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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Breaking news! Law of Supply & Demand still in effect! on: June 26, 2017, 02:39:32 PM

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research

And once again, "unexpectedly".
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, Hansen, Sea Level Rise more than (his own) IPCC predicted on: June 26, 2017, 12:24:54 PM

Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms:
evidence from paleoclimate data, climate
modeling, and modern observations that
2◦C global warming is highly dangerous

Polling question to 'scientists' needs to include the word "catastrophic" or word "highly dangerous":
Are you certain or nearly certain the earth as we know it and life on earth will be destroyed by human activity by the year 2100?  98% if honest scientists would say know.

I don't have the phony credentials, but it seems to me that if you add a massive amount of ice to the waters of the earth, it would cool the atmosphere, slowing or stopping the ice melt BEFORE it flooded the earth.

Notice that the temperature rise is an inserted assumption, not a scientific conclusion.  The rest is extrapolation without figuring in negative feedback factors that have governed the cycles throughout the history of the planet.  More CO2 for example leads to more photosynthesis converting CO2 back to oxygen. No figuring for clouds, wind, sun cycles or even the fact that we will out-grow fossil fuels during the first half of this century without the 'help' of government.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trump's accomplisments and promises kept on: June 26, 2017, 11:18:57 AM
9. Travel Ban.

A bit early to call this one an accomplishment , , ,
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dossier / DNC Scandal? FBI Too? on: June 26, 2017, 11:16:54 AM
The latest twist seems to be alleged collusion between the Democratic Party and the phony Dossier:

The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.
Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.

the FBI has failed to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking documents.

What is shocking is the FBI’s apparent involvement in the effort to smear Trump with false rumors:

The FBI received a copy of the Democrat-funded dossier in August, during the heat of the campaign, and is said to have contracted in October to pay Steele $50,000 to help corroborate the dirt on Trump — a relationship that “raises substantial questions about the independence” of the bureau in investigating Trump, warned Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

It raises more questions than that. Why was the FBI meddling in a U.S. presidential election? Partisan interference in the election by public agencies like the FBI and major news sources like NBC are far more worrisome than anything Russians allegedly might do from afar.

205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Medicaid-California: ER Visits up 75% under Obamacare on: June 26, 2017, 10:38:33 AM
About as good as the rest of the promises, you can keep your doctor, your plan, costs will go down $2500 per family, insured 24 million fewer than CBO predicted, "won't add one dime to the deficit", will not raise taxes on the middle class. etc.

'Can we all say it together - Unexpectedly!'

ER visits by Medi-Cal patients up 75% under ACA, data says
Written by Alia Paavola | June 12, 2017

Despite predictions that the ACA would ease the strain on emergency rooms, the number of ER visits by Medi-Cal patients rose 75 percent over five years, according to data released by California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

ACA advocates argued ER visits would decrease once people received health coverage since they could afford to see primary care physicians instead. However, ER visits by California's Medicaid population jumped from 800,000 in the first quarter of 2012 to 1.4 million in the final quarter of 2016, according to the data.
Also see:
"you're going to be able to choose your doctor and not have to go through some network in an emergency situation as a consequence of these rules."
"What happens is, you don't have health insurance, you go to the emergency room. You weren't getting a checkup; something that might have been curable with some antibiotics isn't caught. By the time you get to the hospital, it's much more expensive. The hospital cares for you because doctors and nurses, they don't want to just turn somebody away. But they've got to figure out how do they keep their doors open if they're treating all these people coming into the emergency room."
"that's not fair, because all the rest of us are going to be paying for those folks when they go to the emergency room"
   - President Barack Obama, September 22, 2010
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: % of Muslimists in Philippines on: June 26, 2017, 09:59:53 AM
I always thought of Philippines as a Christian nation .
92% Christianity
5.57% Islam
2.43% others

In a region where others are majority Muslim:

Indonesia also has a larger Muslim population than any other country in the world, with approximately 202.9 million identifying themselves as Muslim (87.2% of Indonesia's total population in 2011).

Malaysia: 61.3 percent of the population practices Islam.

Islam is Brunei's official religion, 67 percent of the population is Muslim.
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: M. Mukasey: Trump, Mueller, and Athur Anderson on: June 26, 2017, 09:48:43 AM
Arthur Anderson is the case law name of the governing rule:

” In Arthur Andersen LLP v. U.S. (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the following definition: that the act be done “knowingly and dishonestly, with the specific intent to subvert or undermine the integrity” of a proceeding."

Saying "I hope" someone gets a good outcome might fall a bit short of “knowingly and dishonestly with the specific intent to subvert or undermine" to most reasonable people.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 40 pieces of legislation on: June 25, 2017, 10:58:27 PM
President Trump Has Now Signed 40 Pieces Of Legislation As He Moves To Enact His Agenda
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen Chuck Schumer D-NY, Called out for Outrageous Lie on: June 25, 2017, 07:12:39 PM
March 21 2017  Wzshington Post, by Mark Berman
Schumer: ‘Unseemly’ to confirm Gorsuch amid FBI probe of Trump campaign

“I’d like to point out that it is the height of irony that Republicans held this Supreme Court seat open for nearly a calendar year while President Obama was in office, but are now rushing to fill the seat for a president whose campaign is under investigation by the FBI,” Schumer said, according to remarks sent out by his office.

Schumer said that, to him, it appeared “unseemly to be moving forward so fast on confirming a Supreme Court Justice with a lifetime appointment” due to the looming FBI investigation, which could potentially last for months or years.

“You can bet that if the shoe was on the other foot – and a Democratic president was under investigation by the FBI – that Republicans would be howling at the moon about filling a Supreme Court seat in such circumstances,” Schumer said. “After all, they stopped a president who wasn’t under investigation from filling a seat with nearly a year left in his presidency.”

That wasn't just false, Schumer knew it was false.  Trump was not under investigation.  Schumer was part of the gang of 8 that was briefed by James Comey.  Everyone knew Trump was not under investigation EXCEPT the American public, because no one was allowed to tell them.

His good friend Sen Grassley is now calling him out on it.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: June 25, 2017, 03:20:54 PM
The amount of sources and methods exposed by this article is extraordinary  angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry

Some people agreeing with you:

The story comes complete with this revelation: “Obama also approved a previously undisclosed covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow. The project, which Obama approved in a covert-action finding, was still in its planning stages when Obama left office. It would be up to President Trump to decide whether to use the capability.”
I’m sure Putin is grateful for the heads-up from the Post.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: President Trump and the families of those killed by illegal aliens on: June 25, 2017, 01:44:36 PM
"To Mr. Trump’s critics, the office and the people it was supposed to represent were little more than pawns in his crude attempts to make monsters out of a largely law-abiding population"

What lying c*cksuckers. If you are an illegal alien, that is a violation of the law. If you are working without legal docs, that is a violation of the law. If you are using someone else's SSN, that is a violation of the law.

They were formerly known as otherwise law abiding citizens, who as you point are not law abiding nor are they citizens.  Then when you own the language and nearly all it's outlets in education and media, it is tempting to drop the otherwise designation which weakens or defeats your point and just call them law abiding or "largely"? law abiding.  Never mind what percent come as violent gang members and what additional percentage conspired and contracted with violent gangs to enter and settle here.

"Hmmm , , , wonder why he won the election  , , ,"

Great point.  We argue against creeping and blatant leftism in all its deceptions and defects every day on these pages and in our own circles and no one seems to listen or care.  Then out of the blue, without any articulate argument or true leader, people suddenly start to get it - because of what they see and what they know.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Measuring Productivity, Walter Russel Mead on: June 25, 2017, 07:26:13 AM
With the collapsing cost of oil and information we need a new way of measuring productivity.

It’s possible that the productivity increases are appearing as lower prices rather than as higher incomes. If the price of oil falls from $100 per barrel to $50 per barrel due to increasingly cheap and efficient methods of production, then everybody in the industry is more productive in terms of barrels of oil per hour of work, but since the oil price has gone down, that productivity increase won’t be captured by statistical methods that calculate productivity in terms of money.
The African villager with a solar powered smartphone has more access to more information than Louis XIV in the halls of Versailles.

213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media and polling on: June 24, 2017, 08:28:53 PM
ccp:  "Interesting.  unexpected increased Repub turnout was reason the polls were off by ~ 6%?"

Another unfortunate fact is that polling is generally done by media.  Their mission is to influence the outcome more than to report on the process and they are only judged professionally by their final poll - which was much tighter.

They have burned their own bridge and people generally now know they are worthless, biased and wrong.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Constitutional Law, Anthony Kennedy, will be stay or will he go now on: June 24, 2017, 05:15:08 PM
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races, turnout favors Republicans? on: June 24, 2017, 05:10:41 PM
An interesting development of the Trump era:

"The old maxim that increased turnout helps Democrats may not hold. It didn't in Georgia's 6th District."
  - Michael Barone
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: June 23, 2017, 06:30:13 PM
"most they have is the wikileaks dump that wikileaks says was not from the Russians and that contains documents that were under subpoena that we should have seen anyway"

I should have added to that, they have other information that they agreed with the US Government not to disclose.  Whatever the hell that means.  Once again, it comes down to journ-o-listic trust, of which there is none.  Either the hidden info is significant or it isn't.  We have no way of knowing.
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WaPo: Obama, Putin, 2016 election on: June 23, 2017, 03:28:09 PM

I can't tell if this is a soap opera or a tragedy they are covering.  It sounds like a parody of an American administration. 

They still don't have one voting machine hacked or one vote changed.  The most they have is the wikileaks dump that wikileaks says was not from the Russians and that contains documents that were under subpoena that we should have seen anyway.  The leakers we know of so far were hired by Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the DNC.  And also the FBI, the CIA, the NYT and the Washington Post.  The CIA has the ability to put Russian or any other fingerprints on cyber breaches.  The CIA under Brennan a partisan hack was too responsible and professional to do that?  ANd again, so what if it came from Russia.  (Prosecute them.)  It was information the voters deserved to know anyway.

The story that Putin feared and hated Clinton more than Trump is not credible to me.  One personal story about how she pissed him off versus all the past and future appeasement. Trump is the unknown, a greater rick to both ally and enemy IMO.  Putin is not capable of putting out disinformation like that he preferred HRC?  DNC was hacked.  Whose fault?  Sec State was hacked?  WHOSE FAULT?  RNC security held up to attacks, to whose credit?  Head of the RNC is now White House Chief of Staff.  All of this is to his credit, while they try to put a cloud on it.

Flynn could have been blackmailed (NYT story).  What about Hillary?  They had 22,000 emails about her that were not wedding planning or funeral.  They had her campaign chairman's account, with all the political cheating.  They would not want to blackmail Hillary as President?  Just give it up when she was winning anyway?  For what end?  I don't buy it.  Having these released during the campaign would have been liberating to her Presidency.  As the Clintons always say after months, yearts of stonewalling, "that old story?"

I hate to put the analysis of a radio show above that of professional journalists, but Rush L. correctly points out that the blame-Russia narrative was hatched by the Hillary campaign 24 hours after the election.  Notice that before the election we had all this running around and calling meetings to no end.

Nothing ties Trump to any of this - after a year of investigating.  Just a great big story about how scary and stressful it was to be in an administration trying to decide what kind of nothing response they should have about nothing.  MHO.   )
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More on Flynn on: June 22, 2017, 07:33:25 PM
Taking money from the Turks unannounced while advising President Elect Trump on the Turks is a serious breach of integrity IMHO.

Agree with you on that (after reading up).  But Flynn is gone.  This attack is on Trump.  

PolitiFact has a Flynn timeline:

It is very hard to find real coverage on the Flynn story.  A lot was based on a Politico story, but like the rest of this shameful period in 'professional journalism', much is based on unnamed sources, biased sources and innuendo.  Much of the other unnamed source material has proven to be wrong, see Tom Cotton's quote of Comey's testimony on the NYT.

Flynn changed his story after finding out the Obama administration was 'wiretapping' and eavesdropping on the Trump transition team.  There was a slight delay as facts came to light and then he (was forced to) resign.

Discussing sanctions is what a transition team or administration does with Russian ambassadors when sanctions are the policy and the issue between the countries.  Why he denied it, I do not know.  Media appearances I might guess, making Trump look soft on Russia, after Obama was soft on Putin for 8 years - and gave away part of Europe to him.  

The Politico story the rest of the media focused on goes past Flynn to say his Turkish contacts had prior ties to Russia.  So does everyone in that realm.

Obama warned Trump about Flynn.  And Obama warned America about Trump.  Obama made the Iran deal, Paris accord, Iraq surrender, lied about Benghazi etc.  Obama is not a trusted source on (anything) foreign policy.  Yates and Brennan are partisan hacks.  Sorry to say that about folks formerly in high places but it's a pretty obvious fact.  Even the intel sources saying they know what was discussed aren't to be trusted given the politization and weaponization of our intel agencies.  If a truth came through them, HOW WOULD WE KNOW?  

It is when Flynn changed his story that things changed with Pres. Trump.  He erred in trusting a person he trusted.  Upon discovery, Trump took swift and decisive action, in my judgement.

Tom Cotton is saying the delay of including Flynn where he perhaps shouldn't have was two days.  Flynn got briefed on national security matters in that time.  BFD.  HRC who took more money than that and kept her security clearance for an extra 4 years?? Two standards, always.  If Flynn sells that info now while under investigation he will go to prison.

Miami Herald story on this and others keep asking the Treason question.  They conclude, probably not.  

I don't know what to think about Turkey, today, under the elected Islamic dictator(?) but they are a NATO ally.  Treason law has to do with siding with our enemies.

The situation in Syria is complicated.  I wish I could find an article (I think it was VDH) where the irony of who is our ally on one front and allied with our enemy on another front goes on and on in the Middle East.  But the idea that we might want to take into account what Erdogan in Turkey thinks before we side with his enemy isn't far out of line.  I would take the Turkish Kurds over the government of Turkey anyday, but I don't have to deal with the aftermath as they do.  In the end, Trump took the Kurds over the NATO ally too.  Not exactly evidence he is in bed with Putin, Turkey or anyone else for the wrong reasons, as they keep trying to infer.

The media (IMHO) is AGAIN off chasing shiny objects and trying to delegitimize an administration that meets all the highest standards of its predecessor.  
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dicey Flynn stuff, Tom Cotton responds to NYT via twitter on: June 22, 2017, 06:48:00 PM

Tom Cotton also not persuaded by NYT story.  His series of tweets:

1. Yet another @nytimes story that is "almost entirely wrong," to quote the former FBI Director about their past reporting... 1/?

2. Implication is D/CIA Pompeo should've excluded Flynn from PDB because Flynn was "compromised." Let's consider that. 2/?

3. Democratic partisan Sally Yates claimed Flynn was "compromised" because he misstated to VP the nature of talks with Russian ambassador. 3/?

4. But this @nytimes story refutes itself, saying Yates told WH of misstatement on Jan. 26, thus eliminating risk of "compromise"! 4/?

5. Plus, Pompeo confirmed by Senate late on Jan. 23, so on own terms this @nytimes story talking AT MOST about two days! 5/?

6. Putting aside Democrat Yates's breathless, overwrought theories of potential "compromise." 6/?

7. Which probably were already undermined anyway by this @IgnatiusPost from Jan. 12:

8. And, by the way, if Democrat Yates so worried about Flynn, did she ever try to rescind his security clearance? Did John Brennan? 8/?

9. should spend more time on accurate, logical reporting than just regurgitating @RonWyden talking points. 9/?

10. Besides @AllMattNYT & @adamgoldmanNYT need time to explain to FBI investigators their revealing of highly classified info. 10/10
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ayaan Hirsa Ali: Speak up Kamal Harris! on: June 22, 2017, 05:21:09 PM

"we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation."

Three female Democrat Senators with nothing to say about it, instead they march against our  system of presuming a person innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt as determined by a jury.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, etc. on: June 22, 2017, 04:58:33 PM
To Jeh Johnson / LA Times:  The reason the Obama administration might be perceived as taking sides in the 2016 election is because they did, all the way up and down the departments.  We are still 'unmasking' ways in which they did that, some legal, some not.

On another matter, I would still like to see an inquiry into the 'data mining' operation of 2012 where nearly every recipient of public subsidy received a personal visit from the reelection committee.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Military Technology: F-35 global gold standard of next-gen air power on: June 21, 2017, 09:27:45 AM

F-35 has emerged as the global gold standard of next-gen air power

223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A proposal to reform the taxation of corporate income, AEI, Vaird, Toder on: June 21, 2017, 09:22:59 AM
A proposal to reform the taxation of corporate income

Alan D. Viard, Eric Toder

"This report updates and revises the authors’ 2014 proposal to replace the corporate income tax with taxation at ordinary income rates of dividends and net accrued capital gains of American shareholders. The new proposal retains a 15 percent corporate income tax, gives taxable shareholders a credit for corporate taxes paid, imposes a 15 percent tax on interest income of non-profits and retirement plans, and addresses stock price volatility and shifts between private and publicly-traded status. The reform encourages domestic investment and sharply reduces incentives for corporate inversions. It is approximately revenue neutral and makes the tax system more progressive."
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, not even on the calendar until September? on: June 21, 2017, 08:50:42 AM
House speaker, Trump aides vow tax reform by end of 2017

"The goal is to get tax legislation to the floor of Congress during the first two weeks of September, Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn told technology industry representatives at the White House."

Good grief.

I wonder if anyone has told them 2018 is an election year where sitting on their asses while Rome burns will be be a topic.  Put off the most important reforms, what could possibly go wrong?
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Soros cynical about Mc Cain most likely on: June 21, 2017, 08:22:56 AM
"McCain funded by Soros?"
I saw this too and am surprised.
From everything we have read about Soros it is not likely it is because Soros thinks of McCain as a hero or great American
It is because he thinks of him as a useful idiot!
Which he often is!   

I can only think that to Soros, the alternative to McCain would be a more tea party like Republican challenger.

Soros money didn't successfully buy the Georgia election.   )
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dicey Flynn stuff on: June 21, 2017, 08:18:43 AM

I'm unpersuaded, can't get over a skepticism of sources.  So much else of what they've written has turned out to be false or misleading.  What I'm hearing is that the previous administration admits eavesdropping on the incoming administration and is trying to take them down one person at a time.

Flynn took fees he didn't disclose.  Probably a fraction of 'fees' that went to the Clinton machine over the decades.  Flynn lost his job.  Yates was a partisan.  What is the conspiracy?  What is the unnamed blackmail material?  Are these different anonymously sources close to the administrations that were wrong the last ten times?  Of course they discuss lifting sanctions; it's the issue of the day to the Russians and how we save face for letting them occupy sovereign countries without consequence.  Why is this a story in June?  NYT is concerned that a CIA director won't tell the press and the world what he tells the President, as CIA Directors never have.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Tesla battery production releases hellacious amounts of CO2 on: June 21, 2017, 07:58:21 AM

Partially challenged by this:

Also see:

'World's quickest car', the Tesla I drove is not any kind of economy car:
All wheel drive cornering and 15-85mph acceleration in about 2 seconds, it's more like a ride at the fair.  Amazing software control of everything from self drive mode to the charging of the battery.  You buy this car because you like that sort of thing.  Don't buy it save energy or to eliminate emissions because it doesn't.  The Nissan Leaf is more comparable to a conventional car. 

The CO2 factor depends on how we power our grid, in manufacturing and for charging.  Powering via electricity is not cleaner when the marginal unit of energy is produced with the same fossil fuels.

Tesla is building all-solar charging stations, and for early, buyers, usage is free.  But real charging happens at home and at work on the mix of the local grid.  In most places, if you add any usage and especially night time usage, the extra energy will come from fossil fuels, coal or natural gas.  Besides expensive and relatively low capacity, solar and wind are not very reliable at night.

We should build nuclear capacity to power the grid if we want a shift of transportation to electric and be carbon free.  Otherwise run the cars directly on natural gas. 

Sourcewatch should do a source watch report on themselves.  What a one-sided, ad hominem attack that was.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Weed killer False Round up cancer scare on: June 20, 2017, 11:52:20 AM
The World Health Organization's cancer agency says a common weedkiller is "probably carcinogenic." The scientist leading that review knew of fresh data showing no cancer link - but he never mentioned it and the agency did not take it into account.
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: JW: NSC buries Susan Rice unmasking materials at Obama Library on: June 20, 2017, 10:54:26 AM
Judicial Watch today announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library. The NSC will ***not*** fulfill a Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.” Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch: 'Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.' Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said: “Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library. We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”

"We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”

Is it a library or a document burial ground?  This is evidence in a criminal investigation.  I would hope the SC already has that - or should be fired for incompetence.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Bernie Sanders on Face the Nation June 18 2017 on: June 19, 2017, 07:09:41 PM
Someone should ANSWER this drivel, point by point...

1) He states flawed projections as facts.  Then he repeats them as facts.

2) He is a science denier.  The science is economics.  People respond to incentives and disincentives. They deny it.  

3)  He is a denier of economic history.  What he states as fact just isn't so.  Not accurate anywhere at anytime across the globe or throughout history.

4)  His policies aren't new; they lead to disaster every time they are tried.  The further you go Sanders / Warrenomics, then worse the disaster.  See VenezChavezuela.

DICKERSON: Joining us now is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He is in Burlington.

Senator Sanders, I want to start with this week's shooting.  In talking to Senator Rubio, he said obviously this was -- the man who did the shooting is responsible for his own actions. But in the wake of that, in this conversation about what leads to the heated political atmosphere, Senator Sanders -- Senator Rubio pointed out, he said that when people try to stop free speech, stop people from talking, it creates pressure in the system that might cause people to act out.  What do you think of that theory?
[Not even a mention that the shooter was a follower of Bernie.]

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I think he is right.

Look, freedom of speech, the right to dissent, the right to protest, that is what America is about. And, politically, every leader in this country, every American has got to stand up against any form of violence. That is unacceptable.

And I certainly hope and pray that Representative Scalise has a full recovery from the tragedy that took place this week.  [Tragedy? Like a natural catastrophe? Or was it a criminal act?]

DICKERSON: There's been a lot of protests on campuses when people come to speak. They have been -- people have protested and said they shouldn't be allowed to speak.
 Where do you come down on that in the context of this pressure on free speech?

SANDERS: I think people have a right to speak. And you have a right, if you are on a college campus not to attend. You have a right to ask hard questions about the speaker if you disagree with him or her.  But what -- why should we be afraid of somebody coming on a campus or anyplace else and speaking? You have a right to protest. But I don't quite understand why anybody thinks it is a good idea to deny somebody else the right to express his or her point of view.
[First two points true and valid, makes you think he is a reasonable guy- even though his angry articulation of false analysis inspired the hate thoughts if not the violence of the assassin who shot up a field full of Sanders' political opponents.]

I think, John, what is very clear is, we are in a contentious and difficult political moment in our country's history. I have very grave concerns about the Trump agenda right now. We will -- we are looking -- we are not looking.

There is a health care proposal in the Senate [NO THERE ISN'T] which nobody has seen yet. But the proposal that passed the House, as you know, would throw 23 million Americans off of health insurance. I mean that, to me, is just incredible.
[Not even an opinion but repetition of a false claim, without giving credit to its source or including the time frame.  He adds "AS YOU KNOW" to a statement that is patently false.  Obamacare is losing enrollees at a faster rate than that without repeal/replace.]

It would raise premiums very significantly for older workers.  [The removal of the requirement for young people to pay for the care of old people is "raising premiums for older workers'.  With that logic you can reform NOTHING.] It would defend (de-fund) Planned Parenthood and deny two-and-a-half million women the right to get the health care that they want, cut Medicaid by over $800 billion.
[Planned Parenthood is a human slaughterhouse with an abortion to adoption ratio of 149 to 1.  Medicaid has never been cut since its inception.  The bill gives people freer choices, not denial of rights.  The man has no shame.]

You know, we -- I and I would say the vast majority of the American people have strong disagreements with that approach. But you don't have to be violent about it. Let's disagree openly and honestly [deceptively and vehemently], but violence is [the result] not acceptable.  [The violence was incited by his own hate speech if you apply logic of the left  to the left.  Class WARFARE is still his operative theme while his political opponent is still in surgery.]

DICKERSON: I want to get to the details of the health care plan in a moment, or the details you don't know at the moment.  But let me just -- staying on this question here, is anything going to change in the wake of this in Washington, at least in the way lawmakers deal with each other? And is there something that should change?

SANDERS: I think, you know, what -- and, again, where this is such a strange moment is, we are looking at a lot of dishonest news that comes across, where people are lying outrageously about other people.  [Like Sanders just did.]

And I hope that folks on all sides could say, look, I disagree with him or her, but that is an outrageous lie. But let us, on the other hand, be frank, is, there are real differences of opinions that exist in Congress.

It is not like -- you know, you mentioned Marco Rubio. I like Marco Rubio. But we disagree on issues. And people should understand, it is not that there is all kinds of hatred. [He spews hatred right in this interview.  What is class warfare without hatred?] There's a -- in the Congress, there is a fundamental disagreement.

President Trump made a -- brought forth a budget which will go nowhere, but this is a budget that over a 10-year period would give $3 trillion in tax breaks [static analysis] to the top 1 percent, the very wealthiest families in America [hate and blame that group!], while making massive cuts in education [false], into health care [false], in nutrition programs[false], really devastate working class of this country[false].  [His policies are what devastate the working "class".  See any place that implemented them.]

I disagree with that. But, obviously, that debate has got to be played out based on the facts, and let's debate it.
[He disagrees with his own false assessment - or did that come out wrong?]

DICKERSON: Let me move here now to health care.

You mentioned some of the policy differences, but there is a procedural debate going on about how this is being handled in the Senate. Some Democrats are suggesting, because the -- because you don't know what is in the bill and the bill is being worked on in secret, to just stop all Senate business, to just shut the place down as a way to kind of force play.

Are you on board with that?  [See if he answers the question...]

SANDERS: John, here is the situation.

We know the legislation that passed the House. It was the worst piece of legislation, frankly, against working-class people that I can remember in my political life in the Congress. Throwing 23 million people off of health insurance is beyond belief.

Now, in the Senate, what you have is you have, I believe it is 10 Republicans working behind closed doors [NO DEMOCRATS AGREED TO WORK ON THIS BILL!] to address one-sixth of the American economy.  That is what health care is.  [Trying to reverse a failed government takeover of 1/6th of the economy as the voters asked them to do.]

Republicans, the average Republican doesn't even know what is in that legislation. My understanding is that it will be brought forth just immediately before we have to vote on it.
[His colleague just assured him it wouldn't be.  Is Sen. Rubio a liar?]
This is completely unacceptable [The way Obamacare was passed, "you have to pass it to see what's in it".] I mean, nobody can defend a process which will impact tens of millions of Americans, and nobody even knows what is in the legislation. [False. There is no Senate proposal at this time.]  And, John, the important point here is the reason they don't want to bring it public is because it is a disastrous bill, I suspect similar to what passed in the House.  [Crafting legislation behind closed doors is far from new, see Hillarycare, Obamacare.  Just raw, political mudslinging. Inciting violence against his colleagues?]

Who is going to defend cutting Medicaid by $800 billion at the same time as you give massive tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent? [Two false points then make a false comparison.] So, they want to keep it secret. [No, they want to bring it out in the open and pass it.]  They don't want the media involved. ["Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines."] They don't want members of Congress involved. And at the last minute, they present it, they push it through, and that is one-sixth of the American economy and millions of people thrown off the health insurance. [False, false, false and false.]

That is unacceptable. I believe Democrats should do everything they can to oppose that legislation in any way that we can.  [Ends justify means, while his colleague is in critical condition??!!]

To the left of Bernie (or more open and honest than him) are people who want to tax the upper income at 99%.  Seriously!  Why do we not take all of their income?  Why is $100/hr minimum wage not better than $15?  Why don't they admit what they know would go wrong with their own proposals?  Which type of tax code brings in the most revenue to the Treasury, one that stomps out economic activity or one that fosters growth?  But the agenda of socialist is not to grow the economy or to alleviate poverty.  Their goal is transformation.  Or just perpetual class warfare.  If we enacted all of their taxes and programs (as we have), they would then want - more taxes and more programs.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government regulations, 4 Principles for Reforming Dodd Frank on: June 19, 2017, 12:13:07 PM
Good article on an important topic.  The idea of reforming taxes and regulations barely makes the news but would change the world.
First, effective regulation must address incentives. Banks and financial firms want to avoid regulatory costs. Regulators tend toward what’s politically expedient. Good rules take this into account. For instance, using market-based measures of risk and capital alongside accounting measures would make regulatory arbitrage less likely.

Second, consumer protections should help people make informed choices instead of attempting to dictate choices with prohibitive rules.

Third, macroprudential policy should focus first and foremost on real-estate risk, especially where subsidized and promoted by the government. The primary threat to financial stability remains subsidized risk-taking in the mortgage market, which is growing once again to worrying levels.

Fourth, regulation should conform to the rule of law—which means ending the reliance on “guidance” and the delegation of excessive discretionary authority to politicized actors such as the FSOC and the CFPB. Financial rules and their enforcement must be transparent, so that regulators are accountable to the public.
Author: Charles Calomiris is a professor of finance at Columbia Business School, the author of “Reforming Financial Regulation After Dodd-Frank,” out last month from the Manhattan Institute.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unexpectedly! Restaurant and restaurant jobs "DIE OFF" on: June 17, 2017, 06:42:05 PM

Restaurant die-off is first course of California’s $15 minimum wage

In a pair of affluent coastal California counties, the canary in the mineshaft has gotten splayed, spatchcocked and plated over a bed of unintended consequences, garnished with sprigs of locally sourced economic distortion and non-GMO, “What the heck were they thinking?”

The result of one early experiment in a citywide $15 minimum wage is an ominous sign for the state’s poorer inland counties as the statewide wage floor creeps toward the mark.

Consider San Francisco, an early adopter of the $15 wage. It’s now experiencing a restaurant die-off, minting jobless hash-slingers, cashiers, busboys, scullery engineers and line cooks as they get pink-slipped in increasing numbers. And the wage there hasn’t yet hit $15.


As the East Bay Times reported in January, at least 60 restaurants around the Bay Area had closed since September alone.

A recent study by Michael Luca at Harvard Business School and Dara Lee Luca at Mathematica Policy Research found that every $1 hike in the minimum wage brings a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of a 3.5-star restaurant on Yelp! closing.

Another telltale is San Diego, where voters approved increasing the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour from $10.50, this after the minimum wage was increased from $8 an hour in 2015 – meaning hourly costs have risen 43 percent in two years.

The cost increases have pushed San Diego restaurants to the brink, Stephen Zolezzi, president of the Food and Beverage Association of San Diego County, told the San Diego Business Journal. Watch for the next mass die-off there.

But what of California’s less affluent inland counties? How will they fare?

Christopher Thornberg, director of UC Riverside’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, told the San Bernardino Sun that politicians should have adopted a regional approach. He said it would been better to adapt minimum-wage levels to varying economies – something like the Oregon model, the nation’s first multi-tiered minimum-wage strategy.

Oregon’s minimum-wage law is phased, with increases over six years. By 2022, the minimum will be $14.75 an hour in Portland, $13.50 in midsize counties and $12.50 in rural areas.

“That makes sense,” Thornberg told the Sun. “That’s logical.”

California is even more varied economically than Oregon. Thornberg believes hiking wages in blanket fashion will spark layoffs and edge low-skilled workers out of the job market.

In the Central Valley, wages for all workers, on average, are lower than those of the coastal counties.

U.S. Census Bureau data show about 21 percent of workers in Bakersfield earned from $8 to $12 per hour in 2015, the most recent year for which data was available. In Fresno, 32 percent of workers were in that wage group, and in Modesto about 25 percent. Contrast that with Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley, which registered only 12.5 percent at that level.

The state’s diverse unemployment rates tell a similar tale. Unemployment in Bakersfield was 9.5 percent; 8.8 percent in Fresno, and Stanislaus County notched 7.9 percent. Compare that to Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate – 3.2 percent

“Part of our whole concern with (the $15 wage) is it’s a one-size-fits-all,” Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, told The Sacramento Bee last year. “Areas with double-digit unemployment, this is scaring them to death.”

Jamil Dada, chairman of the Riverside County Workforce Development Board, told the Sun that he believed the state’s Inland Empire will be hit harder than other parts of the state.

“It might be tolerable in the coastal regions,” he said. “Their business environment is completely different.”

As politicians insert their sausage fingers into subtle market mechanisms, scarcity and unintended consequences will ensue.

Joining San Francisco’s restaurant die-off was rising star AQ, which in 2012 was named a James Beard Award finalist for the best new restaurant in America. The restaurant’s profit margins went from a reported 8.5 percent in 2012 to 1.5 percent by 2015. Most restaurants are thought to require margins of 3 and 5 percent.

If what’s happening with one early adopter of the $15 wage progression is any indication, locally famous inland hash houses and burger joints from Calexico to the Cow Counties will disappear as mandated wages climb to $15 statewide. And that will only be the start of things.

Jeremy Bagott, a former journalist, writes about California finance and land-use issues. He wrote this for The Modesto Bee.

“Economically, minimum wages may not make sense,” the governor said. “But morally and socially and politically they make every sense"
  - Gov. Jerry Brown

It makes moral, social and political sense to do the wrong thing economically and hurt businesses and workers?

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders can't figure out why Democrats are losing elections outside of Vermont and California.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sweden now has thousands of radical Islamists on: June 17, 2017, 08:09:38 AM
Up from an estimate of 200 in 2010, growing 10-fold in 7 years according to security agency SAPO.  What could possibly go wrong.
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: social justice wars , SJW warriors, Protesters shut down 1-94 in St Paul on: June 16, 2017, 11:36:06 PM
Officer Yanez acquitted.  Juror said prosecution didn't prove it's case.  1000 to 2000 on freeway.  Crowd diminishing down to those who want arrest or confrontation.  Details (riots?) to follow.  Peaceful so far.  Law enforcement being patient.

Signs say, 'no justice, no peace', fuck the police', 'hands up, don't shoot.


These protests already cost St Paul taxpayers over $1 million - before tonight.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon on: June 15, 2017, 05:55:52 PM
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, Sedition, and Treason? on: June 14, 2017, 12:50:50 PM
This is an exact, mirror image of what the left told us would happen if Trump did not accept the result of the election.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Denver moves to end the war on public sh*tting! on: June 13, 2017, 03:20:50 PM

This is serious business.  Is the city or country now in charge of restrooms - as a right?

I watched an inner city McDonalds security guard refuse restroom access to a youth where it is clearly marked no use without purchase and the kid had no money.  I felt sorry for the kid.  One could only guess what was going to happen next, out back.

Forgive the bad analogy but with pets in parks at least the cities normally require the mess to be scooped up and disposed.  Can we require that with human migrants?  I doubt it.  We don't even enforce littering laws.

And how do they squat and drop trow without breaking public exposure laws?  Those laws go next?
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2 million Obamacare cancellations in 2017 on: June 13, 2017, 12:41:25 PM
Dropping at a rate of 4 million per year.  Dropping faster left in place than CBO predicted under repeal.
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Villagers who voted "No" forced to leave homes on: June 13, 2017, 11:45:17 AM
"Villagers who voted 'No' in referendum forced to leave home"
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics, two visions, one cures poverty, the other doesn't on: June 13, 2017, 11:36:49 AM
Written from a political perspective but quite telling about how things work economically.

The Democrats' New Economic Agenda Will Solidify Their Minority Status
By John Tamny
June 12, 2017
 The Democrats' New Economic Agenda Will Solidify Their Minority Status
In a column from December of 2015, the Wall Street Journal’s Mary O’Grady unveiled a rather inconvenient fact that poverty warriors on the American left and right would perhaps prefer remain hidden: from 1980 to 2000, when the U.S. economy boomed, the number of Mexican arrivals into the U.S. grew from 2.2 million in 1980 to 9.4 million in 2000. The previous number is a clear market signal that the U.S. is where poverty has always been cured, as opposed to a condition that requires specific U.S. policy fixes.

O’Grady’s statistics came to mind while reading a recent New York Times column by Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He writes that a “highly progressive agenda [from Democratic scholars and politicians] has been coming together in recent months, one with the potential to unite both the Hillary and Bernie wings of the party, to go beyond both Clintonomics and Obamanomics.” The problem is that the agenda that's got Bernstein so giddy has nothing to do with the very economic growth that is always the source of rising economic opportunity for the poor, middle and rich.

Up front, Bernstein expresses excitement about a $190 billion (annually) program that he describes as a “universal child allowance.” The allowance would amount to annual federal checks sent to low-income families of $3,000/child. It all sounds so compassionate on its face to those who think it kind for Congress to spend the money of others, but given a second look even the progressive and hysterical might understand that economic opportunity never springs from a forcible shift of money from one pocket to another. If it were, theft would be both legal and encouraged.

The very economic growth in the U.S. that has long proven a magnet for the world’s poorest springs not from wealth redistribution, but instead from precious capital being matched with entrepreneurs eager to transform ideas into reality. Just as the U.S. economy wouldn’t advance if Americans with odd-numbered addresses stealthily 'lifted' $3,000 each from those with even-numbered addresses, neither will it grow if the federal government is the one taking from some, only to give to others. Economic progress always and everywhere springs from investment, yet Bernstein is arguing with a straight face that the U.S.’s poorest will be better off if the feds extract $190 billion of precious capital from the investment pool. As readers can probably imagine, he doesn’t stop there.

Interesting is that Bernstein’s next naïve suggestion involves “direct job creation policies, meaning either jobs created by the government or publicly subsidized private employment.” Ok, but all jobs are a function of private wealth creation as Bernstein unwittingly acknowledges given his call for resource extraction from the private sector in order to create them. This begs the obvious question why economic opportunity would be enhanced if the entrepreneurial and business sectors had less in the way of funds to innovate with. But that’s exactly what Bernstein is seeking through his $190 billion “universal child allowance,” not to mention his call for more “jobs created by the government.” Stating what’s obvious even to Bernstein, government can’t create any work absent private sector wealth, so why not leave precious resources in the hands of the true wealth creators? Precisely because they’re wealth focused, funds kept in their control will be invested in ways that foster much greater opportunity than can politicians consuming wealth created by others.

Still, Bernstein plainly can’t see just how contradictory his proposals are; proposals that explicitly acknowledge where all opportunity emerges from. Instead, he calls for more government programs. Specifically, he’s proposing a $1 trillion expansion of the “earned-income tax credit” meant to pay Americans to go to work. As he suggests, the $1 trillion of funds extracted from the productive parts of the economy would lead to family of four tax credits of $6,000 in place of the “current benefit of about $2,000.” Ok, but what goes unexplained here is why we need to pay those residing in the U.S. to work in the first place.

What gives life to the above question is the previously mentioned influx of Mexican strivers into the U.S. during the U.S. boom of the 80s and 90s. What the latter indicated rather clearly is that economic growth itself is the greatest enemy poverty has ever known. It also indicated that work is available to those who seek it, and even better, the work available is quite a bit more remunerative than one could find anywhere else in the world. Rest assured that the U.S. hasn’t historically experienced beautiful floods of immigration because opportunity stateside was limited. People come here because the U.S. is once again the country in which the impoverished can gradually erase their poverty thanks to abundant work opportunities. If Mexicans who frequently don’t speak English can improve their economic situations in the U.S., why on earth would the political class pay natives who do speak the language to pursue the very work that is the envy of much of the rest of the world? Put rather simply, those who require payment above and beyond their wage to get up and go in the morning have problems that have nothing to do with a lack of work, and everything to do with a lack of initiative. Importantly, handouts from Washington logically won’t fix what is a problem of limp ambition. At best, they'll exacerbate what Bernstein claims to want to fix.

Most comical is Bernstein’s assertion that the tax credits will allegedly mitigate “the damage done to low- and moderate-wage earners by the forces of inequality that have steered growth away from them” in modern times. What could he possibly mean? The U.S. has long been very unequal economically, yet the world's poorest have consistently risked their lives to get here precisely because wealth gaps most correlate with opportunity. Translated, investment abundantly flows to societies where individuals are free to pursue what most elevates their talents (yes, pursuit of what makes them unequal), and with investment comes work options for a growing number. Doubters need only travel to Seattle and Silicon Valley, where the world's five most valuable companies are headquartered, to see up close why the latter is true.

Similarly glossed over by this rather confused economist is that rising inequality is the surest sign of a shrinking lifestyle inequality between the rich and poor. We work in order to get, and thanks to rich entrepreneurs more and more Americans have instant access at incessantly falling prices to the computers, mobile phones, televisions, clothing and food that were once solely the preserve of the rich. Just once it would be nice if Bernstein and the other class warriors he runs with would explain how individual achievement that leads to wealth harms those who aren’t rich. What he would find were he to replace emotion with rationality is that in capitalist societies, people generally get rich by virtue of producing abundance for everyone. In short, we need more inequality, not less, if the goal is to improve the living standards of those who presently earn less.

Remarkably, Bernstein describes the ideas presented as “bold” and “progressive,” but in truth, they’re the same lame-brained policies of redistribution that the left have been promoting for decades. And as they’re anti-capital formation by Bernstein’s very own admission, they’re also inimical to the very prosperity that has long made the U.S. the country where poverty is cured. To be clear, if this is the best the Democrats have, they’ll long remain in the minority.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, a Senior Fellow in Economics at Reason Foundation, and a senior economic adviser to Toreador Research and Trading ( He's the author of Who Needs the Fed? (Encounter Books, 2016), along with Popular Economics(Regnery, 2015)
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian hack, breached 39 states on: June 13, 2017, 11:11:14 AM
We are a long way into this story without knowing what the Russians actually hacked, stole or changed.  This article in Bloomberg goes a long way to specifying that.

Not mentioned is that this has nothing to do with Trump or Republicans and that the entire breach of internet happened under the watch of his bumbling predecessor.

The DNC was hacked.  RNC security held up to the outside threats.  Podesta fell for a phishing expedition.  Kellyanne Conway did not.

Elections are about vision and competence.  The Dems on attack keep showing neither.
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Health,, longevity, ("Die Less Often" tm) Recognize drowning! on: June 12, 2017, 01:13:59 PM
Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event.

No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 15 and under

“Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.

Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs."
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress, do-nothing? on: June 12, 2017, 12:49:19 PM
Has anyone heard whether or not the Senate has passed Healthcare reform today?  Has either chamber has passed tax reform yet?
We are supposed to care which party name has majorities in Congress governing us with Democrat tax, spend and over-regulate us policies.
This is not rocket science.
The problem is the republicans are mostly the republican wing of the democrat party.

They are fast losing the support of those (fools) among us who thought they meant it - repeal O'Care, reform taxes, build a wall, reform entitlements, etc.   They lose the right without gaining the left, the center or the media adoration and therefore will lose elections.  Like Trump finally got right on the Paris 'treaty', if you can't figure out the policy, at least figure out who your friends are.  We are politically dying out here waiting for action.
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The US Congress, do-nothing? on: June 12, 2017, 12:31:42 PM
Has anyone heard whether or not the Senate has passed Healthcare reform today?  Has either chamber has passed tax reform yet?

We are supposed to care which party name has majorities in Congress governing us with Democrat tax, spend and over-regulate us policies.

This is not rocket science.
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Astronomy, why is the speed of light so slow? on: June 12, 2017, 12:22:53 PM
When you gaze at the night sky, you are not seeing stars in their position in the sky, you are seeing where they were some four thousand years ago due to the slow speed of light, at 300 million meters per second.  If we could devise a way to travel to one of these places at the speed of light, it would take hundreds of human generations to do so.
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Low income housing- 'affordable' housing is Basic Economics on: June 10, 2017, 09:45:02 AM
Important piece about "affordable housing".  This is not rocket science but it is very seldom reported on accurately or helpfully.  Almost all we ever hear about is a government imposed solution to a government imposed problem.  This makes sense.
How to Think about Low-Income Housing  by KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON  June 9, 2017

The problem is on the supply side. Well, raise my rent! Here’s a great big Muppet News Flash from the Washington Post: Average-priced goods are relatively expensive for low-wage consumers. Seriously.

Today’s entry in the great national stupidity sweepstakes comes from Tracy Jan, who is relaying the findings of the latest report from the National Low-Income Housing Association. The report’s basic claim takes a familiar form that falls somewhere between intellectual sloppiness and intellectual dishonesty: People earning the minimum wage cannot afford the average one-bedroom apartment without spending more than 30 percent of their incomes . . . pretty much anywhere in the country. There are some variations on the theme: Sometimes, the rent considered is for a two-bedroom apartment, and sometimes the income considered is the federal poverty line or some figure related to it.

All of these so-called studies — they are not really “studies” in the true sense of the word — suffer from the same error: comparing a low wage to an average rent.

The NLIHA paper Jan relies on is methodologically slightly better than most entries in this genre, but only slightly. The usual technique is to consider minimum wage vs. median rent, as in this much-cited report from Zillow: “Zillow analyzed median rents and the income necessary to afford them in 15,099 cities and towns nationwide. In the least expensive city — Beecher, Michigan — a single renter would need to earn $10.64 per hour to afford the city’s median rent of $532 per month without exceeding the 30 percent limit, significantly above both the federal minimum wage and the Michigan state minimum wage of $8.15 per hour.”

The median rent is the rent at the 50th percentile, i.e. the price point at which half of all rents are lower and half are higher. If you consider the median rent, then you just saw off the cheaper half of the market in its entirety. You know where low-wage people go looking for rental properties? In the half of the market that is below the median, most often. Why ignore the actual rents on the actual apartments that actual minimum-wage workers actually rent? For one thing, acquiring that data is hard work. For another, it does not produce nearly enough angst and hysteria.

The NLIHA paper makes almost the same error, but instead of the median rent in various communities it uses a “fair market rent” calculated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That number, according to the report, “is typically the 40th percentile of rents that a family can be expected to pay” when that family is moving today, “not what all current renters are paying on average.” That is significant because, according to HUD’s own reporting, families moving to a new rental property with a relatively short timeline for securing new housing typically pay slightly higher rents than do families that haven’t moved in a while, typically about 6 percent more. So the 40th percentile of rents for families paying a 6 percent premium — that won’t be the dead median, but it will be in the neighborhood. It’s the same basic problem: Comparing the incomes of minimum-wage workers against an average rent that includes all families moving into new rental properties, i.e. putting exclusively low wages on one side of the scale and weighing them against the expenses of households with incomes across the spectrum.

Needless to say — but the report does say it — these comparisons do not “reflect the rent variation within a metropolitan area or nonmetropolitan county.” Which is to say: They’re basically useless. Which you might begin to suspect when you consider the fact that low-income people who can’t afford to live anywhere mostly manage to live somewhere.

How does that happen? Hippie magic? Low-income people who can’t afford to live anywhere mostly manage to live somewhere.

One of the remarkable things about people who don’t have very much money is that they have so much money — which is to say, individuals and families with relatively low wages may not have tons of economic power as individuals, but as a market they are enormously powerful. America’s largest private employer, Walmart, represents a truly enormous accumulation of capital organized to address the problem of providing low-cost goods to people who want or need them. Walmart doesn’t keep its prices low because it loves low-income people, but because low-income people spend a great deal of money, and if Walmart doesn’t give them what they want at the price they want, somebody else will.

How this works in the real world is obvious to everybody who doesn’t write for the Washington Post: The median cost of a new car in the United States is about $34,000, which is well out of reach for most minimum-wage earners. You know how minimum-wage earners get around that problem? They buy cars that cost a heck of a lot less than the median — or they buy used cars, share cars, take the bus, etc. Minimum-wage workers solve the problem of relatively high rents by choosing accommodations that are well under the 50th or 40th percentile — or by having roommates, living with their families, etc. The relationship between the minimum wage and the median or near-median rent is an entirely artificial problem cooked up by organizations that want more federal spending on low-income housing (NLIHA) or by politicians arguing for a higher minimum wage. The latter is especially popular during campaign season.

But there is much more to this than a pliant Washington Post reporter getting taken by an intellectually sloppy propaganda “study.” That happens all the time. There’s a much more interesting aspect to all this that’s worth considering. If you drive around most American cities and their suburbs, you might conclude that there seems to be a fair amount of apartment construction going on. You’d be wrong: Multi-family construction hit a six-year low in May. And the construction that is going on is not, for the most part, meant for the lower-wage end of the rental market. From NLIHA: “Household income has not kept up with the rising cost of rental housing. From the housing crisis of 2007 to 2015, the median gross rent for a rental home in the U.S. increased by 6 percent, after adjusting for overall inflation, while the median income for renter households rose by just 1 percent.”

Why aren’t we building more housing for low-income people?

It’s not because there’s no money to be made selling goods and services to low-income consumers: I doubt the French Laundry does as much business in a year as McDonald’s does in an hour, and Honda makes a lot more money selling economy cars to regular folks than Lamborghini does selling exotic cars to guys with yachts. Walmart makes a heck of a lot more money than Hermes or Louis Vuitton. Somebody out there would love to be the Walmart of low-income housing. What’s stopping them? It isn’t, strictly speaking, an economic of technological problem: Mobile homes (which start around $30,000 new), trendy “tiny houses,” and low-income housing developments abroad all show that we can build decent housing at prices within the reach of those with more modest incomes. But construction is moving toward the higher end of the market.

The basic problem is that politicians won’t let developers build housing for poor people. They don’t put it that way, but that’s what they do. Restrictive zoning and development rules in places such as New York City and San Francisco artificially restrict the supply of housing, often for purely aesthetic reasons. The old housing “covenants” were racial; the new ones are economic, with nice rich liberals in Pacific Heights basically saying: “We like things just how they are, thanks, so why don’t you poors beat feet on down to Stockton or wherever it is we warehouse you, right after you’re done cutting my grass?”

The only way to make housing more plentiful is to make housing more plentiful. What that implies, especially in the case of our big cities, is denser development. But our big-city governments — which are almost exclusively under Democratic control — will not allow that. New York City’s population density is less than half that of comparable European cities (and much less than many comparable Asian cities) and, in spite of its reputation as a city of skyscrapers, fewer than 2 percent of its residences are in buildings 20 stories or taller, much lower than the figure for comparable cities globally. In New York, the progressives aren’t working to allow denser development and, hence, cheaper housing: They’re doing the opposite, proposing to cap the number of tall buildings in the city. Forget New Jersey — there are a fair number of New Yorkers who commute from Pennsylvania. San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, the parts of Chicago or Philadelphia you might actually want to live in . . . similar story. They’ll call it historic preservation or “defending the character of the neighborhood” or whatever, but it’s basically economic segregation, which, it’s probably worth noting, is still a pretty good proxy for racial discrimination: San Francisco’s black population has decreased by one-third in recent years, and diversity-loving Portland saw its black population shrink by 11.5 percent in just four years. The only way to make housing more plentiful is to make housing more plentiful.

By way of contrast, our friends at the Los Angeles Times were surprised to learn that Houston, way down in right-wing Texas, is the most diverse city in the United States. Everybody knows what Houston has what people want — jobs — but part of the attraction is something that Houston doesn’t have: zoning laws — not very much, anyway. That makes housing in Houston relatively cheap, which makes the area attractive to all sorts of people, including young people, immigrants, and others earning relatively low wages.

At this point, our progressive friends will ask an inevitable question: “Instead of making the whole country look like Houston, which is a horrifying prospect, why not make it more like lovely San Francisco, and then just raise the minimum wage so that people can afford to live there?”

That really isn’t a caricature. Here are the nice Bernie Sanders enthusiasts at making basically that argument. There’s some high-test, weapons-grade economic illiteracy built into that question, the short answer to which is: “Raising the minimum wage will not magic more housing into existence, it just sends a larger pool of money chasing the same quantity of goods, which is the classical formula for inflation.”

But the fundamental error at work here informs so much misguided progressive economic thinking that it is worth considering at some length, starting with the basic economics.

There is in economics something called Say’s Law, which could be summarized as: “People produce in order to consume.” What does that really mean? Consider the most basic and primitive economy, a small band of hunter-gatherers at the dawn of mankind. (The date of which we have just moved back by about half again, apparently.) Why did those hunter-gatherers hunt and gather? It was not for the love of hunting and the thrill of gathering, but for a much more obvious reason: to eat. The basic facts of economics are far removed from abstraction: The point of fishing is fish, and the point of picking coconuts is eating them. That holds true until the level of production and social organization is high enough to allow for the emergence of our old friends specialization, the division of labor, and comparative advantage, all of which is another way of saying that once Throg has more fish than he wants to eat and Grug has more coconuts than he wants to eat, they start swapping fish and coconuts between them. And then Warg figures out how to make useful tools out of flint, which is good for a lot of fish and coconuts, and Yawr learns that she’s better at making thorns into fishing hooks than anybody else in the caveman clan, which is of great interest to Fisherman Throg, and eventually you get Corvettes and Google.

It’s the money that confuses people.

Money is basically information technology. It is a record-keeping system. One of the interesting implications of Say’s Law — that we produce in order to consume — is that there are not really any objective economic values: Everything that is produced and consumed is valued relative to everything else that is produced and consumed. If one mackerel is worth six coconuts or four fishing hooks or one-tenth of a flint chopper, then that can get to be a lot for your average caveman to keep up with. But it’s even more complicated than that: Not only is everything that is produced and consumed valued relative to everything else that is produced and consumed, everybody has different preferences, meaning that there are as many economic-value hierarchies as there are people — and those preference hierarchies can change from day to day or second to second. Again, this is easier to understand if you stick to the physical world rather than get mired in abstraction: You know whose kids get sick of apple pie? Those of the guy who owns the apple orchard. There’s no metaphysically “correct” exchange rate between apples and oysters and shoes and arrowheads — everybody likes what he likes and wants what he wants and — here’s the part that gets overlooked — has what he has.  

Because we produce in order to consume, we value what we have in terms of the things we want. The emergence of money as a record-keeping technology makes that a lot easier to think about, but money is not the point: The things that money gets are the point.

This is important to understand because those valuations exist independent of money. That’s how inflation happens: We value what we value just the way we value it, and introducing more money into the system does not change those value judgments; it just makes money worth less in terms of fish or coconuts. Conversely, taking money out of the system (less of a problem, usually) doesn’t change those value judgments, either: It just makes money worth more in terms of fish or coconuts. You do not change the underlying value relationships by changing the record-keeping system.

That is where so much progressive economic policy goes wrong. Ignoring the physical facts of supply and demand in the real world, progressives attempt to game the record-keeping system in order to produce advantages for politically favored clients or disadvantages for politically disfavored rivals. That’s what raising the minimum wage is all about: The guy who owns your local Burger King franchise values one hour of 17-year-old fry-guy labor just the way he values it. That calculation is inescapably complex — so complex that it never ends up being an actual calculation — taking into account what the product of that hour’s labor can be traded for and the value of that trade relative to the price of the labor. What an hour’s fry-guy labor is worth is bound up in a vastly complex web of value judgments, and the boss’s value judgment isn’t necessarily the most important one: Customers have a say, too. So does the guy who wants your job and is willing to do it for a little less money or who is able to do it a little bit better for the same money. So does the guy who figures out how much interest to charge the boss on the loan with which he buys his new BMW. All of those things are, for lack of a better word, real.

Money is just how we keep track of them.

Passing a law that says you have to pay the fry-guy x + y instead of x does not change the value of the fry-guy’s labor relative to everything else that is produced and consumed. Not really. Ultimately, it is just a change to the record-keeping system. You could pass a law that says we have to pay 15-year-old baby-sitters eight times what we pay hedge-fund managers or brain surgeons, but that is not going to change how we actually value their respective labor. Government can get pretty aggressive about this stuff, which results in fairly predictable market distortions: When the federal government instituted wartime wage controls, employers looking to get the labor they actually valued on terms consistent with their actual valuation of that labor started paying employees in health insurance and company cars instead of paying them in money. The modern practice of offering “fringe benefits” in the form of paid sick leave, vacation time, and other employee perks is a direct response to the policies of the War Labor Board in the 1940s. (It is a big part of why our health-care system stinks.) The lesson: Even in times of war and the heavy-handed economic interventions associated with them, reality finds a way of sneaking around the record-keeping system.

People who earn low wages don’t just have labor that is lightly valued in terms of money: They have labor that is lightly valued in terms of everything for which money can be traded. That includes, among other things, housing. But it also includes education, health care, cars, shoes, food — and fish and coconuts and flint caveman axes, too. You can mess with the money, but those underlying value hierarchies will reassert themselves, sometimes in obvious ways, sometimes in unexpected ones.

With that in mind, let’s reconsider the question: If we are unhappy about the relationship between the price of certain kinds of labor and the price of renting an apartment, what should we actually do about that? We could try changing the price of labor through legislation, or we could try changing the price of renting an apartment through regulation and subsidies — meaning that we could try messing around with the record-keeping system.

Or we could build more apartments.

— Kevin D. Williamson
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: June 10, 2017, 08:22:22 AM
Thoughts on Comey testimony:  

Big waste of time when no high crime or misdemeanor was committed.  Trump (allegedly) called him a nut job and Comey has behaved ever since as a guy trying to get even.  But this is testimony under oath so words matter.

The key word was "hope".  Trump 'hoped' Flynn could be left alone, allegedly.  A guy he could pardon anyway if he had too.

If Trump was obstructing the investigation, Comey was under obligation to report that immediately by penalty of high crime.  He didn't but under later reflection with hatred as a bias tells all the reasons he should have.

The testimony I heard was all about feelings.  Seriously.  How did you feel when he said that etc.  What did you feel he meant when he said that.  Opponents dwelling on that are essentially admitting they have nothing more.

Trump was a target.  Didn't collude.  No evidence he did etc.  

Russians did interfere.  That happened for sure.  All the agencies agree.  And it went to the top.  No mention ever that was a security breach/faiilure of the Obama administration.  The hearings should be about how the Obama administration failed to protect us, where they failed to protect us, why they failed to protect us.  Where they too focused on trans gender bathrooms, adjusted climate change, Muslims in space?

The Obama administration through Loretta Lynch in cooperation with the Clintons directed Comey to not use the word investigation relating to the investigation of the Clintons.  Creepy if not illegal interference.  What is his job in it other than investigations, note the name of the bureau, federal bureau of investigations.  This was more of a kinetic operation of resources into a situation.  Good grief.  No one was outraged to hear that?

The leaks were the biggest crimes exposed so far.  No questions hardly on getting to the bottom of that.  Comey was one of the leakers.  The Comey memo was a government produced document of an official meeting, presumed private and classified?  He leaked it trying to enact or change policy.  That's how Washington works now; go through the press with leaked documents.  Why would it be a crime?

One story by the NY Times, still not corrected, was totally false - about Trump under investigation.  A point made on these pages often, but it is not illegal to leak and get published false information said to be classified, but it is illegal for people knowing the true classified information to correct the false public reporting.  So goes our media-led discourse coming out of Washington.

Rubio made the point that the only thing not leaked was that Trump was never a target of the investigation.

While the country focuses on a shiny object and the real crimes go uninvestigated and unsolved (okay, they got one Democrat activist in the NSA leaker), tax reform is not done, Obamacare is still not repealed, North Korea is conducting missile tests for nuclear attacks explicitly for the purpose of hitting the US mainland, and China is militarizing the South China Sea from Taiwan to Singapore.  What could possibly wrong?
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Race: Racism of the left on: June 06, 2017, 02:18:46 PM
It shouldn't go without mention that after Bill Maher used the house-n--- word, Kathy Griffin tried to end her brush with fame by blaming her sad life on oppression of white males.

There is something telling of our culture that this isn't offensive to white males.

"'There's Old White Guys Trying to Silence Me'"

Poor her.  But why is okay to throw them all in a group and slander them?  That wouldn't sound good if aimed at some other, any other, group.
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History D Day, The Ordeal of Omaha Beach on: June 06, 2017, 02:11:17 PM
the passing of the years and the retelling of the story have softened the horror of Omaha Beach on D Day.
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Rod Carew's heart on: June 06, 2017, 12:51:17 PM
MVP, 17 time all-star, 7 time batting champ, got a new heart last year.

This is the first time they’ve heard of anonymously matched organs between families who knew each other. It’s believed to be the first time a heart has gone from one pro athlete to another.
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