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3751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sec. Kerry: "Does Israel want a third intifada?" on: November 11, 2013, 12:31:10 PM
http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/11/217314.htm
In Jerusalem, Nov 7, 2013:

Sec. Kerry described Israel's settlements in the West Bank as "illegitimate" and warned ominously: "The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?"
3752  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: November 11, 2013, 11:24:19 AM
Happy Veterans Day to those who earned that distinction.

In my business, veterans can start at the front of the line - every day of the year.
3753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Education: Career Pathways site links Majors to Careers on: November 11, 2013, 11:19:22 AM
https://apps.carleton.edu/career/visualize/

Click on any major on the left and any career on the right and see the the 'pathways'.
3754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left - NY Daily News, Why He Lied... on: November 11, 2013, 11:05:30 AM
Long story, but he lied because we can't handle the truth:

"Seemingly the only path to change is telling voters what they want to hear."

"So accuse Obama of lying about health-care reform — but understand the simple underlying reality: we can’t handle the truth."

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/behind-obama-lie-immaturity-article-1.1511360#ixzz2kMEEfsBJ


3755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Science, Sunspots Are Half the Number Expected on: November 11, 2013, 10:57:24 AM
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304672404579183940409194498?mod=trending_now_1

Scientists say that solar activity is stranger than in a century or more, with the sun producing barely half the number of sunspots as expected and its magnetic poles oddly out of sync.

The sun generates immense magnetic fields as it spins. Sunspots—often broader in diameter than Earth—mark areas of intense magnetic force that brew disruptive solar storms. These storms may abruptly lash their charged particles across millions of miles of space toward Earth, where they can short-circuit satellites, smother cellular signals or damage electrical systems.

Based on historical records, astronomers say the sun this fall ought to be nearing the explosive climax of its approximate 11-year cycle of activity—the so-called solar maximum. But this peak is "a total punk," said Jonathan Cirtain, who works at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as project scientist for the Japanese satellite Hinode, which maps solar magnetic fields.

"I would say it is the weakest in 200 years," said David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Researchers are puzzled. They can't tell if the lull is temporary or the onset of a decades-long decline, which might ease global warming a bit by altering the sun's brightness or the wavelengths of its light.

"There is no scientist alive who has seen a solar cycle as weak as this one," said Andrés Munoz-Jaramillo, who studies the solar-magnetic cycle at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

To complicate the riddle, the sun also is undergoing one of its oddest magnetic reversals on record.

Normally, the sun's magnetic north and south poles change polarity every 11 years or so. During a magnetic-field reversal, the sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, drop to zero, and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. As far as scientists know, the magnetic shift is notable only because it signals the peak of the solar maximum, said Douglas Biesecker at NASA's Space Environment Center.

But in this cycle, the sun's magnetic poles are out of sync, solar scientists said. The sun's north magnetic pole reversed polarity more than a year ago, so it has the same polarity as the south pole.

"The delay between the two reversals is unusually long," said solar physicist Karel Schrijver at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif.

Scientists said they are puzzled, but not concerned, by the unusual delay. They expect the sun's south pole to change polarity next month, based on current satellite measurements of its shifting magnetic fields.

At the same time, scientists can't explain the scarcity of sunspots. While still turbulent, the sun seems feeble compared with its peak power in previous decades. "It is not just that there are fewer sunspots, but they are less active sunspots," Dr. Schrijver said.
(More at the link)
3756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CognitiveDissonance Glibness, The Lie about the Lie about the Lie in the Apology on: November 11, 2013, 10:48:30 AM
Deceitful, naive, inexperienced President does not know the 'law of holes'.  When you are in one, stop digging.

President Obama in his 'apology': ‘We’re talking about 5 percent of the population.’

Really?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/11/08/fact-checking-the-presidents-kind-of-sort-of-apology-for-obamacare-driven-insurance-cancellations/

But that’s not true.

As I noted last week, in 2010, the Obama administration estimated that 93 million Americans would be unable to keep their prior health coverage under the narrow grandfathering provisions issued by the administration in June 2010. My colleague Chris Conover estimates that the number is 129 million. And we are here only talking about disruptions to private health plans, and not counting the law’s $716 billion in cuts to Medicare.

The level of disruption in the employer-sponsored market will be less than that in the individual market, where people shop for coverage on their own. But the President is most certainly violating his “like your plan” pledge in the employer-sponsored market, too. For example, employer-sponsored insurance will now have to cover costly, federally-dictated benefits that they did not have to cover before, rendering many plans illegal. Excise taxes on premiums, drugs, and medical devices will drive premiums upward. And the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-value insurance plans—a meritorious idea—will force a massive restructuring of many coverage arrangements.
-----------------------

I am patiently waiting for our watchdog media to question what else was he lying about?  Perhaps everything economic, for starters?
3757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance Glibness, The lie, the lie about the lie, apology 1, ... on: November 08, 2013, 09:40:17 AM
At least 34 times: If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.  Period.
It was false before he said it - 34 times.

Then there was the lie about the lie.  

“Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

Peter Wehner writing at Commentary:  the most brazenly mendacious claim an American president has told since Bill Clinton’s finger-wagging insistence that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
------------
Jay Leno has a 34 second coverage of the lie about the lie:
http://www.libertynews.com/2013/10/hilarious-34-second-video-late-night-comic-jay-leno-attacks-obamas-blatant-obamacare-lies/
------------
The lie about the lie did not fly so they moved right on to the 'apology'.
Has anyone actually tried to read or listened to this 'apology'?

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/11/obamas-lying-apology.php
(Chuck Todd- Pres Obama 24 min. interview)
-----------
 "I regret very much that what we intended to do, which was to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want them as opposed to because they are forced into it, but we weren’t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place, and I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position, in a better position than they were in before this law happened. And I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me and we’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and that we’re going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this."
-----------

Just for the record, what is a sincere apology?  You regret what you said or did.  You would do it differently if you had the chance to go back.  You would do everything in your power to make it right now.  

Instead he says it's a 'small percentage of folks' (95 million Americans), 'most of these folks will be better off with a new plan' (twice the price).  We did it the best way possible.  You will be better off.  No real regrets.  Until the next apology, much more sincere - if you can believe that!
3758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel and neighbors, Netanyahu slams proposed deal with Iran on: November 08, 2013, 08:47:52 AM
Treasury simply stopped enforcing companies that do business with Iran.  I assume the House and Senate Committees that deal with this were in the dark.

The government departments are simply ordered to do his bidding behind the scenes.

This makes Iran Contra look like peanuts.

Of course the shysters will be out en masse denying this is the case. 

And Hillary will be doing polls and devising her distancing strategy behind the scenes.

She will campaign for stronger ties with Israel and the Hollywood hypocrites will be flooding her with money.   Now the liar in chief is safely in for the second term they will shift their support to the next one.

All the while we are going to have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. 

This time he meant it, if you like your nuclear plan, you can keep your nuclear plan.
------------------

http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/First-step-deal-on-Irans-nuclear-program-expected-as-early-as-Friday-330978

Netanyahu slams proposed deal with Iran in harshest words to date

The deal being worked out between the world powers and Iran is a very bad deal that Israel is not obliged by, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.

3759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: November 07, 2013, 01:56:21 PM
My intuitive sense of things is that this level of taxation still does not approach the costs attendant to a criminal market.

Agree.  They will do fine for now with this level of taxation, only paid by tourists and casual users.  'Medical marijuana' market will not be subject to this tax.  The heavy burners just had to utter 'chronic pain' to a doctor, and their friends all know to just call them to get around the tax.

I'm mostly pointing out legalization is a misnomer.  The black market is still illegal.  Levying a 35% tax that most people can easily avoid will result in a permanent and prosperous 'black market'.

One libertarian point in favor of legalization was that crime would disappear with the big money and illegal status removed, but then we tax it to get the price back up to old, black market prices.  I see an incongruity.
3760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 01:34:47 PM
Why do you want limited campaign funding now?"

I'm not advocating limits, just exercising my own free speech to call them out on their chicanery.  ('the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose')   smiley

I should disclose that I contemplated doing the same for one of my good buddies when he was Green party endorsed candidate for Governor in MN, and then for congress in St. Paul.  Obviously my effort would have been to help a Republican defeat a Democrat, not to favor far left over left.

"Are you suggesting to me that the majority of those who want to give unlimited monies to candidates want all the information to be made public? Do you have evidence for this position? Do the Koch brothers? Warren Buffet? The people who are actually giving this money? "

No.  I was clarifying my view shared by others who oppose limits but favor full disclosure.  Big donors, I would guess, prefer privacy and anonymity.  Transparency might actually help those like Koch brothers who get blamed beyond their actual involvement.  Now we have the worst of both with limits on involvement and then information coming out when it is of no use.

(CCP) "It does bother me how wealthy people, corporations, wealthy lobbyists can outright control or influence elections."

My thought on this is that IF government was mostly removed from the business of picking economic winners and losers, wealth redistribution, crony governmentism, over-regulation, etc., the utility of special interest money would be much smaller.  The enterprises of the Koch brothers for example are under constant political attack, perhaps justly, but we deserve to hear both sides.  I recall that Microsoft did not have one lobbyist on staff in Washington the day the Clinton/Janet Reno Justice Department set out to break them up, justly or unjustly.  They do now.
-----
I appreciate the kind words!
3761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues, The Colorado Marijuana Tax on: November 07, 2013, 09:40:08 AM
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303309504579182091428213278?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

Coloradans also approved a 25% tax on the marijuana sales they legalized in 2012. The money is earmarked for education, so now parents can tell their kids they're getting high for their future, or something. The problem is that the tax rate, which can reach 35% in some localities, will be so high that it may encourage a black market, thus defeating the supposed purpose of legalization. This is what comes from toking up before economics class.
3762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Colorado's overwhelming rejection of Amendment 66 on: November 07, 2013, 09:38:38 AM
The most significant election result Tuesday may have been Colorado's overwhelming rejection of Amendment 66, which would have blown up the state's 4.63% flat income tax and opened the door to much bigger government.
Related Video

Editorial page writer Allysia Finley on the Rocky Mountain's state rejection of a tax hike to fund education programs.

The initiative was this year's main priority for progressives nationwide and was supported by $1 million each from New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the Gates Foundation. Those billionaires fell for the line that the new tax revenue would have funded education reform. But Colorado voters were smart enough to see that the measure's most fervent backers were the teachers unions that oppose reform and simply want more money. The measure won in only two counties, Denver and Boulder, and was crushed statewide 66% to 34%, though opponents were vastly outspent.
3763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 09:09:02 AM
Thank you, CCP!
-------------------

Dems funded the Libertarian.
BD: "It is simply free speech"
Doug: Your thinking is now that money equals speech?
BD: "Goodness, no. But yours is"

Are you using my small mind as your playground - again?   wink


BD: "It seems to me that Dems clearly favored the libertarian."

Ah, Yes, the little known, Libertarian wing of the Cradle to Grave, Big Government party!  I can never tell for sure when you are pulling my leg.

The point is that, no, the Democrat operatives didn't favor the Libertarian.  They favored McAuliffe but were happy to take advantage of liberties afforded to them by libertarians in order to engage in this subterfuge.

BD: "I still don't see why spending money in the manner above is seen as crooked."

Maybe I chose my words poorly, but online dictionaries seem to back me up:
crook·ed
ˈkro͝okəd/
       bent, twisted, out of shape, out of place, contorted, warped, distorted

sub·ter·fuge
ˈsəbtərˌfyo͞oj/
    deceit used in order to achieve one's goal.

Proponents like me of unlimited money in politics generally like to balance that with a requirement of full and instant disclosure of the sources of the money.  One reason one might not want to engage in these shenanigans is that it might reflect poorly on oneself and backfire when exposed by our (laughable, AWOL) watchdog media.  Like the lies of Benghazi, this came to light only after it was too late to make a difference.






3764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: George Will - Clunker Progressivism on: November 07, 2013, 07:17:44 AM


" the cost per job created by the program was $1.4 million"

A wealth transfer to the well-off  in pursuit of liberal objectives,  “cash for clunkers” merely caused people to purchase vehicles “slightly earlier than otherwise would have occurred.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-clunker-progressivism/2013/11/06/95faf0be-4676-11e3-bf0c-cebf37c6f484_story.html

Clunker progressivism

By George F. Will, Washington Post

Barack Obama’s presidency has become a feast of failures whose proliferation protects their author from close scrutiny of any one of them. Now, however, we can revisit one of the first and see it as a harbinger of progressivism’s downward stumble to HealthCare.gov.

“Cash for Clunkers” was born with Obama’s administration as a component of his stimulus. Its fate is a window into both why the recovery has been extraordinarily weak and what happens when progressives’ clever plans collide with recalcitrant reality.

Consumers could trade in older vehicles and receive vouchers toward the purchase of a new, more fuel- efficient car. The vouchers were worth $3,500 or $4,500, depending on the difference in fuel economy between the trade-in and the new purchase. The program’s purposes were economic stimulation and environmental improvement.

Now a study by Ted Gayer and Emily Parker, published by the Brookings Institution, a mildly liberal think tank, concludes: “The $2.85 billion in vouchers provided by the program had a small and short-lived impact on gross domestic product, essentially shifting roughly a few billion dollars forward from the subsequent two quarters following the program.”

Most of the 677,842 sales were simply taken from the near future. That many older vehicles were traded in — and, as required by law, destroyed. Gayer and Parker accept as reasonable an estimate that the cost per job created by the program was $1.4 million. Although the vouchers did not come close to covering the cost of the new cars, voucher recipients seem not to have reduced their other consumption. This, say Gayer and Parker, suggests that participants in the program “were not liquidity constrained,” which is a delicate way of saying “there was no change in other consumption patterns,” which is a polite way of saying that “cash for clunkers” merely caused people to purchase vehicles “slightly earlier than otherwise would have occurred.”

Because the program was not means-tested, it had only a slight distributional effect of the sort progressives favor: Voucher recipients had lower incomes than others who bought new cars in 2009. Against this, however, must be weighed the fact that the mandated destruction of so many used vehicles probably caused prices for such vehicles to be higher than they otherwise would have been, meaning a redistribution of wealth adverse to low-income consumers.

As for environmental benefits from Cash for Clunkers, the reduction of gasoline consumption was small and “the cost per ton of carbon dioxide reduced by [the program] far exceeds the estimated social cost of carbon.” But it was — herewith very faint praise — more cost-effective than the subsidy for electric vehicles or the tax credit for ethanol.

Cash for Clunkers lasted 55 days and ended with confusion that was a preview of things to come. The New York Times explained in August 2009 the final surge of demand for clunker funds:

“Around the country, dealers had put off the laborious task of applying for the rebates . . . which requires entering the 17-character identification numbers of each vehicle to be scrapped, scanning images of proof of insurance and filling out other paperwork. The computer system was overloaded, according to the dealers. They said they would finish one page in the application, hit enter and nothing would happen. Eventually a message would appear notifying the dealer that the page had ‘timed out.’ Tom Frew, the business manager at Galpin Motors in Los Angeles, said that he needed 35 tries to register just one of the company’s 11 dealerships on the day that the program opened because of problems with the government Web site. On Friday, he spent an hour processing just one rebate application, he said.”

The recovery from the recession began in June 2009; 53 months later, vehicle sales still have not yet reached the pre-recession peak. Cash for Clunkers was prologue for the government’s vastly more ambitious plan to manage health care’s 18 percent of the economy.

The present, too, is prologue. There is heated debate about Common Core, whose advocates say it merely involves national academic targets and metrics for primary and secondary education. Critics say it will inevitably lead to a centrally designed and nationally imposed curriculum — practice dictated by targets and metrics. Common Core advocates say, in effect: “If you like your local curriculum, you can keep it. Period.”

If you believe this, your credulity is impervious to evidence. And you probably are a progressive.
3765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 07, 2013, 07:09:19 AM
"Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him [the faux-Libertarian]...". I don't follow you here Doug. It is simply free speech. How is that crooked?

My thinking is that a straight line in politics would be to advance and support issues, positions and candidates that you honestly favor, and a crooked path would be to use lies, deceit and subterfuge.  This strategy clearly falling  within the latter.

Your thinking is now that money equals speech?
3766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level - Ranked choice voting on: November 06, 2013, 12:04:30 PM
Minneapolis tried ranked choice voting; the voter must list first three choices.  Leading candidate out of 35 candidates got 36% of the first choice vote.  No winner declared yet.  What a Liberal-Utopian mess.  How about just hold an election, count votes and declare a winner?

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/230760571.html
3767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level - Va Governor race on: November 06, 2013, 11:57:58 AM
1) Ken Cuccinelli is too conservative for a swing state.  Rule one for conservatives, run the most conservative candidate - who can win.

2) Outspent by $15 million!  I understand the McAuliffe is a crook with big money and big connections.  It is still time to stop being out-spent.  RNC for example put in 1/3 of their 2009 amount.  What did you (anyone reading) put in?

3) The Libertarian drew more than the margin of victory and ran I assume largely against the Republican for his votes.  Yes it was crooked that Dems funded him, imagine if Republicans got caught doing the equivalent!  Still, when will we learn.  This is a two party system.  Libertarians run against conservatives and the moderates in the semi-finals (caucuses, primaries etc.) not in the finals (general election).  If you want to defeat leftism, you must all come together with like minded to do that.  Whatever agenda the Libertarian(s) wanted, how is that going for you now?

4) What an  amazing upset this almost was, given the visits by the President, Joe Biden, Hillary, the money advantage, the media advantage, the double digit polling leads, the shortcomings of the candidate, and the third party problem.

5) Hopefully the close loss causes Republicans to re-think, re-focus, re-energize coming into 2014-2016.  That can be the only silver lining.

6) Don't we have a (libertarian) correspondent on the scene?
3768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Where are our alternatives? on: November 05, 2013, 11:33:57 AM
As best as I can tell, this moment is an ideal moment for us to change the political landscape for freedom, the free market, and the good of the country.  However the Stupid Party is silent on this and instead only carps and complains snarkily.  It is all good fun I suppose, but where is the vision for where we want to go?

What occurs to me:

1) A proper function of government is for prices to be knowable and at present there are not.  How can market forces work if people cannot price compare?  EVERYONE has experienced frustration with this--surely calling for prices to be knowable will make for good soundbites and good law , , ,
2) What about having one national market, instead of 50 markets?  Good sound bite?  Good law?  Seems so to me , , ,
3) I have read good things about HSAs.  What are the facts?  How can the law be changed to make them even better?  What are the sound bites for HSAs?
4) During the debates leading up to Obamacare's passage, we noted here that there were several elements with which our side agreed.  What were they?  As things sit now, the Reps are identified as against Obamacare-- both the good and the bad.  Can we not identify the good with which the Dems agreed with us and promise its continuance in that with which we seek to replace Obamacare?

All good points, and politically necessary to spell out the alternative, not just say no.  As Obama found out, it is easier to be a critic than to have a plan and govern.

1) Knowing costs - YES!  Why is it so hard to know costs?  The billing department knows the costs.  Amazon knows that customers who bought this also bought this and this.  Why not know before you walk in?

2) YES!  The Republican plan allowed people to buy policies across state lines, forcing insurers to compete.  Obamcare instead has a different rate for every county in the country.  Because of this, some will have to move to buy mandated coverage.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/23/obamacare-too-costly-for-rich-colorado-residents-dem-congressman-says/

3) HSA's - YES!  Health savings account means save your money, spend it on your healthcare.  Incorporate HSA's with catastrophic coverage for the unexpected above what you can afford, and incorporate both of those with a legitimate safety net for what people trying their best really can't afford.

4) The popular elements of Obamacare were already in the Republican plan.  Some method to deal with pre-existing conditions is the big one.  Also opening the market to cross state lines and malpractice/medical liability reform.  "Can we not identify the good with which the Dems agreed with us and promise its continuance in that with which we seek to replace Obamacare?"  - YES!
3769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics, Red State vs. Blue State economic growth on: November 05, 2013, 11:04:52 AM
From another thread, this fact begs the questions that follow...

'The unemployment rate in Florida fell to 7.0% from 10.9% since Republican Governor Rick Scott entered office.'

What would be Obama's no growth record (0.019 growth) nationally without the pro-growth efforts of 30 Republican governors, majorities of Republican legislatures, Republican House, etc.?  What if Obama and Detroit-style policies governed everywhere across the fruited plain, what would be his economic record?

--------------------------------------
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/23/red-states-hold-the-edge-in-growth/

Red states hold the edge in growth
Job, investment potential greater     (May 23, 2013)

"... The bad news for blue states: Not one ranks in the top 10 based on overall economic outlook as gauged by 15 economic indicators, including tax rates, regulatory burden and labor policies. Eight of the top 10 slots are held by GOP-dominated red states, led by Utah, while two are politically mixed “purple” states, Florida and Virginia [Who both have Republican Governors].

On the other hand, the list of the bottom 10 is dominated by blue states. Vermont, a solidly blue state, ranks last in terms of economic outlook, and only one red state — Montana — makes the bottom 10. [Montana has a Democrat Governor.]

3770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fla Gov candidate Dem Charlie Crist: "his only core belief is personal ambition" on: November 05, 2013, 08:40:05 AM
Republican former governor Charlie Crist is now a Dem running for his old seat.  Gov. Scott has approval number challenges.  Crist has his own baggage:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303936904579177722792888680?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond

 Mr. Scott can run on the state's robust economic recovery. He can point to the 500,000 jobs that Florida has added during his tenure compared to the 632,000 lost over Mr. Crist's four years in office. Meanwhile, the jobless rate has fallen to 7.0% from 10.9% since Scott entered office.

The Republican governor will also be able to exploit Democrats' former criticisms of Mr. Crist. A new ad cut for the governor features Democrat Alex Sink, the state's former CFO and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, slamming Mr. Crist for failing "to lay out a business plan to get Florida out of its worst recession" and Democratic chair Karen Thurman noting that "his only core belief is personal ambition."
3771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tactics of the left, Hollywood Receives Grant to Promote Obamacare on TV Shows on: November 05, 2013, 08:28:14 AM
Meanwhile, while we dither with no de-fund and repeal strategy, here comes Obamacare into your living room:

Hollywood Receives Grant to Promote Obamacare on TV Shows
by Elizabeth Sheld 5 Nov 2013,
http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2013/11/05/Hollywood-Receives-Grant-to-Promote-Obamacare-on-TV-Shows
 
The California Endowment, a foundation spending big bucks to promote Obamacare, has just delivered a $500,000 grant to TV writers and producers to sneak Obamacare promotions into their programs.  "The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy, Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the overhaul a success."

In a rather backhanded insult, grant recipient Martin Kaplan of the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center explained, "We know from research that when people watch entertainment television, even if they know it's fiction, they tend to believe that the factual stuff is actually factual." He continued on to say that "people learn from these shows."

3772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 05, 2013, 08:24:17 AM
I wonder if we could ask the fund-Obamcare Republicans and the starting-to-doubt-Obamacare Democrats to at least draw the line with not funding this trainwreck one damn dime above the level of the estimates on which it was sold and deemed passed.
3773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Flashback Glibness, He Lied about his mother to sell Obamacare too on: November 05, 2013, 08:19:19 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/us/politics/14mother.html?_r=2&

 The White House on Wednesday declined to challenge an account in a new book that suggests that President Obama, in his campaign to overhaul American health care, mischaracterized a central anecdote about his mother’s deathbed dispute with her insurance company.

During his presidential campaign and subsequent battle over a health care law, Mr. Obama quieted crowds with the story of his mother’s fight with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage.

In offering the story as an argument for ending pre-existing condition exclusions by health insurers, the president left the clear impression that his mother’s fight was over health benefits for medical expenses.

But in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” author Janny Scott quotes from correspondence from the president’s mother to assert that the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.

In her book, published in May by Riverhead Books, Ms. Scott writes that Mr. Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, had an employer-provided health insurance policy that paid her hospital bills directly, leaving her “to pay only the deductible and any uncovered expenses, which, she said, came to several hundred dollars a month.”

 
3774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 05, 2013, 08:15:05 AM
Snake oil salesman in chief now denying what he said to over 300 million people captured on videotape at least 29 times:

“What we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed,” he told Obamacare’s political beneficiaries and contractors.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/05/obama-denies-you-can-keep-it-videotaped-promises/#ixzz2jmRBPjC4

"...we’ve got to make sure that we’re getting them the right information,” he said.
---------------------------

"Well, I'm not a crook."  - Richard Nixon, April 3, 1974
3775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Does Environmentalism cause Amnesia? on: November 05, 2013, 07:59:53 AM
Read to the end for attribution of the quote at the beginning.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303482504579177651057373802?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
(subscribe at https://buy.wsj.com/offers/pages/OfferMulti1a?trackCode=aaqa209l)

Climate-change alarmists warn us about coming food shortages. They said the same in 1968.
By Bret Stephens, WSJ    Nov. 4, 2013

Warming is becoming a major problem. "A change in our climate," writes one deservedly famous American naturalist, "is taking place very sensibly." Snowfall, he notes, has become "less frequent and less deep." Rivers that once "seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now."

And it's having an especially worrisome effect on the food supply: "This change has produced an unfortunate fluctuation between heat and cold, in the spring of the year, which is very fatal to fruits."

That isn't a leaked excerpt from the latest report of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but it may as well be. Last week, Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise of the website No Frakking Consensus posted a draft of a forthcoming IPCC report on the alleged effects climate change will have on food production. The New York Times then splashed the news on its front page Saturday. It's another tale of warming woe:

"With or without adaptation," the report warns, "climate change will reduce median yields by 0 to 2% per decade for the rest of the century, as compared to a baseline without climate change. These projected impacts will occur in the context of rising crop demand, projected to increase by 14% per decade until 2050."

Two silly books, now being recycled by global warming alarmists.

If this has a familiar ring, it's because it harks back to the neo-Malthusian forecasts of the 1960s and '70s, when we were supposed to believe that population growth would outstrip food production. This gave us such titles as "Famine 1975!", a 1967 best seller by the brothers William and Paul Paddock, along with Paul Ehrlich's vastly influential "The Population Bomb," a book that began with the words, "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now."

In case you're wondering what happened with that battle to feed humanity, the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization has some useful figures on its website. In 1968, the year Mr. Ehrlich's book first appeared, Asia produced 46,321,114 tons of maize and 439,579,934 of cereals. By 2011, the respective figures had risen to 270,316,205, up 484%, and 1,289,633,254, up 193%.

It's the same story nearly everywhere else one looks. In Africa, maize production was up 247% between 1968 and 2011, while production of so-called primary vegetables has risen 319%; in South America, it's 308% and 199%. Meanwhile, the world's population rose to just under seven billion from about 3.7 billion, an increase of about 90%. It is predicted to rise by another 33% by 2050.

But what about the supposedly warming climate? According to the EPA, "average temperatures have risen more quickly since the late 1970s," with the contiguous 48 states warming "faster than the global rate." Yet U.S. food production over the same time has also risen by robust percentages even as the number of acres under cultivation has been steadily falling for decades.

In other words, even if you believe the temperature records, a warming climate seems to correlate positively with greater food production. This has mainly to do with better farming practices and the widespread introduction of genetically modified (GMO) crops, and perhaps also the stimulative effects that carbon dioxide has on photosynthesis (though this is debated). Warming also could mean that northern latitudes now not suited for farming might become so in the future.

But whatever the reason, the world isn't likely to be getting any hungrier. Quite the opposite: Purely natural (as opposed to man-made) famines are becoming unknown. As the Irish economist Cormac Ó Gráda noted in a 2010 paper, "in global terms, the margin over subsistence is now much wider than it was a generation ago. This also holds for former famine zones such as India and Bangladesh, whereas China, once the 'land of famine,' nowadays faces a growing problem of childhood obesity." Only in Africa is food scarcity still an issue, but even there recent food crises in Malawi and Niger did not result in major loss of life.

What does hurt people is bad public policy. Exhibit A is the U.S. ethanol mandate—justified in part as a response to global warming—which diverted the corn crop to fuel production and sent global food prices soaring in 2008. Exhibit B is the cult of organic farming and knee-jerk opposition to GMOs, which risk depriving farmers in poor countries of high-yield, nutrient-rich crops. Exhibit C was the effort to ban DDT without adequate substitutes to stop the spread of malaria, which kills nearly 900,000 people, mostly children, in sub-Saharan Africa alone with each passing year. The list goes on and on.

Environmentalists tend to have conveniently short memories, especially when it comes to their own mistakes. They would do better to learn from history. Just take the quote about the warming climate with which this column began. It's from "Notes on the State of Virginia" by Thomas Jefferson, published in 1785.
3776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: November 05, 2013, 07:51:54 AM
Worry - if you hear your President say, if you like your gun you can keep it.
3777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: What Lie? on: November 04, 2013, 10:49:06 PM
The so-called big lie was really just a mixup in pronouns.

President Obama said:

"If you like your health plan, you can keep it." "Period."

The truth, he should have said:

"If I like your health plan, you can keep it."
3778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Lies of His Glibness are documented in the Federal Register on: November 04, 2013, 10:44:12 PM
" the administration expected 51% of all employer plans to be terminated as a result of Obamacare"

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/11/lies-of-obamacare-documented.php

 Posted on November 1, 2013 by John Hinderaker, Powerline
Lies of Obamacare, Documented

Over the last day or two, the major breaking story has really been a throwback: in 2010, the Obama administration promulgated rules governing what plans that pre-existed Obamacare would be “grandfathered” under that statute, and allowed to continue. In the context of announcing its rules, the administration predicted that because of their restrictiveness, many millions of Americans would lose their existing insurance coverage, whether they liked it or not. Further, it has been widely reported (as by CNN, here) that Republicans tried to reverse the administration’s “grandfather” rules so that those who liked their insurance would be allowed to keep it, but Senate Democrats voted them down.

Given the lies with which Obamacare was promoted–”If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”–this is of course a blockbuster story. So I spent some time today tracking down the original sources to verify it.

The Obamacare statute provided that plans pre-existing the law would be allowed to continue, but left the details to future administrative action. That came on June 17, 2010, when the Obama administration–specifically, the Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services–promulgated “Interim Final Rules for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Coverage Relating to Status as a Grandfathered Health Plan Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” You can read the rules here; scroll down to Part II.

The basic idea underlying the rules is that if the pre-existing plans remained unchanged, they could continue. If, however, there was any significant change in coverages, co-pays, and so on, then the plan would become subject to all of the requirements of Obamacare (even grandfathered plans are subject to a number of Obamacare requirements). The problem is that the health insurance market is constantly changing, and it is typical for plans to change, to some degree, from year to year. So the administration looked at historical data to estimate how many employer-sponsored and individual plans would likely lose their grandfather status once Obamacare was implemented. The administration’s methodology can certainly be questioned, but the results were as has been reported. This chart sums them up; click to enlarge:


The Obama administration projected low-end, mid-range and high-end estimates for how many plans would be terminated, in total and broken down between large and smaller employers. The bottom line is that the administration expected 51% of all employer plans to be terminated as a result of Obamacare. That is the mid-range estimate; the high-end estimate was 69%. So as of 2010, the Obama administration planned that most Americans with employer-sponsored health care plans would lose them, whether they liked those plans or not.

As for individual, as opposed to group plans, the Obama administration said that data were insufficient to predict how many would lose grandfather status, but in any given year the percentage of such policies losing such status would “exceed[] the 40 percent to 67 percent range.”

Those numbers starkly contradict Obama’s “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” assurances. But it is worth noting that the percentage of pre-Obamacare plans that would terminate within the first few years after the law was enacted isn’t the main point. The administration never intended to allow any American to keep a non-Obamacare insurance policy for any length of time. In the Federal Register, the administration candidly acknowledged:

    The collective decisions of plan sponsors and issuers over time can be viewed as a one-way sorting process in which these parties decide whether, and when, to relinquish status as a grandfathered health plan.

The administration was prepared to be patient as the “one-way sorting process” ran its course, and all Americans lost the plans they had, whether they liked them or not.

That brings us to September 29, 2010, when Senate Republicans brought to the floor a resolution that would have disapproved of, and reversed, the administrative rules that the Obama administration promulgated on June 17. Wyoming’s Mike Enzi sponsored the resolution; the debate that followed is here. Enzi introduced his resolution:

    Mr. President, the resolution we are debating today is about keeping a promise. The authors of the new health care law promised the American people that if they liked their current health insurance, they could keep it. On at least 47 separate occasions, President Obama promised: “If you like what you have, you can keep it.”

    Unfortunately, the Obama administration has broken that promise. Earlier this year, the administration published a regulation that will fundamentally change the health insurance plans of millions of Americans. The reality of this new regulation is, if you like what you have, you can’t keep it. The new regulation implemented the grandfathered health plan section of the new health care law. It specified how existing health plans could avoid the most onerous new rules and redtape included in the 2,700 pages of the new health care law. …

    Unfortunately, the regulation writers at the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services broke all those promises. The regulation is crystal clear. Most businesses–the administration estimates between 39 and 69 percent–will not be able to keep the coverage they have.

    Under the new regulation, once a business loses grandfathered status, they will have to comply with all of the new mandates in the law. This means these businesses will have to change their current plans and purchase more expensive ones that meet all of the new Federal minimum requirements. For the 80 percent of small businesses that will lose their grandfathered status because of this regulation, the net result is clear: They will pay more for their health insurance.

Does this give you a sense of deja vu, or what? The baleful consequences of Obamacare that we are now seeing–there are many more to come–were known and foreseen in 2010. The Democrats voted down the Republicans’ effort to preserve the health care plans that Americans already like on a party-line vote. The Democrats knew that Obama had been lying through his teeth, and they voted unanimously to sustain his lies.

Did the Democrats have a theory? Sure. They argued that if a health care plan changes significantly, then it isn’t the plan you originally bought. And it is common in a variety of contexts for something that is grandfathered to lose that status if it is changed significantly. But there are several problems with the Democrats’ theory: First, it was entirely different from the assurances Obama gave the American people. You may like your insurance perfectly well after a modest change; you may like it better. But that is irrelevant: if the Obama administration thinks your coverage has changed materially, you lose it. Period. Second, it isn’t true that plans lose their grandfathered status only if they are changed in a major way. For example, if there is any increase in the co-insurance rate, no matter how small, the plan terminates.

Even more significant is the fact that under the administration’s regulations, the plan may stay exactly the same, but if one insurance carrier replaces another, the plan loses its grandfathered status and terminates. The effect of this provision is to eliminate competition and make it less attractive, over time, to maintain pre-existing plans. The Republicans read several letters from business groups into the record, at least one of which pointed out the importance of this provision.

Finally, it should be noted that John McCain, now the bete noire of some activists, weighed in powerfully against the administration’s Obamacare rules. Among other things, he pointed out that they do not apply to unions. They can negotiate changes in the pre-Obamacare plans that cover their members without having them terminate. This is one of the weird features of gangster government: the administration passes terrible laws, and then excuses its friends from complying with them. Let’s turn the floor over to McCain:

    Mr. ENZI: According to the administration, in small businesses, 80 percent of the people–unless this [Republican resolution] is passed–will lose the insurance they have and like, and in all businesses 69 percent will. Those are not my numbers; those are the administration’s numbers.

    Mr. McCAIN: But isn’t it also true that is the case for small business and people and entrepreneurs all over America except the unions? Isn’t that true? Isn’t this a carve-out again, part of this sleaze that went into putting this bill together, part of the “Cornhusker kickback,” the “Louisiana purchase,” the buying of PhRMA–all that went into this–the “negotiations” that were going to take place on C-SPAN that the President said during the Presidential campaign that went from one sweetheart deal cut to another. Part of one of those sweetheart deals was the unions are exempt; is that correct?

    Mr. ENZI. That is correct.

So it’s the usual toxic stew of lies, corruption and incompetence that we have come to expect from Barack Obama. But one last point should not go unmentioned: where has the press been in all of this? As of 2010, it was blindingly obvious–was baldly stated by the Obama administration itself–that under Obamacare, far from being permitted to keep your health care coverage if you like it, most Americans’ policies would speedily be terminated, and all would soon cease to exist. Given the dozens of misrepresentations by Barack Obama and other members of his administration, and given the entirely dishonest basis on which Obamacare was rammed through the Democratic Congress without a single Republican vote, and given that Republicans’ warnings were indisputably coming true–was there not a news story here? How can it be that three more years went by before our one-party media thought to mention what happened back in 2010? One can only imagine how the 2012 election might have been different if the electorate had understood that Obamacare was sold on a scaffold of lies.
3779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Washington Post. Nov 2013, top 10 Republicans on: November 04, 2013, 01:30:42 PM
Not great analysis, but not much worse than anyone else's picks.  Tomorrow is Chris Christie Day.  Marco Rubio's stock is currently down because of the immigration fiasco.  (I would not rule him out!) The attacks on Ted Cruz perhaps help Rand Paul to look more electable.  I don't see Scott Walker as Presidential but if he wins tomorrow it will be a third win in a deeply divided, heartland state.  Santorum did not make their list. 

(My list today would keep Pence and Walker as the dark horses, and Christie, Cruz, Rubio and Rand Paul as the contenders.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ranking-the-republican-presidential-contenders-for-2016/2013/11/03/eea61722-449e-11e3-bf0c-cebf37c6f484_story.html

Below we rank the 10 candidates most likely to wind up as the Republican presidential nominee in three years’ time. Enjoy!

10. Mike Pence: Looking for a dark horse? Try the Indiana governor. He’s a gifted communicator, liked by social and fiscal conservatives and not part of the Washington establishment.

9. Paul Ryan: There appears to be a significant dialing back of Ryan’s interest in a presidential run from even a few months ago. And, as several Republicans noted to us, the Wisconsin congressman’s really not doing much to build the beginnings of a presidential bid.

8. John Kasich: The Ohio governor needs to win reelection before he or his people will seriously entertain the possibility of another run for president. But let’s say Kasich wins. He’s a two-term governor of a Midwestern swing state who spent time in Washington — a long time ago — in Congress as the head of the House Budget Committee. That’s not a bad starting place.

7. Bobby Jindal: Several people we talked to suggested that we drop the Louisiana governor below Kasich in our rankings. But Jindal has the next year to continue to organize a presidential bid, while Kasich needs to keep both eyes on his reelection. That’s enough for us to give Jindal a slight edge. Jindal is quite clearly trying to position himself as the “ideas guy” in the field, also known as the Newton Leroy Gingrich Memorial Slot.

6. Marco Rubio: The problem for the senator from Florida is that his work to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the Senate has damaged him within the party base — and, because the legislation remains mired in the House, he has nothing to show for it. Sign of the times? A poll by WMUR in New Hampshire showed Rubio in sixth place in the state’s primary field, tied with Rick Santorum. Oomph.

5. Jeb Bush: The holding pattern continues. If he runs, Bush may replace Christie as the Clinton figure in the field. But no one knows what he is going to do — and he isn’t talking much about it.

4. Scott Walker: The Wisconsin governor is in a similar position to Kasich. He has a very strong case to make for 2016 if he can get through his 2014 reelection race. Walker has proved himself — in his 2010 election and his 2011 recall election — to be a very able politician, so we have our doubts about Democratic claims that he may be vulnerable next November.

3. Ted Cruz: If the Iowa caucuses were held today, the senator from Texas would win. But they won’t be held today. Therein lies the fundamental question at the heart of Cruz’s increasingly likely candidacy: Can he sustain the energy and passion that the tea party base of the GOP has for him over the next two-plus years?

2. Rand Paul: Cruz’s ascension as the face of the tea party movement may actually make it more likely that the senator from Kentucky winds up as the nominee. If Cruz is seen as the most ideological of the top tier of candidates, Paul can cast himself as the most electable hybrid conservative — someone whom conservatives can feel good about and who can expand the GOP’s shrinking electoral map.

1. Chris Christie: No one has had a better 2013. The only question for Christie is whether the power center of the party has moved so far toward the tea party that — with his focus on pragmatism over principle and winning over all else — he simply cannot be its choice.
3780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: This decision makes perfect sense to me on: November 04, 2013, 01:10:55 PM

The miserable plight of the attractive woman... 

She did nothing wrong, but I agree with Crafty that the small, private employer should be able to hire or not employ whomever he or she wants.
3781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: November 04, 2013, 01:07:33 PM
It’s somewhat slower than we expected at the start of the year, but we still expect an acceleration in 2014-15 given loose monetary policy, a downward trend in government spending (relative to GDP), explosive new technology, record high corporate profits, and a forceful housing recovery.

Actual growth was lower than forecasts for this year, but for next year we expect forecasts to be higher than actual growth.

On that forceful housing recovery:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/21/us-usa-economy-housing-idUSBRE99K0GC20131021  "U.S. existing home sales fall, price appreciation slows".  "A combination of high home prices, barely rising salaries and higher mortgage rates was hurting affordability, which hit a five-year low in September."

In other news, what will be the 'wealth effect' of people finding out their healthcare cost is doubling?  A #PlowHorseChristmas retail season? 

Without much fanfare, Wesbury has dropped the words "trot", canter and gallop from his #PlowHorse posts.
3782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF - Washington Redskins on: November 04, 2013, 12:15:23 PM
There was a mixup on the Redskins team name controversy.  It turns out that native Americans were actually offending by the first name, 'Washington'(DC), not the 'Redskins'.
3783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Woolsey: Real life black out much nearer than you think on: November 04, 2013, 12:14:57 PM

I think this is part of the argument against ethanol, wind, solar subsidies.  By definition, you pay more (willingly) for a source other than lowest cost power, that will work when the grid is down.  Undermining and distorting the free market is not how you bring down those prices.

My experience with a gasoline generator is that you run out of gas very quickly and stations require electricity to pump gas.  Wind and solar tend to small in output and weather dependent.  In this part of the country where we have severe winters and natural gas pipelines to nearly everyone, a natural gas backup system seems far more useful.  Blackouts have tended to happen during the air conditioning season or as the result of storms.  But if a grid attack or failure happened in winter, most people don't seem to realize their natural gas furnace requires electricity to operate.  

3784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Psalm 23 on: November 04, 2013, 10:26:43 AM
I remember the first time I heard Psalm 23 spoken was at a funeral for someone who very unexpectedly died over a weekend where I was doing some part time work.  He died suddenly of a heart attack without warning.  No one could believe it.   It was in a Catholic hospital near where I lived. 

I went to the afternoon service at the Chapel because he had been kind to me.   It would have been 1980 or 1981.   Being Jewish I never heard those words before.  The power of those words struck me immediately and now 32 years later I still vividly recall the Priest reciting those words with elevated volume tone and conviction.   Their power just vibrated through my senses.    I don't remember anything else that was said - just those words!     

Powerful and beautiful stuff.   Cut through my different religious background like water can cut through pure rock.

Thanks CCP.  This goes back to David, King of Israel roughly 1000 BC.  I read this at my father's Christian funeral.  I believe you will find it in Jewish teachings as well.
3785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 04, 2013, 10:11:08 AM
Krauthammer is very sharp, no doubt.  Great insights.  But like everyone else right now he seems to have no idea what the way out of this mess is. 

In the Stewart conversation he left the impression that welfare state programs were an unequivocal success.  That can't be his view.  No intelligent person on the right can see good from those without also seeing irreparable damage done to our society.  Maybe he can explain what he meant.  I think what he is saying is that a winning candidate on the right will reform these programs, not end them.  Conservatives accept a safety net, just not one this large and distorted.

He explains the recent Ted Cruz v. establishment split on the right quite well.  We all are want to end Obamacare, but disagree on the tactics.  That is not a huge philosophical divide to bridge.

What I don't understand and didn't hear from the so-called more reasonable voices on the right, such as the WSJ editorials, CK, and Rove-type establishment figures is just how they will end Obamacare if not through de-funding.  Even as it implodes, we only have the votes to de-fund, not repeal.  When will we have 60 votes in the Senate, control of the White House, control of the House simultaneously to repeal as Dems did to deem it passed?  This will all happen either never, or after Republicans sound like liberals, or else too late to stop an entrenched program that million hundreds(?) are counting on for their health care.

3786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word, The Lord Is My Shepherd on: November 01, 2013, 09:04:42 AM
Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
        He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
        He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
        I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
        Thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
        and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
3787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics, Virginia Governor's race on: October 31, 2013, 10:57:23 AM
An interesting and well articulated point made by Sean Trende on Real Clear Politics that also relates to our discussion on 'the way forward':


"Cuccinelli’s problem in a nutshell is this: The Old Dominion would probably vote for a candidate who had sued a professor at the University of Virginia over his climate science research. It would probably vote for a candidate who referred to homosexuality as unnatural. It would probably vote for a candidate who tried to limit no-fault divorce. It would probably vote for a candidate who covered up an exposed breast on the state seal. It would probably vote for a candidate who wasn’t sure if the president was born in the United States. It would probably vote for a candidate who told colleges and universities to strip protections for gays and lesbians.

What it won’t typically do is vote for a candidate who holds all of these positions, and is unapologetic in them. Truth be told, Virginia hasn’t been particularly fond of strident social conservatives for quite some time; Oliver North, Michael Farris, Mark Earley, and a host of other similar Republicans have met similar fates. The mold of a successful statewide Republican here has been John Warner, Jim Gilmore, and Bob McDonnell, all of whom would check most of the boxes on a conservative scorecard, but who also knew how to communicate those stances to your average suburban voter in a non-threatening way."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/31/factors_that_will_determine_the_va_governors_race_120521.html#ixzz2jJd0vA5J

3788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: October 31, 2013, 10:33:20 AM
"why didn't you take GM to task for painting the entire Democratic party in an ugly light. Why only step in now?"

You were answering GM's take quite well without my help.  I agree his longer post about Democrats was unfairly one sided, but these points get compiled to answer a huge narrative out there that one side is racist.  I agree with you that from within the political arena, it was LBJ who led the civil rights legislation.  He passed it with a majority of Republicans and a minority of Democrats.  My failed attempt at a point on total realignment was that some of the Democrats who voting against civil rights legislation switched sides, for other reasons I think, and some like Al Gore Sr. did not.  Southern Democrats who left the Democrat party did so (IMO) because the national party did not match their views on the issues, not about race or racism.  Rick Perry's conservative economic ideology fit inside the Texas Democrat party not that long ago, as one example.  Certainly not now.

Being a Republican and having been to countless conventions and events, I have witnessed no racism inside the party.  I don't know of a Republican who wants blacks to stay poor or that doesn't wish more would come to our side.  The charge liberals make of racism is laziness IMO and a diversion from not addressing the ideological differences.  We see individual economic freedom as a better way to let people rise up, while leftist groups like ACORN go into black neighborhoods and push 'welfare rights', which largely keep people down.  For the record, economic freedom IS a far better way for people rise up out of poverty.  


"Nothing excuses sexism, but illustrating a point of sexism doesn't sweep something else under the rug."

Point well taken, but I was happy to point out that man's selective ability to take offense.  
3789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, Colin Powell, realignment on: October 31, 2013, 12:45:32 AM
This point was posted to rebut other things posted on the 'tea party' thread. The claim is made that Republicans are racist, so let's take a look.

"D) that the first black Secretary of State left the Republican party, after his aide pointed out that the GOP is "full of racists": http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election-2012/powell-aide-gop-full-racists-article-1.1193673"

The other point I question is racist 'realignment'.
-----------------

Colin Powell and his aide did not like hearing that Powell supported Barack Obama for President only because of race.  But it was Powell who gave no coherent reason other than race as to why he supported Obama IMO and many others.  And that makes those noticing that and pointing it out racists?

Is Powell not the poster person for Republican in name only charge?  He worked for Republicans and at some point said he was one - a Barack Obama Republican.  Sure.  Barack Obama was the left-most member of the United States Senate.  His sole executive experience qualifying to be President was running a campaign staff.  His only foreign policy credential was to articulate a position on the main question of the day the exact opposite of Colin Powell's.  Obama's domestic policy positions were the exact opposite of Republican up and down the line.  And Powell chose him over a war hero and over a successful moderate Republican experienced executive.  For what reasons other than race?  None that he articulated.

Realignment?  It was not a total realignment, nor does it demonstrate one side is racist.  Did I read or understand that wrong?  Some of us were Republican before and after that, and at least claim to not be racist.  There were other issues too.  Of these southern Democrats where racism was prevalent, were they still racist after the switch of parties?  Wasn't the switch largely because the Dem party nationally did not match the views of Dems on other issues in those southern states?  Were they racist if they voted for tax cuts or for a stronger foreign policy?  And what about those who did not realign?  Fritz Hollings, Robert Byrd come to mind.  http://dailycaller.com/2010/06/28/sen-robert-byrd-not-only-was-a-kkk-member-but-led-his-local-klan-chapter/
If the point at least implied is that the racists were Republican, I'm not convinced and haven't seen any evidence of it.  Even if Ed Schultz' sidekick says it's so.

"suggesting that the vast majority of blacks could be so easily "fooled" Democratic party is demeaning to people's intelligence, and is itself racist"

Blacks vote largely Democratic.  Why?  Republican racism?  If so, where is that evidence?  The Col. Lawrence Wilkerson accusation?  Wilkerson is a regular guest of the Ed Schultz show; he tolerates the host who called Laura Ingraham a "right wing slut".  http://nation.foxnews.com/ed-schultz/2011/05/25/outrageous  Sexism, he sees nothing, but he knows racism and switched parties.  Convenient.

Blacks vote Dem because they were told and a large majority believed those policies were better - for blacks and for the country.  Now we know better.  Maybe we'll see a new 'realignment'.
3790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: No Tea Party in this neighborhood on: October 30, 2013, 01:11:17 PM

“They take us for granted. They feel like we are going to vote for them (democrats) anyway, but if there was a republican out here doing what he said he’s going to do, I would vote for him.”

“I think they are self-motivated and their interests aren’t in the community and in a lot of cases, they don’t even live in the community.”

I like this post.  The support that most blacks have for Dems came mostly from people telling them how to vote and what is in their best interest (government programs).  But the status quo sucks and they are vulnerable to the persuasion that could come from hearing a different view - if our message was clear, understandable and effectively presented to them.  Most real persuasion happens face to face.  Most tea partiers, libertarians, conservatives, do not live in 'the community' either, from the point of view of inner city blacks.  That is a hard one to overcome.  Escaping failed Dem rule of the cities is one reason why most conservatives already moved further out.
3791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dems: Those aren't 'cancellation notices,' they're 'transitions' into Obamacare on: October 30, 2013, 12:54:54 PM
Top Democrat says those aren't 'cancellation notices,' they're 'transitions' into Obamacare  (Oh Good Grief!!)
By JOEL GEHRKE | OCTOBER 29, 2013 AT 1:53 PM

http://washingtonexaminer.com/top-democrat-says-those-arent-cancellation-notices-theyre-transitions-into-obamacare/article/2538122

Insurance companies aren't sending out cancellation letters, they're helping people "transition" into Obamacare, according to a top Democrat.

"If [the companies] changed [the insurance plans] then they have to notify the people who have to have the opportunity to have another policy," said House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich.

In fact, according to Levin, the "so-called cancellation notices" merely "help people transition to a new policy."

Levin cited comments made by Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty, the insurance company executive who originally floated the "transitioning" talking point on Sunday's Meet the Press.

"We're not cutting people, we're actually transitioning people," Geraghty told NBC's David Gregory. "What we've been doing is informing folks that their plan doesn't meet the test of the essential health benefits, therefore they have a choice of many options that we make available through the exchange."  (At double the cost!)
3792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / stock market, investment strategies: 3 plays on The Natural Gas Engine Rollout on: October 30, 2013, 12:41:11 PM
The move to using clean domestic natural gas for transportation including cars and freight trucks is certain, except for all of the ways that government can potentially screw it up.  Natural gas burns cleaner in terms of pollution emissions and in terms of CO2 emissions than gasoline or diesel.  Over the road trucks haul nearly 70% of our freight.  Solar and wind will not get you there.  The limiting factor is availability. 
-------------------------
Truck stop chain TravelCenters of America (TA) has partnered with Shell (RDS.A) to add liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel lanes at 100 different facilities across the United States. Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) has partnered with private truck stop giant Pilot Flying J to embark on a mission to provide as many as 150 facilities with a natural gas solution.

The collaboration of Cummins (CMI) and Westport Innovations (WPRT) is leading the way with new engine designs that run on natural gas. Westport develops the technology while Cummins manufacturers the equipment.

The biggest risk to investing in the evolution of the natural gas engine via Cummins, Westport Innovations, and Clean Energy Fuels is that all three companies are so linked to each other's successes and failures.

More at link, free registration required.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1776952-3-ways-to-play-the-natural-gas-engine-rollout?source=google_news
3793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DAVID PETRAEUS: How We Won in Iraq, & why gains are in danger of being lost on: October 30, 2013, 12:00:41 PM
How We Won in Iraq
And why all the hard-won gains of the surge are in grave danger of being lost today.
BY DAVID H. PETRAEUS | OCTOBER 29, 2013

One of five internet pages, more at the link.  Free registration required or (contact me).

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/10/29/david_petraeus_how_we_won_the_surge_in_iraq?wp_login_redirect=0

 The news out of Iraq is, once again, exceedingly grim. The resurrection of al Qaeda in Iraq -- which was on the ropes at the end of the surge in 2008 -- has led to a substantial increase in ethno-sectarian terrorism in the Land of the Two Rivers. The civil war next door in Syria has complicated matters greatly, aiding the jihadists on both sides of the border and bringing greater Iranian involvement in Mesopotamia. And various actions by the Iraqi government have undermined the reconciliation initiatives of the surge that enabled the sense of Sunni Arab inclusion and contributed to the success of the venture.  Moreover, those Iraqi government actions have also prompted prominent Sunnis to withdraw from the government and led the Sunni population to take to the streets in protest.  As a result of all this, Iraqi politics are now mired in mistrust and dysfunction.

This is not a road that Iraqis had to travel. Indeed, by the end of the surge in 2008, a different future was possible.  That still seemed to be the case in December 2011, when the final U.S. forces (other than a sizable security assistance element) departed; however, the different future was possible only if Iraqi political leaders capitalized on the opportunities that were present.  Sadly, it appears that a number of those opportunities were squandered, as political infighting and ethno-sectarian actions reawakened the fears of Iraq's Sunni Arab population and, until recently, also injected enormous difficulty into the relationship between the government in Baghdad and the leaders of the Kurdish Regional Government.

To understand the dynamics in Iraq -- and the possibilities that still exist, it is necessary to revisit what actually happened during the surge, a history now explored in a forthcoming book written by my executive officer at the time, Col. (Ret.) Peter Mansoor, now a professor of military history at the Ohio State University.

Leading the coalition military effort during the surge in Iraq in 2007 and 2008 was the most important endeavor -- and greatest challenge -- of my 37 years in uniform. The situation in Iraq was dire at the end of 2006, when President George W. Bush decided to implement the surge and selected me to command it. Indeed, when I returned to Baghdad in early February 2007, I found the conditions there to be even worse than I had expected. The deterioration since I had left Iraq in September 2005 after my second tour was sobering. The violence -- which had escalated dramatically in 2006 in the wake of the bombing of the Shiite al-Askari shrine in the Sunni city of Samarra -- was totally out of control. With well over 50 attacks and three car bombs per day on average in Baghdad alone, the plan to hand off security tasks to Iraqi forces clearly was not working. Meanwhile, the sectarian battles on the streets were mirrored by infighting in the Iraqi government and Council of Representatives, and those disputes produced a dysfunctional political environment. With many of the oil pipelines damaged or destroyed, electrical towers toppled, roads in disrepair, local markets shuttered, and government workers and citizens fearing for their lives, government revenue was down and the provision of basic services was wholly inadequate. Life in many areas of the capital and the country was about little more than survival.

In addition to those challenges, I knew that if there was not clear progress by September 2007, when I anticipated having to return to the United States to testify before Congress in open hearings, the limited remaining support on Capitol Hill and in the United States for the effort in Iraq would evaporate.

In short, President Bush had staked the final years of his presidency -- and his legacy -- on the surge, and it was up to those on the ground to achieve progress. In the end, that is what we did together, military and civilian, coalition and Iraqi. But as my great diplomatic partner Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and I used to note, Iraq was "all hard, all the time."

The Surge of Forces and the Surge of Ideas

The surge had many components. The most prominent, of course, was the deployment of the additional U.S. forces committed by President Bush -- nearly 30,000 of them in the end. Without those forces, we never could have achieved progress as quickly as we did. And, given the necessity to make progress by the hearings anticipated in September 2007, improvements before then were critical.

As important as the surge of forces was, however, the most important surge was what I termed "the surge of ideas" -- the changes in our overall strategy and operational plans. The most significant of these was the shift from trying to hand off security tasks to Iraqi forces to focusing on the security of the Iraqi people. The biggest of the big ideas that guided the strategy during the surge was explicit recognition that the most important terrain in the campaign in Iraq was the human terrain -- the people -- and our most important mission was to improve their security. Security improvements would, in turn, provide Iraq's political leaders the opportunity to forge agreements on issues that would reduce ethno-sectarian disputes and establish the foundation on which other efforts could be built to improve the lives of the Iraqi people and give them a stake in the success of the new state.

But improved security could be achieved only by moving our forces into urban neighborhoods and rural population centers. In the first two weeks, therefore, I changed the mission statement in the existing campaign plan to reflect this imperative. As I explained in that statement and the guidance I issued shortly after taking command, we had to "live with the people" in order to secure them. This meant reversing the consolidation of our forces on large bases that had been taking place since the spring of 2004. Ultimately, this change in approach necessitated the establishment of more than 100 small outposts and joint security stations, three-quarters of them in Baghdad alone.

The establishment of each of the new bases entailed a fight, and some of those fights were substantial. We knew that the Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias would do everything they could to keep our troopers from establishing a presence in areas where the warring factions were trying to take control -- and those areas were precisely where our forces were needed most. Needless to say, the insurgents and militias would do all that they could to keep us from establishing our new operating bases, sometimes even employing multiple suicide car bombers in succession in attempts to breach outpost perimeters. But if we were to achieve our goal of significantly reducing the violence, there was no alternative to living with the people -- specifically, where the violence was the greatest -- in order to secure them. Our men and women on the ground, increasingly joined during the surge by their Iraqi partners, courageously, selflessly, and skillfully did what was required to accomplish this goal.

"Clear, hold, and build" became the operative concept -- a contrast with the previous practice in many operations of clearing insurgents and then leaving, after handing off the security mission to Iraqi forces that proved incapable of sustaining progress in the areas cleared. Then -- Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq, and his staff developed and oversaw the execution of these and the other operational concepts brilliantly. Indeed, in anticipation of the new approach, he ordered establishment of the initial joint security stations in the weeks before I arrived.  His successor in early 2008, then Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, did a similarly exemplary job as our operational commander for the final portion of the surge. On receiving the Corps' guidance, division and brigade commanders and their headquarters orchestrated the implementation of these concepts. And our company, battalion, and brigade commanders and their troopers translated the new strategy and operational concepts into reality on the ground in the face of determined, often barbaric enemies under some of the most difficult conditions imaginable.

But the new strategy encompassed much more than just moving off the big bases and focusing on security of the people. Improving security was necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve our goals in Iraq. Many other tasks also had to be accomplished.

The essence of the surge, in fact, was the pursuit of a comprehensive approach, a civil-military campaign that featured a number of important elements, the effects of each of which were expected to complement the effects of the others. The idea was that progress in one component of the strategy would make possible gains in other components. Each incremental step forward reinforced and gradually solidified overall progress in a particular geographic location or governmental sector. The surge forces clearly enabled more rapid implementation of the new strategy and accompanying operational concepts; however, without the changes in the strategy, the additional forces would not have achieved the gains in security and in other areas necessary for substantial reduction of the underlying levels of ethno-sectarian violence, without which progress would not have been sustained when responsibilities ultimately were transferred to Iraqi forces and government authorities.
(Much more at link)
3794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, NBC News: He Lied on: October 29, 2013, 01:35:24 PM
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/29/21222195-obama-administration-knew-millions-could-not-keep-their-health-insurance

Obama administration knew millions could not keep their health insurance

By Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye, NBC News

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”
----------------------

Obamacare supporter Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune:
" that’s one of those political lies, you know." [ If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance.]

"He said it repeatedly in a political campaign that he won, so that’s what a political lie is all about, right?"

HH: Do you think he’s telling us the truth, or is he lying again about not knowing that Merkel’s calls were being tapped?

CP: "Now there’s a lie"

"either they lied, or they were too ignorant."

http://www.hughhewitt.com/chicago-tribune-columnist-obamas-health-care-promise-lied/
3795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics - Is Inequality Inefficient? on: October 29, 2013, 01:31:04 PM
Defending the One Percent

by Greg Mankiw, Chairman and Professor of Economics at Harvard University

Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2013, pages 21-34

http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.27.3.21
I am unable to cut and paste an excerpt from the pdf.
Mankiw's blog:  http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/




3796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Graham Slams Hold On ALL Nominations Til Admin Names Benghazi Folks on: October 29, 2013, 11:29:52 AM
http://breakingdefense.com/2013/10/sen-graham-slams-hold-on-all-nominations-til-admin-names-benghazi-folks/

From the article:

In a broad exercise of the senatorial privilege of temporarily stopping a nomination, known as a “hold,” Sen. Lindsey Graham announced this morning that he will not allow any Obama administration nominations to proceed.until he is told the names of those he calls the “Benghazi survivors.”

Good for him.  Politically, we may see Graham as a wimp but he is also a tough prosecutor and is facing a primary challenge in a state more conservative than he is.  Nice that they don't leave all the heavy lifting for Ted Cruz. 

A DEM should have done this!  Is it partisan to want to know what happened to Americans 14 months later?
3797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The (latest) court case against Obamacare on: October 29, 2013, 11:23:02 AM
Good analysis here I think.  If the judge reads the law strictly and accurately, only citizens in the states that set up exchanges will get subsidies.  If so ruled, the lack of nationwide applicants could bring down the program.  Or proponents could use that as leverage to force the other states to set up their exchanges.

How the Court Case Against Obamacare Subsidies Stacks Up

By Sean Trende - October 29, 2013   real Clear Politics

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/29/how_the_court_case_against_obamacare_subsidies_stacks_up-2.html#ixzz2j82EGAtE

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/29/how_the_court_case_against_obamacare_subsidies_stacks_up.html

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/29/how_the_court_case_against_obamacare_subsidies_stacks_up-2.html
3798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - "Unaware" on: October 29, 2013, 11:16:23 AM
Working separately, WSJ online editor James Taranto compiled a list of recent headlines regarding the attentiveness of this President, if you believe ANY of these...

    "Obama 'Unaware on Investments"--headline, Albany (Ga.) Herald, March 8, 2007

    "Obama 'Unaware of Illegal Aunt' "--headline, BBC website, Nov. 1, 2008

    "Obama Unaware of Tea Party Protests"--headline, Examiner.com, April 15, 2009

    "Obama Unaware of Backroom Deal, White House Says"--headline, Dallas Morning News website, June 4, 2010

    "Blago Judge: Obama Unaware of Seat Exchange Bid"--headline, Associated Press, May 16, 2011

    "Sebelius: Obama Unaware of ACA Website Glitches Before Launch"--headline, CaliforniaHealthline.org, Oct. 23,
2013

    "Obama Reportedly Unaware NSA Spied on 35 World Leaders"--headline, ABCNews.com, Oct. 28
---------------------------
They don't have a headline for it, but wasn't he also unaware of a planned, sophisticated terror attack on the Benghazi compound all the way up to the election?

No question he was aware that putt should have broken right in the previous photo.  We know what he looks like when he puts his full attention into it.
3799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Unbearable Lightness of His Glibness - Bret Stephens, WSJ on: October 29, 2013, 11:06:48 AM
As our unwritten content sharing agreement continues, WSJ and 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner Bret Stephens chose the same golf photo I posted a couple of months ago in this thread to illustrate the (lack of) seriousness of this President.  http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1718.msg74738#msg74738

Stephens today:

The Unbearable Lightness of Obama
The president didn't know the NSA was spying on world leaders, but he's found time for at least 146 rounds of golf.
By Bret Stephens    Oct. 28, 2013

Is there a method to President Obama's style of leadership, his methods of decision-making, his habits of attention, oversight and follow-through? In recent months I've been keeping a file of stories that might suggest an answer. See what you think.
***

"President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn't have been practical to brief him on all of them.

"They added that the president was briefed on and approved of broader intelligence-collection 'priorities,' but that those below him make decisions about specific targets."

—The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2013



One of at least 146 rounds of golf this president has played. ASSOCIATED PRESS

"HealthCare.gov is the highest-profile experiment yet in the Obama administration's effort to modernize government by using technology, with the site intended to become a user-friendly pathway to new health insurance options for millions of uninsured Americans.

"'This was the president's signature project and no one with the right technology experience was in charge,' said Bob Kocher, a former White House aide who helped draft the law."

—The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 28, 2013

"Tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have grown sharply in recent months. President Barack Obama authorized the CIA to provide limited arms to carefully vetted Syrian rebels, but it took months for the program to commence. . . .

"One Western diplomat described Saudi Arabia as eager to be a military partner in what was to have been the U.S.-led military strikes on Syria. As part of that, the Saudis asked to be given the list of military targets for the proposed strikes. The Saudis indicated they never got the information, the diplomat said."

—The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2013

"Besides the Syrian government's gains, there was mounting evidence that Mr. Assad's troops had repeatedly used chemical weapons against civilians.

"Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry BB.T +1.05% or slouching and chewing gum."

— New York Times, NYT +1.70% Oct. 22, 2013

"On Saturday, as the shutdown drama played out on Capitol Hill, President Obama played golf at Fort Belvoir in Virginia."

— Washington Post, WPO +0.94% Sept. 28, 2013

"For French President François Hollande, it seemed like the perfect response: a lightning-quick strike on Syria to punish the government for an alleged chemical weapons attack.

"But with President Obama's surprise decision to ask Congress for a go-ahead on military action, Hollande has found himself embroiled in political controversy abroad and at home. Instead of vaunting Hollande as a warrior charging off to do battle, critics say he now looks more like a sidekick who was left in the lurch by his American ally."

—Washington Post, Sept. 6, 2013

"The essence of Eisenhower's hidden hand, of course, is that there was real work going on that people didn't know at the time. If that's true now, then Obama really is emulating Ike. If, on the other hand, he's simply doing nothing or very little, that would be passivity, not hidden-hand leadership."

—Eisenhower biographer Jim Newton, quoted in New York Times, July 15, 2013

"In polo shirt, shorts and sandals, President Obama headed to the golf course Friday morning with a couple of old friends, then flew to Camp David for a long weekend. Secretary of State John Kerry was relaxing at his vacation home in Nantucket.

"Aides said both men were updated as increasingly bloody clashes left dozens dead in Egypt, but from outward appearances they gave little sense that the Obama administration viewed the broader crisis in Cairo with great alarm."

—New York Times, July 5, 2013

"The president had a truly disturbing habit of funneling major foreign-policy decisions through a small cabal of relatively inexperienced White House advisors whose turf was strictly politics. Their primary concern was how any action in Afghanistan or the Middle East would play on the nightly news, or which talking point it would give Republicans."

— Vali Nasr, "The Dispensable Nation," April 2013

"Mr. Obama's reluctance to put American forces on the ground during the fight, and his decision to keep America's diplomatic and C.I.A. presence minimal in post-Qaddafi Libya, may have helped lead the United States to miss signals and get caught unaware in the attack on the American mission in Benghazi. Military forces were too far from Libya's shores during the Sept. 11 attack to intervene."

—New York Times, Nov. 17, 2012

"For the people who go out, on to the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they're coming to get us, that our back is covered. To hear that it's not, that's a terrible, terrible experience."

— Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, on "60 Minutes," Oct. 27, 2013
***

Call Mr. Obama's style indifferent, aloof (glib?) or irresponsible, but a president who governs like this reaps the whirlwind—if not for himself, then for his country.
3800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: October 29, 2013, 10:38:00 AM
If a liberal made that argument I would call it straw.  Our worst fear is that interest rates will go to 4%?!  They have been higher than that for most of the time since Eisenhower's first term, as much as 5 times higher in irresponsible times. (link below)  Our debt a little ways down the road isn't going to be $17 trillion; it has gone up billions just since he wrote that yesterday.   If we have $10 trillion of our own money invested, let's say through social security receipts, what is our return on the money we pay ourselves?  Zero?  Did we not have the opportunity cost of investing that money elsewhere?  And a leading economist says that has no cost?  Good grief.

No, the worst (short term) fear is more like this: $17 trillion will soon be $25 trillion in the blink of an eye and if interest rates spiral up out of control they could be worse than they were under Carter when the prime rate was 21.5%.    http://www.fedprimerate.com/wall_street_journal_prime_rate_history.htm

If we want to quantify a fear and worst case scenarios in the near term, take $25 trillion times, say, 25% interest and the cost is 6.25 trillion per year, more than all that we take in now by double.
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