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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races. ELECTION DAY TODAY on: November 04, 2014, 07:50:22 AM
Republicans have to win beyond the margin of fraud and litigation.

Sad but true and so many of these races look to be extremely close.

It will be interesting to see how well the pollsters got it this year.  They have been all over the map but only get judged for accuracy by their final tally.

202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: November 03, 2014, 11:58:06 PM
Predictions before the polls open/close?

In the House, people say double digit (barely) gains for Republicans.  (Hard to track 435 of these.)

In the Senate, as it sits now with polling, R's hold two close ones,Kentucky and Georgia,  lose Kansas (?)  and pick up 7, West Virginia, South Dakota. Montana, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and eventually Louisiana IF this really is a so-called national wave election, that number needs to jump to 9, possibly 10.  So add to that: Kansas and New Hampshire for nine, and then one of the following:  North Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia or Minnesota to make ten. (It is also possible that the Dem ground game combining smart strategies with hard work and cheating again bursts the Republican bubble.) 

R's need a pickup of 8 or more IMO to have a decent chance of holding the Senate in 2016 when they have to defend something like 23 seats to their opponents 9.

Go vote, everybody.  Margin of victory matters.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 03, 2014, 11:32:25 PM
We are getting down to the last chance to prognosticate on tomorrow's election...  I have a conservative bias and these surprises are only possible if this does turn out to be a big Republican year. 

For my own state of MN, the entire state House of Representatives could flip to Republican.  They are currently down by 12 seats, and under one party rule of all branches and chambers.

The US Senate race, Mike McFadden vs. Al Franken, and MN Governor's race:  Jeff Johnson (R) vs Mark Dayton (D - incumbent) will both end up closer than predicted, I predict.  Both of these were VERY recently picked to be double digit Dem wins.  Both could close essentially to a tie.  Unfortunately in MN, the tie goes to the Democrat.

All the Governor's races around the country are crucial and many are tossups.  Especially important (IMO) are the reelection contests of Wisconsin with Gov. Scott Walker (R) and in Colorado with Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).  If Walker wins, he becomes a 2016 factor with quite a few pluses on his side, executive experience, electoral success in a yellow state, and a record of taking on tough fights and succeeding.  If either loses, maybe they end up as an ambassador somewhere, someday.  I think the Fla. Gov race is important too.  Another loss for the slimy Charlie Crist would be good for Florida and mankind.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: November 03, 2014, 11:07:07 PM
All good points.  Regarding McCain/Obama, it's true but I don't think the it was necessarily Republican vs Democrat.  More the fact that a very specific tax increase was coming, on these gains, on these stocks, in that time frame.  The Obama Presidency meant the presumed certainty that the 'Bush tax cuts on the wealthy' would expire.  Even if you didn't need to take your profit, you knew that everyone else did and would be selling.  They could buy back in too with a delay, but people wouldn't during a mass sell off.  Once the profits were gone, the ame impending tax hike the next time around (the first one got canceled) didn't have the same, immediate meaning to investors.

I'm not sure if the market cares too much about the current election.  We will have divided government either way.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: IMHO Wesbury scores well here on: November 03, 2014, 05:52:25 PM
QE: It Didn't Work
Brian S. Wesbury, 11/3/2014

"Conventional Wisdom says that greedy, crazy, speculative, bankers almost destroyed the world back in 2008 and the government saved it with TARP and QE. Many analysts believe QE has kept the US from lurching back into recession. Some even think QE means hyperinflation is on the way."

   - I think the view around here is that government bungled its regulatory role and government became a participant in the market, greatly skewing and screwing up all kinds of things.  This had nothing to do with free markets (or greed) running wild.

...QE started in September 2008, while TARP was passed a month later. But between October 2008 and March 2009, the S&P 500 fell an additional 40%, while the recession only got worse. Inflation never took off and nominal GDP growth has remained subdued. 

  - The market fell another 40% with QE + TARP, but we don't know how far it would have fallen without QE+TARP.  Wrong solution for the wrong problem.

By contrast, our minority view is that the crisis was never as bad as many think; that mark-to-market accounting turned a large, but not economy-killing, problem, into a Panic. Supporting our case is that the equity market, and the economy, bottomed when mark-to-market accounting was fixed in March/April 2009. In other words, this is not a “sugar high” driven by monetary stimulus.

   - I'm not sure how much of the market rise to date is a sugar high driven by monetary stimulus.  Good point on mark to market, but this was not the only error government made controlling the housing and financial markets.

Only history can prove which one of these views is correct.

   - Don't hold your breath.  History is still arguing over the Great Depression and the failed remedies.

But, now that the Fed has tapered, we have some real evidence to digest. The Fed has reduced its monthly purchases from $85 billion per month to zero. Yet, instead of a calamity, U.S. real GDP grew at a 4.6% annual rate in Q2 and a 3.5% rate in Q3. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.9% from 7.2% a year ago (with a big assist from ending extended benefits). The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday. And, the yield on the 10-year Treasury is lower today than it was in December 2013.  In other words, it looks like ending QE3 made the economy stronger, not weaker. Intellectually speaking, those who believe that QE was driving economic activity have a problem.

   - This part at least does not address the question of whether equity values were run up by QE.  We know there is a disconnect between equities market GDP growth.

Remarkably, many analysts who claim to believe in free markets support the conventional wisdom. They give credit to government or the Fed for driving growth, when in fact it has been government that has held growth back.

   - I think they believe it is driving false growth, an illusion of growth.

We believe new technology (like fracking, the cloud, 3-D printing, apps,…etc.) has driven profits higher. The stock market is up because it represents the returns from investment by the private sector in these new technologies.

   - Margin levels and PE's are at or near record highs, no?

Meanwhile, government spending, regulation, and tax hikes have held the broader economy back – to a tepid 2.3% annual real GDP growth rate since the recovery started in mid-2009.

   - I believe that is growth below the break-even rate.  False growth.  Stagnancy.

The economic drag from forced redistribution and a large misallocation of credit are holding back overall growth.
As QE ends, this misallocation of credit is diminishing...

   - Agreed.

and the private sector is expanding.

   - Huh?  Because the Obama administration released a preliminary number, 3.5%,  just before an election?

It’s time for investors to focus even more on what’s been driving equities higher the past five years: the power of entrepreneurship, not QE.

   - The factors that support new entrepreneurial growth are still all pointing downward.  Even tomorrow's election can't change that.

     If one starts with a simple assumption that MV=PQ.  We know the output Q of the economy has been flat.  We know the price level P has been reasonably flat.  Conclude that The Fed pumped additional money M into the economy (trillions) at a rate roughly offsetting the rate that velocity of economic activity has decreased.  Wrong problem masked by the wrong solution.  But yes, "tapering" it to zero is good thing, long overdue.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Reagan We meant to change a nation and instead we changed the world on: November 03, 2014, 08:21:23 AM
Please give The Gipper 5 minutes of your time this election season:
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, discrimination. black family, white privilege on: October 31, 2014, 10:22:23 AM
From Media Issues:

I didn't see the anything racist in the Bill O'Reilly comments other than the entire topic of analyzing people by group membership.

Former Sen Jim Webb wrote about the myth of white privilege here:

O'Reilly accurately commented on the breakdown of the black family, which is true but not unique to blacks.  White families are breaking down at the same rate; they are just at a different point on the same time line.  What O'Reilly has right is that the breakdown of the family for all is the biggest problem in our culture and our economy.  It is not unique to blacks but it hit them first and it hit them hardest.

The blame, I very strongly believe, is not white privilege but white guilt that is driving our massive welfare programs that are throwing blacks and black families disproportionately into the eternal dependency of the government.  When you choose to receive food stamps, or SSI, or Section 8 housing, or free Medicaid or subsidized Obamacare, or the free Obamacare phone, or cash welfare benefits, you enter into an agreement with the government that you will keep your earned, reported income under a livable level, or lose your benefits.  As an inner city landlord, I very commonly witness families afraid to list the husband or father of the children on the lease for fear of losing their benefits.

When a woman sees the government as the provider, instead of the husband and father of the children, the loyalties go toward keeping that support.  When a man does not take the responsibilities of a family he started, he very often goes on and fathers more children and creates more non-("treaditional") families.  Then if he ever earned significant reported income it would mostly go to child support that he otherwise does not have to pay - so he doesn't.  Both the man and the woman living in so-called poverty face effective marginal tax rates far higher than either Warren Buffet or his secretary.

There is no simple, easy solution for this but it is crazy to deny or ignore this enormous unintended consequences of our policies that are ripping our society apart from its foundation.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 30, 2014, 11:45:27 PM
It's funny that the first estimate would come out so high just before an election.  Meanwhile, 80% believe the administration would lie to them about something important. 

Even if true, that is a quarterly growth rate that was surpassed during 27 of the 32 quarters under Reagan.  (Source:  The Economy in the Reagan Years: The Economic Consequences of the Reagan Administrations,  By Anthony S. Campagna)
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 30, 2014, 01:49:59 PM
"Doug, You and I both know that overall trickle down will work better than trickle up. "

   -  ccp, Trickle down was a misnomer.  We didn't give money to the rich hoping they would spread it around and some might get to the poor and middle class, as alleged.  We sometimes allowed people (including the rich) to keep part of what the earned, because it is the right thing to do.  Yes, producers tend to invest, grow businesses, build factories, hire people etc. and that is good too.

"Yet the widened gap between rich and poor does give the enemy ammo that enriching bankers while everyone in the middle stagnates and those at the bottom do worse as a counterargument."

    - Income inequality got worse under liberal-progressive policies.  We need to promise to do what is right and articulate it MUCH better.

"I still think the right has to do better with the concept of leveling the playing field."

    - Agree.  Social spending should be aimed at helping those who can lift themselves up and out of the need for assistance.  Not mentioned in your response to your liberal aunt, we DO support a good safety net for those truly in need.  It should be part government, part charity and it will be much better funded in the long run if we have a healthy, prosperous economy than it is in a sinking ship.

"As one who is a big victim of those without scruples and with access to influence and money I know full well how hard work and talent can be thwarted and robbed."

    - These crimes and so many others are already against the law.   Setting up a system where less influence is peddled is a start and enforcing laws already on the books is a must.  Rand Paul sends the opposite message when he says, let people out who committed only non-violent crimes.  Maybe some financial crimes could be paid back with something like three-fold damages instead of time served, but as you suggest, the perception of tolerance for white collar BS is part of our political problem, even while it seems to be Dems committing most of it.

"That said one idea the concept of leveling taxes to a flat rate.  I prefer one rate for everyone without deductions including all economic rungs.  Since the left will seize upon this to say this hurts the poor the most I would be willing to compromise for two rates.  Not a zero one but a lower and a higher one."

    - Agree!  There should be a minimum and a maximum tax rate based on efficiency and moral principles, and the only deductions should be the expenses incurred generating the income.  Tax capital gain same as ordinary income, but allow a subtraction for the inflationary component of the income at the same CPI adjustment rate that we use for social security.  Move corporate tax rates down from highest in the world to within the lower one-third of OECD countries, our economic competitors, and let companies operate where they want around the world.

"Republicans can do more to reach out to minorities and promoting them to positions of political power within our party (as obviously they are doing)."

    - Yes!  Reach out by treating them like people, not interest groups.
"It would be highly ironic if the first Black President germinated the first real minority movement away from the Democrat party.  That is from within the urban areas and not just religious minorities. "

    - That would be the logical reaction to what we learned from the effects of these policies.  They might also be tired of the pandering, pressuring, guilting, etc. in exchange for nothing but being stuck in bad place.

"In '08 Obama stated the way we were was not working.  Instead many are (finally) waking up to the fact this his way is the old way and already proven wrong."
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, etc. on: October 30, 2014, 01:11:11 PM
There ought to be a law against subverting our electoral process and betraying the principles of our constitutional republic - felony treason I am thinking, punishable by capital punishment with mandatory deportation of the remains if the offender is found to be here illegally.

Alternatively, we could set aside some land for all the people who do not wish to live within the agreed framework of this country.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam in Europe, A place formerly known as Sweden now has 55 Police No Go Zones on: October 30, 2014, 11:38:54 AM
The Swedish police has released a map of 55 areas where they publicly admit to having surrendered control to the criminal gangs. The report describes outright attacks on police officers trying to enter the areas, which is a step up from the previous problem with attacks on mailmen, fire trucks, ambulances and similar services; it used to be that fire trucks and ambulances had to wait for police escort to enter the areas, but now the police themselves need protection.

The no-go areas heavily coincides with the map of the 186 “exclusion areas” aka. crowded, predominantly muslim immigrant ghettos, where education is low, employment is lower, and the only local business thriving is that of the drug dealing (which takes place openly and continues to do brisk business.)
55 ”no go”-zoner i Sverige
(I used "Google Translate" to get the following roughly to English.)

55 "no go" zones in Sweden

October 28, 2014 at 16:49, Updated: October 29, 2014 at 21:37
The number of residential areas in Sweden where the police can not maintain law and order now totals 55. National Criminal Intelligence Section has identified the geographic areas where local criminal networks is considered to have a major negative impact on the environment. There are areas where bargains among criminals can result in gunfire on the streets, where residents do not dare to testify and where the police are not welcome.

The report "A national survey of criminal networks with major impact in the local community" was published last week. It describes areas where "unattended police cars are attacked," where police officers will be "attacked" and where it is "common for police officers exposed to violence and threats." Traders suffer from vandalism, burglary, robbery and extortion. Drug Sales are open, and although not the gangs control the territory "occurs checks on vehicles" in the battle over the drug market.

The police do not want to talk about parallel societies, but in some areas experiencing residents to "ordinary justice system to some extent eliminated", while police notes that "a wider clientele turn to the criminal justice environment." The residents believe "that it is the criminals who control the areas."

It is about famous places Rinkeby / Tensta and Alby / Fittja in Stockholm, Bergsjön and the Bishop's Palace in Gothenburg and manor / Rosengård in Malmö, but also about Copper farm in Landskrona, Araby in Växjö and brown in Gavle, to name just a few. On these 55 locations, the police have little power to curb crime. Police Call-out services are greeted by stone-throwing and investigations is difficult because people do not want to testify, for now even the crimes reported.

The police do not use the term "no go" zones. It is originally military slang for rebel-controlled areas. But the question is whether there is a clearer description of the places where "the public in several cases, understands that it is the criminals that control in the areas" and where "the police are not able to fulfill its task."

Police are talking about older gangs and younger, with the former work more professional and structured, while the latter as soon as is loosely connected networks, '' mayflies' that comes and goes in different configurations "where the common denominator is the social context and the geographical area .

They established gangs - which are held together by "ethnicity, kinship or friendship" - can probably be countered with targeted efforts against organized crime, while the younger ones can hardly be achieved without broad approaches in the local community. Police are now investigating whether overlap with those the government deemed as "exclusion areas", to possibly identify socioeconomic and other factors behind the development.

And, of course, plays the role of exclusion. But it may be worth recalling that many so-called exclusion areas do not seem to have lapsed into lawlessness, and that the vast majority of people in isolation rather victims than perpetrators. The 55 identified areas need first and foremost safety and security. Only then can the fields evolve in a positive direction. We need a permanent police presence - well staffed police stations - to remove criminals from the streets and to regain control of the areas.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: The Elections-- sticking with Statism on: October 30, 2014, 11:13:20 AM
Brazil Sticks With Statism
Odds are that the country’s reputation for economic mediocrity is safe for another four years.
By Mary Anastasia O’Grady

Nice analysis.  Too bad that potentially great countries like Brazil, (and Argentina, Venezuela and others) can't get their act together.  (And too bad we don't set a better example.)  Vote for failed policies, expect better results.  Good luck with that.  Only bright spot was that it turned out to be a close election.

I like this quote:  “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.”
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 30, 2014, 10:54:13 AM
Like liberal aunt asks me when I explain why I am a Conservative, "what about the poor".   My response is why cannot the poor take care of themselves.  Who is stopping them?
She looked at me with an aghast look as though I am heartless.  I said your answer to everything is more government more tax.  Why is it my job to support those who make it a lifetime of being poor despite many programs already in place to help them?

No answer.  Just left with the her thoughts that she is for the poor and I am heartless.

She asks a great and serious question.  We need to answer it better. 
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: October 30, 2014, 10:38:37 AM
"While Obama’s people anonymously taunt Netanyahu as a coward, it’s their boss who acts like a coward, stabbing Israel in the back, slandering its leader anonymously through the media and then trying to sell himself to Jewish donors as the Jewish State’s best friend in the White House."

Projection of their own faults is so common with this crowd.  Of what they accuse, almost certainly you will find them doing it.  The example above is good, but for the most part I think they are the opposite of chickensh*t.  They push through bad policies, like complete abandonment of a war zone, tearing down the whole healthcare system, launching a war against investors and employers, with no fear whatsoever of the consequences.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nelson Mandela supported voter ID on: October 30, 2014, 10:31:20 AM

That makes a pretty good bumper sticker answer to a difficult question: 

I agree with Nelson Madela on Voter ID.

Voter ID is an obvious way to guarantee honest elections.  Oppression would be if you found a state office somewhere, anywhere that denied or took months or years to issue ID's to blacks or some other group.  Or if the IRS did that granting 501 status to conservative groups.  It would be outrageous, un-American, unconstitutional, prosecutable.  Right?

216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 30, 2014, 10:11:23 AM
That is quite a post by Newt from Crafty.  Really it's sad that it's so easy to find fault with this President.  I failed to comprehend then or now what voters saw in him.  I think we nailed it here on the forum, that he was (intentionally) a blank slate where the voter could imagine him as their own wish list.  He was against gay marriage but those with that interest knew that he was not against it, just needed to say that to get elected.  He was for getting past racial divisions but he would still exploit them enough to win and advance an agenda.  He was against war but presumed to be smart enough to not let the world go to hell.  Whoops.  He opposed and dismantled all the precepts of growth economics but people believed the economy would magically grow anyway.  It didn't.

What should come out of this is that we learn from and focus on the failure of these policies rather than of the failures of this one man who is leaving office anyway.

We could learn (again) that peace comes through strength and deterrence, not through wishful thinking.  Economic growth comes from a foundation of economic policies that support growth, not from one that attacks vital components of the economy like energy and investment.  We get past racial divisions by adopting racial blindness, where we look past color into character *Who said that?), not from expecting people to vote for you because of color.  We get the best healthcare when we have a say in our own choices and decisions, not decries from far away bureaucracies.  
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: October 29, 2014, 03:45:50 PM
Interesting posts Doug.
With regard to the proffered justification of protecting savers, unless I am missing something the author fails to address the protections in place by FDIC, SIPIC, and the like. 

Yes, savings would have been insured but I don't think the author was referring to the small amount of savings that the little guy doesn't have anyway.  I think he is saying that in a complete meltdown the little guy would lose everything else too, such as his job, his home, and the local businesses.  His argument has possible merit when looking at the moments of panic, where total financial collapse was possible, and maybe he justifies the extra-constitutional response we took, bailing out investment houses that were not federally guaranteed, and providing unprecedented liquidity.  He is assuming FDIC would have been overwhelmed as well.  But I agree with you that it is wrong to ignore the corrosive cultural effect that comes from punishing savings over such a long period of time that new generations now have no idea why they should save.  We are not in a panic meltdown economy; this is a "plowhorse economy".    )

He also misses the damage done by QE.  We overinflated stock returns (more money chasing a fixed number of shares of a fixed number of businesses) while we pushed interest rates on savings down to zero.  The small to medium player has to put funds at risk that otherwise would be insured, or else receive no return and no benefit of compounding interest. 

Also, a point inferred in the original piece is that accommodative monetary policy enabled irresponsible fiscal policy.  If not for the extreme actions of the Fed, the fiscal policy makers would have been forced to make better choices.  We don't even borrow all the money that we spend but don't collect from taxes.  How does anyone see that as anything other than unsustainable?  And that takes us back to Peter Schiff's point, what happens when QE ends?
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Monetary Policy, lack of inflation, lack of velocity on: October 29, 2014, 11:11:45 AM
To follow a post of what I disagree with, I would like to post Steve Hayward of Powerline (famous people reading the forum?) expressing my view:

"One factor that ought to be mentioned as to why the enormous monetary growth hasn’t led to inflation, in addition to the factors mentioned above, is the collapse in “velocity,” i.e., the speed with which money turns over in the economy basically.  This factor—”V” in the famous basic equation of monetarism that Friedman made famous, “MV=PQ”—fell sharply during the recession of 2008-2010, and has kept falling since then.  You can see the chart from the Federal Reserve below.  I believe this is unprecedented in the history of Post-WWII recessions, but I haven’t gone back and looked.  There are some reasons to think a new, lower level of velocity might endure, but if it doesn’t?"

The collapse of velocity will endure until economic policies change.  The policies we call Obamanomics really started with political-electoral shift that elected Pelosi-Reid majorities (see hayward's velocity chart or any other economic chart).  This shift of power ensured that higher levels of taxes and regulations were coming zapped the energy our of the economy - what economists measure as "velocity".  The new levels of ever-expanding money supply are not too great for this continually collapsing economy, but it is a case of applying the wrong "solution" to the wrong problem.  It is what I call putting more gas in the tank when two or three tires are flat and what Brian Wesbury calls the "Plowhorse economy".  Moving forward without velocity. When we do re-energize this economy with pro-growth policies we also have to address the oversupply of money that was poured in for this period of doldrums.  If you squeeze the money supply before the pro-growth policies fully take hold, you will get what those like Peter Schiff predict.  Witness the recession of 1981-1982.  If you wait even longer to fix what is really wrong while pouring in more and more money, the correction later will be all the more difficult.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, QE, pro and con on: October 29, 2014, 10:41:49 AM
Peter Schiff says what goes up must come down and that the end of QE will plunge the market and the economy into recession.  Though he is labeled an eternal and extreme pessimist, the Fed must agree somewhat with his view noting their fear and reluctance over all these years to right-size money supply and interest rates.

On the other side of the coin, I don't agree with this but found it to be a strong defense of QE and at least partly true:
(The writer owns a private equity investment company.)

I want to offer some perspective on QE. As an investor and professional participant in the markets and a conservative, I thought I would try to offer something of a defense of the Fed and its decision to pursue what has been called QE, printing or what I remember being called open market purchases in my macroeconomic classes. The opposing case is typically what I think of as a populist case that doesn’t really reflect an understanding of some important topics which inhere to a functioning capitalist economy and, very importantly, our fractional reserve banking system and the need for liquid (i.e. functioning) markets with a bid and offer.

Let’s first consider a world without the Fed and without QE. In effect this is what we experienced, briefly, when Lehman went bankrupt, when Washington Mutual was seized by the FDIC (and lots of other banks essentially became insolvent). If you think about it, when that happens – markets freeze and liquidity evaporates — savers lose all of their savings. Depositors at a bank are savers. Buyers of money market mutual funds are savers. When Lehman went bankrupt, their related money market mutual funds “broke the buck” – they were worth less than par.

The only thing that prevented this phenomenon from spreading was the willingness of the Fed and the Treasury to replace the banks as providers of liquidity and backstop deposits and so forth.

During the Depression, the Fed did nothing like QE and the Treasury wanted to force liquidation of excess assets and inventories and debts. The result is economic cataclysm, especially in a leveraged economy with a fractional reserve banking system. Banks cannot liquidate and satisfy their depositors need for cash. Deposits are borrowings for the bank. They in turn lend out the money they have on deposit to generate a return, and this pays savers a return. But when an economy goes into recession, this system malfunctions because the credit that originally justified the loan can no longer support it. This is the natural course of the business cycle. But the banking system on the way down is equivalent to the problem of a fire in a crowded theater. Everybody cannot get out at once. Not even close. It’s a fire in a vault really. Those lines of depositors waiting to take their money out cannot be satisfied.

It is easy to castigate the Fed and the Treasury for “bailing out” lenders and management teams, but the truth is more complicated. They were backstopping a system which holds the savings for the vast majority of Americans. As for the continuance of QE, I would revert to the Depression data and again observe that the Fed allowed the money supply to collapse by 1/3. This was devastating to the economy. Allowing monetary contraction through forced liquidation (which is the policy antidote to QE) would be beyond cataclysmic – it would make the Depression or today’s Greece a walk in the park. Unemployment would be 30%, people’s savings would be wiped out all at once – and the beneficiaries would be a tiny fraction of wealthy who would be able to buy assets for pennies from desperate sellers.

The primary criticism viz QE is that we are destroying the dollar and sowing the seeds of inflation. Maybe. But we are currently not inflating. At all. Commodity prices are falling or have fallen dramatically – gold, oil, you name it. The dollar has strengthened viz its alternative currencies, including gold and silver. There may be particular areas of price rises, but that means it’s not a uniform monetary phenomenon. Measured inflation is tame. One of the “inputs” which drives inflation is something called monetary velocity, or the speed with which people spend their money on items. As it did in the depression, it has collapsed. During the depression, it was this particular input which was responsible for the collapse in the money supply. You can think of QE as effectively offsetting the decline in velocity.

Monetary authorities always dance on the head of a pin in this way, trying to balance all of these inputs and avoid catastrophe. It’s a difficult task.

The truth is, the deflationary forces in the global economy are extraordinary. Technology, innovation, credit, freer movement of capital and labor – all of these forces have combined to create massive excess capacity in most of the world. This is fundamentally deflationary. Those who long for deflation are being a bit glib (which we would get without monetary intervention, believe me). William Jennings Bryan railed about being nailed to a cross of gold. That’s deflation that arises from the gold standard – truly hard money). He was a populist. In today’s world, modest deflation would – as it always does – redound to the benefit of lenders (unless it also consumed them to in a deflationary spiral , as it likely would in the end). Rapid inflation is to the benefit of borrowers at the expense of lenders. There is a reason why all of these quasi populist, socialist third world countries inflate and destroy their currencies rather than deflate. Stable, predictable and modest inflation is probably best for us all, dancing on the head of the pin.

All in all, while he gets tremendous criticism (as did Volker, Greenspan and now does Yellen), Bernanke probably deserves a great deal of credit and a big thank you from all of us, wealthy, middle and lower classes. Middle classes have been more significantly damaged by tax policy and Obamacare than anything else (i.e. fiscal transfers away from them). But the Fed really has preserved the stability of the banking and monetary system from which we all derive extraordinary benefit.
(more at link)
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: October 29, 2014, 10:17:14 AM
If people don't go to prison for this,then we no longer have the rule of law at all.

The story has sneaked into the Washington Post:

"Sharyl Attkisson’s computer intrusions: ‘Worse than anything Nixon ever did’"

They say the fish stinks from the head, but I was wondering who started the attacks on reporters and news organizations that are not supportive of this administration?
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Never count a Clinton out. on: October 29, 2014, 10:08:44 AM
Missing from the statement is exactly what or who does create jobs if businesses don't.

I hazard to assume she meant big government.   In hers and Obama's world she is to a limited degree correct.  Expand big government wildly and yes we now have many more jobs.  Just that those people are now paid for by taxpayers. 

But lest never take our eye off the ball when speaking of the Clintons.  Remember when Bill said the "era of big government is over"?  And his approval ratings went from somewhere in the 40+% to well over 50%?  Myself along with Rush were astonished at this.  One darn speech is all it took.

Their economics comes out of focus groups testing what Dem constituents like to hear.  So Hillary mumbles something about trickling from the ground up and the middle out as a fictional alternative to their fictional construction of trickle down.  How about we just recognize the positive qualities in an economy required for healthy economic growth and run that direction.  If you want jobs, you need investment.  If you want investment, stop punishing it.  If you want more people to work and fell like they are contributing, don't pay them more to do the opposite.  If you want people to rise freely up the income ladder, don't chop off the lower rungs.

222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: October 29, 2014, 09:55:01 AM
It's frustrating that this technology is commercially a decade out, but it is also disingenuous to hype climate predictions for a century as if technology advancement is over.  All that is needed to solve our energy and environmental challenges is the will to do it and prosperity - the means to do it. 

The centrally planned governments always had the worst environmental records, and still do.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: October 29, 2014, 09:47:15 AM
I wondered what ankle injury could take a leader out for 6 weeks.  Maybe they flew him to the best in the world, in Cuba, where Hugo Chavez was treated.

"the agency also believes that North Korea recently used a firing squad to execute several people who had been close to Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was considered the country's No. 2 power before his sudden purge and execution in December 2013."

And Joe Biden thinks he gets rough treatment. 

I wouldn't want to be the doctor who tells Dear Leader he's overweight and smokes too much.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: October 28, 2014, 11:33:09 PM
IBD Editorials

Hillary's Backtracking Balderdash About Jobs

"Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs," Hillary Clinton said at a campaign rally for Martha Coakley...
 [Boston Globe has Coakley trailing the Republican in Mass. Governor race by 9 points!]

Politics: In case you haven't heard: Hillary Clinton wants to retract the statement she made at a campaign rally last Friday in front of adoring fans that businesses and corporations don't create jobs.

Never mind that it's all on camera and that she certainly looked like she was in full command of her faculties and having a grand old time ripping the nation's job creators.

After becoming a national laughingstock, she now says she meant to say: "Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in America, and workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out — not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas."

That's right: She really loves businesses, always has.

This is the same Hillary whose first contribution to public policy was 20 years ago, when she foisted the wildly unpopular HillaryCare on the nation. When informed then that it would drive many businesses into bankruptcy, she haughtily replied: "I can't go out and save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America."

Yes, she's a real champion of the nation's employers.

But almost equally absurd is her new spin that what she's really against is "tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs" and the "trickle-down economics" that has "failed spectacularly."

Oh really? We're losing iconic American companies and "good-paying jobs here" because of our highest-in-the-world corporate tax rate, which she has opposed cutting. Her line about "trickle-down economics" is the liberal fairy tale that refuses to go away.

Under Reaganomics, which the left disparages as trickle-down, the economy expanded at 4%, and middle-class and black incomes went up.

Under Hillary's old boss, the economy has grown at barely 2%, middle-class incomes have lost ground to inflation, and black incomes have seen their fastest decline. Under Obama, nothing has trickled down, and poverty rates remain near record levels.

If supply-side economics was such a failure, why did Clinton's husband sign into law a capital gains tax cut? Why did he agree to welfare legislation that replaced government handouts with work?

Hillary originally wanted to run in 2016 as her husband did two decades ago — as a centrist, pro-business "new Democrat." Alas, hers isn't the party of moderation any longer. To be pro-business, it believes, is to be an enemy of the people.

Hillary Clinton has been exposed. Her radical beliefs about how a modern economy works were on display for the world to see last weekend. It was her Howard Dean moment, and it won't go away soon.

 Investor's Business Daily:
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: October 28, 2014, 11:20:16 PM
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: October 28, 2014, 01:55:04 PM
California Leads Housing Slowdown As Case-Shiller Home Prices Decline For 4 Months In A Row

Case-Shiller data for August confirmed once again that US housing is rapidly slowing down, when the Top 20 Composite Index (Seasonally Adjusted) posted another decline in August, its fourth in a row, declining by -0.15% and missing expectations of a modest 0.2% rebound (following last month's -0.5%) decline.

S&P's David Blitzer: "The deceleration in home prices continues... The Sun Belt region reported its worst annual returns since 2012, led by weakness in all three California cities -- Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego."

  - But who cares what the birth (and death) place of every housing bubble is doing, right?
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Home ownership rate in a "Plowhorse" Economy on: October 28, 2014, 01:42:35 PM
Workforce participation rates started falling sooner than this.

The peak of this chart is the day before Pelosi-Reid-Obama-Hillary-Biden took the majorities in congress, then it slides further and further during the first 6 years of the Obama presidency.

Our country is better off than the day I took office?  - Really?
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: October 28, 2014, 01:12:48 PM
This woman took it in front of the country as her serial humper of a husband did his thing over the years across the country. 

She does not embarass easily.  Her will to power is extraordinary and she has the entire progressive-liberal-Democratic machine and its running dogs in the Pravdas at her beck and command.    She is running.  Period.

Hard for her (or anyone) to take back words spoken anywhere in this day and age, and she has NONE of the agility of Bill or Barack.  What was she saying in that quote?  I have read it, heard it and viewed it and it sounds to me more like senility than ignorance.  The point was a cheap copy of Elizabeth Warren's angry, anti-capitalism rant followed by the punchline that her husband brought arithmetic to Washington, which is the punchline to a different joke.  And this script came from a teleprompter!  Besides the non-sense, how many times in how many speeches over the next two years will she be able to say, "what my husband" said or did.  I'll tell her what her husband said and did.  He presided over two years of failed, lethargic, Obama-like growth and then lost historically in his first mid-terms.  He responded by firing the First Lady as head of Healthcare, and she was never again given a public, policy role.  He scrapped Hillary-care completely, gave the finger to the left wing of his party, passed Reagan's hemisphere-wide free trade agreement with majority Republican support and against majority Dem opposition.  Bill Clinton cut capital gains tax rates - on the wealthiest among us, and he ended "welfare as we know it."  By 1996 he was perhaps more Republican than Bob Dole.  Does anyone think Hillary has the ability to pivot like that -without political consequence?

No one can stop her from running if that is her choice.  But she is not capable of running with the magic of her husband or a 2008 Barack Obama who pitched a perfect campaign, and she will not get a free ride in the press. (IMHO)  She just has WAY too much baggage.  As for the formidable political machine, she had that last time too; it was her turn.  She had no one to beat of any stature then as well.  The emerging popularity of the new guy was accelerated by the weaknesses seen in the formidable front runner.

For 2016, she can either run against Obama's policies and the record of the far left, or she can adopt the slogan, "Four More Years!"  We can see that she doesn't flip flop easily between these two, opposing strategies.
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re.Government hacking into investigative reporter's computer and communications? on: October 28, 2014, 11:56:52 AM

If the guilty party is either the FBI, CIA, DIA or NSA, who do you have investigate this?

"If the Obama administration hacked into a reporter’s computers, used them to spy on her, and even prepared to frame her for a potential criminal prosecution by planting classified documents, aren’t we looking at the biggest scandal in American history?"

And if they didn't do it, and are outraged like the rest of us, where is the call for investigation?
THE MOST STUNNING NEWS STORY OF 2014     John Hinderaker, Powerline   (Link above in the quote from GM)
Back in June 2013, we covered the hacking of at least one of reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computers by persons unknown. CBS, which, as we now know, was anything but supportive of Attkisson, verified that the intrusion(s) had taken place:

A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.

This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.

But we heard nothing further until the publication of Attkisson’s explosive book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington. Now the next shoe has dropped, as the New York Post reports:

In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.

“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.

She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

If the Obama administration hacked into a reporter’s computers, used them to spy on her, and even prepared to frame her for a potential criminal prosecution by planting classified documents, aren’t we looking at the biggest scandal in American history? Perhaps I’m forgetting something, but I can’t come up with anything to equal the stunning lawlessness on display here–if what Attkisson says is true (which I don’t doubt), and if the administration is the guilty party.

If this were a Republican administration, every reporter in Washington would be on the story, as would various law enforcement agencies. Given that we are talking about a Democratic president, Attkisson shouldn’t expect any help. If I were she, I would hire one of the top litigation firms in Washington and look into suing appropriate federal agencies. That won’t be easy; the most obvious obstacle is that she has to have evidence that a particular agency was involved in the hacking/spying operation in order to survive a motion to dismiss, but it will be hard (maybe impossible) to get that evidence without the ability to do discovery in the lawsuit. But having her own lawsuit allows her to run her own show, and private lawyers are generally far more effective at unearthing and processing information than, say, Congressional committees.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillary: Businesses don't create jobs. Businesses do. on: October 28, 2014, 10:42:10 AM

What is the cartoon bubble over Hillary saying right now?  'Elizabeth Warren said it.  Obama said it.  No problem.  So I said it and the shit hits the fan!  What's up with that?!'

Now she says entrepreneurs do create jobs.  [No they don't - if you tax them and regulate them to death.]

The twitter world is abuzz at the "gaffe" and "correction" from Hillary Clinton:  "Too late Grandma". "How is "businesses don't create jobs" a shorthand for "businesses create jobs"?"  You don't understand jobs, or you're a pandering,l double speaking flip-flopper, or both.

The double standard of being held accountable for what you say and what you believe is sooo unfair ... when Barack was not at this point in his candidacy!

Guess what Hillary, this is not 2007-2008.  You are not a shining, innocent face from the great unknown.  And America is not looking for a 5th straight President that doesn't understand economics.

Becoming a stay at home Grandma ought to look pretty good to her right now.  I expect her announcement within the next 2-3 weeks.

231  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!
232  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?
233  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.
234  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."
235  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. 
236  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?
237  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.
238  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.
239  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."
240  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

241  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.

242  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?
243  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
244  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...
245  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.
246  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.
247  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.
248  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
249  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.
250  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.
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