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3651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena, This is going to be a one-term Proposition on: July 11, 2012, 04:07:27 PM
The President in his own words says that if he can't deliver results he will be held accountable.  "If I don't have this done in 3 years, this is going to be a one term proposition."
3652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations, Morris: UN plot to tax US on: July 11, 2012, 04:00:40 PM
Just say NO!!

That is one beauty of this forum, a place to warn people about things like this!!

Doesn't the constitution require that bills to raise revenue MUST originate in the House?

Paraphrasing the President's favorite adviser Valerie: who cares about the constitution if you can just get the policy you want.
3653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 11, 2012, 03:47:27 PM
There isn't any reason to think something is wrong with his tax returns.  We have a federal agency that already went over them.  What is wrong is that people who won't vote for him anyway would love to get all the PRIVATE information they can to make more criticisms of his success and achievement.  What were the names you called him and his wealth? Filthy??

And it's a little late to get the records that candidate Obama refused.  He flunked his behind the wheel test.

If you don't need to show a birth certificate to be President, you don't need to show a tax return.  The double standard is pathetic.  If full disclosure was some kind of requirement, what happened in 2008?
3654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Do You Get in to Hear Eric Holder Say That Voter ID Laws are racist? on: July 11, 2012, 09:31:28 AM
How Do You Get Into the NAACP Convention to Hear Eric Holder Say That Voter ID Laws Are Racist?

Of course: you have to present a “government-issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license).” You can’t make this stuff up...
July 10, 2012 — John Hinderaker,
3655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 11, 2012, 09:26:53 AM
In a related development, 'Meet The Press' Hits 20-Year Low

I believe that show, with all the potential to be the most informative an television, used to be on primetime.  

They don't even ask permission to treat every Republican as a hostile witness.
3656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: July 11, 2012, 09:20:00 AM
This is a nice post by Bigdog:  "Congress doesn't tell people who they must employ. Congress tells employers who they can't exclude from employment based on characteristics that have nothing to do with merit."

I think it comes closer to describing how the laws ought to be (if congress was authorized that power in the constitution) than how they are.  Also it is the agencies, more so than congress, who write the devil into the details.
3657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: July 11, 2012, 09:13:42 AM
Thanks Crafty for the original post and the Scott Grannis reply, I was hoping someone like that would answer it.  I have not followed LIBOR but with other crises and scandals of the past, the worst situations seem to arise out of the botched regulation/ partial deregulation combinations.  S&L's in the past completely had their hands tied down to interest rates defined to the quarter of a point, then they had more discretion but still with their hands tied for failure.  The more recent banking collapse is a similar example.  Insist on lending for criteria other than creditworthiness, pass laws that disrupt investment and asset markets then watch them collapse.  Not really puzzling.

"How has it been possible for banks to grow from less than 4 per cent of the global economy to more than 12 per cent of the global economy without impoverishing others? "

I don't think it is the impoverished that pay most banking fees, but prices and fees get exorbitant when government blocks competition with all the licensing and regulations, some necessary and appropriate and some not.  I try to pay no direct fees to banks, but if you are trying to take your company public or entering into mergers and acquisitions, paying a bank a reasonable fee for competent handling of those transactions and for access to liquidity may add quite a lot of value.  Maybe you choose or require the best, a Morgan Stanley or whoever is still out there.  But if their fees are outrageous, doesn't that open the door to competition, newer smaller firms who can do the same service for less.  The question really is - why is the door closed to aggressive price competition that all real markets experience?  And the answer to that for sure is the government regulations and compliance complexities that go with them.

As Grannis suggests, the fees and scope of it all is so expensive because the regulations are so multi-layered and complex that only a few elite firms are able to handle the most complex transactions.

Note how at the end, after all that detail and expertise, the greater regulations solution is left totally vague: "...then we need some new models and some new rules."

Isn't that exactly how we got Dodd-Frank?  We needed new rules because we needed new rules so here they are, more and more layers of complexity and so what of the consequences.

What I don't exactly get in banking today is the collusion between the Fed and the private banks.  They aren't lending money that other people saved anymore.  They are lending nothing but manufactured or printed money.  Good luck putting that toothpaste back in the tube.
3658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 10, 2012, 05:34:22 PM
"...but there is correlation and causation, and for Sowell to seem to understand that is problematic."

Not sure if I followed you correctly and speaking for me not Sowell.  Changing the rules and moving the goal posts to save specific union Dem constituency jobs, that may well have come back redefined, coincided with a loss of about 2 million jobs generally in the economy.  If there is correlation/causation, it is that 'saving' those jobs from renegotiation coincided for sure and maybe caused net jobs lost.  The curve is clearly downward at that time, and those were the policies.

Sowell takes President Obama to task for job gain claims that are not net jobs and he also takes critics of Obama to task for jobs lost claims that are not net jobs numbers.  I think you underestimate Sowell to see him as partisan more than principled.  As one who has read his books that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND 'Basic Economics' and 'Applied Economics', I think he is using this rhetoric of the moment as a take off point to point out underlying principles he believes are crucial to successful operation of the economy.

I think it was me more than Sowell forcing the auto industry example.  It just seems like a perfect example of the difference in views.  Sure the government can always create or save particular jobs, but at the the expense of not having the kind of system where scarce resources like manufacturing capacity and labor allowed to move freely to their most productive use.  We can move goal posts around during a soccer game to favor certain shooters or certain shots at certain times, but then what is left of the game?  Cronyism, like most third world and ash heap economies.  Crafty is right on auto jobs IMO.  Preventing a needed reorganization is not the same as saving jobs.  United Airlines and others were still flying passengers in the days, months and years after their bankruptcies. 

If you prop up every dead tree in a forest does that maximize its vitality or spur robust new growth underneath?  I think not.

Sowell continued, regarding Obamacare: "the Obama administration has made businesses reluctant to hire because of the huge uncertainties it has created for businesses as regards the cost of adding employees."

This is without a doubt true and of no fault whatsoever of the Republican House who provided zero votes to this anti-employment legislation and already voted to repeal.

A good supporting piece to that I think is a post slightly up the page called:
"Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies"

You can force 50 person companies do this and do that, whether it is healthcare, family leave, daycare, layoff notices, minimum benefits, maximum hours, excess profits taxes, you name it, but you can't (yet) force people to form 50 person companies.

Those legislators and regulators are blind I think to the point of Feldstein in the Morris tax piece that people change their behavior to policy changes.  In that example it was to the tune of misjudging revenues by a factor of two thirds!

Obama's policies are job creation killing.  Why shouldn't he be singled out for a two million or so net loss of American jobs?  What are the policies that Republican kept President Obama from implementing during the Obamacare passage debacle?  Passing that massive tax increase during a recession was job one while he had the House and 60 Senators.  On the other side of the coin the Pelosi-Obama congress of '07-'08 most certainly neglected to force Fannie Mae and CRA reform and prevented the Bush administration from making temporary tax cuts permanent. 

Fairness over growth has brought us neither.
3659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 10, 2012, 10:56:56 AM
BD: "It is a good thing 5,000 jobs were saved. Otherwise there would have been a net loss of 31,000 jobs."

I think you either missed or disagree with his point.

Sowell: "5,000 jobs were saved in the American steel industry, 26,000 jobs were lost in American industries that produced products made of steel."

His point is that these companies had to pay more than foreign competitors did for steel. Saving steel by making US manufacturers pay more for it a) puts them at a competitive disadvantage and b) gives them reason to move their own manufacturing out.  These job losses under Sowell's logic are not additive, they are offsetting.

Saving auto jobs by changing the rules of capitalism assumes that the resource shifts and the unpredictability that causes has no other effect, negative effect, on the other participants, investors, lenders, job creators for example.  The auto industry bailout began in Dec 2008.  Net jobs saved on this BLS employment chart during the period following the auto rescue do not look very impressive, of course it is never the case that all other factors are held constant.

Economic freedom with a fairly level, predictable playing field, more than auto manufacturing, made the American economy great. There is no reason we can't have both IMHO.

Looking forward to examples of where central governments picking winners and losers outperform economic freedom.
3660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: July 10, 2012, 10:13:30 AM

I stand corrected!  That must be just urban myth in NE.  Of course I also got the name of the stadium wrong but to me Nebraska is just drive-through country, and a place where control of the Senate in 2013 and the Supreme Court for the next three decades might be determined.

My second try at that point:  Combine the stadium attendance with the Nebraska football television audience and see how those towns compare.  
3661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Thomas Sowell, Jobs vs. Net Jobs on: July 10, 2012, 09:37:43 AM
More famous people reading the forum, Thomas Sowell helps me today to answer Bigdog's tough question posed recently: "You don't recognize the connection to building cars in the US and US jobs?"

Sowell: "Creating (saving in this case) particular jobs does not mean a net increase in jobs.

Jobs Versus Net Jobs

By Thomas Sowell - July 10, 2012
One of the reasons for the popularity of political rhetoric is that everybody can be right, in terms of their own rhetoric, no matter how much the rhetoric of one side contradicts the rhetoric of the other side.

President Obama constantly repeats how many millions of jobs have been created during his administration, while his critics constantly repeat how many millions of jobs have been lost during his administration. How can both of them be right -- or, at least, how can they both get away with what they are saying?

There are jobs and there are net jobs. This is true not only today but has been true in years past.

Back during the 1980s, when there were huge losses of jobs in the steel industry, the government restricted the importation of foreign steel. It has been estimated that this saved 5,000 jobs in the American steel industry.

But of course restriction of competition from lower-priced imported steel made steel more expensive to American producers of products containing steel. Therefore the price of these products rose, making them less in demand at these higher prices, causing losses of sales at home and in the world market.

The bottom line is that, while 5,000 jobs were saved in the American steel industry, 26,000 jobs were lost in American industries that produced products made of steel. On net balance, the country lost jobs by restricting the importation of steel.

None of this was peculiar to the steel industry. Restrictions on the importation of sugar are estimated to have cost three times as many jobs in the confection industry as they saved in the sugar industry. The artificially high price of sugar in the United States led some American producers of confections to relocate to Mexico and Canada, where the price of sugar is lower.

There is no free lunch in the job market, any more than there is anywhere else. The government can always create particular jobs or save particular jobs, but that does not mean that it is a net creation of jobs or a net saving of jobs.

The government can create a million jobs tomorrow, just by hiring that many people. But where does the government get the money to pay those people? From the private economy -- which loses the money that the government gains.

With less money in the private sector, the loss of jobs there can easily exceed the million jobs created in the government or in industries subsidized by the government. The Obama administration's creation of "green jobs" has turned out to cost far more money per job than the cost of creating a job in the private sector.

In addition to reducing jobs in the private sector by taking money out of the private sector to pay for government-subsidized jobs, the Obama administration has made businesses reluctant to hire because of the huge uncertainties it has created for businesses as regards the cost of adding employees. With thousands of regulations still being written to implement ObamaCare, no one knows how much this will add to the cost of hiring new employees.

In the face of this economic uncertainty, even businesses that have an increased demand for their products can meet that demand by working their existing employees overtime, instead of adding new employees. Many employers hire temporary workers, who are not legally entitled to benefits such as health insurance, and who will therefore not be affected by the cost of ObamaCare.

When President Obama boasts of the number of jobs created during his administration, the numbers he cites may be correct, but he doesn't count the other jobs that were lost during his administration. His critics cite the latter. Both can claim to be right because they are talking about different things.

What has been the net effect? During this administration, the proportion of the working age population that has a job has fallen to the lowest level in decades. The official unemployment rate does not count the millions of people who have simply given up looking for a job.

If everybody gave up looking for a job, the official unemployment rate would fall to zero. But that would hardly mean that the problem was solved or that the "stimulus" worked. Creating particular jobs does not mean a net increase in jobs.
3662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs - Rich Lowry on Food Stamps on: July 10, 2012, 09:29:44 AM
Expanding the program was easy.  Paying for it is forever.  Cutting it back is impossible.  As Bigdog wrote to me recently, "...Do you want children to starve?"

"Needless to say, there are destitute people who need help. But the goal should be to reduce dependence on food stamps to historic levels after the recession, and restore the asset test, re-establish a work requirement and implement a better system for income verification."

The Rise of Food-Stamp Nation

By Rich Lowry - July 10, 2012

Tom Vilsack is one of the most important welfare administrators in the nation. Oh, yeah — he’s also secretary of agriculture.

Two-thirds of the Agriculture Department’s budget is devoted to welfare programs. The biggest is food stamps, which is now the nation’s second-largest welfare program after Medicaid. Its inexorable growth during the past decade, through good times and bad, is a testament to government’s self-generating expansion.

Asked what labor wanted, the great 20th-century union leader Samuel Gompers answered, “More.” The modern welfare state lives by the same credo. About 17 million people received food stamps back in 2000. Some 30 million received them in 2008. Roughly 46 million people receive them today. From 1 in 50 Americans on food stamps at the program’s national inception in the 1970s, 1 in 7 Americans are on them now.

The grinding recession accounts for much of the increase the past few years, but not for its entirety. Spending on food stamps doubled between 2001 and 2006, even though unemployment was low in those years. Even when the economy is projected to improve in the future, usage of food stamps will remain elevated above historic norms. Food Stamp Nation is here to stay.

One of its pillars is so-called categorical eligibility, which means that if someone is eligible for another welfare program, he is presumptively eligible for food stamps. In 2000, the Clinton administration issued regulations saying that merely getting a non-cash welfare benefit could make someone eligible. Getting a welfare brochure or referred to an 800 number for services is enough to qualify in almost all the states.

Categorical eligibility effectively wiped out the program’s old asset test (i.e., you couldn’t have $30,000 in the bank and get food stamps), although income limits still apply. In the Obama stimulus, the work requirement was suspended, too, and hasn’t been restored. The requirement had discouraged young, able-bodied nonparents from utilizing the program; there are millions of them on food stamps. The bottom line is that government at all levels actively wants people on the program.

Newt Gingrich famously calls Barack Obama “the food-stamp president.” But the first president worthy of the moniker was George W. Bush. His administration brought a Madison Avenue element to the otherwise unreconstructed Great Society program. Not everyone who is eligible for food stamps knows it or wants to sign up. Bush began a recruitment campaign. In the same vein, the Obama administration is running radio ads hailing food stamps as a way to lose weight. At the local level, county governments spread the word and work to overcome residual cultural resistance to taking government benefits. The federal government pays $50 million in bonuses to states for signing people up.

That the food-stamps program is part of the farm bill (now up for debate in Congress) is itself a scam, an exercise in rural-urban logrolling that gives everyone an interest in seeing the bill pass.

As every level of government works to grow the program, attempts to scale it back are predictably savaged. When Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, advocated reforms to save $20 billion out of a $770 billion budget for food stamps during the next decade, he was portrayed as a Dickensian villain. The New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand accused him of not caring about kids and insisted that food stamps are an engine of economic growth, since every $1 spent on the program allegedly generates $1.71 in economic activity. There’s nothing, apparently, that food stamps can’t do.

Needless to say, there are destitute people who need help. But the goal should be to reduce dependence on food stamps to historic levels after the recession, and restore the asset test, re-establish a work requirement and implement a better system for income verification. When almost 15 percent of Americans are on food stamps, the government should reacquaint itself with two words: “too much.”
Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.

3663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dems in close races buck Obama, Bob Kerrey's wife disses Nebraska on: July 10, 2012, 09:21:44 AM
Polico reports that "Embattled Dems buck President Obama on taxes".  Looks to me like they are just quibbling over details, wanting to make cuts permanent for all lower brackets instead of a one year extension and getting the soak the rich definition up higher than 250k.

Bob Kerrey's wife disses Nebraska.  They are raising a 10 year old son in Greenwich Village, NYC.  She hates football.  Probably doesn't know that the largest city in Nebraska in Cornhusker Stadium on an October Saturday afternoon.

“The Midwest is a strange land for an Easterner of my ilk,”

She is "outraged...that he would choose his country over his family”

Don't worry Mrs. Kerrey (that's not her last name), he won't be representing Nebraska in the Senate, nor ever visit Nebraska if he were to win.  This will pass.
3664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Let's do more of the same on: July 10, 2012, 09:02:51 AM
Speaking of liberals well educated in something, art history maybe, to compensate for the shortage of liberals posting on the board I offer you the latest from the liberal media echo chamber in the Upper Midwest, today's Minneapolis StarTribune editorial taking the President to task for not turning further and sharper to the left.  What we really need right now, they argue, is more of the exact same policies that didn't work the first three and a half years in failed Barack Obama Presidency:

Editorial: Obama should call for new stimulus\

"June jobs numbers show that economy needs more juice."

They want him to do more on deficit reduction and offer a new fiscal spending stimulus.  Huh?

"Obama shouldn't wait for a full-blown recession to return. He should ask Congress for another dose of stimulus this summer..."

Read it at the link if you need a good dose of leftist confusion.  What they don't seem to get is that these results called fairness, "the June unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds was 13.7 percent, back up to where it was last fall", not economic growth, are exactly what you get from their policies.
3665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American Creed (Constitutional Law) - Court Stakes in 2012 on: July 10, 2012, 08:46:41 AM
"...the power to control Supreme Court nominations is the grand prize in the coming presidential election. Long after Barack Obama and Mitt Romney fade in our memories, the Supreme Court justices one of them appoints will still be rendering the rulings that determine the future course of our nation."

Necessarily tied to 2012 Presidential and Senate thread, this piece includes a nice summary of some cases where the swing vote actually went conservative.  "Swing vote" to some of us means which conservative in name only takes his or her turn to vote with the totally predictable liberal bloc to continue to undermine the American Creed and feed the continuing expansion of government.

Clint Bolick: The Supreme Court Stakes in 2012
The replacement of a single conservative justice by President Obama in a second term would turn the court sharply to the left.


Many conservatives are angry with Chief Justice John Roberts, whose decisive vote in late June not only sustained a disastrous health-care law. It also interpreted the Constitution to permit Congress to penalize behavior through its taxing power that it cannot control through its power to regulate commerce.

Magnifying the harm is a CBS News report—and informed suspicions from a number of sources—that Chief Justice Roberts initially voted to strike down the law but switched in the face of veiled threats from President Barack Obama and concerns about the court's reputation and his own.

Some conservatives were also disappointed that Chief Justice Roberts joined fellow conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four liberal justices earlier in June in striking down portions of Arizona's immigration law. They considered the ruling a blow against federalism.

The upshot is that Chief Justice Roberts has become a "swing" justice on the Supreme Court—along with Justice Kennedy, who has occupied the swing position held by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor until she was replaced by conservative Justice Samuel Alito in 2006. The court now is composed of three solid conservatives and four solid liberals, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy leaning conservative.

Even that mixture makes the current court the most conservative in nearly a century. But it also means that the replacement of a single conservative justice by President Obama in a second term would turn the court sharply to the left.

The ObamaCare ruling highlights the stakes. Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal justices in finding that the penalty imposed on individuals who refuse to sign up for government-prescribed health insurance is a permissible tax. But he sided with his fellow conservatives in holding that the mandate to buy insurance itself exceeded Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce. Inactivity, the court held, is not commerce.

By contrast, the liberal justices argued that anything that even indirectly affects commerce (which amounts to everything) can be regulated. With the replacement of one conservative justice by a liberal, congressional power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause will be boundless.

By holding the line in June, then, the conservative majority ensured, at least for now, that the power of the national government remains limited. That portion of the health-care decision continues an important trend in which the court has set boundaries on federal regulatory power that had been erased during the New Deal.

Over the past two decades of its conservative majority, in fact, the court has reined in government power and protected important individual rights in a number of areas, almost always in 5-4 votes divided along conservative/liberal lines. Among them:

• First Amendment. In its Citizens United decision in 2010 and its ruling the next year in Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett, which struck down Arizona's scheme providing public "matching funds" to candidates, the court has protected the right to vigorously participate in political campaigns.

• Second Amendment. The court has recognized an individual right to keep and bear arms, which the four liberal justices would have extinguished, and which now hangs by the thread of a single vote.

• School choice. Last month marked the 10th anniversary of the 5-4 Zelman v. Simmons-Harris ruling upholding the constitutionality of issuing school vouchers that can be used for tuition at parochial schools, among others. This was the case that the court's liberal dissenters preposterously predicted would unleash religious strife akin to that in Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

• Property rights. The conservative majority has ruled that some excessive property regulations—such as forced dedication requirements in return for development permits—are unconstitutional. It has also ruled that regulations that destroy property value—such as ones that essentially forbid development—require compensation. But Justice Kennedy joined the liberal majority in the infamous 2005 Kelo decision upholding the use of eminent domain for private purposes.

• Racial preferences. The court has restricted the use of racial preferences and may forbid them altogether in Fisher v. University of Texas, which will be argued before the court next term. The liberal justices recognize few limits on the use of race for social-engineering purposes.

• Federalism. In several cases, the conservative majority has expanded state autonomy and limited the federal government's power to regulate states. These include Horne v. Flores, upholding Arizona's English-only law in 2009; Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting in 2011, upholding Arizona's law penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants; and Northwest Austin Utility District v. Holder, a 2009 decision allowing a Texas utility district to opt about of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires many states and local entities to obtain Justice Department permission to make any changes affecting voting.

The court's conservative majority so far has endured for 21 years, since Justice Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall. Since then, there have been six appointments to the court. None, however, has affected the court's balance, with two conservatives replacing conservatives and four liberals replacing liberals.

That may be about to change. Three justices—liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg and conservatives Antonin Scalia and Justice Kennedy—will reach their 80s during the next presidential administration. So whoever wins in November likely will have the chance either to reinforce the conservative majority, or to alter the court's balance for the first time in nearly a generation.

The stakes never have been higher. First, because as human longevity increases, lifetime tenure has grown increasingly valuable. The average tenure of a Supreme Court justice today is 25 years—spanning more than six presidential terms. And presidents are catching on, naming ever-younger justices. If the newest justice, Elena Kagan, serves for all of her current life expectancy, she will remain on the court until 2045.

Second, the science of nominating philosophically consistent justices has grown more precise. In the past, presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon tried to pack the court with reliable fellow-thinkers, with decidedly mixed success. Dwight Eisenhower famously remarked that his two biggest mistakes both served on the Supreme Court (Earl Warren and William Brennan). John F. Kennedy appointed Byron White, who turned conservative toward the end of his tenure, and George H.W. Bush appointed David Souter, who was liberal from day one.

These days, however, justices are carefully chosen on the basis of long philosophical track records. Indeed, most Supreme Court justices today remain more true to their principles than the presidents who appoint them.

A Republican president may spend like a drunken sailor or destroy capitalism in order to save it, and a Democrat may bail out Wall Street and fail to bring the troops home. But they will never disappoint their respective bases on Supreme Court nominations.

All of this underscores that in terms of lasting importance, the power to control Supreme Court nominations is the grand prize in the coming presidential election. Long after Barack Obama and Mitt Romney fade in our memories, the Supreme Court justices one of them appoints will still be rendering the rulings that determine the future course of our nation.

Mr. Bolick is vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute and author of "Two-Fer: Electing a President and a Supreme Court," published in April by the Hoover Institution.

3666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: July 10, 2012, 08:31:30 AM
Bumper sticker seen on a parked car in a nice, liberal neighborhood yesterday;

"Am I liberal or just well educated?"
3667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: July 09, 2012, 02:44:20 PM
"free choice with whom to associate"

Already asked another way, but to Crafty and to Bigdog, does that freedom of association include who you choose to work for your company and who you choose to live in your property (housing rental)? 

The President can form a group called African Americans for Obama but I cannot form a housing complex called Christian Housing.  Why and why not?
3668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: July 09, 2012, 02:25:44 PM
"Why is the Court so much better at stopping leaks than the government agencies entrusted with the country’s most critical secrets?"

Yes. I had that same thought, though not posted.  Quite impressive the secrecy of this opinion in particular. 

Jan Crawford had nice inside stories on the case buy there was no indication at all that she had them early.

"Lifetime job security?-- i.e. no need to seek political advantage to keep one's job?"

That's a pretty good guess, but the aides don't stay for a lifetime.

Besides trying to understand why it happened, the secrecy of the Court proves it is possible.  Intelligence agencies and oversight and enforcement of classified secrets personnel could stand to learn from that.

Perhaps a public beheading (or legal equivalent) would persuade officials not to leak military secrets to the NY Times.  We could at least conduct an investigation and try to enforce our laws. 

Scooter Libby went to prison for not leaking.  Now THAT was an investigation.  They had the truth in the first 15 minutes and decided to run a year or so with the investigation. The zeal for getting at the truth and enforcing federal laws sadly depends upon the political implications.
3669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / USA Today Editorial: Food stamps expansion driven by politics on: July 09, 2012, 12:25:36 PM
Editorial: Food stamps expansion driven by politics

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world. And its economy is recovering from recession faster than those in most other industrialized nations. So why do the numbers of people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps) keep surging?

The numbers are stark. In 1992, about 25 million Americans took part in the program. By 2000, thanks to an unusually strong economy and overly rigid restrictions on qualifying, the number had fallen to 17 million. But since then, they have been going straight up. As of April, 46 million Americans, more than one in seven, were receiving assistance. Its annual cost meanwhile has risen from $17 billion in 2000 to $78 billion as of last year.

The value of the program is not in doubt. People in need obviously should not be left without food. But numbers like these erode people's faith in the fairness of government anti-poverty programs. These numbers are not driven by a rise in hunger. Indeed they have come about at a time when Americans — particularly those on the lower-income rungs — are struggling with obesity.

Rather the growth in SNAP, as the program providing food assistance is called, is being driven by politics as usual. Rural and urban lawmakers form an odd alliance to scratch each other's back. The rural representatives support expanding SNAP in return for getting the latter's support on farm subsidies. And vice versa.

More at the link:
3670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Ends Justify Means, by Valerie Jarrett on: July 09, 2012, 12:22:26 PM
Who cares if its constitutional, we got healthcare:

“We will take it any way we can get it," Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said about the Supreme Court calling the individual mandate a tax in the majority opinion upholding ObamaCare. "I mean we argued both ways, but we thought that it fell within the commerce clause, the Court ruled it was a tax, we really look at it as a penalty."

"But whatever they want to call it, the fact of the matter is it was a historic day for the United States. A country as wealthy as ours is now going to provide health insurance for everyone," Jarrett said to Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
3671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: If you wanted to make 8-9% unemployment permanent... VDH on: July 09, 2012, 12:18:49 PM
First, excellent previous post by BD.  I continually impressed with his range of reading materials.  IEEE Spectrum is one of my old favorites.

A recent post of VDH on NRO The Corner:

"If one wanted to ensure permanent 8 percent to 9 percent unemployment, one might try the following:

1. Run up serial $1 trillion deficits

2. Add $5 trillion to the national debt in three and a half years

3. Impose a 2,400-page, trillion-dollar new federal takeover of health care, with layers of new taxation, much of it falling on the middle class and employers, even as favored concerns are given mass exemptions.

4. Scare employers with constant us/them class warfare rhetoric about a demonized one-percenter class and its undeserved profits; constantly talk about raising new taxes and imposing regulations, ensuring uncertainty and convincing employers of unpredictability in regulation and taxes. You cannot convince a country to go into permanent near-recession, but President Obama is doing his best to try."
3672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iraq says al Qaeda members crossing into Syria on: July 09, 2012, 12:08:27 PM
Iraq says al Qaeda members crossing into Syria

By Sylvia Westall

BAGHDAD | Thu Jul 5, 2012 2:09pm BST

(Reuters) - Iraq has "solid information" that al Qaeda militants are crossing from Iraq into Syria to carry out attacks and has sent reinforcements to the border, the foreign minister said on Thursday.  (More at link)
3673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 09, 2012, 10:47:35 AM
I was wrong about Supreme Court resignations.  I'm glad they are all feeling well though I don't think very highly of some of their opinions.
3674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - State of the Race, Jay Cost on: July 09, 2012, 10:41:27 AM
There is quite a contrast in polls out there, swing states and nationally.  Latest Rasmussen has Romney by 1% nationally, Gallup has Obama by 2%.

Intrade where people put money on their bet has Obama with 56% chance of winning at the moment.

Obama won 2008 by 7% nationally so Romney needs at least a 8-9% swing to be assured a victory.  One take is that Iowa is the dead center of the political nation.  Obama won Iowa by 9.54% in 2008.  Rasmussen had Romney up by 1 in late June, a 10.5% swing.

Another key state is Colorado, where 3 counties allegedly reflect the national swing in these elections:

Jay Cost, now with Weekly Standard is one of the best analysts on polling and electoral politics.  He points out 4 factors running against Obama.  Cost maintains that Obama is 1) unpopular with approval consistently below 50%, 2) impressions are set, difficult to change. 3) The economy is hurting Obama, and 4) Romney still has plenty of time to define himself in a very positive sense.
3675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: July 09, 2012, 10:17:03 AM
Yes, a very odd report.  "I wonder what is going on beneath the surface here." 

Placating the opportunistic oppressors who backstab us around the globe it would appear, while elsewhere we backstab our real friends and allies.

From the article: "Calibrating a long-range China policy may be the greatest challenge for the U.S. administration’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region."

I would add that dealing effectively with the current, unelected regime of China is, to me, only a short term goal.

At what point in a nation's economic development do a billion plus people deserve the basic human right of consensual government?  That might have enormous foreign policy and defense implications for the U.S.  I haven't heard much from this administration on the world stage about that, no tear down this wall speech from the Nobel prize winner in chief, though he did report Arizona to the UN for oppression.
3676  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Elite athletes: Roger Federer at Wimbledon on: July 07, 2012, 12:57:12 AM
Interesting recap below of a historic Wimbledon match today, 16-time Grand Slam event winner Roger Federer defeated current world number one Novak Djokovic today in 4 sets.  Serving at around 130 mph, Federer had 12 aces and no double faults.  Hitting at full power on the run for four hours against the best in the world, his total unforced errors were in single digits.  I didn't watch but that is an amazing performance.  Finals are on Sunday morning US time.
3677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness gives the Dem radio address in May 2004, Jobs gain was 4 times bigger! on: July 06, 2012, 10:37:17 PM
A MUST LISTEN audio.  Cognitive Dissonance is just putting it nicely.  Full of shit is a better description.
After the economy added 310,000 jobs in May 2004 and the unemployment rate was 5.6%, then-candidate Barack Obama used the Democrat weekly radio address to attack the Bush administration for citing good economic numbers.

“For the past few weeks, President Bush and members of his administration have traveled the nation to celebrate recent improved economic statistics. Well, I’ve been traveling too, all over this large and diverse state. In cities and suburbs, downstate and upstate, I’ve heard from people who say it’s way too early to claim victory when it comes to our economy,” Obama says in the Democrats’ radio address from June 26, 2004.

“After three dismal years of job-loss, we all welcome encouraging statistics,” Obama acknowledges in the 2004 address. “But for most Americans, the health of our economy is measured in a different and more personal way: If I lose my job, where will I find one that pays as well and offers real benefits? Can I afford health-care coverage on my own, or the cost of sending my children to college? Will I ever be able to save and retire with dignity and security? These are the questions I hear hardworking people asking. For them, the basic rewards of a middle-class life, rewards that we once took for granted, have become an elusive dream.”
3678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: More go on disability pay than take new jobs, IBD on: July 06, 2012, 10:29:51 PM

Disability Ranks Outpace New Jobs In Obama Recovery


More workers joined the federal government's disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation's jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.
3679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What Romney Needs to Say About Romneycare, By Mona Charen on: July 06, 2012, 10:26:01 PM
What Romney Needs to Say About Romneycare

By Mona Charen - July 6, 2012
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Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom's blunder -- telling an interviewer that Romney believes the individual mandate is not a tax -- was politically dumb, if revealing. It suggests that the Romney camp continues to struggle with the ghost of Romneycare. Romney's subsequent attempt at clarification, saying that it's a tax because the Supreme Court said it is, though, "I agreed with the dissent," succeeded only in further confusing matters.

The campaign desperately needs clarity on this issue. It needs also to shake that worrying tentativeness on Romneycare -- a timidity that suggests to voters that Romney has something to hide.

The answer to the question: "Wasn't Romneycare exactly the same thing as Obamacare?" is, to quote Nancy Pelosi, "Are you serious?" The Massachusetts law contained an individual mandate, which states -- unlike the federal government -- are allowed to impose. But it did not consist of 2,700 pages of new regulations; 159 new boards and commissions; and more than $500 billion in new taxes (and counting); the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a rationing board whose decisions are unreviewable by the courts and practically untouchable by Congress itself; restrictions on religious liberty; Medicare cuts; affirmative action mandates for medical and dental schools; huge new authority over one-seventh of the U.S. economy for the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and open-ended regulations of the way doctors and others perform their jobs.

Beyond that, a glance at the history of Romneycare in Massachusetts shows that Romney's instincts and initiatives were for free-market reforms. An 85 percent Democratic legislature thwarted his best efforts, and a Democratic successor as governor twisted the law's trajectory dramatically.

Before Romney's time, Massachusetts had enacted a number of laws that made its health care system needlessly expensive. All policies offered in the state were required to cover expensive treatments such as substance abuse counseling and infertility. In 1996, the state passed a law requiring "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" -- meaning people could wait until they got sick to purchase health insurance. Naturally, rates skyrocketed. In addition, a 1986 federal law required hospital emergency rooms to treat all patients, regardless of ability to pay.

Romney's idea was to permit Massachusetts insurers to sell catastrophic plans. As Avik Roy explained in Forbes, "Shorn of the costly mandates and restrictions originating in earlier state laws, these plans, called 'Commonwealth Care Basic,' could cost much less. Romney also proposed merging the non-group and small-group markets, so as to give individuals access to the more cost-effective plans available to small businesses." Romney's plan would also have involved a degree of cost sharing so that those receiving subsidies would have an incentive to minimize their consumption.

Romney agreed to the mandate, believing that Massachusetts citizens would get the opportunity to purchase inexpensive, catastrophic plans. But the legislature, together with Romney's successor as governor, Deval Patrick, changed the law to require insurers to offer three tiers of coverage -- all of them far beyond catastrophic care. Perhaps Romney ought to have foreseen what future legislatures and governors would do -- but that's a far cry from the accusation that Romneycare was indistinguishable from Obamacare.

Romney's proposed reforms included fraud prevention measures for Medicaid, requiring the income of both parents to be considered in children's Medicaid eligibility, medical malpractice tort reform, and giving individuals the same treatment as small businesses in the purchase of health plans. He envisioned a system of increased competition and choice.

The bill that passed the legislature contained a number of features Romney couldn't countenance. He opposed the mandate, preferring to permit individuals to post a $10,000 bond in lieu of insurance. The legislature overrode him. He vetoed the employer mandate, coverage for illegal aliens, the creation of a new bureaucracy to be called The Public Health Council, a provision limiting improvements to Medicaid, and one expanding Medicaid coverage to include dental care. His vetoes were overridden.

The health reform law Romney introduced -- as opposed to the one that was implemented by his successor -- stressed competition, reduced regulation and expanded choice for the consumer.

It was a mistake for Romney to sign the bill. As Avik Roy put it, "The individual mandate was a loaded gun that Romney handed to his opponents, who used it to force individuals to buy comprehensive insurance they didn't need." But Romney's bona fides as a free-market advocate and critic of Obamacare are not undermined by Romneycare. He can rightly claim that he foresaw, and attempted to prevent, the consequences of heavy-handed government control of the health care market.
3680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Jobs Deficit from breakeven jobs growth on: July 06, 2012, 10:18:36 PM
Others follow up on a point I attempted to make yesterday.  I was writing about 'breakeven' real GDP growth.  This writer says the US economy must create 125,000 new jobs per month to break even.  Article below I(fox News) says that 191,000 new workers come here every month.  Roughly 92% of them need to find new jobs to keep our 8% unemployment rate at 'breakeven' levels.  80,000 jobs in a country of 310 million people does not do that!

Friday, July 6, 2012
U.S. Jobs Deficit Grows by 47,000 in June

Going Around in Circles

~ “If you're lost in the woods and you feel like you're walking in circles, you probably are.” ~ Discovery News

- By: Larry Walker, Jr. -

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the U.S. economy needs to create a minimum of 127,000 each month in order to keep pace with population growth. And based on today’s Employment Situation Report, the economy created just 80,000 jobs in June. That means the jobs deficit increased by another 47,000 last month. Yet, according to Barack Obama, "That's a step in the right direction.” However, according to economic common sense, it’s another step towards stagnation, then decay and dissolution.

He added, “We can't be satisfied because our goal was never to just keep on working to get back to where we were back in 2007.” So according to Obama, his goal was never to just keep working to get back to where we were in 2007, a day when we had 4,805,000 jobs more than we have currently. “I want to get back to a time when middle-class families and those working to get into the middle class have some basic security,” he said. We are left to wonder what time that was – the 1920’s, 50’s, 60’s, 80’s, 90’s, or the 2000’s. But based on the latest jobs report, that time could have been any year prior to Obama’s term.

Americans faced another disappointing jobs picture today. Of course, we could go through the numbers again. With the working age population growing by 191,000 last month, 80,000 more jobs doesn’t even come close to absorbing all these new workers, let alone employing those who have long been out of work. And then there’s the most important number of all: for 41 months, the unemployment rate has been above 8 percent.
3681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: July 05, 2012, 06:46:50 PM
Michael Barone also reports on the positive news of a successful national election held Sunday in Mexico.

"...Pena will not bring back the old PRI system. He won based on his record as governor of the state of Mexico and his fame as the husband of a telenovela actress.

He has promised to get rid of the law prohibiting Pemex from making contracts with private oil service firms, one of the hallmarks of the old PRI system.

It's not clear whether he'll keep that promise, or whether he'll continue Calderon's aggressive fight against drug traffickers. As for immigration, it appears that the flow of Mexicans to the U.S. has been reversed since 2007.

What is clear is that Mexico has become a neighbor much easier to live with.

Also Brett Stephens/WSJ: Miracle in Mexico

..."From the year Nafta came into force till the present, Mexico's GDP per capita (in purchasing power parity) more than doubled, to $15,000 from $7,000." ...
3682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics - John Taylor on: July 05, 2012, 06:13:48 PM
Excellent insights.  Please put Prof. Taylor on the short list for Bernancke replacement. 

3683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 05, 2012, 05:57:39 PM
Aren't we in fact moving backwards based on population growth and other factors when reported GDP 'growth' is this low.  If economists made the economic and demographic adjustments that government spending budgets are required to use, then Obamanomic growth would be at prolonged negative levels, fitting the rough definition of a recession we are allegedly not in.

My view is the economists with their generally accepted measurements and definitions are parsing words pretty carefully to say this backward moving economy is not in recession.  

Call it stagnation, malaise or stuck, but the tide is not rising, much less lifting all boats.  MHO.

Put it this way:  While we were mostly not in recession by these measurements, we lost 40% of our wealth!  There is something wrong with this picture.
3684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A legislative act repugnant to the constitution is void,Marshall in Marbury on: July 05, 2012, 05:39:29 PM
"The government of the United States is of the latter description. The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the Constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may, at any time, be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed are of equal obligation. It is a proposition too plain to be contested, that the Constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it; or, that the legislature may alter the Constitution by an ordinary act."
"Certainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently, the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void."

   - Chief Justice John Marshall writing in Marbury v. Madison 1803
3685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 05, 2012, 05:11:14 PM

"the indexes are consistent with other data suggesting real GDP growth of 1% to 1.5% in Q2."

"No sign of a recession in any of these numbers."

I notice that Brian Wesbury and all other economists or economic reporting firm or agency do not use CBO / OMB / Washington DC baseline budgeting rules for GDP reporting.  A question for Wesbury (or Scott Grannis etc.):  If they were required to adjust GDP reporting for 'baseline growth', then what would be magnitude of the economic growth or contraction we are currently experiencing?

My math:

Baseline (breakeven) growth  = 3.1%
Current 'real' GDP  = 1.9%  (or 1.0 or 1.5%)

Current growth deficit is between  1.2% and 2.1%.

At this rate of growth (contraction), we have full employment and a balanced budget ... ... ... NEVER!

Corrections to this and other opinions requested.
3686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 03, 2012, 05:28:59 PM
First, must celebrate that we agree on that golf swing. No big deal. I cant play violin, bt O dont go out and play it in frpmt of pepple every weekend before I learn. There is something delusional exposed there.

Not 13 acres but the 100 year old MacG compound has all the lakelife features. Y'all should come sometime. None of it revolves around money except the EXORBITANT property taxes. It is the government that wants only
 rich people at these places.

Pres Reagan was out of Washington a third of his Presidency?  GOOD!!
3687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 03, 2012, 03:43:51 PM
In terms of popularity of the Court, no one likes when they rule against you but...

I disagreed strongly with the ruling relating to funeral protests.  That said, because they sided with a basic freedom, freedom of speech I perhaps admire them more not less for disagreeing with me.  When they tromp all over our individual rights and liberties, that is another matter.  I have no respect for them and all their manufactured, hypocritical constructions whatsoever.

At age 78 Justice Kennedy grows a limited government backbone.  Where was that in Kelo?

At age 57 Chief Justice Roberts decides he'd rather be a politician.  It's not too late your honor to change careers.

Liberal appointees / liberal justices prove over and over and over that they only vote their own political views on the Court.

Restraint in the pursuit of freedom isn't what won any of our freedoms. 
3688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Chief Justice Roberts - You Can't Be Serious! on: July 03, 2012, 03:05:43 PM
I took a cooling off period following the Obamacare stunner and I am still fuming mad.  

1) This point of Bigdog's is most insightful: " is the "opinion of a majority of the court" (note: wording matters; NOT "majority opinion of the court..."

I still have more reading to do, but 5 justices did not agree on much.  5 so-called conservatives found a limitat in the commerce clause but that revelation turns out meaningless as a new path is paved to make the biggest expansion EVER in government control of and participation in commerce without 5 justicec relying on the commerce clause.

2) My neighbor's dog barking is taxing.  Regulations are taxing on the economy.  Can this be ruled a tax? Sure.  But that is not what it is.

3) My title "You can't be serious!" comes from the famous John McEnroe line he hollered at chair umpires like Roberts every time they ruled a close line call against him.  I still play tennis at a nationally competitive level and have a theory different from Roberts on close line calls.  If a ball is a millionth of an inch out and no one but you with your perfect vantage point can possibly see it out, all others see it as in, and even you don't see it out for the first month after you look at it, then you do not call it out.  Roberts did not see it as a tax.  Proponents didn't see it as a tax.  8 other justices didn't see it as a tax.  It wasn't written as a tax.  Clever reconsiderations do not make it into what it isn't supposed to be.  It includes at least two dozen new taxes and it is most certainly taxing on the economy and on certain people but the act itself is a government takeover of a major sector of the economy with a shift of responsibility of all the the decisions that go with that.  In its entirety, it is not a tax, it is commerce control.  If it takes you a month to see it as something you couldn't see previously and no one else can see and you still can't articulate why by your publication deadline or convince even one of your peers seeing the same line call, then perhaps it is not.  If you must see it as no one else sees it, then write a one justice dissent, not side with people who see it totally differently to decide in favor of a government takeover of the American economy over all individual liberties on a single-justice, manufactured theory.

4) Where are unenumerated rights in the challenge to the law?  We had some rights and they are gone.  One is a right to the policy I had before Obamacare which is gone, another is the right to merely pay fee for service as we do with almost everything else and yet another would be the privacy to not have to tell the government at all about the private matters of your health services procurement.  55 million have been aborted since Roe v Wade based on a right of privacy in so-called healthcare but when it does not directly enable the killing of the most innocent most in need of protection, the right of privacy is nowhere to be found?

5) Is the default priority restraint from the legislative process or truth to the meanings contained in our limited government constitution.

6) A mandate to buy government approved health insurance is not constitutional, but a penalty on not buying it is.  Good grief.

7) The Wichard Filburn point posted is well taken.  This is terrible law and a cause or enabler of what keeps going wrong on the Court, IMHO.

7) There is NOT a silver lining in this ruling.  Maybe we will rise up and take the law and the tyrants down.  Maybe we will not.  But the limited government meaning of our constitution just keeps getting ever-smaller and it makes me sick to my stomach.

8.) Romney's adviser did not call it a tax because that would mean Romney's mandate was a tax.

9) Obamacare's effect on the economy however is a trillion and a half dollar tax and worse, yet every economist says you don't raise taxes in a recession.  We just did!
3689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: July 03, 2012, 02:10:07 PM
JDN, Nothing too shocking in the story.  You must have been gone from Wisc too long to remember that going up to the lake with family over the 4th is rather routine in the north country.  Looks like they have a boat, a deck, a beach and went to town for ice cream.  Sounds nice.  You should try it!

For the record, my beef with Obama's golf is not that he plays, but that he is so bad at it and obsessed with it.  Strangely he puts it above things like family while raising two small children, not just national security. 

A sample:  It might go back to 1960s ski lessons since anyone taught the up-down method, lol.

Did Romney take more vacations than Obama as President?  Hopefully we will learn the answer to that soon. 
3690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 28, 2012, 11:11:15 AM
Just reading headlines so far, looks like J Roberts agreed the mandate is a tax, even though it specifically could not have passed as a tax and our two faced Pres famously said it was not a tax.  They overturn our language, not just our constotution.

We cant require citizenship papers, but they can stop you for healthcare papers.

The first step in lowering healthcare costs in America was to hire more IRS agents.  George Orwell could not write a creepier script.
3691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 28, 2012, 10:05:25 AM
Court affirms that you have no Individual rights on healthcare, not a right to choose fee for service, not even a right of privacy.
3692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 28, 2012, 09:41:27 AM
There are no limits on government.
3693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: June 26, 2012, 04:26:52 PM
I don't mean to intrude, but I must confess to not seeing the logic of blaming Title IX on this. There are many local land grant colleges with many sports which feature male athletes from other states. Is Title IX to blame for Big 12 and Big Ten recruiting football players in the South? And, colleges and universities have been recruiting international talent for years. Of course, many of those were for academic

Intrusions always welcome!

Blame seems so negative, I am just saying there is an unambiguous cause and effect relationship. Title IX causes the full rides offered in non-revenue women's sports and the full rides cause those spots to be taken by player better than available locally. Some might find that to be a good thing. I'm just saying it's a fact.

Schorlarships in men's revenue sports are not caused by Title IX, they are limited by it. The local policy choice may have the same effect, but I don't see the parallel to Title IX.

3694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, & "discrimination" on: June 26, 2012, 01:07:56 PM
... but fhe unintended consequence of Title IX is that local girls here can no longer play for the University.
"the local girls can no longer play for the University".  Why not if they are good enough?  It they are not good enough, they can play for a smaller college.  Or even on Club teams."

Or they can just to hell but what I wrote was that they can not play Div I for the local land grant University because of Title IX.  The state taxpayer pays instead for world class players from foreign countries to take those spots. In my daughter's sport, a 3 time state champion plays 6th (last) singles. How many local girls do you think are better than that?
3695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 26, 2012, 12:43:44 PM
During a lame duck sessiom I think not. There would no political ptessure to close debate and allow a vote.   Right now is the timing. If.there is a timely resignation and a timely and qualified nominee, then there is pressure on the minority to allow the Senate to perform it's constitutonal function before the fall term of the Court.

The reasons for a retirement would need to be personal and 16 years of limited government greatness is beyond wishful, but there actually could be a long stretch coming where a far left replacement would not be in the cards.

Strangely, I hope both those justices stay on.
3696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bailout Economics: Henry Ford on: June 25, 2012, 04:07:30 PM
"Failure is the oppprtunity to begin again more intelligently."
3697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / (Constitutional Law and related matters) Resignations? on: June 25, 2012, 04:00:37 PM
Dem Pres, Dem Senate today, both trailing  in real polls. Breyer 73 and male, Ginsberg 79.  Are ya feelin lucky?

Resigning Friday would look cynically political and pessimistic.

I don't rule it out. 

R's could stop only on cloture. A tough precedent to set just before switching to the majority.
3698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 25, 2012, 03:37:08 PM
Interesting timing for resignation(s)!   I would regard it as quite unlikely that an Obama nominee could get affirmed before January!

I look forward to reading good analysis of the AZ case.

I can't open this right now but it should be the Scalia dissent.

Both Gov Brewer and Pres Obama declared victory. Obama ICE not taking AZ cases?

I reserve what I think of this court and these decisions until Thurs.
3699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Steyn on: June 25, 2012, 03:04:55 PM
Love Steyn!  Please post it when you have a moment.
3700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, reminder that MB is largely secular on: June 25, 2012, 10:51:18 AM
With all the worries about Egypt and GM not here to point this out, but we can rest assured that Pres Obama's Dir of Intelligence Klapper told us last year that the Muslim Brotherhood is largely secular.  Who knew?

I can't link right now but see Mark Steyn's column today.
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