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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / re: Maryland politicians on: May 15, 2015, 11:48:20 PM
Speaking of Baltimore politicians, there was a famous Governor of Maryland, undergrad Johns Hopkins, Univ of Baltimore JD.  Baltimore County Executive.  White Republican Governor of Maryland back in the 60s.  Linked up with a politician from Calif.  Called his critics the "nattering nabobs of negativism".  But the critics looked back and said he had pulled a 'Hillary' earlier.  Then, because he was a Republican, it was all over.
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Salon: Progressives’ looming challenge, Cognitive Dissonance of the Left on: May 15, 2015, 10:25:15 AM
Trying to cover for our shortage of lefties here, this is Salon editor Joan Walsh rambling on about the challenges and troubles facing the left today.  A guaranteed cure for insomnia.  A must read for people who need to know what part of her thinks...

"Progressives’ looming challenge: Bill de Blasio, Elizabeth Warren, inequality, and a stunning blind spot"

Cut through the distractions and the infighting and the answer to failing government is always more government.  Bigger government, higher taxes on production and more limits on economic liberty, that's what we're missing!
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio, Castro and Pope Francis on: May 15, 2015, 08:41:02 AM
Charlie Rose asked Marco Rubio about Raul Castro’s comment that he likes Pope Francis so much he might rejoin the church, Mr. Rubio shot back, “That’s gonna be a pretty long confession.”
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential: Blood Feud, Michelle Obama vs. Hillary Clinton? on: May 14, 2015, 04:39:31 PM
Somewhere in the archives I said that it was Michelle Obama, not Hillary Clinton, that I fear most as a Republican.

Did anyone see the First Lady's angry, passionate commencement address?

Rasmussen Reports picked up on it.

What If Michelle Obama Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination?

This solves all the Democrats problems.  Hillary and Obama aren't getting along.  Warren and Obama aren't getting along.  The Dem runs with the President's baggage no matter what, and need the support of his political machine to win.  With Hillary, they gain on gender advantage but lose the authentic African American advantage.  Michelle really is an authentic African-American, and really is a woman.  She isn't expected to turn against the incumbent, yet can say she will be her own person.  Anyone who differs with her can be called both racist and sexist.  And Dems still get what they really want, someone totally unqualified to be President who can continue the dismantling of everything that made this nation great.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton Cash, Powerline Interview with Peter Schweitzer on: May 14, 2015, 04:39:01 PM
May I please recommend that anyone/everyone that would like to be informed on this subject take the time and listen to this commercial-free radio-like interview.  

If a liberal tells you that there's nothing there, nothing wrong, not a shred of evidence as they are trained to say, you should be able to refute that with concise facts and make the case that this nothing short of corruption.

For the commodities scandal, the soundbite I took from it is that mathematically there is a one in 34 trillion chance her gains happened on her own as she alleged.  What is the simplest, most persuasive story within Clinton Cash that demonstrates this to be influence peddling at the highest level?


Podcast is down the page at this link:

Powerline's John Hinderaker starts the interview saying:  "I read Clinton Cash cover to cover this afternoon and my conclusion is that the Clintons are a criminal syndicate."

Schweitzer tells how he reached out to journalists at the NY Times, Washington Post, ABC News to follow his trail, verify his facts and help bring this story out with the release of this book.

The first 36 minutes are the interview and the rest is other discussion.

206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Hillbillary Clintons Air Freshener on: May 12, 2015, 11:11:31 AM
Has everyone seen the Hillary Clinton Air Fresheners that are hung out as signs to greet her?

These apparently help with the stench of corruption that accompany her visits.

Hillary has taken no questions from the press in 21 days?  I am not trying escape my bet loss with ccp but this is hardly what we used to call running for President.
207  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crime and Punishment on: May 12, 2015, 10:05:49 AM
In a world where there are cameras everywhere and in a part of this world, prisons, where people already have limited rights of liberty and privacy, how does an inmate knock up four young, female prison guards?  Doing it on your own time ought to involve waiting until he gets out.  Yes, the pay scale should be high enough that most wouldn't want to lose their job.

I would optimistically think that the publicizing of this story would cause reforms.  It is quite a large financial setback for a private firm to lose a contract like this.

I wonder if the problem is not the private management but the government sector rules placed on them that enables this.  My initial thought is to make cells smaller, bars thicker and punishments harsher until problems like this go away.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Economy heading for collapse. Ignore at your peril... on: May 08, 2015, 07:07:14 PM
There IS NO RECOVERY HAPPENING, despite what the talking heads in the media - Wesbury being a rather egregious example - will tell you:

With a little rounding that is 100 million ADULTS not in the workforce by the end of the Obama Presidency.  They don't even count as unemployed!  We need another way of measuring what used to be called the unemployment rate.

I heard Wesbury say that total growth is over 3%.  He clarified that total growth is inflation plus real growth.  Really?  Now we're combining those to make it sound like something is going on?

He also said that plowhorse is the combined growth of the race horse segments, Uber is all I can think of, and what he called the rest - the "dead horse" economy.  He got that part right.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 08, 2015, 10:07:57 AM
To clarify the clear choice comment, recall that Bill Clinton first ran as a centrist.  Once elected he started left, but by the time of his reelection his accomplishments were Republican policies, including free trade and welfare reform.  By the time he left office he was taking credit for Republican capital gains cuts, economic growth and balanced budgets.  Obama as a candidate played down far left and talked in cliches and euphemisms; he rarely spoke honestly about specific policy intentions.  

Hillary is a technocrat more than a visionary.  As she lays down leftist stands, she pins herself down.  That isn't what got the others to the White House.

(ccp) "The choice is the same.  Those who want government to pay for them and those who pay."

Among those receiving public support are the elderly, veterans, retired federal workers, disabled, etc.  It is not logical for them to want the country that supports them to collapse and implode.  It is not their dream that their children grow up forever dependent on government.  It comes down to a contest of which vision grows prosperity better.  

Yes, she will win some of these groups, but the margin and turnout will determine the outcome  A charismatic and persuasive Republican can make significant inroads and she doesn't have the skills of those who won previously.

For people who believe government is a big part of the answer, the best way to finance is to support a vibrant and dynamic private sector.  Their side can sell on emotion, but not prevail on logic.  Emotion fizzles when people see that their view leads to failure.

To support having top earners pay for all the rest is to hope top earners keep making all the money.  In a twisted sort of way, that is the Obama economy.  The Dow is up 11,000 points and the rest of us have 0.02% growth.  Her agenda so far is for more of the same.

For all the fights we have lost, we can look back and see that our side made glaring unforced political errors.  We've picked the wrong candidate with the wrong message at the wrong time plenty of times.  Even when we pick well, they often let us down.

Meanwhile, we have been winning some battles too.  Look at all these great Governors, Senators now, and the GOP controls 70% of state legislative chambers, 68 out of 98!  Conservatives are winning elsewhere too, Britain, Israel, Canada, Australia.  Even Sweden is scrambling to reform the welfare state, and the number one issue in Britain was immigration.  Socialists have backed down on some of their policies in France.

This time around Hillary and the Dems are making plenty of unforced errors and we are in the process of vetting some very good candidates.  With the electoral college the way it is and such a small percentage of the votes truly in play, our side will need to play a near perfect hand all the way through to win.  If we do, the upside potential is tremendous.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: MUST-WATCH Video - Geller vs. Imam on Hannity... on: May 07, 2015, 12:59:39 PM
Radical Imam tells Pamela to her face that she deserves death penalty for sponsoring event in Garland, TX.  This is what we are dealing with.  Pamela responds with aplomb and dignity as she speaks truth to this savage:

She makes a point most wouldn't think of.  By luring these terrorists a thousand miles out to a secure and guarded event, she saved lives.  The same people otherwise would go out shooting up shopping malls.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 07, 2015, 12:55:52 PM
Her pandering to illegals is just one more example of how she will sell out the country and citizens of the US to pander for votes for her own personal power.  It is not about serving us, it is about her.  Always has been.

Then again some of the Republicans are pandering for votes too in a similar way.

Who would have ever dreamed that we would have a President and Presidential candidates pandering to people here ILLegally for votes?

Just outrageous.  What about us?  What about citizens?


"If we get another marxist in the white house, I am getting out of law enforcement." 

I don't blame you.  If we get another marxist you would probably get a good job working for them as a brown shirt or a red military police officer suppressing the rest of us.  wink

The good news, as John Podhoretz lays out, is that with Hillary going all-in on leftism and opposing the rule of law, Americans will have a clear choice on the ballot.

Strange that while she runs seemingly unopposed for the nomination, she sees the biggest threat to her as coming from the left.  But that is where she lost last time.

Elizabeth Warren and Bill deBlasio penned a piece for the Washington Post today called "How to revive the American Dream".  Funny that they are still not endorsing her; just moving ahead with their own campaign.  Odd to see Democrats opposing cronyism and a rigged game - looks like a direct attack on the Clintons.  The American Dream, in their view, is bigger and more intrusive government.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 06, 2015, 10:25:25 PM
If we get another marxist in the white house, I am getting out of law enforcement.

Good thinking. I don't want to say it but if anyone wants to start looking at lakeshore in Canada - let me know.

It is time to put half our money into candidates like Ted Cruz and Rubio and the rest toward a backup plan.

213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary: make illegal immigration legal, climate regulations, executive power on: May 06, 2015, 10:30:01 AM
Hillary brags she would "go further" than Obama on immigration, on EPA regulation of CO2 in defiance of Congress, and more generally - in just ripping up what's left of the constitution.

Can we also assume she would go further than Obama on using the IRS power to stop political opposition?  Wars without declarations from Congress?  What else?
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science: NOAA CAUGHT REWRITING US TEMPERATURE HISTORY (AGAIN) on: May 06, 2015, 09:49:28 AM
Past temperatures were LOWERED by an accumulated 151.2°F to make current temps look warmer. 
Actual temps in Maine: Thermometers have recorded no net warming since 1895.
Who are the deniers of math and science?  And why do we pay government to desecrate science?

We have written a number of times about how government agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration here in the U.S., have systematically adjusted temperature history to make the past look colder. They apparently do this, usually surreptitiously and without explanation, in order to stoke global warming hysteria. See, for example, He Who Controls the Present Controls the Past and Inside the Global Warming Scandal.

Now Mike Brakey, an engineering physicist and heat transfer specialist, has caught NOAA revising historic temperature data for Maine–as always, to make the past look cooler and the present warmer by comparison:

Over the last months I have discovered that between 2013 and 2015 some government bureaucrats have rewritten Maine climate history… (and New England’s and of the U.S.). This statement is not based on my opinion, but on facts drawn from NOAA 2013 climate data vs. NOAA 2015 climate data after they re-wrote it.

We need only compare the data. They cooked their own books (see numbers below).

This graph presents the data visually. The black line shows average annual temperatures for Maine from 1895 to the present as they were recorded at the time, and as NOAA published them in 2013. Thermometers have recorded no net warming since 1895. The blue line represents NOAA rewritten history as it appears in 2015. Note how NOAA reduces earlier temperatures more than recent ones to give the graph a plausibly warming trend. The green line shows average annual temperatures for a single location, Lewiston-Auburn, showing a steep decline since 2000.

NOAA has made similar adjustments to past temperatures around the United States. Brakey writes:

It appears NOAA panicked and did a massive rewrite of Maine temperature history (they used the same algorithm for U.S. in general). The new official temperatures from Maine between 1895 and present were LOWERED by an accumulated 151.2°F between 1895 and 2012.

In my opinion, this is out-and-out fraud. Why did they corrupt national climate data? Global warming is a $27 billion business on an annual basis in the U.S alone.

Now NOAA data revised in 2015 indicate that 1904, 1919 and 1925 in Maine were much colder than anything we experience today. (See the scorecard above comparing the NOAA data that are 18 months apart). Note how for 1913 the NOAA lowered the annual temperature a whole 4°F!

For the balance of the years, as they get closer to the present, the NOAA tweaks less and less. They have corrupted Maine climate data between 1895 and present by a whopping accumulated 151.2°F.

Their cooling of the past to keep the global warming meme alive reminds me of the old Soviet joke – the future is known, it is the past that keeps changing.

Would someone please try to explain why this isn’t the biggest scandal in the history of science?
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islamo-non-phobia and the value of defiance, Volokh in Washington Post on: May 06, 2015, 09:31:19 AM
Good on you for being there!!!  cool cool cool

I, too, am impressed!

Islamo-non-phobia, and the value of defiance

Two apparent would-be jihadists drove to the Texas Muhammad cartoon drawing contest and opened fire. They wounded a security guard, who is expected to survive; they were shot dead by police.

Unsurprisingly, the organizers of the event — the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which has long been sharply critical of Islam — are being criticized for their “provocative” actions. Here, for instance, is a Twitter message from New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi:

Free speech aside, why would anyone do something as provocative as hosting a “Muhammad drawing contest”?

This reminds me of the old joke: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the theater?” There is no “free speech aside” here.

But beyond this, I think there is a special kind of exercise of free speech here: speech as defiance. The organizers are sending a message that they are not afraid, either of those who would condemn us or even of those who would kill us — at least not so afraid that they will forgo their First Amendment rights.

Harsh critics of Islam are often accused of “Islamophobia”; and while the suffix “-phobia” means “aversion to” as well as “fear of,” I think “-phobia” terms usually convey (and are often intended to convey) an allegation of irrational fear. Well, the critics say, our fear is actually quite rational; it makes sense to rationally fear dangerous ideologies. But with events such as this, I think the critics are saying: it is those who condemn us for being “provocative” who are relying on fear of Muslim extremists, and we are the ones who actually act contrary to the counsel of fear. The winning cartoon (which got both the “people’s choice” prize and the jury prize at the contest) reflects that:

A different, more earnest and perhaps less catchy sort of defiance than that from Charlie Hebdo, and many of the original cartoons struck me as wittier. (Hey, everyone’s a critic.) But the message is pretty clear — and it’s an important message to have out there.
... (more at the link)

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.

216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: May 05, 2015, 09:27:02 PM
"She rose from secretary of a real-estate firm to the top of Hewlett-Packard, no small accomplishment."  - from Presidential 2016

She also headed up Lucent Technologies before that, once the number one research and development company in the world.  Was picked as no. 1 on Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women - FIRST ANNUAL LOOK AT THE WOMEN WHO MOST INFLUENCE CORPORATE AMERICA, Oct. 1998

As mentioned earlier, there are also serious criticisms of her business leadership.  But of all these candidates, she is the only one who has real private sector experience.
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, Climate Change is no longer an issue on: May 05, 2015, 09:04:03 PM
Effective today, Earth Day, May 5, 2015, Castostrophic, Human-caused Global Warming (aka. Climate Change) is no longer an issue.  It's too late now.  Just enjoy the limited days of hell-like heat you have left and that's it.

According to the UN IPCC, we had only 8 years to act 8 years ago and our time is up.  Nothing we can do now can stop it from being an out-of-control death spiral.  I'm sorry to tell everyone this.

The fact was that government needed to be more global and more coercive.  From the report:

"governments must act quickly to force through changes across all sectors of society"

We didn't do that to their satisfaction and now it's over.  Global warming is already here and already irreversible.

May 5, 2007:  "there could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C  [2 degrees Celsius, 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit] or more."

Look for "global temperatures up as much as 6C by 2100, triggering a surge in ocean levels, destruction of vast numbers of species, economic devastation in tropical zones and mass human migrations."

Not only that, "climate change will worsen violent conflicts and refugee problems and could hinder efforts to grow more food."

The UN IPCC also said it would rather we die of the heat than generate electricity with carbon-free nuclear power.

What we have left to look forward to is nothing but mayhem, like in the All State commercials.

This isn't funny.  The science is settled.  It's all over.

Further your affiant sayeth not.

...  Except that the oceans didn't rise.  The Arctic isn't ice-free.  Hurricanes and typhoons did not get worse.  Food Production has never been better.  And there has been no measurable warming on earth in NINETEEN YEARS!
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: May 05, 2015, 08:24:13 PM
"Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to have initially weathered a barrage of news about her use of a private email account when she was secretary of state and the practices of her family’s foundation ..."

So that's how it works; never answer, apologize or even comply with the law and then go back out and start pandering policies to the downtrodden - like illegal aliens.  Running for President is her defense.  Because she is running, everything against her is partisan no matter how valid.

"nearly nine in 10 Democrats say the nation is ready to elect a female president."

And “4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum.”

What do the other dentists recommend?  What voter is not ready for a woman to be President IF SHE HAD ALL THE RIGHT QUALITIES to be President?  What conservative is not ready for an American Maggie Thatcher to emerge?  What Dem would not support Hillary if she had ANY good qualities.  They're going to support her without any.

Yes, lies, noise and deception.  They poll to make news.  Manipulate the timing, questions and sample chosen to get the desired result, then report the phony result as news which makes it tend to come true.  If people are allegedly over the email scandal just because of freshness dating, is that more newsworthy than the fact she hasn't answered for it yet?
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: May 05, 2015, 11:46:53 AM
Strange that a muslim convert missed the part where islam is a religion of peace. How could he not know?

CAIR has come out against the shooting, sort of.
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: May 05, 2015, 11:41:51 AM
There are a lot of federal laws the Clintons don't want enforced.

Pardon me?  Pardon Bill.  Pardon Sandy Burglar.  Marc Rich.  Anyone who knows a Rodham brother.  Pardons for sale in the Lincoln Bedroom.  'Prosecutorial discretion'.  Lighten up a little on commodities trading.  Pardon all white collar criminals whose party affiliation starts with a D.  Restore the voting rights of felons.  There are just too many Democrats people incarcerated these days!

There she is, blatantly mixing political gain with executive overreach, on her first stop - without apology.  Besides an extra-constitutional immigration policy, why not add IRS targeting of political opponents to the list of Obama policies she hopes to continue?

No matter your view on taxes, spending or the Middle East, what kind of voter believes the next Attorney General of the United States should report to Hillary Clinton?
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: May 05, 2015, 11:20:36 AM
I agree with Crafty on all of those points about Carly. 

Just by running as well as she is, she neutralizes the gender question.  If you believe it is time for a woman President, here is the best one running. 

Judging her by her words and presentation in speeches and interviews so far, she is one of the best of the Republicans in my view.  Her level of preparedness on all issues is quite impressive.  She handles her resume questions well and she would have elected, political experience if her home state wasn't so insanely left.

She plans to run an unconventional campaign, not relying on big money or early polling numbers, which means staying power through some of the ups and downs.

Pundits say she is running for VP.  That may be an insult, but the criteria for VP selection is the same, who presents themselves as Presidential and is ready to step up in a moment's notice.  Being vetted now is great experience for that role if it turns out that way.  Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and others did not have that experience.

The early debates will be hard for non-political types to watch with so many candidates running.  Worse yet would be if they all look alike.  Even the so-called Hispanics will look like middle aged white men on stage in suits, which is not one of our key, reach-out demographic groups.  Add Carly and Dr. Carson to that and the candidates hopefully can be judged by their answers, positions and vision rather than all lumped visually in a group.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Military Science, Military Issues, Top 5 Weapons the U.S. Navy Needs Now on: May 05, 2015, 09:14:54 AM
At least on the Republican side, candidates will be questioned on their views of defense budgets, readiness needs and priorities.  The electorate needs a certain level of readiness too.  Comments please!

Top 5 Weapons the U.S. Navy Needs Now

By James R. Holmes  (Professor of Strategy at the Naval War College)

As weaponeers, budgeteers, and lawmakers wage their annual death match over the defense budget ...  It’s tough to winnow the U.S. Navy’s priorities list down to five weapon systems. However, I applied a secret method to come up with the definitive, incontrovertible list of the Top 5 Weapons the U.S. Navy Needs Now. The list employs such metrics as a system’s national-level importance, its capacity to multiply the fleet’s offensive and defensive fighting power, and its ability to exploit enduring enemy weaknesses at manageable cost to the United States. This is science, remember. Don’t be a science denier!!!

One caveat: exotic weaponry like lasers and railguns is conspicuously absent from this list. These prospective game-changers will doubtless qualify—once they stop hovering along the frontiers of science fiction and start fulfilling their promise at fleet air and missile defense. It feels a wee bit premature to jump on that bandwagon—the potential of ray guns and other golly-gee armaments notwithstanding. Now, onward. In reverse order:

5. Offensive minelayers. We make much of the U.S. Navy’s vulnerability to sea mines, but rivals are acutely vulnerable as well. As mine-warfare expert Scott Truver aptly notes, mine countermeasures is an orphan in want of a champion. Offensive mine warfare is an orphan of an orphan. That’s a shame, as the option of closing straits, harbors, and other narrow seas at low cost could come in handy in a host of contingencies. Manifold airborne, surface, and subsurface platforms can lay mines. Mine warfare should find its champion soonest—and provide that champion with the implements to make life tough for prospective foes.

4. Long-range combat aircraft. We may exaggerate the range problem, whereby shore-based aircraft can smite aircraft-carrier strike groups long before these groups close within reach of enemy shores. No one assumed carrier task forces would pound away at the Japanese home islands during World War II while remaining safely out of harm’s way. U.S. forces had to fight their way into the theater, wresting control of sea and sky from Japan before exploiting that control to strike at the island empire.

Still, long range opens up new tactical and operational vistas for American commanders while attenuating the effectiveness of enemy counterbattery fire. Maximum effective firing range isn’t the same as maximum firing range. Weapons typically start to lose accuracy at extreme range. The capacity to operate around the outer limits of, say, Chinese anti-access weaponry would buttress deterrence in peacetime and combat power in wartime—a net bonus for U.S. commanders.

Long range also lets airmen turn geography to advantage. If U.S. Navy and Marine warbirds can operate from temporary “lilypad” airfields erected on islands around the Asian periphery, they can convert these islands into unsinkable—though also immobile—aircraft carriers. Let’s harness maritime geography for operational gain.

3. More attack submarines. This one may seem like a cop-out, but the undersea fleet desperately needs more attack boats. Joseph Stalin isn’t one of my go-to sources of strategic wisdom, but he was correct to note that quantity boasts a quality all its own. A simple differential equation tells the tale: Cold War-era Los Angeles-class subs are being retired faster than new-build Virginia-class boats replace them. As a result the submarine fleet may dwindle to as few as 41 boats in the coming years. That may sound like a lot, but under the prevailing maintenance and training cycle, it means commanders can count on something like 28 boats at any time…to police the entire globe and face down aggression.

That’s a serious shortfall. Like mine countermeasures, antisubmarine warfare is an enduring weakness of potential antagonists like China’s navy. By all means let’s build more Virginias. Or, let’s go back to the U.S. Navy’s conventional submarining past. Japan’s navy operates a fleet of diesel boats acclaimed the world’s finest. They’re eminently suitable for patrol grounds in crucial theaters like, well, Asia. To add numbers of hulls, why not buy some of these relatively inexpensive craft and use them to constitute a permanent, forward-deployed allied squadron alongside Japanese boats. Let’s buy American—and Japanese.

2. Modern anti-ship cruise missiles. Our navy suffers from a severe deficit of cruise-missile firepower. Cruise missiles of the anti-ship variety, I mean. The navy ditched an anti-ship variant of the Tomahawk cruise missile two decades ago, going all-in on land attack, while the elderly Harpoon missile finds itself outranged by virtually every serious foe out there. That means missile-armed enemy ships, subs, and planes can lob missiles at U.S. naval task forces long before American units can reply. U.S. forces will have to close to missile range under fire, in all likelihood taking losses as they do. That’s a perilous position for any fleet—and one that demands to be remedied.

Surface-fleet chieftains are saying the right things. They’ve started talking about “distributed lethality,” meaning arming as many ships as possible—not just cruisers and destroyers but amphibious transports, and even logistics vessels—for defensive and offensive purposes. A fine aspiration—provided we have something to arm surface vessels, subs, aircraft and even bodies of Marines ashore with. Distributed lethality is a worthy concept. Whether it’s a neo-Tomahawk anti-ship missile, a newfangled long-range anti-ship missile, or something else, fielding a new “bird”—and thus righting the range imbalance—must top fleet designers’ tactical to-do list.

1. Replacement ballistic-missile subs. Which leaves top honors on this list to a replacement for navy’s aging Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs). Nuclear deterrence is a matter of national survival, and the undersea component of the U.S. “second-strike” capability remains its most survivable—and thus credible—component. SSBNs are strategic assets of utmost importance.

Small wonder top navy leaders have designated the replacement “boomer” now on the drawing board the nation’s foremost shipbuilding priority. They have warned, moreover, that all other procurements may have to yield to submarine construction unless Congress funds the new SSBNs through a special account outside the normal shipbuilding budget. Yet anchoring the nuclear deterrent is that critical. That makes the Ohio successor #1 on my—and probably anyone’s—list of U.S. Navy acquisitions.

James Holmes is Professor of Strategy at the Naval War College and coauthor of Red Star over the Pacific, an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of 2010. He is RCD’s new national security columnist. The views voiced here are his alone.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City, Ghetto Communities social breakdown, Thomas Sowell on: May 05, 2015, 09:03:26 AM
A very wise man whose writings helped to form some of my views.

"The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period.  You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility, and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large."

"One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994."

224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Whoops! The President forgot to mention this , , , on: May 04, 2015, 11:13:53 AM

The city of Baltimore received over $1.8 billion from President Obama's stimulus law, including $467.1 million to invest in education and $26.5 million for crime prevention.

Obama claimed last Tuesday that if the Republican-controlled Congress would implement his policies to make "massive investments in urban communities," they could "make a difference right now" in the city, currently in upheaval following the death of Freddie Gray.

However, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found that the Obama administration and Democratically-controlled Congress did make a "massive" investment into Baltimore, appropriating $1,831,768,487 though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus.

According to, one of Baltimore's central ZIP codes, 21201, received the most stimulus funding in the city, a total of $837,955,866. The amount included funding for 276 awards, and the website reports that the spending had created 290 jobs in the fourth quarter in 2013.

Of this amount, $467.1 million went to education; $206.1 million to the environment; $24 million to "family"; $16.1 million to infrastructure; $15.2 million to transportation; $11.9 million to housing; and $3.1 million to job training.
IF my math is correct those 290 jobs created cost over $6,310,000 each  cry cry  angry

Just sickening.  It's not just that the money doesn't help; the money pouring in is doing immeasurable damage.  How is some young person starting out or single parent trying to off of welfare supposed to get focused and motivated on getting out of bed in the morning and showing up on time everyday for a lousy, entry level job and work hard all day for a relatively small amount of money to pay the bills and establish a good work record when people are throwing millions and literally billions around right in front of you?  It used to be only the drug dealers who had the fancy, shiny cars that the kids would envy.  Now its the government cronyists.

Here is the Baltimore Congresswoman on Fox News Sunday.  Chris Wallace asked he one good follow up question,  but no one ever really pins them down on just how dead-wrong they are:

WALLACE: ... whenever have you riots, people talk about the underlying conditions. And there's no question that Baltimore, the city of Baltimore, has serious problems. Let put them on the screen.

The violent crime rate is four times the national average. Unemployment in Freddie Gray's neighborhood in Baltimore was 21 percent. Seventy-two percent of eighth graders score below proficient in math.

Now, a lot of people, frankly, conservatives, have pointed out that Baltimore has not had a Republican mayor in 50 years. Is it unfair to say that the liberal policies have failed the city of Baltimore?

EDWARDS: No. I think it's unevenly spread. I mean, I would say, for example, with our schools, just prior to the Freddie Gray incident, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was actually prevailing upon our Republican governor to release money for school funding.

When you have schools that are operating in the 20th century, and we're trying to prepare our children for the 21st century, even those children know they are not educated in the right way. I think that that is a baseline for how we can revitalize communities so that it's not -- we're not investing in economic development only in the areas where we get tax abasements but we're investing in other areas in the community, our small businesses and our education system and job retraining.

WALLACE: But, Congresswoman, if I may, it's not a matter of money. One of the things that we learned this week is Baltimore spends the third highest although per capita on its public school.
Baltimore was already spending plenty on public school and the schools were still lousy.

EDWARDS: Well, I mean, there's uneven spending in the public schools. And I would say to you -- I mean, even the school that let out where the riots first began, there was a student who was interviewed who said, I'm looking at a book that's 20 years old. How does that prepare her for the 21st century?

So, I think we have a lot of questions to ask. They're not just -- they're not questions that are only for Republicans. They're questions for Democrats and Republicans about where we're going to make investments in our communities so the only investment we make isn't on the back end on law enforcement.

Throw more money in is the only proposal coming from the elected, governing establishment, and then blame whoever puts limits on that for all the problems.  Yes we spent more than two trillion dollars but it was "spread unevenly".  They already have second in the nation spending and 72% can't do math.

It shouldn't take a person labeled 'conservative' to tell them what they are doing isn't working!
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues on: May 01, 2015, 11:28:05 PM
Funny how blue cities and states are such utter failures.

Right and the causation goes both directions.  Areas of failure from leftist federal policies turn left locally, causing even more failure.  It spirals downward, progressively poorer as the author put it, until there is one party rule and entire families and neighborhoods where hardly anyone knows anyone who works or has started a business.

Have you ever bought a product manufactured in the Northside of Minneapolis, Southside of Chicago or a neighborhood of west Baltimore?  Can anyone name a great company founded in one of these areas since the war on poverty began?  Probably not.  Drive 10-20 miles outward and the graduation rate jumps from 37% to 98%, to take just one indicator of poverty vs. wealth, failure vs. success.

There is no easy fix, but there will be no solution at all when people won't admit this is all wrong and try to change course.
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / America's Inner City, Baltimore grew "progressively poorer" on: May 01, 2015, 10:54:08 AM
I took a stab at this, responding to a call for personal responsibility in 'the way forward thread:  It its good to others chiming in.  This article with the same themes has credibility coming from a Professor of Economics at Loyola University in Maryland, author of Restoring the Urban American Dream.  Understanding these facts and concepts is crucial to ever changing the direction of our economic malaise and urban decline.  Why can't we make these points persuasively to ALL demographic groups in all neighborhoods?  How can anyone think stomping on and chasing out wealth helps the poor?  Why are we taking away personal responsibility from those with the most need?  What a great country we would have if the we had everyone in, pulling in the same direction.  And what an ugly and dysfunctional society we become when we let ourselves fracture like this.
Baltimore: A Lesson in Why Robin Hood–ism Hurts the Poor
 by STEPHEN J. K. WALTERS   May 1, 2015 4:00 AM
The morning after the Baltimore protests first turned violent and destructive, USA Today carried a front-page photo well worth a thousand words. With a burning car and police van in the background, a looter carried away his prizes: two cans of Pringles, a gallon of iced tea, and a bundle of diapers. So much destruction, such puny rewards.

This plundering was widely — though not universally — condemned. A few radical-splained that a riot is the language of the unheard, the voice of the voiceless, yadda, yadda, yadda. The more mainstream talking point was that the rioting was a “distraction” from the narrative that the Left is trying to build out of the death of Freddie Gray: We are a nation ruled by racist, oppressive institutions abetted by brutal cops, where social and economic injustice is pervasive, and deep “societal change” is necessary.

In Baltimore, of course, the rhetoric of powerlessness just won’t play. Even the incendiary Rev. Jamal Bryant, an Al Sharpton wannabe who has likened the city’s police force to ISIS, has noticed that he lives in a city with a black mayor (the fourth in its history), black police chief, black chief prosecutor, and majority-black city council.

But pay no attention to that black power elite behind the curtain. Let’s talk about “the burn behind the burn,” in the words of Malik Shabazz, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center — not known to be part of the vast right-wing conspiracy — as a “racist black nationalist” with a history of “violently anti-Semitic remarks and accusations about the inherent evil of white people.” Shabazz, according to SPLC, is “particularly skilled at orchestrating provocative protests.”

The source of “the burn” is urban poverty and inequality, and the treatment is money. President Obama announced with his usual confidence that “there’s a bunch of my agenda that would make a difference right now in that,” while also asserting that the evil Republicans running Congress would, of course, refuse to make the “massive investments in urban communities” required. So, hey, don’t blame us progressives.  Baltimoreans are justifiably angry — just at the wrong people.

As a matter of historical fact, however, it is with progressive ideology that responsibility lies for Baltimore’s stagnant economy, its lack of job opportunities, and its meager stocks of physical, human, and social capital. Baltimoreans are justifiably angry — just at the wrong people.

The responsible parties have always meant well, of course. Before World War I, it seemed clear to those of good will that the federal and state governments weren’t doing enough to improve the lot of the poor. Because big cities often contained more than their share of both the destitute (usually recent immigrants) and the compassionate, what we call “Robin Hood Government” first took root there. The well-off would be made to pay for policies and programs that would lift up the poor. Public-works projects and swelling public payrolls would enhance poor people’s employment prospects; their slums would be cleared and replaced with better, cheaper public housing.

Of course, this could get expensive. Boston’s “Mayor of the Poor,” James Michael Curley, quintupled that city’s property-tax rate in his four terms and bragged, not inaccurately, that he had inspired imitators in places such as Baltimore and in the New Deal itself. But it would all be transformational.

And it was — just not in a good way. Playing Robin Hood at the local level, it became clear, had a huge downside. Take from the rich (and working classes) at the national level, and the unenlightened among them may grumble. Do the same thing at the local level, however, and they simply move.

With them will go vast quantities of capital in all its forms: not just knowledge, financial wealth, and social networks, but over time the factories, offices, homes, and stores that are the machinery of a successful city. The old capital wears out, and the new investment needed to replace it goes elsewhere.

So it was that Baltimore, which in 1950 enjoyed a median family income 7 percent above the national level, grew progressively poorer (double entendre, um, intended) as it cleared “blight,” sprinkled housing projects around town, expanded social-welfare programs, and paid for it all with 19 property-tax increases in the next 25 years, doubling its former rate. Each hike, via what economists call tax capitalization, reduced property values. It was legal looting, but property owners — capitalists — didn’t like it any better than the illegal kind of plundering, and they fled. Baltimore’s land area is 81 square miles, but within its borders, you are never more than a few miles from a more favorable investment climate. Chase the capital — and capitalists — away, and laborers suffer diminished opportunity, productivity, and income.

Naturally, then, many of those left behind are angry. Call it “rage against the absent machine.” Contrary to the teachings of Comrade Marx, capital and labor are not adversaries, but partners in production. Chase the capital — and capitalists — away, and laborers suffer diminished opportunity, productivity, and income. Poverty, crime, and social disorder flourish. The key force here is not racism — which explains little of the wide variation in cities’ fortunes over time — but a misguided devotion to Robin Hood–ism at the local level.

What is worse is that several generations of Baltimore’s leaders, though well aware that prior policies caused catastrophic capital flight, have embraced a palliative that is neither effective nor equitable. Indeed, they have chosen a course that reinforces complaints of the city’s poorer residents that “the system” works mainly for the rich.

It is now routine for officials to dole out special tax breaks and subsidies to well-heeled and well-connected developers to offset the city’s punishing tax rate and to attract private investment. It is also woefully inadequate to the city’s needs. This is not only because these projects often affect just a few acres along the waterfront and largely ignore the areas where we now see “unrest,” but because an investment environment that depends on the favor of whoever sits in City Hall can never lead to an organic and sustained urban renewal.

To thrive, Baltimore needs to put aside the Robin Hood model of urban governance and embrace a new one: conscientious protection of its residents property rights. It must radically reform its tax policy; it must end its reliance on grandiose redevelopment projects that seize land through eminent domain; it must reclaim its public spaces for the use and enjoyment of the law-abiding. The good news is that the city’s recent turmoil and tension provide ample reason for its leaders to question their devotion to old formulas — or for new political blood to challenge them. Nobody in Baltimore is happy right now. Perhaps that discontent will lead us toward the right path.

 — Stephen J. K. Walters is the author of Boom Towns: Restoring the Urban American Dream and a professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, 0.2% Q1 growth, what say Wesbury? on: April 29, 2015, 11:13:22 AM
Was winter during global warming unexpectedly cold again?

I wonder if 0.2% growth is still considered plowhorse pace.  You aren't going to plow much land this way.  Fingernails grow faster.

Latest from Wesbury that I see:  Where's the Hyper-Inflation?

Why would we see hyper-inflation in a stalled economy?

The experts tell us we can make no change to policies and just hope for things to improve - to get back to the near zero growth of last year.

Good grief.
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward, Baltimore, Ferguson, personal responsibility on: April 29, 2015, 10:33:28 AM
"This week’s nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It’s time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, “broken windows” policing, and education choice."

Yes.  All of that, especially personal responsibility.  

Seeing how not to live and govern tells us something about the way forward if we don't like the current path, but all the momentum seems to be in the other direction.

From my experiences as an inner city landlord I have tried to warn of what is happening and how our policies are tied to these lifestyle choices and behaviors.  In 19.9% of American households now, 1 in 5, no one works.  In America's inner city, that proportion is way higher.  At some point what we have is something like a third world country just outside of our downtowns and off of the freeways the rest of us travel.

Rich, white liberals and the 49-52% who vote with them keep talking about doing more for the have-nots, right while they take away the ladder up.  50 years into a failed war on poverty, they still don't notice what they are taking from the program recipients by making everything free, from their home, food, healthcare, down to their smartphone and data plan.  

It can be quite ugly to see what fills the void in human nature when personal responsibility is removed.

One time in Mpls someone broke all the first floor windows in an apartment building I owned.  An eyewitness tried to tell the police in a car what had happened.  The cop rolled his squad car window down partway, heard what she said and told her she should report this to the landlord.

When the riots end, the people will return to their taxpayer supported homes with cable TV, cigarettes, air conditioning,  and blaring music.  If Baltimore is at all like Minneapolis, the City enforcers will come out and start writing orders and tickets to the landlords to get the rubble cleared and windows repaired or face condemnation and prosecution.   In Washington, the rich and powerful liberals along with the media and rinos will again tell us that any cut, of any amount, to any program, will harm the children.  Not so.  It is the existence, expansion and proliferation of these programs that remove all personal responsibility that is hurting the children more than anything else.
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: April 29, 2015, 09:30:05 AM
"the United States and Japan cemented a more muscular defensive partnership, with new guidelines that bolster the two countries’ militaries’ ability to plan and operate together"

Although our President's word is of no value, let his career scorecard show that in this one case he got something right.  Welcome Prime Minister Abe to the United States.

More likely than than global security as a motivator, Michelle wanted an occasion like a state dinner to wear a new dress and knows the Japanese will come bearing gifts.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 28, 2015, 10:00:05 PM
"Bozo at NYT (Dana Milbank)"

Doug thanks for clarifying who you were referring to.  A lot of Bozos on that side.

Very funny ccp.  I meant to say, one clown among many over there.  Meanwhile at the NYT, the master of straw man arguments, Paul Krugman who won't argue with anyone but a straw man had a column today titled "Nobody Said That".  Really?  It took willpower to not click on his drivel.  I used to read and answer the nonsense.  But like the ratings of MSNBC, they won't go away until no one is watching or reading them anymore.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 28, 2015, 11:45:20 AM
ccp: "The Clinton machine is *boasting" how it plans to raise 2 to 2.5 BILLION more yet."

Bozo at NYT (Dana Milbank) writes today about Republicans having big money backers.  I hope so!

"Tabloid says she had 2 strokes.  Remember I (ccp) posted a picture of her cross eyed and questioned this."

Yes, something happened. I wonder if she ever has to release medical records.  Plus I think she hides at times to cover up the healing of 'work done' on her face.  Are those in the medical records?  Maybe they can tuck in some other problem areas as well.  I lost a Carly post to a computer re-boot but it would be nice if our first woman President was at least a little bit feminine.  (Sexist I'm sure to comment on any of that.  But not when it is to comment about men, good looking, overweight, old, young, etc.)

"Still she will run."

If she bows out, a partial health disclosure would give her a face saving excuse and maybe slow down the call for investigations.
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2016 Presidential: Martin O’Malley’s Terrible Fiscal Record on: April 28, 2015, 11:05:03 AM
Striving for equal time for all the competitors.  )  Thanks to Cato for covering this.

C'mon Dems, are these really the best leaders you can find?

From the article:
He raised just about every tax in Maryland. Governor O’Malley:

Raised the top personal income tax rate from 4.75 to 5.75 percent. With local taxes on top, Maryland’s top rate is 8.95 percent.
Raised the corporate tax rate from 7.0 to 8.25 percent.
Raised the sales tax rate from 5 to 6 percent and expanded the sales tax base.
Raised the sales tax rate on beer, wine, and spirits by 50 percent.
Raised the gas tax by 20 cents over four years, almost doubling the rate from 23.5 cents.
Doubled the cigarette tax from $1 to $2 per pack.
Imposed higher taxes on vehicle registration.
Imposed a stormwater mitigation fee on property owners, or a “rain tax.”
After eight years, O’Malley had hit income earners, businesses, consumers, smokers, beer drinkers, wine drinkers, and drivers, which probably means everyone in the state. He didn’t just punish the top 1 percent often targeted by Democrats — he gave a tax spanking to all 100 percent of Marylanders.

By 2014 Marylanders had finally had enough. In the gubernatorial election, Republican Larry Hogan pulled off a stunning upset over Democrat Anthony Brown. As the Washington Post said, Hogan’s win was powered by “relentlessly promising to roll back tax increases,” and it was a “repudiation of the eight-year tenure” of O’Malley. Hogan is focusing on rolling back some of the tax hikes, starting with the rain tax.
Maryland’s pension funding ratio is just 64 percent, below the 50-state average of 71 percent, and much less than the full-funding ratio of 100 percent. That means that Marylanders could face more tax hikes down the road unless bloated state worker benefits are scaled back.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, debunking Clinton Bush electoral juggernaut myth on: April 28, 2015, 10:57:37 AM
Daily Caller has a piece debunking the electoral clout of these alleged dynasties.  George HW Bush ran for President 3 times.  Lost in 1980.  Won once, the so-called Reagan 3rd term in 1988.  Got only 37% of the vote in 1992 running on his own record.  Hardly a electoral powerhouse.

Bill Clinton ran and won twice, both with less than 50% of the vote, 43% and 49%.

George W Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 with 49%.  Won as a post 911 war time President with only 50% - over a dolt, and was never popular again.

Hillary was part of Bill 43% win in 1992 and was unpopular by 1994.  She ran and lost in 2007-2008 to an almost unknown in her own party.  (Running unopposed and still floundering now.)

Jeb was a popular Governor, last won an election in 2002, 14 years prior to 2016, (and currently trails Marco Rubio in his home state polling).
History Shows Clintons And Bushes Are NOT Electoral Juggernauts
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton Foundation 2013, 10% of budget went to charitable grants on: April 28, 2015, 10:44:01 AM
You would think they're first defense would be to point to all the good they are doing around the globe.  Not so much.

In 2013, The Clinton Foundation Only Spent 10 Percent Of Its Budget On Charitable Grants
Hillary Clinton's non-profit spent more on office supplies and rent than it did on charitable grants
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Breitbart: 11 Clinton Cash facts confirmed accurate by the mainstream media on: April 28, 2015, 10:36:56 AM
These are not just partisan allegations.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the forthcoming book rocking Washington right now is the number of stunning facts liberal media outlets have already confirmed and verified are accurate.

Here, then, are 11 facts that mainstream media say are true, verified, and facts from the upcoming blockbuster, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Foundation Hid a $2.35 Million Foreign Donation from the Head of the Russian Govt’s Uranium Company that Had Business Before Hillary Clinton’s State Dept.—a Clear Violation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Obama Administration

The New York Times has confirmed that Hillary Clinton violated the Memorandum of Understanding she signed with the Obama administration promising to disclose all foreign donations during her tenure as Sec. of State.

As Clinton Cash reveals, Ian Telfer, the foreign head of the Russian-owned uranium company, Uranium One, which Hillary Clinton approved to acquire U.S. uranium, made four individual hidden donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling $2.35 million, none of which appear in Clinton Foundation disclosures.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton Bagged $500,000 for a Speech in Moscow Paid for by a Kremlin-linked Bank

The New Yorker confirms that, as Clinton Cash claims, Bill Clinton made $500,000 for a Moscow speech that was paid for by “a Russian investment bank that had ties to the Kremlin” at the time of the Uranium One deal.

“Why was Bill Clinton taking any money from a bank linked to the Kremlin while his wife was Secretary of State?” asks the liberal publication.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Brother Sits on the Board of a Mining Company that Scored an Extremely Rare “Gold Exploitation Permit” in Haiti as Hillary and Bill Clinton Disbursed Billions of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars in Haiti

The Washington Post confirms the accuracy of Clinton Cash’s revelation that Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, serves on the board of a mining company that scored a coveted and lucrative “gold exploitation permit” in Haiti as then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton were doling out billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in the wake of the Haiti earthquake.

According to the Post, Rodham’s mining company “won one of the first two gold-mining permits the Haitian government had issued in more than 50 years,” just as Clinton Cash reveals.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Foundation Hid a Foreign Donation of 2 Million Shares of Stock by a Mining Executive with Business Before Hillary’s State Dept.—a Clear Violation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Obama Administration

The Wall Street Journal confirms the book’s revelation that another foreign donation, one by Canadian mining executive Stephen Dattels, made a hidden donation of two million shares in Polo Resources that the Clinton Foundation chose not to disclose in violation of the Memorandum of Understanding the Clintons signed with the Obama administration.

“About two months later, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh pushed the energy adviser to that nation’s prime minister to allow ‘open pit mining,’ including in Phulbari Mines, where Polo Resources has a stake,” reports the Journal.

CONFIRMED: Hillary’s Approval of the Russian Takeover of Uranium One Transferred 20% of All U.S. Uranium to the Russian Govt.

The New York Times confirms, “The sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States.”

The Times also verifies the book’s reporting that Hillary’s uranium transfer to Russia represented, at the time, a projected 50% of all U.S. uranium output.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton was Paid by a For-Profit Education Company Laureate While the Company Benefitted from an Increase in Funding from Hillary’s State Dept.

Bloomberg has confirmed that, as reported in Clinton Cash, Bill Clinton was paid by “Laureate International Universities, part of Laureate Education, Inc,” a position he abruptly resigned from on Friday.

Bloomberg’s examination confirms that “in 2009, the year before Bill Clinton joined Laureate, the nonprofit received 11 grants worth $9 million from the State Department or the affiliated USAID. In 2010, the group received 14 grants worth $15.1 million. In 2011, 13 grants added up to $14.6 million. The following year, those numbers jumped: IYF received 21 grants worth $25.5 million, including a direct grant from the State Department.”

The company nor the Clintons will release the exact amounts Bill received for working for the controversial for-profit education company.

CONFIRMED: The Clinton Foundation has Been Forced to Refile at Least 5 Years of Annual Tax Returns and May Audit Other Clinton Foundation Returns

Reuters has confirmed that “Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns” as “the foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny.”

CONFIRMED: At Least $26 Million of the Clintons’ Wealth Comes from Speaking Fees by Companies and Organizations that are Also Major Clinton Foundation Donors

The Washington Post has confirmed in an article based on Clinton Cash that, according to the Post’s independent analysis, “Bill Clinton was paid more than $100 million for speeches between 2001 and 2013, according to federal financial disclosure forms filed by Hillary Clinton during her years as a senator and as secretary of state.”

Of that, reports the Post, “Bill Clinton was paid at least $26 million in speaking fees by companies and organizations that are also major donors to the foundation he created after leaving the White House, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records and foundation date.”

CONFIRMED: Clinton Cash author, Peter Schweizer, is Currently Conducting a Deep Dive Investigative Report on Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush’s Financial Dealings

CBS News has confirmed that author Peter Schweizer is working on a similar investigation into GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s financial records and relationships.

“The wide-ranging examination will appraise the possible 2016 contender’s involvement in Florida real estate deals, an airport deal that involved state funds while Bush was Florida’s chief executive, and Chinese investments in Bush’s private equity funds,” reports CBS News.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton Delivered Numerous Speeches Paid for By Individuals and Corporations with Pending Business Before Hillary’s State Dept.

ABC News has confirmed Clinton Cash’s reporting that myriad businesses and individuals paid Bill Clinton to deliver speeches even as their companies had business on Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s desk.

“Records supported the premise that former President Clinton accepted speaking fees from numerous companies and individuals with interests pending before the State Department,” reported ABC News.

ABC News noted it found “an instance where paid and unpaid speaking appearances were conflated,” but that Clinton Cash’s essential “premise” is “supported by records” ABC News independently analyzed.

CONFIRMED: Bill Clinton Lied about Hosting a Meeting with Frank Giustra and Kazakh Nuclear Officials at Clinton’s Home in Chappaqua, New York

New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Jo Becker confirmed in a one-hour Fox News television special on Clinton Cash that Bill Clinton lied when questioned about whether Clinton, Giustra, and executives from the Kazakh-owned nuclear company Kazatomprom ever met in Clintons’ home.

“When I first contacted both the Clinton Foundation—Mr. Clinton’s spokesman—and Mr. Giustra, they denied any such meeting ever took place,” said Becker.

“And then when we told them, ‘Well we already talked to the head of Kazatomprom, who not only told us all about the meeting, but actually has a picture of him and Bill at the home in Chappaqua, and that he proudly displayed it on his office wall.’ They then acknowledged that yes, the meeting had taken place.”

The Hillary Clinton campaign continues to struggle in its efforts to spin and distract from the growing pile of Clinton Cash facts mainstream media outlets have already confirmed and verified are correct.

As Politico concludes, “Hillary’s Clinton Cash dismissal is dead in the water.”
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 28, 2015, 10:30:17 AM
A point Team Hillary is making is that State was one of some 9 agencies that reviewed and approved the deal.  While some/most may have no national security considerations as part of their evaluating criteria, others, e.g. the Pentagon clearly did.
How do we explain this?

a) It had to be unanimous so her vote was the decider, not just one of nine. Her Dept's approval was the most crucial.  Why would Sec of Interior see this as a threat if State did not, for example. These other Secretaries are all Obama-ites by definition and all have close ties to the Clintons. Could have been influenced also and likely were if the policy otherwise doesn't make sense. b) We don't know anything about behind the scenes communications, the pulling of other agencies or even her own, but the pattern of facts bears further investigation.  There isn't a shred of evidence maybe because evidence was withheld and destroyed.  c) The timing of these bribery payments to Bill, Hillary and the Foundation was keyed on this deal.  d) The Bill Clinton speaking fee tripled, yet his voice is shakier.  He has drifted further and further from power EXCEPT for his influence over State and other Departments.  e) She was a big opponent of this kind of security risk very recently as a Senator, very outspoken opposing foreign control of our ports.  This is similar but MUCH worse security risk/failure.  Dubai is not a threat to our security on par with Moscow.  f) If the policy decision is wrong, doesn't that disqualify her for higher office regardless of the corruption?  g) This wasn't the only occurrence of Clinton money affecting US policy and contracts.  h) Many politicians went to jail for crimes FAR smaller than this.  Didn't a Speaker of the House fall over a bunch of phony book sales that were really just disguised payments?  (  In all cases, prosecution starts an investigation following signs like we see here of wrongdoing. 

As one pundit put it earlier, people don't give to the Clinton Foundation because they didn't know about the Red Cross.  100% of the speaking fees go directly into their personal account and the vast majority of Foundation goes to pay family and friends, not to direct aid.  (I will post that separately.)

I wonder what the new Attorney General will do about this, lol.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: April 26, 2015, 09:21:53 AM
The author of the Clinton Cash book that could very well take down Hillary Clinton says that he has researchers 4 months into a look at Jeb Bush's financial affairs. (Fox News Sunday today) Too early to comment he says but hints that they are finding similar patterns, with the main difference being that the stakes with a Governor are smaller and less global.  Bush seems like a moral, standup and straightforward guy and can probably explain quite well every action he took as Governor.  But somehow these well-connected people stumble into big money quite easily.  The timing of it is that it follows the Hillary scandal and in the context of a little Clinton-Bush fatigue.  It could turn out that his big money advantage for Bush will turn out to be a negative in the campaign. 

That said, I doubt he was responsible for the transfer of our nuclear fuel assets to one of our largest, state enemies.

Meanwhile, I see that both Cruz and Rubio or up and that Marco Rubio moved into first place (within the margin of error) in the latest two polls:

The goal at this early stage is probably just to poll high enough to stay relevant.

238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Hillbillary Clintons, $500k speaking fee while Uranium One deal pending on: April 26, 2015, 08:46:17 AM
I think I may have found a missing piece of the puzzle in this scandal that never seems to get mentioned.  First, this is what we know for sure.

We know that as a Senator Hillary in 2005 publicly and vehemently opposed foreign takeover of critical American assets that ended in the cancellation of the Dubai Ports deal.

In a relatively abrupt about face, we know she was critically involved in the approval of the Russian - Uranium One deal, where the State Department was one of the agencies that had the full power and responsibility to stop the transfer of US Uranium assets to the Russians, if it was not in America's best interest.

We know that more than a dozen Russian individuals and organizations associated with the Uranium One deal gave millions upon millions to the Clinton Foundation.

We know that Bill Clinton's speaking fees in Russia TRIPLED during the period that the time that deal was before the State Department.

The innocent explanation for speaking fees tripling is that the speeches, in Russia, suddenly got that much better over the time, even though the aging ex-President who was aging was drifting further and further from power.   

The opposite conclusion is that the speech income, which goes to both Clintons, was actually buying an expectation of influence with the United States Secretary of State. 

Speaking fees go directly into the power couple's pocket, like a bribe or kickback, not into the Foundation to feed the poor, etc.

Here's what I don't get about the innocent, coincidental explanation of taking a half million bucks for a short speech in Russia:

The man does not speak Russian!
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / HRC, In which version of feminism does the woman always follow the man's lead? on: April 25, 2015, 04:27:28 PM
Powerline 4/24/15
Liberal pundit Jonathan Chait concludes from the emerging “Clinton cash” scandal that, at a minimum, the Clintons have been “disorganized and greedy.” Of the greed, there can be no doubt. But whether the Clintons have been disorganized depends on what they were trying, primarily, to accomplish through their Foundation.

From Bill Clinton’s perspective, I gather, the Foundation was intended to raise huge amounts of money and to serve as a vehicle through which he would remain an important international player. Clinton plainly wanted an enormously lucrative and conspicuously consequential post-presidency. The Clinton Foundation would enable him to meet these aspirations.

And so it has. From Bill’s perspective, then, the Clinton Foundation is a raging success, brilliantly conceived and executed, and sufficiently well-organized to achieve its purposes.

This point appears to be lost on Chait. He says, with surprise, that “Bill Clinton seemed to see the nexus between his role and his wife’s as a positive rather than a negative.”

Well, yeah. Having Hillary running the State Department clearly maximized the Foundation’s ability to raise huge amounts of money and to project Bill into major deals all over the world.

As one Clintonista told Ryan Lizza, “Bill Clinton’s been able to continue to be the Bill Clinton we know, in large part because of his relationship with the White House and because his wife is the Secretary of State; it worked out very well for him.”

But how has it worked out for Hillary Clinton? We don’t know yet. Surely, she is delighted to see her family massively enriched through the Foundation. And while a part of her may not love seeing her husband flying so high, it’s unlikely that she begrudges him a place on the world stage.

Her primary mission, though, is to become president of the United States. It remains to be seen whether the “Clinton cash” scandal will derail her quest. But she must believe that it has created more risk of derailment than is worth the incremental income Bill’s more aggressive plays has accrued. The scandal probably seem to her, as it does to Chait, like an unforced error — one that, left to her own devices, she would have avoided.

In sum, the Foundation has operated the way Bill wanted it to, but probably not quite as Hillary, with her focus on the presidency, wished.

If so, this tells us that Bill Clinton remains the dominant force in the family. When their interests diverged, Bill’s carried the day.

Lizza’s reporting tends to confirm that this was the case. He writes:

More than anyone, [Bill] pushed Hillary to take the job of Secretary of State. “President Clinton was a big supporter of the idea,” an intimate of the Clintons told me. “He advocated very strongly for it and arguably was the tie-breaking reason she took the job.”

The husband’s pushy advocacy was the “tie-breaking” reason why the wife made the momentous decision to take an all-consuming job? In which version of feminism are things supposed to work like this?

I hope America’s first female president will be a woman who is not under the sway of her husband and who would not permit the family enterprise to be commandeered by a husband notorious for having no sense of proportion or propriety. Hillary Clinton is not that woman.
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Income Inequality on: April 23, 2015, 09:07:55 PM
We were addressing this phony issue here, income inequality, long before Hillary announced she is pretending to make it the centerpiece for her non-existent campaign.  

Income inequality is the economic ladder, it is the freedom to climb, it is the existence of the American economic dream.  A workable ladder requires a first rung, a second, third rung and so on, all in working order and all rungs going up placed within a reasonable and accessible reach from the one beneath it.  All leftist economic policies, one way or another, weaken or remove steps from the ladder.  Their stated goal is to destroy it altogether, and make us all equally poor.

Income inequality in a dynamic economy is a fact, not an issue.  The political question is how badly do we want to hurt the people at the top in order to also hurt the people further down, wanting to climb up.

When you chop off the top of the ladder and knock people down, you also knock out economic activity (GDP and GDP growth) and make it harder for everyone else to rise up.  

When you raise minimum wage law, you are sawing off or weakening the bottom rung of the ladder.  Some will jump and make it up anyway, but many won't and get stuck at the bottom.  Note the sudden spikes in SNAP and SSI, proof that leftist policies of making basic things free and/or subsidized do not help people to lift themselves up.

Imagine the opposite of the income inequality - income equality.  Everyone makes exactly the same whether they work hard, train, grow, gain experience or improve their skills.  The batboy makes the same as the greatest home run hitter, in this Utopian world.  The incentive to achieve, excel or improve is gone.  What a sad existence that would be.  Innovation ends, startups end, GDP growth ends.  Entrenched powers with the best lobbyists and lawyers might still maneuver through the myriad of taxes and regulations and prosper, but everyone else suffers.  Welcome to the path of Obama's America where the chosen successor promises to do more of the same.

Income inequality, the political issue, grew out of the fact that liberals and leftists could not find any other way to attack the rapid economic growth that came out of past tax rate cuts.  They came up with phony measures that completely ignore income mobility - the fact that people improve their job skills, experience and income throughout their working lives and then retire, work less and live off of savings.  The politics of income inequality alarmism worked quite well around 2006 and the leftists took power in America.  (Relly they won because of an unpopular war, but still they won running on this economic platform.)  They took the House and the Senate, then the Presidency.  Then they took a 60 seat control of the Senate.  They ended tax rate cuts.  They passed Obamacare and anything else that they wanted until the economic and political wheels fell off.  They passed a stimulus, shovel ready government jobs, cash for clunkers, took over the auto companies, attacked energy, surrendered from wars and so on.  

They ruled without a whisper of conservative constraint, and what happened?  

Income inequality got worse!  Income mobility got worse.  Entrepreneurialism was stopped dead in its tracks.  Workforce participation collapsed. Safety net program use exploded.  And their answer to it all of this is to do more of the same!  Go figure.
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Uber Driver With Concealed Carry Permit Drops Chicago Gunman on: April 20, 2015, 02:45:36 PM
What say Rahm to this?
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy loathes concealed carry, and so it must be particularly painful for him today to deal with the fact that it was a concealed carry permit holder who stopped a madman firing into a Chicago crowd.

A Logan Square man was ordered held on no bail Sunday after prosecutors said he fired a handgun into a crowd of people Friday night.

But 22-year-old Everardo Custodio wasn’t in Cook County bond court to hear Judge Peggy Chiampas deny him bail.

He was at Advocate Illinois Masonic hospital, being treated for gunshot wounds to the shin, thigh and lower back.

As Custodio was allegedly opening fire on the crowd Friday, an Uber driver with a concealed-carry permit picked up his own firearm and shot Custodio multiple times, according to prosecutors and court records.

The Uber driver, a 47-year-old Little Italy resident, has a firearm owner’s identification card and acted in self-defense and the defense of others, Assistant State’s Attorney Barry Quinn said Sunday in bond court.

No charges have been filed against the Uber driver, police said.
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Support for redistribution policies is Falling on: April 20, 2015, 02:40:22 PM
In a separate matter, Mayor deBlahzio (sp) from the city with the greatest inequality, NYC,traveled to Iowa, the state with the least inequality, to lecture them on what they need to do about this problem, lol.

It is not what other people make that matters.  It is what YOU make, relative to the cost of the things you buy, that matters.

Skewing inequality is the fact that the millions and millions of people entering the country tend to be at the low end of the income spectrum.  That brings down the median even if no one else took a cut in pay or left the workforce.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: April 20, 2015, 02:03:15 PM
Dick Morris take on why she made it official.   For legal reasons.   So she can pay her mob:

Yes.  She made an obligatory announcement for legal reasons, to be able to pay people and lease space.  

Cheap surrogate, Sen. Claire McCaskill just gave the other big reason.  By declaring candidacy she can now allege that the congressional subpoenas to testify are all politically motivated.

To her question, by the way,

"Whether it was because of a protest or because guys outside for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?"

...the answer is that we would like to know what happened and how to keep it from happening again.  Separately, note that this congenital liar prefaces with a false choice.  It wasn't either of those, because of a protest OR because guys outside for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans.  It was a terror attack, by al Qaida affiliates "on the run", against Americans.

The question that follows:  How do we keep our officials from lying to us?  (Vote for someone else.)

One more question for my 'ask Hillary list':  Do the Clintons both lie to each other constantly or just both lie to us?  Will Bob Schieffer ask her that?
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why Many Former Workers Are Not Even Applying For Job Openings... on: April 20, 2015, 01:31:19 PM
Nice post Obj!  University of Chicago professor Casey Mulligan quoted in the article is a great economist to follow.  This is a good reminder to check his blog from time to time,  "supply and demand (in that order)".  There is a lot more there.

"Mulligan calculates that the marginal tax rate, that is the extra taxes paid, and government subsidies foregone on an extra dollar earned working if taking a job rose from 40 percent to 48 percent within two years of the onset of the Great Recession."

40% marginal rate on a person needing a job is outrageous.  To know that instead of fixing that it just got 20% worse is ... unbelievable.  To know just a few of us even know or care about things like this yet keep voting for it is deplorable.  We are keeping millions and millions of people from moving forward and achieving their dreams.  Many of them are families with children. 

Some people in the low income categories face marginal tax rates of over 100%.  If they wanted to earn more and lift themselves up, they at some point would lose their food stamps, their section 8 voucher, their SSI support, their Obama free phone and now their Obamacare subsidy.

There aren't easy answers weaning able people off of support, but to continue supporting these programs without knowing or caring about the damage that they do is is the heart of what is wrong upside down economy.  It is not only capital formation and high end earners that are hit by high marginal rates taxing away their economic opportunity!

Robert Mundell called high marginal tax rates "asphyxiating" back before Reagan.  Looking at this, I would add 'criminal gross negligence' and 'crimes against humanity' to that charge.

Taking away the American Dream, piece by piece, is pretty close to treason.  Imagine if an external enemy was doing that to us.

245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cong. Issa requested Hillary's email accounts in 2012 on: April 17, 2015, 10:52:06 AM

This is important.  This was an official inquiry from the Chairman of the appropriate Congressional oversight committee, and it was made long before the alleged destruction of the emails and server in question.  They received no answer to this specific question, asked in 2012:

“Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal email account to conduct official business?” Issa wrote Clinton. “If so, please identify the account used.”

Asked but never answered.  Here is the other question, also asked in 2012:

“Does the agency require employees to certify on a periodic basis or at the end of their employment with the agency they have turned over any communications involving official business that they have sent or received using nonofficial accounts?”

This is what they finally received back after she had left the department:

[Any State employee] “should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.”

That's the rule governing the security of State department communications at the highest level??  They "should"??!

Everyone in Washington who knew how to reach her knew she used a private email address.  We're talking about a hundred thousand pages of email to and from someone.   This no doubt included all her favorite media people and committee members.   She is running for President (?) and has, in fact, declared for all to hear that she has absolutely no intention of ever being subject to any congressional oversight whatsoever over anything that she does!  Unbelievable.

Another link, NY Times:

246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marc Levin to the 2016 Hillary voter, Are you a Genitalian? on: April 17, 2015, 10:12:06 AM
Yes, Levin says, you heard that right.  Are you a Genitalian?  Are you someone who makes their decision about who should be the next president based on their genitalia category?

Here's one who says she is:
Nancy Pelosi says "it is important to elect the first woman President".

Does that mean if reversed, still true?  What if it turns out to be Mark O'Malley against Carly Fiorina?  

Suddenly it is not so important.
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations, Security Council? on: April 16, 2015, 11:11:31 AM
Other than climate change, getting economic sanctions removed from the world's number one sponsor of terror is the highest priority of this administration.  Pres. Obama is putting the judgment of his "P5+1" group ahead of US people, congress or Senate ratification.  Of the P5, it turns out Russia was chomping at the bit to sell them missiles and same for China with nuclear technology sales.  And Germany has historically been the biggest exporter to Iran.

Shouldn't at least Russia and China recuse themselves from this process given these facts.  Of course that is a joke, they aren't allies of ours or interested in peace or western security in the first place.  So why do we keep agreeing to this type of phony security framework?

The UN can't be discredited anymore than it has been already - with the Iraq 'oil for food' scandal, the phony UN IPCC reports, the use of the podium by tyrants and bloody dictators, and so many other scandals and problems.   Are there not some basic values a nation must embrace to get a seat at the table?

Let's move past the old, counter-productive framework and create a new one for real international cooperation.  Leave the UN in place so that places like Burundi, Djibouti and Malawi all have a place to talk.  But remove US financial support down to what is commensurate with our one vote.  Then form new organizations with real allies who actually do share our values.   How about putting Japan, India, Taiwan, Israel and Canada on the new security council along with the US and our European allies, for starters.  The topics to address would include how to contain countries like Russia and China.
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The federalist: Why Marco Rubio is the GOP's best hope on: April 15, 2015, 11:35:41 AM
First this, the case against Marco Rubio by Paul Mirengoff at Powerline.  Even his biggest critic in conservative media says, "Marco Rubio is smart, likable, talented, and conservative".  "We don’t know how Rubio will perform as a candidate over the long haul, but all indications are that he is a gifted politician."
"The money and votes will gravitate to whoever can win – if, that is, the person is somewhat ideologically acceptable to the rank and file."

Why Marco Rubio Is Probably The GOP’s Best Hope
When it comes to raw political talent, it unlikely the Republicans can do better
By David Harsanyi

Marco Rubio announced his candidacy for presidency of the United States at the Freedom Tower in Miami on Monday, highlighting his family’s hardscrabble immigrant roots, embracing traditional values but also vowing to usher in a “new American century.”

As a matter of political pragmatism, is there any convincing reason Rubio shouldn’t be the Republican to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016? Because when it comes to natural political talent, it unlikely the GOP can do better.

For starters, Rubio is the most compelling speaker in the Republican field.

Sen. Mike Lee says Rubio “can bring grown men to tears with emotion.” This is something voters value. And judging from yesterday’s performance, Rubio’s speeches can be infused with an emotional quality that  much of the prefabricated rhetoric we hear does not have. Not only do you sense that his belief in American exceptionalism is genuine, but that his populist sensibilities will allow him to credibly broach the subject of inequality – mostly, because he has a captivating family story to lean on.

Let’s face it, even if Rubio is overrated, he’s probably the kind of consensus candidate GOP primary voters are going to have to settle on, anyway.

Other than his futile shot at immigration reform, Rubio has been reliably conservative. The Jeb Bush candidacy, driven by oodles of cash but little popular support, makes Rubio seem more palatable, while the Cruz candidacy, almost exclusively propelled by the grassroots, makes him seem less severe. The money and votes will gravitate to whoever can win – if, that is, the person is somewhat ideologically acceptable to the rank and file.

As Politico points out:

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last month reflected that upside among the rank-and-file. More Republicans, 56 percent, said they could back Rubio than any other candidate, including Bush (49 percent). Only one-quarter in that survey said they could not back Rubio, compared to 42 percent for Bush.
Rand Paul? As appealing as libertarian-ish ideas probably are to a number of voters – and you hope that the GOP embraces some of these reforms – it seems unlikely that the entire party can undergo a historic ideological shift during a primary season. That is especially true on foreign policy. Rubio is a hawk, and world events insure that a hawk will win the GOP nomination.

After a temporary dovish turn, the Right has gotten more aggressive on foreign policy. Some of this is, no doubt, a reaction to President Obama’s polices on Iran, Russia, ISIS, and Israel. According to a Pew poll taken late last year, 54 percent of Americans overall believed that Obama’s approach on foreign policy was “not tough enough” – which includes a sizable majority of Republicans. Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is one of the more passionate advocates for a more aggressive United States in the world.

Now, it’s also true that Rubio is a first-term senator with no record of any tangible accomplishments other than working his way into a presidential run.

If you believe this is a disadvantage, you haven’t been paying attention to contemporary politics. If Americans were concerned with achievement, Barack Obama would never have been allowed near the presidency. What voters want is someone who makes them feel secure, someone who can empathize with their struggles, confirm their ideological worldview, and someone who will give them the soaring rhetoric that makes them feel that their politics matter.

So, for Rubio, a lack of a record may be helpful in a number of ways. Today, a record is an opportunity for others to mangle every decision you’ve made. A blank slate allows voters to imagine all the wondrous things you can provide them and allows the politician a malleable set of policy goals.

To be fair, as a member of a congressional minority, Rubio didn’t really have many opportunities to build a record. Still, in the primaries, GOP contenders (who aren’t senators) are going to have tough time accusing Rubio of being slacker. What will they say? He wasn’t obstinate enough in stopping Obama’s agenda in the Senate? To some extent, Obama has also inculcated Rubio from media attacks regarding his experience as a first-term senator running for president, for obvious reasons.

The Left’s reaction to Rubio’s announcement also tells us that the Florida senator is a formidable pick. There were far fewer histrionic hit pieces about a GOP candidate’s extremism than usual. If the most potent attack mocking a candidate is a single awkward water-bottle incident, then demonizing him won’t be easy.  Whereas liberals quickly found distractions for nearly all other presidential announcements – Rand Paul is a misogynistic hothead with crazy ideas; Ted Cruz is nutty theocrat with crazy ideas – the Left was grasping for an effective line of attack.

Don’t get me wrong. In the end, no matter what Republican candidate offers, he will be cast as a thug looking to steal bread and condoms from the poorest single working moms in the country. So the most vital skill any candidate can have is the ability transcend coverage and make his or her case to voters. Setting aside reservations about policy, is there any other Republican who can do that more effectively than Rubio?

Of course someone – maybe Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Lindsay Graham, and who knows who else? – can change the dynamics of the race. Perhaps someone will surprise us. Although, it seems unlikely any of them could be the kind of compromise candidate that the establishment and the rank-and-file could agree on. And none of them will be able to contrast themselves with a tedious and creaky Hillary rollout the way Rubio just did.
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Questions for Hillary on: April 13, 2015, 12:03:41 PM
Starting a list the others aren't asking in case she comes onto the board to take questions. 

If you still needed money, why quit commodity trading?

Name one accomplishment made as Secretary of State?

Name one friend you have that is not tied to money, position or power and tell us the last time you called him or her.

How many genders are there?  (An impossible questionable to answer if you are both center and left.)

to be continued

250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH, Why is Hillary running? on: April 13, 2015, 09:38:42 AM
... Hillary will not yell out at stadium crowds, “If you liked the last eight years, I promise eight more years just like them!”

Will she amplify or ignore her own Obama administration tenure as secretary of State? Will Americans hear that the plastic reset button with Vladimir Putin was a good or bad thing?

Will Clinton replay in her campaign commercials her boast over the deposed and murdered Khadafy (“We came, we saw, he died”) or her statement about the dead at Benghazi (“What difference does it make?”)? Or will she fear that the Republicans will use her own words against her?

Will reneging on missile defense with the Poles and Czechs and ending George W. Bush’s mild ostracisms of Russia for snatching Ossetia become a neat campaign talking point? Will she brag that we got all U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011, or that she helped set the foundations for the current Iranian negotiations? Were her Arab Spring policies smart diplomacy as evidenced by the current state of affairs in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen? Will she say she had a hand in Obama’s “special relationship” with the Ottomanist Recep Erdogan of Turkey?

Perhaps she can point to her continual jawboning of Israel as the font for our current distancing from the Jewish state. Will she remind us that “al Qaeda is on the run”? Will she dare say radical Islam or will she stick to “overseas contingency operations,” “workplace violence,” and “man-caused disasters”?

A Domestic Record to Be Proud Of?

Of course, Mrs. Clinton will not run on her own foreign policy initiatives, such as they were, or her boss’s. Perhaps, then, she will turn to the generic Obama domestic record of 2009-16. But then will she praise or promise to reform the IRS, VA, NSA and Secret Service? Was the massive borrowing of the last administration — greater than all previous administrations’ red ink combined — a good or bad thing?

Maybe someone will object that Hillary Clinton is her own person and has no need either to support or distance herself from the administration that she so loyally served and aided.

What, then, is her agenda, in terms of economic and foreign policy? More borrowing, more social spending, more defense cuts, higher taxes still, more restrictions on fracking on public land, more promises to table the Keystone pipeline? Will she go full bore to promote cap and trade?

The point is that Mrs. Clinton has neither a past record that she is proud to run on nor support for an Obama administration tenure that she will promise to continue. She is not a good speaker and has a disturbing habit of switching accents in amateurish attempts to mimic regional or racial authenticity. She accentuates her points by screaming in shrill outbursts, and dismisses serious questions by chortling for far too long. She is deaf to human cordiality, has a bad temper, and treats subordinates with haughty disdain.
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