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3901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 21, 2014, 10:19:32 AM
ccp,  Interesting questions.  Democrats successfully create and manage political and economic dependency and for some reason, exposing it makes us look bad and uncaring.  This came from an unknown individual on yahoo best answers:

(5 years ago)" If you're asking what percentage of all Black people who are on welfare it's about 10%. If you're asking what percentage of all welfare recipients are Black it is about 30%. Whites make up the majority of people on public assistance. "


'Welfare' of course is a loose term.  Warren Buffet is a welfare recipient too with his cronies at the White House blocking a pipeline to pump up his railroads.  Much of my work is in the inner city.  The problems I see are not racial, they are cultural, but blacks are hit disproportionately with the culture of not entering the productive economy and living off of this program and that with all the cash, hassles, limitations and unintended consequences that come with that.  People become easy prey for votes to those who pump up the failed programs, namely Democrats.  And with that, people are receptive to the hate speech against those who challenge our pathetic status quo on this front, namely Republicans.  Resentment and entitlement are the American values taught to all races in these large pockets of failure in America that tend to be majority black or minority.  I have invested in the inner city because I know these people have all the potential to rise up from this economic culture. (I patiently wait.) Democrats, judging by their rhetoric, programs and policies, believe they cannot.

Most important is how do we break the cycle, but I like that you are asking the hard questions about how it began which might help us to better understand the viewpoint.

A point I made a couple of election cycles ago is that we do not have to win a demographic group we are losing badly, but we do have to begin to measurably chip away at that loyalty.  The Obama Presidency creates that opportunity like we have never seen before.  Blacks got their candidate, as they saw it; they gave him 96% support and enormous turnout.  Dems won the House, Senate and Presidency while the black condition worsened - badly.  The people look good but their policies don't work.  Can they tell us that this stimulus program or that got ten million off of food stamps.  No, it is just the opposite.  Trillions went through cronies while the rolls of food stamps and disability just kept expanding.

There are lots of articulate and prominent black conservatives out there, not reaching the channels and publications that most black people read.  At some point that message needs more and more people behind it, a critical mass.  Changing the minds of 10% of any significant group is tidal wave in politics.  Just having two viewpoints represented and debated where there was only one,  would be a nation-changing breakthrough.  If you are black and you spend any time reading or listening to Thomas Sowell, Ben Carson, JC Watts, Clarence Thomas, Mia Love, Walter Williams, Hermann Cain, Alan West, Ken Blackwell, Larry Elder, Bill Cosby, Tony Dungy, and on and on, you would be hearing smart people speaking honestly from the brain and from the heart.  Racist is to think their message is not their own or that people from one group cannot accomplish what people from other groups already have.

On the other side of economic freedom is the contorted argument that capitalism is holding you back and it is government that will set you free.  How is that going??!  Great at the top, if you are David Axelrod winning elections or Michelle Obama in a $25,000 dress and jetting to and from Hawaii and the Vineyard.  Not so good back in the neighborhoods where they, once again, 'got out the vote'.
3902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: February 20, 2014, 12:45:09 PM
(The only way Obama recovers from where he is today back to his Presidency average is if Republicans either take off the pressure or if they self-implode.  Both scenarios are possible.)

Given the GOP's history, it's an almost certainty.

Yes.  Even so, with politics as usual Republicans in a sleepwalk might re-take the Senate and hold the House in 2014.  Then lose it all in 2016 without accomplishing a single thing unless we/they are able to pull together and communicate a compelling message.  It all sounds familiar, doesn't it.
3903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 20, 2014, 12:21:28 PM
"Do I understand it correct though that it was LBJs pushing through the Civil Rights Act that caused this "sea change" in Black Americans party affiliation from republican to democrat?"

Good question.

"There was a big move to Democratic voting in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, and another in Lyndon B. Johnson’s."
http://www.factcheck.org/2008/04/blacks-and-the-democratic-party/

"Blacks mostly voted Republican from after the Civil War and through the early part of the 20th century. That’s not surprising when one considers that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and the white, segregationist politicians who governed Southern states in those days were Democrats. The Democratic Party didn’t welcome blacks then, and it wasn’t until 1924 that blacks were even permitted to attend Democratic conventions in any official capacity. Most blacks lived in the South, where they were mostly prevented from voting at all.

The election of Roosevelt in 1932 marked the beginning of a change. He got 71 percent of the black vote for president in 1936 and did nearly that well in the next two elections, according to historical figures kept by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. But even then, the number of blacks identifying themselves as Republicans was about the same as the number who thought of themselves as Democrats.

It wasn’t until Harry Truman garnered 77 percent of the black vote in 1948 that a majority of blacks reported that they thought of themselves as Democrats. Earlier that year Truman had issued an order desegregating the armed services and an executive order setting up regulations against racial bias in federal employment."
----------------

What GM's Kevin Williamson argument demonstrates is that southern (white) Democrats did not jump to Republican for racial or racist reasons.  There was no going back on civil rights legislation, as Goldwater pointed out.  People like Al Gore Sr, Robert Byrd, etc. never jumped parties.  The south went Republican in 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, etc. when Dems went liberal in the big government way, but went Dem in 1976, 1992, 1996, etc. when Dems talked a more centrist path.  A typical Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi or Arkansas Democrat had national political views closer to northern Republicans than to northern Democrats - on national security and on the size and scope of government.  Rick Perry is an extreme example of how conservative a southern (Texas) Democrat could be as recently as the 1990s.  He is not close politically to McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Obama, Pelosi, etc. of the national Democratic mold.  That type of switching was inevitable.
3904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Markos Moulitsas: A blue Georgia on: February 20, 2014, 11:23:40 AM
The competitive Georgia Senate race will covered elsewhere.  My observation on this piece by the founder of Daily Kos is the left's belief they will win states merely by upping their "non-white" numbers.

"Georgia’s population grew by 1.5 million between 2000 and 2010. Of those, 81 percent — 1.2 million — were nonwhite. That brought down Georgia’s percentage of whites from 63 percent in 2000 to 59.7 percent in 2010. And that trend appears to be accelerating: According to updated census estimates, that number was down to 55.1 percent in 2012. "
http://thehill.com/opinion/markos-moulitsas/198650-markos-moulitsas-a-blue-georgia

Absent in his certainty is any indication, much less proof, that leftist policies have been helpful to "non-white" people.

He also fixates on Presidential year voting with a non-white at the top of the ballot.  A bigger political story is the huge level of Obama-2012-voter buyer's remorse.
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/02/buyers-remorse-71-of-obama-voters-regret-voting-for-his-reelection/
https://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/December/Young-Obama-Voters-Suffering-Buyers-Remorse/
http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-voters-already-feeling-buyer-s-remorse
3905  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Likely Are Democrats to Lose the Senate? on: February 20, 2014, 11:05:38 AM
I like like the math behind this but others might just know his conclusions.  Based on analysis of previous elections and the electoral maps out there, Republicans need to pick up 8 or 9 Senate seats in 2014 in order to still hold majority after 2016.  It will take wins in the House, Senate and Presidency to even try to turn this ship around.  (This should have happened in 2012!)

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/02/20/computing_democrats_risk_of_losing_the_senate_121640.html

Over the past two cycles, the president’s job approval has explained 58 percent of the variance in competitive Senate races in any given state.

...unless 2016 turned out to be a good Republican year overall, that Republicans would probably have to win 53 or 54 seats in 2014 to feel good about their chances of holding the Senate two years later.



 At Obama’s current 44 percent approval rating, we’d expect Democrats to lose somewhere between nine and 13 seats.

 If we run our simulations around [his average rating 48.3 percent over his presidency], we get the following overall distribution of outcomes:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/chart3-2-20.gif

(The only way Obama recovers from where he is today back to his Presidency average is if Republicans either take off the pressure or if they self-implode.  Both scenarios are possible.)
3906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ukraine Riots/Resistance on: February 20, 2014, 10:43:23 AM
A good read in the New Republic, and a George Will column:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116655/kiev-ukraine-protests-are-vladimir-putins-worst-nightmare
What's Happening in Kiev Right Now Is Vladimir Putin's Worst Nightmare
"If it can happen in Kiev, in other words, it can happen in Moscow."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-is-ukraine-the-cold-wars-final-episode/2014/02/19/382f6844-99a9-11e3-80ac-63a8ba7f7942_story.html
Is Ukraine the Cold War’s final episode?
By George F. Will, Published: February 19

"... President George W. Bush peered into Putin’s eyes and got “a sense of his soul” as someone “very straightforward and trustworthy”?...Ukrainians, whose hard history has immunized them against the folly of wishful thinking, see in Putin’s ferret face the cold eyes of a prison warden."

"Obama participated in waging seven months of war against Libya, a nation not threatening or otherwise important to the United States." 
"Yet Obama seems so fixated on [the "reset"] that he will not risk annoying Putin by voicing full-throated support for the Ukrainian protesters."

"...this is perhaps the final episode of the Cold War. Does America’s unusually loquacious 44th president remember how the words of the 40th — “Tear down this wall!” — helped to win it?"
3907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics at the State level: Scott Walker emails on: February 20, 2014, 10:30:12 AM
Also relevant to Presidential 2016, but first he faces reelection contest in Wisconsin. Walker was not charged after years of investigators pouring over all these communications.  Surviving this may actually strengthen him for what lies ahead, where many of the other contestants have not had political executive experience.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/20/us/20walker-emails.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/us/wisconin-political-investigation.html?ref=us&_r=0

The accusations involve mixing government and campaign business.  I wonder if equivalent investigations are gong on in Dem strongholds like: the White House, Rahm's Chicago mayoral office, and Barack and Hillary's Senate offices 2008.

In the article:

...there were also signs among the documents that Mr. Walker had called for a stop to some of the activities. At one point in May 2010, Ms. Wink resigned after allegations that she had posted pro-Walker comments on The Journal Sentinel website while at her county job. Mr. Walker sent an email to another aide, writing of Ms. Wink: “I talked to her at home last night. Feel bad. She feels worse. We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the workday, et cetera.”

Also, the passing of an internet joke by the Chief of Staff was discovered:

In 2010, Mr. Nardelli forwarded what appears to be a long chain email to undisclosed recipients that concluded, “I can handle being a black, disabled, one-armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is H.I.V.-positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I’m a Democrat!”
3908  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: February 20, 2014, 10:11:04 AM
It is inspiring to see that many of the popular uprisings across the globe, Ukraine, Iran 2009-2010 and Venezuela in this case, are in a pro-freedom and anti-oppressive government direction.

Once again, wishing you the best and wishing there was something we could do to help.
3909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process, vote fraud: Data sharing between govt and Dem campaigns on: February 19, 2014, 11:28:49 AM
James O'Keefe exposes Texas Dems taking government data and using it for partisan, get out the vote operations.

Who has been making that allegation here?



http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/02/19/Exclusive-OKeefe-Busts-Battleground-Texas-Voter-Registration-Scheme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXKwQI_0kDI

The footage shows Battleground Texas volunteer Jennifer Longoria saying the group uses the phone numbers from voter registration forms in later efforts to boost turnout on election day.

Texas Election Code prohibits the use of, or even the copying of, phone numbers provided by individuals registering to vote.

“Every time we register somebody to vote, we keep their name, address, phone number,” Longoria said.

The video also shows volunteers calling to boost turnout for Wendy Davis's gubernotorial bid.

The new revelations are likely to add to concerns about an apparent culture of data sharing among Democrat-aligned political and nonprofit organizations.
3910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government programs: $100 billion in improper welfare payments per year on: February 19, 2014, 11:18:05 AM

The federal government is wasting an astonishing hundred billion dollars a year in improper welfare payments to recipients not entitled to them. This is an amount of money greater than the GDP of most nations on earth, more than Morocco and within striking distance of Hungary. The figure comes from a study by Veronique de Rugy and Jason Fichtner [George Mason University / Cato], who produced the following chart based on the OMB's High-Error Programs Report:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/02/100_billion_in_improper_welfare_payments_per_year.html
http://www.paymentaccuracy.gov/high-priority-programs

    Medicare fee-for-service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid top the chart and combine for $61.9 billion in improper spending, which should surprise no one given their sheer size. But their relatively high rates of errors should especially worry us as the federal government is expanding its reach into the health-care market - does anyone think the Affordable Care Act will be any different from other federal health programs?

    Interestingly, though Medicare fee-for-service is the biggest drain in absolute terms - wasting nearly $30 billion in 2012 - it's far from the worst offender on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The Earned Income Tax Credit is responsible for $12.6 billion in improper payments, almost a quarter of what the program spent in 2012.
3911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education, Ben Carson on: February 19, 2014, 11:05:41 AM
Dr. Ben Carson addresses graduates at the Univ of Delaware May 27, 2000.


Great story.  Read it!
http://crossmap.christianpost.com/blogs/benjamin-s-carson-told-of-his-journey-from-poverty-at-university-of-delaware-4712

"When I was in the fifth grade, I thought I was stupid, so I conducted myself like a stupid person and achieved like a stupid person. When I was in the seventh grade, I thought I was smart: I conducted myself like a smart person and achieved like a smart person."
3912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 19, 2014, 10:40:22 AM
"Barry Goldwater made a huge mistake that leads to this"

The article conflates 'civil rights' with a specific federal bill: "Conservatives opposed civil rights. ... Barry Goldwater ... opposed civil rights law. He claimed that he viewed it as a states rights issue, and actually favored equal rights, but the practical effect of his stance would be to allow segregation – in the south “states rights” meant “Jim Crow.”

'States rights' (in the US) is also a term that means following the constitution, even when it is not helpful to your political aspirations.

Goldwater voted for other civil rights bills in 1957 and 1960:

Wikipedia: Though he opposed forced segregation, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona voted against the bill, remarking, "You can't legislate morality." Goldwater had supported previous attempts to pass civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 as well as the 24th Amendment outlawing the poll tax. He stated that the reason for his opposition to the 1964 bill was Title II, which in his opinion violated individual liberty and states' rights. Most Democrats from the Southern states opposed the bill and led an unsuccessful 83-day filibuster, including Senators Albert Gore, Sr. (D-TN) and J. William Fulbright (D-AR), as well as Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who personally filibustered for 14 hours straight.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tacJtYPHKiE

"Voting against it were 21 Democrats and [only]six Republicans."
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0619.html
3913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: February 19, 2014, 12:09:03 AM
A VERY impressive and persuasive argument!
3914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: February 18, 2014, 05:06:22 PM
How do you live, invest or run a business in an annual inflation rate of 56%("probably much higher")?  At what point does it just spiral into nonsense...

Why aren't we more careful to manage our own economy when we know the consequences of mis-management are so real?
3915  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Minimum Wage 10.10 will cost another half million jobs -CBO on: February 18, 2014, 04:56:56 PM
Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers....The increased earnings for low-wage workers resulting from the higher minimum wage would total $31 billion, by CBO’s estimate. However, those earnings would not go only to low-income families, because many low-wage workers are not members of low-income families. Just 19 percent of the $31 billion would accrue to families with earnings below the poverty threshold, whereas 29 percent would accrue to families earning more than three times the poverty threshold.

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44995
3916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: The Pro-Gay, Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison on: February 18, 2014, 04:47:43 PM
The recent post on Gender thread, ‘Kill the Gays’ Law Called for by Muslim Association in Malawi
by Pamela Geller, reminded me of the delicate balance Minneapolis congressman  Keith Ellison strikes with both constituencies. Can't everybody just get along?
 
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2158

I wonder if Rep. Keith Ellison addressed gay rights on his visit to Mogadishu last year, or kept those views in the vest pocket.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/us/politics/keith-ellison-minnesota-congressman-visits-somalia-and-meets-president.html?_r=0 

How about when he was in Gaza:
http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals_%28Palestinian_Authority_area%29

He is at ease with the issue in front of the camera on home turf:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS9AZ-_VOsQ
3917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 15, 2014, 01:34:28 PM
Doug:
The piece criticizing Paul's NSA lawsuit makes reasonable points, albeit in a somewhat hyperventilated manner IMHO.  I get the point over who owns the phone company records, but it seems to me a reasoned argument can be that the understanding of the fourth included the notion that people's mail and to whom it was mailed was private-- the possibility of keeping track was not even on the radar screen (because , , , radar screens did not exist  cheesy)

Agree. 

There is a point to be made for privacy, and there is a point to be made for security.  I am a huge advocate and defender of privacy (as are you!).  I have asked on the forum for words that describe the accepted, unenumerated right of privacy.  I don't believe that has been answered.  I think this is more a question for public policy than for a constitutional, judicial challenge.  As you say, it involves things not contemplated at the framing.  As Bigdog says, there are examples where conservatives also want to expand the words and meaning of the framers to fit their needs; this is one.  Instead of doing that, why not fully contemplate it now and write and pass an amendment, instead of pretending the words and meaning already address this.
3918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: February 15, 2014, 12:04:55 PM
ccp,  I like Rand Paul too.  I disagree with him in two important issue areas but he is a great champion of liberty and smaller government.  His willingness to stand up to his own party is a good trait.  I don't see him as the President / Commander in Chief, but he most certainly is a leader.  Personally I hope he puts most of his energy into the issues that unite us.  Same for the others.
3919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media: CBS Blames Global Warming for Bad Winter on: February 15, 2014, 11:52:46 AM
You knew this was coming. 

During the February 13 broadcast of CBS This Morning, host Charlie Rose and his guest turned to the topic of this year's harsh winter, calling the extreme cold an example of global warming.
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/02/13/Horrible-Winter-CBS-Says-Blame-Global-Warming

Did they mention no warming in the last 17 years, proving all alarmist models that rely on continuously compounding acceleration to make their conclusions are wrong.

I haven't heard yet if the southwest drought caused 20 feet of snow so far in Steamboat, upstream in the Colorado River basin.

What happened to reporters just reporting the news.  Or why not use an honest moniker: CBS - Agenda Driven News
3920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul's lawsuit on: February 15, 2014, 10:13:29 AM
National Review writer and former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy rips Rand Paul pretty badly on this.  Contrary opinions encouraged.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371201/rand-pauls-frivolous-nsa-lawsuit-andrew-c-mccarthy
 February 15, 2014 4:00 AM
Rand Paul’s Frivolous NSA Lawsuit
The claim that metadata collection runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment is specious.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
...
let’s say Senator Paul and I rob a bank together and we stash the money in my house. If the police break down my door without a warrant and seize the cash, prosecutors will not be permitted to use it as evidence against me because their trespass on my property violates my Fourth Amendment rights. But the courts will allow prosecutors to use the money as evidence against Senator Paul. The Fourth Amendment, even as expanded, gives him no property interest and no expectation of privacy in my home and the items located there, even if he has a significant personal interest in those items.
3921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Economics: BofA to Cut 450 More Mortgage Jobs as Loan Demand Declines on: February 15, 2014, 10:04:20 AM
BofA Said to Cut 450 More Mortgage Jobs as Loan Demand Declines
http://www.moneynews.com/Companies/job-cuts-loan-demand/2014/02/13/id/552678
Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. lender, is cutting 450 mortgage jobs from West Coast offices after new loans fell short of internal forecasts
Plowhorse beginning to trot...
3922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Confuses Declaration of Independence with Constitution on: February 15, 2014, 09:55:11 AM
Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Confuses Declaration of Independence with Constitution

"Our Constitution declares that 'all men' are created equal. Surely this means all of us," Judge Allen wrote on the first page of her opinion. That line opens the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and appears nowhere in the Constitution.

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/edva-ssm-opinion.pdf

Wright Allen was appointed to the federal bench by President Obama.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-virginia-gay-marriage-20140213,0,5553408.story

The Virginia decision follows a declaration from Attorney General Eric Holder that the federal government will begin to expand same-sex marriage rights from the top down by recognizing marriages between same-sex couples on a federal level that invalidates the ability of states that ban such rights. Privileges included in this expansion by the federal government would include spousal privilege in a courtroom and the right to jointly file for bankruptcy.
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/14/VA-Same-Sex-Marriage-Ruling-Confuses-Declaration-Of-Independence-With-Constitution

How many branches of government do they control?

3923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 15, 2014, 09:47:55 AM
Pres to link California drought to climate change
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/14/obama-to-link-california-drought-to-climate-change/?intcmp=latestnews

Breitbart links drought trip to golf:
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/14/Golf-Not-Drought-is-Bringing-Obama-to-California

Biden: Be Optimistic on State of the Nation ‘In Spite of Who’s President’
http://m.cnsnews.com/news/article/eric-scheiner/biden-be-optimistic-state-nation-spite-who-s-president

While we debate income inequality, Michelle flaunts $12,000 dress:
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/02/14/the-irony-of-michelle-obamas-10000-dress-n1795008
The cost of her dress is more than the average household income worldwide.
3924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Congressional races, Republicans now lead in Michigan on: February 14, 2014, 10:13:11 PM
Poll Shows Republican Terri Lynn Land Leading Michigan Senate Race 
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/198400-poll-finds-gop-maintains-lead-in-michigan-senate-race
http://www.rttnews.com/2270231/poll-shows-republican-terri-lynn-land-leading-michigan-senate-race.aspx?type=glpn

A victory for the Republican candidate in Michigan could go a long way in the GOP's efforts to retake control of the Senate in 2014.

The poll also showed that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder maintains an eight-point lead over Democratic challenger Mark Schauer. 

A negative assessment of President Obama's job performance may be weighing on the Democratic candidates, as 61 percent of likely Michigan voters said they would give the president a negative rating.
-------------------

Obama carried Michigan in 2008 by 17 points.  The times they are a changin'


3925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: February 14, 2014, 09:49:56 PM
That was not much of a political loss if Republicans are now contending or leading in most key races.  It was far less of a loss than not taking a stand, in my view.  And this* is different.  He didn't try to shut down the government; he called for a vote that exposed which Republicans will cave first when Democrats play tough. Some voters want to know that.  'Worst' case, which wasn't going to happen, was that if congress failed have to raise the debt ceiling we would have a balanced budget.  We would have to live within our means, with our tax rates all freshly raised and 5 years of wesbury-style, galloping growth behind us out of a recession.  Shouldn't we have a balanced budget by now?  And then the Democrats could run on Obamacare, new deficit spending, and the great economy.

We can move this to 'the way forward', but once in a while we should ask ourselves, what are we for, and when are we for it.  We are for greater liberties, which means smaller government and more spending restraint - everyday of the year, not just in ads and campaigns.  The ongoing debt ceiling problem is a reminder of the larger problems, runaway spending and unfunded liabilities.  You raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending concessions such as entitlement reform.  Or you dissent.  Maybe somebody finds out we are serious.  Instead we funded the largest entitlement ever, they said no concessions whatsoever and we said okay.  It is that strategy that divides the party and the movement, not one Senator calling for the Senate to use Senate rules on a multi-trillion dollar, multi-generational question.


"Treasury secretary: Debt limit rise will promote economic growth"  [And 67 Senators agree?]  Lew said the administration is "eager to continue to partner with Congress on these efforts on behalf of the American people."  [Did George Orwell write this?]
* http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/02/12/Cruz-vows-to-force-60-votes-on-debt-ceiling/UPI-72011392183960/

"In threatening a filibuster, Cruz had argued Republicans should extract spending cuts from Democrats and the White House"  - 'Wacko bird' outrageous!
3926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care: BTW, How's Romneycare doing? on: February 14, 2014, 08:13:09 PM
When did we know he wasn't the best person to stop Obamacare?

"Frustration with the broken Massachusetts Health Connector website and the paperwork backlog was evident Thursday, when Jean Yang, the agency’s executive director, wept as she told the [Health] Connector board how demoralized her staff is.

“These people came here to lead and innovate, and instead they’re doing manual workarounds,” Yang said. “And they are embarrassed to tell friends and family that they work for the Health Connector,” once considered a national model."

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/02/14/health-connector-has-backlog-paper-insurance-applications/n8IEAFGvEnlQPvd4NzsYlJ/story.html

Boston Globe: 50,000 filings for health coverage in limbo
State may need months to process paper applications
By Michael Levenson    February 14, 2014

“The market cannot wait and people need help,” said Health Connector head Jean Yang.

About 50,000 health insurance applications, many filed by low-income Massachusetts residents, have yet to be processed by the state’s troubled insurance marketplace, officials disclosed Thursday, and it may take months to get all these people enrolled in subsidized plans.

For several months, residents have been encouraged to file old-fashioned paper applications because the state’s insurance website has been hobbled by error messages and has crashed frequently since it was revamped in October to comply with the more complex requirements of the federal health care law.

Frustration with the broken Massachusetts Health Connector website and the paperwork backlog was evident Thursday, when Jean Yang, the agency’s executive director, wept as she told the Connector board how demoralized her staff is.

“These people came here to lead and innovate, and instead they’re doing manual workarounds,” Yang said. “And they are embarrassed to tell friends and family that they work for the Health Connector,” once considered a national model.

She made clear that she was not looking for sympathy.

“We have to work harder,” she said. “That means I need to tell the staff members they’re not doing a good enough job, and I’m telling them that, even though they have been doing this tirelessly for months and they’re exhausted.”

Sarah Iselin, a health insurance executive whom Governor Deval Patrick last week put in charge of fixing the website, said the state is bringing in 300 people from Optum, a private contractor, to process the applications. The state is also working to develop a faster data-entry system, though that task alone could take three weeks, she said.

Currently, it takes two hours to enter each application into a computer database. Each application may represent a family or an individual.

“We’ve got to catch up,” Iselin said at the Connector board meeting. “That’s priority number one.”

The website was working smoothly until it was overhauled by the tech firm CGI in a botched attempt to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. Since then, the state has resorted to off-line workarounds and has put many people into temporary health plans. But an unknown number of other people may be uninsured because their applications have sat untouched.

Yang’s unusual display of emotion at a meeting normally focused on dry policy discussions came a day after she, Iselin, and other state health insurance officials were grilled by angry legislators who complained bitterly that many of their constituents have been unable to find coverage.

Yang said those concerns have been driving her and her staff to lose sleep. “The market cannot wait, and people need help,” she said. “That’s what keeps me up at night.”

Dolores L. Mitchell, a Connector board member, thanked Yang.

“A shaky voice every now and then sends a powerful message about how much you care,” Mitchell told her. “You’re going to get it right. I know you are.”

Despite the many problems, officials said they had received some encouraging news: On Wednesday night, federal officials granted a three-month extension for 124,000 people with subsidized health insurance who were set to lose their coverage on March 31 because it did not comply with the federal law.

The state had requested a six-month extension, but Iselin said the three months will give the state extra time to enroll those people in plans of their choosing.

Iselin said another 32,000 people with insurance that is not subsidized and whose coverage expires March 31 are being mailed paper forms that will allow them to “sign, pay, and enroll” in plans that comply with the federal law, without having to use the faulty website.

The state has also opened a command center in Quincy where state Medicaid officials and Connector staff are working with CGI and Optum, which was hired to make fixes. Iselin said staff are there around the clock, although she could not say when the website will be operating properly.

Optum is being paid $9.8 million for the first month of services, but is expected to work through the end of the year.

“There’s clearly been a failure of the actual coding of this beast,” said Jonathan Gruber, a Connector board member and MIT economist.

Board members floated the idea of hiring a “dream team” of computer programmers to help Optum, with the promise that they would be showered with praise for their work.

Connector staff said they would explore the idea, which is based on last year’s “tech surge,” when the Obama administration enlisted engineers from Google and other firms to help Optum repair the troubled HealthCare.gov website.

In the meantime, the Connector is operating a call center with 270 staff members fielding questions about insurance coverage from anxious residents, up from 65 several weeks ago.

“We know we’re not where we need to be,” Iselin said. “We’re disappointed to be in this position. And we are determined and committed to fixing it.”
3927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz - Holding his own party accountable on: February 14, 2014, 05:44:25 PM
I get all that, but , , , reality check please.    "Intelligence is the amount of time it takes to forget a lesson."   What happened a few months ago?  We shouldn't have lost that, but we did, and did so quite badly.

I am not in full agreement as to what happened, didn't happen or should have happened a few months ago.

Republicans held the power of the purse, but failed to come together and exercise that responsibility.  Instead they funded and implemented Obamacare while knowing they were elected to stop it, knowing it would do irreparable harm to our country and knowing it will be nearly impossible to fully repeal once implemented.

We had a 16 day, 17% federal government employee paid vacation shutdown, that polled badly, where we clarified to the nation that Democrats would do anything to get this terrible program implemented, we clarified that Obama and the Democrats would not negotiate - for things they now have already conceded, and we clarified that Republicans all oppose it - just as the nation learned of its catastrophic, systemic defects and failure.  Now, a few months later, Republicans are poised to gain in the House and compete for about 9 additional Senate seats while Democrats are running scared, distancing, delaying and hiding from the President and his signature program.  The lesson from this is what?

Cruz has merely caused Republicans to put votes down to authorize the status quo - more government borrowing as we end the 'sequester' and enter our multi-trillion-dollar health insurance company bailout future.  Let Representatives and Senators on both sides cast votes and explain them to their constituents.  What's wrong about that?

We have seen the other side of the coin.  The sane, reasonable, sensible Republicans (who call Cruz a looney bird) say lay low, win the next election, and then one more two years later, all three chambers, let this massive dependency program get fully entrenched - and repeal it later. Much later.  Really?  In 11 months it will still be vetoed.  In three years, then we really mean it? 

Look back to the last time go-along, get-along Republicans controlled all chambers, 2003-2006.  We had a surge of economic growth based on tax rate cuts.  We had federal tax revenues and employment surging making it  possible to get more and more people off of the dependency of government.  Did we?  No.  Why not?  Because no one like Ted Cruz stepped forward to hold his own party accountable.
3928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / war on the rule of law, Ben Carson, family and associates targeted by IRS on: February 14, 2014, 08:56:07 AM
http://www.examiner.com/article/ben-carson-family-and-friends-target-of-irs-harassment-for-criticizing-obama
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-10-03/news/bs-md-ben-carson-irs-20131003_1_irs-audit-irs-controversy-ben-carson

Search NY Times, Wash Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN Huffington Post for this story, "Carson IRS target"...  I don't see it.

1) The president said (joked?) he would target opponents with the IRS.
2) He did exactly that.  Lead officials have taken the fifth.  Stonewall and coverup is in full force.  Stench path leads to the top.
3) Critics like D'Souza and Carson feel extreme heat.
4) Very funny? No. These are Nixonian, Soviet, Nazi, treason, impeachment, take up arms level accusations, if valid.
5) Real consequences: Opponents were prevented from legally organizing, while the administration co-mingled private government data with campaign data 'mining' to get out the vote and win the last election. Fun to criticize anonymously, but I would not consider putting my name out publicly for enemies list scrutiny.  And I am a law abiding citizen!

Ben Carson, family and friends target of IRS harassment for criticizing Obama

Dr. Ben Carson says he's been targeted by IRS for criticizing Obama

February 11, 2014

On Monday, Dr. Benjamin Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said he and his family were targeted by the IRS in retribution for comments critical of Barack Obama, Newsmax reported.

According to Carson, audits and other harassment began in May or June of 2013, just a few months after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Gradually, he added, the harassment expanded to include family members, associates, and his charitable endeavors.

"I’ve been quite -- I would say astonished at the level of hostility that I have encountered," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman.

"The IRS has investigated me. They said, ‘I want to look at your real estate holdings.’ There was nothing there. ‘Well, let’s expand to an entire [year], everything.’ There was nothing there. ‘Let’s do another year.’ Finally, after a few months, they went away. But they’ve come after my family, they’ve come after my friends, they’ve come after associates," he added.
3929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dr. Ben Carson on: February 14, 2014, 08:30:26 AM
URL?
Also, please post this in Rule of Law as well.
TIA

http://www.examiner.com/article/ben-carson-family-and-friends-target-of-irs-harassment-for-criticizing-obama
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-10-03/news/bs-md-ben-carson-irs-20131003_1_irs-audit-irs-controversy-ben-carson

Other than the Baltimore Sun link above, home of Johns Hopkins, I have not seen a single MSM reference.  Even if his accusation is unfounded, it is important and deserving of sunlight.

I recall he predicted this would happen.
3930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market ,investment strategies: Scary Parallel on: February 13, 2014, 10:37:44 AM
Wesbury has been right and we have been wrong.  Anyne can see that.  The charts show that this will just keep going up and up and up.

'I couldn't figure out why the baseball kept getting bigger and bigger and then it hit me.'

3931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dr. Ben Carson + family, associates are IRS targets on: February 13, 2014, 10:25:05 AM
Will the mainstream media even touch this?  Every listing for this story on Google is a right wing source.  Is no one besides the targeted offended by the IRS targeting administration opponents?? 

Ben Carson, family and friends target of IRS harassment for criticizing Obama

Dr. Ben Carson says he's been targeted by IRS for criticizing Obama

February 11, 2014

On Monday, Dr. Benjamin Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said he and his family were targeted by the IRS in retribution for comments critical of Barack Obama, Newsmax reported.

According to Carson, audits and other harassment began in May or June of 2013, just a few months after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Gradually, he added, the harassment expanded to include family members, associates, and his charitable endeavors.

"I’ve been quite -- I would say astonished at the level of hostility that I have encountered," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman.

"The IRS has investigated me. They said, ‘I want to look at your real estate holdings.’ There was nothing there. ‘Well, let’s expand to an entire [year], everything.’ There was nothing there. ‘Let’s do another year.’ Finally, after a few months, they went away. But they’ve come after my family, they’ve come after my friends, they’ve come after associates," he added.
3932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz - Power of the purse on: February 13, 2014, 10:05:14 AM
"Ted Cruz hurts his party by forcing a meaningless debt-ceiling vote."

The WSJ Editorialists rely on their own view that the debt ceiling is meaningless.  They advocate  no debt ceiling.  That is far more controversial!

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304104504579377303355489512?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304104504579377303355489512.html&fpid=2,7,121,122,201,401,641,1009
"Repeal the Debt Ceiling"

I disagree.  Raising the debt ceiling is one of the occasions where negotiations can and should take place to control the rate of increases in spending.  That isn't happening, but it should be.

Cruz was holding Republicans to a standard we should hold all politicians; make them cast difficult votes and make them explain their vote.  If they aren't going to control spending now, they can tell us when they will. 

Shouldn't there have been a promise made between the politicians and the electorate last time they upped the debt  limit to come up with a plan to reform entitlements and unfunded liabilities? Shouldn't we require that promise now?  Did we?  No.

Congress has a 12.1% approval rate:  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html  Ted Cruz is wrong to upset this apple cart?  Maybe not.
3933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sowell: Super Highway to Serfdom on: February 12, 2014, 10:02:47 PM
"With his decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional, Chief Justice John Roberts turned what F.A. Hayek called "The Road to Serfdom" into a super highway. The government all but owns us now, and can order us to do pretty much whatever it wants us to do."  - Thomas Sowell

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2014/02/11/random-thoughts-n1792776/page/full
3934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, McClatchy Poll, Feb 2014 on: February 12, 2014, 09:28:43 PM
Being frontrunner too early may be bad luck and lousy timing (Pres. Giuliani?) but I take note that my own favorite , Marco Rubio, is only a point out of first place in the latest poll:  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html
Huckabee 13, Christie 13, Rubio 12, Ryan 9, Rand Paul 9, Jeb Bush 8, Walker 7, Cruz 5. 
3935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Diss Glibness: 850-calories school lunch limit, 2500 for state dinners on: February 11, 2014, 11:05:54 PM
"From Wisconsin to Kansas, student athletes, in particular, are complaining the 850-calorie lunch limit embodied in nacho plates containing eight tortilla chips just doesn’t provide enough food for their growing, hard-working bodies."
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/oct/2/michelle-obamas-school-lunch-program-leaves-childr/

Calories in each rib eye state dinner with the Marxists from France:  2500 calories.  2800 assuming 2 glasses of red wine.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/11/2500-calorie-state-dinner-set-frances-hollande/
3936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Warming of the Planet Delayed: Lake Superior freezing over on: February 11, 2014, 10:32:42 PM
It's fun to catch famous people reading the forum.  The Drudge lead now was posted here 3 days ago.  EXPERT PREDICTS COMPLETE FREEZE OF GREAT LAKE

http://www.startribune.com/local/244470191.html
Lake Superior nearing ice-over
February 8, 2014
DULUTH – Ice has overtaken a great swath of Lake Superior’s surface, edging it toward its first complete ice-over since 1996

End of Snow?
Not persuaded at the Pravdas, the NY Times today published "The End of Snow", I kid you not.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-snow.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140207&tntemail0=y&_r=5
The Times found a place in Germany with no snow.  Last week in Colorado we found plenty:

http://www.onthesnow.com/colorado/skireport.html
Up to 140 inches, that's 12 feet of snow.  

Not reported in the Times:
(5 hours ago) DENVER (Reuters)Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an advisory to high-country visitors that avalanche danger is high in the Colorado mountains because of recent heavy snowfalls.
http://news.yahoo.com/skier-killed-colorado-avalanche-tenth-u-death-season-231739214--ski.html;_ylt=AvngQv8CCTSzqV2q_zbhv2DQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTBsbzR0bHJyBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHNlYwNzcg--


3937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: February 11, 2014, 10:23:00 AM
ccp,  I'm glad you're on this and I feel your pain. 

We could re-name this thread Clinton-fatigue right now.  That is what will bring them down, not their long, sordid, and often criminal history, true as that is.  A Hillary Presidency isn't exciting to anyone now and she won't be more exciting later when she's front and center on the news every hour.



3938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 11, 2014, 09:56:50 AM
Ingraham asks why have borders?
Good question.
Why bother?
Why have a defined "country"?
Why bother?
Why not just an open source country?

Ingraham won this debate, but also she filibustered and cut off Will's points.

Both sides don't have an answer for their own blind spot.  As you say, are we going to accept having a nation with no borders or sovereignty?  The answer is No.  For the other side, what are we going to do with these people who are here?  Are we going to round them up and send them home as the law requires.  The answer is No.  We aren't and we won't.  So, if not, we can either update our laws or let them remain meaningless and unenforced.

The status quo is amnesty.  The 'reform' proposals all involve some form of amnesty.  More illegals are still coming in at will, contributing little and burdening scarce resources.

.  See VDH yesterday:  http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/immigration-morality-tale/?singlepage=true  

We need a legal immigration system so good that people will accept law enforcement on illegal immigration.

For Dems, the problem is best unsolved, making them undesirable negotiating partners.  R's are divided and waffling, making them lousy negotiating partners.  Public debate on this tears apart the party.  R's didn't do anything about it when they controlled the House, Senate and White House, 2003-2006.  Dems didn't do anything on it when they had control 2009-2010.  No one trusts this President, administration or Justice Department to enforce an old law or a new law.  Maybe Chuck Shumer stumbled close to the truth. Wait until we elect a functional government, hopefully after 2017, and if you have a solution, bring it forward then.


3939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: February 10, 2014, 11:13:36 PM
Doug I hear you.
But,
The question is do enough people care?  If they did then why is Hillary ahead in polls.  Yes I know it way early but still..... Someone with her record of lying should be in the cellar.  Not in the penthouse.
I heard Rush for ten minutes today.  He more or less has stopped banging his head against the wall asking how such a person as Hillary is not in the garbage can like Nixon.
He just realized none of this seems to matter.

Of course you are right at this moment.  I am perhaps the only person who holds Hillary and Barack accountable for the economic fall of 2007-2008.  Maybe only me and about two others know President Bill Clinton accomplished NOTHING economically before Newt took congress and he  signed on with their Republican agenda, dumping Hillary and HillaryCare.  Still, what can they say they accomplished when they took control of congress and the country went to hell?  What can they say they accomplished when they took control of foreign policy and the world went to hell?  There isn't going to be Hyde Park 2008 level excitement for this known, dismal commodity.  I guarantee you, she would rather win in 2016 than be a frontrunner now.  I highly doubt she can be both.  Her frontrunner status does not match her lack of curb appeal.  She has a good resume - as to where she has been, not what she has accomplished.  She has top notch name recognition.  Yet she is smart enough to know Hillary fatigue is setting in - even when she is totally silent!

  'I am Sick and Tired'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR3XTOjZPfg  'What Difference Does it Make'.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWRtlPas4ko   Barack eats her debate lunch.
3940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: February 10, 2014, 12:34:29 PM
The nuclear waste storage problem is one of emotion.  I offer this country my garage to store properly containerized waste in exchange for ownership of its future energy potential.
3941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Water, regional drought, plentiful elsewhere on: February 10, 2014, 12:26:18 PM
If interested, Lake Superior still has 3-quadrillion gallons of fresh water, a surface area the size of the state of Maine, retention time of 191 years and enough volume to cover North and South America in one foot of water.  Superior has recovered 100% from the "dangerously low" levels of 6 years ago.  http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/superior/facts

People move away from fresh water and then complain about it. 

Vilsack, Sec of Agriculture: “That’s why it’s important for us to take climate change seriously,”

Oh, good grief.
3942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Growth, Inequality, Redistribution debate on: February 10, 2014, 12:06:28 PM
For anyone interested in the inside-baseball debate of Economics, this is interesting stuff, IMO.  Links are to pdfs.

Greg Mankiw, Chair of the Harvard Economics Dept, who recently wrote, 'Defending the One Percent': http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.27.3.21
From the article: Optimal redistribution centers on the elasticity of labor supply
Using the force of government to seize such a large share of the fruits of someone else’s labor is unjust
No amount of applied econometrics can bridge this philosophical divide.

Redistibutionist Robert Solow, Nobel winner, MIT, takes issue and Mankiw responds:
http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.28.1.243
Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2013-2104
3943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: February 10, 2014, 11:28:03 AM
The battle within the conservative movement.  We better find some common ground soon!

http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/09/laura-ingraham-battles-george-will-as-conservative-civil-war-over-immigration-intensifies-video/

Laura Ingraham battles George Will as conservative civil war over immigration intensifies [VIDEO]
3944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary Clinton: Dishonesty and Opportunism, has it ever been any other way? on: February 10, 2014, 11:15:43 AM
Like the Nixon tapes, the “Hillary Papers” — actually the papers of Hillary’s close friend and confidant, the late Diane Blair — tend mainly to confirm what we thought we already knew about a highly public figure who has been in the limelight for decades.

Take, for example, Mrs. Clinton’s reaction to the Lewinsky scandal. Blair wrote this after listening to the First Lady on the subject:

    [Hillary] is not trying to excuse [Bill Clinton]; it was a huge personal lapse. And she is not taking responsibility for it. But, she does say this to put his actions in context. Ever since he took office they’ve been going thru personal tragedy ([the death of] Vince [Foster], her dad, his mom) and immediately all the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them.

In other words, Clinton’s political adversaries — that vast right-wing conspiracy — are partly to blame for his sexual indiscretions. Is anyone surprised that this was her take?

Or consider her stance on “single payer” health insurance. Blair recounts:

    At dinner, [Hillary] to [Bill] at length on the complexities of health care—thinks managed competition a crock; single-payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare.

Yet, as the Washington Free Beacon points out, in an interview with the New York Times when she ran for president in 2008, Clinton said:

    You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single payer system.

Again, is anyone surprised at the dishonesty and opportunism? This, after all, is the same person Robert Gates heard say she opposed the 2007 Iraq surge because she couldn’t let Barack Obama get to her left on the issue. (Note the double cynicism here: if the surge had failed, Clinton wouldn’t have said that her opposition was other than merits-based, and it’s not clear that the statement to the contrary that Gates heard her make was honest).

There’s much more of interest in the Hillary Papers, but the pre-existing record is more damning, as we expect to have many occasions to point out.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/same-old-hillary.php
3945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: February 10, 2014, 11:04:08 AM
Disagree.  Very much a necessary message IMHO and my respect to RP for "getting it" and making a point of saying it.

I agree with Crafty here.  I don't like group or demographic politics, but that is the game being played.  Better to be in the mix than to lose by default.

Republicans don't need to win 51% or 100% of blacks or Hispanics, but they do need the people who are like minded to feel welcome and join in. 

It is not true that Democrats have the best  policies for 94% of blacks and 73% of Hispanics. 

40 percent of Texas Hispanics identified as conservative.  Only 18 percent claimed to be liberal.  Sixty-eight percent of Texas Hispanics support increasing border security as part of immigration reforms; 10 percent opposed it.  I know they vote Dem, but there is cause for concern in the numbers for Dems as well.  http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/ted-cruz-and-hispanic-vote
3946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Hillary -Petraeus alliance on: February 10, 2014, 10:34:50 AM
WTF?!?   cry cry cry

Is she attracted to adulterers, lol.  Very strange bedfellows, so to speak.  Hillary is a known commodity, so this tells us more about Gen. Petraeus.  What exactly, I don't know.  He was a brilliant tactician, but also walked into a pretty stupid personal scandal and lost his job and career over it.  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-deemed-petraeus-affair-part-criminal-intel-probe/story?id=17696177  Perhaps they did become friends as she tried to make up for her other friends running "General Betray Us" ads. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CckxcVZpO  Perhaps she would be a stronger President on military matters and foreign affairs than Barack Obama.  She voted for the Iraq war for example.  (In 2016, will America be looking for a hawk or a dove?)

There are zero degrees of separation between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the domestic and economic issues.  They served in the Senate Majority together,starting at 4.6% unemployment as they worked to take this economy down.  

Tell me something, General, where was Hillary Clinton when the 3am phone call came in?  And where were you?!

http://www.ijreview.com/2014/02/112890-benghazi-cover-continues-smoking-gun-former-cia-director-morrell-editing-talking-points/
Hillary Campaign Adviser Lied About CIA's Role Editing Benghazi Talking Points

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/benghazi-cia-libya_n_2062131.html
The Journal's report placed the blame for many of the missteps in Benghazi specifically on CIA director David Petraeus
3947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: February 08, 2014, 11:40:33 AM
That helps.  Citations, especially on the net trend over time, would be wonderful.



As stated previously, this is not 'education', this is federal bureaucracy.  Education is funded at the state and local level.

"The Department of Education, a 4,200-person agency, has enjoyed dramatic funding increases year after year since its creation over three decades ago. The President’s FY 2013 budget request includes a 2.5 percent increase (over 2012 levels) for the Department of Education—the largest increase for any domestic agency in the proposed budget. But nearly a half century of ever-increasing federal education spending and control has failed to improve academic outcomes. The bloated bureaucracy has added layer upon layer of red tape on states and school districts, requiring school leaders to demonstrate compliance with more than 150 federal education programs."
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/04/obamas-2013-education-budget-and-blueprint-a-costly-expansion-of-federal-control

Also please see this chart.
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/year_spending_2014USbn_15bs2n_20#usgs302
Click on current year, click on 5 years past, etc.  Education spending is up 42% in 10 years, in spite of budget woes.  Test scores remain "utterly stagnant" over the same time period: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/us-test-scores_n_4374075.html

Local examples (MN):
Minneapolis Public Schools, per student spending $20,911, Graduation Rate: 55.1%
Minnetonka Public Schools, Per student spending: $9,579,  Graduation Rate: 93.7%
Edina Public Schools, Per-Pupil Spending: $9,219; Graduation Rate: 94.1%
http://www.localschooldirectory.com/public-school/45651/MN
http://www.better-ed.org/20911-minneapolis-public-schools-avg-spending-student
http://www.localschooldirectory.com/public-school/45623/MN

Money has an inverse relationship with results.  There could be other factors involved...
3948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Income Inequality and Income Mobility on: February 08, 2014, 10:50:19 AM
I am sorry to inform President Obama and his team of pretend economists that inequality and specifically the rich getting richer does not correspond with the poor getting poorer or having fewer opportunities to move up.  It simply isn't true.

http://www.economics21.org/commentary/great-gastby-curve-revisited-part-1
"Neither measure of inequality nor the size-of-middle-class measure has a correlation with any of the mobility measures that is statistically different from zero."

http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/288748/guest-post-scott-winship-offers-his-closing-argument-great-gatsby-curve-wonk-fight-201
http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~lkenwor/2013thedangeroffrontloadingincomeinequality.pdf
http://www.russellsage.org/sites/all/files/Bloome%20Inequality%20&%20mobility%20April%202013.pdf
3949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Warming of the Planet Delayed: Lake Superior freezing over on: February 08, 2014, 10:13:58 AM
http://www.startribune.com/local/244470191.html
Lake Superior nearing ice-over
February 8, 2014

DULUTH – Ice has overtaken a great swath of Lake Superior’s surface, edging it toward its first complete ice-over since 1996 and worrying the shipping industry.
...

http://www.startribune.com/galleries/243389031.html
Ice caves on Apostle Islands
February 3, 2014

It's been 5 years since the ice has frozen along the south shore of Lake Superior, creating access to the wonders of the Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Over the weekend over 8,000 people made the pilgrimage, a mile walk along the frozen shore, to witness and photograph the crystal wonders of the caves.

3950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care, workers will work less on: February 08, 2014, 10:05:32 AM
Is this what Nancy Pelosi meant by have to pass it to find out what's in it?  Why wasn't an honest and dynamic assessment of its impact a requirement for passage?

 From the Congressional Budget Office:  http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45010-Outlook2014.pdf

    CBO estimates that the ACA [Affordable Care Act] will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.

Greg Mankiw, Harvard:  http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2014/02/sentence-of-day.html
Implicit in this estimate are elasticities that measure how much people respond to incentives.  My sense is that CBO is typically conservative when it come to gauging these incentives effects.  So I would take their estimate of the impact on hours worked as a lower bound. The actual figure (of jobs and work lost) may be higher (than 2.5 million).

Perfect leftism.  We will achieve prosperity by having fewer workers work shorter hours at a lower wage rate.

Who knew this would happen (in 2009)?  

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/business/economy/01view.html?_r=0
The signature domestic issue in President Obama’s first year in office — health care reform — is shaping up to be the antithesis of President Reagan’s supply-side economics.  The starting point for Ronald Reagan was the idea that people respond to incentives. ... President Obama has said he wants to raise marginal tax rates on high-income taxpayers. Yet under his policies, the largest increases in marginal tax rates may well apply not to the rich but to millions of middle-class families. These increases would not show up explicitly in the tax code but, rather, implicitly as part of health care reform.

One might hope that such a large climb in marginal rates is a bug in the Senate Finance bill (2009, which became the ACA), one that could be fixed before the legislation became law. But there is no simple fix. Higher marginal tax rates are an integral part of the Obama health plan.

Health reformers start with the problem that some people are expensive to insure, because of pre-existing health conditions. Their solution is to require insurers to sell insurance to everyone (a policy called guaranteed issue) at the same price (called community rating).

This solution, however, causes another problem. For healthy people, insurance is now a bad bet. A person without significant medical needs has an incentive to wait — to buy insurance later if and when he gets sick, a decision that raises the cost of insurance for everyone else. This problem, according to the reformers, calls for another solution: a mandate requiring people to buy health insurance.

But this mandate leads to yet another problem. Requiring an expensive purchase like health insurance can be onerous for low-income families. So the health reformers offer subsidies.

Which brings us back to marginal tax rates. If large health insurance subsidies were offered to all Americans, regardless of income, the program’s cost would be exorbitant, requiring substantial increases in explicit taxes. So, instead, the subsidies are phased out as income rises. As a result, we get implicit marginal rates like those in the Senate Finance bill [ACA].  - Greg Mankiw, NY Times, Oct 31, 2009
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