-change-as-us-mulls-paris-pullout/
-----------------------

His liberal daughter is the best person in the country to advise on this most important decision?

He should have elevated an expert to take on the experts, someone like Richard Lindzen, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer, John Christy.
http://www.populartechnology.net/2008/11/carbon-dioxide-co2-is-not-pollution.html?m=1
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The mystery of Venezuela's collapse on: May 08, 2017, 03:24:37 PM
quote author=G M
http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/what-caused-venezuelas-collapse-is-no-mystery-except-to-economically-illiterate-journalists/
What Caused Venezuela's Collapse Is No Mystery — Except To Economically Illiterate Journalists
...

More on that:
As Venezuela Implodes, NBC Avoids Naming the Cause: Socialism
http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tom-blumer/2017/05/07/venezuela-implodes-nbc-avoids-naming-cause-socialism

Leftists should be proud of what their policies wrought.  Not just an end to obscene prosperity, but also genocidal weight loss.
---------------

I like this line from GM's post:  The list of Chavez / Maduro accomplishments reads like a Democratic Party Platform.

The economic results are relevant to the US political economic argument.


145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters, French election on: May 08, 2017, 03:04:52 PM
Macron won, 66-34.  Though I found myself pulling for disruption versus more of the same, Le Pen and her party really gave nothing much to identify with.

Her party was recently associated with holocaust denial? and anti-semitism?  Her own economics has nothing to do with mine, how do you side against free trade?

The objection with 'Europe' / EU from my point of view is about being governed by afar, by bureaucrats.  If I were French, I would oppose loss of sovereignty, not oppose trade.

France has and unemployment rate of 10% while younger workers have an unemployment rate of 20%.  Sadly, his election will do nothing to improve that.  Le Pen likely wouldn't have fixed that either.

Macron winning means that no better candidate or party was on the ballot.  France isn't a conservative country.  The left reforms by changing their name.  The conservative / right needs a new political economic paradigm as well.
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Le Pen win on Sunday could be the West’s biggest shock this century on: May 05, 2017, 02:45:38 PM
https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/05/05/forget-trump-forget-brexit-a-le-pen-win-on-sunday-could-be-the-wests-biggest-shock-this-century-analysis.html

Everyone says it won't happen...
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / KoreaTimes: China urges citizens in N. Korea to return home on: May 05, 2017, 02:35:37 PM
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2017/05/103_228651.html

China urges citizens in N. Korea to return home Posted : 2017-05-02 13:52Updated : 2017-05-03 17:
 
North Korean soldiers carry the Korean People's Army flag as they walk past residential buildings along Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea, Apr. 13. / AP-Yonhap

By Ko Dong-hwan

The Chinese Embassy in North Korea has advised Korean-Chinese residents to return home amid concern that the North's military provocations may trigger a U.S. attack on the North, according to a source.

The embassy began sending the message on Apr. 20, five days before the North celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Korean People's Army with a show of military power, Radio Free Asia said Tuesday.

The U.S.-based station specializes in North Korea.

The station cited a Korean-Chinese living in the North's capital, who said he left for China late last month after the embassy contacted him.

He said he has been visiting China every two to three months but, after being told he should "stay in China for a while," left North Korea a month early.

"The embassy has never given such a warning. I was worried and left the country in a hurry," said the man, whose name was withheld.

But he said that most Korean-Chinese residents in Pyongyang were ignoring the message.

The city's "peaceful" atmosphere, despite the global crisis due to the state's threats involving missiles and nuclear tests, might have kept them unaware of the situation, he added.

The embassy's warning indicates that China is worried that the saber-rattling North and U.S. moves to destabilize the Kim Jong-un regime might affect Chinese citizens abroad.

The North was expected to conduct its sixth nuclear test around the 105th anniversary of the state's founder Kim Il-sung's birth on Apr. 15 and/or on the national military anniversary on Apr. 25.

The test did not happen on either day, except a fizzled missile test on Apr. 29.
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon on: May 05, 2017, 02:28:44 PM
Welcome Michael!  Honored to have you here.  Very interesting insight.  Would the pro-North Korean groups in Japan favor the regime or the people?
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mark Mills, Energy Demand: The Cloud on: May 04, 2017, 09:53:07 AM
Mark Mills of Gilder Technology fame has written a blockbuster analysis here:

http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2017/05/03/energy_revolutions_hidden_in_plain_sight_part_2_of_3_demand__the_cloud_crushes_electric_cars_110219.html

In 10 years, the energy use of "the cloud" has already surpassed all of aviation n the world, and the growth of it has hit tip of the iceberg level yet.  The super data centers like google requires have amazing usage and growth.  Google's usage is up 12-fold in the last 4 years.  Hyperscale Data Centers:  https://www.enterprisetech.com/2017/04/12/hyperscalers-emerging-hype-phase/  Wireless takes far more eneergy than wired. (Who knew?)

If the IT sector was a nation, it is already the 3rd largest user of energy behind China and the US.

This is second in a series.  Maybe he will get to how (nuclear?) we need to produce this new energy requirement.

First part, Shale Crushes Solar, is here:  http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2017/04/26/energy_revolutions_hidden_in_plain_sight_part_1_of_3_--_shale_crushes_solar_110215.html
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War on the rule of law, Susan Rice, Comey, HRC, Loretta Lynch on: May 04, 2017, 09:14:18 AM
ccp: no loss  (politics)
The congressional hearings are such a waste of time anyway.  She is just going to lie her way through them even if she showed up so what is the point?
Have we ever seen any consequences that means anything from any of these things?  I can't recall any:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-obama-security-adviser-declines-invite-testify-220908322--politics.html
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Congressional hearings are a waste of time because congress had no power (under Obama) to jail the people it held in contempt.  Eric Holder comes to mind.  Lois Lerner.  The IRS commissioner.

Having Susan Rice, who was at the center of some of the administration's lies, testify (falsely) under oath does have some potential value IMHO.
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Comey and the Russians cost Hillary the election?  First it wikileaks, not the Russians, and what they were releasing was proof she broke the rule of law.

Comey went public when Loretta Lynch recused herself.  Why?  For meeting with Bill Clinton secretly.  Does that break the rule of law?  Of course.  Ex parte, interfering with a federal investigation, and for another thing, equal treatment under the law.  What other person under federal investigation gets to have one of the richest and most powerful men in the world, who got her her job and largely controls her future, meet in secret with the Attorney General SECRETLY right while she is making her decision of whether to go forward with criminal prosecution.  She shouldn't have 'recused herself' from the decision, she should have been escorted off the scene in handcuffs, read her rights and been given a fair trial.

Comey, who never asked HRC a question about intent, is still talking yesterday about finding no evidence of intent in the hidden and discovered emails.  Unmentioned is that the espionage act she broke dos not in any way require intent.

And what was the intent of the private server that BILL Cinton set up and Hillary used?  James Carville said it on national television.  To keep these committees from seeing these correspondences.  And what was the business, proven in all the hacked and released emails?  The co-mingling of the Clinton Foundation, State Department business, and the accompanying Clinton personal wealth gain tied to it as plain to see as the sunrise on a clear day.

And to jail goes no one.

Rule of law?  What rule of law!

If you or I (or George W Bush) did the same thing, we would be in jail now.
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