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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wash Post: Fact Checking 2014 State of the Union on: January 30, 2014, 02:45:25 PM
Mainstream media trying to toughen up for when Republicans take the White House.:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/28/fact-checking-the-2014-state-of-the-union-address/

“The more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.”

  - the number of jobs in the economy still is about 1.2 million lower than when the recession began in December 2007

“A manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.”

  - the number of manufacturing jobs is still 500,000 fewer than when Obama took office

“Our deficits — cut by more than half.”

  - The 2009 figure... reflects the impact of decisions, such as the $800 billion stimulus bill, enacted early in the president’s term.  The United States still has a deficit higher than it was in nominal terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product than it was in 2008 and a debt much greater as a percentage of the overall economy than it was prior to the recession.

“Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.”

  - Close readers of the president’s speeches might have noticed an interesting shift in the president’s rhetoric. Just in December the president gave a speech on economic mobility in which he three times asserted that it was “declining” in the United States. But earlier this month, renowned economists Raj Chetty, Emmanuel Saez and colleagues published a paper based on tens of millions of tax records showing that upward mobility had not changed significantly over time. The rate essentially is the same now as it was 20 years ago.

“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

  - when such differences are accounted for, much of the hourly wage gap dwindled, to about 5 cents on the dollar.

“More than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage.”

  - no one really knows how many of the 6.3 million are in this expansion pool — or whether they are simply renewing or would have qualified for Medicaid before the new law. Indeed, the number also includes people joining Medicaid in states that chose not accept the expansion.  The private insurance numbers — about 3 million — are also open to question. The troubled federal exchange counts people as enrolled if an individual has selected a plan, but it does not know if a person enrolled and paid a premium because that part of the system has yet to be built.


Fact checking Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in her response:

“Last month, more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one. Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the president’s policies are making people’s lives harder.”

  - [True] but the decline in the labor participation rate started well before Obama.
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WhiteHouse.Gov: The last economic expansion ended when Democrats took congress on: January 30, 2014, 02:31:22 PM
I inherited this and I inherited that economic problem from the previous administration, he keeps saying http://www.democrats.org/issues/economy_and_job_creation, yet the White House's own website says the last economic expansion ended exactly as Democrats including Senator Obama took majority control of congress.

www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/12/president-obama-s-record-results-and-agenda-income-inequality

"the last economic expansion ended in 2007".

How about taking SOME responsibility for that!
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Income Inequality Far Worse under Obama than Bush on: January 30, 2014, 02:19:33 PM
Income inequality, a bogus, manufactured issue, measured by the Gini Coefficient with Census Bureau data, is far worse under Obama and Clinton than under George Bush.  Who knew?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/income-inequality-obama-bush_n_1419008.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/01/income-inequality-obama_n_3853183.html
http://www.ijreview.com/2014/01/110968-can-guess-president-worst-record-income-inequality/


(The only income growth under Obama is the Fed inflated stock market, owned disproportionately by rich people.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/01/28/if-we-want-more-income-equality-should-we-return-to-the-economy-of-george-w-bush/

If we want more income equality, we should return to the economy of George W. Bush. 

George W. Bush was the most successful of our recent past presidents in achieving very substantial increases in incomes for the poorest quintile (+18.4%).
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Income Mobility has not declined on: January 30, 2014, 02:05:24 PM
obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/mobility_trends.pdf
NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES
IS THE UNITED STATES STILL A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY? RECENT TRENDS
IN INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY
Raj Chetty, Bloomberg Professor of Economics at Harvard University
Nathaniel Hendren, Harvard University economist
Patrick Kline, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley
Emmanuel Saez, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley
Nicholas Turner, Economist, Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of the Treasury
http://www.nber.org/papers/w19844
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
Cambridge, MA
January 2014

"We present new evidence on trends in intergenerational mobility in the U.S. using administrative earnings records. We find that percentile rank-based measures of intergenerational mobility have remained extremely stable for the 1971-1993 birth cohorts....[C]hildren entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution (relative to their parents) as children born in the 1970s."
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: 11 Facts About Minimum Wage Pres. Obama Forgot To Mention on: January 30, 2014, 01:13:47 PM
00.03% of the workforce consist of workers who live in a household below the poverty line and work full time earning minimum wage.  Raising the minimum wage will worsen the employment situation, especially for the newest workers in the workforce, but is polls well.   So Democrats (always) say, let's make raising it further the centerpiece of the political agenda. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-debbie-wasserman-schultz/federal-minimum-wage-increase_b_4689747.html  Meanwhile we have the highest corporate taxes on the planet, the worst business regulatory climate in our nation's history, and a workforce participation rate in free fall.

http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/28/11-facts-about-the-minimum-wage-that-president-obama-forgot-to-mention-during-the-state-of-the-union/

11 Facts About The Minimum Wage That President Obama Forgot To Mention

1) Only 1 Percent Of The U.S. Labor Force Earns The Minimum Wage

2) Teenagers Comprise The Single Largest Age Group Of Minimum Wage Workers

3) Most Minimum Wage Workers Are Under The Age Of 25

4) A Majority Of Those Who Earn The Minimum Wage Work In Food Preparation Or Sales

5) Less Than 5 Percent Of People Who Earn The Minimum Wage Work In Construction Or Manufacturing

6) A Majority Of Them Also Worked Less Than 30 Hours Per Week

7) Less Than One-Third Worked Full-Time

8.) A Full-Time Minimum Wage Worker In 2014 Will Make 24 Percent More Than The Federal Poverty Limit

9) One-Third Of Minimum Wage Workers Either Dropped Out Of Or Never Attended High School

10) There Are Nearly Six Times More Minimum Wage Workers Today Than In 2007

11) A Change In The Minimum Wage Often Triggers Union Wage Hikes And Benefit Renegotiations
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / (The Way Forward) John Stossel: SOTU, What Pres. Obama Should Have Said on: January 30, 2014, 11:58:03 AM
http://capitalismmagazine.com/2014/01/re-state-union-obama-said/

What Obama Should Have Said
John Stossel (2014.01.30 )

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday wasn’t what I wanted to hear. This is what the president should have said:

“I cannot imagine what I was thinking when I pushed Obamacare. I now see it is folly to entrust government, which cannot balance its books and routinely loses track of billions of dollars, with even greater power over health care.

“If something as simple as a website is too much for government to get right, imagine what government will do to complicated medical pricing and insurance plans.

“Foolishly, my plan destroyed many sensible insurance plans — some offering catastrophic-only coverage for a lower price — exactly the insurance so many people need.

“I see my fellow Democrat, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia, seated nearby. I take to heart his comments, which he can safely make now that he’s retiring from Congress, about how Obamacare is economically doomed, with few young people signing up but sick old people taking money out. The math doesn’t add up.

“Now that I think about it, it would be better to end government involvement in health care altogether and let people shop around for the best free-market plans, including catastrophe-only plans, depending on individual needs. Let’s try that. In fact, let’s see if I can revise other items in my agenda so they work better for consumers …

“Minimum wage laws, for example. Although a higher minimum is popular with people from both parties, minimums make no sense. The law cannot make an employee who a company values at $5 an hour become worth $10. Minimum wage laws just increase unemployment by eliminating some jobs. They don’t do the poor any favors. Let’s repeal them.

“And let’s get the feds out of the preschool business! Government does a bad job with K-12 education. Why would we think our central planning should expand? My education department funded studies of Head Start, and we were all astounded to learn that they have no effect. It’s insane to do more of something that our own research shows does not work. Education should be left to local governments and parents.

“Immigration: It’s odd that I’m seen as a friend to immigrants, given that I’ve deported more of them than the previous president did. But if we don’t want people breaking immigration laws, the best thing to do is simplify the law. Conservatives worry that people will come here to mooch off the welfare state or commit crimes. So how about letting people in with quick and simple procedures focused on checking for crime and terrorism, but saying no immigrant is eligible for welfare? That compromise makes sense.

“National Security Agency surveillance: After all the outrage over the Patriot Act, you must have been surprised, America, to discover that the NSA does even more snooping under my presidency. I will not abandon the basic governmental duty to keep citizens safe, but we should limit snooping to people whom we have probable cause to suspect might be terrorists.

“Climate: I think the greenhouse effect is real, but the evidence that humanity’s contribution to it will cause dire problems is debatable. Better to reduce Environmental Protection Agency micromanagement and let America get as rich as possible. This will help us cope with environmental side effects and afford the research necessary to find better sources of energy. Global warming is a theoretical problem. We have real problems, like reducing our debt and getting clean water to the world’s poor.
(more at link)
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Besides the frequent flyer miles , , , on: January 30, 2014, 10:06:57 AM
On the R side, we keep looking for the right combination of experience.  Hillary appears to have that.  She was a US Senator.  Has foreign policy experience.  Worked in the executive branch and was involved in it with her husband.  

Recently mentioned was her bald faced lying to the American people as their First Lady, excusing the predator while blaming the opposition.  Clever at the moment and proven wrong.  For another post, her dismal record as a US Senator.  Suffice it to say, they collapsed the US economy.  As Secretary of State, we should recall how it began and how it transpired.

It was a reach out to a hated rival that he chose Hillary Clinton and from then on they were such great friends, if you believe that.  Pres. Obama chose Hillary Clinton as Sec of State, then he diminished that job by appointing Special Envoys to the key trouble spots in the world,  George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East 'peace', and Richard Holbrooke as special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan.  President Obama appointed Rashad Hussain, an Indian-American Muslim, as the United States special envoy to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_policy_of_the_Barack_Obama_administration  

In other words, Hillary held the title but the White House wanted to work through others in what they considered key areas.  So Hillary traveled and traveled and traveled - to everywhere else.  What did she accomplish?

Radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Politico's Maggie Haberman, who had just written a major fluff piece on Hillary Clinton in Oct 2013, to name her accomplishments as Secretary of State:  

"There is not a giant list that I think people can point to".

"The biggest achievements was, and you’ve seen this pointed to a lot, was the amount of travel time she logged...", the communications professional struggled to go any further:

http://www.hughhewitt.com/politicos-maggie-haberman-struggles-list-accomplishments-state-hillary-clinton/

Politico’s Maggie Haberman Struggles To List Any Accomplishments At State By Hillary Clinton
Monday, October 28, 2013  

HH: Joined now by Maggie Haberman of Politico.com, who had a huge story this morning on Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 run. Maggie, welcome, it’s good to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

MH: Thanks for having me.

HH: Did the reaction to your column flow in today and raise questions about whether or not she’s actually running? Or does everyone assume she’s running?

MH: I’ve heard a mixture of reactions. I think that most people think the preponderance of evidence is that she is running. I had actually been among those who had thought she wasn’t running, and I no longer think that. It’s hard to think it after some of the speeches she’s given recently. I think most people think that there is a chance that she won’t run, that those would be for, you know, mostly personal reasons, or the unforeseen. But that chance seems pretty small at the moment.

HH: Now this is a process story that turns primarily on the argument that the biggest complaint about Clinton in 2008, and I’m quoting now, was that she ran a campaign of entitlement, showing feistiness and emotion only after Obama had surged when it was already too late. Is that what you consider, or what your sources consider to be her biggest potential problem this time around? Or is it her record as secretary of State?

MH: Well, I think that there are two different issues. And I certainly think that her approach to a campaign will be very significant in terms of how she handles it. I think that her record as secretary of State is obviously her most recent, and it is one of the pieces of her curriculum vitae that have been the least looked at, certainly in terms of repeated, in terms of the crux of a campaign and the crucible of a campaign. And I think that it’s relevant. I think that it’s going to come up a lot. I think that people around her are certainly prepared for that, or at least prepared for it to be an issue. How they handle it remains to be seen.

HH: What is her biggest achievement as secretary of State?

MH: I think that the folks around her believe that among the biggest achievements was, and you’ve seen this pointed to a lot, was the amount of travel time she logged. They felt very good about the Chinese dissident, and how the disposition of that case went in 2012. I think that what they, and what most people are prepared for is a lot of questions about the aftermath of Benghazi, and I think there was a 60 Minutes piece about that, that went out yesterday. I think there’s going to be a lot more of that. I think that this is where the fact that most people believe she is running, but she has not set up a team of any kind in any meaningful way, potentially becomes problematic, because if her folks believe that they have something to say in response to that and they’re not, they’re sort of letting time slip away from them.

HH: But pause for a moment with me on the achievement side.

MH: Sure.

HH: Articulate further. What is it that people say is her achievement? That she logged a lot of miles? What, is she running for George Clooney’s role in Up In The Air?

MH: (laughing) That has been certainly one of the focuses that her folks have talked about. They’ve also talked about how she ran a functional effort at State. Look, I think that when you hear from her world about what her accomplishments were, I think that they genuinely believe that she had made progress in terms of how America was perceived. People can agree or disagree with that. I think that that is obviously been coming into question now, and this is again something I think she’s going to have to talk about more. She’s clearly aware of that, but she’s not saying much about it so far, on the NSA issue. It’s very, very difficult for a former Obama administration official to run a sort of smoke and mirrors campaign on foreign policy. She’s going to have a very hard time doing that.

HH: Well, I know all the critiques, because I’m a conservative talk show host. So I know what all the vulnerabilities are.

MH: Right.

HH: I’m just curious as to what they think her strengths are, other than, you know, frequent flyer miles.

MH: Look, they think that she was an effective diplomat. They think that she was good at helping America’s image globally. They have a couple of cases like the case of the Chinese dissident where they think that State played a very effective role. She was among those who was pressing for more action in Syria of a restricted type earlier on than what you saw the Obama administration ultimately do this year. But you know, look, she was not, she certainly was not part of the team that, say, was dealing with Israel. She was not integral in that way, and so I think for some of the issues that are the hottest right now, globally, she was not a key factor in them.\

HH: So a Chinese dissident? That’s it?

MH: Well, I think we will see what they issue as her biggest strength as secretary of State. That has not been a case they’ve been emphasizing so far. You’ve, I’m sure, read the New York Magazine piece, like everybody else, where they talked about again, her time as secretary of State which was largely mechanical, at least in the focus of that piece, and how they thought she had run an effective effort. Everything with Hillary Clinton gets looked at through the prism of how she manages whatever team she’s running, and that’s been where a lot of the focus has been.

HH: Well, it’s very interesting to me, though, as you report early on, they are going to try, Team Clinton is going to try and give you the talking points, which they hope then enter into the bloodstream, and into the circulatory system of Washington, D.C. that is Politico, and then out through the rest of the country. And what I’m hearing you say is they’ve got a Chinese dissident.

MH: No, I think, but I think that when you’ve asked me off the top of my head what are some of the things that her folks have pointed to over the last two years, that has certainly been one of the cases.

HH: Anything else, Maggie?

MH: Yes, there are others, but I’m just not coming up with them at the moment, but, and I’m not trying to avoid the question.

HH: Oh, I know you’re not. I just don’t think there’s anything there. I think, actually, her biggest problem is that there is no there there. She occupied the State Department, and there’s nothing to show for it. I guess there’s this Chinese dissident, but I’m, that’s not, that’s not a name that’s tripping off of my tongue right now. Do you know his name?

MH: I think that, no, at the moment, I actually cannot think of his name. I think that they’re, I think this is going to be an ongoing problem for her. I think that showing sort of a body of work at State is going to be something that she’s going to be pressed to do increasingly, and I think that running sort of a shadow campaign through paid speeches and free speeches over the course of the next year, I think is going to not cut it eventually, not just for conservative critics, but I think on the left. I think she’s going to have a problem.

HH: But doesn’t this sort of underscore the major problem? Here I am, a conservative critic, and I know the critique. And you’re a mainstream reporter, and as far as I know, you have no ideology. You’re one of the people at Politico that I don’t put on the left or the right, you’re just down the middle.

MH: Yeah.

HH: And neither of us can come up with any claim that she has to having succeeded at anything, and they are not able, they didn’t spin you, because they’ve got nothing to spin you with. It’s like the washing machine’s broke.

MH: Well, we’ll see. I mean, I think we need to see what they ultimately come up, to be fair. I think that since she’s not yet running, I think looking at how they present her and present what she did there is an open question.

HH: They’ll come up with something. What I’m getting at is, how long have you been with Politico, five years?

MH: Four years, three and a half years.

HH: Okay, so almost her entire tenure at State, and I’ve been on the air since 2000. And I can’t think of anything, and I’m giving you the floor. If you can come up with anything for her case, lay it out there. Just from the top of mine, it should be front shelf, right?

MH: It certainly is not, there is not a giant list that I think people can point to.

HH: There is no list.

MH: There are a couple, and I think there’s a couple of reasons for that like I said. With the major issue of dealing with Israel, she was not front and center. And she certainly received criticism early on in terms of how the U.S. dealt with Russia. I think these are all going to be issues that she is going to have to address, and I suspect she is going to get asked about them repeatedly, and by many, many outlets.

HH: I mean, it’s just a big, we’re done, but go around the bullpen at Politico and ask them what did she do, and it’s going to be a giant whiteboard, and there’s not going to be anything on it, Maggie.

MH: I like the invocation of whiteboard, though.

HH: It is a whiteboard. Maggie Haberman, great piece today, great process piece, but boy, she’s got problems if after writing it, you don’t have the list at the tip of the tongue. The Clintonistas had better come up with a list, because there’s nothing on it. Really, nothing.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - SOTU on: January 30, 2014, 09:28:37 AM
The empty suit gave an empty speech, widely called "forgettable".  It didn't inspire a lot of comment on the board.

I was disappointed that he didn't use the speech as an opportunity to announce approval of the Keystone pipeline.  That would be reaching to the middle.  It would constructed largely with union construction jobs.  Republicans would have applauded.  Democrats use oil and gas.  Elite liberals like to jet around.  Public safety would be enhanced.  He probably has to approve it at some point.  Maybe he would have energized a second look at his other proposals. 

Instead it was just the anti-constitutional rhetoric, if I can't do this with congress, I will do it alone.  By 'year of action' he is referring to actions that kill more jobs and make energy less affordable to young people, blacks, Hispanics, women and children.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Not since 1996 on: January 30, 2014, 09:13:18 AM

Remember how shocked people were that Pres. George H.W. Bush had not seen a grocery scanner in 1992?

Prior to Chappaqua house, the Clintons had barely owned a house, much less a car.  Like most, typical middle American couples, they lived in government mansions and were driven by government drivers.  It was state troopers who took Bill Clinton to his Gennifer Flowers affair.

210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Will: Four words in the ACA could spell its doom on: January 30, 2014, 08:41:29 AM
subsidies shall be available to persons who purchase health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.”

Four words in the ACA could spell its doom

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-four-words-in-the-aca-could-spell-its-doom/2014/01/29/e26a33cc-884a-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html

By George F. Will, Published: January 29
Someone you probably are not familiar with has filed a suit you probably have not heard about concerning a four-word phrase you should know about. The suit could blow to smithereens something everyone has heard altogether too much about, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereafter, ACA).

Scott Pruitt and some kindred spirits might accelerate the ACA’s collapse by blocking another of the Obama administration’s lawless uses of the Internal Revenue Service. Pruitt was elected Oklahoma’s attorney general by promising to defend states’ prerogatives against federal encroachment, and today he and some properly litigious people elsewhere are defending a state prerogative that the ACA explicitly created. If they succeed, the ACA’s disintegration will accelerate.

Because under the ACA, insurance companies cannot refuse coverage because of an individual’s preexisting condition. Because many people might therefore wait to purchase insurance after they become sick, the ACA requires a mandate to compel people to buy insurance. And because many people cannot afford the insurance that satisfies the ACA’s criteria, the ACA mandate makes it necessary to provide subsidies for those people.

The four words that threaten disaster for the ACA say the subsidies shall be available to persons who purchase health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.” But 34 states have chosen not to establish exchanges.

So the IRS, which is charged with enforcing the ACA, has ridden to the rescue of Barack Obama’s pride and joy. Taking time off from writing regulations to restrict the political speech of Obama’s critics, the IRS has said, with its breezy indifference to legality, that subsidies shall also be dispensed to those who purchase insurance through federal exchanges the government has established in those 34 states. Pruitt is challenging the IRS in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, and there are similar challenges in Indiana, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The IRS says its “interpretation” — it actually is a revision — of the law is “consistent with,” and justified by, the “structure of” the ACA. The IRS means that without its rule, the ACA would be unworkable and that Congress could not have meant to allow this. The ACA’s legislative history, however, demonstrates that Congress clearly — and, one might say, with malice aforethought — wanted subsidies available only through state exchanges.

Some have suggested that the language limiting subsidies to state-run exchanges is a drafting error. Well.

Some of the ACA’s myriad defects do reflect its slapdash enactment, which presaged its chaotic implementation. But the four potentially lethal words were carefully considered and express Congress’s intent.

Congress made subsidies available only through state exchanges as a means of coercing states into setting up exchanges.

In Senate Finance Committee deliberations on the ACA, Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), one of the bill’s primary authors, suggested conditioning tax credits on state compliance because only by doing so could the federal government induce state cooperation with the ACA. Then the law’s insurance requirements could be imposed on states without running afoul of constitutional law precedents that prevent the federal government from commandeering state governments. The pertinent language originated in the committee and was clarified in the Senate. (See “Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule To Expand Tax Credits Under The PPACA,” by Jonathan H. Adler and Michael F. Cannon in Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine.)

Also, passage of the ACA required the vote of every Democratic senator. One, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, admirably opposed a federal exchange lest this become a steppingstone toward a single-payer system.

If courts, perhaps ultimately including the Supreme Court, disallow the IRS’s “interpretation” of the law, the ACA will not function as intended in 34 states with 65 percent of the nation’s population. If courts allow the IRS’s demarche, they will validate this:

By dispensing subsidies through federal exchanges, the IRS will spend tax revenues without congressional authorization. And by enforcing the employer mandate in states that have only federal exchanges, it will collect taxes — remember, Chief Justice John Roberts saved the ACA by declaring that the penalty enforcing the mandate is really just a tax on the act of not purchasing insurance — without congressional authorization.

If the IRS can do neither, it cannot impose penalties on employers who fail to offer ACA-approved insurance to employees.

If the IRS can do both, Congress can disband because it has become peripheral to American governance.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics, The Inequality Bogeyman, By Thomas Sowell on: January 28, 2014, 12:29:36 PM
The Inequality Bogeyman

By Thomas Sowell - January 28, 2014
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/01/28/the_inequality_bogeyman_121379.html

During a recent lunch in a restaurant, someone complimented my wife on the perfume she was wearing. But I was wholly unaware that she was wearing perfume, even though we had been in a car together for about half an hour, driving to the restaurant.

My sense of smell is very poor. But there is one thing I can smell far better than most people -- gas escaping. During my years of living on the Stanford University campus, and walking back and forth to work at my office, I more than once passed a faculty house and smelled gas escaping. When there was nobody home, I would leave a note, warning them.

When walking past the same house again a few days later, I could see where the utility company had been digging in the yard -- and, after that, there was no more smell of gas escaping. But apparently the people who lived in these homes had not smelled anything.

These little episodes have much wider implications. Most of us are much better at some things than at others, and what we are good at can vary enormously from one person to another. Despite the preoccupation -- if not obsession -- of intellectuals with equality, we are all very unequal in what we do well and what we do badly.

It may not be innate, like a sense of smell, but differences in capabilities are inescapable, and they make a big difference in what and how much we can contribute to each other's economic and other well-being. If we all had the same capabilities and the same limitations, one individual's limitations would be the same as the limitations of the entire human species.

We are lucky that we are so different, so that the capabilities of many other people can cover our limitations.

One of the problems with so many discussions of income and wealth is that the intelligentsia are so obsessed with the money that people receive that they give little or no attention to what causes money to be paid to them, in the first place.

The money itself is not wealth. Otherwise the government could make us all rich just by printing more of it. From the standpoint of a society as a whole, money is just an artificial device to give us incentives to produce real things -- goods and services.

Those goods and services are the real "wealth of nations," as Adam Smith titled his treatise on economics in the 18th century.

Yet when the intelligentsia discuss such things as the historic fortunes of people like John D. Rockefeller, they usually pay little -- if any -- attention to what it was that caused so many millions of people to voluntarily turn their individually modest sums of money over to Rockefeller, adding up to his vast fortune.

What Rockefeller did first to earn their money was find ways to bring down the cost of producing and distributing kerosene to a fraction of what it had been before his innovations. This profoundly changed the lives of millions of working people.

Before Rockefeller came along in the 19th century, the ancient saying, "The night cometh when no man can work" still applied. There were not yet electric lights, and burning kerosene for hours every night was not something that ordinary working people could afford. For many millions of people, there was little to do after dark, except go to bed.

Too many discussions of large fortunes attribute them to "greed" -- as if wanting a lot of money is enough to cause other people to hand it over to you. It is a childish idea, when you stop and think about it -- but who stops and thinks these days?

The transfer of money was a zero-sum process. What increased the wealth of society was Rockefeller's cheap kerosene that added hundreds of hours of light to people's lives annually.

Edison, Ford, the Wright brothers, and innumerable others also created unprecedented expansions of the lives of ordinary people. The individual fortunes represented a fraction of the wealth created.

Even those of us who create goods and services in more mundane ways receive income that may be very important to us, but it is what we create for others, with our widely varying capabilities, that is the real wealth of nations.

Intellectuals' obsession with income statistics -- calling envy "social justice" -- ignores vast differences in productivity that are far more fundamental to everyone's well-being. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg has ruined many economies.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Juanita Broaddrick and related matters on: January 28, 2014, 12:16:19 PM
From Rand Paul thread
Yesterday RP brought up Spermgate in the context of an interview about Hillary.  Error in my opinion.

As far as most people are concerned the issue has been presented to the American people and settled and bringing it up now is going to play poorly.

When hit with the "Rep War on Women" meme, a fair rejoinder could certainly include reference to Paula Jones, Juanita Broderick (wasn't she the one Bill groped against her will in the WH when she came to ask for a job?  on the very day that her husband, also a loyal Clintonite, was committing suicide?  or something like that?) but in this moment RP displayed a serious tin ear on an issue that is usually a seriously weak link politically for Reps.

No, Kathleen Willey was the one groped.  Juanita Broaddrick was the one raped and told: " 'You better get some ice for that.' And he put on his sunglasses and walked out the door," she recalled., http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/janedoe022099.htm, if you are inclined to believe a Democrat volunteer victim of serial predator.  Paula Jones was the one summoned, intimidated, sexually harassed in the most vulgar way, and then tossed out and called white trash by his surrogates.  

Hillary was the enabler - all the way through.  Interview of Juanita Broaddrick in which she discloses (alleges) having been threatened by Hillary Clinton 2 weeks after (alleged) rape:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KZ8ICvutc0  (below).  A''champions of women's rights' - right.

Rand Paul was bold and right, in my view, to bring the dark side of the Clinton Presidency back to public awareness.  As suggested by Crafty, there is plenty more to the story.  I doubt if they want to go there.

213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: D’Souza indictment on: January 28, 2014, 11:43:41 AM
A good, well-written, and well-reasoned piece, but as best as I can tell it avoids dealing with the obvious rejoinder.  Apparently the man IS guilty of breaking the campaign finance laws in a stupid and obvious way.  The failure to address this point leaves me hesitant to spread this otherwise good piece forward.

None of us have any way of knowing if he is innocent or guilty.  After years of him fighting back, maybe we will discover he is innocent (and that the bundling Ambassador of Norway is guilty of that same charge).  The accusation (by Spencer) is enforcement targeting based on D’Souza's exercise of free speech.  If true, that offense is far worse, treason IMO, and not directly related to the merits of the D’Souza case.

Targeting of tea party organizations was worse because citizens were prevented from participating in the political process without being accused of doing anything wrong.

At some point, smoking guns will emerge on such widespread targeting abuse, along with the non-enforcement of everything on the other side.  The only person breaking this law happen to produce an anti-Obama documentary?

(Unfortunately, the unconstitutionality of the law being enforced on D'Souza is irrelevant.)

Meanwhile, illegal immigration is against federal law.  The sale and use of marijuana in Colo and Wash state is a violation of federal law.  Black Panther voter intimidation is a violation of federal law.  Fast and furious gun running was a violation of federal law.  IRS targeting is a violation of federal law.  Where is the enforcement? DOMA, as written, was a federal law?  The meaning of "the law of the land" depends on your political and/or governmental connection with those in power.

When do the indicted-innocent get back their good name?  Ask Tom DeLay.
Resigned 2006: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/03/AR2006040301787.html
(The money laundering indictment of course was a key part of Republicans losing control of congress.)
Convicted 2010: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/24/tom-delay-guilty-money-laundering_n_788325.html
Overturned: 2011
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/19/224070833/tom-delays-conviction-overturned-on-appeal
Tom DeLay's Conviction Overturned On Appeal
The state's Third District Court of Appeals concluded: "the evidence presented does not support a conclusion that DeLay committed the crimes that were charged".
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left - (Wendy Davis) We're All Single Moms Now on: January 28, 2014, 08:55:52 AM
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304007504579346871772434330?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

We're All Single Moms Now

"Wendy Davis did make a mistake," according to the subheadline of an article by Liza Mundy. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/wendy-davis-the-most-judged-woman-in-america-102598_full.html
"She thought that we were ready for a single mother." Mundy, author of "The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family," deems Davis "The Most Judged Woman in America."

Mundy turns out to want a transformation of the family beyond basic logic. She writes:

    [Davis's] the strategy is risky, in part because our notion of a single mother is rigid: Critics have been picking holes in her story, saying that she didn't live in that trailer long enough, or was too ambitious. We seem to have a pretty strict notion of who a single mother is and how she should live. Truth is, the lives of single mothers are multifaceted and hard to categorize.

It's not that hard to categorize Wendy Davis: She was among the category of "single mothers" who are married to rich dudes.

Heck, if you don't have to be single to be a single mother, it stands to reason, or whatever Mundy is substituting for it, that you don't have to be a mother either. That would make your humble columnist a single mother (James Taranto, WSJ).  So don't judge us.
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - "Equality" and the State of the Union on: January 28, 2014, 08:45:38 AM
Bret Stephens (WSJ) today, Updatuing a story about government-mandated absolute equality, begins with:

The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.  - Kurt Vonnegut, 1961

Stephens goes on to describe America under the equality policies that President Obama will describe tonight.

"Happily, none of this harmed the economy in the slightest. Higher minimum wages have "no discernible effect on employment" ( Schmitt, 2013). High marginal tax rates have no effect on productivity and business creation (Piketty-Saez, 2011). "
...
"the average height of NBA players for the 2007-08 season was just under 6 feet 7 inches. The average American male is 5 feet 9 inches. Patently unequal, patently unfair. ... demanded that the NBA establish an average-height rule that would require each team to offset taller players with shorter ones."
...
"More controversial was the Grassley-Gowdy De-Ivy Act of 2018, requiring all four-year colleges, public or private, to accept students by lottery."

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304691904579346523830566300?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mussoslini and Clinton agree on Fascism, Crony Governmentism on: January 28, 2014, 08:18:23 AM


Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.  - Benito Mussolini
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/benito_mussolini.html#1fPXSdqvMhcD8726.99

Bill Clinton:  We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think "we're all in this together" is a better philosophy than "you're on your own."  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/transcript-bill-clintons-democratic-convention-speech/story?id=17164662
------------------------

This comparison says it better than I ever could.  Run, hide, scream, cringe in fear when you hear about your government wanting to 'partner up' with private businesses.  It sounds so nice until you think about the implications.  Government picks the winners and losers.  In sports, the referee partners up with one of the teams.  This is a good idea?  Hint: it won't be your team they choose - unless you are the largest entrenched player with the biggest budget and behind-the-scenes operation to pay them off.  Business becomes the need to be in bed with the elected officials - or be destroyed.  Innovation, productivity gains and meeting the market needs will no longer matter.

Government has a role in business: to enforce a level playing field fair to the participants, and to capture and protect the public from the externalities - as Crafty has pointed out.  To regulate as necessary, but not to be a participate in he tcommerce, except, again, as absolutely necessary - such as to buy pens and desks for the government offices.  And then only in a fair and completely open and transparent public bidding process.

Remember the uproar over no bid contracts awarded to Haliburton, even when Cheney had no financial ties to their performance, and even though no other American company had the resources to fulfill those contracts.  Now Government Motors is the norm.  Cash for Clunkers in their industry but not yours.  Government managed health insurance companies, Solyndra, Tesla, etc. etc.  The President is out there bragging about private products coming out of public investments.  Beware!  It is such a flagrant violation of equal protection under the law for government to unnecessarily partner up with private participants in the market.  

Run, scream, hide when you hear that the government is stepping in to partner with private business.  It isn't your business they will choose.  And it is the destruction of equal treatment under the law.
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: January 28, 2014, 07:50:57 AM
Amen.
History trivia:  15 years ago today Hillary said that Spermgate was a vast right wing conspiracy against her husband.

Yes, how is that for being able to analyze the available intelligence, draw the right conclusion and tell the American people the truth, no matter what it is.  One of the comforts people have with her is that Bill Clinton will be right there with her when the 3am call comes in.  Will he?  Liberal mainstream media conspiracists now admitting knew but didn't report on Bill Clinton's affairs during Hillary's previous, ill-fated run:  http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/01/media-covered-up-bill-clintons-2008-affair-during-hillarys-presidential-run/   shocked

BTW, she already had the 3am phone call - Benghazi - and failed the test.  The right answer was that she hounded and drove the President for more security prior to the attack and for more assets to help during the attack and she didn't do it.  She didn't do anything, even make a return phone call (as far as we know).  If she did and has held back on telling us to protect the President, that would begin the separation she needs from this President.  She also needs to prove she has consistently opposed government botched healthcare as well.  Good luck with that.

Rand Paul called out Bill Clinton as a sexual predator on Meet the Press:  http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/rand-paul-bill-clinton-is-a-predator-20140126  (Funny they didn't edit that out.) Bill Clinton could use his stock lowered a notch too.  Not exactly a role model.

I have previously predicted: 
a) She won't run. 
b) If she runs, she won't be the nominee.
c) If she is the nominee, she won't win.
d) When this proves true, it will appear so obvious in that I won't be able to brag about this prediction.

Try to imagine - packed crowds coming out in Iowa and New Hampshire, shrieking like 1963 Beattles fans, exciting for hope and change, like Hyde Park 2008, with thrills running up and down their legs - over a Hillary Rodham Clinton candidacy.  I don't see it.
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Keystone Cop-out on: January 27, 2014, 11:27:42 AM
Tomorrow we talk about infrastructure and shovel ready jobs while wait and wait and wait for this Choom-gang victim to sort out the merits of an energy pipeline.

Charles Krauthammer wrote a good piece on this last week:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/369312/keystone-cop-out-charles-krauthammer
Obama should give Canada an answer, already.

See Forbes also with:
Five Reasons Obama May Cave On The Keystone Pipeline
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2014/01/23/five-reasons-obama-may-cave-on-the-keystone-pipeline/?ss=business%3Aenergy
1) The U.S. Midterm elections
2) Dissent in the ranks
3) Canada upping the ante
4) Growing dangers of rail
5) Jobs
Details and analysis at the link.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Water on: January 27, 2014, 11:20:10 AM
Droughts come and go and people most certainly tamper with our water supplies.  More importantly IMHO: people in their prosperity are choosing to move away from abundant fresh water supplies.
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science: When Did Global Warming Begin? on: January 27, 2014, 11:16:18 AM
15,000 years ago, where I live was like Antarctica and I would be writing from under a 1/2 mile of glacial ice.  We have come so far, now it is sunny here with a high today in terms of wind chill of -31 F (-35 C). 

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/25/when-did-global-warming-begin/

Many charts at the link.  You can look at any time frame of measurement scheme that you choose.  The earth most certainly warms and cools.  There is no truth in denying it.



221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level - Wisconsin Surplus on: January 27, 2014, 11:00:34 AM
Wisconsin had a $4 billion deficit in 2011 and has a $1 billion surplus now.  Hmmm.  I wonder if it is the policies?  How is California doing?  Detroit?

This could go under Presidential 2016, or Media Issues - where else have you read this, lol.

How Scott Walker and the conservatives saved Wisconsin. America, take note
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100256645/how-scott-walker-and-the-conservatives-saved-wisconsin-america-take-note/

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/give-the-surplus-back-to-wisconsin-taxpayers-b99189017z1-241915501.html
Give the surplus back to Wisconsin taxpayers,  by Gov. Scott Walker
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Stratfor: Panama Canal on: January 27, 2014, 10:54:28 AM
IIRC, we used to own and manage a canal there.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New Ambassador to Norway, Obama bundler, has never been there, knows nothing on: January 27, 2014, 10:52:34 AM
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2014/01/26/obamas-ambassador-to-norway-fumbles-basic-questions-about-norway-n1783543

Norway is one of the most prosperous countries in the world.  One might think we would send someone there there as our Ambassador who knows quite a bit and wants to learn more.  Instead the President picked a Greek American, bumbling bundler.  Norway is not impressed.  http://www.thelocal.no/20140123/next-us-ambassador

The President, who has pissed off allies far greater than Norway, could not care less.
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ‘Face the Nation’ Edits Out Senator Cruz Condemning Obama’s ‘Abuse of Power' on: January 27, 2014, 10:33:42 AM
I'm sure it was a time constraint thing.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeffrey-meyer/2014/01/26/face-nation-edits-out-senator-cruz-condemning-obama-s-abuse-power#ixzz2rZ167RcB

2 different videos at the link.  Not aired:

 SCHIEFFER: “Will you run for President?”

CRUZ: “My focus is on the abuse of power of this President. Let’s take something like the IRS scandal-“

SCHIEFFER: “Do I take that as a yes or a no?”

CRUZ: “What you can take is that my focus is standing and fighting right now in the Senate to bring back jobs and economic growth. Let me tell you something that is deeply concerning—the abuse of power from this Administration. We’ve seen multiple filmmakers prosecuted and the government’s gone after them. Whether it’s the poor fellow that did the film that the President blamed Benghazi and the terrorist attacks on, turns out that wasn’t the reason for the attack but the Administration went and put that poor fellow in jail on unrelated charges. Just this week it was broken that Dinesh D’Souza, who did a very big movie criticizing the president, is now being prosecuted by this Administration.”

SCHIEFFER: “Senator-“

CRUZ: “Can you image the reaction if the Bush Administration had went, gone and prosecuted Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn?”
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Atlantic: Can Anyone Stop Hillary? Absolutely on: January 23, 2014, 01:27:38 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/01/can-anyone-stop-hillary-absolutely/283224/
The Atlantic:  Can Anyone Stop Hillary? Absolutely
She hasn't done much to help her cause lately.
Politics has a way of surprising us.
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gender Pay Equity on: January 23, 2014, 01:15:02 PM
Bringing this forward.  It doesn't seem like people are aware of it:

"In a comparison of unmarried and childless men and women between the ages of 35 and 43, women earn more: 108 cents on a man's dollar."
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/06/18/women_and_the_unequal_pay_myth_100407.html


http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=23317
In a comparison of unmarried and childless men and women between the ages of 35 and 43, women earn more -- 108 cents on a man's dollar.

Comparing unmarried, childless women under 30: 
"the median full-time salaries of young women were 8% higher than for men in their peer group. In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, the median salary for women was 20% more than for men. In New York City, it was 17% more.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/04/09/are-women-catching-up-in-pay/

It's Time That We End the Equal Pay Myth
By Carrie Lukas
http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth/

WSJ: There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap
A study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ann Coulter: The Heroism of Wendy Davis on: January 23, 2014, 12:51:27 PM
Is there something about leftists and lying?  Wendy Davis is the latest Hero of The Left and is running for Governor as a Democrat in Texas.  Ann Coulter is very much on point and funny all the way through.  Read it the end where Davis blames her paraplegic opponent for the news story and complains that he hasn't "walked a day in my shoes."

The Heroism of Wendy Davis

By Ann Coulter - January 23, 2014

Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz -- that was just grandstanding.)

Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis' campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she's a progressive woman who doesn't look like Betty Friedan.

In a typical formulation, Time magazine said Davis was someone who could give the Democrats "'real people' credibility," based on "her own personal story -- an absent father, a sixth-grade-educated mother, a teen pregnancy, followed by life as a single mom in a mobile home, then community college and, at last, Harvard Law School."

The headlines capture the essence of Wendy-mania:

CNN: Wendy Davis: From Teen Mom to Harvard Law to Famous Filibuster

Bloomberg: Texas Filibuster Star Rose From Teen Mom to Harvard Law

The Independent (UK): Wendy Davis: Single Mother From Trailer Park Who Has Become Heroine of Pro-Choice Movement

Cosmopolitan: Find a Sugar Daddy to Put You Through Law School!

Actually, that last one I made up, but as we now know, it's more accurate than Davis' rags-to-riches life story.

The truth was gently revealed in the Dallas Morning News this week. Far from an attack, this was a puff-piece written by Wayne Slater, rabid partisan Democratic hack and co-author of the book, "Bush's Brain." (He is not an admirer of Bush's brain.) It would be like Sean Hannity breaking a scandal about Ted Cruz.

The first hint that Slater was trying to help Davis get ahead of the story and tilt it her way is his comment that Davis' life story is "more complicated" than her version -- i.e., completely the opposite -- adding, "as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves."

Actually, the truth is much simpler than her story. Also, be sure to look for that "as often happens" excuse the next time a Republican gets caught lying about his resume.

Slater's peculiar obsession with whether Davis was 19 or 21 when she got her first divorce, and exactly how long she lived in a trailer home, is meant to deflect attention from something much more problematic: the huge whoppers Davis told.

Her big lies were about the obstacles she had to overcome and how she overcame them, not about how old she was at the time of her first divorce.

She claims she was raised by a single mother, went to work at age 14 to support her family, became a single mother herself in her teens, and then -- by sheer pluck and determination -- pulled herself out of the trailer park to graduate from Harvard Law School!

The truth is less coal-miner's daughter than gold-digger who found a sugar daddy to raise her kids and pay for her education.

Point No. 1: Davis' family wasn't working-class. Her father owned a sandwich shop and a dinner theater, which puts Davis solidly into middle-class land.

Point No. 2: No one who works at MSNBC would know this, but everyone whose parents run a family business starts work at age 14, if not sooner.

Point No. 3: Her parents were separated, but that is not the commonly accepted meaning of "single mother."

Point No. 4: As for being a single mother at age 19 -- she wasn't a "single mother" in the traditional sense, either. She was married at age 18, had a child at 19 and divorced her first husband, a construction worker, at 21. (He couldn't afford tuition at Harvard.)

So she got married young? That isn't a hard-luck story. Well into the 1950s, nearly half of all first-born children were born to married women under the age of 20.

But Wendy Davis' harrowing nightmare of poverty and sacrifice wasn't over yet.

Just a few years after her first divorce, Wendy was on the make, asking to date Jeff Davis, a rich lawyer 13 years her senior, who frequented her father's dinner club. In short order, they married and had a child together.

The next thing Jeff Davis knew, he was paying off her college tuition, raising their kids by himself and taking out a loan to send her to Harvard Law School.

(Feminists rushed to the stores to buy the shoes Davis wore during her famous filibuster. I'd like the shoes she was wearing when she met her sugar daddy.)

Then Wendy left her kids with the sugar daddy in Texas -- even the daughter from her first marriage -- while she attended Harvard Law.

Slater says Davis' kids lived with Jeff Davis in Texas while she attended law school. Wendy Davis claims her girls lived with her during her first year of law school. Let's say that's true. Why not the other two years? And what was the matter with the University of Texas Law School?

Sorry, MSNBC, I know you want to fixate on how many months Davis spent in the trailer park and her precise age when the first divorce went through. And that would be an incredibly stupid thing for conservatives to obsess on, if they were, in fact, obsessing on it. But I'm still stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.

The reason Wendy Davis' apocryphal story was impressive is that single mothers have to run a household, take care of kids and provide for a family all by themselves. But Wendy was neither supporting her kids, nor raising them. If someone else is taking care of your kids and paying your tuition, that's not amazing.

Hey -- maybe Jeff Davis should run for governor! He's the one who raised two kids, including a stepdaughter, while holding down a job and paying for his wife's law school. There's a hard-luck story!

Mr. Davis told the Dallas Morning News that Wendy dumped him as soon as he had finished paying off her Harvard Law School loan. "It was ironic," he said. "I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left."

In his defense, a lot of people are confused about the meaning of "ironic." That's not "ironic." Rather, it's what we call: "entirely predictable."

It's ironic -- my car stopped running right after I ran out of gas.

It's ironic -- my house was broken into, and the next thing I knew all my valuables were missing.

It's ironic -- I was punched in the face right before my nose broke.

In his petition for divorce, Mr. Davis accused his wife of adultery. The court made no finding on infidelity, but awarded him full custody of their underage child and ordered Wendy to pay child support.

Wendy boasted to the Dallas Morning News: "I very willingly, as part of my divorce settlement, paid child support." Would a divorced dad get a medal for saying that?

In response to Wayne Slater's faux-"expose," naturally Davis put out a statement denouncing ... her probable Republican opponent, Greg Abbott. Again, Slater wrote the story. But Davis blathered on, blaming Abbott for the Dallas Morning News story and complaining that he hasn't "walked a day in my shoes."

About that she's certainly right. Greg Abbott could never walk a day in her shoes or anyone else's. He's a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.

I guess Wendy could teach him a lot about suffering.

Davis also said these attacks "won't work, because my story is the story of millions of Texas women ..." Yes, for example, Anna Nicole Smith. Though at least Smith had the decency not to ask for a paid education.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, pay equity on: January 23, 2014, 11:52:46 AM
ccp wrote:  "I am sick and tired of hearing how women don't get paid the same as men.  I can tell you in health care that is simply bogus.   Women may make less than men overall but that is by THEIR design.  There are NO conspiracies going on to KEEP WOMEN DOWN.  They get reimbursed the same from Medicare, Medicaid, insurers the same as the rest of us."

"In a comparison of unmarried and childless men and women between the ages of 35 and 43, women earn more: 108 cents on a man's dollar."
http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/06/18/women_and_the_unequal_pay_myth_100407.html

229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / So What Was The Point of Obamacare Again? on: January 23, 2014, 11:31:47 AM
Famous people are reading the forum, or maybe it's just that perplexed minds think alike.  
Last night, I wrote:
"what was the point of this legislation again?"  
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1411.msg78572#msg78572

This morning on National Review:
So What Was The Point of Obamacare Again?  By Jonah Goldberg  January 23, 2014 7:40 AM
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/369238/so-what-was-point-obamacare-again-jonah-goldberg

He also seems to have lifted a joke from G M.  Goldberg tweeted:
”They said if I voted for Mitt Romney, the ranks of the uninsured would continue to swell. And they were right!”  

From the National Review article:
"[Obamacare] created more uninsured people than it gave insurance to. And it promises to create even more."
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obamcare causing companies to drop employee health care plans on: January 23, 2014, 12:24:29 AM
Besides hope and change and finding out what's in it after 'we' pass it, what was the point of this legislation again?

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care-law-affects-those-insurance-through-work-too-2D11959089
The law may prompt some companies to drop coverage for their part-time workers and send them to public health insurance exchanges.   - AP / NBC News, Jan. 21, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS, MN  Jan. 22, 2014 (UPI) --
U.S. retail giant Target Corp. said that due to the healthcare law it would discontinue health insurance options for part-time workers.

Twin Cities Business magazine: http://tcbmag.com/News/Recent-News/2014/January/Target-Cuts-Hundreds-Of-Jobs,-Drops-Insurance-For
Target Cuts 475 Jobs, Drops Insurance For Part-Timers

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443437504577545770682810842
Deloitte: One in 10 US Employers to Drop Health Coverage - WSJ  July 12, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703431604575522413101063070
Sept. 30, 2010
McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/health_systems_and_services/how_us_health_care_reform_will_affect_employee_benefits
A February 2011 [McKinsey] survey of private sector employers offers a snapshot of attitudes that suggests the shift away from employer-provided health insurance could be greater than expected

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_23930637/companies-dropping-spouses-health-insurance-coverage
Companies cutting health insurance cost may mean dropping coverage for spouses

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-08/why-your-employer-may-drop-your-health-care-plan
Why Your Employer May Drop Your Health-Care Plan
March 08, 2013

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2013/october/21/cancellation-notices-health-insurance.aspx
Oct 21, 2013
Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/trader-joes-obamacare_n_3902341.html
Trader Joe's To Drop Health Coverage For Part-Time Workers Under Obamacare
09/11/2013

http://insurance.about.com/od/HealthIns/a/In-2014-Ten-Precent-Oflarge-Employers-May-Cease-Health-Benefits.htm  
acorrding to new emploer surveys nearly 1 of every 10 midsized or big employers expect to stop offering health coverage to workers after insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014 as part of President Barack Obama's PPACA health legislation.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/21/news/companies/ups-obamacare/
UPS cuts insurance to 15,000 spouses, blames Obamacare    August 22, 2013

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100456557  CNBC  13 Feb 2013
Drop Coverage or Cut Hours? Big Companies Grapple With Obamacare

http://www.naturalnews.com/041815_us_companies_healthcare_plans_obamacare.html
Forty percent of U.S. companies to alter health care plans, drop coverage, due to Obamacare

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/arrival-of-obamacare-forcing-insurers-to-drop-customers-with-low-coverage/
Arrival of Obamacare forcing insurers to drop customers with low coverage

http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2013/10/list-of-companies-that-will-drop-health-insurance-under-obamacare-spreads-to-include-a-quasi-public-entity-the-fairfax-county-water-authority/
List of companies that will drop health insurance under ObamaCare spreads to non-profits and public entities

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/30-percent-employers-drop-health-coverage-because-obamacare
A survey of 1,300 employers finds that 30 percent will “definitely or probably” stop offering health insurance to their employees due to new requirements imposed by the Obamacare health reform law.   June 7, 2011

Who knew?!  No, really, who knew?  Were the people who wrote and the people who passed it really too stupid or naive to know this would happen?  DO THEY STILL NOT KNOW??!!
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: January 22, 2014, 04:59:27 PM
I love Allen West, but he is not of the depth to go further than Congressman.
Herman Cain had a moment in the sun, but has done little WORK since then and appears to have been a johhny-one-note
Ben Carson has our attention, but has ZERO political experience, and essentially no executive experience, and is a cipher on foreign affairs.
Clarence Thomas is a Justice, not a political figure.
Condaleeza Rice was not a Secretary of State of note.  Other than that she is pure academic; she lacks political experience, executive experience, etc.
Of course I agree that all have been treated quite unfairly, but IMHO we need to keep looking.

I agree with the shortcomings presented but predict Ben Carson will be a contender if he runs.  He can make a valuable contribution to the debates.  

I prefer someone who served at least two terms as governor, a solid congressional record and an extensive foreign policy background.  And speaks English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian.  )   Mostly the job entails communication and decision making and I hope we pick the very best.

My first choice is still Marco Rubio.  Given Carson's limited political and foreign policy experience, he may be better suited to start as VP on the ticket, serving ambassador and spokesman for freedom seeking policies and breaking ties in the Senate.

"we need to keep looking"   - If the list provided offers no hope, we may be looking at a very narrow list.  The candidates with solid Governor-level executive experience mostly have no foreign policy experience.  The ones with foreign policy experience have mostly never run anything like state or nation.  Yet we will pick one candidate, and that one person will be the last person left to stand up to the Democrats and Candy Crowleys of the final stretch, and to stand up to congress, the federal bureacracy, the tax code, welfare system, Chi-comms, Putins, terror networks and other challenges of leading and governing the USA.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer: A shocking demonstration of his strategic shallowness on: January 21, 2014, 09:17:23 AM
The pains that the administration has gone to differentiate between core al Qaeda and all of these splinter groups:

It's not only an excuse, a way to explain his way out of why he has failed on all these issues; it's also a demonstration, a shocking demonstration of his strategic shallowness. You know, it's the example of, you know, it's not the Lakers. The whole strategy of al Qaeda as explained by al-Zawahiri and Obama bin laden was to establish regional and local insurgencies to attack the Arab states who they saw as acting in the interest of the infidels, starting with Saudi Arabia. The whole idea was local insurgencies with a global perspective. I think Obama still to this day after half a decade doesn't understand at all who we are and who he is up against in the war on terror.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/01/20/krauthammer_obamas_al_qaeda_comments_a_shocking_demonstration_of_his_strategic_shallowness.html
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Michael Barone: Millennials Unhappy With Obama's War on the Young on: January 21, 2014, 09:12:20 AM
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/01/21/millennials_unhappy_with_obamas_war_on_the_young___121297.html

What do young Americans want? Something different from what they've been getting from the president they voted for by such large margins.  Evidence comes in from various polls. Voters under 30, the millennial generation, produced numbers for Barack Obama 13 percentage points above the national average in 2008 and 9 points above in 2012.

But in recent polls, Obama approval among those under 30 has been higher than the national average by only 1 percentage point (Quinnipiac), 2 points (ABC/Washington Post) and 3 points (YouGov/Economist).  Those differences are statistically significant. And that's politically significant, since a higher percentage of millennials than of the general population are Hispanic or black.

The reasons for Millennials' decreased approval of Obama become clear from a Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 18- to 29-year-olds conducted in November.  That poll shows Obama's job approval dipping to 41 percent, down from 52 percent in April 2013 and the lowest rating in any HIOP survey.

One reason for the decline is Obamacare. Only 38 percent approved of Obamacare (39 percent approved of "the Affordable Care Act"). Only 29 percent of those who were uninsured said they would definitely or probably enroll in the health insurance exchanges.  Those results were registered five to nine weeks after the Oct. 1 healthcare.gov rollout. Tech-savvy millennials must have been astonished that government produced a website that didn't work.  They also perceived, accurately, that Obamacare health insurance would cost them a lot. The law passed by Democrats elected in large part with millennial votes was designed to have people under 30 subsidize the insurance premiums of those older, less healthy people over 50.

The old tend to have significant net worth, and the young -- with credit card and student loan debt -- tend to owe more than they own. Evidently, the Obama Democrats think it's progressive for the young to subsidize the working-age old.  That, after all, is the essence of Social Security, whose benefits some left-wing Democrats want to increase.

But millennials, whose penchant for volunteering is admirably high, are not being simply selfish. The Harvard survey also finds that they tend to believe, by a 44- to 17-percent margin, that the quality of their health care will get worse under Obamacare.  That's speculation, of course. But it suggests a healthy skepticism about the ability of a government, a government that lied about whether you could keep your insurance and your doctor, and couldn't construct a workable website, to produce a system that will improve service delivery.

That skepticism may owe something to young Americans' experience with student loans. Some 57 percent of the Harvard study millennials say that student loan debt is a major problem for young people. The responses don't vary much by political party identification.

Once again, the millennials have a point. The Obama administration did not initiate government student loans, but it continues to speak of them approvingly.  Yet it's obvious that the vast sums government-subsidized student loans have pumped into higher education over the last three decades have been largely captured by colleges and universities and transformed into administrative bloat.

Economics blogger Timothy Taylor notes that if you count prices in 1982-84 as 100, the average cost of all items in the consumer price index increased to 231 in September 2012. Energy, housing and transportation all increased about that much.

But college and tuition fees increased to 706 -- seven times the level when the government started pumping money into higher ed. Medical care increased to more than 400.

Some things that young people buy increased much less -- apparel (127), toys (53) and televisions (5, thanks to quality improvement).

But suddenly, in their early adult years, millennials find themselves socked with the inflated costs of higher education and, thanks to Obamacare, those of older people's health care.

In the meantime, in the Obama new normal economy, they aren't finding jobs -- and may be giving up on looking for them.  Labor force participation among those 55 and over has held steady since 2009. But labor force participation among those younger has been declining, as have earnings of college graduates.  The combination of higher education and health care costs and the new normal economy amount to what analyst Walter Russell Mead calls "the war on the young."

No wonder they're unhappy with the president who promised hope and change. Maybe they're in the market for an alternative.
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Marco Rubio on: January 21, 2014, 09:06:50 AM
Keeping up with the Senator who won swing state Florida by more than a million votes.  Like Abraham Lincoln (and Barack Obama), he has no executive experience.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs subcommittee, shakes hand with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before their talks in Tokyo, Jan. 21, 2014 (today).  http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/01/21/rubio-offers-abe-reprieve-from-u-s-diplomacy-woes/

http://topics.wsj.com/person/R/Marco-Rubio/6882

Sen. Rubio Proposes Consolidating Poverty Funding
January 8, 2014
Sen. Marco Rubio, considered a leading GOP presidential candidate in 2016, called for the federal government to consolidate all of its antipoverty funding into one agency, which would then direct money to states so that its use can be tailored for local needs.

Rubio PAC Jumps In Big to Aid Tom Cotton in Arkansas
December 4, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio plans to come to the aid of a House Republican colleague this week with an oversized TV ad buy in Arkansas supporting the Senate campaign of Rep. Tom Cotton.

Rubio Says He'll Oppose Yellen to Head the Fed
November 21, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said he will oppose Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to lead the Federal
The Florida Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate criticized the economic effects of the Fed’s recent stimulus efforts, which have been supported by Ms. Yellen, currently the vice chairwoman of its Board of Governors.
“Altogether, she has championed policies that have diminished people’s purchasing power by weakening the dollar, made long-term savings less attractive by diminishing returns on this important behavior, and put the U.S. economy at increased risk of higher inflation and another future boom-bust,” Mr. Rubio wrote in a statement Thursday. “I don’t have the confidence that she is the best choice to lead this independent institution in the years to come.”

Marco Rubio: No Bailouts for ObamaCare
November 18, 2013
The health-care law's 'risk corridors' could result in a huge taxpayer burden.
Rubio: "It is a damning indictment of ObamaCare's viability when the president's only response to people losing their health insurance plans entails putting them on the hook for bailing out insurance companies. The American people are already being directly hurt by ObamaCare's early failures, and it is unconscionable that they be expected to bail out companies when more failures emerge."
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward: What Scott Walker Learned Surviving the Recall on: January 21, 2014, 08:52:07 AM
This could go under 2016 Presidential but most certainly (IMO) goes under 'the way forward' for whomever wants to take the lessons learned reforming swing state Wisconsin on to national reform.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/what-scott-walker-learned-from-surviving-his-recall-election/article/2542540

During the uproar over his reforms to Wisconsin's labor laws, Republican Gov. Scott Walker got used to shrugging off bad polls. He was jarred out of his complacency one day though when a woman asked him, “Scott, why are you doing this?”

That was because the woman was his wife, Tonette. He had assumed she understood what he was doing, only to learn that she was skeptical, too.

“If my own wife didn’t see why we needed to change collective bargaining, how could I expect the voters of Wisconsin to see it?” he recalled. He then redoubled his efforts to explain his reforms.

The anecdote comes from Walker's recently-published account of his epic 2011 legislative showdown and subsequent recall election, Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge. It isn't the definitive account -- that would be last year's More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker: Unions, and the Fight for Wisconsin, by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters Jason Stein and Patrick Marley -- but it is a candid, inside look at Walker's trials.

He draws a lot of lessons from the experience, and not always ones other conservatives will automatically agree with. He is simultaneously a bold, swing-for-the-fences guy and a pragmatic leader mindful that he governs a swing state.

Walker makes clear that he believes public-sector unionism is incompatible with good, effective government. He argues it is inherently corrupt because the unions' political clout makes elected officials indebted to them.

His initial plan was to simply end it in the Badger State altogether. But Republican statehouse leaders nixed this, cautioning that many would see it as an attack on the workers themselves.

Instead, their compromise allowed collective bargaining, but ended automatic dues deduction from workers’ paychecks, required annual union recertification votes and limited bargaining mainly to wages.

“The changes actually improved our bill because they put the unions’ fate in the hands of their own members,” Walker wrote. Many union members apparently appreciated this. Walker won 25 percent of their vote in the 2012 recall.

He warns that “austerity is not the answer.” Simply cutting government is not enough and will actually drive people away in hard times. Walker consistently made the case that his reforms would free up money to prevent government worker layoffs or drastic cuts in services. For example, they enabled Wisconsin schools to competitively bid for health insurance rather than using a union-affiliated company, saving millions.

Picking your battles wisely is another theme. Walker’s reforms were audacious but doable. Republicans had majorities in both statehouse chambers at the time. Even after 14 Democrats fled the state to deprive the GOP of a quorum, all that was needed was a little tweaking to push the bill through.

Turning the other cheek is also advocated. The governor was subjected to a torrent of abuse in 2011-12, but never responded in kind. This enabled him to claim the moral high ground. When he won the recall, he was tempted to use the protester’s chant, “This is what democracy looks like,” in his victory speech — but didn’t. He didn’t want to rub their noses in it.

And finally, Walker was, by his own admission, simply lucky. The state only allowed recall elections after the targeted official had been in office for a year, which gave him time to argue his reforms were working. He would have lost otherwise, he writes. A bitter split between the Democrats and the unions over who would challenge him also helped.

Conservative principles don’t automatically equate to electoral success. To win, he argues, Republicans must present themselves as forward-thinking reformers addressing real problems — and beholden only to the people: “When you set the pace of reform, voters will see you as someone who is constantly trying to make things better. And your opponents will be forced to respond to your agenda rather than setting one for you.”
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thomas Sowell: Fact Free Liberals on: January 21, 2014, 08:47:22 AM
Thomas Sowell, pointing out truths with clarity:

Fact-Free Liberals

By Thomas Sowell - January 21, 2014

Someone summarized Barack Obama in three words -- "educated," "smart" and "ignorant." Unfortunately, those same three words would describe all too many of the people who come out of our most prestigious colleges and universities today.

President Obama seems completely unaware of how many of the policies he is trying to impose have been tried before, in many times and places around the world, and have failed time and again. Economic equality?

That was tried in the 19th century, in communities set up by Robert Owen, the man who coined the term "socialism." Those communities all collapsed.

It was tried even earlier, in 18th century Georgia, when that was a British colony. People in Georgia ended up fleeing to other colonies, as many other people would vote with their feet in the 20th century, by fleeing many other societies around the world that were established in the name of economic equality.

But who reads history these days? Moreover, those parts of history that would undermine the vision of the left -- which prevails in our education system from elementary school to postgraduate study -- are not likely to get much attention.

The net results are bright people, with impressive degrees, who have been told for years how brilliant they are, but who are often ignorant of facts that might cause them to question what they have been indoctrinated with in schools and colleges.

Recently Kirsten Powers repeated on Fox News Channel the discredited claim that women are paid only about three-quarters of what a man is paid for doing the same work.

But there have been empirical studies, going back for decades, showing that there is no such gap when the women and men are in the same occupation, with the same skills, experience, education, hours of work and continuous years of full-time work.

Income differences between the sexes reflect the fact that women and men differ in all these things -- and more. Young male doctors earn much more than young female doctors. But young male doctors work over 500 hours a year more than young female doctors.

Then there is the current hysteria which claims that people in the famous "top one percent" have incomes that are rising sharply and absorbing a wholly disproportionate share of all the income in the country.

But check out a Treasury Department study titled "Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005." It uses income tax data, showing that people who were in the top one percent in 1996 had their incomes fall -- repeat, fall -- by 26 percent by 2005.

What about the other studies that seem to say the opposite? Those are studies of income brackets, not studies of the flesh-and-blood human beings who are moving from one bracket to another over time. More than half the people who were in the top one percent in 1996 were no longer there in 2005.

This is hardly surprising when you consider that their incomes were going down while there was widespread hysteria over the belief that their incomes were going up.

Empirical studies that follow income brackets over time repeatedly reach opposite conclusions from studies that follow individuals. But people in the media, in politics and even in academia, cite statistics about income brackets as if they are discussing what happens to actual human beings over time.

All too often when liberals cite statistics, they forget the statisticians' warning that correlation is not causation.

For example the New York Times crusaded for government-provided prenatal care, citing the fact that black mothers had prenatal care less often than white mothers -- and that there were higher rates of infant mortality among blacks.

But was correlation causation? American women of Chinese, Japanese and Filipino ancestry also had less prenatal care than whites -- and lower rates of infant mortality than either blacks or whites.

When statistics showed that black applicants for conventional mortgage loans were turned down at twice the rate for white applicants, the media went ballistic crying racial discrimination. But whites were turned down almost twice as often as Asian Americans -- and no one thinks that is racial discrimination.

Facts are not liberals' strong suit. Rhetoric is.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Divided Democrats on: January 21, 2014, 08:41:16 AM
Divided Democrats Put Obama in a State of the Union Squeeze
Liberals want the president to tackle income inequality; moderates want him to focus on economic growth.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/state-of-the-union-2014/divided-democrats-put-obama-in-a-state-of-the-union-squeeze-20140120
----------------------------

Of course pursuing policies that 'tackle income inequality' is the exact opposite of pursuing policies that focus on positive economic growth.

And 'moderate Dem' is a term not seen since the rising of Pelosi-Reid-Obama.  Moderates who "want him [Obama] to focus on economic growth" sound like former Dems and likely 2014/2016 Republican voters.

News Flash:  The Democratic party is not the party of economic growth and opportunity.
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left - Krugman, The Undeserving Rich on: January 20, 2014, 05:27:38 PM
How much does Paul Krugman make, and what does he contribute, seriously.

I made the mistake of clicking on his column today.  Don't do that.  Let's have government decide how hard people work and how much they make.  Don't trust free people making free choices.

If David Ortiz and his batboy come to the ballpark at the same time, leave at the same time, why not the same pay? 

Link: NYTimes/unsubscribe

239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics, No minimum wage = half the unemployment rate on: January 20, 2014, 04:58:41 PM
No half measures. 100 dollar an hour minimum wage!

Why screw up only the most crucial markets like labor, healthcare, food, energy, transportation.  Let's have a really high federal minimum price on everything - and see if that makes us richer!
-------------------

http://www.nber.org/papers/w18681  Neumark (University of California at Irvine), Wascher (Federal Reserve Board)
We conclude that the evidence still shows that minimum wages pose a tradeoff of higher wages for some against job losses for others, and that policymakers need to bear this tradeoff in mind when making decisions about increasing the minimum wage.
-------------------

Regarding the minimum wage, here is some data for Western Europe:

There are nine countries (in Western Europe) with a minimum wage (Belgium, Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Luxembourg).  Their unemployment rates range from 5.9% in Luxembourg to 27.6% in Greece. 
The median country is France with 11.1% unemployment.

There are nine countries with no minimum wage (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland.)  Five of the nine have a lower unemployment rate than Luxembourg, the best of the other group. 
The median country is Iceland, with a 5.5% unemployment rate.

Still want to raise our minimum wage to $10?  The biggest country in Europe is Germany.  No minimum wage and 5.2% unemployment.  Germany used to have really high unemployment.  Then they did labor reforms to allow more low wage jobs, combined with subsidies for low wage workers.  Now they don’t have high unemployment.

Still want to raise our minimum wage to $10?

http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=24759&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Themoneyillusion+%28TheMoneyIllusion%29
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Screwing up markets to help 11%(cont.): 11% of minimum wage workers are poor on: January 20, 2014, 10:15:31 AM
"Only 11.3 percent of workers who would gain from the increase live in households officially defined as poor."

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/01/minimum_wage_no.html

Economists Joseph J. Sabia (San Diego State) and Richard V. Burkhauser (Cornell) examined the effects of state minimum wage increases between 2003 and 2007 and reported that they found no evidence the increases lowered state poverty rates.

Further, they calculated the effects of a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage to $9.50 on workers then earning $5.70 (or 15 cents less than the minimum in March 2008) to $9.49. They found that if the federal minimum wage were increased to $9.50 per hour:

. Only 11.3 percent of workers who would gain from the increase live in households officially defined as poor.
. A whopping 63.2 percent of workers who would gain were second or even third earners living in households with incomes equal to twice the poverty line or more.
. Some 42.3 percent of workers who would gain were second or even third earners who live in households that have incomes equal to three times the poverty line or more.
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Only 11 percent who purchased coverage under ObamaCare were previously uninsured on: January 19, 2014, 11:56:55 PM
A survey by management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that only 11 percent of consumers who purchased new coverage under ObamaCare were previously uninsured. The survey was based on a sampling of 4,563 consumers between November and January, according to The Wall Street Journal.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/18/most-obamacare-enrollees-already-have-health-plans-report-says/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/01/18/coverage-expansion-fail-less-than-one-third-of-obamacare-exchange-enrollees-were-previously-uninsured/
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Will snope be reviewing THIS false claim? on: January 16, 2014, 05:37:08 PM
President Obama has asserted this repeatedly:

“The climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago.”

Today Senator Jeff Sessions asked EPA Director Gina McCarthy a simple question:

Is the claim that President Obama has made repeatedly, that the Earth has warmed more than predicted by the models over the last ten years, true?  Amazingly, she refuses to answer:



http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/01/is-obama-a-liar-epa-administrator-cant-say.php

243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: His Glibness received student financial aid as a foreigner FALSE says Snopes on: January 16, 2014, 05:11:00 PM
It is good to have false claims debunked.  Still there are quite a few other questions about his education that weren't asked or answered. 

The birth certificate question was always a non-starter.  His mom was a US citizen from Kansas.  Couldn't she give birth anywhere in the world and her viable fetus becomes a citizen?  It was the way they dodged the question that led people to think something else was there.
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, MSNBC Brian Schweitzer (continued) on: January 15, 2014, 11:44:55 PM
Maybe he is only flavor of the week, but the sudden media obsession is interesting.  This piece, aimed at liberals, mostly sets a tone of ripping him for not only being the anti-Hillary, he is the anti-Obama.

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/dem-thinks-he-can-win-the-anti-obama
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science - Coal on: January 15, 2014, 10:40:19 AM
While we were all fighting against fossil fuel pipeline, fracking, refusing to build refineries, making faux-investments in solar and wind and closing down nuclear plants in the name of safety around the world, guess what happened...

Coal was the fastest growing energy source in the world in 2013.

Does someone want to tell me that is cleaner or safer than nuclear, gasoline or natural gas?  Good luck.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/07/china-coal-idUSL3N0K90H720140107



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303332904579228160256043626

Germany closes nuclear, opens coal:

246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: January 15, 2014, 10:29:39 AM
About the author who hails from the political left; Mondale, Gore, Clinton.
The left loves to opine, "what about the poor".   I also ask what about the middle class?   70% live from paycheck to paycheck.  That is more than just the poor.
And what about the remarkable advantages the wealthy have that are not available to others? 
Some on the right speak we should not even focus on class.   America is not about classes.  We are not to be divided into such groups. 
I like Galston's attempt at trying to find some common ground.  But he still seems bent on what can the State do about it?   For example.  Today we know that a fair chance to succeed includes reaching Kindergarten with the ability to read.  Is this true?  ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Galston

Galston: Where Right and Left Agree on Inequality

I should be happy with half agreement but what he says about poverty is bunk.  We don't have widespread real poverty in America.  We don't have real have-nots.  What we have are earn-nots.  Generations of people in many areas grow up in an environment where no one had to go out and earn everything that they have, no matter how much, no matter how little.  The nature of the dependency society is that we cannot end it.  I know we need a true safety net for people in real need.  But we can't even talk about the damage these programs do to millions and millions of recipients.  Look at debate over the extension of unemployment benefits to eternity in the new-normal, non-emergency economy.   An entrepreneur response is what a trained, skilled, resilient worker who has a family to feed does when he or she can't find someone else to hire them for a conventional job.  When we pay you not to do that, you will not do that, for the most part.  But politically, today, we can't even discuss it much less fix it.
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ted Cruz' will gain a new friend: Meet US Senate candidate Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska on: January 14, 2014, 12:05:42 PM
He looks interesting, but he is running as a Washington outsider. Is this true, given these:
Chief of staff at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy
Assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services
During the final two years of the Bush administration, Sasse dealt with health policy every day

Close enough to see and know the mess.  Not close enough to have caused it.
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Obama's Impeachable Offenses Re: Benghazi... on: January 14, 2014, 11:23:35 AM
Not that I favor impeachment but funny that we take it off the table for political reasons before we know the offenses.  Yet Dems bring it up on a lane closure.
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: VDH: (In)Equality on: January 14, 2014, 11:18:58 AM

Great post!

Hanson:  "The problem with destroying liberty in service to mandated sameness is obvious, driven by Hesiod’s  second, destructive envy: It has never worked, because it is contrary to human nature — both man’s acquisitive habits and the fact that we are not all born into the world equal in every respect. Instead, forced equality erodes personal initiative, undermines the rule of law, ruins the honesty of language, and requires a degree of coercion antithetical to a free society."


If people don't choked up on emotion when they hear about liberty and freedom, then look at the efficiency side of it, getting everyone to do and be their best.  Inequality is the step-ladder.  If all incomes are the same, then they are low and there is no step up.  Wouldn't everyone like to think that a year from now they will be more skilled, more experienced and more valuable as a worker, wage earner or business owner than they are right now - and get paid more for it.   You in your prime and at your peak is the upside of you at the beginning with no experience or skills.  Do we really want no upside or to keep placing more limits on it?  The question should be how to get all people to realize their potential, not how to diminish those who did.


Hanson:  "The irony is that free people usually create far more wealth than the coerced, which makes the lower echelons better off, a fact that reminds “equality” is usually about empowering progressive elites rather than materially helping the poor."

Wasn't that exact point made recently here by our own G M ?!  )

250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Slate: 'The Democrat most likely to challenge Hillary', Brian Schweitzer on: January 14, 2014, 10:39:12 AM
It won't be Hillary so we might as well start looking at the other Dems.  I suggested Hickenlooper (Colo) but he will first be bogged down in a reelection contest.  Enter two term Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer, he turned down the chance to run for an open Senate seat and headed to Iowa.  Move this guy up on the Hillary enemy list.

Two interviews, first a video on Iowa public tv: http://www.iptv.org/iowapress/episode.cfm/4116/video

Second is slate: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/01/brian_schweitzer_interview_the_former_montana_governor_is_the_most_likely.html

I just don’t think his administration [Pres. Obama] has been very good at doing things, about organizing things. It’s not just about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. As governor I had four years to work with the Bush administration and four years to work with the Obama administration, and they’re just not good at getting things done.

Q: And how did Bill Clinton rank? Do you have any worries about the economic team than ran the place at the end of the ’90s, for example—about them coming back?

Clinton had a very good run. It was eight years of peace and prosperity. But do you recall what the music was, blaring, after they were elected?  Fleetwood Mac, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.” So what do we play next time? The Beatles, “Yesterday”? In England, a baby’s born and they know he’ll grow up to be king someday. We’re not England. We’re America.
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