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4151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: October 29, 2013, 10:38:00 AM
If a liberal made that argument I would call it straw.  Our worst fear is that interest rates will go to 4%?!  They have been higher than that for most of the time since Eisenhower's first term, as much as 5 times higher in irresponsible times. (link below)  Our debt a little ways down the road isn't going to be $17 trillion; it has gone up billions just since he wrote that yesterday.   If we have $10 trillion of our own money invested, let's say through social security receipts, what is our return on the money we pay ourselves?  Zero?  Did we not have the opportunity cost of investing that money elsewhere?  And a leading economist says that has no cost?  Good grief.

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

If we want to quantify a fear and worst case scenarios in the near term, take $25 trillion times, say, 25% interest and the cost is 6.25 trillion per year, more than all that we take in now by double.
4152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: What sorts of threats will the US military face in the “deep future"? on: October 28, 2013, 06:04:51 PM

Very interesting.  Surprising that Russia and especially China are not mentioned in the top 3 threats.
4153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 28, 2013, 01:39:56 PM
Anything of interest in this?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthy_Americans_Act
Anyway, what I'm looking for right now is for us to develop the sound bites to win and implement something much better than what we have now.

Of course that plan no longer has Dem support with Obamacare in place and the Republican co-author Bennett was the Senator Mike Lee took down in Utah.  That said, the bill is far better than ACA.  I think the main Republican alternative standing when Obamacare passed (or deemed) was the Ryan plan:  The Patients' Choice Act.  http://paulryan.house.gov/healthcare/#.Um6kqX-dVaQ   Pelosi-Reid-Obama arrogant Dems should have compromised with one or both of these plans in exchange for a few R votes.  Perhaps they could have kept the House and won the support of the center of the country with the new program.

A Republican alternative now cannot look like it has the complexity of Obamacare.
4154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party and race on: October 28, 2013, 12:26:38 PM
My thought is that there are racist element across the political spectrum.  This includes the Tea Party. 

There is now a coordinated campaign to sink the Tea Party as a socially acceptable position by a) making shit up and b) finding occasional outliers like the bigoted idiot under discussion here this morning.

What to do?

My thoughts:
a) Identify racism as across the spectrum.  This means we must have some sound bite examples of racism on the left.  Anyone?   
b) Point out the respect and leadership positions held by TP voices such as
*Zo
*Herbert Cain
*Thomas Sowell
*Dr. Ben Carson
*Allen West
*Clarence Thomas (you'll have to be ready to counter the condescension)
*Larry Elder
*Walter Williams
*add you own examples.

I despise group politics but that is the battlefield we play on.  I agree with the points above.  First I would ignore race and move beyond race, as we mostly have.  Secondly and simultaneously I would go in and go after all the pet Dem groups, refute their failed messages and chip away at their support.  The Obama/liberal agenda has been horrible for the economics and families of blacks, Hispanics, gays, young people, women.  Not more freebies, but live and raise your kids in a better, more prosperous society with lower unemployment and expanded opportunities.   Get a message, and go to their media, their neighborhoods, etc. and make the case.  Marketers know who they are how to reach them.  A 4% switch of allegiance is an 8% shift in the vote, enough to swing back even a so-called landslide election.  That is attainable; look at the persuasive capability just within the list above.  With gains in these groups comes improvement with independents and moderates who don't want to be seen as siding with racists and extremists.  The Obama campaign called it competing in all 50 states.  In order to win 51%, we need to compete in every venue for every vote.
4155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 28, 2013, 11:43:56 AM
" if you just simply say "free market" people are going to think of people being left to die for lack of money.  How to answer this?"


The poor and the elderly already had unlimited free health care and the uninsured were not being turned away from any emergency room.  Obamacare was not aimed at anything like that. 

Republicans in my view favor reform of the safety net in order to save the safety net. 

Healthcare was already more than 50% government-based which was the reason costs were running wild.  But above the safety net level, the more that the health care system can be 'free market', the more likelihood there is for innovation and cost containment.

Obamacare is wrongly called the 'Affordable Care Act'.  Cost containment is what is lost with central planning and trying to making all policies the same.

Imagine a dynamic system that moves the deductible up to what each person can reasonably afford, encourages personal and family savings for health and involves people mostly spending their own money, as much as practical, for their own choice of services and care, with the government still playing a large role under that system.
4156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / God Bless my Dad on: October 28, 2013, 11:19:19 AM
One of a many who interrupted their young adult lives to go defeat Adolf Hitler and Nazism, he served under General Patton behind front lines in a medical crew- in England, France and Germany including the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.  I didn't know until now, looking for dates and info in his documents, that his unit received a long list of awards and medals. 

Joining his own father in dental practice, he served generations of patients for 63 years and taught in the University Dental School for a quarter century.  He skied in the mountains and played golf and tennis with us through age 88.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/startribune/obituary.aspx?n=george-d-macgibbon&pid=167737425&fhid=4427
4157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and... Shiny Media Objects on: October 28, 2013, 10:19:54 AM
This is a wet dream for liberals and obviously for the media.  They have been dying to find a poster boy for right extremism.  I wonder how many assassination statements are discovered everyday - for any President.  This one is exciting because of the opportunity to say tea party with it, though of course there is no Tea Party and 'they' never endorsed or elected him.  He had a measly 4% of the vote for city office in a city we never heard of.  He took back his bad words and, unlike some other kooks, didn't actually shoot anyone.  What were the political views of John Hinckley?   Who held other anti-Reaganites accountable for that lone gunman?  Same for Kathleen Soliah, Bill Ayers, etc.  The view of the kook doesn't add anything to the discussion of the issues.

Meanwhile, real issues linger unpursued and unresolved.  I will patiently await Huffington Post coverage of the peer reviewed Burkhauser study, June 2013, refuting everything on income inequality ever published on their pages.  http://www.nber.org/papers/w19110  That would be as easy to find as this, "a screen shot uploaded by Facebook group "Americans Against the Tea Party" and relayed by Your Black Politics blog".

BTW, I'm glad it was posted; look at the reaction it stirred.  And Huff Post does have serious stories from time to time.  Good to know what others are reading.
4158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - income inequality has not risen from 1989 to 2007 on: October 27, 2013, 10:55:14 PM
I have tried (about a dozen times on the forum) to make the point that the income inequality measures widely published and cited are a farce, not including income of the poor and greatly exaggerating income the rich.  Income that belongs to the IRS and others is not their income.  In the category of famous people reading the forum, economists and columnists for research institutions such as AEI are jumping in to back me up on this.  I thank them.

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/10/pethokoukis-podcast-scott-winship-on-income-inequality/

This is important stuff.  It is the foundation for the liberal argument of why the free market and Republican policies are so unfair.

Income inequality is the existence of an economic ladder, available for all to climb, not evidence of unfairness. Perfectly equal outcomes is the worst possible outcome and could happen only if effort, talent, investment, incentive, disincentive, risk and reward have no meaning.  Equality could exist only with everyone at the bottom in poverty.  Do liberals ever consider what the opposite of income equality would mean.

From the article (with occasional comment):

 "The official measure...doesn’t include (the main income of lower income people) non-cash benefits, like food stamps or Medicaid and Medicare and it doesn’t take into account taxes (the multi-trillion dollar equalizer against the rich). (One example:) So when part of the federal response to the recession was to reduce taxes, particularly the payroll tax, that isn’t incorporated into the official measure.  When you do take into account those things, you find that disposable income for the middle class was back to its 2007 level in 2011. We’ve actually fully recovered. If you look at the bottom, that too looks like it’s recovered to its 2007 level. It depends on how you value Medicaid and Medicare..."

"If you think that government ought to be redistributing money or providing a safety net during downturns, that’s exactly what it did"
...
"Burkhauser and his colleagues start with those numbers, which include the capital gains that people realize when they sell assets like stocks. That’s a big part of the story because the stock market has done well over these past few decades. When the stock market is at a peak, people sell and realize these big gains that have been accumulating over time. Instead of showing gradual increases in income over time, they show up as these spikes when the market peaks and people sell. It will also show up as spikes when tax policy changes affect the returns to come of these investments.

Rich and his colleagues said, “Let’s take into account year by year capital gains that are accruing to people, many of which are behind the scenes because people are not actually selling these assets.” By the way, in some years, there are capital losses that we don’t see because of the 2008 financial crisis where there are these huge losses at the top. When they attempted to account for the accrued gains and losses behind the scenes, they found that inequality has not risen from 1989 to 2007."
...
"The income growth for the middle class has been stronger than people realize. Since about 1979 it’s gone up about 40 percent."


Unmentioned in the piece is that the slowdown in income mobility up for the lower incomes was caused by the safety hammock of the programs.  Extravagant programs require limits on other income and many people in them face effective marginal tax rates way over 100% for additional dollars of income.  Great incentive to climb.
4159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: Krauthammer v. Jon Stewart on: October 26, 2013, 02:00:28 PM
This is a 3 part video of 30 minutes, especially good for me to see because I don't watch cable tv where these characters hang out.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/24/krauthammer_jon_stewart_clash_over_conservatism_politics_on_daily_show.html

  At times CK is brilliant, but also he validates some of the points liberals are making and misses some opportunities.  Stewart gets called out in part but is quite persuasive with many of his points.  Important questions perhaps for 'the way forward', how to answer the liberal take on all of this more effectively and how do you get conservatives to be more on the same page in order to do that.
4160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics - shutdown on: October 26, 2013, 12:11:17 PM
McClintock makes a valid point. 

Just a sidenote here, the whole 'shutdown' question is another case of liberals owning our language and the rest of us allowing them to do that.  The Affordable Care Act isn't about affordable care and the shutdown wasn't a shutdown.

We had a partial shutdown, a 17% shutdown, a non-essential pause, a 16 day, partial, 17% non-essential paid vacation, but we didn't have a shutdown.

Imagine if we did have a shutdown.  Shut down the airports, close the military bases, lock up the Courts and the White House, end food inspection, turn off the missile defense, etc etc.  Disaster, disease, famine, that isn't what happened.  The effect I saw was that rush hour traffic moved a little bit better.

Let the pollsters ask, who do you blame for the 16 day paid pause of 17% non-essential federal functions.  51% or more should say who cares.
4161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 26, 2013, 10:20:36 AM
The various expressions of the fundamental vision disagreement that now afflict our country such as
a) guns and self-defense vs. the sheeple
b) the nanny state vs. freedom
c) gay marriage, gay parenting
d) pre-birth life life vs. abortion
e) free minds and free markets vs liberal fascism
f) etc.

Thanks for that.  Before you posted 'engage in the culture wars', my thinking was to mostly put 'social issues' that divide us aside and at least electorally build a majority that can agree on economic issues.  Maybe I am wrong on that.

This year we stopped new gun control efforts without putting it front and center in elections.  Of course not without a fight.

On abortion, I believe in the slow fight of changing hearts and changing minds ahead of forcing view on others with new laws the way liberals do with their causes.  Without majority support in 38 states, this doesn't get resolved either way in the constitution.

The gay marriage issue is lost from a conservative point of view, and not worth putting on the front burner.  The gay parenting issue is odd - with gayness being the opposite of the instinct to form families.  The breakdown of marriage and family is now a miserable, overwhelming fact in this country.  How we move forward on that I have no idea.  That loss is closely tied to the rest of our problems.

Foreign Policy is going to divide us in the next Presidential season.  Many conservatives are becoming screw the rest of the world isolationists while others like Marco Rubio sound very Reaganesque (and like Obj) in terms of peace through strength.  Peace through Strength is right, but people have become very skeptical about interventions.

The happy warrior point, made earlier, is crucial.  There is a lot of negativity on our side, anger, despair, etc., deservedly.  But we need to put on a face that is persuasive with optimism and a positive plan.  We need to focus on moving the needle ever so slightly with everyone we come in contact with.  This isn't about narrowing our allies down to a smaller group that agree perfectly with us.  It is about making our viewpoint more appealing to those in the middle, and bringing people in.  We need far greater participation from within our own core groups and we need to chip away at liberal, Democratic loyalty from their core constituencies.  Most of the latter has gone uncontested and that is a big part of our failure.

Strategies and tactics matter.  We are getting KILLED in the ground game, far short of where we need to be in the money game, completely lost in the major media game, getting our asses kicked in messaging, etc.,  - yet we are still winning roughly half of elections and losing big ones by only a handful of percentage points.

Obj: "One thing is certain - I'm NOT going to curl up in the fetal position and accept defeat."

That is the key.  There are ups and downs but this fight never ends.




4162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 26, 2013, 12:44:17 AM
Ultimately I think we have to engage in the culture wars in a "happy warrior" way-- and win.  If we win, we do not need to write a new C.  If we lose, we will lose in the writing of a new C.

While I formulate my own answer to obj, may I ask Crafty, what do you mean by the "culture wars"?
4163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: Charles Krauthammer on: October 25, 2013, 09:46:17 AM
Excellent piece on "the Right's most prominent commentator", Charles Krauthammer at the Washington Examiner yesterday:

http://washingtonexaminer.com/critic-in-chief-krauthammer-diagnoses-obamas-policies-and-psyche/article/2537486

Harvard Medical School, his accident, his work and his criticisms of this President.

"Krauthammer, 63, sits atop one of the highest perches in the news media. Every night on Fox News' Special Report, he is the star of Bret Baier's political panel. Every Friday, his column appears in the Washington Post and scores of other papers (he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for commentary)."
4164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / MIT Tech Review: The Decline of Wikipedia on: October 25, 2013, 09:40:17 AM
Long, interesting story out of M.I.T. about challenges over at Wikipedia:

http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520446/the-decline-of-wikipedia/

Based on a study done at U. of MN:

http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~halfak/publications/The_Rise_and_Decline/
4165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 25, 2013, 09:25:06 AM
Obj: "Guys - please read my previous post once again."

I agree with much of it and I like Mark Levin, but you lost me on this point:

"The plan Mark Levin outlines in his book "The Liberty Amendments" I believe - is the only way to stop this nation's accelerating decay"

Right now we can't get 50% to agree with us, so instead we will get 75% to agree with us and pass amendments wiser, stricter, and smarter than what the founders could write and shrink government to something far smaller and less intrusive than what voters support now.  How?
4166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Medical Device Tax - Device manufacturers shedding jobs on: October 24, 2013, 10:34:47 AM
Medical Device Tax - is not mentioned in the first 5 paragraphs of this story about a large number of medical device manufacturers shedding jobs, Boston Scientific, Medtronics, St. Jude Medical, and that's just the local effect here. http://www.startribune.com/business/228996501.html   Keep reading.

It cost Boston Scientific 15% of its global workforce.  Who knew?

The good news, more enrollees for Obamacare, and more Democratic voters.  It is truly a win-win when your world and your math is upside down.

"In January, Boston Scientific announced it was cutting 900 to 1,000 jobs from its global workforce in an effort to manage the effects of the United States’ new medical device tax while investing in new products and geographical markets. Those cuts brought the total number of reductions in an earlier restructuring program to 2,400 jobs, or about 10 percent of the company’s global workforce." (Not counting these further reductions.)

"...the reductions add to a wave of cuts by Minnesota’s largest medical technology companies. In May, Medtronic Inc. announced it was eliminating 2,000 jobs worldwide, including 500 in Minnesota. Medtronic officials said at the time they were “growing in some areas and making changes in others.” A year earlier, Medtronic cut 1,000 jobs."

Only a rules for radicals, glibness administration would subject pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators to a 'sin' tax - in the name of making healthcare more "affordable".
4167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: October 24, 2013, 09:55:52 AM
Fake outrage. We spy on everyone and they do the same in return.

And they will stop cooperating with us on the fight against terrorism?  Good luck with that.

Like drone warfare, Libya intervention and so many other things, imagine if this had happened under Bush - or Romney, Pres. Cruz. etc.  Like you say, instead we see the obligatory, fake outrage.  Other than seek campaign contributions, Obama isn't going to do anything with the information.
4168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 24, 2013, 09:36:24 AM
Dealing with the horrific effects of leftist policies is the only thing that will wake some up.

Yes, but even then the answer in this mindset is double down on failure.

CCP has posed a difficult question, once we have more than half the people on the taking/riding side of the equation, how do we win elections.  As Rush put it after the last election, how do you beat Santa Claus if he can offer you free everything.

Romney was half right and half wrong about the 47%.  41% today (RCP poll average) look at abject failure and say good job.  Half of Americans rely on some government benefit or subsidy, but they aren't all the same people as the core liberal vote.  Plenty of liberal voters are rich and in high tax brackets,  Plenty of swing voters are professionals living in nice neighborhoods, working and paying in.  Plenty of people who take a check from the government vote conservative and plenty more are swing voters.  The sell has gotten harder but it isn't as mathematically impossible as the premise suggests.  As always, you have to win on the margin.

CCP argues we need more than platitudes.  Some of it in the eye of the beholder.  When I hear empty platitudes like economic freedom it brings a tear to my eye for all the people denied theirs and those who died fighting for it.  I also connect it in thought with the things like the Heritage index that show economic freedom synonymous with prosperity, also with peace and a clean environment.

The message will soon come down to who more than than how.  Bad candidates or undisciplined ones cost us the Senate, and arguably the Presidency.  A Margaret Thatcher for example can bring what you see as platitudes to life with real meaning.  Finding the next Reagan is another platitude but good people are stepping forward.

Messaging needs to be both offense and defense, not necessarily from the same messenger.  Someone noteworthy needs to be in immediate response mode (remember the Clinton war room) calling out this administration and other liberals on their BS and drivel as fast as it comes out.  Then true leadership needs to be on offense, relentlessly pushing what could, would and should be the agenda to address our challenges.

Most of all, as we say in tennis, we need to cut back on our unforced errors!
4169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Michelle Malkin: Obamacare's Electronic Medical Records Wreck on: October 23, 2013, 09:21:06 AM
What is wrong with Obamacare is not a software glitch. 

"...distracted doctors are seeing more pixels than patients,"

Don't Forget Obamacare's Electronic Medical Records Wreck
Michelle Malkin | Oct 23, 2013
http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2013/10/23/dont-forget-obamacares-electronic-medical-records-wreck-n1730172/page/full

Obamacare's top-down, tax-subsidized, job-killing, privacy-undermining electronic record-sharing scheme has been a big fat bust. More than $4 billion in "incentives" has been doled out to force doctors and hospitals to convert and upgrade by 2015. But favored EMR vendors, including Obama bundler Judy Faulkner's Epic Systems, have undermined rather than enhanced interoperability. Oversight remains lax. And after hyping the alleged benefits for nearly a decade, the RAND Corporation finally 'fessed up that its cost-savings predictions of $81 billion a year -- used repeatedly to support the Obama EMR mandate -- were (like every other Obamacare promise) vastly overstated.

In June, the Annals of Emergency Medicine published a study warning that the "rush to capitalize on the huge federal investment of $30 billion for the adoption of electronic medical records led to some unfortunate and unintended consequences" tied to "communication failure, poor data display, wrong order/wrong patient errors and alert fatigue." Also this summer, Massachusetts reported that 60 percent of doctors could not meet the EMR mandate and face potential loss of their licenses in 2015. And a few weeks ago, the American College of Physicians pleaded with the feds to delay the mandate's data collection, certification and reporting requirements.

More at link
4170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abortion: Is killing a pregnant wife one murder or two? on: October 23, 2013, 09:16:26 AM
http://www.twincities.com/crime/ci_24355935/attorneys-apple-valley-man-charged-killing-wife-unborn?source=hottopics

Attorneys for Apple Valley man argue fetus' death was an abortion
10/21/2013

When an Apple Valley woman died in March, her 15-week-old fetus, too young to survive outside the womb, died with her.

Margorie Holland's husband, Roger Holland, is charged with murder in the deaths. But with his trial scheduled for Monday, his attorneys are making a novel argument: The death of the fetus was an abortion, not a murder, and the only person whose rights that such an act could have violated -- the mother -- already was dead.
4171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: My friend Donald asks: on: October 22, 2013, 11:52:39 PM
In the case of Senator and then President Barack Obama, it is important to note that he was a majority leader (in fact, not title) of the Senate for the two years coming into the Presidency.  The non-renewing effect of tax rate cuts played a role in the economic stall.  His actions favoring Fannie Mae and CRA lending rules played a role in the crash.  (Not sole blame by any means!)  The emergency measures, TARP, Stimulus I, QE1, etc. that were started in the fall prior to his inauguration were done all with his support and consent.  The budget year that started Oct 1, 2008 had his seal of approval on it as well.  Had he fallen out of an airplane into the White House in Jan. 2009 instead, I would view his first year and his first term differently.

If you take together his contribution to the crash and his Presidency, and that his policies all tend to both slow economic growth and to increase spending, he is responsible for a boatload of debt, still amassing.

Let's go through the points made by Donald:

"I understand the debt is ultimately destructive to our society. The blame though is all over the place and involves both parties."  - True

"But how much of that increase of 70% over the last 5 years can be directly blamed on Obama? He entered office with the country in a financial mess. Surely you can't say Obama created any significant amount of that debt in his first 6-12 months."

  - He supported all the policies that led to the disaster and dealt with it.  Obama says the crash was caused by Bush tax cuts but in fact it was the impending end of the tax rate cuts, along with the housing debacle that triggered the fall.

"The monster was already charging ahead in part fueled by lower tax revenue due to a recession he did not create."

  - You would have to ask Donald what policies he thinks created or caused this recession.  Nothing significant regarding domestic policy or fiscal policy went through the House or Senate in the two years leading up to the crash that did not have his approval, and Hillary's, the front runners for the coming election.  He was not fighting off the easy money at the Fed.  He was not fighting to stop irresponsible lending practices in housing, 90% of which was from the federal government.  He was winning the fight to end tax rate cuts that had spurred the economy to 50 consecutive months of job growth.  He took office and the majority in Congress with unemployment at 4.6%.  There should be SOME accountability for that.  Bush had no new domestic or economic policies advanced after Pelosi-Reid (and Obama) took over the Congress in his last two years.

"Since getting into office he and Congress have been at total loggerheads with obstructionism being the one and only mantra and agenda of the GOP. No statesmen can function in that environment, and they don't."

  - This is not true.  Pres. Obama had total control of Congress the first two years including a 60th vote in the Senate.  Squandered it on passing a program that failed in the polls, that he didn't even want implemented until his second term, and lost the House of Representatives over it.  He compromised absolutely nothing on that program and its passage with Republicans and he reaped what he sowed.  He called his opponents andtheir  tactics terrorists, arson, ransom, etc.  The loggerhead was not someone else's fault.  In fact Republicans had a healthcare plan on the table with all the popular provisions, pre-existing conditions etc.  The only changes he made were to win Democrat votes in Nebraska and Connecticut.

"My question is this why is Obama alone blamed for the increase of $7T ?   Does Bush's "blame" for how out of whack our budget is end on his last day in office? I think not. Similarly, Obamacare's effect on the economy will not end on his last day in office. What if a Republican is elected in '16. Would he/she be blamed for any increase in debt during his/her term?"

  - I agree with Donald in the concept of runners left on base at the start and end of a Presidency. I also don't think the President alone deserves all credit and or blame for the term, so the exact amount of blame is hard to quantify.  But it was enough to most certainly be "destructive to our society".
4172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: October 22, 2013, 10:10:43 PM
Do a search on Sanger at discover the networks.

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1816

Margaret Higgins Sanger was a radical feminist, eugenicist, Marxist, and the founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
...
According to her New York Times obituary, she sought to encourage birth control and/or abortion among “subnormal children.”
...
(1939) Sanger turned her attention specifically to the reproductive practices of black Americans. She selected former ABCL director Clarence J. Gamble (of the Procter and Gamble company) to become BCFA's southern regional director. That November, Gamble drew up a memorandum titled "Suggestion for Negro Project," whose ultimate aim was to decrease the black birth rate significantly. Anticipating that black leaders would be suspicious of anyone exhorting African Americans to have fewer children, Gamble suggested that BCFA place black leaders in high positions within the organization, so as to give the appearance that they were in charge of the group's agendas. BCFA presented birth control as a vehicle for the upward economic mobility of blacks.
---------------------------------------

More relevant today than racism in the previous century is the way abortion hits black babies now, killing them at a rate three times that of the white ones.  Imagine if that was a Republican policy!  What liberal over at Planned Parenthood or DNC or MSM has ever expressed concern much less outrage over that?

4173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 22, 2013, 01:23:18 PM
ABC's Jon Karl To Carney: How Can You Tax People For Obamacare When The Website Doesn't Work?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/21/abcs_jon_karl_to_carney_how_can_you_tax_people_for_obamacare_when_the_system_doesnt_work.html
4174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: October 22, 2013, 01:19:45 PM
Anyone have a citation or two on the eugenics driven origins of Planned Parenthood/the abortion movement?

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/06/28/margaret-sangers-eugenic-legacy-abortion-and-planned-parenthood/
http://www.amazon.com/Margaret-Sangers-Eugenic-Legacy-Fertility/dp/0786420111
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0786420111/ref=sib_dp_pop_toc/192-6431976-5627362?ie=UTF8&p=S008#reader-link
4175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Paul Krugman the Invincible on: October 22, 2013, 01:05:24 PM
Niall Ferguson — Harvard professor (and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution fellow — launched a three part series, in the Huffington Post, entitled Krugtron the Invincible, Parts 1, 2 and 3 with a notable coda at Project Syndicate.  Ferguson succeeds in methodically humiliating New York Times columnist, celebrity blogger, and Nobel economic prize laureate Paul Krugman.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/10/21/much-bigger-than-the-shutdown-niall-fergusons-public-flogging-of-paul-krugman/

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 1
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niall-ferguson/paul-krugman-euro_b_4060733.html

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 2
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niall-ferguson/paul-krugman-housing-crisis_b_4067580.html

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 3
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niall-ferguson/krugtron-the-invincible-p_b_4073956.html

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/on-the-perils-of-paul-krugman-by-niall-ferguson
4176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jon Stewart On Obamacare Rollout on: October 22, 2013, 12:40:39 PM
Jon Stewart On Obamacare Rollout: "How Are Democrats Going To Spin This Turd?"

Democrat programs are doing badly if Jon Stewart decides to rip on them:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/22/jon_stewart_on_obamacare_rollout_how_are_democrats_going_to_spin_this_turd.html

He starts with the obligatory rip on Republicans, then...
4177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Peter Schiff: Investors Have a Green Light To Load Up On Gold on: October 22, 2013, 12:31:43 PM
Twice in 2 days I find myself quoting economic doomsayer Peter Schiff.  It would be nice if his reasoning was false. but it makes sense to me.

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/10/22/investors_have_a_green_light_to_load_up_on_gold_100679.html

It is rare that investors are given a road map. It is rarer still that the vast majority of those who get it are unable to understand the clear signs and directions it contains. When this happens the few who can actually read the map find themselves in an enviable position. Such is currently the case with gold and gold-related investments.

The common wisdom on Wall Street is that gold has seen the moment of its greatness flicker. This confidence has been fueled by three beliefs: A) the Fed will soon begin trimming its monthly purchases of Treasury and Mortgage Backed Securities (commonly called the "taper"), B) the growing strength of the U.S. economy is creating investment opportunities that will cause people to dump defensive assets like gold, and C) the renewed confidence in the U.S. economy will shore up the dollar and severely diminish gold's allure as a safe haven. All three of these assumptions are false. (Our new edition of the Global Investor Newsletter explores how the attraction never dimmed in India).

Recent developments suggest the opposite, that: A) the Fed has no exit strategy and is more likely to expand its QE program than diminish it, B) the U. S. economy is stuck in below-trend growth and possibly headed for another recession C) America's refusal to deal with its fiscal problems will undermine international faith in the dollar.
...
The reality is that Washington has now committed itself to a policy of permanent debt increase and QE infinity that can only possibly end in one way: a currency crisis. While the dollar's status as reserve currency, and America's position as both the world's largest economy and its largest debtor, will create a difficult and unpredictable path towards that destination, the ultimate arrival can't be doubted. The fact that few investors are drawing these conclusions has allowed gold, and precious metal mining stocks, to remain close to multi year lows, even while these recent developments should be signaling otherwise. This creates an opportunity.

Gold moved from $300 to $1,800 not because investors believed the government would hold the line on debt, but because they believed that the U.S. fiscal position would get progressively worse. That is what happened this week.
...
Investors should be concluding that America will never deal with its fiscal problems on its own terms. ... The hard choices that our leaders have just avoided will have to be made someday under far more burdensome circumstances. ...  More at link.
---------------
Or as economic optimist Wesbury put it on radio last week, a choice between jumping out a 2nd floor window now or off the 10th floor rather soon.
4178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Healthcare.gov Parady website on: October 22, 2013, 12:04:59 PM
http://rexharrisonshat.com/healthcare/

Point and Click on Apply Now!
4179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The war on the rule of law, Obama’s fingerprints all over IRS Tea Party scandal on: October 22, 2013, 12:01:31 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/20/obamas-fingerpints-all-over-irs-tea-party-scandal/

Obama’s fingerprints all over IRS Tea Party scandal
by Jay Sekulow

It’s past time for the media to begin asking President Obama tough questions about the IRS conservative targeting scandal.  After all he was involved, publicly, from the beginning.

Last Friday, the American Center for Law and Justice (where I serve as Chief Counsel) filed its Second Amended Complaint against the United States, the IRS, and a legion of IRS officials.  This Complaint, in which we represent 41 organizations in 22 states, presents perhaps the most complete story yet of the IRS conservative targeting scandal.  http://media.aclj.org/pdf/second-amended-complaint-filed-redacted.pdf

And it is an ugly story indeed.

What was sold to the American public as a low-level scandal perpetrated by a few rogue employees – a scandal stopped after senior officials became aware and asserted control – is now (to borrow a Watergate phrase) “no longer operative.”

    Was Obama involved in the IRS scandal?  He was the one who identified the targets – in the most public manner possible.

Instead, we detail a long-running assault on the Tea Party, beginning shortly after its emergence in 2009, that is empowered, encouraged, and orchestrated not only by senior IRS officials in Washington, but also through outright targeting by the White House, Congressional Democrats, and the mainstream media.

In fact, the IRS was doing little more than focusing its attention exactly where the president of the United States told it to focus – on the groups the president himself identified as a “threat to democracy.”

Consider President Obama’s aggressive public statements – made just as we now know senior IRS officials were intentionally and aggressively scrutinizing conservative groups’ applications for tax exemption.

On August 9, 2010 the president warned of “attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names” during his weekly radio address.  The President said:  We don’t know who’s behind these ads and we don’t know who’s paying for them . . . you don’t know if it’s a foreign controlled corporation. ... The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

On September 16, 2010, President Obama once again warned that some unidentified “foreign-controlled entity” could be providing “millions of dollars” for “attack ads.”  Less than one week later, he complained that “nobody knows” the identities of the individuals who support conservative groups.

On September 22, 2010, President Obama warned of groups opposing his policies “pos[ing] as non-for-profit social and welfare trade groups” and he claimed such groups were “guided by seasoned Republican political operatives” and potentially supported by some unidentified “foreign controlled entity.”

On October 14, 2010, President Obama called organizations with “benign sounding” names “a problem for democracy”; the next week he complained about individuals who “hide behind those front groups,” called such groups a “threat to our democracy,” and claimed such groups were engaged in “unsupervised” spending.

Next, consider the IRS’s actions following those statements.  Not only did the IRS continue its targeting, it issued broad questionnaires that made unconstitutionally-intrusive inquiries designed to get answers to exactly the questions President Obama posed.

Who are your donors?

What is the political activity of your family and associates?

What are the passwords for your websites?

After all, according to the president, you’re only afraid to answer these questions if “you’ve got something to hide.”

The demagoguery is breathtaking.  Not only does he raise the wholly-unsubstantiated possibility of shadowy “foreign” involvement in the Tea Party groups, a charge incredible on its face, but he goes the extra mile of calling such groups, a “threat to our democracy.”

When the president of the United States declares these groups a “threat to our democracy” is it any surprise that his enthusiastic supporters (and donors) within the IRS responded with an unprecedented campaign of selective targeting, intimidation, and governmental intrusion?

One grows weary of stating the obvious, but if President Bush had declared a specific category of citizen groups a “threat to democracy” potentially run by “political operatives” or “foreign-controlled,” and the IRS launched an unprecedented campaign of targeting and intrusive questioning, the mainstream media would have been relentless not only in its independent investigations but in its calls for accountability – at the highest levels.

Was the president of the United States involved in the IRS scandal?  He was the one who identified the targets – in the most public manner possible.

A president singling out citizens groups for targeting and intrusive questioning merely because he dislikes their message and fears their political influence?

Now that is a “threat to democracy.”

Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice
4180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: October 22, 2013, 11:20:47 AM
(I should stay out, but...) I wrote "totally unqualified" and should clarify.  Anyone who can get nominated and confirmed is arguably qualified.  And legal training is a plus, not a minus, same for loyalty if it is well-directed.  

Johnson's "policy making role" was to advise policy makers; he was not a policy maker. (No one said he was.) On that, he has no experience or track record, which unfortunately is a plus in the eyes of the President - for confirmation purposes.

A better question than is he qualified: who is MOST qualified for that job?  On that I would start with the people who have run the most similar operations successfully.  If you started at the top of that list and headed down it forever, his name will never come up.

Is management and policy making experience a crucial qualification for a job managing the performance of 230,000 security and law enforcement agents?  I think so!
4181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 22, 2013, 10:26:15 AM
Or put another way, how can we win people over by ignoring their questions and by posing answers to questions they are NOT asking?

Yes, precisely! 

Start ignoring false questions and answering real ones.

False question are questions based on false premises.  In politics, they are endless.  How come Republicans want to starve the poor, take away Grannies' meds, don't care about working people, only care about the rich, care only about themselves, don't have a plan of their own, only know how to say no, hate government, hate black people, are war mongers, etc.  How come Republicans want people to raise a family on $8 an hour?  How come they want to stop 20 million people from getting health insurance?  The more we answer these questions, the deeper the hole we have dug.

The question that resonated in the Dem electoral takeover that began in 2006 was the income inequality farce, that reinforces the false choice between siding with rich people and siding with poor or middle class people.  It originated with some of the liberal thought wonks, was brought forward by people like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman, and then repeated ad nauseam by liberal candidates and office holders.  We had John Edwards' "Two Americas", we had the surge of Howard Dean from the left, we had the changeover of congress to Pelosi-Reid-Obama et al right as the economy was hitting 50 consecutive months of job growth, and then we had the elevation of the Senate's most liberal member to President.  During that time we also had the elevation of the CRAp, fairness-based lending, to the top of our national housing policy with Republicans (including Newt!) jumping in to defuse Democrats 'it's all so unfair' argument.  It ended in a crash, but by their measures and even when Dems controlled all branches and all chambers, we still have the rich getting richer - at an alarming rate!

What do we know about income inequality?

a) It is badly measured and greatly overstated,

b) It is a fact, not an issue, and

c) Focusing on this false injustice leads you to all the wrong policy choices.


Back to part two of the CCP axiom:  "posing answers to questions they are NOT asking?"
Yes!  What are the questions middle voters REALLY are asking? (or should be)

Aren't they really asking something like this:  How can we raise up everyone's prosperity and quality of life?

If so, the argument might be between the performance of state run economies over time and across the globe versus the more free economies and we would win with every look at the data.
4182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 20, 2013, 03:38:36 PM
Surprising considering their cooperation with the other inquiries, Fast and Furious, IRS Targeting, Benghazi, etc.

Wouldn't refusal to accept congressional oversight be valid reason to de-fund?
4183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: October 20, 2013, 03:31:32 PM
The question might be, what is the closest experience he has to running a similar 230,000 employee law enforcement / national security operation - at a time when we are under attack.

Another question might be, what would be the Dem reaction be if a Republican president chose a totally unqualified partisan to run a crucial national security agency.
4184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 20, 2013, 02:37:32 PM
What a nightmare ! Amazing we survived as a nation.

Did you know that during the 'shutdown', no one was weeding Michelle's garden? 

http://thehill.com/capital-living/329179-first-ladys-garden-being-weeded

"Michelle Obama's garden is back to being weeded and cared for now that the government has reopened."
--------------
How do they get away with calling these functions of government non-essential?  She could have lost a whole season of Halloween pumpkins.  As required in Article 8?

I will never forget where I was the day the government shut down.
4185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 20, 2013, 01:57:06 PM
Shutdown-meaning 17 percent of the federal gov't temporary closed.

Paid vacation.
4186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Janet Yellen, 2010: "I didn't see any of that coming until it happened." on: October 20, 2013, 01:55:51 PM
Clairvoyant, and a woman.  Too good to be true.

Please see this Peter Schiff video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfLlF1vtit8

Too bad our media passes along the lies about what she said in her 'warning' speeches instead of checking them.

Did she warn of the housing bubble early?  No. She tried to downplay the risks and the threats of the housing bubble.  Plus she would have made it worse.  And promises to do more of the same.

'Peter Schiff goes over in detail the same speeches her supporters put forward and comes to the easy conclusion that the new leader at the Federal Reserve is just as incapable as her predecessors of recognizing a dangerous asset bubble. Worse yet, as a diehard believer in the power of expansive monetary policy, Ms. Yellen would be much less likely to attack an asset bubble even if she were ever to recognize one before it burst.'  - http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-10-17/janet-yellen-exposed-truth-behind-myth-0


Janet Yellen, 2010: "I didn't see any of that coming until it happened."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/14/business/economy/careers-of-2-fed-contenders-reveal-little-on-regulatory-approach.html

“For my own part,” Ms. Yellen said, “I did not see and did not appreciate what the risks were with securitization, the credit ratings agencies, the shadow banking system, the S.I.V.’s — I didn’t see any of that coming until it happened.”


She was wrong then, is wrong now, and will lead us off a cliff much taller and steeper than Obama could do without an accommodating Fed chair, but hey, it's exciting that she is a woman!  
4187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tea Party: The frog jumped out of the boiling water on: October 20, 2013, 01:33:39 PM
This is a pretty good analogy.  Only the tea party jumped out.  The establishment Republicans, moderate Dems, majority of women, young voters, Hispanics, and many other groups are still basking in the increasing temperatures.

(http://www.realclearpolitics.com/newsletters/the_daily_debate/2013/10/17/

The right is like the frog in that famous experiment who lets himself get cooked to death so long as the temperature of the water rises so gradually that no one change is big enough to cause him to jump out of the pot. My hypothesis is that ObamaCare cranked up the temperature in the pot too fast, and the frog realized the water was boiling and jumped out.

The important part of this theory is that it explains why the Tea Party base of the right has become so radicalized. They're not reacting to this year's increase in the size of government, or even the past five years. They're reacting to decades' worth of increasing government, all at once.

Others are making similar observations. Brit Hume explains what the Tea Party got out of the shutdown.

    "In conventional terms, it seems inexplicable, but Senator Cruz and his adherents do not view things in conventional terms. They look back over the past half-century, including the supposedly golden era of Ronald Reagan, and see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory state continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded.

    "They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy.

    "They are not interested in Republican policies that merely slow the growth of this leviathan. They want to stop it and reverse it. And they want to show their supporters they'll try anything to bring that about. And if some of those things turn out to be reckless and doomed, well, so be it."

Rush Limbaugh's reaction to the shutdown validates this observation.

    "I want to go back to the lady on the phone who says this doesn't feel right. What's happening here to the country just doesn't feel right. You know what's happened here? You know what this feels like, folks? I'll tell you exactly what it feels like to me. You tell me if this isn't close. It feels like we've lost a war to a communist country. It's almost like there's been a coup. There's been a peaceful coup. The media has led this coup, and the Democrats have taken over with popular support. We're getting policies and implementations and things that were never, ever part of this country's design and founding."

So happy predictions on the left that "the Republican fever has broken" are likely to be disappointed.

The other reason why ending the shutdown standoff is a victory for Republicans is that it allows them to shift attention to a development they didn't anticipate when they began the shutdown: the implosion of ObamaCare. Perhaps it is fitting that an administration whose ideal woman is a welfare-state-dependent web designer should see its signature initiative fail because of incompetent website design.

William Kristol declares, probably correctly, that this is the real news of October, which will be remembered long after the shutdown has faded from memory. And the consequences of ObamaCare's problems will reverberate for much longer.

Michael Barone runs down the consequences:

    "You need the exchanges to enroll enough young healthy people to subsidize those who are sick and old, which is one of the central features of Obamacare.

    "Otherwise premiums shoot up and up, pushing others out of the system—a death spiral that can continue year after year.

    "'At what point,' [Megan McArdle] asks, 'do we admit that the system just isn't working well enough, roll it back and delay the whole thing for a year?' She suggests that if the system can't enroll 50 percent of its users by November 1, such a hugely drastic step would be in order."

Well, the initial numbers are in, and only a fraction of those eligible for ObamaCare have been able to enroll. So there is a good chance that the administration will have to delay ObamaCare after all, giving the radical House Republicans exactly what they wanted from the shutdown. The Republicans might just win after all.
4188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / budget process, Kudlow: Obama's hard line on fiscal policy on: October 20, 2013, 01:23:57 PM
This is worth a read IMHO.  Paints an accurate picture of what Obama sees in upcoming budget battles.  Now that he knows how to get his way, he will end sequester limits, raise taxes (further) on 'the rich', and use money to pay for bigger and bigger government.  A strategy almost too obvious to post.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/19/obama_only_interested_in_busting_gop_120393.html

Obama Only Interested in Busting GOP

By Lawrence Kudlow - October 19, 2013

Judging from the speech Obama gave following the deal to end the government shutdown, Republicans better get wise to the president's next fiscal gambit when the three-month stop-gap budget and debt measures come due. As was the case with his hard-line defense of Obamacare, the president likely will be inflexible on ending sequestration budget caps, pushing for massive tax hikes and permitting only the most inconsequential entitlement reforms.

Obama is interested in busting the GOP in 2014. He's not interested in true budget restraint or other economic-growth measures.

Example: This week, instead of a conciliatory work-together message for the negotiations ahead, President Obama gave us another Republican scold speech: "All of us need to stop focusing on lobbyists and bloggers and talking heads on radio, and professional activists who profit from conflict."

But of course, it was Obama who wouldn't negotiate. And it was Obama and his followers who demonized the GOP with words like "hostage," "ransom," and "terrorists."

Another example: Out of nowhere in his post-shutdown speech, the president pledged to "close these corporate-tax loopholes that don't help create jobs and freeze up resources for the things that do help us grow, like education and infrastructure and research."

Huh? Where did this come from? There's no discussion of corporate tax reform in the whole speech, except for this one derogatory mention. So don't count on progress for the single biggest growth and jobs creator, namely full-fledged business tax reform. It may be in Obama's budget, but it's not really on his agenda.

The real agenda is to jack up taxes on businesses and the wealthy. On top of this year's $700 billion tax hike, the Democrats are going back to the $1 trillion tax-hike idea mentioned in recent years by Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

True pro-growth tax reform should broaden the base, lower marginal rates and simplify the code. The Democratic objective, however, is to raise as much additional taxpayer money as possible.

Why? Well, of course, to provide the spending fuel after they get rid of the budget-capping sequester. The Obama democrats are manic about this. They know that the sequester has effectively stopped their grandiose spending plans, and is actually bringing the discretionary budget back to 2007 levels. In fact, the real budget-winning move of recent years was the Republican reverse bait and switch (the bait came from the White House) in 2011 to embrace the sequester and implement it. It's the only true pro-growth fiscal measure we've seen in the Obama years.

Closing tax loopholes is a good idea so long as it is accompanied by lower marginal tax rates on the other side. (Repatriating over $1 trillion in overseas corporate profits at a minimal sanction of 5 percent would also help grow the economy.) So companies, wealthy entrepreneurs and small-business owners shouldn't be fooled when they hear the president talk about closing tax loopholes. Why is he saying this? That's easy: He wants to spend more money on his pet projects. More for the teachers' unions, the local construction unions, the quick-fix, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, the clean-energy Solyndras and all the other oddball social programs put in place by this administration.

Government spending cuts amount to tax cuts, which provide economic stimulus. But Obama and the Democrats want no part of it. Step back and read the president's economic speeches in August and September. You see a pattern: Raise taxes on businesses and successful entrepreneurs, kill the sequester and use the new tax revenues to spend more and grow the government -- and probably even finance Obamacare, which is going bankrupt even before it starts and has become the laughingstock of the country with its catastrophic breakout.

Finally, while Obama again may occasionally say otherwise, the Democratic Party opposes all manner of entitlement reforms. All. That includes the chained-CPI reform (which would lower benefits), Medicare means-testing, longer retirement eligibility, and higher co-pays for federal-employee benefits.

Labor doesn't want this stuff. House and Senate Democrats don't want it. And I seriously doubt if the president would push for it. Which means, in terms of the new budget conference (another fiscal cliff?) due to report in mid-December, the GOP better be super careful not to end the sequester budget caps in return for phony entitlement reforms.

Republicans had no coherent message going into the shutdown fiasco. But they can change that. They can now adopt a clear policy that maintains the sequester budget caps, pushes hard for pro-growth tax reform, and makes no apologies for rolling back the taxing, spending, mandating, budget-busting behemoth that is Obamacare.

The budget and debt battle of the next three months is actually going to be war. Obama knows this. Does the GOP?
4189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: trouble at Heritage? on: October 18, 2013, 02:01:35 PM
http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/10/shane-harris-on-heritage-and-lawfare/
From the article:
Recently, Heritage refused to publish two papers about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs written by a prominent conservative attorney. Why? Because he concluded that the programs were legal and constitutional, according to sources familiar with the matter. It was a surprising move for a think tank that has supported extension of the Patriot Act — which authorizes some of NSA’s activities — and has long been associated with right-of-center positions on national security and foreign policy.
. . .
But the think tank’s decision not to publish Bradbury’s opinions did not bury them.

I don't know about the wisdom of refusing to publish, but their publishing is seen as their endorsement of a view.  NSA and the Patriot Act powers are certainly issues that divide the right.

Heritage also just opposed the Medical Device Tax Repeal in the budget deal.  Huh  http://heritageaction.com/press-releases/heritage-action-statement-on-houses-obamacare-delay/  Because it leaves everything else in place. 

Conservatives are very busy questioning each others tactics - while accomplishing nothing.
4190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jeh Johnson Tapped to Lead DHS on: October 18, 2013, 01:50:30 PM
"As the Pentagon's top lawyer, Johnson was deeply involved in hundreds of sensitive counterterrorism and military operations."

Among Jeh Johnson's 'achievements' is the advice to grant civilian trials in NYC to terrorists. 

"He's even managed to become a favorite of Rachel Maddow, the progressive talk show host on MSNBC."

Yes.



4191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe, Trail of Kenyan mall attack leads to Norway on: October 18, 2013, 01:44:11 PM
Trail of Kenyan mall attack leads investigators to Norway

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/terrorism-security/2013/1018/Trail-of-Kenyan-mall-attack-leads-investigators-to-Norway

Norwegian police have been questioning friends and family of a Somalia-born Norwegian citizen who they suspect may be one of the gunmen behind last month's terrorist attack in Nairobi.
------

Where did we read recently about militant Islam in Scandinavia?  (See previous post in thread.)

The trail also leads to the Scandinavian strongholds of the USA, Somalis living in Minneapolis:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2430324/Kenya-mall-attack-Up-3-American-teens-Minnesota-involved-Nairobi-massacre.html

Open borders with trust and tolerance of people committed to destroy you is a recipe for disaster.
4192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - No Expectation of Privacy on: October 18, 2013, 12:39:07 PM
O'Care: 'No Expectation of Privacy'?
In the fine print of the ObamaCare web site, at least when it is working, you might want to pay attention to this line from the disclaimer: "You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."

Thank you Crafty for catching and posting this.  With or without this offensive and stupid message, the loss of privacy and control over your own life with this bad legislation is monumental.

It bothers me that even opponents of Obamacare focus only on the taxes or spending issues.  This intrusion is SO much greater than that!
4193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: October 18, 2013, 12:07:27 PM
We keep hearing from establishment Republicans that Cruz has "damaged the Republican brand".
I submit the question:
What brand?
The party no longer represents us.
What is the message besides "low taxes"?
The establishment Republicans sound more and more like Democrats.
I submit the response that there is no "brand".
And that is what the Tea Party is about. 

I share all your frustration, anger, disappointment, etc and then some!  To answer you literally, Republican is a brand that is still winning half of the elections, holding the House, a 30-20 lead in Governorships, a majority of state legislatures, well over the 40 Senator threshold, threatening (for a 3rd try) to take back that majority.  That is with no leader, clarity or message.   Also should have won the Presidency in 2012. 

At the start of the tea party movement I thought the uniting message was cut spending first.  Reduce the size and scope of government, especially federal government.  Lower tax rates along with a booming private sector can follow.  But this was in reaction to Obamacare passage in particular, the greatest expansion of government power in this country ever.

Failing to take the Senate, failing to take back the Presidency, failing to get these expansions struck down in the Court, and failing to defund it, all lead us to starting over, carrying all this damage and with a dispirited base.  We are fighting to get back to where we were, which was in a faltering economy with a huge government and even more people not contributing.

We actually need to both defeat the establishment Republicans and unite with them, a daunting proposition.

Each state, house district etc., IMO, needs to choose the most conservative candidate - that can win in that state or district.  Same for the Presidency.  They need to be focused and disciplined, not make the mistakes that sank others recently.  Get a message and stay on message; this is not about rape abortions, secession, or shooting our way out of this mess.

We need a vision and some visionaries.  A shining city on a hill.  Tell people the positive things about a realistic, America-2014 and beyond vision.  Move past the liberal terminology and definitions of the issues.  As Newt once did, ask questions that poll well and favor our side.  Would you like more government control over your life or more personal freedom and economic opportunity?  Would you like to stop others from succeeding or improve your own lot on life?  Do you like jobs, businesses, schools, health care, and everything else controlled mainly by Washington or closer to home?  Do you think public sector people should have far bigger salaries, pensions, benefits and shorter work days than the private sector people who support them or be in line with the rest of the economy?

At some point there are demographic groups such as unemployed young people who will begin to see that the move toward Stalinism isn't helping them.  Hope and change meant sit still and demand things.  These things tend to swing like a pendulum.  At some point people open up to a different message.  But we didn't made good use of the turns we had to govern and we haven't presented a coherent alternative while out of power, so we are now paying that price.
4194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: The Education of TC on: October 17, 2013, 12:26:23 PM
"...now even Mr. Cruz is admitting that there are limits to what Republicans can achieve when they control only one house of Congress. Maybe he's learning, or maybe his earlier accusations were, well, less than sincere.

It failed not because Ted Cruz did not lead but because Dems knew that Republicans would not follow.  Among so many others, the WSJ did not back him up or call out his opponents on their falsehoods.

"...we're not going to be able to repeal this law until 2017 and that we have to win the Senate and win the White House"

How does Obamacare repeal in 2017 without 60 votes in the Senate.  Republicans will not have a trunk full of uncounted conservative ballots to bring in without scrutiny to duplicate the way Democrats won their 60th vote.

The this-will-be-easier-to stop-later argument fails every time it is tried.  How about an Article One argument - government funding begins in the House.  Last November, Obamacare lost in the House.  But send those elected officials to Washington and big government is on again.
4195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Henninger goes after Tea Party on: October 17, 2013, 12:05:19 PM
Karl Rove also has a piece in the WSJ today attacking the failed tea party strategy.  In the case of Henninger it is easy to tell the only people standing up to do more.  In the case of all who say they oppose Obamacare but attack the tea party strategy, please tell us the other way of stopping this before it is too entrenched to ever be dismantled.  They don't have an answer.

Ted Cruz and the tea party had this right.  They didn't have the support of their colleagues at the start, or at the end, but at least they gave them the opportunity to take one last stand.

In a short time the majority of Hispanics will rely on Obamacare and its subsidies, just to single out one key demographic group.  And just like SSI, SNAP, Section 8, etc, Americans on the first and second rungs of the ladder will need to keep their income and work efforts permanently low in order to maintain their subsidy.  We will soon be arguing over who can tax, borrow and spend the most to win over all these votes.  For what?  To repeal Obamacare?
4196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: October 17, 2013, 11:47:30 AM
I did wrote to my Republican congressman this morning with points I have tried to make here on the forum.

A short time ago I wrote to urge you to stand strong.

From your press release:  "...hoped for a better outcome, including the repeal of the medical device tax"

You don't get a better outcome when your opponents know that, in the end, over a third of Republicans will side with them. 

I agree with your opposition to the Medical Device Tax, but that is one small example of why Obamacare is a historic disaster for the country.  Opposing that tax but voting to fund Obamacare makes no meaningful distinction between your position and many (Minnesota) Democrats such as Al Franken.

Refusal to increase a borrower's credit limit is not default. See Rep Schweikert's comments, "none of you were math majors were you?"  http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/10/15/house_republicans_want_to_make_it_harder_for_treasury_to_avoid_a_debt_crisis.html  Accepting the opponents' framing of the arguments was a part of the loss we just witnessed.

What requires government funding to be all in one bill?  Why do we accept the premise that 113th Congress must fund all the programs passed by the 111th Congress? Does liberal control of the Presidency, Senate and media give them control of the House. Article 1 says no.  The only leverage they have is Republicans voting with Democrats.  (Everyone on our side should write to one.)

If you who oppose big government, but in the end side with them, and you know a better time, place or strategy to dismantle Obamcare before it becomes permanently entrenched, I look forward to seeing that happen.   I don't look forward to convening an angry caucus in (our town) this February and explaining why we support candidates that go to Washington and end up siding with our opponents and funding their programs.
4197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 16, 2013, 12:52:40 PM
From Mea Culpa,

Crafty: "Like many, I anticipated huge inflation due to the Fed printing scandalous amounts of money.   Though this may yet happen due to the inherent contradictions of the path upon which we are embarked, I have come to belief that Scott Grannis has been correct on this point-- that bank reserves are not the same thing as printing money."


My view:  Bank reserves are more like potential energy while printed money (in circulation) is more like kinetic energy.  With energy, one easily converts into the other.  Bank reserves in excess will convert and multiply into printed money in circulation in excess if and when economic velocity begins to accelerate, meaning price increases will come later from the monetary expansions that already occurred.

Regarding who is right, we will see.
4198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / National Savings Rate in historical perspective, + Investment Rate on: October 16, 2013, 12:34:07 PM


From savings comes investment.  From investment come jobs, growth, opportunity, prosperity.

The net investment rate, a similar graph, is shown with the savings rate in this pdf, http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa737_web_1.pdf, I just don't know how to pull the chart out to display here.
4199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: Obamacare rates hit a Daily Koz regular on: October 16, 2013, 12:10:04 PM
Welcome young people to the consequences of leftism.  A Koz regular in his own words:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/30/1242660/-Obamacare-will-double-my-monthly-premium#

Obamacare will double my monthly premium (according to Kaiser)

My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don't go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife's rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any fucking penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

Oh, ok, if we qualify, we can get some government assistance. Great. So now I have to jump through another hoop to just chisel some of this off. And we don't qualify, anyway, so what's the point?

I never felt too good about how this was passed and what it entailed, but I figured if it saved Americans money, I could go along with it.

I don't know what to think now. This appears, in my experience, to not be a reform for the people.

What am I missing?

I realize I will probably get screamed at for posting this, but I can't imagine I am the only Californian who just received a rate increase from Kaiser based on these new laws.
4200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carbon capture on: October 16, 2013, 11:52:54 AM
I didn't know Exxon holds the most patents in this area.  From Scientific American.   

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2013/10/15/will-oil-companies-become-carbon-capture-ones/

As always, Big Regulation will take from the freedom and choice of the little guy and give to the corporate profits of the largest, entrenched contributors.  I hope it is worth it.
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