Dog Brothers Public Forum

HOME | PUBLIC FORUM | MEMBERS FORUM | INSTRUCTORS FORUM | TRIBE FORUM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 29, 2016, 04:16:50 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
95576 Posts in 2314 Topics by 1081 Members
Latest Member: Martel
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 72 73 [74] 75 76 ... 161
3651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Drop in borrowing squeezes banks on: April 26, 2013, 12:09:05 PM
Drop in Borrowing Squeezes Banks
"we didn't expect the wall we hit,"
..."I think all of us are trying to figure out what happened."

Unexpected?  Trying to figure out what happened??  Someone thought killing off businesses wouldn't affect the banks that rely on the business of businesses?  Did the people who didn't expect a business investment pullback not know about these new regulations, during a recession, to implement one new program alone, or that they would have a negative impact on commerce and commercial lending?

Obamacare's new regulations.  Is THIS what Madison had in mind?
http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/
3652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Fed zeroes in on rate rise risks on: April 26, 2013, 11:54:45 AM
... a panel of federal regulators charged with identifying market risks warned that a sudden rise in interest rates could have a destabilizing effect on financial markets
... interest-rate risk as one of seven major vulnerabilities to financial stability.
...the scenario, which featured a mix of moderate recession, rising consumer prices and rapid increases in short-term interest rates, as might occur if oil prices were to shoot sharply higher.
... The longer the low interest-rate environment persists "the more very low interest-producing assets accumulate on their balance sheets,"
..."At some point the Fed's going to have to raise rates, and the market value of those lower-yielding assets are going to go down."

"At some point the Fed's going to have to raise rates..." 

But why?  If it is a great policy, healthier for job growth than having market rates for interest , why would we ever stop manipulating the market for something as harmless as money?

It's almost as if the architects of the quantitative easing policies, trying to solve a non-monetary problem with monetary flooding, are admitting these policies are unsustainable, and that the longer the wrong policies continue the harder the fall will be.  (Other than the readers of this forum), Who knew?

3653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 25, 2013, 11:27:50 AM
With a 4% agency "cut" due to the sequester, Team Obama is cutting aircontrollers 10%; this on top of refusing authorization to have the cuts focused on non-essential employees.

Oddly, Washington DC airports will be spared from the cuts. 
3654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward: Sen. Mike Lee at Heritage on: April 25, 2013, 10:45:02 AM
(MARC:  Awesome piece, that was driving me crazy with every single sentence being a paragraph of its own-- so I took the liberty of editing it into what I perceive to be the paragraphs that should have been there to begin with.)

http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/4/what-conservatives-are-for

... making the positive case for conservatism: what conservatives are for.

In Washington, it is common for both parties to succumb to easy negativity. Republicans and Democrats stand opposed to each other, obviously, and outspoken partisanship gets the headlines.  This negativity is unappealing on both sides. That helps explain why the federal government is increasingly held in such low regard by the American people.
But for the Left, the defensive crouch at least makes sense. Liberalism’s main purpose today is to defend its past gains from conservative reform.  But negativity on the Right, to my mind, makes no sense at all.  The Left has created this false narrative that liberals are for things, and conservatives are against things.

When we concede this narrative, even just implicitly, we concede the debate… before it even begins.

And yet too many of us – elected conservatives especially – do it anyway. We take the bait. A liberal proposes an idea, we explain why it won’t work, and we think we’ve won the debate. But even if we do, we reinforce that false narrative… winning battles while losing the war.

This must be frustrating to the scholars of the Heritage Foundation, who work every day producing new ideas for conservatives to be for. But it should be even more frustrating to the conservatives around the country that we elected conservatives all serve.

After all, they know what they’re for: why don’t we?

Perhaps it’s because it’s so easy in Washington to forget.  In Washington, we debate public policy so persistently that we can lose sight of the fact that policies are means, not ends.

We say we are for lower taxes, or less regulation, or spending restraint. But those are just policies we advocate. They’re not what we’re really for. What we’re really for are the good things those policies will yield to the American people.  What we’re really for is the kind of society those policies would allow the American people to create, together.

Together.

If there is one idea too often missing from our debate today that’s it: together.

In the last few years, we conservatives seem to have abandoned words like “together,” “compassion,” and “community”… as if their only possible meanings were as a secret code for statism.  This is a mistake. Collective action doesn’t only – or even usually - mean government action.

Conservatives cannot surrender the idea of community to the Left, when it is the vitality of our communities upon which our entire philosophy depends.  Nor can we allow one politician’s occasional conflation of “compassion” and “bigger government” to discourage us from emphasizing the moral core of our worldview.  Conservatism is ultimately not about the bills we want to pass, but the nation we want to be.

If conservatives want the American people to support our agenda for the government, we have to do a better job of showing them our vision for society. And re-connecting our agenda to it.  We need to remind the American people – and perhaps, too, the Republican Party itself – that the true and proper end of political subsidiarity is social solidarity.
Ours has never been a vision of isolated, atomized loners. It is a vision of husbands and wives; parents and children; neighbors and neighborhoods; volunteers and congregations; bosses and employees; businesses and customers; clubs, teams, groups, associations… and friends.

The essence of human freedom, of civilization itself, is cooperation. This is something conservatives should celebrate. It’s what conservatism is all about.  Freedom doesn’t mean “you’re on your own.” It means “we’re all in this together.”  Our vision of American freedom is of two separate but mutually reinforcing institutions: a free enterprise economy and a voluntary civil society.

History has shown both of these organic systems to be extremely efficient at delivering goods and services. But these two systems are not good because they work. They work because they are good. Together, they work for everyone because they impel everyone… to work together. They harness individuals’ self-interest to the common good of the community, and ultimately the nation.

They work because in a free market economy and voluntary civil society, whatever your career or your cause, your success depends on your service. The only way to look out for yourself is to look out for those around you. The only way to get ahead is to help other people do the same.

What, exactly, are all those supposedly cut-throat, exploitive businessmen and women competing for? To figure out the best way to help the most people.  That’s what the free market does. It rewards people for putting their God-given talents and their own exertions in the service of their neighbors.  Whatever money they earn is the wealth they create, value they add to other people’s lives.

No matter who you are or what you’re after, the first question anyone in a free market must ask him or herself is: how can I help? What problems need to be solved? What can I do to improve other people’s lives?

The free market does not allow anyone to take; it impels everyone to give.

The same process works in our voluntary civil society.

Conservatives’ commitment to civil society begins, of course, with the family, and the paramount, indispensable institution of marriage. But it doesn’t end there.  Just as individuals depend on free enterprise to protect them from economic oppression, families depend on mediating institutions to protect them from social isolation.  That is where the social entrepreneurs of our civil society come in.  Just like for-profit businesses, non-profit religious, civic, cultural, and charitable institutions also succeed only to the extent that they serve the needs of the community around  them. 

Forced to compete for voluntary donations, the most  successful mediating institutions in a free civil society are at least as innovative and efficient as profitable companies.  If someone wants to make the world a better place, a free civil society requires that he or she do it well.

Social entrepreneurs know that only the best soup kitchens, the best community theater companies, and the best youth soccer leagues – and for that matter, the best conservative think tanks – will survive.

So they serve.

They serve their donors by spending their resources wisely. They serve their communities by making them better places to live. And they serve their beneficiaries, by meeting needs together better than they can meet them alone.

Freedom doesn’t divide us. Big government does.  It’s big government that turns citizens into supplicants, capitalists into cronies, and cooperative communities into competing special interests.  Freedom, by contrast, unites us. It pulls us together, and aligns our interests.  It draws us out of ourselves and into the lives of our friends, neighbors, and even perfect strangers. It draws us upward, toward the best version of ourselves.

The free market and civil society are not things more Americans need protection from. They’re things more Americans need access to.

Liberals scoff at all this.  They attack free enterprise as a failed theory that privileges the rich, exploits the poor, and threatens the middle class but our own history proves the opposite.  Free enterprise is the only economic system that does not privilege the rich. Instead it incentivizes them put their wealth to productive use serving other people… or eventually lose it all.  Free enterprise is the greatest weapon against poverty ever conceived by man.  If the free market exploits the poor, how do liberals explain how the richest nation in human history mostly descends from immigrants who originally came here with nothing?

Nor does free enterprise threaten the middle class. Free enterprise is what created the middle class in the first place.  The free market created the wealth that liberated millions of American families from subsistence farming, opening up opportunities for the pursuit of happiness never known before or since in government-directed economies.

Progressives are equally dismissive of our voluntary civil society. They simply do not trust free individuals and organic communities to look out for each other, or solve problems without supervision.  They think only government – only they – possess the moral enlightenment to do that.

To be blunt, elite progressives in Washington don’t really believe in communities at all. No, they believe in community organizers. Self-anointed strangers, preferably ones with Ivy League degrees, fashionable ideological grievances, and a political agenda to redress those grievances.  For progressives believe the only valid purpose of “community” is to accomplish the agenda of the state.

But we know from our own lives that the true purpose of our communities is instead to accomplish everything else.  To enliven our days. To ennoble our children. To strengthen our families. To unite our neighborhoods. To pursue our happiness, and protect our freedom to do so.

This vision of America conservatives seek is not an Ayn Rand novel. It’s a Norman Rockwell painting, or a Frank Capra movie: a society of “plain, ordinary kindness, and a little looking out for the other fellow, too.” 

The great obstacle to realizing this vision today is government dysfunction. This is where our vision must inform our agenda.

What reforms will make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses? For young couples to get married and start new families? And for individuals everywhere to come together to bring to life flourishing new partnerships and communities?

What should government do – and just as important, not do – to allow the free market to create new economic opportunity and to allow civil society to create new social capital?
We conservatives are not against government. The free market and civil society depend on a just, transparent, and accountable government to enforce the rule of law.

What we are against are two pervasive problems that grow on government like mold on perfectly good bread: corruption and inefficiency.  It is government corruption and inefficiency that today stand between the American people and the economy and society they deserve.

To combat those pathologies, a new conservative reform agenda should center around three basic principles: equality, diversity, and sustainability.

The first and most important of these principles is equality.

The only way for the free market and civil society to function… to tie personal success to interpersonal service… to align the interests of the strong and the weak… is to have everyone play by the same rules.  Defying this principle is how our government has always corrupted itself, our free market, and our civil society.  In the past, the problem was political discrimination that held the dis-connected down. Today, government’s specialty is dispensing political privileges to prop the well-connected up.

In either case, the corruption is the same: official inequality … twisting the law to deem some people “more equal than others”… making it harder for some to succeed even when they serve, and harder for others to fail even when they don’t.

And so we have corporate welfare: big businesses receiving direct and indirect subsidies that smaller companies don’t.  We have un-civil society: politicians funding large, well-connected non-profit institutions based on political favoritism rather than merit.

We have venture SOCIALISM: politicians funneling taxpayer money to politically correct businesses that cannot attract real investors.

We have regulatory capture: industry leaders influencing the rules governing their sectors to protect their interests and hamstringing innovative challengers.

The first step in a true conservative reform agenda must be to end this kind of preferential policymaking. Beyond simply being the right thing to do, it is a pre-requisite for earning the moral authority and political credibility to do anything else.

Why should the American people trust our ideas about middle-class entitlements… when we’re still propping up big banks?  Why should they trust us to fix the tax code while we use their tax dollars to create artificial markets for uncompetitive industries?  Why should they trust our vision of a free civil society when we give special privileges to supposed non-profits like Planned Parenthood, public broadcasting, agricultural check-off programs, and the Export-Import Bank?

And perhaps most important, why should Americans trust us at all, when too often, we don’t really trust them? When we vote for major legislation… negotiated in secret… without debating it… without even reading it… deliberately excluding the American people from their own government?

To conservatives, equality needs to mean equality for everyone.

The second principle to guide our agenda is diversity. Or, as you might have heard it called elsewhere: “federalism.”

The biggest reason the federal government makes too many mistakes is that it makes too many decisions. Most of these are decisions the federal government doesn’t have to make – and therefore shouldn’t.  Every state in the union has a functioning, constitutional government. And just as important, each state has a unique political and cultural history, with unique traditions, values, and priorities.

Progressives today are fundamentally intolerant of this diversity.

They insist on imposing their values on everyone. To them, the fifty states are just another so-called “community” to be “organized,” brought to heel by their betters in Washington.  This flies in the face of the Founders and the Constitution, of course. But it also flies in the face of common sense and experience.

The usurpation of state authority is why our national politics is so dysfunctional and rancorous.  We expect one institution – the federal government – to set policies that govern the lives of 300 million people, spread across a continent. Of course it’s going to get most of it wrong.

That’s why successful organizations in the free market and civil society are moving in the opposite direction.  While government consolidates, businesses delegate and decentralize. While Washington insists it knows everything, effective organizations increasingly rely on diffuse social networks and customizable problem solving.

We should not be surprised that as Washington has assumed greater control over transportation, education, labor, welfare, health care, home mortgage lending, and so much else… all of those increasingly centralized systems are failing. Conservatives should seize this opportunity not to impose our ideas on these systems, but to crowd-source the solutions to the states.

Let the unique perspectives and values of each state craft its own policies, and see what works and what doesn’t.   If Vermont’s pursuit of happiness leads it to want more government, and Utah’s less, who are politicians from the other 48 states to tell them they can’t have it? Would we tolerate this kind of official intolerance in any other part of American life?

A Pew study just last week found that Americans trust their state governments twice as much as the federal government, and their local governments even more.

This shouldn’t be a surprise – it should be a hint.

State and local governments are more responsive, representative, and accountable than Washington, D.C. It’s time to make them more powerful, too.  In the past, conservatives given federal power have been tempted to overuse it. We must resist this temptation. If we want to be a diverse movement, we must be a tolerant movement.
The price of allowing conservative states to be conservative is allowing liberal states to be liberal.

Call it subsidiarity. Call it federalism. Call it constitutionalism. But we must make this fundamental principle of pluralistic diversity a pillar of our agenda.

And that brings us to our third guiding principle.

Once we eliminate policy privilege and restore policy diversity, we can start ensuring policy sustainability.  Once the federal government stops doing things it shouldn’t, it can start doing the things it should, better.  That means national defense and intelligence, federal law enforcement and the courts, immigration, intellectual property, and even the senior entitlement programs whose fiscal outlook threatens our future solvency and very survival.

Once we clear unessential policies from the books, federal politicians will no longer be able to hide: from the public, or their constitutional responsibilities.  Congress will be forced to work together to reform the problems government has created in our health care system.  We can fundamentally reform and modernize our regulatory system.  We will be forced to rescue our senior entitlement programs from bankruptcy.  And we can reform our tax system to eliminate the corporate code’s bias in favor of big businesses over small businesses… and the individual code’s bias against saving, investing, and especially against parents, our ultimate investor class.

That is how we turn the federal government’s unsustainable liabilities into sustainable assets.

The bottom line of all of this is that conservatives in that building need to start doing what conservatives in this building already do: think long and hard about what we believe, why we believe it, and most of all, remember to put first things first.

For conservatives, the first thing is not our agenda of political subsidiarity – it’s our vision of social solidarity.  It is a vision of society as an interwoven and interdependent network of individuals, families, communities, businesses, churches, formal and informal groups working together to meet each other’s needs and enrich each other’s lives.

It is of a free market economy that grants everyone a “fair chance and an unfettered start in the race of life.”

It is of a voluntary civil society that strengthens our communities, protects the vulnerable, and minds the gaps to make sure no one gets left behind.

And it is of a just, tolerant, and sustainable federal government that protects and complements free enterprise and civil society, rather than presuming to replace them.

This vision will not realize itself. The Left, the inertia of the status quo, and the entire economy of this city stand arrayed against it.

Realizing it will sometimes require conservatives to take on entrenched interests, pet policies, and political third-rails. Many of these will be interests traditionally aligned with – and financially generous to – the establishments of both parties.  And sometimes, it will require us to stand up for those no one else will: the unborn child in the womb, the poor student in the failing school, the reformed father languishing in prison, the single mom trapped in poverty, and the splintering neighborhoods that desperately need them all.

But if we believe this vision is worth the American people being for, it’s worth elected conservatives fighting for.  What we are fighting for is not just individual freedom, but the strong, vibrant communities free individuals form.  The freedom to earn a good living, and build a good life: that is what conservatives are for.
3655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Clinton in 2002: "BUSH KNEW" of terror attacks prior to 9/11/01 on: April 24, 2013, 12:49:33 PM
"We have a responsibility to ask for information, and I think that is not only appropriate but necessary."

A flashback caught by Drudge.  Interesting in the context of all the terror information in Benghazi that Hillary Clinton had prior to 9/11 - 2012.

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/05/18/wh.hillary/

May 18, 2002   WASHINGTON (CNN
 ...
The former first lady responded by saying she is simply "seeking answers and information" about recent revelations that President Bush was alerted prior to September 11 of possible terrorist attacks.

The row between the White House and the Democrat from New York began Thursday when Clinton appeared on the Senate floor and held up a copy of the New York Post with the headline of "Bush Knew."

"The president knew what?" she asked. "My constituents would like to know the answer to that and many other questions, not to blame the president or any other American, just to know."

Fleischer responded in his daily news briefing.

"I have to say, with disappointment, that Mrs. Clinton, having seen that same headline, did not call the White House, did not ask if it was accurate or not," he said.

"Instead, she immediately went to the floor of the Senate, and I'm sorry to say that she followed that headline and divided."

Hours later, the freshman senator fired back.

"What I said is completely in line with what was said by other senators on both sides of the aisle who are asking respectfully for information to respond to questions that are legitimately being posed by the American public," she told reporters.

"We have a responsibility to ask for information, and I think that is not only appropriate but necessary. You know, nobody is more entitled to answers to these questions than the people of New York, and I take that responsibility very seriously."

She added: "I am seeking answers and information. I am not looking to point fingers or place blame on anybody."
3656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: Flying the government skies on: April 24, 2013, 12:27:29 PM
Flying the Government Skies
The 4% FAA spending cut that somehow delays 40% of flights..

Just thinking aloud, I wonder if the outcome would have been different if an Executive Order such as this had been issued: 

All federal government department heads and middle managers who cannot find a 4% efficiency gain in their area of responsibility in this, the fifth year of trillion dollar deficits, will be put under review, reassigned or terminated, and if terminated will receive no pension.

Instead the message from the administration was make this as painful as possible.
3657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hunt for the elusive Tea Party murderer continues on: April 24, 2013, 11:06:35 AM
Remember how they yearned to find a tea party connection to the Tucson and Aurora shooters?
-------------------
Hunt for the elusive Tea Party murderer continues

Liberal hopes were dashed with the revelation that the Boston Marathon bombers were a couple of Chechen Muslim immigrants.  The Left was so sure they had finally bagged the elusive Tea Party murderer!  The bombings occurred in Boston on Tax Day.  Surely, at long last, the opportunity to smear libertarians, small-government conservatives, anti-tax crusaders, and the whole hellish tri-corner hat crowd was at hand!  ”Two plus two equals…?” Michael Moore burbled happily...
http://www.redstate.com/2013/04/20/hunt-for-the-elusive-tea-party-murderer-continues/
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/hunting-that-elusive-tea-party-bomber.php
--------

Now that it turns out that the political tie to bombing innocent people in our furthest left state was to the anti-war left, the relevance of their political motivations diminishes.
3658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, American Freedom: Terrorists and welfare on: April 24, 2013, 10:49:00 AM
People are wondering how the events in Boston will affect the immigration debate.

Maybe we should also question how our WELFARE policies affect terror and violence.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/tamerlan-tsarnaev-and-family-received-welfare_719056.html

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/tamerlan_tsarnaev_got_mass_welfare_benefits

In the threads 'America's Inner City' and 'Government Programs' I have attempted to present the problem in welfare-state America that able bodied Americans on welfare end up with idle time on their hands that potentially turns into a force for negativity and evil.  Others such as George Gilder in 'Wealth and Poverty' and 'Men and Marriage' argue that the responsibilities associated with productive work and supporting a family tend to turn men away from drug traffic, crime and violence.  When you are invested, you have something to lose.

Maybe if these Chechen-American-Massachusites were required to go out and work for a living they might have assimilated, made friends and set some goals and behaviors other than the blow up America message they were receiving over at the Jihad.  Interesting that the inner city gangs and the Jihad largely go after the same 18-34 year old male demographic.
3659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: House of Representatives releases Benghazi report on: April 24, 2013, 10:22:43 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/terrorism/294375-boehners-hand-forced-on-benghazi
From the article:
Speaker John Boehner is trying to head off a GOP rebellion over his handling of the investigation into last year’s fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by releasing an interim report of evidence by his panel chairmen.



Full Report, 46 page pdf: http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/benghazi.pdf
3660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: Single Family home sales up in March on: April 23, 2013, 09:11:19 PM
New Single-Family Home Sales Rose 1.5% in March, to a 417,000 Annual Rate

Up, up, up... to an annual rate less than half of what is was in 2005.  Other than the current crisis, this is the lowest rate of new home sales roughly since a time when this country had just 48 states, less than half the population and Harry Truman was President. 

http://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/dbsearch?program=RESSALES&startYear=1963&endYear=2013&categories=ASOLD&dataType=TOTAL&geoLevel=US&adjusted=1&submit=GET+DATA

When the new home sales rate fell in 2008 to a rate of 526,000 per year, a rate 26% better than now, it triggered a global financial meltdown.  But now the glass is half full.
http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/31845819/new-home-sales-plunge-526-000-annual-rate

Not mentioned also is that we tear down 300,000 homes per year so we are barely ahead of replacement demand.
3661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: April 23, 2013, 02:00:06 PM
Ashley Judd out.  Why?  Can't win in a 'freedom' state.  Tim Johnson (D-SD) out.  Same reason.  Now Max Baucus out.  Ditto.  He tested the waters for reelection with an anti-Obamacare statement last week.  Maybe he learned that he can win in Montana but would lose power in his party because of his anti-gun-control vote and the other positioning moves needed to win again.

Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will retire from the Senate after 36 years, becoming the sixth Senate Democrat to leave the chamber in the 2014 elections...Democrats will now be defending open seats in Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota and West Virginia.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/us/politics/baucus-wont-seek-re-election-to-senate.html?_r=0
3662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Scott Grannis and friends: on: April 23, 2013, 01:44:08 PM
The 'Austrian' already answered the points in the post, but I offer this:

1) "In our fractional reserve system, the banks control the other 90% or so of the money supply."   - The Fed controls the 10% and controls the fractions and rules that govern the other 90%.  If M1 or M1 plus M2 is the money supply, why do we have M3, M4, etc. and still have no way of accurately measuring money supply in a largely electronic monetary system?  The precedent for what we are doing today and where it worked out just fine is WHEN?

2) "The truth is little of this money [QE in the trillions of dollars] finds its way into the stock market."   - Absurd IMHO to think this market movement was not largely driven by the monetary expansion.  The Fed also set interest rates to zero which effectively shut done the alternatives to investing in equities like fixed rate bonds and savings accounts.  Without QE-infinity but with the current anti-investment policies, where would the DOW be?  Same?  Surely you jest.

3) "there really has been no inflation"  - I don't agree that inflation of the currency is equal to the current CPI change.  Milton Friedman's theory for example says that Price level in a stagnant output economy is proportional to Money Supply times Velocity, not money supply alone.  When Velocity returns, what happens to Price level, or is stagnation permanent?

4) "The ascending trend [QE did not cause high gas prices] came well before we knew what QE even was, in the 2002-2007 period."   - A distinction without a difference, QE is one golf club in the bag of easy money.  The period 2002-2007 was a period of easy money.  Right?  The only reasons energy prices aren't even worse: a) demand has been subdued by the depression, and b) production increased in spite of federal government attempts to stop it.  If gold is the 'gold standard' of money, isn't it interesting that the oil in gold price is nearly the same today as it was in 1973.  Can we say that for Fed management of the dollar?

5) "QE has [not] debased the dollar."  - The author ridicules the "yet" argument because he hasn't seen spiraling price increases during any part of this long, pathetic period of stagnation.  April 2013, FYI to the author, is not the finish line for measuring the results of this policy.
----

Let's ask the question backwards.  If not for the "dual mission" of the Fed where they are charged with fighting a non-monetary problem of unemployment with monetary tools only, would the QE-infinity policy, to the scale of multiples of trillions, have been exactly the same?  If not, why not?

And what about federal debt explosion?  Would the trillion dollar deficits have persisted for FIVE YEARS AND COUNTING if not for the enabling of the Fed?  The federal spenders have not had to pay market price for money or face a market reaction or even find willing buyers of bonds in order to 'borrow' and spend. QE enables them to not have to borrow in amounts equal to the over-spending. If not for that enabling in the trillions of dollars, would the deficits have been that large and irresponsible?  I highly doubt it.  The laws of nature, unimpeded, would have resulted in interest rates that would have made over-borrowing and generational theft at anywhere near these levels prohibitive. 
3663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: April 23, 2013, 12:43:46 PM
For quite some time, I have been making this point here about China having some seriously weak links in the chain of the story of how it is going to take over the world such as its inverted demographic profile, seriously dishonest bookkeeping, and the fact that it is a worsening toxic dump.

I agree 100%.  If China challenges us to be the number one economy in the world in our lifetime under their current regime, it can only be because of catastrophic policy failure in the U.S.
3664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) Boston on: April 23, 2013, 12:32:14 PM
The mass murderers of Massachusetts may be in some real trouble as it turns out the guns used to hijack a car, kill a police officer, and have a firefight with other law enforcement officers were not legally registered.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/5_constitutional_issues_raised_by_Boston_bombings.html
"The brothers reportedly had a stockpile of ammunition and exchanged hundreds of rounds with police."

It would seem that strict gun laws only deter people who strictly follow gun laws.
3665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: April 23, 2013, 12:02:01 PM
We may question the dangers of CO2, the gas that plants breathe, but filth in the air is another matter.  There is a quite a difference between a 'clean coal' plant and just burning coal.  Likewise for cars.  Maybe dissatisfaction with air quality will lead to a weakening or undoing of the regime.  Breathing is a pretty important human right, even if freedom of speech, assembly and consent of the governed are not.
3666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'Gang of 8' Immigration Bill S744 on: April 23, 2013, 11:18:27 AM
I favored the attempt to put together a comprehensive bill that would meet all of the stated criteria.  I oppose this one.  I also oppose the mudslinging going on between conservatives on both sides of this. 

The challenge for Rubio in negotiations was to come out with a bill so clean and so tough that it would pass the Republican House, not just be good enough for him or to get through the Democratic Senate.  Anything short of that just leaves a divisive political issue on the table for 2014 campaign demagoguery. 

My first objection is that this bill is loaded up with exceptions and special giveaways for votes like Obamacare.  They wrote a bill so long that it looks like the sponsors haven't read it all, then start right in unprepared with press appearances and rushed hearings.  Secondly, the border security enforcement mechanism looks to be a farce.  If they didn't mind this bill reaching 900 pages, they had the space to spell out what a sealed, staffed and controlled border will look like and they didn't.  The commission mechanism is not a solution.  Perhaps this could be fixed in the amendment process but not when all the proponents think they already have it right.

Yes it looks like Rubio was taken to the cleaners. Still I think one can attack the bill without throwing the tea party Senator from Florida under the bus. He got some toughness on pathway into the bill that I like.  He got some funding for border security, but I don't see how out-year funding is not contingent on appropriations by out-year congresses.  Again the mess reminds me of Obamacare.  I like that the pathway is only open to people who can pay their own way and not rely on government assistance.  Again, I don't know where in the bill that is guaranteed. 
---------------

Most of the criticism of this bill comes from people who oppose all bills that include any "pathway".  That is not a politically helpful position either IMHO unless you think mass deportation is realistic or the status quo is acceptable.

Here is the testimony of Kansas Sec of State, Kris Kobach, a big opponent of the bill that got an invitation to the committee:
http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/pdf/04-22-13KobachTestimony.pdf

And here in its entirety is the testimony of the other opponent invited, Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Stuidies:

There may be circumstances under which an amnesty for certain illegal aliens would make sense. Given the pervasive and deliberate non-enforcement of the immigration laws for so many years, and the resulting large population of illegal aliens, one could make a case for clearing the decks, as it were, and making a fresh start. This would be a distasteful proposition, to be sure, given that virtually all illegal aliens are guilty of multiple felonies, among them identity theft, document fraud, tax evasion, and perjury. Nonetheless, for practical reasons conferring legal status on established, non-violent illegal aliens may well, at some point, be a policy option worth discussing.

But only after the problem that allowed the mass settlement of illegal aliens has been addressed.

S 744 takes the opposite approach. It legalizes the illegal population before the necessary tools are in place to avoid the development of yet another large illegal population. As such, it paves the way for yet more demands for amnesty a decade or so in the future, as those who entered in, say 2015, are so well-established by 2023 that we will be told that we have to permit them to stay as well.

What’s more, the legalization provisions of the bill make widespread fraud very likely.

Much has been made of the so-called triggers in Sec. 3 that would permit the Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPI) to receive permanent residence. Tying the green card to achievement of these benchmarks – which include an employment authorization system for all employers, biographical exit tracking at airports and seaports, and substantial completion of two border strategies – is presented as a guarantee that this scenario of serial amnesties would not happen. Unfortunately, those triggers are, in a very real sense, beside the point.

The other triggers mentioned in Sec. 3 – those allowing the granting of the initial RPI status – are the submission by the Department of Homeland security of two plans: A “Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy” and a “Southern Border Fencing Strategy”. Since similar plans have been frequently offered over the years, this isn’t much of a hurdle.

And yet it’s the only hurdle that matters because receipt of Registered Provisional Immigrant status is the amnesty – that is to say, it represents the transformation of the illegal alien into a person who is lawfully admitted to the United States.

RPI status brings with it work authorization, a legitimate Social Security account, driver’s license, travel documents – in effect, Green Card Lite. It is only the upgrade of this status to that of lawful permanent resident – Green Card Premium, if you will – that is on hold until the enforcement benchmarks are satisfied. But the political and bureaucratic incentives to press for the achievement of those enforcement benchmarks are blunted by the fact that the amnesty has already happened. With people “out of the shadows” and no longer “undocumented”, the urgency to meet enforcement deadlines would evaporate, especially in the face of determined opposition to enforcement by business and civil liberties groups.

To use an analogy, if you’re flying to the West Coast, it doesn’t ultimately matter whether you’re in coach or first class – your destination is the same. By the same token, whether or not the beneficiary of the RPI amnesty is upgraded to a green card, the destination is the same – the ability to live and work in the United States. An upgrade from coach to first class may actually be more consequential than the upgrade from RPI to permanent residence; while the former results in wider seats and free drinks, all a green card offers that RPI status does not is the right to apply for citizenship, something most recipients of green cards from the IRCA amnesty had not done a quarter century after the enactment of the law.

And many of those who receive the RPI amnesty are likely to do so fraudulently. Reading Sec. 2101 harkens back to the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act’s Special Agricultural Worker program, which the New York Times called “one of the most extensive immigration frauds ever perpetrated against the United States Government”. The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General described it this way:

    To be eligible for adjustment of status under the SAW provisions, the applicant had to prove with documentation that he or she had worked in an agricultural enterprise in the United States for 90 days in each calendar year from 1984 through 1986, or for 90 days between May 1985 and May 1986. The evidence of having engaged in such work, INS employees believed, was often forged and sold to undocumented individuals seeking U.S. residency. Given the crush of applications under the program and the relative fewer investigative resources, INS approved applications absent explicit proof that they were in fact fraudulent.

(“An Investigation of the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s Citizenship USA Initiative”, USDoJ OIG, July 2000, http://www.justice.gov/oig/special/0007/listpdf.htm, p. 72; emphasis added)

When Sec. 2101 of S 744 is considered in this light, the sources of fraud become apparent:

• If IRCA created a “crush” of applications when only 3 million people applied, what should we call the workload that DHS will face when triple the number of people – at least – apply for the RPI amnesty? The administrative capacity does not exist to handle this properly, which all but guarantees that most applications will be rubber-stamped by overwhelmed DHS staff.

• The bill says DHS “may interview”, not “shall interview”, applicants for the RPI amnesty. Given the aforementioned crush, it is unlikely many will be interviewed. In fact, the current DACA amnesty (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a good model for how the administration would manage S 744′s amnesty provisions. DACA processing is almost entirely paper-based, with few interviews, resulting in the approval of 99.5 percent of applications. And yet the number of cases so far decided amounts to perhaps one-fiftieth the number likely to apply for the RPI amnesty.

• S 744 allows affidavits by non-relatives regarding the work or education history of RPI amnesty applicants. Fraudulent affidavits were common among IRCA applicants, with some small farmers claiming to have employed hundreds of illegal-alien farmworkers. The temptation to fraud will be great in any program giving away something as valuable as the RPI amnesty, but the ability to investigate fraudulent affidavits will be extremely limited given the millions of applicants. And there is no realistic level of fees or penalties that could raise enough money to hire enough staff to follow up on questionable affidavits. They will be approved, as in the 1980s, absent specific proof that they’re fraudulent.

• The current bill also contains a confidentiality clause, prohibiting the use of any information provided by illegal alien applicants for other purposes. This means illegal aliens with little likelihood of approval are free to apply and try their luck, knowing that there’s no downside, and a significant upside.

• As a corollary to this, there is no requirement that rejected applicants be immediately taken into custody and deported. In fact, the bill specifically says that failure to qualify does not require DHS to commence removal proceedings. Again, unqualified applicants would have nothing to lose in applying, in the hope that they could fall through the cracks and get approved, something certain to happen to a significant number of people.

• As an additional incentive to fraudulent applicants, S 744 provides de facto work authorization to those merely applying for the RPI amnesty, pending the adjudication of the application. Application alone also forestalls removal, making a frivolous application an attractive option for illegal aliens with no chance at amnesty.

We don’t have to speculate about the consequences of such widespread fraud. Mahmoud “The Red” Abouhalima was an Egyptian illegal alien driving a cab in New York when he fraudulently – and successfully – applied for amnesty as a farmworker. This legal status allowed him to travel to Afghanistan for terrorist training, which he put to use in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.

A co-conspirator, Mohammed Salameh, also applied for the 1986 amnesty but was, remarkably, turned down. But since that amnesty, like the one in S 744, did not mandate the removal of failed applicants, Salameh was able to remain and assist in the 1993 bombing.

S 744 thus places amnesty before enforcement, and ensures an amnesty process that would reward fraud. A better approach would be to make the initial legalization dependent on the bill’s enforcement provisions, rather than a future upgrade in status. The enforcement provisions themselves would have to be strengthened by requiring, for instance, biometric exit-tracking at all ports of entry, not just airports and seaports – as it already required in current law and as was recommended by the 9/11 Commission. Another trigger for initial legalization would have to be an explicit statement by Congress that states and localities are not preempted from en forcing civil immigration law.

And any future amnesty would need to be constructed differently. Not only should all lies, however small, be punished with criminal prosecution, but the amnesty might best be conducted piecemeal, rather than addressing millions of people effectively all at once. That is to say, candidates might be considered as they are apprehended for traffic stops or factory raids or what have you, with those who fail to qualify be removed.
3667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left - April Fools or serious? on: April 22, 2013, 04:36:52 PM
Keeping up with the left in the interest of balance on the board:

Paul Krugman claims unemployment is too high today because of our irrational fear of debt. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/opinion/krugman-the-jobless-trap.html?_r=0


Thomas Friedman argues that the correct response to the Boston bombings is a carbon tax. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-to-put-america-back-together-again.html?ref=opinion&_r=0


New Sec of State John Kerry says our number one foreign policy priority is climate change.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2013/01/24/senator-john-kerry-confirmation-hearing-for-secretary-state-post-begins-with-bipartisan-praise/uts3l1lbwSHTeR6vXfzfRL/story.html
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/anthropogenic-climate-change-priority-kerry-asia

Gabby Giffords believes law abiding citizens can stop mass shootings by disarming. 

You can't make this stuff up.
3668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: April 22, 2013, 12:15:47 PM
One of the articles suggested that Cruz ran for Senate to raise his visibility to then run for the position he really wanted, [Texas] Attorney General.  The thinking then was that he had no chance running in the primary against the sitting Lt. Governor.  In a very short time he has earned that level of visibility at the national level.

I am glad to hear of BD arriving at the same logic on Heller and the gun debate.  

It looks to me like Cruz' clear and concise logic prevailed in Bush v. Gore, 2000:

In his brief, Cruz wrote:

"The Constitution grants state legislatures, not state courts, the power to pick presidential electors."  http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20001201_cruz.html

After the noise settled, that was the argument the Chief Justice used in the decision.
3669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Will: What's behind the funding of the welfare state on: April 22, 2013, 11:49:07 AM
Re-posting by request:
"This seems to me a very powerful observation by Will.  Would you please post it in the American Creed thread as well please?"  TIA, Marc

To the reader, this means please read it twice.  )
-----

"unfettered executive government uses debt-financed consumption and “regulatory conscription of private markets” to force spending “vastly beyond what Congress could have appropriated in the light of day.”
-----

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-whats-behind-the-funding-of-the-welfare-state/2013/04/17/8686d412-a6bd-11e2-8302-3c7e0ea97057_story.html

What's behind the funding of the welfare state
By George F. Will,

The regulatory, administrative state, which progressives champion, is generally a servant of the strong, for two reasons. It responds to financially powerful and politically sophisticated factions. And it encourages rent-seekers to exploit opportunities for concentrated benefits and dispersed costs (e.g., agriculture subsidies confer sums on large agribusinesses by imposing small costs on 316 million Americans).

Such government inevitably means executive government and the derogation of the legislative branch, both of which produce exploding government debt. By explaining these perverse effects of progressivism, the Hudson Institute’s Christopher DeMuth explains contemporary government’s cascading and reinforcing failures.

Executive growth fuels borrowing growth because of the relationship between what DeMuth, in a recent address at George Mason University, called “regulatory insouciance and freewheeling finance.” Government power is increasingly concentrated in Washington, Washington power is increasingly concentrated in the executive branch, and executive-branch power is increasingly concentrated in agencies that are unconstrained by legislative control. Debt and regulation are, DeMuth discerns, “political kin”: Both are legitimate government functions, but both are now perverted to evade democratic accountability, which is a nuisance, and transparent taxation, which is politically dangerous.

Today’s government uses regulation to achieve policy goals by imposing on the private sector burdens less obvious than taxation would be, burdens that become visible only indirectly, in higher prices. Often the goals government pursues by surreptitious indirection are goals that could not win legislative majorities — e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases following Congress’s refusal to approve such policies. And deficit spending — borrowing — is, DeMuth says, “a complementary means of taxation evasion”: It enables the political class to provide today’s voters with significantly more government benefits than current taxes can finance, leaving the difference to be paid by voters too young to vote or not yet born.

Two developments demonstrate, DeMuth says, how “delegation and debt have become coordinate mechanisms of legislative abnegation.” One is Congress’s anti-constitutional delegation of taxing authority to executive-branch regulatory agencies funded substantially or entirely by taxes the agencies levy, not by congressional appropriations. For example, DeMuth notes, the Federal Communications Commission’s $347 mil­­lion operating expenses “are funded by payments from the firms it regulates,” and its $9 billion program subsidizing certain Internet companies is funded by its own unilateral tax on telecommunication firms. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, another freebooting agency not tethered to the appropriations process, automatically receives a share of the profits of the Federal Reserve banks.

A second development is “the integration of regulation and debt-financed consumption.” Recently, a Post headline announced: “Obama administration pushes banks to make home loans to people with weaker credit.” Here we go again — subprime mortgages as federal policy. Is this because lowering lending requirements and forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to securitize the loans worked so well last time? This illustrates DeMuth’s point about how unfettered executive government uses debt-financed consumption and “regulatory conscription of private markets” to force spending “vastly beyond what Congress could have appropriated in the light of day.”

High affluence and new technologies have, DeMuth believes, “led to unhealthy political practices.” Time was, the three basic resources required for effective political action — discretionary time, the ability to acquire and communicate information and persuasion skills — were scarce and possessed only by elites. But in our wealthy and educated society, interest groups can pressure government without being filtered by congressional hierarchies.

Legislative leaders — particularly, committee chairs — have lost power as Congress has become more porous and responsive to importuning factions using new media. Congress, responding to the increased difficulty of legislating, has delegated much lawmaking to specialized agencies that have fewer internal conflicts. Congress’s role has waned as that of autonomous executive agencies has waxed. The executive has driven the expansion of the consumption of benefits that are paid for by automatic entitlement transfer payments, by government-mandated private expenditures and by off-budget and non-transparent taxation imposed by executive agencies.

Government used to spend primarily on the production of things — roads, dams, bridges, military forces. There can be only so many of such goods. Now, DeMuth says, government spends primarily for consumption:

“The possibilities for increasing the kind, level, quality and availability of benefits are practically unlimited. This is the ultimate source of today’s debt predicament. More borrowing for more consumption has no natural stopping point short of imploding on itself.”

Funding the welfare state by vast borrowing and regulatory taxation hides the costs from the public. Hence its political potency. Until the implosion.
3670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Creed: Comments on the Rasmussen makers vs takers piece on: April 22, 2013, 11:24:28 AM
The Rasmussen piece is actually good news, that people mostly don't see themselves as dependent on government.  It clears the way for a pro-growth economic argument to gain ground.  As JFK put it, a rising tide lifts all boats.  The pro-growth argument is also the answer to funding the programs that benefit the people in real need.

OTOH, the turnout operation of the 11% who do see themselves dependent on government methodically identified by the Obama campaign was the key to the President's second victory.

Rasmussen:  "If they want to seriously compete for middle-class votes, Republicans need to get over the makers vs. takers mentality. We live in a time when just 35 percent believe the economy is fair to the middle class. Only 41 percent believe it is fair to those who are willing to work hard. Those problems are not created by the poor."

Some of that effect is driven by media and the endless class envy politics.  The message (which I think is mostly false) is pounded into our heads, then we poll that question and make further news with the polls.  The rich are richer than the poor and the middle class.  But: a) these groups change; there is still amazing income mobility in our economy, and b) chopping off big wealth only puts the poor and middle class in a worse situation.

Rasmussen has the ending exactly right.  Because of this widely held perception, Republicans need to be all the more vigilant against supporting any subsidies, credits, deduction or rules that don't apply the same way to everyone.
3671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Will: Funding the Welfare State - Until the Implosion on: April 21, 2013, 12:44:58 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-whats-behind-the-funding-of-the-welfare-state/2013/04/17/8686d412-a6bd-11e2-8302-3c7e0ea97057_story.html

What's behind the funding of the welfare state
By George F. Will,

The regulatory, administrative state, which progressives champion, is generally a servant of the strong, for two reasons. It responds to financially powerful and politically sophisticated factions. And it encourages rent-seekers to exploit opportunities for concentrated benefits and dispersed costs (e.g., agriculture subsidies confer sums on large agribusinesses by imposing small costs on 316 million Americans).

Such government inevitably means executive government and the derogation of the legislative branch, both of which produce exploding government debt. By explaining these perverse effects of progressivism, the Hudson Institute’s Christopher DeMuth explains contemporary government’s cascading and reinforcing failures.

Executive growth fuels borrowing growth because of the relationship between what DeMuth, in a recent address at George Mason University, called “regulatory insouciance and freewheeling finance.” Government power is increasingly concentrated in Washington, Washington power is increasingly concentrated in the executive branch, and executive-branch power is increasingly concentrated in agencies that are unconstrained by legislative control. Debt and regulation are, DeMuth discerns, “political kin”: Both are legitimate government functions, but both are now perverted to evade democratic accountability, which is a nuisance, and transparent taxation, which is politically dangerous.

Today’s government uses regulation to achieve policy goals by imposing on the private sector burdens less obvious than taxation would be, burdens that become visible only indirectly, in higher prices. Often the goals government pursues by surreptitious indirection are goals that could not win legislative majorities — e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases following Congress’s refusal to approve such policies. And deficit spending — borrowing — is, DeMuth says, “a complementary means of taxation evasion”: It enables the political class to provide today’s voters with significantly more government benefits than current taxes can finance, leaving the difference to be paid by voters too young to vote or not yet born.

Two developments demonstrate, DeMuth says, how “delegation and debt have become coordinate mechanisms of legislative abnegation.” One is Congress’s anti-constitutional delegation of taxing authority to executive-branch regulatory agencies funded substantially or entirely by taxes the agencies levy, not by congressional appropriations. For example, DeMuth notes, the Federal Communications Commission’s $347 mil­­lion operating expenses “are funded by payments from the firms it regulates,” and its $9 billion program subsidizing certain Internet companies is funded by its own unilateral tax on telecommunication firms. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, another freebooting agency not tethered to the appropriations process, automatically receives a share of the profits of the Federal Reserve banks.

A second development is “the integration of regulation and debt-financed consumption.” Recently, a Post headline announced: “Obama administration pushes banks to make home loans to people with weaker credit.” Here we go again — subprime mortgages as federal policy. Is this because lowering lending requirements and forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to securitize the loans worked so well last time? This illustrates DeMuth’s point about how unfettered executive government uses debt-financed consumption and “regulatory conscription of private markets” to force spending “vastly beyond what Congress could have appropriated in the light of day.”

High affluence and new technologies have, DeMuth believes, “led to unhealthy political practices.” Time was, the three basic resources required for effective political action — discretionary time, the ability to acquire and communicate information and persuasion skills — were scarce and possessed only by elites. But in our wealthy and educated society, interest groups can pressure government without being filtered by congressional hierarchies.

Legislative leaders — particularly, committee chairs — have lost power as Congress has become more porous and responsive to importuning factions using new media. Congress, responding to the increased difficulty of legislating, has delegated much lawmaking to specialized agencies that have fewer internal conflicts. Congress’s role has waned as that of autonomous executive agencies has waxed. The executive has driven the expansion of the consumption of benefits that are paid for by automatic entitlement transfer payments, by government-mandated private expenditures and by off-budget and non-transparent taxation imposed by executive agencies.

Government used to spend primarily on the production of things — roads, dams, bridges, military forces. There can be only so many of such goods. Now, DeMuth says, government spends primarily for consumption:

“The possibilities for increasing the kind, level, quality and availability of benefits are practically unlimited. This is the ultimate source of today’s debt predicament. More borrowing for more consumption has no natural stopping point short of imploding on itself.”

Funding the welfare state by vast borrowing and regulatory taxation hides the costs from the public. Hence its political potency. Until the implosion.
3672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward: Rasmussen says drop the makers vs takers argument on: April 21, 2013, 12:38:09 PM
Credible because I find Scott Ramussen to be both conservative and an expert on public opinion.  Usually this type of advise to the Republicans comes from the opponents.

Republicans Need to Get Over the Makers vs. Takers Mindset

By Scott Rasmussen - April 21, 2013

Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded comment that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent on the government” and “believe they are victims” isn’t the only reason he lost the presidential campaign. But the candidate himself acknowledged after the election that the comments were “very harmful.”

He added, “What I said is not what I believe.”

But many Republicans still believe it, and the “makers vs. takers” theme has a deep hold on the party. In private conversations, many in the GOP are whispering that Romney was right and that his only mistake was saying it out loud.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say something like, “Well, the half who favor government programs is the half who don’t pay any taxes.”

This is ridiculous — on many levels.

First, the overwhelming majority of those who don’t pay federal income taxes pay a whole variety of other taxes, including state and local taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, sin taxes and more. They don’t feel excluded from sharing the tax burden just because they don’t pay one particular tax.

It’s also worth noting that these aren’t the people pushing for higher taxes. At Rasmussen Reports, our most recent polling shows that people who make $100,000 or more each year are more supportive of higher taxes than those who make less.

Second, the 47 percent who don’t pay federal income taxes include large chunks of the Republican base. Many senior citizens fall into this category because their primary income is from Social Security. They don’t consider themselves “takers.” They paid money into a Social Security system throughout their working lives and now simply expect the government to honor the promises it made.

Third, low-income Americans aren’t looking for a handout. Among those who are living in poverty, 81 percent agree that work is the best solution to poverty. Most would rather replace welfare programs with a guaranteed minimum-wage job. Sharing the mainstream view, 69 percent of the poor believe that too many Americans are dependent upon the government.

Sixty-five percent of low-income Americans consider it “very important” for an economy to provide everybody with an opportunity to succeed. Interestingly enough, low-income Americans consider that more important than those who earn more.

But if I had to pick just one number to highlight how bad the 47 percent remark was, it would be this. Just 11 percent of Americans today consider themselves dependent upon government. Sure, some receive a Social Security check or an unemployment check, but that’s not dependence upon government. That’s cash received in exchange for premiums paid.

If they want to seriously compete for middle-class votes, Republicans need to get over the makers vs. takers mentality. We live in a time when just 35 percent believe the economy is fair to the middle class. Only 41 percent believe it is fair to those who are willing to work hard. Those problems are not created by the poor.

GOP candidates would be well advised to shift their focus from attacking the poor to going after those who are really dependent upon government — the Political Class, the crony capitalists, the megabanks and other recipients of corporate welfare.

3673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on Heller on: April 21, 2013, 11:09:41 AM
Responding to the charge that he is ignoring the Heller decision:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNUhWoIdFb4
3674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, The Smear of Ted Cruz on: April 20, 2013, 08:25:39 PM
Maybe we can move this over to the Ted Cruz thread...  )

John Hinderaker, Powerline

Demonizing Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz has made quite an impression in just three months in the Senate. Like Marco Rubio, he is the son of a Cuban exile. He is a extraordinarily talented guy. Unlike Barack Obama, he had a stellar record both in academia and in the practice of law: he was national debating champion, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, clerked for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, served as Solicitor General of the State of Texas and authored more than 80 briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court. As a law student, Cruz was described by Professor Alan Dershowitz as “off the charts brilliant.” He was elected to the Senate last year in what the Washington Post called “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.” So it is not surprising that, just as Cruz has quickly become a hero on the right, the Democratic Party is out to destroy him.

The Post’s Dana Milbank contributed to that effort yesterday. Milbank is a bit like Jon Stewart: he often comes across as a clown, but his underlying purpose is deadly serious. This is how Milbank began his hatchet job on Cruz:

    Is there nobody who can tell Ted Cruz to shut up?

    The young senator from Texas has been on the job for about 100 days, but he has already turned the Senate’s ancient seniority system upside down and is dominating his senior Republican colleagues. He’s speaking for them on immigration, guns and any other topic that tickles his fancy; Republican leaders are seething at being outshone yet are terrified of challenging him.

If Milbank had any evidence to support this assertion, it would make for an interesting story of the Washington gossip variety. But Milbank, a notoriously partisan Democrat, is no intimate of Republican leaders of the Senate, and he cites no evidence to back up his claim that “Republican leaders are seething,” but “terrified” of Cruz. Milbank did, however, go to the trouble of counting up words at a recent press conference:

    Consider his news conference this week to promote the Republican alternative to gun control. …

    Cruz took over the lectern and refused to relinquish it. He spoke 2,924 words for the cameras, more than Grassley (904), Graham (1,376) and Coats (360) — combined. Factoring in his dramatic pauses to convey sincerity and deep thought, Cruz’s dominance was even more lopsided. The others shifted uncomfortably and looked awkwardly around the room. At one point, Graham requested a chance to speak. “Can I?” he asked Cruz.

Now, it’s possible that Cruz talked too long. In D.C., it has been known to happen. But I suspect it is more likely that Cruz was delegated to carry the ball at the press conference, and Milbank tells us nothing to the contrary.

But now Milbank gets to the real point:

    Cruz is 42, the same age Joe McCarthy was when he amassed power in the Senate with his allegations of communist infiltration. Tail-gunner Ted debuted in the Senate this year….

This is one of the most ludicrous smears in the history of journalism. It would make as much sense to say “Cruz is 42, the same age as Thomas Jefferson when he was named Ambassador to France.” Or “Cruz, like Abraham Lincoln, is tall.” But Milbank wanted to echo the Democratic Party’s chosen route of attack by linking Cruz, however randomly, with McCarthy.

Why? Because “Tail-gunner Ted debuted in the Senate this year with the insinuation that Chuck Hagel, now the defense secretary, may have been on the payroll of the North Koreans.” In fact, Cruz, along with a number of other Republicans, criticized Hagel for refusing to explain his sources of income during the years after he left the Senate. It is reasonable to suspect, given Hagel’s out of the mainstream foreign policy views, that he may have received honoraria from Middle Eastern countries or groups, in particular. What Cruz said–”We do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups. It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea”–made perfect sense, given that Hagel was nominated to be Secretary of State.

Milbank goes on to accuse Cruz of lying on various occasions, but in each case, Cruz was right and Milbank is wrong:

    On guns, Cruz’s high profile required Grassley to give the upstart a premium chunk of floor time for his trademark falsehoods. Cruz claimed that his bill was the “result of multiple hearings in the Judiciary Committee.” (It was never brought before the panel.)

But Cruz didn’t say his bill “was brought before the panel,” he said it grew out of the Judiciary Committee’s hearings, like this one. There is no inconsistency at all.

    He claimed the opposing legislation would extend “background checks to private transactions between private individuals.” (The bill applied to only advertised sales. [sic])

This one is mystifying. Under current law, only federally licensed dealers have to run background checks. The whole point of the Democrats’ proposed legislation and the Manchin/Toomey compromise bill was to extend background checks to private transactions between private individuals, specifically over the internet and at gun shows. Cruz obviously was correct.

    Off the floor, he made the patently false claim that the “so-called ‘gun show loophole’” doesn’t exist.

Again, Milbank is simply wrong. There is no “gun show loophole.” Gun shows are treated exactly like everything else: if a licensed dealer sells a firearm at a gun show, he has to run a background check. If a private citizen sells a firearm at a gun show, he doesn’t. Milbank and his fellow liberals may not like the existing law, but Cruz stated it accurately.

If this is the best Milbank and the Democrats can do to illustrate Ted Cruz’s “trademark falsehoods,” they are going to have to come up with a new line of attack.
3675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rest in Peace: Sean Collier of the MIT Police on: April 20, 2013, 08:16:16 PM
http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/04/19/mit-police-officer-sean-collier-killed-the-line-duty-during-confrontation-with-marathon-bombing-suspects/okOsk0WUnFyGB1yQ6CxuBI/story.html

American flags began to appear on a cordoned-off block of Curtis Street as the news spread that 26-year-old Sean Collier, an MIT police officer who lived in a three-story house there, had been killed in a late-night confrontation with the two suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing.

Through tears, his roommate — who trained with Collier at the police academy and did not provide his name — said Collier was “awesome,” his only fault being that was he was too brave.

“He was the guy who went to help,” his roommate said. “The best guy got shot down by the biggest scumbags.”

In a statement, Collier’s family expressed their grief.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our wonderful and caring son and brother, Sean Collier,” the family wrote. “Our only solace is that Sean died bravely doing what he committed his life to — serving and protecting others. We are thankful for the outpouring of support and condolences offered by so many people.”

Expressions of love for Collier came from all corners of his life. MIT police chief John DiFava called Collier “a home run,” with every quality one could want in a police officer.
3676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, CBS surprisingly clueless on: April 20, 2013, 08:01:37 PM
Thank God law enforcement killed and caught whoever they've got so far. 

I watched CBS interrupt prime time last night to exploit, I mean, cover this.  The anchor was just puzzled.  Can you think of, he asked every guest, any reason they would do this, even after identifying the accused as being Islamic extremists.  It went on for most of the evening.  Maybe they could have done a re-cap of all the other similar attacks - there is a pattern here, or read the words in the Koran inspiring it, or quoted the promotion of these types of attacks in the Mosques, rather than endlessly ask the question only of people they know won't answer.

Our Obj (and others) could have pointed him to guests that have a theory (see previous post in this thread), if that is what they wanted.
3677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gabby Giffords's 900-word jeremiad, fallacious reasoning and demagogic appeals on: April 20, 2013, 07:42:25 PM
It's too bad the left is unwilling to have an honest debate on anything, in this case guns.  There is an argument to be made (see 28 internet pages with 162,000 reads in this thread) that the right of law abiding citizens to bear arms makes us safer.  One armed citizen positioned near her might have ended the shooting sooner.  The would be confiscators would do well to read this as well:

"... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

I didn't shoot Gabby Giffords.  I feel compassion for what she went through.  I don't care less than she does about the other victims.  I was once mowed down by a car.  I didn't see her visit me or run out to ban vehicles, and I don't impugn her humanity for that oversight.  Having our motives constantly impugned is sickening.  Only the people oblivious to the clause above care about the victims and the tragedies, she believes.  I've had it with that brand of self righteous drivel.  Aren't you lucky, Gabby Giffords, to have "every reasonable American" on your side.  Win over some of the unreasonable and uncaring people and you might have a working majority.  James Taranto picks apart her atrocious logic quite well here:. 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324493704578430771447679726.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Giffords's 900-word jeremiad should be included in every textbook of logic and political rhetoric, so rife is it with examples of fallacious reasoning and demagogic appeals. Let's go through them:

• The argumentum ad passiones, or appeal to emotion. She leads with this one: "Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them."

• The appeal to motives. Giffords claims that the senators who voted against the measures "looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby" and "made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association." She also asserts that "their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest" and on "cowardice." These characterizations are mutually inconsistent--can a senator's decision have been based on both unreasoning fear and a cold (but erroneous!) calculation of self-interest?--and they are also entirely unsubstantiated. So is her assertion that "the status quo" is "desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation."

• Guilt by association. See the references to the "gun lobby" in the preceding paragraph.

• Poisoning the well. She reveals that some of the senators who voted against the amendments "have met with grieving parents" and that some "have also looked into my eyes . . . and expressed sympathy" for her and other Tucson victims. Her purpose in citing these facts is to impugn the senators' sincerity: "And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them." In reality, they didn't "do nothing"; they rejected particular legislative proposals. It does not follow, and indeed it seems unlikely and is boorish to assert, that their expressions of sympathy were not heartfelt.

• Begging the question. Giffords characterizes the proposed amendments as "common-sense legislation" that "could prevent future tragedies." She also describes them as "these most benign and practical of solutions." She pretends that the central matter in dispute--whether the benefits would outweigh the costs or indeed whether the proposals would have yielded the benefits their advocates promised at all--has already been settled in her side's favor.

• The no-true-Scotsman move. "These senators have heard from their constituents--who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks," Giffords writes. She ignores the possibility that those polls are flawed and that the senators are hearing a different message from their constituents. Then she qualifies her claim of public unanimity: "I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth . . ." See what she did there? (The switcheroo to every reasonable American reminds us of a probably apocryphal tale about Adlai Stevenson. A woman is supposed to have said to him, "Governor, you have the support of every thinking American," to which he replied: "But madam, I need a majority.")

• The argumentum ad baculam, or argument from the club. This consists in attempting to persuade by making threats. Giffords urges "mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You've lost my vote" and in other ways for those who agree with her to work for the lawmakers' defeat--a call to action, not an argument. There is, of course, nothing objectionable about citizens in a democratic republic engaging in such action, but that goes for those on the other side as well. And it's worth recalling that the "civility" hypocrites back in the day proclaimed themselves troubled and outraged by the phenomenon of citizens confronting their elected representatives at public meetings.

• The argumentum ad misericordiam, or appeal to pity. "Speaking is physically difficult for me," she writes. "But my feelings are clear: I'm furious." It should be obvious that this in no way speaks to the merits of the legislation or even the character of its supporters and opponents.

• The false dilemma. This is Giffords's closing gambit: "To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way."

• The appeal to authority. That would be Giffords's own authority as a former lawmaker. "I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress," she writes. "I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither." Perhaps her legislative experience gives her some insight into the senators' state of mind, but if so, she does not share it with readers, whom she expects to accept her conclusion unquestioningly.
(more at the link)
3678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 19, 2013, 01:00:17 PM
Partial agreement with Obj:

"Here is my frank assessment of Wesbury:  He lives in his own little universe of economic statistics,"

  - true, (they all do)

"most of which are provided by the Federal government,"

  - true

and are severely distorted deliberately in this administration's favor.  

  - No, IMO.  Most important economic statistics like the unemployment rate and the poverty rate are flawed measurements, but there is usually trend information to be learned from the movement in these measures.

"the cold, hard evidence that there NEVER HAS BEEN A RECOVERY"

  - What did Clinton say, it depends on what the meaning of is is.  We've had something like 37 months of job growth since the bottom, a recovery in name only.  We've also lost 20% of our wealth that will never come back under the current stagnation agenda.  I agree with you, that to recover means to fully recover - to at least get back to where we were.  It is spin (BS?) to confuse recovery with pathetic, partial, upward movements.  

My take from Wesbury or reading any of them is to read for the facts only, put the facts in context, and ignore the spin and take the analysis with active skepticism. I don't hold economists accountable for knowing the future.  I judge them by how well they can analyze and explain what has already happened.

The 2009 Wesbury prediction of 5% was absurd, but based on a history of v-shaped 'curves' coming up from a drop that severe.  He seemed to ignore the fact that most of the forces pushes us downward were still acting to push us downward.  He coined the phrase plowhorse economy later to acknowledge the heavy load we are pulling.

Remember this:  At the beginning of 2008, Wesbury, a supply sider, warned Republicans they would not win the election if they relied on a bad economy alone to defeat President Obama.  He was right.  The economy was stalled, but good enough for the incumbent to win all battleground states.
3679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gold's Plunge [could be] Cause For Optimism on: April 19, 2013, 12:18:09 PM
Interesting piece though I don't fully agree with the optimism.  I think the reason gold fell is because it went up too far, too fast, previously.  The economy went from free fall in crisis to stable stagnation, which is quite an improvement.  The outlook is more stagnation, far better than free fall. The gold to oil ratio pointed out in the piece is quite telling.  In general, gold is how you take money out of productive business investment, so a move away from gold is some reason for optimism.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324485004578427271772508456.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

Gold's Plunge Is Cause For Optimism
It signals strength in the dollar that could reorient investment away from hedges and toward economic growth.

By JOHN TAMNY

In January 1980, the price of gold hit what was then an all-time high, $850 per ounce. Ten years earlier, gold traded at $35. Its stupendous rise in the 1970s neatly correlated with that malaise-riddled decade, as its decline in the 1980s signaled renewed prosperity.

That is why the recent decline in the price of gold—down 16% to $1,387 an ounce from $1,660 when February began—is cause for cautious optimism. Gold's recent weakness points to renewed dollar strength and, if this strength is maintained, may preview reorientation of precious capital away from dollar-devaluation hedges and toward investments in what has been called "the economy of the mind"—that is, new entrepreneurial endeavors and industries.

The precious metal has long been referred to as "the golden constant" for its steady value. An example is the skyrocketing price of gold in the 1970s, which didn't so much signal a spike in gold's value as it showed the decline of the dollar in which it was priced. If gold's constancy as a measure of value is doubted, consider oil: In 1971 an ounce of gold at $35 bought 15 barrels, in 1981 an ounce of gold at $480 similarly bought 15 barrels, and today an ounce once again buys a shade above 15.

There is another way of looking at the 1970s rise in the price of gold and decline in the value of the dollar, which has relevance for today. The weakening dollar marked a massive redistribution of wealth away from savers and equity investors, and with that redistribution a capital deficit for companies eager to grow.

When savers commit capital to new ideas, it is to receive a return in later years. But with the dollar in free fall throughout the 1970s, incentives were seriously distorted, and investments migrated toward classes of hard assets—such as commodities (oil, cotton, wheat, etc.) whose dollar-denominated prices rose and were thus least vulnerable to devaluation. Housing prices also soared. Meanwhile, stock market indexes such as the S&P 500, which represented the nation's most promising companies, nearly flattened.

If you owned a house, or were long in commodities like gold and oil, your dollar wealth rose substantially. If your savings were held in dollars or equities, your nominal wealth position flat-lined and in real terms plummeted.

Happily for investors and the U.S. economy more broadly, the dollar hit a low point in 1980 and reversed course in the next two decades. In the 1980s, gold fell 52%—and the S&P zoomed upward by 222%. In the 1990s, gold declined by another 29%—and the S&P roared, up 314% for the decade.

With the dollar on an upswing, investors had a renewed incentive to migrate out of inflation hedges and into economic sectors where new ideas offered the potential for outsize returns. The technology sector shined. However risky it was to put capital into new companies or an unproven concept, investors at least had more assurance that any returns they reaped would not be eroded by devaluation.

Fast forward to the new millennium. In January 2001, a dollar bought roughly 1/270th of an ounce of gold, but in the ensuing 12 years its value took a severe turn downward to 1/1600th of an ounce two months ago.

By August 2011, gold had soared to $1,900 from $270 in January 2001. When we take into account the greenback's extreme weakness, the alleged mystery about a "lost decade" in economic growth is quickly erased.

As in the 1970s, gold's rise in the past decade once again signaled a painful dollar devaluation that would foster a commodity boom, rising house prices and near flat markets. Though some cheer the market highs of today, it should be remembered that they're merely a return to heights last reached in 2000, when the dollar was much stronger.

All this is to emphasize that the recent fall in gold prices, while surely bad news for investors who are long in hard assets, may be good news for the future.

The unwind in these investors' positions wrought by a stronger dollar will surely be painful, but savers, unemployed workers and the broad economy have suffered long enough from a weak dollar and slow growth. It must be remembered that there are no companies and no jobs without investment first. A strong dollar would energize the savers as it did before, and savings are the economic tonic needed to get Americans working again.

Mr. Tamny is editor of Forbes Opinions and RealClearMarkets.
3680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues - Pulitzer Prize for Commentary goes to Bret Stephens, WSJ on: April 19, 2013, 11:47:41 AM
The Wall Street Journal won its 34th Pulitzer Prize.  Congratulations to Bret Stephens on winning the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Bret won for a selection of his weekly Global View columns in 2012. Links to columns here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324485004578424973573771056.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTSecond

Readers of the forum already saw excerpts and links to many Stephens columns:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1718.msg66231#msg66231
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1718.msg66241#msg66241
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1079.msg64179#msg64179
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=962.msg15202#msg15202
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2177.msg69222#msg69222

Much more WSJ is available with a subscription, highly recommended:
http://couponjet.org/the-wall-street-journal-subscription-discount-coupons-wsj-promo-code.htm

Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot's nominating letter: (Gigot won this award in 2000; his predecessor Robert Bartley won it in 1980.)

To the Judges:
Bret Stephens, the Wall Street Journal’s Global View columnist, is a conservative thinker with a contrarian bent. Though his main focus is foreign policy, he wanders far and wide with an eclectic mind that is impossible to stereotype and forces readers to think.
Millions of column inches were published on the 2012 election, yet readers could have saved themselves much time and effort if they had read only Bret’s bookend pieces in January and November. “The GOP Deserves to Lose” on Jan. 24 lamented the state of the Republican presidential field, including front-runner Mitt Romney: “Thus the core difference between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama: For the governor, the convictions are the veneer. For the president, the pragmatism is. Voters always see through this. They usually prefer the man who stands for something.” After the election he could claim vindication, and he did, in a lacerating column that upset many Journal readers but has contributed to some Republican rethinking on immigration and gay marriage.

In 2012, Bret also dared to challenge the conventional applause for Condoleezza Rice as a potential vice presidential candidate, and he defended his liberal competitor, Fareed Zakaria, against conservatives who wanted to run him out of journalism for a plagiarism slip. In an age when many ideological combatants relish and celebrate the mistakes of their competitors, Bret’s generosity was notable and a contribution to civil discourse.

His column on “Muslims, Mormons and Liberals” (Sept. 18) highlighted the hypocrisy of people who have no problem mocking one religious group in a Broadway musical but become indignant about other crude religious satires. “It need be said that the whole purpose of free speech is to protect unpopular, heretical, vulgar and stupid views,” Stephens wrote about the administration’s condemnation of the YouTube video on Mohammed. “So far, the Obama administration’s approach to free speech is that it’s fine so long as it’s cheap and exacts no political price. This is free speech as pizza.”

Bret has a particular talent for bringing humanity into his writing about geopolitics. That talent came through movingly in his columns about Sergei Magnitsky in “Russia’s Steve Biko” (March 27) and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in “Who Will Tell the Truth About China?” (Feb. 14).

Bret’s columns are among the most popular at the Journal, and my own reporting suggests they are also among the most influential. That influence showed in his two December columns on Susan Rice, which helped to focus opposition to her possible choice as the next Secretary of State. The pieces were not welcome at the White House but they helped to convince Ms. Rice and President Obama that she would face a withering confirmation fight, and she withdrew from consideration.

As for his prose, my own view is that Mr. Stephens writes as well as any columnist in America. I can’t think of a columnist who had a better year.
Sincerely,
Paul Gigot
3681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 18, 2013, 06:22:12 PM
My fear is that the US govt cannot keep its word, not just on the border security side.  Once proponents get what they want from this bill, why wouldn't they open the issue again and demand basic 'human rights', like free health care, food and voting now?  Will a court rule on these deprived 'rights' of the recently legalized with 'heightened scrutiny'.  Will we again hear that anyone opposed shortening the wait, paying out benefits or giving instant voting privileges is a bigot, xenophobe, hater.

On the plus side according to Rubio today, working, paying taxes, and not receiving federal benefits through the whole process is a requirement.  If true, that is a pretty good applicant group!  Not every illegal is going to sign up for that.

Terrorism this week reminds us that 90% effective border security is not good enough.  It is time to know who is coming and going.
3682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Marco Rubio! on: April 18, 2013, 05:36:52 PM
To mix my metaphors, Ann Coulter is a drive by spray and pray bomb thrower.  It is what she does.  When she hits the intended target she is great, when she misses she can do so spectacularly, and when she hits the wrong target, she is long gone.

Agree.  She is unfortunately erratic.  She is thought of as far right, but then goes all out for Christy and then Romney.  She can be brilliant with insights and biting humor.  Let's say Rubio is all wrong on this.  If so, he will pay a huge price.  Scorching his intentions and his integrity is not the best way to advance her cause, or the cause of conservatism, or secure borders or anything else.
3683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Another look at 'global' 'warming' on: April 18, 2013, 05:28:21 PM
Global warming right now looks like a cold, cruel hoax.  From my outpost: 20 inches of ice depth, still, plus another foot of snow falling now.  Last year the lake was clear of ice by March 20.  135 years ago it was clear by March 11.  I took this photo across a snow covered lake in metro Mpls yesterday in sunshine.  The view now is all white-out.  My catamaran and kayak are patiently awaiting the change of season.  The geese look a confused.  Another 2-day 'winter' snowstorm all day today through tomorrow.  In two months the days start getting shorter. 

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/04/16/lake-minnetonka-could-face-historically-late-ice-out/
3684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dem senator sees train wreck coming on: April 18, 2013, 12:35:33 PM

"A six-term veteran, Baucus expects a tough re-election in 2014. He's still trying to recover from approval ratings that nosedived amid displeasure with the health care law in his home state."

True, the train wreck he sees coming might be his own reelection, Obama lost Montana by 14 points.

"Normally low-key and supportive, Baucus challenged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Wednesday's hearing."

I wonder if there was also a wink from the Senator as the author of the bill got tough with the secretary in committee.  She needs him reelected too.  I wonder if she could ever get elected in Kansas again.  Obama lost Kansas by over 20 points.

3685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio! Conservative criticism continued: Ann Coulter calls him a liar on: April 18, 2013, 12:04:16 PM
http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2013/04/17/if-rubios-amnesty-is-so-great-why-is-he-lying-n1571061/page/full/

If Rubio's Amnesty is So Great, Why is He Lying?
---------------

All I see are the same arguments on both sides.  Isn't she lying if she calls a plea bargain with a fine in the thousands of dollars 'amnesty'?  If you did hard time for a crime and were released at the end of your sentence, is that amnesty?

This bill isn't tough enough for me and it may get worse in the amendment process before it gets a vote.  We can argue out the provisions on the immigration thread.  In the meantime, it would be better for the people supposedly on the same team to argue the merits of competing policies rather than name call and mud sling publicly.  What is her plan?  Self deport.  How is that going?  We ran that trial balloon politically with the Romney candidacy.
3686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Perez, another dishonest appointee on: April 18, 2013, 11:45:46 AM
Tom Perez as Sec of Labor should fit in just fine with the Obama cabinet:
----
Perez gave false testimony to the Civil Rights Commission about the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case. Under oath, Perez said that no “political leadership” at DOJ was involved in the decision not to pursue that matter. But a federal district court judge (Reggie Walton) found that internal Justice Department documents “contradict” this testimony.

Perez made false statements to investigators who looked into a deal he orchestrated with the City of St. Paul. Under Perez’s deal, the DOJ caused the dismissal of a suit against the City of St. Paul, one that could have netted $180 million to U.S. taxpayers, in exchange for the City’s agreement to drop a Supreme Court appeal (in the case of Magner v. Gallaher), the outcome of which might have invalidated DOJ’s pet method of proving racial discrimination in housing cases.

The Wall Street Journal describes Perez’s dishonesty over this quid pro quo arrangement:

    Mr. Perez told investigators he hadn’t heard of the Magner case until the Supreme Court agreed to hear it on November 7, 2011. But HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Sara Pratt told investigators that she and Mr. Perez had a discussion about the case well before that.

    Mr. Perez also says he didn’t propose the quid pro quo. But St. Paul’s lawyer, David Lillehaug, testified that Mr. Perez first called him on November 23, 2011 to discuss Magner and on November 29 met him to propose a “potential solution”: the quid pro quo. It defies logic to believe St. Paul wanted to drop a case it had been fighting for nearly a decade and after the High Court had finally agreed to hear it.

Perez has worked in additional ways to cover-up his involvement in the quid pro quo.

    On January 10, 2012, Mr. Perez left a voicemail for Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker, instructing him not to link Magner and Newell in the memo explaining why Justice wouldn’t intervene in Newell.

    Mr. Perez also told investigators he didn’t have “any recollection” of using his personal email to correspond about the quid pro quo. . .Congressional investigators later discovered a personal email Mr. Perez sent to St. Paul’s lawyer, Mr. Lillehaug, on December 10, 2011. They have subpoenaed Mr. Perez for his Verizon email account, but Mr. Perez has not complied with the subpoena.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/will-senate-republicans-turn-a-blind-eye-to-tom-perezs-dishonesty.php
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/26/insuring-racial-discrimination/
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/07/high-ranking-doj-official-gave-false-testimony-about-voter-intimidation-case.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/03/how-tom-perez-traded-u-s-money-to-protect-pet-race-discrimination-theory.php
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323346304578426950656708348.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
3687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Education: Will Columbia hire the Boston bomber? on: April 18, 2013, 11:38:49 AM
Other than the passage of time, one can find no real distinction between the cowardly actions of last Monday’s Boston murderer and the terror carried out by [Columbia Prof.] Boudin and her accomplices.
...
Forty-three years ago last month, Kathy Boudin, now a professor at Columbia but then a member of the Weather Underground, escaped an explosion at a bomb factory operated in a townhouse in Greenwich Village...Three weeks earlier, Boudin’s Weathermen had firebombed a private home in Upper Manhattan with Molotov cocktails.
...
The Web site of Columbia’s School of Social Work sums up Boudin’s past thus: “Dr. Kathy Boudin has been an educator and counselor with experience in program development since 1964, working within communities with limited resources to solve social problems.”

“Since 1964” — that would include the bombing of [the author's] house, it would include the anti-personnel devices intended for Fort Dix and it would include the dead policeman on the side of the Thruway in 1981.
...
Maybe, if he is caught, Monday’s bomber can explain that, like Boudin, he was merely working within the community to solve social problems.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/tale_of_two_terrorists_3WtcmY2p7PwFkbO1NheqNL
3688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: April 18, 2013, 11:32:39 AM
Arthur Laffer is usually right and always worth reading.  That said, I have mixed feelings about this one.

From the conclusion:  "The principle of levying the lowest possible tax rate on the broadest possible tax base is the way to improve the incentives to work, save and produce—which are necessary to reinvigorate the American economy and cope with the nation's fiscal problems."

Yes.

"The exemption of Internet and out-of-state retailers from collecting state sales taxes reduced state revenues by $23.3 billion in 2012 alone, according to an estimate by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The absence of these revenues has not served to put a lid on state-government spending. Instead, it has led to higher marginal rates in the 43 states that levy income taxes."

This I find less convincing.

"It is overly burdensome to task companies with remitting sales taxes to more than 9,500 such tax jurisdictions."

Yes.  Tracking the sales tax to 50 states is burdensome enough for the casual seller or buyer, but it is my county, not my state that is paying a sales tax for the Minnesota Twins stadium for example, and my zip code overlaps the neighboring county that does not pay that tax. 

The "use tax" is bad joke.  For example, Minneapolis has such high property taxes (and extra sales tax) that it has no hope of ever having certain types of large stores locate within the city limits.  But if you go outside the city to buy things and carry them in, you are 'required' to track those purchases and send in the tax, or be in violation of the law.  The compliance rate is zero, leaving otherwise law abiding citizens in perpetual violation of an overly burdensome law.
3689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Richmond Times editorial- "abhorrent double standard in the establishment media" on: April 18, 2013, 11:01:34 AM
http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/editorial-indefensible/article_3c076fad-04bd-5c00-9598-b0335db62ced.html

We are hardly the first – and will not be the last – to note the abhorrent double standard in the establishment media about the killing of innocent children.
...
Most abortion clinics are nothing like Gosnell’s. But then, most gun owners are nothing like Adam Lanza. And Gosnell might not be quite so isolated as some would like to think. Just recently, whistleblowers stepped forward with accusations about dangerously unsanitary conditions at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Delaware.

What’s more, a few days ago, a Planned Parenthood lobbyist in Florida would not say that a baby born alive at an abortion clinic should receive medical treatment.
(more at link)
3690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues - Timing of terrorism stories on: April 18, 2013, 10:56:32 AM
Remember how the New York Times featured Bill Ayers on September 11, 2001 saying he regretted having not engaged in more domestic terrorist activity?  Well, the Los Angeles Times tried to complete with the NY Times on Monday, with this headline and story: “With Al Qaeda Shattered, U.S. Counter-Terrorism’s Future Unclear.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-al-qaeda-20130415,0,748515.story

http://www.powerlineblog.com/
3691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: We will find out who did this on: April 17, 2013, 01:02:41 PM
Obama's Boston statement would sound sincere and Presidential if he didn't say nearly the same thing about Benghazi before it was swept under the carpet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh6Lc5vmO0o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1gF0I2Ecmw

----

In other news, the Sec. of State on who bombed Boston:  WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE NOW?
3692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re:Cognitive Dissonance Glibness - Hugo Chavez rates, Margaret Thatcher does not on: April 17, 2013, 12:50:59 PM
At least they didn't send Biden, but did they really send no one to Margaret Thatcher's funeral?  Unbelievable. 

You would think they would be more sensitive after all their other mistakes with our closest ally - even if they don't give a damn.

The decision to send no one was announced before the Boston bombing, so that wasn't it.  It was the gun control momentum that is so easy to lose when it is a top issue for 4% of the American people.

Obama agrees that Thatcher is in a class with Churchill and Reagan, all his ideological opponents. 

His view is shared by the UK protesters who wasted no time getting up a sign saying "The Bitch is Dead" and made “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” from The Wizard of Oz the No. 1 download at Amazon U.K.   http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/345435/mrs-thatchers-losing-victory-mark-steyn
3693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law) - Right to Privacy? on: April 17, 2013, 12:30:27 PM
Does the Right to Privacy apply to gun ownership?

If not, why not?
3694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Thomas Sowell on the economic empowerment on: April 17, 2013, 10:28:28 AM
From Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics" (2000):

James Cash Penney did not start with a lot of money. He was in fact raised in poverty and began his retail career as just a one-third partner in a store in a little town in Wyoming, at a time when Sears and Montgomery Ward were unchallenged giants of nationwide retailing. Yet his insights into the changing conditions of retailing eventually forced these giants into doing things his way, on pain of extinction. . . . In a later era, a clerk in a J.C. Penney store named Sam Walton would learn retailing from the ground up and then put his knowledge and insights to work in his own store, which would eventually expand to become the Wal-Mart chain, with sales larger than those of Sears and J.C. Penney combined.

One of the great handicaps of economies run by political authorities, whether under medieval mercantilism or modern communism, is that insights which arise among the masses have no such powerful leverage as to force those in authority to change the way they do things.
3695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media on Abortion, NY Times calls born babies "fetuses"?? on: April 17, 2013, 10:23:06 AM
Media Issues, Abortion and Cognitive Dissonance of the Left all in one...

Is that the proper Latin plural?  And does 'little one' meaning 'little human' not really mean baby in the first place?

NYT runs a second story on Gosnell, on page A12.  Did he kill more people than the Boston Marathon bomber(s) or didn't he?

-----
Today's New York Times story [April 16, 2013], like the one last month, refers to the infants Gosnell is accused of murdering as "fetuses," although it also refers to them as "babies." This is another fascinating slip. Abortion proponents resolutely adhere to the convention of calling unborn children "fetuses" so as to conceal the similarity between (at least late-term) abortion and infanticide. By using the terms interchangeably, the Times unwittingly defeats this pro-abortion obscurantism, revealing what it means to conceal.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324030704578426892205886784.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Leftist slipups are not uncommon on abortion due to the perverted twisting of logic necessary to endorse it.  Noted previously in this thread is when Justice Breyer refers to the woman having an abortion as a mother.  A mother of WHAT?  Previous children??
3696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mothers Day Massacre, How 'bout a background check for abortion 'doctors'? on: April 17, 2013, 10:10:41 AM
    A young Philadelphia doctor “offered to perform abortions on 15 poor women who were bused to his clinic from Chicago on Mother’s Day 1972, in their second trimester of pregnancy.” The women didn’t know that the doctor “planned to use an experimental device called a ’super coil’ developed by a California man named Harvey Karman.

    A colleague of Karman’s Philadelphia collaborator described the contraption as “basically plastic razors that were formed into a ball. . . . They were coated into a gel, so that they would remain closed. These would be inserted into the woman’s uterus. And after several hours of body temperature, . . . the gel would melt and these . . . things would spring open, supposedly cutting up the fetus.”

    Nine of the 15 Chicago women suffered serious complications. One of them needed a hysterectomy. The following year, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. It would be 37 more years before the Philadelphia doctor who carried out the Mother’s Day Massacre would go out of business. His name is Kermit Gosnell.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324030704578422883948238160.html
3697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 15, 2013, 03:54:36 PM
Respectfully, as I stated before - I have zero faith in Wesbury's analysis or predictions for two reasons:
1) He advises the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and therefore has a strong incentive to make that institution look good.
2) He has a horrible track record going back at least to 2009 - as evidenced by the interview from that year I posted earlier.

I take his opinions with a grain of salt, but the Wesbury posts also contain facts in the sense of reported economic figures, and it is good to hear opposing opinions explained. 
3698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 15, 2013, 12:05:04 PM
One point made against 'do something', a.k.a. 'comprehensive reform', is that surrender on this won't win Republicans any votes.  This is true.  But it would potentially begin to allow them to compete for Hispanic votes based on other issues.

To GM's very valid point, some of the blame for illegal immigration goes to the U.S. for having unenforced laws.   We even have a federal government that prevents states from enforcing these laws.

On the positive side, I will be amazed if all these people will be pay taxes and but not be eligible to receive any federal benefits for more than a decade.  If true, that alone would put their votes on fiscal matters in play.

Beware of the slippery slope legislative strategy though.  After a tough, tough, tough bill is passed, the panderers will still say how unfair it is that all these now-legal residents can't vote or receive benefits and will push for more 'reform'.  I don't think you can protect against that in a bill.  It is extremely hard to negotiate with weasels.
3699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues -Byron York: A look inside the bill and how they will sell it on: April 15, 2013, 09:52:05 AM
A look deep inside the Gang of Eight bill — and how they’ll sell immigration reform to conservatives

April 15, 2013 | 2:46 am
Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

Republican members of the Gang of Eight know they’ll have a tough time selling comprehensive immigration reform to a significant number of conservatives.  Of course some in the GOP are still panicked by last November’s election results and will be inclined to sign on to almost any deal.  But many of the more conservative Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill will have to be convinced that the Gang’s proposal is an acceptable way to go.  It won’t be easy.

Starting this week, with the release of the bill, the Gang will launch an extensive public information campaign — lots of press releases, frequently asked questions, and fact sheets specifically addressing the concerns about reform that conservatives have raised in recent months.

The short version of their case: The Gang proposal will be tough, tough, tough; it will be based on stringent requirements that security measures be in place before many of its provisions take effect; it will avoid the moral danger of rewarding those who entered the country illegally; and it will take care to protect the U.S. economy.  And then there will be a final, mostly whispered, argument: If Congress doesn’t pass the Gang bill, Barack Obama might unilaterally legalize the millions of illegal immigrants in the country today in an adult version of his Dream Act decree, doing so without securing the border in an act that would be impossible for a future president to reverse.
Sign Up for the Byron York newsletter!

In sum, what the Gang is planning is a sales job followed by a nightmare scenario.

First the toughness.  The bill will be based on a three-part enforcement scheme. First is a universal E-Verify system, which means that every business in America, even those that have one, two, or three employees, will be required to comply with the federal E-Verify law.  Every person hired in every business will have to produce either a passport or a driver’s license from a state that requires proof of citizenship for a driver’s license.

Second is an entry and exit system at all airports and seaports that will track visa holders to ensure that they do not overstay their allotted time in the country.

Third is border security, which the Gang will define as 100 percent “situational awareness” — that is, surveillance of the entire border — plus the ability to catch 90 percent of the people who try to cross it illegally.

The GOP Gang members know full well that the federal government has promised all those measures and more over the years, and the border is still not secure and businesses still hire illegal immigrants.  For example, Congress has passed multiple laws requiring entry-exit systems similar to what the Gang will propose, and the system has never been built.  So Gang members know that conservatives, at least, will be skeptical.

The answer the Gang hopes will reassure those skeptics is the concept of triggers.  They’ve set up three points at which the bill’s requirements will have to be met before the process can continue.

The first, and by far the weakest, trigger is for the legalization of the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.  In addition to requiring that immigrants pass a background check, be fingerprinted, pay taxes and a fine (which will be in the thousands of dollars), and prove they have been in the U.S. continuously at least since December 2011, the Gang bill will require that the Department of Homeland Security issue a “notice of commencement” confirming that it has prepared a plan for border security, including fencing and surveillance, that will meet the 100/90 percent requirements.  In addition, the Department will have to confirm that it has the funding to begin implementing the plan.  When that notice is made, then an illegal immigrant who has fulfilled the other requirements becomes what the bureaucracy will refer to as an RPI — a Restricted Provisional Immigrant.

Trigger number two will come five years after Homeland Security’s notice of commencement.  If the Department has not met the 100/90 percent requirement by then, the border commission that was created in the original bill — made up of the governors and attorneys general of the four states bordering Mexico — will no longer be simply an advisory panel but will become a policy-making panel, charged with creating and implementing a border security plan that must meet the 100/90 percent requirement.  The commission will have five more years to get the job done. How a commission of governors and state officials can be given the authority that constitutionally belongs to the Congress and the executive branch is not entirely clear, but that is what the bill will call for.

Once the 100/90 percent requirement is met, however it is done, then the Restricted Provisional Immigrants will be within sight, although a long sight, of a path to citizenship.  The Gang plan calls for RPI status to last six years.  After those six years, the RPI must re-apply for the same status, for an additional four years.  To have his RPI status renewed, he must pay an application fee and an additional fine, on top of the one he paid six years earlier when he first became an RPI.  He cannot have been convicted of any crime during those six years, or he will no longer be ineligible.  And he will have to prove that he has been gainfully employed during those six years, earning at least 125 percent of the federal poverty level.  (The figure will be higher for RPI’s with families to support.)

After an initial six-year term, and then four more years, the immigrant will have been in RPI status for ten years.  That is when the final trigger comes in. After that decade-long period, the Gang plan will say, if E-Verify has been fully implemented, and if an entry-exit system has been fully implemented, and if the border security plan has been implemented, then the RPI will be eligible to apply — not receive, but just to apply — for a green card.  The immigrant won’t be required to do so; he can remain an RPI for as long as he likes at that point.  But if he does apply for a green card, then he will face another multi-year wait for eventual citizenship.  The Gang stresses that green cards will be given out on a staggered basis, not all at one time, so no more than, say, two million immigrants will receive them in any single year.  (That number is still under negotiation.)  If any key part of the security requirements remain undone, the Gang says, then there will be no green cards.

In all, Gang members estimate the entire process, from illegal immigrant to citizen, could take at least 18, and as many as 22, years.  At the same time, the Gang hopes to have wiped out the backlog of people waiting to enter the United States legally.  Gang members want the RPI process to be slow in part to make sure that anyone who applied legally to enter the U.S. at roughly the same time as the new reform went into effect would be virtually guaranteed of receiving a green card before anyone who came here illegally.

During the long waiting period, the Gang stresses, the RPI will receive no need-based federal benefits, and specifically, no Obamacare coverage.  Since Congress specifically made Obamacare available to anyone who is in the country legally — not just citizens — the Gang believes it must repeal that portion of the Affordable Care Act in order to exempt newly-legalized immigrants with RPI status.  To do otherwise — to make the formerly illegal immigrants eligible for Obamacare — would bust the federal budget, the Gang says.

As complicated as all that is, there is still much, much more to the Gang proposal; immigration reform is an enormously complex subject.  But Gang members will argue that something has to be done, given the fact that so many illegal immigrants are already in the country.  The Gang’s goal was to come up with a plan that deals with those illegal immigrants while not encouraging further immigration or punishing those who are trying to come here legally.

Even if lawmakers agreed with the proposals, or amended them to their liking, there will remain the fundamental, unavoidable question of whether the Obama administration, or the next presidential administration, will enforce the law.  Gang members will try to convince skeptics that the provisions are iron-clad.  The skeptics will likely remain skeptical.  And that’s before considering the onslaught of lawsuits that pro-immigration activist groups will file to try to undo key provisions of the law.

But GOP gang members will have one final argument, one they will most likely use privately with fellow Republicans.  If the Gang plan goes down in defeat, the argument goes, Barack Obama will be a lame-duck president who has promised key Democratic constituencies that he will take action on immigration reform.  He has already used his executive power to unilaterally enact a version of the Dream Act.  If Congress denies him immigration reform, according to the argument, he will essentially do for the entire illegal immigrant population what the Dream Act did for young illegal immigrants: legalize them by declining to enforce current law.  With the stroke of Obama’s pen, millions of illegal immigrants will become legal.

And it could all happen, the Gang members will argue, without any of the strict enforcement measures — E-Verify, entry-exit, border security and more — that are in the Gang bill.  And Obama’s unilateral legalization would be virtually impossible for a future president, Republican or Democrat, to reverse.

In other words, after all the provisions and requirements and triggers, the ultimate Gang argument to conservatives and Republicans will be: Pass our bill, or face utter disaster.

The debate begins this week.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/a-look-deep-inside-the-gang-of-eight-bill-and-how-theyll-sell-immigration-reform-to-conservatives/article/2527162
3700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Marco Rubio! on: April 15, 2013, 09:48:31 AM
Marco Rubio has put his future on the line with the immigration bill deal.  The debate and amendment process is next, so the details discussed are not necessarily the final details.

"Rubio’s television appearances Sunday mean he is in for the long haul. But Rubio hasn’t committed to voting with the Gang of Eight on every amendment that comes to the floor, underscoring the narrow line he will likely walk throughout the legislative process. Rubio said Sunday he would stand against poison pill amendments but would also walk away if the final bill violated his principles."
...

Rubio also used his Sunday media blitz to hone a conservative message for a party rebranding itself. “We are the party of upward mobility; we are not the party of the people who have made it,” he told “Meet the Press.” The GOP is the party “of people who are trying to make it.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/04/15/with_immigration_push_rubio_puts_a_lot_on_the_line-2.html#ixzz2QXjKSrmF

Conservatives pundits are already fuming at the stupidity: 
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/rubio-embraces-schumers-non-sequitur-or-is-it-the-other-way-around.php
Pages: 1 ... 72 73 [74] 75 76 ... 161
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!