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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Do I Need Federal Firearms License to Sell Thousands of Guns to Mexican Cartels? on: January 08, 2016, 09:29:37 AM
Citizen Asks ATF: Do I Need a Federal Firearms License to Sell Thousands of Guns to Mexican Cartels?

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2016/01/06/citizen-asks-atf-very-important-question-about-selling-guns-with-a-federal-license-n2100639
https://thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/gunwalker-update-atfs-operation-facebook-and-furious/atf-facebook-furious-160106-get-off-this-page/

152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz, Rubio v Cruz on foreign policy continued on: January 08, 2016, 09:17:41 AM
First, it was odd that Cruz canceled an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt show yesterday without explanation.  Rare for a presidential candidate to make that commitment and then break it.  The eligibility question has hit him and it shouldn't have. (?)
----------------------------------

Comments from Roger I. Zakheim is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He was deputy staff director and general counsel for the House Armed Services Committee from 2011 to 2013.
 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429430/cruz-rubio-and-national-security

A rejoinder to Ramesh Ponnuru.

Ramesh Ponnuru claims on Bloomberg View that Marco Rubio is trying to “turn Ted Cruz into Rand Paul,” and that attempts to label Cruz as weak on national security won’t work. I disagree. Ponnuru admits that his friendship with Senator Cruz could cloud his judgment, so I’ll state at the outset that I am biased too, inasmuch as I support Senator Rubio’s candidacy. Setting aside for the moment whether this line of argument will resonate politically, there are at least three issues on which Senator Cruz clearly “stands with Rand.” Each of these raises serious questions about Senator Cruz’s true national-security views and his viability as a candidate for Commander-in-Chief.

The first instance was when Senator Cruz entered the Senate chamber to literally “stand with Rand.” Many will recall Senator Paul’s filibuster, in which he stirred up a frenzy over the possible targeting of U.S. citizens in the United States by U.S. military drones. In a bizarre attempt to suggest that a U.S. citizen sitting in a Starbucks café is at risk from the threat of U.S. Hellfire missiles, the senator from Kentucky held up Senate business until the attorney general certified that the president does not have the authority “to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil.” What a revelation!

Instead of focusing the Senate on the threat posed by radical jihadists, Senator Cruz chose not only to stand with Rand, but to join him in attempting to stir up libertarian passions and create a false choice between liberty and security. This may have been good politics and a great way to increase his Twitter followers (Senator Cruz, in fact, spent part of his time on the Senate floor reading tweets praising Senator Paul), but it certainly wasn’t the conduct of a credible would-be Commander-in-Chief.

A second example where Senator Cruz aligned with Senator Paul is on the defense budget. At a time when sequestration’s $1 trillion of defense cuts hung over the military — a moment when even President Obama was unwilling to impose additional cuts on the military — Senator Cruz supported Senator Paul’s budget proposal intended to “reduce the size and scope of the military complex, including its global footprint.” In its tone and many of its policy components, this certainly appeared to be an isolationist budget.

Moreover, the proposal was anything but mainstream among Republicans. Paul Ryan’s budget, for example, provided $400 billion more for defense than the Paul/Cruz budget. While Senator Cruz earlier in the year supported Senator Rubio’s budget proposal to rebuild the military (at a time when ISIS and national security were top issues in the minds of voters), it’s significant that Cruz failed to stand with the military at a pivotal moment when our leaders were trying to prevent our national security from being put at risk. Again, even if one were to set aside the charge that his record reflects an isolationist philosophy, it’s clear that Senator Cruz was not on the side of policies tailored to rebuild American strength.

The last example is Senator Cruz’s voting record on the defense-policy bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act. Although this bill has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress every year for over 50 years, Senator Cruz has opposed its passage each of his three years in the Senate. This is legislation that authorizes pay increases for our troops, invests in their training and equipment, and cares for their families. The Heritage Foundation called last year’s NDAA “one of the biggest defense reform bills in decades.” But Ted Cruz voted no. And he has done so amid drastic defense cuts, when our military needed Congress’s support the most. As John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said of Cruz’s opposition to the NDAA, “I view that as a slap in the face to the men and women who are serving.”

Senator Cruz says he has voted against the NDAA because he sees a legal ambiguity that would allow a president to indefinitely detain American citizens and deprive them of their rights (as alleged in the Rand Paul filibuster). The Wall Street Journal labeled this “paranoia” and “woefully uninformed.” Once again, Senator Cruz’s record places him adrift from the national-security arm of the party. If we are to judge candidates by their actions, it’s fair to question whether Senator Cruz is truly the hawk on national security he claims to be.

So if we are to judge candidates by their actions, it’s fair to question whether Senator Cruz is truly the hawk on national security he claims to be. In fact, neither in the Senate nor on the presidential-campaign trail has Senator Cruz put forward a serious program that would promote American strength and rebuild our military. Ramesh Ponnuru seems to believe that Cruz won’t let any daylight “come between him and conservative Republican primary voters” and that the effort to portray him as weak on national security is doomed to fail. That remains to be seen. But here’s what we do know: At the moment, no issue is more important to Republican primary voters than national security, and Marco Rubio is running his campaign on a national-security message. The latest poll out of New Hampshire suggests his message is resonating with voters.
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: How is the plow horse today? on: January 07, 2016, 11:36:00 AM
I'm guessing Wesbury is saying it's a great time to buy.

He is still writing his apology for being wrong about last year.  Was 100% exposure to risk last year worth the -0.7% return?

154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump Healthcare on: January 07, 2016, 11:07:18 AM
Picking further on Trump.  He no longer agrees with Bernie Sanders on single payer healthcare, since announcing his run for GOP(e) endorsement.  Now he agrees with John Kasich instead on Medicaid expansion:  (This is from July 2015, updates welcome!)

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1507/29/cg.01.html

Trump also clarifies his position on health care. Not long ago, while in the Democratic Party, Trump endorsed single-payer health care as the best reform, at one time pointing to the Canadian system as a model. He now disavows that position, but talks about the need to expand government provided health care, potentially in the form of subsidies to providers to care for the poor. That’s basically a Medicaid expansion, which isn’t going to find favor with conservatives angry at other candidates like John Kasich for adopting that very approach.
http://hotair.com/archives/2015/07/30/trump-deport-illegals-but-expedite-the-return-of-the-good-ones-for-legal-status/

 Trump suggested an alternative system for lower-income individuals -- describing what, in the broad strokes, appears to sound similar to Medicaid.
"I want to try to help those people. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I want to try and help those people," Trump said. "And you know what, if I lose votes over that, or if I don't get a nomination over that, that's just fine with me."
http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/29/politics/donald-trump-immigration-plan-healthcare-flip-flop/index.html

155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 07, 2016, 10:40:37 AM


Former federal prosecutor says Hillary could be indicted in the next 60 days as the FBI compiles 'overwhelming' evidence against her

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3387033/Former-federal-prosecutor-says-Hillary-indicted-60-days-FBI-compiles-overwhelming-evidence-against-her.html#ixzz3wZqkUOQ6


It doesn't seem possible politically, but legally it is an obvious possibility.  Maybe they can announce the charges and a plea agreement all at once allowing her to 'own' her problem and move forward as a candidate.  It is quite absurd to hear her still say she did not send or receive classified material over her private server after more than a thousand examples have surfaced.  She can't really keep saying that through to November.
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Does Trump support Amnesty? "Give them a path" ... " so they can be legal" on: January 07, 2016, 10:32:07 AM
While every true conservative (except me) still hates Rubio for trying to settle this issue, you might notice this about the so-called immigration hardliner:

They all favor some form of amnesty after you cut through the political rhetoric.

Trump: (out of context?)
" I would get people out and I would have an expedited way of getting them back into the country, so they can be legal. Let them be legal."
http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1507/29/cg.01.html  (That is NOT saying - go to the back of the line!)

That is precisely what Trump is proposing. Under his plan, illegal aliens don’t have to go to the end of the line behind those who have complied with our immigration laws. They get an “expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.” They get to cut the line and then stay in America.
So if you get past Trump’s bluster, the plan he is proposing is so liberal that it earned the support of The New York Times and the opposition of National Review.
...  Trump’s plan is in fact a form of amnesty—you just have to leave the country briefly to get it.  So when Trump says of illegal immigrants “they all have to go,” don’t overlook the fact that under his plan almost all would be able to immediately return—and stay.
http://www.newsweek.com/who-knew-trump-favors-amnesty-undocumented-immigrants-395512

When asked what he would do about the illegal immigrants already residing in the country once the border was secured, Trump replied, “give them a path.” A path to what? Trump didn’t say. ...  the issue here isn’t the merits. The issue is whether Donald Trump is a true hard liner on immigration. It appears that he is not.
https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/07/trump-it-seems-favors-amnesty.php

Trump wanted to secure the border and didn’t believe in “amnesty,” but wouldn’t explicitly reject a pathway to legalization.
By the definition of the loudest critics of comprehensive immigration reform in the Republican Party — many of whom Trump has won over with his immigration rhetoric — what Trump seems to be proposing would in fact be an amnesty, which these activists define as any pathway to normalizing the immigration statuses of America’s illegal population, no matter whether those illegals would be forced to pay a financial penalty or even prevented from gaining citizenship.
http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/24/donald-trump-on-amnesty-if-somebodys-been-outstanding-we-try-and-work-something-out-video/

Direct Trump quote was "Give them a path."
https://twitter.com/moody/status/618946895222833152  (CNN)


157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: January 07, 2016, 09:55:30 AM
From Cruz thread:  "each of you have also stated that the polls are showing that Rubio can beat Hillary but not Trump. Yet you also challenge those same polls by saying when it comes to Trump beating the other GOP candidates, they mean nothing until the primaries have run their course."


For my part in it...  I think the polls so far do have accuracy and meaning.  They have certain inaccuracies like sampling error etc but when Trump leads Rubio by 20 points in the nomination contest, he leads without question.  The most obvious error in all polls is the timing.  If the election were held today is always a false premise.  The election isn't held today and this is a poll not a ballot.  I have spun that to say Trump clearly won the pre-season, which is the same argument Pat makes to say Trump will address the general election when that time comes.

I have stated the challenge they both face.  Trump needs to show he can win the general election to get nominated, and Rubio obviously needs to win the nomination in order for general election polls to matter.

It is Pat who thinks Rubio will be the nominee.  I don't currently see Rubio's path unless people start changing their minds soon. 

Trump has changed his emphasis the last few days to attack Hillary and the Clintons.  That addresses only the challenge he faces IMO.  It could close his general election gap with Hillary, but doesn't directly address my contention thatTrump has carved out both positions and a temperament that appeal to a plurality, not a majority.  He trails Bernie by 13 in polls Pat cited.  Marking Bill Clinton a predatory and Hilary an enabler does not address that.

Of course he can shift back for the general election, he was a centrist-Democrat just weeks ago it seems.  But in that case we don't get the candidate who won the primaries to be our general election candidate or President.  We get some iteration.  Whatever will be his each candidate's positions and core principles in the general election, we ought to know and judge in the primaries.

JEB came out running as a general election candidate and failed.  Rubio has been running as a candidate who can be successful in the general election but didn't lock in any major sector of the Republican party along the way.  He has remained in third place, relevant and somewhat in contention, but this ends quickly for him and everyone else besides Trump and Cruz if current polling numbers become the primary results.
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz wouldn't speak on deportations in August 2015 on: January 07, 2016, 09:02:34 AM
Isn't this the same policy right now as Rubio?  Secure the border first.  Address the Visa overstays, that's where 40% of the illegals come from.  Implement e-verify, etc.  Act first in the areas where we can find common agreement. 

Cruz like most could not look straight into the camera and tell the general election public that an otherwise law abiding family with two American citizen children will be sent 'back' to where two of them have never lived before, or be faced with having our federal government break up their family.

If you act first on the other areas, secure the border etc., then these kids will be in high school or adults.  Are you going to send them back later if not sooner?  No.

My understanding is that since then, in competition with Trump, Cruz now says send them all back.  What changed, the immigration issue or his poll standing?

Pretending this issue is simple isn't the answer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVCiF10SFdk

(BTW, If I'm elected, I will ask Megyn Kelly to be my press secretary.)
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: EDC explains her disparity with memories of the families of the fallen , , again on: January 06, 2016, 02:02:51 PM

Devastating.  Strange how she can babble on for so long trying not to answer such a specific question and followup.  Fog of war, protests elsewhere, people sobbing, that explains why she thinks the families heard her wrong or are lying?  All 3 families?  She is willing to lie to him, the CIA wrote the talking points, why wouldn't she lie to the families?

Neither Clinton will be able to grant interviews without 'ground rules' ever again.  There is too much in just this one issue to follow up on.

Once she is the nominee, they will own the media again, as well as the Justice Dept.  They just need to struggle through this for another month or two.

They get away with rape, maybe murder, but people might finally draw a moral line with her telling a completely unnecessary political lie to the families of the victims about the circumstances of their deaths.

160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nice try Donald, but Cruz is American on: January 06, 2016, 12:22:44 PM
Stupid but not surprising, the birther issue was Trump's main case against Obama.  IIRC Obama's mom 'Stanley' (they wanted a boy) was born and raised in Kansas and perhaps never left the country.  The lack of records on Barack Obama was weird but the idea he wasn't a natural born citizen was absurd.  There were so many other obvious ways to attack him.  The election itself served as a referendum on that issue.  No judge, jury, or Supreme Court was going to overturn the 2008 election.  For Cruz, the key facts are identical.  His mother was born in Delaware, a US citizen.  Ted Cruz was an American citizen since birth making him a 'natural born citizen' by any accepted definition.  After 8 years of Obama, no court is going to rule that the next guy with the same facts is ineligible.
http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/03/23/394713013/is-ted-cruz-allowed-to-run-since-he-was-born-in-canada

What this attack says about Trump is troubling.

Real reasons to oppose Cruz: Either he is too conservative for you personally or he is too conservative to get elected nationally.  Other potential weaknesses include that he lacks the directly relevant executive experience that they all lack, or that he has only 3 years Washington experience, a case Trump can't and won't make.  Trump can't tell the base Cruz is too conservative, adheres too much to core conservative and founding principles.  It would only help Cruz and expose his own vulnerability.  Cruz has outsmarted Trump by not taking the bait and attacking back.

Cruz is burdened with high expectations in Iowa.  Either he wins decisively or he took the wrong strategy.  Winning in Iowa makes you as inevitable as Santorum, Bachmann, Huckabee, Pat Robertson and Tom Harkin.  The Iowa caucus means having to come out and listen to speeches on behalf of all the other candidates before you vote.  A very different experience attracting different people than a primary.  Cruz needs to meet expectations in Iowa and exceed his expectations in NH and SC.  If so then he comes into his strength in the south.  If not, someone else quickly becomes the story.

161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 06, 2016, 11:45:21 AM
Looking at both of them dumbfounded at the questions, this must be the one political stategy issue they have not yet discussed.  Awkward to bring up?  Honey, how should I handle your past rapes, unwanted fondlings and trow droppings our on the campaign trail?  Bill knows that new denials make him look even more guilty and the issue more relevant.

Bill thinks he is going to join the campaign and not get asked about his past abuse accusations?  Bill Cosby and Epstein face charges, but Bill Clinon favored family leave so he is immune??  When people looked the other way before, the attitude was, hey, he's already President, what can we do about it.  She has her own problems with this movie coming out, people thinking about that utter failure and her involvement in it, and people turning up the heat about her lying about the video, lying to the families about the video, calling the victims' families liars, lying about no classified material running through the email server, and running to continue Obamacare that was sold on abject lies.  She probably should be under indictment if we had a Justice Department.  Plus the problem of the Clinton Crime Family Foundation's work overlapping her work with his speaking fees directly tied to her official actions.  What a mess - if you are them.  Giving the finger to the media doesn't help keep them on your side either.  She can't take questions because one or all of this comes up.  He can't take questions.  He can't wag his finger at us again, but I'm sure he will.  She can't really go out in public, but must.  And when she does, she isn't a great campaigner,  inspiring or even a happy person.   What she has is the resume of the high-up opportunities she was handed  on account of her (sham) marriage with him.  Her record in those positions of power is failure.

Don't be surprised if Bernie beats expectations in the early states.  

I would love to see a general election campaign where the issue is the direction of the country, instead of all about their corruption and her failings or seeing our candidate fail to prosecute her on those.
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: January 06, 2016, 09:20:18 AM
Given how close it came on the heels of the events, some of it looks rather prescient.

Agreed.  Perhaps they didn't want a heavy security presence visible before the attack to draw attention to the operation.  Once it was under attack and on fire... I guess that same reason could still apply for deniability of the operation which no doubt still applies. 

The author says it was a CIA location.  And it was a villa not a consulate.  I understand the point he is making.  But at the time of the attack it was housing the US Ambassador's mission in that country.  The definition of a consulate a place or building in which a consul's duties are carried out. 

One question keeps coming back to security.  This administration wanted th light footprint approach.  See how much we can get away with keeping the operation hidden.  I guess we found out the hard way.

The other question is mission.  It seems like a responsible and necessary mission to round up US arms and get them shipped out, except for a) this war from a US point of view was an undeclared war by congress, so maybe there were more US arms involved than we know, and b) the author's view is that the destinations of the US arms going out were perhaps also US law, stated policy or our best interests.

What is most remarkable is that we still don't know any more answers to all these question.  Like with the interview relating to "13 hours", these are real people who were there telling their story.  The author of this story appears to have a real source as well, a government insider intimately familiar with the events that took place in Benghazi.  I would just question that he or anyone knew the whole scope of both ends of the operation. 
163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 3rd post in this (Benghazi) thread - from 202, how does it stack up now? on: January 05, 2016, 07:41:03 PM
------------------------------------------------------

I believe parts of it and less so on other parts.  It certainly comes closer to explaining
what was happening there than the official story we have been told, or mostly not told.



164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi - 13 Hours: Those who were there speak on: January 05, 2016, 07:35:00 PM
The interview itself begins at 05:00
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8V5p4sL2K0

"Watch this one people."

Yes, everyone who cares abouit  what happened there needs to watch this interview - and then see the movie.

Among other things, Who do you believe now about the stand down order?

Who do believe about what military assets would have been helpful?

Could you have saved a life if you could have assisted sooner?  Yes.
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Organized & Disorganized Religion, Wisdom from Walter Russel Mead on: January 05, 2016, 03:21:39 PM
A Christmas inspired column by Walter Russel Mead well worth your time to read, IMHO, embodying the largest issues humankind faces today.  (read it all)

One for All
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD
The Christmas story suggests that we can somehow try both to be loyal members of our nations, our families, our tribes—and also to reach out to the broader human community of which we are also a part.
http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/01/01/one-for-all-4/

... People seem pulled in two directions. On the one hand, we form strong group identities and these identities are the basis of our political loyalties; on the other, we recognize universal values and acknowledge a duty, at least in the abstract, to help people everywhere regardless of their race, language, color, or creed.
It’s a puzzle. Human beings need roots in a particular culture and family and those roots shape them; at the same time, human beings have values (like freedom and democracy) and ideas (like the Pythagorean theorem and the laws of thermodynamics) that demand to be recognized as universal. ...
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Evidence that the Minimum Wage Hurts the Young and the Poor on: January 05, 2016, 09:04:13 AM
First a quick reaction from the left:  Who cares, the issue still gets us votes!

Once again, evidence that a free, private market for labor would out-perform socialism and big government tampering.  

Who knew?

43% of the sustaining problem in the group we are trying to help most comes from this wrong-headed, counter-productive policy.

No worries, we can just support them for the rest of their lives if they don't successfully join the workforce when they are young.

-----------------------------------------------
http://www.nber.org/papers/w21830.pdf

... baseline estimate is that this period’s full set of minimum wage increases reduced employment among individuals ages 16 to 30 with less than a high school education by 5.6 percentage points. This estimate accounts for 43 percent of the sustained, 13 percentage point decline in this skill group’s employment rate and a 0.49 percentage point decline in employment across the full population ages 16 to 64.

167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Armed and Unarmed Resistance? Oregon cirsis on: January 05, 2016, 08:54:51 AM
(Famous people who don't need to read the forum)

Stephen Hayward at Powerline had the same first reaction to the Oregon standoff that I have,

The Federal Government owns too much land.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/01/thoughts-on-oregon.php
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Recovery that wasn't!! IBD. Worst Economic Recovery Ever, Stephen Moore on: January 05, 2016, 08:46:41 AM
Had we had AVERAGE growth out of recession, we would have added 5 MILION more jobs.  That is a workforce the size of Pennsylvania.
Had we had REAGAN growth out of a recession, we would have added 12 MILLION more jobs.
------------------------------------------------
Sorry, This Is Still The Worst Economic Recovery Ever
Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/123115-787733-obamanomics-gets-f-grade-for-failing-to-create-economic-growth-jobs.htm#ixzz3wNep0KWK
-------------------------------------------------

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jan/3/stephen-moore-the-obama-economic-recovery-that-was/
The Obama recovery that wasn’t

...eight years of virtually zero income gain. And President Obama and his Washington political pundits wonder why voters are in such a cranky mood.

Last week the Joint Economic Committee of Congress issued a report on the Obama recovery loaded with even more dismal news. On almost every measure examined, the 2009-15 recovery since the recovery ended in June of 2009 has been the meekest in more than 50 years.

Start with the broadest measure of economic progress: growth in output. The chart below compares the Obama growth pace with that of the average recovery coming out of the last eight recessions and with the Reagan recovery and over the same number of months (77). Democrats used to disparage the Reagan expansion as nothing special, yet the growth rate over the first 25 quarters under Reagan was 34 percent versus 14.3 percent under Obama.

How much does this matter? If we had grown at an average pace, GDP in 2015 would have been about $1.8 trillion higher. Under the Reagan recovery growth would have been $2.7 trillion higher.


It is certainly true that every recession is different in cause and consequences, so the JEC dug deeper into the numbers. It examined GDP growth on a per-capita basis. The Reagan recovery was abnormally strong in part because it happened when millions of baby boomers swept into the work force adding to growth. But even on a per-capita basis, real GDP has grown only 9.0 percent versus 18.8 percent for the average recovery. That is the lowest of any post-1960 recovery.

Next the JEC measured job market trends. Again we see a failing record. Yes, official unemployment of just over 5 percent today is very low. But that’s the biggest lie in America — right up there with “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

The distortion is due to the fact that 94 million people in America over the age of 16 aren’t in the labor force. If job growth had been the same as the average recovery we would have at least 5 million more Americans working — which is nearly the size of the workforce in Pennsylvania.

Amazingly, if we had had a Reagan-paced job recovery we would today have at least 12 million more Americans working. Job creators are still on strike and it’s a result of EPA rules, Obamacare, tax hikes, and other assaults against business.

When fewer people are working and wages are stagnant, incomes don’t grow. That’s the real sorry story of the Obama era. If the Obama recovery had been just average, in other words a C grade, JEC calculates that “after-tax per person income would be $3,339 (2009$) per year higher,” families can no longer be fooled with happy talk about “hope and change.” They feel the tough times.

The JEC’s dreary conclusion tells the whole story of the era of Obamanomics: “On economic growth the Obama recovery ranks dead last.”

One other statistic that stands out on the Obama record as we begin his last year in office. The debt is up to $16.5 trillion and by the he leaves office our indebtedness will be almost double where it was when he entered the Oval Office. Just the interest payments alone cost half a trillion dollars a year. This is the Obama legacy and if liberals want to take ownership of this bleak record — it’s all theirs.

• Stephen Moore is an economic consultant with Freedom Works and a Fox News contributor.

169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DT (and all Republicans) should think twice about taking on Bill Clinton ?? on: January 04, 2016, 10:05:22 AM
Clinton campaign is trial ballooning its response to the Trump attack on Bill Clinton.  This is a Kansas City Star writer in the CHicago Tribune this morning making the argument that Bill Clinton did the most wonderful things for women, was always able to compartmentalize his private life from his public policies and that anyone who challenged him lost.

Donald Trump should think twice about taking on Bill Clinton
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-donald-trump-bill-clinton-fight-20151231-story.html

There are a couple of problems with this.
1. The allegation is about serial ABUSE of women, not general philandering.
2. The candidate is Hillary, so the question is HER complicity in it which is not at all offset by HIS compensating political skills.
3. He actually has a horrible record of helping others get elected, from losing the House and Senate to being unable to lift Hillary over Obama.
4. This story was brought back by Hillary, saying victims of abuse should be believed.
5. The way this story has resurfaced, it requires a new series of denial by the former President, restarting the clock of relevancy.
6.  The liberal view, is so what if he did all that, also not fully buying the denials.
7. Half the electorate has never been under his charm, nor is aware of how great a President he was spun to be.

To review his Presidency:  He squandered the 'peace dividend handed to him by the defeat of the Soviet Union under his predecessors.  He looked the other way for 8 years while Saddam Hussein flaunted his violations of the agreement ending the gulf war.  He opted to let OBL get away and set up training sites that led to the attacks of 9/11.  He put his wife in charge of national healthcare resulting in the loss of House and Senate after 40 years of Dem control, and putting his own pet issue back by 15 years.  Later he was impeached over his lies in the cover up of his propensity to abuse women.  In between all that, he 'triangulated with the Republicans, passing economic measures against the policies of his own party and against his wife's current positions, passing a hemisphere-wide free trade agreement, agreeing with Republicans to dramatically lowering capital gains tax rates, and end welfare 'as we know it', resulting in a return of Reagan era growth, a balanced budget and giving him credit for being a good economic President.

What the hell does that economic record have to do with Hillary's current Bernie Sanders clone campaign?  And how does it excuse abuse of women or make it okay to move an abuser back into the White House?
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / To Sec Clinton 9/11/12:We have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi on: January 04, 2016, 09:39:03 AM
I read this story this morning thinking it was from the latest email dump, but it was from Dec 8, carried on Fox and right wing news sites, but no mention otherwise on msm.  What is the followup to this story?  Were these assets deployed but didn't reach Benghazi on time?  Left wing Media Matters has a response calling the story bunk, they were sent but didn't arrive in time. (?)

EMAIL shows Pentagon ASKED Hillary to LET THEM send help to Benghazi
http://therightscoop.com/new-email-shows-pentagon-asked-hillary-to-let-them-send-help-to-benghazi-proving-leon-panetta-lied/#ixzz3wI2WMjEh

“I just tried you on the phone but you were all in with S [apparent reference to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton],” reads the email, from Panetta’s chief of staff Jeremy Bash. “After consulting with General Dempsey, General Ham and the Joint Staff, we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.”

http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/12/08/fox-falsely-claims-defense-dept-email-contradic/207353

Oddly, we still don't to my knowledge have an after the fact accounting from the Pres and Sec of their time during the crisis, where were they, who were they meeting with, communicating with, what advice were they receiving, what choices were available, what decisions did they make?

How did we NOT have resources available to cover a diplomatic mission in a war zone where we are the enemy?
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, Re-tweeting falsehoods on: January 03, 2016, 04:58:11 PM


Doesn't happen to be true and the 'source' doesn't happen to exist.

How much would it cost for a billionaire (11 times over) to hire his own fact checker?
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary accuses the deceased families of lying on: January 03, 2016, 04:01:00 PM
Is there any reason these families all got together immediately after their sons were murdered and tried to think up a way they could invent a lie to trap the Secretary of State?  No.  Is there any possibility that Hillary herself told them the known lie.  Yes.  That is what she was telling half of everyone else at the time.  She tested the lie on her real world focus group, the victims' families.  But now we know it was false AND we know she knew it was false at the time.  So she denies ever saying it.

The Clintons - "They lie with such ease."  But pathological liars are eventually caught by the truth.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/01/whos-lying-hillary-or-members-of-several-benghazi-victims-families.php

WHO’S LYING, HILLARY OR MEMBERS OF SEVERAL BENGHAZI VICTIMS’ FAMILIES?
The question all but answers itself, I should think. Here’s why it’s being asked:

On September 14, 2012, at a memorial service for the victims of the Benghazi attacks, Hillary Clinton spoke with members of the victims’ families. At least three of these people say that Clinton talked about the alleged role in the attack of a video produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

Charles Woods, the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, says that Clinton blamed the video and even told him that she was going to have Nakoula arrested. Nakoula was, in fact, arrested.

Similarly, Kate Quigley, the sister of Glen Doherty, says that Clinton told her the video was to blame. “She knows that she knew what happened that day and she wasn’t truthful,” Quigley insists.

Finally, Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, also insists that Clinton said the attack was because of the video. She has repeatedly accused Clinton of lying.

Clinton, however, denies saying anything about the video to these family members.

During an editorial board meeting with The Conway (N.H.) Daily Sun, Clinton was asked about an interview she recently had with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in which she denied that she told family members of the Benghazi victims during a Sept. 14, 2012 memorial service at Andrews Air Force Base that the film “Innocence of Muslims” was the catalyst for the attack. . . .

Daily Sun columnist Tom McLaughlin pressed Clinton on the conflicting claims. “Somebody is lying,” McLaughlin said during the editorial meeting. “Who is it?

“Not me, that’s all I can tell you,” Clinton replied.

But there are good reasons to conclude that it is Clinton who is lying. First, it’s three against one. Woods, Quigley, and Smith all say that Clinton blamed the video. Are all of them lying?

Second, Woods, Quigley, and Smith have no reason to make up a story about what Clinton told them. What does it get them?

Clinton, by contrast, has an excellent reason falsely to deny what they say. By September 14, the blame-the-video narrative had fallen apart. Indeed, we know that Hillary herself never bought it, having told her daughter that this was a terrorist attack.

That she nonetheless peddled the narrative to close relatives of the Benghazi victims is hugely embarrassing, and indeed disgraceful, especially for a presidential candidate. Hence, the need to deny that she peddled it.

Third, Hillary was publicly talking about the video the day before the service for the victims, and on other days shortly before and after. On September 13, she denounced the video as “disgusting and reprehensible,” and added “but as I said yesterday, there is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence.” This statement certainly implies that, in her view, the violence of September 11 was a response to the video.

Three days after making these comments (and two days after the memorial service), Susan Rice, appearing on four networks, blamed the video for the Benghazi violence. That same day, Clinton aide Jake Sullivan sent her an email about Rice’s appearances. Far from disagreeing with Rice’s explanation of the Benghazi attacks, Sullivan said that Rice “did make clear our view that this started spontaneously and then evolved.”

Given Team Clinton’s embrace of the blame-the-video narrative on September 12, 13, and 16, it’s easy to credit the accounts of three witnesses who say Hillary also embraced it on September 14.

Fourth, Hillary Clinton has a long record of dishonesty. Twenty years ago, as Jonah Goldberg reminds us, William Safire wrote: “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation – is a congenital liar.” Since then, this realization has been reinforced repeatedly.

So in case my initial question didn’t answer itself, for these four reasons it seems obvious that the person who is lying about what Hillary Clinton said to the Benghazi victims’ family members is Hillary Clinton.
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 03, 2016, 03:43:18 PM
Hillary is still trudging through her email releases.  So far, more than 1200 were classified.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/12/state-dept-to-miss-target-in-clinton-email-release-217255

Also she was inter-mixing her work for the country with her work for the Clinton Foundation and Global Initiative.  Nothing sinister there unless you recognize that those are entities of organized crime.

Of course the main story has to do with the emails they are self choosing NOT to release.

The Obama Justice Department is lucky to have already made it clear they are not one step above a partisan hack operation.  They are not even being ASKED to indict.

Question for our own law enforcement minds:  Did her use of a private, unsecured server against department rules for the sending and receiving of thousands of communications of national secrets constitute gross negligence in the handling of that material?
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: January 03, 2016, 03:30:35 PM
Another attempt at a hit piece on Rubio.  A liberal columnist for the Pravda-Hudson doesn't get the rationale behind Rubio's candidacy.  I suppose not.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/opinion/sunday/marco-rubio-doesnt-add-up.html?ref=opinion&_r=1

One thing that would be nice in journalism is if people who don't understand something write about something else in which they do.

Maybe I can help him out here.  Rubio is consistently polling well enough everywhere to be relevant all the way through the campaign pre-season.  He has outlasted 5 two term governors in the race if you include Bush and Kasich.

He is widely considered to have the best grasp on foreign affairs.  He is by far the best spokesman in the group for the free enterprise system, which is nothing to take for granted when a socialist on the other side is currently leading the Republican frontrunner.

He is young, charismatic, experienced, informed, persuasive, positive, inspiring and well prepared for the job of President.  He speaks fluent Spanish and English!  He is solidly conservative without the scary rough edges that lose general elections.  He favors border enforcement, is a strong advocate for liberty, freedom and the private sector. 

And he is electable.  (Even though people here may call that a negative.)  The contrast between Rubio and Hillary or even better yet Bernie, couldn't be greater.

He gets along with leaders of congress and there is a chance that if elected he actually could get things, done, turn the country around and be a great President.

NYT if you're reading, I hope you found this helpful.
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, Wisdom from Walter Russel Mead on: January 03, 2016, 03:00:07 PM
A Christmas inspired column by Walter Russel Mead well worth your time to read, IMHO, embodying the largest issues humankind faces today.  (read it all)

One for All
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD
The Christmas story suggests that we can somehow try both to be loyal members of our nations, our families, our tribes—and also to reach out to the broader human community of which we are also a part.
http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/01/01/one-for-all-4/

... People seem pulled in two directions. On the one hand, we form strong group identities and these identities are the basis of our political loyalties; on the other, we recognize universal values and acknowledge a duty, at least in the abstract, to help people everywhere regardless of their race, language, color, or creed.
It’s a puzzle. Human beings need roots in a particular culture and family and those roots shape them; at the same time, human beings have values (like freedom and democracy) and ideas (like the Pythagorean theorem and the laws of thermodynamics) that demand to be recognized as universal. ...
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio wrote a real estate license recommendation for his brother in law on: January 02, 2016, 12:49:56 PM
Marco Rubio's Brother in Law is an ex-con who wanted a real estate license.  State law handles that on a case by case basis and the application requires 3 references.  Rubio no doubt was at least among the three most respectable, influential people the man knew and wrote a recommendation saying that he would make a good realtor and he wouldn't hesitate to use him himself in that role.  

From there, by the coverage, you would think he turned into an ax murderer and Rubio sent him his victims.  But all I can see in the story is that the recommendation was solid, Rubio did use him to by his house and no indication that the ex-con ever returned to crime.  

What are we supposed to do with ex-cons?  They need to work obviously, but people are slow to trust them.  When you can't get hired you become an entrepreneur; that's what a realtor is.  To work legally in real estate you need a license from the state.  To get a license you need references.  If one of your references is someone the people deciding on your application might know, all the better.  It looks to me like the system worked perfectly in this particular case.  Or as the msm describes that, its the end of the world as we know it...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-marco-rubio-helped-his-ex-con-relative-get-a-real-estate-license/2015/12/30/a1d96816-ae7f-11e5-9ab0-884d1cc4b33e_story.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/12077899/Marco-Rubio-helped-cocaine-dealer-brother-in-law-get-an-estate-agents-licence.html
http://www.vox.com/2015/12/31/10695274/marco-rubio-orlando-cicilia-real-estate
http://nypost.com/2015/12/31/marco-rubio-pulled-strings-for-his-coke-dealing-brother-in-law-report/
http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/12/30/marco-rubio-helped-brother-in-law-get-real-estate-license-after-prison-release-report-says/?_r=0
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/264469-report-rubio-used-whip-position-to-help-brother-in-law
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/12/31/washington-post-marco-rubio-recommended-his-brother-in-law-for-real-estate-license-after-cocaine-conviction/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3379762/How-young-Marco-Rubio-helped-drug-dealing-brother-law-real-estate-licence.html
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rubio-help-ex-con-brother-in-law
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/12/30/marco_rubio_lobbied_for_drug_trafficking_brother_in_law_s_real_estate_license.html

What a nothing story and then look at the coverage.  This happened more than a dozen years ago and all media outlets need to have it playing at the same moment on the same day.  Talk about puppets!  Any guess as to which candidate (out of Florida) 'leaked' this (already public, already vetted) story out?

To his opponents...  Is that all ya got?
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: January 02, 2016, 12:08:25 PM
" I don't think that supermajority is a good idea either. Too much power makes any and all governments dangerous, precisely the reason the Founding Fathers insisted on separation of powers, checks and balances."


Great point.  I don't want to be ruled by the elite either, or by majorities or even by super majorities.  I don't want to be ruled by anyone.  We need some basic rules of conduct in a civilized society that leaves people with all their basic freedoms intact.  We need a public sector that is only used for the things that need to  be done by a public sector.   In business, the government should be the impartial referee, not your supplier, teammate or competitor.
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Falling Petroleum Prices & Putin, on: January 01, 2016, 12:50:09 PM

I don't see how they survive this economically, falling GDP, falling currency, falling oil prices.  Lousy outlook for the global economy, china in trouble, Europe a mess, US in stagnation, and others in deep trouble.  Global demand for oil isn't about to bounce back real quickly.

"Between June and December 2014, the Russian ruble declined in value by 59%"

Interesting timing.  Crimea was 'annexed' by Russia two months earlier.  Russia will need to annex something better than oil or poor neighboring countries to grow via imperialism.

At least Putin has Trump's admiration as a good, strong leader.  He led them strongly down a storm sewer.  Risk taking is different when you own a country; you can't easily bankrupt off the parts you don't like.
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Donald Trump - Live in Council Bluffs (Iowa) on: January 01, 2016, 12:11:51 PM
'I didn't know the President could issue an Executive Order that changes the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.'

This guy is a little negative on The Donald.  He took voting age young adults with him that also weren't very impressed. I get the idea that his rallies are kind of repetitive and rambling, but his supporters have genuine enthusiasm.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/12/live-from-council-bluffs-its-donald-trump.php

180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 01, 2016, 11:33:58 AM
Gave $20 each to Cruz and Rubio today , , ,

 grin

Everyone should do everything they can right now to make a difference - before we get to that point where we spend the rest of the year and the rest of our lives whining about the lousy choices on the ballot.
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs, seizure by govt now exceeds theft by (non-govt) burglars on: December 31, 2015, 04:46:46 PM
The value of property that police departments seized through civil asset forfeiture — usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime — exceeded the value of property stolen by private government burglars.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/23/cops-took-more-stuff-from-people-than-burglars-did-last-year/
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam ['Refugees']in Europe, Sweden, Germany on: December 31, 2015, 04:41:00 PM
After taking in more asylum seekers per capita than any other nation in Europe, Sweden’s welcome mat now lies in tatters. Overwhelmed by the human tide of 2015, the center-left government is deploying extraordinary new border controls and slashing benefits in an unmistakable signal to refugees contemplating the long trek to Sweden in the new year: Stay out.
...
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure from critics within her own center-right coalition to do the same after the country welcomed a record 1 million asylum seekers this year.
...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/even-sweden-is-turning-its-back-on-refugees/2015/12/30/6d7e8454-a405-11e5-8318-bd8caed8c588_story.html
183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Well, this is embarassing , , , on: December 31, 2015, 12:28:53 PM

It is surprising to me that Trump hired a key person from Cruz instead of from Trump enterprises.

Unless he plans to operate the entire federal bureaucracy himself, this undermines his claim that he always gets the best people.  I didn't know he could get the best people without vetting.
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: December 30, 2015, 05:07:24 PM
 
Cong. Trey Gowdy has endorsed Rubio.

Other than Mia Love who also endorses Rubio, Trey Gowdy is perhaps Hillary's worst nightmare for opposing running mate.
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Donald Trump, Wasserman Schultz says her daughter asks: Why he is so rude? on: December 30, 2015, 05:04:28 PM
Meet the Press last Sunday
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dnc-chair-my-daughters-ask-why-trump-is-so-rude/article/2579122

How is it that we intend to concede to this awful woman the moral high ground?

What a trainwreck it is to let her ever be right against us.
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / High US Tax Rates, It is violation of their fiduciaray duty if they don't leave! on: December 30, 2015, 01:38:30 PM
The staggering economic ignorance displayed here by Pravda on the Hudson is typical, but I suggest we do note the article and its logic because we are sure to see it widely parroted and must be ready with our counters:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/business/economy/for-the-wealthiest-private-tax-system-saves-them-billions.html?emc=edit_na_20151229&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0

1)  They begin:  "With inequality at its highest levels in nearly a century..."  - But this is after they have had control of tax policy for nearly a decade.  More of the same means even wider inequality.

2)  "Route the money to Bermuda"  - USA has the highest business tax rates in the OECD, especially states like Calif, NY, MN.  Most of the money and productive resources routing out of our tax system is caused by tax rates here being too high.  Raising them further means more resources diverted, not less.

3)  "Closing loopholes"  - has been the strategy for 3 decades.  The bucket finds another leak.  The loophole is inevitable if a) the rates are high, and b) we continue to operate a system of favors and preferences.  Conservatives and centrists have their exclusions and liberals have others.  The constitution implies that all people and therefore all activities be taxed the same.  Crazy talk.

4)  ”Unless you plug every hole or get a new barrel, it’s going to leak out.”  - How come they can't say both parts of 'lower the rates' and 'close the loopholes'?  You can't just close loopholes which requires blocking flows of money and taxing overseas activities.  You have to chip away at the underlying cause, the scary high rates.


Liberals think companies should morally and ethically pay high taxes.  Pointed out with one of the US companies setting up headquarters in Ireland at a fraction of the tax rate:  

Business leaders are in violation of their fiduciary duty if they don't use all legal means to escape punitive and prohibitive tax rates.
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: December 30, 2015, 11:37:49 AM
Bush PAC is attacking Rubio for missing a Senate committee vote.  This sure looks like a head fake and thy know they will soon have to advertise on behalf of the attacked.

If I was attacking Rubio in Iowa in 20165/2016 it wouldn't be too say he doesn't spend enough time in Washington.
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: December 30, 2015, 11:34:45 AM
Interesting point of trivia that is difficult for his opponents to go after.  Ted Cruz has been in the Senate for 3 years and 11 months.  He had just completed the first half of his first term when he announced for President.

Yet Trump says Rubio rose too fast and thinks Cruz is a Washington politician. 
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: December 30, 2015, 11:01:51 AM
"...Rubio looks to have the best chance of beating the Empress Dowager."

"I'm not making a prediction..."

   - The polls have been consistent with Truimp strongest for the nomination and weakest in the general election .  On this course, Hillary wins.  But the delegate count now is 0-0-0.

Cruz and Rubio have different paths to pass Trump that seem unlikely without a dramatic shift.  But shifting dramatically is normal, as already pointed out by Crafty.  Howard Dean is a great example.  He was the clear front runner and leader of his party right up to the first vote.  It wasn't just the scream; a moment arrived where people knew he wasn't the guy. And we didn't know it until the vote counts started coming in.

Trump needs votes from people who currently don't like him now and even more in the general election.  Which means change from what got you this far, or just try to ride the current support through to the convention, which as Pat says, is stacked against him.  He needs to put this away at the beginning or lose. Cruz needs to consolidate the right, but then still has the plurality problem Trump has.  Rubio needs votes from people who may like him but are choosing someone else or undecided.

Trump's career record is 0 for 0.  Cruz won one very contested primary and one very easy general election.  Rubio is 6 and 0 in a much more divided state.   How that helps him now, nobody knows.   None have competed in or won a national election before.  This is all uncharted territory.
--------------------------------------------

Regarding the question of who can defend and prosecute the 'war on women' issue against on the Clintons best -

Trump might make the strongest case in response, but may also be the most vulnerable to incoming charges.  The tie goes to the Democrats.  Rubio will make the charge more diplomatically, though there will be plenty of active anti-Hillary groups to go further.  I'm not seeing Cruz as a general election candidate.  He would attack fine but they will successfully paint him as an extremist no one can work with using quotes from people in his own party.  

In any case, this isn't going to be won by proving Hillary is a bad person.  People already know that.
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary, Lying, and our scary tolerance of Lying, Thomas Sowell on: December 30, 2015, 10:18:05 AM
2015 has been the year of the big lie. There have been lies in other years, and some of them pretty big, but even so 2015 has set new highs -- or new lows.

This is the year when we learned, from Hillary Clinton's own e-mails, after three long years of stalling, stone-walling and evasions, that Secretary of State Clinton lied, and so did President Barack Obama and others under him, when they all told us in 2012 that the terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed the American ambassador and three other Americans was not a terrorist attack, but a protest demonstration that got out of hand.

"What difference, at this point, does it make?" as Mrs. Clinton later melodramatically cried out, at a Congressional committee hearing investigating that episode.

First of all, it made enough of a difference for some of the highest officials of American government to concoct a false story that they knew at the time was false.

It mattered enough that, if the truth had come out, on the eve of a presidential election, it could have destroyed Barack Obama's happy tale of how he had dealt a crippling blow to terrorists by killing Usama bin Laden (with an assist from the Navy's SEALS).

Had Obama's lies about his triumph over terrorism been exposed on the eve of the election, that could have ended his stay in the White House. And that could have spared us and the world many of Obama's disasters in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world. That is why it matters, and will continue to matter in the future.

Lying, by itself, is obviously not new. What is new is the growing acceptance of lying as "no big deal" by smug sophisticates, so long as these are lies that advance their political causes. Many in the media greeted the exposure of Hillary Clinton's lies by admiring how well she handled herself.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/12/29/remembering_2015_129149.html
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nuclear Iran, They are willing to Die and we are not on: December 30, 2015, 10:12:14 AM
2015 may well have marked a turn in a downward direction for America and for Western civilization.

This was the year when we essentially let the world know that we were giving up any effort to try to stop Iran -- the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism -- from getting a nuclear bomb. Surely it does not take much imagination to foresee what lies at the end of that road.

It will not matter if we have more nuclear bombs than they have, if they are willing to die and we are not.

Thomas Sowell, Dec 2015
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/12/29/remembering_2015_129149.html

More from this column going into other threads.
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: December 29, 2015, 12:48:42 PM
I bought my healthcare plan when I went self employed for $40/month.  That policy was canceled by Obamacare and replaced with a worse one.  I received notice from MN Blue Cross Blue SHield this month that my new premium is $800 / mo. for one person, high deductible, no real coverage, so I have decided to cancel it as and go on the official state site as they want me to and become a ward of the state or whatever you call a person who can't to pay their own basic living expenses.

The site being unworkable I looked up an official "healthcare navigator".  For people having trouble with their internet, that is as easy as downloading a 111 page pdf, unsorted and finding out they don't have one anywhere near where I live.  So I drove this morning to the nearest public 'navigator' where my phone directions program put me in endless u-turns on a state highway until I took it offline and drive some frontage roads, found the building, rode the elevator to the top floor and discovered no one there would see me without an appointment and that no appointments are available until well into the new year even though I need coverage to start on the first or else I will have the hated lapse in coverage which seems to bother only me.

So I called another agency in St. Paul they referred me to who was also unable to help; they have their Hennepin County office closed on the busiest week of the year, and then I called MNSure directly.  After 40 minutes on hold, sitting in a cold car with my phone battery depleting I reached a somewhat helpful worker who led me through how to navigate the confusing state website for myself, though also told me I wouldn't be able to get coverage to start until February 1st - the state apparently doesn't care if I go without even though I am will to spend days trying and willing to pay whatever it costs.

So I went the state website, divulged all my most personal information again for the 4th or 5th time, through a public wifi connection and received the following error message instead of healthcare coverage:

Online service problems

One of our internal services has failed. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please come back later and try to create your account again.

Error Code: M002

Now I am wondering what else the government might be able to help me with...  

That government-involved Life of Julia is looking a little depressing about now.

Update:  I called the number for MN Gov Mark Dayton.  Someone from the Lt Gov office answered on the first. Told him the above.  He took my info and said he would call the HHS commissioner.

So I've got that going for me.
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clintons also stole White House public property from the American people on: December 29, 2015, 12:23:58 PM

There isn't enough time left between now and next November to log all the wrongdoings of the Clintons.  Here's to giving it a good college try:

PolitiFact:  [Donors] said they never intended their gifts to go to the Clintons. They thought they were donating to the White House itself as part a major remodeling project in 1993.  Clintons announced that they would pay the government nearly $86,000 for items that were actually government property. A few days after that, they also returned about $48,000 worth of furniture.  Add that up and the government got back $134,000 out of the $190,000 the Clinton’s had declared as gifts.

...lawmakers found troubling was the apparent violation of the ban on soliciting gifts. It’s fine under the law to accept someone’s generosity, but you can’t tell them what you want. This came up in regards to a portion of the goods the Clintons kept --  about $38,000 worth of goods given to Hillary Clinton in December 2000. That was after she won her Senate race in New York, but before she took office, at which point accepting such gifts would have violated Senate rules. Clinton had created a gift registry at Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts. This yielded 16 rimmed soup bowls worth $2,352 and a soup tureen worth $1,365, among other items.
http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/oct/01/viral-image/viral-image-wrongly-accuses-clinton-stealing/

Clintons Take Away $190,000 In Gifts
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2001/01/21/clintons-take-away-190000-in-gifts/36773cf2-8120-4d58-b903-d76d39a6cc3f/

President Clinton and his wife started shipping White House furniture to the Clintons' newly purchased home in New York more than a year ago, despite questions at the time by the White House chief usher about whether they were entitled to remove the items.
http://articles.latimes.com/2001/feb/10/news/mn-23723

Clintons Return White House Furniture  [That's hardly a denial!]
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121856&page=1
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/06/us/clintons-will-return-any-gifts-found-to-belong-to-white-house.html

Bill Clinton Jokes About A President Taking Property From WH
http://articles.latimes.com/2001/feb/10/news/mn-23723

Clinton staff vandalized White House during exit:
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/12/us/white-house-vandalized-in-transition-gao-finds.html
http://articles.latimes.com/2002/jun/12/nation/na-clinton12

Dead broke when we left the White House:
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/16/nyregion/hillary-clinton-book-advance-8-million-is-near-record.html
Hillary Clinton Book Advance, $8 Million, Is Near Record
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: December 16, 2000
Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed last night to sell Simon & Schuster a memoir of her years as first lady, for the near-record advance of about $8 million.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2001/02/06/clintons-say-theyll-return-disputed-gifts/accd07f5-3cd2-4ebf-ba49-b3ac30a35a7d/
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: December 28, 2015, 04:16:34 PM
"Clinton has obviously committed multiple felonies and so far not a peep."

The felony is gross negligence in the handling of national secrets.  The penalty is 10 years.  A plea bargain might stay the time.  There is no accusation of intentionally handing out secrets and there is no doubt her actions constituted negligence.  Gross negligence has a specific definition.  Someone needs to charge the crime or tell us why it doesn't rise to that level.

"Not a peep"?  I believe the phony pretend investigation is still under way as the evidence is still spilling out.  At some point in this campaign the Attorney General needs to close the case and show us in the facts and the law why they decided to not charge out a most apparent crime.
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: December 28, 2015, 04:05:34 PM
"The one who reminds me of a Reagan is you-know-who (not Cruz or Trump"

But Doug,
Bobby Jindal dropped out.   grin

2 term Governor, Asian immigrant family, Rhodes Scholar.  But no reality show experience. 
Don't tell me this country doesn't have its priorities straight...
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Disbarred, Clinton pays Paula Jones $850,000, "vast right wing conspiracy" on: December 28, 2015, 11:06:43 AM

Wow.  Benghazi emails on an unsecured server completely blacked out for security and she is still saying no classified material sent or received.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some historical info for our thread on Hillary's new campaigner.  If nothing bad ever happened, why did the best lawyers in the world tell him to pay her a million bucks and accept disbarrment? Kind of serious for a sitting President, if not for the double standard.  The worst part is the role Hillary played in trashing the victims.  Their lies were part of "the vast right wing conspiracy".

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/02/duncancampbell
Lewinsky scandal ends as Clinton is disbarred

"Vast right wing conspiracy"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwtkorQKGFE

Clinton Settles Jones Lawsuit With a Check for $850,000
By NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: January 13, 1999
http://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/13/us/clinton-settles-jones-lawsuit-with-a-check-for-850000.html

"We were dead broke when we left the White House".  Yes, License stripped and lucky to not be in jail.
197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: December 28, 2015, 10:41:11 AM
BTW,
For all of those who don't like the thought of having to vote for Trump if he is the nominee and having a wish that it was someone else...........
Welcome to the Club. This is what I and others have had to do with McCain and Romney for the past two elections. 

The implication that anyone here who is not supporting Trump now was backing McCain and Romney at this point for previous nominations is erroneous.  Check the record.  Speaking for myself, I also opposed Dole, HW Bush and Ford. 

Besides, you have the players backwards.  Cruz is the more conservative choice and Trump is the prominent centrist they are telling us we should support because he can win.  The label Republican in name only certainly fits someone who wasn't one before the campaign, will most certainly pivot in the general election and threatens to leave every time he is criticized.

The one who reminds me of a Reagan is you-know-who (not Cruz or Trump).  Conservative, optimistic and electable.  Best communicator in the group.
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: December 28, 2015, 10:19:17 AM
Year end is a good time for families to gauge whether our subscriptions and memberships are getting used enough to justify the expense for the new year.  I was wondering if everyone thought we got our money's worth last year with our U.N. membership:

$2,957,000,000 /yr. is just one of their budgets, total expenses are hard to get a handle on.   

Our share goes on that credit card where we only have to pay interest and even that can be borrowed.  Favorable terms and low, variable interest because our co-signors are college students and the k-12 crowd who eventually get the bill.  Some who will pay haven't even been born yet.

Like the Climate Conferences, it's nice to know the diplomats and kleptocrats are dining well with each other.  But seriously, has anyone ever heard of SKYPE?

Would anyone join a peace club today where Vladimir Putin had veto power and Cuba, Iran, Syria and Nicaragua were voting members?

Our share of the worldwide cost is 22%.  Other member states pay 0.001%.
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: December 27, 2015, 07:00:29 PM
Our G M has been saying buy (canned goods) and ammo for at least 7 years.  Now Obama is banning certain types of ammo by Executive Order and the price is skyrocketing.    I should have acted when he first said that.  I wonder if Wesbury called this 'market' move.  http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2560750
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump attacks Trey Gowdy on: December 27, 2015, 06:54:56 PM
Because he is endorsing Rubio.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-benghazi-hearings-were-disaster-for-the-gop-bad-for-the-country/

What a jerk.
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