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3901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Young Barack Obama in Vanity Fair on: May 03, 2012, 12:05:24 AM
One thing said about Barack Obama is that there was almost no record of him, no ex-girlfriends, no college roommates, no writings, no grades etc. meaning no vetting or that we don't really know who he is.  Part of that is solved with a new book coming out by a Wash Post reporter.  Vanity Fair has a 6 page excerpt:

I take from it two things, he is more real and genuine for having some past revealed and some relationships.  Second is that my belief that he did not write his own books was reinforced.

"In Dreams from My Father, Obama chose to emphasize a racial chasm that unavoidably separated him from the woman he described as his New York girlfriend.

    One night I took her to see a new play by a black playwright. It was a very angry play, but very funny. Typical black American humor. The audience was mostly black, and everybody was laughing and clapping and hollering like they were in church. After the play was over, my friend started talking about why black people were so angry all the time. I said it was a matter of remembering—nobody asks why Jews remember the Holocaust, I think I said—and she said that’s different, and I said it wasn’t, and she said that anger was just a dead end. We had a big fight, right in front of the theater. When we got back to the car she started crying. She couldn’t be black, she said. She would if she could, but she couldn’t. She could only be herself, and wasn’t that enough.None of this happened with Genevieve. She remembered going to the theater only once with Barack, and it was not to see a work by a black playwright.

“It is an incident that happened,” Maraniss quotes Obama as saying in a decades-later interview, but it wasn’t with her.

“That was not her,” he said. “That was an example of compression I was very sensitive in my book not to write about my girlfriends, partly out of respect for them. So that was a consideration. I thought that [the anecdote involving the reaction of a white girlfriend to the angry black play] was a useful theme to make about sort of the interactions that I had in the relationships with white girlfriends. And so, that occupies, what, two paragraphs in the book? My attitude was it would be dishonest for me not to touch on that at all … so that was an example of sort of editorially how do I figure that out?” "

They found the girl he went to the play with and one other girlfriend andjournals and letters.  The incident did not happen.  It was, in my conjecture only, a stereotypical race relations discussion between sort of black man and white woman, fictionalized by someone else.  The composite story is interesting but there have been other indicators that his notes were the take off point for whomever wrote the rest.
3902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Freedom of religion, David Barton, author ofThe Jefferson Lies on Jon Stewart on: May 02, 2012, 11:42:56 PM
I started to post this on Founding Fathers while listening but they never in this interview really got to Jefferson.  So let's call it Freedom of religion.

I heard David Barton on a re-run of Glenn Beck radio over the weekend.  One thing he said was that Jefferson's Koran had some writing inside the front cover and I wanted to know what it was.  Didn't find out.  Searching, 'The Blaze' said this interview was the number one google search of the day.

Keith Ellison took his oath on the Koran and said it was Thomas Jefferson's Koran, thus making it okay?  But as I suspected, Jefferson had the first English translation of the Koran to read in order to understand the enemy he would go to war against that killing and enslaving Americans (and people from other non-Islamic countries) that would pass through the Straits of Gibraltar.

Barton is a conservative Christian historian involved with 9 Supreme Court cases.  Stewart is a liberal Jew, a comedian, trying partly to do a Charlie Rose style interview and partly to debate him.  Odd interview/debate but interesting.

A point Barton makes is that Freedom of Speech should not exclude religious speech.  Stewart can't comprehend how if America is 84% Christian that they could ever think they get unfair treatment.

On the radio, Barton defended Jefferson against quite a few myths that are out there about him; that is the core of the book.  Buy the book and tell us the rest:
3903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia:IBD - One word missing in President's end of the war speech on: May 02, 2012, 02:49:49 PM
"Better in the Afpakia thread , , ,"   Okay, so moved.
I had to read to the end of a good piece, critical of the President, to find out the word missing was "victory".
"the document he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a meaningless basic agreement to talk later about forging a real agreement."
"Tuesday night's speech from Kabul emphasizing withdrawal was his first substantive statement in eleven (11!) months. Nothing to the nation from its leader on an ongoing war for nearly one year, while finding time for 124 campaign fundraiser speeches, more golf games and vacations."
"One little-noticed provision of the agreement Obama and Karzai signed Tuesday, however, is that American troops will remain in Afghanistan for not one, not two, not even three more years. They will be there for 12 more years, until 2024, helping. So, John McCain was correct after all about lengthy U.S. troop stationings."

(More plus full text of the President's remarks at the link.)
3904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / re. reporting of war deaths in Afghanistan on: May 02, 2012, 02:43:31 PM
'This week with David Brinkley George Stephanopolous' ABC Sunday mornings also has kept their feature of naming and honoring the dead.  A credit to them.

I don't watch evening network news but it would be interesting to know if there is consistency.  My selective memory recalls it being the lead if not only story every day from Iraq under Bush until they finally had a bad economy to crow about.
3905  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 02, 2012, 01:28:54 PM
"Some outlets don't know what the hell they are talking about."

As lamented on Media Issues, I very much regret the need to get so much of my information from biased right wing sources, and I very much appreciate that this format makes it possible to get misinformation cleared up very quickly.

Your distinction of not staying a second term versus that I wrote 'leaving' is quite valid.  Most cabinet members I'm sure serve no more than one term.  It does not mean a rift or anything like that.  She has been 100% loyal in her position.  More dedicated to her job than her boss has been to his. (MHO)

It's just that with the Clintons there is some history that precedes her service in this capacity.
3906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 02, 2012, 12:45:06 PM
"Who says Sec. State Clinton is leaving the administration?"
Hillary Clinton Would Not Serve Second Term In Obama Cabinet

I did not mean to say sooner than that, just that she won't be staying on.

"She can't go to the convention, because the SecSt is meant to be a non-partisan position, and it is inappropriate to attend."

That is a good point of clarification.  Some outlets ran it to mean more than that.

The idea that foreign policy is meant to be non-partisan has a sad element of humor and nostalgia to it, while her husband stars in a highly partisan campaign commercial - about foreign policy - running right now. 

3907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: MSNBC mixing 'we' and 'White House' on: May 02, 2012, 11:39:48 AM

Innocent slip up? Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC:

"What do you think of the Republican criticism that we are politicizing it -- that the White House, I should say, is politicizing it?"
Worried about my previous commingling, is she news or opinion?  wink
3908  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The fight for the US Senate: On the Reservation with Pocahontas Warren on: May 02, 2012, 11:30:43 AM
There is an upside down race in the fight for the US Senate, the so-called Ted Kennedy seat is a left state seat held by a Republican (Scott Brown), so it is an obvious pick up opportunity for the Dems to offset likely losses elsewhere.

Elizabeth Warren is the perfect candidate, an articulate leftist and Harvard professor.  She should be able to mail it in and win.  But...

This accomplished white woman, it turns out, needed to compensate for a past of discrimination against her for her 1/32nd Cherokee Indian heritage.  Who knew?

Ripped in a local paper:

White and wrong: On the reservation with Elizabeth Warren
By Howie Carr  Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We all know about “undocumented workers.” Now we have Elizabeth Warren, the undocumented Indian.

Funny thing, I think Ted Williams was one-fourth Mexican. He was white. Johnny Bench is one-eighth Indian. I always think of him as white. And then there’s Pochantas Warren, the blue-eyed, one-32nd Cherokee (or so we’re told) who went from the Southwest Conference to the Ivy League over the course of a decade in which she was claiming to be a “minority professor.”

But once she’d parlayed the racial-spoils racket all the way to a tenured position at Harvard Law, she decided to ... pass, as they used to say in the old South. Once she’d reached the pinnacle of her trade, she ditched the fake-Indian routine. Maybe White Eyes Warren saw the smoke signals and figured out that someone was going to call her out on her ancestry. She was right.

Still, all’s well that ends well. She has her $1.7 million wigwam in Cambridge. Greedy Wall Street lawyers slurp top-shelf firewater at her $1,000-a-head Manhattan fundraisers. Maybe someday she’ll even smokum peace pipe with Tim Geithner.  (more at the link)

3909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / North Korea: The Day After (the regime falls) - Bill Keller, NYT on: May 02, 2012, 10:53:34 AM
I enjoyed this opinion piece by former NY Times Editor Bill Keller.  I like things that indicate the end of something unimaginably evil is either possible or inevitable, like the PRC and the DPRK.  He is saying we should be preparing now for the aftermath of the regime.    Excerpt:

"The big question we should be asking is: What about the Day After? If the regime’s days are numbered, the end is likely to be messier than anything we’ve seen in the Arab Spring. Why aren’t we sitting down with the Chinese, South Koreans, Japanese and Russians and making a plan to prevent nuclear material from being sold to the Russian mafia or the Chinese triads; to keep some panicky general from incinerating Seoul (minutes away as the artillery shell flies); to dissuade China or Russia from sending in troops to take advantage; to prevent Nuremberg-minded prison commandants from bulldozing the evidence into mass graves; to fend off an even more monumental human calamity than the famine of the mid-90s? Then, how do we reunify Korea without bankrupting the South? "
3910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 02, 2012, 10:00:00 AM
Both the NYT and the USA Today have fallen troops section of their front section.  That isn't silence or ignoring. ... 

This is an interesting point and a credit to those publications missed by those of us who read around on the internet.
3911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, I killed OBL and you didn't on: May 02, 2012, 09:57:26 AM
I agree that there are going to be mistakes in the heat of battle.  But this one is a doozy.  It is a not an ad hoc remark or hot mic moment but a highly planned out ad, timed with the anniversary of the greatest operation in recent times, utilizing the celebrity status of a former President, and orchestrated with the followup from the Vice President.  The powers of incumbency and the powers of having a huge campaign war chest ran amok.  Wrong to spike the football came right from the President, not the opponents, and it had to do with not inciting more attacks on Americans, not politics at home.

Of course Obama deserves credit for the OBL kill, just like Nixon does for approving the landing of the first man on the moon.  

The campaign is pairing the magnificent performance of our special operations with a gotcha attempt on Romney quote, vague and clipped, where he said he wouldn't move heaven and earth to get one man.

The Romney point in 2008 I think was to remember there are other metrics in the war on terror of how we are doing like not having our cities and planes blown up  He was saying don't publicly build up the international importance of getting this one man.  Not saying don't kill him.

There were too many "I"s in the original Obama announcement.  He didn't get it that it was enough that he was the one got to make the amazing announcement to the country and to the world.  The political bump was there but relatively small and short lived.  If another 3 week bump was possible, they needed it in Oct, not April.

Soon they will be saying Romney's foreign intervention policies will be too aggressive and dangerous.  He is too willing to go after targets like this and prosecute a war on terror when we should be pulling away.  (The Mission was Accomplished.)

President Obama's foreign policy record is cheapened by the bravato.  Republicans will certainly criticize his record and he could have said in rebuttal, 'hey, I got us out of 2 wars and killed Osama bin Laden'.  Instead it looks more like two surrenders and a no-brainer.

This attack made it through the highest levels of the campaign, which means the idea came from someone with so much pull that no adviser could say it was ill-advised.  Most likely came fromthe President himself, or the first lady?

The other explanation is that the idea was pushed forward by Bill Clinton, a political genius, but in intentional sabotage.  Funny how he is right in the middle of it - while his wife is leaving the administration, not going to the convention.  No one is that cynical.   wink

3912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, spiking the football "despicable" on: May 01, 2012, 05:42:09 PM
re. Seals Slam Obama:  Why, is there something wrong with "spiking the football"?

Obama managed to piss off David Brooks and Arrianna Huffington, his own allies, with his only accomplishment.

Brooks: "Last week, the Obama campaign ran a cheap-shot ad on the death of Osama bin Laden. Part of the ad was Bill Clinton effectively talking about the decision to kill the terrorist. But, in the middle, the Obama people threw in a low-minded attack on Romney. The slam made Clinton look small, it made Obama look small, it turned a moment of genuine accomplishment into a political ploy..."

Huffingtom:  "this line of attack -- that a combination of an opponent's lack of patriotism and low machismo makes him a national security threat, and therefore unelectable -- is particularly "despicable" ..."

3913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: The Interconnected Economy on: May 01, 2012, 03:19:35 PM
This statement of Crafty's in the Calif thread makes a great point that has widespread implications in economics:

"...the high unemployment rate and the closely related decline in discretionary income with its attendant decline in discretionary spending-- which unfortunately for me is how most wives see martial arts-- are really hitting the portion of my income based upon local spending"

We keep trying to target groups for taxation, only the rich, only the business owner, only the other business owner.  But you cannot tax or punish the other guy ("crucify" in the case of coal companies) without taxing yourself or your own family.

In this particular case, let's say we design a big tax increase so carefully that it hits every business except martial arts schools.  Up goes unemployment, down goes take home and discretionary income and instantly the martial arts school is taxed in lost income.

It isn't trickle down; it is interconnectedness.  Tax the business owner, the employees suffer.  Tax the store, the customer gets hit.  Tax the energy used in manufacturing driving costs up, factory jobs go overseas.

If we spend to excess and then don't tax anyone to pay for it, just borrow and print money, everyone is still hurt by the declining value of everything else in diluted dollars.
3914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar & other currencies, & Gold/Silver on: May 01, 2012, 11:31:14 AM

Two thought leaders, from both extremes. 

Ron Paul is right about inflation being theft but a little off and confusing to me on monetary and Fed issues.  He says in his book 'End the Fed' if you read it closely he does not say end the Fed but end the monopoly of the Fed.  Okay, but IMHO:  We just need a better managed, sole function Fed, manage our currency to protect its value; our currency value should not be manipulated to compensate for policy errors elsewhere in government.  We don't need a full return to gold convertibility, but to track a 'basket of goods and commodities' that includes gold.  We already track it we just don't act on the information.

Krugman doesn't say we are in a recession, he says we are in a depression.  We should expand the monetary base and deficit spending far far more than we are right now in his view.

Interesting disagreement over their citing of Milton Friedman on the Fed's role in the (other) Great Depression.
3915  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 01, 2012, 10:41:19 AM
Without a doubt California is a beautiful place and JDN's pride is a positive thing.  It is more than a coastline but plenty of the rest is beautiful and abundant too.  Plenty of human assets with great universities and historically great businesses.  As CCP suggests, the point of the criticism is that it is a very badly governed place and more than a warning to the rest of us.  So bad that a moderate Republican couldn't turn the corner, nor now can a moderate Dem.  Like CCP says, the spending is so large and out of control there is no faucet any more for lawmakers to even slow the spending.

Personally I don't understand how leaving future voters and taxpayers to pay legacy costs of past workers work in  the form of pensions and healthcare passes any test of consent of the governed.

The migration out is huge phenomenon.  JDN argues that the successful are the ones staying.  I don't believe that but if true, look at what problems they are exporting to the other 49.

Victor Davis Hanson often writes interesting personal stories from living on a family farm in one of California's poorest areas in the country to commuting to Stanford in one of the world's richest areas.  VDH blog:
This excerpt is from a post about Europe:

Munich and Athens in California  February 12th, 2012

"I drive each week from one of the poorest areas in the U.S. to one of the wealthiest. A man from Mars after walking in west Selma and then downtown Menlo Park could tell you exactly why the gap is not three hours, but more like three centuries. One-quarter mile from my house about 30 people live in wrecked trailers behind a farmhouse with an assortment of barn animals wandering about the premises; about 100 yards from my tiny studio apartment in Palo Alto, Facebook zillionaires bid upwards of $2 million for a tiny house worth about $70,000 in Fresno.

But both these extremes at least share common laws — in theory a common language, the same constitution, and an identical popular culture. In contrast, when I go from the Peloponnese to the Rhine I see about the same vast economic divide, but one in which different histories, languages, cultures, and ethnicities acerbate — not mitigate — the gulf. In fact, if I were to dream up a way of having central, rural California go to war against the wealthier coastal strip from San Diego to San Francisco, I would simply have them first craft a EU-like arrangement for a few years."
3916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: May 01, 2012, 12:20:34 AM
Complete denial of a problem?

Didn't they use to be the 5th largest economy in the world?  1984-1985.  Now smaller than Italy.

Amassing a small fortune.  By starting with a large one.
3917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - wasting time on: May 01, 2012, 12:06:24 AM
"In my fraternity house in college I got what was called the "silver spoon award". It was a joke; it's given to the poorest pledge; that was me. "

Silver spoon funny for poor kid but you weren't joking and maybe we aregetting at the root of your hate.  Yours was an attack on the person and you keep defending it and expanding on it.  I gave you synonyms to fix that, he was raised to be successful.

"As for housing cost, Romney did pay more for his house in one year than he paid for taxes.  Further, he got a mortgage deduction for his $20million dollar beach house."

You say rich beyond comprehension, successful to a fault, and in the next sentence say he had to borrow to buy his second house.  No he didn't.  You say it 3 times and don't link it.  Rich people don't need to borrow, they lend. There is no issue about Romney taking inappropriate deductions.  It is still just an attack against the person, the Latin that  is ad hominem.  Be civil.  Stop doing that.  

You miss the main point anyway.  If he pays 20 million for bricklaying, electrical, plumbing, roof installations, cabinet work, counters, custom closets, nice windows put in etc.  WHO BENEFITED FROM THAT??  He is out the $20 million though got his money's worth so he is about even, but the bricklayers, framers, sheetrockers, cabinet makers, the guys that paint the lines on the tennis court, etc. - collectively they are up about $20 million, getting their bills paid and hopefully putting their kids through college.  While the best perhaps were busy on this house other workers won bids on other projects etc and the other businesses in the area all benefit fromthe chain of events coming from a major new construction site.  What is the downside of this?  For all you obsess on it you just won't say what is wrong.  What is wrong with good, healthy, private, consensual, adult, hard earned economic activity to liberals?  What is wrong with having a beach house?  Using it or having the freedom to not use it.  I just don't see the problem and you won't say what it is.  Because if HE owns it someone else doesn't?  So no one should??  You just keep ripping it like we all already know how bad it is.  But I don't hate rich people or resent successful people.  We don't all attack and divide.  Our side doesn't hate poor people, we want them to have the opportunity to earn whatever they want.  We want people set financially or at least able to pay their bills.  Rich means one more person we don't have to support.  It's not filthy.

Who was it, I forget, who said "don't covet your neighbor's house"?

The President's job is not to individually counsel food stamp recipients on how to pay electric bills without money and to know from experience how it feels.  He or she IMO is supposed to (among other things) set with congress our public policies so that every American has the best conditions conducive to long term economic growth and prosperity that are possible.  It was the 'liberal' party that used to say "a rising tide lifts all boats".   Anybody remember THAT?  

Finally, yes, be civil.  Parroting hate speech is hate speech.  Don't do it.  Do you think the us vs. them, divide-America line is okay because everyone you know is doing it?  In a we-the-people country, somebody is going to call you on it.
3918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: April 30, 2012, 06:08:40 PM
GM,  It would be interesting to get a version of that clock that shows the debt since Democrats took power in Nov 2006 / Jan 2007 - and the 'growth' we bought with it.  The new Senators that year are up for discipline (re-election) this year.  The majority of women in 2010 already voted the first woman Speaker.   The de facto leaders of the Senate then and Executive Branch now, Obama, Hillary and even Biden are also up for second thoughts by the electorate.

All they can say it was worse before they "got here' and point to when they instead controlled congress.
3919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 30, 2012, 05:52:12 PM
The examples I gave were of hate speech.  The qualifier meaning 'lots of' in front of rich is not "filthy".  Silver spoon is phrase about hatred, not about utensils.  That you would hate and vote for him shows contradiction and nonsense.  Given the disapprovals of both sides of congress, maybe hate is what people want to feel. If it informs you about how he will govern, inform us what you found out instead of the same repetition.

Housing cost is a per month or per year measure.  You compare a one time investment that likely does not go down in value at all and say it is larger than a per year tax expense?  You are not that stupid...  GM, is he?

The feeling I and others hold toward President Obama is about how he IS governing us.  I hate it, not him.  I wish him private sector success, just like George McGovern who turned on a dime after he started in business and fought the red tape.  Obama's association with these radicals told us in advance how he would govern.  These terrorists were not free market advocates. (  The words you have expressed toward Gov. Romney are about ad hominem hatred - against the person.  Did you oppose his health care plan, his tax plan more moderate than Huntsman's, his moderate view on climate change?  No.  His person.

Does one have to be poor to understand growth economics?

A different view is that to study poverty is to study nothing because poverty is the absence of something, not a quality in itself.  Like studying particles in a vacuum.  They aren't there.  I don't want someone experience at being destitute.  I want someone who knows the way out.  If one accepts that wealth is good, one can study the conditions conducive to it growing and spreading it, not taking it.  You in at least one side of your posting do not admit or accept that wealth is good.  Without that acceptance, growing it or spreading it is of no value.

When I meet successful people I am overwhelmed with curiosity, not envy or hatred.  The amount of wealth alone tells me NOTHING about how they will govern.  Especially true for Romney for the reasons you suggest.  He sort of grew up wealthy but his family started with nothing, made most of it after he grew up and he made his fortune on his own with of course the advantage that he was close kin with an important man.

Billy Carter beer brand, Neal Bush of Siverado S&L, Hugh Rodham of pardon fame, and Obama's aunt on food stamps all also came out of close kin with important people.  It is an advantage of great potential but not determinative of your future.  Nor any indication of how you will govern.

Romney is now the blank slate that Obama once was.  Paint what you like on his canvas.  Obama is inescapably tied to his record.  He painted all over our canvas and people are finding it ugly.
3920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Keep looking for shiny objects, here! No, over here! on: April 30, 2012, 09:40:28 AM
Don't look at the President's presidency, his policies, his results.

The thing about your hatred of Romney, JDN, "filthy rich" "OPULENT" "silver spoon" etc is that it sheds light only on you; it tells us nothing about him or how he would govern.  

Why would a loving family man want to be rich?  So he is beholden to no one, so he can take care of his own, without anyone else's help, so he can go on to other activities etc.  You fail to show a negative in it and amazingly keep saying "so what" to your own arguments!

Did Mitt Romney spend more on housing than he paid to the government?  Did he spend more on housing than he gave to charity? Did he spend more on housing than the federal affordability guideline of spending roughly one third of your income on housing?  No. No. And no.  He spent more than you - that's about all we know.  You link a picture but I've seen nice places before; I enjoy knowing successful people.  Is 6 hours on his bed better than the 8-9 hours of deep sleep I got last night.  I doubt it.  He doesn't have to fix his own toilet flapper if it leaks but neither do my tenants.  It looks like he gives his neighbors greenery and privacy out their door and windows.  Unless he plays music too loud, there is not much at the Romney compound to complain about. How many workmen made how many dollars building his homes, to help pay for their own?  He has a tennis court but also he has a wife, 5 sons, 5 daughter in laws and 15 grandchildren. I would have gone with at least 2 courts in his situation but it looks like they preferred to keep the trees and were a little cramped for space.

What kind of house SHOULD he live in?  Should he have stopped making money when he had enough.  Actually he is one of the few who did; that did not slow the hatred.  When he is on the west coast, should he have to stay in hotels, cut rate  hotels,  if he can afford his own place?  Should we have laws restricting second home ownership or second home size, further killing that market?  If so, who does that hurt most?  Or is this NOT about POLICY in the first place?

When we figure out what JDN really hates, maybe we could have a thread about that and stop muddling up the important political threads.  There's going to be an important election this year.  Someone should make a coherent argument why we should stay on the same course or else we should change course.

FIVE tries at the martian joke and still no one knows what JDN is talking about.  Someone other than me should tell JDN we don't hear those voices.
"Whatever his past, Ayers is now a respected member of the Chicago intelligentsia ...  solid academic credentials and "passion for social justice.""

Whatever his past, you wanted Osama bin Laden dead or in the Islamist intelligentsia?
"Barack was very well known in Chicago, and a highly respected legislator."

His signature piece was the right to kill babies AFTER they pop out the womb alive.  Or as they say on the left: a  "passion for social justice."
What you JDN don't see or won't admit here is that we have been moving America in their direction every minute since the election of Nov 2006 and everything has gotten worse.  It got worse for the rich.  It got worse for the poor.  It got worse for working people and it got worse for people looking for work.  The prospects for the future from the unborn to the college seniors got worse.  We all share ONE economy.  It is not us vs. them; it is "we the people".  It is policies for growth versus policies for decline.  But saying they offer policies for decline doesn't sell, so again and again it is 'hey, look at this other shiny object - over here!'  Romney's dog, Romney's wife, Romney's religion, Romney's house, Romney's other house.  

With a slight correction in the CPI calculation, we are at 0.00% growth, equal to John Belushi's seven year GPA in Animal House.  0% growth at the bottom of the cliff AFTER FIVE TRILLION IN NEW DEBT.  Obama's previous budget failed in a Dem Senate by a vote of 99-0.  They asked his latest budget chief when this new budget balanced.  He stuttered like seeing Obama trying to explain to the rest of America why he liked Rev. Wright's sermons.  The answer for our economy repairing under their policies is never.  

We grow out of this after we vote out these losers and their policies.  Not one minute sooner.
3921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 29, 2012, 03:52:38 PM
Yes, blah, blah.  What is the functional difference between flushing a million dollar toilet and a zillion dollar one.  A tenfold difference, lol. Even Obama defines both lifestyles as the 1%, labeled and categorized, whereas I would call each of them the family home, unjudged by me except for the gangster origins of the one.  Still no comparison to Kerry, Edwards, Gore or the Kennedys because that is different.  Still even a preference for the gangster money versus the earned. 

There is nothing to argue about in terms of how to move the country forward when we share no values or desired direction for the country in common.  We are running against the if-I-wanted-America-to-fail braintrust and they are a clever bunch.
3922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 29, 2012, 02:29:51 PM
He was referring to Romney's opulent houses.

Compared to recent wealthy Dem candidates (Heinz-Kerry) for the same office?  No.  Does his opponent have a frugal or median style abode in contrast?  No. (million and a half plus a gangster yard)  Opulent?  Yes.  Our nation was opulent - - - prior to Nov 2006.
3923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 29, 2012, 01:34:03 PM
as Mitt Romney would call it, a fixer-upper.

And Obama's terrorist friend Bill Ayers would call it a target.

Very funny, if it wasn't true.  JDN doesn't care about ties to known, unrepentant terrorists?  Because Ayers and the Mrs who kicked off Obama's career won't blow it up with their buddies in there.

It is the government in Washington, not the 5-star hotel, that Gov. Romney is calling a fixer-upper.

The comedian's point was that it is a fancy place. So who paid for the event so closely following the lavish government partying scandals?  
3924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 29, 2012, 09:58:18 AM
Kimmel continued: 'there's a term for Presidents like that... though probably not two terms.'
3925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential - Jimmy Kimmel at the White House correspondents dinner on: April 29, 2012, 09:27:14 AM
Mr. President, Do you remember when the country rallied around you in hope of a better tomorrow?  That was hilarious.  It's hard to be funny with the President of the United States right next to you, but somehow, day after day, Joe Biden manages to do it.
3926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Doom and Gloom on: April 28, 2012, 11:27:16 PM
From GM's post:

The economy bottomed out in Q2 of 2009, before a single Obama policy had taken hold.

The economy has been sputtering along that natural bottom ever since.

It now takes $2.52 in new debt to raise GDP by $1.00

Obama still has a goal of tying Romney to Bush, but the only thing missing above is that it was Obama not Romney who along with his Sec of State were the de facto leaders of the United States Senate during the exact period when the wheels fell off.  He did not inherit a bad economy in Jan 2009; he had a hand in causing it.

Wall Street Journal today:

The Growth Deficit
The slowest recovery plods along.

The weakest recovery on record continued in 2012's first quarter, with the Commerce Department's Friday report of 2.2% growth.

    - Whoops!  Slowest recovery, weakest recovery, worst recovery - That claim was the lead example of both Dana Milbank of the Washington Post and Rachel Maddow of NBC as to why Mitt Romney is such a LIAR; they were saying (a month ago) that was not true - yet.  Either we have more data now or else Mitt has a pretty big co-conspirator in this lie.
3927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Supply and its affect on prices, oil vs. gas on: April 28, 2012, 05:00:17 PM
The US has increased oil production 15% since 2009, from private sources on private lands, not because the feds opening up drilling leases and permits.  The high price makes more types and grades of oil economic to produce, like shale oil from the Bakken formation.  

Meanwhile, the price of oil did not go down.  Why not?

Oil is transportable.  The market for oil is global.  The US produces 11% of the world's oil.  A 15% increase is only a 1.5% global increase while all other factors were not held constant.  

Natural gas is less transportable.  The market therefore is local.  With natural gas, the dramatic increases in production resulted in noticeable decrease in price.  The law of supply and demand in alive and well.

Do the laws of supply and demand apply to oil?  Yes.  But a 1% increase is like having a dollar and gaining a penny while your demands are changing.  The question is not if increased production will lower prices, but how much increased production will it take to make a positive economic impact.  To start with, we should be striving to double our production and then increase it some more until the US produces as much it consumes, and more.  Then the US would still be only having a neutral effect on world oil prices.  Meanwhile we could be shifting a good portion of our transportation usage over to cheaper and cleaner burning natural gas, further alleviating the demand for oil.

As they said 20 years ago opposing ANWR and the like, that would take 10 years.  Yes it would have.  The results would come faster today.  But world market price is set in futures markets that are based on risks, trends and expectations.  As the effort to double production becomes apparent, the impact on the oil futures market would come much sooner.
3928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Most Disturbing Quotes From Members Of The Obama Administration on: April 28, 2012, 02:18:15 PM
Seven Of The Most Disturbing Quotes From Members Of The Obama Administration

Birds of a feather flock together and so when we see Barack Obama stacking his cabinet with radicals, it tells us a lot about his mentality. Of course, the fact that his entire term in office has been nothing but a slow motion evisceration of the American dream should tell you a lot about how he thinks, too -- but a little more evidence is always welcome. Take a look at these quotes from members of Barack Obama's administration and then ask yourself what sort of man WANTS people like this to help him govern the American people?

1) "Somewhat more broadly, I will suggest that animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law." -- Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama Administration. Yes, we have someone in charge of regulations in D.C. who thinks pigs should be able to sue farmers and cats should be able to sue their owners. Do you think it's a coincidence that the cost of business keeps skyrocketing under Obama because of all the new regulations?

2) "Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you." -- Joe Biden, Vice President. When this is how the Vice President of the United States thinks, is it any wonder that this country may only be a decade away from defaulting on our debts and heading into an economic death spiral that we'll never recover from in the lifespan of anyone reading this column?

3) "There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer." -- Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. Yes, the butcher of Syria is a real "reformer," isn't he? If you want to know why our foreign policy has been all bowing, "leading from behind," and chaos, look no further than our Secretary of State who knew nothing about foreign policy going in, but made a career out of being married to the right man.

4) "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." -- Eric Holder, Attorney General. Eric Holder is a throwback to the bad old days in America, when whether you got justice or not depended on the color of your skin. Is it any wonder he doesn't care about Mexicans or a white border patrol agent who lost his life because of Operation Fast and Furious? Is it a surprise that Holder turned a blind eye to the New Black Panthers engaging in voter intimidation and putting a bounty on George Zimmerman's head?

5) "When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — (Obama) charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering." -- Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator. When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, he said, "That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind." Well, while Obama goes on and on about "investment," "science," and "the future," we've actually taken one giant leap backwards since we no longer have a manned space program. Guess we needed to save that money to funnel into the businesses of people who contribute to Obama's campaign.

6) "One way to carry out this disapproval might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption—especially those born to minors, who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it. Adoption proceedings probably should remain more difficult for single people than for married couples, in recognition of the relative difficulty of raising children alone. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society." -- John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. So, we have a man with the morals of Joseph Mengele advising the President on science. It also shouldn't be lost on anyone that while Obama is yammering on about a "war on women," he has someone on his staff who has come out in favor of FORCED ABORTIONS.

7) "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." -- Steven Chu, Energy Secretary. Ever wonder why gas prices are so high under Obama? Could it be because Obama's Energy Secretary wants to dramatically increase the price of gas? Gas is more than $8 a gallon in most of Western Europe. Guess that gives them something to shoot for if Obama gets a second term.
3929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Economic data is like climate data on: April 28, 2012, 02:15:05 PM
The nominal GDP is tweaked with the man made GDP deflator to calculate 'real' growth, if any.  Some are saying that deflator that was lowered to 1.1% now, if corrected, would put real growth in Q1 2012 at 0.0%.

We're not in a recession.  83% of Americans are wrong. 
3930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance Glibness Administration: Geithner Over the Edge on: April 28, 2012, 01:39:01 PM  (Kudlow)

Is Tim Geithner the most politically partisan treasury secretary in history? Certainly sounds like it these days. As the government’s chief financial officer, he’s spending a lot of time firing campaign barbs at various Republicans and their policies.
Geithner has blasted Mitt Romney by name on several occasions. He frequently attacks Representative Paul Ryan and the GOP budget. And he recently fired a broadside at top-Romney economist Glenn Hubbard, who is presently dean of the Colombia Business School.
Responding to a Hubbard op-ed in the Wall Street Journal -- which calculated that the president’s spending plans would require an 11 percent tax increase on people earning less than $200,000 a year -- Geithner said, “That’s a completely made-up, remarkably hackish observation for an economist.”
Hubbard a hack?
Besides running a highly respected Ivy League business school, he was the chairman of President George W. Bush’s council of economic advisors. He also earned his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. 
But Hubbard is advising Romney, and before that he counseled Bush, so the very political Mr. Geithner blasted him as a hack.
By the way, all Hubbard did was calculate that even after all of Obama’s proposed tax hikes on millionaires, investors, and upper-end business people, revenues would rise by about $150 billion a year. But Obama’s budget schedules spending to rise by $500 billion a year. So Hubbard concluded that an across-the-board tax hike of 11 percent for everybody -- including below-$200,000 earners -- would be required.
... the arithmetic gap between spending and revenues per year is unmistakable. It’s not a hackish statement. It’s an informed opinion.

 ... more at the link
3931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: s-word crosses the aisle on: April 28, 2012, 01:22:41 PM
The war on women is a uniquely Republican phenomenon...  excerpt for the texting of Dem congressman Anthony's Weiner, the foul mouth of Obama financial supporter Bill Maher, now near-President and VP and Attorney General hopeful, former Dem Sen. John Edwards on trial:

Young also testified about Edwards' reaction to the news that Hunter was pregnant. "He said she was a crazy slut and there was a one-in-three chance it was his child"

Which America is it, Sen Edwards, where you have millions out of bogus lawsuits but can still find a millions of other people's money to quiet a woman with expensive tastes that he didn't even like?

Who knew that such a womanizer and political feminist would speak so disrespectfully when he thinks the throngs can't hear him. 
3932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 27, 2012, 10:43:27 PM
"As for Annenberg, everyone knows they are first rate."

I was just reading at length in their current pieces and I was not impressed in the least. About a half a notch above Charles Blow with better disguise. Their conclusions are opinions and they are quite often misleading.  MHO.

The board work for 45k was Michelle at the TreeHouse.  The board work you attacked was of the candidate's wife.  Barack's board was the incest with the thugs.  He is clean in your book because he bought the house although he got the yard from a gangster.  Suit yourself.  I have no idea why you reply but can't read then come on with insults.  But when you win an argument you really do make sure you have your t's dotted and your i's crossed.  I'm impressed.
3933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 27, 2012, 08:57:33 PM
Looking at SNOPES I see their independence was verified by FactCheck of the Annenberg Project.  Speaking of being on the Board of Directors, not being a job, isn't that where Barack Obama was the Chair?   An incestual profession.  Just the facts is what JDN writes too.  Maybe they all worked together over there on bringing us the truth, lol.
3934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 27, 2012, 08:42:49 PM
Yes GM it is a good example of what bullsh*tters SNOPES can be.  They don't have ANY idea how much Barack Obama paid for college each year nor how much of his college cost the TAXPAYER paid or other benefactors paid but ready to put their full reptution on the lineconfirming whatever he said.  They also don't have any knowledge of his college records to know what he got for the money he or we paid.

SNOPES: "It took them years to pay it off"

Is "years" a quantitative answer?? Why did it take years?  Because it involved taxpayer subsidized interest rates with NO INCENTIVE to pay off any sooner.

SNOPES: "he understands the the challenge of student loan debt"

Really?? Debt burden is measured in percentages of SOMETHING.  Not at SNOPES.  I he was burdened, what was the burden?  NUMBERS!  Median income is less than 1/5 of their income.  No he doesn't the challenge of the others.

"So does Michelle"

The wives are off-limits.  Ooops.  The wives are back in.

SNOPES: Michelle made 317k plus 45,000 from a Tree House where served on the Board

Just last week serving on a board IS NOT WORK and now it is worth as much as the median family income in America.  Same poster posts.  Attack one; defend the other.  What a crock.

To SNOPES": Between Occidental and Columbia he took a trip around the world.

I guess they missed that part.  The asked if it was true!   On Federally subsidized student loans - or coke dealing money?  They don't say.

To SNOPES: "even though he has a brilliant mind." 

Unable to verify?  Where are the records.  Or was that the part where they said FALSE.

It turns out SNOPES is the blogger like "Twitchy". Who JDN is "Twitchy"?

We are in the student financial aid mess right now and they don't even offer the federally subsidized loans up to the full amount of private college tuition costs no matter your merit scholarship level.

They choose to keep these financial details private which is good and then they pretend they have given us all the information to know they are just like us which is a G*d Damned lie.

If he paid the loans off with money that came from when the book royalties escalated in public life as SNOPES says then he DOESN'T know the burden the others face.  The definition of being the rock star is the guy on the stage, not the masses in the audience.
3935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 27, 2012, 04:22:18 PM
"Why does every statement about Buraq's personal history seem to be a lie?"

It used to be said of the Clintons:  It isn't that they lie, but that they lie with such ease!

The challenge for Obama would be to post something he says that is just straight-up truth.  What is the longest string of sentences on anything relevant he has uttered that was truthful?  Personal history, energy, taxes, spending, defense, war, immigration, healthcare, student loans, Bush's fault, Republicans in congress, any of it?

3936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Foreign Policy, Charles Krauthammer - While Syria Burns on: April 27, 2012, 11:52:49 AM
Strange to me that in Egypt the ruler we helped take down was our ally.  Not so for the thugs in Syria.  There is no world leadership when the US is absent.

Krauthammer: "...a coherent case for hands off could be made. That would be an honest, straightforward policy. Instead, the president, basking in the sanctity of the Holocaust Museum, proclaims his solemn allegiance to a doctrine of responsibility — even as he stands by and watches Syria burn."
While Syria Burns
If the U.S. is not prepared to intervene, we should be candid about it.

By Charles Krauthammer

Last year, President Obama ordered U.S. intervention in Libya under the grand new doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect.” Moammar Gaddafi was threatening a massacre in Benghazi. To stand by and do nothing “would have been a betrayal of who we are,” explained the president.

In the year since, the government of Syria has more than threatened massacres. It has carried them out. Nothing hypothetical about the disappearances, executions, indiscriminate shelling of populated neighborhoods. More than 9,000 are dead.

Obama has said that we cannot stand idly by. And what has he done? Stand idly by.

Yes, we’ve imposed economic sanctions. But as with Iran, the economic squeeze has not altered the regime’s behavior. Monday’s announced travel and financial restrictions on those who use social media to track down dissidents is a pinprick. No Disney World trips for the chiefs of the Iranian and Syrian security agencies. And they might now have to park their money in Dubai instead of New York. That’ll stop ’em.

Obama’s other major announcement — at Washington’s Holocaust Museum, no less — was the creation of an Atrocities Prevention Board.

I kid you not. A board. Russia flies plane loads of weapons to Damascus. Iran supplies money, trainers, agents, more weapons. And what does America do? Supports a feckless U.N. peace mission that does nothing to stop the killing. (Indeed, some of the civilians who met with the peacekeepers were summarily executed.) And establishes an Atrocities Prevention Board.

With multi-agency participation, mind you. The liberal faith in the power of bureaucracy and flowcharts, of committees and reports, is legend. But this is parody.

Now, there’s an argument to be made that we do not have a duty to protect. That foreign policy is not social work. That you risk American lives only when national security and/or strategic interests are at stake, not merely to satisfy the humanitarian impulses of some of our leaders.

But Obama does not make this argument. On the contrary. He goes to the Holocaust Museum to commit himself and his country to defend the innocent, to affirm the moral imperative of rescue. And then does nothing of any consequence.

His case for passivity is buttressed by the implication that the only alternative to inaction is military intervention — bombing, boots on the ground.

But that’s false. It’s not the only alternative. Why aren’t we organizing, training, and arming the Syrian rebels in their sanctuaries in Turkey? Nothing unilateral here. Saudi Arabia is already planning to do so. Turkey has turned decisively against Assad. And the French are pushing for even more direct intervention.

Instead, Obama insists that we can only act with support of the “international community,” meaning the U.N. Security Council — where Russia and China have a permanent veto. By what logic does the moral legitimacy of U.S. action require the blessing of a thug like Vladimir Putin and the butchers of Tiananmen Square?
Our slavish, mindless self-subordination to “international legitimacy” does nothing but allow Russia — a pretend post-Soviet superpower — to extend a protective umbrella over whichever murderous client it chooses. Obama has all but announced that Russia (or China) has merely to veto international actions — sanctions, military assistance, direct intervention — and the U.S. will back off.

For what reason? Not even President Clinton, a confirmed internationalist, would acquiesce to such restraints. With Russia prepared to block U.N. intervention against its client, Serbia, Clinton saved Kosovo by summoning NATO to bomb the hell out of Serbia, the Russians be damned.

If Obama wants to stay out of Syria, fine. Make the case that it’s none of our business. That it’s too hard. That we have no security/national interests there.

In my view, the evidence argues against that, but at least a coherent case for hands off could be made. That would be an honest, straightforward policy. Instead, the president, basking in the sanctity of the Holocaust Museum, proclaims his solemn allegiance to a doctrine of responsibility — even as he stands by and watches Syria burn.

If we are not prepared to intervene, even indirectly by arming and training Syrians who want to liberate themselves, be candid. And then be quiet. Don’t pretend the U.N. is doing anything. Don’t pretend the U.S. is doing anything. And don’t embarrass the nation with an Atrocities Prevention Board. The tragedies of Rwanda, Darfur, and now Syria did not result from lack of information or lack of interagency coordination, but from lack of will.
3937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs: GSA General Services Administration on: April 27, 2012, 07:36:53 AM
There is a fear on the left that the GOP will shamelessly exploit the current scandals for political gain.  Unfair because government was big and out of control under all administrations (and we only hold Republican administrations accountable)?  FYI to the CinC, the political executive branch is above the bureaucracy in federal power just like the civilian leadership is above the joint chiefs in war. The party in Las Vegas happened under your watch.  They got caught and you got caught not paying attention while setting the same example.  Worse yet that was the President told private businesses not to waste money in Vegas!

GSA for those outside of government is a monstrosity of an agency that, believe it or not, operates to make all the other agencies conform to a set of rules relating to efficiency and good government practices in areas like purchasing and contracting.  They are the experts on spending taxpayer money.  They don't defend our shores, they don't clean the environment, they don't enforce securities and exchange law, regulate interstate commerce, feed the poor or deliver meds to the elderly.  They do NONE of it.

The GSA operates under the assumption that ordinary government agencies are too small to create and enforce their own safeguards on the wise use of taxpayer funds.  Surely you jest.  We created a super agency to ride herd on the other agencies and this is what we got.

The GSA now needs 200 million additional square feet of rented office space FY2013 to further "save the taxpayer money".  Seriously:

GSA helps protect the environment?  - No it doesn't.

GSA helps small business?   - No it doesn't.

GSA is low hanging fruit for anyone looking for an entire agency to close down completely.   -Doug
3938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs: Socail Security on: April 27, 2012, 07:04:14 AM
Fox News caught reading the forum.  A day late but the covered all the main points already covered here.

Social Security IS a Ponzi scheme

When Texas Gov. Rick Perry, then in the early stages of his short-lived quest for the Republican presidential nomination, referred to Social Security as "a Ponzi scheme," he was excoriated by the press, left and right, and by his fellow Republicans, as well. Earlier this week, government actuaries revealed that Perry was correct.

That revelation, which was greeted with a ho-hum by the media, basically announced that by 2033, 21 years from now, the so-called "Social Security trust fund" will be empty.

The only reason this was even announced is because we are approaching a presidential election campaign, and in response to Perry's much-derided claim, the government's actuaries, who originally told the Obama administration and the public that the fund would be solvent until 2036, re-examined their numbers and concluded that it will be in the red three years earlier than they thought.

This revelation should come as no surprise to those who monitor the government and its deceptive ways. When he first introduced Social Security, President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued that under Social Security the federal government would be holding your money for you. He deceptively fostered the idea that Social Security would be a savings account, into which employees and employers would make contributions and out of which guaranteed monies would be paid to those who reached the age of 65. Essentially, he claimed that you'd get your money back.

    Eventually, the government would acknowledge that what it first called a savings account and then called old-age insurance and then said would be fortified by a trust fund did not even establish a contractual obligation to those who have paid the Social Security tax -- which would be all of us.


The politicians believed him, but the actuaries and the judiciary understood that the government would never hold anyone's money for him — as if it were the custodian of a bank account. In the first of several challenges to the constitutionality of Social Security, the Supreme Court found that the Social Security fund did not consist of your money. It was merely tax revenue.

Did you know that?

It also held that since Congress' law-making authority is limited to the 16 discrete delegated powers granted to it in the Constitution (a truism few in Congress accept as binding) but its spending authority is open-ended (a conclusion that must torment James Madison's ghost), Congress could collect funds, claim it was holding the funds in a savings account and then spend those funds as it saw fit — for those in need after age 65 or for any other purpose.

Did you know that?

And, in a curious yet revealing one-liner in the Supreme Court opinion upholding the constitutionality of Social Security, even the court recognized that there would be no trust fund in the traditional sense when it found that the tax dollars collected and supposedly designated for Social Security were "not earmarked in any way."

Did you know that?

Eventually, the government would acknowledge that what it first called a savings account and then called old-age insurance and then said would be fortified by a trust fund did not even establish a contractual obligation to those who have paid the Social Security tax — which would be all of us.

Thus, the Feds have conceded and the courts have agreed that the money you have involuntarily contributed to the so-called trust fund is not yours and can be spent by the government as it pleases, just like any other revenue that the Feds collect.

Did you know that?

The trust fund is not money that the government "holds" for you, as FDR promised.

It is not money to which you have a lawful claim, as he claimed.

It is not a guarantee for you, as he led the public to believe.

The so-called "trust fund" is merely the difference between what is collected and what is paid out. And the Feds just acknowledged that in 21 years, they are likely to pay out more than they will collect.

Perry did not succeed this time in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination. But he did succeed in articulating a hard truth: The same federal government that prosecutes people like Bernie Madoff for paying out more than they collect does the very same thing under the color of law.

Is a Ponzi scheme — which is basically theft by deception — lawful just because the government runs it? The Supreme Court has said yes. Perry has said no.

Governor Perry is correct.

Andrew P. Napolitano, Opinion
3939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / National Defense: John Lehman - The Seas Are Great but the Navy Is Small on: April 27, 2012, 06:51:36 AM
The Seas Are Great but the Navy Is Small

The Obama administration says it wants 300 ships, but it is reducing the number now while promising to build more far into the future, most after a second Obama term.


In recent weeks, the Pentagon leadership has been defending the indefensible before Congress. Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently on record deploring last year's budget cuts are now claiming that the Obama administration's latest—and still lower—defense budget is adequate. Really?

Undersecretary of the Navy Robert Work, an experienced veteran, defended the president's goal of a 300-ship Navy in an interview last week with the website AOL Defense. He claimed it was equivalent to the Reagan administration's goal of a 600-ship Navy, on the grounds that newer ships are better than the ones they replace.

That is true in some cases, such as submarines. But it is not true for other ships such as the new LCS (littoral combat ship), which does not have the firepower of the older frigates. Moreover, our potential adversaries, from pirates to the Iranian Navy, have improved their ships as well.

But most important, numbers still count: The seas are great and our Navy is small. Mr. Work's statement to AOL Defense that "the United States Navy will be everywhere in the world that it has been, and it will be as much [present] as the 600-ship navy" is not persuasive.

The size of the Navy in the Reagan administration (it reached 594 ships in 1987) reflected a strategy to deter the Soviet Union's world-wide naval force. Today we face no such powerful naval adversary, but the world is just as large, and there is now greater American dependence on global trade and many more disturbers of the peace.

While we do not need 600 ships today, no naval experts believe a 300-ship Navy is large enough to guarantee freedom of the seas for American and allied trade, for supporting threatened allies, for deterring rogue states like Iran from closing vital straits, and for maintaining stability in areas like the western Pacific. For example, the bipartisan Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel led by Stephen Hadley and William Perry last year concluded that the Navy should have at least 346 vessels.

Last week, members of the House Armed Services Committee challenged the president's plan. In response to a question about whether the Navy was changing how it counts ships to prop up the size of the fleet, Mr. Work insisted that he was following the same rules for counting ships I established 30 years ago as President Reagan's secretary of the Navy. He is correct; while there are some differences, they are minor. The Navy has not fudged the numbers.

The more troubling problem is that the administration is counting ships that won't be built at all. Last year, the president's budget called for cuts of $487 billion over the next decade. Mr. Obama also supports the additional cuts growing out of the sequester that went into effect after last year's super committee failed to agree on savings in the overall budget. Unless the law is changed, this means an additional half-trillion dollars in mandatory defense reductions over the next decade—cuts that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said would be "devastating."

Naval readiness is already highly fragile. In order to meet current operational requirements, the shrunken fleet stays deployed longer and gets repaired less. There is now a serious shortage of Navy combat aircraft, and for the first time since World War II there are essentially no combat attrition reserves. But the biggest effect of budget cuts will be on naval shipbuilding.

Currently the Navy has 286 ships. In order to pay for current operations, Mr. Obama is retiring 11 modern combat ships (seven cruisers and four amphibious vessels) well before their useful life. In order to reach a 350-ship fleet in our lifetime, we will need to increase shipbuilding to an average of 15 ships every year. The latest budget the administration has advanced proposes buying just 41 ships over five years. It is anything but certain that the administration's budgets will sustain even that rate of only eight ships per year, but even if they do, the United States is headed for a Navy of 240-250 ships at best.

So how is the Obama administration getting to a 300-ship Navy? It projects a huge increase in naval shipbuilding beginning years down the road, most of which would come after a second Obama term. In other words, the administration is radically cutting the size and strength of the Navy now, while trying to avoid accountability by assuming that a future president will find the means to fix the problem in the future.

This compromises our national security. The Navy is the foundation of America's economic and political presence in the world. Other nations, like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, are watching what we do—and on the basis of the evidence, they are undoubtedly concluding that under Mr. Obama America is declining in power and resolution. Russia and China have each embarked on ambitious and enormously expensive naval buildups with weapons designed specifically against American carriers and submarines.

Under Ronald Reagan, the U.S. increased its naval strength to the point that it was a major factor in the decision of Soviet leaders to abandon the Cold War without firing a shot. The Navy under Mr. Obama is heading in the opposite direction.

This is not the fault of the senior Navy leadership, which has to operate within the limits set by the White House. During the Reagan years, those of us in leadership positions served a commander in chief who understood, completely and instinctively, the relationship between American strength and the protection of peace and freedom in an unstable world. Current Pentagon leaders do not have that advantage. And that is a compelling reason why a change at the top is vital for the future safety of the American people.

Mr. Lehman was secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and a member of the 9/11 Commission. He is a senior adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
(WSJ subscription to any device:
3940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Obama Phenomena unraveling on: April 26, 2012, 11:00:23 PM
A pretty insightful Peggy Noonan piece today in the WSJ.  She ties it to the election for relevance but the insightful parts IMO are about what is going on and not going on in this Presidency.
Republicans feel an understandable anxiety about Mr. Obama's coming campaign: It will be all slice and dice, divide and conquer, break the country into little pieces and pick up as many as you can. He'll try to pick up college students one day and solidify environmentalist support the next, he'll valorize this group and demonize the other. He means to gather in and hold onto all the pieces he needs, and turn them into a jagged, jangly coalition that will win it for him in November and not begin making individual demands until December.

But it still matters that the president doesn't have a coherent agenda, or a political philosophy that is really clear to people. To the extent he has a philosophy it, tends to pop up furtively in stray comments and then go away. This is to a unique degree a presidency of inference, its overall meaning never vividly declared. In some eras, that may be a plus. In this one?

Republicans are worried about the power of incumbency, and it is a real power. Presidents command the airwaves, as they used to say. If they want to make something the focus of national discussion, they usually can, at least for a while. And this president is always out there, talking. But—and forgive me, because what I'm about to say is rude—has anyone noticed how boring he is? Plonking platitude after plonking platitude. To see Mr. Obama on the stump is to see a man at the podium who's constantly dribbling away the punch line. He looks pleasant but lacks joy; he's cool but lacks vigor. A lot of what he says could have been said by a president 12 or 20 years ago, little is anchored to the moment. As he makes his points he often seems distracted, as if he's holding a private conversation in his head, noticing crowd size, for instance, and wishing the front row would start fainting again, like they used to.

I listen to him closely and find myself daydreaming: This is the best-tailored president since JFK. His suits, shirts and ties are beautifully cut from fine material. This is an elegant man. But I shouldn't be thinking about that, I should be thinking about what a powerful case he's making for his leadership. I'm not because he's not.

It is still so surprising that a person who seems bored by politicking has risen to the highest political office in the land. Politics is a fleshly profession, it's all hugging, kissing, arm twisting, shaking hands. It involves contact. When you see politicians on C-Span, in the well of the House or the Senate after a vote, they're always touching each other's arms and shoulders. They touch each other more than actors! Bill Clinton was fleshly, and LBJ. How odd to have a Democratic president who doesn't seem to like humans all that much.

He's raised a lot of money, or so we keep reading. He has a sophisticated, wired, brilliant computer operation—they know how to mine Internet data and get the addresses of people who've never been reached by a campaign before, and how to approach them in a friendly and personal way. This is thought to be a secret weapon. I'm not so sure. All they can approach their new friends with is arguments that have already been made, the same attacks and assertions. If you have fabulous new ways to reach everyone in the world but you have little to say, does that really help you?

A while back I talked to a young man who was developing a wonderful thing for a website, a kind of constant live TV show with anyone anywhere able to join in and share opinions live, on the screen. You're on your iPad in the train station, you log on and start talking. He was so excited at the technology, which seemed impressive. But I thought: Why do you think people will say anything interesting or important?

This is the problem of the world now: Big mic, no message. If you have nothing to say, does it matter that you have endless venues in which to say it?

The old Washington gossip was that the Obama campaign was too confident, now it is that they are nervous. The second seems true if you go by their inability, months after it was clear Mitt Romney would be running against them, to find and fix on a clear line of attack. Months ago he was the out-of-touch corporate raider. Then he was a flip-flopping weasel. They momentarily shifted to right-wing extremist. This week he seems to be a Bushite billionaire.

Will all this work? When you look at Romney you see a wealthy businessman, a Mormon of inherently moderate instinct, a person who is conservative in his personal sphere but who lives and hopes to rise in a world he well knows is not quite so tidy. He doesn't seem extreme.

It's interesting that the Obama campaign isn't using what incumbent presidents always sooner or later use, either straight out or subliminally. And that is "You know me. I've been president for almost four years, you don't know that other guy. In a high-stakes world do you really want someone new?"

You know why they're not using "You know me"? Because we know him, and it's not a plus.

Here's one reason why.

There is a growing air of incompetence around Mr. Obama's White House. It was seen again this week in Supreme Court arguments over the administration's challenge to Arizona's attempted crackdown on illegal immigration. As Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News wrote, the court seemed to be disagreeing with the administration's understanding of federal power: "Solicitor General Donald Verrilli . . . met resistance across ideological lines. . . . Even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's only Hispanic and an Obama appointee, told Verrilli his argument is 'not selling very well.' " This follows last month's embarrassing showing over the constitutionality of parts of ObamaCare.

All of this looks so bush league, so scattered. Add it to the General Services Administration, to Solyndra, to the other scandals, and you get a growing sense that no one's in charge, that the administration is paying attention to politics but not day-to-day governance. The two most public cabinet members are Eric Holder at Justice and Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security. He is overseeing the administration's Supreme Court cases. She is in charge of being unmoved by the daily stories of Transportation Security Administration incompetence and even cruelty at our airports. Those incidents and stories continue, but if you go to the Homeland Security website, there is no mention of them. It's as if they don't even exist.

Maybe the 2012 election is simpler than we think.

It will be about Mr. Obama.

Did you like the past four years? Good, you can get four more.

Do the president and his people strike you as competent? If so, you can renew his contract, and he will renew theirs.

If you don't want to rehire him, you will look at the other guy. Does he strike you as credible, a possible president? Then you can hire him.

Republicans should cheer up.
3941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Video: If I Wanted Amedrica to Fail... on: April 26, 2012, 06:20:16 PM
GM already posted this (

A very important video now gone viral...

Spread it around.  Every voter should see it!

If I wanted America to fail …

To follow, not lead; to suffer, not prosper; to despair, not dream.

I would start with energy.

I’d cut off America’s supply of cheap, abundant energy. I couldn’t take it by force. So, I’d make Americans feel guilty for using the energy that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses, and powers their economy.

I’d make cheap energy expensive, so that expensive energy would seem cheap.

I would empower unelected bureaucrats to all-but-outlaw America’s most abundant sources of energy. And after banning its use in America, I’d make it illegal for American companies to ship it overseas.

If I wanted America to fail …

I’d use our schools to teach one generation of Americans that our factories and our cars will cause a new Ice Age, and I’d muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that they’re causing Global Warming.

And when it’s cold out, I’d call it Climate Change instead.

I’d imply that America’s cities and factories could run on wind power and wishes. I’d teach children how to ignore the hypocrisy of condemning logging, mining and farming — while having roofs over their heads, heat in their homes and food on their tables. I would never teach children that the free market is the only force in human history to uplift the poor, establish the middle class and create lasting prosperity.

Instead, I’d demonize prosperity itself, so that they will not miss what they will never have.

If I wanted America to fail …

I would create countless new regulations and seldom cancel old ones. They would be so complicated that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists could understand them. That way small businesses with big ideas wouldn’t stand a chance – and I would never have to worry about another Thomas Edison, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs.

I would ridicule as “Flat Earthers” those who urge us to lower energy costs by increasing supply. And when the evangelists of commonsense try to remind people about the law of supply and demand, I’d enlist a sympathetic media to drown them out.

If I wanted America to fail …

I would empower unaccountable bureaucracies seated in a distant capitol to bully Americans out of their dreams and their property rights. I’d send federal agents to raid guitar factories for using the wrong kind of wood; I’d force homeowners to tear down the homes they built on their own land.

I’d make it almost impossible for farmers to farm, miners to mine, loggers to log, and builders to build.

And because I don’t believe in free markets, I’d invent false ones. I’d devise fictitious products—like carbon credits—and trade them in imaginary markets. I’d convince people that this would create jobs and be good for the economy.

If I wanted America to fail … For every concern, I’d invent a crisis; and for every crisis, I’d invent the cause; Like shutting down entire industries and killing tens of thousands of jobs in the name of saving spotted owls. And when everyone learned the stunning irony that the owls were victims of their larger cousins and not people, it would already be decades too late.

If I wanted America to fail … I’d make it easier to stop commerce than start it – easier to kill jobs than create them – more fashionable to resent success than to seek it. When industries seek to create jobs, I’d file lawsuits to stop them. And then I’d make taxpayers pay for my lawyers.

If I wanted America to fail … I would transform the environmental agenda from a document of conservation to an economic suicide pact. I would concede entire industries to our economic rivals by imposing regulations that cost trillions. I would celebrate those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private. I’d convince Americans that Europe has it right, and America has it wrong.

If I wanted America to fail … I would prey on the goodness and decency of ordinary Americans. I would only need to convince them … that all of this is for the greater good. If I wanted America to fail, I suppose I wouldn’t change a thing.
3942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Politics: Colo Dem Gov Hickenlooper says All of the Above on: April 26, 2012, 02:37:44 PM
All he is missing is to say - all of the above -should compete evenly in a free market.
Solar? Wind? Oil and gas? All of the above in Colorado

By Gov. John Hickenlooper     04/24/2012

The gas station near our neighborhood has raised the price of a gallon of gas by nearly 20 cents in just one week. It's the same everywhere. Gas is climbing to nearly $4 per gallon — essentially a job-killing tax on consumers just as we are beginning to see the economy improve.

Like Yogi Berra said, "It's déj… vu all over again." We have seen this play before.

In 1973, responding to our first energy crisis, Gov. John Love left Colorado to become the nation's first "energy czar." His charge in Washington, D.C, was to develop a plan that would help America become energy independent.

Forty years and seven presidents later, our country is finally beginning to achieve domestic energy independence. But as Thomas Friedman said, "The biggest energy crisis we have in our country today is the energy to be serious — the energy to do big things, in a sustained, focused and intelligent way."

It is why the Obama administration is calling for an "all of the above" energy policy that promotes development of a diverse mix of energy resources, including solar, wind, biofuels, natural gas, oil and coal.

An "all of the above" energy strategy makes sense for the country. It also makes sense for Colorado, where we are already leading the way.

Colorado is recognized as a leader in wind, solar and geothermal energy, and for what former Gov. Bill Ritter called the "new energy economy." Colorado is also home to abundant supplies of natural gas and low-sulfur coal.

Colorado was the first state to pass a voter-approved renewable energy standard. We have an ambitious but achievable goal of using 30 percent renewable energy by 2020, giving Colorado one of the nation's strongest renewable energy standards. In 2010, a bipartisan group of legislators approved the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act, legislation that will improve Colorado's air quality by using clean-burning natural gas to generate electricity.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of industry and the environmental community, Colorado now has the country's strongest public disclosure rule on the process of fracking.

We have partnered with Oklahoma to lead an effort aimed at creating a market for compressed natural gas vehicles, which run cleaner, cheaper and keep jobs and dollars in the U.S. rather than exporting them to foreign dictatorships. Eleven other states have joined in the effort to leverage the purchasing power of state fleets.

Thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Democratic state Sen. Pat Steadman and Republican state Rep. Jon Becker, we have an opportunity in House Bill 1315 to expand the mission of the Governor's Energy Office and recast this agency as the Colorado Energy Office.

The new Colorado Energy Office will promote all types of energy that protect the environment, lower consumer costs and increase energy security. The Steadman-Becker bill will extend funding for the Colorado Energy Office for five years and focus the office on long-term energy projects that have broad job creation potential.

In short, this legislation creates an "all-of-the-above" Colorado Energy Office that builds upon our state's national brand as a leader in energy conservation and renewable clean energy. It will also enhance Colorado's reputation for energy innovation.

The Steadman-Becker bill focuses the state's energy work on promoting innovative energy technology, no matter if the fuel source is wind, gas or coal, as long as that energy can benefit the environment and save consumers money.

Tens of thousands of Coloradans are currently employed in the energy sector, and with sustained focus on promoting energy resources and technologies, the Colorado Energy Office can help grow this diverse industry.

We need this bipartisan legislation to pass the General Assembly this year. The Steadman-Becker bill will help Colorado's economy create jobs and buttress Colorado as a national leader in developing an energy strategy that is both environmentally sensitive and economically sound.

Democrat John Hickenlooper is the 42nd governor of Colorado.

3943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Evolutionary psychology: America’s false autism epidemic on: April 26, 2012, 02:32:48 PM
America’s false autism epidemic,  by Dr. Allen Frances, professor emeritus at Duke University’s department of psychology

The apparent epidemic of autism is in fact the latest instance of the fads that litter the history of psychiatry.

We have a strong urge to find labels for disturbing behaviors; naming things gives us an (often false) feeling that we control them. So, time and again, an obscure diagnosis suddenly comes out of nowhere to achieve great popularity. It seems temporarily to explain a lot of previously confusing behavior — but then suddenly and mysteriously returns to obscurity.

Not so long ago, autism was the rarest of diagnoses, occurring in fewer than one in 2,000 people. Now the rate has skyrocketed to 1 in 88 in America (and to a remarkable 1 in 38 in Korea). And there is no end in sight.

Increasingly panicked, parents have become understandably vulnerable to quackery and conspiracy theories. The worst result has been a reluctance to vaccinate kids because of the thoroughly disproved and discredited suggestion that the shots can somehow cause autism.

There are also frantic (and probably futile) efforts to find environmental toxins that might be harming developing brains, explaining the sudden explosion of autism.

Anything is possible, but when rates rise this high and this fast, the best bet is always that there has been a change in diagnostic habits, not a real change in people or in the rate of illness.

So what is really going on to cause this “epidemic”?

Perhaps a third of the huge jump in rates can be explained by three factors: the much-increased public and provider awareness of autism, the much-reduced stigma associated with it and the fact that the definition of autism has been loosened to include milder cases.

Sixteen years ago, when we updated the DSM (the official manual of psych diagnoses) for the fourth edition, we expanded the definition of autism to include Aspergers. At the time, we expected this to triple the rate of diagnosed cases; instead, it has climbed 20 times higher.

That unexpected jump has three obvious causes. Most important, the diagnosis has become closely linked with eligibility for special school services.

Having the label can make the difference between being closely attended to in a class of four versus being lost in a class of 40. Kids who need special attention can often get it only if they are labeled autistic.

So the autism tent has been stretched to accommodate a wide variety of difficult learning, behavioral and social problems that certainly deserve help — but aren’t really autism. Probably as many as half of the kids labeled autistic wouldn’t really meet the DSM IV criteria if these were applied carefully.

Freeing autism from its too tight coupling with service provision would bring down its rates and end the “epidemic.” But that doesn’t mean that school services should also be reduced. The mislabeled problems are serious in their own right, and call out for help.

The second driver of the jump in diagnosis has been a remarkably active and successful consumer advocacy on autism, facilitated by the power of the Internet. This has had four big upsides: the identification of previously missed cases, better care and education for the identified cases, greatly expanded research and a huge reduction in stigma.

But there are two unfortunate downsides: Many people with the diagnosis don’t really meet the criteria for it, and the diagnosis has become so heterogeneous that it loses meaning and predictive value. This is why so many kids now outgrow their autism. They were never really autistic in the first place.

A third cause has been overstated claims coming from epidemiological research — studies of autism rates in the general population. For reasons of convenience and cost, the ratings in the studies always have to be done by lay interviewers, who aren’t trained as clinicians and so are unable to judge whether the elicited symptoms are severe and enduring enough to qualify as a mental disorder.

It’s important to understand that the rates reported in these studies are always upper limits, not true rates; they exaggerate the prevalence of autism by including people who’d be excluded by careful clinical interview. (This also explains why rates can change so quickly from year to year.)

So where do we stand, and what should we do? I am for a more careful and restricted diagnosis of autism that isn’t driven by service requirements. I am also for kids getting the school services they need.

The only way to achieve both goals is to reduce the inordinate power of the diagnosis of autism in determining who gets what educational service. Psychiatric diagnosis is devised for use in clinical settings, not educational ones. It may help contribute to educational decisions but should not determine them.

Human nature changes slowly, if at all, but the ways we label it can change fast and tend to follow fleeting fashions.

Dr. Allen Frances, now a professor emeritus at Duke University’s department of psychology, chaired the DSM IV task force.

Read more:
3944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: April 26, 2012, 02:22:34 PM
"Without recourse, motivation to not breach may be missing , , ,"

Agree.  As I gave out my birth date, ss no. and other details multiple times today, it is hard to say anymore what is private.  How could anyone diagnose a knee without a social security number, birth date, driver's license, employer  and next of kin?  I would like them to quit requiring my information rather than to add layers of officers, lawyers, costs and red tape to protect it.  All you would need is a radio shack recording device on one appointment phone line for one day to steal dozens of identities before they ever got into the system for encription.

What ever became of the credit card numbers lost by Stratfor?  My feeling there was that they learned their lesson, admitted not taking good enough precautions and won't let it happen again.  Would a federal law enabling civil (or criminal) penalties be helpful in that instance?
3945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: April 26, 2012, 01:56:18 PM
Crafty, No problem with disagreement. 

You guys have called Hannity a blowhard too, maybe repetitive and not enjoyable to listen to, but in his diatribe I hear him use valid examples to back up the larger points that he makes.  Rush L is as partisan-right as they come; when he pens an op/ed in the WSJ** he includes arguably valid points to support his assertions.  This piece did not contain one that I could find.

Is it really a coherent point that this election is a referendum on Mitt Romney?  Romney spelled out with the greatest clarity yet the difference in the visions between the parties and the campaigns and Blow says it is about tactics?  Okay, if so, how so?  He doesn't say.

Blow writes: "as the 2010 midterm elections showed, economic issues are something of a Trojan horse for the right"   - huh?

Yes a liberal columnist is legit to print - the search is still on for a good one. This column to me is just sloppy journalism.  He was ostensibly covering and opining on the Romney speech and there is no indication that he even saw it or heard it, not a single quote though he did say it contained 'some punchy lines'.  It reflects on the publication 2 days after they admitted to being a partisan shill for the President - the link is in my post.  This could havegone on cognitive dissonance of the left (or better yet ignore it for having adding nothing of value to the discussion), but Blow is media unless one admits the left and the mainstream media are one and the same. 

For balance, I find this on their site:
Romney’s Victory Speech
"[Romney] did not mention the Republican Party, which holds more responsibility for the nation’s economic sluggishness than Mr. Obama." 
Good grief.  Obama's is not THAT partisan.

Their right to publish BS and nothing but on a major event in their good brand name is matched with my opportunity here, on a widely read forum, to call them out on it.  )

**  Rush Limbaugh in the WSJ.  Points made and backed up, whether one agrees with him or not.
3946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: We are all Liars now on: April 26, 2012, 10:19:53 AM
Washington Post's Dana Milbank did a hard hitting piece recently echoed by NBC's Rachel Maddow about Romney lying.  The core accusation was that he is saying this is the worst recovery since... who knows when.. while their fact checkers tell them 1982 was worse when Tip Oneills congress delayed Reagan's tax cuts before policies kicked in 6+% robust at this point in Reagan's first term. But we are not in recession or in double dip or triple axel, we are growing, hahaha, it's just less than breakeven growth and no one without a magnifying glass can see it.

83% of Americans say we are still in a Recession (Fox poll, not Fox viewers).  Included in the sample are the usual 45% or so who say they approve of President Obama.

I say either the economic numbers will improve (durable good orders down in March) or those approval numbers have peaked.  This economy is barking like a duck no matter what the experts say.
3947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: Rove on Running Mates on: April 26, 2012, 09:37:06 AM
Karl Rove was writing about Romney's upcoming decision with the ususal advice, but this part is historically notable:

"This was brought home to me in 2000, when then-Gov. George W. Bush was strongly leaning toward picking Dick Cheney as his VP. He knew I was opposed and invited me to make the case against his idea. I came to our meeting armed with eight political objections. Mr. Bush heard me out but with a twist: I explained my objections with Mr. Cheney sitting, mute and expressionless, next to the governor.

The next day, Mr. Bush called to say I was right. There would be real political problems if he chose Mr. Cheney. So solve them."
3948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: Charles Blow, NY Times joined at the hip with Obama campaign on: April 26, 2012, 09:32:39 AM
Written up 2 days ago for being in the tank for Pres.Obama by their own public editor:

The unapologetic NY Times follows Romney's best speech of his life with a cheap retort by columnist Charles Blow trying to put Romneys words back to him: "we are not stupid":

Reading it I learned all about clueless liberal columnists and the papers will to publish them and nothing about Romney.

"Mitt Romney has made clear during this primary season that he was willing to be neither moderate nor independent — but rather “severely conservative” — in seeking the Republican nomination."

Mr. Blow, you are writing about a GENERAL ELECTION speech you moron.  With no opponents left he is no longer seeking the endorsement.  And the issue of the election isn't "regressivity" and "social direction" unless you are shamelessly in the ideological tank, it is about jobs, recovery, growth and American strength. 
3949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: April 26, 2012, 08:47:12 AM
I can see this is going to be a very tricky area of law going forward.

I don't want recourse after a breach of privacy.  I want privacy without breaches.
3950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: April 26, 2012, 08:41:54 AM
Some say the part of the constitution that doesn't allowusto be governed by the UN is contained in the first three words, We The People.

We would not be subject to their jurisdiction if we had left the group the first time we found out they do not act in our interest.
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