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3651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Paul Krugman the Invincible on: October 22, 2013, 01:05:24 PM
Niall Ferguson — Harvard professor (and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution fellow — launched a three part series, in the Huffington Post, entitled Krugtron the Invincible, Parts 1, 2 and 3 with a notable coda at Project Syndicate.  Ferguson succeeds in methodically humiliating New York Times columnist, celebrity blogger, and Nobel economic prize laureate Paul Krugman.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/10/21/much-bigger-than-the-shutdown-niall-fergusons-public-flogging-of-paul-krugman/

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 1
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niall-ferguson/paul-krugman-euro_b_4060733.html

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 2
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niall-ferguson/paul-krugman-housing-crisis_b_4067580.html

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 3
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niall-ferguson/krugtron-the-invincible-p_b_4073956.html

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/on-the-perils-of-paul-krugman-by-niall-ferguson
3652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jon Stewart On Obamacare Rollout on: October 22, 2013, 12:40:39 PM
Jon Stewart On Obamacare Rollout: "How Are Democrats Going To Spin This Turd?"

Democrat programs are doing badly if Jon Stewart decides to rip on them:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/22/jon_stewart_on_obamacare_rollout_how_are_democrats_going_to_spin_this_turd.html

He starts with the obligatory rip on Republicans, then...
3653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Peter Schiff: Investors Have a Green Light To Load Up On Gold on: October 22, 2013, 12:31:43 PM
Twice in 2 days I find myself quoting economic doomsayer Peter Schiff.  It would be nice if his reasoning was false. but it makes sense to me.

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/10/22/investors_have_a_green_light_to_load_up_on_gold_100679.html

It is rare that investors are given a road map. It is rarer still that the vast majority of those who get it are unable to understand the clear signs and directions it contains. When this happens the few who can actually read the map find themselves in an enviable position. Such is currently the case with gold and gold-related investments.

The common wisdom on Wall Street is that gold has seen the moment of its greatness flicker. This confidence has been fueled by three beliefs: A) the Fed will soon begin trimming its monthly purchases of Treasury and Mortgage Backed Securities (commonly called the "taper"), B) the growing strength of the U.S. economy is creating investment opportunities that will cause people to dump defensive assets like gold, and C) the renewed confidence in the U.S. economy will shore up the dollar and severely diminish gold's allure as a safe haven. All three of these assumptions are false. (Our new edition of the Global Investor Newsletter explores how the attraction never dimmed in India).

Recent developments suggest the opposite, that: A) the Fed has no exit strategy and is more likely to expand its QE program than diminish it, B) the U. S. economy is stuck in below-trend growth and possibly headed for another recession C) America's refusal to deal with its fiscal problems will undermine international faith in the dollar.
...
The reality is that Washington has now committed itself to a policy of permanent debt increase and QE infinity that can only possibly end in one way: a currency crisis. While the dollar's status as reserve currency, and America's position as both the world's largest economy and its largest debtor, will create a difficult and unpredictable path towards that destination, the ultimate arrival can't be doubted. The fact that few investors are drawing these conclusions has allowed gold, and precious metal mining stocks, to remain close to multi year lows, even while these recent developments should be signaling otherwise. This creates an opportunity.

Gold moved from $300 to $1,800 not because investors believed the government would hold the line on debt, but because they believed that the U.S. fiscal position would get progressively worse. That is what happened this week.
...
Investors should be concluding that America will never deal with its fiscal problems on its own terms. ... The hard choices that our leaders have just avoided will have to be made someday under far more burdensome circumstances. ...  More at link.
---------------
Or as economic optimist Wesbury put it on radio last week, a choice between jumping out a 2nd floor window now or off the 10th floor rather soon.
3654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Healthcare.gov Parady website on: October 22, 2013, 12:04:59 PM
http://rexharrisonshat.com/healthcare/

Point and Click on Apply Now!
3655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The war on the rule of law, Obama’s fingerprints all over IRS Tea Party scandal on: October 22, 2013, 12:01:31 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/20/obamas-fingerpints-all-over-irs-tea-party-scandal/

Obama’s fingerprints all over IRS Tea Party scandal
by Jay Sekulow

It’s past time for the media to begin asking President Obama tough questions about the IRS conservative targeting scandal.  After all he was involved, publicly, from the beginning.

Last Friday, the American Center for Law and Justice (where I serve as Chief Counsel) filed its Second Amended Complaint against the United States, the IRS, and a legion of IRS officials.  This Complaint, in which we represent 41 organizations in 22 states, presents perhaps the most complete story yet of the IRS conservative targeting scandal.  http://media.aclj.org/pdf/second-amended-complaint-filed-redacted.pdf

And it is an ugly story indeed.

What was sold to the American public as a low-level scandal perpetrated by a few rogue employees – a scandal stopped after senior officials became aware and asserted control – is now (to borrow a Watergate phrase) “no longer operative.”

    Was Obama involved in the IRS scandal?  He was the one who identified the targets – in the most public manner possible.

Instead, we detail a long-running assault on the Tea Party, beginning shortly after its emergence in 2009, that is empowered, encouraged, and orchestrated not only by senior IRS officials in Washington, but also through outright targeting by the White House, Congressional Democrats, and the mainstream media.

In fact, the IRS was doing little more than focusing its attention exactly where the president of the United States told it to focus – on the groups the president himself identified as a “threat to democracy.”

Consider President Obama’s aggressive public statements – made just as we now know senior IRS officials were intentionally and aggressively scrutinizing conservative groups’ applications for tax exemption.

On August 9, 2010 the president warned of “attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names” during his weekly radio address.  The President said:  We don’t know who’s behind these ads and we don’t know who’s paying for them . . . you don’t know if it’s a foreign controlled corporation. ... The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

On September 16, 2010, President Obama once again warned that some unidentified “foreign-controlled entity” could be providing “millions of dollars” for “attack ads.”  Less than one week later, he complained that “nobody knows” the identities of the individuals who support conservative groups.

On September 22, 2010, President Obama warned of groups opposing his policies “pos[ing] as non-for-profit social and welfare trade groups” and he claimed such groups were “guided by seasoned Republican political operatives” and potentially supported by some unidentified “foreign controlled entity.”

On October 14, 2010, President Obama called organizations with “benign sounding” names “a problem for democracy”; the next week he complained about individuals who “hide behind those front groups,” called such groups a “threat to our democracy,” and claimed such groups were engaged in “unsupervised” spending.

Next, consider the IRS’s actions following those statements.  Not only did the IRS continue its targeting, it issued broad questionnaires that made unconstitutionally-intrusive inquiries designed to get answers to exactly the questions President Obama posed.

Who are your donors?

What is the political activity of your family and associates?

What are the passwords for your websites?

After all, according to the president, you’re only afraid to answer these questions if “you’ve got something to hide.”

The demagoguery is breathtaking.  Not only does he raise the wholly-unsubstantiated possibility of shadowy “foreign” involvement in the Tea Party groups, a charge incredible on its face, but he goes the extra mile of calling such groups, a “threat to our democracy.”

When the president of the United States declares these groups a “threat to our democracy” is it any surprise that his enthusiastic supporters (and donors) within the IRS responded with an unprecedented campaign of selective targeting, intimidation, and governmental intrusion?

One grows weary of stating the obvious, but if President Bush had declared a specific category of citizen groups a “threat to democracy” potentially run by “political operatives” or “foreign-controlled,” and the IRS launched an unprecedented campaign of targeting and intrusive questioning, the mainstream media would have been relentless not only in its independent investigations but in its calls for accountability – at the highest levels.

Was the president of the United States involved in the IRS scandal?  He was the one who identified the targets – in the most public manner possible.

A president singling out citizens groups for targeting and intrusive questioning merely because he dislikes their message and fears their political influence?

Now that is a “threat to democracy.”

Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice
3656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: October 22, 2013, 11:20:47 AM
(I should stay out, but...) I wrote "totally unqualified" and should clarify.  Anyone who can get nominated and confirmed is arguably qualified.  And legal training is a plus, not a minus, same for loyalty if it is well-directed.  

Johnson's "policy making role" was to advise policy makers; he was not a policy maker. (No one said he was.) On that, he has no experience or track record, which unfortunately is a plus in the eyes of the President - for confirmation purposes.

A better question than is he qualified: who is MOST qualified for that job?  On that I would start with the people who have run the most similar operations successfully.  If you started at the top of that list and headed down it forever, his name will never come up.

Is management and policy making experience a crucial qualification for a job managing the performance of 230,000 security and law enforcement agents?  I think so!
3657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 22, 2013, 10:26:15 AM
Or put another way, how can we win people over by ignoring their questions and by posing answers to questions they are NOT asking?

Yes, precisely! 

Start ignoring false questions and answering real ones.

False question are questions based on false premises.  In politics, they are endless.  How come Republicans want to starve the poor, take away Grannies' meds, don't care about working people, only care about the rich, care only about themselves, don't have a plan of their own, only know how to say no, hate government, hate black people, are war mongers, etc.  How come Republicans want people to raise a family on $8 an hour?  How come they want to stop 20 million people from getting health insurance?  The more we answer these questions, the deeper the hole we have dug.

The question that resonated in the Dem electoral takeover that began in 2006 was the income inequality farce, that reinforces the false choice between siding with rich people and siding with poor or middle class people.  It originated with some of the liberal thought wonks, was brought forward by people like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman, and then repeated ad nauseam by liberal candidates and office holders.  We had John Edwards' "Two Americas", we had the surge of Howard Dean from the left, we had the changeover of congress to Pelosi-Reid-Obama et al right as the economy was hitting 50 consecutive months of job growth, and then we had the elevation of the Senate's most liberal member to President.  During that time we also had the elevation of the CRAp, fairness-based lending, to the top of our national housing policy with Republicans (including Newt!) jumping in to defuse Democrats 'it's all so unfair' argument.  It ended in a crash, but by their measures and even when Dems controlled all branches and all chambers, we still have the rich getting richer - at an alarming rate!

What do we know about income inequality?

a) It is badly measured and greatly overstated,

b) It is a fact, not an issue, and

c) Focusing on this false injustice leads you to all the wrong policy choices.


Back to part two of the CCP axiom:  "posing answers to questions they are NOT asking?"
Yes!  What are the questions middle voters REALLY are asking? (or should be)

Aren't they really asking something like this:  How can we raise up everyone's prosperity and quality of life?

If so, the argument might be between the performance of state run economies over time and across the globe versus the more free economies and we would win with every look at the data.
3658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 20, 2013, 03:38:36 PM
Surprising considering their cooperation with the other inquiries, Fast and Furious, IRS Targeting, Benghazi, etc.

Wouldn't refusal to accept congressional oversight be valid reason to de-fund?
3659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: October 20, 2013, 03:31:32 PM
The question might be, what is the closest experience he has to running a similar 230,000 employee law enforcement / national security operation - at a time when we are under attack.

Another question might be, what would be the Dem reaction be if a Republican president chose a totally unqualified partisan to run a crucial national security agency.
3660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 20, 2013, 02:37:32 PM
What a nightmare ! Amazing we survived as a nation.

Did you know that during the 'shutdown', no one was weeding Michelle's garden? 

http://thehill.com/capital-living/329179-first-ladys-garden-being-weeded

"Michelle Obama's garden is back to being weeded and cared for now that the government has reopened."
--------------
How do they get away with calling these functions of government non-essential?  She could have lost a whole season of Halloween pumpkins.  As required in Article 8?

I will never forget where I was the day the government shut down.
3661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 20, 2013, 01:57:06 PM
Shutdown-meaning 17 percent of the federal gov't temporary closed.

Paid vacation.
3662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Janet Yellen, 2010: "I didn't see any of that coming until it happened." on: October 20, 2013, 01:55:51 PM
Clairvoyant, and a woman.  Too good to be true.

Please see this Peter Schiff video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfLlF1vtit8

Too bad our media passes along the lies about what she said in her 'warning' speeches instead of checking them.

Did she warn of the housing bubble early?  No. She tried to downplay the risks and the threats of the housing bubble.  Plus she would have made it worse.  And promises to do more of the same.

'Peter Schiff goes over in detail the same speeches her supporters put forward and comes to the easy conclusion that the new leader at the Federal Reserve is just as incapable as her predecessors of recognizing a dangerous asset bubble. Worse yet, as a diehard believer in the power of expansive monetary policy, Ms. Yellen would be much less likely to attack an asset bubble even if she were ever to recognize one before it burst.'  - http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-10-17/janet-yellen-exposed-truth-behind-myth-0


Janet Yellen, 2010: "I didn't see any of that coming until it happened."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/business/economy/careers-of-2-fed-contenders-reveal-little-on-regulatory-approach.html

“For my own part,” Ms. Yellen said, “I did not see and did not appreciate what the risks were with securitization, the credit ratings agencies, the shadow banking system, the S.I.V.’s — I didn’t see any of that coming until it happened.”


She was wrong then, is wrong now, and will lead us off a cliff much taller and steeper than Obama could do without an accommodating Fed chair, but hey, it's exciting that she is a woman!  
3663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tea Party: The frog jumped out of the boiling water on: October 20, 2013, 01:33:39 PM
This is a pretty good analogy.  Only the tea party jumped out.  The establishment Republicans, moderate Dems, majority of women, young voters, Hispanics, and many other groups are still basking in the increasing temperatures.

(http://www.realclearpolitics.com/newsletters/the_daily_debate/2013/10/17/

The right is like the frog in that famous experiment who lets himself get cooked to death so long as the temperature of the water rises so gradually that no one change is big enough to cause him to jump out of the pot. My hypothesis is that ObamaCare cranked up the temperature in the pot too fast, and the frog realized the water was boiling and jumped out.

The important part of this theory is that it explains why the Tea Party base of the right has become so radicalized. They're not reacting to this year's increase in the size of government, or even the past five years. They're reacting to decades' worth of increasing government, all at once.

Others are making similar observations. Brit Hume explains what the Tea Party got out of the shutdown.

    "In conventional terms, it seems inexplicable, but Senator Cruz and his adherents do not view things in conventional terms. They look back over the past half-century, including the supposedly golden era of Ronald Reagan, and see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory state continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded.

    "They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy.

    "They are not interested in Republican policies that merely slow the growth of this leviathan. They want to stop it and reverse it. And they want to show their supporters they'll try anything to bring that about. And if some of those things turn out to be reckless and doomed, well, so be it."

Rush Limbaugh's reaction to the shutdown validates this observation.

    "I want to go back to the lady on the phone who says this doesn't feel right. What's happening here to the country just doesn't feel right. You know what's happened here? You know what this feels like, folks? I'll tell you exactly what it feels like to me. You tell me if this isn't close. It feels like we've lost a war to a communist country. It's almost like there's been a coup. There's been a peaceful coup. The media has led this coup, and the Democrats have taken over with popular support. We're getting policies and implementations and things that were never, ever part of this country's design and founding."

So happy predictions on the left that "the Republican fever has broken" are likely to be disappointed.

The other reason why ending the shutdown standoff is a victory for Republicans is that it allows them to shift attention to a development they didn't anticipate when they began the shutdown: the implosion of ObamaCare. Perhaps it is fitting that an administration whose ideal woman is a welfare-state-dependent web designer should see its signature initiative fail because of incompetent website design.

William Kristol declares, probably correctly, that this is the real news of October, which will be remembered long after the shutdown has faded from memory. And the consequences of ObamaCare's problems will reverberate for much longer.

Michael Barone runs down the consequences:

    "You need the exchanges to enroll enough young healthy people to subsidize those who are sick and old, which is one of the central features of Obamacare.

    "Otherwise premiums shoot up and up, pushing others out of the system—a death spiral that can continue year after year.

    "'At what point,' [Megan McArdle] asks, 'do we admit that the system just isn't working well enough, roll it back and delay the whole thing for a year?' She suggests that if the system can't enroll 50 percent of its users by November 1, such a hugely drastic step would be in order."

Well, the initial numbers are in, and only a fraction of those eligible for ObamaCare have been able to enroll. So there is a good chance that the administration will have to delay ObamaCare after all, giving the radical House Republicans exactly what they wanted from the shutdown. The Republicans might just win after all.
3664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / budget process, Kudlow: Obama's hard line on fiscal policy on: October 20, 2013, 01:23:57 PM
This is worth a read IMHO.  Paints an accurate picture of what Obama sees in upcoming budget battles.  Now that he knows how to get his way, he will end sequester limits, raise taxes (further) on 'the rich', and use money to pay for bigger and bigger government.  A strategy almost too obvious to post.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/19/obama_only_interested_in_busting_gop_120393.html

Obama Only Interested in Busting GOP

By Lawrence Kudlow - October 19, 2013

Judging from the speech Obama gave following the deal to end the government shutdown, Republicans better get wise to the president's next fiscal gambit when the three-month stop-gap budget and debt measures come due. As was the case with his hard-line defense of Obamacare, the president likely will be inflexible on ending sequestration budget caps, pushing for massive tax hikes and permitting only the most inconsequential entitlement reforms.

Obama is interested in busting the GOP in 2014. He's not interested in true budget restraint or other economic-growth measures.

Example: This week, instead of a conciliatory work-together message for the negotiations ahead, President Obama gave us another Republican scold speech: "All of us need to stop focusing on lobbyists and bloggers and talking heads on radio, and professional activists who profit from conflict."

But of course, it was Obama who wouldn't negotiate. And it was Obama and his followers who demonized the GOP with words like "hostage," "ransom," and "terrorists."

Another example: Out of nowhere in his post-shutdown speech, the president pledged to "close these corporate-tax loopholes that don't help create jobs and freeze up resources for the things that do help us grow, like education and infrastructure and research."

Huh? Where did this come from? There's no discussion of corporate tax reform in the whole speech, except for this one derogatory mention. So don't count on progress for the single biggest growth and jobs creator, namely full-fledged business tax reform. It may be in Obama's budget, but it's not really on his agenda.

The real agenda is to jack up taxes on businesses and the wealthy. On top of this year's $700 billion tax hike, the Democrats are going back to the $1 trillion tax-hike idea mentioned in recent years by Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

True pro-growth tax reform should broaden the base, lower marginal rates and simplify the code. The Democratic objective, however, is to raise as much additional taxpayer money as possible.

Why? Well, of course, to provide the spending fuel after they get rid of the budget-capping sequester. The Obama democrats are manic about this. They know that the sequester has effectively stopped their grandiose spending plans, and is actually bringing the discretionary budget back to 2007 levels. In fact, the real budget-winning move of recent years was the Republican reverse bait and switch (the bait came from the White House) in 2011 to embrace the sequester and implement it. It's the only true pro-growth fiscal measure we've seen in the Obama years.

Closing tax loopholes is a good idea so long as it is accompanied by lower marginal tax rates on the other side. (Repatriating over $1 trillion in overseas corporate profits at a minimal sanction of 5 percent would also help grow the economy.) So companies, wealthy entrepreneurs and small-business owners shouldn't be fooled when they hear the president talk about closing tax loopholes. Why is he saying this? That's easy: He wants to spend more money on his pet projects. More for the teachers' unions, the local construction unions, the quick-fix, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, the clean-energy Solyndras and all the other oddball social programs put in place by this administration.

Government spending cuts amount to tax cuts, which provide economic stimulus. But Obama and the Democrats want no part of it. Step back and read the president's economic speeches in August and September. You see a pattern: Raise taxes on businesses and successful entrepreneurs, kill the sequester and use the new tax revenues to spend more and grow the government -- and probably even finance Obamacare, which is going bankrupt even before it starts and has become the laughingstock of the country with its catastrophic breakout.

Finally, while Obama again may occasionally say otherwise, the Democratic Party opposes all manner of entitlement reforms. All. That includes the chained-CPI reform (which would lower benefits), Medicare means-testing, longer retirement eligibility, and higher co-pays for federal-employee benefits.

Labor doesn't want this stuff. House and Senate Democrats don't want it. And I seriously doubt if the president would push for it. Which means, in terms of the new budget conference (another fiscal cliff?) due to report in mid-December, the GOP better be super careful not to end the sequester budget caps in return for phony entitlement reforms.

Republicans had no coherent message going into the shutdown fiasco. But they can change that. They can now adopt a clear policy that maintains the sequester budget caps, pushes hard for pro-growth tax reform, and makes no apologies for rolling back the taxing, spending, mandating, budget-busting behemoth that is Obamacare.

The budget and debt battle of the next three months is actually going to be war. Obama knows this. Does the GOP?
3665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: trouble at Heritage? on: October 18, 2013, 02:01:35 PM
http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/10/shane-harris-on-heritage-and-lawfare/
From the article:
Recently, Heritage refused to publish two papers about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs written by a prominent conservative attorney. Why? Because he concluded that the programs were legal and constitutional, according to sources familiar with the matter. It was a surprising move for a think tank that has supported extension of the Patriot Act — which authorizes some of NSA’s activities — and has long been associated with right-of-center positions on national security and foreign policy.
. . .
But the think tank’s decision not to publish Bradbury’s opinions did not bury them.

I don't know about the wisdom of refusing to publish, but their publishing is seen as their endorsement of a view.  NSA and the Patriot Act powers are certainly issues that divide the right.

Heritage also just opposed the Medical Device Tax Repeal in the budget deal.  Huh  http://heritageaction.com/press-releases/heritage-action-statement-on-houses-obamacare-delay/  Because it leaves everything else in place. 

Conservatives are very busy questioning each others tactics - while accomplishing nothing.
3666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jeh Johnson Tapped to Lead DHS on: October 18, 2013, 01:50:30 PM
"As the Pentagon's top lawyer, Johnson was deeply involved in hundreds of sensitive counterterrorism and military operations."

Among Jeh Johnson's 'achievements' is the advice to grant civilian trials in NYC to terrorists. 

"He's even managed to become a favorite of Rachel Maddow, the progressive talk show host on MSNBC."

Yes.



3667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, Trail of Kenyan mall attack leads to Norway on: October 18, 2013, 01:44:11 PM
Trail of Kenyan mall attack leads investigators to Norway

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/terrorism-security/2013/1018/Trail-of-Kenyan-mall-attack-leads-investigators-to-Norway

Norwegian police have been questioning friends and family of a Somalia-born Norwegian citizen who they suspect may be one of the gunmen behind last month's terrorist attack in Nairobi.
------

Where did we read recently about militant Islam in Scandinavia?  (See previous post in thread.)

The trail also leads to the Scandinavian strongholds of the USA, Somalis living in Minneapolis:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2430324/Kenya-mall-attack-Up-3-American-teens-Minnesota-involved-Nairobi-massacre.html

Open borders with trust and tolerance of people committed to destroy you is a recipe for disaster.
3668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - No Expectation of Privacy on: October 18, 2013, 12:39:07 PM
O'Care: 'No Expectation of Privacy'?
In the fine print of the ObamaCare web site, at least when it is working, you might want to pay attention to this line from the disclaimer: "You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."

Thank you Crafty for catching and posting this.  With or without this offensive and stupid message, the loss of privacy and control over your own life with this bad legislation is monumental.

It bothers me that even opponents of Obamacare focus only on the taxes or spending issues.  This intrusion is SO much greater than that!
3669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: October 18, 2013, 12:07:27 PM
We keep hearing from establishment Republicans that Cruz has "damaged the Republican brand".
I submit the question:
What brand?
The party no longer represents us.
What is the message besides "low taxes"?
The establishment Republicans sound more and more like Democrats.
I submit the response that there is no "brand".
And that is what the Tea Party is about. 

I share all your frustration, anger, disappointment, etc and then some!  To answer you literally, Republican is a brand that is still winning half of the elections, holding the House, a 30-20 lead in Governorships, a majority of state legislatures, well over the 40 Senator threshold, threatening (for a 3rd try) to take back that majority.  That is with no leader, clarity or message.   Also should have won the Presidency in 2012. 

At the start of the tea party movement I thought the uniting message was cut spending first.  Reduce the size and scope of government, especially federal government.  Lower tax rates along with a booming private sector can follow.  But this was in reaction to Obamacare passage in particular, the greatest expansion of government power in this country ever.

Failing to take the Senate, failing to take back the Presidency, failing to get these expansions struck down in the Court, and failing to defund it, all lead us to starting over, carrying all this damage and with a dispirited base.  We are fighting to get back to where we were, which was in a faltering economy with a huge government and even more people not contributing.

We actually need to both defeat the establishment Republicans and unite with them, a daunting proposition.

Each state, house district etc., IMO, needs to choose the most conservative candidate - that can win in that state or district.  Same for the Presidency.  They need to be focused and disciplined, not make the mistakes that sank others recently.  Get a message and stay on message; this is not about rape abortions, secession, or shooting our way out of this mess.

We need a vision and some visionaries.  A shining city on a hill.  Tell people the positive things about a realistic, America-2014 and beyond vision.  Move past the liberal terminology and definitions of the issues.  As Newt once did, ask questions that poll well and favor our side.  Would you like more government control over your life or more personal freedom and economic opportunity?  Would you like to stop others from succeeding or improve your own lot on life?  Do you like jobs, businesses, schools, health care, and everything else controlled mainly by Washington or closer to home?  Do you think public sector people should have far bigger salaries, pensions, benefits and shorter work days than the private sector people who support them or be in line with the rest of the economy?

At some point there are demographic groups such as unemployed young people who will begin to see that the move toward Stalinism isn't helping them.  Hope and change meant sit still and demand things.  These things tend to swing like a pendulum.  At some point people open up to a different message.  But we didn't made good use of the turns we had to govern and we haven't presented a coherent alternative while out of power, so we are now paying that price.
3670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: The Education of TC on: October 17, 2013, 12:26:23 PM
"...now even Mr. Cruz is admitting that there are limits to what Republicans can achieve when they control only one house of Congress. Maybe he's learning, or maybe his earlier accusations were, well, less than sincere.

It failed not because Ted Cruz did not lead but because Dems knew that Republicans would not follow.  Among so many others, the WSJ did not back him up or call out his opponents on their falsehoods.

"...we're not going to be able to repeal this law until 2017 and that we have to win the Senate and win the White House"

How does Obamacare repeal in 2017 without 60 votes in the Senate.  Republicans will not have a trunk full of uncounted conservative ballots to bring in without scrutiny to duplicate the way Democrats won their 60th vote.

The this-will-be-easier-to stop-later argument fails every time it is tried.  How about an Article One argument - government funding begins in the House.  Last November, Obamacare lost in the House.  But send those elected officials to Washington and big government is on again.
3671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Henninger goes after Tea Party on: October 17, 2013, 12:05:19 PM
Karl Rove also has a piece in the WSJ today attacking the failed tea party strategy.  In the case of Henninger it is easy to tell the only people standing up to do more.  In the case of all who say they oppose Obamacare but attack the tea party strategy, please tell us the other way of stopping this before it is too entrenched to ever be dismantled.  They don't have an answer.

Ted Cruz and the tea party had this right.  They didn't have the support of their colleagues at the start, or at the end, but at least they gave them the opportunity to take one last stand.

In a short time the majority of Hispanics will rely on Obamacare and its subsidies, just to single out one key demographic group.  And just like SSI, SNAP, Section 8, etc, Americans on the first and second rungs of the ladder will need to keep their income and work efforts permanently low in order to maintain their subsidy.  We will soon be arguing over who can tax, borrow and spend the most to win over all these votes.  For what?  To repeal Obamacare?
3672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: October 17, 2013, 11:47:30 AM
I did wrote to my Republican congressman this morning with points I have tried to make here on the forum.

A short time ago I wrote to urge you to stand strong.

From your press release:  "...hoped for a better outcome, including the repeal of the medical device tax"

You don't get a better outcome when your opponents know that, in the end, over a third of Republicans will side with them. 

I agree with your opposition to the Medical Device Tax, but that is one small example of why Obamacare is a historic disaster for the country.  Opposing that tax but voting to fund Obamacare makes no meaningful distinction between your position and many (Minnesota) Democrats such as Al Franken.

Refusal to increase a borrower's credit limit is not default. See Rep Schweikert's comments, "none of you were math majors were you?"  http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/10/15/house_republicans_want_to_make_it_harder_for_treasury_to_avoid_a_debt_crisis.html  Accepting the opponents' framing of the arguments was a part of the loss we just witnessed.

What requires government funding to be all in one bill?  Why do we accept the premise that 113th Congress must fund all the programs passed by the 111th Congress? Does liberal control of the Presidency, Senate and media give them control of the House. Article 1 says no.  The only leverage they have is Republicans voting with Democrats.  (Everyone on our side should write to one.)

If you who oppose big government, but in the end side with them, and you know a better time, place or strategy to dismantle Obamcare before it becomes permanently entrenched, I look forward to seeing that happen.   I don't look forward to convening an angry caucus in (our town) this February and explaining why we support candidates that go to Washington and end up siding with our opponents and funding their programs.
3673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 16, 2013, 12:52:40 PM
From Mea Culpa,

Crafty: "Like many, I anticipated huge inflation due to the Fed printing scandalous amounts of money.   Though this may yet happen due to the inherent contradictions of the path upon which we are embarked, I have come to belief that Scott Grannis has been correct on this point-- that bank reserves are not the same thing as printing money."


My view:  Bank reserves are more like potential energy while printed money (in circulation) is more like kinetic energy.  With energy, one easily converts into the other.  Bank reserves in excess will convert and multiply into printed money in circulation in excess if and when economic velocity begins to accelerate, meaning price increases will come later from the monetary expansions that already occurred.

Regarding who is right, we will see.
3674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / National Savings Rate in historical perspective, + Investment Rate on: October 16, 2013, 12:34:07 PM


From savings comes investment.  From investment come jobs, growth, opportunity, prosperity.

The net investment rate, a similar graph, is shown with the savings rate in this pdf, http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa737_web_1.pdf, I just don't know how to pull the chart out to display here.
3675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Obamacare rates hit a Daily Koz regular on: October 16, 2013, 12:10:04 PM
Welcome young people to the consequences of leftism.  A Koz regular in his own words:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/30/1242660/-Obamacare-will-double-my-monthly-premium#

Obamacare will double my monthly premium (according to Kaiser)

My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don't go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife's rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any fucking penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

Oh, ok, if we qualify, we can get some government assistance. Great. So now I have to jump through another hoop to just chisel some of this off. And we don't qualify, anyway, so what's the point?

I never felt too good about how this was passed and what it entailed, but I figured if it saved Americans money, I could go along with it.

I don't know what to think now. This appears, in my experience, to not be a reform for the people.

What am I missing?

I realize I will probably get screamed at for posting this, but I can't imagine I am the only Californian who just received a rate increase from Kaiser based on these new laws.
3676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carbon capture on: October 16, 2013, 11:52:54 AM
I didn't know Exxon holds the most patents in this area.  From Scientific American.   

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2013/10/15/will-oil-companies-become-carbon-capture-ones/

As always, Big Regulation will take from the freedom and choice of the little guy and give to the corporate profits of the largest, entrenched contributors.  I hope it is worth it.
3677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - National Savings Rate in historical perspective on: October 16, 2013, 11:30:09 AM


From savings comes investment.  From investment come jobs, growth, opportunity, prosperity.
3678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 16, 2013, 11:13:18 AM
Notable and quotable regarding the market and economic doomsayers:

It is tempting to dismiss...pessimism as yet another case of the boy who cried wolf.  It is worth remembering, however, that the wolf does show up at the end of the story.

http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa737_web_1.pdf
3679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Why Growth is getting Harder on: October 16, 2013, 11:08:30 AM
The sluggish performance of the economy since the Great Recession is likely to persist in the coming years.  The foundations of growth are all simultaneously getting weaker.  

To understand the basis for this conclusion, let’s break down measured economic growth—typically expressed as the annual rate of increase in real, or inflation-adjusted, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita—into the constituent elements tracked by conventional growth accounting: (1) growth in labor participation, or annual hours worked per capita; (2) growth in labor quality, or the skill level of the workforce; (3) growth in capital deepening, or the amount of physical capital invested per worker; and (4) growth in so-called total factor productivity, or output per unit of quality-adjusted labor and capital.
...
If conditions for growth really have deteriorated, then the public policies that delivered a certain rate of growth in the past will no longer suffice to maintain that growth rate in the future. In other words, policies that are more friendly to long-term growth will be needed
if more robust growth is to be revived. In the quest to improve the U.S. economy’s growth
prospects, the lowest-hanging fruit now appears to be policy change.
...
24 page pdf: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa737_web_1.pdf

Brink Lindsey is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author, most recently, of Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter—and More Unequal
3680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Govt spending, deficit, and budget process: The Great Default Hoax on: October 16, 2013, 10:52:41 AM
Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona, a former county Treasurer:

"There is no such thing as default unless there is an actual evil attempt from the administration. When you have 18 percent of GDP coming in in cash, less than 2 percent going out in debt coverage—I’m stunned you all fall for it in the press. None of you (reporters present) were math majors, were you?”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/10/15/house_republicans_want_to_make_it_harder_for_treasury_to_avoid_a_debt_crisis.html
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/10/none-of-you-reporters-were-math-majors-were-you.php
3681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: October 16, 2013, 10:46:44 AM
Harkin: ..."multi-billion dollar companies that pay poverty wages and then rely on taxpayers to pick up the slack"

The problem isn't market pay for entry jobs.  The problem is the second half of this equation, taxpayers picking up slack.
3682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Issues Constitutional Law, Court will hear EPA cases on: October 16, 2013, 10:31:47 AM
WSJ excerpted: On Tuesday, the Justices agreed to review how far the agency can go in regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

In Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the Court consolidated six cert petitions and will consider a single legal question: Does the EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from "mobile sources" like cars also apply to emissions from "stationary sources" like power plants?
...
Regulatory agencies don't have the power to rewrite laws on their own without the authority granted by Congress. (more at: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304106704579137431281832884?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop)
----------------------

Unlike the Obamacare decision, this is not a question of federal government power, it is a question about federal agency power beyond congressional authorization.
3683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: October 16, 2013, 10:02:27 AM
From immigration thread:  "President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved."

Announcing this to his adversaries in the House is more proof that he wants this shutdown to continue and not get resolved.
3684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: October 16, 2013, 09:57:51 AM
Ezra Klein, designated liberal hitter for the Wash Post, makes sense here.

"The Obama administration's top job isn't beating the Republicans. It's running the government well. On this -- the most important initiative they've launched -- they've run the government badly. They deserve all the criticism they're getting and more."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/14/five-thoughts-on-the-obamacare-disaster/

[Klein supports the program and also ripped Republicans in the piece.]
-----------------------------------

FYI to leftists, replacing millions and millions and millions of individual free choices in a free market all with one rigid government program designed by staffers isn't as easy as it looks.
3685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: October 16, 2013, 09:44:54 AM
Thank you Bigdog.

I think this is the July post he references:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1273.msg73875#msg73875
3686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Arabic/Islamic Countries, Testing for gay people on: October 15, 2013, 04:45:42 PM
When Ahmadinejad said (in 2007) "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country", his Columbia University audience laughed at him.  When he said then name those gays in Iran and tell their addresses, the same audience went eerily silent.  A joke lost in translation is the way the media described it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-483746/We-dont-gays-Iran-Iranian-president-tells-Ivy-League-audience.html

3687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: October 15, 2013, 04:34:48 PM
I look forward to the Democrat takeover in the House, so you can say this again. [The majority controls what goes to a vote in the House.]

You don't strike me as someone who would prefer total Dem Politburo rule to divided government.  (Is this just to see me squirm?) Obviously I don't like Dem control of the House but I do know who controls the House when Dems win it.  This President, this Senate and this media think their own wins in these other venues mean they also control the House.  But that is only true when Republicans hand the keys to them.

I missed where in the rules it says all agencies must be funded in one bill, much less where it says one congress is bound by law or conscience to fully fund the programs of the previous.

Republicans don't need untimely or unsightly rule changes to lose PR battles.  They have been losing these since at least the JFK election.  Last time Republicans lost a shutdown battle it led to a balanced budget.  Not all bad.



3688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Jew in Malmo, Sweden on: October 15, 2013, 11:11:09 AM
I posted a few years back how Sweden's third largest city is Malmö with the highest percentage of Muslims in Scandinavia was unable to allow any spectators in to see Sweden host Israel in a Davis Cup (tennis) match because of the violence.  Here is a riot video Malmo 'welcoming' their international guests from Israel.  This is a must-see if your view of Scandinavia or western Europe is outdated.

Violent Riots at Davis Cup in Malmö Sweden 20090307
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb1q7KzJBbE
------------------------

Yesterday a local Swedish newspaper published a story about a journalist donning a kippah for a day in Malmo:

A day as a Jew in Malmö
http://www.thelocal.se/50790/20131014/

...In 2010 the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which represents Jewish interests abroad, issued a travel warning for Malmö urging “extreme caution.” A year later a Hollywood film company scrapped plans to shoot a Jewish themed movie in the city because of concerns about anti-Semitism there.  Last year the Wiesenthal Centre said “they see no reason to relax or revoke” their travel warning to Jews considering a visit to southern Sweden.  A few months afterwards the Jewish community centre was attacked in a bomb blast.

...the sole Jewish kindergarten is protected with bullet-proof doors after the bomb attack last year.

...The idea was to go about my normal day and also visit places which a potential tourist may go to, albeit with one major difference - the kippah clipped to the back of my head.  My intention was not to take the biggest risk possible by venturing into a suburb like Kroksbäck where a Gambian national was recently assaulted along with his young son and nearly thrown off a bridge in a racially motivated crime. Besides, Kroksbäck along with say Rosengård are not exactly tourist hotspots. ...
----
Story at the link. Editor's Note: Some names have been changed in order to protect identities.
3689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: October 15, 2013, 10:42:51 AM
Bigdog from 'Politics' today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Jd-iaYLO1A&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D0Jd-iaYLO1A&app=desktop

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/328413-dems-decry-midnight-rule-change
----------------------

One thing missing in the story is when did the Dems last use that same House rule they now decry?  Never?  They just state that it was a "long standing" rule. I thought it was well-known fact that under either party the majority controls what goes to the floor for a vote in the House.

"arguing it shows GOP leaders closed agencies intentionally"...

Does it argue that?  One doesn't have to look deep to know that, other than the controversial healthcare program, the House already voted to fund the agencies that the story implies were "intentionally" closed.  Unfortunately that is another fact not mentioned in the story.  As the title said, it was a story about Dems Decrying, not about journalists digging.

"Oh mercy, it just gets deeper and deeper".  - Yes it does.
3690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lower your income, get free Health Care on: October 14, 2013, 01:47:10 PM
Lower your income, get free Health Care.  "If they can adjust their income, they should." "It's not cheating.  It's allowed", says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 Under the Affordable Care Act, if your 2014 income is between 138 and 400 percent of poverty level for your household size, you can purchase health insurance on a state-run exchange (such as Covered California) and receive a federal tax subsidy to offset all or part of your premium.

If your income falls below 138 percent of poverty, you qualify for Medicaid, which provides no-cost health care to low-income people. In California, it's called Medi-Cal.

http://www.sfgate.com/business/networth/article/Lower-2014-income-can-net-huge-health-care-subsidy-4891087.php
------------

If everyone would lower their income enough, healthcare would be totally free!
3691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left - Lawrence Summers on: October 14, 2013, 01:41:29 PM
While the left is rejoicing at the choosing of leftist-Keynesian Janet Yellen to head the Fed, his second place discard, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, urges us to "focus on growth", recognize the "need to reduce regulatory barriers that hold back private infrastructure".  "We need to take advantage of the remarkable natural gas resources that have recently become available to the U.S. We need to...assure that public policy promotes entrepreneurship."

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2013/10/14/Deal-or-No-Deal-US-Has-Its-Eye-Ball#sthash.ZmBpqm1a.dpuf

Imagine if moderate Democrats controlled the party and governed in some kind of bipartisan fashion with these points in mind!  Rest assured Summers is still a Democrat and sounded all those familiar themes as well.  Pres. Obama did not pick Yellen she is a woman.  He picked her because she is the most highly qualified far-leftist available for the job.
3692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: October 14, 2013, 01:28:32 PM
While the civil war among Republicans was heating up, I had the opportunity to see conservative Phyllis Schlafly speak last week.  At age 89 she was bursting with energy.  Her talk included a few important points of advice:

1) Work within the two party system.  As Rumsfeld said, you fight with the army you have, not the one you wish you had.  Get involved in the caucuses and primaries and choosing the candidates, but this is a two-party system. 

2) The calls today from conservatives for a constitutional convention are naive.  You will attract all the people who oppose the constitution that we have.  Our group today is not smarter than the Founders, and we won't be able to pass anything better than they did.

3) A lot of conservatives are discouraged right now, but this is no time to give up!

3693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Health Care: Pass it and find out what's in it... on: October 14, 2013, 11:06:31 AM
http://www.jec.senate.gov/republicans/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=8e6dbf03-ca4a-44be-9de4-a100c43fb5c8

If this design is so good, I don't see why we don't put the Secretary of Healthcare in charge of all industries!

3694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: The Rest of the Story on: October 14, 2013, 10:50:18 AM
Politics and journalism at its very worst.  Once the government takes over the rest of healthcare, that is when we will begin to see real improvements in quality and cost containment - just like, um, name one example please of where else that was the case.  Housing finance?


Bill Keller, NYT:  "Which makes you wonder how much of their opposition rests on the merits, and how much is just a loathing for anything associated with Barack Obama."

Throw it all on the motives of the opponents if you have no other point to make.  What total blather!  The opposition is based totally on the lack of merits of this disgusting program and the loathing would be exactly identical if it were Hillary, Howard Dean, John Edwards or anyone else doing this.  Does Bill Keller really think Republican opposition would be different if we had elected someone else to transform America in the direction of Stalin and Marx?  No he doesn't, and he is perfectly comfortable lying to his readers on his central point.
3695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: October 14, 2013, 10:33:43 AM
Has Cruz's play been a big mistake?
-----------------------------------------

Yes, most certainly, if short term polling is the objective.  Republicans suffer from no messaging.  The signal to noise ratio is 1 to 1000, and then polling steps in to become the reality, even though everyone knows the Republicans are funding every program except the one they were elected to oppose.

I simply don't see the alternative.  Obamacare had zero Republican votes to pass and had a majority of the people are still against it.  If you vote to fund it, you own it and government healthcare becomes a permanent and growing entitlement.  Ask a Brit, every future election becomes about who will spend the most on healthcare.  Everyone knows a dependent; everyone is a dependent.

Some say the better play was to force change with the debt ceiling.  Ask the people if they prefer 18 or 26 trillion in the near term to 17 trillion and it should poll pretty well.  One chamber of congress can, in effect, force an instant balanced budget amendment.  We take in tenfold what we need pay interest.  Spending cuts would be forced.  Further tax increases could be refused.

Regarding the shutdown, I have read about monuments closed and children dying in the media which could be easily rectified with piecemeal spending bills, but I haven't personally witnessed one ill-effect yet.  Federal workers are getting a paid vacation, as I understand it.

After the Clinton-Newt shutdowns, Clinton got reelected and the Republican congress got reelected, the budget got balanced and every Clinton (and Newt) bragging right left today came through that, even though the storylines and polling at the time were awful.

How this one will be perceived later depends on how it ends.  If andwhen Republicans cave, Ted Cruz and House Republicans made a big noise over nothing.  If Republicans display backbone and message, the Democrats will have to make some agreement with them to continue on with their governance.

The Obama years are ticking away locked up in a standoff; that is not all bad.

How each person perceives the brinkmanship strategy depends on how close to the brink you think this country really is.  I believe, as do liberals, that the implementation of Obamacare is a temporary disaster on the road to permanent socialized healthcare.  This is the brink, the edge at the top of a very steep place, the threshold of danger, the point of no return.   If so, how it sell to moderates is secondary to doing the right thing.
3696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: October 13, 2013, 05:13:54 PM

It turns out that having both a brain and a backbone is a pretty rare combination in politics.
3697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 11, 2013, 04:15:02 PM
Isn't it odd that Democrats have delayed, changed and removed other parts of this but throw a conniption fit when the Republicans try to fund parts of the budget piecemeal.

Isn't it a good thing that each program, even each line item, should have to stand on its own two feet and be reaffirmed in each budget by each chamber?  Otherwise, wouldn't government just grow and grow and grow?

Also, it is telling that the Dems know that Republicans delaying it one year means we are trying to kill it.  In a way they are admitting that when they pass something that starts small, what they really want a total takeover.
-----------------

It bothers me that I don't see privacy issues raised as a major objection.  Just the signup site alone is likely to result in millions of identity thefts.  Meanwhile thieves across the country are posing as 'navigators' to steal people's most private information.

Combine Obamacare demanding and tracking all things health and financial with the IRS shareware project, NSA merging databases with email, internet and smartphone, and now "Common Core", the vertical and horizontal cradle to grave tracking system from our all-invasive federal education department (I will post more on that separately), the right of privacy is starting to look like a flashing electronic billboard.
3698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: IRS gave WH confidential data on: October 11, 2013, 11:50:55 AM
"House investigators: IRS gave White House confidential data in order to fight HHS mandate lawsuits"

This surprises no one, doesn't even offend liberals, and there is no indication that the perpetrators will face criminal prosecution.  Instead, our answer is to have more agencies gather and enter even more personal information into these corrupt, insecure networks.

When they look deeper, they will also find that the agencies effectively shared information with the swing state, get out the liberal vote campaigns, enabling these programs.
3699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Marriage and Family on: October 11, 2013, 11:36:56 AM
Almost all of this literature has the following characteristics: the samples are tiny and biased, the outcome measures are subjective and difficult to replicate, and the finding is always one of "no difference."
--------

One valid study is not going to refute all the biased studies from a political point of view.  This study showing extreme differences in graduation rates does not seem realistic either.  The real differences I think would be more subtle and harder to measure.

The gay lifestyle is a liberty available to consenting adults (in non-Muslim countries).  How do they rationalize that living in a gay household ("family?") could be the first choice of a newborn?

There is quite a movement out there committed to proving that God had it wrong.  Prior to the rise of the current liberal leftist agenda, homosexual sex rarely led to reproduction, making the parenting question moot.

Kids are amazingly adaptable.  That does not mean all situations are equal.
3700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: NYT: Monitoring your every move on: October 10, 2013, 11:20:55 AM
Good points, but since it is the NYT, a loss of privacy is troubling if the aim is private commerce or to advance national security, but not when it occurs in a government healthcare takeover.
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