Dog Brothers Public Forum


Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 06, 2016, 03:48:52 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
98762 Posts in 2346 Topics by 1082 Members
Latest Member: James
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 169
151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / war on the rule of law, Dept of Injustice Discretionary Prosecutors on: September 29, 2016, 08:17:13 AM
I wonder why we call them prosecutors when they see the law broken, know who broke it, have the evidence and then fail to prosecute.
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Libertarian and Green candidates - held to a lower standard on: September 29, 2016, 08:08:20 AM
Minor party candidates are held to a lower standard - because they aren't going to be President.  In this case,  Gary Johnson couldn't name a foreign leader.
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 28, 2016, 01:13:17 PM
Has anyone asked why she visited so many countries?   I strongly suspect it was to hit them up for money for the Clinton Foundation.  Why else?  It had something to do with that I suspect.
The only other reason would be just so she can state, like she is doing, that she did visit so many countries as though that is a gold star on her resume:

That's right.  They had already planned the Foundation all the way back in the 90s.  That is from a post of yours, I believe.  She became the first fitbit Secretary where it is taxpayer paid miles, not steps, that are counted.  A resume is a list of accomplishments, not of addresses.  I recall that women first voted in Iraq and Afghanistan under Bush.  What did she accomplish?  Liberation of Libya - to al Qaida?

One place she visited on behalf of women's rights was China.  Then when she wrote "Living History" she had the book translated to Chinese to sell more copies with any scolding of the regime omitted.  All the nice things she said about the PLA and PRC were left in the book. Caught in that by the NYT(?) she was 'appalled' to learn that criticism of the Chinese government was censored by the communist government!  (Who could have seen that coming?!)  She immediately posted those chapters to her website on the internet - where it was censored again by the communist government, as all anti-regime content is. (And who could have seen that coming?)  Meanwhile she kept all the money for the selected text books.  Was she bragging about being ignorant, stupid about what oppresive regimes do or was she just being duplicitous in profiting while giving legitimacy to a totally oppressive regime? 
154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Lester Holt was quite wrong on Stop & Frisk ruling on: September 28, 2016, 12:25:28 PM
Is this a national issue relative to this election, why was it brought up in this debate with time for big issues so limited?  I presume the answer to that was to isolate Trump from blacks, stop and frisk is hugely unpopular with blacks.  Also to distract attention away from current failures.

This is like abortion question, questioners pick apart the most extreme conservative position on rare cases and ignore the 98% where babies are getting slaughtered for convenience reasons.  In this case, the black and Hispanic neighborhoods are becoming war zones.  Bothering innocent people isn't a big part of the fix.

The policy as I understand it is stop, question and frisk, not stop and frisk.
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Sovereignty/International Law, TPP sovereignty issues, Trans Pacific on: September 28, 2016, 12:15:38 PM
Follow up from Presidential discussion:

DDF:  I'm trying to do homework and also read the Trans-Pacific Partnership to pick it apart, and maybe send some things to Trump's campaign that he can use.
At 5,544 pages (it's hard to tell because the actual government link with the text is in several links due to its size), it weighs more than 100 lbs.

I'm very interested in seeing that.

From a previous post in this thread:
Crafty:  In that only 5 out of 29 parts are about Trade, perhaps it would make more sense for our discussions to be the Sovereignty thread?

This is my concern.  I support the freedom to trade across borders without undue government interference, but I would like to know what the other 24 chapters are about.  Is this where Hillary sees the gold standard in international agreements.  What are the real infringements on our sovereignty in the TPP?  Removing these is where Trump could call the countries back together and get a better agreement, one that doesn't violate our constitution or sovereignty, one we can sign.
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics, Rate cuts did not bring on a financial collapse. on: September 28, 2016, 10:09:36 AM
Deconstructing further the economic nonsense the Democratic nominee made this week to a record setting debate audience.  Tax policy too, but the allegation made is trickle down economics, a larger accusation than just tax policy.  Hillary Clinton quotes static analysis that defies the science of economics.  She blames the financial collapse of 2008, under her watch from the majority in the Senate, on the Bush tax rate cuts of 5 years earlier.  She misses that the Bush rate cuts doubled the economic growth rate when they were enacted.  Is she saying that  economic growth causes collapse and therefore we should avoid growth?

The main Bush rates cuts were passed in 2003.  The top rate was cut from 38.6% to 35%.  The lowest rate went from 15% to 10%.  It was not a give away to the rich with the largest percentage decreases actually going to the lowest end of income.  Only in deception can this be called "trickle down", nor do the dates come close to matching the collapse.

The rate cuts led to consistent double digit growth in federal revenues, 44% in 4 years from the time they were enacted until the side promising the end of the rate cuts won control of Washington DC at the end of 2006.

Capital gains revenues DOUBLED by 2005 following the lowering of that rate.  That means the rich are paying more, measured in dollars.

Rate cuts caused the rich to pay more, not less as Hillary Clinton alleged falsely to 80 million people.  From IRS data, the top 1% of income earners paid $84 billion more in federal income taxes in 2007 than in 2000 before the Bush tax cuts were passed, 23% more.  The bottom half of income earners paid $6 billion less in federal income taxes in 2007 than in 2000, a decline of 16%.   It wasn't a giveaway to the rich and it wasn't a loss in revenues.

Clinton is repeating a falsehood that Obama ran on twice and won.  Here is PolitiFact tapdancing around the same issue and getting it wrong:

Economic growth didn't cause the collapse.  The financial collapse was caused by the certainty that economic growth was coming to an end with the end of the rate cuts and other anti-supply side promises like over-regulation.  The end to wage growth meant an end to the rapid rise in the real estate market.  Investors saw a changed electorate, a changed political climate, Pelosi-Reid-Obama-Biden-Hillary all switching over to majority control, a certain rise in future tax rates coming, and then the trouble began.

More links on this topic:

Hillary Clinton's Zany Debate Claim That Tax Cuts Caused The Financial Crisis
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Michael Barone, 2nd thoughts on debate 1 on: September 28, 2016, 08:48:49 AM
From our point of view Trump missed so many opportunities.  OTOH maybe he did land some lasting punches with his targeted voters.  

[One other point is that Romney destroyed Obama in the first debate of 2012 and lost the election decisively.]

Did Donald Trump deconstruct Hillary Clinton with marginal voters?


One way to look at Monday's night presidential debate: Both candidates were speaking, time and again, to marginal voters. Specifically, to young Americans, and for a considerable time to young black Americans in particular, people who may or may not choose to vote, may choose to vote for a third- or fourth-party candidate or may (Democrats hope) turn out to vote in large numbers for Hillary Clinton. Clinton's strategy of replicating the 2012 Obama 51 percent majority requires high turnout among groups that over history have had a low propensity to vote — blacks, Hispanics, young people. Trump's strategy, given his unpopularity with young voters, is to deter them from voting for Clinton, especially considering that the black and Hispanic percentages among young people eligible to vote is higher than those percentages among older people.

"She's been doing this for 30 years," Trump said near the beginning of the debate, while talking about trade. The number's not quite accurate: Clinton has been a national figure for only — only! — 25 years, since Bill Clinton began running for president in 1991, but she was also, as speakers at the Democratic National Convention mentioned over and over, a public policymaker starting at least when Bill Clinton was first elected governor in 1978, 38 years ago. "And Hillary, I'd just ask you this," Trump said some minutes later. "You've been doing this for 30 years." There's no clear antecedent for "this" — Trump was riffing about energy, debt, trade — but the point was made again. He even lapsed into absurdity — "You've been fighting ISIS your entire adult life" — which is impossible because the Islamic State didn't exist for most of that time. Much later in the debate, he chimed in on ISIS. "So she talks about taking them out. She's been doing it a long time." And near the end of the debate, he chimed in, "Hillary's has experience, it's bad experience."

Trump also went after her on flip-flopping, which is to say, sincerity. He brazenly predicted that she would push the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement she's currently and then recalled, accurately, "You called it the gold standard of trade deals." Young people, it seems safe to say, value sincerity and dislike candidates who switch positions for political reasons.

Trump missed a chance to skewer Clinton for her secret email server in response to a question on cybersecurity, but earlier, when moderator Lester Holt (otherwise mum on the emails) asked her to respond to Trump's mention of them, he said, "That was more than a mistake. That was done purposely. OK?" At which point he repeated the previous two sentences. "When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment, taking the Fifth so they're not prosecuted, when you have the man that set up the illegal server taking the Fifth, I think it's disgraceful."

So on three critical characteristics Trump tried to get across the message that Clinton is antique, expedient and dishonest — qualities that young people presumably abhor. He underlined the concerns that have young people in some target state polls casting more than 20 percent of their votes for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein or no candidate rather than the Democratic nominee.

How did Clinton try to appeal to young voters? Near the beginning of the debate, as part of a laundry list of policies supported by many Democrats, she called for "paid family leave, sick days" and "affordable child care and debt-free college." She echoed the call for "debt-free college" later but did not describe her plan, adapted from Bernie Sanders' proposal, in any detail. Later, in listing her "plans," she said, "We also have to look at how we help families balance the responsibilities at home and the responsibilities at business." Not all these concerns are shared by many young people, especially those who are marginal voters. Not all want to go to college. The percentage of Millennials who are married is lower than it was of previous generations and most unmarrieds are not in the market for child care. By no means do all have jobs. It's not clear that the policies will help them.

She also attacked Trump for positions and statements presumably unattractive to young people. She charged that "Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpretrated by the Chinese" — a slight alteration of a Trump tweet. And at the end of the debate Lester Holt asked a question that gave her a chance to reprise some of the repulsive things Trump has said about women.

"We move into our next segment talking about America's direction," said Lester Holt. "Let's start by talking about race." I don't recall "race" being a subject in any presidential debate in the last four elections (please correct me if I'm wrong), which tells you something about the state of things today.

In response, Clinton echoed the complaints of the Black Lives Matter group: "race still determines too much," there is "systemic racism in our criminal justice system" and "implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police." But she said, "It's really unfortunate that he [Trump] paints such a dire negative picture of black communities in our country." She joined Lester Holt in stating, inaccurately, that stop and frisk has been declared unconstitutional (for once, Trump had his facts straight on this and relayed them clearly). But she also said that police deserve respect and "we do always have to make sure we keep people safe." But the clear thrust of her remarks was in line with that of many protesters and of most black elected Democrats, and she called for federal "retraining" of police. Presumably she did so in the hope of rallying black voters, particularly young blacks, to the polls.

In contrast, Trump talked bluntly about the need for "law and order" and made the point, less clearly than he had at the Republican National Convention, that "the people that are most affected by what's happening" — increasing crime and violent riots — "are African-American and Hispanic people. And it's very unfair to them what our politicians are allowing to happen." He didn't cite the FBI figures released Monday showing murders nationally up 11 percent in 2015 — the biggest annual rise in decades. But he did make specific reference to recent events in Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Dallas which show some acquaintance with what's going on.

My own sense is that Trump got the better of this exchange. Clinton's stance may gin up black turnout, but it's not likely to rise to the levels of 2008 and 2012 when the first black president was running. And if the Democratic percentage among blacks should fall from the 95 and 93 percent of those years to the 84 and 83 percent Bill Clinton got in the 1990s, that would mean 1 point off Hillary Clinton's percentage nationally and more in target states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. And I'm not sure it helps Hillary Clinton to accuse the 70-plus percent of voters who are white that they have a problem with "implicit bias."       (more at link)
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Debate 1, HRC Fact Check: Egg on Face on: September 27, 2016, 05:51:34 PM
Hillary wants her debate fact checked.  I'll take a shot at her assertions:
(more on this here:

HRC:  We also, though, need to have a tax system that rewards work and not just financial transactions. And the kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. In fact, it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top percent of the people in this country than we’ve ever had.  I call it trumped-up trickle-down, because that’s exactly what it would be. That is not how we grow the economy.

   - This always goes unchecked.  It isn't "trickle down" if all rate cuts apply to everyone.  It is an interconnected economy, not a trickled down one.

Rating:  Straw Argument, Deception, and Lie.

HRC: "He really believes that the more you help wealthy people, the better off we’ll be and that everything will work out from there."

Still not true.  Rating:  Straw Argument, Deception, Lie and Repeating a Lie.

HRC: "I believe is the more we can do for the middle class, the more we can invest in you, your education, your skills, your future, the better we will be off and the better we’ll grow."

   - Government 'investment' is called spending, leads to debt, $20 trillion.

Rating:  Deception, Lie.

HRC: "Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said, back in 2006, “Gee, I hope it does collapse, because then I can go in and buy some and make some money.” "

   - Housing was over-priced in 2006.  A real estate buyer benefits from lower prices.

Rating:  Punch not landed.

HRC:  "The last thing we need to do is to go back to the policies that failed us in the first place."

   - She and her group have been in power from before the crash all the way through history's slowest 'recovery'.

Rating:  Egg on Face.

HRC: "Independent experts have looked at what I’ve proposed and looked at what Donald’s proposed, and basically they’ve said this, that if his tax plan, which would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion and would in some instances disadvantage middle-class families compared to the wealthy, were to go into effect, we would lose 3.5 million jobs and maybe have another recession.  They’ve looked at my plans and they’ve said, OK, if we can do this, and I intend to get it done, we will have 10 million more new jobs, because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean- energy superpower of the 21st century."

   - There isn't a serious economic study that uses static analysis.  Government money into investments like Solydra that otherwise don't pay for themselves add no net new jobs.

Rating:  Denial of Science, Lie, Deception.

HRC:  "I would not add a penny to the debt."

Pay no attention to the previous record of same policies.

Rating:  Congenital Lie.  There was a column by that name.

HRC:  "What I have proposed would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy, because they have made all the gains in the economy. And I think it’s time that the wealthy and corporations paid their fair share to support this country."

   - That's exactly the argument made before Obama was elected.  These policies made it worse.

Rating:  Pathological Lie.

HRC:  "$4 billion tax benefit for your family."

   - You just said in the same debate that he pays NO federal income tax.

Rating:  Lie.

HRC: "Too many young African-American and Latino men ended up in jail for nonviolent offenses. And it’s just a fact that if you’re a young African-American man and you do the same thing as a young white man, you are more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated.  So we’ve got to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system. We cannot just say law and order. We have to say — we have to come forward with a plan that is going to divert people from the criminal justice system, deal with mandatory minimum sentences, which have put too many people away for too long for doing too little."

   - Mandatory sentencing was a feature of the Bill Clinton administration, as was the Defense of Marriage Act and repeal of Glass Steagal.

Rating:  Deflection, Deception, Lie.

HRC:  "He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen."

   - What is racial about birth?  And she started that political lie.

Rating:  Lying about your own Lie.

HRC:  "There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted."

  - The evidence was that he was refusing to release his birth certificate for a job that has requirements regarding birth, also that his own publicist was promoting him as a Kenyan.  
Rating:  No one Left to Lie to.  There was a book by that name.  Yes, about her.

HRC:  "I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn’t enough. So I spent a year-and-a-half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran.   And we did drive them to the negotiating table. And my successor, John Kerry, and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot. That’s diplomacy. That’s coalition-building. That’s working with other nations."

   - She is taking credit for constructing the sanctions regime that they abandoned, and is supporting the abandonment.  There is a "lid" on Iran’s nuclear program"

Rating:  She is a consistently contrary indicator between right and wrong on policy.

HRC:  "Let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days. Let’s be sure we have affordable child care and debt-free college.  How are we going to do it? We’re going to do it by having the wealthy pay their fair share and close the corporate loopholes."

   - You already ran out of other peoples' money, $20 trillion in the red and counting.

Rating of anyone who believes that:  Gullible.
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 27, 2016, 03:19:01 PM
"The last thing we need to do is to go back to the policies that failed us in the first place."

   - Hillary Rodham Clinton in Debate 1, Sept. 2016

I agree.
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 27, 2016, 01:01:02 PM
Though the chattering class is scoring is for Hillary, and certainly Trump missed many opportunities (and got dinged a few times e.g. birther) I think Trump did fine on the meta issues.  I suspect when the first post debate polls come out (Saturday) once again will be confounded that his polls went up , , , I hope and pray.

Right.  Tom Brokaw said Trump didn't win any new voters and Bob Scheiffer said Hillary didn't win any new voters.  Millenials are right to be disillusioned.

The missed opportunities are what stand out to us.  He failed to defend capitalism, he missed key points on birther, that questioning it isn't racist and that Obama's publicist was calling him a Kenyan, besides that Hillary started it.

Some of us earlier mentioned that at this point in the campaign it would be nice if the nominee understood and could defend capitalism and free enterprise.

From my point of view Trump wasted his economic case on mostly hollow trade arguments.  Within that, he landed a truth that has to do with consumption-based versus income tax based nations.  (I will expand on that elsewhere.)  But those trade arguments poll at about 65% and Hillary couldn't argue back having herself taken Bernie's position.  They both looked bad but Trump did land some punches.  30 years and you haven't made it better.

On the omissions, stay tuned.  Of course key points of attack were missed, partly by the steering in the questions.  This one needs to be hammered home:

Hillary is running on her husbands good economic record while running against all of his policies that worked for him.  THE REAL GROWTH UNDER CLINTON CAME WHEN HE CHANGED COURSE.  See a previous post, WAGE GROWTH under Bill Clinton was EIGHT TIMES HIGHER after enacting supply side policies with Newt and the Republicans in the last years of his Presidency than they were in the first years when partisan Bill Clinton with a Democratic House and Senate raised taxes and pursued government healthcare.

Trump is running against both parties and all politicians.  This is not an ordinary political year.

He called her out for the results of the last TEN YEARS, not just the Obama Presidency.  Forgive me but this is an ad nauseum point of mine, that the Democrats took power in Washington 2 years before the Obama Presidency.  Hillary and Barack were the de facto majority leaders of Congress in Washington in the lead up and DURING THE CRASH.  The financial collapse wasn't caused by tax rate cuts.  Economic growth came out of that.  The collapse came from Democratic policies, namely CRAp, that yes Republican signed onto.  And it came as a consequence to the notice in Nov 2006 that voters gave investors that TAX RATE CUTS WERE ENDING.

161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Malmo attack on: September 26, 2016, 12:41:38 PM

We get accustomed to GM's wit but this a profound point.  If these attacks are happening around the world in random places, why wouldn't the Swedish attacker be Lutheran?  But Malmo Sweden is a de facto Muslim country.  The flags they fly are 'Palestine' and ISIS.  These aren't random acts in random places; they are acts of war in places where the enemy was invited in to destroy us.
162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: rule of law, email coverup, FBI fake investigation, DOJ on: September 26, 2016, 12:40:09 PM
DOJ did not prosecute because FBI could not determine "intent".

The law does not require intent.

The FBI asked her no questions relating to intent.

The President said he didn't know about her private email until he learned about it in the press in 2014.  The president was emailing her private server via a pseudonym since 2012.

The fish rots from the head, in this case it was at least a two-headed rotten fish.  Now we know the FBI co-conspired with the political wings of the administration.  Also the IRS and DOJ. 

It is not only political opponents who should be upset about this.
163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Grannis gives his Sit Rep: on: September 25, 2016, 01:48:47 PM
Good post by Grannis.  This is a remarkably stable, under-performing economy and the market has beat all bets for 7 years running.  Grannis has things mostly right (IMHO) with some disagreements on the margin that have already been discussed here.  I notice he doesn't see stocks undervalued any\more and he doesn't see great economic growth coming.  For the investor who must invest somewhere:  If you want to stay in for more, slow, steady growth, have at it, but don't look to these more optimistic prognosticators to give the early warning of the next sudden downturn or crash.  The pros will be getting out faster than you in a crisis.  Where should you invest instead of the equities markets?  I don't know.  Even cash and insured savings are sure losers.

If Hillary wins, the economy keeps the brakes on.  If Trump wins, I think the Fed puts the brakes on before any growth policies get enacted.  Lose-lose.
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 25, 2016, 01:33:43 PM
I have been out, traveling in the Boundary Waters.  In the RCP polls with no toss ups, Hillary clinton losing momentum now has 272 electoral votes with 270 needed.  Latest poll in PA has her up by only 2.  Losing Pennsylvania would change everything.  Debate tomorrow?

Trump needs Ohio, Florida and North Carolina, must win.

Clinton must-win Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Both must win their must wins plus a little more from the true toss ups to get over the top.

5 Trump paths to victory:
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Real Middle East Story, WALTER RUSSELL MEAD, Netanyahu, Obama on: September 25, 2016, 01:09:29 PM
Other than VDH, WRM is my favorite Democrat.  American Interest, subscribe at the link:

September 23, 2016
The Real Middle East Story

Precisely because he has a colder view of international affairs than Obama, Netanyahu’s leadership has made Israel stronger than ever.

Peter Baker notices something important in his dispatch this morning: at this year’s UNGA, the Israel/Palestine issue is no longer the center of attention. From The New York Times:

They took the stage, one after the other, two aging actors in a long-running drama that has begun to lose its audience. As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders recited their lines in the grand hall of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, many in the orchestra seats recognized the script.

“Heinous crimes,” charged Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. “Historic catastrophe.”

“Fanaticism,” countered Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. “Inhumanity.”

Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu have been at this for so long that between them they have addressed the world body 19 times, every year cajoling, lecturing, warning and guilt-tripping the international community into seeing their side of the bloody struggle between their two peoples. Their speeches are filled with grievance and bristling with resentment, as they summon the ghosts of history from hundreds and even thousands of years ago to make their case.

While each year finds some new twist, often nuanced, sometimes incendiary, the argument has been running long enough that the world has begun to move on. Where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once dominated the annual meeting of the United Nations, this year it has become a side show as Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas compete for attention against seemingly more urgent crises like the civil war in Syria and the threat from the Islamic State.

Baker (and presumably many of his readers) don’t go on to the next, obvious question: What does this tell us about the relative success or failure of the leaders involved? The piece presents both Netanyahu and Abbas as irrelevant. They used to command the world stage, but now nobody is interested in their interminable quarrel.

What the piece doesn’t say is that this situation is exactly what Israel wants, and is a terrible defeat for the Palestinians. Abbas is the one whose strategy depends on keeping the Palestinian issue front and center in world politics; Bibi wants the issue to fade quietly away. What we saw at the UN this week is that however much Abbas and the Palestinians’ many sympathizers might protest, events are moving in Bibi’s direction.

There is perhaps only one thing harder for the American mind to process than the fact that President Obama has been a terrible foreign policy president, and that is that Bibi Netanyahu is an extraordinarily successful Israeli Prime Minister. In Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, Israel’s diplomacy is moving from strength to strength. Virtually every Arab and Middle Eastern leader thinks that Bibi is smarter and stronger than President Obama, and as American prestige across the Middle East has waned under Obama, Israel’s prestige — even among people who hate it — has grown. Bibi’s reset with Russia, unlike Obama’s, actually worked. His pivot to Asia has been more successful than Obama’s. He has had far more success building bridges to Sunni Muslims than President Obama, and both Russia and Iran take Bibi and his red lines much more seriously than they take Obama’s expostulations and pious hopes.

The reason that Bibi has been more successful than Obama is that Bibi understands how the world works better than Obama does. Bibi believes that in the harsh world of international politics, power wisely used matters more than good intentions eloquently phrased. Obama sought to build bridges to Sunni Muslims by making eloquent speeches in Cairo and Istanbul while ignoring the power political realities that Sunni states cared most about — like the rise of Iran and the Sunni cause in Syria. Bibi read the Sunnis more clearly than Obama did; the value of Israeli power to a Sunni world worried about Iran has led to something close to a revolution in Israel’s regional position. Again, Obama thought that reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood (including its Palestinian affiliate, Hamas) would help American diplomacy and Middle Eastern democracy. Bibi understood that Sunni states like Egypt and its Saudi allies wanted Hamas crushed. Thus, as Obama tried to end the Gaza war on terms acceptable to Hamas and its allies, Bibi enjoyed the backing of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia in a successful effort to block Obama’s efforts. Israel’s neighbors may not like Bibi, but they believe they can count on him. They may think Obama has some beautiful ideas that he cares deeply about, but they think he’s erratic, unreliable, and doesn’t understand either them or their concerns.

Obama is an aspiring realist who wanted to work with undemocratic leaders on practical agreements. But Obama, despite the immense power of the country he leads, has been unable to gain the necessary respect from leaders like Putin and Xi that would permit the pragmatic relationships he wanted to build. Bibi is a practicing realist who has succeeded where Obama failed. Bibi has a practical relationship with Putin; they work together where their interests permit and where their interests clash, Putin respects Bibi’s red lines. Obama’s pivot to Asia brought the US closer to India and Japan, but has opened a deep and dangerous divide with China. Under Bibi’s leadership, Israel has stronger, deeper relationships with India, China and Japan than at any time in the past, and Asia may well replace Europe as Israel’s primary trade and investment partners as these relationships develop.

The marginalization of Abbas at the UN doesn’t just reflect the world’s preoccupation with bigger crises in the neighborhood. It reflects a global perception that a) the Sunni Arab states overall are less powerful than they used to be and that b) partly as a result of their deteriorating situation, the Sunni Arab states care less about the Palestinian issue than they used to. This is why African countries that used to shun Israel as a result of Arab pressure are now happy to engage with Israel on a variety of economic and defense issues. India used to avoid Israel in part out of fear that its own Kashmir problem would be ‘Palestinianized’ into a major problem with its Arab neighbors and the third world. Even Japan and China were cautious about embracing Israel too publicly given the power of the Arab world and its importance both in the world of energy markets and in the nonaligned movement. No longer.

Inevitably, all these developments undercut the salience of the Palestinian issue for world politics and even for Arab politics and they strengthen Israel’s position in the region and beyond. Obama has never really grasped this; Netanyahu has based his strategy on it. Ironically, much of the decline in Arab power is due to developments in the United States. Fracking has changed OPEC’s dynamics, and Obama’s tilt toward Iran has accelerated the crisis of Sunni Arab power. Netanyahu understands the impact of Obama’s country and Obama’s policy on the Middle East better than Obama does. Bibi, like a number of other leaders around the world, has been able to make significant international gains by exploiting the gaps in President Obama’s understanding of the world and in analyzing ways to profit from the unintended consequences and side effects of Obama policies that didn’t work out as Obama hoped.

Bibi’s successes will not and cannot make Israel’s problems and challenges go away. And finding a workable solution to the Palestinian question remains something that Israel cannot ignore on both practical and moral grounds. But Israel is in a stronger global position today than it was when Bibi took office; nobody can say that with a straight face about the nation that President Obama leads. When and if American liberals understand the causes both of Bibi’s successes and of Obama’s setbacks, then perhaps a new and smarter era of American foreign policy debate can begin.

© The American Interest, subscribe at link above.
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Jewish vote, gap narrowing on: September 21, 2016, 06:28:57 AM
Clinton down 6, Trump up 6, 12 point move.
167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gates on the EDC and the Donald on: September 20, 2016, 04:45:18 PM
ccp,  Your post reminds me that I wrote this, this morning, and it didn't post.  (I am getting filtered out of posting on the forum by McDonald's wifi!)  It looks like our views overlap considerably.
My comments on Gates opinions:

Gates hates Trump but this is no ringing endorsement of Hillary.

First of his criticisms of Trump is the wall: "He [Trump] has expressed support for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico".  Yes he has.  The Secretary of Defense opposes border security?  He has a better plan?  If so, mum's the word.  Didn't even enforce the last border fence act passed by congress and signed by a previous President he served.  This is not his department?

Defeating TPP is a political, economic win for China?  Maybe true if TPP was a trade agreement.  What about all the clauses giving up American sovereignty.  We don't know Gates' values and vision in this regard, but they probably don't match mine.  He did happily agree to serve on under Pres Obama and has rarely, openly differed with him, even in his profit-seeking tell-all.

"Dealing effectively with China requires a president with strategic acumen and vision, nuance, deft diplomatic and political skill, and sound instincts on when to challenge, when to stay silent and when to compromise or partner."

Or to put it differently, more of the same, the status quo, the unwillingness or inability to confront a rival and potential enemy that has led to where we are now.  Are we satisfied with where we are now, China in expansionary mode, America in retreat?  Wasting our money on a readiness that everyone knows we are unwilling to use.

North Korea:  The establishment, diplomatic status quo, America walking softly has led us to where we are, NK ready to reach the US mainland with nuclear warheads shortly.  Under their non-provocation doctrine previously we wouldn't have missile defense either.  That came from a President willing to poke the eye of the adversary's position.  There is an upside risk that in dealing tougher with the Chinese, Trump could get China to shut down the NK threat so we don't have to.  There is also the risk he sets off nuclear war.  No one wants that - ever - but I would rather have it now than after our adversaries pass up our capabilities and defeat us.

Iran:  While Gates pretends to speak out candidly - to sell books - he tapdances around what a historic failure this Iran agreement is.  Trump doesn't.  He has been right about it all along, the cash payments, the wrongful removal of sanctions, the support of terrorism and the path to Iran becoming a nuclear power UNDER THIS AGREEMENT.  In this regard alone, Trump looks clairvoyant and Gates looks either ignorant or afraid to speak out his former boss.

Gates: "whatever value Mr. Obama’s nuclear agreement has brought, the deal has led to no decrease in Iran’s aggressive meddling in the Middle East nor any lessening of its hostility to the U.S. Iranian naval challenges to U.S. warship operations in the Persian Gulf have nearly doubled over the last year."

WHAT VALUE DID IT BRING? (the Iran agreement)  Gates in this regard (and TPP/sovereignty) is part of the establishment potentially getting kicked out.  When Bush/Cheney failed to take out Iran's nuclear sites militarily, Iran gained 8 years of nuclear weapons progress.  Under Obama's agreement, they gained financing and legitimacy.  Trump would at least stop sending them cash.

Gates refers to "the boiling caldron that is today’s Middle East."  Exactly right.  That is HIS legacy.  He should own it, tell us where the last 8 years went wrong, against his advice, or STFU and go quietly away as others take a turn at this.

One problem with evaluating these two candidates is that their words unlikely describe how they will govern, lead the military or handle conflicts.  Trump speaks sometimes as a dove, wants to sit out some conflicts in the Middle East.  Except when he says destroy ISIS, bring back water boarding etc.  He probably won't sit still while threats to the US are forming in the region.  Hillary served as a so-called hawk in a dove administration, now courts the anti-war Bernie vote.  Build bridges here instead - for them to blow up.  Trump isn't going to sit still while Russia or the Caliphate take over the Middle East, nor is Hillary going to put hawk or dove ideologies ahead of the immense opportunities to buy and sell favors around the world.

[Gates on Trump] "a man who believes he, and he alone, has all the answers and has no need to listen to anyone. In domestic affairs, there are many checks on what a president can do; in national security there are few constraints. A thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America."

'I alone' sounded awkward when I've heard Trump say something like that.  What he obviously meant is that in the job at the top, you are alone.  Some advisers say invade, others urge restraint, one person makes the final decision.  It's lonely at the top in my business of one, probably more so to be a wartime President.  Shoot from the hip is exactly what Hillary did in Libya.  She gained Obama's go-ahead without winning his support.  Never took it to Congress AS REQUIRED BY THE CONSTITUTION, never planned for the aftermath.  Now Pres. Obama considers it his biggest failure, her mission.  Yet they keep scratching each other's back.

As Gates states or implies, lots of past Presidents had political bravado and a lack of detailed knowledge of military details and the dangers around the world before getting elected.  Then we elevate one of them to Commander in Chief and each transforms into a President with enormous responsibilities in their own way, think Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter.  That Trump won't seek out military advice from the best experts he can call together, that he will make strategic, war starting or response decisions all alone without consulting with Generals or advisers is buffoonery.

Totally missing in the microscope of this former defense secretary is what kind of country are you defending.  One candidate seeks American strength and greatness.  The other seeks to neuter us down to rest-of-the-world mediocrity.  Military strength is tied to economic strength, among other things.  Even the Soviets and the PRC know that.  Yet Gates limits his analysis to assuming those factors are equal or irrelevant, maybe above his pay grade.  He is wrong to ignore that.

Every four years we take the risk of elevating someone to the level of Commander in Chief or leader of the free world as we used to call it before Obama.  If Gates thinks only he knows better than the eight Presidents he served and better than the two now running, then he can run.  For the rest of us, the choice is down to two people.  Choose wisely.
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, overlapping stories on: September 19, 2016, 10:32:15 AM
"Mexico helping unvetted African migrants to U.S. border, many from Al-Shabaab jihadi hotbed"

Al Shabaab is al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia

A large number of the Somali immigrants settled in Minnesota, which harbored the largest population of Somalis in North America.

The Somali community’s increasing economic and geographic mobility—and has plans to expand to Rochester and St. Cloud.

I'm not saying this terrorist came through Mexico, just saying we know more are coming and we know what they are capable of.
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congressional races, this year's most consequential Senate race on: September 19, 2016, 10:13:38 AM
Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey vs. Katie McGinty, with it goes the control of the Senate...
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Clinton's campaign and dog food marketing on: September 19, 2016, 10:03:38 AM
The problem of Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign was explained years ago in a marketing textbook story:

A company came out with a new dog food, and hired an advertising firm to promote the product. The ad agency placed commercials on television and ads in magazines; millions of dollars went into the campaign. The commercials and ads were first-rate, but still the dog food did not sell. The client called a meeting at the ad agency and demanded to know what had gone wrong.

After a moment of silence, the leader of the ad agency team explained: “The dogs don’t like it.”
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: September 19, 2016, 09:44:49 AM
I was going to post it on my facebook account, but thought better of it due to the fact that I have friends and coworkers from Africa and Mexico on my page and didn't want to hurt their feelings or give them the wrong idea. I also have to say, that at work, I have often seen agents from the National Institution of Migration working at several checkpoints throughout the country and they are VERY proactive. Still, this is happening.

Having said that, it cannot be ignored, that here in Mexico, there have been 7000 African immigrants admitted legally, the majority of which, went DIRECTLY to the border, attempting to enter the United States.

Mexico is now in a quandary as to what to do with them. Why they were admitted, I have no idea, and bear in mind, that doesn't count the Syrian immigrants allowed refuge here as well.

I'm citing the Universal (the most important newspaper in Mexico) as a source for this. I apologize that it is in Spanish, and if need be, I'll translate it. The article is from two weeks ago.

Basically, Mexico is granting the transit visas to cross Mexico and enter the States because the Africans are claiming that they have a job or relatives awaiting them in the States. Still others, are crossing into Mexico illegally, some of whom are detained.

It needs to be mentioned that, you can walk right into the United States from Mexico, but... that you'll have to pay your coyote guide (about 20-30 thousand pesos), and nowadays you have to pay the Zetas another 10,000 pesos at certain points they have set up, or they'll kill you? If you know how to avoid their checkpoints, you can get in for free, but if you try to avoid them and are caught, it's the last thing you will ever do.  (All of this is a separate subject, but it bears mentioning due to the fact, that people are entering Mexico, and if refused entry legally *which the Africans have been,* they can still enter one of two ways - guided or taking their chances on foot).

Her is an article in English on it, citing Breitbart as well:

This is a great post, important point.  There is an age-old, political economic disagreement about the value of new immigrants, needed for labor and age demographics, but pushing down wages for low income workers.  The WSJ view against Buchanan, Perot, Trump, etc.  This may be irreconcilable, but the idea that we need to control our borders and entries in a time of international terrorism is not.
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 19, 2016, 09:29:55 AM
If Hilliary gets the Dem States and the Dem Leaning States she has 272 electoral right now, even if Trump gets all the Undecided plus all the Rep and Rep Leaning States.

Trump will not win this in any kind of a tie or close vote.   He needs to build on the momentum he earned recently and defeat her.  Voting for Trump can't come with shame or embarrassment.  He needs to look and act ready to govern from now until the end of his Presidency.  Anything short of that and he loses.  There will be one or two gaffes.  They need to be corrected quickly.  And there will be mud slung.  He needs to play the part of a great President ready to lead, all day, everyday.  If he wins nationwide by 3-4 points or more, much more, there won't be an electoral vote question.
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gabe Suarez on the Minnesota knife attack, What religion are you? on: September 19, 2016, 09:08:58 AM
The terrorist knife attack in MN is disturbing, small town America.  St. Cloud is a town of 66k, about half the size of Peoria.  The Crossroads Mall is well known.  You can see Lake Wobegon from there.

From the article:
"The Crossroads Mall I am told is posted as a Gun Free Zone."

   - This is a key talking and learning point.  Verified at:
"Examples of specific activities that are prohibited include but are not limited to: ...
No firearms or illegal weapons"
[The policy does not make any exceptions for off duty police officers.]

Why do they want to attack where people are defenseless, can't fight back?   ... oh, skip it.  Better question,  Why do we want to be defenseless?

Back to the article:
"Learn how to fight the knife.  A hint...the best answer is not a martial arts technique."

   - I'll take a 'stab' at this even though I'm the beginner here and have a lousy record (0-1) against Jihadis with knives,  

a)  Be aware of everything around you all the time,

b)  Carry a gun ready to use, and

c)  Shoot the guy after he has threatened deathly harm and before he gets within blade reach.

Thank God for preparedness, decisiveness, proximityand actions of this off-duty officer with a gun who shot him.
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 19, 2016, 09:07:03 AM
[.quote author=Crafty_Dog link=topic=1534.msg98659#msg98659 date=1474254417]
Where is the WSJ article from 1994 on the Hillary's commodity trades that one of us heroically dug up?

Search function not working properly, this should come up under 'cattle straddles' or 'Hillary's First Felony'.
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics, working age men not working on: September 18, 2016, 04:36:19 PM

50 years ago 98% of men in this age group worked. 

Now 6 times that proportion sit home, not even looking for work, watch TV.

Disability increases explain only part of this.

Proportion of women working peaked around year 2000.

At the link, Brookings Institution interviews an Obama economist.
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 18, 2016, 04:25:23 PM

Yes it's possible!

"Trump saw a 16.5 percentage-point increase in backing from African-American voters in a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California tracking poll, up from 3.1 percent on Sept. 10 to 19.6 percent through Friday. Meanwhile, the same poll showed Clinton’s support among that group plummeting from 90.4 percent on Sept. 10 to 71.4 percent."

That's a 35 point swing.  Undecideds may break for Clinton but the magic is gone in terms of unanimity, enthusiasm and turnout.  There is no offsetting gain for Clinton with whites or anyone else.  Solid liberals are lukewarm on Clinton.

Bill Clinton's magic to help her is gone too, lost his voice, 'd*cking b*mbos' and the fact that the policies he used to grow the economy were Gingrich's, opposite of what HRC supports now.
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Who questioned Obama's birth? on: September 18, 2016, 04:17:38 PM
Barack Obama's publicist called Obama a Kenyan until a week after he announced for President.

Michelle Obama called Barack a Kenyan:   (Approx 2:00 mark)

Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager Admits 2008 Birther Link

What I never understood about the birther question:  If a woman from Kansas gives birth somewhere else, traveling abroad, did the kid just lose his US citizenship?  Did she lose hers?  Are they now citizens, mother and child, of different countries?  I don't think so. 
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Another mental illness outbreak! on: September 18, 2016, 11:14:17 AM

Motive unknown.
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / American Creed. Constitutional Law, Madison's original Article 16 on: September 17, 2016, 01:56:55 PM
I support  Madison's original article 16 but I don't support the convention of the states. Open to further persuasion.

"Art. 16.   The powers delegated by the constitution to the government of the United States, shall be exercised as therein appropriated, so that the legislative shall never exercise the powers vested in the executive or judicial; nor the executive the powers vested in the legislative or judicial; nor the judicial the powers vested in the legislative or executive.”
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, etc. on: September 16, 2016, 04:13:45 PM
voting started in some states.

On average over 1000 votes cast between now and what is supposed to be the Constitutional designated election day will turn out to be cast by North Carolinians who will die between now and then.

What fraud?  Not one shred of evidence.  Why is it always the DEms who do every thing possible to prevent any protocals in place to reduce risk of fraud.

Thank you for connecting early voting with fraud.  Remember when we used to have "election day" as a nation and you needed a reason to vote "absentee"?
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth, Clinton News Networks, "POWER through this" on: September 16, 2016, 03:14:52 PM
Montage of the media accomplices, more loyal than her husband.
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 16, 2016, 12:24:50 PM
Doug, those are professional journalists! They have credentials! How dare you question them?

10,000 go to see one candidate; 200 go to see the other.  No story there, at least nothing that fits the narrative.

The collaboration of Google and Facebook is truly Orwellian.  At least with Pravda the Soviet subjects only had one state run news room.

183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 16, 2016, 12:10:26 PM
Again, as a general rule, Infowars is not a welcome source here.  Unless there is particular reason for a particular piece-- which should be noted and explained-- please do not use it.

I changed the source. 

Mainstream sources aren't running stories about Hillary's enthusiasm deficit yet and Google fails to search negative Clinton stories.

The point remains, why were universities and companies paying a quarter million for a speech people won't go see for free?

While we're at it, what was in those Goldman Sachs speeches she won't release?  My guess is nothing of interest. 
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Monetary Trilemma on: September 16, 2016, 11:08:38 AM
Monetary Trilemmas, who hasn't suffered one of those?
A fixed exchange rate, monetary autonomy and the free flow of capital are incompatible.

HILLEL THE ELDER, a first-century religious leader, was asked to summarise the Torah while standing on one leg. “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary,” he replied. Michael Klein, of Tufts University, has written that the insights of international macroeconomics (the study of trade, the balance-of-payments, exchange rates and so on) might be similarly distilled: “Governments face the policy trilemma; the rest is commentary.”

The policy trilemma, also known as the impossible or inconsistent trinity, says a country must choose between free capital mobility, exchange-rate management and monetary autonomy (the three corners of the triangle in the diagram). Only two of the three are possible. A country that wants to fix the value of its currency and have an interest-rate policy that is free from outside influence (side C of the triangle) cannot allow capital to flow freely across its borders. If the exchange rate is fixed but the country is open to cross-border capital flows, it cannot have an independent monetary policy (side A). And if a country chooses free capital mobility and wants monetary autonomy, it has to allow its currency to float (side B).

To understand the trilemma, imagine a country that fixes its exchange rate against the US dollar and is also open to foreign capital. If its central bank sets interest rates above those set by the Federal Reserve, foreign capital in search of higher returns would flood in. These inflows would raise demand for the local currency; eventually the peg with the dollar would break. If interest rates are kept below those in America, capital would leave the country and the currency would fall.  

Where barriers to capital flow are undesirable or futile, the trilemma boils down to a choice: between a floating exchange rate and control of monetary policy; or a fixed exchange rate and monetary bondage. Rich countries have typically chosen the former, but the countries that have adopted the euro have embraced the latter. The sacrifice of monetary-policy autonomy that the single currency entailed was plain even before its launch in 1999.

In the run up, aspiring members pegged their currencies to the Deutschmark. Since capital moves freely within Europe, the trilemma obliged would-be members to follow the monetary policy of Germany, the regional power. The head of the Dutch central bank, Wim Duisenberg (who subsequently became the first president of the European Central Bank), earned the nickname “Mr Fifteen Minutes” because of how quickly he copied the interest-rate changes made by the Bundesbank.

This monetary serfdom is tolerable for the Netherlands because its commerce is closely tied to Germany and business conditions rise and fall in tandem in both countries. For economies less closely aligned to Germany’s business cycle, such as Spain and Greece, the cost of losing monetary independence has been much higher: interest rates that were too low during the boom, and no option to devalue their way out of trouble once crisis hit.

As with many big economic ideas, the trilemma has a complicated heritage. For a generation of economics students, it was an important outgrowth of the so-called Mundell-Fleming model, which incorporated the impact of capital flows into a more general treatment of interest rates, exchange-rate policy, trade and stability.

The model was named in recognition of research papers published in the early 1960s by Robert Mundell, a brilliant young Canadian trade theorist, and Marcus Fleming, a British economist at the IMF. Building on his earlier research, Mr Mundell showed in a paper in 1963 that monetary policy becomes ineffective where there is full capital mobility and a fixed exchange rate. Fleming’s paper had a similar result.

If the world of economics remained unshaken, it was because capital flows were small at the time. Rich-world currencies were pegged to the dollar under a system of fixed exchange rates agreed at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944. It was only after this arrangement broke down in the 1970s that the trilemma gained great policy relevance.

Perhaps the first mention of the Mundell-Fleming model was in 1976 by Rudiger Dornbusch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dornbusch’s “overshooting” model sought to explain why the newish regime of floating exchange rates had proved so volatile. It was Dornbusch who helped popularise the Mundell-Fleming model through his bestselling textbooks (written with Stanley Fischer, now vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve) and his influence on doctoral students, such as Paul Krugman and Maurice Obstfeld. The use of the term “policy trilemma”, as applied to international macroeconomics, was coined in a paper published in 1997 by Mr Obstfeld, who is now chief economist of the IMF, and Alan Taylor, now of the University of California, Davis.

But to fully understand the providence—and the significance—of the trilemma, you need to go back further. In “A Treatise on Money”, published in 1930, John Maynard Keynes pointed to an inevitable tension in a monetary order in which capital can move in search of the highest return:

This then is the dilemma of an international monetary system—to preserve the advantages of the stability of local currencies of the various members of the system in terms of the international standard, and to preserve at the same time an adequate local autonomy for each member over its domestic rate of interest and its volume of foreign lending.
This is the first distillation of the policy trilemma, even if the fact of capital mobility is taken as a given. Keynes was acutely aware of it when, in the early 1940s, he set down his thoughts on how global trade might be rebuilt after the war. Keynes believed a system of fixed exchange rates was beneficial for trade. The problem with the interwar gold standard, he argued, was that it was not self-regulating. If large trade imbalances built up, as they did in the late 1920s, deficit countries were forced to respond to the resulting outflow of gold. They did so by raising interest rates, to curb demand for imports, and by cutting wages to restore export competitiveness. This led only to unemployment, as wages did not fall obligingly when gold (and thus money) was in scarce supply. The system might adjust more readily if surplus countries stepped up their spending on imports. But they were not required to do so.

Instead he proposed an alternative scheme, which became the basis of Britain’s negotiating position at Bretton Woods. An international clearing bank (ICB) would settle the balance of transactions that gave rise to trade surpluses or deficits. Each country in the scheme would have an overdraft facility at the ICB, proportionate to its trade. This would afford deficit countries a buffer against the painful adjustments required under the gold standard. There would be penalties for overly lax countries: overdrafts would incur interest on a rising scale, for instance. Keynes’s scheme would also penalise countries for hoarding by taxing big surpluses. Keynes could not secure support for such “creditor adjustment”. America opposed the idea for the same reason Germany resists it today: it was a country with a big surplus on its balance of trade. But his proposal for an international clearing bank with overdraft facilities did lay the ground for the IMF.

Fleming and Mundell wrote their papers while working at the IMF in the context of the post-war monetary order that Keynes had helped shape. Fleming had been in contact with Keynes in the 1940s while he worked in the British civil service. For his part, Mr Mundell drew his inspiration from home.

In the decades after the second world war, an environment of rapid capital mobility was hard for economists to imagine. Cross-border capital flows were limited in part by regulation but also by the caution of investors. Canada was an exception. Capital moved freely across its border with America in part because damming such flows was impractical but also because US investors saw little danger in parking money next door. A consequence was that Canada could not peg its currency to the dollar without losing control of its monetary policy. So the Canadian dollar was allowed to float from 1950 until 1962.

A Canadian, such as Mr Mundell, was better placed to imagine the trade-offs other countries would face once capital began to move freely across borders and currencies were unfixed. When Mr Mundell won the Nobel prize in economics in 1999, Mr Krugman hailed it as a “Canadian Nobel”. There was more to this observation than mere drollery. It is striking how many academics working in this area have been Canadian. Apart from Mr Mundell, Ronald McKinnon, Harry Gordon Johnson and Jacob Viner have made big contributions.

But some of the most influential recent work on the trilemma has been done by a Frenchwoman. In a series of papers, Hélčne Rey, of the London Business School, has argued that a country that is open to capital flows and that allows its currency to float does not necessarily enjoy full monetary autonomy.

Ms Rey’s analysis starts with the observation that the prices of risky assets, such as shares or high-yield bonds, tend to move in lockstep with the availability of bank credit and the weight of global capital flows. These co-movements, for Ms Rey, are a reflection of a “global financial cycle” driven by shifts in investors’ appetite for risk. That in turn is heavily influenced by changes in the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, which owes its power to the scale of borrowing in dollars by businesses and householders worldwide. When the Fed lowers its interest rate, it makes it cheap to borrow in dollars. That drives up global asset prices and thus boosts the value of collateral against which loans can be secured. Global credit conditions are relaxed.

Conversely, in a recent study Ms Rey finds that an unexpected decision by the Fed to raise its main interest rate soon leads to a rise in mortgage spreads not only in America, but also in Canada, Britain and New Zealand. In other words, the Fed’s monetary policy shapes credit conditions in rich countries that have both flexible exchange rates and central banks that set their own monetary policy.

Rey of sunshine
A crude reading of this result is that the policy trilemma is really a dilemma: a choice between staying open to cross-border capital or having control of local financial conditions. In fact, Ms Rey’s conclusion is more subtle: floating currencies do not adjust to capital flows in a way that leaves domestic monetary conditions unsullied, as the trilemma implies. So if a country is to retain its monetary-policy autonomy, it must employ additional “macroprudential” tools, such as selective capital controls or additional bank-capital requirements to curb excessive credit growth.

What is clear from Ms Rey’s work is that the power of global capital flows means the autonomy of a country with a floating currency is far more limited than the trilemma implies. That said, a flexible exchange rate is not anything like as limiting as a fixed exchange rate. In a crisis, everything is suborned to maintaining a peg—until it breaks. A domestic interest-rate policy may be less powerful in the face of a global financial cycle that takes its cue from the Fed. But it is better than not having it at all, even if it is the economic-policy equivalent of standing on one leg.
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 16, 2016, 12:16:09 AM
An odd irony about Ms. Clinton, she was so valuable as a speaker (quarter million an hour?) and now she can't pay people to watch her boring speeches.  Something is amiss.

"Thousands of empty seats"

Clinton's crowd size dwarfed by Trump
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Libertarian and Green candidates on: September 16, 2016, 12:00:01 AM
"Then again, he's anti-weapons (Gary Johnson). No. No. No. Can't have that."

Glad you got that corrected.  He is also pro-open borders, soft on terrorism and does not  know if the US was wrong to go into WWII.

He is a moderate Republican who failed in the primaries last time.  Right on some issues.

He actually seems to be drawing more from Hillary.  I expect his early popularity to shrink. Support for only one person, Trump, can prevent Hillary from becoming President.  Everything else is a Supreme Court vote for permanent, runaway leftism.  MHO.
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Why Taxing Fairly Means Not Taxing Inheritances, Mankiw on: September 15, 2016, 01:20:20 PM
To match this former Bush adviser's never Trump stance, I should post never-Mankiw.  He misses the biggest point, the incentive to grow wealth, but he makes a couple of very good ones here, fairness and consistency.

Why Taxing Fairly Means Not Taxing Inheritances
Economic View

Does it make sense to tax inheritances and, if so, how much? The answer to this question is a perennial political football.

President George W. Bush, to whom I was an adviser, pushed for the elimination of the estate tax. He succeeded, but only briefly. In 2001, he signed legislation that phased out the tax and eliminated it in 2010. But the tax was back in 2011.

Today, the federal government imposes a tax of 40 percent on estates over $5.45 million ($10.9 million for married couples). And many states take a piece of the action as well. The state of New York, for instance, has a top estate tax rate of 16 percent.

Now, Hillary Clinton wants to increase the tax by reducing the threshold to $3.5 million and raising the rate to 45 percent. Donald J. Trump wants to eliminate it again.

It is easy to understand the appeal of the estate tax. We live in a time of great economic inequality, and the tax is levied only on the very wealthy. The tax helps fund government programs (though it raised only $19 billion last year, 0.6 percent of federal receipts).

But the estate tax is only one of many policy tools that can be used to make sure those at the top pay their fair share. Another would be to limit itemized deductions, as the Bowles-Simpson commission appointed by President Obama proposed in 2010. We could also reform the tax treatment of carried interest, which hedge fund managers use to reduce their tax burden to extraordinarily low levels.

From my perspective, the estate tax is a bad way to tax the rich because it violates a principle that economists call horizontal equity. The basic idea is that similar people should face similar tax burdens.

Consider the story of two couples. Both start family businesses when they are young. They work hard, and their businesses prosper beyond anything they expected. When they reach retirement age, both couples sell their businesses. After paying taxes on the sale, they are each left with a sizable nest egg of, say, $20 million, which they plan to enjoy during their golden years.

Then the stories diverge. One couple, whom I’ll call the Frugals, live modestly. Mr. and Mrs. Frugal don’t scrimp, but they watch their spending. They recognize how lucky they have been, and they want to share their success with their children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

The other couple, whom I’ll call the Profligates, have a different view of their wealth. They earned it, and they want to enjoy every penny of it themselves. Mr. and Mrs. Profligate eat at top restaurants, drink rare wines, drive flashy cars and maintain several homes. They spend their time sailing the Caribbean in their opulent yacht and flying their private jet from one luxury resort to the next.

So here’s the question: How should the tax burdens of the two couples compare? Under an income tax, the couples would pay the same, because they earned the same income. Under a consumption tax, Mr. and Mrs. Profligate would pay more because of their lavish living (though the Frugals’ descendants would also pay when they spend their inheritance). But under our current system, which combines an income tax and an estate tax, the Frugal family has the higher tax burden. To me, this does not seem right.

I recognize, however, that not all economists share my judgments about the estate tax. That is largely because issues of fairness transcend economics and thrust us into the realm of political philosophy, where agreement is all the more difficult.

But there is one thing that everyone can agree on: The estate tax you owe should not depend substantially on the exact moment you happen to expire. A person who died in 2010 paid no estate tax, no matter how wealthy he or she was. A year earlier or later, things would have been very different.

To avoid this particular unfairness, we need more stability in the tax code than we have had in the past. This stability is possible only if those with opposing points of view reach a compromise that, while not perfect from either perspective, is acceptable enough for everyone to live with. Neither Mrs. Clinton’s proposal of 45 percent nor Mr. Trump’s proposal of zero passes this test.

International comparisons are a natural benchmark. Over all, the United States is a low-tax country compared with many of our developed-nation peers. But that is not true when it comes to the estate tax.

Many countries do not tax inheritance at all, including Australia, Canada and Sweden. Most do, but the tax rates are usually much lower than what we impose in the United States. Among the nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average for the top estate tax rate is 15 percent. The median is only 7 percent, which is the rate in Switzerland.

If the United States were ever to adopt such a low estate tax rate, it would surely put a lot of the estate planning industry out of business. Hiring expensive legal talent may make sense when the rate is 40 or 45 percent, but not when it is 7 or 15 percent. Yet that would be a good thing. The time those lawyers spend helping the rich skirt the estate tax is, from an economic standpoint, pure waste.

N. GREGORY MANKIW is a professor of economics at Harvard.
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico wants a wall! on: September 15, 2016, 12:51:47 PM

Make Guatemala pay for it.

"an estimated 2.5 million Nicaraguans out of 5.5 million live in extreme poverty."

They're coming to Mexico for those Ford manufacturing jobs...

Mexico faces the same problems we do.
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 15, 2016, 12:45:03 PM
The vote for the liberal elite in exchange for continuing the programs explains how we got stuck in this cycle.  Someone (Trump) pointing out that they're getting the shaft is the start of how we break out of it.

Malcolm X was in a better position to say it than me (race thread?), "Chumps".  "They are taking you for chumps."

This isn't a better life and we're killing off the golden goose that got you the Obamaphones.
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam - Education, Rebuttals and Counter-Terror on: September 15, 2016, 12:35:36 PM
Martel,  Thank you for a great response!  - Doug
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: September 15, 2016, 12:31:15 PM
I wonder what (if any) welfare programs were available in 1774?

Immigrants came here and only got private charity, if anything.

Private charity, yes, but mostly family.  If you reached adulthood without being able to make it on your own, you turned to family for shelter and meals and they expected something in return for it like all day, everyday labor!  Where is the quid pro quo in welfare?
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, state of the economy coming into the election; black vote on: September 15, 2016, 12:22:11 PM
There is something odd about Pres. Obama having a positive job approval rating (just barely).  Maybe it's personal.  These economic results don't deserve approval.  Maybe the numbers quoted here bear more closely on the election possibilities of his chosen successor:

More people rate the economy poor than good or excellent combined.

Nearly twice as many say getting worse over getting better.

4 More Years!  (sarcasm alert)

Last week, 26 percent of people surveyed in Gallup’s poll of Americans’ confidence in the economy rated current economic conditions as excellent or good, while 30 percent labeled them poor. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed said their economic outlook was “getting better” compared with 57 percent who said it was “getting worse.”

Previously noted:
"I really like Trump' attack on the inner city black vote going to Democrats.  If he can break into some of these 'groups', blacks and legal Hispanics, it will be a game changer."

Trump is now polling 26% support from blacks in South Carolina:

For Obama nationwide in two cycles I think the black vote was 98% with high turnout.  None of that enthusiasm translates to Hillary.  HRC cannot afford to lose much ground in a close election.  The undecided and discouraged will stay home and some others will give their support to Trump.  What do they have to lose?  

This is also a critical mass question.  People are all of one view because everyone they know is all of that view.  Enter some honest debate and skepticism.  Welfare 'rights' isn't a better life.  Grow the economy stupid. (Paraphrasing Bill Clinton's 1992 staff)

He is also toning down his round 'em up, send 'em home message for the so-called 11 million.  If legal Hispanics vote based on economic opportunity and growth, Trump could beat expectations with them also.  Illegals compete for their jobs too and border security benefits everyone.
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / You might be a deplorable if: on: September 15, 2016, 11:47:54 AM
Didn’t Barack Obama say a few months back that a candidate couldn’t insult his way to the presidency?

You may be a deplorable if you stand for the National Anthem.

Or if you know all the words to the Pledge of Allegiance, especially, “under God” (and liberty before justice).

Or if you [buy groceries] with your own money.

If you’re deployable, you’re definitely deplorable.

If you don’t have an Obamaphone and you don’t believe that global warming is “settled science” — can you say deplorable?

Saying Merry Christmas — Deplorable with a capital D!

You may be a deplorable if you wouldn’t mind showing some ID at the local precinct before you vote.

You may be a deplorable if all of your children have the same last name — and it’s your last name.

Nothing says deplorable like the National Rifle Association.

If you liked your doctor and wanted to keep your doctor — you know what you are.

You may be a deplorable if you don’t think you should have to press one for English.

You may be a deplorable if you identify as a member of the gender in which you were born.

You are a deplorable if you believe All Lives Matter.
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: critique of Ivanka Trumps new big government program on: September 15, 2016, 11:30:17 AM

Big government 'conservatism'.  It gives Trump a shiny, soft object to point to.  Hopefully a Republican House can stop it.

Reform and replace existing programs first.

Wouldn't a stay at home mom need a government support program more than a career, daycare mom.  Where is her government paid 'maternity program'?  You have to ne unmarried, unsupported to get it?  Republicans playing on a Democrat playing field lose.   Hillary has WAY bigger ideas than this.  You can't afford all of her ideas!

The Clintons sold us family leave based on the idea it was unpaid, then immediately screamed how unfair it was to have people unpaid to not work.

If 6 weeks is good, isn't 8 weeks better, 20 weeks great, forever perfect?

Don't tell the government but women in my family were waterskiing in the last 6 weeks before birth.  We could have used some government-paid boat gas.

Grow the economy stupid.
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam - Education, Rebuttals and Counter-Terror on: September 15, 2016, 11:12:51 AM
I am enjoying and appreciating Martel's posts.  Welcome!

I love the detail and the supporting research.  I wonder what the over-riding theme could bne boiled down to in a thesis point or two or three.  What is it that people, voters and policy makers need to know?

We all have our own discussions with liberals we know or people we disagree with.  (The Libertarian candidate is also for open borders and soft on terrorism.)  What I have heard back when I talk of the threat of Islamic terrorism is something like, 'I choose not to live in fear'.  The Obama administration has mostly embodied that, don't name the threat, don't acknowledge it.  Many believe that if peaceful, loving people talk more about peace and love it will come true. 

Meanwhile, al Qaida, ISIS, the caliphate, Jihad, torture, terror, bombings and beheadings and the Islamic immigration invasion are all real, true and coming our way.

The violence in Islam is a feature, not a bug.  Peaceful Muslims are not able to point to real meanings in text and convince the Jihadists they have it all wrong. 

I don't live in a specific fear that I will be blown up or beheaded.  The numbers of killings, even counting 9/11/01, are relatively small.  Rather, I live in a policy vacuum where we aren't doing the right things to protect our country.

The invasion of Europe, the no-go zones and the civil wars there are real.  We have the same going on here to a smaller degree in an earlier phase.

There is only one lesson the US could take out of WWII if we had the full benefits of clairvoyance and hindsight.  Intervene sooner.  This threat is different from Hitlerism for sure but the idea that we are way over here so it doesn't affect us is wrong and dangerous.

We need deep, strategic thinking and long term consistent actions.  It starts with a clear understanding of the threat.
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: September 15, 2016, 11:07:17 AM
"Good luck, as Wellington will be either directly or indirectly ruled by Beijing before long."

That's right.  The economic freedom of Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea and others is (was?) made possible by the benevolence of a US military presence that was once the strongest in the world.

197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillbillary Clinton, aging, lying, hiding, and totally untrustworthy on: September 15, 2016, 09:00:33 AM
What difference at this point does it make??

 In the recluse of the White House we would not even know when she is no longer able to serve.

 We still don't know if she was sober, awake or conscious during the Benghazi crisis.

 She disappears 15 days at a time and goes 300 days without a press conference.

 It would take a court order and a constitutional crisis to even go in and find out if she was still president.
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 13, 2016, 07:26:01 AM
I'm sure it's not intentional but the Hillary health scare has become the latest shiny object stopping us from discussing the issues and competing ideologies of governing - even in a Presidential election year.

I really like Trump' attack on the inner city black vote going to Democrats.  If he can break into some of these 'groups', blacks and legal Hispanics, it will be a game changer.

Poll have tightened, very divided and still leaning in Hillary's favor.  Pundits seem to skip over the possibility that the landslide could go Trump's direction.

In the end, the Bush, Romney, Rino and purist groups will all get on board.
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: September 07, 2016, 10:36:48 PM
DDF,  Thank you.   Isn't it amazing that 99% of the warming comes from agenda-paid 'scientists' adjusting the real temperatures.

Who is denying the data?
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics, Malcolm X, Chumps on: September 06, 2016, 07:50:21 PM
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 169
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!