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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. Embassy Shuts in Yemen on: February 11, 2015, 12:09:25 PM
Along with Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine, another US Foreign Policy success, if we measure everything upside down.

NYT says the new militant leader was reaching out to the US.
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillbillary Clinton, The Twitter President? on: February 11, 2015, 11:31:54 AM
Where is she, by the way.  The next President doesn't do public appearances, comment on events, take a stand on issues?  I understand the need to give us all a break from Hillary fatigue, but how does she do that later as President?

I assume she is either getting warranty service on 'work done', or addressing a health issue.  Either way, if she prefers to be out of the limelight, she should know - we like her best off the public stage too.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How not to run for President on: February 11, 2015, 10:52:53 AM
An interesting look back at mistakes by category of failed candidacies of the past that no doubt applies today.  He touches on Fred Thompson, Tim Pawlenty, Bill Bradley, Wesley Clark, Rudy Giuliani, and Hillary Clinton 2008.  Getting in too late, quitting too soon, not willing to fight, wrong strategies, and other errors.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Post-Obama Triumph of Conservatism, By Peter Ferrara on: February 11, 2015, 10:38:50 AM
Budget reform, tax reform, replacing Obamacare, this is a very specific and optimistic take on where we could be headed right now.

The Post-Obama Triumph of Conservatism
By Peter Ferrara

205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 10, 2015, 10:21:12 PM
Of course Obama won't sign these bills-- but that is not the point.  The point is to put Obama and the Dems on the record and to show how Reps would govern -- so as to win the presidency.

Agree.  But are you saying the R's should change Senate rules and end the filibuster over legislation certain to die at the next step?  Keep in mind they have roughly a 50-50 shot at holding the Senate in 2016.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Lying Clintons, Youtube, Hillary, " landing under sniper fire", exposed. on: February 10, 2015, 02:59:54 PM
Also in 2016 Presidential, Clinton mistakes already made becoming more relevant:

Bringing this forward, Hillary, "I remember landing under sniper fire", "ran with our heads down".  "That was just sleep deprivation, or something."

Funny thing is that the CBS reporter exposing her falsehood is Cheryl Attkisson! 

Funnier yet, here is Brian Williams covering it!
The flap...over the non-existent sniper fire...
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: February 10, 2015, 02:52:42 PM
ccp:  "Before we get jubilant over the Crats who are "tired" of Clinton remember it is because she is not publicly liberal enough!  When the time comes for the Hill to go up against the Repubs they will all rally 'round her.  These people are not suddenly becoming Tea Party or Republicans or Independents.  They are hard core Crats."    - Very true!  I was partly pointing out what morons they are, just having handed their asses to them in the Senate race.  And Barone pointing out that they didn't choose policies that work for the electorate when they did govern.

"Hillary will almost surely be their candidate."   - Also true.   sad   I should have have held out for big odds and dollar menu payoffs on our bet!

I am not sure I want anyone else than her because anyone else will only be worse.

  - This is right also.  Rush was on the today.  She is not at all unbeatable and we don't need them to pick another slippery newcomer for us to try to pin down with no record.

Bringing this forward, Hillary, "I remember landing under sniper fire", "ran with our heads down".  "That was just sleep deprivation, or something."

Funny thing is that the CBS reporter exposing her falsehood is Cheryl Attkisson! 
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 10, 2015, 02:28:58 PM
Reps should be in full-throated "Charge!" mode right now, dumping bill after bill on Obama's desk.
 cry cry cry

A (DEMOCRAT) filibuster is stopping the amnesty reversal funding bill in the Senate.  R's control the House and have a majority in the Senate and that makes a total of zero branches of government under Rep control.  Get ready for gridlock.  We need to win the White House before anything good can happen, and even then we need to be someone able to reach the people and pressure moderate Dems (a vanishing species) to break in the right direction.
"Three days in a row last week, Democrats sustained a filibuster in the Senate against that DHS spending bill, refusing to allow the House-passed GOP plan to even be brought up on the floor for debate and amendments". 

I agree 'dumping bill after bill onto Obama's desk' would be the right politics to play right now, but they can't really do that and it would not shame this President into signing any bill that weakens his power or agenda anyway.

209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 10, 2015, 11:06:13 AM
Michael Barone notes that the author of the article I posted yesterday, The Emerging Republican Advantage, was previously the co-author of the book "The Emerging Democratic Majority".  Funny how political things that seem unchangeable change.

[Democrats who won iun 2006 and 2008] had a chance to extend those by coming up with policies generally deemed successful and which held their disparate coalition together.  They failed on both counts. Big government policies -- the stimulus package, Obamacare -- proved generally unpopular. And other Democratic policies began splitting the party's coalition.
Republicans looking to 2016 should be aiming not at creating a permanent partisan majority but at developing public policies that could, unlike Obama's, be successful and enduring.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Clinton fatigue, Warren delusions on: February 10, 2015, 10:56:00 AM

Who could have seen Democrat infighting coming?  This early, lol!

This could go under media issues.  They collectively support or can turn on politicians when they feel like it and turn events.

Democrats suffering from Clinton fatigue say they’re ready for Warren

“I’m utterly tired, tired of the Clintons and the whole establishment,” said Carol Brannon, 71, a retired nurse.

Anne Kinzel, 57, a former health-care lawyer, nodded sympathetically.

“The hacks think Hillary is entitled to be president,” Kinzel said. “I think she is one of those people who has lost the sense of why they are in politics.”

...there is unease among progressives about her largely uncontested ascent.

(Maybe if they subscribed to the forum, they would others who agree with them, and alternative solutions.  Now back to liberal drivel...)

Seeking an alternative to the juggernaut, this restless Sunday gathering at the Ames public library and others like it are popping up around the country — all part of an effort to draft populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) into the race...

Eight years after Obama first drew enormous crowds in Iowa on his way to the White House, these Democrats feel disappointed by his presidency and what they described as his lackluster attempts to champion economic populism.

In Warren, they sense they’ve found a fighter and a refreshing departure from the way Obama and Clinton have addressed the rising gap between the rich and poor.

(Wouldn't that be great for the gap between rich and poor, to hire a multi-millionaire professor who lied to get that position, was elected once in the most liberal state, derides all economic success, whines about unfairness, did nothing positive to earn her wealth, and will either continue or accelerate the same failed policies.  Truly Refreshing - if you are an Iowa Democrat who just watched your liberal icon Tom Harkin's Senate seat go to the pork castration party.)
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rubio nabs key NH operative on: February 10, 2015, 10:35:42 AM
I wonder what Rubio needs an New Hampshire operative for if he is just selling a book.    wink
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War on the rule of law, Obama Admin won't release IRS targeting documents on: February 10, 2015, 10:32:36 AM
The most transparent administration ever.  Unite, not divide us.  Everyone deserves a fair shake under the law.  That is, unless you dare to disagree with us.

Wasn't mis-use of the IRS the straw that broke Nixon's back?  Good to see a non-conservative source pissed off over this.

The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups.

Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency’s scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations.

The Hill sought access to government documents that might provide a glimpse of the decision-making through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The Hill asked for 2013 emails and other correspondence between the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The request specifically sought emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and Treasury officials, including Secretary Jack Lew, while the inspector general was working on its explosive May 2013 report that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review the political activities of tax-exempt groups.

TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request...
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Water, VDH, Green extremists make a bad drought worse on: February 10, 2015, 08:26:07 AM
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gender, Gay, etc. Birth Certificate application now asks gender of the mother on: February 09, 2015, 04:04:39 PM
What is your current age?  What is your current gender??  Is there some way we could have fairness and equity without having to turn our whole world upside down?
Birth certificates ask parents if ‘woman giving birth’ is female

“To be clear, it is possible for a person who has given birth to a child to identify as male,” said Susan Sommer, a lawyer for Lambda Legal, an advocacy group for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.  "Given various transgender stages, there is room for the person who gives birth to check the male box."

“What is your DATE OF BIRTH, current AGE and SEX?” the form asks in the section clearly marked “Mother/Parent (Woman Giving Birth).”

215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: February 09, 2015, 02:56:49 PM
The new normal (projection) after 8 years of Obama:  100 million American adults not working is now "full employment".

The policies succeeded.

Good grief!
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / National Journal: The Emerging Republican Advantage on: February 09, 2015, 12:15:25 PM
Not sure if I fully believe this but there is some truth to it.  R's have lost the last 2 Presidential elections, but also have taken back the House, Senate, Governorships, and State Legislatures.  Dems own certain demographic groups but are losing ground in others.

The idea of an enduring Democratic majority was a mirage. How the GOP gained an edge in American politics—and why it’s likely to last.

Excerpt:  Democrats today...are being severely undermined by two trends that have emerged in the past few elections—one surprising, the other less so. The less surprising trend is that Democrats have continued to hemorrhage support among white working-class voters—a group that generally works in blue-collar and lower-income service jobs and that is roughly identifiable in exit polls as those whites who have not graduated from a four-year college. These voters, and particularly those well above the poverty line, began to shift toward the GOP decades ago, but in recent years that shift has become progressively more pronounced.

The more surprising trend is that Republicans are gaining dramatically among a group that had tilted toward Democrats in 2006 and 2008: Call them middle-class Americans. These are voters who generally work in what economist Stephen Rose has called "the office economy." In exit polling, they can roughly be identified as those who have college—but not postgraduate—degrees and those whose household incomes are between $50,000 and $100,000. (Obviously, the overlap here is imperfect, but there is a broad congruence between these polling categories.)
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: If global warming is true, why do they have to lie about it? on: February 09, 2015, 11:54:17 AM

Great post.  Persuasive evidence and an excellent question:  If true, why the constant need to lie, deceive, alter, doctor, embellish the sketchy facts?

Those who truly believe there is a human crisis should be the most offended by the chicanery that is distracting the discussion.

Link from inside the post:

Amazing documentation of graphical evidence turned upside to suit the agenda.  What kind of scientist approves of "adjusting" data?
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CO pot tax revenues on: February 08, 2015, 11:27:42 AM

A head scratcher, indeed. Just returned from the Top of the Rockies and visited a shop while there.  Heard the salesman tell how great the tax is, going straight to the schools to build needed facilities.  (That use is now in doubt.)  Money goes to drug education, telling people how harmful it can be to children in particular, while the industry very convincingly says do it for the children.

The point of drug legalization I thought was to take the money and profit out of it whereby the illegal drug industry is squeezed out and the related crimes disappear.  Instead, the taxing authorities tax it right back to market price before legalization, actually helping the illegal trade.  Meanwhile none of the more dangerous drugs were legalized so the illegal drug industry adapts and prospers.

I read in a local paper while I was there of a local couple busted off of a home search and charged with multiple felonies for the grow operation in their house.  So much for legalization.  The article says the burden is on the accused to prove their innocence, because the government has no record of them applying for the licenses and permits that would make it legal. 

They didn't make it legal in Colorado; they made it government controlled, heavily taxed and regulated, at least up until it leaves the store and finds it way back to the streets and schools.

Gov. Hickenlooper (a Dem) is saying this was a mistake.  He opposed it before it passed and now says other states should wait while the Colorado experiment develops.  Besides the above issues, it is still against federal laws that apply to Colorado but aren't being enforced.  The industry is caught up in banking issues, and SEC issues, etc. and also jurisdictional issues.  Who has jurisdiction over the Denver International Airport?  Possession is against airport rules, but as an unenforced civil violation, not a criminal violation.  TSA mostly gives back what it finds to the person to dispose of, yet they are federal agents witnessing federal crimes. 

I argued previously that decriminalization at this point is a better path than legalization.

We need our liberties back but drug availability isn't the best place to start and the government can't grasp the idea of legalization anyway.  When the government is responsible your healthcare expenses and outcomes, for example, then every activity you choose and everything you eat, smoke or consume is really is the government's business. 

Instead, get the penalties down to a petty misdemeanor that stays off a person's record for what is believed to harm no one else.  Get the enforcement down to match the low risk.  Put the money collected into drug education if wanted, but don't bring us the message of for how great it is while charging taxpayers to put out the opposite message.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: February 07, 2015, 10:31:19 PM
See my post under political rants.  I read Doug's post after that post.

"As former Clinton adviser David Geffen said, Everybody in politics lies, but [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it is troubling."

Is it really true that ALL politicians lie? ...

That perspective comes from a former Clinton adviser.  I think he meant all liberal politicians have to lie and deceive to make sense of liberalism.

Reagan claimed he never colored his hair at 80, meaning none of your damn business.  But when he said, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall, he meant it.  It's not that anyone is perfect, but that these politicians have different levels of authenticity, not always easy to detect at first.  Reagan was authentic.

When people in the real world lie to me, I often assume its the truth because I am honest and don't think to doubt them.  (Obama will be a uniter.)  But once I see they are dishonest, I can usually go back and recognize the other lies that have accumulated. Since we know Hillary is a liar, we know there are other lies out there and more to come that will unravel if held to scrutiny. 

Enter Tray Gowdy, if not the watchdog media.
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: February 07, 2015, 10:08:50 PM
Thanks Doug.  I look forward to hearing more from Rubio's idea machine.

I am displeased with the immigration issue.  We cannot cave to this.   

Politifact:  Rubio admits that was the wrong route and instead proposes a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

That experience should keep him from peaking too early in the polls. )   He lost his own supporters there.  It was a valuable lesson for him to work with and then get backstabbed by the likes of Shumer and Durbin.  In his defense, he knew the so-called final Senate bill would still go to negotiations with the Republican House.  Now he can articulate both sides along with middle ground on that tricky issue perhaps better than anyone.  Others with a harder line will be more popular with conservatives early in the race, and Jeb has a lock on the pro-amnesty vote.  Rubio's efforts there make him less scary to some general election voters.  One of the biggest questions late in the primaries will be which conservative can win.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Might Hillary Stay Out? on: February 07, 2015, 09:31:34 PM
ccp, previously:  "Look at her eyes.  They are not conjugate.  This could be from a cranial nerve defect from  a stroke:"

I wish her all the best of health, but it is a real possibility that she is not up to this.
Article below could have been lifted from the forum...   wink

Sure, she is hiring staff and is allegedly gearing up.  But her history is that she only picks easy, safe contests.  This race will be anything but easy.

From the article:  "Republicans will not say that; the camera, however, will.  Appearances mean everything in American politics, and Hillary will be the most unappealing presidential nominee since William Howard Taft more than a century ago."

By comparing her (favorably) with Taft, he removes the gender aspect of the observation.  She is the one obsessed with her looks, not that it is relevant to governing.  She always had the changing hair styles, the press conference in pink, etc.  Whether it is botched plastic surgery or makeup )see same photo), I wonder what percent of American televisions are now high-def?  And now she needs an ever so slightly roomier pantsuit. Most successful candidates condition physically for this brutal race and the job that follows if successful as a candidate.  But Hillary Clinton has become comfortable with the lifestyle of already winning her battles rather than preparing for the biggest one. 

Another thought, if Brian Williams is unfit to read news, how is Hillary credible as Commander in Chief, caught in the same crime?  We think all Clinton's can ride out all scandals, but we have not seen all the scandals yet.  As former Clinton adviser David Geffen said, Everybody in politics lies, but [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it is troubling."
Back to the American Thinker this past week:

February 4, 2015
Might Hillary Stay Out?
By Bruce Walker
Democrats have a pathetic bench.  While the GOP can look at young and bright faces like Walker, Cruz, Rand, Rubio, Jindal, Martinez, Haley, and Pence, which Democrats besides Hillary have a realistic shot at winning the White House?

Elizabeth Warren is an Ivy-League leftist who has won precisely one election, in Massachusetts.  She is almost as old as Hillary, and although, at only about $14 million, she is not nearly as rich as Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton, Warren still looks utterly disconnected from the vast majority of America.
Joe Biden?  He is a walking gaffe machine whose principal political asset is that he seems utterly hapless and confused.  Biden in the presidential debates would almost certainly make several absurd and damaging slips.  America will be sick to death of Obama by 2016, and his principal stooge, Biden, will inherit all this national nausea.

Whom else can Democrats turn to as their champion?  Jerry Brown is ancient, and he has held just about every elective office possible in California.  He looks and acts just like a tired career politician born into a political dynasty.  Andrew Cuomo is also a dynastic heir who offers nothing at all to the America outside the Northeast.

The reality for Democrats is that decades of playing safe, enforcing a sort of crushing ideological conformity, and avoiding real fights like the Mafia avoids public spats have left them with a limited number of potential nominees for the presidency.

Democrats need Hillary, but does she need them?  Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton has always lusted for power, for wealth, and for influence – that is why she stayed in a loveless marriage to a despicable cad like Bill so long – but there is another aspect to this vain, shallow creature.

Hillary abhors personal risk.  It was Bill, not Hillary, who ran for Congress, for Arkansas attorney general, and for governor in Arkansas.  Hillary was safely perched in the Rose Law Firm, gaining money and position at minimal personal risk.  Hillary has been involved as a candidate in only three contests: New York Senate race in 2000, New York Senate re-election in 2006, and the Democrat nomination race of 2008.  She always picked the easiest, safest contests.

So in 2000, Hillary, an Illinois native and an Arkansas expatriate who had never really lived in New York, decided to run for office from this safest of Democrat strongholds.  She was, of course, still first lady as well.  She shoved aside a real New Yorker, Nita Lowery, and faced a relatively weak Rick Lazio in the general election.  And the 2006 midterm was a Democrat year, so Clinton faced no real battles for re-election to the Senate, either.

The 2008 presidential race was supposed to be her turn, but she hamstrung herself with a lame performance, against which not even all the powers of a past two-term president and all the fawning exposure the leftist media had given her could prevail.

Why might Hillary decide against running next year?

First, the country will be sicker of Obama than even in 2014, which means that she would have to run away from him to shake that unpopularity.  There is no safe way for her to do that without potentially turning off millions of black voters, which would cost Democrats across the board in 2016.

Second, however tired folks are of Republicans, they are even more tired of Democrats.  Not since FDR and the New Deal have Democrats been viewed so negatively by voters.  At every level of government, state and congressional, except the White House, Democrats are a distinct minority.

Third, she will be almost 70 in 2016.  She is as familiar to Americans as a tattered house slipper.  Republicans will not say that; the camera, however, will.  Appearances mean everything in American politics, and Hillary will be the most unappealing presidential nominee since William Howard Taft more than a century ago.

What this means is that Hillary may not choose to run in 2016.  If she runs and fails, then her political life and all the easy money she gets from dull speeches could be over.  Leftists like Hillary, of course, care only about themselves.  They have no grand principles at all.  So the only real question is this: can Hillary, personally, profit more from jumping into the 2016 presidential race or “magnanimously” stepping aside?  Don’t be surprised if she decides that she is better off with the latter.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Ryanization of Rubio on: February 07, 2015, 12:38:13 PM
Very good article with balance about Rubio.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy - ISIS on: February 04, 2015, 09:28:10 AM
King of Jordan furious over ISIS

Krauthammer: Congress Should Declare War On The Islamic State

Pentagon intelligence lists Islamic State as threat to US:

President Obama, ISIS is / is not the JV team of terrorists, pick your quote:

Previously from this administration:  Iraq was my greatest achievement.

It is hard not to merge the US Foreign Policy and Glibness threads.  

We can ask or answer the hypothetical question of what we should be doing if not for those last two Presidential elections, and we can ask what we should do with the pieces that are left when he leaves, but US Foreign Policy is linked to having a Commander in Chief, and the world is suffering from a US leadership vacuum.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: No go zones on: February 03, 2015, 06:55:21 AM

The left loves to deny real problems while creating imaginary ones.

Thank you GM and Mark Steyn (famous people caught reading the forum):

But we’re supposed to believe they’re not real, because they don’t have big “KEEP OUT OR DIE, INFIDEL!” billboards denoting their perimeter, and they’re not labeled “Muslim No-Go Zone #23″ on the official maps of major European cities...

Yet.  They don't mark the perimeter because they are actively expanding it.
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: February 03, 2015, 06:46:31 AM
Actually he says it remains the plow horse that has been his hypothesis all along.

That is a more accurate characterization than other reporting implying we are in an expansion fueled by the success of big government.  We have a positive income and wealth effect coming from gas costing as low as $1.72 yesterday in the heartland, half of what it used to cost and 1/4th of the administration's target.  Also an employment bump helped by unemployment benefits running out.

Meanwhile I see friends running medium sized businesses, playing defense instead of offense in a global economy, trying to work around paying the highest corporate income tax in the world not to mention our ever-expanding regulatory burden.

With these policies, why should the economy grow any faster?
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's "lead" now below the margin of error, support below 50% on: February 02, 2015, 10:32:25 PM
Unfavorables already surpass favorables.

Nowhere to go from here, but - further down!
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, Economic Growth Disappoints - Again. on: February 02, 2015, 10:12:41 PM
What did we have there, one good quarter in a row?

Q4 GDP Advance Estimate at 2.6% Disappoints Expectations

Growth is back below average, median and 'breakeven' growth, as it should be expected with this policy mix.  Maybe Wesbury will see it in a more positive light...
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Romney exit benefits Rubio on: February 02, 2015, 10:05:31 PM
Without much supporting evidence, this CNN contributor says the Romney exit benefits Rubio.
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Yucca Mountain Safe to Store Nuclear Waste on: February 02, 2015, 09:36:47 PM
Yucca Mountain Safe to Store Nuclear Waste

Who knew?

Best safety record, even with Daichi, etc.  Now we know how to build them tsunami-proof.  Zero carbon emission, waste can be safely stored.  What is our next excuse to reject our best energy source?
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why are US prices higher? on: February 02, 2015, 08:38:48 PM

On the same line, the southwest suburbs of Mpls (also) has more MRI machines than all of Canada.  Canada has a population of 35 million so this is screwed up by a factor between 10 and 20-fold.  (I don't know about the French)

The question I think is asking us to compare apples with oranges.  One is the price charged for immediate usage of available equipment.  The other is the hypothetically cost of a service  not available without unacceptable delay - in Canada, up to 270 days for a routine orthopedic procedure.

The US cost is inflated with government dollars and other third party money payers can push the buyers out of pocket cost toward zero.  The French cost is artificially low and doesn't likely provide enough incentive to increase the large fixed cost supply of these machines to meet the demand for their service at that price.  Countries like that limit the number served some other way such as queuing and service denial.

Imagine if we legalized the MRI service and let the forces of supply and demand set the price at market equilibrium.  Wouldn't that be better than these other misallocations?

231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China) on: January 31, 2015, 10:51:20 PM
This is something which seems like a good thing to me.

Agree!  About 6 years late, but a good thing.  With trouble in Russia, Pak, NK and China, how do you pivot to Asia without partnering with India, and Japan, and many others.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fed report challenges Atkinsson on: January 31, 2015, 04:15:20 PM

I don't see any more reliable information here than in the reports they claim to refute.  "Found no evidence" means - what?

"An investigation by [Eric Holder's] Justice Department"...      (Reported by "Media Matters').   

They also have found nothing on Fast and Furious, IRS, Executive Privilege, and the changing and canceling of passed laws.

Stuck backspace key sounds like the video in Benghazi.   In June 2013, CBS News confirmed that the CBS News computer was breached, using what the network said were "sophisticated" methods. They did not identify the party or parties behind the breach. 

  - They didn't identify the party in the report but they launched a lawsuit against the Obama administrotion DOJ based on its results.  Right?  Maybe OIG does not detect "sophisticated" methods and

The DOJ OIG report means the government's starting point is to DENY the highly illegal (treasonous?) hacking of a private journalist's records.  We "found no evidence" doesn't mean evidence won't still be discovered.  And it does not mean a disinterested professional has taken a look, IMHO.

"As Post opinion writer Erik Wemple first reported, the review found that "Attkisson is not and has not been under investigation by the FBI.""

   - Maybe she was under investigation by the White House.  Would fit the pattern of the IRS scandal perfectly, starting top-down while leaving plausible deniability and document and communications stonewalling all along the trail.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Rubio, Paul, Cruz on: January 31, 2015, 01:43:29 AM
Thanks for the URL of the transcript Doug.

You're welcome.  Sorry I don't have the video link.  Transcripts from voice recognition make some errors so it took some effort to go through it. 

The discussion was mostly on economic policy, then drifted into some foreign policy.  On the economic side the debate was the 'mainstream' questioner versus the three of them.  Each had a turn saying they disagreed with the false premise of the question.  The contest between the three I think was to see who could express our principles best.

I selectively cut and pasted some here, shortened and chopped.  The full transcript is much longer.
Jonathon Karl, ABC:  7 million new jobs, oil prices down... why should voters ever trust Republicans again

Ted Cruz:  The top 1% earn a higher share of our income nationally than any year since 1928. The simple truth is with big government those with resources are doing well.  We have today the lowest labor force participation since 1978. Ninety-two million Americans aren't working. And you wanna talk about what's making life hard for working men and women, wage stagnation. Median wages today are equal to what they were in 1996, for 20 years.

Rand Paul: the reason I would say the economy's getting better is despite the president and despite the president's policies. One of the things that has led the resurgence is oil and gas boom. The oil and gas boom's being done on private land, not public land. We're not allowed to drill on public land. This president should take no credit for any kind of recovery we have.

Marco Rubio:  One of the significant reasons why the unemployment rate has gotten lower is 'cause less people are looking for work. ... this is not a cyclical downturn that we went through simply. It is a massive structural change in the very nature of the economy. ... we are increasingly less globally competitive for investment and for innovation because of taxes, because of regulation. And quite frankly, because of anti-business rhetoric from Washington. ... There are better jobs that could potentially take their place. But they're either not being created in this country because of tax policy, regulatory policy, the national debt, Obamacare, or too many of our people don't have the 21st century skills they need for that. ... wage stagnation is happening at a time when the cost of everything is going up dramatically.

Karl: ...increasing gap between rich and poor, is it the job of government to try to lessen that gap?

Cruz:  We should be fighting for the little guy who has dreams and hopes and desires.  ...   in the last six years that income mobility has gotten harder and harder for people to achieve.

Rubio:   income inequality is a symptom of a bigger problem. Opportunity inequality. ... we have safety net programs that don't cure poverty. ... if you are a major corporation or a very wealthy multi-national company you might not like big government but you can afford to deal with it.  If you're trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of your home, you can't do any of that.

Rand Paul:  income inequality, Interestingly, worse in states led by Democrats, in cities led by Democrats and in countries led by Democrats. ...   if you're an ordinary person in our country and you're trying to save to get ahead you put your money in the bank and it gets zero.  It's because of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rate low. Why do we keep it low? Because we have this massive debt that we've gotta pay off with new money, with cheap money. And so it's all intertwined. And it's-- income inequality is indirectly, if not directly, related to big government.

Cruz:  government has two important levers to facilitate job creation and create an environment where the private sector can create jobs. And those two levers are tax reform and regulatory reform. And every single time in our history that we have simplified taxes, reduced the burden, reduced the compliance cost, simplified regulation so that small businesses which create two-thirds of all new jobs can do that. We've seen an economic boom, we've seen people climb out of poverty into prosperity. That was true in the 1920s, it was true in the 1960s, it was true in the 1980s. We know how to fix this.

Paul:  government has a role and a safety net but it needs to be transitory and it needs to be a step towards a job. ...  We have to have government for certain things that the private world can't do. But we should minimize what government does, maximize the productive sector. And you'll get more jobs created.

Minimum Wage

Cruz:  I gave a floor speech on the Senate floor with three simple charts, $10.10, the proposed Obama minimum wage. And then the next chart Marco just referenced was $0.00 which is the real Obama minimum wage because when you have the lowest labor force participation since 1978 to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs under the Obama economy that's their minimum wage.  And then let me tell you the third number I had up there was $46.98. $46.98 is the average hourly wage of an oil and gas worker in North Dakota. And what I wanna see is an awful lot more people making $40 and $50 and $60 an hour and an awful lot less people making zero dollars a week. ...let me give you an example of this increase to $10.10 that Obama was urging. The Congressional budget office estimated up to one million people would lose their jobs. And the people who would lose their jobs are low-income,

PAUL: The minimum wage is only harmful when it's above the market wage. Okay, so when it's above the market wage it causes unemployment.

RUBIO: I'm not calling to repeal the minimum wage. I'm not saying to get rid of it as a practical matter. I think it is what it is and we don't-- that's a disruption that we don't need with all so many other disruptions happening.   ...all this focus that the president has on the minimum wage is a cure-all for the, you know, the problems being faced by working Americans is not only a waste of time, I think it shows how un-serious he really is about dealing with the challenges of our time.

Karl:  Paul Ryan had put out this plan as you all know to address the issue of poverty. And what he has proposed is an expansion of the earned income tax credit financed by closing tax loopholes. And he has specifically mentioned-- closing, you know, ending tax benefits to the oil and gas industry. And using the revenue saved there, estimates are $4 billion to $7 billion a year-- to pay for an expansion of the earned income tax credit.  do you agree with that principle of expanding federal spending on anti-poverty programs but doing them Ryan would say in a smarter way using it by closing some tax loopholes.

PAUL: When you look at the earned income tax credit, it has about a 25% fraud rate. We're looking at $20 billion to $30 billion. ... If you want to help people who are of lower wage income, working class folks, I think the better way, rather than giving something that's refundable is to give them a deducting against their social security tax so they're working and you get the deduction for work.

I'm for 100% expensing in the first year of everything you spend on your business because then you spend more and you'd buy more and your business would grow.

Rubio:  I've worked with, for example, scholars at American Enterprise Institute on a concept called wage enhancement.  It would replace the earned income tax credit instead with something called a wage enhancement, people between $15,000 and $40,000 a year... And here's why that's better. First it's tied to your paycheck as opposed to simply your tax return. As Rand just alluded to a moment ago there was significant amount of fraud in the earned income tax credit program because people will file on the return, claim that they are supporting children, some of which sometimes don't even live in the United States, some of which are not their children, they're nephews and nieces and cousins.And there is significant fraud in the EITC program. A wage enhancement would be directly tied to what you're making.  it's the same funds but you're delivering it through a different mechanism tied directly to work.

CRUZ: [Tax Reform] Yes, even revenue neutral. Though I'll tell you the fixation on revenue neutral is somewhat misguided in Washington because at least up 'till now they've used static scoring instead of dynamic scoring. So they don't look at the growth effects.

But the benefits of tax reform, if you're number one, simplifying the tax code, you reduce the compliance that cost the hundreds of billions of dollars of deadweight loss that is lost every year in tax compliance. Number two, if you do that, if you broaden the base and lower the rates, the top marginal rate is what affects the next marginal action.

But number three, look, the biggest value of tax reform is it disempowers politicians.

Cruz:  Since World War II our economy has averaged 3.3% growth.  There were only two four-year periods where growth was less than 1%, 1979 to 1982, coming out of Jimmy Carter, and 2008 to 2012. You want to turn around the deficits and debt. Let's get back to historic levels of 3%, 4%, 5% growth. That's how you turn around the deficit and debt.

Defense budget

Rubio:  every time you cut research and development in the military are eliminated options for a future commander in chief in the battlefield. We can never lose the technological edge.


Cruz:  my aunt, my father's kid sister, was thrown in jail and tortured by Castro's goons. The human rights abuses there--it is a cruel, horrible, totalitarian regime.

When Soviet Union collapsed Venezuela stepped in as the benefactor keeping the Castros in power. right now oil prices have collapsed, Venezuela's economy is in free-fall. And at the exact moment when Cuba is reeling, this administration steps in with an economic lifeline.

In Cuba every foreign investment goes through the government, every foreign currency goes directly to the government. They pay the Cubans in pesos which means this will result in billions of dollars more for the Castro regime.   this deal will keep the Castros in power and it makes it less likely that when Fidel and Raul die they will move to a free society.


Rubio:  let me just add this on Iran, I think there's a distinction between Russia and Iran, The Soviet Union was terrible. It was a communist government. But it was a traditional nation state that made decisions on the cost benefit analysis of the nation state. Iran is run by radical Shia cleric who doesn't view himself as the leader of Iran. He views himself as the leader of global Islam. And he views it as his obligation to bring the whole world under the flag of Islam.

Paul:  ... try the diplomatic option as long as we can.

Cruz:  I think the threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability is the single greatest national security threat facing the United States today I believe we are repeating the mistakes of the Clinton administration in the 1990s with respect to North Korea.

when you have religious leaders who glorify death or suicide, ordinary cost benefit doesn't work. Cost benefit prevents a lot of people from wrapping dynamite around their chest and walking into a mall. But the problem is if Iran ever acquired nuclear weapons I think the odds are unacceptably high that it would use those nuclear weapons

Paul:  Are you ready to send ground troops in Iran? Are you ready to bomb 'em? Are you ready to send 100,000 troops? Are you ready to send them into Iraq? Do you want 'em in Syria? Do you want 'em in Libya?

Rubio:  let me tell you about negotiations, it is a tactic that Iran is using and here's why, in 2003 the world told Iran, "You cannot have any enrichment capability." Then it became, "Okay, you can enrich but only up to 20%."

Then it became, "Okay, you can enrich over 20% but you have to ship it overseas." Now it's, "Okay, you can enrich it 20% but you can only use it to a research reactor." At this pace in five years we're gonna build the bomb for them. I mean, that's the direction this is going. They use negotiations as a tactic. And they are trying to buy as much time as possible to acquire the capability of being able to build a weapon. And once they do, they don't even have to build a weapon. They just have to prove that they have a delivery system, which they're continuing to develop, unabated and untouched by the sanctions, a weapon design that they can easily buy from multiple people around the world and the last is the enrichment capability. And if you can enrich at 3%, you can enrich at weapon grade. It's the same equipment, it just takes a little longer.

JONATHAN KARL: But Senator Paul, ask the question, so what do you want, you wanna bomb Iran?

RUBIO: I think there's a risk of a nuclear Iran is so high that nothing should ever be off the table.

Cruz:  ... Either they will cease or we will stop them.

234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Transcript: Rubio, Cruz and Paul debate, Freedom Partners conference on: January 30, 2015, 12:20:42 PM
75 minutes if you can find the video.  I plan to read this fairly long transcript:

Rand Paul supports Obama's approach on Iran. 
Marco Rubio says the threat of a nuclear Iran is so great that no option should be off the table.  (Read at the link to find out Ted Cruz' views...)

In a straw poll of attendees, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida came out ahead of four other would-be GOP presidential candidates who had been invited.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 30, 2015, 11:52:19 AM
Yes, Romney is out.  Now I like him again, a politician listening to his constituents!

ccp who lives in NJ nailed it on Chris Christie.  His ratio of popularity to name recognition is lousy.  (Same with Palin.)  See the 538 site.  He lacks the story of a turnaround in his state compared with his potential contenders, Walker, Kasich, Jindal, Jeb, Rick Perry, etc.  I don't think many people even want to hear about a good story of a turnaround in a different state.

Huck is aiming only at southerners, having some fun with the process, and not running to win.

Nice post below by a Rand Paul supporter: "he's got what it takes to win the general vs. Hillary in a LANDSLIDE. He actually is better than Hillary on a lot of issues that matter to people on the left and independents with issues like war policy, drug policy, privacy, etc... but yet he's still awesomely pro-gun, pro-life, small government."

But that doesn't make any sense.  Hillary will win the liberal vote unless she is challenged from the left.  What part of the fact they don't want small government, pro-life, pro-gun does he not understand?  He may win over some people previously non-political, but not a liberal.  This will be a landslide only if one contender falls on his or her face, not because we (or they) are that good.

Rand's problem is that his foreign policy views do not fit the timing of accelerating threats around the globe.  He will run a good, grass roots race but not win the nomination.

Pundits and professional journalists are calling Rubio's book tour "well-timed".  Rubio allegedly getting early donor support:  The book is also well-named, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone.  I also like the name of Jeb's campaign, Right to Rise.  Same theme: let's expand upward mobility.

I heard Krauthammer clarify his bet on Marco Rubio.  The question, he said, was how would he bet $100 if he was in Vegas today.  He went the highest on Rubio because of having the best chance of winning relative to his longshot odds, not because of having the highest likelihood of winning.

Ruthless assessment by Jay Cost in the Weekly Standard today of the Democratic field.
The Democrats appear institutionally incapable of offering more than one person worthy of consideration.
Hillary is reportedly delaying her launch to July while hired aides work on a message for her.  Good grief.  That gives me a little more time to save up for the nice dinner I will owe ccp.

More dropouts expected as potential candidates see how hard this is.  Donors don't give up money easily and delegates don't commit support easily.  Some like Santorum won't care and will fight anyway.  Many surprises to come.  I'm still waiting to hear from Hickenlooper!  Warren is in the moment Hillary admits she isn't.  Besides me, Obama, Warren and Clinton may already know that.  See Wash Post:

236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 29, 2015, 04:40:36 PM
Also, US is now or about to be the world's largest energy producer.

The massive layoffs in the energy sector tend to show otherwise.

The forecast for gas prices is to stay down and the forecast for production is up.  Sounds like a win both ways. 

The expansion of drilling may be stopped by low oil prices, but I doubt they will close existing operations.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: January 29, 2015, 12:39:41 PM
Aren't the highest paid university people the football coaches?   Maybe the basketball coaches?

Worse than an active coach's, superintendent's or University President's salary is the severance that we pay them to not work after they fail at their job.
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: January 29, 2015, 12:29:02 PM
I guess the question is this (coral bleaching that hasn't happened yet) manmade?

More importantly, when did Crafty start reading Mother Jones?!  cheesy
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: January 29, 2015, 12:19:46 PM
Objectivist:  "It's time if you haven't already - to make sure you have food supplies, water, firearms, and GOLD & SILVER.  Paper investments will be worth next-to-nothing.  IGNORE AT YOUR PERIL - Please read the article below carefully and take it seriously.  There is not much time left. If you don't have at least 50% of your liquid assets in gold and silver - you will be very sorry later this year.  Don't be foolish - it's easy to stay in denial and tell yourself this is nothing more than alarmism:"

Our side tends to be wrong on severity and especially timing of these things.  Like oil prices, the US economy as a whole is a bit of a futures market.  The last time the economy tanked corresponded exactly with when it became clear that America would be run by one, far-left party for the foreseeable future.  The changing of the House in 2010 offset that some damage.  Gridlock is better than lunging to the left.  The changing of the Senate now has offset that a little more.  The prospect that Hillary will either govern more centrist or better yet lose is encouraging.  The US economy is enormous and has absorbed at least some this political and governmental damage.  We have at least a 50-50 shot at turning this ship around in the two years.  I believe we survived the worst and people are ready to connect to a message better than give up and let your bankrupt government support you.  There is also positive movement around the globe for this message.  Sweden has rolled back a part of the biggest entitlement state on the planet.  Australia and Canada have turned for the better.  France rolled back its worst tax and is starting to understand security threats we all face.  America is one leader and one election away from moving back in the direction of freedom, IMHO.

That said, I am 100% invested in hard assets (real estate) and zero in dollar-based paper.  I wouldn't either buy equities or bet against them right now.  I survived the worst R.E. collapse in memory.  If there is any rule of law left after the next meltdown, I will charge my rents in gold, silver, copper, barter or whatever people are exchanging for value.  
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ted Cruz Iowa speech on: January 29, 2015, 11:58:08 AM
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-- Europe, Walter Russell Mead, Putin still thinks he can win on: January 29, 2015, 11:51:27 AM
WRM, my favorite Democrat, is always a very worthwhile read:

The post-1990 European order has taken much more damage than much of U.S. elite opinion has fully understood, and that damage poses much greater dangers to vital U.S. interests than most people think. Intelligent U.S. engagement in the rethinking and reforming of Europe is as necessary now as it was earlier in the 20th century.

From the Kremlin’s perspective, the world may have looked better a year ago when oil was expensive and Moscow’s coffers were flush. But while Russia had some ugly surprises in 2014, Putin seems to believe that the false foundations underneath the imposing façade of the West continue to erode at an accelerating pace. It does not take a strong push to knock over a house of cards; Putin, one suspects, still thinks he can win. He is certainly acting that way.
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cuba (and Glibness), Castro wants Guantanamo back, and damages! on: January 29, 2015, 11:40:42 AM

"Cuban President Raul Castro demanded on Wednesday that the United States return the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations."

As a student of contract law, I point out that any counteroffer is a rejection of Obama's offer of normalization, and makes the original offer no longer valid or binding.

What a joke, Barack Obama and Raul Castro negotiating what is in the best interests of their countries.  If this wasn't real, it would make a good SNL skit - without help from comedy writers.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Education, Ann Coulter: How much is that degree worth? on: January 29, 2015, 11:24:08 AM
I like the Carly Fiorina line:  She worked as a secretary after getting a degree in Medieval History - all dressed up and nowhere to go!

Ann Coulter unnecessarily rips the college education in this column, especially my daughter's major, but some of the points are quite good:

"The GOP needs to hold tobacco company-style hearings, hauling in the presidents of various universities and asking them to justify their multimillion-dollar salaries."

"We want professors explaining, under penalty of perjury, exactly how much they make per hour for their rigorous schedules of two classes a week, summers off, and full-year "sabbaticals" every few terms."

Especially this:

"If colleges really believe their product is worth anything, why don't they guarantee their own student loans?" !!!

244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Politics & Science: Whatever Happened to Peak Oil? History’s Hysteria on: January 29, 2015, 10:51:48 AM
A short, clever, educational video made by the Pacific Research Institute featuring the charismatic wink Steve Hayward of Powerline:

245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Scott Walker on: January 29, 2015, 10:46:40 AM

Very good speech. 

Here is a very good ad:

I don't think he will win but he most certainly has my vote if nominated.
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 29, 2015, 10:34:32 AM
Hugh Hewitt, who I like, is sure that Hillary is running and is the Dem nominee and says the R candidate needs to study and be an expert on the records of both Bill and Hillary Clinton (long, sordid, and often criminal history) in order to win.  (The DB forum could be offered up as a resource.)  Hewitt takes liberal and media guests on his radio show and in particular likes to pin them down on what are her accomplishments.  On the release of a most recent Hillary biography, the author could not name a positive accomplishment of hers at State.

Hewitt:  "...the GOP nominee should be the individual best positioned to beat her, which means first knowing her history and especially her record at State and her time as the architect of Obamacare 1.0 from 1993-1994. It means knowing her endorsement of the president's immigration executive order and her Twitter applause of the president's State of the Union including its doomed plan to tax 529 plans.
Yes, it means even reading her ghastly and grindingly dull memoirs. And it means preparing, memorizing and delivering a concise recollection of the Bill Clinton years, one that always ends as his tenure did with the name Marc Rich.
To be the GOP nominee coming out of Cleveland should require knowing everything about Hillary and Bill and being able to effortlessly detail her almost unbelievable record of failing upwards over her twenty-five years in the Beltway."

I love his summation of her career, "failing upwards".

Hewitt, continued:  "It is a huge advantage for the GOP to know their opponent this far out."  ...  "Every great coach --Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, yes, even Belichick-- would kill for a year and a half to prepare a game plan for one opponent on whom the tape in the vault is endless."
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Pentagon distrusted Hillary on Libya, contacted Kadaffy on: January 29, 2015, 10:20:51 AM
BTW, Rand Paul made a point the other night worth noting.  Kadaffy gave up his nuke program to us and look what happened to him.  Why would Iran trust us now?
No one will. Because of the dems, we are a weak enemy and a treacherous ally.

President Obama is Iran's greatest ally, stopping the two countries that would attack their nuclear facilities from doing so.
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio in Senate hearings: A short course on Iran on: January 28, 2015, 10:52:36 PM

Please watch the video.

Interestingly, of all the allegations of facts and analyses, the Deputy Sec of State is able to correct or counter none of them.

Has anyone ever heard Hillary or Jeb  or or Mitt or Huck or ... ever dive in with this level of depth and clarity?
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reminder, this is the electorate on: January 28, 2015, 12:19:38 AM

Yes, and the dangers mentioned of di-hydrogen monoxide.  People immersed in it are dying, yet no one will ban it.
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: January 27, 2015, 04:06:54 PM
I am pretty excited about the run to Iowa and NH, for both parties. For real.

Bigdog, You are missed here!  Your thoughts on the current scene?  Let me know if you wold like to meet up at an Iowa political event.  
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