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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 15, 2014, 01:34:28 PM
Doug:
The piece criticizing Paul's NSA lawsuit makes reasonable points, albeit in a somewhat hyperventilated manner IMHO.  I get the point over who owns the phone company records, but it seems to me a reasoned argument can be that the understanding of the fourth included the notion that people's mail and to whom it was mailed was private-- the possibility of keeping track was not even on the radar screen (because , , , radar screens did not exist  cheesy)

Agree. 

There is a point to be made for privacy, and there is a point to be made for security.  I am a huge advocate and defender of privacy (as are you!).  I have asked on the forum for words that describe the accepted, unenumerated right of privacy.  I don't believe that has been answered.  I think this is more a question for public policy than for a constitutional, judicial challenge.  As you say, it involves things not contemplated at the framing.  As Bigdog says, there are examples where conservatives also want to expand the words and meaning of the framers to fit their needs; this is one.  Instead of doing that, why not fully contemplate it now and write and pass an amendment, instead of pretending the words and meaning already address this.
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 15, 2014, 12:04:55 PM
ccp,  I like Rand Paul too.  I disagree with him in two important issue areas but he is a great champion of liberty and smaller government.  His willingness to stand up to his own party is a good trait.  I don't see him as the President / Commander in Chief, but he most certainly is a leader.  Personally I hope he puts most of his energy into the issues that unite us.  Same for the others.
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media: CBS Blames Global Warming for Bad Winter on: February 15, 2014, 11:52:46 AM
You knew this was coming. 

During the February 13 broadcast of CBS This Morning, host Charlie Rose and his guest turned to the topic of this year's harsh winter, calling the extreme cold an example of global warming.
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/02/13/Horrible-Winter-CBS-Says-Blame-Global-Warming

Did they mention no warming in the last 17 years, proving all alarmist models that rely on continuously compounding acceleration to make their conclusions are wrong.

I haven't heard yet if the southwest drought caused 20 feet of snow so far in Steamboat, upstream in the Colorado River basin.

What happened to reporters just reporting the news.  Or why not use an honest moniker: CBS - Agenda Driven News
154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul's lawsuit on: February 15, 2014, 10:13:29 AM
National Review writer and former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy rips Rand Paul pretty badly on this.  Contrary opinions encouraged.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371201/rand-pauls-frivolous-nsa-lawsuit-andrew-c-mccarthy
 February 15, 2014 4:00 AM
Rand Paul’s Frivolous NSA Lawsuit
The claim that metadata collection runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment is specious.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
...
let’s say Senator Paul and I rob a bank together and we stash the money in my house. If the police break down my door without a warrant and seize the cash, prosecutors will not be permitted to use it as evidence against me because their trespass on my property violates my Fourth Amendment rights. But the courts will allow prosecutors to use the money as evidence against Senator Paul. The Fourth Amendment, even as expanded, gives him no property interest and no expectation of privacy in my home and the items located there, even if he has a significant personal interest in those items.
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Economics: BofA to Cut 450 More Mortgage Jobs as Loan Demand Declines on: February 15, 2014, 10:04:20 AM
BofA Said to Cut 450 More Mortgage Jobs as Loan Demand Declines
http://www.moneynews.com/Companies/job-cuts-loan-demand/2014/02/13/id/552678
Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. lender, is cutting 450 mortgage jobs from West Coast offices after new loans fell short of internal forecasts
Plowhorse beginning to trot...
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Confuses Declaration of Independence with Constitution on: February 15, 2014, 09:55:11 AM
Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Confuses Declaration of Independence with Constitution

"Our Constitution declares that 'all men' are created equal. Surely this means all of us," Judge Allen wrote on the first page of her opinion. That line opens the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and appears nowhere in the Constitution.

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/edva-ssm-opinion.pdf

Wright Allen was appointed to the federal bench by President Obama.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-virginia-gay-marriage-20140213,0,5553408.story

The Virginia decision follows a declaration from Attorney General Eric Holder that the federal government will begin to expand same-sex marriage rights from the top down by recognizing marriages between same-sex couples on a federal level that invalidates the ability of states that ban such rights. Privileges included in this expansion by the federal government would include spousal privilege in a courtroom and the right to jointly file for bankruptcy.
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/14/VA-Same-Sex-Marriage-Ruling-Confuses-Declaration-Of-Independence-With-Constitution

How many branches of government do they control?

157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 15, 2014, 09:47:55 AM
Pres to link California drought to climate change
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/14/obama-to-link-california-drought-to-climate-change/?intcmp=latestnews

Breitbart links drought trip to golf:
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/14/Golf-Not-Drought-is-Bringing-Obama-to-California

Biden: Be Optimistic on State of the Nation ‘In Spite of Who’s President’
http://m.cnsnews.com/news/article/eric-scheiner/biden-be-optimistic-state-nation-spite-who-s-president

While we debate income inequality, Michelle flaunts $12,000 dress:
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/02/14/the-irony-of-michelle-obamas-10000-dress-n1795008
The cost of her dress is more than the average household income worldwide.
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Congressional races, Republicans now lead in Michigan on: February 14, 2014, 10:13:11 PM
Poll Shows Republican Terri Lynn Land Leading Michigan Senate Race 
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/198400-poll-finds-gop-maintains-lead-in-michigan-senate-race
http://www.rttnews.com/2270231/poll-shows-republican-terri-lynn-land-leading-michigan-senate-race.aspx?type=glpn

A victory for the Republican candidate in Michigan could go a long way in the GOP's efforts to retake control of the Senate in 2014.

The poll also showed that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder maintains an eight-point lead over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer. 

A negative assessment of President Obama's job performance may be weighing on the Democratic candidates, as 61 percent of likely Michigan voters said they would give the president a negative rating.
-------------------

Obama carried Michigan in 2008 by 17 points.  The times they are a changin'


159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: February 14, 2014, 09:49:56 PM
That was not much of a political loss if Republicans are now contending or leading in most key races.  It was far less of a loss than not taking a stand, in my view.  And this* is different.  He didn't try to shut down the government; he called for a vote that exposed which Republicans will cave first when Democrats play tough. Some voters want to know that.  'Worst' case, which wasn't going to happen, was that if congress failed have to raise the debt ceiling we would have a balanced budget.  We would have to live within our means, with our tax rates all freshly raised and 5 years of wesbury-style, galloping growth behind us out of a recession.  Shouldn't we have a balanced budget by now?  And then the Democrats could run on Obamacare, new deficit spending, and the great economy.

We can move this to 'the way forward', but once in a while we should ask ourselves, what are we for, and when are we for it.  We are for greater liberties, which means smaller government and more spending restraint - everyday of the year, not just in ads and campaigns.  The ongoing debt ceiling problem is a reminder of the larger problems, runaway spending and unfunded liabilities.  You raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending concessions such as entitlement reform.  Or you dissent.  Maybe somebody finds out we are serious.  Instead we funded the largest entitlement ever, they said no concessions whatsoever and we said okay.  It is that strategy that divides the party and the movement, not one Senator calling for the Senate to use Senate rules on a multi-trillion dollar, multi-generational question.


"Treasury secretary: Debt limit rise will promote economic growth"  [And 67 Senators agree?]  Lew said the administration is "eager to continue to partner with Congress on these efforts on behalf of the American people."  [Did George Orwell write this?]
* http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/02/12/Cruz-vows-to-force-60-votes-on-debt-ceiling/UPI-72011392183960/

"In threatening a filibuster, Cruz had argued Republicans should extract spending cuts from Democrats and the White House"  - 'Wacko bird' outrageous!
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care: BTW, How's Romneycare doing? on: February 14, 2014, 08:13:09 PM
When did we know he wasn't the best person to stop Obamacare?

"Frustration with the broken Massachusetts Health Connector website and the paperwork backlog was evident Thursday, when Jean Yang, the agency’s executive director, wept as she told the [Health] Connector board how demoralized her staff is.

“These people came here to lead and innovate, and instead they’re doing manual workarounds,” Yang said. “And they are embarrassed to tell friends and family that they work for the Health Connector,” once considered a national model."

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/02/14/health-connector-has-backlog-paper-insurance-applications/n8IEAFGvEnlQPvd4NzsYlJ/story.html

Boston Globe: 50,000 filings for health coverage in limbo
State may need months to process paper applications
By Michael Levenson    February 14, 2014

“The market cannot wait and people need help,” said Health Connector head Jean Yang.

About 50,000 health insurance applications, many filed by low-income Massachusetts residents, have yet to be processed by the state’s troubled insurance marketplace, officials disclosed Thursday, and it may take months to get all these people enrolled in subsidized plans.

For several months, residents have been encouraged to file old-fashioned paper applications because the state’s insurance website has been hobbled by error messages and has crashed frequently since it was revamped in October to comply with the more complex requirements of the federal health care law.

Frustration with the broken Massachusetts Health Connector website and the paperwork backlog was evident Thursday, when Jean Yang, the agency’s executive director, wept as she told the Connector board how demoralized her staff is.

“These people came here to lead and innovate, and instead they’re doing manual workarounds,” Yang said. “And they are embarrassed to tell friends and family that they work for the Health Connector,” once considered a national model.

She made clear that she was not looking for sympathy.

“We have to work harder,” she said. “That means I need to tell the staff members they’re not doing a good enough job, and I’m telling them that, even though they have been doing this tirelessly for months and they’re exhausted.”

Sarah Iselin, a health insurance executive whom Governor Deval Patrick last week put in charge of fixing the website, said the state is bringing in 300 people from Optum, a private contractor, to process the applications. The state is also working to develop a faster data-entry system, though that task alone could take three weeks, she said.

Currently, it takes two hours to enter each application into a computer database. Each application may represent a family or an individual.

“We’ve got to catch up,” Iselin said at the Connector board meeting. “That’s priority number one.”

The website was working smoothly until it was overhauled by the tech firm CGI in a botched attempt to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. Since then, the state has resorted to off-line workarounds and has put many people into temporary health plans. But an unknown number of other people may be uninsured because their applications have sat untouched.

Yang’s unusual display of emotion at a meeting normally focused on dry policy discussions came a day after she, Iselin, and other state health insurance officials were grilled by angry legislators who complained bitterly that many of their constituents have been unable to find coverage.

Yang said those concerns have been driving her and her staff to lose sleep. “The market cannot wait, and people need help,” she said. “That’s what keeps me up at night.”

Dolores L. Mitchell, a Connector board member, thanked Yang.

“A shaky voice every now and then sends a powerful message about how much you care,” Mitchell told her. “You’re going to get it right. I know you are.”

Despite the many problems, officials said they had received some encouraging news: On Wednesday night, federal officials granted a three-month extension for 124,000 people with subsidized health insurance who were set to lose their coverage on March 31 because it did not comply with the federal law.

The state had requested a six-month extension, but Iselin said the three months will give the state extra time to enroll those people in plans of their choosing.

Iselin said another 32,000 people with insurance that is not subsidized and whose coverage expires March 31 are being mailed paper forms that will allow them to “sign, pay, and enroll” in plans that comply with the federal law, without having to use the faulty website.

The state has also opened a command center in Quincy where state Medicaid officials and Connector staff are working with CGI and Optum, which was hired to make fixes. Iselin said staff are there around the clock, although she could not say when the website will be operating properly.

Optum is being paid $9.8 million for the first month of services, but is expected to work through the end of the year.

“There’s clearly been a failure of the actual coding of this beast,” said Jonathan Gruber, a Connector board member and MIT economist.

Board members floated the idea of hiring a “dream team” of computer programmers to help Optum, with the promise that they would be showered with praise for their work.

Connector staff said they would explore the idea, which is based on last year’s “tech surge,” when the Obama administration enlisted engineers from Google and other firms to help Optum repair the troubled HealthCare.gov website.

In the meantime, the Connector is operating a call center with 270 staff members fielding questions about insurance coverage from anxious residents, up from 65 several weeks ago.

“We know we’re not where we need to be,” Iselin said. “We’re disappointed to be in this position. And we are determined and committed to fixing it.”
161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz - Holding his own party accountable on: February 14, 2014, 05:44:25 PM
I get all that, but , , , reality check please.    "Intelligence is the amount of time it takes to forget a lesson."   What happened a few months ago?  We shouldn't have lost that, but we did, and did so quite badly.

I am not in full agreement as to what happened, didn't happen or should have happened a few months ago.

Republicans held the power of the purse, but failed to come together and exercise that responsibility.  Instead they funded and implemented Obamacare while knowing they were elected to stop it, knowing it would do irreparable harm to our country and knowing it will be nearly impossible to fully repeal once implemented.

We had a 16 day, 17% federal government employee paid vacation shutdown, that polled badly, where we clarified to the nation that Democrats would do anything to get this terrible program implemented, we clarified that Obama and the Democrats would not negotiate - for things they now have already conceded, and we clarified that Republicans all oppose it - just as the nation learned of its catastrophic, systemic defects and failure.  Now, a few months later, Republicans are poised to gain in the House and compete for about 9 additional Senate seats while Democrats are running scared, distancing, delaying and hiding from the President and his signature program.  The lesson from this is what?

Cruz has merely caused Republicans to put votes down to authorize the status quo - more government borrowing as we end the 'sequester' and enter our multi-trillion-dollar health insurance company bailout future.  Let Representatives and Senators on both sides cast votes and explain them to their constituents.  What's wrong about that?

We have seen the other side of the coin.  The sane, reasonable, sensible Republicans (who call Cruz a looney bird) say lay low, win the next election, and then one more two years later, all three chambers, let this massive dependency program get fully entrenched - and repeal it later. Much later.  Really?  In 11 months it will still be vetoed.  In three years, then we really mean it? 

Look back to the last time go-along, get-along Republicans controlled all chambers, 2003-2006.  We had a surge of economic growth based on tax rate cuts.  We had federal tax revenues and employment surging making it  possible to get more and more people off of the dependency of government.  Did we?  No.  Why not?  Because no one like Ted Cruz stepped forward to hold his own party accountable.
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / war on the rule of law, Ben Carson, family and associates targeted by IRS on: February 14, 2014, 08:56:07 AM
http://www.examiner.com/article/ben-carson-family-and-friends-target-of-irs-harassment-for-criticizing-obama
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-10-03/news/bs-md-ben-carson-irs-20131003_1_irs-audit-irs-controversy-ben-carson

Search NY Times, Wash Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN Huffington Post for this story, "Carson IRS target"...  I don't see it.

1) The president said (joked?) he would target opponents with the IRS.
2) He did exactly that.  Lead officials have taken the fifth.  Stonewall and coverup is in full force.  Stench path leads to the top.
3) Critics like D'Souza and Carson feel extreme heat.
4) Very funny? No. These are Nixonian, Soviet, Nazi, treason, impeachment, take up arms level accusations, if valid.
5) Real consequences: Opponents were prevented from legally organizing, while the administration co-mingled private government data with campaign data 'mining' to get out the vote and win the last election. Fun to criticize anonymously, but I would not consider putting my name out publicly for enemies list scrutiny.  And I am a law abiding citizen!

Ben Carson, family and friends target of IRS harassment for criticizing Obama

Dr. Ben Carson says he's been targeted by IRS for criticizing Obama

February 11, 2014

On Monday, Dr. Benjamin Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said he and his family were targeted by the IRS in retribution for comments critical of Barack Obama, Newsmax reported.

According to Carson, audits and other harassment began in May or June of 2013, just a few months after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Gradually, he added, the harassment expanded to include family members, associates, and his charitable endeavors.

"I’ve been quite -- I would say astonished at the level of hostility that I have encountered," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman.

"The IRS has investigated me. They said, ‘I want to look at your real estate holdings.’ There was nothing there. ‘Well, let’s expand to an entire [year], everything.’ There was nothing there. ‘Let’s do another year.’ Finally, after a few months, they went away. But they’ve come after my family, they’ve come after my friends, they’ve come after associates," he added.
163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dr. Ben Carson on: February 14, 2014, 08:30:26 AM
URL?
Also, please post this in Rule of Law as well.
TIA

http://www.examiner.com/article/ben-carson-family-and-friends-target-of-irs-harassment-for-criticizing-obama
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-10-03/news/bs-md-ben-carson-irs-20131003_1_irs-audit-irs-controversy-ben-carson

Other than the Baltimore Sun link above, home of Johns Hopkins, I have not seen a single MSM reference.  Even if his accusation is unfounded, it is important and deserving of sunlight.

I recall he predicted this would happen.
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market ,investment strategies: Scary Parallel on: February 13, 2014, 10:37:44 AM
Wesbury has been right and we have been wrong.  Anyne can see that.  The charts show that this will just keep going up and up and up.

'I couldn't figure out why the baseball kept getting bigger and bigger and then it hit me.'

165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dr. Ben Carson + family, associates are IRS targets on: February 13, 2014, 10:25:05 AM
Will the mainstream media even touch this?  Every listing for this story on Google is a right wing source.  Is no one besides the targeted offended by the IRS targeting administration opponents?? 

Ben Carson, family and friends target of IRS harassment for criticizing Obama

Dr. Ben Carson says he's been targeted by IRS for criticizing Obama

February 11, 2014

On Monday, Dr. Benjamin Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said he and his family were targeted by the IRS in retribution for comments critical of Barack Obama, Newsmax reported.

According to Carson, audits and other harassment began in May or June of 2013, just a few months after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Gradually, he added, the harassment expanded to include family members, associates, and his charitable endeavors.

"I’ve been quite -- I would say astonished at the level of hostility that I have encountered," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman.

"The IRS has investigated me. They said, ‘I want to look at your real estate holdings.’ There was nothing there. ‘Well, let’s expand to an entire [year], everything.’ There was nothing there. ‘Let’s do another year.’ Finally, after a few months, they went away. But they’ve come after my family, they’ve come after my friends, they’ve come after associates," he added.
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz - Power of the purse on: February 13, 2014, 10:05:14 AM
"Ted Cruz hurts his party by forcing a meaningless debt-ceiling vote."

The WSJ Editorialists rely on their own view that the debt ceiling is meaningless.  They advocate  no debt ceiling.  That is far more controversial!

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304104504579377303355489512?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304104504579377303355489512.html&fpid=2,7,121,122,201,401,641,1009
"Repeal the Debt Ceiling"

I disagree.  Raising the debt ceiling is one of the occasions where negotiations can and should take place to control the rate of increases in spending.  That isn't happening, but it should be.

Cruz was holding Republicans to a standard we should hold all politicians; make them cast difficult votes and make them explain their vote.  If they aren't going to control spending now, they can tell us when they will. 

Shouldn't there have been a promise made between the politicians and the electorate last time they upped the debt  limit to come up with a plan to reform entitlements and unfunded liabilities? Shouldn't we require that promise now?  Did we?  No.

Congress has a 12.1% approval rate:  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html  Ted Cruz is wrong to upset this apple cart?  Maybe not.
167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sowell: Super Highway to Serfdom on: February 12, 2014, 10:02:47 PM
"With his decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional, Chief Justice John Roberts turned what F.A. Hayek called "The Road to Serfdom" into a super highway. The government all but owns us now, and can order us to do pretty much whatever it wants us to do."  - Thomas Sowell

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2014/02/11/random-thoughts-n1792776/page/full
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, McClatchy Poll, Feb 2014 on: February 12, 2014, 09:28:43 PM
Being frontrunner too early may be bad luck and lousy timing (Pres. Giuliani?) but I take note that my own favorite , Marco Rubio, is only a point out of first place in the latest poll:  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html
Huckabee 13, Christie 13, Rubio 12, Ryan 9, Rand Paul 9, Jeb Bush 8, Walker 7, Cruz 5. 
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Diss Glibness: 850-calories school lunch limit, 2500 for state dinners on: February 11, 2014, 11:05:54 PM
"From Wisconsin to Kansas, student athletes, in particular, are complaining the 850-calorie lunch limit embodied in nacho plates containing eight tortilla chips just doesn’t provide enough food for their growing, hard-working bodies."
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/2/michelle-obamas-school-lunch-program-leaves-childr/

Calories in each rib eye state dinner with the Marxists from France:  2500 calories.  2800 assuming 2 glasses of red wine.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/11/2500-calorie-state-dinner-set-frances-hollande/
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Warming of the Planet Delayed: Lake Superior freezing over on: February 11, 2014, 10:32:42 PM
It's fun to catch famous people reading the forum.  The Drudge lead now was posted here 3 days ago.  EXPERT PREDICTS COMPLETE FREEZE OF GREAT LAKE

http://www.startribune.com/local/244470191.html
Lake Superior nearing ice-over
February 8, 2014
DULUTH – Ice has overtaken a great swath of Lake Superior’s surface, edging it toward its first complete ice-over since 1996

End of Snow?
Not persuaded at the Pravdas, the NY Times today published "The End of Snow", I kid you not.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-snow.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140207&tntemail0=y&_r=5
The Times found a place in Germany with no snow.  Last week in Colorado we found plenty:

http://www.onthesnow.com/colorado/skireport.html
Up to 140 inches, that's 12 feet of snow.  

Not reported in the Times:
(5 hours ago) DENVER (Reuters)Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an advisory to high-country visitors that avalanche danger is high in the Colorado mountains because of recent heavy snowfalls.
http://news.yahoo.com/skier-killed-colorado-avalanche-tenth-u-death-season-231739214--ski.html;_ylt=AvngQv8CCTSzqV2q_zbhv2DQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTBsbzR0bHJyBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHNlYwNzcg--


171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: February 11, 2014, 10:23:00 AM
ccp,  I'm glad you're on this and I feel your pain. 

We could re-name this thread Clinton-fatigue right now.  That is what will bring them down, not their long, sordid, and often criminal history, true as that is.  A Hillary Presidency isn't exciting to anyone now and she won't be more exciting later when she's front and center on the news every hour.



172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 11, 2014, 09:56:50 AM
Ingraham asks why have borders?
Good question.
Why bother?
Why have a defined "country"?
Why bother?
Why not just an open source country?

Ingraham won this debate, but also she filibustered and cut off Will's points.

Both sides don't have an answer for their own blind spot.  As you say, are we going to accept having a nation with no borders or sovereignty?  The answer is No.  For the other side, what are we going to do with these people who are here?  Are we going to round them up and send them home as the law requires.  The answer is No.  We aren't and we won't.  So, if not, we can either update our laws or let them remain meaningless and unenforced.

The status quo is amnesty.  The 'reform' proposals all involve some form of amnesty.  More illegals are still coming in at will, contributing little and burdening scarce resources.

.  See VDH yesterday:  http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/immigration-morality-tale/?singlepage=true  

We need a legal immigration system so good that people will accept law enforcement on illegal immigration.

For Dems, the problem is best unsolved, making them undesirable negotiating partners.  R's are divided and waffling, making them lousy negotiating partners.  Public debate on this tears apart the party.  R's didn't do anything about it when they controlled the House, Senate and White House, 2003-2006.  Dems didn't do anything on it when they had control 2009-2010.  No one trusts this President, administration or Justice Department to enforce an old law or a new law.  Maybe Chuck Shumer stumbled close to the truth. Wait until we elect a functional government, hopefully after 2017, and if you have a solution, bring it forward then.


173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: February 10, 2014, 11:13:36 PM
Doug I hear you.
But,
The question is do enough people care?  If they did then why is Hillary ahead in polls.  Yes I know it way early but still..... Someone with her record of lying should be in the cellar.  Not in the penthouse.
I heard Rush for ten minutes today.  He more or less has stopped banging his head against the wall asking how such a person as Hillary is not in the garbage can like Nixon.
He just realized none of this seems to matter.

Of course you are right at this moment.  I am perhaps the only person who holds Hillary and Barack accountable for the economic fall of 2007-2008.  Maybe only me and about two others know President Bill Clinton accomplished NOTHING economically before Newt took congress and he  signed on with their Republican agenda, dumping Hillary and HillaryCare.  Still, what can they say they accomplished when they took control of congress and the country went to hell?  What can they say they accomplished when they took control of foreign policy and the world went to hell?  There isn't going to be Hyde Park 2008 level excitement for this known, dismal commodity.  I guarantee you, she would rather win in 2016 than be a frontrunner now.  I highly doubt she can be both.  Her frontrunner status does not match her lack of curb appeal.  She has a good resume - as to where she has been, not what she has accomplished.  She has top notch name recognition.  Yet she is smart enough to know Hillary fatigue is setting in - even when she is totally silent!

  'I am Sick and Tired'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR3XTOjZPfg  'What Difference Does it Make'.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWRtlPas4ko   Barack eats her debate lunch.
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: February 10, 2014, 12:34:29 PM
The nuclear waste storage problem is one of emotion.  I offer this country my garage to store properly containerized waste in exchange for ownership of its future energy potential.
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Water, regional drought, plentiful elsewhere on: February 10, 2014, 12:26:18 PM
If interested, Lake Superior still has 3-quadrillion gallons of fresh water, a surface area the size of the state of Maine, retention time of 191 years and enough volume to cover North and South America in one foot of water.  Superior has recovered 100% from the "dangerously low" levels of 6 years ago.  http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/superior/facts

People move away from fresh water and then complain about it. 

Vilsack, Sec of Agriculture: “That’s why it’s important for us to take climate change seriously,”

Oh, good grief.
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Growth, Inequality, Redistribution debate on: February 10, 2014, 12:06:28 PM
For anyone interested in the inside-baseball debate of Economics, this is interesting stuff, IMO.  Links are to pdfs.

Greg Mankiw, Chair of the Harvard Economics Dept, who recently wrote, 'Defending the One Percent': http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.27.3.21
From the article: Optimal redistribution centers on the elasticity of labor supply
Using the force of government to seize such a large share of the fruits of someone else’s labor is unjust
No amount of applied econometrics can bridge this philosophical divide.

Redistibutionist Robert Solow, Nobel winner, MIT, takes issue and Mankiw responds:
http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.28.1.243
Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2013-2104
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 10, 2014, 11:28:03 AM
The battle within the conservative movement.  We better find some common ground soon!

http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/09/laura-ingraham-battles-george-will-as-conservative-civil-war-over-immigration-intensifies-video/

Laura Ingraham battles George Will as conservative civil war over immigration intensifies [VIDEO]
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Clinton: Dishonesty and Opportunism, has it ever been any other way? on: February 10, 2014, 11:15:43 AM
Like the Nixon tapes, the “Hillary Papers” — actually the papers of Hillary’s close friend and confidant, the late Diane Blair — tend mainly to confirm what we thought we already knew about a highly public figure who has been in the limelight for decades.

Take, for example, Mrs. Clinton’s reaction to the Lewinsky scandal. Blair wrote this after listening to the First Lady on the subject:

    [Hillary] is not trying to excuse [Bill Clinton]; it was a huge personal lapse. And she is not taking responsibility for it. But, she does say this to put his actions in context. Ever since he took office they’ve been going thru personal tragedy ([the death of] Vince [Foster], her dad, his mom) and immediately all the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them.

In other words, Clinton’s political adversaries — that vast right-wing conspiracy — are partly to blame for his sexual indiscretions. Is anyone surprised that this was her take?

Or consider her stance on “single payer” health insurance. Blair recounts:

    At dinner, [Hillary] to [Bill] at length on the complexities of health care—thinks managed competition a crock; single-payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare.

Yet, as the Washington Free Beacon points out, in an interview with the New York Times when she ran for president in 2008, Clinton said:

    You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single payer system.

Again, is anyone surprised at the dishonesty and opportunism? This, after all, is the same person Robert Gates heard say she opposed the 2007 Iraq surge because she couldn’t let Barack Obama get to her left on the issue. (Note the double cynicism here: if the surge had failed, Clinton wouldn’t have said that her opposition was other than merits-based, and it’s not clear that the statement to the contrary that Gates heard her make was honest).

There’s much more of interest in the Hillary Papers, but the pre-existing record is more damning, as we expect to have many occasions to point out.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/same-old-hillary.php
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: February 10, 2014, 11:04:08 AM
Disagree.  Very much a necessary message IMHO and my respect to RP for "getting it" and making a point of saying it.

I agree with Crafty here.  I don't like group or demographic politics, but that is the game being played.  Better to be in the mix than to lose by default.

Republicans don't need to win 51% or 100% of blacks or Hispanics, but they do need the people who are like minded to feel welcome and join in. 

It is not true that Democrats have the best  policies for 94% of blacks and 73% of Hispanics. 

40 percent of Texas Hispanics identified as conservative.  Only 18 percent claimed to be liberal.  Sixty-eight percent of Texas Hispanics support increasing border security as part of immigration reforms; 10 percent opposed it.  I know they vote Dem, but there is cause for concern in the numbers for Dems as well.  http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/ted-cruz-and-hispanic-vote
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Hillary -Petraeus alliance on: February 10, 2014, 10:34:50 AM
WTF?!?   cry cry cry

Is she attracted to adulterers, lol.  Very strange bedfellows, so to speak.  Hillary is a known commodity, so this tells us more about Gen. Petraeus.  What exactly, I don't know.  He was a brilliant tactician, but also walked into a pretty stupid personal scandal and lost his job and career over it.  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-deemed-petraeus-affair-part-criminal-intel-probe/story?id=17696177  Perhaps they did become friends as she tried to make up for her other friends running "General Betray Us" ads. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CckxcVZpO  Perhaps she would be a stronger President on military matters and foreign affairs than Barack Obama.  She voted for the Iraq war for example.  (In 2016, will America be looking for a hawk or a dove?)

There are zero degrees of separation between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the domestic and economic issues.  They served in the Senate Majority together,starting at 4.6% unemployment as they worked to take this economy down.  

Tell me something, General, where was Hillary Clinton when the 3am phone call came in?  And where were you?!

http://www.ijreview.com/2014/02/112890-benghazi-cover-continues-smoking-gun-former-cia-director-morrell-editing-talking-points/
Hillary Campaign Adviser Lied About CIA's Role Editing Benghazi Talking Points

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/benghazi-cia-libya_n_2062131.html
The Journal's report placed the blame for many of the missteps in Benghazi specifically on CIA director David Petraeus
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: February 08, 2014, 11:40:33 AM
That helps.  Citations, especially on the net trend over time, would be wonderful.



As stated previously, this is not 'education', this is federal bureaucracy.  Education is funded at the state and local level.

"The Department of Education, a 4,200-person agency, has enjoyed dramatic funding increases year after year since its creation over three decades ago. The President’s FY 2013 budget request includes a 2.5 percent increase (over 2012 levels) for the Department of Education—the largest increase for any domestic agency in the proposed budget. But nearly a half century of ever-increasing federal education spending and control has failed to improve academic outcomes. The bloated bureaucracy has added layer upon layer of red tape on states and school districts, requiring school leaders to demonstrate compliance with more than 150 federal education programs."
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/04/obamas-2013-education-budget-and-blueprint-a-costly-expansion-of-federal-control

Also please see this chart.
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year_spending_2014USbn_15bs2n_20#usgs302
Click on current year, click on 5 years past, etc.  Education spending is up 42% in 10 years, in spite of budget woes.  Test scores remain "utterly stagnant" over the same time period: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/us-test-scores_n_4374075.html

Local examples (MN):
Minneapolis Public Schools, per student spending $20,911, Graduation Rate: 55.1%
Minnetonka Public Schools, Per student spending: $9,579,  Graduation Rate: 93.7%
Edina Public Schools, Per-Pupil Spending: $9,219; Graduation Rate: 94.1%
http://www.localschooldirectory.com/public-school/45651/MN
http://www.better-ed.org/20911-minneapolis-public-schools-avg-spending-student
http://www.localschooldirectory.com/public-school/45623/MN

Money has an inverse relationship with results.  There could be other factors involved...
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Income Inequality and Income Mobility on: February 08, 2014, 10:50:19 AM
I am sorry to inform President Obama and his team of pretend economists that inequality and specifically the rich getting richer does not correspond with the poor getting poorer or having fewer opportunities to move up.  It simply isn't true.

http://www.economics21.org/commentary/great-gastby-curve-revisited-part-1
"Neither measure of inequality nor the size-of-middle-class measure has a correlation with any of the mobility measures that is statistically different from zero."

http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/288748/guest-post-scott-winship-offers-his-closing-argument-great-gatsby-curve-wonk-fight-201
http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~lkenwor/2013thedangeroffrontloadingincomeinequality.pdf
http://www.russellsage.org/sites/all/files/Bloome%20Inequality%20&%20mobility%20April%202013.pdf
183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Warming of the Planet Delayed: Lake Superior freezing over on: February 08, 2014, 10:13:58 AM
http://www.startribune.com/local/244470191.html
Lake Superior nearing ice-over
February 8, 2014

DULUTH – Ice has overtaken a great swath of Lake Superior’s surface, edging it toward its first complete ice-over since 1996 and worrying the shipping industry.
...

http://www.startribune.com/galleries/243389031.html
Ice caves on Apostle Islands
February 3, 2014

It's been 5 years since the ice has frozen along the south shore of Lake Superior, creating access to the wonders of the Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Over the weekend over 8,000 people made the pilgrimage, a mile walk along the frozen shore, to witness and photograph the crystal wonders of the caves.

184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care, workers will work less on: February 08, 2014, 10:05:32 AM
Is this what Nancy Pelosi meant by have to pass it to find out what's in it?  Why wasn't an honest and dynamic assessment of its impact a requirement for passage?

 From the Congressional Budget Office:  http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45010-Outlook2014.pdf

    CBO estimates that the ACA [Affordable Care Act] will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.

Greg Mankiw, Harvard:  http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2014/02/sentence-of-day.html
Implicit in this estimate are elasticities that measure how much people respond to incentives.  My sense is that CBO is typically conservative when it come to gauging these incentives effects.  So I would take their estimate of the impact on hours worked as a lower bound. The actual figure (of jobs and work lost) may be higher (than 2.5 million).

Perfect leftism.  We will achieve prosperity by having fewer workers work shorter hours at a lower wage rate.

Who knew this would happen (in 2009)?  

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/business/economy/01view.html?_r=0
The signature domestic issue in President Obama’s first year in office — health care reform — is shaping up to be the antithesis of President Reagan’s supply-side economics.  The starting point for Ronald Reagan was the idea that people respond to incentives. ... President Obama has said he wants to raise marginal tax rates on high-income taxpayers. Yet under his policies, the largest increases in marginal tax rates may well apply not to the rich but to millions of middle-class families. These increases would not show up explicitly in the tax code but, rather, implicitly as part of health care reform.

One might hope that such a large climb in marginal rates is a bug in the Senate Finance bill (2009, which became the ACA), one that could be fixed before the legislation became law. But there is no simple fix. Higher marginal tax rates are an integral part of the Obama health plan.

Health reformers start with the problem that some people are expensive to insure, because of pre-existing health conditions. Their solution is to require insurers to sell insurance to everyone (a policy called guaranteed issue) at the same price (called community rating).

This solution, however, causes another problem. For healthy people, insurance is now a bad bet. A person without significant medical needs has an incentive to wait — to buy insurance later if and when he gets sick, a decision that raises the cost of insurance for everyone else. This problem, according to the reformers, calls for another solution: a mandate requiring people to buy health insurance.

But this mandate leads to yet another problem. Requiring an expensive purchase like health insurance can be onerous for low-income families. So the health reformers offer subsidies.

Which brings us back to marginal tax rates. If large health insurance subsidies were offered to all Americans, regardless of income, the program’s cost would be exorbitant, requiring substantial increases in explicit taxes. So, instead, the subsidies are phased out as income rises. As a result, we get implicit marginal rates like those in the Senate Finance bill [ACA].  - Greg Mankiw, NY Times, Oct 31, 2009
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Marginal tax rates including forgone subsidies on: February 08, 2014, 08:42:23 AM
Marginal tax rates for Heads of Households and spouses with median earnings potential including forgone subsidies.

Note that the beginning of 2007 was when unemployment was at its low point (and when Democrats took control of Congress).



Tax something more, work in this case, and you will get less of it.
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Redistribution Recession:How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Econom on: February 08, 2014, 08:40:47 AM
 The Redistribution Recession:How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy
(bringing a couple of posts over here by request)
3rd post regarding economist Casey Mulligan, someone getting it right.  Buy his book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Redistribution-Recession-Distortions-Contracted/dp/0199942218

The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy Hardcover
by Casey B. Mulligan

Redistribution, or subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor, unemployed, and financially distressed, have changed in many ways since the onset of the recent financial crisis. The unemployed, for instance, can collect benefits longer and can receive bonuses, health subsidies, and tax deductions, and millions more people have became eligible for food stamps.

Economist Casey B. Mulligan argues that while many of these changes were intended to help people endure economic events and boost the economy, they had the unintended consequence of deepening-if not causing-the recession. By dulling incentives for people to maintain their own living standards, redistribution created employment losses according to age, skill, and family composition. Mulligan explains how elevated tax rates and binding minimum-wage laws reduced labor usage, consumption, and investment, and how they increased labor productivity. He points to entire industries that slashed payrolls while experiencing little or no decline in production or revenue, documenting the disconnect between employment and production that occurred during the recession. The book provides an authoritative, comprehensive economic analysis of the marginal tax rates implicit in public and private sector subsidy programs, and uses quantitative measures of incentives to work and their changes over time since 2007 to illustrate production and employment patterns. It reveals the startling amount of work incentives eroded by the labyrinth of new and existing social safety net program rules, and, using prior results from labor economics and public finance, estimates that the labor market contracted two to three times more than it would have if redistribution policies had remained constant.

In The Redistribution Recession, Casey B. Mulligan offers hard evidence to contradict the notion that work incentives suddenly stop mattering during a recession or when interest rates approach zero, and offers groundbreaking interpretations and precise explanations of the interplay between unemployment and financial markets.
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Global Inequality is Falling, Matt Ridley, Times of London on: February 08, 2014, 08:36:24 AM
"The category “poorest fifth” may not seem to show much change, but the people in it do. Income mobility is far from dead: 80 per cent of people born in households below the poverty line escape poverty when they reach adulthood."

Most of us think the poor stay poor and inequality is exploding. Wrong. The evidence is that these are times of plenty

The Swedish data impresario Hans Rosling recently asked some British people to estimate the average number of births per woman in Bangladesh and gave them four possible answers. Just 12 per cent got the right answer (2.5), whereas 25 per cent of chimpanzees would have got it right if the answers had been written on four bananas from which they could choose one at random. Remarkably, university-educated Britons did worse, not better, than non-graduates. It is not so much what you don’t know as what you know that isn’t so.

Hold that thought while I introduce you to Tom Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist and former husband of the crime writer Danielle Steel, who stirred up fury in America when he wrote to The Wall Street Journal last month complaining about a rising tide of hatred against the very rich, and indirectly but crassly comparing it to Kristallnacht. A few days later President Obama used his State of the Union speech to take aim at inequality. In this country, too, inequality is one thing that much rankles with most people, as the 50 per cent tax rate row reveals.

The puzzling thing about this is that by any conceivable measure, absolute poverty has fallen dramatically over the past few decades, so why should it matter if the rich get richer? Today’s British poor spend half as much of their income on food and clothing as in the 1950s, while working many fewer hours, living about eight years longer and having access to phones, cars, medicines and budget airlines that would have amazed even the rich in the 1950s.

Moreover, here’s a question I’m willing to bet that chimpanzees would do better than people at: given that inequality has been rising recently in China, India, America and many other countries, is global inequality rising or falling?

The answer: it’s falling and has been for several decades, however you measure it. The reason is that people in poor countries are getting richer more quickly than people in rich countries are getting better off.

That fall in global inequality has accelerated since the start of the financial crisis. As Africa now experiences record rates of growth, the number of people trying to live on $1.25 a day is plummeting fast. Mr Rosling likes to show two charts in his talks: the graph of global income was once a two-humped camel; now it’s a one-humped dromedary, with the vast majority of the world’s people in the middle.

Here’s another question that I fancy the chimps would beat the people at: did poverty and inequality in Britain increase or decrease as a result of the recession? The answer is that both fell. Inequality has fallen to levels not seen since the mid 1990s, as it usually does during recessions, though it is still higher than it was in the 1970s. Meanwhile the Left’s favourite measure of poverty — those earning less than 60 per cent of the median income — has by definition gone down, because median income has gone down. Redefining poverty in this relative (and very inadequate) way has therefore rather backfired.

If you measure consumption inequality, it is far lower than pre-tax income inequality, because the top 40 per cent of earners pay more in than they get out, while the bottom 60 per cent get more out than they pay in. Indeed, in Britain the top 1 per cent generate about 30 per cent of the total income-tax haul. After such redistribution, the richest fifth of the population has only four times as much money to play with as the poorest fifth.

With big increases in housing benefit and other redistributions, consumption inequality may be as low as it has ever been. Add in the value of pensions (including the state pension), free healthcare, the fall in the price of food and clothing relative to wages, plus the dramatic fall in the cost of much technology and it is clear that for most basic needs, the country has never been less poor or less unequal. A smartphone’s search engine may be about as capable as a plutocrat’s full-time secretary was in 1960.

Imagine being told that one of the people in a meeting is a genuine billionaire (I owe this idea to Professor Don Boudreaux). How would you tell which one? His bodyguards, private jets and grouse moors are outside the room; his shirt and jeans are unlikely to give him away (as they would in 1900); his Rolex could be a cheap imitation; his teeth, girth and height are probably unremarkable (unlike in 1800); even his Diet Coke is the same as everybody else’s. Much more than in the past, most inequality in this country these days — though by no means all — is in luxuries, rather than necessities.

Here’s another question where my money is on the chimps: does income generally grow faster for people in the lowest fifth of the population or people in the highest? It’s the lowest, because many of those people are young, low-paid people just starting out on their careers, while many of the richest fifth are older people at the peak of their pay, about to retire. That is to say, the category “poorest fifth” may not seem to show much change, but the people in it do. Income mobility is far from dead: 80 per cent of people born in households below the poverty line escape poverty when they reach adulthood.

(More at: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/article3993472.ece)
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Redistribution Recession:How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy on: February 08, 2014, 07:58:07 AM
3rd post regarding economist Casey Mulligan, someone getting it right.  Buy his book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Redistribution-Recession-Distortions-Contracted/dp/0199942218

The Redistribution Recession: How Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy Hardcover
by Casey B. Mulligan

Redistribution, or subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor, unemployed, and financially distressed, have changed in many ways since the onset of the recent financial crisis. The unemployed, for instance, can collect benefits longer and can receive bonuses, health subsidies, and tax deductions, and millions more people have became eligible for food stamps.

Economist Casey B. Mulligan argues that while many of these changes were intended to help people endure economic events and boost the economy, they had the unintended consequence of deepening-if not causing-the recession. By dulling incentives for people to maintain their own living standards, redistribution created employment losses according to age, skill, and family composition. Mulligan explains how elevated tax rates and binding minimum-wage laws reduced labor usage, consumption, and investment, and how they increased labor productivity. He points to entire industries that slashed payrolls while experiencing little or no decline in production or revenue, documenting the disconnect between employment and production that occurred during the recession. The book provides an authoritative, comprehensive economic analysis of the marginal tax rates implicit in public and private sector subsidy programs, and uses quantitative measures of incentives to work and their changes over time since 2007 to illustrate production and employment patterns. It reveals the startling amount of work incentives eroded by the labyrinth of new and existing social safety net program rules, and, using prior results from labor economics and public finance, estimates that the labor market contracted two to three times more than it would have if redistribution policies had remained constant.

In The Redistribution Recession, Casey B. Mulligan offers hard evidence to contradict the notion that work incentives suddenly stop mattering during a recession or when interest rates approach zero, and offers groundbreaking interpretations and precise explanations of the interplay between unemployment and financial markets.
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Economics of the Affordable Care Act on: February 08, 2014, 07:53:47 AM
WSJ interview with Casey Mulligan, University of Chicago, National Bureau of Economic Research, the economist  who predicted ACA would contract the labor market by 3%.
"Taking away benefits has the same effect as a direct tax, so lower-income workers are discouraged from climbing the income ladder by working harder, logging extra hours, taking a promotion or investing in their future earnings through job training or education."

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304680904579367143880532248?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

The Economist Who Exposed ObamaCare
The Chicago professor examined the law's incentives for the poor not to get a job or work harder, and this week Beltway budgeteers agreed.

In September, two weeks before the Affordable Care Act was due to launch, President Obama declared that "there's no serious evidence that the law . . . is holding back economic growth." As for repealing ObamaCare, he added, "That's not an agenda for economic growth. You're not going to meet an economist who says that that's a number-one priority in terms of boosting growth and jobs in this country—at least not a serious economist."

In a way, Mr. Obama had a point: "Never met him," says economist Casey Mulligan. If the unfamiliarity is mutual, the confusion is all presidential. Mr. Mulligan studies how government choices influence the incentives and rewards for work—and many more people may recognize the University of Chicago professor as a serious economist after this week. That's because, more than anyone, Mr. Mulligan is responsible for the still-raging furor over the Congressional Budget Office's conclusion that ObamaCare will, in fact, harm growth and jobs.
Enlarge Image

Rarely are political tempers so raw over an 11-page appendix to a dense budget projection for the next decade. But then the CBO—Congress's official fiscal scorekeeper, widely revered by Democrats and Republicans alike as the gold standard of economic analysis—reported that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million Americans who were otherwise willing and able to work before ObamaCare will work less or not at all as a result of ObamaCare.

As the CBO admits, that's a "substantially larger" and "considerably higher" subtraction to the labor force than the mere 800,000 the budget office estimated in 2010. The overall level of labor will fall by 1.5% to 2% over the decade, the CBO figures.

Mr. Mulligan's empirical research puts the best estimate of the contraction at 3%. The CBO still has some of the economics wrong, he said in a phone interview Thursday, "but, boy, it's a lot better to be off by a factor of two than a factor of six."

The CBO's intellectual conversion is all the more notable for accepting Mr. Mulligan's premise, which is that what economists call "implicit marginal tax rates" in ObamaCare make work less financially valuable for lower-income Americans. Because the insurance subsidies are tied to income and phase out as cash wages rise, some people will have the incentive to remain poorer in order to continue capturing higher benefits. Another way of putting it is that taking away benefits has the same effect as a direct tax, so lower-income workers are discouraged from climbing the income ladder by working harder, logging extra hours, taking a promotion or investing in their future earnings through job training or education.

The CBO works in mysterious ways, but its commentary and a footnote suggest that two National Bureau of Economic Research papers Mr. Mulligan published last August were "roughly" the most important drivers of this revision to its model. In short, the CBO has pulled this economist's arguments and analysis from the fringes to center of the health-care debate.

For his part, Mr. Mulligan declines to take too much credit. "I'm not an expert in that town, Washington," he says, "but I showed them my work and I know they listened, carefully."

At a February 2013 hearing he pointed out several discrepancies between the CBO's marginal-tax-rate work and its health-care work, and, he says, "That couldn't persist forever. There would have to be a time where they would reconcile those two approaches somehow." More to the point, "I knew eventually it would be acknowledged that when you pay people for being low income you are going to have more low-income people."

Mr. Mulligan thinks the CBO deserves particular credit for learning and then revising the old 800,000 number, not least because so many liberals cited it to dispute the claims of ObamaCare's critics. The new finding might have prompted a debate about the marginal tax rates confronting the poor, but—well, it didn't.

Instead, liberals have turned to claiming that ObamaCare's missing workers will be a gift to society. Since employers aren't cutting jobs per se through layoffs or hourly take-backs, people are merely choosing rationally to supply less labor. Thanks to ObamaCare, we're told, Americans can finally quit the salt mines and blacking factories and retire early, or spend more time with the children, or become artists.

Mr. Mulligan reserves particular scorn for the economists making this "eliminated from the drudgery of labor market" argument, which he views as a form of trahison des clercs. "I don't know what their intentions are," he says, choosing his words carefully, "but it looks like they're trying to leverage the lack of economic education in their audience by making these sorts of points."

A job, Mr. Mulligan explains, "is a transaction between buyers and sellers. When a transaction doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. We know that it doesn't matter on which side of the market you put the disincentives, the results are the same. . . . In this case you're putting an implicit tax on work for households, and employers aren't willing to compensate the households enough so they'll still work." Jobs can be destroyed by sellers (workers) as much as buyers (businesses).

He adds: "I can understand something like cigarettes and people believe that there's too much smoking, so we put a tax on cigarettes, so people smoke less, and we say that's a good thing. OK. But are we saying we were working too much before? Is that the new argument? I mean make up your mind. We've been complaining for six years now that there's not enough work being done. . . . Even before the recession there was too little work in the economy. Now all of a sudden we wake up and say we're glad that people are working less? We're pursuing our dreams?"

The larger betrayal, Mr. Mulligan argues, is that the same economists now praising the great shrinking workforce used to claim that ObamaCare would expand the labor market.

He points to a 2011 letter organized by Harvard's David Cutler and the University of Chicago's Harold Pollack, signed by dozens of left-leaning economists including Nobel laureates, stating "our strong conclusion" that ObamaCare will strengthen the economy and create 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually. (Mr. Cutler has since qualified and walked back some of his claims.)

"Why didn't they say, no, we didn't mean the labor market's going to get bigger. We mean it's going to get smaller in a good way," Mr. Mulligan wonders. "I'm unhappy with that, to be honest, as an American, as an economist. Those kind of conclusions are tarnishing the field of economics, which is a great, maybe the greatest, field. They're sure not making it look good by doing stuff like that."

Mr. Mulligan's investigation into the Affordable Care Act builds on his earlier work studying the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka the stimulus.

The Keynesian economists who dominate Mr. Obama's Washington are preoccupied by demand, and their explanation for persistently high post-recession unemployment is weak demand for goods and thus demand for labor. Mr. Mulligan, by contrast, studies the supply of labor and attributes the state of the economy in large part to the expansion of the entitlement and welfare state, such as the surge in food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid and other safety-net programs. As these benefits were enriched and extended to more people by the stimulus, he argues in his 2012 book "The Redistribution Recession," they were responsible for about half the drop in work hours since 2007, and possibly more.

The nearby chart tracks marginal tax rates over time for nonelderly household heads and spouses with median earnings. This index is a population-weighted average over various ages, jobs, employment decisions like full-time versus part-time. Basically, the chart shows the extra taxes paid and government benefits foregone as a result of earning an extra dollar of income.

The stimulus caused a spike in marginal rates, but at least it was temporary. ObamaCare will bring them permanently into the 47% range, or seven percentage points higher than in early 2007. Mr. Mulligan says the main response to his calculations is that people "didn't realize the cumulative effect of these things together as a package to discourage work."

Mr. Mulligan is uncomfortable speculating about whether the benefits of this shift outweigh the costs. Perhaps the public was willing to trade market efficiency for more income security after the 2008 crisis. "As an economist I can't argue with that," he says. "The thing that I argue with is the denial that there is a trade-off. I argue with the denial that if you pay unemployed people you're going to get more unemployed people. There are consequences of that. That doesn't mean the consequences aren't worth paying. But you can't deny the consequences for the labor market."

One major risk is slower economic growth over time as people leave the workforce and contribute less to national prosperity. Another is that social programs with high marginal rates end up perpetuating the problems they're supposed to be alleviating.

So amid the current wave of liberal ObamaCare denial about these realities, how did Mr. Mulligan end up conducting such "unconventional" research?

"Unconventional?" he asks with more than a little disbelief. "It's not unconventional at all. The critique I get is that it's not complicated enough."

Well, then how come the CBO's adoption of his insights is causing such a ruckus?

"I would phrase the question a little differently," Mr. Mulligan responds, "which is: Why didn't conventional economic analysis make its way to Washington? Why was I the only delivery boy? Why wasn't there a laundry list?" The charitable explanation, he says, is that there was "a general lack of awareness" and economists simply didn't realize everything that government was doing to undermine incentives for work. "You have to dig into it and see it," he explains. "The Affordable Care Act's not going to come and shake you out of your bed and say, 'Look what's in me.' "

Judging by their reaction to the CBO report, the less charitable explanation is that liberals would have preferred that the public never found out.
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 08, 2014, 07:32:15 AM
Marginal tax rates for Heads of Households and spouses with median earnings potential including forgone subsidies.

Note that the beginning of 2007 was when unemployment was at its low point (and when Democrats took control of Congress).



Tax something more, work in this case, and you will get less of it.
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Constitutional Law: The limits of Nullification on: February 08, 2014, 07:21:41 AM
Robert A. Levy, Chairman of Cato, wrote last year on the limits of nullification:

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/yes-states-can-nullify-some-federal-laws-not-all
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/opinion/the-limits-of-nullification.html?_r=0

Are states required to enforce federal laws and enact regulatory programs that Congress mandates? The answer on both counts is “No.”
...

Since[Madison-Marbury], nullification attempts have failed on three occasions: In 1828, South Carolina tried to nullify two national tariffs. President Andrew Jackson proclaimed nullification to be treason; Congress authorized Jackson to send troops, and the state backed down. In 1859, the Supreme Court rejected nullification in Ableman v. Booth.

If a state deems a federal law to be unconstitutional... The remedy is a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the suspect federal regulation or statute.
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: 9 Years after Kelo, Seized Land Is Empty, Legalized Crony Governmentism on: February 07, 2014, 07:56:41 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/370441/nine-years-after-kelo-seized-land-empty-alec-torres

From the article:

Nine years after the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision gutted the right of American property owners to resist eminent-domain seizures, the neighborhood at the center of the case remains a wasteland.

Fort Trumbull in New London, Conn., was bulldozed to fulfill the vision of politicians and developers eager to create a New Urbanist mixed-use “hub” for upscale living in the depressed town near the mouth of Long Island Sound.

But after nearly a decade, the land is nothing but vacant urban prairie. After homeowners were forced off their property for the sake of “economic development,” the city’s original development deal fell apart, and the urban-renewal corporation that ordered the destruction has not found a developer to use the land.

Thank you for the update on this.  This was a travesty before the planned development crashed.  Five U.S. Supreme Court Justices should have been impeached and removed for this.

 
http://www.ij.org/kelo-v-new-london  Susette Kelo house

(From BD's link above)

Pfizer to Leave City That Won Land-Use Case
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/nyregion/13pfizer.html

"Had I known all of what you just told us, I would have voted differently." - Connecticut Justice Richard N. Palmer
http://articles.courant.com/2011-09-18/news/hc-op-justice-palmer-apology-20110918_1_epilogue-justice-palmer-s-susette-kelo
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The decline in numbers of abortions on: February 05, 2014, 09:44:55 PM
It's called the 'Roe effect'.  A lot of the women that would be likely to abort at this point in time were themselves aborted under the rights established in the Roe decision. 
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 03, 2014, 10:08:24 AM
I do not favor Huckabee. I note that Glenn Beck doesn't like him either.

Jindal would be fine with me.
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: February 03, 2014, 09:57:21 AM
My guess is that he refers to cuts to the US Department of Education (bureaucracy), not to education which is funded at the state and local level.

The 'cuts' restore spending to pre-crash levels.
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 02, 2014, 12:22:37 AM
From Crafty's link:  
"The average cost of a hip replacement in the US is $40,364."  
"The same operation in Spain costs an average of $7371."

"I don't have a good concise answer for that , , , and if I can't be concise, do I really understand?"

There are two aspects to this:  Why is healthcare here so expensive, and a specific example is cited of the same procedure performed in two different places.

If the price difference is more than a plane ticket, and the quality, availability, reliability etc. are identical, why would people not just go there?  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/health/for-medical-tourists-simple-math.html?_r=0

Prices are not coming down because there is no competitive market to drive them down, before or after Obamacare.

From the NY Time piece: "hospital charges (for hip replacement) run $65,000, not including the surgeon’s fee".

If you asked the surgeon what exactly he needs in a hospital room to perform a hip replacement, I don't see how it comes to $65,000.  The surgical time for a hip replacement is 25 to 30 minutes.  http://medicine.missouri.edu/ortho/Bal/hip-replacement-basics.html

US heathcare is a cartel, IMHO.  State law (MN) requires all hospitals to be "non-profit" which makes it worse.  Obamacare continues all those problems and adds a plethora more.  Everything we do in terms of public policy and healthcare policy, it seems to me, is designed to make things more expensive.

The non-profit requirement is a joke.  The NFL is a non-profit and the commissioner makes $30 million/yr. http://www.showbiz411.com/2014/01/21/nfl-commish-makes-29-5-mil-a-year-15-times-more-than-tax-free-org-gives-to-charity-more-than-ceos-of-ford-heinz-fedex  Large hospitals take in and disburse hundreds of millions of dollars per year (or more).

Our system is flawed, and the Soviet-style, central-planned model is worse.

I'm sure that still did not answer your question.  But if you look into the Spanish system, I'm sure you will find they use their single payer clout to drive the cost down to only cover the variable cost to build the hip, like Canadians buying US medicines.  That doesn't work for the largest economy in the world because if someone did not pay for the fixed costs and development costs, the products never would be developed.  


197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The D'Souza Indictment and Double Standards... on: January 31, 2014, 11:07:45 AM
Thanks for that, Obj.  This administration makes Nixon with his enemy list look restrained.  D'Souza made a mistake and should pay whatever penalty anyone and everyone else pays for a same or similar mistake.  But the mistake was the campaign law violation, not that he dared to exercise unflattering political speech about this President and this administration.
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential: CNN's S.E. Cupp covers Scott Walker on: January 31, 2014, 10:53:46 AM
I highly recommend this article, and especially for those thinking about not voting because of lousy, muddled choices.  Walker is winning (for Governor) in a state that has not gone Republican since 1984.  He won his state by 7.5% just before Obama won it 7%.  "What we found is, to win the center, which is the key to winning states like Wisconsin, you don't have to move to the center. That's the misnomer [in Washington] that suddenly you've got to change your core principles and move more to the center. It's just the opposite with voters who are independents or swing voters or undecided, persuadable voters. "They want leadership."

On whether Republicans need a woman on the 2016 ticket:  "Susana Martinez has done a wonderful job in a state that's clearly a blue state. Nikki Haley's doing a great job in South Carolina. Mary Fallin is doing a super job out there [in Oklahoma]. So I don't think you have to, but the beauty of any of those three names is that none of them would be token. They'd be three proven reformers and governors."

I think Walker would be a controversial VP pick.  Better at the top of the ticket.  He has moved recently from dark horse to contender for the Republican Presidential nominee.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/30/opinion/cupp-scott-walker-2016/index.html
A Republican with a message for 2016
By S.E. Cupp    Thu January 30, 2014

    S.E. Cupp: Republicans should give Scott Walker a serious look for 2016
    He says the candidate needs to build campaign around reform, not austerity
    Walker says Romney wrongly tried to win by focusing on what's wrong with incumbent
    Wisconsin governor says voters are looking for leaders who have a plan

(CNN) -- "The reason why Republicans I think sometimes get in trouble is ... they talk about cutting things. Too many people in our party talk about austerity and not about reform. There's a difference."

That was what Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker told me this past weekend when I sat down with him at a Washington hotel restaurant to discuss a broad range of topics, including the path forward for the GOP. Whether talking about entitlement reform, food stamps, unemployment benefits or social programs, his one word mantra? Emphasize "reform."

"The mistake I think we often make is," he continued, "if we're the party of no, and we're the party of austerity, the people of this country want more. The difference is, the left offers them more government, more benefits, more assistance. We should offer them more freedom, more opportunity, more prosperity."

Over the course of our interview, the word "reform" came up dozens of times -- in his assessment of Mitt Romney, his support for Chris Christie, his praise for Paul Ryan and his advice to Republican 2016 contenders. In fact, the advice was free-flowing all around. And why not?

Walker's frequently discussed in conservative circles as a 2016 contender himself, and after winning a bruising collective bargaining dispute and surviving a vicious recall effort in 2012, he's earned a reputation as a fighter -- and the political capital that comes along with it.

According to the most recent polling, 51% approve of his job as governor, in a blue state that hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984.

"We are, like most Midwestern battleground states, very evenly divided among parties. I won with 7.5% of the vote in the recall election. A few months later, Barack Obama carried the state by about the same margin, about 7 points."

What he calls the "Walker/Obama" voter might sound like a creature out of political mythology, but he believes it's the key to a Republican winning in 2016.

"What we found is, to win the center, which is the key to winning states like Wisconsin, you don't have to move to the center. That's the misnomer [in Washington] that suddenly you've got to change your core principles and move more to the center. It's just the opposite with voters who are independents or swing voters or undecided, persuadable voters.

"They want leadership. We've shown that the same people who voted for me, there's a significant number of those middle-of-the-road voters who then turned around and voted for Obama." (President Obama is visiting Wisconsin on Thursday as part of his post-State of the Union tour.)

And even though he disagrees with almost all of Obama's policies, he believes Republicans could stand to take a page from his book.

"The one thing I'll give him his due on, he's a committed liberal. He's leading, he's got big, bold ideas, Obamacare being a prime example. I think that's bad policy, but at least I won't fault him for leading."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the Republican message should be \
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the Republican message should be "reform."

After inheriting a $3.6 billion budget deficit in 2011, Walker now sits comfortably on a gross general fund balance of more than $1 billion, with $279 million in a rainy day fund. He's helped lower the unemployment rate to 6.2% from 7% in 2011, and this year he is proposing to give Wisconsinites $800 million back in income and property tax cuts and withholding changes. Personal income grew 4.4% over the past year.

"If you put more money back in the hands of the people, the hard-working taxpayers of your state, they will fuel the economy. If you put more and more of it in the hands of government, they'll take it in the opposite direction."

Despite his reputation among progressives as a union-busting "bully," who was often greeted by signs comparing him to Hitler during recall protests in Madison, Scott Walker is soft-spoken and unassuming.

In a crowded room, you might not notice the 47-year-old sitting governor, sipping hot tea as he was on Saturday. He's wonky and fluent with figures but speaks affably and quickly with a wide Wisconsin accent. "Get me going on the Packers or motorcycles and I can go all day," he says.

But when he believes a policy is deleterious, he doesn't labor to couch his rhetoric in polite Midwestern niceties.

On raising the minimum wage: "It is a cheap political stunt that may be well-intentioned by some, but it has an incredibly buzz saw type effect on the economy. And it's nothing more than a photo-op to pretend that people are doing something about creating jobs."

On Obamacare: "It's been a huge wet blanket that the federal government's thrown on employers who should otherwise be starting to hire more people."

On food stamps: "Last year, I proposed and have since done a program that says if you're an adult in my state without kids and you want to get food stamps, I'm not going to give you food stamps unless you're employed part time or enrolled in one of my employment training programs."
You can't win elections just by being against the other guy.
Scott Walker

It's this straight-forward, principled approach to economic issues that makes Walker a darling in many right-wing circles looking for a conservative candidate for 2016 whose vision is clear-eyed and concrete, unlike what some would say was Romney's confused message.

Walker readily admits Romney wasn't clear enough on his principles.

"I'm not telling tales here because I told him this for months. ... I think [Romney's] a good man, would have been a good president. But you can't win elections just by being against the other guy. You can't win elections with the premise that it's a referendum on your opposition.

"You've got to tell people why the country would be better under your leadership. Both my [recall] opponent and Mitt Romney said, 'My opponent's awful, he's a bad guy, you shouldn't vote for him.' The winners were the ones who actually told people where they were going."

But Walker also concedes there's a fine line between no-nonsense straight talk and the kind of undisciplined and undernuanced rhetoric that's gotten some other Republicans in trouble, especially when it comes to social issues.

Walker says he "obsesses" on fiscal issues because that's what voters elected him to do. He's principled and conservative on abortion and marriage, but hey says social issues simply aren't the centerpiece of his agenda. And he blames the media and Democrats for trying to make them the centerpiece of every Republican's agenda.

"The reason the left wants to talk about those other issues and obsess about those issues is because they can't cut it when it comes to the economy and fiscal issues. They want any sort of distraction to get off-topic, off-message to go on some tangent out there to have people be distracted from what the real issues are."

His advice to fellow conservatives is to talk less about social issues and, if forced to, "it's just a simple answer and move on."

"What I try to tell Republicans is, don't take the bait. Don't change your positions -- nobody in the center wants people to flip-flop just based on whatever they think conventional wisdom is at the time. They respect people who have deeply held convictions. But what they don't want is people going off on tangents on things that don't relate to what concerns them."

As for 2016, he not surprisingly prefers two governors on the Republican ticket. What might be surprising is the model for success he thinks Republicans can channel.
Why not send two proven reformers to Washington to shake things up and take on the establishment...
Scott Walker

"Kind of like Bill Clinton and Al Gore were a little unconventional in '92, but what they said that worked was, we're young, we're dynamic, we're the next generation and we're ready to go. And in this case why not send two proven reformers to Washington to shake things up and take on the establishment that Hillary Clinton's been a part of almost her entire adult life?"

One nongovernor he does like? He's partial to a young congressman from Janesville, Wisconsin.

"Paul Ryan to me is one of the few exceptions out there. I think here in D.C., he's someone that thinks like a governor. He pushes reform, he's bold and aggressive."

If Republicans looking to run in 2014 or 2016 need advice, they may want to listen to Walker, whose message of "reform" certainly has a nicer, smarter ring to it than "blame Obama." And they might want to obsess a little more over fiscal issues, despite the desire of the liberal media to make abortion and same-sex marriage a 24-hour news story.

Similarly, if voters are looking for a candidate in 2016 with proven executive experience, principled leadership and a simple mission to reform unruly and broken bureaucracy, they may just want to pay attention to Walker, too.

+++

Here is Walker on some other key issues that have been making news:

On whether Chris Christie should step down from heading the Republican Governors Association:

"No, I think in the end, he'll be fine. He's going to have his hands full in the next few months. But I talked to him the day that he had his press conference, what two hours almost? Everything that was reported there he had told me privately. So I don't hear a different message.

"And assuming, obviously a qualifier, but I have every reason to believe what he's telling me is accurate, assuming that continues, any of us, not just in a situation like this, but any of us who are pushing big, bold reform, are going to be under attack. I get attacked all the time. Other governors get attacked. I think Chris is perfectly capable of handling that."

On whether Republicans need a woman on the 2016 ticket:

"Susana Martinez has done a wonderful job in a state that's clearly a blue state. Nikki Haley's doing a great job in South Carolina. Mary Fallin is doing a super job out there [in Oklahoma]. So I don't think you have to, but the beauty of any of those three names is that none of them would be token. They'd be three proven reformers and governors."

On legalizing marijuana:

"From my standpoint, I still have concerns about making it legal. I understand from the libertarian standpoint, the argument out there. I still have concerns. I'm not, unlike the President, I still have difficulty visualizing marijuana and alcohol in the same vein.

"I've never experienced this, but I can't imagine people socially smoking the way people have a beer or two at a wedding reception. There's a huge difference out there. So in the end, I understand why people make that argument, but in our state, I don't think we're ready for that."

On an Obamacare alternative:

"The better answer to me is go the reverse direction, to a patient-centered concept, where it's market-driven and patients are the ones in charge and the tax incentives offered by states and the federal government don't discriminate between those who have employer-paid insurance or people who choose to buy it individually or choose to use it for things like health savings accounts.

"Make it the same tax incentive across the board. And in the end, you can make this about controlling cost by people making decisions based on their own health and wellness and not about the mechanical bureaucratic system and trying to reign in costs."

On raising the minimum wage:

"What it really is is dumping a so-called fresh idea off of the heap of 20 or 30 years of bad ideas of the past. And sometimes because a poll here shows people are for it a lot of politicians are afraid to take it on. I say, if you explain it to people it's not hard for people to get. It's not enough to just say 'No, I'm not for the minimum wage.'

"The better answer is to say we should be promoting pro-growth policies that make it easier for employers to not only create more jobs but grow income."
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wash Post: Fact Checking 2014 State of the Union on: January 30, 2014, 02:45:25 PM
Mainstream media trying to toughen up for when Republicans take the White House.:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/28/fact-checking-the-2014-state-of-the-union-address/

“The more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.”

  - the number of jobs in the economy still is about 1.2 million lower than when the recession began in December 2007

“A manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.”

  - the number of manufacturing jobs is still 500,000 fewer than when Obama took office

“Our deficits — cut by more than half.”

  - The 2009 figure... reflects the impact of decisions, such as the $800 billion stimulus bill, enacted early in the president’s term.  The United States still has a deficit higher than it was in nominal terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product than it was in 2008 and a debt much greater as a percentage of the overall economy than it was prior to the recession.

“Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.”

  - Close readers of the president’s speeches might have noticed an interesting shift in the president’s rhetoric. Just in December the president gave a speech on economic mobility in which he three times asserted that it was “declining” in the United States. But earlier this month, renowned economists Raj Chetty, Emmanuel Saez and colleagues published a paper based on tens of millions of tax records showing that upward mobility had not changed significantly over time. The rate essentially is the same now as it was 20 years ago.

“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

  - when such differences are accounted for, much of the hourly wage gap dwindled, to about 5 cents on the dollar.

“More than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage.”

  - no one really knows how many of the 6.3 million are in this expansion pool — or whether they are simply renewing or would have qualified for Medicaid before the new law. Indeed, the number also includes people joining Medicaid in states that chose not accept the expansion.  The private insurance numbers — about 3 million — are also open to question. The troubled federal exchange counts people as enrolled if an individual has selected a plan, but it does not know if a person enrolled and paid a premium because that part of the system has yet to be built.


Fact checking Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in her response:

“Last month, more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one. Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the president’s policies are making people’s lives harder.”

  - [True] but the decline in the labor participation rate started well before Obama.
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WhiteHouse.Gov: The last economic expansion ended when Democrats took congress on: January 30, 2014, 02:31:22 PM
I inherited this and I inherited that economic problem from the previous administration, he keeps saying http://www.democrats.org/issues/economy_and_job_creation, yet the White House's own website says the last economic expansion ended exactly as Democrats including Senator Obama took majority control of congress.

www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/12/president-obama-s-record-results-and-agenda-income-inequality

"the last economic expansion ended in 2007".

How about taking SOME responsibility for that!
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