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151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: March 28, 2017, 08:45:50 AM
As you guys probably remember, my proposal was for this sort of tax REPLACING other taxes; that said I find the politics of this proposal intriguing , , ,

It is intriguing in the theoretical sense, to tax pollution for its social cost instead of regulating it.  A number of things don't line up on that for this IMHO.  It's not pollution.  We don't know the cost.  If we tax it enough to make it go away, which is the goal, it doesn't make a solid revenue source to pay for defense, healthcare etc. to replace other taxes.  At some price, we could switch to nuclear grid power for example, which is carbon free, and the budget crashes.

Moving from the theoretical to the political, it doesn't replace the federal income tax unless we repeal the 16th amendment.    To repeal the 16th and move to any or every kind of consumption tax as this would be passed along to the consumer, we would need 288 votes in the House, 67 votes in the Senate and ratification in 38 states.

As GM points out, other taxes won't go away just because we have more sources of revenue.   The politics for taxing income (punitively) remains the same, no matter how much other money we can find.

MHO.
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Opposing the Carbon Tax on: March 27, 2017, 05:21:56 PM
Tax carbon ($40?) per ton.  Pay back to all, $500 per capita per year at the start.

What don't you like?

1.  I don't trust it would be implemented as proposed.  For sure we will pay in more; I don't believe for a minute we would see most or all of it back.

2. If they instead promised to use the revenues to reduce the burden of other taxes, income taxes for example, I don't believe those rates will go down or stay down either.  New taxes lead to new spending.

3. The purpose is to reduce emissions.  If it succeeds, it is a declining and unreliable source of revenue.  Yet the proposal says it will increase over time.

4. I'm not persuaded that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, or that our federal government can accurately or honestly measure and assess the 'cost'.  Carbon dioxide is a trace element in the atmosphere, less than one part per thousand, and yet is an essential building block of life.  I would be far more concerned if CO2 levels were declining.

5) The revenue stream creates its own moral hazard.  People will want more and more.  The government will want more and more, from what it wants less of.

6) In compromise, I propose we tax only the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere that did not originate in the atmosphere.
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: March 27, 2017, 05:01:11 PM
I have posted in favor of Kurdistan around here for years. 

As posted previously, I'm guessing they would love to host a big US base-- which could be very helpful in our dealings with the Russian-Iranian axis.

This is a great idea.
154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Carbon Tax into Dividends on: March 27, 2017, 10:02:14 AM
I believe Crafty expressed an interest in this.  I don't happen to like it for a number of reasons.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/opinion/a-conservative-case-for-climate-action.html?mtrref=gregmankiw.blogspot.com&gwh=5B262B7F86320D4D9C013D0E904A212A&gwt=pay&assetType=opinion
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Univ of Chicago Analysis of the GOP tax Plan on: March 27, 2017, 09:52:36 AM
http://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2450&context=law_and_economics

Conclusions
Implementing a tax system base
d on the Brady plan will present a substantial
challenge. Many implementation problems a
rise because nothing like this has
ever been tried by a developed country, not to speak of in a country the size of the
United States. It is likely that over time, solu
tions to most issues will be found.
Given the substantial number of issues, however, it is naïve to think that the plan
can be passed into law quickly.
Some issues, such as correcting the treatment of land and inventory are
straightforward. Others
, such a
s the elimination of the regimes for pass
-through
taxation and rules for major corporate transactions, are conceptually
straightforward but will be involve more substantial changes to current law. And
others will be difficult. Among the most important and difficult issues are the
following:

Deferral and the collection of the capital income tax on individuals
.

The legality of border adjustments
 and possible design changes to
improve the odds of compliance with the GATT
.

The treatment of financial institutions
.

The treatment of businesses that consistently generate tax losses while
making economic profits.

Distinguishing between real and financial flows
, and making a consistent
choice to have an R
-based system (or an R+F system).

Transition
.
These i
ssues do not have straightforward solutions and will need careful analysis
as the legislative process moves forward.
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: March 27, 2017, 09:42:12 AM

Sanders was right there with them when they changed the rule last time:
https://projects.propublica.org/represent/votes/113/senate/1/243

Slime.  If they don't want a 'rule change' invoked, don't use the Senate filibuster to cry wolf.
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Parenting Issues, Kids' last names on: March 27, 2017, 09:24:37 AM
ccp from legal issues, "Children would now have completely different last names from the parents."

My daughter had a friend from kindergarden and with all the outside activities we became good friends over the years with the family.  Their older son had the dad's last name and the daughter the mom's last name.  I was always impressed how amazingly well blended and loving this close family.  Later I learned that the parents did this from the beginning by choice.

When I entered parenthood as a single father and had no rights at the start, I can't tell you how lucky I was that my daughter's mother chose to give her my last name.  Raising a daughter in an area surrounded with intact families, people always assumed I was her father. )))))
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: well the republicans just went down in defeat on: March 24, 2017, 09:10:01 PM
Drop this forever and move on is probably a negotiating move.

John Hinderer at Powerline says, in hindsight they should have done tax reform first.  (Famous people caught reading the forum.)
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics, Rock Star U2's Bono "Preaches" Entrepreneurial Capitalism on: March 24, 2017, 06:54:07 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAjKyEGDlXA

Bono: 'Capitalism Takes More People Out of Poverty Than Aid'

U2 frontman Bono, who is also an investor, philanthropist, and Christian told students at Georgetown University that real economic growth, not government aid, is what lifts people and countries out of poverty long-term, emphasizing that "entrepreneurial capitalism" is the key to prosperity.

“Some of Africa is rising, and some of Africa is stuck," said Bono while speaking at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business to about 700 students.  "The question is whether the rising bit will pull the rest of Africa up, or whether the other Africa will weigh the continent down. Which will it be? The stakes here aren’t just about them."


"Imagine for a second this last global recession [in 2007-2009] but without the economic growth of China and India, without the hundreds of millions of newly minted middle class folks who now buy American and European goods – imagine that," said Bono.  "Think about the last 5 years."

Then, holding his forehead with his right hand, Bono, who has an estimated wealth of $600 million, said, "Rock star preaches capitalism—wow. Sometimes I hear myself and I just cannot believe it."

"But commerce is real," he said.  "That’s what you’re about here. It’s real. Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid -- of course, we know that.”

Bono made those remarks on Nov. 12, 2012
http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/bono-capitalism-takes-more-people-out-poverty-aid
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / World Bank: Growth, not fighting inequality is what lifts people out of poverty on: March 24, 2017, 06:42:40 PM
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/25078/9781464809583.pdf
"...success in reducing inequality and boosting shared prosperity in a given period does not necessarily translate into similar success on other economic, social, or political fronts, nor into sustainable reductions in inequality over time."
161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Parenting Issues on: March 24, 2017, 03:28:22 PM
We hear about gender 'equality', great word but what they mean is 'sameness'.  It doesn't benefit women be the same as men, nor does it benefit the children.

162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues - Cold extinction, who knew? on: March 24, 2017, 12:18:39 PM
GM:  "The media would never lie to us. They are Professional Journalists! With credentials!"

And that's why they covered this science story so widely and boldly...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170306091927.htm

Cold extermination: One of greatest mass extinctions was due to an ice age and not to Earth's warming
Date:  March 6, 2017
Source: Université de Genève

The Earth has known several mass extinctions over the course of its history. One of the most important happened at the Permian-Triassic boundary 250 million years ago. Over 95% of marine species disappeared and, up until now, scientists have linked this extinction to a significant rise in Earth temperatures. But researchers have now discovered that this extinction took place during a short ice age which preceded the global climate warming.
------------------------------------------------------

Can someone please link the NY Times coverage of this catastrophic global warming refutation.

Correction coming soon to the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24732-2005Jan20.html
Extinction Tied to Global Warming
Greenhouse Effect Cited in Mass Decline 250 Million Years Ago
January 21, 2005

Oops.  No so!


163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Very demoralizing on: March 24, 2017, 12:03:52 PM
Addressing another point from ccp: 
...Why can I not be justifiably angry that so many people in this country are getting something for nothing while I struggle for 5 months a year to pay for it.  Why do I NEVER have a voice?  Why is there no one who will stand up for me?  Why am I always taken for granted? ...


ccp, You (we) will NEVER win the political argument that taxes are unfair to the productive and relatively well-paid.  It has to be won on the other side of it.  Big government and all these spending programs are hurting the beneficiaries.  Look at the inner city, the war on poverty and the cycle of dependence and perpetual low income created.  With SSI, Section 8, food stamps, FAFSA and on and on including Obamacare, recipients essentially enter a contract with the government to stay poor or lose benefits.  As the benefits get larger and larger, the contract to be permanently low income becomes unbreakable.

People on the cusp of receiving or losing benefits face a far higher than a 100% marginal tax rate, making the earning of the next dollar of income a very bad economic decision.  They can make $500 or a thousand more and lose tens of thousands of benefits.  They would need to more than double or triple their income to replace what they will lose, and that is not instantly possible.  Crucial rungs of the economic ladder just above them were torn out by our entitlement system.  Obamacare, unrepealed, brings permanent dependency to millions more people.  The rich will need to make more and more to pay for it or it folds and people with currently lower incomes get locked into lower incomes long term.  Who does that help?

The poor in America had free health care before Obamacare - and after it, if repealed.  Obamacare was aimed primarily at the second quintile, to subsidize comprehensive healthcare for those who work for modest incomes and don't get employer healthcare.  It was also aimed at taking the opportunity to enact an irreversible federal government takeover of the whole system that would eventually lead to whatever you want to call it, single, federal government payer, universal care, socialized medicine.

How do you explain to those losing their O'care subsidy is in their best interest?  That where they were paying $100 of an $800 policy, and now will pay 799 because of some minor deregulation will help them?  It is a tough sell.  That is why you look for a wedge in the opposite direction of the ones planted by the left. 

You must make it possible and desirable for them to make more income and rise out of subsidy.  The rising tide, JFK called it.  You make it beneficial for them to make more and more income, not punishing at the lower end (or at the high end).  You make it legal and possible for them to buy less expensive healthcare policies to cover basic needs while they raise their incomes to pay for larger plans if they want them.  You take the part of the cost out of it that is paying for someone else's care, young paying for the old etc.  Your policy cost covers you and your risks, not the ills of the system.  We need to message better.  We are not replacing a system that works; we are replacing a system that already failed, is unfunded and in a death spiral. 

Create an environment where people want to be off the dole, not on it.  If we can accomplish that in less than 100 years, we are doing better than anyone thought possible.  In the meantime, dismantle this new entitlement the best you before it gets any further entrenched.

This isn't going to be easier later.
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Health care reform, Very demoralizing on: March 24, 2017, 10:53:39 AM
ccp:  The doctor who during a meeting I was in who said he thought the Repubs would not be ABLE to repeal Obamster  care because of this simple phrase:  "20 million people will lose their insurance"

An exchange on this thread Oct-Nov, 2016:
Gruber:"The main goal of Obamacare was two-fold. One was to cover the uninsured, of which we’ve covered 20 million, the largest expansion in American history. The other was to fix broken insurance markets where insurers could deny people insurance just because they were sick or they had been sick."

Crafty: Name me a Rep who answers this cogently and tell me what he says.
-----------------------------------------------------

It was 100% foreseeable and unavoidable all along that you would be accused of taking health insurance away for 20 million if you "repeal Obamacare lock, stock and barrel".

Any pure conservative, libertarian or federalist can see that health insurance is not the domain of the federal government for a host of reasons.  And any honest historian can tell you that we have not only never ended a major entitlement after it is in effect, have we ever even cut the growth rate of one?!   CBO was wrong on Medicaid by 17-fold as it grew and expanded.

At the very minimum, moving forward on repeal/reform requires consensus of 50% plus one vote of the House, 50 Senators and the White House.  A pure view that the federal government has no business at all in health care may be exactly right but isn't going to ever reach that threshold, no matter what Ted Cruz and the Freedom caucus say.  Do any of them say they have the votes?

Pointing out that the 20 million is really 10 million, http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1411.msg102499#msg102499, or that more than 20 million lost their policies because of Obamacare doesn't make the question go away, what are you going to do about the 20 million (that is really 10 million) that will lose their healthcare if Obamacare is repealed?

Republicans propose tax credits - violation of our principles, new entitlement.  Another option is a transition period, two year delay or phase-out.  It still begs the question, what are we going to do with the 20 million (10 million)?

It partly comes down to policy and it partly comes to surrendering the war of messenging over the last over the last 8 (or 100) years.

To the naysayers of the Ryan and Trump plan, you better do something because doing nothing is worse and will truly lead to socialized medicine if not stopped now.

And to the writers of the Ryan and Trump 3-part plan, this better be good - and prove the naysayers wrong.
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Charles Krauthammer is glorifying the partisan civil war on: March 24, 2017, 10:12:47 AM

He makes a number of good points.
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / American Creed, Constitutional Law , Gorsuch hearings, Dem JV team on: March 24, 2017, 10:10:59 AM
I see in my open tabs, this didn't get posted a couple of days ago when written.  I was going to point out today that Mark Steyn was making this same point on the radio yesterday:  

"Democrats face a simple choice, how would they like to lose?"

[Leftist commentator, Nina Totenburg was also making this point.]

Steyn says, they can lose fast or lose the slow way, but lose this battle is what is going to happen for them.  Schumer says they will filibuster and press for a different nominee.  Really?  Who is a better nominee for a President like Trump to pick and a Republican majority Senate to confirm?  I predict it will be Dems that fold on the filibuster.  Better yet, break the log jam via the rules and require the Senate to do it's job, advise and consent on Supreme Court nominations.
-----------------

I am embarrassed for my Senators, Democats Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.  [On the good side, they have been nationally exposed for what they are, boring, petty and disingenuous, not 2020 Presidential material as some previously thought.]

Amy [Sen. Klobuchar D-MN] tried to prove the point that originalism is bad by pointing out that the constitution includes multiple references to the President with the pronouns he or him.  But the women's right to vote IS part of the constitution, added in the 19th amendment in 1920, and Article 2 defining how we choose the President also refers to the list of possible candidates as "Persons", never using the word man or men.  What a reckless idiot.  [The next day she opened by denying she was making this false point.]   Amy was a County Attorney and should have been able to handle the job as opposition questioner.  Instead it was quite obvious that she was only reading questions handed to her by others.  One way you know that is that the series of questions doesn't correctly anticipate the nominee's answer to the previous question.  It doesn't flow and the questioner keeps getting thrown off track.  Example, the next day, after losing an exchange with the judge, she reiterated her off the mark point, didn't give the witness another chance to respond and then just said she needed to move on.

As Hennepin County Attorney (Hennepin County is bigger than 8 states), was she a prosecutor or was she a driveling politician who had prosecutors on staff?  Quite obviously the latter.

Enter Al Franken.  Besides his lack of humor, he showed his lack of legal knowledge and preparation.  First he went after one of Gorsuch's 3000 decisions, Trans Am Trucking.  Franken took his speaking time 99-1 over the witness and used his time to demonstrate that he not only didn't understand the pivotal point of the case, but he couldn't pronounce it either, "scrivener's error", and HE'S the one who chose the case to discuss!  [Or did the people who wrote his questions pick it?]  All his other points failed too, What did Reince Priebus mean by ...?  Gorsuch didn't even have to say, it's none of his business what one politician thinks of him.  

Democrats face a simple choice, how would they like to lose? They can delay - as Chuck Schumer is proposing.  They can filibuster.  They can vote no.  And they can cause the creation a new, nuclear option precedent and break the filibuster via a rules vote that would then make Trump future appointments pass too.
167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, London terrorist identified on: March 23, 2017, 02:03:31 PM
London terrorist identified.  His name is Lars and he is believed to be a Lutheran extremist.


Correction, his name is Khalid and he is believed to be an Islamic extremist.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/mar/23/westminster-attack-parliament-resumes-tributes-keith-palmer-live
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Child Support Statistics on: March 23, 2017, 11:06:15 AM
DDF:  "I have often wondered why the courts find it necessary to grant primary custody to the women..."

Nice post DDF.  The gender inequity in custody is quite amazing.

FWIW, I was father sole custody parent of my daughter from age one on.  The facts of how that came to be are quite extreme.  My attorney tells his other father clients in custody fights about my story and that without circumstances like these they have no chance of winning.

There are different laws in different states.
http://family.findlaw.com/child-custody/child-custody-summaries-of-state-laws.html

Five states — Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Missouri — are looking at proposals that would require judges to presume that it’s best for children to split their time as evenly as possible between their two parents. Utah enacted a similar law last year.
http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/03/15/more-time-for-dads-states-weigh-changes-to-custody-laws

Data on actual outcomes like you posted tell us more how it really is than does the text of the law.

I don't know that a kid schlepped back and forth every week is a perfect solution either!

Another arrangement I have seen is where the kids stay in the house and the divorced parents take turns living with the children if they can't get along with each other.
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Next Fed Chair David Malpass?? on: March 21, 2017, 01:57:22 PM
A good article today about economist David Malpass, a friend/collaborator of our own Scott Grannis.
Another great Trump pick, the new undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury.
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2017/03/21/the_us_treasury_and_the_exciting_arrival_of_david_malpass_102597.html

While it’s fun to imagine Malpass eventually replacing Yellen, the great news for now is that he’s been appointed undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury.  His arrival is essential.  That’s the case because the U.S. Treasury is the mouthpiece for the U.S. dollar, and Malpass knows dollar policy as few do.

What’s crucially important is that Malpass understands that money is decidedly not wealth.  If every dollar in the world were vaporized today, the U.S. would remain the world’s richest country tomorrow.  Malpass views money as Adam Smith did, as a medium of exchange that facilitates the exchange of actual wealth.  Wealth is what we humans produce, while money is but a measure that speeds our exchange of the goods and services we create.

The above matters a great deal now simply because the understanding of money within the political class is arguably at an all-time low.  More and more economists, pundits and politicians think the value of money can be tinkered with on the way to artificially grand economic outcomes.  Call it economic fabulism.  While in the real world money merely facilitates exchange and investment, to the fabulists who increasingly dot the economic landscape, money is the wealth.  And changes in its value can alter reality to our betterment.  To the fabulists, dollar devaluation is the path to prosperity.  They couldn’t be more incorrect.

What’s important is that Malpass expertly knows why the fabulists are incorrect.  He knows that the U.S. economy is but a collection of individuals, and individuals earn dollars.  By extension, he’s well aware that the American people aren’t made better off if the dollars they’re earning are being stripped of their value by monetary officials.

Taking this further, Malpass knows well that companies and jobs spring from investment.  That the latter is true explains why Malpass has written voluminous columns and reports, and has given countless speeches over the years preaching the virtue of money that is actually money.  Getting more specific, Malpass has long favored a dollar that is the same today as it is tomorrow, one year from now, and ten years from now.

When a dollar holds its value over time much as a foot will be twelve inches tomorrow and twelve years from now, those with wealth can most comfortably direct it toward future wealth creation.  They can invest.  Malpass knows that when savers put money to work as investment, they’re buying dollars in the future.  But when money is being shrunken, the cost of delaying consumption in favor of investing in future Apples, Walmarts and Microsofts becomes prohibitive.  While investment is the tautological source of new companies and jobs, why invest if any potential returns will come back in severely devalued dollars?

Malpass knows all of the above, and much, much more.  With the U.S. Treasury focused on dollar and tax policy, Malpass understands that taxes are nothing more than a price, or a penalty placed on work.  He knows that taxes raise the cost of getting up and going to work, and since he’ll be the international face of Treasury, he knows that country taxes amount to a daily competition for the investment that authors all advance.  Malpass knows that investment goes where it’s treated well; specifically investment migrates to where it’s not being devalued through currency machinations, or through nosebleed capital gains taxes that suffocate intrepid investing in the first place.

How does all this apply to the American voter? It says here that more than most in the punditry realize, voters have long been clamoring for the policies that Malpass has been preaching for decades.  Plainly stated, voters want economic growth, and to reap the benefits of growth through ever-increasing living standards.

What’s important is that all of the above can be achieved through the modest policy ideas that Malpass will bring with him to Washington.  Malpass does not come with arrogant solutions as much as he’ll bring common sense to the policy conversation.

Malpass will remind all around him that the average voter earns dollars, and as such is not made better off when those dollars buy less and less.  The average voter craves opportunity, and he’ll remind those in his orbit that dollar destruction is anti-opportunity because it’s anti-investment.

Most of all, the internationalist in Malpass will remind those in his midst that a global economy speaks to global options when it comes to investing.  Malpass will alert those around him to the simple truth that dollar devaluation and excessive taxation stateside will cause investment to exit the U.S., and with it the economic opportunity that individuals want regardless of Party affiliation.

Simply put, David Malpass understands economic growth intimately.  What a great development it is that he’ll be bringing his expertise to the U.S. Treasury.
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential, Minnesota led the nation in turnout, turned right on: March 21, 2017, 01:18:12 PM
Double checking final numbers election night.

"Conventional Wisdom" is that Democrats win when they turnout their voters and Republicans win in the off years, in bad weather and when turnout is down.

All the states that typically have the highest turnout turned distinctly rightward in 2016:
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa.
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/10/17/states-with-the-highest-voter-turnout/2/?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange_article

Minnesota led the nation in turnout, 2016
http://www.twincities.com/2016/11/29/minnesotas-no-1-in-voting-again/

Minnesota was recently considered also the 'bluest' state in the nation, home of Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone, Amy Klobuchare, Al Franken, Keith Ellison, and the only state Reagan never won.

Barack Obama won MN with 54% of the vote in 2008 and won reelection there in 2012 with 53%.

Hillary Clinton won Minnesota in 2016 with 46% to Trump's 45%, a 7 point fall from Obama's worst result. 

If you combine the other right leaning candidates vote percentages of Libertarian Gary Johnson and conservative alternative candidate Evan McMullen with Trump's total, 53% chose Trump or one of these over Hillary Clinton.

Trump won 78 out of 87 counties in Minnesota.
http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/minnesota

Adding salt to local leftists wounds, MN Republicans held the state House and took the State Senate in 2016. 

Yet the remaining elected Democrats, the Governor, two US Senators and 5 out of 8 House members, carry on with their pure partisanship in denial of this recent turn of events.


171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Hey Huma, What's Up?" - Kellyanne Conway, 2:30 am election night on: March 21, 2017, 12:44:42 PM
Must post this great story before we close this thread and the Clintons disappear quietly off into the sunset.  

[Everyone was afraid that TRUMP wouldn't accept the outcome of the election.]  Clinton's campaign manager had agreed the night before through an email to Kellyanne Conway that within 15 minutes of the AP calling the race for Secretary Clinton, they would wait 15 minutes and then she would take to the podium and declare victory.  'So he was basically saying that you have 15 minutes for Mr Trump to get out there [and give a concession speech] or she's going to declare victory either way.
'And then he said in the event that Mr Trump wins, Secretary Clinton will call him within 15 minutes of the AP,' Conway said with a wink, implying that Clinton staffers were confident their boss would win.

Clinton's camp held up their end of the deal. Conway said that she looked down to see her phone was ringing.
'I look down - literally it was like a movie - my phone is ringing and it said "Huma Abedin" [Clinton's longtime aide]. And I said, "Hey, Huma. What's up?"

"And she's absolutely lovely, she really is. And she's like 'Hi Kellyanne, Secretary Clinton would like to speak to Mr. Trump..."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4325212/Kellyanne-Conway-recalls-Hillary-Clinton-s-concession-call.html#ixzz4byxc9eck


Trump went on to accept the result even though 4 of the 6 closest states were won by Clinton, New Hampshire, Maine, Nevada and Minnesota.
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 21, 2017, 12:15:16 PM
"How are the various political entities supposed to wet their beaks with this? I see no opportunity for graft or rentseeking. This is madness!"


Imagine the economic energy that could be generated if the massive industry of lawyers, lobbyists and rent-seekers seeking favor with the government had to produce something of value instead of feed off of the efforts of others.  
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: A conservative jurist for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch confirmation on: March 21, 2017, 09:56:54 AM

Speaking of prescient, on the forum we had the pleasure of reading this excellent article a day before the  Neil Gorsuch appointment was known.

Today Judge Gorsuch is giving a constitutional law clinic on NPR, CSPAN? or wherever you can get coverage.

Opponents have accused Gorsuch of being an originalist.  If you are a leftist, isn't a disciplined "originalist" better than having Trump appoint like the liberals do, someone who agrees with Trump on policy and would read the constitution as a living and breathing document that can be twisted and contorted to support those policies.  Glenn Reynolds posed this question a couple of weeks ago:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/03/02/constitution-neil-gorsuch-supreme-court-originalism-glenn-reynolds-column/98537030/
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - A Health Care Reform Plan on: March 21, 2017, 09:43:02 AM
I am a humble person but I remember that after reading three thousand pages of NAFTA in 1993, I bragged that I could write an international free trade agreement on the back of a cocktail napkin.

Then came the complexities of Hillarycare (see chart):


The people rose up against that federal monstrosity but fast forward 16 years and along came Obamacare, and the people rose up against that and along came Trump or Ryan Care.

Before we criticize others for taking on the most difficult task of designing a healthcare system that meets all the requirements for all the peope, we should each answer the question of what our own proposal would look like.  With that in mind, today I release my US Government federal healthcare proposal as follows, hat tip to the authors of the 10th amendment. 


Doug's Federal Healthcare Reform Proposal, March 2017:
"Powers, such as anything to do with the people's individual and family healthcare, that are not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 17, 2017, 11:16:26 AM
Democrats, for all their flaws, are geniuses at framing the argument.  The repeal of Obamacare issue has been framed by the question of, what are you going to do with the 20 million that got their healthcare through the program?

CBO raises the number to 24 million who will lose that healthcare.  Krauthammer says it's really 10 million:

"The Congressional Budget Office projects that, under House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement bill, 24 million will lose insurance within 10 years, 14 million after the first year.
Granted, the number is highly suspect. CBO projects 18 million covered by the Obamacare exchanges in 2018. But the number today is about 10 million. That means the CBO estimate of those losing coverage is already about 8 million too high."


It's a trap.  While we fight their false numbers and they never concede, it is taken as admitting that 10 millions will be left out, still too many.

But of course it's a false argument.  Healthcare was getting unaffordable before Obamacare and last 8 years made it a national crisis.  The program IS in a death spiral.  You can't effectively compare a new proposal to something that can't be sustained anyway and we can't compare anything  accurately with static analysis.  And what about the 20 million and more that lost their plans over Obamacare?  That gets lost in the other arguments.  Liberals framed the issue.

Affordability has two components, cost and income.  Big government in general and Obamacare in particular make it impossible to grow incomes.  Look at the stagnation in median incomes or listen to a Bernie Sanders speech.  That has to end.  Incomes have to grow if we are ever going to able to afford all the treatments for all the ailments that will ail an aging population.  The first point of affordability is grow the economy.  Excess regulations look like they are getting disrupted fast, but we kicked tax reform down the road.  Bad choice, it should ALL be on the table.

On the cost side, no one seems to be able to point to the one reason why healthcare costs go up and up and up.  Maybe that's because there isn't just one reason!  Why need to go after all the causes and come up with the best solutions possible.  In a nutshell that answer is to return the free market discipline that other industries have to healthcare.  I hate to be a pessimist, but my thought at the moment is, good luck doing that.

What we have instead is Republicans fighting with Republicans over different proposals that will never pass and become law.  Our side needs to come together and put it all on the table - now - with the best, compromise solution possible.  Or be governed by their policies.  Like when Republicans continued CRAp into the financial crisis, Obamacare is still the law of the land and so is the Democrats convoluted tax plan.

This doesn't get easier later.
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs, spending, deficit, and budget, Cut 80 programs? on: March 17, 2017, 10:28:29 AM
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-budget/

Wow.  My thought during the tea party rising was that tax cutting had been a good try at cutting government, but what all smaller govt advocates should be able to agree on is CUT SPENDING FIRST.

But Republicans never can from out of power then never do when in power.

And then along comes Trump.

Is this a negotiating ploy or is it a budget.  Maybe we can pass it to find out what's in it.

They said no program has ever been cut or ended.  That was before Obama.  Now we have programs for the advancement of Muslims in NASA.  Programs HAVE to be cut.
177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care, dr. Krauthammer on Healthcare replace on: March 17, 2017, 09:44:09 AM
Some interesting points in here.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-real-world-of-obamacare-repeal/2017/03/16/cba55228-0a71-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html?utm_term=.101fbfef8b8a

The real world of Obamacare repeal

By Charles Krauthammer. March 16

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but for governments it’s not that easy. Once something is given — say, health insurance coverage to 20 million Americans — you take it away at your peril. This is true for any government benefit, but especially for health care. There’s a reason not one Western democracy with some system of national health care has ever abolished it.

The genius of the left is to keep enlarging the entitlement state by creating new giveaways that are politically impossible to repeal. For 20 years, Republicans railed against the New Deal. Yet, when they came back into office in 1953, Eisenhower didn’t just keep Social Security, he expanded it.

People hated Obamacare for its highhandedness, incompetence and cost. At the same time, its crafters took great care to create new beneficiaries and new expectations. Which makes repeal very complicated.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that, under House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement bill, 24 million will lose insurance within 10 years, 14 million after the first year.

Granted, the number is highly suspect. CBO projects 18 million covered by the Obamacare exchanges in 2018. But the number today is about 10 million. That means the CBO estimate of those losing coverage is already about 8 million too high.

Nonetheless, there will be losers. And their stories will be plastered wall to wall across the media as sure as night follows day.

That scares GOP moderates. And yet the main resistance to Ryan comes from conservative members complaining that the bill is not ideologically pure enough. They mock it as Obamacare Lite.

For example, Ryan wants to ease the pain by phasing out Medicaid expansion through 2020. The conservative Republican Study Committee wants it done next year. This is crazy. For the sake of two years’ savings, why would you risk a political crash landing?

Moreover, the idea that you can eradicate Obamacare root and branch is fanciful. For all its catastrophic flaws, Obamacare changed expectations. Does any Republican propose returning to a time when you can be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition?

It’s not just Donald Trump who ran on retaining this new, yes, entitlement. Everyone did. But it’s very problematic. If people know that they can sign up for insurance after they get sick, the very idea of insurance is undermined. People won’t sign up when healthy, and the insurance companies will go broke.

So what do you do? Obamacare imposed a monetary fine if you didn’t sign up, for which the Ryan bill substitutes another mechanism, less heavy-handed but still government-mandated.

The purists who insist upon entirely escaping the heavy hand of government are dreaming. The best you can hope for is to make it less intrusive and more rational, as in the Ryan plan’s block-granting Medicaid.

Or instituting a more realistic age-rating system. Older patients use six times as much health care as their younger counterparts, yet Obamacare decreed, entirely arbitrarily, that the former could be charged insurance premiums no more than three times that of the latter. The GOP bill changes the ratio from 3-to-1 to 5-to-1.

Premiums better reflecting risk constitute a major restoration of rationality. (It’s how life insurance works.) Under Obamacare, the young were unwilling to be swindled and refused to sign up. Without their support, the whole system is thus headed into a death spiral of looming insolvency.

Rationality, however, has a price. The CBO has already predicted a massive increase in premiums for 60-year-olds. That’s the headline.

There is no free lunch. GOP hard-liners must accept that Americans have become accustomed to some new health-care benefits, just as moderates have to brace themselves for stories about the inevitable losers in any reform. That’s the political price for fulfilling the seven-year promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Unless, of course, you go the full Machiavelli and throw it all back on the Democrats. How? Republicans could forget about meeting the arcane requirements of “reconciliation” legislation (which requires only 51 votes in the Senate) and send the Senate a replacement bill loaded up with everything conservative — including tort reform and insurance competition across state lines. That would require 60 Senate votes. Let the Democrats filibuster it to death — and take the blame when repeal-and-replace fails and Obamacare carries on and then collapses under its own weight.

Upside: You reap the backlash. Downside: You have to live with your conscience.
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: March 16, 2017, 09:28:21 AM
"If Russia was still the Soviet Union, the left would do nothing but sing their praises, just like they used to do."

Right.  The fascination right now with Russia is strange.  Yes, Putin is a force of evil and in their eight years they did nothing to stand up to him. We cancelled missile defense in Eastern Europe and handed him Crimea, Ukraine, and the Middle East.  Now, out of power, the Left sees him as Voldemort.

We squeezed him with oil and gas production and the lowering of energy prices, and the Left did everything they could do to oppose all that.
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: March 16, 2017, 09:16:44 AM
BBG's view is welcome anytime.  Personal responsibility is still a factor, not just legalization, criminalization.

Trump and the Feds need to do something about federal law not matching state laws (and state constitutions) and I doubt if sending troops into these (swing) states is the best answer.

Colorado's law partly failed and partly succeeded.  Now it's 4 or 5 states.

We don't need legal heroin or legal meth or legal cocaine or five year olds using drugs.  But we also don't need coercive paternalism to be the law of the land for all personal behavior, soda, french fries, etc.
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Good summary of Obama years on: March 16, 2017, 08:59:43 AM

"Our view has consistently been that the economic recovery from the Great Recession could have been — and should have been — very robust. And that the only reason it wasn’t is growth-choking policies imposed by Obama: Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, tax hikes, huge new regulatory burdens." - IBD

The crash and the Great Recession were also caused by Democrat policies - Democrat policies that Republicans agreed to.
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media, Ministry of Truth Issues, Rachel Maddow felony on: March 16, 2017, 08:40:46 AM
Unauthorized disclosure of a tax return is a felony.

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/322477-nyt-columnist-urges-irs-employees-to-unlawfully-leak-trumps-tax-returns
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Prof. Richard S. Lindzen: Withdraw from UNFCCC on: March 15, 2017, 02:19:20 PM
"Let me explain in somewhat greater detail why we call for withdrawal from the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].

The UNFCCC was established twenty-five years ago, to find scientific support for dangers from increasing carbon dioxide. While this has led to generous and rapidly increased support for the field, the purported dangers remain hypothetical, model-based projections. By contrast, the benefits of increasing CO2 and modest warming are clearer than ever, and they are supported by dramatic satellite images of a greening Earth.

• The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) no longer claims a greater likelihood of significant as opposed to negligible future warming,

• It has long been acknowledged by the IPCC that climate change prior to the 1960’s could not have been due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Yet, pre-1960 instrumentally observed temperatures show many warming episodes, similar to the one since 1960, for example, from 1915 to 1950, and from 1850 to 1890. None of these could have been caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2,

• Model projections of warming during recent decades have greatly exceeded what has been observed,

• The modelling community has openly acknowledged that the ability of existing models to simulate past climates is due to numerous arbitrary tuning adjustments,

• Observations show no statistically valid trends in flooding or drought, and no meaningful acceleration whatsoever of pre-existing long term sea level rise (about 6 inches per century) worldwide,

• Current carbon dioxide levels, around 400 parts per million are still very small compared to the averages over geological history, when thousands of parts per million prevailed, and when life flourished on land and in the oceans.

Calls to limit carbon dioxide emissions are even less persuasive today than 25 years ago. Future research should focus on dispassionate, high-quality climate science, not on efforts to prop up an increasingly frayed narrative of “carbon pollution.” Until scientific research is unfettered from the constraints of the policy-driven UNFCCC, the research community will fail in its obligation to the public that pays the bills."
-------------------------------------

About the author:

Richard Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT. MIT’s web site suggests his scientific eminence:

Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability. His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity. He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause, and provided accepted explanations for atmospheric tides and the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere. He pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer and dynamics interact with each other. He is currently studying what determines the pole to equator temperature difference, the nonlinear equilibration of baroclinic instability and the contribution of such instabilities to global heat transport. He has also been developing a new approach to air-sea interaction in the tropics, and is actively involved in parameterizing the role of cumulus convection in heating and drying the atmosphere and in generating upper level cirrus clouds. He has developed models for the Earth’s climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000 year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate.

Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMS’s Meisinger and Charney Awards, the AGU’s Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Council of the AMS. He has also been a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (Ph.D., ’64, S.M., ’61, A.B., ’60, Harvard University)
183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The coming Middle East crisis after ISIS is gone, Ralph Peters on: March 15, 2017, 02:08:00 PM
http://nypost.com/2017/03/12/the-coming-middle-east-crisis-after-isis-is-gone/

"What should we do? Discard our preconceptions for a start. Why shouldn’t dysfunctional borders change? In fact, they’re changing themselves. How many American lives is it worth to serve the vision of dead Europeans and grisly Arab dictators? We need not act to change those borders, but we shouldn’t stand in the way."
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CBO says Obamacare not in death spiral? on: March 15, 2017, 01:50:01 PM

That is the fake news story of the day, Obamacare isn't failing.  "Trump can fix Obamacare ... by doing nothing".  Good luck with that.  I'm not sure Vox is pulling for his success.

We just have to fund the "risk corridors".  And it's already Republicans fault:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/11/7/1592247/-How-the-GOP-Broke-Obamacare  
Republicans have been undermining it from the start!

Premiums are going up 25-70% PER YEAR, your plan is gone, your doctor is gone, your premiums and deductibles are higher than ever before, and you went from self-sufficient to becoming a ward of the state if you are a median income earner, but the program IS NOT FAILING or in a death spiral.  Good grief.

The article begins:  "Beyond its eye-popping findings on higher premiums and large-scale coverage loss..."   Sorry, but they already got me there.  What is beyond screwing up the system and the economy?  More static numbers - based on assumptions already known to be false.

What the hell was the purpose of the ACA again?  Higher premiums and large scale coverage losses??  Costs far beyond what were promised?  Competition lost and "risk corridors' created that mean insurance companies aren't insuring us at all?
http://dailysignal.com/2016/07/26/16-obamacare-co-ops-collapsed-heres-how-the-rest-are-faring/
http://hotair.com/archives/2016/09/12/coming-risk-corridors-bailout-obamacare/
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/309902-obamacares-risk-corridor-corruption-never-ends

What they miss goes back to the (lack of) dynamic scoring question.  This largest ever new entitlement is already keeping our economy from growing; it's not just a healthcare system or insurance issue.  As the economy stagnates or shrinks and fewer employers go out and hire and fewer and fewer people go out and earn their own way and more and more people become dependent on the government for their largest and fastest growing expense and vote for more and more benefits and larger and larger subsidies, the whole economy goes down, not just the healthcare system.  And then you go in needing surgery and there is a 270 day wait, you know why they called it a death spiral.

That's the kind of small thing one might miss with static analysis.  MHO.
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada on: March 15, 2017, 01:17:57 PM
“No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there. The resource will be developed."
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/oh-trudeau.php
--------------------------------
A liberal favors the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Favors exploration, drilling, extracting and transporting a CO2 producing fossil fuel.  

Previously from Trudeau:
Canada must "phase out" Alberta's oil sands and end the country's dependence on hydrocarbons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
https://phys.org/news/2017-01-trudeau-canada-oil-sands-phased.html
Oops.

Makes me wonder if man-made, catastrophic, global warming is a farce.  Isn't Canada dangerously close to the melting Arctic?  )   Actually, I can see Canada from my living room and can tell you that a warming planet might be the best thing that could ever happen to Canada!

This reminds me of President Obama continuing a campaign of drone strikes against al Qaida targets.  Imagine his opposition to that kind of warfare if he was not in power.  Every once in a while, being elevated to the highest position of power and authority causes a person to do the right thing.  

And so often it doesn't.
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / European matters, Dutch elections today on: March 15, 2017, 12:58:52 PM
The incumbent, Mark Rutte, is considered to be from the free market conservative party.  I don't think of the Netherlands as a free market country so I don't really know what that means.  "Our ability to create jobs, our future growth, is built on the free market. It's built on open borders." - Mark Rutte
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Party_for_Freedom_and_Democracy

 The top challenger is Geert Wilders of the 'Freedom' party who has made a name with bold talk against Muslim immigration.  They have been coalition partners as well as rivals.  I can't comment on the Dutch immigration problem without bias; I was knifed by "immigrants" on my last Holland visit.  I came out of it better than Theo Van Gogh did: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/03/world/europe/dutch-filmmaker-an-islam-critic-is-killed.html

Regarding Wilders, it's about time someone spoke up about the problem. Whether he is the best candidate, I don't know.   Wilders has lost support in the last poll, but everyone seems to know after Brexit and Trump, polls on these matters have been amazingly unreliable.

This will be interesting to watch.

https://www.ft.com/content/6bc14dee-0909-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Modi's Chance to Reshape India's Economy on: March 15, 2017, 12:19:20 PM
This editorial from Bloomberg sums up the opportunity pretty well.  Prime Minister Narandra Modi ran on economic reform, has been working to turn the tide against corruption in government, has won a large number of seats in Parliament in recent election, is poised to win his own reelection next time around, giving him an extraordinary opportunity to implement real economic reforms.  India is the world's most populous democracy with relatively youthful demographics and need to create one million jobs per month.  This is not a table set for splitting up a fixed size pie.  Like us, they need to grow their economy, big time.  And if they do, what and important development that would be for the world economy and geo-politics and US foreign policy.  For another post, India is a natural ally of the US IMO but that relationship keeps getting distracted and deterred by other rivalries and forces.

"The only way to do so at the pace and scale required -- with nearly a million new job-seekers entering the market every month -- is to get private investment flowing again and to crack open India’s ossified land, labor and other factor markets."

Private investment is the key to widespread employment growth.  Who knew?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-13/modi-s-chance-to-reshape-india-s-economy

Modi's Chance to Reshape India's Economy,   Bloomberg editors, MARCH 13, 2017

After his party’s triumph in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest and most politically important, Prime Minister Narendra Modi now wields greater power than any Indian leader in a generation. He will need it if he wants to continue to reshape India’s economy.

True, the results don’t drastically alter the math in the upper house of Parliament in New Delhi, where previous reform efforts have stalled, and the polls themselves were hardly a referendum on market liberalization. Yet Modi’s popularity is also inseparable from the pledge that won him office in 2014: to deliver the jobs India’s burgeoning population desperately needs (and thus far, isn’t getting). The only way to do so at the pace and scale required -- with nearly a million new job-seekers entering the market every month -- is to get private investment flowing again and to crack open India’s ossified land, labor and other factor markets.

Some of this should now be more possible at the national level. Modi could, for instance, begin cleaning up and selling off inefficient state-run banks in order to unclog the investment pipeline. The opposition Congress Party could perhaps afford to be obstructionist when swathes of the electorate had real doubts about Modi’s agenda. Facing a clear consensus in favor of good governance and faster economic development, and lacking any credible leader to rival Modi, the party will have a harder time blocking reforms.

More important, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party now controls territories comprising more than 60 percent of India’s population. That grouping presents an ideal testing ground for difficult land and labor reforms. While some measures have been attempted thus far, they haven’t been as far-reaching or as coordinated as they could be. Modi can change that by pressing state leaders to combine their efforts and resources into a more ambitious liberalizing agenda.

None of this is to say that Modi’s recent focus on cleaning up politics and the economy isn’t worthwhile, or that smaller reforms -- opening up more sectors to foreign direct investment, say -- aren’t welcome. It’s critical that the rollout of an already approved nationwide goods-and-services tax proceed swiftly and smoothly. Modi will have to be careful, too, to keep a check on more extreme voices in the BJP, who may take the party’s electoral success as license to promote a more hard-line religious agenda.

But with this victory, and facing the great likelihood of a second term in 2019, Modi has a renewed chance to give India the future its young and eager population deserves. He needs to seize it.
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The math and science behind capitalism on: March 15, 2017, 11:52:01 AM
I like this article, it goes part way to explaining what capitalism is and why it works.  

'capitalism...is individual freedom expressed in an economic system'

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/03/the_science_behind_capitalism.html#ixzz4bPjQNiaa
March 14, 2017
The science behind capitalism
By John Conlin
The economic system called capitalism has been described in many ways, but at its core, it is quite simply free people freely interacting with other free people.  Capitalism has transformed the world by producing more wealth than any other economic system in the history of civilization.

But how does it produce such wealth?  Some have said freedom is the magic potion – that left to their own devices, free people will outperform any other economic system.  

That is true, but the ultimate reason is deeper and firmly based in science and fact.  In the past few decades, a great deal of research has been done on what is called swarm intelligence.  Swarm intelligence attempts to explain and understand the collective behavior of group animals.  Think of honeybees, schools of fish, herds of bison, flocks of birds, etc.

The intelligence of the swarm is a significant multiplier.  Rather than relying solely on individual intelligence, these groups create a collective intelligence that is orders of magnitudes beyond that of any individual member.

They do so without any leader, with no management of any sort, with no one "seeing the big picture."  In fact, having no one in charge is a key ingredient to swarm intelligence.  This incredible increase in intelligence is driven by countless interactions among individual members, with each following simple rules of thumb and reacting to their local environment and those members around them.  That's it.

Perhaps counterintuitively, if an individual member did attempt to become a leader, the group intelligence would drop precipitously.  And although it may be difficult to grasp, this self-organizing behavior has no cause and effect.  It simply is.

Think of the intelligence of one of the members of these swarms versus the intelligence of the group.  We are talking about not adding a few group I.Q. points, but rather increases in intelligence by orders of magnitude.

My hypothesis is this same process is the scientific basis for the success of capitalism, and in fact the success of the human race.  This swarm intelligence has always been at work, but with our highly developed communication skills and the ability to record and store knowledge our collective swarm intelligence is truly astounding.  Just like the honeybee, our swarm is orders of magnitude more intelligent than even the brightest among us.

And thus capitalism, which is just individual freedom as expressed in an economic system, is absolutely certain to "work."  It is a scientific fact just as certain as gravity.  And just like the swarm, it does so with no leader, no management, and no one seeing the big picture – no cause and effect.  It just is.  

And just like the swarm, when we attempt to place leaders in this process, the collective intelligence plummets.  This explains why governments and their activities are always going to be far stupider than free individuals going about their daily lives.  This isn't a political statement, but a factual one.

Again, we aren't talking about knocking off a couple group I.Q. points, but rather magnitudinal increases in stupidity.  This stupidity multiplier isn't restricted to governments; it applies to all organizations, the larger the worse.  Anyone who has worked in government, the military, or other large organizations has seen it every day.

Some economists have noted that during the Soviet Union's existence, the central planners had to daily determine the prices of literally hundreds of thousands of things, and thus the system was terribly inefficient, as they had no way to accurately determine this.  My hypothesis is that even if they could have accurately determined each and every one of those prices, they still would have failed.  The stupidity multiplier of their command-and-control economy ensured this.

The science on this is clear.  If we want to maximize our collective well-being and wealth, if we want to maximize our freedom, if we want to maximize our collective odds for survival, we must allow human swarm intelligence to do its magic.  And governments are not the solution, but are rather the destroyer.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He also holds a B.S. in Earth sciences and an MBA and is the founder and president of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.

The economic system called capitalism has been described in many ways, but at its core, it is quite simply free people freely interacting with other free people.  Capitalism has transformed the world by producing more wealth than any other economic system in the history of civilization.

But how does it produce such wealth?  Some have said freedom is the magic potion – that left to their own devices, free people will outperform any other economic system.  

That is true, but the ultimate reason is deeper and firmly based in science and fact.  In the past few decades, a great deal of research has been done on what is called swarm intelligence.  Swarm intelligence attempts to explain and understand the collective behavior of group animals.  Think of honeybees, schools of fish, herds of bison, flocks of birds, etc.

The intelligence of the swarm is a significant multiplier.  Rather than relying solely on individual intelligence, these groups create a collective intelligence that is orders of magnitudes beyond that of any individual member.

They do so without any leader, with no management of any sort, with no one "seeing the big picture."  In fact, having no one in charge is a key ingredient to swarm intelligence.  This incredible increase in intelligence is driven by countless interactions among individual members, with each following simple rules of thumb and reacting to their local environment and those members around them.  That's it.

Perhaps counterintuitively, if an individual member did attempt to become a leader, the group intelligence would drop precipitously.  And although it may be difficult to grasp, this self-organizing behavior has no cause and effect.  It simply is.

Think of the intelligence of one of the members of these swarms versus the intelligence of the group.  We are talking about not adding a few group I.Q. points, but rather increases in intelligence by orders of magnitude.

My hypothesis is this same process is the scientific basis for the success of capitalism, and in fact the success of the human race.  This swarm intelligence has always been at work, but with our highly developed communication skills and the ability to record and store knowledge our collective swarm intelligence is truly astounding.  Just like the honeybee, our swarm is orders of magnitude more intelligent than even the brightest among us.

And thus capitalism, which is just individual freedom as expressed in an economic system, is absolutely certain to "work."  It is a scientific fact just as certain as gravity.  And just like the swarm, it does so with no leader, no management, and no one seeing the big picture – no cause and effect.  It just is.  

And just like the swarm, when we attempt to place leaders in this process, the collective intelligence plummets.  This explains why governments and their activities are always going to be far stupider than free individuals going about their daily lives.  This isn't a political statement, but a factual one.

Again, we aren't talking about knocking off a couple group I.Q. points, but rather magnitudinal increases in stupidity.  This stupidity multiplier isn't restricted to governments; it applies to all organizations, the larger the worse.  Anyone who has worked in government, the military, or other large organizations has seen it every day.

Some economists have noted that during the Soviet Union's existence, the central planners had to daily determine the prices of literally hundreds of thousands of things, and thus the system was terribly inefficient, as they had no way to accurately determine this.  My hypothesis is that even if they could have accurately determined each and every one of those prices, they still would have failed.  The stupidity multiplier of their command-and-control economy ensured this.

The science on this is clear.  If we want to maximize our collective well-being and wealth, if we want to maximize our freedom, if we want to maximize our collective odds for survival, we must allow human swarm intelligence to do its magic.  And governments are not the solution, but are rather the destroyer.
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, etc. on: March 14, 2017, 06:32:59 PM
DDF: The importance of Al Franken is that he won his US Senate seat by a very small margin, all on a (failed and uneven) recount, and became the 60th vote in the Senate necessary to pass Obamacare, affecting everyone.  He had previous national fame for playing a (not-funny) comedian role on Saturday Night Live on NBC-TV.  People are impressed that he now plays the role of a serious and sober liberal in Senate committees.  He asked the question that got Jeff Sessions in trouble.  He is a Harvard educated, New York liberal that moved back to Minnesota for the Senate run and then to Washington.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Al_Franken#cite_note-2
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, more updates to measured and published data, NY Times 1989 on: March 14, 2017, 06:13:58 PM
Published before the advent of adjusted data.

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/26/us/us-data-since-1895-fail-to-show-warming-trend.html
New York Times
U.S.
U.S. Data Since 1895 Fail To Show Warming Trend
By PHILIP SHABECOFF, Special to the New York Times
Published: January 26, 1989

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25— After examining climate data extending back nearly 100 years, a team of Government scientists has concluded that there has been no significant change in average temperatures or rainfall in the United States over that entire period.

While the nation's weather in individual years or even for periods of years has been hotter or cooler and drier or wetter than in other periods, the new study shows that over the last century there has been no trend in one direction or another.

The study, made by scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was published in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters. It is based on temperature and precipitation readings taken at weather stations around the country from 1895 to 1987.

Dr. Kirby Hanson, the meteorologist who led the study, said in a telephone interview that the findings concerning the United States do not necessarily ''cast doubt'' on previous findings of a worldwide trend toward warmer temperatures, nor do they have a bearing one way or another on the theory that a buildup of pollutants is acting like a greenhouse and causing global warming. He said that the United States occupies only a small percentage of Earth's surface and that the new findings may be the result of regional variations.

Readings taken by other scientists have suggested a significant warming worldwide over the last 100 years. Dr. James E. Hansen, director of National Aeronautic and Space Administration's Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, has reported that average global temperatures have risen by nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit in this century and that the average temperatures in the 1980's are the highest on record.

Dr. Hansen and other scientists have said that that there is a high degree of probability that this warming trend is associated with the atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other industrial gases that absorb and retain radiation.

But other scientists, while agreeing with this basic theory of a greenhouse effect, say there is no convincing evidence that a pollution-induced warming has already begun.

Dr. Michael E. Schlesinger, an atmospheric scientist at Oregon State University who studies climate models, said there is no inconsistency between the data presented by the NOAA team and the greenhouse theory. But he said he regarded the new data as inconsistent with assumptions that such an effect is already detectable. More Droughts Predicted

Many of the computer models that predict global warming also predict that certain areas, including the Midwest in the United States, would suffer more frequent droughts.

Dr. Hanson of NOAA said today that the new study does not in any way contradict the findings reported by the NASA scientists and others. He said that his study, in which he was joined by George A. Maul and Thomas A. Karl, also of NOAA, looked at only the 48 contiguous states.

Dr. Hanson said that global warming caused by the greenhouse effect might have been countered by some cooling phenomenon that has not yet been identified and that the readings in his study recorded the net effect.

''We have to be careful about interpreting things like this,'' he said. What About Urbanization? One aspect of the study that Dr. Hanson said was interesting was the finding that the urbanization of the United States has apparently not had a statistically significant effect on average temperature readings. A number of scientists have theorized that the replacement of forests and pastures by asphalt streets and concrete buildings, which retain heat, is an important cause of rising temperatures.

Dr. Hansen of NASA said today that he had ''no quarrel'' with the findings in the new study. He noted that the United States covered only 1.5 percent of Earth. ''If you have only one degree warming on a global average, how much do you get at random'' when taking measurements in such a relatively small area, he asked rhetorically.

''We are just arguing now about whether the global warming effect is large enough to see,'' he added. ''It is not suprising we are not seeing it in a region that covers only 1.5 percent of the globe.''

Dr. Hansen said there were several ways to look at the temperature readings for the United States, including as a ''statistical fluke.'' Possibililty of Countereffects

Another possibility, he said, was that there were special conditions in the United States that would tend to offset a warming trend. For example, industrial activity produces dust and other solid particles that help form liquid droplets in the atmosphere. These droplets reflect radiation away from Earth and thus have a cooling influence.

Dr. Hansen suggested that at some point there could be a jump in temperature readings in the United States if the measurements in the new study were a statistical aberration or the result of atmospheric pollutants reflecting heat away from Earth. He noted that anti-pollution efforts are reducing the amount of these particles and thus reducing the reflection of heat.

Several computer models have projected that the greenhouse effect would cause average global temperatures to rise between 3 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century. But scientists concede that reactions set off by the warming trend itself could upset these predictions and produce unanticipated changes in climate patterns. Legislative Action Sought

Coincidentally with the new report, legislation was introduced in the Senate today prescribing actions for addressing the threat of global warming. Senator Al Gore, Democrat of Tennessee, introduced a bill that calls for creating a Council on World Environmental Policy to replace the White House's Council on Environmental Quality. This change would emphasize the international aspects of environmental issues.

The bill would also require a ban on industrial chemicals that not only are depleting the atmosphere's ozone layer, which blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation, but are believed to be contributing to the warming trend. It would also require stricter fuel-economy standards for automobiles to reduce the consumption of gasoline to reduce carbon dioxide.

graphs of temperatures and rainfall from 1895 to 1987 (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, Arctic Ocean levels on: March 14, 2017, 05:41:29 PM
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1118.msg33227#msg33227
DougMacG
Environmental issues - re: Sea Levels
« Reply #193 on: November 25, 2009, 11:34:16 PM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5076322.stm
Arctic dips as global waters rise
By Jonathan Amos
Science reporter, BBC
Arctic sea level has been falling by a little over 2mm a year - a movement that sets the region against the global trend of rising waters.

A Dutch-UK team made the discovery after analysing radar altimetry data gathered by Europe's ERS-2 satellite.

It is well known that the world's oceans do not share a uniform height; but even so, the scientists are somewhat puzzled by their results.

----------------------------------
"Indian Ocean - sea levels falling
In 2003, Nils-Axel Mörner and his colleagues (see below) pub-
lished a well-documented paper showing that sea levels in the
Maldives have fallen substantially – fallen! – in the last 30 years.
I find it curious that we haven't heard about this.

"The Maldives in the central Indian Ocean consist of some 1,200
individual islands grouped in about 20 larger atolls," says Mörner.
In-as-much as the islands rise only three to seven feet above sea
level, they have been condemned by the IPCC to flooding in the
near future.

Mörner disagrees with this scenario. "In our study of the coastal
dynamics and the geomorphology of the shores," writes Mörner,
"we were unable to detect any traces of a recent sea level rise.
On the contrary, we found quite clear morphological indications
of a recent fall in sea level."

Mörner’s group found that sea levels stood about 60 cm higher
around A.D. 1150 than today, and more recently, about 30 cm
higher than today."

  - http://www.iceagenow.com/Indian_Ocean_sea_levels_are_falling.htm

Update, now rising:  https://phys.org/news/2016-09-indian-ocean-sea.html

Once again, why aren't these clear, cause and effect measurements in a straight line with CO2?
-----
Besides drought and flood, warming and cooling, not surprisingly, the United Nations also says that climate change also causes prostitution:

"The effects of climate change have driven women in communities in coastal areas in poor countries like the Philippines into dangerous work, and sometimes even the flesh trade, a United Nations official said."
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/177346/climate-change-pushes-poor-women-to-prostitution-dangerous-work
----------
Arctic update:  Ocean rising 2.2 mm/yr +or- 1.1. 

an improved version of the Arctic Ocean sea level record for the region 66°N–82°N covering the period 1993–2015. The dataset was modified to account for an unknown error...
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2016.00076/full
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: March 14, 2017, 05:30:36 PM
My understanding is that as part of its "nonpolitical" mission, CBO as a matter of policy does not do dynamic scoring.

Deniers of science.  CBO will tell you they do figure in dynamic, macroeconomic effects,
https://www.cbo.gov/publication/50919
yet they understate the real effects every single time.
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN, Franken recount on: March 14, 2017, 05:26:45 PM
"...it is good to have these URLs on tap."

With older links going bad, and some in a conspiratorial way, we need to be saving more than just links on the important stuff whenever possible.

With a bias detected in google, searches of information on one side of an issue are often difficult to impossible.  Try finding the Arctic Ocean levels.  And google owns youtube...

Without the conspiracy, some forum searches are failing too.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1709.msg33292#msg33292
DougMacG
Power User
***
Posts: 8569


   
How they got the 60th vote
Reply #139 on: November 29, 2009, 11:20:42 AM
Al Franken couldn't hold a 14 point Obama margin against popular centrist Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, but he did hold his election to a zero point margin, and that was enough because of the victory guarantee program his party had put in place ahead the election.

The near sweep of 2006 included replacing a competent (R) Secretary of State with one that was hand-picked by and heavily supported by the left-wing activist group moveon.org.  At the tiime no one outside of the Bush-Gore inner fight understood the significance.  Simultaneous to state change and even preceding it was the takeover of the inner city election process by ACORN.

Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP-5 just ran an extensive investigative report concluding that whether or not your questionable or clearly defective ballot was accepted or rejected depended wholly on what jurisdiction you lived in.  In the outlying areas, state law was followed.  In the liberal inner cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, ballots without signatures, witnesses or addresses were commonly accepted.

They interviewed the MN Sec. of State for 90 minutes and he refused to break out his reading glasses to look at any of the material they presented, sticking to generalities that prevailed in the court challenge to the end result.
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interesting analysis of the CBO analysis on: March 14, 2017, 05:03:42 PM

Interesting - for as far as it goes.  CBO is scoring part one of a three part plan. 

"[AHCA cuts taxes, cuts spending, cuts the deficit...] And that’s before you take into account the macroeconomic effects that those tax cuts would have on economic growth, and thereby on greater tax revenues."

It's 2017 and a multimillion dollar study cost and they can't even attempt dynamic scoring?

Score part of a plan without considering the benefits of the legislation?  Yes, that is their mission, incomplete and therefore false scoring. 

Obamacare was written to score under one trillion in cost over ten years.  Is there one honest observer who believes that was true?

Repealing 24 Obamacare taxes on the economy will grow the economy and increase employment and incomes, all not considered in the numbers.   Removing the largest shackle in the economy on employment won't increase jobs and incomes?  Increased income is not a factor in affordability?  I thought it was the denominator.  To CBO, it margin of error, or in this case, just error.

The cost to be covered will not go down when simpler, catastrophic plans are legalized?  Other reforms will also not have downward pressure on prices, such as allowing plans sold across state lines, malpractice reform, etc.?  Cost of plans is not a factor in affordability?  I thought it was the numerator.  Who that is working a good, full time job would not choose to pay a small or reasonable and affordable amount for coverage against an unaffordable health catastrophe?  The more you make, the more you save, the more you are worth, the more likely you are to insure against a severe financial setback, I would think.  Oddly, not figured in the numbers.

If you are CBO, increasing incomes, increasing the size of the workforce, increasing per capita incomes and lowering the costs of coverage, these are not factors of significance when calculating how many people will purchase healthcare policies.
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Prosecuting Cases of Voter Fraud on: March 14, 2017, 04:06:04 PM
Nice work DDF.

The question to me is not the prosecuted cases, and those are low numbers, it is the unknown and unprosecuted ones.

Interesting that MN leads the list of prosecuted voter fraud cases.  With the exception of the Al Franken theft, Minnesota used to be among the leaders in perception of clean elections.  Now we are a home to Chicago gunfire, Somali terror and Keith Ellison ethics.
Still, most prosecuted cases probably means least fraud.  Inverse relationship.

Documentary on the Al Franken recount, link gone blank.  http://kstp.com/article/stories/S1222327.shtml?cat=5  
I asked the television station for help on this.

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2010/07/20/al-franken-may-have-won-his-senate-seat-through-voter-fraud
At least 341 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis's Hennepin County, the state's largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul's Ramsey County, the state's second largest. Dan McGrath, head of Minnesota Majority, says that only conclusive matches were included in the group's totals. The number of felons voting in those two counties alone exceeds Mr. Franken's victory margin.

MN Gov vetoes 80% voter ID bill:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/05/029110.php
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NYTimes bias on: March 14, 2017, 01:12:24 PM
In discussions with liberal friends, it came up that the NY Times has no bias.  If an admitted liberal sees no bias, maybe the paper's bias matches his or her own.

Meanwhile, conservatives say they don't need to open to the opinion page of the NY Times, the opinions are all over the front page!

One part of bias is when media select stories to support their own narrative, the narrative that supports their person or agenda.  An easier way for a liberal to see that is to turn to the Drudge Report or Brietbart and look at which stories tend to go to print, often stories that support Trump.   But Brietbart and Drudge aren't held up by anyone as  mainstream, unbiased, professional sources, the way that the NY Times, Washington Post, CBS News etc. are.

The other component of bias is to look at what doesn't get covered in 'mainstream media' such as the NY Times.  The most recent examples of the last 8 years would be almost any scandal of the Obama administration.  I am amazed by how many liberals who follow national news closely everyday have never heard of Fast and Furious or think IRS targeting didn't happen.

Fast and Furious to them, if it existed at all, was a botched law enforcement operation.  Law enforcement? Botched?  'ya think?

You won't find a report in so-called mainstream media that doesn't mention that Eric Holder was exonerated.  
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/opinion/fast-furious-and-foolish.html
Holder exonerated??  It was a major operation in his department, inexplicable, that happened under his watch, and he was 'exonerated' because he had no knowledge of it??  All while being held in Contempt of Congress for blocking inquiry.  

But who cares about Eric Holder.  The US government under President Obama sold and placed arms across national borders for no good reason with no controls on it and that killed people in Mexico and came back to kill us.  If this happened today, every story would point to Trump and the "Trump Administration", front page, and he would face impeachment and resignation pressures.  Does anyone doubt that?

Then there was Benghazi talking points and after the election we learn they deserve 'investigation'.  Investigation??  Did they look at Hillary's emails or the President's unsecured messages to her unsecured server?  No.  They had no clue and the administration had no investigation, only blocked the ones in Congress.   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/us/politics/feinstein-to-investigate-benghazi-talking-points.html
The Monday morning headline after the Sunday morning talk show episode should have read:
"Obama Administration lied to the Nation About Terror Attack That Killed Ambassador"
That is, unless the NY Times really didn't know what really happened a week after the attack. We know who put Susan Rice up to that; the President and Secretary of State made the same false insinuations.

Skip to the largest scandal of the Obama administration, IRS targeting.  Since at least 1791, equal treatment under the law has been the law of the land and that liberty may not be denied without due process. (cf. 5th amendment)  And yet it was - without consequence.  I hate Hitler and Nazi analogies but who else, maybe the communists ruling China, forcibly stops their political opponents from organizing and participating in opposition to their own reelection.   Nowhere is this allowed in the world of countries we consider to have consent of the governed, except in the US, under Obama, and under the watchful eye if our mainstream media.  Again, the head of the department and the head of the nation are exonerated for having no knowledge of what happened under their direction, and that was determined by having no investigation.  

Hundreds and hundreds of conservative groups were blocked from equal political participation by force of law while the IRS commissioner was cleared for visits to the White House 157 times, compared with his predecessor visiting twice - yet no one had any knowledge.  And no one paid a price.  Lois Lerner plead the 5th, meaning what?  The answers to the questions would all incriminate her.  And the scandal died there.

The IRS admitted it (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/irs-admits-targeting-conservatives-for-tax-scrutiny-in-2012-election/2013/05/10/3b6a0ada-b987-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html?utm_term=.9ba5c260fbbc) and the NY Times prints this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/us/politics/republicans-call-for-irs-inquiry-after-disclosure.html
"I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives gives G.O.P an Issue to Seize on"

The GOP may gain some political advantage from having been victim of the worst political crime of our republic?  That's the story?? And it's in the "politics" section of the NY Times?!  Is that what deprivation of unalienable fundamental rights is, political?

Did they then go out and interview ANYONE about what it felt like to be inside one of the 426 groups admittedly blocked?  NO.
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/282307-irs-targeted-426-groups-report

I wonder if the New York Times covered the Japanese-American internment camp chapter in our history with a headline about what political advantage these victims might gain from it?!
197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 13% of illegal aliens vote? on: March 14, 2017, 11:39:28 AM
The voting age is too low considering how little these young people know about life, politics and economics beyond what their liberal teachers have taught them.  That said, 17 year olds participating in the caucuses and primaries that will be 18 by election time is not any major part of the vote fraud problem.  It is legal in 22 states:  http://occasionalplanet.org/2014/02/11/voting-news-17-year-olds-can-vote-in-primaries-and-caucuses-in-20-states/

Illegals voting activists voting multiple times and live people voting for the dead would be the problems I would like to see investigated.  Also FELON voting.  Oddly, property owners tend to Republican and burglars tend to be Democrat.  Felons vote Dem by a margin of 6 to 1.  http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0002716213502931

We give driver's licenses to illegals - even though they don't need one to vote.  They can get utility bills and neighbors to vouch for them.  We let them live here and most workers in the neighborhoods where they live think they should be able to vote.  

But it's against the law and undermining our democracy in treason.IMHO.

13% of illegals admit they vote.  
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/poll-13-of-illegal-aliens-admit-they-vote-2015-report/  
http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/13/voter-fraud-real-heres-proof/
Maybe that number is high; maybe that number is low.
Where is the investigation, where are the prosecution, where are the deportations?
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: second post on: March 14, 2017, 09:06:34 AM
I submit Royal jerks is best:
http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/31649/
I nominate Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar for the title of "royal" jerks

Yes, those two are as close as we will find to genderless.

My alma mater will get no discretionary money from me, just the 250/qtr I already gave them and a billion a year in taxes.  No more.

The public university was not good enough for these elites.  Klobuchar went to Yale, Franken went to Harvard.  Neither wanted to study social justice with common folk.
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: March 10, 2017, 08:55:22 PM
"The Volcker tightening was in the context of 12% inflation."  

"Keep in mind the implications of this in the context of baseline budgeting i.e. if inflation falls quicker than anticipated (as was the case) then the spending "cuts" have a larger % of real cuts in relation to nominal cuts."   -

"Are you agreeing with the Keynesian notion that the low rates have stimulated the economy?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
QE, in my view, was like adding gas when the problem was flat tires.  I think that QE and low rates were partly stimulative (it's easier to buy a house, car or appliance when interest rates are at zero), but it was not the right solution to the right problem - and it did cause immeasurable other damage (savings rate, etc).

Low rates and QE aren't exactly the same thing.  They were injecting money in other ways too.  

Unlike Grannis and Wesbury, I think QE and low rates contributed to the run-up of the stock market during the slow growth Obama years.  The S&P 500 went up 235% over 8 years while the economy was growing at 1.9% /yr.  Was it stimulative for the market to surge?   Not noticeably.  It didn't address what was wrong (taxes and regulations).

Will a move toward tightening of money now will have some contractionary effect?  I think slightly yes, but not the main factor.  The economy could easily grow past a little tightening if we would simultaneously correct our other policy mistakes.  

My pessimism mostly comes from the tax reform that is delayed or not happening. I don't see how you bump growth from 2% to 4% without fixing the screwed up tax code.  We are expecting different results from doing the same things.  The delay in lowering rates makes people put off transactions and taxable income whenever they can.  Inaction from employers and investors is the enemy of growth.  And if/when expectations fall, the positive economic effect we see now is gone.

On the other side of it, Trump was right to go bold on removing excess regulations early.  If those were well chosen they may already be having a positive effect.
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: March 10, 2017, 02:12:36 PM
Relating to the US-mexico question, Islamophobia in America, etc, our (illegal?) immigration application should offer the choice: Want to assimilate.  Don't want to assimilate. Choose one.
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