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4101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, non-capitalism on: May 30, 2011, 09:16:42 PM
Thanks Andraz,  That was a great reply.  We are very lucky to have one who respects Karl Marx on our Marxism Stalinism thread!

Shifting quickly to where we disagree, or at least where I don't buy Marxism:

"A capitalist is someone who lives off the surplus of someone elses work."

No.  That is false in 2011 (IMO) and I would also say false in 1867 as well.  He or she employs and  CREATES the surplus of another's work.  A capitalist is one who (long sentence coming) accepts and enters a risk/reward relationship investing in a faith in the value of other peoples work and procures the machinery and real estate and research and investment in labor agreements, directs orchestrates, innovates and competes for one thing to secure a reward for his troubles but also as a consequence brings advancement, employment, opportunity, fruits of labor and benefits and security and bread and bacon and retirement dollars, kids racing skis and traveling soccer fees and gas for the family vehicle etc. to everyone he hires, by successfully betting on the success of the others he invests in.  A capitalist is also one who bets wrong, takes on risks and loses.  Then he reverts back to laborer if he can - in a world without a government paying out a thousand and fifty distinct social spending programs making all those choices so much more confusing.

Laborers without capital would be like a roomful of musicians - without instruments, music or a conductor.  

A digger for example has no capability whatsoever without a shovel and no competitiveness or productivity without something something made by Caterpillar or equivalent.  If you want to win contracts burying cable you will need $20,000 for the machine.  If you have that and want to be an independent, you can be the capitalist and the laborer, just like I am in my industry.  If you are strictly a worker and not the capitalist, then you need to hook up with the capital and the capitalist by applying for a job from someone who sees enough reward to choose that business over opening a bakery or a butcher shop etc.

One of the beautiful things is that in a free society, you can switch from laborer to capitalist in less than one lifetime.  We don't have tatoos, piercings or other markings to say which class you are, unless you choose to have one. I used to work at least 2 jobs at a time, tuck away what I could until I could afford to borrow and invest enough to get started and duplicate that success doubling and quadrupling what I had.  Now I work twice as hard and age twice as quickly from the stress.

Show me where capital isn't equally important to labor.  Labor is nothing without capital and capital is nothing without labor.  Even the public sector is loaded with capital and they are NOT any more efficient with it. The balance of power shifts sometimes, mostly to the side of labor as they have more votes.  When the power imbalance is too far off, the excess guarantees and benefits to labor collapse the capital structure until failure sets in for all.

What I learned so far about Marx is that he was more of a philosopher of the human spirit than he was a designer of the specific economic systems falsely attributed to him: "Marxist economy doesn't exist".  To us, a successful Marxist economy may be a fiction, achieving the creative energy of Hollywood or the innovative energy of the old Silicon Valley without the involvement of business owners, venture capitalists, commercial bankers, business brokers, risk capital, mutual funds, excess profits, losses, bankruptcies or capital gains.  To Andraz, perhaps it is something still possible but difficult to design and achieve.  
4102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: May 30, 2011, 04:34:59 PM
"When the farming was state run on state owned lands [in China], the production of rice was minimal. When the lands were turned over to the farmers and they could enjoy the profits from their efforts, amazingly enough the amount of rice produced skyrocketed and the standard of living for these peasants radically improved."

Didn't the Pilgrims discover the same thing in this country early in that venture?

Yet we keep turning back. 

We await the examples of when and where utopia succeeded.
4103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights on: May 30, 2011, 04:28:11 PM
Very funny - I thought it was a parody!

The "chilling possibility" that "Chief Justice John Roberts is one vote short of moving the Supreme Court to a position so conservative on states’ rights that it would be to the right of the Tea Party’s idea of limited government."

NO!  NOT LIMITED GOVERNMENT!!!!  Read into the constitution? by a supreme Court??  Who knew?  grin

Are they not admitting aloud that we now have exactly 5 justices who DON'T see it that way?!

In other words, Presidency 2012 and Senate 2012!  Our constitutional form of limited government is at stake.
4104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar, & Gold/Silver on: May 30, 2011, 03:54:39 PM
Interesting stuff here.  Sorry I missed until now the followup on Robert Mundell's view in Crafty's post a week ago. That was a good catch.  He makes very important, contrarian points.  In all economic issues we have a multitude of different forces pushing and pulling in different directions.  Mundell is far smarter than me and points out an aspect that was not previously addressed here.  Nothing against him personally but to note his perspective, he is a Canadian, working in the US (Columbia) and consults with Europe and China.  It was his work making the Euro possible that won his Nobel, not his previous work designing the Reagan plan.

About the Euro going away (mentioned in the thread), I don't know about that, but if it did go away we would just face the more complicated world we had before, with a separate Deutch Mark, Pound Sterling, Belgian Franc etc. etc.  It seems more logical for Europe to boot out the countries not complying fiscally and economically, than to end the currency.

Former WSJ editor Bartley wrote that he and Milton Friedman used to argue publicly over fixed vs. floating currency acknowledging he took no pleasure being spanked by Milton Friedman, a mentor of his I'm sure. There are good arguments on both sides of this.  Basically a fixed rate eliminates distractions and excuses and force good money supply policies, a floating rate can adjust constantly to balance the real supply and demand forces on the currencies.   Mundell is taking the side of fixed exchange rate between U.S. and Euro, which is consistent with his work making the single currency in Europe possible.  In other words, locking the currencies would eliminate the next quantitative expansion.  In the sense that we don't trust the economic future of Europe and vice versa, I'm not sure I see that wisdom.

We had a friendly argument here recently regarding weak or strong dollar.  Mundell (I think) is saying we need a neutral dollar, which is correct, the only question is how best to get there.

I intuitively disagree with linking a currency to an inferior economy, whichever way that arrow may point, Germany with Greece, etc. or even a post-2012 America with Europe.  If we were Germany, we should boot out Greece, and for Greece I would strive to fixthings and link back to the Deutch Mark or new, improved Euro, like Hong Kong and others have done with the US$.

For the dollar or the U.S. in general, I think I would care less about the Euro and work directly on getting our own house in order. I can't see how there is a sound monetary policy possible in the context of our other problems: unfunded and supersized government alongside our strangulated, private former production capability. 

It is good to be warned by Mundell about how forces now in play could cause deflation and also good to be warned by everything else including our lying eyes about inflation setting in.  These diseases both pose risks for different reasons.

Instead of the shining city on a hill, we seem more like a teetering teeter-totter unbalanced on a two or more sided cliff, with a host of different problems that could easily cause the next fall off the precipice in any one of these directions.  A dearth of energy, the highest corporate taxes on earth, Carter-like individual tax rates coming, complete uncertainty about all taxes, a budget deficit unbalanced by 60% to the tune of a trillion and a half a year, 6 trillion over 4 years?, 50% of us and growing not participating, burning off our food supply as energy but not even start to make up for the real energy production we prohibit - eliminating our biggest export and starving the third world, putting a cap on everything down to exhaling.  Take all that in and devise a plan that keeps our purchasing power constant and our debts honored.  To me it is just a bad joke. 

Mundell alludes to these other problems requiring solutions:  "To supercharge the U.S. recovery, he also recommends permanently extending the Bush tax rates and lowering the corporate income tax rate to 15% from 35%. "

That is far more aggressive than those who call for lowering rates to the OECD average.  I take that to be symbolic of his larger view of economics that none of this gets fixed without restoring growth to the economy. 
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Inflation means too many dollars relative to the supply of goods and services.  Deflation means that demand to too weak to maintain price levels.  If we leave so many things this screwed up for very much longer, how can anyone accurately predict which direction we will fall.
4105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism = Stalinism, not Marxism? on: May 30, 2011, 12:14:03 PM
[False] "implication of Marx with epic failures, ...  Marxism /= Stalinism /= Leninism /= Maosim...."

It seems to me that we could resolve this dispute by referring to the failed, oppressive economic and governmental systems of these failed states as 'Stalinist' rather than socialist, communist or Marxist.  Same goes for describing or warning about any the same moves here and elsewhere toward a more powerful central government and away from the constitutionally limited government we once knew, based on individual liberties explicitly including economic liberties and thankfulness to God.  I, for one, would be happy to start referring to these programs, policies and proposals as Stalinist and quit smearing the confusing and misunderstood work of Karl Marx.

If the real thrust of Marx's work would give us specific insights into how to solve current economic problems, please post.

I can't imagine that the bizarre state of affairs in China today is any closer to Marx's true vision than the other failed examples. (I see GM covered that!)

From the link: "[Marxism] is opposed to the Church because of its restriction of the mind, and to liberalism (the meaning of liberalism in 1961?) because of its separation of society and moral values. It is opposed to Stalinism and Krushchevism, for their authoritarianism as much as their neglect of humanist values."

Earlier in that same chapter: "Marx fought against religion exactly because it is alienated, and does not satisfy the true needs of man. Marx's fight against God is, in reality, a fight against the idol that is called God. Already as a young man he wrote as the motto for his dissertation "Not those are godless who have contempt for the gods of the masses but those who attribute the opinions of the masses to the gods." Marx's atheism is the most advanced form of rational mysticism, closer to Meister Eckhart or to Zen Buddhism than are most of those fighters for God and religion who accuse him of "godlessness."

Why would anyone who is rational fight against other people's religion if it is peaceful and consensual?
4106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: May 29, 2011, 03:13:35 PM
Likewise, that is a nice article.  Judges here generally run unopposed and win with 99+% of the vote, but I agree that having a mechanism available to expose and remove them short of impeachment tends to keep them on track doing the best job they can.

I also like that BD has friends out there opposing both the ABA and the work of Sandra Day O'Connor, no matter the issue.  smiley
4107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - A view from the left on: May 29, 2011, 02:50:35 PM
Covering for a left gap of political thought on the board, I offer the view of Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos fame to tell us what he thinks of Obama's challengers:

http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/markos-moulitas/163049-the-gops-cast-of-clowns


The GOP’s cast of clowns
By Markos Moulitsas - 05/24/11 06:23 PM ET

On Sunday night, Tim Pawlenty released another of his oddball videos, reminding people yet again that he was running for president.

Such periodic reminders aren’t a bad idea, since it only takes 10 minutes for the average person to forget he exists. But at least give him props — he’s actually attempting to be the Bob Dole of 2012 in a year in which nearly all serious Republicans have decided they have better things to do than lose to President Obama.

So rather than a high-caliber presidential field, the Republicans have put together a cavalcade of clowns.

There’s Mitt Romney, granddaddy of Obama’s healthcare plan — the same healthcare plan that base Republicans now consider worse than Hitler. Flip-flopping on the individual mandate is familiar territory for Romney. Remember, he was for a woman’s right to choose before he was against it, he was for gay rights before he wanted them relegated to second-class citizens, he was for the assault-weapons ban before he was against it, he was for raising the minimum wage before he wanted it eliminated, he was for limits on carbon emissions that he now opposes, etc., etc., etc.

And all that flapping around is for naught. The GOP base holds grudges.

Newt Gingrich rolled out his presidential campaign by bashing Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Medicare-killing budget. “I am against ObamaCare imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change,” he proclaimed on a Sunday morning talk show. The resulting howl marked the birth of yet another GOP litmus test — you are either for destroying Medicare, or you are Republican In Name Only. Thus, the architect of the 1994 conservative revolution in the House was declared by Rush Limbaugh (among others) to be a RINO.

Now, after a week of trying to walk back the slam on the Ryan budget, questions about past support for an individual healthcare mandate and something about a $500,000 Tiffany’s bill, Gingrich declared that he will no longer answer “gotcha” questions about anything he’s said or written in the past. As one person quipped on Twitter, “Gingrich thinks his record has fallen ill & he can cleanly divorce it.”

How about Sarah Palin? True, the half-term governor is too lazy to finish anything, but she’s never too lazy to start something. While she’d suffer an epic double-digit loss to Obama in a Mondale-like shellacking, enough of the primary-deciding GOP base adores her. If she runs, she’s a real threat for the nomination. But she won’t. It’s that “lazy” thing.

Jon Huntsman mocked the birthers, has supported an individual mandate, served in the Obama administration, believes in climate change and is Mormon. Good luck with that.

Fox News loves cardboard pizza mogul Herman Cain. Rick Santorum still exists. Gary “Who?” Johnson thinks drug legalization is his ticket. And Ron Paul will collect millions from his fervent fans to win 15 percent of the vote.

Which leaves Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is (don’t snicker) a real threat to win the nomination if Palin stays out. She’ll raise a ton. Has real Tea Party cred. She gets to camp out in next-door Iowa, and will appeal to the kind of people who show up to caucuses. She might be the person who could lose even worse to Obama than Palin, but the GOP primary electorate doesn’t concern itself with “electability.”

Finally, as a reminder, there’s also Tim Pawlenty. Because I’m sure you’d forgotten already.
4108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Huntsman on: May 29, 2011, 02:43:43 PM
Asking the wrong question is a great way to get the wrong answer.

JDN wrote: "Huntsman's ace up the sleeve is his ability to appeal to centrist and independent voters."

BD clarified: " ...  he first has to appeal to Republicans to win the primary." 

  - Absolutely correct.
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McCain is a centrist famous for his moderation.  He actually won the primaries, got to run against the number one far leftist, least experienced senator and lost.  Unique times certainly, but there is more to it.

The question for the Republicans is: Who can win the hearts minds and passions of the conservatives first, AND appeal to the sensible middle of the spectrum.  JDN's ace point assumes (IMO) the conjunction right OR center, really right VERSUS center, when the question is who unites right AND center.

I've been to countless Republican nominating conventions where the contention is stated as conservative principles versus electable centrist and who wins depends on the year and the crowd.  The best candidates of course start with all the core principles of their party or their movement and then take that appeal to the center with persuasion (or obfuscation) rather than abandonment of principles. Reagan on the right and the Obama 2008 campaign on the left are examples.

McCain won the endorsement without winning the hearts and minds of conservatives. He started the general campaign still needing to reach to the right before he could reach to the middle.  Neat trick if you can do it.  Obama left his convention with the left in his hip pocket and only needed to reach to the middle, with reassurances, good endorsements, billion dollar advertising and Greek column, music-filled obfuscation.  When McCain reached back to the right, Obama took the middle and the prize money.

Reagan won by espousing nothing but core principles.  In the general election, twice, all he needed to do was reach into his own heart and explain why he believes what he believes.  When the going got tough coming into 1984, the opponents chose their most highly qualified opponent for him.  Reagan didn't shift down to growth-economy-lite or cold-war-lite to solidify his appeal to the middle.  He stuck with core principles, explained and explained them, and won 49 states.

The assumption from the far-centrists is that conservatives have no choice if the party goes RINO, where we all know centrists can jump ship at the first sign of trouble.  Therefore the RINO is always preferable...  Good luck with that centrist theory in 2012.  After the McCain experience and the countless RINO positions of the 8 year W. Bush Presidency, don't think that people of tea party / fix-these-problems-now passion are going to hold their nose one more time.  The candidate that abandons the right will lose a 2 party fight to this incumbent for certain and more likely would lose in a 3-way fight as their is no chance IMO that the movement we call tea party is going to sit still in '012.
4109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Michele Bachmann on: May 29, 2011, 01:47:07 PM
I watched the Bachmann video at Crafty's link (and have seen her many other times).  Articulate, detailed about a national security issue (and monetary and constitutional issues), speaks mostly without notes or prompter. She is on the Intelligence committee with national security clearance and knowledge, also Financial Services Committee.  Credible with conservatives to give cover for a difficult vote that could spark a tea party challenge.  She appreciates the contention between the national security interest and general opposition to expanded powers.  She explains with enough detail to show why we need these powers to track terrorists.

That said, is Bachmann best suited in a legislative or executive capacity?  If it is executive, that would be without experience running in a room full of governors.  But she is making quite an effective national firestorm right where she is.  

Garfield was elected President from the House - so it is possible.  

Bachmann's appeal is to conservatives. She has limited appeal to independents and none to Democrats IMO.  Probably best suited IMHO right where she is, holding elected Republicans to their promises and their principles.
4110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 27, 2011, 01:22:24 PM
"asked if I was illegal, I could legally and politely say": ...   ninguno de su negocio ??  smiley
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Murder and euthanasia can save the taxpayer money too, wrong criteria and wrong topic.  My point is that discrimination as an accusation is thrown around so loosely that fear of that accusation is both ubiquitous and somewhat meaningless.  

Some indication that you may be from elsewhere (and need documentation) is more like some indication that you were drinking some (also not illegal) but may cause a further look or test for which you have already given 'implied consent'.  The burglary tools in themselves may not be illegal.  As a landlord, those same tools of mine may be in plain view and misconstrued without explanation.

GM explained and that is reasonable, but I also don't like it when they ask me where I am coming from and where I am going either for having a pinhole leak of white light out of a red tail light lens.  Engage in conversation is what they do to look for other things.  I agree with the JDN right to not engage but not necessarily agree its your best strategy.
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"in CA there are a lot of predatory employers, paying illegals less than minimum wage, no benefits, unsafe working conditions, etc.  I have no sympathy for those employers."

  - Agreed, if true, for those obvious cases. In the accusation will be the word 'knowingly' plus they are breaking plenty of other laws.

"Cut off the jobs, and you take away the incentive to be illegal and come to America."

  - No.  Cut off the jobs and the welfare simultaneously, add  real enforcement and they will not come.  Let's lock in at least the agreement we already discovered!

I'm not aware of ever showing identification to get a job.  Of course I haven't gotten one recently either and my local accent is very authentic.  sad   My town in Colo has the illegals problem. The bank there required two forms of photo id to open an account. I never carry a passport and it's expired anyway.  I started out the door and they were willing to lose me as a customer to be consistent on their policy, then I remembered my Vail season pass has a mug on it, and they accepted that.  What did that prove?
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We beat around the bush on immigration.  The problem continues because the executive branch in charge of enforcement doesn't like the law and the opposition party is split about it.  The flagrant business may still exist out there but this isn't overall a private sector issue.  The Arizona enforcement law created a healthy debate.  Still meaningless if the Feds do nothing. Catch and release. The sanctuary city phenomenon is a violation of federal law, harboring and co-conspiring?  The transportation dept. wouldn't nor would any other department or agency accept rogue municipalities failing to follow federal law.  If a law is wrong, unconstitutional or meaningless, repeal it or strike it down, not just selectively ignore it.  Otherwise, enforce it - at all levels.
4111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "No verified instance of harm to groundwater caused by hydraulic fracturing" on: May 27, 2011, 12:13:03 PM
Great post BBG!  The issue of methane escaping is separate from the issue of ground water contamination but perhaps part of the ad hominem attacks against all energy production.  I don't see why methane producers would want methane to escape.  If true perhaps we ne a capture technique, not a ban on production.

Following up to that post and a subject Crafty started with an NY Times series (Feb 27 2011 post over in Energy Politics) attacking the production techniques of natural gas: "Regulations Lax...Tainted Water Hits Rivers".  I read that piece with skepticism.  As with liberal media techniques on other topics, they find a claim with a credible sounding source, in the Ron Bailey piece it was Cornell University, get it into the NY Times and then repeat it across the country before anyone can disprove the negative.  The NYT piece was loaded with question marks and "may do this" and "may do that" and very light or absent of real data or contamination samples.

I followed up with a long, hard-to-follow post March 8, same thread, discrediting the allegations.  Most damning I thought and buried in my post were the specific, actual statements quoted that I copied and pasted out of a pdf and reprinted, where nearly all the state regulatory agencies of nearly all the natural gas producing states denies that this has ever happened in their state. These include all the states referenced in the NY Times hit piece.  Reprinting here with state names and regulatory agencies in bold to be easier to follow and the use of italics is mine. The full letters are at the pdf link.  These are regulatory agencies, not greedy producers, though a liberal source might say there is no difference if they side with business.


"After 25 years of investigating complaints of contamination, DMRM geologists have not documented a single incident involving contamination of ground water attributed to hydraulic fracturing."  - Ohio Department of Natural Resources

After review of DEP's complaint database and interviews with regional staff that investigate groundwater contamination related to oil and gas activities, no groundwater pollution or disruption of underground sources of drinking water has been attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep gas formations.  - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

"we have found no example of contamination of usable water where the cause was claimed to. be hydraulic fracturing."  - New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

"I can state with authority that there have been no documented cases of drinking water contamination caused by such hydraulic fracturing operations in our State."  - STATE OIL AND GAS BOARD OF ALABAMA

"Though hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 50 years in Texas, our records do not indicate a single documented contamination case associated with hydraulic fracturing."  - chief regulatory agency over oil and gas activities in Texas

"There have been no verified cases of harm to ground water in the State of Alaska as a result of hydraulic fracturing."  - Commissioner Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

"To the knowledge of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff, there has been no verified instance of harm to groundwater caused by hydraulic fracturing in Colorado."

"There have been no instances where the Division of Oil and Gas has verified that harm to groundwater has ever been found to be the result of hydraulic fracturing in Indiana."  - Director Indiana Department of Natural Resources

"The Louisiana Office of Conservation is unaware of any instance of harm to groundwater in the State of Louisiana caused by the practice of hydraulic fracturing."

"My agency, the Office of Geological Survey (OGS) of the Department of Environmental Quality, regulates oil and gas exploration and production in Michigan. Hydraulic fracturing has been utilized extensively for many years in Michigan, in both deep formations and in the relatively shallow Antrim Shale formation. There are about 9,900 Antrim wells in Michigan producing natural gas at depths of 500 to 2000 feet. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in virtually every Antrim well.
There is no indication that hydraulic fracturing has ever caused damage to ground water or other resources in Michigan."

"No documented cases of groundwater contamination from fracture stimulations in
Wyoming."

Link again: Hydraulic Fracturing –15 Statements from Regulatory Officials
http://www.hydraulicfracturing.com/Documents/Hydraulic_Fracturing_SGEIS_comments.pdf
4112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 27, 2011, 11:23:10 AM
JDN,  The death penalty is applied to people convicted of heinous crimes in certain jurisdictions, it hits blacks disproportionately and it is labeled discriminatory and racist. (Their victims were disproportionately black as well!)  Abortions paid for by taxpayers hit black babies disproportionately more than 3 times worse than white babies, and they are not labeled discriminatory by the people who put themselves in charge of those labels.  Employee check will hit people of certain ethnicities disproportionately, maybe Hispanic where you are and maybe Somali and Hmong here, but much harder than 4th or 5th generation midwestern Scandinavian Americans for certain.  Applying the law evenly doesn't make the charge go away.

Employers are not the enforcement arm of the federal government and don't need more burdens.  IMO they should supply and submit to the federal immigration authorities any information that the feds require of them for each applicant or employee.  Then the Feds have the responsibility to act on the information, come out and arrest and deport if they were serious about their job.  Simply turning away English challenged, medium skinned people with lousy documentation from work to welfare is no solution in my view.

The same rules that are applied to employers to pay someone should apply to all agencies of government and welfare.  How is it legal to pay out or take money for doing nothing but illegal to work and earn it?  I will need that explained to me.
4113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The electoral process, vote fraud: MN Voter ID Bill with 80% Support Vetoed on: May 27, 2011, 10:57:43 AM
I would like to put this under progressivism but we already have a category for voter fraud.  Voter ID is a very important issue here brought to light in the Al Franken recount because it is illegal in a recount not to count again all the illegal votes that were cast.  As I wrote in my first post in this thread, when ACORN block workers tried to drag me in against my will to vote in South Minneapolis where I did not live, they had people on the block already setup to vouch for me.  No identification, pre-registration or anything else is required. Unlike the questioning techniques used by Israeli El Al airlines, MN election judges use an on-site registration scrutiny technique called Minnesota-nice.   Ballots are available in English, Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, and people who will vouch for you are standing by.
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New MN Governor vetoes Voter ID bill.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/05/029110.php
John Hinderacker at Powerline:

In 2010, control over Minnesota's government flipped: Republicans captured both the Minnesota House and Senate, while Democrat Mark Dayton replaced Tim Pawlenty as governor. The Republican legislature passed legislation to reform the state's voting system, in part by requiring photo identification. The law provided for issuance of free voter IDs to any legitimate voters who, for whatever reason, have no driver's license or other form of identification. Minnesotans, aware that voter fraud has likely played a key role in recent elections, overwhelmingly support the law: the Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll, which routinely tilts left, found 80 percent support.

Nevertheless, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill yesterday. That a Democratic governor is willing to fly in the face of overwhelming public opinion, even as he is fighting a budget battle with the legislature that likely will lead to a slowdown in state government, says volumes about where the Democratic Party stands on the issue of voter fraud.

In 2008, Minnesota Republicans were traumatized by the Coleman-Franken race, which Al Franken eventually won by a few hundred votes. National attention focused on the recount, which was scrupulously fair. The problem was that, as with any recount, all you can do is count for a second time the votes that were cast illegally on election day. I have no doubt that more legal voters voted for Norm Coleman than Al Franken, but once the ballots are in the box, there is nothing that can be done. Hence the urgency of the voter ID law.

Until now, Minnesota has had lax laws that facilitate voter fraud. Not only does the state have same-day registration, there is also an absurd system whereby a resident of a precinct can "vouch" for as many as 15 people who are not registered in the precinct and have no identification that would otherwise allow them to register. This means that the Democrats can station an operative at a polling place, bus in students from Wisconsin, illegal immigrants, etc., and allow them to vote illegally by having their operative vouch for the whole busload.

For many years, Republicans have been trying to tighten up Minnesota's voting laws to prevent voter fraud. But they have never been able to get such a bill through the legislature, since the DFL has controlled the state's Senate since Senate races were first made partisan. This year, for the first time, the Republicans are in a position to carry out the will of the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans by reforming an electoral system that is designed to encourage fraud. The fact that the Governor Dayton felt compelled to veto those reforms confirms that voter fraud remains a significant component of the Democratic Pary's electoral strategy.
4114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Energy Policy: USA is the 44th freest country in the world on: May 27, 2011, 10:29:07 AM
"Oil Traders sued by Feds"
  - That should help the supply of oil... (sarc.)
------------------------------------------------
I wonder if Michelle Obama again has never before been this proud to see our country ranked 44th freest in the world for oil production, unable to keep up with freedom bastions like Angola ranked 18th:

"It is almost as if the United States deliberately wanted to be more dependent on foreign oil. Consider that while the World Economic Forum rates the U.S. 4th in its ranking of the world's most competitive economies, it would rank far down the list if the WEF were to look at the competitiveness of the oil and gas industry in isolation. A proprietary ranking of political and investment risk for oil and gas by IHS's Petroleum Economics and Policy Solutions unit places the U.S. 44th, below several African nations such as Angola, which is ranked 18th. As an IHS analyst observes, in the U.S. "there is the constant threat of adverse contract or fiscal regime changes at both the state and federal levels of government. None of these threats or business risks is present in Angola." "
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/05/029102.php
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What kind of economic OR security strategy involves decades of blocking the energy production needed to power our economy.  It isn't just taxes and debt that are killing us, and these are self-inflicted wounds.
4115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy: Marginal rates back up to 58% federal, 62% to 70% combined on: May 26, 2011, 06:15:01 PM
Crafty,  Your discrepancy point is right, but so is this point of yours: "the fundamental point about the cumulative effect of the various taxes, current and proposed, in the present environment is profound."

First off, I think the regulatory environment is even worse than the taxes coming, but let's stay with taxes here.  The pre-Reagan / Stagflation top tax rate was 70% federal PLUS the state rates.  Almost no one paid at that rate as they would rather sit on their cash, adjust behavior, buy munis or buy gold, rather than give most of all gains to the government.

Stephen Moore in the piece shows how the federal rate under existing proposals will hit 58% (not 62% or 70%), then he figures 4% for the average state and local tax rates.  You and I live in places where 4% doesn't come close to covering the highest state tax rates that are coming.  Here we are having the same surcharge the rich argument simultaneous with the federal argument so that combined figure will easily get to 70% if the tax hikers prevail at both levels.

Still we are comparing an apple with ...most of an apple.  We are not at Jimmy Carter's 70% federal tax rate,  but we also aren't competing in a 1970s global economy either. These rates coming might be more harmful than Carter's rates were then. Capital and labor are for more mobile today.  Jobs and plants pick up and move often and easily, and tax rates elsewhere have gotten far more competitive in response to the Reagan revolution.

Not lecturing to you Crafty who already knows all this, but to anyone who will listen... 70% tax either for total rate or at the federal level alone is a major disincentive to produce.  Robert Mundell, architect of the Reagan plan, called the existing marginal tax rates then: "asphyxiating" (to kill or make unconscious through inadequate oxygen).  Maybe worse now.  Think of it as a tax per mile for driving.  The exact rate doesn't matter after you get past the point where nobody is going anywhere.

I mentioned previously a friend who has started 3 successful companies from scratch and sold the latest one, with a thousand employees, for an amazing sum recently.  We were having the tax-the-rich conversation with friends who also know him while our new governor is trying to put another 3% surcharge onto the rich at the state level.  One friend (not even a liberal) said, what the hell difference does it make to so and so if he has to pay a little more (while sitting on untold millions)(the focus is always on the difference, not the total).  I said back that while he is pointing to the direct tax cost, he is ignoring the much more damaging disincentive effect.  There aren't that many people who are ready, willing andable to build a new thousand person, billion dollar company from scratch, and everyone there knows this guy is capable of it and young enough to do it again.  Why would he and why should he do it again as we throw ever increasing barriers, roadblocks and regulations at him and then, if it should succeed in spite of all that, we let him keep very little of the reward for the capital risked and the enormous burden undertaken.  At some point in the disincentives of taxation and regulation he will choose the status quo and make do very comfortably with what he has, as most investors are already doing.  Who loses in that scenario?  Not him, he is set.  Who loses is the next thousand people whose jobs never get created and the chain affect that has on our region and on our economy with each of those people who would have lived more affluently, spent more, hired their own help and invested more in the economy.

I don't know how to get this through the resistance of a liberal, a moderate or even about half of the conservatives, but you can not design a tax on the rich that is not a tax on yourself, on your own family and neighbors and on the economy as a whole.  It is all interconnected. That tax on the rich is really levied on all of us, not just the rich, and the damage is impossible to measure when the effect of it is to cause something extremely positive not to happen that otherwise would have occurred, including amazing wealth creation and thousands of jobs in one case and literally tens of millions of jobs across the economy.
4116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: May 26, 2011, 03:06:49 PM
"Does anyone know if this forum has a "Poll" function?   I'd love to see a vote on who is "winning" this conversation!"
-------
VERY interesting points revealed on both sides of this argument.

The truth IMO, in just this one case, is somewhere in between the extremes.  We aren't about to legalize meth level dangers and we don't need to lock and throw away the key on Grandpa for honestly helping Grandma. I propose a compromise.  If you are terminally ill with less than a year to live, you can smoke anything you want.  But at the end of the year, unlike the released and Lockerbie bomber, you have to keep your part of the bargain.

I believe (stated previously) that the casual and safe user of mild and relatively accepted substances will be far better served with decriminalization than with legalization which would most certainly be accompanied with a complete government takeover - enforced with criminal penaltiues.  The user whose odor permeated the hallway should learn to efficiently operate a one-hitter.  And weatherstrip that door; your heat and AC are getting out too.   smiley
4117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 26, 2011, 01:52:31 PM
"Just like those monsters that think only Americans should vote in American elections."

We are halfway there.  Did we not just grant them all representation in the 2010 census?

http://www.city-data.com/forum/illegal-immigration/809069-senate-rejected-2010-census-citizenship-question.html

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/censusandstatistics/a/censusandaliens.htm
"Why the Census Should Count Illegal Aliens
    A Matter of Money
Not counting illegal aliens costs cities and states federal money, resulting in a reduction of services to all residents. The census count is used by Congress in deciding how to distribute more than $400 billion annually to state, local and tribal governments. The formula is simple: the greater the population your state or city reports, the more federal money it might get."  [And representation"
4118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Path Science: Japan, along with Germany and China, rejects Climate Change on: May 26, 2011, 01:37:18 PM
A 600 year earthquake has had its direct nuclear radiation death toll reduced to 0 out of 20,000 total earthquake/tsunami deaths, so out go all new nuclear plans and several existing ones in favor of the much 'more safe'  huh greenhouse gas based fossil fuel combustion.  

That policy shift alone in one island country will add 7 TRILLION more pounds (350 billion tons)of CO2 per year into the atmosphere.

What could possibly go wrong with that?


http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/05/18/fukushima-open-thread-6/
http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2011/05/updated_analysis_the_costs_of_canceling_japans_plans_for_nuclear_power.shtml
-------------

CCP, The Muller piece is very interesting.  He covers both sides fairly well.  No question there was some warming.  No question there is some human component in it. And no question that there are other factors, known and unknown, and no question our ability to measure any of it is flawed.  No question that previous accounts were exaggerated.  If his is the first reliable data, that isn't much data.  Unfortunately, for the umpteen hundredth time, I read through an entire 'scientific' climate change pdf with glorified headlines to find no answer to the two burning questions: how much was the warming and what component of it was human caused.

Cherry picking, I found this: " if we cut back and China continues to grow and India continues to grow [and they will], our cutting back will not achieve any real good."

(See the first half of the post, other countries are NOT cutting back.)

I will be more impressed when some scientist gets both the climate science and the economics of it right.  Cap trade and every other artificial mechanism to get energy prices up and energy use down here will move manufacturing to India, China and all other places outside our jurisdiction.  It already has.  Instead of doing no measurable good, while destroying our economy, these laws do no good at all, and Muller, give him credit, admitted it.

The answer to replace fossil fuels will come, most likely, from private sector innovation, like most other major technological developments.  I would argue that allowing the private sector to re-energize robustly is the solution, not the problem.  When energy prices go up for real instead of artificially, an economic alternative solution will emerge, It always does.  We will solve this better from a position of economic strength instead of desperation, IMO.
4119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: May 26, 2011, 12:45:41 PM
"If you require on a state level, proof of legal status for employment or government goodies, you'll see many illegals self-deport."

GM, If we had a rule like that and applied it evenly to all employers, all employees and all applicants, wouldn't that be discriminatory?   wink
4120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Chrysler SUVs saved the co. on: May 26, 2011, 12:42:37 PM
"Obama plans to make this “success” (auto bailouts) a centerpiece of his 2012 campaign"

BBG, maybe his fund raisers can be called Cash for Clunkers...
------------

http://detnews.com/article/20110524/MIVIEW/105240374/Payne--SUVs-saved-Chrysler

"But there is one inconvenient truth you won't hear ... Chrysler wouldn't be here had it not defied its green White House masters. Chrysler's return to profitability is a direct result of the fabulous success of its SUVs.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110524/MIVIEW/105240374/Payne--SUVs-saved-Chrysler#ixzz1NTuNqtlB
4121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: May 26, 2011, 12:26:27 PM
I love that joke! From the more liberal jurisdictions I thought the ending would be that he got the ticket for driving a pickup truck.
4122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: May 26, 2011, 12:01:50 PM
Crafty wrote: "... just what are the standards for determining the line between state and federal responsibility in this sort of thing?"

I would add that charity and neighborly assistance used to be the norm.

During Katrina, the US Coast Guard helicopters flew from rooftop to rooftop until there was no one left to rescue.  I do not know of any purse tightening, scary conservative who opposes that type of use of federal resources.

Monday morning after our tornado I bought a chain saw with my 'self-insurance settlement' and began cutting a path to get a ladder to a roof to start rebuilding.  Nowhere else within sight or earshot had work begun within 24 hours of the twister.  The work that began was to see office dressed people wandering through with clipboards and cameras preparing their cases for third party pay.  

I was impressed to see our postal carrier climb through the debris between homes right on schedule.  He told me the mayor and councilman were on the block (safely above the damage).  Mark me down as a cynic and a skeptic, but they weren't looking for survivors or helping people dig out of their homes; it was a photo opp to begin the case for federal emergency assistance. http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2127500.shtml?cat=1

When is it federal, when is it state, when is it local, when is it private, when is it charity, when do neighbors pull together and lend a hand ... there is no easy answer or criteria but when we are talking about money and checks after the fact, rather than equipment emergency and manpower to save lives, there will be pork, waste and fraud within those funds. Discussing that should not be off-limits.  The 'quote' under Cantor's picture is not what he said.  The "Duh" that the writers put to "priority" apparently don't know the meaning of that word.  You put a priority AHEAD of something else, not just with everything else. The further away the money comes from the more abuse I would expect to find.  I couldn't help but ponder from my roof with helicopters for gawkers circling, where is my bailout?  So I took the free bottle of water that the Salvation Army tossed up.  (It was the electricity, not the water, that was off.)

North Minneapolis may be near blight now, but when these neighborhoods were built 90 years ago, homes were built solid - with basements well below frostline.  No comparison to Joplin with a type 5, but only 4% of tornadoes are stronger than what cut right through this major metro, yet no one who was able to take cover in their homes and basements was killed.  

Like the argument of smaller efficient cars taking the brunt in a crash, the feds will pay you to build homes with energy star ideas like in floor heat instead of basements with no consideration for where to take caver when the storm hits.  

I can't tell the shame I feel when the Minnesota politicians petition the federal government for cold weather assistance.  Who knew about cold weather?  But in winter it is our turn to dip into the sugar jar if we are going to pay the rest of the year for hurricane damages to people who build in hurricane zones, earthquake funds to people who live on fault lines, tornado assistance to people who build to in 'tornado alley', flood payments to people who build in the flood plain, etc etc.

Horrific in Joplin are the deaths IMO, not the property damage no matter how devastating.  Money after the fact does not bring the deaths back to life and Cantor did not say no federal money. I'm sure no one yet knows what part of this loss is insured.  $3 billion to Washington is a rounding error and who says the feds should pay all of it and why is not okay to question in Washington whether that will be a priority, putting it ahead of something else, or a debt or mini-QE that we will never repay.

Mpls damage estimated at a couple hundred million dollars means that 0.000001 of total assets in MN were wiped out, most of it insured.  That is not something that that a local community could not absorb or rebuild - at least if not for the $44 billion/yr MN already sends to the federal government alone.   JMHO.
4123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: May 25, 2011, 11:19:19 AM
"Justice Kennedy's opinion included an array of anecdotes regarding prison conditions in California, where "as many as 54 prisoners may share a single toilet" "

  - I don't have time to study a case now, but that sounds like the foundation of a solid argument ...  to fund an additional toilet.  How does a factual statement have the words "as many as"..."may" in it?
4124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Tim Pawlenty on: May 24, 2011, 11:43:28 AM
Tim Pawlenty announced he was turning against ethanol supports - in Iowa - yesterday, announcing support for raising the retirement age - in Florida - today, and unveiling his plans on financial reforms - on Wall Street - tomorrow. 

Courage to Stand.

What did O'bama/Biden/Pelosi/Reid get done this week?
4125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 24, 2011, 11:30:56 AM
"China has warned that an “attack” on Pakistan will be taken as an attack on China"

Just thinking aloud here, but maybe we can cut out the middle man.
4126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 24, 2011, 11:28:11 AM
"where do you start in negotiations with these people?"

From a position of strength.  Giving what they want before negotiations and weakening yourself is no place to start.

"And while they are despicable, so are regimes in North Korea, Iran, et all and we do negotiate with them.  Why are Hamas different?"

On trade, we took opposite paths with China and Cuba; neither strategy delivered change inside the repressive regimes.  Note that N.K. has nukes and Iran wields regional power and energy power.  Nothing went well enough in any other example to risk destruction of an ally. The ones who would risk destruction of Israel don't consider it an ally.  Obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth so I have no idea what his real view of Israel is.  Mentioned already was that the Palestinian leaders of terror are elected leaders, which takes quick fixes like deposing or regime change off the table, until it comes from within.

"Ignoring the Hamas obviously isn't going to work either."

What does Israel want from them, other than to stop attacking.  Has any previous gift / giveback of land stopped the attacks? (No.)

What I don't get is why all the focus from Obama for a certain failure, does he think he is on the brink of a breakthrough? Is his strategy so deep, clever and well-thought out that no one sees it?  Judging his performance in other areas like our economy, energy supply, budget deficit, etc. I would say no. Was he wishing for the public lecture on Israeli survival he received from Netanyahu as part of some larger strategy or thinking Bibi would roll over when the cameras were on? Quite a naive and stupid misjudgment unless I am missing something.  What point is there in making Israel look bad for choosing survival over destruction?
----
Crafty already asked: "a) Why was this speech sprung upon the Israelis?  Why did BO not give N. a heads up with sufficient time for some backchannel communications? b) What the hell does "contiguous" mean in this context?  That Gaza and the West Bank will be connected?!?..."
----

Great question regarding contiguous! Someone please post Obama's ultimate peace map... seriously, with survival, not just an Jewish-Israeli graveyard.

Per capita income for Palestinians is about $1100 in real purchasing power.  For Israel that is close to $30,000?? (http://palsolidarity.org/2010/01/10761/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Israel)  Failed state vs. free society.  That looks to me like the place to start.  Maybe thinking outside the box, our leader with all his deep thinking advisers could suggest some humanitarian path for advancement and self sufficiency along these lines instead of just the endless quest for land grab and terror support.

I would think a 10 year waiting period after all the countries in the region drop their destruction of Israel platform and after the last missile is fired on them would be reasonable before we even ask Israel to negotiate or offer concessions.

Has our current leader with his immense knowledge of history ever explicitly articulated what a good thing it is that the bloody tyrant who paid $25,000 per suicide bombing is gone?
--------
"How do you negotiate with someone who stated purpose is serve as Allah's servant by killing you and yours?"

Why wouldn't those people be more comfortable inside an Arab or Muslim land  instead of living with their most hated enemy and waging eternal war.  Why not have American push that direction, while supporting the survival of Israel, our ally.  'Crazy talk.'
4127  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: May 24, 2011, 12:07:39 AM
Amen to that BD. Worst in 60 years...

Nothing like Joplin MO, but yesterday was my first tornado ever as a property owner - Minneapolis was hit hard also. God Bless my tenants who ran for to their basements and found safety while the funnel ran through.  I have some cleanup to do, these are 2 story homes buried in debris with pieces of the homes knocked off.  Streets closed, schools closed, all wires down, power off, helicopters circling and 9pm curfew. It wasn't looting at the liquor store where the whole top blew off according to the owner they were taking the bottles out on the honor system when he got there. Lots of photos today but it looks about like this in every direction:
4128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: May 22, 2011, 06:35:39 PM
Among the short short list of people who know more about the security of Israel than Pres. Obama, this is Gene Simmons of Kiss: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/05/21/kiss_gene_simmons_obama_has_no_fing_idea_what_the_world_is_like.html
4129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation: Silver Dollar Irony, Nothaus v. Bernanke on: May 22, 2011, 06:02:29 PM
This could go in the thread of very bad humor or WTF...

Via Powerline: "Our friend Seth Lipsky wasn't able to make it to the press conference, but he took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to pose four questions for Bernanke. Here is the third of the four questions Seth served up:" (all 4 are linked below)

    Mr. Chairman, last month a federal jury in North Carolina convicted a man named Bernard von NotHaus of counterfeiting U.S. coins. His medallions, which he called "Liberty Dollars," were made of silver. When he sold them he was getting about $20 for a medallion containing an ounce of silver, and now the coin is worth nearly twice that amount in U.S. dollars.

    Yet the dollars you issued back when Mr. von NotHaus was in business have plunged in value to but a fraction of the silver or gold they were worth when you issued them. Mr. von NotHaus may be going to jail for years, and yet here you are. I don't mean to suggest in any way that you broke any law, but how do you feel about this situation?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703778104576286813887619884.html
4130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Herman Cain on Fox News Sunday on: May 22, 2011, 05:56:12 PM
I tuned in at the awkward moment described at the first link where Cain appeared to not know what Chris Wallace meant by 'right of return' in the Israel-Palestinian issue.  Wallace jumped back in to elaborated as he was not looking for a gotcha moment to advance his career (unlike Gibson, Couric with Palin) and since there is more than one right of return issue possible.  Cain still looked a bit lost for details.

On Afghanistan, I have previously appreciated his point about people without all the information second guessing the war effort and strategy.  However... running for Commander in Chief, communicator in chief, he should have plenty to say about goals, decision criteria, etc. for a question about America's longest running war.

Did anyone see the entire interview?

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/herman-cain-i-would-offer-palestinians-nothing-for-peace-they-dont-want-peace/
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/05/22/herman_cain_would_offer_palestinians_nothing_in_peace_deal.html
4131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bin Laden dead on: May 22, 2011, 02:34:19 PM
I am skeptical of that story.  Could involve elements of truth and new discovery of facts but seems unlikely that they and no one else know the whole story.  Let's see if the embassy snitch gets the reward.

"Clinton made sure that the vice president was made aware of the situation."

For one thing, I don't think the players on the inside would screw around much with the secrecy set up for the operation, other than Obama who has the power to declassify anything and choose who knows.  Regarding the role of Valerie Jarret, I believe Obama sought political advice when he needed to sleep on it and then approved it with no operational follow up.  Maybe his most trusted adviser is Jarret.  I just don't believe one freelance journalist, if he knows the Pak or Afghan embassy story that is completely new, would also be first to know and tell the whole story inside the west wing story - with all the behind the scenes details.

"Too bad she's not President versus Obama...."

 - Very sad that out of 300 million Americans that Obama, H.Clinton and McCain were the last 3 people standing for that position.  (People, get involved earlier in the process!)

If enough people inside Pakistan knew OBL's whereabouts, how could Obama know he had months to sit still on the information and then strike with complete surprise?  The CIA sets up a safe house in the neighborhood, within view(?), where home visits by military police are routine, and no one in Pakistan knew that either??...

The courier story makes more sense to me.  OBL had more than 30 tapes delivered to the media, with delays and safeguards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videos_and_audio_recordings_of_Osama_bin_Laden  I'm sure we were at least trying to track the movement of those from the first one.  Interesting that bin Laden was denying his involvement in the released tapes but proved his involvement in one that American forces found:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/july-dec01/video_12-13a.html  I think we will be waiting longer than the JFK assassination to get the whole story.  Be patient.

BTW, does anyway believe that the trusted couriers were sneaking porn into the compound for themselves, without bin Laden's approval?  The villains of the Batman series were more authentic than this fraudulent religious freak.
4132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 21, 2011, 11:03:17 AM
We could have gov't get the hell out of healthcare and let the free market price it. I know, just crazy talk.....   rolleyes

That would solve it, but for some reason we can't.
4133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential, Recent college grads sour on Obama, surveys say on: May 21, 2011, 11:02:00 AM
Regarding race baiting of conservative blacks and sexism against conservative women:  Yes of course this happens-- but my sense of things is that the rubber band on this sort of excrement is about to snap back-- people are getting fed up with this crap and Bachman and Cain are ideally suited to be the tip of the spear on this IMHO.

You make a good point.  Also for the next year Republicans will be judged by the field of candidates, not the nominee.  Nothing looks more stereotypical than having 12-16 white guys on the stage for a year, all wearing the same suit, same tie, same age, same background, and saying the same things.

Obama's dual base of rich elitist whites along with the unproductive inner city vote of all colors is mostly not going to switch teams; they've just lost enthusiasm because the expectation of getting big results for doing nothing is gone.  The ground game in the inner city is still ACORN, the anti-capitalism, pro-big-government and welfare rights organization but under a new name.  They will be supporting leftism over color.  Likewise for the ground game within academia, teachers union etc.

A ray of hope with young voters: http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/20110520/pl_dailycaller/recentcollegegradssouronobamasurveyssay;_ylt=Ase0UH_am0IDPFioAHCKdJSyFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTNtaDU5ajA0BGFzc2V0A2RhaWx5Y2FsbGVyLzIwMTEwNTIwL3JlY2VudGNvbGxlZ2VncmFkc3NvdXJvbm9iYW1hc3VydmV5c3NheQRwb3MDMTUE

Recent college grads sour on Obama, surveys say

A very large proportion of recent university graduates have soured on President Barack Obama, and many will vote GOP or stay at home in the 2012 election, according to two new surveys of younger voters.

“These rock-solid Obama constituents are free-agents,” said Kellyanne Conway, president of The Polling Company, based in Washington, D.C. She recently completed a large survey of college grads, and “they’re shopping around, considering their options, [and] a fair number will say at home and sit it out,” she said.

The scope of this disengagement from Obama is suggested by an informal survey of 500 post-grads by Joe Maddalone, founder of Maddalone Global Strategies. Of his sample, 93 percent are aged between 22 and 28, 67 percent are male and 83 percent voted for Obama in 2008. But only 27 percent are committed to voting for Obama again, and 80 percent said they would consider voting for a Republican, said New York-based Maddalone.

That’s a drop of almost 60 points in support for Obama among this influential class of younger post-grad voters,
------

The challenge as posed in the first paragraph is to get a significant portion of these people who are tempted to sit out converted over to pro-growth, limited government conservatism.  If they just sit out a cycle, Republicans could win this one by default, but the seesaw battle of stagnation, hating incumbents and getting nothing good accomplished continues.
4134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Bachmann, Cain on: May 20, 2011, 06:07:01 PM
One point IMO with Bachmann-Cain is that it is upset down.  He is the executive.

I have defended Bachmann plenty, mostly because she is criticized so strongly.  She is smart and conservative but a bit of a lightning rod for liberals and independents who hate and distrust anyone or anything far right.  A few gaffes along the way, but has done plenty of good for the conservative cause.  Her opponents for her congressional seat keep underestimating her as she keeps winning reelection against huge liberal money in Minnesota's most conservative district, the so-called x-urbs, a ring across the northern metro and outward.

GM is right on both counts.  Cain somehow gets no credit for being black and hugely successful because he is a conservative.  Bachmann, like Palin, is a freak to ordinary liberal to independent women for raising so many children and having conservative views especially in education.

She is somewhat self-appointed as a tea party leader.  I like Marco Rubio's explanation of not joining that legislative group.  Paraphrasing: the tea party by definition is the grass roots leading the elected officials, not the other way around.  Taking that distinction further, I would say that Rubio with a million vote win in a key swing state is an example of attracting people to the movement, while Bachmann is well liked I think only by people who are already very conservative.  Bachmann could not similarly be elected to the senate in Minnesota.

For Bachmann, not brilliant, but the smartest person in the room in this youtube committee hearing clip with Barney Frank presiding and Bachmann questions Bernanke and Geithner about the constitutionality of all the tarp funds and federal bailouts of non-financial institutions.  Bernanke at least had an answer.  Geithner is a blathering idiot and Barney Frank's talk at the end is beyond words.:
4135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 20, 2011, 12:57:00 PM
It makes some sense, but being the smartest guy in the room doesn't help if no one can follow you.

In the 90s, his opponents wrongly took his words 'whither on the vine', a statement about some antiquated bureaucracy, to make it look like a death sentence for all seniors.  It worked because he had already been painted as enemy of the women, children and the elderly.  This is different.  It was his allies who blew their fuse.   It worked because conservatives are already skeptical about his conservatism.

The clarification is wonkish and vague.  "My plan will... "  I'm sure he will have his own specific plan for us to judge the merits.  Like Romney, he is still talking about increased government involvement in health care and producing sound bites for Republican opponents.  He has been in close contact with Paul Ryan for 4 years.  If he is the leader of this movement, where was plan then to show the public when Washington was deeming PelosiObamaCare passed and ramming it down our throats?

If Newt ran a perfect campaign and hit all the right notes on every issue with every group, he still faced an insurmountable problem IMO.  As a loose cannon, drawing questions on himself and alienating friends, GM unfortunately has this about right.
4136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 20, 2011, 12:13:10 PM
From the Newt discussion, thanks CCP, this is worth pursuing here:

Newt:"Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it"

CCP: Good point.  There is no easy answer to this.
...
CCP: People don't get insurance because they can't pay for it, can't get it (preexisting condition), or take a chance.

But all these groups know they can show up in an ER and they will get treated.
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Above on this thread page, Lawrence Tribe put it this way (in a BD post):  "Individuals who don’t purchase insurance they can afford have made a choice to take a free ride on the health care system."
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I feel bad about posting my honest and accurate reaction to Tribe/BD: ("Bullsh*t") because that seemed to end the discussion, but as one healthy self-employed person with enough assets to be disqualified from state plans who now has lapse in coverage, I can say that none of the above is the reason.  In fact, the Republican counter-proposal to Obamacare of last year would have solved my problem, but Dems are not going to allow any partial fixes to pass while Utopia is pending in court.

I paid almost 20 years of major medical coverage when I went self-employed without receiving an insurance dime paid out toward my health care.  Now I desperately want to be covered again but can't find any plan to fit my need.  My illiquid assets are my coverage.  Yes I will be treated in any emergency room or any other medical facility and it will be FEE FOR SERVICE just like it was when I was covered and just like it is for ever other product or service I procure in the economy almost anywhere in the world.  That does not make me a leach on society.  I will be paying the bill.  Not Prof. Tribe or anyone else. 

I am victim of the 12 cent rule.  My experience is that every dollar 100% of every healthcare product and service I have procured was paid by me out of my pocket and watched like a hawk, in addition to the tens of thousands I paid in premiums.  But I pay 100% in a world where everyone else is paying only 0.12 of every dollar of service and don't give a rip what it costs.

Third party pay is the problem, not the solution.  I would LOVE to pay fair market value for medical services I can afford and medical coverage beyond what I can afford, but that would be beyond the value of any bond that Newt would require.
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When mandatory car insurance started, we also had the option of posting 'bond' up to minimum coverage in lieu of sharing risk with worse drivers.  That alternative should have been 'post assets of your choosing' - in a free society - and furthermore that partial freedom provision quietly went away once people became acclimated with mandatory insurance.


4137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential, Rick Perry continued on: May 20, 2011, 11:22:32 AM
From 'The Way Forward' April 21, 2010,  Freki: "I am from Texas and I don't like Perry.  He is a POLITICIAN = weasel.  I do not trust him.  I am a conservative and I did not vote for him in the primary.  If he gets the Republican nomination for Pres he will be better than a liberal but I would classify him as a progressive republican.  Voter beware.  IMHO  - Freki
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Commentators are observing that Rick Perry is saying he is out but acting like he is in.  The weasel/politician comment is consistent with that.  There aren't many big names or big state, multiple term Governors left to enter. 

I wrote that I would support our former gov. Pawlenty as conservative enough and possibly electable, but many MN conservatives dislike him and say similar things to Freki's comments on Perry.  I've also shared the story that I was wearing his conservative opponent's sticker on my lapel when I first met him.  OTOH, Pawlenty was house majority leader at the time, won that election and reelection and got things done, like fighting off further moves to the left in the land of 10,000 taxes.  His conservative primary opponent was an outsider, a common sense businessman who got painted early as the scary extremist in the race, not by Pawlenty but by the media and by association.

From Freki or anyone, looking for more details and examples on Perry.  The politician thing is only partly a negative for this job, someone has to do it  wink and the weasel is a clever and successful creature able to prey on animals larger than themselves... 

Texas seems to be the leading state in the nation now after California fell off the edge.  The deadline for a serious campaign I'm guessing is probably early Sept.  If Perry gets in, it could be with a steamroller of momentum.  The more informed we are when it happens, the better off we will be.
4138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 20, 2011, 10:20:49 AM
"The way I remember it the Gingrich Congress exercised control over Clinton spending, cornered him into a major welfare reform, cut the capital gains tax rate, and ran a budget surplus"
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All true, and more. Obviously the electoral success of 1994 was based on his vision and direct leadership.  The hemisphere wide free trade agreement (Reagan's vision) was an accomplishment of Clinton with the majority of Republicans and a minority of Dems while Newt was whip.  The capital gains cut was hugely important in the economic growth that employed the nation and balanced the budget, overcoming the slow growth of Clinton's earlier tax hike.  Welfare reform brought pride to the inner city and temporarily changed the direction of the role of government.  Also the telecom deregulation act of 1996 spurred phenomenal growth in conjunction with a friendlier investment environment.  Reelection of those congresses 5 times (even after Gingrich) bolster the point of his success.  The ethics charges forcing him out I believe proved to be bogus and unfair, like what Palin faced after drawing attention in Alaska.

If the Presidential race comes down to who has done the most so far for the conservative movement, Gingrich has already won and there is no second place.  If he is the nominee, I am his supporter.

Jay Cost, not talking about Gingrich, says the party is seeking conservative, authentic and exciting.  Gingrich is now trying to prove he is still conservative.  He has problems with authenticity.  The excitement he is stirring unfortunately is from Democrats.  He quickly clarified and reversed the remarks made Sunday, but damage is already done (and it isn't the first time).  http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/05/19/gingrich-will-star-in-democrats-anti-ryan-medicare-attacks According to [Dem] party sources, they plan to use Gingrich's assault on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's plan in a bid to knock down every Republican who voted for it, and every Republican voted for it.

Figuring out Newt's positions is too hard.  I still see him now as more of a strategy and policy guy behind the scenes than as the candidate and the face of the movement.  (I prefer lower key and less excitement, but I'm the midwesterner here.) You can't govern effectively with high disapprovals.  You can't lead effectively without building up your teammates.  You can't win the general election without support from independents, and for sure you don't win by splitting the conservative movement.

His openness for ideas in the American Solutions project was extremely admirable.  Maybe I am too early on this but I say the time for brainstorming is over.  It is time to tell us what you came up with - in crystal clear clarity.

Here he is explaining the Meet the Press fiasco on the Rush L show.  It is for the newcomers IMO (Palin with Charlie Gibson/Couric, Bachmann on Chris Mathews) to fall into a media trap.  The seasoned professional like Newt should instead have led the Meet the Press host into a conservative trap.
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http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_051911/content/01125106.guest.html

RUSH: ... Let's try to cut to the chase here. There seems to be some confusion over your position -- or people's understanding of your position -- on the individual mandate, and it goes back to Meet the Press on Sunday where you seemed to say that you were for a mandate, then later said you weren't; and it sounded to some people like you were being critical of Paul Ryan when you used the term "social engineering" to describe parts of his Medicare solution in his budget. What is "social engineering"? What does that mean to you? I'm not sure I understand.

GINGRICH: Well, can I just take the two one step at a time?

RUSH: Yeah.

GINGRICH: David Gregory brought up an 18-year-old interview, in 1993, on Hillarycare, which we were in the process of defeating. And in 1993, the conservative alternative to government-run health care was you buying your own insurance. Now, I still have not seen the total interview. What I should have said to him is, "Gee, why don't you play the rest of the interview? Let's see the context of that conversation," but that was an 18-year-old tape about a totally different fight when we were trying to stop Hillarycare from taking over health care.

RUSH: But, Newt, I've got some quotes from you from 2004 and 2006, I think, basically advocating the same principle that it's not fair that somebody should be treated if they don't have insurance.

GINGRICH: (garbled) I'm giving a speech in New Hampshire next week outlining how we can apply the Tenth Amendment to solving health problems and how we can use patient power and do it with zero mandates. No federal mandate, no state mandate. This is a topic [John] Goodman and I worked on now for a decade. He's probably the leader -- you know John well -- of this kind of solution. I'm opposed to any federal mandate. I do not believe any state should adopt a mandate. I think there are ways to solve the problem without a mandate. But we're trying to solve three things: Preserve American freedom; ensure that people can have health care; and have some sense of responsibility that if you do get health care, you ought to pay for it -- which is the opposite of the liberal position that you ought to have free health care and somebody else ought to take care of you. So I think that's a very... That position is very clear.

RUSH: Okay, what was the point of the Republican --

GINGRICH: And by the way, I talked with Paul Ryan about this two days ago and I look forward to very much to continuing to work with him -- and, as you know, I endorsed his budget. I wrote a newsletter endorsing his budget. I think it's a very courageous step in the right direction. He concedes that the Medicare part of it is the beginning of a conversation. It's not a final document; it's not the last bill, and I want us to have an approach which allows everyone in the country to be engaged, to understand that it is a better Medicare system that is fiscally gonna survive and that -- if designed right -- will lead to more innovation, more choices, and better outcomes.

So, I think he and I are pretty much on track. What I was trying to say that day -- and I was answering a very specific question by David Gregory which, by the way, had nothing to do with the budget vote. I would have voted "yes" on the Ryan budget. It had to do with this question -- and I'd be curious, Rush, to hear your answer. "If there was a major change that affected the lives of every American..." and not necessarily in Medicare, "...a major change that affected the lives of all Americans, and the party in power had failed to convince the American people that it was the right thing to do, should that party impose that change against the will of the American people?"
RUSH: No, but you've just described the entire Obama administration agenda.

GINGRICH: Right, and all I was trying to say that day was: It's fundamentally wrong for Obama to try to impose a left-wing America against the will of the American people. I believe as a center-right majority we are the will of the American people. I believe we can get a majority for what we want --

RUSH: (sigh)

GINGRICH: -- but that's not what David Gregory asked me. He said, "Would it be okay for us to impose against the will...?" It was a very specific question he asked.

RUSH: Newt, this is very difficult. You're on a cell phone, and because of that you can't hear questions I'm trying to ask you. So this is a bit frustrating for me 'cause I want to go back to three or four answers ago. You yourself said that it was the conservative position in '93 to support a mandate. The Heritage Foundation even had a paper back then supporting a mandate in opposition to Hillarycare, as you said, 'cause they were trying to eventually get to single-payer. Heritage later said: You know, it's not workable; it's not constitutional; it doesn't work out.

I know that's what Gregory was asking you about, but still: People can produce quotes from more recently than 1993 of you advocating posting a bond or having a mandate that people buy insurance, under the premise that it's not fair that somebody not buying insurance should be able to waltz into an emergency room and get treated. So the question is: Why, back in 1993, was it the conservative position to support a mandate in opposition to Hillarycare?

GINGRICH: I think we went through a long evolution, and I've been part of that. I mean, I'll be clear: I think I've reached conclusions different over an 18-year period than I would have in 1993. In '93, we were narrowly focused on trying to beat Hillary, the Hillarycare project. We weren't thinking fundamentally about resetting the country, and I give Heritage a great deal of credit, and I give John Goodman at the National Center for Policy Analysis a great deal of credit.

They, more than anybody else, began the process of thinking through: "If you were not gonna mandate because it's wrong -- at either the federal or state level -- to impose that on people, how could you design a system that encouraged people to be fiscally responsible, to pay for the things they got, and at the same time enable them to buy health insurance if they wanted to? I've consistently said all along: You could never impose a universal mandate. You'd have to have alternatives that allowed people to find ways to not be forced into buying insurance, because I'm very aware of the fact that there are substantial number of people...

I have a good friend who's a Christian scientist, and she said to me, "You know, it would violate my religious freedom for you to impose on me health insurance since I don't believe in using it." Now, I thought... That, frankly, I thought was a very compelling argument. That was part of the evolution as we thought this through, and in the speech I'll give next in New Hampshire I'm gonna outline the patient power model that John Goodman has been building; and I'm gonna suggest that we want to apply the Tenth Amendment to return most of these decisions back to the states and to recognize that Washington has been a grand failure at trying to solve health care in a centralized way.

RUSH: Now, look, this is really uncomfortable for me because you know that we've known each other a long time and I've had such -- and still do -- profound respect, admiration, and even envy for your intellect at times. But there's just some things that are confusing me. There's a June 2007 op-ed in the Des Moines Register, and you wrote, "Personal responsibility extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it."

An "individual mandate," you added, should be applied "when the larger health-care system has been fundamentally changed." The reason why all of this matters now is that 26 states are suing the Obama administration over the Commerce Clause violation of an individual mandate, and yet it appears that there are some on our side who have also supported this, and your appearance on Sunday with Gregory... I know he was going back to 1993, but when you answered it also with the "social engineering" side of it. I don't think it's good left or right, that's why people thought that it was a slam at Paul Ryan.

And so that's why this stuff is there and is not going away, because it seems that they can go back into archives and find where you have continually supported it even since 1993, and in the current context of us opposing all of Obamacare because we think the fastest way to beat it is to knock down the unconstitutionality of a mandate it just offers confusion here -- and that's why people are constantly asking you about this. What they want is a satisfying, reassuring answer. They just don't want to think you're not conservative anymore, Newt.

GINGRICH: Well, look, let me say a couple things that you can verify. When Bill McCollum as attorney general took the lead in the 26-state suit, I actively personally supported him. I encouraged him. I spoke out in his favor. I helped him get coverage. When [Virginia Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli took the lead was the first person to file a lawsuit, I actively encouraged him and supported him. At the Center for Health Transformation we have been wrestling for nine years with the question: How do you have an affordable health system when you realize if you talk to hospital administrators, people have been taught over the last half century that health is their right, and they don't have to pay for it. So you have people who earn 75 or a hundred thousand dollars a year who won't pay their hospital bills. They just say, "I'm not doing it," and we were wrestling with what's the technique? How do you find personal responsibility without infringing on people's liberty.

RUSH: Right.

GINGRICH: As I said, my conclusion ultimately was that these various efforts were going to work -- and I have opposed the Obamacare proposal largely from the Center for Health Transformation for two and a half years. The three best charts destroying Obamacare's credibility all exist at HealthTransformation.net, and they combine, have 115 square feet of charts that you put up a wall. They're amazing. We did all that work, and we actively, aggressively have opposed Obamacare at every stage.

RUSH: All right. Newt Gingrich is with us.
BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We're back with Newt Gingrich here on the EIB Network. Okay, we want everybody to be responsible for their health care, but you now oppose mandates. So how do we solve that?

GINGRICH: Well, John Goodman has developed an entire approach in which he would give everyone the same tax break if they wanted to buy insurance, and the people who didn't want to buy insurance wouldn't be compelled to. Their share of the tax break would go into a high-risk pool. And if something did happen to them, they would then be eligible for the high-risk pool, but they would also be limited to the high-risk pool. And so they wouldn't have -- you wouldn't have -- an automatic assumption that you would be able to go be taken care of except through the high-risk pool because you'd made the voluntary decision you wanted to live at risk. He wrote a book several years ago called Patient Power and we began meeting at the American Enterprise Institute about these ideas in about 2001 -- and he's really, I think, probably the leading student of developing a personal freedom approach to how you solve the health problem.

RUSH: "The health problem" in a lot of people's minds exists precisely because of government, and therefore to a lot of people -- and I'll throw myself in with them -- the government's the last place the solution to this problem should be. The government messed it up; the government continues to mess it up. There's no evidence or proof that people in government are any smarter than people in the health care business to fix what's wrong. Why do we continue to accept the premise?

I mean, you're in a little bit of a trouble here simply because everybody's accepting the premise put forth by the liberals that government must fix, must police, must control health care because only they can do it fairly. We've gotten ourselves into a circumstance... I saw a statistic the other day that explains why we're in this mess. Of every $1 spent on health care, only 12¢ is paid for by the patient. Imagine, Newt, if you only had to pay 12% of every meal you ate. You wouldn't care what it costs, and that's where we are now, and government has created that circumstance.

GINGRICH: You're right.

RUSH: Getting government out of this is the solution to it.

GINGRICH: Right, and that's why my program will be among the most bold in American history at saying -- not just on this topic, but of many other topics -- we have to have a fundamental break with the last 80 years going back to 1932; that we've had a steady migration towards Washington and a steady migration towards bureaucracy, and a steady migration towards redistribution -- and if we're serious about stopping it, this will be the most decisive break since 1932. I wrote a book in 2002 called Saving Lives & Saving Money, which made exactly your argument.

It said: No third-party payment model ever works because you'd never have the buyer-seller relationship, and you only get satisfaction when the person getting this good or service is paying something and the person who's providing the good or service is getting something and they're looking each other in the eye and the system works. Now, how you migrate back to that is very complicated and you have to do it in a way that the country understands it and will accept it. So in Medicaid I will be proposing that we implement the Tenth Amendment by block granting all Medicaid back to the states, letting the states figure out what to do with it and recognizing that Washington has failed and that we need the experiments of the governors and the state legislatures trying to solve health for the poor.

RUSH: Okay, so you're signing on with the Ryan plan, essentially?

GINGRICH: Oh, yeah. I signed on for that part of the Ryan plan from day one. I've advocated consistently from day one, and, you know, I --

RUSH: What did you call to apologize to him for?
GINGRICH: I have talked to him for years; and my wife, Callista, has known him since he was an intern. We're big fans of Paul Ryan. But the second thing I would do, though, is I -- and this is the part of what probably got me in trouble so let me be very open about it. I believe we are better off as conservatives who believe in markets, to design choice for people so people can make the decision that this is better for them.

And when I was chairing the Medicare taskforce in '96, we initially designed Medicare Advantage to be attractive to people, so they would voluntarily go to it. Well, 25% of all seniors have found  Medicare Advantage to be something they like. We began building in health savings accounts, 'cause we want people to decide they like controlling their own money. I would like to see Congressman Tom Price's bill, which allows private contracting on a voluntary basis. I mean, one of these we learned in 1996 with extensive focus groups is senior citizens love to be allowed to choose.

They hate to be forced to choose, and so you want to say to them, "If you would like to have private contracting, if you would like to be allowed to spend your own money, if you're in a position where you'd like to do things your own way, why wouldn't we give you that freedom? We don't have the government require you to buy a government house after 65 or go in a government vacation or pick up a government car. So why not liberate Medicare to the point where seniors can choose?" and then the marketplace -- doctors, hospitals, pharmacies -- they've gotta organize competitively. So it's a more desirable future to accept the conservative personal choice option over the government bureaucrat-control option.

RUSH: Okay, now, I need to ask you because this is something you said on Sunday with Gregory that you didn't believe in "left wing or right-wing social engineering." What is that? Define social engineering for me.

GINGRICH: It's very straightforward. It's when the government comes in and tells you how to live your life and what you're gonna do, whether the values that lead it to do that are left-wing values or the values that lead it to do that are right-wing values. I believe in personal freedom. I believe in your right to lead your life. I believe that we are endowed by the Declaration of Independence, by Our Creator with the right to pursue happiness --and I want a government that is much more humble about its ability to tell you what to do, whether it's people on either side of the ideological spectrum. By the way, it was not a reference to Paul Ryan. There was no reference to Paul Ryan in that answer.

RUSH: Well, then what did you apologize to him about?

GINGRICH: Because it was interpreted in a way which was causing trouble, which he doesn't need or deserve, and was causing the House Republicans trouble. One of my closest friends -- somebody I truly, deeply respect -- e-mailed me and said, "You know, your answer hits every Republican who voted for the budget." Well, my answer wasn't about the budget. I promptly went back and said publicly, and continue to say: "I would have voted for the Ryan budget. I think it's a very important first step in the right direction," and I have consistently said that from the time that Paul first briefed me on it weeks before he introduced it -- and I've been talking with Paul Ryan about budget matters for the last four years.
4139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential - Presidents choosing Justices on: May 19, 2011, 07:41:17 PM
"...if Republicans offer a philosophy that all classes get equal justice (I know this may be more idealistic more than realistic) and an equal playing field..."
   - Yes, yes, yes!  All the targeted goodies, takings and policies that require waivers are exactly the opposite.

"Doug, you rightly point out the disgrace that wealthy people can have bribing local governments  to literally force people off their property  for business deals.  Well this is a local issue I guess but this has got to stop.  This is one example of unfairness due to economic class."
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No.  Unfairness due to bad governing policies.  I don't blame the rich for buying what was made legal and available to them.  I blame the Justices on the court who fail to recognize liberty and oppose tyranny.

It starts with Presidents appointing justices who respect founding principles, and they have not.  Then moves to the Senate confirm that we are continuing founding principles for a new justice's lifetime, and they have not.  Choosing Justices is right above Commander in Chief in the importance of Presidential duties IMO.  Also the most important vote of each Senator.

I wasted years studying the economic relationships of scarcity, demand, products, services, behavior of willing sellers and price theory only to now live in a country where transactions are decided by a politburo of elitists, who know best which private party is best suited to own which parcel.  The Court approved the power of local government to change private ownership by coercion based on money and false promises - the land at Kelo v. New London CT is still bulldozed and vacant.  They can declare my property no longer mine and your property no longer yours; decide it would be better used by someone else, then pay unjust compensation determined another panel of elitists who know better than a market what a life savings or a family home is worth.  That isn't the fault of people who covet.  It is the failure of the people sworn to uphold our guarantee against oppression and tyranny to do so.

Hard to say what these elitists who place no value on consent in transactions or privacy in our homes and businesses deserve.  One thought is to have Governor Huckebee pardon some inmates to move into their homes and offices to enjoy some legalized, unconsensual activity.  When they are done we can ask the inmates to send over what they think is 'just compensation'.

The deciding vote in Kelo was Justice Kennedy who sits in the seat President Reagan chose Robert Bork to serve.  VP Biden was head of the Judiciary Committee that invented the process called 'Borking' a candidate, elevating judicial nomination discord and leading to legalized private takings. President Obama in his minute in the senate, besides voting against raising the debt ceiling, voted against both Supreme Court nominees of his predecessor.  People say conservatives need to compromise more and reach to the middle to win.  With wins like these, how will we know when we lose.
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In comparison to Reagan's time, we have the opportunity next year to choose someone who will govern where Reagan would like to have governed instead of where he did.  And they don't Reagan's charisma to pull it off.  Just a clear and focused return to basic common sense and time tested principles.
4140  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Head injury/brain damage/concussion in hockey: What's your head worth? on: May 18, 2011, 11:57:38 AM
Crafty: "I'm looking for leads on good sources of data concerning just how much impact a human skull/brain can safely take."

I recall an ad for helmet breakthroughs that ran during the high school championships.  I finally went back to dig that out.  It is called the Messier Project, M11
http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=844818
http://www.themessierproject.com/
http://www.themessierproject.com/theepidemic/
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/sports/hockey/18concussion.html?_r=1&ref=hockey

A news story this week:  http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/121813554.html  NHL star Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday, five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion with the New York Rangers.  There was a delay to announce cause of death; now they say suicide.  The family has donated his brain at his request to research: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2011-05-16-1035067980_x.htm "... spokeswoman for the Boston University School of Medicine confirmed Sunday that his brain will be examined for signs of a degenerative disease often found in athletes who sustain repeated hits to the head." BU Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy I think will be a good place to start for existing research.

A more simple answer to your question.  Your sport and so many others I think need to figure out how to keep the intensity up but get the impact to the head down.  The better we are able to measure damage, the more we are going to find.  'What's your head worth?'
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(Update: The NHL death above is now called accidental overdose, oxycontin and alcohol.)
4141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Rest in Peace, Harmon Killebrew on: May 18, 2011, 11:21:35 AM
Thank you CCP!  Harmon Killebrew was my childhood hero.  Class act!  It took very little charting to figure where to sit in left field and be guaranteed Killebrew home run baseball.  Mostly from pre-game batting practice but I think I got one every time I went to the ballpark.  Pretty amazing for a little kid, to sit some 400 feet away and have your favorite player hit it right into your glove.
4142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: May 18, 2011, 11:01:00 AM
(From Health Care Policy thread)

Crafty: "This seems to me to be a very pertinent and troubling question."

Doug: "...given the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, why isn't a waiver for one - automatically a waiver for all?

The Equal Protection Clause... "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction  the equal protection of the laws"... As written it applied only to state governments, but it has since been interpreted to apply to the Federal Government of the United States as well.
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I would like a waiver from the 16th amendment (federal power to tax income) if waivers are available and equal protection is subordinated.

BD?

4143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: May 18, 2011, 10:50:17 AM
(From Political Economics)
"This could also belong in the Budget thread.
Maybe I am missing something, but IIRC all spending bills must originate in the House of Representataives-- which is controlled by the Republicans.  So why don't they just pass spending bills as they see fit and leave it to the Senate and BO to take the blame for not passing it?"

You are correct.  It doesn't get spent without originating in the House.  The President's budget (if there was one) gets a hearing only if a house member introduces it in committee (as I understand it).

The problems are spin and ownership.

If Republicans suddenly did what I just suggested - spend within our means (2.2 trillion/yr) now by not raising the debt limit - they will look insincere and inconsistent.  They were willing to spend 3.6T a minute ago.

If Republicans force something like a 3.6T budget, take it or leave it, then the trillion and half dollar deficit becomes theirs, along with all the allege hardship that 'underspending' will cause, hitting women and children the hardest.

Our lead-from-behind President wanted R's to go first so he could accuse and attack.  R's want the Pres. to go first to show they are making serious cuts - while still authorizing trillion plus dollar deficits.

It's an ugly situation.

The answer pragmatically is to identify everything federal that needs to end and everything federal that needs to be downsized, then write a multi-year phaseout that gets us to a balanced budget and full employment in a short period of time.  And stick to it.

One principle they could try to uphold would be to end everything now that they told us was temporary emergency spending.
4144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 18, 2011, 07:50:40 AM
"With no Huckabee, who in GOP will stand for jobs, middle class?
By David Frum,"

All of them do, just not in the class warfare manner he might like.  He hits it right in the closing.  If more government, more regulation and more taxes are what people want, it most certainly will be there for you on the ballot.  Just hopefully not on the Republican side.
4145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 18, 2011, 07:38:02 AM
For all the accusations of no compromise, what if we said no more deficit spending right now.  The recession ended 2 years ago.  The Keynesian flood experiment of stimulus spending failed miserably to stimulate.  The resulting dependency on government is harming our families and destroying our cities.  Make do with what we actually take in is not even on the table.  Too extreme.

We take in about 2.2 trillion a year right now and are already borrowed to the hilt.  What is the correct amount of spending for that level of income?  A do-nothing congress could actually solve this right now.
4146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 18, 2011, 07:01:51 AM
I can pose this under constitutional questions as well, but in terms of health care policy, given the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, why isn't a waiver for one - automatically a waiver for all?
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The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction  the equal protection of the laws".[1]  The Equal Protection Clause can be seen as an attempt to secure the promise of the United States' professed commitment to the proposition that "all men are created equal"[2]  by empowering the judiciary to enforce that principle against the states.[3]  As written it applied only to state governments, but it has since been interpreted to apply to the Federal Government of the United States as well.
4147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: May 17, 2011, 11:20:21 AM
I am not persuaded by the Huffington Post piece that quotes pseudonym authors and political spokesmen as saying that we may or may not have been able to get this same information other ways, while intermingling the terms enhanced and torture as having the same meaning.  Nor am I impressed with the false, straw argument that if [the Bush people] had all the information back then, why didn't they go get him.  No one said they did.

These techniques led to these pieces of a puzzle and no interragatees were injured.  People could instead be thankful, but that doesn't sell books.

Look at what used to happen at Abu Ghraib with electric currents running through basement water with increasing levels of current, or perhaps the story of Dujail for which Saddam was hanged for definitions of real torture.  They weren't using sleep deprivation or trickery.

Who has the author 'built rapport' with that is comparable to the guy who destroyed 4 fully loaded jetairliners, the trade towers at the opening of business, the Pentagon, and personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl for the making of a video?  Again, he should be thankful that what was done in questioning had any success.

"But they comprise violations of human dignity, as codified by the United Nations..."

The statement above seems intentionally vague.  In all this discussion, I am not seeing what the international laws are or really who has the jurisdiction.  The attorney general of the United States sought out and published detailed opinions of what constitutes torture and what constitutes enhanced techniques within the bounds of legality and decency.  (Every liberal conveniently disagrees though they enjoy the period of relative safety that has followed.)  No appendages were cut off, no eyes poked out, no beheading.  Seriously, who do these people think we are dealing with?

What laws, what court and what rights of due process was former President Bush going to get if he had traveled to Switzerland and been arrested by 'international police' for performing best efforts to protect the United States of America?

In contract law, an agreement can't bind one party  without binding the other. Treaties and international accords are different? KSM has rights??  I've said earlier, if these organizations' authority supersede US law, let's get out now.
4148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: May 17, 2011, 10:04:53 AM
"I have taught my children never to assume that a person with a badge at the door is a police officer and to call the police..."

I like this advice and the forethought involved.  If it is police with no warrant but worthy reasons, no harm is done with a 911 call.  If it is false and criminal, the earliest alert has been made.

For hot pursuit to the wrong house or imminent destruction of evidence when you are innocent, you know that is not the case, but that does not change the minds of the officers. 

Seems to me there is ground in between granting permission and actively resisting.  In hot pursuit or imminent destruction, misguided or not, they will be coming in whether you open the door or not.  I still like the idea that for kids home alone or for wife and kids with any doubt, you don't open the door. 
4149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California rated worst state for business by CEOs, Wisconsin surges forward on: May 16, 2011, 12:54:08 PM
First a context.  When America was the greatest nation, California was the greatest state.  Calif still is and always I suppose will be the most important state.  There is no perfect fix for the nation that doesn't include turning things around over on the left coast.

This piece is about all states, is titled about Wisconsin surging forward, but if public union reforms in Wisconsin succeed, they can become the road map for Calif and other states...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576313353241550130.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

States of Business
Wisconsin jumps ahead in a new CEO survey.

The verdict is still out on the political staying power of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's collective bargaining and other reforms. But if the opinion of American business counts for anything, he's already helped the Badger State.

Chief Executive magazine recently completed its annual survey of CEOs on the best and worst states for business. The 500 CEOs graded the states on taxes and regulation, the quality of the work force and living environment, among other categories. Wisconsin made the biggest jump of any state, and one of the largest in the history of the survey, rising to 24th from 41st in 2010 and 43rd in 2009. Louisiana continued its rise, moving up 13 spots to 27th on the basis of its improvements in tax climate and deregulation. Indiana moved up 10 spots to sixth.

The Wisconsin jump is especially notable because Mr. Walker and a new GOP legislature only took office in January. This suggests that Big Labor's attempt to make Mr. Walker a national political target had the ironic result of making Wisconsin more appealing to business executives. "Indiana and Wisconsin's governors have been outspoken about wanting to be more business friendly," says Chief Executive director for digital media Michael Bamberger.

CEOs don't make investment decisions based solely on such impressions, but they can get a state a hearing it might not have previously received. Wisconsin still ranked 33rd among all states for taxation, and its grades on other categories didn't change radically. But a company's relationship with employees was also on CEOs' minds. "Rules that make it hard, if not impossible, to separate from a non-productive employee make companies fearful to hire or locate in a state," one CEO wrote.

Texas led the survey for the seventh straight year, followed by North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia. As for the five worst states, you will not be surprised to learn that they are, in descending order, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, New York and California. Tax-raising Illinois has dropped 40 places in five years and, as the magazine puts it, "is now in a death spiral."

http://chiefexecutive.net/best-worst-states-for-business
4150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: NY Times Editorialists - Selective and Self-Serving on: May 16, 2011, 12:41:28 PM
A must read IMO.  This comes from a competitor, an opinion column in the WSJ, but the points he ties together are damning, and cover a lot of ground.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703864204576321313993024614.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

Corporate Turkeys
The birdbrained phony populism of the New York Times Co.

By JAMES TARANTO

AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a case the U.S. Supreme Court decided last month, deals with a somewhat obscure question of statutory interpretation--namely, the circumstances under which the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 permits states to supersede provisions in business contracts providing that disputes be settled by arbitration rather than lawsuits. The editors of the New York Times, in an overwrought editorial today, frame the decision as an act of class warfare.

The justices reversed a decision of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that held California state law permitted Vincent and Liza Concepcion to launch a class-action suit against AT&T. The company had offered them two free phones as part of a service contract, then charged them $30.22 in sales tax on the devices. (It's unclear, and tangential to the case, why their grievance is with AT&T and not with the state of California, which presumably mandated the collection of the tax.) By 5-4, the court held that the Concepcions were bound by a provision of the contract in which they agreed to forswear class-action complaints.

That distresses the Times editorialists. They describe the decision as "a devastating blow to consumer rights" that entails "major setbacks for individuals who may not have the resources to challenge big companies." The subheadline reads: "The five conservatives of the Supreme Court chose corporations over everyone else."

At least the New York Times editorialists and the liberals of the Supreme Court can be counted on to choose the little guy over corporations. Except when they don't, of course. Contrast today's editorial with one from June 24, 2005, in which the Times cheered Kelo v. New London, another 5-4 ruling vindicating the interests of corporations against those of individuals.

Kelo was the decision of a liberal majority (including Justice Anthony Kennedy, who also voted with the majority in AT&T Mobility.) It held that the Constitution permits the government to seize private land in the "public interest," then convey the condemned land to a private corporation so that a city "can shore up its tax base and attract badly needed jobs."

In that case, the Times scoffed at individual rights, crowing that Kelo "is a setback to the 'property rights' movement, which is trying to block government from imposing reasonable zoning and environmental regulations."

The Kelo decision prompted a political backlash, which the Times criticized in another editorial, on June 26, 2006:

    The ruling set off talk of "eminent domain abuse." What has been lost in the discussion is the good that eminent domain can do. It has long been a key tool by which cities can upgrade deteriorating neighborhoods and assemble land for affordable housing. (The New York Times benefited from eminent domain in clearing the land for the new building it is constructing opposite the Port Authority Bus Terminal.)

Affordable housing for the New York Times Co. What great news for the little guy!

This is reminiscent of the Times's opposition to free speech in the wake of last year's Citizens United v. FEC decision. In that case, the Times's hatred of corporations led it to the bizarre position that, the First Amendment notwithstanding, government has the power to censor core political speech when corporations engage in it.

Well, most corporations. As we noted back then, the Times editorial did not mention that one class of corporations was exempt from the "campaign finance" law in question: media corporations such as the New York Times Co. Indeed, were it not for this special privilege, the Times would have been in violation of the law it championed every time it endorsed a candidate for federal office.

The Times editorialists pose as class warriors against corporations, but in fact are selective and self-serving. Never get into a foxhole with the Old Gray Lady; you will find she is an unfaithful ally.
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