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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Venezuela Will Be The First Domino To Fall With The Price of Oil (?) on: December 10, 2014, 10:42:45 PM
It looks like Stratfor has already covered this.  I wonder what Denny S. sees happening there.  Does this weaken the regime or just make things worse?

http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/10/venezuela-not-russia-will-be-the-first-domino-to-fall-with-the-price-of-oil/
Venezuela, Not Russia, Will Be The First Domino To Fall With The Price of Oil

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2014/12/10/venezuela-us-flooding-market-with-fracking-produced-oil/
Venezuela: U.S. flooding market with fracking-produced oil
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won't be part of new Senate! on: December 10, 2014, 10:33:21 PM
Where is Ben Nelson with his Cornhusker kickback, anyway?  (Head of lobby group.)

They used to talk about incumbents having a 98% reelection rate.  Incumbency is quite powerful; even Obama won reelection.

Yet 30 of the 60 Senators who voted for Obamacare are now gone from or leaving the Senate in just 5 years, with Mary Landrieu being the latest.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/half-of-the-senators-who-voted-for-obamacare-wont-be-part-of-new-senate/article/2555721
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Late Term Abortion, What is Human? on: December 10, 2014, 10:21:35 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q04-l2cm1oQ&index=33&list=UUvC6KqMFj7ifnd-JH7hYtQA

Please see if this link works.  Very powerful video.  A nice woman apparently has a hidden camera and asks the clinic staff a lot of innocent questions about what is happening in a late term abortion.

What is human?

By the end, one might ask, what is inhuman?   Merriam-webster.com says, inhuman is a: lacking pity, kindness, or mercy : savage <an inhuman tyrant> b : cold, impersonal.  Sound more like the abortionist than the fetus.
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left - The Feinstein Torture Report on: December 10, 2014, 10:05:28 PM
When people in these lands learn about all the bad Americans have done, it creates a whole new generation of terrorist.  So the liberals say. 
Now they want the whole world to know all they can release of details, methods, locations, partners, etc.
And they exaggerate what was done while playing down its value.

Torture in an al Qaida manual is when you scoop out the eyeballs one by one.  When the enemy says we'll kill your children ... they kill your children.
Why do we want to tell future terrorists that we won't hurt anyone.

Who did we hurt, by the way?  Who got injured by a US interrogator?
No one that I know of.

What did we get with these strong techniques?
Names, places, dates, plans, organizations, arrests, attacks stopped.  That kind of thing.

We would have had that information anyway? 
Yeah, right.  Maybe after the fact.
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Columbia Law School Postponed Finals for students Tramatized over Ferguson on: December 10, 2014, 09:49:34 PM
The Grand Jury getting the non-indictment right posed an "existential worry" to some students.
"It’s an existential worry. Then having to apply the very law that’s being used to oppress us.”

Can you imagine a case far away, that you know nothing about, not going your way, right before finals?  Who could fight through that kind of trauma?!

NY Times credits Powerline blog for breaking this story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/09/nyregion/columbia-lets-law-students-delay-exams-after-garner-and-brown-decisions.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=1
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/ny-times-reports-on-columbia-exam-postponement.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/columbia-law-school-and-existential-worry.php
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: December 09, 2014, 05:44:56 PM
The reification of John Edwards "two Americas"  cry

There are two Americas, but not divided by rich and poor as Edwards asserted, IMHO.  There is the America where your household participates or particpated in the productive economy and there is the America living where no one has done that.  To me, that means the school janitor and the successful business owner are in the same, interconnected economy.  They have more in common with each other than with people who don't have to get up in the morning, work and pay taxes.
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: US Tax Policy causing some overseas Americans to give up citizenship on: December 09, 2014, 05:28:29 PM

Out with the rich.  In with the poor.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics, Income Inequality Is Greatest In the Most Liberal States on: December 07, 2014, 12:38:16 PM
Famous people caught reading the forum?  This has already been widely reported here.  No one is saying which direction the cause and effect arrow is pointing...

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/120414-729164-income-inequality-is-greatest-in-the-most-liberal-states.htm

Income Inequality Is Greatest In the Most Liberal States

109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China, We're Number Two! on: December 07, 2014, 12:34:57 PM
I don't happen to believe this.  Just reporting what's being reported.  Another feather in Obama's cap.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-official-america-is-now-no-2-2014-12-04

It’s official: America is now No. 2

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.

It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.


The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.

As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.

110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs, Another Govt-Backed Solar Company Crashes on: December 07, 2014, 12:30:24 PM
Are we so big that we don't even report our program failures anymore?

Another Govt-Backed Solar Company Crashes
http://www.newsmax.com/Ira-Stoll/solar-solyndra-bailout/2014/12/01/id/610204/

Better solar technology is coming next year.  Why wait for a private market to function freely when you can pretend to command an economy - like the highly successful Soviets.
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Foreign Policy, Pearl Harbor attack, May we never forget! on: December 07, 2014, 12:22:32 PM
Happy December 7th everybody.  I wonder how long a period FDR meant by "May we never forget!"?
http://www.visionradioproductions.com/node/580

What were the lessons?

Peace comes through strength and deterrence.

There are people and regimes out there who would love to harm us.

Never has this been more true than now.

FDR did not say, may our strength and resolve oscillate with the polling data of current era focus groups!
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, George Will: Government for the strongest on: December 07, 2014, 12:10:48 PM
Perhaps George Will's best column ever, IMHO.

We rightfully worry a lot around here about elected Republicans not governing conservatively and not representing our own best interests.  A much greater failure has been elected Democrats not representing their constituents best interests.  Who else is pointing THAT out?

Government for the strongest

By George F. Will Opinion writer December 5, 2014

Intellectually undemanding progressives, excited by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — advocate of the downtrodden and the Export-Import Bank — have at last noticed something obvious: Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives’ promptings, serves the strong. It is responsive to factions sufficiently sophisticated and moneyed to understand and manipulate its complexity.

Hence Democrats, the principal creators of this complexity, receive more than 70 percent of lawyers’ political contributions. Yet progressives, refusing to see this defect — big government captured by big interests — as systemic, want to make government an ever more muscular engine of regulation and redistribution. Were progressives serious about what used to preoccupy America’s left — entrenched elites, crony capitalism and other impediments to upward mobility — they would study “The New Class Conflict,” by Joel Kotkin, a lifelong Democrat.

The American majority that believes life will be worse for the next few decades — more than double the number who believe things will be better — senses that 95 percent of income gains from 2009-2012 went to the wealthiest 1 percent. This, Kotkin believes, reflects the “growing alliance between the ultra-wealthy and the instruments of state power.” In 2012, Barack Obama carried eight of America’s 10 wealthiest counties.

In the 1880s, Kotkin says, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s railroad revenues were larger than the federal government’s revenues. That was the old economy. This is the new: In 2013, the combined ad revenue of all American newspapers was smaller than Google’s; so was magazine revenue. In 2013, Google’s market capitalization was six times that of GM, but Google had one-fifth as many employees. The fortunes of those Kotkin calls “the new Oligarchs” are based “primarily on the sale of essentially ephemeral goods: media, advertising and entertainment.”

He calls another ascendant group the Clerisy, which is based in academia (where there are many more administrators and staffers than full-time instructors), media, the nonprofit sector and, especially, government: Since 1945, government employment has grown more than twice as fast as America’s population. The Founders worried about government being captured by factions; they did not foresee government becoming society’s most rapacious and overbearing faction.

The Clerisy is, Kotkin says, increasingly uniform in its views, and its power stems from “persuading, instructing and regulating the rest of society.” The Clerisy supplies the administrators of progressivism’s administrative state, the regulators of the majority that needs to be benevolently regulated toward progress.

The Clerisy’s policies include dense urban living as a “sustainable” alternative to suburbia, and serving environmentalism by consuming less. Hence the sluggish growth and job creation since the recession ended in June 2009 — a.k.a. the “new normal” — do not seriously disturb the Clerisy. It preaches what others — including the 43 percent of non-college-educated whites who consider themselves downwardly mobile — are supposed to practice. The result, Kotkin says, is a “more stratified, less permeable social order.” And today’s “plutonomy,” an economy fueled by the spending of the relatively few people who guaranteed that luxury brands did best during the recession.

Michael Bloomberg, an archetypical progressive, enunciated a “ ‘Downton Abbey’ vision of the American future” (Walter Russell Mead’s phrase) for New York. As New York City’s mayor, Bloomberg said: “If we can find a bunch of billionaires around the world to move here, that would be a godsend, because that’s where the revenue comes to take care of everybody else.” Progressive government, not rapid, broad-based economic growth, will “take care of” the dependent majority.

In New York, an incubator of progressivism, Kotkin reports, the “wealthiest 1 percent earn a third of the entire city’s personal income — almost twice the proportion for the rest of the country.” California, a one-party laboratory for progressivism, is home to 111 billionaires and the nation’s highest poverty rate (adjusted for the cost of living). One study shows that young Californians are less likely to become college graduates than their parents were. “The state’s ‘green energy’ initiatives,” Kotkin observes, “supported by most tech and many financial Oligarchs, have raised electricity rates well above the national average, making it difficult for firms in traditional fields like manufacturing, fossil fuels, agriculture or logistics.” California is no longer a destination for what Kotkin calls “aspirational families”: In 2013, he says, Houston had more housing starts than all of California.

In 2010, there were 27 million more Americans than in 2000 — but fewer births, a reflection, surely, of what Kotkin calls “the end of intergenerational optimism.” The political future belongs to those who will displace the progressive Clerisy’s objectives with an agenda of economic growth.
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, unemployment smoke and mirrors on: December 07, 2014, 12:01:06 PM
ccp:  "Someone called into Mark Levin and wondered if the 5 million illegals who are now legal will be added to the unemployment rolls.  Since I believe the vast majority who are not children are working Obama could  claim he "added" a million or two new jobs to the rolls.  That assumes these people will also admit to working."

We have illegals working her in numbers greater that all the working class citizens looking for work.  If we wanted to absorb new immigrants at a faster rate, we should combine that wish with policies that enhance the starting and growing of new businesses and jobs, instead of the opposite.


"The point is the unemployment numbers are all just smoke and mirrors.  And this is one more example to prove it. "

Lead story yesterday on our local paper was just how great the employment situation now is.  Twin Cities' unemployment is now back to 3.6%.  No mention that the majority of adults in north Minneapolis are now permanently out of the workforce.

Meanwhile, the number of adults completely out of the workforce in America will hit 100 million by the end of the Obama administration.  More adults have left the workforce than work full time in the private sector, 92M to 86M.

Yes, ccp, we need new ways to measure and talk about employment and unemployment.
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: A World Without Israel Part One... on: December 07, 2014, 11:44:49 AM
Thank you for posting this, Crafty.  It is superb.  I am looking forward to parts 2 through 4.  Well worth the members here watching.  Profound discussion.

Agree.  Besides Israel, great points made about the failure of the UN.  Why does it seem to be off limits to propose a better way for peace seeking nations to organize?
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rumors of sanctions on Israel instead of Iran on: December 07, 2014, 11:26:13 AM
Makes sense, our president likes  Iran much more than Israel.

Oddly, our first female President, Valerie Jarrett, was born in Iran.

I'm no conspiracy buff for what we can't see behind the scenes, but you would think someone would want to hold this administration accountable for what we can see.

Why is it an easier political position to take, to choose sides with radical Islamic terrorism rather than with our only ally in the region?
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Jefferson, 1823: Law and common sense on: December 05, 2014, 10:19:24 AM
"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 1823


This is why I don't hold the views of the experts much higher than our views on important Supreme Court cases.  For one thing, the experts do not always get it right.  Often they attempt to use "metaphysical subtleties" to arrive at contorted opinions of the law or constitution.  Tests like strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, rational basis, and adhering to precedent are useful to a point.  Also valid is for a citizen to read the facts, law, article or amendment in question and apply common sense to it.
117  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: NYC: The Garner "chokehold" death, the Grand Jury, and the no indictment on: December 04, 2014, 05:42:20 PM
Here's the facts as I currently understand them to be:

Local merchants (all or most black?) went to the police station to complain about 6'3" 350 pound Garner (31 arrests to his credit) causing problems in front of their stores and driving away business.   The squad sent was led by a black female sergeant sent by a black precinct commander.

In the footage we have all seen repeatedly I am not seeing ANY "chokehold" at all.  I see a basic "over/under" as part of a team takedown.  

As far as the numerous times Garner says "I can't breathe" goes, a) people being arrested say excrement all the time (You're breaking my arm!  You're killing me! etc) b) if he can't breathe, he can't talk.  Bottom line, readily understandable that the cops blew this off.

Coroner's report shows he was seriously overweight, diabetic, and asmatic.

For me an easy call that the police acted correctly and that the racial pandering has begun.   AG Holder has announced an investigation and the President has already blathered about uneuqal justice.  Somehow this goes unnoticed

I like Crafty's take on this.  I was disturbed to see Charles Krauthammer call the Grand Jury verdict incomprehensible.  http://thehill.com/video/in-the-news/225948-krauthammer-staten-island-grand-jury-decision-totally-incomprehensible  I have not viewed the video.  Good point that if you can hear him on audio/video saying he can't breathe, then he is breathing.  The law against selling untaxed, loose cigarettes is a whole, other issue.  I have pointed out many times that no one knows how many laws a simple lemonade stand is breaking.  This takedown was because of resisting arrest.  They could have used mace, stun gun,or  taken him down in other ways that also could have resulted in death, if it was because of his condition,  A black captain ordered a black sergeant to arrest him.  Blacxk store owners too?  This isn't racial.  You simply don't resist arrest.  When a cop is wrong, we have a system for that.  When a law is wrong, we have a system for that.  In a libertarian state, if it was legal to sell an untaxed product, it still would not be legal to block public access to someone else's business to do that.  That was the complaint that started this, as I understand it.
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market on: December 04, 2014, 11:02:27 AM
1)  I give due credit to Wesbury and other bulls for calling the good stock market over these times.  (Not for the reasons they give.)

2)   There is such a disconnect between the US economy and the stock market that maybe they are separate topics...

3)   Wesbury gets this right on two important counts:

 "don't blame the private sector for slow growth, blame government"

This is slow growth, and this is government's fault.  Growth could be, should be, 4-5% or more - consistently, under pro-growth policies.

4)  Actual, real growth in per person consumption expenditures is up (only) 1.4% over the past year.  Real GDP growth per person was up only 1.7%.  Source:  stlouisfed.org

This is pathetic and almost unprecedented stagnation for coming out of such a deep hole.


119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ACA erodes work incentives ELEVEN times worse than Mass. Romneycare on: December 04, 2014, 10:38:18 AM
Too bad candidate Romney never understood or articulated this point.

"Overall, the ACA erodes nationwide average work incentives about eleven times more than Romneycare did in the state of Massachusetts"

http://acasideeffects.com/
http://caseymulligan.blogspot.com/2014/11/professor-krugman-continues-to.html
http://caseymulligan.blogspot.com/
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / America, Who pays the taxes? on: December 04, 2014, 10:29:17 AM


Source:  CBO

Read through the table carefully.  It begs a number of questions. 
Why are lower earners mad at or blaming upper earners for our problems and their problems?
Why do we subsidize second and third quintile voters I mean earners more than low income earners?
At $16 trillion in debt, why is someone making 50k getting a net subsidy at all?
What is missing here is the marginal tax rate each person faces.  The size of that all the way up and down might surprise you!
Why do we have any marginal rate above 20% as a disincentive when we collect so much less?
What tax system would collect more or the same and motivate people all the way up and down to produce more?
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio, All or none on: December 03, 2014, 11:08:10 PM
Rubio is in an unusual position where he has to not seek reelection to the Senate if he wants to pursue the Presidency.  Control of the Senate may rest on the Florida race for his seat, so he can't leave it until spring 2016 to announce if he is out.  He has perhaps a one in twelve chance of winning just the nomination at this point.  Many would handicap it lower than that.  I think he will be either the next President or Vice President.  But I only get one vote.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/12/03/rubios_2016_choice_rife_with_complications_uncertainty__124829.html
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential, Hillary is the Underdog, Sean Trende, RCP on: December 03, 2014, 10:53:05 PM
Projecting the economy and the (dis)approval of the incumbent:

"At 2.8 percent growth and using Obama’s current job approval, the model forecasts a Democratic loss of 4.6 points"

"... these models probably can give us a rough sense of what would happen under various fundamentals for 2016.  They point to a reasonably close election; they do not suggest that the Democratic nominee should be considered the favorite at this point."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/12/03/economy_doesnt_make_clinton_a_favorite_in_2016_124832.html#ixzz3KtxFOg9p
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Congressional races: Early look at the 2016 Senate races on: December 03, 2014, 10:45:56 PM
Yes, this matters now.

Democratic Takeover of Senate in 2016 Possible but Not a Slam Dunk
Michael Barone | Dec 01, 2014
http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbarone/2014/12/01/democratic-takeover-of-senate-in-2016-possible-but-not-a-slam-dunk-n1925769/page/full

...six of the seven seats Republicans will be defending in 2016 are in states that Obama carried with between 50 and 52 percent of the vote.  In three of these Obama states, Republican incumbents have shown a capacity to run well ahead of their party -- Charles Grassley in Iowa (52 percent Obama), Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire (52 percent) and Rob Portman in Ohio (51 percent). They may well do so again.  Three others would not have to run much ahead of party lines to prevail -- Marco Rubio in Florida (where Obama got 50 percent), Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania (52 percent) and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin (52 percent).  ...it is conceivable that Republicans could lose Richard Burr's seat in North Carolina (48 percent Obama).

Eight of the 10 seats Democrats are defending are in states Obama carried with at least 54 percent of the vote, and they don't look vulnerable. Michael Bennet in Colorado (51 percent for Obama) has been forewarned by his colleague Mark Udall's defeat. Harry Reid in Nevada (52 percent Obama) looks beatable

Democrats do look well-positioned to gain Senate seats, but not necessarily the number needed to overturn what looks to be a 54-46 Republican majority.
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rule of law:"What if" Video, Obama called out by Bill Cassidy on: December 03, 2014, 09:33:35 PM
Also posted on Glibness thread:

2 minutes, please watch if you didn't already.

"What if"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2JpRw8h9N0

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/in-louisiana-its-bill-cassidy-against-barack-obama.php
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues: What about the AMERICAN worker? on: December 03, 2014, 11:29:28 AM
This is an excellent exchange between a Republican congressman and the Obama Secretary who issued the new rules.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjG65YFnsR0
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2 minute video sums up Administration of His Glibness on: December 03, 2014, 11:04:30 AM
(The people of Louisiana already know Mary Landrieu votes with him 97% of the time.)

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/in-louisiana-its-bill-cassidy-against-barack-obama.php

It's 2 minutes.  Watch the video!
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration, Congress has options to answer Obama’s dishonest executive amnesty on: December 03, 2014, 10:48:39 AM
Eastman answers Crafty's challenge:

"...would give lawful status to the millions of people who are  beneficiaries of the new policy, and afford to them work authorization and other benefits that are specifically prohibited by U.S. law."

"there are few areas of constitutional authority that are more clearly vested in the Congress than determinations of immigration and naturalization policy.  The Supreme Court has routinely described Congress’s power in this area as “plenary,” that is, an unqualified and absolute power."

"...lawfully authorized workers displaced by those to whom Obama has unlawfully extended work authorization have the kind of particularized injury that would give them legal standing to challenge the new policy.  Workers compensation insurance carriers, too, might be able to challenge the policy, which forces them to extend coverage to those not legally able to work. "


Funny(?) that the previous action applies to CHILDREN up to the age of 35!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/225412-congress-has-options-to-answer-obamas-dishonest-executive

Congress has options to answer Obama’s dishonest executive amnesty
By John C. Eastman

The president’s statement on November 20, 2014 contained several outright falsehoods.  More significantly, masked behind the discussion over prosecutorial discretion is a flagrant violation of the Constitution’s core separation of powers principle that Congress, not the president, makes the law. 

First the lies, damn lies, and statistics.  President Obama said that deportations are up over 80 percent.  Truth be told, his administration has manipulated the definition of “deportation” in order to make that claim.  Those caught and turned away at the border are now included in the total, whereas before they were not.  Comparing apples to apples, the Los Angeles Times reported last April that deportations are down by more than 40 percent since Obama first took office, and the New York Times reported that there was a 26 percent drop in deportations in fiscal year 2013 alone.

Obama also claimed that “The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every single Democratic President for the past half century.”  False again. 
Presidents routinely exercise prosecutorial discretion in individual cases because they seldom have the resources to enforce every minor violation of the law.  But rarely has a President engaged in such a wholesale, categorical non-enforcement of the law as Obama did two years ago with the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program (which was available to anyone up to the age of 35!), and now the massively expanded program announced on November 20. 

The president’s largest whopper was this:  “Now, let’s be clear about what [the new program] isn’t. . . . It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive—only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”

Not true by a long shot.  Non-deportation alone would be an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, even if wholesale, categorical non-enforcement pushes the limits of that doctrine beyond the breaking point.  But Obama’s new directive (which was not even issued as an executive order, but merely a “memo” from the Secretary of Homeland Security) would give lawful status to the millions of people who are  beneficiaries of the new policy, and afford to them work authorization and other benefits that are specifically prohibited by U.S. law.   

As the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service announced with respect to the predecessor DACA program, “An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by DHS to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period of deferred action is in effect.”  That’s why hundreds of thousands of DACA applicants were deemed to have “legal status,” obtain work authorization, and also obtain driver’s licenses (which were then used to open the door to a host of other benefits available only to citizens and those with lawful permanent residence).  The new program will expand that number to millions, perhaps tens of millions.

Obama was right about one thing:  “Only Congress can do that.”  Indeed, there are few areas of constitutional authority that are more clearly vested in the Congress than determinations of immigration and naturalization policy.  The Supreme Court has routinely described Congress’s power in this area as “plenary,” that is, an unqualified and absolute power. 

But Obama went ahead and did it anyway.  Contradicting even his own express statements over the past four years that he did not have the constitutional authority to do this.

Congress is not without constitutional checks on a president who abuses the powers of his office.  It has the power of the purse, and it can use that power to prohibit the expenditure of funds for carrying out the president’s dictate to extend work authorization to those not lawfully authorized to work. 

And there may be litigation strategies that can be employed, as well.  For example, lawfully authorized workers displaced by those to whom Obama has unlawfully extended work authorization have the kind of particularized injury that would give them legal standing to challenge the new policy.  Workers compensation insurance carriers, too, might be able to challenge the policy, which forces them to extend coverage to those not legally able to work. 

Whatever path is pursued, it is critical that this constitutional crisis not go unanswered; the rule of law itself is at stake.

Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, the director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and the chairman of the Federalist Society’s Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group.
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, Time Person of the Year ... on: December 02, 2014, 11:48:19 PM
Time Person of the Year will be the Ferguson inspired rioters.  This is a prediction not an announcement.  (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/29/ferguson-protesters/19660827/)

Time Person of the Year should be - the lead engineer on fracking.  Or maybe the incoming Republican Senate.  Or:  the new prime minister of India.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Morons:Drilling for oil won't lower gas/oil prices, CNN Money, 2011 on: December 02, 2014, 11:31:20 PM
Heh!

We were right and they were wrong, but they learned nothing from it and will continue on with biased and ignorant reporting.  The msm won't provide as simple an economic axiom as increasing supply puts downward pressure on price.  We have to compete with only facts and truth on our side.  No mainstream amplifier.

It was the same argument made against ANWR production.  New supplies will be too little to make an impact on a global market and will take 10 years to affect market prices anyway, 15 years ago.  But it doesn't take 10 years to affect a futures market!  Further on energy, they could go back and discover that keystone XL would have been a good move 6 years ago, with a positive ripple effect throughout the economy and the safest way to move what we are already transporting and using.  

For the most part, you have to go to a conservative site to learn a fact that disrupts a liberal media talking point.
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: December 02, 2014, 09:17:07 PM
Sen. Joe Mancin of WV may be tempted to flip to the Reps.

I hope you are right.  If it was only personal Washington power at stake, or if you are looking from anywhere except WV it makes perfect sense, he ran against Obama and the Dem party agenda, but according to this Redstate piece, Joe Manchim IS the Democratic party of West Virginia.
http://www.redstate.com/diary/unsilentmajority/2014/11/07/joe-manchin-will-flip-republican/

When he looks at Mary Landrieu abandoned to obscurity in Louisiana, among other things. conservative Dems in WV should see that all need to flip.

It would be a BIG deal, making the Republicans +10 for the year, Democrats -10! (By my count.)   If they aren't offering him committee assignments and prime offices, they should be.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Congressional races - Mary Landrieu, Under the Bus on: December 02, 2014, 07:51:42 PM
Chris Cillizza, Washington Post today,  "You'd be hard-pressed to find a single Democrat in Washington not named "Landrieu" even talking about the race and even fewer (if that's possible) who think she has any chance at winning."

Longtime aide to former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux (D),  "I don’t know anyone outside of her staff who thinks she has a chance to win next Saturday".

This lost dog has only the Humane Society backing her now.  (Not joking.)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/12/01/what-the-heck-happened-to-mary-landrieu/

Previously, in this thread:  "Goodbye Mary Landrieu.  The Republican takeover will now jump to +9.  Dem losses are -9.  Net shift in votes is 18.  And the margin is high enough for Republicans to have a good shot of retaining control in the next, much harder cycle."
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1273.msg84642#msg84642


I don't get how you quit.  How does Obama give up? Ok, she doesn't want him there, but why don't they send money?  (The answer is because they all know she can't win.)  Why do they say this is about money?  She is a 12 year incumbent!  She can get a message out - if she had one.  Elect me and I will ... what?  Lol.  People already heard her message and saw her results of their policies.  Why doesn't Hillary care?  (No pun intended.)  http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/hillary-clintons-awkward-keystone-day  Aren't they the crowned royalty of fundraising?  They can't find a couple mil?  Or they won't?!  Has Hillary conceded the Senate for the next 6 years?  How do you govern without the Senate, get everyone from cabinet to Supreme Court appointments confirmed, treaties ratified, budgets passed?  Ask Barack Obama about the fun of divided government.  There is nothing Hillary can or will do right now to win these key seat in this key state.  Or is this her best?  She is just too boxed in with failure.  Maybe Hillary isn't running either!  Maybe this was her last stand:



I'll bet you Hillary is not booked to go down for the 'victory' party.  Mary will enjoy that one without the Obama, Clinton machines.
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, Ferguson, Bill Whittle on: December 02, 2014, 10:19:56 AM
A different look at race than Obama, Holder see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGTUcS-yQtQ
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Morons:Drilling for oil won't lower gas/oil prices, CNN Money, 2011 on: December 02, 2014, 10:11:24 AM
Cognitive Dissonance of the Left, Economic Illiteracy and Media Issues, all one in the same!

This is under NEWS, not opinion!

Adding to the supply won't lower the price?  Why not?  Worst case doesn't it lower the future price increases - which is lowering the price!

"The United States simply doesn't have enough oil to move world markets. Plus, any increase would be offset by OPEC."  Huh?  Wouldn't it be the opposite.  They have to produce more yet to get the same revenue or profit.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/25/news/economy/oil_drilling_gas_prices/

Gas Prices
Drill baby drill won't lower gas prices

The United States simply doesn't have enough oil to move world markets. Plus, any increase would be offset by OPEC.

By Steve Hargreaves, senior writer April 25, 2011: 11:22 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Every time gas prices reach record highs the call goes out for more oil drilling. This year it's no different.

The problem is this: While increased oil and gas drilling in the United States may create good-paying jobs, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower the trade deficit, it will have hardly any impact on gas and oil prices.

That's because the amount of extra oil that could be produced from more drilling in this country is tiny compared to what the world consumes.

134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How to Replace Obamacare on: December 01, 2014, 10:17:51 AM
The starting point for a full replacement plan should be a rational synthesis of the two best reform plans now on the table: one developed by the 2017 Project (a group dedicated to developing a conservative reform agenda for the next administration) and the other by Republican Senators Richard Burr, Tom Coburn, and Orrin Hatch. The two plans share much in common. They are practical, market-based solutions. They both retain the employer-based health-insurance system for the vast majority of Americans, even as they would encourage more cost discipline in the most expensive job-based plans with a limitation on the federal tax break for employer-paid premiums. To broaden insurance enrollment and to correct an inequity in current law, they also would provide a new federal tax credit to households without access to employer coverage. The credit would be adjusted by age (and, in the case of Burr-Coburn-Hatch, by income) and could be used to purchase any state-approved health-insurance product. Finally, the plans would create a new “continuous-coverage protection” construct: People who stay continuously enrolled in health insurance would be protected from premium hikes based on their health status and from exclusions from coverage based on a preexisting condition.
— James C. Capretta, AEI
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393678/how-replace-obamacare-james-c-capretta

2017 Project:  http://2017project.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/An-Obamacare-Alternative-Full-Proposal.pdf

Burr, Coburn, Hatch:  http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=871b0ef8-7705-4f72-aef2-e81d01b9c009
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / IBD on the House Intel Benghazi report on: December 01, 2014, 10:06:17 AM
Strange that the House panel report has Republicans vindicating perhaps Hillary while not believing the story of the eyewitnesses on the ground.  When the truth finally gets sorted out, the ones who failed to act will point back to this report for cover.  I'm all for the truth; I doubt if this is it.  IBD lays out how this report makes no sense.
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http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/112414-727811-house-intel-report-challenged-by-benghazi-team.htm

House Intel Benghazi Report A Lie Agreed Upon

Scandal: The Benghazi annex security team that fought on the building's rooftop to save its lives and those of others begs to differ with the House Intelligence Committee claim that there was no stand-down order.

To say that Kris Paronto, Mark Geist and John Tiegen, three CIA contractors who on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, battled with terrorists from the roof of the CIA's Benghazi annex building, do not agree with conclusions of the House Intelligence Committee report released Friday is putting it mildly. In a tweet, Paronto called the report "a pile of crap."

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham was equally eloquent during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," agreeing the report was "full of crap."

"I know Benghazi pretty well," he said Sunday. "I don't think that the report is accurate."

Neither do we, for it flies in the face of testimony from the three CIA operators and Gregory Hicks, U.S. deputy chief of mission in Libya, who were on the ground in Libya on that fateful night.

The report by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said the committee "found no evidence that there was either a stand-down order or a denial of available air support." Yet Paronto and his teammates who were there tell a quite different story.

Paronto and Geist appeared on C-Span's Book TV on Saturday along with Tiegen, who remained off-camera. During the interview, a caller from Sanford, Fla., accused the trio — as Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who sits on the committee, has done — of lying about what happened to boost sales of their book.

"Ma'am," Paronto said, "during the House Intel subcommittee I looked at Mike Rogers in the eye and I said, 'If we would have not been delayed, which we were delayed three times — (I have no doubt) that we would have saved the ambassador's life and Sean Smith's life.' "

Paronto added: "Why he came out with the report, I don't know what to tell you on that. You're going to have to ask him. What we said in the book is what happened on the ground, and that is the truth."

To believe the committee report, we'd have to believe Paronto, Geist and Tiegen are liars. Somehow we don't think so. "All we're going to do is keep telling what actually happened that night," Paronto told the C-Span caller. That's all we can ask, even if the old boy network in Washington is unwilling to listen.
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, T. Sowell on Scott Walker on: December 01, 2014, 09:48:38 AM
Written just before the election:

"Except for Congressional elections, the most important election this year is the close race for governor of Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker has shown that he has substance and guts, rather than image and rhetoric, by opposing the government employee unions that have been bleeding the taxpayers. He would make a far better Republican presidential candidate in 2016 than Congressional phrase-makers or a retreaded candidate who lost in 2012."
   - Thomas Sowell,  Oct 28,2014
http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell102814.php3#CUTfI7rIZKDtAPwD.99

[Walker won the so-called blue state by nearly 6%]
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economic Wisdom, Thomas Sowell on: December 01, 2014, 09:41:07 AM
Too many intellectuals are too impressed with the fact that they know more than other people. Even if an intellectual knows more than anybody else, that is not the same as saying that he knows more than everybody else put together — which is what would be needed to justify substituting his judgment for that expressed by millions of others through the market...
http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell102814.php3#CUTfI7rIZKDtAPwD.99
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy: 31% approve on: November 30, 2014, 05:17:05 PM
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/10/15/obama-foreign-policy-approval-rating-hits-low-water-mark/
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 30, 2014, 04:30:30 PM
ccp:  "we should be making a better case how this is NOT about those from Latino countries."

That's right.  But Democrats are winning 71% of the Asian American vote by keeping this issue on the front burner as well:  http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/poll-obama-won-71-of-asian-vote-85013.html

"the increased competition hurts those here more than it helps"

The increased supply of low skill, low wage workers lowers the wage and raises the unemployment for the existing workers, all other things held constant.  Working class whites get that.  Working class minorities should be persuadable on this point. 

A sane and logical immigration policy would bring in a manageable flow of workers with a balance of different skills and different places of origin.   America by design is a melting pot, E pluribus unum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_pluribus_unum    America under Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Jarret and the gang is something entirely different, politically warring groups fighting to divide up the spoils of the all-powerful, crony, redistributive system.
--------------------------------------

I look forward to Crafty's legal answer as to why this executive order is different, why it is unconstitutional.  In the meantime, suffice it to say that Obama's actions are ANTI-constitutional, clearly designed to work against the intentions and written meanings of the constitution.  Crafty also has written about how people learn in different ways other than simple logic.  The SNL skit (already posted) reaches more persuadable voters than the technical points sought:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/23/snl-skit-suggests-obamas-immigration-executive-action-is-unconstitutional/

From the constitution:
"Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization ….”  And it is the president’s constitutional duty, under Article II, Section 3, to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed ….”
http://dailysignal.com/2014/11/19/obamas-unilateral-amnesty-really-will-unprecedented-unconstitutional/

   - If people see wiggle room in that, it is because they want to see wiggle room in that, not because the articles and laws were written unworkably ambiguous.

"Worse than Nixon."  - George Will (before this action)
journalists did not ask the pertinent question: “Where does the Constitution confer upon presidents the ‘executive authority’ to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?” The question could have elicited an Obama rarity: brevity. Because there is no such authority.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-obamas-unconstitutional-steps-worse-than-nixons/2013/08/14/e0bd6cb2-044a-11e3-9259-e2aafe5a5f84_story.html

"a monarch decrees, dictates, and rules through fiat power"
    - Alexander Hamilton,  Federalist 69  http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_69.html

26 Violations of Law by the Obama Administration ( overlaps the issues of immigration and unconstitutional as well as failing to faithfully enforce the laws, such as the 2006 Security Fence Act):  This law requires that "at least two layers of reinforced fencing" be built along America's 650-mile border with Mexico. So far, just 40 miles of this fence have been built – most of it during the Bush Administration.  http://www.committeeforjustice.org/content/25-violations-law-president-obama-and-his-administration   - Anyone, please point out the wiggle room in that Congressional Act.

President Obama's Top 10 Constitutional Violations Of 2013
http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/12/23/president-obamas-top-10-constitutional-violations-of-2013/
We are SHOUTING this because it keeps happening!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Crafty:  Some random thoughts, (not in his order)

"c) Have a think tank do some serious work on drafting and alternative to birth babies bootstrapping their parents into America."

   - Hard to believe this isn't done and ready to go.  One example below, I see that Harry Reid proposed exactly that in 1993!  http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2010/aug/12/1993-flip-flop-senreid-introduced-bill-clarifying-/   https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/103/s1351/text
TITLE X--CITIZENSHIP
SEC. 1001. BASIS OF CITIZENSHIP CLARIFIED.
In the exercise of its powers under section 5 of the Fourteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Congress has determined and hereby declares that any person born after the date of enactment of this title to a mother who is neither a citizen of the United States nor admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, and which person is a national or citizen of another country of which either of his or her natural parents is a national or citizen, or is entitled upon application to become a national or citizen of such country, shall be considered as born subject to the jurisdiction of that foreign country and not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States within the meaning of section 1 of such Article and shall therefore not be a citizen of the United States or of any State solely by reason of physical presence within the United States at the moment of birth.

"b) Specify criteria to define if/when the border is secure."

   - Yes, and then require something like a 3 year delay to follow compliance, ensuring the criteria is truly and permanently met, before changing any of the legal status sought for millions.

"d) As a political matter and a human kindness matter I suspect there will be some people for whom amnesty is a fair call.  Newt Gingrich, tried making this point during the FL debates with his comments about not deporting Grandma after 20 years, but Romney mugged him from the right.  The point remains, at some point it will be a good call to apply some sort of statute of limitations concept."

   - Yes, there needs to be some concession on this from Republicans, with a delay after the other requirements are met.  (BTW, this is a reason to not take Romney fully at his word.  His positions are politically strategic more than principled.  This is one too many flip flops for my taste, and still needs to make one more on government mandated healthcare insurance.)

"e) keep alive the distinction between work papers and citizenship."

   - This is part of the trap that is set.  Dems are deeming legalization without citizenship, while they compare legal and not eligible to vote - with slavery.  The only distinction being that I think it was Democrats who supported slavery!

"a) Pass a bill with enough funding to fg deport all eleven million.  Specify that all 11M are to be deported, period.  If not, specify who not-- e.g. do we really want to deport someone who came here as a baby and has lived here essentially all his life and thinks of himself as an American?"

   - This is more of the trap set for Republicans by the Dems.  If you don't do this, then his action is justified, it is argued.  If you do, then you lose the votes of Hispanics, Asian Americans, etc. forever.

Ask Marco Rubio, you don't just step forward honestly and negotiate in good faith with these people.  Instead, you set your own traps along the way for them.  Call votes that put them on the spot, such as fixing birthright misinterpretation, funding the fence, setting up employment verification, etc.  How about holding hearings on the economic effect on low age Americans of having all these people entering?  And reach these people on other issues at the same time.

You cannot have a real solution while the Gruberized President is in charge of the enforcement apparatus.  JMHO
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues - He Changed the Law on: November 28, 2014, 05:26:17 PM
Crafty poses a tough challenge. 

"I am still waiting for a response to the OLC's arguments justifying the EO."

Previously:  "The standard he cites is not FDR, but the APA and SCOTUS decisions."

From the piece:  "Congress passed the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which has served ever since as the legal charter of the modern administrative state."

   - There isn't an act of a congress, from 80 years ago or any other time, that changes the constitution and the relationship between the branches of government contained in it.

"the Supreme Court ... Heckler v. Chaney,... In a decision joined by seven other justices, Justice William Rehnquist noted that, “This Court has recognized on several occasions over many years that an agency’s decision not to prosecute or enforce, whether through civil or criminal process, is a decision generally committed to an agency’s absolute discretion.” "

   - Generally?  Absolute??  Really??!?  My guess is that he referring to enforcement of individual cases, not to changing the entire immigration system or things like the EPA writing new laws or changing existing ones.

Eric Holder's OLC:  "This discretion is rooted in the President’s constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,”

   - Yes it is!  This isn't a case of an executive not having the resources to enforce the law, in spite of the numbers you cite, 11 million illegals and only funding to allow deportation of 400,000 per year.  That was the limitation BEFORE this executive order.  The point of the executive order is described in the President's own statement, "I changed the law".  He is declaring his intent to NOT faithfully execute the law.  This was NOT a mis-speak.  The speech in question had 91 1st person references in it, I, me, my, while the relevant articles of the constitution refer to specific roles for the House, Senate, and President, and back to the House and Senate for super-majorities when the different branches are not in agreement.  The constitution gives the Legislative branch power to over-ride the Executive to make law, but not vice versa!

I know you are looking for a technical argument to explain how this is different from all other executive orders and over-reaches, and the related Supreme Court cases, but one more incremental expansion of these encroachments becomes unconstitutional whenever a challenge makes it to the Court and 5 Justices deem what the President already admitted, he [effectively] changed the law.

In the meantime, this is a political matter to be tried in the court of public opinion.  People see this for what it is, one person making or changing law in defiance of the constitutional process.  See the SNL skit, and see the Obama statement mentioned.


"Right now the Reps are getting maneuvered into supporting breaking up families with American children and illegal alien parents." 

   - Republicans were not deporting more illegals than Obama.  And if they returned minors crossing the border to their families, and/or made the proposal to "fix" the 14th amendment right now, they would be on record as opposing the further breakup of families caused by our broken system.  How about taking positive actions rather than always reacting to the Ayers and Pliven agenda?

"... this becomes yet another case where the Reps are seen as meanies."

   - There isn't really a way around that without abandoning the rule of law.  I admired Marco Rubio's attempt to engage the other side and solve this, but no one liked the results that came out of that.  I also asked here, just before the executive order, what would comprise a good comprehensive bill from our point of view.  Now the ball is in the President's court because he took it.  We can box him in but we don't have a simple way to solve this IMHO.
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 28, 2014, 10:45:41 AM
Obama is working at reducing the numbers of all working people.

True.  That cuts both ways politically.  People may want to vote to protect benefits, but may want to vote for better opportunities for their offspring.  Obama couldn't run on his agenda again - now that it is fully exposed.  Decreasing workforce opportunities isn't what made Bill Clinton appear successful.  Quite the opposite.  I fail to see how some old, white, rich Grandma is going to excite minorities, young people, or working whites about their prospects for the future continuing the same, failed policies.

If you and your family really are dependent on government benefits, you should vote for the side that will grow the economy and revenues that fund our support system.
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Why Gallup poll signals trouble for Hillary on: November 28, 2014, 09:59:30 AM
With all the focus on chasing Black and Hispanic votes, sometime they forget to pursue the other demographics, like white, working people. 



"Obama’s approval rating has dropped 13 points among college-educated whites, but a remarkable 21 points among the non-college educated. Why the difference?

(We aren't talking about people who hate Obama and all Democrats, we are talking about people who initially supported him.)

The Obama administration has been bad for higher-income Americans, but not disastrous. Quantitative easing has re-inflated the stock market, and middle-aged “knowledge workers” have suffered less than other groups. But for the working class, there is nothing good to be said about Obamanomics: high unemployment, a scarcity of full-time work, skyrocketing prices of food and fuel, more expensive health care, anemic economic growth, and wage decline caused in part by competition with unprecedented numbers of legal and illegal immigrants. What’s to like? Nothing."

When Hillary runs in 2016 as the heir of Obama’s liberal economic and immigration policies, she will not have [Obama's] built-in advantage with minorities. There is no reason why any substantial number of working-class people, white or minority, would wish for another four years of Obama’s policies. Nor–to put it delicately–is there anything about Hillary’s persona that will endear her to the majority of such voters.

...expect a backlash against Obama’s economic and immigration policies in 2016 that will take pundits–not to mention Hillary–by surprise."

John Hinderacker, Powerline
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/11/why-the-gallup-poll-means-deep-trouble-for-hillary.php
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pilgrims' earliest communal farming failed miserably, private property succeeded on: November 28, 2014, 09:43:08 AM
William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony, reports that, at that time, he and his advisers considered “how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery.” And “after much debate of things,” he then adds, they chose to abandon communal property, deciding that “they should set corn every man for his own particular” and assign “to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end.”

The results, he tells us, were gratifying in the extreme, “for it made all hands very industrious” and “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” Even “the women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

Moreover, he observes, “the experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years . . . amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times . . . that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing.” In practice, America’s first socialist experiment “was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.”

Professor Paul Rahe, writing at Powerline, 2009
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/11/americas-first-socialist-republic-3.php
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Illegal immigrants will receive Social Security, Medicare under Obama Action on: November 28, 2014, 09:23:17 AM
I need Gomer Pyle's accent to properly say:  Well surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!

Who saw this coming?

Washington Post, Nov 25, 2014
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/illegal-immigrants-could-receive-social-security-medicare-under-obama-action/2014/11/25/571caefe-74d4-11e4-bd1b-03009bd3e984_story.html

Illegal immigrants could receive Social Security, Medicare [and everything else] under Obama action

Under President Obama’s new program to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, many of those affected will be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of other federal benefits, a White House official said Tuesday.
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney swallows amnesty on: November 28, 2014, 09:08:14 AM

I think we can say at this point, Romney is running for President.  In some ways he is the strongest candidate.  In a few crucial areas, he is not.  One is Romneycare/Obamacare, and with that, the tie with Gruber. 

Now he would like to reverse course on amnesty.  How about telling us what changed since "self-deportation"?  He has already reversed course too many times.  He has too much ability to say what different people want to hear, in Massachusetts, in Republican primaries, and in a general election, and not enough adherence to principles for my taste.

What Republican strategy is that, to do it exactly Obama's way, give him credit, solve nothing and get nothing in return?
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 28, 2014, 08:56:28 AM
" accuse Obama of screwing up immigration and move on to other things"

Non starter for me.

To clarify, nothing positive is going to happen in the next two years on immigration.  The President proved himself unable to negotiate in good faith.  

On November 4th Republicans won a wave election.  The President and his party were shellacked, or whatever term people want to use.  Ever since, we have been on defense, because that is his strategy.

Shouldn't it be the other way around?  He is governing this country into an economic, cultural and strategic ash-heap.  We should be on offense and he should be on defense, IMHO.

What about holding hearings on the enforcement and implementation of the last immigration law passed by congress?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Fence_Act_of_2006  He says the fence is built, yet infants and children are walking through?

Moving on would also follow passage in congress of the constitutional amendment.  Move that debate to the states for action.  

A debate that centers on the plight of the people already here, when no one is sending them home anyway, favors him.
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dr. Ben Carson on immigration, Sticking to the rule of law isn’t heartless on: November 28, 2014, 08:37:16 AM
Like many Americans, I appreciate the plight of billions of people throughout the world who would like nothing more than to find themselves in the United States, where they could enjoy a much higher standard of living and wonderful opportunities for advancement.

It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. It should first be considered, however, that we have millions of people already mired in dire poverty in our inner cities, rural townships, and places such as Appalachia who would certainly appreciate a helping hand before we extend one to foreigners. The same principle is seen when you board an airplane and hear the announcement, “In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put yours on first, and then administer help to those around you.” There are many around us already in need of help.

According to President Obama, only those 5 million or so illegals who have been in America for five years or more will benefit from his largesse. He indicates that they will not be eligible for health care and other benefits. Obviously, this fits right into the same category as his promise: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
Once illegals have legal status, it will be difficult to deny them any of the multitudinous entitlements that are freely distributed throughout our society. Also, we must remember that illegals who have been here for less than five years only have to claim that they have been here longer than that in order to collect goodies. In effect, instead of helping 5 million people, we probably will be aiding at least twice that many.

Even this would not be a problem if we had plenty of money, but the sad fact is our national debt is approaching $18 trillion. If you paid that back at a rate of $1 billion per day, it would take nearly 50 years. Many powerful nations before us have met their fate through fiscal irresponsibility. What makes our leaders think we are immune from the destructive forces of a shaky financial foundation?

The founders of our nation feared that the time would arise when an individual or group of individuals in our government would become intoxicated with their power and attempt to impose their will upon the entire society through dictatorial decrees rather than through the legal process established by our Constitution. For this reason, they established three separate but equal branches of government, dividing the powers. This ingenious method of power division worked beautifully until recently, but one hopes we are about to experience a demonstration of how the separation of powers preserves the integrity of our system. It will require that the legislative and judicial branches of government manifest the necessary courage to stand up for the people they represent.

The American people should not be manipulated into believing that they are heartless simply because they want to preserve the rule of law in our nation and look after their own before they take in others. We also have to consider the millions of people who have immigrated here legally, as well as those who are in the queue. It is incredibly unfair to them to grant amnesty to those who have jumped ahead of them in line illegally. I hope all of our government officials will recall the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, with particular emphasis on the part that says: “with liberty and justice for all.”
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: November 28, 2014, 12:20:16 AM
Agreeing with Obj on this point, this President isn't going to do any more enforcement over the rest of his term than what they were doing the first 6 years.  I can't see how any bill with any language changes that.  What are we going to do if he ignores the next law, sue him, de-fund him, impeach him, just like we aren't doing now?

One thing Republicans could pass is the 14th Amendment fix to end the misinterpretation of anchor babies.  That does not go to Obama desk.  If passed by the House and Senate, it goes the the state legislatures.

To give an 'anchor baby' citizenship is to break up a family, assuming we intend to enforce laws in the future.  Let them apply as a family in the normal line.

Obama is approaching this piecemeal; so can the Republicans. 

If certain actions and results must come before amnesty, such as the amendment, a fence, an airtight visa system, an employer verification system, then get started on those first.

If we don't favor full, unconditional amnesty, then require the President to rescind his executive order before negotiations begin on a comprehensive bill.  He won't do it. 

Other things Republicans can do:  accuse Obama of screwing up immigration and move on to other things.  Pass the economic agenda now that we should run on in 2016.  Let him veto, and then run on it.  Fry the administration on IRS targeting, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Obamacare, and every other lie.  Hold hearings on the results of previous programs, cash for clunkers, crony solyndra governmentism,  shovel ready jobs, dismantling of the workforce, epidemic of disability and food assistance claims, dual mission Fed, government's role in mortgages, etc.
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs, spending: Our GIANT Welfare State on: November 26, 2014, 12:06:59 PM
Forgotten in all of this is how much these programs harm their recipients!
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"We have the world’s second-largest welfare state — just behind France."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-samuelson-our-giant-welfare-state/2014/11/25/28f815bc-74c1-11e4-a755-e32227229e7b_story.html

Our giant welfare state
By Robert J. Samuelson  November 25   Washington Post

We Americans pride ourselves on not having a “welfare state.” We’re not like Europeans. We’re more individualistic and self-reliant, and although we may have a “social safety net” to protect people against unpredictable personal and societal tragedies, we explicitly repudiate a comprehensive welfare state as inherently un-American.

Dream on.

Call it a massive case of national self-deception. Indeed, judged by how much of their national income countries devote to social spending, we have the world’s second-largest welfare state — just behind France.

This is not just conjecture. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — a group of wealthy nations — has recently published new figures on government social spending. Covered is unemployment insurance, disability payments, old-age assistance, government-provided health care, family allowances and the like. By this measure alone, the United States is hardly a leader. It ranks 23rd in the world with social spending of roughly 19 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This is slightly below the OECD average of 22 percent. France is the champ at nearly 32 percent. (The data are generally the latest available, including some estimates for 2014.)

But wait. Direct government spending isn’t the only way that societies provide social services. They also channel payments through private companies, encouraged, regulated and subsidized by government. This is what the United States does, notably with employer-provided health insurance (which is subsidized by government by not counting employer contributions as taxable income) and tax-favored retirement savings accounts.

The OECD report brims with insights about welfare systems. Did you know, for example, that China — heir to a communist social system — has a puny welfare state compared with most wealthy nations? In 2009, its social spending equaled 7 percent of GDP. Or did you realize that, despite all the talk of “austerity,” government social spending has hardly been reduced in most countries. The OECD reports cuts in a few nations (Greece, Germany and Canada, among them) but also finds that “in most countries social spending remains at historically high levels.”

The main message that Americans can take from this report is that we need a higher level of candor. The very complexity of our hybrid system seems intended to disguise the reality that we have a welfare state. We have created a new vocabulary to validate our denial. From our “safety net,” we distribute “entitlements” that are not “handouts” and don’t qualify as “welfare” payments. We pretend (or some of us do) that our Social Security taxes have been “saved” to provide for our retiree payments, when today’s Social Security checks are mainly financed by the payroll taxes of today’s workers, just as yesterday’s checks were financed by the taxes of yesterday’s workers.

If we were more honest about these matters, we might have an easier time debating what are admittedly difficult and unpopular choices. Who deserves benefits, how much and why? What are the consequences for taxpayers and the larger society? Does our hybrid mix of public and private power make sense? These are insistent issues that won’t vanish even though we pretend they don’t exist.
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In the United States ...total social spending is the second highest in the world ...
A focus on public budgets misses two important features that affect social spending totals and international comparisons of social expenditure: 1) private social expenditure and 2) the impact of tax systems.
http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/OECD2014-Social-Expenditure-Update-Nov2014-8pages.pdf

150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: WSJ: Riley: The Other Ferguson Tragedy on: November 26, 2014, 11:29:33 AM
Jason Riley is right.  I thought Giuliani was clumsy in making his points in the heated exchange on Meet the Press, but he introduced crucial facts that didn't go away just because distractions followed.

If you are a black who was murdered, there is a 93% chance your murderer was black, even though blacks comprise only 13% of the population.

With rounding, there is a zero percent chance your murderer was a cop, or a white cop.

Because of thugs like Brown and terrible crime statistics in certain black neighborhoods, there is a much larger need for a police presence.  That presence is there to protect black victims!  Because of those population statistics, there is something like an 87% chance (or greater) that the additional cops available for those assignments are not black.  If you are in that neighborhood and your mind is consumed with race-centric thinking, and you are black and a police officer is white, then everything that happens appears to be racial when mostly it is not.

I believe the high crime level in these neighborhoods is not racial, but cultural, and is accelerated by a half century or more of our failed social spending programs that tear apart the families in these neighborhoods, who happen to be disproportionately black.  The males are free to go through life without the responsibilities that keep the other males in our society from being criminals and street thugs.  (Proof that this is cultural, not racial, comes from the fact that blacks not in this environment don't behave like this and whites and others living in this culture do.)  The result of our policies is that many, many males go through life diverted away from the moral and financial burdens and responsibilities of getting a good education, job, credit, mortgage, home, supporting your family financially and otherwise, and keeping your criminal record clean.
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