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3651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues - NY Times: Leftist Takeover, Now They Tell Us! on: March 04, 2012, 10:53:50 AM
John Hinderacker at Powerline has been a consistent media critic of this publication with no quest for truth of its own.  http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/03/now-they-tell-us.php

A reader writes:

    From today’s New York Times:

        During the McGovern-Mondale era, the Democrats were exactly where the Republicans are now: the party had been taken over by its most extreme liberal faction, and it had lost touch with the core concerns of the middle class….Those terrible losses in 1972 and, especially, in 1984 were the Democrats’ shock therapy.

        What happened in the interim? In effect, moderate Democrats wrested the party back from its most liberal wing….“We had become a party that had stopped worrying about people who were working and only focused on people who weren’t working,” [Al] From told me. “The party didn’t understand how big a concern crime was. It had stopped talking about opportunity and growth.”

Just for fun, I looked up the Times editorials in 1972 and 1984 in which the paper endorsed George McGovern and Walter Mondale, respectively. Needless to say, those editorials contain no trace of any acknowledgement that the Democrats were in the grip of the party’s far-left wing, or that either candidate had “stopped talking about opportunity and growth,” had “lost touch with the core concerns of the middle class,” or was “focused on people who weren’t working.”

On the contrary. Here is what the Times had to say about McGovern back in 1972:

    The New York Times urges the election of George McGovern for President of the United States. We believe that Senator McGovern’s approach to public questions, his humanitarian philosophy and humane scale of values, his courage and forthrightness can offer a new kind of leadership in American political life. …

    A McGovern administration, the Times believes, would reverse the unmistakable drift in Washington away from government of, by and for the people. …

    On virtually every major issue from the war to taxes, from education to environment, from civil liberties to national defense, Mr. McGovern…seems to us to be moving with the right priorities, with faith in the common man, and within the democratic framework.

Which is to say that McGovern was just about as left-wing as the Times editorial board. This is what the Times had to say about Walter Mondale when it endorsed him in 1984:

    [Mondale's] election would mean franker, fairer decisions on the hard economic choices that the President has concealed during the campaign. Mr. Mondale would offer an enlightened and humane conception of what Government should, and should not, do. Most of all, he would bring to the White House the will to control nuclear weapons. …

    Walter Mondale believes in a sturdy defense. He also stands in the middle of the bipartisan community that long ago learned to abandon the fruitless quest for nuclear superiority. In this election, he represents all those Republicans and Democrats determined to tame the nuclear threat.

    Lawyer Mondale offers pragmatic skill at making the best of reality. … Walter Mondale has all the dramatic flair of a trigonometry teacher. His Nordic upbringing makes it hard for him to brag. The first debate may have been the high point of his political personality. But there’s power in his plainness.

    Precisely by not dramatizing issues, he has consistently produced consensus and agreement, as a Senator and as Jimmy Carter’s Vice President.

In the Times’s view at the time, Mondale was trudging stolidly down the middle of the road. Meanwhile, it is interesting to see that the paper’s current obsessions were just as prominent 28 years ago:

    Who is likely to do better in arms negotiations in the next term, Walter Mondale or the President who tickles the religious right by reviling the Soviet Union as an Evil Empire?

    To Henry Steele Commager, the historian, the 1983 speech in which Mr. Reagan described the Russians in that way was “the worst Presidential speech in American history, and I’ve read them all” – not because it was undiplomatic but because “No other Presidential speech has ever so flagrantly allied the government with religion. There was a gross appeal to religious prejudice.”

Religious prejudice? What a bizarre way of looking at the Cold War! Of course, it goes without saying that the Times failed either to foresee or to wish for the downfall of the Evil Empire.

One final digression before returning to the main point: the 1984 edition of the Times should be applauded for its concern about deficit spending:

    Unless most economists are crazy, the country can’t keep borrowing $200 billion a year.

Give the paper its due; it was right. Deficit spending of $200 billion a year couldn’t continue. The Democrats had to increase the deficit to over $1 trillion to cover their extravagant spending habit.

The Times, of course, has no credibility at all, but it is nice to see that after more than a quarter century, it is willing to publish a column by its own reporter that admits the truth about the inept candidates that it backed out of partisan fervor and ideological extremism.
3652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: R.I.P. Andrew Breitbart on: March 04, 2012, 10:45:48 AM
Lesson from Breitbart is that the media is the problem.  This site (dog brothers public forum) is a perfect example of what he was also trying to do - reach through all the information out there and try to get at the truth.

A big part of what they did at Drudge was release stories that the big media had on their desk but weren't releasing.  Interesting that besides being part of the genius behind the Drudge Report, Breitbart also helped found the Huffington Post.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/03/01/huffington-drudge-and-beck-on-andrew-breitbarts-death/
3653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Uninsured of Health Care on: March 04, 2012, 10:35:08 AM
"The number of chronically uninsured people who would prefer to have insurance but can’t afford it is likely 10-12 million people"

Yes, out of 310 million people.  Other proposals on the table as alternatives to Obamacare including end of pre-existing conditions clauses, tort reform and allowing cross state line competition would have shrunk the 10 million figure significantly.

'Can't afford it' is a function of two variables: income and cost of health care.  One party's policies have the effect of lowering national income or at least stopping its growth, while implementing hundreds and huindreds of programs that drive up the cost of health care.  The other party is struggling within itself to decide how large the (negative0 role of government should be.
3654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Britain - Highest marginal rate up, Revenues decreased. Who knew? on: February 25, 2012, 07:02:13 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577239120562365932.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

    FEBRUARY 23, 2012

David Cameron's Tax Lesson
A 50% tax rate yields less revenue than advertised.

Speaking of higher taxes (and President Obama always does), there's news from once fair Britannia.

Preliminary figures out this week show that Britain's 50% top marginal income-tax rate may have reduced tax revenue from top earners by as much as 5%, compared to the old 40% top rate (That's a 25% increase!). Tax revenue from those filing self-assessments due January 31 was down some Ł500 million
3655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 01:10:39 PM
You did not educate me.  Put the insults in a private message so that I can not read them over there.
3656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 12:43:45 PM
"But let's move on."

I was right about wasting my time.  I don't come here for escalating insults.
3657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Forrest Gump of Energy Economics (Stupid is as stupid does) WSJ on: February 24, 2012, 10:08:04 AM
Caught between Glibness and Energy, I put one article at each location.

'Stupid' and Oil Prices
Obama's Forrest Gump analysis of rising gas prices.

'The American people aren't stupid," thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let's hope he's right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell.

To wit, that a) gasoline prices are beyond his control, but b) to the extent oil and gas production is rising in America, his energy policies deserve all the credit, and c) higher prices are one more reason to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while handing even more subsidies to his friends in green energy. Where to begin?

It's true enough that oil prices can't be commanded from the Oval Office, so in that sense Mr. Obama's disavowal of blame is a rare show of humility in the face of market forces. Would that he showed similar modesty in trying to command the tides of home prices, car sales ("cash for clunkers"), or the production of electric batteries.

The oil price surge has several likely sources. One is the turmoil in the Middle East, especially new fears of a supply shock from a conflict with Iran. But it's worth recalling that Mr. Obama also blamed the last oil-price surge, in spring 2011, on the Libyan uprising. Moammar Gadhafi is now gone and Libyan oil production is coming back on stream, yet oil prices dipped only briefly below $90 a barrel and have been rising since October. Something else must be going on.

Mr. Obama yesterday blamed rising demand from the likes of Brazil and China, and there is something to that as well. But this energy demand is also not new, and if anything Chinese and Brazilian economic growth has been slowing in recent months.

Another suspect—one Mr. Obama doesn't like to mention—is U.S. monetary policy. Oil is traded in dollars, and its price therefore rises when the value of the dollar falls, all else being equal. The Federal Reserve throughout Mr. Obama's term has pursued the easiest monetary policy in modern times, expressly to revive the housing market. It has done so with the private support and urging of the White House and through Mr. Obama's appointees who are now a majority on the Fed's Board of Governors.

Enlarge Image
1oilprices
1oilprices
Associated Press

Oil staged its last price surge along with other commodity prices when the Fed revved up its second burst of "quantitative easing" in 2010-2011. Prices stabilized when QE2 ended. But in recent months the Fed has again signaled its commitment to near-zero interest rates first through 2013, and recently through 2014. Commodity prices, including oil, have since begun another surge, and hedge funds have begun to bet on commodity plays again. John Paulson says he's betting on gold, the ultimate hedge against a falling dollar.

Fed officials and Mr. Obama want to take credit for easy money if stock-market and housing prices rise, but then deny any responsibility if commodity prices rise too, causing food and energy prices to soar for consumers. They can't have it both ways, as not-so-stupid Americans intuitively understand when they buy groceries or gas. This is the double-edged sword of an economic recovery "built to last" on easy money rather than on sound fiscal and regulatory policies.

As for domestic energy, Mr. Obama rightly points to the rising share of U.S. oil consumption now produced at home. But this trend began in the late Bush Administration, which opened up large new areas on and offshore for oil and gas drilling that are now coming on stream. Mr. Obama sneered at expanded drilling as a candidate in 2008 and for most of his term has done little to expand it.

In early 2010, he proposed to open some new areas to drilling but shut that down after the Gulf oil spill. According to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permits Index for January 31, over the previous three months the feds issued an average of three deep-water drilling permits a month compared to the historical average of seven. Over the same three months, the feds approved an average of 4.7 shallow-water permits a month, compared to the historical average of 14.7.

Approval of an offshore drilling plan now takes 92 days, 31 more than the historical average. And so far in 2012, an average of 23% of all drilling plans have been approved, compared to the average of 73.4%.

Oh, and don't forget the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have increased the delivery of oil from Canada and North Dakota's Bakken Shale to Gulf Coast refineries, replacing oil from Venezuela.

The reality is that most of the increase in U.S. oil and gas production has come despite the Obama Administration. It is flowing from the shale boom, which is the result of private technological advances and investment. Mr. Obama has seen the energy sun rise and is crowing like a rooster that he made it happen.

Mr. Obama yesterday also repeated his proposal that now is the time to raise taxes on oil and gas companies, as if doing so will make them more likely to drill. He must not believe the economic truism that when you tax something you get less of it, including fewer of the new jobs they've created.
***

We'd almost feel sorry for Mr. Obama's gas-price predicament if it weren't a case of rough justice. The President has deliberately sought to raise the price of energy throughout the economy via his cap-and-trade agenda. He is now getting his wish, albeit a little too overtly for political comfort. Mr. Obama has also spent three years blaming George W. Bush for every economic ill. If Mr. Obama now feels frustrated by economic events beyond his control, perhaps he should call Mr. Bush for consolation.

A version of this article appeared Feb. 24, 2012, on page A12 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: 'Stupid' and Oil Prices. (Subscribe at wsj.com)
3658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: He wanted gas prices higher...now up 83% on: February 24, 2012, 10:00:26 AM
Gas prices are the issue that won't go away in the election.  The only way they can go down is if the economy tanks bringing demand with it.  Keep in mind he also wanted electricity prices to rise substantially.  If he was running now as a first time candidate, it would be as a fringe candidate making Ron Paul look centrist.

Walter Russell Mead has it about right:  "If you are a politician who wants to raise the price of gas, you have two choices in America: you can persuade the military leadership to install you in office through a coup d’etat, or you can lie to the voters and pursue your agenda on the sly."

(Now he is taking credit for the North Dakota boom which happened only because it is not federal land that he controls.)

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/02/23/rising-gas-prices-all-part-of-obamas-plan/

February 23, 2012
Rising Gas Prices: All Part of Obama’s Plan?

Politico is shedding some light on a three year-old sound bite that continues to haunt the Obama Administration: Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s comments that American gas prices should be as high as Europe’s:

    “Somehow,” Chu said, “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”

Unsurprisingly, Republicans have latched on to these comments as evidence that the Obama Administration is out of touch with regular Americans and harbors an agenda favoring green special interests over the needs of American businesses. With gas prices rising to the point where they threaten the already-fragile economic recovery, this figures to be a potent weapon against the president in the upcoming election.

While this position may be slightly unfair to the President (Mr. Chu was not yet in the Administration at the time he made the remarks, so any link between it and administration policy is tenuous), the quote devastatingly reveals just how tone-deaf and myopic white-collar, progressive intellectualism can be. The delusion that jacking up energy prices is part of a “good government” agenda is one of the pieces of insanity that keeps the blue intelligentsia from consolidating its position as a natural governing class.

More surprising here is that Politico is jumping on the bandwagon—although it notes that Chu’s remarks have been detrimental to Obama, the piece laments that the goal of raising gas prices doesn’t get the sympathetic attention it obviously deserves, given the support of numerous “experts.” With thinking like this dominating media and intellectual circles, it’s little wonder that the mainstream media is perceived as elitist and out of touch.

What most Americans mean by energy policy is this: government policies that aim to make energy as abundant and cheap as possible, given some very basic environmental concerns (no oil on the beach). No other approach can get you elected.

For Politico, the reason more politicians don’t discuss these ideas more favorably is that they have something called a ‘survival instinct’. Politicians who boast about their successful initiatives to raise the price of gasoline don’t last.  If you are a politician who wants to raise the price of gas, you have two choices in America: you can persuade the military leadership to install you in office through a coup d’etat, or you can lie to the voters and pursue your agenda on the sly.

A number of Democrats seem to have chosen the second option. The significance of the Chu sound bite is that some voters think President Obama has a stealth energy agenda, and rising gas prices tend to strengthen that perception.

3659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 09:33:04 AM
I don't find that pointing out elephants in a room productive on a 4th try to someone who denies seeing them on the first 3.

A home INVASION with a criminal in a home is not like losing a couple of 20s in the wash.  Yes, if you don't see that you are simply wrong and I should stop there.  A known criminal of unknown limits and capacities and presumed dangerous was in the home where you secure your family even if you are a family of one.  You really need that explained further?

Shooting at the ground is not using lethal force, shooting in the head or chest is.  It was to scare someone who has no qualms about scaring others.  Actually kind of funny that the guy with nerves of steel to do that in the first place got scared and ran. If just the fact that it is a gun makes it lethal, then backing your car out of the garage while your neighbor is outdoors is the use of lethal force also.  The car is also a lethal weapon.  Would you like case law cited on that?

I see this from the point of view as a father homeowner whose daughter could have been home, wishing I could explain to you as a husband whose wife could have been home.  I don't believe that wouldn't bother you, like I said, just wasting my time. To the neighbor it is empathy for that situation and desire to not have it next at his house.

In this TYPE of break-in, how did he (the burglar) know for sure she (a hypothetical wife or daughter or whoever that someone might want to protect) wasn't home.  He didn't.  He was still willing to enter not knowing no one was home for sure.  How did we know AS IT HAPPENED he was unarmed.  We didn't.  Do we know on sight of him if he not is also a rapist and a murderer?  No, we don't.  But we KNOW he is a CRIMINAL IN OUR HOME and those are other things criminals in homes do.  If he is so comfortable entering, got away with it and  knows his way around now and knows what else to take next time, why wouldn't he come back?  He probably would.  You say insurable loss? FYI if you didn't know, they steal the insured stuff and then they come back to get the new stuff that the insurance company buys to replace it. Have you ever had your home invaded?  Would he the criminal kill her with his bare hands or other implement within reach next time if she was home and startled him?  Yes, it's possible. Should she worry about that every moment she is home and thinks about it?  Yes, that would be a perfectly normal reaction. Keyword TERROR. Will she be home next time?  Yeah, maybe.  Will she now live in fear? Yes, that would make sense.  Or have to sell, move and leave her home to try to escape that fear.  Should the neighbor rationally believe that his home and his family is next if the guy gets away with this one so close and within sight of his home without incident?  Yes.

Was he right to discharge his firearm safely, but illegally?  That depends on his judgment of the likelihood of prosecution and size and scope of the expected penalty as opposed to the cost of doing nothing when you could have scared off that intruder forever. 

Do I believe that you, a double major college graduate, really don't get that a home invasion is an INVASION, and is not equivalent to losing a couple of 20s in the wash? Just an insurable loss? No. I don't.

But we have been through this before.
3660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 24, 2012, 12:01:30 AM
Reminds of when you thought the French supermarket wasn't vandalized.  A waste of my time. Let's not answer each other's posts.
3661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 23, 2012, 07:14:34 PM
"Home burglary, someone invading your home and your privacy, even when no one is home, while of course terrible, is not, by definition, a violent crime."

If your wife walks out of the bathroom to discover the 'unarmed' (how do we know that at the time) burglar who only wants the necklace, not to rape, torture and kill her (how do we know that at the time), then has she only lost a necklace, or some CDs?  No!  She has lost perhaps forever the feeling of safety and security that she once had in the privacy of her own home.

I honestly don't know what you don't get about that unless you and your wife have no capacity for fear or a personal feeling of violation.

Yes, he 'should have' called the police instead.  The odds that the police would apprehend him if the call is made as the man is leaving: near zero.

The odds that he will return to that home or that neighborhood if the job was successful: extremely high.

The odds that he will return after thinking he was shot at while escaping: zero.

Seems to me the shot fired harmlessly will cause him extreme fear that he deserves to feel and cause him to not return, which is protecting the neighbor's home too.  A firecracker might have served the same purpose; he just didn't have one handy and also no doubt illegal.

Of course we don't want to encourage people to take the law into their own hands or to discharge weapons in residential areas for no good reason, but in this case a pretty good result came out of it -  at least until they sue or prosecute or the wrong guy. (IMHO)
3662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: February 23, 2012, 06:52:20 PM
http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=15915

2nd try. If this works I will fix the original. 

Also found it on Youtube at lower resolution:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndtDZKNBz0g
3663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs - explained by Judge Judy on: February 23, 2012, 04:16:55 PM
7 minutes of Judge Judy (no commercials) allegedly pulled by CBS off of Youtube:

http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=15915

Judge Judy: "That is what we are creating." "Him." "I'm sending this tape to congress."

Besides taxpayers paying his rent, he is getting $88,000 to learn to play guitar?

More than half of US households receive government check.

Watch until the end; the plot turns quickly.

Welcome to my world.
3664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Ron Paul on: February 23, 2012, 03:21:06 PM
"RP is now #2 in delegates?"

Bringing the bulk of those supporters to support the eventual nominee will be quite a challenge; some will never do it.  I don't know if Ron Paul has endorsed any Republican candidates for the general election since Reagan.

RP is only growing stronger in his (anti-) foreign policy views. He talks about the number of US bases surrounding Iran, implying that their claim of needing the weapons for defense is real and saying that it is ridiculous for us to fear Iran having a few nukes.  The Soviets had 30,000 of them - no problem (except that we were about one election from having to all learn Russian.)  Paul is much more open to compromise on taxes and spending than foreign affairs.

Funny point in the debate transcript, the moderator asked the other 3 their view on Syria, then said (something like): moving on... Rep. Paul said - um, excuse me?  Moderator says 'okay, quickly'.  Paul said: I'll be quick - with a one minute response.  Perhaps the first time the moderator ever agreed with the rest of us: RP, we already know, without asking, your view on intervention in Syria. 
3665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Romney Tax Plan on: February 23, 2012, 02:44:12 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203918304577239092290860440.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Romney's Tax Reboot
His 20% marginal rate cut changes the tax reform debate.

One oddity of this Republican Presidential primary season is that front-runner Mitt Romney has had by far the least inspiring tax plan. That changed yesterday when the former Massachusetts Governor took a dive into the deep end of the tax reform debate with a proposal that includes a 20% across-the-board cut in income tax rates. Now we're getting somewhere.

The rate cut follows the Reagan formula of applying to anyone who pays income taxes. The current 35% tax rate (set to rise to 41% in 2013 including deduction and exemption phase-outs) would fall to 28%, the 33% rate to 26.4%, the 28% rate to 22.4%, the 25% rate to 20%, the 15% rate to 12%, and the 10% rate to 8%.
***

As an economic matter, this is the most effective kind of tax cut because it applies at the margin, meaning the next dollar of income earned. A mountain of economic research shows that a marginal-rate cut does far more than tax holidays or targeted tax credits to change the incentives to invest and hire workers, and thus provides the most economic lift.

The proposal from Mitt Romney, above, provides a tax contrast with Rick Santorum.

This is especially true because the vast majority of businesses in America today aren't corporations. They're sole proprietorships, partnerships or Subchapter S firms whose profits are "passed through," as the jargon goes, to the owners and are taxed at the individual rate. These noncorporate firms account for over half of all business income, according to IRS data. By lowering their taxes and making the rates permanent, Mr. Romney's plan would do much to make the U.S. more job and investment friendly.

By contrast, President Obama's proposal yesterday (see below) to cut the corporate rate to 28% from 35% wouldn't apply to this "pass-through" business income. It would thus favor big corporations at the expense of smaller businesses that file as individuals and would see their marginal rate rise to 41% or more under Mr. Obama's plan to raise individual tax rates.

Mr. Romney has already proposed a cut in the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%, and by adding the cut in the business pass-through rate to 28% he is proposing the more ambitious and far more economically potent reform.

The Obama campaign will attack his plan as favoring the rich, but it would do so even if Mr. Romney proposed no tax cut. Now Mr. Romney will have a better response because in return for cutting rates he says he would also close loopholes and deductions that have become shelters from high tax rates.

Mr. Romney made the mistake yesterday of distinguishing between deductions for "middle-income families," which he said would be preserved, and for the "top 1%," which he said would be on the table. This sounds like a pollster's bad advice. It merely plays into Mr. Obama's class-war theme when Mr. Romney should be stressing growth. But at least Mr. Romney says all deductions would be on the reform table, including those for mortgage interest, state and local taxes and health care.

The Romney campaign is also shrewd to say it will assume some dynamic revenue feedback from his marginal-rate cuts. This does not mean that the tax cuts will entirely "pay for themselves" right away. It does mean that it can safely assume that his proposal would recapture about one-third of the revenue loss from the rate reductions through more investment and economic growth.

That's a defensible and conservative estimate based on historical experience with rate reductions. Tax revenues soared after the Reagan 1981 tax cuts (the Gipper cut rates across the board by 25%) and the Bush 2003 rate reductions. The 2003 investment tax cut was expected to lose revenue, but the gain in jobs and business activity produced $786 billion more in revenue from 2003-2007.
Related Video

Editorial board member Steve Moore breaks down Mitt Romney's and President Obama's tax plans.

Economists Greg Mankiw and Glenn Hubbard, who are both advising Mr. Romney, have done studies documenting the feedback effects of marginal-rate tax cuts. So has Harvard's Martin Feldstein, among others.

All of this should also help Mr. Romney politically, if he makes the case well and with confidence. Conservative voters who have wondered if he is one of them can now see a tangible proposal that will be a governing priority, not merely a pledge to fight for reform some day. It gives him something to fight for beyond his business biography.

The Romney proposal will also provide a tax contrast with Rick Santorum. The Pennsylvania Senator favors a top tax rate of 28% but he also wants to triple the child tax credit to $3,000. He'd have a hard time credibly doing both without blowing up the budget because the tax credit has almost no revenue feedback effect. It's a social gesture with little or no impact on economic growth.

Meanwhile, on corporate taxes, Mr. Romney's tax cut applies to all companies equally. Mr. Santorum would cut the rate in half for most companies, except manufacturers would pay 0%. This is a form of industrial policy that would have every company lobbying to qualify as a manufacturer and would defeat the tax neutrality that is a main goal of tax reform.
***

Now that he has the right policy, Mr. Romney's main challenge will be selling it without apology. He has resisted tax cuts for individuals lest he be criticized for helping the rich, and he sometimes sounds guilty about his own wealth. But voters will sense if Mr. Romney doesn't believe what he says or if he shrinks from making a forthright case for it.

The only way to defeat Mr. Obama's politics of envy is with the politics of growth and rising opportunity. Voters don't really care about a candidate's wealth as long as they conclude he has a plan to increase theirs.
3666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 23, 2012, 12:03:47 PM
JDN, Entering one's home when you are home or not home has a TERROR affect on the family and the neighborhood; that is not just a property crime and that is MY opinion, not the law.  Almost grazing their cheek with a bullet if you have that ability does no harm either by your standard if you think the only damage of forcible entry with a stranger in a family home is the loss of CDs.  I was clear BTW about not advocating breaking the law so don't take my comment out of its context.  Thank you.

You wrote yourself: "This is not a good case for the DA."

Why not?  Because he didn't do anything wrong.
3667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: February 23, 2012, 11:38:00 AM
Good constitutional discussion over on gay issues thread.  This part in particular by bigdog is noteworthy.

"I think "the people" do have a say.  First, they elect (sort of, at least ) the president who nominates.  Second, they elect the senators who confirm.  Third, they have the ability, especially through interest groups or other bodies, to file amicus briefs with the Court.  Fourth, federal judges are appointed for life... with good behavior.  There is an impeachment mechanism in place, if "the people" were willing to push it.  Fifth, as noted elsewhere, Congress can change (appellate) jurisdiction.  The people could push for that."

When I read the quote of Justice Ginsburg preferring the South African constitution to ours, it made me think of impeachment.  Not for her own freedom of speech but if any of her Court opinions were derived from some standard other than the U.S. constitution.

Our ongoing criticisms and second guessing of court decisions as I see it is our way of staying active and informed.  The say that the people have on the court through the selection process has been my first answer to anyone who says there is no difference between the parties or the candidates.  There is quite a difference it seems to me between the appointees of Bush versus Obama even though Justices often surprise or disappoint.

I remember that a major, public, conservative uproar brought down the Harriet Miers appointment of Pres. Bush.  There was a smaller conservative protest to Pres. Reagan's selection of Arizona moderate Sandra Day O'Connor that perhaps should have been heeded.
3668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: February 23, 2012, 10:45:09 AM
I am not advocating anyone break the law, just enjoying the freedom of this venue to disagree with laws and try to distinguish between right or wrong.

I couldn't disagree more strongly with the idea presented that a home invasion, a stranger with known criminal capacity forcibly or wrongfully entering the structure you bought or built to separate yourself and your family from such strangers, is only an insurable property crime??  To me, that is very wrong.  By entering, they put your irreplaceables into an unacceptable risk of danger, IMHO. 

My thought is that if a person willing to threaten or scare a family to that extreme extent received a shot from a neighbor that hit only his earring, that would also only be an insurable property crime. 

Who is the victim of the shot into the ground?
3669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Text of GOP debate Mesa Arizona, 2/23/2012 on: February 23, 2012, 10:18:02 AM
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/transcript-tonights-cnn-republican-debate-arizona_631777.html

I read the transcript this morning, did not see the debate.  In general I would say each got to clarify his positions somewhat and no new ground was really broken.  All 4 seem a little more cautious about practicing scorched earth politics as they each now trail the failed President in the polls.  All 3 (except Ron Paul) seem to be in pretty close agreement over foreign policy.

The earmark discussion was interesting.  When funds are not earmarked by congress all goes to the executive branch.  The real question was how all these things get lumped on to other bills and how the line item veto that would solve this was struck down by the court.
----
Adding a comment, Santorum's defense of endorsing Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey was that Specter was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and promised Santorum he would move the President's conservative Supreme Court picks through a 51-49 senate where the 51 included some very Democrat-like moderates.

Romney answered one charge against Romneycare from Santorum, that Santrum had endorsed him as a good conservative in 2008 - well after Romneycare.
3670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 22, 2012, 12:14:23 PM
The readings referred by bigdog regarding the Disabilities Act remind of why it is much better top make private and charitable accommodations than to attempt to solve individual problems through an act of congress.  One example, the court became the governing body of the PGA Tour.  Even in professional sports they are no longer free to make and enforce their own rules.
3671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Santorum on: February 22, 2012, 11:34:48 AM
I think Morris has it about right on Santorum.  He is a fine man and a good conservative, but not good enough to bet the whole election on.  He has not been strategic in terms of setting up to win a general election and he comes into this without executive experience.

He is getting his flash of flame later because he didn't stand out earlier.

He is no further right than Obama is to the left and his social stands are not as extreme as the shocked CBS hosts and NY Times columnists might want to think.  If he is the candidate, they will have already beat the social issues to death on him and the focus will come back to the economy and foreign policy. 

Sen. Santorum has more foreign policy experience than most.  On economic issues, I would have rather have a different PA Senator - Pat Toomey.
3672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 21, 2012, 06:45:43 PM
BD, Thank you. I will read.

To JDN:  We all may be pursuing happiness but we all might face limits on our choices.  Your circumstances coincided with a definition of marriage, but individuals do not always either fall in love or marry get the person of your choice, only of mutual choice.  Without the other person's consent and all other conditions required, the opportunity in law is simply not available, hetero or gay.   A single person perhaps would confide their innermost thoughts to a closest sibling, but never will be granted spousal privilege for that relationship, no matter how close, and no matter the outcome of the gay marriage question.  Yes, we discriminate. I don't know how to explain any further or better that marriage laws still discriminate even if you add same gender relationships to it.  The choices we make in policy that affect different people differently.  Ending the special, government recognition of marriage has drawbacks too.

"...gender should b equal. No more but no less. R u implying gender equality is bad?"

One meaning of "equal" is "same".  Do I think both genders (are there only two?) are the same and we should ban all distinctions?  ... No!  How can you ever put woman and children first if all are defined as equal, same, comparable, identical, indistinguishable, matched, matching, one and the same, uniform, unvarying. *

You really don't get it that I (like Obama) think marriage involves a husband and wife (extremely gender specific distinctions terms) and that all kids in a perfect world deserve a shot at a mom and a dad (gender specific, even if some of them are lousy), married and in love with each other all under one roof.

The only good I can see coming out of a gender neutral society is that maybe we could have saved 163 million baby girls from gender selection killings in Asia.

Is there no situation where you would protect women and children first?  
-----------------------------------
* equal  from thesaurus.com
Definition:    alike
Synonyms:    according, balanced, break even, commensurate, comparable, coordinate, correspondent, corresponding, double, duplicate, egalitarian, equivalent, evenly matched, fifty-fifty, homologous, identic, identical, indistinguishable, invariable, level, look-alike, matched, matching, one and the same, parallel, proportionate, same, same difference, spit and image, stack up with, tantamount, to the same degree, two peas in pod, uniform, unvarying
Antonyms:    different, not alike, unequal, unlike, unmatched, variable, varying
----------------------------------
CCP:  Yes, there is FAR more to the activist agenda than the private pursuit of happiness.
3673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Liberal fascism and Cronyism: all one and the same over at Democrats Inc. on: February 21, 2012, 03:02:27 PM
Occupy?? Ha!

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-democrats-inc_629969.html?page=1

Democrats, Inc.
Feb 17, 2012 • By JAY COST

Two news stories from this week underscored the most important development in Democratic party politics in the last thirty years. First, from the Washington Free Beacon:

    Politico Influence reports that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and minority whip Steny Hoyer raised $400,000 last night at a fundraiser held at the home of Democratic lobbyists Heather and Tony Podesta. Heather Podesta runs the firm Heather Podesta and Partners.

    Heather Podesta’s clients include liberal bogeymen such as the for-profit education industry and Brookfield Asset Management, the real-estate company that owns Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan and which ultimately gave the NYPD the green light to evict the Occupy Wall Street movement from its grounds in November 2011. Pelosi is a vocal supporter of the occupiers, having once said, “God bless them.”

Second, from Bloomberg:

    President Barack Obama returns to New York on March 1 for his first campaign fundraiser with investment bankers and hedge fund managers since asking Congress in his 2013 budget to increase taxes on the wealthy.

    The president’s hosts include Ralph Schlosstein, chief executive officer at Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR), and his wife, Jane Hartley, co-founder of the economic and political advisory firm Observatory Group LLC, who were assured last week by Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, that the president won’t demonize Wall Streetin his re-election pursuit.

    The $35,800-per-person dinner at ABC Kitchen, the first of the evening’s four fundraising events, is being hosted by many of Obama’s top Wall Street donors, according to a person familiar with the matter. Sponsors include Blair W. Effron, partner and co-founder of Centerview Partners LLP; Marc Lasry, managing partner and founder of Avenue Capital Group; Mark Gallogly, a managing principal of Centerbridge Partners; James Rubin, managing director of BC Partners; Robert Wolf, UBS AG’s chairman for the Americas; and Antonio Weiss, global head of investment banking at Lazard Ltd.

The Democratic party used to be the party opposed to big business. Andrew Jackson was reviled by business elites, and William Jennings Bryan scared the living daylights out of them. Neither of those men would be caught dead asking for money from such lobbyists and bankers, who would never give them a dime, anyway!

But that is obviously no longer true. What we have instead is a party whose leaders simultaneously press the case for “fairness” while giving unfair access to wealthy donors such as these. And that has basically been the way of the world for the last 30 years; since the mid-1980s, the Democrats in Congress have usually matched or exceeded the GOP in terms of contributions from business and professional PACs.

Why has this happened? It has to do with the two sided nature of the modern Democratic party. On the one hand, the party promotes progressivism as its public-spirited governing philosophy. This is the ideology that animates the pages of The New Republic, The Nation, and well-intentioned liberals everywhere: The idea that a powerful central government can bring about social justice and true equality. But there is another side of the coin, less commented upon and much less noble: The Democratic party is also a massive patronage operation that uses the vast regulatory and redistributive powers of the federal government to attract and maintain political clients, whose loyalty stems not simply from the party’s public-spirited philosophy but also the special benefits they enjoy for being coalition members.

This is why politicians in the liberal party do so many illiberal things. Railing against “millionaires and billionaires” on one day then ponying up to them, hat in hand, on the other is one such example. Another is preening about the undue influence of the pharmaceutical industry during the 2008 campaign, and then giving them a sweetheart deal in Obamacare.

And let’s be clear, those “millionaires and billionaires” are getting something for their campaign contributions. Consider, for instance, this great article by Peter Schweizer in Reason about Warren Buffett. He’s now the Democratic party’s number one talking point in pushing for equality. It isn’t fair that he gets taxed at such a lower rate than his secretary. He doesn’t need the money! But Schweizer demonstrates that Buffett has in fact made a killing off his access to the higher-ups in the Democratic party. A modest increase in his tax rate is a small price to pay for the ability to influence public policy.

And he is no exception. As Charles Gasparino argues about the Dodd-Frank regulations:

    The trade-off for all this regulation is government protection, which is what makes the crony capitalism of the modern banking business really work . . . mplicit in just about every facet of the bill was that “too big to fail”—the notion that Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are so large and intertwined in the global economy that they need to be monitored and propped up no matter how much money they lose—was here to stay.

This signals the core problem of the Democratic party: It has become the opposite of what its founders intended it to be, and indeed opposite of what it claims to be today. The party presents itself as the party of the people against the powerful, of political and economic equality for all, of true social justice. But the reality is that the party now offers special benefits, sometimes amounting to billions of taxpayer dollars, for those who contribute to its political success.

Last week I compared the modern party to Tammany Hall, and its coziness with Wall Street is probably the most striking example of the parallel between the two. Tammany didn't win elections merely through the support of the Irish, but also by keeping its financial sponsors on Wall Street happy. So, year after year, Tammany pols would enorse the Democratic party platform, which inevitably railed against the GOP's coziness with special interests, while they themselves were cozy with those very same interests. That is the modern Democratic party in a nutshell.
3674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Schieffer to Santorum:I had hoped to ask you some questions about the economy... on: February 21, 2012, 02:46:42 PM
Along the same lines as the previous piece, John Hinderacker has an anti-Santorum post at Powerline criticising not his answers, but the questions that Santorum draws.  We don't come together over the budget, entitlements, debt or limited government by talking right now about abortion, gay marriage, contraception etc.

He has some answers skipped because the point he is making is the questions that he draws.  In this case he is blaming the candidate, not the CBS liberal host. The ending is priceless: "I had hoped to ask you about some questions about the economy. But, frankly, you made so much news yesterday, out there on the campaign trail, I felt compelled to ask you about that."
-------------------

Posted on February 19, 2012 by John Hinderaker in GOP Presidential Race 2012
Are There Republicans Who Think This Is a Good Idea? Seriously?

Rick Santorum is a bright, well-intentioned guy. But the idea that he is the strongest candidate the Republicans can nominate for the presidency strikes me, with all due respect, as ludicrous. Put aside the fact that Santorum lost his last race by 18 points in his home state of Pennsylvania: not exactly an auspicious way to kick off a presidential campaign. Rather, consider that Santorum has always been most passionate about the social issues. Is that really what the GOP wants to talk to voters about in 2012, when the country–the Brokest Nation In History, as Mark Steyn puts it–is $15 trillion in debt; when the Obama administration has driven our economy into the most prolonged funk since the Great Depression; and when Barack Obama has instituted the most corrupt system of cronyism in American history? Seriously?

The fate of a Santorum candidacy was foreshadowed this morning in Santorum’s appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. Follow the link to read the entire, sad transcript. Here are the questions that Bob Schieffer asked Santorum, verbatim:

    You are the leader in the polls this morning. And I have to say you were very busy yesterday. The Associated Press led its story of your appearance in Columbus, Ohio, by saying, quote, “Rick Santorum questioned Barack Obama’s Christian values.” That was after you lashed out at the President’s proposal on energy of all things when you said this.

    RICK SANTORUM (Republican Presidential Candidate/Former Pennsylvania Senator): It’s not about you. It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs.

    MAN: Right.

    RICK SANTORUM: It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.

    (Crowd applauding)

    BOB SCHIEFFER: So, Senator, I’ve got to ask you. What– what in the world were you talking about, Sir?

    ***

    BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, how does that translate into some sort of theology that the President’s theology is not based on the Bible. I mean that suggests that he’s not a Christian.

    ***

    BOB SCHIEFFER: I– I don’t want to just spend the whole program on this, but was your use of the word theology, perhaps, you could have had a better word than that? I mean, don’t you know that, or do you wonder that– that might lead some people to suggest that you were questioning the President’s faith?

    ***

    BOB SCHIEFFER: At another stop in Columbus, you took on the President on prenatal care for expectant mothers. Here’s what you said at this– in this passage.

    RICK SANTORUM: One of the things that you don’t know about Obamacare and one of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing in every insurance policy in America. Why? Because it saves money in health care. Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.

    BOB SCHIEFFER: Senator, I– I have to ask you to– to give some explanation of that. You sound like you’re saying that the purpose of prenatal care is to cause people to– to have abortions, to get more abortions in this country. I think there are any number testing, I think any number of people would– would say that’s not the purpose at all.

    ***

    BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, I– I know you know what you’re talking about. I know that well. I know you also had another child that was stillborn. But–

    RICK SANTORUM (overlapping): And I was–

    BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): Didn’t you want to know about that, just a minute.

    (Cross talking)

    BOB SCHIEFFER: Just hold on.

    RICK SANTORUM: But what my– my child was not stillborn. My child was born alive.

    BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.

    RICK SANTORUM: –and he lived two hours.

    BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.

    ***

    BOB SCHIEFFER: I stand corrected on the stillborn. You’re absolutely right. I simply misspoke. But, Senator, do you not want any kind of prenatal testing? I mean would we just turn our back on science that this is something that expectant mothers should not go through, that it’s best not to know about these things ahead of time? I mean is that what you’re saying here?

    ***

    BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): You’re not saying. Let me just ask you, you’re not saying that the cause of this, that the President looks down on disabled people, are you? You’re not accusing him of that?

    ***

    BOB SCHIEFFER: And– and how you feel about this. Another thing that raised a few eyebrows yesterday, Senator, you questioned the value of all things at the public school system. Now here’s what you said about that.

    RICK SANTORUM: But the idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly, much less that the state government should be running schools is anachronistic. It goes back to the time of industrialization of America when people came off the farms where they did home school or have the little neighborhood school and into these big factories. So we built equal factories called public schools.

    BOB SCHIEFFER: So, there you are, Senator. I mean, are you saying that we shouldn’t have public schools now? I mean I thought public schools were the foundation of American democracy.

Santorum did a reasonably good job of fielding these questions. But does anyone seriously believe that it is in the Republicans’ interest for the 2012 presidential election to center on theology and gynecology? Here is Schieffer’s last question of Santorum:

    BOB SCHIEFFER: Senator, I want to thank you very much for being with us this morning. I had hoped to ask you about some questions about the economy. But, frankly, you made so much news yesterday, out there on the campaign trail, I felt compelled to ask you about that. Thank you so much for being with us.

That pretty much says it all. With Santorum launching one social issues bomb after another, there is no time to talk about the economy. Is this the Democratic Party’s dream, or what? In a national poll that came out today, Santorum is leading Mitt Romney by eight points among likely Republican voters. Can Republicans possibly be that foolish? Is it conceivable that a president with Obama’s lousy record could coast to victory, virtually by default, because the Republicans nominate a candidate who would rather talk about gynecology than debt? At the moment, that prospect does not seem far-fetched.
3675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Gallup has unemployment spiking back up to 9% on: February 21, 2012, 02:34:58 PM
We are on the right track politically is bullsh*t.

Unadjusted unemployment back up to 9%.  The adjusted number is zero or any other number that you want.  "Underemployment" is back up to 19%!

http://www.gallup.com/poll/152753/Unemployment-Increases-Mid-February.aspx

February 17, 2012
U.S. Unemployment Increases in Mid-February
Underemployment also up, to 19.0%
by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist

PRINCETON, NJ -- The U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 9.0% in mid-February, up from 8.6% for January. The mid-month reading normally reflects what the U.S. government reports for the entire month, and is up from 8.3% in mid-January.
3676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 21, 2012, 02:27:36 PM
"Michigan is the whole shooting match," said one senior GOP strategist not aligned with a campaign. Says another: "If Romney loses Michigan, all hell breaks loose."

If Santorum wins, he is the sustained frontrunner; he is the already the leader at this point.  Feb 28 is the turning point either way for Romney.  Michigan is a primary not a caucus state and the other side is uncontested so anyone eligible to vote and willing to show up and say they are Republican will get a ballot.  In Feb 2000, moderates showed up for McCain.

Only one debate (tomorrow, Mesa AZ, CNN) before the vote.
3677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian: Constitutionality of marriage? on: February 21, 2012, 01:43:28 PM
Wishing to drop the cultural issues for this election cycle, but so many questions are unresolved.  Jumping around with some quotes/excerpts here, hopefully keeping the original meaning as posted.

bigdog wrote: "You gents don't seem to get that marriage laws, like any other laws, can be changed."

This is a good point.  It is separate from the question of whether existing marriage laws are unconstitutional.

bigdog wrote:

"Gay marriage does NOT have to be compelled by the Constitution for it to be accepted by the Constitution."

Very true.  My question: is it compelled by the constitution?

bigdog continued: "... the 9th Amendment leaves open the possibility that there are other, unenumerated rights.  Privacy, of course, is one that has been recognized.  I know, from prior discussions with you (Crafty), that you acknowledge the right to privacy.  As JDN states, there could be an argument made that gay marriage could be allowed, based on privacy precedent. 

Public recognition of a gay union is the opposite of a right to privacy, is it not? 

bigdog:  "But, there could be, at least in theory, a stand alone right found in the 9th."

This is a good point. Some certainly see it that way.  Depends on which 9 people you ask.  It seems to me that if a standalone right is found for any citizen to be offered the designation of married, not just gay couples, isn't that the same as ending the public designation of married? 

I still fail to understand what rights are denied to a gay American who is in a loving, committed gay relationship that are also not denied to a single person who does not have a heterosexual partner consenting to marry.  In all cases you have the right to marry one person of the opposite sex with certain conditions applied, if and/or when those specific circumstances apply to you.

I asked JDN to no avail, but why does the 'equal protection under different circumstances' concept apply to all other areas of public policies including taxing, spending and regulating (see 2012 SOTU), but not apply to marriage? 

bigdog: "in some areas of civil rights, such as handicapped, special accommodations are exactly what they are entitled to."

Very true, but they are entitled to certain accommodations because a federal law was passed by the people's representatives and signed by the President.  It was not an unenumerated right found in the constitution. 
3678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: February 21, 2012, 11:14:59 AM
"I am not for or against "climate change" resulting from human behavior.  I am simply confused." - CCP

If it turns out that humans are irreparably harming the planet right now and that we have a short time to act, the phony, agenda driven 'scientists' like Michael Mann set beck the quest for that truth by about 20 years in my estimation with their dishonesty, deceit and monopolistic practices to take over and dominate the profession.

"...the worst that can happen is that we ruin the planet" ... which is of course justification for all ends and all means.  Strangely coincident is that the solution for warming would be bigger and stronger governments, if not world government, and smaller and smaller personal and economic liberties - the same environmental agenda pushed before the discovery of warming.  Who knew? Also strange is that none of the scientists or big advocates have quit heating or air conditioning their work spaces, or shrunk their work spaces, or moved into their work spaces, or ended the ritual of all expenses paid global travels to meet with each other regularly - while suggesting all of that is necessary for everyone else to do so.  Meanwhile the mercury-based light bulb mandate is now in effect on you, from people who know better than you, unless you can get a waiver from people more powerful than you.
3679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: February 21, 2012, 10:52:35 AM
A lot of banter over one's profession over on Political Economics, the least of our spending problems come from paying real people to do real work that really is the function of that level of government like local police and fire. Still it begs the constitutional question, under what authority is nationalizing the hiring police and teachers derived?  Or the potential bailouts of the states and localities who commit to compensation and retirement packages they cannot afford? 

Examples:

"President Barack Obama said Monday that he would like to extend the school year and raise teacher pay to help improve the U.S. education system." WSJ 9/27/2010

"President Clinton today announced the first round of police hiring grants under the new crime bill, an important step toward his goal of putting 00,000 police on America's streets. "  http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/Pre_96/October94/590.txt.html  (Oct 1994)

Supreme Court Justices are NOT the only government officials sworn to "...preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/tocs/a2_1_8.html

3680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Surprising Presidential Polls on: February 21, 2012, 09:33:39 AM
Obama is leading in the individual matchups at this point in spite of presiding over a miserable economic 'recovery', therefore he will win in November; that is the pessimism I have been hearing.  Polls from other Presidential years:

Gallup Jan 1980 Carter 63%, Reagan 32%

Dukakis up by 17% over George H.W. Bush, July and August 1988
3681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: February 17, 2012, 12:53:52 PM
Rachel Maddow has uncovered unreported results before they were reported or recorded?  Yes maybe a scandal of timing or incompetence with the volunteers.  She presents the question of whether or not it was rigged without even a suggestion of evidence of rigging.  The accusation is that someone may have tried to affect the timing of reporting in order in one area in Maine to influence a news story. OMG.

Slow news day, that is a lot of hoopla over a non-binding straw vote of caucus attendees.  In our caucus we were required by state law to announce to the caucus the exact results of the vote before it was called in.  Then it was called in cell phone to cell phone (to the volunteer daughters of one of the organizers) and accumulated with other results to try to get something preliminary reported onto the evening news.  The procedure was set long before anyone knew who the result would favor.  That is not exactly an election result certified by a Secretary of State.

Someone please post the video of Rahel Maddow's outrage over the 'uncounted' Al Franken votes found in the trunk of a Minneapolis car late on election night after Norm Coleman was originally called the winner and dozens of other irregularities in an ABC documentary .I have posted previously. I'm sure she was all over it.  Votes known to be wrong were certified by the move-on.org Sec State and provided the 60th vote in the Senate to deem health care passed, affecting everyone for generations, not an evening news non-binding straw poll preliminary result.  Just my two cents.
3682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 17, 2012, 12:06:46 PM
Bigdog, Thanks for joining in.  I am answering only for my part.  Father and son, absolutely! My list was not intended to single out, just tried not to drag it out too far since my attempted point was lost anyway!

"the idea somehow that fathers and sons, or mothers and daughters don’t/can’t/shouldn’t (here is where I am not sure I understand the point of the argument) have a strong, or special, relationship is pretty crappy."

No, no, no, I meant exactly the opposite.  I don't love anyone in the world more than my own father nor regret anything in the world more than not having a son.  I was trying to say ALL those relationships and many not named can be special, extremely special and private, and better and stronger than many marriages, and half of them may be opposite sex relationships as with your examples other than with your wife, but none of them are marriage.  So we already discriminate in law between all these relationships and marriage, not just gay relationships.   Seems to me we should strike down marriage if unconstitutional like slavery or if not try to agree on some special accommodations for gay unions over on the legislative side of the government.

I find the comparison to race and America growing out of slavery to be quite uncompelling even if some of the same words or phrases were used. 

Where is the similar evidence that gays are similarly abused by our laws.  Gay incomes are equal or higher to straights and housing is already protected and widely available.  I don't know a restaurant or drinking fountain that asks orientation before allowing service.  And single people don't receive spousal privilege.

Is marriage as we know it wrong?  Is it unconstitutional?  In 200+ years, was it ever struck down?  Why not?  Marriage only applies to a select group of people, restricted by age, gender and circumstance, not just orientation.  If marriage as we know it is a violation of pre-existing rights, as with slavery, end it, not extend it to one more group still at the exclusion of others.

In what way is a gay person who does not choose to be a part of husband-wife marital union denied any right that a single heterosexual person who does not have a heterosexual partner willing to marry is not similarly denied?

If you already answered that, sorry I missed it.
----------
On the point of 5 people deciding gay marriage, the constitution couldn't be more silent about couple's rights IMHO but has always included a mechanism for adding to or changing the text.  If people of different circumstances must be treated exactly the same in law, we have a whole lot of programs ready to fall.  Public policy wouldn't come down to 5 chosen people if the path written into the constitution to change it was followed.  Slavery was ended in war but it was also ended in the constitution in the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Five people didn't decide that.
3683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 17, 2012, 10:23:03 AM
"...University of Southern California (USC).  Actually quite a conservative school; at least in comparison to many others.  I had been accepted at Berkeley but my parents thought it was too liberal..."

Your parents did the best they could for you under the circumstances.   wink  Some of us here are trying to lure you to that next level of interest in economics, i.e. how people respond to different incentives and disincentives to produce.

"most of our time we spent racing, chasing girls, drinking, or just sailing down to Mexico."

The lifestyle of the 1%.  We should tax it more.  Or just ban it (sailing) with a federal law as they have done in the most beautiful part of MN.

"the truly rich do not have the greatest sensitivity to tax rates."

Please back that up at your leisure with something empirical. 

I would link this thread and this forum as a one-sided documentary as to the opposite, and I would be happy to pull out specifics across the world and throughout history for you, if requested.
3684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 17, 2012, 12:35:28 AM
Cleveland I think was the 22nd and 24th President.  Obama may also want to take a little break.
3685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 16, 2012, 08:25:52 PM
Rove is right on this. It is all targeted politically as other people's money.  They had it all planned out many times over how they were going to spend the money from letting the Bush tax cuts expire - raising rates only on the rich.

Pres. Obama includes himself as among the 'fortunate' who can afford to pay more, partly to brag,  but he never took a risk that involved employing people or even held a full-time private sector job.  He wasn't fortunate (lucky), he was clever, leveraging his public fame into personal wealth.

They don't target the rich because they can afford to pay more.  They pretend to target the rich to make the lower 98% think that their recklessness won't affect them.

Rich with other peoples' money means entitled to staff - up to the point where they don't even know how many they have.  The first lady denies the Glen Beck claim that she has 43 staff.  She says (through a staff person) that it is closer to 25. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/mar/04/glenn-beck/glenn-beck-says-first-lady-michelle-obama-has-43-h/  If this is a math problem, 33 is closer to 25 than to 43, not counting staff that are not called staff and not counting the ones hired since.  She has had 3 chiefs of staff, "The turnover, greater than under recent first ladies, underscores the pressure and high expectations of working in an operation known for its polish and discipline" [with other peoples money].  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55832.html#ixzz1mbNmWVEt
3686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 16, 2012, 07:50:26 PM
"One could argue that gays are included..."

Yes, if you change or ignore the meanings of the words involved: marriage, husband and wife.  I now pronounce you individual and individual. - ?

"we will see how the Court rules....."

Yes, then we will know what 5 people think.  This wasn't written or settled in the constitution and I can't figure out why in the Declaration of Independence they chose the phrase 'consent of the governed' if they meant governed by the dictate of 5 chosen people.   (
3687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 16, 2012, 07:36:38 PM
"I think we can raise taxes (sorry)..."

a)  Why be sorry if its the right thing to do. 

"... on the rich."

b) Why are we back less than 24 hours after worrying about equal protection,  again applying the laws unequally to different people depending on their circumstances?  Let's raise taxes on those people, over there.  If you don't like flat tax rates, at least make the changes across the board, affecting everybody.

c) My friend JDN, is it really not possible to train you to distinguish between taxes and tax rates after all these discussions?  You are an economist - and a voter- we need you to draw the distinction! I believe Crafty gave you 5 major examples where lowering tax rates raised taxes (revenues to the Treasury).  From what you write we have no idea if you favor raising tax rates or lowering them to generate more revenues.  If you are saying raise tax rates even further on the people who have the most options and the greatest sensitivity to tax rates, then I think all that will do is stall the economy out even further - and push unemployment up even further.  You should consider changing your thinking to pro-growth (Huntsman-like policies) sometime between now and the election. )
3688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Liberal fascism: Warren Buffet mix of crony investing and politicking exposed on: February 16, 2012, 10:49:16 AM
Fairly long article and I don't think it is fair to summarize.  If you are interested, read it start to finish.  Many examples of buying in, advancing the public argument to have ntaxpayer money follow his to bolster his position, and profit to no end.  This is the opposite of a free market, opposite of equal protection under the law, and proves false the perception that big investment, big business, big banks, big favoritism is a uniquelyRepublican phenomenon.  This guy is a big liberal with no apologies.

There is nothing conservative (or constitutional) about government favoring one business over another.

http://reason.com/archives/2012/02/09/warren-buffett-baptist-and-bootlegger
3689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Breaking his Pledge on: February 16, 2012, 10:40:29 AM
"Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office."  - Pres. Obama, Feb 2009

Not going to happen: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/02/16/president_obama_punts_on_us_deficit_113142.html
--------------
Obama Budget Director says no budget in the Senate is Republicans fault because 60 votes are needed.  Yet he knows damn well that budget matters only need a simple majority to pass, 51 votes, 50 votes, sometimes fewer.
--------------
President Obama argues that the health care penalty for not buying health insurance is not a tax.

In Court, for the constitutional authority to levy it (or impose an individual mandate)  he is arguing that it is a tax.
--------------

How could anyone ever defeat this guy?  Hmmm.

One possibility might be to go negative - with your surrogates (lots of material available) - while the nominee paints a positive, pro-growth and pro-freedom path forward for the nation.
3690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 16, 2012, 10:27:52 AM
JDN: "I too agree marriage should be between a man and a woman. "

What the hell were we arguing about?...............  

If we could all agree that, legally and constitutionally, gays already have all the pre-existing rights, endowed by their Creator, self-evident, unalienable, just like the rest of us including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  What we are arguing (IMO) is whether or not it is good public policy to choose to make special accommodations for gays, not whether their pre-existing rights have been violated.  

By all means, make a special accommodation.  Make it easy to get those other recognitions (end of life decisions etc.) if so desired.  Make it binding on no one else, private insurance companies etc.  And LEAVE THE CHILDREN OUT OF IT.  
3691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 15, 2012, 02:04:27 PM
It used to be:  Accept us, we are different.

We did, pretty much.  that was not good enough.  Quickly it became:  Accept us, we are the same as you.

But gay people are not the same in the context of family structure, procreation, child rearing.  Gay people are God's creatures, citizens, Americans - they live among us, work hard, serve our country, pay taxes and vote in our society.  They are entitled to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and equal protection under the law.  That does not mean they are entitled to special accommodations - such as the changing the meanings of our words or our accepted institutions.

If marriage results in a bond between a husband and a wife, gays have, as every other person has, the liberty to choose to enter that institution, also the liberty to choose not to.  (Contrast that with other places in the world where today they still have pre-arranged marriages!)

A bond between a mother and a son or a father and a daughter is special.  A bond with a close grandparent can be special, or between siblings  Teo unmarried siblings might decide to look after each other for the rest of thier life..That's great.  It's not better or worse than marriage, but it is something different than marriage.

LA Times:  "What is the purpose of denying the use of one word — "marriage" — to a class of people..."

Yes, that is the nut of the deal.  You are asking us to change an institution that you choose to not join.  Accept marriage for what it is, and do something different.  Gay Unions was an idea call it something different.  Attach a meaning such as designating end of life decisions, shared bank accounts etc.  No one is threatening your private or public freedom of association.  Just don't tell me you are husband and wife when you chose a different path.


LA Times continued:  "...fully capable of taking on all of the child-raising..."

Right.  Do you see how that keeps creeping!?  We went from ending the concept of husband and wife to ending the distinction that having a mom and a dad is what families strive for.  

Gayness by definition is the opposite of choosing to procreate and populate the planet.  If we should choose as a society to put children with gay couples that they obviously born to (or adoption to singles) is a public policy question, not a pre-existing right. Gay people are not banned from being a part of forming families that lead to children, they are choosing a different path.
3692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: February 14, 2012, 05:16:13 PM
Limited time here but some numbers to help calculate

Workforce (BLS defined): 130,000,000 Non-farm, farm employment is pretty small.

(Participation rate: 63.7%)

Unemployment rate 8.3%

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Number of votes 2008:  130,000,000

US population 310,000,000

info at the link.  I will come back to this.
3693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 14, 2012, 04:34:57 PM
CCP,  The biggest reason we can't drop race, gender or orientation from our awareness is because it would end gender-based lawsuits.  We already have people between categories that don't know which restroom to use.

The first question on the mortgage application to prevent discrimination based on race is to ask you your race.
3694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian: Spouse 1 and Spouse 2 on: February 14, 2012, 01:54:48 PM
My question was, how is that different from what single people not gay who never marry someone of the opposite sex experience, not how is not married different that married.

"Just off the top of my head.  Unless specific documents are drown up (yes you can draw up papers), a partner has very few if any rights.  If you are sick they can't visit you (Yes you can designate that.).  They can't make major decisions for you if you are incapacitated, etc. (Yes you can designate that too.) It costs money, time and effort; something that automatically given to a heterosexual married couple. (No, they had to draw up papers.)

More specific, they cannot file a joint return.(I'm sure that will change.)  At this time, Immigration Law does not recognize a gay marriage, therefore you cannot obtain rights through your "spouse".  I married a legal alien.  After marriage, she immediately was given a green card.  Now she is citizen.  IF I had been gay, even though I loved the person dearly, merely having me as a partner would not have entitled him to a green card, etc. (Nor are there any special immigration entitlements for a single person straight not in a relationship.)  We would have been broken up. (You would be back to the same rights single people have.) Many/most employers will not cover a gay partner on the corporate insurance plan.  Numerous other issues exist."


Add gay marriage to marriage and the proposal still discriminates against (single) people based on marital/family status - but you appeased one constituency.  The only real 'fix' (assuming the system that worked thousands of years is broken)is for government to end all acknowledgement of couples and family relationships, and based on your corporate insurance example ban all private sector acknowledgement of these relationships too.  A nation only of individuals so everything is completely fair. One collective family. That would fit the liberal dream - it takes a village.

Let's get gender off the license information next.  It is sooo outdated.  What business is it of the government what gender we are?  That alone could solve it.  Gay couples only need to designate one of the genderless persons as husband and one as wife.  We don't do a chromosome or pants check anyway.  If they want to be parents, then they need to designate one as the mom and one as dad.  But eliminate gender, open up gay marriage and we still are discriminating, single people, polygamists and categories I haven't thought of. Make private insurance companies recognize all designated spouses, attach additional pages if necessary.  Of course the determinant of where to draw the line is only the size and strength of the constituent group, not equal protection under the law.
------------

One of my newest friends through sports is a gay man who is in a committed relationship.  We don't know each other's politics and we likely don't want to hear anything about each other's sexual life or thoughts.  He is a great guy.  He is one of God's creatures, like me and you  He didn't choose his orientation IMO, I don't agree with that theory at all.  He does not choose to participate in a sham heterosexual marriage as people like Billie Jean King used to do to gain legal benefits and acceptance that comes with that - so we have come at least that far in a short time.  I wish for him (and everyone)  all the pursuit of happiness possible in the world, not discrimination. I think my political views overall offer him more freedom and pursuit of happiness than the state-based opposing view even if that does not include a re-definition of marriage.  Ours is a gay friendly town adn he can choose a gay friendly or private life neutral place of employment, maybe not work for a sole owner homophobe but so what.  At work he is judged by his work and in our sport we are judged by attitude and competence.
--------------
"I didn't respond to your comment(Crafty's) because I am necessarily a proponent of Gay Marriage"

Then you must have some reservations too.  Probably the same ones as the rest of us.

3695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Entitlements and how to go after them on: February 14, 2012, 11:36:45 AM
"The idea that a crash will then usher in a marxist system will not play out as the left hopes."  - Seems like it worked last time...

The dollar wasn't destroyed in the great depression and the USG wasn't drowning in an ocean of red ink back then.

Good points for the depression, though disastrous government policies led to a big expansion of disastrous government policies then too.  I was trying to refer to the (mini?)crash of 2008.  Their CRAp policies and RINO/Dem currency expansion led to crash and panic that led to bigger and bigger government including movement toward the Marxist dream of public ownership of the means of production.

I think CCP has this right except that it is no significance whether or not their destruction of the economy is intentional.  I think the bumbling C-student(?) Marxist didn't really know that promising to raise taxes, accelerating the rule by regulators, nationalizing industries, massively increasing the portion of resources consumed by the public sector and doubling the cost of energy on the private sector (until it doubles again) would actually hurt economic growth and employment.  He thought IMO that he would have the Reagan recovery at this point and win 49 states by doing exactly the opposite.
3696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 14, 2012, 11:17:11 AM
JDN, My attempts at typing on the new handheld are not going very well.

"Rather I look to your Grandfather who simply wanted companionship and wanted it to be a legal marriage.  He could have just lived with his new found love, but he chose to marry at 80."

He married at 80 in my estimation not to form a new family and procreate but to pass on that respect for that institution to the next generation.  (Shame on those of us who did not follow.)  Still his later life marriage was a marriage because a man and a woman became husband and wife and pledged the rest of their lives together (and kept that promise).  He did not seek to redefine anything.  As an aside in a world a few decades ago where one had respect for their elders not just for the traditions of our society, he did not say 'what do you think', he said "meet your new grandmother".

As our conversations go, unanswered is what rights in law (inheritance, tax advantages, spousal privilege in law, etc.) is a gay person or couple denied that a single heterosexual person possesses. (None that I know of.)

Having the government involved in race was both controversial and based on righting a past wrong known as slavery.  For women it is partly the same although it is a myth that women were kept out of professional fields like engineering when my mom became an aeronautical engineer in the 1940s.  We do business with Jews, Mormons, Scottish people and even Green Bay Packer fans because their money spends the same as any other, not only because of a law against discrimination.

When snowboarding really began, nearly all ski resorts banned them. Copper mountain was first in Colo to cater to them. We joked that they were all gang members. Also a sideslipping intermediate boarder wastefully wipes off the untracked powder for everyone else.  Now all resorts except Alta, Utah accept them.  Why?  Because of a federal mandate?  No.  Because they are half the market and their money looks just like skiers' money.  The same reason LA Times should try to sell newspapers to conservatives too.  Their money looks the same and it would expand their potential market.  If they don't, we can address that through freedom of competition or we can pass a law.

Not every problem has a government solution.
3697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Entitlements and how to go after them on: February 14, 2012, 10:27:46 AM
"The idea that a crash will then usher in a marxist system will not play out as the left hopes."  - Seems like it worked last time...
-----------
Good to see the NY Times sending a foreign correspondent out to the heartland for a story with all their own cutbacks.  The Rep. mentioned in the story, Chip Cravaack, is unfortunately one of the seats from 2010 that R's will lose this year.  The story misses the fact that life is expensive for the seniors on fixed income and for the hard working shop owner because of embedded taxes and regulations unmeasurable on their tax return.  His customers would have more to spend if they weren't working only to pay some kind of government burden during Jan-Aug months of the year.  To turn down the EIC, school lunch or a college subsidy is like the Obamites said about the super PAC - to disarm unilaterally.  You may oppose the programs but you lost that argument and are already paying for them - and getting back only 0.70 on the dollar even if you do surrender your principles.
--------
Important points are brought up in the bigdog post.

First is that I draw a distinction a conservative and an elected Republican: "Why is it hard for conservatives to cut entitlements?  It may be because it isn't in their own self interest".  A conservative would not flinch at that, but also would never be elected or re-elected.  So we whine about people like Santorum of PA, about as conservative as they get, yet voted for steel subsidies and against freedom to trade.  He still eventually lost by 17 points after all the pandering to the electorate and reaching to the middle.

This study is old but backs up what was posted in more detail:
http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html
http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22685.html

Still there are flaws in measurement.  Washington DC is the district LEAST dependent on the federal government for revenues?  Good grief.

Not all expenditures are equal.  Defense would seem to be a federal function while some of us argue that other functions are not.

My blue state MN is listed as receiving back 72 cents on the dollar and for that our bluest Senator Amy Klobuchar (Al Franken is to her right) comes into reelection with a 60% approval rate.  During her 6 years in Washington the nation lost 5 million jobs, borrowed $6 trillion, her state sends a river of money to support failure and the people love her.  Go figure.  At 72 cents on the dollar, civil war or secession might be a more reasonable reaction than reelection based on the status quo.  

A more apt question (IMO) than the one posed for Republicans is why do Democrats (and independents) accept the status quo.  Republicans I think would make sweeping reforms if they could get the support they need from the people.

The reform if it ever happens needs to be bold and comprehensive.  You do not end ethanol subsidies with the support of Iowans without a package that ends all similarly stupid and unconstitutional (equal protection under the law?) subsidies.  You do not eliminate the mortgage deduction without reform of the rest of the tax code.  In fact you will not likely reform taxes ever again when 51% of voters believe they are receiving goodies and paying nothing.

Someone with a backbone needs to step forward and point out that directing more and more resources out of the productive economy, whether it is directly charged to you or not, is a tax on your economy, a tax on your children and a tax on all of your out of work neighbors and relatives.  At some point with everyone else riding, there is no incentive for anyone to pull the wagon.  The load is just too heavy.

It was said about Japan in about 1990 that the only thing that could get the economy going again was bold reform, and that the one thing for sure their political system was incapable of was bold reform.  History proved that to be right.

Once we get back to about 2.5% sustained growth (where breakeven 'growth' is about 3.1%) and we are only shedding say a half million jobs per year instead of 1.2 million in one month, then the opportunity to make truly comprehensive, definitional reform of government spending and taxes will have passed, and stagnation and gradual decay will be our future.

At the end of the big spending Republican congress in Nov 2006 this country needed a sharp turn toward transformational change; we just turned the wrong direction.

Four years later the message from the early tea party movement was clearly cut spending first and shrink the size and scope of government.  That movement resulted in a pretty strong and difficult to repeat election result in 2010, which resulted in a 5% annual increase in spending, after all the shutdown/debt limit hysteria, and that was above and beyond the 'temporary', 'emergency levels' of the previous years!  

It is hard to take the polling of today (or the candidates that we have) and be optimistic about real change.
3698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 14, 2012, 08:21:41 AM
JJDN ,I wish you would answer my point regrding different circumstancex.

Laws against "marrying" same sex apply equallly to all.

That you can"t make a husband and wife out of any combinatikon other than one man and one woman without chanvging the meaning of the words is a fact not an issue.

What is it in law they are denied that a single person is not also denied?
3699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 13, 2012, 11:24:18 PM
Must give Crafty credit for recognizing that the administrations assault on Catholic teachings is not a Catholics-only issue.  it is not a birth control method question, it is not a religious issue.  It is a limited government issue. 

Luckily for us we have a firewall called the constitution to stop any encroachments by the government on our liberties and we have 9 justices sworn to make sure that can never happen.  (Why does that sound like sarcasm in 2012?)
3700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: February 13, 2012, 10:55:20 PM
"refusing to serve a black or a Jew, refusing to hire or promote a woman, etc. is discrimination, IMHO an evil that has no place in America."

I moved the question out of race/religion for a reason.  There is no income or housing difference between gay and straight.  Aren't you making up a problem that doesn't exist?  Gays that I know are competent and conscientious in their work, and well-paid.  Employers I know are in need of and appreciative of competent and conscientious employees.  Businesses I know now accept (Jews, blacks and) gays as customers. Where is a sign in America that we don't serve gays?  Again, where is the problem that is in need of a government solution?


"...A man can marry a woman, and vice versa."

"But a man can't marry a man.  Or a woman a woman.  Where is the equality?"


You are missing a point, not just disagreeing with it.  A gay man can (under the law) fall in love and marry a woman, he just doesn't.  Some heterosexuals never marry the opposite sex either, not just gay people. Equal protection, different circumstances.  Again, it is a concept in law that the entire tax code and government is built on.  I don't see why you support it wholeheartedly with taxes and refuse to accept it here.  It may be a bad idea in your estimation, but hardly unconstitutional unless all of our government is set up exactly that way, not just taxes but government payments and services too.

Expanding on that point: Estate tax applies to some people not others. the 39.6% tax rate will apply to some and not others. Double federal taxation applies to some and not others. Food stamps, Medicaid, Pelle grants, they all go to some and not others.  Equal protection, different circumstances.  3.1 million households get Section 8 housing vouchers, the rest get none - and for VERY arbitrary reasons.  Even voting, some and not others.  Everyone gets to vote when they turn 18?  Not everyone lives to 18, therefore are/were never legal to vote, yet the law is considered equal protection.  Solydra, Chrysler, General Motors: millions of dollars in subsidies.  Dog brothers and JDN Inc: Nothing.  That is equal protection or the President should be impeached.  You make the call.

What I don't get is that you are arguing my political viewpoint and against yours (IMHO).  Most of these things are NOT equal protection.  The government is clearly favoring and discriminating in almost everything that it does.  Read page 1 of any IRS form, 'who has to file this form?' Some yes, some no.  It depends on your circumstance.
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