Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 18, 2014, 05:53:09 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
83696 Posts in 2261 Topics by 1067 Members
Latest Member: Shinobi Dog
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 124
151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: October 28, 2014, 10:17:59 AM
US spends 30 times more per person on redistributing wealth than does the next largest economy in the world.

And every candidate here who supports so much as a slowing of the growth of spending on social programs is vilified!
152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 27, 2014, 12:46:11 PM
I am looking (and looking) for a liberal, progressive or leftist arguments that are not false or made of straw.

Making a straw argument is the only attempt they make at truth.  Here's one from The One:

"The economy is better now than when I took office."

The economy was in free fall when Obama took office, largely because of policies he and his party pushed from the majorities in the Senate and Congress.  He  approved of the policies that sunk us, and he approved of the emergency measures taken before he took office.   The question is not, are things better now than they were at rock bottom.  The question is, are things as good as they should be?  Are we better off now than we would be if his opponents were in charge these last 6 years?  The answer is no.  His opponents favor mostly pro-growth policies and he did everything you could to kill off economic growth - unapologetically.  He can tell us to suck it up, but don't tell us we're better off.  Better off that what?  Than if we had even worse policies? these last 6 years?  What policies could have slowed the economy more than Obama's?
153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Politics & Science, CDCL, Taking the Carbon Out of Coal on: October 27, 2014, 11:07:03 AM
Taking the Carbon Out of Coal

When coal burns, it emits a "flue gas" teeming with hard-to-separate pollutants -- but it doesn't have to. Instead, it can create a simple flow of carbon dioxide that's easy to capture.

That's the bold idea behind coal-direct chemical looping, or CDCL. The technology has been proven only in the lab, and it has many hurdles to clear before it can be used to generate electricity and capture carbon on a commercial scale. But it holds the promise of electricity from coal with very little pollution, in a nation where coal provides 18 percent of all energy and 24 percent of all carbon emissions.

According to an economic analysis Ohio State helped to conduct, if brought to a commercial scale, CDCL could capture 96.5 percent of the carbon released during the process while increasing the cost of electricity by 28.8 percent.

In a best-case scenario, the demonstration could be built later this decade, followed by a commercial plant in the 2020s.
154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science: Natural Gas for Energy Independence on: October 27, 2014, 11:02:53 AM
With the abundance now available, why are we NOT making it available for cars, trucks and jets more quickly?  Why are voters letting Democrats get away with blocking pipelines for safest transport of our cleanest fuels.  Forget "energy independence".  We should be producing, transporting, exporting and importing.  Government has a role in keeping it clean and keeping it safe.  After that, let the market sort it out.

"Natural gas is our cleanest fossil fuel. It can be used in cars, to generate electricity. It can be liquefied and used as jet aviation fuel," he says.  "The natural gas that's being used in this country at this time can really get us to energy independence."
155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: October 27, 2014, 10:51:09 AM
ccp's George Will piece on the SWAT raids on political opponents in Wisconsin
is a good reminder of how important some of these Governor races are.

If Scott Walker wins Wisconsin (for a third time), he will be one to watch for 2016, with significant executive experience and a strong record of governing conservatively in a liberal state, and winning.  If he wins, It won't be a win over a weak opponent and it won't be without local and national opponents throwing everything they had at him.

Colorado is a very different story, but if Dem Gov. Hick comes back to win (I hope he doesn't), his name will rise into the mix if Democrats start thinking, anyone but Hillary, or from anywhere but Washington. 
156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Individual Privacy vs. Corporate and Government Intrusion - Google etc. on: October 27, 2014, 10:14:30 AM
Some ramblings with no good conclusion.  People on the forum show concern about privacy but it is amazing to me how most people elsewhere really don't care.  Typical reaction is, what do you have to hide? And what are you going to do about it?  Oddly, I have nothing much to hide, yet I value my privacy immensely.

Given that Google cooperates with law enforcement and NSA, corporate and government intrusions are a bit synonymous.  Who knows what other risks are out there, including hacking and security breaches, and mis-use of personal information.  The database of information being collecting is beyond comprehension.

I recently replaced my 'smartphone' with a pretty cheap but fully featured unit.  By merely signing in with Google/Gmail, it is quite amazing and temptingly helpful how much they already know about me when setting up the phone.  They know every email I've ever sent, every search I've made, every movement and every contact including the last 3 girlfriends plus a woman I only dated once.  That's handy...

Gmail is a Google product where you trade your privacy away for a free and important service with very powerful functionality.  Google search, same thing.  GPS services in your phone have that same trade off.  When you switch it off, it is still on.  But they know where you are anyway.  Android, the operating system, is a Google product, and the hardware manufacturer of my new phone, Motorola, is a Google company now too.  Google Plus replaces Skype, so I can teleconference across the ocean at no cost beyond my data plan.  It is already beyond what George Gilder envisioned decades ago with the Teleputer.  We have access to an amazing integration of services and functionality.  With zero privacy.

Add in the Apps from unknown sources and this gets mind boggling.  I have one App where I paid for the software, but otherwise they are all free.  Almost any capability you have heard of can be downloaded and installed in minutes, for free.  All they ask for in return is complete access to your EVERYTHING. 

There is a joke about free radio.  If you aren't paying for the programming, then you aren't the customer; you are the product they are selling. 

Let's say law enforcement needs a warrant for our data, and with NSA, I reluctantly favor a carefully run, macro data watch for preventing avoidable mass murders.   So what else could go wrong? 

For one thing, companies' data gets breached all the time and we are their data.  Look at Target and more recently Home Depot.  The motive for these criminal breaches is to sell your data.  When that data is only credit card info, then it is discovered when used.  What happens when that data breach is your everything?
157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Don't Fear on: October 27, 2014, 08:42:14 AM
We are safe..  Dah Bamster is on top of the situation.   Another photo op including the naïve nurse who should have been castigating Dah Bamster for not keeping the guy who infected her out of the US like we should be doing.

Six years into the Obama mess, with people dying, SNL is finding some humor in the bumbling iincompetence of this administration:

SNL's PRESIDENT OBAMA: As you know, just two days ago another American, this time a doctor in New York was diagnosed with Ebola. Now, some people want to criticize the way our administration has handled this crisis, and it's true we made a few mistakes early on. But, I assure you, it was nowhere near as bad as how we handled the ISIS situation. I mean, our various Secret Service mishaps, or the scandals of the IRS and NSA. And I don't know if you guys remember, but the Obamacare website had some pretty serious problems too. In fact, if you look at all the stuff that's happened in my second term, this whole Ebola thing is probably one of my greatest accomplishments.
158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: October 24, 2014, 10:25:02 AM
Back to the changing politics of tax policy...

The tax cuts of the Bush administration got a bad rap.  Revenues actually surged once the tax rate cuts were fully in place.  But Bush and Republicans also allowed spending to surge and government interference in the economy to surge, witness the Fed monetary insanity and federal government backed mortgage disaster.

Republicans were attacked for proposing tax cuts as the solution for everything and they aren't.

2006, 2008:  Mostly for other reasons like quagmire in Iraq, the far left took over congress and then the White House.

2010:  Born out of Democrat and government over-reach was the tea party movement.  My take on its beginnings was a consensus was emerging that if you want to cut the burden of government on people in trillion dollar deficit, you had to cut spending first.  We didn't.  Republicans opposed all the new tax increases but couldn't stop or repeal what was already slated to happen, even when they took over the House.

2014-2016:  The task now for Republicans and all limited government people is to reverse and repeal as much of the new programs and taxes as possible and then reform all that was screwed up before this lost decade began.  

The new tax system must include lower tax rates for all who pay in - without the loopholes and without the aim of punishment for productive activities.  We need a fair and simple system of raising revenues that applies evenly to all earners with minimal disincentives to work, invest, hire, expand, and produce.  All of the redistributive efforts should be kept on the spending side of the equation and the goal there should be to diminish that need over time by growing the opportunities and expanding the number and proportion of people who work and start businesses.
159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: October 24, 2014, 09:57:25 AM
Doug and Crafty,
Good responses.  Thanks.  Hopefully we can have a candidate for '16 who can articulate these kinds of things.  Paul articulates well and is trying to figure ways to get to the Dem's stronghold voting groups.  But some of his positions I cannot support.  
Do you know of examples how the very wealth were able to build shelters to avoid taxes in those days?

Real estate was the big (tax) shelter.  And not losses of money, but "paper losses".  Big earners bought big tax shelters.  Leverage it if you want, keep your cash.  Deduct the interest fully and add big depreciation even though the investment is going up in value.  Then the capital gains are deferred forever or taxed at no more than 25%.

This example is from a WSJ article (and G M post previously, we were having this exact same discussion in Dec 2012):  Google took me to me back to this thread!
"For instance, a doctor who earned $50,000 through his medical practice could reduce his taxable income to zero with $50,000 in paper losses or depreciation from property he owned through a real-estate investment partnership. Huge numbers of professionals signed up for all kinds of money-losing schemes. Today, a corresponding doctor earning $500,000 can deduct a maximum of $3,000 from his taxable income, no matter how large the loss."

Some of those tax shelters led to construction, and construction jobs etc.  Not a complete waste of money, but misallocated resources nonetheless caused by the need to beat a confiscatory tax system.  Construction projects are more temporary than the jobs created when investing and growing a business.   Investments IMHO should all compete on the same playing field.

Schiff, WSJ, continued:
"Those 1950s gambits lowered tax liabilities but dissuaded individuals from engaging in the more beneficial activities of increasing their incomes and expanding their businesses. As a result, they were a net drag on the economy. When Ronald Reagan finally lowered rates in the 1980s, he did so in exchange for scrapping uneconomical deductions. When business owners stopped trying to figure out how to lose money, the economy boomed."
160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - Go back to 90% rates? on: October 23, 2014, 10:50:28 PM
1) There is the matter at what level the various rates kick in-- adjusted for inflation.  My understanding is that the 90% rate of the Eisenhower years kicked in at a much higher level than today when adjusted for inflation;
2) The Kennedy supply side tax rate cuts increased revenues.  Is the argument then that we should have higher rates and lower revenues?!?
3) Higher rates enable tax shelter games-- thus increasing both the unaccountable power of the Congress and its corruption by special interests;
4) the attendant misallocation of capital hits the entire economy to the detriment of all.

Crafty has this right on all points.  Almost no one paid the 90% rate; and no one paid it again if they were assessed at that rate once.  90% applied marginally to incomes over the equivalent of millions today, affecting very few people, and of those very few it applied only to those who hadn't bothered to set up a shelter.  Virtually no one.  

 Why would you raise rates if it doesn't increase revenues?  Great question!

Hauser's Law. Published in 1993 by William Kurt Hauser, a San Francisco investment economist, Hauser's Law suggests, "No matter what the tax rates have been, in postwar America tax revenues have remained at about 19.5% of GDP." This theory was published in The Wall Street Journal, March 25, 1993.

We should be asking: What is the LOWEST tax rate that will bring in the revenue that we need?

As Crafty stated, exemptions, deductions and loopholes breed corruption.  And the misallocation of assets stuck in place is harmful to all.  Who measures lost opportunities?

The liberals play a shell game.  It worked okay in the 1950s (It didn't) so let's do it now.  But they don't like anything else from the 50s, like the ease of starting a business, the low regulatory burden, the ease o, and f hiring people, the  high work ethic, minimal welfare system, and the intact families where the kids had a mom and a dad and the mom was usually home.  Another aspect of the 1950s was that our biggest global competitors had been wiped out economically by two world wars.  Will the tax hikers roll back the economic competition we now face from China and Asia to 1950s levels too? Good luck with that!   A high, top marginal tax rate was the bug not the feature of the 1950s economy.  We survived it; we didn't prosper because of it.

One example: A neighbor of ours growing up was the head of a big company, now Xcel Energy.  Like the highly taxed Europeans today, he took his perks in untaxed benefits and no doubt kept his salary under those levels.  His limo driver picked him up everyday to take him downtown to work and back home again every  afternoon.  A simple example of a misallocated, wasted resource.  The guy had a car and knew how to drive just fine.  Meals, travel, you name it, the few at the top knew how to take compensation in untaxable income.

JFK, a Democrat, on the high tax rates coming out of the 1950s:
It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”
– John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference

161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left - Elizabeth Warren protecting Wall Stre on: October 23, 2014, 12:44:16 PM
Once people admit Hillary isn't running, maybe Faux-cahontas can get her own thread...

I would like to rip her lack of substance separately, but for now these pieces seem to expose her rotten hypocrisy.

Elizabeth Warren’s silence was Fidelity’s gain

By Joan Vennochi  | GLOBE COLUMNIST   OCTOBER 23, 2014

ACCORDING TO Senator Elizabeth Warren, the political system is rigged to help Wall Street. For that, she blames Republicans, lobbyists, and President Obama.

Yet, Warren is not entirely immune from the urge to help powerful financial interests — at least when they are local.

As reported by the Globe’s Christopher Rowland, Boston-based Fidelity Investments was able to water down new rules proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that were aimed at regulating the mutual fund industry in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

The SEC wanted to impose a new liquidity standard on mutual funds, and replace a fixed $1 share price with a more accurate “floating” share price. But by the end of an aggressive Fidelity lobbying campaign, the capital requirements were eliminated and the “floating” share price applied only to funds that serve large, institutional investors.

“The lobbying pressure was relentless,” Sheila Bair, former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and now head of the nonprofit watchdog group Systemic Risk Council, told the Globe. “It is a good example of how the narrow interest of the industry prevails in this debate.”

Given her populist image, it would be more in character for Warren to fight such a narrow industry interest. In this case, she did not. When Fidelity’s top executive, Abigail P. Johnson, personally lobbied the SEC in 2012, Warren stayed out of the fight. At the time, Warren was running for Senate against incumbent Republican Scott Brown, whose biggest source of funding came from Fidelity employees, according to a news report by the Globe’s Beth Healy.

While it made political sense to avoid antagonizing the mutual fund giant, Warren’s silence was Fidelity’s gain.

As the lobbying battle dragged on into 2014, Warren and Ed Markey — now both representing Massachusetts in the Senate — objected, through their staffs, to proposals that Fidelity didn’t like. They didn’t cite industry complaints; they cited concerns of local politicians. A compromise was reached, which, according to Rowland’s reporting, favored the mutual fund industry.

In a statement to the Globe, Warren’s office said the SEC rules were “an important first step” and stressed a need to “balance the risks that money market funds can pose to the economy against the need to maintain money market funds as an important investment alternative.”

Compromise is not a crime. It’s a natural part of politics. But when compromise comes down on the side of powerful financial interests, that’s exactly the kind of politics Warren is said to be fighting. And she’s taking that fight to the national stage.

“The game is rigged and the Republicans rigged it,” she said recently in Minnesota. “Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” she said in Colorado.

She doesn’t leave Democrats off the hook either. In an interview with Salon, she said of Obama, when “the going got tough, his economic team picked Wall Street . . . Not families who were losing their homes. Not people who lost their jobs. Not young people who were struggling to get an education . . . ”

Pronouncements like that keep Warren’s name in the mix of potential White House candidates, which she insists is of no interest to her. Yet the super-liberal wing of the Democratic Party revels in the Wall Street-rigging gospel according to Warren, and sees her as an alternative to Hillary Clinton.

But as the back story on Fidelity shows, ideological purity is hard to sustain in the real world of politics — especially in the real world of local politics.

162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: October 23, 2014, 12:28:32 PM
"Bill Maher?  Heavy hitter?"


For that matter, Joe Biden?  And the school lunch lady??   smiley

I wonder what would be an example of someone important and credible on the far left?
163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Compare and contrast on: October 23, 2014, 09:39:07 AM

Who cares more about women, the ones who saw a shot at freedom and self determination of the ones openly said they aren't worth it.

I took my daughter (10 years old then) to see President George Bush on the weekend of the first election ever in Afghanistan, where women were not only voting but candidates and people in a Muslim country were openly supporting women's rights.  I was quite proud of our side and our country on that particular point.  War is ugly but so is silence and tolerance of genocide  fascism, terror, oppression.,_2004
164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races, Senate, A Wave Election? on: October 23, 2014, 09:24:40 AM
I sense a lot of pessimism on our side.  The polls look pretty good but we have had this football pulled away from us so many times we don't know whether to try kicking it one more time.

No matter what, one of these three scenarios is going to happen this Nov 4:

1. Republicans under-perform (again) and get beat(again) by the Dem get out the vote, fear, envy and cheat operations.  Republicans pick up 0-5 seats resulting best case in a 50-50 tie that goes to the Dems for control with their sitting Vice President.  Then R's lose more in 2016 so that even if they win back the White House they can't effectively govern or reform or dismantle government program.

2.  Republican barely take the Senate with 51 or 52 seats.  (Most likely scenario)  Then we will have evenly divided government for the end the Obama years and have two years of competing views aired into the next Presidential election where both parties have to pick new leaders, and hopefully new directions.

3.  Republican wave election.  I'm not predicting this, but why not!  The Pres and Dems are weak on foreign policy, weak on security issues, have a horrible track record on economic issues, are completely deaf to the electorate and have been caught governing recklessly.  Republicans OTOH have pretty good candidates running nationwide and are running with pretty good messages.  No child molesters and no one leading with a rape abortion platform this time.

A wave election is when nearly all of the tossups fall in one direction, instead of falling randomly or on local personalities and issues.  Real Clear Politics shows 9 tossups right now.  That is  a lot!  Nearly all are losable for the R's, but all 9 and perhaps two more are winnable in a wave.

It is a two step process (again) to save the republic.  Separate some of these faithful Dem groups from their misguided loyalties this year, then win a few of them over to a message of economic freedom and growth in the next cycle.  If Republicans win a majority or 53, 54 or 55 Senate seats this year and if a true leader with a compelling message emerges next year, this country hase a fighting chance of turning things around!

One possible indicator of a problem in the polls is the left has sent all their heaviest hitters to Minnesota to defend a Governor and Senator (Al Franken) who are both not considered by anyone to be in contested races.  They have sent President Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Bill Maher and Elizabeth Warren - twice.  All for uncontested races.  Maybe they see something we don't or maybe it just means they are not welcome anywhere else...
165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq - VDH - The biggest Lie on: October 23, 2014, 08:40:41 AM
Nice to see scholar Victor Davis Hanson reading and following up on our discussion here on the forum:

Previously in this thread (
"trucks carrying WMD to Syria during the dithering process"
"There were 23 reasons given in the authorization..."
"Proof of past WMD use and shooting at inspections planes is an indicator of current intent."
" this story...proves false the mantra of the opponents, "No WMD"... they spoke with intentional deceit"
OCTOBER 21, 2014 4:00 AM
The Biggest Lie
The Left would rather forget its old slogan, “Bush lied, thousands died.”
By Victor Davis Hanson

The very mention of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and Iraq was toxic for Republicans by 2005. They wanted to forget about the supposed absence of recently manufactured WMD in great quantities in Iraq; Democrats saw Republican defensiveness as key to their recovery in 2006. By the time Obama was elected, the issue had been demagogued to death, was no longer of any political utility, and so vanished.

So why all of a sudden is the New York Times strangely focused on old WMD stockpiles showing up in Iraq? Is the subtext perhaps that the rise of ISIS poses an existential threat in such a dangerous landscape (and by extension offers an explanation for the current bombing)? Or are we to be reminded that Bush stirred up a WMD hornets’ nest that Obama was forced to deal with? Or is the sudden interest intended to preempt the story now before we learn that ISIS routinely employs WMD against the Kurds? How strange that Iraq, WMD, bombing, and preemption reappear in the news, but now without the hysteria of the Bush era.


Indeed, for the last two years, reports of WMD of some sort have popped up weekly in Syria and Iraq. Bashar Assad has used them, apparently with strategic profit, both in deterring his enemies and in embarrassing the red lines of Barack Obama, who had threatened to bomb him if he dared use them.
ISIS is rumored to have attempted to use mustard gas against the Kurds. Iraqi depots are periodically found, even as they are often dismissed as ossified beyond the point of easy use, or as already calibrated and rendered inert by either U.N. inspectors or U.S. occupation forces. But where did all the WMD come from, and why the sudden fright now about these stockpiles’ being deployed?

For much of the Bush administration we heard from the Left the refrain, “Bush lied, thousands died,” as if the president had cooked intelligence reports to conjure up a nonexistent threat from Saddam Hussein’s stockpiles of WMD — stockpiles that Bill Clinton had insisted until his last days in office posed an existential threat to the United States. Apparently if a horde of gas shells of 20th-century vintage was found, it was then deemed irrelevant — as if WMD in Iraq could only be defined as huge Iraqi plants turning out 21st-century stockpiles weeks before the invasion.

The smear of Bush was the bookend of another popular canard, the anti-Bush slogan “No blood for oil.” Once the fact that the U.S. did not want Iraqi oil was indisputable, that slander metamorphosed. Almost immediately the Left pivoted and charged that we were not so much oil sinister as oil stupid. If the Iraqi oil ministry, for the first time in its history, was both acting transparently and selling oil concessions to almost anyone except American companies, it was now cast as typically ungracious in not appreciating the huge American expenditure of blood and treasure that had allowed it such latitude. Was the Iraq War then a stupid war that helped Russia and the Chinese? Poor Bush ended up not so much sinister as a naïf.

Although we don’t hear much any more about “No blood for oil,” the lie about “Bush lied, thousands died” has never been put to rest.

What was odd about the untruth was not just that Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, and the anti-war street crowd become popular icons through spreading such lies, but that the Democratic party — whose kingpins (Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Harry Reid, et al.) had all given fiery speeches in favor of invading Iraq — refined the slur into an effective 2006 talking point. That Democrats from Nancy Pelosi to Harry Reid had looked at the same intelligence from CIA Director (and Clinton appointee) George “slam-dunk” Tenet (who authored a self-serving memoir ankle-biting George W. Bush while still in office), and had agreed with Tenet’s assessments, at least until the insurgency destroyed public support for the war, was conveniently forgotten.

The Bush administration did not help much. It never replied to its critics that fear of stockpiled WMD had originally been a Clinton-administration fear, a congressional fear, an international fear — and a legitimate fear. I suppose that the Bush people wanted the issue of WMD to just go away, given the insurgency raging in Iraq and the effective Democratic campaign to reinvent fear of WMD as a sinister Bush conspiracy. (Do we remember Colin Powell’s U.N. testimony and the years that followed — cf. the Valerie Plame/Richard Armitage fiasco — in which he licked his wounds while harboring anger at his former associates for his own career-ending presentation?) In sum, the Bush White House certainly did not remind the country that most of the Clinton-era liberal politicians in the 1990s had warned us about Iraqi WMD (do we even remember the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act?).

Nor were we reminded that foreign leaders like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak had predicted mass death for any invaders who challenged Saddam’s WMD arsenal. (“General Franks, you must be very, very careful. We have spoken with Saddam Hussein. He is a madman. He has WMD — biologicals, actually — and he will use them on your troops.”) Was part of the Bush administration’s WMD conspiracy forcing tens of thousands of U.S. troops to lug about chemical suits and masks in the desert? No one, of course, noted that the initial success in Iraq also helped shut down Moammar Qaddafi’s WMD program in Libya and pressured the Pakistanis to arrest (for a while) the father of their bomb, Dr. A. Q. Khan. The latter nations apparently feared that the U.S. was considering removing dictators who that they knew had stockpiled WMD.

The current The Iran-Iraq War by Williamson Murray and Kevin Woods is a frightening reminder of how Saddam massacred the Kurds (perhaps well over 150,000 killed), often with gas, and how habitual was Saddam’s use of WMD against the Iranians in that medieval war.

Nor do we remember that James Clapper, in one of his earlier careerist contortions as a Bush-era intelligence officer, along with top-ranking officials in both the Iraqi and Syrian air forces, all warned us that WMD were stealthily transferred to Syria on the eve of the invasion of Iraq. The dutifully toadyish Clapper added the intensifier adverb “unquestionably” to emphasize his certainty. Clapper, remember, went on to become Obama’s director of national intelligence and a key adviser on much of the current Obama Middle East decision-making, including the near bombing of Syria.*


So there were stocks of at least older WMD throughout Iraq when we arrived in 2003, and it was plausible that many of the newer and more deployable versions somehow found their way into Syria. So worried was Barack Obama about the likelihood of Syrian WMD that he almost started a preemptive war against Bashar Assad, but without authorization of Congress and with no attempt to go to the U.N., as Bush had done. (Indeed, we are now preemptively bombing Iraq on the basis of the 2002 authorizations that state legislator and memoirist Barack Obama derided at the time.)
There were all sorts of untold amnesias about Iraq. No one remembers the 23 writs that were part of the 2002 authorizations that apparently Obama believes are still in effect. They included genocide, bounties for suicide bombers, an attempt to kill a former U.S. president, the harboring of terrorists (among them one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers), and a whole litany of charges that transcended WMD and were utterly unaffected by the latter controversy. How surreal is it that Obama is preemptively bombing Iraq on twelve-year-old congressional authorizations that he opposed as trumped up and now may be relevant in relationship to dealing with Syrian and Iraqi stockpiles of WMD?

We forget too how Harry Reid declared the surge a failure and the war lost even as it was being won. Or how Barack Obama predicted that the surge would make things worse, before scrubbing such editorializing from his website when the surge worked. Do we remember those days of General Betray Us (the ad hominem ad that the New York Times, which supposedly will not allow purchased ad hominem ads, granted at a huge discount), and the charges from Hillary Clinton that Petraeus was lying (“suspension of disbelief”)? As Obama megaphones call for national unity in damning Leon Panetta’s critiques during the present bombing, do we remember the glee with which the Left greeted the tell-all revelations of Paul O’Neill, George Tenet, and Scott McClellan during the tenure of George W. Bush, or how they disparaged the surge when Americans were dying to implement it?

It is hard to recall now the fantasy climate that surrounded “Bush lied, thousands died.” Cindy Sheehan is now utterly forgotten. So mostly is the buffoonish propagandist Michael Moore, except for an occasion tidbit about a nasty divorce and cat fights over his man-of-the-people sizable portfolio — and occasional attacks on Barack Obama’s supposed racial tokenism. Hillary’s shrill outbursts about Iraq evolved into “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Barack Obama rode his anti-war distortions to the presidency only to adopt his own anti-terrorism protocols and preemptive wars using the Bush-era justifications, but without the candor and congressional authorizations. The media went from “No blood for oil” and “Bush lied, thousands died” to noting strange discoveries of WMD and trumpeting near energy independence. The U.S. is now nonchalantly referred to as the world’s largest oil producer, but largely because the Bush administration green-lighted fracking and horizontal drilling, which the present administration opposes and yet cites as one of its singular achievements in terms of lowering gas prices — the one bright spot in an otherwise dismal economic record.

So we live in an era of lies about everything from Benghazi and Obamacare to the alphabet soup of scandal and incompetence at the IRS, ICE, VA, USSS (Secret Service), NSA, GSA, and even the CDC.

But before we can correct the present lies, we should first address the greatest untruth in this collection: “Bush lied, thousands died” was an abject lie.
166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: October 23, 2014, 08:20:54 AM
We may be a little discouraged right now but the left is unraveling.

1. They told us a strong economy was no good because of the inequality in it.  They took the strength, growth and velocity out of the economy and inequality worsened - especially for targeted Democratic constituent groups.

2. They can't win without winning a big margin with the women's vote so they invented the Republican war on women.  Sen. Mark (Uterus) Udall is the poster boy, attacking Cory Gardner on birth control that has been legal in 50 states since Griswald. 1965.  Gardner took the air out of it with his support for making it available over-the-counter.

3.  They can't win without black vote.  So their candidates all beg blacks to vote for them, in support of Obama, but he is so unpopular in their state that they won't say whether they themselves ever voted for him!  (Is there a better example anywhere of cognitive dissonance?)

4.  They can't win without the Hispanic vote and they get it only by promising amnesty based immigration reform.  Small problem:  They had the House, Presidency and 60 votes in the Senate and did NOTHING on this front.  The President clarified on Univision by explaining that there are some things the President can not do alone.  He further clarified that he can do it alone.  At the end of the summer.  No, after the election.  But if he can do it alone, why give him the House or the Senate too?  On those races they could vote their economic interests.

5.  Back to no one respecting women other than the left and the left says most women don't know if they've been raped.

6.  And now David Corn of Mother Jones says Minorities "May Not Even Know That They're Not Being Allowed To Vote"!

Meanwhile Republicans think women are big girls now and treat blacks and minorities as equals, unneeding of special attention.
167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: If we get rid of Reid we can defund the bamster on: October 23, 2014, 06:34:42 AM
If we had a backbone, we could have already de-funded operations tied to Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, Benghazi coverup, EPA over-reach and unlegislated amnesty.  We could de-fund his golf trips too.  The guy had his credit card declined in NYC, he hadn't used it in so long.

If he had faced serious and united opposition (and a watchdog media), it would have helped this President govern within his constitutional role as President.
168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Leadership on: October 23, 2014, 06:17:40 AM
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.      - John Calvin Maxwell
169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: October 22, 2014, 11:12:01 AM
It would seem to me that a presidential pardon would stop a prosecution, but granting citizenship would requires an act of Congress, signed by the President.  If an executive action is unconstitutional, there should be a way to stop it short of impeachment.

Removal from office requires a trial in the Senate with a 2/3 majority vote; no election scenario involves a 67 seat majority.  Impeachment ending in removal happens when the President's own party turns on him. (Not going to happen.)  The process takes a long time and attempts to install Biden as President, eligible for (re)election.  Even then, w still have to stop this, through the people, in the courts or through a constitutional crisis.

The question remains, how do you stop these guys?  From Fast and Furious, to IRS election process theft, to lying to the nation about Benghazi, to taking unconstitutional executive actions, how do we stop them?

The answer was supposed to be:  Win the House (2010).  Win the Senate (didn't happen, 2010, 2012, maybe 2014).  Win back the Presidency (didn't happen 2012, maybe 2016).  Have the Court strike down unconstitutional acts (didn't happen with ACA).  Vote contempt charges against cabinet members (had no consequence).

It comes down to political messaging and convincing a LOT more people that this kind of governing is unacceptable - and to offer a much better alternative.
170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Remember when striking Saddam was something dems supported? on: October 18, 2014, 03:21:59 PM

From the report:

Clinton: Iraq has abused its last chance

President Clinton addressed the nation from the Oval Office
Clinton spells out Iraq's non-compliance
Iraq repeatedly blocked UNSCOM from inspecting suspect sites.

Iraq repeatedly restricted UNSCOM's ability to obtain necessary evidence.

Iraq tried to stop an UNSCOM biological weapons team from videotaping a site and photocopying documents and prevented Iraqi personnel from answering UNSCOM's questions.

Iraq has failed to turn over virtually all documents requested by the inspectors.
US Forces:
There are 15 U.S. warships and 97 U.S. aircraft in the Persian Gulf region, including about 70 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. More than 12,000 sailors and Marines are in the region.

U.S. sources said eight of the warships, equipped with cruise missiles, have been moved into the northern part of the Gulf, within easy striking distance of Baghdad. More troops and jets have been ordered to the region.

Clinton statement from the Oval Office on attack against Iaq

'Without delay, diplomacy or warning'
Strikes necessary to stunt weapons programs

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- From the Oval Office, President Clinton told the nation Wednesday evening why he ordered new military strikes against Iraq.

The president said Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.

"Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons," Clinton said.

Operation Desert Fox, a strong, sustained series of attacks, will be carried out over several days by U.S. and British forces, Clinton said.

"Earlier today I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces," Clinton said.

"Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors," said Clinton.

Clinton also stated that, while other countries also had weapons of mass destruction, Hussein is in a different category because he has used such weapons against his own people and against his neighbors.

'Without delay, diplomacy or warning'

The Iraqi leader was given a final warning six weeks ago, Clinton said, when Baghdad promised to cooperate with U.N. inspectors at the last minute just as U.S. warplanes were headed its way.

"Along with Prime Minister (Tony) Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning," Clinton said.

The president said the report handed in Tuesday by Richard Butler, head of the United Nations Special Commission in charge of finding and destroying Iraqi weapons, was stark and sobering.

Iraq failed to cooperate with the inspectors and placed new restrictions on them, Clinton said. He said Iraqi officials also destroyed records and moved everything, even the furniture, out of suspected sites before inspectors were allowed in.

"Instead of inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors," Clinton said.

"In halting our airstrikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance -- not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed," the president explained.

Strikes necessary to stunt weapons programs

Clinton said he made the decision to strike Wednesday with the unanimous agreement of his security advisors.

Timing was important, said the president, because without a strong inspection system in place, Iraq could rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear programs in a matter of months, not years.

"If Saddam can cripple the weapons inspections system and get away with it, he would conclude the international community, led by the United States, has simply lost its will," said Clinton. "He would surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction."

Clinton also called Hussein a threat to his people and to the security of the world.

"The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people," Clinton said.

CNN had no comment on the double standard of news coverage.
171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 17, 2014, 04:03:50 PM
URL for the Wiki entry please?
They have source links.  I have posted the actual resolution previously.  Here it is again, the 23 reasons:
Joint Resolution

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq’s war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in ‘material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations’ and urged the President ‘to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations’;

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994);

Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President ‘to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677’;

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it ‘supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),’ that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and ‘constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,’ and that Congress, ‘supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688’;

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to ‘work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge’ posed by Iraq and to ‘work for the necessary resolutions,’ while also making clear that ‘the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable’;

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Electricity - Fusion on: October 17, 2014, 09:30:52 AM

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough on Fusion Energy
Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready in a decade.
173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 17, 2014, 08:45:44 AM
On the board we had reports, with unknown validity, ranging from trucks carrying WMD to Syria during the dithering process to trace WMD measured in the Euphrates river indicating a dump.

It isn't that this vindicates Bush; they relied on the best intelligence in the world at the time, right or wrong.  To me it is that this story and others proves false the mantra later of the opponents hollering and repeating, "No WMD".  Bush acted on best faith while they spoke with intentional deceit, which worked quite well for them.

There were 23 reasons given in the authorization that Hillary, Biden, et al passed for going to war.  A pretty good description of them below is from Wikipedia. Proof of past WMD use and shooting at inspections planes is an indicator of current intent.

Iraq Study Group later determined that Saddam was 7 years away from having nuclear weapons - 12 years ago.  Good enough reason to depose him for me.

...The U.S. stated that the intent (in Iraq war) was to remove "a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world". ...For the invasion Iraq the rationale was "the United States relied on the authority of UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 687 to use all necessary means to compel Iraq to comply with its international obligations".[3]
174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 15, 2014, 05:11:38 PM
As always, "Profit or prophet-ize?"

Fair enough.  Wesbury's point now is buy stocks now, after 5 years up and under political economic policies he and we think are harmful to investments.  We will see.

It's only theoretical to me.  I lost my stocks money not last time he was wrong but the time before that.
175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Warming less sensitive to CO2 increases than reported, by 7.5 fold! on: October 15, 2014, 05:12:40 AM

Observations show IPCC exaggerates anthropogenic global warming by a factor of 7.5!
176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Address income inequality only on the spending side on: October 15, 2014, 02:30:44 AM
This is an important piece IMHO.  Sorry I can't cut and paste well from my phone.

177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics, Global Slowdown, Wesbury on: October 15, 2014, 02:07:00 AM
Wesbury is perfectly coherent when he writes about policy choices.
178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 15, 2014, 01:54:00 AM
Markets go up and down, hopefully more up than down.  He is right when they are up and wrong when they go down.  For the right reasons?  I say no.  Entrenched companies did well under crony government and did well mostly outside our borders. 

If WE believe real unemployment is still nearly double digit, 9.6% best case by any consistent measure, then he has been wrong for 6 years about ECONOMIC recovery.

The main question always is, What next?

If a 5 year rise built partly upon a house of cards, QE, won't ever come down, then he is right about the market - for the wrong reasons.
179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: IRAQ - WMD on: October 15, 2014, 01:28:34 AM
Oddly, plenty of chemical weapons were found and kept secret by the Americans, 2003-2008.
180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: stock market , investment strategies - Wesbury on: October 14, 2014, 03:59:36 PM
Wesbury says market timing doesn't work yet he picks a market low starting point or a market high ending point or both to show performance.
181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Retirement, pensions, social security, ... Dutch system on: October 14, 2014, 03:51:17 PM
We are in Europe now and had lunch with a young Dutch college girl who is a friend of my daughter.  She said she knows she will work until (exactly) 67.  A public system like that is not for me, but it is solvent when all the facts are out in the open and all sides keep their promises.
182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Cruz proposes Constitutional Amendment on: October 09, 2014, 02:54:25 AM

It bothers me that when otherwise smart people see that we can't get to 51% to support something, they jump to an idea that requires 80% support.  Cruz's procedural idea is valid, but everyone knows the point is to stop gay marriage - which I think can no longer be stopped.

Meanwhile, we are in the final stretch of a crucial mid-term election and still haven't offered a persuasive case of what we would do differently to grow our stagnant economy.
183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Border Protection v. ebola on: October 07, 2014, 11:22:54 AM
2007-CDC maintains 'no fly list' in conjunction with DHS...

Good to see this threat tied to homeland security.  One more reason to take borders, security and immigration law seriously.  (Meanwhile our President laughs about smuggling illegals into an event in his limousine).
184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Huckabee on SCOTUS's failure to take up the marrigae cases on: October 07, 2014, 11:19:13 AM
I agree with Huck on a) opposing the change in definition of marriage, and b) the constitutional role of the Court and their wrongheadedness on this.

That said, fighting tooth and nail against what is already happening full speed across the country is a losing political battle.  While he makes his final losing stand on this, splitting the right and empowering the left, our bankrupt entitlement mess and failed economic policies will sink us.

It is great to articulate what is wrong with courts making laws, but very un-Reaganesque to declare he will oppose all who oppose him on this one issue.  We have bigger threats confronting us than arguing over what combinations of people may file a joint return.
185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: October 06, 2014, 06:17:55 PM
I am receiving some holocaust and WWII information from a war buddy of my Dad.  Can you please suggest a topic for posting these.
186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senator Marco Rubio is receiving high praise on foreign policy on: October 06, 2014, 11:24:59 AM
Being labeled Neocon and having former Bush officials advise you has high political risk for both the primary and the general election, but I don't believe his views are politically motivated.  Not just interventions, but preparedness is going to be a big issue. 

The neocons are back. That is, at least in Marco Rubio’s world. The Florida senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate has, since his election in 2010, regularly consulted with and sought the advice of top neoconservative writers and policymakers, several of whom served in the administration of George W. Bush.

His loose circle of advisers includes former national-security adviser Stephen Hadley, former deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, Brookings Institution scholar and former Reagan-administration aide Robert Kagan, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, and former Missouri senator Jim Talent.
To this group, beating back the rising tide of non-interventionism in the Republican party is a top priority, and they consider Rubio a candidate, if not the candidate, capable of doing so. “I think it’s very important that any isolationist arguments be defeated well and be defeated early,” says a neoconservative foreign-policy expert who talks with Rubio frequently.
Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, a war in Israel, and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have in the course of a few months made the American public, and especially Republican-primary voters, more hawkish. Some argue that these events have dimmed the prospects that Kentucky senator Rand Paul, who has carved out a niche for himself as the leading non-interventionist in the Republican party, could seize the nomination. Unquestionably, the crises have boosted Rubio’s stock.

“We’re in an international crisis of really significant proportions, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades,” says the Brookings Institution’s Kagan. “We’ve all been very sympathetic to people worried about going crosswise with the Republican base, but I really think we’re past that. From my perspective, I’m only going to be interested in people who are willing to say the hard things.” For Kagan, that includes arguing for an increase in the defense budget and being frank both about the need to use force when necessary and about America’s role as the world’s preeminent power.

But it’s not just current events that have drawn serious foreign-policy thinkers to Rubio. Since his election four years ago, the first-term senator has consistently articulated a robust internationalist position closest to that of George W. Bush. His outside advisers say he impressed them from the beginning as somebody who took foreign affairs seriously; since then he has built up a record of accomplishment during his four years in the Senate, where he serves on the foreign-relations and intelligence committees.

The experts I spoke with made it clear they have not signed up with Rubio, and nearly all speak with, and speak highly of, other potential candidates. But it is Rubio who garners their highest praise.

“From very early on he was clearly someone who was deciding to take foreign policy seriously,” says Kagan, “I thought he spoke remarkably intelligently.”

Elliott Abrams first spoke with Rubio when he was running for the Senate in 2010. “We had a mutual friend who said to me, ‘He has no experience in the Middle East, but obviously it’s a big issue in Florida, would you be willing to talk to him?’” Abrams says. “We got on the phone, and he said, ‘Let’s do it this way: Let me tell you what I think about the Middle East, and then you tell me what I’ve left out that’s important and what I’ve got wrong.’” Rubio, Abrams says, didn’t have anything wrong. “I was really impressed,” he tells me. “I don’t think there are very many state politicians who could have, off the cuff, done a six-or-seven minute riff on the Middle East.”

Rubio’s disciplined and methodical approach to foreign policy — he has articulated his views over the past two years in several speeches around the world — presents a stark contrast, say multiple foreign-policy experts, to that of his tea-party colleague Ted Cruz. A Cruz adviser last week told National Journal that the Texas senator will almost certainly mount a presidential bid in 2016 and plans to run on a “foreign-policy platform.”

“Whereas Rubio clearly has some views that he has considered and articulated, my sense of Cruz is that he is much less formed by conviction,” says one foreign-policy expert who has met with both potential candidates. “His background was really more on the domestic side.”

Cruz has repeatedly said he embraces a Reaganite foreign policy. He made headlines in recent weeks for walking out of an event when a group of Arab Christians booed his vocal defense of Israel, and he has used his seat on the Armed Services Committee to travel abroad during his time in office. But those I spoke with were, across the board, unimpressed. They universally characterized his worldview as shallow, opportunistic, and ever shifting to where he perceives the base of the party to be.

A former senior Bush administration defense official criticized the Texas senator in particular for his failure, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, to advocate for raising the defense budget. “He’s basically not done anything that I’m aware of to put an end to the hemorrhaging in the Defense Department, so it rings a little hollow,” he says. “It’s one thing to posture, it’s another thing to have a consistent policy. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t develop one. I don’t want to write him up as a lost cause, but he has a long way to go before he could be considered on the same bar as Rubio, considered to have a coherent world view.”

Over the summer, Rubio was briefed on the findings of the National Defense Panel, led by former Missouri senator Jim Talent and former undersecretary of defense for policy Eric Edelman, and the senator used a major speech last month to sound the alarm about the recent cuts to the defense budget and argue for ramping it back up.

Kagan — the preeminent neoconservative scholar and author who made headlines when President Obama improbably cited his article on “The Myth of American Decline,” and again when his cover story for The New Republic critiquing Obama’s foreign policy zipped through the West Wing — has had a major influence on Rubio’s worldview.

The former adviser to politicians from Jack Kemp to Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton says he spoke with Rubio on and off during his first two years in office, and Rubio cited Kagan’s 2012 book The World America Made in his remarks at the Brookings Institution later that year. In the book, Kagan argues that world orders are transient, and that the world order that has been shaped by the United States since the end of World War II — defined by freedom, democracy, and capitalism — will crumble if American power wanes. But he also posits that the modern world order rests not on America’s cherished ideals — respect for individual rights and human dignity — but on economic and military power, and that its preservation requires bolstering America’s hard power. 

Rubio has echoed that view over the past two years. “We should start by acknowledging the fact that a strong and engaged America has been a force of tremendous good in the world,” Rubio said in Washington, D.C., last year. “This can be done easily by imagining the sort of world we would live in today had America sat out the 20th century.” He pushed back in December last year, in a speech he gave in London about the lasting importance of the transatlantic alliance, on those he described as “weary from decades of global engagement.” In Seoul, South Korea, a month later, he lamented that many in Congress are “increasingly skeptical about why America needs to remain so active in international affairs.”

Rubio’s views are strikingly similar to those that guided George W. Bush as he began navigating the post-9/11 world. “Foreign policy is domestic policy,” Rubio told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute in November of last year. “When liberty is denied and economic desperation take root, it affects us here at home. It breeds radicalism and terror. It drives illegal immigration. It leads to humanitarian crises that we are compelled to address.” It was Bush who in his 2002 National Security Strategy argued that “the distinction between domestic and foreign affairs is increasingly diminishing,” because “events beyond America’s borders have a greater impact inside them.”

The key difference, according to Kagan, is that Bush, who campaigned in 2000 on a platform of scaling back American involvement in the world, “had a revelation after September 11,” whereas Rubio comes by his position more organically.

However unfairly, Bush’s approach to foreign affairs has become inextricably associated with the invasion of Iraq, and few Republicans are willing to stand wholeheartedly behind it anymore. I asked a Rubio aide if the senator fears associating himself too closely with the Bush clan or with Bush’s foreign policy, and whether Rubio might be making himself vulnerable to an attack that a Rubio presidency would be George W. Bush’s third term. No, the aide replies, adding that “a lot of the foreign-policy issues that the next president is going to deal with are different than they were 20 years ago.”

Regardless, Rubio may indeed become vulnerable to the charge that he is another neocon like Bush, surrounded by some of the same people and informed by essentially the same views.

The day when Republican-primary voters go to the polls is still a long way off, but it feels as if a number of conservative foreign-policy thinkers have already cast their vote. 

— Eliana Johnson is Washington editor of National Review.
187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons - it's not that simple on: October 06, 2014, 11:09:46 AM
"There is NO other Democrat who can run."

First, that's not her problem.  )    But if so, then there is no ready made running mate, ready to step in on a moments notice.  

You may mean - no one who can run without the machine behind them, but if she doesn't run, the Clintons will still most certainly be involved with power brokering, fundraising, etc.  Maybe it is irrelevant, but who is his Obama's hand picked successor?  It wouldn't honestly be Hillary or Biden.  Maybe they can run Valerie Jarrett for a third term.

"She WANTS to run."

I think you mean she wants her name in the record books as first woman President and wants some of the parts of being President.  But she doesn't like campaigning.  She doesn't like dealing with little people.  She can't work a room like the masters of politics do.  She hates criticism and hates being questioned.  I'm sure she hates the unflattering pictures of her running posted around the internet, and is starting to see those every day in the mirror - to put it as nicely as I can.  

"She WILL run."

Maybe so, but there are some very real, personal and political issues that will guide that.  It is a 10 year commitment unless you start thinking one term.  It's physical and it's on your feet.  If it was a one term plan then we are back to the lightweight running mate issue.  She will be of record age, and in medium health and condition, best case.  She has no magical connection with young people, or blacks, or gays, or Hispanics, or males of any kind.  Clintons are the masters of polling.  She still holds the big lead but they see the trend line downward throughout the trial balloon period and it must be troubling.  The more she runs, the less popular she gets.  The only question is whether she is smart and objective enough to see that.  (Most think she isn't.)

Being President is a cut in pay and a curtailment of her freedoms.  Losing twice, and losing ugly isn't the best way to start off in retirement, nor to build the Foundation.  Can't she do more for the women of the world there, make the Grandmother excuse, and never face scrutiny again?

They survived more scandals than anyone in history, but if she is really so confident, in private, that they will sail through every mis-step and scandal without damage, including Bill's, why throw the lamps around the living quarters?

Who would want to follow Obama running or serving on the left?  The left is already turning on him.  Thye media is turning.  What Dem wants to be President with a Republican House and Senate, preside over budget fights, healthcare cutbacks and debt ceiling hike fights?  Her agenda would be meaningless with a Republican congress.  She would have a divided country at best, with little room for triangulation.  The mid-term wave, if it happens, will shape events.  If Republicans can hit 53 Senators, the next Dem is in for a struggle.
188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 05, 2014, 10:36:38 PM
Now I understand why you have Al Franken.

The bullies are Democrats.

Yes.  And we have Obama.  This lady identified herself as working for the [Keith] Ellison campaign and was most certainly working the entire ticket including Sen Franken and Gov Mark Dayton.
189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 05, 2014, 06:18:35 PM
Working the inner city today on a Sunday afternoon I once again witnessed the Democrat political machine working up close and personal.  They asked me if I was Eugene.  I wouldn't confirm.  They asked me if I was going to vote Democrat, and I said, that's personal, isn't it?  Then she accused me of being the landlord because I was (white and) working on the front step.  I said, a friend of the family.  Then she started asking little kids who lives in this house, does your mama live her?  The kid said no but my grandma does.  I told the kid her Grandma (on kidney dialysis) is sleeping.  They dragged her out anyway, and started asking, who else lives in this house and started working on getting absentee ballots out so people wouldn't wait to learn something before voting the party line now.

My point unfortunately is that, as chair of a Republican town elsewhere, I know the Republicans have nothing at all like this operation n place - a paid, assertive, don't take no for an answe,r block worker on every block.

By the way, Eugene passed away.  I wonder if he got a ballolt anyway.
190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: October 05, 2014, 06:10:09 PM
Hillary's fan club is gearing up with this hard hitting piece in the MSM:

"Hillary has waited for more than 50 years to make her dream come true. As a little girl, she spent hours dancing in the sun and, as she wrote from Wellesley College to a former high school classmate, she imagined the sunlight was intended for her — beamed down by God, with heavenly movie cameras watching my every move.”

Still they don't know if she is running:

"will she or won’t she? Should she or shouldn’t she?"

I am more than a little nervous about my bet with ccp.  There is no doubt she is running trial balloons about running.  And there is no doubt those trial balloons are failing.  On the other hand, being liberal and being delusional go hand in hand.  And there is by definition no one in her upper, inner circle who is not a yes ma'am.  What we know for certain is the timing, that her party needs to know URGENTLY after the mid-term elections if she is NOT running.  If she runs, (as Dick Morris puts it) that puts her in the semi-finals, and she has a one in four chance of winning.
191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Obama is the greatest economic President of the past century on: October 03, 2014, 11:28:32 PM

He may be the best President of the last 90 years for something he has not done:

"It is too early to tell whether the third phase will let Mr. Obama leave office with economic growth exceeding 4 percent, at least 300,000 new jobs a month being created, and an unemployment rate below 4 percent.  But if that happens — and the stock market does not implode — Mr. Obama will go down in history as the best president the U.S. economy has seen in 90 years."

In fact he presided over the tanking of the workforce participation rate to a level not seen since before women widely entered the workforce.  It is an economy that employs men at the lowest rate ever recorded.  What these twisted economic stats are telling us is just how twisted our economic stats are.

We are "adding" jobs beneath breakeven levels.  The jobs we are losing are full time and the jobs we are adding are part time.  Mostly though, fewer and fewer are choosing to work, now that it is optional and the rewards of work and starting businesses have been largely removed.

By their math, when this economy hits zero jobs with zero workers remaining, the unemployment rate will be at its lowest ever!
192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Congressional races, rare bipartisan agreement on: October 03, 2014, 11:14:11 PM
The President has announced that he would like the current mid-terms to be a referendum on his Presidency.  So be it.

Pres. Obama:  "... make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot — every single one of them.”
193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: October 03, 2014, 02:25:20 PM

Yes.  Very insightful!

One quote:
“Conservatives believe what they see; liberals see what they believe.”

The over-riding theme of Utopianism is right on the money.  Who knew that aiming all kinds of new taxes and regulations at the rich would in fact make the rich richer and all the rest of us worse off?  It's like trying to restrict blood flow through the heart to get better circulation in the extremities.  It doesn't work that way.
194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Senate: Meet Mike McFadden R-MN - challenging Al Franken on: October 02, 2014, 02:06:44 PM
This could easily be put under "The Way Forward", what I would call common-sense-conservatism.  
Click on the 30 minute audio podcast at the link, interviewed by John Hinderacker at Powerline.
McFadden is supposedly losing by double digits while Franken has a 100% name recognition.  Watch this race close to within the margin of error by election day.
195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trey Gowdy for Speaker on: October 02, 2014, 01:57:42 PM

Agree!  Wouldn't that be a nice change.
196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 01, 2014, 11:41:40 PM
"Wisely selected immigrants"

Yes.  Welcoming invited guests is a very different concept than just leaving the door open.
197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 30, 2014, 02:26:09 PM
He missed 58% of his Daily Intelligence Briefings.  Can't even vote present anymore.
198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics, Kevin Williamson: The inequality bed-wetters are misleading you on: September 30, 2014, 10:24:34 AM
Thank you to Kevin Williamson at National Review for trying to make the points that I have been trying to make about income inequality.  This is a misleading measure resurrected to play off of resentment and envy to make healthy, growing economies look bad.  That was fine for liberals during the good years of the Bush administration, but everything the Dems have done since has made it worse.  People like Krugman put forth screwy ideas and then free market advocates are put on perpetual defense.  Why are we on defense when their policies make income, wealth, growth, jobs, AND inequality worse?

SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
The Gelded Age
The inequality bed-wetters are misleading you.
By Kevin D. Williamson

The inequality police are worried that we are living in a new Gilded Age. We should be so lucky: Between 1880 and 1890, the number of employed Americans increased by more than 13 percent, and wages increased by almost 50 percent. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the Barack Obama years will not match that record; the number of employed Americans is lower today than it was when he took office, and household income is down. Grover Cleveland is looking like a genius in comparison.
The inequality-based critique of the American economy is a fundamentally dishonest one, for a half a dozen or so reasons at least. Claims that the (wicked, wicked) “1 percent” saw their incomes go up by such and such an amount over the past decade or two ignore the fact that different people compose the 1 percent every year, and that 75 percent of the super-rich households in 1995 were in a lower income group by 2005. “The 3 million highest-paying jobs in America paid a lot more in 2005 than did the 3 million highest-paying jobs in 1995” is a very different and considerably less dramatic claim than “The top 1 percent of earners in 1995 saw their household incomes go up radically by 2005.” But the former claim is true and the latter is not.
Paul Krugman, who persists in Dickensian poverty, barely making ends meet between six-figure sinecures, is a particularly energetic scourge of the rich, and he is worried about conspicuous consumption: “For many of the rich, flaunting is what it’s all about. Living in a 30,000 square foot house isn’t much nicer than living in a 5,000 square foot house; there are, I believe, people who can really appreciate a $350 bottle of wine, but most of the people buying such things wouldn’t notice if you substituted a $20 bottle, or maybe even a Trader Joe’s special.” In an earlier piece on the same theme, he urged higher taxes as a way to help the rich toward virtue: “While chiding the rich for their vulgarity may not be as offensive as lecturing the poor on their moral failings, it’s just as futile. Human nature being what it is, it’s silly to expect humility from a highly privileged elite. So if you think our society needs more humility, you should support policies that would reduce the elite’s privileges.” That is, seize their money before they order the 1982 Margaux.

I live in the same city as Donald Trump, so the existence of rich people with toxic taste is not exactly a Muppet News Flash for me. But poor people are not poor because rich people are rich, nor vice versa. Very poor people are generally poor because they do not have jobs, and taking away Thurston Howell III’s second yacht is not going to secure work for them.  Nobody has ever been able to satisfactorily answer the question for me: How would making Donald Trump less rich make anybody else better off?

There is, obviously, one direct answer to that question, which is that making Trump less rich by seizing his property and giving it to somebody else would make the recipients better off, and that is true. But the Left does not generally make that straightforward argument for seizing property. Rather, they treat “inequality” as though it were an active roaming malice on the economic landscape, and argue that incomes are stagnant at the lower end of the range because too great a “share of national income” — and there’s a whole Burkina Faso’s worth of illiteracy in that phrase — went to earners at the top. It simply is not the case that if Lloyd Blankfein makes a hundred grand less next year, then there’s $100,000 sitting on shelf somewhere waiting to become part of some unemployed guy in Toledo’s “share of the national income.” Income isn’t a bag of jellybeans that gets passed around.

Further, if your assumption here is that this is about redistribution, then you should want the billionaires’ incomes to go up, not down: The more money they make, the more taxes they pay, and the more money you have to give to the people you want to give money to, e.g., overpaid, lazy, porn-addicted bureaucrats. Maybe you think that the tax rates on the rich are too low, especially given that the very rich tend to have income taxed at the capital-gains rate rather than at the much higher income-tax rate. Strange that when Democrats had uncontested power in Washington — White House, House, and Senate — they did not even make a halfway serious effort to change that. It’s almost as if Chuck Schumer has a bunch of Wall Street guys among his constituents. The tepidness of our national economic-policy leadership suggests very strongly that we are living in a Gelded Age, not a gilded one. We do need radical economic reform, not of the sort that Elizabeth Warren desires but of the kind that will allow the modestly off to thrive through mechanisms other than the largesse of politicians looting others on their behalf.

You can make the straightforward case for property seizure, though Democrats generally are not all that comfortable doing so around election time, or you can ritually chant the 1,001 names of the ancient demon Inequality. Or you can make it a matter of public morals and good taste: David Brooks received jeers for writing that the rich should adhere to a “code of seemliness,” but there’s something to be said for a less ducal executive style. How far you want to take that, though, is a matter of very wide discretion. Old millionaire Main Line families used to look sideways at anybody who drove anything flashier than a Buick — Lincolns and Cadillacs were not for Protestants, and BMWs weren’t even on the mental map. Michelle Obama wears a lot of Comme des Garçons for a class warrior, and the makers of the world’s most expensive cigars say Bill Clinton is a fan. We can do this all day.

What Paul Krugman et al. should do rather than fret about the rich and their conspicuous consumption is take the advice of a superior economist, the one who suggested that we should “focus on the stagnation of real wages and the disappearance of jobs offering middle-class incomes, as well as the constant insecurity that comes with not having reliable jobs or assets.” That’s not advice for a rich-are-too-rich problem, it’s advice for a poor-are-too-poor problem. And those are not the same problem.

That those words were Professor Krugman’s own makes it all the more puzzling that he fails to follow where they lead. The late 19th century saw substantial improvements in the standard of living for average working people in the United States. The early 21st century, not so much. This Gilded Age has a lot of catching up to do before it is anything near as successful as the last one.
199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: September 30, 2014, 09:41:29 AM
McCain is definitely a hawk, but not a steady indicator of anything, especially judging Republican nominees. 

The source of that is Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker with an extensive background piece on Rand Paul, a very worthwhile read IMO:
200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics, Success in Germany? Are Free markets over-rated? on: September 29, 2014, 05:51:19 PM
German people have a strong, cultural, work ethic.  Given that, wouldn't it be better to compare German workers in Germany with German-American workers in the US if you're comparing economic systems?  The US states with the highest proportions of German American workers have lower unemployment rates than Germany:  Only Japan beats German low unemployment according to the article.  Japanese-Americans also have a lower unemployment rate in the US than Japanese workers in japan, and their economy is notoriously stagnant.

The author points to America under Obama and the housing crash under Bush, while mortgages were 90% federal, as free markets running wild.  What?

Speaking of stagnation, look at the German growth.  The average GDP growth rate in Germany from 1991 to 2014 was 0.30%.  And we should copy them??!!

Germany is the 21st most prosperous nation in the world according to the CIA Fact Book (per capita income measured with purchasing power parity).  Germany is ahead of Greece, Portugal, etc. but behind the US, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, and many more.  How did the article jump from one positive measurement to concluding that a German, crony government in bed with large industries system is better than economic freedom?  That doesn't make sense.
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 124
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!