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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren, Fauxcahontas, Harvard's first woman of color on: March 03, 2015, 08:56:35 AM
I humbly suggest that you are missing a piece of the pie here.

IMHO her critique overlaps more than a little with our Liberal Fascism critique-- which also addresses rent seekers, corruption of the political process by favored business interests and the like.

"Nearly all would buy into this"

EXACTLY!

WE should be making some of these points AND offering actual solutions.

Agree in part.  Yes, most certainly, rent seekers and corruption of the political process by favored business interests should be OUR attack on THEIR system. 

Her attacks on capitalism and free enterprise however do not hold up to scrutiny.  Free enterprise and constitutional capitalism does not favor special interests over the interests of those not connected and powerful; it is the exact opposite.  In a free society, the government does not get in bed with one business over another.  They can cooperate only in the open, public bidding system of providing a product or service to the government.  The government is the referee, not the participant, yet her side partners up with interest after interest, with auto makers, health insurers, the mortgage industry, the solar cronies, the colleges and everything up to the marriage industry.  Her claims are laden with factual errors and her proposals or solutions make each of these problems worse. 

Candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are running campaigns expressly on the concept of upward mobility which IMO does address specifically the problem of stagnation of the middle class.  I know what is holding me back, regulation and taxes, and I know that what is holding back the formation of new small businesses that will create and grow the better jobs is over-taxation and over-regulation, as unexciting and cliche as that may sound.  As Rubio has said, the giant, entrenched corporations with compliance departments can deal with all of that, but a startup business run out of spare bedroom cannot.

The great growth of the Obama administration she brags of is 2% growth and more than 100% of that came out of fracking which she and Obama vehemently oppose.  What is left if they prevailed in those states is decline.  They passed their big bank regulations, their health monstrosity - the largest wealth transfer in history, their tax rate increases in two dozen different ways and a hundred thousand new regulations and the result was that middle class income is stuck and income inequality widened.  Her answer now is the same as Hillary's, do more of the same, double down on failure.  Every economic statistic and every symptom of a private economy weighed down by a bloated public sector is another reason for her to make further increases to the size and scope of central government.  That carries the day when our messengers are Boehner and McConnell in the context of committee and floor votes on liberal policies through the filter of reading it in the mainstream media.  We haven't had a leader in a very long time who could reach the people articulate the other side of it and now we have several of them.  That is why I have tried to get out early in support of whoever can best express the link between freedom and prosperity and define the differences between that and the Elizabeth Warren mindset. 

I would like to come back to her rant, point by point, and expose the deceptions and contradictions within it.  Median income stays stagnant even during growth, for one reason, because we have added tens of millions of new people to the country at the low end.  People stay off the lower steps of the economic ladder because we offer them more not to work.  Disability is the fastest growing profession of the Obama economy.  The greatest building block to economic success is marriage and the liberal culture wars have decimated that.  She opposes the entire concept of an economic ladder, saying that all who work should be fully compensated regardless of value.  Some people stuck on the line between programs and work face effective tax rates on their next dollar of income earned greater than 100%.  Worst of all is the dearth of real, new business startups which is hidden by the fact that most LLC new filings are just people trying to protect existing assets from liability.

She is missing a link in her liberal economic logic.  She says the top 10% or top 1% experienced all of this success, but she doesn't follow it with what is stopping the rest from doing that too!  It isn't the wealth and success of some that is limited the economic opportunities for the middle class; it is the programs and policies she espouses that are doing that.

I am all ears to learning of solutions beyond giving people back some of the freedom and responsibility to take care of themselves and their own families.

152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: March 03, 2015, 07:38:27 AM
One pundit said that people like Rubio can overcome the cash disadvantage they have compared to establishment candidates by taking interviews like this one with a television station in New Hampshire and staying until the last question is answered.  No handlers, no script, no podium, this didn't cost him anything except a trip to the studio.  It ran on NH tv and was covered by a Florida newspaper.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sfl-ap-rubio-close-to-2016-decision-20150302-story.html
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary knew that night on: March 02, 2015, 10:57:50 PM

Yes, she knew it was a terrorist attack right from the beginning.  I find that lie about the video, among all their other lies, particularly offensive.  4 dead, no rescue, and their focus was on how to minimize the political damage.  Pathological lying backfire on them someday.

154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio's tax plan on: March 02, 2015, 10:44:02 PM
Elizabeth Warren isn't going to like this.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/rubio-previews-tax-reform-plan-at-donor-meet-115626.html
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren, Fauxcahontas, Harvard's first woman of color on: March 02, 2015, 10:31:43 PM
Besides that she has her facts and causes all mangled, it is quite striking that she is one angry person.  Maybe the Marc Levin of the left?  I notice that she chooses to read every word, looking down, where the top Republican candidates just showed they able to think and talk on their own.

Yes, this is the line they will sell and a good number of people will buy into it.  Everything is great now because of Obama and the Democrats but at the same time everything is bad and wrong because of Republicans. ??   Now its the Dems who want to go back to the 50s, lol.  Good luck getting her Ozzie and Harriet middle class growth back where 9 out of 10 minority children live in a house that does not have with a mom and a dad married under one roof, mostly as a result of Democrat programs.

2 million views for her; I regret being one of them.  Nearly all would buy into this line of bs if not exposed to an equally persuasive rebuttal.   I would love to see the most persuasive of the Republicans debate either Warren or Hillary on this.  Fact check their work and lay out a better alternative to doubling down on the failed Obama agenda of even more regulations, higher tax rates and stepped up redistribution.
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan on: March 02, 2015, 01:37:06 PM
Many of the possible campaign themes have already been used so Hillary advisers are scrambling to meet her planned April announcement plan. 
http://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-seen-launching-presidential-bid-in-april-1425254392

Nixon 1972 had, Now more than ever.  Reagan 1984, Morning Again in America.  Bill Clinton 1996, Building a bridge to the twenty-first century and don't, stop, thinking about tomorrow.  Barack Obama, Yes we can, Forward, and now Hillary Clinton 2016,  Double Down on Failure!
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: March 02, 2015, 01:16:26 PM
All other things equal, I like the background preference to have a two term governor be President and have sufficient public sector executive experience coming into he first day.  Yet I don't put that above getting it right on policy and possessing the ability to connect, communicate, persuade people and lead.

The problem with Barack Obama is not his relatively young age nor is it his lack of executive experience.  His biggest problem is that he is headed in the wrong direction.

Truman didn't have a college degree and Lincoln didn't have executive experience.  Healthcare.gov didn't crash because of Obama's short tenure in the Senate.  His programs are failing because they are wrongheaded, IMHO.  This is not a competence election coming up.  We are not looking for who can best manage our giant status quo of bureaucracy.  This is a change-of-direction election.  We are looking for who has the best vision and detailed plans to turn this around and who can connect, change minds and lead people to get it down.
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Modest Immigration Proposal, dealing with the people who are already here... on: March 02, 2015, 12:53:25 PM
This is not amnesty, but a penalty and payment proposal for converting people from illegal to legal status.

1)  Secure the borders first.  Must be proven over time.  No new inflow.  No overstaying visas.  No hesitation by the government to deport any new entrants.

2)  The plea bargain, penalty settlement should look something like this:  Pay your share of our accumulated debt before you share in our privileges.  That would be roughly 18 trillion divided by 330+ million people, or $55,000 for every man, woman and child who wants to live here and be a voting, American citizen, 220k for a family of four.  Come on in!  (That is not unreasonable, about what a private college charges for one person over 4 years.)  There is an incentive to come out of the shadows and agree quickly before national debt goes up more!  Then, before they vote, the new citizens will have a stake in the ownership and sensitivity to the high cost of government and entitlement programs.  Deportation only for those who do not agree to a schedule or do not keep up with their payments.  
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jeb Bush on: March 02, 2015, 12:30:41 PM
Agree, there is plenty of substance to Jeb.  CPAC was mostly about conservatism.  The question will gradually shift to electability and Jeb may win the nomination with that argument.

He answered the Common Core question strongly.  There is nothing he can do about his last name.  It comes down to the immigration question and primary and general election voters will have to make a judgment about that.  There is border security and there is rule of law.  If we give away too much to those who already came in, more will come.  Also, there is the political conundrum.  People tend to vote for the policies they are fleeing.  If it is to be 11 million people it will be 3 or 4 times that many, and if Republicans welcome them they will presumably vote majority Democrat anyway, guaranteeing Obama-like governance until the system collapses.  If we ignore rule of law and don't deport (status quo),  then there is an underclass living among us without consent of the governed and Dems keep the issue alive forever.  (The middle ground is probably the position Rubio takes now.  Border security must be proven over a period of time before further negotiations can proceed.)

Wm F Buckley said something like this, choose the most conservative candidate who can win.  I would say it the other way around, choose the most electable of the candidates whose positions and experience we find to be right or acceptable.
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: J, like H, like W just not equipped to deal with the threat to US as a nation on: March 02, 2015, 07:53:10 AM
"I could live with a compromise that AFTER THE BORDERS ARE CONTROLLED"

I used to think this way too.   I recall Doug once calling me a rhino some years ago.   He was probably right.   Then I learned.   The problem with compromise it is only a temporary rear guard action the delays but never rolls back the progressive onslaught.   It won't stop till the concept of country, sovereignty, borders, and real free will is gone.


ccp: Hopefully I described you as a former moderate, not RINO in that you avoid taking on the Republican name.

Both Jeb and Rubio are more pro-legal-immigration than the views you've expressed here.  Others including myself are perhaps more pro-immigration, but only supporting the legal variety.

161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jeb Bush on: March 02, 2015, 06:53:34 AM
"He answered the questions directly "

Yes and no.   I agree he comes across ready, well informed and in control in the interview, hitting the right chords the best he can in front of the CPAC audience.  But when aiming at different audiences he has been leading with the issues that trouble conservatives most.

I found this comment regarding the current funding battle over unconstitutional executive orders on amnesty bothersome.  
Jeb said:  "It doesn't make sense to me that we're not funding control of our border which is the whole argument."

WHO is not funding WHAT??  He implies Republicans are about to not fund border security.  In fact, it is Dems not funding it and even if it fails, shutdowns only involve non-essential department employees, not border security.

I agree that serving two successful terms as governor of a major state is a good qualification.  I agree he sounds the right chords on economics, his Right to Rise is the same theme as Rubio who is trying to restore the American Dream.  I agree he is the sharpest and most conservative of the 3 Bushes we know. (Low bar?)  But I also agree with the criticisms.  He has a trust problem on immigration.  Why do we think he will be tough suddenly on border security where no one else including his own brother has.  Education has been taken over federally, by all the wrong people.  Common Core advocates draws a distinction that it is standards not curriculum, but it has become curriculum in fact if not in law.  It is an issue he should have dropped if he intended to move from state to federal level.  If education is his number one passion, federal government is not the place for him to advance it IMHO.

Jeb is not the candidate to unite the right.  People on the right don't trust him and people in the center who follow things less closely will mostly see him as another Bush.  That isn't easy to shake.  

If nominated, he will be the third candidate in a row who needs to reach back to the right in the general election when he should be courting the middle.
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: March 02, 2015, 06:35:47 AM
Can this many people be this crazy



163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: February 27, 2015, 07:39:08 PM
Looks to me llike the experts don't have a clue. 

"Using climate observations and models, the researchers found the Pacific multidecadal oscillation and Atlantic multidecadal oscillation contribute “a large portion of internal variability” to average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere."

Northern hemispheric changes are not global warming or cooling.


"The analysis shows that usually, when the northern Pacific is warming, the northern Atlantic is cooling, and vice versa—offsetting one another in their impact on atmospheric temperatures in the northern hemisphere. But the cycles, and their magnitude, don’t match exactly. For the past decade, the magnitude of northern Pacific cooling has been greater than that of northern Atlantic warming, resulting in a net slowdown in temperature rise, according to an email sent to me by Byron A. Steinman, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, who led the new study."

Meanwhile, outside his door is the world's largest skating rink right now, 94,000 square miles of ice where it normally doesn't freeze.

If these are the greatest minds and they already know "our emissions are going to come back to haunt us", why aren't they focused on a solution rather than studying pauses and  natural oceanic oscillations?

Our grid could be 100% carbon free by now with nuclear replacing coal and gas and our transportation could be largely shifted over to natural gas, 30% better than gasoline or diesel on carbon emiissions. 

Instead we dither while earth hangs in the balance.
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "Climate change" is not a crisis on: February 27, 2015, 02:59:09 PM
"Are the lefties right? "    - No.
What are the lefties and alarmists alleging?   They start with a greatly exaggerated measure of recent warming and forecast that embellished trends will continuously accelerate further without interruption until the Arctic is ice-free, the glaciers are all gone, the oceans rise by multiple meters, and all island and coastal civilizations are under water and large numbers of people die of climate change.  "The earth has a fever."  Hurricanes will become everyday occurrences, hitting new coastal areas like Kansas, or something like that...

Instead of an acceleration of previously exaggerated warming, we have had a temporary end or pause in the warming trend that goes back to the little ice age, long before the industrial age.  We've had no warming beyond the margin of error in nearly 20 years, right while CO2 levels are hitting modern highs.  Meanwhile the Arctic has lost and gained ice, the winters of MN are still brutal and the coast of Florida is unchanged.

What went wrong for this leftist activists who mostly want what ccp described, an excuse for increasing centralized control?

a) The factors at work are far more complex than the climate models can account for.  
b) The previous rate of temperature growth has been greatly exaggerated.
c) Negative feedback mechanisms were ignored.
d) Temperature is not nearly as sensitive to CO2 increases as alleged or previously thought.
e) We aren't going to be hooked on fossil fuels for that much longer.

That said, what are the facts?  Mostly unknown because most of the available data is not accurate or free from agenda-based bias.  

CO2 levels have gone up; we don't know what part of that is human caused.  The dreaded 400 ppm  milestone came and went without measurable consequence.  See data from NOAA at Moana Loa.  CO2 is up about 80 ppm in the last 65 years.  That sounds like a lot unless you know that ppm means parts per million. in other words, CO2 is a trace component of atmospheric content.  The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has gone up by less than .0001, that is, less than .01% increase of atmospheric content in the modern industrial era.   No wonder we are seeing no noticeable movement on temperature.  Assuming human CO2 prodiuction is causing all of the gain, then after the peak gain in content, the atmosphere will still be 99.95% free of CO2.  Considering that CO2 is an essential building block of life, I would be far more alarmed if CO2 content was going down (or the earth was getting colder) because of something we were doing.

The political measures proposed would cripple our economy without significantly changing overall CO2  levels.  The greatest gains to date have actually come from increasing production and consumption of a cleaner fossil fuel, natural gas, against the demands of the alarmist agenda of the left.  The cleanest major source of energy in terms of being CO2-free is nuclear but is opposed by most of the same politicians who demand action on this.

What is the sensitivity of temperature to increased CO2 levels?  According to more than a dozen recent studies, that sensitivity is 7 times weaker than previously thought.  http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1454.msg84191#msg84191

We need to take an honest look at honest data and causation before we ban production, transportation and comfort in the formerly free world.
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 27, 2015, 11:32:08 AM
As family size drops below 1 we will need more and more housing?
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Mike Pence on: February 23, 2015, 10:43:40 AM
Pence impressed me with his interview with Chris Wallace yesterday, thus this thread for him.

Legislative, executive and foreign policy experience.  Common sense conservative.  Perhaps the adult in the room depending on how the others do. 
167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marketing wizards help re-imagine Clinton brand - Not a parody? on: February 22, 2015, 12:11:29 PM
Wash Post: The making of Hillary 5.0: Marketing wizards help re-imagine Clinton brand

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-making-of-hillary-50-marketing-wizards-help-reimagine-clinton-brand/2015/02/21/bfb01120-b919-11e4-aa05-1ce812b3fdd2_story.html?hpid=z1

Powerlineblog:  They should have added, “Not a parody.”
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/02/the-re-branding-of-hillary-clinton.php
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of Glibness Administration on: February 22, 2015, 11:54:45 AM
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 21, 2015, 10:26:49 PM
Regarding the academic authors and analysis, Pat, I agree with you on all those points. 

In addition to all of the policy blunders, fraud, deception, and monetary flooding, etc. I would agree with Samuelson that there was a bubble mentality at work.  People were buying, selling, lending, borrowing and appraising things for more than they were worth. 

I was buying in Mpls after the crash for 15 cents on the dollar of what they sold for in the peak years.  The previous sales weren't homeowner or investors.  They were what we used to call pigeons.  People just doing transactions, borrowing up to false value (criminally IMO) with no intent of ever living there or holding the property.
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: February 21, 2015, 10:09:24 PM
Did Marco really need to get tied up in this meaningless kerfuffle?  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/02/20/giulianis-biographer-destroys-him-in-scathing-op-ed-on-how-rudy-loves-america/

I think he made the right choice in not getting tied up with it and instead to talk about his vision for America.

I agree.  There is a real skill to staying on-message without putting down your questioner.  Reagan had about 3 things he wanted to accomplish as President.  For Rubio, I would say, a similar challenge.  He has his vision, agenda, campaign and book - all about growing peace and prosperity, and the MSM has this shiny object, a quote they find controversial and irresistible.  He needed it to go away; he isn't running against Obama - or Rudy.

Stephen Hayes (2016 thread):  "When I sat in on Rubio’s debate-prep sessions for a profile I wrote in 2010, I was blown away by his ability to think on his feet. Rubio routinely came up with memorable one-liners that other candidates would pay consultants thousands of dollars to imagine."

Wash Post blog, Crafty's link:  "In one fell swoop, Rubio gets in a dig at the media, bring in another regular gaffer in Biden, places himself above the fray, says Obama loves America, and criticizes Obama in a very blunt way."

More than that, he ends with, "I think his ideas are bad."  The follow up question, if there was one, puts him right back on message:  Here's why I think his ideas are wrong and here's how I think we should do it differently...

Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press, said of Rubio's response, "that’s how you do this."
http://www.hughhewitt.com/chuck-todd-on-the-presidents-very-rough-week/

Hillary's managers couldn't answer a similar question in months, and she couldn't do it without a script and a rehearsal.  Crafty said of Ben Carson, no electoral experience.  (I point this out once in a while, but) Rubio won Florida by a million votes.  Key Democrats are looking to jump into the Florida Senate race only if Rubio doesn't.  Not too many other so-called tea party Senators representing swing states evoke that kind of fear or respect.
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Some myths of the housing bubble qualified or corrected: on: February 19, 2015, 12:10:08 PM
There's a standard and widely shared explanation of what caused the bubble. The villains were greed, dishonesty and (at times) criminality, the story goes. Wall Street, through a maze of mortgage brokers and securitizations, channeled too much money into home buying and building. Credit standards fell. Loan applications often overstated incomes or lacked proper documentation of creditworthiness (so-called no-doc loans).

The poor were the main victims of this campaign. Scholars who studied the geography of mortgage lending found loans skewed toward low-income neighborhoods. Subprime borrowers were plied with too much debt. All this fattened the revenue of Wall Street firms or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored housing finance enterprises. When home prices reached unsustainable levels, the bubble did what bubbles do. It burst.

Now comes a study that rejects or qualifies much of this received wisdom. Conducted by economists Manuel Adelino of Duke University, Antoinette Schoar of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Felipe Severino of Dartmouth College, the study — recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research — reached three central conclusions.

First, mortgage lending wasn't aimed mainly at the poor. Earlier research studied lending by Zip codes and found sharp growth in poorer neighborhoods. Borrowers were assumed to reflect the average characteristics of residents in these neighborhoods. But the new study examined the actual borrowers and found this wasn't true. They were much richer than average residents. In 2002, home buyers in these poor neighborhoods had average incomes of $63,000, double the neighborhoods' average of $31,000.

Second, borrowers were not saddled with progressively larger mortgage debt burdens. One way of measuring this is the debt-to-income ratio: Someone with a $100,000 mortgage and $50,000 of income has a debt-to-income ratio of 2. In 2002, the mortgage-debt-to-income ratio of the poorest borrowers was 2; in 2006, it was still 2. Ratios for wealthier borrowers also remained stable during the housing boom. The essence of the boom was not that typical debt burdens shot through the roof; it was that more and more people were borrowing.

Third, the bulk of mortgage lending and losses — measured by dollar volume — occurred among middle-class and high-income borrowers. In 2006, the wealthiest 40 percent of borrowers represented 55 percent of new loans and nearly 60 percent of delinquencies (defined as payments at least 90 days overdue) in the next three years.

If these findings hold up to scrutiny by other scholars, they alter our picture of the housing bubble. Specifically, they question the notion that the main engine of the bubble was the abusive peddling of mortgages to the uninformed poor. In 2006, the poorest 30 percent of borrowers accounted for only 17 percent of new mortgage debt. This seems too small to explain the financial crisis that actually happened.

It is not that shoddy, misleading and fraudulent merchandising didn't occur. It did. But it wasn't confined to the poor and was caused, at least in part, by a larger delusion that was the bubble's root source.

During the housing boom, there was a widespread belief that home prices could go in only one direction: up. If this were so, the risks of borrowing and lending against housing were negligible. Home buyers could enjoy spacious new digs as their wealth grew. Lenders were protected. The collateral would always be worth more tomorrow than today. Borrowers who couldn't make their payments could refinance on better terms or sell.

This mind-set fanned the demand for ever bigger homes, creating a permissive mortgage market that — for some — crossed the line into unethical or illegal behavior. Countless mistakes followed. One example: The Washington Post recently reported that, in the early 2000s, many middle-class black families took out huge mortgages, sometimes of $1 million, to buy homes now worth much less. These are upper-middle-class households, not the poor.

It's tempting to blame misfortune on someone else's greed or dishonesty. If Wall Street's bad behavior was the only problem, the cure would be stricter regulatory policing that would catch dangerous characters and practices before they do too much damage. This seems to be the view of the public and many "experts."

But the matter is harder if the deeper cause was bubble psychology. It arose from years of economic expansion, beginning in the 1980s, that lulled people into faith in a placid future. They imagined what they wanted: perpetual prosperity. After the brutal Great Recession, this won't soon repeat itself. But are we forever insulated from bubble psychology? Doubtful.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/samuelson020215.php3#ijGVxZpIZFR66jOi.99
http://www.nber.org/papers/w18868 (?)
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Monetary Policy, A new economic mystery: Negative interest rates, Rbt Samuelson on: February 19, 2015, 11:54:37 AM
First this political observation:  Assuming Republicans take back the White House in 2016, see my previous post, the economic record of Barack Obama with 8 years of expansionary monetary policy that included interest rates roughly at zero will be compared with his successor who no doubt will have to deal with the adjustment back to real world rates.
----------------------------------------

Interesting piece by Robert Samuelson today:

A new economic mystery: Negative interest rates
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/samuelson021915.php3#ZGmsaiASfufFxD56.99
By Robert J. Samuelson
Published Feb. 19, 2015

To the long list of economic mysteries can now be added interest rates. They've been at rock bottom, as everyone knows. But now we've encountered something novel: negative interest rates. Lenders are actually paying for the privilege of allowing someone to borrow their money. It's occurring outside the United States, and the Federal Reserve's next move is expected to be raising rates. Still, there's no ironclad reason it couldn't happen here.

Low rates are old hat. Here's what Bloomberg showed as of this column's publication: Deposit rates for U.S. savers averaged 0.73 percent for one-year certificates of deposit and 1.5 percent for five-year CDs. On a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, the yield was 2.12 percent. Abroad, some rates were lower. German 10-year bonds were 0.38 percent, British 10-year bonds were 1.8 percent and Spanish 10-year bonds were 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, borrowers benefit. Rates on five-year auto loans were 3 percent; on 30-year fixed rate home mortgages, rates were 3.8 percent. But negative rates? How can that be?

In practice, here's what happens. Bonds are traded on markets, just like stocks. Their prices can rise or fall depending on economic conditions or political events. When the price of a bond rises, its interest rate falls. Consider a $1,000 bond that was initially issued with a 3 percent interest rate. If the bond's market prices subsequently rises to $1,500, the bond's effective interest rate drops to 2 percent.

This is how bond interest rates can turn negative. If a bond's price rises high enough, its original interest payments won't cover the bond's full market cost. "I buy a bond for $1,000 and get back $950 -- that's a negative interest rate," says Moody's Analytics economist Mark Zandi. In January,as much as $3.6 trillion worth of government bonds -- mostly European and Japanese -- had developed negative interest rates, estimate London-based analysts for JPMorgan.

Broadly speaking, there were two explanations for this, though they are not mutually exclusive.

The first is that negative interest rates, though unexpected, result from the easy-money policies of government central banks. Their bond-buying (known as "quantitative easing," or QE) has poured money into financial markets, driving down rates. Although the Federal Reserve has halted new bond-buying, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank (ECB) continue their programs. The ECB has pledged to buy $1.3 trillion of bonds by September 2016.

Earlier in 2012, the ECB promised to stand behind the bonds of eurozone countries; this helped bring down their rates sharply. (Greece remains an exception, because its new government declines to endorse a rescue plan accepted by the previous government.) But hardly anyone anticipated that these measures would produce negative interest rates.

The second explanation is that the weak world economy has quashed inflation and the demand for credit. Businesses don't want to expand; consumers fear too much debt. Weak global demand could produce a broad-based fall in prices ("deflation"), oil being a harbinger. Depending on deflation's severity, negative interest rates could then be profitable because investors would be repaid in more valuable money.

The evidence for this theory is mixed. True, the sluggish world economy has suppressed price pressures. In the euro zone, consumer prices (minus energy) are up a mere 0.4 percent in the past year. But credit demand, while not robust, hasn't collapsed. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute finds that worldwide credit grew 40 percent from the end of 2007 to mid-2014.

Just because bonds are traded at negative interest rates doesn't mean there's much buying at those rates. "I don't understand why anyone would put up with negative interest rates," says Richard Sylla, a financial historian at New York University and co-author of "A History of Interest Rates." "You could do better by holding cash." Some European banks now charge for holding cash deposits; in those cases, buying negative-interest bonds instead might make sense, says Sylla.

Capital flight by wealthy investors explains some demand for government bonds, says Zandi. "Every time there's a hotspot you can see the cash flows into U.S. Treasury bonds -- the safest assets," he asserts. U.S. Treasuries aren't yet in negative territory, but some other government bonds that play the same role are, Zandi says. Investors want to protect their principal and may regard slightly negative rates as an insurance premium against larger losses.

For the moment, negative interest rates are a market-driven curiosity. But what happens if governments or corporations begin selling bonds that start with negative rates? Then we're in completely unchartered waters.
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / global warming will continue to cause increasingly extreme weather, - 41 degrees on: February 19, 2015, 11:29:24 AM
"Left unmitigated, global warming will continue to cause increasingly extreme weather."

“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence."
 – said President Obama
http://www.biotech-now.org/environmental-industrial/biofuels-climate-change/2013/06/president-obama-talks-climate-change-we-need-to-act
----------------

And extremes like this, 41 degrees below zero -- without wind chill - today.
http://www.startribune.com/local/292617161.html

We never had extremes in weather before man-made global warming, or did we??
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Morris: GOP's Electoral Cliff on: February 19, 2015, 10:57:43 AM
In 2016, we aren't going to be running the 2012 election scenario again.  1) Obama's amazing hold on the black vote and historic turnout of same is over.  2) Obama's claim of foreign policy success is over.  3) Obama's power of incumbency is over, and most certainly a negative for Hillary or whoever.  4) Romney's inability to land a punch (see Candy Crowley debate), his inability to defend the free enterprise system, and his inability to bring out millions of conservative voters will also (hopefully) not be on the ballot.  5) The Republican nominee will most likely not be someone he can be easily painted as a fat cat who doesn't care about people like me.  

2016 will not be the year of the resume.  Republicans are going to run (I predict) a vision of freedom and the American Dream against the decaying stagnation of big government statism.  If not the candidate I've pointed out, then someone else who can do that as well or better.

There are factors offsetting the demographic gains that Democrats are allegedly winning with the increasing numbers of "non-whites" in "swing states".  The electorate is getting older. (http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/newsdesk/the-most-valuable-voters-of-2016-20150218)  Dems are losing even more white voters. (http://www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/newsdesk/the-most-valuable-voters-of-2016-20150218)  Dem and leftist economics failed its core constituents.  Working class wages are stagnant.  Facts are stubborn things.  So-called blue collar workers are turning Republican.  (http://www.npr.org/2015/01/02/374511123/democrats-problem-white-working-class-voters) Minorities are unemployed and underemployed, and income disparity, their main economic argument, widened under their watch.  With Obama off the ballot, their share of black voters and the phenomenal turnout drops substantially.  (See 2010, 2014:  http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2014/11/where_did_all_the_black_voters_go_on_election_day.html)  The presumed Dem candidate has no idea how to embrace Obama's personal  political victories and retain his voters while rejecting the failures of his policies, which by the way were identical to her policies.  (http://www.factcheck.org/2008/01/peas-in-a-pod/)

The idea that a state like Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada or New Hampshire could not swing the other way with the right candidate and the right message might be disputed by people like Jodi Ernst, Scott Walker, Cory Gardner, Brian Sandoval and Kelly Ayotte.  In a wave election, Republicans take all of these with decent margins, just as Obama did in 2008.  Govern well and you hold the Presidency through to 2025.  Easy or automatic?  No.  Possible?  Yes.
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Scott Walker on: February 18, 2015, 09:11:40 AM

Thank you for posting the NY Times correction.  The original teacher piece is a bunch of bs too.  The teacher who claims to be the best of them all writes a fact correction piece that is loaded from start to finish with leftist activist agenda opinion.  Even if the fact correction part were right, I would rate Walker's statement essentially true.  The old system favored a failed experienced teacher over a successful new one.  Attacking that defect is an applause line for Walker, and attack it he did!

Leftist fact checking requires name calling:  "Anti-union Governor Scott Walker".

The teacher who didn't win outstanding teacher award, won "outstanding first-year teacher of the English language arts" award. 

The teacher who wasn't laid off was in fact "issued a layoff notice".

Nothing like staying with facts, the union award winning teacher alleges:  "Your tenure as Governor has demonstrated nothing less than a systematic attempt to dismantle public education."... and ... "you became the Governor of the State of Wisconsin bent on dismantling public education."

But the facts bear out that the entire Wisconsin system was billions in the hole before Walker took action and solvent today.  The teacher's allegation were heavily debated and judged by the taxpayers, voters and owners of the state, and three times in a row the people of this blue state came down on the side of the Governor.  I wouldn't want this leftist, activist, loose-canon teaching my children!

NY Times:  'What we published recklessly slamming Gov Scott Walker of Wisconsin (Gail Collins echoing this teacher) was false.  We promise to be more nuanced and subtle next time.'

Good to see Crafty reading and posting from "Liberals Unite!" for us - so we won't have to.
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: February 17, 2015, 04:43:10 PM
I agree in part with Gerald F. Seib, WSJ.

Taking the last points first.  It is certainly true that Rubio's effort on immigration reform hurt his current standing with conservatives.  Offsetting that in part is that the same effort softens his image with the center making him more electable, if nominated.  It also deepened and broadened his knowledge of an issue that isn't going away, and it gave him behind the scenes, face to face experience dealing with the Democratic core of congress, people like Dick Durbin and Chuck Shumer.  Rubio's effort there was an error and a failure by his own admission, but one hell of a learning experience that would have been entirely missed by being just one voting Senator sitting on the sidelines.

To note the similarities in age and background of Rubio to Obama is to miss the essence of both of these people and their past experiences.  Seib answers that; one voted present and one served with increasing responsibilities of leadership.  One spoke in cliches and wanted to tear down the country and one is spelling out how exactly to bring its greatness.  Also one state, Illinois, ended up in failure and one, Florida, in success.

I find the 'establishment candidate' argument empty this time around.  Who is the establishment  right now?  Reince Priebus, a 42 year old from Wisconsin?  Not Chris Christy, he is his own maverick.  Romney is out.  Scott Walker is the opposite of establishment; no one like a Karl Rove would have advised him to take on those entrenched interests.  J.E.B. might seek 'establishment' money but he also dances only to the beat of his own drum.  Who is the proven winner in this crowd.  None of them.  Christy is back to a 37% approval in his own state.  Walker untested on this stage.  And Jeb has been out of politics by choice for quite a long time.  Rubio enters the contest even up on that score, IMHO.

Will any of these candidates including Rubio rise in the campaign and the debates to be seen as Presidential?  I don't know.  Rubio has become fluent in foreign policy issues; does that translate into being seen as a credible and responsible Commander in Chief?  I don't know.  What I know is that this is a wide open primary and it will come down to a number of factors.  Who connects?  Who will do right on foreign policy in a troubled world?  And my central point here:  Who (taking Stephen Hayes description of Rubio) is the most talented communicator that makes the case for limited government and American greatness better than anyone in the Republican field?  If someone other than Rubio, can do that better than Rubio, and has executive experience and foreign policy credibility, Presidential temperament, clean background and all the rest, then good for us, let's take him or her.  Maybe Mike pence on paper, but I don't see a better communicator out there, and that is what we need right now if we want anything for the American future beyond a gridlock that leaves all liberal, leftist programs fully in place.

Rubio's ability to speak fluent Spanish at this point in time in our nation's history could prove instrumental.  Add cute wife and kids to it and Hillary for an opponent and this starts to look a little like 1960, JFK vs. Nixon.  Funny that JFK turned out to be the supply-sider with a tilt toward individual responsibility, and Nixon became the big government statist.
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt hits ISIS in Libya after 21 Coptics decapitated on: February 16, 2015, 06:31:19 PM
Wait, I thought Obama gave a speech in Cairo that was going to make all this go away.

Funny what difference 6 years can make.  More than half the country back then hoped that was true.  Now it is known that even air strikes won't stop this enemy. 

You earn peace in one of two ways, defeat or deter your enemies.  It is too late for this President to establish any deterrence and he seeks 'authorization' to prevent us from defeating anyone.  After losing the House, the Senate, 64% of the Governorships and 70% of the state legislative chambers, he is now in the process of guaranteeing the election of a Hawk to succeed him.
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard, Handicaps the 2016 GOP presidential Field on: February 16, 2015, 06:02:50 PM
In reverse order—from least likely to most likely-- starting with Donald Trump, you'll never guess how this ends.   wink  "The case for ***** is simple: He is the most talented communicator in politics today. He is a visceral conservative who makes the case for limited government and American greatness better than anyone in the Republican field—better than anyone, anywhere.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/author/stephen-f.-hayes
A Herd of Elephants
Handicapping the 2016 GOP field
FEB 23, 2015, VOL. 20, NO. 23 • BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

It’s still two years before the next president takes the oath of office, but the contest that will determine who raises his right hand that day started in earnest last month for Republicans, with a grassroots gathering in Iowa and a meeting of high-dollar donors in California.

With that, it’s time for my highly anticipated ranking of the Republican primary field. Okay, okay—that might be a stretch. These are probably unanticipated rankings. But with the Iowa caucuses less than a year away Republicans across the country are already abuzz about the possibilities. The assessments below are based on dozens of conversations with grassroots conservatives in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina; with Republican officeholders at virtually every level of government; with national Republican strategists, fund-raisers, and operatives; with advisers and consultants to the emerging campaigns; and in several cases with the candidates themselves.

So in reverse order—from least likely to most likely—here’s a look at the prospective GOP nominees.

Donald Trump. Trump seems convinced that there is a groundswell of support for a Trump White House. And he seems confident, well, about pretty much everything. “Over the years I’ve participated in many battles and have really almost come out very, very victorious every single time,” he once said. “I’ve beaten many people and companies, and I’ve won many wars. I have fairly but intelligently earned many billions of dollars, which in a sense was both a scorecard and acknowledgment of my abilities.” Clown show.

Paul Ryan. The Wisconsin congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee has taken himself out of the race. He still has a better chance of being the nominee than Donald Trump.

George Pataki/Bob Ehrlich. Former Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich lost to Martin O’Malley by 14 points in 2010, a very favorable year. Any thought that Maryland was simply unwinnable for a Republican was invalidated in 2014, when a relatively unknown GOP activist named Larry Hogan defeated heavily favored Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown 51-47. It’s unclear what George Pataki, another former governor, could possibly be thinking.

Lindsey Graham/John Bolton. If Lindsey Graham decides to run, he will do so largely to ensure that a hawkish, internationalist approach to national security issues remains part of the debate. The same is true for John Bolton. They are different kinds of hawks. Bolton is harder-edged and less taken with democracy promotion than Graham, a more eager soft-power interventionist. They differ on other issues, too (interrogation, immigration, and gay marriage, to name a few). Neither man will be the nominee, but if either one appears in debates next fall, his presence will be sure to boost the foreign policy content of the proceedings.

Carly Fiorina. The former Hewlett-Packard executive in 2010 lost her bid to serve as senator from California, an unfriendly state to Republicans even in a good year for the party. She’s highly intelligent and has a lot of money but little chance of catching a wave. This feels like a play to make sure (a) Republicans have a smart woman in the debates, and (b) Fiorina is considered for a top position in a future GOP administration.

Rick Santorum. The 2012 Iowa caucuses went to Santorum for two reasons: His social conservatism was attractive to like-minded voters, particularly in the northwest part of the state, and he wasn’t Mitt Romney. Santorum is still not Mitt Romney, but with several viable candidates in the field this time, that won’t take him nearly as far as it did in 2012. As a champion of social conservatism, Santorum will be competing with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for the same political space. If Santorum couldn’t win the nomination in 2012 with a very weak field, it’s hard to see how he wins in 2016.

Ben Carson. The accomplished neurosurgeon is wildly popular with the conservative grassroots. As Fred Barnes reported in these pages, Carson’s book outsold Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices by nearly 100,000 copies. He talks to voters like a normal person and emphasizes a kind of everyday common sense that is in short supply in Washington. But his main asset may also prove to be his main liability. A little political incorrectness can be refreshing, but only a little. Carson has said that living in the United States under Barack Obama is “very much like Nazi Germany.” No, it’s not. But when he was asked whether he stood by his assessment, Carson wouldn’t back down.

Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor consistently polls near the top of potential Republican candidates. He’s well known and has an easygoing, aw-shucks personality that makes him appealing. Huckabee showed in 2008 that he can be a very effective debater, and he is one of most entertaining and engaging speakers in politics today.

If he runs, Huckabee will emphasize middle-class economics. So will everyone else in the race, of course, but it’s a theme Huckabee has been hitting for years—the divide between “Wall Street and Main Street.” In an NBC News debate in October 2007, a full year before the economic crisis, Huckabee chastised his fellow Republicans for happy-talk about the economy under George W. Bush.

Voters are “going to hear Republicans on this stage talk about how great the economy is, and, frankly, when they hear that, they’re going to probably reach for the dial. I want to make sure people understand that for many people on this stage, the economy’s doing terrifically well, but for a lot of Americans it’s not doing so well. The people who handle the bags and make the beds at our hotels and serve the food, many of them are having to work two jobs, and that’s barely paying the rent.”

Huckabee doesn’t speak for long without dropping a corny cliché. “Voters want inspiration, not just information,” he told me last March. A successful candidate is someone who “plans your work and works your plan.” The problem with Mitt Romney in 2012: “Nobody cares how much you know unless they know how much you care.”

If he sounds a bit like someone hawking natural remedies for diabetes or who wants to warn you about “Seven Things That Activate Alzheimer’s in Your Brain,” it’s because he’s doing just that. Although he left his Fox News show to explore a presidential run, Huckabee is still sending out spammy emails to his political list to raise money. And, as Andrew Ferguson wrote in these pages last week, “Huckabee seems to want to cement his image in the public mind not as a successful governor of an unsuccessful state but as a preacher and a talk show host. It is a deadly combination.”

Bobby Jindal. The Louisiana governor has a well-deserved reputation as a policy wonk and an equally well-deserved reputation as an eager and ambitious politician who is relentlessly on message. Among the main questions for Jindal: Can he make Republican primary voters want to have the proverbial beer with him or will they mostly look to him as a guy who gives a great PowerPoint presentation on the complexities of Medicaid funding mechanisms? He’s surrounded himself with a first-rate team. If they can’t manufacture a Jindal surge, no one can.

Rand Paul. Rand Paul is probably the best organized candidate in the Republican field. He has a vast network of eager employees and volunteers in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada—the first four contests next year. He has quietly secured endorsements from more than a dozen Republicans in Congress, and he is aggressively pressuring others to commit to him now. His events draw large crowds that often look more like a campus diversity rally than a typical county Republican chicken dinner. He deserves—and receives—credit for his outreach to groups that seldom vote Republican. Media coverage of Paul as a prospective candidate is often filled with praise for this outreach, and so are Paul’s own speeches.

Time recently put Paul on its cover and declared him “the most interesting man in politics.” That alone is probably enough to get him generally positive media coverage. And the fact that many of his arguments reinforce media stereotypes of Republicans—that they’re arrogant in the conduct of foreign policy, that they’re closed-minded about minorities, that they’re priggish about morality—ensures that such favorable coverage will likely continue.

But as Paul learned recently with the dust-up over his comments on vaccines (he suggested a link between vaccines and “profound mental disorders”)—and might have learned a while back amid controversy over comments about the 1964 Civil Rights Act—thinking out loud as a presidential candidate is very different from debating with college buddies between bong hits. In both cases, Paul was forced to issue clarifications in which he claimed not to have said what he had plainly said. Beyond that, some of the very things that win Paul praise from the media put him at odds with Republican primary voters. Shortly before Russia began its annexation of Crimea, Paul scolded hawks for failing to show enough “respect” to Vladimir Putin. He has supported Obama policy on Iran and Cuba, and when he criticizes the president on national security, he usually does so from the left.

But Paul’s biggest problem may be that he’s not yet a very good candidate. In late January, he appeared onstage at a Koch brothers seminar in California alongside Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The format of the panel discussion, moderated by Jonathan Karl of ABC News, allowed candidates to respond to one another and to give longer answers than a typical TV interview or debate. Paul bombed. His answers—sometimes short and snide, sometimes long and incoherent—were met with widespread disapproval from the audience. And the response to a speech he gave was even worse. Paul wandered around the stage in jeans and blazer as he spoke about—well, it was hard to tell.

Paul inherits many of his father’s backers and, with his determined effort to appear less crazy than his father, will expand on that base of support. In a contest with the number of candidates potentially reaching double digits, Paul will be a player. And his combination of fundraising ability and vanity ensures that he’ll probably remain in the field for a long time.

The biggest question: Will he consider an independent bid for the White House when he loses the Republican nomination?

Chris Christie. It wasn’t too long ago that Chris Christie was considered a top candidate—maybe the frontrunner—for the 2016 nomination. In November 2013, with Republicans still smarting from the Obama reelection, Christie was reelected in blue New Jersey with more than 60 percent of the vote, winning every county but Essex and Hudson. Executives at the major news networks liked Christie, who seemed to take as much joy in poking Republicans in the eye as he did Democrats. He famously hugged Barack Obama shortly before the 2012 elections and then, in the fight over emergency funding for Hurricane Sandy, repeatedly blasted Republicans in Washington for their spending concerns. He didn’t necessarily love journalists but he seemed to thrive on the attention they lavished on him. It wasn’t hard to imagine Christie running for the Republican nomination on the McCain model, winning praise from the media for taking on Republicans even as he asked Republicans for their support.

But the so-called Bridgegate controversy ended that. The mainstream media treated the story as if it were a national scandal, with regular updates on network newscasts and morning shows and saturation-coverage in national newspapers. (For an instructive look at media priorities, compare the excessive national media coverage of Christie’s “Bridgegate” and the negligible coverage of the Obama administration’s IRS scandal.) While the coverage overplayed Christie’s culpability, it nonetheless did real damage to one of his main selling points: electability. Christie is now better known than most of his rivals and thought of less favorably than all of them.

It’s hard enough for a strong conservative to get a second look in a Republican primary (ask Rick Perry), but it’ll be even harder for the man perceived as the most moderate in the field. Ask a group of conservative activists about him and among the first things you’ll hear is complaints about “the hug.” That’s usually followed by a litany of policy complaints, including Christie’s decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. It’s not just that Christie expanded Medicaid, but that he did so not long after scolding Washington politicians, including Republicans, for being afraid to tackle big problems. In that speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Christie portrayed himself as a brave truthteller, willing to talk about reforming entitlements when others won’t. “If we’re not honest about these things,” he thundered, “we’re on the path to ruin.” Medicaid in particular, he said, is “not only bankrupting the federal government, it’s bankrupting every state government.”

Still, Christie remains popular with some donors, and his style could be very effective in debates, especially if he’s willing to be the guy who launches the toughest attacks on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

John Kasich. On paper, Ohio governor John Kasich is a first-tier candidate. He’s got a strong record as a budget hawk in a time of record deficits. He has D.C. experience but he’s not “of Washington.” He’s well known to Fox News viewers from his days hosting a popular weekend show. He can claim that he straightened out Ohio’s finances and brightened its economic outlook. And, crucially, he decisively won reelection last year in what is arguably the most important presidential swing state, with nearly double the votes of his Democrat opponent. And yet Kasich will be something of a long shot if he runs.

Why? On key issues for many GOP primary voters, he’s on the unpopular side: He favors citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Common Core, and he is a passionate defender of Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. Rhetorically, his self-assurance can slip into cockiness. His default stance often seems to be defensiveness. He answers even routine questions as if he’s being attacked. As a consequence, Kasich comes across as “holier than thou.”

Kasich justified his decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare by suggesting that those with a different approach are un-Christian. “When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor.” Suggesting that morality is gauged by a willingness to spend other people’s money is a perfect way to anger conservatives, and he’s done so regularly. It’s compassionate conservatism with an added layer of condescension. When asked about Kasich’s claim, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who did not expand Medicaid, had a sharp response. “My reading of the Bible finds plenty of reminders that it’s better to teach someone to fish than to give them fish if they’re able. .  .  . Caring for the poor isn’t the same as taking money from the federal government to lock more people into Medicaid.”

Walker himself may present the biggest obstacle to Kasich. If Republican primary voters want a reform-minded governor from the Midwest, Walker is likely to be the first choice.

Rick Perry. Rick Perry’s biggest challenge in 2016 is Rick Perry in 2012. Perry charged into that race as a successful governor who would present the biggest challenge to Mitt Romney. He left it amidst stories of harsh infighting between his top advisers and as a punchline for late-night comedians. The mere mention of Perry’s name at a gathering of Republicans today elicits laughter and shouts of “oops.” It’s hard to recover from that.

But Perry is trying and making some headway. Ask grassroots conservatives in Iowa and New Hampshire which potential candidate has worked hardest over the last year to build relationships and set himself up for the contest next year and you hear Perry’s name as often as any other. He is a good retail politician and a strong fundraiser. Good enough to replace the memories of 2012? That’s the question.

Mike Pence. Like John Kasich, Pence left a position of prominence among Republicans in the House of Representatives for the governor’s mansion of his home state. But unlike Kasich, Pence didn’t replace a Democrat. He took the job from popular and successful Indiana governor Mitch Daniels. So Pence didn’t have the clean-up job that Kasich (or Walker) had upon taking office. Pence’s charge was to build on the reforms Daniels had implemented, and he’s done that, moving quickly to cut taxes and expand school choice.

Pence is a movement conservative and a talented communicator. He’s an old-school, Reagan-style conservative—hawkish on national security, unwavering on issues of importance to social conservatives, and a consistent economic conservative. If he runs, he will have an opportunity to appeal to grassroots conservatives without scaring establishment and big-money Republicans.

The early betting was that Pence would seek the chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association. When he didn’t, many Washington Republicans took his decision as a sign that he would run. Sources with ties to three rival campaigns say they expect Pence will pass on the race. Pence won’t make a decision until after the state’s legislative session adjourns in April.

Ted Cruz. The junior senator from Texas doesn’t have many friends in Washington. He’s hated by Democrats and loathed by many Republicans, too. These are reasons to believe he will outperform expectations as a presidential candidate. In just two years, Cruz has managed to position himself as the loudest and most unrelenting opponent of the Washington political establishment. The conventional wisdom is that this inability to play well with others makes his presidential ambitions almost delusional. In reality, Cruz is in a pretty good place, with approval of Congress at 16 percent and faith in public institutions lower than post-Watergate lows.

Cruz will be the most conservative candidate in the field. He knows what he believes and why he believes it. And he’s smart. His challenge will be to show that his antagonism is directed at Washington and not a character trait. He will need to be smart without seeming pleased by his own intelligence. He’ll need to talk to voters without appearing to lecture them—and he’ll need to do a lot of listening.

Cruz gave a solid speech at the recent GOP gathering in Iowa. But several attendees complained that he blew in like a political celebrity, with an outsized entourage and little time to spend with voters. In some cases, the same voters who nodded in approval with Cruz’s call for a new order in Washington were shaking their heads at his unapproachability in Des Moines.

Still, few names generate more enthusiasm among the conservative grassroots than Ted Cruz. That’s a huge advantage if he can capitalize on it.

Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush has made clear that he will run an unorthodox campaign, deploying social media in innovative ways. He is making public volumes of email from his tenure as Florida governor. He is telling people that his campaign will reimagine the traditional roles of advisers and staff—even of the candidate himself. And he has said that he wants to win in the primaries by running as a general election candidate.

Bush’s early entry and aggressive pitch to contributors (he’s asking for big bucks and often a pledge of donor exclusivity) were intended to scare off or intimidate would-be challengers. There’s no doubt it played a major role in Mitt Romney’s decision not to run, despite his eagerness to mount a third bid. And Bush certainly impressed the shapers of conventional wisdom in the political media—who immediately bestowed upon him the designation “frontrunner.” Bush may end up the nominee, but he’s far from the shoo-in that money Republicans (and the reporters who listen to them) seem to believe.

Many movement conservatives are hostile to the idea of another Bush in the White House. They still remember George H. W. Bush’s broken “no new taxes” pledge and the orgy of spending that ended George W. Bush’s administration (the culmination of years of profligacy). They blame the last Bush administration for giving us the Obama administration. They focus on the two issues where Jeb Bush is at odds with the party base—immigration and Common Core—and they talk about Jeb as if he will fill the Mitt Romney/establishment moderate slot in the 2016 Republican primary.

Some of this is unfair. Jeb is the most conservative of the three Bushes. As Florida governor, he pushed aggressively for conservative reforms and wasn’t afraid to challenge moderate Republicans in the legislature and the business community. He calls himself a conservative because he regards himself as a conservative, not because consultants tell him it’s what voters want to hear, and he usually describes his conservatism without unnecessary qualifiers like “compassionate” or “severe.”

The skepticism between Jeb Bush and the GOP base is mutual. If conservatives are wary of a Bush candidacy, it’s at least in part because he has made them so. Conservatives focus on Bush’s views on Common Core and immigration because Bush focuses on them. There’s no doubt he pushes as hard as he does because he believes deeply that he’s right. But after emphasizing issues on which he differs from many Republicans, Bush shouldn’t be surprised that many Republicans regard him as something of a renegade.

The challenge for Bush is not primarily that he has these differences with the GOP base, it’s that he sometimes talks about these differences in a tone that suggests those who disagree are either backward or bigoted. During an RNC fundraiser in Ohio last summer, Bush participated in a discussion with contributors. One donor asked Bush about the Common Core “curriculum.” According to several sources in the room, Bush angrily chastised the questioner for his failure to understand the issue and noted that Common Core isn’t a curriculum but a set of standards. His tone was harsh enough that it caused more than one attendee to conclude that Bush wasn’t running for president.

Bush has said that it’s important for a candidate to be willing to “lose the primary to win the general without violating your principles”—a comment that many took as a declaration that he will not pander to conservatives in order to win the Republican nomination. There’s a delicate balance between refusing to pander (positive) and showing disdain for the base (counterproductive).

In February 2014, as he was touring a schoolhouse near Miami, Bush was asked whether he would run for president. Among the most important questions he would have to answer, Bush said, was: “Can I do this joyfully?”

For the final two: It’s a coin toss. If I were betting on the likely GOP nominee today, I’d put the same amount on Walker and Rubio (with a chunk on Jeb, too).

Scott Walker. If Scott Walker’s early success has surprised some Washington-based political reporters, it didn’t surprise many in the conservative grassroots or those familiar with his political career in Wisconsin. The question was never whether Walker would be a first-tier candidate, it was how quickly he would become one and whether he could remain there once he did. With Walker at or near the top of polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, we have an answer to the first question, and the answer to the second may well determine whether Walker is the nominee.

Walker’s case is a simple one: I fight on behalf of conservative principles and I win. This is true electorally and substantively. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the 47-year-old governor has run in more elections than any other candidate in the field, and he’s won more than any other candidate in the field.

Walker served in the state assembly before he was rather improbably elected Milwaukee county executive in 2002. Milwaukee is a heavily Democratic county, but Walker ran as the man who would clean up after a worse-than-Hollywood pension scandal that featured, among other things, officeholders secretly voting themselves huge raises in the middle of the night. As county executive, Walker implemented a series of cost-cutting measures designed to bring the local government to heel. Democrats and their backers in the public sector unions fought Walker’s every move. He was reelected anyway.

Walker gained national prominence in 2011, his first year as governor, during the fight over his budget reforms and the subsequent attempt by unions and Democrats to recall him. His reforms passed, and he wiped out a $3.6 billion biennial deficit. The 2012 recall failed, and last year Walker was elected to a second term as governor. Immediately after his recall victory, Walker publicly urged Mitt Romney to change strategy, from his cautious attempt to win a referendum on Barack Obama to a bold, reform-minded insurgent’s campaign to change the country. Romney largely rejected Walker’s advice. But Walker, who received a four-minute standing ovation at the 2012 Republican convention before he started his speech, was clearly onto something.

Walker has moved quickly to start his presidential bid. He put in place an experienced team to run his exploring-in-name-only effort, including former RNC political director Rick Wiley and veteran GOP strategist Ed Goeas. Last week, Wiley supervised the opening of an Iowa office for Walker’s presidential PAC. Goeas, meanwhile, quietly started making the rounds on Capitol Hill, seeking to open lines of communication between conservatives in Congress and Walker. “I was just doing due diligence,” Goeas told The Weekly Standard.

Walker will run a positive campaign, sticking closely to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment forbidding attacks on fellow Republicans. In part, that’s because Walker has had good relationships with several other competitors. He consulted Jeb Bush regularly for advice on politics and governance and developed a friendship with Chris Christie. (Walker’s wife, Tonette, a sharp political observer in her own right, became friends with Christie’s wife, Mary Pat.)

Walker faces two main challenges: maintaining support from conservatives as he details his views on issues and presenting himself as a steady hand on foreign policy and national security matters. Republican primary voters know Walker primarily for his fight against the unions. On other issues, voters assume Walker will be with them. He’s a full-spectrum conservative, so in most instances these voters will be right. But the details will matter. Walker opted not to mount a big fight on gay marriage, disappointing some evangelicals. He’s for a middle path on immigration reform, something that won’t satisfy either hardcore restrictionists or open-borders libertarians.

On national security, Walker faces the dilemma of any governor running for president. He spends his days and nights focused on Wisconsin-specific domestic policy issues and consequently won’t know the details of, say, the make-up of ISIS or tensions with Russia in the same way that a senator on the Intelligence Committee might. He’s studying—Walker met recently with Henry Kissinger and George Shultz and will be seeing General Jack Keane for briefings in March—but he’s got a state to run.

Walker’s instincts are hawkish. In a recent interview on ABC’s This Week, Martha Raddatz pushed Walker on the proper U.S. response to ISIS. When he said it has to be more “aggressive,” she pushed back, asking how he could say that a campaign of some 2,000 airstrikes wasn’t aggressive. Walker didn’t back down, but he didn’t dispute her very questionable claim. (The United States and its allies conducted 10,000 airstrikes in Kosovo over just 78 days, so, no, 2,000 over six months isn’t actually an “aggressive” campaign.) Walker said that America would have to consider ground troops in Syria if ISIS continued to develop as a threat. It is not only a defensible answer; it’s the right one. But Walker was short on details, and reporters will soon begin to demand them.

Marco Rubio. The conventional wisdom about a Rubio for president campaign has swung wildly over the past two months. In the weeks after the 2014 midterms, commentators mused about a Rubio bid as if it were a sure thing. But when Jeb Bush made clear that he was likely to run, the peddlers of conventional wisdom were sure Rubio wouldn’t challenge his mentor. Last week, Rubio hired well-regarded New Hampshire political strategist Jim Merrill, and the commentariat quickly concluded that he was in. Interviewed by Hugh Hewitt, Rubio said: “I wouldn’t be running against Jeb Bush. If I ran, I would run because I believe I’m the right person for the right time in our country’s history.” The reality is that very few people know if Rubio will run, but unless something changes his thinking, he is far more likely to run than not. His wife is supportive, his team is prepared, and a decision is imminent.

As for Walker, the case for Rubio is simple: He is the most talented communicator in politics today. He is a visceral conservative who makes the case for limited government and American greatness better than anyone in the Republican field—better than anyone, anywhere. And he has used his short time in Congress to make himself a leading Republican voice on national security and foreign policy, serving on both the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees.

At the Koch Forum where Rand Paul bombed, Rubio stood out. On the panel discussion with Paul and Cruz, Rubio was, at turns, funny and thoughtful. His quick wit elicited laughter from the audience several times over the 90-minute conversation. The second half of the discussion focused on national security, and Rubio took the opportunity to demonstrate his fluency on the subject matter, offering detailed analyses of the country’s problems and solutions that made clear he’d spent a considerable amount of time on them.

Rubio’s best moment came the following day, however, when he addressed the group about the promise of America. Rubio spoke for 30 minutes without notes and captivated the crowd with stories of his grandfather and his parents. Rubio’s speeches often convey a sense of humility and wonder that he’s risen to a place where he might influence the direction of the American experiment in self-governance. Rubio manages to tell convincingly the kinds of only-in-America stories that might come off as hackneyed and manipulative from other politicians. Maybe that’s because they’re often personal for him. Maybe he’s just a better story-teller than most. Whatever the explanation, Rubio can drown skepticism about America’s future with reminders about the country’s past and, in the process, give goosebumps to a cynic.

When I sat in on Rubio’s debate-prep sessions for a profile I wrote in 2010, I was blown away by his ability to think on his feet. Rubio routinely came up with memorable one-liners that other candidates would pay consultants thousands of dollars to imagine. He wasn’t as conversant on foreign policy back then, but he spoke with great authority on the issues that he had worked on at the state level.

Because of their youth, their speaking ability, and their similar career paths, Rubio frequently draws comparisons to Obama. If this was once a compliment, that’s no longer the case. Team Rubio pushes back hard against the parallels. Obama was a nonentity in the Illinois state senate, they argue, avoiding controversial issues by voting present and devoting considerable time to boosting his future prospects. Rubio, by contrast, held leadership posts for eight of his eight and a half years in the legislature, including stints as majority whip and majority leader before becoming speaker of the Florida house at the age of 35. He spent his time advancing the agenda of the legislature’s Republicans and Governor Jeb Bush.

Like Bush, Rubio was a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform and worked toward a solution as part of the Gang of Eight in the Senate. Rubio said at the time that he thought it better to participate in those negotiations and attempt to shape the outcome than to sit it out and risk a bad law. It’s an issue that has made a segment of the Republican base suspicious of his conservative bona fides.

Another potential obstacle for Rubio is his friendship with former Rep. David Rivera. Rubio and Rivera co-owned a house in Tallahassee while they served in the legislature and have been friends for years. Rivera is a shady figure whose fundraising and campaign practices have gotten him in legal trouble over the years. If Rubio runs, his opponents will doubtless seek to highlight their friendship and link Rubio with Rivera’s misdeeds.

The conventional wisdom suggests Rubio will have trouble raising money with Jeb Bush in the race. Perhaps. But Rubio won the straw poll of attendees at the Koch seminar in January, and he’s been a strong fundraiser over his time in the Senate.

The 2016 GOP field has strengths and weaknesses, good candidates and bad ones. And maybe Donald Trump. The recent history of presidential contests suggests Republicans will have a hard time winning the White House. The demography-is-destiny crowd will tell you it’ll be nearly impossible.

But Barack Obama’s attempt to make big government popular again has resulted instead in greater skepticism of government. And if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, she’ll have to answer a very difficult question: What does the party of government do when fewer and fewer people believe in government?

And how will Clinton explain her role in an administration that saw American overreach as a greater threat than radical Islam or Russian aggression or Iranian nuclear weapons? The world is a mess, and it’s abundantly clear that so-called smart power has left America weaker and at greater risk than at any time in recent memory. That’s not just the view of Republicans or administration critics, but of top administration officials themselves. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says the “world is exploding all over.” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says: “Looking back over my more than half a century in intelligence, I have not experienced a time when we have been beset by more crises and threats around the globe.”

These issues will matter. And so will the candidates who discuss them. I like Republican chances.
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillbillary Clinton for VEEP?? Minneapolis StarTribune on: February 15, 2015, 03:39:55 PM
It is amazing that the following attack on HRC from the left was printed today, top, front, center of the Minneapolis StarTribune, Sunday Opinion section.  The region's largest newspaper is never more the a quarter note out of step with the NYT and the DNC. 

Excerpting the anti-Hillary part;
http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/291914841.html?page=all&prepage=1&c=y#continue

Top of the ticket to ya, Sen. Warren
Article by: BONNIE BLODGETT Minneapolis StarTribune, February 13, 2015
Why I support Elizabeth Warren for president (with Hillary Clinton as running mate).
...
Unlike our current president, Warren has plenty of experience playing hardball on behalf of the average American. She’s 65 years old. Her youthful appearance is one reason why she should be at the top of a Warren-Clinton ticket. Looks matter. I have no idea if Warren lifts weights or runs marathons, but Hillary Clinton, while remarkably well-preserved for a woman pushing the big 7-0, looks exhausted.

And besides, Clinton had her chance six years ago, a chance she blew when Barack Obama made her cry on national TV.

Call me coldhearted, but I soured on Mrs. Clinton long before she showed she had feelings. The honeymoon was over for me when she flouted custom and joined her husband’s inner circle of White House policy advisers. She was apparently not content to be the kind of low-profile sounding board that Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan had been for their spouses. Eleanor Roosevelt wasn’t shy about sharing her opinions with FDR, but she never presented herself publicly as an adjunct Cabinet member.

I was amazed at the public’s nonresponse when President Bill Clinton named his wife the nation’s first health care czar. The job wasn’t in the party platform. It didn’t show up in any of her husband’s stump speeches. Nor did Mrs. Clinton’s knowledge of health care run deep. A quick study, she picked up just enough to run more savvy reformers’ hopes off a cliff.

Hillary seemed to have made a devil’s bargain with Bill: I’ll keep quiet about Gennifer Flowers (and all the others) if you remember that your wife has worked just as hard as you have to further your career. It’s payback time.

Monica Lewinsky turned out to be Bill Clinton’s most precious gift to his goal-oriented missus. Hillary’s forbearance gave her a lock on the women’s vote. Jews admired her, too, and called her a mensch. (She already had her eye on the New York Senate seat.) Southerners will always stand by a woman who stands by her man.

She was idolized overseas. I remember dining at a Paris restaurant during the height of the impeachment ordeal. A stylish sixty-something couple (she was his mistress) seated next to me found out that I was American and proceeded to wax rhapsodic about “your wonderful first lady” while heaping contempt on Americans’ hypocrisy in matters of love.

I have no quarrel with a woman who chooses to stay married to a philandering husband. What really bothers me is the way Clinton abandoned her political principles in order to stay in the game. After Bill left office, she chose to represent a state she’d never lived in and ran a hawkish, pro-business campaign.

I support Warren for president because — let’s face it — Clinton has baggage. Does anyone even know what Warren’s husband looks like?

Clinton wasn’t wrong to believe our health care system sucked. She was wrong to believe she could craft an alternative including for-profit insurers that would also be efficient and fair. Unlike Eleanor Roosevelt, whom FDR himself described as his conscience and goad, Clinton uttered not a word of protest against her husband’s abrupt rightward shift midway through his first term. She then capitalized on it when she needed Wall Street’s approval in her run for Senate. NAFTA and other trade agreements that sacrificed millions of American manufacturing jobs are as much her legacy as his. So is the now-infamous decision to dismantle Roosevelt-era curbs on banking, including Glass-Steagall, the regulation prohibiting big commercial banks like Wells Fargo from operating like investment banks such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to name two of the most notorious, thus setting in motion the mortgage crisis.

It was also on the Clintons’ watch that auto and oil companies persuaded Congress that precious jobs would be lost if light trucks were not excluded from stringent fuel-efficiency (CAFE) standards passed in 1975. Enter the era of the gas-guzzling SUV. The 1995 exemption came up again five years later. Buoyed by a close vote in the Republican-held Senate, environmentalists asked the president for a veto. They didn’t get it.

“In the end,” wrote a reporter at the time, “political considerations of the most narrow kind trumped whatever environmental arguments the White House may have had with respect to lifting the freeze on CAFE standards. SUVs, minivans, and pickups now account for 50 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S., a figure expected to rise in the years to come.”

Warren is willing to veto the Keystone pipeline because … it’s the planet, stupid.

“We are on the cusp of a climate crisis — a point of no return that will threaten our health, our economy, and our world,” she wrote to members of the League of Conservation Voters. “But we are also at a moment of great opportunity, where investment, smart regulations, and real commitment could move us boldly into the future. Over the next ten years, oil and gas companies will suck down $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies. We know they’re going to fight tooth and nail to protect — or even expand — those special breaks.”

Warren is willing to take positions that Obama apparently couldn’t because he was the first black president. She barely seems aware of her gender difference, much less that she has a shot — albeit long — at becoming the first woman president. She’s too busy exposing unfair subsidies, demanding corporate transparency and beefing up Dodd-Frank.

What else would a President Warren do? She would tell working people why the wealth gap is killing the American dream. She would tell them that companies like Medtronic and Walgreens are giving up their U.S. citizenship because, after all, these days they have customers and workers aplenty overseas and evading the IRS is way too much trouble. It’s cheaper to just move. New NAFTA-style trade agreements like the Transpacific Partnership wouldn’t be hush-hush with Warren in the White House. Neither would drone attacks, CIA surveillance techniques, and sweetheart deals between corporations and the Justice Department.

Could candidate Warren be bought? That’s always possible, but one thing I’m sure of is that Hillary Clinton sold out a long time ago.  ...
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 980 well sourced examples of Obama’s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, on: February 13, 2015, 11:33:53 PM
Credit to Dan from Squirrel Hill (Pittsburgh, PA)

980 well sourced examples of Obama’s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, waste, etc.

https://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/obama-252/

Kind of a long post.  The number keeps on growing.

1) Carried out military interventionism in Libya without Congressional approval

In June 2011, U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said that Obama had violated the Constitution when he launched military operations in Libya without Congressional approval.

In April 2014, Ralph Nader said that Obama should be impeached for his actions in Libya.

...

980) Illegally gave 982,000 work permits to illegal aliens and other foreign nationals who were not legally qualified for admission

During Obama’s first six years as President, he illegally gave 982,000 work permits to illegal aliens and other foreign nationals who were not legally qualified for admission.

181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / John Fund: How Hillary scares off Elizabeth Warren on: February 13, 2015, 11:08:47 PM
Let's keep this information handy in case Hillary never uses it.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/398510/how-hillary-scares-elizabeth-warren-john-fund

Elizabeth Warren, if she ran, would not receive such a pass [as Obama got] from Team Hillary, which is famous for playing both mean and creatively.

A ready-made army of liberal bloggers and surrogates would stand ready to belittle Warren’s lack of political experience and foreign-policy credentials.

And then there would be the character shots. Anti-big-business liberals would be reminded frequently that for all her populist rhetoric, Warren opposes a bill to audit the Federal Reserve and supports funding for the Export-Import Bank, a favorite of crony capitalists.

Then there is the “Fauxcahontas” scandal. In April 2012, the Boston Globe broke the news that while Warren never claimed American Indian heritage as an undergraduate or law-school student, she began doing so in her 30s as she sought jobs at highly competitive law schools such as Harvard.

The Association of American Law Schools requires law professors to answer ethnicity questions on its questionnaire. Only Warren can release a copy of her original questionnaire, and she has refused to do so. Back-channel Hillary surrogates would make hay out of that.

Then there is the scandal-in-waiting concerning her sleazy scholarship while a law professor. She co-authored a highly-publicized study in 2005 that claimed that 54.5 percent of all bankruptcies have “a medical cause” and that 46.2 percent have a “major medical cause,” telling interviewers that those findings demonstrated the need for national health care. In fact, the proportion of bankruptcies caused by catastrophic medical losses is more like 2 percent. Her numbers were inflated by including “uncontrolled gambling,” “alcohol or drug addiction,” “death in family,” and “birth/addition of new family member” as “a medical cause.” In addition, spending as little as $1,000 in unreimbursed medical expenses over the course of two years — hardly unusual for a family — was enough to get a bankruptcy classified as “a major medical cause” even when the debtor himself or herself did not list illness or injury as a cause of the bankruptcy. A number of scholars have criticized the study as intentionally misleading.

Nor was this the only blot on Warren’s scholarship. George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki told Breitbart News in 2012:

    Questions about the validity of Warren’s scholarly findings have haunted her since early in her career. Reviewing her first major scholarly work [her 1990 study on bankruptcy], a co-authored book, noted bankruptcy professor Philip Schuchman (now deceased) stated bluntly, “In my opinion, the authors have engaged in repeated instances of scientific misconduct.” Similar questions have continued to nag her scholarship throughout her career, especially her usage and handling of empirical data and the conclusions she draws from it.
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Will: Why Indiana’s Mike Pence deserves the trust of conservatives on: February 13, 2015, 11:04:00 PM
Don't rule out Mike Pence:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-pence-paradox/2015/02/11/e80788f8-b147-11e4-827f-93f454140e2b_story.html
183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bono, the American idea on: February 13, 2015, 05:47:44 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg3Xzh2cXD8

Hat tip to Glenn Beck radio this morning.

One minute, 39 seconds.
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations: Net Neutrality on: February 13, 2015, 03:16:06 PM
Don't be fooled by the name; it's a government takeover.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/02/net-neuter-trality.php

Watch the short video.
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren, Fauxcahontas, Harvard's first woman of color on: February 12, 2015, 03:49:35 PM
There IS merit to the concern of getting Congress involved with setting monetary policy.  Look at the decades of mischief created by the Humphrey Hawkins Act making full employment and not just price stability as part of the Fed's mission.

Yes, there is a fine line between getting involved with policy and conducting constitutional oversight. 

Ron Paul wrote a 2009 book called "End the Fed.".  I have strongly criticized that approach.  Rand Paul's proposal, 6 years later, is called, "Audit the Fed".  Maybe his intention is to meddle, influence, and effect change on their policies.  Audit, yes, have 535 members of Congress set monetary policy, no.  But end the dual mandate,  which is the Humphrey Hawkins of which you refer.

How does the self proclaimed champion of the ordinary people oppose auditing an independent bureaucracy that is playing with not trillions, but ALL of our money?
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Warren opposes Fed audit bill on: February 12, 2015, 01:52:53 PM

This is a great example of exposing these hypocrites with actual bills and votes.  The phony populist wants to rein in mostly with words and excessive regulations the big, so-called, private banks, but won't even support an audit of the very largest one for which she has the sworn, CONSTITUTIONAL duty to oversee.

Also, pretty good chance she is a 'friend' of Janet Yellen, whose hands this would tie.  Without QE, zero interest rates and the screwed up dual mission of the Fed, what is the Obama recovery?
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2nd post on: February 12, 2015, 10:53:42 AM
Another political move and nothing more.   He has never wanted Congress approval before.  Even gives a SOTU address in front of them insulting them with veto threats repeatedly.  Now he asks for their cover to look strong on terrorism.  And yet 45% will vote for him again and again and again if he could run for another election:

http://nypost.com/2015/02/11/obamas-resolution/

Sad, but true, that a request to congress to approve use of military force against a major threat in the world is a political move.  Where was that in Libya, Yemen, etc.  It would appear at this point the intent is more to tie the hands of his successor than to defeat the rapists, beheaders and barbarians attacking western civilization around the globe.
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt. on: February 12, 2015, 10:40:07 AM
"“More intense regulatory and technology requirements have raised the barriers to entry higher than at any other time in modern history,” said Mr. Blankfein. “This is an expensive business to be in, if you don’t have the market share in scale. Consider the numerous business exits that have been announced by our peers as they reassessed their competitive positioning and relative returns.”
The same thing is happening in health care.  Regulations and profound complex technology requirements have done the same thing in health care.
The biggest thrive and everyone struggles or goes out of business.   The winners are the biggest who can pay reams of people to navigate the mazes that are laid down all over the streets and sidewalks.
Hence big pharmacies, big hospital chains, and the biggest insurers are thriving and taking over the entire health care world.
Any of us seen any savings yet?

Isn't that the truth!  The rise of the giant bureaucracy is a war against entrepreneurialism and small business, right while the "market" index of entrenched companies keeps showing big gains.  Big companies continually challenged by start-ups and competition is what would actually make them stronger.  Health care in America is only the latest example of a country being swallowed by big government, one industry at a time.
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AUMF - ISIS, Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism on: February 12, 2015, 10:19:12 AM
"The language would so restrict the President’s war-fighting discretion that it deserves to be called the President Gulliver resolution. "

   - This "authorization" repeals the 1992 Iraq authorization, among larger problems.


"The adults in Congress should propose a resolution that actually works for the military to win. Then, let the the man-child veto it or his alternative reality Democrats defeat it on the record."

   - Yes.  The President's proposal gives one view, but the sole responsibility for writing congressional approval rests with congress.  Under whatever they write and pass, he will temporarily be the Commander in Chief carrying it out.  One knowledgeable pundit predicted yesterday that Congress won't be able to pass an authorization because of the wide range of views held, tie the President's hands, untie his hands, etc.



190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 12, 2015, 10:07:34 AM
It will be interesting to see how Rand plays Baraq's request for AUMF.

Didn't Rand propose this?  However, it is written in a way to offend both sides.  I assume Rand will be out front and active in the amendment process in the Senate.  As will Rubio and Cruz in a different direction.  The Senate debate and process, while ISIS keeps expanding, could be a defining moment for the Presidential campaign.
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. Embassy Shuts in Yemen on: February 11, 2015, 12:09:25 PM
Along with Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine, another US Foreign Policy success, if we measure everything upside down.

NYT says the new militant leader was reaching out to the US.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/world/middleeast/yemen-houthi-leader-pledges-to-pursue-power-sharing-accord.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillbillary Clinton, The Twitter President? on: February 11, 2015, 11:31:54 AM
Where is she, by the way.  The next President doesn't do public appearances, comment on events, take a stand on issues?  I understand the need to give us all a break from Hillary fatigue, but how does she do that later as President?

I assume she is either getting warranty service on 'work done', or addressing a health issue.  Either way, if she prefers to be out of the limelight, she should know - we like her best off the public stage too.
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How not to run for President on: February 11, 2015, 10:52:53 AM
An interesting look back at mistakes by category of failed candidacies of the past that no doubt applies today.  He touches on Fred Thompson, Tim Pawlenty, Bill Bradley, Wesley Clark, Rudy Giuliani, and Hillary Clinton 2008.  Getting in too late, quitting too soon, not willing to fight, wrong strategies, and other errors.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/how-not-to-run-for-president-20150206
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Post-Obama Triumph of Conservatism, By Peter Ferrara on: February 11, 2015, 10:38:50 AM
Budget reform, tax reform, replacing Obamacare, this is a very specific and optimistic take on where we could be headed right now.

The Post-Obama Triumph of Conservatism
By Peter Ferrara
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/02/the_postobama_triumph_of_conservatism.html

195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 10, 2015, 10:21:12 PM
Of course Obama won't sign these bills-- but that is not the point.  The point is to put Obama and the Dems on the record and to show how Reps would govern -- so as to win the presidency.

Agree.  But are you saying the R's should change Senate rules and end the filibuster over legislation certain to die at the next step?  Keep in mind they have roughly a 50-50 shot at holding the Senate in 2016.
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Lying Clintons, Youtube, Hillary, " landing under sniper fire", exposed. on: February 10, 2015, 02:59:54 PM
Also in 2016 Presidential, Clinton mistakes already made becoming more relevant:

Bringing this forward, Hillary, "I remember landing under sniper fire", "ran with our heads down".  "That was just sleep deprivation, or something."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZHO1vo762c

Funny thing is that the CBS reporter exposing her falsehood is Cheryl Attkisson! 

Funnier yet, here is Brian Williams covering it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkNEDXvjP18
The flap...over the non-existent sniper fire...
197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 10, 2015, 02:52:42 PM
ccp:  "Before we get jubilant over the Crats who are "tired" of Clinton remember it is because she is not publicly liberal enough!  When the time comes for the Hill to go up against the Repubs they will all rally 'round her.  These people are not suddenly becoming Tea Party or Republicans or Independents.  They are hard core Crats."    - Very true!  I was partly pointing out what morons they are, just having handed their asses to them in the Senate race.  And Barone pointing out that they didn't choose policies that work for the electorate when they did govern.

"Hillary will almost surely be their candidate."   - Also true.   sad   I should have have held out for big odds and dollar menu payoffs on our bet!

I am not sure I want anyone else than her because anyone else will only be worse.

  - This is right also.  Rush was on the today.  She is not at all unbeatable and we don't need them to pick another slippery newcomer for us to try to pin down with no record.
--------------------------

Bringing this forward, Hillary, "I remember landing under sniper fire", "ran with our heads down".  "That was just sleep deprivation, or something."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZHO1vo762c

Funny thing is that the CBS reporter exposing her falsehood is Cheryl Attkisson! 
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 10, 2015, 02:28:58 PM
Reps should be in full-throated "Charge!" mode right now, dumping bill after bill on Obama's desk.
 cry cry cry

A (DEMOCRAT) filibuster is stopping the amnesty reversal funding bill in the Senate.  R's control the House and have a majority in the Senate and that makes a total of zero branches of government under Rep control.  Get ready for gridlock.  We need to win the White House before anything good can happen, and even then we need to be someone able to reach the people and pressure moderate Dems (a vanishing species) to break in the right direction. 

http://jamiedupree.blog.wsbradio.com/2015/02/08/immigration-impasse-rolls-on-in-congress/
"Three days in a row last week, Democrats sustained a filibuster in the Senate against that DHS spending bill, refusing to allow the House-passed GOP plan to even be brought up on the floor for debate and amendments". 

I agree 'dumping bill after bill onto Obama's desk' would be the right politics to play right now, but they can't really do that and it would not shame this President into signing any bill that weakens his power or agenda anyway.



 
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 10, 2015, 11:06:13 AM
Michael Barone notes that the author of the article I posted yesterday, The Emerging Republican Advantage, was previously the co-author of the book "The Emerging Democratic Majority".  Funny how political things that seem unchangeable change.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/02/10/the_democratic_majority_that_emerged_--_and_disappeared_125552.html

[Democrats who won iun 2006 and 2008] had a chance to extend those by coming up with policies generally deemed successful and which held their disparate coalition together.  They failed on both counts. Big government policies -- the stimulus package, Obamacare -- proved generally unpopular. And other Democratic policies began splitting the party's coalition.
...
Republicans looking to 2016 should be aiming not at creating a permanent partisan majority but at developing public policies that could, unlike Obama's, be successful and enduring.
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Clinton fatigue, Warren delusions on: February 10, 2015, 10:56:00 AM

Who could have seen Democrat infighting coming?  This early, lol!

This could go under media issues.  They collectively support or can turn on politicians when they feel like it and turn events. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-may-look-inevitable-but-some-iowa-democrats-are-ready-for-warren/2015/02/09/1f0063fe-b083-11e4-854b-a38d13486ba1_story.html

Democrats suffering from Clinton fatigue say they’re ready for Warren

“I’m utterly tired, tired of the Clintons and the whole establishment,” said Carol Brannon, 71, a retired nurse.

Anne Kinzel, 57, a former health-care lawyer, nodded sympathetically.

“The hacks think Hillary is entitled to be president,” Kinzel said. “I think she is one of those people who has lost the sense of why they are in politics.”

...there is unease among progressives about her largely uncontested ascent.

(Maybe if they subscribed to the forum, they would others who agree with them, and alternative solutions.  Now back to liberal drivel...)

Seeking an alternative to the juggernaut, this restless Sunday gathering at the Ames public library and others like it are popping up around the country — all part of an effort to draft populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) into the race...

Eight years after Obama first drew enormous crowds in Iowa on his way to the White House, these Democrats feel disappointed by his presidency and what they described as his lackluster attempts to champion economic populism.

In Warren, they sense they’ve found a fighter and a refreshing departure from the way Obama and Clinton have addressed the rising gap between the rich and poor.


(Wouldn't that be great for the gap between rich and poor, to hire a multi-millionaire professor who lied to get that position, was elected once in the most liberal state, derides all economic success, whines about unfairness, did nothing positive to earn her wealth, and will either continue or accelerate the same failed policies.  Truly Refreshing - if you are an Iowa Democrat who just watched your liberal icon Tom Harkin's Senate seat go to the pork castration party.)
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