Dog Brothers Public Forum

HOME | PUBLIC FORUM | MEMBERS FORUM | INSTRUCTORS FORUM | TRIBE FORUM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 19, 2017, 09:03:03 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
104238 Posts in 2390 Topics by 1091 Members
Latest Member: Phorize
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 77 78 [79] 80 81 ... 180
3901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China - America Has No Military Strategy for China on: November 25, 2013, 09:57:41 AM
http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2013/11/25/america_has_no_military_strategy_for_china_106978.html

November 25, 2013
America Has No Military Strategy for China
By Seth Cropsey

Given the intense media focus on the woes of Obamacare’s rollout, it’s not surprising that no one paid much attention when Japan scrambled its fighters three days in a row beginning on October 24th in response to Chinese military aircraft’s incursions into Japan’s airspace as the so far bloodless maneuvering over claims to Japan’s Senkaku islands sharpens.

A miscalculation that drew fire has the potential to enmesh us in a dispute that serves no one’s interest.  An escalation of such a dispute would be disastrous.  Yet the U.S. has no strategy for a conflict with China.  The sole U.S. preparation for such an outcome is a set of ideas known as the AirSea Battle, (ASB). 

The ASB is a concept that has taken root in the U.S. Defense Department as the Obama administration talks about rebalancing forces from the Middle East to Asia, and as the American high command gradually accepts the possibility that China may be a strategic competitor to the U.S.  The idea of ASB—a new approach to coordinating military services’ roles in combat, and not a strategy—comes in two parts: to preserve large American forces’ ability to bring power to bear by destroying an enemy’s command and control infrastructure;  and to defeat the defenses that allow the launch of low-cost, proliferating, and increasingly accurate missiles. ASB means to accomplish this by new, almost revolutionary, cross-Service combinations of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, that are reflected in equally coordinated operations.

On October 10th the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, chaired by Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) held a public hearing on the Air-Sea Battle concept at which senior admirals and generals from all the military services testified.  The discussion between the knowledgeable elected representative and high-level officers was congenial, informed, and—in unanswered questions—alarming.  Representative Forbes asked the officers to explain the strategy on which the AirSea Battle concept is based.  They couldn’t.  Forbes noted the challenges to East Asia’s stability and America’s historic position as a defender of this stability raised by China’s growing military power.  He observed that these challenges deserve a strategy worthy of the name, and warned against one that is determined by today’s weapons or the reduced force that will exist in the future.

Forbes’ point is solid.  Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz famously remarked that because “the enemy (at war games played at the Naval War College) was always Japan, and the courses were so thorough…nothing that happened in the Pacific was strange or unexpected” in the war that followed.  Nimitz was on target: surprise is part of warfare, and Japan certainly surprised us at the war’s beginning.

However, our surprise was strategic readiness. The island-hopping campaign, amphibious warfare, the role of aircraft carriers—all had been anticipated and rehearsed as elements of the strategy to defeat Japan.  Even unrestricted submarine warfare, illegal on the day the war started, had been contemplated and quickly became part of an effective interdiction, rollback, and suppression strategy.  The strategy and the organizational tools and the force structure and levels necessary to make it work had been envisioned and were under construction when the war began—largely thanks to Congressman Forbes’s predecessor Carl Vinson, the “Father of the Two-Ocean Navy."

China is not an enemy of the U.S. However, its ambition for regional hegemony, increasing armed strength, active effort to deny U.S. forces’ access to the Western Pacific, and increasingly troublesome disputes with its neighbors—in several cases, our allies—over territorial claims in the South China Sea all point to substantial difficulties ahead in relations between Washington and Beijing.  China’s challenges to the rule of law, the global commons, liberal capitalism, and human rights are worth defending, and we need a strategy to do so.  Miscalculation, the escalation of what began as a minor incident, and rising Chinese nationalism press the question of potential conflict.  Preventing conflict is key: strategy, operational posture, readiness, resilience, and sustainability are its essential elements.  We should be prepared, and we are not.

Warfare, like life itself, changes constantly.  Success requires adaptation.  Where adaptation falters consequences follow.  In our own Civil War, the industrialized manufacture of repeating weapons, breech-loading naval guns, steam-propulsion, and armor-plating transformed the technology of warfare globally, but not its strategies, operations, or tactics.  But not soon enough.  Indeed, until virtually the end of World War I, commanders “came on in the same old way,” as Wellington commented on Napoleon’s conduct of Waterloo.  The machine gunfire of World War I pushed men into defensive trenches from which they emerged to be cut down by the millions.  The tank, which protected its operators from enemy fire while simultaneously attacking an enemy, did not appear on the battlefield until late 1916, and not in numbers nor accompanied by tactics to end the carnage.

Today, the expanding accessibility of relatively low-cost and increasingly accurate missiles questions a long-standing assumption of American strategy, that we could bring to bear land and naval power at a great distance from the U.S. in forward and en route sanctuaries, thus exploiting the strategic depth of two great oceans.  If a million dollar missile can incapacitate or sink an aircraft carrier or a large amphibious ship that costs many billions—or destroy a U.S./allied base within missile range—we must either respond or accept the possibility that large parts of our military will become vulnerable or irrelevant, and in the loss of their regional punch grow weak in their usefulness to the nation’s position as a global power.

This is where the AirSea Battle comes in.  With is anti-access and area denial strategy, China is challenging our strengths on her maritime approaches.  ASB’s notion of integrating forces especially naval and air capabilities to destroy or otherwise reduce an enemy’s ability to keep us out of the area we require for applying power has great merit.  But the ASB office devotes itself more to large changes in technical jointness than to crafting a strategy based on what integrated U.S. and allied forces can achieve.

An analogy is useful here.  While coordination between an operating surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and post-operative care are essential to surgery, perfecting such coordination offers no guidance about how to perform a difficult surgical procedure, much less what strategy a patient should use to preserve or improve health.

The ideas offered by the ASB, while necessary, are neither based upon, nor do they serve as the basis of, strategy for any region of the world where countries, most notably China, are actively building the command and control, intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, and offensive capability to deny the U.S. and its allies access to the seas far off its coast.  The ASB office public document does not include the word “China.”  So, although the U.S. Defense Department acknowledges the challenge of China’s anti-access efforts, we have no strategy to defeat it nor does there appear to be a plan to construct one.

The U.S. military faces a growing problem in securing the access that would be needed to project power as China’s expanding reach threatens our bases or treaty allies in the Western Pacific.  The House Armed Services Committee’s expressions of concern were bipartisan and serious. The ASB is one of several approaches to managing risk, but by its authors’ own admission, it is a concept, not a plan.

We have no strategy on which to base the design of weapons or tactics to meet this challenge.  We should.  A sensible one would be based upon forward defense in a long war; command of the air and seas; close integration of ground forces to dominate the littorals, islands, archipelagoes, and straits; and building and deploying the forces required to assure a potential adversary that taking on the U.S. is a fool’s errand. 
-----------------
Seth Cropsey is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute.  He served as a naval officer from 1985 to 2004 and as undersecretary of the Navy in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations.  He is most recently author of Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy.
3902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: November 25, 2013, 09:54:07 AM
"With the new rules, it's very possible to run on the promise to repeal Obamacare"

A very interesting point , , , if we beat Hillary

Yes.  the keyword is possible.  Also possible is that Republicans will blow the third straight chance to re-take the Senate, the second straight chance to take back the Presidency, and live under a growing, cancerous statism forever.
3903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Jefferson to J. Milligan, 1816 on: November 25, 2013, 09:49:26 AM
"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, 1816

Profound!  I would like to save and remember that.
3904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: November 25, 2013, 12:28:51 AM
This view agrees with BD that Democrats will 'rue the day'...

"For conservatives upset about the filibuster changes, consider this: since the nationwide direct election of Senators started in 1913, the Republican Party has never held sixty seats in the Senate following an election. The filibuster, when used as a partisan weapon, forces a national grand coalition government that sanctifies minor changes to status quo. Its demise means it’s now possible for conservatives to pass their agenda."  - Henry Olsen, AEI
3905  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran's view: 'We Will Continue Nuclear Activities' on: November 25, 2013, 12:18:31 AM
Iran's Foreign Minister:   “The (nuclear) program will continue and all the sanctions and violations against the Iranian nation under the pretext of the nuclear program will be removed gradually,”

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13920903000343

    “The (nuclear) program has been recognized and the Iranian people’s right to use the peaceful nuclear technology based on the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and as an inalienable right has been recognized and countries are necessitated not to create any obstacle on its way,” [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif said in a press conference in Geneva on Saturday morning.

    “The (nuclear) program will continue and all the sanctions and violations against the Iranian nation under the pretext of the nuclear program will be removed gradually,” he added.

    He said the next six months will be a serious start towards “the full removal of all UN Security Council, unilateral and multilateral sanctions, while the country’s enrichment program will be maintained.” “Production of 5-percent-enriched uranium will continue in the country similar the past,” Zarif continued.

    “None of the enrichment centers will be closed and Fordo and Natanz will continue their work and the Arak heavy water program will continue in its present form and no material (enriched uranium stockpiles) will be taken out of the country and all the enriched materials will remain inside the country. The current sanctions will move towards decrease, no sanctions will be imposed and Iran’s financial resources will return,” he continued.
    …
    “This is a great success that the attempts made by the Zionist regime’s leaders to misrepresent Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and the Iranian people’s face were foiled,” he said.
    …
    “Iran’s enrichment program has been recognized both in the first step and in the goals section and in the final step as well,” Zarif said.

    “The fact that all these pressures have failed to cease Iran’s enrichment program is a very important success for the Iranian nation’s resistance,” he added.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/11/how-iran-sees-the-geneva-deal.php
3906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 22, 2013, 11:47:15 AM
"I actually like Jindal though we noted how poor his performance of the State of the Union rebuttal a couple of years ago was.  But he might get better."

The criticism there was only about delivery.  His handlers tell him he talks too fast, so he slowed it down too much.  He IS better than that and has executive experience as a two term governor.  Is a little bit underwater right now with his approval rating but that is coming up as good results start to come from his policies.
3907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Risk of Obamacare enrollee data being mined for election purposes on: November 22, 2013, 11:32:43 AM

Yes, where did we first hear that the top secret, highly successful, campaign data mining operation was really the illegal leaking of private data by partisan government workers also working on the campaign?  And that the government workers gathering our private data and the campaign workers using that same data were actually the same people?  wink
 
In answer to ccp's question, how can we get this investigated, it is good to see people are following up on the points made here on the forum:

Same healthcare 'navigator' caught by James O'Keefe releasing private data for political purposes was also regional field director for Organizing for Action, Barack Obama's campaign arm.

As I wrote earlier, if you investigate, you will find it is the same people and same data.  Highly illegal.  No consequence.
------------------
http://www.examiner.com/article/busted-enroll-america-employee-latest-sting-video-former-ofa-official

Earlier Thursday, we reported that James O'Keefe released a video showing an Obamacare navigator conspiring to release personal data obtained through the healthcare website for partisan political purposes. The plot thickened, however, when the Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft revealed on Wednesday that Christopher Tarango, the navigator in O'Keefe's video, was also the regional field director for the El Paso office of Organizing for Action, Barack Obama's campaign arm.

"In fact," Hoft said, "Tarango is mentioned on Obama’s official Organizing for Action website."

Tarango, Hoft added, was a top official with Obama's campaign arm.

"Now he’s working for Enroll America – and he’s willing to release private data for political purposes,"

"there's a lot of talent that got sucked into Enroll America, but we are all Obama people."

SMU political science professor Matthew Wilson told KDFW there are strict barriers regarding the sharing of information and resources.  "The difficulty is, how bright a line can you draw between the non-partisan activities and the specifically political activities when it's exactly the same people doing both?"
-----------------

Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder will be all over this, I'm sure!  A special prosecutor?  RICO prosecution? 

An organized, criminal operation undermining our electoral system - on a national scale, large enough to swing a Presidential election is treason, is it not?  Or was this, too, "just the Cincinnati office"?
3908  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: November 21, 2013, 12:18:02 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/20/new-photos-benghazi-attack-aftermath-show-widespre/?page=all#pagebreak
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Shocking new photos reveal devastation of Benghazi attack



Or as the candidate for reelection told his media accomplices, al Qaida has been "decimated".
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-touts-al-qaeda-s-demise-32-times-benghazi-attack-0

No, Mr. President, Americans were decimated and help and rescue missions were ordered to "Stand Down".
3909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 21, 2013, 12:02:03 PM
I agree with ccp on Christie and with Crafty on Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
 
There are things I don't like about Christie but he does comes across as ready to run, win and govern.  As always, don't be fooled by the kid glove, media treatment that the more moderate candidates always get in the early going: McCain, Romney, and Christie now.  The media won't be helping him in the general election.

I prefer executive experience on the resume but still like Marco Rubio for many reasons.  I believe he can overcome his battle wounds with conservatives from the immigration debate and turn that into a political asset in 2016.  He will be older and wiser in 2016 than he was in 2010 and 2012.  In terms of charisma or whatever we choose to call it, he did win a swing state by a million votes with a Reagan-like message. 

From my point of view the question is, who is the most conservative and the most articulate in advancing economic freedom while coming across as positive, non-threatening, even inspiring to moderates and swing voters. 
3910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wrong sports analogy, Mr. President, it is Strike Three on Obamcare on: November 21, 2013, 10:00:22 AM
The President chose the sports analogy of fumbles instead of strikes on Obamacare because no one can say exactly how many fumbles you can have before you are out.

“We fumbled the rollout on this health-care law,” he admitted at Thursday afternoon’s news conference. “I am very frustrated, but I’m also somebody who, if I fumbled the ball, you know, I’m going to wait until I get the next play, and then I’m going to try to run as hard as I can and do right by the team.”  Four times he mentioned fumbling — both the HealthCare.gov Web site and his promise that people could keep their health plans if they liked them. “These are two fumbles on something that — on a big game, which — but the game’s not over,” he said.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-does-health-care-fumble-mean-game-over-for-obama/2013/11/15/77dc0b0a-4dfa-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

Let's count strikes in the order that the media and the public finally discovered them:

Strike One:  The website failed. A called strike.  Government incompetence while the President rested his bat on his shoulder.

Strike Two:  The lies and fraud were exposed.  You can't keep your plan, your doctor and maybe not even your job or your hours because of Obamacare.  It wouldn't have passed without the misrepresentations.  The promoters knew that.  Swing and a miss.
 
Strike Three:  It isn't "affordable" and that was the name of it.  It isn't getting 30 million more people insured and that was the purpose of it.  Obamacare is actually resulting in fewer people insured When we recognize this monumental failure, it is strike three and the batter is out.

We gave up freedom, choice and privacy in order to lower the cost of healthcare and get everyone insured.  It's doing the opposite.  Let's end it now and get back a little bit of our lost individual freedom and privacy.
3911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ - beware - William Galston on: November 21, 2013, 09:37:36 AM
ccp, For one thing, I think the WSJ is publishing Galston columns as an opposing or different viewpoint, not as their own.  He is a former Clinton adviser* and comes from the Brookings Institute, as opposed to say, Cato, Heritage or AEI.  His recent columns defended food stamps as a program that works and attacked the tea party as causing a crackup.  Here, he seems to be pushing the Krugman idea that no growth is the new normal.  But no growth is only the new normal when we choose anti-growth policies.

The WSJ opinion page otherwise is a pro-growth, pro-free enterprise beacon.  They are occasionally wrong on issues from my point of view.  Most recently they were (IMHO) too accepting of a bad immigration deal and they opposed the de-funding of Obamacare that preceded the 16 day, 17% non-essential, paid vacation known as 'the shutdown', without putting forward a better way of stopping Obamacare.  The 'shutdown' polled badly for conservatives.  From that point of view, it is logical to ask how we move forward on economic freedom without setbacks like that.  

[WSJ Editorial page editor] Paul Gigot is a Packer fan from Green Bay, WI - not exactly a Wall Streeter.  The WSJ really does have a firewall between news content and opinion, unlike most papers I read where I cannot tell where news ends and opinion begins.  I read the WSJ editorials regularly and don't find them to be pro-big business or pro-Wall Street at the expense of the rest of us.  They are explicitly pro-economic freedom and pro-growth.  

As Crafty suggests, on immigration I assume they would prefer a better balance of incoming workers to address America's needs, not to have all come from one place with the same (limited) skills set.  That isn't what would come out of the recent immigration push, and therefore I part ways with them on that.
------------------------

From the WSJ Editorial Page - About Us  http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-opinion-commentary.html?cb=logged0.7089306168604355
"We speak for free markets and free people, the principles, if you will, marked in the watershed year of 1776 by Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations." So over the past century and into the next, the Journal stands for free trade and sound money; against confiscatory taxation and the ukases of kings and other collectivists; and for individual autonomy against dictators, bullies and even the tempers of momentary majorities."

*  "Bill Galston, former deputy domestic policy adviser to Clinton"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/quinn110298.htm
3912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politically (In)correct - Pat Paulsen on: November 20, 2013, 11:35:38 PM
He made more sense in 1968 than hope and change did in our era.

"All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian."

"I don’t want to say too much about illegal immigration. I’m afraid my views will be reported on the Cinco O’Clock News"

On the Miranda warning: "Why should we tell kidnappers, murderers, and embezzlers their rights? If they don't know their rights, they shouldn't be in the business."

"A good many people feel that our present draft laws are unjust. These people are called soldiers."

"Sex doesn't have to be taught. It's something most of us are born with."

When originally "denying" he was running, borrowing from General William Sherman in 1884: "I will not run if nominated, and if elected I will not serve."

Presidential campaign slogan: "I've upped my standards. Now, up yours."

Presidential campaign slogan: "If elected, I will win."

Campaign supporters' rallying cry: "We can't stand Pat!"

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself...and of course the boogieman."

"I am neither left wing nor right wing. I am middle-of-the-bird."

"If either the right wing or the left wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."

"Marijuana should be licensed and kept out of the hands of teenagers. It's too good for them."

When asked if he believed in the right to bear arms: "No, I believe in the right to arm bears."

On network censorship: "I feel proud to be living in a country where people are not afraid to laugh at themselves and where political satire is tolerated by the government, if not the television network."

On network censorship: "Censorship does not interfere with the constitutional rights of every American to sit alone in a dark room in the nude and cuss. There are realistic taboos, especially regarding political comments. Our leaders were not elected to be tittered at. For example, we're allowed to say Ronald Reagan is a lousy actor, but we're not allowed to say he's a lousy governor – which is ridiculous. We know he's a good actor. And we're not allowed to make fun of President Johnston, but if we praise him, who would believe it?"

On his political affiliation: "I belong to the Straight Talking American Government Party, or STAG Party for short."
3913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Demographics on: November 20, 2013, 10:48:25 PM
Both Mark Steyn and the WSJ are correct IMHO in seeing people as resources.  Europe if fuct because of its demographic contraction and is economic fascism.  At least America is demographically stable.  Key here is WHO we let in.  I think if we dig a bit we will find the WSJ is thinking more of Indian computer engineers than Mexican gardeners. 

Too bad that what is beneficial for the country and what is beneficial for winning the next election might be two different things.
3914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Obama says he is willing to go piecemeal on: November 20, 2013, 12:31:53 PM

"If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don't care what it looks like," Mr. Obama said. "What we don't want to do is simply carve out one piece of it…but leave behind some of the tougher stuff that still needs to get done."

Any chance that his lips are moving, but what is coming out isn't the whole truth?

Mr. President, how is that 'piecemeal' fence coming along?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Fence_Act_of_2006
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr5124
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123370523066745559
http://www.humanevents.com/2010/05/17/finish-the-border-fence-now/
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/27/94974/senate-defeats-demint-bid-to-finish.html
Senate defeats DeMint's bid to finish U.S.-Mexico border fence.  May 27, 2010
DeMint said only 34 miles of a [700 mile] double-layer border fence authorized by Congress have been built. 
3915  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CBS News: Obama Approval Falls to 37 on: November 20, 2013, 10:16:49 AM
CBS News: 61% Now Oppose Health Law, Obama Approval Falls to 37%

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57613067/poll-obamacare-support-obama-approval-sink-to-new-lows/

I don't get what the 37% can be thinking.
3916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ralph Peters: Al Qaeda’s new top foe (is Iran) on: November 20, 2013, 10:07:16 AM
http://nypost.com/2013/11/20/al-qaedas-new-top-foe/

Al Qaeda’s new top foe
By Ralph Peters

Know them by their deeds, not words. Although the old-school leaders of al Qaeda still rage against the US and jihadists welcome any chance to harm us, look at who the terrorists actually kill. We’re not the main target of Sunni extremists these days. Iran, along with its allies, tops the list.

Of course, we cannot let down our guard and should hunt down Islamist terrorists where we can, but the focus of the “field soldiers” serving al Qaeda’s most-active franchise in Syria and Iraq is on Iran’s ambitions and Shia Muslims, not on us.

To the horror of diplomats and theorists who’ve denied the role of faith in religious terrorism, we are witnesses to a regional conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims stretching far beyond the Syrian cockpit.

Yesterday’s suicide-bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, amplified the breadth of this distinctly uncivil war within Islam. The Abdullah ­Azzam Brigades, a Lebanese al Qaeda franchise, claimed responsibility, citing Iran’s use of Hezbollah Shia militiamen to support the Assad regime in neighboring Syria. Wounding at least 140 victims, the attack killed 23 outright and appears, to this ­analyst, to have targeted the Iranian “cultural attaché,” who was killed while walking with a Lebanese security chief. In Iranian diplomacy, “cultural attaché” translates as “spymaster.”

Beyond the borders of nervous Lebanon, the slaughter has been under way for years, since Islamist extremists of multiple stripes hijacked Syria’s anti-Assad insurgency. Even earlier, the Sunni-Shia divide flared in Iraq as Iran moved to exert Shia ­hegemony.

Every day, with every local massacre, sectarian lines harden. In this multi-sided conflict, atop the maelstrom of the “Arab Spring,” people are killed not only for worshiping the wrong god, but for worshiping the right god in the wrong way. The unleashed hatreds are so intense that we’ve been pushed to the sidelines, still a desirable target, but far away. History’s law is that, while humans may relish hating a distant enemy, they generally prefer to kill their neighbors.

If we have been, for now, demoted to second place in the Great Satan Sweepstakes, Israel, too, has slipped down on the target list. The hate-rhetoric continues, but Hamas is basically quarantined in Gaza; the Palestinian Authority excites little active support; and external actors who had been rocketing Israel are vigorously butchering fellow Muslims.

Of course, the age-old Persian-vs.-Arab rivalry, power politics, local issues and even personal grudges complicate the spreading strife, but only a career diplomat could be so naïve as to deny that this, at bottom, is a contest between Islam’s two major branches. And there is nothing we can do to resolve it. We can only play on the margins — and we do so at our peril.

But crises sometimes offer opportunities. When Western and Iranian diplomats meet again this week to discuss the existential (certainly, for Israel) issue of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, our delegation should do the strategic math — which adds up to a desperate Iran.

To date, we’ve got it backward with the domestically reeling Obama administration frantic to sign a treaty it can claim as a success (you want it bad, you get ­it bad).

Sanctions on Iran are biting deep. That’s why Iran is willing to talk at all. But we need to grasp that Iran’s also struggling to maintain its sphere of influence in Syria and Lebanon, and sanctions play into that, too. Iran’s stretched thin, its economy grievously wounded.

We, not the mullahs, hold the winning hand. We would be foolish, indeed, were we to give the Iranians sanctions relief for empty promises.

Our diplomats obsess on obsolete borders and fail to connect a bombing in Beirut, the carnage in Syria and Iran’s pursuit of nukes with an overarching and gruesome sectarian struggle. Doing so would make Washington uncomfortable.

But thanks to the carnage in the Middle East and the sanctions regime, we’re in the strongest position vis-à-vis Iran since the fall of the shah. And in this perverse world, al Qaeda helped. Strike while the car-bomb’s hot.
3917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Today's professors grade Lincoln's writing on: November 20, 2013, 09:52:12 AM
3918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education - Teachers Unions vs. Charter Schools, WSJ on: November 20, 2013, 09:38:26 AM
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303531204579208211730264896?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond

"The Harlem Success teachers' contract drives home the idea that the school is about the children, not the grown-ups. It is one page, allows them to be fired at will, and defines their responsibilities no more specifically than that they must help the school achieve its mission. Harlem Success teachers are paid about 5 to 10 percent more than union teachers on the other side of the building who have their levels of experience.

"The union contract in place on the public school side of the building is 167 pages. Most of it is about job protection and what teachers can and cannot be asked to do during the 6 hours and 57.5 minutes (8:30 to about 3:25, with 50 minutes off for lunch) of their 179-day work year."

In the 2010, 29 percent of the students at the traditional public school were reading and writing at grade level, and 34 percent were performing at grade level in math. At the charter school, the corresponding numbers were 86 percent and 94 percent.

(More at the link.)
3919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care, Holman Jenkins, WSJ on: November 20, 2013, 09:33:27 AM
The simple fix is to legalize the plans that people actually want.
-----------------------------------------------
How the GOP Should Fix ObamaCare
Along the way Republicans can create real choice, real competition and real savings while protecting those who need help.

What can be done is Congress creating a new option in the form of a national health insurance charter under which insurers could design new low-cost policies free of mandated benefits imposed by ObamaCare and the 50 states that many of those losing their individual policies today surely would find attractive.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304439804579208020624280740?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
(Read it all!)
3920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: November 20, 2013, 09:27:28 AM
Rush reminded us he predicted the unemployment rate would magically dip below 8 well before the election.  In fact I remember him saying this.  I doubt that there was not one listener who did not agree with his prediction.  I also doubt there was not one listener who also did not agree with his insinuation that the "books would be cooked" to achieve this "magical" number.

The MSM is silent. 
"oh these are career government officials"
as though their integrity and honesty is above reproach.

Unfortunately there are no Nixon tapes of Obama and/or his henchman Axelrod  to be discovered.

I guess only then could we speak of impeachment.  Like the mafia.   It is hard to connect the evidence to the masterminds pulling the strings.

Wesbury warned that the economy alone wouldn't be bad enough to defeat the President.  But ccp is right, Rush predicted for a year that the manipulation of the data would magically happen coming into the election.  Jack Welch also commented on the cooked books and the media, refusing any role as a watchdog, just lazily claimed the critics to be wearing tin foil hats.  Now it turns out to be true, much worse than we thought, and there will be no consequence?

"Unfortunately there are no Nixon tapes of Obama and/or his henchman Axelrod  to be discovered."

Yes there are, such as the IRS targeting communications contradicting the testimony and reports in the Federal Register exposing the President's lies. We just don't have them 'Obama administration tapes' yet because no one is demanding their release.  We won't get them without an effective and relentless special prosecutor.

I keep pointing to this one example.  A group called ACORN was banned from federal funding for their co-mingling of taxpayer dollars and political activities - and they have since reappeared under many different names.  The head of ACORN said the co-mingling of funds was impossible due to the impermeable "firewall" (what a joke!) separating these activities, even though it was the same people working both sides in the same office.  Yes there is attrition, but largely the same community organizers became the Census 2010 paid workers, learning everything about everyone in the neighborhoods, outside the constitution and at taxpayer expense, who then became the paid workers of the Obama 2012 campaign to 'get out the vote'.  They called it a magical and top secret "data mining" operation.  But they knew who was black.  They knew who was Hispanic, and they knew who was in every other identifiable demographic group.  They knew who relied on food stamps.  They knew who was on Section 8.  They knew who got medicaid and all other federal programs and they came to their doors with iphones and clipboards tracking voters, arranging rides and making sure all the targeted people voted.  It was not data mining, it was illegal data sharing.  I came from the people to the government, and then to the campaign.  All the while, in a different agency of the same executive branch, conservative groups were targeted, questioned and prevented from organize in opposition, while in a third agency they were cooking the books to change the story line, and in a fourth agency they were covering up events overseas that contradict the President saying al Qaida was 'on the run' even though he slept while they were surrounding and killing Americans.

The idea that there is no trail to the top turned out to be false when we looked at the IRS.  It went to the top, to a guy who had daily meetings with the White House.

If we investigate, subpoena evidence and compel testimony on the rest of these irregularities, we will find the 'Nixon tapes and much worse.
3921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: November 19, 2013, 05:38:16 PM
This isn't Watergate?

Woodward:  The President’s motive here, even though there deep problems with the implementation, he wants to do something good for 30 million people and get them health insurance. So this isn’t Watergate. This isn’t Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Obamacare is designed to punish the 30 million that we want to help but won't sign up voluntarily.
3922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bill Maher on the Hillbillary Clintons on: November 19, 2013, 05:24:52 PM
If you're a Democrat...

the Clintons are a pre-existing condition.

----------------------------------------------------
http://realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/11/16/maher_rips_bill_clinton_if_youre_a_democrat_the_clintons_are_a_preexisting_condition.html
3923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Census Bureau faked election jobs report, Obama stole an election on: November 19, 2013, 04:41:06 PM
Is this Watergate yet?

What is monumental about this scandal is that it is on top of the other reelection scandals, IRS targeting conservative groups, blocking the Benghazi discovery, the Obamacare fraud and the use of government data in the reelection.  Now the doctoring of economic data to influence the election.  The executive executive branch and the campaign are one and the same, breaking laws and destroying the integrity of our nation.  This calls for a special prosecutor and a RICO criminal prosecution (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) to connect all the different parts of a criminal organization.

Talk about a double standard, Scooter Libby went to jail without being being the source and Lois Lerner is a free woman 6 months after saying that the answers to routine questions might incriminate her.  Watergate was a lie about a two bit burglary and this was an organized operation to break laws in the effort to reelect the President.
3924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Krugman struggles with reality on: November 18, 2013, 10:12:28 AM
If liberalism is a mental disorder (cf. G M), then Paul Krugman is a case study.
3925  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Colorado and Wisconsin Governor races will affect 2016 Presidential on: November 18, 2013, 10:03:53 AM
The elections of 2014 will affect the elections of 2016, IMHO.

John Hickenlooper's (D-Colo) job rating plunged below 50 percent
Colorado a microcosm of the country
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/15/colorado_a_microcosm_for_american_politics_120669.html

Scott Walker (R-Wisc), polls show him in a tougher race this time around
"the nominee needs to be a Governor or former Governor".
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/190497-scott-walker-2016-gop-nominee-should-be-a-governor
3926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Warren Buffet's top 10 stocks on: November 17, 2013, 02:51:17 PM
This list is kind of depressing.  All entrenched players, no startups or innovators.  I guess that makes sense from a guy who favors stomping out startups and innovation by way of the Buffet economic plan.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2013/11/17/warren-buffett-s-10-favorite-stocks/3614505/
10. Goldman Sachs (GS)
9. DIRECTV (DTV)
8. U.S. Bancorp (USB)
7. Exxon Mobil (OXM)
6. Wal-Mart (WMT)
5. Procter & Gamble (PG)
4. American Express (AXP)
3. International Business Machines (IBM)
2. Coca-Cola (KO)
1. Wells Fargo (WFC)
3927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance Glibness: President takes credit for energy production? on: November 17, 2013, 02:46:00 PM
Moving on from healthcare lies, Benghazi lies, IRS targeting lies, fast and furious lies, and lies about his failed economic policies, President Obama aimed his weekly address at energy production - that he opposes!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/16/us-usa-obama-energy-idUSBRE9AF09R20131116
"In his weekly radio address, Obama noted that for the first time in nearly two decades, the United States is producing more oil than it purchases from other countries and is seeing more jobs created in the energy sector."

If we really want energy production here at home, how about approving a pipeline?  Who opposes that?

I'm starting to lose respect for the guy.
3928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: November 17, 2013, 10:51:31 AM
Every twenty-something with a crippled future that voted for Obama is getting exactly what they deserve.

Like smoking to former smokers, maybe (formerly) young people will become the most anti-liberal of all future voters. 

Note to other demographic groups, women, blacks, Hispanics, you were duped too!
3929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 4 years of lying? when did they know they were lying? June 2009 on: November 17, 2013, 10:47:19 AM
A prescient June 2009 exchange between Georgia Rep. Tom Price and Obama CEA Chair Christina Romer. The exchange took place in a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on a draft of Obamacare.  Price pressed Romer to cite a basis for the president’s ["if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan"] promise, and in the process predicted much of what would happen more than four years later, in late 2013. Obama’s promise fell apart right there in the hearing room.” Here is the exchange:

REP. PRICE: You also mentioned, as other folks have, that the president’s goal — and it’s reiterated over and over and over — that if you like your current plan or if you like your current doctor, you can keep them. Do you know where that is in the bill?

MS. ROMER: Absolutely. And things like the employer mandate is part of making sure that large employers that today — the vast majority of them do provide health insurance. One of the things that’s –

REP. PRICE: I’m asking about if an individual likes their current plan and maybe they don’t get it through their employer and maybe in fact their plan doesn’t comply with every parameter of the current draft bill, how are they going to be able to keep that?

MS. ROMER: So the president is fundamentally talking about maintaining what’s good about the system that we have. And –

REP. PRICE: That’s not my question.

MS. ROMER: One of the things that he has been saying is, for example, you may like your plan and one of the things we may do is slow the growth rate of the cost of your plan, right? So that’s something that is not only –

REP. PRICE: The question is whether or not patients are going to be able to keep their plan if they like it. What if, for example, there’s an employer out there — and you’ve said that if the employers that already provide health insurance, health coverage for their employees, that they’ll be just fine, right? What if the policy that those employees and that employer like and provide for their employees doesn’t comply with the specifics of the bill? Will they be able to keep that one?

MS. ROMER: So certainly my understanding — and I won’t pretend to be an expert in the bill — but certainly I think what’s being planned is, for example, for plans in the exchange to have a minimum level of benefits.

REP. PRICE: So if I were to tell you that in the bill it says that if a plan doesn’t comply with the specifics that are outlined in the bill that that employer’s going to have to move to the — to a different plan within five years — would you — would that be unusual, or would that seem outrageous to you?

MS. ROMER: I think the crucial thing is, what kind of changes are we talking about? The president was saying he wanted the American people to know that fundamentally if you like what you have it will still be there.

REP. PRICE: What if you like what you have, Dr. Romer, though, and it doesn’t fit with the definition in the bill? My reading of the bill is that you can’t keep that.

MS. ROMER: I think the crucial thing — the bill is talking about setting a minimum standard of what can count –

REP. PRICE: So it’s possible that you may like what you have, but you may not be able to keep it? Right?

MS. ROMER: We’d have — I’d have to look at the specifics.

Credit: Byron York, Washington Examiner
http://washingtonexaminer.com/four-years-ago-gop-showed-exactly-what-was-false-about-obamas-keep-your-coverage-promise/article/2539266
3930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AP: Economic woes for young people means less mobility on: November 17, 2013, 10:34:16 AM
"staying put and doubling up with roommates or living with Mom and dad"
Hey young liberals, how is Hope and Change workin' out for you-all?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Economic woes for young people means less mobility
By The Associated Press
November 14, 2013

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/11/economic-woes-for-young-people-means-less-mobility-96847.html#ixzz2kv8inrvC

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. mobility for young adults has fallen to the lowest level in more than 50 years as cash-strapped 20-somethings shun home-buying and refrain from major moves in a weak job market.

The new 2013 figures from the Census Bureau, which reversed earlier signs of recovery, underscore the impact of the sluggish economy on young people, many of them college graduates, whom demographers sometimes refer to as "Generation Wait."

Burdened with college debt or toiling in low-wage jobs, they are delaying careers, marriage and having children. Waiting anxiously for their lucky break, they are staying put and doubling up with roommates or living with Mom and dad, unable to make long-term plans or commit to buying a home - let alone pay a mortgage.

Many understood after the 2007-2009 recession that times would be tough. But few say they expected to be in economic limbo more than four years later.

Among adults ages 25-29, just 4.9 million, or 23.3 percent, moved in the 12 months ending March 2013. That's down from 24.6 percent in the same period the year before. It was the lowest level since at least 1963. The peak of 36.7 percent came in 1965, during the nation's youth counterculture movement.

The past year's decline in migration came after a modest increase from 2011 to 2012, a sign that young adults remain tentative about testing the job market in other cities.

By metropolitan area, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, and Houston were among the top gainers in young adults, reflecting stronger local economies. Among college graduates 25 and older, Denver and Washington, D.C., topped the list of destinations.

Demographers say the delays in traditional markers of adulthood - full-time careers and homeownership - may prove to be longer-lasting.

Roughly 1 in 5 young adults ages 25 to 34 is now disconnected from work and school.

"Young adulthood has grown much more complex and protracted, with a huge number struggling to reach financial independence," said Mark Mather, an associate vice president at the private Population Reference Bureau. "Many will get there, but at much later ages than we've seen in the past. More and more we're seeing many young adults routinely wait until their 30s to leave the parental nest."

The overall decline in migration among young adults is being driven largely by a drop in local moves within a county, which fell to the lowest level on record. Out-of-state moves also fell, from 3.8 percent in 2012 to 3.4 percent, but remained higher than a 2010 low of 3.2 percent.

Young adults typically make long-distance moves to seek a new career, while those who make local moves often do so when buying a home.

While homeownership across all age groups fell by 3 percentage points to 65 percent from 2007 to 2012, the drop-off among adults 25-29 was much larger - more than 6 percentage points, from 40.6 percent to 34.3 percent. That reflects in part tighter lines of credit after the 2006 housing bust. Declines in homeownership for those ages 40 and older over in that five-year period were more modest.

William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution analyzed the figures:
"Many young adults, especially those without college degrees, are still stuck in place."
"For them, low mobility might be more than a temporary lull and could turn into the 'new normal.'"

3931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science, Whistler Mountain opens early on: November 17, 2013, 10:17:26 AM
Putting business interests ahead of the ski resort industry's anti-global warming activism, in Whistler Mountain decides to open early - in mid November!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/snowandski/skiing-news/10449066/Whistler-ski-resort-to-open-13-days-early.html



A statement from Whistler said: "Thanks to oodles of snow, Whistler Mountain will open 13 days early this season. Whistler is renowned, season upon season, for being the number one ski resort for guaranteed snow - lots of it - and this winter will be no exception."
3932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Americans are more conservative than they have been in decades on: November 17, 2013, 10:11:15 AM
Meanwhile, outside of Seattle...

Americans are more conservative than they have been in decades

James Stimson knows as much about public opinion as anyone in America. He has been tracking the nation’s policy preferences for more than 20 years using a “policy mood” index derived from responses to a wide variety of opinion surveys involving hundreds of specific policy questions on topics ranging from taxes and spending to environmental regulation to gun control.

The latest update of Stimson’s policy mood series suggests that the American public in 2012 was more conservative than at any point since 1952. (Actually, since mood in each year is estimated with some error, it seems safer to say that the current level of conservatism roughly equals the previous highs recorded in 1980 and 1952.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/09/30/americans-are-more-conservative-than-they-have-been-in-decades/
http://www.unc.edu/~jstimson/Welcome.html
3933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: November 17, 2013, 10:05:45 AM
I admire her honesty, rather than running as a democrat and then voting as a socialist as the rest of the dems do.

That's right.  Instead of the deception of the Obama phenomenon, Hillary and the rest, let's put actual socialism on the ballot and take an up and down vote.  In Seattle this week, they did and it passed.
3934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AG Holder asks for appeal in Fast and Furious case holding him in contempt on: November 17, 2013, 10:01:39 AM
Lawless administration continued...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/16/ag-holder-asks-for-appeal-in-fast-and-furious-case-holding-him-in-contempt/

AG Holder asks for appeal in Fast and Furious case holding him in contempt

Attorney General Eric Holder wants to appeal a recent judge’s ruling that allows the House to continue with its contempt case, related to Holder’s refusal to turn over documents concerning the Justice Department’s failed Operation Fast and Furious gun-tracking program.

Holder made the request Friday night to U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, asking that the Justice Department be allowed to put the case in front of a federal appeals court before Jackson makes any final decisions.

In September, Jackson rejected the Obama administration’s request to have the case dismissed.
3935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care: Flashback, Sebelius, Keep your plan on: November 17, 2013, 09:58:01 AM
http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2010/06/grandfathered.html

Keeping the Plan You Like

By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Posted June 14, 2010

Throughout the health reform debate, the President has been clear that we should build on the insurance system we have, keeping the parts that work and gradually fixing the parts that don’t.

The Affordable Care Act is designed to let Americans keep their health insurance if they like it while adding important consumer benefits to give businesses, families and individuals higher quality care at lower prices and more control over their own care.

Later today, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and I will announce the latest step we’re taking to implement the Affordable Care Act with the announcement of a new regulation that is a key part of this approach.

The new regulation will expand new consumer protections to all Americans with health insurance, moving us toward the competitive, patient-centered market of the future.  This rule reflects the President’s policy that Americans should be able to keep their health plan and doctor if they want.

Here’s how the new rule will work:

    Starting with health plan or policy years beginning on or after September 23, Americans with private health insurance plans will get some new consumer protections.  For example, insurance companies will be prohibited from putting lifetime limits on your coverage.  And they’ll no longer be able to cancel your insurance when you get sick just by finding an error in your paperwork.

    Health coverage that was in effect when the Affordable Care Act was enacted will be exempt from some provisions in the Act if they remain “grandfathered” under a provision in the law.  Under the rule issued today, employers or issuers offering such coverage will have the flexibility of making reasonable changes without losing their “grandfathered” status.  For example, employers will be able to make some changes to the benefits their plans offer, raise premiums or change employee cost-sharing to keep pace with health costs within some limits, and continue to enroll new employees and their families.

    However, if health plans significantly raise co-payments or deductibles, or if they significantly reduce benefits – for example, if they stop covering treatment for a disease like HIV/AIDS or cystic fibrosis – they’ll lose their grandfathered status and their customers will get the same full set of consumer protections as new plans.

The bottom line is that under the Affordable Care Act, if you like your doctor and plan, you can keep them.  But if you aren’t satisfied with your insurance options today, the Affordable Care Act provides for better, more affordable health care choices through new consumer protections.  And beginning in 2014, it creates health insurance exchanges that will offer individuals and small businesses better, more affordable choices.
3936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Seattle's Socialist Kshama Sawant wins on: November 17, 2013, 09:52:07 AM
I don't know Seattle but it has similarities with Minneapolis where Democrats hold all the city council seats and the only opposition to them comes from the left.  What separates these two great cities from the fate of Detroit is probably only a matter of timing and circumstance.

Enter Kshama Sawant, just elected in a city-wide election to the council.  She was a leader of Occupy-Seattle, an avowed hater of capitalism.  Some Kshama Sawant quotes:

“Capitalists are criminals of our society”

“The Capitalist system itself…Is at the root of racism, hatred, and fear of black people, people of color, of poor people”

“We need to…put on trial capitalism itself”



So what does she do for a living?  She teaches 'Economics' at a public university.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexberezow/2013/11/11/why-is-seattle-socialist-kshama-sawant-allowed-to-teach-economics/

Let's get capitalism out of Seattle and see how the "black people, people of color, and poor people" do.  Good grief.  Maybe North Korea would be a good model.
3937  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mark Schields: If this goes down it is the end of liberal government on: November 17, 2013, 09:35:28 AM
Normally a reliable shill for the Democrats, now he is saying almost exactly what Charles Krauthammer is saying:

MARK SHIELDS: [You can keep your plan] -- wasn't a true statement. And you're driven to one of two conclusions. Either the president was almost -- almost negligently uncurious in not asking about what the answer was, or he made the choice to trade his considerable reputation and record of integrity for short-term political gain. That's why they had to come and that's why there was such consternation in the ranks.

JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you explain it, David, what happened, with the president acknowledging yesterday that he wasn't on top of it?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I think it is politics. They knew that they -- getting this thing passed -- we were there -- it was hard. And so they were pulling out every political stop in the book. And a lot of those political stops have made it harder now. The first early one was, they were really late in issuing the regulations because they didn't want them to come out during the campaign so Romney could attack them.

As a result, the whole implementation got pushed back, and that's part of the reason the Web site is such a mess. And then they made this political calculation. Then they made the -- that they weren't going to tell you there will be losers here. And they made the political calculation there would be no deficit effects. They made a whole series of political calculations.

Shields didn’t think Obama made enough of a personal apology, like John F. Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and it looks grim:

SHIELDS: It wasn't this is mine and I'm going to make sure that it never happens again. I mean, this has got to work.  Judy, this is beyond the Obama administration. If this goes down, if the Obama -- if health care, the Affordable Care Act is deemed a failure, this is the end -- I really mean it -- of liberal government, in the sense of any sense that government as an instrument of social justice, an engine of economic progress, which is what divides Democrats from Republicans -- that's what Democrats believe.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec13/shieldsbrooks_11-15.html
3938  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is Hillary who suppored ObamaCare all the way insulated from the lies? on: November 17, 2013, 09:26:04 AM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D74ZO082G8Q#t=13
3939  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Secret Meetings?? on: November 17, 2013, 09:13:57 AM
Does anyone from the left remember when then Vice President Dick Cheney formed an Energy Task Force that included industry experts to advise him on creating an energy plan for that administration?

There was an uproar from the left, one might recall, including a lawsuit that made it to the Supreme Court trying to force the details of the meetings to be made public.

"This ruling means that for now, the public will remain in the dark about the Bush administration and energy industry executives' secret meetings about national energy policy," said David Bookbinder, Washington legal director for the Sierra Club..."
http://articles.philly.com/2004-06-25/news/25370001_1_task-force-david-bookbinder-energy-policy

What a difference a dozen years can make...


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/business/after-meeting-health-insurers-question-proposals-workability.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=tw-share&pagewanted=all&

A day after they were caught off guard by President Obama’s proposal to prevent cancellation of insurance policies for millions of Americans, top executives of some of the biggest insurance companies emerged from a meeting at the White House on Friday, expressing mixed feelings about whether the idea could work in every state.

They did not discuss in detail how the president’s goal might be achieved.

 The participants included executives of WellPoint, Aetna, Cigna, Humana and Kaiser Permanente, as well as several nonprofit Blue Cross plans.

After the meeting, Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group, said only that it had been “very productive.”

3940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care: 17 Lies? When his lips move, he is lying? on: November 15, 2013, 11:35:13 PM
Seventeen lies and counting...

1. “…what we’re doing to implement and improve the law.”.

Actually he has blocked any attempt to improve the law, and has insisted on making “administrative changes” – that is, ignoring the law and imposing what he chooses without approval by Congress. For example, the delay in the “employer mandate” – the House passed that but Obama instructed Reid not to take it up, and instead he made that change unilaterally, in violation of the ACA which he signed.

So no, he hasn’t worked to “improve the law,” he has fought efforts to do that.

2. “In the first month, more than 100,000 Americans successfully enrolled…”.

Not true. Based on published reports, about 106,000 have put a plan into their online shopping carts, but far fewer have actually bought the policies. And there is no way to know whether the others ever will.

If a CEO stated, “We sold more than 100,000 widgets last month.” when in fact far fewer had been sold, he could be charged with fraud.

3. “…more than 500,000 Americans could know the security of health care by January 1, many of them for the first time in their lives…”

No, these are not people who have “never known the security of health care,” they are people who either don’t have insurance, or who think they can get better or cheaper insurance through Obamacare. Health care is already available more or less to all of them.

4. “The other problem that has received a lot of attention concerns the Americans who have received letters from their insurers that they may be losing the plans that they bought…”

No, these letters (and I received one) don’t say we “may be” losing our plans. They say we are losing our plans, effective the end of the year. Implying that it is iffy is dishonest.

5. “I’ve said from the beginning, I’m willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to fix problems as they arise. This is an example of what I’m talking about.”

But it’s not.

He is not “working with Democrats and Republicans” to fix this. He is unilaterally stating how it will be, in violation of the ACA, which he signed into law. There are no Republicans involved in this, in any way. Saying this is an example of “working with Democrats and Republicans” to fix this is not true.

6. “[In the Obamacare exchange], [t]here is a good chance they will be able to buy better plans at lower cost.”

Not really. Prices there are very high. If your income is low, the cost may be borne partly by others, but it’s still high. Subsidies don’t lower cost, they just pass it on to somebody else.

7. “I’m not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to have health care for the first time…”

Actually two lies in one phrase here.

First, he’s again using “health care” to mean “health insurance. Almost all these people have had health care, just not insurance. It’s dishonest to imply that if you don’t have insurance you don’t get health care – that is almost 100 percent false.

Second, he is stating that these people have not had “access” to insurance, but most or all of them have had access to insurance, the same as they have had access to food, shelter, and everything else you buy with money. They may not have been able to afford it, or they may have chosen not to buy it, because they wanted to spend their money on something else. (I wonder how many of them smoke or drink…?)

8. “We’re at the opening weeks of a project to build a better health-care system for everybody.”

Again, at least two blatant lies here.

First, the ACA was passed in early 2010, and it presumably had a little thought before it was passed. So it’s been at least 3 1/2 years, not “weeks.”

Second, the bill is constructed to make insurance cheaper for some – those who have low income or pre-existing conditions – at the expense of others. It cannot possibly be claimed to be “better” for those who pay more to subsidize those who get the subsidies.

9. “It’s important that we’re honest and straightforward when we come up with a problem with these reforms and these laws that we address them.”

Not a lie exactly, but what would you call it if a worm said, “It’s important that we have arms and legs!”?

10. [His promise “If you like your plan you can keep it”] “…ended up not being accurate.”

No, it was false when he said it, and he knew that.

He lied, dozens of times.

11. “…premiums would go up an average of 15 percent a year.”

This one would take some research, but he offers no evidence to support this, and I don’t think it’s true. My insurance has been pretty flat for several years, til the ACA was imposed.

12. “…my expectation was that for 98 percent of the American people, either it genuinely wouldn’t change at all, or they would be pleasantly surprised…that proved not to be the case.”

Published reports show that he knew the reality – he was informed years ago – and he went ahead saying “If you like your policy you can keep it” anyway.

13. “The Affordable Care Act is not going to be the factor in what happens with folks in the individual market.”

Of course it is. If he thinks that insurance companies – having put a bunch of effort into re-designing their plans to comply with the ACA, that because he holds a press conference, and says that those parts of the law – which he did not specify – that are causing the problem, are somehow void – but only for 2014 – and that insurance companies will all turn on a dime, without any regard for what might come next – what the rules will be in 14 months – he is absolutely nuts. He can’t be that stupid, so he must be lying.

14. “…the status quo before the ACA was not working at all.”

I guess it all depends what “working” means, but any definition you could apply, if you apply that same definition to any other industry, you would find that nothing in America is “working”, because nothing is perfect. Which may be how Obama views things.

Of course it was “working” to some degree. Most of us were relatively satisfied with our insurance and it was affordable. (I always found that insurance companies’ customer service was horrible, but the products and prices were OK.)

Does he really claim that if everything in an industry isn’t perfect, then something like the ACA is justified? The implications are staggering.

15. “When I see people on Capitol Hill…who want to repeal it…”

Essentially he is claiming that if you favor repeal of the ACA, then you favor the status quo before it was imposed, which is not true at all.

He is pretending not to know that the House has already passed a number of reforms that would reduce cost and increase coverage. He can’t be that poorly-informed, so he must by lying.

16. “…and it certainly wasn’t working for the 41 million people who didn’t have health insurance.”

Of course it was working, for many of them. Some couldn’t afford insurance, but many of those 41 million simply chose not to buy it, because they believed – probably correctly – that it wasn’t worth the money. The President can disagree with them, but only if he looks at an individual’s situation and concludes that person would be better off with insurance. But even then, what counts is each individual’s values and choices – that’s what “better” is in a free society. So those who could afford it and chose not to buy it – for them, the system was working fine.

17. “Somebody sooner or later had to do it.”

He doesn’t say exactly what “it” is, but he was talking about the ACA, so presumably he means “Somebody had to impose something like the ACA.” and that’s obviously not true. The status quo was a viable option, or there were other reform options, like those passed by the House. Nobody “had” to do something like the ACA.

I notice he lies less when he answers questions than when he makes prepared remarks. When he answers questions, he rambles and repeats himself, but he seems to avoid direct lies.

Which suggests that he and his team must sit around, before he speaks in public, and write the lies; they are carefully prepared, not extemporaneous.

Pretty disturbing.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/11/lies-of-obamacare-seventeen-and-counting.php
3941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Patriot Post: % of plans being banned, Federal Register 2010 shows they knew on: November 15, 2013, 11:25:06 PM
ACA Eliminates 98% of Plans
Michael Tanner over at National Review brings us this ObamaCare tidbit: "According to HealthPocket, a health-insurance consulting firm, fewer than 2 percent of individual plans on offer today meet all ACA requirements." But this destruction isn't limited to the individual market. Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute says that 51% of employer-sponsored plans will get cancelled, as well. As we have said all along, ObamaCare is about remaking the "market," not preserving it.

3942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Founding Fathers: Madison on Obamacare in Federalist 62 on: November 15, 2013, 11:07:17 PM
The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few, not for the many.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/11/james-madison-on-obamacare.php
3943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Spreading the Wealth, Redistribution by Quintile, 2006 on: November 15, 2013, 10:49:10 PM


Source: CBO / http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/
3944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: November 15, 2013, 10:37:20 PM
I caught a snippet of an interview with Ron Paul yesterday in which his vision for the Rep Party winning elections impressed me in its vision for reaching voter blocks currently cold to the Rep Party e.g. he saw Privacy issues as being a good natural fit for the Reps and that it would appeal to all, including the young.

Agree that people should be ready to embrace a right of privacy.  Who knows about the young as they put everything out there on Facebook and Twitter.  Still, it is they who decide what to broadcast and what to keep private, not a mandate out of Washington.  ObamaCare is the most bold, egregious and obvious violation of privacy this nation has ever seen (IMHO).  I have no idea how to convince anyone of the dangers of that if they don't already see it.  NSA is another privacy problem.  Security is necessary in a time of terror but combine that with the dishonesty and abuse witnessed in the IRS targeting scandal, Benghazi, Obamacare, Merkel spying etc., and the trust is gone.
3945  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: November 14, 2013, 12:49:44 PM
Wesbury from the Monetary thread yesterday regarding quantitative madness:

"It’s created uncertainty at an unprecedented level."

That caveat should be included with all of these continuing, low growth forecasts.
3946  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thomas Sowell: Tea Party at the Crossroads: Part II on: November 14, 2013, 12:44:51 PM
Crafty posted the first part above in the thread, the link to part 2 follows my comment.

Words I have never before written, Thomas Sowell, I think you have this wrong.  The concept is right.  Choosing our battles, policies, tactics and candidates to support and oppose are all crucial to tea party success.  The de-fund strategy was judged a failure.  However, it did NOT cause the shutdown, the opponents did that by refusing to negotiate with the House - on ObamaCare.  The rest was all funded by the House.  The 'shutdown' was a 16 day, 17%, non-essential services, paid vacation.  Other than giving ammunition to an already hateful mainstream media, almost no one can point to real damage done.  On the plus side, it was made abundantly clear to everyone (again) that the Republicans oppose this train wreck and have at least a part of a backbone, and that Democrats were exposed as forcing their rule at all costs, on record refusing to negotiate and willing to close it all to get their prize possession.  Now they own it.  Immediate reactions are one thing, the tea party lost in the polls, but in one month following the generic party vote in one poll has swung back 11 points, from -8 to +3 R.  That doesn't happen when people blame both parties.  The so-called tea party took a stand, failed, and America lost out as a consequence.  Now we at least we know where everyone stands.

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/11/13/tea-party-at-the-crossroads-part-ii-n1744536
3947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi and related matters on: November 14, 2013, 11:52:11 AM
CCP,  You are right.  The Benghazi lie is so much like the Obamacare lie.  People knew it was a lie then.  People know now.  People tolerate it.  Clarence Page (liberal columnist) said it aloud (about the keep-your-plan lie), it was a "political lie", meaning people expect that and he needed to do it to get bill passed and to get re-elected.  The Benghazi lies were to get reelected, covering up a big hole in their foreign policy schtick.  If 'we' want him re-elected, then it is okay.  The IRS targeting was only about taking down opponents, that is still okay.  But the keep-your-plan lie, as you say, now involves money out of our pockets.  And the Benghazi lies involve deaths of people serving our country.  The line has been crossed, even for the people with almost no political principles.  The other factor is the media.  After blowing it so badly and with reelection safely accomplished, they have a some credibility to re-establish.  Now they are curious of what they previously ignored, even helped to cover up. 

I still cringe at the image of Candy Crowley conspiring to sweep the Benghazi coverup under the carpet.  That is when answers should have been forced out of this administration.  Mr. President, where were you?  Who ordered the stand down?  Who approved the video excuse?  What was the mission?  Why wasn't security beefed up?  A foreign policy debate in a Presidential election, and none of it asked!  Instead she shot down the challenger with a blatant falsehood.
3948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi, 65 percent of voters want the investigations to continue on: November 14, 2013, 10:46:51 AM
A just-released Fox News poll finds 65 percent of voters, more than two to one support, want lawmakers to keep investigating what happened in Benghazi.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/13/fox-news-poll-65-percent-want-congress-to-keep-investigating-benghazi-attack/

(Not in the article:  What the hell is wrong with the rest of you?  Americans left to die.  Help denied.  A video blamed.  Nation lied to.  Don't care??)
3949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Chamber of Commerce survey: ObamaCare killing jobs and job creation on: November 14, 2013, 10:41:06 AM
Everyone including our unaware President knows that small business is the driver of jobs and job growth.  Yet...

"When those [businesses] with between 40 and 70 employees were asked about the 50 full-time-equivalent cutoff between having to offer those working at least 30 hours per week health insurance and not having to offer those employees health insurance, a majority plan to ensure they either remain below or drop below that threshold by 2015."

Who knew this would happen??!!
----------------------------------------
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Franchise Association commissioned Public Opinion Strategies to conduct a poll of decision-makers at businesses, both franchise-owned and non-franchise-owned with 40 to 500 employees. The 414 surveyed, representative of the employers of over 25% of the populace and the group of employers most affected by the provisions of ObamaCare, give lie to the administration’s claim that ObamaCare will not negatively affect, and is not already negatively affecting, the job market:

    - Many businesses are already seeing their health care costs increasing because of the law. To cope, 31% of franchise and 12% of non-franchise businesses have already reduced worker hours, a full year before the employer mandate goes into effect.

    - Additionally, 27% of franchise and 12% of non-franchise businesses have already replaced full-time workers with part-time employees. Other cost control methods cited by survey participants included hiring only temporary help and cutting benefits and bonuses.

When those with between 40 and 70 employees were asked about the 50 full-time-equivalent cutoff between having to offer those working at least 30 hours per week health insurance and not having to offer those employees health insurance, a majority plan to ensure they either remain below or drop below that threshhold by 2015.

http://www.uschamber.com/reports/findings-national-research-conducted-among-business-decisionmakers
3950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Conservative Alternative to ObamaCare on: November 14, 2013, 09:53:42 AM
This is a plan we should seriously consider.  Don't 'fix' Obamacare.  Fix what was wrong with health care in the U.S. before Obamacare.  - Doug
--------------------------------------------
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304448204579182203093952642?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

A Conservative Alternative to ObamaCare
To avoid a lurch to the left if the current law fails, the time is right to present sensible, market-oriented reforms.

By Ramesh Ponnuru And Yuval Levin
WSJ Nov. 14, 2013

As ObamaCare's failures and victims mount by the day, Republicans have so far mostly been watching in amazement. They expected the law to fail, but even among its most ardent opponents few imagined the scale and speed of the fiasco.

Seeing the pileup, Republicans might be tempted to step aside and let ObamaCare continue to disappoint and infuriate Americans. After all, the GOP doesn't have the power to repeal the law, or even to make meaningful changes to undo its worst effects. So why not just watch the Democrats pay the price for their folly?

But such passivity would actually protect the Democrats from paying that price. What Republicans can and should do is offer the public something better. Now is the time to advance a conservative reform that can solve the serious, discrete problems of the health-care system in place before ObamaCare, but without needlessly upending people's arrangements or threatening what works in American medicine. That the Democrats are now making things worse doesn't mean the public wants to keep that prior system, or that Republicans should.

The biggest Republican misconception about health care is that the system before ObamaCare was a free-market paradise. On the contrary: It has consisted chiefly of massive and inefficient entitlements that threaten to bankrupt the nation; the lopsided tax treatment of employer-provided coverage that creates incentives for waste and overspending; and an underdeveloped individual market struggling to fill the gaps.

Exploding health-care costs and millions left needlessly uninsured are a result of misguided federal policies. Solutions require targeted reforms to those policies.

The outlines of such reforms have been apparent for years. The key is to enable all Americans to purchase coverage and to approach health care as consumers: with an interest in quality and an eye on cost.

The first step of a plan to replace ObamaCare should be a flat and universal tax benefit for coverage. Today's tax exclusion for employer-provided health coverage should be capped so that people would not get a bigger tax break by buying more extensive and expensive insurance. The result would be to make employees more cost-conscious; and competition for their favor would make insurance cheaper.

That tax break would also be available—ideally as a refundable credit sufficient at least for the purchase of catastrophic coverage—to people who do not have access to employer coverage. This would enable people who now choose not to buy insurance to get catastrophic coverage with no premium costs. It also would give those who want more-comprehensive coverage in the individual market the same advantage that people with employer plans get.

Medicaid could be converted into a means-based addition to that credit, allowing the poor to buy into the same insurance market as more affluent people—and so give them access to better health care than they can get now.

All those with continuous coverage, which everyone could afford thanks to the new tax treatment, would be protected from price spikes or plan cancellations if they got sick. This guarantee would provide a strong incentive to buy coverage, without the coercion of the individual mandate. People who have pre-existing conditions when the new rules take effect would be able to buy coverage through subsidized, high-risk pools.

By making at least catastrophic coverage available to all, and by giving people such incentives to obtain it, this approach could cover more people than ObamaCare was ever projected to reach, and at a significantly lower cost.

The new alternative would not require the mandates, taxes and heavy-handed regulations of ObamaCare. It would turn more people into shoppers for health care instead of passive recipients of it—and encourage the kind of insurance design, consumer behavior and intense competition that could help keep health costs down. Redesigned and directed this way, the flow of federal dollars and tax subsidies would do much less to distort health markets than it has for the last several decades, while getting far more people insured.

Conservative policy experts have long proposed such approaches, but congressional Republicans, with a few honorable exceptions, have not taken them up in recent years. In 2009, for instance, House Republicans offered an alternative to ObamaCare that did nothing about today's market-distorting tax policy and thus did not do much to help the people whom that policy—by inflating premiums—has locked out of the insurance market.

Some Republicans think that political success requires nothing more than watching ObamaCare fail. But if the new system quickly implodes, that would be all the more reason to have an alternative on hand—other than another leftward move toward single payer. And it might not implode so quickly.

Other Republicans fear that any alternative would amount to ObamaCare Lite, just another big government health-care program. But a real market-oriented conservative reform would take us toward an actual functioning consumer market in coverage—and so to the right not only of ObamaCare but of the system that preceded it.

There has also been a fear among some Republicans that proposing an alternative would give Democrats a target and distract the public from the expected and now real failures of ObamaCare. But the absence of a credible alternative has been the GOP's greatest weakness in the fight against ObamaCare, and it is probably why polls show that even many people who are skeptical and concerned about ObamaCare do not support full repeal.

Defenders of ObamaCare are using the absence of a Republican alternative to suggest that their law is the only answer to the grave problems of American health care and that without it millions of Americans would continue to lack access to coverage. That argument is their final trump card. It is time for Republicans to take it away.
Pages: 1 ... 77 78 [79] 80 81 ... 180
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!