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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward, Baltimore, Ferguson, personal responsibility on: April 29, 2015, 10:33:28 AM
"This week’s nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It’s time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, “broken windows” policing, and education choice."

Yes.  All of that, especially personal responsibility.  

Seeing how not to live and govern tells us something about the way forward if we don't like the current path, but all the momentum seems to be in the other direction.

From my experiences as an inner city landlord I have tried to warn of what is happening and how our policies are tied to these lifestyle choices and behaviors.  In 19.9% of American households now, 1 in 5, no one works.  In America's inner city, that proportion is way higher.  At some point what we have is something like a third world country just outside of our downtowns and off of the freeways the rest of us travel.

Rich, white liberals and the 49-52% who vote with them keep talking about doing more for the have-nots, right while they take away the ladder up.  50 years into a failed war on poverty, they still don't notice what they are taking from the program recipients by making everything free, from their home, food, healthcare, down to their smartphone and data plan.  

It can be quite ugly to see what fills the void in human nature when personal responsibility is removed.

One time in Mpls someone broke all the first floor windows in an apartment building I owned.  An eyewitness tried to tell the police in a car what had happened.  The cop rolled his squad car window down partway, heard what she said and told her she should report this to the landlord.

When the riots end, the people will return to their taxpayer supported homes with cable TV, cigarettes, air conditioning,  and blaring music.  If Baltimore is at all like Minneapolis, the City enforcers will come out and start writing orders and tickets to the landlords to get the rubble cleared and windows repaired or face condemnation and prosecution.   In Washington, the rich and powerful liberals along with the media and rinos will again tell us that any cut, of any amount, to any program, will harm the children.  Not so.  It is the existence, expansion and proliferation of these programs that remove all personal responsibility that is hurting the children more than anything else.
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: April 29, 2015, 09:30:05 AM
"the United States and Japan cemented a more muscular defensive partnership, with new guidelines that bolster the two countries’ militaries’ ability to plan and operate together"

Although our President's word is of no value, let his career scorecard show that in this one case he got something right.  Welcome Prime Minister Abe to the United States.

More likely than than global security as a motivator, Michelle wanted an occasion like a state dinner to wear a new dress and knows the Japanese will come bearing gifts.
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 28, 2015, 10:00:05 PM
"Bozo at NYT (Dana Milbank)"

Doug thanks for clarifying who you were referring to.  A lot of Bozos on that side.

Very funny ccp.  I meant to say, one clown among many over there.  Meanwhile at the NYT, the master of straw man arguments, Paul Krugman who won't argue with anyone but a straw man had a column today titled "Nobody Said That".  Really?  It took willpower to not click on his drivel.  I used to read and answer the nonsense.  But like the ratings of MSNBC, they won't go away until no one is watching or reading them anymore.
154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 28, 2015, 11:45:20 AM
ccp: "The Clinton machine is *boasting" how it plans to raise 2 to 2.5 BILLION more yet."

Bozo at NYT (Dana Milbank) writes today about Republicans having big money backers.  I hope so!

"Tabloid says she had 2 strokes.  Remember I (ccp) posted a picture of her cross eyed and questioned this."

Yes, something happened. I wonder if she ever has to release medical records.  Plus I think she hides at times to cover up the healing of 'work done' on her face.  Are those in the medical records?  Maybe they can tuck in some other problem areas as well.  I lost a Carly post to a computer re-boot but it would be nice if our first woman President was at least a little bit feminine.  (Sexist I'm sure to comment on any of that.  But not when it is to comment about men, good looking, overweight, old, young, etc.)

"Still she will run."

If she bows out, a partial health disclosure would give her a face saving excuse and maybe slow down the call for investigations.
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential: Martin O’Malley’s Terrible Fiscal Record on: April 28, 2015, 11:05:03 AM
Striving for equal time for all the competitors.  )  Thanks to Cato for covering this.

C'mon Dems, are these really the best leaders you can find?

From the article:
He raised just about every tax in Maryland. Governor O’Malley:

Raised the top personal income tax rate from 4.75 to 5.75 percent. With local taxes on top, Maryland’s top rate is 8.95 percent.
Raised the corporate tax rate from 7.0 to 8.25 percent.
Raised the sales tax rate from 5 to 6 percent and expanded the sales tax base.
Raised the sales tax rate on beer, wine, and spirits by 50 percent.
Raised the gas tax by 20 cents over four years, almost doubling the rate from 23.5 cents.
Doubled the cigarette tax from $1 to $2 per pack.
Imposed higher taxes on vehicle registration.
Imposed a stormwater mitigation fee on property owners, or a “rain tax.”
After eight years, O’Malley had hit income earners, businesses, consumers, smokers, beer drinkers, wine drinkers, and drivers, which probably means everyone in the state. He didn’t just punish the top 1 percent often targeted by Democrats — he gave a tax spanking to all 100 percent of Marylanders.

By 2014 Marylanders had finally had enough. In the gubernatorial election, Republican Larry Hogan pulled off a stunning upset over Democrat Anthony Brown. As the Washington Post said, Hogan’s win was powered by “relentlessly promising to roll back tax increases,” and it was a “repudiation of the eight-year tenure” of O’Malley. Hogan is focusing on rolling back some of the tax hikes, starting with the rain tax.
Maryland’s pension funding ratio is just 64 percent, below the 50-state average of 71 percent, and much less than the full-funding ratio of 100 percent. That means that Marylanders could face more tax hikes down the road unless bloated state worker benefits are scaled back.
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, debunking Clinton Bush electoral juggernaut myth on: April 28, 2015, 10:57:37 AM
Daily Caller has a piece debunking the electoral clout of these alleged dynasties.  George HW Bush ran for President 3 times.  Lost in 1980.  Won once, the so-called Reagan 3rd term in 1988.  Got only 37% of the vote in 1992 running on his own record.  Hardly a electoral powerhouse.

Bill Clinton ran and won twice, both with less than 50% of the vote, 43% and 49%.

George W Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 with 49%.  Won as a post 911 war time President with only 50% - over a dolt, and was never popular again.

Hillary was part of Bill 43% win in 1992 and was unpopular by 1994.  She ran and lost in 2007-2008 to an almost unknown in her own party.  (Running unopposed and still floundering now.)

Jeb was a popular Governor, last won an election in 2002, 14 years prior to 2016, (and currently trails Marco Rubio in his home state polling).
History Shows Clintons And Bushes Are NOT Electoral Juggernauts
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton Foundation 2013, 10% of budget went to charitable grants on: April 28, 2015, 10:44:01 AM
You would think they're first defense would be to point to all the good they are doing around the globe.  Not so much.

In 2013, The Clinton Foundation Only Spent 10 Percent Of Its Budget On Charitable Grants
Hillary Clinton's non-profit spent more on office supplies and rent than it did on charitable grants
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Breitbart: 11 Clinton Cash facts confirmed accurate by the mainstream media on: April 28, 2015, 10:36:56 AM
These are not just partisan allegations.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the forthcoming book rocking Washington right now is the number of stunning facts liberal media outlets have already confirmed and verified are accurate.

Here, then, are 11 facts that mainstream media say are true, verified, and facts from the upcoming blockbuster, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Foundation Hid a $2.35 Million Foreign Donation from the Head of the Russian Govt’s Uranium Company that Had Business Before Hillary Clinton’s State Dept.—a Clear Violation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Obama Administration

The New York Times has confirmed that Hillary Clinton violated the Memorandum of Understanding she signed with the Obama administration promising to disclose all foreign donations during her tenure as Sec. of State.

As Clinton Cash reveals, Ian Telfer, the foreign head of the Russian-owned uranium company, Uranium One, which Hillary Clinton approved to acquire U.S. uranium, made four individual hidden donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling $2.35 million, none of which appear in Clinton Foundation disclosures.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton Bagged $500,000 for a Speech in Moscow Paid for by a Kremlin-linked Bank

The New Yorker confirms that, as Clinton Cash claims, Bill Clinton made $500,000 for a Moscow speech that was paid for by “a Russian investment bank that had ties to the Kremlin” at the time of the Uranium One deal.

“Why was Bill Clinton taking any money from a bank linked to the Kremlin while his wife was Secretary of State?” asks the liberal publication.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Brother Sits on the Board of a Mining Company that Scored an Extremely Rare “Gold Exploitation Permit” in Haiti as Hillary and Bill Clinton Disbursed Billions of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars in Haiti

The Washington Post confirms the accuracy of Clinton Cash’s revelation that Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, serves on the board of a mining company that scored a coveted and lucrative “gold exploitation permit” in Haiti as then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton were doling out billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in the wake of the Haiti earthquake.

According to the Post, Rodham’s mining company “won one of the first two gold-mining permits the Haitian government had issued in more than 50 years,” just as Clinton Cash reveals.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Foundation Hid a Foreign Donation of 2 Million Shares of Stock by a Mining Executive with Business Before Hillary’s State Dept.—a Clear Violation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Obama Administration

The Wall Street Journal confirms the book’s revelation that another foreign donation, one by Canadian mining executive Stephen Dattels, made a hidden donation of two million shares in Polo Resources that the Clinton Foundation chose not to disclose in violation of the Memorandum of Understanding the Clintons signed with the Obama administration.

“About two months later, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh pushed the energy adviser to that nation’s prime minister to allow ‘open pit mining,’ including in Phulbari Mines, where Polo Resources has a stake,” reports the Journal.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Approval of the Russian Takeover of Uranium One Transferred 20% of All U.S. Uranium to the Russian Govt.

The New York Times confirms, “The sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States.”

The Times also verifies the book’s reporting that Hillary’s uranium transfer to Russia represented, at the time, a projected 50% of all U.S. uranium output.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton was Paid by a For-Profit Education Company Laureate While the Company Benefitted from an Increase in Funding from Hillary’s State Dept.

Bloomberg has confirmed that, as reported in Clinton Cash, Bill Clinton was paid by “Laureate International Universities, part of Laureate Education, Inc,” a position he abruptly resigned from on Friday.

Bloomberg’s examination confirms that “in 2009, the year before Bill Clinton joined Laureate, the nonprofit received 11 grants worth $9 million from the State Department or the affiliated USAID. In 2010, the group received 14 grants worth $15.1 million. In 2011, 13 grants added up to $14.6 million. The following year, those numbers jumped: IYF received 21 grants worth $25.5 million, including a direct grant from the State Department.”

The company nor the Clintons will release the exact amounts Bill received for working for the controversial for-profit education company.

CONFIRMED: The Clinton Foundation has Been Forced to Refile at Least 5 Years of Annual Tax Returns and May Audit Other Clinton Foundation Returns

Reuters has confirmed that “Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns” as “the foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny.”

CONFIRMED: At Least $26 Million of the Clintons’ Wealth Comes from Speaking Fees by Companies and Organizations that are Also Major Clinton Foundation Donors

The Washington Post has confirmed in an article based on Clinton Cash that, according to the Post’s independent analysis, “Bill Clinton was paid more than $100 million for speeches between 2001 and 2013, according to federal financial disclosure forms filed by Hillary Clinton during her years as a senator and as secretary of state.”

Of that, reports the Post, “Bill Clinton was paid at least $26 million in speaking fees by companies and organizations that are also major donors to the foundation he created after leaving the White House, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records and foundation date.”

CONFIRMED: Clinton Cash author, Peter Schweizer, is Currently Conducting a Deep Dive Investigative Report on Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush’s Financial Dealings

CBS News has confirmed that author Peter Schweizer is working on a similar investigation into GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s financial records and relationships.

“The wide-ranging examination will appraise the possible 2016 contender’s involvement in Florida real estate deals, an airport deal that involved state funds while Bush was Florida’s chief executive, and Chinese investments in Bush’s private equity funds,” reports CBS News.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton Delivered Numerous Speeches Paid for By Individuals and Corporations with Pending Business Before Hillary’s State Dept.

ABC News has confirmed Clinton Cash’s reporting that myriad businesses and individuals paid Bill Clinton to deliver speeches even as their companies had business on Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s desk.

“Records supported the premise that former President Clinton accepted speaking fees from numerous companies and individuals with interests pending before the State Department,” reported ABC News.

ABC News noted it found “an instance where paid and unpaid speaking appearances were conflated,” but that Clinton Cash’s essential “premise” is “supported by records” ABC News independently analyzed.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton Lied about Hosting a Meeting with Frank Giustra and Kazakh Nuclear Officials at Clinton’s Home in Chappaqua, New York

New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Jo Becker confirmed in a one-hour Fox News television special on Clinton Cash that Bill Clinton lied when questioned about whether Clinton, Giustra, and executives from the Kazakh-owned nuclear company Kazatomprom ever met in Clintons’ home.

“When I first contacted both the Clinton Foundation—Mr. Clinton’s spokesman—and Mr. Giustra, they denied any such meeting ever took place,” said Becker.

“And then when we told them, ‘Well we already talked to the head of Kazatomprom, who not only told us all about the meeting, but actually has a picture of him and Bill at the home in Chappaqua, and that he proudly displayed it on his office wall.’ They then acknowledged that yes, the meeting had taken place.”

The Hillary Clinton campaign continues to struggle in its efforts to spin and distract from the growing pile of Clinton Cash facts mainstream media outlets have already confirmed and verified are correct.

As Politico concludes, “Hillary’s Clinton Cash dismissal is dead in the water.”
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 28, 2015, 10:30:17 AM
A point Team Hillary is making is that State was one of some 9 agencies that reviewed and approved the deal.  While some/most may have no national security considerations as part of their evaluating criteria, others, e.g. the Pentagon clearly did.
How do we explain this?

a) It had to be unanimous so her vote was the decider, not just one of nine. Her Dept's approval was the most crucial.  Why would Sec of Interior see this as a threat if State did not, for example. These other Secretaries are all Obama-ites by definition and all have close ties to the Clintons. Could have been influenced also and likely were if the policy otherwise doesn't make sense. b) We don't know anything about behind the scenes communications, the pulling of other agencies or even her own, but the pattern of facts bears further investigation.  There isn't a shred of evidence maybe because evidence was withheld and destroyed.  c) The timing of these bribery payments to Bill, Hillary and the Foundation was keyed on this deal.  d) The Bill Clinton speaking fee tripled, yet his voice is shakier.  He has drifted further and further from power EXCEPT for his influence over State and other Departments.  e) She was a big opponent of this kind of security risk very recently as a Senator, very outspoken opposing foreign control of our ports.  This is similar but MUCH worse security risk/failure.  Dubai is not a threat to our security on par with Moscow.  f) If the policy decision is wrong, doesn't that disqualify her for higher office regardless of the corruption?  g) This wasn't the only occurrence of Clinton money affecting US policy and contracts.  h) Many politicians went to jail for crimes FAR smaller than this.  Didn't a Speaker of the House fall over a bunch of phony book sales that were really just disguised payments?  (  In all cases, prosecution starts an investigation following signs like we see here of wrongdoing. 

As one pundit put it earlier, people don't give to the Clinton Foundation because they didn't know about the Red Cross.  100% of the speaking fees go directly into their personal account and the vast majority of Foundation goes to pay family and friends, not to direct aid.  (I will post that separately.)

I wonder what the new Attorney General will do about this, lol.
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: April 26, 2015, 09:21:53 AM
The author of the Clinton Cash book that could very well take down Hillary Clinton says that he has researchers 4 months into a look at Jeb Bush's financial affairs. (Fox News Sunday today) Too early to comment he says but hints that they are finding similar patterns, with the main difference being that the stakes with a Governor are smaller and less global.  Bush seems like a moral, standup and straightforward guy and can probably explain quite well every action he took as Governor.  But somehow these well-connected people stumble into big money quite easily.  The timing of it is that it follows the Hillary scandal and in the context of a little Clinton-Bush fatigue.  It could turn out that his big money advantage for Bush will turn out to be a negative in the campaign. 

That said, I doubt he was responsible for the transfer of our nuclear fuel assets to one of our largest, state enemies.

Meanwhile, I see that both Cruz and Rubio or up and that Marco Rubio moved into first place (within the margin of error) in the latest two polls:

The goal at this early stage is probably just to poll high enough to stay relevant.

161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Hillbillary Clintons, $500k speaking fee while Uranium One deal pending on: April 26, 2015, 08:46:17 AM
I think I may have found a missing piece of the puzzle in this scandal that never seems to get mentioned.  First, this is what we know for sure.

We know that as a Senator Hillary in 2005 publicly and vehemently opposed foreign takeover of critical American assets that ended in the cancellation of the Dubai Ports deal.

In a relatively abrupt about face, we know she was critically involved in the approval of the Russian - Uranium One deal, where the State Department was one of the agencies that had the full power and responsibility to stop the transfer of US Uranium assets to the Russians, if it was not in America's best interest.

We know that more than a dozen Russian individuals and organizations associated with the Uranium One deal gave millions upon millions to the Clinton Foundation.

We know that Bill Clinton's speaking fees in Russia TRIPLED during the period that the time that deal was before the State Department.

The innocent explanation for speaking fees tripling is that the speeches, in Russia, suddenly got that much better over the time, even though the aging ex-President who was aging was drifting further and further from power.   

The opposite conclusion is that the speech income, which goes to both Clintons, was actually buying an expectation of influence with the United States Secretary of State. 

Speaking fees go directly into the power couple's pocket, like a bribe or kickback, not into the Foundation to feed the poor, etc.

Here's what I don't get about the innocent, coincidental explanation of taking a half million bucks for a short speech in Russia:

The man does not speak Russian!
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / HRC, In which version of feminism does the woman always follow the man's lead? on: April 25, 2015, 04:27:28 PM
Powerline 4/24/15
Liberal pundit Jonathan Chait concludes from the emerging “Clinton cash” scandal that, at a minimum, the Clintons have been “disorganized and greedy.” Of the greed, there can be no doubt. But whether the Clintons have been disorganized depends on what they were trying, primarily, to accomplish through their Foundation.

From Bill Clinton’s perspective, I gather, the Foundation was intended to raise huge amounts of money and to serve as a vehicle through which he would remain an important international player. Clinton plainly wanted an enormously lucrative and conspicuously consequential post-presidency. The Clinton Foundation would enable him to meet these aspirations.

And so it has. From Bill’s perspective, then, the Clinton Foundation is a raging success, brilliantly conceived and executed, and sufficiently well-organized to achieve its purposes.

This point appears to be lost on Chait. He says, with surprise, that “Bill Clinton seemed to see the nexus between his role and his wife’s as a positive rather than a negative.”

Well, yeah. Having Hillary running the State Department clearly maximized the Foundation’s ability to raise huge amounts of money and to project Bill into major deals all over the world.

As one Clintonista told Ryan Lizza, “Bill Clinton’s been able to continue to be the Bill Clinton we know, in large part because of his relationship with the White House and because his wife is the Secretary of State; it worked out very well for him.”

But how has it worked out for Hillary Clinton? We don’t know yet. Surely, she is delighted to see her family massively enriched through the Foundation. And while a part of her may not love seeing her husband flying so high, it’s unlikely that she begrudges him a place on the world stage.

Her primary mission, though, is to become president of the United States. It remains to be seen whether the “Clinton cash” scandal will derail her quest. But she must believe that it has created more risk of derailment than is worth the incremental income Bill’s more aggressive plays has accrued. The scandal probably seem to her, as it does to Chait, like an unforced error — one that, left to her own devices, she would have avoided.

In sum, the Foundation has operated the way Bill wanted it to, but probably not quite as Hillary, with her focus on the presidency, wished.

If so, this tells us that Bill Clinton remains the dominant force in the family. When their interests diverged, Bill’s carried the day.

Lizza’s reporting tends to confirm that this was the case. He writes:

More than anyone, [Bill] pushed Hillary to take the job of Secretary of State. “President Clinton was a big supporter of the idea,” an intimate of the Clintons told me. “He advocated very strongly for it and arguably was the tie-breaking reason she took the job.”

The husband’s pushy advocacy was the “tie-breaking” reason why the wife made the momentous decision to take an all-consuming job? In which version of feminism are things supposed to work like this?

I hope America’s first female president will be a woman who is not under the sway of her husband and who would not permit the family enterprise to be commandeered by a husband notorious for having no sense of proportion or propriety. Hillary Clinton is not that woman.
163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Income Inequality on: April 23, 2015, 09:07:55 PM
We were addressing this phony issue here, income inequality, long before Hillary announced she is pretending to make it the centerpiece for her non-existent campaign.  

Income inequality is the economic ladder, it is the freedom to climb, it is the existence of the American economic dream.  A workable ladder requires a first rung, a second, third rung and so on, all in working order and all rungs going up placed within a reasonable and accessible reach from the one beneath it.  All leftist economic policies, one way or another, weaken or remove steps from the ladder.  Their stated goal is to destroy it altogether, and make us all equally poor.

Income inequality in a dynamic economy is a fact, not an issue.  The political question is how badly do we want to hurt the people at the top in order to also hurt the people further down, wanting to climb up.

When you chop off the top of the ladder and knock people down, you also knock out economic activity (GDP and GDP growth) and make it harder for everyone else to rise up.  

When you raise minimum wage law, you are sawing off or weakening the bottom rung of the ladder.  Some will jump and make it up anyway, but many won't and get stuck at the bottom.  Note the sudden spikes in SNAP and SSI, proof that leftist policies of making basic things free and/or subsidized do not help people to lift themselves up.

Imagine the opposite of the income inequality - income equality.  Everyone makes exactly the same whether they work hard, train, grow, gain experience or improve their skills.  The batboy makes the same as the greatest home run hitter, in this Utopian world.  The incentive to achieve, excel or improve is gone.  What a sad existence that would be.  Innovation ends, startups end, GDP growth ends.  Entrenched powers with the best lobbyists and lawyers might still maneuver through the myriad of taxes and regulations and prosper, but everyone else suffers.  Welcome to the path of Obama's America where the chosen successor promises to do more of the same.

Income inequality, the political issue, grew out of the fact that liberals and leftists could not find any other way to attack the rapid economic growth that came out of past tax rate cuts.  They came up with phony measures that completely ignore income mobility - the fact that people improve their job skills, experience and income throughout their working lives and then retire, work less and live off of savings.  The politics of income inequality alarmism worked quite well around 2006 and the leftists took power in America.  (Relly they won because of an unpopular war, but still they won running on this economic platform.)  They took the House and the Senate, then the Presidency.  Then they took a 60 seat control of the Senate.  They ended tax rate cuts.  They passed Obamacare and anything else that they wanted until the economic and political wheels fell off.  They passed a stimulus, shovel ready government jobs, cash for clunkers, took over the auto companies, attacked energy, surrendered from wars and so on.  

They ruled without a whisper of conservative constraint, and what happened?  

Income inequality got worse!  Income mobility got worse.  Entrepreneurialism was stopped dead in its tracks.  Workforce participation collapsed. Safety net program use exploded.  And their answer to it all of this is to do more of the same!  Go figure.
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Uber Driver With Concealed Carry Permit Drops Chicago Gunman on: April 20, 2015, 02:45:36 PM
What say Rahm to this?
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy loathes concealed carry, and so it must be particularly painful for him today to deal with the fact that it was a concealed carry permit holder who stopped a madman firing into a Chicago crowd.

A Logan Square man was ordered held on no bail Sunday after prosecutors said he fired a handgun into a crowd of people Friday night.

But 22-year-old Everardo Custodio wasn’t in Cook County bond court to hear Judge Peggy Chiampas deny him bail.

He was at Advocate Illinois Masonic hospital, being treated for gunshot wounds to the shin, thigh and lower back.

As Custodio was allegedly opening fire on the crowd Friday, an Uber driver with a concealed-carry permit picked up his own firearm and shot Custodio multiple times, according to prosecutors and court records.

The Uber driver, a 47-year-old Little Italy resident, has a firearm owner’s identification card and acted in self-defense and the defense of others, Assistant State’s Attorney Barry Quinn said Sunday in bond court.

No charges have been filed against the Uber driver, police said.
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Support for redistribution policies is Falling on: April 20, 2015, 02:40:22 PM
In a separate matter, Mayor deBlahzio (sp) from the city with the greatest inequality, NYC,traveled to Iowa, the state with the least inequality, to lecture them on what they need to do about this problem, lol.

It is not what other people make that matters.  It is what YOU make, relative to the cost of the things you buy, that matters.

Skewing inequality is the fact that the millions and millions of people entering the country tend to be at the low end of the income spectrum.  That brings down the median even if no one else took a cut in pay or left the workforce.
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 20, 2015, 02:03:15 PM
Dick Morris take on why she made it official.   For legal reasons.   So she can pay her mob:

Yes.  She made an obligatory announcement for legal reasons, to be able to pay people and lease space.  

Cheap surrogate, Sen. Claire McCaskill just gave the other big reason.  By declaring candidacy she can now allege that the congressional subpoenas to testify are all politically motivated.

To her question, by the way,

"Whether it was because of a protest or because guys outside for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?"

...the answer is that we would like to know what happened and how to keep it from happening again.  Separately, note that this congenital liar prefaces with a false choice.  It wasn't either of those, because of a protest OR because guys outside for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans.  It was a terror attack, by al Qaida affiliates "on the run", against Americans.

The question that follows:  How do we keep our officials from lying to us?  (Vote for someone else.)

One more question for my 'ask Hillary list':  Do the Clintons both lie to each other constantly or just both lie to us?  Will Bob Schieffer ask her that?
167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why Many Former Workers Are Not Even Applying For Job Openings... on: April 20, 2015, 01:31:19 PM
Nice post Obj!  University of Chicago professor Casey Mulligan quoted in the article is a great economist to follow.  This is a good reminder to check his blog from time to time,  "supply and demand (in that order)".  There is a lot more there.

"Mulligan calculates that the marginal tax rate, that is the extra taxes paid, and government subsidies foregone on an extra dollar earned working if taking a job rose from 40 percent to 48 percent within two years of the onset of the Great Recession."

40% marginal rate on a person needing a job is outrageous.  To know that instead of fixing that it just got 20% worse is ... unbelievable.  To know just a few of us even know or care about things like this yet keep voting for it is deplorable.  We are keeping millions and millions of people from moving forward and achieving their dreams.  Many of them are families with children. 

Some people in the low income categories face marginal tax rates of over 100%.  If they wanted to earn more and lift themselves up, they at some point would lose their food stamps, their section 8 voucher, their SSI support, their Obama free phone and now their Obamacare subsidy.

There aren't easy answers weaning able people off of support, but to continue supporting these programs without knowing or caring about the damage that they do is is the heart of what is wrong upside down economy.  It is not only capital formation and high end earners that are hit by high marginal rates taxing away their economic opportunity!

Robert Mundell called high marginal tax rates "asphyxiating" back before Reagan.  Looking at this, I would add 'criminal gross negligence' and 'crimes against humanity' to that charge.

Taking away the American Dream, piece by piece, is pretty close to treason.  Imagine if an external enemy was doing that to us.

168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cong. Issa requested Hillary's email accounts in 2012 on: April 17, 2015, 10:52:06 AM

This is important.  This was an official inquiry from the Chairman of the appropriate Congressional oversight committee, and it was made long before the alleged destruction of the emails and server in question.  They received no answer to this specific question, asked in 2012:

“Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal email account to conduct official business?” Issa wrote Clinton. “If so, please identify the account used.”

Asked but never answered.  Here is the other question, also asked in 2012:

“Does the agency require employees to certify on a periodic basis or at the end of their employment with the agency they have turned over any communications involving official business that they have sent or received using nonofficial accounts?”

This is what they finally received back after she had left the department:

[Any State employee] “should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.”

That's the rule governing the security of State department communications at the highest level??  They "should"??!

Everyone in Washington who knew how to reach her knew she used a private email address.  We're talking about a hundred thousand pages of email to and from someone.   This no doubt included all her favorite media people and committee members.   She is running for President (?) and has, in fact, declared for all to hear that she has absolutely no intention of ever being subject to any congressional oversight whatsoever over anything that she does!  Unbelievable.

Another link, NY Times:

169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marc Levin to the 2016 Hillary voter, Are you a Genitalian? on: April 17, 2015, 10:12:06 AM
Yes, Levin says, you heard that right.  Are you a Genitalian?  Are you someone who makes their decision about who should be the next president based on their genitalia category?

Here's one who says she is:
Nancy Pelosi says "it is important to elect the first woman President".

Does that mean if reversed, still true?  What if it turns out to be Mark O'Malley against Carly Fiorina?  

Suddenly it is not so important.
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations, Security Council? on: April 16, 2015, 11:11:31 AM
Other than climate change, getting economic sanctions removed from the world's number one sponsor of terror is the highest priority of this administration.  Pres. Obama is putting the judgment of his "P5+1" group ahead of US people, congress or Senate ratification.  Of the P5, it turns out Russia was chomping at the bit to sell them missiles and same for China with nuclear technology sales.  And Germany has historically been the biggest exporter to Iran.

Shouldn't at least Russia and China recuse themselves from this process given these facts.  Of course that is a joke, they aren't allies of ours or interested in peace or western security in the first place.  So why do we keep agreeing to this type of phony security framework?

The UN can't be discredited anymore than it has been already - with the Iraq 'oil for food' scandal, the phony UN IPCC reports, the use of the podium by tyrants and bloody dictators, and so many other scandals and problems.   Are there not some basic values a nation must embrace to get a seat at the table?

Let's move past the old, counter-productive framework and create a new one for real international cooperation.  Leave the UN in place so that places like Burundi, Djibouti and Malawi all have a place to talk.  But remove US financial support down to what is commensurate with our one vote.  Then form new organizations with real allies who actually do share our values.   How about putting Japan, India, Taiwan, Israel and Canada on the new security council along with the US and our European allies, for starters.  The topics to address would include how to contain countries like Russia and China.
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The federalist: Why Marco Rubio is the GOP's best hope on: April 15, 2015, 11:35:41 AM
First this, the case against Marco Rubio by Paul Mirengoff at Powerline.  Even his biggest critic in conservative media says, "Marco Rubio is smart, likable, talented, and conservative".  "We don’t know how Rubio will perform as a candidate over the long haul, but all indications are that he is a gifted politician."
"The money and votes will gravitate to whoever can win – if, that is, the person is somewhat ideologically acceptable to the rank and file."

Why Marco Rubio Is Probably The GOP’s Best Hope
When it comes to raw political talent, it unlikely the Republicans can do better
By David Harsanyi

Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for presidency of the United States at the Freedom Tower in Miami on Monday, highlighting his family’s hardscrabble immigrant roots, embracing traditional values but also vowing to usher in a “new American century.”

As a matter of political pragmatism, is there any convincing reason Rubio shouldn’t be the Republican to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016? Because when it comes to natural political talent, it unlikely the GOP can do better.

For starters, Rubio is the most compelling speaker in the Republican field.

Sen. Mike Lee says Rubio “can bring grown men to tears with emotion.” This is something voters value. And judging from yesterday’s performance, Rubio’s speeches can be infused with an emotional quality that  much of the prefabricated rhetoric we hear does not have. Not only do you sense that his belief in American exceptionalism is genuine, but that his populist sensibilities will allow him to credibly broach the subject of inequality – mostly, because he has a captivating family story to lean on.

Let’s face it, even if Rubio is overrated, he’s probably the kind of consensus candidate GOP primary voters are going to have to settle on, anyway.

Other than his futile shot at immigration reform, Rubio has been reliably conservative. The Jeb Bush candidacy, driven by oodles of cash but little popular support, makes Rubio seem more palatable, while the Cruz candidacy, almost exclusively propelled by the grassroots, makes him seem less severe. The money and votes will gravitate to whoever can win – if, that is, the person is somewhat ideologically acceptable to the rank and file.

As Politico points out:

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last month reflected that upside among the rank-and-file. More Republicans, 56 percent, said they could back Rubio than any other candidate, including Bush (49 percent). Only one-quarter in that survey said they could not back Rubio, compared to 42 percent for Bush.
Rand Paul? As appealing as libertarian-ish ideas probably are to a number of voters – and you hope that the GOP embraces some of these reforms – it seems unlikely that the entire party can undergo a historic ideological shift during a primary season. That is especially true on foreign policy. Rubio is a hawk, and world events insure that a hawk will win the GOP nomination.

After a temporary dovish turn, the Right has gotten more aggressive on foreign policy. Some of this is, no doubt, a reaction to President Obama’s polices on Iran, Russia, ISIS, and Israel. According to a Pew poll taken late last year, 54 percent of Americans overall believed that Obama’s approach on foreign policy was “not tough enough” – which includes a sizable majority of Republicans. Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is one of the more passionate advocates for a more aggressive United States in the world.

Now, it’s also true that Rubio is a first-term senator with no record of any tangible accomplishments other than working his way into a presidential run.

If you believe this is a disadvantage, you haven’t been paying attention to contemporary politics. If Americans were concerned with achievement, Barack Obama would never have been allowed near the presidency. What voters want is someone who makes them feel secure, someone who can empathize with their struggles, confirm their ideological worldview, and someone who will give them the soaring rhetoric that makes them feel that their politics matter.

So, for Rubio, a lack of a record may be helpful in a number of ways. Today, a record is an opportunity for others to mangle every decision you’ve made. A blank slate allows voters to imagine all the wondrous things you can provide them and allows the politician a malleable set of policy goals.

To be fair, as a member of a congressional minority, Rubio didn’t really have many opportunities to build a record. Still, in the primaries, GOP contenders (who aren’t senators) are going to have tough time accusing Rubio of being slacker. What will they say? He wasn’t obstinate enough in stopping Obama’s agenda in the Senate? To some extent, Obama has also inculcated Rubio from media attacks regarding his experience as a first-term senator running for president, for obvious reasons.

The Left’s reaction to Rubio’s announcement also tells us that the Florida senator is a formidable pick. There were far fewer histrionic hit pieces about a GOP candidate’s extremism than usual. If the most potent attack mocking a candidate is a single awkward water-bottle incident, then demonizing him won’t be easy.  Whereas liberals quickly found distractions for nearly all other presidential announcements – Rand Paul is a misogynistic hothead with crazy ideas; Ted Cruz is nutty theocrat with crazy ideas – the Left was grasping for an effective line of attack.

Don’t get me wrong. In the end, no matter what Republican candidate offers, he will be cast as a thug looking to steal bread and condoms from the poorest single working moms in the country. So the most vital skill any candidate can have is the ability transcend coverage and make his or her case to voters. Setting aside reservations about policy, is there any other Republican who can do that more effectively than Rubio?

Of course someone – maybe Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Lindsay Graham, and who knows who else? – can change the dynamics of the race. Perhaps someone will surprise us. Although, it seems unlikely any of them could be the kind of compromise candidate that the establishment and the rank-and-file could agree on. And none of them will be able to contrast themselves with a tedious and creaky Hillary rollout the way Rubio just did.
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Questions for Hillary on: April 13, 2015, 12:03:41 PM
Starting a list the others aren't asking in case she comes onto the board to take questions. 

If you still needed money, why quit commodity trading?

Name one accomplishment made as Secretary of State?

Name one friend you have that is not tied to money, position or power and tell us the last time you called him or her.

How many genders are there?  (An impossible questionable to answer if you are both center and left.)

to be continued

173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH, Why is Hillary running? on: April 13, 2015, 09:38:42 AM
... Hillary will not yell out at stadium crowds, “If you liked the last eight years, I promise eight more years just like them!”

Will she amplify or ignore her own Obama administration tenure as secretary of State? Will Americans hear that the plastic reset button with Vladimir Putin was a good or bad thing?

Will Clinton replay in her campaign commercials her boast over the deposed and murdered Khadafy (“We came, we saw, he died”) or her statement about the dead at Benghazi (“What difference does it make?”)? Or will she fear that the Republicans will use her own words against her?

Will reneging on missile defense with the Poles and Czechs and ending George W. Bush’s mild ostracisms of Russia for snatching Ossetia become a neat campaign talking point? Will she brag that we got all U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011, or that she helped set the foundations for the current Iranian negotiations? Were her Arab Spring policies smart diplomacy as evidenced by the current state of affairs in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen? Will she say she had a hand in Obama’s “special relationship” with the Ottomanist Recep Erdogan of Turkey?

Perhaps she can point to her continual jawboning of Israel as the font for our current distancing from the Jewish state. Will she remind us that “al Qaeda is on the run”? Will she dare say radical Islam or will she stick to “overseas contingency operations,” “workplace violence,” and “man-caused disasters”?

A Domestic Record to Be Proud Of?

Of course, Mrs. Clinton will not run on her own foreign policy initiatives, such as they were, or her boss’s. Perhaps, then, she will turn to the generic Obama domestic record of 2009-16. But then will she praise or promise to reform the IRS, VA, NSA and Secret Service? Was the massive borrowing of the last administration — greater than all previous administrations’ red ink combined — a good or bad thing?

Maybe someone will object that Hillary Clinton is her own person and has no need either to support or distance herself from the administration that she so loyally served and aided.

What, then, is her agenda, in terms of economic and foreign policy? More borrowing, more social spending, more defense cuts, higher taxes still, more restrictions on fracking on public land, more promises to table the Keystone pipeline? Will she go full bore to promote cap and trade?

The point is that Mrs. Clinton has neither a past record that she is proud to run on nor support for an Obama administration tenure that she will promise to continue. She is not a good speaker and has a disturbing habit of switching accents in amateurish attempts to mimic regional or racial authenticity. She accentuates her points by screaming in shrill outbursts, and dismisses serious questions by chortling for far too long. She is deaf to human cordiality, has a bad temper, and treats subordinates with haughty disdain.
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Big Government Economy: Evidence suggests that Entrepreneurship is in Decline on: April 13, 2015, 09:32:29 AM
Evidence suggests that entrepreneurship is in decline and that U.S. firms are becoming older, more entrenched and less dynamic.

In several studies, economists Robert Litan and Ian Hathaway of the Brookings Institution found that start-ups (firms less than a year old) had fallen from 15 percent of all businesses in 1978 to 8 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, older firms (16 years or more) had jumped from 23 percent of businesses in 1992 to 34 percent in 2011. Their share of jobs was even higher, almost three-quarters of all workers.

What emerges is a portrait of business that, though strikingly at odds with conventional wisdom, is consistent with poor productivity growth. American capitalism is middle-aged. Older firms, conditioned by success, are more rigid. They’re invested, financially and psychologically, in existing markets and production patterns.

We don’t know what explains their slide, though the sheer mass of government regulations is one candidate. Older firms have the lawyers and administrators to cope with the red-tape deluge; many small new firms drown. ... If the economy discriminates against young firms, we will all be paying the price for many years.
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs: Cuomo's $56 million program in NY yields 76 jobs on: April 13, 2015, 09:11:25 AM

Why can't we do more programs like these?
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Residents of high tax states vote with their feet on: April 13, 2015, 09:05:32 AM
In a new report called “Rich States, Poor States” written each year for the American Legislative Exchange Council by Stephen Moore, Arthur Laffer and Jonathan Williams, we find that five of the highest-tax blue states in the nation — California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois — lost some 4 million more U.S. residents than entered these states over the last decade (see chart). Meanwhile, the big low-tax red states — Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia — gained about this many new residents.

So much for liberal policies creating a workers paradise.
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177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: April 13, 2015, 08:55:51 AM
Wash Post: In South Florida, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are forcing locals to pick sides

Odd to me the article  is so positive.  I thought most people don't like their local politicians.

Today's kickoff of the Rubio campaign steps on the Hillary rollout.  Strange that she picked it that way.
Rubio Campaign Launch Aims to Capitalize on Clinton's
By Caitlin Huey-Burns - April 13, 2015

Rubio Looks to Find His Opening in the 2016 GOP Field
By Julie Pace - April 13, 2015
Rubio is about to step into a field that is shaping up to be crowded and competitive.

He won't be the only senator in the race.

He won't be the only tea party-aligned candidate.

He won't even be the only Floridian, the only Cuban-American or the only candidate claiming foreign policy expertise.

Some are better known - Bush, for one.

But it is early, and Rubio's advisers say they are playing a long game. "Campaigns are won at the end, not at the beginning," said Alex Conant, Rubio's spokesman.

178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / HILLARY CHANGED STANCE ON TRADE DEAL AFTER DONATIONS TO CLINTON FOUNDATION on: April 10, 2015, 01:59:20 PM

No problem with another scandal to her, reports say Hillary will enter the race anyway tomorrow via twitter.  Is it steak dinner on Doug for the ccp family?  We probably should celebrate this.  If we can't find one of 16 or 20 qualified candidates who can beat this known, flawed, dishonest candidate of failed poicies and energize behind them, then I suppose we will deserve the disgusting, corrupt, socialist, dismal future that is coming to us, our children and our country.

179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: April 10, 2015, 01:41:56 PM
" I can picture her as a VP candidate; she'd make a very good "pit bull with lipstick" going after Hillary"

She would be better than Palin who has no depth beyond what we saw in her Republican Convention speech.

Palin had the mis-match of her political views not matching the top of the ticket. That McCain needed to reach to the right in the general election was HIS fault.  (DOle/Kemp had this problem too.)  She was not ready but had far more depth than the candidate won that seat. 

She was unprepared for a simple question, what do you read, that she didn't want to answer.  She was probably reading wolf hunter's weekly and a few right wing sites that she didn't want to mention.  She didn't want to embellish and get caught on the followup, so she had a Rick Perry moment instead.  Most of the rest of what was leveled against her was false.  Palin was the most powerful woman in her state before she was governor as head of the energy commission in an energy state. She performed flawlessly in her own gubernatorial debate, highly knowledgeable and articulate on all state-level issues.

But ccp's main point is true.  Carly is showing up readier and with more depth, discussing large concepts and fine details of foreign policy and other things tight out of the gate.  She doesn't have to match her view with a McCain or anyone else. We may not know yet what Carly's blind spots will be.  Her record as CEO of HP was not that highly regarded but she seems able to defend it.
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush, guns, also immigration on: April 10, 2015, 01:11:36 PM
Gun rights, second amendment and stand your ground law is another area where Jeb is consistent with conservative, constitutional principles.

It keeps coming back to immigration. 
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: NRA not happy with Rand Paul, also abortion on: April 10, 2015, 12:03:10 PM

Rand belongs to a groups that is more supportive of second amendment rights than the NRA and the NRA doesn't like the competition to their monopoly over money, members and power. (?)  He isn't going to lose gun owner votes based on that.

His standoff with this powerful group of mostly men refutes the false narrative that he only stands up to females.


The way Rand Paul turned the abortion question back on the liberals was brilliant.  Do you support killing a 7 pound, 8 pound, 9 pound baby that happens to still be in the uterus?

A subtle difference, but the old lingo of talking weeks and trimesters is too abstract where the weight of the baby is something every mother, father and reader of a successful birth announcement can relate to.  My daughter was 7 pounds.  The average in the US is 7.5 pounds.  Yes, she had a beating heart, pain receptors and all those things in place when she was born, and also had all that the moment before she was born.

The left has had this debate framed on other extreme, what to do with pregnancies from rape and incest which are not national issues in any way.  They won some key elections by watching conservatives slip and fall in that.  Yet the left supports policies on the other extreme far beyond what voters support.  Not just this but support for killing the baby after a botched abortion. 

The 7 pound baby question hits that head on.  If we are going to find middle ground for public policy, it will not come by either forcing rape victims to carry the rapist's child or by striking down all protections for innocent, unborn human life.
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential Carly Fiorina interview on: April 10, 2015, 12:57:26 AM

She is WAY better at this than I expected.  I wouldn't be surprised if she moves up to a top tier candidate during the process.  She would make a great VP choice, but also would be a better top of the ticket candidate and better President than Hillary.

There's a transcript at the link, but I would recommend hearing the audio link.  I would prefer to see it, but this is a radio interview.  She doesn't exude excitement but sounds thoughtful, intelligent, knowledgeable, well-prepared and experienced.

My take at this point is that she was too conservative for California so she didn't know how to present herself to a far left state.  She seems more comfortable competing for the Republican nomination and taking on Pres. Obama and Hillary Clinton.

183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness and Google, Crony Governmentism on: April 08, 2015, 10:56:41 PM
Some real interesting nuggets in that Google piece , , ,  angry

Posting in more detail.  Do we go from this - to Clinton Corp where everything is for sale including the Lincoln bedroom?

[The award might be satire, but the rest is factual.]
Google Announces It’s 2015 Employee of the Year…Barack Obama
march 29, 2015

After months of searching, Google has finally been able to definitively honor the employee that has done the most for them.  He’s a middle level executive with few skills and less ambition, but still, he has contributed more to the wealth of Google than any other employee they have.  Even though he is next to worthless for nearly 315 million Americans, he has always delivered for Google and Google has always delivered for him

In 2008 and 2012, Google gave Obama more money than anyone but Microsoft.  When the Obamacare exchange was attacked by gremlins and goblins, it was Google that stepped forward and rid the website of the pests.  Google’s CEO was very active in Obama’s reelection campaign and was even at Obama’s headquarters on election day, helping to get out the vote.  David Plouffe, one of Obama’s closest election advisers said:

“On Election Night [Schmidt] was in our boiler room in Chicago.”

Plouffe went on to tell about other help Schmidt gave them saying:

{Schmidt}  “helped recruit talent, choose technology and coach the campaign manager, Jim Messina, on the finer points of leading a large organization.”

The relationship hasn’t been all one sided.  Unlike his Nobel prize and the presidency, Obama has actually earned this.  In 2012 career employees of the FTC wanted to bring Google up on abusive business practices and other infractions of federal law, when suddenly the word came down that the FTC was dropping the investigation over the objections of the investigators, who had gathered evidence against Google.  The FTC decided that owning 67% of the market share and 83% of the mobile share was not a monopoly….much.

Obama’s White House entertained Google executives and lobbyists a total of 230 times, or about once a week.  And what were they pressing for?  Net neutrality, aided by groups funded by George Soros and the Ford Foundation, to the tune of 196 million dollars.  Title II was added to the net neutrality regulations at the request of Google, who knew that the ISP’s would need to be classified as a public utility in order to get it to stand up.

Just days before the regulations were announced, Google read the regulations (No copies were provided to congress, but Google got one) and found 15 pages that they didn’t like, so they had to wait until the FTC removed the pages Google found inconvenient.  Google now stands to make tens of billions in new revenue every year thanks to net neutrality.

Lest you think this ends the unholy partnership, you’re wrong.  As the undisputed king of internet searches, Google has decided to jury rig their search in order to benefit democrats, whom they will need to make sure net neutrality holds up in the future.  They have come up with a plan to try to insure democrats win the 2016 election.  They are developing and will soon put into practice a new system for deciding which articles appear first in the searches.

The new criteria is truth.  And guess who decides what the truth is?  Google.
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs, spending, deficit... on: April 08, 2015, 03:32:18 PM
We used to have a dissident County Commissioner who gave out the equivalent of Former Sen Proxmire's Golden Fleece awards for outrageous uses of wasted taxpayer money.  He point out things like this and say, don't tell me we don't have enough money!  This program below isn't what is breaking our budget, but letting the government get SO big that this sort of thing can happen is exactly what bankrupts us.

Puerto Ricans [in Spanish speaking Puerto Rico] Getting Disability Checks [from Uncle Sam] Because They Don't Speak English

Is not knowing how to speak English a disability? According to the Social Security administration, it can be.

In fact, it's even a disability in Puerto Rico, where 84% of the population doesn't speak English "very well," and where Spanish is one of the official languages.

That's the finding of an Inspector General report, which said that from 2011 to 2013... Puerto Ricans were deemed eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits because they spoke only Spanish.

In one case cited by the IG, a 50-year-old dental assistant who claimed she suffered depression and back pain was approved for Social Security Disability Insurance, even though she was well enough to perform light work, because she wasn't fluent in English.
The IG's office says it couldn't get a definitive number on how many Puerto Ricans made it on disability using this excuse, because the Social Security Administration "lacked sufficient management information" to provide it.

185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lawrence Tribe Rips His Glibness on: April 08, 2015, 01:23:04 PM
One of Obama's Harvard professors likened the president's climate change policies to 'burning the Constitution'

"EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts — all at once," Tribe insisted. "Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy."

186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 08, 2015, 01:13:39 PM
Someday it will turn out that the bears that were wrong all this time will eventually be right.
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary likely hacked by Russian, Chinese, et al on: April 08, 2015, 01:00:53 PM
Yes.  Either she was easily hacked by all the world's hackers in this post-Snowden age, or else they all suffer from a deplorable lack of curiosity.  Wouldn't the hacks include the repeated requests for additional security from the murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens?  We never hear that angle in the story.  Were the militants in Benghazi reading the pleas for help that Hillary didn't have time for?

The lie that there was no security breach because the building was guarded might be her biggest blunder ever.  That kind of buffoonery is the most persuasive evidence yet that she is not capable of holding higher trust or responsibility.

Note that she said that she SENT nothing CLASSIFIED through her private, unsecured server.  There are (at least) two big flaws in that claim.  RECEIVING classified material is an equally serious breach.  Given the way she worded it and that she is a Clinton, we can assume that happened.  Secondly, security experts use the word SENSITIVE information rather than the narrower term 'classified'.  Everything a Secretary of State sends and receives through emails that is not immediately made public is sensitive information, including her travel schedules, agenda, results of meetings and all correspondence.

Who did she correspond with?  Her department, the President, his chief of staff, the Defense Secretary, CIA, the DIA, Secret Service, foreign leaders, their staffs?  Doesn't the easy hack into her email help the hacker get into the other parties' systems too?  Including the secure system she was supposed to be using?!

The only, sad consolation is that since we know they weren't doing anything over her tenure to enhance our nation's security, more likely the hacks will expose her own wrongdoing in the Clinton money operation.
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: April 07, 2015, 02:27:15 PM
On the Ted Cruz thread, George Will observes correctly that we need someone who can break the electoral ice.  The question is not who is most conservative but who reaches out best from the conservative side to draw new people in?
Bill Clinton, according to the Times, views [Jeb] Bush — as well as Florida senator Marco Rubio — as the most daunting GOP challenger to his wife.

Of those two, the Bush surname helps Hillary to neutralize Clinton fatigue, and Jeb would have more trouble getting the base to turn out.
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Lacrosse coach fired on: April 07, 2015, 10:56:11 AM

He reposted someone else's letter he thought was interesting for comment on his facebook page and lost his job for that?!  Most of the facts in the letter were true.  Part of it was opinion.  Formerly called free speech.  Now, very expensive speech! 
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Forbes praises Obamacare on: April 07, 2015, 10:32:30 AM

Lol.  Not exactly Forbes the conservative, but a writer found a sentence regarding jobs in the health sector that didn't mention the anti-job effect of two dozen tax increases within Obamacare, the loss of full time jobs elsewhere, the shift from full time to part time work, the stampede of working age adults leaving the work force, the permanent loss of trillions of dollars of GDP or the epidemic of people going on food stamps and permanent disability.  The article admits the oddity of finding a sentence in a report like not also pointing out the economic damages of Obamacare and other Obama policies.

84% of Obamacare enrollees are on government subsidy.  We already had free healthcare for the poor.  Obamacare is a welfare dependency program for people who were once self sufficient and middle class. As Elizabeth Warren would say, good for them.  (Really it isn't.)  Shifting of resources was bound to occur in a trillion dollar program but no jobs and no wealth is created by robbing Peter to pay Paul.

From the article:  The health care industry added 22,000 jobs last month, which was about on par with February totals for health services jobs, according to the jobs report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That statistic counts part time workers at minimum wage with no benefits on an equal footing with doctors leaving their practices.  Some economic measure!

This was in Forbes too:  Worst recovery since WWII.  " of about 10 million missing jobs."

The unemployment rate today is 9.8% calculated at the workforce participation rate we had when Barack Obama was first inaugurated.  The median wage is up by zero and income inequality is widening.  The growth rate for all of last year was a miserable 2.2% and Q1 2015 was even worse.  You have to be a blindfolded liberal or First Trust economist to see any of this as positive economic news for Main Street America.
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: April 06, 2015, 01:34:20 PM
Interesting to see that Stratfor also recognizes the defect of needing continuing cooperation from Russia and China on our side, who are not at all on our side, in this flawed framework. - 5 years before it happened.

"Iraq, not nuclear weapons, is the fundamental issue between Iran and the United States."

I would hope this is not true.  (Note: That was 5 years ago.)  The conflict in Yemen is Iran-backed.  Terrorists attacking Israel are Iran-backed.  To say having nuclear weapons is a game changer in all these places, Israel, Syria, Saudi, Yemen, Iraq, Iran and more is an understatement.

"Fifth, it must prevent an Israeli strike on Iran for the same reasons it must avoid a strike itself, as the day after any Israeli strike will be left to the United States to manage."

Again note that was 5 years ago.  It wouldn't be my objective then or now to stop Israel from striking nuclear sites in Iran, though most certainly that is the Obama objective of having us all see these phony diplomats engaging in Switzerland, or wherever this is.  The aftermath of a successful strike would be Iran losing a facility, Arab nations silently applauding, a UN PR mess and everyone including Obama still committed to destroying Israel.

"Now consider the Iranian interest. First, it must guarantee regime survival. It sees the United States as dangerous and unpredictable. In less than 10 years, it has found itself with American troops on both its eastern and western borders."

Again, 5 years elapsed.  The US is not a threat to Iran anymore, at least until after the next election.  The US is now an advocate for Iran!  ISIS is now the threat.  Also sanctions and the collapse of oil prices threaten the future of the regime.  These economic facts bring a horrible regime to its knees and we can't wait to jump in and bail them out of it. 

I also disagree with this:

"The United States did not push into Iraq in 1991 because it did not want to upset the regional balance of power by creating a vacuum in Iraq."

The US did not push further and topple the Saddam-Iraq regime because our mandate was limited by the agreements we made in order to form a large, multinational coalition.  The benefits of having such a broad coalition came with limitations as well.  The reason given by Stratfor above might also have been true but didn't matter because of promises and limitations already agreed to limited a further move that in hindsight should perhaps have been taken.  Now our "coalition partners" include Russia and China with the limits they impose not based on facts or our best interests.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What I would say to the Israeli people is ... that there is no formula, there is no option, to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon that will be more effective than the diplomatic initiative and framework that we put forward — and that’s demonstrable.”    - Osirak?

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

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

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

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

Not asked and not answered:  Why does oil-rich Iran need nuclear facilities for "peaceful energy production" when the US and allies do not?
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 06, 2015, 10:46:03 AM
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U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 73 › § 1519
18 U.S. Code § 1519 - Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

It's okay, we know the pattern.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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