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3651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 95% of late term moms, denied abortion, glad they gave birth on: June 19, 2013, 09:44:34 AM
http://spectator.org/archives/2013/06/14/the-grey-ladys-grudging-aborti

Or as the NY Times buried it:
 “About 5 percent of the women, after they have had the baby, still wish they hadn’t. And the rest of them adjust.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/magazine/study-women-denied-abortions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

"S. (name withheld) ended up bonding with her baby."... "women rarely regret having a child"

Who knew?
3652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Planet Government - The Regulated States of America on: June 19, 2013, 09:24:29 AM
WSJ excerpt,  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324021104578551291160259734.html

Niall Ferguson: The Regulated States of America
Tocqueville saw a nation of individuals who were defiant of authority. Today? Welcome to Planet Government.

...On foreign policy, it may still be true that Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus. But when it comes to domestic policy, we all now come from the same place: Planet Government.

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Clyde Wayne Crews shows in his invaluable annual survey of the federal regulatory state, we have become the regulation nation almost imperceptibly. Excluding blank pages, the 2012 Federal Register—the official directory of regulation—today runs to 78,961 pages. Back in 1986 it was 44,812 pages. In 1936 it was just 2,620.

True, our economy today is much larger than it was in 1936—around 12 times larger, allowing for inflation. But the Federal Register has grown by a factor of 30 in the same period.

The last time regulation was cut was under Ronald Reagan, when the number of pages in the Federal Register fell by 31%. Surprise: Real GDP grew by 30% in that same period. But Leviathan's diet lasted just eight years. Since 1993, 81,883 new rules have been issued. In the past 10 years, the "final rules" issued by our 63 federal departments, agencies and commissions have outnumbered laws passed by Congress 223 to 1.

Right now there are 4,062 new regulations at various stages of implementation, of which 224 are deemed "economically significant," i.e., their economic impact will exceed $100 million.

The cost of all this, Mr. Crews estimates, is $1.8 trillion annually—that's on top of the federal government's $3.5 trillion in outlays, so it is equivalent to an invisible 65% surcharge on your federal taxes, or nearly 12% of GDP. Especially invidious is the fact that the costs of regulation for small businesses (those with fewer than 20 employees) are 36% higher per employee than they are for bigger firms.

Next year's big treat will be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, something every small business in the country must be looking forward to with eager anticipation. Then, as Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) warned readers on this page 10 months ago, there's also the Labor Department's new fiduciary rule, which will increase the cost of retirement planning for middle-class workers; the EPA's new Ozone Rule, which will impose up to $90 billion in yearly costs on American manufacturers; and the Department of Transportation's Rear-View Camera Rule. That's so you never have to turn your head around when backing up.

President Obama occasionally pays lip service to the idea of tax reform. But nothing actually gets done and the Internal Revenue Service code (plus associated regulations) just keeps growing—it passed the nine-million-word mark back in 2005, according to the Tax Foundation, meaning nearly 19% more verbiage than 10 years before. While some taxes may have been cut in the intervening years, the tax code just kept growing.

I wonder if all this could have anything to do with the fact that we still have nearly 12 million people out of work, plus eight million working part-time jobs, five long years after the financial crisis began. ...
3653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fall of the Glibness, from +8 to -9 in one month - CNN poll on: June 19, 2013, 09:20:21 AM
Note: All of the problems confronting the President today happened before the election and were investigated and reported after the election.
-----------------
In overall approval, the President was +8 in May's (CNN) poll, 53-45. But in the most recent poll the President's approval rating has dropped to 45-54 or -9.

That's a negative shift of 17 percentage points in one month.

Every Democrat who has been pointing to the President's fairly steady approval numbers as evidence that his goodwill among his base has an insulating property to protect him against the NSA snooping, the IRS, the Benghazi problem, the DoJ collecting reporters' phone records and targeting Fox's James Rosen, Syria, Turkey, and maybe a Kryptonite asteroid that might have the Earth in its sights.

On what are known as the "issue handling" questions (Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling:

The Economy - 42-57 (-15)
Foreign Affairs - 44-54 (-10)
Deficit/budget - 34-64 (-30)
Immigration - 40-56 (-16)
NSA/Surveillance - 35-61 (-26)

I didn't leave out the good issues. That's the whole list.

On the "Do you consider the President to be honest & trustworthy" question the result was 49-50.
That is only minus one so it doesn't look so bad. But a month ago that result was 58-41 (+17). So, it represents an 18 percentage point drop.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/06/19/headwinds_for_obama_118867.html#ixzz2WfhOvaGc
-----------------

Pres. Obama drew 200,000 in Berlin, 2009.  Today 6000.
3654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: June 18, 2013, 04:02:01 PM
It isn't whether Keynesians are right or wrong that matters determining economic policy. We know they are wrong. The question in Washington is how does it poll.

That was an excellent Wesbury.  Still he predicts good results from bad policies.
3655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: June 18, 2013, 03:55:36 PM
"I cannot find an acceptable reason for Snowden to be divulging our/British spying on foreign leaders at a G8 conference to the Chinese.  Apparently he is giving more to the Chinese as well.  This sure seems like treason to me."

Exactly!

It's treason, and it ought to be against the law.

But first, let's poll the 16-35 demographic.
3656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: SCOTUS: In effect, aliens can vote on: June 18, 2013, 03:50:17 PM
I was disappointed to see a 7-2 decision penned by Scalia banning AZ from requiring proof of citizenship to vote on the basis of federal pre-emption.

[Silver lining aside, addressing the point lost], yes, this seems terrible!  Analysis is saying that Scalia and the others are throwing it back on congress to correct the standard. Arizona should sue the Feds to fix the problem?  

"Justice Thomas’s dissent was mainly devoted to arguing that the Constitution gives Congress no role in judging who may register to vote, and that this is a power given exclusively to the states."

If true, does this tend to support my contention that we are down to about one conservative/originalist on the Court.  Okay, add Justice Alito to the very short list in this case.  Alito's dissent is separate.  Who has time to do the Court's work for them, and finding the right answer in the dissent doesn't solve anything.

The Constitution "authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied," Thomas said in his dissent.

Is it not part of equal protection that my right to one vote cannot be diluted by liberals facilitating the vote of undocumented Dems?  Where is our protection?

Arizona law goes further than a 1993 federal law to address a serious problem.  But how does Arizona law violate the constitution?  Unequal protection?

I don't know if the Scalia-Ginsburg coalition gets out much, but a driver's license is not proof of citizenship in a state that issues licenses to non-citizens.  It is also not proof of citizenship in the state does not require proof of citizenship to check the citizen box on the driver's license application.

The remedy for a wrongly decided Supreme Court question is to elect a new President, new Senate and wait for current Justices to die.  How does that work when the issue is election fraud?  A different remedy, overlooked by Scalia, for the total malfeasance of the federal government to do its job is secession.

Right now we have government of the Washington DC, by the Washington DC, and for the Washington DC, IMHO.

http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/06/opinion-recap-one-hand-giveth/
http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/AZ-reaction.pdf
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/17/supreme-court-arizona-citizenship-proof-law-illegal/
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-71_7l48.pdf
3657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons: WSJ, Huma Abedin, Moonlight Serenade on: June 17, 2013, 06:53:31 PM
If I may continue Huma Abedin coverage in the Clinton thread, did she really not take her husbands last name?  This also goes under the category of famous people reading the forum, James Tarato, online editor for the WSJ jumps in on our coverage:

Weiner "defended his wife" during a Saturday campaign appearance. "I'm proud of my wife and I'm proud of the work she's done," he said, adding that "she has done everything completely above-board with approval of the State Department."

  - Approval of the State Dept?  Approval of a Clinton is not exactly the gold standard of ethics, even in Washington.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323566804578551522812888206.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Moonlight Serenade
Whom does Mrs. Weiner work for?

By JAMES TARANTO

Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress two years ago this Friday in a side-splitting social-media scandal, is running for mayor of New York? We don't know why, but we're now pretty sure it's not for the money. The New York Post reports that Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, "hauled in as much as $350,000 in outside income on top of Abedin's $135,000 government salary."

Far be it from this columnist to begrudge the Weiners their financial success. What's eyebrow-raising about this, though, is that Abedin, who works for the State Department, is the source of some of that outside income:

    Abedin, who served as [Hillary] Clinton's deputy chief of staff when Clinton was secretary of state, later became a 'special government employee' who was able to haul in cash as a private contractor. . . .

    One of the clients she did consulting work for while on the government payroll was Teneo Holdings, a firm founded by longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band.

The Post reports that Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican the paper describes as "one of the Senate's most aggressive investigators," is looking into the matter. In a letter to Abedin and now-Secretary John Kerry, Grassley "wrote that he was concerned Abedin's status 'blurs the line between public- and private-sector employees, especially when employees receive full-time salaries for what appears to be part-time work.' " Grassley also "suggested Abedin was providing clients 'political intelligence,' " a claim denied by an unnamed "person close to Abedin."



New York's Daily News reports that white-knight Weiner "defended his wife" during a Saturday campaign appearance. "I'm proud of my wife and I'm proud of the work she's done," he said, adding that "she has done everything completely above-board with approval of the State Department."

That may well be true--in which case the scandal here may be what's above board rather than what's below it. The Post reports that an unnamed State Department official "noted there were 100 such consultants at the agency."

A hundred Abedin-size salaries would add up to $13.5 million--presumably not counting benefits--being paid to people whose work for the department has to compete with their outside gigs for their time and attention. Are they thoroughly screened for conflicts of interest? If so, that's an additional expense for the taxpayers. If not, we can't rule out the possibility that some State Department workers are trading on their access to what Grassley calls "political intelligence."
3658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs: Cash is the biggest crop in the farm bill on: June 17, 2013, 12:06:48 PM
Editorial: Cash the biggest crop in this farm bill

Most of $955 billion approved by Senate goes for food stamps and crop subsidies.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

We find remarkable that the Senate approved Monday a so-called "farm bill" that calls for nearly $1 trillion in questionable spending and hardly a discouraging word has been heard on Capitol Hill.

Chalk that up to still-fresh outrage over revelations of the Obama administration's monitoring of Americans' phone records, Internet accounts and credit card transactions, and still-simmering concerns about Internal Revenue Service abuses and Justice Department abrogation of press freedom.
Article Tab: Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, speaks to reporters as the Senate votes on a farm bill that sets policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other farm and food aid programs for the next five years, at the Capitol in Washington, June 10. At rear is Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND. Officially known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, the agriculture policy measure would cost taxpayers $100 billion annually with the bulk of that amount allocated to the federal food stamp program.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, speaks to reporters as the Senate votes on a farm bill that sets policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other farm and food aid programs for the next five years, at the Capitol in Washington, June 10. At rear is Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND. Officially known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, the agriculture policy measure would cost taxpayers $100 billion annually with the bulk of that amount allocated to the federal food stamp program.

Anyway, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs of Act of 2013 cleared the Senate floor by a comfortable 66-27 vote. The spending bill will cost the taxpayers $955 billion. That's 60 percent more than the previous farm bill, in 2008.

Most of the outlays in the bill actually have nothing to do with crops. In fact, 80 percent of spending goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.

The welfare program – the "Food" part of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act – has grown 70 percent over five years, with a record 23.1 million households currently enrolled.
More at link: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/food-512813-bill-program.html
3659  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rasmussen: Distrust of Government is the theme running through the scandals on: June 17, 2013, 11:56:40 AM
Distrust of Government Is What It's All About

By Scott Rasmussen - June 14, 2013

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/06/14/distrust_of_government_is_what_its_all_about_118824.html#ixzz2WUeQEBwf

Only 24 percent now are confident that the federal government does the right thing most of the time.

(That number seems high to me.  24% might be misunderstanding the question.)
3660  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Politics & Science: Wind power has failed to deliver what it promised on: June 17, 2013, 11:52:46 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/10121584/Wind-power-has-failed-to-deliver-what-it-promised.html

Wind power has failed to deliver what it promised
The wind-power industry is expensive, passes costs on to the consumer and does not create many jobs in return

Today, The Sunday Telegraph reveals how many ''green jobs’’ the wind-power industry really generates in exchange for its generous subsidies. The figures show that for 12 months until February 2013, a little over £1.2  billion was paid out to wind farms through a consumer subsidy financed by a supplement on electricity bills. During that period, the industry employed just 12,000 people, which means that each wind-farm job cost consumers £100,000 [US$ 157,000] – an astonishing figure.
...
Wind farms can end up being surprisingly environmentally unfriendly, too. When the wind does not blow and the turbines fail to do their job, consumers have to fall back on the very fossil fuels that they were designed to replace. The result is that we come to rely on foreign imports of oil and gas that hit the household budget hard (domestic coal stations that ought to supply more of the demand have been closed in order to meet carbon-emission reduction targets). Moreover, wind farms can be a blot on the landscape: the dormant turbines take up large tracts of land and kill wildlife; it is the visual pollution of our beautiful countryside that has led some communities to protest against their presence.

The Government has shown recognition of public concern by announcing that residents will be able to stop the construction of wind farms.  (more at link above)
3661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Asian Geopolitics, Asia's New Power Brokers By Robert Kaplan on: June 17, 2013, 11:29:31 AM
This may overlap recent post from Strat...

Asia's New Power Brokers
By Robert Kaplan

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2013/06/13/asias_new_power_brokers.html

As Asian countries -- from India to Vietnam to Indonesia to Malaysia to Japan and so on -- arise out of poverty, guerrilla war and stagnation, they are forging robust relationships with each other, providing a whole new security dynamic to go alongside the U.S.-China rivalry. The Asian power web is also an offshoot of the emergence of midlevel powers, which are now forging deeper links with each other -- thus "widening the analytical aperture," in the words of the report, through which international relations must be viewed.
...
The question now becomes: Will China continue to rise? Or, will it falter domestically in the face of an excruciatingly complex economic transition? And how might that affect regional power dynamics? The last place to look for such gradual developments may be in the newspapers.
3662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Mrs. Glib on: June 17, 2013, 11:23:28 AM
I don't want to be anti-Michelle, but here she comes, getting all political, with all of the same glibness. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2013/06/13/is-there-another-elected-obama-in-our-future/
Is There Another Elected Obama In Our Future?
"she would likely embrace virtually all of her husband’s economic policies — and could be even further to the left."
3663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - The obamacare tanning bed tax on: June 17, 2013, 11:18:49 AM
The obamacare tanning bed tax will put all tanning bed businesses out of business.  There is one exception.  If such beds are offered as part of a gym or fitness center at no extra charge, no tax will be imposed.   Of course they did not want the huge conglomerate 'health' clubs to jump on the anti-Obamacare bandwagon.  So indoor tanning is bad for you if you pay for it, not so much if part of a larger fitness program.  Good grief.   

-------
"...the absurd has become the accepted norm..." 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-irs-taxing-of-tanning-beds-and-other-obamacare-absurdities/2013/06/11/42b8e99e-d2cf-11e2-8cbe-1bcbee06f8f8_story.html
-------

How about just a tax rate and a tax, instead of a 10,000 bill, just one of many, replacing the market, picking winners and losers.
3664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, often criminal history - Huma on: June 17, 2013, 10:59:54 AM
Copying this over to the Clinton thread.  Huma's outside payers are most certainly part of the Clinton circle.
From ccp post, Govt programs: http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1847.msg72947#msg72947

ccp,  Thanks for finding this.  Huma is pretty close to the center of the political universe.  Huma is/was Hillary's closest confident.  The right wing nuts (anyone to the right of me) were sure she was Hillary's lesbian lover; Huma accompanied Hillary everywhere.  Then she was the 'Muslim' in the inner circle affecting our diplomatic policies.  She has relatives with ties to CAIR etc.(?)  Then she was set up to be Anthony Weiner's wife, a powerful and outspoken congressman - before his bizarre weiner scandal.  They had Muslim-Jewish wedding??  Then she was the wife standing by him, sort of.  Clintons did not endorse Weiner for mayor - yet.   A soft spot for sex scandals?  Huma is still with Hillary? Still with Weiner.  Now this scandal breaks.  Yes, she takes full time pay, sells access or whatever it is she is selling on the side, and we don't get to know who is involved or how this operation works.

I really don't want to spend another decade studying Clinton scandals! 
3665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: June 17, 2013, 10:55:13 AM
Muslim women are forbidden from marrying non-muslims, so it's suspected Weiner has said the shahada.

As with Bill-Hillary, it could just be a sham marriage.  Who knows and who has time to care...  Ughh.

But still, if and when Huma becomes first lady, after her husband survives his scandal to become NYC Mayor and then the first Jewish President, and after our Attorney General survives his scandal to become the first African American VP as his just reward for not investigating IRS, Benghazi or anything else, Huma will be one of the most powerful people in the Weiner-Holder administration.
3666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Huma Abedin: Paid as full time government employee AND side consultant. on: June 17, 2013, 10:45:12 AM
This is legal?
What is this? huh
****Weiner wife Abedin being probed over employment status   ...

ccp,  Thanks for finding this.  Huma is pretty close to the center of the political universe.  Huma is/was Hillary's closest confident.  The right wing nuts (anyone to the right of me) were sure she was Hillary's lesbian lover; Huma accompanied Hillary everywhere.  Then she was the 'Muslim' in the inner circle affecting our diplomatic policies.  She has relatives with ties to CAIR etc.(?)  Then she was set up to be Anthony Weiner's wife, a powerful and outspoken congressman - before his bizarre weiner scandal.  They had Muslim-Jewish wedding??  Then she was the wife standing by him, sort of.  Clintons did not endorse Weiner for mayor - yet.   A soft spot for sex scandals?  Huma is still with Hillary? Still with Weiner.  Now this scandal breaks.  Yes, she takes full time pay, sells access or whatever it is she is selling on the side, and we don't get to know who is involved or how this operation works. 

I really don't want to spend another decade studying Clinton scandals! 
3667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Books, George Gilder: Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism on: June 17, 2013, 10:14:31 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqj3rEi9dDE&feature=player_embedded

Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How It Is Revolutionizing Our World

We’ve tried a government spending spree and learned it doesn’t work. Now is the time to rededicate our country to the pursuit of free market capitalism, before we’re buried under a mound of debt and unfunded entitlements. But how do we navigate between government spending that's too big to sustain and financial institutions that are "too big to fail?" In his new book, George Gilder proposes a bold new theory on how capitalism produces wealth and how our economy can regain its vitality and its growth.

In Knowledge and Power, Gilder reflects on entrepreneurship in its most successful contemporary examples – the tech and digital industries. Having seen firsthand the beneficial effect of a large grouping of individuals left to innovate and grow their businesses unmolested, he argues for the positive results of knowledge left to evolve without the restricting hand of government oversight. The astounding growth of upstart companies both big and small in Silicon Valley was made possible by the freedom they had to wager and risk as they saw fit. Now, in an era where encroaching regulations threaten to stymie further growth, Gilder makes the case why government involvement should be limited.

George F. Gilder is a journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and preeminent economic thinker who is credited with helping to develop the supply-side economic theory. He has served as Chairman of the Lehrman Institute's Economic Roundtable, was Program Director for the Manhattan Institute, and is the Co-Founder of the Discovery Institute. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Forbes, and other publications. His previous books include Men and Marriage, Visible Man, and Wealth and Poverty.

http://www.heritage.org/events/2013/06/knowledge-and-power
http://www.amazon.com/Knowledge-Power-Information-Capitalism-Revolutionizing/dp/1621570274
3668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 15, 2013, 11:34:53 AM
Before this IRS scandal (though that word certainly does not do justice to
the injustice at work here) gets swept under the rug, this was an
interesting interview in the Journal last weekend.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323844804578528193656378164.html

Yes, it is more than an IRS scandal, more than election interference, and more than an attack on the rule of law.  The tax law itself is what armed the IRS to wage their war - against free speech, against free assembly and against equal protection for targeted groups.
3669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CBS confirms Benghazi reporter's computer tampered with on: June 15, 2013, 11:26:27 AM
CBS confirms Benhazi reporter's computer tampered with

No worry when it was Fox.  Now that it is AP and CBS, they have crossed an ethical line, not just the legal one.
3670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Red line reaction by Baraq on: June 15, 2013, 11:23:52 AM

Whose side should we be on when there is no good side to take?  Neither.  No help, no arms, no troops, no involvement, with the exception of keeping a keen eye on containment. 

More than a million people died in the Iran-Iraq war that Saddam caused.  A massive human tragedy and it didn't even receive a mention in the 23 justifications for removing him from power.  http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Authorization_for_Use_of_Military_Force_Against_Iraq_Resolution_of_2002

It is dry powder and elevated readiness for the U.S. on this one.  We should be building up our economy for deterrence and to withstand big wars.  We need to re-think and re-build our arsenal to handle desert, jungle, mountain, air, sea and space in the coming turmoil.  We have lessons still to learn from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Gaza, West Bank, Somalia, the pirates on the Horn, China seas, N. K., Kashmir, Boston, al qaida arrests in Minneapolis, expired Visas, our southern border, the Arctic conflict brewing with Russia, among others.

In the case of Syria, we can side with a genocidal dictator or help the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaida expand and legitimize their power. Afterward, they will still be sworn to destroy us.
3671  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?' on: June 14, 2013, 12:54:57 PM
"Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?"

I am working on an answer to IBD's question.  11% of adults admit to sexting, while our government is giving 29 year old single males who live in their mother's basements access to all our 'data'.  These un-screened, unsupervised, surveillance 'professionals' (making a quarter million a year) are finding material more interesting than Islamist extremists visiting training camps, meeting in Mosques with known terrorists and studying the art of kitchen bomb building.
3672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / National Debt Could Skyrocket As Interest Rates Rise, Wesbury shocked on: June 14, 2013, 10:35:14 AM
Interest costs up 32% in one month.  Much more to come.  We all know that.  If we are comparing to Paul Volcker's time, there is a potential for interest rates to go up 10 points (or more) with interest on the debt consuming more over half of all revenues.  I would call that a 'workhorse economy'.  Did ANYONE see this coming?
---------------------
National Debt Could Skyrocket As Interest Rates Rise

Paying off the national debt just got a bit more dangerous, and potentially a lot more expensive.

The interest rates on federal debt began climbing last month, jumping from 1.66 percent on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note at the start of May to a stunning 2.2 percent on Tuesday.

That 54-basis point increase looks small to the casual eye. But if it continues, the higher yield could increase by billions of dollars how much money the federal government spends to service the $16.7 trillion national debt.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/06/13/National-Debt-Could-Skyrocket-as-Interest-Rates-Rise.aspx#page1
3673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Tells Keystone Foes He Will Unveil Climate Measures on: June 14, 2013, 10:19:57 AM
As the scientific ties between CO2 and warming get weaker and weaker, our glib President tells his closed door, fund raising audiences he is getting ready to double down:

Obama Tells Keystone Foes He Will Unveil Climate Measures

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-13/obama-tells-keystone-foes-he-will-unveil-climate-measures.html

The actions will focus on governing from the executive branch alone, without a check or balance with the legislative branch.

And this guy used to teach constitutional law...
3674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Corruption: FBI Director Doesn't Know Who's Leading Investigation in IRS Case on: June 14, 2013, 10:12:44 AM
FBI Director Testifies He Doesn't Know Who's Leading Investigation in IRS Case

http://cnsnews.com/blog/joe-schoffstall/fbi-director-testifies-he-doesnt-know-whos-leading-investigation-irs-case#sthash.xJyCnL17.dpuf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPrUCPTWTAo&feature=player_embedded

Good luck America.
3675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / RALPH NADER: Has there been a bigger con man in the White House on: June 14, 2013, 10:07:48 AM
RALPH NADER: Yeah, has there—has there been a bigger con man in the White House than Barack Obama?

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/06/13/ralph-nader-has-there-been-bigger-con-man-white-house-barack-obama#ixzz2WCfPdGY1
-----

Ralph, I feel your pain.
3676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Obama's Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers on: June 14, 2013, 10:01:24 AM

If we are going after all data of all people, 'Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?'

My theory on supporting the Patriot Act was that if my number turned up in a terrorist's call history, for any reason - even by misdial, then I should expect that in these times of fighting to prevent more terrorist attacks I will be looked at until cleared.

These guys traveled to training camps and made multiple web visits to bomb making websites.

Instead we used our scarce resources to scrutinize west suburban tea party members for anti-socialism rhetoric.

So Why Didn't NSA Catch The Tsarnaev Brothers?

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061313-659930-patriot-act-did-not-authorize-nsa-prism.htm#ixzz2WCbQDi4W

One person whose privacy was not invaded by U.S. intelligence was Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as he repeatedly visited the al-Qaida online magazine Inspire for its recipe "Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."

The NSA's blanket surveillance did not detect Tsarnaev's interest in building the pressure cooker bombs he would use to devastating effect at the Boston Marathon. The massive databases that we are building a massive facility in Utah to store also failed to uncover the online communications that Tsarnaev had with a known Muslim extremist in Dagestan.
3677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 13, 2013, 03:47:42 PM
CCP, good stuff. 

The status quo combines complex laws with almost no enforcement.  That and negotiating with weasels makes finding a solution next to impossible.

"we can put this bill on a single page or two and burn in effigy the present 1000 page boondoggle of a bill with all sorts or payoffs hidden in it"

When it started looking like Obamacare, I knew they had it wrong.  All those pages and it doesn't include guaranteed border security?  Back to the drawing board.  Don't pretend you will negotiate better later after giving up all leverage.

"Doug do you let anyone rent from you without their name, maybe previous address, or their employer?"

If 50% don't work, isn't asking where you work discriminatory?  wink  By law, unlike the government, I have to treat everyone equally so I try to get a consistent and thorough amount of information from each person.  We ask for a 5 year history of where they have lived and worked, or other information to back up who they are and verify income.  I look to see if the landlord reference actually owns the property.  (Unlike state voting law that requires nothing.)  The worst people come in without putting their names on the application or lease. Then, laws that make eviction nearly impossible make enforcement of the lease nearly impossible too.  In the case of non-citizens, will the same government who approves and pays non-citizens public assistance back me up when I deny them housing?  I don't think so.  Non-citizens easily get drivers licenses in MN, by either disclosing their status or by simply checking the citizen box and getting it on their license.

"The 40 million is a number from surveys done of Mexicans who would like to come to the US."

40 million is also within the range of what some predict is the total that would get in under reform, mostly by way of the friends and family plan.  Reform must include a closing of that opening, starting perhaps with an amendment to clarify  that no rights are created just by giving birth while visiting.  If most of your family is in, uh, Canada, let's say, and uniting your family is the top priority, then go home and be with your family.  If you left your family by choice then so be it.  We didn't split your family and we don't owe you more tickets.
3678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues: Dr. Sowell, Economics vs. 'Need' on: June 13, 2013, 07:53:27 AM
Thomas Sowell addresses a question brought up here regarding hiring and immigration.  My view, mentioned often, is that our worker 'shortage' is completely intertwined with the reality that we pay more than 100 million not to work.

Regarding getting tough on employers, simply require employers to inform the government who they are hiring along with copies of whatever documents one is required to present.  Law enforcement is government's job.  With notification of hiring, they will know where to find them.  A similar question comes to landlords.  Am I supposed to rent to illegals or discriminate against them and risk a far greater penalty from government?  What I know is that I am not qualified to discern the difference between legal and false documents and should not and cannot ask Hispanics for documents that I don't require of Scandinavian-Americans.
-----
Economics vs. 'Need'

By Thomas Sowell - June 11, 2013

One of the most common arguments for allowing more immigration is that there is a "need" for foreign workers to do "jobs that Americans won't do," especially in agriculture.

One of my most vivid memories of the late Armen Alchian, an internationally renowned economist at UCLA, involved a lunch at which one of the younger members of the economics department got up to go get some more coffee. Being a considerate sort, the young man asked, "Does anyone else need more coffee?"

"Need?" Alchian said loudly, in a cutting tone that clearly conveyed his dismay and disgust at hearing an economist using such a word.

A recent editorial on immigration in the Wall Street Journal brought back the memory of Alchian's response, when I read the editorial's statement about "the needs of an industry in which labor shortages can run as high as 20 percent" -- namely agriculture.

Although "need" is a word often used in politics and in the media, from an economic standpoint there is no such thing as an objective and quantifiable "need."

You might think that we all obviously need food to live. But however urgent it may be to have some food, nevertheless beyond some point food becomes not only unnecessary but even counterproductive and dangerous. Widespread obesity among Americans shows that many have already gone too far with food.

This is not just a matter of semantics, but of economics. In the real world, employers compete for workers, just as they compete for customers for their output. And workers go where there is more demand for them, as expressed by what employers offer to pay.

Farmers may wish for more farm workers, just as any of us may wish for anything we would like to have. But that is wholly different from thinking that some third party should define what we desire as a "need," much less expect government policy to meet that "need."

In a market economy, when farmers are seeking more farm workers, the most obvious way to get them is to raise the wage rate until they attract enough people away from alternative occupations -- or from unemployment.

With the higher labor costs that this would entail, the number of workers that farmers "need" would undoubtedly be less than what it would have been if there were more workers available at lower wage rates, such as immigrants from Mexico.

It is no doubt more convenient and profitable to the farmers to import workers at lower pay than to pay American workers more. But bringing in more immigrants is not without costs to other Americans, including both financial costs in a welfare state and social costs, of which increased crime rates are just one.

Some advocates of increased immigration have raised the specter of higher food prices without foreign farm workers. But the price that farmers receive for their produce is usually a fraction of what the consumers pay at the supermarket. And what the farmers pay the farm workers is a fraction of what the farmer gets for the produce.

In other words, even if labor costs doubled, the rise in prices at the supermarket might be barely noticeable.

What are called "jobs that Americans will not do" are in fact jobs at which not enough Americans will work at the current wage rate that some employers are offering. This is not an uncommon situation. That is why labor "shortages" lead to higher wage rates. A "shortage" is no more quantifiable than a "need," when you ignore prices, which are crucial in a market economy. To discuss "need" and "shortage" while ignoring prices -- in this case, wages -- is especially remarkable in a usually market-savvy publication like the Wall Street Journal.

Often shortages have been predicted in various occupations -- and yet never materialized. Why? Because the pay in those occupations rose, causing more people to go into those occupations and causing employers to reduce how many people they "need" at the higher pay rates.

Virtually every kind of "work that Americans will not do" is in fact work that Americans have done for generations. In many cases, most of the people doing that work today are Americans. And there are certainly many unemployed Americans available today, without bringing in more foreign workers to meet farmers' "needs."

 http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/06/11/economics_vs_need_118758.html#ixzz2W6Dn03Zj




3679  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 13, 2013, 07:24:45 AM
Coulter makes good points, especially the one CCP points out, that amnesty last time did not increase vote share for Republicans and does not work for McCain. Other factors abound, but a very strong point.  That said, the choice isn't court Hispanic versus court blacks who went 98% for Obama.  It is more like, IMHO, do what is right and start messaging better to all of them.

Coulter and others, Mirengoff at Powerline who has become obsessed with ripping Marco Rubio, are great dividers.  Yet the work of writing a good bill where the gang of 8 failed still remains.  The House needs to write a good bill and let the Obama and Harry Reid be the obstructors.  Take some of what gang of 8 came up with like a 14 year delay with no federal benefits and then cut out the BS and add border security, real border security.  Answer the family ties question too, where the numbers seem to jump from 11 to 40 million.  If half the 11 million take the pathway, work and don't take federal benefits (or state), we are in good shape as a country.  If a third world country floods us, we are not.

Let a good bill from the House live or die on the obstruction or cooperation of Democrats, then move on with Hispanics and talk about empowering an entrepreneur economy and educate people on how economic freedom is world's only successful welfare system.

A successful Republican Presidential candidate in 2016 needs to gain ground in ALL these groups and will need to point how he was both fair and tough on immigration to both sides of the debate.  To the extent that Rubio is wrong on details, I am not seeing the critics step forward with better plans, just do more of the same and expect a better result.
---
An earlier point was stop the hiring and they will stop coming.  My clarification would be to stop the compensation for not working and they will stop coming for the wrong reasons. 
3680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Benghazi precedent? Benghazi arrests on: June 11, 2013, 12:28:13 PM
As the administration strives to accelerate scandal-fatigue, (thousands of) questions remain.

The first one here was posed by Allen West: When in our history did we ever leave Americans behind to die?

The second wave attacks and the last two to die were the guys who disobeyed the "stand down" order.  Will Carney, Obama, Hillary or any General on duty at the time step up to the plate and admit that they think these two deserved to die or at least deserved no support?

Did lying about what happened to the American people put egg on the face of the Libyan leaders and impede the slow-to-start investigation?

Where are the arrests?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/9/benghazi-killers-still-on-the-lam-after-9-months-m/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

Benghazi killers still on the lam after 9 months, may have sought to ‘smoke out’ CIA
3681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: June 11, 2013, 11:36:49 AM
I have said from the beginning, Hillary will lose to Hickenlooper. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6-QRiU4HRU   Jobs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T92eNrU5Y4o   Fracking

A good friend of mine says the R ticket will most certainly be Jeb Bush and Chris Christy.

I will save people the trouble of typing:

Aaaaccckkk!!!
Aaarrrggghh!!!
3682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 11, 2013, 11:22:09 AM
$100,000 is not very much money in politics or national advertising.  The Obama campaign just spent something approaching a billion on reelection. That is not a very impressive endorsement list IMHO.  Someone has been running radio ads promoting a conservative pro-immigration agenda on conservative radio, Americans for a Conservative Direction.  Wouldn't you know they are actually liberals who are paying for the message to divide conservatives:  http://www.alipac.us/f12/mark-levin-exposes-liberal-front-group-americans-conservative-direction-277982/  Maybe I will start the group, Liberals calling on Obama and Biden to step down and go away or Liberals for a low, across the board, flat tax.

The current Senate Republican reform strategy of Rubio and others is to vote for the bad bill, shift the focus to a Republican bill in the House and hope to fix it in conference.  I think the House will pass a pretty good bill.  Can anyone imagine Schumer, Durbin and Harry Reid caving in conference?  The issue ends somewhere near it started with nothing passed and both sides saying the other is blocking the road to reform.  The point from the beginning was simply that is a slightly better visual for the election than refusing to deal with it at all.

In the 2014 elections, not in Washington but in places like Montana where the Max Baucus open seat will be contested, we will find out what the people think.
3683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / America's Inner City: Richmond VA, 86% of black households are single-parent on: June 10, 2013, 11:02:35 AM
This is cultural, not racial.  The trend extends across all races.

"60 percent of all families in the city of Richmond are single-parent households. Within the African-American demographic, that number spikes up to 86 percent"

http://wtvr.com/2013/06/10/60-percent-of-richmond-families-single-parent/
www.firstthingsrichmond.org
3684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / American History - Movie: Lincoln, Spielberg, 2012 on: June 10, 2013, 10:50:47 AM
I am not a movie buff and I am almost a year late on this; I just saw it yesterday.  Good movie.  Portrays Lincoln as sharp and persuasive, but makes the implication he has the ethical principles of an ordinary, scoundrel politician.  The movie picked a very narrow timeframe and focused only on one issue, House passage of the 13th amendment to abolish slavery.  I am surprised Hollywood showed so many people that it was Republicans who were hellbent on ending slavery.  Do any black voters today know that?  Lousy ending. (Assassination)

My parting thought from the movie "Lincoln" is that some up and coming, conservative filmmaker (oxymoron?) had better step up with great acting, writing, cinematography and financing and do the definitive "Reagan" movie before someone like Spielberg gets to it.
3685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 10, 2013, 10:23:11 AM
"Reducing a 26 volume tax code to a single page will mostly dis-empower the IRS, no matter what rates we choose"
Also will dis-empower some of the political corruption in DC.
Of course we would still have state taxes, county taxes, and so forth....

That's right.  Eliminating preferences and pursuing 'equal protection' brings all special interests down to just free speech power like everyone else.  There is no point in a zero federal income tax because a) it will never happen (again), and b) the states and everyone else will just tax the hell out of your income anyway.  The real gain from a fair tax, national sales etc would have been to not have to calculate your income.  In all but a few states, you have to do that anyway.

The focus of the new federal tax system must be to tax all income, but do it wider, lower, flatter, and simpler.  The reason to do it is to re-empower the American private sector to grow wealth for all who join in.
3686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / (VDH) Unvetted Rezko land recipient asks, 'who changed the rules?' on: June 10, 2013, 10:07:03 AM
Historian Victor Davis Hanson puts context on the current mess. Obama is just being Obama, 'who changed the rules?'

http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/  June 9, 2013

Suddenly, half the country is upset with Obama for the recent flurry of scandals. Even some in the media are perplexed. Why the sudden angst, given that Obama is simply being Obama? We, not he, changed the rules.

Once Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois legislature, his career as a statesman was mostly an afterthought — either voting “present” on controversial legislation (cf. Hillary’s 2008 complaint) or simply showing up to sign off on a straight left-wing agenda. Even his supporters can cite no lasting legislative achievement other than his controversial votes to allow babies born alive from botched abortions to be liquidated. As a political unknown, he got elected and defined his tenure as a legislator into a perpetual effort to find higher office.

Ditto the U.S. Senate.  Obama was noted in his brief career mostly for compiling the most partisan record among a diverse group of 100 senators, while making the argument that he worked “across the aisle” and was a model of “bipartisanship.” Because newly elected Senator Obama swore that he would not run for the presidency, we inferred that he would certainly do just that. (Yes, it is axiomatic that when Obama swears ["make no mistake about it"/"let me be perfectly clear"], then we expect what will follow will prove to be the very opposite.)

In the Senate, there was no signature legislation, no principled opposition, not much of anything, except a vote against Justice Alito and some similarly failed efforts at other filibusters to deny nominees an up-or-down vote.  He spent most of his brief sojourn attacking George W. Bush for the very protocols that he as president would later embrace. The only thing important was getting elected in the first place as a left-wing senator, and Obama accomplished that in brilliant, if not Machiavellian, fashion — with the help of the leaked divorced records of both his primary and general opponents.

The Man Who Never Was

The saga of Obama is marked by the uncanny ability to soar through the academic and government cursus honorum without ever being held too accountable for what followed. Obama’s selection as editor of the Harvard Law Review broke new ground. But to this day, no one cares much that his record was mediocre with no scholarly work to show for his tenure.

For that matter, ditto also his law career at the University of Chicago: an impressive appointment, but no scholarly book as promised, not even an article, and no distinguished record of teaching. Not much of anything. The point of the Nobel Prize was winning it — not doing anything that might have earned it. Just as there was no foreign policy achievement that preceded the prize, so there was naturally none following it. Why expect anything different now?

The Mind of the Liberal Elite

Obama always has a unique insight into a disturbing pathology among wealthy white liberal elites, who often seek, in condescending fashion, to promote particular aspiring minority candidates into positions of power and influence by virtue of their profile rather than past record. Hence the prep-schooled Barry Dunham returned to the more exotic Barack Obama, an authentic enough “other” fresh out of Rev. Wright’s Church, but also the pet of the Ivy League. Had he been born in Chicago to a Daily ward boss, it would have been a bit much to win statewide office. Had Obama been named Reggie Davis I don’t think the liberal resonance would have been there. Had he intoned like Jesse Jackson — all the time — he would have worried big-money liberals. Had his mannerisms been Al Sharpton-like, that would have been a bridge too far. There is something in the liberal mind that ignores the anti-constitutional transgressions of a smooth Eric Holder, but goes berserk over the comparatively minor obfuscations of a twangy Texan Alberto Gonzalez, perhaps along the lines of “how dare he?”  Politics aside, liberal elites would always prefer to hear a Barack Obama fudge than a Clarence Thomas tell the truth.

Obama brilliantly threaded the multicultural, Ivy-League, prep-school, affirmative action, just like us-sorta, yuppie needle. I’ll let you decide whether wealthy liberals practice such racialist paternalism because of feelings of guilt, because of their intrinsic dislike of the NASCAR/Sarah Palin working and middle classes, or as a sort of medieval exemption — the huge “Obama for President” sign on the lawn of the Palo Alto professor means never having to put your kids in schools where some are bused in from East Palo Alto. But what is absolutely non-controversial is that Obama’s prior record as a university undergraduate, a Harvard Law Review editor, a Chicago law lecturer, an Illinois legislator, and a U.S. senator was as undistinguished as his efforts to obtain those posts were absolutely dazzling.

The presidency followed the same earlier script. Obama ran a brilliant campaign both in 2008 and 2012, more inspired even than Richard Nixon’s 1972 CREEP run, or Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” 1984 touchy-feely pastel effort. In 2008, Obama offered cadences of something known as “hope and change” that were supposed to cure the evils of George Bush — and left everything else to the media. The second time around, he turned a decent Mitt Romney into a veritable greedy ogre from the Utah nuthouse, who did everything from ignoring his African-American garbage man to torturing his poor dog to buying pricey horses for his wife who was found guilty of being an equestrian.

But Obama’s record as president? There is pretty much nothing other than ramming through an unpopular takeover of health care, leveraged by political bribes and deemed unworkable even before it is enacted. A “train wreck” is how its author in the Senate dubbed his own legislative offspring.  Otherwise it was golf, down time, and free rein for zealous subordinates to “fundamentally transform America” by any means necessary, usually through administrative fiat and subversions of the vast and always growing bureaucracy.

Obama is now somewhat shocked that a few in the media hold him responsible for lots of bad things that his administration did: destroyed the reputation of the IRS; had a rogue EPA director invent a phony persona; let the HHS secretary shake down PR money from corporations to sell Obamacare; turned the Justice Department into a veritable Stasi enterprise going after the phone records of reporters; reduced the State Department into an arm of the 2012 Obama reelection effort; and helped erode the reputations of both Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, who advanced campaign narratives about Benghazi that were not just untrue, but were demonstrably false the moment they were presented.

So What?

So where’s the beef? Obama, who was given a pass from Rev. Wright to Tony Rezko, is justifiably confused: who now changed the rules? Why should he suddenly be held accountable in a way he never was prior? He signed up to be a transformational president who was above politics, not someone subject to the vagaries of Washington scandals.

The result of the serial dishonesty is that Obama almost immediately reverted to his natural campaign mode, the soaring rhetoric and non-traditional persona that won him everything on the guarantee that there would be no audit, no assessment, no final appraisal. In other words, Obama never really became president of the United States. He simply kept running for the office against “them” even when he is now “them” holding the highest office. So Pavlovian was his campaign mode that he never quite stopped to wonder why he was running against himself — now damning the very abuses of power that he committed, upset only that someone might be disturbed about a record in a manner that they never were at Harvard, in the Senate, or during his first term.

Quo Vadimus?

Where do the scandals lead? To about three more months of Washington inaction. At some point soon, the Democrats will accept that the novelty of Obama in opposition to the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments has worn off. Who cares to hound out our first black president, our first northern liberal commander in chief in a half-century? Likewise the media will strut a bit to show it is not entirely reptilian, but then will revert to the usual hagiography. Why endanger Obamacare, or “lead from behind,” or the apology tours, or the new 50 million on food stamps by cannibalizing your own?

There are lots of metaphors for Obama. Some cite King Henry II, who dreams out loud for advantageous things to follow, only to shed alligator tears when toadies reify his deadly desires (Becket dead? That was a bit much, wasn’t it?). Others cite the clueless Jimmy Carter, whose agendas proved unworkable and ended up as caricatures of a presidency. I still prefer Chauncey Gardiner of Being There. In January 2012, I wrote the following on these pages:

    What got Obama to the presidency was being a man without a past or present, Chauncey Gardiner of Being There — without a college record, a medical record, a scholarly record, or much of a legislative record, the “smartest” president in history without having to say or do anything smart, who “busted hump” his entire life without any proof that he ever did any such thing, who proclaimed himself a greater president than all but three, but left nothing great in his wake, now or in the past. Obama had forgotten that winning non-persona for a time, and so after 2009 fooled himself into thinking out loud that at times he would play a real Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Kennedy, or Reagan.

    But now Obama accepts what he was and always will be — Chauncey Gardiner.

    And just being there is apparently the way to being president a bit longer.

Nothing has changed in the last 18 months, and the Obama presidency remains what it has been since 2009:  a path-breaking candidate who was elected America’s first African-American president; a gifted teleprompted speaker who is as accomplished from a script as he flounders ex tempore; and an opportunist haunted by George Bush and the post-2010 Republican House that are supposed to be responsible for most of what he gets caught for.

Otherwise there is not a lot there—mostly a carnival of McCarthyite (AttackWatch, JournoList, IRS) henchmen and left-wing extremists trying to push through an agenda by any means necessary that the majority of America probably does not welcome.

Obama is perturbed that we question any of this malfeasance. I think he is right to be angry. In his case, we made up the Obama rules that symbolism (not performance) and amnesty (not accountability) count. So why break our covenant with him, and now start asking for concrete and honest accomplishment when the teleprompter was always enough? In 2008, did we ask for the specifics of “the audacity of hope,” or ponder how someone who did not miss a service at Trinity Church (“Yep. Every week. 11 o’clock service”) somehow missed Rev. Wright’s serial racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American rants? That we now want to know the president’s role in Benghazi, or in the IRS, AP, and Fox scandals is something that was just not part of the smartest-president-in-history bargain—as if once upon a time America ever demanded, “What the hell is your hope and change?”

So as they say here in Selma, “Get over it”.
3687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Tea Party joins with ACLU to weaken terrorism defense on: June 10, 2013, 09:49:08 AM
The merits of these policies can be debated on privacy and security threads, but the political reality is a big split within the conservative movement.  It also divides the left as these are now Obama policies exposed by the NSA leak, opposed by the ACLU and civil libertarians.

What a fatal, terrorist empowering shame it is that with the IRS abuse and other scandals that we don't trust our national security apparatus to sniff out and hunt down terrorists.
------

The WSJ quite descriptively calls it "A Tea Party Blindspot"
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323844804578527312872991902.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

"... both the Constitution and laws of war make no distinction between an American and foreign terrorist. Anyone who takes up arms as a declared enemy of the United States, fails to wear a uniform and targets civilians is an illegal enemy combatant, regardless of passport. The Supreme Court affirmed this principle in 1942 in a case involving Nazi saboteurs, including a U.S. citizen, who were caught on the U.S. East Coast and tried and executed by a military court.

Where a terrorist is captured is also immaterial. By offering special protections to those already on U.S. soil, Mr. Goodlatte and his ACLU allies would provide al Qaeda and other terror networks with a perverse incentive to recruit in America. Contrary to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's assertions, terrorists certainly consider the U.S. to be part of the global terror battlefield. Ask any New Yorker."
...
"In practice the President has detained an American on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant only twice in 12 years."
...
"when the U.S. treated al Qaeda as a law enforcement problem and made itself more vulnerable to attack. The tea party-ACLU condominium is threatening to blur the laws of war with the rules of civilian justice in a way that could jeopardize U.S. security. Let's hope they fail."

Full coverage: https://subscribe.wsj.com/
3688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Supply Side economist Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones on Tax Policy on: June 10, 2013, 09:18:57 AM
The Stones are famously tax-averse... "The whole business thing is predicated a lot on the tax laws," says Keith Richards, Marlboro in one hand, vodka and juice in the other. "It's why we rehearse in Canada and not in the U.S. A lot of our astute moves have been basically keeping up with tax laws, where to go, where not to put it. Whether to sit on it or not. We left England because we'd be paying 98 cents on the dollar. We left, and they lost out. No taxes at all."

Fortune Magazine, Sept. 30, 2002,  WSJ 06/10/2013
3689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media, Jay Leno, Obama, IRS, NSA on: June 09, 2013, 10:46:38 PM
I'm not a fan of any of the late night talk hosts, and Jay Leno is a Dem, but a comedian first.  At the start of Obama, the comedians wouldn't touch him. Now circumstances have reversed themselves, at least with this Leno clip:


    Well, let’s see what’s going on. Hey, Snoop is back in the news. Not Snoop Dogg, Snoop Obama. Yeah, Snoop Obama. A big change at the White House today. They closed the gift shop and opened a Verizon store. Yeah.

    Well, this has become a huge controversy after it was revealed that the National Security Agency seized millions of Verizon phone records, and of course this has caused a panic among civil libertarians, constitutional scholars and cheating husbands everywhere. Oh my God.

    How ironic is that? We wanted a president that listens to all Americans – now we have one. Yeah.

    Actually, President Obama clarified the situation today. He said no one is listening to your phone calls. The president said it’s not what the program is all about. You know, like the IRS isn’t about targeting certain political groups. That’s not what it’s about!

    I mean what’s going on? The White House has looked into our phone records, checking our computers, monitoring our e-mails. When did the government suddenly become our psycho ex-girlfriend? When did that happen? When did that happen? When did that happen?

    You know, I’ll tell you, if Obama wants to put this snooping thing to good use, how about spying on the IRS next time they throw a $4 million party. Why don’t you do that one? Yes, exactly, exactly. Find out about that. Yeah.

    As you know by now, the IRS has taken some heat for reportedly spending $4 million on a conference in Anaheim last year where employees took dancing lessons. One of the dances they learned? Tap dancing around the issues. Yes, that was very good, be able to tap dance

    Well, the latest one that came out today. You see this one? They’re saying the IRS paid an artist $17,000 to paint portraits of Abraham Lincoln to help inspire the IRS agents. You know, if they want to see a picture of Lincoln for inspiration, take out a $5 bill and save the taxpayers $16,995. Exactly. That’s what they said. They said.

    Oh, the hearings have been unbelievable this week. Congressional investigators say the IRS basically threw a $4 million party for themselves. But in fairness, who else is going to throw a party for the IRS? Really? Now, a going away party, I think we’d all chip in. I would chip in! I would chip in! There you are, no problem. I would pay for that.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/06/08/leno-we-wanted-president-listens-all-americans-now-we-have-one
3690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Explaining Hitler on: June 08, 2013, 02:23:40 PM
... I think this is where I first read that there is absolutely nothing in writing that directly links Hitler to Holocaust...

Yes, no direct link except that he was in charge and that was what was happening.  Nazi analogies to anything short of genocide are never good, but...   in the case of the IRS scandal, Benghazi, and others, our President was in charge when things for which he is responsible happened.  We keep looking for a smoking gun that likely doesn't exist instead of just holding the responsible people accountable.
3691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: non-citizens voting on: June 08, 2013, 02:15:28 PM
I tried to look up if non citizens can vote or not.  No succinct answer.  I get this endless diatribe.   So when Brock the Terrible gestures that illegals would have to get in the back of the line for citizenship (and learn English) that does not mean they wouldn't be able to vote for his party effective immediately.   Brock the scheister doesn't tell us that. 
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/07/the-threat-of-non-citizen-voting

Good question.  What I take from this piece is that those non-citizens are voting illegally - because they are here, already illegal, and because they can.  One could quite easily make the argument that under 'reform', those who were formerly illegal and choose the contract for the 'pathway' would be less likely to risk committing vote fraud while working and paying their way to citizenship. 

Their inability to vote for 14 year(?) is one reason Obama wanted his own plan, not this one, IMO.
3692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2013, 11:23:21 AM
Doug,  Do you think Rove Bushes and the rest of the Rep elite party are hip to this?   It is a tall task in a country with half who don't pay taxes but this might have the momentum if played right.   But the "leaders" on the right are not as clever and directed as the politburo.  

A true flat tax is not going to fly, but a 2 or 3 tiered tax system with only 2 or 3 deductions allowed would accomplish the nearly the same thing.  Ted Cruz and others are working on this idea.  

Reducing a 26 volume tax code to a single page will mostly dis-empower the IRS, no matter what rates we choose.

Since the peak of the last economic expansion, liberals have been winning the 'fairness' argument by bringing everyone down. Tomorrow's leaders will need to move the polls toward the policies of economic growth, not follow the current polls.

Rove is not against reform, he is against the nomination of inexperienced, unvetted candidates who run for high offices and blow crucial races.  The tea party and Rove types focused on winning elections can learn from each other and work together.  Republican should have tied or taken the Senate last time around.  All the Republican presidential candidates had big tax reform ideas in their platforms, written by the advisers from among the party elites.  We need better candidates with better messaging to win more votes.  The success of people like Cruz, Rubio and Rand Paul and others needs to spread to more like-minded candidates winning more races.

Rubio won by a swing state by a million votes and Rove was one of his earliest backers - and he was running against a moderate, sitting governor in his own party.  But Rubio came to the Senate race from his position as Florida Speaker of the House, not as an unvetted newcomer or outsider.
3693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy - Flatten the IRS on: June 08, 2013, 12:00:03 AM
3694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness' new appointments, Susan Rice, Samatha Power on: June 07, 2013, 12:23:15 PM
The LA Times calls them the "liberal hawks":  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-heilbrunn-obama-rice-power-20130607,0,4704730.story

There is too much material from these two to even know where to start.  A contributor at Politico today says Susan Rice is a great choice because of character, strong ethical standards and a clear lens of strategic analysis. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/susan-rice-and-samantha-power-up-close-92279.html  Same Susan Rice who analyzed Benghazi and told it straight to the nation.  Rice has a history of other problems well documented in the forum.

Samantha Power, architect of the world apology tour, is quite a bit scarier.  Before getting to her statements, take a look at the fascist-left views of Cass Sunstein, her husband, writing about one of his favorite subjects, justifying coercive paternalism, which means opposing individual liberty, which I wrote about here: http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2177.msg70158#msg70158  and was picked up by the WSJ here:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324105204578382572446778866.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Washington Free Beacon: Samantha Power’s Five Worst Statements
http://freebeacon.com/samantha-powers-five-worst-statements/

Samantha Power will take over at as ambassador to the United Nations following Susan Rice’s promotion to national security adviser. Here are Power’s five most embarrassing comments.

1. Power called for global apology tour

Power wrote that U.S. foreign policy “needs not tweaking but overhauling,” in a 2003 New Republic article.  Power recommended that United States officials should apologize to the world for its past failures in order to enhance credibility with foreign countries.

“A country has to look back before it can move forward,” Power wrote. “Instituting a doctrine of the mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors.”

She reasoned that terrorists depend for their sustenance on “mainstream anti-Americanism throughout the world,” and that anti-Americanism is the fault of the United States.

“Some anti-Americanism derives simply from our being a colossus that bestrides the earth,” argued Power. “But much anti-Americanism derives from the role U.S. political, economic, and military power has played in denying such freedoms to others.”

2. Power recommended the United States intervene with a “Mammoth Protection Force” in Israel, then called the idea “weird”

Power made several recommendations on what the United States should do to alleviate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which she compared to the Rwandan genocide, in a 2002 discussion at Berkeley.

Though she stopped just short of calling it genocide, she did say that she saw “major human rights abuses” in Israel.  Power advised that the United States should stop spending money on the Israeli military, and instead invest billions in a new Palestinian state.

“It may mean sacrificing—or investing I think more than sacrificing—literally billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine,” Power explained.

She continued by recommending that the United States invest billions to send “a mammoth protection force” in order to create a “meaningful military presence” in Israel.

One of the few concerns for Power was that such action would alienate the pro-Israel lobby in the United States.  “Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import,” Power said.

3. Power praised Obama’s willingness to meet with enemies without preconditions

Power offered praise for President Barack Obama’s statement that he was willing to meet with rogue leaders without preconditions in the first year of his administration.  According to the Huffington Post, Power saw this statement by Obama as a turning point for his campaign and talked positively of his staunch insistence on the point.

“I can tell you about the conference call the day [after Obama made the proclamation],” she recalled. “People were like, ‘Did you need to say that?’ And he was like ‘yeah, definitely.’”

4. Power lost her job with Obama for calling Hillary Clinton a “monster”

Power was forced to resign from Obama’s presidential campaign for calling Hillary Clinton a “monster” in 2008.  The comments came during an interview with a Scottish newspaper.

“She is a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything,” Power said.

She went into depth on what she believed were deceitful tactics by the Clinton campaign.  “You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh.’ But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.”

 5. Power on John Kerry: “He must have thought that having got shrapnel in his ass out there bought him some credibility. It didn’t.”

Power had strong words for Secretary of State John Kerry following his failed 2004 campaign for president.  Power thinks that it was a mistake for Kerry to assume his military record alone would be enough to deflect attacks on the merits of his service in Vietnam.

“The lesson we got was that the only thing worse than John Kerry being Swiftboated was his being slow to respond,” Power told the New Statesman. “God love him, he must have thought that having got shrapnel in his ass out there bought him some credibility. It didn’t.”
-----
Same paper, Susan Rice's 5 worst moments:   http://freebeacon.com/susan-rices-worst-5-moments/
3695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Giving, charity, tithing: America's Worst Charities on: June 07, 2013, 10:05:27 AM
This list with accompanying stories is sickening.  I hate seeing how little money goes to real help and real solutions.  My main complaint isn't with the 50 worst; it is with the prominent ones who pay their executives millions and and spend huge proportions of their money on overhead, compensation and more fund raising. You are paying the people who called you to ask you to give.  Might as well buy magazine subscriptions - at least you will get a magazine.  I challenge people to bring forward the charities that put close to 100% of their money into the stated cause.

http://www.tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities/
The 50 worst, ranked by money blown on soliciting costs

Totals from the latest 10 years of available federal tax filings
Rank   Charity name   Total raised by solicitors   Paid to solicitors   % spent on direct cash aid
1    Kids Wish Network    $127.8 million    $109.8 million    2.5%
2    Cancer Fund of America    $98.0 million    $80.4 million    0.9%
3    Children's Wish Foundation International    $96.8 million    $63.6 million    10.8%
4    American Breast Cancer Foundation    $80.8 million    $59.8 million    5.3%
5    Firefighters Charitable Foundation    $63.8 million    $54.7 million    8.4%
6    Breast Cancer Relief Foundation    $63.9 million    $44.8 million    2.2%
7    International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO    $57.2 million    $41.4 million    0.5%
8    National Veterans Service Fund    $70.2 million    $36.9 million    7.8%
9    American Association of State Troopers    $45.0 million    $36.0 million    8.6%
10    Children's Cancer Fund of America    $37.5 million    $29.2 million    5.3%
11    Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation    $34.7 million    $27.6 million    0.6%
12    Youth Development Fund    $29.7 million    $24.5 million    0.8%
13    Committee For Missing Children    $26.9 million    $23.8 million    0.8%
14    Association for Firefighters and Paramedics    $23.2 million    $20.8 million    3.1%
15    Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)    $51.5 million    $20.4 million    0.0%
16    National Caregiving Foundation    $22.3 million    $18.1 million    3.5%
17    Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth    $19.6 million    $16.1 million    0.0%
18    United States Deputy Sheriffs' Association    $23.1 million    $15.9 million    0.6%
19    Vietnow National Headquarters    $18.1 million    $15.9 million    2.9%
20    Police Protective Fund    $34.9 million    $14.8 million    0.8%
21    National Cancer Coalition    $41.5 million    $14.0 million    1.1%
22    Woman To Woman Breast Cancer Foundation    $14.5 million    $13.7 million    0.4%
23    American Foundation For Disabled Children    $16.4 million    $13.4 million    0.8%
24    The Veterans Fund    $15.7 million    $12.9 million    2.3%
25    Heart Support of America    $33.0 million    $11.0 million    3.4%
26    Veterans Assistance Foundation    $12.2 million    $11.0 million    10.5%
27    Children's Charity Fund    $14.3 million    $10.5 million    2.3%
28    Wishing Well Foundation USA    $12.4 million    $9.8 million    4.6%
29    Defeat Diabetes Foundation    $13.8 million    $8.3 million    0.1%
30    Disabled Police Officers of America Inc.    $10.3 million    $8.1 million    2.5%
31    National Police Defense Foundation    $9.9 million    $7.8 million    5.8%
32    American Association of the Deaf & Blind    $10.3 million    $7.8 million    0.1%
33    Reserve Police Officers Association    $8.7 million    $7.7 million    1.1%
34    Optimal Medical Foundation    $7.9 million    $7.6 million    1.0%
35    Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation    $9.0 million    $7.6 million    1.0%
36    Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center    $8.2 million    $6.9 million    0.1%
37    Children's Leukemia Research Association    $9.8 million    $6.8 million    11.1%
38    United Breast Cancer Foundation    $11.6 million    $6.6 million    6.3%
39    Shiloh International Ministries    $8.0 million    $6.2 million    1.3%
40    Circle of Friends For American Veterans    $7.8 million    $5.7 million    6.5%
41    Find the Children    $7.6 million    $5.0 million    5.7%
42    Survivors and Victims Empowered    $7.7 million    $4.8 million    0.0%
43    Firefighters Assistance Fund    $5.6 million    $4.6 million    3.2%
44    Caring for Our Children Foundation    $4.7 million    $4.1 million    1.6%
45    National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition    $4.8 million    $4.0 million    0.0%
46    American Foundation for Children With Aids    $5.2 million    $3.0 million    0.0%
47    Our American Veterans    $2.6 million    $2.3 million    2.3%
48    Roger Wyburn-Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation For Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease    $8.4 million    $1.8 million    0.0%
49    Firefighters Burn Fund    $2.0 million    $1.7 million    1.5%
50    Hope Cancer Fund    $1.9 million    $1.6 million    0.5%
3696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War on the rule of law: IRS political timeline on: June 07, 2013, 09:46:11 AM
Are these not marching orders to the public employee union activists working in the Obama administration agencies?

Kim Strassel, WSJ today, excerpt, link below
...
 Aug. 9, 2010: In Texas, President Obama for the first time publicly names a group he is obsessed with—Americans for Prosperity (founded by the Koch Brothers)—and warns about conservative groups. Taking up a cry that had until then largely been confined to left-wing media and activists, he says: "Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads . . . And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation."

Aug. 11: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sends out a fundraising email warning about "Karl Rove-inspired shadow groups."

Aug. 21: Mr. Obama devotes his weekly radio address to the threat of "attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names. We don't know who's behind these ads and we don't know who's paying for them. . . . You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation. . . . The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide."

Week of Aug. 23: The New Yorker's Jane Mayer authors a hit piece on the Koch brothers, entitled "Covert Operations," in which she accuses them of funding "political front groups." The piece repeats the White House theme, with Ms. Mayer claiming the Kochs have created "slippery organizations with generic-sounding names" that have "made it difficult to ascertain the extent of their influence in Washington."

Aug. 27: White House economist Austan Goolsbee, in a background briefing with reporters, accuses Koch industries of being a pass-through entity that does "not pay corporate income tax." The Treasury inspector general investigates how it is that Mr. Goolsbee might have confidential tax information. The report has never been released.

This same week, the Democratic Party files a complaint with the IRS claiming the Americans for Prosperity Foundation is violating its tax-exempt status.

Sept. 2: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warns on its website that the Kochs have "funneled their money into right-wing shadow groups."

Sept. 16: Mr. Obama, in Connecticut, repeats that a "foreign-controlled entity" might be funding "millions of dollars of attack ads." Four days later, in Philadelphia, he again says the problem is that "nobody knows" who is behind conservative groups.

Sept. 21: Sam Stein, in his Huffington Post article "Obama, Dems Try to Make Shadowy Conservative Groups a Problem for Conservatives," writes that a "senior administration official" had "urged a small gathering of reporters to start writing on what he deemed 'the most insidious power grab that we have seen in a very long time.' "

Sept. 22: In New York City, Mr. Obama warns that conservative groups "pose as non-for-profit, social welfare and trade groups," even though they are "guided by seasoned Republican political operatives" who might be funded by a "foreign-controlled corporation."

Sept. 26: On ABC's "This Week," Obama senior adviser David Axelrod declares outright that the "benign-sounding Americans for Prosperity, the American Crossroads Fund" are "front groups for foreign-controlled companies."

Sept. 28: The president, in Wisconsin, again warns about conservative organizations "posing as nonprofit groups." Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, writes to the IRS demanding it investigate nonprofits. The letter names conservative organizations.

On Oct. 14, Mr. Obama calls these groups "a problem for democracy." On Oct. 22, he slams those who "hide behind these front groups." On Oct. 25, he upgrades them to a "threat to our democracy." On Oct. 26, he decries groups engaged in "unsupervised spending."

These were not off-the-cuff remarks. They were repeated by the White House and echoed by its allies in campaign events, emails, social media and TV ads. The president of the United States spent months warning the country that "shadowy," conservative "front" groups—"posing" as tax-exempt entities and illegally controlled by "foreign" players—were engaged in "unsupervised" spending that posed a "threat" to democracy. Yet we are to believe that a few rogue IRS employees just happened during that time to begin systematically targeting conservative groups? A mere coincidence that among the things the IRS demanded of these groups were "copies of any contracts with and training materials provided by Americans for Prosperity"?

This newspaper reported Thursday that Cincinnati IRS employees are now telling investigators that they took their orders from Washington. For anyone with a memory of 2010 politics, that was obvious from the start.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323844804578529571309012846.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
3697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Economics: The Hidden Jobless Disaster on: June 07, 2013, 09:40:41 AM
Watch the employment rate, now below 60%, not the unemployment rate which headlines U3.  The number receiving food stamps is up by 39% since 2009.  U3 only includes Americans actively seeking work.

The Hidden Jobless Disaster 
At the present slow pace of job growth, it will require more than a decade to get back to full employment defined by prerecession standards.

By EDWARD P. LAZEAR   WSJ June 6, 2013  (excerpt)
...
Yet the unemployment rate is not the best guide to the strength of the labor market, particularly during this recession and recovery. Instead, the Fed and the rest of us should be watching the employment rate. There are two reasons.

First, the better measure of a strong labor market is the proportion of the population that is working, not the proportion that isn't. In 2006, 63.4% of the working-age population was employed. That percentage declined to a low of 58.2% in July 2011 and now stands at 58.6%. By this measure, the labor market's health has barely changed over the past three years.

Second, the headline unemployment rate, what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "U3," uses as its numerator the number of individuals who are actively seeking work but do not have jobs. There is another highly relevant measure that captures what is going on in the economy. "U6" counts those marginally attached to the workforce—including the unemployed who dropped out of the labor market and are not actively seeking work because they are discouraged, as well as those working part time because they cannot find full-time work.

Every time the unemployment rate changes, analysts and reporters try to determine whether unemployment changed because more people were actually working or because people simply dropped out of the labor market entirely, reducing the number actively seeking work. The employment rate—that is, the employment-to-population ratio—eliminates this issue by going straight to the bottom line, measuring the proportion of potential workers who are actually working.

During the past three decades the relation between unemployment and employment has been almost perfectly inverse. (See the nearby chart.) When the employment-to-population ratio rises, the unemployment rate falls. When the unemployment rate rises, the employment-to-population ratio falls. Even the turning points are aligned. Consequently, the unemployment rate has been a very good proxy for the employment rate. But that relationship has completely broken down during the most recent recession.

While the unemployment rate has fallen over the past 3½ years, the employment-to-population ratio has stayed almost constant at about 58.5%, well below the prerecession peak. Jobs are always being created and destroyed, and the net number of jobs over the last 3½ years has increased. But so too has the size of the working-age population. Job growth has been just slightly better than what it takes to keep the employed proportion of the working-age population constant. That's why jobs still seem so scarce.

The U.S. is not getting back many of the jobs that were lost during the recession. At the present slow pace of job growth, it will require more than a decade to get back to full employment defined by prerecession standards.

The striking deficiency in jobs is borne out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Despite declining unemployment rates, the number of hires during the most recent month (March 2013) is almost the same as it was in January 2009, the worst month for job losses during the entire recession (4.2 million then, 4.3 million now).

Why have so many workers dropped out of the labor force and stopped actively seeking work? Partly this is due to sluggish economic growth. But research by the University of Chicago's Casey Mulligan has suggested that because government benefits are lost when income rises, some people forgo poor jobs in lieu of government benefits—unemployment insurance, food stamps and disability benefits among the most obvious. The disability rolls have grown by 13% and the number receiving food stamps by 39% since 2009.

These disincentives to seek work may also help explain the unusually high proportion of the unemployed who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks. The proportion of unemployed who are long-termers reached 45% in April 2010 and again in March 2011. It is still above 37%. During the early 1980s, when the economy experienced a comparable recession, the proportion of long-term unemployed never exceeded 27%.

The Fed may draw two inferences from the experience of the past few years. The first is that it may be a very long time before the labor market strengthens enough to declare that the slump is over. The lackluster job creation and hiring that is reflected in the low employment-to-population ratio has persisted for three years and shows no clear signs of improving.

The second is that the various programs of quantitative easing (and other fiscal and monetary policies) have not been particularly effective at stimulating job growth. Consequently, the Fed may want to reconsider its decision to maintain a loose-money policy until the unemployment rate dips to 6.5%.

Mr. Lazear, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-2009, is a Hoover Institution fellow and a professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
3698  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NY Times:[administration]will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it on: June 07, 2013, 09:27:45 AM
"The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue[NSA surveillance].  Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. "
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/opinion/president-obamas-dragnet.html?_r=0
3699  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We bombed the wrong side? on: June 05, 2013, 05:09:29 PM
Comments?
We bombed the wrong side?
THE NATIONAL POST (Canada) ^ | 2004-04-06 | Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie
Posted on 6 April, 2004 7:54:40 PM EDT by DTA
...Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the Bosnian civil war of 1992.

Wow!  I have seen that view before.  This being from 2004, perhaps it was the same piece.  He seems knowledgeable and credible; I don't know enough to disagree.  What I would add is that our attempt to protect Muslims in Bosnia and Kosova were just a couple of the MANY times we have sided with Muslims, and doing so was always of no use or benefit in dealing with Islamist extremists (or the blame-America crowd) then or later who only recognize examples of interventions that infer we are their enemy.

Other nostalgia from the Balkans, I also can't remember when congress declared war in Bosnia, Kosova or Serbia (they didn't) and can't imagine what the media and liberal reaction would have been if was Reagan or Bush instead of Clinton who bombed the Chinese embassy.

If Clinton chose the wrong side from time to time, perhaps it was because he was distracted...
3700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mussolini would be proud , , , on: June 05, 2013, 04:47:45 PM

An alternative to requiring all people to enlist and work for the government in peace time would be to 'enlist' all young people when they turn 18 to work 52 weeks, 40 hours per week in the private sector and pay taxes before they are eligible to vote, secure student loans, receive government benefits, etc.

BTW, "require to enlist", they will require you to volunteer?  Besides fascist, isn't that a bit Orwellian, and oxymoronic?  Reminds me of when Al Gore accused his opponents of making an explicit implication: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123678882987596665.html
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